Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homemade Paleo Meatballs

As a kid growing up, I loved Sunday mornings. Mom would get up at 8am to make her gravy and then fry up her meatballs, sausages and any other pork-related goodies to throw into her concoction. Before even having breakfast, Mom would walk over with a meatball stuck on a fork, fresh out of the frying pan. They were so good and delicious that we always went back for seconds. That's when she would say, "That's enough! No more!" She still makes her famous meatballs and I have taken on her exact ingredients (although I have this feeling she left something major out so I wouldn't totally copy it), but it's good enough - not like Mom's, but 'good enough'. This time, since I'm on Paleo, I decided that meatballs are still going to be in my routine on Sundays. I decided to make gluten-free Paleo meatballs last night and wow, they were incredible! I love a meatball where you can actually see the ingredients. Most people just plop it together with mostly egg and breading. No breading in these parts of the woods.

First, clean your hands! Then take ground beef (grass fed if possible) and place it into a large bowl. I use a special red one to mix all my raw meat. I'm just strange that way. Flatten it out a bit. Chop up five cloves of garlic finely, a half an onion, fresh parsley and some basil. Throw it in the bowl. Add a half a cup of parmesan cheese. Add salt, pepper & garlic powder. Don't be afraid to knead your meat. Squish the hell outuv' it till it becomes 'gluey'.

Start making da' balls!
Place them in a pan after you have buttered the bottom. 
I use bacon fat, since olive oil's properties changes into a dangerous carcinogen when cooked on high levels of heat. You can also fry them in coconut oil, but I prefer baking them with a little bacon fat.
Bake them for 30 minutes at 375 and they should be perfect. 

Whenever I make ground beef, I always tend to add some liver into the mix. (I know, some of you cringe when I put my liver recipes up. You can see the liver recipe on this post when you click here.) It's not only high in iron, but it's a helluva' antidepressant, especially for PMSing women. Men and lesbian spouses, you will totally thank me. You can make whatever greens you prefer. I chose to go with a nice garden fresh marinade salad along with greens that complimented this dish so well. This dish goes great with a deep, dry cabernet and even a buttery chardonnay. Bon appetite!
(My marinade salad has fresh garlic, mushroom buttons, mozzarella & cherry tomatoes.) 
For Deb's main blog, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com and join her on Twitter Facebook for updated recipes and articles!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just When I Got Sick of Eggs…

I have to say, this totally shocked me. I'm not big on "change", although Paleo has changed my life a great deal, but seeking different animals for different eats? No. I'll stick to everything that we're "supposed" to eat --- that was my mindset. Anyway, my buddy came over the other day with a huge basket of eggs. She looked like a crazy farmer as she hopped out of her truck to greet me with….eggs. This past spring, she acquired a few ducks. She was so happy about them - as pets no less. She said to me, "I throw away hundreds of eggs." And to my limited knowledge, I shrugged it off because I didn't think you could really eat duck eggs, or were "supposed" to. Madelene looked at her with her eyes wide open and said, "Duck eggs! Are those duck eggs???" She quickly relieved her of the enormous basket it was brought in with and thanked her profusely. I just sat there, thanked her and wondered, "Are you really gonna eat all those duck eggs?" Well, the next morning, Mad urged me to try them. I went online and discovered all the health benefits this one little egg has. So of course, I plopped two in the pan. Not only is the yolk humungous, but it's twice the size of a regular chicken egg. I made Madelene two eggs scrambled into an omelet, and I swear to God -- it looked like one of those 5 egg omelets that iHop makes. These eggs were so good, so velvety and had such an amazing flavor that I will never go back to chicken eggs again. But that's not even my "big excitement" about these beauties. After I ate them, the high amounts of vitamins had me from grumpy to "OMG let's go out and do everything and cook dinner for all our friends tonight!" I was in high gear all. day. long. It was a total mood booster, so this morning when I woke up a bit cranky finding out it snowed while we were without power, she said, "Go eat those duck eggs before I divorce you!" They are the best antidepressants anyone can ever take.

Look at these benefits!

