Category Archives: Veggies, Salads & Fruit

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce—Paleo & Whole30

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

Sometimes, recipes are born out of necessity. My local market was sold out of a prepared butternut squash sauce, so I decided to make my own version. Of course, I had nothing to compared the taste to, but I’ll settle for “delicious” which is what I got.

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

This sauce uses butternut squash as the base, but adds in sautéed aromatics—similar to a classic mirepoix—to create a foundation of flavor. The red pepper gives it some body, and some tomato paste brings acidity without dominating and making it taste too tomato-y.

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

I served this over warmed zucchini noodles, but the possibilities are really endless!

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce—Paleo & Whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) ghee
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 lb (454 g) butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) tomato paste
  • ~3/4 cup (177 mL) water
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. First, get the aromatic veggie base going. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the ghee. Add the onion, red pepper, celery and pinch of sea salt. Cook and stir until the veggies soften and lightly brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash cubes and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until the squash is tender. Stir a few times so nothing sticks. Turn off the heat and let the veggies cool for a few minutes.
  3. Then, add the veggies to a food processor or high speed blender with the tomato paste. Start with ½ cup (118 mL) water. Puree the veggies until they become a sauce. If it's too thick, add water by the tablespoon. I found that ¾ cup (177 mL) water made a sauce that was somewhere between a thin soup and a thick puree. Of course, the moisture content of your veggies may vary so start with less and add more as you go.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and warm in a small pot before serving.
Notes
Double the batch and freeze the extras for up to 1 month.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 3 to 4.

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Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

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Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad

Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: This recipe is a sneak preview of Cindy Sexton’s upcoming book “Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer: Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes.” Cindy’s come up with a cookbook full of stupid-easy recipes with 3, 4 or 5 ingredients perfect for beginning chefs or those who like to KISS (Keep It Super Simple). Note: spices, vinegars and salts are not included in the recipe ingredient total. Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer releases on October 21, 2014 but you can still pre-order and snag the early bird price that saves you 24%!

I need to preface by saying that this is one spectacular little number. It could easily pose as a main for lunch or act as a superior side dish for a larger spread. The birth of this recipe began one day while strolling the farmers market. After spotting a bushel of Brussels sprouts at a vendor’s booth, and some beautiful heirloom beets at another, I decided to come up with a dish that would combine the two. Ironically, I thought of uniting one of my all-time faves, beets, with something I had (at that point) never EVER tried before, Brussels sprouts.

To put this dish over the edge, I knew it would be ideal to cook up some bacon in the oven first and then roast the beets, garlic and Brussels sprouts in the fat afterward. Two words: dynamite decision. After slow roasting, everything caramelizes together to make one huge mound of goodness. It creates an earthy and nutty sauce within itself. Every bite gives you a savory crunch that will appeal to your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves: Serves 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb (454 g) bacon
  • 6 beets, cubed into small pieces
  • About 24 (individual) Brussels sprouts, cleaned thoroughly (these guys can be dirty!)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, quartered
  • 1 tbsp (4 g) dried thyme
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup (62 g) pistachios, once cooked, and toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Arrange slices of bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven until crispy. When done, remove with tongs and set aside on a plate to cool. Reserve the bacon fat for cooking the vegetables.
  3. In a large roasting pan, add in the beets, Brussels sprouts and garlic. Drizzle with leftover bacon fat. Sprinkle with dried thyme, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly using the tongs. Roast in the oven on the middle rack for about 45 minutes until everything has caramelized slightly.
  4. In the meantime, toast pistachios in a small pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Transfer contents of the roasting pan to a large bowl and top with pistachios. Crumble the cooled bacon and add it to the veggies. Use tongs to toss it all together.
Notes
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K and C.

Pistachios are an excellent source of copper and vitamin B6. They are also a very good source of iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and B5 as well as a good source of magnesium.

Want to check out more of Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer? Go here and click on Look Inside.

Photo courtesy: Page Street Publishing

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Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a recipe question for Cindy? Leave it in the comments below!

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut has long been on my agenda to make, especially after I picked up a bag from Farmhouse Cultures. It was so delicious, and while buying it pre-made is convenient, it’s far more affordable to make it myself. The beets add a bit of sweetness—plus, the color is fantastic—and the ginger is so flavorful and provides a little bite.

