Paleo Recipes for Modern Day Cavemen

Archive for the category “Entrees”

Roasted Mini Pumpkins

Thanks to my fans on Facebook. Cavemen Gourmet just reached over 1,000 fans!  I really appreciate all of the support and feedback that CG followers have given to me and I hope to provide more simple paleo recipes for you to enjoy.

This recipe came to me out of nowhere today. For weeks, we’ve had mini pumpkins in the house for decor and I was thinking of what I should do with them after Halloween. Typically, I just threw them away but then figured they were no different than other squash so perhaps I could roast them. And what do you know? They were fantastic! The star anise added some nice flavor and also looked like spiders so that could be a nice Halloween garnish! Easy like Sunday morning…

Roasted Mini Pumpkins by Cavemen Gourmet

Roasted Mini Pumpkins by Cavemen Gourmet

Ingredients
4 mini pumpkins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 star anise (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Wipe your mini pumpkins with a clean wash cloth. Then with a sharp knife, VERY carefully cut the tops of the pumpkin off, about 1/3 of the way from the top so you can get to the seeds. (I find cutting butternut squash and pumpkin to be very dangerous so be careful of your fingers!) Then scoop out pumpkin seeds and fibers.

Brush the coconut oil on the pumpkins and sprinkle cinnamon and allspice on top. I placed star anise inside two of the pumpkins just for an added kick of flavor.  Put the tops back on the pumpkins and place on large baking pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pumpkins are tender.  Serve hot or warm!  Now that I know how easy it is to make this, I might go crazy with a few pumpkin recipes.  I’ll post a separate recipe for the pumpkin seeds – nothing goes to waste here. Just an FYI – I used two orange and two white pumpkins and found both to be flavorful, though the orange pumpkin ended up tasting sweeter. Enjoy!

MEATY MONDAYS: Pork Satay with Cashew Dipping Sauce

While still in New York, my husband and I took a fun cooking class focused on Sustainable Meats at the Institute of Culinary Education.  It was a fantastic course dedicated to meat, meat and more meat.  It was an extremely useful class for me to take because I end up predominantly cooking chicken and shrimp at home (partly because they cook relatively fast and I like the convenience but mostly because I don’t know how to cook other meats that well).  So it got me to thinking Cavemen Gourmet fans might need some suggestions too. I hereby declare Mondays on Cavemen Gourmet as Meaty Mondays! Hopefully we don’t all get the meat sweats on Tuesdays…

Pork Satay is one of my favorite dishes but I never tried cooking them before. I adapted this recipe for paleo diners, including the dipping sauce. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed (silver skin removed) – roughly 1lb
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
10-20 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes

For the dipping sauce
2 cups roasted unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon red or green curry paste
1 tablespoon honey
1 can of coconut milk
2-3 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions
For the pork satay:
Cut pork into strips, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.  Then thread the pork pieces into the wooden skewers, weaving in and out of the meat (think of figure eight patterns), keeping the sharp tips of the skewers insite the meat at the top to prevent them from burning.

In a blender, puree the marinade ingredients together.  Pour marinade on pork skewers in a large zip-loc bag. Let marinade at room temperature for an hour (or longer if you’re putting in the refrigerator).

Heat a grill (or grill pan).  We used a grill pan but if you’re using a grill with an open flame, be careful about your wooden skewers burning (try lining the front edge of the grill with a wide strip of double aluminum foil so you can rest the exposed skewers on the foil.  Brush grill with oil and then lay the pork skewers on the grill for 5-7 minutes, or until meat sizzles and browns.  Turn sticks and grill the other side another 5 minutes, or until cooked but still tender.

For the dipping sauce:
Place the cashews in a food processor and puree until they turn into cashew butter (about 2-3 minutes). In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and whisk in the curry paste, honey and coconut milk until smooth and thickened (about 5 minutes). Do not boil it!

Remove from heat and let cool and then add the cashew butter. Whisk until smooth. Then add fish sauce and lime juice (add some salt or more honey for taste depending on how sweet/salty you like your dips). Keep warm until use (you can keep this in the fridge for a few weeks! Just reheat before using again).

