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!!

 

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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

Spring Shish Kabobs!

This is a recipe I cooked in defiance.  Defiance to winter.  Defiance to cold and snow.  No, I’m not complaining.  I love where I live.  However.  I am ready for sun.  The day I made these, it was a whopping 39 degrees, and the sound of the snow melting from the roof literally sounded like a waterfall.  I knew that snow was forecasted for the next day.  But in my defiance I declared it the first day of grilling season.  I mean, it IS Spring for goodness sake!  The weather seems to have missed that memo.  And just so you know…we did get like 5-6 inches of snow the next day.  BUT.  Our glimpses of sunshine are coming more often now.  So I think I spoke it into existence.  Grilling season is here, haha!!

These were SO tasty.  My man was really sick and had laid in bed for three days straight slurping on soup from a can (I don’t know why he loves it so, but whenever he is sick, it’s all he wants!) and nibbling on oyster crackers.  He hadn’t eaten “real” food in days.  So I was making them for myself, and for lunches the next day.  However, when he saw them, he decided that trying to eat may not be such a bad idea.  And when I gave him a plate with two of these bad boys on them…and when they had disappeared in a matter of minutes…he gently asked if there was any more.  Hehe!  Good sign!

The funny thing is…I actually made a mistake with these, but it worked out beautifully!  I knew I wanted a somewhat thin cut steak.  I must have been in a hurry at the grocery store, and grabbed the first good looking “thin cut steak” I found that looked about the right thickness.  Well when I went to open it, I noticed that it said “carne asada.”  I LOVE carne asada but was nervous, because I didn’t know if it would grill well.  Then when I took it out of the package, I realized that it was folded in half, and was a lot thinner than I was planning.  I got real nervous then.  But it ended up working PERFECTLY and be so so so so so so tasty!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb thin-ish cut steaks (Like I said, I used carne asada), sliced into inch-wide strips
  • 2 Bell Peppers, preferably of different colors, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 2 Sm White Onions, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 1 Lg Zucchini, sliced into rounds, 1/2 inch thick
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Organic Quinoa for serving
  • Bamboo Skewers, soaked

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Place skewers in water an hour before grilling.  This helps keep them from burning up!
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Place steak in a Ziploc baggie and dump marinade over.  Put in your fridge and marinate at least half an hour while you prep everything else.
  3. Cut all your veggies and toss in a large bowl.  Dump just enough olive oil over the veggies to coat them.  Toss.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.  This made them SO tasty!
  4. Take your skewers and rotate stabbing on veggies and meat.  Because the meat is in strips, you can skewer one end, then fold it back and skewer again if that makes sense.  You’ll see on the pictures.  😉
  5. Place skewers on a medium heat grill and cook about 10 minutes, turning often…until you get a little char on everything, veggies are tender crisp, and steak is cooked to your liking.  Serve over a nice pile of hot quinoa and enjoy!

 

Peectures:

Photo (1)

Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Pour over the meat in a Ziploc and marinate while you prepare everything else.

Photo (2)

Chop your veggies…

Photo (3)

Give a nice coating of olive oil, then season generously with Mrs. Dash, Salt, and Pepper (This is before I tossed it…but I did use a good amount!)

Photo (5)

Now you are ready to create your food art!  Skewer the ingredients, alternating meat and veggies…

Photo (7)

Like so!  Yummy!  I’m starving and these pictures aren’t helping!

Photo (6)

Spring is in the aiiiiiiiir!

Photo (8)

Turn your grill on to medium heat…

Photo (10)

Toss on your skewers and cook about 10 minutes, turning often.  Or until meat is done to your liking, everything has a little char, and veggies are tender crisp.

Photo (11)

Throw on top of a hot pile of quinoa…

Photo (12)

And enjoy!  SO good!

Photo (9)

And don’t forget your little “helpers” outside!  These two were SO excited about the sun shine!  Though you can see the blinding white in the yard…which is our pile of snow that is still there.  But Candy seems quite interested in the stream of water flowing from the roof.  Frizz, as always, is more interested in the food, haha!

 

Hope you guys love this recipe!!! What are your favorite shish kabob ingredients?!

 

Simple Fast Burgers (With Paleo BBQ Sauce)

Yay for simple! Yay for fast! Yay for burgers! Yay for BBQ!! Yay for health!!!

You can’t get much better than that!  I mean, lets just be honest…some times you just need a burger, even if you are being healthy.  Now, I have some really great recipes in my archives for amazing burgers that will rock your world!  (Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers and Turkey Feta Burgers to name a few!) But some days you just don’t have time to prepare a fancy burger…you just need a simple, sweet, “I have to leave soon/I’m just plain tired” burgers.  So….here you go!!

A few days ago, I gave you a recipe for an easy, clean BBQ Sauce recipe that goes great with this burger.  However, you can dress it however you feel fit.  🙂  Mustard is always a good option, there is usually nothing naughty in it.  Just mustard seeds and vinegar.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Beef (preferably grass fed!)
  • 1/4 C Flax Meal (Works great for a bread crumb substitute!)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Salt and Pepper

And here is how you do it:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form into two patties, with a small indentation in the middle.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.  Place burgers on the grill, and baste with paleo BBQ sauce.  Cook 6-7 minutes (or longer depending on how well done you like your burgers).  Flip, and repeat!

