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.

SAGE + BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRITTATA

Frittata

I wanted to explore some new breakfast recipes and butternut squash is a GAPS-friendly ingredient, so I incorporated it into a frittata. To make it fun, I spiralized the butternut squash. It also made it easier to spread it out evenly in the pan. Sage seems to compliment this winter squash well and the goat cheese really brings everything together. And of course bacon goes with anything and my husband requested it in the recipe.

We didn’t miss the crust since this dish had so many great flavors and it was quite satisfying. Carbs are one of my biggest weaknesses. So anytime I can make my tastebuds happy sans carbs, I feel I have conquered the craving monster!

Ingredients:

1/2 butternut squash (non-bulbous end), peeled and spiralized

6 pieces bacon (nitrate + msg-free)

6 eggs, beaten

3 oz goat cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 sage leaves

1/4 tsp sage powder

Salt + pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook on medium-high until almost done in a medium-sized cast iron pan (or one you can put in the oven).

Next add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute.

Then add the squash and saute for about 3 minutes.

Add half of the goat cheese in tiny dollops over the mixture.

Mix in the sage powder, salt and pepper into the eggs and mix well then pour over squash mixture.

Add the remaining goat cheese over the mixture and place the sage leaves on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden on top.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP-COCONUT OATMEAL BARS

Chocolate Chip + Coconut Oatmeal Bars

I love making healthful yet fun snacks for my little guy. Anything to get him to eat clean-eating recipes. I don’t keep a lot of packaged snacks in our home, so I try to make some snacks to break the monotony of fruits and veggies.

I haven’t made oatmeal bars in a looooong time, so I had fun making these chocolate chip coconut bars. I added some really hearty ingredients to boost the fiber content and sweetened them with natural sweeteners like raw honey and raisins. These bars are quite filling, so you can even serve them at breakfast.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic rolled oats

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Pascha Organic brand)

1 cup organic raisins

1 cup toasted coconut flakes

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups organic plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup coconut oil (+ 1 tsp for baking pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If you are not using a stone baking pan, grease the cookie sheet with 2 tsp of coconut oil. I use the Pampered Chef large bar pan. It measures 10″ x 15 1/5″ x 1″.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oatmeal through the cinnamon) and mix well.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (yogurt through vanilla extract) and mix well.

Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get in there and mix it up with your hands! I use a little coconut or olive oil to coat my hands to prevent the mixture from sticking. Plus your hands are really soft after you wash them off!

Press the mixture into the bar pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Oven times vary with different stoves. After they cool off, cut into little squares. I yielded about 32 bars!

Store them in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

 

BERRY-SPECIAL FRENCH TOAST

Berry French Toast

We just celebrated another anniversary. It has been 11 years of growth, sacrifice, joy, laughter, selflessness, gratefulness, fun, excitement, adventure, disappointment, forgiveness, hope, unconditional love, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am so grateful for all of God’s provisions, wisdom, grace and unconditional love. I never knew how hard marriage could be and no one really warns you!

It’s ironic how we invest our time and money for our career, education, hobbies, and even working out. But we don’t think twice to do it for our marriages. My husband and I have always been intentional about growing in our marriage. We have spent the last few years with marriage mentors through our church and we are now a part of the marriage ministry called ReEngage. This was one of the best decisions we have made for our family. If you are looking to strengthen your marriage, save your marriage or even have the hope to save a marriage that is already over; this is the place to go. With God, all things are possible!

Anniversary Collage

To show my husband, how much I appreciate and love him, I wanted to make him a nice breakfast. He loooooooves a home-cooked meal, especially when I make it. I was anticipating a busy day with my business and homeschooling, so I wanted to make sure we started it off really special. So, the night before, I prepared a breakfast casserole to help save time since my husband gets up at the crack of dawn.

Originally, I was going to make my Pecan Banana French Toast Casserole, but I was out of bananas! Soooooo, my creative juices kicked in and here is what I created. He loves berries, so I knew this was going to be a hit!

Ingredients:

5 slices gluten free bread (I use Udi’s)

4 organic free-range eggs, beaten

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 ½ cups coconut milk

¼ cup of raw honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (I prefer the vanilla bean)

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg

Coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

Topping:

1 cup pecans

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. coconut oil

1 Tbs. raw honey

Casserole Preparation:

Grease an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.

Cube the bread into large pieces and place in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla and honey.

Add the cubed bread into the egg mixture and mix up really well.

Place in the refrigerator and let soak for at least an hour or even overnight.

While the bread is soaking, prepare the pecan topping.

Topping Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl.

Spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 15 minutes, check at the 10 minute mark to stir them around for an even roast.

Store in an airtight container and keep at room temperature, if cooking the casserole the next day.

The next day or an hour later:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take casserole out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about 20 minutes. (I don’t like to go from cold to hot with a glass dish.)

Mix in the fruit and spread the pecan topping evenly over the top.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Done when knife comes out clean. Let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Bon appetite!

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.