Essential Vitamins: Duck eggs boost your vitamin intake and provide considerable amounts of vitamins A and B-12. The vitamin A from your diet promotes new cell development to keep your tissues healthy and also maintains good eyesight. A duck egg contains 472 international units of vitamin A -- one-fifth of the recommended daily intake for women and 16 percent for men. The vitamin B-12 in duck eggs keeps your nerves healthy and promotes red blood cell function. Each duck egg boasts 3.8 micrograms of vitamin B-12, more than your entire daily recommended B-12 intake. It also contains small amounts of several B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamins D and E.

Beneficial Minerals: Duck eggs also offer nutritional value because of their selenium and iron content. Selenium supports healthy immune function and helps you make thyroid hormones. Iron helps your red blood cells carry oxygen and plays a role in energy production. Each duck egg contains 2.7 milligrams of iron -- 34 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 15 percent for women -- as well as 25.5 micrograms of selenium, or 46 percent of your intake requirement. Duck eggs also contain small amounts of zinc, phosphorus and calcium.

Of course one of the many said to be drawbacks is that it is high in cholesterol, but on Paleo, that doesn't apply because we cut all sugar and wheat (the best we can) out of our diets, which is the contributor of plaque sticking to our arteries. So if you are on a normal everyday American diet, consider the cholesterol content.

I mean, this is an all around health gift you can give yourself. You can find them at your local farms or if you know a friend who has a bunch of ducks like I do, don't hesitate to grab a few!

For Deb's main blog, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com and join her on Twitter Facebook for updated recipes and articles!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Don't Be a Chicken - Have Your Carbs

The one thing I miss while being on Paleo are potatoes and french fries --- not sweet potatoes --- the good ol' Idaho potato. I began to like sweet potatoes a bit, and yes, I know they are more nutritious overall, so I do my best to make it interesting. This time, I made homemade sweet potato fries. Now here's the thing, any time I go out to a restaurant and order sweet potato fries, they're either burnt to a crisp and bitter or just plain nasty. Then I tried it. These restaurants better take note. My fries are the bomb! Yesterday when I came home, I was freezing! It was so incredibly cold and windy out. I was supposed to go shopping with my sister and mother and then out to dinner, but because I was just too tired. I wanted to stay home by the fire and roast a chicken and make homemade sweet potato fries. I LOVE to cook when it's cold outside and I also love to cook when I am very stressed out. Kill two birds, right? Well, in this case, we'll just use one 8 lb bird. I have a special concoction that not only makes your entire house smell like, "FEED ME SEYMORE," but it also makes the chicken super tender and juicy, even if you overcook it. I tend to overcook, but it's never, ever, dry… ever.

First things first: Give your bird a bath. Wash her gingerly in a pan in a sink and then discard the pan. Wash everything after you have finished so that there is no salmonella lurking about. Take out the gizzards!!! I personally boil the liver for my little chihuahua. Liver is so good for dogs, especially boiled with no seasonings.

OK, where was I? 
  • Rub that bird down with generous amounts of salt, pepper, garlic powder, (chili powder optional) and let her sit so she is lukewarm. 
  • Get a tumbler out of your liquor cabinet. Don't get excited - it's for your special ingredients. 
  • Poor a quarter of olive oil and a quarter of broth into the glass. 
  • Chop 5 cloves of garlic.
  • Chop a bunch of parsley
  • Add it into the glass
  • Squeeze half a lemon into the mix
  • Add more seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Mix it up
  • Pour it onto your bird and then rub that bitch down again, getting every crevice, nook and cranny
  • Then, chop up two onions into chunks. Put it around the bird. 
  • Pour a half a bottle of beer in the pan
  • Cut pieces of real butter, one chunk on the top of the bird and the other chunks into the pan
She's ready to go. on 350 degrees for approximately 3 hours, you will have the most delicious bird in the world. Make sure you baste her good so she'll be juicy and it won't overcook the top so much. After you take her out, let her sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

So now for your carbs.

I have a slicer I bought that cuts up potatoes into fries perfectly. Slice them all up (I did about 4 potatoes) in case of guests or leftovers or even for breakfast with my eggs. Throw them into the pan with the oil and fry em' up! Don't burn them because they'll become bitter. This dish is usually paired up with any wine (or martini) - whether chardonnay or a nice deep cabernet or a dry Grey Goose martini with three olives. Season to your liking and bon appetit!

For Deb's main blog, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com and join her on Twitter Facebook for updated recipes and articles!