Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Basil and Peach Pork Chops

I have a new found love for the combination of peaches and fresh basil. It started by subbing peaches for tomatoes in a caprese salad before all the peaches I had on my counter began to rot. It was truly one of the best things I've ever thrown together to see what might happen in the kitchen.  And now I don't want to eat anything peaches without some fresh basil.

We have been getting a lot of pork from our meat share at 1st Generation Farms and I am thrilled to have found a new summer goto recipe for them since my previous pork goto included a crock pot and sauerkraut and typically tasted best with a side of Sunday afternoon football. Add in the fact that I used the peaches and basil from my CSA and I feel like a true locavore, supporting local farms and eating fresh and in season. It makes my heart sing.

So I've done cooked down peaches over pork before and it's pretty complimentary. BUT this time I added some basil and it took it to the next level. Not to toot my own horn but *toot toot* this may have been one of the best dinners I ever made.  So far I've made it twice. Once with the bourbon butter sauce and once with some Paleo substitutions to make it compliant for my Whole 30.

The substitutions didn't really alter the awesomeness of this recipe, even if saying a bourbon butter sauce makes it sound so much tastier. (Because it does. I've gone over it in my head and will always want to choose the one with the bourbon and butter sauce.) Truth be told,  it wasn't as sweet (skipped adding a little maple syrup) and it didn't have quite the depth of flavor from the bourbon but it was still summery and glorious. I subbed ghee in for the butter so there was still a buttery sauce even if ghee doesn't sound quite as delicious and buttery as butter. But really WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN TOLD ABOUT THE GLORIOUSNESS OF GHEE AS A COOKING FAT BEFORE NOW. Or why have I not paid attention. Because it rocks my socks.

I am going to post both variations below.

Happy Eats!

Peach & Basil Pork Chops

  • 4 bone in pork chops (or whatever you have on hand)
  • salt & pepper - to taste
  • dried basil - to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ghee (or other cooking fat)

  • 1/2 small onion, diced*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup**
  • a handful of fresh basil, cut into long thin strips (chiffonade)
  • 2 TBS bourbon**
  • 2 TBS grass fed butter (or ghee)

Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper and dried basil.

Add 1-2 teaspoons ghee to a large skillet. Add pork to skillet and cook until browned on both sides. About 3 minutes each side.

Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion begins to become translucent. Add peaches and broth and maple syrup. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 3-5 minutes. I like to make sure the peaches are getting good and cooked down. Add bourbon, ghee and fresh basil. Cook for 5 minutes until sauce looks like it is beginning to thicken.

Pour on top of pork chops and garnish with more fresh basil if desired.

Enjoy and marvel at the healthy, fancy pants dinner you just made.


*I think green onion or glamming it up with some shallots here would be amazing but I only had a small yellow onion on hand. It is what it is.

**skip for 21 Day Fix or Paleo/Whole 30 (trust me it's still good)
** sub apple cider vinegar for 21 Day Fix or Paleo/Whole 30

21 Day Fix Containers:
1 red
1 purple
2 Teaspoons

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick and Easy Watermelon Frozen Yogurt Pops

I have been toying with the idea of getting popsicle molds for a while. And I look at some. And add them to my Amazon cart. And delete them from my Amazon cart and figure I will just wait and get some when I need them.

Well I recently moved into an area where the ice cream truck comes multiple times a day. Playing it's Pied Piper music that drives my four year old to the place where she has to have a popsicle or she is going to lose it. (She is just slightly dramatic.) And since we weren't even close to summer when this started happening, I figured I needed to bit the bullet and finally commit to some ice pop molds.

And in my best fashion, I continued to put it off. We found ourselves in mid-July when I finally gave in and ordered some molds. And then a few weeks later I ordered another set because they were awesome. And I was kicking myself for waiting that long in the first place.

The molds we ended up with were FoodWorks Silicone Popsicle Molds and I fell in love with them for a few reasons.

