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Meatless Mushroom Meatballs

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Ahhhhh Meatless Monday’s. I really enjoy them! Sometimes it turns into a “Meatless Thursday” – nevertheless, while protein is obviously an incredibly important macronutrient, it is so wonderful on the body’s digestive system to take a break from animal protein sometimes – specifically meats – as these are toughest on the bloodstream and gut to break down. This is not a bad thing. Hear me: I am NOT advocating a meatless LIFE. but it is a great thing to offer the body a chance to break from it on occasion.

Mo and I spent the last 8 days in Maui, Hawaii. It was AMAZING. I will spare you the details so as to not rub it in 🙂 but suffice to say, we lived on fresh fruit smoothies and wild caught fish every day! It was fabulous!

Given that, we came back feeling pretty good… Sometimes travel can really take it out of you – especially when you don’t stick to your typical routine of clean-eating or perhaps drink alcohol more than normal, etc. Plus, travel in and of itself can be tough on the body… Plus, we’ve had a TON going on with LINK Endurance over the past month. So many WONDERFUL things that we are thrilled to share with all of you (are you signed up for our weekly newsletters!?!?) but nonetheless, I feel like we’ve been go-go-go for weeks now, even in Maui.

When we got back to Dallas we both decided it would be a good idea to give our bodies a little break and an easy way to do that would be going meatless at dinner for 5 days.

One of the greatest things I took away from practicing plant-based a few years ago is just because meat is available doesn’t mean I actually need it or want it. It’s just the American way right? We have a protein at every meal. I think it is SO important (and you know this if you follow us!) to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Before you order at a restaurant or decide what to cook for dinner – really think about it: do you WANT meat? Are you actually hungry for it? If so, YES! By all means! Have it! But if not, consider going meatless. Our bodies are so wise… If we listen consistently enough and actually adhere to, we will balance ourselves out so naturally. Okay now I’m getting on one of my favorite tangents! Back to the recipe!

These meatballs were absolutely delicious! All the texture and meatiness of the typical meatball but – no meat. And if you want to make them vegan, omit the optional cheese (perhaps use nutritional yeast instead…) and omit the 2 eggs and replace with 2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tbsp filtered water, set aside to “set” for 5 minutes and then mix into the “meatball batter” as you would whole eggs.

Last weeks recipe: Spinach and Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes started us off on our 5 days of meatless dinners! Follow along for next weeks recipe! Perhaps you use these for at least one meatless meal each week!? I served ours with a simple salad, but you could also serve with Zucchini Noodles or Cauliflower Rice or perhaps your favorite Pasta or White Rice!

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Meatless Mushroom Meatballs

Makes 16-18 small meatballs, Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • approx. 20oz baby portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup gluten free instant oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cage free eggs*
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1, 24oz jar marinara sauce*
  • parsley to garnish, leaves only
  • 1/3 cup grated raw/unpasteurized parmesan, pecorino or manchego cheese

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, until completely softened.
  • Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked down – you’ll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely.
  • To the mushrooms, add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, excluding marinara, to the mushrooms. Stir the mixture to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.
  • When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of olive oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Add marinara sauce to a medium saucepan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on low heat for about 15 more minutes after either cooking method.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Serve with Zucchini Noodles, Cauliflower Rice, White Jasmine Rice or your favorite pasta!

Notes:

  • My favorite marinara is The Vine. They are the cleanest and best-tasting I have found! You can purchase in the LINK Endurance Shop or at Central Market.
  • If you want to make this entirely plant-based, omit the 2 eggs and replace with 2 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tbsp filtered water, set aside to “set” for 5 minutes and then mix into the “meatball batter” as you would whole eggs.

Recipe adapted from Tania at cooktoria.com

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Meatless Mushroom Meatballs
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small meatballs
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Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, until completely softened.
  2. Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked down - you'll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely.
  3. To the mushrooms, add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, excluding marinara, to the mushrooms. Stir the mixture to combine and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.
  5. When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture. Fry the balls in a small amount of olive oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Add marinara sauce to a medium saucepan. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on low heat for about 15 more minutes after either cooking method.
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or grated cheese of choice. Serve with Zucchini Noodles, Cauliflower Rice, White Jasmine Rice or your favorite pasta!
Recipe Notes

My favorite marinara is The Vine. They are the cleanest and best-tasting I have found! You can purchase in the LINK Endurance Shop or at Central Market.

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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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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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Smoky Paleo Bowl
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Servings
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Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add greens to the skillet and mix to combine. Cook until the spinach has just wilted, approx. 2-3 minutes.
  5. 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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