All Posts Tagged ‘dinner

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Whole30 Favourites – Week 4

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Whole30 is complete! As usual, I’m already looking ahead and planning to do another one. It’s funny how that works. You start to feel so good that you can’t wait to do it again.

This round, I learned that white potatoes make me feel exhausted immediately after I eat them. I had become suspicious of this over the past couple of months, so I tested it out over the first week and it’s definitely a problem. So I stuck with sweet potatoes and yams for the rest of the month and had no issues there.

Here are a few of my favourites from this past week.

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Top left: BBQ Chicken Skewers! These were so delicious. I combined a few different Whole30 bbq sauces to make my own sauce: 3oz tomato paste, 1tbsp orange juice, 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1 teaspoon salt. I cut 2 chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and marinated them in the bbq sauce for about 45 minutes. I chopped bell peppers and pineapple into 1 inch chunks, added grape tomatoes, and tossed them in coconut oil and South African Smoke seasoning from Trader Joes. Then I put everything on skewers and baked them in the oven (in better weather I would of course use the outdoor bbq) at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. I had them plain last night, but will be eating the leftovers on salad later today.

Top right: This was a car lunch again. The night before I marinated a grass fed beef inside round steak in lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. In the morning I quickly pan fried it and added it to mixed greens, grape tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, and yams.

Bottom left: Car lunch again. Stop judging me! My current schedule has me eating lunch in the car 3x a week, but it’s better than no lunch at all. This was a really simple leftover breakfast of chorizo sausage, yams and apple. I always find this hearty meal so comforting.

Bottom right: Pork side ribs from our 1/2 hog in our freezer. I put them in the crockpot, covered them in this Whole30 bbq sauce, and let them cook all day on low. They were awesome! We had them with my favourite yam dish again and salad. I was pumped to find a great Whole30 bbq sauce! I’ll be using this one again for sure.

I hope my recipe sharing has been helpful for you, and I hope it has helped you realize that Whole30 doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. I also hope my recipe links have pointed you in the direction of other awesome food bloggers. There are so many great resources out there!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Week 3 – Favourites

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Hard to believe I’m on day 21! Here are some of my favourites from this week.

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Top left: Car lunch again – leftover baked chicken (rubbed with Turkey Rub seasoning from Epicure), butternut squash, pear, raspberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. It was a perfect post workout meal!

Top middle: Soft boiled eggs, avocado, and some leftover Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo. 

Top right: Car lunch – chicken baked in paprika, garlic, oregano and salt with pan fried sweet potatoes, butternut squash and peppers with paprika, chipotle powder, garlic and salt. So good and so filling post workout.

Bottom left: Absolutely delicious Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo, with a simple salad and my new favourite: Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash by Popular Paleo. I want to eat these mashed yams every day! The Puerto Pibil made so many leftovers, which now makes it one of my favourite meals.

Bottom middle: One of my favourite salmon recipes by Melissa Joulwan, which I realized after is not available on her blog, sorry! Go buy her cookbooks Well Fed 1 and 2. We had it with yam fries, broccoli and cauliflower.

Bottom right: This is my go to, lazy, last minute dinner. Ground beef with taco seasoning (really just unmeasured amounts of paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt) with peppers, avocado, tomatoes and other random veggies on mixed greens. It’s sorta like a taco salad.

One week left! Wish me luck.

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent any extra time creating new things in the kitchen. To be honest, recipe creating is not my jam. I only started cooking from scratch a couple of years ago and I’m much more comfortable following recipes from some of my favourite cookbooks and blogs.

This recipe was born from a lack of proper meal planning leading to a lack of ingredients. I was aiming for this recipe (which I’ve heard is absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it once I’ve collected the ingredients), but ended up doing the following:

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

3-4 lb pastured pork roast

1 cup beef bone broth

1 jar salsa verde

4 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tsp oregano

For the cauliflower rice:

2 heads cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp dried cilantro

Salt

Butter lettuce or preferred lettuce for wraps

Directions

For the pulled pork:

1) Rub the roast with the garlic, cilantro, oregano, and salt.