  • They weren't a drippy mess. I had visions of my four year old coming in the house or standing in my kitchen with popsicle goo dripping on my floors and down the front of here. With these, even if she takes forever to eat them they are a squeezy tube. No drippy messes.

  • The caps seal really well. I was a little bit afraid to just stick the cap on and throw them into the freezer on their sides or wherever I could stick them. But no problems. And B can recap hers, stick it back in the freezer and finish it another day (that doesn't typically happen but at least its an option.)

  • I can stick them anywhere I want in the freezer. I don't need to have space for a stand or holder or a flat area where they need to be chilled so they don't spill everywhere. 

  • Dishwasher safe. Enough said. 

For the past month we have been playing with recipes. This one is my absolute favorite. 

Watermelon Lime Yogurt Pops

What you need:

2 cups of cubed watermelon
3/4 cup greek yogurt* 
Juice of 2 limes (about 1 TBS)
Sweetener of choice to taste**

Blend it all together. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy! 

* to make them dairy free I have also used coconut milk yogurt
**I used about a tablespoon of raw honey to sweeten ours

21 Day Fix Conversion: (For 2 popsicles)

2/3 Purple
1/3 Red 
1/2 Teaspoon (if using honey)

(Truthfully...there is so little greek yogurt per serving that I tend to not count it. Especially if I only have one. Because 1/6 of that container is like an extra bite of chicken. I would be a little more concerned if it was something I ate everyday.) 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grain Free Lamb Meatballs (with Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce)

I kind of have a Greek food obsession. If I was going to move overseas I would want to head to Greece and just eat olives and feta and stuffed grape leaves all day long. I also look forward to all the summer food festivals that include gyro stands and the especially the festivals put on by the local Greek churches. I could go crazy. So this little gem of a recipe also helps fill that I need some Greek food now and can't possibly wait until summer craving. It is seriously handy in January.

So this is what I did:


For the meatballs:

1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I used a mix of grass fed beef and lamb feel free to use all lamb)
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan Salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper

For the tzatziki sauce:

3/4 cup greek yogurt*
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon (about 1 TBS)
1/2 tsp dried dill (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1/3 tsp dried mint (or 1 tsp fresh)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

Grab a large bowl and mix together all of the meatball ingredients. (I use my hands. It works the best even if it does have an ewww factor.) You can let this marinade at room temp for 20-30 minutes or skip it if you don't have time. The flavor is better if you let it marinade but it's not a make it or break it factor for me.

Roll the meat into small meatballs (about 2"). Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

While baking, make the sauce by placing all ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

I always serve this over Zoodle Salad.

*when I am avoiding dairy I sub with coconut milk yogurt

21 Day Fix Container Breakdown:

1 red (1/2 for sauce and 1/2 3 meatballs*)
2 green** (if adding zoodle pasta)

*varies based on what size you make your meatballs
** you can also measure out one green container here instead of two. I went for two because green is what I always tend to have left.

For more info on zoodles and why I am obsessed check this out.

The BEST Zoodle Salad (that you can top with just about anything!)

This is another one of my go to make a whole big batch to eat all week recipes. Why? Because it is super easy, has very few ingredients and tastes awesome alone or with pretty much anything on top of it. Shrimp, chicken, quinoa, lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic drizzle. You name it and it will probably work. Sometimes I switch up the herbs based on what I have (hello fresh cilantro or basil) and it still works.

AND I get to bust out my favorite kitchen tool to make it.

I have not been shy about the fact that I am in LOVE with my spiralizer and use it for everything from zucchini and summer squash to sweet potatoes and parsnips but I will tell you that this recipe may be my absolute FAVORITE from now on.

I have been following Danielle Walker on social media and  reading her cookbooks, Against All Grain and  Meals Made Simple (both of which are awesome by the way) and have been really just trying to cut back on the amount of grain that is in our diets. It's one of those things (like dairy) that until you really start to think about it you don't notice how much of it is everywhere. And too much of anything is not a good thing, so if I can make a yummy sub for noodles in a recipe with a veggie that offers way more nutrition, it's a win for everyone. Even my four year old gobbles them up and loves to help me turn the crank. She thinks watching the zucchini go from a whole zucchini to noodles is the coolest. And she likes feeding my puppies the "core" that gets left behind.

