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Paleo Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

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Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving if I did not get to have sweet potatoes.

I am aware that there is this category of people out there who could take or leave sweet potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. And you are the people I just, frankly, do not understand. I love you. No judgement. But, I don’t get you.

My clean eating habits began at an early age for several reasons, of which I will not go into detail except for one – my mother has always been health conscious. I was raised during the “Fat Free Craze” and the “Wheat is better than white craze!” Ha! Funny to even think about now that I understand all of the research that has come out against both of those! So we had a lot of wheat bread and fat free mayo. Unfortunately that meant eating a lot of sugar, which I hope I am mitigating the effects of now. But my mom was always trying to make recipes healthier. Back in the day, she would substitute margarine for butter and would eat bread a million times before she would even look at an avocado! I’m literally laughing to myself as I type this and think through how funny that sounds… I can’t even imagine buying margarine. But 30 years ago, that was considered the healthiest alternative to fat. Crazy.

So I guess this is where I get my experimenting with recipes fetish! But now, thankfully, with different guidelines!

All of that to say – my mom came up with a recipe for sweet potato casserole that was heavy on sugar and she would use a little bit of margarine – never butter, etc. I always loved it growing up but now? No way I could eat it. My taste-buds would FLIP from all of the sugar. I think I’d go into a coma.

You have to remember that sweet potatoes are already sweet. I get that it’s Thanksgiving and it’s a time for some indulging, but no reason to douse something in additional sugar – a little? Sure! But, I suggest balancing it with some healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee butter or a good grass-fed butter. This will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you don’t get a crazy spike and 1- think you’re actually still hungry after eating a whole plate of Thanksgiving goodness and 2- crash in a couple of hours.

Sweet Potato Casserole is typically the sweetest thing on the table at Thanksgiving. I mean, aside from actual desserts. But, if you could stave off that blood sugar spike and make this a well balanced dish, wouldn’t it be nice to be kind to your body today while not feeling like you’ve missed out on ANYthing?

Hope you enjoy this re-make of my mom’s Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole!

Paleo Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or grass fed butter, melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (sprouted, if possible)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and wrap each sweet potato in foil. Place potatoes in the oven on the top or middle rack and bake for 60-75 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. They won’t be fully cooked, but that’s okay.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil or butter, cinnamon, coconut sugar and sea salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • Unwrap the potatoes and discard the foil. With a pairing knife, gently score the skin of the potatoes and then carefully peel the skin off of each one. Once peeled, dice into approx. 2-inch chunks.
  • Spray a large casserole dish with coconut oil cooking spray (or rub down with a little coconut oil or butter) and place the diced sweet potatoes into the dish. Drizzle the coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top and chopped pecans, gently toss to combine and cover with foil.
  • If serving immediately – place back in the oven for 15 minutes, covered and then another 5-10 minutes, uncovered, until slightly browned on top.
  • If making ahead, place in the fridge until ready to serve and increase cook times above by 10 minutes each.

 

Primal White Chicken Chili

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There are so many renditions of chili. Some have beans, some don’t. Some are “red,” some are “white.” Some are pork. Some chicken. Some beef. Some a combination of a few different proteins. Chili is so versatile.

This Primal White Chicken Chili is easy to make and one of my very favorite cold-weather meals! It is Primal, not Paleo because it uses white beans. But you could definitely replace the beans with small diced potatoes, if you’d like and make it Paleo. Mushrooms would work too. Or, nix the beans altogether.

I love to serve this with my Paleo Jalepeno Goat Cheese “Corn” Bread – you’ll have to wait for my cookbook to come out for that one… But, a crusty slice of good sourdough bread or Beanitos or Way Better chips are great, quick and easy pairings.

We love to load ours up with lots of toppings… Fresh Cilantro, Sliced Green Onion or Chives, Avocado or Guacamole, if you like sour cream – how about using a little plain Greek Yogurt so you get the live cultures? And – no shock here: Goat Cheese! Sometimes I’ll do shredded, raw Goat Cheddar or Goat Cheese Crumbles. I mean – it is cold weather, comfort food that you can feel really good about eating!!

It is a staple in the Brossette house during the fall and winter! We hope it becomes one in your home too!

Primal White Chicken Chili

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2, 15oz cans white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 cups chicken bone broth or low sodium chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (less if you prefer it less spicy…)
  • 2, 4oz cans chopped green chilies
  • sea salt to taste

Garnishes and extras

  • fresh cilantro, leaves only
  • chives or scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (or guacamole)
  • fresh pico or salsa
  • goat cheese

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, place the onion into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until softened – approx. 5 minutes.
  • Place the chopped jalapeno/serrano and garlic in with the onion and cook one more minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add green chilies, salt and seasonings to the skillet and mix thoroughly.
  • Push vegetables to the sides of the skillet and add in the ground chicken. Break up into desired pieces and let brown on one side for 3-4 minutes, toss and cook until almost cooked through – another 3-4 minutes. Combine with the vegetables/seasonings and add another pinch of salt.
  • Add beans into the skillet with stock and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a low boil and turn to heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, up to 1 hour until the chili has thickened.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with goat cheese, cilantro, fresh pico de gallo or salsa, chopped chives or scallion, and/or avocados.

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Smoky Paleo Bowl

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Believe it or not, we don’t always eat beautifully plated meals that take an hour to prep and an hour to cook. We are so stinkin busy. Good busy. But busy. In my perfect world, I would menu plan daily. But, while some may think it is – that is not my life. I really don’t know how many do it with little ones. It seems that most of my days are swamped minute-to-minute. Not complaining – I’m honestly not sure I would have it any other way.

That said, if I called Mo and told him I couldn’t cook one night or for a whole week – he is the type of man who, while he would much prefer I cook, would kindly understand and offer to pick something up. Ultimately though – we really don’t like to eat out. I mean, we certainly enjoy it from time to time on special occasions, or to try a new restaurant. But on the whole, we just feel better when we eat at home. So, I really try hard to make it a priority.

Not every day is minute-to-minute but man, I definitely had one of those days earlier this week – I had my own workout at 6am, showered and out the door by 8am to start with my one-on-one Personal Training clients – a break at noon for a quick Almond Milk Latte (my favorite!) and some Tuna Salad for lunch, a talk for my dear friends Nutrition class at El Centro, on to a 2:45pm meeting, followed by a 3:45pm appointment and then I still had to figure out what we were going to have for dinner that night. I was tired, it was getting chilly outside (FINALLY!!! I swear, Texas has the most confused weather!) and I wanted something that tasted like I’d been making it all day – you know, comforting and warm but I also didn’t want anything heavy. Welcome to the mind of a woman! So complicated! 😉 But hey! At least we know what we want! So, after all of this discussion in my head, I landed on a bowl and just decided to fill it will all the things that sounded good. And I give you the birth of my Smoky Paleo Bowl.

I put ground bison in ours – if Mo were not going to be home, I probably would have left that out and gone meatless. But, I live with a half-caveman, so bison it was! Feel free to use any protein you’d like or leave it out altogether – it will be just as de-lish!

This bowl comes together in 30 minutes or less and tastes like you’ve been working on it for a few hours. It is light but comforting and definitely filling!

I hope you enjoy!

Smoky Paleo Bowl

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 3 bags pre-riced cauliflower
  • olive or avocado oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric, divided
  • 1 orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 7 baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¾ – 1lb ground protein of choice
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • black pepper
  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh, baby spinach, arugula or baby kale
  • optional garnishes: crumbled goat cheese, cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeno or fresno pepper, scallion or chives…

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with a little cooking spray and pour cauliflower rice onto the pan and spread out as evenly as possible. Drizzle with a little olive or avocado oil, a few pinches of sea salt, smoked paprika, coriander and ½ tsp turmeric. Toss well to combine. Place in the oven to roast for 10 minutes; toss and then turn your oven off and leave the “rice” in the oven until ready to serve.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in bell peppers with a pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – approx. 5 minutes. Add in zucchini, squash and mushrooms, stir to combine, cover and steam for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and add in the ground protein to the center of the pan. Break the protein up and cook, stirring occasionally, until protein is cooked through – approx. 5 minutes. Season mixture with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, black pepper and sea salt to taste. Toss well to combine.
  • Add greens to the skillet and mix to combine. Cook until the spinach has just wilted, approx. 2-3 minutes.
  • To serve, start with some of the cauliflower rice in a bowl and top with protein/vegetable mixture. Garnish with options above, if you’d like. Enjoy!

 

 

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Bison & Greens Bowl with Crispy Plantains

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Anyone who knows me — and I mean, REALLY knows me, knows that I have an absolute hatred for all things banana. I don’t want to smell one, be around one, look at one, be in the same room or vicinity as someone eating one and I for SURE don’t want to eat one. I’ve been this way since birth. Or at least, that’s what my parents tell me. I’ve NEVER liked bananas. And not just not liked them – hated them. No clue where this comes from. I actually put this in my portion of the wedding vows Mo and I exchanged at our wedding. I told him I would always be willing to compromise on anything, EXCEPT BANANAS.

