angry orchard, avocado, crock pot, fall, food, paleo, recipe

Cozy as Flannel Crock Pot Chili

Fall is perfet for comfort food and warm delicious chili while watching football (or reading while your signficant other does). I’ve perfected my chili over the few years and love making this recipe! We made it last weekend and it’s always a huge hit! It is a rich, flavorful, sweet and spicy chili that makes you feel like you’re in a cozy log cabin on a cool fall night. The cinnamon and cocoa add a rich and unique flavor. Try it out and let me know what you think!

To make this PALEO simply omit the kidney beans and brown sugar. You can sub the brown sugar with coconut sugar to get the sweetness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb danish bacon
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 andouille sausage
  • 1 lb steak (I buy the one pre-cut for tacos or stew)
  • 1 pepper (green, red, yellow, it’s your preference)
  • 2 jalepenos, diced with seeds
  • 1 large white onion, onion
  • 6-12 garlic cloves, minced (depends on how much of a garlic lover  you are. I add 12)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2-4 cups of chicken or beef stock (depends on thickness you want)
  • 1 Angry Orchard (Sam Adams Octoberfest works as well)
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar (depends on sweetness you want)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Cut up sausage into small pieces
  2. Cut up danish bacon into small cubes
  3. Season ground beef with salt, pepper to taste and cook in pan until browned. Add to crockpot.
  4. Dice up pepper, jalepeno and onion and add to crock pot (I use gloves when chopping and touching jalepeno to avoid any contact with seeds and then later touching my eye or contact lense and feeling the wrath of hell upon my eye but that’s just me…)
  5. Add minced garlic
  6. Season steak with salt and pepper, cook until medium and add to crockpot
  7. Sautee bacon in pan and cook until crisp. Taste test for maximum enjoyment. Add to crockpot.
    IMG_8033.JPG
    danish bacon, so delcicious
  8. Sautee sausage and add to crockpot
  9. Add in cinnamon and cocoa powder and mix
  10. Add stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste and 2 cups chicken/beef stock to crockpot and mix
  11. Add in Angry Orchard and mix
  12. If more liquid is needed, add in the rest of the stock and one cup of water if necessary
  13. Give everything a final mix
  14. Turn crockpot on to low for 6-8 hours OR high for 4-6 hours
  15. When cooking is done mix and taste
  16. Add brown sugar and mix
  17. Add in cornstarch for desired thickness
  18. Enjoy with corn muffins on the side!

You can garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, or my personal favorite, avocado!

Garlic Herb Corn Muffins
This is where I cheat and simply use JIFFY corn Muffin mix. Follow direction on box but use KerryGold Garlic Herb butter. Add another tbsp or so for a richer flavor.

What do you add to your chili to make it your favorite?

recipe, recipes, Uncategorized

Paleo almond crusted salmon

So I love love love Parmesan crusted steak or salmon or lamb. I make it with herb garlic Kerrygold butter and cheese and it’s heavenly. It’s also not the most nutritionally conscious meal.  So when I finally realized I could use almond to create a similar taste I got hooked.

Almond makes a delicious addition to any meal and is extremely versatile. They have some great health benefits (check them out here) and are very paleo  friendly. Add them to salmon,  one of my favorite proteins, and it’s a match made in heaven!

This is an easy recipe that takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook.

Ingredients

  • 1lb skinless salmon fillet (wild preferred)
  • 1/2 chopped almond/almond meal
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (organic preferred)
  • 1/2 cup liquid aminos (soy sauce if not paleo)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (the one in a jar is fine. you can use only 1tbsp unless you’re a garlic freak like me)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. If you have almond meal, use this because it works. If you don’t grab some sliced Almonds (I prefer Fisher Nuts) and put them in the food processor for 30 seconds or so, until they are chopped fine, similar to almond meal.
  3. Cut salmon into even portions to your liking (2-4 pieces)
  4. Use a glass baking dish/square baking pan/something with sides and spray with coconut oil (or butter or whatever you have to make it not stick), even just line parchment paper)
  5. Place fillets in dish
  6. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  7. Rub a little maple syrup on the tops of the fillets
  8. Sprinkle almonds evenly on top of each portion
  9. Mix maple syrup, liquid aminos, and the minced garlic together
  10. Pour evenly over fillets, letting extra go in the pan
  11. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes
  12. Take out and enjoy with a nice Angry Orchard or glass of wine

I’ve made this over cauliflower rice, with crispy avocado and a salad (as pictured) or with sweet potaoe fries. It is one of my favorite meals and you can use the mixture and crust over lambchops and chicken.

