Appetizer · Entree · Pork

Paleo Tamales

Paleo tamales 3

These paleo tamales are a little different than the Mexican cornhusk-wrapped tamales you are probably used to. These are actually a mix between a Central American tamale, made with corn dough, but wrapped in plantain leaves and a Puerto Rican pastel. 

I wanted to create a recipe that tasted just like the tamales I grew-up with, but was grain-free and that called for ingredients that the average American could find in the stores. A hard task to complete considering that Costa Rican tamales are made with corn and pastels are made with guineos, yautia, annatto, and a list of ingredients that only specialty Hispanic markets would carry.

Why am I sharing a recipe for a dish that is served during the Christmas holidays at the beginning of spring? Well, I have had this recipe on my mind ever since I started Paleo 4 years ago, but  since many of the ingredients would be hard for most of you to find.  I didn’t think there would be interest in a recipe like that… Until I found out that Amazon sells frozen plantain leaves…SCORE!  Although you can omit the plantain leaves and just use parchment paper, the leaves give them an unique flavor.

The toppings can be adjusted to your liking. They usually would have raisins, prunes, chilies, olives, and even capers, but I am not a fan of capers or sweet ingredients in my tamales, so I leave those out. If you don’t follow a strict paleo diet, you can even add cooked garbanzo beans.

For other latin recipes using plantain try my empanadas, sweet empanadas, patacones, chili cups, or fried sweet plantains.

Paleo Tamales

Ingredients for the meat:

1-2 tbsp of non-hydrogenated pork lard

2 lbs of diced pork shoulder

1 medium onion

8 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of smoked paprika

Salt to taste

Ingredients for the dough:

2 ½ pounds of  taro root (white flesh)

4 green plantains

3/4 cup of non-hydrogenated pork lard

1 tsp of cumin

Salt to taste

Other filling options:

Thinly sliced carrots

Bell pepper slices

Raisins

Olives

Other ingredients:

Banana leaves

Parchment paper

Kitchen twine

Preparation for the meat:

  • Finely chop the garlic cloves and the onion, using a food processor or cheese grater.
  • In a large Dutch oven heat the lard and add the onions, cook until transparent.
  • Add the pork shoulder and continue to cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients  (garlic, cilantro, oregano, smoked paprika and salt).
  • Lower the heat and cover. Continue to cook until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the lid and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Preparation for the dough:

  • Peel the plantains and the taro root. The easiest way to peel plantains is to submerge them in boiling water until the peel darkens and comes off easily. Be careful not to fully cook the plantains.
  • Run the taro and plantains through the food processor until they are finely crumbled, you can also use a fine cheese grater for this.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough together until well combined.

 Assembly

  • Cut the banana leaves into squares (Approximately 12 inches by 12 inches)
  • Set up a “work station” by lining up all the ingredients along a counter or table. Start by placing a the banana leaves, then a bowl with the dough, followed with a bowl with the meat, individual bowls for each optional filling, parchment paper and then the kitchen twine
  • Place a banana leaf on a plate.
  • Place ½ cup of the dough in the center of the leaf and make a rectangle shape with it.
  • Top with ¼ cup of the meat, 1 or 2 carrot and  bell peppers slices, 3-4 raisins, an olive and any optional toping you want to use. Paleo Tamal
  • Fold the banana leaf over as if you where wrapping a gift with them.
    Paleo Tamales
  • Wrap the tamale in a piece of parchment paper, big enough to seal in all the juices from the tamale while cooking.
  • Stack two parchment paper wrapped tamales and secure together using kitchen twine. Make a loop lengthwise and a loop across.
  • Bring a large pot off salted water to a boil.
  • Add the tamales making sure that they are submerged underwater as much as possible and cook for 50 minutes on medium high heat, making sure to turn the tamales half way through.
  • Remove your tamales from the water as soon as they are done cooking.
  • Eat warm.
Makes 14

Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a very small percentage. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Entree · Pork

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork (crock pot)

My slow cooked pulled pork recipe is a mildly spicy hybrid between a barbecue pulled pork and a Kalua pork. It is slightly sweeter than the Kalua pig, but without the overwhelmingly sweetness of a barbecue sauce.

This mouth-watering dish can be prepared in under 5 minutes and it is a great party or potluck dish. It can be prepared a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator, or it can even be frozen. The trick to keeping it moist and flavorful is to store the already shredded pork with some of the remaining juices from the slow cooker.

