Sunday, October 27, 2013

Quick Tomato-Meat Sauce with Cappello's Grain-Free Pasta

First of all, my apologies for my lack of blog posts over the last two months. No excuses, as blogging is something I can do from just about anywhere, as long as I have a laptop and access to wi-fi.

Second, I have been doing a Whole30 for the month of October. I am almost finished! There are only three more days left. This is the second time I have done a Whole30. The first time was back in January (2013). I lost a little bit of inches and weight, but nothing significant. I can tell you that my sweet tooth did not change much. It came back with a vengeance (over time), hence the reason for the current Whole30. I'm not completely sold on my results. I've lost about the same amount of weight as in my first. My clothes do fit a bit better. I feel fine. I have a separate health issue I am dealing with at the moment, so I haven't been working out as much as I would have hoped/liked. The reason I'm not completely sold is that there are foods I want to eat post-Whole30 that aren't Whole30-approved. For instance, I purchased a sampler pack of Nikki's Coconut Butter and I cannot wait to give each flavor a taste. I also want to do some holiday baking around Thanksgiving and Christmas (check out my Pinterest board). I realize it will all still be "Paleo" but it's definitely sweet dishes. My sweet tooth didn't magically disappear. I still think about the 31st of October and making some Paleo pancakes or a Breakfast Cake. I enjoy treats in a different way than I did in my Pre-Paleo days, but I still love them. I do have a tough time with moderation when it comes to sweets. If I bake, I will have to freeze some and/or give some away to friends, family or coworkers.

And finally, the recipe. I created this dish on a whim. I knew I had a bell pepper, ground beef and tomatoes in the fridge. I thought I could put it all together and serve it over Cappello's Fettuccine.

Quick Tomato-Meat Sauce with Cappello’s Grain-Free Pasta
Serves: 3-4

  • 2 T. fat of choice
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • A handful of spinach
  • 2-3 T. chicken broth
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 1 ½ t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 package of Cappello’s Grain-Free Fettuccine

  1. Heat your fat of choice in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and green bell pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until veggies are tender.  
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks, cooking until it’s no longer pink.
  4. Season the mixture with all of your spices and herbs (including salt and pepper, to taste).
  5. Toss in the tomatoes, spinach and chicken broth, stirring occasionally. Allow the mixture to cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down and the spinach is wilted.
  6. While waiting for the sauce to finish up and cook down, make your pasta per the instructions on the package.
  7. Put a little nest of pasta on your plate and top with some of the tomato-meat sauce. Enjoy! 
We were able to get three servings out of this, but you could probably stretch it to four, especially if you add a side salad and/or veggies. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

ABC's of Paleo: D is for Daikon Radish (Daikon Radish Pancakes)

It's our fourth week in the series "ABC's of Paleo." Here's a recap of ingredients and what has been made so far.

Week 1 - A is for Artichoke - Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Lemon-Garlic-Dijon Dip
Week 2 - B is for Bison - Bacon-Bison Chili
Week 3 - C is for Cherries - Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping

This week, our ingredient is daikon radishes. You're probably wondering what is a daikon radish. These radishes are a member of the turnip family. They were originally cultivated in southeast Asia. Some of you may have eaten these little gems in the form of a Chinese dim sum dish known as turnip cake. I scoured the internet looking at various recipes for these turnip cakes (AKA daikon radish cakes). All of the recipes contained large amounts of rice flour. I thought about substituting the rice flour with tapioca and/or arrowroot. Then I realized I didn't have all the ingredients for a traditional turnip cake (dried shrimp and dried mushrooms, specifically). It seemed like a pretty time-intensive process to make them. I also searched for Paleo turnip cake, hoping someone had already converted some of the ingredients, so I could adapt the dish from there. No such luck.

I was back to square one. Do I try to adapt a non-Paleo dish or create something new?

I went with the latter of course. I thought the radish cake, or pancake, sounded like a good idea. I do love pancakes. I decided to start with bacon, since some of the turnip cake recipes called for Chinese bacon. Chinese bacon is similar to pork belly, but I only had regular bacon on hand. I wanted to make some sort of patty or pancake, so I knew I would need eggs as a binder, but wanted it to be a little bit thicker than just scrambled egg. That's where the tapioca and almond flours came in. I'm pretty sure I just developed a basic recipe for so many other dishes that I will develop soon.

