Chicken Cauliflower Casserole
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Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

This paleo Chicken Cauliflower Casserole is so simple to make that I will probably make it quite often.

I just happened to have some leftover cauliflower from when I made the Spicy Indian Cauliflower dish.  I’m always excited when I can use leftover ingredients from one dish as it cuts down on the budget. Makes sense, no?

This dish came out quite tasty. Pat, pat on my back. (I have some bragging rights, don’t I?)

Here’s the recipe for you to try ~

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Sea Salt, dash
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cleaned and cut into small bite size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and when heated, add the onion and cook until it’s clear.
  3. Add the garlic, basil and parsley to the onion, stir and let this cook for a minute or so.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cauliflower to the onion mixture then season with salt.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet mixture and stir everything together.
  6. In a 9 x 13 baking pan (I used glass), cover the bottom with aluminum foil, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and use a pastry brush to coat the bottom of the foil.
  7. Add the chicken mixture to the baking pan, cover this with aluminum foil then bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

That’s it!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  I served this with half of a sweet potato and steamed broccoli.

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Sunset, New Mexico
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Panic Attacks

A couple of months ago, I started having panic attacks. So far, a total of three that I consider major ~ but then, since I’ve never had them I don’t really know if they are major or not since I have nothing to compare them against except each other.

It was late in the evening when I experienced the first attack. I was feeling anxious for no particular reason that I knew of. When my husband and I went to bed, he fell asleep right away but I was wide awake ~ I usually don’t fall asleep til midnight unless I’ve done a lot of physical work. Suddenly, I felt that I had to get out of the house for 6 months.  Not just out of the house but out of Minnesota. How odd!  Strangely, I felt like I was being restrained.

Who in their right mind would want to leave the State they live in at that hour for no particular reason?

With tears streaming down my eyes, I sent a text to a friend who was a social worker in another state to see if she was awake. Fortunately she was and we texted back and forth as she asked me questions to see if we could pinpoint the problem.  Eventually she just offered for me to stay in her house if I “needed to get away.”

The feeling subsided and I feel  asleep.  When I awoke, I was back to “normal” yet felt a little uneasy about what happened.

A week or so later, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and suddenly felt as if something was enveloping me ~ a very strange sensation that I can’t really explain. “Something” was surrounding me and seemed to have a hold on me.

I stopped what I was doing and stood there when suddenly a thought popped into my head ~ “Why don’t I just walk to the nearby lake which was almost melted, walk on the ice and if I fall in, well, who would miss me?”

The thought startled me so much that I started crying uncontrollably. Where was this coming from? I didn’t feel anxious yet this thought sounded suicidal to me.

After 15 minutes, the feeling subsided and I returned to “normal.”

I started researching panic attacks on the internet and self-diagnosed myself. I would discuss this with my doctor when I went in for my annual checkup.

But I was not immune to another attack before my doctor appointment.

This time, I had been soundly asleep and woke up feeling the same sensation ~ something was surrounding my body.  I went to the bathroom and as I was walking back to the bedroom, I told myself that this would pass as that is one helpful tip I remembered from reading on the internet.

Once I affirmed that “this would pass” the feeling subsided.

In talking with a few people, I learned that there are quite a few others who suffer from panic attacks. Have you ever felt like this?

When I went for my yearly checkup I told my doctor about these attacks and she was concerned but explained that as we get older we sometimes have feelings of wanting to flee as we reflect back on our lives and this can cause us to feel “panic.”

Well, okay … I understand the “getting older” part but not necessarily the anxiety that might be caused by looking back at our past.

The doctor gave me a prescription and told me to take a pill at the onset of the panic attack. She said it can also be taken if I get anxious when traveling on a plane (although I’ve never needed anything before for traveling.)  Otherwise, she said, if I take a pill when I don’t have an attack it would just make me sleepy.

An interesting thing ~ I haven’t had a panic attack since I left her office.

 

 

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Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper
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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sometimes I go to Costco (a large warehouse store) and purchase food that, unfortunately, has to bought in bulk.