I often get asked for a recommendation on slow cookers, since there have been reports of ceramic pot slow cookers leaching lead into the food. I currently own an old Crock Pot that I purchased at Costco and it has done a great job for many years, but on my wish list (subtle hint for my friends and relatives) I have an “InstantPot“, this is a 6-in-1 cooking device with a stainless steel insert, that  allows you to brown, sauté, steam, pressure cook, slow cook or even cook rice with it. Imagine if you could brown, deglaze and braise a dish in the same pot? This cooking device is just brilliant.

Another alternative is a VitaClay which has an unglazed clay pot, but since the biggest one they make is only 8 cups, I wouldn’t be able to make my favorite roasted chicken in it.

I know what you are going to ask me next… Is that a grain-free bun? and what’s the recipe for it? Well, it is a grain free bun, that is both crispy on the outside and gooey in the inside. But I am not ready to share that recipe yet. These buns are worth money and I am hoping to either sell them some day or put the recipe in the book that I am SLOOOOOWLY working on. If someone has any ideas of how I can get it published please share them with me.

For similar ideas try my roast beef cucumber sandwich, balsamic roast or slow cooked ropa vieja

 

Paleo Pulled Pork

 

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs of pork shoulder
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
¼ to ½ cup of maple syrup
½ medium onion, sliced (optional)
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of ground cumin
½ tsp of smoked paprika

Preparation:

  • Slice the pork shoulder into 2 inch slices following the grain of the meat. This step is optional but it ensures that the flavors and spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat.
  • Place the meat into a slow cooker (crock pot)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. I only use ¼ cup of maple syrup because I don’t like it to be too sweet, but you can add as much as you like.
  • Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours or until the meat falls apart easily.
  • Place the meat in a large plate or cutting board and shred using two forks to pull the pieces apart.
  • Serve and enjoy

 

Tip: to store the leftover meat, place it in an air tight container, pour some of the juices from the crock pot over to prevent drying and refrigerate or freeze.

Paleo Pulled Pork Sandwich

 

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork (crock pot)
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2.5 lbs of pork shoulder
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ to ½ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ medium onion, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ tsp of smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Slice the pork shoulder into 2 inch slices following the grain of the meat. This step is optional but it ensures that the flavors and spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat.
  2. Place the meat into a slow cooker (crock pot)
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients. I only use ¼ cup of maple syrup because I don’t like it to be too sweet, but you can add as much as you like.
  4. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours or until the meat falls apart easily.
  5. Place the meat in a large plate or cutting board and shred using two forks to pull the pieces apart.
  6. Serve and enjoy

 

Entree · Pork

Pork Tenderloin Roast With Sautéed Leeks and Mushrooms

Pork tenderloin roasts can be a little tricky to cook as they easily overcook and dry out. This roasting method however makes it consistently moist and perfect. I start baking it at high temperature (500 degrees Fahrenheit) which seals the juices inside, then you shut the oven off and leave the roast in there, to continue to cook slowly while resting in the oven.

To make this you need to invest in a good meat thermometer, one that is heat-resistant and you can leave inside the oven while cooking. Once you put in the roast you CANNOT open the oven door until it’s done, so make sure it is at an angle that allows you to see the dial through the oven door.

If you have an older oven or an oven that has poor insulation or not a tight seal when closed, this cooking method may not work for you. If that is the case, instead of shutting the oven off continue to cook at 300 degrees until the center of the roast reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Perfect Pork Tenderloin Roast  Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, lard or bacon fat
2 sliced leeks (white and light green parts)
3 sliced garlic cloves
1 pound of sliced mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms)
1/2 cup of chopped prosciutto, bacon, or Jamón Serrano
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tbsp of fresh chopped basil
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnishing

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rub the tenderloin with salt and pepper and set in a roasting pan in the lower half oven rack. Insert an oven safe meat thermometer in the middle of the roast at an angle that you can see the temperature from the outside.
  • Bake for exactly 5 ½ minutes per pound
  • Shut the oven off but leave the roast inside (DO NOT open the oven door)
  • Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour, remove when the thermometer reads 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove roast from the oven, cover with a foil pepper and let sit for 5 to minutes. The inside temperature should read 150 degrees.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the prosciutto and leeks in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook uncovered string frequently until vegetables are tender.
  • Slice the tenderloin and top with the sautéed mushrooms and leeks.

 

Appetizer · Beef · Chicken · Entree · Pork · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Dairy-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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This grain-free cauliflower pizza crust is impressively delicious and a much healthier and lighter alternative to regular pizza crust. I am going to give you a “cheesy” version and a dairy-free version.

