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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mexican Beef InstantPot Style

We've been using the InstantPot a little more lately because it's QUICK and doesn't heat up the kitchen!



I mean, seriously, what other reason do you need?

Yup, lunch at my desk was pretty exciting! I had this with riced 
cauliflower and green beans ... yummm

So ... this recipe comes from Nom Nom Paleo ... same place That Damn Fine Chicken came from ... and a few other recipes to be shared very very soon as well!

Anyway.

I'm waiting for the beef to go on sale, or for when I can finally make a quick trip to Costco to pick it up cheaper as beef is just expensive lately! The protein alone on this one cost me $17 or so ... and no, it was not grass fed, groomed, petted or anything else special like that. It was just Publix. Luckily, I used a $5 off $40 coupon, but still ...

Ok, lets get to the recipe, shall we?

TIP: 
Make this a DAY BEFORE you want to eat it, honestly! It's so much better the next day! I was in heaven at lunch for 2 days with this at the office ... yummmm

2 1/2 pounds of beef - I used a chuck roast but you can use brisket, boneless short ribs, flank, etc.
1 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs ghee
2 onions, cut in half and sliced thin (I used a red and a yellow)
1 tbs tomato paste (freeze the rest in a small ziploc!)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp fish sauce
dash of black pepper
cilantro

Cut yo' beef in to cubes, like 1 1/2 inch cubes. Seriously. Does ANYONE measure their cubes? I just cut mine in to a little bigger than a generous bite size ;-)  Toss the beef in a large bowl and season with the chili powder and salt.


Turn the InstantPot on Saute and add the ghee and onions and saute til just soft. Add the tomato paste and garlic, give a quick stir and cook til just fragrant. Uhm, I LOVE the smell of garlic and onions cooking!


Add in the beef, tomatoes, broth and fish sauce. Cover and lock the lid in place, making sure the vent is CLOSED.



Press the keep warm button (to turn saute off) and then press the "meat" button which sets the time at 35 minutes.

Go find something to do for 35 minutes. Wash dishes. Watch the news. Blog. Browse Pinterest. Stalk the kids on Facebook.

After 35 minutes are up and you hear the InstantPot beep, you can either press the warm button to turn off the pot and let it release naturally, OR you can leave it as is and let it stay on warm and release naturally. Whichever way you go, just don't do a quick pressure release (where you hit the vent open!).

Pull the beef out and add a little bit of the juice to the dish with the beef.


Serve this up with some riced cauliflower or over some zucchini noodles to keep it grain free/whole30/paleo. Or, if you have those folks in your household who insist on grains, serve up with some rice and call it a day!  Garnish with some fresh cilantro if you are into that ... I only do my plate as Hubby does NOT like cilantro ;-)

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sweet Potato Fries

*Repost Alert!*

On DAY 3 of Whole30 (well, the 2nd time around) we had burgers and dogs on the grill ... and man, I was sweating it on so many levels. Yeah, it was hot and humid too but I was more worried about:

B E E R

See, when we grill, we sit outside, where it's like a sauna and NOT in a good way ... between swatting at the skeeters and dabbing at the back of your neck with a paper towel, it's almost a given that you Get Yourself a Coozie and have a chilled beer (bonus point for the first person who can Name That Song!) ... but that's not very Whole30'ish like. Actually, it's everything the Whole30 isn't ...

#JANUARYWHOLE30

But don't you worry ... I improvised on so many levels and was so proud of myself ...

I did indeed grab a coozie and then a can of LaCroix Sparkling Water Lime ... and you know what? That satisfied that habit/need/desire/whatever to roll the edge of the coozie around the table in a circular fashion, sip from the can and give it a little shakey shakey and set it back down ... run my finger around the rim, play with the tab and so on. Yeah, I am a little fidgity.



So anyways ... I bought that big bag of sweet potatoes from Costco and still had the small bag from Aldis so I wanted to use those up first. Yes, they were starting to show their age a little ...


Turn on your oven to 425 degrees.

Grab yourself some sweet potatoes, wash them and peel them up. Lob off the ends of each one (actually, if you cut  off the pointy end BEFORE you peel you will avoid that annoying stop with the peeler when it hits the tough spot).

Cut them bad boys in half long ways and then cut in to fry size pieces. Uhm, I just sliced, cut and sliced the thicker ones again.

Toss them in a bowl and drizzle with some avocado oil and spinkle with some oregano, salt and pepper. Ok, you can use olive oil if you want but I was so excited about the avocado oil ;-)  Make sure you salt them well. I totally under-salted mine!



Grab a large baking tray and toss a sheet of parchment paper over the top ...

Lay out the fries in a single layer, leaving a little room between so they don't "steam" ...


*Sorry, not sure why these look washed out*

Throw the pan in the oven and let them cook for about 15 minutes. Pull out and turn over, the best you can, trying to keep them in a single layer and a spaced apart the best you can.

Allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so, checking for desired doneness.


Yup, they tasted just as good as they look!  I don't think I'll be buying the frozen bags anymore as they really didn't take any longer to prepare than the frozen ones! 

Go ahead and give them a try!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these Great Parties ... go check them out!

And ... if you want to see more pics of what I'm eating while on Whole30 ... follow me on Instagram ... 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Whole30 Simple Chili

Ready for a NEW recipe? Me too!

#JanuaryWhole30

Yes, I do have a Whole30 Compliant chili recipe but Hubby isn't a HUGE fan of the chocolate in it ... as minimal as it is ... so when I saw this recipe, I thought, sure, why not, lets give it a whirl.

I'm glad I did!


AND ... it's perfect for the Sunday Soup theme!

Here's how I did it!

2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped fine (hubby hates chunky onions)
4 tbs tomato paste (you know to freeze your leftovers in a Ziploc bag and just break off what you need, right?)
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs garlic powder
2 tbs cumin
1 carton of beef broth
2 14 oz cans of roasted fire roasted tomatoes or just plain diced tomatoes. The fire roasted ones are really worth looking for though, trust me!
generous dash of salt & pepper

In large pot, cook your ground beef and onions til no longer pink.

Drain the excess fat from the pan. 

Add the rest of your ingredients and stir well to combine all.

Allow to simmer 45 minutes or so, giving a stir occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

NOW.

I had this as just a simple bowl of chili. Topped it with some sliced green onions and a little chopped cilantro.


THEN.

I had this over a bowl of spiralized zucchini ... topped with some diced onions and a squeeze of lime ... oh yeah ...

AND THEN ...

I cooked up some spiralized WHITE sweet potatoes (them things are HARD to find, by the way!) in some ghee on the stove, laid the taters out on a plate, added the chili and topped with some guacamole and a little salsa ... O M G! That was the BEST!

See, this Whole30 thing ain't so bad after all, is it?

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Whole30/Paleo Chicken Bites

Here we go again!

#JanuaryWhole30

Even though I wasn't actively doing a Whole30 recently, I still asked myself a few questions before I ate something:  Is it healthy? Is it Whole30'ish? Is it Paleo? Is it healthy?? Yes, twice I asked myself that question.

That kind of puts me WHERE I want to be eating ... I just wish I could truthfully say that I eat that way 100% of time ... instead of 75% ... or maybe 70%.  If only beer was Whole30/Paleo, I'd have it made.

Oh ... yeah, them stupid frosted sugar cookies too ... that would be nice.

But they aren't.

So. That brings us to this recipe.  All I had to pick up was the zucchini.



Yes, zucchini. With ground chicken. And garlic, salt and pepper, cumin and a little olive oil.

Weird. Even weirder is that Hubby liked it.  You know he doesn't do squash AT ALL! But he ate this. And was ok with it.  I guess, maybe, he's showing support ... or maybe he was just freakin hungry? :-)

Whatever, I don't care, he ate it and did not complain. Of course, he was asking if we could make some rice to go along with it. I told him we could, but I didn't want rice ... so I had a nice baby lettuce salad with my prized Tessemae's Lemon Garlic Dressing. OH NOTE: Publix sells Tessemae's now ... so I grabbed the big clamshell of salad and then noticed that only the RANCH was available ... like WTF? So I tracked down the produce gal and she was like NOPE, we can't keep that in stock it sells out fast. Ahem, if I'm going to have a ranch dressing that's Grain & Dairy Free, I'm making it myself ;-)

WHAT??

Ok ... back to this recipe (sorry, got off on a small rant there) ...

1 pound ground chicken (freezer, for quite  a while) - I just picked some up at Target a few weeks ago marked down to $1.59 per one pound package! Score!
2 small zucchinis, shredded (2 cups worth) (picked up at Winn Dixie)
3/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 green onions, greens only, finely sliced (ALDI)
handful of cilantro chopped (ALDI)

Ready?

Turn oven on to 400 degrees.  Grab a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.

Toss everything in a bowl and mix it up. It will be very wet.

Make yourself some smallish balls (I tried to use my scoop thing but it just wasn't working) and place on the tray.  Leave a little space between them all.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the meatballs and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Once cooked through, remove and let cool a little. *I've got some chili pepper infused olive oil that I'm going to use the next time for a little bite!

Grab the smallest one you can find, and tentatively take a small bite.  I was seriously thinking they were going to taste like crap. What can I say, I'm being honest here.

Think to yourself, gee, they kinda taste like chicken nuggets.

Hold out one to Hubby and tell him to try. Coax him as he saw that zucchini AND cilantro (2 things he totally does NOT like). Smile when he says hmmmm...not bad ... and realize that eating this way isn't so very bad after all ...

I was surprised that I liked these as much as I did and now know what to do with the other 3 pkgs of ground chicken in the freezer (well, this and my favorite: chicken lettuce wraps!) ...

I recommend that you make a batch of this dairy free ranch dressing to go along for a dipping sauce as well!

Go ahead and give this a try, you might be surprised as well!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)


Original recipe from One Lovely Life ... pretty cool little blog you should check out!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Whole30 - Shallot Chicken

This recipe comes from Paleo Girl 99 who I found on Instagram ... doing the Whole30 had introduced me to a whole new class of bloggers!

So. The first time I made this, I didn't have the dehydrated shallots, but had dehydrated onions, so I improvised and used the onions.

Yeah. Hubby was in love.  Asked me for 3 days if this was really the only thing that I did to make it taste so good. Was I sure it was just the dehydrated onions and not the "fried onions"  and on and on.



Good grief. He just can't accept that something so simple would be so tasty. I did NOT share that this was Whole30 approved as some things just don't need to be said out loud.

Then I put this on the menu again and said, hmmm, let me just order some shallots from Amazon. Well. The first thing that popped up was $1xx.00 to buy. No thank you ... so I kept shopping and finally came across a $12 bottle. Thank you one click ordering!

So, here's how I made it the first time with GREAT success!

2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, extra fatty stuff removed
generous amount of black pepper, salt and garlic powder (we have it premixed sitting next to stove)
generous amount of dehydrated onions or shallots

Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs, lay them flat in a glass baking dish.

Generously season with the black pepper, salt and garlic. Flip and lightly season the other side.


Now. Go to town with the dehydrated onions or shallots (whichever you choose).  I mean, really go to town. Honestly, I really liked them with the onions!


Bake these in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.  Because Hubby is different, he wanted to finish them off on the grill. So we cooked on the grill, over medium heat, til golden brown. Alternatively, you could broil to achieve the golden brown topping.

Serve up and enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Simple Asparagus

For years, and years, like every other veggie out there, I wouldn't go near asparagus ... that's like, a tree stalk, right?  It's right up there with the green tree shrubs (broccoli) and that funky white stuff (cauliflower)!

#JANUARYWHOLE30

And then, I tried these little skinny stalks with garlic and olive oil and since then, I've been addicted to asparagus ... I'm the one in the produce section tossing the fat things aside, looking for the wimpy, skinny things.


Yup. That's ME!! Hi! Sorry if I held you up!  If nothing else, Whole30 has made me branch out and try all kinds of different veggies ... that in itself is a NSV, you know?

So a few weeks ago, Aldi's had asparagus. Imagine that!? $2.99 for a one pound bag. Now, mind you've I've seen asparagus there before, but it was either, you guessed it, fat and woody OR the tips were all mush which is a no-no in the asparagus world.

So whenever, I see them model thin stalks, I scoop them up, run home and promptly start cooking ... I LOVE LOVE LOVE these things!



I used to make them this easy way: asparagus, chopped garlic, diced onion, olive oil, salt & pepper mixture ... but then ... I discovered this:


Trader Joe's Lemon Infused Olive Oil  ... uhm ... HELLO!!??

So now, I just skip all that happy chop chop chop stuff and get straight down to this technique:

Snap and rinse your asparagus, toss the tops in a large bowl.

Drizzle with generous pour of that there Lemon Infused Garlic Oil

Liberally season with your salt & pepper mixture (ours is salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder poured in to an OLD Badia spice bottle ... we live by this stuff)

With clean hands, fluff and mix to coat all the asparagus.



Fire up your grill and allow to heat on high. Reduce the heat to medium (make sure no flames are hitting the grates) and clean. Put a grill mat down (if you don't have one, you NEED one ... this is what they look like and I really need to do a review on these! I picked this up at Bed Bath & Beyond for like $10 or so but like the link better as there's 3 and they seem to be larger than what I have)


Toss on your asparagus (I did two batches as I made 2 pounds), spread them out a little and close the lid. After a few minutes, check on them, giving them a little toss with your tongs ... keep an eye on them as they will get charry really fast ...

I love, love, love these little things and this is such an easy recipe to make! Go ahead, give it a try!

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Italian Beef Crockpot Style

*Repost Alert AND it's WHOLE30 COMPLIANT!*

You all picked up that I'm sort of still on a Pantry / Freezer Challenge, right? The fact that we are now a single income household (AGAIN!) and the potential, hopefully soon upcoming sale of the house and move to a much smaller place with only ONE, maybe TWO refrigerator/freezers, I kind of need to be eating down the Pantry and Freezers. Well, I've got this lovely hunk of beef in the guest kitchen freezer taking up a LOT of space ... so why NOT make this really yummy, super easy crock pot recipe! 


I didn't realize this was tied until AFTER I pulled it out of the crockpot!

I've shared this recipe before but it's definitely something to keep on hand as it's so easy, it's not even funny. Just a heads up though, if you do NOT like your food spicy, then do NOT dump the juice in from the pepperoncinis!


Are you ready to get this super duper, yummy recipe underway? Here's what you need:

3 lbs or so of beef roast, sirloin, whatever you have on hand (never have used ground beef though) ... I had this nice hunk of beef in the freezer
small jar of pepperoncinis (save yourself some work and get the pre-sliced ones - you can find these by the pickles - drain if a bit of you don't like it hot or all) ... I buy mine at Aldis since they are like half the price as regular grocery store ones
1/2 cup or so of beef broth (or you can use water and beef bouillon or cube)
about a tsp of chopped garlic
a tsp of oregano
a tsp of black pepper

Put roast in crock pot. Add all the rest of ingredients (drain the pepperoncinis if you don't want it hot)
Place lid on crock and fire it up. Let it cook 6 to 8 hours. 

Shred beef (when it pulls apart with little effort, that's when I know it's done) and serve on toasted rolls IF you are NOT doing a Whole30 and do bread (ciabatti, hoagies, buns, etc.). I serve mine either as a lettuce wrap or over a bed of roasted veggies (uhm, I LOVE the riced cauliflower with this stuff!) 

Top with a little juice from the crock pot and if desired, add a piece of provolone cheese ... really, really yummy!

Now, this is easily a Whole30, Paleo friendly recipe if you are all about that ... just omit the cheese (obviously!) and double check your broth to make sure there's not funky stuff - skip the bouillon cube and go with the real deal in the carton.

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cilantro Lime Riced Cauliflower

#JANUARYWHOLE30

*Repost alert! This is made all the time, even when I'm not doing a Whole30 ... it's just yummy, healthy eating!*

Did you see my excitement a few weeks ago when I finally found the bags of riced cauliflower at Trader Joe's? I made a bag of that stuff that very night without any thought ... that's how excited I really was ;-)

It was really easy too since the cauliflower was already riced ... all I had to do was zest a lime, chop some cilantro, juice the lime and cook the "rice".


I have turned so many people on to this stuff in the past few weeks
that I may never find it again at the Trader Joe's by my house!

*Type 1 Diabetics should be stockpiling this stuff with only 3 grams of carbs per serving!

This isn't really a recipe, so to speak, but more of a process. And I'm looking forward to making it again!


Here's what you need:

1 12 oz bag of riced cauliflower (or you can certainly rice your own, it's just messy)
handful of cilantro
1 lime

Toss your cauliflower rice into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and allow to heat through without messing with it much. I used my Green Pan and didn't use oil or anything else and it was cooked in 15 minutes.


Add the cooked cauliflower to a bowl and toss the cilantro in. Zest your lime, cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves over the rice/cilantro mix.

Give a quick fluff/stir and serve up ;-)

I had made this for Taco Tuesday (which really was a Taco Wednesday) and had a taco bowl - shredded lettuce, "rice" and meat ... can I just tell you how dang happy my tummy was?? It was pretty tasty and I can honestly say that the day of Taco Salads are gone ... I will forever be having taco bowls (ohhh....a knock of Chipotle bowl is in the future!!)

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

DIY Foaming Dish Soap

If you are doing a #JanuaryWhole30 you most likely are going through a ton of dish soap lately ... you know, cook, eat, wash and repeat for 30 days straight.

I LOVE Dawn dish soap. I've made it no secret that there are certain things that I'm brand loyal ... such as Dawn, Tide, etc.  I can't help it ... and NO, Dawn has NO idea who I am ... it's just what I prefer!

So ... when I was able to pick up one of these Dawn Direct Foam bottles a year ago with a great sale and coupon, I was so excited. It's perfect for a quick clean up on something that's not so messy and it keeps the sink fairly empty on a low volume cooking day ...


I even bought the refill bottle which is basically almost 2 refills worth ... but that was pretty expensive.

And then, that ran out. Oh sad day!

But guess what?? You can do this yourself and I can't believe I didn't look into that before!!

Ready to hear how easy it is??

Mix half water and half soap, place in bottle, put the pump top on and shake it up and ta da!


Ok, so here's a few tips for you:

1. If the pump seems to be clogged, you most likely used too much soap, just dump a little out (into a jar, you can save it for the next time!!) and add a little more water. You will know as it will be more soapy then foamy.

If the suds seem to thin and water, you added to much water, so again, dump a little out and add a little more soap.


I have not tried this with hand soap, but can't see why it wouldn't work too? I personally do NOT like body wash, prefer a bar and washcloth, but wish I had a pump bottle to try the body wash for the sink ...


Also, I've not tried any other dish soap except dawn to do this with. I would imagine, again, that it would be just fine.

Got a Frugal Hack to share? Let me know and I'll give it a shot!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

No Bean Chili

I really need to come up with a better name for this as the title just doesn't do this chili any justice!

#JANUARYWHOLE30

I've been making this for the past 3 years or so and it's become a freezer staple in that I freeze half of it in a large ziploc bag for a future meal that's beyond just chili: 4 Way Chili, Chili Cheese Dogs, Chili Taters ... so many things!  Of course, MY favorite is the 4 Way Chili ...

It's on the menu this week without the cheese!

So, being that it's been a while since I originally shared the recipe, and I'd like to think my photography skills have gotten a tad better (stop laughing!) I figured I'd update the recipe! Not to mention, over time, I've made a few slight modifications to the recipe to suit our taste!

Yes, it IS grain free, and because I finally threw down the kitchen towel on Thursday morning and said I'm doing it (Whole30), I knew I needed to make a batch of this right away ... and even better, Whole Foods had a sale on their grass fed beef for $5.99 a pound. I may have overbought, but that's ok since I can just freeze it up and as to the additional cost, no biggie in that I won't be buying beer, vodka, Jack or Patron for the next 30 plus days. I say PLUS because in the event I mess up (ahem, margaritas, beer) I'm just tacking another day or two on at the end. Because I KNOW this is going to be MY problem. Just sayin'.

So ... even if you do eat grains, dairy, beans, all that stuff, you should still make this as it's a different chili and pretty damn tasty to boot!

Here's what you need:

1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced (I used my ******)
2 tbs fresh chopped garlic
2 pounds of ground beef
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs oregano
1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's baking cocoa)
1 tsp all spice (just picked up some a few months ago finally at Aldis)
1 can of tomato paste
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 carton beef broth (I used stock cuz it's what I had on hand)

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add your oil. Toss in the onions and sautee til just turning translucent. Add garlic, give a quick stir and once you smell garlic cooking, add your ground beef. TIP: break up your beef as you add it to the pot so it's easier to break into small pieces while it starts to cook.

Mix up all your spices, including that cocoa!

Once the ground beef is cooked, feel free to remove any excessive amount of fat in the pan. I use this niftly little scoop that takes out quite a bit at a time.

Add the spices, stir and let it cook for a few minutes.

Add in your tomato paste and mix well. Allw that to cook for a few minutes.

Add your tomatoes (juice and all) and your beef broth, stir well and bring to a boil. Once you hit the boil, reduce heat to simmer, place your splatter screen over the pan and walk away for an hour or so.

Feel free to stir the chili periodically, but you need to let it cook down to thicken it up. This allows the flavors to really come out ;-)

That's how I like it ... if you like yours more soupy, then add more broth after you let it thicken up some.

Serve up with some avocado slices, fresh diced onions, cilantro. If you do dairy, feel free to add a little cheese on top, but honestly, it does NOT need it!

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing over at some of these GREAT Blog Parties ... go check them out!

If you are interested in following along how I'm eating for the next 30 plus days, follow me on Instagram where I hope to post at least two of the three meals a day!