Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic

squash

I happen to love spaghetti squash.  I think it’s a fantastic way to get your veggies into your day.  That being said, I have found that A LOT of people don’t particularly care for it.  Maybe it’s a texture thing?  Maybe their brain says “Nope, not spaghetti.  Nope.”  I understand that.  It’s cool.  BUT, I’m still determined to find a recipe that even non-squashers will like….well, try.

I saw THIS video on the ol’ Facebook yesterday and thought it sounded actually pretty great. A perfect combination of carb, fat, protein, and flavor.  Here is what you need to know:

Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic
Makes 2 servings (I’d say closer to 3)

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
S&P
4 cloves garlic (minced, I like to use the Pampered Chef garlic press.  I do not work for Pampered Chef….I just think this product is amazing!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Cu broccoli florets
1/2 Cu vegetable stock
1 Cu Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, & roughly mashed with a fork (I chose to omit this and sub with some leftover steak from the night before, cubed)
1/3 Cu nutritional yeast

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut about an inch off of the top and the bottom of the spaghetti squash and discard.
Cut the squash crosswise into rings about 1-inch thick, run a knife (or spoon) around the inside of the rings to get the seeds out.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over the baking sheet, then spread the squash rings over it
Coat each side evenly, then season both sides with s&p.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender (about 30 minutes)
Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside (Spaghetti squash is MUCH easier to handle if it has 10 minutes or so to cool)

Meanwhile….
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and red pepper (if using), season with s&p
Cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant (only about 1 minute)
Add broccoli and vegetable stock, turn heat down to low
Season with a little more s&p, cook until the broccoli is bright green & al dente and vegetable stock has reduced to about half
Add the nutritional yeast and stir everything together to make a sauce
If sauce is super thick and clumpy, add more stock (1 Tbsp at a time) until it’s thick and a little runny
Add the cooked squash and toss everything together.
Serve immediately
Get ready for a tastebud party

My Thoughts
First of all, I have never cooked spaghetti squash this way before.  I typically just cut the squash in half and let it cook.  I found that I really like roasting it this way.  It cooks a little more evenly. I’ll definitely use this method again.  As I watched the video tutorial, I copied down the recipe. Turns out, the recipe calls for red pepper flakes. I used red pepper powder.  Lets just say that the powder gives the dish a very powerful peppery punch that totally (in my opinion) makes the dish.   As I mentioned earlier, I left out the beans.  I typically avoid beans for the most part.  Sometimes my body just doesn’t do well with them.  Steak was a great sub.  Chicken would also work. Bacon… Really, any meat, I suppose would do. Or no meat.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

Have you guys tried nutritional yeast?  I know…I know, it sounds nasty icky gross.  BUT it’s actually not gross, and it’s packed with so much crazy goodness.  Basically it’s a deactivated yeast and looks like yellow flakes, kind of like fish food. It has a handful of vitamins and minerals, including some of the B vitamins, protein, and iron.  It’s actually used fairly regularly by  vegans and vegetarians for a little added nutrition. It has kind of a cheesy or nutty flavor.  I use it all the time when I cook, especially when cooking veggies.  It gives the dish just a little more flavor. I recommend trying it.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cheesy fish flakes.

Overall, this dish is definitely a win.  With hints of cheese and spice, the steak and broccoli compliment each other quite well.  There is so much flavor going on that even the biggest critic will be ok trying it.  This has officially been added to my list of favorites.  It also reheats very well, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  Leftovers on leftovers.  Try it out, change it up, let me know what you think!

-TPP

Original recipe HERE

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls

 

 

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I have really been slacking lately with posting recipes.  I have been pretty culinarily (is that a word?) lazy.  I have a few recipes that I make over and over again AND I have been grilling the crap out of everything.  That being said, when my medic partner posted this recipe to my Facebook wall and said “Tuesday’s supper?”, I was all over it.  It’s nice to work with people who get me.  I was pretty excited about this one.  1. A new recipe.  2. A Paleo recipe.  3. You use the grill.  4. A perfect combination of protein and vegetables.  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.  So here we go.

Ingredients

For the steak:

8 thin slices sirloin or flank steak (length and width according to personal preference)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh rosemary, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, halved and then thinly sliced
A few white button or cremini mushrooms, cut into thin strips

For the Rosemary Balsamic Glaze:

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup Progresso beef broth

Instructions

1. Rub each side of the steak slices with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground black pepper and some chopped fresh rosemary.

2. Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

3. Place a few of the vegetable strips vertically on one end of each steak cutlet so that once rolled up the end of the vegetables are sticking out of each end of the steak roll. Roll it up, and secure it with a toothpick (or 4). Repeat for each steak roll.

4. For the rosemary balsamic glaze: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, coconut sugar, and the rosemary sprigs.  Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs.

5. Prepare the grill.  Grill on each side for about 2 minutes or according to desired doneness. Do the same if cooking them in a skillet, frying over medium-high heat until done. Serve immediately drizzled with the rosemary balsamic glaze.

As I mentioned earlier, my medic partner and I made this at work.  This recipe is really easy to prepare.  You can also prepare it well in advance.  Great for people with busy lives.  Prepare it, roll it, chill it, then grill it later.I cooked my steak to a perfect rare/medium rare.  With a normal steak, you are able to cook both sides.  With this recipe, you can’t cook the inside of the roll.  My advice is to grill on a low heat for a while, then at the very end, turn up the heat for just a little crispness.  Make sure you keep a close eye on it.  These steak rolls could easily become just a little too crispy.

This dish is ridiculous!  You have the grilled steak.  You have the veggies.  And THEN there’s the balsamic glaze.  ALL.THE.FLAVORS.  The glaze is the icing on the cake.  The original recipe calls for brown sugar.  To make it Paleo, we opted to use coconut sugar instead.  On a sidenote, I’d be curious how real maple syrup  or molasses would be instead of the coconut sugar.  The rosemary, garlic, sugar combo makes your tastebuds super happy.  I was curious how the rosemary and sugar would be together.  Amazing, turns out.  I’m slowly learning about flavor layering.  To complete the meal, we grilled some asparagus on some tin foil with garlic, Kerrygold butter, and s&p.  The asparagus is also pretty tasty with the balsamic glaze on it.

Per Murphy’s Law, we were expecting to be bombarded with ambulance calls before, after, and during the making of this.  Luckily, we were able to prep the food, grill the food, and actually eat 3/4 of the food before the tones dropping.  I consider that a success.

Have I mentioned how much I love food? And people think that Paleo means only eating berries and seeds…  Now, go make this.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

**Disclaimer….there probably won’t be leftovers**

Happy eating!

Original recipe HERE20140527_175301

 

Seared Tuna Steak with Citrusy Salsa

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I have a fun new game that I like to play whenever I go to the grocery store.  I walk around for a good while until I find something that I haven’t made in a while.  This week, it was tuna steak.  Actually, I don’t recall ever eating tuna steak.  I’m also trying to eat more seafood…about once per week.  So here I am with 3 tuna steaks.  I was planning on just grilling them with a little salt, pepper, and dill, but ultimately decided to go to the ol’ Google machine and see how other people seasoned their tuna steaks.  Lo and behold, I found this winning recipe.  What really drew me to it was the interesting combination of spices that you use to season the fish.  I’m all about strange food combos.  So, here we go!

Ingredients
Homemade Chardonnay salt
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Sest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon

Citrusy Salsa
2 oranges
½ red onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils.
2. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours.
3. In the meantime, make the citrus salsa
4. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments; cut each segment into thirds and combine these with the onion, tarragon, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and toss well.
5. Set salsa aside.
6. Fire up the grill, concentrating the coals (or heat) beneath the spot where the steaks will go so as to maximize the heat. If it’s rainy or you’re not quite ready to break out the grill yet, crank up the heat under a grill pan.
7. Lightly oil and season the steaks to taste (I recommend being a little conservative with the seasoning.  If you over-season, the tuna steaks can get quite salty).
8. When the grill or grill pan is very hot, throw on the steaks. Now keep your mitts off until the sear is complete. This takes 1 to 2 minutes on each side for a nicely cooked steak. When the time comes to flip, you’ll know the sear is done if the tuna moves easily and does not stick to the grates or pan.
9. Cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes
10. Slice the tuna steaks across the grain. Spoon the salsa over the steaks, and pour a glass of chardonnay to go with the wine salt.

That’s it!  It may seem like there are a lot of steps, but really, it’s not too terribly complicated.

After mixing together the spices, I was still skeptical because of how it smelled sweet…kind of like Christmas…but really, I was blown away.  The citrus from the orange and the cinnamon…crazy good.  As I mentioned earlier, I don’t ever recall having tuna steaks before.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out.  They were cooked to perfection, and the flavor was subtly….not overwhelming at all.  The citrus salsa compliments the tuna really well.  Pretty much a must.  I grilled some asparagus with butter and some orange zest to keep with the citrus them.  Lastly, I completed the meal with a recommended glass of chardonnay.  I think this was one of the best meals that I have made in a REALLY long time.  Seriously BLOWN.AWAY.  If you’re looking for a meal to impress, this might just be that meal.  Give it a try.  Super easy, but looks ridiculously fancy and stuff.  Definitely a win.

