New Project: The Instant Pot!

I got an Instant Pot for my birthday. I was just about to launch my Pok Pok Cookbook project, but then that happened. So. Now you’re gonna have to put up with a quickie side project. I have been VERY curious about the Instant Pot, so I’m super excited to explore the many things I can supposedly do with it.

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According to the Instant Pot, it can be/do the following things:

  • A Pressure Cooker
  • A Slow Cooker
  • A Rice Steamer
  • A Yogurt Maker
  • Saute
  • Steam
  • Egg Cooker
  • Warmer
  • Also you can make cake in it and it comes with an Instant Pot recipe for creme brulee.

So. I’ll be posting a bunch of stuff about it. Get excited. I know you’ve been missing on me and my projects.

Whole 30 Sheet Pan Supper

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This is super simple, and super delicious. In fact, I loved this and will make it over and over again. I mostly took the recipe directly from the NY Times, you can find the original there, but I Whole 30’d that sh*t UP and twerked a couple other things and now it’s here.

YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves, plus a small bunch of thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup whole-grain mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a mixture), patted dry
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • cup coarse almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound broccolini
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup coconut yogurt
  • coconut oil, for drizzling

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the sweet potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices. Reassemble the slices so they look like intact potatoes. Insert a sprig of thyme between each of the slices. Wrap each potato in 2 layers of foil and place on a pie tin or directly on oven rack (seam side up). Bake until very tender, 60 to 75 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the mustard ghee for the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the whole-grain mustard and chopped thyme leaves. Mince 2 garlic cloves and stir into the bowl. Take out 1 tablespoon of the mixture; reserve. Add ghee and Dijon to remaining mixture in bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Prepare the chicken: Season chicken with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Rub mustard ghee all over chicken. Place almond flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Coat the chicken evenly with almond flour. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with coconut oil.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes have baked for a half-hour, add the pan with chicken to the oven and bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink, 35 to 40 minutes. At the same time, undo the tin foil on the sweet potatoes and lay them out evenly so they can roast up a little.
  5. As the chicken cooks, prepare the broccolini: Toss with olive oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Smash remaining 2 garlic cloves and toss into broccolini. Spread on another sheet pan. Add to the oven with potatoes and chicken for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. (The chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe should all come out of the oven at more or less the same time.)
  6. To serve, combine the reserved 1 tablespoon of mustard mixture with coconut yogurt in a small bowl. Serve chicken with broccolini and sweet potatoes on the side, dolloping the potatoes with the yogurt-mustard sauce.

** If you can’t find coconut yogurt ** Don’t worry, this will still be delicious without the sauce.

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Shrimp and Cauliflower “Grits”

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This is so easy, and also, so delicious!!! Also, I’ll give a basic recipe for the cauliflower grits but think of it more as a cauliflower puree, and therefore you can change up herbs, etc., and eat with anything.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb wild shrimp, unpeeled
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into slivers
  • 3 tbls. ghee
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

Preparation:

  1. Heat broth in a large covered pot until it boils.
  2. While it’s heating, chop cauliflower into small pieces. Don’t worry about appearance.
  3. Add cauliflower pieces to pot and re-cover. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.
  4. Add bacon to a skillet and fry until cooked to your liking. Transfer to paper towels. Do not discard bacon fat from skillet.
  5. Transfer cauliflower and broth to a food processor. Add 2 tbls. ghee, rosemary, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
  6. Meanwhile, de-shell shrimp (and set shells aside to make stock.)
  7. Add a tablespoon of ghee to the bacon skillet and heat along with excess bacon fat.
  8. Once heated, add shrimp to skillet, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and cook until done, about 2 – 3 minutes a side.
  9. Portion the cauliflower mash into bowls and top with bacon and shrimp. Eat immediately.
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Whole30 Fish ‘n’ Chips

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Really, can you Whole30 anything? I think, more or less. Well, maybe not bread related things. But certainly many things. And fish and chips, for sure. This was simple and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Haddock or other white, flaky fish
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • a few sprigs of thyme and oregano, removed from the sprigs and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Cut potatoes into fries, by hand, making them as thin or thick as you like them
  3. Toss with olive oil and spread on baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper on top and place in the pre-heated oven.
  5. Spread almond flour onto a plate, placed next to a large bowl with the beaten eggs.
  6. Dip each fillet into the eggs, and then into the almond flour.
  7. Heat ghee in skillet over medium heat
  8. When melted, add fillets to skillet, giving each one plenty of room. You can make them in batches if need be.
  9. Cook about 2 – 3 minutes on one side; flip and 2 – 3 minutes more on the other side.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fries, salad, Whole30 ketchup and Whole30 mayo.

Just realized I haven’t posted Whole30 ketchup and mayo recipes!! I will redeem myself and link to them.

 

Mint Chip Homemade Larabars

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Well, I’m a convert and I’ll never go back to store bought. I mean, that’s pretty much always the case, right? But in this case for sure. First off, I’m only sort of a larabar fan. Some flavors, sort of. But, I had this bar at Juice Press that was the same sort of ingredients as a larabar, but delicious. It was a mint chip bar. But, I think it was $4? So, I looked up what it was made of and made up a version. They are delicious. And all those bars cost about the same as 1 in the store, plus it took approximately 5 minutes to make and wrap the bars.

Also keep in mind that these are totally adaptable — swap out the cashews for almonds, swap nuts for oats, swap flavors, etc. For example, I’ll give you the recipe of what I did, but I think next time I would experiment with a higher date:cashew ratio. But here’s the gist:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup cacau nibs

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until it forms a ball.
  2. Press mixture onto a parchment covered baking sheet, and press down with hands to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ thickness throughout.
  3. Slice bars.
  4. Individually wrap.

Mine are doing really well in the fridge, it adds a little sturdiness to the bars. I’m way into them. Make them!

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The Sugar Fix

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Featured above: Delmonico Steak with Baked Potato Chips and Baby Brussels Sprouts with Homemade Bacon

So, I’ve been eating relatively healthy since the end of my Whole 60. Mostly I’ve just been keeping the diet up, adding things like legumes and some grains, but more or less sticking with it.

But I’ve noticed, the one thing that kept sneaking in: desserts. It’s odd, because sugar has never really been my thing. My thing is bagels, and pizza. Like any good New York Jew. But here’s the thing about my life post Whole 60: I haven’t been craving bagels or pizza anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had them and totally enjoyed them, but I haven’t been thinking about them the same way I used to. It’s sugar that’s been a constant desire.

Not even all day, just really after a nice meal at the end of the day. I’ve been massively wanting dessert. And actively disappointed if I don’t get it.

It got me thinking about what a job the sugar industry has done on us, really! Sugar is in everything, so my logic is, I must be craving the sugar that I normally would get in things like bacon, or ketchup, mayo, salad dressings, seasonings, etc., that I’ve now virtually cut out of my diet. So.

To combat this bad habit, and also cause we woke up on Sunday and had a big fully Whole30 style breakfast (pictured below), and then realized we had exactly 30 days until we went on vacation, we are back on Whole 30. Yay!! And, I’m actually already feeling so much better, and happier with the state of my life in general.

The PokPok Cookbook Project is still coming.  But it’s coming in April. March is strictly for feeling good. Recipes galore to come.

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Scrambled Eggs with Alaskan Smoked Salmon and Leeks, Cast Iron Potatoes and Steamed Kale

Whole30 Friendly Chicken Piccata

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This is really good. The more I cook trying to tweak for Whole30 style eating, the more I realize how so many unhealthy things aren’t really necessary for the same delicious meal. In some cases, of course, it just won’t work. But in MANY…there’s just no reason for the unhealthy crap!

In this case I looked around at how folks had been cooking Paleo-style chicken piccata and combined many aspects and ingredients to suit my tastes (and what I had in the house). Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 lemons, two juiced & one sliced
  • 2 tbsps capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Preparation:

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of ghee.
  2. Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt and pepper. Dip into the whisked eggs, and then dip in almond flour to coat.
  3. Cook the chicken in the skillet until browned on each side and cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, covered with foil or put in the oven on 200°F to keep warm. Add a bit more ghee to the skillet and scrape browned bits well to deglaze the pan.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  6. Pour in chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and let liquid reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
  7. Add the chicken to the pan and spoon sauce over the top; I gave it a few minutes to re-heat and soak up the flavors. I served with steamed kale and the combo was delightful.

Note: If you like a smoother sauce, you can make this without onions and garlic. But. They really add SO much flavor. I have done it both ways and recommend adding them. Still, a smoother sauce is more familiar and traditional, and it’s still pretty darn good. If you AREN’T using onions, add a teaspoon of guar gum or arrowroot mixed with a bit of water towards the end and it will thicken the sauce right up.