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. Recip. – Guest Post! Pesto Caprese!

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Today I get a little help from the best of things, my big sister! After being under the weather for couple of weeks she got a tast for something fresh and delicious and decided the Pesto Caprese from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind would do the trick! She called me and told me what she was up to, so I begged her to send me the report and the pics…because as much as I love Caprese, and Pesto, I have a pretty intense allergy to Truffles and Truffle Oil…so it’s my sister up to bat with these two recipes!

So the picture above is the final product, which she has done nothing but rave about, even made it a second time and took it to a dinner with her kids!
She really liked the twist of the Truffle oil in the Pesto…
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She reports this was very quick and easy to put together, and made plenty to use several times.

I will definitely be making caprese with a version of pesto that works for me, because Caprese is simple, fresh and delicious.  And the addtion of a flavor loaded pesto is perfect any time of year.

Thank you big sister for taking on the Truffle Oil for me!  Hope you can get in there with a cake down the line!! 😉

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. – Going deep into it – Chocolate covered Caramel Cups.

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Caramel Cups.
Yeah, that’s right.

This is beautiful stuff from a beautiful recipe.  Actually, it takes in two recipes from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind.  Caramel Sauce, and then Chocolate Covered Caramel Cups.

The Caramel Sauce itself is just lovely.  Smells divine, easy make.  My personal tip?  Watch your temperature.  And…consider not putting it in the freezer.  At least in my climate (Houston, TX)….the fridge should do it.  In the freezer, it froze rock solid in minutes and never went back to liquid…but never fear….I mananged to heat and stir it back to softer and form it into little balls, pressed them into the chocolate…and then you get the pic above, which, is the DEVIL!  So decadent and rich, even my husband (who would normally eat something like this like popcorn) said it was so rich he couldn’t eat more than one. DANG!

The flavor of the caramel is just beautiful…especially when you realize it comes from coconut milk!!  Crazy good!caramels
So, yeah. Do these. You will not regret it at all!  I’m thinking these will be beautiful on your Holiday spread!

Oh one other thing, she leaves you on your own to pic the level of chocolate you use.  I used semi-sweet mixed with dark chocolate.  I will go all dark chocolate next time…the caramel is so sweet you can go deep and dark with the chocolate and still have plenty of sweet!

I hope you give these a try, they were fun to make!  And more fun to eat!  (Don’t panic, there are plenty in the fridge right now!!)

Kristen

Every. Single. Recipe-Cha Cha Cha!

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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!

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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

AIP Chicken Salad, Re-imagined

aip chicken salad

Happy New Year Everyone!  Yes, I know it is February and I have been m-i-a for a while…busy busy and a slow falling off the wagon since last August…but a new year and new people in my life brings me back to center!

I’m involved in a little test run with AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) with my Naturopath, Dr. Hailey Heard, and some of her patients.  I do this very reluctantly.  I knew about the AIP and had the books, but I just did not even WANT to go that far.  But when you start running out of answers and solutions, you are forced to face what you might not like entirely.

Diagnosed years ago with Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism, I have been on Synthroid for years.  About three years ago I went paleo and despite falling off that wagon from time to time, it works really well for me.  I feel better.  I know what I am eating and where it comes from.  It’s all choices.  And most of the time I make good choices.

So after much griping and groaning, I jumped into the AIP group with both feet.  I am ten days in, and must say I feel good.  Not so sluggish.  My energy is up when it should be.  I am tired at the end of the day, as I should be.  I still crave “other foods” but that is diminishing.  I feel good about the things I am eating and I know this is a good path for now.

Latest news, we may be adding SiBO into the mix.  That will just turn my life upside down in the ways that it interracts with Hashi’s and my favorite foods.

But for now, sticking with the AIP.  Simply put, its a Whole 30 on steroids!  Strict Paleo.  Plus some other eliminations:  no grains. no sugars. no legumes. no nightshades. no nuts. no seeds.  It’s difficult wrapping your head around what you CAN eat….but it clicks one day.  And it’s actually very simple.


Re-Imagined Chicken Salad:

Here is what I threw on a plate, actually in seperate piles, but then decided to toss it all together and it was quite tasty!


  • roughly dice one chicken breast, prepared aip
  • slice one or two stalks of Hearts of Palm
  • dice 2 tender stalks of celery
  • dice 1/2 ripe avocado

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 or more lemon juice over all, salt and pepper to taste….toss everything on the plate together, gently….that is it!

I was eating some red grapes along with it, and think a handful of halved grapes would be very nice in it as well!

Paleo Pizza with a CRISPY thin crust! (yeah, I said crispy!)

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I know, I have been missing for a while. As much as I think I am a blogger, I really spend all my time raising my daughter and working.
So I finally buckled down and got myself an awesome personal trainer who is helping me get the fitness thing going, and I have had a few moments to think about things in the kitchen!
After my workout this morning, I was crazy hungry and just wanted to lay down. But my brand new copy of ZenBelly (amazing paleo cookbook…give it a read!) was laying on the table as I walked by and I flipped through it becoming more and more inspired. I took a few notes of things i needed from the store to make a couple of the recipes and headed to Whole Foods. While there, I stumbled across the most beautiful tomatoes I have ever seen! And what crossed my mind was pizza.

I have tried many different pizza crusts from different cookbooks and in restaurants…all trying to be the best paleo crust ever and all they ever tasted like were burnt nuts, and soggy at that.
I have used a recipe a couple of times that got the flavor right, but still got soggy as soon as you put toppings on, so I decided to start tweaking it. And this time, I got it! Real pizza crust flavor and crispyness to the crust that doesn’t sog out in the first 5 minutes!

There are more pics of this over on my instagram at paleo_k so come check it out!

Alright, enough banter, on with the Pizza!

Pizza Crust
In a large bowl, combine:
1 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp Potato Starch/Flour
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl:
1/3 cup water
1 tsp gelatin (sprinkle over the water)
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk the wet ingredients and add to the dry by mixing with a spoon until combined then kneading with your hands a few times.

Press dough out on your cookie sheet or pizza pan (greased with olive oil). I like to split the dough into 3 or 4 small crusts for more crunch edges. Press the crusts out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Prick the crusts all over with a fork and put in a 400 degree oven for 16-18, until golden and lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and start building your pizza!

MY PIZZA:

Brush the prepared crusts lightly with olive oil.
I topped with shredded Rumiano’s mozzeralla cheese (from organic grass-fed cows!)
VERY thin slices of onion
Thin slices of cherry tomatoes
torn basil
Light dusting of salt and fresh cracked pepper

Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Cut with a pizza cutter…..and devour!

NOTE:  I find when I use pizza sauce, the sog happens.

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!

A Lovely Plate

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Nothing complicated here, just clean, easy yum.

Fresh avocados with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of coarse sea salt.
Thick cut no sugar all natural bacon, perfectly fried.
A small pile of fresh fruit, all organic.
And the raw crunchy salad I am so addicted to!

The fast way today:

In the bottom of the bowl, 2 TBSP of home made paleo mayo, 2 tsp honey, couple of splashes of raspberry balsalmic vinegar to taste….wisk wisk wisk.
Now add to the bowl a handful of bite size raw broccoli and of cauliflower. also a few dried cranberries. (I usually add radishes and pecans, but was in a hurry!).
Now toss everything together! The longer you have, keep tossing and the flavors build!

So dump the salad on your plate, your done!
Ready, set, delicious!

Oh Simple Thing, where have you been?

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The other night I was on my own for dinner, for a change, and was really having too much fun in the kitchen trying to time a quick meal that would be healthy and yummy while watching the Voice, (vice!) And I remembered a beautiful bunch of asparagus I had in the fridge. I had to do something with it! And it had to include my home made mayo! (The husband only likes mayo when he doesnt know he is eating it, same with my daughter. They see white and start gagging!!!)

So this little side dish made it on my plate, and besides being oh-so-good, was a pretty little number too!

Quick cook the asparagus…2-3 minutes in a shallow pan of boiling water, drain and squeeze lemon juice over the asparagus with a bit of salt.
Have a few pieces of bacon frying up while that is happening.

Place your asparagus on your plate, give it a very generous dollup of home made paleo mayo, and crumble your bacon over the top!

Could it be more simple? Maybe, but dang this is easy and so so so good!
I used nice fat asparagus this time…I usually prefer the thin, but these were fun to just pick up and eat.

Try it. You will like it, I am sure of it!

Let me know what you think!!!

Nom!