Author Archives for pattijeannebarry

Mussels in Cilantro, Lime and Coconut Broth

Wow what a summer,  31 recipes is way more ambitious than I thought it would be.  Right now this will be my 12th summer recipe –  I have some work to do!  One source of inspiration for my recipes is going out to eat and then trying to imitate that meal at home.

A couple of weeks ago we had dinner at Bluefins Sushi & Sake Bar in Chatham.  What a great place.  A mix of traditional sushi and some other great dishes.  One dish I love is the Cape Cod Wild Mussels which are also a take on Mussels in a thai coconut broth.  Here is my interpretation of the recipe.  Its easy and a great way to eat a very inexpensive shell fish.  I paid $2.50 a pound for the mussels!

Mussels in Cilantro Coconut Broth

Mussels in Cilantro Coconut Broth

IMG_4252

Mussels in Cilantro, Lime and Coconut Broth

  • Servings: 4 appetizers, 2 dinners
  • Time: 15 minutes prep and 15 minutes cooking
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lime peeled and cut up
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp ginger chopped
  • 2 tbs coconut aminos
  • 1 can coconut milk, 1/2 can of water
  • 2 lbs mussels beards removed and scrubbed

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or heavy bottomed sauce pan with tight fitting lid over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
  3. Add lime, cilantro, basil, ginger, coconut aminos, coconut milk, and water to pan.  Bring to a low simmer.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes to incorporate flavors.  Taste the broth and adjust seasonings to taste.  Does it need a little salt?
  5. Bring back to a low boil and add mussels.  Simmer until all mussels open 3-8 minutes.
  6. To serve, divide mussels into bowls and ladle broth over the mussels.

This recipe is very forgiving.  If you don’t have the ginger, coconut aminos, or one of the herbs just try it anyway.  Coconut and lime are the basic flavor building blocks so you can really play with the other flavors.  However, FRESH mussels are a must.  I made a great broth once and used mussels that ended up tasting not so fresh.  Total bust!  Drinking the broth after the fact didn’t seem like a very safe option so really push your fishmonger on when they got the mussels in.

IMG_4255

All the mussels just fit in my skillet.

 

Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

For Erin’s first day of school I got up early and was pretty ambitious.  Make a quick pesto chicken salad while baking sweet potato muffins for her lunch!  Crazy!  But I got it done with time to spare even though it was my first rodeo with  the sweet potato muffins.  I followed a recipe from PaleOMG for Sweet Potato Chai Muffins and changed it up a little bit.  Her recipe calls for a few things I forgot or didn’t have on hand – bananas, cinnamon, coconut nectar and baking soda.  With a few substitutions, I still had them in the oven in about 10 minutes.  I also measured the amount of sweet potato I used in a measuring cup so I could duplicate my results in the future.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much flavor the flax seed added to the recipe.

Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

  • Servings: 12-14 muffins
  • Time: 10 minutes prep 25 minutes baking
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large sweet potato to yield 1.5 cups cooked sweet potato
  • 1 medium pear ( I used a very ripe bosc pear) or apple peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 bags unsweetened chai tea
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or grass fed butter (tastes great with either)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions

  1. Microwave your sweet potato wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel on the ‘Potato’ setting on your microwave.  Almost every microwave has this setting I think it cooks them for about 4-5 minutes or use already baked sweet potatoes.
  2. Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a food processor pulse the cooked sweet potato with your pear or apple.  You may have to scrape the sides down a few times to get it pureed.  PaleOMG uses a banana so whatever you have on hand that is ripe!
  4. Add your flax seed, chai tea leaves, vanilla, salt, syrup, melted fat, eggs and baking powder and soda.  Process the mixture scraping the sides down a few times.
  5. Add your chopped nuts if desired.  Of course skip these if there are nut allergy rules at your school.
  6. Scoop your mixture into 12 paper lined muffins.  I use 2.25″ silicon muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.  Muffins are done when a knife or fork comes out fairly clean.

If you have more than two children I recommend doubling this recipe.  It sold out by 10 am in my house two mornings in a row!

 

Paleo School Lunch Idea – Pesto Chicken Salad

How hard is it to pack a paleo school lunch?  On a scale of 1-10 I would rank it a 7 or 8.  Without having enough pre-made proteins, snack foods and veggies, it can be very difficult to pack off your children with a healthy lunch.   I still struggle with this after going paleo three years ago.   Kids don’t have access to a fridge or usually a microwave so thinking through what will stay warm in a thermos or cold in an insulated box are all part of the logistics.   Many times my go to is simply cooking up some ground beef with some veggies and seasonings and packing that in a thermos.  It is efficient but I have to admit sometimes the thermos comes home pretty full and my daughter is pretty hungry when she gets home.

