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Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

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Spring is here and tis the season for cleansing! As holistic nutritionists, one of the things Mo and I focus on in educating clients is eating seasonally and the importance of that for the body!

If you think about it intuitively – as the seasons change, you likely crave different things. For example: when it’s cold outside you want a big bowl of chili or a hearty plate of creamy cauliflower rice risotto… Okay, okay, or maybe just good ‘ol risotto! 😉 And when the warmer months come around, a shake or smoothie might start sounding really good for Breakfast or perhaps a chilled soup or more vegetables and/or fish than heavy meats.

Now, think about it ancestrally – “back in the day” so to speak, there were no year-round-fully-stocked produce sections or butchers that carried any kind of meat any time of year, like we have access to now. The food people ate was because it was available per the season.

I’m not saying that in the colder months you should never have something that might not have been available to our ancestors. But what I am saying is that you should at least consider it. And know that when something is not in season, you will get very little of the nutritional value out of said thing but when it is in season, that is when it is chalked full of it’s nutrients!

Alllll of that to say: I came up with this Spring Vegetable Soup recipe while I was doing a spring detox – nothing major – only 4 days – just with the goal of resetting a bit and cleansing my liver from toxins, etc. I honestly haven’t been feeling right hormonally, emotionally, etc. for the last few months and with spring upon us it seemed like a welcome invitation to do some bodily spring cleaning, if you will! And no, before anyone asks – I’m not pregnant! Ha! 😉

This soup comes together very simply and make wonderful leftovers! It is just as good chilled as it is warm! But the best part? It is FULL of anti-inflammatory, cleansing foods! The mung beans in particular are chalked full of fiber and they taste amazing on their own too!

So while you may not be inclined to a liver detox of sorts, I hope you will make this and incorporate some cleansing foods into your spring!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1-2 strips kombu dashi (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, unpeeled and thinly sliced into coins
  • 2 yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 small zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart beef or chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • 1 small container pre-washed baby spinach

Directions:

  • Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened – approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  • While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  • Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  • Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  • Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  • Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!

 

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  1. Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened - approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  3. Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  4. Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  5. Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  8. Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!
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Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

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I get on these kicks sometimes… Recently, it’s chowders. I literally wake up thinking about making chowder. I’ve never made a chowder. Never really had a burning desire to. But then for whatever reason, and this is how it works with me, I see something on TV or I have something at a restaurant and suddenly I am fixated on this one thing.

Chowder can be defined in different ways. But from what I understand, it ultimately means that potatoes are involved in some capacity. This recipe incorporates a potato for texture and creaminess – but some chowders leave them whole/diced. Does it really matter? No, not really.

My version of chowder (this time – stay tuned, there will be more where this came from!) is smooth and creamy… It is almost silky in texture. And I gotta say, one of the easiest recipes, quite possibly, ever!

I’ve posted several meatless recipes to demonstrate yummy ways of incorporating a meatless meal into the weekly routine (if you’re not already…) It makes life so much easier when you don’t have to cook a protein + it’s so good for digestion when we give it a little break from time to time. For all of my plant-based eaters, this is is a no-brainer for you. But for all of my carnivores, I’d be willing to bet you rarely if ever consider eating a meal that doesn’t involve meat of some sort. I’m here to tell you – try it! Once a week. Give it a shot and I promise you will feel good from it!

Over the last few weeks I’ve posted some great meals that I can speak for Mo (aka the ultimate carnivore) in saying that the meatless state of those meals was lost on him. Had I not told him there was no meat involved, I am 98% sure he never would’ve noticed.

That being said, this chowder will be a giveaway. Its meatless-ness (I know, not a word, but it works well here… Go with it!) will be noticed. But it is warm and filling and full of good nutrition. I served, yes, you guessed it: a “Big Salad” to go along with, which I kept meatless as well. We were completely satisfied, not wishing for more. It was a great meal.

That being said, this would be the most wonderful start to a meal vs being the main dish as I served it as. Or, served with a big piece of my 5-minute Grain Free Bread. Either way, it is wonderful!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 Yukon gold potato
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1, 15oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained, rinsed and divided
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup, light, canned coconut milk
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  • Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  • Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  • Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.

