Acorn Squash Cups w/Chard

I love squash season.

I whipped this up one on Thursday and about pooped my pants it was so good. Seriously – it was amazing. So good I’m making it for the kids tonight. Anyhoo, it was easy too – earlier in the week I had already cooked the squash, so all I had to do was scoop it out, mix everything together and bake. Nom nom nom.

This will feed about 4 -6 people as a side dish. You can even take a scoop of this and crack an egg over it on a rainy Saturday morning. Like today.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy!

  • 2 acorn squash, split in half and cooked
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parm-reggano cheese
  • Bit of salt, pepper, paprika
  • Drizzle of reduced balsamic or just regular balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch of washed, ribs removed, swiss chard

Take squash, cream, cheese, spices and mix with hand mixer. Should almost look like mashed tater consistency. Take oven safe bowls, ramekin dishes, dishes like you see in the pic and oil them up, the place a ‘bed’ of chard in each. Then, scoop the glorious mix into each, make pretty, and drizzle balsamic over it.

Bake at 375 for at least 20 minutes. You can cook longer, won’t jack it up at all.

Enjoy!!! SO GOOD.

Bacon Squash Patties

Well, today confirms winter is here. It is SH*TTY outside. But, what better way to spend a day like this than to play in the kitchen. 🙂

Over the past few weeks I’ve made some great stuff, so I thought I’d better start posting.

I know you know I LOVE Juli Bauer’s stuff (PaleOMG). She’s good. Really good and finds great ways to use one of my fave foods – bacon. So, here’s one that I love and will make again and again — but will probably do it casserole style since I am lazy and just want to eat the stuff ASAP.

Original recipe here and below. I followed this one since I was trying to make the patties. On the first round, I think I had too much coconut oil in my pan. On the next round, not enough. So, will work a bit more to find the magic. Patty or not – this was freaking good.  Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients
  • 1 large acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 4-6 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut your squash in half and place your squash open side, face down on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast your squash for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Once your squash is soft when you poke its skin, remove it from the oven to cool.
  5. Then cook your bacon in a medium pan until cooked through, and place on a paper towel to soak up the excess fat.
  6. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in your pan after your bacon in done cooking.
  7. Scoop out your acorn squash into a bowl and add your bacon, eggs, coconut flour, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until eggs are broken up completely.
  8. Use a spoon to scoop out a large spoonful of mixture and add to your hot bacon fat pan.
  9. Cook each patty for 3-5 minutes then use a spatula to flip it over and press down and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  10. You just want to create a crust on each side of the patty.
  11. Repeat.
  12. Serve with your favorite protein.
  13. Makes 4-8 patties.

Gluten-Free Paleo Tabbouleh

Ok, I LOVE tabbouleh. LOVE IT. Well, can’t have it due to my being allergic to wheat. Awesome. THEN, I found  Melissa and her awesome take on this.

If you’ve not checked out her site or her cookbook before, DO IT. She’s amazing and another great resource. I got my Scotch Egg recipe from her – awesome.

Anyway, HUGE shout out to Mel!

Back to the tabbouleh! Check out the recipe below. I followed this step by step, but had a few changes along the way as I didn’t have all on hand and I like my tabbouleh a certain way. 🙂 I.E. no mint. Don’t do mint. 🙂 Anyhoo…ENJOY!!! LOVE IT!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients:
The salad:
1 head raw cauliflower
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 seedless cucumbers [I used ones with seeds, peeled and diced]
4 ripe tomatoes
4 cups curly parsley leaves (about 2 bunches) [LOVE parsley]
1 cup fresh mint leaves [skipped]
6 scallions [only had three]

The dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon Lebanese seven-spice blend (optional – recipe here) [skipped, ran out of time]
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil [used about a quarter cup]

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a food processor to “rice” the cauliflower: Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in two batches to avoid overcrowding. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower rice with the melted coconut oil, then divide the cauliflower between the baking sheets. Spread it into a single layer so it can toast in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes or so, checking at 15 to make sure it’s getting golden but not burning. (Mine got pretty dark, and it retained a nice bite, even after being tossed with the dressing.) [this step is a must.]

2. Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice, place in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt, and let the vegetables “sweat” out their excess moisture while the cauliflower is in the oven.

3. Wash the parsley then either pat dry (with paper towels or a clean dish towel) or spin in a salad spinner. Repeat with the mint. When the herbs are clean and dry, use a sharp knife — not the food processor — to finely chop them. I think it’s nice when you can recognize the leaf for what it is in tabbouleh, so I don’t mince the herbs as fine for this salad as I do for Turkish Chopped Salad. Place the herbs in a large mixing bowl.

4. Trim the scallions and slice them very, very thin so they’re almost shaved. Add to the parsley.

5. When the cauliflower is toasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool. While it’s cooling, drain the cucumbers and tomatoes of the released liquid, then add the vegetables to the parsley. Toss with a rubber scraper to combine.

6. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the lemon juice, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and Lebanese seven-spice blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you continue to mix with the fork. Then pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently, but with purpose, until all the ingredients are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour so the flavors can blend.

NOTE: As I admitted above, I ate this aggressively as soon as it was done — but on day two, it tasted even better. Day three, it was still good. After that, it begins to look a little sad, so if you can’t eat a full batch in 2-3 days, cut the recipe in half. [I actually added some hearty greens to this on day three and ate for lunch. THIS WAS SO GOOD. Seriously – ENJOY!!!]

Paleo Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Carbonara Pasta

Another good one from Juli and PaleOMG.

Have to make this a quick post as I need to make some goodies for Canadian Thanksgiving! Enjoy your weekend!!

