Recipes

Kale with Sausage and Onion

I’m one of those people that has a love-hate relationship with kale.  Sometimes I’m craving it, but other times I want nothing to do with it.  Kale can be so versatile: sautéed, steamed, made into chips, tossed with some oil and lemon, or layered in a sandwich.  My personal favorite: sautéed for sure.IMG_3808

This recipe is so delicious and perfect for lunch and meal prepped.  I’m totally one of those ladies who will #mealprep on Instagram and be all proud I took care of my food for the week, and this one never fails me.  For the sausage, I never skimp out – I always use pork, but it has to be good quality.  I like Niman Ranch or Applegate (or even Vermont brand has quality nitrate-free uncured sausage).  The snap that the sausage has on it when it’s cooked is great and takes seasoning very well.  I cut the links into 1/4in thick circles and chop the onion into slices as well.  The onion goes in the pan first and will cook until translucent and fragrant (who doesn’t love the smell of cooking onions in a pan?).  Then I add the sausage and sauté until the sausage browns on the sides.

I like a traditional Old bay seasoning, but didn’t have any so I opted with a Mexican blend.  It acted as a nice little twist to the dish.   After the sausage is pretty much browned on both sides, add in the kale and stir it in by layering the onions and sausage on top to wilt the leaves.  Continue to do this and add as much kale as you’d like!  I also added a bit more oil to saturate the kale and get things nice and seasoned.  This could be done with a varietal of foods like spinach instead of kale, chicken sausage, peppers AND onions (mind.blown), or stick to the recipe!  The choice is yours 🙂 Happy cooking!

Kale with Sausage and Onion

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg sausage
  • 2 bunches organic kale - rinsed; just the leaves
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil I used avocado oil
  • Seasoning such as Old Bay or your choice!

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil on a medium heat.
  2. Slice onions into long strips and set aside. Chop the sausage links into 1/4in thick rounds and set aside.
  3. Add onions to the pan and sauté until fragrant and translucent
  4. Add in sausage to the onions and begin to sauté until browned.
  5. Season the onions and sausage with choice of seasoning and stir.
  6. Layer in the kale and stir in as needed. Add in a bit more oil as desired.
  7. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Swap out pork sausage for chicken as desired. Use spinach instead of kale if thats' what you prefer!

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

Who doesn’t like teriyaki chicken?  I always think of a bento boxes or lunch specials when I hear the word “teriyaki.”  I’m a sushi girl, but the hubs isn’t a fan, so we compromise and get thai a lot of the time (or chinese food).  This time, I decided to step up my Asian cuisine game and make teriyaki chicken from scratch.  I cannot begin to say how easy (and delicious) this was.  It was literally four ingredients (ok, maybe five when you add in the butter to brown the chicken, but whatever) and made in a #paleo style – with coconut aminos.IMG_3813

“Morg, what the heck is that?”  Well, coconut aminos is a sauce derived from a coconut that acts as a substitute for soy or actual teriyaki sauce.  I don’t prefer soy products nor do I cook with anything made from soy, so this was a perfect fix!  The taste is spot on and is versatile.  I started with slicing and seasoning the chicken with sea salt.  Then adding the chicken to a hot pan with melted butter to brown the chicken.  After most of the chicken was brown, I poured the coconut aminos with some toasted sesame oil (for a nuttier flavor) to the chicken and simmered.

The chicken soaks up all the aminos and oils and turns such a beautifully burnt orange color.  Lastly, I add 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and turn the heat to low.  This simmers for some time to allow the sugar to emulsify and get a little thick.  Taste the sauce to make sure it isn’t too sweet – if so, add a dash of garlic powder (trust me, it’s hella awesome).IMG_3823

Scoop some jasmine or basmati rice aside of a heaping pile of this teriyaki chicken and have at it! Let me know what ya think 🙂 Nomaste

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onion

Sometimes there are things that just come to mind the night before, or even the same night when trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  This recipe is no exception.  I love cooking with and using turmeric in a variety of ways, as turmeric is great for inflammation and overall health.  This is a dish that calls for marinading the chicken the night prior so that all the great herbs and spices get fully absorbed into the chicken, leaving it nice and juicy when cooked.  I used garlic powder, turmeric powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and chipotle powder.  I blended the spices in a Ziploc bag and let sit overnight.

I chose to use chicken thighs for this recipe.  What most people forget is that darker meat of a bird is actually more nutritious than the chicken breast.  The darker meat has loads of vitamins and essential fatty acids our bodies need to function and to stay healthy.  I love thighs because they are meatier than drumsticks, and cook for varied length of time (especially boneless).

To prep, I julienned (thinly sliced) the peppers (one orange, one yellow) and sliced the onion and let them start to sauté in a large pan in some oil.  After they started to get soft, I added the chicken and some butter and water.  I covered the chicken so it can cook in its own juices (instead of adding tomato sauce or a broth, it simmered in water and its own juices). This simmered for just about 45 minutes and was ready to serve with some rice on the side.  It was kind of awesome!

 

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken thighs
  • 1 orange pepper 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Turmeric powder
  • Paprika
  • Chipotle pepper
  • Coriander
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a ziplock bag, add the chicken thighs with all spices and let sit overnight in fridge.
  2. Cut the peppers and onion in thin slices. In a medium pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil on medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Stir to coat and let sauté until soft.
  3. Add in chicken thighs and layer the peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Turn chicken over after five minutes to sear on both sides.
  4. Add butter and 1/4c water to the pan and cover. Bring heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure that chicken is beginning to get tender and fall apart.
  5. Serve with a side of your favorite rice, pasta, or potatoes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want to make a gravy from the leftover sauce in the pan from chicken:
-- Add a tbsp and a half of flour to the pan and whisk until thick
-- Layer on top of chicken

Ratatouille

No, this post is not about the most incredible Pixar animated movie Ratatouille, but it does have to do with the dish that’s in it!  There is nothing better than slow-cooked vegetables in a beautifully decadent tomato sauce with a side of roasted vegetables (I’m obsessed with roasted broccoli, FYI.)

Picture this: perfectly ripe eggplant, crisp zucchini, plump tomatoes, onion, garlic, a dash of salt, garlic, a pinch of parmesan cheese… YASSSS HONEY!  I stumbled upon this recipe by trying to make something different, apparently Troy wanted a dish similar to eggplant parm, but he said “You know, the stew thing with the eggplant.” Needless to say, this went over just fine (and is great with rice, but tonight, we go sans starch).

I prep by cutting relatively thick slices of eggplant and zucchini, then dice up a full yellow onion and 2 cloves garlic, and two tbsp of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a dutch oven.  Let the oil get hot then add the eggplant, Toss for several minutes until the eggplant is a little tender and brown.  Repeat the same for the zucchini.  This allows the oil at the bottom of the dutch oven to absorb some of the flavors from the veggies.  I add the onion and garlic and until fragrant and translucent.

In goes the marinara and Roma tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, a bit of parmesan, and add back the eggplant and zucchini.  This sits on low heat for a while (or until the eggplant is really tender and “stew” consistency); at this point, I prep the broccoli and brussel sprouts by trimming and cutting as needed.  I toss in some EVOO and spread on a pre-greased pan.  Sprinkle fresh ground pepper and sea salt, bake in the oven for 15-20m and then layer cheese of your choice to broil until browned on top.  Voila! Ratatouille a la Morgan 🙂 Enjoy!

Ratatouille

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 jars of low sugar marinara sauce
  • 1 large eggplant sliced then quartered
  • 2 medium zucchini or one large sliced then quartered
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes diced
  • 5 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 bag pre-washed broccoli
  • 1 bag pre-washed brussel sprouts

Instructions

  1. Chop and quarter the eggplant and zucchini and put them in separate bowls. Dice the onion and garlic and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of oil to the dutch oven (or deep pan) and heat on medium-high heat. Add eggplant and stir until most of the eggplant has turned a darker color (and is fragrant). Don't worry if the eggplant absorbs a lot of the oil, it will still cook! After 4-5 minutes, take out eggplant and add another tbsp of oil to the dutch oven. Pour in zucchini and sauté until lightly brown. Take out and set aside.Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté onion and garlic. Lower heat to medium and continue to stir until translucent and fragrant. Add the marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, and the sautéed eggplant and zucchini. Stir.
  3. Add fresh grated parmesan if desired and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  4. Slice brussel sprouts and broccoli and add to bowl with 2 tbsp oil. Toss to ensure all veggies are coated. Lay on a pre-greased pan and season with salt and pepper. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 15m at 350*
  5. After the vegetables bake for 15-20m, turn the oven to broil and sprinkle cheese of your choice and broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

Four Layer Taco Dip

Who doesn’t love a good dip?  I sure do.  For as long as I can remember, this dip has been a staple at SuperBowl parties (and I’ve been told I can’t come unless I bring it, so it’s kind of a big deal…) and is always a hit.  It can be served cold sans melted cheese, or it can be broiled to melt the cheese just enough that it’s not burnt.

Let’s talk about the layers:  sour cream, ground beef, mild salsa, and Mexican cheese. The first layer is sour cream.  I swear by Wallaby’s cultured organic sour cream because it has such a thick, rich flavor and is incredibly low in sugar, but high in the good stuff. I found a great salsa to pair as well with easy ingredients and paleo-approved.  Lastly, the cheese tops this monster of a dip (I don’t get fancy with the cheese… Sargento is great for this).

I start out with browning the meat like you would for tacos, adding the seasoning about halfway through (when the meat is 75% browned).  I add a 1/4c of water to the meat, then the seasoning, lower the flame to low and stir around.  I let it sit uncovered on a low heat just until the water is absorbed and remove it from the heat.  Add the sour cream at the bottom of any corning wear or pyrex dish (be generous), then add the meat, the salsa, and then the cheese.  Melt cheese or not melt cheese?  The choice is yours 🙂

This dip is very high in good fats and is Ketogenic-friendly.  I’ve dabbled in the Keto diet before it was a thing and found that while I LOVE me some bacon, avocado, and butter, I missed having a ton of veggies on my plate (keto is incredibly low-carb and, as you already know, vegetables pack some carbs regardless if they’re a vegetable.  All in moderation and balance right friends?  I decided tonight was a good night to roast some asparagus tossed in EVOO sprinkled with pink sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mmmm, I already ate and am still drooling.

Four Layer Taco Dip

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package ground beef
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 1 container salsa
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 cups Mexican blend cheese
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, turn heat to medium and brown the ground beef until 75% of the beef is browned. Add 1/4c of water to the meat, then stir in seasoning. Bring heat down to low and continue to cook and stir in seasoning until water is fully absorbed. Turn heat off and let sit.
  2. In your dish of choice, assemble the dip with sour cream at the bottom, adding the ground beef atop of the sour cream. Pour salsa and spread evenly across the ground beef, and sprinkle cheese to cover the top of the meat. Broil for 10m at 325 degrees. (or serve as is!). Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, or solo.