Southwestern Turkey Burgers

Southwestern Turkey Burgers

Today, let’s talk turkey!

Turkey burgers have come a long way right? They used to be this dried out “healthy alternative” to a REAL burger but now I find it’s just another iteration of poultry that I really enjoy. The only problem? If you have a red-meat-loving spouse at home it can be challenging to talk them out of the Turkey Burger = Fake Burger headspace.

For years when I’d suggest making turkey burgers Garrett would kind of groan and suggest that we eat something different. That is until I made these burgers one night. It’s a play on an old Rachael Ray recipe that I adapted when we went Paleo because it was that tasty! It’s been making appearances on my meal plans forever but I have never blogged it, which is silly because it is absolutely a staple in our house. The key to making it not taste like a “fake” burger? Tons of different flavors.

Southwestern Turkey Burgers 1

Turkey is a blank canvas and alone it can be a little bit bland. But that makes it the perfect type of meat to mix with smoky, spicy Southwestern flavors and crispy sweet peppers. Add a little touch of your favorite hot sauce and some jalapenos dialed up to your desired heat level and your turkey is all of a sudden a flavor force to be reckoned with.

Southwestern Turkey Burgers Ingredients

The nice thing about this recipe is you  just dump everything in a bowl and mix. I say just get your  hands dirty, but you can also mix it up with a fork. Turkey is pretty forgiving and doesn’t get too tough like ground beef does if you overmix it. Grill or fry up in a pan and serve over a giant bed of greens. Your dinner will be done in less than a half hour and you won’t feel at all like you are eating a healthified version of something. If you want to get really spicy top it off with some smoked jalapeno kraut. That stuff is the real deal and so is this burger!

Southwestern Turkey Burgers 2

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Southwestern Turkey Burgers
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1.25 lbs of ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large shallot or ¼ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 small bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Combine turkey, garlic, shallot, thyme, parsley, bell pepper, jalapeno, cumin, hot sauce and grill seasoning in a medium bowl and mix until combined
  2. Dived mixture into 6 equal mounds and then form into patties.
  3. Heat coconut oil in skilled over medium high heat
  4. Add patties and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side
  5. Serve on a giant bed of lightly dressed greens
  6. Enjoy!

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Whole 30 – Reaching the Summit

Living up to its name: Damn Good Chili! #whole30 #hwisc

Whole 30ers…can you see the summit? Maybe for you it is today. For me it is tomorrow. Regardless I wanted to pop in and share a few thoughts since we are halfway there:

*If you have made it this far — CONGRATULATIONS! This Whole 30 has been both easier and tougher on me than the last time around. Easier in that all of you are really helping keep me accountable. This weekend I had the desire to really go off the rails and just eat what was easy since Garrett was out of town. When I have no one to cook for I sometimes just want to eat mindless things which, while Paleo, are not necessarily Whole 30 compliant.

*It has also been harder though because I have really FELT all of the ups and downs. I’ve basically been a snapshot of The Whole 30 Timeline complete with random cravings for things I’d never eat (Mac and Cheese) and anxiety dreams that I bought the wrong almond butter with EEEEEEK. Evaporated Cane Juice OMG DRAMA. ha! If you are still wondering if your reactions are “normal” I highly recommend that read.

*My favorite part of that timeline is this quote from days 8-15, which is super appropriate. I think it is really worth marinating on:

All joking aside, though, this phase gets really intense and for some people. This is the part of the program where our minds try to drive us back to the comfort of the foods we used to know. Our food relationships are deeply rooted and strongly reinforced throughout the course of our lives and breaking through them is really big deal.

*Understanding how you relate to food is one of the major points of the Whole 30. People often forget this or hop into the challenge thinking “Oh I want to lose weight and feel great!” And of course those things happen too. But to get to the “feeling great” part, you have to put in A LOT of work that sometimes involves working through your relationship with food. I really want to commend you if things have gotten difficult and you haven’t yet thrown in the towel. Dealing with those emotions and issues and rationalizations can be really difficult and it can be super easy to find a legitimate sounding reason to put it off until later or just quit altogether and say “It wasn’t right for me” So high five if you have felt those emotions and are pushing through!

