Cherry Apricot Crusted Pork Chops {PALEO}

Yesterday was the most beautiful, gorgeous day we’ve had in awhile.  It was one of those days that help assure you that, yes, indeed, Spring will arrive and the days will warm up and the cherry blossoms will bloom and you won’t have to wear your big, poufy coat everywhere.

We spent this gift of a day car shopping.  Ugh…  But on the bright side, I was able to entertain the kiddos outside in the warmth while Murry dealt with the car sales man.  We didn’t leave with a new car, no, not this weekend.  But funny story, well sort of; sometime during or after the appraisal of our trade-in they lost the keys.  Seriously.  Oh, and it just so happens that we don’t have a spare.  Oops.  So, we have a loaner from the dealership until they can make a new key.  Can you believe that?

Anyway, snow is in the forecast for Tuesday.  Yup.

Here’s an easy, remind you of Spring, weekday meal: Cherry Apricot Crusted Pork Chops {PALEO} served with roasted asparagus.  The flavor nuances make this dish a little more complex that you might guess at first glance.  There’s a touch of mustard, maple syrup and the nutty richness of pecans.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

An easy paleo meal that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters.  Pork, dried cherries, apricots and pecans make this super tasty.

Cherry Apricot Crusted Pork Chops {PALEO}

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: active time: 10 minutes, bake time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops, about an inch to 1.5 inches thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon each Dijon mustard and maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup each dried cherries and dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of your favorite paleo friendly fat of choice in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Add the pork chops to the skillet, taking care not to crown the pan, work in batches if you need to.  Sear 1-2 minutes per side.  Transfer the pork to a 9×13 baking pan.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the Dijon mustard and maple syrup in a small bowl, then lightly brush the pork chops with the mixture.
  5. Place the pork in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. While to pork chops are baking, process the dried fruit in your food processor by pulsing it about 10 times.  Add the chopped pecans to the dried fruit mixture.
  7. Pull the pork out, flip it over, then brush with any remaining mustard syrup mixture and press the dried fruit and pecans into the meat.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until done.
  8. Let the meat rest 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Carrot Orange Muffins {PALEO}

A week!  It’s been a week since my last post!  I can hardly believe it.  Well…  I can believe it.  Last week was an incredibly long week.  Long like loooooooooooong.  There’s no need to go into details, instead, suffice it to say, I’m back.  Life feels a little more under control and my food can move off the back burner.  Hardy har…

So on to it then: Carrot Orange Muffins {PALEO}.  These bad boys have a secret, one that requires you to plan ahead a little bit; only 30 minutes or so.  Do you want to know what the secret is?  I know you do.  So, what you do is marinade the raisins in orange juice.  Sounds simple because it is simple, but the result is plump, flavorful raisins that make people who don’t usually like raisins reconsider their crazy ways.  The recipe comes out moist despite the fact that the batter is on the thick side, the carrots take credit for that, and the raisins.  Oh!  And the only sweetener is bananas, so use super ripe ones.  Without further ado: Carrot Orange Muffins {PALEO}:
Flavorful orange carrot muffins.  Made from paleo ingredients, these guys have a delicious secret!

Carrot Orange Muffins {PALEO}

  • Servings: makes 12 muffins
  • Time: active time: 30 minutes, bake time 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 bananas, really ripe
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup each almond and coconut flour
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a muffin pan by either greasing it, using muffin liners or using a silicone muffin pan (then you don’t have to do anything).
  2. Soak your raisins in orange juice for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the bananas, eggs and vanilla to your blender.  Let come up to room temperature, roughly the time it takes the raisins to soak.
  4.  Now, add your melted coconut oil to the mix, it won’t solidify, woo hoo!  (That’s why we brought the bananas, eggs and vanilla up to room temp.)  Blend until well combined.
  5. Add the spices, salt and baking soda to the blender.  Pulse a few times.
  6. Add the coconut and almond flours to the blender, pulse again until all of the ingredients are well mixed.  The mixture will get pretty thick, don’t sweat, it will come out fine.
  7. Dump the shredded carrots and raisin/orange juice mixture into the blender.  Using a spatula, carefully fold the carrots, orange zest and raisins into the batter until combined.
  8. Divide the batter into a greased muffin pan.  You should get twelve good sized muffins.  Bake for 27-30 minutes.
  9. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, eat and enjoy!


Sloppy Joes {PALEO}

Late last week I had a major craving for Sloppy Joes, but when I set out to make them I realized I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand.  Boo!  I was frustrated.  It was one of those days where nothing seemed to work out the way I wanted it to, you know the type?

So, I had to settle for putting the Sloppy Joes I longed for on the menu for this week; for Monday. And that’s what we ate.  Here’s what I did: Sloppy Joes {PALEO}.
Paleo take on a classic. Sloppy Joes for even your pickiest eater!

Sloppy Joes {PALEO}

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: active time: 10 minutes, cook time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef, organic, grass fed preferred
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon steak seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (sub red wine vinegar, if you want)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

Directions:

  1. Add the ground beef to a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Next add the maple syrup and steak seasoning.  Brown the beef.
  3. Once the beef is cooked through add the onion and green pepper; mix in the coconut aminos and vinegar.  Cook five minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and paste to the pan and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for another five minutes.
  5. To serve we used these buns from Againist All Grain and garnished the Sloppy Joes with thinly sliced tomato and dill pickles.  Enjoy!


Colorful Beef Stir-fry {PALEO}

Happy Friday all!  Gosh, am I ready for the weekend.  I hope you have something fun planned.

So, some times I like to challenge myself to make a meal that is super colorful; eating from the rainbow.  The more colors on your plate the better!  This beef stir-fry is quite colorful and equally as tasty.  We ate ours straight but you could definitely whip up a batch cauli-rice to go under the meat and veggies.

I had a bit of an issue with my beef not being the right size.  I used stew meat and hoped it would cook down to bit sized pieces but it didn’t.  Next time I will trim the meat up into smaller pieces, or perhaps use a flank steak that has been thinly sliced against the grain.  One tip for achieving thinly sliced bliss, is to freeze your meat for 30 minutes before slicing it.  The semi-frozen meat is much easier to cut into the perfect size.

That’s it.  I’m a women of not many words today.  Here’s the recipe for my Colorful Beef Stir-fry {PALEO}:

A quick and easy to prepare Paleo stir-fry with beef, carrots, cashews, cabbage and broccoli.

Colorful Beef Stir-fry {PALEO}

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: active time: 10 minutes, cook time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

  • 1 pound beef (I used stew meat, but would have preferred something a bit more bite sized)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger root
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For the Stir-fry:

  • 2 carrots, shredded or spiralized
  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage, shredded or spiralized
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews
  • coconut oil
  • green onions and red pepper flakes for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Make the marinade in a large bowl. Add the beef and let sit at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prep your veggies while the beef is marinating.
  3. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a large skillet heated to medium high heat. When the oil comes to temperature add the veggies and cook for 5-7 minutes. Let the broccoli be your guide.
  4. Remove the veggies from the pan but put them in a bowl where they will stay warm.
  5. Cook the beef until it is done. This will depend on the cut of meat you use.
  6. Add the marinade to the pan with the beef, bring it to a boil for a minute or so (I checked and it’s perfectly safe per USDA to use the marinade as a sauce as long as you boil it).
  7. Add the veggies back to the skillet, add the cashews, stir to mix and coat.
  8. Serve garnished with sliced green onions and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


Roasted Asparagus {PALEO}

My diet has changed in a crazy way!  I never would have thought to eat an entire bunch of asparagus for lunch a year ago.  Lunch food, as I used to know it, was always a sandwich, carrot sticks and perhaps some fruit.  But as I opened the fridge to find a bunch of asparagus that needed to be eaten in a bad way, I thought, “What the heck!”

I sliced up my usual chicken sausage and some green apple; trimmed the asparagus and tossed everything in just less than a tablespoon of coconut oil.  It all went on a rimmed baking sheet and then into the oven.  I used the broiler set to high.  My meal was ready in about ten minutes.  Bam, boom, lunch was served!  Now, you certainly don’t have to eat these roasted asparagus for lunch, you could have them for dinner or even breakfast.  You can save some for a friend, or not.  Either way, this simple and fast cooking method makes some delish asparagus!

Paleo roasted asparagus with sausage and apples.  A quick and easy lunch or dinner idea.

Roasted Asparagus {PALEO}

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: active time: 5 minutes, cook time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Set your broiler to high.
  2. Trim the asparagus by grabbing one toward the bottom and finding where it wants to break and breaking it.  You can use that asparagus as a guide to trim the remaining asparagus.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
  3. Toss the asparagus in the coconut oil.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus are browned and a little crispy.  Enjoy!

Tomato Sauce with Sausage {PALEO}

If, a few months back you would have told me would have ten snow days this winter, I probably would have laughed!  But here we sit, the boys and I are enjoying snow day number ten.  The school year has been extended to June 24, practically July.  Unbelievable.

Additionally unbelievable is the zeal with which this dinner was eaten, by the whole family, but especially my three-year-old.  I don’t think he even noticed that his “noodles” were green.  He effectively ruined the shirt he was wearing, but Eli was enjoying himself so; I let him go for it.

I remember my mom always making our pasta sauce growing up.  I paid attention and have continued the tradition.  I often make my tomato sauce helter-skelter, and it’s usually pretty good, but this time around it was great.  I even kept track of what I threw in the pot so I can share it with you.  Hooray!  Happy Monday and I hope you enjoy this Tomato Sauce with Sausage {PALEO}.

Delicious Paleo pasta dish with sausage and homemade sauce.

Tomato Sauce with Sausage {PALEO}

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: active time: 15 minutes, cooking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (no nitrate, nitrites, additives, etc.)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 1 Tablespoon basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Brown the sausage in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. When the sausage is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside. Make sure to leave some fat in the pan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, cook until the onions become translucent and soft.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and spices.
  4. Stir the sausage back into the sauce.
  5. Bring to a simmer, let simmer for an hour or so, until thickened to preference.
  6. Serve over zucchini noodles (see below). Enjoy!

Notes:

You can do a quick internet search and find lots of different ways to prepare zucchini noodles.  This is what you need to know, in my opinion:

  1. A spiralizer or julienne peeler is essential.
  2. After turning your zucchini into noodles please, please, please let them sweat in a colander for 20 minutes.  Sweating is achieved by salting the noodles, tossing them about and letting the excess liquid release.
  3. One your noodles have completed the sweating process, rinse them and then do a through job drying them using a(lot) paper towel(s).
  4. Cook the noodles in dry skillet that’s been heated to medium high for 1-2 minutes.
  5. For best taste, turn the heat down to low and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.  Stir the noodles gently to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.


Salmon Korokke {PALEO}

Okay, so, this isn’t a traditional Japanese Korokke.  In fact the flavors aren’t really all that Japanese at all, they are a little Thai and a little Indian and a little Asian…  I hope I’m not offending any one here, but that’s the best way I can think to describe it.  Mostly, it’s just really good.  Murr told me to blog it as we were eating…  So that’s what I’m doing, for your enjoyment (I hope): Salmon Korokke {PALEO}.
Yummy Asian salmon cakes that are Paleo and easy to make!

Salmon Korokke {PALEO}

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: active time: 7 minutes, cook time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound salmon, cooked
  • ~ 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • ~ 1 1/2 Tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • coconut oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Grab your salmon and break it up into small pieces, place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cilantro, onion, orange juice, coconut aminos, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds to the bowl. Mix everything together with your hands, further breaking down the salmon.
  3. Add the almond flour and egg. Mix well.
  4. Heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Meanwhile, form small cakes with the salmon mixture. I made eight.
  6. Add the cakes to the oil and cook about 5 minutes per side.
  7. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.  Enjoy!!


We ate these with these Crispy Sesame Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Curry Dipping Sauce.  I added a bit of fresh ginger to the dipping sauce and let the sauce serve double duty for both the Brussels sprouts and korokke.