I always seem to pick up a package of 6 peppers and thus this paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe. My go-to book for vegetables is called 1000 Vegan Recipes which has some really great recipes. (Doesn’t the phrase Bell Pepper make you think of the limerick “Peter Piper Picked A Pack of Pickled Peppers?”)  (laughing)

I adapted the recipe, especially removing the beans, and present it to you below.

Feel free to substitute yellow or green peppers ~ as long as it’s a fairly large pepper, it should work fine for you.  Although I don’t have a preference in peppers, I realize some people do.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, lightly rinsed, patted dry and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup dry flax meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Cook the peppers in a pot of boiling water to soften ~ about 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit and lightly oil a 9×13 inch baking pan and set it aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat then add the onion, cover and cook until it’s softened.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 additional minutes.
  6. Add the walnuts, pecans, parsley, dill, half the flax meal and the chia seeds to the mushroom mixture then season with salt and pepper and let this cook through for another 5 minutes.
  7. Stuff the softened pepper halves with enough of the stuffing mixture to fill the peppers then arrange the stuffing side up in the prepared baking pan.
  8. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes then uncover, sprinkle with the remaining flax meal and continue baking until the peppers are hot ~ about 10 minutes longer.

This was truly delicious! I paired this with a Spinach Turkey Frittata  (although I substituted beef instead of turkey) and it was perfect.

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Adapted from the recipe found at 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Pg. 335, to paleo-ize.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Wisconsin
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Life Has Been A Whirlwind

The last two days have been a whirlwind:

Woke up yesterday, went to the bathroom and the toilet was flooding the floor. Ran and got towels and rugs to direct the flow away from the heat vent. Found the plunger and finally stopped the flow. Whew! That would have been a good scene for a comedy skit with me in my pajamas running around like a mad woman.

Air conditioner repairman came out yesterday morning. Will possibly have to replace it ~ it was made in 1989 but the house was built in 1993. Not sure how much longer it will work.

In addition, the heat recovery ventilator needs a new fan or has to be replaced.

Repairman for the refrigerator came out yesterday afternoon and parts have to be ordered or we may have to replace the refrigerator as one section may not be repairable.

Woke up this morning ~ no water. Technician came out and determined that we need a new well pump.

A week or so ago, we came home and a tree in the back had fallen and missed the house but knocked down our fence. Have to hire someone to haul the tree away.

In spite of all this, we are blessed. Our Home Warranty (despite the fine print) may pay for at least a couple of these replacements/repairs.

I keep in mind that these are just “things.” Replaceable. What really counts in this world are people who are not replaceable.

So, love deeply. Forgive ~ we are not promised tomorrow or even later today ~ make each moment count.

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Spicy Indian Cauliflower
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Spicy Indian Cauliflower

I’m still craving Indian food and found this nice Spicy Indian Cauliflower recipe that I had to make a few changes on to paleo-ize.

I’m not normally a fan of cauliflower but this was simply delicious. I did cut back on the cayenne from 1/2 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon and it still had a bite to it.

Let’s take a look at the recipe ~

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used canned)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Steam the cauliflower until just tender, about 5 minutes, then set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat then add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook this through stirring occasionally until it’s soft.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, cayenne, maple syrup and salt.
  4. Add the steamed cauliflower and stir until the cauliflower is coated with the spice mixture.  (Add a small bit of water if it gets too dry.)
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes.

I served this paleo Spicy Indian Cauliflower with Indian Chicken with Gravy and Grilled Zucchini.

Spicy Indian Cauliflower

Spicy Indian Cauliflower

Adapted from the recipe found in the book 1000 Vegan Recipes.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Minnesota Spring
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Allergy Time

Leaving the house yesterday in the early morning to work in the yard, my mind and heart were set on how much work I could get done. It was an absolutely beautiful morning.

A lite jacket was needed just to take away the initial morning chill but it didn’t take long before it was tossed aside.

Have you ever had so much enthusiasm for a project only to have it dulled by circumstances beyond your control?  That was yesterday.

As much as I don’t like to use Roundup, the noxious garlic mustard plant was everywhere to be seen and, outside of my gaining Superman strength, there is no way to manually remove each and every plant ~ especially when the neighbors don’t kill theirs.

