Category Archives for "Food"

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe for Any Time of the Day

Fall is on its way. Soon you'll see many grocery stores, farmer markets, and CSA's with squash highlighting the shelves. This recipe is great as a side dish, as the main course, for breakfast, reheated at lunch, served to company, or at your family's table. 

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

1 large acorn squash *

1 pound ground sausage

1 onion

1 apple, any variety

6 slices bacon

1Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)

2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375ºF

Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out. Lay cut side down in a pan filled with ¼ inch of water. Cook until tender, approximately 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. **While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Hint: You can always bake the squash or prepare the stuffing ahead of time. Then just combine and bake when you need it.

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Dice the apple and onion into medium-sized pieces. Slice the bacon into pieces.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the bacon. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the apples and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove the bacon, onion, and apple mixture to a large bowl.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage. Add all spices and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add into the same large bowl. Stir to combine.

When the squash is cool to the touch, use a spoon to scoop out some of the flesh and mix into the sausage. Use a spoon to fill the squash boats.

Return the squash to the oven and bake another 15 minutes at 375ºF until everything is heated through.

* I bake my squash whole in an oven at 350 for about an hour. Pierce the squash with a fork in several places first.

A Short Amount of Time Spent Planning Can Equal Big Changes

Many of us struggle with planning our meals. It can be that one thing that if done, will make your goal of eating healthy easier. A few of you have rocked this area.

Planning helps you to shop more efficiently and you don't end up buying stuff you don't need (or is unhealthy for you!)

Scott
                 

Rebecca said, "This has helped me budget and eat better!"

According to Stephanie, "This helps me stay more true to my nutritional (fat loss) goals when I plan."

 Now I'm much better prepared, feel less anxiety over "what's for dinner" and have started making a larger variety of healthy dinner choices."

Stacey

Deb said, "It will definitely help me to stay on track the whole week.

The list goes on to include Mary, " It will help me to stay on track, and I won't be inclined to "just pick something up".

I could go on and on. My point is planning meals for the week will;

Save time at the store and at mealtime

Planning saves you money

Planning a menu means less stress

A menu plan equals a happier family. They know what the plan is and for some families they get to help with the planning.

A menu will provide you with healthier meals

Your plan will make life easier for you.

You will not have to think on the fly.

So saving time, saving money, saving your sanity, and making the whole family happy all with a little well spent time at the beginning of each week.

And you? Do you want any of these things to come to you? Ideas on taking the first steps to meal planning can be found right here

Let’s make it happen,

Coach Nancy

It will keep me from running to the store and just grabbing something that probably wouldn't be good for me."

Melissa 
                 

Coach Nancy’s Eggplant Parmesan

2 eggplant, pealed and sliced in 1/4 inch rounds

2 eggs, whipped in a bowl suitable to dip in

3 cups almond meal

2 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Coconut oil for pan

Mix almond meal, parsley, garlic and onion powder together in a bowl for dipping. Take an eggplant slice, dip both sides in egg then coat both sides with the almond meal mixture.

To Bake: Lay in a single layer in a 9x13 pan that is coated with coconut oil. Continue until all your eggplant is coated and in pan. Bake for an hour on 350.

To Fry: Heat 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add in your slices of eggplant a few at a time in a single layer. Cook until golden brown about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate until you can cook all the eggplant.​

Sauce:

I cooked two pounds of hamburger, mixed that with a jar of commercial spaghetti sauce. (I make my own but I found a great deal on some organic no sugar added sauce) Heat this until hot and pour over the baked eggplant. Enjoy

To make this a side dish instead of a main meal omit the hamburger.

Beets and Beans – A Delicious Summer Salad

This recipe is really excellent. I love roasted beets. They are sweeter making them this way than any other way of cooking beets. Combining them with a crisp green beans and a tangy vinegar dressing is superb. As a kid I would have turned my nose up at this. I'm glad I've expanded my horizons to include these onto my plate. I'm grateful my mom didn't give up trying to find a way to get me to taste them.

Beets and Beans 

1 thinly sliced red onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

pinch of fresh ground pepper

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1 pound green beans, trimmed

1 large beet

Scrub and quarter beet; wrap in foil and roast at 450 for about 30 minutes until tender. Place onion in a bowl, cover with boiling water, let stand 15 minutes.

Blanch green beans in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.; plunge into cold water. Drain onions, toss with salt, pepper and vinegar; set aside. Skin and slice cooled beets.