Since going grain-free, cauliflower has been on my grocery shopping list every single time. I use it to make paleo versions of rice, potato salad, mash potatoes, shepherd’s pie, and I am about to adventure to make savory muffins with it.

I first heard about this recipe over a year ago and I have made it several times, changing ingredients, ratios, and cooking methods and I feel I finally got it to be the way I wanted it. The secret is to remove as much water as possible from the cauliflower.

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cauliflower
1-2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese *
1-2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of dry oregano
Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Using a food processor or grater, cut the cauliflower into rice sized pieces. If using a food processor, work in small batches at the time.
  • Put the cauliflower in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, add ¼ cup of water and cook covered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add more water if necessary.
  • Drain and strain.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a nut milk bag, a kitchen towel or several layers of cheese cloth and squeeze as much water out as possible.
  • Let cool off for 10 minutes and add the rest of the ingredient. Add one egg first and add the second egg only if the dough is too dry and not sticking together (Do not add the eggs while the cauliflower is still hot or it will cook them).
  • Spread the dough over a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper into desired shape.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add marinara sauce, cheese and your favorite pizza toppings. If you are using meats they need to be cooked beforehand.
  • Return back to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

 

*For the dairy-free variation use one cup of almond flour and 1 tbsp of coconut oil or lard instead of the cheese and one extra egg, if the dough seems too runny add a little bit more almond flour. Bake for an additional 5 minutes before adding the toppings. For a dairy-free cheese spread you can use the one from the sweet plantain empanadas recipe.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust, No-Microwave

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Recipe Type: Paleo Appetizer
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Using a food processor or grater, cut the cauliflower into rice sized pieces. If using a food processor, work in small batches at the time.
  3. Put the cauliflower in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, add ¼ cup of water and cook covered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Drain and strain.
  5. Transfer the cauliflower to a nut milk bag, a kitchen towel or several layers of cheese cloth and squeeze as much water out as possible.
  6. Let cool off for 10 minutes and add the rest of the ingredient. Add one egg first and add the second egg only if the dough is too dry and not sticking together (Do not add the eggs while the cauliflower is still hot or it will cook them).
  7. Spread the dough over a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper into desired shape.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and add marinara sauce, cheese and your favorite pizza toppings. If you are using meats they need to be cooked beforehand.
  10. Return back to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Notes

*For the dairy-free variation use one cup of almond flour and 1 tbsp of coconut oil or lard instead of the cheese and one extra egg, if the dough seems too runny add a little bit more almond flour. Bake for an additional 5 minutes before adding the toppings. For a dairy-free cheese spread you can use the one from the sweet plantain empanadas recipe

 

Chicken · Entree · Pork · Turkey · Vegetarian

Rosemary Roasted Fig Chutney

Fig Sauce

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Fig season continues and I have so many ideas for them, here is a Rosemary Roasted Fig Chutney. Did you know that one cup of figs has almost the same amount of calcium as a cup of milk?

This sauce was amazing, versatile and yet so simple.  I poured it over grilled pork chops, yet I am envisioning it over grilled chicken or over  Portobello mushrooms. Dairy lovers could even put  brie over the mushroom. Personally, I don’t consume dairy at home, but once in a while I indulge on a piece of cheese when eating out.

Do you have any other ideas on what to eat this with?

Ingredients:

1 cup of fresh fig wedges
½ tsp of dry rosemary
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Mix all ingredients together and bake for 25 minutes or until soft.
  • Serve over grilled pork chops, chicken or over a grilled Portobello mushroom with some brie

Appetizer · Pork · Soups · Turkey · Vegetarian

Borscht


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Borscht is a popular soup in many Eastern and Central European countries. I have to admit that when I first learned about it, it didn’t sound appealing; to start I have never been a fan of beets and the idea of combining it with cabbage into a soup, didn’t help either.

The making of this blog has forced me to try to cook different things, even foods that I “thought” I didn’t like, but I was quite surprised with the results of this “experiment”.

Ingredients:

1 lb of nitrate free pork or turkey sausage (optional)
8 cups of beef broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian or vegan options)
3 shredded beets
3 sliced carrots
2 medium turnips, finely chopped
1 medium onion
4 chopped Roma tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cabbage head, shredded
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup of fresh dill or 3 tbsp of dry

Preparation:

  •  In a large saucepan brown the onions and sausage with the oil, breaking the sausage into small pieces.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, beets, dill, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  • Add the carrots and turnips, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and vinegar and continue to cook until cabbage is tender.
Entree · Pork · Side Dish

Thai Paleo Fried “Rice”

This dish can easily be adjusted to a vegetarian or vegan version by omitting the meat and honey. I have also made it with ground chicken and turkey, but I like it much better with ground or shredded pork or left over carnitas.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower
1 lb of ground pork
1 medium chopped red onion
2 medium shredded carrots
1 medium diced zucchini
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp of coconut aminos (soy sauce replacement)
2-3 tbsp of date paste or 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of honey
1/2 tbsp of fresh finely shredded ginger
2 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of olive or coconut oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Preparation:

  • In a large skillet sauté the onions, garlic and ginger, on medium-high heat, until onions are soft
  •  Add in the ground pork and continue to cook until done.
  • Stir constantly and break down the large clusters of meat.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables except the cauliflower and cook until tender
  • In a food processor pulse in the cauliflower until it’s the size of rice.
  • Add the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients to the skillet, mix, cover and continue to cook for about 4-6 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
Thai Paleo Fried “Rice”

Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 1 medium chopped red onion
  • 2 medium shredded carrots
  • 1 medium diced zucchini
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp of coconut aminos (soy sauce replacement)
  •  2-3 tbsp of date paste or 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of honey
  • 1/2 tbsp of fresh finely shredded ginger
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet sauté the onions, garlic and ginger, on medium-high heat, until onions are soft
  2. Add in the ground pork and continue to cook until done.
  3. Stir constantly and break down the large clusters of meat.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables except the cauliflower and cook until tender
  5. In a food processor pulse in the cauliflower until it’s the size of rice.
  6. Add the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients to the skillet, mix, cover and continue to cook for about 4-6 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

 

DO NOT over cook, or you will end up with a cauliflower puree.

Appetizer · Beef · Entree · Pork

Crock Pot Barbecue Ribs

In observance of 4th of July, I am posting this for those who don’t have a lot of time or don’t have outdoor space for a barbecue.

Ingredients:

Baby back ribs, as many as you can fit in the slow cooker
1/2 to 1 onion
Homemade barbecue sauce( see recipe here)
A pinch of salt and pepper
Garlic powder

Preparation:

  • Slice the onion and set it at the bottom of the slow cooker pot.
  • Sprinkle ribs with just a pinch of salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder.
  • Generously rub meat with barbecue sauce and set on top of the onions.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours, until ribs are tender.
  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Transfer ribs to a cookie sheet
  • Broil until brown or slightly charred.
  • Top with more  warm barbecue sauce and serve.

 

 

Appetizer · Entree · Pork

Portobello Mini Pizzas

Lower in calories, higher in nutrients, protein, and fiber, Portobello mushrooms are a great replacement for that frozen, store-bought pizza dough. They are an excellent source of selenium which is an important mineral for optimal antioxidant activity, and their polysaccharide and beta-glucan components show anti-cancer properties.

These are fast and easy to make and you can change the toppings to meet your likes and dietary restrictions.

 

Ingredients:

4 large Portobello mushrooms
6 ounces on mozzarella, almond or tapioca cheese
2 chopped slices of bacon
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, loosely packed
2 tbsp of chopped red onions
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of chopped basil
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Place tomatoes in a bowl and add 1 cup of boiling hot water and 1/8 tsp of salt and soak for 10 mins.
  • Drain and add the cheese, garlic powder and red onions; mix and split into 4.
  • Wipe the mushrooms with a moist paper towel, do not rinse or they will get soggy.
  • Remove stems and rub mushrooms with olive oil.
  • Place top down on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Cover with the cheese, top with bacon.
  • Bake for 20 minutes  or until mushrooms are soft.
  • Top with chopped basil and serve.

 

Entree · Pork

Pumpkin Seed Chile Verde

Paleo Chile Verde
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This Pumpkin Seed Chile Verde recipe is my version of a traditional Mexican recipe with a boost of nutrients and minerals from pumpkin and sesame seeds. It is a mix between chile verde and pipian sauce with the ease and convenience of a slow cooker.

100 grams of dried pumpkin seeds contain over 100% of your recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus and sesame seeds are also rich in iron, calcium, thiamine, copper and zinc

Ingredients:

1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in 4
1 cup of broth
4 lbs of pork shoulder roast
1 to 2 jalapeños, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup of fresh, chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
6 green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/3 cup of almond flour.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:
  • Usind a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients together, except the meat.
  • Place everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Shred the pork and mix in with sauce.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or green onions
Serves about 10