Day 2: So Far, So Good!

Review of Elena’s Pantry’s Paleo Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

So last night we had Paleo Shepherd’s Pie as created by Elena’s Pantry. It was good! But there were a couple of changes that Adam and I would have made to the recipe.

First of all, in the ingredients list, it says “cauliflower, steamed” — we would have put steaming the cauliflower as the first of the instructions of things to do, since you need to, you know, do that. We ended up steaming the cauliflower towards the end which slowed up our actual eating time. (boo!)

Secondly, (and this is totally a matter of personal taste) my zesty palate craved more seasoning.  McCormick’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe calls for corriander and cumin in their recipe. Kraftfoods’s calls for garlic. Alton Brown uses Worchestershire and thyme.  When I sprinkled a little garlic powder on my serving of pie, it went a long way towards tastiness. Adam didn’t think it needed anything but a little salt. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your tastebuds!

The Tao of Rae is Complete!

Today, I completed Chapter 81 of Lao Tzu‘s famous ancient text, the Tao De Ching.  So the “Tao of Rae” is complete!  Chapters 1-81 are available on this blog for you to read. And for me to read!  It seems like almost a non-event, but I’ve been working on this translation on and off since May of 2011.  It’s November of 2012 now.  So this is a project that’s taken a year and a half, which is a big deal for me.  I’m just proud of myself for not quitting.  I may not have been able to do it every day, but I never stopped.  That persistence is something that the Tao talks a lot about… being like water. You don’t have to press. You just have to keep going. 🙂

Today’s Recipe: Merguez Meatballs

Tonight for dinner, we’re trying a recipe by The Clothes Make The Girl!



    • Merguez Spice Blend:
      • 2 tablespoons paprika
      • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
      • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
      • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
      • 1 tablespoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Meatball Ingredients:
    • 2 lbs. ground lamb, beef, or a combination (We’re using 96/4 ground beef.)
    • 3 cloves fresh garlic
    • 4 tablespoons Merguez Spice Blend
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
    • 1 tablespoon aleppo or cayenne pepper (optional)
    • 2 eggs (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix all the Merguez Spice Blend ingredients with a fork.
  4. Using the food processor, place one pound of beef in the processor with the remaining meatball ingredients. Process on high until it forms a smooth paté and all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Dump out into a large bowl and add the other pound of beef, mixing by hand.
    (Run your hands under cold water to keep the mixture from sticking to you.)
  6. Place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the meat to chill; that will make meatball rolling so much easier.
  7. Moisten your hands and a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon with cold water and shake to remove excess.
  8. Measure a level tablespoon of beef and roll into a ball between your palms. Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.
  9. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Serve and Enjoy!  (We’re serving these with baked yams!)

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