Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasted Tomatoes

Normally I try to can a large batch of tomatoes every fall. This fall we were just too busy to do an epic canning session but I still needed to store the boxful of tomatoes we harvested from the garden. I saw this recipe online and new it was the perfect lazy solution!

(I was even lazier about blogging... hence why this is only just getting posted in January...)

Once roasted, the tomatoes can be stored in the freezer and pulled out as required for soups and pasta sauces.

Adapted from David Lebovitz


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
8 to 10 branches fresh thyme
Spring fresh rosemary

1 pound tomatoes


Pour the olive oil into a shallow non-metallic baking dish. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and remove the stems. Toss the tomatoes in the oil and herbs. Lay the tomatoes cut side down in the dish.

Bake for two hours or until the tomatoes start to wrinkle.

Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to six months.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Korean Barbecue Ribs

We are into the third week of the Whole30 - the end is in sight! It helps that the results are becoming noticeable - less bloating, more energy, less cravings.

This past Friday Dave picked up a package of pork ribs as a treat. Then I was tasked with finding us a substitute recipe that did not have brown sugar, honey or maple syrup like our typical rib sauce. I turned to my favorite paleo blogs (Nom Nom Paleo, PaleOMG ) for inspiration and then headed to the pantry to throw together a Korean barbecue style sauce.

The results was delicious!

This recipe could easily be used  as a marinate for chicken breast or thighs.

Serves 4


2 pounds pork or beef ribs
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilies
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soya sauce)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, ground
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Stove Top or Grill Method

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the ribs to the water. Reduce the heat and boil for 20 minutes or until the ribs are just cooked through.

Remove the ribs from the water and place onto a foil lined roast pan. Preheat the grill or broiler in the oven.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the ribs making sure to coat all sides evenly.

Grill or broil for 3 to 4 minutes, watching constantly so they do not burn. Flip the ribs, brush with sauce and broil for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve warm with additional sauce for dipping.

Slow Cooker Method

In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Pour the mixture over the ribs making sure to coat all sides evenly.
Arrange the ribs in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place onto a foil lined roast pan. Preheat the broiler in the oven. Broil the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes, watching constantly so they do not burn. Flip the ribs, brush with sauce and broil for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Serve warm with the remaining sauce.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Homemade {Paleo} Mayonnaise

We are starting our second week of the Whole30 and the cravings have hit hard... grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese... It doesn't help that David is sick, really sick.

We made up a batch of homemade mayonnaise and it certainly goes along way to perk up meals. A tiny dab, plain or flavoured with curry, makes vegetables a lot more appealing when you have been eating a lot of vegetables.

The batch seemed to be thickening nicely but then completely separated when I added the last little bit of oil. Not wanting to throw out good mayonnaise, I found instructions for saving homemade mayonnaise from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

To thicken failed mayonnaise:

  • Place two egg yolks a new bowl
  • Place the bowl in warm water for a few minutes
  • Once the eggs are warm, blend well
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Slowly drip the failed mayonnaise into the yolks blending constantly
  • Continue to slowly drip in the mayonnaise until it thickens and all of the mayonnaise has been added

You can find some good tips to prevent your mayonnaise from failing in the first place at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and The Clothes Make the Girl.

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo, makes approximately 1 cup


1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil, macadamia nut oil or avocado oil


Place the egg yolk, salt, mustard, vinegar and lemon in a large bowl. Whisk to combine, about 30 seconds. Whisking can be done by hand, using an immersion blender or using a food processor.

Add the oil slowly while whisking constantly. Continue whisking until the mayonnaise has emulsified and thickened.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Paleo Osso Buco

We have made it to day 5 of our Whole30 challenge. My lifesavers so far: coffee with coconut milk, rooibos tea, coconut flakes and SeaSnax. Surprisingly, however, I have managed to significantly cut my caffeine consumption and am typically only having one cup of coffee a day as opposed to the two or three I would consume before Christmas.

My restaurant experience *almost* worked according to plan except the waitress forgot I had asked for no feta on the salad. Not wanting to make a fuss, I didn't send it back and simply picked off as much as I physically could. Now I understand why Whole30 is so adamant on absolutely no cheating... although it was not my slip up, the microscopic amount of cheese I consumed sent me into a mental tailspin and I was ready to throw in the towel. I managed to get my head back in the game and baked two dozen cupcakes for a co-workers going away party without so much as licking a spoon.

