Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash bake

I don’t know why I was being so lazy all weekend and procrastinated making this dish – I threw it together in under an hour over lunch today and it is…how do I say this…just amazing! I altered the “Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Pasta Bake with White Cheddar” recipe from Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner cookbook in an effort to make this total comfort food a little bit more healthy and gluten free. Check it out – by adding the spaghetti squash I ended up with enough for six individual servings instead of four – yahoo for leftovers! I also must say…I’m convinced that roasting vegetables before you do anything with them is the way to go – such great flavors unleashed!

mini bakes

 

Nothing too complicated here:

6 tbsp. olive oil

1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite sized florets

1-2 heads broccoli (about a pound) cut into bite sized florets

sea salt & pepper to taste

1 medium to large spaghetti squash

4 oz. pancetta, coarsely chopped

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp. Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle

2-3 tbsp. flour (I used almond)

3 c. fat free half and half

1 1/2 c. shredded white cheddar cheese

3 tbsp. crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1 c. gluten free bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place your spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and bake for one hour. In the meantime, place your broccoli and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When you have 20 minutes left on your squash, place the broccoli and cauliflower in the oven.

Heat two tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and Pasta Seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, for another two minutes. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over this mixture and stir it in for about one minute.

Gradually stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for about four minutes. If it doesn’t thicken to your liking, add another tablespoon of flour. Remove the sauce from the heat and add cheddar and gorgonzola, stirring until melted.

When you’ve removed your squash, broccoli, and cauliflower from the oven, you can add the broccoli and cauliflower to the sauce. Cut your squash in half, and scrape out the seeds and stringy inside (I do this with a melon baller) then scrape a fork against the flesh of the squash to create the “spaghetti” strings. Add this to your sauce mixture and make sure everything is coated well.

I have six individual glass baking dishes that I like to use for portion control, but you could easily put this in a 9″x13″ baking pan as well. Once you’ve placed the mixture in a pan, use another bowl to mix the bread crumbs with about 2 tbsp. olive oil. Spoon this crumble mixture over the top and bake in the casserole for another 10-15 minutes, until the toping has browned and it’s bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

cauliflower bake

 

This is SO GOOD! I did the math and it’s about 400 calories per serving if you divide the entire recipe by six. The serving is good sized and very satisfying – I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

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Roasted chicken, winter squash and endive-apple salad

This was a big hit when I made it for my folks this week! The chicken is a recipe that I make a lot from Practical Paleo, and the rest of it is from Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner? cookbook.

winter squash salad

 

Chicken & Squash:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 tbsp. brown mustard

2 tbsp. coconut oil

salt & pepper

1 small acorn squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1″ wedges

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. fennel seeds

Salad: 

1 head endive

1 package baby arugula

1 apple, your choice (I used granny smith)

1/2 c. walnuts

3/4 c. crumbled gorgonzola

Dressing:

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

3 tbsp. minced shallots

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. tarragon

1/4 c. olive oil

salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. In a small saucepan, mix mustard, coconut oil, salt and pepper until oil is melted; whisk together and baste chicken with it. Start roasting chicken on bottom rack of oven for 10 minutes.

Toss the squash, olive oil, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on another baking sheet. Move the chicken to the top shelf of the oven, and place the squash on the bottom. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and undersides are deep golden brown.

To make the salad dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together. For salads, cut the endive into chunks and toss with arugula, apple pieces, and about half of the dressing. Divide the salad between four plates and top each with 2 chicken thighs and some squash. Sprinkle walnuts and gorgonzola on top and drizzle the remaining dressing over it all.

Serve immediately, and enjoy!

(I usually make recipes where I can have leftovers, but I wouldn’t recommend it for this one. Make it for family or friends and eat it all up!

Salmon and Spinach with Lemon Caper sauce

This dinner is so easy to make and so delish – I dare you to give it a try! And psst…this is gluten free and Paleo. And it only takes one pan to make.

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4 salmon filets
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Salt & pepper
1 bunch of spinach
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 c. Chicken broth
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. capers
2 tbsp. coconut flour

Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon filets and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add spinach to the pan and sauté until wilted. Remove from pan and plate with salmon. Add lemon juice, broth, parsley and capers to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in flour, stirring until thickened. Spoon over salmon and spinach and serve.

Best Paleo Breakfast: Cinnamon apples with sausage

I’m on a roll! Made the sausage patties for this incredible breakfast last night – popped them into the frying pan this morning with a sliced up apple and some cinnamon and it was SO good.

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I’m very happy with my new cookbook purchase – this recipe comes from the breakfast section of Against All Grain by Danielle Walker.

Cinnamon Apples & Sausage
1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. dried sage
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. marjoram
4 apples
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, add sage, maple syrup, salt, pepper, nutmeg, red pepper and marjoram to pork. Mix well with hands. Make into 12 small sausage patties. You can store these, uncooked in the fridge until you’re ready, or make them all at once.

To prepare, add sausages to a skillet over medium heat. Brown on both sides and remove from pan. Add one sliced apple to pan with about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Sauté for about three minutes, then add sausage back in. Finish sautéing for another minute or two and serve hot.

Yum! Makes 4 servings.

Mustard Chicken with warm Brussels Sprout Bacon salad

I’m excited about this dinner! So tasty and yes, it’s Paleo. Since it’s only the second week in December and I’m already struggling with the holiday food temptations, I saddled up for a week of planned, Paleo meals. I bought myself a little holiday gift for inspiration : Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain.

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This meal is a little mash-up of one of my favorite recipes from my Paleo bible, Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfillipo, and this new treasure.

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Mustard Chicken
1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 c. Coconut oil
2 tbsp. gluten free mustard
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. In a small sauce pan melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk until combined. Baste chicken with mustard mixture. Bake for 45 minutes.

Brussels Sprout Bacon salad
2 lb. Brussels sprouts
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 leek, white parts chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2/3 c. Chicken broth
1/4 c. Pomegranate seeds

Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium high heat. In the meantime, shred the Brussels sprouts in the food processor using the grater attachment. When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan; add the shredded sprouts, chopped leek, and garlic to the pan and sauté in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Add the broth to the pan, cover and steam for 5 minutes. Stir bacon back in along with salt and pepper to taste. Add pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been itching to try some new “fall” recipes, but I just haven’t had a lot of time! I’m headed out to my parents’ tomorrow, so I thought I’d make this healthy, hearty soup and try it out on them. It’s surprisingly easy to make and full of veggies.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 large butternut squash
6-8 carrots
1 large sweet onion
60 oz. chicken broth
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. Half and half

Melt butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large stock pot. Cube squash, shred carrots and dice onion; add to pot and sauté for a minute or two. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer veggies for about 45 minutes or until they’re very soft. Using the food processor, process this mixture in batches until it’s all smooth. Put back in the pot over low heat and add pepper, nutmeg and half and half. Mix and simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with kale chips.

Recipe makes about 12 servings. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti (squash) with Chicken-spinach Meatballs

I will admit, with all of the excitement in my life over the past month, I’ve fallen off the Paleo wagon (and gained back my five pounds lost). This week I’m trying to settle into a routine and get back to a healthier eating place – here’s a great, satisfying recipe that resembles pasta with meatballs, but is much more veggie-based.

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1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bunch baby spinach
1 egg
4 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tbsp. Italian herb blend
2 spaghetti squash
1 jar prepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 450. Use a knife to cut slits in the squash, then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, remove and let cool until you can handle. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Chop spinach in food processor and place in a large bowl. Place chicken in food processor and pulse until a mince is created – about 20 pulses. Add chicken, egg, spices and breadcrumbs to bowl. Using your hands, combine all ingredients. Form meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Cut squash in half the long way and remove seeds. Using a fork, scrape out meat of squash, which will look like spaghetti. Heat marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Top spaghetti squash with marinara and meatballs.

Enjoy!

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