Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

I was so in the mood for something with pumpkin tonight, so I hodge-podged a couple of paleo pumpkin soups together and got this. It's very hearty and savory - not sweet like you might expect. This one's definitely going into the rotation - delish!


1lb Italian sausage, mild (casings removed)
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 can of pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 cups of low sodium chicken stock
1 Tbsp fresh oregano (can sub dried, but use less)
1 Tbsp fresh sage (can sub dried, but use less)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley (can sub dried, but use less)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil
coconut milk

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent. Transfer to soup pot.

Brown the Italian sausage in the saute pan. Drain grease and transfer to soup pot.

Put soup pot on medium heat. Add all spices and stir well. Add pumpkin, stir well. Add chicken stock, stir well.

Turn heat to medium/high and allow to cook until simmering. Turn heat down, and hit the soup with an immersion blender briefly. This will help the soup thicken a little bit, but it isn't critical to the success of the dish.

Top with a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 30: Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in Food and Wine Magazine, and it was a huge success! Great way to wrap up our mini-paleo challenge.
One 5-ounce bag of baby spinach
4 Tbsp almond flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 large egg
2 Tbsps pine nuts
2 Tbsps chopped red onion
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large poblano peppers - halved, stemmed and seeds removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a very large skillet. Add spinach and cook until wilted (2-3 minutes). Remove spinach from skillet and set aside.
2. Add Italian sausage and red onion to the skillet and cook until the sausage is just browned. Drain the sausage/onion mixture, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, knead the almond flour with the milk and egg to form a paste. Knead in the pine nuts, onion, sausage and spinach and season lightly with the salt and pepper.
4. Using lightly moistened hands, divide the mixture among the pepper halves and lightly pack in.
5. In the skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the stuffed peppers, filling side down, and cook over high heat until well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the peppers and cook until the skins are browned and blistered, about 4 minutes longer.
6. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth, cover and simmer until the peppers are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve right away.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 27: Acorn Squash

I decided to tackle acorn squash tonight. I grew up hating all kinds of squash - mostly because my parents hated it and prepared it half-heartedly. After discovering how amazing squash can be (hello, spaghetti squash?) last year, I'm determined to at least try several different varieties. I'm sure they won't all be successes, but this one was. The mashed acorn squash had a nice sweetness to it. The cinnamon flavor in the background makes it almost taste like oatmeal. Seriously, you could eat this for breakfast (I probably will tomorrow)!

1 medium acorn squash
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds and "guts". Place squash cut-side down in a glass baking dish, in about 1/2 inch of water. Bake until tender (about an hour). Scoop squash into a bowl, add spices and egg. Mash. Return squash to an oven safe container and bake for another 20 minutes*. Enjoy!

*Optional: top with pecans before baking. Yum!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 22: The Theme is Purple

Stuffed purple bell peppers and beets for dinner tonight. I have never cooked a fresh beet, so I was a little nervous, but it turned out great (recipe is below). Also, we added a fried egg on top of the stuffed pepper. We would have previously topped it with cheese, but I found that the egg yolk helps replace a little of that ooey-gooeyness.

1 large or 2 medium fresh beets
Olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice beets into approximately 1 inch square pieces. Place beets on top of a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and add the rosemary sprigs to the top. Fold foil up around the beet mixture and seal tightly. Bake on top of a baking sheet for approximately 1 hour, or until beets are tender. Remove rosemary and enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 19: Baked Bacon

I tried out the baked bacon recipe on the Cosmopolitan Primal Girl website and it was AMAZING! Truly the best bacon I've ever had and so simple. I mean look at the picture - awesome, right? I had to share it, but please know that it's like crossing a threshold. Once you've had baked bacon, no other preparation method will ever be good enough.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Place a wire rack (I used a cooling rack) on top of a foil lined baking sheet (the rack is key)
Place bacon on top of wire rack
Bake for 20 - 24 minutes (depending on how crispy you like it). Do NOT touch or turn it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 18: Chicken Florentine

I'm still looking for tasty chicken recipes. I tried this one out for lunch today in an attempt to use up some of our produce before it went bad. Good stuff! Kind of hits that chicken soup note, but without the noodles and small pieces of chicken and vegetables. It's a somewhat rustic dish, and I think it would be great on a cold night.
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 lb fresh spinach (approximately - I just used whatever was left in our Costco 1 lb box)
2 dozen cherry tomatoes (approximately)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper - add to the pre-heated pan. Brown the chicken on both sides and add in the chicken broth and garlic. Bring to simmer. Add the spinach and cook for approximately 20 minutes (or until chicken is nearly cooked through). Add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until they burst. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 16: Tangy Chicken

Chicken is not a protein that I generally get excited for. I'd much rather sit down to a dinner of grassfed beef or wild caught fish, but in the interest of eating somewhat economical, we mix chicken into the rotation every now and then. With that said, I'm constantly looking for new ways to prepare chicken and infuse flavor. This recipe is a winner - the chicken tastes like it was barbequed (minus the sauce). Yum!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Tbsp raw honey, melted (omit for a purely paleo recipe)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper in a large ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinate for approximately 4 hours or overnight. Remove chicken from the marinade and grill over medium high heat for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Enjoy!