Category Archives: Man Meals

Shady Grove’s Tortilla Crusted Queso Catfish

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This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes! After moving quite a ways away from Shady Grove in Austin- Evan and I started making our own (about once or twice a year). If you can’t make it there this should cure your craving!

 

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It’s worth the work! Trust me on this… Just make sure you go for a longggg walk before you have it so you don’t feel too guilty 😉

 

Prep Time:  30min

Cook Time: 10-12 min per batch of fish

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1oz Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 4  5-6oz Fish Filets, you can use catfish or cod, we like both. Cod is really nice and substantial for frying…
  • 2.5 C. Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2.5 C. Buttermilk Full Fat
  • 2.5 C. Corn Tortilla Strips, sliced thin.
  • Peanut Oil for Frying
  • 6 oz Chili Con Queso, I like to make a green chili variety.
  • 4 oz Pico de Gallo
  • Lime Wedges to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dip each fish fillet in the lemon juice mixture. Dredge fish in seasoned flour, followed by buttermilk, and then corn tortilla flakes to coat completely.
  2. *I make the hubby my Fry Daddy, and usually request him to do it outside… 🙂 Pour peanut oil into a large, deep saute pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. When oil is hot, carefully add fish fillets to pan, in batches if necessary, and deep-fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  3. Place a drizzle of queso on top of each fried fish. Then top with pico de gallo on top of the fish. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Enjoy!

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Bison and Hatch Chili Shepherd’s Pie = Veggie Overload

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I’m on a Hatch Chili kick as you can see. Here’s another good and wholesome unprocessed meal that’s gluten, GMO, and dairy free that has hatch chilies!!!   Unlike your typical shepherd’s pie, I used cauliflower in place of potatoes and threw a sprinkle of bacon on top since everything is better with a little bacon!

Pie

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25-35 min

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Bison, ground
  • 2 Cups Mixed Organic Squash
  • 1 Cup Organic Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Tomatoes
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Hot Roasted Hatch Chilies
  • 2 Slices of Cooked Bacon (Nitrate and preservative free), chopped.
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (you can use lite if you’d like).
  • 1/2 Cup No Sodium Beef or Bison Broth
  • Celtic Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Head of Cauliflower

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown meat with onion and garlic until brown, once brown add stock and all veggies EXCEPT cauliflower and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Cook for 15 min on low to simmer.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  2. While Mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook cauliflower until done. Blend/pulse in a blender with 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk and add salt to taste.  (Think mashed potatoes)!  (You can add butter if you would like here, like a TBS).
  3. In a medium casserole and meat and veggie mixture and top with cauliflower puree, spread evenly. Top with bacon.
  4. Save to bake later: Wrap with foil and place in fridge.  When you are ready to re-heat heat oven to 350F and cook for 25 -35 min or until hot in middle.
  5. If you are cooking right away heat oven to 350 F and cook for 10-15 min.

Enjoy!

Top of Pie

Bison Spaghetti (Squash) and Meatballs

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You will LOVE this spin on an old favorite.  The spaghetti squash is a delicious substitute for pasta and much healthier for you.  It’s worth the work, I promise!

My goal is to make more sustainable meals that are healthy and promote a balance of nutrients from whole foods, free range and/or wild animals, and organic vegetables.  🙂 This meal happens to be gluten free and follows the “Paleo Diet” theme of you’re into that kind of thing.

Squash

Prep Time:  1 hr (Includes cooking squash)

Cook Time:  1hr

Serves: 3-4 (depending on how big your squash is). You can always make two just in case.  You will have plenty of sauce and meatballs for 4 though.

Bison Meatballs:

  • 1lb Grass Fed Bison
  • 2 TBS Basil and Pine Nut Pesto (I make my own but you can buy at the store).
  • 1/4 C. Chopped White Onion
  • 1 tsp. Wild Garlic (you can sub regular garlic if need be).
  • 1 Egg White, Cage Free
  • 1 tsp. Celtic Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  1. Mix well and form into 20 small meatballs.
  2. Cook in 1 tsp. of coconut oil until browned and mostly done.
  3. Reserve in separate bowl.

Sauce: 

  • 26.46 oz Chopped Tomatoes,  I use Pomi brand for ease of use and it’s not from a BPA can.
  • 1 C.  White or Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 C. White Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. Basil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  1. Take same pan meatballs were cooked in (a braiser or dutch oven works well) and add mushrooms and onion. Cook for 1 min.
  2. Empty tomatoes into mixture and scrape the bits of the pans from cooking meatballs. (This is great for flavor).
  3. Add spices. Simmer for 15 min.
  4. Add meatballs back in and simmer for 25 more min.

Spaghetti Squash:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, halved longways.
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • Water
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large glass pan add 1/2 inch of water and a tsp of coconut oil.
  3. Place squash cut side down in water.
  4. Bake for 30-35 min or until tender.
  5. Scrape with fork across the squash ( it will look like spaghetti).

Serve meatballs on top of spaghetti squash! 🙂

Sauce

Heart Shaped Ravioli with a Simply Delicious Sauce

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I made this for Evan and I’s 2nd Anniversary in December! It’s a great special occasion dinner recipe and is sure to please! Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

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Prep: 1 hr

Cook: 30 min

Makes: 12 Ravioli

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Ingredients:

Meat or cheese mixture of your choice, meat should be pre-cooked. I used bison.

Dough:

  • 1.5 C. All purpose Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil

Sauce:

  • 2 Cups Chopped tomatoes with juice.
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 TBS Garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 TBS Shallots, minced
  • Mushrooms, 1/2 Cup, sliced

Directions:

Dough

In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time and continue to mix. Drizzle in oil and continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead the dough until elastic and smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it through the pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at its widest setting. Guide the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. *Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue until the machine is at its narrowest setting. The dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick.

Dust the counter and dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta. Use a heart cookie cutter (small) to cut the hearts.

Place a tsp of your meat/cheese mixture of choice on one heart and seal with another heart on top. Seal edges with fork or pastry sealer. Use

Boil in large pot of salted water for about 7 min. Strain.

Sauce:

  • In a large braiser or skillet, heat oil, add shallots and garlic, cook for 1 min until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes and mushrooms, simmer for 20 min.
  • Garnish with basil

Enjoy!

The Best Fried Chicken in the WORLD right from your kitchen!

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We don’t eat fried chicken a whole lot but every once in awhile Evan or I will get a hankering for some good ole fried chicken. Usually when this happens we hit up our “go to” place = Max’s Wine Dive.  It’s always an expensive trip (the wine always gets us damn it…) and it’s quite far from us now that we live out in the boonies. This time we gave it a go at home. It was awesome!

Prep: 24 hrs (if you can wait that long)

Cook Time: 15-17 min per batch

Serves: 4 with sides

Finger Lickin'

Ingredients:

  • 4 Thighs and 4 drums (separated) with the skin on.
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • More salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Blend jalapeno, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl: add marinade and chicken and cover with plastic wrap, let sit overnight.
  3. Heat peanut oil up in fryer to 325 degrees F.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to flour.
  5. Take chicken out of marinade and let sit for about 20 min on a baking sheet just to warm them up a bit so the fryer oil doesn’t drop drastically. Pat dry, dredge in flour, then egg wash, then flour again.
  6. Fry pieces in several batches, how many will depend on your fryer’s size. Fry for 15-17 min.
  7. Place on wire rack and keep warm in oven if you are doing several batches.

Serve with cayenne honey and a side of collard greens and a starch 🙂 I did mashed sweet potatoes. Mmmm!

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Sous Vide Herbed Lamb Loins

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If you haven’t noticed…I’m absolutely loving my Sous Vide Supreme. The lamb loins were on sale at my local grocer so I bought 3 instead of 2. Normally one is enough for me (they are about 5 oz each with the bone). The sous vide ensures that these little lamb loins will be cooked to a perfect 134 degrees.

Lamb Loin

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 2-4 hrs
Serves: 2

Ingredients.

  • 2-3 lamb loins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • .5 TBS fresh thyme, remove from stem
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. Heat sous vide to 134 F.
  2. Chop garlic and herbs and blend together with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat loins with herb and garlic mixture on both sides.
  4. Cut 3 slices if butter and place on top of loin
  5. Vacuum seal loins separately in bags
  6. Submerge in water bath for a minimum of 2 hrs and max of 4 hrs.
  7. Once done seat on hot oiled grill for 1 min on each side.

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A “Lighter” Version of Crawfish Étouffée That Will Keep Your Waistline Happy :)

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Using a stick of butter or even a half a stick of butter just doesn’t sound very appealing to me especially after the holidays. So I made one of my favorites with a quarter of the fat and it turned out awesome!  You will notice I served this in a “bread boat”, this is how Evan likes it. You can do it plain, in a boat, or on top of rice-your choice!

Boat

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves: 4-6 People

Mmm

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Crawfish meat (shelled and deveined)
  • 1 C. Celery, chopped
  • 1 C. Red and Green Bell Pepper Mixture, chopped
  • 1 C. Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Bay leave
  • 1/2 C. Chicken Stock, no sodium
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 TBS Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBS Favorite cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 TBS. Jalapeno (fresh), minced
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 TBS Flour dissolved in water

Instructions:

  • Heat butter and coconut oil on medium, once hot add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the Holy Trinity: Bells, Onions, and Celery! Saute for 12-15 min
  • Add Crawfish, seasoning, bay leave, and chicken stock and simmer for 10 min.
  • Add flour to thicken sauce and season to taste with salt or more cajun seasoning.
  • Serve over white rice or in a bread boat.

Enjoy!

Pizzettes with Fried Brussel Sprout Leaves Tossed with Crispy Bacon and Golden Raisins

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Mini pizzettes for everyone! These are cute and delicious little pizzas that are sure to please any party guests. I have been on a pizza kick for my just about my whole life… I LOVE pizza! Ever since I learned to make my own dough- we no longer eat “delivery” pizza because it’s ALWAYS a disappointment for many reasons, it’s $$ for what it is, it makes you feel like crap, and it’s just simply not. that. good. We still enjoy going to local pizza places like Salvations and Rounders but that requires driving all the way into town which is not close.

Next time you need an appetizer plan for guest, try these babies out! You will not regret it!

Fried Sprouts

Prep: 1hr

Cook Time: 10-15 min

Serves: 8 tapas sized pizzas

Crust/Dough

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 2 TBS Lemon thyme, fresh
  • 1 TBS Chopped rosemary, fresh

Pizza Toppings

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh whole milk mozzarella slices, small ones (1-2 per pizza)
  • Crispy cooked bacon
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Salt/pepper
  • Golden raisins

Meyer Lemon and Sage Dressing

  • 1 C. Sour cream
  • 4 Sage leaves, chopped rough
  • 1/8 C. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic, granulated
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 TBS Meyer lemon juice
  • Blend above ingredients with a stick blender or regular blender. Place into ziplock bag and reserve in fridge.

Brussel Sprouts

  • 2.5 C. Whole brussel sprouts,
  • 2 C. Peanut oil
  • Cut bottoms off sprouts and begin to peel the leaves apart, this may take a while, get a helper… place sprouts in a salad spinner or strainer to get water off the leaves.
  • Heat fryer to 350 F
  • Fry sprouts for 30 seconds, do in batches until done. Season lightly with salt add rasins to the batch after frying and toss.
  • Don’t fry in advance do these while pizzas are cooking so they remain crispy 🙂

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, herbs, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Divide into 8 balls and roll out 8 little pies.
    * I like to par bake crust for 5-8 min to make it CRISPYYYYYY
  9. Once par baked top with olive oil, mozzarella, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 min until cheese is melted.
  10. Top with fried sprouts, bacon, parm shavings, and dressing!

yum

Enjoy and Cheers!

20 hr Sous Vide Pork Belly with Five Spice Rub on a Bed of Collards and Mashed Potatoes

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This pork belly will melt in your mouth… not in your hand.  I am LOVING my new cooking device, the Sous Vide Supreme, it’s the coolest thing ever!

I made this pork belly for NYE and it was a hit! It’s super simple (if you have a Sous Vide device). 🙂

Sous Vide Pork Belly

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 20-25 hrs

Serves: 8 Tapas sized portions

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs whole pork belly sliced into 8 same sized portions
  • 1 TBS Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 TBS Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground fennel
  • Pam/butter for greasing skillet (not that you REALLY need it, but just for good measure incase your pan is too hot).

Instructions:

  1. Heat Sous Vide device to 160 F
  2. Mix herbs and seasonings together in a small bowl
  3. Coat pork belly portions in rub throughly
  4. Vacuum seal each portion separately
  5. Immerse in Sous Vide that’s heated to 160F for 20-25 hrs
  6. Take out and either sear the belly fat side down on a hot skillet to get a nice browned top or reserve in fridge until ready to fire and serve.
  7. Serve on top a mound of collards or greens and mashed potatoes.

I made a nice tarragon cream sauce to garnish on the side of the plate. It went nicely with the pork and the fennel notes.

Pork Belly

Enjoy and Cheers!

Delectable Shrimp and Grits… Oh and ZestyBeanDog is Still Alive :)

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Well helloooooooo everyone! After many comments from friends and family I have decided to let everyone know that ZestyBeanDog is still ALIVE! After going through some big changes (career wise) I’m happy to say that finally… I think have my head glued back on straight!  A little over a month ago I quit a marketing job of 3 years to pursue my passion: teaching yoga and working with my Green Feet Fitness business fulltime. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Also let’s not forget all the other full time jobs I have like: keeping a pretty clean house, being my husbands personal chef, doing laundry, paying bills, being a dog entertainer, and much much more.  It was a long over due decision and I’m glad it’s finally here! Sometimes life gets in the way of hobbies but here’s to new beginnings!  It will be so nice to get back to reading your lovely blogs as they are always such an inspiration to me. Thanks and MUCH LOVE!

This is a zesty spin on shrimp and grits, I hope you enjoy!

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Prep Time: 30 min

Serves: 4

Cook Time: 30 min

Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients: 

  • 1 C. Corn Grits (Bob’s Red Mill Brand is nice).
  • 24 Large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 Slices of uncooked bacon
  • 1 TBS Rendered duck fat
  • 1/2 C. Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Stick of butter
  • 1/4 C. Heavy cream
  • 1/4 C. Milk
  • Scallions and Green Onion
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay

Instructions: 

  1. Cook 1 Cup of corn grits as directed on package.
  2. Add cheese, cream, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Cook up bacon in large skillet on medium high. Keep grease heated and add TBS of duck fat to grease. Keep heat to medium high. Reserve bacon on a paper towel, once cooled break into pieces.
  4. Add shrimp to heated greased skillet and sprinkle Old Bay on top of shrimp as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1.5 min on each side, until done. Don’t over cook.
  5. Place a mound of grits on a plate top with shrimp, then bacon crumbles, then scallions and green onions. Sprinkle with some parmesan (if you are feeling saucy)  and garnish with a Meyer lemon wedge.  Great with brussel sprouts!

Cheers enjoy!