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….

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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?

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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!!

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

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Cut your chicken breasts into bite size pieces

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

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

Add bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic…

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Stir together and cook an additional 5 minutes!

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Toss in your chicken and stir it all up…

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

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Add pumpkin and cocoa if you are using it.

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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!! 😀

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

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

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

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..

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

 

 

Flavorful Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Meatloaf

Those of you who follow me regularly know that it has been just a few weeks since my first chorizo experience.  In summary?  Lifechanging.  Because I have now vowed to eat chorizo all the time.  It has a beautiful flavor, it can be used so many ways…and I looked it up…no sugar added!!  Wooohoooo!!  Can’t get much better than that!

 

So here is chorizo cooking, round two!!  This was awesome.  You may remember my fear of meatloaf, because of growing up watching shows where the wife thinks her husband loves it…but he secretly pays the kids to eat it and they all shovel it into the dogs mouth when mom isn’t looking.  I don’t know why that is so etched into my mind, but alas.  I have meatloaf phobia.  But this…oh this meatloaf!  Talk about flavor, and my husband really did love it!!  I would know because I don’t have any kids for him to pay, and there was no meatloaf remains on my dog’s fur or breath.  😉  So I will confidently declare this recipe Mr. Rodgers approved!  Though it is wrapped in bacon, so that’s kind of a no brainer.   Speaking of bacon, I ate bacon for lunch.  That’s healthy, right?  :/

Anyways, back to meatloaf!

 

This recipe is inspired by the great paleomg.com!  I had originally intended on making it almost exact to the recipe…but some of the ingredients I had bought for this recipe I some how had a brain fart and used up in other meals.  So when I got to this meatloaf I realized I didn’t have a bunch of things, so I got to be spontaneous…dig through my fridge and use whatever veggies and things I could find!  Which is fun.  Feel free to adapt it to what you have available too!  So….

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 8 oz Chorizo (that is about the size of one large “link” in the set of two I get at my store)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 C Flax Meal
  • 2 Carrots, Chopped
  • 1/4 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Celery Heart, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 4 Slices Bacon, Cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Optional: Chipotle Mayo to Garnish (I would have done this if I had time to make an approved mayo that Mr. Rodgers can eat, but I was in a hurry!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Take all of your meatloaf ingredients (except the bacon and the mayo if you are using it!) and combine in a bowl.
  3. Dump this mixture into a loaf pan and form evenly.
  4. Lay the halved bacon across the entire top of the meatloaf, tucking it in as well as possible.
  5. Cook for about an hour and 15 minutes, then broil JUST long enough to get some crispiness to your bacon.  Broilers burn things FAST so watch it the whole time!

And bam!  You are ready to go with a meatloaf that husbands around the world will adore!! 😀

Let’s see some pictures!

Chorizo Loaf 1

Get your beef and chorizo!

Chorizo Loaf 2

Add the rest of your meatloaf ingredients (minus the bacon!).  Combine well!

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Form it into a loaf pan.  Look at how it is marbled with the different meat colors, I love it!

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Lay the halved bacon over the whole top surface of the meatloaf, tucking the edges in as well as you can.

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Cook for an hour and 15 minutes or so, then broil just a few minutes to get crisp bacon!

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Ahhhhhhh isn’t that just the best?!  I could go for some of that right now!!

 

Okay, so here are a few photos from the lovely Mr. Rodgers.  He was SO excited about this meatloaf that as I grabbed dishes and things to set the table, I turned around to him snapping pictures on his phone saying things like “Look at this steam!  You have to capture this before it goes away!!  LOOK at this!”  🙂  His enthusiasm made me so happy I just had to share some of his steam pictures…please forgive the slight clutter in the back ground!

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Do you see the steam?!  🙂  Isn’t he just the cutest?!  And of course he WOULD take a picture with a guitar in the background.  😉

 

So there you go.  Yummy, healthy, paleo, Mr. Rodgers approved meatloaf with butt kickin flavor!  😀 😀 😀 😀

 

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: 🙂

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Getting that bad boy nice and flavorful!

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Sear both sides

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

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Place the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot

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Place the roast on top

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

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

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

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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:

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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…

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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.

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

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YUM-O!!

 

What is your favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts?