Paleo Taco Salad

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Quick Post: This taco meat was okay the first day, but even better as the week went on :) I made a few modifications to the recipe, but I added the link to the original as always :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Paleo Taco Salad – adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (*I used bison)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • tomato paste (*optional, I used a whole 6 ounce can*)
  • 1/2 cup of bone broth, or water

Directions -

In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well. (*I used all but about a tablespoon of the mixture*) Add the tomato paste and bone broth to the pan and continue cooking until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve immediately over chopped Romaine lettuce, and top with lots of veggies.

 

 

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Paleo Beef Stir Fry

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I made this for the whole family, but served theirs with rice, and for a Paleo friendly side, use cauliflower “rice”. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – adapted from Deliciously Organic

For the Steak Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin, sliced thin against-the-grain
  • 1 tablespoon fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry

For the Ginger and Garlic Mixture:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the Garlic Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth (homemade preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 -4 cups steamed veggies – I used carrots, green beans and broccoli

Directions -

Toss together the sirloin, tamari and sherry in a small bowl. Let sirloin marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature. Whisk the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil in a small bowl. Whisk together sherry, chicken broth, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, arrowroot and honey in another small bowl.

Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to pan and swirl to coat. Place sirloin in one single layer in skillet and don’t stir (meat should sizzle – if it doesn’t the pan isn’t hot enough). Cook sirloin for about 1-2 minutes until bottom side is brown. Turn, using tongs, and cook until brown on the bottom, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer sirloin to a clean bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to now empty skillet and heat until just shimmering. Add broccoli, green beans, and carrots. Stir continuously for about 1 minute. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and add the ginger-and-garlic mixture. Stir ginger and garlic mixture in the middle of the pan for about 45 seconds and then combine with the rest of the vegetables. Add sirloin slices (and any accumulated juices) and garlic sauce to pan. Toss until sauce begins to thicken and ingredients are well coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Sausage

 

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This Whole 30 kick has forced me to make just about everything from scratch – not a problem on most days, but sometimes I want a break. This change has definitely been a huge lesson in discipline for me, but I can tell you that the results are completely worth it. In less than three weeks, I lost 9 pounds and haven’t counted a single calorie or fat gram, and I am not starving myself! I have more energy, sleep better, I feel stronger, my clothes fit way better and have much more confidence than I did a few months ago.

Anyway, back to the recipe – these are super quick and easy to make. I serve them with fried eggs, roasted sweet potato and some avocado – all Whole 30 approved! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Breakfast Sausages – adapted from Primal Palate

  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp Fennel
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper

Directions -

Process Combine pork, garlic, and all spices in a mixing bowl, mixing until it reaches an even consistency. Form pork mixture into 2-ounce patties (approximately 8 patties). Heat a skillet to medium heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per 4 patties. Cook the patties for approximately 3–4 minutes per side. Each side should be golden, and the center of the patties should no longer be pink.

Bison/Beef Burger with Avocado Dipping Sauce and Kale Chips

This dinner was amazing – I didn’t even miss the carbs and cheese! ;)  I used a pound each of bison and lean beef for the meat mixture, which I gently mixed, and formed into patties, then generously sprinkled fresh black pepper and pink salt on top. My husband expertly grilled them up; while I fried my egg – I’m not ashamed to admit that runny yolks are my favorite!

 

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For my Paleo plate, I placed a piece of Romaine lettuce, some dip, two slices of tomato, the burger, more dip, and then the lovely fried egg. I could not wait to dig into this meal. And the kale chips? They’re so light and crispy, salty and savory and complimented the avocado dipping sauce perfectly. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Avocado Dipping Sauce – adapted from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods

  • 1 medium ripe Hass avocado
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Directions -

1. Halve the avocado, and remove pit and peel.

2. Place the avocado halves and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Serve as a spread, dip or dressing.

 

Kale Chips – adapted from Kansas City Mamas

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions -

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lay each kale leaf on cutting board and cut out hard stem with a sharp knife.

3. Place leaves in a large bowl and wash well. Drain kale well, or spin in a salad spinner. Place leaves in a large bowl and coat with oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.

4. Divide leaves onto two cookie sheets if necessary- you don’t want the leaves to steam. Roast for 15 minutes, being careful not to burn.

 

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The money shot!

Simple Amaranth and Quinoa Porridge

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Wow – this is so creamy and surprisingly tasty! I used full fat coconut milk instead of the recommended almond milk. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Amaranth and Quinoa Porridge – adapted from Choosing Raw

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup dry amaranth
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups
  • 2 cups coconut milk (*My can was just under 2 cups, so I made up the difference with water*), or your milk of choice
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

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Directions – 

Combine water, salt, and grains in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let air escape, and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until water is absorbed and grains are tender. At this point, you can use the grains in any way you’d like, or move straight into the porridge.

