This was a dinner “experiment” last night. Folks ate it and didn’t die, so I’m calling it a success. Wifey asked me to write down what I did, so…
- 3lbs Ground Beef
- 2 Large Onions
- 1.5 to 2 lb Butternut Squash, peeled and cored
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tbsp Thyme
- 1 Tbsp Oregano
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Chili Powder
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese for topping
- Mix all your salt and seasonings together in a small bowl.
- Dice the onions. You can handle this, right?
- Dice the butternut squash into small cubes. Like, maybe 3/8″.
- Preheat the oven to 275 F.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. You can choose whether or not to drain the fat off. We didn’t, but we’re crazy fat-loving paleo/GAPS foodie types. Dump the browned beef into a large mixing bowl.
- Throw the diced onion into the greasy skillet. Cook it up until translucent. Toss the onions into the mixing bowl with the beef.
- Toss the cubed squash into the mixing bowl with the beef and onions.
- Pour the seasoning mixture over the contents of the mixing bowl. Grab a wooden spoon and get it all stirred up. Make sure everything is well homogenized.
- Scrape the contents of the mixing bowl into a big casserole with a cover (or use foil). Cover and place into the oven for 2-3 hours. When the squash is tender, it’s ready to go.
- Serve in bowls, with handfuls of shredded cheese on top.
So, as some of you might be aware (probably not), my dear wife has the family on a diet known as the GAPS diet. It it supposed to heal “Leaky Gut Syndrome” and touts a lot of benefits. It’s also pretty restrictive in terms of food choices. When I described it to a friend who shall remain unnamed, he dubbed it the “I hate my life” Diet. So what’s out? Wheat, grains and refined sugars are the biggest losers. That means that for baked goods, you have to get a little creative.
Here’s a muffin recipe that I’ve had good luck with. It’s tweaked from some similar recipes I’ve found online. If you like, you could add raisins or nuts or chopped dates, but I usually serve them plain. The recipe is legal for GAPS if you are at a phase at which you can have honey. It also is okay for Paleo diets (again, assuming honey is legal).
Makes: 12 muffins
- 12-count muffin tin
- Paper muffin inserts
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal (you can pulse almonds in the food processor ’til fine, if you don’t have a source for meal)
- 1 1/2 cups milled flax seed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (You could use butter instead, if you prefer)
- 1/3 cup honey (you can add more if you like, but this makes it plenty sweet, IMO)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- Combine the dry ingredients (meals, salt, spices, baking soda) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, mix everything together until you have a thick, even batter (I use an electric hand mixer).
- Line the muffin tins with the paper inserts. Spoon the batter into the inserts, dividing evenly across the 12 cups.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Test with a toothpick to make certain the middles come out clean.
- Give them to your ravenous family. Count your fingers.
Whipped up a batch of breakfast sausage this morning. My seasonings tend to be kind of random, but I liked the way this one turned out, so I’m writing it down.
- 4 lbs of ground pork
- 4 tsp salt
- 3 tsp of black pepper (fresh ground is best)
- 2 tbsp ground dried sage
- 1 tsp allspice (yes, just go with it)
- 1-2 tsp chili powder (vary depending upon the intensity of your chili powder and your preferences)
- Heat up a big, cast iron skillet at medium-low heat on the stove. If you must use a lesser skillet of some other material, go ahead, but accept my scorn as punishment.
- Mix the salt, herbs and spices together in a small bowl, try to get them as blended as possible.
- Put the pork into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the pork.
- Steel yourself, plunge your hands into the pork and knead it with bold, powerful motions, working the pulped flesh over upon itself again and again until the seasonings are thoroughly distributed throughout.
- Roll the pork into uniformly-sized balls (I usually make them about 3.2oz in weight).
- Flatten the pork balls into patties and cook on the skillet until cooked through and browned, turning every few minutes. It is a good idea to cover the skillet to help ensure even heating and to prevent grease splatter.
- Eat your sausage. Or don’t. I’ll eat it for you, if you insist.