Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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It’s like a thousand degrees here in Miami right now which means heavy, fattening meals that take forever to cook are not going to happen in this household right now.  I NEED quick, easy, and super light…because let’s face it – it’s always summertime here AND vacation is right around the corner.  SO!  If you’re in need for a quick and easy summertime salad – I’ve got you covered!  Continue reading

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Mediterranean Spinach Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

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Happy Monday!!!  🙂  I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  I have a super delicious and extremely healthy SALAD for you to start your week off with!!!   I’ve had this salad on repeat in my house for the last 2 weeks.  I can’t stop eating it… I love it so much!!!  Continue reading

Cauli-Rice

I have FINALLY jumped on the “Cauli-Rice” bandwagon and I’m not sad about it.  I wasn’t too sure how I was going to like this…as I’m not a big fan of cauliflower at all unless it’s smashed like a potato and smothered in butter and cream.  Oh, but this!!!  This little side dish is SO much healthier and it’s filled with lots of colorful veggies .  Y’all know I like to eat the rainbow.  There’s something about the sesame oil that gives it that fried rice taste that I LOVE.  AND to make things even better, you can buy the cauliflower already ‘riced’ (freezer section) so now you don’t have to worry about getting cauliflower all over your kitchen when you rice it yourself!  I’ll definitely be making this on a regular basis and I hope you do too!  🙂 Continue reading

Garlic & Herb Zoodles

Since I got my spiralizer for Christmas I’ve become quite the Zoodle’er!   (I’m not sure that’s a real word, but I’m going to say it anyway!)  I was home visiting my family with baby girl for a bit last month and my mom and I made zoodles a whole LOT!  I’m really sad that I’m just now finding out about this spiralizer thing… You can literally turn any kind of vegetable into a NOODLE!  I’m amazed and absolutely LOVE knowing that this little contraption can keep me entertained with ideas of new healthy recipes.  Please be aware – there will be a lot of Zoodle recipes coming your way!  I really hope you’ll love them as much as we do.

The beautiful thing about zoodles is that you can flavor them however you like best!  So far, I’ve made Thai Zoodles, Greek Zoodles (I haven’t posted this recipe yet), and now Garlic and Herb Zoodles!   These are a perfect side dish for just about anything.  I grilled some chicken, lightly seasoned and put it on top of my zoodles with a side of broccoli.  It was a perfect, quick, and super easy week night meal.  If you don’t have a spiralizer, GO GET ONE!!  You can find a decent one for $20-$30.  I promise, you’ll love it!!!

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Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp organic butter
  • LOTS of GARLIC!  I used a good 2 tbsp.  Use however much or little you prefer!
  • 1 large organic zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 large organic yellow squash, spiralized
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 organic carrots, sliced thin (matchsticks)
  • 1 cup organic cherry tomatoes
  • 2 big handfuls of organic spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chop
  • 1 palm full of herbs de provence
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Before you get started make sure all of your vegetables are sliced, diced, and ready to go!  Once the onions have caramelized this side dish doesn’t take long to cook at all.  I don’t like mushy veggies, so I made sure my protein was just about ready before starting it.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat up the olive oil and butter on medium-high heat.  Add the onion and caramelize for 10-15 minutes.  After about 10 minutes, I added the garlic.  Let the garlic cook until it’s translucent.  Your kitchen will smell AMAZING!!!
  3. Next – add the carrots and let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and zucchini and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Now – add all the herbs, tomatoes, and spinach.  I used tongs to make sure all the veggies were mixed well.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and TASTE it!  Adjust the seasoning to your liking and serve it up!  It’s the perfect accompaniment to any piece of chicken, fish, or steak!  If you have leftovers, check out my Zoodle Frittata recipe!

Collard Greens…My favorite veggie ever!!!

Collard greens are seriously one of my vegetables ever!  If you’re bred, born, and raised in the South, you grew up eating these babies at every holiday meal, Sunday supper, or any meal that brought the family together!  This is my go to side dish when I’m craving some southern comfort foods.

This recipe turned out really good, thanks to my mama…BUT…if I had remember the smoked turkey leg at the grocery store, they would’ve tasted even better!  I left the smoked turkey leg out of the recipe, but if you really want to kick these up a notch, before you do anything, add the turkey leg and one cup of water to your pot, cover it with a lid, and give the meat time to flavor your water, maybe 15-20 minutes on medium heat.  THEN….follow the recipe below!

 

Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp fat
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 big bunches of collards, washed, stem free, and chopped
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper OR crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp organic, all natural sugar or honey

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven on medium-high heat, add the fat to the pan.  Let it get hot and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until translucent.
  2. Add the collards, water, and seasonings.  Stir well, cover it with a lid, and let it simmer for as long as you can.  If you don’t have a lot of time to let it simmer, then cook until the collards become nice and tender, at least 30 minutes.  After the collards have cooked for a while, taste the juice and adjust your seasoning accordingly.
  3. If you’re cooking for a big crowd, you may want to double or even triple this recipe.  The collards look like a lot, but once they start cooking, they cook down to almost nothing.  You will definitely want leftovers!  Serve with your favorite southern comfort foods and enjoy an amazing meal with your loved ones!

Fourth of July Potato Salad

Every cooking show I’ve been watching this week has been making the most incredible looking BBQ, potato salads, and PIES!!!  Just looking at these foods makes my mouth water!!!  Growing up in the South, you’re either raised with the most delicious BBQ restaurants around…OR…somebody in your family knows how to throw down on a grill or smoker and make some of the BEST BBQ you’ve ever put in your mouth.  My experience comes from my mom and grandfather who know how to cook some meat on a grill.  Let me just tell you…since living in South Florida, I have missed my mama’s smoked meat!  I’m pretty sure my hubby has too.  🙂  So, I made some BBQ chicken and potato salad this week to hopefully “fix” my craving.  I’ll be completely honest…since I don’t have a grill or smoker, my BBQ chicken did not turn out as I had hoped, BUT my potato salad might have been one of the best potato salads I’ve ever made!  And YES!!!  It’s completely Paleo/Gluten Free which makes me even more happy!!!

If you take this Fourth of July Potato Salad to your next BBQ or family gathering, I promise it’ll be a huge hit!!! 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs organic white sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (whatever you prefer), medium diced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 3 stalks of organic celery, small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup Paleo Mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)**
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup organic sweet pickle relish (make sure it’s all natural and doesn’t have any high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 heaping tbsp organic yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 3-4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped up for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.  Once cooked, drain the potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking, get the veggies and dressing ready.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl add the potatoes, celery, bell pepper, hard boiled eggs, and onion.
  5. Pour the mayonnaise dressing on top of the potatoes and mix until well incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, or over night.  The longer it sits, the better it tastes!  Serve your potato salad in a pretty bowl and garnish with some chopped up bacon.  Your friends and family will LOVE it and I’m pretty sure you will too!!!

**Feel free to make your own Paleo mayonnaise OR if you buy store bought, look for a mayonnaise that’s nonGMO, cholesterol free, gluten free, soy free, and no artificial ingredients!  I found some at Whole Foods and it actually tastes amazing!  I buy it all the time now!**

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Pan-fried Potatoes with a Dijon and Thyme Infused Vinaigrette

I’m a true Southern Belle which means: I have NEVER met a potato that I didn’t like!  I don’t care if it’s white, yellow, purple or orange…fried, smothered, covered, grilled, boiled, or mashed… GIVE IT TO ME!!!  But…since being on Paleo I’ve only been eating sweet potatoes in moderation.  My husband, on the other hand, is not a big fan of the sweet potato.  It makes me so sad.  I could seriously eat them morning, noon, and night.  So, I was shopping in Whole Foods one day and saw some organic “white” sweet potatoes… Which made me wonder if it might be possible to… Well, I hate to use the word “trick”…so let’s just say maybe not tell him that they’re not a true white potato!  And…well……..It worked!  He never asked and I never told him!  And he eats them up!!!  He’s eating healthy and doesn’t even realize it!!!  Drizzle a little vinaigrette on top and they taste even more amazing!!!

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Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large organic white sweet potato, or two small ones, medium diced
  • 1/2 onion (yellow or purple), medium diced
  • 2 tbsp fat
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (save a little bit to garnish the top of the potatoes)

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add the fat to the pan and get it hot.  Add the diced potatoes, let them brown on the first side before you stir or flip them.  About halfway through the cooking process, add the onion to the potatoes.  Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. At this point cut the heat down to medium-low and let them cook slow for the remaining time.  The potatoes take a good 15-20 minutes to cook, depending on how big you cut yours.
  2. In a small bowl, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together.  Set aside until your potatoes are ready.
  3. Once the potatoes are soft, serve them in a pretty bowl, and drizzle the vinaigrette on them.  Garnish with some fresh thyme and ENJOY!

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