Zesty Lime Summer Salad

With summer just around the corner I’m excited to share one of my favorite summer sides! I like to call it a zesty addition to any dish! Once sweet corn comes into season, I am all about making it with at least one meal a week. While at the store the other day I saw that sweet corn was available and I snatched it up excited to ring in the arrival of summer and this dish!

What you need:

Summer salad

Sweet Corn 3-4 ears

Bell Pepper (any color will do)

Grape Tomatoes

Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)

Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Cilantro

Lime Juice/Fresh Lime

zesty summer salad

1. I start by washing all my produce, including the garbanzo beans. Begin chopping your veggies down to bite size morsels. I half the tomatoes and cut the bell pepper down into finger sized pieces. You can add more peppers and any color will do, orange is sweeter and brings out the sweetness of the corn and are a great option for this salad. Add the washed garbanzo beans.

fresh lime summer saladsweet corn summer salad

2. Add the corn. This is something that I learned the hard way, stand the corn upright and slide the knife down from the top, to separate the most corn from the cob.

bean summer salad

3. This is where I making the recipe can go 2 ways. On this particular day I didn’t pick up any cilantro so I used pre-made dressing. HOWEVER if you so choose to make your own chop down the cilantro and add lime juice to it in a food processor or blender. Take this down to a fine pasty mixture. Add extra virgin olive oil to the mix and that’s pretty much my super easy cilantro lime vinaigrette!  Or just add the pre-made stuff (I used Kraft’s here) and stir the dressing into your veggie mix.

4. Pop in the fridge to allow the dressing to really get absorbed and ‘brighten’ the flavors of the salad. Leave it in for at least 2 or 3 hours, I typically prep this in the afternoon during E’s naptime and it’s ready for dinner!

lime summer salad

5. Add to your favorite dinner as a delicious and fresh side! I added it on this particular night to a grilled rosemary chicken breast and it hit the spot!

Baked Onion Chicken

onionsoupchickenDinner tonight was delicious, so delicious in fact I thought I’d share the recipe with you guys! Like most of my recipes this is fairly easy to make and straight forward. I hate cooking and I’m not very good at it, but I feel more housewife-y when I do prepare dinner, so I try. I know I’ve been on a clean(er) eating kick and this may not necessarily be the most healthy dinner, but people making dinner at home is (almost) always healthier than eating out! I make double the servings so that way there are leftovers for the hubs to take to work the next day, or for me to eat for lunch.

onionchicken

You will need:

A package of Onion Soup Mix

1 tsp of black pepper

1-2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast

8-10 crackers

2 eggs

Sandwich bag

Crush the onion soup mix package with a roller or a can of soup. Yes that’s what I use in lieu of a rolling pin. (I really don’t cook…thus there is no need for a rolling pin)

onionsoupchicken0

Follow suit with the crackers, by placing them in a sandwich bag and rolling over them too.

bakedonionchicken

Crack open your eggs and put them in a bowl. Spread the cracker crumbs, onion soup mix, and pepper on the plate.

Dip the chicken in the egg and then roll it around in the crumb mix until the chicken is all covered.

crunchyonionchicken

Place it on a pan and repeat until all your chicken is covered. I personally like to cover the pan in foil, it helps keep the chicken from sticking to it, AND makes for a super easy cleanup.

Pop it in the oven at 450 for 20-30 minutes.

And BAM dinner is done!

crunchyonionsoupchicken

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

spaghetti squash pizzaIn an effort to eat healthier and cut down on our pasta and bread intake I have been trying to find new recipes that are tasty and fairly easy to make. Spaghetti squash has become my new pasta replacement and it doesn’t hurt it’s gluten free. I’m finding that it can pretty much replace most types of bread products. I have tried it as the typical spaghetti replacement here, but thought we could give it a whirl and try it out as my favorite food ever: pizza.

I’m not exactly sure where the original recipe came from, I just know I saw it jotted down a few ingredients and kind of made it up all 3 times we’ve had this dish. Think everything you want on pizza and gather it up! For my particular pizza casserole we needed:

  • sharp knife
  • 9×13 baking dish
  • small shallow baking dish (I used an 8×8 baking dish)
  • large skillet (mine is a 13 1/4 incher)
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 pint of mushrooms
  • 1 pound of spicy sausage
  • 1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce
  • rosemary and oregano to taste

spaghetti squash half

 

  1. To start, rinse and cut the spaghetti squash in half, then scrape all the seeds out. While doing this preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a shallow baking dish, put about an inch or two of water and set the spaghetti squash halves face down and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  3. During the squash baking time, wash and chop all your ingredients accordingly.
  4. Put your meat in a skillet and cook until done, then drain out any fat/grease that may be lingering in the pan.
  5. spaghetti squash pizzaAdd your chopped ingredients in with the meat to saute, after about 15-20 minutes add your sauce and  spices to simmer until the squash is done.
  6. Remove the squash from the oven, allow it to cool enough to scrape from the skin. LEAVE THE OVEN ON! Add the spaghetti squash to the simmering meat and veggies. If you pan isn’t big enough don’t worry! You can skip the add it to pan part and just dump it into the baking dish, adding it to the pan of cooking veggies and meat is really just to mix the flavors all together before dumping it in the baking dish.
  7. spaghetti squashPour it all into the baking dish, make sure that all the ingredients are mixed together thoroughly, or if you’d like layer the spaghetti squash on bottom and veggie/meat/sauce mix on top.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. The top your casserole will begin to brown ever so slightly and that’s how you know it’s ready!
  9. I chose to cut it up into easy to delve out pieces, out of a 9×13 pan I got about 8 servings, and after it sits in the fridge overnight, leftovers are super easy to scoop out!

gluten free

 

Enjoy! This has been in our rotation for about a month now, and I can honestly say it might stay a while. For starters I like it, and I’m a pretty picky eater sometimes 🙂 It is fairly easy to make and it lasts for several days. My hubs can easily take this to work for lunch and he has no trouble eating it out of a tupper ware, making it an even better dish!

