The Road BEYOND Warrior Dash: What’s Eating You?

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Primal Cooking

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I’ve been getting a lot of requests to give out the recipes for the foods I’ve been eating. It probably doesn’t help my social network of friends when I’m posting pictures of delicious food all the time. I went to culinary school over ten years ago. Do you know after having spent a few years on the job, I hated to cook at home. I enjoyed the creativity of it but I disliked the chore of it all. Since I’ve switched over to Primal Blueprint/Paleo eating, I’ve found a new-found love for the culinary skills I had learned all those years ago. I’ve really been reconnecting my love of food with my love of cooking and creativity. The only difference this time is I’m taking a whole, unprocessed, partially organic approach to my cooking/eating. You may think that some of these recipes are fattening and that you can cut the fat/calories by using low-fat or fat free products. The only thing is that you would be using processed ingredients. These recipes are made with whole ingredients. Read on.

The Menu

Here is a list of recipes I’ve made this week. Please do not attempt to eat your computer screens.

Smoked Salmon

I got this recipe from the Cooking Channel show, Chuck’s Day Off. Here’s what you need:

  • Wild Salmon (the farm-raised stuff is enhanced in color by feed…what are they doing to these fish that take away their natural color??)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Unrefined Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Course Salt (I used Kosher)
  • 3 Cups WARM Water
  • Pinch of Lemon Zest
  • A Wok
  • A Bamboo Steamer Basket
  • 2 Handful of Hickory Wood Chips
  • 1/2 cup water for smoking

This couldn’t be easier. Put the sugars and salt into a large non-reactive bowl. Add the three cups of warm water. It needs to be warm so the sugar and salt dissolve while you stir it. Add the pinch of lemon zest and stir until it’s all combined/dissolved. Add the salmon by placing it skin side up in the brine you just made. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. It’s a long wait but totally worth it.

The next day, take the bowl out of the refrigerator. Remove and rinse the salmon and leave it out on a wire rack to drain and dry for 30 minutes. This will also take some of the chill off of the fish.

Prepare your wok. I suggest doing this outside on a grill with a side burner. Put in the wood chips and turn the burner on high heat. Put the salmon in the steamer basket and watch the hickory chips. When they start to smoke on their own, add the 1/2 cup of water and immediately put the steamer basket over the top of the wood chips. Now comes the hard part. Leave it alone. Don’t check on it. Don’t remove the lid. Trust me, DON’T OPEN IT!!! You’ll let all the smoke out so leave it alone for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, go ahead and remove the lid to check. Chuck says to smoke it 20-30 minutes. I went the full 30 and managed to char my steamer basket pretty badly. Check the pics below for a few laughs.

Here’s a funny thing to note. I do not like Salmon. In the past, I have always noticed it smells fishy. I tried it a few times and it was fishier than I would prefer. Cooking it at home where I can control how it’s flavored and prepared makes all the difference. This particular way of smoking the salmon made it charred and flavorful on the outside. The brine and smoking removed all evidence that this was a seafood dinner. The salmon remained oily and moist in the middle but crispy and smoky on the outside. The aftertaste was smoky and not fishy or bitter. Kind of like when you eat a plate of the best ribs from the best BBQ place in your town. You can eat this by itself or Chuck recommends serving it beside a green salad with apple vinaigrette. If you want the apple vinaigrette recipe, comment and ask for it. Here are the photos.

Stuffed Pepper & Kale Chips

I’ve been reading a blog called Mark’s Daily Apple. It’s extremely informative. Mark Sisson is the man that wrote The Primal Blueprint and in his daily blog he has touched on the benefits of eating Kale and how it’s a power veggie. In my culinary school days we would take Kale and use it to garnish the salad bar and cover up the ice between the bowls. We never cooked it. Last week I bought two bunches of it and I can tell you it’s all gone now. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and bought two more bunches because I plan on making this a staple in my new way of eating. While the picture below has a stuffed pepper, I have no recipe for it. I had some leftover pot roast but you can stuff it with ground beef, bison or whatever you like. I roasted the pepper at 400 for about 10 minutes. I put the pot roast in and cracked an egg on top and put it back under the broiler for five minutes to cook the egg. Here is the recipe for the kale chips:

  • One bunch of Kale
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • a few pinches of course salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Cut the leafy part of the kale away from the stems and tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl with 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil and toss with your hands until it’s all covered uniformly. Put the Kale pieces on baking sheets. Sprinkle kosher salt lightly over all pieces. I suggest putting the vinegar in a small cup and dabbing it on every piece of kale with a basting brush. Roast for 10 minutes and stir them around a little. If they are starting to brown on the edges, take them out. If not, I wouldn’t go more than 2 more minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and enjoy. You can eat a cup for about 45 calories. I would have thought this would be gross but it was so good that I made a second batch the same day for my sister to share in my excitement. I won’t be buying potato chips again any time soon. Now for the pictures.

Chicken Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Mushroom and Onion Duxelle

Holy flavor explosion! I’m not going to waste any time talking about this recipe. Tasting is the only way you can understand. Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Chicken Breast Halves, butterflied
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lay your butterflied chicken breasts out on a cutting board after trimming, rinsing and patting them dry. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute for 6 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook until almost all the liquid has cooked off. Just be patient and keep stirring occasionally until there’s just a slight amount of liquid left. Remove the duxelle from the pan and cool completely. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Divide your duxelle into thirds and place each third onto the chicken. Spread it out but leave space at each edge for rolling. Evenly spoon the blue cheese over the duxelle on each chicken breast and press down. Roll the breasts from the thickest to the thinnest part. If you feel you need to, you can seal it with toothpicks but if you get it rolled nicely, you won’t need them.

Preheat oven to 350. I melted butter in a clean oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat and placed the chicken breasts in with the seam side down. Wait for the breasts to release from searing and turn to brown on all sides. Once browned slightly, make sure all of the breasts are in the pan seam side down again and place in the oven for 25 minutes to finish cooking thoroughly. Pictures will be shown below the recipe for…

Creamed Kale

Holy mother of goodness! Who would have thought. Again, straight to the recipe. You need:

  • Two bunches of Kale
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the lower stems off the kale and then slice the kale into bite size pieces. It’s pretty much the same way you would slice romaine for a salad. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and saute until they are translucent but not browned. Add the Kale over the onions and cover the pan to steam for five minutes. The Kale will start to wilt down a little creating more space in the pan. Add the cream. When the cream just starts to bubble, turn the heat to low and continue to cook uncovered until the kale reaches YOUR desired texture. I like mine soft with a slight crunch. Add in salt and pepper and stir until the cream and onions are thoroughly mixed in. Serve. This is so amazing. Here are the pictures:

I had some leftover creamed kale last night so I decided to warm it up a bit and make it into a bed to rest my bacon-wrapped filet mignon on. You can figure out how to cook filet mignon to your liking and just mix and match things to create beautiful dishes at home that don’t cost $45 in a restaurant. There’s a place near me called Cavallari Gourmet. Their bacon-wrapped filets are $6 each. That plus the kale, onion and cream and this dish only cost me around $8 total to make at home. That’s a savings of $35 or more when dining out. Not bad and just try to tell me these pictures (taken with my iPhone) don’t look as good as restaurant quality.

One More Thing

It’s Friday and every Friday I face the scale. I lost almost four more pounds this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

  1. Melissa says:

    Okay, you have to know I’m not going to make any of this. But I might try it if you make it.

    I’m SO freaking proud of you!!!

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