Posts Tagged ‘Zucchini’

zucchini hash browns gluten free

Tonight, I made Brinner – breakfast for dinner.  Some spicy Italian sausage, a sunny side up egg, some skillet vegetables, and (drumroll please) … zucchini hash browns!  Actually, I don’t know what the technical definition of a hash brown is.  Maybe these are more like zucchini pancakes or breakfast patties.  Potatoes are a funny vegetable – you can cut them up and cook them in a hundred different ways, and each result has a totally new name.

Zucchini should be the same way.  Maybe I’ll just start adding the letter Z to foods that I make with zucchini.  Zash Brownz.  Nah, that’s lame.  Nevermind.  😛

paleo zucchini hash browns

Anyways, making paleo zucchini hash browns is easy.  The bare basics of what you’ll need are…

  1. At least one zucchini.  My three patties are made from two very small zucchinis.
  2. A cheese grater.
  3. One egg (or you could use one or two eggs whites, I suppose)
  4. Cheesecloth, paper towels, or a thin clean rag (or a tshirt if you plan to throw it in the wash right away)
  5. A frying pan and some oil/fat
  6. Optional: Salt, pepper, herbs, spices, shredded cheese, minced onion, minced garlic, etc.

Grate your zucchini like it’s a block of cheese and then wrap it up in your piece of cloth and squeeeeeeeeeze as much of the water out of it as possible.  Then mix the shredded zucchini with the egg and any optional ingredients.  Heat your frying pan up to medium, melt your preferred fat on it (just enough to coat the pan is fine but you can use more if you want to), and then start plopping spoonfuls of zucchini mix onto the pan.  Squash them down into thin patties and tuck the edges in with a spatula to get a rounder look.  Start with four minutes on each side, and then add some more time if you need to.  You want both sides to be nicely browned and all the egg throughout the patty to be cooked and firm.

I ate mine with a generous helping of organic marinara sauce on top!

 

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Steak Mushroom Onions Kabobs Grilling

Don’t you dare make fun of my Pampered Chef kabobs!  They are extremely functional and they were a gift, so just focus on the delicious fresh organic mushrooms and yellow and purple onions instead.

Steak Meal Before Grilling

I counted my onions and mushrooms carefully, and then cut my steak into an appropriate number of pieces so that I could have one mushroom, one steak bite, and at least one onion in every delicious bite.

Grill Symmetry Paleo

I also only actually ate half of that NY steak… I’m saving the other half for something else tomorrow… maybe steak and eggs for breakfast.  I’ll need plenty of brain fuel tomorrow since I’ve put off finishing my taxes until literally the day before they’re due.  You people with your W2s have it so stinkin’ easy!

Ranch

Are you seeing this gorgeous creamy ranch dressing?  I homemade it!  It has paleo mayo, Greek yogurt (I break the dairy rules for Greek yogurt!), lemon juice, a splash of white wine vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, ground pepper, dried parsley, and dried dill in it.  I just dumped them all together and crossed my fingers to make it earlier today, but stay tuned.  I will make it again soon and maybe actually measure some stuff so that I can post the recipe here for you all to enjoy too!

Paleo Cilantro Lime Fish and Salsa

I found wild-caught tilapia, normally a fairly expensive fish, on sale a couple of days ago!  I always keep my eyes out for the “manager’s special” fish because even though you have to use it right away (there’s usually only a day or two until the expiration date), the discounts are huge!

oil egg whisk paleo mayo

Allow me to start at the beginning of the meal preparation with my first ever successful batch of paleo mayonnaise!  There’s about 3/4 of a cup of oil (half coconut and half extra virgin olive oil) in the tacky snowman cup, and I only used the egg yolk not the whole egg.  And check it out – I finally broke down and bought a whisk after wasting a good 45 minutes the other day making a horribly failed batch of mayo in our blender.  The problem with the blender by the way was that I was trying to make just a small batch, and it didn’t fill the blender up enough that the blades could properly mix it.  So because I don’t ever plan to make paleonnaise in 4-cup batches at a time, I decided that splurging on a whisk was probably worth it.  😛

