Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not-so-quick but very easy soup

I first discovered/invented this recipe some years ago, visiting some friends who declared there was "nothing to eat" in their house. I didn't intend to prove them wrong, but I was able to whip up a delicious chunky vegetable soup (the friends are vegetarian) using what they had on hand. (I was probably fortunate that their fridge was reasonably well-stocked with vegetables.) Since then I've tweaked it and made it a bit more omnivorous, but it's really more of a guideline than a recipe.

  • 1 large can tomato juice (what they call a number 10 can) - use low-sodium and add your own salt
  • chicken stock (volume to 1/2 of the tomato juice can)
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • diced vegetables - onion, garlic, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, parsnip, celery, whatever you've got, just add lots of it!
  • seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, etc.)
  • hot sauce
  1. Basically, put everything into a big pot, bring it to a boil, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly by water boiling off.
  2. Add just a dash or two of a Louisiana-style cayenne hot sauce toward the end. It won't be enough to add much heat, but it will really bring the flavours out. (Of course, you can add more if you want to bring the heat - it's your soup!)
You can also omit the chicken and exchange the stock for water or vegetable stock if you really want to be vegetarian about it. This also reminds me, I really should post a recipe or link for making chicken stock one of these days...

Yeah, it's a simple recipe. Sometimes those are the best.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FAT isn't a four-letter word!

One of the "criticisms" of the paleo diet is that you're eating a lot of meat, and thus a lot of fat, and "all that artery-clogging saturated fat is bad for you". Except it's not. It's actually one of the better forms of fat for you, and it's a heck of a lot better than vegetable oils, which tend to go rancid at the drop of a hat (and rancid oils are BAD oils). Further, the conventional wisdom that "fat makes you fat" is completely wrong - fat is, in fact, the only one of the three macro-nutrients that can't be converted to sugar and crammed into your fat cells by insulin (which is how you get fat). And yes, consumption of animal fat increases your LDL ("bad cholesterol"), but increases your HDL ("good cholesterol") right alongside it.

I could rant about this for a couple of hours, but instead I'm going to give you two links. The first is a recent article from Mark's Daily Apple, and the second is the website for the guy who made the movie Fathead. I haven't seen Fathead yet, but it would be in my Netflix queue, if I used Netflix.

Go. Read. Learn why fat is good, and animal fat is very good. And tasty. And then go make some bacon. :-) Personally, I'm saving my pennies up to buy this cookbook.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Makin' mayo

Most commercially-available mayonnaise contains sugar, and as such is not really acceptable on the paleo diet. If you decide that you really want "mayo", you have three choices:
  1. Accept that you're going to have to eat a bit of refined sugar with your tuna salad,
  2. Hunt all over for a commercially-prepared brand that doesn't contain any (it exists, it's just very hard to find in some places), or
  3. Make your own.

If you decide to go the third route, every cookbook you read will tell you the same thing - the oil has to be added to the emulsion very slowly. Here's a tip I picked up a while back, which has enabled me to make perfect mayonnaise every time: find a "squeeze bottle" (like you'd have ketchup and mustard in at a picnic - check the local "dollar store"), and place the oil in that, and use that to pour the oil in a small, steady stream into the blender (assuming you're using a blender rather than whisking by hand).

Recipes for mayonnaise are literally a dime a dozen, and they all contain pretty much the same basic ingredients - oil (olive oil is suitably primal, but unfortunately this is one place we can't use coconut oil), mustard (which helps the emulsion hold together so your mayonnaise doesn't separate), and raw egg, along with some salt and pepper and maybe lemon. The raw egg can be problematic for some - only use fresh eggs from a reliable source, refrigerate anything you don't use promptly, and use it all up within a few days. Here is one possible recipe, which also suggests using almond oil or walnut oil in place of the olive oil.

That link also notes that homemade mayonnaise has a much lighter taste than the commercial stuff. Don't be afraid to "zip it up" - add a dash of cayenne pepper to the mix, or maybe a couple of roasted cloves of garlic.

One of my favourite things to make that requires mayonnaise is "tuna wraps", using lettuce as a method of conveying the tuna. These would also be good with crab, chicken, or other such meat, and you could add chopped onions or peppers to the mix to spice it up a bit.


  • 1 can tuna in water, drained (or use other similar meat, such as chicken, turkey, crab)
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • leaves of butter lettuce or similar


  1. Mix the tuna or other meat with the mayonnaise (and any other ingredients you'd care to add).
  2. Place a dollop (1-2 Tbsp) of the tuna mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, roll it up, and tuck the ends in.
  3. Repeat as necessary.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Book Review: The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet, written by Loren Cordain, Ph. D., is one of the few books out there specifically devoted to the paleo way of eating. It's divided into three main sections, "Understanding the Paleo Diet", "Losing Weight and Preventing and Healing Disease", and "The Paleo Diet Program".

The first section covers the basics of the diet - the "rules", as it were. And, unfortunately, this is where it starts to go wrong. While Dr. Cordain makes a strong case for the fact that we're not that different from our ancestors going back a thousand generations, and thus grain and starch and refined sugars are not things that should be in our diet, he still is unwilling or unable to make the final leap - fat. He claims that the meat eaten by our ancestors would have been the leanest muscle meat, whereas it is well documented in modern-primitive cultures that the fattiest portions (such as brain tissue) are highly coveted delicacies. Later in the book, he also makes a strong case for Omega-3 fatty acid consumption, but then advocates using flax seed oil. It is well established that the kind of O3 fatty acid in flax seed oil, ALA, is not the kind our body needs, and is only weakly converted to DHA and EPA within the body.

The second section of the book discusses the health aspects of the diet. Not too much to argue with here, except he continues his apparent hatred of animal fats, stressing the leanness of proteins to be consumed. He also relies on BMI tables, whereas modern medical thinking is moving away from using the BMI as an indicator of health (given that it was never intended for that in the first place). Curiously, he does discuss in this section how grains raise the "small, dense" (AKA dangerous) LDL cholesterol, but doesn't seem to discuss much about how the fats from meat raise the HDL (good) cholesterol and thus improve the overall HDL/LDL ratio in the body. If he did this, he might have to stop stressing "lean" protein so much, though.

More than half the book is taken up by the third part, "The Paleo Diet Program", because it contains six weeks' worth of recipes and food plans, as well as a discussion of what is and is not allowed under his version of the diet. He also advocates a three-stage introduction to the diet, where in the first stage you can "cheat" three times a week at "open meals", in the second stage twice a week, and in the third stage once a week. Oddly, he allows diet sodas "in moderation" in his version of the diet, as well as low-fat salad dressings (which tend to contain a lot of sugar).

In summary, while much of the background information Dr. Cordain gives in this book is quite useful, his conclusions are at best coloured by "conventional wisdom". Unless you truly believe that our neolithic ancestors dined on the breast meat of wild chickens, with a side of lettuce smothered in low-fat thousand island dressing, and washing it down with a diet cola, you might be better served looking elsewhere for solid day-to-day advice.

It probably seems like I'm being unduly hard on this book. Maybe I am. But it just seems to "go halfway", and misses the endgame, in my opinion. But what do I know? I'm just a caveman.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bet you never had broccoli-slaw like this!

You'll often see "convenience packs" in the grocery store, even in the produce section. Cauliflower and/or broccoli pre-cut, pre-washed, and ready to steam or boil, for example. While it is more expensive because you're paying for the additional processing, the vegetables themselves are just as healthy as the rest of the produce section.

One of the things we do buy in the pre-packaged bags of vegetables is "broccoli-slaw". Basically, it's shredded "hearts" (AKA stems) of broccoli, carrot, and red cabbage. If you added some mayonnaise it probably wouldn't be bad, but if you saute it up, it's pretty darn good, in my opinion.

  • 3 Tbsp oil (coconut, olive, or similar - you can also try a "chili oil" for a spicier dish)
  • 1 medium onion, skinned and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 x 340g (12oz) bag of "broccoli slaw"
  • juice of one lemon or lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice the onion in half, remove the peel, and then slice into thin "half-rings".
  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan or wok.
  3. Saute the onion in the oil. Add the garlic after a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the bag of broccoli slaw and saute.
  5. When it's just about done, pour the citrus juice in and mix well.
  6. Season to taste.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Consider the cabbage

Ambrose Bierce, in his Devil's Dictionary, defined a cabbage as "a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head." It's actually a bit smarter than that.

When I was growing up (and this isn't the first time I've stated that in a post like this, I must be getting old), cabbage was used for two things in our household: coleslaw, and cabbage rolls. I wasn't actually fond of the latter at the time, and now I can't eat them anyway, as my mother's secret recipe has rice in it. So for years my primary source of cabbage-y goodness was coleslaw.

But I'm older now, and I've discovered other uses for this green globe. Furthermore, it turns out it's good for me, too. Dietarily, it's high in vitamin C, glutamine, riboflavin, and fibre, and low in simple carbohydrates. Raw, it has a somewhat pungent taste, but cooking tends to soften that. Here's a couple of different ways to prepare cabbage:

1. Saute it. Just slice it into thin sections (1/4 to 1/2 inch) vertically (discarding the stem), break the sections into strands, and saute in oil (coconut, palm, or similar - maybe even try bacon fat?) until softened and "translucent" all over, and browned in spots.

2. Boil-and-bake it. Quarter the cabbage, leaving the stem on, toss it into a pot of boiling water with a whole star anise pod, and boil for 8 minutes. Once it's looking a bit soggy, brush some melted butter onto it, place it into a buttered baking dish, and bake at high heat (450 or so) until it's starting to brown and crisp. (You'll want to keep a close eye on it so it doesn't burn.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cheesy Frittata

Personally, I'm not a fan of eggs. Mrs. Caveman insists that this frittata is so full of cheese and other stuff that you barely taste the egg, but I'm not convinced. Regardless, it's one of her favourites, so I'm posting it here. It comes from the cookbook "Everyday Grain-Free Gourmet" by Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass, available through Whitecap Books.

  • 1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese (or a blend, like a tex-mex blend)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Combine the cheese, almond flour, and parsley in a bowl.
  3. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the onion is starting to turn translucent. Do not let the garlic burn. (I usually add the garlic after the onions have been in the pan for a couple of minutes, myself.)
  4. Add the green and red peppers and the mushrooms, and saute until the water that comes out of the vegetables evaporates.
  5. Combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. Combine everything with the cheese, almond flour and parsley mixture.
  7. Dump into an 8-inch square casserole dish and back for 40-50 minutes, until nicely browned and set.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes lots, so leftovers can be reheated the following day. Personally, I'll have a nice chupaqueso.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Proper nutrition - not just for humans!

If you read this blog regularly, you hopefully have at least some idea of the concept behind the paleo diet - eat the diet that we evolved eating over the last several million years, which didn't include rice, beans, grains, or starches (not until the last 10,000 years or so, a blink in evolutionary terms).

If you have a "furry friend" (cat or dog), take a good look at them. Note the fangs, and the claws, and the forward-facing eyes and (in most cases) ears? That is a predator species.

Now, take a look at the ingredients list on the food you provide for them. How many kinds of grain and starch are on the label? Do you think that they enjoy eating that, or do they just eat it because they're hungry and that's what's there?

All I'm trying to say is, if the paleo diet is good for us, then it's got to be good for our friends, too. So, when you're out picking up their food, show the same sort of care for the ingredients that you show when picking your own food out. It can be difficult, but it's not impossible to find grain-free pet foods. In my area, there are two different major labels that are sold as grain-free. One is called "B.G." (Before Grains), and the other is Wellness brand. We have a new kitten in our cave (part of the reason posting has been a bit sparser of late), and he's on a mix of the Wellness canned and dry foods for kittens, and thriving. And it makes me happy to know that he's eating what he evolved to eat - a high-protein meat-based diet. With any luck, he'll be around for a long time to come, amusing us with his antics.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Modern stone-age knives

Two posts today, because these knives designed by Matthias Kaeding are so cool and so caveman kitchen I needed to post them. No word if or when they'll actually be available, but you know that as soon as they are I'll be pestering Mrs. Caveman to allow me to order a set!

Orange-dill scallops

We just finished supper, and it was delicious! We wanted to try something a little bit different this week, so we had bought some frozen wild scallops at our local super-mega-mart grocery store a while back. Tonight, I decided to make them. Here's what I did:

  • One package frozen wild scallops, thawed
  • 3 sliced of bacon, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 tsp dill
  • fresh-ground black pepper and salt
  1. Fry up the bacon pieces in the pan, and remove to a paper towel, leaving the grease in the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the scallops, and place them in a bowl with the other ingredients. Mix well.
  3. In the same pan, fry the scallops over medium-high heat until done (opaque, firm, and some browning), about 3-5 minutes. Add the bacon back in when the scallops are almost done.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Chupaquesos (the word comes from the Spanish words "chupa" (suck) and "queso" (cheese)). It's based on something I discovered for myself a long time ago (fried cheese), but Howard Tayler took it a step further. Originally a throw-away line in his online comic strip Schlock Mercenary, Howard eventually released the recipe, and followed that up with a website devoted to the cheesy treat.

What is it? Basically, it's a low-carb "tortilla", made by melting shredded cheese in a non-stick frying pan (the non-stick-ability of the pan is very important!) until the underside browns and holds together, then tossing in fillings. On the website above, Howard recommends using more cheese, and possibly bacon, inside. While this has potential, I like to throw a tablespoon or so of salsa and a couple of diced jalapeno slices in mine.

  • 1 cup (or so) cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, or the like), shredded - you can buy it yourself or use pre-shredded cheese, but the pre-shredded stuff sometimes contains starch to prevent clumping, so read the label!
  • filling - more cheese, cooked bacon, sliced jalapenos, salsa, or whatever tickles your fancy


  1. Preheat your non-stick frying pan over high heat.
  2. Toss in the shredded cheese and let it melt and spread out
  3. Use an "egg flipper" to test the edges, and once the cheese has started to congeal into a mass, quickly flip it over for a few seconds, then flip it back over.
  4. Lay the filling down the centre of the mass of melted cheese, and fold like a tortilla (one end, then one side, then the other side).
  5. Eat!

I'll often have one of these as a "heavy snack" - it's not quite a meal, but the protein and fat will fill you up more than an apple will, and for longer. Good if you know supper is going to be delayed by a couple of hours.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arrowroot - the paleo-friendly starch

There's one problem with not allowing flour or cornstarch in the paleo diet - you can't thicken sauces. Actually, you can - if you use arrowroot. At one time, in fact, the preferred starch for sauce-making in fancier kitchens was arrowroot, because the sauces end up clearer and glossier. However, because it was expensive, it fell out of favour. These days, you can pick up a decent-sized bag of arrowroot for around $10, at least in my neck of the woods, and it will last for a long time if you only use it for making sauces.

Quick Cheese Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot (approximate)
  • 1 cup milk, preferably 2% or 3.5% milk fat
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese such as cheddar or parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste (use white pepper so your sauce isn't full of black specks)
  1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, and allow it to just start to brown.
  2. Whisk the arrowroot in - it should form a thick paste, which then thins up again quickly.
  3. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring the mix to a simmer or low boil, stirring continuously with the whisk. As the sauce nears the simmering point, it should thicken up and the lumps of arrowroot should disappear.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the grated cheese until it melts.
ALTERNATE method - mix the arrowroow with a bit of the milk before adding it to the melted butter. It will look funny at first because the butter won't mix in with the milk (it will just float on top), but when it thickens up it will be fine. I don't think you'll get lumps if you do it this way.

Use this to top steamed vegetables for a cheesy break from the ordinary. If it doesn't thicken, add a bit more arrowroot. If there are lumps (it happens sometimes), put the sauce through a strainer.

No Caveman Kitchen is complete without one!

Over on they are now featuring a Caveman Kitchen Tool, useful for grinding herbs, grating ginger and garlic, and even helping sharpen your knives. It even has a handy leather strap attached for hanging from the wall!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A lot of classic condiments and toppings, such as ketchup and chutney, are not allowed under the paleo diet, because they contain added sugar and/or starches as thickeners. However, a good salsa is nothing but fruit and vegetables, and since we're just about at the height of summer here in Cave City, we have both of those in good supply. Here are a couple of classic salsa recipes, tomato- and mango-based. The latter is delicious on fresh-grilled tuna, and both benefit from several hours in the fridge to allow the flavours to develop.

