Paleo Mayonnaise (from TCMTG)

*Recipe taken from Melissa Joulwan, The Clothes Make the Girl; find the original recipe and post here

I have to admit. The idea of actually making my own mayonnaise seemed a little intimidating, especially when I noticed in The Clothes Make the Girl’s comments that a few people had some problems with it. But when you really think about the advantages – no extra sugar or added ingredients to ensure a longer shelf-life, peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s in it – the recipe really isn’t such a hurdle. I’ve included some pictures and the steps below for an easy way to your very own delicious homemade mayo, which is perfect for whipping up some quick chicken or egg salad for an easy, guilt-free lunch.  It also serves as a key ingredient in many Paleo dips. No sugar added.

Ingredients:

1 egg (let this sit out awhile beforehand so it is at room temperature)
2 tablespoons lemon juice at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 cup olive oil (light, not extra virgin) at room temperature

*Melissa Joulwan really stresses the importance of using ingredients at room temperature and I think that might by why I was so successful when making this

Directions:

1. Place the egg and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Let them come to room temperature together, about 30-60 minutes. Add the dry mustard, salt, and  1/4 cup of the oil. Pulse until mixed–about 20 to 30 seconds.

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2. This step is super important!  All that is left to do is add the remaining 1 cup oil into the mixture. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so.  Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise.  Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping! Continue to drizzle.

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The finished product…

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… and once you have the mayo made you can quickly make your egg or chicken salad!

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Note: Check the expiration date on your eggs and add one week to that date.  This will be the expiration date for your mayo.

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Plantain Bites

Last night I was in the mood for something sweet and rather than run next door for some ice-cream, I did some googling and stumbled upon this fantastic recipe for fried plantains.  I satisfied my sweet tooth without having to feel guilty afterwards!

*Recipe adapted from Paleo with a Purpose: Fried Plantains

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Ingredients:

1 plantain, ripe
½ tablespoon dark ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tbs. extra-virgin coconut oil

Directions:

Cut plantain into long slices.

Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt coconut oil.

Place the seasoned plantains in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

 

Sautéed Kale with Apples and Bacon

*Recipe taken from Real Simple magazine; find the original recipe here

Sometimes I have ideas for recipes only to find they already exist online.  Occasionally I make adjustments and tweaks to my liking, but in this case I didn’t change one thing.  This recipe from Real Simple is easy, quick, and delicious!

Ingredients:

4 slices of bacon

1 onion, diced

1 apple, diced

1 medium bunch of kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then crumble.

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Add the onion and apple to the drippings in the skillet and cook until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

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Add the kale, season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Mix in the bacon and vinegar.

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Serve and enjoy!

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“Make Your Own Summer” Popsicles

One of the benefits of being a teacher is, of course, summer vacation.  But with my last day of school behind me, I have to say it hasn’t quite felt like summer in Chicago. The weather has been okay, but a little too cool.  So, since it doesn’t look like Mother Nature is going to be helping me out anytime soon, I am taking matters into my own hands and making a summery treat–paleo popsicles. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

Vita Coco pineapple flavored coconut water

Kiwi

Strawberries

Blueberries

Directions:

Pour the coconut water into the popsicle molds and add the fruit.  Let them freeze for several hours or overnight.  Voila!

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Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries

Coconut milk*

Directions:

Put frozen strawberries into a food processor or blender.  Pulse.  Add coconut milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you have a creamy consistency.  Pour this into the popsicle molds and let freeze for a few hours or overnight.

*I tend to buy coconut milk in the can, found in the International aisle at the grocery store.  I have found that certain brands available in cartons have added ingredients, some of which I can’t pronounce, which is never a good sign.

The beauty of these popsicles is that you can use whatever fruit you have on hand.  Next time I might add some frozen blueberries along with the frozen strawberries and coconut milk for a different flavor.  Play around as you like!

Greek Turkey Burger Salad

*Adapted from The Skinnygirl Dish, Mykonos Burger, Bethenny Frankel

Remember when the Real Housewives of New York went on a trip to “Scary Island”?  And how Kelly accused Bethenny of being a cook, not a chef, and then all hell broke loose?  This might refresh your memory…

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Well, I have a theory that if Bethenny had made her Mykonos Burgers that night, things might have turned out differently.  I’d take this amazing recipe (with my paleo-friendly tweaks) over Kelly’s jellybeans any day.

Recipe makes 3-4 patties

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground turkey

1/3 cup fresh parsley

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup feta cheese* (if you’re doing a Whole30, leave this ingredient out)

1/2 cucumber, sliced or diced

4-6 kalamata olives

4-6 cherry tomatoes

spinach leaves

1/2 lemon

Olive oil

Salt, to taste

*There are different views about cheese (and dairy in general) when eating paleo.  After doing a little research and finding this post from Mark’s Daily Apple, I decided a small amount of feta wouldn’t hurt me.  I did, however, nix the lemon/yogurt sauce from the original recipe.  Do whatever is right for you.

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, parsley, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and feta cheese.

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Use an ice-cream scoop or 1/2 cup measure to make equal size patties.

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Put the patties on a broiler pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray (I used Spectrum Olive Oil spray). Broil the patties for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until done.

Place each patty on top of a bed of spinach leaves.  Add tomatoes, olives, cucumber slices and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Add salt to taste.

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Brussels Sprouts Chips

*Recipe adapted from NomNomPaleo

These are absolutely amazing and have quickly become one of my favorite snacks.

Ingredients:

2 cups of brussels sprouts leaves (outer leaves from 2 lbs. of brussels sprouts)

2 tablespoons of melted duck fat (other options: olive oil, melted ghee, avocado oil)

Kosher salt to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚ F

Peel leaves off of brussels sprouts

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Melt duck fat and drizzle over leaves.  Add salt to taste and toss leaves.

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Lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet, separate them as much as possible.

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Bake for about 10 minutes.  Hint: Some chips might need to be in the oven longer than others.  I typically take some out after 10 minutes, then keep my eye on the others as they cook for a few minutes longer.

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Enjoy!