My Twist on Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers 2

stuffed peppers 1

There is a great recipe that I have gone back to over and over for stuffed peppers in “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo. It is basic and tasty and good for you! Easy to prepare ahead, even to have in the freezer.

I am always wanting an additional flavor punch. OK. I can’t help but tinker with recipes sometimes.

So with the addition of Chorizo for flavor punch, and spinach for extra veggies, and cumin and double the garlic? OH you just have to make this, it is so good!

Here’s what:

My Twist on Stuffed Peppers:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While doing that, halve and remove seeds from 3-4 red bell peppers. Place these in a large pyrex dish, flesh side up, and roast for 20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool enough to handle….flip over and they are ready to stuff.

The Filling!
1 pound grassfed ground beef
1 pound organic chorizo (I use a veal chorizo)
begin browning these two ingredients in a large skillet.

As the meat browns, add:
1 onion, diced
8-10 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1/4+ tsp red pepper flakes (depends or your heat pleasure!)

Keep moving it all around in the pan, browning the meat and onions as you go.
Add in 1/2 tsp or more dried basil and oregano
add 1/4 tsp cumin
Add in 1 can fire roasted diced organic tomatoes
Add in several handfuls of baby spinach (fresh). Up to 10 oz.

as the spinach wilts, turn off the heat….this part is done!
You can add in some fresh basil leaves at this point as well.

Fill your roasted peppers with the meat mixture, and any extra meat just tuck in around the peppers, someone will eat it!

Put back in the over at the same heat for another 15-20 minutes to heat through and let the flavors meld. (Especially tasty the next day!)

Because of the flavors involved, you can push this as mexican food or italian…maybe this is fusion? I don’t know. But it is a meal in itself. Or you can dice a little avocado on top! Or serve with a salad!

So dern good. You need to try this one!

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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!

Spicy Veggie Fritter Bites

veggie fritter bits

Well it was a busy weekend and recipes were concocted! I always hesitate to claim any of them as my own, as they always seem to start with someone else’s base idea, but I figure if I tweak it enough and make it so delicious I feel I have to share it, I will claim it! (and always try to give credit to the original)…

So there was a post on facebook for Baked Squash and Carrot frittes by CavegirlCuisine. And it certainly looked good enough for me to print and give it a whirl….but I started brainstorming as I was mixing this up and came up with a delightful spicy fritter that only lasted a few minutes in my house! These are good, and I already have more ideas for them, will show as options here.

Here we go!

Spicy Veggie Fritter-Bites

Mix together the following:
-2 large eggs, beaten
-2 Tbsp melted Kerrygold Butter
-1 cup of grated yellow squash (or zuchini)…squeeze out extra moisture
-1 cup grated carrots
-2 Tbsp diced onions (about 2 slices, diced)
-4 cloves chopped garlic
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cracked pepper
-1 tsp sriracha (or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, all for heat)
-small handful of italian parsely, chopped
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (OPTIONAL)
other options: crumbled cooked bacon, finely diced red bell pepper

Add in 1/4 cup of coconut flour and mix well.

(I think this would also be very good with a spoonful or two of pecan flour)

Fill greased or parchment lined mini muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top.

Great way to get your veggies in!
You could certainly leave out the heat if you have picky eaters, these are tasty, great on the go, and dissappear fast!

Let me know how you like them!

Been Busy? Chicken in a Pot!

chicken soup pot

Been busy? Yep. That’s right. That’s me. You too. But I try to think ahead sometimes!
In my house it is non stop. My days are long and my family is busy doing all things all directions, so when I went Paleo I broke down and bought my very best friend, the slow cooker.
I have tried many things in it, some are just great! Some are so-so….but you never know until you try!
(One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is for Ketchup! sugar free! The recipe came from the “21 Day Sugar Detox” By SanFillippo…I add some cayenne pepper and it is great!)

Roasts are a snap. Soups and Chilis are easy and delicious too.

Yesterday I ran home at lunchtime and threw all of the items below in the pot knowing we had my daughter’s water polo game to go to after work, and it would be late when I got home, and I would probably be too tired to start cooking? yep.

Here is how we did it:

Chicken in a Pot (pretty much a Chicken Soup!)

Start layering….I put the veggies on the bottom.
4-5 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces.
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 onion, rough large chop
LOTS of fresh garlic, 10-20 cloves, rough chop
one small finger of ginger, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper liberally
Poultry seasoning, or at least garlic powder, thyme, celery salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Several pieces of organic, free range chicken…I used 2 breasts with skin and bones, and one boneless plus one drumstick I held out from dinner the other night.
(another round of the same seasonings on top of the chicken, plus a little of the chopped garlic)
a handful of fresh parsley

I give it a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of chicken stock just to put a little moisture on the bottom of the pot…the slow cooking will create a full pot of “juices” as your soup cooks!

PUT THE LID ON….and set it to go for 6-8 hours on low!

Easy easy easy….leave it and come home to lovely smells and a delicious meal….and it is so good for you!

PLUS! Leftovers for the next day! SWEET!

Thai Chicken Meatballs

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Last night we made Thai Chicken Meatballs and broccoli, which turned out mighty good!
I admit, this recipe was not mine originally. I found it in a favorite book, Primal Cravings, that I have a love/hate relationship with. I think the writers of this book have some fantastic ideas! Great flavor profiles! Super ideas! But I truly do not believe they tested half of these recipes, or if they did, they wrote a few of them up, well, wrong. I have made MANY things from the book, and once I have tweaked and fixed a few things, they are really great recipes! So I will say this is their base recipe, with some tweaking so you don’t throw the book out the window, which I almost did more than once.

Here is what should happen:

Put all of the following into a large mixing bowl:
2 pounds ground chicken (we decided last night beef would work here too)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp Peach Jam (all fruit, no sugar added)
2 Tbsp Spicy Chile Sauce (as clean as you can find it!)
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp of salt ( or more, to your liking)
Cayenne pepper if you like it spicier….I used about 1/4 tsp
*2 Tbsp water mixed with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp baking soda

Mix with your hands and form golf ball size meatballs. Plece meatballs evenly spaced on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Do not use a silpat. This turns into a mess.)

Bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until and instant read thermometer reads 165+ degrees. They should be browned on the outside and on the bottoms.

While meatballs are browning in the oven, in a small sauce pan bring the following to a simmer and turn off:
1/2 cup of peach jam (from above)
1/4 cup of chile suace, or more to your liking
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp water
salt to taste
whisk until blended, heat to a simmer.

When the meatballs are ready, place them in a bowl and pour peach chile sauce over them and toss gently….you are ready to dig in!
We just steamed some broccoli with lemon and salt to serve with them! These are great the next day for leftovers as well, if any are left!

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!

And, that’s Lunch

and thats lunch

All right, one last one for today.
Lunch kind of just happened today, but happened really well!

So, I posted earlier about a little cucumber veggie salad that I like alot made with chopped veggies, mayo, Sunny Paris Seasoning, fresh garlic, S&P and a little vinegar. Well, the nice thing about that mix is it gets better as it sits, and I had a little (very little!) left over last night, and I kept it! I decided to make a salad at lunch and a sweet potato and a little leftover grilled chicken.

I just made a salad with spinach and lettuce leaves. Added a little more veggies (more radishes, carrots, a stalk of hearts of palm) and a tiny bit of organic feta cheese (goats). I hit the whole bowl with a small dollop of mayo, a little more vinegar, and dumped the remainder of last nights salad on top! mix mix mix . wow and WOW! look at that plate! I sort of went into a trance while I was eating away, ended up not even eating much of the chicken and of course devoured that tater!

So this I guess is kind of a recipe? More of a guideline of how quick and easy paleo lunches can be! Keep easy things on hand like leftover proteins, lettuce, fresh organic veggies, and a fresh jar of your home made paleo mayo at all times!

Hope you like my pretty plate, I know I did!

Simple Green and a Cucumber Mix up

good stuff salad

So this salad is too easy not to try, and there are so many variations you can make it your own! I actually had this one published in Paleo Magazines Reader’s Choice Cookbook!
I have a soft spot for broccoli! Broccoli is always the base for this salad for me. And avocado (but I didn’t have any on hand that day…wah!).

So here is what happens:

Bring a pan with about an inch of water in it to a boil.
Throw in a large handful of broccoli florets and let them cook about 2-3 minutes….you do not want them to get mushy!
While that is happening, place the following in a bowl…
Chopped veggies! Tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, celery…whatever catches your eye that day!
Strain and drain the broccoli…then dump out on a paper towel to catch the last bits of water. Then add those to the bowl.
Into the bowl with a big spoonful of homemade mayo, salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze lemon juice all over it…then toss, toss, toss.

That is it! so easy and so good! (I think this is going to be lunch today too!)

Another variation I did last night was simply:
One cucumber, thinly sliced
sliced radishes and sliced carrots
Mash up one piece of garlic into the bowl
Salt and pepper, and a good handful of Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning
A spoonful of mayo and this time I shook some light raspberry vinegar over the top…maybe 3 tablespoons?

toss and mix and toss….the longer it sits, the better it gets!

So delicious I just cannot say enough about these two easy salads that are so different every time you make it!

Inspired Italian Meatballs

italilan meatballs

I am a huge fan of Michelle Tam of http://www.nomnompaleo.com and book, Nom Nom Pale, Food for Humans. She was the first paleo blogger I found when I did my first Whole 30 about two years ago. I loved all of the things she made and the fact that she is a mom of two boys and works full time and seems to truly love food! Everything I have ever made from her blog or book has had such depth of flavor, just amazing food!

Well, I had a pound of ground meat on hand and wanted to make one of her meatball recipes, but she used veal, and seasonings that lended themselves to veal like basil. I had beef…so I ran with that using her recipe as a base to stem from.

They turned out light and airy and so flavorful!

Here is what I did:

Place all of the ingredients below in a mixing bowl and mix with hands:
1 pound organic grassfed ground beef (would be good mixed with pork)
1/2 finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped italian parsely
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup garlic cauliflower mash (Steam 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets with 5 cloves of garlic for about 10 minutes. Pulse through the food processor until smooth with 2 Tablespoons ghee or butter from a grassfed source)

Shape into golf ball sized meatballs. Brown in a good skillet over medium-hi heat in a mix of ghee or butter and coconut oil for 2-3 minutes per side, keep turning until browned all over.

You can sauce these up so many different ways or just eat on their own! Easy stuff!
We ate with the remainder of the cauliflower mash on the side and a chopped veggie salad.

Let me know what you think!

Weekend Update….Let’s start with that Garlic Beef Pot/Stew!

garlic beef pot

Wow! I had a busy weekend in the kitchen and never had so many people from instagram asking for recipes! So watch out, alot of posts coming today.
I want to start with this Beef Stew though.
My daughter and I were strolling around Whole Foods on Friday afternoon, as we do, and she is the sample princess, will try all of it!
In the produce department, the WF Chef had whipped up what he was calling a beef stew with ingredients on the sale table. (Obviously, they were trying to move the meat!)
My daughter tries it and says WE SHOULD MAKE SOME BEEF STEW! (I don’t care for beef stew. She doesn’t know that…)
I always am up for winging it in the kitchen, and she kept going on about it so I let her pick up a couple of pounds of cubed round. We picked up a few other things that sounded like they would work together….and to my complete happiness and surprise, here is what happened!

Garlic Beef Pot/Stew

Start by dumping 2 pounds of grassfed cubed round beef in your slow cooker.
Add to it a LOT of fresh chopped garlic! (I think I put in about 15-20 cloves that I quick chopped in the mini chopper)
Add 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Add 1 tsp dried oregano
Add 1+ tsp coarse sea salt
Add 1/4-1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
I gave it a sprinkle of garlic powder and onion powder
1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

Then I mixed it all up by hand right in the slow cooker pot, so that the meat and seasonings were well mixed.

I added about 1/3 cup of fresh chopped parsley
2 cans of diced organic fire roasted tomoatoes
2 chopped stalks of celery
2 carrots chopped in coins
1 onion, chopped large
about 1/4 cup of good balsalmic vinegar

I let it go on low for about 5 hours then kicked it up to high for another hour or so.

The flavors were amazing! The Broth was rich and lovely, the meat was tender! We all really enjoyed it, having leftovers tonight! And I will be making this one again for sure!
Let me know what you think!

AND!!!
You can now get to my blog by going to http://www.busygirlforapaleoworld.com
See you around!