Can’t beat a simple, one-pan meal. It makes for an easy lunch or dinner and involves little fuss, other than chopping the vegetables. But, that’s a very small task to accomplish to create a healthy meal.
Feel free to make this dish your own by using the veggies, sausage and seasonings that you like. It’s easy to customize and leaves lots of room for variety. In terms of the sausage, I used Aidells Artichoke & Garlic Chicken Sausage, but an Italian variety (Applegate makes a good one) would be great too.
On another note, my 32nd birthday is today! Cheers, joy and well wishes to me! And, on yet another note, my husband and I leave for Iceland this Sunday! We will be there for a full week. It’s going to be majestic! The first stop once we arrive (at 6:45 a.m. their time) is the Blue Lagoon to restore, relax and kick the jet lag. We’re getting shuttled straight there from the airport. Expect some beautiful photos to ensue soon!
- 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
- 2 small-medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 small heads broccoli, chopped into florets (peel and chop stem too)
- 16 oz package artichoke & garlic or Italian chicken sausage, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp granulated onion or onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch of cayenne
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- On a large baking sheet, mix together the chopped veggies (make sure pieces are uniform for even cooking), minced garlic, sliced shallot and sliced sausage.
- In a small dish, mix the melted coconut oil (or avocado oil) with the apple cider vinegar, oregano, thyme, parsley, cayenne, granulated onion (or onion powder), sea salt and black pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss with tongs to coat.
- Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and place back in oven for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Things are really starting to heat up here in Portland and it’s supposed to be in the 90s for the next week or so! It’s times like this that I miss having quick access to water, like back home in Michigan, where there’s beaches all around. Here, without being in the water or in ample shade with lots of cold beverages, it becomes too hot to be outside. Either that, or it’s a constant in-and-out game. In reality though, summer in Portland is really spectacular and the humidity is nothing compared to that of the Midwest. But I still wish I had close access to good swimming and clean water.
On another note, Jesse and I are going to a Primal Blueprint/True Nature Training workshop all day tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. We signed up a few months ago, so it’s been on our horizon for some time now. I love that opportunities like this come through Portland — makes me all the more grateful to live in this wonderful city. It’s also awesome for Jesse and me to be able to share experiences like this together.
As for the recipe, it’s simple (obviously) and refreshing, with summery flavors and a hint of sweetness. Additionally, it bakes for a short period of time, so won’t heat up the house too much or for too long, which is crucial on these hot summer days.
Jesse and I ate slices of the loaf with sauteed kale and caramelized onions, but it’s also good eaten in lettuce wraps with a little Dijon mustard — that’s what I did with the leftovers the next day for lunch.
- 1 lb US Wellness Meats ground chicken
- 1 large clove garlic or 2 small, finely chopped
- 2 pastured eggs, beaten
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic honey vinegar (buy here or use regular)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
- Dash of sea salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a medium loaf pan with butter, ghee or coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Once mixed through, pour into the greased loaf pan and pat down with a spatula to spread the loaf evenly.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Yields: 3-4 servings
With fall just a few days away and change in the air, I decided it was time to cook our first fresh winter squash of the season. I was hesitant to buy it at first because it’s still a tad early for winter squash, but Jesse convinced me otherwise. The weather actually hasn’t been fall-like here yet, aside from the mornings, but we’re still getting temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s. I’m totally okay with it though. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall, but I’ll take as much summer as I can get! September and October are generally really nice out here, but the cold and rain will be upon us soon enough.
One aspect of fall that’s already apparent is the shorter daylight hours. This is making it difficult to take photos in the evening, after I’ve cooked dinner, and getting a halfway decent photo of this squash dish was quite challenging. I always try and opt for natural light whenever possible and detest how my pictures look indoors, but as the daylight hours continue to get shorter, I’ll probably just have to deal with it or figure something else out.
Anyway, I knew I wanted to stuff the squash with a mixture of apples, ground meat with sausage spices, and onion. I had a wonderful visual in my head and flavor in my mouth, and lucky for me, it turned out pretty darn close to what I envisioned. That rarely happens.
For the squash:
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place squash face down in a little bit of water, either on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, flip the squash over and fill each cavity with 1 Tbsp of grass-fed butter and sea salt and pepper to taste. Place back in oven for 30 more minutes or until squash is tender when poked with a knife. Note: if squash is done before the harvest mixture, keep it in the oven to stay warm.
For the harvest sausage mixture:
- 1/2 – 1 tsp bacon fat
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lb dark meat ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 15 – 20 grinds of fresh black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 gala apple, chopped
- 2 cups green kale, torn into mid-size pieces
- Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and let cook a few minutes. Then add in the meat and all the sausage spices. Mix well to make sure all the spices get well incorporated. Alternatively, before adding the meat to the pan, you can place it in a bowl with the spices and mix it all together with your hands. This will ensure that all the spices get more evenly distributed.
- As the meat browns, break up the big chunks with a spatula. Once meat is close to done, add in the apple and mix well.
- After a few minutes, stir in the kale and a bit more sea salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Once done, scoop into each squash cavity and serve.