For the Dressing. 

Whisk together:

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Now: drain onions and squeeze dry. Toss half with beets, other half with beans. Arrange the beets and beans on a serving platter--very lovely, the contrast!--Pour dressing over veggies, let stand 15 minutes before serving.

To make this a complete meal, I like to make Perfectly Simple Salmon.

To turn this into a salad: lay the beets and beans on top of a bed of baby spinach. Top with the rest of the dressing. ​

Perfectly Simple Recipes

Simple and Easy are two ingredients that aren't listed in a recipe but should be. How many of us look through recipes, find the one that looks the best, has ingredients we like, only to find out we have to keep on looking because it is too complicated. Worse yet, you don't have the specific tool or not sure how to make the cuts needed. Salmon tastes great any time of year. But I love it even more because it taste great with just a few seasonings. 

Perfectly Simple Salmon

2 ½ pounds of salmon. Preferably skinless

1 Tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the salmon on parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast salmon until just cooked. (It will be opaque). Probably 8-10 minutes.

Need a side dish that will go with just about anything? Need one that you can whip together quickly without a whole lot of prep time? I use the chopped cabbage mix sold in stores for coleslaw for this recipe to save me even more time. 

The Perfect Side Dish

This recipe is great with salmon or pork, steak or chicken. It really is the perfect side dish.

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1.5 pounds cabbage (a mix of red and green is ideal);

1 large apple;

1 thinly sliced onion;

1 red chili, finely chopped;

1 Tablespoon chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar;

2/3 cup chopped almonds;

Chop the cabbage finely and dry with a towel. Core and slice the apple. Stir-fry the apple for a minute in coconut oil until it just barely starts to soften. Remove the apple from the wok and set aside. Reheat the wok and stir-fry the onion for another minute with a little bit more cooking fat. Add the cabbage and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Return the apple slices, add the thyme and cider vinegar and cover to steam for a minute. Add the almonds and stir well. Serve and enjoy!

Mix and match these recipes to different meals. Reheat a main dish but make "The Perfect Side Dish" to spruce it up. Try it with Golden Crusted Pork Loin

 

 

 

Meal Planning -Taking that First Step

There’s no doubt that planning your meals is not only crucial to achieving your best body, but also extremely challenging! Today’s hectic lifestyles make “grab and go” a lot more likely than “sit and relax”.

Who’s got the time to make it all happen?

You can achieve your best health and enjoy great food- the key lies in your ability to plan.

Planning your first week of meals is easier than you think.

  • Write down your family’s favorite meals. To help you out, list the dinner meals you ate last week. You might need to ask your kids for help. Shoot to write down five to seven meals.
  • Tweak these meals if they need to be healthier versions. You’re looking to fill your plate with lots of Protein, Produce and Water.
  • List out 2 or 3 PPW breakfast meals you enjoy eating.
  • Alternate these meals on your menu plan the first week. Remember breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Eating leftovers at breakfast makes things quick to reheat.
  • Lunch is next. Do you have time to make a meal each day for lunch or is leftovers a better choice. Remember “Simple is easiest, Simple is best”
  • If you choose to make your meals, prep as much as you can the night before.
  • Lunch can be easy. Baked chicken from the night before takes on a whole new appearance on top of a salad. Don’t have leftover chicken? Open a can/bag of tuna to place on top of the salad. Another option is to grab a few hard boiled eggs and make egg salad using an avocado as the mayonnaise. Add in a variety of raw veggies and your lunch is comlete.

Knowing is only half the battle. Even if you know what’s good and expect to eat supportively, if the foods aren’t around when it’s time to eat, it’s hard to succeed.

Planning is half of the battle. Speaking of planning, make a grocery list. Using your meal plan as a guide to what you need to pick up list out the foods to buy.

You can make this happen! It takes a little planning and dedication once a week to get your plan on track.

Here's a peek into a week I planned. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done.

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy​

Pad Thai Chicken

This is one of my favorite meals to load up on veggies all in one dish. Its yummy piping hot or just warm which makes it great in the middle of winter or the heat of summer. I've also substituted green beans for the snap peas. I think I will try a version with broccoli too.  Watch this recipe being made: click here

Paleo Pad Thai

Grilled chicken thigh or breast, diced (serving size for 2)

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 cup snap peas, slivered

½ onion, sliced thin

2 eggs

1 Tbsp coconut aminos

Cooking fat of your choice

2 batches sunshine sauce

Heat about 1 tablespoon of cooking fat in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and snap peas until crispy-tender. Not too long! Then set aside.

