Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic

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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

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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

 

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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Paleo Kielbasa & Super Kraut

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I’ve made a handful of recipes from the PaleoPot page.  Every single one that I have made has been pretty fantastic. The majority of the recipes on the have been crock potified.  He really tries to create delicious one pot meals that are simple and easy on the wallet.  This recipe came across my Facebook newsfeed recently. I earmarked it in my “To Make” file.  I saved it for a chilly, snowy day.  Something to warm the soul AND the belly.

Ingredients
Sauerkraut, 1 large bag (approx 2#)
Red cabbage, half of 1 medium head, shredded
Beef Kielbasa, 1-1.5#, sliced into 1/2″ or 1″ pieces

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Instructions
1. Pour the sauerkraut into your crock pot / slow cooker, including the juices.
2. Add the shredded red cabbage and mix evenly into the sauerkraut.
3. Cut the kielbasa into 1/2″ to 1″ lengths
4. Place the kielbasa (cut sides up) around the edges of the crock pot to form a ring. Use the excess kielbasa slices to start a second ring inside of the first.
5. Cover your crock pot / slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
6. Eat, enjoy, package the leftovers for tomorrow or the next day.

I feel like sauerkraut is a love it or hate kind of food.  As I have gotten older, I have really grown to love it.  I’m a big fan of corned beef and sauerkraut on St Patrick’s Day.  I also enjoy a Reuben every now and again.  That being said, the whole sauerkraut thing in this recipe is what caught my eye.  Two more things that drew me to this particular recipe were 1.  Slow cooker.  Duh.  B. 3 ingredients.  That’s it.  Meat and vegetables.  Done and done.

The recipe calls for bag-o-kraut.  I had trouble finding that, so I ended up using a jar, which worked out just fine.  With the kielbasa, check labels.  Look for those sneaky sugars (i.e. corn syrup).  They’re everywhere.  It may be a bit spendier, but look for the kielbasa with just meat, no tricky extras.  As far as the cabbage, I found a decently sized small one and shredded the crap out of it.  I recommend using a larger shredder.  That’s it.  No salt.  No pepper.  No spices.  Just 3 simple ingredients.

After about 5 hours, my house was smelling pretty fantastic, although I did have to apologize to my husband for “stinking” up the house like cooked cabbage.  After snapping a few fancy pictures of my meal, I literally inhaled it.  This stuff is pretty tasty.  All the flavors just blend together so well.  The tangy kraut.  The color, texture, and unique flavor of the cabbage.  The slightly crispy, plump and juicy kielbasa.  Delicious.  Couldn’t get enough.  Even better on day 2 and 3.  I plan to make this at the station for my firefighter friends sometime in the not too distant future.

Happy eating!

Recipe HERE.  While you’re there, peruse through his other recipes.  Something for everyone!

Sweet Potato Chili Round 2

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Sweet potato chili.  I’ve made sweet potato chili before (previous post HERE).  It was such a hit at work that I decided to try another recipe, hence the Round 2.  Some ingredients are similar…some are different.  With a name like Paleo On a Budget, of course I had to try it.  Here’s the info.

Ingredients
1 medium Sweet Potato {diced into bite sized pieces}
1lb ground pork
6oz Frozen Sausage {or whatever sausage you have on hand}
1 Big can crushed tomatoes
 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/3 Big Bag Frozen Green Beans
Large Onion, Diced {I did a big dice}
3 Carrots, Peeled + Diced
Seasoning: 3 Tbsp Cumin, 5 Tbsp Chili Powder, 2 Tbsp Dried Basil & Oregano, 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder + Red Pepper Flakes
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt + Pepper
KerryGold Butter

Instructions
1. In a big pot get some butter all melted. Toss in your onions and carrots, let them start to cook and soften.
2. While that’s going on dice up your sweet potato {I kept the skin on} and toss that in. Same with the sausages.
3. Once those are all happy together you can add in your pork. Then all of your spices, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Salt + Pepper go in. Stir it all together {you want everything coated in the spices and herbs}.
4. Then… Then… add in your tomato products and then your frozen green beans {if they’re the whole green beans try to snap them in half as you put them in so they’re more bite sized}.
5. One more big Stir, cover… put it on low.. forget about it for a few hours.
6. Boom, it’s done…. I serve mine w/ Homemade mayo. It’s just wicked yummy that way. You could also drizzle some EVOO on it for an additional boost of fat!

Again, I chose to make a slow cooker version of this.  Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a fan of the slow cooker.  Big fan.  Here’s how I made this recipe.
1.I melted the butter in a big pot. 
2. In the meantime, I chopped carrots and onion then threw that into the melty butter pot.  (If you haven’t tried Kerrygold butter yet, you are missing out.  By far THE BEST butter I have ever tasted)
3. While the vegetables were cooking, I chopped up the sweet potato, leaving the skin on, and set aside for a few hours. 
4. Once the vegetables started to soften, I added the meat.  Really, just add whatever you have on hand.  I chose to add 1# of pork and 1/2# of beef.  Seemed to do the trick. 
5. Time for the spices
6. Next comes the vinegar.  I cooked this at work and accidentally left the apple cider vinegar at home on the counter.  Regular white vinegar seemed to work just fine.
7. While everything simmered and flavors infused in the pot, I prepared my slow cooker.  I ALWAYS use a slow cooker bag.  The fewer the dishes, the better.  I also added my tomatoes to the slow cooker at this time.
8. Next, I added the meaty vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. 
9. I did use the frozen green beans.  Legumes are not Paleo and I typically do not eat them, but for the sake of the recipe, I chose to add them.  I was intrigued.
10.  I let the whole lot cook on low for about 8 hours or so.  I added the sweet potatoes to the chili about 1 hour prior to eating.  This way they keep their firmness a bit better and don’t just become soggy clumps.

That’s it.  I typically serve my chili with a combination of any of these delicious ingredients: sweet potato chips, a little sour cream, a little cheese, avocado, tomatoes, scallions.

I really enjoyed this recipe.  The vinegar adds a fun acidic element to the chili.  I also loved the fact that the carrots and onions were cooked in butter beforehand.  Cooking the buttery vegetable, meat, spices, and vinegar combo worked really well.  I think it gave the dish a more intense flavor.  Richer. 

Next time, I would probably leave out the green beans.  They weren’t bad.  If green beans are a part of your diet, leave them in.  They definitely add a bit of texture to the chili.  Since I would leave out green beans, I would probably add an additional sweet potato for next time.  I would probably add a few more carrots as well for a little more Vitamin A.  I’m also curious if apple cider vinegar would change the flavor any.  As far as the meat, the pork/beef combo worked well.  I do like chili with a bit of kick, so for next time, I’m tempted to try a Graziano or Andouille sausage to give it a bit more pop.

Overall, this was pretty tasty.  I think the best part has been eating the leftovers.  Days 2-4 have been delicious.  I also stuck a container of leftovers in the freezer.  This will come in handy on one of those cold winter days to come.

I hope that you enjoy this chili as much as I do.  May it warm your soul as well as your tummy.

Happy Eating!

Recipe HERE.

Slow Cooker Chili

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My last shift was on the first day of Autumn. My medic partner and I were craving chili. He volunteered to check in the truck if I searched the Internets for a solid Paleo chili recipe. Challenge accepted. I found THIS recipe and altered it a bit. This is what I came up with.

Ingredients
1# grass-fed beef
1# bacon
1 medium red onion
2 green peppers
1 can chili peppers
2-14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1 small container mushrooms
4-5 large carrots
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Olive oil

Instructions
Brown the beef, set aside. Using the same pan, cook the bacon. Once bacon is crispy, set aside. Chop peppers and onions, brown in bacon grease.

In the meantime, peel and chop carrots into large chunks. Combine tomatoes, sauce, chili peppers, mushrooms, carrots, beef, and crumbled bacon into crock pot. Add peppers and onions once they are soft. Add spices. Season to taste. The 1 tsp is just a starting point. Cook on low for 5-8 hours.

Approx 1 hour prior to eating, peel and chop sweet potatoes. Pour them onto baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a little garlic and onion powders onto the potatoes, gently stir potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20-30 minutes, or until you can easily stick them with a fork. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Once they start to soften, add the sweet potatoes to the chili. Cook for about another 30 minutes, to combine flavors.

Enjoy! I like to serve sweet potato chips on the side.

I know, I know…”but what about the beans??!?” Legumes are not Paleo. The carrots and sweet potatoes are great substitutes for the beans. Honestly, you don’t even miss them. The sweet potatoes add a subtle sweetness to the spice of the chili. Really a brilliant ingredient for this recipe. And then there’s the bacon. This is another subtle ingredient that packs a punch. Every once in awhile, you get a bite with bacon and think “mmmm…bacon.”

The best thing about slow cookers is that you throw it into the crock pot in the, morning, let it cook all day, then have a delicious dinner waiting for you later that day. Prep work can easily be done the night before. This chili reheats really well. Also, the leftovers are even better the next couple days.

This recipe is loaded with vegetables. Tons of protein and a plethora of other nutrients with each bite. A perfect Autumn Paleo dinner.

Happy eating!

Roast Beast

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Haven’t made a roast in awhile. Figured since today is my shift day, I could throw some stuff in the crockpot and let it cook all day.

Grocery shopping first thing. Picked up a nice little 3# roast for my medic partner and me. I threw in some carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes. Next were 2 cans of beef broth, s&p, and a little garlic salt. 

Those babies cooked for about 8-10 hours. I felt that it needed a little gravy, so i decided to make a go of it. I have a terrible track record with gravy so I was   little nervous. Just the broth and some almond flour for thickness. I wish I could give you exact amounts, but really I just added the flour until it was thick.

Delicious. The roast was awesome as always…the gravy wasn’t terrible.  I will have to work on the almond flour gravy.

I always like crockpot meals. Easy prep, easy cooking, easy cleanup. This roast recipe is pretty simple.  There are many ways to add to it.  If you dig crock pot cooking, check out Paleo Pot.  All sorts of great recipes.

Happy eating!

Paleo Pizza Boats

I love zucchini. I especially love using it in place of bread. I saw this recipe on Facebook earlier this week and made a note to make it asap. My husband LOVES pizza boats, so I welcome this clean version for me.

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First, get yourself some zucchini. I found 2 medium sized ones. Slice them length wise then scoop out the innards. In the meantime, brown your meat. I used one pound of hamburger. I also threw in some garlic, onion, and Italian seasoning. The recipe called for curry powder and thyme, but I decided to do my own thing. I added the meat mixture, as well as the chopped zucchini insides, to some canned pizza sauce that I found at the store. I typically make it from scratch, but for the sake of time, went store bought. Make sure you check your labels if you go with a store bought sauce. Sugar is sneaky.

Line up the zucchini boats on a nagging sheet. Fill up the boats with the meat sauce. I sprinkled a little parmesan on top as well. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400°.

I did end up with extra meat sauce on purpose. I filled up the empty pizza sauce jars and froze the extras.

I’m excited about this recipe for 3 reasons. 1. It’s crazy easy to make. 2. I love when recipes substitute vegetables for breads or carbs. 3. It’s delicious.

Zucchini is the perfect thing to use as the boat to hold the meat sauce. It’s very mild, almost flavorless, and softens up quite nicely in the oven. I plan to make this often.

Original recipe found HERE.

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Breakfast wraps

I’ve talked recently about knowing where your food comes from.  We recently acquired 10 pounds of grass fed beef. I still get crazy excited seeing good beef in the freezer…waiting.  Last night, I browned 2 of the pounds with some onion and garlic.  Really, some of the best ground beef that I have ever had.  The flavor blows the other no name grocery store beef out of the water.  I added a little taco seasoning to it then combined it with some eggs.  I was out of spinach so I just put it into a lettuce wrap. Super simple, yet quite tasty.  Eating clean isn’t that tough.  It’s just a matter of figuring out easy alternatives to foods that aren’t so clean.   

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Portobello Burgers

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I have been hearing about using portobello mushroom caps in the place of hamburger buns quite a bit lately.  Thought I’d give it a whirl.  There are plenty of recipes out there with detailed instructions how to cook the mushrooms, but for this round, I just threw them on the grill as is.  I left them on there for oh, maybe 7-10 minutes. Just long enough for them to soften up a bit. 

For the insides, I used spinach, hamburger sprinkled with a little TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, grilled locally made maple bacon from the farmer’s market, and just a little smoked cheddar cheese that a good friend smoked for us.  Had my avocados been a little more ripe, I would have added some slices to my burger. Next time, I will also add a little homemade baconnaise.  This time, I just wanted to try it as simple as I could.  I was looking forward to the fun flavor layering. I was also trying to figure out which vegetable I should have as my side, then thought huh, I think I have enough veggies on this one. 

This was pretty delicious.  It just makes sense.  I like mushrooms on my burgers anyway, so why not use 2 big mushrooms instead of a handful of little ones.  The flavor was great, and the mushrooms really did a great job keeping the burger together.  I think that this will be my new favorite summertime meal.  In the near future, I plan to experiment a little with seasonings on the mushrooms.  The first one that I plan to try is THIS recipe. 

Try out some portobello burgers.  Great substitution.  Grain-free.  Extra veggies.  Good stuff.