Savory Stuffed Butternut Squash – GF, DF, EF, LF (AKA – PALEO)

The Good Half

So I found this AMAZING recipe for Sausage Stuffed B-Squash last week and I couldn’t wait to try it.  I loved the inspiration this recipe gave me.  It looked like something this crisp autumn weather wanted me to eat and I couldn’t wait to make it my own!

I gathered my Ingredients:

Fresh Veggies!

Fresh Veggies!

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, minced
  • yellow pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lbs pork sausage
  • 1t rosemary
  • 1t thyme
  • 1t sage
  • 2T bacon fat, or other fat

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Lovey Loves to help!

    Lovey Loves to help!

  2. Half and deseed the squash. Place meat down (flat edge) into a shallow pan that has about 1/2″ of water in it.  Cook squash for 40-55 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking (I called it the f@$@%&$ gourd most of the evening), saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms and pepper.  Add in the sausage when the liquid is almost gone.
  4. When sausage is cooked, remove from heat and cover to keep warm until gourd is done.
  5. When gourd is done, it should scoop easily from itself, scoop innards out and put into the sausage/
    The Good Half

    The Good Half

    veggie mix. Mix well.  Take strong care not to mutilate the gourd (this is about the time I really started calling it names).

  6. If you didn’t mutilate the gourd, like I may have, you can spoon the stuffing back into the gourd.  If you did mess up the gourd, that is OKAY!! Just spoon the stuffing into any casserole pan that will hold it.  I happened to have one half of a gourd and I also had to use a small Pyrex dish.
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Deviled Eggs? We Prefer Heavenly Goodness Eggs!!

Who lays the Golden Eggs?

Growing up, I was never a fan of Deviled Eggs. I didn’t like the yolk part of a hard boiled egg, I didn’t like the way it smelled, I didn’t like the color.  As I mature, <COUGH> I find that I DO like hard boiled eggs.  While at a wedding this summer I tried a deviled egg.  It was LOVE!! I called My Guy Bri immediately to tell him just how wonderful I thought this small golden treat was.  He was ecstatic because that meant I would make them.  Well, make them I did!

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Let me say in advance that I make my own Mayo.  I’ll put the recipe for it. It seriously only takes a few minutes (less than 5) to make and it keeps for at least 10 days.


Paleo Mayonnaise Recipe

  • 1 egg
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t stone ground mustard
  • 1 C Grapeseed Oil (you can use Olive Oil, or any other kind of oil you are comfortable with)

Directions:

  1. Put first 5 ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix for 30 seconds.
  2. Slowly add in the Oil.
  3. Enjoy!

Perfect Hard Boiled Egg with Easy Peel

  • 6-12 eggs
  • water

Directions:

  1. Place eggs into a deep pan
  2. Fill with water until tops of eggs are covered
  3. Put on high heat to boil
  4. Bring to a boil and remove from heat and put a lid on it.
  5. 15 minutes, drain and put in a large bowl and pop in the fridge overnight.
  6. When peeling, tap top and bottom then blow through the narrow end.
  7. Roll egg so it gets cracked all around and begin peeling under a slow stream of cold water.

Now that you have your Mayo and Hard Boiled Eggs peeled, you can continue on to these delicious Golden Beauties!

Lovey Likes to Mix

Lovey Likes to Mix

Ingredients:

  • 6-12 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Stone Ground Mustard
  • White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Bacon (Crumbled)

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon!!! 4 Slices is plenty for a dozen eggs.
  2. Cut eggs in half (long way) and use a spoon to remove yolk, set into a medium bowl.
  3. Mix, using a fork, egg yolks with vinegar (1T for a dozen, 1.5 t for 6), Mustard (1 T for a dozen, 1.5 t for 6), bacon, salt & pepper to taste, Mayonnaise until consistency is correct. Smooth but not too stiff or too runny.
  4. Once smooth, spoon into egg halves. If you want, you can put mixture into a baggie and snip the corner and push the mixture into the eggs.
  5. Sprinkle with Paprika and enjoy!

    Who lays the Golden Eggs?

    Who lays the Golden Eggs?

Why I Eat Paleo And Not Crap…..

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My Guy Bri ❤ and Me

I get asked often if I’m Paleo to lose weight.  The answer is no. I also get asked if I’m allergic to Dairy, Gluten or Legumes.  The answer is NO.  Then why would I put myself through the (what must seem to others) torture of a Paleo Diet?!???  The answer is, it helps my pain.  Then the conversation continues to people asking me what causes my pain. The answer is I DO NOT KNOW.  My doctors DO NOT KNOW.  Even with their lack of knowledge, the prescribe me medications.  I’ve been labelled as having Fibromyalgia.  There is no test for this, it is a process of elimination.  Nothing else seems to be causing the pain in my muscles and joints, sometimes so severe that I hardly leave my bed, so it must be this phantom disease called Fibromyalgia.  There are treatments for this disease, although NO CURE.  I can take pills to alter my brain function, pills to alter my nerve function or I can change my diet.  I opted to change my diet. I started October ’14.

Lovey Levin and Mom

Lovey Levin and Mom

I started by cutting a little bit of the “offending” food at a time. So in October, I gave up Gluten.  That wasn’t hard for me because my son, Lovey Levin, was still GF at that point. In December, I gave up Dairy.  That nearly killed me. I can almost guarantee that the majority of my diet was cheese.  I shit you not!  I put cheese on everything, with almost every meal.  February, I cut all Grains and Legumes.  SHIT HIT THE FAN, literally…. I was on the toilet more often than not.

Rosie and Me

Rosie and Me

The good news was that my pain was gone.  That said, I was going #2 so often that I was becoming dehydrated.  My fingers would swell. I went back to my doctor and had to go through an Upper and Lower GI exploratory.  It turned out that I had some kind of distress in my intestines.  They prescribed another medication.  I declined.  I added some rice back to my diet.  My #2 problem miraculously went away.  No medication needed.

So now I have my diet set so I can eat well and have no pain.

My Boo Drew and Me

My Boo Drew and Me

I still don’t eat white potatoes, I take it easy on tomatoes, I DO eat rice and my pain level has been reduced by 85%, easily!  My family has been great about meeting my needs.  They are more than willing to be guinea pigs to my recipes and my attempts to modify our regular recipes.  We’ve had some nasty, horrible duds; mostly it’s been great.  I don’t buy things that come in a box; things that are overly processed or prepackaged.   My family is eating healthier because I got sick. I am healthier because I got sick.  I managed to lose over 60 pounds through diet and exercise (which I can now do, because the pain is so much less). There’s always a silver lining!

Mushroom Smothered Pork Chops – Are You KIDDING Me?!?!

One of the things I’ve missed since going Paleo is Mushroom Soup! You can make so many things awesome with a great Mushroom Soup. So I really wanted to make Pork Chops (the really thick yummy kind) awesome with some kind of mushroom soup.  I scoured the internet drooling over so many recipes until I found this one from Fast Paleo. It was so easy and it tasted amazing!! My family said that this one is definitely going in “THE BOOK” of fabulous food! I altered the original recipe a bit, because I don’t know how to follow a recipe…. sorry 🙂


Ingredients:

  • 4 thick pork chopsIMG_7639
  • salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to season chops
  • coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 T minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 C coconut milk (if you are using canned, I recommend mixing the whole can up really well, then pouring out 1 C for this meal)

Directions

  1. Season the chops with Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Rosemary – I put on a pretty good coating.
  2. Medium / High heat, melt coconut oil and fry the pork chops 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.
  3. Saute onions and mushrooms for 5 minutes, add garlic and saute for another 3 minutes, add oregano and saute until most liquid is gone.IMG_7642
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low / medium and add pork chops back in the pan. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in coconut milk, turn the heat back up to medium / high, bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce is reduced by a third to half.

I had a side salad with this for myself (I’m the only one who is Paleo) and my family had some pasta and a salad.

IMG_7646


Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 329
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23 g 35 %
Saturated Fat 16 g 81 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 57 mg 19 %
Sodium 279 mg 12 %
Potassium 747 mg 21 %
Total Carbohydrate 10 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 24 g 47 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 13 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 18 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Paleo Chicken and Gravy (Who Needs Biscuits, Anway?!)

So I’ve begun to meal plan.  I’ve been trying to incorporate a few new recipes each week to add to my ever expanding cookbook. Maybe one day, a publisher will pick it up…. “Paleo for Peeps” Oh, to dream.

I digress, so I’ve been planning meals since the school year started. Between physical therapy, swim team, vocal lessons, a teenage boy, a preschooler, and a tween girl – Shit has been busy! Anywho, for dinner tonight I tried a new recipe.  Chicken and Gravy, because my family doesn’t like biscuits and I’m not able to eat them. We had a side salad and everyone else ate peas and corn (fresh from the farm yesterday!)


Ingredients:

He loves to peel

He loves to peel

  • 1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1.5 C sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 slices of bacon (this is optional – see directions)
  • 1T dried herb mix, thyme, rosemary, and sage)IMG_7620
  • 1/2 chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Steam sweet potatoes in a rice steamer, using the basket provided. It took three cycles to do it this way.  You could also steam them on the stove with a steamer basket. They should be fork tender.
  2. Fry bacon until crispy. Keep 4 T of bacon fat in a blender or food processor. Leave remaining bacon fat in the pan to fry chicken in.
    • If you already have bacon fat on reserve, you can skip this step. We made 8 slices of bacon because
      bacon.... YUMM

      bacon…. YUMM

      we like bacon.  We ate 4 slices and the other 4 we threw in the gravy!!

  3. Salt both sides of chicken thighs and fry in bacon grease… YUMMMM
  4. Place steamed sweet potatoes in the blender along with seasoning, bacon, and bacon fat. Slowly add the warmed up broth while pureeing.  The gravy should be a thick gravy consistency.

IMG_7623

This turned out to be an amazing meal that was easy to make.  I steamed the potatoes earlier in the day and kept them in the fridge. I warmed them up in the microwave before making the gravy.  I really do think adding the bacon to the gravy was an awesome idea.  It made the gravy very flavorful.  How can bacon make anything worse?IMG_7624

Nutrition Facts for Paleo Chicken and gravy
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 223
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g 16 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 15 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 110 mg 37 %
Sodium 421 mg 18 %
Potassium 428 mg 12 %
Total Carbohydrate 8 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 24 g 48 %
Vitamin A 68 %
Vitamin C 30 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Orange Chicken, SLOW Cooked to Paleo PERFECTION!!

One of the things I’ve missed since going DF (dairy free), GF (gluten free), and LF (legume free) is CHINESE FOOD!!! Sesame chicken was one of my favorites…. I’ve attempted it the Paleo way before and I’ve always failed miserably! Well, a new day has dawned!! I’ve mastered this Orange Chicken and it is BETTER than I remember my favorite Chinese Take Out dishes to be.  Read on to become a JEDI!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighsIMG_7587
  • 1/3 C coconut aminos
  • 1/3 C honey (I use raw)
  • 2T Orange Juice
  • 2T tomato paste
  • 1T sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 3/4 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes (this has kick!! I would use 1/4 t if you are going to feed it to kids who prefer milder foods)
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onions!

Directions:

  1. Place whole chicken thighs into the crock pot and turn it on low. CoverIMG_7580
  2. Place remaining ingredients (except garnish) into a food processor (I used my bullet) and IMG_7583puree well.
  3. Pour mixture into crock pot and mix around with chicken, make sure it’s coated well.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours, or so.  If you need it faster, Cook on high for 2ish hours.IMG_7586
  5. Remove chicken from crock pot after it has cooked and cut it up into bite size portions.
  6. Transfer sauce from crock pot to a small saucepan.  Reduce on medium heat until IMG_7589it’s thickened.  15-20 minutes.
  7. Drizzle thickened sauce over chicken and enjoy!IMG_7592

I served this with Sushi Rice (Cauliflower Rice would taste just as great!) and Steamed Broccoli. It was delicious!!! I’m always looking for recipes that are easy on the wallet, time and stress level. This completely fits the bill in all ways possible.

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5 Ingredient Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – YUMM!

Today was a snow day for us. Why? I’m not quite sure.. It rained a little. Anyway, everyone was home from school and I was feeling like baking! I was searching on Pinterest and found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that looked easy. It only had five ingredients. So I decided to try it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips of Choice (I used Dark Chocolate)
IMG_2633

1st Four Ingredients

IMG_2632

Forked sugar and PB

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the brown sugar with the baking soda and forked the lumps out.
  3. Add the peanut butter and egg.
  4. Mix everything together until smooth.
  5. Fold in chocolate chip
  6. Use a T measuring spoon to make uniform balls onto greased baking sheets (I foil line mine).
  7. Smoosh the balls a little, so they look like thick cookies (wet your measuring spoon and use the bottom of it to do the smooshing).
    IMG_2636

    All mixed up!

    Smooshed Cookies

    Smooshed Cookies

  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on the tray for 2-5 minutes before removing.

Okay, so my review on these are that they are good. My husband rated them at a 9.5/10 on the Yummy Cookie Scale! My opinion, they are a little crumby – have a glass of milk nearby. I would make these again! They were super easy to make, I’ll always have the ingredients on hand, and they take nearly no time at all!

ALL Done

ALL Done