Timesaver Ceviche

We wanted a simple, fresh and light dinner and I had a perfectly ripe avocado. This recipe did the trick and we enjoyed it with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.

Instead of shrimp, I used a bag of Trader Joe's Langostino Tails -- that is pre-cooked, chopped and frozen -- and what a timesaver! After some research, I discovered this is squat lobster meat (love the name!) and tastes a bit like crab. I thawed, rinsed and dried the Langostino tails. Of course you can use shrimp or other seafood as well. Enjoy!

This serves two hungry souls:

1 avocado, chopped (firm, not too ripe)
1/3 purple onion, chopped
A bag of Trader Joe's Langostino Tails, thawed, rinsed and dried
1/2 of a standard-sized cucumber, peel and chop
Fresh lemon and lime juice (2 TB of each)
Olive oil - 3 TB or to taste
Fresh minced garlic (to taste)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
A splash of hot sauce

Chop avocado, onion, cucumber and add the langostinos tails or chopped shrimp. 

Mix the olive oil, lemon and lime juice, garlic, and add this to the avocado, onion, langostinos, and cucumber. Mix well.
Sprinkle salt and pepper, add hot sauce to taste,  and serve immediately.

Note: We did keep a little bit for the next day and it was still fresh and delicious 24 hours later. The lemon and lime juice helps to preserve the avocado.

Asparagus and Red Pepper Salad

This is one of my favorite side dishes to take to picnics and summer gatherings because it is delicious, nutritious, colorful (yes it matters) and I can make it ahead.

2 bunches of asparagus - ends trimmed, boil, then chop to 1 inch
2 sweet red peppers - chopped to 1 inch
extra virgin olive oil - to taste
white balsamic vinegar - to taste
sea salt - to taste
pepper - to taste
garlic salt - to taste

Cut the stalks off the asparagus and boil the rest al dente and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. You want the asparagus to be firm. Chop into 1-inch pieces.

Slice 2 red peppers into 1-inch pieces as well. 

Place the cut asparagus and peppers in a big bowl.

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic salt to the vegetables. Sorry, I don't measure it -- just do it to taste. (Sometimes I throw in some pine-nuts when I am serving it.)

Time-saver ... or, you can use Garlic Expressions in place of the liquids and spices. 

Chill in the fridge for an hour and serve. Or, make it ahead and it keeps well for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. Severs 6-8 people.

Plantain Snack or Breakfast Side

I buy a plantain and slice it up and cook it in a pan with some Kerrygold butter. You can't eat a plantain raw -- they are too hard and tasteless, but they are deliciously sweet after cooking them. They are high in fiber, and contain potassium and vitamins A, C and B6.

After cooking them, I store them in the fridge to pull out as a side dish with my eggs and bacon breakfast. 

And I also like to add a little nut butter to my plantains for the perfect late afternoon snack to hold me until dinner. Enjoy!

Topless Salad

So I named this meal after a salad at the Pint Room that has a burger with no bun on it. You can leave off the fresh mozzarella if you have a dairy allergy.

  • A head of your favorite lettuce (I like romaine, butter, and kale mixed)
  • Peppers and tomatoes or other veggies like cucumbers for the salad.
  • Dress in olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.

1 lb. of ground beef - make into very small patties. Cook on the stovetop until done.

Now add a dollop of good homemade or good quality (with no sugar) store-bought marina (like Rao's) and add 1/2 of a small ball of mozzarella to top each burger.

Serve the salad adorned with the topless burgers and enjoy with a glass of Kombucha!

Mashup Snack

I am not a big banana fan because they are high in sugar, but when they are green-tipped, the sugar is much less. So I buy them just barely ripe, peel them, cut them in half and freeze them to use in my mashup or in smoothies.

Here are some other great, healthy green-tipped banana snack recipes.

This is a quick and delicious (and healthy!) snack ...

1/2 or 1 whole peeled, green-tipped banana
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds
a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped walnuts (optional)

Thaw and mash the banana. Mix in the almond butter and chia seeds. Top with optional cinnamon, coconut flakes and walnuts. Throw in some fresh blueberries if you have some on hand!

Enjoy!

Kombucha Fermented Tea

Kombucha fermented tea has probiotic qualities, so in short, it aids digestion.

Read this article about the potential health benefits of Kombucha.

Here are simple steps to making it yourself instead of paying $3.50 a bottle at the store.

1. Boil water in a pot that is 6 quarts.

2. Add 6 black tea bags and steep for 20 min. 

3. Add 3/4 cup of any type of real sugar.

4. Remove tea bags and allow the sweet tea to fully cool.

5. Pour the tea into a glass container and add a Kombucha starter, called a SCOBY. It looks like a giant mushroom. You can get a SCOBY from me or make your own.

6. Cover the tea / SCOBY with a paper towel and allow it to sit quietly on your counter for 7-10 days. Let the fermentation begin!

7. When it is ready (suits your taste and you waited 7-10 days), pour the Kombucha into a glass pitcher. I add a cup or a bit more of pure juice to soften and sweeten it. My favorite juice is grape, but a friend shared her Kombucha with me and she used Black Cherry - very tasty too.

Here is another reliable Kombucha recipe source .... 

