Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Who needs dairy when you can have this?

It’s fall and time for comfort food…what better way to indulge than with a Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna.  I struggle with calling this dish “lasagna” since that dish traditionally defined as a baked dish containing layers of boiled lasagna noodles, and usually cheese, a seasoned sauce of tomatoes, and meat or vegetables…Well, we have a seasoned sauce of tomatoes and loads of meat and vegetables so I guess we are half-way there!  This recipe is pretty simple to throw together and can certainly be modified to include dairy by adding layers of ricotta and mozzarella (I’ve made it this way too and it is certainly delicious!).  Adapted from this recipe on Health-Bent.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or bison)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c red pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 24 oz jar tomato sauce
  • couple leaves of fresh basil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 small butternut squash

Directions

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Scrape out the seeds. Slice the squash into planks.  Roast the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet until tender, about 25 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, in a saute pan heat the oil and saute the onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic.  Add the ground meat and Italian seasoning and continue to saute until the meat is browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add a layer of squash planks and top with a layer of baby spinach, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up (I usually get three layers)…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna, sprinkle the fresh basil over the top layer of sauce.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Look for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.  Serves 6 generously.

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Fridays

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops with Squash Chips

This is a super simple recipe (adapted from here) that can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer.  When you are ready to eat just pull them out and pop them on the grill, voila…dinner!  I used to make these all the time using a store-bought teriyaki sauce but once I cut sugar and soy from my diet that wasn’t really an option.  I finally found a great recipe for a homemade teriyaki sauce (adapted from here) that I substituted pineapple juice for the sugar and coconut aminos for the soy sauce…I have to say, it came out great!  So, these will definitely be back on our menu rotation!

Grilled Pineapple-Pepper Pork Chops

 1 boneless pork chop per person

1 slice red onion per person

1 bell pepper ring per person

1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks per person

1 1/2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce per person (recipe follows)

1 Tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil per person

salt and pepper

For each serving, lay a pork chop on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Top each chop with onion, pepper and pineapple chunks.

Drizzle with the pineapple-pepper teriyaki sauce and top with butter, ghee or coconut oil.

Wrap tightly in the foil, rolling ends to completely seal the package.

At this point you can freeze or refrigerate the packets.

When ready to eat, place the packets directly on a preheated grill for 15-20 minutes.  Check to see if the pork chop is cooked through; re-wrap and cook a little longer, if necessary.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pineapple-Pepper Teriyaki Sauce

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (reserved from can of chunks)

2 1/2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (balsamic would be nice as well!)

2 Tbsp. coconut aminos

2 tsp. arrowroot

2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

In a small saucepan, combine jalapeno, pineapple juice, water, vinegar, coconut aminos and arrowroot.  Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in ginger.

This recipe is shared at:

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Made From Scratch Mondays

Real Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

There have been a ton of Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie recipes making an appearance in the Paleo blogosphere lately.  They all look so tasty and like a wonderful, warm comforting food…today it was snowing in Colorado so I thought it would be the perfect day to try to make one.  Elana’s Pantry posted this recipe for Paleo Shepherd’s Pie recently using cauliflower mash for the topping and a few months back Jan’s Sushi Bar posted this Sweet and Spicy Cottage Pie using mashed vanilla sweet potatoes on top.  Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Cookbook has a fabulous recipe with many variations for Shepherd’s Pie using the traditional ground lamb as well as recipe on her blog for Cottage-Flower Pie.  My version pulls things from all three recipes and I will have to say it was FABULOUS!  This was the first Cottage Pie I have ever made and it sure will not be my last!  I was pleased with the photos of the Cottage Pie before it went in the oven and with the ones of it dished out in my bowl…the one of the final product after it was baked is not the best simply because I think I used too small of a casserole dish so the filling bubbled up over the sides of the cauliflower mash (and made a huge mess in the oven!)…now in my defense, I’ve never made this dish before so this could very well be a normal occurrence!  I am calling this “Spicy” simply because it is just that, SPICY…I like it that way but if you prefer a milder flavor I would omit half of the black pepper and all of the red pepper flakes.

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie (Serves 4)

1/2 pound nitrate/nitrite free bacon, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound ground organic grass-fed beef

2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

2 cups chopped kale, stems removed

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 recipe Mashed Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large skillet heat butter or oil over medium-high heat, saute onion until soft.  Add chopped bacon to the pan and saute until cooked, add carrots, celery and garlic and saute in the bacon fat until soft.  Add the ground beef to the pan with the bacon and vegetables and saute until browned.  Season the meat and vegetable mixture with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika.  Stir in the tomato sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.  Add the chopped kale and cook until the greens are wilted.  Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a casserole dish (the one I used was a 1.7L Pyrex…I’d go a bit bigger!).  Carefully spread the cauliflower mash (recipe follows) evenly over the top of the meat mixture.  Using the tines of a fork, lightly create some texture on top – the peaks and valleys make nice brown spots in the oven.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the top begins to brown (I would have browned mine more but it was splattering all over the oven!).  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. heavy cream or coconut milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Place ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Meat and Vegetable Mixture

Topped with Cauliflower Mash

The not-so-pretty finished product

Looks aren't everything...it tasted GREAT!

Green Chile Chicken Fajita Frittata

A Frittata by definition is an egg based dish similar to an omelette or Quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables and pastas.  It may also be flavored with herbs.  Unlike an omelette, which is traditionally made to order for one, a frittata can be made in a larger pan, sliced and served family style.  Frittatas are extremely versatile, they are classically made for breakfast or brunch but are also great for a light supper.  I like my frittatas hot, however they are great at room temperature or even cold out of the refrigerator.  The possibilities are endless for ingredients and flavors…

Green Chile Chicken Frittata with Avocado Slices

Green Chile Chicken Fajita Frittata (serves 2 generously)

4 eggs

1 Tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

pinch of black pepper

1 – 4 oz can green chiles

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

4 medium mushrooms, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 ounces cooked chicken (breast, thigh or rotisserie)

Butter, coconut oil or lard

Sliced avocado, salsa and chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat broiler.  Whisk eggs, water, chili powder, salt, pepper and green chiles in a medium bowl until frothy and set aside.  In a 10″ oven safe skillet melt fat over medium heat, add onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic, cook until vegetables are soft.  Add chicken and stir to combine with vegetables.  Lower heat to medium-low.  Pour egg mixture evenly over chicken and vegetables.  Cook the frittata slowly until the eggs are set almost all the way through.  Shake the pan occasionally during cooking to ensure the frittata isn’t sticking to the bottom.  Place the pan under the broiler for 3 – 5 minutes to set the top of the frittata completely.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.  Garnish with avocado, salsa and chopped cilantro.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Make Ahead Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Spicy Turnip Fries & Fresh Pickle Relish

Spicy Turnip Fries

Turnips are root vegetables that are similar in texture to a white potato so they are a great substitution in most recipes calling for a starchy white potato.  A white-fleshed turnip has a white skin with a purple-tinged top.  A rutabaga, which is sometimes called a yellow-turnip is actually a relative of the turnip with similar taste and texture to the white fleshed ones.  Small, young turnips have a delicate, slightly sweet taste.  Fresh turnips are available year-round, with the peak season from October through March.

This recipe is an oldie but goodie…it’s a great accompaniment to any roasted or grilled meat, especially burgers or Italian sausage (pictured above).  I love the spiciness of chili powder but you could use any spice you like or even just salt and pepper.

Spicy Turnip Fries (serves 2)

2 turnips (about 1 pound), peeled

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Slice the peeled turnips into strips (like french fries).
  • Toss sliced turnips with coconut oil, chili powder and salt.
  • Place turnips on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until evenly browned.
  • Serve hot from the oven.

Fresh Pickle Relish

This recipe is a fresh and healthy alternative to store-bought pickle relish which is usually loaded with sugar and preservatives.  You can adapt it to be a dill pickle relish or add a touch of stevia for a sweet pickle relish…both are super tasty!

Fresh Pickle Relish (serves 2, generously)

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (red, green or yellow or combination)

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle (I use Bubbies)

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

10 drops liquid stevia (optional for a sweet pickle relish)

In a small bowl, combine chopped pepper, tomato, onion, pickle, vinegar and salt and mix well.  Set aside for at least 20 minutes to let flavors combine.  Enjoy on grilled brats and burgers!

This recipe is shared at:

Wellness Weekend , Fight Back Friday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin & Oven-Roasted Green Beans

I rarely eat out…which means I cook A LOT!  Don’t get me wrong, I love it but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to create a new recipe so I head to the internet for inspiration…these recipes are inspired by two great chefs from the Food Network, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse.  Both original recipes can be viewed at http://www.foodnetwork.com by clicking on the recipe title, I only tweaked the measurements slightly and of course added some bacon!  This was essentially a one pan and one baking sheet meal, easy prep and quick clean-up!

Herb-Marinated Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee, butter or lard

Directions

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloin and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoons coconut oil (or your fat of choice) in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloin for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloin to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it’s just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

Oven-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 3 slices sugar/nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat fry bacon until crisp, remove to paper towels to drain, once cool crumble and set aside.  Reserve bacon grease by straining into a bowl and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl combine green beans, shallots, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease.  Add salt and pepper and toss, making sure all the vegetables are coated evenly with the bacon grease and spices.  Spread onto the prepared baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 18 – 22 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.  The green beans will be slightly caramelized and wrinkly when done, some will be crispy.  Serve warm and topped with the reserved crumbled bacon.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Make Ahead Monday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,

Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday

Whole 30, Egg Foo Young and a MUST HAVE Paleo Cookbook!

Yep, January 2, 2012 marks the start of my second Whole 30 Program!

I finished my first Whole 30 Program on November 2, 2011 and am happy to report that I’ve pretty much stayed on program with the exception of a few Paleo friendly desserts on Christmas and New Year’s and a little bit of heavy cream in my coffee on occasion.  I had originally started the Whole 30 to see if eliminating dairy from my diet would help with some of my digestive issues that were still present despite my gluten, grain, legume and refined-sugar free lifestyle.  At the 30 day mark and the end of the program I still was not convinced that dairy was the problem so I stayed on program for an additional 30 days…after that I only added back a tablespoon or two of heavy cream on occasion and truthfully I haven’t noticed any change either way.

So, why another Whole 30?

The most important reason…I feel great.  But, I do believe there is always room for improvement.  My first time around all I focused on was just the elimination of dairy, stevia and dark chocolate as there wasn’t much more that I was eating that wasn’t on the approved list.  I still ate quite a bit of fruit and probably too many nuts, acceptable but most likely not always the most beneficial.  This time around I plan on fine tuning and being more mindful of the choices I make…not just eating something because it’s “approved”.  As always…I’ll keep you posted!

Now, the important stuff…

Here is what I had for dinner tonight:

Egg Foo Young from Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed Cookbook

If you’ve been in the Paleo world for any amount of time you’ve probably heard of Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan and have most likely visited her blog The Clothes Make the Girl.  She now has a cookbook, Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.  This cookbook is a must-have for anyone following the Paleo diet and an awesome resource for EVERYONE on the Whole 30 Program as all the recipes (except one) have been Whole 30 approved by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig!  Well Fed features over 100 original recipes with tons of variations listed with each…this cookbook could keep you busy all year with all of the options!  So, head over to Mel’s blog and take a look around (if you haven’t already), the site is full of resources and fun, informative posts and oh my…the recipes you’ll find there are just a teaser for what you’ll find in the cookbook!  As a bonus you can download a 30 page sample of Well Fed on this page.  Enjoy!

Proscuitto and Spinach Egg Cups

Prosciutto and Spinach Egg Cups

Prosciutto egg cups are an easy grab and go breakfast idea or a lovely main dish served alongside a green salad for a light lunch.  They are easily adaptable to your family’s preferences for veggies and you can certainly add cheese to the mix if you include dairy in your diet.  I like to bake up a batch of these and freeze them for travel…they give me plenty of protein when I’m on the go and I can even enjoy them at room temperature when I’m on the airplane.

Now, you will notice that this recipe uses a combination of whole eggs and egg whites (gasp!)…please don’t misunderstand me here…I LOVE whole eggs and wholeheartedly believe in eating egg yolks but sometimes I like a little bit of a lighter egg dish and I find that this combination works well for me.  If you prefer to use whole eggs for the entire recipe…go for it…or you can always save the egg yolks and make some Caramelized Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream!!

Prosciutto and Spinach Egg Cups

Serves 4 (2 egg cups each)

4 eggs

1 cup egg whites

12 slices prosciutto, cut in half

1/2 onion, chopped

8 medium mushrooms, chopped

8 ounces baby spinach

salt and pepper to taste

oil or butter for sauteing veggies and greasing ramekins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of eight ramekins.  Line each ramekin with prosciutto (mine took 1.5 pieces to completely cover each one) and set aside.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper until frothy, set aside.

In a large skillet, heat butter or oil and saute onions and mushrooms until tender.  Add the spinach and stir until just wilted making sure the veggies are all mixed together. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper, if desired.  Divide the veggie mixture evenly  into the ramekins and press down so that they are tightly pressed in the ramekin.  Divide whisked eggs evenly into the ramekins (I found that each one holds about 6 Tbsp of egg mixture).  Place all of the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Pop the egg cups out of the ramekin and enjoy!

Recipe Variations:

  • onion, broccoli and red pepper
  • asparagus, garlic and shallots
  • zucchini, purple onion and tomato
  • 4 ounces Gruyère or Swiss cheese added to the egg mixture
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian or Adobo seasoning added to the whisked eggs

This recipe is shared at:

Make Ahead Monday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 938 other followers

%d bloggers like this: