The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Category: Dairy-free

Rustic, Spanish-Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

I made rabbit. It was delicious. End of story…or is it?

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Besides being 37 weeks pregnant (see above), I am also apparently a butcher. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

It all started with the Rome Farmers Market. I knew I wanted some local meat, but, when I saw a sign for rabbit, I might have had ambitions that were too big for lil’ me. Not a quick, easy meal could be found using rabbit, so I had to plan accordingly. Which meant that this rabbit hung out in my freezer for a few weeks. 

At least I didn’t have to skin it. Ick. But I did some minor butchering. And, just like a turkey, it came with all of its giblets! Freeze for bone broth? Yes, please. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Not much meat on this little guy, but still some worthwhile pieces to be enjoyed! The smell was odd. I tried to ignore it. Sweet almost. With a hint of musk and spice. Quite odd for uncooked flesh. :) 
Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

On to normal things! Onion slices! Easy. 
Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

And the rest! Some garlic, crushed tomatoes, celery, spices, wine and parsley. Not a lot of prep involved luckily after the adventures in butchering. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Get those succulent cute little rabbit pieces into the pan with some olive oil or coconut oil (for Paleo!). Brown ’em up! Then set ’em aside. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Next up? Veggies and spices. Pile them into the pan and go at it!

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

It will begin to look quite lovely after a few minutes. 
Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Can I eat it now?

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

While that was cooking, I chopped some red potatoes and carefully selected a nice rustic cheese that I grabbed from the farmers market as well. Aged sheep’s milk. Oh so good. Musky. Smelly. Perfection. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Accouterments! 
Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Delicious hand-picked garden parsley!

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

And it’s done. Just shove the mixture over the roasted potatoes (I microwaved them – then stuck them in the toaster oven with some coconut oil.) Add the cheese and parsley and yum, yum, done, done. 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Can I eat it again now? No. :( I have no idea when I’ll buy rabbit again. Fate will decide!

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Until then, I’ll just keep swimming. :) Good puppy watches over me in the pedalboat. I don’t want summer to end! (Pouty face.)

 

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)
Serves 4
A Paleo-friendly rustic version of rabbit stewed in tomatoes. What makes it rustic? The fact that I ripped apart the rabbit and gathered ingredients from my garden. :0
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 whole rabbit
  2. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. 2 onions, sliced or diced to your liking (I did thick slices.)
  4. 1 pound of hand-crushed garden-fresh tomatoes (or 16 oz. can)
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tbs. tarragon (or fresh if you have it)
  7. 1 sprig thyme (or dried if you don’t have fresh)
  8. 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  9. 1 cup non-cooking wine (red or white) – or cooking wine if you’re not a snob. 
  10. 1/2 cup water
  11. salt and pepper to taste
  12. 1 sprig fresh-parsley
  13. extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil if full Paleo)
Instructions
  1. Cut rabbit in small pieces (approximately 12-15 pieces). Chop onions, garlic and celery.
  2. Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of large, heavy frying pan and heat on medium high. When hot enough, place rabbit in pan and brown the pieces on all sides.
  3. Remove and set aside.
  4. Using the same pan, sauté the garlic, onion and crushed tomatoes for about 5 minutes
  5. Add the bay leaf, tarragon, thyme and chopped celery.
  6. Return the rabbit to the frying pan. Add the wine and stir. Turn the heat up to bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by a half or two-thirds. Then, add the water and stir.
  7. Reduce heat. Cover the pan and simmer gently until cooked – two hours-ish.
  8. While the meat is simmering, chop parsley.
  9. Adjust salt and pepper.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot in bowls with steamed/roasted potatoes with sheep’s milk cheese. Rustic bread if you’re not Paleo!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/
Rustic, Spanish Style Rabbit Stew (Paleo)

Sweet potato, avocado ice cream (dairy-free and processed-sugar free)

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

I was challenged by a co-worker to make this recipe! They are doing the NoSugarTODAY challenge from the Today Show and saw this ice cream featured. 

Everyone knew I had previously made those delightful avocado cocoa bomb cookies, so they knew I was up for making a non-traditional item. I’m not sure she thought I’d actually do it though. :) Friends know I don’t turn down a dare – even not in dare form. 

I tried to find a recipe that was sugar-free, dairy-free and all-natural, but still would taste not (too) healthy. That proved difficult. So I created a hodge-podge of ones already out there. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

And only 5 ingredients – plus extracts for a little extra flavor! 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

A really important step? Don’t forget to de-pit and soak your dates. I bought pitted because – ease. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

My favorite ingredient? The avocado, the all-time best ingredient to add to ANYTHING! Healthy fat…which helps stop baby brain (Babies suck out your fat cells in your brain to create their own healthy bodies.), and an easy creaminess factor without dairy. 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

Shove it all in a blender. I use a Ninja. 😉

Sweet potato avocado ice cream. A dairy-free and sugar-free delight!

Finished product! Easy, healthy and it works for those who are detoxing and following a no-sugar diet. Even the cat loved it!

Here’s the coverage on air! 

Sweet potato avocado ice cream
 

 

Sweet potato, avocado ice cream
Serves 10
A sugar-free, dairy-free delightful frozen dessert
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed sweet potato flesh
  2. 1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  3. 1/2 medium avocado
  4. 6-8 dates, pitted and soaked until plump
  5. 1/4 cup almond milk
  6. 1 tbs. vanilla extract (make sure they are all-natural and sugar-free)
  7. 1 tsp. raspberry extract
  8. 1 tbs. maple extract
  9. Optional mint garnish
Instructions
  1. Remove pits from dates. Soak in water.
  2. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to its directions. (I did 40 minutes' worth of blending)
  5. Serve immediately with fresh mint garnish. (I used my own garden mint!)
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

 

Thai-inspired spicy chicken slowcooker stew

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Couldn’t be easier. Those are the magic words when it comes to dinner lately. 

6 months preggos and feeling great, but the sleepiness holds. As does the 9 1/2 hour work day at the new gig. All of this -and more!- makes for a difficult dinner process. 

 

baby

But I must keep up with eating in general – even without time for it! This guy needs to grow!

doggie

But this guy wants to play, so I must make time for him, too! I even had time to give him a bath. He looks adorable and shaggy afterward. 

But, lo! The power of the crockpot. :) Fanciful magic in a tiny pot. No oven. No extra heat in the kitchen on these increasingly warmer spring days. No waiting for a preheat to ding. No making sure you’re home so the house doesn’t burn down. No slaving over a hot stove.

None of that. Why? Because you have a $25 crockpot, duh. And you use it. 

This particular meal I decided to use for my Sunday batch of cooking that suffices for my weekly lunch-at-my-desk food. Some comfort of a warm meal while typing away for the masses. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Prepping veggies is the most time-consuming part, so I did that the night before. Some po-tay-toes. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Some pretty big onions. (Note the use of “some.” I don’t measure. I just look into the larder and cupboards and cull.)

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Some carrots. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Presto.

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Change-o. Chopped. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

The fun stuff was up next. All-natural peanut butter. Can do almond butter if full-on Paleo. I had run out at this point, so I pilfered from the husband’s supply of Peter Pan. 

I added some red pepper flakes and some chili pepper flakes. The “some” can be to your liking. :)

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

And the rest. Sriracha hot sauce. Thai fish sauce. Sesame seed oil. Tomato sauce. Coconut milk. Ginger! The best umami in the my fridge at that moment! :) 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

With the luscious boneless (skinless optional) chicken thighs on the bottom, I added the chopped veggies from last night and the umami cocktail from the morning.  

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Simmering divinity after 5 hours.  It’s not even the work week yet, but I want to eat it all! Well, of course it needing sampling before being packed away into 5 little glass containers. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Sample size. I still got 5 little containers out of the rest, so this wasn’t a bad sample choice. :) 

If you need something to soak up the flavor and don’t mind adding in more carbs, you could put it over rice. Or if you want more vegetables to soak up the flavor, you could vegetti a squash and put it over that, too!

For non-gluten-free-ers, you could soak it up with some flax seed pitas or naan bread. But I just ate it as is, though, and was thoroughly full. 

Thai-inspired spicy slowcooker chicken stew
Serves 6
An easy way to have dinner ready on the table or meals for a whole week without slaving over a hot oven or stove this summer. Lots of ways to add vegetables from the garden, too! Spicy and creamy all at once!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 large chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless frozen thighs that were almost all-the-way thawed upon adding them to the crock.)
  2. 6 small carrots
  3. 2 potatoes
  4. 1 onion
  5. 3 tbs nut butter
  6. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  7. 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  8. 1 cube (1/2 tsp) ginger (not ground)
  9. 2 tsp sriracha
  10. 1 tbs fish sauce
  11. 3 tbs sauce or tomato paste
  12. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  13. 1 tbs sesame seed oil
  14. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Thaw or prep chicken. Add to bottom of crockpot.
  2. Cut up veggies. Add on top of chicken.
  3. Combine rest of ingredients in bowl. Make a saucy paste. Add on top of veggies.
  4. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Enjoy!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/
Delicious and easy Thai-inspired spicy chicken slowcooker stew

 

 

 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I’ve been obsessed with nut butters since pregnancy kicked into overtime. Visible belly, insane hunger and thirst – and all around happiness. :)

The problem: almond butter is expensive. Especially the all-natural kind that has no sugar – just almonds and salt. So I didn’t buy it for a while to “fix” my habit. 

But then I just got into the hub’s Peter Pan peanut butter. I finished a jar – almost by myself – in a week. I tried not to look at ingredients. I just had to keep peeking though. 

Blargh! To quote Peter Pan’s website: 

“Peter Pan Peanut Butter complies with U.S. Standards of Identity for peanut butter by containing more than 90 percent select roasted peanuts. It also contains extremely small amounts of vegetable oil stabilizers, which improve smoothness and prevent the natural peanut oils from separating from the product and rising to the top of the jar. To enhance the flavor, Peter Pan Peanut Butter also contains sugar and salt.”

But that vegetable oil stabilizer is hydrogenated oils.  Blech. And that sugar is corn syrup solids. More blech. And, oddly, soy. I looked it up: commercial peanut butter is 60% peanuts. Silly, silly peanut butter.

I needed to get back on the almond butter train. But now I was back on the sugar train. :( Time to wean! 

And here’s where this almond butter came in. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I would normally have just gone straight to the pure form. Almonds, roast, salt, blend. But I had tasted the super-processed stuff and my brain had re-wired. 

The process is the same though if you want purity and sugar-free. Start with these guys. Or any almonds. Pre-roasted, raw, doesn’t matter much. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Steal a few off the sheet (you know, so they don’t crowd each other). 
Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Put them in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. I used 2 cups’ worth. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

They’ll be a little darker and a little fragrant. Perfect! And steamy!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Toss them into your mixer of choice. I used a food processor so I could go hands free – as opposed to my Ninja blender. Throw in a bit of coarse sea salt. Or any salt. I’m not a snob. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Do the processing in spurts. You don’t want to hurt your motor. This is phase 1 after approximately 2 minutes of mixing. REST the motor. Grab a drink. Pet the animals. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

This is approximately 5 minutes in. You could stop here and have super heavy, dry nut butter. But you shouldn’t. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Here’s where I added some honey. But this is optional. I did approximately 1 tablespoon. Add or subtract based on your own sugar preference. You can also use maple syrup for low FODMAP, but I’d advise against any other kind of sugar because the liquid helps loosen the nut oils. 

If you skip the sugar, you might need to blend for a full 10 minutes. I was able to stop at 8. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

If you’re going and going and it’s getting past ten minutes and you’re getting impatient, you can add in a little oil. Liquid coconut oil or canola oil are best if you have those on hand. But that decreases the percentage of actual nut in the nut butter. Boo to that. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I wanted mine a little textured so I popped in the rest of the almonds from the giant bag. I also tapped in some cinnamon at this point. About 2 teaspoons. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Perfection! Creamy, but with a little crunch! Sweet, but not too sweet, with the perfect amount of cinnamon!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

After a tablespoon or two of tasting (for quality control purposes), it fit into a tall mason jar glass and was ready to go in the cupboard!

So, if you have a processed peanut butter fetish, you must try this. Better for your heart, your gut and your soul! 

Don’t hide behind the fear that it can’t be done cheaply and easily! Get out and try it! :0 

Cat in a trunk

Homemade Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter
A homemade delicious, easy and inexpensive way to make your own all natural nut butter at home. Feel free to turn it into whatever you need: cashew butter, cocoa-flavored, etc.
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups almonds (or any kind of nut)
  2. Coarse sea salt to taste
  3. 1 tbs. honey
  4. 2 tsps. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Roast almonds in a single layer in the oven at 350 degree for 10 minutes
  2. Place almonds and sea salt in mixer. Mix with frequent rests for 8 - 10 minutes adding in honey, cinnamon and extra nuts (if wanted) in final round of mixing.
  3. Enjoy!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried “rice”

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Oh.my.word. I can’t get enough food these days. Perhaps it’s the unrelenting winter or perhaps it’s the pregnancy. :) Who really knows? 

