Sunday, February 19, 2012

My adventures with Buckwheat, Part 3

I made Kashi, and it smelled and tasted like something an old Yiddish Bubbie would make for you when you were little. And it was great!
I bought the regular Kashi brand you can buy in the kosher section of any North Suburban grocery store. I followed the box's directions and made a side of steamed vegetables. That was it. Nothing too adventurous but I plan on modifying it more in the future. Definitely tasted like the old world.

Evil Evil Shmookies

Danny wanted cookies. So I made him cookies from scratch. This is NOT Paleo... this is just pure evil.
So I never really made cookies from scratch before. I scrambled through a whole bunch of online recipes and instructions and just went with it. I am sure this can be modified as Paleo with coconut or almond flour instead of the regular flour I ended up using. The consistency ended up being a combo of a cookie, muffin and scone, so I just started calling them Shmookies.

2 Eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Margarine
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 3/4 cup flour (boooo... hiss!)
1 small bag of crushed up Reese's Peanut butter cups
1 medium piece of crushed up dark chocolate
1 teaspoon baking soda

I probably did this all wrong, but it ended up being good, so whatever
I mixed the margarine, coconut oil, sugar and flour together by hand, pretty lazily. then I added the eggs and baking soda. I kept mixing by hand until the texture started to even out and then added in the Reese's and the dark chocolate. I mixed the dough by hand until I was satisfied with the consistency (it was still pretty chunky... but I didn't care).
I put foil on a pizza pan, I don't own any cookie sheets, sprayed it with Pam and made huge cookie dough lumps on it.
Baked it for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until done.

Danny was very pleased. I was surprised I actually made something tasty. This barely took any time to make too.


Zucchini Lasagna part 2, this time better, and squash-ier!

Zucchini Lasagna Revisited as Squash Lasagna!

So I made a second crack at this tasty Paleo Lasagna. This time I did it almost 100% perfectly!
The instructions are similar to the previous Zucchini Lasagna post I made before with slight modifications.

2 Medium sized yellow squashes
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 bag of fresh spinach leaves
2-3 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 egg
1 medium diced onion
1 can of tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes

Slice the Yellow squashes length wise, cook them on a pan for about 2-3 minutes each side (this is to get rid of most of the moisture so the lasagna isn’t too watery)

Sweat the diced onions and add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and any spices to taste. Heat on medium and stir occasionally

Mix the Ricotta, spinach and egg together. You can also add spices to this mix as well.

In a casserole dish spray pam or butter the bottom. Add the first layer of squash “noodles”, then add the ricotta mix, then the tomato mix. Repeat until all are used up. 
The top layer should have a bunch of fresh spinach on its own, topped with the shredded mozzarella.

 Bake covered for 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees. Bake uncovered to brown the cheese for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to serve.

This stuff is too delicious!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Savory Lentil Soup

So my coworker Monica frequently brings in this lovely lentil soup she makes and it seemed easy enough for me to try for the first time and as always, I put my own spin on it. Mine did not come out as pretty as hers, but it was damn tasty.

3 cups of dry green lentils
8-12 cups of water (depending on how thick you want the soup to be)
2 cups sliced fresh tomatoes
1 whole medium sized white onion
Seasonings to taste: Parsley, Oregano, Powdered Garlic, Salt, Pepper

In a separate pan, sweat the onions then add to the boiling water, lentils, tomatoes and seasonings.
Once boiling lower heat to medium/high and cover for about 1 hour.
Once done the lentils should be soft. Add entire contents, including water, to blender. Blend until desired texture. I liked mine a little chunkier than smooth. I also added Worcestershire sauce to taste.
Serve in bowl, add dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of parsley to make it look pretty and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinaigrette.
It’s easy to store in the freezer or fridge, and hot water can always be added in the future to make it smoother.


My adventures with Buckwheat Part 2

Buckwheat Crisp snack with Tomato and anchovy spread

This adventure turned out delicious!
Being on the Paleo lifestyle, you still frequently crave crunchy types of things that you can spread other things on. Since Crackers are out of the question, the Buckwheat Crisp is a decent replacement. It is bland, but has a satisfying crunch and is a good vehicle for tasty spreads.
Here is the brand my parents gave me to try. It is about $3 per box… a bit pricey but a nice snack once in a while

Buckwheat Crisp
Leftover tomato sauce from my Adventures with Buckwheat Part 1 post
Canned anchovies
Parmesan cheese

Spread tomato sauce on crisp, layer 1-2 anchovies on, drizzle with a little bit of the oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
That’s some tasty stuff right there.

My Adventures with Buckwheat, Part 1

Buckwheat Pasta with simple Tomato sauce and Parm cheese
So Buckwheat is technically a seed from a plant that I was told was in the rhubarb family. It is not a form of wheat, so it is technically Paleo Safe. I honestly don’t miss pasta too much but I figured I would give it a shot. I was being optimistic, but Danny looked entirely grossed out by it.
Here is the brand of spiral pasta that I got:

I followed the directions on it as best I could but it turned out to be a nightmare… and surprisingly Danny was the one that ended up liking it, mostly because it tasted like Kasha. The consistency was grainy and mealy. I couldn’t drown it in enough sauce to make it decent. Moral of the story this was a fail, but here is how I made it anyways

Buckwheat Pasta
Boiling salted water
Tomato Paste
1 can of diced tomatoes
I tablespoon of Ricotta Cheese
Oregano, Parsley, Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the pasta per the bag’s instructions, then start swearing at the pasta for not cooking properly, drain and serve in bowl.
Mix the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, ricotta and seasonings on stove top to create the sauce until it is hot.
Serve on nasty excuse for a pasta and add a nice layer of Parmesan cheese to mask the flavor
Scarf down as quickly as possible, regret everything. Vow to never make again.

Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs and Walnut Avocado Salad

Danny’s Lemon Butter thighs… bow chicka wow wow

I am HORRIBLE at cooking chicken…. No matter how I prepare it, it always comes out dry and bland. Danny however is a chicken king. So I made him cook me dinner.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (we made a whole bunch so we would have leftovers)
Margarine (or butter if you prefer). About 2-4 tablespoons.
Flour (only a tablespoon or so to thicken the sauce)
2-4 juiced lemons
Parsley, Oregano, Sea Salt and black pepper to taste.

The chicken should already be thawed. In a large stove top pan melt margarine over medium high heat. Add the flour to thicken the sauce and the lemon juice to taste.
Add the thigh’s to the pan. While cooking add in seasoning and use a spoon to gather the sauce on the chicken every few minutes to coat it.
Cook chicken 6-7 minutes per side.
Place thighs on oven pan and bake in 400 degree oven until done
Serve and smother with the awesome sauce!

Side dish:
Walnut Avocado Salad
1 Avocado
Handful of unsalted walnuts
Sesame oil
Rice Vinegar
Add to taste: Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Cilantro

Directions: Mix all together and serve.