Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tender Flavorful Beef Carnitas - Clean Eating, Paleo, Gluten Free

Shredded Beef Carnitas served over top a fresh Mexican salad.

These Beef Carnitas are very tender and mildly sweet and spicy. If you use raw or fresh (not cooked or pasteurized) pineapple juice, it will tenderize your meat further by the bromelain content that pineapples contain. This recipe is very similar to my Pork Carnitas, I just added a bit more garlic to the beef version. See my Pork Carnitas recipe on my other blog called BeauteandtheFeast.blogspot.com.

You can make these carnitas in advance but it is super easy to make 4 hours before you plan on eating dinner. You will have a lot of leftover meat, unless you are feeding quite a large family. The left over meat is perfect for filling chimichangas, burritos or tacos, or use in a Mexican-style casserole, or as a Mexican salad topper, ... Yum.

What I love about meats that have been simmered in well-flavored broths or sauces, is that it usually keeps the meat from tasting oxidized when the meat is reheated as leftovers. Oxidation is prevented by the use of herbs and spices. Adequate salt in the cooking liquid helps all the flavors to permeate the meat, bringing the flavor throughout nicely. Reheating the meat on the stove instead of in the microwave keeps the leftover meat tasting fresh.

I am one of the unusual (weird?) people who can taste that oxidized off-flavor in meat. Rarely have I ever met people who can taste that like I can. It's been really annoying actually, because I can't stand leftover roast beef, chicken (strangely, Costco's rotisserie chicken, boned and packaged air-tight has tasted great), turkey (bleh, although brining it with herbs has helped), pork, let alone game meat. Microwaved meat is the worst! I see other people enjoying their leftover reheated whatever, and I can't eat it with out feeling sick, and I have to pick the meat out. It makes it hard for me to get the protein I want. I can usually eat meat if its freshly prepared with out a problem, unless it's old, improperly stored meat. Believe it or not, I do not like being a vegetarian. I will eat that way a lot, but I listen to my body in it's requests for good meat. It took me until I was in my late 30's to even figure out what that yucky "taste" was. I was doing research on professional food manufacturing and how a company was attempting to deal with the off-flavors of oxidized meat, extending it's shelf life. I found out I wasn't crazy after all....I'm just a "Super Taster." I should have a Super Hero cape made for that.

On to the recipe...


Beef Carnitas Recipe:

2 t. chili powder (gluten-free)
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. BioSalt or sea salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 pound beef roast, fresh or thawed
1 to 2 T. deodorized coconut oil
24 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice (can use 6 oz frozen concentrate plus 18 oz water)


Method:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix the spices and salt together. Rub onto the entire surface of the meat.

Heat a large dutch oven (with a tight-fitting lid) on medium-high, add the coconut oil and sear the roast on all sides until brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Pour the pineapple juice over the roast, cover and place in the preheated oven for about 4 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender.

Shred the meat in the pot with 2 forks, stir into the juice and cover to keep warm.

Use in your favorite Mexican-style recipes.



Photos of the process:


Rub all sides of the roast with spice mixture.

Brown all sides of the seasoned roast in deodorized coconut oil in a dutch oven



Pour the pineapple juice over top and place on the lid.

Bake tightly covered at least 4 hours, until fall-apart tender.

Shred the Meat once it is fall-apart tender

Stir the shredded meat into the juice.

Serve hot with your favorite Mexican meal (this salad is dairy-free and grain-free).


Enjoy,

Leila.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Copy Cat Kneader's Autumn Bisque Soup


Thick, rich, slightly sweet, and perfectly spiced = Decadent - that's what this soup is...

This soup reminds me of pumpkin pie. Pie you can drink! Actually, it's not nearly as sweet as pumpkin pie, but I do think it is richer. A good friend of mine loves this soup from Kneader's Cafe in Utah. Because it is so rich, she orders in in a small 1/2-cup size and enjoys a salad with it. That's all you need, trust me! She, knowing I love to cook, has commented a few times about this delicious soup. I told her I wanted to taste it because I thought I could duplicate the recipe if I did. On our next visit, she brought me some. So I made my own version of this soup, tasting and comparing it with Kneader's soup as I went.

I am very please with the outcome. I used plain canned pumpkin instead of butternut squash, because it is super convenient. Either kind of squash works, just make sure it is a smooth puree. The sweetness level is identical. The spices are right on. The texture is also a match. You can use half organic milk and half heavy cream if you want to lighten the soup up a touch. If you want to lower the carbs, use 1/2 c. cream and 1/2 c. water instead.

I have not tried it yet, but I think rich coconut milk would work great in this recipe, for a dairy-free option. Coconut oil instead of butter could be used as well, but butter tastes better!

This is an autumn and winter soup, good enough to serve company. The fact that it is so easy to make is a bonus. I hope you like it!




Copy Cat Kneader's Autumn Bisque Soup Recipe:

1 T. Flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 T. butter
3 T. coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar) (use Golden Lakanto or brown 'Just Like Sugar' for a sugar-free version)
3/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. butternut squash puree (or plain canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 c. purified water
1/16 t. onion powder
1/2 t. organic chicken base
1/2 t. sea salt
1 c. cream

Method:

In a medium sized soup pot melt the butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add the flour and make a roux, letting the butter brown for flavor.

Add the coconut palm sugar and let it caramelize a little for rich caramel flavor notes. Do not burn.

Add the pumpkin pie spice and let it sizzle a few seconds to bloom the spice blend's flavor.

Add some of the water (carefully) and stir in until all the palm sugar is dissolved.

Add the butternut squash or pumpkin puree and the rest of the water, stirring to blend.

Add the onion powder and chicken base and then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.

Add the cream and let it simmer about 5 minutes, Do not let it boil.

Check for consistency before serving. Add more water if it is too thick. It should not be thin and running off the spoon, but it shouldn't be falling off the spoon in blobs either.

Serve hot in 1/3rd to 1/2 cup portions.

Garnish with butter toasted pecans that have been dusted with a mixture of cinnamon and coconut palm fruit sugar (replacing regular white sugar)


This is a very rich, decadent soup!

Notes: 

For the pecans I would chop them, saute then in just a bit of butter or coconut oil, then dust with cinnamon sugar. You can mix 'Just Like Sugar' (natural sugar substitute) with cinnamon for a sugar-free version. You may use organic coconut palm sugar for a healthier sugar (not sugar-free).

For the croutons I would use gluten-free bread cubes tossed with a bit of melted coconut oil and then toasted until crisp in the oven. While they are still hot, sprinklecroutons with your desired cinnamon sugar mixture and let cool.


This is what Kneader's Autumn Bisque Soup looks like. They top it with cinnamon pecans and a cinnamon sugar crouton.

The pecans seem like they are lightly sauteed in butter then sprinkled with a tiny bit of cinnamon sugar.

Kneader's soup in the plastic cup compared to my version on the plate. They look very similar.

My finished copy cat version.

Cinnamon toast would be nice on the side, or make your own sugar-free cinnamon sugar GF croutons. 

Enjoy!

Leila.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

South African Sour Cream Green Beans - A Quick & Easy side dish


Creamy, zesty, tangy, and savory, this side dish adds interest to any classic dinner. I love this unique recipe. My mom made it when I was a teenager and I made sure I saved the recipe in my recipe box before I left home to start my own family.

I love the creamy tang the sauce lends to the green beans. The sauce is seasoned perfectly, just make sure you use enough salt to bring out all the flavor. Using our BioSalt recipe on this blog is a healthier version to commercial table salt.

Make sure you do not overcook the green beans. they should still be bright green and firm.

This makes a great side dish and is good served with a variety of meats or vegetarian fare. Gently heat any leftovers,


Sour Cream Green Beans Recipe:

2 packages frozen green beans
2 onions, diced
2 T. butter or olive oil
1/2 c. organic sour cream
1/2 c.plain yogurt
1 t. red wine vinegar
1/4 t. coconut palm sugar (or sugar)
2 t. sweet paprika
garlic, to taste
onion powder, to taste
BioSalt or sea salt, to taste


Method:

Steam the green beans until tender-crisp. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter or olive oil until translucent.

Add the sour cream and yogurt to the onions and turn heat down to a low simmer to avoid curdling the sour cream. Do not let it boil. Stir together well.

Add vinegar, sugar, and paprika. Season to taste with garlic, onion powder, and salt.

Mix in hot steamed green beans. Stir and serve immediately.


Notes: 

Alternately, you may  cook raw, trimmed green beans in lightly salted water, covered, for about 8 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain in a colander and keep warm.

French Creme Fraiche is a great substitute for the sour cream, and it does not curdle when heated like sour cream does!



Enjoy,

Leila.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Refreshing Lime Quinoa Salad - Gluten Free & Healthy


This healthy, vibrant salad is very fresh tasting and delicious. It's an easy keeper in the fridge and is a nice staple to have around for quick meals.

The lime makes the salad bright tasting and the maple syrup tempers the acidity perfectly.

You may serve this with gluten-free corn chips, served over top romaine lettuce or baby spinach, as a lettuce wrap filling, or eat it as-is. It's all good.

You can omit any salt in the recipe so that the salad stores well in your refrigerator a few days without getting watery. Add a touch of salt, to taste, to the portion that is served.

I hope you enjoy this nutritious, easy to make salad as much as we do!




Refreshing Lime Quinoa Salad Recipe:

Salad:


1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1 can black beans, rinsed well
2 large tomatoes, diced small
4 small scallions, including the green tops, minced (or 2 large)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro leaves

Dressing:

zest of 2 large limes (about 1 heaping T.)
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (or rice bran oil)
2 T. real maple syrup
1/2 to 1 t. BioSalt or sea salt
1 to 2 t. salt-free seasoning of choice, optional


Method:

Place the quinoa in a large fine mesh strainer. Rinse the quinoa and soak at least 15 minutes in a bowl of water, and rinse again.

Simmer the quinoa and the 2 cups water in a pot, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand on the burner for another 10 minutes.

Strain off any excess water, then let cool as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Combine the dressing ingredients together in a serving bowl, to taste.

Add the cooked quinoa to the salad dressing and toss well.

Add the drained black beans, tomato, scallions, and fresh cilantro and toss well.

Serve warm or chill and serve cold.


NOTE: 

If you plan on storing in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, only add salt at serving time, as you eat it. This prevents the tomatoes from releasing as much juice, eliminating liquid at the bottom of the bowl. If liquid does accumulate, no worries, just stir and serve.









Enjoy,

Leila.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Winter Vegetables



This is pure comfort food. It warms you thoroughly on a cold winter's night and makes enough to feed at least 6 hungry people.

The chicken is juicy and perfectly seasoned. The roasted vegetables are buttery and tender and compliment the chicken nicely. The sweet potatoes add a delicious touch of sweetness and the rosemary's fragrance perfumes the whole dish. This is a satisfying meal that will be enjoyed often.

This easy meal is inspired by our EASY JUICY ROAST CHICKEN recipe also on this blog.



One Dish Roast Chicken & Vegetables:

Serves 6

4 large organic chicken breasts, brined and cut into large chunks
2 T. deodorized coconut oil for oiling the baking pan
1 onion, cubed
10 to 12 organic carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large organic russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 to 2 large organic sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and mashed with 1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 cup melted organic butter or ghee
1 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t. onion powder
1 t, dried rosemary, crumbled
Sweet paprika, to sprinkle on top as a garnish


Method:

Thaw and brine skinless, boneless chicken breasts in water that has 2 T. sea salt dissolved into it. Let the meat soak completely covered in the brine 30 to 45 minutes. Rinse and cut meat into about 2-inch x 2-inch chunks. Set aside.

Oil an extra large casserole dish with deodorized coconut oil (otherwise you will taste coconut).

Wash and prepare the raw vegetables and place in the oiled baking dish.

Place the raw chunks of chicken on top of the raw vegetables. Sprinkle the meat with the seasoned salt and onion powder. toss the meat to coat with the seasonings evenly.

Sprinkle pepper and rosemary over everything in the baking dish.

Mash the garlic with the salt.

Melt the butter, then add the mashed garlic. Pour the garlic butter over top and toss everything together well to evenly coat.

Sprinkle with paprika and dot with more butter, if desired.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F, for 60 minutes.

Uncover, toss, and bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Serve hot with a fresh green salad and fruit on the side. Have seasoned salt at the table too.


Note: For a dairy-free version, replace the butter with a total of 1/4 c. deodorized coconut oil.




















Enjoy, 

Leila.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Vegan Lemon Jello

Vegan Lemon Jello
We are very excited to bring this recipe to you. We have been thinking about creating this for a few years... it was one of those back burner projects. This is an excellent recipe. It's like real jello!

Have you ever had vegan jello before? No? Well, I will tell you about it... It is typically a harder gel than traditional gelatin jello. It's pretty tough and stiff actually. Not excellent to eat. It doesn't really jiggle either, which is half the fun. You miss the tender, bouncy mouth-feel of traditional jello.

Well, we worked out all those issues for you! My mom did actually on her first attempt. This original recipe was created by my mother, Nancy Glazier on July 14, 2015. We will be creating more versions of jello in the future, just so you know.

We also got rid of all the sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. Very cool, right? Now we can all eat a healthy, low carb, chemical free jello, and kids will love it too.

In formulating, taste is king, and texture is queen. That means if a healthy food doesn't first, taste good, and second, have an agreeable texture, the healthy food is OUT. People will not eat it (Well, maybe 2 people will eat it), Which means if the product sells once and misses the mark, consumers will not buy the product again. That's not good for business.


Taste and texture is our specialty here at the Kitchen Cheetahs Test Kitchens. Part of our job when we professionally formulate is to make healthy foods taste good and have nice texture. We create a lot of delicious and unique formulas that are not commercially manufactured, which is a bonus for your family and ours. That's why we do it, so we can all benefit (and we love the creative challenge too).

So this is one of those recipes we created because we wanted a much better option than what is available in stores, or found from online recipe searches.

Follow the directions in the order given, so the texture turns out perfectly, it's worth the effort.

We hope you love this recipe like we do!



Tangy Vegan Lemon Jello:

2 1/2 c. plus 2 T. water, divided
3/4 t. tapioca starch
1/2 c. boiling water
2 t. agar agar powder
1 small pinch tumeric powder
3/4 c. white Lakanto zero-calorie sweetener, powder
3 T. strained lemon juice
1 T. vegetable glycerine
1 drop organic lemon essential oil
Stevia Glycerite, to taste


Method:

Dissolve 3/4 t. tapioca starch into 2 T. water. Set aside.

Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the tapioca starch slurry to the boiling water while stirring. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix 2 t. agar agar powder into 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. Whisk in 1 3/4 cup more water and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Cook and stir the agar agar mixture until it comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute. The solution should reach 190 to 195 degrees F, to fully dissolve the agar agar.

Mix the thickened tapioca water into the agar agar solution.

After mixing together well add 1 small pinch of tumeric powder (for color), and 3/4 cup powdered white Lakanto.

Stir in 3 T. Strained fresh lemon juice (you can add up to 1/4 cup for a very tart lemon jello).

Stir in 1 T. vegetable glycerine, 1 drop lemon essential oil, and stevia glycerite to taste.

Reheat the mixture, stirring occasionally, to 190 degrees F. Let sit 5 minutes.

Pour into molds and allow to set UNDISTURBED for at least one hour (up to 3 hours).

Chill before serving. Unmold jello by setting molds in very hot water for about 30 seconds.


NOTE:

If you coat the jello molds very lightly with a non-stick coating spray like Pam, the jello will unmold more readily.


video

See how fun and jiggly this amazing jello is... Watch the video above.




Beautiful, isn't it?


Enjoy!

Leila & Nancy.

Crazy Good Pear Sorbet - Protein fortified, sugar free, and healthy!



Try this Kitchen Cheetahs original recipe! We L-O-V-E this easy to make Pear Sorbet...

This sorbet is truly refreshing. delicious and has an amazing frosty texture. The sweet pear flavor is so bright and perfectly balanced with fresh tart lemon juice. It doesn't melt too quickly, so you have longer to savor it. Serve it for lunch. Serve it a a snack. Serve it to cleanse the palate at a dinner party. Serve it in the heat of summer. Serve it for dessert. Just serve it! You'll love it.

Here's the kicker...

It's sugar free (except for the naturally occurring fruit sugar from the pear), it's rich in vitamin C, which is good for your immune system, and it is protein enriched!

We offer you a healthy, good for you sorbet. It feels like you are cheating, but your'e NOT.

Party! 

If you live a clean eating life style, want to control your blood sugar, are avoiding dairy, or are on a low carb diet,  This is the clean, low carb frozen treat for you!

We much prefer to use collagen powder instead of egg white protein powder in this recipe. The texture is better and the flavor is cleaner with the collagen. Adding egg white protein is an OK alternative though, in case you do not have collagen powder in your pantry yet (get some).

We also do not recommend adding any plant-based protein powder to this recipe because the sorbet's flavor is so delicate, the color is so white, and the texture is so perfect as it is.




Fragrant Pear Protein-Fortified Sorbet (or Slushie):

1/2 c. cold water (you may need up to 3/4 c.)
1/2 t. unflavored gelatin powder
1 c. frozen pear cubes (1 large pear, peeled, cubed, and frozen)
1 T. vegetable glycerine
2 to 3 t. fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/2 t. vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid)
2 T. KC Sugar Substitute, to taste
1 T. collagen powder (or egg white powder as a 2nd choice)
8 to 10 ice cubes (8 to 10 ounces ice)
Stevia Glycerite, to taste


Method:

Advance preparation:

Sprinkle 1/2 t. gelatin onto the cold water and set aside 5 minutes. Heat to melt the gelatin. Cool then chill the gelatin mixture until it sets up. See note below.

Peel, core, and dice ripe pears and then freeze in individual pieces.

To make Sorbet:

Put into a high powered blender (we prefer the VitaMix):

The chilled gelatin mixture
1/4 c. cold water (you may need more water to process)
1 heaping c. frozen ripe pear (1 large pear)
2 T. vegetable glycerine
1/2 vitamin C powder
2 T KC sugar substitute
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. collagen

Puree using the tamper until smoothly integrated, then begin adding ice cubes, two at a time. Use a total of 8 to 10 ice cubes.

Blend until thick.

Add stevia glycerite to taste.

Serve immediately in frozen glasses.


NOTE:

You may prepare a quart of this gelatin gel and keep in the fridge for convenience. In a quart jar add 2 cups of cold water. Add 2 T. plus 2 t. plain gelatin powder to the jar of water. let it sit 5 minutes then heat to melt the gelatin in the microwave. Add 2 cups more water to the jar. Stir and chill the mixture in the refrigerator. Measure out 1/2 cup of this gel per batch of pear sorbet.


Placing frozen ingredients into the VitaMix blender.

Our Sorbet recipe melts much more slowly, so you have longer to enjoy it's frosty texture.

A beautiful frosty mug of PEAR SORBET!


Enjoy!

Leila & Nancy.