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Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

Salads.  It’s one of those dishes that when I hear it, a few things come to mind.  I automatically assume it’s either lettuce or grain based.  Unless it’s at a summer gathering, then I think it’s either going to be potato or macaroni salad.  I’m trying to change my perception of what makes a salad so that I can experiement a little more.  Salads don’t have to be lettuce or grain based!  This might not be some amazing revelation to you but for me it opened up a lot more possibilities.

I was looking for something that I could create that would yield leftovers.  I wanted something to have at lunch that was veggie packed but not your standard boring mixed greens salad.

Since it was fall, I decided to incorporate a bunch of traditional fall ingredients like sweet potatoes and cranberries to create a salad that is great for lunch or as a side dish.  It’s also perfect for traveling so it can be taken to work (mason jar salad!) or to a party or picnic.  It’s grain free, it’s vegan, it’s Paleo.  It’s all the buzz words.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

 

Andrea’s Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

For the salad:

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1C Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tsp of Olive Oil for cooking

For The Dressing:

  • 2TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 2TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1/4C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4C Light Olive Oil
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper

 

In a small glass bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the cubed sweet potatoes.  Boil until the sweet potato is just fully cooked through so that a knife pierces it easily but the sweet potato isn’t mushy.  About five – 10 minutes.  Drain the sweet potatoes making sure to remove as much water as possible.  Add to a large mixing bowl.

Using the fine grate or thin slice blade for your food processor, shred or shave (either works here) the Brussels Sprouts.  In a large skillet add in 1 tsp of light olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add in the sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove and add to the sweet potatoes.

Add in the cranberries and the red onion, toss to combine.  Pour the dressing over top of the salad and gently mix until everything has been coated in dressing.

Serve immediately or cover and place in fridge until ready to serve.  Serves 4 meal size portions or 8 as a side dish.

A couple of notes:

I slightly cooked the sprouts to help bring out more flavor and reduce their bitterness a bit.  This is a taste preference.  If you like raw sprouts then it’s OK to skip this step.  If you allow the salad to sit for several hours before serving, that will help breakdown the sprouts a bit.

This dish gets better the longer it has time to marinade in the dressing.

It does make for a big salad and this served two people as a meal for two lunches.

Leftovers are great but make sure to eat this in at least three days, otherwise the sprouts start getting a little funky.

Adding in some nuts, seeds, or even a little feta or goat cheese on top would make great additions to this salad!  A little twist on the traditional veggie side makes it perfect for holiday gatherings.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

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Holiday Season Begins

Whole Roasted Chicken

Welcome to November!  It’s time to fully kick off the holiday season!  This is my favorite time of year, the world seems to slow down just a little bit and it won’t be long until we see our first snowfall.

All this month we will be talking food and prepping for Thanksgiving.  The holidays don’t have to be to unhealthy and full of junk foods.  They can be full of awesome food that is good for you.  Sure you’re going to eat your fair share of desserts but whatever.  Don’t dwell on the bad, focus on the good.

This month leading up to Thanksgiving I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on how to make the big day run smoothly along with sharing a few recipes so that you can have a game plan to create a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  We are going to be keeping things simple! If you have never cooked a big meal like this before, then this series will be perfect for you!  Everything will be easy to make AND a lot of things can get prepped ahead of time leaving you some breathing room on the big day.

Yes it’s going to take some planning and some time spent in the kitchen but having a home cooked dinner is well worth it.  It will be relaxing and you’ll be able to impress your family with the awesome meal you made!

If you have any questions about cooking Thanksgiving dinner or cooking for the holidays, fire away!  I’ll be sure to answer them in an upcoming post!

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Zoodle Love

Lemon parmesan shrimp and zoodles

Heading into the time of limited sunlight and it’s getting harder and harder to photograph food.  I take pictures of the food when we eat it so depending on the time of day this can be challenging.  During mid-day I’m seeing some funky light and shadows in the house.  Once winter hits I’m not sure if I’ll have a spot in the house where I can take photos!  This will definitely be an obstacle to work through this year.

Yesterday for lunch we had Shrimp with Zoodles in a Lemon Parmesan Cream Sauce.  I had been dreaming of shrimp for days and the idea for the sauce was inspired by Inspiralized’s recipe.  The shrimp was seasoned with Flavor God’s Lemon Garlic and roasted in the oven at 400 until they were just done.

Three medium zucchinis were spiralized and lightly heated in a skillet for about 5 minutes.  For the sauce, I used the same ingredient’s in Ali’s recipe with a bit more parm added for an extra salty bite.  The sauce got added at the last minute and tossed with the zoodles.  Shrimp on top and lunch is served!

This totally hit the spot and I have to admit that I am in love with zoodles.  There’s so many things that can be done with them and it makes for a nice change from a typical lunch salad.  Still getting in a good amount of veggies and protein without having to turn to salads.  This was a quick and easy unprocessed meal!

I went to the grocery store and loaded up on all kinds of veggies for the upcoming week.  I have big plans to make some interesting stuff and hopefully I’ll have enough light to photograph it!

We’re almost through with Unprocessed month!  How have you done so far?

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Spicy Cranberry Chutney from The Spicy Paleo Cookbook by Emily Dionne

I was contacted to review the The Spicy Paleo Cookbook by Emily Dionne and since our eats tend to lean towards more of a primal nature I was happy to take a look at the book.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the book is on the smaller side for a cookbook and that there are no pictures that accompany the recipes.  If this is important to you, you’ll need to keep that in mind.  Personally, I like the size of this book and that it is a paperback.  Sometimes cookbooks become such large tomes that they are a little unwieldy when you’re in the kitchen.

The cookbook is broken down into 6 chapters that features everything from appetizers to desserts.  Yes spicy desserts!  It’s packed full of recipes that you will no doubt start to incorporate in your meal planning and that will spark some inspiration in the kitchen.

While the cookbook does have Paleo in the title, you don’t have to eat primally to enjoy this book!  It’s full of recipes using real whole foods and that’s something we can all benefit from.

Spicy Cranberry Chutney from The Spicy Paleo CookbookWhat do you mean this picture is ironic?

I decided to go with the Cranberry Chutney from this book because I love the use of cranberries in nontraditional ways.  This was super easy to put together and full of flavor.  It would be a great addition to your upcoming Thanksgiving menu!

Spicy Cranberry Chutney
© Emily Dionne, reprinted with permission from Adams Media

Serves 6-8

  • 4 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 jalapeños, chopped
  • 1/3 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2C Fresh Orange Juice
  • 3TBSP Raw Organic Honey
  • 1tsp Sea Salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until combined but not completely smooth.  Create a consistency that is slightly chunky.  Chill overnight and serve.

Sweet and spicy, this was very well balanced!  I did process it so that it was a little smoother just because that’s the consistency that I enjoy.  It was great on crackers and as a spread on some turkey and ham.  It would also be perfect as a chicken or turkey burger topper as well!

If you enjoy recipes that pack some heat, definitely check out The Spicy Paleo cookbook!

 

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this cookbook.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

 

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Having An Unprocessed Thanksgiving

Mini Squash

How is everyone doing so far for unprocessed month?  Things have been going well here at the HQ!  Bread products like English muffins and sausages are the only things that we have been eating that are technically processed.  However the ingredients are as clean as I can get with them so I feel good about those choices.  We did recently dine out over the weekend but the food left us feeling blah.  I’m pretty sure that dining out is going to be something we eliminate almost completely at some point (unless we’re traveling or it’s a special occasion).

It’s cheaper to cook at home even when cooking with high quality ingredients.  Plus it’s more satisfying eating a meal that I personally made.

I believe in going unprocessed so much that I want everyone to give it a shot!  If you’re not doing it now, then let’s talk about the holidays and how we can keep the junk out of the house.

While it may seem daunting at first, cutting out processed foods from our diets becomes easier with planning, prepping, and having a well stocked pantry.  That’s the challenging part, adopting those habits and getting a groove with this new lifestyle.

In an effort to help keep everyone on track and staying unprocessed once October is over, I was thinking of doing an Unprocessed Thanksgiving.  Providing recipes, tips, a grocery list, and a plan to help everyone get through the holiday while having an amazing meal that is full of flavor and has no unwanted junk in it.

Does this sound like something that would interest you?  

How about fresh cranberry sauce this year and not something out of a can?  Brined turkey and slow cooked greens?  Fluffy mashed potatoes and gravy made with homemade stock?

Let me know what you think about going Unprocessed this holiday season!