Important Notes:

  • I drink only 4-6 ounces a day. Drinking larger quantities sometimes bothers my stomach and it might bother yours too.
  • This is a raw, living beverage and new SCOBY babies will form in the liquid over time. You might want to strain it when you get to the bottom of the pitcher. If you drink some of the slimy stuff, no worries, it is good for you!
  • Always use your best clean kitchen practices when cleaning container and utensils.
  • Always store the SCOBY in glass -- even when not in use making a new batch. You can store it in the fridge when you are not using it, or on the counter covered in a little liquid. If you don't keep making Kombucha, the health of your SCOBY can come into question. Discard if you haven't used it for a month.
  • Your SCOBY will grow. Share parts of it with friends or discard it (in the garden.)
  • The SCOBY lives off the sugar you add to the tea. So when it is fermented most of the sweetness is gone. If you forget to add the sugar, or are not adding it on principle, the batch will taste awful and the SCOBY won't be happy. Trust me, I have done this.


Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

A really nice alternative to pasta is using spaghetti squash with your favorite red sauce and some high-quality grass-fed meat (if you are a meat eater like me.) I can easily find the spaghetti squash at Whole Foods and Giant Eagle on a regular basis.

1. Poke holes in the squash and cook it on a plate in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. It should be soft enough to cut in half easily. Or bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

2. Cut the squash in half (length-wise) and remove the seeds. Use a fork to scrape out the wonderful squash strands and store it in a bowl.

3. Brown your grass-fed ground beef -- add a little chopped onion and fresh basil if you'd like.

4. Make a homemade red sauce or use a high quality jarred, red sauce like this one. Ingredients: imported Italian tomatoes, imported olive oil, fresh onions, salt, fresh garlic, fresh basil, black pepper and oregano. I am a realist; I know we don't all have time to make sauce from scratch, so having a high-quality jarred sauce is important. This sauce is expensive, but it is delicious and I love that there is no sugar or artificial ingredients. I found it at Whole Foods.

5. Fill your plate with squash, load up with meat and slather on the red sauce. Add a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan, if you enjoy and can tolerate dairy products, and let the feasting begin!

Leftover squash? Add garlic, butter, salt and pepper and use it as a nice side to meat or fish or load it up with other veggies and/or meat and season to taste.

Sweet Potato Taco

So lunch today was magnificently satisfying and simple with a nutrient-dense carb and protein combination that took less than 10 minutes to prepare.

  1. Cook one sweet potato in the microwave. Mine took about 4 minutes (wrapped in a wet towel.)
  2. Mix about 3/4 cup of grass-fed ground beef and a couple tablespoons of good quality salsa and heat in microwave for a minutes or so.
  3. Cut the sweet potato in half and load it up with the heated meat/salsa mixture. Save the other half for another meal, or wait and see if you are still hungry and eat that too if needed!
  4. Slice an avocado and garnish (and hope that it is perfectly ripe!) and save the other half for later.
  5. Scoop some grass-grazed plain, whole yogurt on top (I like Snowville with 13 grams of protein and almost custard-like creamy) on top.
  6. Devour!

Add some fresh sliced jalapenos and chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, or anything else you have on hand. 

sweet potato taco.jpg

Faux Cereal

So getting my hubby Al to eat gluten-free is not an easy thing to do.

He feels better when he does it, but it is hard for him because he is very social creature and will eat pretty much whatever you put in front of him so he can continue talking, shooting, laughing or fishing.

And when he gets hungry, his go-to snack is several handfuls of cashews, so while this is gluten-free, I needed to find a more cost-effective and less caloric way to satisfy his craving for something healthy, gluten-free and yummy.

When I went to MovNat camp for a week in West Virginia (what seems like forever-ago) Clifton Harski prepared a cereal-free concoction with fruit and nuts that made you feel like you were eating cereal. I adopted it with my family.

So here it is!

  1. Chop up whatever fruit you have on hand or use generous amounts of berries. My favorite is mixing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
  2. Pour your favorite milk on top: coconut, unsweetened almond or some pastured whole milk. No milk on hand? A dollop of Greek, full-fat yogurt (or whatever you enjoy) works too!
  3. Sprinkle generously with walnuts and/or pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Enjoy! ~Lori

Bacon!

I love bacon!

But it is a pain to prepare, so I bake it in the oven on Sunday and then eat it a piece or two at a time throughout the week.

I use it in between meals as a snack (like some people eat jerky) or with my pastured eggs mid-morning after teaching morning Strength and Movement classes.

I buy uncured Black Forest bacon from Trader Joe's. Whole Foods has a nice uncured BF too, but it costs more. 

I lay foil on a cookie sheet and load up the bacon edge-to-edge and pop into a 375 degree oven.

I flip it over half way (10 minutes) and I like my bacon medium crispy so that I can eat it cold when I am on-the-go.

It keeps well for a week in the fridge.

Enjoy! ~Lori



Use-Your-Leftovers Frittata

I came home from morning classes starving and I was so tired of the same old eggs! So I grabbed some leftover grassfed ground beef and sun-dried tomatoes and whipped this up!  

  1. Turn the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Layer a handlful of sundried tomatoes or add veggies, in a oven-safe dish.
  3. Layer your left-over meat (of any kind - bacon, pork, ham, turkey, etc.) and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. (I used an Italian Blend).

4. Mix eggs (I used 8) and a little pastured milk if you have it and pour over tomatoes and meat.

5. I sprinkled some black pepper and smoked paprika on top to give it more zing and some color.

6. Bake until is is cooked through (40 minutes for me.) Couldn't wait to eat it, yum!

photo 5.jpg

Enjoy!  --Lori