It certainly has been awhile. Not simply days or weeks… but rather months since our last post. My apologies. I wish I could say that we were incredibly busy and had no time to even think about blogging, but that isn’t true at all. Yes, there were times when we were quite busy (doesn’t everyone have those busy seasons?), but we most certainly had SOME time to blog something. So shame on us! We will try not to go too long between posts in the future.
I will have a LITTLE bit more time on my hands as I am forced to take a small hiatus from running or anything high-impact really. Stupid me, I decided to train too hard last week for my half-marathon. I started speed work last week, and I pretty much overexerted my feet. After a couple of days of pain in my left foot when I walked, I decided to go to my foot doctor. He told me it wasn’t the fact that I was unfit or incapable of running longer distances, I just put too much pressure on my feet too quickly when I tried to do speed work. I don’t have any symptoms of a stress fracture (thank goodness), but I’m being prescribed an anti-inflammatory medicine, need to take rest the foot, ice it twice-daily, and NOT DO ANY HIGH-IMPACT WORK OUTS. WHOMP WHOMP.
I only do high-impact work outs (running, Insanity, etc.), so this poses a dilemma for me. I guess after resting for a week I’ll get back to PiYo (a more low-impact workout that blends pilates and yoga) to lean out and tone out my muscles.
This is such an unideal time for me to be out of commission! 1) I have a 5K this weekend that I was planning on running with Joseph and my StuCo kids, so now that’s a bust; 2) I NEED to train for my half-marathon coming up in January (Aramco Half anyone? Anyone?); and 3) Joseph is being featured in an P90X Live video on Beachbody on Demand TOMORROW, and I wanted to check out the video and work out with him! #supportivefeyonce (Shameless plug – sign-up for Beachbody on Demand for FREE for 30-days and check him out! Seriously. Go. goo.gl/AbWFOT)
Okay, back to the purpose of this post. Recipe. Summer is usually the time when I cook the most, and this summer was no different. I’ve learned the art of meal-prepping for not just one, but TWO! Joseph eats like a monster, and I’ve been trying to find a variety of ways to not only whip up something that’s somewhat palatable but also something that be made in bulk. This is where ground meat comes in. I like this recipe because it’s so versatile. Honestly, me posting this isn’t really useful because I’m sure anyone could come up with this on their own and/or it’s already something you make. Maybe I’m just late to the game.
Let’s begin! Gather the ingredients!
- 1-2lbs ground meat (can be ground chicken, beef, turkey, etc., and the amount depends on how much you want to cook)
- 1/4 – 1/2 diced onion
- 1-2 minced cloves of garlic (optional, sometimes I’m lazy and give up on the mincing)
- 1-2TBSP fat of choice (I tend to use extra virgin olive oil over ghee, I’ve found that when you refrigerate ground meat cooked with ghee, it hardens and looks nasty. But if you’re eating it immediately after, ghee gives the meat a better flavoring)
- Flavorgod Seasoning of choice (if you don’t have this yet… GET IT. I use it for everything!)
- Turn stove on to medium heat and place a large pan on top of the stove. When the pan is sufficiently heated, add your fat of choice.
- Add your diced onions and garlic. Cook onions a few minutes until it’s slightly translucent.
- Add your ground meat to the pan and begin cooking until meat is half-way cooked. Season meat according to your taste
buds, but don’t be afraid to add a good amount of seasoning! I tend to season things with a lighter hand, but ground meat actually needs a good amount of seasoning before you can begin to taste the seasoning. I wish I could tell you exactly how much to put in… but I honestly eyeball it. Sorry, I’m useless.
- Continue cooking until meat is thoroughly done!
I honestly might be completely off in how to cook this. It is possible that I overcook the meat. But Joseph is such an easy eater that I wouldn’t know if I was doing something wrong. So please use your best judgment in cooking this, haha. 🙂
When you’ve cooked this enough, it can easily take under 15 minutes to prep AND cook it. I love to pair this with fresh cucumbers and if I’m feeling particularly naughty, eat it with BROWN RICE (dun dun dun!!!).
I just love this dish because it’s SO easy to make and you virtually only need to go out to the grocery store to buy two to three fresh ingredients if you don’t have it at home already (meat, onions, garlic). Two pounds of this is more than enough protein to meal prep lunches for almost an entire week for two people.
If you make something similar, what do you like to season your ground meat with? Any other tips and suggestions?
Until the next meal,
Joseph + Jennifer
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.)
- Slice onions (or don’t slice them if you were lazy and purchased them pre-sliced like I did)
- 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!
- Add your butter/lard to the pan
- 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.
- 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.
- Saute for about 6-7 minutes until mushrooms are cooked through.
- Voila! Done!
Really simple and you can do so much with this! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Until the next meal,
Joseph & Jennifer
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.
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!
GATHER THE INGREDIENTS!
- Brussels sprouts
- Applegate Uncured Sunday Bacon – PALEO FRIENDLY BACON! THIS IS THE KIND YOU GET! APPLEGATE!
