Isn’t it hard to believe that it’s almost Autumn already? We’ve already had several days that feel and smell like fall, but they’ve been interspersed with hot days. I do enjoy fall, but am not quite ready for summer to be over yet, even though it’s been a scorching one. Summer is definitely my favorite and I love the warm weather. But, I have a lot of exciting things on my plate this fall, so the anticipation of the changing season is sweet.
Next month, Jesse and I are headed down to the LA area to complete a week-long training with Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up. We both have a lot of respect for Jill’s work and are grateful for the opportunity to train with her. Then, in November, I’m headed to NYC with a very dear friend of mine. We’re going to a conference called, “I Can Do It!” and are spending some extra time there for fun (it’ll be my first visit to NYC!). I’ll get to visit my second cousin who lives in Brooklyn as well. In December, Jesse and I are headed to Honolulu for a week of pure vacation. The ticket prices were a super good deal, so we decided to bite. We won’t actually be spending Christmas there, but will be there a little bit before.
Tonight, we’re headed to an Empire of the Sun concert at Edgefield, and I’m really excited! Jesse surprised me with tickets a couple months ago, and it definitely was a pleasant surprise. I get the evening off from work to go too, which is a nice change of pace for a Friday.
Meanwhile, enjoy the soup recipe and if it’s still warm wherever you are, tuck this one away for a chilly fall or winter day.
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 lb Italian pork sausage
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 large bay leaf
- 5.5 cups beef and/or chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
- 1 box (~18 oz) unsweetened tomato sauce (I used this brand)
- 2.5 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3 medium zucchini, “noodled” with a spiralizer or julienne peeler
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus extra for topping, if desired
- Raw Parmesan cheese for topping, optional and if tolerated
- Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Sauté a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the ground beef and pork sausage, breaking up the meat with a spatula. Add the sea salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme and cayenne to the mixture, and stir.
- Once the meat is browned, add the broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste and bay leaf. Stir well and then add the zucchini noodles and fresh basil. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Taste soup after simmering and adjust seasoning as necessary. Remove bay leaf when ready to serve.
- Garnish with extra chopped basil and/or raw Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired.
*THIS PROMO HAS NOW ENDED!*
As some of you may know, I’m a dedicated user and lover of Young Living essential oils. I love that I’m able to use them to make my own products (cleaning, beauty care, etc.) and support whole body wellness.
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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower “porridge” for some time now and finally got around to doing it. I was surprised how easy it was and how well the porridge held its shape. The texture came out just right, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the shredded coconut. It adds a bit of thickness and a nice bite. I ate my porridge with fresh strawberries and blueberries mixed in, which was delicious, but you can garnish it with whatever you like. I’ve listed some topping suggestions in the recipe below. This is great hot or cold, and is pretty filling too. It also makes for a good treat!
Also, if you’re wondering if you can taste the cauliflower — yes, of course you can. It’s not overpowering, in my opinion, but is noticeable. I happen to like cauliflower, so it doesn’t bother me, but if you don’t care for cauliflower, this recipe probably isn’t for you. My husband and I are both fans of this concoction though. Hope you are too!
- Medium head of cauliflower, riced in food processor
- 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums or stabilizers)
- 3 Tbsp filtered water
- 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised, whisked
- Up to 1 Tbsp raw honey, optional
- Fresh berries
- Banana slices
- Drizzle of coconut milk
- Chopped nuts
- Cacao nibs
- Extra drizzle of raw honey
- Add the riced cauliflower and shredded coconut to a large saucepan. Then, add the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the whisked egg and raw honey. Stir well over medium-low heat.
- Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover with lid and continue to simmer 20-25 minutes or until porridge is smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally.
- Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked egg to temper it. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
- Taste and adjust spices as desired. Add raw honey, if using and stir well.
- Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.
It’s time for my trip home to Michigan! In fact, I left on a red-eye last night, and am currently sitting in the Detroit airport finishing this post. I have one more leg to get to my hometown of Alpena, but still have two hours to wait to catch the tiny plane there. I’m definitely tired and will probably need a nap later today. But, for now, I’m awake and drinking an Americano. Jesse has already been there for a week (he wanted to go for two weeks, but I decided to only go for one), so it was just the kitties and me last week, which is when I created this recipe.
Anyway, onto the food! It’s as simple as it gets, but the flavor is abundant. The coconut vinegar is what brings it all together, so don’t omit it. Whenever I feel like there’s a flavor missing, I usually just add coconut vinegar and it takes care of what was lacking. Truth be told, I’ve kinda had a crush on coconut vinegar for a little while now. The stuff is incredible. Also, the Maldon salt flakes at the end really make this dish wonderful too, but don’t let it be a deal breaker if you don’t have any. If you have avocado on hand, I recommend adding some slices on top as well because avocado is great with pretty much anything.
Cheers and enjoy!
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 6-7 kale leaves, removed from stems and torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Pinch of cayenne
- Several splashes of coconut vinegar
- Maldon salt flakes for garnish, optional
- Melt coconut oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir with a wooden spoon. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the ground beef and break up the meat with the spoon. Season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook meat for about 5-7 minutes or until all the meat is nearly brown.
- Then, add the sliced zucchini and stir. Allow zucchini to cook a couple minutes and then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the kale and tomatoes.
- Stir well and add the coconut vinegar and cayenne, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Cook a minute or two more or until kale has softened a little bit.
- Serve and garnish with Maldon salt flakes on top. I also recommend avocado slices if you have some on hand.
Yields: 3 servings
I know I mentioned it already, but the summer heat has been insane in Portland! It has been consistently in the mid to upper 90s for many days now and it looks like it’s going to continue. I’ll be going home for a visit to Michigan in a couple weeks and I’m thinking it’s going to feel cold compared to what I’ve adapted to! It looks like temps in my hometown have been in the low 70s, but there’s also more humidity involved, so it usually feels warmer. Regardless of what the weather is like, it’ll be nice to be home for a visit.
Anyway, onto the food. I made this for dinner two nights in a row this past week because it’s so tasty and doesn’t involve any heat! It’s super easy and you don’t have to cook anything, unless you don’t have leftover chicken breasts in the fridge. If you don’t, then you have to cook a little bit, but at least it’s simple. I’d recommend either throwing some chicken on the grill or poaching it on the stove to get the job done.
Cheers and enjoy!
- 1 batch homemade basil pesto (replace parsley with fresh basil)
- 2 leftover boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, noodled with a spiralizer or julienne peeler
- 1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Place chopped chicken in a large bowl and mix with 2 Tbsp or so of fresh pesto. Place in fridge and let sit for a couple hours. (Note: if you don’t have time to let the chicken marinate in the fridge, skip it, but I recommend doing so if you can, so the chicken absorbs more pesto flavor).
- Shortly before eating, place the zucchini noodles in a colander and generously salt with sea salt. Place the colander in the sink or over a large bowl and let the zucchini “sweat” for 10-20 minutes. Then, squeeze out any excess water and divide the zucchini noodles among two bowls.
- Divide the tomatoes between the two bowls and add a little more pesto (probably 1-3 tsp per bowl or to taste). Then, divide the chicken mixture between the two bowls and mix well. Season to taste with a little sea salt and/or pepper, if needed.
Stir fry is such an easy and quick meal to whip up when I’m not sure what to make for dinner. It’s especially great when we have lots of different veggies in the fridge to work with. Bonus that it doesn’t have to heat up the house too much either, though I did make this before the weather turned extremely hot. During this time, it was just hot.
Meanwhile, can you believe it’s almost the Fourth of July? It always seems like summer flies by after the Fourth, doesn’t it? Anyway, we don’t have any plans nailed down yet, but might go to Hood River for the day. We’ll see.
What are you doing for the Fourth of July?
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 large broccoli crown, chopped
- About 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos (find here)
- 1/4 tsp fish sauce (I recommend this brand, which has no gluten or sugar)
- 1/2 tsp mirin (find here)
- Drizzle of raw honey (probably about 1/2 tsp)
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Stir until fragrant and sauté about 1-2 minutes. Then, add the cut-up chicken pieces and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the coconut aminos, fish sauce, mirin, raw honey, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is nearly cooked through, add the carrots and broccoli. Mix well and sauté a few minutes. Then, add the zucchini and shiitake mushrooms, and stir well. Season to taste with a little sea salt and pepper.
- Pour in the sauce mixture and mix well. Continue to cook for a few minutes or until zucchini has softened a bit.
- Season to taste with more sea salt, pepper and/or coconut aminos, if needed.
Yields: 2 large servings
One word on making perfect pork pork chops: brine. I had never brined pork chops until recently and let me tell you, it makes a huge difference. It’s totally worth the extra time and effort (very little effort though, really) because it makes the pork chops so much more flavorful and tender. If you’ve never brined pork chops before, I highly recommend giving it a go. It’s so easy to do and adds a great punch of flavor. If you try it, let me know what you think!
Meanwhile, hope everyone had a happy weekend and enjoyed rolling in the official start of summer. Hope all you dads had a great Father’s Day too!
Cheers and happy grilling!
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (this brand is my favorite)
- 2 Tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 2 thick bone-in pork chops (I used center cut pork chops)
- In a mixing bowl, combine everything, but the pork chops. Stir well, until salt and honey is dissolved.
- Place pork chops in a large zip lock bag and pour brine over top. Seal bag and gently slosh the mixture around to coat the chops. Place in fridge and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours. Move the mixture around from time-to-time to keep the chops well covered in brine.
- Remove the pork chops from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Discard the brine and rinse pork chops in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Turn on the grill and allow to heat up to medium. Place the chops over direct heat and sear for 2 minutes each side. Then, move to indirect heat, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes each side.
- Let chops rest 10 minutes after coming off the grill.
Yields: 2 servings