With a large container of Roundup in hand, I sprayed the plants ~ one by one, two by two, three by three …. arghhhhh! Looking ahead, I saw a whole field of them in the back of the property.

But that was the least of my problems. Suddenly “it” hit me. My nose started running ~ where was it going?  hahahahahaha ~ and with eyes itching, I headed indoors. It was quite overwhelming and put an end to any enthusiasm I had.

The past few mornings I had taken an allergy pill but they weren’t working. The pollen ruled the day and I made sure every window in the house was closed so I could at least be able to breathe indoors.

After a quick shower I sat down and pondered the ridiculousness of the situation for here I was inside with windows closed to avoid pollen. No fresh air could enter because of it’s mingling with pollen that causes toxicity to the body.

Last year I lamented the 6 month winter yet I had no problems with pollen then.

This year I was thankful for an early spring yet I lament the allergy season.

Can’t win …

A recent article I read discusses the link between dry eyes and pollen.

Ahhh ~ spring.

Minnesota Spring

Minnesota Spring

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Indian Chicken with Gravy
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Indian Chicken with Gravy

I could eat Indian (from India) food every day if … my husband liked it as much as I do. He’ll go to Indian restaurants with me ~ maybe once a year. I may have to declare myself single for a day and treat myself to lunch all by my lonesome just so I can eat Indian food more often.

That being said, I have found that Indian restaurants tend to serve food in little bowls that seem to cost a lot of money. So ~ sometimes it’s not cost effective to eat there.

This Paleo Indian Chicken with Gravy is scrumptious. The ginger, cumin and garam marsala spices just burst in your mouth with flavor. Yum!

Let’s take a peek at this recipe, shall we?

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter or you can use regular butter)
  • 3 chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Heat the oil and ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Cook the cumin seeds in the oil for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the onion then cook and stir until clear.
  4. Stir in the garlic and ginger then cook until the onions brown.
  5. Stir in the tomato, tomato paste, garam masala, turmeric, serrano pepper, and water then cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Lay the chicken into the sauce and mix it with the seasonings in the pot to coat them.
  7. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low then cook until the chicken until it’s thoroughly cooked ~ approximately 40 minutes.

And that’s it! The chicken came out so moist and tender and, as I mentioned before, the flavors were delicious.

The original recipe was found at All Recipes and I paleo-ized it by changing the vegetable oil to olive oil. I also decreased the amount of chicken needed and adjusted the rest of the recipe for “just the two of us.”

Indian Chicken with Gravy

Indian Chicken with Gravy

I served this meal with curried sweet potatoes.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

 

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Paleo Pinon
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An Old Recipe ~ Pinon

I’m not sure what possessed me to think about an old recipe that I learned as a child when I was a Camp Fire girl.

My Camp Fire leader was Puerto Rican and every now and then she would take us to her house and feed us.  This time, she taught us how to make a wonderful dish with green beans, plantains and beef. It was delicious then and it was delicious now.  It even heats through well as leftovers.

My Camp Fire leader is one of the most important people in my life.  My mother was very strict but she allowed my leader, Becky, to take me wherever she chose.  She would take me shopping for clothes, dinner at the old Marshall Field’s in Chicago and also helped me land my first job.

I have always considered Becky my foster mother because without her I wouldn’t have made it through my teen years “intact.” I was a bit wild, i.e. I would run away from home sometimes, but she was always there when I called her to pick me up.

Being a social worker, Becky had many contacts and she eventually opened up her own business which was a Home Care Agency. She cared for people and gave my mother her first real job.

So, it was with sadness that I learned this past year that she had early onset dementia. Her sister took her home to Puerto Rico so that the family could take care of her.  Such a beautiful life …

Anyway, I made this Paleo Piñon with Becky in mind. I haven’t had it in years and searched the internet to get the “gist” of it again.

I believe you’ll enjoy it ~ it’s a real treat to have mature “maduro” plantains as they are nice and sweet.

Ingredients

  • 4 large ripe (yellow) plantains
  • Coconut Oil (for frying)
  • 6 eggs, beaten (3 for the bottom of the dish and 3 for pouring over the top of the casserole)
  • 2 cans green beans (or you could use fresh ones but they need to be steamed and cooked first)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 bell pepper (color doesn’t matter), chopped finely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon basil (or another herb of your choice)
  • Salt and Pepper (to your taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Cut the ends off of the plantains then peel them using a knife by cutting a slit down the side and then taking the peel off with your hands.
  3. Slice the plantains into diagonal pieces. You should get about 12-18 slices per plantain.
  4. In a medium sized skillet on medium low heat, add enough coconut oil so that it will coat the bottom of the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the sliced plantains to fill the bottom of the skillet (do not overlap). Once the first group of plantains are golden on both sides, transfer them to a paper towel lined dish. Continue this until all the plantains are cooked then set them aside.
  5. In another skillet set to medium heat, add the olive oil.
  6. When the olive oil is hot, add the onions and cook until they are clear.
  7. Add the garlic and stir into the onions.
  8. Add the pepper to the onion mixture, stir and let heat through for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is cooked all the way through.
  10. Season the beef with the basil, tomato sauce, salt and pepper.
  11. Remove from the stovetop when cooked.
  12. In a pie dish, add 3 of the beaten eggs to the bottom.
  13. Next add the plantains on top of the eggs, then add the green beans and lastly the beef mixture.  Continue this layering ~ you want to end with one layer of plantains on top.
  14. Lastly, pour the last three beaten eggs over the top of this casserole. (This should give it a nice shine.)
  15. Place the pie dish in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the egg is set.

It sounds like a lot of work but really it isn’t.

A lot of Puerto Ricans who make this dish use Sazon for flavoring but it has MSG in it (along with other things I can’t pronounce) and that can tend to give people migraines so I don’t cook with it. You can replicate Sazon if you want to (just Google it).

I chose to keep my recipe simple but you can really add a lot of spices to this dish if you like.  Cumin might go really well with it.

Hope you enjoy it!

Paleo Pinon

Paleo Pinon

I served my Paleo Piñon with guacamole and sliced pineapple. It didn’t come out with the layered look but tasted fantastic just the same.

Paleo Pinon

Paleo Pinon

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Paleo Roasted Chicken With Apricots
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Roasted Chicken Thighs With Apricots (Paleo)

This paleo recipe is quite flavorful and I enjoyed the spices on my palate and believe you will also.

Although it seems like there are a lot of ingredients it’s really just a tad of this and a tad of that ~ and most things you’ll have in your cupboard already.

The spices consist of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika and turmeric. Then there’s the dried apricots and a little bit of ginger which I grated. This is what gave it the most “kick.”

Spices

Spices

Everything will be put into a dutch oven and will just bake through. You can also just put it in a casserole dish with aluminum foil over it. Simply enough, no?

Here’s the list of all of the ingredients ~

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless chicken thighs (bone-in)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium yam (or sweet potato), peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped or whole
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot then add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring occasionally until well browned on all sides
  4. When done, remove from the skillet and set this aside.
  5. Add the onion slices to the skillet and saute over medium heat stirring frequently until they begin to brown.
  6. Add the garlic, stir and cook through another 1 minute.
  7. Add the yam or sweet potato, ginger, spices and the 2 teaspoons of salt then cook through for another minute or so.
  8. Add the chicken stock, the chicken thighs, and all the remaining ingredients and bring this to a boil.
  9. Transfer everything from the skillet to a casserole dish or dutch oven, cover and put it in the oven to bake for approximately 25 minutes.

(You can start this in the dutch oven and simply move that directly into the oven.)

Paleo Roasted Chicken With Apricots

Paleo Roasted Chicken Thighs With Apricots

That’s it!  Simple as making pumpkin pie! Hmmm … wish I had some pumpkin pie right about now … (laughing)

Delicious!  I served this with a bowl of steamed broccoli.

Paleo Roasted Chicken With Apricots

Paleo Roasted Chicken Thighs With Apricots

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

 

 

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