GARAM MASALA BEEF + VEGETABLE BOWL

Do you ever get in a cooking “funk” and get bored with your regular weekly cooking ideas? Well, this recipe was a result of overcoming my cooking doldrums, and it seemed to go over quite well with the family! I wanted a different flavor than just my usual garlic and onions, so why not Indian flavors? My first Indian dish experience was in DC with my husband, when we were first dating. The fragrant spices, with a hint of heat, cooled down with rich, creamy coconut milk. Ahhhhh!!!!

I didn’t use coconut milk in this dish. I didn’t want a creamy sauce with the beef. This dish is a great high protein-low carb meal and even GAPS-friendly. I will be making this recipe again!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

2 cups green beans, trimmed

1 large sweet onion, diced

1 container baby bella mushrooms, diced

3 large carrots, diced

1/2 cup bone broth

5 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 Tbs garam masala

2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 head of cauliflower, riced (I also get mine pre-cut at Trader Joe’s in the produce section)

Preparations:

In a large pan, saute onions on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add beef and brown for a couple of minutes and then mix in garlic and spices. Let cook for about five minutes then add the green beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add the mushrooms and bone broth and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms have cooked down. The last thing to add will be the riced cauliflower. The cauliflower takes on whatever flavors you have in your dish, so I like to mix it thoroughly. If your carrots and green beans are still a little too crunchy, just cook the mixture a little longer for your desired texture. I don’t like mushy vegetables, so these times worked well for me.

SUMMER ZUCCHINI PESTO

Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Summer is officially here! With the heat and humidity in sunny Florida, I prefer lighter meals. This time of year makes it easier to detox and eat more healthful, since the weather curbs our appetite from heavier foods. Our family is transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle. Today’s wheat is mostly genetically modified (GMO). Processed wheat contributes to Candida, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses caused by major inflammation. These are just some of the reasons we have chosen to go gluten-free. My husband’s part Sicilian heritage doesn’t make it easy to shy away from pasta, so I have found a wonderful alternative to wheat! Zucchini pasta! Women rejoice! At only 21 calories a cup, this lovely green veggie has an abundance of nutrition. Vitamin C (antioxidant to help protect your cells), lutein and zeaxanthin (phytonutrients to keep those eyes healthy) and manganese (an essential mineral that helps protect your body from free radicals).

I would love to introduce you to the world of spiralizing! I discovered this amazing food blog called Inspiralized. She has amazing recipes and great video tutorials on how to spiralize. I even purchased the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer she recommends and love it! You can buy it here. (Please consider using this link if you decide to purchase one. Alissandra can get compensated through Amazon. I’m just supporting a fellow blogger ladies 🙂

Paderno Spializer

 

For the record, this recipe is kid tested and approved! My eight year old son cleaned his plate and didn’t bat an eye at the new pasta in his dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large zucchini

1 lb. of organic free-range chicken, sliced into this strips

8 oz. of baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Pesto sauce:

2 cups fresh basil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

PREPARATION:

Prepare the pesto sauce first. Place all of the pesto sauce ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender and mix well.

Prepare your zucchini now so some of the water from the veggies is absorbed by paper towels. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and then spiralize them. I place them on paper towels and then cover them with another to absorb water from both sides.

Heat up a large saute pan on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Add chicken strips and cook for about five minutes.Add the garlic and mushrooms and let cook for a few more minutes.

Add the zucchini and mix well. Then add the pesto sauce, mix well and le cook for about five minutes. This lets the flavors marry a little and cooks the zucchini juuuust right! (Don’t over cook or you will have mushy “pasta”.

Bon appetite! (And don’t feel guilty!)

Zucchini Pesto Pasta

 

 

 

COMFORT CHILI TIME!

Comfort Chili

In Florida, when it drops below 70 degrees, it’s winter for Floridians! So to stay warm and cozy in this brisk weather, my husband loves some good comfort food. I love cooking chili, and I think I have finally created a recipe I will keep in my recipe binder. I love all of the fresh ingredients incorporated into this dish. I use raw cheddar cheese for a topping, since we shy away from dairy. Processed dairy doesn’t agree with our tummies, so when I use dairy in a dish, I like to use the raw version. If you are interested in the controversy of raw milk, check out this article posted in The Daily Green on the benefits of drinking raw milk.

This dish is very filling so we didn’t need to add another side dish to the meal. You can keep it really clean-eating by omitting the cheese topping.

Ingredients:

1 lb. of grass-fed organic ground beef

1 medium organic Vidalia (sweet) onion, chopped

1 large organic carrot, shredded

2 large organic tomatoes, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups of organic vegetable broth

2 cans of dark kidney beans

1 can of organic tomato paste

2 Tbs. of chili powder

2 tsp. of dried oregano

2 tsp. of dried basil

1 tsp. of cumin

2 tsp. of unsulphured molasses (cuts down the acid of the tomatoes)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Raw cheddar cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Cook ground beef in a large pot on medium-high heat until browned. Drain the meat in a mesh colander and then add meat back into pot. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add poblano pepper and carrots. Cook for another minute then add chili powder, oregano, basil, cumin and mix well. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste, molasses, kidney beans and vegetable broth and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about an hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes!

Shred some of the raw cheddar cheese on top of individual servings. Bon appetite!

Do you have a favorite way to make your own comfort chili? What healthful dishes do you cook up to stay warm in the winter weather?

TURKEY SQUASH CASSEROLE

Turkey Squash Casserole

The holidays bring stressful schedules, and we often neglect our diets by eating out or on the run. Stress can suppress our immune system and make us more vulnerable to the cold and flu season. I’m even more conscious of our diet during this time of year.

I love comfort foods when the weather cools down, so I whipped up this flavorful casserole with leftover turkey I froze from Thanksgiving and whatever vegetables I had in my fridge! I added kale to incorporate color and especially, a dark green veggie!!! And yes, it’s gluten-free…

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, sliced in half lengthwise

1 pd. of leftover organic free-range turkey, cubed

1/2 of an organic large red onion

2 large kale leaves, chopped

1/4 cup of vegetable broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 sprig of rosemary, chopped

1 Tbs. of coconut oil

1/4 tsp.. of sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

2 Tbs. of grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a baking sheet and place butternut squash cut side down and lightly oil the tops of the squash.

Bake for about 40 minutes until you can pierce with a fork.

Cool for about 30 minutes (enough so you can peel off skin and cut the squash into 1 inch cubes).

Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan.

Saute onions until caramelized.

Add kale and garlic, cook until kale begins to wilt.

Add turkey, squash, salt, pepper and rosemary and gently fold them into the mixture.

Add the vegetable broth and gently stir.

Add grated Parmesan and on top.

Bake in oven on 300 degrees for 5 minutes to melt cheese and help the flavors marry.

Bon appetite!

PALEO ITALIAN EGG MUFFINS

Paleo Italian Egg Muffins

I wanted to change things up a bit for breakfast. So instead of my regular smoothies, I have created a delicious Italian egg muffin! My dear friend and personal trainer, Shaheinda at Phoenix Trainer told me about one of her new breakfast dishes, so here is my rendition of a Paleo egg muffin. I wanted it packed with veggies so I incorporated kale and tomatoes with fresh basil. I love that you cook once and can eat several times thereafter! That is a concept I am trying to master for the new year.

Ingredients:

12 organic eggs

½ container of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

1/8 of a red onion, diced

2 large leaves of kale, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Handful of fresh, chopped basil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. of coconut oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan with the 1 Tbs. of coconut oil. I use a paper towel to grease the pan so I don’t use too much oil. In a medium-high heat pan, add 1 tsp. of coconut oil and sauté onions for about a minute, then add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for a minute. Add kale, salt and pepper and cook until kale has wilted. Take pan off the burner to cool mixture and whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture to eggs, then spoon egg mixture into muffin pan. Measure about ¼ cup for each muffin well. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Muffins are cooked when they are fluffy and golden brown. (Pierce muffin with a knife to see if it comes out clean.)

You can add fresh salsa or avocado to make this a very hearty meal! You can also change-up the recipe by adding different vegetables or spices, whatever you prefer. I would love to hear what you create with this recipe!

WARM UP WITH SOME SPICE-FILLED CHICKEN CURRY

curry chicken

With the holidays in full swing, I thought I would share something other than pumpkin with you! (Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I won’t have any winter produce recipes coming your way.) I love to make dishes where you can mix everything together. It makes it easier for me to get my little one to eat his veggies. My husband loves curry and since I don’t make it often, I created a traditional curry recipe with my personal touch just for him.

Curry is a great boost to your immune system in that it helps with inflammation, fights cancer, and it is even found to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. So sprinkle it in your dish,  knowing you are truly adding more “spice” to your life 🙂

Ingredients:

1 lb. of free-range organic chicken

1 can of coconut milk

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 red pepper, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 cup of organic peas

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 Tbs. of curry powder

1 tsp. of sea salt

1/4 tsp. of garam masala

1 Tbs. of toasted sesame oil, divided

2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped

Dash of cayenne (if you like a little more heat)

Preparation:

Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat and add the sesame oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute for several minutes. Add the red peppers and cook for a few more minutes. Then add the curry, salt and garam masala and mix well. Make a “well” in the middle of the pan and add the remaining sesame oil and then add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the cauliflower and mix well to season. Add the coconut milk, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. A few minutes before serving, add the peas and cilantro. This is a great paleo style meal but you can add some hot jasmine rice to compliment this dish. I have to add rice for my son to coat the heat from the spices. What are some of your favorite curry dishes? Do you have a mouth-watering recipe you would like to share? I would love to hear from you.

Bon appetite my friend!