Recipe adapted from Alyssa at simplyquinoa.com

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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  3. Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  4. Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  6. Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  7. Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.
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Paleo Chicken Cacciatore

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I feel like I say this all the time – but seriously, this could possibly be the easiest and quickest to put together dish with the most flavor, ever!

Some versions of Chicken Cacciatore use heavy cream – I adapted this recipe from Alyssa Rivers at The Recipe Critic – I made this one Paleo by simply subbing the heavy cream with canned coconut milk. The sauce turned out creamy but not too rich. It has the perfect silky texture. The whole dish is hearty without being heavy and is great for dinner one night and leftovers for lunch the next day!

I served ours with spiralized zucchini noodles… But it would be great with Orzo Pasta for a not-Paleo version or simply a crusty piece of good Sourdough bread!

Buon appetito!

Paleo Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1lb baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1, 15oz can low sodium crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning, divided
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • raw parmesan or manchego, grated, for garnish

Directions:

  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. While this is heating up, season one side of the chicken with ½ tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken, seasoned side down, to the skillet and cook approx. 4-5 minutes. While the first side is cooking, season the other side with ½ tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Flip the chicken and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate – set aside.
  • Add the bell pepper and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring constantly so it does not burn. Sauté 2 more minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, broth, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste. Let simmer until thickened – approx. 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and cover with sauce. Cook until heated through – approx. 3 minutes.
  • Serve over spiralized zucchini “noodles” and garnish with basil and raw parmesan or manchego.

 

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Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. While this is heating up, season one side of the chicken with ½ tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken, seasoned side down, to the skillet and cook approx. 4-5 minutes. While the first side is cooking, season the other side with ½ tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Flip the chicken and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate – set aside.
  3. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring constantly so it does not burn. Sauté 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, broth, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste. Let simmer until thickened – approx. 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken back to the skillet and cover with sauce. Cook until heated through – approx. 3 minutes.
  6. Serve over spiralized zucchini “noodles” and garnish with basil and raw parmesan or manchego.
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Paleo Italian Turkey Meatballs

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Paleo Italian Turkey Meatballs

Makes 8-10 medium-sized meatballs…

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar (approx. 3 cups) THIS marinara sauce

Directions:

  • Add turkey through ground pepper to a large bowl and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  • Divide the mixture into 8-10 meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs – being sure they have space between them, otherwise they will steam – you want a little crust on them for flavor. Sauté until browned on all sides, about 2:30-3 minutes per side. Turn off heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce.
  • Return all the meatballs to the pan and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked to 160 degrees F – approx. 5-7 minutes.

  • Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over zucchini/squash noodles or cauliflower rice.

Notes:

  • I’ve only found this brand (The Vine) at Central Market – Dallas Whole Foods don’t carry it, unfortunately. I like it so much because it has very clean/organic ingredients and 25mg of sodium per serving and I honestly don’t feel the need to salt it further. Most jarred sauces have anywhere from 210mg – 510mg of sodium PER serving! So if you cannot find this one, Monte Bene is another good one – higher in sodium per serving but lower than most and clean ingredients, and you can find it at just about any grocery store.

 

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Instructions
  1. Add turkey through ground pepper to a large bowl and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  2. Divide the mixture into 8-10 meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs – being sure they have space between them, otherwise they will steam – you want a little crust on them for flavor. Sauté until browned on all sides, about 2:30-3 minutes per side. Turn off heat.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce.
  5. Return all the meatballs to the pan and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked to 160 degrees F – approx. 5-7 minutes.
  6. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over zucchini/squash noodles or cauliflower rice.
Recipe Notes

I've only found this brand at Central Market - Dallas Whole Foods don't carry it, unfortunately. I like it so much because it has very clean/organic ingredients and 25mg of sodium per serving and I honestly don't feel the need to salt it further. Most jarred sauces have anywhere from 210mg - 510mg of sodium PER serving! So if you cannot find this one, Monte Bene is another good one - higher in sodium per serving but lower than most and clean ingredients, and you can find it at just about any grocery store.

