Monday, April 9, 2012

Pizza Stuffed Bellas

Sometimes your favorites come from what you have on hand in the pantry or fridge. In this case, both. I absolutely love mushrooms and we have an excellent selection at our local Farmer’s Market. This past week the portabellas looked irresistible and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. I had a feeling they’d end up being stuffed with something delicious. I happen to love pizza flavors, so I decided on a pizza themed stuffed mushroom. The portabellas I had were, HUGE. So, adjust your recipe as you see fit. For one pound of meat, I’d say 4 decent size portabellas should work perfect with about ¼ lb of meat mix per shroom.

When cleaning a mushroom, never submerge or soak in water. Use a damp cloth and wipe off the dirt.


4 Portabellas, cleaned - stems removed and gills scraped out
1 lb. Ground beef
1 jar pizza sauce or 2 cups homemade sauce (I love MIDS pizza sauce)
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
Cheese optional (I used raw milk cheese and it was phenomenal)


Heat olive in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions until they are translucent. Add in the ground beef and cook through. I like to cook mine until it’s a little bit crispy. Stir in the pizza sauce until combined and warmed through, so the flavors marry. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and also rub the outside of the portabella with olive oil. Lay down onto baking sheet with the cleaned gill side up and place pizza beef mixture into the shroom, being cautious not to overfill it. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

These are gooey pizza imitations that outdo the real deal and are much healthier too!

Picture Source Here

Thought for the Day:

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


Monday, February 27, 2012

Italian Swiss Steak - Crockpot

I love those days when you have a random assortment of food and think hmmm…I’m lazy and I need something that will cook itself.  All I want to do is pour stuff into the Crockpot! I also wanted to avoid the traditional way of cooking swiss steak and do something a bit different.  The artichoke Italian swiss steak was created and very much loved in my house.  Even our dinner guests enjoyed the creation!!  This wonderful (insert sarcastic eye roll) picture was of some leftovers that I took to lunch today.

2 Swiss Steaks (about 2 lbs)
2.5 cups red sauce (from a jar or homemade, just make sure it’s gluten free and paleo friendly)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
Garlic Powder
2 T Coconut Oil
Cabbage, shredded

Season meat with salt, pepper, and garlic; in a skillet (we love our cast iron) with 1 T coconut oil heated sauté until brown on both sides. Place meat into Crockpot and top with sauce, artichoke hearts, and garlic. Cook for 6-8 hours. Then take the meat out of the Crockpot and let rest before pulling apart and putting back in sauce, where it will cook for another hour to let all the flavors blend.

Heat 1 T coconut oil in large pan and add shredded cabbage seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Serve meat over cabbage and voila a delicious healthy meal from items in your pantry or freezer (we make sauce and freeze it).


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Avocado Egg Cups

Avocado egg cups = win! I saw this idea on Pinterest, but couldn’t find a bake time, so I took it upon myself to experiment and see what worked. It’s pretty darn easy, delicious, and pretty to look at. Dribble on a little hot sauce and voila, total yum! I’m not a fan of spicy but the richness of the egg and avocado cut through the heat to allow me the zing I love without the burn.  I used basic seasoning this time, but up next I'll through in some cumin, paprika, and chili powder for some southwestern flare.

Super Easy Avocado Egg Cups

1 Avocado
2 Eggs
Garlic Powder
Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split open the avocado and remove the giant seed. Season the inside of the avocado with a little pepper, garlic and salt (very minimal). Crack open eggs and drop into holes where the seed use to be in the avocado. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic to your desired taste. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until eggs reach your level of desired doneness. I prefer a little bit runny yolk, while my husband wants his eggs cooked without a bit of dribble. Top with hot sauce or whatever you prefer and ENJOY!

This was super easy and the avocado melted in my mouth. I served it with a side of sausage and this is an excellent breakfast or dinner meal!

"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Friday, January 13, 2012

Simple and Sweet

Chocolate, nut butter, and bananas are a match made in the clouds! Pure simple flavors that create an explosion of flavor. This little sweet treat was made to cater more toward a gluten free or paleo diet, but one could sub whatever kind of chocolate and nut butter that is most desired for his or her taste. I chose almond butter and "Enjoy Life" semi-sweet chocolate chips, which are gluten, soy, and dairy free. I like those chips better than Hershey's or Nestle,  I absolutely love those little morsels of goodness!

Resist the Urge to Lick Your Screen


1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C almond butter
2-3 bananas, sliced into large round chunks
Shredded coconut (I prefer "Let's Do Organic" shredded and unsweetened)

Melt the chocolate chips and almond butter over a double broiler. Once melted, drop in banana slices and coat completely, before placing on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle coconut on top of banana chunks. Once all the bananas have taken their chocolate bath, place them in the freezer on the cookie sheet for a couple hours. They are delightful, so please enjoy!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

The title says it all - what's not to love! My BFF in NC sent me this recipe link and I made it that night because it looked so amazing and I wanted to do a test run before Thanksgiving. Again with the cell phone pictures because I'm too lazy to break out the camera and take a nice shot, so I'm forgoing a picture of the food and posting one of me and my momma from years ago! Please do me one favor and MAKE YOUR CRUST! The pre-made graham cracker crust tastes like sawdust and a yummy homemade one is easy to whip up!  Now to get off the food topic for a minute.

This is the first Thanksgiving without my mom (December 1st will be the six month anniversary of her death) and it's proving to be a difficult time for me. The festivities do not hold the same magic they have in the past and I know my momma would not want it that way. However, it's hard...plain and simple. Gatlinburg, TN was my momma's favorite place on earth and a turn of events has landed us there for Thanksgiving weekend. I really felt God's hand in this situation because he gave me faith that I will see true joy again. For the first time in a long time, I felt that twinge of joy that had always been a part of me when I found out we'd be in's like I'll be with my momma in spirit because I know that's where her spirit is every day. My wish is that everyone holds the ones they love a little bit closer and takes the opportunity to get to know who their family really is. We all grow with age and those relatives who were a pain in the ass when we were young, aren't necessarily that way anymore. Get to know the family members in your life as they are today and truly embrace your relationship with them. I hope we all love a little more, forgive a little more, and appreciate what we have a little more staring right now while we have the opportunity.

Recipe Adapted from Taste of Home found HERE


2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C sugar
1/2 C butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 jar (12-1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
Additional caramel ice cream topping, optional


Melt the butter in a bowl, and then stir in the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Press graham cracker mix into a pie pine and up the sides as evenly as possible.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla until smooth.  Spread into pastry shell; sprinkle with pecans.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining eggs; gradually whisk in caramel topping until blended. Pour slowly over pecans.

Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before slicing. If desired, garnish with additional caramel ice cream topping.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Butternut Squash Lasagna Goodness

Mmmmmmm, mmmmm, great!  I've made this meal at least half a dozen times in the past three months and love it.  My husband, well he's not a convert yet from traditional lasagna noodles to other, healthier, options.  I really don't miss the noodles and actually prefer the squash to regular noodles.  I've made eggplant lasagna in the past and loved it, but this is even better than that!  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do.

If this was the only meal I could ever eat again, I'd be okay with that! It has amazing flavor with the sweetness of the butternut and the tang of the tomatoes.  I've made this with pizza pork sausage, Italian sausage, and chicken sausage - none of them have disappointed me.  I recommend doubling the meat and sauce if your prefer a more meaty lasagna, but I like it just the way it is as I think the butternut squash and sausage balance each other very nicely. 

Deliciousness right here, folks!!

Paleo Butternut Squash from Health-Bent

1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 red onion
3 cloves garlic
16 oz jar pizza sauce (I prefer Mid's)
1 roasted red peppers
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C couples leaves of fresh basil
1 small butternut squash

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Roast your red pepper by placing it on a cookie sheet and turning it until all sides are black and it's sort of collapsed into itself.  Then put in a bowl and cover with plastic which will allow for easier removal of the red pepper skin.  After about 15 minutes, remove plastic wrap and take the skin off of your peppers and pull out the seeds (if a few get left behind, no worries, they get processed)!

In a saute pan crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onions & garlic. While that’s going, cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Pull out the seeds. Don’t be anal about getting out all the strings, as you won’t even notice those when they’re cooked. Slice the squash into the aforementioned planks.

Make the sauce by pureeing the pizza sauce, red peppers, olive oil and basil.

Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.

Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Stick a fork into it to check your squash to make sure they are fork tender.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Sorta

This super easy weeknight meal rocked! It was way better than I had imagined and much lighter than a traditional eggplant parmesan. I wanted eggplant parmesan, but I didn’t want the breaded fried goodness that comes with it, so I had a dilemma. Not really, but it makes this recipe sound way cooler. I am in love with Mezetta pasta sauce because it’s gluten free and free of some other junk that our bodies do not need on a regular basis. I love making my own pasta sauce, but some nights you need something bottled and quick. This dish reheated well for the next couple nights of dinner too!

Roasted Eggplant

1 Eggplant
Garlic Power
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Trim the ends of your eggplant off and stand it on one flat end to make it easy to cut the skin off. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and lay flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper. Pop in the oven for about 10-15 minutes and flip. The edges will start to turn a little brown and the eggplant will be tender.

Sausage Marinara Topper
1 lb. ground pork sausage (beef, chicken, or turkey could be subbed) 
1 Jar Mezetta Pasta Sauce (or your favorite, or a nice homemade sauce)
(Click HERE for a great semi-homemade sauce)

Brown the sausage until cooked through, then add the marinara. Cook until heated through.  Serve over roasted eggplant and let it melt in your mouth.

Here's a picture of the pasta sauce I used from the companies website