Sunday, February 5, 2012

Look what you made me do, look what I made for you...

Well, hello there! I hope that all three of my regular readers will pardon my absence. My slacking is due to a lot of things including my new son (now almost 10 months old!), my regular posts for the most awesome Shopping Mama blog, and a general lack of inspiration. I started this blog as a way to chronicle our first foray into the world of CSAs, but once we became veterans, I guess I just lost interest. We're still CSAing but there's rarely a week where we get things that are unfamiliar. Although, we did get some Asian greens, this week, and I'm not quite sure what those are let alone what to do with them. Any ideas are welcome.

Anyway, this blog was started as a way of exploring a new way of eating for us. Our household cuisine has taken a couple more turns which is what inspired me to make a comeback. (Plus, my buddy over at City Share made me realize that I can still do this even if life is super busy!) First, since babies are expensive, one of our New Year's resolutions was to cook the majority of our meals in our own kitchen and stop eating out so much. And for a totally separate group of reasons, we've gone grain/sugar/gluten free. You might have heard the terms "Paleo" or "Primal" used to describe this lifestyle, but I try to avoid using them because they are so gimmicky. There's real science behind this decision. I promise.

No grains/gluten/sugar means lots of meat and veggies. There's also a feeling in the paleo/primal (shiver) communities that everything we eat needs to be organic/free range/pastured/wild caught/etc. I agree. My bank account does not. So our challenge going forward will be to find the ingredients we need at reasonable prices - a post about that is forthcoming.

In the meantime, check out what this new eating plan did allow us to eat on this Super Bowl Sunday (yay Giants!!) -

- These amazing bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed jalapenos. I used some fabulous Farmer's Cheese and Nitrate-free bacon that we got in this week's CSA. Wow. Just wow. They fell apart a bit, though, so my only tip is to use toothpicks.

- Fresh guacamole made with organic avocados (on sale at Whole Foods this week!), organic roma tomatoes (also a WF special), red onion, and fresh lime juice.

- My brand new super duper chili recipe, detailed below. It's a spicy one, but I don't really appreciate chili spice unless it comes with some smoke, so this recipe is designed to give you a more mesquite, dark, layered flavor. And yes, I know that the beer is not "paleo." Sue me.

1 poblano pepper, chopped fine
1 regular pepper (any color - I used red), diced
1 large red onion, diced
1lb or so - grass fed ground beef
1.5 to 2 lbs - grass fed stew beef
1 can of whole or crushed tomatoes (I used tomatoes I canned myself but try to find organic canned)
1 small can of diced tomatoes (again, try for organic)
1 or 2 diced fresh tomatoes (optional)
2 or 3 canned chipotle peppers, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili pepper
1 cinnamon stick (don't use the powdered stuff unless you absolutely have to - the stick just gives a richer flavor)
12 oz of dark beer, like stout or porter (I used Flying Fish's Exit 13 Chocolate Stout - it meshed with the spice like whoa)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Shredded Cheese (for topping)
Salsa Verde (for topping)

- Put olive oil in a big frying pan and heat up
- Add poblano, pepper, and onion to the pan and cook until onion is carmelized - about 10 mins.
- Put cooked peppers and onions into crock pot, add a bit more oil to the pan and return to heat
- Brown the ground beef - transfer to crock with slotted spoon
- Brown the stew meat (don't cook all the way, just brown on all sides) - transfer to crock with slotted spoon
- Add all the spices, tomatoes, and the beer
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours, stirring occasionally.
- You can add the entire can of salsa verde to the crock right before serving or just throw a dollop on individual servings. Shredded cheese cuts the heat a bit, too.


  1. Aha! Welcome back. Can't wait to hear about your decision to go sugar and grain free too. The chili looks delicious. I love chili (it's tasty and is great to cook ahead and freeze), but my husband does not. I'll have to show him your recipe and see what he thinks.

    1. I'm working on a post that will explain it all. Honestly, it's mostly to lose weight, but there's reasons behind that desire too. There are people who do not like chili?!?! Hopefully my recipe will turn your husband around. :)