For Erin’s first day of school this year, I packed her off with Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins (recipe coming soon) and some cucumber slices.  One of my best lunches ever!  I skip the garlic and cheese in my pesto to keep it clean and keep your breath fresh for the rest of the day.  Nothing like garlic breath for the entire day.

Paleo Lunch Box - Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins and Veggies

Paleo Lunch Box – Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins and Veggies

Pesto Chicken Salad with Pears or Apples

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt or flavored sea salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice or season to taste
  • 1 pear or apple peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 stalks celery chopped (optional)
  • 1.5 lbs cooked chicken breast chopped

Directions

  1. In a food processor, mince the walnuts and basil.
  2. Add your olive oil, salt and lemon and pulse.
  3. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
  4. Combine your chicken, pear and celery in a medium bowl.
  5. Add enough pesto to cover your chicken you may have extra.
  6. Keep cold in a fridge.  (You can heat this up if you want a warm lunch.  I like it cold or microwaved for a minute.

 

Easy Oven to Grill Baby Back Ribs

Erin chowing down some ribs on the deck!

Erin chowing down some ribs on the deck!

This was a great summer vacation recipe.  Easy clean up and you can cook the ribs  ahead of time for care free summer entertaining.  Our vacation mornings usually consist of lots of coffee, reading and thinking about maybe we should get our day going.  During this very slow hours of sitting around and waiting for the preteens and teens to wake up, I cooked the ribs then threw them in the fridge for our dinner.  I also went ahead and made some Asian Cole Slaw and Paleo Sweet Potato Salad for a complete make ahead dinner.

After a great beach day, we had a bunch of family over for a bbq and we reheated the ribs during cocktail hour.  Easy and delicious and almost no clean up.

Easy Oven to Grill Baby Back Ribs

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 15 prep minutes 2 hours cooking
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 slabs of baby back ribs
  • 2 -3 tbs Penzeys Pork Chop Seasoning or make your own – 1 tbs garlic powder, 1 tbs onion powder, 2 tsp white pepper, 2 ground ginger, 1 tbs sea salt.
  • 4 tbs dijon mustard (optional)
  • 4 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Take out your ribs and peel off the membrane that is along the bone side of your ribs.   See picture below.
  3. Season ribs on both sides with seasonings.
  4. Wrap each rack in foil.  I used non stick foil and two sheets.  I made sure to completely enclose each rack. Don’t wrap them tightly.
  5. Place on top of a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 1.5-2 hours.  The longer you cook the more they fall off the bone so it depends on your preference.
  6. Take out of the oven and remove ribs from foil and drain excess fat.
  7. Make your optional BBQ by mixing mustard with maple syrup.  This is a tomato free sauce for those avoiding night shades.
  8. You can now let your ribs rest in the fridge if you cook them in the morning like I did just be sure to let them warm up to room temperature for at least a half an hour prior to grilling (cocktail hour!).
  9. Heat grill to medium heat and girl on a well oiled grill for 5-10 minutes per side.  Fresh from the oven, only grill for 5 minutes per side.  If reheating room temperature ribs cook for about 10 minutes per side.
  10. Serve with mustard sauce or your own BBQ sauce.
  11. Ribs reheat well for a lunch in the microwave!

I put my seasoning on, wrapped my ribs and then remembered to remove the membrane!  The joys of cooking on the fly!

Peeling off the membrane on the bone side of your rib rack.

Peeling off the membrane on the bone side of your rib rack.

Ribs are fully cooked but a little gray.  Throw them on the grill for a little color.

Ribs are fully cooked but a little gray. Throw them on the grill for a little color.

Shrimp with Toasted Coconut Peach Salsa – Perfect Summer Dinner

With my new night shade and egg restriction cooking has been a little more challenging lately.   We also have a family member who is not feeling well so food prep has been on the back burner.  Yesterday, things got a little more back to normal and some inspiration for a tasty meal returned.   I found a great recipe for a Shrimp burger with Chipotle Cream and Coconut Peach Salsa but it needs quite a few adjustments to meet our new dietary restrictions.   With a few changes, the recipe is night shade and egg free and completely paleo.  It is also no longer a burger which saves me a lot of prep work.

Toasted Coconut and Peach Salsa is just great with some shrimp!

Toasted Coconut and Peach Salsa is just great with some shrimp!

I served it with my Asian Napa Cabbage Salad and the dinner reviews were over the top.  Both kids and my husband thought dinner was delicious!  Home Run!