Tomato Salsa
  • 3 large tomatoes, cored, halved, and grilled/charred, skins removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet or red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded, deveined, and minced fine
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • salt
  1. To prepare the tomatoes, chop them in half, core them, place them cut side down on a baking sheet, and broil until the skins are slightly blackened and slip off easily (careful, hot!). Let the excess juice drain a bit in a colander (while they cool) before you chop them.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients. Juice the lime and add the juice. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavours merge.
Mango Salsa

  • one medium mango
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sweet or red onion
  • 2 tsp diced jalapeno (seeds removed)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1 lime
  1. Chop the first five ingredients into small pieces (1/4 to 1/2 inch, smaller for the jalapeno), and combine in a bowl, stirring well. Juice the lime and add the juice to the mix.
  2. Best if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours mix.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The salad days, not just for summer

During the week, I have to work "in the city", and for simplicity and cost reasons I usually take my lunch. Now, one of the things about the paleo diet (versus standard "low-carb" diets like Atkins) is that I'm not quite as worried about carbs, as long as they're the right sort of carbs. Most vegetables, for example, are quite all right. As such, I often take a rather large salad. I used to take a leafy green mix, but these days I've been taking something somewhat chunkier. Salad doesn't have to mean iceberg lettuce smothered in some creamy dressing - take it to the next level!

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup mini tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup broccoli and/or cauliflower pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Chop all the vegetables up into "bite-sized" pieces (half inch or so, depending on the size of your bite) and toss them together in a container.
  2. Combine the oil and vinegar and shake well, then pour it over the salad when you're ready to eat.
  3. Eat.
Of course, this salad doesn't have much (if anything) in the way of protein. You can toss some tuna or sliced chicken breast on top, add sunflower seeds or chopped nuts, or find other ways to add protein. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sites for sore eyes

This blog is devoted to recipes suitable for those following the paleo diet. If you want information about other aspects, there are lots of places on the web you can check. Here are a few that I go to on a regular basis:

1. Mark's Daily Apple - as the title says, Mark Sisson manages to post something here pretty much every day, be it a discussion of the merits of Omega-3 supplements, a recipe for broccoli rabe pesto, or some information about suitable workouts. Mark calls his approach "primal living", and it does vary from the paleo diet in a few respects, but there's more agreement than disagreement.

2. Son of Grok - also known as SoG, he's the personified descendant of "Grok", the caveman who's often used as an example in Mark's blog above. SoG (to clarify, he's a different person than Mark, he just uses Mark's Grok as inspiration) hasn't been posting as much lately due to a new job, but his older posts are worth a review. There are some good recipes and some good workout information there.

3. Paleo Diet - is a massive collection of links to various articles, recipes, etc. I believe it has its origins in an old Usenet newsgroup.

4. PaNu - short for Paleolithic Nutrition, this is the blog of Doctor Kurt Harris (yes, an MD-type doctor) who strongly believes in the paleo diet. Some useful information there for people who might be wavering on the fence about the paleo diet.

5. Protein Power is the blog of Doctor Michael Eades, who wrote a book of the same name. While his viewpoint is more about protein versus carbs, the fact remains that many of the same dietary principles he espouses are also valid in a paleo diet connotation.

There are tons of other links out there - if you have any you think are especially good, post them as a comment to this posting!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Crazy for coconut oil

You may have noticed that in a lot of recipes I tend to call for coconut oil. There is a lot of information out there suggesting that this is a relatively good fat for human health. Add to that its relatively high smoke point (the point at which oil used for cooking starts to break down), and coconut oil makes a pretty good choice for cooking.

What is coconut oil? Well, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like - although if you had visions of tiny oil derricks drilling into coconuts, you'll be disappointed. In practice, the oil is usually extracted from coconuts by drying and then pressing the "meat" (the same stuff you buy as shredded coconut in the store).

Does coconut oil add a coconut flavour to everything you cook? Well, some oils have more flavour than others, but the flavour is usually so subtle that you won't notice it unless you're taking a spoonful of the oil directly (and some people do this as a daily supplement).

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, so it's relatively stable (but it's one of the good kinds of saturated fats - it appears to raise the "good" cholesterol in your blood). It lasts for up to two years without going rancid, but it lasts somewhat longer when it's in the solid form. The melting point of coconut oil is around 25 degrees Celsius, so depending on how warm your kitchen is, you may want to store it in the fridge if you're not going to use it all up right away. (I find a standard jar of coconut oil only lasts me a couple of months anyway, so I keep it out on the counter.)

If possible, buy your coconut oil as "virgin" oil - while there is no standard for what constitutes "virgin" oil, this generally means that the oil has been only minimally processed. Watch out for hydrogenated coconut oil - this is sometimes done to increase the melting point, but it's just as questionable in coconut oil as it is in vegetable oils, nutritionally speaking.

There are a lot of health claims associated with coconut oil, including (as noted above) that it raises your HDL (or "good") cholesterol, thus improving your overall cholesterol ratio. It is also reported to raise your metabolism, and may have antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Additionally, the main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which may strengthen the body's immune system. Oh, one other thing - you can also use it on the outside of your body, it's supposed to make a wonderful moisturizer.

Whether you down a spoonful a day as a nutritional supplement, or you just use it for frying foods, coconut oil deserves a chance to be in your kitchen, in my opinion. Of course, I'm not a doctor, I'm just a caveman.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Paleo Peach Patties

Based on a recipe found over at Son Of Grok, these peach patties are easy to make and very bread-like if you're new to paleo and still jonesing for the the old "stabilized hydrofoam of wheat endosperm" (aka bread). I particularly like them with all-fruit peach preserves or almond butter on them! And this should make up for that nasty cauliflower rice I posted yesterday...

  • 1 cup dried peaches (the chewy kind, not the crunchy freeze-dried kind!) - works out to about 8 halves, diced up a bit
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the peaches, almond flour, and coconut in a blender and process until well broken down and "mealy".
  3. Drizzle in the coconut oil while pulsing.
  4. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the egg.
  5. Form into 10 to 12 patties and separate on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake approximately 18 to 20 minutes, until browned slightly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cretaceous Cauliflower Rice

We've had a couple of different dishes (goulash and butter chicken) that would go good over rice, if only we could eat rice. Alas, the poor caveman lived a few thousand years before the discovery of rice (which means it would be a long time to wait for Chinese food to be delivered!). If you're really jonesing for something rice-like to put under a sauce-based dish, you can always use cauliflower.

  • 1 cauliflower
  • butter and salt to taste
  1. Use a grater or food processor to finely grate the cauliflower.
  2. Put it in a microwave rice steamer (or microwave-safe bowl with a loose-fitting or vented cover).
  3. Cook in the microwave on "high" for four minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and butter.
Personally, I don't like this recipe much, to be honest. But sometimes you just gotta have something to soak up the sauce!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why not roast those vegetables?

When I was growing up, having a side of vegetables at supper meant something boiled - carrots, peas, beans, corn, whatever. It was boiled. Eventually we got a steamer basket, and then it was boiled or steamed. Still not impressive.

These days, I often roast vegetables such as brussel sprouts (see the recipe a few days ago), cauliflower, broccoli, or even carrots.

The basic process is:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 or so.
  2. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and seasoning (salt, pepper, maybe some garlic).
  3. Roast until soft. (Depends on the vegetable, usually 20-30 minutes)
Because you're not boiling the veggies, you're not washing away the vitamins, and you get some tasty charring and caramelization that you don't get in a wet cooking method. So if you've got some vegetables and you're tired of soggy sides, fire up the oven and roast 'em!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Basically Barbecue Sauce

Grilled meat is very caveman. However, most commercial barbecue sauces contain sugar. This is actually a good thing, because the sugar caramelizes during the cooking and produces wonderful flavours on the meat. However, since cavemen didn't have access to sugar, and stevia won't caramelize, we have to turn to another sweetener in the caveman's pantry - agave syrup. Yep, agave, the same plant from which we get tequila, is also the source of a sweet syrup which has a much lower glycemic index than sugar (for those of you who are worried about such things). honey. Disregard mention of agave - it's almost pure fructose! Brush this sauce on when your meat is almost done - don't make the rookie mistake of putting the sauce on at the beginning, or you'll end up with burnt offerings.

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove minced garlic, if you don't mind chunky sauce)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or 1 small minced onion, as above)
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • a couple of drops of liquid smoke (optional, for smoky flavour)
  • a couple of drops of hot sauce (optional, for zip)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes.
This is a pretty basic sauce framework - you have sweet and sour tastes. I haven't added salt, but you could certainly do so if you wanted to. I think you can probably customize this sauce about a million ways - try adding some lemon juice, for example. Or use honey in place of the agave syrup. Maybe some red wine?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Holocene-era Hungarian Goulash

Okay, the title was a reach. But this goulash is quite tasty - at first glance there's a lot of onion in the recipe, but the majority of the onion breaks down completely (due to the long cooking time) and helps to thicken it. It would be good over rice, if I ate rice, but I don't. Sometimes we'll have it over "riced cauliflower", but more often than not I'll just have a big bowl of this as-is.

  • 1/3 cup oil (olive oil, coconut oil, or similar)
  • 3 onions, peeled, chopped in half, and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt + 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds (1.2kg) cubed stewing beef or other suitable meat (kangaroo works well)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onions until soft. Remove the onions and set aside.
  2. While the onions are cooking, combine in a bowl the paprika, pepper, and 2 tsp of the salt, then toss the meat in this mixture.
  3. After the onions are removed from the oil, brown the meat in the same pot.
  4. After the meat is browned on all sides, add the onions back to the pot, along with the tomato paste, water, garlic, and the remainder of the salt.
  5. Bring to a low boil, reduce to low heat, and simmer for at least 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the onions are mostly gone.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Best-ever Brussel Sprouts

When I was younger, brussel sprouts meant soggy greenish things that had been boiled to within an inch of their lives. No more! We have them this way a couple of times a month - the sprouts are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and the bacon grease makes them delicious.

  • One pound (500 g) brussel sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp bacon grease (reserved from when you last made bacon, or substitute olive oil), melted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut off the stem-ends from the brussel sprouts, remove any yellow leaves or insect-eaten bits, and cut into halves.
  3. Toss with the grease, salt, and pepper, and spread onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally. There should be blackened bits in places when they're done, and the sprouts themselves will be soft.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pterodactyl wings

If you can't find pterodactyl, you can still use chicken wings for this recipe. The method for cooking the wings is courtesy Alton Brown, and the sauce recipe is a traditional Buffalo style.

  • 1 pound (or more) chicken wings, split, with tips removed
  • 1/4 cup "hot sauce" (such as Durkee's or Frank's - check the ingredients to make sure there's no added sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  1. Steam the wings for 10 minutes in a steamer basket over a pot of water.
  2. Place the wings on a cooling rack over paper towel in the fridge, and cool for one hour.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes (on a rack on a cookie sheet), flipping halfway through.
  4. While the wings are baking, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  5. Put the wings into a bowl, cover with the sauce, and toss well.
Serve with plenty of napkins - these things get messy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Butter Chicken

As promised, a bit of a treat to celebrate Canada Day. Okay, butter chicken isn't exactly a traditional Canadian dish, but this is (in my opinion) a pretty yummy dish anyway. If you so desire, you can serve it over rice, or riced cauliflower, but I just like a big bowl of this as-is.

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1" piece of ginger root (2.5 cm), peeled and grated
  • 1-1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 can tomato sauce (or 1 can of tomatoes and 1 can tomato paste)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 10% cream
  1. Melt butter in a large pot, then add the onion and cinnamon.
  2. When the onion is cooked (translucent/waxy), add the remaining spices, garlic, and ginger root.
  3. After about 2 minutes, add the chicken breast pieces and the almond butter.
  4. Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer until thickened, approximately 20-30 minutes.

Because I'm not busy enough

(Other blog deleted - I don't have time for this blog, much less two of them!)

There'll be a recipe up here later today or tonight - my very own recipe for Butter Chicken. Stay tuned!