Through the Paleo diet/lifestyle and the Whole30 my family, friends and I are becoming healthier! We are getting to our healthy weights, moving more, sleeping better and have better energy. We are suffering fewer mild medical issues and are just overall feeling better every day!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. We cook and enjoy a lot of great food that's both tasty and healthy. I hope you'll find some recipes here that you'll enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Zoodle Salad

Are you looking for an alternative to the typical summer cold pasta salad?  Well, have I got the perfect recipe for you!  This one is simple and fairly easy to make.  I like it best the next day, so it's perfect to make it ahead of time and then carry it to your next picnic or family gathering.  

1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP Butter
4-6 slices of cooked & crumbled Bacon
5-6 cups Zoodles (I used 3 large zucchini) 
1/4 Cup diced Red Bell Pepper 
1/4 Cup diced Red Onion
1/4 Cup Homemade Mayo
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Cut chicken up into bite-sized chunks. Heat butter in pan and add chicken and ranch seasoning to pan.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink. I put my chicken in a bowl in the fridge while I finished the rest of the recipe. While the chicken is cooling, you can start boiling a large pot of water and create your zoodles by using a spiralzer or julienne peeler. I salt the water and the zoodles. Once the water is boiling, toss the zoodles in and put a lid on it. It will only take 3-5 minutes for your zoodles to soften up, so keep checking them. As soon as you can easily cut one with a fork, put them in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. While they are draining, you can cook and crumble your bacon and cut your onions & peppers. Squeeze all of the excess  water from the zoodles and put them in large bowl. Mix in the chicken, bacon, peppers, onion and mayo. Add salt & pepper to taste. As I said, this dish tastes great after the flavors have blended in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).  

*I always have mayo & ranch seasoning made and on-hand.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My New Obsession

My latest obsession is ZOODLES! See how my first attempt with them turned out below (and stay tuned for some more experimentation with zoodles coming soon!).

I've been dying to try making zoodles since spaghetti squash is out of season in the summer.  I didn't discover the previous link before my first zoodle experience so, mine were a little watery. I might try the salt, sit & squeeze method next time!

I didn't want to invest in a fancy spiralizer until I knew if was even going to like this stuff. So, I ordered a Pampered Chef Julienne Peeler and gave it a whirl!  I was pleased with how easy it was to peel the zucchini using this peeler.  I don't see a need for fancier one (yet!).  

I was recently disturbed by own willingness to pay over $5 for a jar of spaghetti sauce at Kroger that was sugar (and offensive oil) free. I did decide that I need to can my own sauce this year. 

Anyway, I was pretty pumped when I found this brand at Walmart for a little over $3. You can see it has a good, clean ingredient list!

So... here's the recipe:

4-6 Zucchini 
1lb Grass-fed Ground Beef or Italian Sausage
1 Jar of Sugar-free Spaghetti Sauce
Onions, chopped
Garlic, sliced or minced

Turn the zucchini into "noodles" using your julienne peeler and place in a glass bowl.  I salted mine and then started a pot of boiling water.  Once the water is boiling, pour it over the zucchini in the bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes (to soften the zucchini).  You may want to try this method.  While I was waiting for the water to boil, I cooked my ground beef with some onion and garlic and then added the sauce and let it simmer.  After draining the water off of the zoodles, I topped them with the meat sauce an promptly stuffed my face!  I also had this left-over for lunch the next day and it was just as good reheated.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Boy, it's been a while, eh?  Sorry for the long absence.  I've been busy, busy, busy!  

So... I haven't had pizza in over a year and I really miss it.  I don't miss a lot of the foods that I no longer eat, but I do miss pizza!  I even make pizza inspired bowls when I go to Ghengis Grill (pepperoni & other meats with peppers, onions, spinach, garlic...etc. and I use the tomato based sauce).  Yes, I know there are ton of "gluten-free pizza crust recipes" out there.  I'm really not interested in those.  

I found this recipe for Primal Eggplant Pizza from The Domestic Man, I really wanted to try it.  Yeah, I know dairy isn't paleo (it's primal!), but I thought a small amount of high-quality cheese might not hurt me (it didn't).  

So, I bought a nice looking eggplant from the farmers market and then picked up my favorite toppings:
Italian Sausage (from my fave farm!)
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

You'll also need some olive oil and salt & pepper.  You can include any toppings you like.

As the recipe indicates, you want to slice your eggplant and then salt both sides of the slices.  These need to sit for 30 minutes.  You'll see the moisture drawing out of them. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.  

I cooked my Italian sausage while this was going on.

After 30 minutes, rinse your eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Then brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and add salt & pepper (I just liberally added the S&P, didn't measure).  I put them on my cooling rack over my baking sheet and stuck them in the oven.  It took closer to 10 minutes for mine to start to brown.

Then I added the sauce and toppings and cheese (I tried to go light on the cheese) and baked them again until the cheese was bubbly and the pepperoni was starting to crisp.

Overall, this recipe really hit the spot!  I like that the "crust" is made of a vegetable (vs. a bunch of nut flours...etc.).