*But what if you haven’t pushed through? What if you have strayed, or found it difficult or decided it’s not right for you right now? Well to that I want to say, better luck next time and don’t spend too long beating yourself up about it. It’s important to remember that not being able to complete a Whole 30 does not indicate anything else about you except for that right now, you are not able to complete a Whole 30. That’s it. Let the judgment go. It’s not a failure. YOU are not a failure. Learn and move on. It’s the best thing you can do.

*At this point I also feel like it’s worth reiterating that the Whole 30 isn’t about losing weight. Yep, seriously. It’s not. At all. So, difficult as that is, try not to get all wrapped up in that idea. Dallas and Melissa have written two really great articles about this exact thing and if you have sneaked on to the scale (DON’T DO IT!) and are feeling discouraged, please read them both! Then I would recommend making a list of some of your health or fitness victories over the last few weeks. I had two last night that I’m going to keep in my back pocket for when I feel challenged during the next two weeks.

*The first was our warm up in last night’s workout — Run a mile. UGH. I am always so god damn slow so I just headed out and figured that I would run as fast as possible but not beat myself up for being last. I did my best, clocked my time and expected to see around 11 or 12 minutes, which is my average (Remember my hilly half marathon? I averaged 14 minute miles!!!) So when I got back to the gym I was shocked to see that I ran that mile in 9:34. Under 10 minutes! Victory. I have no doubt that part of the reason for the improvement has had to do with being diligent about properly fueling my body for the last two weeks.

*The last was during the metcon portion of the actual workout:
photo
I got through 9 of those wall walks and my arms basically felt like we noodles. (Here, watch {one of} my CrossFit boyfriend(s) Chris Spealler do them at about 30 seconds in if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) Anyway, wet noodles. I was ready to modify the second time around by my lovely coach basically said “Sorry, no dice. FINISH IT UP, CHUCK!” Well, she didn’t call me chuck, but you get what I’m saying. And in the end, I *did* finish. And it was hard as hell and my arms STILL feel like wet noodles 16 hours later. But last night also felt like the night that I got *my* fitness back. It’s been such a struggle over the past few months with the extra lbs and the crappy food in my body! Last night I really remembered what working hard and performing well (for me!) felt like. And it felt great! And that is way more important than the number on the scale right now.

NY Res to get better at body weight exercises like wall walks. Also to NOT play dead on the gym floor  #htcone #trooponex
****

So tell me about some of your victories over the last 2 weeks? I know it has been hard at times, but surely there have been moments when you noticed positive changes. TELL US ABOUT THEM!

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Ground Beef & Spinach Egg Casserole

Ground Beef & Spinach Egg Casserole // Holly Would If She Could

Just about every Sunday I whip up an egg casserole while doing my food prep for the week. I use a 13×9 casserole dish because it yields 8 nice sized squares. Symmetry makes me happy! Plus then I can put them in individual containers with roasted vegetables so Garrett + I have a grab and go breakfast for the week. I assure you it would be just as lovely to serve to friends at brunch.

I have a few favorite breakfast casserole recipes that I rotate through so I don’t get bored, but for the last few weeks I’ve been making this one with ground beef and spinach. Seasoned ground beef and eggs go really well together, and when you throw in a metric ton of spinach you get to start your day off with a leafy green smugness that helps you run faster, jump higher and knock out your To-Do List with superhero-esque strength.

The best part about it? Very few ingredients!

Ingredients

Look at that. That’s nothing!

You start by sauteing half an onion until it is translucent, then browning ground beef and seasoning the mixture with salt, pepper and garlic powder. So far, so good, right? Then it’s time for the go-go juice. Uh, I mean the spinach. Let’s talk about the spinach for a second, shall we? I’m going to give you a really specific measurement to add and that is 2 to 4 large handfuls. Got that? :) It doesn’t matter if you have large hands or small hands, you just want to dig deep in your bag and pull out the biggest handful you can handle and then throw it in the pan. Repeat this until you are satisfied that you have enough giddy-up and go. The thing about spinach though is that it looks likes too much when you throw it in the pan, but then it cooks down to almost nothing. I have huge hands, which a jeweler recently confirmed to me (THANKS BUT NO THANKS WE WILL BUY NO JEWELRY FROM YOU!) so I like to use about 3 handfuls.

