Awhile ago I was trying to figure out my breakfast meals. My main requirements were that they needed to have lots of good fat and protein, taste delicious, feel hearty and ideally, fill me for about 5-7 hours (I eat a big breakfast). Oh, and of course this meal needed to be easy to make and be even easier to just heat up come breakfast time. Who has time to cook in the mornings? Anyway, I had a tough time at first because I have an intolerance to eggs, and I didn’t really want – nor think it was good to have lots of – bacon/sausage every single day, but what else is there really when it comes to protein and good fat with “breakfast” foods. So, I was forced to think outside of the box.
Finally, I came up with this Ground Veggie Mash. It’s been about a year (or two) that I’ve been making it and being the creature of habit that I am, I still make this once or twice a week and eat it almost daily. I love and crave it!! It is so hearty and filling. It has plenty of good fats as well as great flavor. And, the good news about this meal is that it’s easy to get some decent variety with it, too, even if you eat it year after year.
And if you don’t love the idea of nontraditional breakfast food for breakfast, this recipe can also be a great lunch, afternoon snack or dinner.
I use to use one bag of veggies and then add sausage or leftover fajita meat, steak or hamburger. But then I got tired of trying to think about what protein I could add to the veggie mash. So now when I make it, I add ground meat to the dish to make it a complete meal. I love it with ground chicken thigh (dark meat) or grass fed ground beef. I am on a dark meat chicken kick lately (even though the grass fed beef is better for us than any kind of chicken…yes even lean breast). I know, but eww, dark meat ground chicken is kind of gross to some people. It use to be kinda ick to me too. But guys, I am telling you, trust me, use the dark meat, if you’re using chicken. It is 100% better in this dish!
So I will typically pick 2 bags of veggies to cook (see veggie samples below) to start. For example, I’ll use a bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Brussel Sprouts and a bag of Cauliflower Rice, or a bag of Cruciferous mix and Organic Cabbage (probably my most common combo) or Trader Joe’s Organic Broccoli Slaw and Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale mixture. Many times I like to use pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
A friend recently asked about some of my staples from Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s for their convenient pre-cut veggies more than anything. Are the foods ALWAYS organic? No. But we doing the best we can and what works for our family and eating more veggies because of it. You have to do what works for you!
In addition to the veggies in the picture below, I also love and use often Trader Joe’s:
Organic pre-cut Tuscan kale
Frozen organic cauliflower rice
Organic broccoli slaw
I also love the pre-cut cabbage from Whole Foods. If I am in a pinch and don’t have time to either cut up veggies (which is almost always; I’ve become spoiled and lazy, whatever you want to call it when it comes to cutting up veggies for this particular weekly recipe) or run to Trader Joe’s down the streeet, I’ll get the Kale Salad Mixture. We do throw away the salad dressing but keep the sunflower seeds and cranberries for a different recipe. Oh, and Whole Foods also now has frozen organic cauliflower rice!
So here is my large 6 quart pot of veggies and ghee for step 1. I use to use a pan and only 1 bag of veggies and a little meat and then realized, why not make more? There is no extra work involved. ALWAYS MAKE MORE FOOD WHEN YOU CAN. 99% of the foods you make can freeze really well!
Now, I do LOVE to add this Quinoa & Kale mixture (big bag pack of 5 from Costco or individual bags from Publix and some Sprouts) most of the time but it is definitely not mandatory. Sometimes, I’ll use the Kelp Noodles (see below) instead. I like the added carb-y feel from both but also love the extra protein from the Quinoa & Kale mixture. By the way, if you try the kelp noodles, they will seem super odd and feel like plastic when you open the bag, but they will soften completely when cooked. Just be sure to cook them early on with the veggies and add enough oils, or Tamari or Coconut Aminos (great with ground beef and stir fry) so the noodles will soften. Liquids are key to well prepared kelp noodles. My whole family loves them. They soak up flavor so well!
Thanks girls for holding these up. I couldn’t prop them well so the girls were happy to help out…
Here is the kale quinoa mixture once the veggies are cooked…
Mix together with your ground meat, spices and of course good oils…
While this goes into my recipe, I always like to add some extra Tessemae’s (online, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix) Lemon Garlic or good ol’ olive oil. Adding the extra Tessemae’s can make a world of difference!!! Don’t skip on this flavorful fat! Sometimes I’ll use some of the other oils but most of the time, I’m going with my Lemon Garlic and/or more Kasadrinos (from their site).
And wahlah! I promise it probably takes less time to make than it took to read read this long post!!
Oh, and last but definitely not least… I LOVE to add these seeds to my mash. The crunch is so satisfying. Plus, they are nutrient dense and filling. I get both of these on vitacost.com. If you shop of Vitacost, wait on the coupons and then stock up.
So my dog is actually really good when it comes to setting food on the ground and having self restraint. He will lay beside the food while I photograph it. This time he was left alone for a few minutes, and my big bowl of mash (pic above) was on my desk with a chair beside it pulled out, which I guess he thought was an invitation to hop up and help himself. But for a dog that is not really into people food (and especially vegetables), he sure scarfed this bowl down. And it was a big new fresh bowl. Grr!! I guess at least even he liked it….
2 bags of pre-cut veggies (or about a pound or so of veggies)
1.5-2 lbs of ground dark/thigh chicken or ground beef
3 tbsp of ghee
2 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp of salt (or to taste)
½ cup Tessemae's Lemon Garlic (or whatever you prefer) - I use about half the bottle
¼ cup good olive or avocado oil
Bag of Kale Quinoa mixture OR Kelp noodles (not necessary)
In a large 6 quart stock pot, melt 3 tbsp of ghee and then add 2 bags of veggies (and kelp noodles if you decide to try them).
Cook until the veggies start to brown and soften. Add Tamari or coconut aminos if using the kelp noodles so they soften.
Then add the kale quinoa mixture (if you have it), onion powder, garlic powder and salt and stir well.
Cook until kale quinoa mixture is no longer frozen so for about 5-7 minutes.
Set aside in a large bowl.
Then wipe down your pan and cook your ground meat until it is no longer pink in the middle.
Pour your cooked veggie mixture back in your pot with the ground meat.
Stir it all together
Then add Tessemae's dressing, the Lemon Garlic is my favorite, and some good quality olive oil.
Top with some pumpkin or watermellon seeds and guacamole if you'd like, and enjoy.
You can easily start with 1 bag of veggies (or about 10 oz of any veggies you cut) and 1lb (or less) of ground beef or chicken and then of course half all of the other ingredients. I just like to make things in bulk so I either have enough for the week or I can freeze some for later on. If you use the kelp noodles you'll want to add lots of oils/liquids so they become soft. I typically use the kelp noodes when I am making a stir fry type dish with ground beef, Tamari and or coconut aminos.
So I had some questions from the last post regarding the serving amounts for each of the smoothie ingredients. Below are just suggestions so feel free to do your own research.
1. Thorne drops Vitamin D – 2 drops = 1,000 IU. 5,000 IU is a good dose if you’re low in D (from lab results) or if you’re starting to get sick. 1-2k is a good maintenance dose. It never hurts to go get periodic blood test to check your levels.
2. Banana flour (you could also use potato starch) – use 1/2 tsp kids 1 tsp adults. Go slow and watch for any bowel symptoms since you are changing the gut flora (in a good way). You may need to start even slower if so.
3. Coconut Kefir – use about 1 tbsp.
4. Avocado Oil – use about 1 tbsp (or as much as you can add without them knowing).
Okay, on to the soup. I got this great recipe from paleomg.com (love her recipes) and it was delicious! My husband and I loved it. I will say, while the kids ate theirs, they did say they “liked it” but they also said they “wouldn’t use the word love.” I get it; curry is a strong flavor. But I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and added some extra honey to make it more kid friendly. We all ate it up!
The recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken breasts, but instead I just used a rotisserie chicken. Thanks to Whole Foods for saving me time and from having to cut up raw chicken. Raw chicken is the worst.
Next week I’m going to post one of our favorite meals. I would love to hear about your favorite staple(s). Please share! I need new ideas!!
Add ghee and then put the onion and carrot in the pot and saute until onion becomes translucent, at least 5 minutes.
Then add in chicken and garlic and cook chicken until it's no longer visibly pink (or just add your shredded rotissiere chicken in and cook for just a few minutes), about 7-8 minutes, then add curry powder and mix to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add broth, coconut milk, honey, salt and pepper, and mix to combine, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by a third.
Garnish with some fresh cilantro and scallions and enjoy!
Hi all! Happy New Year. Sorry it’s been so long but life has been busy and tennis elbow has made typing tough. But I’m ready with some new recipes and tidbits for the new year. For starters, I have a class tomorrow (Tuesday January 10th) at CentreSpring MD in Brookhaven that starts at 7:00 PM. We’ll be talking about weight loss and how to keep metabolisms high, reduce inflammation, and how the key to weight loss staying satisfied, not feeling deprived. It’s a free class. Would love to see you there!
So I want to talk a little about smoothies. While smoothies can be tricky, they can also be a really easy way to get some great stuff into our bodies. Some people like fruit in their smoothie, some like vegetables, some like protein powders, but I think before we ever make a smoothie we need to think “what is the goal for this smoothie?” For example, my smoothie is very different from the one I make for my son (and husband, too). Mine consists of greens since I don’t love cold foods or salads in the winter time. Also I include very little sugar since I always try to limit my sugars. My kids’ smoothies, on the other hand, include protein and fat to help them get through their long school day by keeping insulin levels steady, which in turn gives them plenty of energy and focus and in the classroom.
But regardless of whose smoothie it is, I like to add these four ingredients that no one will taste, and everyone can benefit from:
2. Banana flour is an excellent source of resistant starch, a prebiotic. This helps to feed our good bacteria. There are numerous benefits t0 resistant starch. It helps keep you feel full longer, have deeper sleep, lower blood sugar levels (so be careful if you have hypoglycemia), improve insulin sensitivity, increase absorption of minerals. Here, Here, and here is more information on resistant starch if you’re interested.
3. Coconut kefir is a great way to get beneficial bacterial. It is a fermented milk drink that is highly nutritious and contains live probiotics. And the Ancient Awakenings one is dairy free and low sugar. And it’s way easier to get this in my kids versus fermented veggies! And, yes, if you guys are taking probiotics, it’s good to also have fermented foods since we need a variety of good bacteria.
4. It’s hard to get in the right fats if we don’t consciously do it, and if you know me, you know I take every chance I can to insert healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, etc.) into our diets. I choose the avocado oil because it is tasteless. Sometimes I use a 1/4 avocado instead (it only makes it creamier) but this is just a simpler way to make a smoothie in the morning when we are all in such a hurry. Coconut oil would solidify in the cold and make for a not-so-pleasant chunky smoothie and the olive oil (the kind I use) can be a little bitter. Anyway, I like to think that it is just fuel for their brains.
So enjoy your smoothies, have a happy new year and here is to a healthy and happy 2017!
So, I use to love Twix candy bars, and, perhaps, the occasional Snickers. Then, I went Paleo so no more Twix or Snickers 🙁
As a substitute, I came to love almond Kinds Bars (the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt was my fave!) and Primal Chocolate Almond bars. Now, (for me) no almonds because I developed an intolerance. But I still love chocolate. I may be addicted to Enjoy Life gf/df Dark Chocolate Chips. But, sometimes just chocolate chips don’t get it done; I need a little extra crunch and texture.
I use to get a small handful of dark chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds and have that. And while it’s good, there is something a little more naughty about melted chocolate. I’m not sure why but now, I realized why would you not melt chocolate when you can? So, I found a solution. It is quick, easy and a great little snack. I know, what…chocolate for a snack?? But it’s only 5 grams of sugar and better than most snacks/treats out there! And, it only takes 90 seconds to make!
You ready for this recipe? I know, it’s almost too simple to post, but I bet you haven’t tried it before. Anyway, here you go…
1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips in a cup or small bowl
Microwave for 90 seconds.
Stir in whatever you want (I typically like to just keep it simple and add my pumpkin seeds (about 2 tbsp), hemp hearts (about 1 tbsp) and some course sea salt. Sometimes I’ll add some (1/4 tsp or less) psyllium husk powder for extra fiber.
Done! Got it? Feels like it should be harder, doesnt it?
Here are some other things to go with your melted chocolate:
Almonds, cashews, pistacios, or any other nuts or seeds
Shredded coconut (for immediate burning energy)
Dried fruit (or fresh)
Almond or Cashew or Sunflower seed butter
I hope you have a happy Halloween and get to enjoy some good chocolate!!
Hey all! I am sorry I have been so slack about posting lately (or for the past year or so) but life has just gotten too busy. I guess the good news is, you know if I am posting a new recipe, it must be good…or at least we think so!
So I have to be honest, I have never made this shrimp (scampi) -n-grits recipe. But Alice has now made it multiple times and thanks to her, it has become a staple for us this year. Tate actually said tonight that this is his “very favorite dish!” and that “Alice needed to open a restaurant”. That’s a pretty big compliment coming from little brother.
We always use to think about shrimp as just a special occasion meal because one, it is pricey for wild shrimp and two, well, who wants to take the time to peel and de-poop it? But now that you can get frozen wild shrimp that is both peeled and deveined(!) from Trader Joe’s or even Costco for a reasonable price, we get to enjoy it way more often.
What I love about this recipe even more is that cauliflower rice (or you can use noodles) makes this meal so satisfying. It soaks up the sauce so well and it is very filling. I might try it next time (instead of cauliflower rice or even gluten free noodles) with zucchini noodles for a fun change. Anyway, I hope y’all like this recipe as much as we do!
Notice the goggles. She hates to get teary-eyed from cutting onions so this has become a part of her routine when she cooks anything with onions. She might kill me for posting this…
I could just eat this pan of shrimp. Seriously, it smells and tastes so good!
There is a reason shrimp and “grits” go together so well. The grits soak up the flavor of the sauce. While this isn’t a traditional shrimp and grits recipe, the scampi sauce goes really well with cauliflower rice. Now the kids love their gluten free noodles and since Alice is making the dinner, who am I to argue? But she is sweet enough to save me some so I can add my cauliflower rice and man is it good. I just sauteed the Trader Joe’s pre-cut cauliflower rice in 1-2 tbsp of ghee, added some salt and dry white wine and let it cook until it softened. Then I pour it into a bowl and then mixed in Alice’s shrimp and sauce (picture above).
This is Alice’s meal with the noodles. Clearly we like a lot of shrimp and butter…
Sometimes it is really hard to take pictures when you are hungry…
George really has nothing to do with the food. I just thought he was cute…