Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fajita Marinade

As of January 1st, I have re-committed myself to the Primal lifestyle. I have at least 20lbs left to lose and they're not going to fall off by themselves. So back to eating more protein, cutting out sweets and getting more exercise (even if it's freezing outside).

I found this recipe for a steak fajita marinade the other day and it was delicious. I think these turned out even better than the Cook's Illustrated recipe. (I know! It's almost blasphemous!) Try it, you'll love it.

1/4 c lime juice
1/3 c water
2 Tbsp oil
4 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

3 lbs Flank Steak - no, skirt steak won't cut it.
1 large or 2 med onions
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
Sour cream

Mix the marinade together in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Put flank steak in the bag, squeeze the air out and massage it around until all the steak is covered. Allow to marinate for 2-24 hours.

Sear steak on both sides in a pan over med-high heat, just until browned. Set it aside. Cut onion, red and green bell pepper into bite-size strips. Stir fry them in the pan while you slice the steak across the grain into bite-size pieces. (It should still be pretty raw in the middle.) Add steak back to the pan with the veggies and cook until desired doneness. Serve warm over salad greens or spinach & top with sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa & cubed avocado.

Lots of good fat and protein in this dish with fairly low carb load. The leftover meat and veggies go really well with eggs for breakfast the next morning too. StumbleUpon

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Super Yummy, Garlick-y Pulled Pork Goodness

I can't believe I haven't blogged about this recipe yet. I made it months ago with my best friend and cooking buddy, Debe. I guess maybe it was a bit hectic since her daughter broke her arm that day while we were cooking and had to be rushed to the ER. I'm going with that excuse.
Photo from

But really, there is no valid excuse. This pulled pork was amazingly good and super simple. Even my very picky eaters loved it and kept asking for more for days. This was the first time I'd cooked a pork shoulder and we actually finished it before it went bad in the fridge or freezer, and Eric, my wonderful husband, was out of town on a business trip. So it was just the kids and me inhaling an 8lb pork shoulder.

The recipe calls for a 4lb pork shoulder roast, but I could only find the big 8-pounders. So I doubled the recipe and hoped for the best. I forgot the lime juice, but it still turned out very tasty. The only hiccup that I had was that the roast wasn't getting tender and fall-y apart-y in the oven. After about 4 hours in the oven, I decided that it was time to put it in the crock pot. I left it to cook overnight on low and woke up to a tender, juicy, easily shredded, super garlicky pulled pork.

I think that I'll make this pulled pork again this weekend. I've had a difficult time getting enough protein in my diet. With this on hand, I doubt that will be a problem for the next week or so. The more likely problem will be keeping myself from eating a whole pound of it in one sitting. StumbleUpon

Friday, October 14, 2011

Christmas Knitting Has Begun!

A few weeks ago, I received a box of yarn I ordered from It was full of Wool of the Andes, a beautiful, worsted-weight, wool yarn, in a gorgeous evergreen color. This was the yarn that I had ordered for a sweater for my brother. With how crazy life has been the past few months, I missed his birthday. So I decided to make up for it with a hand-knit sweater for Christmas this year. I hadn't had the box opened for an hour before I had cast on for my gauge swatch. I love Love LOVE this yarn. It's beautiful, it's fairly soft for wool and it knits up into a wonderful fabric.

I chose this pattern to use, with the help of my sister, Suzy. She's the fashionable one in the family. I, however, was known for wearing turtlenecks under my sundresses as a child. I rely heavily on Suzy's opinion when it comes to clothes, especially when knitting for other people.

The sweater pattern is beautiful and very simple, a basic all-over rib pattern with minimal shaping at the underarms. This one is really knitting up quickly. I love that. I love the instant gratification of knitting with heavier yarns. And I just love the color. I really hope Aaron (my brother) likes it and will wear it. Because even though this pattern is quick to knit, knitting a sweater for someone really is a labor of love. Yes, Aaron, that means I love you.

I'll post pictures as I go along. StumbleUpon

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm A Slacker and I Love Pumpkin Muffins

It's been over a month since I've posted anything new. What a slacker! Well I'm here to change that now. I have been in love with pumpkin lately. I'm talking big love. It seems to hit me every year about the same time the weather starts turning cooler. Very appropriate, since this is when pumpkins are ready for harvesting.

My last recipe was a pumpkin bread and this one is similar, but different. I was skeptical about this recipe before I made it, but my whole family loves it. I had never considered baking with protein powder, but it works really well. The recipe can be a bit involved, but it is worth it. I'd post a picture, but they disappear too fast for me to snap one. I'll just have to make them again when no one else is around and hope I can get a picture before I eat them all.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

1 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c whey protein isolate powder
2 Tbsp coconut flour
3 eggs
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin.
In a small pan, cook down the pumpkin over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. This concentrates the pumpkin flavor. If you want to skip this step, cut the amount of pumpkin back to 3/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
When oven is hot, toast pecans for 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring once. Set aside to cool. When they have cooled, coarsely chop them.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey or syrup and vanilla. When pumpkin is cool, whisk it into the egg mixture. Fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tin. Sprinkle pecans on the top of each muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes.

These are great with the cream cheese frosting I posted with the Pumpkin Pie Bread and a few extra pecans. Enjoy! StumbleUpon

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Bread

It's September, school has started and even though fall hasn't officially started yet, the weather here has turned cooler. And cooler weather makes me want fall-type foods like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. So I made something that turned out to be kind of a hybrid. The recipe I used called it bread, but the middle, even when fully baked, was still a bit creamy like pie filling. It was amazingly delicious. I've made it twice in the past couple weeks and it disappeared pretty quickly both times. The second time, I made some spiced maple cream cheese frosting to go on top and we sprinkled toasted pecans on the top as well.

Pumpkin Pie Bread

1/3 c coconut oil
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c honey
4 tsp xylitol

1 1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 c coconut flour
1 c almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 pan.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook down the pumpkin 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This is to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the flavor.) Transfer pumpkin to large bowl to cool. Stir oil, maple syrup, honey and xylitol into pumpkin. Once pumpkin has cooled to just warm, whisk in eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Dump over pumpkin mixture and stir together.
Pour into greased pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out fairly clean.
Allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Cream all ingredients together and dollop on top of pumpkin bread. StumbleUpon

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not-At-All-Primal-By-Any-Stretch-Of-The-Imagination Tamale Pie

I know that this recipe isn't Primal, at all. But I had this post saved and forgot to post it back in April. This dish is amazingly tasty. It is one that I will definitely be missing. I haven't figured out how to make it primal, but I'll post any progress I make with it. Until then, my non-primal friends, enjoy this one for me.

Tamale Pie
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, minced
1 medium jalapeno, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
28 oz can petite diced tomaoes
14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 c frozen corn
2 c shredded cheese, either cheddar or jack
1/4 c cilantro
salt & pepper

Cornbread Topping:
1 1/2 c flour
1 c corn meal
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp sugar
1 c buttermilk or sour milk
8 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high. Brown beef, breaking into small pieces for 5 minutes. Add onion, jalapeno and 1 tsp salt and cook 5-10 minutes or until softened. Add tomato paste through oregano, cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and beans. Bring to simmer and scrape bottom of pan to remove brown bits. Add corn and warm through. Remove from heat and add cheese and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into 9 x 13 pan and smooth surface.

Make cornbread topping:
Sift dry ingredients together into large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.

Pour over beef mixture, smooth top and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole and extra jalapenos and cilantro. StumbleUpon

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Not-So-Primal Evening

My friend, Debe, likes to go up to Nova Scotia every year for their blueberry festival. She's been going for years, but couldn't go this year. So she invited a bunch of friends to her house for her own blueberry festival. Everyone brought meat for the grill and something with blueberries in it. Everything was SO good. I know that almost everything had sugar and/or wheat in it, but I couldn't resist. I love blueberries and just had to try it.

But first things first, we brought a couple t-bone steaks and some kabobs for the grill. We picked up half of our 1/2 cow order a week or so ago and we wanted to try some of it. All we used for seasoning was Montreal Steak Seasoning. The kabobs had beef, red onion and red bell pepper and the steak seasoning. They were all so good. The meat really tasted beefy, unlike many steaks you buy at the supermarket. Just one dinner with this grass-fed beef and I'm convinced. It's more expensive at one time but cheaper by the pound if you buy locally and buy a 1/2 or full cow. Worth it!