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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST

Who doesn’t love food that gives you a hug from the inside on these cooler nights? Or ONE POT MEALS? Are you tight for time? Don’t feel like standing in the kitchen long? Use a slow cooker or if you don’t have one, a dutch oven! Okay, this recipe is one of your answers of all possible options. It’s a nice rendition on a standard slow cooked chuck roast and I’m sure you’ll love it. So, if you’re going to be gone all day and want to walk in the door with dinner ready then, go the slow cooker method on low for 8hrs. Otherwise, you can do all the same quick prep work, put it in a dutch oven, and walk away for about 3 hours. Either way, you can’t mess this up!

If you plan on having guests over, this is a great way to have great food. You’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and focus on any of the other food items you plan to prepare. Personally, I’m a sucker for anything made in big batches because I love the convenience of leftovers. I love having days where I can dive deep into all the things I need and want to do where having something I can reheat quickly doesn’t take a lot of my time. Before you tackle this greatness make sure you use a decent quality balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but select your cooking balsamic like you would select your red wine. If you can’t imagine enjoying a particular balsamic vinegar in a dressing then you won’t enjoy cooking with it. If you don’t know what to select, my favorite go-to is Gran Reserva Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by Lucini.

Because this dish is very meat centric, you can keep this fairly low carb with a few baby golden potatoes and carrots. Also, feel free to add your own flare to this. Some times I like slicing a bunch of fresh garlic cloves in half and tossing it in the pot. Add more spices or other favorite veggies if you want. When it comes to one pot meals like this, you can add in anything you like. One of my favorites is rough chopped fennel. But when it comes to leftovers, you can totally slice the meat up super fine like shown in the images, make a beef sandwich, add Italian sweet cherry peppers, dip it into the au jus, and slather some damn good horseradish. You see what I’m saying? Okay good! Happy eatings!

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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rub both sides of the meat with salt. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil over high heat and sear each side of the chuck roast for about 3 minutes to get a nice crust.
  2. Place the chuck roast in a slow cooker or dutch oven.
  3. Saute the onions with garlic powder in the drippings over medium-high heat in the same large pan that you seared the meat in. After two minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let simmer and stir frequently until it becomes syrupy.
  4. Turn heat off and stir in the Dijon mustard. Add this balsamic Dijon mixture in with the meat. Throw in the thyme sprigs, baby potatoes, whole carrots, salt, pepper, and the beef broth.
  5. Cover and let it cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker. Or about 3 hours on 300 F degrees in the oven.
  6. Add the sliced mushrooms an hour before done.

LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, then you’ll love this recipe! It takes the whole dish to a whole new level. I know some people are purists but you’ll be surprised to find there are many cultures including the Middle East that have their own variation of stuffed cabbage or some other kind of leaf. So I took the concept of the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage and used a more flavorful meat like ground lamb and complimenting it using the proper spices for it. Yet another fusion dish perhaps that is worth the prep work, I swear!

I’ll say though, it may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You can make the lamb mixture the day before which is super fast. Then take care of the rest later. One major word of advice though is make sure you have a big, tall pot one you’d use to cook spaghetti in. Also, a hand held strainer that would fit a cabbage head in. This will make removing a piping hot cabbage head so much easier preventing burnt hands.

One last thing, the very end of the leaf can have a very thick spine which makes it difficult sometimes to roll the cabbage leaf. In the picture above you can see I cut an upside-down “V” to remove most of it off. It does make a big difference. Don’t worry about ruining the leaf! If you are confused and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!


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LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon together until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the ground lamb, rice, cooled onion mixture, fresh cilantro and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place the cabbage head carefully into the boiling hot water using a large strainer with a handle for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves to appear bright green.
  4. Remove the cabbage head into a large bowl. Peel off some of the softened leaves and place onto a plate covered with paper towels. Place the cabbage back into the boiling water for a few minutes until the next layer of leaves are ready to be peeled. Do this a few times until you peel most of the leaves off the head. Save the damaged and/or outer leaves to cover the bottom and top of the baking dish.
  5. Using a knife cut an upside-down “V” to remove the toughest part of the spine at the bottom of each leaf. This will make rolling the leaves easier. Place each cabbage leaf sideways, spoon about ¼ cup give or take of the lamb mixture onto the bottom part of the leaf. Roll it up and tuck in the sides before completely rolling it up.
  6. Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with imperfect cabbage leaves, place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Top the rolls with tomato puree, the remaining fresh chopped onion and feta crumbles.
  7. Cover everything with remaining leftover cabbage leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for about an 1h 15min to 1hr 30min. Everything should be boiling hot.

BISON FILET & TARRAGON CHIVE BUTTER

This is the ultimate special occasion recipe whether it’s for someone special or you want something easy and elegant for a group. I’m not going to try and deceive people with the idea that Bison filet is affordable. It is not cheap. You’ll probably pay around $34.99 per pound. But it is worth every damn cent. For a lesser expensive option you can go with beef filet instead. It wasn’t long ago I went to Whole Foods with the intention to buy two filets but they were all out. Grass-fed bison filet was my only filet option, um YES PLEASE. FORCE ME, TAKE THE MONEY! No regrets. Every bite was heaven. And that is why I’m sharing this with you. Because I don’t eat steak often, when I do it’s filet. And now, I prefer bison over beef every damn time. UGH damn foodies.

The recipe is very straight forward and takes no time at all to do. The finishing butter is to die for especially if you make Homemade Butter. Because there’s not a whole lot of time required to make this, you could make it extra special by making your own homemade butter in about 15 minutes. Some times putting a little more time and effort into something shows you care. People tend to appreciate that a lot. I know I do. The delectable side dish in the picture is my Maple Capocollo Wrapped Haricot Verts. It’s my absolute favorite to go with the bison filet because it also doesn’t take much time to assemble and you let the oven do all the cooking.

 

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BISON FILET & TARRAGON CHIVE BUTTER
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cover a both sides of the bison filets with a generous amount of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Let the filets sit until they’re about room temperature.
  2. Using the back of a spoon, soften the butter and mix in the fresh tarragon and chives with a pinch of sea salt. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the bottom with olive oil and sear the bison filets about 3 minutes on each side. Then place the iron skillet in the oven at 400 F for about 12-15 minutes for medium rare to medium.
  4. Place the filets on their plate with a dollop of the tarragon chive butter on top. Place aluminum foil on top creating a tent. Let rest for 5 minutes.

CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST

Don’t roll your eyes and runaway! Hear me out. I came up with this  concoction of an amazing pizza crust alternative for many reasons. NOT because gluten free and low carb is a fad these days. I’ll explain.

You don’t have to be gluten free or low carb to be healthy or to eat healthy rather. Not everyone is gluten intolerant (not allergic, big difference). But there are benefits to avoiding wheat flours in general. Not entirely as it varies from person to person. Although, obesity is a huge issue in the U.S. and now many other countries around the world. Diabetes and heart disease tends to go hand in hand with obesity at some point in a persons life. Keeping your carbohydrate intake to a moderation is one of the single best things you can do for yourself to PREVENT the above mentioned. Monitoring it is also one of the better things you can do for yourself if you’re already obese and/or have other health issues that can be easily managed by dietary habits. So, because I’m all about moderation and compromising on this food blog, THESE are the reasons why I wanted to make this and share this. Okay, on to the good stuff…

This is actually a very easy recipe to make and you can make it ahead of time, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use. There’s no yeast involved and no hours of waiting for dough to rise, knead, rise yadda yadda. You can make many of these, freeze it until you’re ready to use. Win win especially with how tasty this is. You can use dairy-free cheese if you’re lactose intolerant or simply replace the cheese entirely with an extra egg. And just a heads up, you might have to eat this pizza with a fork… which I’m sure is the least of anyone’s worries so long as it tastes good. Most parts of Italy you’ll find eat their pizza with a knife and fork so it’s not a sin!

There’s no wrong way to dress a pizza. We all know this. If you’re looking for a good red sauce you can always use my go-to Homemade Marinara. If you like your pizza sauce on the sweeter side just add a little bit of sugar to the marinara when heating it up. Last thing, when squeezing the water out of the cauliflower be careful to start… it does retain heat for a long time so don’t burn yourself. And squeeze the heck out of it. You’ll be surprised how much water is in cauliflower. Have fun!

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CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut the florets off the cauliflower head, place them into a food processor and run it through until everything is riced super fine. Place everything into a bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Fold the cheesecloth in half and place over a strainer, pour the steamed cauliflower into the cheesecloth and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes. Grab all corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze the cauliflower over and over until all the water is removed.
  3. Toss the cauliflower back into the bowel making sure it’s not hot still. Add the egg, Romano cheese, mozzarella, garlic powder, oregano, and salt. Mix everything kneading it altogether like a dough.
  4. Place some parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spread the cauliflower dough in any shape you like to no thicker than ¼ inch. Bake at 450 F for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Top the pizza crust with any of your favorite sauces, cheeses and/or toppings and bake for about another 10-15 minutes.

GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD

Grain free. Gluten free. Low carb. High protein. High fiber. Healthy fats. Nutrient Dense! And it tastes pretty damn good! This is not a sweet bread, it’s a great alternative to everyday bread. Most breads you find in the grocery store use bleached all purpose flour, fortify it with crap quality vitamins and minerals then flavor it with some kind of sugar derivative like the popular high fructose corn syrup that is practically every other packaged good. There are much better alternatives for loaf bread usually found in the freezer section of your grocery store. But, homemade means you can control everything. This recipe is so quick and easy that you don’t need to dirty your standing mixer. Just two large bowls and mix!

What can you use this bread for you ask?! Anything and everything. I’ve tried so many ways already. And I’ll tell you: your favorite sandwich, peanut butter (or other nut butter) and jelly, sliced bananas with cinnamon, avocado with sea salt, pepper, lime juice and some fresh cilantro, EGGS! Spread some real grass-fed butt on it after toasted with sea salt and your favorite jam. Apples and honey. You see where I’m going with this? Anything and everything!

Feel free to add any of your favorite nuts or seeds into the recipe too. You can replace the almond butter with a different nut butter too. And if you’re opposed to ground flaxseed (doesn’t add a taste to the recipe) feel free to add anything else in place of it. This is truly a great recipe to help get you started and comfortable baking your own healthy breads. Enjoy!

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GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat a loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs, add the maple syrup, and almond butter. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  3. In another large bowl whisk the almond flour, baking soda, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon together.
  4. Pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, mix. Then, mix in the last half of the dry ingredients. Make sure everything is incorporated well. The consistency should be thick like cake batter. Add a splash of almond milk if needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and keep refrigerated.