Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Egg Rolls in the NuWave Oven

I love re-purposing leftovers. Especially if I can do so without anyone realizing they are leftovers. So when I had about a pound of ground pork already cooked and little bits of veggies in the fridge, it seemed like the best thing to do would be to mix it all together and wrap it up. And because I'm a big fan of texture, I wanted to get the egg rolls crunchy all the way around without frying them. The NuWave was going to be my friend again.

Start out by heating up the filling. This was great because the meat was already cooked and I had some of the veggies already cut, so minimal prep was needed. And the filling can vary by what you have on hand. I seasoned it all with a bit of salt and some crushed red pepper.

Then make the egg rolls. Some are prettier than others. It's ok. By the time I was done, I had mastered the egg roll fold.

After 9 or so minutes, egg rolls were ready to flip. Cook on the other side and they are ready to go!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Italian Chicken and Brussels Sprouts in the NuWave Oven

I like kitchen gadgets. A lot. Maybe one of my favorite gadgets is my NuWave Oven. At first, I thought it was another one of those infomercial "as seen on TV" schemes. I mean really, cooking meat from frozen in 25 minutes using infrared technology that produces juicy meat with crispy skin that uses 85% less energy? What kind or sorcery is this? But works. Ok, maybe their claims are slightly exaggerated. But not by near as much as you'd think. I find myself using the NuWave about once a week or so. And no, NuWave isn't paying me to write this...nor do they even know about it. This is all me here.

I was kind of surprised by the lack of NuWave tested recipes out there. Maybe it's not so popular with the food bloggers? Well, it should be. My 17 year old step son cooks dinner one night a week at our house and about 90% of the time he reaches for the NuWave. In fact, he got his very own for Christmas...and was super excited about it. He loves it because he can make a great dinner for all of us without standing over the food in the kitchen. To give him credit here, he was the one who discovered the deliciousness of cooking brussels sprouts in the NuWave.

Start out by placing halved brussels sprouts in the bottom tray, mixing in 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease

Add the rack and place chicken thighs on rack. Season with Italian Seasoning, garlic and salt

Put the dome on and set the cook time for 15 minutes. Flip chicken over, give the brussels sprouts a stir, and set the timer for 15 minutes again.

Finish everything off with some cracked pepper. It's really important you don't add pepper before cooking because it will burn and make your food taste funny.

Now I'm sure the NuWave folks weren't intending on cooking the veggies in bacon grease AND the drippings from the chicken above. That may even fly in the face of their nutritional claims, but I don't mind. I gave up all grains and refined sugar. I'm keeping my fats. All the fats.


1 lb brussels sprouts
1-2 tablespoons bacon grease (optional, but who doesn't want bacon grease??)
chicken thighs (thawed)
Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Halve brussels sprouts and add to bottom tray of NuWave. Add the rack and place chicken thighs on rack. Season both side of chicken and turn the NuWave on for 15 minutes. Stir veggies and flip chicken over. Turn on for another 15 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paleo Salmon Patties

I've tried to make salmon patties a couple of time lately without using breadcrumbs. It didn't always go well. But you know, carbs and junk. I'm still trying to stay away from the grains because it really seems to make a difference in so many ways. But every time I'd try different binders, they just wouldn't hold together. Until now. I finally have a paleo/primal friendly salmon patty that doesn't fall apart! And they are packed with flavor and even delicious reheated. 

Start by sauteeing some peppers, onions, and garlic in a bit of coconut oil. Then set that aside to cool. 

While that's cooling, mix together the salmon, eggs, and herbs. Then add in the cooled peppers and onions. 

Using a large scoop or measuring cup (1/4 to 1/3 c size), form the patties and dust each side in coconut flour. That's the secret to keeping these guys together. Cook about 4 minutes on each side in coconut oil. You should be able to easily flip them without falling apart. If they fall apart when you flip them, they need to cook longer. 

What you'll need:

1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 6 oz cans salmon, drained
2 eggs
2 tablespoons parsley
2 teaspoons dill
salt and pepper
coconut flour
coconut oil

Sautee onions, peppers and garlic in coconut oil until softened. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, mix together salmon, eggs, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Mix in peppers and onions. Using a large scoop or a measuring cup to ensure uniform size, make patties and dust each side with coconut flour. Add patties to hot pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned and outsides are set.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mashed Cauliflower with Herbs

In my continuing quest to cut carbs, cauliflower seems to be king. Want pizza? Sure! Cauliflower can do that! Need breadcrumbs on top of your casserole? Cauliflower can do that! Want mashed potatoes with your meatloaf? Well, cauliflower can do that too! And you won't miss the potatoes at all with this recipe!

Start out by chopping a head of cauliflower

Then add it to a pot with some water and boil until tender

Drain, return to pan, and mash

Add in butter and herbs, then give it a whisk to fluff it up

Monday, February 15, 2016

Turnip and Parsnip "Pasta"

If you haven't tried veggie noodles, you don't know what you're missing. Seriously. There is a wide variety of choices out there, making it super easy to get the perfect veggie and meat pairing. And you know, low carbs and stuff.

Sauteed Turnips and Parsnips

1 medium turnip
1 parsnip
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil or ghee)
1 1/2 c spinach

Run the turnip and parsnip through the spiralizer using the medium blade.

In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium low heat, then add the garlic and stir until soft and fragrant. Toss in the veggie noodles and cover. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Then add spinach. Cover and let the spinach wilt.

Serve with roasted salmon for a sweet and savory mix.

Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Salmon

The other day, I was able to snag a few salmon fillets at the store and I've been trying to figure out how I want to cook them this time. I usually toss them in a skillet with some butter, garlic and a splash of lemon juice, but I wanted something a little different this time, and I didn't want to have to babysit them while I fixed the side dishes too. Oven roasting seemed like my best option. And after I tasted it, I doubt I'll fix them on the stove top anymore!

Garlic and Herb Roasted Salmon

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons rosemary
2-3 Tablespoons parsley
1-2 lbs salmon

Let the olive oil infuse with the garlic and rosemary while you get the salmon ready

Line a baking sheet with foil, then add another layer of foil to wrap the salmon in. Lay out the fillets and sprinkle with salt.

Brush the infused olive oil over the fish, then top with parsley.

Bring the edges of the foil together and pinch together to lock in all the moisture, and bake at 375 until the fish is flaky. Depending on the thickness of the fish, it should take around 25 minutes.

Serve over veggie noodles for a primal/paleo friendly dinner. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Breakfast Pizza

My husband has been a good sport with all the crazy breakfast foods I've fed him lately. Spaghetti squash for breakfast? No complaints from him. But he did suggest that we try something else for the next week. He wanted eggs, sausage and bacon, which is normal breakfast fare, so we had that for a few days. But we both (very quickly) realized that a breakfast consisting of just protein didn't keep us full for very long. We were back to the dilemma of keeping veggies in breakfast (for the fiber), yet keep the meaty breakfast that he likes.
Enter breakfast pizza

If you haven't tried cauliflower crust pizza yet, you're really missing out. I use the recipe here, and make adjustments as needed.

For the breakfast pizza, I used that recipe, but left out the garlic and used all mozzarella cheese and baked the crust for 8 minutes at 425.

I skipped the sauce and just used cheese and toppings so it would stand up to reheating throughout the week. For toppings, I used 2 cups of spinach and a few diced jalapenos, then crumbled bacon and sausage, along with a little ham, and a final bit of shredded cheese on top. Then back into the oven for 8 minutes.

If you really wring out the water from the cauliflower after it's cooked, the crust of the pizza holds up great to being reheated. Adding a layer of cheese on the crust before adding the toppings creates a moisture barrier, which also helps the pizza keep its structure. And to make it even better, I even got a text this morning letting me know how much he liked breakfast!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Coconut Banana Chia Pudding

So when I first started seeing all the chia seed recipes all over the place (and by that I mean Pinterest), I actually laughed. People eat chia seeds? Really? And make "pudding" out of them? No way. All I could picture was a chia pet style bowl with green stuff growing out of it. Ummm, no. But I eventually caved. The first recipe I tried was chia seeds, milk, cocoa, and maple syrup. Even after blending it, it was still weird. The taste wasn't bad, but I couldn't get over the texture. The only reason I even tried again was because I had bought a bag of chia seeds, and I was going to use them one way or another!

The first recipe I used called for almond milk. I don't keep almond milk around the house. We are big fans of dairy, real dairy. Preferably full fat dairy. So I used whole milk instead. For round two, I decided to use coconut milk; I always have that in the pantry. And I had a couple of bananas that were about to disintegrate on the counter, so I figured they would be perfect. 

One can coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/3 c chia seeds
2 bananas (the riper the better) 

The recipe couldn't be much easier-mash bananas and mix the rest of it together, then wait for the chia seeds to expand and make the "pudding". 

It had to be the coconut milk that made the difference, because the texture of this was perfect-not weird. It was different for sure, but in a good way this time! And because the bananas were so ripe, no sweeteners are needed! 

Chia seeds are a bit heavy on the carbs, but over 80% of the carbs come from the fiber so in the world of carbs, that's not bad at all. And I can totally admit that it looks weird. It doesn't look like food, or appetizing food anyway. But I promise, it tastes great! 

Mashed Rutabaga

Root vegetables are a winter staple around my house. Well, more like a year round staple, but especially in the winter. Fresh produce in the winter can kind of be tricky, and when we have crazy weather around the country, it's even trickier. But root vegetables are usually fairly reliable. And comforting. I don't know what happens when you mash a root vegetable, but it's almost magical. Well, maybe not magical, but it's warm, and creamy, and buttery, and delicious. So basically the same thing as magical.

If you don't cook with rutabaga, you should try it out. And this is one of the easiest recipes to start with. If you can make mashed potatoes, you can make mashed rutabaga. It's pretty much the same; peel, chop, boil, mash, season, serve.

What you'll need:

Rutabaga (I used 2, but I was counting on enough for dinner and lunch for us)
Seasonings of choice
Optional: Crumbled bacon and shredded cheese

Just like potatoes, start out by peeling and chopping the rutabaga and then boiling under tender

Then mash

I like to put in the butter and seasonings during the mashing part just to really work them in. I used some dried onion flakes, 3 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper and some poultry seasoning. Once it's mashed down with a few chunks remaining, whip in milk until it's thick and creamy, just like mashed potatoes.

I like to top it off with a few pieces of crumbled bacon and some sharp cheddar cheese.

Rutabagas have about half the calories and carbs of potatoes, which makes a nice swap if you're counting those kinds of things.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Roasted Turnip Homefries

Comfort foods are awesome. I know, that's why they're called comfort foods, right? But seriously, sometimes some deep fried potatoes with seasoned salt is all you can think about. And that's rough when you're trying to watch what you eat. So we have to get creative. And sometimes lie to the ones we feed so they aren't aware that they're raving about how much they love the homefries and keep asking what I did differently. But then we eventually tell them that it's actually turnips, not potatoes, that they love so much and we watch their very, very confused faces.

And in all fairness to the spud, potatoes are not the worst choice we can make in the kitchen. But if you're counting carbs, turnips fair a bit better, with nearly a 1/3 of the carbs of white potatoes. 

