Paleo Dishes

Salmon Chowder
Another recipe from Primal Cookbook. If you love clam chowder, you need to try this soup to taste the deliciousness. I can see myself making this soup regularly in the winter. 

2 slices of bacon, diced / I used turkey bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups chicken broth / I used the broth from slow cooked whole chicken
1 14.75 oz. can red salmon, separated into chunks, reserve juices for soup / I used this
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
Black pepper to taste
Extra dill to garnish

Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, until bacon fat is released.
(I added 1tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil since turkey bacon doesn't release any juice.) Add onion, dill, bay leaf, black pepper, and cayenne and cook until bacon is crispy. Add the celery, leek, and cauliflower and stir a little until the vegetables are warm, then add chicken broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Add salmon chunks and the juices and simmer a few minutes more. Stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve soup very warm in pre-warmed bowls. Garnish with dill and red pepper flakes. 


Pot Roast
I was craving for some juicy meat lately and I decided to make a pot roast for dinner and lunch. I wanted try one of the recipes in Primal Cookbook and this is coming from that book. I couldn't find bone-in meat and forgot to include oxtails. Bummer. Next time for sure. Despite the lack of oxtails, the roast came out nice, tender, and well seasoned. I had to adjust the oven rack during the cooking and that added additional time at the end. I served with Turkish vegetable dish called saksuka.

1 3-4 pounds beef chuck
2 large white onion - thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves - chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black pepper 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. 
Mix rub herbs together in a small bowl and apply generously to the meat. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and brown each side for 2 minutes. Once meat browned place it to a plate and add chicken broth to the pan. Glaze the broth with browned pieces and return the meat to the pan. Add sliced onions and garlic on top and cover with aluminum foil and add the lid. Place the pan on the bottom rack in the oven. Cook for 1 hour. Uncover and flip the roast and cook another hour, add liquid if necessary. Make sure onions are not burning by checking every 30 minutes. Cover the meat and cook additional hour until the meat is tender by touching with fork. 
Once cooked, place it on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 10 minutes. The sauce can be used as is or can be strained to use onions separately. 

Sauteed Vegetables - Saksuka
I had eggplants in the refrigerator and didn't want to make eggplant salad. This time, I made an authentic Turkish side dish called saksuka. The recipe calls for potatoes but I replaced them with sweet potatoes and turned out very nice. I also replaced the olive oil with extra virgin coconut oil and that added a nice sweet taste to it. You can adjust the amount of the ingredients to your needs. This yields 6 servings.

2 large eggplants - cut in cubes
3 sweet potatoes - cut in cubes
3 Anaheim peppers - sliced
3 garlic cloves - thinly chopped
2 14 oz can. diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup coconut oil - for frying
1/4 cup drained yogurt

TIP: Place eggplants in salt water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat them dry. This way, they will not soak up too much oil and it will get rid of the bitter taste. In the beginning of cooking they will soak up the oil in the pan but once they start cooking, they will release the oil.

Fry yams or sweet potatoes in the pan.  Once cooked, place them on a plate with paper towel. After that, fry eggplants in batches if there is no room in the pan. Place them on a plate with paper towel to reduce excess oil. 
Add garlic to the pan and stir once and add sliced peppers. Cook for 2 minutes and add diced tomatoes. Cook until juice evaporates completely and the raw smell of tomatoes are gone. 

To serve this dish, place the yogurt on a plate and add potatoes on yogurt, then eggplants, and tomato sauce. 

Dishes from previous weeks
Chicken in buttery caper sauce
Ground beef with vegetables
Grilled lamb over zucchini pasta
Moroccan  Chicken
Rogan Josh

Tilapia in a Creamy Shallot Sauce
We had another successful dinner in our house recently. Actually, I should say that eating Paleo style has been very successful. I enjoy every bite of food and don't have to worry about the calories or the fat I am about to consume. It is a beautiful feeling to eat what I want and not feel quilt. I never had problems with food when I was growing up. Even if I had to eat a lot they were not processed. There were a lot of variety of vegetables available throughout the year but I remember from my parents they didn't buy some of the vegetables certain times. We didn't eat tomatoes during winter for example. I knew there were certain vegetables or fruit available on different seasons and I was anxiously waiting for them to appear on the farmers market. 
Growing up on a culture that appreciates food helped me establish a palate for good food and taste. It was one of the things I had to adjust here in the States. The quality of the ingredients or lack thereof. I was frustrated -still am- that how come nobody was selling small okras for instance to make a delicious meal with braised lamb. I can count many instances like this and finally I came to conclusion that I have to learn new techniques to use the ingredients available to me. This dish is one of many other dishes I am learning along the way. I hope you can make it and enjoy it!

2 tilapia fillets 
2 sweet potatoes - boil until soft, peel and slice crosswise
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot - minced
1/4 lemon juice
chives to garnish

Dry fish fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil on medium heat and saute shallots for 30 seconds. Add butter. When butter completely melted include fish in skillet. Let fry about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the fish from the skillet. Add coconut milk, lemon juice and stir everything once. Boil for 3 minutes until thickens, stirring occasionally. Pour over tilapia and garnish with chives. Serve with sweet potatoes. 

Lamb Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce
I have been reading website for some time and I wanted to try some of the recipes on the site. This is the second recipe I tried and turned out very delicious and healthy. The original recipe is here: Pork Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce Since we do not consume pork and pork products, I used lamb chops. I cannot describe the deliciousness of this dish, you need to try to understand what I am talking about. 

Paleo/Primal Approach
I'll admit that I am not doing a good job of posting different meals here, but I have a reason (read as an excuse) for not keeping up with the blog. I have been reading about CrossFit a lot recently and one aspect of that exercise regimen is the food that they consume. It is highly recommended that one should eat like our ancestors from thousands of years ago. Since they were hunter-gatherers and they did not have access to grains and legumes, they were healthier and stronger than us considering their daily life would involve catching their food and preparing for consumption. During my research, I stumbled upon a book called "Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson" and it piqued my interest.  I decided to give it a try. It has been two weeks since we started eating primal which includes grass-fed meat, poultry, fish, lots of vegetables and fruit, no grains, legumes and sugar and we felt much better than before. We do not feel sluggish, we have more energy, and even better we are losing weight. Losing weight was not our intent but happens naturally if one eats this way. There are hundreds of books and research published about how dangerous sugar and carbohydrates are for us. Yet, we still consume them daily without giving a second thought. In light of living a healthier and happier live, I am going to post some of the primal recipes I have been cooking. It is surprising to see there are many delicious recipes acceptable for this type of eating. This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change for us.