Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I have been in the mood for simple vegetable dishes at night. This one hit the spot. Two nights in a row.

Short and Sweet ;)

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Serving of Clean Pesto  (I used the hazelnut variation)
~ 10 raisins

Method:

About an hour ahead of time, prepare the pesto and refrigerate (to allow the flavors to soak together). 

For the Squash, cut several slits (about a centimeter each) all around the squash and bake in a casserole dish at 325 degrees for 30 minutes - turn over and bake for about another 30 minutes. Carefully cut in half (longways) the squash as it will be hot.

Toss the spaghetti squash around with the pesto and top with the raisins.



This will serve 1-3 people (in which case you may want more raisins!)

Enjoy ;)

Sweet Guacamole Salsa

I lovvvvved this salad. Perfectly fresh, light and clean.

Mmm.




Sweet Guacamole Salsa

1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cucumber (or 1/2 cup), diced
1 white peach, mashed
1 tsp chopped onion of your choice (I used yellow)
3 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, give it a healthy stir and that's about it!

Simple and simply delicious.

Enjoy ;)

Bean-free Hummus

I am, in fact, pretty amazed with this hummus. No beans and super delicious. Not only that, it tastes like hummus.

Yeah.

I so wish that I came up with this recipe but I did not. I discovered this one on Damy Health.

Bean-free Hummus:

4 garlic cloves
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt








Method:

Add the garlic, zucchini and tahini in your food processor and pulse. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until the consistency is smooth and looks like that of hummus.

This was so good. I'm pretty sure you could fool average hummus-eater ;)  Spread atop some veggies, on some primal bread or just eat it plain. Awesome.

This will keep in your fridge for about 72 hours. 

Enjoy ;)

Variation 

1 garlic clove
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt

This variation was quite lovely. If you are sensitive to garlic then I would recommend this recipe.

Summer (Cold) Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of those dishes that I tend to forget about. Why I wonder? It's so wonderfully delicious and full of nutrient dense loveliness. Maybe it's just so that when I do remember, I'm wowed with the awesomeness of the flavors.

Well anyway, I just so happened to have all of these ingredients and with my new love for cold potatoes, especially in the heat of the summer, ratatouille seemed to like the perfect dish.



Summer (Cold) Ratatouille

1/2 lbs red fingerling potatoes
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow summer squash, chopped
2 scallions, diced
1 eggplant
1 tbls capers
Dash of thyme
Pinch of rosemary

Method:

Hours or the day before:

  • Boil the potatoes, allow to cool and place in the refrigerator
  • In a large skillet with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, cook up the zucchini, squash and onions. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator
  • Bake the eggplant (slice in half lengthwise, score the flesh, drizzle olive oil on and back flesh side down at 400 degrees for about 20 min and face-up for about 10 minutes). Chop into pieces. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator

Once all the items have been chilled:

Chop up the potatoes (skin on or off, I leave mine on), add to the zucchini, squash and onions and then add in the eggplant. Next, add in the capers and seasoning. Give it a healthy stir and place back into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Serves ~4




Ratatouille can be prepared either hot or cold. I loved this method. Simply delicious.

Enjoy ;)

German Potato Salad

I LOVE potato salad. Cold potato salad. And entering the summer months, I've had a hankering for such a salad. Especially German. With bacon.

I talked a little bit about potatoes in a previous post and the primal vs not primal debate, though one interesting thing that I wanted to point out is that according to recent studies, boiled red potatoes eaten cold had a score (glycemic) of 56, but boiled red potatoes eaten hot had a score of 89. Hmm... interesting. Cold potato salad anyone? (You can read more about the glycemic levels of potatoes here).

I would consider this recipe primal, you let me know what you think. It has a bit more ingredients than I  prefer but I was still pleasantly surprised with the turn-out.



German Potato Salad:

1 lb red fingerling potatoes (boil the night before and refrigerate)
6 slices of bacon (natural, nitrate and antibiotic free) - reserve 2 tbls of grease
2 tbls bacon grease
2 scrapes of fresh chive (thinly chopped)
1/4 tsp fresh dill (very thinly chopped)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Dash of ground pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
2 tbls coconut yogurt (I used vanilla but you could use plain)
1 tbls organic yellow mustard 
2 tbls potato starch 
1 tbls lemon juice


Method:

The night or at least six hours ahead of time, boil the potatoes, strain and place in the refrigerator.  Cut the potatoes into small cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Cook the bacon until crisp and set aside on some paper towel, reserving some of the grease.

In a small bowl, mix together the chives, dill, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Pour over the potatoes and give it a stir. Add in the salt, ground pepper, potato starch, mustard and coconut yogurt, mixing well. Break the bacon into small pieces and add the bacon and two tablespoons of bacon grease into the salad. Give it a healthy stir and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Pair with anything your heart desires - for breakfast, lunch or dinner ;)

German Potato Salad paired w/ Baked Cod, Butter Lettuce &Capers
Serves ~ 3-4 people. 


Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Baked Lemon & Thyme Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Lemon & Thyme Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

Baking chicken is so easy and I find one of the best ways to prepare chicken so that it's juicy. I've been in the mood for just throwing stuff in the oven and having a nice meal done within the hour.

And... I LOVE sweet potatoes. Absolutely adore them. And really, who doesn't like fries?

Baked Lemon & Thyme Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

For the chicken:

2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Dash of garlic salt
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of ground thyme
Dash of paprika
Splash of lemon juice

Method:

In a glass baking/pie dish, slather the chicken breasts with the olive oil and add the seasonings and lemon juice. Toss over a few times so that all the flavors are combined. Cover the dish and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (I did about 9 hours).

When you remove from the fridge, splash some more lemon juice on them and flip over. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, flip over and bake another 7 minutes. They should be done at that point, but check the inside just to be sure, bake time can vary by thickness.


Sweet Potato Fries


2 medium-large sweet potatoes
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
Dash of garlic salt
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of thyme
Dash of chili powder
Dash of cumin

Method:

Slice the sweet potatoes into the size of fries that you prefer, I suggest smaller the better. Toss around in a large mixing bowl with all of the ingreidients. Lay on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (so you can do this prior to the chicken) on the upper rack of the oven. At 20 minutes, flip the fries over, turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake another 27 minutes (you can do this while the chicken is baking on a lower a rack). At about 14 minutes in, you can flip the fries again.

We also had a small side salad with spinach, pear, shredded carrots and almond cream cheese. I put chives in the almond cream cheese time which turned out great.



I am not big on condiments but I did have a dab honey truffle oil mustard (from a local Farmer's Market) with the fries and chicken and it was lovely!

Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Baked Cod & Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus

Yum...




I always forget how naturally buttery, soft and indulging cod is. Come to think of it, I have no idea why I don't have it more often. It truly is amazing and so easy to prepare. I mean ridiculously easy.

 I'm still learning when it comes to fish pairings but asparagus sounded good, so that is what we did.

Baked Cod & Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus:

For the cod:

1 large fillet of cod, about a pound (I had Alaskan Cod)
1 1/2 tbls extra virgin olive oil 
Dash of paprika
Heavy dash of garlic salt
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of basil (I used dried but you can use fresh)
1 tbls lemon juice

Method:

Lather the fillet with the olive oil, lie down in a glass baking dish skin-side down and throw the rest of the ingredients on top, finishing with the lemon juice. Marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus:

(While the cod is baking)

1 bushel of asparagus
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Dash of garlic salt
Dash of ground pepper 
3-6 slices of prosciutto
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbls yellow onion, diced
1-2 tbl brown raisins
 


Method:

Heat on low-medium one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sized pan and then add in the asparagus (I chop about 1/4 of the stems off). Cover the asparagus. Meanwhile, dice the onion and mince the garlic, add in with the asparagus (give the asparagus a stir) and seasoning, place the cover back. After a few minutes, give everything a stir and then wrap individual pieces of asparagus with however many slices of prosciutto you'd like. I had three, so I used three :). Turn the heat down to low and place the raisins in, cover. Wait another few minutes and then flip then toss everything around once more, by that time, the cod should be done.



