Primal Gourmet http://cookprimalgourmet.com Paleo Primal and Healthy Recipes Tips and Kitchen Trips Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:44:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.7 Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin http://cookprimalgourmet.com/herb-almond-crusted-tenderloin http://cookprimalgourmet.com/herb-almond-crusted-tenderloin#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 18:26:04 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2312 This Herb & Almond Crusted Tenderloin is a festive yet healthy main course option for the Holiday season! Perfect for anyone who wants a break from Turkey!

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With American Thanksgiving right around the corner, people across the country will be scrambling to roast, smoke and deep-fry giant turkeys – many for their first time.  If, however, you’re not a big fan of turkey or just want something else for a change, then this Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin is a great option. It’s festive, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. You’ll also score some serious points from your guests when you carve this beautiful, roasted tenderloin table-side.

Oh, and it just so happens to be Paleo and Whole30 compliant for anyone trying to avoid the semi-annual, holiday food coma. Though I will admit that this goes exceptionally well with a nice glass of Côtes du Rhône 😉

Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Holiday Recipe

I should also mention here that the Mustard Rub and Herb & Almond Crust in this recipe can be used for other cuts of meat, such as a rack of lamb or prime rib. For these cuts, however, I recommend using the reverse-sear technique outlined in my recipe for this Bison Tomahawk. 

Or, try slathering individual lamb chops with the Mustard Rub and dusting them with the Herb & Almond crust before searing in a non-stick skillet with a splash of avocado oil over medium-high heat. I’m salivating just at the thought!

Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Holiday Recipe Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Holiday Recipe

Tenderloin vs. Chateaubriand: Same Same But Different

Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Holiday Recipe

For this recipe I used a 16oz Chateaubriand approximately 3.5″ thick. I know! Sounds fancy, right?

Chateaubriand simply refers to the thickest section of the Tenderloin. It’s not always available pre-cut from your butcher so you may have to ask for it specifically.

If, for some reason, you can’t get a hold of a Chateaubriand, then ask the butcher to select the thickest cut of tenderloin from the available selection. Try to get something as close to 3.5″ as possible. The thicker the cut, the better the chance of cooking the tenderloin to a perfect medium rare.

If you like your steak cooked well-done (*cringe*) I DO NOT recommend purchasing a tenderloin. Instead, try a sirloin tip. You’ll save a lot of money and probably won’t tell the difference once the meat is cooked past the point of medium-well anyways.

Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Holiday Recipe

What You Need to Cook the Perfect Beef Tenderloin

Tenderloin is not a cheap cut of meat and, in my humble opinion, to overcook it is a culinary sin. The good news is that cooking steak perfectly is very, very easy. You just need the right tools for the job!

1. A Good Meat Thermometer:

A meat thermometer takes almost all of the guess work out of the cooking process.

Sure, with some practice you can tell when your ribeye is ready to come off the grill. But for larger roasts it is damn near impossible to know what the centre of the cut looks like without slicing into it. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!

If you don’t already have one, do yourself (and your family) a favour and purchase a meat thermometer. I recommend this Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer :

It’s affordable, highly-accurate, and displays the temperature in under 4 seconds. It’s also water resistant and comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

2. A Cast-Iron Skillet or Oven-Safe, Non-Stick Skillet:

For any thick-cut steak, such as the Chateaubriand used in this Herb & Almond Crusted Beef Tenderloin, you will want to either sear the meat on the stovetop before roasting or apply the reverse-sear method.In either case, you will minimize clean up and ensure maximum flavour by using an oven-safe skillet.

I always recommend this Lodge Cast-Iron Fry Pan. It’s affordable, very practical, virtually indestructible, and, with regular maintenance, will last for generations:

 

Alternatively…

If you are intimidated by the maintenance required for cast-iron, you may want to consider an oven-safe non-stick skillet. I am a huge fan of Ballarini Cookware, particularly their lines with the Granitium CoatingLook for one that has a steel handle, like this Portofino model, so that you don’t have to worry about it being oven-safe:

I have recommended these pans to everyone and anyone I know! These things can take a beating. I have been cooking with the same skillets for over a year now and they are as good as new. I assure you, I put these pans through their paces on a daily basis!

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

16 oz Chateaubriand or thick-cut Beef Tenderloin (approximately 3.5″ thick)

1.5 tbsp Dijon Mustard (I like this version from Maille)

1/4 cup almond meal

1 tbsp loosely-packed fresh thyme leaves – finely chopped

2 cloves garlic – finely grated

1 tbsp avocado oil

kosher salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

 

 

 METHOD:

  1. Place a dry, well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 400F.
  2. Add mustard and grated garlic to a small mixing bowl – stir to combine.
  3. Add almond meal and chopped thyme to a small mixing bowl – stir to combine.
  4. Pat tenderloin dry with a paper towel and season all sides with a pinch of kosher salt and plenty of black pepper.
  5. Rub the mustard mixture evenly over all sides of the meat.
  6. Dust all sides of the meat with the herb and almond mixture.
  7. Transfer the preheated cast-iron skillet in the oven to a stovetop burner set over medium-high heat – add avocado oil.
  8. Sear the almond-crusted tenderloin on all sides – approximately 2 minutes per side.* Keep a close eye on your temperature at this point and adjust accordingly if the almond curst starts to burn.
  9. Transfer the seared tenderloin to the preheated oven and roast 8-10 minutes at 400F, or until a meat thermometer reads 110F-115F in the thickest part of the meat for a rare centre. For a medium-rare centre, cook until the internal temperature reaches 120-125F.
  10. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and transfer to a carving board. Let the tenderloin rest at least 10 minutes before carving – this will allow the meat to cook a bit further and the juices to redistribute throughout.
  11. Serve alongside your favourite sides, such as these Garlic and Thyme Roast Fingerling Potatoes.

*Note: Don’t worry too much if some of the almond crust falls off the tenderloin while searing. Simply scrape this off the pan and top the tenderloin with it before roasting in the oven. 

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Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables http://cookprimalgourmet.com/sheet-pan-asian-salmon-vegetables http://cookprimalgourmet.com/sheet-pan-asian-salmon-vegetables#respond Sun, 12 Nov 2017 22:47:42 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2297 This Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables is easy, delicious and quick! Perfect for a light, weeknight dinner or for meal prep Sundays!

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Sheet pan dinners are quite common in my household. Yet for some reason unbeknown to me, I’ve never posted a recipe for one! This Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables is something I’ve been making for years and think that you’ll love it too! It’s easy, delicious and fast. Plus everything gets roasted in the oven on a single baking tray, which makes clean up a breeze. Then again, that’s the whole point of making a sheet pan dinner isn’t it? To avoid washing pots and pans? I know that’s why my wife loves them (she’s in charge of the clean up).

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon Variations

As with many of my other recipes, please feel free to use your favourite vegetables here. I personally love to make this Asian salmon with bok choy, broccoli, carrots and celery. But the fish and its marinade would go equally well with other veggies like zucchini, red peppers, Napa cabbage or even asparagus. Regardless of which veggies you choose, the most important thing is to consider is the size you cut them down to.

You want to make sure that things are cut in a way that allows them to cook equally on the sheet pan. For example, bok choy cooks much quicker than carrots so I cut them in half and slice the carrots quite thin (approximately 1/4″).

Also, if you’re going to substitute different vegetables than the ones I use here, please choose ones that take a similar time to cook. In other words, don’t swap potatoes for celery because by the time they cook you will burn the bok choy to a crisp. This of course can be avoided by adding vegetables at different stages but that can be a bit more technical and requires a separate blog post!

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

Can I Marinade the Salmon in Advance?

NO! Well, I guess you can. But not for too long! OK?

The cut-off time for using this marinade on salmon is one hour MAX! You could probably even get away with 30 minutes!

Firstly, salmon is like a sponge and doesn’t need long to soak up all the delicious flavours from the Asian marinade. This is especially true if you are going to use a filet of Wild salmon, which is much leaner and thinner than farmed varieties, and, therefore, more delicate.

Secondly, the vinegar in the marinade will actually start to cook the salmon before it even makes it to the oven. This will, in turn, affect the roasting times since the fish will already be partially cooked. So consider yourself forewarned that if you let the fish marinade for longer than 60 minutes please don’t come running to me saying that it came out dry and overcooked! If this happens to you, simply cook the salmon for a few minutes less than the recommended time.

To ensure maximum flavour throughout the fish, try marinading in a zip-top bag, as shown here!

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

My Secret Tips for the Most Amazing Sheet Pan Salmon

While on the topic of marinades, this is one of my favourites. It’s nearly identical to the one I used for my Cedar Plank Salmon. 

Most people discard marinades after they’ve done their job – HUGE MISTAKE! Instead, you’re going to reserve this marinade and transfer it to a small sauce pan to reduce while the sheet pan salmon is roasting in the oven. Then, just before the salmon is finished cooking, you’re going to baste the top of the fish with a bit of sauce and broil it to finish. This very small extra step is going to make the difference between a good sheet pan salmon and a GREAT one!

If you love crispy skin, cook the salmon skin-side up and then flip before basting with the sauce and broiling to finish. Otherwise you will end up with soggy skin doomed for your dog’s bowl!

 

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

Sheet Pan Asian Salmon with Vegetables Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Dinner Ideas

Happy roasting!

Ronny

 

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1lb wild salmon filet (1″ thick) – rinsed, patted dry with paper towel and cut into four equal portions

2 stalks bok choy

1 celery stalk – sliced on a bias into 1/2″ pieces

1 carrot – sliced on a bias into 1/4″ discs

1 small head of broccoli – cut into florets

1 tbsp avocado oil

kosher salt and pepper

 

for the Salmon marinade:

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup (substitute 2 tbsp fresh orange juice if doing Whole30)

1 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tsp fresh ginger – grated

1 tsp fresh garlic – grated

½ jalapeño – thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds

 METHOD:

  1. Add sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, avocado oil, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, jalapeño and sesame seeds to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Wash and pat-dry salmon. Cut salmon filet into four equal pieces and add them to a zip-top bag set within a bowl. Pour in the marinade, evenly distribute it over the fish, fold over the top half of the bag, squeeze out all of the air, and seal the top. Set the bag over a plate and transfer to refrigerator to marinade for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and add chopped vegetables. Drizzle vegetables with a bit of avocado oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything to coat. Arrange vegetables in a single layer and transfer to oven – bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove sheet pan from oven, flip the vegetables, and add the marinaded salmon – skin side up. Return to oven and roast an additional 8-10 minutes.
  6. Transfer reserved marinade to a small sauce pan set over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of water to the marinade and reduce by half to create a sauce – stir often to prevent burning. If the sauce dries out simply add one or two tablespoon of water.
  7. Remove the sheet pan, flip the salmon and brush with the sauce. Switch the oven to the broil setting and return the sheet pan to the oven – broil for 2-4 minutes, keeping an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
  8. Plate the salmon and vegetables and spoon a bit more sauce overtop.

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Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Rustica http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-flank-steak-salsa-rustica http://cookprimalgourmet.com/grilled-flank-steak-salsa-rustica#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:14:01 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2281 This Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Rustica is bursting with flavours. It is very easy to make but can quickly go wrong if you don't follow these steps.

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Flank Steak is one of the most underrated cuts of beef. It’s rarely, if ever, served at Steak Houses and most people never cook with it at home. It’s a shame because not only is flank steak delicious, it is relatively inexpensive compared to the prime cuts like New York, Ribeye and Filet Mignon (tenderloin). Flank steak is particularly well suited for grilling and a variety of marinades, which can help tenderize the meat and add flavour. One of my all-time favourite marinades is this delicious Chimichurri-style one (see here for full recipe). Flank steak is also traditionally used to make Ropa Vieja – the national dish of Cuba – which is an insanely delicious, slow-cooked shredded beef dish that literally translates to ‘old clothes’. Don’t knock it ’till you try it!

This recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Rustica is extremely simple and flavourful! Believe it or not, the steak is seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper and grilled for exactly 2 minutes per side. The salsa is equally simple and quick to prepare with things you undoubtedly already have on hand. HOWEVER, consider yourself forewarned when I say that this very easy recipe can go wrong very, very quickly. UNLESS, you follow the following Golden Rules For Grilling Flank Steak.

How to Grill and Buy Flank Steak:

If you have had a bad experience with flank steak, don’t blame it on the cut of meat. Instead, look to the cook or butcher because somewhere along the way they didn’t follow these proper steps.

  • Buying the Right Piece

    -Always buy your meat from a butcher you trust and preferably one that carries grass-fed beef.

    -Flank steaks regularly go on sale so keep an eye out for a deal.

    -Look for a flank steak that is as uniform in thickness as possible. This will ensure an evenly cooked steak.

    -Ask your butcher to trim any excess pieces of fat and silver skin (membrane). Or, you can easily do this yourself at home with a sharp knife.

    How to Grill Flank Steak Primal Gourmet Whole30 Recipe Paleo

  • Grill to Medium Rare on High Heat

    -Grill on highest heat possible until medium-rare to medium. This will ensure a nice, juicy centre and some caramelized crust. Flank steak can be quite tough and leathery if cooked beyond medium. The last thing you want is a hard-to-chew finished product.

    -Cook directly out of the fridge. Letting the steak come to room temperature will result in a more cooked centre, which is not what we want here.

    -For example, I grilled the 2lb flank steak used in this recipe (approximately 3/4″ thick) for exactly 2:30 minutes per side in a cast-iron grill pan.

    -For added flavour and texture, try grilling over charcoal!

    -For thicker cuts, cook a little bit longer and keep an eye on the temperature to avoid burning. If you notice the grill marks beginning to burn, simply turn the steak perpendicularly and continue grilling (this will also give you nice hash marks).

    -Do not touch the meat while it is cooking and flip only once (unless you have to perform the maneuver above). This will ensure nice caramelization and grill marks.

    -You will know the steak is ready to flip when small droplets of juice/blood form on the top surface of the meat.

  1. Let the Steak Rest

    -You must always allow a steak to rest after it has been cooked. This will help redistribute the juices throughout the meat. It will also ensure in a more tender finished product since the muscle will

  2. Slice Thinly and Against the Grain on a Bias

    -Look for the natural striations (or grain) that course through meat and cut perpendicular to them as thinly as possible on a bias. This will ensure less chewy slices of meat. Tip: Unlike skirt steak, the grain tends to run lengthwise in a flank steak.

Following the above steps will ensure a delicious grilled Flank Steak. Now go forth and grill, preferably with an open window and dull fire alarm because things are gonna get smokey in your kitchen. Or just go outside and grill over charcoal as mother nature intended!

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

 

1 2lb flank steak (approx. 3/4 to 1″ thick) – preferably grass-fed

3 tomatoes – cut into eighths

1 small red onion – finely sliced

2 cloves garlic – finely sliced

12-14 sprigs fresh mint – roughly chopped

1 cup fresh parsley – loosely packed – roughly chopped

1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

1 tsp dried chili flakes (more or less depending on preference)

1 tsp kosher salt (plus more for steak)

1/2 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper (plus more for steak)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

METHOD:

  1. To a large mixing bowl, add tomatoes, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, paprika, chili flakes, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Toss gently to combine, trying not to break the tomatoes, and set aside at room temperature while you grill the steak.
  2. Preheat a well-seasoned, cast-iron grill pan or charcoal grill over high heat.
  3. Pat-dry flank steak with paper towel and liberally season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.
  4. Grill steak on high heat for 2:30 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer grilled steak to carving board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing on a bias, against the grain.
  6. Serve sliced Flank Steak with Salsa Rustica and your favourite sides (like these Sweet Potato Fries).

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Instant Pot Review http://cookprimalgourmet.com/instant-pot-review http://cookprimalgourmet.com/instant-pot-review#respond Sun, 05 Nov 2017 19:22:48 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2193 Before you decide to buy an Instant Pot you should consider the topics discussed in this practical review for the average home cook.

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Instant Pot did not sponsor this blog post. 
All opinions expressed are the author's alone.

Before I review the Instant Pot, I will provide a bit of context. So, if you want to jump straight to the nuts and bolts of my review please scroll down…

Instant Pot Review Holiday Gift Idea 2017

The Instant Pot has been on my radar for quite some time now. It first started showing up on my Instagram feed because Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo fame was cooking everything and anything in it – she still is. I’m a huge fan of Michelle and her husband and they usually offer exceptional advice in the Paleo cooking department – especially when it comes to quick and easy recipes. Case-in-point: their brand new cookbook Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not. If you don’t already own a copy of this book, I recommend purchasing one (affiliate link to Amazon). It’s a great resource, especially if you have an Instant Pot or plan on getting one in the near future. They’ve included some great Instant Pot recipes – which I’m very excited to cook!

Despite Michelle’s ceaseless endorsements, I resisted the urge to purchase an Instant Pot. I won’t lie, I was tempted. But I held strong. Why? Because I just bought this affordable slow cooker at the tender, ripe age of 31 and have been very happy with it. So were my readers. In fact, the only reason I purchased the slow cooker to begin with was because many people asked me to write some crockpot recipes. So when I was scheduled to take over the Whole30 Recipes feed on Instagram earlier in 2017, I decided to finally bite the bullet. To this day, my Crockpot Ancho Pork and Crockpot Beef Barbacoa are some of my most popular recipes and for good reason. They’re full of flavour, very easy, require little effort and the slow cooker takes a lot of the guess work out of the cooking equation.

From my understanding, the Instant Pot is an electronic pressure cooker, and a pressure cooker is simply a faster version of a slow cooker, which I already have. Moreover, a slow cooker is essentially an electronic braiser and I’ve been braising things in Dutch Ovens since I was 14. So why exactly did I need to spend my hard-earned coin on a new small-appliance? The answer is that I didn’t!

Slowly, I started seeing other food bloggers singing the Instant Pot’s praises as well. Before I knew it, my feed was inundated with the Instant Pot. Everyone and their granny was declaring it the BEST kitchen gadget! People were claiming to have cooked an entire chuck roast in 30 minutes. To have made Minestrone Soup in 5 minutes! What? 5 minutes? Is this real life? The consensus seemed to be that it was a must-have for any home cook. This was especially true for food bloggers who were trying to cash in on the Amazon Affiliate links. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Blogging is fun and it’s a passion for most but we have to pay the same bills as everyone else. In fact, I include affiliate links in this blog post. Look, here’s one now –> (click to buy the Instant Pot!). Still, I was skeptical and resisted getting one for myself.

Then, one day, I had to make a trip to Walmart to pick up a shower curtain and hot plate – two things I just can’t live without. Lo and behold, there it was. An entire skid of Instant Pots. I stopped, did a double take, and went over for a closer look. I had absolutely no intention to purchase one. It was the last thing on my mind. But I had an idea. I would let my readers decide my fate in the same way they decided my slow cooker purchase (hey, hey, another affiliate link!), which I actually really love! After all, one of the reasons I started this blog was to provide healthy and delicious recipes that people want, and if the people wanted me to make Instant Pot recipes then maybe that’s what I should do? So, I decided to take a poll on my Instagram stories (not an affiliate link!). I can’t remember what the final split was, but the vast majority of readers not only voted that I should purchase an Instant Pot, but I received hundreds of direct messages from readers asking me to provide a review because they weren’t sure if it was something they should purchase!

So over the course of the past few weeks or so, I have been putting the Instant Pot through its paces. First, I made a Minestrone Soup, which was a textural failure but small success in terms of using up all of the vegetables in my fridge! Next, a Paleo Massaman Curry with butternut squash. Another textural failure but with very, very high potential if I get the measurements right. I made an Italian riff on Braised Short Ribs (see image below) – very similar in flavour and method to my Osso Bucco. Wow! It was good. But also needed some tweaking so I didn’t share the recipe. I even used the Instant Pot for a cheat meal and made Plov, an Uzbeki dish of stewed lamb with rice, carrots, spices and more garlic than you can ever imagine. OK, I confess, I made the Plov twice! The Instant Pot was performing very well, though there was a definite learning curve in terms of timing and measurements, which I will discuss below.

Instant Pot Review Holiday Gift Idea 2017

After all of the above hits and misses, I made a Lamb Ragu (recipe here). In my opinion, this is the perfect test for the Instant Pot because to properly execute a traditional ragu you have to follow certain steps. First, you must brown the meat, then you must sautée the sofrito, then braise everything low and slow so that the meat becomes tender and the flavours can develop, and finally you must allow the sauce to reduce and intensify. All of this should preferably be done in a single pot or cooking vessel so that you maximize and retain all of the precious flavours along the way. You can’t cheat this recipe or take any shortcuts – there’s no way to make it quicker or skimp on technique. Or so I thought!

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

When I tasted the Lamb Ragu, I damn near shed a tear of joy. It was very, very good. Just as good as my traditionally cooked one. In fact, I could hardly tell the difference. For me, this recipe was the one that finally convinced me of the Instant Pot’s value. I was able to brown the meat, sautée the sofrito, braise everything, and reduce the sauce all in a single pot. Also, perhaps what impressed me the most, was that while the Ragu was cooking, I left the house and took my dogs for a walk – something I would never do with the oven or stove on – especially not a gas range. The Instant Pot also cut down on the traditional 3-hour traditional braise time and took a mere 45 minutes under high pressure. However, there’s an important caveat to the timing part, which I will discuss below.

My Instant Pot Review:

Caveats:

1) There isn’t really any rhyme or reason to this review. I won’t be going over specifics of the device, like Psi or all of the available settings. Instead, I’m approaching this from the point of view of the average buyer and home cook. I discuss things that I think actually matter – like size, versatility, practicality, time, flavour development, and ease of use.

2) As you read the below review, please consider the type of cooking you do or plan to do. In other words, are you hell-bent on grilling, a soup diva or do you live off salad? It is very important to know that you should not cook everything in an Instant Pot. There are certain things that aren’t suited for intense pressure. Therefore, whether or not you should purchase an Instant Pot is entirely dependant upon the type of cooking and eating you do, or plan to do. I realize this isn’t very helpful if you’re looking for someone to just tell you what to do, but I have zero interest in recommending a product that will only collect dust in your basement.

Instant Pot Review Holiday Gift Idea 2017

1. Model:

I purchased this Instant Pot Lux60 V3 6Qt 6-in-1 from my local Walmart for $109.00 CAD plus tax. There are other models available: such as the Instant Pot Duo60the Instant Pot Ultra and others (see entire list at the bottom of this review). Amazon constantly has sales on the Instant Pots so be sure to keep your eye out for deals – especially with Black Friday and Boxing Day fast approaching. If you decide that the Instant Pot is right for you and would like to help support this blog, you can purchase your model through any of the affiliate links in this article. The price stays the same for you – Amazon simply sends me a very, very small referral commission.

2. Price:

Depending on the model you choose, you’re looking at anywhere between $80.00 to $130.00 USD for a regularly-priced Instant Pot. The highest priced model seems to be the new Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth one, which, I believe, connects to your smart phone and has certain functionality capabilities.

As mentioned, I bought mine for $109.00 CAD (approx. $85USD). This is over double what I paid for my CrockpotNevertheless, I think that the price is relatively affordable and justifiable if you plan to use it as often as I have/do/will. Even if you only use this to make homemade bone broths (which are ridiculously expensive if purchased from a grocery store), you will likely end up saving money in the long run.

3. Size: 

One of the things that first deterred me from purchasing an Instant Pot was the small diameter of the interior cooking vessel. My slow cooker is a 6qt model – equal in size to the Instant Pot – but it can easily fit three to four slabs of baby back ribs if I arrange them with the bones facing vertically. I can’t exactly do this with the Instant Pot because of the narrow diameter. Instead, I would have to cut the racks into thirds and place them one atop the other. Not exactly a deal breaker, but it does make for a difference in final presentation. Also, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to properly cook things like pork shoulders or briskets, which can be very wide and bulky if on the bone.

Nevertheless, I found that the 6qt model was big enough to accommodate just about anything I threw in it. It is also very tall -comparable in size to a medium-sized stock pot. So what it lacks in width, it makes up for in height. There are also 8qt Instant Pots available, but I don’t think this is necessary for small families or individuals.

The machine itself is fairly large and bulky. It’s not exactly the sexiest appliance either and I don’t want to keep it on my countertop. We have to store ours in the basement along with the slow cooker because our kitchen cabinets are filled with other things. So, if you are limited on counter space and storage, this might be something to consider.

4. Clean Up:

The Instant Pot’s interior cooking vessel is made of stainless steel and is very, very easy to clean. I browned meats, sautéed vegetables, reduced sauces, etc. Everything wiped away with a simple scrub from a soapy sponge and hot water.The interior cooking pot is also very lightweight, unlike the ceramic insert of my slow cooker and my enamelled cast-iron Dutch Ovens, which means my wife has no problem handling it while cleaning up. It’s also dishwasher safe – bonus!

These are important things to consider if you are the one responsible for the dishwashing in the household. My wife usually tackles the dishes but I’m always stuck cleaning my heavy cast-iron Staub Cocottes and cast iron skillets.

Also, I should mention that the interior cooking pot and lid are the only things you will likely have to clean. The rest of the machine might collect a bit of dust or the occasional grease schmear but aside from that it doesn’t need to be cleaned – same idea as a slow-cooker.

5. Functionality:

The Instant Pot comes equipped with a number of pre-programmed modes and settings. There is a Soup/Broth Mode, Meat/Stew Mode, Rice Mode, Cake Mode, Steam Mode, etc. I’ll be honest with you, I only ever used the Sautée function, the Manual mode, and the Meat/Stew mode. And, guess what, I will never use the Porridge Mode, the Rice Mode or the Multigrain model, which I’m totally fine with. I’m not sure if the machine functions differently depending on the selected mode, but I don’t cook multigrains so I have no intention to use that feature. Which brings me back to Caveat #2 – consider the type of cooking you do because it may just be that the Instant Pot will be your new best friend or the least used appliance you own.

For me, perhaps the most interesting function is the Sautée feature, which heats the interior cooking vessel over low, medium or high heat. This is an absolutely brilliant feature that puts the Instant Pot well ahead of slow cookers in terms of functionality, practicality and flavour development. Certain recipes like my Lamb Ragu call for browning meats and sautéeing veggies before braising. I would have to use a separate pot or pan to pull that off with my slow cooker, which kind of defeats the whole slow-cooker mentality of one-pot cooking. This could, of course, be avoided if I purchased a very expensive slow cooker model that has a stovetop-safe insert.

The sautée function was also surprisingly responsive and got hot enough to properly brown meats and quickly sautée vegetables. I was pleasantly impressed.

6. Time

This is really the deciding factor for most people. After all, you’re buying a pressure cooker to reduce cooking times. As mentioned, I heard people claiming to have made soup in 5 minutes. While this is technically true, it is very, very misleading because the Instant Pot requires anywhere between 10 to 45 minutes (!!!!) to develop enough pressure to begin the seal the inner canister and commence cooking times.

For example, if you want to make bone broth using frozen bones, which takes a minimum of 3 hours under high pressure, it can take anywhere between 30-45 minutes (maybe longer?) before the Instant Pot reaches enough pressure to begin the actual countdown time. So, a recipe that calls for 3 hrs under high pressure just turned into something closer to 4 hrs. This may not seem significant when cooking things that take a long time, but remember that the same rules apply to everything you make. So if you see a Minestrone recipe that claims to have been cooked in 5 minutes, you are probably looking at something closer to 30-45 minutes when it’s all said and done. This is equivalent to the amount of time it takes to make Minestrone the old-fashioned way (i.e. on a stove in a regular pot!).

To go back to my Lamb Ragu recipe as an example, I call for 45min under high pressure. But it will take at least 15 minutes before the Instant Pot will begin the countdown. There are ways to reduce the initial pressure building time. The method that I found works best is to use the sautée function to heat the contents of the Instant Pot. If cooking a stew, for example, switch the sautée function on until the liquids start to bubble and then close the lid and set the correct program. This should help minimize the time it takes to seal the chamber and start the countdown.

7. Ease of Use

The Instant Pot is very easy to use. It’s entirely digital and after a quick read through the instruction manual, you should be all set to cook. The only thing that really threw me for a loop was manually depressurizing the machine (AKA flipping the pressure release valve by hand). So much steam came out that I nearly wet myself. Aside from that, its a piece of cake to use!

Final Thoughts

If you want to cook soups, stews, or bone broths, in relatively short periods of time with the added convenience of being able to leave your house while doing it, then I recommend getting an Instant Pot. If you have no intention to cook any of the above items, this is clearly not the machine for you. Essentially, an Instant Pot is like a fast slow cooker. It performs very similarly in a reduced amount of time. If you already have a slow cooker and use it regularly, maybe just continue to use it? But if you find yourself suffering from a lack of patience or would like to be able to sip on bone broth the same day you make it, then the Instant Pot is the way to go!

I hope you found this non-technical, practical review helpful! If you decide that you would like to purchase an Instant Pot and would like to support this blog in the process, please shop through one of the following Amazon links:

Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 

Instant Pot DUO60 6Qt 7-in-1

Instant Pot DUO Plus 6Qt 9-in-1

Instant Pot Ultra 6Qt 10-in-1

Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 6Qt 7-in-1

Cheers,

Ronny

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Instant Pot Lamb Ragu – Whole30, Paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/ragu-instant-pot http://cookprimalgourmet.com/ragu-instant-pot#respond Sun, 05 Nov 2017 18:52:31 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2247 This Lamb Ragu is Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free & every bit as flavourful as traditional versions. Thanks to the Instant Pot it takes half the time to cook.

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Ragu isn’t just the stuff you buy in a bottle at the grocery store. If we’re talking the real-deal here, ragù is a rustic, Italian meat-based sauce that is slowly cooked and typically made with wine and/or tomatoes. The ratios will differ, as will the types of meat used. Ragù can be made with beef, veal, pork, venison, boar, ox tail, short rib, sausage, lamb, rabbit, and the list goes on. It can be made with ground meat, or larger cuts like shoulder, leg, ribs, etc. Variations will inevitably differ depending on region, family and tradition. Some people will include milk in the sauce, others cream, and others will curse you for six lifetimes if you add either. Sometimes you will find the sauce being flavoured with oregano and thyme, or it can include rosemary and sage. But you never, ever add cilantro! ‘Bolognese’ is perhaps the most popular ragù. It’s North America and Europe’s darling ‘pasta sauce’. Of course, you’ll never catch an Italian calling anything Bolognese without using the word ragù in front of it. The absolute best ragù Bolognese I ever had was in a small town called Biassa, a few kilometres from Riomaggiore in the Liguria region of Italy. I can still taste it! You can read a little bit more about that experience and watch my video for Simple and Delicious Paleo Bolognese here.

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

As mentioned, most ragù recipes call for using wine to braise the meat. Though wine will yield a very delicious sauce and help to break down tougher cuts of meat like lamb leg or shoulder, it is not entirely necessary. I have made more ragù than I care to admit – with and without wine – and I am so confident in this alcohol-free, entirely paleo and Whole30 compliant version that I will put it up against any nonna’s recipe. The only thing this recipe can’t compete with is the childhood threat of getting nonna’s wooden spoon to the back of the head if you don’t finish it all and lick the plate! In that respect, nonna wins – no contest.

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

If you like ‘Bolognese’ you’ll LOVE Lamb Ragu

Today I’m sharing a slightly different version of the classic Italian dish. This Lamb Ragù is very similar to my ‘Bolognese’ but uses large chunks of lamb leg instead of ground meat. The result is a beautiful, rich, hearty sauce full of shredded, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. If you’re not a fan of lamb, you can substitute beef short rib, pork shoulder or even just stick with the more common choice of using ground meat. The choice is yours!

To serve, I think there is nothing more comforting in the fall and winter months than ragù with this Cauliflower polenta. It’s every bit as flavourful as corn polenta but won’t leave you feeling weighed down. The flavours go so well together too! The sweetness from the cauliflower plays very nicely with the richness of the lamb and earthy flavours from the rosemary. The dish is rounded off with some beautiful, Garlicky Swiss Chard (the recipe for which can be found here on Bon Apétit). If you’ve never eaten chard or cooked with it, now is the time!

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

Instant Pot vs. Traditional Braising

If you read my Instant Pot Review then you know that this Lamb Ragu is one of the recipes that convinced me of the benefits of having an electric slow cooker. The entire recipe is made in the Instant Pot in half the time it would take to traditionally braise it in the oven and tastes just as good! I am most definitely an advocate for the time-honoured tradition of making good food slowly, but there is something to be said for convenience – especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are wondering, I own the Instant Pot V60 6Qt 6-in-1 (affiliate link) and I whole-heartedly recommend getting an Instant Pot. But before you do, I encourage you to read my review first.

Instant Pot Lamb Ragu Paleo Whole30 Healthy Easy Recipe

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 8)

2kg leg of lamb – bone-in, cut into 2″ cubes (you can ask your butcher to do this)

1 medium-sized onion – diced

2 celery stalks – diced

2 carrots – diced

6-8 cloves garlic – finely-sliced

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups tomato passata (preferably in a glass jar)

1 cup chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp densely-packed rosemary – finely chopped

1 tsp densely-packed oregano – finely chopped

1 tbsp avocado oil

for Cauliflower Polenta – see here

for Garlicky Swiss Chard – see here

 

METHOD:

  1. Set Instant Pot to Sautée mode and allow to preheat.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse leg of lamb and pat very dry with paper towel. Cut into 2″ chunks and season all sides with a bit of kosher salt.
  3. Add avocado oil to preheated Instant Pot and brown all sides of the lamb in batches. Transfer browned meat to bowl and set aside.
  4. To the Instant Pot, add onion, celery, carrot – season with a pinch of kosher salt. Sautée vegetables until softened (approximately 10-12 minutes). Be sure to scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves and season with 1 tsp of freshly-cracked black pepper. Sautée an additional 60 seconds.
  6. Return browned meat to the Instant Pot and add tomato passata and chicken stock. Give everything a stir and cook on Sautée mode until the sauce comes to a simmer (**this will help reduce the time it takes to seal the Instant Pot and Initiate the timer).
  7. Close the lid, set the pressure release valve to the ‘Sealing’ position and program the Instant Pot to Manual Mode, High Pressure for 45 minutes. *You can also use the ‘Meat/Stew’ mode with High Pressure for 45 minutes.
  8. After cooking time has elapse, depressurize manually, and switch back to the Sautée mode to thicken the sauce. As the sauce reduces, use a pair of tongs and a fork to shred the meat in the pot.
  9. Reduce sauce to desired consistency (I like it thick and chunky), taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required. Note: If you reduce the sauce too much, simply add a little bit of stock to reconstitute.
  10. Serve over Cauliflower Polenta (recipe here) along with Garlicky Swiss Chard (recipe here).

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Homemade Blueberry-Goji Jam http://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-pancakes-blueberry-jam http://cookprimalgourmet.com/paleo-pancakes-blueberry-jam#respond Sat, 04 Nov 2017 17:01:04 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2239 This homemade Blueberry-Goji Chia Jam is refined-sugar free, delicious, and takes no time to make. Try serving it over some of these Easy Paleo Pancakes.

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Homemade jam brings me straight back to my childhood. My mother would always make big batches of jam at the end of summer with homegrown raspberries she grew in her garden. The house would smell amazing and over the course of the winter we would enjoy the jam every weekend with delicious, puffy, crispy, little Russian pancakes called ‘Oladiye’ (pronounced: Oh-lah-dee-yeh – try saying it in a Russian, bond-villain accent for fun). The jam would be made with buckets of sugar, of course, and the Oladiye would be fried in vegetable oil, because vegetables are healthy, right? Thankfully, we know a bit better these days and even though my mother still loves to make Oladiye for us, I actually insist that when she does, she use my sister-in-law’s recipe for Marcela’s Easy Paleo Pancakes. These four-ingredient paleo miracles are the closest I’ve come to a healthy version of my childhood, weekend treat.

How to make Paleo Jam Chia Blueberry Goji Primal Gourmet Whole30

The jam, however, was a tougher sell. Russians, you see, LOVE sweet things. So much of Russian cuisine requires a sugary component. Even savoury dishes like salads are usually sweetened with sugar (and mayonnaise). The other thing Russians love is tradition. If you don’t make things the way your grandmother made them, you’re not doing it right. So you can imagine my mother’s shock the first time I set down a plate of Paleo Pancakes smothered in this refined-sugar-free Paleo Blueberry-Goji Jam! Thankfully, she’s a brave soul and (hesitantly) took a bite. Then she took another, and another, until it was all gone. She denies it but I’m pretty sure she licked the plate while I had my back turned! It’s safe to say that if it passed my mother’s test, it will likely pass yours as well.

How to make Paleo Jam Chia Blueberry Goji Primal Gourmet Whole30

The Chia Jam Backstory

This Blueberry-Goji Jam is something I’ve been tinkering with for a while and I have to give credit where credit is due. The homemade memories I owe to my mother, but the idea of using chia seeds to make jam has a more recent story. A few months ago I was doing some food styling for my friends at ELXR Juice Lab (purveyors of Toronto’s finest cold-pressed juices), and one of the things they created for their new menu was a blueberry-chia jam. It was absolutely amazing and if you’re in the Toronto area I highly recommend getting your hands on one of their parfaits that includes this beautiful, delicious jam. Ever since that day I’ve been obsessing over making a homemade version so that I can enjoy it with my pancakes on the weekend (and just about everything else!). At long last, I think I’ve made something that comes close – but I will admit that the ELXR version may be better (if only by a margin)! As you can see, the jam is thick, glossy and if you didn’t know any better you’d think it was something that came out of your grandma’s kitchen.

How to make Paleo Jam Chia Blueberry Goji Primal Gourmet Whole30

Aside from the fact that this recipe is refined-sugar, dairy, grain, legume, and gluten-free, it’s great because it takes very little time to make and is very easy. It’s perfect for the weekends if you want a break from, say, my Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce (which I consider to be an advanced recipe). But it’s equally well suited for weekdays when you’re in a rush to get out the door. As mentioned, the Paleo Pancakes have only four simple ingredients – five if you want to add a scoop of paleo protein powder. While you prepare your pancakes, you can just as easily create the Blueberry-Goji Jam, which takes about 10-15 minutes and has only 5 ingredients – OK, six if you include water!

How to make Paleo Jam Chia Blueberry Goji Primal Gourmet Whole30

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)

for Blueberry-Goji Chia Jam:

1/2 cup frozen, wild blueberries (Costco sells giant bags of these)

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp dried goji berries

2 tsp ogranic maple-syrup (more or less depending on preference)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup water

 

METHOD:

for Blueberry-Goji Chia Jam:

  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer over medium-low heat until the thickened and water is reduced by at least 1/4.
  2. That’s it! See, I told you it was easy!
  3. Pour overtop of Marcela’s Easy Paleo Pancakes (recipe here)

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Tribalí Double Stack Burger – Whole30/Paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/tribali-whole30-burger http://cookprimalgourmet.com/tribali-whole30-burger#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:19:33 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2220 My Tribali Double Stack Burger is loaded with two Mediterranean Style patties, caramelized onions, mushrooms, tomato, and served on a crisp iceberg bun.

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This recipe is sponsored by Tribalí Foods. Nevertheless, all opinions, thoughts and ideas expressed are the author’s alone.

Tribalí Foods Meat Patties are Available online at TribaliFoods.com, or at Whole Foods Markets in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Tribali Foods Primal Gourmet Double Decker Buger Recipe Whole30 Paleo Easy

On top of a salad, with eggs in the morning or between a lettuce bun, I can (and do) eat burgers all day long! Anyone that knows me, knows that I am an absolute burger fiend! There are few things I love more in life than sinking my teeth into a rich, juicy, and delicious burger! I’ve come a long way from shamefully eating whoppers alone in the back of a parking lot in the middle of the night! These days, I focus on eating burgers that have big, bold flavours and are made with quality ingredients.  So when Angela Mavridis from Tribalí Foods told me she crafted a brand-new line of Certified Paleo and Whole30 Approved, flavour-packed meat patties available online and in the freezer section of Whole Foods Markets, I was super excited to try them out!

Before we get to the recipe, I want to briefly go over exactly what I love about these Tribalí patties…

Tribali Foods Primal Gourmet Double Decker Buger Recipe Whole30 Paleo Easy

Tribali Foods Primal Gourmet Double Decker Buger Recipe Whole30 Paleo Easy

3 Things I love about Tribalí Foods Meat Patties:

  1. The Ingredients are top-notch. 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef and 100% Organic, Free-Range Chicken. Zero grains, refined sugars, or weird preservatives. They’re also vetted by Whole30 and the Certified Paleo programs, which takes the guess work out of trying to figure out if they are compliant.
  2. The Flavours are unlike anything I’ve experienced from a frozen patty. I was very surprised by just how flavourful the patties are. They’re loaded with herbs and spices in interesting and exciting combinations. The Umami patties have things like fire-roasted onion, shitake mushrooms and Red Boat fish sauce. I mean, come on! How awesome is that?!
  3. The Convenience is hard to beat. I don’t need to remind you that I’m all about making things from scratch. But there are days when I really dread the idea of cooking and if I don’t have something convenient stashed away in the freezer, I am very tempted to order take-out. This coming from a ‘health-food’ blogger! While on the topic of convenience, I should add that I think it’s very thoughtful that the burgers are individually packaged. This means that you can open just one or two patties without sacrificing the rest to freezer burn! They also cook from frozen with no need to defrost! Winning!

#MyTribalí Double Stack Burger Recipe

I’m talking two Mediterranean Style patties, tomato, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, mayo and ballpark mustard, all wedged between a crisp, Icerberg bun! Can I get an amen?! Please feel free to substitute the Umami or Chipotle Chicken patties here, but I think these gourmet toppings work really well with the herbaceous flavours in the Mediterranean Style burgers.

Tribali Foods Primal Gourmet Double Decker Buger Recipe Whole30 Paleo EasyTribali Foods Primal Gourmet Double Decker Buger Recipe Whole30 Paleo Easy

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS:

(serves 1 very hungry human)

2 Mediterranean Style Tribalí Meat Patties

1/2 onion – sliced into 1/4 inch rings

2 thin slices of beefsteak or hot house tomato

4-6 cremini mushrooms – sliced

generous squeeze of Whole30 compliant mustard (I like French’s for this)

generous squeeze of Whole30 compliant mayo (homemade or store bought)

iceberg lettuce – cut into bun-shaped wedges

METHOD:

  1. Cook Tribalí Mediterranean Style meat patties in a cast-iron skillet according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp avocado oil in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add sliced onions and season with a small pinch of salt. Sautée until caramelized (approximately 10-12 minutes) – it’s OK if you get a bit of char on the onion. Transfer cooked onion to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  3. Transfer cooked patties to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add 1/2 tbsp avocado oil and sliced mushrooms to the skillet you cooked the burgers in. Sautée mushrooms until golden brown and softened (approximately 6-8 minutes).
  4. Assemble burger in the following order: lettuce bun base, sliced tomato, Tribalí patty, mustard, caramelized onion, Tribalí patty, mayo, sautéed mushroom, lettuce bun top.
  5. Serve with plenty of napkins!

