Sardine Pasta (Pasta con le sarde)

This is one of the tastiest dishes I have on my blog.  It is loaded with beneficial nutrients and feels like a special occasion meal.  Using lentil pasta eliminates high carb/high glycemic pasta and opts for a higher protein/lower carbohydrate pasta.  Sardines are loaded with healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids and the butter and olive oil offer even more healthy fats.  The tastes are rich, layered and satisfying.

(note:  this reminds me so much of eating sauteed baby clams with butter and garlic with my Dad when I was a kid.  No one else in my family liked them so it was kind of my “thing” I could share with my dad.  I no longer eat shellfish (see Leviticus 11:12) but the sardines are so reminiscent of the baby clams, it brings back awesome memories)

Core & Advanced Plan

Serves 2 (large helpings) or 4 (small helpings)

1 – 8 oz container Red Lentil Pasta
1/2 – 3/4 can wild-caught sardines (more if you want :))
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
1 -2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-4 fresh pressed garlic cloves (to taste)
6 fresh basil leaves, ribboned
salt and pepper to taste

Cook lentil pasta per package directions.  When done, heat butter and olive oil lightly (do NOT let smoke).  Add sardines, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.  Toss in pasta and make sure it is all covered well.  Serve warm.

My new favorite outdoor cooker – Griddle vs. Grill

I love summertime outdoor cooking but have never loved grilling.  Then my husband bought me a smoker and I feel in love with outdoor cooking again.  It makes the absolute best smoked jerk chicken, smoked salmon, and smoked grass-fed roasts.  I could also use it as a regular grill but that never really appealed to me either.

Then, one of my friends showed me his Blackstone Griddle and I have been blown away.  To say I love this thing is an understatement.  It has a solid steel (non-toxic) griddle top that when seasoned properly, becomes an amazing non-stick surface.  It is ridiculously easy to start and to clean.  (Note:  cleaning a traditional grill was one of the main reasons I avoided using it).  It also produces very little smoke and has a great grease-catching pan. It allows you to cook up several different things at one time making it way quicker and more efficient.  Plus, it saves you from dirtying up all sorts of pots and pans in your kitchen.   And speaking of kitchens, you don’t have to be stuck in yours while everyone else is outside.  It is small and portable but still fits a ton of food on it.

I was shocked that the price was under $300 for all it can do.  See more about the Blackstone Griddle here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures of how I used the griddle in the first 2 weeks I had it.

Grass-fed Hamburgers for a crowd

 

 

Veggies for taco night

 

Grainless Pancake, Turkey Bacon, and Free-range Scrambled Egg Breakfast

 

Grass-fed hot dogs with organic red potato hash browns (core plan)

 

Free-range chicken stir fry with brown fried rice (core plan)  and veggies

Smoked Grass-fed Beef Chuck Roast

Serves 4-8

Core and Advanced Plan

(SMOKED)   – I used a Big Green Egg

This is a fabulous recipe that is nothing short of impressive.  It is a crowd-pleaser for sure.  You will feel like a BBQ Pit Master after this one.  The meat is tender and smoky and the outside is caramelized and ultra flavorful.  Throw it in on a day you are hanging around the house and pull it out for an amazing dinner.

2 – 2 – 3 lb grass-fed beef chuck roasts
4 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
1  tablespoon Himalayan salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (based on preference
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Kraft paper (Kraft paper gives the best result, but if you can’t find it,  you can wrap the roast in parchment paper then wrap in foil- you don’t want foil touching the meat).

IDEAL PREP- ideally, salt both sides of the roasts and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.  If you can’t do this salt it and let it sit for as long as possible before cooking.

Mix all of the dry spices together.  Spread mustard over both sides of the roasts then sprinkle generously with the spice mixture.

Heat your smoker to 225 degrees (do not let it get above 250).  If you are using a Big Green Egg, use the heat deflector)

Smoke for 2-4 hours (depending on the thickness of the roast) then take out and wrap in kraft paper and put back in the smoker for another two hours.  This will keep your “bark” firm and still allow the meat to finish cooking.  Note:  for my two 3 lb roasts, I did 2 hours unwrapped and 2 hours wrapped)

Enjoy.

Served with sugar-less sauces

Tortilla Chip Chicken Casserole

Advanced and Core Plan

Serves 8

This is a quick and simple dish that is hearty and satisfying.  By cooking the whole chicken, you get more flavor and nutrients and can save the bones to make homemade chicken broth.

2 cups chopped free range chicken (you can cook a whole chicken or brown diced chicken breasts and/or thighs in a skillet)
1/4 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1¾ cups free-range chicken broth or cream of chicken soup + 1 cup water (check ingredients)
1 tomato, cored, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 cups grass fed cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bag grain free tortilla chips (like Siete brand)
1/4 cups sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Guacamole and organic sour cream as garnish, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the chicken (I did mine in my InstantPot) and set aside.  Put onion, garlic, chipotle peppers, broth or soup, tomato, and salt in a blender and mix into a smooth sauce.

Put a layer of chips in a casserole dish.  Top with half of the chicken and half of the sauce.  Sprinkle a light layer of cheese then repeat with another layer of chips, sauce and cheese and sprinkle with sliced black olives, if desired.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Top with cilantro and serve hot.

 

Salmon Almondine

Core and Advanced Plan

Serves 2

This is a delicious and beautiful way to serve salmon.  Because it is sliced thin, it cooks in just a few minutes.  The simple ingredients come together wonderfully for a very flavorful dish.  The sour burst from the capers and the crunch from the almonds make it truly unique.

3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2-  (7-ounce) wild-caught salmon fillet, cut into 1/4-inch-wide slices
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon drained capers

 

Great served with whole wheat couscous or brown rice for core plan or riced/mashed cauliflower for advanced plan and any kind of vegetables.

Shown here with zucchini-chili mash.

Instant Pot Grass Fed Beef Shanks (Osso Buco)

Advanced & Core Plan

Serves 4

This recipe is comfort food for sure and you get all of the benefits of cooking the meat on the bone.  It is incredibly flavorful and surprisingly easy.  If you can find fresh grass-fed beef shanks, great.  If not, you can order them here…

You can certainly do this in a stock pot but you will have to cook it for 2-3 hours.

Served here with mashed cauliflower

4 Grass fed beef shanks
sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3-4 carrots, sliced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, chopped into large chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay eaves
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)

About 30 minutes before you are ready to prepare, generously salt the shanks on both sides.  Do not skip this step.

Set InstantPot to saute and add coconut oil.  When heated, brown shanks on both sides and set aside.

Add carrots and onions and saute until softened.  Add the garlic and cabbage and mix together.

Set InstantPot to Meat/Stew and add beef shanks back in to the pot along with the broth and wine, if using.  Top with the tomatoes.  Cook for 60 minutes then do a quick release.

Before Cooking