Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lamb & Beef Kefta and "Hummus"

Starting today CaveBoy and I are fortifying ourselves against back-to-school-colds and damp-weather-ick by eliminating dairy and inflammation inducing oils, along with all processed foods with even a hint of added sugar or harmful additives. If you're interested, we are following the guidelines of the Whole30 program.

In practical terms, following this program means that we will only be eating food prepared at home for the next month. So I need to step up my game!

Over the summer our good friend made a delicious spread of paleo appetizers, including roasted cauliflower hummus, and I have been thinking about it ever since.  Because I was in the mood for raw veggies--and ranch dressing is off the menu--I decided to build our entire lunch box around this delicious dip.

I found this recipe for cauliflower hummus online, which gave me an idea of the ingredient ratios, and I based my seasoning profile for the kefta on another recipe I found after a quick google search.

Lamb & Beef Kefta

2 lbs ground lamb
2 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Large pinch of salt
Black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined.  Divide into 10 equal portions, and then divide each again twice, for a total of 40 equally sized portions. Roll into elongated meatballs of equal thickness.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Don't you want to have this in your lunch box?

        Cal        Fat   Carb    Protein
L&B Kefta 432 30* 0 35
"Hummus" 118 10 6 4
Veggies 31 0 6 3
Total 580 40* 12 41
*The fat content of the Kefta is a little misleading.  A large portion of the fat is left in the pan after cooking, but I am not quite sure how to capture that here.

Roasted Cauliflower "Hummus" 

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup tahini, well mixed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Wash and break-down cauliflower into equal sized pieces.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a few shakes of salt and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until browned (and softened).  About 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  In a food processor, puree cauliflower, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice until it has the consistency of a thick paste.  Shake in salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste, and continue mixing until completely combined.

Note: this is my first attempt at this recipe and, while it tastes amazing, I think I can do better.  I will continue my research and update this post if I decide I like different ingredient ratios.

Update: I re-worked the hummus and posted the much-improved recipe here. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Key Lime CavePie

I would love to say that I invented this amazingly delicious, paleo key lime pie, but I cannot.  I have to give credit where credit is due.  Last week, I was playing around with a gelatin-based strawberry coconut milk pie-type recipe (that I haven't quite perfected) and my good friend CB asked if I had considered key lime.  She is a genius. She also coined the CavePie term, which I have embraced despite my suspicion that she is mocking me...

I was further inspired by two genius bloggers who are much more creative than I have been, to date.  The pie crust is based on a recipe from Jan Can Cook that I found on Pinterest, and the pie filling was stolen outright from a lemon bar recipe.

But I was the one to assemble it all in one place. So. You're welcome.

Key Lime CavePie

Key Lime CavePie

For the Crust:


1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil


Melt the coconut oil and honey in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the coconut, stirring continuously.  Once it has reached a uniform golden brown, transfer into a greased pie plate (I used spray coconut oil to grease the plate).  Allow the mixture to cool to a point where it is safe to touch, then press into the plate with your fingers.  Place in the refrigerator to cool while you make the filling.

For the Filling:


5 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon honey


Whisk all ingredients together in an unheated sauce pan then place over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken.  Lift from the heat and continue whisking until the filling is thick. Transfer into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Pull out the cooled pie crust and filling and spoon the filling into the pie plate.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Makes 6 servings.

This pie has been a universal hit!  I took one to ladies movie night and it received rave reviews. CaveBoy's only suggestion for next time was to double the amount of filling.

Nutritional Information

       Cal        Fat   Carb    Protein

Total 1629.82 151.26 52.97 34.27
Serving 271.64 25.21 8.83 5.71

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who Needs Croutons? I've Got Bacon!

CaveBoy and I have been overwhelmed lately with work and end of summer activities (those holiday weekends aren't going to celebrate themselves).  So "easy to prepare" has been the most important quality for our weekly meals.  Enter the salad.

Earlier this summer, we spent a long weekend at Club Med, Sandpiper Bay basking in the Florida sun, sailing and paddle boarding daily, and taking full advantage of the all-inclusive meal package.  This included a 3 PM chicken caesar salad snack.  While the bottled dressing was full of ingredients I normally avoid, the experience reminded me how much I love a good caesar salad. Fast-forward to the end of the summer, and voila.

Look at those chunks of bacon!

Cal       Fat       Carb       Protein
667.4     39.5      9.2        79.5 

For the dressing, I mixed one serving of Annie's Naturals Organic Caesar Dressing and one tablespoon lemon juice to make the salad easer to toss.  I then sprinkled one tablespoon parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, then topped it all off with bacon croutons.  Each salad also included one grilled chicken breast.  

For the bacon croutons, I cut Wellshire Farms thick cut bacon into small cubes and cooked them in a large skillet until they became crunchy but not burned.

Here they are, just getting started.

All finished. See how crunchy and delicious they look?
I cooked all the bacon (and grilled chicken) ahead of time so I could just rinse the lettuce and assemble each salad at meal time.  Of note: I found that this salad is also delicious dressing-free.  I needed a quick packed lunch one Saturday, so I tossed the ingredients (minus the dressing) into a container and ran out the door.  The saltiness of the bacon and parmesan made up for the lack of dressing.