Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices – Mark’s Daily Apple

Check it out, great post by Mark’s Daily Apple.

Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices


Leftovers: Acorn Squash Cups w/Meatballs

This was an easy, yummy ‘it’s been a long week and I don’t want to cook’ meal. We had some leftover meatballs so I decided to whip a little sumptin sumptin up. Yes, I just said that.

This was easy, I had everything on hand, which is always nice. Enjoy!



  • 1 large acorn squash
  • meatballs, leftover meat of choice
  • Marinara (Costco brand is great – no sugar added)
  • Basil pesto (Again, Costco) ūüôā

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut your squash in half, take seeds out.
  3. Brush (heavily) each squash half with basil pesto, place open side down on a lined cookie sheet.
  4. Cook until fork goes through with little ‘give.’
  5. Take out of oven, turn over and place in oven safe dish (just so you have sides to hold the marinara)
  6. Put meatballs in, top with marinara, put back in the oven for 20 minutes until heated through.
  7. VIOLA! That’s it. Easy to just eat with a fork, no knife needed. It was SUPER GOOD.

Meattastic Meatloaf

Ok, I must think of a new title. This is not exciting. but the final product was AMAZING. The consistency was perfect, no crumbles, no falling apart…etc. It was flavorful and I made 1 full meatloaf, 4 minis (and froze), and approx 30 larger meatballs. Dale and I finished those last week. SO GOOD.

I got my inspiration from Nom Nom Paleo – she’s awesome. But I looked through and tried to make it easier and work with what I had on hand. So, here’s the original and my version below. I might actually use some of her recipe name, it’s much more inspiring.

I made this with the intention of making a few freezer meals, so I used large amounts of ingredients. Just cut down to what you want and go to town.¬†AND, I used my food processor to make it really easy on myself. I’m just kind of lazy, so it helped.




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  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach¬†(I used baby spinach, it was small so I didn’t chop)
  • 4 tablespoon bacon fat or coconut oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion¬†(I used my food processor and pulsed a few times)
  • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (I used my food processor and pulsed a few times)
  • 1 yam, shredded (used my food processor)
  • 1-1.5 cups loosely packed chopped fresh Italian parsley¬†(I used my food processor and pulsed a few times)
  • 1 cup basil pesto (I get mine from Costco, super versatile, nummy)
  • 2lb turkey, 2 lb pork
  • 1.5 cup coconut flour (can’t taste anything coconut)
  • 1 head of garlic, minced (you can cut this down if you want, you know I love garlic, so used a lot)¬†(I used my mini food processor and pulsed a few times)
  • 4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3-5 bacon slicesfor the loaf, not the balls (that sounds bad, but it’s used as a meatloaf topper only, I didn’t put any in the balls, but you can if you want)
  • Tomato sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat up cooking fat of choice in a pan
  3. Put garlic in and onion in, let cook till almost soft
  4. Add shredded yam to pan, cook for a few minutes
  5. Then add shrooms, mix well
  6. Add spinach last, cook for a bit ultimately to get the liquid out as much as possible
  7. Salt and pepper as you go
  8. Put meat in bowl, mix together well
  9. Add yam mix to meat, basil pesto, eggs, salt and pepper and coconut flour. Mix well!
  10. Bacon – I baked my bacon a bit before I put it on the meatloaf, 300 degrees for 45 minutes, then put the slices on the loaf.
  11. Here’s where you can make what you want: loaf, mini loaves, meatballs, etc. If you are making a meatloaf topped with bacon, then put meat in meatloaf pan, put sliced bacon on top.
  12. For loaf: cook at 375 for about 45 minutes to an hour. Your bacon will be done perfectly. You’ll have liquid in the pan – and it will be bubbling like mad. When loaf is done, I take mine out, and CAREFULLY dump the liquid in the sink and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it. It’s pure beauty when you do.
  13. For a freezer meal: did the same as above, no bacon, covered and stuck in freezer. take out when ready to cook.
  14. For Meatballs:¬†Make them as big or as small as you want. Cook them at 375 until done, this will depend on size. Again, mine were 2-4 ‘biters’ depending on how big your bites are. I left mine in for approx 35 + minutes.


