Hearty Tomato Basil Meat Sauce | Paleo, Whole30

Updating another old favorite with fresh new photos & a couple of recipe notes.  It's the same old meat sauce that we love and go back to again & again... it just looks prettier this time around!


Confession: I'm the weird girl who eats an entire bowl of sauce. No pasta... just straight up sauce. It can't be any old sauce, though-- it has to be meat sauce. It's got to be filling & hearty with tons of ground meat & veggies. When it's made like that, who needs pasta? 

Breakfast Meatloaf Muffins with Sausage Gravy | PALEO, Whole30


If you haven't noticed yet, I almost always steer clear of muffin tins.  LOVE that muffin shape & convenience for grab & go meals, but HATE the thought of cleaning the tin.  

Or spending so much time baking a yummy dish that smells delicious & I can't wait to eat... then watching half of each muffin stick to the bottom of the tin as I try to remove them.  Seriously, nightmare material.

Chunky Monkey Chocolate Pudding | PALEO


"Chunky Monkey"...  What is it about that phrase that immediately gets my mouth watering?  Must be all the delicious memories of that rich & decadent flavor combo of banana - fudge - walnut.  

And now I'm wondering, was it Ben & Jerry's famous ice cream flavor that started the chunky monkey craze?  And everyone else jumped on board with loads of cookies, shakes, and brownies?  Or vice versa?  Don't know, and honestly doesn't matter - cuz this is one bandwagon that I have no shame in jumping on!

Slow Cooker Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya | Paleo, Whole30


Ever since I made a giant batch of Cajun Seasoning Blend for my "Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta", I've been on a major kick with that flavor profile.  I just love the savory-spicy kick that even a pinch of Cajun spice adds to any dish.  Cajun scrambled eggs?  Yum.  Cajun chicken soup?  Delicious.  Cajun Slow Cooker Jambalaya?  Perfect.

No-Bake Almond Butter Apple Pie Snack Bars | Paleo, Whole30


One of my all-time favorite flavor combos is apples and cinnamon.  Add almond butter and a dash of sea salt to that, and magic happens:  it tastes like apple pie... I promise.  

So you could easily mix up a snack bowl of apple sauce, almond butter, and chopped apples with the cinnamon-sea salt sprinkling over top and get that super yummy flavor...  But there's something about these no-bake bars that feels so much more satisfying.

Sheet Pan Alfredo Chicken & Broccoli | Paleo, Whole30


With Spring Break over and our normal work-week routine back in full swing - I've had simple, one dish meals on my mind.  And with a busy schedule PLUS being on a Whole30?  I was in serious need of some simple meals I could make on-the-fly without making endless trips to the grocery store (which is sometimes the way it goes when Whole30ing... am I right?)

One of my favorite compliant dishes here on my blog is my Paleo Chicken Alfredo "Pasta".  And while I believe every minute of cooking that spaghetti squash, grilling the chicken, and blending then simmering the sauce is absolutely worth the end result... I'm going to be honest:  I don't always have that many minutes to spend on dinner, especially during the work week.

Frosted Carrot Cake Cookie Bars | PALEO


For as long as I can remember, my mom's dessert of choice has been carrot cake.  Maybe because it's sweet and nutty - just like her!  Haha, totally kidding Mom! (about the nutty part

My mom is actually my best friend, and it's probably for that reason that carrot cake has become one of my very favorites over the years, too.  I guess because I wouldn't mind being just like my mom, even if it's just sharing some favorites!

Savory Stuffed Turkey Burgers | Paleo, Whole30


If you're looking to switch up your dinner options with a leaner protein, without losing out on flavor & moisture, these turkey burgers are for you!  I like to buy ground turkey every now & then so I don't get too burnt on ground beef~ gotta switch things up sometimes.


I know turkey comes with a negative connotation sometimes; many people hear turkey & think "dry, flavorless, health food, diet, etc."... not fun words.  These turkey burgers will change your mind!  

I stuff them with tons of veggies for nutrients, egg whites for moisture, and fresh garlic and sun dried tomatoes for big flavor.  


No need for a bun either - I throw these guys on top of a salad, or just eat them on their own with a fork & knife (and homemade oven fries or crispy green beans!)

These are really simple to make & can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a quick protein option during the week.  You could also freeze the patties before cooking and save them for a rainy day. 

I hope you enjoy these juicy, flavorful burgers!  They are so delicious, you'll never believe they're Whole30 and Paleo!

(PS:  See my notes under the recipe for tips & suggestions!)




Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • handful of arugula or baby spinach, torn
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes, julienned then chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • salt & pepper 

Directions:
  1. Melt the ghee in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and arugula, and cook until the veggies just begin to soften and greens are wilted (about 3 minutes).
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool.  Stir in the remaining ingredients (turkey, egg whites, salt & pepper).*
  3. Divide the mixture & shape into 4* equally sized patties. I pinch with my fingers to make them a little thinner in the middle (helps keep them from getting too round when they cook). Sprinkle each side with salt & pepper.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat, and coat with cooking oil of your choice (I like avocado oil). Add all four patties to the skillet and cook for 6 minutes.  Flip the burgers, and continue cooking for 4 minutes.
  5. Serve hot!



*Notes:
  • Step one is optional!  If you're short on time, just mix the raw veggies in without sautéing (this just adds more flavor).  They will cook just fine with the burgers!
  • If your meat mixture doesn't seem firm enough to form a patty, add a couple of tablespoons of flour (almond, coconut, whatever you have on hand).
  • You can also make these into smaller patties, and treat them more like a slider. 
  • Feel free to substitute whatever other mix-ins you like:  green onion, bacon, prosciutto, roasted peppers, etc.


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Chunky Vegetable Superfood Stew | Paleo, Whole30


After a trip to Disneyland that was filled with mostly good food choices, then sprinkled with kettle corn, ice cream, cocktails, and a corn dog ~ your girl was left craving vegetables something fierce.

Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Paleo, Whole30

This recipe has been updated with a few tweaks & new pictures as of May 2017.  Enjoy!


So it's Whole30 (Round 4) Day 7, and I'm feeling pretty good.  My headache isn't consuming my brain, and I didn't want to nap in the bean bag chair at work.  So that's good.

Yesterday, though, was a different story.  Day 6 got me good.  I had a headache that was controlling my thoughts, and didn't know if I needed to sleep, cry, or just drink a bottle of wine.  Day 6 was real, you guys.

Fortunately, I made it through:  largely in part to these little Enchilada-inspired creations.


I've seen gorgeous fitness supermodel extraordinaires like Paige Hathaway (who I shamelessly follow on Instagram) make something similar to this with their sponsored spice collection & some low fat, "macro-friendly" cheese, and wanted to put my spin on it.  No hate to them, since I obviously loved her idea ~ but I wanted to do it in a way that was Paleo & Whole30 compliant!

These are saucy, flavorful, & just overall delicious.  They're also extremely easy to make (which is my favorite part) & can be switched up to your liking.


Try these stuffed with my Shredded Salsa Chicken if you've got time for the slow cooker, or use grilled chicken, baked chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, leftover pulled pork, etc.  You can change this up however you like.  

If you're into cheese, throw some on top.  If you like to get sweaty while you eat, add a bunch of hot sauce.  You do you!


Here's how I made mine Paleo & Whole30 approved:


Makes 6 "boats" (I usually eat 1-2, he eats 3).
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium-large zucchini
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce*
  • 1/4 cup broth* or water
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each:  cumin, garlic, oregano, salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce
  • 1 lb shredded chicken breast, fully cooked
  • 4 oz can mild diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp dried onion or 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 4 oz can sliced black olives
  • sliced green onion, for garnish

Tools:
  • two mixing bowls
  • 9 x 13" baking dish
  • aluminum foil or parchment paper

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment for easy clean up.
  2. Trim the stems from the squash, then slice them in half lengthwise.  Use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds & insides of the squash* to make room for your stuffing.  Lay the squash "boats" into the lined baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, prepare your "enchilada sauce" by mixing the tomato sauce, broth or water, and spices until smooth.  Add extra seasonings to taste.
  4. In a larger bowl, mix the shredded chicken with diced green chiles, onion, and 1/2 of the sauce.  (You can also add a scoop of coconut cream plus a pinch of salt for a little creaminess!)
  5. Evenly distribute the chicken mixture into the boats (I over-stuff mine).  Spoon the remaining 1/2 of enchilada sauce over top of each "boat", then top with sliced black olives.
  6. Transfer to the oven & bake at 400ºF for 25 minutes.  Serve hot, garnished with sliced green onion, and avocado or guac if you've got it!

*Notes:
  • If Whole30ing, check your tomato sauce and broth for added sugar.
  • You can use the scooped out seeds & flesh from the squash by chopping it up & mixing in with the chicken "stuffing" mixture, or you can discard it.  If you don't like to waste, store it in the fridge then blend into shakes or smoothies.  It adds an awesome creamy texture! 

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Chocolate Almond Buttercream Cups | PALEO


You know what makes almost everything better?  Remembering that you have a sweet, chocolatey treat waiting for you in the freezer.  And when that sweet treat tastes like your favorite chocolate candy cup from childhood, but doesn't hurt your stomach & make you feel bad about yourself?  Hey, even better!

Banana Nut Breakfast Bars | PALEO


I have been loving bars lately, because they're just so easy.  Easy to make, bake, and grab to eat.  

And when you're using Paleo ingredients, that "bar" texture is an easy one to re-create.  Things like creamy almond butter, fluffy almond flour, and smooth bananas just seem to lend themselves perfectly to a fudgy bar consistency.