Gadget Girl Goes Gaga (yes, it’s a post about the Instant Pot) (and also about my other obsession: homemade Greek yogurt)

For someone who loves old-fashioned, slow things like knitting and spinning and weaving, I sure do love gadgets. So I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I would fall in love with a kitchen gadget. I just really wasn’t prepared for how very hard I would fall.

I had read about the Instant Pot on NomNomPaleo’s blog for months before I finally couldn’t take it anymore – I had to try this thing. I gave my husband some pretty blatant hints (things like sending him a link and saying, “Hey, I would love one of these for Mother’s Day!”), and – what a nice surprise! – I received one for Mother’s Day: the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior

Twenty years ago, I dated a guy who loved to cook and specifically loved cooking in a stovetop pressure cooker. He persuaded me to get one, and I did. But I was always so scared of that thing that I probably used it less than a dozen times over the years. But the electric pressure cooker takes away that fear for me, because it takes away the risk. It also takes away the guesswork. I was attracted to this particular electric pressure cooker because it’s a 7-in-1 gadget- it works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, and it sautés and steams.

But here is my confession. For the first six months of owning this beautiful baby, I only ever used it to make yogurt.

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There were two reasons for that. One: I was intimidated by all the functions and options on the machine. Two: the yogurt is amazing.

I started eating yogurt again (after years of reducing and occasionally eliminating all dairy) last winter, after a really nasty stomach bug. When I was getting back on solid foods, there wasn’t much that appealed to me. Then I suddenly had a deep, undeniable craving for Greek yogurt – thick, plain, whole milk yogurt (I believe in eating fat). I had some raw, local honey from my stepson and his fiancé (they raise bees) that I stirred in, along with some raw nuts. It was total bliss, and I was hooked.

In May, after receiving my Instant Pot, I started making my own plain, whole milk yogurt. I used to make yogurt years ago, when the boys were toddlers. I have a dedicated yogurt maker for just that purpose. But this was even easier than that:

  1. pour in the milk, lock the lid, hit the Yogurt button, and the pot brings the milk to boil. It beeps when it’s ready.
  2. Take off the lid, turn off the machine, let the milk cool to 115F or below (this is the hardest part of the whole process).
  3. Stir in yogurt starter (I use Fage Total yogurt or some of my previous batch of yogurt). It needs a lot less starter than you might think. I stir in 1 Tbsp per quart (and I usually start with half a gallon of milk and so stir in 2 T yogurt).
  4. Put the lid back on, hit the Yogurt button again, and adjust the time (I usually do about 10 hours, but it can be as few as 8 or closer to 12 – I just set it depending on what else is going on with me that day). When the timer goes off again, you have yogurt. It can go straight into containers in the fridge to chill at that point.
  5. But since I like Greek-style yogurt, I always strain mine first. I pour it into a strainer lined with a clean cotton tea towel, set over a large bowl. I then set the whole thing in the fridge for 2-4 hours, which makes for a very thick, very creamy yogurt (and a good amount of whey, which can be used for many other purposes).

I know that food bloggers always take pictures and show you each step. But I’m not a food blogger and my kitchen is poorly set-up for capturing those moments anyway. So I’m just going to assume that you can visualize the pushing of buttons, the closing of lids, and the straining of yogurt, and skip right to the goods:

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It is SO GOOD, y’all.

And so thick:

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And since it’s plain, everyone in the family can stir in whatever they like (or leave it as is). I like mine with honey, almonds, and fresh berries.

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As delicious as this yogurt is, and as unbelievably easy as it is to make, I decided over the holidays that it was high time I started using the Instant Pot for over things, too. So I joined this amazing Facebook group dedicated to the Instant Pot, and it has been really educational and inspiring. My gal Heather and I text about our Instant Pots all the time, and she’s been encouraging and helpful, too.

So I finally took the plunge and went beyond making yogurt. And I have been ALL IN. In the last 11 days, I’ve made Buffalo Wings, Kalua Pig, Chili, Vanilla Custard, Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast (a dish I usually make in the slow cooker but was even better in the Instant Pot; actually the same could be said about the Kalua Pig), Mexican Beef ( AMAZING), Crispy Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Capers, Potato Soup, and absolutely perfect easy-peel boiled eggs (twice). (I will try to come back and add links to all of those when I have a minute – this post is already getting out of control!).And of course, I’ve also made more yogurt.

My mind is hopping all the time now with Instant Pot ideas, so I figured I might as well subject all of you to it, too. I’m probably going to need to write up some of my ideas and experiments, too, so consider this fair warning – you may have to see many more I Love My Instant Pot posts.

But in case you came by for crafts and not for yogurt, here’s a thing I made with all the time my Instant Pot has saved me:

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Hello Yarn “Blossom” on Finn – my first spin of 2016 – 3.5oz, 252yds 2-ply DK. Love this bright, happy yarn on these cold, grey days!

Disclaimer: Yes, that is an Amazon affiliate link up there. I was not paid anything for gabbing about my Instant Pot. But if you are thinking about getting one and you use my link, I will get a tiny commission to support my blog habit. No pressure. HAHA SEE WHAT I DID THERE? #imsopunny

 

 

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Slow-Cooked Paleo White Chicken Chili – a recipe in progress

It’s November 1, which means National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is once again upon us, and I’m in. It also means Halloween was last night, and in my house we have a number of family traditions around the celebration, the most relevant of which for this post is that I always make a pot of something hot for us to have after trick-or-treating.

Last night was particularly cold – it was literally freezing, with a wind chill below freezing and actual snow coming down – and I will confess that I did not go trick-or-treating with my gang to even one house. I can’t even say that it was because I needed to see about dinner, because I had put that in the slow cooker hours earlier. Basically, I was just a wimp.

So I said good-bye to Death:

Tiny Dancer as "Death"

Tiny Dancer as “Death”

And I said good-bye to the Decapitated Dude:

Little Buddha as a Decapitated Dude

Little Buddha as a Decapitated Dude

 

And I wished all three of my fellas good luck.

Decapitated Dude, Horseman, and Death

Decapitated Dude, Horseman, and Death

 

And I stayed home and handed out candy.

I also used the time to take selfies:

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And take pictures of the cat:

"I am not amused"

“I am not amused”

And roast pumpkin seeds:

(whoops! no picture, because they are all in our bellies)

So it’s not like I was wasting time while my kids and husband froze out there begging for candy, amiright?

I usually make regular chili for Halloween, but this time I decided to do White Chicken Chili. I took a recipe I’d never made before and paleo-fied it. It was good, but I think it could be better next time. I’ll share it here, and if you have any suggestions, I’m interested!

Slow-Cooked Paleo White Chicken Chili

Slow-Cooked Paleo White Chicken Chili

Slow-Cooked Paleo White Chicken Chili

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons, coconut oil, divided
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1 medium-sized jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 4oz. cans chopped roasted green chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sauté onion until tender.
  2. Add the chicken, jalapeño, and remaining tablespoon of oil and cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, 5-6 minutes; transfer everything to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the roasted chiles, oregano, cumin, cloves, cayenne, and 8 cups of chicken broth to the slow cooker; stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 6 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. During the last hour, add the coconut milk, chopped zucchini, and salt.
  5. Remove the chicken from the cooker, shred with a fork, and return to the cooker.

recipe heavily adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook (NYM Series) (affiliate link) – I LOVE this cookbook.

The original recipe called for 3 chicken breasts, which is what I used last night. I realized afterwards that I should’ve doubled that to make up for the fact that I wasn’t using beans (as called for in the original recipe). So I’ve doubled the chicken above, though I haven’t yet made it that way. I just know that the soup as I made it needed more protein (and generally more substance).

This was really good, but it wasn’t as thick as traditional white chicken chili, which has beans in it. I added coconut milk to it to make it a little creamier, but I still would’ve loved it to be a bit thicker. Paleo people, what would you do? Add arrowroot? Pureed pumpkin? Some other thickening trick?

This is a recipe I’m interested in refining, so I will definitely keep working at it, and will share my results.

baked :: Paleo Vegan Pear-Berry Crisp

I’m also thrilled to find a recipe that is both paleo and vegan, so I can serve it to my whole family (my stepson has been vegan for over a decade). Last weekend, when I was hosting extended family, I was looking for a dessert that I could serve to all ten of us, and I pulled out a recipe I’d been salivating over for awhile, from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great:

Pear-Berry Crisp

Pear-Berry Crisp

I didn’t manage to get a great picture of it because I was too busy shoveling it into my mouth. I LOVE this recipe, y’all! I served it for dessert, along with homemade vanilla ice cream (neither vegan nor paleo!), but it would also be great with whipped coconut cream. I also had it plain for breakfast a couple of times, along with some sausage. I’m super-sad it’s all gone now, because I would love to have some this morning. Fortunately for me, I’ve got some paleo Banana Bread (also from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great) in the oven right now!

Pear-Berry Crisp
adapted from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great
(serves 8)
ingredients:
3 lbs. red pears, cored, peeled, sliced
3 C berries (whichever you like – I used blackberries and blueberries, as per the original recipe)
1 T lemon juice
2 t coconut flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
for topping:
2 T coconut oil
1 1/3 C raw nuts (whichever you like – I used almonds and pecans, as per the original recipe)
4 medjool dates, pitted
2 T shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt

directions:
1 – Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 casserole
2 – In a large bowl, stir together pears, berries, lemon juice, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
3 – Put all topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it resembles oats.
4 – Pour fruit into casserole and spread topping evenly over it.
5 – Bake for 35 minutes.

Oh mercy, y’all, this was SO good. I bought more pears last night so I can make it again very, very soon. I love that it requires no added sweetener and yet tastes perfectly delicious. I’m mulling over how to make a similar crisp but filled with strawberries and rhubarb, for spring – but that seems like it would be too tart not to require some sort of sweetener in the filling, doesn’t it?

At any rate, I continue to highly recommend this book. I got it for Christmas and have loved every recipe I’ve tried in it. There are lots of things in it that you can’t make if you’re on Whole30 (paleofied baked goods), but there are plenty of Whole30-approved yummies in there, too. (This particular recipe only includes Whole30 approved ingredients, but I waited till after Whole30 to try it since it does seem to be a paleofied baked good). Do you have the book? If so, what are your favorite dishes?
Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great (affiliate link)

If You Give a Girl a Cookie…

… she just might also eat cake, pie, and possibly pizza.

darn good chocolate chip toffee chip cookies

really good chocolate chip-toffee chip cookies

As I mentioned in my Whole 30 wrap-up post last month, I anticipated making and eating some baked non-paleo goodies when extended family visited me at the end of the month. I did pretty well continuing to eat paleo for actual meals – I put together a taco bar one night, a pasta bar one night, burgers one night – all highly customizable meals, easy to make vegan, paleo, or whatever you’d like. But I also made some favorite desserts, and, just as I’d planned, I did indulge.

Perhaps too much. With each indulgence, I slid a little more off the paleo path, until by the end of the family visit, I was eating my first piece of pizza since the beginning of the year. And for the last couple of days, I have continued to indulge in a variety of grain-based, sugar-laden foods. And even though some of it has been delicious, I can also tell a HUGE difference in my mood, my energy, and how my body feels. The weirdest part is my eyes – they always feel tired.

Tomorrow I’ll be back on my track, but for tonight I want to share my recipe for Darn Good Chocolate Chip-Toffee-Chip Cookies. I mean, it is Fat Tuesday after all.

I learned so much from this article a couple of months ago – the author explored how a variety of ingredients and techniques affect a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was very enlightening to think about what I was looking for in a chocolate chip cookie and how to get it. During the four days my family was visiting, I made three different batches of cookies (for a total of 12 dozen cookies), so I had plenty of opportunity to tweak my recipe. Without further ado, here is our favorite. Fair warning: it is neither paleo nor vegan, it is just delicious – and a bit addictive.

Really Good Chocolate Chip-Toffee Chip Cookies

makes 48 cookies

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder*
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In  a large bowl, combine butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Mix with electric hand mixer, on medium, about 2 minutes, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and toffee chips.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on pans before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

*I actually accidentally doubled both the baking powder and baking soda when I made the third batch of these. I was afraid I had ruined them, but they turned out to be our favorite batch – of course, they were also the only batch I added toffee chips to, and those were a big hit. I’m not sure how much of a difference the doubling of these two leavening agents made. All three batches of cookies were delicious, so either way – 1/2 t of both baking soda and baking powder, or 1 t of both baking soda and baking powder – seemed to work. The main thing is that I used both powder and soda, in equal proportions.

Okay, y’all, Fat Tuesday is almost over and I won’t be making these again for a long while. But perhaps you will make them, and if you do, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

My Whole30 :: favorite resources

I finished my Whole30 earlier this month but still have lots to say about what made it doable and even enjoyable for me. I’ve heard from lots of folks who are interested in possibly giving this a go, and who have asked for more information. If you are only here for the knitting, my apologies! I promise I am not turning this into a food blog (though from the beginning, I’ve always shared my foodie adventures here). There will be knitting content coming soon! Maybe even a finished project!

I blogged about my Whole30 experience here (note about the title of that post – I know that “real food” means lots of things to lots of people. What I mean when I say “real food” is “unprocessed” – food as close to its natural state as possible.) Whole30 is a concept started by the people at Whole9 – it’s a short-term nutritional reset “designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” The basics are: no sugar (or any other added sweetener – natural or artificial), no dairy, no grains, no legumes. You basically cut out the stuff that can lead to inflammation, imbalances, and cravings. So what do you eat? Plants and animals! That means egetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, and meat.

so much yum!

so much yum!

The entire program is outlined and explained in the Hartwig’s book It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways. I bought this book last spring, and loved it – it is so sane and balanced and straightforward. But it took me several months to actually take the leap and try the Whole30 – I honestly didn’t think I could really do it (especially letting go of sugar). I’m still surprised at how manageable I found this to be. I still refer to the book regularly and would highly recommend buying it if you are even considering exploring or experimenting with this way of eating. But the Hartwigs are cool – you don’t have to buy their book to get the basic information and support to give this a go. You can check out all the steps, and even get forum support, on their Whole30 site.

Their approach laid the foundation for my nutritional reset, but there were actually a few other resources I found absolutely invaluable. Actually, I would say there are three women who became my mentors, in a way: Melissa, Michelle, and Steph. It’s funny, a lot of the first writings that introduced and popularized paleo were written by men. But these three women (in addition to the Hartwigs) are the ones that made it work for me.

Melissa Joulwan – Her book, Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat offers a really great, efficient approach to meal preparation. I am not going to lie – if you do Whole30, you will spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If you aren’t eating processed, prepackaged food, there is just no way around that! But Melissa shows you how to make it work with what she calls “weekly cookups,” so that you have the building blocks of great meals in your fridge during the week. I haven’t mastered her approach, but even what parts of it I’ve been able to do have helped so much in terms of being prepared for good eating, even during busy weeks. My work schedule always involves night meetings and weekend responsibilities; even so, I found preparing my meals to be totally doable, thanks in large part to Melissa.

It’s her approach to cooking that’s especially helpful in this book, but the recipes are fantastic, too. Some of my favorite recipes from this book include Chocolate Chili (YUM – I like to add shredded, sautéed sweet potato to the top), Waldorf Tuna Salad, Olive Oil Mayo (I had a paleo mayo fail before finding her recipe and its easy, step-by-step instruction for getting the emulsion right), Caramelized Coconut Chips, and Sunshine Sauce (not a Whole30 recipe unless you can find sunflower butter without added sugar).

Also check out Melissa’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl, for great recipes and tips. Last month, she offered some weekly meal plans for Whole30, based on her Weekly Cookup concept.

Late in my Whole30, I decided to purchase Melissa’s newest book, Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, and I took advantage of Amazon’s new (to me) feature – I bought the book in paperback and Amazon offered me the option of spending an additional $2.99 to get the Kindle version as well. Score! I love having actual books to hold in my hand, especially when I’m first getting the feel of a book and its recipes, and especially if it has great photos (as this book does). But I prefer using my iPad when I’m actually in the kitchen. I have a tiny little kitchen, and a cookbook that has to be propped open can take up precious space, whereas my iPad fits perfectly on a little shelf up out of the way. One thing I love about this book is the delicious array of sauce recipes. Love me some sauces and dips!

Michelle Tam. Oh, NomNomPaleo, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I found Michelle’s site last spring and have been obsessed with her recipes ever since. She’s hilarious and her approach to cooking is just so fun. I love the whole aesthetic of her site, too. I purchased her app last spring and it is AMAZING. I can hardly express how much I love this app for cooking. Better than a cookbook, in a way, because of how easy it is to find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. The app operates seamlessly – no extra steps involved in finding what you’re looking for or flipping back to what you were just looking at. It includes pictures of every conceivable cooking step. It has a whole section for all the recipes that are Whole30-approved (a lot of them). It’s got a Paleo 101 section that I still refer to often, and it even includes suggestions for 30 days of meals.

Even though I have the app, I asked for and received Michelle’s new book for Christmas. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans is fantastic. It’s so much fun to look at and read – even my kids enjoy looking through it. The cartoon figures of Michelle’s kids (saying funny things) are very appealing to them. One of my sons also just loves saying, “Nom Nom Paleo!” at random times. The book has many recipes that are not in the app or on Michelle’s website. I’ve made a lot from this book but also feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. (Now that I’m off Whole30, I specifically can’t wait to make Mexican Pot de Creme!) Michelle is also really active on Instagram, and it’s fun to interact with her there (and I have a total fangirl reaction whenever she “likes” one of my food pics!).

Michelle has too many great recipes for me to name, but probably the one that has become my biggest go-to recipe (I make it at least 3-4x a week) is for frittatas made with whatever meat and veggies are in the fridge. Here’s the one I made yestereday morning:

Brussels sprouts, sweet potato noodels, roasted chicken frittata (with hot sauce)

Brussels sprouts, sweet potato noodles, roasted chicken frittata (with hot sauce)

Stephanie Gaudreau – I stumbled onto her site, Stupid Easy Paleo, last fall, when I was looking for a great pot roast recipe. Her recipe for Crock-Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast certainly fit the bill and immediately became my go-to pot roast. LOVE it so much. From there, I discovered many other wonderful recipes on her site, as well as lots of great information and encouragement. Steph is also really responsive to any comments left on her blog, which is super. She just released a book earlier this year, The Paleo Athlete: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Food for Performance. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I am loving it so far – very practical and helpful, with great recipes. Her recipe for Sweet Potato-Applesauce Mash has finally converted the one holdout in my house (one of my sons) to loving sweet potatoes. YEAH.

I have lots more to say, as usual, but I’ll stop for now, except to add a couple more notes. I know some people who are vegetarian are interested in exploring this. The Hartwigs do address this in their book – it is doable, contrary to popular belief. Also, if you are someone who would like to explore paleo but want to include cheese (which I believe is considered “primal”), I would recommend checking out Mark’s Daily Apple.

I need to add that none of these people know me. No one asked me to write this post and spread the linky love around. I’m just wanting to give a little shout-out to the folks who helped me the most, and to share these resources with others who might benefit from what these people have to offer.

So, what about you? If you have tried Whole30 or have been eating Paleo, what and who are some of your favorite resources?

my current snack obsession :: Brussels sprout chips

Mmmmmm....

Mmmmmm….

Between Smitten’-knittin’ and getting the house ready for company, I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I did want to pop over for a minute (and not break my NaBloPoMo streak – I’m in the homestretch!) and show you my current snack obsession.

Zucchini has been my favorite vegetable since I was a kid, but lately Brussels sprouts are giving it a serious run for its money. I love roasted Brussels sprouts, especially.  I prepare them like this:

  1. preheat the oven to 400
  2. peel off the outer leaves of the sprouts, chop off the stems, and cut each one in half
  3. spread in a single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil
  4. drizzle sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  5. roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring or turning sprouts with spatula once or twice during roasting (or not, sometimes I skip this)

Oh mercy, just writing this makes me want to roast some. As I’ve mentioned before, when I pull these out of the oven, I can hardly keep myself from just standing there at the stovetop, eating the sprouts off the tray.

But I found something I like even better. NomNomPaleo’s Brussels sprouts chips. Oh, people. OH, PEOPLE. These are so good. If you like Brussels sprouts (or even if you don’t), and you haven’t tried this yet, I would highly recommend it. I’m now trying to keep Brussels sprouts in my fridge at all times so I can make these chips.

cooked :: my new favorite hot breakfast (paleo n’oatmeal)

Just a brief break on a busy day to show you my new favorite cold weather breakfast (and right now it’s 25 degrees with a wind chill of 11 and occasional snow, so yeah, it looks like cold weather is for real here now). As I’ve mentioned before, for the last several years I have started most days with a green smoothie (1/2 C unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 C pomegranate juice, a few raw almonds, 1 banana, a couple of handfuls of raw baby spinach, 1 C frozen blueberries – so yummy!). But sometimes it’s just so cold I really want a hot breakfast, especially after I’ve gone for a run. Since I’ve been enjoying trying out some Paleo recipes lately, I thought I’d give a hot Paleo breakfast a try. For the last several days, I’ve been enjoying this N’Oatmeal Recipe (Oatmeal Minus the Oats) from Taylor Made It Paleo.

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Mine isn’t as pretty as hers but it is 100% yummy. I top mine with a cup of blueberries and a handful of raw nuts, whichever kind I’m in the mood for. SO YUM.

Do any of you have some hot paleo breakfasts that you enjoy?

slow-cooked for a chilly night :: Paleo Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

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It is snowing here tonight and I wish this delicious hot meal were in my stomach but this was actually a week ago (and I am still thinking about it). (Sorry for a not-great picture; I was too hungry to take the time to get out my camera).

This is the recipe that led me to Stupid Easy Paleo. I went looking for “paleo pot roast” and this one had me at the word “mocha.” It is SO yummy, y’all. When I heated up leftovers a couple days later, I actually moaned as I ate it, and I said to My Old Man, “Wow, this is even better than I remembered,” and he said, “That’s funny, because you were making those same exact sounds the first time you ate it.” I guess it’s not very humble to make such noises over your own cooking, but I can’t help being honest, y’all.

I was out of the figs the recipe calls for (and couldn’t find them at my local grocery), so I substituted 1/3 cup dried cherries (worked out perfectly). Check out the original recipe here.

I served it with sauteed grated sweet potato (seasoned with Chinese 5-spice) and roasted brussel sprouts (O, brussel sprouts, you might be my favorite!!).

This recipe was a winner all the way around, and we will definitely be having it again. There is nothing like coming home on a dark, cold night to a hot pot of delicious roast.

baked :: Paleo Kale-Blueberry Egg Cups

20131107-171542.jpg
Just as I’m not actually a vegan but I make a lot of vegan things, I’m not actually Paleo, but I’m interested in Paleo food. I like to cook, I like to eat, I like to experiment with different ways of eating. As part of my self-education in Paleo eating, I’ve been spending some time ready Stupid Easy Paleo. It’s a great blog, with loads of good-looking recipes. One in particular that caught my eye over the weekend was the recipe for Blueberry Kale Omelette. I tried it, and it was DELISH. I love blueberries, I love eggs, I love kale, so what’s not to love?

It’s seriously not as strange as it might sound. It is an extremely yummy combination.

But I don’t usually feel I have the time to whip up omelets on a work day, so I experimented with a different approach. I am very pleased with what I came up with.
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Paleo Kale-Blueberry Egg Cups
Adapted from the Stupid Easy Paleo recipe, this recipe makes 12 muffin-sized baked egg cups. Eat a few and put the rest in the fridge for the next few breakfasts. Or share them all with your fam, and have none left over. It’s easy to whip up a new batch again tomorrow!

9 eggs
3 T coconut aminos
1 small bunch kale, washed and shredded
1 1/4 C fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
coconut oil for your skillet

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tray with silicone cups or foil muffin liners.
2. Melt the coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Add kale and sauté for 3 minutes, until wilted.
3. Add blueberries and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
4. In a bowl, whisk eggs and coconut aminos together.
5. Using tongs, distribute kale-blueberry mixture evenly among muffin cups. Pour egg mixture on top, just to edge of each cup.
6. Put in oven, bake 25-30 minutes, until toothpick or knife inserted into muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven, let stand 3 minutes. Then dig in! YUM.

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I’m really happy with this easy and delicious way of starting my day. After years of mostly starting my day with smoothies, I appreciate a good hot breakfast. And I always love starting the day with greens and berries.

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If you try them, I hope you like them!