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Crockpot Salsa Chicken

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I totally made this recipe by mistake. And it just might be the easiest damn thing I’ve ever made. AND it tastes SO good! Don’t you love it when that happens? It’s like all of the stars just align in your favor some days, right?

Over Thanksgiving, my family was in town. Yes, I hosted. For the first time ever, I might add. And it really turned out great! I was (still am 🙂 ) super proud of myself. I did have some good help from my family…

But all of that to say – the Friday after Thanksgiving, we had one of my favorite Mexican food restaurants cater for us… We were done with the cooking.

My Uncle was in charge of ordering the catering and we always know when he’s in charge of something, it will be over the top! He always goes above and beyond and that means there is NEVER a lack of ANYTHING!

You can see where this is going, right? Yep – we had ALLLL the leftovers! …not just from Thanksgiving, but now from the Mexican restaurant! And, Mo and I are the only ones who live in Dallas out of this side of my family so we ended up with ALL of it!

I really dislike letting food go to waste, so I decided I’d test myself and come up with something yummy to make with all of it! We ended up with:

  • Guacamole
  • a bunch-o-Salsa
  • a bunch-o-chopped onion and fresh cilantro
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts

So came the birth of this recipe! …minus the brussels sprouts! I just made a few extra of those and we had them as a little side instead of chips! 🙂

Y’all!! It took me less than 5 minutes to put this together and it was SO stinkin’ good!

So, next time you’re in a pinch and need something super quick and healthy – make this your new go-to!

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs organic chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 20oz jarred salsa
  • avocado, to garnish
  • fresh chives, to garnish
  • roasted cauliflower rice (optional)

Directions:

  • Pull out your crockpot.
  • Add your chicken breasts.
  • Then add the rest of the ingredients on top, in any order. Stir to combine.
  • Put on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • After it’s done cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  • Serve in big bowls on top of roasted cauliflower rice (optional) and top with cilantro and sliced avocado.

 

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Instructions
  1. Pull out your crockpot.
  2. Add your chicken breasts.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients on top, in any order. Stir to combine.
  4. Put on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  5. After it’s done cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  6. Serve in big bowls on top of roasted cauliflower rice (optional) and top with cilantro and sliced avocado.
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Clean Eating White Chicken Chili

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IT’S COLD IN TEXAS!!! And by cold I mean, lows in the 50’s! Which is cold for us! And I am LOVING it!

I am always SO ready for it to be cold by the end of the summer and by the end of winter, I’m REALLY ready for warm weather! But, I LOVE everything that comes along with cold weather – the holidays, lighting the fireplace, hot chocolate, hearty soups and stews and making chili’s like this one!

This chili is incredibly easy to make – takes about 10 minutes or less of actual prep and then you let it stew in the pot for 20 minutes, up to a few hours. And the best part? It is even better as leftovers! I love making this on a Sunday and then we get to have it for leftovers for lunch for the next few days at the start of the week! …meal prep 101!

The beans in this recipe technically knock it off of the Paleo list, but if you’re not strict Paleo, then go for it! Or, add 2 diced zucchini in lieu of the beans…

And it’s GREAT with all of the garnishes I have listed in the ingredients! We love chili’s piled high with lots of “stuff”! But, you may not… Suit yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

AND, if you’re into the cornbread thing – my Clean Eating Cornbread Muffins are the PERFECT pair with this (or any chili, soup or stew)!

Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Clean Eating White Chicken Chili

Serves 6-8

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
  • 2, 4oz cans chopped green chilies
  • 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…)
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro, leaves only (optional garnish)
  • chives or scallion, thinly sliced (optional garnish)
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (optional garnish)
  • fresh pico or salsa (optional garnish)
  • goat cheese (optional garnish)

Directions

  • Heat 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.
  • 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, add green chilies and beans along with stock, bay leaf and another pinch of salt and 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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  1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat, place the onion into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until softened – approx. 5 minutes.
  2. Place the chopped jalapeno/serrano and garlic in with the onion and cook one more minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  3. 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, add green chilies and beans along with stock, bay leaf and another pinch of salt and stir to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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Paleo One-Skillet Tomato Basil Chicken

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I come from a long line of crazy Italians and I LOVE Italian food! No surprise there, given my heritage – but, probably some surprise due to my predominantly grain-free lifestyle.

A little story about me as a little girl… Growing up, my very favorite breakfast was cheese tortellini with butter and lots of salt and pepper. Man, I can taste it as I type this! I don’t tend towards this breakfast now, as most of you who follow me know! 🙂 And not that I would be opposed – but it’s interesting, taste buds change. Not only between growing up from a kid to an adult – but as we eat differently, taste buds will change. Did you know that?

You can eat a certain way your whole life and then change your habits and your body will begin to CRAVE the new things you feed it. This works both ways of course – you could go from eating a very clean “diet” to perhaps going off the rails for several days (think: the holidays) OR you could go from eating a highly processed “diet” to eating a very clean “diet” — either way, you will teach your taste buds (and your brain) what to crave.

So, while I LOVE pasta with butter and man – how many times have I had Fettucini Alfredo?! 🙂 I just don’t genuinely CRAVE those things anymore. Not that they are bad AT ALL – but, in moderation.

So, this is my way of satisfying my Italian craving, while still maintaining little to no grains.

Please hear me clearly here: GRAINS are NOT bad – this goes for pasta too! In a perfect world, we would have 100% access to sprouted grains all the time… So, when I do eat grains, I try very hard to be sure they are sprouted. I’ve simply learned that I feel far better when I do this vs not caring. So when I say that we eat a predominantly grain-free “diet” – this is why. Not because I think they are bad for you. Just wanted to clarify this small but significant point. 🙂

I served this with a small herb salad – butter lettuce, spinach, cilantro leaves, chives, a few shavings of raw manchego and tossed with evoo and balsamic vinegar and my “cheesy” roasted cauliflower! It was de-lish!!

Hope you enjoy!

Paleo One-Skillet Tomato Basil Chicken

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs chicken tenders
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • 1 ½lbs cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 – 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 – 2 tbsp paprika
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

  • Spray a large non-stick skillet with avocado oil cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  • Season both sides of the chicken tenders with oregano, paprika, salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken into pan (you don’t want to crowd the pan, otherwise the chicken will steam and not get that yummy crust, so you may have to do this in two batches) and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is almost entirely cooked through (a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F).
  • Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  • Add the tomatoes and garlic into the pan with a little salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes until tomatoes are softened completely and the liquid from the tomatoes has reduced a bit.
  • Add chicken back into the pan and coat with the sauce.
  • Add in basil and stir to combine.
  • Turn heat to lowest setting and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, squeeze half lemon over the top of the chicken.
  • Serve with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash or roasted heirloom potatoes!

 

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Instructions
  1. Spray a large non-stick skillet with avocado oil cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken tenders with oregano, paprika, salt and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken into pan (you don’t want to crowd the pan, otherwise the chicken will steam and not get that yummy crust, so you may have to do this in two batches) and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is almost entirely cooked through (a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F).
  4. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the tomatoes and garlic into the pan with a little salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes until tomatoes are softened completely and the liquid from the tomatoes has reduced a bit.
  6. Add chicken back into the pan and coat with the sauce.
  7. Add in basil and stir to combine.
  8. Turn heat to lowest setting and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
  9. Just before serving, squeeze half lemon over the top of the chicken.
  10. Serve with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash or roasted heirloom potatoes!
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Hatch Green Chile Chicken Lettuce Tacos

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It’s HATCH season!! …one of my favs! I really love spicy foods – which is interesting because I’ve grown into that somehow. I have a client who LOVES jalapenos! Every time I ask him about what he’s eaten there are always jalapenos involved. So I put them on a salad one day and fell in love! Ever since, I’ve been a spice queen.

Unfortunately the same is not true for Mo! Ha! Poor guy – I’ve definitely, on accident – truly – smoked him out before. It’s kind of funny though because we’ll be eating and I’ll look over and he’s literally sweating bullets. I am laughing just thinking about it! He’s such a trooper though! So without fail, he always ends up picking out the jalapenos or hatch peppers and putting them on my plate! Spice and funky cheeses are about the only two things he’ll turn his nose up at – otherwise, he’s truly the easiest person in the world to cook for!

You can buy Hatch Chilies hot or mild. For this recipe, I used one hot and one mild. I honestly didn’t find it to be that spicy. But if you’re sensitive to spice at all, I would stick with only mild. And if you’re not senstive to spice, I would do two of the hot ones!

Hatch season only lasts about 2 months, so I try to take as much advantage as I can. Many people will roast huge batches and then freeze them to use throughout the year! I’ve never tried that but if I get the time this year I might! They are absolutely delicious and add so much flavor to foods! And I’m always down for anything hanging on the verge of tasting like tex-mex!

I also like to add these to burgers and salads for some added punch!

Hope you enjoy!

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Makes 10-12 tacos…

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted hatch green chilies, halved and julienned***
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or avocado oil cooking spray
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1lb ground chicken
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Real Salt, to taste
  • 10-12 pieces butter lettuce***
  • 3-4 tbsp grated raw manchego or crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

  • First, roast the hatch chilies. While they cool, make the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the avocado oil into a large sauté pan and swirl the pan to coat (or spray with avocado oil cooking spray). Turn heat to medium; once warm place the bell peppers into the pan with a pinch of salt. Let cook until softened and slightly caramelized – approx. 8-10 minutes.
  • Then, move the bell pepper to the sides of the pan and place the ground chicken in the middle and break up with a wooden spoon. Let cook 2 minutes and then continue to break apart and stir. Add cumin through salt and stir to combine the chicken, bell peppers and seasonings. Be sure chicken is cooked through but breaking apart a larger piece and making sure it is white/not pink in the middle. Remove from heat and add in hatch chilies. Toss to combine.
  • Spoon chicken and pepper mixture into lettuce pieces in desired amounts.
  • Top with grated manchego or goat cheese crumbles and serve.

Notes:

  • If Hatch Chiles are not in season, feel free to substitute with 1 fresh Jalapeño – remove the seeds and ribs if you don’t want it to be too spicy…
  • During Hatch season (August – October) you can find Hatch Chiles already roasted. Central Market is great about this. But, if you want to roast your own, click the link in the Ingredients section and you will be taken to the directions I use for roasting my own.
  • Feel free to use romaine, green leaf, red leaf, kale, etc. in lieu of butter lettuce, if you prefer.
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Instructions
  1. First, roast the hatch chilies. While they cool, make the remaining ingredients.
  2. Pour the avocado oil into a large sauté pan and swirl the pan to coat (or spray with avocado oil cooking spray). Turn heat to medium; once warm place the bell peppers into the pan with a pinch of salt. Let cook until softened and slightly caramelized – approx. 8-10 minutes.
  3. Then, move the bell pepper to the sides of the pan and place the ground chicken in the middle and break up with a wooden spoon. Let cook 2 minutes and then continue to break apart and stir. Add cumin through salt and stir to combine the chicken, bell peppers and seasonings. Be sure chicken is cooked through but breaking apart a larger piece and making sure it is white/not pink in the middle. Remove from heat and add in hatch chilies. Toss to combine.
  4. Spoon chicken and pepper mixture into lettuce pieces in desired amounts.
  5. Top with grated manchego or goat cheese crumbles and serve.
Recipe Notes

If Hatch Chiles are not in season, feel free to substitute with 1 fresh Jalapeño – remove the seeds and ribs if you don’t want it to be too spicy... During Hatch season (August - October) you can find Hatch Chiles already roasted. Central Market is great about this. But, if you want to roast your own, click the link in the Ingredients section and you will be taken to the directions I use for roasting my own. Feel free to use romaine, green leaf, red leaf, kale, etc. in lieu of butter lettuce, if you prefer.

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Chilled Cucumber Soup

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We love and abide by seasonal eating. When you eat seasonally, it is more flavorful, less expensive and naturally more nutritious.

Think about it: when it’s cold outside, don’t you want heavier, more warming foods like stews, casseroles, root vegetables, etc? And when it’s hot outside, it is the exact opposite… We grab for fresh fruits and raw vegetables… Chilled soups and Gazpachos… Citrus and lighter foods… Nothing that will weigh us down… Not to be a drama queen, but heat can feel really oppressive, you know? 🙂

If you’ve been following along, you know that we live in Dallas. TEXAS. And I only add the emphasis on Texas as to drive home the fact that it is the beginning of July and frankly – it is hotter than absolute hell. You know when you get ready to go have a nice dinner or go to work and walk outside and literally, within seconds, start sweating? Yup. It’s been that way here for the last 2 1/2 months already… And we’re not even to the halfway mark yet.

That being said, anything cold and refreshing sounds amazing. Hence my Chilled Cucumber Soup. This is not a Paleo or dairy free recipe but easily could be by substituting the greek yogurt with a plain coconut milk yogurt.

My absolute favorite part about this recipe is that it comes together in literally 10 minutes and there is absolutely no cooking involved! None! Zip! Nada! No heat in the kitchen whatsoever. And right now… That is such a blessing and frankly, totally necessary!

So, for those of you that live in SoCal and have one season of absolute beautiful all year, please feel for those of us across the rest of the country, sweltering!

Hope you enjoy!

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Approx. 3 servings, about 1.5 cups each

Ingredients:

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and roughly diced
  • 1 ½ cups 2% or full fat plain greek yogurt*
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, stems removed
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  • Place the cucumber, yogurt, shallot, garlic, dill, coconut milk, a good pinch of salt and pepper into a food processor or high powered blender and blend until desired consistency.
  • Pour into a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight, prior to serving.
  • When ready to serve, stir in lemon juice and adjust seasonings if needed and pour into soup bowls and serve!

Notes:

  • Sub with plain coconut milk yogurt if Paleo or vegan/dairy free.
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  1. Place the cucumber, yogurt, shallot, garlic, dill, coconut milk, a good pinch of salt and pepper into a food processor or high powered blender and blend until desired consistency.
  2. Pour into a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight, prior to serving.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in lemon juice and adjust seasonings if needed and pour into soup bowls and serve!
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Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

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Can you tell I’m on a strawberry kick? I think this is my second post in a row centered around strawberries! What can I say? It’s screaming hot in Dallas right now and anything “citrusy” and refreshing sounds amazing!

And, when I can make a meal without having to turn the oven on or stand over the stove, COUNT. ME. IN!

I know you’ve read my salad schpeal before so I’ll keep this short for anyone who hasn’t read previous salad posts… I LOVE salad. Would eat it almost daily. But I don’t just love any salad, I love BIG salads that have lots of ingredients and textures and feel like a meal vs bird food. THAT is a salad in my book!

And this recipe will not disappoint that criteria. This recipe was actually started by Mo and then I swooped in and amp’d it up a bit.

We really believe in eating seasonally and we practice coaching out clients the same way. When you eat seasonally you get far more nutrition out of the food and you’re body is able to operate cyclically. Meaning, when you begin to pay attention to eating per the season, you will notice that you will crave lighter, brighter foods in the spring and summer months and heavier, more rich foods in the fall and winter months. Unless of course you live in SoCal and you have one season per year. Okay, okay, maybe one and a half. 😉

This salad recipe is super quick to make and is so refreshing and light. It is perfect for the hotter months!

If you’re practicing strict Paleo, feel free to sub the couscous with cauliflower rice. I offer directions on how to cook the cauliflower rice in the Notes section.

Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¾ cup dry couscous*
  • ½ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries, leaves removed and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, halved and toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  • While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  • While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  • Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!

Notes:

  • To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice – saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.
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  1. Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  3. While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  5. Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!
Recipe Notes

To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice - saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.

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Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

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I stumbled into writing this recipe on accident. I’ve learned that those are the recipes that are often-times the very best and the ones I go back to over and over again!

A little insight into me: I love french fries (hang with me here…) – many days after school when I was in, I don’t know, let’s say 1st grade through 5th or 6th grade, my mom would stop and let me get french fries and a coke or chocolate milk shake for a snack… Yes, you read that right. 🙂 My parents actually used to joke that I was going to turn into a french fry, I ate so many of them! Ha! And I would not go near a vegetable – except broccoli, which my grandmother always called “trees” – which she would make Italian style with good olive oil and lots of garlic… That’s the only way I would eat it. But put greens in front of me or carrots even… I was having none of it!

Obviously, as my taste-buds have changed (through a lot of work I’ve done on my own through my nutrition – I’m here to tell you, just because you were raised eating a certain way does NOT mean you have to give in to that way of eating as an adult – I’ll save this for one of our Health Episodes Podcasts 🙂 ) I do not eat near as many french fries as I did when I was growing up. That is not to say that I don’t crave them and full confession – I have my share of sweet potato fries about once a week at our favorite Dallas restaurant: Origin Kitchen + Bar

What I try to do now is create things that allow me to have the same process of eating as if I had a bowl of french fries in front of me. Meaning: french fries are a finger food – they are a little crunchy and salty and they just satisfy, you know? So, I’ve found that when I roast green beans or even asparagus and allow myself to eat them with my hands as I would french fries – it truly satisfies that craving in my brain and in a far healthier way.

Okay, so back to THIS recipe and how I stumbled upon it… I was craving something salty and wanted that unctuousness… But I try to keep my french fry indulgence to once a week or less… So I thought, “Green beans!!!” I had intended to make roasted chicken with a side of salty roasted green beans and a side salad of baby greens, roasted cherry tomatoes and grated raw parmesan. But when I started cooking, the salad just didn’t sound as good anymore – I just wasn’t that hungry anymore, but I had already blistered the tomatoes for the salad… So I thought well, I’ll just pour them in with the green beans and grate some of the parm over the green beans and tomatoes – that way nothing goes to waste.

Whoa! Best. Audible. EVER! Mo and I started eating and looked at each other and decided this should be my new go-to side dish for any occasion! The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the salty green beans and the cheese adds so much flavor. Gah! It is so good! I could eat a whole recipe by myself, I think! That said, it is great as leftovers for lunch the next day too! And SO easy to double the recipe and use it as a food-prep item that you keep in the fridge to eat through the week.

Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 10oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4oz block raw manchego or parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  • Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  • While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  • When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!

Notes:

  • You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

 

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Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  3. Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  4. While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  5. When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!
Recipe Notes

You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

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Blood Orange Summer Salad

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Salad’s can be boring. We get it. But when it is 7000 degrees in Dallas (not really, obviously – but good-ness it feels like it!) and the LAST thing you want is something hot to eat – salad’s can make the perfect meal! That’s right… To all my manly men out there – I just referred to a salad as a “meal…”

When Mo and I first met and I offered to make dinner and told him we were going to have “a big salad…” he almost broke up with me right there on the spot. (Look what he’d be missing out on today! Ha! 🙂 ) Nevertheless, he indulged me and all but licked his bowl clean. This girl can make a mean salad… And one that does not leave you feeling like you just ate “rabbit food…”

The key is loading it up with different textures and temperatures and then tossing it with a really yummy dressing.

First you’ve got to start with really good greens – none of this iceberg lettuce crap. I’m talking spinach, arugula, kale, mixed baby lettuces, mache, etc. Anything but iceberg!

Then, you pick out your protein – be it salmon, as on this salad, or perhaps roasted chicken, ground beef or bison, if you’re vegan – maybe some tempeh… And season whatever you choose really well! THIS is key!

Now lets talk temperatures – I love to toss a salad with some vegetables (anything in season) I’ve just roasted or a just cooked protein source – this way the warmth from the cooked item gently wilts the greens… I know this may sound odd but THIS is what brings the whole salad together and makes it really feel like a true meal vs just greens and vegetables on a plate.

So you have the crisp from the greens, the warmth from the vegetables and/or protein and now we need something chilled that when you bite into it along with the greens and protein creates this awesome experience in your mouth… Stop! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about FOOD! 😉 This is where avocado or fruit, like the blood oranges in this salad come into play…

Now the dressing… It really depends on what season we’re in for me. So, if it’s cold outside and I am craving greens but want something really hearty – I will make a creamy dressing with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo as the base. If it’s hotter than hell outside and I want anything BUT hearty – I will simply use good extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and either with a vinegar – red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or my fav: apple cider vinegar.

Last but absolutely not least – something crunchy – this should go on the salad after you’ve dressed it so that it doesn’t get the crunchy item soggy. I love to toast up sourdough croutons or roast some chickpeas or black beans. Toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, pecans, cashews, etc. are great too! In this salad, the crunch actually comes from the way I cooked the salmon – because it is seared, it gets this wonderful crust! Mmmm… It’s SO good! You could also make your own tortilla chips by slicing up Ezekiel brand Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Siete brand Almond Flour or Coconut Flour Tortillas and toasting in the oven to get them crisp!

See? Salads don’t have to be boring! They are AWESOME if you follow these steps!

Now make this one and you can thank me later! 😉

Enjoy!!!

Blood Orange, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Salmon

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 5-7oz wild caught salmon, skin on
  • 2 tsp ghee butter
  • 3-4 handfuls raw spinach, arugula or mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • ½ blood orange, segments only
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  • While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  • To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Instructions
  1. Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  3. To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

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I have a confession to make – I watch Ina Garten’s cooking show, Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network every day while I eat lunch. I know… I know… We’re not supposed to watch TV or be distracted while eating – but it is one of my very favorite things! Sounds silly, right? But, it is so relaxing to me… Not to mention I learn so much. I swear, I learn something new every time I watch her – which I suppose is one reason she has been so successful!

Her recipes are by no means what I would categorize as “clean eating” – but she’s got several that with some light tweaking, they are wonderful for you! And that is the story with her Celery Salad with Parmesan.

I’ve made a few minor adjustments that don’t change the flavor at all, but help the salad become more anti-inflammatory. For example: I suggest a raw parmesan cheese vs a processed parmesan.

***Fun thing to note regarding dairy: Did you know that most people who deal with lactose intolerance can actually tolerate raw dairy vs processed? It’s the heat in the processing of cheese/dairy that denatures the lactose and that most often causes the issue for people who are lactose intolerant. Now, I am not insinuating that you if you are lactose intolerant that you go out and eat a bunch of raw cheese – but I do suggest you give it a try and see how you feel – maybe an ounce at most, to start… See how it goes! Quality really can be everything!

I like to serve this with some simple grilled chicken or salmon… It is cleansing and refreshing during the hotter months!

Hope you enjoy!

Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Celery and Parmesan Salad

Serves 4-6…

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, juice only, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • approx. 12 stalks celery + leaves, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 4-ounce block raw/unpasteurized Parmesan cheese*
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only

Directions

  • At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, juice of 1 ½ lemons, shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Then, place the celery in a large bowl and toss it with the remaining juice of the leftover ½ lemon and ½ teaspoon salt (Ina says this is an important step and I must say – after making this, I 100% agree!). Add enough of the dressing in step one to the celery to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
  • When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, cilantro leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Notes:

  • You will probably only need to use about ¼ cup of the dressing, so you will have about ¾ cup leftover. It is GREAT on other salads or to use as a marinade for fish! So don’t let it go to waste!
  • You can sub a raw manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese if you cannot find raw parm.
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Cleansing Celery Salad with Raw Parm
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Deviled Egg Potato Salad

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Potato Salad brings back all the feels for me… EVERY time we went to my grandparents house, growing up, we always had homemade barbecue! I grew up in Texas, so no shock there, right?

My grandaddy would smoke ribs and my grandmother always made THE best pinto beans, skillet cornbread and yep – you guessed it: Potato Salad! …we also always had deviled eggs – but not in the potato salad.

Her potato salad was always my favorite because it was just enough “dressing” to coat the potatoes but it was never, well, slimy. You know how some potato salads are just nothing but sloppy mayo? Yuck! 🙂

My potato salad recipe is a rendition of hers, but I thought: “Why not add the deviled eggs to the potatoes?” Plus, Mo would eat his weight in deviled eggs and while I love to make them, I don’t always have time. And when I do, he’s in heaven. So this recipe kills two birds with one stone and honestly? After you try this, I’m not sure you’ll ever miss having them separately!

Whether you’re prepping for a summer picnic or a trip to the lake… Or something new and fun to put in the kids lunches – MAKE my Deviled Egg Potato Salad! You will love it!

Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Makes approximately 4, 1 cup servings…

Ingredients:

  • 20 small heirloom (purple, red, yellow) potatoes
  • 6 cage-free eggs
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  • Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  • Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  • Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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Instructions
  1. First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  2. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  6. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  7. Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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