Cooking Caveman with Jeff Nimoy

THESE ARE THE COOKING ADVENTURES OF JEFF NIMOY, AN LA WRITER WHO, WHILE DOING RESEARCH FOR A SCRIPT, STUMBLED UPON WHAT’S CALLED THE CAVEMAN DIET, ALSO KNOWN AS THE PALEO DIET. BASICALLY, IT’S EATING WHAT THE CAVEMEN ATE. HE TRIED IT OUT, AND THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN STAGGERING! THIS BLOG SHOWS EXACTLY HOW AND WHAT JEFF EATS. IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE BLOG, PLEASE START WITH THE “ENTERING THE CAVE” PAGE TO GET A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.

Posts tagged garlic

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My New Favorite Paleo Salami and Hot Dogs

Salami, and for that matter hot dogs, goes back to my earliest memories of food.  Is there anything more fun for a kid than a hot dog?  And growing up in Brooklyn, hot dogs, along with pizza, was the official food of the borough.  We had Sabrett carts on many corners, and hot dog stands everywhere.  But Brooklyn is also the home to the original Nathan’s, and going there was like a religious experience.  I’ve had a lot of great hot dogs in my life, but they ALL finish second to Nathan’s in Coney Island (yes, Coney Island is in Brooklyn, folks).

But as much as I love Nathan’s, Hebrew National Salami also has a very special place in my heart.  It was my grandfather’s favorite food.  ”Poppy” was a Polish immigrant, and for my entire youth, my family lived in his and my grandmother’s house.

He didn’t just love salami, he used it as a medical treatment.  If he had a cold, he cured it by eating a hunk of salami.  If he hurt his arm, he healed it by eating a hunk of salami.  When he was very old, he developed stomach cancer, and one particularly painful night, I suddenly stopped hearing his kvetching (moaning) from the pain, and assumed he went to sleep.  In the morning I asked how he finally fell asleep, and he said, he ate a hunk of salami, the pain stopped, and he instantly fell asleep.  See, salami even cures stomach cancer.  Lol.  Today, we know salami probably led to his stomach cancer.  But even back then, processed meat wasn’t as bad as it is today.  Still, no one can say salami was a health food.

My grandmother did all the cooking in the house, but every now and then, as a special treat, my grandfather would make me salami & eggs for dinner, the one thing he could cook.  I’d watch him slice up the Hebrew National salami, cube up the slices, then put them in the frying pan, and while it browned, he mixed the eggs in a Yahrzeit glass (on the anniversary of a relative’s death, a candle, called a Yahrzeit candle, was lit to remember the dearly departed.  When the candle burned down, you’re left with a glass, which we used to drink out of.  Our entire collection of drinking glasses were old Yahrzeit candles).  He’d add the eggs, and scramble them up with the salami, serving them while they were still a little wet, the way I still like my scrambled eggs today.  He’d put a little dab of deli mustard on it and serve it up to me, just me and him enjoying a little breakfast for dinner together.  My grandfather and I were inseparable when I was a boy, and salami & eggs is one of my greatest memories of him.  I enjoyed it many times over the years since his passing, making it for myself just like he made it for me (except for the Yahrzeit glass).  He also used to take me to the beach (people don’t realize Brooklyn is a beach town, but it is, with Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach), and for lunch he’d always bring salami sandwiches, and a piece of seasonal fruit, like a plum.  To this day, it’s what I crave when at the beach.

But when I went paleo, processed meat was one of the first things to go.  No more Hebrew National salami for this cavejew. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the worst things you can eat these days are conventionally made processed meats, like bologna, and salami.  But I have been searching the Internet for an affordable grass-fed beef salami for the last 4 years, and could not find one that meets my anal strict paleo requirements, which are organic, low salt (and natural salt), preservative free, and grass-fed.

But I finally found some!  And although it is affordable, unfortunately the farm is located in Wisconsin, so the shipping makes it a pretty expensive salami.  But as a once in a while treat, I think the price is totally worth it to re-live one of my favorite childhood foods.  The company/farm is called Uncured Natural Meats, and as I said, they are in Wisconsin.  I’ve spent a good deal of time in Wisconsin (great place), and they actually call salami there Summer Sausage.  Uncured Natural Meats calls their’s Summer Sausage too, and the Garlic flavored one tastes almost identical to Hebrew National’s salami to me!  This salami is all grass-fed beef and it’s uncured and gluten-free.  It’s also nitrate and nitrite free, with no preservatives, no hidden MSG, using only a little Himalayan salt (less salt than any other paleo processed meat I’ve found so far), and it’s all organic!  Frankly, I don’t see the downside, and I’m even leaving out more impressive details about it, that you can read on their website for yourself.

