Paleo Organic Gluten-free Sweet Chile Beef | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Here’s an example of a lot of dietary needs being met while still being delicious. Veggies were quickly blanched and shocked before being stir-fried. The cut of beef I’ve been obsessed with is sirloin flap. It’s so tender and flavorful for a scrap price. Yes please! The sweet chile sauce I’ve made here packs a big ginger punch. There’s so much to be said about the health benefits of ginger but we’ll leave that for another blog. Overall, I would make this dish at home, as is, and I’m not paleo or on a gluten-free diet.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

Seared Salmon with Marinated Garden Veggies and Pesto Pasta Salad | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Summer harvest! This client has an abundance of ingredients growing right in her garden. The vegetables were roasted then marinated with olive oil and lemon juice.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

Ropa Vieja with Congri and Fried Plantains

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Ropa Vieja translates to “torn clothes”. Essentially it is a Cuban dish of braised flank steak. The name comes from the long strands you get upon shredding the beef. First I rendered some diced bacon in a pan. Then, as with most Cuban dishes, add sofrito. This is a mirepoix of sorts typically with onions, garlic, red bell peppers and tomatoes. Time to add the meat. Sear the flank steak well on both sides then add the stock and wait, around a three hour braise at very least. Here I have paired it with a rice and black bean pilaf. Also, you will see fried plantains garnish the plate. These are both ubiquitous with Cuban cuisine. Perfect summer meal for the large appetite.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

What is “Healthy”? | Cilantro Crusted Chicken with Roasted Carrots/Squash and Zucchini soup | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Ok, so when I meet with a family for the first time to discuss weekly meal prep they almost always say they want to eat more “healthy”. To which I learned from a colleague to respond with “Define ‘healthy’.”. We live in a time where this could mean any number of things. It could be anything from a doctors recommendation to Dr. Oz ‘s recommendation, and everything in between. However, when I asked the family I prepared this dish for, their answer pretty much boiled down to “all things in moderation”. What?!? No special diets, limited ingredient list, meal plan or anything? Where are you hiding the Epipen? They pretty much said they’d like to lose weight and feel better. So you won’t see any health buzzwords in this post, nor will you see hashtag fad diet inserted anywhere. The only things they mentioned were the things they knew were a problem for them, i.e. too much oily food, carbs and sweets (yeah, yeah, you and me and everyone else right?). That was three months ago. Since then, I spoke with the husband who told me he has lost over twenty pounds and his wife is right there with him. Amazing! They very simply just made wiser food choices. Now, please don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons a lot of these diets exist. Many exist by a doctors recommendation and I would NEVER be arguing with that. Many diets out there are for a specific lifestyle and make sense for certain people. Some people have a moral, ethical or just personal dilemma with certain food stuffs (myself incredibly included). I’m just saying before jumping into a new and limiting diet, simply give eating smarter a chance. That being said, this is an easy meal. I probably shouldn’t say that but it is, and it should be. I roasted the carrots just until tender, broiled the squash for a very short time, and quickly sautéed the zucchini before poaching in chicken stock and pureeing into a soup. The chicken was sliced thin and tossed in spices and cilantro before a good sear.The less you fuss over ingredients and cook them into the ground, the healthier. More nutrients stay in the food and go into your body rather than leaching out or evaporating. I even added (dundundun) CHEESE to the soup! Yes, feta cheese thickened this soup. Yummy! And that’s ok with these folks. They appreciate it as it helps them not to cheat. It’s satisfying and nourishing. At the end of the day just choose your battles and what works for you is what’s best (and usually the simplest). Thanks for reading.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

Vegetarian chick pea stuffed portobello mushrooms | blog.friendthatcooks.com

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Vegetarian chick pea stuffed portobellos

Here are some portobello mushrooms I made during weekly meal prep as one of three dishes for a family in Prairie Village, KS.

I sauteed some shallots and simmered them in vegetable stock with garlic, fresh thyme and garbanzo beans until the beans softened and the excess stock cooked out. Then, I stirred in some fresh spinach and spooned the mixture into portobello mushroom caps brushed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. They were topped with panko bread crumbs mixed with shredded Parmesan, then browned.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Kansas City, Wichita and St. Louis offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at www.friendthatcooks.com and www.friendthatcooksstl.com.

Organic Dry-aged Ribeye with Paleo Sweet Potato Fries | Friend That Cooks Blog

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This was a recipe recommended by a client. I have since fallen in love with these fries. The sweet potatoes were tossed in arrowroot starch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I then baked them at 450 for twenty minutes and tossed in fresh chopped parsley. The recipe said the thinner the crispier, and I love shoestring fries, however after cooking I would recommend sticking to 1/4″ cuts as they will shrink. Also, it’s important to note that arrowroot starch will stick, so keep each fry separated and coat in coconut oil. If your planning on storing these, reheat in the oven 450 for two or three minutes. That being said, I plan to use this fry recipe throughout the week for all of my paleo weekly meal prep clients.

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

A loose recipe for Hoisin glazed meatballs with steamed asparagus and roasted radishes | Friend That Cooks Blog

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Here’s a play on Vietnamese fair. The meatballs started with pork tenderloin thinly sliced and partially frozen in a marinade of fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and shallots. After a half hour or so in the freezer it goes into the food processor until just minced (we’re not trying to make spam here). Working with partially frozen meat will ensure a good consistency when grinding. While the pork was marinating I dry roasted jasmine rice in a sautée pan with no oil before running it through a coffee grinder. Adding a couple tablespoons of this toasted rice powder will give the meatballs that certain “boing” that the ones at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant have. Then I simply seared them in a cast iron pan and tossed them in some hoisin sauce with lime juice. The radishes were roasted whole at 450 for 15 minutes with salt and pepper, then quartered. Asparagus was simply blanched then tossed with sesame oil. Try this recipe at home. It would go great for a party where you’d like to show your fusion skills off. It could be #glutenfree very easily by using a gluten free hoisin. I’ve seen one at Whole Foods, but haven’t tried it yet. Good luck!

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.