Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash is a fantastic substitute for pasta, but sometimes you just get sick of eating it like pasta, no matter how many sauces you come up with. This recipe is another tasty use for this versatile vegetable.

*Serves 2-8* (Leftovers, anyone?)

1 Large Spaghetti Squash
1 lb Ground Pork
6 Eggs (reduce as needed for desired texture; six eggs makes it quiche-like)
1 can Peas (approx 1.5 cups frozen)
1 can Carrots (fresh are fine too; boil first for desired softness)
1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Sage
1 Tbsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Paprika
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a large knife, poke several holes through the flesh of the squash all over, then place into a shallow baking dish. Bake for two hours. Remove from oven, cut in half, and set aside. While the squash is cooling, brown the ground pork in a large pan, chopping into small pieces with the spatula as it cooks. Stir in the thyme, nutmeg, allspice, paprika, 1 Tbsp of the sage, and salt and pepper to taste. While the meat is browning, remove the seeds from the squash and discard (or set aside for later use if you're a baked seed fan like me). With a fork, pull the spaghetti squash strands apart and loosely pack into a large glass baking dish. Add the pork, onion, peas, carrots, eggs, second Tbsp of sage, and salt and pepper, stirring until well blended. Bake for approximately one hour. Great fresh or reheated!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cranberry Beef Stuffed Squash

A lot of the recipes on here are relatively quick and easy to make. This one is easy, but it's far from quick. If you want to make a Fall meal that's totally delicious and you're ready to spend a lot of time on it, then read on.

*Serves 2-4*


1 Eye of round roast (approximately 2 lbs)
1 Acorn squash (2 if preparing for 4 people)
1 Yellow onion
4 Strips bacon
1/2 cup Dried cranberries
1/2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Ground rosemary
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste


Slice the onion across the center so it forms rings. Line the bottom of a crockpot with these onion slices. Mix the rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and rub generously all over the eye of round roast. Place the roast on top of the onions in the crockpot, along with any leftover spices. Cook on low for eight hours. About six and a half hours into cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds, leaving a bowl-like structure. Score the squash meat across the diameter several times (like slicing a pizza, but don't cut through the shell). Rub the butter all over the inside of both squash halves and sprinkle a little salt on them. Bake for an hour, then set aside (best kept in the turned-off oven to keep them warm).

In a large pan, cook the four strip of bacon until crispy, then set aside. While the bacon is cooking, pull the roast apart with a fork and mix with the juices and onion. Pour the roast and onion mixture into the pan with the bacon grease and add the cranberries and stir until well-blended. Continue to stir until the cranberries start to look re-hydrated (approximately 5 minutes). Plate the squash halves and fill each with the beef mixture. Crumble bacon on top and serve. (If you only made two squash halves, you will have a significant amount of extra beef to eat for the next few days. I assure you that you won't be upset by this; if you are, then you're on the wrong blog.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shrimp with Garlic Lemon Cauliflower Rice

It's truly amazing what you can do with a head of cauliflower. It is hands down my favorite side to every meal, especially since you can prepare it a number of different ways that taste totally different from one another. This one is giving my cauliflower fried rice and my Mexican cauliflower rice a run for their money.

*Serves 2*

1/2 pound Jumbo shrimp (preferably those that you shell and de-vein yourself)
1/2 head Cauliflower
1/4 cup Green onion, chopped
1/2 Yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Dill
1 tsp Garlic powder
3 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1/4 cup Coconut milk
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Peel, de-vein, and clean the shrimp and set aside. In a large pan on medium heat, melt one Tbsp of the butter and sautee the yellow onions until translucent. Meanwhile, rice the cauliflower in a food processor. Add the riced cauliflower to the pan with the onions and stir well. Add coconut milk, dill, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir. After about five minutes, add the green onion (save a little for garnish), another Tbsp of butter, and the minced garlic. Cook for another two minutes, then plate. Add the final Tbsp of butter to the pan along with the shrimp and cook until orange (approximately three minutes). Plate the shrimp on top of the cauliflower. Garnish with green onion.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Once in a while, I just get bored of ground beef. When that happens, I experiment a little bit. This recipe is a take on one of my favorites from P.F. Chang's. Unfortunately, Mr. Chang likely uses cornstarch, sugar, rice noodles, and vegetable or canola oil in his...I've left those out. I also subbed ground beef for chicken. Take it away, photograph!

*Serves 2-4*

1 lb Ground beef
1/2 cup Shredded carrots
1/2 cup Green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Bean sprouts
8 oz Water chestnuts, chopped
8 oz Bamboo shoots, chopped
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 Tbsp Garlic
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
1/4 cup Wheat-free tamari
1 tsp Powdered ginger
1 tsp Stevia
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil. Add in the carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and green onions. Stir and toss continuously, adding all dry ingredients. Mix in the ground beef, chopping into tiny pieces with the spatula as you go. Pour in the tamari and allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When all ingredients appear well blended and cooked through, mix in the garlic and stir for an additional minute. Remove each leaf from the head of romaine and serve the mixture on them. (Fold and eat!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chicken Stuffed Bell Pepper Poppers

Another product of having random ingredients in my fridge and throwing them together! These are great served as an entree or as appetizers. In this case, I served them as an entree alongside kale sauteed in the bacon fat.

*Serves 2 (as entree)*

8 Mini bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
8 strips Bacon
1 Chicken breast
2 Tbsp Cream cheese
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, cook the bacon on low so that it gets a little crispy but is still mobile. In a separate pan, melt the tablespoon of butter. Tenderize the chicken, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and add to the pan, cooking on one side until lightly browned. While the chicken is cooking, spread the cream cheese evenly on one side of each mini bell pepper. Flip the chicken and turn up the heat slightly, then add the balsamic vinegar. After about one minute, flip the chicken again, allowing to sit in the balsamic reduction for an additional minute. Remove from the heat, slice, and place into the halves of the bell peppers without cream cheese. Re-form the bell peppers by putting the sides back together, wrap each one in bacon, and place on a lined baking sheet (silpats work wonderfully). Bake at 350 for ten minutes, then broil on high for about three minutes (keep an eye on them so that they don't start burning). Serve immediately. Nobody likes soggy bacon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cherry Balsamic Chicken with Prosciutto Green Beans

Cherries are by far my favorite fruit. That's why every year I have a very hard time containing myself and sticking to one bag when they go on sale. As a result, I had way too many cherries. Time to make a new recipe!

*Serves 2*

Ingredients (chicken):
2 Chicken breasts
1/2 cup Chopped vidalia onions
1 cup Chopped pitted cherries
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 tsp Stevia
1 pinch Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, sauté the onions in coconut oil on medium heat until clear. Add the cherries and continue to sauté until the oil begins to turn red and the cherries begin to soften. Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and add to the pan. Allow to brown lightly on one side (approximately three minutes) before flipping. After both sides are lightly browned, add the balsamic vinegar and increase the heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the stevia over the sauce and stir around the chicken. After a minute on medium-high, flip the chicken one more time and reduce the heat back to medium. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, plate the chicken and pour the mixture on top. Serve with prosciutto green beans (recipe below).

Ingredients (green beans):
1 can Unsalted cut green beans
2 slices Prosciutto
1/2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
Coarse salt to taste

Lay the prosciutto slices on a silpat or other nonstick liner on top of a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Set aside to cool. Microwave the green beans in a bowl for one minute or until hot. Toss with the butter and any desired salt, then crumble the prosciutto on top. Serve with cherry balsamic chicken (recipe above).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fiesta Lime Chicken with Spanish Cauliflower Rice

When I used to eat at Taco Bell, I would routinely order a side of "Mexican Rice." This is no longer on their menu, but it was basically Spanish rice with mild sauce, cheese, and green onions served in a little side dish. One of the most difficult parts of being primal for me was avoiding rice dishes like that one. Fortunately, there's a delicious and healthful alternative, and it pairs particularly well with chicken and avocado.

*Serves 2*

Ingredients (Cauliflower Rice):
1/2 head Cauliflower
3/4 can (12oz) Mild Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Minced Onion
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Coarse Salt
1/4 cup Diced Green Onion
1/4 cup Shredded "Fiesta Blend" Cheese

Directions (Cauliflower Rice):
Using a food processor, shred the cauliflower into rice-size pieces. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a large pot on medium heat and add the riced cauliflower. Pour in the chicken broth and the diced tomatoes, stirring well. Mix in all spices and cover, reducing the heat slightly. Prepare the chicken (recipe below). When the liquid is mostly absorbed, increase to high heat for a minute while stirring. Plate and top with shredded cheese and green onions.

Ingredients (Chicken):
2 Chicken Breasts
1/4 can Mild Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 tsp Lime juice
1/2 Tbsp Butter
Garlic Powder
Coarse Salt
2 Tbsp Water

Directions (Chicken):
In a shallow bowl, mix the lime juice with the remaining 1/4 can of diced tomatoes and chiles. Soak the chicken breasts in this mixture for 5-10 minutes. Melt the butter in a large pan. Meanwhile, remove the chicken breasts from the tomato mixture (do not discard the mixture) and season with a pinch of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, coarse salt, and pepper. Once the butter has lightly browned, place the chicken breasts in the pan, allowing to cook on one side for approximately three minutes (or until lightly browned) before flipping. After three minutes on the second side, pour in the juice only from the tomato mixture into the pan. Cook through, flipping as needed to adequately brown on both sides. Plate the chicken. Add the two tablespoons of water to the pan and deglaze. Once this thickens slightly, pour onto the chicken. Serve with cauliflower rice and sliced avocado.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

To make stir-fry, you don't always need terryaki sauce, real noodles, or rice. In fact, I'll bet after you try this recipe that you'll prefer it without, especially if you serve it along with Melissa Joulwan's cold sesame cucumber noodles!

*Serves 2-4*

1 lb Fresh Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped in strips)
1 bag (8 oz) Snow Peas
3/4 cup Chopped Yellow Onion
1 cup Chopped Fresh Pineapple
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 cup Gluten-Free Tamari
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Truvia


Blend both oils together in a large pan or wok on medium heat. Add onions and sautee until translucent. Stir in the bell pepper, snow peas, pineapple, and shrimp. Once the shrimp have turned orange, add the tamari, ginger, garlic powder, and truvia. Increase the heat briefly, approximately three minutes, while continuing to stir. Lower the heat back to medium and allow to cook for an additional ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cold sesame cucumber noodles.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mango Shrimp Ceviche

It's almost Summer time, and I'm craving something refreshing. Nothing beats ceviche.

*Serves 2*

1/2 pound Raw Shrimp
1 Mango
1/2 Cucumber
1/2 Sweet Onion
1 Avocado
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Lemon (DO NOT use fake squeeze bottle lemon won't work.)
1 Lime (Same goes with the bottled crap.)
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Coarse salt to taste

Peel and de-vein the raw shrimp and place in a shallow dish. Squeeze the juice of one whole lime and one half lemon on top of the shrimp and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt. Place this dish in the fridge for 2-3 hours, tossing as needed to "cook" the shrimp. While waiting on the shrimp, peel and chop the cucumber, mango, avocado, bell pepper, and onion into small cubes. Once the shrimp appear orange in color, remove them from the fridge and mix in all of the chopped ingredients, cilantro and spices. Add more cayenne pepper if you like more spice. Serve cold.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pulled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado

The crockpot strikes again.

*Serves 2-8...with a ton of leftover pork.*

1 Whole pork loin
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Dried minced onions
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Coarse salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Orange juice
1 6oz can Tomato paste
1 tsp Honey
1 Tbsp Minced garlic
2 Avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the orange juice, tomato paste, honey, and garlic until well blended. With your hands, rub the dry spice mixture all over the pork, making sure to cover it on all sides. Place the spiced tenderloin into your crockpot. Cover with the tomato sauce. Set the crockpot to low, then walk away for 8-10 hours. When you return, uncover the crock pot, pull the pork apart with a fork and stir so that the surrounding liquid becomes part of the sauce. Serve with fresh avocado slices.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crab Cakes

I know what you're thinking. It's called a "cake." Totally not primal, right?


*Serves 4-6*

1 can Crab meat (Claw and lump work equally well, but claw is much less expensive.)
2 Tbsp Tapioca or Coconut flour
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp Lemon juice
1/4 cup Yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Large egg
1 Tbsp Fresh dill (1/2 Tbsp if using dried)
1 tsp Paprika
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Drain the crab meat well, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, the egg and the lemon juice. Mix well, ensuring that all of the crabmeat is covered. Add in the onion, bell pepper, dill, paprika, salt, pepper and tapioca flour. Stir until loosely mixed, then continue to toss with your hands until you can form small patties. These will seem unstable compared to normal crab cake mixes, but they stick together very nicely once in the pan. Do not make the patties too large, or they will fall apart. Size is key. You should have enough mix to form 6-8 patties. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan on medium heat. Place each patty onto a spatula, gently sliding it into the oil. Allow to cook on one side until browned (approximately three minutes) before flipping. Garnish with extra fresh dill.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pesto Parmesan Chicken

The title of this recipe pretty much says it all. It has three primary ingredients, it's quick and easy, and it's delicious on top of anything or all by itself.

*Serves 2*

2 Chicken breasts (I like to halve these when I trim them, but that's up to you.)
1/4 cup Shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Basil pesto (Several canned versions work, or you can make your own.)
1 tbsp Unsalted butter
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder and add to the pan. Allow to brown on both sides for about three minutes each. Remove the chicken from the pan and place into a shallow glass baking dish. Cover the top of each chicken breast in pesto (there should be a small amount left over). Sprinkle with parmesan until all pieces are coated. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown. Drizzle remaining pesto on top along with any remaining parmesan and serve.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

It's been a month since I've posted a recipe, primarily because I've just been making things from other people's cookbooks for dinner, but also because I only like to post a recipe when I know I've made something good. This is definitely post-worthy.

*Serves 2-4*

1 lb Ground beef
2 small Sweet potatoes
1 large Egg
1/2 medium Yellow onion
1/8 cup Tapioca flour
1 tbsp Minced garlic
1 small Zucchini
4 tbsp Unsalted butter
1/2 cup Beef broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Rosemary
Pinch of nutmeg
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and boil the sweet potatoes and set aside. In a large pan, melt one tablespoon of the butter. Chop the onions and zucchini and add to the pan along with the garlic, sauteing for approximately three minutes (until onions begin to turn clear). Add the ground beef, worcestershire, rosemary, salt and pepper and continue to saute until the beef is lightly browned. Reduce the heat briefly to stir in the tapioca flour and broth. Stir well, then increase the heat to medium high until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the egg, stir, and decrease the heat to a simmer.

Chop the sweet potato and add to a food processor along with the remaining three tablespoons of butter and blend until smooth. Pour the beef mixture into a glass baking dish, then spoon the mashed sweet potatoes on top. Sprinkle a small amount of nutmeg, salt and pepper on top of the sweet potatoes. Bake for thirty-five minutes, then broil for two minutes or until sweet potatoes start to brown.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

A basic, easy dish taken to a whole new level of deliciosity. (Yes, it's so good that I punctuated an incomplete sentence and created a whole new word.)

*Serves 2-4*
1/2 Head broccoli
1/2 Head cauliflower
3 cups Coconut milk
1 cup Unsalted chicken broth
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Truvia
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk and heavy whipping cream. Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces and add to the pot. Add the Truvia, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cover for ten minutes. After that time, stir again, reduce the heat to a simmer and replace the lid for ten more minutes. Great served fresh or re-heated.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sauteed Chicken in Avocado Cream Sauce

This dish was a product of a lack of groceries and a stroke of genius, and it's pretty much my favorite thing that I've ever made. If you're not on the primal/paleo track, your jaw will probably drop open when you realize the amount of fat in this. If you're with me, you'll be salivating.

*Serves 2*

2 Chicken breasts
3 Strips bacon
1/2 cup Chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup Chopped fresh mushrooms
1 Avocado
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Coconut milk
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Chopped fresh dill (*You can use dried, but use less if so. It still won't be as good!)
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the bacon drippings. While those cook, tenderize the chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of the garlic powder. Push the onions and mushrooms to the sides of the pan with a spatula and add one tablespoon of butter to the center. Once it melts, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. While those are cooking, melt the other tablespoon of butter in a small pot. Stir in the cream, coconut milk, dill, garlic powder and salt. Discarding the peel and pit, puree the avocado in a food processor. Once the cream mixture is warm, add it to the food processor and blend with the avocado until smooth. Plate the chicken and sauteed mushrooms and spoon the avocado cream sauce on top. Crumble the bacon over the entire plate.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Swiss Farmer's Omelet

There was once a point in my life when I firmly believed that I had eaten my last omelet. With an omelet station readily available in my college cafeteria, I exhausted my appetite on the typical cheddar/bacon/mushroom/pepper combos. While in Vegas (before my gluten intolerance reared its ugly head), I ate a fantastic meal that they called a "Farmer's Breakfast." It consisted of toast topped with eggs and a fresh tomato sauce. The toast became a problem, but that's where I got the inspiration for this delicious monster omelet.

*Serves 1-2*

Ingredients (sauce):
2 Vine-ripened tomatoes
1/2 Yellow onion
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Slice open the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Dice the tomatoes and the onion. Put the onion into the saucepan and stir; once they become clear, add the tomatoes and spices. Continue to stir until well blended, then let simmer until the omelets are done (stirring occasionally while cooking).

Ingredients (omelet):
3 Large eggs
2 Slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup Ricotta cheese
2-3 Slices of a fresh mozzarella ball
1/4 cup Arugula (Spinach would also work well; I just like arugula better.)
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter

In a large pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Mix the eggs in a bowl so that the yolks and whites are well blended. Pour the eggs into the pan and allow to cook through, then flip the egg mixture over. Break the swiss cheese into small pieces and cover half of the egg with it. Spread the ricotta and mozzarella on top of the swiss, followed by the arugula or spinach. Fold the empty half of the egg on top of the covered half, allowing the cheese to melt for about thirty seconds. Plate the omelet and cover with the tomato sauce.