Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This is one Paleo dinner that doesn’t taste “granola” at all. It was so good we ate until our stomachs hurt.

The glorious part is I browned the hamburger meat several hours before I was ready to eat, and I threw all the ingredients for the sauce into the crockpot to cook for awhile so the flavors could get right. Plus, slow cooking the meat makes it extra tender.

I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, but it makes up for it in warm, hearty flavors. Perfect for fall.

What you need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  • 1 jar of Whole30 compliant spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning to taste

Sauté the ground beef with the onion in a hot skillet until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Move to slow cooker. Add in the sauce. (I used Thrive Market’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce.) Add a little Italian Seasoning, and more salt and pepper if you like. I cooked ours on low for about 4 hours, but you could also make this on the stovetop.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrap out the pulp and seeds. Season the inside of the squash halves with salt, pepper and a little avocado oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet cut side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes. When it is done, remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Flip the halves over and scrap the squash with a fork to make “noodles.”

Put the squash noodles in a bowl. Top with the spaghetti sauce. And enjoy.

It was warm and comforting. And like I said, we ate all of it. The good thing is the “noodles” didn’t make us sick. It’s the little things in life.

What are your favorite comfort dishes that just happen to be Paleo?

Advertisements

Creamy Chicken and Zoodles

I’m currently playing a game with myself. A game where I stand in the kitchen and stare at the contents (or lack there of) in my fridge and try to imagine what I’ll make for dinner.

It’s basically throwing something together and hoping it tastes good. Sometimes it’s mediocre. But sometimes it turns out so good we both stand over the stove and eat directly out of the pan.

In all honesty, I have no idea what to call this. It was created purely on instinct and a hungry tummy. And the fact that I wanted it to be ready quickly.

What you need:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 yellow squash, spiralized
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • A couple handfuls of frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt, pepper, dill and garlic powder to taste

Season the diced chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté in a hot skillet. Let it get kind of brown.Add the onions and let them caramelize.

In a separate pan, cook the zoodles. Let them get a little crispy.

Add the peas and tomatoes to the chicken and onions. Let the peas heat through. Add the coconut milk. Season with a little more salt and pepper and a lot of dill.

Put the zoodles in the bottom of the bowl and top with creamy chicken mixture. Enjoy.

Don’t let the coconut milk mixture cook too long before serving. It can separate and you lose the creamy goodness.

This was so good we debated over who could drink the sauce. And it’s amazing such a dish exists because I had no idea what I was doing.

Weekend Wonders

Lazy weekends are my jam.

I love being able to totally check out. This weekend was the coldest one we’ve had so far, and I was excited to finally break out a big scarf and my favorite winter hat.

But the only thing I look forward to during the cooler months is a fire in the fireplace.

Since it was the first true cold snap of the season, we kept a fire going all weekend long. From now on, we are going to have Fire Fridays, which consist of a date night out for dinner and then home to a fire and whatever goodness we want to watch on Netflix. Right now, we are rationing out Stranger Things 2. And when I say rationing, I mean one episode per night.

Annie is loving this whole lazy weekend thing we’ve decided to pursue. She spent her time all cuddled up in blankets on my lap. But seriously, I can’t handle her cuteness. When I took this picture, I was whispering sweet nothings to her about how pretty she is. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Brad didn’t even bat an eye at this. It’s simply my normal behavior when it comes to my puppy bear.

Keeping with the lazy weekend theme, I bought on of Honey Pies’ Chicken Pot Pies from Me and McGee Market.

Run. Don’t walk. Run to Honey Pies on Bowman Road in Little Rock or to Me & McGee Market to get yourself this deliciousness.

I would love to tell you that we had leftovers. But that would be a complete lie.

We ate every single bit of this gorgeous pie in a matter of minutes.

Is it Whole30 approved?

No.

Is it gluten-free?

No.

Is it dairy-free?

No.

Was it worth every single bite?

Absolutely.

That, my friends, is exercising food freedom. Finding balance with food is hard. I posted a live video the other day expressing my struggles with eating healthy. So I’m truly getting back on the wagon, and I’m working hard to make sure I have food prepped and ready to go. Part of the issues I’ve been having is not packing a healthy lunch, getting caught up a work and settling for less-than-stellar foods and forgetting to thaw our meat for our weeknight dinners.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. And I do. I need to 5-Second Rule myself to get my act together when it comes to meals and meal prep. If I can do it flawlessly during Whole30, I can do it any other time. I can’t for the life of me figure out why healthy choices are so difficult to make sometimes. And why making good choices during a Whole30 seems easier than any other time. Anyone have any insights into that?

It’s amazing how easily excuses creep. How I can talk myself out of cooking dinner and going out to eat. How I can’t say no to a donut or cookie even thought I’m not hungry at all. How reintroducing sugars, even in the natural forms, can make daydream of sweets during my afternoon coffee breaks at work.

The mental attachments to certain foods are long-lasting. It gives us a glimpse of just how powerful the mind really is when it comes to attachments and habits. I remind myself that I must exercise making healthy choices like I exercise my body. The mind is merely a muscle that can be trained to be stronger. And while I practice I keep telling myself…I think I can. I think I can. I know I will. I know I will.

What do you do to help you make healthy choices? Any tips or tricks?

Building Community

Living in a small community has its perks.

I love the fact that I have a wonderful farmers market in my rural community. There are actually several, but I do have a favorite one.

And they take community seriously.

They took the time to host a community breakfast. And it was the most gorgeous set up I’ve seen. Surrounded by fall decor and pretty fall flowers, 50 people in our small community came together at a place we all love to eat breakfast and fellowship.

And it was absolutely beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. We had so much fun, and the food was all locally sourced.

I was all bundled up in my favorite winter hat, and Brad was looking mighty fine, too, even with his crazy eyes. We really have a hard time taking a “good” picture together. You’d think after two years we would have it figured out, but we definitely don’t.

Brad’s mom LaDonna was there, too. And so was his dad. And it was the perfect way to spend a cold Saturday morning.

We had coffee and omelets and homemade apple bread and locally sourced sausage, bacon and ham. And lots more. The good news is you can get all of that and more at Me & McGee Market in North Little Rock. I don’t do my shopping anywhere else. And I like it that way.

Eating locally sourced produce and meats has been so good for us. I can definitely say we have kept better eating habits since “cutting the cord” with the grocery store. And we have made some amazing friendships since spring. I can’t imagine not going to my favorite little farmers’ market now that it has become such a staple to my routine.

What are Saturday morning traditions? Do you shop local?

Chili and Mashed Potatoes

Chili makes the world go round.

So does mashed potatoes.

Put them together, and you get all the best things in life.

I can’t say enough about this deliciousness. I had a major chili craving thanks to the cool snap in the weather.

I usually put it over mashed sweet potatoes, but I had creamer potatoes from the farmers market I needed to use.

And it was a yummy, filling dinner.

What do you put chili on?