- 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!
- 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!
- Cut brussels sprouts in half and then set brussel sprouts to the side.
- Slice your bacon into small pieces or however big your bacon pieces you would like to be (the world is your oyster)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 10 minutes, turn the stove to low and add the bacon bits and stir around until everything is fully integrated.
- VOILA! YOU ARE DONE! I hope it tastes good for you.
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
Happy New Years, everyone! It’s always crazy to me how quickly time flies. Are we celebrating and heralding in a brand new year already? When I reflect upon the past year, it is overwhelming to realize all of the milestones that have occurred in 2014 alone. Joseph starting a new job as well as teaching a new Insanity class, Joseph completing not only a half marathon but also a 25K and a 30K race, me receiving my school and district’s rookie teacher of the year award, me undergoing foot surgery to restructure my right foot, a couple of our close friends getting engaged, my brother’s wedding to my beautiful sister-in-law, us learning how to ballroom dance, us starting a food blog (that we have sadly not kept up to date in recent months – we know, we know)… so many memorable milestones within a short span of one year. I think that we often forget to reflect on all of the wonderful things that happen in our lives.
I know that many people scoff at New Year’s Resolutions, “People just stop after a month anyways! People should be striving ALL THE TIME to achieve their resolutions!” and so on and so forth. But I think it is refreshing to take the time to sit back and think about what you might want to do achieve. Why should we look down on any person who wishes to make a change in their life, even if it ends up being a temporary change? At least they tried. And who knows, maybe the resolution will stick, and it ends up being a huge part of their lives? I say, go for it. Make your New Year’s Resolutions, and don’t be afraid of what others might think.
Joseph and I sat down today to reflect on our year and discuss what our New Year’s Resolutions might be. For the most part, Joseph and I have very similar goals, with minor tweaks here and there to fit our individual lives.
- Eat better! For Joseph that’s eating healthier and for me, that’s making the decision to eat out only once a month.
- Spend less and save more.
- Rely less on social media so that we can focus on each other and those around us (i.e for me, that means checking social media accounts once a day).
- Be more cognizant and reflective. This includes praying daily, being more open-minded, and being more patient and forgiving with each other and those around us.
- Stay active, no matter how hectic our lives become. Whether that’s training for our upcoming half marathons and/or his full marathon, or even just taking the time to dance with each other again just because.
- And finally, to simply love more.
After going over our New Year’s Resolutions with each other, we realized that not only did we have similar resolutions, but our resolutions were really things that we should be striving for every day for the rest of our lives. So I guess, instead of calling these our New Year’s Resolutions… we should call these our LIFE RESOLUTIONS. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
I can’t leave this entry without a recipe, especially since we’ve left everyone hanging for at least a month! Shame on us! I’ve really been utilizing the crock pot a lot lately, so I’d like to share with you a recipe I tried a few weeks back. I found this recipe from a blog, Stuff I Make My Husband, and it looked so simple and easy! Crock pot recipes usually are quite simple and easy. You literally take whatever you think might taste good together… and just throw in the crock pot and see what happens! Seriously.
Now, when I made this, it ended up having a very thin and soup-like consistency. Very similar to the korean soup, kimchijigae, but with less kick. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a soup, or if it’s supposed to just be chicken with cabbage that’s mildly sauce-like, but I think you can play around with the ingredient measurements and add/remove whatever you would like. I may add chopped onions next time!
GATHER THE INGREDIENTS!!!
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 scallions sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs coconut aminos
- 1 Tbs dark sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp high-quality ground ginger
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- About 2 cups cabbage kimchi
- Combine all of your ingredients except for the scallions, chicken, and kimchi in the slow cooker. Leave the scallions and kimchi in the fridge as you won’t be needing them for a few hours!
- Add the chicken thighs into the crock pot, and spoon some of the sauce on top.
- Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours on low. If in a rush, like I was, blast on high for 2 hours. (This may have been the reason for the soup-y consistency I had)
- When you are almost ready to serve, turn heat to high (or in my case, keep it on high), add the kimchi, and cook for about 20 more minutes. Serve sprinkled with the scallion greens.
Voila! Easy peasy, and plenty of spicy kick to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. Special thanks to Stuff I Make My Husband for the recipe!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer
Winter = perfect crock pot season (click here to purchase the crockpot we have). Okay, to be honest, every season is perfect crock pot season, but there’s something about winter that makes you thinking of a simmering stew in a crock pot ready and waiting for you when you get home from a long day at work as pure bliss.
I found this recipe while trying to browse easy crock pot recipes that were paleo-friendly. Thank you to 5 Ingredient Paleo for the recipe!!! This recipe caught my eye because it only called for five ingredients! Yes, count that, FIVE ingredients! It’s also incredibly easy on top of that. You simply throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and let it go. That’s what I love about crock pots/slow cookers, one of the best kitchen tools for lazy cooking. Throw in the ingredients in the morning, go to work, and when you get home you have a meal ready for you. No fuss, no muss. So, let’s get started!
