Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Monday, August 29, 2011

So Not Pho

Last year for Christmas my DH got me a very nice wok and a few cookbooks to go with it. They're full of nearly paleo recipes, and if they're not paleo most of them are easy to convert. I had a craving for Pho. So I found a recipe I had used before, then googled to see what else I could do with it... turns out several similar internet recipes were blasted for not being authentic. Seems the biggest complaint is that you can't make a quick pho, it needs to cook all day. Luckily I make my own beef stock, so I think I got the richness of flavor you would get from cooking all day. If you use store bought stock or broth this is still going to taste good, but read your labels. This is quick, and it's easy, and it may not be "real" Pho, but it is "real(y)" good!

So Not Pho

1 lb grass fed low fat ground beef
1 12oz package of kelp noodles, rinsed
1.2 liters (2 pints) home-made beef stock, or the best you can buy
3 whole star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon (or less) ground red chilli paste.
(I used the kind that comes in a jar like minced garlic, but fresh or dried to your taste would work.)
S&P to taste

1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
1 Tablespoon rice wine
3 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 Tablespoon ground red chilli (1 T in both the soup and the marinade made a nice heat if you like spicy food...adjust down if you do not!)


Chopped spring onions and/or mint and/or cilantro and/or basil
(I used mint and cilantro and will probably do the same from now on.)

What to do:

Mix all marinade ingredients and mix with the ground beef. Marinate for at least 20 mins. in the refrigerator.

Bring stock to a simmer in a wok or large pot.
Add star anise, cloves, & cinnamon and simmer about 3 mins.
Add the beef and bring back to a simmer, cook 1 minute breaking up any clumps.
Add the fish sauce, chilli sauce, S&P and simmer a few more minutes.
Add the kelp noodles and stir them in for a few minutes.
Remove the star anise.

Garnish with the chopped herbs and serve in large bowls.

(if you are more gluten-free than paleo, soak 6-8 oz of dried rice noodles for about 20 minutes in hot water, rinse and set aside... stir in at the end instead of, or in addition to the kelp noodles.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Osso Bucco

Twice in the past week and a half I've made Osso Bucco. Traditionally made with lamb, I use beef. Osso Bucco is simply the thigh cut cross-wise, and since it has the bone left in it should be no surprise that the translation is simply, "bone with a hole." Its a cheaper cut, with lots of connective tissues, so it needs longer cooking. A few hours in the oven, or perfect for the slow cooker. And it comes with a bonus - Marrow! I have made this recipe with all the ingredients, and also lacking several... (and once I was out of thyme so I used tarragon - loved it.) Change it up as needed... and enjoy!

Slow Cooked Osso Bucco

4-6 pieces of osso bucco
few Tablespoons olive oil or oil of choice
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 carrots, sliced thick or diced
2 sticks celery, cut same as carrots
1/2 cup (or more) good dry wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2-3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes (optional, but you want enough liquid to just cover the meat so use more broth or wine if needed)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or tarragon, not both)
a few bay leaves

Get slow cooker ready.

Brown osso bucco on each side in oil, lay in slow cooker.

Saute garlic, onions, carrots, celery until onions are nicely browned and put on top of meat in slow cooker.

Mix wine, broth, tomato paste, spices, and canned tomatoes (if using) well and pour over meat.

Liquid should come JUST to the top of the meat... or cover barely.

Cook on low for at least 5 and up to 8 hours. Check once or twice during cooking if you're around and stir or spoon liquid over the meat.

Serve with salad, any paleo-friendly veggies, or just plain... So Delicious! I even got all 3 of my girls to eat the marrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cool Tahini "Pasta"

Once upon a time, long long ago...(Like, mid-90's!) I copied two recipes onto a legal pad from one of Angie's cookbooks... Recipe # 2 I have never made, but the first one, "Cool Tahini Pasta" is a different story! Its been awhile since I've made it... pasta-schmasta... but while visiting with Angie recently she was telling me about coconut aminos and kelp noodles. Coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce, and kelp noodles sounded like a cross between glass noodles and mung bean sprouts. I get back to Perth excited to try them both... and nada! Add 2 more things to the list of "Items you can't find in Western Australia." So I ordered some, and they came today. Lots of ideas came to mind, but this recipe allowed me to try both, and it turned out so good it was almost gone before it got photographed.

Cool Tahini Pasta

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
3 T coconut aminos
1 Tablespoon tahini
1 cloved garlic, pressed or diced beyond teeny-tiny
1 & 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Mix all the above ingredients well. Add a 12oz bag of rinsed and drained kelp noodles.

2-3 small green onions, sliced thin
3 T fresh cilantro leaves

Stir and serve immediately. Serves 3 (If you let it set, the noodles loose their "pop." Which I personally like, but it still tastes good.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kürbispastete (Pumpkin and Meat Pie)

I love pumpkin. And I love beef. Google those two ingredients and you'll find enough recipes to show lots of people like them together. And why not? Yum + yum = double yum, right? From Kaddo Bowrani (Afghani pumpkin) to Pumpkin Chili or Pumpkin sloppy joes... there are a lot of things to try. (My next experiment will be Sarah's meaty pumpkin soufflé in her book, "Everyday Paleo.") But my favorite pumpkin-beef recipe ever is kürbispastete. Kürbispastete is just German for deep dish pumpkin and meat pie. And the way I found this recipe was long ago, when Angie and I and several friends used to get together for dinner parties, we would always pick a theme. My husband swears that the best dinner we ever had was the night our dinner group picked german food, and I have to agree. For the occasion I bought a german cookbook off the bargain table at Border's. And paging thru that book is where I came across kürbispastete. Its not paleo on its own, but its not far off. First of all, it is a pie (crust) ...and the original recipe calls for grated cheese, cream, and butter... but just drop those 4 things and you still have a yummy dish. I frequently make my paleo version without a crust. I usually skip things like crusts instead of paloe-tizing them, but tonight I went for it.

Kürbispastete- Paleotized!

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut flour
6 tablespoons coconut oil (solid)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
3 T icewater

Put almonds and coconut flour into food processor. Process until corn-mealy looking, but not so long that the almonds turn to butter. Add remaining ingredients. (3 T water is a good start-- no more than 4) and pulse until it all comes together in a ball... (almost) ... scrape out and put in a bowl or ziploc and put in the fridge until ready to use. Mine was still pretty crumbly but I didn't expect to be rolling out perfect dough circles so that is ok! Dump most of it in a deep pie pan and smush it into the bottom and up the sides. Save a little to crumble over the top.

2 lbs. pumpkin
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 & 1/2 pounds ground meat. (I use beef, but pork or any other would work too.)
Basil (I usually use dried, but this time used about 1/3 cup chopped fresh - highly recommend fresh!)
1/4 cup of thick coconut cream scooped off the top of a can that has NOT been shaken. (Save the rest of the can for something else. Actually, I got about 1/2 cup of cream...could use more, but its pretty rich, so I think 1/4 cup was plenty...ALSO, this dish is still good without it, or use dairy if you like.)

Peel and cube the pumpkin and put in a saucepan. Cover it with water and the vinegar and cook until tender, then drain well. Alternate layers of pumpkin and meat, seasoning each layer. (Yes, the meat is still raw at this point... crumble it into chunks as small as you can.) Dot with coconut cream and sprinkle any remaining crust crumbs over the top. Bake @ 350F for about an hour. (I covered it with foil for about 45 mins to keep it from over browning.)