We are going to attempt the restaurant thing again tonight... this time it is both of us going out for tapas so I feel like we stand a good chance.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
2 pounds veal shanks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup beef or veal stock
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 5.5 ounce can tomato paste


Preheat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper. Brown the veal on both sides.

Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Saute until softened.

Add the stock, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer until the veal is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes depending on size.

Serve with oven roasted brussel sprouts or sweet potatoes.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paleo Fajitas

We are on our third day of the Whole30 challenge and so far so good... even with birthday cake and cinnamon buns at the office on Monday. However today I need to survive a work lunch at a pub... I have studied the menu online and have my plan set - a Mediterranean Salad with grilled chicken topped with oil and vinegar dressing. Fingers crossed it all goes according to plan!

Dave is also set for a big challenge as he is away on an overnight backcountry ski trip. He volunteered to be in charge of meals so that he can be in control of what he eats. It took a lot of work but we did manage to come up with a back country menu that fit the Whole9 criteria. For breakfast he packed eggs, homemade sausage and roasted sweet potatoes. Lunch will be hard boiled eggs, homemade beef jerky, canned smoked mussels and vegetables. Coconut chips, nuts and fruit were packed for snacks. For dinner, he brought the ingredients for fajitas. This worked especially well since one of his trip mates is vegetarian - it will allow everyone to customize their fajitas to their dietary restrictions.

Fajitas are an obvious paleo recipe - if you take away the tortillas, cheese and sour cream, you basically have plate of flavourful meat and vegetables. Plus anything you can top with guacamole is a winner in my books.

Serves 4


1 pound chicken, beef or pork, sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin

1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 portobello mushroom, sliced, optional

2 avocados
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Hot sauce, to taste

Lime juice
Hot sauce


Combine in meat, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss to combine. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or over night.

Preheat the over to 400 F. Combine the sweet potato, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and olive oil in a bowl. Toss to coat the potatoes. Transfer to a pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft.

In a skillet over medium high heat, saute the marinated meat. Once the meat is cooked through, add the onion, peppers and mushrooms. Saute until soft.

In the mean time, combine the avocados, lime juice, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce in a bowl. Mash with a fork until the avocados are creamy.

Serve the meat and vegetables over the sweet potatoes. Top with guacamole. Garnish with lime juice, cilantro and hot sauce if desired.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Whole30 Challenge


As part of our New Years Resolutions, David and I have decided to do the Whole30 program. Based on the paleo diet and Whole9, the Whole30 is a 30 day eating program that challenges you to strip out all of the foods that may be negatively affecting your health in hopes that it will change the way you eat for the rest of your life. Sounds amazing right?

The concept of Whole30 is simple:
  • Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Do not eat grains
  • Do not eat legumes
  • Do not eat dairy
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • Do not eat white potatoes
  • Do not paleo-ify dessert or junk food choices
  • No cheating!

We gave ourselves a week of grace to ensure all of the leftover holiday goodies would be out of the house and are officially starting today. As we go along I will post updates, recipes and menus.

Wish us luck!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

African Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 8


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 pounds sweet potato
5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup tahini or peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed chillies
1 can coconut milk, optional


In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until softened. Add the celery, sweet potato, turmeric, cumin, paprika and chillies and saute for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the broth, salt and nut butter. Stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree the soup using a blender or hand blender.

For a creamier soup, return the pureed soup to the pot and add coconut milk. Stir to combine and simmer until heated through.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Ultimate Hardwood & Stainless Cleaner

I have definitely tried my fair share of miracle cleaners over the years... especially since the advent of Pinterest. However I have finally found one I LOVE and am happy to share.

Our hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances are the bane of my existence. No matter how hard I scrubbed or how many different products as I tried, I could never keep them as shiny as my OCD nature demanded. In one cleaning with this cleaner, both were sparkly clean.

The best part - no harsh chemicals or odours! I even use Dr Bronner's Soap instead of dish soap to give it a yummy peppermint smell.


1 cup vinegar
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
2 to 3 drops dish soap


Using a funnel, combine the ingredients in a spray bottle.

For wood floors, simply lightly mist the floors with cleaner and wipe with a micro fibre mop.

For stainless steel, lightly mist and wipe with a dry rag.

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