Happy New Year!!!

A new year is upon us. What will 2016 bring? Well, my household is in serious need of some healthy eating/ detox. The holidays brought us lots of junk food, too much wine, and lots of eating out. Add in a good dose of sleep deprivation and what’s left is sniffly kids and cranky parents. Hence this weeks menu: Lots of veggies and homemade goodness. After our Saturday wedding we’ll be starting the Whole 30… At least that’s the plan.  

Hope your 2016 is off to a fabulous start! 

 

Gyro Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

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Who doesn’t love a good gyro? One of my favorite foods! This flavor packed burger does the trick without the gluten, fat and calories. Plus it’s loaded with goodness- spinach, garlic, herbs, and almond flour. Top it with cucumber yogurt sauce and you have gyro perfection! I served mine with a fabulous Mediterranean Salad a good friend introduced me to and Parmesan Spaghetti Squash.

This burger recipe was inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good. I’ve changed/ added some ingredients to make the recipe work better for me.

Gyro Turkey Burgers (GF, Dairy free, Paleo)- Makes 6 burgers

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 3 large shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Blitz the shallots, garlic, oregano, basil, spinach, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together in a food processor until finely chopped. Place mixture in a large bowl. Add the ground turkey, almond flour, and egg to the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands and form into 6 burger patties.

Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the burgers with olive oil and cook until firm and have an internal temperature of 165 degrees- about 8 minutes per side.

While the burgers cook make the sauce.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber finely diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp dried dill (Gwyn’s recipe called for fresh mint, but I just never have that around. It is very good with mint, though)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (use the one you zested for the burgers)

Mix all ingredients together and serve a dollop on each burger. Enjoy!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash


Talk about a perfect fall meal! This stuffed acorn squash was so yummy! And really wasn’t all that difficult. The sweetness of the squash and apples pairs beautifully with savory flavor of the sausage, onions, and celery. The kids weren’t in love with it, but that’s fine! More for me and the hubs!

I got this recipe from a Tasty video I saw on Facebook (check it out here). There was no formal recipe and I had to watch and pause the video a millions times to get all the ingredients correct- kind of a pain. So, I’ll make it easier for you by writing them out. Plus I adjusted the ingredients to make 6 servings instead of 2. You’re welcome.

Stuffed Acorn Squash (makes 6 servings, GF option)

  • 3 Acorn squash
  • 1.5lb Italian sausage (can be pork or turkey)
  • 1 Tbsp oil (plus more for drizzling over squash)
  • 1 Large onion, diced
  • 5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 apples diced
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (I used Glutino GF Breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash your acorn squash and cut both top and bottom off of the squash and then cut them in half (here’s where the video comes in handy).  Dig out the seeds and guts. Line a baking sheet with foil and place your squash halves on it with the dug out part up (like a bowl). Drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put those guys in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, make your stuffing. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your onion, celery, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Let cook till the onion starts to get slightly soft and then add your garlic and continue to cook for another few minutes. Now add your diced apple. Once apple is slightly soft stir in the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and set the stuffing aside until your squash halves are done baking.

Once squash has baked for 40 minutes, remove from the oven and start stuffing them.  You’ll have lots of stuffing so really heap it up and press it in to your squash. Put the stuffed squash back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Hope you enjoy this fabulous taste of fall!

Menu Monday

Trying to get back in the habit of writing out my weekly menus. Starting the week off organized just makes me feel good! We are doing some renovations on our new home, so things are out of place and cluttered (which can drive me batty!), but at least I have my menu and grocery list done. A little bit of order in our house of chaos!  

The stuffed acorn squash we had last night was wonderful! I’ll work on getting that recipe up later today. Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

 

Asian Turkey Meatloaf with Sesame Lime Sauce

This is another family favorite that I haven’t made in awhile. About 15 minutes of prep, an hour in the oven (while I finally got a couple blog posts written) and dinner was done. This meatloaf has great Asian flavor- Especially with a little of the sesame lime sauce. I have also served this meatloaf as meatballs for an easy appetizer. Cooks in half the time and you’ll blow your guests away with a tasty treat they haven’t had before. We did this at Real Food Bliss and it makes a great freezer meal- just make the meatloaf up ahead of time in a loaf pan, stick it in a gallon size freezer bag and freeze it. Thaw it over night in the fridge and bake as a meatloaf or roll it into balls.

I love meatloaves and meatballs because you can really stuff them full of good healthy stuff your kids wouldn’t normally eat on their own. This recipe calls for a large handful of cilantro which is SOOO good for you! Its a great heavy metal detoxifier and its full of nutrients like Vitamins C and K, potassium, folate, and anti-oxidants. Sesame oil is also full of anti-oxidants and has been found to help lower blood pressure when incorporated into your daily diet. What’s not to love??

Asian Turkey Meatloaf with Sesame Lime Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground Turkey
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use Glutino gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (Don’t even peel it- just grate it with a fine cheese greater. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Place meat mixture into loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes (30 minutes for meatballs on a baking sheet with sides). Now make the sauce.

Sesame Lime Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 green onion chopped.

Put all ingredients in a plastic container or small jar with a lid. Shake well to mix. Drizzle over the sliced meatloaf or use as a dipping sauce for meatballs. Goes really good on the rice as well.

Korean Beef

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This Korean beef is better than take-out and super easy! It also happens to be one of my husbands favorite dishes and the kids really enjoy it too. I usually serve it up over brown rice and with a side of sautéed snow peas or Baked Ginger Broccoli (which I’ll include here as well). The only thing I consistently regret about this recipe is that I don’t think to double it! The leftovers are so good wrapped in a cabbage leaf or lettuce cup that my husband and I fight over them. So, for the sake of our marriage I’ll have to make more next time…

Korean Beef

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 3 green onions chopped

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. While the beef is browning, mix the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl. Once the beef is thoroughly cooked add the sauce and heat through.

Serve over rice and top with chopped green onions.

*Low-Carb Option- serve in a lettuce or cabbage leaf with some chopped carrots, green onions, fresh cilantro and sriracha sauce.

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Baked Ginger Broccoli

  • 16 oz frozen or fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil melted

Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients in a bowl or gallon size ziplock. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread broccoli out evenly and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Zucchini Pizza Boats- Vegetarian

I’ve been doing the 21 Day Fix and one thing I really miss is PIZZA! These Zucchini Pizza Boats do a pretty good job of killing my craving! Zucchini is a great vegetable to spice up. It’s mild taste makes it easy to add to soups, pastas, casseroles, etc. This recipe can satisfy the meat-lover as well! Just add pepperoni or sausage. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days and are great for a quick lunch! And the toppings in this recipe are optional- anything goes!

Zucchini Pizza Boats (Makes 4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 small zucchini
  • 1 8oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 10oz. white button mushrooms diced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I use Glutino gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • OPTIONAL- finely diced pepperoni or cooked Italian turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the zucchini well and slice in half length wise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the center. Leave about 1 centimeter of zucchini flesh around the edges. Save the scooped out zucchini in a bowl. Place the zucchini halves in a deep casserole dish or baking tin.

Dump the reserved zucchini flesh onto a cutting board and chop it into smaller pieces. Return the chopped pieces to the bowl and stir in the tomato sauce, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, fennel, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper (add meat at this point as well).

Refill the zucchini halves with the prepared mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and black olives. Sprinkle dried parsley over the top.

Loosely cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes- until cheese is lightly browned around the edges.

Buffalo Turkey Burgers (AKA Meat Muffins)

This moving thing has really thrown a wrench in blogging mojo.  We’ve been having a busy summer too. But excuses aside, I’m trying to get back into it. Really.

Yesterday was a rainy one here, and that actually got me in the mood to cook. One of my husband’s favorite meals is Buffalo Turkey Burgers. I’ve been making them for years from a Rachael Ray Recipe. But yesterday I just didn’t feel like making burgers so I decided to turn them into meat muffins. Yep, you didn’t misread that. Meat muffins. I guess mini-meatloaf would sound better, but “meat muffin” always makes my husband laugh when he asks what’s for dinner.  I just put the burger mixture into a muffin tin and bake them. Meat + muffin tin = meat muffins.

I paired them with balsamic Brussels Sprouts, which I plan on sharing with you soon, as well as some cheesy au gratin potatoes complements of Cost-co. The ingredients met my specifications and I just couldn’t resist their cheesy goodness. And while I was slightly disappointed with some undercooked potato bites, I have to say they were pretty good overall.

I’ll give you the basic Buffalo turkey burger recipe, but if you haven’t figured out by now, I just can’t leave recipes alone. So, since I was only working with 1lb of ground turkey, I pumped them up with a handful of chopped spinach, a handful of chopped parsley, 1 egg (I used a duck egg since I have issues with chicken eggs), and 1/4 cup almond flour. Topped with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce. Yum! You can also make an easy blue cheese sauce to top them with as well. I was out of blue cheese so we went without, but they were still fabulous!

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Buffalo Turkey Burgers with Blue Cheese Sauce (Inspired by Rachael Ray’s 30 minute Get Real Meals Cookbook)

  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oilIMG_3127
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp grill seasoning- I used this one –>
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib from the heart with greens, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank’s is the best for Buffalo sauce)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Place olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add turkey, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning, garlic, scallions, and celery. Mix well and form into 6 patties. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the burgers for 6 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to low and melt butter in pan. Add the hot sauce and mix thoroughly. Return the burger patties to the skillet and turn to coat well with the hot sauce mixture. **I leave the hot sauce off for my kids- the burgers are very flavorful even without the Buffalo sauce.

In a smaller bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, ranch dressing, and blue cheese together. Serve burgers with a spoonful of blue cheese sauce. Bun optional.

**Meat Muffin option**

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a regular muffin tin and divide the burger mixture between the 12 muffin forms. Bake for 30 minutes. In a small pan, melt the butter and add hot sauce, mixing thoroughly. Serve meat muffin with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce and a dollop of blue cheese sauce.  Snicker over that fact that you are eating a “meat muffin”.

 

Weekly Menu #10

  
Hope you all have enjoyed this summery weather! Here’s this week’s menu. We had the cilantro and lime salmon tonight and loved it! So fresh and summery. Served it with my quick and easy homemade Mac N’ Cheese and dinner was done in less than 20 minutes! 

  
Check out the salmon recipe here: http://www.closetcooking.com/2014/06/cilantro-and-lime-salmon.html?m=1

Mac N’ Cheese Recipe here:  https://girlgonereal.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/booty-cakes-and-mac-n-cheese/

Mashed Celery Root and Roasted Asparagus

celeryrootCelery Root. AKA Celeriac. Its a gnarly looking thing! But underneath that rugged exterior is fresh tasting, vitamin and fiber packed yummy-ness! The flavor is kind of a mix between celery, parsley, and potato. The first time I made it I was pretty intimidated by it so I had to watch a video demonstration on how to cut this thing up- check it out here.

Mashed celery root is fabulous, but it also goes great mixed in with mashed potatoes and you may find it easier to serve to your kids that way. I’ve seen that you can also mix it with mashed cauliflower, but I haven’t experimented with that one yet. But anyway you serve it- you’re gonna be surprised by just how great it is!

Mashed Celery Root (Makes 6+ servings)- Gluten Free

  • 2 large celery roots
  • 1/2 cup milk (preferably whole or 2%)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional- 2-4 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (I leave the skin on). **If you choose to add the potatoes you may need to increase the amount of milk or Greek Yogurt to get your desired consistency.

Peel and chop the celery root into 2 inch pieces. Place pieces in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook till tender, approximately 30 min. *If you added potatoes- just throw them in the pot with the celery root.

 Once pieces are tender, drain cooking water and return the celery root to the pot. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher. I like a creamier consistency, so I used my immersion blender afterword, but a hand-mixer would work just as well. Salt and pepper to taste.

I served this along with a Rotisserie chicken I picked up at my Co-op and roasted asparagus. Asparagus in the oven is a really easy way to prepare and it tastes fabulous!

  

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus- thinner is better
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash asparagus and cut any woodIMG_2724y parts off the bottoms.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray generously with olive oil. Lay the asparagus spears out on the cookie sheet and spray them with olive oil so they are well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Slice half of the lemon and arrange the slices on the asparagus. Squeeze the remaining half over the asparagus. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.