Chili for everyone!

Chili for everyone!

By: Leanne Ely

There is something extremely satisfying about making a big pot of chili for your family on a cool day. I find it as enjoyable to make chili for dinner as I do sitting down and eating that chili. There’s just something about putting all those simple ingredients of vegetables and spices together, in a combination you know your family will enjoy, and sitting down and eating it together.

Chili is extremely easy to make and whether you’re vegan, celiac, paleo or an old-fashioned omnivore, you can make a pot of chili to suit your tastes and dietary needs. The only exception would be someone unable to eat nightshade foods because you really can’t do traditional chili without tomatoes.

A hearty bowl of chili con carne with hot peppers.

I have added many chili recipes to my cookbooks so I am not going to list out all those separate recipes here, but with chili, once you get the hang of it you can really just experiment and play and make it your own.

Chili – the basics

There are some ingredients that are pretty standard in a pot of chili. To name a few:

Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic
Chili powder
Chili peppers
Bell peppers
Ground meat (pork or beef)
Beans

Make it your own

If you’re vegetarian, simply omit the meat and add more veggies. Celery, carrots and even sweet potatoes are nice in a vegetarian chili.

If you’re paleo, omit the beans.

If you enjoy beans as part of your diet, toss in a variety. Chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans are a nice combo for a hearty chili.

Some like it hot

Depending on how much you like heat, it’s easy to make a chili to please you! Add minced jalapeño, extra chili powder, cayenne and even hot sauce. For a different flavor profile, try adding coriander, cumin and saffron!

Toppings

I love adding avocado to my chili when I serve it. Other options would be cheese, a lime wedge, sour cream or plain yogurt to help cool it off.

 

Beloved beefy comfort foods

Beloved beefy comfort foods

By: Leanne Ely

 

Because the weather is still cold, kitchens across North America (at least in the northern part of the continent!) are staying heated up with warm, comforting and familiar dishes.

For me, nothing quite fits the comfort food bill like beef.

Beef is full of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium. Beef makes our muscles strong, and keeps our hormone levels and our hearts healthy.

There is no such thing as a bad cut of beef, as far as I’m concerned. Whether it’s ground, cubed into stewing beef or cut into steaks, there’s no cut of beef that can’t be transformed into something delicious. And this time of year, it’s all about the comforting beef dishes for me.

The following are some of my favorite ways to warm up my family with beef:

Stew. Yummy beef stew is a bowl full of goodness. Making stew is a cinch. The slow cooker or dutch oven really does all the work. Start by browning your cubed beef (an optional step, but I love the extra layer of flavor browning brings to a dish), add veggies and seasonings, and cover in whatever liquid you like—I like bone broth, tomatoes and red wine. Stewing food means covering it in liquid and letting it simmer at low heat for a good long time. You can make it in the crock pot, on the stovetop or in the oven.

Soup. There are as many ways to make a pot of beef soup as there are spices in my pantry (trust me—there are dozens). Start with your beef broth (preferably your own homemade bone broth), and add ground beef, leftover roast beef, or whatever beef you want. Season it, and add your cubed veggies. Let it bubble away on the stove until you’re ready to devour.

Roasted. There’s something so comforting about a pot roast. The easiest way to prepare one is to let the crockpot do the work. Pop your roast and seasonings in there, along with your vegetables, and let it cook on low for 6–8 hours. Mmmm.

Chili. Ground beef cooked with onions, garlic, chili, cumin, salt, pepper (and whatever other spices you enjoy), beef broth, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, and kidney beans (if you aren’t a Paleoista — Paleoistas can enjoy a fine pot of chili by simply skipping the beans), makes a delicious meal.

Cottage pie. If you have the right combination of leftovers in your refrigerator, you can put together a wonderful cottage pie. Cottage pie is the same thing as shepherd’s pie, except shepherd’s pie features lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. Fry your beef with some onions, garlic, ketchup, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you love. When that’s all cooked, put it in the bottom of a casserole dish and layer with leftover diced veggies, and top the whole works with leftover whipped potatoes—either sweet potatoes or yellow. Bake until the top is golden brown. Yum yum.

I always choose local grass-fed beef and I recommend you do the same if you have the option!