Viola.



This was so very simple and simply divine.

Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Burgers, Grain-free Bread and Sweet Potato Fries

Sometimes you just gotta' have a burger and fries. Mmm.

Plain and simple
I have a similar burger recipe on this site (located here) but this time I decided to have a bread with it. I must say it was a pretty dang good meal. Oh and I will also say: burgers are just better on a grill. Period. Last time we made them we didn't have access to a grill - um yeah there is just something to be said about a good ole' fashion flame cooking your meat ;) 

Burgers, Grain-free Bread and Sweet Potato Fries

For the sweet potatoe fries:

1 very large sweet potato or 2 medium sized

Method: 

Cut into wedges, lay on a baking sheet, coat very lightly and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, flip the fries over and bake about another 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to about 180 degrees, brush lightly with a small amount of coconut oil and place back into the oven about another fifteen minutes.

When the rest of the meal is just about done, toss the sweet potatoes in white truffle oil (very small amount - about 1/8 tsp) and place back into the oven to stay warm.

For the bread

Bake the Primal Herb Bread about 1.5 hrs prior to your meal so that is cooled a bit before your slice (can do this at the same time as the sweet potato fries)

For the burgers:

1 lbs ground beef
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of sea salt
Dash of cumin
Dash or oregano 
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp something sweet, I used a but of cranberry chutney

Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly and form the patties, I made three. Grill to your liking. 

Mushrooms, shallots & spinach

2 cups mushrooms of your choice (chopped)
3 shallots, diced
3 handfuls spinach
1/3 cup water
Dash of ground pepper
Pinch of garlic
Pinch of  Greek seasoning


Method:

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size pan on low-medium, begin to saute the mushrooms and add in all of the seasoning. Once they start to cook, add in the shallots and water. Cover for about five minutes. Give it a stir, drain the majority of the water (keep about a tablespoon in) and add in the spinach. Give it a stir and cover.

 
Dijon Mustard with the bread

Well, there ya' have it folks.

Enjoy ;)



Bacon Wrapped Dates (aka Paleo Candy)

Good luck trying to eat just one of these. As my sister said, "these are like paleo candy." I couldn't agree more. 

Want an easy dish to serve as an appetizer or party item (like Easter Brunch)? These will go pretty quickly...

Bacon Wrapped Dates:

20 Madjool dates (pit in)
1 package of bacon (antibiotic and nitrate free)



Method:

Cut the bacon strips in half for smaller slices. Wrap one slice of bacon around each date and place on an un-greased baking sheet. Be sure to set the seam side down so that they don't come apart. Cook at 350 degrees for about 25-35 minutes depending on the thickness of the bacon.




Yeah...


Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Easter Brunch 2012

What was on the menu for Easter brunch you ask?

Well, all items below are gluten, soy, dairy and yeast free and most are paleo friendly (chocolate chip cookies and tapioca pudding are cheats or... paleoish). I didn't 'obtain' recipes for all or capture photos for everything but I'll do my best...

Gorgeous Sunny Colorado Day


Easter Brunch


Ham with a honey glaze (Compliments of mom)
Brunch Time ;)

Deviled Eggs (cutest deviled eggs ever!!! Compliments of my step-mom)


Bacon wrapped dates

Beet Salad (Compliments of my mom)

Cucumber and radish salad with a 'special' vinaigrette (Compliments of my sister)


                  

                         We had fun... ;)

Delicious fruit  (pineapple, watermelon, plums)
Chocolate chip cookies  (compliments of my sister)
We had quite the spread...

