High Temperature Eye of Round Roast

If you read the pumpkin brownie recipe yesterday, and you cared at all about the nutritional information, you should go back and see the correction. When I put the original into DailyBurn it was as 1/8th the recipe as a serving size. If you cut like me. You cut the dish in quarters one way, and then quarters the other way. This means there are 16 pieces, not 8. Oops. Either way, you can mod it to how you cut it.

Tonights meat course was High Temperature Eye of Round Roast. After a super full of fail roast a few months ago, I wasn’t holding my breath on this one. But as I just finished dinner, I can say it was quite good and will likely be how I make roast again if/when I find awesome ones on sale (as I did this weekend at Whole Foods). As I understand it, Eye of Round roasts are usually a cheaper cut of meat that if not treated correctly, can turn into shoe leather upon cooking (this is how my last roast turned out). This recipe? Divine! While I will agree with some commenters on the original recipe that the meat is NOT hot when you take it out, it is however cooked and tasty. I like my beef on the rare side of medium, so I made some modifications, also taking into account our gas stove.

Here’s how mine came out and below is how I did it.

High Temperature Eye of Round Roast
Notes:
*This includes modifications for having a gas oven. You should read the original if you have an electric, or some other modification to your oven.
**My oven runs somewhere around 50 degrees hot. When I first checked the preheat, it was at 500. When I finally went to put the meat in, it was already up around 550. So my meat likely didn’t cook exactly according to plan. It still turned out fine.

1. Take your meat out of the fridge and unwrap it. You can just let it sit on the counter this way.
2. Preheat the oven to 500F. I suggest walking away for a bit to let the roast come up to close to room temperature and to let your oven preheat.
3. Place the roast in an appropriate sized oven vessel. Slather with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
4. Place the roast in the oven and turn the heat down to 475F.
5. Roast for 7 minutes per pound (so my 1.4 lb roast went in for a bit less than 10 min).
6. Turn the oven to 200F for 50 min. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!! Resist the urge to check. All it will do is prematurely lower the temperature of your oven and for this technique, that is bad.
7. Turn the oven off for 40 min. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!!
8. Remove. I just cut into mine and it looked fine. Slice and serve as desired.

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Brussel sprouts, the good way

I hear rumors that many people don’t like brussel sprouts. I’m not sure why, as to me, they are quite tasty.

Here’s how I did them last night to go with some bland and disappointing Porkchops with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce (granted, I did forget to add the basil at the end). According to the Joy of Cooking, this recipe is THE way to get people to like brussel sprouts. I’m not too sure on that, as they definitely taste like brussel sprouts when they are done. But if you already like them, or are willing to give it a try, I think this is my new fall back for making brussel sprouts. I of course modified the recipe a bit from how it’s written in the Joy of Cooking.

I did this in my cast iron skillet which is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever bought with tax return money. I use mine almost every day (yay bacon and eggs for breakfast!). In fact, when I put the “lid” on (which is actually what I normally use to cook said bacon and eggs) it was covered in bacon grease, nom!

Yummy brussel sprouts
1. Chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet over medium heat.
3. Add the garlic and let it brown, stirring every once in a while.
4. Rinse and cut your brussel sprouts in half. I had probably 3 dozen or so of them.
5. Add the brussel sprouts to the skillet, give them a good stir, cover the whole shebang, and turn the heat to low.
6. Cook 10-20 min, depending on your needs and how you like things cooked. Ours were probably closer to 25 min and had a nice light caramelization on them.

Unfortunately, this is all thats left :(

Emotional eating

If you’d asked me early last week, or at any earlier point in my life, if I was an emotional eater, I would have told you no. I’ve never been known to try to drown my sorrows in food. Now, I have been known to consume an entire pint of Haagen Dazs (back when it actually was a full pint) or Ben and Jerry’s (before they sold out and the quality of their ice cream plummeted). But I do it because I like ice cream. Not necessarily after a bad day, or a break up, or yada yada yada. These days I only buy Blue Bunny natural vanilla, the ingredients of which are actually pretty good, but I digress. Last week and into this week, I learned something new about myself.

