Braised Short Ribs

At the Boise Farmer’s Market last weekend, I picked up a variety of vegetables, fruits and some meats from local farms. One of the cuts of meat that I purchased was 2.28 lbs of grass-fed short ribs from Malheur River Meats, LLC in Vale, Oregon. At Malheur River Meats, they sell grass-fed beef, grass-fed goat, pasture-raised pigs, heritage turkeys and pasture-raised chicken and eggs. This was my first purchase from this farm, but it certainly won’t be my last!

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Check out their website, here: http://malheurrivermeats.com

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To prepare these (bone-in) short ribs, I first thawed them to room temperature, as I typically do with frozen meats before cooking. I used my Crock-Pot%20SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cookercrock pot to braise the ribs with onions I also purchased at the farmer’s market, along with organic tomatoes and lots of fresh garlic (cloves and garlic scapes!)

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The braising method relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue that binds together the muscle fibers (meat,) allowing traditionally tougher meats to become tender. This method of preparing meat becomes especially important when buying more affordable cuts of beef (and let’s face it… good meat is not cheap!) Here is my quick and easy recipe for Braised Short Ribs.

Ingredients
Thawed short ribs, bone-in (I had 2.28 lbs)
3-4 cloves of freshly-chopped garlic
1-2 garlic scapes, chopped
(If you don’t have garlic scapes, use another clove of garlic!)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 can organic tomatoes, diced (I used fire-roasted)
2 cups organic, pastured chicken stock (or bone broth)
small bunch of fresh thyme
Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp butter

Instructions
Place all chopped vegetables and spices into a Crock-Pot%20Oval Manual Portable Cooker SCCPVL600S, 6-Quart, Silvercrock pot
(I like the locking lid crock pots, like Crock-Pot%20Oval Manual Portable Cooker SCCPVL600S, 6-Quart, SilverTHIS ONE)
Add chicken stock (or bone broth)

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In a frying pan, melt the 1-2 Tbsp of butter
Quickly brown each side of the short ribs, cooking on medium-high heat for a minute or two of each side

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Add the short ribs to the crock pot, over the vegetables and stock
Add salt and pepper
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours

Remove from the crock pot and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving
Serve with onions and tomatoes from the crock pot, adding salt and pepper if needed

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Enjoy!

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 (Served here with organic asparagus and white rice)

Lemon Parsley Chicken

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I’m a fan of any dish you can cook in just one pan. This lemon and Parsley Chicken recipe is simple, fast and sure to please!

You’ll need a large skillet/ frying pan with a lid. (This can easily be made in larger or smaller quantities, as the measurements are approximate.) I always recommend cooking in bulk and having breakfast or lunch nearly prepared the next day!

Serve with a salad, roasted or mashed sweet (or regular!) potato or steamed vegetables.

 

Ingredients:
Approximately 2-3 lbs chicken drumsticks
1 medium purple onion, cut into slices
2-3 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
2-3 lemons, cut into quarters
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Steps:
1) In a large skillet, cook onion in ghee or coconut oil over medium heat.
2) Once the onions start to become translucent, add chicken drumsticks.
3) Squeeze the lemon over the chicken. Add lemon rinds to the skillet with the chicken. (You can use a cheese/veggie grater or a zester on the lemon, too)
4) Add 1/2 the parsley and sea salt and black pepper as desired.
5) Continue to cook over medium heat until one side of the chicken is browned, approximately 12-15 minutes.
6) Flip the drumsticks, turn heat to medium-low, cover and continue to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Garnish with remaining parsley (maybe more salt and pepper) and serve.

Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Drumsticks with Sweet Potato

I’ve posted a similar recipe HERE, before, using chicken thighs. I tend to buy drumsticks because, well, 1) they’re less expensive and 2) they include the skin and the bone, both of which are critical for optimal Vitamin D and glycine consumption. Glycine is an amino acid that we derive from skin, bones and cartilage of animals. You can also get glycine from legumes, but if you’re eating a Paleo diet, legumes are not part of your regimen.

This recipe is quick, has few ingredients and uses one pan and has very little prep time or steps. Because of this, it happens to be a meal that I make fairly often in the fall when sweet potatoes seem to be delicious with anything.

Ingredients
2-3 lbs chicken drumsticks (pastured)
2 medium sweet potatoes
A few leaves of fresh sage (adding fresh rosemary is also delicious)
2-3 Tbsp butter (I tend to use Kerrygold from the store or a butter from a local farm that is unpasturized)
1 tsp ground mustard
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Slice the sweet potatoes into thin slices. (Keep in mind that the thinner the slice, the fast they will cook.)
Line the sweet potatoes in a baking dish and top with fresh herbs, as pictured below

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Top the sweet potato slices with the drumsticks, as pictured below

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Sprinkle the ground mustard, black pepper and salt over the chicken
Bake at 400 for 35 minutes
Allow the chicken to cool for a few minutes before serving

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Enjoy!

(No Bake) Protein Cookies

I’m originally from Maine, and stand behind good, local products. Stronger Faster Healthier has a great whey protein product that is designed, formulated and produced in Warren, Maine.  They are GMO free and derive their whey from free range and grass fed cows. On their website, SFH states: “Our mission has been consistent: The combination of a clean diet, exercise, along with clean supplementation (high-strength fish oil and high-quality protein) leads to long term health by keeping your inflammation levels down and adding lean muscle.”

Sometimes I want a quick snack, or something I can grab and go and eat later in the car while on the road. Most snacks and grab-and-go foods are loaded with refined sugars, processed oils and extra (unpronounceable) ingredients that I don’t necessarily want to consume. Naturally, I made something that is quick, healthy and contains a good amount of protein for sustained energy throughout my mornings. It requires zero cook time, little clean up and a quick use of a food processor. Plus, you can make these in bulk and freeze them easily!

Ingredients
10 pitted Medjool dates
2 scoops of Chocolate whey protein (I used SFH- Stronger Faster Healthier Grass-fed Whey)
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup almonds (you can sub for a different nut if want to!)
2 tsp vanilla extract

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Instructions
If your dates are not pitted, remove the seed before proceeding
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until you reach your desired consistency
(as pictured, I prefer some larger pieces of nuts and dates in my cookies)
If your mixture is quite dry, you can add a tsp of water and continue to blend

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Roll bite-size balls of the dough in your hands and flatten into cookies

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For best results, place cookies in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour before consuming

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I keep mine in a glass pyrex dish in the fridge!

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Enjoy!

You can also purchase SFH Whey Protein HERE on Amazon (Affiliate link)

 

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Mango Salsa

I’ve always liked stuffed peppers; my mom used to make them with a tomato sauce, white rice and ground beef stuffed into a green bell pepper and covered with cheese. I have always liked tacos, too. This recipe was my (successful) attempt to mix the best of both- a mexican-style stuffed pepper. Pair the stuffed pepper (with slightly spicy ground beef) with a side of sweet mango salsa and it is absolutely delicious! (Of course, I am biased…)

Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers:
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small bunch chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on spice preference) 
1/2 tsp cumin
2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
3 peppers (for stuffing)
1 cup tomato salsa for topping

Ground beef cilantro onion

Steps:
In a skillet or frying pan, add butter, onion, garlic, spices, cilantro and ground beef
(set peppers and salsa aside for now)
Cook over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the beef as it cooks

While beef is cooking, prepare your Mango Salsa

Ingredients for Mango Salsa:
1 cup chopped mango (can use frozen and thaw out, or cut fresh mango)
Small bunch fresh chopped cilantro
Small bunch fresh chopped dill
1/4 chopped red onion
(I also like to add tomatoes)

Mango Salsa Ingredients

Steps: 
Mix all ingredients together

Mango Salsa from Keirstens Kitchen

Now for the rest of the stuffed peppers…

Once the beef is done, set aside
Preheat oven to 375 F
Cut peppers in half and de-seed, as pictured below

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Stuff the peppers with the cooked beef mixture
Top with salsa
Bake at 375 for approximately 15 minutes, or until peppers are desired texture (I like mine still a bit firm)

Keirstens Kitchen Stuffed Peppers

Remove from oven and allow a few minutes to cool before serving

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Enjoy!

Keirstens Kitchen Stuffed Peppers with Mango Salsa and Avocado

Suggested purchase: Glass Pyrex baking dishes! You can get a set of 3, HERE on Amazon for $20.00 (at time of post) and they even have lids. You can bake in these, then cover and refrigerate. Easy to hold leftovers and oven and dishwasher safe! 

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

I have 2 nieces (ages 6 and 3) and a nephew (age 10.) Whenever they come over for dinner, they ask for pizza or pasta, sometimes “salad tacos” (tacos on Romaine lettuce leaves in lieu of corn taco shells, recipe HERE.)

On pizza nights, I usually make this Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Crust. On “pasta” nights, I throw together some spaghetti squash (recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce HERE) along with a good protein and vegetable on the side. I didn’t use cheese for this recipe, but I imagine it would be delicious; a gluten-free fried chicken recipe turned chicken parmesan!

Ingredients:
3-4 chicken thighs (can use bone-in thighs, drumsticks or breasts, too. Just adjust cooking times accordingly.) 
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasonings (usually contains parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, etc.)
few pinches of dried rosemary
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Oil for frying (coconut oil recommended. I use THIS ONE.)

Steps:
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted
While oil is melting, mix almond meal, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and dried rosemary together in a medium bowl

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Coat chicken in the mixture
(I hardly ever use an egg wash due to cooking for people with egg allergies, but feel free!) 
Place coated chicken in skillet (may splatter a bit, so be careful)  

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Cook over medium heat for approximately 10-12 minutes without flipping

Flip chicken and continue to cook for another 10-12 minutes (longer if using breasts or thicker cuts of chicken) 

 

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Serve fried chicken with pasta and sauce for a chicken parmesan-type meal, over a salad, with a side of vegetables and gluten-free carb source or simply enjoy with some Ranch dip (recipe HERE!)

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Enjoy!

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