Friday, October 30, 2015

Pesto Chicken and Zucchini "Noodles"

Sorry I have been behind on my new posts! Work has been so busy my meal plans have consisted of older recipes and things that are easy and fast. I spent this past weekend in Florida with Matt. We were only gone Friday to Sunday, but it was great to see the mall he was leading the construction of and spend some time relaxing on the beach! As always, being that I CrossFit, I had to head out to the sandbar and take my cliche "this is me doing a handstand everywhere I go" picture. :) I also spent some time trying to walk on my hands in the sand and that proved to be difficult with my hands sinking and wind and water moving me. But I couldn't have asked for a better weekend... this week was back to reality with the sink in my kitchen clogging and cooking becoming difficult!!

 This dish is easy, but you use the oven and the stove which in my busy life, is something I don't love doing... something about too many dishes :) But either way, it is healthy and delcious and a great way to use the pesto I made and froze from the basil in (*ahem) my.... I mean Matt's.... garden! 

Pesto Chicken and Zucchini "Noodles"

(Printable Version)

- 5-6 Zucchinis
- 3 Boneless, Skinless Breasts of Chicken
- 4 Cups Loosely Packed Basil
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil+
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (I have used walnuts before too)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Raw Parmesan (if you aren't paleo or Whole30)

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees

1. Place the chicken in a baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Not the amounts listed for the basil!) Bake 35-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Juices will run clear when they are done. 
2. While the chicken is cooking.... Use a spiralizer, or a vegetable peeler, and "zoodle" or peel all of the zucchini into thin slices. In a large skillet, saute the zucchini in olive oil just a few minutes... I like to keep mine with a lot of bite still. (** I have used gluten free pasta for this and add the zoodles to the boiling water for the last minute of cooking... so my dish included both zucchini and noodles. :) 
3. In a food processor combine the remaining ingredients. Pulse until until you reach your desired consistency... add more olive oil or water if necessary. 
4. Combine everything in a large bowl and toss together... I put a little more pesto over my chicken!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meal Prep- Week 4- Tuna Cakes, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Crockpot Fall Stew

This weekend I picked the last bit of vegetables from the garden before the plants were pulled... such a sad sign of summer being 

Ok, food this week! Prep time this week was around 3 hours... mainly because things had to cook, simmer and cool in order to move on and there was a decent amount of chopping. 

 Crockpot Fall Stew

The colors look like Fall and walking into a house with this cooking is like heaven.

- 2 lbs Stew Beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 Cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1 1/2 Cups Beef Stock
- 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 6-8 Golden Potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 Carrots, peeled and diced into large pieces
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce *(optional as it is usually not Paleo)

1. Place the beef at the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle with the flour and toss.
2. Place the veggies on top and pour/sprinkle the rest of the ingredients. No need to mix.
3. Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Two different "noodles" were used... my boyfriend, Matt, wanted gluten-free noodles and I used roasted spaghetti squash because it is seasonal. Either way it is delicious!


- 1 lb Sausage, casings removed, or loose
- 1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 28 oz Can Tomato Sauce
- 10 oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

1. Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent- about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sausage and cook through- break it up as much as possible as you go.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer about an hour. Taste for seasoning.

Meatballs- makes 36 meatballs

- 1 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs * Optional
- Salt and Pepper

1. Mix everything in a large bowl. Using your hands, roll the balls (I made mine about the size of a golf ball)
2. In a large skillet, heat to medium high heat and drizzle in some oil. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning only a few times to get nice browning on the outside.

Tuna Cakes

(Makes 32 Cakes)
This recipe was inspired by a Nom-Nom Paleo recipe. Here is the original post. I have used canned salmon and that works well too! I changed up a few things in the recipe based on what I had this week. This one is always a favorite and don't forget the spicy mayo! I also roasted broccoli and cooked rice to make this a more filling meal.  

