Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grilled Veal Chop/Herb Butter

I enjoy veal.  The flavor is so delicious and it's versatility, one you don't get with a mature cow, is quite a benefit.  

One of my favorite dishes is a grilled veal chop with herb butter. This type of veal cut, like beef, should be at room temperature before you cook it.  That way you can cook it perfectly medium rare, as it should be, in my personal opinion (law), be served.

Grilled Veal Chop/Herb Butter

4 veal chops, 1" thick
1/2 c. butter, softened (not melted!)
1/4 c. mixed herbs, minced
salt and pepper

Preheat a grill to high.  Generously salt and pepper the veal chop on both sides.  Place chop on grill and cook for 3 minutes.  Turn the chop over and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Rotate the chop, turn and cook for 3 minutes.  Repeat.  Total cooking time should be between 12-15 minutes for a perfect medium rare.

Mix the butter with the herbs.  Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, mixing again.

Top with one tablespoon scoop of the herb butter as soon as you remove it from the grill, allowing the veal chop to rest and the butter to melt.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sesame Seared Tuna

I know I recently posted another tuna recipe, but they had some yellow fin the other day that looked pretty decent for Iowa (mind you, not the blood red you get when it comes fresh out of the ocean, but hey, beggars can't be choosey).  Turns out, I am glad I got it.  It was delicious.  Fresh, mild and slightly sweet like yellowfin should be.  Yellow fin, if fresh enough, doesn't need anything to make it taste better.  Simplicity is best.  The ONLY exception would be when it is used in a spicy tuna roll.  I mean, really, you can't go wrong when you are adding mayo and sriracha, right?

Anyway, I need seared tuna with a sesame crust would be perfect.  This is how I make mine.

Sesame Seared Tuna

1 tbsp. coconut aminos
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 c. sesame seeds
2 yellow fin tuna steaks

Preheat your grill to high.  The temperature on my grill usually overs around 700 degrees.

Whisk the aminos and oil together.  Lightly dry the tuna steaks with a paper towel to remove any built up moisture.  Brush one side with the amino and oil mixture and then coat with sesame seeds, pressing the seeds slightly with your hand.  Lightly salt and then turn over and repeat on the other side.  

Place the tuna on the grill and sear 3-5 minutes.  This all depends on the thickness of your tuna steak.  About 1/8 of the edge all around should be cooked, leaving the majority of the steak rare.  You can cook it more if you aren't used to a rare tuna, but I wouldn't cook it anymore than having the edges around 1/4.  If you can't eat yellow fin rare, or medium rare at best, don't even waste your money buying it.  Capiche?

Dip in some coconut aminos if you choose.  

Sublimely delicious and foodgasmic this is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

My green beans are slowly wilting.  It has been too hot for them.  Blast this September you would think it's July weather.  I haven't even planted my late season greens for fear that they wouldn't even sprout or would die shortly thereafter.  You know it's bad when you go to the tanning bed to get some vitamin D because it's too dang hot to lay in your hammock outside.  This heat is ruining all of my fall plans thus far.  

Anyway, I was craving something spicy to help clear up a little throat/sinus issue I was having and this is what I came up with.  Said throat/sinus issue has also made me miss two WOD's this week.  Now I'm just ticked.  Yucky weather + no WOD + throat/sinus crap = effing PO'ed.

These made me feel a little did some awesome super spicy Tom Yum from my favorite Thai restaurant...that stuff will cure anything!

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 lb. green beans, ends removed
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. raw honey
1-4 tsp. sriracha, or to taste depending on your tolerance
black sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over media heat.  Add the green beans, stirring so they coat with the melted oil, and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the water and cover, cooking the beans until they are crisp tender, about 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your green beans.  (Crisp tender means that they have turned a different color green and are tender on the bean but still slightly crisp).  Add the honey and sriracha, stirring until the honey has melted.  Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking and stirring intermittently until the honey and water have made a glaze, about an additional 3-7 minutes.

Season with salt to taste and finish with black sesame seeds.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Asparagus Salad

Even though it is late in the season, there was some late asparagus available from the Iowa Food Co-op that I am a member of.   I couldn't pass up on making my favorite cold asparagus salad for dinner one night.  You could also add protein and make a complete meal if you wanted too.  This is perfect for those super hot days in September.  (Insert sarcastic tone).

Asparagus Salad

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1/2 lb. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 c. pine nuts
zest of one lemon
2-3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. good olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a grill to around 400 degrees. Steam the asparagus so it is al dente.  Quickly remove the asparagus and place in a grill basket with the tomatoes.  Grill until the asparagus is tender and the tomatoes start to blister.  Remove and allow to cool.

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard with a whisk, adding additional lemon juice to taste.  Then salt and pepper to taste.

 Place the asparagus, tomatoes, pine nuts and lemon zest in a large long bowl.  Pour dressing over the top and using hands fold the mixture together so the dressing evenly coats the asparagus.

Friday, September 6, 2013

NOT Paleo...

This not even close to paleo, but it turned out so cute that I had to post it.  A friend at the gym has the most darling little girl and I loved making this cake for her.  They are a lot of work but so worth it when you see how excited someone is after they look at it for the first time!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cauliflower Hummus

Let's just start this post off by saying there are probably quite a few hummus recipes out there that more than likely mine will mirror one.  But, knowing the basic components of hummus made it easy to just add ingredients and taste until I got it right.  In this case, I substituted cauliflower to make it paleo friendly and it worked like a charm.  It also got even better the next couple of days.  Today is day four and I wanted to lick what was left in the bowl it was so good.  Cauliflower really needs time for the flavors to really develop, so try making this a day or two ahead of time before serving it.  Taste it again just before serving to make any last minute additions.

I promise, you won't even know there aren't chickpeas in there!

Cauliflower Hummus

One small head of cauliflower, core taken out and cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. plus 2-3 tbsp. tahini
2 tsp. sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan with a lid, put in the cauliflower and garlic.  Add enough water to come up 1/2 in. on the side of pan.  I prefer to cook the cauliflower this way because it also helps soften the taste of the garlic.  Cover and cook over medium until the cauliflower is soft.

Drain the cauliflower and garlic and then add it to a food processor.  Pulse to break the cauliflower down so it looks like rice.  Add the tahini (starting with 1/4c. and then adding more to your preferred tastes) and oil, and pulse until the texture is smooth and mixed well.  Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

When I am really craving something hot, I add a little Sriracha to it.  Wow!  That's all I am saying.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cabbage Salad

One of the more difficult things about eating real food is grocery shopping.  Grocery stores are designed to make people buy prepackaged, GMO'ed, artificial and preservative full foods.  Even places like Whole Foods can be tricky.  The are a couple of ways to go to the market without filling your cart full of crap.  Just avoid boxed food and your good to go.  Most of the time.  

One of the many perks to places like Whole Foods is their ready made options.  The pre made foods look delicious, smell wonderful and should be healthy, right?  Not so fast...take the time to look at the ingredients listed and you'll soon realize that even though they appear healthy, the reality is that cheap ingredients are usually used.  

Once in a while though, you'll find something that tastes good and is good for you.  They have this detox salad that I love.  Easy and quick.  Another one is the cabbage salad...unfortunately it is made with canola oil so I knew I had to adapt it at home.  And quite frankly, my version is better tasting...and better for you.


Cabbage Salad

2 stalks celery, slice in half lengthwise, then slice diagonally in 1/4" pieces
1/2 head red and 1/2 head green cabbage, core removed and sliced thin
1 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. champagne vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix celery, cabbage and almonds together in large bowl.  In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar and mustard until cohesive.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This might taste a little tangy to you, but trust me, it works well with the cabbage.  Fold the mixed dressing into the cabbage.  Cover the bowl and allow flavors to marinate in the fridge, stirring about every hour, for at least four hours.  Salt and pepper to taste when serving.