Coconut macaroons
Sister's hubby. A man's gotta have his beer ;)

Tapioca pudding
Paleo Carrot Cake 


How grateful I feel to have such amazing people in my life that not only support me in my way of eating, but have fun in doing so. My sister is also dairy & gluten free and my mother doesn't eat a lot of gluten either but has a nut allergy. Put us all in a room to make an Easter Brunch and instead of a hot mess (although we did create a lot of dishes), we take it as an enjoyable challenge and embrace all the things that we can eat. It was the best brunch spread that I have seen. And my body thanked me for it.

Thank you lovely family ;)

Traditional Deviled Eggs

I think I could eat twelve deviled eggs and not be full (though I think I'm better off not trying). For some reason these suckers have always been one of my favorites.

This is a downsized recipe- so use your judgement in increasing the ingredients if you use more eggs.

*Note, the boil time for eggs is the same regardless of amount of eggs.

Traditional Deviled Eggs:

2 eggs
2 tbls mayonaise (preferably olive oil based)
1 tsp  mustard  (organic)
Tiny dash of garlic sea salt
Tiny dash of celery salt
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of paprika plus another for the topping

Method to hard-boil eggs:


In a deep sauce pan, boil enough water to cover the eggs plus an additional two inches (estimate here do not put eggs in yet). Add in a bit of extra virgin olive oil- this not only helps in boiling the water, it helps in peeling the eggs. Once it comes to a roaring boil, slowly add in the eggs and turn down heat ever so slightly (i.e. if it's bowling at level 10, turn down to 8.5). Boil for 12 minutes. Place eggs in a strainer and cool. You'll want them completely cold before you peel. To expedite: Run cold water over the eggs, place in fridge and/or put ice cubes over them.

Once they are cooled down- gently crack and peel them. Cut in halves- length wise and pop out the yolk. Mash the yolk and mix in all of the ingredients. Place the mixture evenly in your four egg-halves. Top with paprika. Viola ;)



If you want to spice them up, you can always add ingredients to them such as green onion, pickles, peppers, celery etc.

Enjoy ;)

Cornbread

Since this was buried in another post, for Thanksgiving Stuffing, I'm reposting the cornbread portion.

I absolutely love cornbread...




Cornbread:


1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (Gluten Free Pantry)
3/4 cup gluten free cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbl sugar (organic cane)
2 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk (sugar free)
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbl honey


Preparation:


Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs well and add in the rest of the wet ingredients, then add in the dry. Mix well until it looks like a batter. Preheat the oven to 400 and coat a glass cake dish with coconut oil (about 2 tbl worth) and place on top of the oven (not inside) while it heats. Pour batter in and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, turn the oven off while leaving the bread in for about another 5 minutes.


This was delightful. A definite,'make again.' 

Enjoy ;) 

-Sunshine Girl 

Sweet Plantains

This was an experiment that turned out not too bad. I had never cooked a plantain before and got slightly hooked on them while I was in the West Indies this past holiday season- so when I returned, I was craving them.

This recipe can be adjusted for more plantains but I just used one.

Sweet Plantains

1 Plantain (mostly green, slight yellow)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup-1 cup water
Dash of cinnamon
Sprinkle of organic cane sugar

Heat the oil on medium in a small pan, place sliced plantain in the oil. Plantains are difficult to peel (unlike bananas which they may look like but do NOT taste like- though they do have plenty of potassium like bananas). Heat for about 3 minutes then flip, heat another 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon and sugar and flip once again. Add about 1/4 cup of the water and stir around a bit (I usually just shake the pan back and forth a few times). Let them heat up again and soak up the water, they should begin to soften. Flip once more and add the additional water. Allow for most of the water to be soaked in and cook until they are soft enough to cut in half with a fork.

This can be served as a tapas, side dish, light dessert or just a snack. A wide variety of options with this fruit :)

I'm super excited to start cooking with plantains more, I'll let you know how it goes...

Enjoy ;)

Cranberry Chutney

I made this back in October  (at a chili cook-off) and it was a real hit.




