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Cucumber and Tomato Herb Salad

What I like about this salad is that it is fresh tasting, colorful and has a crunch. Down here in Florida we are in the height of our growing season. So while those up north are planning and preparing their gardens, we are enjoying ours now. It is wonderful. This is the easiest salad I think I’ve ever made. I served this with a pan seared chicken breast. Delicious.

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  • 1 cucumber, quartered, diced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 large basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 1/2 c creamy herb dressing/sauce

Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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No Bean Chicken Chili

This is a veggie packed chicken chili. Anytime I can pack in a load of veggies into a dish I’m a happy girl. This is a fairly quick meal. Double the recipe and you could freeze some for a just in case meal.

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  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 16 oz. ground chicken
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 25.46 diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kombu, thumb size
  • 1 c roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour

In a large dutch oven over medium heat sauce orange pepper, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and seasoning. Sautee until veggies start to become tender. Add ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes, kombu and butternut squash. Stir all ingredients occasionally. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add tapioca flour; stir well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: You could add some jalapeño if you desire a little heat. You could also garnish with some cheese, greek yogurt, or sour cream.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin

This is one of the easiest dishes you will ever make. It is flavorful and extremely tender. I served this with roasted butternut squash and steamed spinach for some color on the plate. Delicious.

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Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, pat dry tenderloin with paper towel. Generously season tenderloin with seasoning.

Brown all sides of tenderloin until a crust forms on the tenderloin. This will do most of the cooking. When all sides are browned turn heat down a little and cover. Cook for about another 5-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and let rest. Slice tenderloin on the bias.

Pour beef broth in skillet and scrape all the bits of goodness loose. Reduce liquid to half the volume.  Ladle over tenderloin.(This is when I would add he spinach. It is virtually in, stir and out of the skillet. It cooks that fast.) Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Salmon Cakes

These salmon cakes are fresh and flavorful tasting. I use salmon filets instead of the canned salmon. It makes all the difference.

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  • 12 oz of salmon filets, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp coarse dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. paleo all-purpose flour (see website)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease sheet pan with favorite oil.

In a large bowl combine ingredients. Mix until just combined. Form salmon mixture into patties. Place on greased sheet pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Turn patties over and bake for another 10 minutes.

I like to then broil the patties to get a little brown on the patties. Be careful and watch the patties because hey can burn quickly. Remove and garnish with some freshly chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve with herb dressing/sauce. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Creamy Herb Dressing/Sauce

I initially made this sauce to go with salmon patties. However, it has taken on a life of its own. This makes a nice dressing for a salad, dip for veggies, and even a marinade for chicken. It is very versatile. This has become a staple in my refrigerator.

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Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes. Store in a a 8oz. mason jar with lid. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Banana Date Cake

Here is another recipe for those overripe bananas. Let’s face it. You can only make so many banana breads. This makes one 8-inch round. You can double the recipe if you want to make a layer cake. For a brag worthy dessert, top cake with a drizzle of melted chocolate and some sliced almonds. Little whipped coconut cream would be sublime.

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  • 10 dried dates, pitted
  • 4 bananas, roasted
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c paleo all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 8-inch round cake pan.

Place bananas on a foil lined sheet pan. Pierce bananas with fork by 1-inch increments. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Place dates in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes to soften dates. Break up dates with a fork. Add bananas and mash both together; blending together but still keeping it chunky. Add maple syrup, applesauce, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk ingredients until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Place on cooling rack and let cool completely before removing from cake pan.

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips

Melt oil and chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. This takes about 30-45 seconds. Drizzle or spread on top of cake. Sprinkle some sliced almonds to add another element of texture.

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Black Bean Stew

This recipe is for my vegan friends. It has been a while since I made this dish. It is veggie packed, gluten free and delicious. This can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker. It smells so good either way you make it. This would be good with a slice of my focaccia bread.

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  • 1 c onions, diced
  • 1 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c red peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1-inch Kombu, thumb size
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 c. spinach, cut into strips
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • cashew cream, garnish, optional

In a large dutch oven over medium heat add the onions, carrots, celery, red peppers and garlic. Cook until veggies have softened. Add beans, vegetable broth, kombu, tomatoes and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Just before serving add cilantro and top with a dollop of cashew cream.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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BBQ Chicken and Cauli-Rice

This dish is very tasty and can feed a crowd. No one will ever guess it is healthy. You can make it with or no heat. I made it with some heat. Okay, a little more than some heat, more like fire. Maybe next time a little less fire.

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  • 5 c roughly chopped cauliflower
  • avocado oil
  • 1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breast
  • smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 c Monterey jack, shredded, divided
  • 1/4 c BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan.

Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until reduced to rice-sized pieces.

Pound chicken to about 1/2-inch thickness. Season with smokey southwestern seasoning.

Drizzle avocado into a large skillet. Over medium heat cook chicken breast for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breast and set aside.

Add cauliflower, onion, garlic and orange pepper. Sprinkle veggies with seasoning. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.

Chop chicken and add  1/2 c cheese, BBQ sauce, cilantro; stir. Combine veggies with chicken mixture, stir. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.

 

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Chocolate Delights

This dessert is amazing. The chocolate cake is incredibly moist and the filling is luscious. If you feel like showing off your baking skills, this is the one for you.

There a few tools you will need for this recipe: a biscuit cutter, parchment paper, piping bag/ziplock bag.

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  • 2 c paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 2 c honey granules
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 heaping tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 c water, filtered
  • 1/2 c almond milk (see website)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an 18 x 13 inch sheet pan. Cut parchment to fit sheet pan. Grease sheet pan; place parchment on sheet pan and grease top of parchment. This ensure that cake will not stick to the pan.

In a food processor combine the flour, honey granules and salt. Pulse to combine.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the raw cacao to the butter and stir. Add water to cacao mixture mixture. Bring to a boil. Add cacao mixture to flour mixture and pulse.

Combine almond milk, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Pour into flour mixture mixture and pulse. Transfer batter to sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let the cake completely cool.

Cut circles out of the sheet cake with a biscuit cutter. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before you add the filling.

To make filling:

In a small saucepan, whisk the four into the milk and heat, stirring constantly until it is very thick. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and honey granules together until light and fluffy and their is no grittiness from the honey granules. This takes a little bit of time. Add the milk-flour mixture and whip until the filling is completely combined and light like whipped cream.

Fill a ziplock or piping bag with filling. If using ziplock snip a corner off to use like a piping bag. Since this is for the filling I just use the ziplock. Squeeze the frosting onto one circle of cake. Place a second circle on top, and if you like you can put a dollop of filling on top. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Southwestern Shredded Pork Soup

I made this soup with the leftovers of the Pork Shoulder and Veggies from the other night. Instead of having the same thing from the other night I transformed this into a thick and hearty soup with a little kick. The kick is optional. There is a little prep-work, but it is totally worth the effort. You can either make this in a large dutch oven or a slow cooker. Either way you decide, it is delicious.

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  • Pork Shoulder and Veggie leftovers (see website)
  • 3 c chicken stock divided 1c/2c
  • 17.64 oz. tomato sauce (Pomi)
  • 26.46 oz. chopped tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 tbsp siracha (optional)
  • 1 lime, zested, save juice from half the lime
  • greek yogurt, optional garnish
  • cilantro, chopped, optional garnish

Separate pork shoulder from veggies. In a blender of food processor blend together veggies and 1 c chicken stock. This will make a thick creamy base for the soup. The blended potatoes and carrots is what gives the soup its creamy thick texture.

Transfer veggie mixture to either a dutch oven or slow cooker. Add 2 c of chicken stock , tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, southwestern seasoning, siracha, lime zest and lime juice.

Shredded pork and add to soup mixture. Stir. If cooking soup in dutch oven, cook over low heat, If using the slow cooker use the low setting. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.