Arugula is probably one of my favorite greens. There is something about that peppery taste that I LOVE and I was excited to try out a pesto with arugula as the base. All of the flavors of this spinach and salmon salad blend together so well and it’s a wonderful light and fresh summer meal for lunch or dinner.
Ok, I’ll confess. I’m not entirely sure if all three of these things are supposed to go together, but the combination tastes like heaven so BAM there you have it. Tostones con carnitas y pico de gallo was born when my brother Mark’s Venezuelan friend, Eva, came to town for a visit. I cooked her dinner and for dessert we had fried ripe plantains. She told us how her mom used to make tostones (which are made with green plantains) and they would top them with meat and sauce or various other options. The way she described the tostones sounded to me like what I know as tostadas. I wanted to make them IMMEDIATELY but we only had ripe plantains, and we had eaten them all, not to mention we were stuffed from dinner.
Since the fateful night that we discussed tostones, I have traveled to Thailand, launched my new Italian Cuisine book, amongst other various activities like taking care of three kids, three dogs and nine chickens. So, last week I finally made them and they were awesome, fun, and delicious. We also made a spicy aioli to top them off with which you don’t have to include but I highly encourage you to take that extra step.
Below are the directions that will take you to a tasty paradise; now go have fun in the kitchen!
Most of you know my Brother Mark from his now world famous Brother Mark BBQ sauce found in the Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook and he is also mentioned in all of my books as my amazing partner in crime in the kitchen, and in life in general. John, myself, and the kiddos have no clue what we would do without Mark and not only is he the best brother a girl could ask for but he’s also an amazing uncle and an absolute whiz in the kitchen. Mark has been on a mission to make tamales in such a manner that allows us grain free eaters to enjoy them and I literally laughed out loud when he announced he was going to attempt a “masa” made with spaghetti squash as the base. Mark ignored my laughter and went for it. After a few tweaks, a couple of fails, and ultimately, a lot of tamales coming out of my kitchen; HE FREAKING DID IT!!!!!! I wish I could take some credit because this recipes is so legit I have a feeling that Mark’s Tamales are going to make some serious paleo waves once you all have a chance to try them. My only contribution was a tip here and there and well, I ate a lot of them….
Ok, enough rambling, go make some tamales and amaze your friends and family who sigh about how “boring” your way of life is.
(Never mind how awesome you feel, how great you look, and how absolutely delicious everything you eat actually is. These tamales will only add fuel to your paleo is awesome fire…)
When we woke up this morning John said to me, “Holy Cow, it’s Monday!” Yes, it’s Monday, which means tomorrow is Tuesday, which means tomorrow you can have the Italian Cuisine book in your hands and that’s exciting, scary, nerve wracking, and crazy! It’s crazy that time has once again played it’s little dirty trick of going so darn FAST! The Italy trip that we are giving away is also coming together and as most of you probably know; even if you do not win – you can still join me on the trip so click here for details and sign up today! This trip will be life changing for all of us…
A few days ago was my dad’s 72nd birthday and I made him his absolute favorite all time dinner but of course it was all made Paleo! We cooked up some Fried Chicken from Paleo Comfort Foods, an Apple Tart from Elana’s Pantry (If you haven’t yet, GET ELANA’S NEW BOOK) and with my jar o’ Duck Fat from the amazing, wonderful, not sure how I lived without them before Fatworks folks I made mashed white sweet potatoes that nearly made us all cry a tear of joy because they were so darn delicious! Oh, and don’t forget easy. They are EASY and my kids ate them with big slurps as if I had never fed them before. I made the potatoes again yesterday so we could get a picture for the blog. Yes, I swear that’s the only reason, just for the picture, not for any other selfish reason like I wanted to eat them again or anything like that. Ok, now go get your hands on some Fatworks Duck Fat (yes, you can sub with boring old butter or ghee if you don’t have duck fat but trust me, it’s worth the wait if you have to order some) and MAKE THESE POTATOES!
Note from Sarah: Thank you Rachel – this is a quick and easy idea to get you all prepped for the week and a fun idea for a 4th of July BBQ. Picture coming soon!
I realize that I cook with basil quite frequently. I’m guessing it is because I have a huge bushel outside of my kitchen window, It just seems to call my name! I really hope most of you are basil lovers as well because this marinade/sauce is beyond amazing! This recipe is so versatile! In the last week I have used it as a salad dressing and as a sauce and marinade for pork loin and chicken breasts, all resulting in excellent meals; and by my definition of excellent I mean husband complimented it and kids gobbled it up without complaint. yay! Next up…fish and beef!
Basil Lime Marinade and Sauce
Zest and juice of 4 limes
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup walnut oil (can sub for Extra Virgin Olive Oil but I like the mildness of walnut oil in this recipe)
1/4 cup coconut aminos (or wheat free tamari)
2 Tbsp minced/finely chopped fresh basil or to taste (use 2 tsp if using the frozen basil mentioned below)
Tip: If you have a Trader Joes in your area they have frozen fresh basil and frozen crushed garlic in the freezer section. I have used both in this recipe. Easy!
Mix all above ingredients together in a bowl. Reserve 1/3 of marinade for the sauce. Poor the other remaining 2/3 of marinade over your desired meat and marinade for approximately 24 hours. The more time the meat has to marinade the better the flavors will develop and soak in. However, don’t like time step in the way. If you only have an hour, just go for it!
Grill meat (discard marinade the meat was in), slice, and pour desired amount of reserved sauce over sliced meat and top with freshly chopped basil and lime wedges.
Leftovers Lunch Idea:
The following day I chopped up the leftover chicken from the night before and placed it on top of a bed of romaine lettuce. As for dressing…you guessed it, some of the leftover Basil Lime Sauce!
With two active little boys its sometimes 3 o’clock in the afternoon before I really start thinking about what I’m going to cook my family for dinner. I really wish I would plan ahead more often but I have learned to enjoy the challenge that comes from whipping something up on a whim. I think the only thing that saves me is that I keep a lot of fresh ingredients on hand in addition to a full pantry. Maybe I do this to myself on purpose to see what kind of amazing meal I can pull off in minutes. Sometimes it works and sometimes…well…it doesn’t. Lucky for all of us this particular night was a huge success! If you enjoy fish and the flavors of the Mediterranean this is a must try dish.