Poultry · Recipes · Whole30

Thai Red Curry Chicken

I don’t know what it is about Thai food, but I crave it constantly. Much to my dismay, rice noodles do not fit anywhere into our slow carb or Whole30 lives, so I’ve had to learn to cook some of the good stuff all on my own. This Thai Red Curry chicken is so easy and quick, this might be a new weekly event in our house!

I get our Thai Red Curry paste from a local brand called Thai & True, but any brand is fine as long as it is slow carb/paleo/Whole30 compliant (whichever one you need it to be). I also use a wok-style oil that’s infused with lemongrass and ginger, but this is just something I have on hand and like to use, any cooking fat will do just fine for this recipe! In general, I highly recommend avocado oil and beef tallow for most cooking needs (though beef tallow may not be the best choice for this particular recipe).

Equipment:  
Large non-stick pan
Spatula or stirring utensil

Ingredients: 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
4 tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
1 13oz can coconut milk
1-2 tbsp fresh Thai basil, stemmed
1-2 tbsp fresh scallions, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp coriander
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Continue reading “Thai Red Curry Chicken”

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Kid-Friendly · Pork · Poultry · Recipes

WTF: The Easiest Stir-Fry Ever

Yea yea, I know, I haven’t posted a recipe since April. I don’t really have an excuse – I just haven’t been writing much, though cooking plenty. So let’s just skip all the apologies and whatnot and get down to business.

If you saw my post on the SlowCarbSnacktime Facebook the other day, I mentioned that I want to start a new series of posts for the blog entitled “What’s in The Fridge” or WTF. After some feedback from friends and readers, I realized what the people want: fast and easy options for living a slow carb life. Many of my recipes comes from the same “base” recipe – once you know how to cook a type of dish or protein, you basically have free reign to make it your own, fit it to your needs and the foods you have on hand. I’ll be sharing some of these “build-a-bear” style recipes to help you get things started, with some ingredient recommendations to make it your own.

Before we get started with the recipe, a mini update just to say that I have changed my Instagram username. Neither blog nor their respective Facebook pages will be changing, but I decided to update my IG to something more inclusive of the actual content I post and to better reflect my personality. You can now find me on Instagram @lipsticksanddeadlifts.

On to the easiest stir-fry ever! Due to the make-your-own style of this recipe, I have not included any photos for the time being.

You will need: 
Large non-stick pan
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Spatula
Tongs

Ingredients: 
1 lb sausage in casings (pork or chicken)
10oz bag frozen pepper strips
10oz bag frozen sliced mushrooms
1 onion, halved and sliced thin

Seasoning & Spices: 
salt
garlic powder

Since I’m working with frozen veggies, it takes a bit longer to cook, but it’s worth it for the added nutrients.* Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and dump in the peppers and mushrooms – you don’t need any cooking fat right now, the veggies need to defrost and lose some of their water. Stirring occasionally, cook the veggies until the water begins to evaporate (7-10 minutes) and then add in the onions. The onions will also let go of some water – once all the liquid has evaporated, add your cooking fat (ghee, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, etc), salt, and any herbs or spices you like.

mild-links220_0Once the vegetables begin to caramelize, add in your sausage links. I prefer to use uncooked sausages and usually buy Mulay’s brand, but cooked sausages like Aidell’s Organic are just fine too! Just be sure to check your ingredients. If you are using raw sausage, let them cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once – continue to stir the veggies as well. Using tongs, remove the sausages one at a time to the cutting board and slice them into rings. If you are using pre-cooked sausages, you can slice them right away.

Continue to cook the veggie-sausage mixture until the sausages are cooked through, mixing occasionally so that nothing sticks to the pan. Serve immediately.

***

Okay, so that’s my basic sausage stir-fry, but you can make it work with almost any veggies you have available. Here are some options that I have tried or would, but you can use whatever you like:

  • fresh or frozen sweet peppers, sliced
  • fresh hot peppers, chopped
  • fresh or frozen mushrooms, sliced
  • onion (any kind)
  • scallions
  • shallots
  • broccoli
  • cabbage, sliced
  • green beans
  • carrots

Some herb and spice options, though I would not recommend using them all at once:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • Chinese five-spice
  • oregano
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • white pepper

*Notes:

If the veggies you’re buying are out of season, you’re better off buying frozen vs. imported. Produce begins to lose nutrients once its picked and the longer it takes to get to your plate, the less you benefit from it!

Beef · CrockPot · Recipes

Spring Fling: Short Rib Chili

Spring is here, spring is here! Well… sort of. In between glorious bits of sunshine, it’s still a little chilly which makes chili the perfect choice for dinner!

We picked up some beautiful boneless short ribs the other day, but I’m mixing it 50/50 with beef stew meat for a slightly more budget-friendly meal. This spicy hearty chili is a great option for weekend camping trips too (we usually make chili ahead of time and then reheat it in cast iron). And let me just say, these pictures may not be great, but the chili was amazing (seal of approval from The Boyfriend too).

For this recipe, you will need:
crockpot/slow cooker
non-stick pan
blender

Ingredients: 
~ 1.25 lb boneless beef short ribs
1 lb beef stew meat
2 cans (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (16oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (7oz) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1.5 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove elephant garlic (or 3-5 cloves garlic)
3 dried chili peppers
2 tsp extra dark cocoa powder
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp avocado oil (olive or coconut is fine)

Seasoning: 
4 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt / to taste

Add one can of diced tomatoes and liquid to the crockpot. With the other can of diced tomatoes, drain the liquid first (do not rinse) and add to the pot. Drain and rinse beans until water runs clear, add beans to the crockpot. Remove stems and seeds from dried chili peppers and combine in blender cup with one full can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend pepper mixture for about one minute or until it resembles a uniform paste and add to the crockpot. Add 2 tsp extra dark cocoa powder, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp ancho chili powder to the crockpot mix.

Using a sharp knife, finely chop elephant garlic clove (also called elephant toes) or 3-5 cloves normal-sized garlic. Set aside in a bowl with the chopped onion. Add 2 tsp each of oregano, cumin, and ancho chili powder to the onions and garlic.

One clove of elephant garlic vs a whole head of "regular" garlic
One clove of elephant garlic vs. a whole head of “regular” garlic

Pre-heat oil in a non-stick pan on high-heat. While the pan is heating up, dice the ribs and stew meat into ~1/2 cubes – they do not at all have to be uniform in shape, just similar in size. You want the pieces to be small enough that they are “bite size” but big enough that they can still be shredded later on. Add meat to the pan, in batches if necessary, and cook for 3-5 minutes on one side only to sear the meat and lock in some flavor. Add all of the meat to the crockpot.

In the same pan, add the onion-garlic-spice mixture and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and the onions have softened slightly. Add this to the crockpot.

Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, stir to mix everything together, and set crockpot on low for 7-9 hours. If you don’t want to wait that long, try cooking on high for 3-5 hours checking periodically to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you find that the chili has let off a lot of liquid, you can crack the lid a little bit to let some of the liquid evaporate. I personally prefer a thicker chili (as opposed to more liquid) so we usually crack the lid for half the cooking time.

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Serve immediately – as is, with chopped raw onion on top, with guacamole, or with grilled veggies.

Store in the fridge up to three days.

Beef · CrockPot · Lamb · Poultry · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

Two Years: My Top 20 Recipes!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I first created SlowCarbSnacktime. It’s been a long road learning how to eat properly and fuel my body, and there’s still a very long journey ahead, but it has been such an amazing and educational adventure so far and I’ve come up with so many healthy slow carb recipes along the way. There’s many more to come, but for now, I’m celebrating two years of SlowCarbSnacktime with my top 20 recipes.

All 20 of these recipes are grain, gluten, sugar, corn, potato, rice, and soy-free. Two recipes use some dairy, but I’ll make sure to note that in the list. I will also note paleo and whole30 compliant recipes (they are obviously all slow carb compliant). Items marked “vegetarian” are either vegetarian or can easily be made so by changing an ingredient such as swapping out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

  1. Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs – paleo/whole30 – I used ground pork rinds instead of bread crumbs to give these meatballs the fluffiness they need without the carbs you don’t want.
  2. B^3: Butternut Bacon Bitespaleo/whole30 – It may take a few minutes to wrap these precious little pieces of squash in strips of bacon, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
    IMG_20140101_092322
  3. Butternut Squeek Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – There are few things better than a hot butternut squash soup on a cold winter day… this soup with butternut squash plus leeks is one of them.
  4. Chicken Liver Mousse – dairy – Okay, I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, but it is one of the easiest things to make for a classy dish to stun your guests without sacrificing protein. Also tastes great with eggs for breakfast, or by itself on a very large spoon…

    Beautifully set. Dig in!
    Beautifully set. Dig in!
  5. Decontamination: Ginger Chicken Souppaleo/whole30 – The perfect comeback to any cold, my chicken soup is infused with a ton of ginger to help combat the ickiest of feelings. A favorite of my dad’s to fight back against chronic sinus infections.
  6. Duck Duck Asparaguspaleo/whole30 – Crispy asparagus oven-roasted in duck fat. The way to my heart is through my stomach.
  7. Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage – One of The Boyfriend’s favorites, I boil the sausage in chicken stock and then use that stock in the soup. So rich, so good.
    IMG_20131118_102852
  8. “Gazpacheaux” Gazpachovegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This cold tomato soup is a perfect snack to beat the summer heat or spoon into shot glasses for a classier kind of party.
  9. Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas – paleo/whole30 – This spicy little stir fry is a great option for a protein-packed dinner for two and tastes great with strips of beef too!
  10. Holy Crap! Garlic Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – Over 20 cloves of garlic and a whole head of cauliflower into the pot for a super smooth, bright white soup.
  11. Kimchi Fried Cauli-Rice – paleo/whole30 – Cauliflower rice, kimchi, eggs, and bacon fat. What more could you want?
  12. Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burgerpaleo/whole30 – This ground lamb burger with fresh rosemary is so juicy, sticking it on a bun would just be a waste.
  13. Perfect ‘Stachio Guacvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – My copy cat version of the stunning guacamole at Jose Garces’ El Vez. Never pay $14 for guac again.
    P1010122
  14. Red Lentils are Dal-iciousvegetarian – My take on a traditional Indian dal, prepared in a slow cooker using red lentils and a ton of fresh spinach. I crave this all the time and it’s a great dish entirely on its own, paired with a meaty protein, or even reheated in a pan with some eggs!
  15. Rosemary Bone Brothcrockpot, paleo/whole30 – This slow-cooked broth is made from beef soup/marrow bones and cooks on low for nearly two days to extract all the vitamin goodness from the bones. When it’s cold, it looks like jell-o, but warm it up for a mineral-packed cup of life. Seriously, I know how cheesy that sounds, just try it. It’s amazing.
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  16. Saturday Morning Shakshuka / Date Night Zoodlesvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – These two quick dishes pair great together for a meal so tasty, you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
  17. Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Saucevegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This super easy tomato sauce is made with “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomatoes and is unlike any sauce I’ve tasted before. I just couldn’t get enough and ate half the jar with a spoon. Serve with just about anything.

    Mmm saucy!
    Mmm saucy!
  18. Top Secret Deviled Eggs / Devilish Egg Salad – My go-to potluck dish and an easy alternative for cravings at home.
  19. Tiny Viking Funerals – cheat day, dairy – Jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. A cheat day treat guaranteed to knock the socks off all your friends.
    20140209_1734100
  20. Whatsername Fish Tacos – Chickpea flour-crusted tilapia fillets and large lettuce leaves make for this delicate but delicious taco dinner. You won’t even miss the tortillas.
Poultry · Recipes

Southwestern Turkey Bowl

Between grad school, daily life, makeup nerdery, preparing for another trip back east, and a recent trip to Israel (followed by a vicious cold), I’ll be honest – I haven’t felt much like writing recipes lately.

Last week I had a bit of an eye-opening encounter with an old friend who reminded me that I’m not alone, that it’s okay to share even when everything isn’t fine and dandy, and that health comes first. She was right, and health definitely comes first – mine and yours. Taking care of myself starts, in many ways, with eating the right foods and I started this blog with the promise of sharing them with you guys. Not really doing good work if I’m keeping all the recipes to myself, am I? So, while there hasn’t been anything super extravagant lately, here’s a few quick meals coming up for those days when you’re running low on spoons.

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

Southwestern-inspired Turkey Bowl

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Serrano peppers, chopped

Seasoning:
1 tsp granulated garlic
fresh cilantro
cumin
chipotle powder
salt and pepper, to taste

For guacamole:
1 large ripe avocado
dried parsley
red pepper flakes
lime juice

turkey bowl

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onions, and granulated garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onions soften and slightly brown. Stir in beans, cilantro, and ground turkey. Season immediately with salt, pepper, chipotle powder, and cumin to taste and stir well to incorporate. Continue on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 7-10 minutes or until turkey is completely cooked through.

While your entrée is sizzling away, prepare guacamole following THIS recipe. I left out the pistachios this time (mostly because I didn’t have any), but I’m sure they would add a nice crunch.

Serve turkey-bean mixture in a bowl and top with guacamole and fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

Recipes · Soup

Turnip For What: Winter Mushroom Soup

Woo-hoo! The first semester of grad school is finally over. New recipes posted created by slowcarbsnacktime, 1/4 MHA. No but seriously, I finished the semester with straight As for the first time since sixth grade and I am feeling so relieved and ready to write.

If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you may have heard that our Whole30 adventures went exceedingly well. The Boyfriend and I each lost about 10 lbs and he is down nearly two inches on his waist! We just started a new lifting program so I didn’t expect to see much in the way of inches lost, but all my jiggly bits are definitely less jiggly. Bonus: a lot of my chronic stomach issues seem to have disappeared on Whole30 as well (I am guessing because of sneaky soy lecithin hidden everywhere that we weren’t so strict about before). For this reason, we’ve decided to give strict paleo a whirl and see how it stands up to slow carb. For the time being, I will do my best to create and share recipes compliant with all three – slow carb, paleo, and whole30 – but you should always make sure to check my ingredients anyway just to be safe.

One of my first winter break creations was this damn delicious mushroom soup that came together so quickly and paired great with The Boyfriend’s pan seared pork chops.

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For this recipe you will need:
1 large pot
Immersion blender
Vegetable peeler

Ingredients: 
1.5 lbs white button mushrooms, sliced
1 lg yellow onion, diced
1 turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 can coconut milk (Thai Kitchen)
2 tsp white vinegar
2 qts (8 cups) chicken or beef stock

Seasoning:
2-3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp sage

Notes:

#1 – pretty much any mushroom will do, but I’ve been on a huge button mushroom kick lately and they’re also super cheap, so that’s what I used.

#2 – if possible, get the Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk (in the red can). For whatever reason, the milk is separated with solid cream at the top and the liquid at the bottom. I only added the cream and it was amazing. Mushrooms and onions already give off a ton of liquid and with two quarts of chicken stock, we didn’t need any more. Just adding the cream (all of it) made for a super creamy and rich soup, completely dairy free. A regular can of coconut milk will do just fine (in the can, not the carton), but I highly recommend that brand if you can swing it.

#3 – if you’ve seen some of my soup recipes in the past, you may have noticed I’m a big fan of blended soups. It’s a trick my step-grandma used to pull on us when we were kids to eat her (seriously delicious) healthy soups without picking out ingredients we didn’t like. It’s a trend that stuck and my go-to state for soups, but if you want a bit more chunk, just chop your mushrooms and turnip into small bite-sized pieces and ditch the Immersion blender.

#4 – I used chicken stock today because it’s all we had at home, but I suspect it would be even more delicious with beef broth. This soup (and most others on my blog) can also be made vegan in a pinch by subbing in vegetable broth.

Recipe:

Peel the turnip, removing ends, and chop into large chunks. Thoroughly wash all mushrooms with water. Seriously, they grow in poo, wash them well. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl. Dice the onion and add it to the bowl of mushrooms.

Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of oil over the mushroom-onion mixture and toss gently to coat.

Melt 1 tbsp of ghee or olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion to pot and allow to gently fry, stirring occasionally (to ensure even browning) until reduced by half – about ten minutes. As I said above, mushrooms and onions hold a lot of water, so when you first add them to the pot it will take up a lot of space. As the mushrooms cook, they will give up a lot of this water and shrink down taking up half as much space in the pot as they did when raw. Add ~1 tbsp granulated garlic.

Add the chopped turnip to the pot and 1tsp of salt, mixing again to make sure everything got a little bit of time on the bottom of the pot to brown up. This caramelization packs a ton of flavor and will add some serious depth to your soup.

Add in two quarts of stock, mix again, and bring to a boil – stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes before adding the coconut cream/milk. Remove from heat and let cream melt before blending the soup. Blend to desired consistency and return to low heat.

Add 1tsp salt, cracked pepper, and celery salt, and sage to taste and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until soup thickens.

Sometimes a few pieces miss the blender so if the soup isn’t smooth enough for you, now is the time to blend it again (remove the pot from the stove to do this).

Return pot to heat to help marry flavors. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately. Finish with truffle salt or a swirl of coconut cream (optional).

Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. To reheat, add desired amount of cold soup to a small pot. Bring to a low boil on medium-high heat and serve.

Kid-Friendly · Party Food · Poultry · Recipes · Snacks

XXX: Spiced Up Chicken Salad

With the very last of our warm weather, we’ve been using the grill basically every day, and this meal was no different. Since I first came up with this dish, we’ve had it at least three times and it is definitely a new house staple.

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1-2 tsp za’atar
1-2 tsp harissa
2 tsp high quality oil (olive or avocado)

For Salad:
1/2 cup sugar-free mayo or to taste
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, drizzle oil over chicken thighs. Add harissa and za’atar and mixed gently until coated well. Grill on medium heat until cooked through (or oven roast at 425*F for about 20 minutes). If you are grilling chicken specifically for this recipe, let the meat cool completely and refrigerate for at least an hour before chopping – you don’t want the onions to soften or the mayo to melt! I specifically made extra so I’d have leftovers to make this spiced up chicken salad for lunch the next day, so I’m working with meat right out of the fridge.

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To a large bowl, add chopped 1/2 of a sweet yellow or Walla Walla onion. I highly recommend chopping the onion quite fine, I don’t think I went small enough and ended up with lots of mayo-covered onion at the bottom of the bowl (though The Boyfriend did not seem to mind this and cleaned out both plates).

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, coarsely chop chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and add to the chopped onion. I have been relying on my squeeze-tube mayo lately, but I am estimating that I used about 3/4 cup. This really comes down to personal preference, so add a little bit at a time, stirring and tasting until you get to your desired consistency and flavor. Season with salt, pepper, and tarragon to taste and mix well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Recommend eating within 24-36 hours.

Beef · CrockPot · Health · Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Soup · Whole30

Rosemary Bone Broth

I have written, deleted, and re-written this post like 10 times now. There is just so much information about the endless benefits of drinking bone broth, I’m kicking myself for not trying it earlier. It’s delicious, it’s super easy, and it’s really really good for you – what more do you need? Just ask your butcher for a few pounds of beef soup bones – femurs or knuckles – and get cookin!

No, but seriously – the list of health benefits is astounding. Bone broth is packed with nutrients and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well as amino acids like glycine and proline which promote a healthy gut, and aid in digestion, growth, even muscle repair. I could write about all the good stuff in bone broth for ages, but let’s just get to how you can make it at home and then you can see all the benefits for yourself!

