November 14, 2017

Whole 30 Meatloaf

Meatloaf is somewhat of a comfort food for me. It ranks nowhere near as high as my mom's lasagna or corn bread, but it was something I remember eating as a child. That's why I decided to give this recipe from Paleo Running Momma a shot.

I loved it! My sons both ate it, as did my husband, but I could tell I enjoyed it more than the rest of the family. Still, this will be a repeat recipe for me when I'm on Whole 30. One prep for at least two meals ... even when I ate 3 pieces in one sitting.

Whole 30 Meatloaf
1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted, soaked in hot water to soften, and drained (use 1/4 cup if you want it less sweet)
6 oz. tomato paste
3 Tbsp. water (in addition to soaking the dates)
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt Meatloaf
2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 eggs
1/3 cup almond flour
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 small onion or half medium one, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. ghee for cooking onion and garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4-1/3 cups ketchup

In a food processor, combine all ingredients on high speed until pureed, scraping the sides to incorporate all ingredients evenly. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the ghee until soft and translucent. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, almond flour, 3 Tbsp. ketchup, salt, mustard, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Stir in cooked onion and garlic mixture. Mix gently to avoid toughening the loaf.

Gently pat loaf into a greased 9 x 5 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Remove, and spread with remaining 1/4-1/3 cup of ketchup. Return to the oven and make 40-45 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven, and let cool 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Makes about 6 servings.

November 1, 2017

Peanut Butter & Jelly Empanadas

When the Today show featured different takes on peanut butter and jelly, I took note. PB & J is one of my nostalgic favorites from childhood, so delicious to me to this day that when I pack it for my lunch at work, it's often gone as breakfast. AJ and Teddy both feel the same about PB & J, so I thought these empanadas would be perfect lunches for the school week. AJ thinks they're pretty awesome, and I'm not sure he's shared any with Teddy yet.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Empanadas
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
Flour for dusting
1 package refrigerated pie crust, about 14 oz.
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup strawberry jam
Turbinado sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silipat or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Set aside.

Roll pie crust on a lightly floured surface, rolling each crust to about an 18-inch diameter. Cut out rounds using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps as needed. Place dollops of peanut butter and then jelly onto the center of each dough round. Working with one dough round at a time, moisten the edges with the egg wash, fold the dough over to close and use a fork to crimp the edges.

Place on prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. Brush the tops of the empanadas with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature. Makes 18-20 mini empanadas.

October 31, 2017

Homemade Italian Sausage

I wanted to make Zuppa Toscana but needed to make my own Italian sausage for it to be Whole 30 compliant. This recipe from Taste of Lizzy fit the bill perfectly, using a portion of the ground pork we have stockpiled in the freezer as a bonus. Here's the recipe with my adaptations.

Homemade Italian Sausage
2 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. salt
2 lb. ground pork
Combine all ingredients together, and mix well. Use in recipes for ground Italian sausage or shape into patties to cook as patties. Makes 2 lb. of sausage.

Roasted Pecan Halves

I have no excuses for not posting since we returned from vacation except life. It happens. I'm back on the Whole 30 bandwagon because I wanted to feel better and feel better about myself. I'm about halfway through, and I made these pecans from Just a Pinch to take to a Halloween party, so I had a treat I could eat. Normally nuts aren't a treat unless they are coated in sugar like these delicious ones, but these were good enough they felt like one (at least on Whole 30).

Roasted Pecan Halves
1 lb. pecan halves
4 Tbsp. clarified butter
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread pecan halves evenly on a baking sheet. Break butter into small pieces and place on pecan halves. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Bake 10 minutes, then gently stir. Cook another 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from the oven, and cool. Makes 1 lb. of nuts.

September 6, 2017

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

It's been quite some time since I posted here. Taking a 3-week vacation, coupled with school starting means that blog posting moves lower on the to-do list. But this recipe from I Heart Eating has been our meals both last week and this week, so I wanted to share it to easily find it in the future.

Korean Beef wasn't something we'd previously eaten, but it sounded like something we'd enjoy. I searched the Asian aisle at our grocery store and found the one ingredient we didn't have on hand (Gochujang). This comes together incredibly easy and is perfect served over rice with extra vegetables. The second time I made it, I added 16 oz. of button mushrooms to increase our vegetable consumption. They worked really well, so I've included them below.

Perhaps the best part of this recipe is the leftovers, which I think taste even better than the first day.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef
3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
5 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1-2 Tbsp. Gochujang
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
3-4 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
16 oz. button mushrooms, sliced 
1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch depending on desired sauce thickness

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup beef broth and next 9 ingredients (up to roast). Place cubed roast into a slow cooker, layering with mushrooms. Pour sauce over cubed meat.
Cover, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup broth. Stir cornstarch mixture into the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.