Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Heavenly Breakfast Hash

I whipped this up one morning when I was craving something more than just my usual 2 egg/2 egg white with bacon pieces breakfast.  I was craving something spicy and healthy carby.  This totally hit the spot.  It had a spicy-ish quality and the sausage really brought it all together.  Very simple to make and super delish.  This made about 3 servings so I had breakfast for 3 days in a row - or good for feeding a few people in the morning! 

This is a paleo & clean eating option.

Heavenly Breakfast Hash

1 (about 5-inch long) sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 Savory Kitchen Sweet Pepper Chicken Sausages, found at Sam's Club, sliced*
3 eggs
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon spicy spaghetti seasoning (Tone's brand found at Sam's Club)

Put eggs and egg whites in a bowl to pour into skillet later.  Shred sweet potato into a bowl and mix with tomato & basil.  Put 1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil in an 8-9 inch skillet.  Put the sweet potato mix in the skillet and cover with a lid over medium-low heat.  Stir every couple minutes and after 5-6 minutes add the sausage and spicy spaghetti seasoning.  Cover again - stir after 3-4 minutes then pour the eggs over top trying to separate out an area for each egg & white.  Cover and cook another 5-6 minutes until egg whites are cooked.  If you don't want a runny yolk, cook a bit longer.

*the sausages are approximately 3 ounces each - so you can substitute your favorite kind of sausage for this dish, just use about 6 ounces total and adjust cooking times if using raw meat.

Nutrition from www.fatsecret.com based on 3 servings.
1 serving = Calories - 248, Fat - 10.72g, Cholesterol - 265mg, Sodium - 720mg, Potassium - 269mg, Carbs - 13.71g, Fiber - 3.3g, Sugars - 4.43g, Protein - 22.25g

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Veggie Turkey Lasagna

After we made a Traditional Lasagna on Sunday I wanted to make a more paleo friendly version.  I have seen a few recipes floating around on pinterest so I picked one, re-vamped it a bit and made it.  It did require me to purchase goat cheese which I did find in the specialty cheese section.  It has a very 'feta-like' flavor so you could easilly substitute that.  While this isn't a strictly paleo recipe (because of the dairy) it is a lacto paleo (which is paleo that allows you to include dairy in your diet).  It smelled so good while it was cooking.  I even had a gal out for some CrossFit training that evening that needed a water refill and she smelled it and said she couldn't wait until I posted the recipe so she could try it.  This recipe I did use ground turkey, but you could easily use beef or a combination of ground meats. 

This is a lacto-paleo & clean eating option.

Veggie Turkey Lasagna

1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 16-ounce can Hunt's Spicy Red Pepper Diced Tomatoes
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 zucchini, sliced into medallions*
2 yellow squash, sliced into medallions*
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 egg

Brown turkey with onion then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer.  In a bowl combine Greek yogurt, egg, goat cheese and broccoli.  Slice zucchini and squash and place in a layer on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  I sliced mine about a 1/4-1/2 inch thick. 

On top of the layer of squash/zucchini spread half the meat mixture then dollop half the broccoli mixture then repeat layers.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*you can use just yellow squash or just zucchini and there will be some left over for later use

Nutrition facts from www.fatsecret.com based on 9 servings, 93/7 ground turkey and Chobani non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 serving = Calories - 225, Fat - 9.17g, Cholesterol - 71mg, Sodium - 656mg, Carbs 13.96g, Fiber - 2.5g, Sugars - 7.33g, Protein - 21.54g.

This also has 46% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Traditional Lasagna

There aren't many meals I enjoy more than a good old-fashioned lasagna.  Chock full of tomatoey meat sauce and a thick cheesy topping.  This is one of my favorite comfort foods.... and it's something I don't make often.  Why?  I don't know.  It's so easy.  It makes a few messy pans and bowls, but is such a basic recipe that is so simple to assemble.  I have been known to more often make my CrockPot Lasagna just because you throw it all in a pot and leave it, but my husband thinks the noodles have a different texture when they cook in the crock pot, so I don't make it much anymore.  Chris actually wanted lasagna on Sunday and after church we had gone to the grocery store to get a few basics and went past the pre-packaged frozen meals and he saw the big box of family-style lasagna and he wanted to get it.  $20 - plus all those preservatives, fat and sodium?  No thanks - I can make it way cheaper and healthier - so that's what we did!

Traditional Lasagna

1 1/2 lbs ground beef* (I use 85% lean)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 heaping teaspoons dried basil
1 heaping teaspoon dried marjoram
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 eggs
1 20-ounce container of cottage cheese (I think it's a 20-ounce container, maybe 22)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus another 1/4 cup for the top
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese or 1 cup each of shredded cheddar and mozzarella
6 lasagna noodles (3 for each layer tends to perfectly fit unless you use a larger lasagna pan, then probably make 2 more noodles)

Brown meat with onion and garlic; add tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, marjoram and mushrooms.  Reduce pan to simmering and while the meat is simmering boil your lasagna noodles.  In another bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan and parsley.
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9x13 pan.  Spread a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom of the pan - just enough for a thin layer before placing noodles.  Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of the pan (3 should be perfect) then half of the cottage cheese mixture, half of the meat sauce and repeat layers.  Top with the 2 cups of shredded  mozzarella and cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan.  Bake at 375 for about 45-50 minutes.  If cheese seems to get too brown for your taste you can spray some aluminum foil with cooking spray and place it over top of the pan to finish baking.  Let the lasagna stand another 15 minutes before serving.

--You can make this lasagna in advance and cover it in your fridge for a few days or freeze it for later use (thaw before you bake it).  You will have to adjust baking time accordingly.  From the fridge, bake it approximately 60 minutes.

*you can use a mixture of ground beef, turkey, Italian sausage or pork - whatever meats you like, just be sure to have 1 1/2 pounds

The hubby thought we should make the lasagna 'together'.  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mexican Casserole

 There was a mexican casserole photo that made the rounds on facebook a few weeks ago... chock full of fat, preservatives and sodium.  Sure - I bet it tasted really good and would probably make good comfort food, but I wanted to 'healthy it up'.  So I did just that.  I took out the chips and added in long grain brown rice, took out the cream of mushroom soup and used my own homemade dry mix, took out the envelope of taco seasoning and used my own homemade dry mix and used much less (and reduced fat) shredded cheese.  I wanted to use the ranch-style beans that the recipe called for, but they weren't available in my local grocery store, so I used pinto beans, and I actually only found them a day ago at Hugo's in Grand Forks.  Might have to re-make with them... they had jalapenos in them!  I ADORE spicy food.  My kids LOVED this stuff - the hubby, not so much.  He isn't much of a mexican casserole fan, so his opinion doesn't count.  Enough of my ranting - here's the recipe!

This is a clean eating option - because of the rice & beans it is not paleo.

'Healthified' Mexican Casserole

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 can reduced sodium pinto beans, do not drain
1/3 cup Homemade Cream Soup Mix
2 tablespoons Homemade Taco & Chili Seasoning Mix
1 cup long grain brown rice (the stuff that comes in the bag that has to cook for an hour)
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup shredded marble jack cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Brown hamburger with chopped onion in a larger skillet.  Reduce heat and add rotel, pinto beans, cream soup mix and taco seasoning.  Let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Grease a 9x13 pan and pour in hamburger mixture then add rice and water and stir gently within the pan.  Bake at 350 for a half hour, then stir, bake another half hour, then stir again.  Top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is all melted and gooey.  Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos, banana pepper rings, Frank's red hot sauce, taco sauce, sour cream or whatever mexican-style toppings you like!

Because of the homemade soup and taco mix it was difficult for me to create the nutrition information without a whole bunch of extra work.  I tried to average it out, but this does not include the soup mix or taco mix.  These two items would definitely increase sodium, but probably not much else.

Nutrition information from www.fatsecret.com based on 10 servings, 85% lean ground beef and low-fat marble jack cheese.
1 serving = Calories - 285, Fat - 13.15g, Cholesterol - 54mg, Sodium - 294mg, Potassium - 406mg, Carbs - 22.24g, Fiber - 3.4g, Sugars - .91g, Protein - 19.67g

Homemade Taco & Chili Seasoning

Why buy pre-packaged taco or chili seasoning with all sorts of ingredients you can't even pronounce!  Plus - all that sodium!  Here is a great recipe you can use and store in a container in your cupboards for whenever you need!!

Homemade Taco & Chili Seasoning

1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper

Combine and store in an 2 cup airtight container. When making chili or tacos start with 1.5 tablespoons of seasoning and add more according to your tastes. I typically use 3-4 tablespoons in my chili recipe and 2-3 tablespoons in 2# ground beef for tacos meat. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cauliflower Rice

If you're looking for a substitute for white or brown rice - you're in luck.  Cauliflower can be 'ground up' in a food processor and made into rice.  I was a bit skeptical about how it would taste, even though I do like cauliflower.  I thought it would taste so different than rice that I wouldn't like it.  I was pleasantly surprised!  I could just eat the cauliflower rice by itself!  It was so tasty!  You can serve a multitude of dishes over the rice.  Spaghetti sauce with meatballs, sweet and sour meat dishes, you could make it into fried rice, throw a bit of it in your morning pan of eggs... just so many options - I'm sure you all can come up with things on your own!!  The best part of this recipe is that it's just so basic.  3 ingredients (not counting the sea salt and pepper).  Get out your food processor and get ricing! :)

This is a paleo & clean eating option.

Cauliflower Rice

1 head cauliflower
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (extra if needed)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Remove florets from the head of cauliflower and process in food processor in batches the size of your processor until they have a rice-like consistency.  Takes probably a minute - sometimes chunks get left, so just leave them in for the next batch.  Rice the whole head of cauliflower.  In a medium skillet heat olive oil and saute onion in olive oil until transluscent.  Add the cauliflower 'rice' and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (you can add more or less according to your preference).  Stir and cover pan so the rice can saute with the onion - cook over medium-low to low heat to reduce the chance it will burn.  It's possible it will dry out a little bit during cooking and you will have to add another tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook around 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until rice is cooked through.

Nutrition information from www.fatsecret.com based on 4 servings.
Per serving: Calories - 78, Fat - 3.55g, Cholesterol - 0mg, Sodium - 189mg, Potassium - 478mg, Carbs - 10.57g, Fiber - 4g, Sugars - 4.63g, Protein 3.12g

Also has 114% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C based on a 2000 calorie diet