2) Place the roast in crockpot with the beef bone broth, and then pour approximately 3/4 of the jar of salsa verde on top of the roast. (Reserve the rest of the salsa for topping off the wraps.)

3) Cook the pork in the crockpot on the low setting for 24 hours.

4) After 24 hours, remove the roast from the crockpot and shred it with two forks.

For the cauliflower rice:

4) Grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or pulse in food processor until it resembles grains of rice.

5) Heat the coconut coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.

6) Add the cauliflower to the pan, with the dried cilantro and salt. Fry it on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until it begins to get slightly crisp on the outside. Remove from heat.

For the wraps:

7) Wash and dry lettuce leaves. I like using butter lettuce or even cabbage leaves for extra crunch.

8) Fill lettuce leaves with cauliflower rice, pulled pork, and a dab of salsa verde on top.

Enjoy!

There's no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious.

There’s no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious. Trust me.

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Meatloaf with Whipped Yams

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I made this last night and my husband ate more than half of the loaf in one sitting because he enjoyed it so much! As always, there’s as many vegetables as I can fit in a meal without it falling apart and without my kids noticing too much.

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This recipe is large and yields three meatloaves. One for you, one for a friend who needs a pick-me-up, and one for your freezer. It does take some time (about 1 hour and 40 minutes cooking time) so be aware of that before you start.

Ingredients:

-3 lbs grass fed ground beef

-2 eggs

-1 large sweet onion, diced small

-6 cloves of garlic, divided, diced small (4 for meatloaves, 2 for yam topping)

-4 strips of pastured, sugar free bacon, diced

-2 large bell peppers, any colour, diced small

-6 large crimini mushrooms, diced small

-3/4 cup of kale, diced small

-4 large yams, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

-2 tbsp sugar free dijon mustard (I really like the Organic Simply Natural brand)

-1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (omit for Whole30 unless you can find a brand without any sweeteners)

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2) Fry your diced bacon in a pan over medium heat. Once it’s cooked through, remove the bacon and set it aside.

3) Scoop out the leftover bacon fat from the pan and toss it with the chopped yams and 2 of the diced garlic cloves in a large bowl.

4) Spread your yams out onto a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until yams are soft when pierced with a fork. Once they are soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave your oven on at 400 degrees.

5) While the yams are roasting, mix your ground beef, bacon pieces, eggs, onion, garlic, mushrooms, kale, and peppers in a large bowl. It is best to do this with your hands to get everything fully combined and mixed well.

6) Add the tomato paste, dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and mix again with your hands.

7) When everything is mixed well, divide the meatloaf mixture evenly into 3 loaf pans.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

8) Once the yams have cooled, take them from the pan and blend them in a blender, NutriBullet, Vitamix, or whatever machine you have. You may need to do this in two batches to make sure everything gets whipped smoothly enough.

9) Evenly spread the whipped yams over top of your meatloaves. (In my photo, I only put the yams on two of the meatloaves and left the freezer loaf bare. I haven’t tried freezing whipped yams yet so wasn’t sure how well it would work, plus I was short on yams anyway.)

10) Place two of your meatloaves into the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. Wrap the remaining loaf in tinfoil or saran wrap and place in the freezer.

11) When meatloaves are cooked through, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

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I’m big on community and loving each other. You’ll probably hear (or read) me talk about my “village” a lot. When my children were born early and in the NICU for weeks, our community showered us with love by regularly bringing us meals to help get us through the rough time. I can still remember how incredibly loved and taken care of we felt, and I strive to pass that on now. If you know someone who could use a hand, drop this meal off for them. They will never forget it.

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Shepherd’s Pie

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I think Shepherd’s Pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It reminds me of my childhood and especially church potlucks. The mashed potatoes were of course the best part, right?

I’ve tried a few paleo versions of Shepherd’s Pie and finally tweaked enough until I’ve got one that I’ll stick with. The main difference for me is in preparing the mashed cauliflower (faux mashed potatoes). Most recipes call for you to steam the cauliflower before mashing it, but I always find that this makes mine too runny and not close enough to the texture of real mashed potatoes. This time I tried roasting the cauliflower instead and the texture was perfect!

