Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Cocoa Nibs

I had a lot of fun at our CFSCC Nutrition Talk! Thank you so much for showing up on a Saturday afternoon excited for information about Paleo nutrition... What a great, motivated and inspiring audience! I've been in the field of nutrition for many years and it is not always something people are eager to respond to! In fact, I usually feel like I'm bearing some sort of "bad news" when discussing it! But not on this day, and I love it!!! I truly hope you all left with something valuable and motivated for a 30-day challenge! It truly is all of you that inspire me to experiment, create and cook! So, thank you!
*There are still a few Paleo cookbooks available!

I read all of the nutrition assessment forms, and hands-down, most the food cravings were for: chocolate! (There was one particular craving for pudding, so I figure this recipe takes care of everyone.) This pudding turned out wonderful! Honestly, you do not taste avocado at ALL. It just provides the perfect texture and creaminess. Careful not to use too ripe of a banana, or I think it will overpower the rich chocolate flavor. Be generous with the cocoa nibs! They add an excellent bit o' chocolaty crunch! Hope you enjoy! *This recipe is adapted from: Natural

2 avocados
5 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 banana (not overripe or it will be too overpowering)
1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 T honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch sea salt
Garnish with cocoa nibs

In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients (except cocoa nibs). Blend well for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. If it's too thick, add a little more almond milk. Spoon into serving dishes and garnish with cocoa nibs. Chill for about 15-30 minutes before serving.

Hey! Here's a little Carbohydrate talk for you! I've had some questions in the gym lately and realized we kind of skimmed past this during the nutrition talk!
Hopefully this will answer your questions on Paleo Carbs!

There are two kinds of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex
Simple carbs are the simple sugars like; sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), glucose and lactose (milk sugar).
On the Paleo diet we would consume these in moderation: fruit, dried fruit and honey (small amounts). Limit fruit to 2 servings and dried fruit to 2 oz. per day if weight loss is a goal!
Best fruit choices: Berries, berries, berries! Melons, tropical varieties, and citrus.

Complex carbs for the Paleo diet are: starchy root vegetables. Best choices are: sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, rutabaga, carrots, beets, onions, kohlrabi, yams and jicama!!! ... That's enough to keep us busy cooking!
What we do NOT eat for complex carbs are: breads, cereals, bagels, crackers, tortillas, quinoa, rice, cookies, beans, baked goods and all highly processed grain-laden foods!

Please post thoughts to comments!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Greek Spaghetti Squash Salad

This was a surprise hit with dinner tonight. Everyone looked at it with skepticism and after a few bites... they were asking for seconds! Hope you enjoy!

1 large spaghetti squash
1-1/2 C tomatoes (yellow and red variety), chopped
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 C kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh oregano
pinch sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook spaghetti squash. Quick method: Pierce squash with a fork; place in microwave. Microwave on high for 15 minutes or until tender. Let stand 10 minutes, until squash is cool enough to handle. Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Scrape insides of squash with a fork to remove squash in spaghetti-like stands. Combine spaghetti squash, onions, tomatoes, olives and kalamata olives. Whisk together vinegar and spices. Pour over spaghetti squash mixture and toss well. Cover, chill and serve.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baked Chicken & Apples

Tonight's dinner was a "cupboard clean-out experiment". It was very interesting, very Fall, very comforting, very aromatic, and very delicious! We all enjoyed it... hope you do, too!
Sometimes the most fun I have cooking Paleo is when I don't have any kind of a plan and I'm forced to just create recipes with ingredients I have on hand. After tonight... I'm convinced anyone can create Paleo meals!

6 boneless, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (slightly pounded)
2 T coconut oil
sea salt, black pepper and paprika (to season chicken breasts)
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 C carrots, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced into 8 pieces (I used Gala)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. dried thyme
sea salt
1/2 C chicken broth
1/2 C apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat coconut oil in a skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika. Brown chicken breasts in coconut oil (about 2-3 minutes each side). Remove chicken to a plate and add vegetables and apples to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes). Add cinnamon, thyme and sea salt. When fragrant, add chicken broth and apple cider. Place chicken pieces back in skillet. Cover and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until done! Serve chicken with the apple/onion vegetable mixture and juice spooned over the top.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coconut Pound Cake with Strawberries

I made this for a family party over the weekend and it was a huge success... Paleo, not-Paleo, kids and adults alike! It was a delicious combination that pleased EVERYONE! In fact, on the way home, my daughter announced that this was officially her new favorite dessert forever-more! With accolades like that, how can you not give this a try!? She is 15 and knows just about everything! ;-)

Coconut Pound Cake Recipe:

6 eggs
1 C coconut milk
1/2 C honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut extract
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1 C coconut flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt
Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs with the coconut milk, honey and extracts, until smooth. Add the coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until a smooth batter forms. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil, and sprinkle with some coconut flour to lightly coat pan. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until pound cake separates from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean! Allow the pound cake to cool before removing it from the pan.

Thinly slice 2 pints fresh, well rinsed, strawberries. Add to a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 T organic coconut palm sugar. Let the mixture sit and marinate until strawberries create a juicy syrup!

Slice coconut pound cake and top with strawberry mixture (be sure to pour a little syrupy juice over the top, too).