This was amazing, FYI.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Paleo Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Carbonara Pasta [my mods below in [xxx])
Ingredients

  • 1lb uncured bacon, cut into 1/2 inch squares [just cooked whole, cooled, cut. Grease – poured out most grease then used to
  • cook chicken. I suggest this as it is freaking good.]
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1/2lb chicken tenders, diced [two smaller (non hormone) chicken boobs]
  • 1 can/jar artichoke hearts, cut in half or into fourths [can of quartered hearts, find at Cash and Carry]
  • 5-6 cups spinach (just get a crap ton and call it good) [nom nom nom]
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced [one leek]
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced [4]
  • [2 tbsp butter (optional)]
  • [1/2 can coconut milk – the ‘hard’ part. See below for information]
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. You will first need to get your spaghetti squash cooked. Cut it in half, pull out the seeds and
threads with a spoon. Be aggressive, and strong. Place open side down on a cookie sheet and
bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin “gives” when you press on it. [you can also boil squash –
just as easy.]

3. Now, pull out a large pan and place over medium-high heat. The higher the sides of the pan, the
less bacon grease burns you will encounter. Don’t say I didn’t tell you. Add your cut pieces of
bacon to the pan to let cook, stirring occasionally so the bacon doesn’t burn.

4. Once the bacon is done cooking, use a slotted spoon to place the bacon in a bowl to add back to
the pasta later and remove 1/2 of the bacon fat in the pan. I used a jar to place my bacon fat in
so I can cook over things with it later. [Suggestion: cook the bacon and then hide it so SOMEONE
doesn’t come home and eat it all BEFORE dinner]

5. With 1/2 of the bacon fat remaining, add the mined garlic and diced onions to let cook down.

6. Once the onions begin to become translucent, add the diced chicken. [I had already cooked my
chicken, so just chopped it up and added it LAST]

7. When the chicken is almost done cooking, add your artichokes. [added this before chicken]

8. Your spaghetti squash should be done cooking at this point so take it out of the oven, use a fork
to de-thread it, and add the threads to the pan. [Yes, took this out to cool a bit. But did NOT add
to pan. I added it to two bowls for Dale and I…]

9. [I decided at this point I wanted some ‘sauce.’ So, added some coconut milk – JUST the hard
stuff…you know how the water/milk seperates? I added only the hard stuff, let that cook down,
added half a cup of chicken broth too, salt and pepper, paprika…]

10. Re-add your diced bacon. [Yes]

11. [then added my chicken]

12. Then add your spinach.

13. Mix thoroughly to incorporate everything together

14. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 minutes, or until the spinach slightly wilts.

15. Consume!!

Creamy Chicken Casserole

Even though we have sun, it is a TAD chilly out there in the mornings and evenings. For me, that screams FALL and one pot meals like casseroles, chili, soup, big roasts, etc.

And, side sass here. “Casserole.” I want to come up with a new name  for this beautiful one pot meal. Why? I think of or say ‘casserole’ and go back to my childhood tuna casserole days (anyone else remember that?) and that’s not a good time for me. I think we had it way too much – and I was burned out on casserole in general for 2.5 decades. Yes, 25 years. I need to let this stuff go.

Anyhoo, Juli Bauer did it again. Have I mentioned I love her site, her food, her humor, and the fact that she’s doing a cookbook? Can’t wait to get it (I’m counting down the months – April 2013. 🙂

Here’s the original recipe (and below), my mods in [xxx]. You may want to make a double batch – this is REALLY good the next day for lunch.

Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2lbs chicken thighs, excess fat removed, diced [mix of dark and light meat, or make it easy on yourself for a weeknight and get a rotisserie chicken]
  • 5 medium heads of broccoli, stems removed, chopped into florets [I had two small – medium heads of broc – this worked out just fine!]
  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed, chopped into florets [yep]
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms [yep]
  • [1 bag frozen peas]
  • 1 yellow onion, diced [yep]
  • 1 garlic clove minced [x3]
  • 2 (14oz) cans of coconut milk [1 can. Two seemed like A LOT to me, BUT, it all depends on how saucy you like your stuff. One worked well]…
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder [3 tsp]
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika [2 tsp…I love paprika]
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper [1 tsp]
  • salt and pepper to taste [yep]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other fat) [used olive the whole way]
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or other fat)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place your cauliflower and broccoli florets in a 9×12 glass baking dish. Pour your olive oil on top
of the florets and salt and pepper, as well. Mix around to coat the florets.

3. Baking for 15-18 minutes or until your broccoli and cauliflower have a slightly darker color to
them.

4. While your florets are cooking, place a large skillet over high heat and add your bacon fat. [you
can use olive oil…I had just cooked bacon so decided to use a bit of the fat from that]

5. Once skillet is very hot, add your chicken. You want your skillet to be very hot so you will get a
nice sear to your chicken. [yes, this looks and smells yummy]

6. Salt and pepper your chicken while it cooks in your pan.

7. Cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes, depending on how small you diced your chicken.

8. Once chicken is ALMOST cooked through, remove from pan and place either on a plate or
directly into your baking dish with your florets if that has come out of the oven.

9. Now add your minced garlic directly to your pan that is placed under medium heat now.

10. Then add your diced onions in. Cook until translucent.

11. Then add your coconut milk and vegetable broth, as well as your garlic powder, smoked paprika,
cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt and pepper and mix well.

12. [Once heated through, I then added a bag of frozen peas…warmed that through and added my
shrooms]

13. Once it is all thoroughly combined, pour directly onto your chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower
dish. [yes]

14. Now toss in your mushrooms.

15. Add in a bit more salt and pepper.

16. Mix it all together into one large mess.

17. [sprinkle paprika on top]

18. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

19. Let cool to help the sauce thicken. [by cooking the sauce above like I did, I reduced it there – just
another way to do things. I also let it cool because it’s too freaking hot to eat]

20. Eat. [like there’s no tomorrow]