Healthy Yumminess – Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

I haven’t had a lot of time to cook because it’s the end of the semester and, well, I got a new job! So interviewing, and now finding my replacement along with school projects and studying for finals has me pretty busy.  But I did make this little side dish last weekend when I was cooking up a storm so I’m posting it now!  It’s a really good one.  If you have kids that don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this.  They’ll eat them right up!

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Steam the Brussels sprouts in a medium sauce pot with an inch of salted water for 7 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and cut them into quarters.  In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Combine the Brussels sprouts, peanuts, salt and pepper.  Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

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There you have it!  I’ve already forgotten what I served this with but it would go well with anything. Another great one from the Hungry for Change cookbook.  It’s seriously my go to book!  Happy cooking!

 

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Slow Cooker Monday – Very Berry Good Pork Roast

I’m starting the week off with a slow cooker recipe.  This one is from my favorite slow cooker cookbook Paleolithic Slow Cooker. This is my new favorite slow cooker recipe.  When I opened my front door after getting home from work I almost drooled.  It smelled SO good!  And is tastes just as good as it smells!  Like all of my slow cooker recipes, I made a huge roast and ate off of it all week.

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1 4 pound pork roast

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons coarse black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/3 cup maple syrup – grade B

2 pounds frozen organic mixed berries

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Turn your slow cooker on high while you get the ingredients ready.  Place the pork roast in the bottom of the slow cooker and season it with salt and pepper.  Combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange zest, and maple syrup and mix together.  Pour over meat.  Pour the frozen berries over the meat and and place the lid on the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 10 hours.

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This is truly a delicious meal!  I hope you like it as much as I did.  Happy cooking!

Slow Cooker Tuesday – Hamburger Vegetable Stew

Wow three posts this week! Are you guys excited? This recipe comes from my Paleolithic Slow Cooker ebook but interestingly its not Paleo.  It has green beans in the recipe and Paleo does not allow for any sort of legumes including green beans.  I made it as the recipe stated but if I were truly Paleo the green beans would have to go.

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 pounds grass-fed ground beef

2 onions, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

5 carrots, sliced

4 cups fresh green beans, snapped into bite-sized pieces

2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce

1 quart beef broth

1 tablespoon raw honey

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

IMG_1736Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.  In a large frying pan, place the coconut oil and let it get hot.  Place the ground beef into the frying pan and brown completely.  Put the beef into the slow cooker.  Put the onions, celery, bell peppers, and mushrooms into the frying pan and saute for 5 minutes.  Put the sauteed vegetables into the slow cooker.  Put the carrots, green beans, tomato sauce, beef broth, honey, cumin seed, salt and pepper into the slow cooker.  Stir the ingredients together.  Cover the cooker and cook for 7 to 8 hours on low.

IMG_1744This was super easy to make and it makes a lot so I took it for lunch all week.  This is probably one of my favorite slow cooker recipes so far.  Happy cooking!

 

 

My Second Shot at Curry – Fijian Fish Curry

I wanted something different for dinner the other day so I decided to do another curry.  This one wasn’t nearly as involved as the last one that Mary shot for me.  This recipe comes from Hungry for Change and is super easy.  Interestingly it uses cilantro stems rather than leaves, which I’d never seen before.  I’m always excited to find new uses for stuff I usually throw out!

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1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon zest of unwaxed lime (reserve lime juice for garnish)

2 tablespoons ground garam masala spice blend

1  teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Half a bunch of fresh cilantro, stems chopped, leaves reserved for garnish

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon tamarind paste, dissolved in a small amount of warm water (stir or strain any lumpy bits and discard)

1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

2 pounds wild-caught cod, diced into 1-inch pieces

1 cup coconut milk

IMG_1737Heat the oil in a large saute pan over low heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.  Add the lime zest, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and cilantro stems.  Saute, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Then add the water, tamarind, and salt and heat everything until its barely simmering.

Place the pieces of fish into the pan and poach until they are almost cooked through, stirring gently so you don’t break up the fish.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the coconut milk, stirring gently for another minute.  Serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

IMG_1738I served this over brown rice and it turned out nicely.  Curry is really good for your heart so any chance to cook with it I usually take!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Mushroom Lovers Dream – Zucchini Mushroom Soup

I’m back!  I huge apology for being MIA the past week.  I usually get extremely busy around this time in the semester and this spring is no exception!  But I have a few great posts for you so keep checking back.  This soup turned out amazingly good.  I got the recipe out of my Hungry for Change cookbook but I did a few things differently.  First, I used Japanese mushrooms instead of wild mushrooms because I LOVE them! Also, this soup is supposed to be pureed but I left it chunky because I love the consistency of Japanese mushrooms so much.

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

6 cups roughly chopped mushrooms

1 medium-size yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons

1 bay leaf

Water

2 cups chopped cauliflower

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the mushrooms in the oil with a sprinkle of sea salt until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the onion, garlic, and zucchini and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and enough water to cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and let everything continue to simmer until the cauliflower is soft.    At this point you can puree it in a blender if you want to go that route but I really loved it chunky!

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I made a double batch of this and I ate it all week.  If you like mushrooms then this is definitely the dish for you!  Happy cooking!

Colorful Healthy Side Dish – Lemon-Garlic Rainbow Chard

I’ve been getting bunches of rainbow chard in my CSA and last month I totally forgot about it and had to throw it out.  I was not about to do that this month.  So I served it for Easter.  I though it’s colorfulness made it appropriate.  This is a really great way to use all of your chard bunch, instead of throwing away the stems and it’s very easy and quick.

1 bunch rainbow chard

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 pinch crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

IMG_1727Separate the steps of the chard from the leaves.  Cut the leaves into thin strips and set aside.  Thinly slice the stems.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Stir in the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and chard stems, and cook for 3 minutes until the flavor of the garlic mellows and the stems begin to soften.  Stir in the shredded chard leaves, cover, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.  Stir, recover, and continue cooking until the chard is tender.  Toss with lemon juice and serve.

IMG_1730This is a great side dish for just about any protein.  I’ll be using this again!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Easter Dinner – Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

I wanted to do something a little bit Eastery for Easter this year but I decided this at 6:00 pm on Easter so I obviously had to do something easy.  This is what I came up with.  I found this recipe at allrecipes.com.  It turned out really good!  The balsamic reduction is delectable!

IMG_17263/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

8 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup minced shallots

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon raw butter

IMG_1728In a small bowl mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper.  Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides.  Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15-30 minutes to absorb  the flavors.

Heat coconut oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Place lamb chops in the skillet and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet and keep warm on a serving platter.

Add shallots to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, just until browned.  Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth.  Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter.  Pour over the lamb chops and serve.

IMG_1729I highly recommend this one. It’s soooo good!  Just make sure to get enough chops cause they are small!  If you want to make this Paleo just skip the butter at the end and add coconut oil instead.  Happy Easter!