Paleo Instant Pot Cowboy Chili

A couple of weeks ago, we finally hired a professional to come investigate, treat and seal our house against the mice that seem to have taken residence in our walls and attic. It turned out, they had also made themselves comfortable inside the insulation of our oven range. Gross! Plus, all of their nesting and rummaging around in there, broke the gas pipe connections in the range.

So, we bought a new oven! Something we’ve wanted to do but were putting off until the “right time.” Well, that time suddenly became now. Meanwhile, though, we couldn’t use our oven range. This week’s recipe ingenuity was born out of necessity. Thank goodness for our Instant Pot!

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Greek “Orzo” Cauliflower Salad

If you work in a traditional office, you’re aware of the catered meeting that is often built around: cheese, wheat, and more cheese, with some vegetables and soy for those who don’t eat meat. For those who would rather just have some meat and vegetables, this can be a challenge. Normally, I pack my own lunch, but this can be an awkward situation when you’re “that person” bringing in your own food to a catered meeting.

That said, this Greek “Orzo” Cauliflower Salad is in homage of a orzo salad that was at a catered meeting at my office. Colleagues were nice enough to ask me if I wanted anything special, but I had packed my own salad for the day. The only thing that isn’t in our version, which was raved about, is the crumbled feta. Feel free to add 1/2 C of quality, crumbled feta if you enjoy and can tolerate cheese. I’m looking at you, primal folks.

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Just over a year ago, Brent and I took our first vacation since 2011 to attend my German cousin, Steffi’s wedding in southern Germany. We had an amazing time exploring Munich, nearby Augsburg, and even took a quick flight up to Berlin for a couple of days. We enjoyed meeting my family, the scenery, the culture, and the food.

Less than two weeks ago, Steffi and her husband Andi came to the U.S. and spent a couple days with us. Our time together exploring D.C. reminded Brent and me of our time in Deutschland and inspired us to try (again) to create one of our favorite Bavarian meals—schweinebraten.

This flavorful, crispy-skinned pork roast is traditionally served with potato dumplings, sauerkraut and gravy made from the pork roast drippings. We decided to serve it with sauerkraut and sautéed greens. Whatever you chose to have on the side, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

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Braised Ethiopian Chicken Thighs

Once upon a time, in seventh grade, I had a friend from Ethiopia. Dinners at her house were the most flavorful and spicy I had ever experienced. She recently found me on Facebook and I have daydreamed a few times about the delicious meals we had together as children.

This recipe was inspired by that experience. It also came about because I was in the mood for chicken and stew a few weekends ago, but didn’t want to wait hours on end for a chicken stew to cook. We had experienced chilly, rainy weather for a few days straight and I needed comfort food.

Braising allowed me to get some aspects of a hot, rich stew without all the wait-time. I hope you’ll find this Ethiopian-inspired meal as comforting and enjoyable as I did!

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Paleo Picadillo

Picadillo is a dish made with ground beef, tomatoes, and spices. Popular in many Spanish-speaking countries as well as the Philippines, this take on using minced meat is a flavor-filled option. The addition of green olives and raisins is something I would have never expected to work (like I felt about the sauce for my mom’s cocktail smokies), but was gladly proved wrong. You’ll enjoy this picadillo on its own, with cauliflower rice, or even mixed up into leftovers with eggs or additional sautéed greens.

We were inspired to do this recipe by the ground beef from Butcher Box in our freezer. Butcher Box is a 100% grass-fed meat subscription service. It’s an excellent way to get quality, healthy meat delivered to your door without breaking the bank or investing in a chest freezer. (Learn more here!) We typically just use ground beef to make chili or burgers, but we wanted to do something new with this grass-fed ground beef. We hope you will check out the Butcher Box website, get some great quality meats, and enjoy this recipe!

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