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!

Lemon Lime Gummies

citrus gummies

Treats. Sweets. Good to eats.
Looking for something new for the palate and have been seeing alot of paleo folks playing with gelatin, which on it’s own is very good for you, your gut, your joints, etc. Seeing as I really cannot get into the bone broth thing (although I have really enjoyed the process of making it!) I look to grassfed organic gelatin to add to foods to help me with the things my body really needs.

I read through alot of recipes and tried quite a few. This is my best stab at “gummies” so far! These are very tart/sour/tangy…but kind of addicting!
This weekend we are going to give some other flavors a try….but this is what I have so far:

In a saucepan over a medium to low flame, combine 1/4 c. water with 5 Tbsps of gelatin powder.
Quickly add:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey (or other like Agave or maple syrup)
Mix it thoroughly with a whisk or spoon and poor into a shallow pyrex dish…I used a 9×9…you can also use candy molds for shapes!
Place in the refrigerator to cool completely and slice or cut out shapes!
They keep in the fridge for weeks, and are so refreshing!

We also did a few batches with Kombucha in the liquids…in place of the water….with other fruit juices, and this was very nice too!

Raw Veggies with a Sweet Tang

raw veg

Friday night my daughter and I spent doing all things water polo. Her team was dominating! So we got the late start on the games for Saturday. These tournaments last all day and you always end up eating someplace you probably shouldnt! So I though i would throw together something that would travel easy…and be healthy! Plus a few of her teammates are always starving and like healthy foods if you bring them!

A few months ago I had a few bites of a raw broccoli salad that, although I typically do not care for the little raw trees, tasted great! Because of a creamy little dressing with a sweet tang to it! I decided Saturday that would be my inspiration.

I whipped up this salad Saturday morning and took a bucket of it to the games, where the girls devoured it! It was really good! So yesterday I did it again, and have been munching on it breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Here’s the scoop:

Chop up your favorite raw veggies to smallish bites and pile into a bowl. I used:
1 carrot, sliced into coins
3 broccoli crowns, small chop
1 head of cauliflower, small chop
a handful of radishes, sliced
3 inches of Daikon, sliced into little sticks
2 slices of red onion, diced small

then I threw in a little fruit, optional of course:
handful of grapes
handful of blueberries

I think some dried cranberries or raisins would be nice here!

I broke up a handful of fresh pecans as well.

Mix up a quick dressing of:
1/3 cup of homemade mayo
2 Tbsp light raspberry balsalmic vinegar (any light vinegar will work)
1 tsp raw organic honey
a small pinch of salt
Whisk away!

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, toss, toss. Let it mingle a while, the flavors just keep getting better….toss every once in a while. You can put it in a container with a lid and just give it a shake from time to time….keep it chilled.

This morning I had it for breakfast with bacon crumbled over the top!raw bowl

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!

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 now a word from my Mother!

fritatta

My mother sent me a pic of her breakfast last weekend…she does this from time to time…and it always looks amazing so I post it on instagram and everyone loves it and it gets way more likes than anything of mine, whatever! She is paleo, she will not let me tell her age, but I am 43, and she gets discounted movie tickets! So that is all I have to say about that except how cool is it that she GETS it! She is holistic, organic, natural and paleo!

And because everyone on IG wanted to know, here is her recipe for the fritatta above, and her guest post….so, mother….you are on the internet now! you famous!

Guest Post from Mother:

I understand there are some who are
wanting to make the Sunday morning frittata.
This is a meal that fits many occasions. An easy breakfast/brunch
Or try for dinner on a busy day. Aren’t they all?

Most time consuming thing is grating the sweet potato. “What?” you say.
Yes sweet potato!
Recipe coming up and it is very healthy!
I have a little farm where I grow some of my own vegetables and herbs.
Love that and of course we do it organically !
So here is the frittata using veggies and herbs
a la my farm garden.

Sunday Morning Frittata with Chorizo
the oven does alot of the work for you…..and fast!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 -1 lb. chorizo sausage uncooked ( I used veal chorizo)

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed and shredded (about1 cup)

1/2 large yellow bell pepper sliced

1/4 cup of yellow or white onion

8 large pasture raised organic eggs

1 tsp. coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 roma tomatoes sliced, (even 9 or 10 small grape tomatoes sliced is fine)

Garnish: avocado slices and fresh chopped herb of your choice, cilantro, sage, basil

the marriage:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage, sweet potato, yellow pepper, and onion and sauté apx. 5 min.

(I browned the sausage first, and added the rest for a sauté of 5 min.)

Beat the eggs with the coconut milk and salt, then pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes

Just pour evenly, no stirring or turning…….just easy

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on top of the eggs. (I added1 cup chopped spinach first)

Place the frittata in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with the avocado and sprinkle with the torn herb

**I would add some “smashed garlic with sea salt”, we tend to thrive on alot of garlic!

And if you like hot peppers, I would do either of the next suggestions for a little “tickle” for your taste buds.

Just chop one hot pepper, could be cayenne, our personal favorite that we grow, or jalapeño or a small Tai pepper. I seed them mostly and chop finely with sea salt.

Add 8-10 sliced grape tomatoes. Toss some of this on each slice of the Frittata.

Or do all of the above except sauté with 1 teaspoon grass fed butter or oil in a small skillet for a minute and then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir till thickened slightly. You can add some(grass fed) grated cheddar to this or just spoon it as is over… anything really. Just delicious!

Oh! Don’t ever breathe over a skillet with hot peppers cooking or you will choke a bit and or sneeze, depending on your particular physical make up. Experience is our teacher, right?

I think it took me longer to write out the recipe for you than it did to make it.

So, hope you try this, it will work for any “busy girl for a paleo world”.

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!