Monthly Archives: August 2011

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Jicama Slaw

There are days, and sometimes weeks, when innovation in the kitchen eludes me. I try to prepare a meal plan every week (When they’re more organized, you see them posted here on the blog. This week was not one of those “more organized” weeks. There’s still a plan, but it’s rather basic.), but sometimes, I can’t think much beyond the same staples that reappear week after week – salad with grilled chicken, or meat+sweet potato+veggie. While I love the simplicity of those meals (I can do those on auto-pilot, which is wonderful after a long day at work), I don’t experience that joy in the kitchen that comes from freeing myself from the norm and really getting creative with ingredients. So last week, when I was working on the menu once again, I paused.

Must come up with something different.

Then I glanced at the grocery store ads, and saw that shrimp was on sale. Love shrimp. It’s fast, lean, and so tasty – perfect for a weeknight meal. But what to do with it?

We love lettuce wraps here in the Tasty Eats At Home household. Often I make a gluten-free version of these lettuce wraps (using gluten-free soy sauce and simply omitting the oyster sauce), and I use not only ground pork, but sometimes I’ll use ground turkey, chicken, beef, or even game meats, like ground antelope, to change things up a bit. But last week, I thought I should look at our lettuce wraps with fresh eyes. With shrimp, they would be something new. I also thought a summer-y, almost tropical flair would be a perfect change of pace. Hence, these wraps were born.

These wraps are light and bright, topped with a fresh slaw of jicama, carrots, and cabbage, but the hint of chipotle is enough to give the flavors balance, interest, and substance. Both my husband and I truly loved the coconut flakes, though. They really added that unique tropical flavor without being overwhelming. (It doesn’t hurt that we both love coconut – I’m a coconut fiend!) Surprisingly, with the slaw, shrimp, and lettuce stored in separate containers, these wraps were even pretty tasty for lunch the following day. These are definitely a new item to include in the regular menu rotation!

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Jicama Slaw

 1 T coconut oil

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

 2 T chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 t chipotle chile powder

salt and pepper to taste

Romaine lettuce leaves, separated

2 T toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

Jicama slaw (recipe below)

 Heat oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with green onion, garlic, chipotle chile powder, salt, and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add shrimp to pan and spread out in a single layer. Allow to brown for a minute or two, then stir to flip shrimp to the other side to finish browning, 3-4 minutes more, depending on the size of your shrimp. Shrimp will be cooked through when it turns pink. This happens fairly quickly, so don’t go too far! Remove from heat.

Fill lettuce leaves with shrimp, then top with a bit of coconut and jicama slaw. (This is also fun when you serve each component separately at the table, and allow your diners to build their own lettuce wraps.) Serves 3-4.

 

Jicama Slaw

2 c very thinly sliced red cabbage

1 1/2 c shredded jicama (I just used the shredder on my food processor)

3 carrots, peeled and shredded (I just used the shredder on my food processor)

2 T chopped green onion

2 T chopped fresh parsley (cilantro would also be good here)

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 orange

1 t chipotle chile powder

1 t honey

salt to taste

Add cabbage, jicama, carrots, green onion, and parsley in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lime and orange juices, chipotle chile powder, honey, and a bit of salt. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss until everything is well-coated. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Can be made an hour or two in advance – chill until ready.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Daring Bakers: Candylicious – Chocolate Coconut Candies and Peanut Butter Fudge

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! We were challenged to make one chocolate candy that required tempering the chocolate, and one non-chocolate candy.

I love to make candy. During the holidays, I tend to go wild making everything from nut truffles to chocolate pecan pralines to brittle. And while I take care to melt my chocolate in a double boiler (well, actually, a stainless bowl set over a small saucepan with simmering water, but it does the job), I’ve never actually tempered chocolate. But after reading instructions in our Daring Bakers’ Challenge, I was sure I was up to the task. And since I’ve been craving coconut, I thought it was high time I try to recreate one of my favorite candy bars – a Mounds bar. I already had a lot of various candy molds, since I purchased them to make peanut butter cups (the desire to make candy extends to other members of the family too), so I put them to work.

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to temper the chocolate properly, as you’re supposed to bring down the chocolate to around 80 degrees F to get it to temper properly. It’s been a miserable 100+ degrees F here for over 60 days so far this summer. This means our house is hot too – many times, the kitchen is around 80 in the afternoon. However, I happen to have a marble slab, and so I snuck it into the freezer for a bit so I could be sure my chocolate would cool down as needed. Worked like a charm. In fact, the heat had no real bearing on the whole project, except that in spite of the chocolate being tempered, during the photo shoot, I still managed to get fingerprints on it. Whoops. They’re tasty enough though, that I hope I’m forgiven.

If not, there’s always peanut butter fudge. I chose to adapt the recipe that our hostesses chose to be dairy-free and refined sugar-free. I have some co-workers that are peanut butter fans, so I thought this would go over well at the office. (Or else I’ll be in trouble for bringing too many treats…we’ll have to see!) Even though I used coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar and powdered sugar called for in the recipe, it still was quite sweet – a truly rich treat for a peanut butter lover.

This was a wonderful challenge – as always, I am up for candy making. Now, it’s time to promptly get rid of this evil, overly-tempting candy share the fruits of my labor before I indulge in any more though!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Coconut Candy (a.k.a. “Mounds” candy)

4 oz high-quality dark chocolate, chopped

2/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 c coconut milk

1 T coconut oil

2 T raw agave nectar

1 t coconut manna (optional, but gives an additional punch of coconut-y deliciousness)

pinch of salt

Prepare a double boiler. Once water is simmering, add chocolate to the top bowl/pot. Allow to melt and come to about 113-120 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Scrape chocolate onto a cool marble slap, and using a bench scraper, smooth out the chocolate and move it around the slab to help it cool. Once it’s about 80 degrees F, scrape the chocolate back into the double boiler. Allow to come to about 90 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Chocolate is now ready for the mold.

Using a small paintbrush, paint chocolate into the molds of your choice. Allow to dry. (I had to place the molds into the fridge for 10 minutes or so to set) Meanwhile, prepare the coconut filling by stirring together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. When your molds are ready, spoon a small amount into each mold, being careful not to overfill. Your filling shouldn’t come all the way to the top. Paint more chocolate on top of the filling, making sure you “seal” the edges and smooth it out. Allow to dry (or stick in fridge again for 10-15 minutes). When ready, turn molds over and carefully pop each chocolate from the mold.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 c vegan buttery sticks

2 1/4 c coconut palm sugar

1/2 c coconut milk

3/4 c smooth peanut butter (natural, no sugar added)

1 t vanilla extract

3 1/2 c coconut palm sugar, powdered (you can find out how to powder coconut palm sugar at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free - I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch)
Place buttery stick into a medium saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Add coconut palm sugar and coconut milk, stirring. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla. Place powdered coconut palm sugar into a large mixing bowl. Pour hot peanut butter mixture over powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pour fudge into an 8 by 8 inch pan. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins, and a Meal Plan for August 22-26, 2011

During the week, breakfasts have to be quick. I eat breakfast at my desk at work, (I know, probably not ideal, but I HATE the idea of eating earlier, at home, only to be starving at 9am again. I leave the house around 6:30-45 in the morning, and that’s just too early to eat!) so whatever I bring must be portable, easily and quickly microwaveable, and low on the mess factor. Many times, this means I make something in advance, and reheat it as needed.

This week, I made egg muffins. No, not sweet, carb-heavy, make-you-sleepy-then-hungry-soon-after muffins. These are a savory, nutrient-packed breakfast. They’re muffins in name only – they were made in a muffin tin. Truth be told, they’re more like mini-frittatas. And contrary to what you might be thinking – they actually reheat in the microwave quite well. Just make sure not to overdo it: I warmed up three of these babies this morning for breakfast for just under a minute. A healthy, tasty, protein-packed breakfast in a minute. That’s my kind of meal.

Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

8 large eggs

Salt and pepper

1 t coconut oil, plus more for greasing pan

1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice

2 oz roasted red pepper, diced (about ¼ cup)

1 green onion, minced

10 green olives, chopped

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with oil and set aside. Scramble eggs in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add oil. Add zucchini and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned and just starting to soften. Add red pepper, green onion, and olives and sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Divide vegetables evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Divide the scrambled eggs evenly among the muffin cups, pouring the eggs over the vegetables.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set in the center.

Serves 4.

 

These will be on the menu this week, along with a lot of other (hopefully) delicious new creations. Stay tuned, if they’re good, they may be coming to a future blog post (or the cookbook!)!

Monday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover tilapia with tomatillo-avocado salsa (salsa was good. fish needs work.), green beans, leftover eggplant salad with dehydrated tomatoes, olives, and parsley (this is definitely a cookbook candidate!)

Snack: homemade beef jerky, orange

Dinner: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Cabbage-Carrot-Jicama Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover shrimp lettuce wraps, or if no leftovers, tuna salad with leftover tomatillo-avocado salsa and spinach

Snack: pear, beef jerky

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with Peach Glaze, roasted red potatoes, sauteed okra

Wednesday

Breakfast: green smoothie with spinach, pear, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs

Lunch: leftover pork tenderloin and okra

Snack: handful of hazelnuts

Dinner: large salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled chicken

Thursday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken

Snack: beef jerky, orange

Dinner: Thai Green Chicken Curry, braised eggplant

Friday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover chicken curry and eggplant

Snack: homemade beef jerky, pear

Dinner: paleo lasagna (a version based on Sarah’s over at Everyday Paleo - only I am thinking of adding some cashew-based “ricotta” cheese)

 

Do you eat breakfast on the go? What healthy, easy-to-grab foods do you often eat?

This post is linked to March Muffin Madness at Gluten-Free Easily.

Tomato Candy, or How to Dehydrate Tomatoes

Can you believe I’ve never tried to dry my own tomatoes? I buy sun-dried tomatoes for a lot of things – this zucchini casserole, or this sardine salad – and yet, I’ve never tried to preserve my own bit of summer. This past Saturday, I opted to pick up extra grape tomatoes at the farmer’s market just so I could make these sweet little nuggets. One caveat – I didn’t use the sun to make my “sun-dried” tomatoes. I used my dehydrator.

My only regret? That I didn’t buy more tomatoes! These couldn’t be simpler to make – just slice grape tomatoes in half, and lay them out in a single layer on the dehydrator screen. Pop them in the dehydrator and turn it to 125 degrees F for 20-22 hours. That’s it. I was surprised that they retained their beautiful, brilliant red, but even more delighted when I popped one on my mouth. Sweet, bright, and chewy – like a lovely bit of sunshine in my mouth. They were like tomato candy.

Want to make your own dehydrated tomatoes? Don’t have a dehydrator? Laying the tomatoes out on a rack in the oven at the lowest temperature could do a bang-up job as well. Most ovens don’t go quite as low, so the time needed would be shortened – maybe 10-12 hours – but you could still keep that lovely bit of sunshine for months to come.

These likely won’t keep on the shelf for a really long time – to be safe, I put mine in the fridge. They’ll keep for a long while that way. That is, if I don’t sneak in and munch on them every time the fridge door opens.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, and Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

Tasty Eats At Home has a new home!

Tasty Eats At Home has moved to a new URL – I can now be found at http://tastyeatsathome.com (dropped the .wordpress part of the address.) If you have subscribed via RSS or email through Feedburner, then you should still receive updates just as always – I’ve updated the feeds for you. If you subscribed through WordPress, however, you’ll have to re-subscribe through Feedburner (check out the links on the right-hand side of the page). For your convenience, the .wordpress site automatically redirects to the new Tasty Eats At Home page.

Another new feature – there is now a Recipe Index! Yes, now you can find your favorite Tasty Eats At Home recipes even more easily by checking out the Recipes tab at the top of the page.

I hope you’re as excited about these changes as I am – Tasty Eats At Home has long needed a bit of improvement, and now, it’s here!

If you have questions about the move or can’t find something, let me know. Thanks for your continued support!

Daring Cooks: Sri Lankan Beef Curry and Carrots with Tropical Flavors

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

I won’t go too much into Appam, as I didn’t make it. Right now, I am not eating grains or yeast, so I figured making a yeasted rice flatbread wasn’t in the cards. However, if you want to read about how to make these (and they look like the perfect accompaniment to a saucy curry!), check them out over at Mary Mary Culinary.

I did, however, jump right on some Sri Lankan curry! I love curries made with coconut milk. Spices + coconut milk = comfort food. (I’ve already mentioned this in my previous post about a Thai-inspired curry, but it’s really true!) This curry was different than most I’ve made; it used fresh curry leaves and tamarind pulp. Lucky for me, there is an Indian grocery not far from our house, and I was able to pick up the necessary ingredients.

As this curry simmered on the stove, the intoxicating aroma of spices filled the house. I could hardly wait until it was ready. I served it with spaghetti squash for me, brown rice for the hubby, and some amazing carrots with lime, peppers, shallots, and cilantro that was bright, fresh, and lightened up the heavier curry. It was a lovely meal. Next time, I think I might opt for a lower temperature when cooking the meat, and perhaps swap out the beef for a lamb or goat. The London Broil I used was a bit too lean, and ended up a tad dry for the dish. However, the flavors were sensuous and won me over.

Sri Lankan Beef Curry, adapted from Mangoes & Curry Leaves

1 lb boneless beef (I used London Broil)

1 T coconut oil

10 fresh or frozen curry leaves

1 green cayenne chili, finely chopped

generous 1 c  finely chopped onion

1 t turmeric

1 t salt

½ c coconut milk

1 T tamarind pulp (I had a jarred tamarind pulp with no seeds)

3 c water

1 T arrowroot powder

Dry Spice Mixture:

1 T coriander seeds

1 t cumin seeds

one 1-inch piece cinnamon or cassia stick

seeds from 2 pods of green cardamom

1. Cut the beef into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.

2. In a small heavy skillet, roast the dry spice mixture over medium to medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until it smells amazing!

3. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind/pound to a powder. Set aside.

4. In a large, wide pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry leaves, green chile, onion and turmeric and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the meat and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so all surfaces of the meat get browned.

5. Add the reserved spice mixture and the coconut milk and stir to coat the meat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  Add the tamarind pulp to the 2 cups of water. Whisk in the arrowroot powder.

7. Add the tamarind/water mixture to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered at a strong simmer for about an hour, until the meat is tender and the flavors are well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.

Carrots with Tropical Flavors, adapted from Mangoes & Curry Leaves

1 lb carrots, about 5 medium, peeled

1 T coconut oil

about 8 fresh curry leaves

2 T minced seeded green cayenne chiles

3 T minced shallots

2 t rice vinegar (I used lime juice)

1 t salt

¼ t honey

½ c coconut milk

¼ c water

coarse salt, optional

cilantro (coriander) leaves to garnish

1. Julienne or coarsely grate the carrots. Set aside.

2. Place a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add half of the curry leaves, the chiles and the shallots. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.

3. Add the carrots, stir, and add the vinegar/lime juice, salt, honey and mix well. Increase the heat and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they give off a bit of liquid.

4. Add the water and half of the coconut milk and bring to a fast boil. Stir, cover tightly and cook until just tender, 5 minutes or so, depending on size. Check to ensure the liquid has not boiled away and add a little more water if it is almost dry.

5. Add the remaining coconut milk and curry leaves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired, and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Raw Zucchini Noodles and a Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

Do you know what this is?

It’s zucchini noodles!

What are zucchini noodles? Well, they’re not really noodles, but rather, they are very thin strips of raw zucchini. I have a spiral slicer, and thought I’d put it to use making noodles. I wanted something grain-free to eat with a chicken curry, and this was just the thing.

The spiral slicer does make this super-easy, but if you don’t have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, flat noodles. Just peel the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, rotating as you go, until you get to the seeds. If you want, you can saute the noodles really briefly (like for a minute, tops), but I even enjoy them totally raw. They make the perfect base for any saucy dish. While I enjoy spaghetti squash as well, zucchini is a lovely change. (and since zucchini is in season, why not?)

So how about that curry?

This is definitely an easy weeknight curry. I didn’t make the curry paste from scratch. (shocker, I know) I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste. This made the whole dish come together much more quickly. While it’s not a traditional Thai curry (I haven’t seen many Thai curries with red cabbage and yellow squash…I just threw them in there because I had a ton of vegetables in the house that needed to be eaten, and it sounded tasty to me.), the flavors still worked well together. It was warm, slightly spicy, and comforting – all great attributes in a curry. (Aren’t saucy curries like, the ultimate comfort food? They are to me – and it doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian curry, a Thai curry, a Jamaican curry, or a totally-new-invention curry. They all make my belly happy.) And those zucchini noodles? They kept it from feeling heavy. In the summer, that’s a definite plus.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

2 T coconut oil, divided

1 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c coconut milk

1 5-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with side of knife (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or omit)

3 Kaffir lime leaves (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or sub a bit of lime zest)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 ½ c sliced red cabbage

1 tomato, chopped

2-3 T cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Swirl to heat, and add curry paste. Stir the paste around for a few seconds to get it sizzling. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Stir until the paste is evenly coating the chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened well and flavors have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste.

While the curry is simmering, heat another skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and swirl. Add the squash and cabbage and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and the cabbage is starting to wilt. Add the tomatoes and stir for a moment. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the curry and stir. Serve on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Easy Canvas Prints – It’s Time to Decorate!

I have a problem. I take a lot of photos. Mostly of food (duh), but I also have lots of photos of family. Where do I keep them all? On my hard drive. Where no one can see them. Sure, sometimes, they’re uploaded on Facebook, but that’s not exactly the best use of some of my favorite photos.  So when I recently received a complimentary canvas print for review from EasyCanvasPrints.com, I was pretty excited. I opted to have one of my photos printed on canvas to decorate our kitchen. (I chose the photo used for these Lemon Earl Grey Cookies I made earlier this year.) I’ve been meaning to hang some of my photos around the house, and this gave me the kick-start I needed.

Just check out this canvas. It has wonderful quality – it looks so professional, and you can choose to have the photo wrapped around the sides of the canvas, or have a solid edging in any color you wish. I was so impressed with this canvas. It’s now hanging on a small wall in my kitchen, so every time I walk in, I can admire it.

My canvas on my wall!

I also love that this company is (somewhat) local to me – they’re based out of Austin, Texas. Texans gotta stick together!

 
This would be a great opportunity for you to clean out that hard drive (c’mon, I know you have more than a few photos just knocking around on there) and be proud of your favorite photos. It’s easy to do. It’s also a great idea for a gift. Have photos of your children? Grandma would LOVE to have them on a canvas print! The possibilities are endless. Me? I’m contemplating taking some amazing photos the next time we travel, and blowing up my favorite one to hang on our wall. That way, we can be reminded of a great time every day.
 
 

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Life As A Plate (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Crockpot Chili)

grain-free primal bread

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is one of my favorite blog events. I’ve said it time and time again, but I love the opportunity to really get to know another blogger – test their recipes, read a lot of their posts, and the best part – taste their food. This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Sea over at Book of Yum. (She’s also the creator of this great event.) I was excited to adopt one of my new favorite bloggers – AndreAnna at Life As A Plate.

AndreAnna is inspirational to me. She struggled with weight issues (her story is here), but finally has found a new life through eating primally (via the Primal Blueprint – check it out over at Mark’s Daily Apple) and through Crossfit. She’s completed a Warrior Dash. Her blogs are definitely entertaining - one minute, you’re laughing at her wit, and the next, she will bring you close to tears as she shares deep, emotional, inspirational streams of thought. She cooks amazing meals that make me drool. In short, she is a badass. (I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term on this blog, but it’s by far the best descriptor I have for her.)