- 2 pounds chicken breast
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste + 1 cup of water
- 2-4 cups of baby kale or chopped regular kale
- Additional seasoning (optional)
Simply throw all of the ingredients except for the kale in the slow cooker, add your cup of water and tomato paste, and then stir to incorporate everything. You do not need to chop up the chicken breast because they will shred easily once cooked in the slow cooker. I added a dash of basil and rosemary. I honestly don’t know if it did anything, but the dish turned out well in the end. I think you can definitely play around with the ingredients by adding different seasonings/spices as well as other veggies as well (carrots? white potatoes? possiblities are endless!).
The recipe from the original blog post calls to cook everything on low for about 6-8 hours. And the in the last hour of cooking, open your slow cooker (slowly), and once again stir to mix everything up. The stirring should then shred your chicken easily. Add in the kale, and mix until well incorporated. Cook for about 30-60 minutes longer until the kale is tender.
I was a little pressed for time, so I blasted the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. I then switched it back to low for another hour, threw in the kale, and then blasted the slow cooker on high for the last hour. The chicken was not as easy to shred, but it was still shreddable with some prodding and poking on my end.
And voila! The stew turned out fantastic. Perfect dish to warm us up on a cold evening!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer
Apologies for the ridiculously delayed blog post! Joseph’s work schedule has been particularly busy at work these past two weeks, and I started teaching a brand new novel study that I’ve never taught before, so that usually means me attempting to stay ahead of my kids each night by studying up on the content that I’m about to teach… #procastination. Sigh. Plus, we’ve both just been too lazy to blog. We have tons of recipes to share, but we just can’t seem to find the time to just sit down and type away. Professional blogging is no joke!
Most of the recipes that I like to use the most in my kitchen are the ones that are most convenient, i.e great for meal prep and easy to make. I like recipes that are easy to cook in bulk! This is not only for meal prep but also because Joseph tends to eat a massive amount of whatever I make (he loves me? or he loves food? who knows…).
This recipe is for breakfast egg muffins. This recipe is not only extremely easy, but it’s also flexible as well! If you don’t like the ingredients that I put in, you can change it up to meet your needs and wants! The breakfast egg muffins store very easily for meal prep, and you can eat them as an on-the-go breakfast or even eat them for lunch. I do both!
First up, gather the ingredients:
- 5 links of Applegate pork breakfast sausage
- 10-12 eggs (Grade A, cage-free, and organic is preferable)
- ghee, coconut oil, or other fat of choice
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced into small pieces
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced into small pieces
- 1/2 onion diced into small pieces
- shredded cheese of choice (I use mexican blend)
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and also washing your hands!
Take the breakfast sausage and dice them into small pieces. Sausage is typically a no-no when it comes to paleo-friendly foods, however the Applegate brand is one of the better brands that have pre-made/cooked meats that are paleo-friendly. You will of course still have to check the ingredients listed on the back of any Applegate product to double-check if it’s pale-friendly, but the pork sausage has been verified by us!
In a medium/large bowl, scramble your eggs and season with salt and pepper. I also sometimes throw in FlavorGod seasoning just because! Add the green bell peppers, red bell peppers, onions, as well as shredded cheese (as much as you desire). Honestly, this is where you have fun. You can add diced cook mushrooms, diced tomatoes, chopped broccoli, bacon, basically anything that floats your boat! There IS such a thing as putting too many different ingredients because it will overflow your muffin tins. My recommendation is to vary it up each time you make it. Bell peppers and sausage one day and maybe mushrooms and bacon the next day!
Grease the cups of a muffin tin with your ghee/coconut oil/lard of choice. This is where it can get tricky. If you grease it TOO much then your muffins will turn out… well, greasy! Grease it too little and your muffins end up sticking to the pan. My recommendation is to use silicone baking cups (to purchase click here). There’s no need to grease, and the muffins slide out perfectly.
Place equal amounts of sausage in the bottoms of the muffin tins. Don’t worry, the sausages will rise up throughout your muffins. AMAZING.
Pour your egg mixture evenly on top of the sausage. You will want to pour it about 5/6th of the way full (a little more than 3/4 but less than the brim of the muffin tin). Don’t pour to the brim or else you will have a colossal crazy mass of muffin, but pour too little and you have dinky little muffins. 10 eggs will make about 10 muffins, and 12 eggs will make about 12 muffins.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and try to allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before digging in! Use a knife to loosen the egg muffin from the sides of the pan.
You can store in an an airtight container and refrigerate to eat later. You can eat these as is or serve these with salsa, bacon, paleo-friendly wraps (to purchase wraps, click here), or if you are not strictly paleo, you can even crumble it up and throw it in a tortilla for an easy breakfast wrap!
Again, feel free to be creative and add whatever breakfast ingredient you would like! The options are endless!
Did you add any additional ingredients when you made yours? If so, please share! We’d love to know all of the different combinations you can do with this dish! Remember to hashtag #jenjoandpaleo!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer