Category Archives: 21DSD/Whole30

Creamy Turkey Soup

We are two weeks  post-Canadian Thanksgiving, and turkey leftovers are a distant memory here.  But I can’t stop thinking about the soup I made with the leftover turkey meat and stock.  It was delicious and one of those meals that just come together out of necessity.  And very well received by my family.  Luckily, I wrote the recipe down so now I can share with you!

Ingredients:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (the white fleshed variety), peeled and cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 4 c. turkey broth (homemade, see the Weston A. Price recipe if you don’t know how)
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 c. cooked turkey meat, chopped
  • 3 sliced pastured bacon, finely sliced
  • Italian parsley, to garnish
Directions:

In a large saucepan, cook the potatoes in the broth until tender.  While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the vegetables and pan fry the bacon.  Add the raw vegetables to the slow cooker. Set the bacon aside.

Once the potatoes are cooked, i.e. can be easily pierced with a fork, puree and add to the slow cooker.  You can either use a blender or immersion blender for the pureeing (I used my immersion/stick blender).  Add the turkey and set on low for 2 hours.

If the soup is too thick, thin it out with a bit more turkey broth or water.

Garnish with bacon, parsley and fresh pepper.

Note:  you don’t have to use a slow cooker, just finish blending and then add everything to your original pot, cooking over medium-low heat until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

 

 

Warm Yam Salad

I say warm yam salad but really this is just as good cold.  I first found a variation of this salad on PaleOMG’s website. But sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients.  However, I have found that roasted yams (or sweet potatoes) + balsamic vinegar + lime juice = very tasty.  In fact, it is a very forgiving salad that changes based on what you add in.  The recipe as written below is for what is in the picture.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large yams, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large bacon ends, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/4 of red onion
  • balsamic vinegar
  • lime juice
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Roast yams and chopped bacon on a tinfoil covered baking sheet at 425F for 15 min then stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until soft.  While the yams and bacon are cooking, chop the onion and cilantro.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c of balsamic plus a couple of tablespoons of lime juice.  I don’t measure, I just go by taste.  Add the onion and cilantro, and mix.  When the yams are baked, add to the dressing and mix well to combine.  It is delicious.  You can add more balsamic vinegar or lime juice at this point, depending on your personal preference.

As I mentioned above, this is a very flexible salad – you can skip the bacon (but, really don’t), or substitute green onions for red, Italian parsley for cilantro.  I’m sure there are other things I haven’t though of too.

If you try another variation, leave a comment and let me know!

Meatballs and Caesar Salad

One main item I enjoy making for large groups is meatballs.  Ground grass-finished beef won’t break the bank and they are easy to make ahead in slow cooker.

For a side, caesar salad is also pretty easy, although some might find making the dressing for the first time a little daunting.  My favourite caesar salad dressing is from Make It Paleo, by Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate.  They have many great salad dressing recipes, not to mention great recipes in general.

Back to the meatballs.  The other benefit: they are 21 Day Sugar Detox and Whole30 compliant.  The recipe below is for 1 lb of ground meat but is easily scaled up.  The biggest batch I’ve made was 5 lbs for a Christmas party.  One jar of sauce is more than enough for 1 lb of meat; for 3 lbs, 2 jars, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 3 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • avocado oil (to help with the blending)
  • 1 lb ground beef, grass-finished
  • 1 jar (680 mL, 24 fl. oz.) tomato sauce*

* I use the brand La Molisana – which can be found at my local Italian bakery.  The Pomodoro & Basilico sauce does not contain any sugar.

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat the sauce over medium heat.

In a food processor or blender, combine green onions, garlic, cilantro, spinach, cumin and salt.  Run your food processor/blender until a puree forms. You may need to add a little bit of avocado oil to help with the process.

In a large bowl, combine the ground meat and green puree.  Mix well.  Then using a spoon or ice cream scoop, form the meatballs.  Gently drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce.  Cook for approximately 30 minutes on simmer.  Check that they are fully cooked before serving.

Serving ideas:  Often we eat these meatballs with a side of caesar but if you need more carbohydrates, the meatballs and sauce is also good over a baked yam or spaghetti squash. Sorry, no pictures – they were eaten rather quickly!

Make enough to enjoy them for lunch tomorrow.  For a family of four, I recommend at least 2 lbs of ground beef.

Citrus-Ginger Flank Steak Marinade

This marinade was inspired by Make It Paleo cookbook’s flank steak marinade.

Ingredients:

  • 2 flank steaks
  • juice 2 oranges
  • juice of 6 limes
  • piece of ginger, approximately thumb sized, grated
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard

Mix the orange and lime juice with the ginger and mustard.  Add the flank steak and marinate for up to one hour.

Grill steaks on BBQ or pan fry until medium done.  Serve with a side salad, steamed vegetables or roasted yams.

Yam Pancakes – gluten-free

It’s no secret that I like to experiment with baking.  With the onset of winter and its dark rainy days, followed by even darker nights, I really feel like comfort food – comfort food that is easy.  Because lately, I don’t feel like cooking complicated stuff, or even cooking at all some days.

So a couple of times in the last week, we’ve had breakfast for dinner. Last week it was a frittata with yam hash browns. Today it was yam pancakes with venison-blueberry patties.  I’ve made yam pancakes before, but felt they were so-so.  Tonight was a whole other story.  These were delicious.  You know something is good when you burn your mouth trying to eat it but then keep eating it anyway.  These yam pancakes were crispy on the outside, moist and light on the inside.  It was hard not to eat them as soon as they came out of the pan.

If you would like to enjoy these sweet but savoury pancakes, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yam, baked and slightly warm
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted and grass fed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. rice flour (if avoiding grains, please use almond flour instead)
  • 1/4 c. tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat a cast iron pan over medium-low heat.

Blend or mash well the peeled yam with melted butter.  Add the two eggs and lemon juice, whipping to combine all the wet ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combing all the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.  The batter shouldn’t be runny nor too thick at this point.

To your warm pan, add a cooking fat of your choice.  I personally like lard or bacon fat from pastured pork.   Add the batter to the pan to form pancakes 2-3″ in diameter.  Cooking on med-low will keep these pancakes from burning.  Flip after a few minutes, when brown.

Be patient, these pancakes take a bit longer to cook than regular pancakes, but they are well worth it.

Enjoy with breakfast, lunch or dinner.  We ate these with venison-blueberry patties and a side of braised red cabbage with apples.

I’d love to know if you liked these as much as we did.  Leave a comment below!

Pantry Purge, Weeding Out the Wardrobe, and Making Space

Pantry purge.

Weeding out the wardrobe.

Making space, both physically and mentally.

Back from our mini-vacation, and starting to put away the new things I acquired from Santa and my family, I realized I needed to make some room in  my closet.  Quite frankly, it was a mess.  A mess that begot a bigger mess, simply because it was difficult to put anything away.

I had started to weed out, thin out, my wardrobe before Christmas but due to the busyness of the season, never fully completed the task.  So today, while half my family was out getting groceries I started in on my closet.  The end result: three bags of clothes to give to charity, all the socks with holes tossed, storage boxes reorganized and re-stacked at the top of the closet, and enough room for new items and the ability to easily access my clothes – SUCCESS! Continue reading Pantry Purge, Weeding Out the Wardrobe, and Making Space