Monster Meat Pile

Okay, so…let’s just be honest here.   The hardest part about eating healthy?  At least for me?  Those days when you have so much to do, you have no time, you’re crazy hungry, and the drive through is RIGHT THERE.  Especially when you get home and it seems like there is nothing to eat!!  Well.  Here is one of our solutions.  Not saying that I am perfect and never cave.  To my shame I do that more often than Mr. Rodgers.  But this Protein Plate has saved me from stumbling so many times, because I have these items on hand at all times!!

Like a few of my other posts, this is a little less “recipe,” and a little more just me sharing an idea with you that has worked for me.  Obviously you can make your own version of this, as long as you keep a go-to for weak, hectic moments.

 

So here’s what I use:

  • Frozen Burger Patties
  • 2 Slices Bacon (Optional, I happened to have some the night I took these pics)
  • 1/2 Small onion
  • 1-2 Eggs

 

I think you can pretty much figure out the rest by checking out my pictures (sorry the lighting was bad, I was so hungry I didn’t have it in me to take the time to take really pretty pictures.  I am known for getting “hangry.”  You don’t want to mess with me when the hanger is upon me.

Basically, you just….

Photo-14

Heat up a cast iron skillet and toss in a frozen burger patty or two.  Slice your onions into strips, rub a little butter on the bottom half of the skillet and sauté the onions while your burgers cook.  I season both sides of my burger patties with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and a little chipotle chili powder.

Photo-15

Toss some bacon in the pan too if you are using that.

Photo-16

A couple minutes before it is done, create an open space and crack an egg in there.

Photo-17

When it is all done, assemble your monster meat pile.  You will not be lacking in the protein area after this!  I always find it so satisfying!

Photo-18

Yay Yay Yay Yay!  What do you think of my idea?  And what do you do when you have no time but need some protein fast?

Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Hello everyone!!  Guess what guess what guess what?!  Mr. Rodgers and I…live in a new house!!  His mother has been living with us in our small 2 bedroom apartment for almost 3 years now!  But we finally found a place for super cheap, and it’s all ours!!  And guess what else?!?!?!  My kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!  Minus a little old lady wall paper and needing an updated stove…it is just gorgeous and I love it I love it I love it!!  I don’t have any pictures on me at the moment, but I can’t wait to share them with you!!

Anyways!!  Back to cooking…I just had to shout that from the rooftops first because I figured if anyone understood my “new kitchen glee,” it would be a bunch of food nerds like you!!

I’m pulling this from a little while back, because my life has been consumed with packing and unpacking and cleaning then starting the cycle over.   😉   Pumpkin Chicken Chili!  Yummm!  I’ve been noticing there are still lots of squash around in the stores…and you can get canned pumpkin pretty much any time!  So this recipe is pretty timeless!  This was so thick and warm and comforting!  And let’s just be honest, with the weather we have been having around here lately, we all need a little comfort.  I don’t know what it is like where you are, but we are in the glorious span of time when you check the weather on your phone and see the “feels like” section and think “Yaaaaay it feels like -22*.  Fuuuuuun.”  You know something is weird when you wake up one morning, see that it is 16* outside and think to yourself “oh wow that’s not bad!”  :I  I am a pretty positive person, so I will just keep fighting to have a good attitude about the cold.  It’s hard.  But recipes like this help.  Because they warm the insides, excite the taste buds, and make you forget your issues at least until you step outside your house again, hahah!

Ever so slightly adapted from the wonderful Caveman Feast, aka Abel James.

So here’s what you need:

  • 3 lb Chicken Breast, Cubed
  • 2 C Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 C Bell Peppers, I used red and yellow, Diced
  • 3 Jalapeños, Diced Small
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 C Chicken Stock (or more if you like it thinner)
  • 1 C White Wine
  • Lg Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice (28 oz)
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 C Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Optional…I am trying to remember if I used it…I don’t think I did…but I’m sure it’s tasty!)
  • Coconut Oil or Grass Fed Butter for Cooking

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep all your veggies and cut your chicken!
  2. Cook your chicken and set aside.
  3. Heat your coconut oil or butter in a large soup pot.  Salute your onions until translucent.  Add bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in chicken and stir together.
  5. Add stock, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices (excluding cocoa) and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in pumpkin and cocoa powder and cook for about 5 more minutes, until everything is heated through.  Enjoy!

Peectures!!

Photo

For ease while cooking, gather all your ingredients and prep your veggies first 🙂

Photo-2

Cut your chicken breasts into bite size pieces

Photo-3

Brown on al sides with grass fed butter or coconut oil.  Should mostly be cooked through.

Photo-4

Melt coconut oil or butter in a large soup pot and saute your onions until translucent. Photo-5

Add bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic…

Photo-6

Stir together and cook an additional 5 minutes!

Photo-7

Toss in your chicken and stir it all up…

Photo-8

Add stock, wine, tomatoes, paste, and spices and simmer for about 20 minutes…

Photo-9

Add pumpkin and cocoa if you are using it.

Photo-10

Stir together, heat through, and wabam!  You have a beautiful, hearty, flavorful, unique, thick and comforting meal for yourself and the fam…or if its just yourself, you have food for a week!! 😀

Photo-11

Isn’t it purty?!  I wish I had some right now.  I haven’t eaten today other than a really naughty treat I snuck…

Photo-12

This would have been much more satisfying that a hot dog :/

Photo-13

Hallelujah!!  I hope you love it!  What is your favorite dish with pumpkin?

Butter Dill Beets and Carrots

I tell you what, I wish you guys could be here now.  What a lovely evening it is!!  I’m sitting here with a fuzzy puppy at my toes, the lingering scents of dinner in the air (seared pork chops and an awesome soup I can’t wait to share with you!), and my favorite part of all…Mr. Rodgers on the other side of the couch with his new “studious” glasses on, intently writing a beautiful song with his acoustic.  It is a wonderful day.  An unexpected day off, no less…considering there is a ton of snow out there and I work at an ice cream store.  😉  My tummy is full, but with healthy things.  And you know what?  My heart is full too…with healthy things.  I am so thankful for new years.  For people that inspire me to be better, and a God that gives me strength to pursue health and peace and loves me no matter how many times I screw up.

Sigh.  I am thankful.

Anywho…on from your glimpse into the Rodgers’ lives!  I hope all of you are enjoying this start to your year as well.  I pray you are blessed with new levels of HEALTH this year.  That is the mantra in our house for the year.  And if you let me, I would love to help you bring health to your house this year too!!  So let’s get started with some root veggies with a great flavor to boot!

Beets.  I don’t have much history with them.  I was always so scared of the smell that came out of the can when my mom ate the canned ones…so I never really gave them a chance.  Then came that one time Mr. Rodgers and I juiced for a few days after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  (Very interesting, you should check it out!!  It helped us on our journey, even though we decided to go a more protein-heavy direction.)   I drank beet juice then…and actually didn’t mind it!!  It was a different flavor, but I grew to love it.  The husband, not so much.  He was not a fan of the beet juice.

But then I made these babies.  He WAS a fan of these.  Great flavor, I tell you!  Not to mention all the benefits of beets…they are very good for detoxing (which we all need to do after the holidays, good gracious!), and house a ton of vitamins apparently!  And I don’t think I need to tell you that carrots have benefits as well…especially for your eyes.

So whether you are an avid beet lover, or are fearful of them like me…you should give them a chance.  And roasting them should definitely be that first chance.  Here’s a great way to try:

 

What you need:

  • 1 lb baby beets, or 2 bunches “normal” beets
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots (yes, I used the snack kind for ease.  You can also use 1/2 lb the bunch kind if you desire.)
  • 3 Tbsp Grassfed Butter, such as Kerrygold
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Dill paste, or fresh chopped (Warning: I have recently discovered that the herb pastes often have Dextrose in them 😦  So use at your discretion..they are great for when you are in a hurry or don’t want your herbs to go bad before you get to them…but fresh is definitely the better alternative health wise.  Sigh.)
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*
  2. Clean, trim, and peel your beets.  Chop into pieces all about the same size…some you will halve, some into quarters, some into eighths, depending on the size.  You want to have roughly one inch wedges.
  3. Place beet wedges and carrots on foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter and add dill and garlic.  Whisk together.
  5. Dump butter mixture over veggies and toss around till everything is nice and coated.  Share the love baby!  Add some salt and pepper.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and roast about 35 minutes, (stirring occasionally), or until the veggies are tender but a bit browned and crispy on the outside.
  7. Remove, and eat!!

Beets 1

 

Trim, clean, and peel those bad boys.  Chop into even sized wedges.

Beets 2

Look down and realize this looks bad…really bad.  I sent this pic to my mom and she got a good laugh about it.

Beets 3

Toss onto a lined baking sheet.  Add baby carrots.

Beets 4

Melt butter and add garlic and dill.  Whisk together.

Beets 5

Dump it all over.

Beets 6

Mix it allllll up. Add a little salt and pepper, naturally.

Beets 7

And roast!  About 35-40 minutes, or until starting to brown and crisp but tender inside.

Beets 8

Yeah baby.

