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

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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…
pesto
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!! 😉

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!

My Twist on Stuffed Peppers

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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!

Rosemary Fried Eggs – Guest Blog from my sister Tricia!

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My very young oldest sister has tinkered with Paleo food for about a year, but has recently refocussed and hounding me for recipes! Well, now she is trying out some new stuff on her own!
She sent me a pic this morning of a delicious breakfast and I asked her to write a guest blog entry to go along with it….and she very quickly complied!
As she mentions below, she is working with Joshua Weissman’s The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook…and everything is coming up delicious! You can find the cookbook in most bookstores and online at Amazon and BN. Joshua is a local, and a really impressive young man! Check out his blog at http://www.slimpalate.com and his facebook page, Slim Palate.

Take it away, Sis!…..

Well,
This is my first blog and I am doing it for my younger sister who inspires me every day with her healthy Paleo eating and her beautiful photos and recipes that entice me to eat healthier.

I went to a cookbook signing with her last week for Joshua Weissman’s new cookbook, The Slim Palate, Paleo Cookbook. He is a High School Senior and is quite amazing. His cookbook has beautiful photos and easy delicious recipes, that I am trying several times a week. My husband is even liking them!

This morning I tried his rosemary fried eggs with garlic-lemon spinach and it is wonderful. Just the right amount of citrus lemon flavor and the rosemary on the eggs are a nice touch. I added a little turkey sausage because I just finished a 30 minute cardio burn workout and needed some fuel fast!

I am marinading his Grilled citrus-mustard split chicken to cook tonight! I am using chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts though. Stay tuned for the outcome!

Kristen, how was that for my first blog ever?

Perfecto!!!!!  😉

 

Egg Foo Young-ish from NomNomPaleo

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I am obsessed with “Food 4 Humans” by NomnomPaleo blogger, Michelle Tam.
She was the very first blogger I found when I first delved into Paleo. He recipes were simple and tasty and she is so real! I was so excited when her book came out! And it is one of the BEST cookbooks I have ever relied on! I make things from her book and website weekly…give her a try, you cannot go wrong!

The pic above is her interpretation of Egg Foo Young-ish.
My conclusion is they are really handy little omellettey things that travel well!
This morning I topped a couple with sausage, avacados and salsa…nom!

The link to her site and the recipe is:

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/5568966009/egg-foo-young-ish-spinach-egg-ham-coconut

(hope I did that write….this is my first link in a post…if i missed it, just go see her blog at http://www.nomnompaleo.com you will find all kinds of great things before you race out to buy her book!)

I also had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Tam when she came into Houston for a book signing a few weeks ago. She is a doll! So real…just a working mom who adores food and health!
By the way my all time favorite recipe of hers?
Mexican Pot de Creme.
Deeee VINE!
seriously. try it!

Paleo Banana Bread…my Paleo Mom’s latest inspired recipe!

mothers new banana bread

Mother loves to tinker in the kitchen. She has never met a recipe she has not changed! We giggle about it all the time. So on the weekends, she is usually out at her farm and not close to an organic store, so she makes due with what she remembered to take with her. This is of course a driver in some of the changes, like the one posted here today!

She loves her paleo breads! Usually she’s a muffin girl, but this time she made a loaf…and I imagine the kitchen smelled divine!

She sent me the original recipe which she found from Nourished and Nurtured ( http://www.nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com ) and then she sent me what she did to it, plus this little blurb…

“Because I am leaning toward almond flour and was out of it! I played with this recipe to try to get a bread like my favorite one with almond flour.
Turned out pretty nice and Papa (that’s my husband) really liked it!

-1/2 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
-1/2 cup raw honey
-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
-6 eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-3/4 cup coconut flour
-1 1/2 large bananas, mashed
-2 small zucchinis shredded and squeezed in a paper towel
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Prepare a standard loaf pan with coconut oil (or line with parchment paper).
In a small bowl combine the coconut oil and honey.
In a large bowl, whisk the salt, eggs, vanilla and almond. Add in the oil and honey mixture, whisk away.
Next, stir in the coconut flour until completely combined with no lumps. Stir in the mashed bananas, zuchinni, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
Pour batter into the loaf pan and top with the “coconut streusel topping” below.

For topping:
-4 tablespoons shreeded coconut
-4 tablespoons palm sugar
-2 tablespoons grass fed butter
Crumble together with fingers like for streusel topping

Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. (Keep checking with the “toothpick test” for doneness).

This makes a nice hearty loaf, serves 12.”

What Lies Beneath

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What lies beneath that glorious fried egg and bacon is a little something I call a spicy sweet potato fritter!
(I know, my second fritter post today..I suppose I had fritters on the brain all weekend!)

I love crispy potato anythings with eggs for breakfast, and was craving a hash brown, or something similar…

here is what happenned:

Spicy Sweet Potato Feta Fritters

In a bowl, mix together:
-1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated
-1/4 red bell pepper, grated, or thinly sliced and chopped
-1 or 2 thin slices of onion, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsps almond flour
1 tsp tapioca flour
1/2 of a beaten egg (break the egg in a little bowl, beat the egg with fork, pour about half into the recipe)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese (optional)

drop batter into a hot skillett with melted butter and coconut oil mixed (about 1 T each) – drop and flatten batter…about half dollar size. Smaller gives you more crispy!
about 2-3 minutes, then flip and go another 2-3 minutes.

(I fried up an egg and bacon in the same skillet and plopped them on top of the fritters. So. dang. Good!)

enjoy!