So what does little Tasty Eats At Home do when adopting AndreAnna? Try to keep up! I love primal/paleo eating. I have dabbled in and out of this for a while, finding that I feel better with fewer grains, fewer starches, and much less sugar (even natural sugars). So I knew her recipes would jive with my body. But what to make? Surprisingly, I made foods that aren’t normally associated with this time of year – rosemary olive oil bread and crockpot chili. Why? Well, the bread was just calling my name – and I had rosemary in the garden – and the crockpot chili didn’t involve any heating of my kitchen at the way-too-hot-to-think hour of 6pm. (I avoided that issue with the bread by baking it early in the day on Saturday.) Both were amazing.

The bread was soft. Pliable. Moist. Brittany enjoyed it at dinner (in fact, she had 4 slices!) with butter. I enjoyed it unadorned, restraining myself from matching Brittany slice-for-slice. I omitted the parmesan cheese, but threw in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes for a punch of flavor.

The chili was just as satisfying. In spite of the heat, I had a generous bowl (plus a tiny bit of a second helping) for dinner, and then portioned myself out some more for lunch the following day. It was even better the second day, and was a hearty meal I looked forward to eating. I didn’t put the ingredients in the crockpot in stages, as I wasn’t home to do so, but dumping everything in together and leaving it to simmer for hours worked just fine. I enjoyed it with onions and cilantro. Yum.

There are many, many more delicious recipes I could devour from AndreAnna’s blog. Collard greens? Yes, ma’am! And she and I must think alike, because she posted a kohlrabi slaw recipe too (looks SO good). And just in case you think there isn’t room for dessert on a primal diet, AndreAnna has desserts covered too.

After reading her latest post, I am further inspired. AndreAnna has the drive to push herself hard, encourage others to do so, but also has an incredible amount of grace. I think that I’ll also sign up for Warrior Dash next year- even if I finish last, I know I’ll finish. Thanks AndreAnna!

Menu Plan: Week of Aug 1 – Aug 5

photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

Yep, it’s that hot in Dallas this week. It’s been hot for a while. We have had 30 days in a row of 100+ degree weather. Today will be the 31st. No relief in sight, according to the weather forecast:

Yikes. Needless to say, there will not be any turning on of my oven for a few days. Dinners will be prepared on the stove, the grill, and in the crockpot. So even though we’re eating chili in August, I figure it works, since the crockpot puts out virtually no heat. (And chili is delicious any time of year!) Every little bit helps.

Monday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” – chopped zucchini and turkey chorizo with scrambled eggs, baked in a muffin tin (made these this weekend when the sun went down, so the house wasn’t too hot); steamed kale

Lunch: garden salad with leftover grilled chicken

Dinner: crockpot chili, spinach, slice of rosemary olive oil bread (from Life As A Plate - more info on this soon, as I’ve adopted AndreAnna this month for Adopt-A-Gluten-Free-Blogger!)

Snacks: bites of leftover grilled chicken, handful of hazelnuts

Tuesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, sauteed spinach

Lunch: crockpot chili, rosemary olive oil bread

Dinner: garden salad with grilled chicken (or alternatively, dinner out. I have a soccer game at 5:30. It’s indoor, thankfully.)

Snacks: homemade beef jerky, baby carrots

Wednesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, rosemary olive oil bread, sauteed spinach

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken or steak slices

Dinner: liver and onions, steamed spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli

Snacks: celery with almond butter, beef jerky

Thursday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” and spinach

Lunch: leftover liver and onions and broccoli, or if no leftovers, tuna salad with celery sticks and baby carrots

Dinner: picadillo (making this again – gotta share this recipe soon!), guacamole, fresh homemade salsa, spaghetti squash

Snack: handful of hazelnuts, baby carrots

Friday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, spinach or yellow squash

Lunch: leftover picadillo and guacamole

Dinner: paleo chicken strips (from Everyday Paleo - cooked in skillet), roasted potatoes, sauteed okra

Snacks: celery with almond butter