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Monday, June 9

Paleo Basics // The Ultimate Burger

A really good hamburger is not only totally satisfying, it's incredibly simple to make paleo. Nutrient dense toppings such as a fried egg, grilled portabella mushroom cap, and avocado slices more than account for the lack of bun. Also, you needn't forgo any summer barbecues just because of your diet. It's one of our favorite, simple meals, and with summer just beginning, there are a lot of ultimate burgers in our future.

To make 3 large burgers (or 4 smaller ones) you will need:
1lb grass-fed ground beef
about 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
a few healthy shakes of Worcestershire sauce (this has molasses in it. omit if you want.)
a generous few shakes of steak seasoning (look out for sugar and seed oils)
1 small red or yellow onion, whole
1 portabella mushroom cap per burger

1 farm fresh egg per burger
avocado slices
fresh tomato slices
organic spring mix or other lettuce
organic pickles (read ingredients!)
organic ketchup, mayo, Dijon mustard (read ingredients!)

How to:
Marinate your ground beef in the steak seasoning, Worcestershire and liquid smoke for a few hours before grilling. Patty out into three or four burgers and grill until desired cook is achieved {we go for medium/medium well}. Cut the ends off your onion and place it in a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, then close the foil around the onion and place it on the grill for 10-15 minutes. Wash the mushroom caps and brush with olive oil, then place those on the grill as well. Grill the mushrooms for about 3 minutes per side. While the meat and veggie are grilling, fry the eggs for each burger and slice the other toppings.

We like to eat our burgers with crispy sweet potato fries. This recipe is a good one, with or without the rosemary. Also, if you're just really craving a traditional hamburger with a bun, this recipe is a great option.

Happy grilling.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Thursday, June 5

Vanilla Almond Granola // Against All Grain

Oh, granola. It is one of the things that I missed most when we switched to a paleo diet. I missed granola so much that I would periodically cheat and allow myself some gluten free granola that usually contained seed oils and corn. And until I found this recipe by Danielle Walker, I hadn't been satisfied with a paleo version of my beloved snack. But, like all her other recipes, this one is a definite winner. 
I omitted the flax seed and used 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of the 3/4 cup of honey. I also substituted golden raisins for red ones. Next time I think I will try it with cranberries!

This granola is great over refrigerated coconut milk, coconut yogurt, with a splash of almond milk or eaten alone. It also makes a great gift!


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Tuesday, June 3

Memorial Day 2014

We spent Memorial Day weekend surrounded with family and friends. On Saturday morning we packed up Elliot and Sambo and headed to North Georgia to spend  the evening at our friends' cabin. K spent many a weekend at the cabin growing up and into college, so taking E for the weekend was pretty great. We didn't do much, just drank coffee on the porch swing, went on a short waterfall hike, ate delicious grilled salmon and talked about life. Perfection.

Monday we drove over to K's Aunt's house to hang out at the salt water pool. Elliot was less than impressed with the cool water, despite his love of bath time, so we left shortly after lunch. It was just enough time to soak in some sun before the afternoon rain showers. We grilled burgers at home and made crispy sweet potato fries {recipe soon!}, then snuggled on the couch as a family and listened to the rain. Again, perfection.

Sometimes the simplest things are just the best.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, June 2

Paleo Basics // Sauces, Dressings & Marinades

Sauces, dressings and marinades are one of the tricky things to navigate when it comes to eating paleo as most packaged sauces contain sugar and/or seed oils. The best solution, of course, is to make all sauces and dressings yourself, but sometimes that can be overwhelming. So here are some of my favorite paleo sauces that don't have any hidden ingredients.

These dressings/marinades hit it out of the park. I'm partial to the Zesty Ranch and the Lemon Garlic. They also make a paleo-friendly ketchup!

Coconut Aminos:
A substitute for soy sauce, I use this for marinating meats, in stir fry dishes, as an addition to homemade salad dressings, and to season sauteed vegetables. Use as you would soy sauce!

I like to add a splash of this to our chicken to give it a bit more flavor. I also use it in stir fry or the sesame orange chicken recipe from this book, which is amazing!

Add this to slow cooker chicken tacos, put it on eggs or atop a taco salad. It is especially good when combined with homemade guacamole - no salad dressing needed!

I add this to grass-fed beef marinades and slow cooker roasts, salad dressings, and splash over sauteed Brussels sprouts and oven roasted butternut squash with cranberries.

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We do use a couple sauces that aren't strict paleo because they contain sugar. We are okay with this since we use these items sparingly and avoid them completely during a Whole30. 

Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce:
This one isn't strict paleo because it contains sugar, but it is delicious nonetheless. A bit spicy, a bit sweet, a bit gingery, it's great over grass-fed burgers and in stir fry. 

Another item that contains sugar/molasses, we use the lower-sodium Worcestershire sauce mostly for marinating steaks and sometimes for grilled chicken. 

As a general rule, we make most of our dressings and marinades from simple but flavorful ingredients like olive oil, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, raspberry champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon or lime juice, and spices. Sometimes we add honey or maple syrup, which we are okay with, but you choose for yourself. That being said, it's nice to be have things in the pantry that are paleo-friendly when you just don't have time to make your own!


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