Is there a favorite dish in your family’s rotation that you go back to again and again?

Paleo Crockpot Buffalo Sausage/Eggplant Lasagna

In an effort to eat healthier and cut out some pasta/bread products where possible, I have been hunting down new Paleo Recipes that my hubs and I like. I also like something that isn’t too time consuming to make, allowing me to do other things during nap time and spend more awake time with baby. I stumbled upon a buffalo chicken and eggplant lasagna, but didn’t have any chicken, just spicy sausage. So I modified this recipe and made it my own!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium purple eggplants
  • 1 pound of spicy sausage
  • 2-4 cups of Spinach
  • 2 cups Buffalo sauce (crystal or Louisiana hot sauce) (more or less dependent upon how you like your spice level)
  • 1 medium Onion finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Eggplants are a vegetable that a lot of people don’t like. They have a unique starchy taste, and that turns some people off. Slice that bad boy up and plop the slices in water for about 45 minutes to an hour. By doing this you will remove the starchy flavor from the eggplant.

Place them between paper towels to dry after the allotted soaking time and let’s move on to the filling.

Slice your onion and spinach up more finely. And set aside.

In a large bowl mix the sausage, buffalo sauce, spinach and sliced onions. Add salt and pepper. (don’t taste raw meat is a bad thing to ingest)

eggplant lasagna



Begin layering your ‘lasagna’ in the crock pot. Start with a layer of eggplant, then your filling mixture and repeat until that baby is full to the top. Don’t be afraid to cut the eggplant slices in half or quarters to fill the gaps in your layers

We personally like hot food so I dump a little extra sauce on the top once it’s been layered.

Cook on high for 4 hours and voila! Juice will have collected at the bottom, making things messier than they need to be, so grab some oven mitts and drain the sauce. Or if you have a turkey baster handy you can use that. It can be a little difficult to get out, I recommend using a big spoon or spatula. As your meal cools you can add cheese to the top for that melted cheesy goodness.

buffaloeggplanlasagna This pic is from PaleoPot.com (where I found the original recipe) since my husband forgets to let me take a picture and demolishes everything and obviously her pictures are much better than the ones I took.

This recipe can be altered to use chicken also, pretty much any meat you’d like. Feel free to add or remove veggies to suit your tastes. I’ve used frozen and fresh spinach, they both turn out essentially the same (granted you add THAWED spinach) I use a small amount or no onion sometimes and have added garlic before. Play with it and make it your own!

Num nums for baby E

homemadebabyfoodEven though some of my friends and family have been poking fun at my crunchy-momness, I have opted to make all baby food at home. I was a bit anxious from the start and thought it would be waaaay too much work. I was gifted a baby bullet by my nutritionist friend and determined to put it to good use. And I have been making her food since she has been eating it. I usually make a weeks worth of food at a time to make it easier on me for the week, just as easy as popping a top on a store bought baby food. I like making her food because I know exactly what is going into her food therefore what is going into her body. These days so much of what we eat and feed our children we have NO CLUE what the ingredients mean or what they are, or the repercussions eating that stuff takes on us. On this night I made organic pears. It wasn’t technically a week’s worth of food, rather 5 days worth.

Pear Puree

2 medium pears (I got organic)

1/2 a cup of water

blender

peeler

6 2 ounce food jars

I started with 2 pears from MOMS Organic Market. Peel and core, throw them in a pot of water bring it to boil for about 15 minutes or until mushy. Once they cool cut them up into small pieces, add a 1/2 cup of water and blend until you achieve a nice pureed texture. Pour into your food containers and allow to cool.  I popped mine in the freezer where they can be kept for a month, but I will pull them out to thaw in a few days. homemade baby food

It was incredibly easy to do and took about 30 minutes from start to washed dishes. I think that many moms think it is daunting to make their own food, but it really isn’t!

spaghetti squash…better than the real thing

On my quest to eat more healthfully (for me and for baby who will be starting solids soon), I’ve been trying to find substitutes for my usually go to favs. Pasta is a big favorite of mine, all those carbs yum yum yum! I’ve heard of spaghetti squash I felt like it could be my replacement noodle in dishes. (I think it tastes better than any grain pasta ever!) I found a great recipe and made a few modifications and I can happily say that it is a yay!

(Modified) Paleo Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs paleo spaghetti

crockpot

1 spaghetti squash

1 pound of spicy sausage

1 can of tomato sauce 14 ounces (I use canned spaghetti sauce)

4 cloves of garlic

Pepper, oregano, basil and thyme (to taste I just dump it in)

Dump your tomato sauce, garlic, and seasonings into your crockpot. Give it a little stir. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Fit the squash into the crockpot face down and begin making meatballs. You can roll them into various sizes I usually get about 8 or 10 from a pound of sausage. Fit them in around the squash, making sure to cover them with sauce so they don’t burn. Throw the lid on and set the timer for 3-4 hours on high or 6 on low. Pull the squash out and pull (super easy to do) the guts out (this will be your spaghetti). I like to throw the spaghetti back in with the sauce and meatballs, stir it around and BAM there’s your dinner!

 

The original recipe I modified can be found here: http://paleopot.com/2013/03/stupid-easy-paleo-spaghetti-squash-meatballs/