3 handfuls

See? Not too bad.

All that goes into a casserole dish, your seasoned eggs get poured over it (Yep, egg seasoning. It’s necessary!) Then you bake, and most importantly YOU EAT! That last part is the best part.

Egg Casserole

Enjoy it in your breakfast nook or out of a tupperware at your desk at work. Either way it’s a great dish and I hope you enjoy it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Ground Beef & Spinach Egg Casserole
Author: 
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-4 Large Handfuls Spinach
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 12 Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9 casserole dish
  2. Heat Olive Oil over medium in a large skillet
  3. Saute diced onion until translucent, about 5-7 minutes
  4. Add ground beef and crumble with a wooden spoon and brown until cooked through
  5. Season meat and onion mixture with ¾ teaspoons of salt and ¾ teaspoons of pepper and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  6. Add spinach and let it wilt while stirring into the meat mixture
  7. Sprinkle in ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg. This gives your spinach a little something extra!
  8. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl crack 12 eggs, season with remaining salt and pepper and scramble with a fork
  9. When spinach is wilted, transfer meat mixture to casserole dish
  10. Pour egg mixture over meat mixture
  11. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes
  12. Remove foil and finish baking for 10 minutes or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness

 

 

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Whole 30 Meal Plan – Week Three (Plus New Homework!)

This will be lunch! Thanks @cookingcaveman

Twelve days in and I have already lost my desire to be creative in the kitchen. This time around I have a lot more going on in my work life, so this week I have to put kitchen creativity low on my priority list. I still want to make delicious, compliant meals but I think there will be little pomp and circumstance surrounding them.

This week I’m not trying any new recipes and I actually picked up some convenience food at Costco and Trader Joe’s yesterday, including: chicken sausages, pre packed microwave in bag green beans, pre-chopped kale, and frozen turkey burgers. All will be yummy yet will require very little brain power. Plus, I’m calling in the big convenience guns and doing breakfast for dinner one night.

Whole 30 Week Three Meal Plan

Sunday meals are going to be slapdash. Garrett isn’t around so I’m sort of slapping together leftovers and doing food prep today. Nothing exciting, but definitely sustaining.

Monday

Breakfast: will be the same all week. Beef + Spinach Egg Casserole. The recipe will be on the blog this week!
Lunch: Cinnamon Beef Stew This is a total repeat and I don’t even care. It’s awesome, I made a batch this morning and it will work for lunch for two days. Score!
Dinner: Paleo Krabby Patties with homemade tartar sauce, salad and roasted golden beets.

Tuesday

Lunch:Cinnamon Beef Stew
Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner

Wednesday

Lunch: Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers I really enjoyed these last week so I made another batch for lunches this week.
Dinner: Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers with Zucchini + Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday

Lunch: Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers
Dinner: Paleo Chicken Piccata + Salad +Steamed Green Beans with ghee

Friday

Lunch: Chicken Sausage over Spaghetti Squash topped with roasted kale. (This is my new fave comfort food. Sounds plain, tastes delicious.)
Dinner: Taco Salad. Convenience or not, I must have my taco salad. :)

Saturday

We are going to be gone at an all day event on Saturday so I have not planned this day at all. I’ll probably figure it out as we go. Have any suggestions for portable food that is compliant? Let me know!

Sunday

I’ll post a new menu on Sunday!

So Hey — Let’s Talk About Homework

I want to see your grocery haul, folks! Where do you go? What do you buy? What are your time savers in the kitchen? What convenience foods are helping you get through this? Show me, show me, show me! And tag your photos with #hwisc for next week’s roundup.

Have a great week everyone!

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5 Things To Do With: CAULIFLOWER

5 Things To Do With Cauliflower
Original Creative Commons Image Source

Trying to find creative ways to expand your veggie rotation? Cauliflower is on your side! It is absolutely one of my favorite vegetables because of its versatility — and who wants to eat the same, boring steamed vegetables day in and day out? Healthy doesn’t have to mean plain and repetitive.

