Jerky is a great low-carb snack / travel food. However, it’s almost impossible to find commercial jerky that doesn’t contain sugar. But – good news! You can make your own, and you don’t even need a dehydrator. I’ve made jerky many times in my oven, both for gifts and to take on trips, with great results.
This recipe gets saltiness from the soy/tamari, a touch of sweetness from the onion powder, and a complex, layered heat from the red pepper flakes and the freshly ground black pepper.
Note: Because of the long drying time needed, plan ahead. I usually put it in the oven early in the morning, or last thing at night. You don’t want to be getting up at 3:00 a.m. to check your jerky!
2 lb baron of beef or other fairly lean cut, thinly sliced. Ask your butcher to slice it for you, or if doing it yourself, put in the freezer for about 45 minutes to make it easier to slice thinly.
Large ziploc-type bag(s)
3/4 cup sugar-free soy sauce (e.g., Kikkoman brand) or tamari
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp onion powder. Note: Onion powder, not onion salt – if it’s lumpy, sift it.
Slice the meat thinly.
Put it in a large ziploc plastic bag (or a couple of smaller bags) and marinate it in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours, turning once or twice. The longer you leave it, the stronger and saltier the taste.
Take it out of the bag, drain it, and pat it dry with lots of paper towels. If you like, you could try saving the marinade to use as a gravy (add heavy cream or coconut milk).
Spread the meat on racks over cookie sheets, taking care to spread each piece of meat fully open – any folds will cause that piece to dry more slowly.
Place in the oven on the lowest setting (my oven’s lowest setting is 170 degrees F / 75 C).
Dry in the oven for 8 -12 hours with the oven door propped partly open. I use an oven mitt or folded tea towel jammed in the door. You want air to circulate, but you don’t want the oven door to be open so much that the interior oven light comes on, because this means the oven will try to heat further and the jerky may bake rather than dehydrating. The timing is variable because it depends on the moisture content of your meat and of the air, the temperature of the air, your oven heat, and the thickness of the slices of meat.
The jerky is done when it cracks, rather than bends; it may have beads of fat on it.
Cool the jerky on racks, then store in freezer bags or food storage containers. It will keep at room temperature for 2- 3 months, or longer in the freezer.
This one is for reader Heather, who asked for more dessert recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth without veering into sugar-land.
It’s also for my son’s friend Tessa, who loooves banana spring rolls – I make them for her each time she visits. Bon appetit, Heather and Tessa!
I developed this recipe after we ate banana spring rolls at the now-defunct Red Door restaurant on South Granville Street in Vancouver. My son enjoyed them so much that I was inspired to try and recreate them at home.
When cooked, the banana gains extra sweetness, making this a satisfying sugar-free treat. The spring rolls also make a crispy contrast to the fluffy, almost custardy texture of the cooked banana.
I was lurking in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store, surreptitiously photographing packages of taco mix. At any moment, a store employee might tap me on the shoulder and ask me to leave.
My goal? To create taco-seasoned ground beef that had the deliciously gummy texture and slight sweetness of the packaged taco mixes, but with no added sugars. To stay Paleo, which means avoiding grains, I planned to serve the spiced taco meat in lettuce leaf cups.
After a bit of experimentation, I had something pretty close to the original. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Continue reading “Paleo Tacos”
These fluffy pancakes contain no added sugars, but still taste delicious thanks to the natural sweetness of plantains or bananas
These fluffy pancakes contain no added sugars, but still taste delicious thanks to the natural sweetness of plantains or bananas. They’re a bit on the carby side, so we have them now and then as a treat.
The recipe’s based on Perfect Paleo Pancakes, with a few tweaks. You can have them for breakfast, or as a dessert. I prefer the latter, because protein-rich breakfasts work best for me.