Optional: top with a Whipped topping of 100% organic heavy whipping cream.
Whip cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Add 1 T coconut sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Whip again until blended and top strawberry coconut pound cake! Hope you enjoy this wonderful delight!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Delicious Baked Chicken Topped with Crispy Prosciutto

Today was a typical Monday... full of the business and craziness that only Monday's can bring! Starting my day with CrossFit was great! A complete challenge with my two favorite combinations: row & bench! ... Left me feeling pretty invigorated and motivated to tackle the rest of the stressors the day would bring!
Anyway, I felt we deserved a special meal to close down the day, relax and take in some flavors the senses would truly appreciate. What is it about a good meal that just makes everything better?

4 Skinless, boneless Chicken breasts, pounded
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
1 C Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C Artichoke hearts
1/2 C White wine or chicken broth
1 T Olive Oil
2 oz. Prosciutto
Seasonings: sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika
2 T chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake prosciutto on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes on each side (until crispy) while your preparing the rest of the meal. Pound chicken breasts fairly thin and sprinkle both sides with the seasonings. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet at medium-high. Brown chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a baking dish. Add the shallots to the skillet (with a little more olive oil if necessary). Add wine (or broth) deglazing pan as you stir in mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Pour the sauce over chicken breasts and break pieces of the crispy cooked prosciutto over the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes, uncovered.
While the chicken is cooking, saute the garlic in olive oil. Add the spinach and saute. Add a splash of chicken broth, and let spinach cook down to tenderness.
Serve chicken breasts on a bed of the sauteed spinach. Spoon a little extra sauce over the top and enjoy! We thought this was a meal packed with delicious flavors! The crispy bites with the prosciutto were the kids favorite!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paleo Harvest Soup

Well, it's that time of year again! ...Time dust off the crock pot and add some soups to the menu! Hope you enjoy this harvest soup... full of comforting fall-like ingredients. It was a delicious dinner and actually made an even better lunch the next day!

2 lbs. ground sausage
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 hannah sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 yellow onion, diced
1 T olive oil
32 oz. beef broth
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can water
2 C chopped kale
1 bay leaf
pinch sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, brown ground sausage. Add the beef broth and canned tomatoes. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions until caramelized. Add onions, potatoes and squash to soup along with bay leaf. Heat on a low boil for about 15 minutes. Then cover and reduce heat on low for about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. About 20 minutes before serving, add the chopped kale to the soup. Stir well and keep covered. Hope you enjoy this thick, hearty harvest-time soup! I hope it will make you want to welcome Fall with open arms...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paleo Bacon Coleslaw

I had SO much fun cooking tonight's dinner. If you can... make an evening out of it! Sip some wine and enjoy the process! ... Gourmet & Paleo!!! Enjoy! :-)

1 head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
OR you can cheat and buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage w/ carrots! :-)
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
6 strips bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T honey
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt & pepper

Combine cabbage, onion and carrot in a large bowl and set aside. Cook bacon pieces over medium heat until throughly browned and crisp, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer bacon to a dish lined with paper towels... to drain. Set aside. Reserve bacon grease for later. Combine mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add about 2 tablespoons bacon grease and all but 2 tablespoons bacon. Mix well and pour over cole slaw. Sprinkle remaining 2 T bacon over slaw and serve!

I used whatever remaining bacon grease for the sweet potatoes side! Use 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed, add to a baking dish. Saute 4 cloves minced garlic in the bacon fat. Do not let the garlic burn! Add about 2 T fresh rosemary (chopped finely) and continue to saute slightly and quickly. Pour mixture over chopped sweet potatoes. Toss well and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees!

I served both these delicious sides with an old recipe favorite: "Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops with Rosemary"! Everything complimented each other nicely! Yum.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash with Shallots and Garlic

I have been a little MIA lately, and I apologize! I also really appreciate those of you who keep checking the site and posting on older recipes! This is still very much a passion of mine... the cooking, creating, eating Paleo and blogging about it! However... life has thrown us a curve ball. (Which it does to us all from time-to-time). Personal issues and illness within our family have drawn immediate attention and priority! I know we ALL have experienced times in our lives when "life" simply overwhelms us.... Pain, suffering, bad luck, sadness, unfortunate circumstances, injuries, heartache... the list goes on! It's times like these when our foundations for good health come to test and really kick in! All of a sudden a great recipe, creative cooking or simply eating for that matter, do not seem important! But... we have the foundations and the experience to make good choices in non-desirable situations. This is who we are now: CrossFitters, Paleo enthusiasts, health aficionados! It is also times like these when we realize what "good health" actually means (visually & internally)!
People: Do not take for granted your health! Get out there and move! Eat well! Enjoy the pleasure (and luxury) of pushing your limits! Live well. Stay challenged. Eat well. Live smart. Eat smart. Stay active within your means. and...CrossFit!

I've heard this quote a lot lately from various sources, and it keeps playing in my mind: "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon

20 oz. chopped butternut squash or 1 butternut squash peeled and diced
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 C olive oil
1 heaping T red wine vinegar
1 large tsp. dried thyme
pinch sea salt & pepper
dash allspice & cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine olive oil and spices. Put butternut squash, shallots and garlic in a baking dish. Add olive oil and spices and toss all ingredients well. Bake for 30-40 minutes... until butternut squash is tender and shallots start to caramelize. That's it!
Hope you enjoy this simple (delicious) side! :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seasoned Coconut Chips

My coconut kick continues.... This recipe was passed on to me by a fellow coconut connoisseur. If you enjoy snacking on coconut chips, you should really give this a try... It's blends a perfect crispy, slightly salty crunch with a cinnamon pizazz! ...It's a hit!

I have to give major props to this recipe creator (great blog site as well)-

Hope you enjoy!!!

1 C coconut chips (I used Paleo Brands All Natural Coconut Flakes)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add coconut flakes. Toss until start to brown.. about 2-3 minutes. Happens quickly, so keep a close eye! Remove from heat, sprinkle with the cinnamon and salt. Toss until coconut is evenly coated with seasonings. Allow to cool. Store in a air-tight bag and snack on demand!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coconut Butternut Squash

My coconut kick continues!!! Coconut proves to be a beautiful recipe enhancement (and my current cooking obsession). Perfectly fun, healthy and exotic! This was truly an amazing side dish ... and I completely foresee making this on a regular basis! Easy and delicious... who could ask for more??

1 T coconut oil
Butternut squash, diced (about 20 oz.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C coconut milk (full fat!)
1/4 C chopped cilantro (or 4 green onions, diced)... I've tried and like both!
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 C coconut flakes
Pinch Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch toasted coconut flakes (topping)

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender and aromatic. Add diced butternut squash, and toss with coconut oil and garlic. Add coconut milk to skillet and lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes. When butternut squash starts to become tender, add cilantro, sage, coconut flakes, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until all ingredients blend well and butternut squash is tender (but not mushy) about 5-7 more minutes. Serve and sprinkle with a few additional flakes of toasted coconut! Enjoy!

We served this with a grilled pork loin and steamed zucchini.
This side dish kind of "steals-the-show", so it's a great accompaniment for the basics and ordinaries! :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coconut Lime Chicken

"Put the lime in the coconut..." Or for a great dinner, put some lime and some coconut on some chicken and fry it all up! This was a huge hit in our house tonight... hope you enjoy!

2 large chicken breast, pounded thin and cut in half (yielding 4 servings)
1 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 T fresh lime zest
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch sea salt
2 eggs
1/4 C coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pound and divide chicken breasts and set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat coconut oil on medium high heat. In a shallow dish, beat the two eggs. In another shallow dish, combine the coconut, cilantro, lime zest and remaining spices. Dip chicken breasts in egg and then into the coconut mixture (chicken should be well coated with coconut). Add chicken immediately to the hot pan and brown until chicken is golden brown (about 4 minutes on each side). Place browned coconut chicken pieces on baking dish and bake for and additional 10-12 minutes. Top with some toasted coconut and cilantro sprigs for looks! :-)
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Potato & Sausage Salad

Do you like sweet potatoes? If so... you'll LOVE this! This dish has become one of my new favorite salads! It's easy. It yields leftovers. It can be served warm or cold. And... it's delicious! Great for summer picnics or barbecues... and sure to be a Paleo-fan favorite! This salad was inspired by a salad they serve in the deli at New Leaf Market. Hope you enjoy!!!

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1" cubes)
1 bunch green onions, diced
4 chicken sausages (any flavor)
1/4 C olive oil
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste!

Grill chicken sausages until brown and cooked through. When cool, slice and set aside. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Put in a pot and cover with water (just enough water to cover potatoes). Bring to a boil. Continue to cook sweet potatoes on a LOW boil for about 7-10 minutes. When potatoes are just tender, drain, and rinse with cool water. You do not want to overcook the potatoes! Place in a bowl and cover with olive oil. Add sausages and green onions and gently stir all ingredients using a wood spoon or rubber spatula. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Basil & Tomato Appetizer

This was the most popular Father's Day appetizer I served! There is nothing like the simple pleasures of heirloom tomatoes and home grown basil (or store bought tomatoes and basil). Either way... you will have happy guests! This easy and colorful combo is extremely tasty! Who doesn't like an easy guest pleaser??? Enjoy! I hope your Father's day yielded many Happy fathers and tasty treats! :-)

2 (preferably) heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil (yielding about 16 nice-sized leaves)
~1 T balsamic vinegar
Pinch organic course grey sea salt

Rinse and pat dry basil leave. Place on a plate. slice heirloom tomatoes and top basil leaves. Drip some balsamic vinegar atop each tomato/basil combination. Sprinkle with a pinch of grey sea salt and serve! Enjoy this simple decadence! Flavor combo heaven!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Leaves & Pancetta

Annie sent over this recipe as a suggestion for a great side dish that was sure to be a family pleaser... and it certainly was!!! I will definitely be making this often. We served this with some grilled steaks and grilled onion (BBQ season is in full force after all). In fact the roasted garlic made an excellent spread for the grilled steaks! So delicious... thank you Annie!

Keep up the great work, Annie... we're headed to the Games! :-)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 bulb garlic, separated but not peeled
2 oz. pancetta, thinly sliced and chopped
Fresh sage leaves, about 16, whole
2-1/2 T olive oil
2-1/2 T 100% maple syrup, organic
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel, seed and cube butternut squash (about 3/4 inch cubes). Place in a baking dish or roasting pan with the whole head of garlic (separated, but not peeled). Toss with olive oil, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes (until squash begins to brown... turning once). Sprinkle chopped pancetta and scatter the sage leaves evenly over the squash. Continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes (until squash and garlic is tender and caramelized). Enjoy the roasted garlic cloves by themselves or spread over your steak or vegetable. Yummy.

~recipe from The Barefoot Contessa

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shrimp, Asparagus & Shiitake Stir Fry

With my son gone to Science Camp for the week, tonight was my daughter's pick for dinner. Sure enough she picked her favorite foods and everything he dislikes ...and would undoubtably complain about! This was a delicious quick-fix... perfect for a hectic last week of school!

1/2-3/4 lb. shiitake mushrooms - trimmed and left whole (or sliced in half if they're large)
1 large shallot, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 lb. bay shrimp, tail on and deveined
1 T coconut oil
1/4 C coconut aminos
pinch sea salt (optional)
black pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over high heat. Saute shrimp until pink and heat through. Remove, and add shallots to pan. Cook on medium low heat until tender. Add mushrooms. As mushrooms start to soften add asparagus and coconut aminos. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes (until asparagus is crisp tender). Add shrimp back to pan. Toss well and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy! Quick and easy. :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Simple Salmon & Cilantro Sweet Potatoes

Wow, what a weekend! We followed our very own Annie Sakamoto to the Nor-Cal Regionals and she sure gave us reason to cheer! I think I can speak for all when I say how very proud and awe-inspired we all were by her! Annie is one of those rare gems that encompasses the best qualities in an athlete, a competitor, a mother, a trainer, a friend, a wife and a person! A lovely lady who truly deserves this shining moment: 3rd for our Nor-Cal Region!!! We love you, Annie!

Tonight's dinner was delicious! However, it was the side dish that I was most happy with! Sweet potatoes are a mainstay in our diet, and it is always a treat to find new ways to prepare them. This tasty recipe could be enjoyed hot or cold. Hope you enjoy! We loved it!

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Pinch sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook at a low boil for about 8-10 minutes (until potatoes are just tender). Drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until tender. Add potatoes back to pan along with chili powder and cilantro. Mix well and season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy this pleasant twist to the typical side dish! And... for all you cilantro dislikers (I do know a few)... substitute flat leaf Italian parsley!

Just for fun... here's a shot of (some of the) Annie's FANnies celebrating with Annie at the end of regionals:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scott's Paleo Chicken Thighs

I was sick all last week, and had to take some time off! Scott really helped out in the kitchen. He truly enjoys cooking and is pretty darn good at it... (he also keeps it Paleo)! I should give him more opportunities to take over the kitchen! This recipe is on of my favorites that he made... a winner with us all! Our daughter even asked for seconds, which to Scott was pure victory!

Now you should know a few things about Scott's cooking... 1. Alcohol is almost always an ingredient! It cooks down and really provides a rich flavor, but you could easily substitute the red wine in this recipe for chicken broth. 2. He will almost always use these two cooking tools: his cast iron skillet or his BBQ. 3. Garlic, garlic and more garlic! 4. He also makes a huge mess of the kitchen, but that's another story! ;-)

Thank you for taking care of the cooking, babe!

6-8 Chicken thighs, with skin
black pepper and pinch sea salt
2 T olive oil
Sauce ingredients:
1 T olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
3/4 C red wine (or chicken broth)
1/4 C water
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T Oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron (or heavy, oven-safe) skillet, heat the olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Brown thighs in olive oil. In a separate skillet prepare the sauce. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, herb seasonings. Cook over medium heat until it thickens and reduces. Add water. Pour over chicken thighs and place entire cast iron skillet in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve with your choice of sides, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Spicy Cauliflower Stuffed Tomatoes

Ok, what a totally fun dinner this was! Delicious and ready to impress! And honestly not difficult at all... just a lot of veggie prep. If you give this a try, I promise you won't be sorry! Have fun with it.. and enjoy.

Spicy Cauliflower Stuffed Tomatoes:
6 ripe tomatoes
1 C cauliflower rice
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 C reserved tomato pulp
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
pinch sea salt

Rice the cauliflower in a food processor. Reserve 1 Cup, and save (or freeze) the rest for another time. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 1/2-inch slice off the top of each tomato, save the tops! Hallow out the the tomatoes by scooping out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes, reserve a 1/3 C. Rub some olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish and place hallowed tomatoes on it. Saute garlic and jalapeno peppers in some olive oil until tender. Toss cauliflower rice with tomato pulp reserve. Add garlic, peppers, cilantro, olive oil and spices. Combine well! Spoon mixture into the hallowed tomatoes, mounding slightly. Place tomato tops back on top of the stuffed tomatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tuna Steaks:
Seer tuna steaks 2 minutes on each side, and then cook 4 minutes on low. We used the grill for this. Just season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

Top steaks with some pico de gallo (recipe from Cinco de Mayo)!

This meal is a winner! I promise! :-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paleo Carne Asada y Pico de Gallo

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! What a great excuse to eat well! Everyone loves a good south-of-the-border flavor! Spicy and satisfying... Tonight's meal has left me full and happy! Hope you enjoy this Cinco de Mayo feast.

Carne Asada Recipe:
1 large skirt steak (about 2 lbs.)
juice of 2 limes
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. course sea salt
Sauteed Onions & Peppers:
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Combine all the marinade ingredients and the meat in a container with a lid or in a sealed bag. Marinate the meat at least 2 hours (preferably overnight). Grill meat until nicely browned on one side and then flip and brown the other side. Skirt steak cooks quickly, so be careful not to overcook it. Transfer to a cutting board and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Slice in thin strips.

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions and peppers in olive oil until tender, set aside. Add sliced carne asada to skillet and toss together... finally add chopped cilanto. Serve with pico de gallo!

Pico de Gallo:
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1/2 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 T lime juice
Pinch sea salt

Combine all ingredients and toss together well! Use generously to top carne asada! Enjoy!

We also enjoy some steamed yellow zucchini tossed with some sauteed onions and more cilantro! :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celebratory Steak

Congratulations to all who completed and competed in these six weeks of CrossFit games qualifiers! What an awesome accomplishment to all who took on this challenge! I witnessed some amazing performances at CFSCC. Nothing beats seeing your peers exceed their expectations and personal goals!!! Emotions raging from stress, fear, anxiety, dread to elation, shock, pride, and jubilation (and later probable intoxication).
I had an utter blast (slightly participating), watching, coaching, cheering and judging. So tonight, I felt very celebratory! We enjoyed a very nice grass-fed ribeye steak, sauteed summer squash and... yes, a fine bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!
Good ... no... GREAT times, my friends! Congratulations!

grass-fed ribeye steak, 2
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Summer Squash:
4-5 summer squash, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 C chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 T cilantro
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat grill to medium heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Grill steaks for about 5-7 minutes on each side.
In a saute pan, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat. Add summer squash. Stir in chicken broth and cover for about 5-7 minutes. Toss in cilantro salt and pepper within the last couple minutes. Cook until tender when pierced with a fork.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paleo Chicken Stir Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms & Baby Bok Choy

Stir fries rarely disappoint! They are quick, tasty and have the ability to please just about everyone! Simply put, they are "feel-good meals"! Tonight, my daughter and I picked out our favorite ingredient and built our dinner around that. Our ingredient: shiitake mushrooms! Oh, we just love those and any excuse to add those to a dinner makes for a couple of very happy ladies! I hope this stir fry makes you happy and feel good, too!

4 chicken breasts, sliced in thin strips
2 T coconut oil
4 baby bok choy
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
18-20 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1/2 C coconut aminos, divided

Marinate chicken strips in 1/4 C coconut aminos (for at least 20 minutes). In a large skillet, heat 1 T coconut oil over medium/high heat. Add chicken strips to pan and quickly saute until browned. Remove from skillet, and set aside. Add another T coconut oil to skillet and saute garlic, onions and ginger. After a couple minutes, add bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. Stir continuously. Slowly add remaining coconut aminos. When bok choy is slightly tender, add chicken strips back to pan. Toss all ingredients well and add sesame seeds and serve! (IF desired, drizzle with just a tad of sesame oil and a pinch of course grey sea salt). Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paleo Italian Pork Chops

I was SO proud that I remembered to take out some pork chops from the freezer (totally last minute) as I was running out the door this morning, but I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do with them when I got home! In fact, throughout the entire day, a pork chop dinner never once again crossed my mind! Woops... so when I did get home I frantically investigated the pantry and refrigerator for ideas! Based on available ingredients (and personal cravings) I came up with an Italian-style pork chop recipe and it was really GOOD! ... And proof that you can have an unplanned (scour-the-pantry-for-ideas-type-dinner) with utter delicious successfulness! As long as the meat is thawed, anything is possible. Hope you enjoy! :-)

6 pork chops
3 eggs, lightly beaten
~3 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can dice tomatoes
3.8 oz can sliced ripe black olives
3/4 C chicken broth
1-1/4 C almond meal
3 T dried parsley flakes
1 T Italian seasoning
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs together. In a separate shallow bowl, combine almond meal and all listed spices. In a large skillet (I used a cast iron) heat olive oil over medium heat. Trim pork chops of visible fat (if desired) and dip each chop into he egg mixture, then into the almond/spice mixture (coating evenly). Place coated pork chop in the skillet and brown for about 5-7 minutes on each side (until it's nice and brown and crispy). Place pork chops in a baking dish, set aside. Add minced garlic to skillet and saute until tender (add a tad more olive oil if needed). Deglaze the sauté pan with chicken broth. Add canned tomatoes and canned black olives. Stir well and bring sauce to a low boil. Pour sauce over the pork chops and place in the oven, uncovered. Cook for about 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salmon & Kale

Oh my Gosh... my family RAVED over this dinner and crowned me queen of the kitchen! :-D
I wore my crown proudly all evening! The truth is though... this was an easy dinner to make and really didn't involve a whole lot of talent (but we don't have to let them know that)... I like being "queen"... if only for an evening!


Sauteed Kale:
1 T olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
5-6 oz shiitake mushroom, whole
1 T sesame seeds
1 bunch kale, break up leaves, discard thick stems
2 T coconut aminos (non-soy seasoning sauce)

8-10 oz. salmon filet (serves 4)
1 T olive oil
Approximately 1 tsp. black pepper
Approximately 1 tsp. ground ginger
1 T sesame seeds
1/4 C coconut aminos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy skillet (I used a cast iron) heat olive oil. Season fish on both sides with ginger and black pepper. When olive oil is hot, quickly brown salmon... about 3-5 minutes on each side (until nicely browned). Pour coconut aminos over salmon and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place entire skillet in oven for 10 minutes.

While salmon is baking, in another skillet, heat olive oil and saute shallots until they start to caramelize. Add shiitake mushrooms, and stir in sesame seeds and coconut aminos. Add kale and mix well. Cook until kale becomes tender. The salmon and kale should be ready about the same time! Serve together on a plate... and become queen (or king) of the kitchen! :-) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paleo Jerusalem Chicken

This week I'm focusing on healing foods and recovery! I may be out of CrossFit for the week, but I'm not out of the kitchen! Sometimes when you're frustrated over things you can't control, it's beneficial to focus on things you can control, right? So it has become extremely important to me to do whatever I can to elicit healing! I'm using food (in a good way). Yep... healthy, healing-type foods packed with micro and macro nutrients and lean proteins! The typical Paleo way, personified!

Ok, so I'm not sure if tonight's dinner was as much healing for my body as it was comforting for my spirits... either way, it served its purpose!!! Road to recovery is underway! I hope you enjoy this tasty dinner! :-)

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 C organic chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 C white wine
1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
1 (10 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained (packed in water)
1 C coconut milk
2 T fresh chopped Italian parsley
black pepper
sea salt (to taste)
2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with some black pepper and paprika. Bake chicken for about 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is baking, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. When liquid is reduced by half, add the wine, mushrooms, and artichokes. Reduce heat and cook until mushrooms are tender and sauce thickens a bit. Finally, stir in the coconut milk (this gives the sauce that creamy texture and look). Pour all the sauce over the chicken breasts, and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes! Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley. Serve with steamed zucchini (or vegetable of choice).

Scott raved over this! Hope you enjoy, too! It was pretty simple, delicious, and definitely comforting! ...Oh and made for excellent leftovers! I'll keep you posted as to its healing properties! ;-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Steamed Brussels with Bacon and Shallots

You don't hear this often, but the BEST part of tonight's dinner was the BRUSSELS SPROUTS!
No joke! These were delicious. I highly recommend! This will make even the doubterest of doubters a believer in the magic of brussels sprouts. I could have macked on these all night! THANK YOU ANNIE for this delicious recipe. (You don't always go to the gym just to get a great workout, sometimes you get a great recipe, too)! Brussels sprouts are in season right now and will make an excellent side dish to any recipe! Enjoy! ... The kids will like 'em too, 'cause we all know: "bacon makes everything better".

about 15-20 brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 shallots, sliced
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 C chicken broth (or water)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Saute chopped bacon in a skillet. When bacon starts to crisp, remove bacon pieces, reserving bacon fat. On medium heat, saute the shallots in the bacon fat until they start to caramelize. Add the sliced brussels with the shallots. Cook together for a couple minutes. Add the bacon pieces back to the skillet along with the chicken broth. Toss all ingredients together well and cover with a lid for about 5-7 minutes (until brussels are tender).
A tasty side for just about any dish! :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simple Baked Cod

In need a quick meal? Needs some much desired Omega 3's during these 6 weeks of CrossFit Open Workouts? This is a great emergency dinner for super busy days or when groceries and/or creativity may be a bit limited. We get these Cod fillets at Costco, and they're usually good for at least two emergency meals. They are flash frozen and do not need to be thawed beforehand, which is what I just love about these! Maybe they'll make it on your next Costco shopping list?

Recipe: (embarrassingly easy)...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the cod filets with desired spices!
I used garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, paprika and a pinch of sea salt.
Bake for about 20 minutes (or until fish is heated through and flakes easily with a fork).
That's it!!! ... Oh and delicious with some sliced lemon wedges, too! :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken-Wrapped Asparagus

I have been plotting and planning this meal for about two weeks now! My first attempt did not go as planned! ... As I was about to put the chicken it in the oven, our electricity went out! So... we had to barbecue it (which was not an ideal cooking method for this dish). It was too dry and burnt on the bottom. :( Our electricity continued it's unpredictability last week with the heavy rain storms. I pretty much planned a barbecue every night since, just to be safe! So... this is Chicken-Wrapped Asparagus attempt #2! I am very happy to report that is was delicious, and well worth the wait. Hope you enjoy! :-)

4 chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C mushrooms, chopped
1 T olive oil
2+ T fresh chopped rosemary
Asparagus spears-12 (3 per chicken breast)
Seasonings: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
*Baking string or cooking twine (I can't remember what it's called)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add sliced mushroom and saute for a few more minutes. Remove from heat. In a food processor, pulse garlic, mushrooms and rosemary until slightly paste-like. Set aside. Pound each chicken breasts fairly thin. Season underside of breast with some of the seasonings. Spread about 1+ T of the mushroom/garlic/rosemary paste on each breast - stay mostly within the center of the breasts (use it all up). Place 3 asparagus spears over chicken breast and roll. Secure with baking string (about 6"). I placed the asparagus spears perpendicular to the length of the chicken breast so that I had sufficient chicken to wrap the asparagus with. Place wrapped and twine-secured chicken breasts in a baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika and black pepper (for color), cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with steamed asparagus! ...Enjoy :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blackened Flank Steak

Simple, but delicious! Easy, but tasty. Quick, but rewarding! Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat as it packs such huge flavor and versatility in the kitchen! It can be fixed up as a quick stand-by dinner or prepared as an elegant gourmet feast! ... Tonight I opted for "quick" ... and yet I felt like I ate like a queen! Hope you enjoy!

Flank Steak, about 2 lbs.
1 T black pepper
1 T garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
olive oil

Mix together all spice ingredients. Coat both sides of steak with dry mixture. Let meat sit for about 10 minutes with spices. Coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil, and heat until oil is hot. Sear meat in pan, and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Slice diagonally in thin strips.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patty's Paleo Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day
If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough! - Irish saying.

Thursday is the big day. I bought my corned beef brisket tonight! I'm planning on preparing it the same way I did last year because (if I do say so myself) it was the best I've ever made! I hope you enjoy and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So, here's a heads-up on the recipe! Go shopping and get that crock pot out! :-)

3-4 lb. corned beef brisket (I trimmed the thick layer of fat off the bottom)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
ground black pepper

Put corned beef, pepper, garlic, bay leaves in crock pot and pour just enough water to cover beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I did the cabbage a little different this year. I was gone all day, so instead of adding the cabbage and veggies to the crock pot, I just cooked them up separately when I got home... about 30 minutes before serving.

1 head cabbage, quartered
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 C corned beef juice from the crock pot!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, and a splash of the broth. Add cabbage, remaining broth and cover. Cook until cabbage is done about 20 minutes.
Slice corned beef and serve over the cabbage! Sprinkle with a little more black pepper and celtic grey sea salt (optional).

A St. Patrick's Day Toast:
Here's to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer - and another one!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Apple and Onion-Stuffed Pork Chops

As a kid, I really didn't like pork chops much... I always remember them being dry and chewy! As an adult, I have come to really enjoy them! And as a Paleo enthusiast... I love their versatility in a recipe! Tonight's dinner was one I found on the Food Network (and made only minor changes). We completely enjoyed this (even the kiddos)... So, I give this a "highly recommend" rating.
Now, if we could only figure out who gets the (1) leftover chop for lunch tomorrow?!?
... Ro Sham Bo?

4 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 large sweet onion
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly diced
olive oil
2 T pineapple juice & 6 oz pineapple juice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
ground black pepper
pinch sea salt
1 T fresh parsley
1 T fresh lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently cut a pocket horizontally in the side of the pork chop. Season the outside of the chops with some freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the bacon. When it starts to crisp, add the onions, thyme and sage. Cook until onions start to caramelize (about 10 minutes). Pour mixture in a bowl. Add apples and 2 T pineapple juice to the bowl and mix well. Stuff each pork chop with the mixture and secure the opening with toothpicks (there will be leftover filling). In the same skillet, add olive oil to coat pan and heat to medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides until golden brown. Transfer to a baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes. While pork chops are cooking, add pineapple juice to skillet and deglaze pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook until it reduces (about 5 minutes). Add leftover apple, onion and bacon mixture to skillet. Add lemon zest and fresh parsley. Pour sauce over the pork chops and serve! YUM! :-)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Barcelona Burger!

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a meal Annie recently had while visiting Barcelona, Spain. She ordered a burger and this is how it was served! Wonderfully Paleo and absolutely delicious. I highly recommend trying this twist for your next burger night! ...Use really good ground beef for this! Hope you enjoy. We all did... even the kids, when they got past the shock of seeing an egg on their hamburger patty! :-)

Thanks, Annie for sharing your Barcelona stories and restaurant experiences!

about 2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef or buffalo
(add your choice of seasoning to the ground beef. I used: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pinch chili flakes, and sea salt. Mix well and form into 4-6 patties).
4 eggs (one for each patty)
olive oil
3 oz. prosciutto (made into crispy chips)

Grill burgers to desired doneness. In a skillet, fry the eggs (over easy style). When burgers are grilled to your liking, top with the fried egg and sprinkle with the tasty prosciutto chips! Enjoy!

Prosciutto chips:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with an olive oil spray (or coat with a little olive oil). Place thin prosciutto slices on cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (tuning once). Careful not to burn! They cook quick and will crisp up more after they cool slightly. Once cool enough, just break up the pieces with your hands for delicious bite-sized chips!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sauteed Greens & Grilled Chicken

I've been a little strapped for posting time this week, so thank you Amenah, from Santa Cruz Central, for sending me this wonderful recipe! Amenah is a fairly new Paleo enthusiast (a vegetarian convert... we LOVE those). She is also an amazing cook, exploring in Paleo cookery... so thanks for sharing! Amenah made great use of some local Farmer's Market finds... like, romanesco and collard greens! Super fun... hope you enjoy!
Thank you, Amenah!

Amenah's Recipe:

2 TBL bacon grease
4 small leaks, discard the tough stuff, wash carefully and slice
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch collard greens, 1 inch ribbons
1 small head romanesco (the spiney green cauliflower) broken into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 c water
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat sautee leaks and garlic in bacon grease a few minutes until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add collard greens, sautee a few minutes.

Add in romanesco and water, cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until greens and romanesco are a little tender.

Salt and pepper to taste.

The chicken in the picture is something I made last night and heated up. I took handfuls of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, oregano, and dill) and chopped them up really fine and then crushed an entire head of garlic, ground in some salt and pepper, and stirred in a generous amount of olive oil. I quartered a whole organic chicken, peeled back the skin, and massaged the mixture on all sides, under and on top of the skin. I let the chicken sit for 20 minutes and then created an aluminum foil pouch for it which I placed on a medium-low gas grill, turned it once, and then unwrapped it and directly grilled it. It turned out INCREDIBLE. Sorry, I didn't take pics but if you don't already make a chicken this way, try it. It's so savory and yummy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Paleo Broiled Flank Steak

It was a busy day and an even busier evening. Days like these require quick fixes! But that is NO reason we have to sacrifice flavor, quality, or our Paleo diligence. Hope you enjoy this QUICK & easy Paleo feast! :-)
This would be great grilled... but it is SO cold outside, I decide to try the broiler... It worked great!

~2 lbs. Flank steak
1/4 C lime juice
2 tsp. each: sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder
2 T dried parsley

Season flank steak with spices (1 tsp. each side) and parsley (1 T each side). Really rub the spices into the meat. Put seasoned flank steak in a ziplock bag or tupperware-type container. Pour lime juice over the steak. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Heat broiler. Place flank steak on a broiler pan and broil for about 5 minutes on each side. Thats it! Let it sit for about 5 minutes on the cutting board. Slice across the grain and serve! It had a GREAT flavor for a quick fix! We served this with steamed broccoli and baked sliced sweet potatoes (our typical standby side).
Hope you enjoy... we did!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Salmon with Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Spears & Sauteed Spinach

I thought this was a hearty and decadent meal. It seemed the right thing to do for a Holiday! If you enjoy bacon (and I haven't met anyone who doesn't) then I promise you will love this!
The bacon-wrapped asparagus spears make a great appetizer, too! (I know what I'm bringing to my next Paleo party!)
Enjoy! :-)

1 large Salmon filet (wild-caught)
1 T spicy stone ground mustard
1 T capers
1 package bacon, uncured (reserve two slices for the spinach)
1 bunch asparagus (on the thicker side)
1 T olive oil
1 bunch fresh baby spinach (or 9oz pre-washed bag)
2 cloves garlic, minced
(2 sliced cooked bacon)... chopped
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush mustard on fish and top with capers and black pepper. Bake salmon for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn on Broiler. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap around a piece of asparagus. Place on a broiler pan. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until bacon browns. When bacon is browned, turn asparagus over and broil for another 10 minutes (or so) to brown the bottom side. Set aside. Put salmon back under the broiler for just about 5 minutes to brown the mustard topping. Serve with bacon-wrapped asparagus spears and sauteed spinach.

I cooked up a couple extra pieces of bacon to add to the spinach! Heat olive oil in a pan and saute garlic. Add spinach and toss until it cooks down. Toss in the bacon pieces!

Absolutely yummy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paleo Butternut Squash Soup

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

This recipe was sent to me by our lovely, new mommy, Whitney. I have to thank her... and apologize to her at the same time, because I kind of changed the recipe up a bit. Some alterations were intentional in order to keep it within Paleo boundaries, the other modifications were accidental! I failed to read the recipe in its entirety and consequently ended up with this post! It turned out VERY good! But I promise I will follow the recipe closer next time! This recipe is adapted from the Food Network Kitchens, under Butternut Squash Soup.
Perfect for a rainy Valentine's dinner! Hope you enjoy!

3 T olive oil
2 lbs. ground pork sausage
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ground sage
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and diced (hardest part of the whole meal was cutting this up)... But they do sell pre-cut/peeled butternut squash for a time-saving option!
4 C organic chicken broth
1 tsp. coconut vinegar

Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, sage, salt and pepper. Add sausage and cook until crumbly. Cover and cook until fragrant and soft. Add Tomatoes and cook for about 10 more minutes. Add the squash and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered until vegetables are tenter, about 20 minutes or so. Stir in the vinegar last. Mix well! Serve in some soup bowls and top with chives, if desired, and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paleo Chicken Scallopini Over Spaghetti Squash

I opted for another Italian dinner tonight. It was hearty, filling and delicious! I always hear how difficult it is to give up Italian food when choosing the Paleo lifestyle. I hope that you don't believe that's true! While it might be a little bit more challenging, it is still completely possible to enjoy Italian cuisine. Spaghetti squash is amazing as a pasta substitute ...and was particularly tasty tonight under the chicken & capers. Enjoy! :-)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C almond meal
1 T dried parsley
pinch sea salt and 1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C sliced mushrooms
2 T capers
2 T lemon juice
1/4 C white wine (or chicken broth)
1 lemon, thinly sliced

*Spaghetti squash

Pound chicken breasts pretty thin (about 1/4 inch). Combine almond meal, parsley, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Dredge chicken breasts in almond flour mixture. Brown chicken breast in olive oil, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breasts. In same pan, add garlic and mushrooms and saute until tender (you may need to add a tad more olive oil). Add wine and deglaze pan. Stir in capers and lemon juice. Add chicken breasts back to pan. Place thinly sliced lemons over the chicken pieces, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve over a bed of spaghetti squash & enjoy a Paleo-friendly Italian meal!

*This is how I make the spaghetti squash (there are other methods out there... this just works well with me):
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce spaghetti squash with a knife several times. Place entire spaghetti squash in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully slice in half. Spoon out the center seeds. Now place both halves back in the oven for about 10-15 more minutes in a baking pan with about 1/4 C water. When center is soft and tender, remove form oven. Let cool slightly and scoop out all the meat of the spaghetti squash into a bowl. It should be easy to scoop with a spoon from the shell and come out looking like strings of spaghetti noodles! A very versatile and tasty vegetable!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Paleo Italian Wedding Soup

This was a loooonng Monday. It was sure nice to come home and enjoy a comforting meal... so calming and soothing! I highly recommend this Paleo twist on an Italian classic. It was quick, easy, comforting and delicious. A perfect finish to a hectic day!

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 T almond meal
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 C chicken broth
2 C fresh baby spinach
1 C cauliflower (*riced cauliflower)
1 C sliced carrots

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, almond meal and spices... mix well. Form into small meatballs and set aside. In a large pot, heat broth to boiling. Stir in spinach leaves, carrots, cauliflower rice and meatballs. Cook at a slow low boil for about 15-20 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!

*Cauliflower rice: chop cauliflower into pieces and put through a food processor and shred for a rice-like consistency. I riced a whole head of cauliflower. The leftovers I put in a freezer bag for another time. It freezes great and is easy to thaw!

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