Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apple Pie Bars

Nothing says America like apple pie right? Well since going primal, pie hasn't exactly been on my food radar. There are recipes out there for primal pie crusts made with almond flour, but I haven't taken the time to explore those options. In my defense dough was never my strong point.

Anyway, these apple pie bars are would be great to bring along to a barbecue this Memorial Day weekend. Its always a good idea to bring some primal friendly snacks and treats if you have to bring a dish to a party. That way you know that there will be something there for you to eat. 

As with all treats these should be for every once in a while not everyday so it's probably a good idea to make these to share if you don't trust yourself with them in the house. And now without further ado, Apple Pie Bars!

Apple Pie Bars

Makes 36 squares
  • 12 medjool dates
  • 1 cup dried apple rings
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 ½   tbsp cinnamon (1tbsp if you don't love cinnamon quite as much as I do)
Add dates and apples to a food processor. Turn it on and stream in coconut oil. You will have to stop and break up the date mixture a couple of times to make sure everything is mixed together. Once the dates and apples are a paste like consistency add the nuts and cinnamon and blend until everything starts to stick together. 
Date and apple mixture

A quick note, I have heard that food processors are overheating when people try this recipe so be sure to keep an eye on your machine. I like to wait to measure out the nuts and cinnamon until the dates and apples are all mixed together, that way I don't have to try to remember to keep checking the food processor.

Once the the mixture is the desired consistency, line an 8x8 pyrex baking pan with parchment paper and add the mixture. With clean hands press until some what flat and compressed, being sure to press the corners down, otherwise they will fall apart when you try to take them out of the pan. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (you could probably cut some time by putting them in the freezer, but I have not tried this). 

Once hardened cut to desired size, I like to make them smaller (6 cuts x 6 cuts)with the illusion that they will last longer but you could also do 4x4 or 5x5 cuts for bigger bars. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pork Chops in Mushroom Cream Sauce

The cast of players
Oh mushroom cream sauce, how I love thee. A good mushroom cream sauce is one of those things that can take any boring meat and make it amazing, dinner guest worthy even. I couldn't pass up the sale on pork the other day so that is what we will be working with today, but this would go equally well with chicken. One perk about this recipe is it is really easy to throw together so you can even pull it off on a week night.

Pork Chops in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 6 pork chops
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 16 oz mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 2-3 tsp fresh or dried chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
I find it easiest to do all the prep work before turning on the stove, so start by seasoning your pork chops with some salt and pepper (throw on some garlic and onion powder if you are feeling fancy) and chop and slice all the veggies putting the onions and mushrooms in one bowl and the garlic in a separate bowl.

Next heat your oil in the pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chops and brown on both sides. If you don't have a pan big enough to fit all 6 chops at once cook in batches. Once the pork is browned on both sides remove from the pan and set aside on  a plate tented with foil.

You may need to add a bit more fat to the pan at this point, then go ahead and throw in the onions and mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic and continue cooking until onions are nearly translucent. 

Add the wine and scrape all the tasty, cooked on brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly and to cook off the alcohol. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream, chives and salt and pepper, stirring to warm through. Add the pork chops back to the pan, don't forget to add the juices from the plate. Cover for a couple of more minutes to get everything back up to the same temperature.
I like to serve this in my, now incorrectly named, "pasta" bowls so that none of the tasty sauce can get away. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Beginning

Ok the first blog post ever, this is a little intimidating. First a bit about me, I like cooking, crossfit and creating things and love my family and the great outdoors. I am a nerdy accountant who plays with spreadsheets and talks about primal/paleo food to anyone who will listen. I started this blog as an outlet to hopefully help others see how easy primal eating can be and to stop driving my friends and family nuts with all my food and primal science talk. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist or scientist, just very interested in this particular way of life.

I will dedicate a future post to what the primal/paleo lifestyle is all about, why it is so great and why the food pyramid is trying to kill you (in a totally non-conspiracy theorist kind of way of course), but for now I will keep this short and sweet. Maybe short and savory would make more sense in this case. In honor of my first post I thought I would pull out all the stops and give you a recipe that will definitely impress not only in looks but also in taste. Oh and the best part, the BACON!!!

Yes my friends today we will be working with bacon because, really, can you ever go wrong with bacon? There was that one weird bacon chocolate bar but I feel it’s one flaw was not enough bacon, so I guess that doesn’t really count. Even the bacon cake was pretty good, but more on that later.

On that note I give you the Cheeseburger Bacon Roll. I have adapted this recipe from Vanessa over at Healthy Living How To.

Cheeseburger Bacon Roll
Makes 4-6 servings

12 slices of bacon (about 1lb)
2 lbs ground beef
6 oz. shredded or sliced cheddar cheese
½ tbsp salt (I prefer Himalayan sea salt)
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp garlic powder
½ tbsp onion powder
½-1 tsp cayanne (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Create a bacon weave by lining up half of the bacon horizontally, then fold back every other peice halfway and lay down one piece of the remaining bacon. Replace horizontal pieces and repeat alternating the horizontal pieces that get folded back until you have something that looks like this:

Disregard the random spare bacon on the left

Next in large bowl combine ground beef and seasoning and mix with your hands (use a spoon if you want but it won’t be nearly as fun). Form the beef mixture into a large square-ish patty. Place the cheese on the patty and roll it up like a jelly roll. Be sure that the beef is sealing in all the cheese on the seams and the ends otherwise it will all ooze out during cooking.Place the roll diagonally on one corner of the bacon weave and roll it all up.

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and put a baking rack in the pan. Put tasty bacon-beef roll on the baking rack and bake for 50-60 minutes or until internal temp is 165. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with your usual burger fixings like lettuce, tomato and onion. You won’t even miss the bun I promise.

A note on serving raw onions, if you soak the onion slices for about 10 minutes in a bowl of cold water before serving, it will take out the harsh taste just be sure to dry them off when ready to eat.