Category Archives: Recipes by Category

Caprese Omelet with Smoked Tomatoes

Caprese Omelet with Smoked Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Well, everybody’s heard of a Caprese Salad, right? Fresh tomato and mozzarella with fresh basil in some form (I like to use my fresh made Basil Pesto). But how about in a Caprese Omelet? Let’s do it!

Here’s my typical Caprese Salad.

So we’re going to pretty much make that the filling in our omelet. However instead of fresh tomatoes, I’m going to use some smoked tomatoes. And instead of fresh mozzarella, I’m going to use, regular grated mozzarella. I am going to use my regular everyday fantastic basil pesto!

OK, here’s how I make an omelet. I put the eggs, a little bit of cream and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk the mixture in order to get some air bubbles. This time around I put the eggs, cream and salt in my Bullet and processed that for 20 seconds. This made an unbelievably fluffy omelet! Get as much air in those eggs as you can. I used to go on business trips to a small town in central Illinois. I’d have breakfast at this small diner sitting at the counter watching the short order cooks, well, cook! When I ordered an omelet the cook would put the eggs and some cream in one of those old time milk shakes mixer cups and put it on the mixer like he was making a shake. Lots of air bubbles in those!

Heat a nice non-stick pan with some olive oil and butter in it. Once melted, swirl it around. Add your nice and bubbly egg mixture to the pan. Once the edges start to set, take a rubber spatula and push the edges in towards the middle of the mixture, letting the liquid eggs fill the hole. I don’t like my eggs to be too runny, so I flip over whole omelet over to set the eggs on top. Then I flip it back and add my omelet fillings. You can use a spatula to do this, or you can turn down the heat so the bottom of the omelet doesn’t burn and cover with a lid so the contained heat will set the eggs on top.

In any case, once the eggs are set, add your toppings. I put a couple tablespoons of pesto on the omelet. Spread it around with the back of the spoon. Add your heated smoked tomatoes (I just heated them up in a small glass cup in the micro). And then top with a lite handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Turn the heat off and put a lid on it so the cheese melts. Once melted slide that delicious omelet onto a plate and enjoy that delicious Caprese Omelet!

Zoodles with Mushrooms and Chicken

Zoodles with Mushrooms and Chicken, a LCHF Pasta Alternative

I love mushrooms! When I get a real hankering for them I go to the local Farmer’s Market and buy some good local grown and sometimes wild picked mushrooms. I did buy some fresh maitake and shitake and a pack of dried lions mane mushrooms, but I used the fresh ones in another dish! For this dish I used Crimini Mushrooms that I got at the local store and the dried Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. And because I use Zoodles (zucchini cut into noodles) this is a LCHF pasta alternative. Check out how to make zoodles here.

I ground up the above dried mushrooms into a powder in my Bullet.

I started out by sauteing some chopped shallots in a pan with olive oil and butter.

I added the sliced Crimini mushrooms and sauteed for about 3 minutes.

I sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of my ground up Lion’s Mane mushrooms on top of the sauteed mushrooms. I used Porcini powder in my restaurant which has tons of mushrooms flavor. The Lion’s Mane was a little lite.

Next I added some white wine, heavy whipping cream and chopped chicken I had leftover from smoking a whole chicken.

Next add the zoodles, end pieces and all, to the mixture.

Add some salt and pepper to taste and cook the zoodles until warmed through. I like them al dente!

Looks good, but a little monotone in color. Next time I might add some chopped roasted red peppers to give it a pop of color.

Some grated Asiago cheese and we’re good to go! Enjoy this LCHF pasta alternative!

 

Smoked Tomatoes

Smoked Tomatoes

My wife’s garden is producing tons of tomatoes. So I’m going to take some, cut them up and put them in the smoker! Smoked tomatoes! Who’d a thought? This will impart a nice smoky flavor to the tomatoes which I will use on pizzas and sandwiches to start. They’ll be good on anything you would use a tomato (duh), even a BLT. I’m going to make a batch of oopsie rolls that I’ll use as my bread for the sandwiches. When I make a BLT I’ll spread one side with my smoked tomatoes and the other side I’ll put a fresh tomato. Don’t forget to use Primal Kitchens  Mayonnaise (made with avocado oil) and a good quality lettuce. I’ve been using living Bibb lettuce lately that I buy at Costco. But you should be able to get Bibb at any store.

So what did I do? I cut off all the blemishes from the garden tomatoes and that goes into the compost pile. The nice parts of the tomatoes I put in a bowl, added some olive oil, salt and pepper and tossed. Then I place them neatly on the smoker. I didn’t want to just dump them because some might have fallen through the grates! The next time I’m going to keep them on a ridged sheet pan because they were kind of tough to get off the smoker grate because they were really soft. That way I can just scrape the smoked tomatoes into a storage bowl. Also, I might keep them on longer to see if I could get them to firm up. If anyone tries that let me know how it turns out! I smoked theses at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Next time I might try 300 for 3 hours and hopefully get something of the consistency of a sun dried tomato, but it will be smoked tomatoes!

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

My wife’s garden produces an amazing amount of tomatoes in July and August and into September. They are so tasty! A Caprese Salad is one of the great ways to use them! Tomatoes and the rest of the nightshade vegetables have a lot of lectin in them. So if you have leaky gut problems, you should eat in moderation or avoid altogether.

However, most of the lectin is in the skin and seeds. So if you remove these, you’re good. Cooking also reduces the lectins. So if you’re making a red sauce and run the tomatoes through a tomato grinder that removes the seeds and skin and then cook the sauce, you are golden!  If you just want to remove the skin and seeds, bring a pot of water to a boil, cut a cross (X) in the bottom of the tomato (shallow cut, not deep), drop the tomato in the boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove, place in ice water to chill, remove and peel the skin off starting from where you cut the X. To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in wedges and scoop the seeds out with your thumb.

I digress, let’s get back to the Caprese Salad. You don’t need to do any of that for a Caprese Salad, however, you can remove the skin if you want to. My mother didn’t like it when I left the skin on tomatoes. The skin got stuck in her dentures and that was a no no!

The most complicated ingredient is the basil pesto, which I also make from my wife’s garden basil that she grows. You can find a Basil Pesto recipe here. I used pesto in my Caprese Salads in my restaurants, but you can just use fresh basil (cut into strips) and sprinkle on the salad for a quick and easy salad. So I have a ball of fresh mozzarella, a tomato and the last of a batch of basil pesto.

Cut the tomato and mozzarella into slices, arrange nicely on a plate, top with basil pesto (or just a chiffonade of basil leaves). I drizzled some balsamic reduction on top. You can buy that in the store too. It needs a little acidity, so use some kind of vinegar. Red wine is OK, but the reduction makes a nice visual statement. Add a pinch of salt to the tomatoes. Enjoy!

Versatile #LCHF Nacho Meat Mixture

LCHF Nachos

Just because I call this “Nacho Meat Mixture” doesn’t mean you can only use it for LCHF Nachos! Or only for Mexican style dishes. I used some of this to make a quick Beef Broccoli Stir Fry! I also used it pretty much as is to make Sloppy Joe’s! The key to this versatility is to not spice it up too much when you first make it. Going easy on the spices when you first make it will allow you to make a left turn and go to some other culinary place if you want to! To make it truly versatile, you can leave out the beef and just make a veggie mixture. Then one day you can make chicken tacos, the next day fish tacos, the next day beef nachos, etc, etc.

So what would you think are the main ingredients to put in a beefy nacho meat mixture? Well for me, you gotta have onions, peppers, tomatoes and some kind of beef. In this case, organic ground beef from grass fed cows. Plus spices like cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro. Just don’t go crazy with the spices so you can have that flexibility to do something else if the inspiration strikes! Here we go!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil and butter, 1 tbl each
  • Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped (a variety of colors is a must, like 1 each of red, yellow and green) or I bought a bag of those small peppers and used a variety of colors
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Tomatoes, diced (you can use a couple of fresh tomatoes or a small can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 lb organic ground beef, or ground bison
  • cumin, coriander, chili powder and cilantro (dry or fresh)
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat
  2. Place the olive oil and butter in the pan
  3. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook for a couple minutes while your chopping the peppers
  4. Add the peppers and cook for a couple minutes
  5. Add the ground beef, or as in this case, I used Bison. There’s not much fat in the Bison, so no need to drain the fat.
  6. Break the meat apart and cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes
  7. Add your spices being careful not to over spice. 1 tbl of each would be the upper limit. If you’re using fresh cilantro, a good handful chopped up would be good.
  8. Add your tomatoes and salsa
  9. If your mixture is too dry, add a cup or two of water
  10. Simmer to reduce liquid, cook the meat through and soften the veggies
  11. Taste for salt and pepper

I added a touch of BBQ sauce to the entire batch because I was going to eat a lot of this as Sloppy Jose’s!

You can eat it as is like above, or have it on an Oopsie Roll like a Sloppy Joe, er I mean Jose, like below.

You can use it on Tacos made with Melted Cheese “Tortillas”. Use some to make a Beef Broccoli Stir Fry. Or make a deconstructed LCHF Nachos with Cheese Crackers as Chips! Or as a quiche or omelet filling!

LCHF Nachos! Looks good!

 

Chicken Liver Pate

Here’s three thinks you need to do to make a good Chicken Liver Pate:

  1. Have lots of butter
  2. Have lots of heavy whipping cream
  3. Have some mirin

Butter is the glue that’s going to hold it all together. Cream is going to give it a nice smooth, rich creamy finish that will make you want more! And the mirin is going to give it that “Hmmmmm, what exactly is that that I taste but can’t put my finger on?!”

Yep, its going to be good! I don’t do much measuring when I cook, so I’m going to give this my best guestimate. Here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 One lb container of chicken livers, thawed out
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 tbls butter
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sake liquor) or brandy

Method

  1. Melt butter in a large pan
  2. Add chopped shallots and cook for 2 minutes
  3. Add chicken livers spreading them out evenly around the pan. Let cook for a couple minutes, then turn each one over and cook the other side for a couple more minutes
  4. Add your spices, stir
  5. Then add your whipping cream, Worcestershire and Mirin or Brandy. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the cream and cook the livers through.
  6. Using a strainer placed inside a bowl, separate the solids from the liquid. Save the liquid!
  7. Place the solids in the bowl of a food processor. Start the processor. Then add the reserved liquid slowly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and finish processing
  8. Place the mixture in small bread loaf pans lined with plastic. You can use other containers if you want. Use whatever you have. I put some right into a rigid ziploc container with no plastic because I was going to eat right out of the little container. If you want to turn out the pate on a serving dish, the plastic liner is the way to go! Place in the fridge to set, about 4 hours or overnight is the best.

Enjoy chicken liver pate with cheese crackers or Almond flour crackers or toasted coconut mug muffin slices!

The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever!

The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever!

I’ve cooked tons of Baby Back Ribs over the last 25 years as a chef in the restaurant biz. But today I had the best batch ever! On top of that it turned out to be easy peasy. First, you have to have a good product to start with and I bought the meatiest ribs ever from Costco! Holy cow, they were the best. Like I said I’ve cooked a lot of baby backs over the years, purchased from quality meat vendors, but these were perfect!

And second you have to settle on the cooking method. In my restaurants I actually braised the ribs for 3 hours in the oven after putting on my special rub. I used my special rub, but I used my InstaPot pressure cooker to do the major part of the cooking. Instead of 3 hours, they cooked perfectly in just 30 minutes!

So here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 full slab of baby back ribs
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1 tbl dried oregano
  • 2 tbls minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups white wine (for cooking, not for you!)
  • your favorite low sugar BBQ sauce

Method for the Best Baby Back Ribs

  1. Cut the slab of ribs in half so they fit in the pressure cooker
  2. Pour the olive oil on the ribs and rub to spread it all over
  3. Sprinkle the ribs with the smoked paprika, oregano and minced garlic
  4. Rub into the meat
  5. Put the white wine in the pressure cooker and then place the ribs in the pot
  6. Close the lid and press the pressure cook button, set the timer for 30 minutes on high pressure
  7. When the cook time is up, release the steam from the pressure cooker
  8. Carefully take the ribs out, brush with you BBQ sauce and then grill or broil them to caramelize the sauce
  9. Eat with your favorite vegetable!

Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the ribs in a roasting pan, add the wine and 4 cups of water, cover and bake at 350 for 3 hours.

 

Eggs with Holes

Eggs with Holes

You’ve probably heard of “Egg in the Hole” or “Bird’s Nests” or maybe not. When I was a little kid my dad would make me an egg in the hole for breakfast every now and then. He’d take a slice of Wonder Bread and cut a hole in the middle of it with a small glass. He then heated up some butter in a pan, tossed in the bread slice and the hole and browned them a little bit, turned them over and he’d crack an egg into the hole in the bread slice. After awhile, he’d flip everything over again to finish cooking the egg and nicely brown the bread.

My Eating Method

When I got it served to me I would cut the bread slice with the egg in it in half and watch the egg yolk run. Mmmm, delicious. I would then eat each half being sure that each bite had some bread, egg and egg yolk with it. When I finished both halves I turned my attention to the hole. That round circle of delicious butter soaked brown toasted bread. I’d make sure to mop up the last of the egg yolk with it and pop the whole thing in my mouth. Mmmmmmm, very delicious!

The New Updated Primal Version

Now that I don’t eat bread much anymore, what’s a grown boy to do? Instead of Wonder Bread I use slices of Coconut Flour Mug Muffins. Those are my holes and there is no bread slice. So its just Eggs with Holes! Still delicious though!

So here we go!

1. Make a Mug Muffin using coconut flour or other flour that is gluten and grain free. I’ve been using some almond flour and some garbanzo bean flour. Garbanzo beans are a legume and is OK in small quantities.

2. Heat a tbl of butter in a pan and add two slices of your mug muffin.

3. Toast on one side, flip over and add your eggs. I like to let the eggs attach themselves to the holes. It makes it harder to flip over, but I like the challenge! And viola! Mmmmm, delicious!

Eggs with Holes!

Darn! One of my egg yolks broke! But it was still good! Thanks Dad!

 

Blackened Rib Eye with Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Blackened Rib Eye with Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Blackened Rib Eye Steak with Bleu Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Asparagus

I love Blackened Rib Eye steaks and I love Bleu Cheese. Put the two together and you have a Black and Bleu Rib Eye! Ouch! Its so good! Then add some Caramelized Onions and, dare I say it, heaven! Yes, my wife and I were smacking our lips and groaning how good it was after every bite! Let’s get started…

Ingredients

  • 1 Rib Eye steak to share, 10 or 12 ounces would be good
  • Blackening spice, like Paul Prudhommes
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 2 tbls Avocado Oil
  • Low carb veggie (I used asparagus)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • couple slices of Bleu cheese

Method

Onions

  1. Add butter to large fry pan on high heat
  2. When butter has melted, add onions, toss to coat and turn down heat to medium
  3. As we cook the steak make sure to keep an eye on the onions. We want to brown them, not burn them.
  4. When the onions have browned add a pinch or two of salt, stir, then add the white wine. Turn the heat down to low and evaporate all the white wine

Blackened Rib Eye Steak

  1. Heat a cast iron pan big enough to hold the steak on high heat
  2. Coat the steak on both sides with one tablespoon of avocado oil
  3. Sprinkle one side of steak with blackening spices, then turn the steak over and coat the other side. Pat down so spices adhere to steak.
  4. When the cast iron pan is hot, add one tablespoon of avocado oil to the pan, then add the steak to the pan right on top of the oil
  5. If you have a splatter screen, put it on top of the cast iron pan and that will keep grease from landing all over the place.
  6. Set a 10 minute timer. That should get you to medium rare. Of course, cook more or less depending on your tastes.
  7. Are you watching those onion? 🙂
  8. Half way through the cook time on the steak, turn it over
  9. When your done cooking the steak let it rest for a couple minutes before cutting it in half to split with your significant other 🙂

Veggie

  1. Cook your veggie. I used Asparagus for this one. Bring water to a boil, add olive oil and salt to water, add asparagus, bring bake to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, 4 minutes, done, drain
  2. Half way through the cook time on the steak, turn it over

Done!

  1. Blackened Rib Eye Steak with bleu cheese on top, caramelized onions and vegetable with lots of butter!
  2. Plate it up and eat!

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To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple.

Seared Halibut and Scallops with Carrot Parsnip Puree

Seared Halibut and Scallops with Carrot Parsnip Puree and Caramelized Onions

Yes, lets not forget about those caramelized onions! I love onions and when you caramelize them it brings out their sweetness and the flavor is spectacular. Goes great with seafood (I like them a lot on Horseradish Encrusted Salmon) and steaks and a lot of other proteins. Here we’re going to use halibut and scallops.

Seared Halibut and Scallops with Caramelized Onions and Parsnip Carrot Puree #2

I bought the halibut and scallops in the frozen section at Costco. In my opinion buying wild seafood that’s frozen over any fresh “farm raised” fish is best. I know a lot of TV chefs hate anything frozen, but if you handle the product the right way, it will be good!

So what are the right ways to handle frozen fish?

  1. Don’t keep it in the freezer for too long! I know its in the freezer and you might think its good forever, but everything has a shelf life! So be sure to use it within a month or two.
  2. When you’re ready for some fish that’s in the freezer, be sure to take it out about 3 days before you’re ready to eat and let it thaw out while sitting in the fridge. Don’t thaw in the microwave! It’ll just mess up the texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 six ounce halibut fillet
  • 8 large scallops
  • 1 tbl butter
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2  cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt

Serves two.

Method

  1. Place sliced carrot and parsnip in a pot with enough water to boil for 15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to the water. While its boiling, do the rest…
  2. Put 2 tbls butter in pan on medium high heat for the caramelized onions
  3. When the butter melts, add the sliced onions ad toss or stir to coat the onion slices in butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring and tossing until onions start to caramelize (turn brown)
  4. In another fry pan, melt 1 tbl of butter and add 1 tbl of olive oil on medium high heat
  5. Take the halibut fillet out of the plastic wrap (if frozen) and salt both sides
  6. Add it to the pan with the butter and olive oil in it and sear the halibut for a minute
  7. Flip the halibut over and transfer to an air fryer and cook for 6 minutes at 330 degrees. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use a small toaster oven, or your big oven, set to 400 degrees, cooking for 6 minutes
  8. OK, you got 6 minutes left to get everything done! Let’s go!
  9. Salt the scallops on both sides
  10. Add the scallops to the pan you seared the halibut in. Make sure the pan is hot, but not smoking hot. Sear the scallops, then turn over and turn down the heat to low. This will cook them through while you finish everything else.
  11. Add the white wine to the onions and let reduce
  12. After boiling the carrot and parsnip, drain and add to your food processor.
  13. Add the cream, pinch of salt and some garlic powder
  14. Puree the mixture making sure its all very smooth. You might have to scrap down the sides a couple of times and you might have to add a little more cream to get the right consistency. We don’t want soup! You want it to be thick and able to hold its shape on the plate.
  15. At this point the halibut should be ready, the scallops should be seared and cooked through
  16. Have you been watching the onions? Don’t burn them!
  17. Alright, let’s plate up! Cut the halibut in two to share.
  18. Get two plates and put some puree on the plates and spread out a little, like a smear. Put some caramelized onions next to it. Place a halibut half on the plate overlapping the puree and onions. Put 4 scallops on each plate and scrap and butter and oil from the pans over the scallops. I sprinkled all with a little dried cilantro to give it some color.
  19. Enjoy!

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You could make a lemon butter sauce with the oil left in the scallop sear pan. Just add some white wine and juice from half a lemon to the pan while on high heat. Add a tbl of butter and a pinch of salt. Shake the pan until the butter melts. Then pour over the scallops and fish.

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It