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A Tasty Remedy: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Simple Breakfast Skillet

I got to meet some pretty chickens and roosters yesterday.  A friend of mine has been nice enough to give me eggs when she has overflow, and I’m more than happy to accept them!  

Did you know chickens cluck with pride when they lay an egg?  So adorable.  The whole group eventually joins in with the celebration.  If they could high-five each other, I think they would.  These chickens and roosters are absolutely beautiful, and you can tell they’re well loved and cared for.  Happy little cluck-clucks. 

On my way back home I decided a breakfast skillet, starring my fresh eggs, was in order.  

Eating a healthy breakfast while rushing through your morning can be a tough task to accomplish.  I think back to how I used to eat before going paleo, and while it was fast and convenient, I can see why I had to eat again in another hour or so.  Breakfast usually consisted of fat-free yogurt, a piece of fruit, and toast with some peanut butter on it.  Hello high carb, processed nonsense!  No wonder I couldn’t make it to lunchtime without a snack!

My typical breakfast nowadays consists of eggs with meat, such as sausage or bacon (heck yeah!), and a veggie of some sort.  I can make it to lunch time with no problem.  Now, cooking your breakfast each morning might sound daunting if you’re used to a grab-and-go type of breakfast.  You can still make this work though!  Make a big of breakfast over the weekend that you can reheat before heading out the door for work.  Get creative with what you throw in!  Change up the veggies and meat so you don’t get bored. 

Simple Breakfast Skillet
Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 25 minutes


1 lb ground pork sausage
½ of a yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 stalks of asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces
8 eggs
Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large oven safe skillet (cast iron) brown the sausage over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl.  Add salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. After the sausage is about half done, add in the diced onion, pepper and asparagus.  Cook until the sausage is done and onions and peppers start to get tender, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs to the skillet and incorporate with the meat and vegetables.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until the eggs no longer jiggle. 
Serves: 6

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Monday, March 24, 2014

A Busy Kitchen and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

We had an amazing dinner made for us at home on Saturday night.  Two of our friends recently visited Thailand, and while they were there, they took a Thai cooking class.  Luckily they were willing to share the deliciousness they learned with the rest of us.
It’s can be a strange, foreign feeling, watching others take over your kitchen.  I’m usually pretty particular about how many people I’ll let in the kitchen while I’m cooking.  And by "pretty particular" I mean, just me.  This time, I wasn't doing the cooking, but taking on a sous chef position as well as guiding a few other people to where to find the tongs, bowls, pans, etc.  Needless to say, with four people cooking multiple dishes, the kitchen was a war zone when we were done.  So worth it, though.  

Our amazing, homemade Thai dinner.

Earlier in the week, I was in the kitchen with two beautiful pork tenderloins, and my trusty cast iron pan.  I really do love my cast iron pans.  Oh, and of course pork.  I love pork too.

You know what’s also great?  Reduced balsamic vinegar.  So tangy and slightly sweet.  

Let’s get to it.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
Prep: 20 minutes  Cook: 60 minutes


2 – 3 lbs pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp duck fat, coconut fat, or bacon fat
Salt & Pepper

4 Tbsp butter (look for butter from grass fed cows, like Kerrygold brand)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup bone broth
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt the duck fat, coconut oil or bacon fat in a large cast iron pan over medium high heat.
  3. Salt and pepper the pork tenderloin on all sides.
  4. Sear the pork on all sides in the hot pan.  About 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
  6. When the pork has come to temperature, transfer it to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.
  7. Place the pan over medium heat. 
  8. Carefully pour in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the vinegar to loosen up the meaty bits that have stuck to the pan.
  9. Add in the leeks, garlic, and butter.  Continue to stir.
  10. Once the butter has melted completely, add in half of the bone broth.  Continue to stir until the sauce has reduced by about half.
  11. Add in the remaining broth and stir until the sauce has again reduced by about half.
  12. Pour the sauce over sliced pork tenderloin, and be prepared to lick the plate.



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Monday, March 17, 2014

Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

I love taking old recipes I grew up with and changing them up, using healthy fats and ingredients.  This is one I’ve wanted to try for a long time and I’m really happy with how it turned out!  This was a staple when I was growing up, usually reserved for when having guests over.  I always thought it was something time consuming, but as it turns out, it can be really simple to get it to the table.

Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 45 minutes


¼ cup honey
¼ cup coconut aminos
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp duck fat, melted
½ tsp fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice
8 chicken thighs, skinless, bone-in (Boneless works just as well.  I save the bones for making broth.)
Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the first 8 ingredients and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in a large baking dish.  Salt and Pepper the chicken.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken, making sure to coat all the thighs.
  5. Place the baking dish in the oven for 45-50 minutes, flipping the chicken over every 15 minutes.  When the internal temperature reaches 165F, you’re ready to eat!
Serves 4

So, what about the rice?  Here’s a grain-free alternative: Serve it with a side of cauli-rice!  

Super Simple Cauli-Rice

Prep: 5 minutes  Cook: 10 minutes


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets.
1 Tbsp coconut oil

  1. Place ½ the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency of rice.  Remove the cauliflower and transfer to a large plate covered with paper towel.  Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  2. Place another sheet of paper towel over the riced cauliflower and press down to remove some of the moisture.
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the coconut oil.
  4. Add the cauliflower to the skillet and toss occasionally to keep the cauliflower from sticking to the pan.  Allow the cauli-rice to toast lightly.  This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.


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Monday, March 10, 2014

Sausage and Sweet Potato Soup

I think I've hit that point during our wet NW winter, when I’m ready for the sky to stop dumping rain and for the sun to show its cheery face on a more regular basis.  I’m tired of being wet… and cold… and muddy… and frizzy-haired… and a complainer.  Meh.

On the bright side though, ugly weather outside is a good reason to make up a big batch of warm and hearty soup.  I was pleasantly surprised by this soup that I pulled together with all the ingredients we already had on hand.  Isn’t that the best when you don’t have to run to the store for ingredients? 

Sausage & Sweet Potato Soup

Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 55 minutes


1 lb mildly seasoned ground pork sausage
½ large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, diced
4 stocks celery, diced
2 white sweet potatoes, diced
5 cups bone broth (beef, chicken, turkey, or whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
½ tsp sage
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Over medium heat, brown the sausage in a large dutch oven.  Once the sausage is done, transfer it to a bowl or plate with a slotted spoon.  You will want to leave roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons of fat in the dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the dutch oven and sauté until the onions become slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the white sweet potatoes, bone broth, and remaining seasoning to the dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
  5. Remove from heat, and remove the bay leaf.
  6. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until about half of the diced vegetables have been pureed. 
  7. Add the sausage back in to the soup and let sit for 5 minutes or until the sausage is warm.
Serves: 6

Note: If you want to save yourself some time on the day you make your soup, chop up all your veggies ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to make your soup.



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Monday, March 3, 2014

Garlic Shrimp with Walnut and Sage Pesto Zoodles

When I was a kid, I refused to eat pesto.  “I’m not eating anything with the word ‘pest’ in it.”  I had no idea what I was missing.  Eventually, I came around and figured out it's great on just about anything.  Ok, maybe not chocolate…

Pesto doesn't need to be basil based, either.  I love the mild and smooth flavor of sage pesto and it works great with both seafood and chicken.  I would love to hear if you use it with other dishes, as well!

Walnut & Sage Pesto

Prep: 10 minutes  Cook: 10 minutes


¾ cup walnuts
1 cup packed fresh sage
1 tsp lemon juice
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic

  1. Toast walnuts in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Toss occasionally to keep from burning.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a food processor. 
  3. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Continue processing until the mixture has become a smooth paste.
Makes:  ¾ cup.

Garlic Shrimp with 
Walnut & Sage Pesto Zoodles

Prep: 40 minutes  Cook: 25 minutes


½ lb shrimp (about 28 medium sized shrimp), cleaned, shelled and de-veined
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
4 small zucchini
3 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Lemon zest, for garnish

  1. Combine shrimp, garlic, and 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and let marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Using a spiralizer or mandolin, create long strips of zucchini that resemble spaghetti noodles.
  3. When the shrimp is done marinating, add the shrimp mixture to a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, along with the zucchini noodles.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pesto and lemon juice to the noodles and toss to combine.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. 
  6. Add shrimp back into the pan and combine with the noodles to warm.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with lemon zest and serve.
Serves: 2



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