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

The entire dinner took about an 45 minutes  which means if I had actually gotten all of my ingredients out ahead of time I could be done in 30 minutes.  If you are trying to cook this quickly and efficiently, chop all the ingredients at once and set up two bowls.  One for the Asian Napa Cabbage Salad and one for your peach salsa.

Sauted Shrimp with Coconut Peach Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs diced red onion
  • 2 tbs diced fresh cilantro
  • 3 ripe peaches peeled and chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 avocados chopped and set aside
  • 2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

Directions

  1. To toast your coconut, heat a small skillet or pan over medium heat.  Toss in coconut and toast for 1-2 minutes until medium brown.  This is very quick!
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to make your salsa.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Combine mustard, 2 tbs lime juice and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
  4. Season your shrimp with 1-2 tsp sea salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your coconut oil.
  6. Add shrimp to hot pan and sauté.  This can take 4-8 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp.
  7. Once shrimp is just cooked thru check for excess water in the pan.  (Mine had quite a bit).  Drain excess water by covering your pan and carefully pouring hot liquid into a sink or heat proof dish.
  8. Stir in your mustard mixture and serve.
  9. Place shrimp on plate, toss some avocado on top and then the salsa.  Serve with Asian Napa Cabbage Salad for a complete meal.

If you are making this with the cabbage salad you can chop extra cilantro and squeeze two limes to save you some time!

I will double the salsa next time it is already gone!

2 lbs of shrimp overwhelm a 10" skillet but it still will cook quickly.

2 lbs of shrimp overwhelm a 10″ skillet but it still will cook quickly.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

I have made this a few times and it is remarkably quick and it lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days.  Great for eating clean and paleo!  I have found many recipes for a cabbage based slaw or salad use some sort of sweetener and this one doesn’t.  It is very savory which helps when you are eliminating sugar and sweeteners from your diet.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

I have used bean sprouts which are technically not PALEO but I have read they are pretty benign.  If you are not eating bean sprouts just substitute grated carrots or celery for a little crunch in your salad.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbs coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tbs coconut vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 4 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbs fresh basil chopped
  • 4 tbs fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1 medium head napa cabbage thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Make your dressing by combining lime juice, coconut amines, vinegar, sesame oil and salt in a small bowl and mixing with a fork.
  2. Combine your chopped ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  3. Add your dressing and toss.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  It may need no additional seasoning.

 

Ginger Garlic Pork Meatballs

Ok I have to admit one week into my new no Nightshade regimen I am getting a little hungry and need some FLAVA! So today while waiting to watch my coach Rachel Martinez, in  the opening event of the Crossfit Games I made up some great meatballs for to munch on while watching the games.  Ginger Garlic Meatballs with a soy (coconut amines) dipping sauce  .

Meatballs cooking in the skillet!

Meatballs cooking in the skillet!

I usually use eggs to hold my meatballs together and some almond flour or vegetables to add flavor.  Today I tried using almond butter for some texture and to help hold the meat together.  It worked surprising well and it tasted great.  These also tasted great reheated in the microwave the next day so try to make extras for snacks.

Ginger Garlic Meatballs with Soy Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print
Ingredients for the Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative)
  • 1 clove garlic minced and optional garlic powder
  • 3-4 tsp grated ginger (I used a micro grater)
  • 3 tbs almond butter
  • coconut oil for cooking

Ingredients for Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tbs coconut aminos for soy sauce
  • 2 tbs coconut vinegar
  • 1 tbs minced fresh basil
  • 1 tbs minced fresh mint
  • 1 -2 tsp honey or other sweetener (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, spread out your pork and season it liberally with sea salt and ground pepper.  Sprinkle fish sauce and coconut amino acids over the meat as well
  2. Sprinkle in the ginger and garlic and add the almond butter.
  3. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
  4. Make one small 1″ burger and cook to test if you like your seasonings.  I added some more garlic powder about 1/2 tsp and some extra salt after testing mine.
  5. Make 1″ meatballs.
  6. Oil a skillet with coconut oil.  I wiped it around my pan.
  7. Heat pan or pans ( I cooked all the meatballs at once in two large skillets) to medium heat keeping oil from smoking.
  8. Add an even single layer of meatballs and cook in slightly pan for about 4 minutes and then using tongs or spatula turn the meatballs.
  9. Cook until meatballs reach 160 degrees farenheit and remove to a plate.  It took one pan another 4 minutes and the other pan didn’t heat as evenly so it took up to 12 minutes for some of the meatballs to cook.
  10. To make your sauce combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork. 

 

Just a few ingredients to make the meatballs!

Just a few ingredients to make the meatballs!

1 2 10