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!!

 

 

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE asparagus.  Freakishly.  Last night I was shoving some in my face telling Mr. Rodgers “I could seriously eat this every day of my life!”  Because of said passion…I jump at every new way to prepare it!  This method seemed so simple, I just had to try it!  And I definitely was not disappointed…with taste or appearance!!  It was just so stinking cute!  It made me happy!  Did I mention it was simple?!  Beautiful.  You ready?  Here we go!

 

You may have guessed, but this is adapted from one of my favorites!!

Meditteranean Frittata 1

Yay for this book!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Lemon, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread the asparagus out in a single layer.  Spread the lemon slices over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus.  It should be tender-crisp.

 

 

And there you go!  Bingo zingo…super easy!!  Do you love it?!  I love it!!

 

Asparagus 1

See?  Lay it out nice and pretty…

Asparagus 2

Sprinkle with garlic…

Asparagus 3

Salt and pepper…and cook until tender crisp!

Asparagus 4

Yummy roasty toasty garlicky lemony goodness!

Asparagus 5

Asparagus 6

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers

Paleo.  It has been the most rewarding lifestyle we have tried.  Not to mention, it is quite satisfying since you get to eat so much protein.   The only issue I have run into is figuring out enough interesting ways to cook meat.  One fail-proof option is burger patties!  You just have to be constantly thinking of creative new ways to prepare them to keep it interesting!

Lucky for me, I found this book at my favorite store for cook book shopping, Five Below:

 

Grill It

(Feel free to check it out here)

 

Since it is a book of grilling recipes, most of them are protein-based.  And there are plenty of burger recipes, just waiting to be adapted to clean-eating standards.  Now I would like to share one of those with you!!  I love how there is a great flavor…but also veggies snuck in there!  And another thing I just adore about burger patties is that, even though we are transitioning to cooler days, you can still rock these puppies!  Be it an outdoor grill, grill pan, or a good old fashioned cast iron skillet…burgers will satisfy your tummy and your taste buds!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 Carrot, Peeled and Grated
  • 2 Green Onions, Minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste (or fresh grated)
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • A few shakes Red Pepper Flakes
  • Toppings of choice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Combine all the burger ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 4 even portions, and form into patties.  If needed, you can form them right on your plate over some foil or wax paper, because the mixture WILL be more moist than regular burgers.  Place them in the freezer just a few minutes until you are ready to grill.  This helps them stay formed.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, or a cast iron grill pan or skillet with a small amount of grass-fed butter in the bottom.  Place burgers on your cooking surface and cook for 6-7 minutes per side, until juices run clear and the temperature is at 170*.  I’m sure you know this, but these are not beef burgers so they MUST be cooked all the way through!
  3. Top with whatever you please and eat away!!

 

Peectures!

 

Mix everything together and form your patties:

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 1

 

Cook 6-7 minutes per side, or until done!

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 2

 

And devour!!  Pretty easy, right?!

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 3

Paleo Almond Pistachio Breakfast “Granola”

I must apologize for a short stretch of silence there!  You see, my little brother….(I call him my little brother, but let’s be honest here, he’s been bigger than me since oh, fifth grade? ;))…is moving to Virginia!  And he stopped here on his way through!!  He is still here, actually.  I just decided I could take a moment to blog, because he and Mr. Rodgers are very much engrossed in a game of NFL Blitz on Nintendo 64 right now.  Yeah.  Be jealous!!  Anywho, I haven’t abandoned you my friends, I have just been spending time with the fam.  It is the most important thing in the world to me, and I haven’t seen my side for a year!!  So I’m soaking up every minute!

But here I am!  I promise I’m still cooking!!  And here is a little treat for you!  I call it breakfast, but in all honesty….the few days after I made this, it was more like breakfast granola…then mid morning snack granola…then lunch granola…then mid afternoon granola…you get the picture.  😉  I.  LOVE.  GRANOLA!  But my options are limited since most granolas have sugar…or even if they are a healthy organic brand, they are mostly oatmeal.  Which I LOVE, but definitely react to.  Sad day!  Needless to say, I was stoked when I found this Abel Jame’s recipe for “Caveman Crunch.”  I tweaked it a bit, and whabam!!  Granola is back in my life!  I want it to be in your life too, so here you go:

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 C Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 C Almond Flour
  • 1 C Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 C Almonds
  • 1 C Pistachios (Shelled)
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 C Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1/3-1/2 C Raw Honey (melted)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C Raisins (THIS IS MY ADDITION!  I am okay with raisins, but some paleo people are not!  If you don’t want the added fruit sugar, then you can leave it out.)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325*
  2. If your almonds and pistachios are not slivered or chopped, then place them in  a food processor and pulse until a good, granola-like consistency.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients (minus the raisins) in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, combine the oil, honey, and vanilla.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.  Dump the wet ingredients over the dry and mix together till it is evenly coated.  Spread it out on your cookie sheet.  It should be in a nice thin layer.
  6. Bake in the oven until just starting to brown.  The original says 25 minutes, but mine never lasted that long.  You are cooking with honey, which burns VERY QUICKLY.  So check it often, and stir it at least once while cooking.  About 5-10 minutes before its done, sprinkle your raisins in.  Remove, let it cool, and serve however makes you happy!  I eat it in a bowl with unsweetened almond milk!  Would also be good on top of some Greek yogurt…whatever you can think up!

