Tag Archive | dinner

Paleo Baked Spaghetti

I’ll admit that I go through food phases.  For a while I was all about grilling chicken thighs and I’m pretty sure I ate that every day for lunch and sometimes dinner for a good couple of months.  In the winter I get on a comfort food kick and make meatloaf, chili, and stew every week (or so it seems).  As the season changes from winter to spring and back to winter again because Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind in Indiana, I find myself wanting spaghetti (or maybe its simply because my race season has started and I always want spaghetti when I’m running.)  Either way – I’ve been playing around with using spaghetti squash, zucchini, and yellow squash as my noodles.  But all in all, it is the same variation of the same thing – squash noodles and sauce on top.  Then my friend sent me a link for baked pizza spaghetti  pie.  I thought I could do something like this but make it more like baked spaghetti and less like pizza plus add in my own favorite things.  It makes a ton and I plan on eating it for lunch every day this week so I suppose I’ll share the rest with my husband so it won’t go to waste.  Enjoy!

Lunch for the week!  Totally customizable for your specific taste buds too!

Lunch for the week! Totally customizable for your specific taste buds too!

Ingredients
1 large (or 2 small) spaghetti squash
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms (your choice of kid), sliced
1 small can black olives, sliced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup – spaghetti sauce (no sugar added, I used Classico)
4 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish, or I used a 2 quart dish which is a 7×11, either one will do, and set aside.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and threading.  Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it.
3.  Using a fork, shred the squash into a large bowl and set aside.
4.  Place a large pan over medium heat. Add ground beef, bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the beef and it is broken up into pieces.  Add in olives and mix together.
5.  Combine the beef mixture with the spaghetti squash in the bowl.  Add 1 cup of spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper.  Finally, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
6.  Evenly distribute the mixture into your baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a slight crust forms on top of your baked spaghetti.  Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tom Yam Gung (Shrimp and Lemongrass Soup)

Do you ever have those days where you simply crave something from your childhood?  That is exactly what happened to me.  Most of the time people crave some type of comfort food like mom’s mac & cheese or meatloaf or even an apple pie.  But today, that wasn’t the case.  Today I was seriously craving something Asian and not your average run of the mill Chinese takeout (which is completely Americanized).  I wasn’t something that you really can’t get at a restaurant.  You can only get it from someone’s house who knows how to cook authentic Asian cuisine.  Since my mom lives in Pennsylvania and I live in Indiana, my only solution was to call her up on the phone, ask her what I needed, and take a trip to the local Asia Mart.

The freshness from the lemongrass make this probably one of the most popular Thai soups out there.  And if you really want to eat it authentically, you pour a little on your jasmine rice as flavoring.  But if you don’t eat grains, you can eat a big bowl of this broth-y soup either with your meal or as a light meal by itself.  Due to the pungent flavor of the lime leaves and lemongrass, this soup is perfect for all seasons.  It’s a refreshing summer soup but since it’s hot it makes a great winter treat too!  I’ve made it with shrimp but my mom said you can also make it with chicken if you’d prefer.

For any of you who do Whole30 or follow the Paleo diet, I’ve made sure that this recipe is 100% compliant.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
4-inch piece of tender lemongrass, roughly chopped (you don’t want to eat this)
1-2 limes, freshly squeezed to taste
6 tablespoons fish sauce (I use Red Boat which doesn’t have sugar)
1-2 small fresh red or green chilies, roughly chopped (optional – I don’t like the heat so I don’t use them)
16 straw mushrooms, cut in half (canned mushrooms will do)
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Directions
1. In a pot, heat the stock and add the lime leaves, lemongrass, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and chilies (if you are using them).  At this point I would taste the broth to determine if it has enough lemon/lime flavor to the broth.  If not – add more lime juice.   Bring it to a boil and simmer for two minutes.  Stir in the mushrooms and shrimp and cook for a further two to three minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through.  Be sure not to overcook your shrimp!

2. Pour into soup bowls and serve.

A little taste of home

A little taste of home

Beef & Lamb Meatballs

Well Fed is probably one of my favorite paleo cookbooks out there right now.  If I’m in a pinch, I will grab this cookbook and see what I have on hand in my pantry, freezer, and fridge. Usually I can scramble something decent enough to make for dinner.  I have made her Czech meatballs before and there were awesome but I didn’t have any ground pork in my freezer.  So I decided to start substituting and I made these delicious little gems.

Ingredients
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
3 teaspoons Lawhorne’s Seasoning
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix in Lawhorne’s seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, parsley, mustard, and egg with a fork until combined.  With your hands, crumble the ground lamb and ground beef into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Using a cookie scoop (roughly a tablespoon or 2), scoop out your meatball mix and place into a glass baking dish.  I recommend doing this all at once before rolling them into balls with your hands to keep the messiness to a minimum.  Moisten your hands with water and shake to remove excess.  Roll the preformed meatball into a ball and line them up about 1/2 inch apart in your baking dish.
  4. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

20140110-165732.jpg

Easy Paleo Chili

Earth Fare emailed me this awesome coupon for 2 1/2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef for just $10.  Originally at $7.99 a pound, this is a really, really good deal.  I simply couldn’t pass it up, but what in the world would I do with 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef?  Then it hit me: chili.  I’ve been wanting to make chili ever since the weather started to officially feel like fall.  Usually, I put a ton of beans in my chili and just a little bit of meat.  Since I’ve started eating primarily paleo, I’m no longer eating beans.  So what does that mean for my chili?  Lots and lots of meat.  Strictly ground beef can be boring so I added mild Italian sausage and some round roast to the mix to heighten the flavor.  You can make this as spicy or as non-spicy as you want by fluctuating the chili powder amount you add to your own chili.  I used 2 tablespoons and it was pretty spicy for me.  Next time, I’ll just stick to 1 tablespoon for sure, but my husband sure loved it!  I also utilized Bird’s Eye Recipe ready chopping onions & garlic to save on prep time.  I also picked up the diced tomatoes with green chilli peppers in them to save me time on dicing my own.  I’ll take whatever help I can get. So, if you are craving some chili, I highly recommend this recipe.  It makes A TON so either have a lot of people over, freeze some of it, share it, or be prepared to be eating it for dinner for the rest of the week.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
6 oz. mild Italian sausage
1 pound round roast, chopped into pieces (or stew meat if it is cheaper)
2 bags – Bird’s Eye Recipe Ready chopped Onions & Garlic
1 red bell pepper – chopped
1 green bell pepper – chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilli peppers (do not drain!)
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste

Directions
1. In a 6 qt. pot, combine ground beef, sausage, round roast, onions & garlic, and bell peppers.  Cook on medium high. Stir to crumble up sausage and beef.  Cook all the way through.

2. Once all the meat is cooked through, stir in the tomato paste and seasonings.  Add diced tomatoes with the juice.  Bring it to a boil and lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.  Serve immediately or turn off and cover to let the flavors continue to merge together.  Top with freshly sliced avocado and enjoy!

20131104-173421.jpg

Perfect for those chilly fall nights! (no pun intended)

Paleo Pot Roast (Whole30 approved)

I love pot roasts, stews, and any other kind of one-pot-shot that I can get all of my protein and veggies in one dish.  It saves me cooking time and washing dishes time… a win-win in my book.  Not your traditional pot roast, I substituted peeled turnips in place of white potatoes.  I also threw in some sweet potatoes as well for some nice color.  I kept the recipe relatively simple in terms of seasonings, but feel free to switch out the water for beef stock for added flavor and some of your favorite seasonings if you want.  This recipe made about 6 servings.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2.5 lbs chuck roast
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium/small turnips, peeled and cubed
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 celery stalk (the entire bag), trimmed and cut into large chunks
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder
2  Tbsp Dried Parsley
2 bay leaves
2  cups water

Directions

  1. In a large pan, melt the coconut oil.  Add the chuck roast to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Get a nice brown coloring on all sides of the meat before transferring it into a crock pot.
  2. Layer the veggies: sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, celery, and onion.  Add garlic, parsley, salt and bay leaves.  Pour water over the pot roast, cover, and cook on High for 4-6 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
Sear the meat to keep in all the yummy flavor. I seasoned the meat before I put it into the crockpot.

Sear the meat to keep in all the yummy flavor. I seasoned the meat before I put it into the crockpot.

I layered the veggies on top of the meat before adding the water and spices.

I layered the veggies on top of the meat before adding the water and spices.

Voila!  A perfect portion of protein and veggies right in your bowl.

Voila! A perfect portion of protein and veggies right in your bowl.

 

 

 

Easy Paleo Meatballs

This is a super simple meatball recipe that literally makes 50 meatballs.  They are great for spaghetti squash and meatballs or just by themselves.  Because the recipe makes so many meatballs (6 meatballs = 1 serving), it’s a great leftover take to lunch kind of meal.  Enjoy!

Served with kale and cumin roasted carrots in this picture.

Served with kale and cumin roasted carrots in this picture.

Ingredients
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 TBSP salt
1 TSBP fennel seeds
1 TBSP ground black pepper
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
1 TBSP yellow mustard
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup after it’s been chopped)
1 large egg
1 pound ground pork
1 pound lean ground beef (bison, lamb, venison work well here too)

Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a large baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bow, mix the garlic, salt, fennel seeds, paprika, pepper, parsley, mustard, and egg with a fork until well combined.  With your hands, crumble the ground pork and ground beef into the bowl.  Knead until all of the ingredients are mixed together.
  3. Moisten your hands with water.  Measure a level tablespoon of meat and roll into a ball between your palms.  Line up the meatballs on your prepared baking sheet, roughly 1/2 inch apart.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through.

This recipe was adapted from the Well Fed cookbook, but changed to meet my personal tastes and it is Whole30 compliant.  Enjoy!

Paleo Creamy Balsamic Dressing

This dressing literally came together in minutes.  The key is to have the mayo already made in your fridge.  I paired this dressing with a super simple grilled chicken salad.  My husband said, and I quote, “If all salads tasted this good I would eat them every day for lunch and dinner!”  And quite honestly, my husband is not a salad eater.  He is a meat, potatoes, pork tenderloin eating man from central Indiana.  So this was really saying something!

Super healthy and super good - a wicked combination!

Super healthy and super good – a wicked combination!

Grilled Chicken Salad
Chicken Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Olive Oil
Lawhorne’s All-Purpose Seasoning

Directions
Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and generously sprinkle the Lawhorne’s seasoning all over both sides of the chicken.  Grill for about 5-6 minutes or until the juices run clear.  Take it off the grill and cover with foil until ready to eat.

Salad Ingredients
Makes 2 salads
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4 chicken thighs, sliced

Directions
Evenly distribute and arrange all of the ingredients on two plates.  Top with creamy balsamic dressing.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Paleo Mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a small bowl, crush the Italian seasonings with your fingers.  Add garlic and mayo.  Whisk together until well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Slowly whisk in balsamic vinegar until smooth.  Store in a container with a lid.  It’s good for about 5-7 days.