Sautéed Brussel Sprouts

This is a recipe I get asked about a TON!brussel-sprouts

Brussel spouts get a bad name, but they are delicious!  Just make sure to add bacon.  😉

But seriously, the first time I tried a single sprout was a year ago and it was because I was at my mother-in-law’s and couldn’t say no.  I went all 4 year old on her and grabbed half a sprout, to smell, lick then taste.  I was blown away at how good they were!!  How could people say they were awful?  Maybe these are sprout lovers who don’t want the rest of the world to know.  Either way, I’m tearing the cap off it.  Brussel sprouts (with bacon) are DELICIOUS!  Give them a try.

Ingredients:
3-4 pieces of bacon (regular or turkey) cooked and crumbled, fat removed
1 bag of Brussel sprouts, end cut off and sprouts cut in half or chopped (totally up to you how knife happy you get)
1 Tbsp of bacon fat or olive oil

Directions:
Warm the fat or olive oil in a skillet
Add the cut sprouts into the skillet and sauté on medium heat
Stir occasionally, but let the sprouts brown
After the sprouts are brown on at least one side, add the bacon and warm through.

Serve!

Optional:  Some people like to add a little salt, some like a little sautéed red onion and some like to add balsamic vinegar.  I like mine just like how the recipe is, but feel free to make them your own!

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Sautéed Brussel Sprouts

Poor, poor brussel sprouts.  They’ve had a bad name for far too long.

Growing up I wouldn’t touch these bad boys with a 10 foot pole, but I’m trying to make up for it now.

The first time I actually had these little verbally abused gems was at my mother-in-law’s.  I saw my life flash before my eyes when I looked in the skillet and saw them.  Do I tell her I’ve never had these before?  Can she see the fear in my eyes?  What if they cause me to gag?  Maybe I can time supper at the same time the kids start getting tired and just avoid it all together.

But I sucked it up and sat down at the supper table, fork in my hand and an extra large napkin handy.

I took my first bite with about 4 little pieces of bacon.

‘This isn’t so bad’, I thought.  ‘Let me try one more bite’.
And before I knew it I was reaching back to the skillet for more.  What the heck just happened here?!  Did I just become a brussel sprout fan?  Does that even exist?   I bet it’s an odd bunch if that does exist.  But I’m a card toting member now and actually crave them.

One thing you HAVE to remember though.  Bacon.  You can cook these a million ways, but just remember bacon.

These are a few ways I have cooked mine…

Ingredients:brussel sprouts
2 c brussel sprouts, sliced in half
3 pieces of crumbled, cooked bacon
tsp sea salt
tsp ground black pepper
This is where I change it up.
1/4 c chicken broth or
2 Tbsp coconut oil or
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or
2 Tbsp butter (not margarine.  butter)

Directions:
Pay close attention, because it gets complicated.  Not really!  It’s super easy.
Warm your choice of broth, oil or butter in a medium skillet.
Then add the brussel sprouts, bacon, sea salt and pepper.
Sautee for about 10 minutes or until the brussel sprouts start to soften and brown a little.
Serve it up.  Or just eat out of the skillet.

You can tweak this recipe a lot.  This is a very basic recipe.  Feel free to add garlic, red pepper flakes, etc.

Serves 2 adults

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Spicy Cauliflower

It’s football season, which means the beer fridge is full and all the food has a little extra kick to it.

Recently I purchased the new 21 Day Fix cookbook, Fixate.  It’s an amazing cookbook built around the program 21 Day Fix.  It includes Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free and Vegetarian recipes.  As well as cocktails!  The 21 Day Fix is all about creating a healthy lifestyle and we understand splurges are sometimes included with our lifestyle.  We just have to make them as healthy as we can.

I saw this recipe and knew I needed to give it a go.  These Spicy Cauliflower Bites were a big hit all around.

Spicy Cauliflower

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower (broken or chopped into florets)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c hot pepper sauce (we use Hooter’s 3 mile.  It’s paleo baby!)
1/3 rice vinegar
2 tsp ground chili powder
1/4 tsp ground smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
Place cauliflower on baking sheet and and season with 1/4 tsp sea salt.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tender-crisp.
While cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and rice vinegar.  Whisk until combined.
Add chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, honey, Worcestershire sauce, butter and remaining sea salt.  Whisk to blend.
Heat hot sauce mixture over medium heat; stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until thickened.  Set aside.
Remove cauliflower from the over and mix the hot sauce mixture and the cauliflower in a bowl.
Return the cauliflower to the cooking sheet and bake and additional 5 minutes.
Serve hot.

And there ya go!  Spiciness.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

I made this vinaigrette the first time I did 21 Day Fix.  I didn’t really understand why the recipe was in the meal plan book.  I just did it and ate it because it was REALLY GOOD!

We watched Fed Up a few weeks ago were amazed at how much, and how often, sugar is added into foods.  But it wasn’t until I looked at the back of a bottle of salad dressing that it hit me. Even the expensive refrigerated dressings have added sugar.It is everywhere.

I was clueless.  I even asked random customers at the store and employees if they knew there was sugar in ALL the salad dressings.  It had me dumbfounded.  

I don’t mean to get on a soap box, but we have NO excuse to be naive.  Information surrounds us.  We don’t even have to type the question into google anymore.  Siri will do that for us.  You are worth it.

You are worth the 3 minutes it takes to make this dressing.

You are worth the extra $2 to get a bottle of marinara that does not have added sugar.

You are worth it.

Just do it.

Ingredients:Balsamic Vingerette
6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium lemon (juiced)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. raw honey

Directions:
Combine vinegar, lemon juice and honey in a bowl and whisk to blend.
Stir in mustard, mix well.
Slowly add oil while whisking and mix well.

Ta-Da!!!

Feel free to add little goodies like scallions, thyme, oregano and other herbs.

We leave ours on the table because we use it throughout the week.  You can store it in the fridge as well, just know that you will have to set it out at room temperature then mix well again.

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Paleo Thai Chicken Stuffed Sweet Taters

There is amazing yumminess going on in these sweet potatoes.

This is a ‘stick to your ribs’ kind of meal and usually provides us with leftovers, which I quickly mash together and hide in the fridge so the hubs doesn’t eat it.  I really am a good sharer, but I think the mashed, let it sit a day, concoction might edge out the fresh out of the oven concoction.

Paleo Thai Chicken Stuffed Sweet Tatersthai sweet potato

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes
2 small cooked chicken chicken breasts, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 c coconut milk, full fat
1/4 c smooth almond butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce or aminos
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp garlic poweder
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro (optional)

Directions:
Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes, wrap in foil, and bake 400 until the sweet potatoes are done (about an hour)
Add the coconut milk, garlic, honey, almond butter, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and sesame oil to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and warm on medium  heat.
Add the cooked, diced chicken breasts to the skillet, as well as the garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper.  Warm through.
Add the sauce from the blender to the skillet and mix well with the chicken.
Remove from  heat and stuff the mixture into the sweet potatoes.
Top with cilantro if desired.  (The hubs desires this)

Serves 2 with leftovers.

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Spicy Green Beans

I know.  You’re wanting the Thai Sweet Potatoes.  They’re coming.  I promise!
But in the mean time, I introduce to you my absolute favorite green beans.  These are like crack to me.
(**Disclaimer** I have never ‘done’ crack, but these green beans are addictive.  Green beans.  Rebel.  I know.)

I eat these by themselves sometimes for supper and find myself looking at my empty plate wishing I had bought another half pound.  They are my absolute favorite.

Spicy Green BeansSpicy Green Beans
Ingredients:
1 lb fresh green beans, ends chopped and beans washed
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Place all the above ingredients on a baking sheet and mix so all the greens beans are coated in yumminess.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the green beans occasionally.

Feeds 2 adults or 1 hungry Stiner (that’s my street name)

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Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

When I menu planned for these I was STARVING.  Every food that danced in my little mind sounded amazing.

But then when I realized what I had planned to make for the night I, honestly, was a little disappointed.  I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, and have never tried using nuts in place of the yumminess that is cheese.  But these rock!

The mushrooms.
The stuffing.
It just rocks.

I plan to silently and creepily sit in the corner during Super Bowl and see if anyone notices differences from this recipe and the old fashioned spinach artichoke dip.  (Yep.  Making a batch of just the stuffing.)

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
(Add portobello mushrooms and make it a meal)

Ingredients:Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

3 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, chopped
3/4 cup roasted cashews, unsalted
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350
Combine the spinach and artichokes in a large saucepan and heat through.  Add a dash of sea salt and mix well.
Grind the cashews in a food processor until they look like a coarse meal.  Then add the coconut oil, garlic powder, basil, cayenne, and salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.
Add the cashew mixture to the skillet, with the spinach and artichokes, and mix well.  Reduce the heat to low and warm through.
Fill the caps with the filling.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
(If you want to make just the stuffing, following the above directions, but warm mixture in an oven safe baking dish for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with sweet potato chips)

Serves 3 people.

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