Posts Tagged ‘Ground Beef’

Spaghetti Squash Meaty Dinner Plate

Compare pasta with spaghetti squash calories carbsSpaghetti squash is the bomb.  I haven’t convinced the other omnivore in the house yet – he likes it, but still likes old fashioned pasta noodles better.  I’m sold though.  There’s about a 400 calorie and 100 grams of carbs difference between our two plates, just because I chose spaghetti squash instead of Penne.  And of course my plate was still crazy delicious and filling – but without the bloaty pasta need-to-nap feeling afterwards.  I hate that feeling.  I mean, food is supposed to be fuel, not a sedative, right?

It’s getting hot here though, and let’s be honest – 97 degrees at only 3% humidity is still hot.  Too hot to turn the oven on anyways.  So I looked up how to microwave my spaghetti squash, and I’m so thrilled that the instructions I used made perfect SS noodles!  Here are the instructions, copied from an article on about.com:

  1. spaghetti squash rawCut the spaghetti squash lengthwise (you can remove the stem first, but don’t cut through the ends.)
  2. Scrape out the seeds and fibers using a large spoon. Again, be careful not to break through the ends.  [I stupidly used a fork.  A spoon would have worked much better]
  3. Take one of the halves and put it cut-side-up in a close-fitting microwave dish (such as an oval casserole.) You want it to be as stable and as level as possible. If it isn’t, cut a very thin strip of skin from the bottom.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup water into the hollow of the squash itself (not into the dish), then place the other half on top cut-side-down.
  5. Carefully place it in the microwave and cook on full power. A small squash (under 1 1/2 lbs) will take about 10 minutes to cook.  Let it rest for 5 minutes before opening it up.  [My squash was a bit over 2lbs, so I cooked it for 12 minutes and let it sit for 10]
  6. To test for doneness, just squeeze the top half gently (wear an oven mitt for this!) If it’s flexible, it’s likely to be done. Carefully remove the top half to see if the flesh has turned a rich, semi-translucent yellow (as opposed to opaque yellow-white)
  7. Drain any remaining water (there may not be any) and pull out the strands with a fork.

spaghetti squash meat parmesan dinner plate

 

The best part is that I have some leftover sauce and the other half of the spaghetti squash to make another big plate of low carb/low calorie/big flavor spaghetti for myself tomorrow!!!

Paleo Breakfast Lunch Dinner

I was thinking about occasionally posting something along these lines, a photo of my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Just a day in the life of my tastebuds sort of thing.  I take more photos than I post anyways.

Breakfast: One egg over easy, spinach and mushrooms, two carrot slices, leftover slider patty from last night, and a sprinkling of blue cheese

Lunch: Salad (green leaf + baby spinach + swiss chard), red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, a hard boiled egg, 2 pieces uncured bacon, two carrot slices, and homemade tomato basil vinaigrette (lemon juice, red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes packed in extra virgin olive oil,  dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and a little extra EVOO)

Paleo PrimaveraDinner: Salad repeat (minus the eggs, mushrooms, & bacon) and my own creation loosely based on a recipe on the back of my tuna packet: Hot Paleo Primavera.  Instead of pasta, I used more broccoli.  Instead of creamy Italian or Ranch, I made my own creamy Italian from Paleo Mayo (which was a buttload of work and a story for another day).  I skipped the salad greens because we had a side salad instead.  And I served the whole mess cooked and warm instead of chilled.  Very satisfying!

Paleo Sliders Big Dinner Plate

Last week sometime, I tried making a full-size eggplant burger bun for my 60z grassfed steakburger.  It worked out pretty well.  Today, we went to the grocery store again and found that they only had normal sized eggplants… which were perfect for homemade sliders!

Eggplant Bun Holds Together Burger Slider

I loved getting to eat two neat little burgers that stayed together so nicely!  Some lettuce, a little onion, one tomato slice, and some spicy mustard per burger is all you need to kick White Castle to the curb.  If you ever even went there to begin with.  I sure as hell didn’t.  😛

If you’re wondering what else is on my dinner plate besides the sliders, I’ve also got a whole grilled jalapeno, half of a cajun style andouille (fancy name for a type of sausage) over sauerkraut, and some grilled asparagus.  My griller man did a supurb job manning the flames today!

Grilling Paleo Sliders with Eggplant Buns

It’s springtime, and Ultimate Evolved Campfire is your Backyard Grill, so get out there and fire it up Paleolithic-Style!  Food always tastes better when it’s real and when it’s cooked outside in the fresh air.

Summer Salsa Burger Paleo Gluten-Free Comparison

It can be intimidating to go Paleo at first… It’s not just gluten-free, it’s rice, corn, beans, legumes, and mostly potato-free, it’s lower in carbohydrates, it’s avoiding processed foods and most (if not all) dairy, and it’s giving up all refined and fake/low-cal sugars.  That seems like a lot of restrictions, and about 3/4 of everything sold in a grocery store.

But if you plan your grocery trips smartly, and you know how to flex your creative chef muscles a little bit, being Paleo can turn a mediocre hamburger and some grilled zucchini into a summertime feast.  You just have to focus on all the tons of extra delicious whole fresh foods you get to heap onto your plate now!  On that note, I think I’m going to go have some Paleo chocolate covered banana for dessert.  😛

Natural Edible Spoon Poblano Pepper Chili

OMG, how fun is this!?!  I had two poblano peppers to chop up and add to my chili, but I only did that with one of them because as soon as I cut the first one in half, a natural edible spoon appeared!

Meat and Onions

Sadly not grass fed ground beef… but it’s not the end of the world.  I do what I can, but I’m not made of money and my freezer has limited space.

Makin Chili

Simple Paleo Chili Recipe:

  1. 1lb ground beef
  2. 3 cans diced tomatoes
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 fresh pepper (I used poblano, but you can use a bell pepper.  whatever.)
  5. 3 garlic cloves
  6. fistful of baby spinach
  7. 1 can mushrooms
  8. chili spices (oregano, chili powder, cumin seed)
  9. ground cayenne pepper for extra spiciness!
  10. an extra poblano pepper will make two spoons for your chili!

Bacon ChopsticksIf you want to add bacon to your chili recipe (I did!) be sure to cook it until it’s crispy first.  Nobody wants soggy chewy bacon in their chili.  Also, if you’re handy with chopsticks, they are the ultimate bacon-flipping tool.  If you’re not handy with chopsticks though, stick to the fork or whatever you use.  Over a sizzling pan of hot bacon grease is not the place to practice using chopsticks!

baby spinach in chili

I add a fistful of baby spinach to every soup I make.  Canned or frozen spinach tastes horrible, but fresh organic baby spinach tastes either good (like in a salad) or like nothing at all (in flavorful soups like chili).

chili secret ingredient

Should I add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to my chili?  Why the hell not.  I’m feeling dangerous today!

Natural Edible Spoon Poblano Pepper Chili

And finally, no good Paleo Chili is complete without a little guacamole on top.  I haven’t made my own guac yet… I usually just buy these Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs from WalMart.  The ingredients are good, and they’re such a convenient size!  Dig in!

Paleo Burger Eggplant Bun

While perusing the vegetable aisle at WalMart yesterday, I happened across a freakishly large eggplant.  So big that my first thought actually was, “hamburger bun?”  I browse other Paleo, Low-Carb, and Gluten-Free blogs fairly often, but I have yet to see eggplant buns on burgers.  I figured I’d try it anyways.

Paleo Burger Eggplant Bun

Grilling Burger Eggplant BunsMy raw slices were a little over an inch thick, so they would be able to shrink a little during grilling but still be big enough.  I salted them generously, let them “sweat” for about 20 minutes (the salt draws out the moisture inside the eggplant), rinsed them off, and then gave them a generous sprinkling of chili powder, ground cumin, and oregano.  I used those spices because these were going to be South of the Border Burgers with fresh salsa and guacamole!  The eggplant took a little longer on the grill than the burgers – you just have to keep an eye on the slices.

The only thing I’ll change next time is that I’ll completely peel the slices instead of leaving some strips of skin on.  Those bits were a little chewy.  But otherwise, this worked out amazingly well!  It didn’t get too messy until the last couple of bites, just like a burger on a regular bun would!  Paleo Eggplant Burger Bun Replacement: Success!

Eggplant Hamburger Bun Low Carb Paleo

Update: OMG, forget about making whole burgers with eggplant buns… make sliders!!!  They’re less messy, more fun, and you can use normal size eggplants instead of trying to find monster size ones!  Check out The Evolved Campfire Perfect Paleo Sliders with Eggplant Buns!!!

Paleo Burger Dinner Plate

With Paleo burger platters like this, I don’t miss buns or french fries even a little bit.  If you are strictly anti-dairy, substitute a dollop of guacamole for the blue cheese crumbles I used.  It’ll be every bit as good, just a little different.

Grilled Paleo Burger Summer Plate Zucchini Fries

Starting in the upper lefthand corner and working our way around clockwise:

  1. Raw banana slices with a pinch of cocoa powder
  2. Wilted (on cast iron skillet) baby spinach with red onions and fresh tomatoes
  3. Grass fed steak burger from La Cense Beef topped with avocado slices and blue cheese crumbles
  4. Grilled white mushrooms
  5. Grilled asparagus wrapped in Genoa salami
  6. Grilled zucchini quarters seasoned with Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning (I pick these up with my fingers and pretend they’re steak fries!)