Browsing Category: meat & main dish (not paleo)

Herb-crusted salmon and pumpkin soup

paleo dinner: herbed salmon + pumpkin soup
paleo dinner: herbed salmon + pumpkin soup
I try to serve salmon at least once a week — gotta get those omega-3’s! I love that it cooks quickly, and there are so many ways to top it, encrust it, or otherwise embellish it. I’ve found, though, that it’s not as satisfying as red meat. We usually find ourselves hungry a couple hours later.
When I started making bone broth several month ago, I found that it is super satisfying. My theory is that it sticks with you because it’s providing a lot of minerals, gelatin, and other good, healing things your body is craving. So my strategy now is to always serve a bone broth-based soup on the nights I serve salmon.
A few nights ago, I made my herb-crusted salmon along with cream of pumpkin soup, using homemade chicken bone broth. My husband said, “I like this soup. It’s comforting, kinda like coffee.” (He is sorely missing his coffee with cream and sugar in the morning!)
Cream of pumpkin soup is easy to make Whole30 compliant by making it dairy-free: just swap out the cream for full-fat coconut milk. This recipe from AllRecipes is the one I use (minus the croutons): Cream of Pumpkin Soup.
This dinner is easy enough for a weeknight (especially if you make the pumpkin soup the night before, up until adding the cream), but special enough for a Fall or Winter dinner party, I think.
This pairing will go in our regular Whole30 rotation! I’m working toward publishing a four-week meal plan. Hopefully coming soon!

 

Coconut Shrimp on Spinach Mango Salad

coconut-shrimp-spinach-mango-salad540x380
My husband’s favorite Paleo/Whole30 dinner:
This Coconut Shrimp recipe from Paleo Leap…
Paleo/whole30 dinner: coconut shrimp on mango spinach salad

…on top of this Asian Spinach Salad recipe from Love and Olive Oil (with some mangos added)…

Paleo/whole30 dinner: mango spinach salad
…got us this deeelicious dinner tonight!
Paleo/whole30 dinner: coconut shrimp on mango spinach salad
I made the shrimp without any changes, and added mango to the salad. (Any eagle-eyed readers might also notice sunflower seeds in the bowl, but I think they were unnecessary.) Taste- and texture-wise, the avocado got lost in the mix, I think, but it adds a nice color to the visual experience. And, of course, some healthy fats!
Tasting the dressing as the recipe calls it, I was worried it would be too sour, so I added some fresh-squeezed orange juice and a bit of date paste, but once I tasted it mixed into the whole salad, with the sweetness of the mangoes and oranges, I’m not sure that was necessary.
The contrast between the delicately crunchy shrimp and the smooth mangoes, between the tart dressing and the sweet fruit — mmmwah!

This is Whole30 compliant! If I weren’t avoiding processed foods, I’d be tempted to buy ready-breaded coconut shrimp to speed the process. It wasn’t hard; just kinda time consuming. Might go a little quicker if you had a two-person assembly team.

Easy, make-it-your-own fish taco bar

fish tacos - how to set up a fish taco bar

I was recently asked for my recipe for fish tacos. “It’s not so much a recipe,” I said, “as it is a collection of ingredients.” Which makes it great for feeding a group with diverse tastes or dietary needs: just set up your fish taco bar and let guests create their own.

And much of it can be done ahead of time: everything except for the avocado can be sliced, chopped, or mixed ahead of time. The fish can be seasoned ahead of time, but will taste best if it’s made just before serving.

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Mealprep: 40 recipes to stock your freezer and free your mind!

Tacos-1

One of the best ways to eat healthy is to eat at home more. But for any busy person, this becomes a real challenge when it’s 4:30 and you have no idea what to make for dinner. Prepping some ingredients and/or dishes ahead of time to stash in the freezer can save the day. Not only does it save you cooking time, it also saves you brain effort at the very time of day your brain is most overtaxed!

Sure, these mean a little more work on the weekend — but you can do it at a leisurely pace, when you’re rested and not rushed. Which I’ve found makes cooking so much more enjoyable!

NOTE: not all of these are real food/Paleo/Whole30.

Mealprep: taco kit from The Kitchn
A week of dinners in the freezer, from The Kitchn. Recipes for: Baked Manicotti – Freezer Taco Kits – Twice-Baked Potatoes – Chile & Sausage Oven Frittata – Cranberry Pork Chops – Chicken and Wild Rice Bake. (Also includes side dishes, not listed here.) You can also find this same list of recipes with additional notes on how to turn prep day into a Freezer Meals Party.
Mealprep: stocking the freezer

Here are tips for stocking your freezer with precooked and seasoned meats, which gives you more versatility than already-assembled dishes. Includes instructions (but not exact recipes) for twice-baked potatoes, two different ground beef mixes, a teriyaki marinade that you can use on any meat, poultry or seafood (lots of sugar in it, though), and shredded chicken plus broth. Also has a few nifty tricks for neater packaging.

ingredient prep, + why i like it better than meal prep

For the past several months, I’ve gotten into the habit of ingredient prep. This works really well for me! It’s less labor-intensive on the front end, and more flexible at go-time! (I was originally inspired by this post by Mel Joulwan at Well Fed.)

Mealprep from Pioneer Woman

Here’s Pioneer Woman’s freezer cooking post. Not a lot of healthy stuff on the list, but I do love her tip for grilling whole chicken breasts and freezing them to have on hand for dozens of uses. I count about 11 main-dish recipes on her list, skipping the carb-laden ones.

Mealprep: chicken breasts
I also like this method for an easy way to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts, from Small Home Big Start.
Mealprep from New Leaf Wellness

Eight healthy freezer crockpot meals in 75 minutes, from New Leaf Wellness. Well, really four different meals, double batch of each. Beef Roast and Carrots – Chicken Fajitas – Mexican Chicken Soup – Garden Veggie Soup with Ground Beef.

Mealprep shopping lists

10 meals in 1 hour – super organized and detailed; even includes shopping list! Really just five recipes; double batch of each. Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken –  London Broil – Quick Taco Soup – Orange Glazed Pork Chops – Creamy Italian Chicken

Mealprep - more shopping lists

10 meals in 1 hour, take 2; the no-bake version; includes five warm weather recipes that are cooked either on the grill or in the crockpot—no oven required!

More about the method…

Here are a couple resources that aren’t recipe lists, but more of a how-to go about mealprep and make it work for you.

From Mealime: Meal Planning: The Definitive Guide to Planning Your Meals Stress-Free. This is an exhaustive collection with tons of tips — how to plan, how to shop, how to cook, etc.

Mealprep - the non-planned approach

A planned/non-planned approach. No recipes here, but some pointers for stocking your freezer with ready-to-go meat and cheese portions, then how to plan meals the weekend or night before, taking into account your schedule, the weather, and what’s in your fridge that needs to be used up.

 

And here are a few ingredients to have pre-cooked and ready in the freezer:

And a few things to know about food safety and quality:
Mealprep: freezer recipes

12 Easy Glaze Recipes for Roasted Chicken

rotisserie chicken w honey lime glaze
One of the easiest meals possible is to get a plain store-roasted chicken, then add your own simple sauces or glazes. Of course, you can start with a chicken you’ve roasted yourself, too.

Why not just buy a pre-glazed one? Making your own glaze ensures that there’s no corn syrup – high-fructose or otherwise – in the glaze, or other unwanted ingredients, be they soy, gluten, white sugar, high sodium, or MSG.

Most of these have a high level of sugar, usually in the form of honey or maple syrup. So to keep them from burning, you’ll want to add the glaze right before serving or give it just a few minutes in the oven. If you’re on a sugar-restricted diet, you can cut back the sugar part of the equation.

One suggestion: since a lot of these are sticky, you may want to cut the chicken up into serving pieces before glazing. But that’s optional.

Here are a few simple recipes that you can whip up quickly and easily — or make the night before and have ready to go right when you get home! Many of them have just three ingredients.

Honey sriracha lime glaze — Shown in the photo above, this is one I’ve made again and again. You can use on any chicken pieces. Experiment to find the right level of heat/sriracha for you. I use a quarter of the sriracha called for, and an extra dollop of honey.

Chutney-glazed chicken — Chutney, lime juice, and curry powder.

Maple black pepper glaze — Maple syrup, butter, and black pepper. Pretty simple!

Honey-spiced glaze — Honey, olive oil, cinnamon, and paprika. Rated 5 stars.

photo by Taste of Home

A fruit-and-wine glaze from Taste of Home — White wine or chicken broth, apricot preserves or quince jelly, and a bit of mustard. Rated 4 stars.

Orange-rosemary glazed chicken — Orange marmalade, rosemary, and your choice of vinegar.

Honey-lemon-soy glaze — The ingredients are — surprise! — honey, lemon juice, and soy.

photo by Eating Well

Pomegranate glaze — Uses pomegranate molasses (with instructions to make your own, if you wish), honey and black pepper.

Barbeque, honey and soy — Another easy, 4-star recipe, from Taste of Home.

Red-hot honey glaze — A buffalo chicken style sauce from Bobby Flay. Includes a recipe for a blue cheese dipping sauce.

Korean barbecue sauce — This is one you might want to make ahead; it has several ingredients, and benefits from some time simmering. I’ve made this; if you cook it low and slow long enough, you can skip the corn syrup and water part. But don’t cook it too high; it burns easily. (Voice of experience!)

Honey-mustard glaze — You could skip the curry if you don’t like curry or don’t have any.

Sloppy Jo’tatoes!

sloppy-joe-loaded-potato-500x250

What do you get when you make some sweet-and-smoky Sloppy Joe filling, and pile it on top of a loaded baked potato? A Sloppy Jo’tato!

One of our favorite things to eat in Kansas City is the “Barbecue Baked Potato,” a loaded baked potato topped with pulled pork at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, and that was part of the inspiration for this dish.

This would make a great family-friendly dinner, or a creative addition to a baked potato bar for a party or cook-out.

Sloppy Jo’tatoes Recipe

2 servings

1 or 2 russet potatoes
1 batch of Emergency BBQ Sauce (or a sugar-free sauce for Paleo/Whole30)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
optional toppings: butter, shredded cheese, sour cream, chives or green onions

1. Bake your potato(es) however you usually do. (I used one large potato split between my husband and me. You could use one whole potato per person, if you like.) My method is to prick, butter, and salt the outside, then bake directly on the middle oven rack at 450 F for about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mix up a batch of my Emergency BBQ Sauce. Let it mellow over low heat while you complete the rest of the dish. (Or use about 1 cup of your favorite bottled sauce. But watch out for corn syrup and other nasty chemicals!)

3. Ten or so minutes before the potatoes are due to be done, saute the onion till translucent, then brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off the excess fat, then add the BBQ sauce into the meat mixture — just until it gets as saucy as you like it. Stir it together, and taste to adjust seasoning if necessary. Keep that mixture over low heat till your potatoes are ready.

4. Check your potatoes to make sure they’re done. If not, a bit of time in the microwave might help finish them off. When done, split them open, mash slightly with a fork, and top as you like with butter, shredded cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese, and the Sloppy Joe mix. Then continue to top — as you wish — with sour cream, and chopped chives or green onions.

Not too happy with the photo I got,
but the taste more than made up for it!

Mmm-mmm-mm!

Here is nutritional info (via myfitnesspal.com) for one serving, based on using one large potato for two people, and only using about 2/3 of the BBQ sauce. Oh, and I also cut the sugar in the sauce from 1/4 c. of brown sugar to 2 T. of maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 448
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21 g 33 %
Saturated Fat 12 g 59 %
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 135 mg 45 %
Sodium 377 mg 16 %
Potassium 977 mg 28 %
Total Carbohydrate 28 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 9 %
Sugars 11 g
Protein 36 g 73 %
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 30 %
Calcium 7 %
Iron 25 %

Grilled pork tenderloin with easy al pastor glaze and mango salsa

al-pastor-pork-tenderloin
This sounds fancy-pants, but it was an easy weeknight dinner that I kinda threw together.
It started with an extra mango and some cilantro in the fridge, left over from fish tacos a couple days ago. What to do with that? A spicy and/or salty pork dish would be a nice counterpoint, so I picked up a couple pork tenderloins.
Mid-afternoon, I trimmed the pork and put both pieces in a baking dish, and slathered one of them with this impromptu glaze:
– a good bit (maybe 1/2 cup?) of some bottled “Tacos Al Pastor” sauce I had on hand (Target’s “Archer Farms” brand)
– a sprinkle or two of cayenne (if you’re not a spice wimp like me, you might want more)
– a scant 1/2 teaspoon of ancho chili
– a drizzle of honey (a teaspoon or more, maybe. want it sweet? use more!) 
(I seasoned the second tenderloin with cumin and a couple other things, to be made into Cuban sandwiches tomorrow night.)
So the tenderloins sat in the fridge for a few hours, covered and marinating in their glaze/rub. Forty minutes before dinner time, I took them out and let them sit at room temp for 20 minutes, before grilling till the interior temp was just over 140 F; then a few-minute rest. You could also cook them in the oven; find directions for that here.
While the pork was cooking, I chopped up the mango and a small handful of cilantro. Tossed that together with the juice of one lime wedge. 
Sliced the pork and topped with the mango mixture. (Roasted cauliflower for the side dish.) Verdict? The hubby said, “If I ordered this at a restaurant, I’d be very happy with it.” Wow! 

Recipe review: White Bean Chicken Chili

white-bean-chicken-chili
Note/update: I now have my own chicken chili recipe post on this site. For a simple recipe with all the instructions in one place, check this out: Easy Chicken Chili.
I saw a yummy-looking recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili pinned on Pinterest the other day and thought it sounded like great food for a snow day. But when I looked up the recipe, it didn’t sound so great. The recipe was scaled to feed a crowd, and used very little actual chicken.
I still loved the idea, though, so I hit AllRecipes and found this one there.
White Bean Chicken Chili
Photo from AllRecipes.

I made a couple minor tweaks: I only used one can of beans, and skipped the cayenne. I also used already-roasted chicken breasts from Dillon’s deli to cut down on some time and effort. (The secret to getting juicy roasted chicken at the grocery store? Pick it up at 3:30 or 4 pm. By 5 or later, they’ve been sitting under heat lamps too long and have become nasty-dry.)

This was a hit with my husband — and that’s sayin’ something, because he is an avowed soup-hater! And he even commented on how good the chicken was. He’s not really a huge fan of chicken, either.

I liked it because it was fairly simple to throw together. And yes, yummy! (A tiny bit too spicy for me, but then, I’m a spice wimp.)

If you’ve already made traditional chili in the last week but you’re not out of snow days yet, this is great cold-weather food! White Bean Chicken Chili, via AllRecipes. Husband and wife approved.