About budgiesntiels

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Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf

Sometimes it is hard being a friend,not because you don’t want to be but because you don’t know how to be. Sometimes your friend is going through something that is just tearing her apart. I Know there is nothing I  can say or do to fix the situation or make it better for her and it makes me feel helpless and a failure as a friend. I know she doesn’t feel this way about me but it is how I feel about myself.

In my head, I know all I can do is be present when we are together, let her talk when she needs to talk, cry, if she needs to cry, ignore the whole sorry mess, when she needs to ignore it. It doesn’t feel like nearly  enough.

I think that is why I was so grateful on Sunday when she asked if I could come spend the night and help her get her apartment together before our friend comes to town this weekend. Finally, I have some concrete way I can help. I can do something for her that makes a difference. The whole time she was working in the living room and I was working in the kitchen she kept telling me she was sorry she asked me to do this, she should be able to clean her apartment on her own. I tried to tell her I don’t mind we all have times we can use a hand.

At various  times throughout my life I have had people who called themselves my friend for as long as I was happy, fun and willing to help them when they had difficulties.  As soon as I wasn’t happy and fun and couldn’t help them with their problems they didn’t want to be around me.  In my book, that isn’t a friend. A  friend is someone who is there in good times and bad even when it is hard. I hope  I am suceeding for her, even just a little bit.

Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf

adapted from The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 lb ground turkey

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 celery stalk, diced small

1/2 tsp rubbed sage

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/8 tsp dried thyme

2-3 TBS dried cranberries

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, turkey, salt, pepper, celery, rubbed sage, rosemary, thyme, and cranberries.  Using your hands. gently combine the ingredients.  Don’t squish the meat between your fingers.  You don’t want tough, overworked turkey.  When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, shape the meat into a loaf.  I use a 5′ x 3′ loaf pan to shape and cook my meatloaf.  You could free form it and cook it in any pan that fits your pressure cooker.  Lock the lid.  Bring to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes.  Natural release the pressure. 

Teryaki Chicken

Hey Guys, if you have time, check out the Facebook page for Gallery 4 and see two of my feathered friends, Squeak and Beau, being extra cute and feathery.

So I can hear all you guys thinking, do I normally bring my bring my birds to art galleries? The answer is no but I was actually invited to bring my boys. A few weeks ago, my friend, Steph and I, were wondering around downtown after lunch. We ended up a Gallery 4 just looking around. There was an exhibit called For The Birds, which really spoke to me, of course.

I got to talking with the lady sitting at the front desk and discovered she was the artist who did all the bird pictures. I showed her pictures of Squeak and Beau. The artist said she always wanted to draw Cockatiels. I jokingly said if she needed live models, I would gladly bring them to the gallery.  I didn’t expect to get so excited about it and say sure bring them.

So this morning, I loaded Squeak and Beau into their carry box and headed for the bus.  I always love watching people’s reactions to seeing my birds.  People are always are always so surprised and delighted to see them.  Like there aren’t  birds flying around everyday.  I’ll admit my birds are exceptionally cute and feathery but not all that unusual.

I was a little worried about how they would behave in a strange environment around so many strange people after an unusual, for them, bus ride.  Squeak and Beau amazed me, as usual.  Once my friend, Steph, arrived and they got out of their travel box, they were exemplary gentlemen.  Squeak even let Marcy, the artist, take pictures and he hate cameras and phones with a mad passion.

Squeak and Beau enjoyed waddling around the gallery and looking at the pictures with me and Steph.  They enjoyed the attention, not only from Marcy, but from every person we came across who realized I had birds in that box.  It was quite the enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

Teriyaki Chicken


adapted from I Heart Umami
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs with skin on

salt and pepper, taste

Toasted white sesame seeds, optional

Chopped scallions, optional

1 1/2 tsp ghee

Teriyaki sauce

3 1/2 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp grate fresh garlic

Pat and dry the  thighs and remove the bone.  Lightly season the chicken skin with salt.  Heat the 1 1/2   teaspoons  ghee over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken skin side down.  Fry until the skin is crispy about 10 minutes.  Flip the chicken thighs and fry until cooked through.  Set the chicken  aside and wipe out the pan .

To make the sauce, add the coconut aminos, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic to the pan.  Heat the sauce over medium to medium-low heat.  When the sauce starts to get thick, add the chicken back to the pan.  Coat the chicken with the sauce.

Wait 5 minutes before slicing  the chicken.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if you want.

Pressure Cooker Pizza Soup with Greens

I had all kinds of plans for the blog this week but then the dreaded allergies attacked my face with a vengeance.  Seriously, I look like I have been on a week long bender.  My eyes are red and puffy.  My nose is brighter than Rudolf’s.  My eyes are watering.  My nose is running and it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest.  I sneezed so much and so hard the last two days I gave myself a horrible headache that just won’t go away.  It totally derailed any big attempts at cooking and photographing for the blog.

I am trying not to be a big baby about this because on the grand scale of things it isn’t cancer or Alzheimer’s or anything serious.  In fact, this is the first time since my Whole 30, in April, I have been bothered by my allergies at all.  I should be grateful.  Instead I am sitting here feeling miserable and very, very sorry for myself and I want the world to know it so here I am posting a whiney, crybaby post.  Tune in next week to my next post for our regularly scheduled non whiney, crybaby post.

I did manage to throw a soup into my pressure cooker.  The recipe came from my new cookbook, The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking.  I love slow cooking cookbooks because the recipes are usually, easily adapted for use in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Pizza Soup with Greens

1/2 bell pepper, diced

4 white mushrooms, diced

3/4 cup pepperoni, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2-3 leaves kale, ribs removed and cut into small pieces

1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp oregano

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth

Place all ingredients in a 6 quart pressure cooker.  Lock the lid.  Bring to high pressure.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.

Fridge Pickled Cucumbers

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Last Monday my copy of Nom Nom Paleo Ready Or Not finally arrived. I am so excited it’s finally here. I pre-ordered it because I love the blog and their first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans.

I love the way the cookbook is set up in 5 sections, Get Set, Ready, Kind of Ready, Not Ready and Beyond Ready. The Get Ready section is the building block recipes you need to be ready to cook at any time. It is sauces, dips, dressings and some other things you can use to make other things section.

The Ready section is for those days you have time to spend a little more time in the kitchen. The prep time for the recipes in this section is a little longer. The recipes are a little fanciers, “company is coming” kind of recipes. There are also deserts in this section.

The Kind of Ready section is where I sit most of the time. I have a few leftovers, some kind of homemade dressing or sauce in my fridge. This section shows you how to re-purpose those bits and pieces into new and delicious, quick and easy meals.

The Not Ready section is the section that doesn’t need pre-made components or a lot of time to make. Its goal is to get food in your face before you cave and call for take out.

The Beyond Ready is 4 weeks of pre-planned menus and grocery lists so you can rock the kitchen for a whole

As usual almost all the recipes are Whole 30 and Paleo compliant. If you can’t tell which one are compliant there is a special by diet index int the back that lists them all. Easy peasy.

The food is, as usual, delicious. Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not is going to be used a lot in my kitchen.

I chose this recipe for my first recipe from Nom Nom Paleo because I love pickles, especially tangy pickles. Most recipes for refrigerator pickles are for bread and butter pickles which are sweet. These pickles are not sweet. They are tangy and with a slight sour note, which I absolutely adore.

Quick Fridge Pickled Cucumbers

from Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not

1/2  large cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/2 tsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional

Put cucumber slices in a pint jar.  In a small bowl, combine the apple juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, salt, pepper  and pepper flakes, if using.  Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.  Pour brine over cucumber slices, making sure all slices are covered.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 weeks.

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Today’s post is going to be about random  stuff that made me happy today.  I got an email shipping confirmation saying my Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not Cookbook is on its way.  My best guess is it should be here no later than when I get home from work on Saturday.  Ever since I got a sneak peek for preordering the book, I have been dying to have it in my hot little hands.

My rats are totally dorking out.  When I feed my rats they each have a place they like to hoard food.  Callie takes her stash into the left hand corner of the cage.  Bug takes her share of the stash into the little wooden cave they have.  Today I watched each of them try to steal the others stash.  As Bug would come out of the cave and head toward Callie’s stash, Callie would head into the cave to steal Bug’s stash.  Sometimes they would have to climb over each other to get to the other’s stash.  This went on for about 5 minutes until Callie had enough and laid on her stash so Bug couldn’t get it no matter how hard she tried. Silly ratty girls.

The grocery store near my house had Mocha bars.  Mocha bars are just slices of angel food cake frosted with buttercream frosting then rolled crushed peanuts but they are my absolute favorite summer treat. The store doesn’t make them very often because they are labor intensive.

I tried a recipe for Whole 30 approved Sweet and Sour chicken.   I love Chinese food but it is definitely not the healthiest choice out there.  I certainly didn’t think Chinese food would be something I could eat on my next Whole 30.  I found a blog called I Heart Umami.  It is filled with Whole 30/Paleo Chinese food. Some of the recipes are a little more involved then I usually make but the recipes are not difficult.  They definitely taste amazing and are worth the effort.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

adapted from I Heart Umami

1 1/2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced or cut into small chunks

1/4 green bell pepper, diced

1/4 red bell  pepper, diced

Aromatics

1/4 of a yellow onion

1 scallion bulb

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-2 slices ginger, chopped

Marinade

1/2 tsp kosher salt (if using soy sauce, salt to taste)

2 1/2 TBS coconut aminos (sub soy sauce, if not Whole 30)

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 TBS egg white

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 1/2 TBS pineapple juice

2 TBS dried apricots,   chopped small

1 TBS coconut aminos (sub soy sauce, if not Whole 30)

2  1/2 TBS rice vinegar

1 1/2 tsp tomato sauce

1 pinch salt (salt to taste, if using soy sauce)

1 -2 TBS water or chicken stock

In a small pan over low heat, combine the sauce ingredients. Cook the sauce until the fruit is soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 -2 tablespoons water to thin the sauce.  Mash the fruit until the sauce is the consistency you like.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade.  Thinly slice or cube the  chicken and mix with the marinade; set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee over medium-high heat.  When hot, lower the heat to medium.  Add the chicken and fry until golden brown.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, melt the oil.  When hot add the aromatics.  Season with a small pinch of salt.  Stir fry for 5 – 10 seconds.  Add the diced bell peppers. Stir fry for 5 -10 seconds.  Add the chicken back to the skillet.  Add the sweet and sour sauce.  Keep stir frying the chicken until cooked through.