Minty Mexican Beef

I love the flavor combination of mint and beef. I don’t know what it is about these two ingredients, or what it is that they bring to each others’ flavor profiles, but I love, love, love.

Today’s recipe is a nice base that you can do a lot with. You can put it over salad, put it in lettuce wraps, or serve it on the side of some veggies or cauliflower rice. It’s simple and versatile. Enjoy!

Minty Mexican Beef
One bell pepper, diced
One Anaheim chile, diced
Half a large onion, or one small onion, diced
Two cloves of garlic, minced
Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
About 10 oz ground beef
Juice from lime
Seasonings to taste: sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, chile powder, menudo mix
Fat of choice (optional depending on the fat content of your meat)

20120803-141526.jpg

20120803-141548.jpg

Heat a sauté pan with your fat of choice. Add all veggies, excluding the mint.

20120803-141632.jpg

Sauté to soften veggies. Add beef.

20120803-141706.jpg

Break the meat down. Add seasonings. When it’s almost cooked, add mint and lime juice.

20120803-141830.jpg

Stir. Allow meat to cook thoroughly.

20120803-141915.jpg

I served mine over lettuce with diced tomatoes, guacamole, and a few olives.

20120803-141955.jpg

Enjoy! Dinner’s done!

Don’t Know What to Call It Soup

It was raining so hard yesterday! I did not want to leave home for anything. It was so cold. The weather warranted a delicious bowl of soup. I honestly have no idea what to call this soup. It’s almost a cross between a chili and some kind of stew. Either way, it’s like a hug for your tummy. Enjoy.

Don’t-Know-What-To-Call-It Soup (This makes a lot more than the photos suggest. I split the batch in half to make Danny’s not-paleo. This recipe will make a big pot)
– About 2 lbs of meat, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used carne asada from the grocery store. You can also use ground beef, or even ground turkey I suppose)
-1 bell pepper, diced
-1 onion, diced
-1 pasilla chile, diced
-1 anaheim chile, diced
-1 can diced green chile
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-Minced green onion and cilantro (for topping)
-About 4 Tbsp tomato paste
-1 large can of diced tomatoes, drained
-2 small cans of tomato sauce
-About 4 cups of broth or stock (I used vegetable broth for my batch and beef stock for Danny’s)
-Seasonings to taste: pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chile powder, ground cumin, salt, menudo or pozole seasoning
-Fat of choice

Prep all your veggies first. It’ll make life easier. I think.

20120318-123341.jpg

20120318-123438.jpg

Prep your meat if it needs to be cut into smaller bits.

20120318-123521.jpg

In a large pot, heat your fat of choice and add your veggies.

20120318-123558.jpg

Add meat and allow to cook.

20120318-123636.jpg

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth or stock, and your seasonings. Allow to simmer.

20120318-123727.jpg

Check for seasonings before serving. Top with cilantro, green onion and avocado. Enjoy!

20120318-123817.jpg

Variations
-Use different kinds of meat if you wish.
-For non-paleo people- I add corn and black beans when I make this for others, sometimes. You can also top with grated cheese.
-Slow cooker: throw everything in your slow cooker and come home to a delicious ready-made soup!

Beef Broccoli and Orange Chicken

Dear Readers- Please forgive me for I have sinned!! I am so sorry it’s been such a long time since I last posted. To appease you all, I will provide you with TWO, that’s right, two, dos recipes. I’ve been really busy with my research and driving to UCLA is a huge hassle and time-consumer. Also, last weekend was the department new admit weekend so I was helping introduce prospective Ph.D students to the joys of LA… I also, actually cheated on my paleo diet, too. I’ll be forthcoming- I was starving, didn’t plan appropriately for a day of driving to USC, then the Huntington, then to a professor’s house for dinner. That, and I just didn’t want to be that person. So I indulged for the dinner and have since moved on and have made amends. I am back on paleo, so no worries! It was actually really funny. I have another professor who I apparently make feel guilty because I always have healthy snacks in class. When he asked me about it, I told him about the paleo challenge I was doing with RC Crossfit. When he saw me at the dinner he said, “Alicia, how are you managing? Nothing here is Jurassic.” Hehe.

Anyway, back to he food. And by food, I mean recipes.

Today’s recipes are fairly easy. The orange chicken uses cooked, leftover chicken (though you can certainly use fresh) so it’s great for throwing together in a pinch. Feel free to serve with my paleo fried rice recipe. I just served mine over plain, steamed cauliflower.

Paleo Orange Chicken
-16 oz. cooked chicken, diced or cut into strips
-juice and zest from 2 oranges
-green onion, chopped
-cilantro, chopped
-prepped veggies of choice (I used fresh, prepped broccoli, carrots and mushrooms in a bag from Fresh and Easy)
-seasonings to taste: ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, chile flakes
-apple cider vinegar (optional)
-gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-fat of choice

In a large pan or wok, heat your fat of choice, and add your veggies. Once they start to get some color, add your gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos), orange juice and chicken. Allow to reduce. Add green onions and check for seasonings (i.e. add them). I used the apple cider vinegar to cut some of the saltiness. You may not find it necessary. Toss with cilantro before serving.

Beef Broccoli

-London Broil, cut into strips (about 1.5 lbs)
-Broccoli and other veggies if you want
-Gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-Apple cider vinegar
-Honey
-Green onion, chopped
-Seasonings to taste: chile flakes, garlic powder, ground ginger, onion powder
-Fat of choice

Ok, for this one there is some math. I’ve determined that the sauce tastes best when you have equal parts of honey and apple cider vinegar, and half a part of gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Go that?

So, put all your meat in a bowl then allow it to marinade with your liquids. For example, 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar + 1/2 c. honey + 1/4 c. gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos. Now do you get it? I would start with this amount then move from there, keeping your proportions in mind. Allow meat to marinade with liquids and a fairly generous helping of your seasonings.

After it’s marinated, heat your fat of choice in a large pan or wok, then add your meat with all the liquids. Add your veggies after the liquids have started to reduce. Cook thoroughly, check for seasonings.

Serve over plain, steamed cauliflower, or my cauliflower fried rice!

20120307-182255.jpg

20120307-182310.jpg

20120307-182326.jpg

20120307-182359.jpg

Mushroom Burgers with Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

The paleo challenge has officially ended, so now I’m staying paleo on my own free will. I did have a cheat dinner last night, but I got up today knowing it was back to paleo.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
-Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into French-Fry strips
-Drizzle of olive oil
-Seasonings to taste: chile powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place your cut sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season away. Toss so all of your fries are coated with seasoning.

Place in a single layer on a cookie/baking sheet.

Bake until they reach desired crispiness (baking time depends on batch size, so just keep an eye on them). Don’t overcrowd your baking sheet.

20120212-204943.jpg

While the fries were baking, I just seasoned some plain, grassfed beef burgers and portobello mushrooms with a mix of similar seasonings. Grill.

Slice or prepare additional veggies of your choice: lettuce, avocado, tomato, onions (you could even grill the onions!), Anaheim or Poblano chiles, etc. Use your imagination.

Get your grilled portobello burger, top with your beef patty, or patties, and then layer on your veggies. You will need a fork and knife for this burger.

20120212-205407.jpg

20120212-205425.jpg

Albondigas Soup

It was really cold when I woke up. I decided it was a great day for soup. Initially, I had planned to make a shredded beef stew. When I mentioned to my boyfriend that I had planned on making soup, he interrupted me and said,”Albondigas?” before I could even tell him what I was thinking. I paused for a minute, then said, “sure.” Since I need to get some reading done, I knew it was time to bring out the slow cooker. It was freezing when I went to the grocery store, but by the time I got the whole soup thing going, the sun came out. Ugh. Oh well. This soup is delicious. Just turn on your air conditioner. Whatever.

I will break this recipe down into its two components, the soup and the meatballs. I will provide variations at the end of the recipe.

Sopa

  • Broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)
  • Jar of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Celery, chopped
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Chard, julienned
  • 1 pasilla chile, diced
  • Seasonings to taste: Menudo or pozole mix, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika

Throw everything in the slow cooker. Let it be.

Albondigas

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-4 Tbsp. almond meal
  • Cilantro
  • Seasonings to taste: Menudo or pozole mix, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Layer a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper (optional).

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Form into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Place on cookie sheet and throw them in the oven.

The meatballs took about 30 minutes to cook. When I pulled them out, they did have a little bit of goop around them (from the fat I think). I just rubbed the meatballs against a paper towel to get that off (it was just unattractive).

Once the meatballs are done, throw them into the broth and allow them to simmer together until you serve it.

Top with sliced avocado, chopped green onion and cilantro.

Dinner’s Done (early, too!)!!!!

Variations: You can cook the meatballs in the slow cooker in the broth. I just wanted the meatballs to have a little more texture. That’s why I baked them. You can also cook them in a hot pan over the stove.

If you’re hosting vegetarian friends, leave the meatballs out of the soup. You’ll end up with a delicious Mexican-style vegetable soup.

For your non-paleo friends/family-Serve the albondiga soup as-is, over steamed rice, or with some tortillas.