Lemon Asparagus

I like to overdo things, so for Teacher. Foodie. Athlete. Does Thanksgiving instead of just doing one veggie I am doing two. It’s always nice to give your guests options. This is so quick and easy that you can throw it all together in the pan early in the day, and then just cook it in the last 10 minutes before dinner time! I will cook while you carve the turkey!

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Ingredients:
3 bunches asparagus – bases removed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic – minced
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
2. Add asparagus, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
3. Pour lemon juice over asparagus, toss, and serve.

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Perfect Sautéed Spinach

Sometimes figuring out a paleo side dish is downright tedious. Most recipes are the same old thing you have each night, or so complicated that it is exhausting to prepare after all the work you put in to the main dish. Not this one! So easy, so quick, so delicious! Warning: spinach cooks down big time! You may wish to double up!
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Ingredients:
1 9 oz bag of spinach
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
2. Add spinach, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cover.
3. Cook while shaking pot to stir it up every now and then until spinach is wilted (less than 5 minutes). Do not over cook! No one likes mushy spinach!

Turkey Beet Chili

I am back! Wow, this has been a crazy busy fall for me! After the wedding excitement of the summer, I hit the ground running as I rejoined the real world. I coach in addition to teaching, so the fall season tends to be a blur for me. We started our volleyball season in mid August, and it has been non-stop since then. My husband has been incredible at picking up my cooking slack, but now I am ready to get back in the kitchen! After an undefeated volleyball season, a county championship title, 39 mile walk for breast cancer, plus bonding with my wonderful new students, I am back with more ideas than ever!

Unfortunately, our beautiful garden is turned down for winter. We picked the last of our beets, so I wanted to mix the fresh garden flavor with the comfort food of fall. Beet Chili it is!

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Ingredients:
1 medium onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large beets – peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
1 can chick peas – drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and brown the onions and garlic. Lower heat and stir in beets.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the turkey. Drain and add to the beet pot.
3. Stir in chick peas, cumin, chili powder, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Reduce to low heat, and allow to simmer for at least one hour.

Chop ‘n Stir Avocado Salad

When you have great ingredients, any salad instantly becomes better! Keeping with the theme of trying to keep up with my garden. This was a super easy and delicious side dish to our dinner tonight. Make sure to make the tomatoes and cucumbers in advance, but wait on the cucumbers so that they don’t turn brown.

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Ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 cucumber
1 avocado
10 basil leaves – finely chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1. At least one hour prior to serving, chop tomato and avocado. Mix in a medium bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, and basil. Stir, cover and refrigerate.
2. When ready to serve, peel and chop avocado and mix in with salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

One of the great mysteries to me is why brussel sprouts have such a bad reputation. They are delicious! This recipe is so incredibly easy to make, and compliments any grilled meal.

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Ingredients:
10 oz. brussel sprouts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste (I like mine salty!)

1. While grill is preheating to medium heat, trim the stem ends off the sprouts, place in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. This will soften them enough to skewer them.
2. Toss sprouts with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
3. Allow to cool until safe to handle, and skewer them on bamboo skewers.
4. Grill over medium heat while flipping until outer leaves brown (about 8-10 minutes).

Lemon Berry Spa Water

With the temperatures and humidity levels rising, it becomes even more important to drink large amounts of water. Sports beverages, soft drinks, and juices have way to much sugar in them. Iced tea and diet sodas are loaded with caffeine. Water is always the best option. Keep a pitcher of spa water in your fridge, and you will be surprised at how quickly your family drinks the ice cold and refreshing beverage. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the water becomes, so I suggest making a batch before bed and enjoying it for the day to come. This “recipe” can be modified to include any additions to your water or using club soda instead of flat water. I suggest trying combinations of the following:
Lemon
Lime
Berries
Watermelon
Basil
Cucumber

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Ingredients:
1 lemon sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
Water

1. In a large pitcher, add fruit.
2. Fill remainder of pitcher with water.
3. Refrigerate until ice cold, and enjoy!

Bruschetta Topped Salmon Burgers

This recipe is so quick and easy, that it would be silly to not give it a try. I am embarrassed to even claim that this is a “recipe”, but it is a delicious combination that you may not have thought to try. You could try to make your own salmon burgers, but why bother when Trader Joe’s makes them so deliciously and chock full of salmon?! For this recipe, I used their burgers, but feel free to experiment with your own or any other pre-made variety.

After my WOD this morning, I knew that I needed to have a healthy and filling lunch before heading off to a graduation party where I will be faced with the temptation of many delicious Portuguese foods that don’t fit into my diet. I stopped by Trader Joe’s on my Vespa ride home and started roaming the aisles looking for options. Their premium salmon burgers caught my eye, and after a little more browsing, I decided I would top it with bruschetta made from ripe tomatoes on the vine.

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Serves 2
Ingredients:
1 package Trader Joe’s Premium Salmon Burgers (they are small, cook all 4)
3 tomatoes – diced
6 leaves fresh basil – chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
Pinch of salt

1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except salmon burgers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Grill salmon burgers according to package directions.
3. Top burgers with a mound of bruschetta, and enjoy a protein packed and satisfying lunch!

Grilled Greek Packet

I used the oven at lunch today, and realized that’s a bad idea in 90 degree heat with probably 99% humidity! Dinner tonight will be cooked entirely on the grill in one nice and easy packet made of foil! The oregano and kalamata olives will really bring out the rich Greek flavor!

Tonight’s meal is awesome for a few reasons:
a. I finally get to use oregano for the garden!
b. It can be be prepared ahead of time and thrown on the grill. Perfect, because I will be at our high school graduation ceremony.
c. No inside cooking.
d. You can prepare this ahead of time for a camping trip and cook in the campfire.
e. Greek food is scrumptious!

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Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 large red bell pepper – cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1 clove garlic – minced
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 sprigs fresh oregano chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt

1. At least two hours ahead of cook time, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop contents onto a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, and make a packet put of it. It may be easier to split it into two packets. Make sure it is sealed so you don’t lose any goodness while cooking. Refrigerate to allow for marination.
2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium high heat. Cook packet for 15 minutes, then flip over and cook for 10 more.
3. Remove packets from grill and carefully open. The steam inside is VERY hot! Scoop contents onto plates and enjoy!

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Snappy Chicken

Having a garden rocks! I can always manage to whip up a meal with what we have in the freezer and pantry, but it is rare to have fresh produce at your fingertips! This meal was so simple to prepare and absolutely scrumptious! All it took was defrosting some chicken and sending my fiancé out to our garden to pick some fresher than fresh sugar snap peas! Yum!

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Serves 2
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 8 oz. cans of sliced water chestnuts – drained
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. hot chili sesame oil
2 Tbsp. ponzu sauce
1 tsp. chopped ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds to garnish

1. In a wok or large skillet, heat hot chili sesame oil over high heat. Add chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is opaque while stirring frequently.
2. Add water chestnuts, sugar snap peas, ginger, ponzu sauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently while cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Do not over cook! You want crunchy sugar snap peas!
3. Plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Broccoli Rabe and Chicken Sausage

Broccoli rabe is a favorite of ours. While I love getting creative with new recipes, broccoli rabe isn’t one that I play around with! Lots of garlic and the heat of red pepper flakes is in my opinion the only way to go. Top it with grilled sausage of your choice, and you have a simple, delicious, and paleo meal!

Alternate serving options include stirring in pasta (yum, I miss the days of pasta!) or doubling up the broccoli rabe to two bunches if you are extra hungry (it does cook down quite a bit).

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Serves 2
Ingredients:
1 big bunch broccoli rabe – washed and chopped
1 package sausage of your choice – I use either turkey or chicken
3 cloves garlic – cut into slivers
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat, and grill sausage until done.
2. While the sausage is grilling, in a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté garlic until fragrant.
3. Add broccoli rabe to pot and cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. This will cook the rabe aldente, you may choose to sauté longer if you wish.
4. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
5. Plate a large pile of broccoli rabe and then top with sausage.