Tag Archives: #paleo

Dinner on the Run

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If you would have asked me years ago how I felt about green peas, I probably would have made a gagging motion.  Especially the kind that come in a can and appear to be a funky green color from over-processing.  

But today I was able to find some fresh green peas while in St. Louis, and decided I wanted to do something for dinner.  I was in between obligations for my kids, and I needed to figure out what everyone was going to eat and when.  I also needed to clear out some vegetables in my refrigerator.  What better way to incorporate both than through a salad? 

Here is what I used to whip up this tasty, but really healthy “Dinner on the Run.”

For the salad:

  • 1 10 oz bag of fresh spring peas
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and halved
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.

For the dressing:

  • 2 heaping TBSP Primal Kitchen brand paleo mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste 

Wisk all ingredients together and pour over the vegetables.  Toss and then enjoy!  It gets better as it sits in the refrigerator.  So if you feel stretched for time, but want to make something healthy for yourself, always remember vegetables make a great salad.  If mayonnaise-based dressings are not your thing, then use a vinaigrette you love.  Whatever you do, make it your own.

Until next time,

Cheers! 

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“Mylking” it for all its Worth

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This morning I was recovering from a fun and festive Labor Day weekend, flipping through one of my newer cookbooks.  I wasn’t really looking for anything particular to cook or make, just wanted to relax for a few moments and enjoy the beautiful pictures of delicious-looking food.  The cookbook is called “Nourish:  The Fit Woman’s Cookbook” by Lorna Jane Clarkson.  Clarkson is an Australian native and has created a brand of women’s exercise clothing along with an inspiring health philosophy that involves empowering women to feel good from the inside out.  Her cookbook entwines the positive messages she shares with women, and men, all over the world.  You can check her out at MoveNourishBelieve.com, lornajane.com or look her up on Facebook and Instagram.  She has some great inspirational messages I like to save to my iPhone. Today I put my spiralizer away and pulled out my trusty Vitamix blender (these things are amazing, by the way).

Perhaps after the weekend of relaxing with heavier food than I normally eat and lots of yummy cocktails I was feeling “undernourished.”  I grabbed her book after pouring my coffee to see if anything stood out for me to try this week.  One thing I have wanted to do but have not taken the time to master is making my own nut milk.  And in Clarkson’s cookbook, there was a recipe for macadamia nut “mylk,” as she labels all non-dairy versions of the creamy liquid.  With that in mind, I put my spiralizer away (for a bit) and pulled out my trusty Vitamix blender (again, an amazing kitchen appliance).

Nut milk is all the rage now, especially as “clean eating” and dairy allergies have become more prominent for many people.  But sometimes they can be costly or have added ingredients for flavor and preservation (think sugar for the sweetened versions).  There is also coconut milk, but that has such a strong taste for the people in my house, including myself, I tend to stick to a nut milk in my own recipes.  For this particular recipe, all you will need is one cup of some sort of nut.  I decided to stick with macadamia nuts because I discovered last year that I have a sensitivity to almonds and cashews (my two favorites in the world).  But you could use any nut to make this particular recipe, such as almonds, cashews, and even pecans.

Take the macadamia nuts and soak them in three cups of distilled water at room temperature for three hours.  After they are finished soaking, pour everything into your blender and give it a whirl.  This is why I love my Vitamix because it takes mere seconds to completely pulverize anything.  I also added a touch of vanilla extract for a hint of flavor, but you could keep it simple and plain if vanilla isn’t your thing.  Clarkson suggested cinnamon and honey as other additives to make the milk a little tastier, I just haven’t tried these versions yet.

You will need a few glass jars because this recipe yielded about four cups.  The milk will keep for several days in your refrigerator.  You can add it to anything you would use regular cow’s milk in, especially smoothies, oatmeal and breakfast cereals.  If you are looking for another alternative to dairy, perhaps this homemade glass will be a good second fiddle to your normal routine.  My next attempt is to try and find a replacement for my beloved sour cream.   My research has turned up a couple of recipes using coconut cream, so I will let you know how that journey turns out!

Until next time, cheers!

 

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“Ringing” in Sweetness for Dinner

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Tonight I was able to bust out my spiralizer again and have some fun with a Paleo-friendly food: the sweet potato.  This beautiful gem of nature provides the body good doses of vitamins and minerals while gently impacting blood sugar levels (compared to regular potatoes).  It made for an easy meal to prepare and cook-my mom even enjoyed it and she is not a big veggie eater.  I wouldn’t call this dish a pasta in the typical sense because the sauce I made for it was free of tomatoes and garlic, stuff you normally find in your typical Italian fare.  It was a brown “butter” sauce because this usually goes well with sweet veggies like sweet potatoes and squash.  The “butter” comes from ghee to keep it dairy-free and Paleo.  Just a few simple ingredients: sweet potatoes, organic Italian chicken sausage, fresh sage, ghee, salt and pepper.  

To start, my daughter helped me peel three large sweet potatoes to get them ready for my attachment.  If you don’t have a spiralizer, no worries here.  Just use your vegetable peeler and make ribbons instead of rings!  Same taste, just a different shape.  After the potatoes were prepped and ready, I sliced four chicken sausages and sauteéd them in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Once the sausage  was browned I took it out of the skillet and set it aside.  I then scooped about two large tablespoons of ghee and cooked it in the skillet over medium heat for about four or five minutes, then I threw in the fresh sage leaves and let them cook until slightly browned on the edges.  Add a dash of sea salt and cracked black pepper and there is your sauce!

I had to pre-cook the potatoes in some boiling water to soften it up a bit.  If you make ribbons, just toss them in the skillet with your brown “butter” sauce.  I think the next time I make this dish I will use a different blade on my spiralizer. The potato could have been a tad thinner. But practice makes perfect and mistakes can be masterpieces!  

Once all my ingredients were ready I tossed them all together then served in bowls.  I broke away from the true paleo rules and added fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  Just omit if you are sensitive to dairy.  If you eat cheese from sheep you could throw in some grated Manchego.  For an extra boost of Omega 3’s you could also add some walnuts to your sauce (I think I will next time!). 

If you want a wine with this meal, I would stick with something light.  I am still enjoying my crisp white and rosé wines.  The heat outside steers me away from my beloved reds, so I always have some great whites on hand.  Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Grigios, Unoaked Chardonnays and any Rosé that is dry and full of summer fruit flavors (think anything from raspberries to watermelon).  These are no-brainier choices for me! And I usually stick within the $15 to $20 range so I don’t feel like I break the bank. So if you are trying to find some new ideas in the kitchen, try this spin on a healthy dish that will hopefully leave your tastebuds wanting more.  Sip, savor and enjoy!

Until next time, cheers!