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Primal Cheeseburger Casserole

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Have I mentioned that I am married to a man who wants a cheeseburger as his last meal? He doesn’t care so much about the fries or a particular bun, as long as it’s not gluten free (LOL) – but the patty – it’s gotta be a thick patty that he can sink his teeth into. And the burger has to have all of the normal flavors of a BURGER – he doesn’t want it with BBQ sauce or sundried tomatoes or anything frilly. He wants the bun, the burger patty, really good cheese, and mayonnaise. He could take or leave the lettuce and tomato, but definitely no onion and pickles on the side.

That said, I’m not much of a burger fan. I don’t care about biting into something with meat and bread. I don’t know. Just not my thing. Call me a girl, but I like things I can eat with a fork – unless of course it’s french fries or chips and salsa. 🙂 So, we compromise. Often. And if I may brag on my sweet husband for a moment – he is unbelievable at compromising.

This Cheeseburger Casserole was something I half dreamed up and half ran across on another blog that was doing a copycat of a skinnier version of Paula Dean’s version. I completely re-did the recipe, OBVIOUSLY, but the blog gave me some inspiration.

I grew up eating casseroles – Chicken Tetrazzini, Broccoli Chicken Casserole, etc. My mom still makes them a lot to keep in the freezer and pull out when needed. This casserole will freeze beautifully. It is a great make ahead as you can leave it in the fridge for a few of days prior to baking it. It’s really easy to put together and tastes REALLY good! It’s a cheeseburger that you can eat with a fork. Literally.

It is 100% approved by Mo, who is tough to please when it comes to cheeseburgers. It is completely Paleo if you omit the cheese. But, then it wouldn’t be a “cheese”burger casserole. So – I suggest you live a little and find a really good, high quality, grass fed, raw/unpasteurized cheese and enjoy your life! Unless of course you’re allergic to dairy – in which case, you could top it with Nutritional Yeast.

As most casseroles go, this one is no different – it’s even BETTER as leftovers the next day!

We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Primal Cheeseburger Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2, 14oz bags cauliflower rice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1lb ground bison or grass-fed ground beef
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28oz low sodium, organic diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 large handful fresh baby spinach
  • approx. 4oz raw goat cheddar or Kerrygold grass-fed cheddar
  • approx. 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or approx. 3-4 tbsp chopped dill pickles
  • approx. 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and spray a 9×13” baking dish and a large baking sheet lined with foil with coconut oil cooking spray. Set the baking dish aside and pour the cauliflower rice onto the baking sheet and spread across the pan in an “even” layer and sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt on top. Place cauliflower into the oven to roast, until slightly browned on top – approx. 10-12 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F after pulling the cauliflower out.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the jalapeno and cook for another minute, stirring often.
  • Push the onion and jalapeno to the sides of the pan and place the bison/beef into the pan. Break up the meat and cook until browned; season with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and let it wilt – about 2 more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cauliflower rice. Combine well.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with cheese.
  • Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake until the cheese is melted – about 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle dill and chives over the top; serve.

 

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and spray a 9x13” baking dish and a large baking sheet lined with foil with coconut oil cooking spray. Set the baking dish aside and pour the cauliflower rice onto the baking sheet and spread across the pan in an “even” layer and sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt on top. Place cauliflower into the oven to roast, until slightly browned on top – approx. 10-12 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F after pulling the cauliflower out.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the jalapeno and cook for another minute, stirring often.
  4. Push the onion and jalapeno to the sides of the pan and place the bison/beef into the pan. Break up the meat and cook until browned; season with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt – about 2 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the cauliflower rice. Combine well.
  8. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with cheese.
  9. Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake until the cheese is melted - about 15 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle dill and chives over the top; serve.
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Primal Tex-Mex Cauliflower Rice Casserole

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I am, by heritage, Italian, Irish and German; and while potatoes (Irish and German) are both a staple in the Brossette household – pasta notsomuch. Chips and Salsa are this Texas-Raised-Italian-Girl’s carbohydrate of choice.

I cannot get enough Mexican food. I obviously love Tex-Mex, but appreciate the more traditional Mexico City style as well. That said, if there aren’t chips and salsa, it’s not Mexican in my mind.

When Mo and I first met, we used to have Mexican at least 2-3 times a week! Especially on Sundays. We were both training for long-course Triathlon (him, an Ironman, me a Half Ironman) and it was the BEST feeling after a super long workout to indulge in some good Tex-Mex. After doing this routinely for a couple of years, we both started to notice that we just didn’t feel good after eating it that often. We were sort of of the thinking that because we had worked out so hard and so long, it didn’t really matter what we ate – it was going to be used up immediately. Man, have we learned different since then. It really works the opposite of that. The longer and harder you workout – the more clean you need to eat after – the cleaner you eat, the faster you recover – the more poor you eat, the slower you will recover because your body not only has to heal from the stress of the workout but NOW you’ve given it poor food to trudge through as well. See what I’m saying? So that first and second meal after a long workout is KEY! And then, you want to indulge a little? Do it! I suggest it!!

All of that being said, when we stopped going out for Mexican a few times a week, that didn’t mean that I stopped craving it. This recipe is one of many in my Mexican repertoire – if you will. We feel amazing after eating this!

I love to have Beanitos or Way Better chips and some pico and guacamole with this! It’s a great meal to make on a Sunday so you have leftovers for lunches for the following week. And, it freezes beautifully! You could easily double the recipe below and freeze one for later or make several mini-casseroles!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Primal Tex-Mex Cauliflower Rice Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 fresh Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped or 2, 4oz cans chopped green chiles
  • 3, 14oz bags cauliflower rice or two medium heads cauliflower
  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½lbs ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano (if you cannot find Mexican, plain is fine)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 1, 15oz low sodium black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1, 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 4oz goat cheese log
  • 4oz raw Manchego, grated
  • 1 bunch green onion, green and white parts or 1 bunch chives, thinly slices
  • ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 avocado

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • If roasting your own chiles, line a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place hatch chiles in an even layer/not touching. Place on top rack of oven and roast for 6 minutes. Turn and roast another 4-6 minutes, until slightly browned. Place in a glass bowl and cover with foil and let steam for 10-15 minutes. Peel, dice and set aside.
  • Rice cauliflower, if necessary. Line a large baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray and pour cauliflower rice on top and spread into an even layer across the pan. Spray top with a little more cooking spray and add a few pinches of sea salt – toss to combine and place in the oven once chiles are done. Roast for approx. 12 minutes. Toss and roast for another 4 minutes, until softened and golden brown.
  • Once cauliflower is out of the oven, turn oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place olive oil into a large oven-safe skillet and place over medium heat. Once warm, place the turkey into the pan and break up and brown until cooked through. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper; set aside in a bowl.
  • In the same skillet, sauté the onion and bell pepper over medium heat, until tender, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes.
  • Add turkey back into the skillet and add in spices, oregano and a couple of pinches of sea salt and sauté for another minute or two, stirring to combine all ingredients and coat with seasonings.
  • Add in the tomatoes, black beans, chiles, cauliflower rice and jalapenos and stir well to combine.
  • With the heat still on medium, make a well in the center of the skillet and place the goat cheese log into the well. Stir and once it begins to melt, start incorporating the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Stir completely until the goat cheese is completely incorporated.
  • Top with grated Manchego and then place the pan in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Alternatively, pour into a dish to freeze, let cool completely, cover with saran wrap and foil and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove the saran wrap, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, uncover and place back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes, until the center is completely cooked through.

  • The casserole is done when the cheese is bubbly and staring to turn golden.
  • To serve, top with fresh green onion or chives, a few cilantro leaves and fresh avocado.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. If roasting your own chiles, line a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place hatch chiles in an even layer/not touching. Place on top rack of oven and roast for 6 minutes. Turn and roast another 4-6 minutes, until slightly browned. Place in a glass bowl and cover with foil and let steam for 10-15 minutes. Peel, dice and set aside.
  3. Rice cauliflower, if necessary. Line a large baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray and pour cauliflower rice on top and spread into an even layer across the pan. Spray top with a little more cooking spray and add a few pinches of sea salt – toss to combine and place in the oven once chiles are done. Roast for approx. 12 minutes. Toss and roast for another 4 minutes, until softened and golden brown.
  4. Once cauliflower is out of the oven, turn oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Place olive oil into a large oven-safe skillet and place over medium heat. Once warm, place the turkey into the pan and break up and brown until cooked through. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper; set aside in a bowl.
  6. In the same skillet, sauté the onion and bell pepper over medium heat, until tender, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes.
  7. Add turkey back into the skillet and add in spices, oregano and a couple of pinches of sea salt and sauté for another minute or two, stirring to combine all ingredients and coat with seasonings.
  8. Add in the tomatoes, black beans, chiles, cauliflower rice and jalapenos and stir well to combine.
  9. With the heat still on medium, make a well in the center of the skillet and place the goat cheese log into the well. Stir and once it begins to melt, start incorporating the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Stir completely until the goat cheese is completely incorporated.
  10. Top with grated Manchego and then place the pan in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. ---Alternatively, pour into a dish to freeze, let cool completely, cover with saran wrap and foil and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove the saran wrap, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, uncover and place back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes, until the center is completely cooked through.
  11. The casserole is done when the cheese is bubbly and staring to turn golden.
  12. To serve, top with fresh green onion or chives, a few cilantro leaves and fresh avocado.
  13. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
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Zucchini Goat Cheese Lasagna

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Prior to making this, please be sure to read the notes under the recipe for variations and substitutions.

***

It’s October and in Texas that means it’s either going to continue on in 90 degree weather or, we just might have one of those special years where we get some chilly weather for Halloween. Always a toss up. We woke up this October morning to 57 degrees and rain! For Texas, this is essentially Christmas morning. It was glorious! Now all I want is a Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I’ve been on a casserole kick for the last month or so – such an easy thing to throw together and make ahead and great fall recipes for the cooler weather I am crossing my fingers for!

Mo and I do not have children – just the sweetest, cutest, most loving French Bulldog in the whole world! But majority of our clients do have children, so on some level we understand how CRAZY life gets when school starts back up in the fall. We find that clients always struggle this time of year to maintain clean eating habits simply for the fact that time suddenly feels it is not their own anymore. One kid needs to be at football practice at 6am, another at school at 8am, a little one at Mothers Day Out at 9:30am and then pick up starts at 2pm and so on… Add to it games, dance lessons, etc. that happen in the evenings and I honestly don’t know how people do it day-in-day-out with frankly, more than one kiddo.

These casserole recipes were meant for YOU! For those who feel like they have no time to make themselves, much less overall health, a priority because of so many things going on and getting thrown at them. I hope you’ve found these to make life a little easier and a way to keep you and your family eating clean in spite of the chaos. It’s always interesting to me – when I eat poorly (i.e. fast food, packaged products, etc.) on a regular basis, sometimes out of what seems like pure necessity – my energy to do ALL of the things that I NEED to do – all of the things that have caused me to believe that fast food is the only option – is completely zapped. I don’t HAVE energy to do those things. And then I’m cranky and tired and that’s not good for anyone. 🙂

So, while I don’t have children, I do understand what it is to be incredibly busy with back-to-back “to-do’s” each day and I just want to encourage you to take good care of the body and mind that has to perform those tasks. I hope these recipes have helped make eating clean more feasible and flavorful in the midst of the chaos.

See? Isn’t Franklin the cutest EVER???

I made this lasagna recipe for the first time a couple of years ago. One of our clients brought us some ground venison and I was using it in everything! We love venison! I think we ate half of the lasagna the first night. 🙂 The leftovers were awesome and made life so easy for the next few days. It has SO much flavor! If you prefer, you can absolutely omit the meat in this recipe altogether and replace with additional mushrooms (see my notes below the recipe) and it will be just as yummy!

This recipe can easily be doubled and you could make two pans or several small – single or double servings sizes – to store in the freezer and heat up in the oven when needed for a quick dinner. It will freeze beautifully! Just skip the last step in the directions and cover in saran wrap and foil, place in the freezer for up to 6 months.

I hope this makes life a little easier for you and eating clean more feasible in the crazy times!

Zucchini Goat Cheese Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1lb ground venison, bison, beef, turkey, etc.***
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium portabella mushrooms, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1, 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1, 16oz can low sodium tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine***
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cage free egg
  • 1, 6oz container spreadable goat cheese, brought to room temperature
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1, 6oz container goat cheese crumbles

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a deep 9×13” casserole dish with cooking spray or rub well with olive oil and set aside.
  • Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices or use a mandolin to do so. Lay all of the slices onto a paper towel (somewhere in the kitchen that it won’t take up prep space) in one layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt; leave them be while you prep the sauce.
  • To start the sauce, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, place the ground meat into the skillet and break up. Cook for approx. 7 minutes – until almost cooked through. Set aside.
  • In a separate sauté pan, add the green pepper and onion; cook until softened – approx. 5 minutes; add in mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the meat and stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano. Add a small amount of hot water or broth if sauce gets too thick. Bring to a light boil; reduce the heat and simmer sauce for approximately 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  • While the sauce is cooking, whisk (or use a hand mixer) the egg, goat cheese, and parsley together in a bowl until completely combined. It should have the texture of a thick sauce.
  • To assemble the lasagna, spread ½ of the meat sauce into the bottom of casserole dish; then layer ½ of the zucchini slices, all of the goat cheese mixture, and then repeat with zucchini and then sauce again. Cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the goat cheese crumbles. Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • You can make this vegetarian by omitting the ground meat and replacing with 3 more portabella mushrooms or 1 medium eggplant. You will simply have one pan for your sauce vs. starting with two.
  • You can replace the wine with either a beef stock or if keeping vegetarian, a vegetable stock.
  • If you are super pressed for time and need a pre-made sauce – I suggest The Vine – it is my very favorite! Super clean ingredients and very low in sodium! You will simply omit garlic through oregano in the list of above ingredients. Cook the vegetables and meat per above directions and add 1 jar of the sauce directly to the meat/vegetable mixture. Bring to a low boil, add sea salt and black pepper to taste and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Follow remaining steps per above directions.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a deep 9x13” casserole dish with cooking spray or rub well with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices or use a mandolin to do so. Lay all of the slices onto a paper towel (somewhere in the kitchen that it won’t take up prep space) in one layer and sprinkle lightly with sea salt; leave them be while you prep the sauce.
  3. To start the sauce, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, place the ground meat into the skillet and break up. Cook for approx. 7 minutes – until almost cooked through. Set aside.
  4. In a separate sauté pan, add the green pepper and onion; cook until softened – approx. 5 minutes; add in mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  5. Add the vegetable mixture to the meat and stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil, and oregano. Add a small amount of hot water or broth if sauce gets too thick. Bring to a light boil; reduce the heat and simmer sauce for approximately 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, whisk (or use a hand mixer) the egg, goat cheese, and parsley together in a bowl until completely combined. It should have the texture of a thick sauce.
  7. To assemble the lasagna, spread ½ of the meat sauce into the bottom of casserole dish; then layer ½ of the zucchini slices, all of the goat cheese mixture, and then repeat with zucchini and then sauce again. Cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the goat cheese crumbles. Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

You can make this vegetarian by omitting the ground meat and replacing with 3 more portabella mushrooms or 1 medium eggplant. You will simply have one pan for your sauce vs. starting with two.

You can replace the wine with either a beef stock or if keeping vegetarian, a vegetable stock.

If you are super pressed for time and need a pre-made sauce – I suggest The Vine – it is my very favorite! Super clean ingredients and very low in sodium! You will simply omit garlic through oregano in the list of above ingredients. Cook the vegetables and meat per above directions and add 1 jar of the sauce directly to the meat/vegetable mixture. Bring to a low boil, add sea salt and black pepper to taste and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Follow remaining steps per above directions.

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