Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

stuffed sweet potatoes

I promise there IS a sweet potato underneath all of that black bean goodness!  Traditionally, I stuff a sweet potato with some type of ground meat… but last night I decided to change it up a bit and use black beans instead.  Hello, Meatless Monday! Continue reading

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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

Warm Salmon Salad

Since the birth of our baby girl the hours I used to spend in the kitchen have dwindled down to minutes…unless daddy’s at home and able to keep baby girl occupied for a bit!  So, my thought process has gone to quick, super easy, but still healthy and full of flavor meals that are simple to prepare and get on the table in a snap.  As much as I love cooking (and baking), spending time with my baby and hubby trump everything now.

This meal was created without any recipe…one of those let’s throw a few things together and pray for the best type of meals.  I bought a BIG bag of organic greens from Costco that we really needed to eat on.  We eat salads daily – literally.  Every-single-day.  But I was so tired of our usual everyday, go-to salad…so I had the thought of a “warm” salad. Something new, something different.  Low and behold – it turned out delicious!  I love when that happens!  It always seems that the dishes I make with no thought and no recipe always turn out to be the best… I served this with some pan-seared potatoes. Mainly because I knew my husband’s big toe wouldn’t be full off of some greens and salmon!  Even with making the potatoes, I had this meal ready in under 30 minutes!  Hey-Hey!!  Now go make you some 🙂

I hope you love this as much as we did!

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Yields: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6oz pieces of wild caught salmon
  • 2-3 tbsp fat (I like to use equal parts of olive oil and butter)
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup organic mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 3-4 cups of greens (I buy a BIG bag of organic greens that has kale, spinach, and chard… Feel free to use your favorite!)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan, heat up a tablespoon or two of your fat on medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.  Next, add the mushrooms.  After the mushrooms have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, and honey. Stir it up… This makes a little dressing that brings everything together at the end!
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and let them cook for a couple of minutes.  TASTE at this point.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.  (I didn’t add a lot of salt because the sun-dried tomatoes add a good bit of saltiness.) Lower the heat to medium-low and let this hangout for a couple minutes while you get the salmon going…
  3. In another saute pan on med-high heat add a tablespoon of fat to the pan.  Let this get pretty hot.  You want it to sear the skin of the salmon.
  4. Season your salmon with a little salt and pepper.  Add the salmon to the pan skin-side down.  Let it cook 3-4 minutes.  When you flip it to the other side cut the heat off so it doesn’t overcook.  At this point, add your greens to the sun-dried tomato mixture.  Using your tongs, mix everything together, but don’t let the greens wilt.  (Unless you like wilted greens?!)
  5. Take the greens mixture off the heat while mixing it into the other veggies.  Now it’s time to plate it!  Make a nice little bed of greens right in the middle of your plate and top it with a piece of salmon!  Voila!! Serve alongside your favorite veggie if you want to, or not!  Serve yourself and your honey a nice glass of vino and enjoy and super healthy and delicious meal!

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Thai Beef and Cabbage

Today was another one of those days where I refused to go to the grocery store.  These days have been happening a lot lately… Sometimes pregnancy makes you super lazy.  I have energy when I first get up in the morning, but right about 4:00 every afternoon, my body thinks it’s time to lay on the couch for the rest of the evening.  Thankfully I mustered up a little energy and my man came home from work to a home cooked meal.  And THAT my friends is all that matters!

This might be one of the cheapest meals I’ve ever made…Seriously!  If you’ve got some ground beef, cabbage, and turmeric on hand, you’ve got just about everything you’re going to need for a super quick and flavorful dinner!  Get your veggies chopped up real quick and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

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Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (or a little less if you don’t like too much heat)
  • 1 small head of organic cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sesame oil.  Let this get super hot, then add the onion and garlic.  Cook until translucent.
  2. Add the ground beef and continue cooking until completely browned.  Add the turmeric and cayenne.  Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add the cabbage, stir it into the beef mixture, and cover with a lid.  This will help the cabbage cook a lot faster.  Once the cabbage has started to wilt, add salt and pepper to taste.  About 5 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Plate it up in a pretty bowl!  If you feel like you need some carbs, serve this with some baked Naan bread…it’s delicious!

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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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Wild Salmon and Sauteed Kale

Our wedding is officially over as of this past weekend!  It’s a bitter-sweet moment.  One of those moments where you’re totally relieved that you never have to think about any wedding planning again, but kind of sad that the likelihood of you ever feeling like a princess will probably never happen again either!  It ended up being the most beautiful day I think I’ve ever experienced in my life so far.  I’m sure every bride says that…whatever!  I’m saying it too!  If it had been any more perfect I’m not sure what we would’ve done?!  Every detail small and big fell into place with such ease and beauty…and OMG, the FOOD!!!  The FOOD was AMAZING!!!  I’m not just saying that either…it was seriously incredible.

We had cocktail hour after the ceremony where we had h’ordeuvres that were indigenous to our backgrounds.  For example:  my h’ordeuvres were southern foods – fried mac ‘n cheese bites, fried chicken bites with a honey-maple glaze, and cornbread stuffed Cajun shrimp with a lemon aioli.  Omar’s h’ordeuvres were Caribbean inspired – mini beef empanadas, fried plantains with a fruit chutney, and something else that I cannot for the life of me remember at this moment… I’m not going to lie, it was perfection.  Make you wanna slap yourself silly it tasted so good!   Dinner was a plated meal served with a delicious crab salad…a petite filet, mahi mahi, the most amazing risotto I’ve ever put in my mouth, and asparagus.  We had to throw something green on the plate!

Our Miami Dolphins cake, yes, we had a Miami Dolphins cake!  My husband is a HUGE fan!  The cake had two different flavors:  vanilla amaretto and chocolate amaretto.  It was seriously one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever put in my mouth!  I would kill for a piece right now…OMG!!  Clearly, we had no leftovers…. Kudos to the chef and baker!!!  Our meal would’ve sucked without you!!!

So, after a weekend of eating not-so-healthy, I decided we needed a good home-cooked, healthy meal!  Yes, I’m ashamed to say that this is the first time I’ve cooked a decent meal in quite sometime… If you’re looking for a quick and super easy, yet full of flavor, meal to make – THIS my friend is your meal!

Yields: 2 servings

  • 1 – 1.25 lb wild salmon
  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 5-6 cups fresh kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped
  • 1 cup organic sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • couple pinches of crushed red pepper, optional
  • goat cheese, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium size saute pan add some fat on medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot add the sweet potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic.  Let this cook together and become translucent for another 5-6 minutes.  Add the kale, chicken stock, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper.  Let this simmer on low heat until you’re ready to eat!
  2. In another saute pan or cast iron skillet, add some fat and let it get hot on medium-high heat.  Season the salmon on both sides however you like.  This particular night I just used salt and pepper.  Add the salmon to the hot pan skin-side-down first.  Let this cook 2-3 minutes, then flip it and let it cook another 2-3 minutes.  I like for my salmon to be cooked around medium.  If you like it more well done, by all means, cook it longer!
  3. When serving my salmon and kale, I topped the kale with a little bit of goat cheese.  It was freakin delicious!  This of coarse is optional.  Eat your heart out!  And please go back for seconds!!!

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And now…for a little sneak preview of our wedding pics!

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Yes!!! I’m MARRIED to the most gorgeous man in the whole wide world!!!

Chili Cheese Fries

Yes, it’s 85 degrees in South Florida and yes, I made chili in 85 degree weather.  I know…I know…I know… Chili is more of a fall/winter, football type food…not 85 degree weather food.  Whatever.  It’s what I was craving.  So, I made it, ate it, and it was amazing!  I’m learning that sometimes in life you just have to go with what you want…not with what everyone else wants…not with what’s more sensible according to the weather or according to anything for that matter…go with what makes you happy!  My healthier version of Chili Cheese Fries on a Friday night with my sweetheart is what made me happy tonight!  Yes, he’s been working since he walked back in the door… We didn’t get to go out as planned, but I’ve been sitting next to the most gorgeous man on the planet, eating my heart out, chit-chatting with him, rubbing his feet….and THAT is what makes for a happy evening!  Don’t you just love love?!  Gosh…I do!  It’s the best feeling in the world!  Now, go make you some chili….even if it’s 85 degrees where you live!

Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, lamb, or chicken…whatever you prefer!)
  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 1 small onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, small diced (optional)
  • 2 – 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin (I know, that’s a lot.  I LOVE CUMIN.  Measure according to your taste!)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sweet potato fries, fresh of frozen (I was lazy and popped a bag in the oven!)
  • organic spinach, optional garnish
  • cheddar cheese, shredded, optional garnish
  • sliced jalapeno, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan or Dutch oven add some fat to the pan on medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the ground meat and continue cooking until the meat is thoroughly cooked through.
  2. Add the tomatoes and paste.  Stir until well combined.  Next, add chili powder, cumin, paprika, chipotle pepper, honey, salt, and pepper.  Stir seasonings together well.  You may need to add a little bit of water if it looks too thick.
  3. While your chili simmers (the longer it sits, the better it tastes), bake the sweet potato fries.
  4. This part is totally optional, but I love to eat chili on a bed of spinach, topped with shredded cheese and jalapenos. I do realize cheese isn’t exactly “Paleo”, but it’s Friday and I felt like some cheese on my chili!  Everything in moderation, people!  Feel free to garnish with whatever you like!

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