Grandma’s meatloaf

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The Crossfit Open closes tonight, and I have to say, it’s been an interesting season. As in years past, it has managed to magnify my flaws and weaknesses (the same ones are still there!), but I also remembered how to have fun again this year. Last year, I became a little too obsessive- worrying about each workout, how I could improve, doing it again…ugh! So I decided to change my approach this year and just have fun, try my hardest, and learn a few things…and HAVE FUN. What’s the point of competing in something you love doing and started as a way to relieve stress and give me “mommy time” if it’s just going to cause stress in a different form? So here’s to a great season! I raise a NorCal to you!

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Yours truly attempting one of my 534 weaknesses!

Now on to the food…
I love taking family favorites and old family recipes and turning them into a new, healthier creation. This is my grandmother’s meatloaf. In its original state it has lots of homemade breadcrumbs and brown sugar. This paleo version still has a ton of flavor aaannd…it’s STILL a family favorite! I always have to double the recipe (and there is still very little leftovers!)

Grandma’s Meatloaf

Ingredients:

Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

Tart Gravy:

  • 1/2 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce ( I like Cholula)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix meatloaf ingredients together in a large bowl and place in a loaf pan. (I like to put my loaf pan on baking sheet to prevent making a huge mess in my oven) place meatloaf in oven.
  3. While the meatloaf is starting to bake, mix together your gravy ingredients.
  4. Take meatloaf out and pour gravy over the loaf. Place back in the oven and bake an additional 1 1/2 hours or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees F
  5. Take out of oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  6. Pair with Pancetta Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Cauliflower.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

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Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! St. Patrick’s Day for me is usually uneventful. It’s the day after my daughter’s birthday (and two days before my other daughter’s birthday) so I am usually begging for a break between parties! This years themes were Doc McStuffins for the three-year old and Pinkalicious for the five-year old. Pinterest really is an amazing site…and a curse at the same time! I find all these amazing birthday party ideas, but I usually just feel inadequate when my setups aren’t as lavish as the Pinterest pictures promise! Anyhoo…back to the green day at hand!

I don’t usually get into the traditional Irish feasts (mainly because I don’t know many Irish dishes that I am good at making), but this year I felt in a more festive mood and decided to mess around with a Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe uses Against All Grain’s amazing Cream of Mushroom soup again! Seriously- make double and triple batches of this stuff and store it in your freezer! it is a necessity if you want to turn your comfort foods into Paleo-friendly dishes! I use it in any recipe that calls for canned Cream of Mushroom soup!

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups of Paleo Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons paleo ketchup (or in a pinch for time mix 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon water, and 1 teaspoon coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • Paprika
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cook the beef and onions in a large skillet over medium high heat until beef is browned. Drain fat.
  3. While the meat is cooking, heat up your soup in a medium saucepan. Once heated, whisk in your arrowroot powder.
  4. Add the soup, ketchup, pepper and peas and carrots to you skillet with meat. Mix together and then spoon mixture into the bottom of a 13×9 pan.
  5. Steam cauliflower until soft (I do the microwave for 10 minutes…I know, I know)
  6. Place cauliflower in food processor and blend butter until creamy
  7. Spread mashed cauliflower evenly over the beef mixture
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt and paprika
  9. Bake for about 15-20 minutes

Salisbury Steak using Cream of Mushroom Soup

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I recently read a Facebook post from Against All Grain about a Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe she loves to use in her green bean casserole for the holidays. This immediately got my brain going on the idea of making Salisbury Steak with it. I have always used the condensed version that comes in a can, but had to give that up (and happily so when I read the ingredients) once we converted to Paleo. That’s why I was so excited to try this out, because to me Salisbury Steak isn’t the same without the cream of mushroom soup gravy! I made the batch of soup the day before. the recipe makes enough for 2 meals like this. so you can freeze half of the soup if you’d like…or just eat it for lunch!