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Anyway, the salami was great, and as an added bonus with your order, they usually throw in a free sample of another of their products.  Once they sent some smoked beef sticks, and I made a sort of chorizo & eggs dish from them.  Delicious!

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And once they sent me a sample of their all-grass fed beef hot dogs (they call them wieners, and in NY we also call them franks, or frankfurters, but they’re all hot dogs!).  So I cooked them up with some organic low-sea salt sauerkraut, some onions, and some jalapeño, and gave them a try.

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Holy cave-shit, they tasted so much like Nathan’s!!!!  Until now, I’ve been eating grass-fed hot dogs from Applegate Farms, available in most health food stores.  Applegate Farms dogs are delicious, but more like Hebrew National franks, than Nathan’s.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the difference between Nathan’s and all the rest, is the SNAP!  Nathan’s uses a sheep casing, and gives the hot dog a great SNAP, or crunch, when you bite into it.  Other franks are skinless, and although delicious, they don’t have that same SNAP.  The Uncured Natural Meat wieners also use sheep casings (from healthy sheep), and that makes them remind me of Nathan’s a lot!  Plus, they use half the salt that AppleGate Farms use, and it’s a much smaller company, with each batch of meat product being made on a date they put right on the package, so you know it’s a lot fresher.

I asked the company for a shipping discount for my readers, but they have not responded to any of my emails.  I don’t think they have anything to hide, because their website is full of info, I just don’t think they’re that Internet savvy.  Still, if you order enough, I think the shipping price is worth it.  Not only do they have the best paleo salami and hot dogs I’ve tasted so far, but they also have a lot of other pasture raised meat products, like cuts of grass-fed beef, lamb, and chicken.  Check them out!

Filed under paleo summer sausage garlic paleo processed meats paleo caveman caveman diet organic Applegate Farms Uncured Natural Meats paleo salami

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Pan Seared Pork Chop and (Kinda) Dirty Broccoli Rice.  The pork chop is pasture-raised, which is expensive, but to me, worth it.  I’d rather eat good clean pork than order Showtime or Netflix.  Everything is affordable if you’re willing to strictly budget your money.
I made this broccoli rice once before, and I’m falling in love with it more and more.  You cook it the same way as cauliflower rice, but into the food processor I also added garlic, red onion, red jalapeño (remarkably STILL in season here in LA), and I added lemon juice just before serving (really brings the whole thing together).  I made it a little “dirty” by adding all the pan scrapings from the cast iron skillet I cooked the chop in (real “dirty” rice has bits and pieces of organ meat in it).

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Pan Seared Pork Chop and (Kinda) Dirty Broccoli Rice.  The pork chop is pasture-raised, which is expensive, but to me, worth it.  I’d rather eat good clean pork than order Showtime or Netflix.  Everything is affordable if you’re willing to strictly budget your money.

I made this broccoli rice once before, and I’m falling in love with it more and more.  You cook it the same way as cauliflower rice, but into the food processor I also added garlic, red onion, red jalapeño (remarkably STILL in season here in LA), and I added lemon juice just before serving (really brings the whole thing together).  I made it a little “dirty” by adding all the pan scrapings from the cast iron skillet I cooked the chop in (real “dirty” rice has bits and pieces of organ meat in it).

To donate please click on this link!

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Filed under cast iron cast iron skillet castiron pork pork chops pork chop broccoli broccoli rice cauliflower rice dirty rice garlic red onion red jalepeno lemon juice

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Paleo Re-Dedication Food Log: Wednesday 7/17/13

Woke up and had a tall glass of water.  Then, I take one tea bag of organic green tea, and just keep drinking and re-filling my cup all day long.  Intermittent Fasting until I started dinner at 4:00pm.  I needed to eat early, because I had to leave for a meeting around 6:30, and besides I was starving.

Around 4:30 I had 3 grilled organic hot Italian sausages from Lindy & Grundy, made from pasture raised pork, served with a bed of sautéed kale in olive oil, with onions, garlic, and fresh basil from my herb garden (all ingredients, all organic, all the time).  I’ve had these sausages before, and they’re way too salty for me, but it’s got to get used up, and since I’m coming off about two weeks of non-paleo, I figured this is a good time to eat it, since my palate and tastebuds are probably shot.  Even so, it was still way too slaty for me, and I won’t be buying these again.  Maybe they’ll make me some without salt if I ask nicely.  ”Pretty please… with Ugga-Bugga on top?”

