Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beef and Cauliflower Soup

We have been trying to follow a Paleo/Primal diet for a while. It started when our first daughter and I had a stubborn case of thrush and a holistic nutritionist I met said that dietary changes were the only way we were going to kick it for good. We have fallen off the wagon several times, but we notice that we feel better when we cut back on grains and other starchy foods.

Well with a new baby at home, I was very focused on quick easy meals that our toddler would eat with us. We relied on pasta more than I'd like to admit, and the times that we did get the paleo style meals I hoped for, it was pretty boring. Everything was pan fried or steamed because I didn't want to turn the oven  on during the Phoenix summer, and not much seasoning. Just some type of meat or fish and two vegetables and repeat.

I happened on The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley at the library. We started cooking our way through it and really enjoyed it. It includes meal plans and shopping lists which I love (I've always been a sucker for those), and the food tastes great. My one complaint is that I don't like the mix of meals. We are talking about cooking our way through it again, but I think I will rewrite the meal plans and shopping lists so that you don't end up with a bunch of beef one week, lots of fish the next, or lots of greens followed by only white and yellow veggies, etc. I'll be sure to share my rewritten meal plans and shopping lists with you.

One of the recipes we recently tried was for Bison Stew. We had to use beef because our Meat Shop didn't have any bison stew meat. The results were delicious. I love the combination of beef broth and cauliflower. It tastes so rich and decadent. Yum!

Beef and Cauliflower Soup (based on The Food Lovers Kitchen)

2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 T coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
6 cups of beef broth
3 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
fermented sauerkraut
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven. Remove the meat from the pan. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the meat and broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5-6 hours, adding the cauliflower for the last hour of cooking. Top with sauerkraut and serve.

This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday, Full Plate Thursday and Frugal Food Thursday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pretending It's Fall

I don't know if you've heard, but Phoenix is really hot. I'm talking about 118 degrees for most of the week after our daughter was born in June. But the extreme temperatures aren't the worst part of it, the worst part is how long the heat lasts. The monotony of hot and sunny weather day after day really gets old. Now this might seem like a lame complaint while parts of the country are already facing snow, but we had a high of 95 degrees  last week. That's just ridiculous for the middle of November. I've started to wear jeans and long sleeve shirts in order to feel like the weather is changing. I've also started to make some roasts and soups (more relevant to discussions here) to have a change of pace from the salads and lighter meals we favor during the summer.

We had a delicious brisket last week as part of my effort to celebrate fall through fashion and food. In addition to working well for fall, it requires very little hands-on prep, and one cooking session prepared a couple of meals. Both qualities that I look for in a meal these days with a two year old and four month old running and rolling around. We got the recipe out of The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking, but I have included an on-line link for the recipe.

Fall Brisket (from The Food Lovers Kitchen)

2 yellow onions, chopped
5 lb beef brisket
dried basil
1 can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread onion in baking pan. Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, basil and oregano over both sides of the brisket. Place the meat on the onions. Bake for 1 hour uncovered. Sprinkle additional basil and oregano and pour the tomato sauce over the brisket. Bake for 4 more hours, flipping halfway through.

Let rest and then thinly slice, and serve with sauce spooned over the top.

This post is part of Gluten Free Wednesdays, WFMW and Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Well, it has been over a year since my last post... Of course as soon as I told the world we were starting to get our act together, we were thrown a curve ball. Surprise, baby number two was on it's way! Now baby number two is four months old, and we feel like we are hitting our stride, we'll give this revitalize the blog thing another go...

Stay tuned for cooking, parenting, gardening... and whatever else strikes our fancy.
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