But, as I have been staying away from all grain for a while now and feel the need to sneak some back in comfort-wise, I thought I would try out something with the quinoa I had stored in the cupboard from a recent trip to the Little Falls Co-op. 

Something to stick to my ribs was what this frigid Saturday called for. It was 10 degrees if that, and, even with a fire going, I was all bundled up in two pairs of socks and the largest fuzziest sweater I could find (my husband’s). 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Sad to say how cold it has been–even though on the first day of Spring I was able to take this guy for a warm 30-degree walk without freezing my buttinsky off.

Back to food. I’m getting hungry.

Frequently, my meals center around what needs to be eaten up in the crisper. I buy a lot of vegetables during my weekly grocery trip, but have difficulty using them all up. Like a whole head of cabbage from St. Patrick’s Day. 

So, this meal was born. I call them garbage meals. Before things go into the garbage, cook them up!

I did a Pinterest search for quinoa and came across a recipe from Feed Me Phoebe for Easy Fried Rice with Quinoa

It had carrots in it, which I had, but that was about it. But, basically, all I needed was the timing and water ratio for the quinoa. So I used it! 

It called for one cup of quinoa and two cups of water, so I got that boiling and started a-chopping! 

I had carrots, cabbage and onions in the larder. Chop, chop, chop. 

I didn’t think I was going to blog this so I didn’t get a chance to do all of those fancy measured mise-en-place photos. Instead, I started with this one because I quickly realized it was going to taste soooooo good. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

All it took was some coconut oil going in the wok with the veggies and my head was spinning with possibilities. What else was in the fridge that could use some attention?

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Well, hello jalapenos. :) My trusty meal kicker. 

The carrots were getting an excellent crust. Nicely sugaring.  Added some coarse sea salt in at this point. 

Also, tossed in two frozen ginger cubes I keep around with minced garlic. I never bother to measure the garlic–just tap the jar on the side of the wok and see what pops up. 

After this cooked down for a few minutes, I added in coconut aminos, sesame oil and Thai and True! A lucky find in a suburban Seattle grocery store. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

So, so glad I bought it. Well, I buy hot sauce while on vacation like people buy t-shirts or magnets. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Now, I needed some meat. I buy frozen fish whenever it’s on sale, but I usually save it for fish tacos. Since I hadn’t eaten grains (including corn) in a long time, I knew there was some salmon in there at risk of developing frostbite. Perfect protein addition.

I actually had white fish I needed to use up, too, so I used both. :) Double fish. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Once that cooked down, I added the quinoa back in to absorb some juices. Pushed that around for a bit–then pushed it to the side to cook up three beaten eggs. I did this really quickly so I couldn’t spare a hand to photograph it. :)

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Once it started to set, I pulled it off the heat and plated it with those pretty little oranges that also needed to be eaten. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

So, whether you’re gluten-free, a health nut or just looking for a high-quality protein-based carb, you should check this recipe out.

Add in whatever vegetables and protein are about to “turn” on you and spice it with your favorite hot items. It’s such an easy, customize-able dish. :) 

It hit that hunger spot near my ribs right on. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice"

 

And don’t forget to head over to the Battle of the Breads post to see which winning combination of ingredients (and delicious toppings) won this tasty battle.

Battle of the gluten-free breads

 

Q

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice"
Serves 4
A fantastically healthy, gluten-free side dish or meal that can be cooked quickly and customized with whatever you have in your cupboards or refrigerator.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  4. 4 carrots
  5. 1 onion
  6. 1/4 head of cabbage
  7. 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos
  8. Coarse sea salt
  9. Some minced garlic
  10. Some minced ginger
  11. 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  12. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  13. 2 tablespoons hot whatever-sauce
  14. 4 filet of salmon or any fish
  15. 3 beaten eggs
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is done.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large wok.
  4. Saute the carrots, onion and cabbage over high heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add jalapenos. Season with coarse sea salt.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the quinoa and stir fry until well-coated in the vegetable mixture and beginning to toast, 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the coconut aminos, sesame oil and hot sauce.
  9. Add the fish of your choice and cook until nearly done.
  10. Push the quinoa to the side of the pan to create a well. Pour the eggs into the well and cook, stirring gently, until nearly set.
  11. Toss the quinoa mixture with the eggs.
  12. Transfer the quinoa to bowls and serve right away.
Adapted from Feed Me Phoebe
Adapted from Feed Me Phoebe
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/