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For dessert, I had three tiny apricots and one tiny plum.  I was really full, which is what I wanted, since I knew I wouldn’t be eating again for at least 24 hours.

More Intermittent Fasting today (and for the foreseeable future).  I’ve got 6 great pasture raised boneless skinless chicken breasts, also from L&G, and I think I’m going to fry them, coated in almond flour, and then use them for different meals all week.  Maybe I’ll bake two of them without the almond flour (I finish the frying in the oven anyway), so I can enjoy some chicken salad which I’ve been craving lately.

Filed under ugga-bugga All Ingredients All Organic All the Time pasture raised pasture-raised chicken hot italian sausage Lindy & Grundy kale onions garlic olive oil paleo organic caveman crossfit intermittent fasting

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Paleo Pasta Michelangelo!  There’s a local restaurant chain here in SoCal, called Maria’s Italian Kitchen, and they make this great pasta dish, Pasta Michelangelo!  Pasta of your choice (I recommend linguine), with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and olive oil.  Well, all I did was swap out the linguine for summer squash (like a yellow zucchini), made with my Spirooli, and used Swiss chard instead of spinach (because I didn’t have any spinach). Added some black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  And of course, all my ingredients were all organic, all the time!  Ugga-Bugga!

Paleo Pasta Michelangelo!  There’s a local restaurant chain here in SoCal, called Maria’s Italian Kitchen, and they make this great pasta dish, Pasta Michelangelo!  Pasta of your choice (I recommend linguine), with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and olive oil.  Well, all I did was swap out the linguine for summer squash (like a yellow zucchini), made with my Spirooli, and used Swiss chard instead of spinach (because I didn’t have any spinach). Added some black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  And of course, all my ingredients were all organic, all the time!  Ugga-Bugga!

Filed under paleo caveman organic All Ingredients All Organic All the Time ugga-bugga mushrooms swiss chard garlic olive oil crushed red pepper crossfit paleo pasta pasta

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I made a huge pot of greens (collards, kale, rainbow chard, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, olive oil, lemon juice), and a grass fed filet mignon.  Served it with a tomato horseradish sauce, which I made by combing my homemade ketchup, with freshly grated horseradish, and some homemade mayo.  All ingredients, All Organic, All the Time.

The first pic shows the nice pink inside.  I kind of overshot medium rare, but it was still great.  The second pic shows the beautiful char I got in my cast iron skillet.  Ugga-Bugga!

Filed under Filet Mignon grass fed grass fed beef grass-fed grass-fed beef organic paleo caveman crossfit collard greens kale onions garlic lemon juice Cocktail Sauce horseradish Mayonaise mayo mayonnaise medium rare swiss chard rainbow chard olive oil crushed red pepper All Ingredients All Organic All the Time cast iron cast iron skillet castiron

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Paleo Schnitzel

I had some wild boar cutlets from the Broken Arrow Ranch, so I decided to make them into schnitzel!  Never tried it before, and it showed, because I screwed it up a little.  Not sure what I did wrong though.  Maybe I should have pounded the meat thinner, or cooked it less, or maybe wild boar cutlets are just a lot tougher than domestic pork, but it’s a little tough, and VERY dry.  Always remember when cooking wild game, pasture raised poultry, and grass fed beef, that these animals have less fat than what you’re used to, and therefore, cook quicker, and sometimes require some added fat for flavor and moisture.  I thought I took care of the extra fat by frying them in coconut oil, but they were still dry.  Still, they looked great!  Check it out:

I seasoned the cutlets with a TON of dry spices (pretty much if it went well with pork, I used it), and then I drenched in a mixture of 3 parts coconut flour, 2 parts arrowroot powder.  Then I dipped it into a pasture-raised egg wash, and then once more back into the flour.  Fried for a few minutes on each side in the cast iron skillet, and set aside to rest.

Then, in the same pan with the same coconut oil, I then added some red onion, garlic, and green chard, along with another bevy of spices.  Everything tasted great, but like I said, the meat was way too dry.  Not sure I would buy this cut of meat again, but I’m glad I got to say I made schnitzel once in my life.  Served it with a squeeze of lemon, but I’m defrosting some of my Plum Loco Sauce for the leftovers.

Filed under paleo caveman crossfit organic wild boar wild game Broken Arrow Ranch chard red onion garlic coconut oil plum loco plum loco sauce

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Paleo Pasta Pomodoro!

I could add a fourth “P” to that alliterative title; Parsnip!  I’m pretty sure of all the foods I’ve substituted pasta with, parsnip is my favorite.  It’s doesn’t get as soggy as zucchini, and it looks more like pasta than carrots.  But I bet this dish would go great with spaghetti squash too!

Simple to make (all ingredients, all organic, all the time):

parsnip (peeled into strips)
garlic
olive oil
roma tomatoes
fresh basil
fresh parsley (optional)

Just sauté the parsnip strips in olive oil until soft like pasta, then add some chopped garlic, some chopped roma tomatoes until warm, and finish with the fresh herbs.  It was Ugga-Bugga delicious!  It didn’t need any more seasoning, but feel free to add what you like.  

Filed under paleo caveman organic basil parsnip roma tomatoes olive oil garlic pasta pomodoro

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Paleo Pad See Ew Recipe, and Coconut Amino Review

If you missed my post yesterday, I started experimenting with one of my favorite Thai dishes, Pad See Ew (pronounced, “Pod, Say, Oooh”).  Usually made with a broad flat rice noodle, Chinese broccoli, scrambled egg, and some type of meat (I like pork the best) in a black bean/soy sauce.

I paleo-ized it, by using parsnip for the noodle (I’m in an obsessive parsnip pasta phase right now), wild boar cutlet for the meat (I pounded it so thin though it broke apart and became more ground than cutlet), and a sauce made from black tea.  It was good, but it was definitely missing something.

I ran out to Whole Foods to buy my first bottle of organic coconut aminos.  I’ve heard so much about what a great paleo replacement it makes for soy sauce.  Well, it DOES taste a LOT like soy sauce.  The brand I bought claims it has 65% less sodium than regular soy sauce, which I like, but it still has salt, which you know I don’t add to my food (“please Cave-hole, not another rant about how salt is bad for you”).  But at least this brand uses organic sea salt, and not a lot of it, so as a mini-cheat, it’s not that bad.  I was also concerned about it being fermented, but it’s not fermented with a yeast starter, so it’s gluten-free.  I’m not against food fermented naturally like this is, so as a mini-cheat goes, I approve coconut aminos.  The fact is, I add zero salt to my diet, so 5-10 dashes of organic coconut aminos once in a blue moon is not going to adversely effect my health that much!  This is the definition of eating salt in moderation.  Bacon for breakfast every day is not salt in moderation.  Sorry.  Believe me, I’d love to have bacon every day too.  But my blood pressure will not be happy with me.

So does this mean I’ll be using coconut aminos in my Asian dishes from now on?  Um… yeah, I think so!  The paleo substitute I’ve been using has been a combo I dreamed up of dark brewed black tea, lime juice, celery or chard (for the natural salt content), and a touch of honey.  The coconut aminos gives it just that much more soy sauce flavor than my frankensauce, so I think my experimenting with that is over.  However, if you’re still concerned with the amount of sodium in coconut aminos, then my 100% paleo recipe for soy sauce works too without the mini-cheat (just not as authentic a flavor).

Here’s the finished product:

All Ingredients, All Organic, All the Time:

Parsnip
Chinese Broccoli
Wild Boar (pork, chicken, shrimp, or meatless works well too)
Egg
Scallions
Red Jalapeños (optional)
Basil
Cilantro
Garlic
Ginger
Celery or Chard Stems
Coconut Aminos OR a combo of: Black Tea, Lime Juice, Honey

Using a peeler, I sliced the parsnip into short flat noodles, and then simmered them in black tea until they became VERY SOFT.

While the noodles cooked, I browned my meat in a cast iron skillet, and once done, set it aside.  Using the same pan, I sautéed everything else (except the egg, and a handful of cilantro, basil, and scallions to use as a garnish later) until the Chinese broccoli was tender, but not mushy.  Then I sliced the meat, added it into the mixture, cracked an egg (or two) into the mixture, and scrambled it up with everything. Then I added the noodles, and black tea mixture (or use coconut aminos), and tossed everything together until fully coated.  Serve topped with some fresh cilantro, fresh basil, and raw scallions.

Filed under Pad See Ew caveman organic pad see-ew paleo parsnip thai wild boar coconut amino coconut aminos soy sauce chinese broccoli ginger garlic celery cilantro basil