Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Springtime Spinach, Kale and Pasta Salad with Creamy Citrus Dressing

Don't hate me, but I don't love salads. This one though... I had seconds. And then thirds. And then as I was putting away the leftovers, I ate a little more. 

I improvised with what I had, so my version had some extra bonuses. I added cucumbers, grilled asparagus and chicken. I eliminated raspberries, celery and red onion. It was divine. I think it was probably the dressing and pasta that made it so. 

Springtime Spinach, Kale and Pasta Salad with Creamy Citrus Dressing


  • 1 lb bowtie pasta, cooked al dente , cooled and tossed with Olive oil or a bit of the dressing
  • 8 cups kale ( about one bunch of Kale), chopped
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 large head red leaf lettuce or 16-20 cups of spinach
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • celery, finely chop 2-3 stalks
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped fine
  • avocado 1-2, chunked

Creamy Citrus Dressing


  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper


Cook the pasta, for bowtie, I cook for about 10 minutes ( a minute less than package directions) in about two tablespoons of salt.Set aside to cool, or if making ahead, toss with a bit of the dressing (about ¼ cup) or a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, place in ziplock bag and store in fridge for up to three days before serving. Prepare the dressing by placing all dressing ingredients in a deep bowl or jar and whisking using an immersion blender. You may also use a blender. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use. Wash the berries and let drain. Pat dry if needed. Wash and spin the kale dry. Chop into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Juice the lemon and pour over the kale in the bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Using hands, massage the kale for a few minutes until you can feel the kale breaking down. When you are finished, the kale should be about half the volume. You may also do this in a sealed ziplock bag, squeeze the air out first! Toss the pasta, kale and the other greens (lettuce or spinach) together and place in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining fruit, chopped celery, green and red onions on top of the greens in a serving bowl or platter. Add the chopped avocado just before serving. Drizzle with dressing. Alternately, toss the greens, pasta and all of the other ingredients in a large bowl with about ½ of the dressing, reserving some of the fresh berries and the avocado. After tossing, place in serving bowl, top with additional fruit and avocado and drizzle with a little of the remaining dressing.

I found this recipe here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Celery Soup

I had wilted celery in my fridge, which I know I could have stuck in a cup of water and brought some life back to it, but truth me told, I don't really like celery. I eat it occasionally because it's supposed to be good for you, but I don't like it. So, I made soup with it instead, and now I know how I'll be eating celery from here on out.


-2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
-1 bunch of celery
-1 onion, chopped
-1 white potato, peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth/stock
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper


Melt ghee/oil in pan over medium heat. Add celery, onion, potato and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover, and let simmer until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Add broth and veggies to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to pan and stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and top with crumbled bacon. (I used prosciutto and potato crisps)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stuffed Avocados

Sorry about the instagram picture, I'm too lazy to crop it at the moment

1 avocados, halved and pitted
1 can of tuna, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper

Scoop out some of the avocado from the pitted area to wide the "bowl" area. Place the scooped avocado into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the tuna, bell pepper, and cilantro to the mixing bowl. Pour lime juice over it. Stir it all together until everything is mixed well. Scoop the tuna mixture into the avocado bowls and season with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Soup

I made this the other night and it's delicious. This 60 degree weather we've been having calls for some nice warm soup. I know, we have it rough here.

1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned coconut milk

Optional garnishes:
extra-virgin olive oil, ground nutmeg, minced parsley, chopped walnuts toasted, slivered almonds, ghee, minced dried dates, chopped pecans.

Wash and core cauliflower, then coarsely chop.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir and cook until the onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped cauliflower and cook 5 minutes.

Add the broth and water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.

Work in batches, or if you have a large enough blender or food processor, carefully pour everything into the blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the puree back into the pot, add salt, pepper, and coconut milk (enough to get the desired thickness you want). Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes.

Recipe from Well Fed 2

Sweet Potato Waffle

A new found love for breakfast. Fast, healthy, delicious. It's really a win win all around. This makes about two waffles, which I could never eat two for breakfast, so I store it in the fridge and have it ready for the next day.

1 Sweet potato (any kind)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2-1 cup of chopped kale or spinach
1 egg
Garlic salt to taste
Cilantro (optional)

Heat waffle iron to your number 4 setting. You want the waffle iron pretty hot here. Grate your sweet potato and add the remaining ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine. Spray waffle iron, and place as much or as little of the sweet potato mixture into the waffle iron. Cook until ready. Top with a poached egg or two (I usually have two) some salt and pepper, avocado, more tomato, whatever your heart fancies here. I even like to throw some cilantro on top for good measure.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chicken Veggie Meatballs with Pesto Zucchini "Noodles"

I made this tasty little dish for dinner last night.  Isaac went back for seconds and Marin actually had a few bites-- which is a major accomplishment these days. Major.

