Monday, August 18, 2014

Lunch... and Learn

One of the toughest things at my job now is having to coordinate some sort of catering with Lunch and Learn on-site meetings for the boss. 
It's not so much the coordinating as it is the having to go online and looking at all this yummy food that's 90% illegal now and deciding what to order for them to have catered in.

Last time, it was submarine sandwiches and chips... Today, it was recommended that we order from a place in Nashville called Swanky's. A cool looking little taco shop that's right across the street from where the upcoming meeting will be held. 

So... I pulled it up online: and man, did it look good. Did I mention that I probably miss Mexican more than any other ethnic food? Tortilla chips... queso... rice bowls...

Anyway. I digress.

Well, one of the delicious looking dishes I was slightly drooling over on their website, I actually had to stop myself over and say "Hey, wait. That one would totally be legal." So, was inspired to try it at home.

Tequila Lime Shrimp.

Now, I only stopped by Kroger on the way home, so didn't get any tequila, but figured some white wine would be close enough, so went with that.

And it turned out pretty tasty!

This is my Chardonnay Lime Shrimp version, with Spinach Salad (that I've grown pretty accustomed to, as of late).

I just took some white wine and added to it: fresh lime juice, chili powder, cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. And a little bit of EVOO just to help it 'stick' a bit better. Marinated the shrimp in that for about 30 minutes. Then, heated up about 1 tbsp EVOO in a hot skillet before adding a splash of the white wine (remove from heat to do this), then added the marinated shrimp (draining off the marinade  first). Tossed around and cooked well for at least 5-10 minutes. I added a little more lime juice before plating up, then once plated, I added a dash more chili powder and cilantro just for garnish.

Threw together a quick little side Spinach Salad... and it was a go!

Very yummy!

And you know, when you make a meal like this and actually give it a little 'presentation' - you don't feel deprived at all! You actually begin to feel a little spoiled!  :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Playing with my Food... Again

So, while eating my yummy quiche last week, I began to wonder if that might not become a possible base for a noodle-free lasagne. It set up nicely like lasagne and was really just missing the tomato part and the Italian seasoning.

And, since I'd bought 2 lbs of sausage last week and only needed one for the quiche... and I still had a remaining can of Hunt's crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste left in my cabinet that I'd resisted throwing out or giving away.... I just went for it.

    (Not quite sure why I took the picture so caddy-wampus.)

It actually turned out pretty good! I pretty much still browned the sausage, browned some bell peppers and onion in the sausage grease, then threw those back together and added in some crushed tomatoes and paste to thicken up a bit. Added a good amount of Italian blend seasoning. Then added about 6 eggs, mixed together really well, mixed in some Swiss and Cheddar (since I'm not supposed to have Mozzarella). Poured the mixture into a lightly greased casserole and topped with a little more cheese. Baked for about 40 minutes.

I think next time, I'd like to try an actual Paleo lasagne recipe... but this one wasn't too bad for an improvisational / trial sort of dish! It was definitely a welcome change from all the hamburgers I had the rest of the week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pollo Stir-Fry

Threw this together one night, in more of an effort of mixing things up a bit than anything else. But, it turned out being really good.

I just had some leftover bell peppers to use up, so threw those, along with a sweet onion, in a hot skillet with some good ol' EVOO. Meanwhile, in another hot (non non-stick) skillet, I browned up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 

Married the two when they were each good and browned. Added some baked sweet potato 'fries' and it was as good as a meal!

And one I plan on making again!

(I added a little bit of Colby Jack, too - just because.... well, just because I could.)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Breakfast of Champions

Although I'd say the food I've missed the most is probably pasta, I would have to admit that there have been many times this summer that I've missed a good ol' bowl of cereal. 

Now, I never have been one for all the sweet, blatantly sugary cereals... My favorites were more along the lines of: Blueberry Morning, Smart Start and even some good old fashioned Rice Krispies with some strawberries or bananas on top. 

Honestly, I never imagined I'd ever miss cereal more than donuts or coffee bread. 

But, in the summer, a lot of times, I would enjoy a nice little bowl of cereal in the evenings, just for something quick, light and refreshing to eat. 

And then, on Saturdays... I mean, what child of the '70s didn't grow up eating cereal while watching cartoons on Saturday mornings?

And I mourn a little for my past culinary life. *sighh*

Until I actually take the time to prepare a nice full complete breakfast. 

And then I think... Wait. Cereal? What cereal?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Grain-Free Cookies... Take Two

So, I was pretty excited about the chocolate chip cookies we've been enjoying (and that I finally got around to making myself this week). 
But, I may actually be more excited about them now.

The other day, when I made mine, they seemed to turn out more 'nutty' than Mom's have been. Not a bad thing necessarily. Just kinda like the difference between chunky peanut butter and creamy. (Though my cookies weren't that chunky!) But, I just kept thinking they were more like an oatmeal cookie than a chocolate chip cookie.

So, I gave that a go tonight.

And believe me when I say... They. Are. Sooo. Good! 
Especially warm out of the oven.

They taste just like an old fashioned oatmeal cookie. 
Though no oats were used at all. 

I just replaced the chocolate chips with about 2 tsp's of cinnamon and about a half-box of golden raisins (probably close to a cup or so?). And all the rest was in keeping with the Grain Free Cookie Recipe  we've been using.

Again... SO good!

Trust me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner

One of my favorite memories from childhood is whenever Dad was left in charge of dinner.
That meant one thing.... Breakfast for dinner.

Nothing is better than having breakfast for dinner. I don't know why. But, it's just.... better.

So, as I struggled tonight to come up with something different and tasty for dinner, I remembered seeing a crustless quiche earlier that looked pretty good... and decided to go for it.

And it was good!

This is actually my first time eating sausage in months. I love sausage, but it's just easier to find sugar-free bacon. Not so much with the sausage, unfortunately. So, I was excited tonight to come across a package of sausage that's actually locally produced and didn't have sugar listed in the ingredients... Yay! So, got it home, anxious to brown some up for my quiche and wasn't 'til then that I noticed that it said 'glucose' instead of sugar.... Rookie mistake... Boo. 

Oh, well. I'll be all the wiser next time around. And I figure I'm still on enough meds to buy me that much grace. So, went ahead and made my quiche.

Browned up the pound of sausage while dicing up some leftover red, green and yellow bell peppers and onions I had stir-fried with some chicken last week. Removed the sausage from the pan and threw the peppers and onions into the grease. Browned those up really good, then tossed it all together with 8 or 9 eggs. Threw in some shredded Swiss and Cheddar for good measure. Poured the mixture into a Pyrex, topped with a little more cheese and baked at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. Drained off some of the excess grease that had gathered on top and plated some up with some fresh fruit!


And I even 'enhanced' my Welch's original grape juice with some fresh-squeezed orange juice as an added bonus.  :)

Very tasty! And I didn't miss the crust (or even the heavy cream) at all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mid-Week Chuckle

That's funny.

But, just makes ya wonder... how many people would second guess their objects of addiction, were they just packaged a little more honestly. Hmmmm.... 

B.C.S. (Bacon Chicken and Swiss)

Back when I first started this journey, I discovered bacon-wrapped chicken as one of my 'safe' foods (with the help of Adam Shuerer (at

And wondered why I had never discovered this winning combination before!

It was delicious. The bacon kept all the good chicken juices wrapped inside. And well, you can never go wrong with a little bacon. So, that quickly made it into my steady rotation of 'safe foods' before I really got to feeling better.

About the same time, Mom had found a recipe that's similar, where you cook the chicken, then simply top the chicken with Swiss cheese, bacon and sauteed onions.

Again... Yum.

So, I've begun to make more of that style than the initial one I was doing. For the simple fact that I prefer the bacon all nice and crispy on top as opposed to bacon that stays soft and juicy. And you can never go wrong with a little Swiss cheese! Especially with bacon!

Lately, I've been cooking my chicken in a pan instead of the oven. It's just quicker that way. And I have really begun to better appreciate my non-nonstick frying pan. The meats just brown up so much better in it. And is, undoubtedly safer than ingesting all that nonstick stuff.

To give some added flavor, I've just been sprinkling a generous amount of mixed seasoning on my raw chicken and then throw it in with some heated up olive oil. Cook for about 10 min's on each side (depending on the thickness of the chicken). Fry up a little bit of bacon while that cooks and boom! You've got a pretty tasty little meal! 

And the leftovers are great on a bed of spinach as a salad, with a little bit of oil/vinegar dressing drizzled on top! 

Speaking of which, I believe there is some in there calling my name now...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Foray into Banana Pancakes

I finally broke down and made some Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies last night... and they turned out pretty good!

So, today I decided to finally try the ever popular Paleo pancakes: Two-ingredient Banana Pancakes.

1 large banana (I used two smaller organic bananas)
2 eggs

That's it, folks. 

Mash up the banana really well.
Add in the eggs.
(I also added a pinch of baking soda and some ground cinnamon.)
Pour into a hot lightly greased pan.

Very quick and simple.

Our Best Bites also offers some good feedback and options.

And drizzled with some Grade B maple syrup and a side of bacon and fresh fruit... not bad!
Will definitely be a quick go-to now whenever I have ripening bananas!