Zucchini Pasta with Rosemary Butternut Creme Sauce

First of all, gahhhhhhh nomnomnom this is good. It’s just as good as it looks! If you’re craving a warm, comforting pasta dish, this is it! Second of all, eating it twice in one week is the limit. Three meals and you’re overdoing it. Don’t overdo it. Here comes the recipe!

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • Coconut oil (around 3T total, use throughout recipe)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (to release flavor)
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (don’t shake the can, scoop out the fatty stuff)
  • ½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms (shiitake are great!)
  • 4 large zucchini, spiralized into whatever version you like
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Set oven to 375.
  2. Roast butternut squash for 30-45 min until tender (slice lengthwise, scoop out seeds, spray with oil or rub with coconut oil, place cut side down in glass dish, place uncovered in oven).
  3. Let squash cool. Once it is cooled, scoop out the flesh and place into your blender.
  4. Add 1 T coconut oil to a pan over medium heat & add the onions & garlic. Saute for 3 – 5 min until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add the garlic & onions, rosemary, coconut milk, broth, & salt to the blender with the squash. Blend until smooth (an immersion blender works also).Picture1
  6. Add 1T coconut oil to a large pan. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 2 min just before they get too brown.
  7. Prepare your zucchini pasta. I spiralized mine right into the pan. So pretty & green!IMG_5777
  8. Cook the zucchini for about 3 minutes, until it is almost tender.Picture2
  9. Add the sauce to the pan and continue to cook until sauce is hot and zucchini is tender.                                    Picture3
  10. Garnish with freshly-ground black pepper and serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this yummy dish! Next time, I’m planning to add some red pepper flakes. Let us know if you try it out first!


Not Your Grandma’s Roast

When I was a kid, I remember going to my grandma’s house (she was German and loved to cook all things food in LARGE portions). Without fail, at every visit, she would make a roast with mashed potatoes dripping in butter, carrots, peas and about four other sides with some pie at the end. As all good Midwesterners, we took our roast beef and squirted ketchup all over it for some good eating (don’t judge, I would probably still do it today because ketchup goes on almost everything).

Now that I’ve grown up, I find myself realizing that I can make an awesome roast beef recipe, but since I married a dude from southern California, I make my roast beef into a spicy shredded beef, put it into a little lettuce wrap, top it off with some guacamole and call it an awesome meal. This meal is perfect for a Saturday in the winter. It is spicy and warm, which feels good on the incredibly cold nights, plus the spice helps to kick whatever is going on in your sinuses. It’s great for a Saturday cause you stick it in your oven or crockpot in the mid-morning and come back ready to eat it in the evening. Hope you get a chance to try it out and enjoy!

Spicy Shredded Beef Lettuce Wraps


  • 3-4 lbs boneless beef roast
  • A culmination of spices (1 T garlic powder, 1 T onion powder, 1 T ground cumin, 2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, salt and pepper)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 oz can of diced green chiles (I use the hot ones)
  • Chipotles in Adobo can – chop up 1 of the chipotles to use and use 2 T of the adobo sauce
  • 1-2 cups beef broth
  • A packet of ancho chile powder (you will use this at the end, so just set it aside)
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Cilantro & Guacamole (optional, but I find it is awesome to have on hand)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Get out a dutch oven and put that on medium heat on your stove with a little olive oil. Season your beef on all sides with your spices and brown the beef on all sides for about 3 minutes or so. Add in the onions, garlic cloves, green chiles, chipotle, adobo sauce and beef broth. Put the lid on your dutch oven and put it in the oven for 6 hours. You could also season your beef and simply add everything into a crockpot, putting it on low and coming back in 6-8 hours. Your choice.

After you have had an awesome day and your kitchen has made your whole house smell amazing, take your dutch oven out of your oven. Get your beef out of the big pot and put it into a bowl. Begin to shred it up (this should take no time at all, it will literally be falling apart). Get a big cast iron or skillet on your stove over medium-low heat. Put the ancho chile powder packet in the skillet with some of the leftover broth from your dutch oven till it forms a consistency between a paste and a soup. Add the shredded beef into this and mix it all around.

Get out some bibb lettuce, add in your beef, top off with some homemade guacamole or avocados, some cilantro and enjoy!!

Mexican Shredded Beef


Around the Way Chili

It is FREEZING outside and you need Around the Way Chili. That comforting, warm-your-soul-but-still-make-you-wanna-slap-the-person-next-to-you-if-it’s-spicy-enough chili. When I tell you that I make this once a month, I’m not playin! I make this on Sunday afternoons and split it up for lunches throughout the week. Yum.

Whatchu need (Ingredients):

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-4 T oil (avocado, olive, whatever you like)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 T chili powder (I use Mexican hot & do 3T)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, use 1 tsp if mama said to knock you out, huuuh)
  • 2 large zucchinis, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato puree or tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

HINT: Look at labels! Many people don’t realize that there is sugar in almost every can of tomatoes! Check out the ingredients.

Doin it & doin it & doin it well (Instructions):
1. Sautee your garlic in a little oil until it gets lightly golden. Then add in your beef and cook until browned. Drain fat & set aside in a bowl.
2. Place your pot back on the burner  & add oil, onions, celery, carrots, and seasonings, cooking over medium heat until the onions are translucent (like 5-7 min). When onions are golden & veggies are almost cooked, add zucchini & cook for about 2 min. Stir like crazy! This is a stickyish, seasoned pot of veggies. (If you want to season mildly for the whole crew, but want to have spice, just add hot sauce to the finished product!)
3. Add beef & tomato ingredients & stir well. Bring it all to a boil, stirring frequently. Then simmer for about 20 min or so.
This chili will have you licking your lips lik…well if you haven’t caught on to the lyrical references yet then you must be headsprung.

How to Change Your Life – Step 2 (Keep it Easy)

You know when you start a NY’s resolution to eat better? You look up 50 new recipes from all sorts of blogs and magazines and purchase $500 of fruits, veggies, all sorts of spices to make fancy dishes and tons of wheatgrass. What happens then after a couple of days? The third batch of lettuce is already wilted, your lemon juice vinaigrette is a poor substitute for ranch dressing and that wheatgrass does not taste like wheat or grass.

Here is my second tip for making your goals/resolutions for 2016 and having them stick. Keep it easy. I’m talking easy and simple – something that tastes awesome and won’t make you miss your loads of carbs and sugar. Instead of going all bland chicken breast and broccoli that first week of 2016, get some chicken thighs and sweet potatoes. You can even add some garlic aioli (fancy term for garlic mayo dip), and I bet that this meal will still have less calories than your typical meal you cooked before and definitely have less than your night out for pizza.

Herb Chicken Thighs w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients for Chicken:

  • 4-8 Chicken Thighs (bone-in and skin on)
  • 1-2 T of olive oil
  • A bunch of spices – I like to use a T of garlic powder, a tsp of onion powder, a tsp of oregano, a tsp of cumin, a tsp of paprika and some salt and pepper

Mix the spices in with the olive oil and make a paste. Slather that all over your chicken thighs and get in a baking dish.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fries:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, cut in slices about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 T of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, 1 T garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix the spices together with the olive oil and coat your fries. Place them on a baking sheet (I use aluminum foil so not to make a huge mess).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook the chicken and fries for an hour (turning the fries over half way through).

If you want, make up some garlic aioli in your food processor (1/3 cup of mayo, juice from 1 lemon, 1 T garlic powder, 4 garlic cloves and a bunch of black pepper) to dip your fries in. Add a salad for some green on your side and presto – you have a super easy meal that tastes awesome that is less calories than what you ate before!

Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potatoes



Even the kids will eat this!

Garlic Bacon Brussel Sprouts

I’ve made this recipe a few times for family and friends. I’m not even lying when I say “even the kids will eat this!” I’ve seen it first-hand.

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts, halved
6 (or 12…I love garlic) garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth


1. Cook bacon until brow in. Remove from heat. Drain some grease out.

2. Return to heat & ad onion & brussel sprouts. Sauté for about 4 minutes.

3. Add garlic & cook until it starts to brown. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until most of the broth cooks down and the sprouts are tender.


This is one of my favorite recipes. You won’t believe how much people will love brussel sprouts! Enjoy!


Craving Italian Without the Pasta

When you switch over to paleo or clean eating or just cutting-the-crap-out lifestyle, there are times that your body smells smells and craves things it used to have. For me, I catch a whiff of garlic and start craving some Italian. Now, I can head down the street and pick up a heaping helping of spaghetti and meatballs and feel like junk for the next 24 hours from eating all that gluten and cheese, or I can stick a bunch of stuff in a crockpot and in about 6 hours have wonderful Italian the way that won’t cause my stomach to turn into knots.

Spicy Italian Stew


  • 1 lb spicy pork sausage (you can get links or make your own if you are concerned about what’s going on in there; to make your own, get a pound of ground pork and add in 1 T garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tsp ground sage and salt and pepper). If you have links, remove from casing and crumble up; or simply crumble up
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped up
  • A package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, skin discarded, seeds gone and chopped up (or buy the pre-cut up package in your grocery store if you are lazy and your knives are dull!)
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, I like the fire roasted kind
  • 1/2 cup to a cup (depending on how soupy you want your stew) of chicken stock or broth (whatever you have handy)
  • 1 T oregano, dried
  • Salt and pepper

Now, get out your crockpot, smile at it and say, “Hello, my love. It’s winter time, your time to shine!” Put the sausage down on the bottom, then add in everything else, put on low and say hello to a nice heaping bowl of Italian stew in about 6 hours! You can top it off with a little shredded parmesan cheese if you want or not, totally up to you. Enjoy!


Italian Sausage Stew



Hello, portobello.

We all have that one recipe. The one that looks like we’ve put a lot of work in but really it was very easy. The impress-the-guests recipe. Here is another to add to your list. Say “hello” to portobello.

Step #1 Put on some Adele. It tastes better if you sing. Hello from the fungal siiiiiide, at least you can say that you triiiiiied, to pre pare this din ner, it’s really not hard, you didn’t know you, could make food so good. But you caaan.


Step #2 Gather your ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1-2 T)
  • 32oz can of diced tomatoes (or 6-ish fresh diced romas)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2T Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (for the non-paleo guests)

Step #3 Cook

  • Set the oven to 400 degrees
  • Mushrooms: cut the stems out and remove as much of the black, gunky, gills as you want by scraping your knife along them. Spray both sides of the mushrooms caps with olive oil. Place into a foil-lined pan, cap side up. Bake for 10 min. Flip and bake for another 10 min. (mushrooms will shrink a little) Remove from oven & set aside.
  • Filling: toss the onion and garlic into a pan with some olive oil and saute until the garlic is lightly golden. Add the meat and brown. Drain the meat and return to the pan, adding the Italian seasoning. Mix well. Add in the tomatoes and simmer until hot. Add salt & pepper to taste. * * Tip * * Double the filling recipe to prepare extra for freezing. Thaw and use to top a sweet potato for a quick meal or layer over cooked & shredded spaghetti squash for a healthy pasta alternative.


  • Assemble: top the mushrooms with filling (it’s ok if it falls a bit out). Add basil chiffonade (fancy French term for stack the leaves, roll the leaves, slice the leaves, fluff the leaves) to the tops of the filling (about two leaves per mushroom). Sprinkle cheese over or under the basil for cheese-eating guests. Return to the oven and bake for about 10-15 min.


Step #4 Enjoy!

  • Serve with any side of your choice. I added sauteed zucchini and roasted butternut squash for a Fall flare! I’m going to try asparagus and summer squash next time. Ahhh the possibilities!




Homemade Larabar

Quick. Simple. Yummy. Healthy.

Those are the words that most often describe my food, in that order.

That’s why I loooooove this homemade Larabar recipe. It’s quick and simple, super yummy, healthy…oh and versatile. I keep a batch of these in a Tupperware in the fridge for quick grabbing so I make wise choices when I’m hungry and have little time. Enjoy!

Homemade Larabar

2 cups deglet noor dates
1 cup toasted nuts (slivered almonds,  pecans or walnuts)
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cherries, or mamgos, or dried apples, or apricots…you get the point

Add it all to the food processor and pulse until it’s ground up into equal size pieces. Empty it onto a parchment lined tray and spread it out in a wide circle about 1/3 inch thick. I fold up the edges to make it a perfect square. Cut into bar shape of your choice. Wrap individually in wax paper and store in a cool, dry container.


Mediterranean Fishies for Dinner

Ready for a seriously yummy, healthy, easy dinner? Pop on some “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid and let’s get our mediterranean fish cooking on!

Mediterranean Fishies

Ingredients for Fish:

  • Some sort of white fish, I used flounder and had four fillets
  • 1-2 T ghee, butter or whatever fat you cook in
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Ingredients for Olive Yumminess Topping:

  • 1/2 cup rough chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped Bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (whatever you got on hand)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Get two skillets out and set up the smaller of the two over medium heat with the olive oil. Add in all of your ingredients for the olive yumminess topping. Stir all together and let that cook down for about 5-7 minutes, keeping the heat at an appropriate level in order not to burn (so, lower it if it is cooking too hot too fast).

Put your other skillet on medium heat and add in your fat and shallots. Cook down for about 2 minutes, making sure not to burn your shallots. Once the shallots are clear, season both sides of your fish with salt and pepper and add to your pan. Our flounder were THIN, so it only took about 2 minutes on each side to cook.

Get out a plate, put your fish down and then top it off with olive yumminess! Enjoy the deliciousness!

Mediterranean Fish


Way-Too-Easy Garlic Hummus

Believe me, hummus is easy to make! I’m not kidding. I always assumed people were lying when they said that. For example, my amazing coworker who makes the rest of the office drool with her homemade, completely amazing Iraqi hummus. I didn’t believe her (sorry Heba). But, after paying $5 for organic hummus, I decided it was time to try.


  • 1 large head of garlic (I used one huge elephant clove. I really love garlic)
  • 2 1/2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained (I used Meijer brand organics bc it didn’t have preservatives)
  • 3T lemon juice (or 1 squeezed lemon)
  • 3T tahini
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp water


Ok, set the oven to 400 and cut off the top of the garlic so that the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with 1.5 tsp olive oil, or whatever amount you need to roast it. Wrap up in foil & roast for around 30 minutes or until the garlic is golden.


While the garlic is roasting, grab your food processor and throw in the drained chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and cumin. Grind it up until it is kinda creamy.


Then add in the remaining 2T olive oil, roasted garlic, and water. Pulse until the mixture is good and creamy. Toss in some pepper until it tastes how you like it and BOOM! Homemade garlic hummus! I served it with fresh peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and celery.



Disclaimer: chick peas are not considered Paleo.