Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steak and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I posted a recipe for shaved steak and cheese recently and I love this recipe, but was looking for something a little more exciting and I wanted a vessel to cook my steak and cheese in and to allow the cheese to brown and melt.

I was scrolling through Chowstalker and found a recipe for steak and cheese stuffed peppers, which is perfect.  Most stuffed pepper recipes have rice, or some other starchy carb in them, but this one is just filled with meat, veggies, and cheese.

Steak and Cheese Stuffed Peppers
from: Peace, Love, and Low Carb

  • 4 large green peppers
  • 1-1.5 pounds of shaved steak
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 12 pieces of provolone
  • 1 tbs salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Cut green peppers in half, top to bottom.  Take all of the seeds out and line them up on the cookie sheet.  Put 1/2 of a piece of cheese in the bottom of each pepper.
  3. Heat up butter on medium heat in a frying pan.  Saute mushrooms and onions until soft.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Cook shaved steak in the frying pan until no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix the cooked steak with the mushrooms and onions.
  5. Fill each pepper with the vegetable and steak mixture.  You may have a little extra for snacking on later.
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.  Turn the oven off.  Place a piece of cheese on top of each pepper and place back in oven until cheese is melted.  This should only take a few minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zucchini Boats

I'm getting excited about all of the veggies that are coming into season right now!  Everything is so colorful and tastes so much better than it did a few months ago.

It is during this time of the year that I love zucchini and summer squash, but I get bored with the same old steaming or grilling, so I searched Pinterest for some squash inspiration.  I found a beautiful picture of zucchini boats that were roasted in the oven with little grape tomatoes, perfect!  Bonus, these tasted wonderful and even got approval from the kids of a coworker!

I forgot to take a picture, so you'll have to make a mental picture :)

Zucchini Boats
adapted from: Proud Italian Cook

  • 4 medium, straight zucchinis
  • 16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 thin slices of mozzarella
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff is better!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise and scoop the seeds out of the middle.  Line them up on the cookie sheet.
  3. Place the grape tomatoes in the zucchini boats, 4 to a zucchini.  
  4. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle on the garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
  5. Bake for about twenty minutes, or until zucchini is starting to get soft.
  6. Remove the zucchini from the oven.  Turn the temperature up to 400 degrees.  
  7. Put the mozzarella on the zucchini and sprinkle the Parmesan on top.  
  8. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.  Watch it closely to make sure it doesn't burn!  Enjoy! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Its hot, no cooking!

I'm really glad that I made that buffalo shrimp the other day for salads, because it is too in my apartment for the oven to be on!  Since my apartment is the size of a toaster, it heats up really fast as soon as the stove or oven is turned on.

Since I'm melting and not cooking (Chipotle was kind to us tonight), I thought I might share a little of my story.  A little more than year ago when I moved back from Oklahoma, I stepped on the scale and realized that I officially weighed more than 200 pounds.  I knew I had let myself go a bit after a stressful spring and had slowly let the abundance of fried foods in the south to get the best of me, but I was disappointed that I had let it get that far.

So, I made some changes.  I began walking to the pond near my parent's house and paying attention to my eating.  I cut my alcohol intake by quite a bit, which was a little easier once leaving a college town!  About a month after beginning this routine, I joined, which is a calorie counting and exercising tracking website that I have been using ever since.  This has helped me immensely and I lost about twenty pounds.  I highly recommend this site, it is a great tool and has a great community.

Although I was losing weight and feeling a little better, I needed a change of some sort.  I was still really tired and low energy and I had a lot of bloating.  I was also hungry A LOT, even though I was eating what I felt was a healthy diet.

I started poking around the internet for some nutrition information. I found some information about something called the paleo and primal diet.  A diet that encourages fat intake and is gluten free?  Sounded pretty crazy. I did some reading and read the symptoms of a gluten intolerance.  Turns out, chronic fatigue and bloating were two of the many symptoms.  So, I gave it a try.

After a week, I had energy, my belly felt great, and I wasn't hungry every two hours.  As a child, I was so low energy that I would ask my mom to push me in a stroller to the swing in my grandmother's backyard!  A kid is supposed to have more energy than that!

I was also losing weight pretty quickly!  I was amazed that I could eat healthy fats and avoid gluten, grains, and legumes and not being hungry!  No more sugar crashes or foggy head when I let myself go too long between meals.  It was an exciting feeling!

This was before Christmas and I figured I would cheat a little during the holiday season.  All of my previous symptoms came back and my weight loss stalled (I may have even gained a few pounds!).  I knew what I was doing before was the right choice for me and that I would go back to that.

Once January rolled around, I went back to my paleo/primal eating.  I felt great again shortly after and have been gluten free since the first week of January.  Sometimes I will eat corn or rice and  I have had some exposures during this time and these present themselves with some pretty obvious symptoms.  My joints will start aching and I'll find myself really tired.

Paleo and primal eating has worked awesome for me and I believe that its worth a try for most people.  Test it for 30 days and see how you feel!  Or at least try some of my recipes!

Overall I have lost 40 pounds and almost twenty of those have been since January.  I went from a 14 to a 6 and I have started lifting weight to become leaner and stronger.

Thanks for reading my story and feel free to share your own or ask any questions you might have!  I love food, nutrition, and helping people!  More recipes soon :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Buffalo Shrimp Salad

As much as I love a good salad, I get a little bored with spring greens topped with oil packed tuna, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  That is a combo that I eat two or three times a week.  It keeps me full and tastes good, but I'm definitely not one of those people that can eat the same thing day in and day out, clearly!

When I saw a recipe for buffalo shrimp po' boys, I wondered how I could make this into a paleo friendly.  It struck me that this had the makings of a great salad topper and it was!  The warm shrimp with cool greens and tangy cheese is wonderful and very quick to make.  I think it will be great tomorrow with my lunch, too!

Buffalo Shrimp Salad

  • 1-1 1/2 pound of medium to large size shrimp, whatever your preference
  • 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Original Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (I prefer Kerrygold)
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/8 crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
  • salad greens of your choice (I like Olivia's Spring Mix)
  1. Toss shrimp in hot sauce, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add shrimp and cook until completely pink.  
  3. Remove shrimp from heat.  Let cool a bit before putting on top of salad.
  4. If you are serving right away, top greens with some of the tomatoes, scallions, blue cheese, and shrimp mixture.
  5. If you are serving later, let the shrimp cool completely, mix in tomatoes, scallions, and blue cheese and refrigerate until you want to use it.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caprese salad for a crowd

Happy late father's day!  The past two father's days have been a little rough in my family.  Little might be an understatement...Last year, my husband's father passed away and this year we lost my grandfather a week before father's day.  But I spent a wonderful day with my father and all of my uncles and ate lots of yummy food!

I kept trying to figure out what I should make for our gathering.  I wanted to make something really quick and something that I could eat with a burger in case there were limited food options (which there weren't!!).  I was thinking caprese bites, but making each tiny salad on a toothpick was going to take awhile.  Then I remembered a wonderful thing that we had started making at the in-law's a few summers ago.

This salad is super quick and is a real crowd pleaser!  The ingredient list is really short, which is an extra bonus!

Caprese Salad for a Crowd

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Almost a cup of basil leaves (not a packed cup, just a big handful size)
  • 16oz mozzarella (full fat tastes better!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of pepper
  1. Cut the mozzarella into small squares or rectangles like above.  If you can find tiny little balls of mozzarella, those would be really cute and you could cut them in half to match the tomatoes!
  2. Chiffonade the basil.  This is really simple, but sounds fancy.  Stack some basil leaves and roll into a little cigar shape.  Slice down the leaves to create little strips of basil.
  3. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and toss gently.  Sprinkle on the olive oil and vinegar and add the pepper.  Toss gently and serve
  4. If you are going to eat this later, I would recommend adding the vinegar right before serving, otherwise everything turns a little brown and isn't as pretty.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

I am not completely strict with my paleo eating; I eat rice and corn on occasion.  I also eat full fat dairy, which is more primal than paleo, but I tolerate the dairy well, so it isn't an issue for me.  Paleo is really about finding what works for you without bothering your gut.  Gluten free is a must for me, however, due to strong, er...reactions to it. In other words: yes, I know corn is not strictly paleo, but sometimes I enjoy some good Mexican type food with a corn tortilla.

This casserole has a texture similar to a tamale and would still be wonderful with some spinach added to it.  You can make it spicier with fresh jalapenos or cut back on the green chiles if you are very sensitive to heat. If you are feeling truly ambitious or have some extra time, make your own salsa verde.

Enchilada Casserole

  • 3 cups of shredded poultry**
  • 24 pack of small corn tortillas (you won't use them all, but you will use most)
  • 1 can of tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel), drained
  • 1 can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 16oz of sour cream
  • 19oz can of green enchilada sauce or salsa verde if you can't find enchilada sauce (or homemade if you are super ambitious!)
  • 8oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 8oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. Shred the cheeses and set aside.  I like to use my food processor for this, very quick!
  3. In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken, tomatoes and green chile mix, half of the can of green chiles, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a blender or food processor (or a strong mixing arm) mix the sour cream, enchilada sauce or salsa, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the casserole: 
    1. In a 9x13 pan, place a layer of corn tortillas.
    2. Spoon some of the sour cream and enchilada sauce mixture on the tortillas.
    3. Next add half of the chicken mixture in an even layer.
    4. Add a layer of cheese.
    5. Repeat steps above one more time.  
    6. To finish: add a final layer of tortillas, add the rest of the sour cream and enchilada sauce mixture (there will probably be a lot left to pour on and that is okay!), and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until cheese is nicely browned like the picture above.
  7. This makes about 8 large servings.  Enjoy!
**I used leftover turkey breast from a turkey I had roasted, but cooking up a pound and a half of chicken breasts with some salt, pepper, and olive oil and then shredding it would work just as well.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garlic and Pumpkin Mashed Sweet Potatoes

How do you like the new blog title?  Since I can't bake with real flour anymore, the old title seemed ill-fitting.  Max came up with the nickname "wife-a-saurus" a while ago, though I'm not sure if it was meant as a term of endearment...Since people in the paleo world often say that they eat like a dinosaur, I thought this would make a cute new title.

So, with the new title comes a new recipe with a paleo spin.  I roasted an entire turkey last week which was left over from Thanksgiving and was taking up far too much room in my freezer.  I needed a side for my turkey, but didn't want a traditional mashed potato.  I have made these before and they made a perfect pair for my turkey.

This recipe does use dairy, but could easily be made with coconut milk for those with a dairy intolerance.

Garlic and Pumpkin Mashed Sweet Potatoes
adapted from: Oh She Glows

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 14oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie spiced!)
  • 1 10oz package of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and drained of excess liquid)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put the diced sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes break apart easily with a fork, just like a regular potato.  Drain water from potatoes and return to pot.
  2. Add garlic to potatoes right away.  I find the potatoes are hot enough to get rid of the raw garlic flavor.
  3. Mash the potatoes a bit and then add the pumpkin, spinach, cream, and butter.  Mash and stir until the potatoes are fairly smooth.  I enjoy some chunks in the mashed sweet potatoes, but that is up to you.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pork chops and Peaches

I love pork and apples or applesauce and I have a great recipe that has some cinnamon and cranberries too!  But, its almost summer and apples just don't seem like the right thing to eat when there is so much produce coming into season right now!

This recipe is completely gluten and soy free for those of you with allergies.  It is also super quick!  I paired this with some green beans that I roasted with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Pork Chops and Peaches
adapted from: paleoblocks

  • 1 T olive or coconut oil
  • 4 boneless pork chops or bone in, about 2 pounds
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 fresh peaches cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion cut into thin slices
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet (cast iron is ideal!). Season the pork with salt and 1/4 t pepper and cook until browned and almost cooked through (should feel firm to the touch), set aside. 
  2. Add the peaches, onion, vinegar and salt and pepper to the skillet and cook until peaches and onions begin to soften. 
  3. Return the pork and juices to the skillet. Reduce heat to low or medium low and cook for about five more minutes, or until pork is finished cooking and peaches and onions are soft.
  4. Sprinkle the pork and peaches with the basil and enjoy!