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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Garlic Rainbow Chard with Butternut Squash and Salmon

I love creating new recipes, but for this recipe I have to give credit where credit is due. Last summer, we picked up some beautiful rainbow chard from the farmers' market, but I had never eaten it before and had no idea what to do with it. Luckily, Kevin stepped in and made a delicious meal of sauteed chard with garlic and salmon. Needless to say, I was hooked. We've used rainbow chard many times since then, and when I saw a bright bunch of rainbow chard in the produce section the other day, I just had to have it.

What I Gather: Garlic Chard with Butternut Squash and Salmon

For this recipe, I built on Kevin's original idea and added in roasted butternut squash for a heartier, winter meal. The flavor was delicious and it was such a colorful and warming meal. Filling, but not heavy. So, let's all thank Kevin for being such a wonderful cook and wonderful husband (oh, wait, that second part is just from me)! Enjoy!

What I Gather: Garlic Chard with Butternut Squash and Salmon

Garlic Rainbow Chard with Butternut Squash and Salmon
Serves: 4
Time: 40 Minutes

1 medium butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp ghee
1 bunch rainbow swiss chard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
12oz canned salmon
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast for 25 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. After stirring, prepare your other ingredients.

Roughly chop chard stems and set aside. Roughly chop leaves into 1 inch strips.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and chili flakes to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant. About 3 minutes.

Add chard stems to pan. Stir to incorporate with garlic. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.

Add ghee to pan. Once melted, add chard leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until chard is wilted, but still bright.

Remove from heat. Stir in salmon and squash. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Everything Weeknight Paleo Cookbook Review - Hundreds of Quick and Easy Paleo Recipes and a Giveaway!!

The number one complaint I hear from people who are new to the paleo diet is that they don't have the time to spend in the kitchen cooking. This is a totally understandable barrier when you are used to waking up in the morning to a bowl of cereal, eating a sandwich for lunch, picking up a quick dinner on the way home and eating pre-packaged snacks throughout the day.

Trust me, I get it. I used to eat Lean Pockets for dinner. I didn't understand why anyone would spend more than the two minutes and thirty seconds that it takes to heat up a Lean Pocket to make dinner. Obviously, my thoughts on that subject have changed just a teeny bit, but we are all busy and it can be difficult to find time to cook healthy, delicious meals.

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks to make this transition easier. Using a meal planning calendar like the one I have available here (scroll about halfway down the page) can ensure you know exactly what you will be making each day so you aren't digging through the refrigerator at the last minute and it will also help you build your grocery list for the week.

If you are new to paleo, though, you will need some quick and simple meal ideas to get you started. That is where the Everything Weeknight Paleo Cookbook comes in! This book, written by Michelle Fagone of Cave Girl Cuisine, has 300 delicious paleo recipes that your whole family will love!

The book starts with a quick introduction to the paleo diet and is then separated out into different chapters for

  • Appetizers and Snacks
  • Sauces and Spreads
  • Salads and Dressings
  • Stocks, Soups and Stews
  • Beef, Pork and Lamb
  • Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Sides
  • Children's Favorites
  • Grilling Time
  • Additional Paleo Resources
When I received this book from Michelle, I immediately started to flip through it. The recipes are well written and the nutrition information is provided for each. I was super excited to see that there are even some baby food recipes, as we are just introducing solids to Baby A. I dug right in and made the Curried Chicken Salad the very next day after receiving the book. It was quick, easy and delicious! I served it in butter lettuce cups with a side of roasted broccoli.

I was so impressed with this salad that I made another salad from the book later in the week. This time, we tried the Salmon-Spinach Salad, which is a mix of spinach, grapes, carrots, almonds and raspberries topped with a salmon filet. Kevin even made a tasty raspberry vinaigrette to go with it and we served it all up with a side of sautéed asparagus.

Some of the other recipes on my list to make are the Sausage and Spicy Eggs, the Beef and Coconut Curry and Chipotle-Lime Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  It all looks so good! 

So, are you intrigued yet? :) Ready to snag your very own copy of Michelle's book? Well, you are in luck because she very sweetly sent me two copies and I am giving one away to a lucky reader! All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below. I will choose one winner at random and send you a signed copy of The Everything Weeknight Paleo Cookbook! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a complimentary review copy of the book. All opinions are 100% my own and I would never share a product or service with you that I haven't purchased or used myself. Purchase links are affiliate links and I do earn a small commission from your purchase, which helps me to keep this blog running.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Paleo Pen Pals January 2014 - Paleo Chipotle Lime Coconut Slaw

My Paleo Pen Pal this month was Shannon of A Pinch of Ginger. She has all kinds of yummy looking paleo and primal recipes, fitness tips and other fun stuff so go check her out. :) And I am not just saying that because of the awesome surprises she sent me - two things I have never tried before! Coconut Vinegar and Grainless Granola from Steve's Paleo Goods. I am saving the granola for a special treat, but I used the coconut vinegar the very next day after receiving it.

We had already planned a dinner of Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers from Primally Inspired (they were awesome, by the way), but needed a side dish. Kevin had been requesting more greens in his life and who am I to deny such a healthy request so I decided to come up with a slaw recipe to have alongside the peppers.

This slaw is so easy to make and you can really just use whatever shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix you choose. I had a bag of slaw mix with shredded cabbage, carrots and radishes and used that. Next up was a diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and, of course, coconut vinegar. The result was a slightly tangy and perfectly spicy slaw that could accompany so many dishes! Read on for the recipe and be sure to check out the Paleo Pen Pals Facebook page if you would like to join in on the paleo-swapping fun next month!

Paleo Chipotle Lime Coconut Slaw
Serves: 6
Time: 20 Minutes


4 cups shredded cabbage or slaw mix
1 cup shredded carrots
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced + 1 tsp adobo sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp coconut vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

-Combine cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
-In a small bow, stir together chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, lime juice, vinegar, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.
-Pour mixture over cabbage and carrots and stir well until everything is evenly coated.
-Refrigerate until ready to use.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cranberry Cherry Paleo Granola Bars

If you have a paleo lunchbox to pack, these granola bars would make for a perfect after-lunch treat! But they are definitely not just for kids - grownups have lunchboxes, too, right? I packed my lunch almost every day when I was 9-to-5ing it. Speaking of lunchboxes, I had a metal Care Bears lunchbox in elementary school. I moved on to a pink plastic lunchbox that came with a whole sheet of decorative stickers in middle school. It looked kind of like a briefcase, too. I was pretty sophisticated like that.

Back up...this post is not supposed to be about lunchboxes, it is supposed to be about granola bars. These delicious fruit and nut granola bars, to be exact. I used dried cherries and cranberries and mixed them together with a  variety of nuts and seeds to give them a perfect granola bar texture. There is only one teensy tablespoon of added sweetener, but that is all these bars need. They are slightly sweet and chewy, but with a little crunch. The trick to getting these right is to really pack them down tightly in the pan before baking.

The best part is that this recipe could be made so many different ways. You could do chocolate chips and raisins, ginger and dried apples, or dried pineapple and coconut for a tropical flair! Hmm...I better get back in the kitchen!

Since I obviously have lunchbox nostalgia on the brain, tell me...which awesome lunchbox did you have growing up?

Cranberry Cherry Paleo Granola Bars
Time: 35 Minutes
Makes: 12

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup dried cranberries (no sugar added), chopped
⅓ cup dried cherries (no sugar added), chopped
Dash of salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Stir together eggs, vanilla and honey in a small bowl until well combined.

Stir together shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, cherries, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  

Pour egg mixture into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. Pour into a parchment paper lined 9’’x9’’ pan and press down evenly so it is tightly packed.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool completely then cut into 12 bars.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cooking with Coconut Oil: Book Review and Recipe for Roasted Broccoli, Bacon and Sunflower Salad

I don't own many cookbooks. I tend to look recipes up online or just make them up as I go along (and share them with you!), but The Guilty Kitchen's Elizabeth Nyland has put together an amazing book entitled Cooking with Coconut Oil and it is one that I am super excited to add to my collection.

First of all, this book is beautifully made. The Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Pie on the cover makes you want to rip the book open and discover the other delicious dishes hiding inside. Each recipe is accompanied by a mouth-watering photo that you can almost taste. I am really big on photos, they help me know that I made a recipe correctly. :)

What I really love about this book is that, even though I cook with coconut oil often, I assumed a book about cooking with coconut oil would contain mostly baked goods and dessert recipes. Boy, was I wrong! This book contains more than 75 main dishes, sides, salads, soups, dressings and, of course, a few sweet treats. Elizabeth also includes tips for following a paleo diet and helpful paleo resources.

The first recipe I chose to make from the book was the Roasted Broccoli, Bacon and Sunflower Salad and it was absolutely delicious. I love broccoli and in this recipe it was roasted with bacon and sunflower seeds and mixed with a balsamic and dijon dressing (made with coconut oil, of course). Lucky for you, I am going to give you a special sneak peak into the book and share this tasty recipe with you!

Cooking with Coconut Oil is available for purchase now on Amazon. Be sure to also check out The Guilty Kitchen for even more paleo deliciousness from Elizabeth!

Roasted Broccoli, Bacon and Sunflower Salad
Serves: 4 to 6

1 pound broccoli (about 1 large broccoli), cut into florets
6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 tbsp raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix broccoli with bacon, sunflower seeds, onion and garlic in a baking dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the Dijon, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to form a dressing. Pour over the bacon-broccoli mixture and place in the oven.

3. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until bacon is cooked through and broccoli is golden on the edges. Serve.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a complimentary review copy of the book. All opinions are 100% my own and I would never share a product or service with you that I haven't purchased or used myself. Purchase links are affiliate links and I do earn a small commission from your purchase, which helps me to keep this blog running.