 

 

Photo (1)

Combine all your ingredients in a bowl.

Photo (2)

Form into two patties with an indentation in the middle.

Photo (3)

Preheat your grill or grill pan.  I smeared mine with a little butter.  Cause I love butter.

Photo (4)

Place your patties on the grill

Photo (5)

Baste with BBQ!

Photo (7)

Cook about 6-7 minutes and flip…

Photo (8)

Baste again…cook until desired degree of done-ness…

Photo (6)

And BAM!! A big, beefy, protein-y, delicious, filling, paleo, clean, simple, easy BURGER!  BAM!

Savory Oatmeal Patties (Another Kirkwood Family Secret Recipe)

You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about…savory oatmeal patties, huh! Honestly, when I found out what these were, I was too. Because growing up, even though I think I heard my mom call them “Oatmeal Patties,” I don’t think it ever occurred to me that these really were made mostly of just…oatmeal. They were always those mystery patties that were warm and creamy and strangely comforting.

So the last few weeks in January we were having to stretch our budget immensely. Things were really tight. I found some oatmeal in the pantry, and called up my mamma because I was remembering something about these yummy oatmeal patties. She told me the ingredients, and I realized I had everything I needed! They are all common ingredients that honestly probably EVERYONE has in their house at any time. So if YOU are on a tight budget this month, you may want to check these guys out!!

One of my favorite thing about these is how sneaky they are!!  They are satisfying, they look like a beef patty, and they have flavors of meat…oh, and there is protein from the eggs too!  So it really seriously feels like you are eating meat…but you aren’t!!  Now you all know me, I am ALL about eating meat, but it is often what quickly wracks up the grocery bill.  I asked my husband to guess what he was eating, and some of his answers were things like “sausage” and “stuffing.”  (Kudos to him for recognizing that I use the same seasoning in these patties as I do in my Buttermilk Cornbread Stuffing!!  His palate is so refined.  ;))  That was encouraging to me, because those are two very wonderful, comforting, satisfying things.  So if he thought he was eating sausage or stuffing, I must be doing pretty good.  Little did he know (until I told him of course) that he was eating oatmeal!  Muahahahaaaa.

So, are you curious??  Let me enlighten you to the mysteries of the universe……  Or, at least the mysteries of my mother’s cooking, haha!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 C Oats, Old Fashioned or Quick!
  • 2 Med Onions, Minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup, Divided (Or an equivalent alternative!  I can’t wait to experiment with canning my own!  On the list!)
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning (Or sage if you don’t have it)
  • 1 tsp Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
  • 2 Eggs
  • Milk, 5-6 oz

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Saute onions in butter or coconut oil until tender.
  3. Mix a few Tablespoons of the cream of mushroom soup with the rest of the ingredients (a little less than half the can.)  The idea here is to get JUST enough of the soup to hold everything together.  Too much makes it fall apart (I learned that the hard way!).
  4. Heat butter or coconut oil in the bottom of a pan.
  5. Drop mixture by rounded spoonfuls into the butter, and gently squish down into a patty shape (using a spatula or your fingers!).
  6. Saute until beginning to get beautifully golden brown, just about 2 minutes.  Gently flip and repeat on opposite side.
  7. Transfer patties to baking dish.
  8. Dilute remaining cream of mushroom soup with an equal amount of milk.  Whisk together till smooth.
  9. Smother patties with soup mixture and bake for about 30 minutes until hot and cooked down.

 

Now, to show you.  I wish these things turned out more pretty, but they have never been a pretty plate.  I mean…you have oatmeal and cream of mushroom soup, haha.  But they taste so amazing.  I know I have said it before, but the best way to describe these is “comforting.”  So take a chance!  And let me know how you like them.  🙂

 

Oatmeal Patties 1

Ingredients gathered!!

Oatmeal Patties 2

Saute your onions until tender.  I wanted mine almost caramelized so I kept cooking them until they just started to get golden edges.

Oatmeal Patties 3

Mix a couple Tablespoons of soup with the rest of the ingredients; just enough to bind everything.

Oatmeal Patties 4

Melt butter into pan.  Drop mixture by rounded spoonfuls into butter and gently press down into an even patty with your fingers (carefully!) or a spatula.

Oatmeal Patties 5

Saute a couple minutes until starting to get a lovely golden color, then carefully flip and repeat with opposite side.

Oatmeal Patties 7

Transfer patties to a 9X13 baking dish.

Oatmeal Patties 6

Dilute remaining soup with an equal amount of milk.  Whisk together until smooth.

Oatmeal Patties 8

Dump over patties and bake about 30 minutes, until heated through and soup has cooked down.  Yummmmy.

Oatmeal Patties 9

Enjoy!  And see if anyone in your family can guess what they are eating!!