Last weekend when I was at the market, I purchased a lovely 3.5 lb lamb leg roast from our local lamb vendor – Henny Farms. While I was making my purchase, we discussed the lack of American familiarity with eating lamb. According to my friendly vendor, the eating of lamb fell out of popularity in the U.S. during world war II when large shipments of uncooked mutton were sent to soldiers who had to eat them raw as there was nowhere to cook them. I did some research online and while I couldn’t corroborate this particular explanation, I did discover some interesting facts about lamb in the U.S.A.
- In the U.S., per capita consumption of lamb (and mutton) is very low, less than one pound per person, compared to 57 pounds in New Zealand.
- Lamb is high in B vitamins, zinc, and iron.
- Only about 36 percent of the fat in lamb is saturated fat. The rest is mono or polyunsaturated fat, the “good” fat in one’s diet.
- Lamb is one of the richest sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA possesses unique and potent antioxidant activity.
Source – http://www.sheep101.info/lamb.html
Did I mention that lamb tastes great, too? If you haven’t had lamb or you’re just looking for a really easy way to cook a lamb roast, try the following recipe.
Quick and Easy Lamb Roast
- 3-4 lb lamb leg or shoulder roast ( usually use a frozen roast)
- 1/2 cup of water
- Crock pot
- Optional – salt, pepper, rosemary
If using a frozen roast do the preparation first thing in the morning, otherwise do this at noon.
- Optional – rub salt, pepper, choice of herbs over the outside of the lamb
- Place lamb roast in the crock pot
- Add 1/2 cup of water
- For frozen lamb roast – set crock pot to turn on at noon and cook for 5 hours on low. For thawed lamb roast – set crock pot to cook for 5 hours on low.
- After 5 hours of cooking time, remove lamb roast from crock pot. Let sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
- Use the juices at the bottom of the crock pot to make gravy.
In a moment of culinary desperation, I threw together the following ingredients and was pleasantly pleased with the results. More than that, my family consumed dinner (including the broccoli) and went back to seconds. This speaks to a recipe worth repeating.
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 2 lbs steak sliced very thin
- 3 carrots sliced
- 1 not-beef bullion cube dissolved in 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbs coconut aminos
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 bag frozen organic cauliflower
- 1 bag frozen organic broccoli
- 3 tbs arrowroot starch dissolved in 1 tbs water
- Melt coconut oil in large frying pan and add steak slices and carrots
- Cook steak slices until browned
- Add bullion cube mix, minced garlic, coconut aminos, ginger, cauliflower & broccoli to pan. Cover and simmer until meat is cooked through and broccoli and cauliflower are hot (about 20 mins)
- Stir in arrow root starch mix and stir until the mixture thickens.
- Serve and enjoy!
After working strenuously in the garden for the first half of spring break, I found myself with a craving for strawberry lemonade. Given the strength of the craving, you’d think that I’d be laboring away in the hot sun. But no, this is the Pacific Northwest, and I have been laboring in the rain. Regardless, I still wanted strawberry lemonade! All the old, sugary, Country Time Lemonade went out in my purge of the pantry. So, I came up with this quick to make, sugar-free, and completely Paleo strawberry lemonade.
- Juice lemons and strawberries in a juicer and pour juice into blender
- Fill the blender 1/3 full of ice
- Add cold water to the 1/2 way mark on the blender
- Add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of Stevia
- Puree 1-2 minutes
- Pour and enjoy!
Wow! This was so refreshing and I have to say, having made my own strawberry lemonade this way, I much prefer it to heavily processed, sugary concoctions from the grocery store.
Tacos were a huge staple in our house before we went Paleo, and I’m happy to report they haven’t gone away. I have yet to be successful making a coconut flour tortilla, so until I am, I have gone a different direction in creating “shells” for my tacos. We use zucchini “shells” but you could use summer squash or any other type of squash, just modify the cooking time.
- zucchini (2 per person)
- 1-2 lbs ground lamb, bison or beef
- unsweetened ketchup
- garlic powder
- sliced olives
- avocado or guacamole
- taco sauce
- diced tomato
- Add ground meat, unsweetened ketchup (to personal taste, I use quite a bit) and garlic powder to frying pan and cook until the meat is browned
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the insides (reserve for use in later recipe – for example almond flour zucchini muffins) creating a “boat”
- Lay zucchini “shells” on cookie tray and stuff with browned meat
- Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
- Add olives, avocado, guacamole, taco sauce, diced tomato and any other toppings you like
Here’s a recipe I modified today to have for a late lunch. I used agave and I found that it brought out the subtle flavors in the pork.
- 4lbs Pork Ribs (I prefer boneless)
- 1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking dish with foil
- Season ribs with salt & pepper (if you like – I’m not a big user of salt so I don’t bother with this step)
- Combine syrup, garlic, ginger, olive oil and lemon juice in bowl and whisk
- Spoon about a third of the mixture over ribs to coat. Cover ribs with foil and bake 30 minutes
- Uncover, turn ribs over, and spoon more glaze on top. Bake another 15-25 minutes until meat is tender and glaze is dark.
Serve with applesauce for a tasty meal. Makes plenty of leftovers too.
When we went Paleo, I quickly discovered that store bought BBQ sauce was not going to cut it in our new lifestyle. Most store bought BBQ sauce lists high-fructose corn syrup in the top two ingredients. The rare one that doesn’t, contains a heavy dose of sugar. Ouch! Out went several fast and easy to prepare recipes until I came up with my own fast and easy BBQ sauce and tested it out on chicken gizzards last night.
- Heat coconut oil in large stainless steel frying pan and add gizzards. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Mix ketchup, molasses, coconut aminos and garlic powder in a bowl.
- Stir sauce into gizzards and cook about 5 more minutes.
I will point out that there is some debate about whether black strap molasses is truly acceptable in the Paleo lifestyle. You could choose to try this with honey, maple syrup or some other natural sweetener. In molasses’ favor are the facts that it has a strong flavor and requires very little be added to any dish, has significantly less monosaccharide fructose than honey, and contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Eating a Paleo diet has really opened my eyes to the variety of meats available in the market. I’ve enjoyed exploring speciality meat markets and finding all kinds of things to try. A few weeks ago I was in Corvallis Oregon and went to Emmons Meat Market where I found alligator in the freezer. Well, I’m adventuresome so I purchased some with no actual idea what I was going to do with it. After chatting with a couple of people I learned a) there is a general opinion that alligator tastes like chicken and b) alligator is best breaded and fried.
Well, I decided to test the “tastes like chicken” opinion and I defrosted the alligator and a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I sliced both into strips, “breaded” them in hazelnut flour, and baked them in the oven for 20 minutes (recipe below). I also prepared a paleo honey mustard dip to go with them.
The verdict? This recipe was tasty with both alligator strips and chicken strips. Alligator does taste like chicken but it’s texture is very different and it is chewier. The honey mustard mix complimented the alligator and chicken strips.
Alligator (or chicken) strips
- 2 lbs alligator strips or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips
- 1 goose eggs or 2 chicken eggs
- 1 cup hazelnut flour
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Olive oil in a mister/spray canister (I like the Mr. Misto spray canister)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Slice chicken/alligator into strips
- Spray cookie tray with olive oil
- Mix hazelnut flour, paprika, pepper, and garlic in a bowl or on a small plate
- Put egg in a separate bowl and whisk until well mixed
- Dip each strip into the egg and then roll in the hazelnut flour mix and place on the tray
- Once tray is completely loaded, spray strips with a light misting of olive oil.
- Place tray in middle of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip strips over and bake for 10 more minutes
- Serve with sauce and veggies
Honey Mustard Dip
I made two versions of this dip, one with honey and one with agave.
- 2 TBS honey or agave syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Combine and serve in a small dipping cup. (I use this set of dipping cups from amazon.com and really like them: NEW, Dozen 2½ Oz. (Ounce) All-Purpose Ramekin Individual Sauce Cups, Condiment Sauce Cups, Sauce Ramekins, Dipping Sauce Cups, Stainless Steel, Commercial/Restaurant Grade Quality)
An interesting twist on this dip recipe – when I made the honey version I didn’t realize that I had used a honey that had cinnamon in it. It was very tasty and added a real bite to the meal. If you don’t like spicy, I would avoid trying this version.
Escargot became very popular in our household after we ate it out at a fancy restaurant. We all enjoy eating this unusual dish. The downside is that escargot can be very expensive to purchase at a restaurant. Additionally, finding escargot can be a challenge. While I live in a nice damp climate that is beloved by slugs and snails alike, I’m not inclined to go remove them from my outdoor greens and eat them. Where do I head when I can’t find a food I’m interested in? The Internet, of course! And I found them at amazon.com. Cases of canned escargot that just needed preparation. I should add that they don’t come with directions!
I spent some time experimenting and came up with this quick and easy recipe for escargot. I recommend serving this as an appetizer or over the top of another meat (steak, burger) as a sauce.
- Mix olive oil, wine, and powdered garlic in a small frying pan. Heat to simmering
- Add escargot to pan and simmer 5 minutes or until warm.
- Serve and enjoy!
This is a recipe that I make to take the place of rice. It is actually the result of me misunderstanding the directions for a recipe my sister gave me over the phone. However, having made it incorrectly several times, we’ve decided my version is pretty good.
- Add all ingredients to saucepan
- Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed by the cauliflower
I am a devotee of the crock pot. Why? Well, I don’t like coming home from work on a busy day and facing the prospect of spending 45 minutes to an hour preparing dinner. I like to put frozen meat in the crock pot in the morning along with a great mix of ingredients, and come home to a main course that is ready to go. Then I just add veggies, fruit, and away we go.
The crock pot dinner I prepared first thing this morning was so tasty I decided to go ahead and post the recipe. This is a “paleoified” (is that a word?) recipe from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking which is a fantastic book full of gluten-free, but not necessarily paleo recipes. I’ve modified the recipe so it meets the requirements of my paleo diet. In the original it also uses cranberries instead of cherries, but cranberries are quite unpopular in my household.
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBS dried onion flakes
2-3 lbs top or bottom round roast
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 TBS agave syrup or honey
1/2 cup dried cherries
Mix arrowroot starch, salt, pepper and onion flakes. Rub dry mixture on all sides of the meet. Discard remaining dry mixture and place meat in crock pot. Add the garlic and liquid ingredients; no need to stir. Sprinkle on the cherries. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (depends on the cooking speed of your crock pot. Mine cooks fast!)
Serve with steamed veggies or cauliflower “rice” for which I will post a recipe in the near future.
The end result:
Tonight’s dinner was praised by the eaters! That makes it a winner. Plus there were enough left overs for lunch tomorrow which makes it a double winner in my book.