Every. Single. Recipe. – Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Goat Cheese

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Hey gang! I’m still here and still cooking! Just a little behind in the posts.
So a couple of weeks ago I made this doozey of a recipe out of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind.  If you are a fan of squash, and a fan of goat cheese…you will be a fan of this!

It is simple and delicious.  The flavors are tremendous!  The sage brown butter gives such a subtle but rich addition!  As you can see from the pic, I made a few additions to mine….and i think you can add any number of things to taste.  Here is what I did…

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I slow sauteed a few thin slices of onions along with some chopped garlic in about a tsp of Kerrygold butter while the squash was cooking. That got tossed in to the final mix along with some halved fresh grape tomatoes. I ended up and doubled the amount of goat cheese, mixing half into the squash while it was hot, crumbling the rest on top. I think next time I might also toss some red pepper flakes into pan of onions to give it a little kick.  And I will confess here and now, I did not share.  My squash was pretty small anyway.  I ate my “half”…and then ate the other half!  (Don’t panic, this was all I had for dinner!)  And savored every bit!  So delicious!  Again, Vanessa Barajas, I think your real talents may fall in the savory realm!  I have really enjoyed every single one!

And when you don’t wear your glasses to take photos, you get blurry ones.  So here is my solution for that:

spagh squash
A nice artistic filter on photoshop! Like Watercolors! Ha!

Try this one, you will be so glad you did!
Kristen

Every. Single. Recipe. – Snickerdoodles!

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Wow, I have had such a crazy busy couple of weeks, but I actually have been at work in the kitchen as well, just have not had time to post! So, a couple of weekends ago I tried out the Snickerdoodle recipe in Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, and here goes!

These are just great!  Excellent texture and flavor (especially from her trademark browned butter!)  You will want to be sure to chill the dough as mentioned or you will have a sticky mess!

snickerdoo dough
But that is no trouble, just cover with plastic wrap like she says and pop in the freezer, you will be glad you did!

These are quick and easy….and here is my tip…cook them for the minimum time!  I decided to let the first batch go a couple of extra minutes because I did not think they had browned enough.  Don’t panic!  they didn’t burn!  They looked fine, but the flavor turned a bit with the extra time in the oven, took on a slightly burnt flavor…not bad, just toasty!  Anyway, the next batch I did for less time, and they are SPOT ON!!!   One other tip, give these babies plenty of room on the cookie sheet!  They spread!  (As you can tell on the pic below, mine got very cozy in the oven….had to pull them apart.)…DARN!  You know the rule!  Got to eat the “ugly” ones!!!  haha!

So these are a keeper….another keeper!!!  More to come here on the blog this morning, I finally have a few minutes and quite a few to post!  Lucky YOU!!!

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AND…If you are in the Houston area this weekend, Vanessa Barajas (Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind) and Juli Bauer will be signing their books at the Brazos Bookstore here in town on Sunday, October 4th at 5:00 pm….hope to see you there!!!  I will be there!  Wonder if you can pick me out of a crowd???)

Back to work!  Kristen

Every.Single.Recipe. – Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

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Well this hearty plateful only gave me one good photo. (Apologies, sun was already down, lighting not my friend…and it’s a hard dish to photograph already!)

This dish is a nice surprise!  I love baked potatoes, and love me a cheeseburger!  So putting this all together in one big plate is just happiness!

I used Yukon potatoes…which are delicious!  Her meat mix is very good!  I found a great English Grassfed sourced sharp cheddar.  Fresh chives really are great!

I topped it with a bit of grass fed sourced Sour Cream (like any good baker deserves!) and some delicious chipotle salsa, because, well, salsa!

The recipe is quick, simple, and very filling!  Check this one out, in Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind and let me hear your twists!

