angry orchard, avocado, crock pot, fall, food, paleo, recipe

Cozy as Flannel Crock Pot Chili

Fall is perfet for comfort food and warm delicious chili while watching football (or reading while your signficant other does). I’ve perfected my chili over the few years and love making this recipe! We made it last weekend and it’s always a huge hit! It is a rich, flavorful, sweet and spicy chili that makes you feel like you’re in a cozy log cabin on a cool fall night. The cinnamon and cocoa add a rich and unique flavor. Try it out and let me know what you think!

To make this PALEO simply omit the kidney beans and brown sugar. You can sub the brown sugar with coconut sugar to get the sweetness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb danish bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 andouille sausage
  • 1 lb steak (I buy the one pre-cut for tacos or stew)
  • 1 pepper (green, red, yellow, it’s your preference)
  • 2 jalepenos, diced with seeds
  • 1 large white onion, onion
  • 6-12 garlic cloves, minced (depends on how much of a garlic lover  you are. I add 12)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2-4 cups of chicken or beef stock (depends on thickness you want)
  • 1 Angry Orchard (Sam Adams Octoberfest works as well)
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar (depends on sweetness you want)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Cut up sausage into small pieces
  2. Cut up danish bacon into small cubes
  3. Season ground beef with salt, pepper to taste and cook in pan until browned. Add to crockpot.
  4. Dice up pepper, jalepeno and onion and add to crock pot (I use gloves when chopping and touching jalepeno to avoid any contact with seeds and then later touching my eye or contact lense and feeling the wrath of hell upon my eye but that’s just me…)
  5. Add minced garlic
  6. Season steak with salt and pepper, cook until medium and add to crockpot
  7. Sautee bacon in pan and cook until crisp. Taste test for maximum enjoyment. Add to crockpot.
    IMG_8033.JPG
    danish bacon, so delcicious
  8. Sautee sausage and add to crockpot
  9. Add in cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix
  10. Add stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste and 2 cups chicken/beef stock to crockpot and mix
  11. Add in Angry Orchard and mix
  12. If more liquid is needed, add in the rest of the stock and one cup of water if necessary
  13. Give everything a final mix
  14. Turn crockpot on to low for 6-8 hours OR high for 4-6 hours
  15. When cooking is done mix and taste
  16. Add brown sugar and mix
  17. Add in cornstarch for desired thickness
  18. Enjoy with corn muffins on the side!

You can garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, or my personal favorite, avocado!

Garlic Herb Corn Muffins
This is where I cheat and simply use JIFFY corn Muffin mix. Follow direction on box but use KerryGold Garlic Herb butter. Add another tbsp or so for a richer flavor.

What do you add to your chili to make it your favorite?

avocado, cooking

Arrachera Taco Tuesday

In honor of #tacotuesday I am going to share my recipe for arrachera which is Mexican marinated skirt steak. It’s something Joey and I love to grill and share with friends. We perfected the marinade this summer and I am happy to share with you!

Ingredients

  • 2-4lbs arrachera butterflied and tenderized by butcher and cut into 2-4 pieces. Otherwise tenderize yourself until 1 1/8 inch thin
  • 4 fresh lime + 1 bottle on hand Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice (you won’t use it all but this is definitely the best lime juice to use along with fresh)
  • 1 (32)oz bottle of Corona La Familiar (Corona Extra works as well)
  • 6 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large red or white onion diced
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic/Glass deep container with lid, big enough to hold meat + Corona

Directions

  1. I personally like to clear my kitchen island/counter entirely, lay out my spices and open them, and line my work space with clear plastic wrap.
  2. Lay out meat so it is all spread out and flat on the plastic wrap
  3. Open Corona and pour entire bottle into container
  4. Squeeze in about 3 tbsp or so of bottled lime juice
  5. Add in 1/2 of the diced onion plus 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  6. Add in roughly 5 generous dashes each of all spices listed
  7. Rub the juice of three limes into both sides of the meat. You can do one side at a time or do all at once
  8. Put one half of all spice amounts above on each side of meat and rub in
  9. Do the same with minced garlic and rub in
  10. Use remaining 1/2 of onion and sprinkle on one side of meat
  11. Roll each section of meat tight into until it looks like a meat burrito and then secure with toothpicks
  12. Place each roll into container, submerged in liquid
  13. Marinate in refrigerator 12-24 hours for best results
  14. Grilling the meat! Make sure your bbq grills are clean and ready to go
  15. Turn on bbq to medium to low heat and wait to heat up about 5 minutes or so
  16. Unroll meat rolls, taking out toothpicks
  17. Place meat directly on grill over flames
  18. Cook for 5-7 minutes and flip
  19. Cook for another 5-7 for medium results.
  20. Take off grill and put on cutting board
  21. Get your cooks knife out and slice into small stips
  22. Chop strips
  23. Heat up some tortillas on the grill
  24. Chop up some cilantro and white onion
  25. Make your tacos and enjoy!

Tip: You can make an Avocado Cream sauce by throwing 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt with 1 large Avocado,and some Tony Chachere’s creole spice and lime juice to taste. Pulse and enjoy over tacos!

avocado, paleo, pesto, salmon

Sometimes you have to make the pest-of it

Who doesn’t love pesto? It’s delicious and adds a great taste to any dish. Tonight I made a delicious and easy pesto salmon with creole seasoned zucchini with avocado. It’s actually the second time I’ve made it this week because it’s so simple and healthy. A huge bonus to making anything at home is that you know what’s in it. Making pesto is so ridiculously easy I can’t believe I didn’t start years ago. I will honestly never buy pesto again because I like mine better and you can freeze the leftovers if you don’t think you’re going to use it within the next two weeks. I’ve actually seen some pinterest boards that have people making it in ice cubes and freezing it for portioned sizes. Never tried that but could be interesting.  Anywho, here’s my recipe for a paleo cilantro-basil pesto. 
Ingredients
1/2 bunch of basil
1/2 bunch of cilantro
2-3 medium garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Fisher pine nuts
the cast of characters
1. Put garlic cloves in the food processor (if you have one) and pulse until chopped. If not, mince by hand and add to food processor. If you don’t have a ninja or something like it, feel free to use a blender.
2. Add in basil and cilantro leaves, I like to take the big stems off but you don’t have to. 
3. Add in pine nuts. 
4. Pulse until mixed. 
step 4
5. Add in olive oil until you get your desired consistency.
6. Add in salt and pepper to taste,
7. Enjoy!

You can easily modify this recipe in a few ways.
1. Make it non paleo but more traditional by adding 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
2. Just use cilantro or just use basil alone
3. Substitute walnuts instead of pine nuts
pesto salmon with creole seasoned zucchini and avocado 
grass fed steak with pesto and creole seasoned zucchini and avocado 
avocado, caveman, food, garlic, health, healthy, paleo, recipe

Now That’s a Mouthful:Paleo Creole Burgers

So I’ve instagrammed about my favorite burger to make at home and wanted to share the recipe with everyone who asks me about it!

To the left is more of a lunch version, with an avocado and tomato salad underneath. This is a really versatile burger and easily customizable! You can always top with a fried egg, peppers, or even bacon! You can make the burgers ahead of time with a weekly meal prep and then just oven warm up for a few minutes while you cook your sides.

Eating paleo is something that is so easy and tasty and this burger is a great example. No sauce or cheese needed, there is so much flavor on it’s own. When you have good meat and seasonings, you have all the flavor you could want and don’t need to disguise anything!

Now That’s a Mouthful: Paleo Creole Burgers

Ingredients
1lb grass fed burger
Tony Chachare’s Creole seasoning
1/4 onion
1/2 avocado
1-2 handfuls of spinach
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 lime or some lime juice
Coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
Directions

The prep work 

  1. Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and put in all your ground beef
  2. Add one egg
  3. Add creole seasoning to taste. I add a pretty good amount to really enjoy the flavor, like 5-6 shakes
  4. For the garlic, I peel 2-3 cloves and throw in my ninja. You can also just dice it up small with a knife if you don’t have a food processor and feel like getting it dirty. You can also do a few more cloves now for the spinach if you want
  5. Add the 2-3 diced cloves to the bowl with the other ingredients
  6. Mix with your hands which you will have washed before you started cooking and maybe again right now. Mix thoroughly so the egg is mixed and all the meat. (feel free to use a burger press if you’d like)
  7. Add a few more shakes of seasoning if you think there’s not enough, I usually do a shake or two more since I figure, why not?
  8. Shape the burgers into patties. I use make them into a ball or sorts and then squish a little and start rolling them into my hands and shaping
  9. Size will depend on how you portion, for the lap-band I do smaller so I can control the size
  10. Set aside
  11. Cut about the end of your onion off and then cut a 1/2 inch thick slice. If you are making bigger burger, cut onion in half and then cut the slice so you get bigger rings. You really only need a 1/4 of an onion, just to get a nice set of slice to grill
  12. You can also cut the avocado into slices but leave the skin on
Making the magic

  1. Get a medium sized frying pan and set the heat to 5/medium to high heat
  2. Put the burgers in the pan, I usually do 3 at a time if they fit
  3. Burgers have fat so you do NOT need to add any oil
  4. Get a second smaller pan ready so you can cook the spinach simaltaneously
  5. Add a little oil to that pan and put in the rest of the garlic,  set to medium heat
  6. Let the burger get a nice char going and when you think it’s to your liking, flip
  7. Go back to the spinach pan and add in about 2 handfuls of spinach, always add more because it becomes a much smaller portion when cooked
  8. Add a splash of lemon juice 
  9. Go back to the burger and keep the char to your liking. Mine go for a few minutes because I like a good char
  10. Keep the heat at medium , about a 3/4 and cook to your taste. I like a medium rare to medium so I cook it about 5 minutes on each side
  11. Stir spinach until wilted and remove pan from heat
  12. Grab your serving plate and add the spinach to the middle of the plate
  13. Add one of the burgers on
For the onions

  1. You can honestly use the same pan as the spinach or start a new one
  2. Using a medium sized frying pan and pour some coconut oil
  3. Set the stove to a medium heat and let the oil heat up some
  4. Add in the onion and maybe a little seasoning, creole or garlic powder, if you want
  5. Sauté the onions, flipping the onion after a few minutes
  6. Flip again after a few until onions are grilled to your liking. I like mine pretty grilled and a little charred but you can stop sooner
Finishing moves
  1. Add the onions to the top of the burger
  2. Garnish the plate with the avocado
  3. Add lime and garlic salt to taste on the avocado or leave plain
  4. Feel free to add some baked sweet potato fries (recipe coming soon!)
Enjoy!!

avocado, cooking, essential oils, garlic, health, home, kitchen, kitchen aid, oils, young living

Kitchen Staples

So everyone who cooks at home has a few things they always have on hand and use on a regular basis. When you’re a beginner, you start with a few basic spices and accessories and then add as you go along. So now that I would say I am an intermediate home cook, I have definitely figured out what my staples are.

Garlic (fresh and powder)- The rule in our house is that you can never have too much garlic. Plus, if we’re both eating it then it we don’t even notice when we kiss. Garlic taste good in pretty much everything and has so many great health benefits! Adding more flavor to my food and not using any fattening or high calorie sauces is great. We use mostly fresh garlic and I throw it in my ninja and 5 seconds later, fresh chopped garlic. When it’s for eggs I tend to use the garlic salt. Garlic taste great in burgers, cauliflower mashed potatoes, steak, eggs, etc.

Avocado- Considered a major superfood, avocado has so many health benefits and is delicious. You can add it to breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! We always have a few on hand and it always makes a great addition in health and taste. No, I am not thrilled with avocado shortages (thanks Mexican drug cartels!) but it is worth the high price sometimes to have such a great food on hand. It’s even great in smoothies, so weird but true! Plus just slice it, add some lime juice or garlic salt and it makes a great snack

Kitchen Aid Mixer-Really any mixer will do but there is just something about owning a Kitchen Aid mixer. I got mine about a year and a half ago as a birthday gift and I am obsessed! Joey got mine from Williams-Sonoma in Raspberry Ice. I use it for cookies, pie dough, banna bread, whipped cream, dips, etc. It makes life a million times easier and has so many awesome attachments. I want the meat grinder next but that will wait until we do a meat CSA and get a freezer.

Food Processor- I have the Ninja Pulse and am obsessed! It’s funny because I didn’t use it that much when I first got it and now we use it daily. I use it for chopping garlic to making pesto to making smoothies and even almond butter. With the different attachments it comes with and then the little cup for single serve smoothies/juices, it is a life saver. It is easy to clean, store, and makes prep work a dream. We used to spend forever chopping garlic and doing everything by hand and now it’s all done in a matter of minutes. Averaging about $80, it is a great investment!

Spices-I know I already mentioned garlic but there a few more spices that are great to have in your arsenal. Besides, it usually takes a while to go through this and they last a long time so it’s not much to invest in great flavor. So try to always have: (himalayan) salt, pepper, paprika, oregeno, chilli powder, and onion powder. Depending on what you like, don’t forget basil or rosemary.

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning- This is my new favorite staple hands down!I know a lot of people are really into FlavorGod seasonings and I will probably check them out but I don’t think they can beat Tony’s amazing spice blend. No MSG, just a delicious mix of spices to adda kick to any meal. I love it on chicken or in my eggs and I have been adding it to my burgers to make a fabulous dish. We started using Tony Chachere’s for the deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving and now I am hooked.

Oils (including Essential Oils)-Keep Olive oil and coconut oil on hand, and even some vegetable oil. I don’t like spray in my pans, why have the extra chemicals when you can use olive oil? As for essential oils, they are great for cooking as well. I love using peppermint for baking or adding a little lemon or rosemary to a dish. Pure and simple and a little goes a long way.

 The great thing about cooking at home is that you can experiment and try new things and not worry about being judged. Unless you’re a home cook on Master Chef, then good luck! I like being able to find healthier alternatives to some of my favorites meals so cooking at home really helps with that!

I know my friends Samantha and Michelle love their immersion blenders and make great soups so that’s on my want list. I also want a new spice rack to hold all the fun spices were acquiring.

So what are your kitchen staples? What are your ‘must have’s’ to cook with?
avocado, bacon, breakfast, caveman, chorizo, eggs, food, health, healthy, paleo, recipe

Avocado and Bacon and Chorizo, oh my!

I don’t always want to leave the house on a Saturday morning to spend $40 at Walker Bro’s or some other North Shore breakfast hotspot (see: Sarki’s, Kauffmans, etc).  I also try to follow the Paleo lifestyle (no grains, dairy, or artificial sugar) and try to eat pretty healthy. So when it’s Saturday morning and I don’t want to get dressed or spend money, I look at what’s in the fridge and JoeyWaffles and I start making things up. 
Submitted for the approval of the internet recipe society, I call this recipe:
NoShoPo’s Saturday Carnivore Scramble
Ingredients
for the scramble 
2 organic egg whites
1 egg yolk (organic)
A handful (or to your taste) cilantro chopped up
1/2 ripe avocado cut up into small cubes
a few shakes of garlic powder (to taste)
a few shakes of salt (to taste)
a few shakes of pepper(to taste)
for the chorizo
6oz of chorizo 
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced (add more or less depending on taste)
smidgeon of oil (olive, coconut, butter if you want)
for the bacon
1 package of organic bacon
1 cup Organic Maple Syrup
Directions
Start with the chorizo first
1. Grab a skillet
2. Turn stove to medium heat and warm the pan up
2.5 So I add the oil here but I have no idea if that’s right so if you want to add after it’s warmed up, go right ahead
3. Make sure you have some good music playing and something good to drink, coffee or juice is nice
4. When the pan is warmed, throw in your onions and garlic (add oil if you haven’t already)
5. Dance a little around your kitchen and enjoy yourself
6. Keep singing to the radio and stir/flip/move around the onions and garlic
7. When the onion look softer and the garlic browns some, add the chorizo
8. I sort of use my flat stainless steel spatula to break up and move around the chorizo in the pan
9. Using the spatula, mix the chorizo around with the onions and garlic
While the chorizo is cooking, you can start the bacon
10. Open bacon package
11. Cut in half for shorter strips, leave whole for longer
12. Place bacon on a different pan and turn heat on medium to high
13. Stir chorizo, make sure to get the food on the sides mixed in
14. Check on Bacon
15. Sip coffee/juice
16. The chorizo should be done, so turn off the heat ad move into a bowl
17. Check on bacon, flip if looks ready 
While the bacon is cooking, start the egg prep
16. Crack a egg into a bowl
17. Crack another egg and separate yolk.
18. Throw yolk out unless you want, I just try to only use one. 
19. Put egg white in bowl.
20. Add in chopped avocado
21. Dance some more and check on the bacon (definitely flip if you haven’t already)
22. If bacon looks halfway done or you just want to do it now, open the maple syrup and drizzle it on the strips, to your liking, I like a lot so on it goes!
23. Turn on a fan/or keep the heat low so as not to smoke out the place.
23.5 Joey never makes the house smoke, I tend to so…it’s probably me. Keep the heat lower then high. Medium-ish works.
24. Take a bite of chorizo to taste-test and feel proud of yourself for such deliciousness
25. Monitor bacon and get a plate ready to put said bacon on (not a paper plate!)
26. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste to the eggs and beat to 
27. Add cilantro to the eggs
28. Bacon should be about done so transfer to plate (I like mine pretty crispy)
29. Use chorizo pan if you want (I usually do for the added taste and no need for oil) or a new pan and warm it up for a minute
30. Add in eggs and scramble to preference (mine is about 1 minute, barely cooked and delicious)
Voila! You have a delicious scramble with a good meat to protein ratio. 
Completely paleo. Completely delicious.
This is easier then it seems and really fun to modify. You can leave out the chorizo or leave out the bacon, you can use regular bacon without the maple, etc. You can add roasted red peppers, onions, or whatever you want to the eggs. Take whatever you have in your fridge and make your own version and enjoy!
So tell me, what do you like in your scrambles? 
What are your favorite Saturday morning meals?