The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Category: Dinner

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)

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

 

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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/

 

 

 

 

From frozen to oven: Easy delicious turkey!

 
From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Considering this bird wasn’t brined first, it was probably one of the moistest I have ever made–and for sure the easiest. 

Hannaford had turkey on sale for only 77 cents a pound or something ridiculous like that so I had to buy it. But, it was Sunday and I can’t cook anything Monday through Friday because of my work schedule. I need to do EVERYTHING on Sundays. 

Dilemma? How to thaw the bird. 

I Googled how to rapidly thaw a turkey. Of course, it would take all day even in the sink and plop on cook time and this thing wouldn’t be ready until midnight.

So, I know I’ve cooked chicken straight from frozen–why not a giant turkey, too? 

Thanks, Google! Many articles suddenly appeared on how to do this life-saving task.

There’s even some weird science about how the breast takes longer to thaw because it has greater mass, which levels out the varied cooking times because it will then take the same amount of time to cook as the the legs. So, the breast is not overcooked and dry like it usually is (because usually you have to wait for the legs to finish cooking.)They’re all cooked and tender and moist and done at the same time!

Science!

Besides avoiding the raw juice pathogens, you also get science. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Step One: Find a pan. 

Step Two: Preheat oven to 325. 

Step Three: Plop frozen bird in pan breast side down. (Don’t worry if you have a thermometer on the breast–it will get flipped later.)
From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

After three and a half hours in the oven, pull out the giblets. I was actually amazed how not hot, yet also not messy, this was. 

I’m so used to disgusting thawed turkey juice and grime going everywhere that this is the cleanest my hands and my counters have ever been while making a turkey dinner. Phew! 

Now, flip that bird!

This is when you can add any seasonings to both sides–pre-flip and post-flip. I didn’t add anything at all to it. Purity for a first test of a recipe…

Next time I’ll probably do some rubbing at this point or throw some citrus and herbs inside, but it tasted delicious on its own!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

There’s that thermometer! I usually cook whole chicken and turkey breast side down so all of the fat juices go into it, but, when a thermometer is involved, I change the rules. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Now, the wait. Total time? 4 1/2 hours for a 12-pound bird. Not bad, not bad. I thought it would take forever, but it was quite quick. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Did I mention how moist it was? Crisp skin? Ugh. I need it again. 

Our least favorite part is carving because we haven’t mastered that yet. Some day! Maybe I will learn it and do a tutorial! Pshhh. Wishful thinking. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

Oh, and I almost forgot to plan for sides dishes because I was so turkey focused. So, while the hub was carving, I scrubbed two sweet potatoes, stabbed them with forks and popped them in the microwave for ten minutes. 

Squish them, add some ghee and cinnamon and you’re good to eat!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

I might have stacked the plates a little too high with meat, but we were starving. :) Don’t try to eat this much at home, kiddies. 

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

That’s it! Enjoy! Now, no more worries about where to  keep the thawing turkey in the fridge or gross germs getting everywhere on your counter. The lazy man’s turkey!

From frozen to oven: deliciously easy turkey

From frozen to oven: Easy delicious turkey
How to cook a frozen turkey
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Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Ingredients
  1. Turkey
  2. Desired seasonings (rosemary, thyme, sage, lemons, salt and pepper are good bets)
  3. 2 sweet potatoes
  4. Ghee and cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place turkey breast side down in low-sided roasting pan (if you have one).
  3. Cook for 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove giblets. Season. Flip bird breast side up. Season.
  5. Place back in the oven for an addition 1, 1 1/2, or 2 hours depending on the size of your turkey. (Mine was 10-12 lbs-ish)
  6. While carving, place scrubbed and stabbed sweet potatoes in the microwave for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Season with butter or ghee and cinnamon.
Adapted from About Food
Adapted from About Food
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

Slow-cooker Cocoa & Carrot Chili

 

Slowcooker Cocoa and Carrot Chili

The snow is falling fiercely today. The day before Thanksgiving–apparently Mother Nature wants to make sure everything looks festive for us! 😛 Looking out my window I can see no more grass. Luckily, I had this one garden project to finish this morning, which I did, just before the snow started falling. (I’m attempting a garden compost project I pinned on Pinterest forever ago.)

Snow bird

In spirit of this cold snap here in lovely Herkimer, I decided to make some chili. I had discovered a recipe in Practical Paleo that I wanted to make, but it needed some serious modifications to account for my budget, items in my fridge, and my low-FODMAP needs. But, it was a solid foundation. Not even the title will be recognizable though!

Thankfully, I am a traitor vegetarian because low-FODMAP calls for no beans. I lived on beans as a vegetarian; now, frozen chicken. Slightly more expensive. But less damaging gut-wise for sure. This recipe omits the beans and adds in plenty of veggies and lean meat to keep the health benefits high.

Ground-beef-for-the-chili

In the original recipe, it called for bison. I’m not sure even where to buy bison, but I wanted to keep it red meat, so I went with lean ground beef. I decided to keep it clumpy so it could turn out like little meat chunks when it was done. Mmm…meat chunks.

Carrots-for-health!

My carrots were starting to go a little south in the fridge, so I knew I needed to use them up quickly. The original recipe called for butternut squash and onions (high-FODMAP), so in went carrots, trusty ol’ spinach, and red pepper (hiding under the spinach).

Spice-blend-prep

Boy, do I love making spice mixes. I’ll sniff and sniff and sniff until I feel a little dizzy. So pretty. So fun. This was a mix of smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin (original called for chipotle powder [didn’t have it]), cinnamon, cocoa powder, sea salt and pepper. The original also called for garlic (high-FODMAP), so I omitted it. But, as most people love garlic, if you have it, add it (3 smashed cloves).

All of this lovely spice was added to a big can of crushed tomatoes. The original called for diced, but I was all out. That seems like it might hold up better in a slowcooker, but I really enjoyed the texture of mine, so go with what’s in your cupboard. In 6 hours, I’m sure it all looks like crushed tomatoes.

Pre-cooked-cocoa-chili

Plop it all into the slowcooker. And set it and forget it–or whatever that infomercial says! 😛 While it cooked, I tossed the frisbee with the dog, watched the kitties try to jump off of things, and watched the news. And probably a lot of other things because I let it go for 6 hours–although if doing ground beef (instead of cubed meat) and crushed tomatoes, you could probably do less time. I just got antsy to get it going.

Cocoa-Chili

Voila! Delicious and smoky (with a bit of heat) chili. My husband said it’s his favorite chili I’ve made so far. High compliments! Flourish with a cinnamon stick for prettiness and tortilla chips for crunch.

And to melt your heart with your mouth: here’s a kitty mouth! And kitty cuddle!

kitty-mouth

Kitties at rest-ish.

Slow Cooker Cocoa and Carrot Chili
Serves 4
A bean-free healthy, smoky, spicy chili that can't be beat!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbs smoked paprika
  2. 2 tbs chili powder
  3. 1 tbs cumin powder
  4. 1 tbs cinnamon
  5. 1 tbs cocoa powder
  6. 1 1/2 tbs sea salt
  7. 2 tsp black pepper
  8. 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (or cubed or fresh [4 cups])
  9. 1 1lb. lean ground beef (or bison)
  10. 1 small package baby carrots (or 4 large, cut into smaller pieces)
  11. 2 cups spinach (instead of carrots and spinach, try sweet potatoes, zucchini--or anything yummy)
  12. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  13. Crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix all of the spices.
  2. After mixed, add in the tomatoes.
  3. Place the beef and vegetables in the slowcooker, and cover with the tomato mixture.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Serve with crushed tortilla chips.
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Adapted from Practical Paleo
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/