Happy eating!

-Lindsay

Recipe HERE

Puttin On the Foil

Yes, that is a Slapshot reference.  Ice hockey and grilling.  Both are near and dear to my heart.  Speaking of grilling, I have been a grillin’ fool lately.  I have tried to get creative with my foil packet grilling.  I thought I could just compile a list of a few of my more recent favorites.

Pork
Pork chops, butter, garlic, s&p

Chicken
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I cut up a few chicken breasts, then added garlic, s&p, Italian seasoning

Seafood
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Tilapia, lemon (or lime) slices, butter, dill, s&p

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sea scallops, butter, s&p

Vegetables
Brussels sprouts: sprouts, garlic, onion, s&p
Sweet potatoes 1: sweet potatoes (sliced), butter, real maple syrup
Sweet potatoes 2: sweet potatoes (chopped), onion, garlic, butter, s&p.  You can also add veggies like asparagus, carrots, and mushrooms.

These are just a couple of examples of my most recent foil packets.  Typically I double foil wrap each packet, otherwise it will leak.  right now, I’m definitely into grilling new things.  Next on the list: beets, butternut squash, and cauliflower.  I figure, if you can roast it, you can grill it.  I also want to try putting beef stew meat into a packet as well.  The possibilities are endless!

Happy Grilling!

-Lindsay

Grilled Fish Foil Packets

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In the summertime, well really all year round, I try to utilize the grill as much as I can.  The flavor is fantastic, it’s quick, and clean up is a breeze.  Fish on the grill is one of my favorites.  I love to make fish foil packets.  Here is a simple fish recipe that I made last night on the grill (along with the mashed beets).

Ingredients
1-4 thawed fish fillets per packet (I used tilapia)
1-2 Tbsp butter
Approx 1 Tbsp dill (I have also used garlic)
S&P
Lemon or Lime (sliced)

Instructions20140324_173349
1. Rip off a large sheet of tin foil
2. Place the fish fillets on the foil
3. Sprinkle both sides of each fillet with dill, S&P
4. Place a few slices of citrus (I used lime) on top of the fish
5. Cut your butter into chunks and place over the fish
6. Roll up the tinfoil (I typically bring the ends together, pinch, then roll.  I have found this to work the best)
7. Grill it up on medium heat, flipping a few times.  Fish doesn’t take that long to cook.  Typically around 10-15 minutes.  You know the fish is ready if you peek inside the packet and it has broken up a little bit.
8. Remove from the grill and open carefully.  It’s hot in there.
9.  You did it!  Easy grilled fish foil packets

This is a really quick and tasty way to make fish.  Clean up is a cinch.  Roll up the foil and throw away.  Done and done. Do you have any favorite fish recipes?  I want to know!  Comment below.

Happy eating.

-Lindsay

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

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This past week,  I decided to try Bountiful Baskets for the first time. Have you heard of it?  Have you participated?  Bountiful Baskets if basically a group of people in all sorts of cities who have a produce co-op of sorts.  No employees, no contracts, just an affordable basket full of goodies.  You pay a small amount of money ($15 for me) and later that week, you pick up your basket.  I’m all about farmer’s markets and shopping locally, but I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.  I do like Paleo on a budget as well.  I was actually quite pleased.  In your basket, you receive a plethora of fruits and vegetables (There area also add-ons that you can get like breads or cases of specific vegetables).  My basket included leaf lettuce, 2 large heads of celery, a pineapple, handfuls of apples and pears, 2 butternut squash, a few Anaheim peppers, kale, a sack of potatoes, and some tomatoes.  I think that’s it.  All in all, a tasty assortment of healthy goodness weighing around 30 pounds I’d say, all for $15.

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I’m pretty confident with figuring out how to cook with most of the fruits and vegetables that were in my basket.  One item, however, stumped me.  Anaheim peppers.  I’m not sure if I had ever had them before.  I certainly had never cooked with them.  Were they mild? Were they spicy?  I consulted with friends and the ol’ Google machine for answers.  First thing, I asked my friend Brandy, of The Grateful Chef, about the peppers themselves.  She said that they were a fairly mild pepper.  Perfect.  Next, I searched for recipes that included the pepper.  I found a handful of pretty tasty looking recipes.  This particular one caught my eye.  Ha, mainly because I had all of the ingredients.

 

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Ingredients
10 Anaheim peppers
1 lb ground beef
Chili powder
Paprika
Oregano
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Garlic powder
Kosher salt
About 1 cup of tomato-based salsa
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro, to garnish

Instructions
1. Slice each pepper in half, and remove the ribs and seeds. Place the peppers cut-side up in two baking dishes.
2. Saute the ground beef until cooked through. Add a splash of water and season generously with chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and salt.
3. Fill each pepper with a scoop of the ground beef mixture, and then top each with a scoop of salsa.
4. Cover the dishes with foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.
5. Remove the foil from the dishes. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheddar cheese and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
6. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro.

Ok, a few things.  First of all, this is the original recipe.  As usual, I did change it slightly.  Here are my changes as well as a couple tips.
1. I only had 5 peppers, so I went with 5 vs 10.
2. I used 2# of ground beef.  I like to have extras to put in my eggs in the morning.
3. I withheld the cheese and added nutritional yeast instead.  Nutritional yeast has a cheesy kind of flavor.  Lately, I’ve opted to add this to most of my food for that extra flavor.  I’m just starting to get into nutritional yeast.  It is full of protein as well as a handful of B vitamins.  It’s sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
4. Homemade or locally made salsa is best, but for simplicity sake, I used store-bought.  If this is the route that you choose to go, remember to check your labels.  Sugar and corn starch are notorious for sneaking their way into salsa.
5. TIP: If you’re not very keen on spice, make sure you remove all of the ribs and seeds in the pepper.  I accidentally left a seed which resulted a bite with some kick.
6. TIP: You may have noticed that there are not any measurements to go along with the spices.  If you don’t have a lot of experience cooking with these flavors, try adding 1 tsp at a time.  Start there, taste test then add more spice to your liking. With my 2# of ground beef, I probably added about 1Tbsp of each…give or take. I’m not very good at the measurement guessing game.

These peppers really are quite mild. Great flavor without all of the heat (unless, of course, you leave a seed in there).  Also, I really enjoyed the combination of flavors used to go into seasoning the meat.  I wouldn’t have thought to add coriander and oregano.  Spot on.  The nutritional yeast truly does add a hint of cheesy goodness.  Definitely a healthier option than your average cheddar.  Really, all in all, it’s a fun spin on the traditional stuffed pepper.  They’re also a little easier to eat.  To finish it off, add a little guacamole and a sprinkle of cilantro. You’re set.  These guys also reheat quite well.  I heated up a couple to go with my eggs this morning.  Tasty breakfast.

I highly recommend this recipe.  Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free.  Nutritious and delicious.  A perfect way to get a tasty combination of veggies and protein into your diet.

Happy eating!

-Lindsay

Original Recipe HERE.

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Meatza Round 2

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Quite awhile ago, I posted the recipe for Mexican Meatza.  It’s basically pizza with a meat crust.  Grain-free, gluten-free, etc.  It’s one of my favorites, and it’s super easy to make.  This past week, the Grateful Chef had meatza on their menu.  Pork and Apple Meatza Pie.  Same idea, different toppings.  Their version used a seasoned ground pork “crust” topped with a light Dijon mustard sauce, sautéed apples, cabbage and caraway seeds.

I was pretty excited to see this on their menu for a couple of reasons.  1.  It’s Paleo.  100% Paleo goodness.  2. This recipe is an excellent well-balanced meal.  Protein, vegetables, fruit.  Perfect.  3. The flavors.  Pork, apple, cabbage, mustard, caraway…I was intrigued.  I love trying new flavor combinations.

This was wonderful.  The meaty, salty flavor of the pork.  The sweet apple goodness.  The cabbage was subtle.  Not overpowering at all.  It had a mild, almost earthy flavor.  The Dijon mustard was kind of the wildcard.  It had a little zip.  It was a fun surprise.  Lastly, the caraway.  Every so often, you get a caraway seed in a bite.  Oh, hey, caraway.  You’re fun.

All in all, my taste buds were crazy happy with this dish.  Meatza in general is really easy to make.  I’m pretty sure most picky eaters will even enjoy it.  Try it out.  This is a delicious spin on your typical carby pizza.

This recipe was created by Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl. It can be found on her website as well as in her cookbook Well Fed.

Happy Eating!