Grain-Free Alternative to Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and those of you (like me!) that are eating a grain-free diet, Thanksgiving could prove to be a little challenging. But don’t worry, I have a grain-free alternative to stuffing that you will LOVE!

grain-free alternative

Cauliflower “Rice” – Grain-Free Alternative to Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Zucchini, shredded
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • Seasonings of your choice

Directions

  1. Shred one head of cauliflower and set in a bowl to the side.
  2. Shred 1/4 to 1/2 cup zucchini and put in the bowl with the shredded cauliflower.
  3. Chop 1/2 cup of red pepper and 1/2 cup of yellow onion.
  4. Place olive oil in a frying pan (I use one that has sides) and saute the red pepper and onion for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cauliflower, zucchini and your choice of seasonings to the pain and thoroughly mix until the cauliflower browns lightly.

Normally I make this dish very spicy, but today I wanted it to slightly resemble stuffing so I used Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning, thyme, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (I told you, I like this dish spicy). It turned out absolutely delicious. So much so, I am thinking about taking it with me to Thanksgiving tomorrow to have in place of stuffing so I can stick to my diet!! Or at least stick to it enough that I don’t feel too guilty when I eat a sugar cookie!

What is your favorite grain-free dish?

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Squash Paleo Dinner

Last week I told you about my new lifestyle change using the Real Life Paleo book. In just one short week, I’ve lost 3 pounds! It’s been relatively easy. After three days of no grains, dairy or sugar, I did have a few headaches, but I just upped my water intake (with lemon or grapefruit essential oil) and I was good to go!

With my new lifestyle change, I am starting to eat things I’ve never made or eaten before. One of those things is spaghetti squash. It’s always been one of those things that I thought was rather weird. However, my family really likes to eat spaghetti and well…on my new lifestyle change, I can’t eat pasta noodles. So I decided to make a swap…spaghetti squash for pasta.

Spaghetti-squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Quickly

Since I had never cooked spaghetti squash before, I watched a few YouTube videos and asked my friends for the best way to make spaghetti squash. I got a bunch of different ways that used the oven. But then I came across a YouTube video that talked about making it in the microwave. That was right up my alley (though next time I do want to make it in the oven).

Steps

  1. Pick up your spaghetti squash at the store. I learned, throughout all of my spaghetti squash research, that you want a spaghetti squash that is heavy and when you knock on it, it’s loud. <–I will say, they all sound the same to me!
  2. Peel off the stickers. Don’t do what I did the first time I made the spaghetti squash!
  3. Make 8-10 slits in the squash with a knife. DO THIS! You do NOT want to clean up your microwave after a spaghetti squash explodes inside of it!
  4. Put the squash into a microwave safe dish and cover it with microwave safe plastic wrap. On high, cook the spaghetti squash for 6 minutes. After those 6 minutes, carefully unwrap the plastic wrap (there will be A LOT of steam), flip the squash back over, recover and cook for another 6 minutes. If the spaghetti squash slightly dents in when you touch it, it’s ready. If not, cook for an additional minute or two.
  5. Remove the spaghetti squash from the microwave and let it sit for a minute before cutting the end with the stem off. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the spaghetti squash in half, long ways (hot dot style…remember that from elementary school?!?).
  6. Gently scoop out the seeds and then using a fork, start at one end of the squash and pull towards you. You will start to see long, stringy pieces starting to form.

Everyone told me that you need to heavily season it, etc…I personally don’t think you do. I like it the way it is or with a little salt and pepper. You can use this squash in a variety of ways. Eat it as is, use it in place of pasta noodles, in stir-fry, etc.

**This post may contain affiliate links**

I’m pretty excited about this new lifestyle change. The Real Life Paleo book has a lot of different recipes that I am excited to try. But most of all, I am so happy that I no longer feel bloated after meals. Definitely check out that book!!

Do you follow the Paleo lifestyle? What’s your favorite recipe?

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Sloppy Joe sandwiches are a favorite in our house. Especially for Bella. She gets so excited when she sees that I’m making them for dinner. She can barely control her excitement when she sees leftovers and knows she can eat it for breakfast. For reals. She will eat a Sloppy Joe sandwich any time of the day!

sloppy joe stuffed zucchini

Now Bella likes to eat a Sloppy Joe sandwich in the traditional manner…on bread. I, on the other hand, am trying to eat a little less carbs so I decided to make mine breadless with this sloppy joe stuffed zucchini recipe!

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

  • Zucchini (1 large made about 4)
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 can of Manwich (I used Manwich Thick and Chunky)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap a baking sheet in non-stick foil (makes clean-up so much easier) and set aside.
  2. Brown your ground meat and drain.
  3. Pour ground meat and Manwich into a saucepan and simmer on low.
  4. Wash and cut the ends off the zucchini. As evenly as possible, cut thick slices (mine are roughly 2 inches thick…I think).
  5. Using a melon baller or a grapefruit spoon (like I did), scoop out the inside of each piece of zucchini…be careful not to scoop out too much at the bottom or the sides.
  6. Scoop a little bit of Sloppy Joe mix into each piece of zucchini and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Once the timer goes off, add a pinch of shredded cheese and bank for an additional 12 minutes.

sloppy joe stuffed zucchini

Banana Split Smoothie Recipe with TruMoo Milk!