Beets 9

And enjoy!!

 

Pesto Cod – Light and Flavorful

I’m back I’m back I’m back!! This past month has been so fully devoted to my trip “home” to visit my family in Washington! It. Was. Beautiful. I got to meet my new nephew, Ellis London. I got to build Legos with my oldest Nephew, Noah Jesse. And I got to play in an Anna and Elsa tent with my one and only niece, Olive Selah Grace. I got my toes done and shopped at Ross with the girls (one doesn’t realize how they love Ross until they move away from it!), to go on a romantic date with my husband at a spot on the beach we went to when just dating…and I got to be close to my three brothers, my best friends of all time. My heart is happy as I resume my food posting!! So please forgive me for my absence! But when one has not seen so many of the most important people in their life for a year and 3 months….one cuts out everything else in life to just BE with them!! I sincerely hope you all had a chance these past months to just BE with the ones that are important to you!

However, as glorious as it was, I am ready for a few things to resume. First and foremost, health! In every aspect of the word! Physical, mental, spiritual!! And along with that, the resuming of sharingy journey with you wonderful people!!

So, assuming you are all still feeling like fat cows just like me, let’s start off with something super light but still so yummy yummy yummy!!

Cod with Pesto! So incredibly easy and tasty!

So, here’s what you need:

16 oz Cod Fillets
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 sm bunch parsley
2 Tbsp cilantro paste or fresh (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
Juice of a lemon
2+ tsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp minced favorite nut (I used walnut)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*
  2. Start your pesto. Trim the stems off the parsley and place in a good proccessor. Pulse a few times until broken down some.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except the fish and blend. Add more olive oil until it becomes a thick sauce, or whatever consistency you prefer.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add fish and sear for about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Too each fillet with even portions of pesto then slide into the oven for 5 minutes to heat everything through. Serve hot and feel good about your choices!! Go you!! Happy New Year!!

 

 

Pesto Cod 1

Blend everything together to make your pestoooooo!

Pesto Cod 2

Sear your fish on each side for about 3 minutes.

Pesto Cod 3

Top with pesto and slide into 400* oven for about 5 minutes, until everything is warmed through.

Pesto Cod 4

Now serve with some nice hearty veggies!!  (I always serve fish with a sturdier veggie like broccoli or asparagus since fish is so light…it makes me feel full and satisfied!)

Pesto Cod 5

And enjoy!  Yummy yum yums!  Thanks for reading guys, I truly appreciate you all!

Fall Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash

Don’t you love those “DUH!” moments??  Those times when you have an idea and feel like a genius for having said idea…but also feel like an idiot for not having that idea earlier?  That is what happened with this recipe!!  For quite a while now I have been taking favorite noodle recipes and substituting in spaghetti squash!  Now as I have mentioned before, I do not think of or present the dish as a noodle dish when I do this…or the people consuming will expect it to taste exactly like noodles.  But if you present it as a great spaghetti squash recipe, they will be overjoyed with the flavor, and they will be expecting it to be so different from noodles that they will be pleasantly surprised!

Well.  We love stir fry in this house.  But I had pretty much given up on noodle stir fry, even though it is my favorite version.  Why had I never considered spaghetti squash stir fry?!  But I was looking through this wonderful book you will remember:

 

DHV

…and I stumbled upon a recipe called “Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables.”  Aka…chicken stir fry with noodles.  I thought “oh man that looks tasty…” then suddenly….palm meet face!!  SPAGHETTI SQUASH!

The great thing about this is that it is more of an idea than a recipe.  Stir fry is such an open ended thing.  It is so great because as long as you keep veggies in your fridge and some for of soy sauce and sesame oil…you don’t even have to plan ahead.  You just chop chop, toss it in a wok and BAM!  Nutritional dinner!!  🙂  Most of you probably already know how to do that!  I just wanted to open your eyes to the new possibilities with spaghetti squash!  But nevertheless,  here is the general idea of what I did!

 

The ingredients:

  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, Cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 or 2 Bell Peppers, Julienned
  • 1 or 2 Large Carrots, sliced
  • About 1/4 Lg Head Red Cabbage, Sliced
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (Optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash in advance, however you prefer to do this.  I stab mine a bunch then roast at about 400* for an hour or so, turning once.  It is done when the skin is very tender and easily pierced.  Remove seeds and remove the flesh in strands with a fork.  Set aside.
  2. Salt and Pepper your chunks of chicken.  Heat the coconut oil in a wok and add chicken.  Stir and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through…about 5-8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Add your onions into the wok and cook for about 2 minutes, until starting to get tender.  Add garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds or so, then add in the rest of the veggies (minus the squash).  I did not pre-cook my cauliflower but if you don’t want a crunch in the middle of your cauliflower or broccoli, feel free to steam or boil for a few minutes before hand. 🙂  Cook all the veggies, stirring, until everything is getting tender-crisp.
  4. Add the chicken back in and stir.
  5. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Dump over stir fry.  Stir in.
  6. Add in the spaghetti squash strands and toss it all together.  Heat it through, then remove and serve!  Garnish with sesame seeds if desired!!  ENJOY!!!