- 6 7-oz cans of Tuna, drained
- 4 Large Sweet Potatoes, baked
- 3 Green Onions
- 3 Tbsp Lime or Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
- 2 Jalapenos, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 8 Eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Mix everything REALLY well in a large bowl. Press into muffin greased or non-stick muffin pans. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Spicy Mayo

- 2/3 Cup Avocado Oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Cup + Frank's Red Hot

1. Using an immersion blender or your really strong arm and a whisk, blend all the ingredients except the hot sauce... once you have a pale color and it has thickened a bit, add the hot sauce and blend again. For extra heat I add a dash of cayenne. Store this in the fridge, it will thicken more but be so good served over warm tuna cakes. 

Ingredient List

____ 2 lbs Stew Beef
____1 lb Sausage, casings removed, or loose
____1 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
____6 7-oz cans of Tuna
____1/3 Cup Arrowroot Powder
____1 1/2 Cups Beef Stock
____ 1 Butternut Squash
____ 4 Large Sweet Potatoes
____ 6-8 Golden Potatoes
____ 4 Carrots
____ 3 Green Onions
____ 11/2 Sweet Onion
____ 4 Cloves Garlic
____ 2 Jalapenos
____ Paprika
____ Black Pepper
____ Garlic Powder
____ Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
____ 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce *(optional as it is usually not Paleo)
____ 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
____ 28 oz Can Tomato Sauce* (watch for added sugar!)
____ 10 oz Can Tomato Paste
____ 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
____ 10 Eggs
____ Gluten Free Bread Crumbs * Optional
____ 3 Tbsp Lime or Lemon Juice
____ 1/4 Cup Butter, melted

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Meal Prep- Week 3- Hawaiian Chili, Chicken Stir-fry, Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

This week I did one crockpot recipe, one on the stove, and one that could be done completely on the grill or stove. For sides I made rice for the short ribs and chicken stir-fry. I also roasted some broccoli to eat with the short ribs. 

Hawaiian Chili

If you have not had pineapple in chili and like pineapple on things like pizza you should definitely try it! Three different meats make this even better and I added a can of rinsed and drained kidney beans and an extra can of 15oz of tomato sauce also even though the beans are paleo.... stretches the dish a bit more and adds a bit of fiber. Charlie is a fan of this dish :)
See the original post here...Hawaiian Chili 

- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 pound Bacon, chopped in 1/2" pieces
- 1 pound Stew Beef, cubed in bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound Grass-Fed Ground Beef
- 1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 2 Serrano Peppers, seeded (optional) and finely chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 20-oz Can Diced Pineapple, in juice
- 1 29-oz Can Tomato Sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large dutch-over or pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and steak. Cook the steak until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. (it does not need to be cooked through)
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the bacon. When the bacon fat starts rendering add the peppers, onion, garlic and a little salt. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add the ground beef and brown, breaking it up as much as possible. If there is a lot of fat in the pan at this point I would drain it. My beef was lean so I didn't. Add the spices. 

4. After the spices are fragrant, add the pineapple (with juice), the browned stew beef and can of tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about an hour. Taste for salt. The chili will become darker as it cooks! 

Chicken Stir-Fry

I always cook my chicken ahead of time, usually on the grill. It just makes this faster and I can multitask with doing the vegetables while it is cooking.

- 3-4 lbs of Chicken Breast
- 2 Bell Peppers, diced
- 3-4 Broccoli Crowns, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 Big Handfuls Green Beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 8-oz Container Button Mushrooms
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, Chopped
- 2-3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
For the sauce I either just use a bit of coconut aminos and sriracha or a mix of those two plus rice vinegar and a bit of peanut butter. :)

Saute the vegetables in a large skillet or wok over medium high or high heat until they they softened. Add the sauce ingredients and stir. Add the chicken and toss again. 

Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

These were my favorite this week! I made rice and roasted broccoli to go with them. So tender and flavorful. I bought them at Costco so they weren't bone-in or grassfed but sometimes a girl is on a budget and she needs a break. 
See the original post here... Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

- 3-4 lbs Short Ribs (bone-in is best, but without is fine too)
- 6 Dried Pitted Dates
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Aminos (or gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
- 3 Green Onions (scallions)
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 3 tsp Fresh Ginger, grated
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (less if you want less heat)
- 1/2 Lime, juiced (about 1+ Tbsp)

1. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, turn and do this one more time until browned. You could also do this in a pan.

2. While you are browning the beef... In a high-powered blender, combine everything but the ribs. Blend until smooth. 
3. Place the beef in a slow cooker and pour the sauce over the top. Cook on low 9-10 hours. Remove the beef.
Let the sauce settle and skim off the fat. You can thicken it in a sauce pan with a little water and arrow root powder slurry, or just add a cup+ over top of the meat when you serve or store.

Ingredient List

____ 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
____ 1 pound Bacon
____ 1 pound Stew Beef
____ 1 pound Grass-Fed Ground Beef
____ 3-4 lbs Short Ribs (bone-in is best, but without is fine too)
____ 3-4 lbs of Chicken Breast
____ 2 Sweet Onions
____ 3 Bell Peppers
____  2 Serrano Peppers
____ 6 Garlic cloves, minced
____ 1 20-oz Can Diced Pineapple, in juice
____ 1 29-oz Can Tomato Sauce
____ 3-4 Broccoli Crowns
____ 3 Big Handfuls Green Beans
____ 1 8-oz Container Button Mushrooms
____ 2-3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
____  6 Dried Pitted Dates
____ 1/4 Cup Coconut Aminos (or gluten free soy sauce)
____ 2 tsp Fish Sauce
____ 2 tsp Sesame Oil
____ 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
____ 3 Green Onions (scallions)
____ 3 tsp Fresh Ginger
____ 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
____  1 tsp Smoked Paprika
____ 2 tsp Ground Cumin
____ 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (less if you want less heat)
____ 1/2 Lime, juiced (about 1+ Tbsp)
____ Rice
____ Extra Broccoli 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

This past week I did something I had never done and never thought I would be able to do... 50 Burpee Ring Muscle Ups... although my time wasn't fantastic, I know have a benchmark time for the future, know I can do it, and had no misses... woohoo! My hands also took a big hit when I started using a "false-grip" at rep 30... rips. Ouch. But at least I can still squat! Even when I am having a bad day, bad workout, whatever... my "C" tattoo reminds me of my only sunshine Charlie-girl when I grab that bar to do another set or try again- everyone has their motivation :)

Well of all the things i have made this has been a huge hit with Charlie-girl. First of all she likes to help me make the oats and shake the jar... 

then adding some extra strawberries and serving it cold has been her dinner three days in a row. 

Kid is in oatmeal heaven even if she won't smile for the picture. 

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

(Printable Version)

- 1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats- NOT Quick Cooking (I am trying this with steel-cut, stay tuned)
- 1/2 Milk of your choice
- 1 tsp Chia Seeds
- 1/2 Ripe Banana, mashed
- 4 Strawberries, cut in small pieces
- Drizzle of Honey (optional)

1. Mash the banana in a jar or seal-able container, add the strawberries. 

2. Add the oats, chia seeds, milk, and honey (optional to add). 

3. Seal the jar and shake it (the picture below is it shaken without sitting yet)... let it sit in the fridge overnight. I eat mine cold but you could easily warm it up... and topping it with almonds would be tasty too! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Beef Stew

Fall is here! In Michigan we do Fall things like go to cider mills like we have never consumed fermented apple juice and donuts in our lives.... 
and tailgate in the freezing cold for our favorite teams...

it also means stews, soups and chili's are making their appearance in my kitchen. The idea for this recipe came from Cooking Light Magazine, I adapted it to make it paleo/Whole30 and with ingredients I had. To serve it, I made mashed sweet potatoes... my sister used Udi (gluten free) bread. 
- 2 lbs Stew Beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divide
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Large Tomato (or two plum), chopped and seeded 
- 2 cups Lower-sodium Beef Broth
- 1/2 cup water + 1/4 Cup 
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (8-ounce) White Button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped

1. In a dutch oven, or large pot, over medium high heat a small amount of oil. Add the beef and brown on all sides. It does not need to be cooked through. Remove the beef.
2. Add a splash of beef stock and scrap the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetables and saute a few minutes until softened. Add the seasoning, the rest of the stock and the beef back in. Bring to a boil.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup of water together. Add this slurry to the pot and stir....the stew will thicken. If it is too thick add a bit more broth. Simmer for 1 hour covered. Remove the lid, stir, and simmer another hour uncovered.