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Paleo Comfort Food: Spaghetti Squash and Spicy Meat Sauce

24 Oct

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The weather is chilly and the season for comfort food is upon us! One of my favorite go to dishes this time of year is spaghetti squash with a meat sauce. This can easily be made with ground turkey, chicken or beef. If you are in a rush to get dinner on the table you can skip a few steps by buying a jar of ready made tomato sauce but it can be tricky finding one that does not have added sugars or other ingredients that are not Paleo friendly. There are a few good pre-made sauces out there, you just need to take extra caution when looking over the ingredient lists.

Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Meat Sauce

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of garlic salt
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (This is an optional ingredient depending on whether you eat dairy or not)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Brush 1/2 tablespoon olive oil onto the cut side of each squash and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Place cut side up on a large, rimmed baking sheet or in a glass dish and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, until the squash insides easily shred with a fork.  Be careful not to overcook as squash can become mushy.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey and garlic and cook until turkey is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and add Italian seasoning.
  3. Add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine everything. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Scrape out insides of spaghetti squash with a fork. Serve with meat sauce and enjoy!

Original recipe and photo courtesy of foodgawker.com

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Lean Protein ideas…

27 Sep

While I am a huge fan of the rewards of muscle gain, I am NOT a huge fan of all the work that goes into the nutrition and eating part! But, here I find myself in the middle of a 12 week muscle building regimen and I need to spice up my chicken! I am not a fan of grilling my chicken and then eating it for 5 days. I tend to do a lot of crockpot proteins and then prepare it for a few days and then prep again for the rest of the week, because let’s face it, food is so much better fresh! So, I am wondering if any of you out there have ideas on new ways to cook chicken, or any other lean protein for that matter, and what spices do you use? This week I have been eating a lot of chicken thighs with various spice combinations and lots of oven roasted veggies.  Any fresh and new ideas would be appreciated!

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Sweet Potato Pancakes-Grain Free Carbs for Muscle Gains

26 Sep

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I have been struggling to come up with ideas to add variation to my carb options. Being that I have a gluten and most types of grain sensitivity, it makes my choices really limited.  The other day I came across this recipe for sweet potato pancakes. They taste good, are easy to make and they get the job done. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. Sweet Potato
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 1/2 Large Banana
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • coconut oil (or other fat) for cooking

Instructions

  1. Wash and pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork, micro for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
  2. In a  food processor add the scooped out flesh of the sweet potatoes, the two eggs, and half of a banana.
  3. Puree until smooth, and add in baking soda and spices to taste until everything is combined.
  4. Heat a skillet to medium and add coconut oil. Scoop 1/4 cup sized amounts onto the skillet and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes on one side and flip carefully. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the opposite side. Continue until all the batter is done.
  5. Makes 7-8 small pancakes.

Paleo Asian Chicken Salad

1 Sep
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Disclaimer: This is not a traditional creamy mayo-naisey type of chicken salad which is why I refer to the sauce as a dressing not a mayo, because it turned out like a dressing.
Ingredients
For the chicken base
  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken, cooked, cooled and chopped
  • ¼ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • chopped green onions, to garnish
  • 3-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, to garnish
For the asian dressing
  • ⅔ cup oil. I did 1/3 cup light olive oil and the rest coconut oil.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
 Instructions
  1. In a blender, add lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and a bit of salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly until oil and other ingredients are mixed well.
  2. Place in refrigerator to cool.
  3. While the dressing cools, mix together the chicken, cabbage, onion, carrot, and celery in a large bowl.
  4. Then place sliced almonds in a small skillet over medium heat to toast. The will just need to toast for about 5-7 minutes until slightly browned.
  5. Add all of the dressing to the chicken salad ingredients and mix well, or save half to pour over later, you choose!
  6. Garnish with toasted almonds and green onions. I decided to pour all the dressing in and then dumped a heaping portion of the chicken mix on a bed of spinach and ate it like a salad. I also snuck back into the fridge later and just ate the chicken straight out of the bowl. However you decide to eat it, it is yummy.

Original recipe adapted from paleOMG

Choose Healthy and Happy over Starving and Skinny

17 Jul

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Myth: Eating Less To Lose Weight

Most women claim to have a sound diet, but this usually ends up being in the form of a starvation diet. It probably includes skipping breakfast, eating a salad at lunch and one slice of cheese for dinner if you are lucky.

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day for a reason. Your body is begging for fuel, as it has not received any in most likely a good eight to ten hours. Skipping meals frequently actually slows your metabolism down as it is much more beneficial to eat five to six smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day.

A lot of people are always confused by this as they think eating so frequently will cause them to gain weight. This simply is not true unless you eat many calories above your maintenance level.

Let’s say 1,500 calories is adequate for your goal of weight loss. Instead of eating two 700-calorie meals, five meals consisting of about 300 calories would be much better. If you happen to eat 500 calories for one meal and 200 calories for another, this will not break you. As long as you finish the day with the same amount of calories and you eat several times per day, you will be fine.

Article credit to David Frankovic.