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!!

 

Advertisements

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!!

 

 

Balsamic Pot Roast

Yummy.  I love me a good pot roast!  This one…this is the best roast I have had in a while!!  It had a sweet tanginess to it that was truly delightful!!  Mixed with the classic warm, falling-apart nature of a roast…it was just the best!!  And since I adapted it from my Abel James app, I know that it is clean eating, which just adds another level of satisfaction to the whole deal.  It makes me happy, happy, happy!!  I hope you love it too.  Here’s the lo down:

 

What you need:

  • 2+ lb Beef Roast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grassfed Butter
  • 1 White Onion, Sliced
  • 2 Carrots, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1/2 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine

 

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Coat both sides of your roast with all the spices.
  2. Heat your oil or butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Once it is hot (but not smoking hot ;)) place your roast in there and sear for about 4 minutes per side.
  3. In the mean time, combine the vinegar and tomato sauce in a bowl.
  4. Place the onions and carrots in the bottom of a crock pot (you don’t want it to be a huge crock or else your roast wont be cooking in the juices!) and place the roast on top of them.
  5. Dump the tomato/vinegar mixture over the meat.
  6. Add the water and white wine to the pan you seared your meat in to deglaze the pan.  Scrape up any leftover goodies, then dump this sauce over the meat as well.
  7. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.

 

And you’re done and ready for yummy yummy deliciousness!

 

See the pictures!  Unfortunately, pot roast is very difficult to make pretty for pictures.  But here’s my attempt: 🙂

Balsamic Pot Roast 2

Getting that bad boy nice and flavorful!

Balsamic Pot Roast 3

Sear both sides

Balsamic Pot Roast 4

Aint it pretty? Few things make me happier than a beautiful seared piece of meat!

Balsamic Pot Roast 1

Place the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot

Balsamic Pot Roast 5

Place the roast on top

Balsamic Roast 6

Stir together the vinegar and tomato sauce and pour it on top

Balsamic Pot Roast 7

Pour the water and wine into the hot pan to deglaze.  Pour the liquid on top of the roast as well.

Balsamic Pot Roast 8

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then enjoy your tasty treat!!

Balsamic Pot Roast 9

The veggies were delicious as well as the roast…the flavors all through were just amazing.  🙂  Let me know what you think!!  How do you like making your roast?

 

 

Jalapeno Brussels Sprouts

Sounds a little crazy, right?  But these actually had just the right amount of heat, and a TON of great flavor!  Believe it or not Brussels Sprouts are probably the favorite vegetable around here!  They have this great texture when roasted right…crunch on the outside, but dense enough on the inside to make your teeth happy.  There is just something so satisfying and comforting about a good, hearty, healthy vegetable that also tastes AMAZING!  And I am so excited about this fun new flavor combo!!  Who would have thought jalapenos and Brussels would be so beautiful together?!

I just love how my food inspiration can explode because of others’ ideas!  This one was adapted from paleofondue.com!  It was originally made with red jalapenos, which I was very excited to try…but then none of my stores had them.  Laaaaaame!  But it was still SOOO delicious.

 

Okay, seriously….bunny trail…I am having an incredibly difficult time writing this blog.  Want to know why?  This is why:

Because this is happening right now:

Frizz 2

If you cannot tell…that is my lap that she is laying in.  And that is my laptop, which is supposed to be in my lap.

 

Frizz 1

Ugh!!  But she’s just so cute!!!  How can I possibly make her move?!  If I try, she will whimper and turn on those puppy eyes that would break Chuck Norris’ heart.  So here I am…stretching over her, trying not to wake her and somehow type at the same time. And my foot is starting to cramp! Haha.  The things we do for love…and I don’t even have kids yet!!  I’m doomed!! 😉

 

Okay….back to those amazing Brussels Sprouts that are a lot easier than typing with a sleepy cute puppy in your lap…ready, set, go!

 

Here is what you need:

  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, Halved
  • 3 Jalapenos, thinly sliced (crossways so you have rounds)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grassfed Butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey, Melted
  • 1/4 C Walnuts, Finely Chopped

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.
  2. Chop your Brussels in half and slice your jalapenos.
  3. Toss the Brussels and jalapenos with the coconut oil or butter and spread out on a foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Thinly slice the garlic and let it soak in the vinegar while your Brussels cook.
  5. When the 25 minutes is up, add in the garlic, vinegar, and walnuts and stir around again.  Cook another 5 minutes or so.  Drizzle on the melted honey, stir around, and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Brussels should be browned well on the outside.  You are ready to serve!

 

 

Jalapeno 1

Slice your chiles and sprouts

Jalapeno 2

Pour on your melted butter or coconut oil…

Jalapeno 3

Spread out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper…

Jalapeno 4

Roast for 25 minutes, stirring them around once.  Add sliced garlic to vinegar to soak while you wait.  After 25 minutes, add garlic, vinegar, and nuts to Brussels and stir around again.  Cook for another 5 minutes, add honey, and cook for 5 minutes or so again.

Jalapeno 5

Brussels should be nice and browned and crispy on the outside!

Jalapeno 6

YUM-O!!

 

What is your favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts?

 

 

Avocado Stuffed Burgers

These are a few of my favorite thiiiiings!!  Avocadoes…stuffed inside a big beefy burger?!  How is this madness even possible?!  And yet…I have tasted it…and it is good!  SO GOOD!

Now…I know it is fall.  (I can no longer deny it!).  But there are still beautiful avocadoes in the stores, at least where I am!  And in my opinion…burgers are NOT just a summer food, especially for paleo eaters!  They are simple, they are satisfying…and they can be made just as easily inside.  So don’t you give up on burgers just because of the chill in the air!

 

Now if I am being honest, I was a little apprehensive when I made these.  It is just such a different idea.  Then to top it off, I was making them while my “little” brother was here.  (I say “little” because he has been bigger than me since I was in like…5th grade).  That being said…I was even more nervous because I wasn’t just trying this out on Mr. Rodgers!  A funny thing about growing up is that when your family visits…you want them to see how good you are at being domestic.  😉  However, as Jesse and I both took our first bite…we looked at each other with glee and dove in to the rest!  It was creamy, tangy, and had that great satisfying burger essence that everyone loves.

 

This recipe is every so slightly adapted from the wonderful Caveman Feast app, thanks to Abel James!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lb Ground Beef (Preferably grass-fed)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of Mrs. Dash (I am kinda addicted to this stuff)
  • 1 lemon (or lime!) with zest
  • 1 C Sundried Tomatoes, chopped (removed from oil)
  • Bacon fat (optional to drizzle over the top at the end)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Put your beef in a bowl, and season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and Mrs. Dash.  Combine.
  2. Form beef mixture into an even number of very thin patties…you will be using two per burger!
  3. Mash your avocadoes in a bowl with the sundried tomatoes, juice of 1/2 the lemon, and salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Spoon avocado mixture onto half of the burger patties so that you still have an edge that you can seal.  Top with another patty, and seal the edges together with your fingers all the way around.
  5. Grill burgers about 6 minutes per side.  I did this inside with a grill pan and it worked great!!  This is where you have the option to drizzle bacon fat over them…which I totally would have done if I had any bacon fat on me!

 

 

Doesn’t that sounds soooooo good?!

 

Peectures:

Avocado Burger 1

Season your beef…

Avocado Burger 4

And form into an even number of very thin patties!!

Avocado Burger 2

Mix together avocado filling ingredients to make yourself a nice tangy guac!

Avocado Burger 3

Mix mix mix!

Avocado Burger 5

Place avocado mixture in middle of half your burgers, leaving edges to seal…

Avocado Burger 6

And drape the other patties on top, sealing the edges well with your fingers.

Avocado Burger 7

Then grill about 6 minutes per side!  Obviously, I made these super easily inside on a grill pan!

Avocado Burger 8

And they turned out beautifully!

Avocado Burger 9

See that avocado trying to ooze out there?!  Sooo delicious!

Avocado Burger 10

Serve how you desire!  We had it on a nice big romaine leaf with the extra filling on the side.

Avocado Burger 11

Deeeeeeeeeeelicious.

 

I hope you enjoy!  What do you like stuffing in burgers?