Now, just to get one thing straight... this is a "paleo" recipe. I'm not normally into this kind of thing, but have been trying to make healthy dinners for Isaac and I (mostly so I won't gain a million pounds while pregnant) and this yummy dish popped up in Pinterest. Thank you, Pinterest. It made quite a few meatballs and I thought we'd have enough left over for dinner another night this week, but Isaac ate them all. They were small meatballs, so I guess I'll give him that. They are actually the perfect size for kids, in my opinion. So if your kids won't eat veggies, like my little one, then this is a good way to secretly squeeze some in! 

There were a few things I didn't have on hand and I used some other ingredients instead. For instance, I only had 1 zucchini and opted to use it for the noodles, instead of in the meatballs. All my changes/substitutions are noted below in bold. They were very easy to make, just for the record. 

Chicken Veggie Meatballs

  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped (about 1 zucchini) (I used half a bag of broccoli slaw I bought at the store in place of the zucchini. It included broccoli, carrots and cabbage, so I also omitted the extra carrots below)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cup blanched almond flour (I used oat flour, I'm sure any flour would do) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used ground chicken, made it so much easier) 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder (optional... I did NOT use this)

Paleo Spinach Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh spinach (I had a bag of spinach/kale blend. Worked great)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Zucchini Noodles

  • 1 to 2 large zucchini's (I just used 1, wish I would have had 2 for this)
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Veggie Meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the zucchini, carrots, parsley and garlic.
  3. Add almond flour, egg, chicken and pulse.
  4. Then add salt, pepper and chili powder and process until thoroughly combined.
  5. Drop tablespoon size balls of the chicken mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake 23 to 28 minutes.

Paleo Spinach Pesto
  1. In a food processor, add spinach, basil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Turn food processor on and add olive oil while processing.  Pulse until blended thoroughly.  If you need to add more olive oil add 1 tablespoon at a time.

Zucchini Noodles
  1. Cut zucchini with a mandoline into "noodles".
  2. In a skillet heat 1 tablespoons coconut oil, saut zucchini with minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste until soft or resembles noodles.  Toss noodles with spinach pesto and heat for about 1 minutes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Smothered Crispy Pork Cutlets with Cauliflower Mash

Its been a while since someone posted on here, so let's end the silence with this fantastic dish, shall we?  I think most people will like this. It was delicious and fairly easy.

Do you ever get bored with chicken?  I do. Sometimes I can't handle it. So, I made this last night  to shake things up and much to my surprise Isaac loved it. I thought for sure he'd scoff at the mashed cauliflower bit. But no. He did not. He liked it. A lot. And so did I. Enjoy. You're welcome.

Smothered Crispy Pork Cutlets with Cauliflower Mash

The pork can be made ahead of time and kept in a single layer in a baking dish in a warm oven (set to about 170 degrees) for up to an hour. Also the cauliflower mash can be made several days in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and warmed in the microwave or in a baking dish in the oven for serving.
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin(s), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and discard, mushrooms halved
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Cauliflower Mash:
  • 2 heads cauliflower, florets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the pork, slice the tenderloins into ½-inch pieces. Lightly pound with a mallet or the bottom of a small saucepan inbetween pieces of plastic wrap or inside a thick resealable Ziploc bag until each pieces is about ¼-inch thick.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge each piece of pork in the flour mixture on both sides. In a large, 12-inch skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until hot and shimmering.
  3. Add the pork in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches), leaving a bit of space between each piece, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked through (will register 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork (adding a little extra butter and olive oil if the skillet is dry). Cover the pork lightly with a lid or aluminum foil to keep warm.
  4. Once the pork has all been cooked and transferred out of the skillet, return the skillet to medium heat and add the 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter for the sauce. Add the mushrooms, shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have softened and are beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. The flour should take on some brown color and the mixture should sizzle a bit. Gradually pour in the stock, about ½ cup at a time, deglazing the pan and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Continue adding the stock, whisking constantly to avoid lumps and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the half-and-half. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Transfer the pork to a platter and pour the sauce over the top (some can be reserved to be served separately). Sprinkle with the fresh parsley. Serve the smothered pork over mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.
  7. For the cauliflower mash, clean and trim the large stems off the heads of cauliflower. Cut the florets into pieces. Boil the cauliflower in a large pot of water until very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain off the water and lay the cauliflower pieces on several layers of paper towels. Pat dry until very little moisture remains (do so quickly as you want the cauliflower warm when blending). Add the cooked cauliflower to a food processor, blender or use a large bowl and an immersion blender. Toss in the butter, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste (start with ½ teaspoon each and add more if needed). Process until thick and smooth.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe