Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{ Clean Pesto Cavatappi }

One of my husband's favorite dishes at the Corner Bakery is their delicious Pesto Cavatappi.  But I never made it because I'm not one for heavy noodle dishes.  That's when I realized, why not swap out those heavy noodles for fresh zoodles?  So I scavenged through to fridge to see what I had and boom!  This dish was born about 20 minutes later.  He and I both loved it so much that I thought I would share it with all of you.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 


INGREDIENTS:
Basil Pesto Sauce (see previous post HERE)
1 T Coconut Oil
2 zucchini made into zoodles
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Lemon Juice
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Melt coconut oil in a medium size frying pan and add garlic.  Cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then add your diced chicken and lemon juice.  Cook about 5-7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in middle.  Drain excess liquid. Season with salt & pepper flakes (remember a little goes a long way)

In a separate pan saute your zoodles until soft (not soggy).  Drain excess liquid and pour the pesto sauce over zoodles.  Add your chicken and toss.  Garnish with a few extra pine nuts and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

{ Whole 30 Approved :: Basil Pesto }

I love this Whole 30 approved Basil Pesto.  It's so delicious and so easy.  I love to keep a jar of it in my fridge at all times for things like pastas and pizzas.  It's so light and fresh but bursting with flavor.  It's a must try!


INGREDIENTS:
2 cups loosely packed basil
1/2 cup pine nuts (can sub with cashews or other nut)
2 cloves garlic
2 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
Pulse all ingredients except oil in a food processor just until the pine nuts begin to turn creamy.  Add in olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

{ Whole 30 Approved :: Celery Soup }

I keep eating this soup again and again and again.  I've been asked by a few people if I ever do leftovers on Whole 30 and the answer is HECK YES!  Almost every single day for lunch.  In fact, I've had this delicious Celery Soup FIVE days in a row now. So sue me!

But seriously, in my opinion the key to a successful Whole 30 is making large batches that can last more than one meal.  Saves you time, energy, and DISHES!!! 

So back to this amazing soup!  Are you like me and always end up with a few pieces of limp celery left in the fridge that end up going in the trash? Well don't do that anymore! Make this soup! I found this recipe from Whole Fork and honest can't get enough of it.  I know you'll love it too!


CELERY SOUP
(5-6 servings)

INGREDIENTS:
- 2 Tbl ghee or coconut oil
- 1 bundle of celery
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 white potato, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups of chicken broth/stock
- 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Melt ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add celery, onion, potato, and season with salt.  Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Bring down to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes.  Add broth and veggies to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.  Return to pan to heat if necessary.  Stir in lemon juice.  Top with celery leaves or even bacon crumbles.  Season with salt and pepper.


Monday, February 16, 2015

{ Whole 30 :: Apple Rings }

Do you ever have those days when you're trying to eat healthy but what you really want is your 3 year old's peanut butter and honey sandwich? Yah, well, here's a healthy grown up version you can really sink your teeth into, guilt-free!

Just slice an apple into rings, core the seeds out, spread with almond butter, top with unsweetened coconut flakes, raw cacao nibs, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.  Lip smacking good!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

{ Paleo Butternut Squash Lasagna }

This recipe is most definitely a keeper!  Sometimes I have a craving for some real hearty comfort food, but don't want to pay the consequences of a carb dense, high-calorie, dairy logged meal.  That's why I love this dish right here!  All the deliciousness without any of the guilt.  This Butternut Squash Lasagna has no grains, no dairy, and no sugar, making it both paleo and Whole30 compliant.  This recipe is a must for all you clean eaters out there! {Recipe adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo.}


Ingredients
  • 2 medium or 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 36 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the diced onion in a spoonful of coconut oil until it’s softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, garlic and oregano and raise the heat to medium-high. Saute until the beef is cooked through.
  3. Add the olives, tomato sauce and paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer while you prepare the squash.
  4. Peel the butternut squash. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice into very thin rounds by laying the squash on a cutting board. I tried to make mine about 1/8″ thick. The key is to make the slices as uniform as possible so they cook evenly.
  5. To prepare the lasagna, start with a bit of sauce to cover the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Then place the squash in a single layer. Now add another layer of sauce. Don’t skimp because the moisture from the sauce is what cooks the squash. Now add about 1/3 of the scrambled egg and smear it around. This is what gives the appearance of cheese.
  6. Repeat the squash-sauce-egg sequence until sauce and squash are used up.
  7. Finish with a light layer of sauce.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the squash.

Friday, December 5, 2014

{ Free ABC Play-Doh Mats }

I love finding fun and creative activities for my almost 3 year old, and it's always an added bonus when they're free!!!  Mornings are our favorite time together.  Little brother goes down for a nap and we have time to play together.  This morning we decided to search through our "Kid Stuff" pins on Pinterest and find something new to do.  That's when we found THESE free Printables from This Reading Mama for ABC Play-Doh Mats.  They were so easy to pull up on my smart phone, print, and stick on plastic sleeves for easy, clean play.  We've started our own little play-doh binder now and Blair is already begging for MORE printable pages.


Here's a quick link to the free PDF: Click HERE!!!  

I know some moms are anti play-doh because of the mess, but supervised activities like this are so great for sensory, creativity, and the development of fine motor skills. Just look at the concentration on that face! We hope you like playing with these mats as much we do!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

{ Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers }

I've tried many stuffed pepper recipes, but I think this one is my new favorite! It's healthy, has amazing flavor and is so easy.  The trifecta of recipes!

The original recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs, Damn Delicious.  If you're not familiar with her recipes, I suggest you change that. She is amazing and has genius ideas.

My favorite things about this recipe are that 1) It's vegetarian but you don't miss the meat at all! And 2) The feta!  Oh, the feta! It shines so brilliantly in this recipe and in my opinion it's what makes this dish stand out among the rest.  So don't skip it!


QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Yield6 servings
Loaded with protein, veggies and healthy grains, these stuffed bell peppers will provide the nutrition that you need for a healthy, balanced meal!
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spoon the filling each each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Friday, September 19, 2014

{ Chicken Zoodle Soup }

If you only ever make one thing off my blog, make this!!!  I have found my new favorite healthy version of Chicken Noodle Soup. It's paleo, Whole30 approved, and it's EASY!

I would compare it's taste to the big batch of chicken noodle soup you can buy at Costco, you know, the ones in the refrigerated section in the back that comes with shredded rotisserie chicken and veggies all bundled up in a big plastic tupperware?

And I know what you're thinking, "But I want REAL noodles."  People!  These zucchini noodles are gonna fake your brain out like you wouldn't believe. It's true.  It's proven science that the brain can be stimulated and satisfied by replacing our unhealthy vices (like noodles) with a more healthy alternative, in this case a vegetable which contains WAY more nutritional value.

Ok, enough with the rant.  Just promise me you'll try this one and come back and tell me what you think. Deal?

CHICKEN ZOODLE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 quarts of chicken stock/broth
- garlic powder and pepper to taste
- dill weed to taste
- 2 cups of celery, chopped
- 2 cups of carrots, chopped
- 1 large zucchini or yellow squash, spiraled

DIRECTIONS:
Rinse chicken and place the chopped onion in a large soup pot.  Pour in chicken stock and season with garlic powder, pepper, and dill weed.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Chop celery and carrots.  Remove chicken and shred after the 30 minutes is up or the chicken is cooked through.  Add back in the meat and vegetables, cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour.  Serve up and enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

{ Bacon Wrapped Peach Salad }

This one is so easy you might laugh that I'm even posting "directions."  This Whole30 approved dish has the perfect blend of sweet and salty and I mean, come on!  Who doesn't love bacon?  Well, besides my husband.  I know, so weird!  

I think you'll really love the delicate flavor of the peaches with the dynamic taste of bacon.  Marry them together with the balsamic vinegar and you've got a happy, healthy plate of food that you'll probably eat before you can say "More please!"

BACON WRAPPED PEACH SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
- spinach (or your favorite leafy green)
- sliced fresh peaches
- slices of bacon (sugar & nitrate free)
- balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:
Wrap your peaches with bacon.  Grill over medium heat on each side.  Place on a bed of lettuce of your choice and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  That's it!  So easy you could cry!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

{ Watermelon-Lime Salad }

 I will admit that before I made this salad I was a little skeptical.  I thought to myself ok, i'm on board with the whole watermelon and lime part, but avocado and pecans?  Aren't those kind of strange together?  But I thought what the heck, it's such a gorgeous looking salad and sounds super refreshing so I'm just gonna give it a whirl.  And wow!  Its did not disappoint.

The textures were definitely interesting, but a good interesting.  I found myself really thinking about each flavor in my mouth as I chewed.  You could taste the watermelon, and then the lime, and then the avocado, and the pecan, and the flavors just kept going 'round and 'round in my mouth.  I even went back for seconds!




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