 

Peectures:

Granola 1

Measure out your nuts!

Granola 2

Put them in a food processor if they didn’t come slivered or chopped…

Granola 3

And whiz until you get a good “granola” texture.

Granola 5

Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl minus the raisins.

Granola 6

Stir together all your wet ingredients.

Granola 7]

Pour the wet stuff over the dry stuff and stir to coat.  Spread thinly over a foil line cookie sheet.

Granola 8

Bake at 325* until just starting to brown, stirring at least once and keeping a sharp eye out for burning!  Add raisins a few minutes before it is done.

Granola 9

Enjoy however you desire!!!

 

Simple Cauliflower Rice

I know I have posted a version of cauliflower rice before.  It was an extremely delicious, Asian, “fried rice,” only cauliflower style.  😉   It was amazing.  One of my favorite things ever!  But sometimes you just need a simple, quick rice substitute, not packed with too much flavor…since rice is usually the base for something more rich.  So here is a little treat for you in those times!  A healthier alternative to rice, a great way to sneak in veggies…and literally takes just a few minutes!  I am so thankful to Abel James for opening my eyes to just how easy this can be!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place cauliflower (in batches if needed) into a food processor, and pulse until it is about the size of rice.  Alternately, if you have a grater attachment to a KitchenAid, that works well too!
  2. Dump into a large microwave safe bowl.  (I know…its crazy right?!  I am usually not a believer in using the microwave for anything other than warming up left overs or melting butter…but this works so well!)  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove, stir, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  If needed, return to microwave in minute increments until “rice” is softened and a nice texture for your purposes.  I usually have to cook an extra minute or two over the suggested 5.  🙂
  3. Serve hot under your favorite dishes!  My serving suggestion will be up soon!  I used it for…drum roll please…Grain Free Fish Taco Bowls!  Soooooo good!!

 

 

Fish Taco 13

Avocado Salsa Featuring Persian Lime Olive Oil

I must tell you a story.  A few Mondays ago (Mondays are our day off, so always turn into a date day extravaganza!), we decided to go visit one of our favorite towns called Clayton!  Clayton is about 20 minutes away, and is right on the Saint Lawrence river, which is home to the Thousand Islands.  Yes, the Thousand Islands is a place, not just a dressing!  We stroll by the Inn where the dressing was first served all the time!

So like I said, we love Clayton!  However, it is pretty small, and there is only so much to do…so we drove there with only a little bit of concern that we would not be able to find anything new to do, and that we would end up just wandering around aimlessly.  But, our cares must have wafted up to Heaven and been heard, because we had a blast at a new place we didn’t even know was there!  If you are a foodie like me (as I am assuming you are if you are reading this blog,) you will appreciate our little mini-adventure.  Right next to the River Rat Cheese Store we always stop by (SO MANY AWESOME CHEESES!), we noticed a new store front called The 1000 Islands Cruet.  So we decided to wander in.

Quickly we were greeted by a jolly gentleman who obviously loved his business.  What was that business?!  VINEGAR AND OLIVE OIL!  Most of you probably guessed that by the “Cruet” in the title…but I had no idea what a cruet was so I thought I’d mention it for the newbs like myself.  😉  Before long we had little paper cups and bits of bread and were trying all sorts of samples…mixing this with that, nerding out about what we would use it for, and hearing endless fun facts from the owner and his wife.  It was truly really fun!  And the different flavors they had were amazing!  We were mixing things like orange infused olive oil with chocolate balsamic vinegar!  I wish I could remember more, because the possibilities were endless and so tasty!

And so, to end our adventure we decided to choose one oil to bring home that we knew we would use often.  Our final decision?  Persian Lime Olive Oil.

So.  Good.  And incredibly useful!

I wanted to share with you the first thing I used this incredible oil for!  I’ve had to step up my game before it is all out, Mr. Rodgers is loving it on his salads and I can hardly keep up!  So here is my first creation:  Avocado Salsa!  Easy enough!

This recipe came out of necessity, as I was halfway through preparing my salsa for my fish taco bowls (coming soon) and I realized I had no lime juice.  Then…LIGHTBULB. <—Please read that in Gru’s voice.  I remembered this bottle of magicalness that I had hiding on my lazy susan.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Avocado, Diced
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Tomatoes, Diced
  • About 1/4 C Red Onion, Minced (Depending on taste, you can use more or less)
  • Good squeeze of cilantro paste, or a handful of fresh
  • 1-2 Tbsp Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil…just enough to coat everything with a limey flavor
  • Optional: A dash of red wine vinegar for an extra twang

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Dice all your veggies and toss together in a bowl.  Gently combine so your avocado doesn’t break down.
  2. Add oil, paste, and vinegar if you are using it.  Stir gently.  Taste, add salt or pepper if needed, and adjust any flavors as you desire.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

 

And that’s it!  I will soon post the beautiful dish I used this salsa with, but until then, enjoy this just as it is!  Goes great on top of meat, with chips, as a dressing for a salad…whatever your mind can think up!

 

What would you use Persian Lime infused Olive Oil for?

Lime Oil 2

Lime Oil

Fish Taco 1

Fish Taco 12

Delicioso!  Enjoy!