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Monday, December 15, 2014

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili...until I added a can of beans.

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large can (29.5 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups petite diced tomatoes, with juice  (I just used 2 14.5 ounce cans.)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 3 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4-5 cups)
  • (I added one can of pinto beans [with liquid].)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ cup chili powder (I found this to be a bit too much.  Start with 1/4 cup, then gradually add if you want more spice.)
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of red pepper flakes

  1. In a large saucepan, brown hamburger, onions, and garlic. Drain off the fat. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Mix well, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked through.
  2. Slow Cooker Option: Instead of simmering the chili on the stove, brown hamburger, onions, and garlic, then transfer to crockpot (with remaining ingredients) and let it simmer on low all day (8 hours) or on high for 5-6 hours.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

30-Minute Potato Soup!

vegetarians, have no fear! you can sub the bacon with butter!


  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease (reserved) or butter
  • 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1.5 pounds potatoes, peeled (optional) and diced (I recommend Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • optional toppings: thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese, extra bacon, sour cream


  • Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally.  Transfer the bacon to a separate plate, using a slotted spoon, reserving about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the stockpot.  (Discard any extra grease, or you can substitute butter in place of the 3 tablespoons of bacon grease.  Also, if you are short on time, you can dice the potatoes and onion while the bacon cooks to save time.)

  • Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Sprinkle the flour on top of the onion, and stir until combined.  Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.  Then stir in the chicken stock until combined.  Stir in the milk, potatoes, and cooked bacon bits until combined.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer, but is not boiling.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally every few minutes so that the bottom does not burn.  (The smaller you dice your potatoes, the faster they will cook.)

  • When the potatoes are soft, stir in the cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt (or sour cream), salt and pepper.  Taste and see if it needs more salt or pepper or cheese.  Serve warm, garnished with desired toppings.  This is real good.  Real.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate


  • 4 cups of milk of your choice
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more/less to taste)
  • optional toppings: whipped cream, crushed peppermints, marshmallows


Stir the milk and chopped white chocolate together in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer and the chocolate is melted.  (Do not let it come to a boil or let the chocolate burn on the bottom.)  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peppermint extract.
Serve warm, with optional toppings if desired.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Home-Style Meatloaf

yep, easy.  yep, yum.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 whole egg, beaten
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 of a yellow onion, minced
1/3 cup of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup, plus more {1/3 cup} for brushing on top (I used a combo of ketchup and BBQ sauce for brushing on top.  See notes below.)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
pinch of red pepper flakes, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add all ingredients above to a large bowl and mix by hand until combined and well mixed. On a baking dish or (lightly coated with cooking spray) foil lined baking sheet, free form the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape. You could also cover with plastic wrap and press the mixture into a more compact shape (remove plastic wrap before baking).
Bake for 20 minutes then remove and lightly brush with ketchup and bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove again and brush with more ketchup (and BBQ sauce if using).
Finish baking for an additional 20 minutes, then remove and let rest for ten minutes. (I brushed with the last I had of my BBQ/ketchup mixture.)
Slice and serve.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Healthy Turkey and Veggie Chili

  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (Start with less if you're nervous about heat level.)
  • ½- ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey and cook until browned, stirring to break it up as it cooks.
  3. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until tender.
  4. Mix in canned tomatoes, beans, corn, spices, and soy sauce. Add the water and stir to combine.
  5. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes until the chili thickens. (*Try simmering with the lid on, try with the lid completely off; if you're finding that your chili isn't thickening to your desire, try removing the lid completely.) (Mine was just fine with lid partially on.)
  6. Serve with freshly baked corn bread. (Here's a link to her corn bread recipe.)


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Bread


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries (12 oz)
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, regular or lowfat


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the blueberries and lemon zest and toss to combine.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated and being careful not to crush the blueberries.
  4. Scoop batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

ok, real easy, real yummy.

2 tablespoons EVOO
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (You can use jarred or dry.  Just be sure to drain as much of the excess oil off of the jarred ones as possible.)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of condensed tomato soup
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (9 oz.) package cheese-filled tortellini
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. Saute garlic with the olive oil and sun dried tomatoes, onion powder, and Italian seasoning in a large stock pot over medium heat.

2. Add tomato soup, half and half, chicken (vegetable) stock, and salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. (Following this step, I threw the mixture into my Vitamix to puree all of the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.  This created a more creamy texture and is totally optional.)

3. Once simmering, drop tortellini into the soup.

4. Cook according to the package directions. (about 7-9 minutes)

5. Once tortellini are cooked, serve topped with Parmesan cheese.