Speaking of comfort food, to celebrate our 50 thousandth like on Facebook, we are taking 50% off the price of our paleo and classic comfort food menus!  Click here to learn more

Pot roast

Beloved beefy comfort foods

Food For Thought
Beloved beefy comfort foods

By: Leanne Ely

As the weather cools off a little bit, kitchens across North America (at least in the northern part of the continent!) start heating up with warm, comforting and familiar dishes.

For me, nothing quite fits the comfort food bill like beef.

Beef is full of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium. Beef makes our muscles strong, and keeps our hormone levels and our hearts healthy.

There is no such thing as a bad cut of beef, as far as I’m concerned. Whether it’s ground, cubed into stewing beef or cut into steaks, there’s no cut of beef that can’t be transformed into something delicious. And this time of year, it’s all about the comforting beef dishes for me.

The following are some of my favorite ways to warm up my family with beef:

Stew. Yummy beef stew is a bowl full of goodness. Making stew is a cinch. The slow cooker or dutch oven really does all the work. Start by browning your cubed beef (an optional step, but I love the extra layer of flavor browning brings to a dish), add veggies and seasonings, and cover in whatever liquid you like—I like bone broth, tomatoes and red wine. Stewing food means covering it in liquid and letting it simmer at low heat for a good long time. You can make it in the crock pot, on the stovetop or in the oven.

Soup. There are as many ways to make a pot of beef soup as there are spices in my pantry (trust me—there are dozens). Start with your beef broth (preferably your own homemade bone broth), and add ground beef, leftover roast beef, or whatever beef you want. Season it, and add your cubed veggies. Let it bubble away on the stove until you’re ready to devour.

Roasted. There’s something so comforting about a pot roast. The easiest way to prepare one is to let the crockpot do the work. Pop your roast and seasonings in there, along with your vegetables, and let it cook on low for 6–8 hours. Mmmm.

Chili. Ground beef cooked with onions, garlic, chili, cumin, salt, pepper (and whatever other spices you enjoy), beef broth, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, and kidney beans (if you aren’t a Paleoista — Paleoistas can enjoy a fine pot of chili by simply skipping the beans), makes a delicious meal.

Cottage pie. If you have the right combination of leftovers in your refrigerator, you can put together a wonderful cottage pie. Cottage pie is the same thing as shepherd’s pie, except shepherd’s pie features lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. Fry your beef with some onions, garlic, ketchup, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you love. When that’s all cooked, put it in the bottom of a casserole dish and layer with leftover diced veggies, and top the whole works with leftover whipped potatoes—either sweet potatoes or yellow. Bake until the top is golden brown. Yum yum.

I always choose local grass-fed beef and I recommend you do the same if you have the option!

For even more ideas related to cooking up delicious, comforting dishes, look into the special promotion we have going on now until the 27th of November. We’re offering our 3-Month Basic Menu-Mailer Subscription for just $9.95! It includes a brand new Comfort Food Menu Bundle featuring casseroles, soups, stews and chili’s. Check it out!

Is YOUR comfort food

It’s always time for winter squash!

Tricks, tips and a Recipe
It’s always time for winter squash!

By: Leanne Ely

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s focus is on: WINTER SQUASH

There are two kinds of squash: winter squash and summer squash. The difference is that the winter varieties are normally better suited to survive the winter in storage (think hardy squashes like butternut squash and acorn squash), while summer squash tends to have edible seeds and peels, and a shorter life cycle (zucchini and pattypan).

This time of year, you see lots of winter squashes popping up. I love them all, but my favorites include buttercup, butternut and acorn squashes.Winter Squash, Squash, Beef & Butternut Squash Stew recipe, Fall foods,

Winter squash is very sweet in flavor-as are most fruits (yes, anything with seeds is a fruit)-,and it’s quite easy to eat.

Winter squashes are delicious in soups and warm salads, or mashed with butter for a nutritious side dish.

Yes, winter squashes are very good for us. Winter squash is high in vitamins A and C, riboflavin and iron. Its signature orange color means it’s full of carotenoids, giving it lots of antioxidants.

Before you go pick up some winter squash to enjoy, it’s time for your Trick:

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that makes an excellent gluten-free (and nutritionally dense) noodle. Cook it up, and top with pasta sauce for a yummy pasta dish that the whole family can enjoy.

Your Tip:

I prefer my winter squash roasted over boiled to keep in as many nutrients and flavors as possible. Simply slice the squash in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and slice a bit off the rounded part to help it stand up evenly in the oven. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with butter. Roast at 350 for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Mmm.

And your Recipe:

Beef & Butternut Squash Stew
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low sodium beef broth, or use homemade
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme; saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and add beef; brown on all sides. Add beef broth and whisk up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add butternut squash and stir to combine well. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour until beef is cooked and fork-tender.

Nutritional: Per Serving: 457 Calories; 22g Fat; 48g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 94mg Cholesterol; 381mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 6 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat. Points: 12

—————————————-

PS–Don’t forget about the amazing Crock-tober sale we have going on right now!  This is the perfect opportunity to stock your crock—>learn more here!

Lobster love

Lobster love

Tricks, Tips and a Recipe
Lobster love

By: Leanne Ely

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s Focus is on LOBSTERlobster

Once upon a time in the mid-nineteenth century, lobsters were dirt cheap. These tasty crustaceans were fed to prison inmates and children in orphanages. Lobster was also used as a fertilizer! Today, lobsters are seen as a rich person’s food in many places, but back then they were eaten by only the very poor. To bring a lobster sandwich in your lunchbox would have been a source of great embarrassment for children.

My, how times have changed!

A lobster dinner in an American restaurant in the early 1900s would have cost you about $4 (in today’s money). The same meal today will set you back around $30, depending on where you are.

American lobsters, also known as northern lobsters and Maine lobsters, are caught along North America’s Atlantic coast, generally from Newfoundland to New Jersey. Before they’re cooked, they are usually bluish-green or brownish in color. When they’re cooked and on your plate, they’re bright orange.

A traditional lobster dinner usually consists of a steamed lobster, a baked potato, coleslaw, a dinner roll and lots of butter. Not exactly overflowing in vitamins. But, lobster can be enjoyed in frittatas, fish stew, guacamole, pasta or with a beautiful steak.

Lobster isn’t only delicious, it also has a pretty good nutritional profile. Lobster is a low-carb, low-cholesterol, high-protein treat. The majority of lobster’s calories (89%) come from protein. When compared to turkey (81%), salmon (46%), sirloin beef (57%) or pork loin (58%), you can see what a great protein choice this ocean dweller is.

High in Vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and copper, lobster is also a great source of nutrients.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s mouthwateringly delicious? Yum!

Before I go to the market to see if there’s any lobster today, it’s time for your Trick:

Put some sea vegetables in your cooking water to give your lobster a nice briny flavor. Oh, and if you’re not sure how to cook lobster, it couldn’t be easier.

• Fill your biggest pot about 3/4 full with water (seawater is your best option, but if you’re not beside the ocean, salt that water until it tastes like a mouthful of ocean).
• Bring the water to a boil, add your seaweed (if you don’t have any, that’s fine).
• Put your live lobsters into the water head first. If your stockpot can only hold a couple of crustaceans at a time (they must be completely submerged), boil them in batches.
• When the lobsters are in the pot, put the lid on and boil for 12 minutes for the first pound of lobster and an extra minute for each additional quarter pound.

Now your Tip:

Do not throw away your cooking liquid! It will make a rich soup base. You can also save the shells to flavor it further, or use them in your next batch of bone broth.

Bonus Tip: Do not take the rubber bands off the lobster claws until you’re ready to remove the lobster meat. A lobster pinch can break your finger. The bands aren’t on there for decoration!

And your Recipe:

Simple Seafood Stock
7-8 cups

5 cups shrimp shells, heads, and tails (from about 2-lbs. shrimp)*
1 cup crab shells, crushed (from about 1/2 lb. crab)*
1 cup lobster shells, crushed (3 – 4 lobster tails)*
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 cups sliced leeks
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced scallions
7 cups water
3 strips lemon peel, no pith
3 bay leaves
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Rinse the shrimp heads and the shells in cold water and drain. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the whole garlic cloves, leeks, celery, and scallions and saute until leeks and celery begin to become translucent and the other vegetables soften, about 7-8 minutes. Add the shrimp heads and the shells, and stir for a few seconds. Carefully add water, then lemon peel, bay leaves, parsley, salt, and peppercorns. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally skimming the surface and discarding any foam. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, adding water 1/4 cup at a time, if needed, then removing from heat when a rich, orange color develops. Strain, discarding shells, herbs, and vegetables. Cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze in 1 cup portions, if not using immediately.

Print Recipe
Lobster love
Servings
Servings