Making turnip homefries is fairly simple. Peel and cut the turnips just like you would potatoes, then sautee (in butter of course) with seasonings such as seasoned salt and garlic, tossing in some diced green onions at the end. To get them extra crispy, spread the cooked homefries on a baking sheet and roast for another 10-15 minutes in a 375-400 degree oven, stirring about half way through. You won't regret it, and if you don't tell them, no one will know!! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Root Vegetable Noodles with Oven Roasted Chicken

Unless you are still one of the carb loving, noddle eating, gluten devouring folks out there (that I secretly despise and am constantly envious of), then you may have run across or even tried one of the gadgets that makes "noodles" out of vegetables. The "Veggetti" is one of my favorites. It's easy to grab it and turn zucchini into noodles in a matter of seconds. But in my experience, it is kind of limited to zucchini and yellow squash. And even those need to be fairly small or you end up pulverizing the vegetables (and your hands). Even Alton Brown has something to say about it.

So I've been on the search for something a little more versatile. Especially since we officially gave up pasta this month. (Although we haven't eaten any in almost a year) I finally found one and ordered it.

It was a bit tricky to figure out at first. I'm not going to lie....the Veggetti was fairly self explanatory, but this required some actual thought. But once we figured it out, we had noodles made out of turnips, carrots and parsnips in a matter of just a couple of minutes.

Don't mind my messy counters. I wasn't exactly planning on sharing the video with everyone-just wanted to send it to a couple of people to let them know that this one actually works!

While my husband was creating the noodles, I had put the chicken in the oven and started sauteing some onions and garlic in a couple tablespoons of butter on the stove. The noodles were added to the onions and garlic and cooked until tender, but not mushy.

A little bit of sliced chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, some salt and pepper and dinner was ready! Leave the cheese off to make it Paleo friendly, or keep it there and it's Primal friendly. Either way, it was very tasty and filling! 

1 Medium turnip
1 Medium parsnip
2 Medium Carrots
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Roasted chicken (or rotisserie chicken if you're in a hurry)
(Optional) Parmesan cheese

Saute onion and garlic on low heat until fragrant. Toss in spiralized vegetables and cook on low until desired tenderness. Top with chicken and sprinkle cheese on top.

Note: The above links will take you to the products advertised. If you buy it, I may receive monetary compensation for the referral, however I did not receive any compensation (monetary or otherwise) for this post. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Bake

So a few weeks ago while I was at the doctor's office, it was suggested to me that my normal breakfast (banana, 1 Tbsp nut butter, and a whole wheat wrap) was too carb heavy and I should switch to 2 eggs and citrus fruit instead. *note: the nutrition facts below were created at I am making the assumption they are correct and haven't bothered to double check their numbers. 

Current breakfast

Proposed breakfast

While I didn't necessarily agree with their proposed breakfast, I tried. I really did. But it turns out eating citrus every day seemed to aggravate my stomach. A lot.

So I set out to find a different breakfast that was lower in carbs, but didn't bother my stomach. And if I could add in some nutrients, that'd be cool too. So for the first try, I wanted to keep the eggs as they suggested, but add in some veggies, and I didn't want to have to make it every day. So I came up with a breakfast bake I could make over the weekend, portion out, then freeze for a grab and go breakfast.

New breakfast

It was pretty easy to make over the weekend. I roasted a medium spaghetti squash in the oven (400 degrees for about 45 minutes), sauteed the tomatoes and peppers, chopped the kale and green onions, cooked the bacon (then chopped it), and then grabbed a big bowl to mix it all together, along with the shredded cheese and some salt and pepper. Why only 3 pieces of bacon? Well, it's all I had. And to be honest, I don't think I would have noticed if it wasn't there. But I did sautee the peppers and tomatoes in the bacon grease so.....

Then spread that out into an 8x8 pan and pour over 7 beaten eggs. 

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then drop the heat down to 350 and continue baking until eggs are set, which was about another 10 minutes for me. That gets cut into 9 pieces and frozen. To reheat, cover and microwave on about 50% power for a minute or two.

If I kept it at 2 eggs per day, that would be 18 eggs and I'd probably need a bigger pan to bake it in, but here's what the nutrition would look like: