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Sometimes when it’s cold out (I know it hasn’t been lately in Atlanta but I wrote this a few weeks ago when it was actually cold), and typically this time of year when our serotonin levels are down some from lack of sunlight, I tend to have more carb cravings. Not that certain carbs are bad, but for me and my body, I tend to feel better on a lower carb regimine. Anyway I have found that these super crispy butternut squash fries are the perfect solution to my craving, and they have half the carbs of regular or sweet potatoes. And now both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s makes it even easier, and fun with the zig zags, to make their pre-cut versions. 

Here are the ones from Trader Joe’s….

And these are the ones from Whole Foods…

It’s only 33 carbs for the whole bag! Um yeah, I might have eaten all of them in one sitting…

Crispy Butternut Squash Fries
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. Butternut squash, cut into bite sized pieces or get them precut (about 10-12 ounces)
  2. 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  3. 1-2 tbsp of avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  4. salt to taste
  1. Cut the butternut squash if needed into bite sized pieces (cubed or french fry shape)
  2. Preheat oven to 425.
  3. Place it in a freezer sized zip lock bag.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder to the bag.
  5. Close the bag and shake until the squash is as evenly coated as possible.
  6. Pour the bag of squash onto a baking sheet.
  7. Pour oil and use fork to stir it around so the oil and squash are mixed together.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. After about 20 minutes you can flip the squash (it sound be easy to pick up a flip by then if the bottom is brown and crispy enough).
  9. Cook an additional 15-20 or until crispy.
  10. Add some salt and enjoy!
  1. Cooking the squash might turn it a darker brown color but it is still okay.
  2. For extra flavor feel free to garnish with cinnamon or pumpkin spices if you want more of a sweet taste or you can try some paprika, garlic, thyme for more of a salty flavor.
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We love meatloaf!

So while it’s still only February, even thought it’s currently 74 degrees in Atlanta, I thought I better get this posted before Spring is here since it’s such a great comfort meal. We love meatloaf even more with cauliflower mash. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. I have made this mash a hundred times, but the other day I used more butter and less greek yogurt and it was the best batch, so I will continue to do it this way. All you need for a good cauliflower mash is:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of 2% or full fat greek yogurt 
  • pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower and blend all of the ingredients together. Easy enough! And my son loved it so much he had it for breakfast. I just added extra butter so it would fill him up until lunch. 

For the meatloaf, while this recipe isn’t anything ground breaking, it is my favorite meatloaf recipe and well, quite frankly, I needed to post it so I can easily find my recipe the next time.

It may not make for a pretty picture but it sure does taste good…

We used Kinnikinnick bread crumbs and Annie’s ketchup. We use these bread crumbs for our chicken parmesan as well. I should probably post that one, too!
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  1. 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef
  2. 1 cup almond meal or gluten free bread crumbs
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1 red onion, diced
  6. 2 tsp Worstershire
  7. 1.5 tsp salt
  8. 2 tbsp dried basil
  9. cracked black pepper to taste
  10. 5-6 bacon strips
  11. 1 cup ketchup (1/2 for mixture and 1/2 for on top)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients (but save 1/2 cup of the 1 cup of ketchup for the top) by hand in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place meat mixture into a 9x13 large glass baking pan and flatten it out.
  4. Add the second 1/2 cup to form a thin layer on top.
  5. Then spead the bacon even across the top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until meat is no longer pink in the middle.
  7. Enjoy!
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Before my Paleo days, I used to love my Grandmother’s chicken and rice casserole — hearty, warm, and oh so flavorful. I wanted for years to try to recreate it (without rice) but just never had much luck. It either required cheese, which I typically don’t use, or cashews, which were labor-intensive and turned out mediocre at best.  Anyway, my sweet friend Michelle sent me one of her family’s favorite recipes a couple of months ago, and I just finally made it.  In truth, at first glance of the recipe, I thought I’d tried too many recipes with the mustard and maple flavor (sorry Michelle!). While they are good, I just wasn’t sure this recipe would be that different from the others. Turns out I was really wrong! OMG, this was so good!!!
My kids and hubby loved it. So much so, Alice, my 13 year old daughter, had it for breakfast the next day.  And then, Scott, my hubby, came home from work to eat it for lunch. Even my dad loved it. I had him try it when he came by for a few minutes while I was cooking it. Even with his “already-full belly” because he had just had dinner somewhere else, he couldn’t quit eating it.  Thankfully, I doubled recipe, and I’m so glad I did. But it still wasn’t enough for us. It didn’t even last 24 hours. Anyway, thank you so much Michelle for this amazing recipe! I did make some minor tweaks to the original recipe, but only so I could cut down on cooking time, reduce some sugar and add some good fat.  I hope you guys love it as much as we did. 
You can get this frozen mixture from Costco. Publix and, I think, Whole Foods also sell individual packs in the freezer…
If you don’t love mushrooms or want a chance to the recipe because you make it so often like we do, you can use broccoli. I got a bag of organic broccoli from Trader Joe’s, steamed it and added it instead of mushrooms. I’m not sure which I like better but the broccoli seems to be a little quicker to make. I know this taken-with-an-iphone picture doesn’t do this meal justice, but it’s so good this way, too!!
Chicken and rice (without rice)
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  1. For the meal....
  2. 8 oz pkg sliced white mushrooms OR a package of (about 12 oz) or a head broccoli
  3. 4 tbsp butter
  4. 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite size pieces
  5. ½ tsp salt
  6. ½ tsp fresh black pepper
  7. 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed or the Quinoa/kale pack (see picture from post)
  8. For the Mustard Sauce....
  9. 6 tbsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
  10. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  11. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  12. 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  1. Sautee chopped mushrooms in large pan with 2 tbsp of butter (or steam some broccoli in the microwave or in a pot)
  2. Cook until brown and set aside.
  3. Melt the other 2 tbsp of butter and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl, mix the mustard, lemon juice, maple and oil together to make the sauce.
  5. Once the chicken is done, turn the stove on low, add the mushrooms (or the steamed broccoli) to the chicken, the frozen quinoa/kale mixture and stir together until the kale/quinoa mixture is thawed for about 5 or so minutes.
  6. Turn the stove off, add the sauce, and mix together with a fork until well blended.
  7. Then enjoy!
  1. It makes for great leftovers as the flavor soaks in!! You could add an extra tablespoon of maple if your family tends to like things sweeter but for us, 2 tbsp was perfect! The original recipe called for 4 tbsp.
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  • Shaney - Hi, when do you cook/add the plain quinoa if you can’t get the quinoa/kale mixture? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Hey Shaney! Sorry for my delay as I just saw this. I would assume you cook the quinoa as you normally would (I’ve never made it before to be honest) but then just add it in when you add in the sauce. I hope you like it!ReplyCancel

  • Natalia - Hey Landria! I am making your breakfast specialty for the first time to have for a few days (the ground chicken and veggie mix). I’m excited! I tried a spice mix from Costco – 21 organic seasonings blend. Definitely recommend it. I was wondering what your kids eat for breakfast and now I’m seeing from your last two posts that they sometimes eat leftovers. Nice! Curious – do they have any breakfast staples and do they make their own? Thanks so much for the ideas and inspiration.ReplyCancel

Since it’s going up to 85 today, and it feels like summer, I thought we would do an end-of-summer recipe post in hopes that fall will be here in Atlanta by next week. Fingers crossed!! It is October after all…

One of Alice’s favorite meals when we go out to eat is fish tacos. Unfortunately for her, she only gets them in restaurants because I refuse to make them. I don’t know why, but they just seem like a pain to make, and I typically only make something if it’s pretty simple. What can I say? I’m kind of a lazy cook. Anyway, because wild cod was on sale at Whole Foods a few days ago, I bought some. Luckily, Alice volunteered to do the cooking and try to figure out this fish taco thing. My only request was that she save me some cabbage that didn’t have sour cream (most fish tacos recipe call for this) so I add could add some guacamole to mine. 

Long story short, I will be making fish tacos, and on a fairly regular basis! They were SO good!!! Alice made them, and she said they weren’t that hard to make (especially if you get the precut slaw/cabbage). I love to use arrowroot to make crispy fish anyway, but I didn’t realize what a difference some cilantro lime slaw (which is easy to make!) and a tortilla could make. 

Mmmm, they really are crispy!!

Oh, and have you tried these tortillas by Siete? Or their chips? If you haven’t, you should. Oh my goodness, they are amazing and have just changed my life for the better. Since I still don’t eat corn (and that’s really the only gluten free substitute for a tortilla until now) I would have just skipped the tortillas. But now that they have both almond and coconut options (I love the coconut but many prefer the almond), I’m just starting to dream of the new recipes possibilities. I think paleo enchiladas are going to have to be on the menu very soon! Anyway, you can get them at Whole Foods, (the chips), and 

See, it’s like my chicken tortilla-less soup post from last week. Same recipe for the cabbage but before adding the sour cream we just scooped out a portion for me (which everyone ate and loved as well) and added guacamole. 

Or if you don’t want to use a tortilla, a fish bowl will do nicely…

But it’s hard to compare with a true fish taco (with a tortilla)!


Hope you enjoy them with the last of this summer weather!! 

Crispy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw
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  1. For the fish
  2. 1.5lbs of wild cod or white fish cut into bite sized pieces
  3. 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  4. 2 tsp cumin
  5. 2 tsp chili powder
  6. 1.5 tsp salt
  7. 2-3 tbps of butter for frying for each batch (likely just need to make 2-3 batches depending on your pan size)
For the Slaw
  1. ¼ cup avocado oil
  2. ½ cup chopped green onions
  3. ½ cup cilantro leaves (or more)
  4. 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. ½ tsp salt
  6. juice of 2 limes
  7. ½ cup sour cream, Greek yogurt, or mayo OR Guacamole
  8. 3-4 cups shredded purple and green cabbage
  1. For the fish
  2. Rinse fish and pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Cut it into bite sized pieces and place it in a gallon size freezer bag.
  4. Mix the arrowroot, cumin, chili powder and salt in a small bowl and then dump it into the bag with the fish.
  5. Close the bag tightly and shake it until the fish is well coated.
  6. Turn on large pan on high heat and add about 2 tbsp or more of butter.
  7. Place the fish carefully in the pan so none of it overlaps.
  8. Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the bottom is brown.
  9. Flip the fish and allow it to cook another 3-4 minutes until it is brown and crispy.
  10. For the slaw
  11. Mix all ingredients together and allow for it to sit for about an hour or so if you can so the flavor has time to soak in better.
  12. Garnish with cheese if you'd like, pico, hot sauce, etc and enjoy!
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This is my absolute busiest time of year so I know I have no business writing a post now.  I can already hear my best friend giving me a hard time for taking the time to write this instead of working (she helps keeps me/my life on track) like I should be. But, I really loved this soup recipe and it was so easy to make and since it took less than 10 minutes to make, I figured as long as I could write this post quickly (please don’t judge any misspellings or errors) and didn’t worry about get the perfect picture with camera (please don’t judge the half eaten bowl of soup and mess on the sides of the bowl or the terrible iPhone pics) then I could get away with writing this in a timely fashion and get back to work soon so here goes….

One of my very first posts back in 2011 was the Chicken Tortilla-less Soup and it is still to this day one of our family’s fall favorites. But to be honest, I don’t make it very often. Selfishlessly, I don’t just because when I cook it, I always take out a portion for myself first before adding the corn and beans for my family.  It’s not that I miss those two things, but I do miss the heartiness they use to provide. I like my foods/meals to feel hearty!! So tonight, after taking out my extra large portion (always have to think about leftovers), I quickly cooked a bag broccoli slaw (already pre-cut) in about 2 tbsp of butter in a pan. Once that was done, I poured it in with my soup mixture (see 3rd pic below) and now I have a soup that I know I will make again and again!  I was excited to share this not only because the soup was so tasty AND hearty but also because I realized that you can add broccoli slaw or any veggies really to any broth based soup to make it heartier. And I guess I do a lot of times add celery or zuchinni noodles, but this broccoli slaw is really a great addition to soup.

And to make this recipe extra easy, we used the leftover chicken from this recipe but you could also use just a rotissie chicken. And for the bone broth, I just used this one by Pacific that I actually get from Costco.  Oh and I didnt have an onion to sautee so just used onion powder. This really was so quick and easy to make! I hope you love it, and can follow my directions. Just keep it simple. Sautee veggies with butter, add all ingredents (including cooked chicken) to your pot and allow to cook for about 10 or so minutes to allow the flavor soak in and enjoy!

Okay, I still have to prep for my class I am teaching tomorrow and work on about 1000 pictures! Happy soup season!!


My lunch for the rest of the week!

Ok I now realize how important good pictures are in food posts. While this looks pretty gross, I just wanted to show you my big bowl I used to dump my portion of the soup and then after I added the broccoli slaw. And for what it’s worth, no, the iphone pictures aren’t THAT good, or at least in this situation. 

Alice said with a giggle that it wasn’t awkard at all that I was taking a picture of her while studying. But I wanted to show that it makes for a great after school snack, too!! 

I know the “Ingredients” side on the recipe card looks long but that is only because I made notes on how to make shortcuts to make this recipes even easier!

A Heartier Chicken Tortilla-less Soup
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  1. 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or rotissie or whole chicken cooked
  2. 2 tsp minced garlic
  3. 1 tsp ground cumin
  4. 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt (if you use low sodium chicken broth. otherwise might need 2 tsp)
  5. 1 large box chicken broth or bone broth (Pacific) plus an extra cup or two if you have some.
  6. 1 large chopped onion or onion powder
  7. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  8. 2 lemons (or about 3-4 tbsp lemon juice)
  9. 2 cups chunky salsa
  10. lots of fresh cilantro (we use about 1/2 cup or more!)
  11. 1 can black bean (strained) and 1 can of corn, if desired
  12. 1-2 tbsp of avocado oil
  13. blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream for optional garnishes
  14. some broccoli slaw and 2 tbsp of butter
  15. lots of avocado for on top
  1. Old post directions: Start by setting up your crockpot in the morning on low. Put in 4 large chicken breasts (you could also add extra chicken to use for tacos another night), a can of chicken broth, and 1 cup salsa. Let cook about 6 hours or until you can tear the meat apart with a fork. Be sure not to overcook it since it’s going to be simmer in the soup for a bit. Once the meat is done, use fork and knife to shred.
  2. In a large soup bowl, add chicken broth, finely chopped cilantro, chopped onion, a can of diced tomatoes, 2 more cups of salsa, celtic sea salt, garlic, cumin, chili powder and lemon juice. You could also add black beans and corn if desired. Trader Joe’s has a great ‘roasted corn’ in the frozen section that looks like it came fresh off the grill. Then add the chicken, cook on low for about 30 minutes, and let the flavors soak in. Garnish with blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream, if you prefer, and enjoy!
New updated directions
  1. We didnt use a crock pot. I just used a big pot since we already had cooked chicken and the recipe took me all of 10 minutes to put it together. So easy!!
  2. Cook the broccoli slaw in medium pot with butter. Allow to cook until it's soft. Then add it to "your portion" of the soup if you skip the beans and corn.
  1. We just added lots of guacamole for our garnish and it was perfect!
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