I had 3 heads in my fridge this week and while that may seem like some serious excess, the fact that there are so many interesting and fun ways to eat this cruciferous crop made me excited to share my favorite inspiration.

Here are 5 ideas with recipes that highlight cauliflower’s chameleon nature:

1. Roast It

Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chile, Cilantro and Lime (from Rem Cooks)

Roasted Cauliflower
This is always my advice to EVERYONE who thinks they don’t like a vegetable. If you have had a bad experience in the past or think you don’t like the way a vegetable tastes, definitely try it roasted. High heat and a little fat brings out the caramely best of any vegetable and cauliflower is no different. Add in some creative flavors and some heat you’ve got yourself a singing side dish!

2. Make A Creative Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens (from Martha Stewart)
Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Greens

Can I make a weird confession? I LOVE soup for breakfast. I love it even more when it helps me squeeze in major amounts of veg. During the winter a hot breakfast can super comforting and one can’t live on eggs alone! So sometimes it’s nice to heat up a warm mug of soup, eat a little crispy bacon on the side and call it a meal! And it doesn’t have to be the same old soup blended up with a metric ton of cheese. While that is delicious, try mixing it up with some greens or some broccoli to shake things up AND get an extra layer of nutritioun!

3. Saute It and Add Fun Toppings

Padma Lakshmi’s Sauteed Cauliflower with Anise and Cashews (from Yum Sugar)

Cauli Saute
It’s easy to forget with a big, nubby veg like cauliflower that it can easily be thrown into a pan and sauteed with some savoriness for a quick weeknight side. No complicated cooking necessary, just chop, drop and add some delicious garnish! Simple and Savory in minutes.

4. Make A Fancy Rice

Cauliflower Fried Rice (from Doughing Rogue)

Cauli Fried Rice

Cauliflower Rice is a recipe in every most every Paleo cook’s repertoire. But it’s fun to take that technique to the next level and enhance it with flavor profiles that compliment your main dish. I love a good fried rice like this one full of water chestnuts and cashews but you can also just as easily add herbs or make a spanish rice to go along with your weeknight mexican food.

5. Grill It

Grilled Cauliflower Skewers from Chatelaine

grilled cauli
Grill Cauliflower? Yes and YES. While this dish lends itself to warmer weather, you can always bust out your grill pan in the winter and indulge in a stick of toasted treats! It’s creative, and most importantly delicious, and it is cute enough to serve to company while still being uncomplicated.

*****

For extra credit you could also make sushi, pizza crust (this recipe has dairy) or breadsticks! (Scroll down the page for that last recipe. Looks pretty fun!) Or if you are feeling cheeky, how about some Cauliflower Brains? :)

Do you love cauliflower as much as I do? What is your favorite dish to make with it?

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Everday Seasoning

How To Make Grill Seasoning Montreal Steak Seasoning

I know it is very hip to be in love with Thomas Keller or David Change right now (and I am not doubting their genius!) but you all, I am still representing my serious Food Network love for Rachael Ray. Hang on while I claim my seat at the unhip foodie table. Alright, now that we’re comfortable…You see the thing is, she taught me to experiment with my cooking and to not fear the kitchen. These are things that absolutely turned me on to cooking, so while I don’t love every single 30 Minute Meal she puts out, she will always have me as a member of her fan club. (Especially now that she makes 6 ingredient dog treats that are the only kind that Buster can eat with barfing! Yay!)

(Talking about dog barf in a recipe post. Pretty sure I’m doing this wrong.)

Anyway, one of the most awesome kitchen short cuts that she taught me was about using grill seasoning for things that you aren’t actually grilling. Mind: Blown, I KNOW! Grill seasoning is generally a pre-mixed group of herbs and spices that really kick up the flavor of any kind of meat and vegetables, and in my kitchen, as well as in grocery stores everywhere, you will often see it labeled as Everyday Seasoning or Montreal Steak Seasoning or perhaps some other branded name that basically means “Sprinkle me on meat and vegetables and I will make them taste good.” And it really is a useful addition to your spice arsenal. I especially love mixing it into burgers as a base seasoning, or rubbing it on chicken or fish when I am feeling no inspiration but don’t want to eat something bland.

