Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps

In honor of the hottest week I think central New York has ever experienced, twentysomething and paleo presents a deliciously paleo and cold dinner fit for any active and sweaty young adult – and the best part is: before it wound up in my freezer, it was romping around in the wild and eating naturally germinated plants. Thank you again to Coach Craig, Crossfit Partner-in-Crime Maria’s hunter and my new running group leader! Where he finds time to catch wild game between triathlons, training, and listening to maria gush about crossfit I just don’t know…

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Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps:

Venison Steak (or any steak of your choosing)
5 tbsp baking cocoa
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp coconut/olive oil
Iceberg lettuce
Tomato, Avocado, and any other fixins you may want

Pound thawed steak to tenderize.

Mix 4 tbsp cocoa, chili, cayenne, and black pepper.

Rub steak in oil, followed by the pepper-cocoa mix.

Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for at least an hour, no more than 4 hours.

In a skillet, heat another tbsp oil and sauté steak over medium heat for about 2-2.5 minutes (to get the perfect medium rare… mmm)

Set steak to the side to rest (don’t cut! Don’t cut! Don’t cut! Those juices are like gold…)

Slice steak or cut into portions for the week and slice into smaller pieces the day you wrap.

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Italian Venison Spa-squashi Casserole

This recipe comes to you complements of my Crossfit partner-in-crime, Maria and her Craig: hand-hunted game meat! Best. Gift. EVER! I will happily accept ANY deer meat for freezer-clearing purposes. Not ONLY is it delicious but also right on cue with our trainer’s prompts to use “varied game meat” in our diet. And probably the best part is… there’s still MORE!

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Italian Venison Spa-squashi Casserole:

2 lbs venison (or stew beef)
1 spaghetti squash
3 tomatoes
1 onion
2 cu tomato sauce (make sure it’s paleo!)
1 egg
3 cu frozen spinach or collard greens
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut up tomatoes and onion.

Slice spaghetti squash in half and bake for 25 minutes.

Cook stew beef/venison and sautee tomatoes, garlic and onion on stove or in slow cooker with tomatoes, garlic and onion. (Slow Cooker – Low 6 hours)

Scoop spaghetti squash with a fork (spaghetti squash style) into a bowl and mix with oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Stir in the meat, tomatoes and onion.

Layer half in baking dish, layer frozen spinach, and then layer the second half of spaghetti mixture.

Sprinkle garlic powder on top with some EVOO (if you consider olive oil to be paleo).

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Sorry, no zone numbers this week… so to make up for it I have a:
BONUS SIDE RECIPE!!!

Baked Sweet Spaghetti Fritters
1 sweet potato
1 spaghetti squash
1 egg
¼ cup almond flour
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake sweet potato (poke with fork, microwave HIGH 4 minutes, flip, HIGH 4 minutes) halve, and scoop out flesh.
Mix with spaghetti squash (cut in half, scoop out seeds, add a little bit of water in each half, cover with wax paper and microwave HIGH 8 minutes)
Pat spaghetti squash dry with paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.
Add egg, almond flour and salt.
Roll into a log using wax paper and flatten slightly so the log becomes a plank about ½ – 1” high.
Slice and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10.

Can you tell I have an excess amount of Spaghetti Squash? Those are complements of a co-worker partner-in-crime who had to ditch pantry items during a move. I LOVE FREE FOOD! Especially when it’s paleo.