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!
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
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.
Since my last few attempts at making spaghetti squash have been absolute fails (I’m still figuring out my
new antiquated oven), my latest thing has been zucchini noodles. A few months ago I purchased a julienne peeler to make my noodles. While it does the job, it takes FOREVER and it wastes a lot of the zucchini. I feel bad wasting any food so I went a bought a mandolin slicer that has a julienne blade. Well, the worked too but I still couldn’t use most of the zucchini for fear of slicing my fingers off. The nifty finger guard only works of you are slicing it like chips and not like noodles. So that was kind of a bust (however it does work well for making sweet potato home fries but that’s another blog). Then I saw a picture in my new cookbook Against All Grains of a spiralizer. I had to have it.
I busted it out for the first time tonight to make some real zucchini noodles and let me tell you, my life is now complete. I spiralized 4 large zucchini in roughly 5 minutes! And out came these long beautiful noodles. I cooked them in some olive oil and dumped some pasta sauce on top. It was magnificent. I could twirl my zucchini noodles like real noodles. It was awesome! I will probably never julienne my zucchini or squash ever again. It’s the spiralizer all the way.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
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!
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
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!
Anything coconut is all the rage these days. As I’m sure most of you know, coconut water has many health benefits. The first thing (which is the sole reason I tried drinking it in the first place) is that it is filled with natural electrolytes. It is a great way to replenish your electrolytes after an intense workout without any added sugar, preservatives, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. It is all-natural and who doesn’t like that? Drinks that are filled with natural electrolytes, like coconut water, are a great way to help lower your blood pressure. For all of you people out there who watch your carb intake, it has low sugar and carbohydrate levels. Plus it helps promote healthy skin, fat loss, and weight loss. If those aren’t reasons to start drinking coconut water, I’m not sure what is.
Naturally, I went out and started buying up coconut water. Who knew that there were so many coconut water options out there? I certainly didn’t! I’m not going to lie, the first time I took a swig of the cold, refreshing drink I about spit it out all over the place. NASTY! Eventually, I branched out a tried other brands. Some are better than others and I haven’t tried them all, but here is what I’ve found.
So now you know – if you know of other brands please feel free to add to the comment box. I’d love to know what brand you love (or hate). If you’ve never tried coconut water before, I challenge you to go ahead and give it a try. Your body will thank you for it!
Pumpkin season is upon us and if you are anything like me, you LOVE anything pumpkin! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pancakes, iced pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cider, pumpkin pop tarts… you catch my drift. However, if you are also anything like me, you can’t have the above mentioned pumpkin goodies because either by choice or by need you can no longer consume gluten or dairy. Major bummer!
Enter my Pumpkin Streusel. This recipe is super easy and super basic. Sometimes the best recipes are the easiest ones. You can easily adapt this recipe to be not only gluten and dairy free but to also accommodate a paleo diet or make it Whole30 approved. If you are paleo, simply substitute the sugar for 1/4 cup of honey. If you are on the Whole30 plan, just omit the sugar all together. Simple as that! If you enjoy pumpkin as much as I do, this is recipe is definitely a keeper!
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/4 cup honey or no sugar at all)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 can (15 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (1st pressing)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
- Mix sugar (if using), cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mix. If using honey, beat the honey with the eggs. Gradually stir in the coconut milk.
- Pour into a un-greased glass pie plate.
- In another bowl, mix together the nuts, almond meal, cinnamon, and sugar. Make sure all of the nuts are evenly coated with the almond meal. Sprinkle on top your pie filling so it is evenly covered.
- Bake in a preheated 425 degrees F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for until 40-50 minutes or until a nice comes out clean. Serve warm or cold. Makes a great breakfast treat the next morning!