In case you can't read my handwriting, here is the recipe for a simple Cranberry Chutney:

1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup (minced) granny smith apple
1/4 cup (minced) onion
1 cup (brown) raisins
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1 cup water

(Can add celery too, I didn't have any on hand).

Combine everything in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about five minutes (cranberries will pop), stir and then simmer for five more minutes.



Let cool on the stove and then put in the refrigerator to chill (or as I said in the note, 'fridge it' :)).




Perfect for Thanksgiving meal, great with cornbread, tortilla chips and on the Sweet and Garlic Salty Crackers or pork, chicken, turkey etc.




Enjoy ;)

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

And don't forget the bacon and onions :) BTW, there is a vegan variation below.

While none of these ingredients are naturally glutenous nor contain dairy, that part was already done for me and the rest was quite simple too. And simply delicious. 

Thursday 11.24.2011, Thanksgiving Day:

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes 

(This recipe was adapted from All Recipe)

  • 3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 6 slices lean bacon
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (100% maple)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Dash of thyme 

Preparation:

Place the sweet potatoes in a large casserole dish (11X7) and toss with the olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and then give the sweet potatoes a healthy stir, place foil on and bake for another 20 minutes. 

Crisp the bacon in a large skillet and break into pieces (dabbing with paper towel first) in a small bowl. Leave the grease in and caramelize the onions in it (don't worry, this is ok because it's Thanksgiving ;)). Add the onions to the bacon. In the same pan combine the maple syrup, water and thyme. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. 



Once the sweet potatoes are done, combine the bacon and onions and then drizzle the maple concoction atop. 




Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes Vegan Variation 


  • 3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 3 tbls coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (100% maple)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Dash of thyme 

Preparation:

Place the sweet potatoes in a large casserole dish (11X7) and toss with the olive oil, garlic salt & pepper. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and then give the sweet potatoes a healthy stir, place foil on and bake for another 20 minutes. 

Caramelize the onions in the coconut oil. In the same pan combine the maple syrup, water and thyme. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. 


Once the sweet potatoes are done,  pour the maple concoction atop. 



Enjoy ;)

Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing

How does cornbread stuffing sound?


Somehow, I don't seem to ever feel full when I eat cornbread... I can just keep eating it and eating it with all the honey I can take ;) Ok, let's not go overboard here but I do love cornbread. And it's quite simple to do gluten & dairy free.


Wednesday 11.23.2011, night before Thanksgiving


A Free Thanksgiving: Cornbread Stuffing


Cornbread:


1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (Gluten Free Pantry)
3/4 cup gluten free cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbl sugar (organic cane)
2 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk (sugar free)
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbl honey


Preparation:


Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs well and add in the rest of the wet ingredients, then add in the dry. Mix well until it looks like a batter. Preheat the oven to 400 and coat a glass cake dish with coconut oil (about 2 tbl worth) and place on top of the oven (not inside) while it heats. Pour batter in and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, turn the oven off while leaving the bread in for about another 5 minutes.


Since this was for stuffing the next day, I covered in foil and left out overnight to cool.


11.24.2011, Thanksgiving :)


Stuffing:


1 celery stalk (thinly chopped)
1/4 onion (diced)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 Apple (chopped)
1 clove garlic (diced)
1/4 cup Raisins 
1/2 cup chicken broth yeast free

1/4 cup of water 
Dash of sage

Cut the cornbread in small squares and place in a deep cassarole dish.


Drizzle olive oil (about a tablespoon) in a large skillet and heat on medium. Add Celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until onions and celery start to become soft (about 7 minutes, stir occasionally). Add in the apple, garlic and raisins. Cook until they too become soft (another 7 minutes, stir occasionally). Pour the broth over mixture and sprinkle in the sage, cook about another 5 minites, stirring frequently. Then place the stuffing mixture in the casserole dish and toss with the cornbread pieces pour the water over the mixture. 



Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. 















This made for a very light stuffing. I also tasted a couple of the pieces of cornbread before it hit the mixture and it was quite delicious ;) 


Enjoy ;)