Special Equipment/Appliances: 
Large slow cooker/crock pot
Fine mesh strainer
Cheese cloth (optional but recommended)
Mason jar or other glass container(s), for storage

Ingredients: 
2 lbs beef soup/marrow bones (femur or knuckle)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
~ 4 L cold water (about 16 cups)

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Add marrow bones to slow cooker. Cover with water by at least 3″ – this took about 3.5L (~14 cups) for my 5 quart crockpot. Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary (the rosemary will be removed after the first 12 hours, so if you are using dried herbs or smaller pieces, I recommend placing them in a spice bag or using a string to tie them). Note: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, add salt. As the broth reduces, the salt will likely become too concentrated and will ruin you broth – it is best to add other herbs and seasoning later, in individual portions, when serving.

Set on low for 36-48 hours.

After the first 12 hours, remove the rosemary. Left in for longer, it will become bitter and start to disintegrate.

After 24 hours, add back some of the water that has evaporated. You still want to keep the water line about 3″ over the top of the bones.

The longer you let it simmer, the better it will be, but I am impatient and only managed 42 hours before I had to have it!

Line your mesh strainer with a thin piece of cheesecloth (one or two layers) and place it over a large bowl or mason jar. My strainer is quite large so I had to do this over a bowl and then pour it into the mason jars for storage.

Using a large ladle, run the bone broth through the strainer and cheesecloth – this ensures there will be no muck or bone fragments in your pretty broth! If you used a separate bowl like I did, carefully transfer your broth into your storage containers (I used large 1/2 gallon and quart mason jars). If you have a smaller strainer, you can place this over the top of your mason jar to strain it one final time – not necessary, but certainly won’t hurt.

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Leave uncovered on the counter to cool. As the fat comes to the top and solidifies, you can remove it with a spoon if so compelled, but it will render back down when microwaved so feel free to leave it in if you like it! Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Just be mindful, when you take it out of the fridge, it will act and look like jello. You made cow jello, and it is amazing!

To serve, season with salt and pepper and microwave about two minutes per mug. This would also make a great base for French onion soup, but we quite like it as is.

Enjoy!

Baked · Kid-Friendly · Party Food · Poultry · Recipes · Whole30

Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs

I have a confession. Prior to creating this recipe, I’d never made meatballs before. I’ve eaten Russian meatballs, Italian meatballs, matzah balls, you name it. I helped my grandma make the little meatballs when I was a kid, I helped my mom make matzoh balls for most of my life, and I’ve eaten a LOT of excellent Italian food since The Boyfriend and I started dating, but I’d never actually made meatballs on my own! I have to say, I am pleased as punch with myself for how these guys turned out.

I got 21 medium-sized meatballs from 2 lbs of turkey, perfect for two hungry grown-ups and a few extras for breakfast leftovers. Adjust proportions accordingly.

Ingredients: 
2 lbs ground turkey
2 large eggs
12-15 scallions (~ 4 oz)
1.5 cups pork rind “breadcrumbs” (details below)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp bacon fat (or equivalent)

Seasoning:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Appliances/Special Equipment: 
Food processor
Large non-stick pan
Oven

All the scallions!
All the scallions!

Place several handfuls of pork rinds (I really like Mission’s Chicharrones) in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse in 10-15 second intervals until pork rinds resemble breadcrumbs. Repeat until you have at least 1.5 cups of “pork crumbs” – I usually use up the entire bag so I can store the extras and use as I please, but if you just want enough for this recipe, that’s okay too. If you’re making extra, store in an airtight container.

From the scallions, remove the “hairy” end and any wilted tips. I usually peel off and completely remove the outermost layer from the scallion, but if you don’t feel like dealing with it, a good scrub is just fine too. Thinly slice scallions (yep, the white part too) and set aside.

In your food processor, combine the ground turkey, salt, celery salt, pepper, garlic, scallions, and eggs. Blend until mostly uniform – it’s a fine line between mixed and mushy, and you can always do more by hand, so pay careful attention. Remove the turkey mixture to a large bowl. Add 1.5 cups “pork crumbs” and mix until uniform, a large baking spatula is great for this (my food processor came with one, see link above).

Prepare to get messy! Using a tablespoon (the regular dining kind) and your hands, form the turkey mixture into round meatballs. Place on a large cutting board or plate to set. Let the meatballs rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes – this will help them stay together.

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Pre-heat oven to 400*F.
Grease a large, oven-safe pan with bacon fat, non-stick spray, or oil and set aside. Note: I usually just use a metal cookie sheet, but for this recipe I whipped out the big Pyrex with actual sides to prevent my meatballs from rolling all over the place.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick pan at medium heat.
Working in batches, brown the meatballs – about 1 minute on each “side”. They don’t have to be perfectly brown the whole way around, but getting a good sear on at least two “sides” will lock in some great flavor just like with a steak. Place browned meatballs in rows on oven-safe pan.

Bake meatballs in 400*F oven for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165*F.

Serve immediately. (I dipped them in a little bit of creamy horseradish sauce. Amazeballs!)

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Amazeballs!

Suggested Pairing Options: 
Holy Crap! Garlic Soup
Red Lentils are Dal-icious

Beef · CrockPot · Date Night · Kid-Friendly · Party Food · Recipes · Sauces

Cheatin’ on Chipotle: Beef Barbacoa

The barbacoa at Chipotle is a thing of beauty. Other than the new Bonfire Bowls at Baja Fresh, Chipotle’s barbacoa is by far my most frequent craving for a slow carb meal when we’re out and about. Now, The Boyfriend and I fully appreciate Chipotle’s more natural approach to feeding the masses, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay extra for guacamole.. or wait in line. You might have to wait all day for this homemade take on your favorite burrito bowl, but it will feed you all week without actually having to eat the same meal twice (see suggested pairings below).

Ingredients: 
~ 6 lbs boneless chuck short ribs (or equivalent)
2 yellow onions, halved
7 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 can)
2 dried red chilis
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp True Lime crystals (or 4 tbsp fresh lime juice)
~ 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for searing
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)

Seasoning: 
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne

Appliances/Special Equipment: 
Blender or food processor
Slow Cooker

Dig in!
Dig in!

Slice onions into thin half-moons and place at the bottom of the crock pot (in theory, this step is completely optional, but I love onions and think they add great flavor to this dish). If you don’t want to use onions, add 1 tsp of onion powder or granulated onion to the blender sauce (further instructions below).

Rinse meat under cold water and pat dry. Trim about 40% of the fat off – leaving enough to render down in the crock-pot, but not so much that the meat won’t sear. Cut the chuck into smaller pieces – I ended up with about 10 total – this will make it a bit easier to fit everything in the slow cooker as well as increasing surface area available for searing (a must-do step to lock in all that great flavor).

Heat oil in a large pot or pan over medium heat. Sear each piece of meat until golden brown (1-2 minutes per side) and for a few seconds on each edge. Add to the slow cooker.

In your blender or food processor, combine: apple cider vinegar, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, True Lime crystals (or lime juice), dried peppers, and all seasoning/herbs/spices. Blend until smooth. Note: If you have a mortar and pestle, I’d recommend crushing up the dried peppers and discarding the seeds before adding them to the blender. Add blended sauce and 1 cup chicken stock to the slow cooker and mix gently, coating as much of the meat as possible with the sauce (my crock pot was pretty damn full at this point so it was a bit of a challenge, but I did what I could).

Set crock pot on high for 6+ hours or on low for 10+, stirring occasionally (and to make sure that any pieces of meat sticking up out of the liquid do not dry out or burn). We actually went out in the middle of making this dish, so I had it on high while I was home for about five hours and then set it on low for an additional four hours (nine hours total) and it came out perfect.

When meat is fork-tender and falling apart, remove meat and onions from the crock pot to a scratch-resistant bowl. Add about 1/2 cup liquid from the slow cooker back to the barbacoa and, using two forks, shred the meat. Adding some liquid back to the barbacoa will keep the meat moist and will also help keep it alive in the fridge a little longer.

Serve immediately: with a few thin slices of radish for a nice little crunch, with lettuce leaves for “green tacos,” or however you choose! Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 5 days.

Suggested Pairings: 
Nice Rice: Cauliflower
Busy Black Bean Soup (recipe coming soon!)
Holy Crap! Garlic Soup
Perfect ‘Stachio Guac