Friday, December 17, 2010

Chili for a chilly day

The old cave is quite chilly these days, and the days are getting shorter. It's times like this that a caveman thinks about chili. At least, this caveman does. Actually, I think about chili a lot, regardless of the weather. It's not an obsession or anything, but still. Anyway, here's my recipe, which is an example of a "straight" chili (no beans, obviously).

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds stewing beef, diced into bite-sized pieces (or use lean ground beef)
  • 2-3 small cooking onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp chili powder (or more, if you like it hotter)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine (or just use a tsp of garlic powder)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in your slow-cooker (AKA "crockpot"). I usually put the meat in first.
  2. Cook on low heat 8 hours or until done. It's not precise, sorry. Season with the salt, pepper, and hot sauce just before you serve.
  3. Serve over cauliflower rice or on its own. Put cheese on it if you want. Or sour cream. Whatever floats your boat.
Yeah, it's that easy. It's chili, it's not supposed to be complicated!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How about some noodles?

So it turns out that, over in Japan, there are these things called Shirataki noodles, which are a very-low-carb noodle made mainly from water and plant fiber. Available now in other places, in Canada they can be found in Asian supermarkets, as well as at the Low Carb Grocery, which has a store in Markham (if you live in the Toronto area). And no, I haven't received any money or other consideration for mentioning them.

Anyway, the noodles are pretty tasteless on their own, but go well in a pasta sauce because they really tend to absorb the flavour of the sauce. While not strictly paleo, they are very-low-carb and thus worth a consideration for those nights when you just can't face another spaghetti squash. I've seen them in fettuccine and "spaghetti" styles, but supposedly the Miracle Noodle company also makes a rice style, even if it's only available in Australia for now. EDIT - I have had the rice version via the Low-Carb Grocery. I can't really recommend it, it's basically little gummy balls of not-starch.

You're on your own when it comes to garlic bread, though.

Lasagna, of sorts

Ingredients
  • 3 or 4 zucchinis, sliced thin (use a mandolin for even, thin slices)
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can plain tomato sauce (read the label, some have sugar in them)
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 cup (or thereabouts) shredded cheese such as mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Fry up the hamburger with the onions and garlic, adding the green pepper, sauce, and tomatoes when the meat is browned. Yes, this is making a simple pasta sauce.
  3. Put a layer of zucchini in a casserole dish (grease it or not, your choice), then a layer of sauce.
  4. Repeat twice more, so you have 3 zucchini layers and 2 meat layers.
  5. Top with the cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven 45 minutes or so.
NOTE - a LOT of liquid will come out of the zucchini during cooking. This is normal.

Some light reading

Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, has a new blog. Only a couple of posts up so far, but it looks good. Just stay out of the comments - this is the Internet, after all.

And, not sure if I've posted this one before, but Tom McNaughton (maker of the movie Fat Head, which still doesn't have an international distributor) also has a blog where he posts some interesting articles and such.