Heat a little more cooking fat in the pan. Pour in one egg and let it spread out into pancake. Mix the raw eggs with the coconut aminos. Cook the eggs in a flat sheet until they are set and beginning to brown, then flip to slightly brown the other side. Cut the eggs into strips then set aside.

Heat a little more cooking fat in the pan. Add the spaghetti squash, peas and onions, eggs and chicken. Stir fry until heated through. Add the sunshine sauce and stir fry until everything is mixed well and heated through.

Top with any or all of these:

Chopped cashews, almonds or sunflower seeds

Chopped scallions

Chopped cilantro

A squeeze of lime juice

Sunshine Sauce

2 Tablespoons Sunbutter

2 Tablespoons lime juice

½ clove garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon chili-garlic paste

1 teaspoon coconut aminos

Dried or fresh grate ginger to taste

2 Tablespoons water, if needed

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender, except water. If desired, slowly add water until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.

Spicy Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

​"These little gems are a favorite around our house. While they take a bit of time, they are not difficult to make. Besides they are well worth it."

5 medium zucchini, shredded (4 cups) with box grater or food processor

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup coconut flour 

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional (but yummy) and 1 teaspoon black pepper

coconut oil for cooking

Shred zucchini and put into large bowl. Sprinkle with the sea salt and toss well. Walk away for 10 min. Scoop up a generous handful of zucchini and squeeze the living daylights out of them. You want the zucchini dry - nobody likes soggy fritters.

Place in a different bowl. Add flour, egg, pepper, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Melt a spoonful of oil or ghee in the pan. Pack a 1/4 cup of zucchini mixture out onto the pan and flatten until you get a patty.

Cook several patties at a time for 3-5 min or until brown. Cool on a cooling rack so they don't get soggy.

Taking time to be Grateful: "I'm glad for summer because gardens abound with summer squash. I'm thankful that whether my garden produces or not, I have great gardener friends with magical green thumbs that can grow just about anything. I am thankful for friends that send me recipes like this one. I've used this recipe over and over."

Grilled Avocado Chicken Burgers

Grilled Avocado Chicken Burgers

A great friend of mine recently sent me this recipe. I am so glad she did. Best chicken burger I've ever had. 

1pound ground chicken breast

1 small avocado, cut into small cubes

1/2 onion, minced

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon  chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/3 cup shredded zucchini, with liquid squeezed out

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the avocado. Once the spices are thoroughly mixed into the chicken, gently stir in the avocado. Make into patties. I grilled them over medium high heat for 7 minutes side but it depends on the size of your patties. These were delicious.

These chicken burgers were so good. I made extras. They easily became a packed lunch the next day. I served them with a side salad but they would go well with coleslaw, roasted asparagus, or steamed broccoli. Let me know what you added as a side dish for these beauties.  

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy​

Slow Roasted Oven Pulled Pork

Coach Dean’s Oven Roasted Pulled Pork from Dean Carlson on Vimeo.

 

Slow Roasted Oven Pulled Pork
Author: Coach Dean (& Amy!)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • [b][i]Ingredients listed are per Pork Shoulder (8-10 lbs)[/i][/b][br]
  • [b]Dry Rub[/b]
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • [br]
  • [b]Brine Solution[/b]
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 3 tbsp dry rub mix
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Prepare the brine solution in a large plastic bucket or container and place the pork shoulder in the bucket so it is completely immersed. If it fits in the fridge – cool! If not, put some ice or ice bags in the bucket and put in a cool place to brine overnight.
  3. In the morning, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  4. Take the pork out of the brine solution and towel dry.
  5. Place the pork in a glass cooking pan, fat cap down to start, and cover with the rib on bottom and all sides. Flip it over and finish with the rub on the top. Save 2-3 tbsp of the dry rub for after cooking.
  6. Insert a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, making sure it is not touching bone.
  7. Roast the pork shoulder until the internal temperature is 200 degrees F.
  8. Turn off the oven, and with the door closed let the pork cool until the internal temperature drops back to 170 degrees.
  9. It’s time to pull! With a couple large forks shred the meat into another large container. Incorporate the remaining dry rub to taste into the pork while shredding.
Notes
Check Out The Video For A Step By Step Walk Through!