To make the porridge, combine the milk and sweetener in a medium pot and add the cooked grains. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes, or until most of the milk is absorbed a bit.

Divide the porridge into four bowls or glass jars. Top with fruit, nuts or anything else you like!

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan

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Two weeks ago,  I purposed to eliminate refined sugars and flour from my diet. The new and kind of drastic change in eating habits has inspired me to try new vegetables and clean eating recipes. The first four days of detox were painful to say the least, but I’m so glad that I have made this change. I have more energy, I’m more clear-headed and I don’t feel sluggish or bloated. This veg is on of my new favorites and I have purchased six in the last two weeks. They’re cheap, versatile and a great substitute for spaghetti noodles.

This side dish is so darn quick, easy and flavorful that I could eat it daily – the hardest part is cutting the squash in half. All you need is a roasted squash, good olive oil, chopped garlic and Parmesan cheese to make this savory and satisfying side dish. The first time I served it along side sautéed tilapia and steamed peas. The next three times I served it along a spinach salad with my favorite maple Dijon dressing. Soon I will share with you the other clean eating recipes I have tried, like my favorite peanut butter, banana and chocolate smoothie, stuffed zucchini boats; and a spaghetti squash bake that tasted even better the next day. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan – adapted from Chow

    • 1 large spaghetti squash or two small ones
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2-3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (*if you have it on hand*)
    • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Directions -

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.

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Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra cheese.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Flat Bread

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Quick Post: Greek night is one of my favorites and the leftovers taste even better :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Gyros – adapted from Elly Says Opa

  • 1.5 to 2 pounds chicken breast, split
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3 TBSP
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping TBSP Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • salad greens
  • crumbled feta
  • flat bread

Directions -

Combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl – then pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the grill (or broiler, pan, ect.) Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook until done – about 5-7 minutes a side. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, feta and onions. Roll up and eat!

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Tzatziki – adapted from Culinary Cory

  • 2 (7 oz) containers of Greek yogurt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and unpeeled
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. fresh dill, minced (*I used about 1 tsp. dried*)
  • 1 ½ Tbl. garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • assorted fresh vegetables
Directions -
Shred the cucumber with a grater and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the dip ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Garnish with any remaining dill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables. Makes approximately 2 cups of dip.
bread
Flat Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Wrap bread

  • 3 cups AP flour (361 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup potato buds or flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

Directions -

1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it’s not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4) Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7″- to 8″-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat (about 325°F in an electric frying pan or on an electric griddle) for about 1 minute per side, until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool completely before storing in a plastic bag. Note: If you plan on making these into folded sandwiches, gently fold them in half when you take them off the griddle, rather than laying them flat. That way, they’ll retain that folded shape as they cool, and will be easier to make into sandwiches.

 

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

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Yum! These are the least fussy sloppy joes that I came across in my search. The flavor was kid friendly without too sweet or bland – I loved it and happily ate leftovers the next night. My picky eater quickly ate her portion without any coercion from me – that almost never happens and that is a win in my book ;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve on slider rolls with potato chips

Whole Grain Waffles

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My kids love waffles – what’s not to love? I get to make a weeks worth of school breakfasts in less than an hour, and the kids get another maple syrup delivery system ;) I I like to use wheat pastry flour because it’s mild enough that the kids don’t mind, and I like that I can sneak a little fiber into breakfast. This batch makes about 10 waffles, most of which get cooled, divided, bagged and frozen. Warm them up in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or mere seconds in your microwave. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Waffles – adapted from Cookie and Kate

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use spelt, rye, cornmeal or buckwheat)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk (make your own: add 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups milk, and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter (original recipe called for one full stick of butter)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions -
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and heat up your waffle iron.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and syrup or honey.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until they are mixed.
  5. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  6. Pour batter into your waffle iron until the butter reaches the edges of the iron. Cook until crisp and golden.
  7. Place each waffle on a rack in the oven (in a single layer) to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve. Five minutes in the oven may actually help them get a little crispier.

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

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Quick Post: I know I’m late to the game here, but this was our first year to “celebrate” Pi Day. This chocolate cream pie was amazing, and the flavor was even better with age. The first day, it was all mocha; but the next day it became the most perfect chocolate flavor – swoon worthy, amazingly rich, velvety and thick! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Chocolate Cream Pie – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Crust – *recipe link*

  • 24 Oreos
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted

Filling -

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer chocolate flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk

Stabilized Whipped Cream – *recipe link*

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBSP water
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate curls (optional)

Directions -

For the Crust – 

In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine. Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around. Refrigerate the crust for at least an hour before you add the filling of your choice.

For the Filling – 

1)Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks.

3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

9. Pour the chilled pudding into the chilled Oreo crust and top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

For the topping - In bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Scald 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and pour over gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Then whisk until smooth. Mix remaining cream, sugar and salt. Mix in smooth gelatin mixture stopping to scrape bowl twice.