Yam, Spinach, Arugula, and Sausage Frittata

Sorry for the delay in posting! I’ve been really busy with my research this past week.

Today’s recipe happened after yesterday’s workout. It was a good workout, I was hungry, needed to shower, get presentable, and head to LA before my self-imposed 11am deadline. Having less than an hour to go, I decided a quick oven-prepared frittata would allow me to multitask.

If I assembled the frittata and put it in the oven, by the time I got showered and ready, I figured it would be cooked. My major dilemma was that I wanted yams, but didn’t have the time to cook them like I normally do. I figured if I peeled them into super thin slices, they would cook in the oven.

And what do you know? I was right. So cheers to multitasking and this frittata easily makes three servings that you can pack in advance.

(Warning: I do not encourage leaving your oven operating unattended in all circumstances. Be cognizant of your surroundings, particularly little children…)

Yam, Spinach, Arugula, and Sausage Frittata

1/2 yam, peeled (after peeling the skin off, just continue to take the vegetable peeler to the yam)
About 1 cup- a cup and a half of mixed spinach and arugula
1 large sausage, cut or diced (I would recommend a slightly sweet sausage like a chicken and apple or a slightly spicy sausage)
6 eggs, beaten
Seasonings to taste: pepper, cumin, chile powder, paprika, granulated onion and garlic
Fat of choice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Prep your yam.

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Grease an oven-safe pan and place your slices of yam in a thin layer in the pan and up the sides just a little.

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Add your seasonings to taste (Can you tell I love spicy yams??). Then add your layer of spinach and arugula.

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Add sausage.

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Pour your beaten eggs over the mixture.

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I had a little leftover yam, so I added it on top (not pictured).

Place in preheated oven. Take a shower. Or just wait. Your choice. It’ll be between 20-30 minutes for your frittata to be cooked (when the center is no longer runny).

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Remove for oven, slice, serve, or portion into three meals. I love frittatas for that very reason!!

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Have a great weekend, and thanks for your patience!!

Roasted Vegetable Salad

This is my take on California Pizza Kitchen’s salad. I think mine tastes better, though. Hehe. (Just kidding, corporate attorneys!)

This salad blends roasted or grilled veggies with crisp, fresh lettuces for a yummy variety of textures, flavors, and temperatures. You can add meat to make it a meal, or serve it on the side of your protein. Either way, this is no boring salad. Use prepackaged salad mix to make this even easier.

Roasted Vegetable Salad (cut everything into roughly the same size for even roasting)
1 eggplant or about half a dozen baby eggplants: sliced or quartered, respectively
1 bunch of asparagus (cut off woodsy ends)
1 zucchini, sliced or cut into coins
1 bell pepper, slices
1 shallot, sliced
Fat of choice
Sea salt, pepper, Italian herb blend
1-2 bags of salad mix (you can use a simple blend, spring mix, or just spinach)
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prep veggies and make sure they are completely dry.

Place all veggies in roasting pan, mix with fat of choice and seasonings. Toss.

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Keep in oven until veggies veggies are nice and roasted. This may take between 30-45 minutes. Once veggies are cooked, remove from oven.

Arrange your lettuce or salad mix of choice on a serving tray. Top with roasted vegetables and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

I topped mine with a cayenne pepper pan-seared chicken breast cut into pieces.

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I also added carrot sticks and fresh broccoli florets before serving.

Vegetarian Option
Serve as-is without meat.

Primal Option
Add a good blue cheese. The flavors work together really well.

Sides and Snacks

I was planning to share a stuffed bell pepper recipe yesterday, but I’ve opted for something simpler (for my own sake). Next week I will be in Northern California for some research and I was so busy taking care of last minute stuff. I’ll share two simple sides with you today: Lemon broccoli with shallots, and fruit salad.

I’ll start with the fruit salad. During the summer, I don’t have much of an appetite, and I don’t care for much cooking that involves heat (unless it’s outdoor grilling). As a result, during the summer, I like to prepare a fruit salad on Friday nights and then munch on it all weekend. It’s a quick snack and since it’s already made, just serve and enjoy!

Fruit Salad
(Only suggestions! You can add or eliminate fruits to suit the tastes of your guests, just cut everything into roughly the same size chunks)
-Half a baby, seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
-1 whole pineapple, cut into cubes
-1 granny smith apple, diced
-1 gala apple, diced
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-Handful of raspberries
-Juice from half a lemon

Throw all ingredients into a storage bowl or a serving bowl and mix. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown.

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I know some people like their fruit salad with some kind of creamy sauce. Here’s a simple one:

-Cream from one can of coconut milk
-Zest from a whole lemon
-Drizzle of honey (optional)

Mix all ingredients and serve over your fruit salad.

Lemon Broccoli with Shallots
-2 medium broccoli crowns, cut into florets
-1 shallot, sliced thinly
-Juice and zest from one lemon
-Sea salt, pepper
-Fat of choice

Heat your fat of choice in a large skillet or wok. Add shallots and allow to caramelize.

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(Excuse the not-so-great picture)

Add broccoli, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Heat until broccoli is slightly tender, but still has a bite to it. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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This broccoli dish would go wonderfully with steak, chicken, or shrimp. Enjoy!

Broccoli Variations
-Mix all ingredients, place on a cookie sheet, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees F.

Mexican Chicken Salad

This is another super simple recipe that is great for the summer–especially since there is NO cooking involved! Yay! That’s right. This super light and super easy semi-homemade dish is great for picnics, weekends, or outings. This dish transports easily and only gets better after sitting in the fridge for a few extra hours. Use pre-cooked shrimp, rotisserie chicken, or chicken leftovers. These little shortcuts will keep you out of the kitchen and in the pool (mojito not included).

Mexican Chicken Salad
-1 onion, finely diced
-1 bunch of green onion, finely chopped
-1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
-1 cucumber, peeled, finely diced
-1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
-3 small tomatillos, finely diced
-3 jalapeños, cut away membrane, remove seeds and finely diced
-1.5-2 lbs of cooked, clean shrimp (no tails) or one whole rotisserie chicken (remove all the meat from the bones and do a rough chop)
-Juice from one lime
-Sea salt, menudo mix, pepper
-Avocado halves

Throw all of your prepped veggies into a large mixing bowl. Add meat and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and menudo mix as necessary.

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Serve the salad in lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, bell peppers, or in avocado halves!

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Would work well as an appetizer, too!

Enjoy!

Kabobs 2 Ways

It is getting way too hot here in Southern California. When the weather gets like this, I try to avoid cooking in the kitchen. These kabobs are ridiculously simple, you can transport them raw then take them to the backyard (or the beach) and grill them there. Also, the fact that you can eat these with your fingers means no silverware. I love it when I don’t have to do dishes.

Kabobs 2 Ways (Makes a lot)
-2 large chicken breasts, but into about 1-inch cubes
-about 2 lbs cubed stew beef
-apple cider vinegar
-gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-honey or agave nectar
-juice from 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange
-1 shallot, minced
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-dried oregano, red pepper flakes, pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper
-lots of veggies, cut into pieces about the same size as your meat (I used cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers)

If your skewers are wooden, soak them so they don’t catch on fire while you’re grilling them. If not wooden, then no worries!

Get three large mixing bowls. In one, combine your beef with pepper, red pepper flakes, equal parts of honey (or agave) and apple cider vinegar, and a half part of soy sauce or coconut aminos. Set aside and allow to marinade.

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In the another bowl, combine your chicken with the shallots, garlic, citrus juice, oregano, salt, cayenne, and pepper. Allow to marinade.

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Place your prepped veggies in the other bowl.

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Set up your stations! I usually fully line a dish with foil twice. I put my raw kabobs there, then once they are on the grill, I remove the foil and use the same dish for the cooked kabobs.

Start shanking your meat. Just kidding, but start skewering your meat and veggies.

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You will have to forgive me, I don’t have photos of my chicken kabobs or the finished product. Grill until fully cooked. I served me leftover chicken kabobs with guacamole on top. Super good. Enjoy! It’s summertime (well, at least it feels like it), so start grilling!

Citrus Grilled Chicken Tacos

Today’s taco variety is, like all my recipes, simple (and I would add delicious, but I don’t want to sound too egotistic). Allow your chicken to marinade in while you prep all the ingredients and your fresh pico de gallo (if you choose to make it).

Citrus Grilled Chicken
-Chicken (I used two large chicken cutlets that I cut into four pieces)
-Juice from one lime, one lemon, and one orange (use more if you have more chicken, or pick more of a certain kind to make it stand out)
-Seasonings to taste: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, chile flakes, cayenne pepper, paprika, chile powder

Squeeze the juice from all of your citrus into a bowl or zip top bag. Add all your seasonings. I scored my chicken with a knife before marinating. Not sure why I did, but it pulled apart really easily for the tacos. Add chicken and allow to marinade before grilling. While grilling, brush with the leftover marinade.

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I pulled apart the grilled chicken after it was done, placed it on some fresh butter lettuce and (eventually) topped it with fresh pico de gallo and avocado. What?! You’ve never made pico de gallo? Here’s my take on it.

Pico de Gallo
-Tomatoes, diced
-Cilantro, chopped
-Green onion, chopped
-Jalapeños or serrano chiles (generally these are spicier), finely diced
-Juice from a line
-Garlic powder, salt and pepper

Throw everything in your bowl and season to taste. That recipe was almost pointless. It’s like a Spanish textbook in Iowa having to explain what a “tortilla” is.

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Tada!! Dinner’s done. Enjoy.

Don’t forget to check out my preliminary Super Bowl post Here.

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Chicken Tortilla-Free Soup

I’m sick. Ugh. Now you guys get yet ANOTHER soup recipe!! Aren’t you thrilled?

Now, this recipe starts with my spicy shredded chicken recipe. Click here for that recipe. It then uses the cooking broth as a soup base. Below you’ll find the list of additional ingredients. This is super easy.

Chicken Tortilla-Free Soup
-Celery
-One whole onion, diced
-Can or jar of diced tomatoes
-One whole bunch of green onion, diced (set about half to a quarter of it aside)
-One whole bunch of cilantro, chopped (set about half to a quarter of it aside)
-One can of Mexican spicy tomato sauce (I uses El Pato Salsa de Tomate con Jalapeño)
-Three cloves of garlic, minced
-One Tbsp of your cooking fat of choice
-Spicy Shredded Chicken
-Lime wedges, radishes (sliced), optional

Ok, so for the spicy shredded chicken, pull the tenders out of the boiling liquid. Allow to cool and then either shred or chop. Save the broth and strain. Set aside temporarily.

Heat your fat of choice and then add your celery, onion, green onion, garlic and allow to sauté. Add your diced tomatoes and allow to simmer. Add your diced/shredded chicken and spicy tomato sauce. Allow to meld together a bit, add your reserved broth and cilantro.

Allow your soup to simmer. If your broth is salty, add some water. If you just need more liquid, add more water and/or broth.

Before serving, top with reserved green onion and cilantro, radishes and like juice.

For your non-paleo people: they may want to top their soup with tortilla strips, cheese and/or sour cream.

Enjoy! Dinner’s done!!

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Turkey With Veggies

At the core, paleo meals are just protein, veggies and healthy fat. Stir-frys and slow-cooker meals are the simplest ways to get your paleo on.

I could have easily called today’s meal “Lazy Day Paleo Take 2,” but, alas, I didn’t. The variations for this meal are limitless. Just swap out the meat and/or veggies.

Turkey With Veggies
-Turkey Cutlets
-Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
-Collard Greens, julienned
-Shallots, sliced
-Bell Pepper, diced
-Seasonings to taste: garlic powder, Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper
-Parsley, chopped (optional)
-Cooking fat of choice
-Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season your turkey cutlets. Set aside.

Heat your far of choice in a large skillet. Throw the shallots and mushrooms in the pan and caramelize. Add bell peppers and collard greens. Allow the greens to soften a bit.

Move the veggies so the side of the pan. Place the turkey cutlets in the skillet. Allow them to develop a nice sear. Make sure other side is seasoned before flipping again. You may choose to deglaze your skillet with an acid of some sort. Mix the veggies with the turkey (desegregate your plate) then throw in the oven until turkey is completely cooked.

Enjoy! Dinner’s done.

Variations: Change your meats and veggies. Adjust your seasonings. My bacon-loving friends can add bacon to the veggies. You are only limited by your own imagination. The second photo is most of the same veggies with strips of steak.

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Chicken Salad Wraps

Today’s recipe is Part 2. Essentially, this is something to do with your slow-cooker chicken leftovers. When I was a vegetarian, I used to love veggie chicken salad sandwiches. I could eat them incessantly. My goal was to capture the favors of the garlicky chicken salad I loved and transform it into a paleo lunch/snack. Essential to this recipe was the making of my very own paleo mayo. This is the hardest part, and it wasn’t too bad. Hope you enjoy!

Paleo Garlicky Mayo (makes about 1 cup. Maybe a little less)
-1 egg
-1 cup olive oil
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-2 garlic cloves
-1 tablespoon of organic mustard (check ingredients)
-Cayenne pepper
-Salt
-Pepper
-Juice from half a lemon
-Green onion, chopped
-Optional seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder)
Ok, this seems like a lot of stuff (read: a lot of effort) for mayo, but it was surprisingly easy. Throw everything into a blender except the lemon, green onion and olive oil.

Start your blender on low and very slowly add your olive oil. My blender was on so long I thought it was going to die on me. Add your olive oil slowly!! Too fast and it won’t emulsify properly. When all the olive oil is added, transfer your mayo into another dish. Tada!! Basic mayo.

For the purposes of our chicken salad, add the chopped green onion and some lemon juice to brighten up the flavor. Check for salt and pepper. Add additional seasonings if you wish.

For the wraps, I mixed about a teaspoon of mayo (a little goes a long way) with leftover slow-cooker chicken pieces. I added cherry tomatoes and diced red bell pepper. I served over red leaf lettuce leaves and topped with avocado.

Enjoy! Dinner (or snack) is done!

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Nuts.

I just got home from my first day of school. I still haven’t decided what to make for dinner, so I decided to make this to kill some time. These nuts are sinfully delicious. While you shouldn’t overzealously indulge in them, they do kill a sweet tooth (they also taste great with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk). Hope you like them.

Sinfully Sweet Nuts

  • About equal parts of three different kinds of raw nuts (I used about 1 2/3 cups each of walnuts, sliced almonds and hazelnuts. I’ve also done this with walnuts, sliced almonds and pecans. Be creative. Use four varieties, or just one or two. Use your imagination!)
  • About 1/2 cup of dried, shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1tsp to 1Tbsp of coconut oil (depends how much nuts you use. I think I used about 1.5 tsp)
  • 1tsp pure almond extract and/or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Lots of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey and/or agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Throw everything in a mixing bowl and mix.

Layer a cookie sheet with some parchment paper (so your nuts don’t stick.) (That sounded dirty.)

Pour your mix on your cookie sheet.

After mixing, pour your nut mix on the parchment paper & cookie sheet.

Flatten the nuts into a flat, single layer.

Flatten nuts onto a single layer, top with more coconut, honey and/or agave if you want it sweeter.

Bake for 15 minutes (stir, mix about halfway through so they don’t burn) and allow to cool.

Once the nuts have cooled slightly, place them in tupperware. Once they cool completely, they will form little clusters. Soooo good.

These held up fine for a week in tupperware on my kitchen counter. I doubt they’ll last much longer because they’re delicious.

Snack’s Done!!