Side dishes

Sautéed Butter Mushrooms – RECIPE

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Oftentimes, when I’m cooking for the both of us, I have an idea for the main dish of the entree, but I get stuck with what side dish to complement it. My go-to side dish always consist of MUSHROOMS! I love mushrooms because they are so versatile, and they pair well with almost virtually any main dish component (chicken, beef, fish, pork, etc.).

Gather the ingrdients!

  • 1-2 cups of mushrooms white OR brown (I typically buy pre-sliced mushrooms to make my life easier)
  • 1/2 a large white onion (or 1 small white onion)
  • 1TBSP of paleo butter, ghee, or fat of choice (I always go for paleo butter or ghee!)
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp thyme
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Other seasoning as needed (have fun with it! I play around with thyme, oregano, basil, asian 5 spice, etc.)


  1. Slice onions (or don’t slice them if you were lazy and purchased them pre-sliced like I did)
  2. Set heat of stove to medium-high and place a large saucepan on the stove. Wait for the saucepan to heat up before doing anything. You want the saucepan to be proportionally hot all around to really get that saute going!
  3. Add your butter/lard to the pan
  4. After the butter has melted, add onions. I like to caramelize my onions and get them to brown a little. I’m not a huge onion fan, but man… the smell of caramelized onions… YUM.

    The smell of onions, ghee, and mushroom in the frying pan.... yummy!
    The smell of onions, ghee, and mushroom in the frying pan…. yummy!
  5. After onions are sufficiently browned and cooked through, add the mushrooms. After a few minutes add your seasoning. This is where you can play around with the seasoning. Most seasonings pair really well with mushrooms, but be sure to season your mushrooms with a light hand. Heat tends to intensify flavors, and you don’t want to overpower the taste of the mushroom itself.
  6. Saute for about 6-7 minutes until mushrooms are cooked through.
  7. Voila! Done!

Really simple and you can do so much with this! Hope you enjoy 🙂

Until the next meal,

Joseph & Jennifer


Sautéed Brussels Sprouts With Bacon – RECIPE

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Our engagement day! Blog post to come soon!
Our engagement day! Blog post to come soon!

I know, shame, shame, SHAME on us for the… oh, you know, 4 month delay in a new post. I attribute it to… life happenings, being busy, but also being lazy at the same time. A lot has occurred between February until now. I (Jennifer) wrapped up my second year teaching, Joseph has added multiple group fitness formats under his belt (P90X, PiYo, and TCX), I finally PR’d a 5K in March, we got engaged, I turned 26, oh wait… what? WHAT? WHAT?! Yes, we got engaged. Most of our readers are our friends, so it’s kind of old news to y’all whomp whomp, but I think we have a few readers who aren’t as familiar with our personal lives, so yes… WE GOT ENGAGED!!! I plan on posting a FULL BLOW-BY-BLOW POST of my emotions and what happened and all that wonderful jazz. Because everyone loves a good proposal. And boy… did Joseph do good. (Yes, I know. Incorrect use of good, but stylistically it works for the purpose of my sentence. GET OVER IT, MS. NGUYEN’S KIDS)

But we’ll save that for a later post. And we’ll save wedding planning woes for later posts as well. But let’s get back to the true purpose of this blog. Paleo-friendly recipes. But hey, I DID mention in our original post that this would include life tangent posts. And I think wedding stuff is a pretty big life tangent and will include those posts for other current and future brides that would like to know more about planning a wedding. Everyone loves a good (or bad) wedding planning story!

So, to be perfectly frank, we’ve been pretty bad at trying out new recipes. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for us, so we’ve just been sticking to our usual tried-and-true recipes (i.e the recipes we’ve already posted). Sometimes I’ll throw a random mishmash of ingredients together, but I never find them worthy enough to post because I don’t think they taste that post-worthy. I’m also really bad at actually measuring out ingredients (insert Joseph sighing loudly because he’s all about measuring), so I don’t even know how much of everything I put in… Oops.

Farm fresh brussel sprouts from one of Joseph's fitness clients! UGHHH BRUSSEL SPROUTS.
Farm fresh brussels sprouts from one of Joseph’s fitness clients! UGHHH BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

This recipe is for brussel sprouts. Ugh. Brussels sprouts. I hate brussel sprouts. Even when I cook them, I hate them. I hate the way they look. I hate their texture. I hate THE NAME. Brussels sprouts. It even sounds disgusting. But Joseph gets batches of brussels sprouts from some of his fitness clients, and I have to do something with them to make them palatable. And I discovered the magical ingredient that transforms brussel sprouts into something I can handle. BACON. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about bacon that helps ease the pain of brussels sprouts. So here’s my recipe… ENJOY!


  • Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder**
  • 2 tsp Onion powder**

**To be honest, you can season as you’d like. I kept it simple. I also don’t know the measurements… I just eyeball it. You can leave out the garlic and onion powder if you’d like!

Brussel sprouts - de-
Brussels sprouts – de-“stemmed” and halved – removed a few outside leaves that still looked dirty as well.
  1. Wash brussels sprouts well and then cut the “stems” off. I like to pull off a layer or two of the brussels sprout for sanitary reasons. I am possibly wasting a lot of good brussels sprout leaves, but I like to be clean!
  2. Cut brussels sprouts in half and then set brussel sprouts to the side.
  3. Slice your bacon into small pieces or however big your bacon pieces you would like to be (the world is your oyster)
  4. Turn your stove to medium. Take a big skillet and throw in that bacon! No need to use any ghee/oil because that bacon will create its own fat.
  5. When bacon is sufficiently fried/browned, spoon out the bacon into a small bowl. LEAVE THE FAT IN THE SKILLET! Lower the stove heat to LOW or OFF.
  6. Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet. MAKE SURE YOUR BRUSSEL SPROUTS ARE DRY, or you will get some painful oil splash back (learned this the hard way). Once you’ve added all your brussel sprouts, turn the heat back up to medium.
  7. Season your brussel sprouts accordingly. Cook for about 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Some of your brussels sprouts will brown. That is good (in my opinion). I’ll add a cover on top sometimes to give the brussels sprouts some steaming action. Helps bake the brussels sprouts a little more tender.
  8. After 10 minutes, turn the stove to low and add the bacon bits and stir around until everything is fully integrated.
  9. VOILA! YOU ARE DONE! I hope it tastes good for you.

    Brussel sprouts with uncured bacon pieces - bacon flavor is nicely infused into the brussel sprouts especially when cooking with bacon fat!
    Brussels sprouts with uncured bacon pieces – bacon flavor is nicely infused into the brussel sprouts especially when cooking with bacon fat!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Again, you can ALWAYS play around with the seasonings! I still don’t like brussels sprouts in the least. But now I know what to do with them! I might try roasting them next time, but I’ve had roasted brussels sprouts before, and they are not my cup of tea. We promise to try and not laze about before posting another recipe/update!

Until the next meal,

Joseph & Jennifer

Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

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It’s been an incredibly crazy week for me and Joseph. It was my school’s Homecoming week, and I’ve been so busy with the Homecoming Coronation and Dance festivities. I can honestly say I literally spent almost 80 hours this week at school: monitoring my kids while they painted, decorated, and set-up for the dance; communicating with vendors for the dance; handling ticket sales and unsuccessfully trying to count/add/divide/multiply monetary amounts (my number skills are horrendous), and worrying about the weather raining out our Homecoming Coronation Ceremony which was outdoors. My poor kiddos got the full dose of crazy me this entire week, and poor Joseph, who is always ever-so-supportive, was stuck with the “assistant babysitter/food delivery/emotional support man” throughout the entire process. So I haven’t been able to even think about properly blogging until now. I’d hate to skip a week of not posting anything, so I’ll provide a recipe for a very easy side dish, baked sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are not only paleo-approved but that are also absolutely delicious and can be cooked in so many ways. Sweet potatoes are GREAT for athletes, and they are a wonderful source for carbs.

Joseph and I like to cook our sweet potatoes in a variety of ways, and we’ll share those recipes in the next few posts! However, there is one very simple, tried-and-true sweet potato recipe that ANYBODY can do. Baked sweet potatoes!

Now, gather your ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes (your preference to how many you would like and which kind of sweet potato you’d like to use)
  • Ghee (or coconut oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • Flavor God seasoning (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is warming up, wash the sweet potatoes well. After drying the sweet potatoes, take a fork or small knife and carefully prick small holes all over the sweet potatoes.

Using a cooking brush, coat the sweet potatoes with melted ghee or coconut oil.
Using a cooking brush, coat the sweet potatoes with melted ghee or coconut oil.

Melt the ghee, and with a cooking brush coat each potato with your ghee/coconut oil. Place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.

Easy baked sweet potatoes! Eat as is or add ghee, salt/pepper, flavor god seasoning! :)
Easy baked sweet potatoes! Eat as is or add ghee, salt/pepper, flavor god seasoning! 🙂

And voila! That is it! When you are ready to eat your sweet potato you have the option of mixing ghee and salt/pepper to the potato. Joseph likes to add Flavor God seasoning to his sweet potato. I just eat it plain-jane because I love the taste of sweet potato alone.

We’ve been using baked sweet potatoes as part of our meal prep. We bake the potatoes, cut them in half, and couple them with some kind of protein and maybe a small veggie side. Absolutely perfect and easy for meal prep!

Hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post! Remember to hashtag #jenjoandpaleo!

Until the next meal,

Joseph and Jennifer

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” Recipe

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Hi everyone!

It’s been somewhat of a crazy week what with school starting up again and me (Jennifer) being back in the classroom molding the future of our world! Juuuuusstttt kiiiidddinggg! …but not really. Haha. 🙂 Anyways, with my school schedule in full swing and Joseph’s intense work hours, blogging was put on small backburner for a few days and we apologize for that!

Today’s entry is going to be a simple-but-sweet recipe for one of the most staple and versatile ingredients in a paleo pantry. Cauliflower. In the paleo-centric world, cauliflower can be used as a great substitute for restricted food items such as bread, rice, and white potato. Just as a side note, and I’ve mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but white potato is now an acceptable Whole30 food to eat, but only in moderation. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you – yes, cauliflower is used as a substitute, but for those of you who feel like bread/rice/potatoes are an extension of your being like I do… cauliflower will never TRULY replace the taste of bread/rice/potatoes… however, if cooked correctly, it is certainly enjoyable! And the nutritional benefits to cauliflower are through the roof!

I’ve encountered this recipe for cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” and have tweaked it to meet my tastebuds. The first time I made the cauliflower mashed poatotes, geeze, I don’t even want to remember it, it was barely palatable! I also made the mistake of using TWO heads of cauliflower because I was trying to make a healthy dinner for my parents, cousin, and Joseph. Suffice to say… I made too much of something that was simply not very good, and I had a lot of leftovers (but not the good kind of leftovers).

I’ve finally (kind of) perfected this recipe to where I can appreciate the taste, and Joseph can tell you, I’m somewhat on the pickier side when it comes to eating. This recipe is INCREDIBLY easy to make, I whipped it up on the whim a few nights ago!

Time to gather the ingredients!

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 5 cloves of garlic (you can use more cloves if you really enjoy the garlic-y flavor, or use less if you’re not a fan of garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter (we use Paleo Butter)
  • Kosher salt (for tasting)
  • Organic white pepper

You’ll want to take your head of cauliflower and then wash and trim the cauliflower head and cut up some small florets and stems. You will also want to take your cloves of garlic and peel the skin. You can keep the cloves whole since they will be mashed alongside the cauliflower anyways.

Take a pot and fill it with one to two inches of water, turn on your stove top to boil the water (medium-high). Place your steamer in there (link to the steamer that Joseph and I use can be found here) and then simply throw the cauliflower florets/stems along with the garlic into the steamer. Salt the cauliflower to your liking (you can always add more salt later).

Cauliflower, garlic cloves, and salt in steamer with the pot filled 1-2 inches with water!
Cauliflower, garlic cloves, and salt in steamer with the pot filled 1-2 inches with water!









Place the lid over the pot/steamer and steam and cauliflower florets have softened. This will probably be somewhere a little over ten minutes. Be sure to check on your pot to make sure the water hasn’t dried up. I found out the hard way through a corrosive burning smell that permeated the kitchen when my pot was boiling nothing. For those of you who do not own a steamer at home yet, I think you should be able to try cooking the cauliflower by bowling the cauliflower/garlic cloves for a long time until they are soft. I’ve never tried it before, so I’m really not sure, but I feel like it would be okay. If you try the boiling option, please let us know how it turns out!

Place the lid over the pot and let steam for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check water level so it doesn't dry out!
Place the lid over the pot and let steam for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check water level so it doesn’t dry out!









Once the florets are thoroughly cooked and soft, toss them (including the garlic cloves) into colander to drain. Throw everything into a food processor and add some more salt, pepper, and the two tablespoons of grass-fed butter.

Place all ingredients in food processor. Easy-peasy!
Place all ingredients in food processor. Easy-peasy!
The butter/brand we use. Paleo butter!
The butter/brand we use. Paleo butter!











Process everything until smooth! I’m sure you can do this by hand, but that would probably be time-consuming and tiring. I’ve tried whipping this up with a electric hand-mixer which wasn’t as bad as doing it by hand, but I find using the food processor the most convenient. Food processor that I bought for Joseph for our most recent Valentine’s Day celebrations can be found here (I know, we’re so romantic).

YUM, looks good, right? :)
YUM, looks good, right? 🙂

And voila! You have yourselves some cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” I really think the garlic cloves make ALL the difference. This still doesn’t replace real mashed potatoes for me, but I really enjoy making this from time to time because it’s a simple recipe that still tastes delicious! If you try this recipe and post it, please be sure to hashtag #jenjoandpaleo! If you make this dish and tweak it yourself, please let us know what you changed and how it worked out for you!

Until the next meal,

Joseph and Jennifer