Here's what I did:


2 large zucchini
2 medium/large yellow summer squash
1 TBS cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh)*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 red onion sliced **

Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, make noodles from the zucchini and summer squash. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and salt. Allow to marinade for 15-20 minutes.

If I have tomatoes on hand I toss those in sometimes too.

And that's it. Super easy.

*I have also subbed in fresh cilantro, fresh basil or any other herb I have on hand depending on what I am serving the salad with and the direction I want to go. The oregano works well with lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce, the cilantro works well with shrimp and chicken. And I like to add basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella for a different spin on a caprese salad.

** I have used almost any kind of onion in this salad (sweet, red, green, basically whatever I have on hand) and it is always amazing.

21 Day Fix:

2 green
1 spoon

(plus measure containers for any extras like quinoa, shrimp, chicken, cheese, etc)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dinner in Fifteen Minutes - Shrimp Quinoa Bowl with White Wine Butter Sauce

am a big big fan of easy, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Yes I love healthy. Yes I love trying new things. BUT if there are a million steps or it takes me three hours odds are I am never going to try making it ever again. There are many other things I want to be doing (or need to be--like vacuuming.)
I have really really tried to put way more effort in when it comes to meal prep. I am at home all day with my kids so I don't need to prep the way someone who works a million hours a week needs to prep...but it never fails that when it comes to dinner time there is one disaster after another. Pretty soon we are all eating cereal or eggs (or I am frantically calling my husband telling him it's his turn to cook...which is code for pick up a pizza.) 

I have been adding in little meal prep ways here and there to make my week run more smoothly and it works. I will shout it from the rooftops that over the past two weeks making a few small changes has saved me what feels like hours in the kitchen. 

So far this is what I've done: 

1. Washed and cut fruit and veggies as soon as I get them from the store or the farm. 

2. Cooked a big batch of chicken instead of enough for one night. We have been tossing it on top of salads all week for easy lunches. 

3. Hard boiled a dozen and a half of eggs at a time. This is about what my largish sized pot holds (without having to bust out the giant soup pot that doesn't fit in the dishwasher!) We grab these all week for snacks or for a quick breakfast. 

4. Double or triple the amount of quinoa I need for a recipe. I love using this cold on my salads for extra protein (and to fill my yellow containers) but I usually have enough handy to toss into those recipes where having an already cooked grain saves loads of time. (This goes for rice or any other grain we are eating for the week.)

That's it. Four simple steps that helped me throw this together for dinner in under fifteen minutes. 

So here is what I did: 


1 16 ounce bag of frozen shrimp- thawed
1 cup of quinoa - cooked (I used truRoots Organic Quinoa )
1 bunch of asparagus (or whatever veggie you have on hand)
1 bunch of rainbow chard (or any type of green)
1 small bunch of garlic scapes - minced
3 small spring onions-minced
6 TBS dry white wine
4 TBS grass fed butter - divided**
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 TBS of butter in the bottom of a large pot or skillet. Add thawed shrimp, minced scapes and onion. Cook until shrimp is almost cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add white wine, 2 TBS butter asparagus and chard stems. Cook a few more minutes.

Add cooked quinoa, stir.

Once almost all the liquid is absorbed (a minute or two) add chard leaves and last TBS of butter. Cook until slightly wilted* (about another minute.)

And dinner is done.

Yes. It was that easy and it tasted awesome.

*I prefer my greens barely cooked and a little bit crunchy. I think it helps keep them from becoming too bitter. Cook however you prefer your greens to taste.

21 Day Fix: 

I counted a cup and a half as a serving

1 yellow
1 green
1 red
3 spoons**

** I use grass fed butter once a week or so even on the Fix. You can sub with coconut oil or another healthy fat

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fixate - Another 21 Day Fix Tool for Success

One of the biggest challenges many of my clients come to me with when doing the 21 Day Fix or the Fix Extreme is recipes. And I know I have struggled with this as well. I have clocked many hours in the kitchen trying to fit my standby recipes into those Fix containers. Many times they end up being a big old failure but sometimes they totally rock. Either way it still adds up to lots of time in the kitchen. Now that I am juggling two kiddos my time to devote to such activities has been cut way
way down.

I was super pleased to wake up this morning to an announcement that will really change the game when it comes to the 21 Day Fix (and take A LOT of the work out of meal planning.) Autumn is coming out with a cookbook to work with the 21 Day Fix. She has taken 101 of her family recipes and made them container friendly. AND there are recipes in there that are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and gluten free. 

"This book is for everybody," says Autumn. "You don't have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix EXTREME®. You also don't have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It's for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love."  In addition to all of the recipes, Autumn also included a detailed checklist for her must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs. So if you aren't familiar with cooking at home, this is a great tool to add to your healthy eats arsenal. 

Fixate will include sections for breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as snacks, desserts and even some Shakeology recipes. For a free sneak peek at some of the recipes click here.

Can't wait to get your hands on it? Fixate is going to be available mid-July.

Can it get any better?

Of course it can! Purchase one of the following from me this month and I will send you a FREE copy of Autumn's cookbook once it is released.

To join my June 21 Day Fix accountability group fill out the application below. 

Preseason begins begins June 22st with our official kick off date on June 29. I will be providing accountability, meal prep tips and tricks, recipes and MY 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme meal plans including a 7 day Countdown to Competition plan.

I am so excited to help you achieve your goals! 

Fill out my online form.
Online contact and registration forms from Wufoo.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Clean Crock Pot Pork Roast with Pineapple Slaw

I like to make a lot of barbeque stuff in my crock pot and I am always drawn to recipes that include liquid smoke as an ingredient. This is something I never really heard of so I figured I would throw it on my list and check it out in the store. When I did, I decided that it was not something I was comfortable feeding to my kiddos. It was full of corn syrup, caramel color and a bunch of other stuff I try to avoid as much as possible. I figured I would just make do without it. Because I never really used it, I never really missed it.

But lo and behold another thing I was dying to make and there it was again. Liquid smoke. Ugh. So I decided to first figure out if it was possible to get liquid smoke that wasn't just chemicals made to add smoke flavor to your food. I stumbled upon this little clip (skip ahead to 9:07 for the bit about liquid smoke) showing how Alton Brown actually made his own. So if it can be made....it can be made without chemicals and gross stuff right? In theory. So since I didn't have a smoker to collect smoke drippings from, I set out to try and find a liquid smoke that didn't make me gag reading the label. The stores here really only carried one or two options so to the internet I went. After some searching I ended up ordering some Cedarhouse liquid smoke from Amazon. It only had three ingredients: water, mesquite smoke and hickory smoke.

It turned out pretty awesome. The smokey flavor was really subtle and didn't overwhelm the flavors of the dry rub.

Here's what I did:

For the pork--

1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/2 of my pork dry rub mix recipe (or your favorite dry rub)
Pork Roast (I used a 2 lb roast)

For the slaw--

3 cups of shredded cabbage
1 cup of broccoli slaw mix
1/2 cup of homemade mayo (or a clean mayonnaise)
1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 cups finely chopped pineapple
salt and pepper to taste

Rub the pork roast down with the dry rub. Place in slow cooker. Add stock, vinegar and liquid smoke. Cover and let cook 8 hours on low or 4 1/2 hours on high or until pork is cooked through.

Combine cabbage,slaw mix and pineapple in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix apple cider vinegar and mayonnaise.  Add to cabbage mix until it is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served the pork alongside the slaw but it really and truly would make a really awesome sandwich.

21 Day Fix Containers used:

1 red
1 blue
1 green
1 purple

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