Nevertheless, suffice to say – when Mo walked in the door to find a couple of banana-looking items on our kitchen counter, he looked at me like I had three heads. I said, “What? They’re PLANTAINS!!!!” Ha! Yeah, he wasn’t buying it. He said,”But they’re IN the banana family… I’m confused! Who are you?” LOL! To which I shared with him that I was thinking about it the other day — I really like plantain chips – go figure, right? Put anything in chip-form and I’ll eat it! But seriously – we used to go to this mexican food restaurant here in Dallas when Mo and I first met – we would always get an order of plantain chips and I loved them! So I thought I’d try making my own.

It’s SO easy to make these delicious little things! I could eat a whole pan of them! If it were up to me, I would’ve had the plantains and aioli AS my dinner! But alas, I live with a man who “must have meat!” 😉 Hence the recipe for this bowl! It is SO easy to make and aside from the plantains, comes together in one pan!

Below is a recipe for two, but feel free to double or triple it and make it for your family or have it for leftovers the next day or two! I just suggest you keep the plantains stored in a plastic baggie or tupperware in your pantry and the remaining ingredients in the fridge. I served this with my Sriracha and Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts! It was the perfect side dish to this, if you’d like one!

Hope you enjoy! And while this was certainly a breakthrough for me, in case you’re wondering – NO! I will NOT be trying bananas anytime in the near or distant future!

Bison & Greens Bowl with Crispy Plantains and Chipotle Lime Aioli

Serves 2

Ingredients:

…for the aioli:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Foods Chipotle Lime Mayo
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ancho chili powder or smoked paprika
  • sea salt

…for the plantains:

  • 2 plantains
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • olive or avocado oil

…for the bison:

  • ¾ – 1lb ground bison
  • 1 small yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), julienned
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder (any variety)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh, baby spinach or arugula
  • optional garnishes: crumbled goat cheese, cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeno or fresno pepper or scallion…

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a medium baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spray with a little cooking spray.
  • Then, make the aioli by combining the mayo, apple cider vinegar, ancho chili powder and pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
  • Peel the plantains and cut them into rounds about a ¼ inch thick and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with a little olive or avocado oil and season with a few pinches of sea salt and half of the smoked paprika. Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip them over and season with more salt and rest of the paprika. Place back in the oven and bake for another 6-8 minutes, or until the tops have slightly browned.
  • While the plantains are baking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Push the onion and bell pepper to the sides of the skillet and add in the ground bison to the center of the pan. Break the bison up and cook, stirring occasionally, until bison is browned and cooked through. Season mixture with cumin, chili powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
  • Add spinach to the skillet and mix to combine. Cook until the spinach has just wilted, approx. 2-3 minutes.
  • To serve, start with some of the bison mixture in a bowl and top with crispy plantains and aioli. Garnish with options above, if you’d like. Enjoy!

 

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Pumpkin, Kale and Sausage Stew

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It is finally getting cooler here, in Texas. I swear – we really should move. I really don’t enjoy our summers and I am always taken aback, every year, without fail, about how damn hot it gets and STAYS here. I grew up in Texas. I’ve never lived long-term in another state. Why do I still get annoyed by the heat? I remind Mo at least once a week that I am slowly migrating west.

Before Mo and I got married we took a long walk on the beach in La Jolla (where he proposed (insert swoon!)) and I told him, in my most serious voice, “I need you to understand that I am meant to be in Southern California. I will not spend the rest of my days in Texas. If you’re not okay with this, then I suppose we should choose a path apart.” Needless to say, he completely agreed and therefore I remind him of this agreement at least weekly. In the summers, more like daily! But now that it’s getting cooler – I simmer a little and welcome the cold fronts with open arms!

About a week ago, we got our first legit cold front and it was PERFECT outside. Low 50’s, overcast, it was a Sunday. I mean, life felt perfect. You know those days? The ones that seem to be in all the movies? It was one of those days and even though it go up to 70 something later in the day, dammit, I was making a stew. We were going to turn the heat on in the house, even if just for 5 minutes, and eat stew and pretend like it was officially cold. LOL! No, I’m not joking – we really did turn the heater on for 5 minutes. You know that smell of the heater when you turn it on for the first time in a while? It’s the best, right?

If you know me at all, you know that I am semi-obsessed with pumpkin anything. I love it sweet, savory, in muffins or bread or soups – you name it! And I LOVE, LOVE actual pumpkins – not just the eating kind. But the decorative kind. I don’t know – maybe it’s a Cinderella thing, but I literally swoon when I see the “Fairytale” pumpkins at Central Market.

So, here you have it. This hearty, warming and SO easy to make Pumpkin Stew. While you will feel warm inside and comforted by it, you will also reap all of the nutritional benefits of eating it – especially if you’re able to use bone broth as the base. Try not to overlook that part. It’s a gem if you can find a good free range chicken bone broth.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did and that it welcomes you into the fall!

Pumpkin, Kale and Sausage Stew

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½lbs pastured sausage of choice
  • 1 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small buttercup or pumpkin pie pumpkin or butternut squash*
  • 1 bunch kale (any variety)
  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup raw parmesan, pecorino or Manchego, grated
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage, tomato paste, allspice, garlic powder, fennel seed, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add onions to the saucepan and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until onions are softened.
  • Add pumpkin, kale, broth and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for approx. 20 minutes.
  • Add vinegar and stir. Taste and season with salt and red pepper flakes as desired.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese and sprinkling of chives (if using) on top.

Notes:

  • Consider buying pre-peeled/chopped pumpkin/butternut squash, if you can find it. It will make life easier. Otherwise, here is a great method for peeling/chopping your own. I suggest the oven method as it is most “nutrient-safe.”
  • If you can find a good, free-range chicken bone broth – use that. If you can’t – feel free to substitute with low sodium vegetable broth or low sodium free-range chicken broth. Pacific brand is my go-to when I need to use boxed broths…

 

 

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Easy Whole Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

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Life is crazy. For all of us. And when you’re trying your darndest to eat clean and keep your family eating clean, it’s not always easy, per se. BUT, there is nothing easier than this recipe. I give it to ALL of my clients who are just starting out on the “clean eating band wagon!” It’s great for one or two and you’ll have lots of leftovers to have through the week or it will make enough for the whole family!

You throw everything into one pan and pop it into the oven! THAT simple. This is one of those recipes that should be a staple in everyone’s’ home on a weekly basis. You can always change up the vegetables you use based on what you or your family will eat! And the chicken can be used for sandwiches or casseroles, etc. if needed/you have enough leftover!

I hope you enjoy this and see how it simple it can be to eat well and take good care of yourself!

Easy Whole Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ to 4lb whole, free-range chicken
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 small lemons, halved
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch garlic, halved
  • 1, 14oz bag baby carrots
  • 2 zucchini, halved and quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 to 1½ cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season all over with sea salt, pepper, paprika and coriander. Stuff with lemons, parsley, thyme and both halves of the garlic bulb.
  • Place all of the vegetables on the bottom of a large, deep roasting pan and toss with olive/avocado oil and a few pinches of sea salt and one pinch black pepper.
  • Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and pour stock over the vegetables.
  • Place the chicken in the oven to roast. If you are using a convection oven, start at 425 degrees F and then reduce to 375 degrees F after the first 15 minutes.
  • Roast until chicken is golden and vegetables are caramelized – approx. 60-75 minutes; or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees at thickest part of the chicken.
  • Transfer chicken, carrots and garlic to a platter. Discard thyme, parsley and lemons, and let chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting/serving.

 

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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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Primal Broccoli Chicken Casserole

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Do you have those foods or meals that your family used to make – maybe your mom or dad or your grandmother – that when you smell that food or meal today it literally transports you back to when you were little?

This casserole is that for me. To this day, it is what my mom makes for me when we get to celebrate my birthday together. It is my request EVERY time I go home! It is creamy and luscious and warm and bubbly and honestly? Really clean, as far as casseroles go.

When most people think of casseroles I would bet that they think of those heavy, canned soup-based, super cheesy (but like, Velveeta cheese – you know what I’m sayin?), carb-loaded, slop it on a plate, mom didn’t have time for anything else tonight kind of meal. Not this one. It has been re-invented my friends and you will feel ALL the love when you eat it!

I hope you make this just so you can taste a little of my childhood. I’ve re-done it, in that it is made completely from scratch – no canned soup; and instead of packaged, processed cheese, I used a raw goat cheddar.  If you omit the cheese and use almond flour instead of sourdough, it is completely Paleo and Whole30.

It’s hard to re-do something your mom made. But man, this came out of the oven and I took that first bite and literally would’ve believed you if you told me my mom had made it and she was sitting right there with me – I could SMELL the house I grew up in. It will be so much fun to make this for her next time we ARE together.

I hope you enjoy this little piece of my childhood!

Primal Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Makes a 9×13 casserole…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ – 3lbs free range, boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • approx. 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 medium heads broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Kerrygold grass fed butter or coconut oil, divided
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • ½ – ¾ cup low sodium vegetable or free-range chicken broth or chicken bone broth
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup grated raw goat cheddar cheese, Kerrygold grass fed cheddar or Grafton raw cheddar
  • ¾ cup almond flour or sourdough breadcrumbs
  • Optional: fresh chives, cilantro or parsley for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cover a medium sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts on the pan and season with sea salt, black pepper and a dash of paprika over each chicken breast. Place on the middle rack of your oven to roast – approx. 20-30 minutes – until a meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part reads 155-160 degrees (the chicken will continue cooking as it rests and again when you finish the casserole in the oven…). Pull out of the oven and set aside.
  • While the chicken is roasting, cover a large sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place broccoli onto pan, toss with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and place on the top rack of your oven to roast until slightly browned – approx. 15-18 minutes, until slightly roasted and softened. Pull out of the oven and set aside. *Okay to add this to the oven while the chicken is roasting.
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until softened, about 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mushrooms to the pan with the broccoli.
  • In the same saucepan, melt the other tbsp of butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Whisk in the coconut milk and broth – start by adding ½ cup broth, if you need to add more to thin out the sauce per your liking, feel free. Once combined, whisk in the arrowroot flour, whisking constantly for 30 seconds until smooth. Bring to a low simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thickened – 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, curry, mayo, lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
  • Now, shred the chicken and place into a large bowl. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and onions.
  • Pour the sauce into the bowl with the broccoli mixture and add ½ cup almond flour or sourdough breadcrumbs and ½ of the cheese. Toss well to combine. I suggest using your hands for this! Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  • Top with remaining almond flour/sourdough and cheese.
  • Bake for approx. 30 minutes, until filling is hot and bubbly. Check after 20 minutes and cover with foil if topping is browning too quickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh chives, cilantro or parsley, if using and serve on it’s own or with roasted cauliflower rice (pictured above).

 

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Easy Roasted Tomato Soup

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I made this soup on a whim one night and now it is one of our favorites!

Life has been crazy lately! We’re doing a lot of work on our home that we just moved into in January and getting the opportunity to help lots of people and move forward with our coaching and nutrition practices. So, all really wonderful things, but still – BUSY!

I came home the other day from working with clients and realized I had NO clue what I was going to make for dinner – I needed something quick and easy and frankly, I wanted something meatless. Do you ever feel like, as an American (assuming you are one) that you don’t think twice about having protein in the form of meat or eggs with a meal? It’s the “American Way” right? Majority of us grew up with meat at every meal so as adults, it’s a given, right? After practicing a plant-based lifestyle for a couple of years from 2011-2013, I realized that it is not NECESSARY nor always a good/healthy thing to have meat at EVERY meal. The body/digestion needs a break sometimes. So, I’ve learned, and encourage you to do the same if you’re not already – really THINK about what you’re craving and in turn what your body NEEDS. Don’t eat something just because it’s the routine or because it’s what you feel you “should” do. I mean, yes, there are times for that – i.e. if you’re an athlete getting ready for a particular race or game, etc. But day-in-day-out – listen to your body as much as you can!

ALL of that being said – that is where this recipe was born. Quick, easy and meatless (and if you want it to be completely plant-based/vegan simply omit the cheese!) AND possibly MOST important – it tastes JUST LIKE PIZZA! That’s right – you heard me. PIZZA! And, it’s incredibly good for you! So… You’re welcome! 🙂

Hope you enjoy!

If you missed the demo of me making this on Facebook LIVE – click here to watch!

Easy Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3lb ripe Roma tomatoes (approx. 14)
  • 2 large shallots, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ¾ – 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • ¼ cup + extra for garnish grated raw/unpasteurized parmesan or manchego (omit if vegan/plant-based)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Halve tomatoes and place cut side up with the shallots on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and a few pinches of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
  • Place tomatoes in the blender with garlic powder, basil, thyme, tomato paste and coconut sugar. Puree until smooth.
  • Add the grated cheese and while the blender is running on a low speed, life the peep-hole at the top and pour in the coconut milk. Continue to puree until smooth well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Serve immediately topped with more cheese! Or, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply reheat in a sauce pan over medium heat.

 

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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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