This post brought to you by TruMoo. All opinions are 100% mine.

banana split smoothie

Have you ever heard of TruMoo Milk? I never have. I don’t typically buy flavored milk, mostly because my kids will drink it all in about a day and it’s usually filled with high fructose corn syrup, something I try to avoid. But…guess what, TruMoo is filled with just enough sugar and absolutely ZERO high fructose corn syrup! How cool is that?!?

Strawberry TruMoo Milk must be very popular where I live because I drove ALL over my city looking for it. And when I found it, I bought ALL I could find! You see, in our house, we like to throw together different smoothies, making up recipes as we go. The kids and I decided to make a Banana Split smoothie using the TruMoo Strawberry Milk!

Banana Split Smoothie Recipents 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup TruMoo Strawberry Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 whole banana (or 2 if you would like)
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 3-5 whole strawberries
  • Whip Cream
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Ice

banana split smoothie

Directions

  1. Put the TruMoo Strawberry Milk, vanilla yogurt, banana, strawberries, pineapple and ice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a nice tall glass and add the whip cream and sprinkle on some chocolate chips.
  3. Add a colorful straw and enjoy!

banana split smoothie

My kids absolutely LOVED this smoothie. My son chose to have it without the whip cream and chocolate chips, but my daughter thought the whip cream made the smoothie taste better!

TruMoo has so many different flavors! The kids are dying to try the chocolate milk…see the website on TruMoo for more information or visit TruMoo on Facebook and join their community of fans!!

I have 5 vouchers for $0.75 off TruMoo Milk to giveaway. All you need to do is comment with the flavor of TruMoo that you would like to try and I will use Random.Org to pull the winners! Giveaway will end on 9/8/14 at 5pm EST.

So tell me…which TruMoo flavor do YOU want to try?

banana split smoothie

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars

One of the things I really enjoy is sweet & spicy chicken. The spicier the food, the better! I did learn very quickly how to “cool off” my mouth after eating spicy food and believe me…it’s not with water!! That makes it worse! Someone told me to eat a piece of bread and another person told me to drink a glass of milk. But…nothing works better than a spoonful of sugar! I now have the sudden urge to watch Mary Poppins…

**I had the pleasure of visiting Northern Michigan as part of a press trip. My airfare, hotel and activities were provide. All stories and opinions are 100% my own. This post may also contain affiliate links**

FUSTINIS2

When I was visiting Northern Michigan a couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Fustini’s, an oils and vinegar shop. To be completely honest, before going to this store, I had NO IDEA that there were different flavors of olive oil or different flavors of balsamic vinegar, but there are! Lots of them! While we were there, we sat through a cooking demonstration for lemon drop biscuits, topped with vanilla balsamic strawberries. I will admit, as I was watching vanilla flavored balsamic vinegar be poured over the cut strawberries I couldn’t help thinking, “there is no way I will eat that“. But I did and it was so delicious. In fact, I am kicking myself that I didn’t buy the vanilla flavored balsamic vinegar so I can make this for my family! However, I chose a different oil and vinegar to bring home:

fustinis-oil-vinegar

Remember how I told you I liked spicy food? The Cayenne Crushed Chili Oil is there HOTTEST oil they offer! I thought it would pair nicely with a Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar.

About Fustini’s

The company was founded by Jim and Lane Milligan. They took many family vacations to Traverse City, Michigan and fell in love with Northern Michigan. Through his travels, Jim had the opportunity to experience oil and vinegar shops in the “Old World,” and that is when he got the great idea to bring the healthy and flavored balsamics and extra virgin olive oils to the States!

In 2008, Fustini’s opened in Traverse City, Michigan! The shop was named Fustini’s because in Italy, “Fustini” are the stainless steel containers that the olive oils and vinegars are stored! Fustini’s became so popular that you can now find stores in the following cities:

  • Petoskey, Michigan
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Mackinaw City, Michigan
  • Holland, Michigan
  • Maui, Hawaii

Fustini’s offers a wide variety of events. Be sure to check their calender of events for more details!

Now you didn’t think I would tease you with a picture of the oil and vinegar I chose without sharing the delicious recipe I made, now did you?!?

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

sweet & spicy chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Fustini’s Cayenne Crushed Chili oil
  • 1/4 cup Fustini’s Pineapple Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder*
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Combine the first four ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziplock bag and pour the marinade over top of it. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400° F and place a baking rack on a baking sheet with sides (I covered the baking sheet with foil for an easy clean-up).
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done.

*The garlic tasted good, but I think next time I may add a little more garlic or use minced garlic.

Doesn’t this sweet & spicy chicken sound so good? I can’t wait to make it again!

Visit the Petoskey area Culinary Trail at http://www.petoskeyarea.com/culinary-trail-131/ for more information!

Please visit www.michigan.org to plan your trip to Northern Michigan…and you should plan a trip there! Stay tuned for more about my #PureMichigan Press Trip!! I can’t wait to share all the amazing things we did and saw!