Category: Snacks

Pickled Shrimp

If you’ve grabbed one too many handfuls of nuts or jerky when the munchies strike and you’re craving something new to snack on, here’s an idea: ice-cold, pickled shrimp. Firm and fresh with a tangy kick of lemon and vinegar plus subtle spices, this Southern specialty tastes especially good when the weather is hot.

Pickled shrimp aren’t only an answer to snacking boredom. You’ll also get a decent amount of protein, selenium, calcium and iodine. Dip deeper into the vinegary marinade for crisp slices of sweet red pepper or spicy jalapeño and a dose of lycopene and vitamins C and B.

Beyond snacking, pour pickled shrimp over salad greens or shredded cabbage for a full meal.

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Ginger and Lemongrass Meatballs with Braised Scallions

Ginger and lemongrass meatballs are so moist and uber flavorful that they don’t need any sauce. This blend of lamb and pork boldly seasoned with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, basil and cilantro will knock you out with flavor and aroma. Just serve the meatballs on a plate with a side of braised scallions for dinner or stash them all in the fridge for some high-protein snacking. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Meatballs are a terrific vehicle for getting more lamb into your diet. Why use ground lamb instead of beef? Lamb is a great source of B vitamins, niacin and zinc, and it’s one of the richest sources of CLA. If you want to make these meatballs entirely out of lamb, go for it. Just be extra careful not to overcook them, as it’s easy to overcook lamb resulting in a tough rather than tender meatball.

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Mini Breakfast Meatloaves

It’s true; these amazing egg-stuffed mini meatloaves aren’t only for breakfast. They’re great for lunch or dinner, too. But when served in the morning (with a side of bacon, if you have it) they really start the day off right.

First, a mixture of pork and beef is seasoned to taste like breakfast sausage. Next, it only takes a minute to form the meat around a hardboiled egg. When baked together, the meat and egg turn into a rather stunning little loaf.

Cook these mini breakfast meatloaves on a lazy weekend morning, or better yet, on Sunday night so they’re waiting in the refrigerator Monday morning. Eat them cold or give the cooked loaves a quick zap in the microwave. Now that’s a way to start a week.

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How to Make Turkey Jerky (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving)

I’m pleased to have our friend David Maren of Tendergrass Farms pen today’s guest post. He’s written this great how-to for making your own delicious pastured turkey jerky.

Most folks who make turkey jerky just make beef jerky out of turkey. They tend to use lots of teriyaki sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to mask the turkey-ness of the turkey. To each his own, but in my opinion this is a real shame. After all, turkey is super scrumptious! Especially if you go to the trouble of getting some good quality pastured turkey, you’ll want to preserve its essential turkey flavor as a special feature of your turkey jerky. We’ve discovered an extremely simple way to make delicious, high-protein, sugar-free, turkey jerky that will not only taste and look nothing like beef jerky, but will also magically transport you back to your childhood Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, between you and me, I think it tastes a lot like buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. But no worries – it’s about as primal as primal can be.

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Edible Veggie Tops

It can be easy to forget that the green tops of many vegetables are not only edible, but truly delicious. Beets, carrots, radishes and turnips often show up in supermarkets with no greens attached at all, and that’s a shame. When cooked and served with their greens, these veggies become side dishes with an amazing array of earthy, sweet, pleasantly bitter and peppery flavors.

Beet greens are probably the most familiar within this bunch. Turnip greens are a little more delicate but have a similar flavor. Radish greens are milder than the radish itself but still a bit peppery. Carrot tops are slightly pungent and herbal. All of these greens can be cooked in a variety of ways: sautéed or stir-fried with oil or animal fat (bacon is always delicious with greens), thrown into soups, chopped up raw and served in salads or thrown into smoothies.

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Homemade Gravlax

Gravlax is a satisfying snack, a delicious breakfast, and an elegant appetizer. It’s different from lox which is cold smoked, and it’s made by curing fresh salmon in a mixture of salt, sugar, and seasonings. Traditionally, dill is the main seasoning but it’s not required. You can use any herb you like and/or add a wide variety of crushed spices to your cure, ranging from peppercorns to star anise to caraway or fennel seeds.

Preparing the fish only takes a few minutes, but curing takes several days so plan ahead. Salt cures the fish by drawing the moisture out. The sugar also helps the salmon cure, but is there mostly to balance the flavor and effects of the salt. Gravlax made without sugar can easily become too dry and tough, and taste overly salty.

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