I have a few sauerkraut / fermentation posts on this site already, and this isn’t really any different from those. If you’re a newbie to making sauerkraut, take a deep breath (it’s going to be okay!), and read through the whole post before you start the process. It’s actually very, very simple but there are a couple key points to remember:

  • This method uses lacto-fermentation with only salt and whatever Lactobacillus bacteria are kickin’ around your kitchen environment. There is no whey in this method.
  • The veggies must stay submerged under the brine (in an anaerobic environment) the *whole* time you’re fermenting them…and even after they’re done. If not, they’ll mold quickly.
  • Clean all your glassware, utensils and hands well before you start. For extra insurance against contamination, rinse everything with white vinegar.
  • You don’t have to use a fancy fermentation cap like this, but they make the process a bit easier, and there’s less chance of contamination. I used the Kraut Source prototype for this batch, and I’m super impressed at how simple it was. It was especially good at keeping the veggies submerged. They are about to finish their Kickstarter, so get in on it while you can!
  • I’ve included a troubleshooting section at the end of this post, so if you’re seeing odd things during fermentation, check there to see if it’s normal or you should toss your ferment.

Prep time: 30 min     Ferment time:  7–14 days     Makes: 1-quart (946 mL) jar

Ingredients for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • 2 lb (907 g) green cabbage (you’ll use half unless making a double batch)
  • 8 oz (227 g) red beets
  • 2–3 oz (57–85 g) fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (22 g) coarse sea salt (I like this one)
  • If you need extra brine, use 1 tsp (5 g) salt in 1 cup (237 mL) water

Directions for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

The basic method for making sauerkraut goes like this:

Thinly slice the vegetables, then salt them. Pulverize the veggies by crushing them with your hands to release the juices. Pack them tightly into a jar, submerging the veggies underneath the brine. Cover with something—like fabric—so dust and bugs stay out, but air can still escape. (Gas is generated as part of the fermentation process, so don’t cover it with an airtight lid unless it’s one specifically made for fermenting or you run the risk of the jar exploding due to pressure.) Let it sit in a dark cabinet for at least a week—or longer, depending on how sour you like it—then refrigerate.

For this batch:

  1. Cut the cabbage in half. You’ll only be using half for this recipe, unless you decide to double it. (In that case, you’ll need to double the amount of beets, ginger, and sea salt, and you’ll need another jar set-up.) Very thinly slice the cabbage. I used a mandolin, but I’ve done it plenty of times with a sharp knife. Toss the cabbage into a very large bowl. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. To prepare the beets, I scrubbed but didn’t peel them. If you’d like, you can peel them, but it’s just an extra step. I thinly sliced the beets into rounds using a mandolin, then stacked them up, and sliced them into matchsticks. Alternatively, you could shred them in a food processor or with a box grater (but that is SUPER messy because beet juice stains). Place the beets into the bowl with the cabbage.
  3. For the ginger, I grated it down finely using a microplane grater. You could also mince it by hand, just be sure the pieces are very small since biting into chunks of ginger is very spicy. Place the grated ginger in the bowl with the beets and cabbage. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  4. Now, add the salt. With clean hands, start to scrunch the veggies as you mix everything together. You have to get aggressive here because you’re trying to break down the cells in the veggies and (with the help of the salt) draw out the moisture. This takes at least 5 minutes of scrunching and squeezing. (Yay for kitchen fitness!) If there’s not a lot of moisture after that time, add more by making some brine (salt water) with 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water. Some cabbages are just drier than others. C’est la vie! Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Pack the veggies into a wide-mouth quart-sized Mason jar. Really push them down. (I use my fist or a spoon.) The veggies should come up to about the shoulder of the jar. If there is not at least an inch of liquid covering the veggies, add some brine to cover. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Now, you have a couple options: use a special lid for fermenting to cap it all off or use a simple DIY cover. For this batch, I used a new prototype lid from Kraut Source. It uses a spring mechanism to hold the veggies down under the brine. However, if you don’t have that, the other method I’ve used successfully is to place a 4-ounce jelly jar INTO the wide-mouth jar to keep the veggies submerged. It works really, really well. Click here to see pictures and video. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. Place the jar into a bowl or on a plate in case any liquid bubbles out. If you’re using the jar in jar method, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a cupboard or pantry for at least a week. Check the level of the liquid every couple days. If the level has dropped, add more brine. After a week, remove a bit of kraut with a fork and test the flavor. If it’s not sour enough for your liking, keep fermenting. (I find that it’s good for me around 10-14 days, but everyone is different. Some like to keep it going for weeks!) When it’s done, cover with a metal Mason jar lid and refrigerate. Keeps for a few months. Remember to keep the kraut submerged in brine the whole time, even in the fridge or it’ll mold.

 Troubleshooting your Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • My veggies are slimy. Bad bacteria have probably started to grow in your jar. Best to toss it out to be safe.
  • My veggies have run out of liquid. If this was recent, within a day or so, top off with more brine. If it’s been several days, you may want to throw it out and start again.
  • Help! My veggies are foaming! This is normal especially after the first couple days of fermentation because gases are being released by the bacteria and can cause bubbles or foam. You can skim the foam and keep on rockin’.
  • I see white stuff at the bottom of the jar. Is this okay? Yes. These are the bacteria. It’s totally normal.
  • Um, my veggies have greenish-black mold on top. If you’re adventurous, you can skim it and keep going. This is how moldy ferment has been dealt with for ages (and I can tell you lots of stories about what they do with moldy cheese in the grocery store). If you’re totally grossed out, just start over.
  • It’s been a couple weeks and the veggies still aren’t sour or tangy. You may have them in too cold of a spot. Try putting them in a warmer location to speed up the process a bit.

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Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about making sauerkraut? Leave it in the comments below!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update!

Time for an update on The Performance Paleo Cookbook!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s been a crazy past few months working on the cookbook, but we’re at an exciting stage. I’ve turned in the manuscript and completed the photographs (still need to finish editing those) which means the lion’s share of the creative content is done. I’m still catching my breath a bit!

Originally, I wasn’t planning to take the photographs myself, but the opportunity arose and I knew we’d get the best possible outcome if I stepped up to the plate (no pun intended). What followed was a hectic month.

We—the hubs and I—built wood backdrops and shopped for props. (I definitely have too many bowls now.) I cooked every recipe again from scratch and according to spec to check the flavors one more time. I styled and photographed 90 of the 100 recipes in the cookbook here in the dining room of our tiny, 100-year-old cottage. I made a literal mountain of dishes and went through a figurative ton of food.

It was all worth it because I know the cookbook is going to be on point for y’all! So, what happens next?

Now, the book will be formatted, arranged and edited over the next few months, then it will go off to the printer so it’s ready for its debut on January 6th. (Remember, this is an actual print book!) I know it seems like a long time to wait, but the time will fly by, I’m convinced. The good news is that you can pre-order now and lock in the early bird price of 25% off! Click here for Amazon or here for Barnes and Noble. It’ll also be formatted into a digital version if e-readers are your cup of tea.

What’s going to be in The Performance Paleo Cookbook?

  • 100 recipes with 90 full-color photographs,
  • 50 recipe combo ideas to make full meals,
  • 7 different fueling protocols to help plan for whatever time of the day you train,
  • Pre- and post-workout snack ideas,
  • Tons of protein-rich and carb-dense recipes,
  • …and more!

Awesome, right?

So for now, I’ll be turning a lot more attention back to the site (we have a site refresh coming up to make it more user-friendly) and working on some awesome new resources. Thanks for all your continued support!

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The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about The Performance Paleo Cookbook? Leave it in the comments below!

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries are a deliciously different way to enjoy this healthy fat source in your diet.

This appetizer was inspired by a dish the hubs and I enjoyed at a local cafe. While their version was gluten-free, I’m pretty certain they used rice flour and deep fried them. Convinced I could do better, I took some time off from shooting pics for The Performance Paleo Cookbook and developed these delectable little snacks. My first experiment worked! (These are also reminiscent of Fed and Fit’s brilliant guest post for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers.)

Basically, you’ll coat the avocado “fries” with crushed pork rinds. They bake up brown and crisp! I like this brand the best because it’s just pork, olive oil and salt already crushed up and ready to use. You’ll coat the avocado in arrowroot (tapioca) flour, egg wash, and finally seasoned pork rinds, then bake and eat. If you have Flavor God seasonings, just sub the spices in this recipe for 2 Tablespoons of any variety.

If you can’t eat eggs, I made a version without. Though I don’t have exact quantities, all I did was replace the egg with stone-ground mustard that I thinned with a little water. The result was just as tasty.

Ingredients for Paleo Baked Avocado Fries

Serves 2 to 4.

Directions for Paleo Baked Avocado Fries

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C), and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Slice the avocados in half, and carefully remove the pit. (To do that, place the avocado on a cutting board, and gently but firmly thwack the pit with a knife, then twist.) Cut each half into three or four slices, and set them aside.
  3. You’ll need three small bowls for the dipping stations. In the first, combine the arrowroot and half the seasonings. In the second, combine the beaten egg, water and mustard. In the third, combine the pork rinds and the other half of the seasonings.
  4. Dip the avocado slices into the arrowroot, then the eggs, then the pork rinds. Lay them on the baking sheet. When they’re all dipped, bake the avocado fries for 10 to 12 minutes, then flip and bake another 2 to 4 minutes. They’re best enjoyed while they’re fresh!

*Tip: To select avocados that aren’t overripe, flick off the stem. If it’s white / green underneath, you still have time before it’s mushy and brown. If it’s brown, avoid.

Paleo Baked Avocado Fries | stupideasypaleo.com

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Paleo Baked Avocado Fries | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you!

Kohlrabi Salad with Apple Ginger Vinaigrette

Kohlrabi Salad with Apple Ginger Vinaigrette | stupideasypaleo.com

Kohlrabi is definitely not a vegetable I’d ever had gumption to try. Its funky, globular shape and oddly placed leaves always looked so strange to me. Let’s just say, kohlrabi was never on the menu…until now. I picked up a bunch at the store a few days ago and decided it was high time I give kohlrabi a try.

Interestingly, the word kohlrabi is a mashup of German phraseology that translates roughly into “cabbage turnip.” The flavor tastes of mild cabbage or something like broccoli stem but without the sulfurous undertones. In terms of nutrition, it’s rich in Vitamin C and the healthy phytochemicals that other members of the Brassica family are renowned for.

Photo Jun 14, 11 29 23 AM

I prepared this kohlrabi like a salad, but if you’ve got more time, you could certainly slice it thinner / smaller like a slaw. The simple apple ginger vinaigrette is a great complement to the kohlrabi’s crunch.

Ingredients for the Kohlrabi Salad with Apple Ginger Vinaigrette

For the Salad

  • 1 lb (454 g) kohlrabi, tops removed, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 lb (113 g) carrots, halved and sliced
  • 1/4 lb (113 g) red apple (I like Pink Lady, about half an apple), sliced
  • 1/4 cup packed (3 oz / 85 g) fresh parsley
  • 2 large (1 oz / 28 g) green onions, white and light green parts, sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 lb (113 g) red apple (I like Pink Lady, about half an apple), chopped
  • 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 g) black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 mL) light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil

Directions for the Kohlrabi Salad with Apple Ginger Vinaigrette

  1. Prepare the salad by mixing the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make the dressing by combining the apple, ginger, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a high-powered blender or food processor. Run the blender until the mixture is broken down and starts to liquify, then with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly to combine.

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kohlrabi2

5 Recipes To Ease Your Real Food Transition

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo, Primal and real food lifestyles are gaining in popularity by the day. While the benefits—such as fat loss and stable energy—are enough to convince most people to take the leap and leave their processed food-based diets behind, for others the transition can be pretty overwhelming. If you’re just starting out on your journey to Paleo, this post is dedicated to you.

These five recipes I’ve compiled from my archives can help you make the switch to a gluten- and dairy-free nutrition plan a LOT easier. And, if you don’t tell anyone what they’re about to eat is Paleo, they’ll probably never know!