Paleo Daikon Radish Pancakes
Makes: Approximately Five 5” pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 3 daikon radishes, shredded
  • 12 oz. bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T. tapioca starch/flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 T. grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil (or other cooking fat)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • Green onions, to garnish (optional)

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and place in a paper towel-lined bowl.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, peel the daikon radishes (I used a potato peeler).
  3. Shred the radishes, using either a box grater or your food processor with the shredder attachment (I used my food processor and it took no time at all).
  4. Put the shredded radishes into a large kitchen towel. Squeeze out

    as much excess water/liquid as possible.
  5. Once you’ve removed the bacon from the skillet, add the shredded radishes. Season with sea salt and pepper.

  6. Flip the radishes over a few times to ensure even cooking. They won’t get crispy. I cooked mine for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Remove from pan and let cool slightly.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the 4 eggs. Then whisk in the tapioca starch and almond flour.
  9. Add the slightly-cooled radishes and bacon to the bowl. Mix well, so everything is coated with the egg mixture and the bacon is evenly distributed.
  10. Add about 1 T. of grass-fed butter to the skillet. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, scoop out batter into the pan, flattening the top with your spatula so it’s somewhat flat. I was able to cook two at a time in my skillet. You could make them smaller and fit more into the pan.
  11. Cook your pancakes for about 4 minutes on each side (or until golden/spotted). They’ll flip pretty easily.
  12. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
  13. Garnish with green onions, if you wish.
  14. Enjoy! 

I loved these pancakes. The batter to daikon radish ratio was just right. They cook and flip easily. The batter itself is fairly neutral tasting, so the bacon and lightly-sweet radish flavor comes out. I think these would make a fabulous breakfast or part of a brunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Next up in the ABC's of Paleo: E is for Elk!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Foodie Penpals - August Reveal!

This was my second month participating in Foodie Penpals. The first month was a warm-up and now I'm into the swing of things the second month. I'm loving this program. I cannot say enough good things about it. I have a blast picking out items for others as well as receiving unique local products I've never seen before. It's fabulous! Strangely enough, a former high school classmate is participating as well. She happened to look at the penpal list and saw my name on it. This world keeps getting smaller everyday, doesn't it?

The Lean Green Bean

This month, I was paired up with Lauren of Everyday Lauren. She is a really cool girl from Wisconsin. We exchanged a few emails at the beginning of the month to discuss preferences and such. Go check out her blog and send her some love! She sent me a pretty amazing package. I received it the day of our little road trip to follow the USA Pro Cycling Challenge for a few days here in Colorado. Perfect timing. I was able to bring some of the snacks with us to enjoy on the drive.

Here was my loot:
I had never heard of the crackers. They were quite tasty and held us off for dinner on our drive from Vail to Fort Collins (via Boulder where we stopped for dinner). Love them. I realize they aren't 100% Paleo since they do have potato starch, but I'm not too concerned about a little bit of potato in my diet.

I also wanted to mention that I sent my food package to Bri over at Bri Cooley's Strange Truth. Go check out her page to see what I sent her! She doesn't have anything posted yet, but hopefully she will soon! 

To sign up or learn more about Foodie Penpals, go to The Lean Green Bean's page. Enjoy! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

ABC's of Paleo: "C" is for Cherries (Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping)

It's our third week in the series "ABC's of Paleo." Here's a recap of ingredients and what has been made so far.

Week 1 - A is for Artichoke - Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Lemon-Garlic-Dijon Dip
Week 2 - B is for Bison - Bacon-Bison Chili

This week, our ingredient is Cherries. We have a couple of cherry trees in our backyard, which prompted my ingredient selection for this week. About a month ago, one of our trees was teeming with bright, red cherries. Unfortunately, the birds got the best of our second tree. We do put nets over the trees, but didn't do a great job with the second tree. We actually had a bird get stuck into the net of the first tree (which was pretty secure). I spent over 30 minutes trying to get the bird out, because I didn't want him to eat all my ripe cherries! We ended up with quite the yield from just one tree. After picking my basket of cherries, I rinsed and pitted them. Once dry, I froze them in a single layer on a baking sheet and then put them all in a Ziploc bag for later use.

Cherries are a delicious fruit. I won't get too into the scientific side, but it is worth mentioning that they have a number of antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect. I do enjoy eating the frozen cherries right out of the bag. They're a tasty summertime treat.

Paleo Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping
Serves: 8


  • 5 cups pitted sour cherries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 heaping T. tapioca or arrowroot
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. almond extract

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 3-4 T. local honey
  • 6 T. cold grass-fed butter, cut into small pieces

Crumble Topping:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 4 T. melted grass-fed butter
  • ¼ t. almond extract (optional)

  1. Move oven rack to lower third of the oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.

To make the filling:
Mix together all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside while you make the crust and crumble.

To make the crust:
  1. Blend almond flour, pecans and sea salt for 10-20 seconds in a food processor.
  2. Add honey and butter.
  3. Process until the dough comes together into a ball.
  4. Press into a pie dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden.

 To make the crumble:
  1. While the crust is baking, add all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Blend with a spatula or spoon.
  2. Add melted butter and almond extract (if using). Stir until well-combined.

To assemble the pie:
  1. Pour cherry mixture into your pre-baked pie crust.
  2. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the entire pie.
  3. Place pie dish on a parchment paper-lined baking pan to prevent any spillage in the oven. Trust me, burnt cherry pie filling is not something you want on the bottom of your oven.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  5. Bake pie for 30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes to ensure crust isn’t too dark. If crust is darkening too much, then wrap aluminum foil around the edges of the pie dish.
  6. Let the pie cool completely until cutting into it. The pie will be runny if you cut into it too soon. I think the pie tastes even better after it has been refrigerated. It will help thicken the filling.

I also made homemade vanilla ice cream, which tastes great alongside a piece of this pie. My ice cream contains only 3 ingredients: coconut milk, vanilla bean/vanilla extract and honey. 

Bon appetit! 

We'll be taking a break next weekend due to other scheduled events, but will continue with letter "D" on Sunday, September 1st. What "D" ingredient would you like to see? Duck, dates, daikon radish and dandelion greens are all possibilities. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

ABC's of Paleo: B is for Bison (Bacon-Bison Chili)

This is week two of the series ABC's of Paleo. Here's a recap of what I've already made. 

Week 1 - A is for Artichokes - Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Lemon-Garlic-Dijon Dip

With week two comes a new ingredient, bison! Bison are naturally grass-fed, lean animals. Bison meat has high amounts of iron, making it a great option for those of us who need an extra boost in that area. Per 3.5 oz. serving, bison has the more iron than ground beef, chicken, pork or salmon. It's by far the leanest with only 2.54 grams of fat and only 143 calories. Not only is it packed with nutrition, but it tastes great too!

We've had a number of cloudy and rainy evenings here in Colorado, so I decided to go with chili. How does bacon fit in? Well, I think bacon makes just about anything taste better. So the question is... why not add bacon?

Bacon-Bison Chili
8 servings
Rating: 10 clubs

  • 12 oz. bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, finely diced
  • 2 lb. grass-fed ground bison
  • 4 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 2 t. dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup homemade chicken or beef broth

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and reserve in a paper-towel lined bowl.
  3. Add chopped onion, carrots, bell pepper and jalapeños to the bacon fat. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5-7 minutes or until veggies begin to soften.
  4. Add the ground bison to the veggies, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the spices and minced garlic. Mix well to combine.
  6. Lastly, add the broth, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together.
  7. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Ladle chili into bowls and sprinkle with the reserved crumbled bacon.

You may have noticed some wilted green leaves in my bowl. I had some leftover spinach that needed to be used, so I tossed it into the chili at the end. You can add whatever veggies you have on hand to bulk up the nutritional content. I served our chili with leftover Paleo “Cornbread”. The next day, I ate leftover chili with crushed plantain chips. Either option is delicious. If you are Primal and eat raw dairy, a sprinkle of raw cheddar would taste amazing. 

What did you make with bison? 

Next week in the series: C is for Cherries! Let me know what you'll be making. Keep in mind that I will link up your recipe in my post. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

ABCs of Paleo: A is for Artichoke!