Enjoy!!

IMG_6932

 

avocado, caveman, food, garlic, health, healthy, paleo, recipe

Now That’s a Mouthful:Paleo Creole Burgers

So I’ve instagrammed about my favorite burger to make at home and wanted to share the recipe with everyone who asks me about it!

To the left is more of a lunch version, with an avocado and tomato salad underneath. This is a really versatile burger and easily customizable! You can always top with a fried egg, peppers, or even bacon! You can make the burgers ahead of time with a weekly meal prep and then just oven warm up for a few minutes while you cook your sides.

Eating paleo is something that is so easy and tasty and this burger is a great example. No sauce or cheese needed, there is so much flavor on it’s own. When you have good meat and seasonings, you have all the flavor you could want and don’t need to disguise anything!

Now That’s a Mouthful: Paleo Creole Burgers

Ingredients
1lb grass fed burger
Tony Chachare’s Creole seasoning
1/4 onion
1/2 avocado
1-2 handfuls of spinach
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 lime or some lime juice
Coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
Directions

The prep work 

  1. Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and put in all your ground beef
  2. Add one egg
  3. Add creole seasoning to taste. I add a pretty good amount to really enjoy the flavor, like 5-6 shakes
  4. For the garlic, I peel 2-3 cloves and throw in my ninja. You can also just dice it up small with a knife if you don’t have a food processor and feel like getting it dirty. You can also do a few more cloves now for the spinach if you want
  5. Add the 2-3 diced cloves to the bowl with the other ingredients
  6. Mix with your hands which you will have washed before you started cooking and maybe again right now. Mix thoroughly so the egg is mixed and all the meat. (feel free to use a burger press if you’d like)
  7. Add a few more shakes of seasoning if you think there’s not enough, I usually do a shake or two more since I figure, why not?
  8. Shape the burgers into patties. I use make them into a ball or sorts and then squish a little and start rolling them into my hands and shaping
  9. Size will depend on how you portion, for the lap-band I do smaller so I can control the size
  10. Set aside
  11. Cut about the end of your onion off and then cut a 1/2 inch thick slice. If you are making bigger burger, cut onion in half and then cut the slice so you get bigger rings. You really only need a 1/4 of an onion, just to get a nice set of slice to grill
  12. You can also cut the avocado into slices but leave the skin on
Making the magic

  1. Get a medium sized frying pan and set the heat to 5/medium to high heat
  2. Put the burgers in the pan, I usually do 3 at a time if they fit
  3. Burgers have fat so you do NOT need to add any oil
  4. Get a second smaller pan ready so you can cook the spinach simaltaneously
  5. Add a little oil to that pan and put in the rest of the garlic,  set to medium heat
  6. Let the burger get a nice char going and when you think it’s to your liking, flip
  7. Go back to the spinach pan and add in about 2 handfuls of spinach, always add more because it becomes a much smaller portion when cooked
  8. Add a splash of lemon juice 
  9. Go back to the burger and keep the char to your liking. Mine go for a few minutes because I like a good char
  10. Keep the heat at medium , about a 3/4 and cook to your taste. I like a medium rare to medium so I cook it about 5 minutes on each side
  11. Stir spinach until wilted and remove pan from heat
  12. Grab your serving plate and add the spinach to the middle of the plate
  13. Add one of the burgers on
For the onions

  1. You can honestly use the same pan as the spinach or start a new one
  2. Using a medium sized frying pan and pour some coconut oil
  3. Set the stove to a medium heat and let the oil heat up some
  4. Add in the onion and maybe a little seasoning, creole or garlic powder, if you want
  5. Sauté the onions, flipping the onion after a few minutes
  6. Flip again after a few until onions are grilled to your liking. I like mine pretty grilled and a little charred but you can stop sooner
Finishing moves
  1. Add the onions to the top of the burger
  2. Garnish the plate with the avocado
  3. Add lime and garlic salt to taste on the avocado or leave plain
  4. Feel free to add some baked sweet potato fries (recipe coming soon!)
Enjoy!!

budget, cooking, cranberry, health, healthy, paleo, recipe, salad, steak, thrifty, tilapia

Three under $20 meals for a healthy body and budget

So cooking is something I’ve never been very good at. My family all are great cooks and there’s just never been a need to really learn until recently. I’ve learned it’s more fun and better on the budget to cook for two. JoeyWaffles and I cooking started more in the last year and it’s going well. 

We try to eat little to no bread save a bagel here and there, low sugar, minimal dairy, basically a modified Paleo. Being healthy is something we both actively strive for so cooking at home is a great way to make that happen.

Everyone says that eating healthy costs more and while that is true, it’s an investment in your health and future. Trust me when I say you don’t have to break the bank to have a meal that’s tasty, healthy, and look fabulous. Here are 3 dishes that are under $20, healthy, and easy to make! 

So everyone needs a go to dish. Something you can bring to a party or a potluck that everyone likes and makes you a hit. So what’s my easy go to? This under $20 Cranberry Goat Cheese mixed green salad with pecans. So how do you make it? Easily. Very Easily.

North Shore Poor’s Fancy like Iggy Azalea Any Season Salad

Grab
-1 container of mixed green or spinach. $5
-1 package of Fisher Nut Pecans $5
-1 package of crumbled goat cheese $4
-1 package of dried cranberries (8oz will do) $3

For a dressing I usually mix
-olive oil
-lemon juice
-balsamic vinaigrette
-some minced garlic, salt, and pepper
-Dijon mustard

Directions (5 minutes or less total time)
For presentations sake, I don’t mix this but put the ingredients on top.
-Place the salad greens in your desired container
-sprinkles pecans, cranberries, and goat cheese on top.
-artfully arrange
-leave dressing on the sides
-voila! you’re done!

As you can see above, that took me about 2 minutes to make and I didn’t even take use a different container. Place in a fancy dish and you are all set!

North Shore Poor’s Easy like a Khardashian Steak Dinner

Sometimes you just want an easy dinner. You don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen but the idea of picking up fast food holds no appeal for you. If you’re like me, it’s actually not even a last resort. Well, unless it’s a DQ blizzard, then that’s always good. So instead of hitting up a fast food joint, here’s what I do:

First, I figure out the nearest grocery store to me on my way home from work/the gym. I go in, grab a my ingredients: steak, an avocado, and some cous cous. I pick a small but good steak, usually grass fed/organic, I eat a lot less because of lap band and I always want quality over quantity. An avocado completes any meal in my opinion. You can get out of the store for under $20 even at Whole paycheck Foods, I usually have a glass of Pinot Grigio or Tempranillo in my fridge but feel free to skip the wine.

Directions (15 minutes total time)
1. Follow directions on cous cous box. Usually involves boiling water with some olive oil and the spice pack. I use Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil.
2. Chop 1-2 cloves of garlic.
3. Coat steak with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder
4. Make a few shallow cuts in steak and put in cut up garlic
5. Flip steak and repeat.
6. Grab a pan and turn stove on medium heat with a little olive oil, I lie adding a little lime juice over mine but that’s a personal preference. Try it once to see. You will no be disappointed.
7. Check on cous cous and continue to follow directions. When the water is boiling add the cous cous, cover and remove from heat I believe, I don’t have the box in front of me but I’ve made it enough,
8. Place steak in hated pan.
9. Start cutting up avocado. I l ike garlic salt and lime sprinkled on mine but it can be plain or even with some lemon juice and/or salt. Again, a preference.
10. Cook steak 3-4 minutes on each side should get you to a medium rare, add more time to get your temperature preference.
11. Plate the avocado and cous cous.
12. Add the steak and enjoy!

North Shore Poor’s I Want to Binge-Watch TV in my Pj’s Tilapia 

I love any and all seafood. I guess this is from my Italian side because my Dad absolutely abhors any kind of fish. This just means at the Japanese steakhouse I get his shrimp which is a win for me. A quick and easy seafood meal is great for being low cal and delicious! Tilapia is great dinner and easy to cook without smelling to fishy.

All you need is:
-cabbage, which can you can get pre-shredded if you feel like it
-olive oil
-mayo
-lemon (bottled lemon juice is fine)
-tilapia filet
-avacado
-lime (bottled lime juice is fine)
-handful of cherry tomatoes
-1 egg

Directions
The Israeli Cabbage Salad (5 minute prep)
1. Chop us a quarter to half of a cabbage and out in bowl. Otherwise use the pre-shredded stuff.
2. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl
3. Add a tablespoon or so of mayo
3. Add salt and pepper to taste
4. Add lemon juice, enough to wet the cabbage
5. Mix.
6. Put in fridge. Doesn’t matter covered or not since it will only be there about 15 minutes.

The Tilapia
7. Get a shallow bowl and crack egg into a bowl
8. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder and put on a plate
9. Coat filet in egg and then dip in spice mixture, evenly on both sides
10. Get pan ready with a little olive oil and medium heat
11. Add filet and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until flaky.  I like a char so I use a higher heat for about 3 minutes. Put on plate.

12. Cut up avocado, plate, add lime and/or garlic salt
13. Take Israeli salad out, mix, plate.
14. Eat and enjoy! Use lime juice for added flavor.

Simple easy meals are the way to go to stay healthy and well fed. When you start cooking and realize how easy it is, it becomes a lot easier to make a great meal at home with fresh meat/seafood than go to a restaurant where half the time it’s poor quality and frozen. When I do go out to eat, I make it count and this weekend was no exception. Joey took me to Sabatino’s on Sunday night and I had amazing garlic tilapia and a nice glass of Pinot Grigio followed by a decadent chocolate mousse cake. Quality food in a romantic setting made for a wonderful Sunday night.

Sunday morning was even better.  JoeyWaffles went to t-mobile with his brother and took my phone while I went into home goods. I assumed he was asking about a new case or battery life or something with our plan. I met his up at Potbelly’s and he told me he got me a new case. He handed me my phone in a new case and then I realized it wasn’t my phone, it was the new Sony Xperia Z3. Besy boyfriend ever. I love surprises and I have been getting sick of my phone since I have too many pictures and no memory card slot.

Sabatino’s + new phone + seeing our friends Rick and Sara who came in from Indy= a perfect weekend.

So how about you? What are your easy to make go to recipes? Anything fun happen to you this weekend?

christmas, holiday, holidays, recipe, recipes, traditons

Christmas Cookie Bars!

I love baking all year round but there is something special about baking around Christmastime. The music, the fact it’s cold outside but warm inside, the hot coco, it’s just magical. I love making cookies, cakes, brownies and today I am going to share one of my favorite recipes. It’s for those times you feel like something delicious and sweet but can’t decide between a cookie or brownie. This happens to me at Panera all the time, I can’t be the only one, right?

Well, sometimes you shouldn’t have to make Sophie’s Choice over dessert, just have both in one! Two desserts with the calories of one means one less trip to the gym to work off the holiday weight.

North Shore Poor’s Christmas Cookie Bars!

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Namaste Perfect Blend is my usual go to but I ran out this week)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (any kind is fine but I use Himalayan)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (unsalted or salted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup of Fisher Nut Pecans
1 cup of White Peppermint M&M’s
1 cup Chocolate Chips
15×10 pyrex baking dish

Directions
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degree F
2. Put some holiday music on, I like 93.9FM on my kitchen radio
3. Put the 2 sticks of butter out so they start softening
3. Gather the above ingredients. Feel free to substitute the M&Ms for any flavor they have or even just white chocolate chips. Just use the same amount. It’s a personal preference. 
I like my desserts like my man, white chocolate. Ba-dum-bum chsh! 
4. Put the 2 softened sticks of butter, the vanilla, and both the sugars in the mixing bowl. 
If you’re using a mixer/kitchen-aid, I put it on the low speed to start then one higher for a few minutes
5. While that is slowly mixing, grab another bowl
6. I like using a sifter so I put that in the mixing bowl and add the flow, salt, and baking soda. Sift.
7. Are you having hot chocolate or a glass of wine? If not, grab a drink and sing along to the music.
8. Go to the bowl with the sugar and add one egg and mix.
9. Add the second egg and mix
10. Grab the flour mixture and slowly add in
11. Taste a little to make sure it’s delicious
12. So you can use the M&M’s whole but I like to crush mine up a little. So I just poured them into a bowl and used the back of the measuring cup to crush them. Not fancy but it works well and makes no mess. 
13. Add in the nuts, chocolate chips, and M&M’s
14. Beat on low for a minute or two
15. Get your baking dish out, I use a pyrex but any will do
16. Here’s the biggest secret of my baking success…Crisco! I don’t use it in my baking but I sure as hell use it to grease up my dishes and muffin pans. Take the Crisco and put all over the dish, including the sides
17. Put the dough into the pan, spread even with a spatula
18. Bake for about 20-22 minutes. The sides will be brown like a cookie and the top should be golden brown as well.
19. Cool for about 10 minutes and if you want, add an M&M to each piece you plan on cutting. 
20. Wait another 20 minutes or so and then cut!

Enjoy!


 You can really modify this recipe which makes it really fun and a great staple for your  cooking repertoire. You can add coconut, peanut butter, different nuts, or simply add mint  chocolate chips instead. Having a nice glass of Pinot Grigio always helps as well. Plus, to keep from these all myself I plan on letting JoeyWaffles bring them to his work and share. We can keep a few at home but no need for temptation!

What are your favorite holidays treats? Do you love holiday baking or hate it?
Let me know 🙂
avocado, bacon, breakfast, caveman, chorizo, eggs, food, health, healthy, paleo, recipe

Avocado and Bacon and Chorizo, oh my!

I don’t always want to leave the house on a Saturday morning to spend $40 at Walker Bro’s or some other North Shore breakfast hotspot (see: Sarki’s, Kauffmans, etc).  I also try to follow the Paleo lifestyle (no grains, dairy, or artificial sugar) and try to eat pretty healthy. So when it’s Saturday morning and I don’t want to get dressed or spend money, I look at what’s in the fridge and JoeyWaffles and I start making things up. 
Submitted for the approval of the internet recipe society, I call this recipe:
NoShoPo’s Saturday Carnivore Scramble
Ingredients
for the scramble 
2 organic egg whites
1 egg yolk (organic)
A handful (or to your taste) cilantro chopped up
1/2 ripe avocado cut up into small cubes
a few shakes of garlic powder (to taste)
a few shakes of salt (to taste)
a few shakes of pepper(to taste)
for the chorizo
6oz of chorizo 
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced (add more or less depending on taste)
smidgeon of oil (olive, coconut, butter if you want)
for the bacon
1 package of organic bacon
1 cup Organic Maple Syrup
Directions
Start with the chorizo first
1. Grab a skillet
2. Turn stove to medium heat and warm the pan up
2.5 So I add the oil here but I have no idea if that’s right so if you want to add after it’s warmed up, go right ahead
3. Make sure you have some good music playing and something good to drink, coffee or juice is nice
4. When the pan is warmed, throw in your onions and garlic (add oil if you haven’t already)
5. Dance a little around your kitchen and enjoy yourself
6. Keep singing to the radio and stir/flip/move around the onions and garlic
7. When the onion look softer and the garlic browns some, add the chorizo
8. I sort of use my flat stainless steel spatula to break up and move around the chorizo in the pan
9. Using the spatula, mix the chorizo around with the onions and garlic
While the chorizo is cooking, you can start the bacon
10. Open bacon package
11. Cut in half for shorter strips, leave whole for longer
12. Place bacon on a different pan and turn heat on medium to high
13. Stir chorizo, make sure to get the food on the sides mixed in
14. Check on Bacon
15. Sip coffee/juice
16. The chorizo should be done, so turn off the heat ad move into a bowl
17. Check on bacon, flip if looks ready 
While the bacon is cooking, start the egg prep
16. Crack a egg into a bowl
17. Crack another egg and separate yolk.
18. Throw yolk out unless you want, I just try to only use one. 
19. Put egg white in bowl.
20. Add in chopped avocado
21. Dance some more and check on the bacon (definitely flip if you haven’t already)
22. If bacon looks halfway done or you just want to do it now, open the maple syrup and drizzle it on the strips, to your liking, I like a lot so on it goes!
23. Turn on a fan/or keep the heat low so as not to smoke out the place.
23.5 Joey never makes the house smoke, I tend to so…it’s probably me. Keep the heat lower then high. Medium-ish works.
24. Take a bite of chorizo to taste-test and feel proud of yourself for such deliciousness
25. Monitor bacon and get a plate ready to put said bacon on (not a paper plate!)
26. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste to the eggs and beat to 
27. Add cilantro to the eggs
28. Bacon should be about done so transfer to plate (I like mine pretty crispy)
29. Use chorizo pan if you want (I usually do for the added taste and no need for oil) or a new pan and warm it up for a minute
30. Add in eggs and scramble to preference (mine is about 1 minute, barely cooked and delicious)
Voila! You have a delicious scramble with a good meat to protein ratio. 
Completely paleo. Completely delicious.
This is easier then it seems and really fun to modify. You can leave out the chorizo or leave out the bacon, you can use regular bacon without the maple, etc. You can add roasted red peppers, onions, or whatever you want to the eggs. Take whatever you have in your fridge and make your own version and enjoy!
So tell me, what do you like in your scrambles? 
What are your favorite Saturday morning meals?