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.

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER + MEATBALL SOUP (GAPS-FRIENDLY)

This recipe is our family’s new favorite dish! I could make this every week and my guys would be happy. The combination of the meatballs and hearty veggies, can satisfy anyone. You really don’t miss the carbs. I used my homemade bone broth to make this dish really gut-healing and flavorful. I also added more water since you cook the meatballs in the soup and I wanted a large batch for leftovers. You can adjust the water to how much broth you prefer in your soup. Cooking the meatballs in the broth makes them moist and the veggies come out perfectly tender with a little crunch in the kale!

I pureed some of the cauliflower to add more depth to the broth. This recipe is adapted from a meatball recipe in the cookbook “The Heal Your Gut Cookbook“. If you are looking for great GAPS recipes, this is the book to have in your kitchen. I made a huge pot for leftovers. Cook once, eat twice!!!

Ingredients:

1 lb organic ground beef

1 lb ground pork (organic if possible)

2 eggs

1 qt homemade beef bone broth

3 cups filtered water

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 bunch of kale (about 8-10 large leaves), chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 8 oz container baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 large sweet onion, sliced

5 cloves garlic, minced (divide in half)

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp ground pepper

Preparation:

Cut all of your vegetables before you begin this dish. You can even cut them the night before or earlier in the day to save time.

Add a little broth to a very large stock pot, just enough to saute half of your garlic. Cook garlic on medium-high for a couple of minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add the rest of the broth and turn up heat to bring broth to a boil.

In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, other half of minced garlic, all of the spices and mix well. Make about 1 inch meatballs and place on a tray. I use a small ice cream scoop to make my meatballs.

Once your broth is boiling, add the cauliflower and cook until fork-tender. Next, turn down heat to medium-high and puree half of your cauliflower. I use an immersion blender and just blend some of the cauliflower.

Add the meatballs one by one to the pot. Next add the carrots, onions, kale and mushrooms. Cook for about 20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. The broth and meatballs already have a lot of flavor, so we didn’t need to add more seasoning. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRUNCHY SALMON PATTIES

salmon-patties

I love salmon! It’s one of my favorite proteins. It’s easy to make and loaded with so many nutrients such as Omega 3’s for healthy brain function, B12, potassium and selenium to help support your overall health. My godmother gave me one of her delicious secret recipes for salmon patties. I tweaked it and put my own twist on it. I posted this pic on my Instagram page several weeks ago, so here is the recipe as promised! My godmother baked her salmon, but I wanted a little more crunch and it was 97 degrees outside, so I fried mine in avocado oil. It’s also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly! Woohoo!!!

Make sure to purchase only wild caught salmon, not farmed. Farmed salmon is very toxic. The farmers use pesticides to ward off sea lice and antibiotics to fight infection, due to the overcrowded fish farms. Farmed salmon are also given a pigment to enhance their lack of color, called canthaxanthin. This ingredient has been found to negatively affect the pigment of the eye retina. When you consume these fish, you consume these toxins. And they don’t leave your body naturally.

Ingredients:

3 cans of wild caught salmon

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond meal

1 celery stalk + leaves, chopped

2 inches of a leek, chopped

3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs Mayo ( I use Just mayo)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp sea salt

Juice of 1/2 a lime (or lemon)

1 Tbs Avocado oil (more if needed + you can use any high smoke point oil)

 

Preparation:

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. (Prepping this recipe doesn’t take long, so I usually start heating up my cast iron pan once I have gathered my ingredients.)

Drain salmon and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients (except avocado oil) and mix well.

Add the avocado oil to the pan and let it warm up for about 20 seconds.

Gently form the mixture into small patties. It will seem a little too wet, but it firms up once you start frying them. I make the patties as I cook them, that way I don’t worry about them losing shape as they are sitting out. I yielded five large patties with this recipe.

Immediately place the patties into the frying pan. Cook until golden brown and flip over and cook the other side for about the same time. It only took me about 3-4 minutes on each side. They cooked pretty fast in my cast iron pan.

Enjoy over a nice bed of greens and squeeze some extra lime juice before over the fish, before serving. I made some steamed broccoli for my little guy and he devoured it!

Bon appetite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLOW COOKER MEXICAN CHICKEN + RICE

 

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken + Rice

One of my goals this year is to create a staple of quick and easy, clean-eating recipes. So, the best appliance for me to use is my slow cooker! A friend of mine shared a recipe she uses and so this is my rendition of her slow cooker chicken and rice. I wanted to add some depth to the flavor of the rice, so I added cilantro and lime essential oil! This meal literally only took 10 minutes total to prepare! Let the mommas rejoice!!

I hope this recipe helps other moms in their crazy, busy schedules. I was inspired to create this dish from a conversation I had with a group of my close friends. We all homeschool, have many commitments and often feel pulled in too many directions. Our desires are to have a healthy balance in our home life and still be good moms and wives. (That statement in itself could be a great post topic!) Do you ever feel like that some days?

Okay, here is the recipe to make you feel like supermom for a day!

Ingredients:

1 jar of salsa (I used Muir Glen from Whole Foods)

1 can of organic black beans, not rinsed (I used Whole Foods brand since they now carry BPA-Free cans!)

1 1/2 – 2 pounds organic chicken breast

3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (I used a garlic press)

1 cup of organic vegetable broth

2 cups organic brown rice

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro (divided)

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 drop lime essential oil

Salt + pepper to taste

Preparation:

Add the salsa, black beans, garlic, chicken, and vegetable broth, in that order, into your handy dandy slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to high, cover and walk away! Let cook for about 5 hours.

About 1 hour before it’s ready, cook your rice and shred the chicken in the slow cooker. This infuses the meat with more seasoning!

Once your rice is done, mix the lime juice, lime essential oil and half of the cilantro together and then gently stir into the rice. 🙂

Stir in the other half of the cilantro to the chicken mixture.

Spoon out 1/4 cup of rice and pour 1/2 cup of chicken mixture over it. If you want to really keep the carb count down, pour chicken mixture over a bed of greens. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

CHICKEN + BEAN COMFORT SOUP

Chicken and Bean Soup

I believe women love the holidays, but dread the caloric increase that comes with it. Do you find it hard to make healthful food choices this time of year? Does the stress and hustle and bustle of running around to get everything done, just make you want to order in for pizza when you finally get home? Well that is how I usually get during the holidays. And then my poor eating choices make me even more lethargic and exercising is usually the farthest from my mind! Are you relating here, ladies?

I am breaking that tradition starting this year! I am determined to eat healthful this holiday season. And I am having fun creating different comfort foods to satisfy my palate and tummy! I even got a personal fitness coach to help recommend exercise programs I can do from home that meet my personal needs and she keeps me accountable! Even coaches need coaches!

The temperature finally dropped the other day, with a cold front finally hitting the south. Now we can decorate and feel like Christmastime is here. I always find it so hard to feel the magic of the holidays when it’s like 84 degrees out and humid. So what better way to end the day than with some warm soup! Ahhhh….

I added kale and kombu to ramp up the nutrition. Kale contains protein (yes, protein), fiber, vitamins A, C + K, folate, potassium, calcium and zinc. Kombu is a nutritional powerhouse for soups! It’s a type of sea vegetable and contains fucoidan (protects from radiation), calcium potassium, iodine, and even magnesium. These glorious green foods, truly make this a nourishing meal.

Ingredients:

1 pd. cooked organic chicken breast, chopped

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed + drained

2 medium leeks, washed and sliced thin (white + light green parts only)

4 cups organic vegetable broth

4 garlic cloves, minced

5-7 kale leaves, chopped

1 kombu strip

1/4 tsp. ground sage

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 sprig of fresh rosemary (about 5 inches long)

3 tsp. grape seed oil

Preparation:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add leeks and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, sage, black pepper and beans, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add broth, chicken, kale and rosemary. Mix together and let it cook until bubbly.

Reduce heat and cook for about 20 more minutes to let the flavors marry.

VEGGIE + HUMMUS WRAP

Veggie Wrap B Logo

 

I was shopping at Bedner’s, my favorite green market store, the other day and got inspired to create a veggie sandwich I had on my honeymoon in Costa Rica. The sandwich was loaded with sweet, roasted veggies and topped off with melted cheese on fresh focaccia bread. This sandwich was so delicious, we stopped at Al Bacio on the way to the airport to enjoy it one last time.

As much as I would have loved to recreate the exact recipe; I had to find a healthier alternative for the bread and cheese. So, what better way to replace bread than with a green leafy veggie. I needed something to really bring the sandwich together, so I added my homemade hummus.

This sandwich was a labor of love. I roasted a large batch of veggies and whipped up a big bowl of hummus, so my husband and I can enjoy this sandwich several times this week! I didn’t have mushrooms at the time, but they were part of the recipe I wanted to create, so I included them in the ingredient list. I will have to make this again next week, just to savor the mushrooms. Let me know how much you enjoy this recipe too!

Ingredients:

2 red peppers, sliced
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 ear of corn
2 large portabella mushrooms, sliced
6 carrots, halved and sliced
3 Tbs. Coconut oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Hummus (find recipe here)
Collard greens (6 large leaves), washed

Balsamic vinegar

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two shallow baking pans with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

Toss veggies (even the ear of corn) in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. (You may need to add a little more oil.)

Divide them between the two shallow baking pans. (If the pan is too deep, it will steam your veggies!!)

Roast veggies for 30 to 40 minutes. Check every ten minutes and stir the veggies around so they roast evenly.

Remove from oven and let cool. Cut corn off of the cob and mix in with veggies.

Place one collard leaf flat, with stem part of the leaf pointing away from you. Spread about 3 tablespoons of hummus on the center of the leaf. (Picture shown is the opposite way to place leaf down. I realized this after rolling my first wrap 🙂

Veggie wrap logo

Add a generous amount of veggies on top of the hummus. It comes to about a 1/3 cup of veggies. Then lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar over the veggies.

Fold up the bottom of collard leaf and roll up to form a wrap.

Veggie wrap c logo

Enjoy your totally guilt-free, nutrient-packed meal!!!

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!

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!