Thick Paleo Mayonnaise

See how beautifully thick my paleo mayo is?  And it’s so simple to make too – once you’ve acquired a whisk.  Drop an egg yolk in a glass and then whisk it continuously and vigorously while you pour in about 3/4 of a cup of any liquid state oil you want.  And by slowly, I mean SLOOOOOOWWWWWLLLYYY.  It should probably take you three whole minutes if you’re pouring continuously.  If you pour the oil in too fast, or slack off on the whisking, your ingredients will separate and become liquid instead of the wonderful spreadable mayo you see above.  So go slow, and whisk like your mayo’s life depends on it.  Because it does.

cilantro lime mayonnaise marinade ingredients

Paleo Cilantro Lime Fish MarinadePaleo Cilantro Lime Tilapia Marinade

Though I bet this would work well on other types of white fish or even on chicken too…

  1. Plain Paleo Mayonnaise, maybe about 1/3 of a cup?  Look at the picture.  That much.
  2. Fresh Cilantro, chopped up (I used half of what’s in the picture above, and then the other half for garnish later)
  3. Two diced Garlic cloves
  4. Juice of 1/2 of a Lime

Mix it together, and smear it over your meat.  These skinny tilapia fillets were done after 10 minutes uncovered on the middle rack at 350 degrees.

 

 

Finished Cilantro Lime Fish

I almost never bake fish in the oven, so I really don’t know what I’m doing, but this turned out well – moist and flaky.  Just like fish is supposed to be, right?

Roased Brussel Sprouts

I also roasted some brussel sprouts in the oven.  Just cut the ends off, slice them in half, coat them in oil/salt/pepper, and sit them sliced side down on a baking sheet for 30 minutes or so (center rack) at 375 degrees.  Bam, they’re finished and ready to serve.  But I still kind of think they’re a gross vegetable.  I didn’t like them as a kid, and I still don’t.  But I don’t hate them, and I’m a grownup now so I ate them without complaining.  I probably just won’t buy them again anytime real soon.

Paleo Cilantro Lime Tilapia

Tilapia by its nature is a really boring and bland fish – which is good if you don’t like that fishy taste.  But it does mean that you have to pump up the flavors in your dish so you don’t fall asleep while eating it.  I served mine over a bed of taco-seasoned stir-fried onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, and then topped it with fresh salsa, guacamole, a little Greek Yogurt, and some more cilantro for garnish.  Give it a good squirt with some fresh lime juice for a little extra kick too.

Paleo Steak Dinner Zucchini Fries

After last night’s detour into a plate of loaded carne asada nachos from Alejandro’s Taco Shop (easily the best authentic Mexican restaurant in town), I decided to fast for the first part of today and make a great big totally Paleo steak dinner this evening.

Paleo Cilantro Chimichurri Steak Sauce

The steak sauce is chimichurri, a common Argentinian condiment.  From what I understand, chimichurri is basically an acid (lime juice, vinegar, etc) + an oil + herbs probably at least including parsley.  Then, much like everybody here in the US has a different version of cole slaw or baked beans or chili, everybody in Argentina has their own chimichurri recipe.  Today’s chimichurri recipe for me included: white wine vinegar, fresh squeezed lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes, and a clove of garlic.  Dice everything, mix it together, and let it sit out to flavor-mingle while you’re preparing and cooking everything else.

Full Paleo Steak Dinner

The rosemary zucchini fries were also super delicious.  Slice your zucchini longways into at least eighths (or more if you have great big zucchini), squirt them down with a nice oil, and then sprinkle with rosemary and anything else you’re seasoning your steak with (salt, pepper, etc).

Raw Rosemary Zucchini Fries

Here’s what my fries looked like raw.  I just love rosemary – it’s somehow refreshing and savory at the same time.  A perfect compliment to zucchini to fill out a big Paleo steak dinner!

Grass Fed Flat Iron Steak and Veggies

I used Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning for the 10oz grass fed flat iron steak (which we split to serve the two of us) and also a little on the zucchini fries too.  Also, I’ve started grilling my asparagus first, and then cutting the woody ends off after they’re cooked.  In my head, that makes the part that I eat more moist all the way to the end.  Is that silly?  Maybe.

Onions and Coconut Oil

Finally, I sauteed some onions and garlic in coconut oil while my griller man was tending to the meat and veggies outside.  These soft and flavorful onions were served atop my first ever highly successful batch of Paleo cauliflower mashed potatoes!

Paleo Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes in the Blender

Cauliflower mashed potatoes are very simple in theory.  Cut the cauliflower into florets, steam them until they’re really soft when you stab them with a fork (minimum 15 minutes), dry them off or at least drain them really well, then pulverize them with some seasonings and butter or other fat.  I’ve tried before to just mash them with a fork, and trust me – that doesn’t work.  You really need to get your blender or food processor out of the cupboard.  For seasoning, I added a little salt and pepper, a thin slice of raw red onion, a garlic clove, some parsley and dill, and just a little freshly ground nutmeg.  I also added 1tbsp butter and 1tsp uncured bacon fat.   One medium cauliflower head (pictured in the blender above) will yield about three cups of pretend mashed potatoes.

Paleo mashed potatoes yield

I won’t pretend that they tasted exactly like mashed potatoes, but I liked them well enough topped with my flavorful fried onions despite not really being a fan of cauliflower in general.  I probably won’t make a habit of making mashed cauliflower because I don’t really care that much and blenders are a huge pain in the ass to wash after you’re done with them.  But it was nice to have a pile of “potatoes” on my steak platter, and I have enough leftover still for two more servings (I’m the only one eating them).

Zucchini for Dipping

Zucchini has quickly become one of my favorite Paleo side dishes.  I grill it, I fry it, I broil it.  I’ve sliced it every which way.  I dump herbs and spices galore on it.  I love it!

Today, I sliced two zucchinis diagonally (one small zucchini per serving), laid them out on a greased baking sheet, and sprinkled them liberally with my spice container that says “Italian herbs.”  I also like using my spice grinder called “Pizza Spices” for Italian-style broiled zucchini dippers sometimes.  But if you don’t have anything halfway fancy like that, just some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano will work just fine.

Broiled Italian Zucchini Dip

Then all you have to do is put the sheet on a rack that’s about six inches from the top of your oven (for me that’s the top rack) and wait until they start to brown.  My 1/2 to 1/4 inch slices (I’m not very consistent) browned after about seven minutes.  Then I flipped them all over and gave them another three or four minutes.  Most of the time, if you cut them thin enough, you don’t really have to worry about flipping them over.  They’ll be cooked well enough when just the one side is browned.

The dipping sauce is just some canned tomato sauce I found that had the least amount of sugar and zero canola oil.  All I added were some extra “pizza grinder” spices and of course the Parmesan cheese that I grated over the whole shebang.  I know, canned sauce is a crappy shortcut, but some days I just have better things to do than spend a half hour making fresh tomato basil oregano garlic dipping sauce for my zucchini munchies!

One last pic… there actually was some chicken covered in mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and more sauce on my plate, but it was pretty boring.  All I really wanted was more zucchini please!

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.  😛

Paleo Egg Breakfast Typical

I have always had trouble finding a good breakfast that stuck with me all the way until lunchtime.  Until now.  🙂  On the Standard American Diet (SAD diet lol), the breakfasts I tried were “healthy” cereals, eggs and toast, oatmeal, meat and egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, etc.  Nothing lasted for more than a couple hours, and by the time lunch finally rolled around, I was nearly always hungry, grumpy, and tired.

Now though, I invest the extra ten minutes each morning to make a warm protein and vegetable breakfast plate that generally looks something like this.  It really does an amazing job of sticking with me!

My Typical Paleo Egg Breakfast Plate (pictured above):

Serves 1

  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 mushroom, sliced
  4. 1/2 zucchini, quartered
  5. handful of baby spinach
  6. a slice of onion
  7. 1/8 avocado, sliced
  8. a little salsa, depending on how spicy I’m feeling that morning
  9. enough healthy fat (I used coconut oil, but sometimes I use bacon fat too) to coat the bottom of your skillet

Directions: Heat a small skillet (I used a 9″ cast iron) on Medium.  Grease your pan if you need to.  Add the zucchini first – it will take the longest to cook.  Wait a few minutes, flip it a few times, and then add the onion and mushroom slices.  Empty the skillet onto your plate when everything looks done (mushrooms look smaller and more moist, onion is partially translucent, and zucchini is a bit browned and soft all the way through).

Then add enough fat to your pan to coat the bottom again.  Add the egg white, and then the whole egg.  Wait about thirty seconds, then fold up the thinnest side of the egg white.  Sit some baby spinach down there.  Cover the skillet, and wait a few minutes until the spinach starts to wilt.  Then flip the egg over (it should hold together pretty well by now), wait another 30 seconds for an “over easy” egg, and then move the egg and spinach to your plate.

Top with avocado and a little salsa if you’re in the mood, and eat!