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?

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Chili Dogs

Who says Whole30 has to be filled with boring dinners?

Not me.

I’m all in for flavor and healthy.

So how does chili dogs apply to that?

One big and flavor packed way.

Applegate makes Whole30 compliant hot dogs. I happened to be at Whole Foods (shopping for Amazon discounts) when I spotted them.

Then, it hit me.

Chili dogs.

So I made the classic chili recipe from the Whole30 book, and Whole30 chili dogs were born.

And we weren’t sad about it.

Only thing not pictured in the photo was a squiggle of mustard.

It was a favorite of ours.

And it will happen again soon.

Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup

The key to being successful with Whole30 is to prepare. If you don’t prepare, you will have a terrible experience. Don’t get me wrong, you can still do it and be successful, but you will stress about preparing food on the fly. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Part of my meal prep and planning success happens because I always try to make enough dinner for lunch the next day. After my first Whole30, I realized I need to double my dinner so we could eat it for lunch.

Whole30 lunches are the toughest thing to prepare. We live off sandwiches or wraps for lunch, but I know bread isn’t the best for my tummy so I try to limit it as much as possible.

This round of Whole30 I am trying to simplify even more. That’s where my trusty Crockpot comes into play. I love the convenience of the Crockpot, but I usually forget I have one.

But I woke up Sunday morning feeling extremely terrible. Had a bout with my reactive hypoglycemia, and worked through my low blood sugar issues with a fresh peach and a little bit of scrambled eggs. Cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. So I ventured into the depths of my cabinet for the Crockpot. I knew I had the makings for a delicious Vegetable Beef Soup, and the goal was to throw everything into the Crockpot so we could eat a nice, hot dinner. (And I was off the hook for standing over a hot stove/thinking up what to make).

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What you need:

  • Crockpot
  • One bag of frozen root vegetables (mine had sweet potato, red onion, parsnip and turnips in it)
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 zucchini squash, sliced into half-moons
  • 5-6 baby red potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bag frozen okra
  • 1 box of beef bone broth (I used Thrive Market brand)
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef (I get mine from the Farm at Barefoot Bend)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste

Directions:

Brown the hamburger meat in a skillet. Season with salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning. Once the hamburger meat is brown, throw all ingredients into the Crockpot. Turn it on high and cook for six hours. Check the seasonings, and add more salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, if needed.

We both really enjoyed this hearty soup. It’s full of simple ingredients, but it doesn’t lack in flavor. You can add whatever veggies you have on hand, and I bet it will be just as delicious.

Crockpots Save Lives

I love the ease of using a crockpot to prepare meals. Talk about a time saver.

Just set it and forget it.

Yesterday morning I put a roast in the crockpot with baby carrots and chunks of onion. When I got home last night, the roast was so tender it fell apart, and the carrots and onion were caramelized. 

So I whipped up a batch of mashed baby red potatoes with a little Kerrygold butter and a splash of heavy whipping cream. 

  
Too much goodness in this bowl. And so easy.

What you need:

  • Roast
  • Onion soup mix
  • Red wine
  • Beef consume 
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Baby red potatoes 
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Kerrygold butter
  • Salt and pepper

Start by seasoning the roast with salt and pepper. Seer it in a hot pan until a crust forms on all the sides. Deglaze the pan with red wine. 

Put roast and all the wine from the pan in the crockpot. Add in the onion soup mix, carrots, onions and beef consume.

Turn crockpot on to low and cook for 8-10 hours. 

For the mashed potatoes, cut up the baby red potatoes into chunks. Leave the skin on. Boil for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

Drain off excess water. Return potatoes back to warm pan. Add in a generous pat of butter and a splash of whipping cream. Mash them up. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a little more butter and cream to make the potatoes extra tasty. 

 Layer the potatoes with the roast, carrots and onion. Be sure to spoon over lots of the juice because it has all the flavor goodness.
So easy. Super delicious. Always a crowd pleaser.