The only problem comes when you pick up one of these pre-packaged bad boys and the end up being full of preservatives or weird ingredients or things you can’t pronounce. WOMP WOMP! You know what I’m talking about — it is the packaged taco seasoning effect. It’s always a bummer to realize that something that tastes so delicious but is full of so much crap. This becomes especially inconvenient if you are doing a Whole 30 or a really strict nutrition challenge, which is why I wanted to share a super simple recipe for making your own Everyday Seasoning that is completely FREE of garbage, and completely FULL of flavor.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Make Your Own Everday Seasoning
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of dehydrated onion flakes (optional, for texture)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Rub on chicken or steak, sprinkle on veggies, or mix a TBS or two into your burger mixture for a wonderfully seasoned dinner.

Hope you mix up something delicious!

****For more seasoning inspiration check out What’s In My Spice Cabinet + 4 Delicious Blends You Should Try.

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Paleo Minestrone Soup

Paleo Minestrone Soup

Growing up, one of the best “Comfort Food” dishes my mom made was a big batch of Minestrone Soup. It was meaty, salty, full of pasta and potatoes and there was no better way to serve it than smothered with a ton of Parmesan cheese.

These days I still love comfort food, but my palate has changed and my desire to stuff my face with my mom’s cheesy pasta soup has (on most days) been replaced with a desire to enjoy a nostalgic home-cooked meal while also stuffing my face with some vegetables. This soup is how I combine the two.

Paleo Minestrone 1

I should also note that I can’t actually make this soup without Garrett doing his Eric Ripert “Minestrone!” impersonation at least twice during the preparation. Despite the fact that this soup is very Italian, there was a Top Chef episode many moons ago where Ripert kept saying it OVER AND OVER in his very French accent and so now every time we eat it Garrett acts like he is about to launch into a performance of Les Poissoins. The second thing you should note is that on that same Top Chef episode I think the person who made the Minestrone was eliminated because her carrots were not all the same size. This really offended Tom Colicchio, so you know, KEEP THE CARROTS UNIFORM.

Um, or don’t. This is a rustic soup. That’s the best part, actually. It’s a chop, drop, season, stir and eat kind of soup. And the best part? It tastes EVEN BETTER a day or two after you make it. So make up some on the weekend and eat it for lunch all week. Bonus? It’s Whole 30 compliant! So what are you waiting for?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo Minestrone Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, medium dice
  • 6 Small Stalks Celery (preferably from the heart, leaves attached), sliced
  • 4 Large Carrots, peeled and diced (try to keep them about the same size)
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, medium dice
  • 1.5 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoons Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 (14.5 oz) Cans Diced Italian Tomatoes
  • 8 Cups Beef Broth
  • 4 Cups Red Cabbage (about half a large head) diced bite sized
  • 1 Bunch of Kale, stems removed, chopped up
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (I used a 7.5 Qt Dutch Oven) over medium heat
  2. Add onions, celery, carrots and saute until translucent and vegetables start to soften (about 10 minutes)
  3. Add zucchini and saute for 3-5 more minutes and then push veggies to one side of your pot
  4. Turn heat up to medium high and ground beef in and proceed to crumble and brown
  5. As beef begins to brown, stir in with all the vegetables
  6. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes
  7. Stir in tomato paste and let it melt into other ingredients
  8. Add diced Italian Tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil
  9. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered
  10. Add cabbage and kale and simmer for 10 minutes, covered
  11. Serve and Enjoy!

 
Paleo Minestrone 2

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Pork Shoulder Ragu Over Spaghetti Squash

Braising Season is back, baby! So to celebrate, say hello to your new favorite Sunday dinner.

(It won’t say hi back, by the way, it’s a little shy.)

This is a good meal to make on the weekend because it does take a few hours. Braising meat is definitely not an exercise in instant gratification. But the investment is COMPLETELY worth it, and while it is not 100% “Set it and forget it” there is only minimal tending necessary. Totally manageable on a Sunday afternoon while you lounge on the couch with football on in the background. Your oven will do most of the work, your house will smell amazing all afternoon, and in the end after a stir or two on your part, you will be rewarded with tender caramelized deliciousness that you will want to eat right out of the pot.

But we are civilized, so we will eat it over spaghetti squash!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pork Shoulder Ragu Over Spaghetti Squash
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2.5 lb Pork Shoulder
  • 2.5 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Grass Fed Butter
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 2 14 oz Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Fennel Seed
  • 1 Tablespoon of Hot Sauce (Trader Joe's Hot Pepper Sauce is awesome!)
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Add Olive Oil and Butter to large dutch oven and heat over medium high until butter is melted but not burning
  3. Liberally salt, pepper and garlic powder your pork shoulder.
  4. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides (This will take between 10 and 15 minutes to get a good crust going on your roast)
  5. Add wine to deglaze
  6. Add tomatoes, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds and hot sauce and bring to a boil
  7. Cover and put in the oven
  8. Braise for 3 hours, flipping roast over every hour
  9. About 30 minutes before your roast is done, prep your spaghetti squash
  10. Poke 8-10 holes around your raw spaghetti squash
  11. Put directly into the microwave (I put mine on a paper towel) and nuke for 8 minutes
  12. Flip Squash over and nuke for another 8-10 minutes depending on how large it is (big boys take longer!)
  13. When it's done, remove from microwave (with pot holders it will be HOT!) and let cool for a few minutes
  14. When it's cooler, slice down the squash long ways and remove all seeds
  15. Then run your fork down your squash and pull out your "noodles" into a separate bowl
  16. Toss squash noodles with a touch of butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  17. Add squash to your serving bowl, top with ragu and chopped fresh parsley and chow down!

It’s homey, comforting and even fit for entertaining should you be so inclined. And if I can make one last suggestion before you head off to procure ingredients, may I suggest serving it with that bottle of wine you opened earlier to cook with?

I mean, no one likes a waster.

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Ground Breaking: 25 Non-Burger Dinners to Make with Ground Beef

Ground beef is such an easy, high quality staple to have on hand and there is no easier dinner than a burger, right? Our freezer is rarely without it and I’ve perfected so many burger recipes that it is hard to give up my Go-To. But every once in a while I start to feel like I’ve had enough.

NO MORE WIRE HANGERS BUN-LESS BURGERS!

I’ve been in a bit of a burger rut lately, so yesterday I compiled a list of recipes to help me break out of it. And because sharing is caring, I’m passing them on to you! Feel free to keep to yourself, pin with abandon or share with some of your Bored-With-Burger Friends too!

1. Damn Good Chili
2. Bacon Wrapped Mini Spinach Meatloaves
3. Italian Beef Hash with Mashed Cauliflower
4. Paleo Stuffed Peppers with Spanish Sticky Rice
5. Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Creamy Pesto (We can not get enough of these. OMG so good over spaghetti squash!)
Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs with Walnut Pesto Spaghetti Squash
6. Taco Salad
7. Thai Basil Beef Lettuce Wraps
8. Paleo Shepherd’s Pie
9. Southwestern Frittata (Breakfast for dinner, casserole style. And it’s AMAZING!)
10. Joe’s Special
11. Italian Wedding Soup
12. Paleo Beef Stroganoff
13. Roasted Poblano and Pumpkin Chili
14. Ground Beef, Mushroom and Broccoli Slaw Lettuce Cups
15. Merguez Meatballs (using ground beef instead of lamb. The spice mixture is insanely delish!)
All I'm saying is Garrett is lucky to have me. ;)
16. Chili Dog Pie
17. Martha Stewart’s Garlic Chipotle Meat Kebabs
18. Lion’s Head Meatballs
19. Gyro Meat
20. Goulash Soup with Red Peppers + Cabbage
21. Sweet Potato Enchiladas
22. Sloppy Joe’s
23. Paleo Moussaka
24. Mexican Meatza (I know, Meatza sounds stupid. But it is STUPID GOOD!)
25. Spaghetti and Meatball Bites

Need some more Paleo recipe inspiration?

Live the Thigh Life: 10 Paleo Recipes to Make You Love Chicken Thighs
Porkapalooza: 15 Paleo Recipes for Those Who Love to Pig Out
30 Nights of Paleo Crock Pot Meals

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Hunger Strike

Lunch Masterpiece! (A masterpiece mostly bc Garrett made it for me)

A little over two years ago when Garrett + I decided to embark on this Paleo adventure together we were both a little leery. It was so different from what we knew that neither of us could really envision what this lifestyle looked like long term. We decided to commit for a short period of time, but after only a few weeks things felt so dramatically different that we decided to just wing it and learn as we went.

One of the most memorable of my positive Paleo consequences (and trust me there were quite a few in those first few months) was that I noticed I stopped feeling REALLY hungry. That ravenous feeling that would overtake me at about 10:30 every morning and would show up again during that mid-afternoon slump was basically gone. It wasn’t that I never wanted to eat, but I remember constantly feeling satisfied to my core — no will power needed. When I finally read It Starts With Food a few months ago, one of the most compelling things that stuck out to me was the explanation of why that happened.

It turns out Satiation (that feeling of fullness and satisfaction) is set up to work as a direct reflection of your body’s nutritional Satiety. Plainly said, your body is naturally programmed to indicate fullness when your nutritional needs have been met. I always thought they were just two forms of one word, but in fact they are different functions in your body. When you are eating a diet full of a variety of whole foods, your body let’s you know what it needs. It’s when we start eating some of that marginal, processed crippety crap that things get a little trickier. (The book continues to explain this, but I don’t plan to keep going because me explaining science is just sad. :P)

But it makes so much sense. It’s why it is so much easier to consume 600 calories worth of potato chips than it is to consume 600 calories of broccoli. Your body registers fullness in fairly direct proportion to the nutritional density of the food you’re eating. I think this is something that I’ve always understood at a physiological level, but it was interesting how simply the book explained our hunger mechanism. And ever since reading that I have enjoyed paying attention to it in my everyday life. But it’s not only at the dinner table that I am noticing this to be true.

I had a pretty serious discussion with Garrett this weekend that started off kind of light. We were talking about what we have on our plates through the end of the year and he mentioned how it would be awesome if we could just “be normal” for a little while. After doing a Whole 30, finding a stray dog (with bonus digestive issues!) prepping for my presentation in Colorado and then following that right up with embarking on my Skin Care Experiment which most notably had me giving up my beloved caffeine for 30 days – things have been slowly building up to a fever pitch of overwhelm. And all the while, just for shits and giggles, I have also been prepping to run a half marathon, which will finally come to fruition on Sunday (more on that later this week.) Things eventually went from a light-hearted funny discussion, to both of us admitting we are pretty exhausted from all of the juggling.

And if I am being honest, despite my Very Full Plate, I am NOT overflowing with Life Satiation right now. Mostly I just feel tired, and even sometimes lately I feel a touch sad. It’s not that I can’t look around and see the wealth of awesome things I have going on in my life, because I can (and I do!) But mostly it is that I can’t quite kick this nagging feeling of hunger. I spend a lot of time making lists, setting goals, trying new things, and pushing myself through new challenges. I am ambitious, accomplished, and the badge I wear most proudly: I AM DISCIPLINED. At this point though, my discipline is just a way of life and it’s somewhat scary to contemplate operating on a different level. But I’m starting to think my Type A Drive To Achieve is really just a whole lot of energy consumption, without a whole lot of nourishment. My life is currently the nutritional equivalent of a very bountiful basket of Halloween candy. And right now I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

It’s not a bad thing, really, it just kind of *IS* right now. So I am doing lots of thinking, lots of resting, and lots of marinating. Also, I’m breaking rules. You see despite my October Intention of reducing my commitments, I am making just one more that I plan to honor for the next couple of months. I’m committing right here in this moment, and in this space (you all are my witnesses!) to figuring this stuff out. I’ve been going on and on about it for some time so I think it is finally time to stop some of the crazy making and figure out what it is that I am truly hungry for.

And if my Paleo journey is any indication, I am hoping in the end that it will feel like second nature and that it will taste delicious.

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