Every. Single. Recipe-Cha Cha Cha!

pepper plate
Let me start off by saying, “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”. That is technical jargon.
I am beginning to think Ms. Barajas may have a calling in the savory world!
Of the handful of savory recipes she has in the book, they are all knock-outs so far!
Chiles Rellenos. I can honestly say I have never made this before. But have certainly enjoyed it in many a Tex Mex restaurant! I have lived in Houston, TX my whole life and am spoiled for mexican fare for sure! So I don’t usually even bother with it at home, it is too easy to go get some. But since going paleo, it is not so easy. You know the cheese does not come from a grass fed source, nor the meats. You can count on pretty much nothing being organic, although some of the newer, trendier spots are catching on!
So being a lover of spicy cheesy goodness, let’s give it a whirl, shall we?

I certainly have never purchased these little beauties before….it was fun picking them out!  and handling them!  And prepping them, which was just simple!

poblanos
As the peppers par boiled, I followed her directions for the meat mixture which came together very quickly as well! I admit…I did add a couple of things, which I think is appropriate with a canvas recipe such as this one. She gives you a tasty, simple version…how far you jump from there is up to you! I really love to see tomatoes in the meat, so I added some fresh pico de gallo, a handful of cilantro and some fresh chopped garlic. The recipe assembles super easy! When layering, I admit, I did add a handful of grated pepper jack between the layers as well as what is called for on top. (Note – I cannot find sliced pepper jack from a grass fed source around here, however, I love Rumiano’s brand grassfed cheeses…I used a block of their pepper jack and grated the whole thing….some for the middle layer and the rest on top. MMM cheesy!).

It only takes about 20 minutes in the oven to heat through, cheese melty and golden….while it was in the oven I whipped up some fresh quacamole with EXTRA lime juice…the citrus-y tang of the guac was perfect with each bite of the Chiles Rellenos…and this dish was fantastic!  In fact, plenty for 4 people,  or in my case leftovers for 2, yay!  Except for when your husband decides to go and get a full 2nd helping!  Then it becomes my lunch later in the week  (today!!!).

Make this….you can really push it a number of different ways!  It is not overly spicy, just tasty!  If you want spice, add some peppers, or salsa, or red pepper flakes to the meat mixture.  A spanish cauli-rice would be great alongside as well!

Let me know what you think after you make it!  And you SHOULD make it!  Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind…in the first chapter…hurry!  It is too delicioso not too!

Kristen

Every.Single.Recipe. – Cookie Dough Fudge – Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind RECIPE SCORE!

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My latest try, and huge success, Cookie Dough Fudge! And today, via the magic of internet links, you can try this recipe out yourself, as if you don’t already have enough reasons to run out and pick up the cookbook, go to http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/2015/09/cookie-dough-fudge/    where Vanessa Barajas has given The Spunky Coconut permission to post the recipe…a teaser if you will!  (Pluse if you are not already familiar, The Spunky Coconut is a great blog, she has some great recipes, info and photos, I have followed her on instagram for years!)

Okay, back to business here.

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Not complicated, simple clean ingredients and the magic of a cashew base, if you take the extra 5 minutes and do the browned butter, you will end up with an incredibly close rendition of toll house cookie dough flavor! I went with mini chocolate chips…I’m really in it for the dough, so the minis are always my choice with cookies. Be warned, you gotta pull out alot of equipment to get it done, but it is pretty quick. And because of the type of dough it is, it all cleans up easy. (saucepan, food processor, beaters, bowl, pan, spatulas….maybe not that much??) I just grumble about the food processor really, because I keep mine under the sink and I always time it so it just won’t quite fit in the dishwasher! haha…but then I stuff that chunk of Cookie Dough Fudge in my mouth as I wash the dishes and it’s like little kitchen pixies are there with me making it all get done quickly with sparkles and twinkles!

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So, yeah. If cookie dough is your thing, you really need to do this. I sent a pic to my daughter who is in college several states away and her response was… “STOP.”

I told her not to worry! It’s in the freezer waiting for her on the next trip home!!

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One more shot for the road….
Get in the kitchen already!
Also, pick up your copy of Clean Eating With A Dirty Mind, you will be so happy!

Give me some feedback on how you are liking this series of posts…and PLEASE pass along the word about my blog!  I know I am having fun with it!!! Hope you are too!

Kristen

Every. Single. Recipe. – Surprise! Salty and Sweet!

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what? WHAT???

Yes, you are seeing what you are seeing.

I know, I said it would be a few days, but I got a boost of encouragement from a little bird last night with this project, and had a sweet tooth to boot, and it donned on me, I have ALL the ingredients for this little doozey!  (Ha if you have taken a look at this recipe!)

Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips.

Nothing more to say really!  I cannot give you the recipe, and it’s VERY complicated, probably way above your pay grade.  In fact, don’t even bother looking it up.

chip flat

In fact, don’t even be tempted to throw this together on the fly with what you MIGHT have in your pantry already.  It’s just to complex.

(Is anyone hearing a little sarcasm in my post today?  Perhaps a little taunting even to encourage you to get the book and look up this handy little morsel?)

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, this is genius. GENIUS!!!  (By the way, this brings the count to 8 out of 152…go go go!)

Ok, one more look….now get to it!!!

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Simple, beautiful, mayo

mayoI was asked by a follower on instagram for this one…

I have been a big fan of mayo for as long as I can remember! My childhood consisted of mayo and bread sandwiches, mayo+white bread+american cheese (!), mayo+lettuce+white bread, and on and on… every day for most of my young life! As I grew up, I would eat it on crackers, veggies, you name it. I would pick mayo over butter any day of the week! And, I was a Hellmanns girl. None of that sweet Miracle Whip or Duke’s (although I learned to appreciate MW on a ham sandwich from time to time…).

I always heard how difficult mayo was to make and that home made was ultra delicious, but very tricky.

When I found paleo living, I saw so many bloggers and chefs making their own healthy mayo which had good healthy fats and amped up so many meals, but the recipes were complicated, often needing all ingredients brought to room temp, some were yolks only, some use the blender, some use the food processor, and often it was a game of chance if it would firm up or break.
I have probably tried a dozen different recipes, multiple times each, and was running a 50/50 chance as to whether the mayo would “make” or not!
I started seeing some people using immersion blenders, and that seemed to speed things up! (especially from the workout of using the old fashioned hand wisking method!….pant pant!)

My mother swears by the immersion blender….and I tried it, several times, cursing it every time, as i just didn’t have knack for it. And then I watched her do it and thought, really Kristen? You can do this…

Here is how you do it….

Use a mild flavored oil….I use a LIGHT olive oil that I find at whole foods (NOT extra virgin!)

Beautiful Paleo Mayo!

so….put all of these items in the immersion blender container or a tall narrow container:
1 cup light olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt
up to 1 tsp dijon mustard
1 whole egg

put the blender in the cup all the way to the bottom and start whirring away…bring it up slowly, then slowly back down and up a couple of times until you see the consistency you like…less than a minute.

That’s it! SO simple! and so delicious! This will keep in your fridge about a week or a little longer, if it lasts that long!

Spicy spin on Chicken tortilla-less soup

mex soup

Inspired yet again by one of the greats! Ms. Diane Sanfillipo, to me a nutritional guru when it comes to all things Paleo, author of Practical Paleo (my go to for everything knowledgeable and sensible about Paleo living) and also of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, which I find to be an incredible reset for everyone, shares her wealth of knowledge in simple terms, and then eases you into a delicious realm of paleo eating with her tried and true recipes, each one better than the next! I almost never change a note of her recipes, and when I do, traditionally it is just to amp up the flavors to my taste personally, nothing at all wrong in the master recipes.

In the 21DSD, she has a lovely, simple, Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup, which I have seen countless photos and raves about on IG ever since the book came out, but only got around to trying it out this weekend. This was one of those recipes that just got my own wheels spinning! Being a Texas Girl at heart, and having a love of all things Tex-Mex on my dinner table…I like my spicy foods SPICY!

So if you like a truly spicy mexican chicken soup, take a look at this little number which took off from Diane’s base recipe….I think you might like this! Just enough heat without being hot, a lovely meal or side anytime!

Try it like this:

In a large soup pot with a wide bottom, Saute the following:
-1 onion, diced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 red bell pepper, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-2 roasted poblanos, peeled, diced (Blacken pepper directly over gas flame, cool and peel. or you can roast in the oven)
-6 cloves of chopped garlic
saute for 7-10 minutes, letting the veggies soften, but not brown.

To the pot, add:
-1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
-2 tsp coriander
-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for heat
continue to saute and mix together.

Add to the pot:
6-7 oz tomato paste, stir in
32 oz of bone broth
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
Squeeze in the juice of one lime
drop in 2 chicken breasts, shredded (guilty. I buy an organic rotisserie chicken and use the meat from that…really tasty)

Check the level of saltiness and heat and let the soup simmer 15-20 mins to allow flavors to develop.

When you serve it, top the soup with diced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This soup is hearty and so flavorful!
Hope you enjoy it!

pasta

I just had to share this….such a beautiful sight, a bowl of steaming hot pasta! NO no…not paleo you say? Well, it is.
If you have never run across a company called “Cappellos Gluten Free” you need to look them up. Grain free, gluten free pasta made with almond flour…it keeps in the freezer, and cooks in 45 seconds flat! delicious! They also have other little indulgences at Cappellos like Paleo slice and bake cookies….yep. you heard that right.

So I cooked my pasta and topped it with a lovely sugar free marinara I found at Whole Foods…and gave it a quick grate of parmesan (indulge me!).

Such a lovely lunch! I just had to share it! And check out the site for the pasta at http://www.cappellosglutenfree.com , you won’t be dissappointed!

Plate this!

mexiplate

Always on the search for something with alot of flavor that is easy and fairly quick on a weeknight, coupled with will everyone in the house eat it….I was flipping through the March 2014 issue of Paleo Magazine and stumbled across some definitely doable recipes! I read through the two recipes that were meant to be served together called “Salsa Beef and Spiced “Rice” Bowls” and thought, this is too simple!

I got my head around it and started a little improvising in my head, and ended up with the recipe below. I wanted to credit whoever wrote the base recipes, but there is no author cited! So, thank you to Paleo Magazine …for printing those two recipes for inspiration! And here is how I made them my own:

I prepped all my ingredients, the chopping anyway,for both recipes and then just threw them together in their seperate skillets at the same time….

Skillet One – Mexican Beef
Brown 1 pound of Grass fed ground beef in a Tablespoon of coconut oil
Once browned, add:
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
4 medium scallions (greens and whites) trimmed and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
Continue to cook in the skillet another 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh salsa
Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Skillet Two – Spiced Mexican Rice
Chop florets of 2 heads of cauliflower in a food processor
Saute cauliflower in about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil along with 1 medium chopped red onion, 5 minutes. Add in 5-7 cloves of chopped garlic as you saute.
Season the cauli rice with:
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 + tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt, pepper and up to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
Keep moving this around in the skillet until evenly distributed.
Whish together 1/2 cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons tomato paste….add to the saute and mix in.
while that is cooking a minute or two, chop a handful of cilantro and toss in. Mix in, turn off heat.
Squeeze the juice of a lime over the whole thing and give it a quick mix.

SERVE IT UP:
Put a good helping of cauli rice on the bottom of the plate or bowl.
Top it with your Mexican Beef…
Add a dollop of home made guacamole (mine is a secret recipe…for now!) or chopped avocado…

we decided it could be spicier…
Next time around I will put a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo in the rice and mix in….I think that sounds good!

This whole thing took 30 minutes, start to finish…smells divine! Tastes even better!
I cannot wait to hear how you like it!