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast. What’s not to love already? You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor that the spices alone can’t achieve. The end result was fall-apart tender. If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top, almost like a gravy. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you don’t have access to this awesome cold-brew coffee, and java will do. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Simple Paleo Tortillas

Are Simple Paleo Tortillas really possible?! If you’re looking for a really easy Paleo version of a flour tortilla—or a French crepe—look no further. These are pretty much foolproof and are much more flexible than other Paleo tortillas I’ve tried before that mostly use coconut flour as a base. I had a huge bag of arrowroot powder to use up (a gluten-free flour alternative) so this fit the bill quite well. These Paleo tortillas hold up to folding or rolling and can be used in sweet or savory applications, and it’s easy to make a double or triple batch in advance and save them for upcoming meals. They’d also be perfect for making up some tasty lunches on the go, and I think they’d be super popular with kids (of all ages)! I tested these to see how well they’d freeze. I rolled the tortillas up, froze them, and they thawed flexible and easy to fold!

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Chick-fil-A

This Paleo Chick-fil-A is dedicated to my friend Ricky. Being from the south, he’s been rattling on about Chick-fil-A for SO long, I finally decided to make a Paleo version for him. It came out so tasty that I’m going to bring some to party this weekend for him to officially try. The secret’s in the pickle juice! It basically brines the chicken which makes it super moist and tender. The recipe easily doubles. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Watermelon Mojito Salad

This Watermelon Mojito Salad recipe was inspired by a Southern California road trip I took with one of my best friends. There may have been some mojitos consumed. I decided to make a mojito-esque—but clearly non-alcoholic—dish that would capture the flavors of this iconic Cuban drink. Plus watermelon. I love watermelon. Whole30-friendly.

5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture. Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious. Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.

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5 Foods To Ease Your Real Food Transition | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite Paleo recipe to serve to non-Paleo eaters?

Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash (Paleo)

Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash | Popular Paleo for StupidEasyPaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please welcome Ciarra from Popular Paleo back to the blog. Not only is she a close personal friend of mine, she’s a whiz in the kitchen AND she’s just finished writing a cookbook (releasing December 2nd so click here to pre-order) called The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking. I know y’all are going to love it because she’s done an amazing job. (I got to test drive some of the recipes!) This Chicken Florentine dish is representative of the budget-friendly bites she’s known for. Take it away, Ciarra!

I have a not-so-secret love affair with spaghetti squash, but in my part of the country (the Pacific Northwest) it can get expensive depending on the time of year. Since I make one Paleo-friendly meal to feed my little semi-Paleo family of four each night for dinner, I’m always looking for ways to stretch a pricier ingredient. For spaghetti squash, I do that by mixing it up with chicken Italian sausage and fresh organic baby spinach for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats. I like to serve it all in the shell of the spaghetti squash and top it some fresh herbs and pine nuts if I have some hanging around in my pantry.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats

  • 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) chicken Italian sausage (organic, gluten-free)
  • 1 organic white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (700 grams) organic baby spinach leaves, packed into measuring cup
  • 2–3 tablespoons (30–45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon (7 grams) pine nuts and chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions for Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash Boats

  1. First things first, let’s get that spaghetti squash in the oven to roast while we prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Using a large knife and steady hand, split the squash in half lengthwise. The best way to do this is usually by scoring the squash and then inserting the tip of the blade into an end. Apply strong and even pressure on the knife, using it more like a splitting wedge on a large log rather than the familiar slicing action of a blade. Once the squash is split open, use a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp (just toss that stuff). Place the halved squash cut-side down on a roasting pan, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken Florentine portion of the dish. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and drizzle in a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once it comes to temp, crumble in the chicken Italian sausage, garlic and diced onion. Cook and stir until the sausage is fully cooked and the onion is translucent—this should take about 12 minutes or so. A few minutes before the meat is done, pile the baby spinach on top of the sausage so that it wilts as the rest of the items in the pan finish. Stir the spinach into the sausage mixture as it cooks down. Then set it aside until the spaghetti squash has finished roasting.
  3. After you pull the squash out of the oven, turn them over so they cool a little faster. Once you can handle them comfortably (or if you can manage holding them with an oven mitt), use a fork to scrape with the grain of the squash to harvest the strands. Transfer the harvested strands into the pan with the sausage mixture, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and the pine nuts if you want to use them. Toss the squash strands with the sausage and spinach so everything gets evenly combined.
  4. I like to serve this plated inside the spaghetti squash shell or “boat-style.” It’s pretty and, well, if I can save myself another dish to wash, then I’m all for it. Top with some toasted pine nuts and / or fresh flat-leaf parsley and dig in!

p.s.: If you happen to have any leftovers, this makes a great frittata for breakfast or a to-go lunch the next day!

Be sure to follow Ciarra and Popular Paleo on: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

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Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash | Popular Paleo for StupidEasyPaleo.com

Questions for Ciarra? Leave them in the comments below!

Avocado BLT Egg Salad

Steph’s note: I’m really chuffed to be featuring Lexi from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen on the blog today! I first noticed her drool-worthy recipes on Instagram, and her dishes are really approachable and simple. Lexi specializes in gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo recipes that are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. Make sure you keep up with her on social media because I guarantee you’ll like what you see: FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. Take it away, Lexi!

Avocado BLT Egg Salad | Lexi's Clean Kitchen for stupideasypaleo.com I

I love egg salad. Also on the list of things that I love are: avocados, tomatoes, bacon, and scallions, to name a few. This is the absolute perfect lunch. For one, it combines all of those favorite things listed. And two, it is packed with protein and healthy fats to fill you up throughout the day, while being super simple to throw together! This recipe replaces the standard mayonnaise that is ordinarily in egg salad with avocado. It is perfectly creamy and full of flavor!

Prep Time: 10 min     Cook Time: 10 min     Total Time: 20 min

Ingredients for Avocado BLT Egg Salad

  • 1 avocado
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt, more to taste

Directions for Avocado BLT Egg Salad

  1. Make your hard-boiled eggs. Once done, peel, set aside in the refrigerator and let cool.
  2. While they are cooking, make bacon using you desired method and cook until crispy.
  3. In a medium bowl combine eggs, avocado, garlic and salt; smash with a fork until combined.
  4. Add in bacon pieces, tomatoes and scallions. Mix well.
  5. Taste and add additional salt and ground garlic as desired.

Notes

Serve over fresh spinach or lettuce or in lettuce wraps!

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Avocado BLT Egg Salad | Lexi's Clean Kitchen for stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Lexi? Leave them in the comments below.

PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw

PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please give a super warm welcome to my guest blogger Candace, better known around the Web as the creative mind behind Beyoutifully Delicious. She’s incredibly sweet and wickedly innovative in the kitchen, and I know you’re going to love her Paleo recipes. In fact, look out for part two of this recipe (a Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken) that’ll be posting next week! Without further adieu, take it away Candace!

Coleslaw was never really my thing. Anytime I had it, it was mushy, drippy and tasted like that Miracle Whip crap. Bleh!

The greatest thing about cooking is you can always make something your own and give it your personal signature. I love peanut dressing and Pad Thai but I have really given up the peanut madness since turning my food over to the “Paleo Way.” I think I was having issues with it anyhow.

I love the texture of Napa cabbage so I make this star of the show, complimented by grated beets which are perfect for sweeping out those pesky phytoestrogens, carrots and fresh pineapple. No canned fruit in syrup here! This combination makes the perfect second post-workout meal where I start tapering off my carbs, upping my fat along with another big hunk o’ protein. It’s satisfying without leaving me weighted down.

Ingredients for PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw

For the slaw

  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup grated beets
  • 3 cups shredded Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup fresh chopped pineapple
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed raw cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, torn

For the dressing

Directions for the PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw

  1. Make sure you dry the veggies with paper towels or kitchen towels if they’re really damp. The pineapple will add moisture so you don’t need any extra.
  2. Add veggies and pineapple to a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing: In a blender add the water, then add the remainder of ingredients. Blend on high until you have a smooth, creamy dressing.
  4. Use half of the dressing and toss the salad together, mixing well until everything is coated.
  5. Garnish with the cashews, green onions and cilantro.

Connect with Candace and Beyoutifully Delicious here: blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

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PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Candace? Leave them in the comments below!

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com Please welcome today’s guest blogger Meg, founder of the popular blog A Dash of Meg. I first met Meg on Instagram and have followed her journey as she’s learned how to properly fuel her body for health and strength. Meg even recently did a Whole30 and posted up lots of tasty eats along the way. She’s got a great, positive attitude about nutrition and health. Take it away, Meg!

If you had to pick a favorite fruit what would it be?

Personally, I’d say berries. But, if you asked me which berry was my favorite, I’d have a hard time choosing. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries… oh, they are all so delicious! But, if I absolutely had to pick I’d say my favorite is the blueberry. Although blueberries are itty bitty, they are packed with a lot of nutrients!

Blueberries are particularly high in the type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the elasticity of capillary walls; therefore, they may help fight heart disease and some types of cancer. Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants, but they are also rich in vitamin B2, C, and E, manganese and fiber.

Blueberries are beautiful, delicious and nutrient-dense! They are definitely something you should incorporate into your diet especially when they’re in season.

Blueberry season is from July to August, and although I try to eat as seasonally as possible, when I saw that the blueberries at my local market were on sale last week I just had to grab some. I think this long, brutally cold winter is really getting to me (Steph’s note: Meg lives in central Canada), but these blueberries reminded me of the beauty of summer and were able to cheer me up quite a bit!

They also inspired me to create a new recipe. I love recipe developing. I’m actually hoping to publish my own cookbook some day, but for now I will just share my recipes with you!

This recipe was actually inspired by Steph! After seeing her “strawberry mango relish” on Instagram a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the though of creating a recipe for a fruit relish / salsa of my own, particularly a blueberry-flavored salsa. So, I created this incredibly stupid-easy Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa!

Before I even met Steph, I always chose the simple way of doing things. My Mom and I call it the “KISS Method” (Keep It Simple Stupid Method). I believe that’s why Steph and I became such good friends ;) Or at least one of the reasons why…

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe! Use it as a condiment with any meal of your choice. I particularly love it on top of my salmon or with my runny-yolk eggs! Eggs and blueberries are a match made in food heaven!

Ingredients for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, whole
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (use half for less spicy salsa)

Directions for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (Note: For milder flavor, seed the pepper and remove the white inner membrane. Wash your hands thoroughly.) Serve immediately or allow flavors to mingle for 30 minutes.
  2. I chose to keep this recipe stupid-easy, as you can tell. I’m not a fan of onion in my fruit salsas, so I left it out. The blueberries I used were incredibly sweet, think candy-like, so I chose to leave out lime / lemon juice. However, feel free to add in your favorite salsa ingredients!

Change it up!

Try adding the following:

  • lime or lemon juice
  • lime zest
  • fresh basil
  • sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave a comment in the box below!

Tasty Taco Salad by Living Loving Paleo

Tasty Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome Kristen, my guest blogger and a special friend of mine, to the blog. I’ve come to know Kristen through her Instagram, and her story of sickness to wellness so touched my heart that I knew I had to share it on the blog. (Click here to read it, then come right back!) Kristen’s passion for food is clear in her super awesome blog, Living Loving Paleo, and her recipes are simple, approachable and nourishing. Take it away, Kristen!

One thing I super, duper missed when I first changed my diet to a Paleo diet was definitely sauces and dressings, especially creamy ones. I honestly thought I’d never see them again. I drew a blank when it came to making my own, as I never had before. Honestly, making my own dressings intimidated me, and I figured it would be difficult and time consuming (neither of which I’m a fan of). Then, I discovered just how easy and fast it is to make your own, and I knew I could never go back!

My life was completely turned around by changing the food that I put on my plate, and for the first time in a really long time I was healthy. I was determined to make recipes for my own sauces and dressings that fit my new lifestyle, and that were completely delicious! I love a great salad, and to me, a salad is completely made by the dressing. I must say, the dressing that I created for this taco salad makes it extra special. Store bought dressings don’t even compare! I hope you all love it as much as my family did. Happy cooking!

Ingredients for Tasty Taco Salad

For the base of the salad, I used romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes & avocado. Feel free to use any veggies you like.

Ingredients for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 2/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cilantro, minced

Directions for Tasty Taco Salad

  1. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well.
  3. While the meat is cooking, make the simple dressing. Place the oil, egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt in a tall container. (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Place an immersion blender at the bottom and turn on. Once the mixture starts to blend together and become thick, move the immersion blender towards the top, until it is well blended. This should take less than a minute! Stir in the cilantro. [Steph’s note: No immersion blender? Place the egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt into a blender and let these come to room temperature. Run the blender for about 30 seconds, then with the blender on medium speed, very slowly (in a thin stream) drizzle in the avocado oil until the mayo has thickened.]
  4. Top your salad with the meat and dressing! Enjoy!