My little guy was shoving this into his mouth by the messy handful and Charley managed to swallow five bites, so I am definitely considering this a picky toddler approved recipe. (She did, however, refer to it as the Pie of Bravery, and suggested that maybe next time I should call Nana and ask for her recipe).

Ingredients:

-1-2 tbsp coconut oil

-2 lbs ground beef

-1 onion, diced

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-3 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)

-1 head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces

-3 tbsp tomato paste

-3 tsp coconut aminos

-2 tsp rosemary

-2 tsp thyme

-1.5 tsp paprika, divided

-1 cup beef broth

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads

Directions:

1) Heat a large pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.

2) Throw in your onions, garlic, carrots and broccoli and fry for approximately 5 mins or until they begin to soften.

3) Crumble your meat into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. (My pan isn’t very large, so I actually had to scoop out some of the vegetables to make enough space for the meat to cook evenly. Once the meat was cooked through, I add the vegetables back in).

4) While the meat is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop or slice your cauliflower (I slice the cauliflower into about 1 cm thickness so it will roast faster) and spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. For a little extra kick you could sprinkle with some minced garlic as well.  Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the cauliflower just begins to brown. Remove when roasted but leave the oven set at 400 degrees.

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5) Once the meat is cooked through and is no longer pink, add your beef broth, tomato paste, coconut aminos, rosemary, thyme and 1tsp of paprika. Taste and add salt if necessary.

6) Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer while some of the excess liquid dissolves and the flavours meld.

7) While the meat and vegetables are simmering, puree your roasted cauliflower in your food processor, Vitamix, or blender. I did not need to add any liquid to mine, but if it seems to dry then add some bone broth, water, or coconut milk, just a tablespoon at a time. I prefer it on the dry, fluffy side.

8) Remove your meat and vegetable mixture from the pan and press it into a 9×11 baking dish. Spread the mashed cauliflower on top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of paprika.

9) Bake it for about 25 minutes or until the top is nice and browned. Enjoy!

*This recipe is paleo and Whole30 approved.

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Potato Soup with Kale and Italian Sausage

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All of a sudden winter has hit us here in Vancouver. It’s been beautifully sunny and absolutely chilly and we are loving it! We’ve spent hours outside each day soaking up the sunshine and everyone’s mood has been lifted.

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The fresh cold air makes me crave hot soup, and so that plus the fact that kale was on sale at our local market had me coming up with this for dinner last night. This made quite a large pot, probably enough for about 6 bowls.

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Ingredients:

-6 slices of nitrate free, sugar free bacon

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

-1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

-2 celery stalks, chopped

-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used red potatoes but any kind will do)

-3 potatoes, diced into bite size pieces (I prefer to leave the peel on for this part)

-6 sausage links, Italian flavoured or chorizo (I did a mix)

-2 large red bell peppers, diced

-2 bunches of kale, stems removed and roughly torn or chopped

-fresh chives, chopped

-4 cups chicken broth

-1 cup water

-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Fry the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. (Put the bacon in your cold soup pot and then turn on the heat to medium to get the most fat rendered out of your bacon – thanks Cherie for that tip!)

2) Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set it to the side. Remove all but 1-2 tbsp of the bacon fat. (Save that removed bacon fat in a jar for another day…it’s gold.)

3) Fry your garlic, leek and celery in the pot with the 1-2 tbsp bacon fat until it smells wonderful, about 2-4 minutes.

4) Add in your 4 peeled and chopped potatoes and fry for another few minutes.

5) Pour in your chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 or so minutes, until potatoes are soft.

6) While your potatoes are cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage casing and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook until there is no longer any pink.

7) When the potatoes are soft, puree the whole pot of broth, potatoes, garlic, leeks and celery. Use a hand held immersion blender or remove the mixture and blend it in a Vitamix and then return it to the pot.

8) Add the rest of the potatoes and the cooked sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes or until the diced potatoes begin to soften.

9) Add your chopped kale and diced red pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

10) Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with chives and bacon.

Enjoy!