Creating a Home and Smashing on Stroganoff.

Hello friends! I’ve officially been a Texas resident for all of 13 days and I’ve gotten pretty settled.  In that amount of time, I’ve burned/scalded a limited amount of food on my coil stove.  I’m taking THAT as a win!  I’ve also had maintenance to my apartment probably 5 times.  I’m not 100% sure the kitchen took quite this much of a beating before me, so pretty much all things in the kitchen that could malfunction did. Most exciting of which was the dishwasher!  A kitchen floor covered in bubbles is TONS OF FUN!!!  Anywho, Rico (the head maintenance guy) is my new best friend, and he’s THE MAN!!!  Got everything in excellent working order, and was hilarious to talk to while he was working.  Props to Rico!

Other than causing my kitchen to self-destruct, I’ve done a whole lot of nothing.  Ok, that’s not entirely true.  I’ve read about 5 books and worked on several crochet projects.  Oh, and drank some wine.  Ok, maybe a lot of wine.  I also found myself a new gym!  They are a really amazing group of people, and I can’t wait to make their community my own!

All that being said, I’ve been eating pretty strictly Paleo since I moved.  I’ve allowed myself a small amount of grass-fed cheese here and there, and a bit of dark chocolate, but essentially, I’m eating much MUCH cleaner than I was before I moved.  I’d fallen off the wagon pretty hard, but considering the stress of my life at that time, I didn’t really beat myself up about it.  Whatever.  I’m back on the wagon, and really feeling the benefits already!  I’m sleeping sounder, waking up with a clearer head, still dying in workouts (but I’m blaming that on the heat!), but generally just feeling more alive.  I LOVE that good food can do that to you!

Late last week, I was feeling a teeny bit sad that my family was 900 miles away.  I immediately started craving comfort food, so I whipped up this bad boy, and DANG!  It was SO GOOD!

stroganoff

This is my SUPER easy beef stroganoff!  I didn’t plan appropriately and didn’t make anything to serve it over, but it would be delicious over some spaghetti squash, on an open-face sweet potato, or over some white rice (if you are into that).  I would also probably double the recipe if you are cooking for more than 2 people.  Here it is!:

Stupid Easy Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 pound stew beef chunks (or steak cut into small chunks)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk (get the canned stuff)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (any variety will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  1. In a deep skillet over medium high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil (olive, coconut, etc.).  Add your onion and garlic and cook until translucent.  You want to let them go until they are just starting to brown, about 7 minutes or so.
  2. Add in your stew beef and sear until the beef is browned on all sides, another 5 minutes.
  3. When all the yummies are browned and delicious, add in your coconut milk and spices, NOT the tapioca flour!  Make sure you stir your coconut milk in well, being sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom of your pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover your pan.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is starting to tenderize and all flavors have come together.
  4. At this point, uncover your pan and taste for salt and pepper.
  5. In a small cup, mix together your 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour with 2 tablespoons of water.  Make sure you mix it until all clumps are gone.
  6. Pour this slurry into your beef and coconut milk mixture slowly, stirring while adding it.  You should notice it thickening up almost immediately. Allow your stroganoff to cook for about 2-3 more minutes over medium heat.
  7. Spoon it over your carb vehicle of choice and put it in your mouth!

This smacked the comfort food craving right out of my mouth!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!!  Until next time!

Peace, Love, and Paleo y’all

-Meister

Advertisements

Naughty Naughty Comfort Food Bliss

meatball bake

How freaking delicious does that look?! I mean, how could I NOT lead with this picture?  This, my friends, is a meatball bake.  Yes indeed!  Hidden under all of that gloriousness are meatballs.  Who would’ve known?!

Paleo confession time: I crave traditional comfort foods all the time.  Seriously, ALL the time.  For me, these foods are usually something really starchy, smothered in a red sauce and baked, or anything covered in Gravy.  I’m German and Irish.  We are gravy loving, potato smashing folks.  I can’t deny my genetics, nor can I refuse these tasty, tasty foods. So I’ve tried desperately to find ways to satisfy these cravings….and since I’ve YET to find an epic gravy recipe that comes anywhere CLOSE to being Paleo, I usually go the smothered in red sauce route to feed my hungry soul.

Paleo Confession #2:  I eat cheese.  Sue me.  Most of the time I shoot for raw milk or grassfed cheeses, but sometimes I don’t. Don’t care.  If some cheese is going to bring me to an early death, bring it on!

So my friends, enjoy! And don’t judge me too harshly for the aforementioned confessions.

Meatball Bake

     For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds ground beef
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of almond flour (can sub coconut flour, but cut to 2 tbsp)
  • Spices to taste (salt, pepper, dried oregano)

     For the sauce topping:

  • 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • Freshly torn basil
  • Grated cheese…..if that’s how you get down
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly.  Get in there all down and dirty like with your hands and get after it.
  3. Roll into balls (I made mine bigger than walnut-sized) and place in a deep baking dish.  You should be able to get around 16-20 meatballs out of the mixture.
  4. Bake meatballs uncovered for 25 minutes, or until they are browned on the outside.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with your chopped up artichoke hearts.
  6. Then layer on your two cans of fire-roasted tomatoes over the top.
  7. Put your dish back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
  8. When your sauce is bubbling like crazy and starting to brown around the edges, remove from oven.
  9. Top with your fresh torn basil and grated cheese and pop it back in the oven for 5 more minutes to melt.
  10. SMASH ON COMFORT FOOD GOODNESS!……after you’ve let it cool down first of course.  It will come out hotter than the surface of the sun, and you don’t want to turn your mouth to lava.  Safety first, friends. Safety first.

There it is peeps.  Get after it!  Fill your bellies with simple goodness.  Make it happen.  And live it up with your naughty paleo selves. 🙂

Peace, Love, and Paleo.

Meister

Now Introducing….the WORST blogger ever!!

Seriously friends.  I’m a giant jerk.  I haven’t posted in almost a month.  To be fair, a WHOLE lot of big stuff has happened in the past three weeks.  For starters, I had my birthday!  Yay.  I’m officially 28, so I guess that’s exciting?  Also, school ended for the year, which is always a chaotic time. So let’s do a little review in pics of what I’ve been doing that has kept me away from all of you lovely folks.  Ready? Go! I’ve been….clean bruises

Beating the crap out of myself at the gym everyday!  Honestly, it’s crazy how easily I bruise.

wildcat 5k 2013

Hey look!  I ran a 5k at my school!  Plus, I didn’t die AND I took 12 minutes off of my previous 5k….that means I finished in just under 33 minutes.  I’ll TAKE it!

road trip selfie

I headed down to Kansas City for a brief getaway.  It was GREAT!  Love that city and I LOVE road tripping!  Speaking of, stay tuned for plenty of talk about my “Tour of Texas” I’m doing in July!

Lastly, and possibly the most important thing I’ve been doing….

yard drinking

Enjoying the HELL out of my summer break!  For real. I’ve been enjoying deck beverages, yard beverages, patio beverages, beverages with friends, with family, and by myself!  It’s been amazing to JUST RELAX…..which I don’t allow myself to do much.  I’m pretty sure I could get used to this!

As you can see, I’ve been a busy busy girl!  I know I’ve said it before, but I am going to post more often.  I promise.  No, I really REALLY promise!  Anyways, regardless of all of the awesome going on lately, there have been a few things kind of bringing me down.  One of these is body image.  I am convinced that I will always struggle with it.  Always, no matter how old I get, no matter how confident I become, it’s always lurking….waiting to pounce at one moment of weakness.  That’s all a different post for a different day….but be prepared, because I feel like it’s going to be coming soon!

On to food.  To be quite honest, I haven’t really been cooking much exciting stuff lately.  Just sticking to the basics of a piece of grilled/roasted meat, some veggies, and some fat.  Pretty boring folks!  But the one thing I have been mildly obsessed with is stuffing sweet potatoes.  It’s SO FREAKING GOOD!  Not to mention super simple!  So I’ll give ya a two-fer on recipes tonight.  I owe you…….big time.  So here are two of my beauties!

pulled chicken sweet potato jalapeno beef sweet potato

Garlic Jalapeno Pulled Chicken

  • 3-4 whole jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise (leave all seeds and ribs IN)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (just whack them with the back of your knife)
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion (you could use fresh onion chunks, I just didn’t have any in the house!)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound of chicken (I used chicken tenders….they cook faster, but you could sub breasts or thighs….the cooking time might be a bit different)
  1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, fill with 4-6 cups of water.
  2. Put ALL ingredients OTHER THAN the chicken into the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. When the water is at a rolling boil, carefully drop your chicken in. Turn the heat back to Medium and continue to boil for about 30 minutes.
  4. To test if chicken is done, simply remove a piece of chicken and split it apart at the thickest part. If it’s not done, just toss it back into the cauldron!
  5. When chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and allow to cool before shredding by hand.

This turned out slightly spicy and totally delicious!  Not to mention, it can be used for any number of other recipes.  In fact, I scrambled some of the leftover chicken into my eggs the next morning!  Boom.  Plus, it was damn good stuffed into a baked sweet potato and topped with fresh guacamole.

Jalapeno Lime Ground Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion (could sub fresh…about 1/2 an onion, just didn’t have any!)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. In a deep skillet, brown your ground beef.
  2. When beef is almost cooked through add in the remaining ingredients and mix together well.
  3. Turn your heat back to Medium-Low and simmer your ground beef for 8-10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Taste, and salt and pepper as needed!
  5. Stuff it in a baked sweet potato and SMASH!

Alrighty, well hopefully I’ve gone and made a bit of amends……I promise not to desert you again! Plus, there will probably be a dessert of some sort coming soon.  I will be selling baked goods at a competition being held at my gym on June 29th, so I will be a baking MACHINE in the next couple of weeks!  Lucky you 🙂 Get out there and enjoy your summer! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Teacher Appreciation and Pepper Steak

appreciation

This is one of the most awesomely crafted phrases I have EVER had a student write about me.  LOVE this kid, and his way with words!

Not sure if you knew this, but apparently this week is all about appreciating folks like teachers and nurses.  It’s been a pretty great week, albeit completely crazy.  I feel like I’ve done nothing but look at my computer screen and work on paperwork and files, BUT about the time I start feeling like garbage about it, I get something like that pic above.  Faith restored.  Honestly, middle schoolers are the freaking greatest. Hands down.  They warm my heart.

You know what DOESN’T warm my heart?  The sound of my bank account screaming for mercy…..which it is doing a LOT of lately.  No joke.  Thank the good Lord I’m going out of town with my parents this weekend, or I’m not sure how I would eat.  Mostly likely I’d live off of homemade almond butter and canned tomatoes, because that’s all that is in my house.  Oh! And almond flour…..lots and LOTS of almond flour.  So if all else fails, I’m gonna be living on trash.  Great.  Naturally, what do I do when I have no money?  Buy concert tickets, DUH!!!  No but seriously, I put a pair on tickets on my credit card tonight.  I didn’t even blink an eye.  It needed to happen.  I mean, it’s to see She & Him.  They are pretty much amazing, and it’s at an outdoor venue….double win.  And the ultimate grand prize?  Tilly & the Wall is opening.  They may be my favorite band.  EVER.  EVAAAAAAAAAR!  So see?  I really had no choice.  Eh, that’s what credit cards are for, right?

I’m going out of town again tomorrow afternoon.  Driving up to Minneapolis again, but this time with the family.  We are all heading up for my cousin’s graduation.  It’s gonna be a blast.  I just love that city so much…..swoon! The kicker is that since Mother’s Day is on Sunday, I need to figure out how to make a 6 hour car ride home AMAZING for my mom.  Pretty sure it’s going to include a lot of leaving her alone……or singing to ridiculous musicals in the car, and giving handmade cards (because that’s all I can afford….).  Hell, I might even get crazy and write some EPIC Mom haiku’s for recitation on the car ride! I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

Speaking of Moms, mine is pretty awesome.  She was at the grocery store and noticed that they had grassfed beef….so she bought me some.  How sweet is that?  I mean, I think that’s pretty freaking adorable.  So this pepper steak is completely owed to her because she purchased the meat.  Love ya Ma!

peppersteak

Pepper Steak Stir Fry

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium to large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound-ish beef, I used strip steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  1. In a deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  When skillet is hot, add beef strips and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Stir fry until the beef is browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove beef from the pan.
  2. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan drippings.  When melted, add in your peppers and onions.  Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and cook until all veggies are beginning to soften and brown a bit on the edges.
  4. While veggies are cooking, in a small bowl (or a measuring cup) combine the remaining ingredients to make your sauce. Top it off with water to create 1 cup total of liquid.
  5. Add back in the beef to the skillet and combine well with the veggies.  Pour the sauce over the mixture and let simmer on medium until the sauce begins to thicken and coats all of the meat and veggies.  Depending on how high your heat is, this could take about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Bowl it up and smash!!

You could also serve this over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.  Any way you serve it, it’s gonna be delicious!  I suppose I should go think about packing for my trip and getting things all ready to go for another weekend away. Wishing everyone a great weekend, and don’t forget to love on your Mom! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister