Homemade Adobo Seasoning

I grew up eating a lot of latin food at home and though I cannot currently eat rice and beans, so sad, I still like to add latin flavors to my dishes. A very popular spice blend in latino homes is Goya’s Adobo. However, there’s been some msg concerns and even though the label says there’s tumeric in the blend, Adobo looks a little pale to me. I prefer to make my own Adobo at home–you can even make it organic by using organic spices. It’s really easy!

You only need 5 ingredients: (this makes about 1/4 cup of Adobo)

  • 2 tbsp salt (sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, whatever)
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp tumeric

Mix it all together and you’ve got your own Adobo. If you want, run it through a spice grinder or small food processor. I don’t bother because I’m lazy about cleaning extra stuff haha. I like to keep it in a tiny mason jar and just make small batches at a time. It’s pretty much an all-purpose seasoning. It’s great for meats, veggies, whatever. Enjoy!

Chili Beef & Pork Lettuce Wraps

The other day I made amazing scrambled eggs — the Gordon Ramsay way. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular scrambled eggs. See here. Anyways, since then the boyfriend and I have decided to try out a few more of his recipes. Of course I had to de-gluten and paleoify them. They came out awesome! So here is the first. (My only tip would be to keep in mind that there are salty ingredients in this dish when you are seasoning with salt.) Watch Gordon make the wraps here.

Chili Beef & Pork Lettuce Wraps

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chilies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (add a little water and mix/dissolve it if it’s very solid)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (red boat brand is good)
  • zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/3
  • 3 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • lettuce! to use as lettuce cups (romaine heart leaves hold up pretty well. Gordon Ramsay suggests using 2 little gem lettuces–I couldn’t find any–separated into leaves)

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari (if you’re okay with soy- tamari isn’t paleo but it is gluten free)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 red chili, thinly sliced
  • small bunch of cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a large frying pan and add a little olive oil. Mix the ground beef and pork together. Season the meat with salt and pepper and mix again to distribute the seasoning.
  2. Add the meat to the hot pan and cook until the meat is crisp and browned. Drain the meat in a strainer so that it will stay crispy. Set it aside.
  3. Wipe the excess oil out of the pan and add the sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chili. Fry with a pinch of salt and the honey for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the drained meat and stir in the fish sauce.
  5. Stir in lime zest and juice. Then add in the green onion, stir for 30 seconds. Take it off the heat.
  6. Mix the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.
  7. Spoon the meat into the lettuce cups and drizzle with a little bit of dressing. Ready to eat!


It seems like a lot of ingredients, but if you’re like me and like cooking asian-influenced dishes you might have a lot of these ingredients on hand already. I joined a local farm meat CSA, so I already had the meat in my freezer. I just had to buy chili peppers, a lime, scallions, cilantro, and lettuce “cups”. Also, if you don’t have ground pork on hand I’d just use all beef for this recipe. Hope you like it!!

P.S. Don’t be like me…when putting in/ taking out contacts remember you chopped chili peppers fairly recently. Oww.

Veggie Tuna Salad

  
This is one of my favorite new lunches (or dinners) to make. All you need is a cucumber, a small tomato, some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and of course a can of tuna.

I like using albacore tuna in olive oil. I like Wild Planet brand tuna because it’s dolphin and turtle safe as well as being safer for me since it’s wild caught (not farmed) fish and supposedly it also has lower mercury than traditional canned tuna. Plus is tasty! I’m sure there are other great wild caught tuna brands out there but so far Wild Planet is the only brand stocked at all of the supermarkets I use.

I like that there’s no measuring required and you can throw in whatever you like. I like to throw in scallions, shredded carrot and some lime juice or sometimes a little extra olive oil. And it is amazing with avocado!!! You could also use another vinegar (or none at all-but I find it helps cut some of the extra fishy taste) I’m sure it would be tasty with some apple cider vinegar for instance (I’m gonna try that next time).

You chop and throw everything together in a bowl and mix it up, then let it sit for a few minutes to “marinate” while you make the cucumber “crackers”. That’s it! It takes me about 10 minutes total. And the best part is that it has a ton of protein so it’s actually very filling. I usually have leftovers for a snack later.

Tips:

  • I take the seeds out of my tomato before chopping to help prevent the salad from getting too watery.
  • If you are using tuna in oil, keep most of the oil from the can but if you’re using tuna in water I would recommend draining it and then adding a little bit of olive oil to the salad when you’re mixing.
  • Sometimes I make fried plantains aka tostones aka patacones to use as “crackers”. It’s delicious. Do it.

Ghee aka liquid gold!

Ghee has been around for a really, really long time. It originated in ancient India and is still used all the time in Indian cooking. It’s part the Ayurvedic tradition and is known for its medicinal benefits as well as for being super delicious.

Ghee is known for being good for the digestion – acting as a lubricant (if you know what I mean). Some people actually put it in their eyes because it’s supposed to be good for your vision as well. It’s also sometimes used directly on the skin as a moisturizer, although I wouldn’t put it on my face because it will probably clog your pores.

I like to use my ghee for cooking! And actually sometimes also for oil pulling. In Indian cooking ghee is heated in a pan and then spices are added to the ghee and sautéed for a while to help bring out all the flavors. Then the rest of the ingredients are added to the ghee and spices- unlike the way most of us cook, seasoning while or after cooking the main ingredients.

Ghee I made a few days ago! I love the golden color.

Ghee is great for cooking because it has a high smoke point. This means that unlike butter, that burns really quickly, you can cook at high heat with ghee. It has a really great flavor that is similar to butter but has a sort of butterscotch or toffee taste to it. It is also a great option for those who are lactose or casein intolerant because the process of making ghee separates the milk solids in butter from the pure oil. Many people who cannot tolerate lactose or casein can consume ghee without any negative effects.

You can buy ghee at most health stores and at Indian food stores as well as online. Some well known brands that sell their ghee online are Tin Star Foods and OMghee. I personally like to make ghee at home because it ends up being a lot cheaper and I can infuse it with flavors if I want to. Making ghee is really simple and takes about 30 minutes or so.

Ghee is mostly solid at room temperature and because the milk solids and water have been removed it can be left out of the refrigerator. When I make ghee I usually end up with multiple jars so I keep out the one I’m currently using and store the rest in the fridge. Remember to always use a clean, dry utensil when scooping out some ghee, especially if you’re leaving it out of the fridge. You don’t want it to spoil after all that work!

How to make ghee!

  1. Start by unwrapping your (grassfed) unsalted butter – I like Kerrygold. It’s important to use unsalted as the salt apparently does weird things when you’re cooking.
  2. Place your butter in a (light colored bottom) pot or large pan. I didn’t realize until after I had melted my butter that I shouldn’t use the darkest pan I own because it will be hard to see when the milk solids are browning at the bottom! Duh! Also, you can cut up the butter if you want but I always find that it melts quickly either way.
  3. Turn up the heat to about medium and let the butter melt.
  4. When the butter has all melted and you see the butter start to simmer turn it down to low.
  5. Let the butter slightly simmer on low. A foam/scum will start to form. This is the milk solids beginning to separate. I like to skim this off carefully with a spoon. Try not to stir the butter too much. You want the milk solids to stick to the bottom of the pan. This step takes about 25-30 min. Pay attention, don’t let your butter burn!
  6. Once the butter starts to smell like toffee and you can see the milk solids at the bottom of the pan starting to become golden brown, take the pot off the heat!
  7. The next step is to filter the clarified butter into a clean jar. Some people say you can use a coffee filter, I did this the first time I made ghee and it was a nightmare. I went through 15 coffee filters and it took over an hour to collect about a cup and a half of ghee. I now use a fine mesh strainer. It filters out about 90-95% of the milk solids. This works for me because I can tolerate a little bit of lactose. For those of you who need it to be very filtered a few layers of cheese cloth and a funnel works really well.
  8. Let the ghee cool in their containers. You’re done! Doesn’t it smell super good in your kitchen?

As lovely as my directions are I also want to link to a YouTube video. I find it’s really helpful to see what the ghee is supposed to look like while you’re making it.

Watch how to make ghee here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wkZgIN4cZYc

Haha I love her accent! And she must be buying magical coffee filters.

My short ghee making video:  

Let’s make some chicken wings!

A few months ago I made the Gingered Balsamic and Date Glazed Chicken Legs recipe from the Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer cookbook by Cindy Sexton. It came out so good and my boyfriend loved it. So when I saw they had pastured chicken wings at Whole Foods yesterday I decided to adapt the recipe and make awesome chicken wings. The recipe was part of a “sneak peek” when the book was coming out so I figure it’s okay to post it. Here it is on another blog: http://meatified.com/gingered-balsamic-date-glazed-chicken-legs-aip/ (I definitely need to get a copy of Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook by her.)

Warning!: This recipe is delicious but your kitchen and possibly other parts of your home will smell like balsamic vinegar for a little while.

Mmm…raw chicken wings. Ready to be all buttered up.

I learned a while back that you should leave out any meat you cook (chicken, pork, a nice steak, etc.) for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature before cooking it to promote more even cooking.

While the chicken is baking….set up for the glaze. Balsamic vinegar, ginger, and dates.

Next step is dicing the dates and peeling and grating the ginger. I wish I could just throw everything into the food processor but I imagine it would get really chunky and not evenly distribute. At least it’s still quick!

The glaze smells amazing. It must have a million uses.

I got hungry while the chicken was cooking and decided to use some of glaze as a salad dressing.

Using the glaze as a salad dressing to make a quick snack. I would definitely make the glaze again just for dressing!

It was really good but really strong. It would make a kick ass dressing if diluted with some olive oil.

Chicken is out of the oven and ready to be glazed!

By the way, this is when you really start to smell the vinegar – as soon as you touch the glaze to the hot chicken. Watch out when you’re glazing…a good whiff will burn your nose a bit. Side note: I used the same baking time and temperature that the recipe called for to cook the wings.

All glazed! I wish I had a silicone glazing brush but I used a spoon and some patience and I think it worked out well.

I think maybe I could have used a little less vinegar than the recipe called for since it all ran off the chicken anyways.

Haha and this is where I took a break…in the middle of cooking dinner my boyfriend remembered that he had an important errand to run on the other side of town. We decided to stop at this point in the recipe and then finish the broiling when he came back. I mostly waited for him because he was in charge of the homemade “french fries”.

…1 hour later, we started cooking again. He made the fries and I sautéed some zucchini in ghee and put the chicken to broil for 5 minutes. It came out really good! The one thing I wish I had done was not to forget to flip the chicken halfway through baking. Overall though it was a success!

The finished plate!

My boyfriend’s version of the fries. I was so jealous!

This recipe requires very few ingredients, is (usually) quick, and would definitely impress anyone who tasted it. Let me know if you try it out!

My boyfriend sprinkled some shredded mozzarella cheese and some chives on his fried potatoes and put them in the oven for 5 minutes or so. I wanted to steal his fries so badly! They smelled amazing.

I started a new instagram to accompany this blog. Check it out!  https://instagram.com/adventures_eating/