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taco salad 2

 

Preserved Meyer Lemons

Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com

I’ll be honest…when I was photographing these Preserved Meyer Lemons, I just couldn’t help but feel happy! The season for Meyer lemons is here, and what better way to celebrate this delicious seasonal produce than to make preserved Meyer lemons.

What’s a Meyer Lemon?

It’s a variety of lemon that’s a bit more mild and less acidic than its famous yellow counterpart. The scent is almost a bit pine-y, and they taste a bit sweeter than regular lemons. Many people actually describe them as a hybrid between an orange and a lemon, and you’ll find them in season between December and April, so it’s best to pick them up when you see them in the market.

This method of preserving is really quite simple: Combine sea salt and the juice of the lemons (along with the entire lemon flesh), let it sit at room temperature for a couple of weeks while it all ferments and then refrigerate for a condiment that can be use in myriad ways.

There are several ways to cut the lemons, depending on which recipe you look at but I like this one because the pieces are small, and it’s easy to grab just one if you need a small amount.

Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com

How Can You Use Preserved Meyer Lemons?

Preserved lemons feature predominantly in North African cuisine, their rinds chopped up and added to dishes to add a punch of flavor. Once the Meyer lemons are preserved, you remove a piece from the jar, rinse the extra salt away and slice or chop the rind. You can use the flesh, too or just toss it. Add them to sauteed greens or cauliflower rice, toss into fresh salads, make a lemon butter sauce or throw into a crock pot chicken dish. Any way you can think of using lemons to add brightness to a recipe, you can substitute preserved Meyer lemons instead.

Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Preserved Meyer Lemons

Makes 1 quart (32 ounces).

Directions for Preserved Meyer Lemons

  1. Wash the lemons and cut them into quarters.
  2. Squeeze the juice of 6 quarters into the jar and pack the slices somewhat tightly into the bottom of the jar. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of sea salt.  Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com
  3. Repeat with layers of lemons and salt until you reach the top of the jar. If the liquid doesn’t cover the lemons, squeeze a bit more juice into the jar. Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com
  4. Put the cap on and invert the jar a couple times to distribute the salt.
  5. Put the jar in a dark place like a cupboard or pantry and let the lemons ferment for 2–3 weeks. Every few days, invert the jar a couple times and open the lid to release any pressure.
  6. After 2–3 weeks, refrigerate the preserved Meyer lemons for up to a year.

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Preserved Meyer Lemons | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you ever tried Meyer lemons? What’d you think? Let me know in the comments below!

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

This 3-Ingredient Banana Pudding is really simple. While I love convenience, the little cups of chia pudding goodness you can buy at the grocery store can be kind of pricey, especially if you’re watching your wallet.

The possibilities for ingredients are really endless, but this one has just three: banana, coconut milk and chia seeds.

Banana Coconut Chia Ingredients

Banana Coconut Chia Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the banana and coconut milk. Process until smooth.
  2. Throw in the chia seeds and pulse a few times to mix evenly.
  3. Pour into a container and chill for an hour to let the chia seeds plump up a bit. (Or if you’re like me, eat it right away because you don’t want to wait. The seeds will be crunchy, though.)

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3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever tried chia pudding? What’s your favorite combo?

Berry Mango Chia Jam

Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com

If you’ve been around the blog for long enough, you may notice I use chia seeds from time to time to create very lightly sweetened puddings. This time, I paired them with fresh fruit to make something that’s a jam-like consistency with no added sugar. Feel free to switch up the berries with other fruit!

Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients for Berry Mango Chia Jam

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) diced mango
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) blueberries
  • 1 cup (225 g) chopped strawberries
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds

Directions for Berry Mango Chia Jam

  1. Add the fruit to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until it has softened.
  2. Slowly stir in the chia seeds until they’re evenly incorporated. The “jam” will continue to thicken as the seeds absorb moisture.
  3. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

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Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com