Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our favorite meals

Our favorite dishes, most of them are entire meals. We use dinners, lunches, and breakfasts interchangeably. Vegetable soup makes a nice warm breakfast.

Honestly, many nights we simply cook up a meat and a vegetable and make enough extra for lunch the next day. Obviously there is no recipe for this.

When I write out our meal plan and grocery list, I try to include one beef meal, one chicken meal, one fish meal, one veggie meal, and at least one stew / chili. This is good for variety / balance, but also just makes thinking of things easier. We tend to need four or five meals for seven days. We always have nachos at least once a week. We usually eat out once a week. And some meals will have enough leftovers for a couple days.

It's always best to portion out the night's dishes and the next days at the same time.

For more labor intensive recipes, we try to double them and freeze half to eat when we'll be busy later.

When we can, we like to chop up anything necessary for the next night's meals while dinner is cooking or while we are cleaning up, because we like to be able to eat dinner as soon as we get home.

The hyperlinked items have recipes. The starred (*) recipes are links to another site.

Great for leftovers:
Tortilla soup (more accurately chicken vegetable soup with mexican spices)
Mega Salad
Slow cooked roast or chicken with Barbecue Sauce
Pesto Chicken
*Chicken curry Scroll down for the recipe - we use coconut milk instead of yogurt and cayenne pepper instead of chile de arbol
*Caveman Chili - We like 1 lb stew meat or steak and 1 lb ground, also we use canned chipotles en adobo (sp?) sauce instead of dried and we add a cup of homemade stock
Turkey Enchiladas
Meatloaf (we use almond flour in place of bread crumbs)
Sloppy Joes (serve on Oopsie rolls or just eat like a casserole, we add finely diced carrots and bell peppers), very good cold.
Moroccan Chicken & Lentils (one of Aaron's absolute favorites for leftovers)
*Chicken Tikka Masala (another of his favorites, I almost always double this)
Tuna cakes (the only fish dish I am willing to take as leftovers)
*Low carb california rolls
Roasted turkey (if brined, delicious plain, otherwise I like mustard on it)
*Huevos rancheros

Also good but only if reheated:
Brussel sprout puree
Cauliflower couscous / faux rice

Delicious but not good for leftovers:
Almond flour pancakes
Breakfast sandwiches


Tortilla Soup
Adapted from VO2Maxxed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes or 4-5 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (or 2-3 C homemade)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 can (~4 oz) chopped green jalapeno peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 C chicken stock or broth
  • 1 lb shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  1. Place all the vegetables and spices in a large pot and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add stock and cook until tender, add the cooked chicken and serve when warmed through.
  3. Garnish with cilantro. Traditionally served over fried tortilla strips (hence the name). Aaron puts tortilla chips in his and sometimes grates cheese on top. We both like to garnish with avocado slices and sour cream.
Mega salad
  • lettuce
  • hard boiled eggs
  • shredded chicken or turkey
  • bacon
  • tomato
  • shredded carrots
  • toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • dijon mustard vinaigrette (2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp vinegar (any kind, but we like apple cider), 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, salt & pepper)
Get out two bowls and two lunch containers and fill all four as you chop. Sometimes we add avocado but it will turn brown overnight, so we just add it to the ones we're having for dinner.

Primal Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from Son of Grok
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste (go for the organic brands; they really do taste better - especially Muir Glen)
  • 1 to 1.5 C stock (preferably homemade beef stock)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  1. Dice onion and garlic as fine as possible. The finer the dice, the more distributed the flavor.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Add stock to preferred thickness of sauce.
  3. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
This is great on everything, but I usually use it on a slow cooked roast, like brisket, or pulled pork. Dad had some leftovers at our house, got the recipe from me, gathered the ingredients, and ate so much roast he had a stomach ache, lol. That's how good it is. When we have people over we serve it like a sandwich but it's good by itself. I'm sure it would be awesome on crock pot chicken also. The inventor of the sauce, Son of Grok, suggests using it on a bacon explosion - google that, lol.

Pesto Chicken
Our pesto recipe:
  • 1 C fresh basil, packed down
  • 1/3 C mixed nuts, pine nuts + walnuts is our standby, but pistachio and cashew are awesome too
  • 1/3 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
We blend the garlic and nuts with 3 Tbsp water until smooth, then add the basil, cheese, spices, and olive oil.
You can use less olive oil to make a thicker pesto. Mixed with shredded, cooked chicken, this is one of the most addictive foods we make. We either have to limit the quantity made or put it away immediately because we'll eat it all.

We eat this as a main now. The first time we made it as a pizza topping, it goes great with a greek style pizza: feta, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, minced garlic, red onions.

We use a lot of different crusts. The most delicious ever was a shredded zucchini crust with eggs & buckwheat flour, but you couldn't pick it up, so it was the least handy. Just add eggs & buckwheat flour until it makes a thick batter, then allow it to spread on a greased cookie sheet with a rim and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes before topping and baking again.

Google a meatza crust also. That one can be picked up. We haven't made one yet but we probably will soon.

It's too bad we don't use cast iron anymore because it rules at making steak. Important when cooking steak: 
  • Allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Don't salt it before cooking but pepper and other spices maybe pressed/rubbed into the surface.
  • The pan should be very hot, but don't heat an empty non-cast-iron pan, so put some sort of fat in the pan with a high smoke point.
  • Sear first side for about 3 minutes without moving before turning over, then cover and cook on medium low to desired doneness.
  • Do not pierce.
  • You can learn to judge a steak's doneness with a nudge. When you prod the steak, if it's as soft as your nostril, it's rare, if it's as soft as your cheek, it's medium / medium rare, and when it's as hard as the end of your nose, it's well done. Steaks with bones in them will be less done. We love to top them with carmelized onions and serve them with a puree to soak up the juices. If you are more worried about doneness than juiciness, a medium rare steak is 134 degrees in the center, but it will rise a couple degrees after being removed from heat. 
  • Let steak rest a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Turkey Enchiladas
  • turkey meat, cut or ground, dark or light per your preference
  • cooked pinto, black, or kidney beans
  • chopped bell pepper
  • chopped onion
  • diced tomatoes
  1. Cook desired vegetables in oil until tender, add meat and cook through.
  2. Add 1/2 your enchilada sauce & 1/2 your cheese.
  3. Layer 1/2 meat mixture in 8x8 pan, cover with a layer of tortillas, then remaining meat and another layer of tortillas.
  4. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes @ 350.
The reason we layer it instead of roll it is that it uses fewer tortillas - meaning fewer grains & fewer carbs. We like Carmen's tortillas because they only have the necessary ingredients: corn, water, & lime. Salt wouldn't hurt though.

Moroccan Chicken & Lentils
Adapted from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno 
  • 4 C water
  • 2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 lb dried lentils, rinsed, drained, and picked over
  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin, divided
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 lg onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 lbs chicken or turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish.
  1. Cover lentils with plenty of water, add 1 tsp sea salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain well. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. While lentils are cooking, combine 1 C olive oil, vinegar, 2 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp chili powder, garlic, and 1 tsp sea salt. Pour over lentils and toss gently.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and saute until slightly browned. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, and cinnamon. Allow to cook until aromatic. Add chicken or turkey and saute until cooked through.
  4. Serve chicken over lentils and pour remaining dressing over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

Brussels sprouts puree

(The best way to wash Brussels sprouts is to soak in a large bowl of water for 10 minutes or so)
  1. Remove the outer leaves.
  2. Cut off the tough end and cut a criss cross in the end. 
  3. Boil in fresh water for 6-8 minutes, just until tender. 
  4. Puree in blender or food processor. 
  5. Add cream cheese or heavy cream, butter, and salt to taste. 
This is only good hot. We also like to add garlic powder or roasted garlic.

Cauliflower puree works exactly the same, but has a creamier end result. It can also be eaten cold.

Mixing Brussels sprouts with cauliflower is also REALLY good.

Cauliflower couscous / faux rice
Using a food processor or determination, chop cauliflower until it is the size of rice grains.

  • For couscous, sautee chopped onion in garlic in butter or coconut oil, add chopped cauliflower, and cook until browned. Season with salt or parmesan cheese. SUPER delicious.

  • For faux rice, heat in small saucepan with a little water until tender. Add butter and salt. Make sure all the water is cooked off. This works really well to soak up curry.
Almond Flour Pancakes
  • eggs, about one per person
  • almond flour, or coconut flour
  • baking powder, optional
  • salt
  1. Break eggs into a dish and beat lightly.
  2. Add enough almond flour or coconut flour to make a batter. A thin batter will make crepe-like pancakes. A thick batter will make denser, chewier pancakes. Water may be added to thin the batter.
  3. Optionally, add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to make the pancakes fluffier and more like traditional pancakes. Add salt to taste.
  4. Cook these smaller than usual pancakes, in a hot, buttered pan, just a couple at a time until you are satisfied with the thickness.
  5. Top with butter, raw honey, cashew butter, fruit syrup, or whatever you like.
Breakfast sandwiches
We like to use a thick pancake for the buns on a breakfast sandwich.
We generally start the bacon first - in the oven, about 20 minutes at 400 degrees on a grill over a baking pan.
The eggs should be started second, then the pancakes. I personally don't like to beat the eggs first, but I do break the yolk and add Spike seasoning.
We add a slice of cheese too.

We also like to make thin pancakes for use in primal enchiladas.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Marcy! This is really helpful. I'm trying to amass some recipes for this type of eating! Looks like you put this out in October 2009, so I'm just a little late to the party.