: Don't Eat the Spatula - Don't Eat The Spatula

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Roasted Pumpkin and Caramelized Apple Soup (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)




So who still has leftover pumpkin decorations they have no idea what to do with? We were gifted not one, but two cute sugar pumpkins to decorate with and to enjoy. And, if you can believe it, I have never actually cooked with real pumpkin. I have only ever used pureed pumpkin from a can. I knew I could simply roast it like any other winter squash, but since I am on a major soup kick, I wanted to make one that highlighted the naturally sweetness of the pumpkin. The caramelized apples are a nice accent, and bring the yumminess to another level.


Roasted Pumpkin and Caramelized Apple Soup


Ingredients


  • 1 sugar pumpkin (about 2-3 lbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon fat (or fat of choice)
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of bone broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  3. Slice pumpkin in half and remove seeds and stringy parts.
  4. Lightly season the inside with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  5. Place pumpkin halves on baking sheet, cut side down. 
  6. Brush extra virgin olive oil over the skin of the pumpkin halves.
  7. Roast in preheated oven for 45 min – 1 hour, or until soft. Remove the pumpkin halves and set aside to cool.
  8. While pumpkin is cool, you can cook the apples.
  9. Heat bacon fat in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
  10. Once pan is hot, add apple slices to pan and allow to cook for 10-15 mins, or until they are soft and begin to brown. Stir occasionally.
  11. When apples are done, add them plus the flesh from the pumpkin, cinnamon and bone broth to a blender. Mix until smooth and fully combined.
  12. The pumpkin should still be hot enough to warm the bone broth, but if the soup is not warm enough, simply heat in a pot over medium-low heat on stove.
  13. Enjoy.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Host an AIP Meal to Impress Your Friends




Recently, I had the honor of being on the Phoenix Helix Podcast to share my tips on saving time in the kitchen. If you haven't already, take a listen to get some great tips to cut down your time in the kitchen, without sacrificing flavor and balance in your meals. On the podcast, I shared one of my favorite batch cook meal ideas, make a lot of soup. I freeze each soup in multiple pint size jars and  then pull them out to make the base of a meal. The soup is topped with either leftover or also batch cooked protein options, veggies, and fun toppings. 

Hostess with the Mostess


When I first agreed to host an AIP meal with a few of my blogger friends, I didn't think too much about the menu. However, as the date grew closer, I started braining storming ideas. The meal needed to not be too much work to put together since I have a 6 month old needing my full attention, but it also needed to be something that all could enjoy. As I stared hopelessly into my fridge and freezer for inspiration, the idea emerged.

Make Your Own Soup


It sort of steamed from the build your own baked potato bar with an AIP twist. I love to build my own soups and be creative, and this meal allowed everyone to create your own Instagram worthy soup. Plus, everyone can pick and choose what goes into their meal. What was even better, was that over half the menu was already cooked and in my freezer. BONUS! 


I love to cook to impress, and when I didn’t have a little one to look after, this was not too difficult to achieve. Now, I am all about make the most of my time in the kitchen. Batch cooking has become a key to my survival. I was able to cook all the soup and protein options well in advance of this brunch and freeze them for later. Some things I made as a meal for my husband and I, and then froze the leftover. Other itemss I cooked up during a long batch cook day and froze for later.

This meal worked for a great fall/winter option, but as a nice summer alternative, you could do a build your own salad bar. 


Decorate


Again, keeping it super simple, I used what I already had in the house. Since it is winter squash season here, aka my favorite time of the year, I used some squash I had as part of a center piece along with some fresh picked apples and mandarins posing as mini pumpkins. To make it feel like a fancy restaurant style meal, I used a simple Microsoft Word template to make a menu for each person. If you have nice hand writing, you could even write out the menu yourself to make it even more personal.

Building the menu


When building the menu, I tried to stick with recipes I knew were simple, but when put together, make a delicious meal. I was also looking at what I already had in my house to cook with or items already prepared that go well together. When building your own menu, take stock of your kitchen and go from there. No need to go out and buy all new, fancy things, just keep it simple. Here was our menu for the brunch as an example of what you can do next time to impress your friends.


SOUP BASE


PROTEIN


TOPPINGS







Rory from The Paleo Pi, Jaime from Gutsy By Nature, Angie from Autoimmune Paleo and yours truly.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Asparagus and Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breast (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)



This recipe is a result of a few things going on in our lives. First, I have shared it on social media, but not on the blog yet. We decided it was best for our family that I would not return to work following my maternity leave. That means for last 6 months, I have been taking on my new role as a stay at home mom. This also meant, we went from a two salary income to a one salary income over night, with one extra warm body to care for as well. We have to cut a lot of expenses and find ways to save money. One of the few areas we have a lot of control in is our grocery and eating out budget. It was easy to say, no more eating out, but finding ways to cut groceries was simple at first, but also got me being more creative.

I am notorious for buying things that I want to use, and then avoiding using them because I don't want them to be gone. It is a weird quirk of mine. However, I am learning to cook all the food we have until the fridge is pretty bare, and then we go and buy what we need. I am happy to share we have kept in our food bugdet since we started, saving us several $100s in just the last 6 months.

The second thing that influenced this meal was the need for fast and easy prep since I have a 13 ½ pound, 6-month old permanently attached to my hip. It took me about 5 minutes to put this all together, and then I could just put it in the oven and forget about it until the timer went off.





Asparagus and Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breast


Ingredients


  • 5-6 thin sliced chicken breast
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 5-6 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. 
  2. If need be, pound chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap to ensure it is all equal thickness, around 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Place chicken breast flat on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  4. Lay one slice of prosciutto on top of each chicken breast.
  5. Rise asparagus and cut off 2 inches off the bottom of each stem.
  6. Divide asparagus among each chicken breast and place in the middle.
  7. Roll up the chicken and prosciutto around the asparagus and place the open side down. 
  8. Lightly coat the chicken and asparagus ends with olive oil. Then evenly distribute the sea salt, thyme, and oregano among the wrapped up chicken breasts.
  9. Cook for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes, then serve with your favorite sides, like Roasted Acorn Squash with Brussel Sprouts or Kabocha Tots