While I’m sure my attempts at being Primal don’t even meet the 80/20 idea, since my birthday last week I know I’ve fallen well short of that. I’ve had rice. And french fries. And nachos. Tonight we had breakcrumbs on the pork and the sauce over pasta. You get the idea. And this isn’t because I was out painting the town red with friends and eating crappy food choices. I wasn’t eating fabulous meals cooked by friends (well, the broccoli garlic chicken cooked by my boyfriend was fabulous). No, instead I was mad. Resentful. And quite a bit sad, and asking myself ‘Why give a shit? I’ll eat whatever the fuck I want.’

See, I have a LONG history of despising my birthday. I think the perfect example to give has always been my 16th birthday, when I invited a shit ton of people over, and only one person showed up. I think I gave up on any happy hopes for my birthdays after that. I held it together well last year for my 30th birthday. I even managed to put together a dinner outing and a drinking outing. This year? Lets just say it’s a week and a half later and I’m still mad. And resentful. And sad. And full of pasta.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post, but I felt like it needed to be put out there. It’s where I am right now in my attempt to be a mature adult and take care of myself. Some days I do better than others. Right now I’m just trying to pick myself up again and get back on my feet. And not be resentful. Or mad. Or sad.

GF grainless chocolate chip pumpkin brownies

That title is way too long. I think these should be renamed light and fluffy awesome bars.

This Primal Life provided the base recipe. I took some of the comments, combined them, and made the recipe my own. This recipe comes out shockingly light and fluffy. It’s definitely going in the make again pile. The only change will be to up the spice mixture to likely 2 tsp total.

0. Preheat oven to 350. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, you should get one. Our oven is at least 50 degrees off, but not consistently across the temperature range.
1. Mix well in a medium bowl
1 c almond butter (I used MaraNatha no stir chunky)
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 oz Baker’s semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 in pan.
3. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a knife/toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Mine took 35 min)
Serves 8 16.

According to DailyBurn, the nutrition breakdown is (corrected 9/27/10 for cutting into 16 pieces as I did for mine):
148 calories
10.5 g fat
15 mg cholesterol
45 mg sodium
12 g carbohydrate
4 g protein
If you’d like to know more, please feel free to ask. It’s saved on DailyBurn as GF grainfree pumpkin brownies.

Preventing a glutening

I’ve been gluten free for 7.5 years. I Should Know Better. I should be used to all that comes with living a medically necessary gluten free life. I don’t cry anymore walking by the bakery section in the store. I try at all costs to never need to go down the cookie and cracker isle. I shop with mental blinders on. I can tell you where the gluten free flours are. I now where in the regular baking area the gluten free Betty Crocker mixes live. The glutened filled ones? I know they are in the store, but I never pay them any mind. I go for what I need and rarely skim around to see what else is there.
I know however that the hallmark of gluten free shopping is label reading. All the time. Every time. No matter what product you are buying. I know this. Yet still after 7.5 years, some things still slip through. *We* were supposed to be having rib tips for dinner made in the crock pot with yummy BBQ sauce. This is one of the boyfriend’s dishes. He started them a few hours ago and they smell DIVINE. As I was standing in the kitchen, waiting for my lunch to reheat (the rest of the butter chicken from earlier this week), I started eyeballing the empty BBQ sauce bottle. A number of weeks back we tried one of the flavors from Stubbs and it was so very tasty. As we’re always trying to mix things up, we tried a new flavor this time. I stuck my finger in the jar to get a little taste and decided to read the ingredients. After all, I’m supposed to be trying to be primal right now. Is there HFCS in this one? And there it was. Me licking my finger, and the ingredient list saying fermented wheat. *sigh* I’m already feeling shitty today, so I doubt a fingertip full is really going to have any effect on me. But it means the boy gets to eat all the ribs all by himself. Booooo. At least I realized this NOW rather than after dinner start wondering why I feel even worse. At least I still get french fries for dinner :)

500 Fruits: update #5

Since I last updated, I’ve had to alphabetize my list. At more than 50, I was already buying ‘new’ fruits only to realize I had already tried them. And I ended up with white nectarine on my list twice. At 67 70, here is my now alphabetized list. (Apparently I’ve forgotten a few times to add some things to my list, as I’m sure I’ve had more tomato variants than I have on my list, but I can’t remember what kinds, and I know I’ve had a few squash…).

39 Africot, Black Velvet
67 apple, cortland
64 apple, crab
65 apple, paula red
61 apple, WI gala
14 Apricot
26 Asian pear
17 Avocado
6 Banana
44 banana, red
31 Blackberries
18 Blueberries
58 cactus fruit
29 Cantaloupe
46 cherries, dark sweet
28 cherries, Rainier
38 cherries, sweet red
37 Clementine
70 date, medjool
51 eggplant
56 gooseberries
32 Grapefruit
50 grapes, black
55 grapes, concord
20 grapes, green seedless
10 Grapes, seedless red
5 Guanabana
7 kiwifruit
52 lemon
34 lime
42 lychee nuts
62 mandarin, daisy
2 Mango
60 mango-nectarine
53 melon, horn
47 melon, sprite
36 mulberries
15 Nectarine
41 nectarine, white
12 orange, navel
4 Papaya
9 passion fruit
11 Peach
54 peach, donut
43 pear, bartlett
24 pear, D’anjou
30 pear, Packham’s Triumph
27 Pear, red Anjou
63 pear, star krimson
25 pepper, bell (red)
33 pepper, jalapeno
35 pineapple
22 plum, black
48 plum, dapple dandy
66 plum, egg
3 Plum, purple
21 Plum, red
45 plum, yellow
23 Pluot
40 Pluot, Red Velvet
59 prune plum
13 Raspberries
57 star fruit
8 strawberries
19 tomato, grape
69 tomato, heirloom
68 tomato, roma
16 tomato, vine on
1 Watermelon
49 zucchini

And if you’ve been wondering how I keep track of this… I’ve been printing out my list every once in a blue moon, then I hand write new additions to the list, update the typed list every once in a while and reprint it, rinse repeat. I fold up the printed list and keep it in the small card holder on my key chain so that I always have it with me.

Butter Chicken

This is honestly the first Butter Chicken recipe I’ve come across that actually tastes close to what I think Butter Chicken should taste like. I think it could still use some spice modifications, but this will be a make every once in a while recipe.

The recipe is from Mark’s Daily Apple. Below I’ve written out exactly how I did it with a couple of ideas for how to do it differently next time.

A word about spices. Why anyone still buys spices in the grocery store in little tiny plastic bottles is kind of beyond me. They are EXPENSIVE! And if you want to try just a little bit of something, you’ve still got to buy the whole damn bottle. These days, even for things I use in large quantity, I get my spices from the bulk jars at the coop. For $1.09 I bought enough cumin for three or four of this recipe. When I want to try a new spice I simply buy only a teaspoon or two or just enough for whatever recipe I’m trying it in. Simple. Cheap. And I don’t end up with a ton of spices I won’t use.

Butter Chicken
1. In a medium mixing bowl combine:
6 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
2 t garam masala
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t paprika
3/4 c greek style yogurt (this turns out to be VERY important, every other recipe I’ve ever used called for regular, and I honestly think this made a huge difference)
2. Chop about 1.5 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs (this was 10 chicken thighs for us, might have been a bit over 1.5lb). Combine the chicken with the yogurt/spice mixture. Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally two.

3. In a large pan/pot (I used my small stock pot) melt 7 T butter.
4. Add 8 chopped roma tomatoes, 1 T white vinegar, 3 T tomato paste, 6 crushed cardamom pods and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring this to a boil and continue boiling until the sauce is thick, mine took about 25 min.
5. Reduce heat and add the chicken mixture. Continue simmering, stirring every once in a while until the chicken is cooked, about another 20 minutes.
6. Add 1.5 c heavy cream and heat to your liking (some commenters on the original recipe found it soupy, mine was perfectly fine, but I like sauce).
7. Serve as desired.

I have to wonder if marinating longer than an hour would help bring out the spice flavor, as I found the dish kind of mild in the bland sort of way.