Pork Loin and Roasted Veg

This is a super simple dinner, that doesn’t mess up a lot of pots. You can add whatever vegetables you like. I always cut the pork into regular portions, but you can leave the loin whole if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pork loin, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 red potatoes, cubed
  • 8 brussel sprouts
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups baby carrots

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grind all the herbs in a mortar.

In a large casserole dish, add all the veggies. Place the tablespoons of butter in with the veggies. Pour the chicken broth in, top with the meat, and sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce, and blended herbs. Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

Dry Brine Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just love making a turkey. When I first made a Thanksgiving turkey (back in 1994), I was super intimidated. It took me all day, and was a ton of work. Over the years I’ve pieced together several alterations of recipes (including my mom’s), to make a turkey that not only is super moist, but takes about half the time to cook. This year it only took 3 hours to cook a 15 lb. bird. We were so busy having it for dinner, that I neglected to get a good photo of the final product, sorry.

TurkeyDryBrine

Ingredients

  • 15 lb. fresh turkey (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage (chopped)
  • Microplaned orange zest from one large orange, or 4 Mandarins
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions

24 hours before your dinner, remove the turkey from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels. I discard the neck and the giblets, but you might save them for other uses. Place the turkey on a platter.

Combine the spices, and rub under the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Truss the turkey as you normally would. Here’s a link to a video if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Place the turkey, uncovered on the platter, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Place your oven rack in the bottom rung, and heat to 400°. Begin your turkey breast side down, uncovered, in a roasting pan V-Rack for 1 hour.

Using silicone oven mitts, turn the turkey over breast side up. Lower the heat to 325°, and continue cooking until a meat thermometer registers 165° in the thigh (without touching the bone), approximately 2 more hours.

I baste the turkey with melted butter (and eventually drippings) every 30 minutes until the turkey is done. Once the skin has become the shade you prefer, cover loosely with aluminium foil.

When the turkey is resting, you can make the gravy, and warm up or cook the other dishes.

Notes

  • Turkey is an inexpensive protein, so I like to buy 2 around Thanksgiving and freeze one.
  • I use a Food Saver vacuum sealer, and freeze the leftover meat in 1 lb. portions. It’s great for soups, pot pies, and casseroles for the next year.
  • When I first started cooking, the advice was to wash your turkey. The powers that be have since retracted that. It turns out that you are spraying your whole kitchen with nasty bugs when you do that.
  • Another thing I don’t do anymore, is to stuff the bird. I’ve found that I can make a flavorful and moist stuffing baked in its own casserole dish.

 

Peanut Curry

The word “curry” just means spice. There are thousands of types of curry (and so little time to try them all!). This recipe takes me about 20 minutes to prepare, and then 45 to cook. You can start the rice after you get the curry going.

curry_main

Ingredients

  • Either 1.5 lbs. of steak, cubed OR chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups red potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 13.5 oz. can Chaokoh Coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, brown the meat in the oil on medium high. Add the vegetables and stir occasionally until onion is translucent.

Add all the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Serve over white rice.

Notes

  • This is already gluten free
  • If you want to make it Paleo, use sweet potatoes instead of the red potatoes, and leave out the sugar
  • Don’t like spicy? Leave out the crushed red pepper. The rest of the ingredients are mild

Spicy Steak Stir Fry

This is a version of Szechuan Beef, which was one of my most favorite dishes that mom used to make. Her recipe had bamboo shoots, and fewer peppers. Stir fry is such an adaptable dish. Just add whatever veggies or meat you like the best, and you’ve got an easy weeknight dish.

w_beefstirfry_main

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cups slivered carrots
  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 head broccoli cut into bite-sized florets
  • 16 dried red hot chili peppers
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Heat the oil and cook the chilies on medium-high until they begin to char. Remove them from the oil, and set aside in a medium bowl.

Brown the steak in the oil. Remove from oil and add to the bowl with the chilies. Add the vegetables to the oil and stir fry until tender for about 5 minutes.

Stir together the soy sauce, sherry, sugar and cornstarch. Return meat and chilies to the wok. Top with the sauce. Stir until boiling and thickened. Serve over rice.

Notes

  • To make this gluten free, use Tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • To make this paleo, ditch the sugar, use coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce, arrowroot powder instead of corn starch, and serve over cauliflower rice.

Spiced Potatoes

These go with just about any egg dish. We have them almost every weekend. It takes a while to prepare, since it’s slow to get fresh potatoes cooked through and then perfectly crunchy, but it’s worth the wait.

potatoes_main_1

Ingredients

  • 4 cups red potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • dollop of sour cream for each plate
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the potatoes into similarly sized wedges. Put the potatoes into a large frying pan and cover with water. Bring to boil, and simmer for 10 minutes or until fork tender.

Drain the water from the potatoes, and put the pan with the potatoes back on the element to dry out in the heat. Once dry, add the butter and fry for about 10 minutes, or until browned.

Add all of the seasonings to the potatoes and stir to combine. Serve with the sour cream.

Notes

  • Not a fan of spicy? Don’t add the cayenne, and cut the curry in half.
  • This combination of spices works great for fish or chicken too.
  • Want to make this Paleo? Use coconut oil instead of butter, and sweet potatoes instead of red.

Almond Chicken Bake

I got this recipe from my friend Heather, way back when I was first looking for good Paleo recipes. It’s high in protein, gluten-free, and the whole family loves it.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal (or nut flour)
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400º. Line a 13 x 9″ baking pan with foil and grease it.

Mix all dry ingredients on a plate. Beat eggs in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg and then dredge in dry ingredients. Place coated meat into baking dish and bake for 7 minutes each side.