Pork with Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Sauce

I’m still experimenting with the cashew sauces. The presences of the nutritional yeast (I found it at Trader Joe’s) actually changes the flavor. If you make this and find you don’t like that flavor, I would omit it and give it another shot. My son tasted the sauce after school, loved it, and then said I was the best cook in the world.  Yay me!  I think that this would also be really good if one tried it on “pasta”.  Some people make paleo pasta or use the spiralizer to make noodles with vegetables. This would be a great thing to try if you’re willing to put in that time.

Update: After eating dinner, my husband let me know that my son loved it so much that he wanted seconds and calls it, “Awesome Sauce”.  WINNER!!!!

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Ingredients:

2 lbs pork loin chips

2 Tbsp paleo approved fat (ghee, bacon fat, avocado oil, coconut oil…)

1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomato + 2 Tbsp sun dried tomato

6 large basil leaves, chopped

4 large cloves crushed garlic

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

Method:

Soak the cashews for 4-6 hours. When the cashews are almost done soaking, cook the onion and garlic over medium low heat until soft. In a blender or food processor, add the onion and garlic, cashews, water, 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes, yeast, salt and pepper. Puree until sauce consistency. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over low heat. Add in remaining chopped sun dried tomato and basil (reserve a bit for garnish if you’d like). Keep on low while cooking the pork chops. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat using the remaining fat. Cook the pork to your liking (I eat mine with a bit of pink in the middle). Once you’re ready to plate, if you feel the sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup of water. Pour over the pork and serve.

Creamy Chicken Bake

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Well, I was REALLY scared to try making this, but it actually turned out really good! The boys had it for dinner (I didn’t tell them ingredients), and they both gobbled it up.  Hardly any leftover for me after work :) The secret here is the cashews.  Totally crazy, but true.  I cannot actually believe that it worked so well, and that in the final product, there is no sign of cashew texture or flavor. That was a really good win, and now I know how to make a cream sauce that I can flavor any which way that I want. This one has a bit of a Mexican flavor to it. In my pictures, you do not see any green chili because it is totally ground into the sauce. If I had to do it over, I would have mixed the chilis into the sauce after it had been through the blender. You need to SOAK the cashews for 4-6 hours before preparing the sauce. This takes some planning ahead, but the rest is easy if you have a blender.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours)
  • 5 lbs organic chicken thighs, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (yes, this is necessary for the flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 4-oz can green chilis
  • 1/3 cup paleo breadcrumbs (don’t be scared, they’re SO easy to make)

Soak the cashews for 4-6 hours. Preheat the oven to 400. Cook the onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp ghee over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Cook the chicken in remaining ghee until it is almost cooked through. While chicken is cooking, add the onion, garlic, cashews, and all other ingredients to the blender or food processor (except for the green chilis and breadcrumbs). Puree until creamy. Stir the sauce into the chicken and add chilis. Put in a oven safe dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

What do you do if you can’t make babies?

You make furniture. I’m totally proud of us. Nightstands are our next project.  Hoping to be done with those before we head out for our Thanksgiving holiday road trip to Oregon. I know that the coffee table is totally cliche Pinterest, but I just don’t care.  I love it. I don’t know yet what I’m going to put in the center just yet.  It will hit me eventually, but it actually looks pretty nice even with the hole.

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Italian Chilaquiles?

Not sure what else to call it.  I was inspired by the egg dish earlier in the week.  Both of the boys liked this one, so it will be a simple keeper in the rotation. I also like “yolky” eggs as opposed to scrambled eggs. Once you put it all in the bowl, you mash the hell out of it with a spoon and then eat it.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups organic pasta sauce (check list of ingredients and be sure to avoid artificial ingredients or oils such as canola and soybean)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups avocado oil potato chips (Whole Foods or Costco)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, warm the tomato sauce in a skillet. Add eggs and cover until desired doneness. While the eggs are cooking, put chips into the bottom of individual bowls. Add eggs and sauce on top of the chips. Add salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with fresh basil. Take a spoon and smash everything together. Enjoy!

Paleo Shakshuka

This was a really interesting dish.  I had it once in Portland when visiting family, and I really loved it.  Of course, I also loved the bread underneath. I decided to try to “paleoify” it as best I could. I put avocado oil chips underneath as a “bed” for the egg and sauce. I am not of the mind that white potatoes are not paleo.  I don’t eat them all the time, but I do have them sometimes. This actually turned out to be a cool and very weird “chilaquiles”. It actually tasted amazing!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp paleo approved oil (lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, ghee, avocado oil…)
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 14oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 eggs
  • fresh parsley for ganish
  • avocado oil potato chips (found at Costco and Whole Foods)–optional

In a skillet over medium high heat, cook the onion in oil. After the onion is transparent, add all other ingredients except for the eggs and parsley. Stir to combine. Drop eggs into the sauce and cover. Lower heat to medium and cook until eggs are desired doneness. Garnish with parsley. Serve over avocado oil chips (optional) and mash together.

Crazy Easy Paleo! Maple Dijon Chicken

This was really quick and easy to make, and it was very tasty as well!  If you’re going low sugar, this one is not really for you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine mustard, syrup, and vinegar and whisk together.  In an oven proof baking dish, place the chicken in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over the chicken and bake for 10 minutes. Baste with the sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Allow to rest for five minutes before serving.

Yep, still awesome… Paleo Chicken Salad

So, I made this chicken salad for a party last weekend, and I ate the leftovers today. It was great for a party, and a week later still tasted awesome. I threw it with the avocado, and it was a perfect combo. Tried and true.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup paleo mayo
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried dill or 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1.5 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (taste and see if you need more at the end)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Enjoy!

Revisiting Another Fall Favorite–Sweet Potato Bacon Hash

I really should get to making some new things, but my husband has asked that I stockpile some of his old favorites so that he can do a quick reheat for lunches and dinners. This hash is perfect as a meal, side dish, or with an egg on top for breakfast.  It’s also a total crowd pleaser!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb uncured bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (Trader Joe’s uncured bacon is great because it is so THICK!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • egg (optional)

Method:

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is crispy (or cooked to your individual liking), remove the bacon from the skillet, put on a paper towel, and leave about 1/2 of the grease in the skillet. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and cook until it is easy to cut through the pieces of sweet potato. Great with over easy egg on top (optional).

Tweaking the Hot Dog Chili

I make this a lot, but I usually change something each time. Here is today’s version. I really should be in the garage and working on building a bookcase that has been in the world for weeks, but I’m freaking COLD! So…chili.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb uncured hot dogs, sliced
  • 1 4oz can chopped green chilis
  • 1 15oz can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Optional Toppings:

jalapeños

fresh tomato

raw onion

scallions

mustard

relish

avocado

bacon

fried egg

sauerkraut

Method:

  • Brown the beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients until chili is at the desired consistency. Add optional toppings, if desired.