Sheet Pan Pork Chop Dinner — Nom Nom Paleo — A Review

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One of the hardest parts of doing my 1st Whole 30 was not having access to my big white binder of recipes for one or two or my regular cookbooks and recipe blogs for inspiration.  Towards the end of my Whole 30 I started to run out of new compliant recipes to try and food boredom started setting in.  Food boredom is deadly for someone who likes to cook and eat as much as I do.  When I decided to do a second round of Whole 30, I decided to have a list of Whole 30/Paleo blogs to explore in front of my little black binder of Whole 30 recipes binder.

One of the first Whole 30/Paleo blogs that I found that I really liked was Michelle Tam and Henry Fong’s Nom Nom Paleo.   How do I love this blog?  Let me count the ways.

  1.  60 days of Whole 30 compliant recipes all gathered in one place for you.  The recipes cover everything from spice blends, to sauces, to main meals of every kind.
  2. The recipes are for food I want to eat.   I don’t have time or money for recipes that take all day  to cook and have a lot of expensive hard to find ingredients. Neither does Michelle. With the exception of her Insta-Pot and Sous Vide machine she doesn’t use fancy equipment.  Most of the ingredients for her recipes can be found in any grocery store.
  3. Whole 30 Insta-Pot recipes.  You all know how I love my pressure cooker.  It was nice to know that with all the changes I made in my diet for my Whole 30, somethings could remain the same.
  4. Michelle’s food just tastes good.
  5. Michelle’s recipes are always reliable and turn out well, if you follow her instructions.
  6. I love Michelle and Henry’s podcast.
  7. I love Michelle and Henry’s sense of humor.

In the almost three months since I finished my Whole 30 I still have one or two Nom Nom Paleo recipes on my menu plan each week.  I have bought their cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo Food For Humans and pre ordered their new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not, that comes out August 1 .  They will be in constant use in my house, whether or not I am on a Whole 30 or decide to go Paleo after my next Whole 30 in September.

One Pan Pork Chop Dinner

adapted from Michelle Tam an Henry Fong’s One and Done Ebook

11/2 TBS olive oil

juice of half  a lemon

1 TBS chopped fresh sage

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp kosher salt

2 bone in pork chops, 1 inch thick about 1 pound total

1 fuji apple, cored and cut into 8 wedges

1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved or quartered

1/4 large red onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges through the poles

ground black pepper

Aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat te oven to 450 degrees.  In a bowl, combine 1 1/2  teaspoons olive oil, lemon juice, sage, garlic and 3/4 tsp salt,  mix well.  Cover the pork chops with this mixture.  On a rimmed baking sheet, place the pork chops on the pan.  Toss the apple wedges, brusslls sprouts, and onion with the remaining 1 1/2  teaspoon olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt.  Spread the vegetables in a single layer around the pork chops.  Roast for 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork registers 140 degrees.  Turn the heat to broil and cook an additional  3-5 minutes or until the pork and veggies are browned.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Eggs In Hell

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I don’t have much to say today.  I have been working dumb hours and not sleeping well.  I wanted to post this today, however, because it is too good not to.  The recipe was inspired by a recipe in Michelle Tam’s cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo Food For Humans.  Michelle’s recipe called for a jar of marinara sauce.  I decided to make a homemade tomato sauce.  You can make the sauce and the sausage ahead of time and throw a serving together and bake it when your ready to eat or make the whole thing ahead of time, bake it and just reheat it when you are ready to eat.

Eggs In Hell

Tomato sauce:

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1 14.5 oz can diced tomato

1 1/2 tsp honey or three chopped, pitted date, if Whole 30

3 TBS tomato paste

salt and pepper, to taste

Sausage:

1/2 lb ground beef

1 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp basil

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp  crush red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp fennel see, optional

For the sauce, Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan or skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, herbs and salt. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and black pepper. Use a spoon to break up the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

For the sausge, in a medium bowl, combine the chicken and all the spices.  Using your hands, mix the chicken and spices well.  In a medium frying pan,  melt a teaspoon of olive oil and  cook the sausage, breaking it up as you go, until no longer pink.

At this point, I like to make individual casseroles but you could just mix everything together put it in 1 1/2 quart casserole, crack a couple of eggs over it, I use 2 per person, and then bake it at 350 degrees until the eggs are done to your liking.  I like my eggs cooked well done so it takes about 20 minutes to bake.  Experiment until you find the exact time to cook the perfect eggs for you.  

 

 

Pressure Cooker Breakfast Casserole

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Sometimes I really hate being proven right.  I have always said “just because they never have doesn’t mean they never will” in response to people who tell me their cats and/or dogs have never bothered their birds or other prey animals we keep for pets.

I keep my bird cage and rat cage in the same room about 50 feet from each other.  I have been very careful about training my birds to stay away from the rats cage.  For the 4 years I have had rats and birds keeping them so close together has never been an issue. Its never been an issue until yesterday morning.

I was in my bed room getting ready for work when I heard a loud squawk.  It didn’t concern me too much because my birds fight like brothers and sisters, someone is always squawking  at someone else.  However, the second time I heard it I went to investigate what was going on and found my cockatiel, Squeak, hanging on the side of the rat cage and my rat, Bug, hanging onto Squeak’s toes.   I grabbed Squeak and saw his toes were bloody.  I freaked out a little bit.  Since I couldn’t see where the blood was coming from I used the corner of my shirt to put pressure on his foot.  Fortunately, the wounds didn’t bleed for long and the wounds weren’t severe.  The situation could have resulted in the amputation of toes or foot.  The wounds could have resulted in blood loss that killed Squeak. I will be watching Squee for signs of infection in his wounds, for probably, a lot longer then I need too.

This story has a happy ending.  As I type this,  Squeak is sitting in his favorite place preening his feathers and telling his cage mate, Riley, off for trying to sit next to him.  Squee is eating well and gripping my fingers with both feet when I pick him up.  As of this posting, Squee’s adventure has been more tramatic for me then it has been for him. If you have a flock of predator animals and prey animals please don’t assume just because the predator animals have never bothered the prey animals they never will.  You might not be as lucky as I have.

Pressure Cooker Breakfast Casserole

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 small bell pepper, diced

1 cup baby spinach

1/4 cup cooked pork sausage

1 1/2 cups potato, peeled and shredded

3 egg , beaten

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

In the liner of your 2 quart pressurecooker, Saute onion and green bell pepper in hot oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Add cooked sausage and shredded potatoes.

In a small bowl mix the eggs, cheddar cheese and cottage cheese.  Gently stir into the vegetable mixture.  Lock the lid and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 5 minutes then natural releaase.  

Pressure Cooker Squash

A few weeks ago, I was at Natural Grocers whereI was totally seduced by a display of squash.  I bought an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash and a red kuri squash.  Once again, impulsively buying something I don’t usually buy because it was so pretty and now having to find something to do with it.  Oops.

The reason I usually don’t buy squash is because I am scared to death of loosing a finger or two trying to cut it half to bake in the oven.  On my way home, I was thinking about how I was going to cook the squash and what I was going to do with the cooked squash when I remembered an Instagram story where a lady cooked a whole pie pumpkin in her pressure cooker.  Is there anything my pressure cooker can’t do?

I popped my spaghetti squash into the pressure cooker, locked the lid and let it go.  I opened the pressure cooker to a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash.  It was easy to cut in half and gently scoop out the seeds.  Once I scooped the flesh out and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and butter.  I had a very tasty side dish for my dinner in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven and I still have all my fingers.

Note:  The squash from Natural Grocers are organic and are on small side.  If you buy conventionally grown squash from the market you may have to add more time due to their large size.

1 small squash

1 cup water

In a 6 quart pressure cooker  liner, add 1 cup water.  Add the steamer insert and place the squash.  Lock the lid and set on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Release the pressure naturally.   Open the lid and let the squash cool until you can handle the squash with out burning the fingures you saved not having to cut the squash in half.  Once cooled cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds then scoop out the flesh.  Season with salt, pepper and butter and eat or use in another recipe.

Tuna Salad, 2 Ways

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Apparently,  I had a harder day at work then I thought.  I went to Taco Bell for a snack after work and the cashier gave me a senior discount.  I am 47.  Its a good thing I am not sensitive about my age.

Fortunately,  the rest of my week has gone much better than that.  Graduation season is over so my Saturdays in the bakery should get much less stressful.  This weekend I made some decisions, some big, some not so big, but now that they are made, I am feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.I worked all of Sunday and most of Monday and got a rough draft of my Whole30  project almost completely done.  I haven’t worked that hard on pulling together a project since I was in college.  Now all I’ll have to do over the next two months is polish it and add recipes to the file as I find stuff that I like.

I know I said I was going to be gone until the end of the month  but you know I just can’t quit you for long.  So here I am with a post with some yummy tuna salad recipes for these hot, muggy, I gotta eat but I don’t want to heat up the house kinda days.  I serve them with sliced vegetables.

Harvest Tuna Salad

Adapted from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Week Nights Cookbook

1 5 oz can tuna, packed in water

2 TBS dried cranberries

2 TBS pecans, chopped

1 stalk celery,  thinly sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1-2 TBS mayo

Drain the tuna.  In a small bowl, combine the tuna, cranberries, pecans, celery,  and scallions.   Add mustard and mayonnaise.  Stir well.  Serve on a bed of greens and sliced vegetables.

Curry Tuna Salad

1 5 oz can tuna, packed in water

1/2 apple, diced

2 TBS raisins

2 TBS sliced almonds

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp lime juice

1 -1 1/2 TBS mayo

Drain the tuna.  In a small bowl, combine the tuna, apple, raisins. almonds, celery, scallions, curry powder, and lime juice.  Add the mayonnaise.  Stir well.