Hope you enjoy this savory combo as much as we did! I found the pork to come out quite juicy and not dreadfully dry which I’m always afraid of with pork. Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Shrimp

In honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday today, I thought I’d post something savory for her.  This recipe was a complete accident as I was trying to come up with anything that we had in the house and it randomly included broccoli and shrimp. Feel free to substitute any of the veggies but fortunately it was an instant hit with my husband (who’s quickly turning into Ina Garten’s husband Jeffrey). It’s a quick paleo meal under 30 minutes that tastes really decadent and delicious.  Can serve with cauliflower rice or eat it plain like we do…

Ingredients
(Serves 6-8)
2lb medium shrimp (cleaned, peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (chopped)
1/2lb broccoli florets
2 cans of coconut milk
2 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon sesame chili oil (optional)
2 green onions
1 tablespoon chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
To cook the shrimp: simply place shrimp in boiling hot water for 2-3 minutes until they turn fully pink. Then rinse in cold water so that it doesn’t overcook from the heat and stays juicy. Set aside. (Usually I take some out and give to my husband as a yummy shrimp cocktail snack.)

Then in a heated sauce pan, spray your pan with coconut oil spray. Add broccoli and onions and stir until tender (roughly 10 minutes). Add the coconut milk, sesame oil, curry and garam masala powder. Stir until all of the ingredients are mixed well and fully coated. Then add the boiled shrimp and mix in with the rest of the ingredients.  Cover the saucepan for 10 minutes so the flavors meld together.  Once you’re ready to eat – stir in the green onions and basil. Voila!

As Julia would say: Bon Appetit! (And let me know what you think!)

Carrot & Thyme Soup

It’s winter and it’s cold outside (at least in New York City anyways). Cue up the tasty and hearty soup please.

This soup recipe is really simple and only has six main ingredients.  I went to a restaurant recently and saw a similar dish on a menu that used butter and cream so I just played around with a recipe to make a purely paleo version. Given that my husband loves spicy foods, I tried to heat things up (wink wink). Ok – I meant I added jalapenos. Feel free to take that out and the cauliflower as well. I’m just in a vegetable kick and wanted to add as much veggies as I could.

This is one of those recipes that I absolutely love, regardless of being paleo or not.   It is now my husband’s favorite new soup! I find it as soothing as the combination of Chris and Eddie singing Hunger Strike to me…

Ingredients
(Serves 6-8)

1lb medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
8 oz cauliflower florets
4 cups chicken broth
1 large jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. In a heated saute pan coated with olive oil – saute the onions, cauliflower and carrots until onions are caramelized (about 15 minutes). Stir frequently.

2. Add the thyme and sliced jalapenos with the vegetables.  Mix together in saute pan.

3. Pour the sauteed vegetables in a large blender along with your chicken broth.   Puree until creamy and smooth texture.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve and enjoy! I prefer this hot but my husband likes it cold. Let me know what you like better!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Ground Beef

Happy New Year Cavemen Gourmet fans! Hope you all enjoyed the holiday season – it always goes by too fast doesn’t it?!  This year my resolution is to cook (and post) more.

Last week, I made acorn squash for the first time and my husband and I are now big fans. They are easy to cook and sweet (but not too sweet like sweet potatoes or butternut squash can be at times) and have such a nice flavor you wonder if they are paleo! The great thing is they have a decent amount of protein per serving as well as Vitamin B6, C and E!  I’ll definitely be using this more as a potato/starch replacement.  Who doesn’t like sweet goodness? Speaking of awesome goodness, I may be in a Chris Cornell phase

Ingredients
Serves 4-5

3 acorn squash, medium sized
1lb ground beef
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Directions
Cut your squash in half and take out the seeds. Then place on a roasting pan and bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes or until tender.

While the squash is baking – saute the onions and ground beef on medium heat with the other dry ingredients until browned.  Once the squash is ready, stuff the squash with the beef filling and bake for another 15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

This is a simple recipe and can be made even more simple if you want to cut out the baking time. You can microwave the squash (roughly 10-15 minutes ). The difference is baking will allow the squash to carmelize but if you don’t mind the slightly dryer taste of squash in the microwave – go for it!  The next time I do this dish, I may add sliced mushrooms and/or tomatoes. I’m starting to drool thinking about the options…

Roasted Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad

My favorite culinary curmudgeon, Anthony Bourdain, doesn’t call roasted bone marrow “Butter of the Gods” for nothing. It is one of my absolute favorite dishes and incredibly simple to make at home (and much cheaper than getting at a restaurant!).  Bone marrow is rich in fat and protein and has a soft and gelatinous texture.  I wouldn’t recommend eating it morning, noon and night, given it’s fat content but I think it’s great on occasion – especially since most of the fat in marrow is monounsaturated fat (one of the good fats).  When you take your first warm and buttery bite, it’s a slice of heaven. Just like this acoustic version of My Hero from Dave Grohl. Is there anything more awesome? Very hard to beat…

Ingredients
Makes 2-3 servings
6 three-inch pieces of marrow (approximately 3-4 pounds)
1 bunch parsley leaves
6 oz cipolline onions
6 oz cherries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
course sea salt
pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line your baking pan with aluminum foil because the marrow and fat will leak out during the roast! Place the bones standing upright. Add the onions as well since they’ll be sweet like candy when they’re roasted. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. (That’s right – you don’t have to add/season/do anything to the bones!)

While the bones and onions are roasting, mix the parsley leaves with chopped cherries. (I know that Anthony Bourdain’s favorite meal includes parsley salad with capers but I didn’t have any when I was making this so I included cherries to add some tartness. It worked great but feel free to add capers instead.) Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and course sea salt and pepper to the salad.

After 20 minutes, your marrow should look softened and loose (shouldn’t be liquified or you’ve gone too long). Take the bones out and set up standing on a plate. Take your onions and chop up 3oz and add to your salad and mix. Set the remaining 3oz on your plate. 

These are a bit challenging to eat if you don’t have the right utensils so make sure you have a slender spoon (or chopsticks!) so you can scrape the buttery goodness out. Enjoy!

Lamb and Vegetable Kabobs

I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ll get better – it’s been hard when the Summer has been so consuming in a good way. Who doesn’t want to be outside with the sunshine and playing all of the time? One thing that I love doing in the summer time is grilling. Nothing beats natural meats and veggies with some good ol’ sunshine.  Ok fine, maybe some Rock and Roll playing in the background. (Warning to CG fans: I might be in my John Bonham phase right now…) 

Ingredients
Makes 5-6 servings
1 1/2 pounds of lamb cubes
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 large red peppers, cut into 1/2 inch squares
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered

Directions
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, thyme, paprika and garlic in a baking dish. Add the lamb cubes, cover and refrigerate overnight.

If you’re using wooden skewers – soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. This will prevent them from burning on the grill.  Drain your marinade from the lamb and start building your kabobs. Try peppers, onions, mushrooms, eggplant – whatever you want!  We chose onions and red peppers for this grilling session.

Once your grill is ready, place skewers on grill (or you can do in grill pan). I like my lamb medium rare so this would be just 4-5 minutes on high heat (about 125 degrees for medium rare, 130 degrees for medium, etc).  Once the lamb is cooked to the level you desire, sprinkle the fresh chopped parsley on top.

That’s it! Serve and Enjoy!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I loved stuffed bell peppers. It’s one of my favorite dishes and my mother in law made some a couple of weeks ago which gave me an idea of making a paleo version.  I modified her recipe by taking out the rice and it ended up being terrific.   My husband raved about it and said it was one of the best things to come out of our kitchen.  But I should caveat that with the fact that he says that with a lot of my dishes, so much so that he is starting to remind me of Ina Garten’s husband, Jeff, who takes a bite from one of Ina’s dishes at the end of a Barefoot Contessa show and always acts like he just took a bite out of heaven.  But I’ll take a thumbs up any day.

Ingredients
Makes 4-6 servings
5 bell peppers of your choice (I love all but green)
1lb ground beef
1 large sweet onion, diced
8oz sliced and diced mushrooms
3 medium tomatoes, diced
3oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the top of each bell pepper about one inch from the top and remove seeds in the center.  Add the bell peppers in a boiling pot of water for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a large pan on medium heat, saute your chopped onions and mushrooms for roughly 5 minutes until browned.  Add ground beef and stir until lightly browned, not fully cooked.  Reduce heat to low and then add the minced garlic, tomato paste and diced tomatoes and stir thoroughly.

In a medium sized baking dish, line up your peppers so they are standing upright. Fill in your bell peppers with the meat and vegetable mixture.  Add 1/3 cup of water to the bottom of your baking dish.  Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (or even longer depending on how tender you like your bell peppers).  You can serve immediately (but these are my favorite as leftovers). Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Holy moly – where does the time go. It’s already the end of February and I realized that I haven’t posted in weeks. Our food challenge is over and it was an amazing success. Of the 34 people who participated in it, the group lost over 100 pounds collectively in just 45 days! All from changing the way they ate! It was an incredible achievement and we were so proud of everyone. Nearly everyone will continue some form of paleo after the food challenge and have incorporated a significant amount of vegetables in their diet which is wonderful. One of the recipes that helped get us through the challenge was this one. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful substitute for pasta and incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion – chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 15 oz can of organic tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper

Directions
Cut your squash in half lengthwise. (Note – you can cut it in half the other way but I like my squash to have longer strands so that I think I’m getting a ‘noodle’. I know – we all know it’s not pasta but I can pretend can’t I?)  Be careful to have a firm grip on your squash – cutting these guys can be a bit dangerous. Once you’ve halved the squash, you can either bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or microwave it. I personally microwave mine because it’s easier and faster for me You can microwave for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

To make the bolognese sauce, you can follow my recipe below that I posted before with my Spaghetti Bolognese with Kelp Noodles recipe.  But feel free to do any type of sauce with the spaghetti squash. It will absorb any flavor you want.

Once your squash has cooled, take a fork and simply just fork out the squash noodles. Just be mindful to separate and take out the seeds and the seed strands.  It’s incredibly fast and easy. These ‘noodles’ taste great and are so easy to make. They have a high water content so keep that in mind when you add sauces.  Once you have finished your bolognese sauce, just add on top of these noodles. Serve and enjoy!

Beef stuffed cabbage

Day 6 of the food challenge and so far so good. I am absolutely amazed at how well everyone in our group is doing and how creative some of the recipes are!  Paleo dishes can be delicious I tell you!  Here is my version of stuffed cabbage. It’s not the prettiest dish but it’s one of the tastiest. I thought about doing this after making my beef and eggplant lasagna because I loved the meat sauce so much from that recipe. You’ll notice it’s very similar but I took out the dairy/cheese portion and wanted to add another vegetable. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients
Makes 6 servings
1 head cabbage
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
4oz sliced mushrooms
1.5 pound lean ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 tablespoon parsley
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 egg
olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions
In a large heated pan, add some olive oil and sauté the sliced eggplant on high heat. Stir frequently for 5-7 minutes until eggplant is nice and soft/mushy consistency. Halfway through cooking the eggplant, add in your sliced mushrooms. Stir frequently.

Once your mushrooms have browned and your eggplant has softened dramatically, add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, onions, and garlic. After the beef is browned, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg and herbs. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine, and mix well. Add in beaten egg and stir until thoroughly mixed. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the beef is simmering, get a large pot of hot water and boil on the stovetop.  With your cabbage, remove about 15 large leaves from the cabbage (make sure to cut off the very thick part of each leaf that is closest to the center of the cabbage – I find that part does not soften and will not be as tasty).  Add your whole cabbage leaves in the hot water for 3-4 minutes to wilt the leaves. You need them wilted so that they wrap around the meat mixture well.

Get ready to roll your sleeves up because this part gets a little messy! Take your softened cabbage leave and spoon in your beef mixture. In a medium sized cabbage leaf – I normally put about 2-3 tablespoons in the center, then fold the left and right sides of the cabbage in, then start the roll from the bottom all the way to the top. Try to roll as tightly as possible to keep the meat contained – but not too tight that you tear the cabbage leaf.  In a large sauté pan, carefully place the stuffed cabbage so that the opening of the cabbage faces the bottom. I find this helps keep the cabbage shape together and less stuffing falls out.

Repeat for your remaining cabbage leaves. You should have about a fair amount of the meat mixture left over which is perfect. Once all of your stuffed cabbage is placed in the sauté pan compactly next to one another, pour the remaining meat sauce mixture on top of the stuff cabbage.

Cover and cook on low for 15 more minutes. Best served immediately. Hope you enjoy!

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