Peectures:

SS Stir Fry 1

Cook your spaghetti squash first! In the meantime, cook your chicken.  Set aside.

SS Stir Fry 2

Add your onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add in garlic and stir, cooking about 30 seconds.  Then dump in the rest of your veggies, minus the spaghetti squash.  Cook until everything is tender crisp.

SS Stir Fry 3

Add in the chicken and cook and stir..

SS Stir Fry 4

Then add in the sauce…and last but not least the spaghetti squash!  Toss everything to coat, heat through, then remove and serve!!

 

 

Paleo Country Fried Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy

This chicken is ridiculous.  Why ridiculous, you ask?  Well for starters, it’s freaking delicious.  Satisfying?  Of course.  Comforting?  In every sense of the word.  But here’s the real kicker.  It’s healthy!  Yayyyyyyyy.  I want to eat it every day of my life forever and ever amen!

 

You know what this chicken reminded me of?  Country fried steak.  That crunchy, warm, tender chunk of meat smothered in a creamy gravy.  It is the epitome of comfort food.  And that is what this resembles.  It causes me to have memories of sitting around the table with my whole family, filling our tummies till they feel like they might burst, quoting movies that only we know, laughing late into the night!  I’d give just about anything for a moment like that right now!  But instead, I will tell you of this meal…this meal that conjures up the best of memories and brings people together!!  I hope you love it!  🙂

 

Oh oh oh oh one more thing!!  I do not know why I have never thought of this before!!  The BEST part of this dish is that it is super creamy!  But getting a good, healthy, tasty creamy sauce is almost impossible with paleo standards!!  But I had a genius idea!!  Cauliflower!!  Now I know it sounds crazy but don’t you doubt me!!  Cauliflower seems to fix everything else…mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust…why not to thicken sauces too?  I was already planning to make mashed cauli for the side…so check out how I used it in the sauce as well!

 

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, fat removed
  • 1/2 C Almond or Coconut Flour (You may need a little extra of the almond if you go that route since it is not quite as fine)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (Make sure it’s original!!)
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Medium Onion, Sliced
  • 1 Package Mushrooms, Sliced
  • Mashed Cauliflower (1 Head Cauliflower cut into florets and boiled, processed in a food processor with salt, pepper, grassfed butter, and a clove of garlic

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. In a big Ziploc baggie, combine the flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.
  2. Add the chicken (in batches if necessary) and toss to coat well.  Melt the butter in a deep cast iron skillet and add in the chicken.  Brown well on both sides.
  3. When both sides are browned, pour in the broth , lemon, and almond milk.  Whisk it a bit.  Then add in the onions and mushrooms, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is a bit reduced.
  4. While you wait for the chicken, start your mashed cauliflower.
  5. When the 30 minutes is up, remove the chicken and most of the veggies and set aside.  Take about 3-4 Tbsp of the mashed cauliflower and whisk in to the sauce until it is thickened like a gravy.  Simmer for a few minutes until warm and thick, then remove from the heat.  Put your mashed cauliflower and chicken on a plate and drizzle with the gravy.  Eat.  Be comforted.  And enjoy!

 

Peectures!

Creamy Chicken 1

Prep your veggies!

Creamy Chicken 2

Coat the chicken with your flour mixture.  Melt the butter in a deep skillet and brown chicken well on both sides.

Creamy CHicken 3

Stir in the liquids.

Creamy Chicken 4

Add in the onions and mushrooms.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Creamy Chicken 6

While chicken is cooking, prepare your mashed cauliflower.  When the 30 minutes are up, remove the chicken and most of the veggies and set aside.

Creamy Chicken 5

Doesn’t it look deeeeeelicious already?!

Creamy Chicken 8

Whisk in a heap of mashed cauliflower into the sauce until it is thickened like a gravy.  Simmer for a couple of minutes until heated through and combined well.

Creamy Chicken 10

Heap your mashed cauliflower onto the plate, add a piece of chicken, and drizzle with your gravy sauce.  Yummyyyyyyyy.  Have I mentioned that I love this meal?!

 

Creamy Chicken 11

 

Creamy Chicken 12