Consider us, “On a break,” until January. Please feel free to contact me for any questions you may have, &/or for any recipes you may be in need of. And, you can always scroll through the recipe archives and check out my Pinterest page for recipes too.

Enjoy December…see you next year!

So, I’m really not inspired to write anything informative today. I’m just going to cut to the menu plan and insert this video that you can view at your leisure.

 

Monday: Kale Salad Bowl– Gluten free and vegetarian. Skip the cheese to make this vegan.

Tuesday: Vegan Pad Thai-Vegan; use g-free soy sauce if you need to. The shirataki noodles can be replaced with spaghetti squash, zoodles, or rice noodles. This would also be great with chicken or shrimp added.

Wednesday: Spicy Brazilian Bowls– Vegetarian and gluten free. Can be made vegan by using dairy free sour cream or yogurt. I always serve this with plain rice…its saves time, and I don’t think the extra flavors are needed.

Thursday: Oven Roasted Teriyaki Glazed Sweet Potatoes– This is a very simple recipe, that needs more to go along with it. Definitely serve with rice or quinoa. You can also double the marinade, and add other vegetables and/or a protein to make more substantial.

Friday: Paleo Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos– Tacos…who doesn’t like tacos?

Saturday: Kebobs and Creamy Tahini Greek Pasta Salad– For the kebabs, do whatever you want! All meat, all veggie, a combo…marinate the night before, or do a dry rub the day of. Try and get the pasta salad made early in the day to let the flavors get all in it. If using gluten free pasta (and you make this early in the day), you may need to sprinkle on a little olive oil and stir before serving. Taste and see.

Sunday: Creamy Vegetable Pot Pie– Vegan; use another biscuit topping such as this one (Paleo Pot Pie) to make gluten free. I always add more vegetables, and sometimes shredded chicken.

What an exciting day! Normally Monday is not the coolest of the days, but I’m going to Target AND grocery shopping, and for me that is the epitome of fun. It doesn’t take much these days. The reason I love grocery shopping, is that I love to eat. I get to go buy all of my fuel for the week. I love seeing my produce drawers jammed packed at the beginning of the week, and then by Sunday evening there’s just a rogue lemon and a few carrots left. I am 100% onboard with paying more for quality produce and ingredients now, because I feel that it will prevent me from having to eat a handful of pills every day.

Also, VOTE tomorrow if you haven’t already! Why? Because you’re an adult, it’s your right, and you get a free sticker. Remember, if you’re not thrilled by any of you choices, you can always write me in. I’m fair, but firm. And if you don’t like any of these choices for meals this week, scroll the archives.

Monday: No Fry Vegan Vegetable Manchurian– Take note: the first ingredient is 2 cups finely chopped vegetables, and then a bunch of veggies are listed as examples. You don’t need the 2 cups plus the listed examples…make sense? I don’t have the special pan this recipe uses, so I’ll make balls and put them on a pan and bake flipping halfway through…I’m thinking 425° for 15-20, to get them nice and crispy. I plan to serve this atop of spaghetti squash to keep this low carb.

Tuesday: Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders– Paleo- I hope you remembered to save your leftover pork from Sunday! If not, this is not going to be the 10 minute meal I intended. If you can’t find plantains, I bet this would work with potatoes…you’d had to slice them pretty thick for the same effect…maybe 1/2 inch? Also, the fry time will probably be different; probably 1-2 additional minutes per side.

Wednesday: Low Carb “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Your Choice of Protein- To save a lot of time, use 2 cans of butternut squash puree and a bag of pre-riced cauliflower. I don’t think I’ll use the full 2 cups of pecans this recipe calls for….it’s just too much for my liking. Also, I suggest not adding all of the sweetener called for in the topping…maybe just use half, taste, and re-attack.

Thursday: Moroccan Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrots with Your Choice of Protein-  This is one of my favorite recipes. I always skip the end of the recipe with the olives, parsley, and lemon juice. Just my preference. I think this will pair very well with white fish or scallops as your protein choice.

Friday: Bibimbap– My absolute favorite Korean food. This link is for the bibimbap sauce…scroll about halfway down the page and you’ll see it. Essentially, this meal is rice topped with sautéed vegetables, meat, and a fried egg. You can make yours vegan by only using vegetables and skipping the fried egg; vegetarian by skipping the meat; or cater to omnivores with vegetables, meat, and the fried egg. As a base you can use rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. And you’re probably going to want to double the sauce recipe, because it’s just so good. ***Be sure to check the ingredients on your Korean chili paste, as many have wheat in them. I was able to find a gluten free brand on Amazon.

Saturday: Honey Chipotle Portobello Burgers with Mustard Slaw– This one is pretty self explanatory. You could use the marinade/rub and add it to ground beef if you’re so inclined.

Sunday: White Chicken Chili– Gluten and dairy free. I plan to use chicken breasts, but besides that, this seems like a pretty sound recipe! If you eat dairy, feel free to use heavy cream or whole milk in place of the coconut milk.

Happy Halloween! I like Halloween. Probably because candy is delicious. I was always the kid who would come home and dive right in, running out of candy approximately 3 days later. My brother would organize his, have a piece, forget about it, and still have some up until Easter. I can not condone behavior like that. Anyway, instead of dressing up and partying this year, I’m going to the dentist. I’m actually really excited; I love the dentist. And I made sure to buy candy to hand out that while name brand, does nothing for me, as to not be tempted by it.

Monday: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese– This meal will come together quickly, so you can get homework done, costumes on, and get out of the door by twilight. To save even more time, use a can of butternut squash puree instead of making your own. For gluten free, be sure to use gluten free pasta, and replace the flour with cornstarch. I skip the breadcrumb topping all together, because I don’t like the crunch on mac n cheese.

Tuesday: Chopped Enchilada Skillet– Gluten free, can easily be made vegetarian by doubling the beans, can be dairy free if you use dairy free cheese (Trader Joe’s Almond Milk shredded cheese is really good…and my husband thought he was eating cow mucus- I mean ‘milk’ cheese). Now, I’m actually a grandma, so I make my own enchilada sauce, because store bought tends to have some ingredients that I stay away from. Here’s the recipe I use…it makes a LOT, so I freeze what I don’t use.

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups broth (any will do….use bone broth for added protein)
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried chives (or leave this out…you’ll more than likely have onions in whatever meal you’ll be using this for)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • No need to cook this…just stir/blend it and think, “Does Martha effing Stewart even make her own enchilada sauce?!”

Wednesday: Kale Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes- I could eat this every day. This is complete to me, but serve with roasted chicken (I’ve been buying a rotisserie chicken every week for my husband) or white fish for added protein. You can easily double this recipe, and have a quick lunch all ready. Here’s the link to the sauce this is served with: Out of This World Tahini Herb Sauce.

Thursday: Autumn Cobb Salad with Smoky Pumpkin Dressing: How can you not want to eat this? So, I am lazy, and I buy raw, pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery. This saves time and so many fingers. Obviously no seeds come with this, so I just use pre-roasted pumpkin seeds. But, walnuts or pecans would go really well with this, too. This is another instance where that rotisserie chicken is a perfect time saver.

Friday: Roasted Smoked Eggplant Curry–  Vegan and gluten free. I plan to serve with cauliflower rice, so I can also have naan. I try to keep my carbs to one option at each meal. Pre-riced cauliflower rice is your best friend. Trader Joe’s sells is in the refrigerated section, and I toss it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.

Saturday: Apricot Dijon Roast Chicken– I mean, look at that picture. This meal is beautiful. Although….I think I’m going to use a salmon fillet instead of a whole chicken. Also, I don’t know if I can find fresh apricots at this time of year, so, I think you could chop some dried ones instead. Or (and I promise I don’t get paid by Trader Joe’s), but they sell frozen apricots that are delicious and make me happy as all hell. Serve with a rice or quinoa dish to round this out.

Sunday: Crispy Carnitas– A favorite recipe of ours. It’s foolproof. Don’t skip the last step where you fry the cooked meat to crisp it up. It’s worth cleaning another dish. Aaaaand, save your leftovers, because we’re going to use them next week. It’s Sunday: Treat Yourself. Bust out the tortillas.

Happy last full week of October! Fall is kind of here now (?) Hopefully you’ll find that this week’s recipes are still filling, but not too heavy.

Monday: Sweet Potato Egg Boats– Simple, complete, and delicious. You can leave out the bacon for a vegetarian option. This recipe serves 2, but is very easily multiplied. This would also taste great with white potatoes instead of sweet. Double the avocado cream portion, and save the rest for tomorrow’s dinner. Make a side salad to go along with this…you can never have too many vegetables (that aren’t saturated in oil, butter, &/or bottled salad dressing).

Tuesday: Mexican Style Cauliflower Rice– Gluten free and vegan. Save yourself time and buy pre-riced cauliflower. To bulk this up and add more protein, you can add ground beef, chicken, or textured soy protein to this.

Wednesday: We all have them. They lurk in the freezer and fridge. Coated in frost. Mysterious. Leftovers. It’s time. Thaw them out. Save yourself a night of cooking. There may be something you like in container #2.

Thursday: Paleo Plantain Beef Pie– Paleo (gluten, grain, and dairy free). Are you on the plantain wagon with me yet? You really should be. I love plantains because of their nutritional value, and the fact that you can cook with them at all stages of their ripeness (seriously, from green to completely black). And you can buy 5 pounds of them at Costco for $3.

Friday: Salmon, greens, and honey squash- No recipe needed here. I was able to find organic honey squash, which is delicious. It looks like a tiny butternut squash, but it’s sweeter.  Roast the squash (whole); cut open and scoop out the insides; add some sage, ghee, and salt and go at it. If salmon doesn’t look good this week, try this with roasted chicken or pork.

Saturday: Fajitas- Again: No recipe needed. Protein+vegetables+guacamole+extras you may like= fajitas. You can toss everything onto a bed of lettuce for a lower carb option, or really treat yourself and enjoy with warm tortillas.

Sunday: Creamy Potato Cauliflower Soup– Vegan and gluten free. In order to appease my husband, I’m calling this, “Loaded Baked Potato Soup.” He doesn’t need to know that there is cauliflower and no dairy involved. Although, I’ll probably add cheese to his to really seal the deal. A sprinkle of bacon to meet his dietary need of meat multiple times a day, and I’m winning at life.

I did it again. This past weekend was a 3 hour dinner and a food festival, so…I fell off that sugar and dairy wagon. But, I’m vowing to have 0 fun for weeks, months, years…not really…just as long as it takes for my stomach to not twist and turn no matter what I eat. So, this week it’s all broth and kale. Ok, too extreme. How about these options instead?

Monday: Chickpea Vindaloo– Vegan and Gluten free. Don’t be discouraged when you look at the paste ingredients- just improvise. I don’t have cardamom pods, whole cloves, or cumin seeds, so I’ll use the ground versions. I don’t have mustard seeds, so I’ll leave it out.  Fenugreek? Skip. These swaps also allow for another day of not having to grocery shop.

Tuesday: Crab Risotto– I plan to dumb this down immensely. I have never made risotto that I thought was worth the time and effort. So, I will probably use whatever rice is in the cabinet, toast it with oil and the spices called for, then add the wine and stock (1/2 the amount called for)- not crab stock, because I don’t have any. Who am I? Ina Garten? This recipe will be good with shrimp if you don’t want to deal with crab. Although, you can find lots of good quality, canned claw meat at any grocery and Costco.

Wednesday: Tortilla Soup with Jalapeño Cashew Queso– Gluten free and vegan, but feel free to use cheese and add shredded chicken. To save time, skip making your own tortilla strips, and just use some chips.

Thursday: Salad Night. So many options here. Empty the fridge, lay it all out on the counter, and have at it.

Friday: Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti Squash– This is an easy recipe, perfect for people who don’t want to cook on a Friday…AKA the Earth’s population. Serve with leftover salad or another vegetable. This recipe is very low-cal, so fill up! ***Buy your spaghetti squash from places that sell by the squash, and not by the pound. I know for sure that Trader Joe’s sells their’s this way. ***

Saturday: Grilled Lemon Chicken Flatbread Wraps with Spicy Garlic Sauce– Don’t have a grill? Cube the chicken and bake it at 425 for 10-15 min (depending on the cube size). It won’t have the same char-y grilled look, but will still be delicious.You can even coat the chicken in the spices and toss it in the crock pot. Or, for a vegetarian option substitute the chicken for tempeh or Gardein. Careful! Gardein contains wheat, and some brands of tempeh do too. If you’re steering clear of bread, serve this with quinoa or another grain/seed that you like.

Sunday: Crock Pot African Peanut Stew– Gluten and dairy free….can be Paleo if you eat something entirely different. I’ll admit, I haven’t tried this recipe before, but it sounds really good to me. So, I’m forcing it on you! Just be sure that you use peanut butter without added sugar, or this will taste way too sweet. For a grain free side, try plantains instead of rice.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing, long weekend. Mr. and I were lucky enough to get away for a bit, see some new sites and states, and had a really lovely time. I love traveling, but do you know who hates it? My digestive system. It’s such a jerk. I really try to stay on track with some of the tricks I use to keep things…moving (sorry). But, let’s be real: It’s hard to keep up with water intake, your sleep suffers, you don’t know 100% of the ingredients you’re consuming, the workout clothes just take up room in the suitcase, and there’s no amount of probiotics that can help you. I am such a healthy eater at home, but unleash me into the world and it’s OVER. The past 5 days were filled with french fries, dairy, and white sugar. And I feel it. So, this week imma reel myself in a bit. These recipes are vegetarian (except for one, but I plan to skip the meat….but, as always feel free to add meat to any and everything!), full of flavor, and they take advantage of fall ingredients.

Tuesday: Baked Pumpkin Falafel Bowls with Maple Tahini Dressing– Be sure to use gluten free breadcrumbs/cracker crumbs/pretzel crumbs/rice or corn Chex/plain Cherrios if you need to keep this recipe g-free.

Wednesday: Vegan Indian Dahl (lentils)– Pretty easy recipe. Serve this with quinoa, rice, cauliflower rice, &/or Sweet Potato Flatbread (save time and use organic canned sweet potato aaaannnnnd if you’re feeling ambitious, make a double batch and use the leftovers on Sunday.)

Thursday: Spicy Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Ramen– I like to use Miracle Noodles in place of ramen. Try them if you haven’t already. Just be sure to rinse the hell out of them when you open the package, because it kinda stinks. I’m sure you’re a customer for life now. I also reduce the amount of liquid when I make soups like this, so they aren’t as soupy.

Friday: Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing– This is a good one! If you don’t like cashews, try almonds. To save time, use store-bought coleslaw mix instead of shredding the cabbage yourself.

***While you have your cashews out, soak 3/4C overnight for tomorrow’s dinner.***

Saturday: Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Linguine– I’m lazy, so I’ll take all of the sauce ingredients, blend them, and then add it all to the cooked and drained pasta and stir to heat. The pumpkin can be replaced with butternut squash puree or cauliflower.

Sunday: Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili– My crockpot doubles as a fry pan…it’s a Ninja, and I love that you don’t have to dirty another pan when you use it. Soooooo, if you have the time slow cook it. If not- don’t!

Bonus Brekkie recipe! Breakfast Pumpkin Custard. This recipe is Whole 30, gluten free, grain free, sugar free, and paleo. I love finding recipes where I have every ingredient. Try it…I just pulled a batch out of the oven, and it has the most delicious smell! Now, this won’t be enough for me to call a meal- unless I’d eat half the pan, so I think I’ll have this with some oatmeal. Because apparently I’m 95 and eat custard, oatmeal, and other soft foods.

Monday: Grilled Zucchini and Corn Tostadas with Spicy Hummus– Gluten free and vegan. Any vegetables you have on hand will work for this. And you can skip the grill, and roast the vegetables in the oven. To save time, you can use store-bought hummus and add cayenne.

Tuesday: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili– Gluten and dairy free. I am never a fan of dark meat, and always use chicken breasts. But, use what you like.  This will make a lot, and will freeze well.

Wednesday: 5 Ingredient Egg-Free Salmon Patties–  Paleo and AIP friendly. Not the most appetizing name, but these are fast and easy. You could use tuna instead of salmon. I would also add spices to the mix…the recipe doesn’t call for any. This recipe is easily multiplied. Serve with salad, roasted vegetables, or spaghetti squash “pasta.”

Thursday: Vegan Quinoa Power Bowls with Roasted Veggies and Avocado Sauce– I think that about explains it!

Friday: Paleo Butternut Sausage bake with Kale– Paleo and Whole 30. Feel free to substitute ground beef or shredded chicken for the sausage…I’m sure you could leave out the meat altogether.

Saturday: Honey, Lemon, and Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes– Gluten free, grain free, dairy free. It doesn’t get easier than a one pan dinner! Again, use whatever chicken you and your family like.

Sunday: Homemades!!!

***Bonus Monday recipe: Vegan Beef Bourguignon–  I’ll be enjoying this day off! The rest of this week’s menu will be posted on Tuesday.

Some weeks are a struggle for me to find recipes that sound good. 99.9% of the time, these are the meals we’re eating for dinner too. Really, the only times I deviate is when we’re traveling. Finding recipes and reading them to figure out which ingredients I need, is how I grocery shop. I’m a big planner and list-follower. I will say that living back in the states makes it a little harder remain on script. I mean, if I didn’t improvise last week, I never would have picked the one bag of organic “Sour Patch Kids” that was marked for 50 cents. I know there was only one, because I dug through the rest in a ravenous mania. Annnnnnyway. This week, I am ready to eat all of these meals. I hope at least one peaks your interest.

Monday: Sweet and Salty Fall Harvest Salad–  Gluten free, easily made vegan. This salad is one of the greatest things I have ever eaten. It’s just so delicious. There are a couple of changes that I make to make it a lil bit healthier/easier….

1- Buy pre-cut butternut squash. Huge time saver. I used frozen last week, and that worked well too (boiled, drained, and then roasted in the oven).

2- Substitute the butter for coconut oil or ghee, and substitute the brown sugar for coconut palm sugar.

3- Use dried cranberries with no added sugar or oil, or (what I do) use chopped dates instead. Dates have no added sugar, and are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

4- Use goat cheese, or use a dairy free cheese to keep this vegan. I’m really loving Treeline Cheese, which I just found out is made in the city where my dad grew up. Huh. Small world.

Tuesday: Tuna Wasabi Ginger Burgers- This is a recipe I saw Gwyneth make back in the day. It’s a favorite of ours, and I hope you like it to.

Serves 4-ACTIVE PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 15 Minutes plus at least 1 hour chilling
The patties can be pre-formed and refrigerated.

1 teaspoon wasabi powder (or prepared wasabi)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp peeled and finely minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp oil, plus more for cooking
1 pound highest quality tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4  buns
½ cup Soy & Sesame Mayo (recipe to follow)
Handful fresh arugula

 

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the wasabi, mustard, water,  pepper, salt, ginger, garlic, and oil in a food processor.

Pulse it all together to make a flavorful paste. Add the tuna and pulse just to combine—be careful not to overprocess the tuna as you want your burgers to have texture.
Form the mixture into 4 burgers and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to overnight) to let the flavors really settle in.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shallots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they get soft and sweet and a little brown. Reserve.
Preheat your grill or grill pan over high heat. Rub the tuna burgers with a little oil and grill for 2 or 3 minutes a side, to desired doneness. Grill the buns alongside the burgers. Spread the buns with the mayo, pile on the sautéed shallots and a bit of arugula and tuck in the burgers. 

 
Soy and Sesame Mayo

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Wednesday: Low Carb Mexican Tamale Skillet Pie– Gluten free- You can really simplify this and use a store bought cornbread mix and enchilada sauce. Serve with a side salad and guac to bump up that veggie game.

Thursday: Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Kale– This just checks a lot of boxes for me. And finally, a cauliflower mash that doesn’t seem awful.

Friday: Pizza! What can I say? Those Domino’s commercials are really getting to me. For some reason, pizza and Friday just go together. So many options. Maybe have yourself a Joey special (Friends reference, anyone?). Have you tried Cappello’s pizza? You can order from their website, and can also find which stores close to you carry their products. They sell grain free pizza (paleo)…as well as pasta and cookie dough.

Saturday: Spicy Sushi Bowl– This is vegan, but you could easily add meat. You can also make the mayo using store-bought, by replacing the tofu with mayo and mixing in the rest of the ingredients. Add/take away whatever vegetables are fresh and look good to you.

Sunday: Homemades! Relax; it’s Sunday. Why not toss a bunch of stuff in the crock pot and call it good?

I don’t know who I am these days. I was actually happy this past weekend that it wasn’t blazing hot. I am excited to decorate for Halloween. I want a caramel apple in a bad way. I’m tired of flashing my guns in tank tops. Is this growth? Have I been brainwashed? The rest of Americans love Autumn, so…I guess I’ll try to get on board. But, I’ll warn you: As soon as it’s below 50°F, I’m going to bitch and moan.

We’ve got some fall flavors poppin this week. I’m still trying to hold on with some of the recipes, though. Enjoy!

Monday: Baked Sushi Tofu Bowls– Gluten free and vegan, but feel free to use chicken or shrimp instead of the tofu. If you can’t find wasabi powder, I think wasabi paste would work just as well.

Tuesday: Salad Bar- Get ready to feel healthy AF. Now’s the time to bust out everything in the fridge. Just remember to keep it clean with homemade dressing, and go easy on the bacon and cheese.

Wednesday: Whole 30 Jerk Chicken and Mango Avocado Salsa– I think I’m going to cook the chicken (with the marinade) in a crock pot. I prefer the mouth-feel of shredded chicken, and whenever I try and cook chicken in a skillet I end up cutting into it to make sure it’s cooked.

Thursday: Low Carb Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce– I think that about sums it up. If you don’t need to eat gluten free, you can use cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, or flour instead of the coconut flour. To keep this low carb, serve with a salad &/or cauliflower rice. Or, bust out a bun for a crab cake sandwich.

Friday: Pumpkin, Spinach, and Walnut Spaghetti– Vegan and gluten free. I’m seeing a lot of pre-cut squash at the grocery lately….this saves lots of time, fingers, and sanity. As you know, I think brown rice pasta is just fine to eat, but if you think pasta is the root of all evil, try substituting spaghetti squash.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon and Rosemary– I bet the only thing you need to buy is the salmon! But, I think this recipe could easily be used with chicken.

Sunday: Homemades!!!! Today, I’ll be making a favorite….Garbage Free “Chik-Fil-A.”