Paleo Joe’s

When I first wrote this recipe, we had just moved into the new house and were without the internet. Most of the times, I would surf the web looking for yummy recipes on my phone. A good friend happened to send me a recipe for sloppy joes. A “classic” favorite of the families that I was sure to please the family. It was on my Facebook wall. I thought I had book marked it and here comes the day to make them and…oh where oh where did that recipe go? (Don’t worry, I’ve since figured out “The Pinterest.”)
So I did what I normally do…. I made it up! A lot of times if you want to make a classic family favorite into paleo, you have the basic idea. Sit in your thinking chair if you must, and make it up! I knew that sloppy joes is a tangy, tomato-ee, beefy dish. The recipe my friend sent was actually for bison, so this is what I had on hand.
Here’s what I made up for this messy, yummy, classic:
⦁ 1 pound of Ground Bison
⦁ 1 Jar or Large Can of your Favorite Plain Tomato Sauce (I even used the cheap kind! But stick to Marinara.)
⦁ Mustard (2 -3 Tablespoons, depending on your taste.)
⦁ Italian Seasonings
⦁ Bay Leaf (I have dried minced, but a whole leaf may work just fine.)
⦁ Garlic (Fresh or Powdered would work.)
⦁ Finely minced onions
⦁ Finely minced green bell peppers
Start off by browning the bison. Be careful though, you definitely don’t want to over cook it. Drain the bison if necessary and add the jar of tomato sauce. My Ninja blender came with a food processor attachment that will blitz any veggie into the tiniest pieces. You may even consider adding a carrot if you have one. This is so convenient when adding bell peppers, onions, garlic, and carrots into the meat being less easily detected by discerning palates (eh hem…my dear husband). Take a small sauce pan on the side with some olive oil, add these veggies and cook them till softened. Add them to the sauce that should be simmering away by now. Add all of the seasonings listed above.

The great thing about this is you can use what you have! Whether you have beef, or bison, organic sauce or not, all the veggies or half of them…You can make it delicious.
Let the sauce reduce until it is thicker and sticking to the ground meat. Taste as you go and adjust your seasoning as needed. To me, this can actually taste very similar to canned “manwhich” only better. It is a little more time, but you can feel safe knowing what ingredients went into your sauce and that there aren’t any unhealthy additives or preservatives.
We served this on top of some of Pamela’s Gluten Free Corn Bread mix and it was absolutely delicious! Make yourself some zoodles and a salad and you have a healthy meal fit for a king! Not paleo? No worries! This is a great recipe for anyone out there trying to pull the processed foods and additives out of their diets.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I’m sending messy hands and faces from my make it up, Common Sense kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next week to see what this crazy mom, Common Sense Cook gets her kids messy with next.

Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

A Surprising Pie

It could be said that I’m a little obsessed with pie and it may be genetic. We received a box in the mail and Madison asked if it was pie! Funnily, the relative who sent the first box ended up sending another box that actually had pie in it! I even have a love for Shepherd’s Pie! My favorite recipe is from Gordon Ramsay. The lamb, the potatoes, the Parmesan! The only bad thing is, his recipe is definitely not friendly for our dietary needs of dairy and gluten free. So what did I do? I made stuff up…literally.
Now, I am a big stickler that a Shepherd’s Pie is lamb and a Cottage Pie is beef. The store I happened to be at didn’t have lamb. So what do I do? I picked up ground bison! Ground bison is so yummy and is available at Wal-Mart and Kroger. It is a little pricey but has very little fat and has a beautiful flavor. A paleo lifestyle seeks to eat many kinds of animals and I’m eventually going to work on the snout to tail idea.
Here’s what you’ll need for this unconventional pie:
⦁ 2 lbs of ground bison (or more depending on your family size)
⦁ red cooking wine (It’s always best to go with something you’ll drink but cooking wine works just as fine.)
⦁ bay leaf
⦁ garlic
⦁ mushrooms (portobella is my favorite)
⦁ carrots
⦁ Salt and Pepper
⦁ 4 Sweet Potatoes
⦁ Bay Leaf
⦁ onions
⦁ red bell pepper (optional)
This pie is full of plenty of veggies and deliciousness. Take all of the veggies and finely chop them. Get them as small as you can so they’ll almost “blend in” with the meat. Cook those onions down with some salt and a smidgen of water till they are soft. If you tolerate butter, add just a bit of grass fed butter (like Kerrygold) and caramelize them. Add all of your veggies in with the ground bison. Mix it well and get the veggies evenly distributed in a big pot or pan. Add your seasonings and the red wine and let the sauce coat the meat and veggies. Cook it down until the bison is browned and the sauce is absorbed and/or evaporated.
While this is going on, cut up those sweet potatoes and throw them in a big pot of salted water to boil. They’re done when you can stick a knife through them and it easily slips off. Carefully transfer the sweet potatoes to a big bowl and add some bay leaf, garlic, salt, pepper, and some finely chopped red bell pepper if you have it. Take a whisk and smush the mixture until it makes a type of orange mashed potato.
Now, I left my meat mixture in the fridge for a few days to prep ahead of time. This really saved me time because all I had to do was the step with the sweet potato mash. Add your meat mixture to a casserole dish (this is the part you can do early…don’t do the sweet potatoes early). Top the meat mixture with a thick layer of the sweet potatoes. Throw it in the over at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes depending on if you had your meat in the fridge or made it fresh. The potatoes should turn a lovely brown and golden orange color. Dish it out on a plate and you’ll be in paleo meat pie heaven! The recipe I used from Gordon Ramsay definitely had complimentary flavors to go with the sweet potatoes.

This pie is approved by even my pickiest kiddo!
Whether it’s pecan, shepherd’s, or any other kind of pie, I’m sending you a good smelling home and fully satisfied tummies from my house to yours. This crazy pie lady, common sense cook is cooking up some great things and I hope you’ll come back and enjoy another recipe with me next week.