The "ABCs of Paleo" is starting off today! I've been a little absent over the summer with blogging. I'm typically someone who does well with a routine. With that being said, I thought it would be fun and engaging for you and motivating for me to create a weekly series around Paleo cooking. I came up with the "ABCs of Paleo" after seeing a friend and fellow blogger's "Meatless Mondays from A-Z." I'll be coming up with a unique ingredient each week (often times a couple weeks in advance) for each letter of the alphabet. You are more than welcome to join in on the fun by creating a recipe associated with the ingredient of the week. I'd love to link your recipe to my post each week. You can also post your dish in the comments of the weekly post. I will be posting on Sundays, so please send your links by Saturday night to ensure they're included. This will be an exciting journey. It may also be an opportunity to introduce you to a new food that you never thought to purchase or were intimidated about preparing. 

Without further ado, lets begin with the letter "A." As the title indicates, the first ingredient of our series is Artichoke. I'll be honest, I had never in my life purchased a fresh artichoke from the grocery store. This was a first for me. Here's a little background on artichokes. They are part of the thistle family. The edible part is the flower head before it blooms. Artichokes are quite nutritious, containing Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber, along with numerous minerals. 

If you are like me, then you've eaten artichokes before, but either they were canned/jarred or frozen. I've used artichoke hearts on pizzas, in pasta dishes (pre-Paleo) and in casseroles. I had never prepared a fresh artichoke. It turns out it's quite easy to do. I steamed my artichokes and then baked them in the oven. I made a creamy dip to go alongside the roasted artichokes. 

Roasted Artichokes with Creamy Lemon-Garlic-Dijon Dip
Serves: 6-8 appetizer portions

  • 2 whole artichokes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper 

For the dip (makes about 1 cup):
  • ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 6 hours
  • 3 oz. fresh water (just over 1/3 cup)
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 T. grass-fed butter or other fat of choice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ t. Dijon mustard

To prepare your artichokes:
  1. Cut the stem off the bottom of the artichokes so they’ll sit flat. Also, cut off the top tip of the artichokes (this is a step that I missed, but think it’s a valuable one).
  2. Fill a large sauce pan with water.
  3. Add the artichokes and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and reduce heat to medium and allow to steam for about 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  6. Drain the artichokes and place them into a baking dish.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.

To prepare the dip:
  1. Drain and rinse the raw cashews.
  2. Add cashews, fresh water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and Dijon mustard to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until creamy.
  3. In a small frying pan, melt the grass-fed butter (or other fat of choice) over medium heat.
  4. Sauté the minced garlic, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. It only needs to cook for a minute or so.
  5. Add garlic and butter to the blended mixture. Blend again until incorporated.
  6. Pour into a serving bowl.

To eat:
Pull the leaves off the artichoke, dip in the sauce and scrape the leaves with your teeth to pull as much meat off the leaves as possible. The further in you go, the more meat will be on the leaves and the more tender they’ll be as well. Once all the leaves have been removed, pop out the “choke” (which is inedible). Then you’ll have the hearts left. The hearts are the best part. 

Fresh artichokes are a new ingredient to me. I would consider making them again in the future. I personally enjoyed the dip the best. I think the creamy dip would taste delicious mixed with chopped artichoke hearts. For now, I may stick with the jarred artichoke hearts for dips or casseroles. The whole artichoke was an interesting process. One objective of this series is to step outside our comfort zones and try something new. This was one of those times for me. 

Have you ever prepared whole artichokes? If so, how did you prepare them? 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Won't you be my Foodie Penpal?

Foodie Penpals is one of the best concepts ever created. Ok, so I appreciate indoor plumbing, electricity, computers and airplanes quite a bit. But for a huge foodie like me, I totally LOVED this whole process. Check out The Lean Green Bean for more information and to sign up for next month. Hurry, if you want to participate in August.

Today (the last day of the month) is reveal day. My foodie penpal was Ashley over at Cardio, Cats and Cooking. Ashley is a pretty cool girl! We found that we have quite a bit in common. We exchanged emails to discuss timing (since both of us were going out of town during the month) and my food preferences. Since I eat Paleo at least 80% of the time (100% when training for an Ironman or 70.3), I let her know what I generally eat and what I stay away from. She used her creativity to put together an incredible box of goodies. Plus, she included handwritten notes all over the various items.

Here's a rundown of what I received:

I already dug into the nut butter. I put a packet of the Maple Almond on my sweet potato the other night. It tasted fantastic. A neat fact about Justin's is that it's made right up the road from me in Boulder, CO. I love supporting local companies. I'll be buying some more of the Justin's nut butters in the future. 

I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the goodies, but am a bit sugared-out at the moment. My 2-week trip to France included many non-Paleo indulgences (ice cream, pain au chocolat, fruit tarts, crepes, etc). I'm eating pretty strict Paleo and cutting down on sugar intake for the time being. 

Even so, I'm already looking forward to next month. Perhaps next month I request savory items (kale chips, nuts, etc). Will you be my penpal? 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

500 fan giveaway - Paderno Spiralizer


The Paleo Network has reached 500 fans on Facebook! Thank you all for liking my page and following some of my cooking adventures. I do realize things have been a bit quiet lately, but they will pick up significantly starting in August. I have a series that will be starting the first week of August called "The ABCs of Paleo." It will involve a new recipe every week for 26 weeks (for each letter of the alphabet). I will be highlighting a different ingredient (or dish if the letter is extremely difficult) each week that starts with that letter of the alphabet and ask for you all to play along with me and create recipes using the same "special" ingredient each week. For example, "A" could be apple, avocado, asparagus, artichoke, etc. Each week will be a new letter to come up with new dishes. 

Onto the giveaway... 

I debated between a few different items and ended up deciding on the spiralizer. I just started using mine a few weeks ago and have had so much fun with it! I've made "zoodles" (zucchini noodles), yellow squash noodles and spiralized some sweet potatoes. It comes with three different blades (small, medium and straight blade for ribbons). It's a fabulous tool that I use regularly and want to share the opportunity with one of you to win your very own. 

How do you win? 

1. Mandatory: Sign up for my blog via email by typing your email address in the box on the upper right-hand side of the blog page. 
2. Mandatory: Like my Facebook page
3. Extra: Post a comment stating what you'll make first if you win the spiralizer. 
4. Extra: Follow me on Twitter. 
5. Extra: Tweet this giveaway.

Be sure to enter through the Rafflecopter app below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Once the winner has been notified, you will have 48 hours to respond. If no response received within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected. 
  • This is not a sponsored giveaway, I am personally paying for this item.
  • Giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years of age and older. Sorry non-US fans! I'll do my best to snag some giveaways for you in the future. 
Best of luck!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Paleo Basil Cashew Pesto Coated Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Zucchini

When I posted a picture of this dish (on both The Paleo Network's and my own personal Facebook page), I didn't anticipate the response that I received. A number of people took interest in this dish - both Paleo and non-Paleo eaters alike. I knew I needed to get this recipe written before I forgot any of the details.

I separated the ingredients and directions into different sections based on the parts of the dish: Spaghetti Squash, Pesto, Chicken, Zucchini and putting it all together. It may sound like a lot of steps, but some of it can be done in advance or things can be done concurrently. For example, I roasted and prepared my spaghetti squash a couple days prior and had the squash strands in a large Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. I could have prepared the pesto in advance and had that in a Tupperware, which would definitely make for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It truly is a simple meal packed with so much flavor. It's so good, I ate some of the leftovers for breakfast! I made this with chicken, but as I was eating it, I thought how delicious shrimp would be. If you don't have cashews on hand for the pesto, you could probably use pine nuts or macadamia nuts. 

I'll be adding this to my regular rotation. Grains and dairy were not missed in this meal. Everything seemed to work together so well. The pesto turned into a decadent sauce when tossed with the spaghetti squash. 

Basil-Cashew Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini and Chicken
Serves: 5-6


  • 1 large spaghetti squash or 2 small, roasted and pulled into strands
  • 1 cup of packed basil leaves
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 t. pink sea salt
  • ½ - ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, depending on your preferred consistency
Chicken and Zucchini:
  • 3 – 4 T. Fat of choice
  • 1 ¼ - 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders, breast or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium zucchini, diced
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

To roast your spaghetti squash (can be done in advance):
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut in half length-wise.
  3. Place cut-side down in a large baking dish with about an inch of water (I typically use two baking dishes if I am roasting two squashes).
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the shell is soft to the touch.
  5. Flip the squash over (flesh side up) and allow them to cool until you can handle them.
  6. Using a fork, pull out all the flesh into strands. If using immediately, just put into a large bowl and set aside. If saving for later use, put into a large Ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator.

To make the pesto:
  1. Place all ingredients except olive oil into your food processor.
  2. Process for about 30 seconds, or until everything is chopped and well-incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl.
  3. With processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

To cook the chicken and zucchini:
  1. Heat 2 T. fat of choice in a large skillet or frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken in a single layer and let it cook for 8-10 minutes on one side to allow it to get golden brown and crispy.
  3. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Flip, add minced garlic and cook 3-5 more minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Remove from pan and reserve for later.
  6. Add remaining fat of choice to same pan. Toss the zucchini in the fat and allow to sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Putting it all together:
  1. If you roasted your spaghetti squash in advance (and it’s cold/cool), then heat spaghetti squash in a large skillet/pot/frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, tossing occasionally. If your spaghetti squash is still warm, just add your warm skillet/frying pan in which you cooked the chicken and zucchini.
  2. Add pesto, a few spoonfuls at a time, tossing/stirring and adding more until the spaghetti squash is coated to your liking. You may have some pesto leftover (it tastes great on eggs!).
  3. Add the chicken and zucchini to the skillet and mix it all together. Add a little more pesto at this point, if you’d like. Toss to coat the chicken and zucchini with the pesto.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Please share this recipe with your friends and family and on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate your help in helping build The Paleo Network. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Paleo Mushroom, Onion & Spinach Frittata (with optional sweet potatoes)

I'm a big fan of breakfast foods. Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I stopped by Whole Foods to buy a few things for dinner. While shopping browsing, he suggested we get some fancy sausage for Sunday breakfast. That prompted us to buy bacon. Then my brain thought frittata, so I grabbed some veggies for that. One thing led to another and we walked out of there with quite the haul.

As soon as I awoke, I got started on breakfast. It was a pretty easy dish to put together though.

Paleo Spinach, Onion and Mushroom Frittata
Serves: 4
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 2-3 T. fat of choice
  • ½ onion, diced (I used yellow)
  • 8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms (could use button/white mushrooms)
  • 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of roasted sweet potatoes, diced (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Heat fat in a cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan) over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in mushrooms and allow to cook down for 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Toss in the spinach until it is wilted.
  7. Add sweet potatoes, if using. I happened to have some leftover from a previous meal.  
  8. Add garlic and stir to distribute. Spread the veggies out evenly in the skillet.
  9. Pour the whisked eggs evenly over the veggies and let the frittata cook for about 7 minutes, or until bottom is set. Push away the edges a couple times and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg will cook properly.
  10. Put frittata (in pan) on the middle rack of the oven. The broiler will cook the top of the egg. Broil for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
  11. Remove from oven and cut into 4 pieces. Remember, the pan is extremely hot, so use your oven mitts!  
  12. Serve with sausage, bacon and fruit. 

Blueberry-maple sausage and applewood-smoked bacon from Whole Foods

This is a great basic recipe for a frittata. You could easily swap out some of the veggies for other veggies. I considered buying asparagus instead of the spinach. You could also add a little meat directly to the frittata.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did! I will definitely be making more frittatas in the future. It was so easy to make and different from the usual omelette or fried eggs. 

Question of the day: What meats and/or veggies would you put into your ideal frittata? I would love a sausage, mushroom and onion frittata drizzled with pizza sauce. Pizza frittata! That may be next on the docket.

Please like and share this recipe with your friends and family. Feel free to use the Pin It button located below this post. If you don't see the Pin It button, please click on the title of this blog post and that will pull up the individual post. You should then see the Pin It button at the bottom of the post. If you like this dish, please comment so others will know. Thank you! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream

The temperatures are on the rise. Summer is on Spring's heels. What's more delicious on a warm summer afternoon than homemade ice cream? My strawberry ice cream is Paleo and only involves four ingredients. As long as your ice cream maker bowl/base has already been in the freezer, you'll have delicious ice cream within 30 minutes. I store my ice cream maker bowl in the freezer all the time when I'm not using it. That way I can make ice cream at any time when the mood strikes. If you don't have an ice cream maker yet, I highly recommend the Cuisinart ICE-21. Easy to use. Reasonably-priced. Fast.

Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream
Serves: 8

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries, tops cut off
  • ¼ - ½ cup raw, local honey
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender (I used my Vitamix). Blend until pureed.
  2. Turn on ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Pour ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker. (You may have a little extra – I just pour it into a mason jar and store it in the fridge. You can always drink it as strawberry milk).
  4. Let mixture churn in the ice cream maker for about 20 minutes (depends upon your ice cream maker's instructions).
  5. Scoop out into an airtight container.
  6. You can either serve it immediately as soft-serve or store it in the freezer for a couple hours so it’ll be more of a hard ice cream consistency. Either way, you’re in for a real treat! 

                          Beginning                                                       End Result

I am looking forward to trying out new flavors over the summer. Cookie dough, perhaps? Maple pecan. Almond butter/chocolate ribbon vanilla ice cream. Mango. Blackberry.

Question of the day: What is your favorite kind of ice cream? As a child, I loved Oreo Cookie Blizzards or Breezes from DQ or Bonnie Doon's Cookie Dough Ice Cream (made in northern Indiana where I grew up). I still have a fondness for cookie dough ice cream. I also love chocolate ice cream.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, Bacon and "Bread" Crumbs

Bacon + "Bread" crumbs + Chicken + Zucchini + Olive Oil + Garlic = a flavorful and easy dish that will hopefully satisfy your pasta cravings. Zucchini is a low-carb, Paleo substitute for pasta. If you have a vegetable spiralizer, you could use it to make the zucchini noodles. I hadn't purchased mine yet, so I used my food processor when I last made this recipe.

This dish was inspired by a basic pasta dish consisting of spaghetti or fettuccine, olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. I have added some additional dimensions with the chicken and bacon, but it still has that delicate flavor. You could easily omit the chicken or use a different protein. Salmon would taste amazing as well. You could also omit the bacon, if you so choose.

Zucchini Noodles with Chicken, Bacon and “Bread” Crumbs
Serves: 4-5

  • 7 medium zucchini, shredded (I used my food processor shredder attachment, so they were a little bit shorter than “noodles”)
  • 2 T. + ¼ cup Coconut oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ pounds of chicken tenders or breast, diced or 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Bragg’s Sea Kelp Delight Seasoning, to taste (or another 
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt and Fresh-ground Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • Olive oil, to drizzle at the end
  • 8 slices of bacon, crumbled

  1. The first step is to prepare the zucchini noodles. Put them into a strainer (over a bowl or in the sink) and toss them with a little bit of salt. The salt will speed up the sweating process to rid the excess moisture. Let set for 20-30 minutes.
  2. After the sweating time, squeeze them in a kitchen towel (or with paper towels).
  3. While the zucchini is sweating, melt 2 T. coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer. Allow to cook for a few minutes before stirring it around. Continue cooking until no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. If you are using shredded rotisserie chicken, then you'll just need to heat it up for a couple minutes in the skillet. 
  4. Stir in the garlic and seasonings.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles to the skillet and toss around.
  6. While the zucchini noodles are warming up, melt the remaining ¼ cup coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the almond flour and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes to allow the almond flour mixture to “toast.” If it's too thin, just add a little more almond flour. 
  7. Plate the zucchini-chicken mixture, drizzle with olive oil and top with approximately 2 slices of crumbled bacon and a couple tablespoons of the “bread” crumbs.
  8. Dig in! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paleo Lasagna Soup

