Buffalo Mushroom Meatballs

One thing I absolutely love about Whole30 is how it challenges me to try new things. When I made eggs for breakfast every day, around Day 5 I started to switch things up! I was making sausages with sides of leafy greens or ground pork skillets filled with veggies and fruits! Chicken is cheaper and I most familiar with ways to cook it, but when something interesting goes on sale, I challenge myself to figure out how to cook it– for the sake of variety and for new tasty, healthy food experiences!

So naturally, when I saw Maverick Ranch’s Ground Buffalo on sale, I was rather intrigued!
Buffalo meat, also known as bison meat, is a leaner, more nutritious variety of meat than traditional beef. It can be used as a replacement for beef in recipes too!Zoodles & Buffalo Meatballs

Buffalo Mushroom Meatballs (makes 9)
Ingredients:
– 1lb Maverick Ranch Ground Buffalo
– 1/4 cup tomato sauce + extra 1/4 cup set aside
– 1/4 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
– 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
– 1 large garlic clove, minced
– 1/8 cup coconut flour
– 5-6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– extra virgin olive oil, for coating the pan

image1

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees.
2. Coat bottom of a baking dish in extra virgin olive oil.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together ALL ingredients (except the tomato sauce that’s to be set aside). Be careful not to overwork the meat, just until thoroughly mixed.
4. Divide mixture into nine equal pieces then ball up and place into baking dish. Coat with remaining tomato sauce.
5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
6. ENJOY! 🙂

This time I enjoyed my meatballs over some freshly prepared zoodles with a homemade roasted red pepper sauce– sprinkled with extra fresh basil, of course!Zoodles & Buffalo Mushroom Meatballs


What kinds of new creations have you attempted recently? Any new delicious discoveries?

Quick & Easy Whole30 Meal Ideas

See these two lovebirds? They’re my adorable parents…
Everybody say, “Awwwww“.LovebirdsThese two embarked on their first Whole30 today! And now it’s on the Internet Mom & Dad, so you have to stick to it. The people know! My mother asked about some quick & easy Whole30 Approved meal ideas. As I was typing I got to thinking that just maybe this would be of interest to some of you. So, in honor of Bob & Jen… Let’s do it:

Breakfast:
– Scrambled Eggs (3) + Sugar-Free Bacon (3) + Roasted Broccoli
– Breakfast Frittata with assorted veggiesCheery Breakfast– Roasted Hash: sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic; roasted in olive oil + Sausage – all chopped and tossed together in a bowl!
Coconut Milk & Chia Seed Pudding (without sweetener) + fresh berries
– Spinach Banana Smoothie: 3 cups spinach + 2 tbsp almond butter + 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk + banana (but eat something else with it!)Strawberry-Banana-Spinach Breakfast Sausage Patties over a bed of Kale + Roasted Sweet Potatoes
– Omelets filled with whatever vegetables you’d like! 🙂
– Egg Cups: Bacon + Egg + Veggies; all baked together in one cupcake pan in just 20 minutesEgg Cups

 Lunch/Dinner:
**I put this category together because I almost always make dinner for two and save the extra for lunch. 2-in-1 meals for the WIN! :)**
– Tilapia + fresh salsa + steamed veggies (TIP: Tilapia takes 5 minutes at 500-degrees in the oven AND you can steam veggies in the microwave.. no excuses)
– Beef Burger over Spinach + slices of Tomato & Onion + Sauteed MushroomsDelicioso– Spaghetti Squash + meatballs + tomato sauce (check the label for sugar)- Taco-seasoned Ground Beef over lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper… instant Taco Salad!
– Applegate Farms Prosciutto wrapped around Apple Slices + small side salad
– “Zoodles” (zuchinni noodles) tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper topped with Grilled Chicken and Diced TomatoesRoasted Veggies & Squash– Hard Boiled Eggs + fresh veggies + handful of almonds or cashews
– Shrimp Kebabs: bell pepper, squash, zucchini, and shrimp coated in olive oil & grilled + squeeze of lime
– Stir Fry: chicken + any veggies + coconut amines + hot sauce; cook in sauté pan and DONE
Lazy Man Plate: protein + veggies + fruit + nut/seed (no cooking required)Lazy Man's Lunch Lettuce Wraps: Romaine Lettuce Leaves + Ground Chicken + Cucumber + Tomato + Balsamic Vinaigrette (check labels)
– Soup in the Crockpot (or anything in the Crockpot, really); just set it and forget it! 😉
French Onion Soup


I hope this helps you in your Whole30 journey! This is by no means an exhausted list, but just an option for you to glance over when you’re short on time and in need of a “real food meal” that’s Whole30 Approved!

For more recipes for Whole30, check out my recipes page for more ideas & tips!

Happy [Paleo] Friendsgiving!

Happy FRIENDSgiving!

 My heart is so overjoyed to have spent Saturday evening accompanied by friends, laughs, and gratitude! We had the pleasure of hosting a Friendsgiving event at our home. This meant LOTS of scrumptious foods and desserts to share, so I made sure to add some to the menu that were delicious and nutritious.

Our lovely friends arrived and everyone channeled their “inner Picasso” and drew on little index cards all the things they’re thankful for! Kudos to Austin to thinking of this awesome ideas! 😉Thankful Wall Thankful Wall Thankful Wall

Do I have a creative group of friends or WHAT? 

After a round of games, the turkey was finally done! This, by the way, was the first turkey I have ever cooked so I was truly elated when… “Guys!! The red thing finally popped up! It’s done! And I think it actually looks good too!”Turkey Time

Thank you men for handling it from here...
Thank you men for handling it from here…

There were a variety of foods that friends brought, but again, I made sure to sneak in some healthy Paleo options to share. Let’s start off with a delicious Sweet Potato + Pumpkin Casserole. It’s so good that your friends won’t even miss those marshmallows– well, maybe. It’s worth a shot. 😉Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Paleo Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole (serves 9)
Ingredients:
4 large sweet potatoes
1 16-oz can 100% pure pumpkin
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp cinnamon, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp pumpkin spice
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Honey, for drizzling

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and fill a large pot with water. Chop all the sweet potatoes into large chunks and place in pot. Place the pot on high and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Once finished, remove from heat and strain all the excess water.
2. Return sweet potatoes to pot and add 1 tbsp of olive oil (for dairy-tolerant folks, you may use butter instead). Mash sweet potatoes until smooth. Then, add in your can of pumpkin and mix together thoroughly.
3. Add in pumpkin spice, coconut milk, vanilla, and 1 tbsp of cinnamon to mixture. Mix thoroughly once more. Next, transfer mixture to casserole dish (I used a 9×9 pan).
4. In separate mixing bowl, toss almonds with cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 1 tbsp of cinnamon. Toss until evenly coated. Garnish the top of casserole with chopped almonds.
5. Finish off your casserole with a drizzle of honey over top of the almonds.
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. ENJOY 🙂

Paleo Sweet Potato CasseroleHow is that for a mouth-watering Paleo spin on a classic? Well, we’re not done yet. A fresh salad came to mind while I perused the grocery store on that Fall morning and then it hit me: Dino Kale + Cranberry Chopped Salad. I love when the grocery store inspires you! Also, this gem is Whole30 Compliant!Dino Kale + Cranberry Chopped SaladDino Kale + Cranberry Chopped Salad (serves 8)
Ingredients:
1 bunch Dino kale
3 cups spinach
1 small gala apple
1 green bell pepper
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Coat a oven-safe dish in coconut oil. Place washed cranberries in dish and stick in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, chop up kale, spinach, apple, bell pepper, and walnuts into bite-size pieces. Try to make everything about the same size. Place all ingredients in large bowl.
3. Once cranberries are finished, add them to the bowl. Toss all ingredients together.
4. If desired, add your favorite dressing (I suggest a balsamic) or top with some of that Thanksgiving turkey! EAT UP 🙂

Okay, so my salad is more "layered" than "tossed", but it was all for the photos, people!
Okay, so my salad is more “layered” than “tossed”, but it was all for the photos, people!

Other food items included green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry sauce, and a plethora of desserts. I will admit, I sampled a bit of everything. I will also admit that due to this I had a major sugar-induced headache for the next two days (Is a “food hangover” a thing? Because I think it is). Sometimes you pick your battles and choose to indulge every once in a while. Just choose wisely, then get back on track!

This is the "Remember to Make Wise Choices" Face.
This is the “Remember to Make Wise Choices” Face.

Happy Friendsgiving

I am so thankful to these wonderful people in my life (and those who couldn’t make it too) and I am happy to have celebrated Friendsgiving while sneaking in Paleo recipes at the same time. Thank you all for being my guinea pigs!


Happy Friendsgiving!
Maybe you can try some of these, or be inspired to find more Paleo Thanksgiving dishes for this year’s feast!Give Thanks

 

Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad

with bacon!
Because beets and kale will most certainly be better with bacon.
As are most things, actually.Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad with Bacon

Beets are in season (hurray!) and they are absolutely mouth-watering when roasted in the oven. Just be careful not to scare your family when slicing the beets with the dark pink bloody-looking mess all over your cutting board. This could be the perfect Halloween salad. 😉
Plus, did I mention bacon?Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad with Bacon

Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad (serves 1 salad or 2 side salads)
Ingredients:
3-4 kale leaves
3 medium beets
2 strips sugar-free bacon
1/4 small sweet yellow onion
1/8 chopped unsalted almonds
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
salt + pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
2. Wash beets and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Place in medium sized mixing bowl.
3. Thinly slice onion and place in bowl with beets.
4. Chop bacon into bite-size pieces and also place in bowl.
5. Add EVOO, rosemary, and a couple dashes of salt and pepper to bowl; toss gently until beets are well coated.
6. Spread out beet mixture onto pan without overlapping beets.
7. Place in oven for 20 minutes, flipping beets halfway through.
8. Meanwhile, wash kale, remove from stem, and shred into bite-sized pieces. Place on serving dish.
9. Once beets are done, add to kale and sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.

Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad with BaconThis feels like a bountiful Fall harvest as it touches your tongue! The warm, juicy beets blend beautifully with the salty, savory chunks of bacon and the fresh, crispness of kale! Enjoy every last bite of this salad. I’m sure it will not disappoint. And if you allow yourself dairy, a suggested addition would be some feta cheese! YUM 🙂Roasted Rosemary Beet + Kale SaladRoasted Rosemary Beet + Kale Salad with Bacon

#lettuceturnipthebeet

Cinnamon Fried Plantains

Quick, simple, and delicious. I love it when a recipe is all three of those things. And that is exactly what can be said of these
Cinnamon Fried Plantains.

Cinnamon Fried PlantainsPlantains are part of the banana family, but differ in that they are larger in size, harder to peel. starchier and need to be cooked to consumed. Plantains are low in fat and have a fantastic source of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C. Recently I’ve been trying out various styles of cooking plantains, and this is my favorite. I enjoy it at breakfast time, as a snack, or a quick dessert.

Incredible Sweet Fried Plantains

Cinnamon Fried Plantains (serves 1)
Ingredients:
1 ripe yellow plantain
1 tbsp coconut oil
Cinnamon

Directions:
1. Heat a frying plan on low-medium heat and melt coconut oil in pan.
2. Cut open plantain and slice into even, 1/4-inch slices.
3. Place slices in pan and dust with cinnamon.
4. Fry for 3-minutes and flip.
5. Dust with cinnamon and fry for 3-minutes.
6. If needed, flip one more time to get crispy and golden brown.Cinnamon Fried PlantainsCinnamon Fried PlantainsCinnamon Fried PlantainsEnjoy this recipe as your next snack, breakfast-side, or dessert! The tasty sweet treat can satisfy your sweet tooth–naturally. 🙂