Sloppy Joe Boats

I know, it’s not the same as when it’s slathered on a big fluffy roll but when you are trying to stick to a plan, sometimes you find ways to enjoy the good stuff without derailing your efforts. The beauty of this healthy version of a sloppy joe, is you can serve it however you like to fit your family – my kids enjoyed traditional sloppy joes while we had sloppy joe in some romaine lettuce boats to spare the carbs. Either way this is an easy to put together meal and makes plenty of it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey (or grassfed beef)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or dijon works too)
  • 1/2 tsp rep pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Romaine leaves

Directions:

  • Add oil to a dutch oven pot and heat on medium.
  • Add ground turkey or beef and cook until brown.
  • Drain liquid and return to heat.
  • Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, cooking for a few minutes until they soften up.
  • Add in ketchup, tomato paste, coconut sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  • Stir and combine all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes to let flavors marry.
  • Serve by spooning into romaine leaves and top with fresh pepper.  (For the kids, spoon on to buttered rolls and top with a slice of provolone.)

Healthy Bolognese Sauce

An traditional Italian cook might look at this and call me an amateur but this is how I make “turkey sauce” in my house and my kids eat it through the week.  It comes in handy on busy weeknights.  I toss it over pasta for them, or zucchini for me.  This saves really well and you can load up the turkey to make this really protein rich. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 – 14oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 – 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch pf coconut sugar

Directions:

In a deep pot, heat oil, onions and garlic until onion become translucent and garlic is fragrant.  Add turkey, dice up with a flat wooden spoon, cooking until browned.  Add chili power, mix well.  Stir in all tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried herbs, salt and pepper and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.  Add coconut sugar to taste.

 

How To Thai Curry Anything

I love Thai food but I don’t love the mystery of what is in the dishes they make.  Surely there is some sorcery going on to make it taste that good.  It is rather simple to make at home and the vegetables and protein you choose are limitless.  I have a basic recipe that can be used for any combination of ingredients.  Only rule of thumb is cook the more dense veggies first and the softer ones last.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced or grated ginger
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • optional: 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 Tbsp red (or green) curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • optional: fresh basil or cilantro for serving

Use any vegetables you like: zucchini, squash, peppers, peas, lima beans, eggplant, chick peas, etc.  Protein could be chicken, shrimp, or extra firm tofu (but add that last).

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add coconut oil, ginger, garlic and onions, and cook until softened.
  2. Add curry paste and chili flakes, stirring frequently until combined.
  3. Add any veggies that take longest to cook, combine with curry mixture to coat.
  4. Add protein in small pieces (bite size), turning until cooked through.
  5. Add coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, coconut sugar and any smaller beans or peas. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then reduce heat to low and continue cooking (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Adjust flavor as needed, adding salt for saltiness or coconut sugar for sweetness. If you prefer it hot add cayenne pepper.
  7. Add any last minute ingredients like spinach or tofu to wilt or warm up in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve over brown rice, cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.  Top with fresh herbs, sprouts, green onions, and/or your favorite nuts or seeds.

 

Traditional Collard Greens

Confession? As a southern transplant I had never experienced collard greens in my life but my curiosity got the best of me and was enticed by this dark leafy green vegetable that promises wealth in the new year if eaten.  Who am I to question it? I was given this recipe by our client Sara G who knows her stuff.  The original recipe is from Southern Living and I didn’t change much aside from chopping up my own whole collards instead of the bagged stuff and using olive oil.  Needless to say this came out amazingly good and I plan to repeat!  Keep this one in your pocket to go along with last week’s black eyed peas.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (16-oz.) package fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle light beer (you heard me)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butter (or ghee)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sautéing bacon and onions for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.
  2. Add collards, in handfuls, and cook, stirring intermittently for 5 minutes until wilted.
  3. Add beer, bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice, butter, vinegar, salt & pepper. Serve!

Original recipe from Southern Living.

Black Eyed Peas & Sausage Stew

A New Year’s tradition in one pot, less mess. It is said that if you eat black eyed peas in the new year you will have luck all year long.  Some say to add a penny to the pot and whomever gets the lucky penny in their bowl with gain extra luck that year.  I don’t know if it works but why take the chance? Especially when black eyed peas are loaded with fiber, potassium (good for muscle support), iron, and black eyed peas contain 5.7g of protein for every 1/2 cup serving.  I’d say that is a good reason to take a chance on luck.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 2 chicken sausages (I like Aidells chicken apple sausage), cut into half moons
  • 1/4 cup diced apple
  • 3 cups bone broth or chicken stock
  • 11 oz black eyed peas (canned or pre-soaked)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach or greens

Directions:

  1. Warm a dutch oven pot or deep skillet and add coconut oil or ghee and allow to liquify.
  2. Add diced onion and mushrooms, cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add black eyed peas, sausage, spices and broth, cover and let simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes or until most of the broth has been cooked out and absorbed.
  4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking add apple, re-cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in spinach until wilted.  Serve warm and wish for good luck all year.