Monthly Archives: August 2014

Creamy Chile Poblano Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Visiting my husbands family in Mexico always meant eating a delicious creamy pasta with small slices of smoky roasted poblano chile peppers. The combination of the cream and the peppers is just delicious. I decided to recreate these flavors, using yellow zucchini as the pasta and adding some chicken sausage for my carnivore husband, but you could just as easily leave it out for the vegetarian in the family.

 

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Creamy Poblano Chile Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

2 Poblando Chiles

2 Large Zucchinis (any variety)

1 c  Raw Cashews

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Chicken Sausages

 

Method

Soak the cashews in just enough water to cover them entirely for 2-4 hours. The longer the better. Drain the cashews and put them into a blender with a fresh cup of water and blend. This will create a beautiful cashew cream.

Use a spiral slicer or just a vegetable peeler to slice up the zucchini into noodles. I used a spiral slicer. Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit for 30min and let the salt draw out any bitterness that the zucchini might have.

While the zucchini is sitting,  roast the poblano peppers either in a pan or in the over under the broiler until the skins are black and blistered on all sides. Place into a plastic bag to let them sweat for about 5 minutes. This will make the skins come off easily. Take them out of the bag and carefully scrape the skins off and remove the seeds from the peppers. Once cleaned, thinly slice and put to the side.

Rinse the zucchini just to get off the excess salt.

Heat 1T of coconut oil in a pan and cook the chicken sausage. Once cooked throughout set aside and cut into slices. Using the same pan add the poblano chile pieces and sauté for 2 min, add the zucchini noodles and continue to sauté another 5-7 min, until they are as tender or as crunchy as you like. Lastly add the cashew cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Once the noodles are the consistency that you like return the chicken sausage to the pan to heat them up and then serve.

 

 

 

 

Local Phoenix finds

Oh the Joys of Shopping!

I get asked all the time where do I buy my stuff, all my good ingredients, local and not local. For me that was the hardest part of switching to paleo. I knew I wanted good quality ingredients, as local and possible, but I also had to keep in financially attainable for our family. As much as I would like a one stop shopping experience, I couldn’t afford it. So here are my finds.

Eatwild.com  – This is a great resource for finding grass fed meats and farms in your area. It is nation wide and one of the places that I looked when trying to find local things here in Arizona.

Date Creek Ranch –  Meat! They are located in Wickenburg, AZ and deliver once a month to Phoenix.  We just ordered our 2nd round of a 1/4 cow. I was so happy with our experience. They are so helpful on the phone and in person. You have to order with anticipation, a couple months in advance. They are that good! It is so worth it! Next time we will order a half hog. They also sell chickens,  lamb and eggs. I love knowing where my meat in coming from and how it was raised.

Backyard Farmer – Veggies and Honey!  I love this local farm. They do not have the official organic stamp, but they follow all organic processes. They have a great website that you can pick and choose what you want that is in season. They will deliver it to your doorstep free of charge. We order very frequently. You have to get in your order online by Sunday night and they deliver on Wednesday. I love their local honey. It is by far the best I have ever tasted. I leave out my cooler with ice packs and when I get home from a day out, I have a cooler filled with local farm fresh organic veggies! Love it!

Honeyville – Almond Flour. You can order this online at honeyille.com or on amazon, but there is a store in Chandler 56th street and Chandler Blvd. The flour in store is a few dollars cheeper, plus if you sign up for their newsletter you get 10% coupons that you can use on line or in the store. They also sell coconut flour, raw cocoa powder, and a variety of other paleo friendly flours.

Trader Joes – They have a lot of good finds here. I buy, coconut sugar, organic Applegate hotdogs, banana chips, organic apple juice, grass fed butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup. In apple season they have the best prices on organic apples. I have one really close to my kids school, so this is a frequent stop for us.

Costco – Every time I go they have more Paleo friendly foods. We go through a lot of food, so to be able to buy it in bulk helps a lot. My shopping cart usually has: 6lb bag of coconut flour for $6.99. Awesome! Organic Coconut Oil. 78oz for aprox $23, 24. Organic eggs for $6.99. Organic Chicken (breasts and whole). 1 Liter of Grade A maple syrup for $12.99. Local raw honey is great.  Spices. Cans of wild caught tuna. Cans of wild caught salmon. Fresh wild caught salmon. Avocado oil (I use to make homemade mayo). Organic Olive Oil. Hemp seed hearts. Chia seeds. Frozen organic fruit and a lot of times they will have a great deal on fresh organic strawberries.

Sprouts – A great place to fine organic veggies, unsweetened shredded coconut, Coconut amnios, flours, oils, grass fed and organic beef, chicken and pork.

Whole foods – I go here if I can’t fine it anywhere else, they will have it!

Amazon – For lots of things that I can’t find in a local store. I buy all my ingredients to make lotion on amazon.

Olive Mill – Love their olive oil. You can’t beat the flavor, the care that they take in process. I love that they use no heat or chemicals to express the oil and their fertilizer comes straight from the olive oil process. If you haven’t gone on a tour. It is a must. I learned so much and you get to taste all their amazing oils and stuffed olives at the end.

 

 

Classic Margarita

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day or with spicy Mexican food than a icy cold margarita? I like mine simple and tart.

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Classic Margarita

1 oz Good Tequila. I use a Reposado Tequila. One of my favorite brands is Casadores Reposado. The reposado is aged, so it is much smoother and complex flavor in comparison to a silver. An anejo is even better, but a reposado does just fine and is a little easier on the pocket book.

1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

2 limes juiced

Optional: splash of agave or honey simple syrup. I don’t like it in mine, but for those who need a little sweetener.

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled 1/2 full with ice. Give a good 20 second shake and pour into a sea salt rimmed glass and serve.

 

Go To Red Salsa

This is my go to red salsa. I put it on everything. Back in the day (and sometimes still) it is my chip and salsa, it goes on fajitas, enchiladas, fried eggs in salsa,  anything that needs a little something extra. If I make it mild enough my kids will eat it and if I get a huge box of tomatoes I can it and give it as gifts to friends. It is so easy and so good!

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Ingredients
10-12 Roma tomatoes
3-4 Serrano chilies
1/2 Yellow onion
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Handful of cilantro
1/2 Tsp salt + more to taste

Wash and place the tomatoes, garlic (not peeled) and serrano chilies on an aluminum lined cookie sheet (just for easier clean up) and set the oven to broil. Broil for 15 min or until the skins of tomatoes is black. Flip all the ingredients over and put them back in the over to broil the other side, for another 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool. While they are cooling. Give the onion a quick chop and place in a food processor with the cilantro. When cooled peel the serrano chiles and garlic and add to the food processor. Give it 5 or so pulses so that everything gets nice and chopped. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and add them to the food processor. Add 1/2 tsp salt. You can either turn on the food processor and let it go for 30 seconds if you like your salsa smooth. If you like it chunkier, then just pulse it 5 or 6 times until it is the consistency you like. Taste and add more salt if you like. 

It make it less spicy, use less chiles or you can remove the seeds to give it more flavor with less heat. To up the spiciness simply add more chilies. 3 or 4 is usually a good amount with the seeds for our family.

Shrimp Ceviche

So excited to share this Shrimp Ceviche recipe with you. It always reminds me of summer at the beach. So refreshing and loved by all. I make this quite a bit, especially when we have guests. It is gone before I know it.  I choose to cook my shrimp. I know traditionally it is “cooked” by adding lots of lime and letting it sit in the refrigerator for 8+ hours. This is a delicious way to prepare it. However, once I had children and was living in a land lock state I wasn’t too trusting of even the “freshest” of shrimp. So I began cooking it. It still has a great flavor. The addition of some spices gives it a hint of a Vuelve a la Vida (a shrimp dish with tomatoes, lime, and chile served with a gazpacho like liquid in a cup) type flavor. One of my husbands favorite dishes. One that I will have to create at a later date. Anyway, enough rambling, on to the recipe.

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Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients

2lbs Uncooked peeled Shrimp  (Or cooked if you want to speed up the process)

3 Large or 5 small roma tomatoes

1 Small yellow onion

1-2 Serrano chilies

1Handful of cilantro

5-6 Limes

Old bay spice (Or make your own here)

1 Avocado

 

Method

If your shrimp are frozen, thaw them and then toss with 1 T of old bay seasoning and 1 tsp sea salt.  Heat 1 T coconut oil in a pan and add the shrimp. Cover and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let them cool.  If you are using cooked shrimp. I would still toss them with the spices and salt and heat them up  quickly with coconut oil, just so that the flavors can really melt into the shimp. Only let them cook a couple of minutes, otherwise you will end up with chewy shrimp. In the mean time, dice the onion, tomatoes,  cilantro, and serrano chilies.  When the shrimp have cooled, take the tailes off and cut them into bite size pieces. Place the shrimp into glass dish. Squeeze the lime juice over the top of the shrimp. You should have enough lime juice to cover about 1/2 the shrimp. Give it a good stir. Add the diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro and chilies to the shrimp. Give it another stir. Add more lime and salt if you need to. You can increase the spiciness by adding more serranos.

 

The ceviche is best made the day before and stored in the refrigerator, but it is still delicious made the day of.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to Paleo in the Desert. I am so excited to go on this journey with you. My hope is that my dishes will inspire you to use in your kitchen or give you that nudge to create your own. Many will be South of the Boarder inspired, but really it will be anything that I am dreaming about at the moment.

Shrimp stuffed poblando chile

Shrimp stuffed poblando chile