A while back, I ran across a recipe for lasagna soup over on Epicurean Vegan. Vegan does not always make for the best Paleo dishes, but it can be a great starting point. Her recipe used fake sausage, a bouillon cube and glutenous lasagna noodles. I wasn't about to ingest that combination of ingredients. Some of the swaps were easy. Italian sausage and ground turkey as the meat, homemade chicken broth instead of water and bouillon to make a richer soup and Cappello's grain-free lasagna instead of the glutenous pasta. I also found myself improvising as I was actually making the soup. I was completely out of oregano! What does a girl do when she runs out of oregano without having to drive two miles to the nearest grocery store since the onions were already sauteing on the stove? Yes, I could have asked one of my neighbors. They did come to the rescue when I ran out of chili powder the last time I made my chili recipe. Instead, it dawned on me that I had plenty of Italian seasoning in the cupboard. I Googled the main ingredients in Italian seasoning and it sounded like a perfect flavor for the soup. 

Paleo Lasagna Soup
Adapted from Epicurean Vegan
Serves: 8
Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz. bulk Italian Sausage (I used Mulay’s Sweet Italian Sausage by removing the casings)
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 – ¼ t. Red Pepper Flakes (depending on how much heat you prefer)
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 package of Cappello’s lasagna noodles, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

  1. Melt coconut oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add Italian sausage and ground turkey and break up with a wooden spoon, stirring to incorporate with the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink.
  4. Season with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth and bay leaves. Stir until combined.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes so the flavors can meld.
  7. Add the lasagna noodles right at the end, stirring so they don't clump together. Cook for only 30-45 seconds. Remove from heat immediately.
  8. Serve alongside Paleo garlic knots and a side salad or sauteed vegetables for a delicious meal. 

Note: Cappello's Pasta can be purchased at many Colorado stores (check out their website for a complete listing). Unfortunately, if you live outside of Colorado, it's only available through their website. I would highly recommend asking your local health food store or market to carry their pastas. 

Hope you enjoy! Now that I've tested out the lasagna noodles, I will definitely be trying them in a true lasagna dish. I'm not sure which type of lasagna yet. I also may try making cashew ricotta cheese, or maybe even Vegan cheddar cheese for crumbling on top or in between layers. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paleo Naked Chicken Fajitas + guacamole

I love chicken fajitas. My mom started making fajitas for our family when I was an early teen. She served them in flour tortillas with sharp cheddar cheese. Definitely not Paleo. The fajita filling itself is Paleo. You really can't get much more Paleo than meat, veggies and spices. Add in some healthy fats in the form of guacamole and you're set. My mom shared the recipe she used, which she actually found in a magazine at a doctor's office nearly two decades ago. I've changed the recipe a bit, so I consider this more of my own at this point. I also put together my own guacamole to top the fajitas. It's super simple and only takes three ingredients (plus sea salt and pepper).

Paleo Naked Chicken Fajitas
Serves: 4-5


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 ½ t. Sea Kelp Delight Seasoning
  • 1 ½ t. dried oregano
  • 1 ½ t. cumin
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • ½ t. chili powder
  • ½ t. paprika
  • 2 jalapeños, minced and divided
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 3 bell peppers (I used green, yellow and orange), sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 3 avocados
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

  • Crushed plantain chips (I buy them from the bulk bin at Sprouts, but you could also purchase Inka Chips)

  1. Make your marinade first, so the chicken can soak up all the delicious flavors while preparing the rest of the dish. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, spices and 2/3 of the jalapeños.
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir with a spatula to coat every piece evenly. Set aside.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Once the pan is hot, add the sliced onions, bell peppers and remaining jalapeños. Toss to coat with the coconut oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. You still want the veggies to be slightly crisp.
  5. While your veggies are cooking, prepare the guacamole in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  6. Mash the avocado with a fork or masher. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  7. When the veggies are done, pour them out into a bowl and tent with foil to keep warm.
  8. Add the chicken and the marinade to the skillet. Allow chicken to cook on the first side before stirring/flipping. Continue cooking the chicken until no longer pink, around 4-5 minutes per side.
  9. Add the veggies back to the pan, tossing everything together so the veggies get coated in the spices from the marinade.
  10. Serve with a large spoonful of guacamole and top with a handful of crushed plantain chips. 

I will be adding this dish into our regular rotation of meals. It's such a simple, but flavorful dish. It's definitely not very photogenic, but tastes amazing.

Question: Do you have any recipes that were passed down to you from your parents that you've made your own?