Tag Archives: almost paleo

Citrus avocado salad with orange vinaigrette

citrus avocado salad with orange vinaigrette

This salad is beautiful, and scrumptious, but it’s also super easy to throw together. You can use whatever sweet citrus you have available. I used Cara Cara oranges this time, but you could use regular oranges, blood oranges, or any kind of orange cousin: tangerine, clementine, mandarin, satsuma.

The hardest parts are slicing the avocado and citrus, but that’s not really difficult, once you see a demonstration…

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Got leftovers? Make quick mini fritters.

what to make with leftover chicken - mini fritters

I picked up this idea from food writer Mark Bittman: he calls them “tiny pancakes.” (Here’s his original recipe.) It was born out of wanting to make himself something quick to eat, and finding some leftover scallops on hand. Don’t worry; you don’t need scallops to make this! Just about any leftovers will do, and you could do this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or brunch. Or appetizers. Or a midnight snack.

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Greek salad with tzatziki dressing

gyro-inspired salad

This sort-of-Greek salad was inspired by a gyro wrap: it has all the contents of a gyro, minus the pita wrap, with a modified tzatziki dressing. Gyro is a Greek dish featuring meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, and usually served wrapped in pita bread, with cucumber, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is traditionally made using yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill, mint, or parsley. Sometimes they’re also served with french fries stuffed inside.

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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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Eggs on avocado toast – easy, clean-eating breakfast or lunch!

eggs-avocado-bacon-toast-550x380
The moment I saw the photo on Pinterest of Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast at Pinch of Yum, I was hungry for this combo! But I thought it would be even better with a sprinkling of crispy bacon on top. Especially since I had some already-cooked bacon in the fridge. (Because of this: the best and easiest way to cook bacon.)
Better with bacon? Yep: I was right! The contrast of crispy whole-wheat toast, creamy mashed avocado, warm/runny egg yolk and crunchy bacon = heaven!
Poached eggs are a little challenging; her method makes them a bit simpler, but you could also just fry your eggs. My avocado was a bit too firm, so I added a bit of mayo to it. And then a dash of garlic salt, just cuz. Sprinkled on some fresh ground black pepper and a wee bit of thyme — totally optional, but pretty!
Now I wish I were going to be home for lunch tomorrow, because I am already hungry for it again!
Diet-friendly? Almost paleo (full-on paleo if you skip the bread); gluten free if you use gluten free bread for the toast; clean eating if the bacon passes muster; South Beach / low carb for maintenance level.

Brat and cabbage soup

brat and cabbage soup

I’ve been waiting for a day cool enough for soup; today was the day! I’d been wanting to try out this recipe I spied on Taste of Home recently, when I was trying to figure out how to use up some leftover sausages — including some grilled bratwurst.

This soup exceeded my expectations! I love that it takes one of my husband’s favorite foods (brats/sausage), and makes it into a fairly healthy meal. Kick it up to the next level by serving with a hearty bread made into garlic toast. (Or Paleo English muffins made into garlic toast.)

Bonus: it’s really easy! We’ll definitely be having this again.

I halved the original recipe, since I was cooking for two. (The recipe below is the half portion.) Double these quantities to serve a larger group, or to have some to put in the freezer. Several reviewers said that it tasted just as good if not better, reheated the second day, so this would make a great make-ahead meal, too.

Leave out the beans to make it Paleo and Whole30 compliant. You could add chopped avocado in their place: similar texture, plus healthy fats!

Brat and Cabbage Soup Recipe

Serves 4

2 cups chicken broth or stock (or more, for a long simmer)
2 – 3 medium carrots
1 stalk celery
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
2 – 3 brats, cooked according to package directions
1.5 cups shredded cabbage
1 can (14 oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained (optional*)

Put the broth on to boil in a large saucepan. Chop the carrots, celery and onion into bite-size chunks, and add them to the saucepan, along with the seasonings. Once the mixture boils, turn it down to medium low and simmer till the carrots are tender.

Slice the brats in half lengthwise, then into half- to one-inch slices; add them to the pot and heat through. At this point, you can turn the heat to low and let it all simmer till 20 minutes before serving time. If the broth gets too low, add a little more chicken stock. Or put some or all in the freezer for a future meal.

About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, add the shredded cabbage and beans. Stir gently and continue to simmer. Serve with fresh-from-the-oven garlic toast.

*To make this a lower carb dish — with balanced carbs and proteins — just leave out the beans. Here’s the nutrition info with beans:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 5 g 25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 38 mg 13 %
Total Carbohydrate 26 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g 31 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 16 g 32 %
And here it is without:
Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 206
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 5 g 25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 38 mg 13 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 10 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 11 g 21 %

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 %