Thursday, January 3, 2013

paleo freezer meals

Hello Fellow Foodies!

Happy New Year! I've seen lots of Whole 30's going on.... are you joining in?? I'm not, although I probably should...

Last month I was invited by my sister in law to a Wildtree Cooking Workshop.

"Wildtree is a party-plan direct selling company offering people the opportunity to run their own flexible business, build relationships and live a healthy lifestyle. Wildtree was founded on the premise that food should be simple, healthy, and natural."

They are very food allergy conscious, which definitely peaked my interest. You can read more about Wildtree here.  It was very interesting and although we got 10 freezer meals out of the workshop (you provide your own proteins and a few other ingredients) and Wildtree products that you used to create the freezer meals, I feel that what I gained most from this workshop was the actual knowledge of how to put together meals in advance saving time, and in some cases money.

Now some of these meals were not paleo, but our instructor Darci pointed out that meals could be made gluten free with just a few adjustments and substitutions. My creative juices started flowing and it got me thinking. Could I come up with my OWN recipes for paleo friendly freezer meals? We are winding down with our Wildtree freezer meals and it might be the time for me to start brainstorming some of my own ideas. The concept is simple, an hour or so of preparation can yield a boat load of meals that can be thrown into the crock or simply defrosted and prepared for a quick weeknight supper.

I'm hoping to get some of these up and running soon! Stay tuned....

Don't forget to like the Functional Foodie facebook page! Make sure to check out my Instagram or Twitter for quick photos, workouts and other little nuggets of goodness. I mean, can you really afford to miss out on things like this:

or this?????

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paleo Shrimp Scampi

This was a delicious and filling supper that came together pretty quickly. The bright lemony and garlicky sauce is perfect for a dreary winter day.

1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
red pepper flake
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
zest of half a lemon (1/4 cup)
juice of 2 lemons
lemon slices, from half a lemon

First step, in a preheated large skillet (medium-low heat), melt a few tablespoons of butter along with a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil. Next, add your garlic and saute that for a couple minutes. Your kitchen should be smelling great at this point! Be careful not to the let the garlic burn... it should not have any color at all.

After a few minutes, add the shrimp, salt, pepper and a dash or 2 of red pepper flake. Cook the shrimp, stirring often, until they have just turned pink, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and lemon slices and stir to combine everything.

I served this over spaghetti squash, but wilted spinach leaves might be nice or even zucchini noodles! The spaghetti squash is so simple to make. Throw it the oven for 40-60 minutes at 350 until the skin starts to change color and get a little puffy. Slice in and half (careful it's hot!) and use to forks to create the 'spaghetti'.

After I prepared the squash, I pour the entire pan of shrimp over the squash so it could absorb the buttery sauce. So yummy!

I bet this sauce combination would go great with other proteins as well.... fish, chicken. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Catch up...

Hi All, 

Hope everyone's week is going smoothly. George and I are headed off to Hawaii next week for our honeymoon and getting VERY excited. We are staying on Kauai and it's our first time, so any recommendations are appreciated!

Check out this post from Robin at Everymom to Ironmom. Her story gave me chills. What an empowering post! I can't imagine being in that situation, nor being able to handle it as well as she did. I hope that I would.

Moving on, here are a few catch up photos from my phone I've taken in my recent travels...

becoming an expensive habit... would love to try and make my own someday.

getting more and more into beekeeping with my dad.

necessary quality check while we were spinning the honey :)

pretty successful day... 50+ pounds

wedding pig roast!

grilled chicken fajita salads! since we got our grill last year, we grill everything!

one of our many tomato plants

delicious marinated steak from Trader Joe's

tomato, mozzarella and basil salad from the garden. well not the mozzarella...
late night snack of apple and almond butter

strawberry salad with an ass ton of chicken from a local place near my work. so damn good.

90% of the time I pack a lunch for work, but occasionally I run out of time or just don't feel like throwing something together. Do you buy or bring your lunch to work?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

What a great time of year for a fall flavored, hot, filling soup! This would be great as a first course of an autumn dinner party, but is hearty enough to be a meal in itself. 

2 pounds of butternut squash or 2 whole squash, chopped 
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely OR 1 tablespoon of dried sage
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg (you can use ground here, but I highly recommend grating your own)
1 tablespoon (or 2) of pure maple syrup
14 oz. (or more) of warmed chicken stock (I use low sodium here. You can always add salt, but you can't take it out.)
1/4 cup of heavy cream/coconut milk/almond milk (My preference for this is the heavy cream and although I would not recommend it, you can leave this out, but would need to supplement with more stock or water)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 375*. Then, chop your butternut so all the pieces are similar sized and place into a large bowl. Trader Joe's makes the prep work a snap if you choose. They sell already peeled and chopped butternut because they can be quite a bitch to do. Please tell me someone uses the words 'quite' and 'bitch' in the same sentence. I thought so. I digress....

Chop your sage leaves, add those to the bowl, then drizzle with the maple syrup and olive oil. Next, season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.

Mix everything together so all the butternut is nice and coated... pour onto a Silpat or parchment lined sheet pan. Make sure to scrape out all those tasty little bits at the bottom of the bowl!

Roast the squash for 35-40 minutes. It should be fork tender and have wonderful little spots of caramelization going on.

Let it cool slightly (5 minutes or so) and then transfer it to your blender. If your blender isn't large enough, please do this in batches, otherwise it could get ugly. My Vitamix has a 64 oz. capacity so I was good to go. Next pour in your chicken stock and heavy cream or whatever you should choose. Blend until there are no more remaining chunks. You may need more liquid depending on the consistency of your squash. Add liquid as you see fit.

Now it's ready for service! I was once told, garnishes on dishes should always reflect an ingredient that was used in the dish, hence my baby sage leaf.  This soup was so velvety and thick. The hint of maple syrup is so necessary.  This made 4 quite large dinner servings, but could be made into more as a first course. 

What is your favorite fall meal? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ranch Style Chicken

Has everyone discovered Ree Drummond- The Pioneer Woman? She is quite amazing. Whenever I dream about what my perfect life would look like, it would be identical to hers. Raising a large family on a huge ranch, writing, developing recipes and cooking for her children and husband while they tend to the cattle and fields.

I've tried several of her recipes (some I have adjusted and some I have not) and have had great luck with all of them. Here is one that I will definitely be trying again. This marinade seems like it would be great on everything, beef, fish and even veggies! Here is her original recipe. I made a few adjustments... here is what I did:

3 large chicken breasts
6 slices of bacon
1/4 cup of dijon mustard (I used half traditional dijon and half country dijon)
1/4 cup of honey
juice of half a lemon
pinch of paprika
pinch (or more) of  ground cayenne
salt & pepper

First, I started the bacon. I've been cooking bacon in the oven a lot lately. It's so much easier and requires less tending too. The key to crispy bacon in the oven? Don't preheat your oven. Place the bacon on a sheet pan with sides into a cold oven then turn to 350* and it should take about 20 minutes, with one flip halfway through.

Next, I made the marinade. Mix the mustard, honey, lemon juice and spices in a good sized bowl. Then, in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper, pound out the chicken breast until they are about half their original thickness. I used a rolling pin, but the smooth end of a meat tenderizer or even a small heavy skillet would work.

Place the chicken breasts into the marinade and make sure everything is coated. Let it marinade for at least an hour and up to 3.

Next, preheat your grill or skillet. I plan on trying to squeeze in as much grilling as I possibly can before the weather gets too cold! Grill the chicken breasts 3-4 minutes per side. The cooking time drops tremendously the thinner you pound them out. Flip them and top with bacon and (optional) cheese. Close the grill top or cover the skillet if you're on the stove for cheese to melt and bacon to get hot.

Here is the final product. The chicken was so moist and the marinade was so good! Definitely going to try this with other proteins and vegetables. This was a hit with George and will be coming up again in the future for sure!

Have you ever seen the Pioneer Woman on Food Network? Have you ever tried a recipe of hers? Even if you don't eat dairy, will you try this recipe?