Brussels Sprouts Braised with Lemon

If you want to talk about a food that gets a bad name, these might be it. No one likes them, everybody hates them, guess I’ll go eat worms. Ummm… or not. Brussels sprouts are one of my most favorite foods. Why? They’re just so much fun to eat! Each one is a mini cabbage that I get to play with and peel. Because I’m 30 going on 5. And sometimes I play with my food. Sometimes I also understand the necessity to get other people to eat their greens. This recipe was born out of that need. According to my brother, who loathes, despises, abhors and detests Brussels sprouts, they did not taste like the delightfully adorable mini-cabbages and were actually quite good. (A huge compliment from a sarcastic 21 year-old!)

They have a touch of ground mustard to give them some subtle heat and a bit of a kick. Not to fear, it’s very subtle and enhances the flavors in the dish. The lemon juice provides a distinctive acidity that is delightfully mellow. I hope you enjoy them! I’ve been eating them alone, with other foods and as a noodle replacement for my marinara all week. So fantastic! 

Brussels Sprouts Braised with Lemon

  • 2 tbsp organic ghee 
  • 1 ½ lbs organic Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed, julienne-cut
  • 1 small organic onion, diced
  • 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • ½+ tsp ground mustard (the spice, not the condiment and heap that measuring spoon)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp organic lemon juice

  1. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt the ghee and add the onions. Saute until translucent, add the garlic and saute a few minutes more.  
  2. Add Brussels sprouts and stir to mix. Add spices. Cook until sprouts are a bright green (not the gross dark green overcooked crud).
  3. Add lemon juice and stir. Turn off heat and serve warm. 

Paleo Egg Roll Filling… Minus the Roll.

I made the not-so-bright decision to pull two pounds of ground pork out of the freezer.

Not one, but two.

Apparently I was over-zealous with how much I thought I could eat this week.

Or maybe how much I like homemade Italian sausage. Which is a lot.

But, seriously. I have my limits.

Perusing my fridge, I realized that I had a head of cabbage that had been hanging out in the back for…. longer than I care to admit. Cabbage doesn’t ever really go bad so I peeled off the leaves that had started rusting and voila! Inspiration was born. (I also had to steal two carrots from my roommate – but she got dinner out of the deal… and I still owe her two carrots.)

Below is the result of my said inspiration. It’s hearty, filling and 21 Day Sugar Detox-friendly.

You know that filling from egg rolls? Yea. It tastes like that. Minus the greasy fried egg roll bit. (Who likes soggy fried food anyway? mmm.. French fries in duck fat… okay. I do.) But let’s bring it back to egg rolls. I hated the roll and only ate them so I could have the filling and maybe the dipping sauce. But this recipe is so tasty that it doesn’t need the dipping sauce. So this is the best thing ever. 

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  • 1 lb organic, pasture-raised ground pork
  • ½ head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 organic carrot, shredded
  • ½ cup organic daikon radish, julienne cut
  • ¼ cup organic green onion, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh organic minced ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice 
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 ½ tbsp coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp (or more) dried red chili flakes
  1. Over medium heat, cook the pork until no longer pink along with the ginger, spices, salt and coconut aminos.
  2. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook for three minutes more, stirring often to make sure the cabbage cooks.
  3. Add the daikon radish and continue to cook until radish is slightly cooked and cabbage is cooked but still tender. (It shouldn’t be bright green – if it is, keep cooking.)
  4. Serve on a bed of lettuce or put it in a bowl and eat it. Or if you feel like being all fancy, fill Belgian endive cups with it. This would also taste good on cauliflower rice. Or just grab a fork and throw manners to the wind and eat out of your skillet.

What. Don’t judge me. 

Grapefruit Torte

Fresh citrus in the winter is one of my favorite things. It’s dreary here in NW Oregon and the cloud cover and constant drizzle (this year it’s just cold, not a lot of drizzle), really puts a damper on the mood. It’s no wonder people around here take Vitamin D supplements, fake-and-bake and become snowbirds to beat the winter blues. I’m a fan of Vitamin D and take a large dose of it a day. I’m also a fan of eating happy fruit. I don’t know why, but I consider citrus happy fruit. This breakfast dessert is fantastic. And super easy to make. So easy, in fact, that most people will think you slaved over it when they eat it. When they make those comments, smile sweetly and say “Thank you” – this recipe will be our little secret. Unless you decide to share it with them.

For the crust, I use Danielle Walker’s, of Against All Grain, honey graham pie crust. It’s good. It’s easy. And it hasn’t failed me yet. If you don’t know who she is, check her out. Her story is fascinating and an inspiration to those of us with digestive health problems. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back – she’s so sweet and if I lived in San Fran, I’m sure she and I would be the best of friends. Or so I tell myself. She’d also have to share with me where she gets her shoes. They were so totally cute.

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If you have never segmented and cleaned a grapefruit, here’s a short little video to help you out. It’s super easy. And looks fantastic. I squeeze the remaining fruit meat and drink it for a bit of fresh juice. 

And my sister being a super-nerd and getting excited for dessert:

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Enough of my rambling, on to the recipe:

Grapefruit Torte

  • One honey graham pie crust
  • 1 package organic pasture-raised cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche (it’s bacteria cultured – and is sold at Trader Joe’s for a reasonable price)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 3 cups fresh grapefruit segments
  • Coarse sea salt
  1. Prepare the crust, per Danielle’s instructions on Against All Grain. If you don’t have a torte pan, use a spring form pan. Let the crust cool and leave in the pan.
  2. For the filling, combine the cream cheese, creme fraiche, honey, ginger and grapefruit zest and mix at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. 
  3. Spread mixture over crust.
  4. Line grapefruit segments on filling to cover.
  5. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over tart, slice and serve immediately.

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Accidental Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

Ever have one of those nights where you set out to make something and end up with something completely different?

Yea. Those nights. Welcome to my world.

I had some time to kill yesterday and stopped by Bob’s Red Mill to see which spice I didn’t already have and possibly couldn’t live without. Now. I’m not usually one to buy blends. I typically like to make my own – I can control the extras they put in a lot better that way. But I was curious about the Chinese Five Spice – so I bought a small amount of it and figured I’d doctor something up later… with the chicken that I pulled out of the freezer that morning and put in the fridge and that didn’t defrost. Whoops.

After that comedy of errors, I finally managed to defrost it (cold water baths are my friend) and dinner was made (although I was trying to make a different dish altogether) and I’m so very happy for my “mistake!” So, here’s Day 4 of my Whole30 Challenge dinner. Enjoy!

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Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

  • 8 organic Chicken Thighs, trimmed
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp Clarified Chicken Fat (or evoo)
  • Organic Broccolini
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Aminos (can be purchased at a local Whole Foods)
  • ¼ cup organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh grated Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, heat chicken fat and add diced onions. Saute until translucent.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the aminos, evoo, garlic, spice blend, ginger and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  3. Spread out onions so they evenly coat the pan and lay the chicken thighs on top. Pour the marinade over top and cover with a lid.
  4. Let the chicken steam until done, only turning once to ensure even coating of the marinade.
  5. About two minutes before serving, place the broccolini on top and put the lid back on. (This will steam blanch the broccolini.)
  6. Serve hot and spoon the juices on top when serving. Leftovers can be in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Halibut Fillet with Italian Veggies

Today marks the first day of the Whole30 Challenge. I’m super excited – eating paleo isn’t all that difficult for me… but I’ve been cheating and have been less compliant with the whole sugar thing (sugar is a toxin to the body). A 30 day detox is going to be wonderful!

To mark day 1, here’s something I made a few days back and am eating today for leftovers. It’s delicious. I love fish. I love halibut. I love Italian (organic) veggies. I love combing the two. My mouth is a veritable explosion of delicious goodness right now… but maybe that’s the side of homemade sauerkraut talking… errr – effervescenting. So here ya go! Day 1’s breakfast. (I turned it into a hash this morning and served it over a bed of arugula – it’s a bit different than how I served it up a few nights back.)

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Halibut Fillet with Italian Veggies and Arugula

  • 1 wild-caught halibut fillet, about ¾#
  • 3 small, organic, non-GMO zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pint organic, non-GMO grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh organic basil, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onion, zucchini, and garlic and saute until soft. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly distributed.
  4. In an oven-safe dish (I used my cast iron skillet), lay out the halibut. Spoon the veggies over the top of the halibut and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the halibut is flakey.
  5. Serve hot, with veggies over-top.

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I Love Arugula Salad and Herb BBQ’d Chicken

Arugula just might be the best leafy green out there…. beside baby spinach. It’s spicy, the texture is pleasant, and it’s spicy. So when a friend of mine celebrated his 30th birthday on Sunday with a BBQ and I knew there were going to be a few paleo (or modified) people there, arugula salad seemed to be the logical choice. And it’s vegan.

For those friends who asked for this recipe, this one’s for you.

But really, the rest of you should make this salad – it’s fabulous. The recipe is from my Mom so I take no claim to this one. But, really, it’s fabulous. Times ten.

As for the chicken, well, here you go to my friends who asked. It was yummy. And I ate too much – but when you eat paleo, eating too much doesn’t really exist in your vocabulary.

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Arugula and Onion Salad

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ to 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 6 cups organic baby arugula, rinsed (or pre-rinsed)
  1. Saute onion over medium heat in half of the olive oil until translucent and just starting to caramelize.
  2. Add remaining olive oil and allow to sit for a minute longer and let the onions cool slightly, stirring so all of the oil is incorporated with the onions.
  3. Toss with the arugula in a large bowl and add sea salt, to taste.
  4. Serve while onions are still a bit warm.
  5. That’s it! Seriously.

Herb BBQ’d Chicken

  • 6 organic, free-range chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh organic,thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh organic rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Mix the marinade together until blended.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients in a container (plastic ziploc, glass dish and cover with plastic wrap, or a plastic container) and allow to sit for about an hour in the fridge.
  3. Throw on the BBQ until juices run clear and the meat is cooked, about 4 minutes on each side. Unless you happen to have a Traeger (smoker BBQ) – let it sit a bit longer and that’s even better.

Enjoy!

Adobo Sweet Potato Fries

I had you at sweet potato, didn’t I? If there is one vegetable that I can binge on, and really, there are many, it would be a sweet potato. I mean, seriously. They’re glorious. I’ve been on a sweet and spicy kick lately and have been craving chocolate with cayenne peppers or sweet and spicy chicken (I really need to paleo-ize that) or… you get my drift.

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Just a quick note: Sweet Potatoes aren’t part of the Dirty Dozen. In fact, they’re really low on the pesticide scale so you don’t have to buy organic. (And the Environmental Working Group, link above, has a great app you can download on your smartphone to help you remember!) They are not a GMO product so feel free to save a few dollars and buy conventional on this one.

Also, I make my own adobo seasoning blend and use it in just about everything. I’ll make it in large batches and store it in a pint sized mason jar with the ingredients and measurements written on the lid. The recipe for the adobo seasoning is below.

Enjoy!

Adobo Sweet Potato Fries

  • 5 small Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed and de-eyed, sliced into thin strips (no more than 1/2” x 1/2”)
  • 2-3 tbsp Adobo Seasoning (see below for seasoning mix)
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a sheet of parchment paper onto a jellyroll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato strips, coconut oil and 2 tbsp adobo seasoning until well coated.
  3. Lay out in a single layer on the prepared pan and toss with the remaining adobo seasoning – or as much as you see fit.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, remove pan from oven and toss, and bake for another 10 minutes or until desired.

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Adobo Seasoning

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Mix together and store in a sealed container (I use a mini mason jar or a clean and empty spice jar).

PIZZA!!!!!! (and it’s paleo!)

A few months ago, I tried to make paleo pizza dough but it was an abysmal failure. After scouring Pinterest (yes, I’m addicted to that as much as I am to running), I decided to modify a recipe and lose the cheese.

Apparently you really do need cheese sometimes – it was barely palatable to say the least.

This last week, the cravings for carbs and protein hit like none other thanks to my new attempts at CrossFit (I look like a flailing goat or some other highly pathetic animal but I plan on mastering it). Grocery shopping was not in the gameplan – it’s the end of the month which equals time to get creative, make mistakes (hopefully they taste good), and only get messy enough that I don’t destroy my kitchen…. oh, and not spend any money.

The pizza was delicious and both paleo and non-paleo roommates enjoyed it thoroughly, with a request to make it again soon. If the non-paleo likes it,  you know it’s good!

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Paleo Pizza
For the crust:

  • ½ head of caulflower, “riced”
  • 2 ½ tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • dash of salt

Toppings:

  • 1 bottle Trader Joe’s Artichoke Antipasto Pesto (or whatever it was called – it’s not paleo because of the oil type but it was on my shelf from who knows when and I wanted to get rid of it) OR you can do my Tomato-Free “Tomato” Marinara
  • ½ medium Onion, sliced very thinly
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic, sliced thin
  • a few handfuls of Arugula
  • ½# Ground Chicken sauteed with 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper
  • A handful of Organic Grape Tomatoes, halved (omit if on SCD or anti-inflammatory diets)
  • Kalamata Olives, halved and pits removed
  • salt and pepper
  • Seriously. Whatever you have in your fridge.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, process small amounts of cauliflower until they are the size of small tapioca, scraping down the sides as needed. You may need to remove any large pieces and put them in the next batch so you don’t juice your cauliflower. Remove and dump into a bowl. Repeat until all cauliflower has been riced.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients (you could put some herbs in for some extra something).
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper and pat out a crust. Precook for 15 minutes, or until the sides of the crust are starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and place toppings on. Place back in oven for 15 min, or until the bottom of the crust is a light golden brown.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, cut and serve! Note: This is an"eat with fork and knife" crust – I haven’t perfected the crunchy crust quite yet but am working on it!image

Pumpkin Spice Almonds

It’s game day. Which means that yummy and healthy snacks are a necessity. And, in case what team I hold allegiance to, well… let’s just say, I love my Ducks!

(Obligatory Duck fan Youtube video below.)

I’m donning my “I love my Ducks” t-shirt and Duck earrings. Bring it. They’re playing Cal and there’s only one state I dislike more than Washington when it comes to football – California. (Sorry to all of my Cali readers – I like you guys otherwise and am completely jealous of your year-round exposure to Vitamin D.)

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Since my whole family went gluten-free earlier this year, we’ve been struggling to find gluten-free snack foods for game day that were still junky enough to qualify as game day food but that were also healthy. It’s a delicate balance. And I think these almonds hit the mark. Especially when it’s cool, crisp, and overcast outside. (Seriously. It’s only supposed to get up to 45 here today.)

The recipe was adapted from a Halloween baking exchange I went to. The original called for raw almonds, I used roasted and cut down the oven-time by 10 minutes. Also, the original called for pre-made pumpkin spice mix. Due to diet restrictions, I have to make my own spice blend (and I do love my pumpkin spice blend). I loved these almonds so much – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Pumpkin Spice Almonds

  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp organic vanilla exract
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix spice blend, except the salt, in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the almonds and mix until coated.
  4. Spread out on a jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds with sea salt.
  6. Bake in then oven for 18-20 minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. Store is a sealed container.

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