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Eggs Benedict – Paleo and Whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/eggs-benedict-paleo-whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/eggs-benedict-paleo-whole30#respond Sun, 29 Oct 2017 17:58:23 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2198 These Eggs Benedict are every bit as good as the classic versions served over an English muffin. Except that it's Paleo and Whole30 compliant!

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Eggs Benedict is Catalina’s all-time favourite brunch item. If it’s on the menu, she’s ordering it. If I’m being entirely honest, I love it too. Soft-poached eggs on a toasted English muffin, covered in Hollandaise sauce! Come on! It’s heavenly! There are a million and one variations of Eggs Benedict but our favourites are the ‘Florentine’ versions, which typically include a bed of sautéed spinach and smoked salmon! Get in my belly!

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

We used to go out for brunch regularly on the weekends. Catalina never sits down for breakfast during the week because she’s out the door by 7am. So on her days off she likes to take advantage of a lazy morning that involves sleeping in, at least three cups of coffee in bed, and a big, indulgent brunch. I, on the other hand, have the luxury of working from home, oftentimes with food, and eat very well during the week! But, I learned long ago that a happy wife is a happy life! So, I’m perfectly fine with going for brunch on the weekends if that’s what she wants to do.

That is, until Toronto’s brunch scene exploded and got completely out of hand. In the past 8-10 years, maybe even longer, people in this city have become brunch-crazed and restaurants are taking full advantage. Lineups are around the corner and since most restaurants don’t take brunch reservations you can end up waiting over an hour to be seated. Not an ideal situation for anyone that is eating their first meal at noon. To add salt to the wound, a lot of the trendy brunch spots in the city are really nothing special, serving up over-priced eggs and waffles and pressuring you to hurry up and leave so that the server can flip your table. We can do much better at home!

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

As much as it pains her, even Catalina has lost interest in going out for brunch. We might go once or twice a month, if that. The rest of the time I get to flex my brunch muscles – which I prefer anyways. This Eggs Benedict recipe is just one example and if you happen to find yourself relating to the first world problems I describe above, you’ll love it. It’s a classic Eggs Benedict but with a Paleo/Whole30 twist that is both indulgent and falls completely in line with all of the guidelines of both dietary protocols. I’m not kidding when I say this is a rich dish. The sweet potato hash browns require generous amounts of avocado oil to ensure crispiness and the Hollandaise calls for 8 tbsp of ghee! So, if you’re put off by the idea of consuming that much fat in the morning or early afternoon, you may want to just skip the sauce altogether. Maybe take solace in the fact that the entire thing sits on a bed of smashed avocado and has a poached egg? Or just make my Shakshuka.

I should also mention here that the techniques for poaching the eggs and making the Hollandaise were sourced from Kenji López-Alt. He is a culinary mastermind and until I followed the sage advice provided in his book, The Food Lab, I was destroying more eggs in water baths than I care to admit. I highly recommend getting a copy of his book. It’s of biblical proportions and a very useful resource for any home cook.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

Step-by-Step Eggs Benedict – Paleo/Whole30

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof HollandaisePaleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise Paleo Eggs Benedict Whole 30 Primal Gourmet Easy Fool Proof Hollandaise

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato

2 avocados

4 eggs

cayenne pepper – for garnish

fresh chives – finely chopped – for garnish

avocado oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

for the Hollandaise sauce:

1 egg yolk

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

kosher salt

8tbsp ghee

 

METHOD:

for the Sweet Potato Hash Browns:

  1. Peel sweet potato and grate using the large blades of a box grater. Place grated sweet potato in a cheese cloth or nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as humanly possible. Transfer drained sweet potato to a large bowl or tray.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of avocado oil in a large, non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Carefully add small handfuls (approx. 1/4 cup) of grated sweet potato to the skillet. Use a spatula to lightly flatten the top of each mound and tidy the edges to form a circular shape. **Note: do not overcrowd the pan or you will have a hard time flipping the hash browns.
  3. Drizzle the top of each has brown with a bit more of avocado oil. Fry approximately 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Transfer fried sweet potatoes to a dish lined with paper towel and season immediately with a sprinkle of kosher salt. Set in oven to keep warm while you prepare the eggs.

for the Poached Eggs (technique adapted from Kenji López-Alt, The Food Lab):

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a gentle simmer and add vinegar.
  2. Crack an egg into a fine-meshed sieve set over a bowl and give it a swirl to separate any of the scraggly whites. Using a large spoon, start swirling the water in the pot to create a vortex. While the water is swirling, carefully add the eggs one at a time. Repeat until all eggs are in the pot. Cook until the egg whites are set and the yolk is still soft. Stir occasionally to avoid the egg coming into contact with the bottom of the pot.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove each egg, making sure not to puncture the yolk. Transfer poached eggs to a dish lined with a kitchen towel.

for the Hollandaise Sauce:

  1. Add ghee to a sauce pan set over medium heat and melt completely. Transfer to a measuring cup or small bowl with a spout.
  2. Add water, lemon juice, egg yolk and a pinch of salt to a narrow cup or mason jar that is slightly wider than the head of an immersion blender.
  3. Centre the head of the immersion blender over the egg yolk and turn it on (use the lower setting if you have multiple speeds). While the immersion blender is continuously running, slowly add the melted ghee in a very slow stream until everything has been emulsified.

**Note: If you overwork the Hollandaise sauce and it becomes too thick, simply add a teaspoon or two of warm water and blend until it becomes smooth and creamy.

to Serve:

  1. Spoon half an avocado into the centre of a serving dish. Use a fork to mash it directly on the plate.
  2. Lay the sweet potato hash brown overtop of the smashed avocado.
  3. Place the poached egg on top of the hash brown.
  4. Spoon the hollandaise overtop of the poached egg.
  5. Garnish with a dash of cayenne pepper and finely chopped chives.
  6. Serve!

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Salmon Cakes with Tarragon Aioli – Whole30/Paleo http://cookprimalgourmet.com/salmon-cakes-whole30 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/salmon-cakes-whole30#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 23:39:00 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2185 These Salmon Cakes are Easy, Delicious, Whole30 + Paleo, and Can Be Made Ahead of Time. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

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Maybe you’ve made Salmon Cakes before. Maybe you haven’t! Either way, I want – scratch that – NEED you to make this version and then report back to me. Hopefully you’ll be all smiles and well-fed! I think you’ll really love them. Unless of course you’re not a fan of salmon, or fish in general, in which case you may want to make this Whole30 Chicken Piccata instead?

Easy Salmon Cakes Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

Easy Salmon Cakes Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

I should also clarify for a very, very small percentage of readers that these cakes are not intended to be eaten as a dessert. Instead, think of them as a burger that you attack with a fork and knife. Or, if you’re me on a Wednesday morning after 30 minutes of fasted cardio, with your bear hands.

Which brings me to my next point. The versatility of a great salmon cake is hard to beat. They’re great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But not dessert – we’re clear on that point, right?

What You Need to Know About These Salmon Cakes

  1. These Salmon Cakes are EASY to make!
  2. These Salmon Cakes are DELICIOUS!
  3. These Salmon Cakes are WHOLE30 & PALEO!
  4. These Salmon Cakes can be MADE AHEAD OF TIME!
  5. These Salmon Cakes are best served with my killer TARRAGON AIOLI!

Let’s address the above in order, shall we?

First and foremost, I can not express to you how easy these salmon cakes are to make. Get everything chopped up and mix with your hands in a large bowl – extra points if its one you inherited it from your grandma – mine’s from IKEA 🙁

Secondly, the flavour of these salmon cakes are through the roof! I strongly encourage you to use fresh, raw, wild salmon here. Avoid salmon from a can – as tempting as it may be. Even if it’s compliant and wild. Canned salmon is too wet to pull off without a binder. It’s also pre-cooked which will result in a drier finished product.I must say that for a salmon cake recipe that calls for no binders or dredging, these hold together unbelievably well. Just make sure to add enough avocado oil to a preheated, high-quality nonstick skillet (stainless steel and cast-iron works here as well). I used my Hestan Nanobond Steel Fry Pan (available at Williams Sonoma). Hestan sent me this pan a while ago and I love it. If I win the lottery I might just buy a set (they run on the expensive side). As you can tell, this is not a sponsored post, but I really do love this skillet.

You’re also going to need to practice your knife skills here because you want all of the veggies in the mixture to be finely diced and equal in size. Big chunks of onion are the last thing you want. So take your time when doing the slicing and dicing. Your taste buds will thank you!

Thirdly, these babies are totally clean. I’m talking real ingredients, no fillers, no binders, no dredging, no nada. I actually made these two ways when testing. With and without a dredging of arrowroot flour and I can honestly say that I preferred the cakes without the optional dusting. The colour was nicer and the texture was softer – which I kind a like.

Fourthly (?), the mixture for these cakes can be made ahead of time. You can double the batch measurements and set half the mixture aside in the freezer. You can also meal prep the salmon cakes so you have something ready to grab in the fridge for meals throughout the week. Mine don’t usually last very long – they’re just too tasty!

Last but not least, serve the salmon cakes with my Tarragon Aioli. It’s da bomb dot com and the anise-y flavour goes beautifully with the salmon. Don’t have tarragon on hand? TOO BAD! I mean, sorry, no substitutions here. You’re gonna have to track some down if you want the real deal! I have faith in you!

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

Easy Salmon Cakes Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

Easy Salmon Cakes Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe Easy Salmon Cakes Whole30 Paleo Primal Gourmet Recipe

INGREDIENTS: (makes 8 cakes)

2 cups fresh, raw, wild salmon – minced using a food processor

1/2 cup onion – finely diced

1/2 cup celery – finely diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper – finely diced

1 tbsp fresh basil – finely chopped

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (add an extra 1/2 tsp if you like it spicy!)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

1 whole egg – free range, organic

3-4 tbsp avocado oil

 

for the Tarragon Aioli

1/2 cup whole30 compliant mayo

1 packed tsp fresh tarragon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 packed tsp fresh garlic – garlic

1/4 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

 

METHOD:

for the Tarragon Aioli:

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until well-combined. Cover, set aside or refrigerate while you cook your Salmon Cakes.

for the Salmon Cakes

  1. Using your hands, thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The mixture will be loose at first but after a few minutes it will come together and bind.
  2. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop mixture and set onto a tray lined with plastic wrap. Do not form into patties just yet – read step 3 first.
  3. To prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands, rub them with a bit of avocado oil. Then, delicately form the balls into patties. See, much easier!
  4. Preheat a non-stick, cast-iron or high-quality stainless steel skillet set over medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp of avocado oil and allow oil to come up to temperature before adding patties. *Tip: Avoid overcrowding the pan. Instead, work in batches.
  5. Cook patties 3 minutes then flip using a slotted fish spatula. Cook an addition 3 minutes for well-done. **Cook 2 minutes per side for a medium-rare centre.
  6. Transfer cooked patties to a serving platter and serve with Tarragon Aioli.

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Hulk Mash – Whole30/Paleo Cauli-Spinach Purée http://cookprimalgourmet.com/hulk-mash http://cookprimalgourmet.com/hulk-mash#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:28:11 +0000 http://cookprimalgourmet.com/?p=2179 Hulk Mash is an easy and delicious purée of cauliflower and spinach that take 15 minutes to prepare. Try it with grilled meat, chicken, or seafood.

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Hulk Mash is an easy and delicious purée of cauliflower and spinach that takes a mere 15 minutes to prepare. Originally referred to as “Cauliflower and Spinach Purée”, I decided to revamp the lingo a bit. It now owes its name to one of my favourite superheroes, The Hulk (obviously!). Because he’s green and likes to SMASH! Get it? Smash: mash? Moving on, the Smash part is particularly close to my heart because, as you may or may not know, whenever a brand sends me a package I like to unbox it on my Instagram stories using the Hulk Smash (do you even follow me on Instagram bro?). You thought I was going in a different direction with the smashing part, huh? Nope! This is a family blog, people! Get your mind outta the gutter! Where was I? Ah, yes! The Hulk Smash is a simple yet effective technique that I have perfected for quickly opening boxes with one hand. It’s become somewhat of an international sensation, causing some viewers to request my address so that they can send me a box cutter!

hulk mash cauliflower spinach puree whole30 paleo primal gourmet easy recipe

Before You ‘Hulk Mash’ Read this:

I absolutely love this stuff. The colour alone is mesmerizing. I will admit that the spinach imparts an earthy flavour with subtle grassy notes – things I am personally cool with. My wife, on the other hand, is not a fan so when I make this I usually tone down the spinach and squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the purée to infuse it with some citrus. I also think that this tastes best when it is served immediately and piping hot!

If you are making Hulk Mash for the first time, I suggest adding only a few leaves of baby spinach to the purée and tasting before adding more. You can always add, you can never remove. Also, be sure to season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper – the cauliflower can handle it. And break out that good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this one. You know, that cold-pressed one your Italian friend bought you as a house warming present? What? You don’t have an Italian friend that gave you a $40 bottle of oil? Time to think about getting one!

If you’re scratching your head on ways to serve this, try it with grilled meat, chicken, or seafood. See this recipe for Seared Scallops for an example!

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole30 Easy Recipe

I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

 

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic – peeled

salt and pepper to taste

fresh parsley leaves – for garnish

 

METHOD:

  1. Roughly chop cauliflower into large florets. Add cauliflower and garlic clove to a stock pot with a steamer insert and steam until fork tender (approximately 15 minutes). Transfer steamed cauliflower and garlic to a high-powered blender or food processor along with baby spinach, 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until completely smooth. Adjust seasoning as required. Transfer to serving bowl. *Note: if the flavour of the spinach is too intense, try adding the juice of a 1/4 lemon.
  2. Garnish with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, freshly cracked pepper and fresh parsley leaves.

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