Salisbury Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. grass fed ground beef
    1 onion, chopped
    1/4 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1/2 cup almond meal
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons fat (I used grass fed butter)

Gravy:

  • 1 pkg. mushrooms (crimini or button)
    1/2 cup beef broth
    1/3 cup Paleo Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/2 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup

Directions:

  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Patty out like you are making hamburgers.
    Melt your fat and brown patties in a skillet, but don’t fully cook or you will wind up with hockey pucks!
    Once outside is browned, remove patties from skillet and set aside.
    Toss mushrooms in skillet (you might need to add some more fat) and cook until mushrooms are soft.
    Add beef broth and scrape up the scraps on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and add Worcestershire sauce and soup.
    Add patties to your gravy, cover pan with lid and simmer for about 20 minutes.
    Serve with a yummy side….I prefer mashed cauliflower and roasted broccoli! Enjoy!

Lasagna- Two Ways (Paleo & Primal)

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So I recently saw a recipe posted on another blog about using grain-free tortillas to make lasagna. Well, this got me thinking about my egg white crepes, and whether I could use them for a lasagna noodle…Ding Ding Ding! Winner!

I decided to experiment with 2 variations of this- one with dairy (primal) and one without (Paleo). The Primal Version tastes exactly like a regular lasagna, or at least that is what my husband said…I don’t tolerate yogurt (sniff, sniff). I thought that the Paleo version was wonderful! You can decide which one you would rather try depending on your views and tolerance of dairy. I will say one thing…educate yourself on it. Two great books that address dairy very well are The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and The Paleo Answer by Loren Cordain. In Robb’s book, he tells you to eliminate everything for 30 days. If you want to try re-introducing things like dairy after this time frame, experiment and see how your body reacts. I am not writing anywhere close to as wonderful as Robb, so I would highly recommend reading his book to get the whole idea. In Cordain’s book, he really spells it out as to why dairy really isn’t compatible to our bodies. His book was the one to push me over the edge and eliminate dairy (except for the occasionally raw cheese). Initially I was going to post just the Paleo version, but I had this great idea for a Primal one and decided to just throw them both at you…you decide :)

 

Paleo Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups marinara or meat sauce (here is a great and quick recipe)
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Egg White Crepes

Directions:

  1. Make your sauce (or used jarred…just read your ingredients!)
  2. Brown your beef until no longer pink, drain fat.
  3. Sauté spinach with garlic clove and coconut oil.
  4. Make your egg white crepes*
  5. Start layering! Spread 1/2 – 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish (should be just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan). Then place a layer of egg white crepes. Make sure your crepes are matched up to each other, you don’t necessarily have to overlap, but you don’t want big gaps either. Next top this with your 1/3 of the remaining sauce, and then half of the ground beef. Next sprinkle half of the sautéed spinach. Then repeat layering one more time. Finish off by topping with a layer of crepes and remaining sauce.
  6. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until it starts bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit (I know!) for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

 

Primal Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups marinara or meat sauce
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 8 oz container plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Egg White Crepes

Here is what my layer of crepes looked like

Directions:

  1. Make your sauce (or used jarred…just read your ingredients!)
  2. Brown your beef until no longer pink, drain fat.
  3. Saute spinach with garlic clove and coconut oil.
  4. Mix together yogurt, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, and parsley.
  5. Make your egg white crepes*
  6. Start layering! Spread 1/2 – 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish (should be just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan). Then place a layer of egg white crepes. Make sure your crepes are matched up to each other, you don’t necessarily have to overlap, but you don’t want big gaps either. Next spread half of your cheese mixture over the crepes. Top this with your 1/3 of the remaining sauce, and then half of the ground beef. Next sprinkle half of the sautéed spinach. Then repeat layering one more time. Finish off by topping with a layer of crepes and remaining sauce. If you have any extra mozzarella or parmesan cheese you can sprinkle a little on the top- it’s your call. Just make sure to cover the pan while cooking so you don’t burn the cheese!
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until it starts bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit (I know!) for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

 

*Egg White Crepes

  • 7-8 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  1. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and coconut milk.
  2. Heat a small (10 inch) skillet over medium heat, coat lightly with coconut oil. Add just enough egg mixture to coat the pan in a very thin layer, about 1/8 to 1/6 of a cup.
  3. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for about a minute
  4. You can usually just dump the crepe right out onto a plate, but you might need to use a rubber spatula to help get it out of the pan.

Cyr’s Breakfast of Champions

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 I have history with this recipe. It is one of the first Paleo recipes I was introduced to. My good friend, Paul, from Crossfit Worcester, created it. Although the title is “Breakfast of Champions”, it is certainly not limited to breakfast alone…although I love pumping my kids full of this many veggies first thing in the morning! I make this regularly for the kids at lunch when I’m not able to stretch leftovers far enough. It’s great to have on hand. Just make a batch of it and you can eat on it all week!  I do have to warn you, though. This stuff stinks when you take it out of the fridge and are cooking it up. I couldn’t even be in the same room with it while I was pregnant. The only advice I can give you about this is, light a candle, because this stuff is tasty and totally worth a little stink in the air! I prefer to eat mine toped with Trader Joe’s Authentic Salsa. My three-year-old likes it with hot sauce, and my five-year-old prefers Paleo ketchup whenever it’s available! Any way you eat it, it’s delish! Enjoy!

 

 

Cyr’s Breakfast of Champions

My son chowing down on some “Breakfast of Champions”!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef (bison and venison work great too!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 pkg of broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach
  • eggs or egg whites
  • optional ingredients that you may wish to add: sliced mushrooms, chopped jalapenos, minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Brown meat, strain and set aside in medium size bowl. Add spices to the meat.
  2. Melt coconut oil in pan. Add broccoli slaw and onions (also mushrooms if you choose). Sauté until veggies start to get soft. The broccoli slaw will start to brighten up in color.
  3. When there seems to be about 1 minute left to sauté, add your spinach (as well as jalapenos and garlic if you choose). Cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. When complete, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl for storage.
  5. When ready to eat, add 1/2 to 1 cup of mix to a hot pan (you will probably want to add a little coconut oil). Crack an egg* (or 2) over it and scramble until eggs are cooked.
  6. Enjoy!

*You can also use egg whites if you prefer

 


Beef Enchiladas

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This is basically the same recipe as my Chicken Enchiladas. I just substituted ground beef for the chicken!

Beef Enchiladas
Ingredients:
Meat:
  • 2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
 Sauce:
  • 2 (14.5 oz)cans of diced tomatoes or 4-5 large tomatoes (purée in the food processor)
  • 1 (6 oz)can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup beef (or chicken) broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
 Tortillas:
  • 7-8 egg whites (I have also used the boxed cage-free egg whites before)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Place all ingredients (except spices) for the meat in a skillet over medium heat and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat, add spices, toss and set aside
  3. For sauce, sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil until onions become translucent
  4. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, chiles, and spices. Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Pour sauce into food processor and blend until smooth
  6. Toss meat with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sauce, save the rest of the sauce.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and coconut milk.
  8. Heat a small (10 inch) skillet over medium heat, coat lightly with butter or coconut oil spray. Add just enough egg mixture to coat the pan in a very thin layer, about 1/8 to 1/6 of a cup.
  9. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for about a minute
  10. You can usually just dump the crepe right out onto a plate, but you might need to use a rubber spatula to help get it out of the pan.
  11. Take your crepes one at a time and lay them in a 13×9 inch pan. Fill with 1/4 cup of beef mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in pan. Continue until all the tortillas are filled. Pour the remaining sauce on top, and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes.*
  12. Serve with guacamole and 5-minute Paleo Salsa.
*I topped my enchiladas with shredded raw milk cheddar cheese. This is totally optional! If you do choose to use cheese, make sure to cover your pan with foil before baking, or your cheese might burn!
 Note: I would recommend making larger quantities of the sauce at one time and freezing portions to make this meal even quicker to put together. I would also encourage you to double the whole recipe and make 2 pans at one time. This will either give you leftovers for lunch the next day, or a meal to freeze for later use!

Asian Meatballs

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I think my family did, minus the fact that we have all been sick for the past two weeks! I swear, I am DONE with illness! I am ready to fumigate my house! Other than that, it was a wonderful holiday. We had the most important thing…we were all together. We also had a wonderful dinner (beef tenderloin YUM!), and my kids got so many things that I don’t know where to stash them all. Plus, my wonderful hubby bought me a new pair of Crossfit Nanos! I can’t wait to break them in! Okay, enough about my Christmas…how about a new recipe?

I have to be honest, Asian Meatballs did not necessarily sound mouth-watering to me at first glance. I’m glad I decided to give them a shot, anyway. They are delicious…and so easy! Crock pot meal…done!  I paired them with my fried rice (minus the chicken) and my kids couldn’t eat enough! I swear they all had 4 helpings! I’m not gonna tell you how much I ate, but lets just say it was too much…I will be doubling this recipe in the future!

Recipe Tweaks: I used half of the amount of Siracha. That stuff is spicy, and my kids can only handle so much! I also used half the amount of onions. Like I said above, I paired this with cauliflower fried rice, so I didn’t think I needed as many onions. If you are not making anything to go along with your meatballs, you might want to stick with using 2 onions. I also substituted dried cilantro for coriander (basically the same thing) and 1/8 teaspoon dried mustard for the mustard seed. Enjoy!

 

Asian Meatballs by PaleOMG

 

 

 


Spaghetti Boats

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This is such an easy recipe- especially if you already have your meatballs made up. It’s also a very fun way to eat spaghetti and meatballs!

Spaghetti Boats

Ingredients:

  • 2 spaghetti squash (I like to choose on the small to medium side for this)
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • Meatballs (I use my Go-To Meatballs)
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (make sure it is low-sugar and gluten-free, I like Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce)
  • Optional: Fresh Basil, chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle inside of squash with extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet (with a lip!). Add about 1/2 – 1 cup of water. You basically want the whole pan covered with a thin layer of water.
  4. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until the shell gives a little when you press on it. Remove from oven.
  5. Place each squash in a bowl. Scrape the inside with a fork, but do not remove what you scrape from the squash. Top with meatballs and 1/4 1/2 cup of sauce.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil.

Go-To Meatballs

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I named these “Go-To Meatballs” because they are one of the meals I go to in a pinch (or if I just don’t really feel like putting a lot of effort into a meal!). I always make a double batch and freeze half of them up. They make a nice quick meal and are great in dishes like “Spaghetti Boats” or simply mixed with your favorite spaghetti sauce. I adapted these meatballs from my husband’s grandmother’s meatball recipe. They are also great for kids lunches and fit perfectly in a thermos! :)

Go-To Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix all ingredients on a bowl with your hands.
  3. Form golf ball size meatballs and place on a baking sheet (make sure it has a lid!)
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

 


Cabbage Rolls

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I have to be honest, when I first read about cabbage rolls, they did not sound appealing to me. I don’t know why, they just didn’t, but I decided to give them a try anyway. They are wonderful! They remind me of a pasta roll up of some sort. I got my recipe from Everyday Paleo. I did have to tweak the sauce a bit. The kids didn’t like it as much the first go around, but after I adjusted the sauce, it was a hit! Again, I usually double this recipe to feed my army! :)

My Adapted Version of Cabbage Rolls (original recipe from Everyday Paleo)

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 jar of favorite spaghetti sauce (make sure it is low-sugar and gluten-free! I like Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste

Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped (I used 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12-15 cabbage leaves

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Remove the core from head of cabbage and place cabbage leaves in your pressure cooker with one cup of water. Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 30 seconds. Take the leaves out and set aside to cool.
  3. Place spinach, apple, and red onion in your food processor until finely chopped (you can do this by hand if you don’t own a food processor).
  4. In a large bowl, mix together all filling ingredients.
  5. Place approximately 1/4 cup of filling on the bottom edge of each leaf. Fold in the two outside edges of the cabbage leaf and roll up filling. Place each cabbage roll seam side down in your pressure cooker.
  6. Cover the rolls with sauce. Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: You can also use crockpot: Boil cabbage leaves 3-5 min in large covered pot with approx 1 cup of water. Then after you have assembled your rolls, place in slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours on low.

*The last time I made these, I boiled the cabbage the night before and placed separated leaves in the fridge. The next day while I was feeding the kids lunch, I assembled my cabbage rolls and placed them in the crockpot. Dinner was ready and waiting 6 hours later! :)