Paleo Thin Mints – Elena’s Pantry

I had to post this the second I saw it. Thank you Elena!!

Paleo Thin Mints

Crock Pot Beef Goulash

This was another awesome recipe that I put together one day and then didn’t cook it until three days later. It turned out really good and it was done in the crock ¬†pot. EASY. I got this recipe from the Paleo Recipe Book¬†and adapted it. This book contains great recipes! ¬†Lots of them too.

I grew up on beef goulash and beef stroganoff (this one will be done next weekend). This recipe is paleo (which means UPDATED from my childhood). I loved the red pepper and onion combo with the paprika. Updated from my childhood and JUST as good.



  • cooking fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb stew beef (already cut into cubes from Costco, or cut your stew beef into cubes)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in to strips
  • 4 tbsp of paprika ( I LOVE PAPRIKA)
  • 3 tsp of caraway seeds
  • ¬†2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to

  1. Mix all spices together, rub all over the beef. Add salt and pepper too. Let this sit in a covered dish for at least an hour – if you can let it sit overnight, do it. SO GOOD.
  2. Heat up your cooking fat, brown the beef. Take out of pan with a slotted spoon, set aside.
  3. Grab crock pot – layer a few pepper strips and onion slices on bottom.
  4. Move beef to crock pot on top of the onion and peppers.
  5. Place more onions and peppers on top.
  6. Pour liquid over the goods.
  7. Place lid on and put in crock pot, or in fridge until you are ready for crock pot.
  8. Turn on medium to high (put on 8 hours for mine)
  9. It will be done when you are ready. SO GOOD. Enjoy!

Note the random cute pic of my dog Mia. She’s so sweet. Had to put her in there.



Roasted Cherry Herb Chicken

I got this recipe from a new cookbook my girlfriend Michele (THANK YOU, M1!) got me for my birthday. Now, this is no ordinary cookbook. This is “50 Shades of Chicken.” THIS IS THE BEST COOKBOOK EVER. It is hilarious. If you haven’t been living in a cave, you are probably aware of the 50 Shades of Grey series that was all the rage last year. This cookbook is a parody on that series from the chicken’s point of view. Even if you don’t cook any recipes, get the book because it’s a great read.

All the recipes look amazing from this book – this one caught my eye because chicken with cherries sounded like a good combo. Here you go – this is not the original recipe but my variation on it. It turned out FABULOUS. I got it set up and ready to go two days before I actually cooked it – just worked out that way. Was tender, juicy…



  • 1 ¬† 4.5-5 lb whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch of basil
  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 1.5 lbs of pitted fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1 orange, sliced thin
  • 3tbsp ¬†olive oil or cooking fat of choice, I used bacon fat (I’m loving the bacon fat…)

How to:

  1. Gently rub the chicken all over with the salt and pepper, pay close attention to all crevices. Press the herbs all over, and put some in the chicken’s cavity. Place in a bowl, cover, and let marinade for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. ¬†Place the cherries and some orange slices in the bottom of a dutch oven or roasting pan, I used a dutch oven. Toss with some bacon fat (or fat of choice – I don’t like using olive oil in these temps because it breaks down and is bad for you, fyi).
  3. Place the some orange slices inside of the chicken, with a few cherries. Place rest of orange slices on top and around the chicken. Place  chicken breast side down on top of the cherries/oranges in the bottom of the pan/dutch oven.
  4. Drizzle the back and thighs with a bit more oil.
  5. Roast for 40 minutes, then take bird out, turn it over, drizzle with oil/fat, and put back in until done, about another 40-50 minutes (use a meat thermometer).
  6. When bird is done, take out, let rest 10 minutes and enjoy.
  7. When you are done eating the goodness, take the carcas and make some stock – NOM.

This was so good!