Slow Cooker Pepper Steak (Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free)

Gluten Sugar Dairy Free  had a pepper steak recipe that is simple, delicious, and basically cooks itself. Serve this over brown rice (or cauliflower rice for strict Palelo folks), with your favorite vegetables and you have a complete, healthy, Paleo meal.

Ingredients (serve 6-8):

  • 2 lb sirloin
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sliced bell peppers
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch (or arrow root powder)
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 2 or 3 lime slices

Directions:

  1. Slice sirloin into strips, slicing across the grain into one inch strips.
  2. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat.
  3. Once pan is hot set sirloin strips in and let sit 2-4 minutes or until they release from pan easily. You don’t need oil since the natural liquid from the beef will release into the pan.
  4. Flip and brown other side.
  5. Remove sirloin from heat on to platter.
  6. Whisk stock with cornstarch and add to slow cooker. If you don’t have beef stock, chicken or vegetable stock will work just fine. Use stock, never water!
  7. Add all other ingredients (except cilantro and lime) to slow cooker and stir to combine.
  8. Add sirloin to slow cooker and gently mix well. Cover.
  9. Set on high and cook for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Stir once during the cooking.
  10. Chop cilantro and cut lime slices and set aside.
  11. Once the beef has cooked, taste and check to see if you need to add more salt or pepper before serving. Top each serving with a squeeze of lime, and cilantro.
  12. Enjoy!

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Scallions

This recipe from Paleo Grubs could be a side dish, or even a light meal all on it’s own!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk
  • 1 small serrano chili pepper, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 1 oz bacon, chopped
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice the sweet potatoes into about 1/8” thick slices.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the coconut milk, chili, salt and black pepper. In a 10” cast iron skillet or baking dish arrange the potatoes in even layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture . Repeat the process until you used all the potatoes and coconut milk mixture.
  3. Cover with an aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, top with bacon, chopped spring onions and a pinch of crushed black pepper.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Grilled Vegetables (Meatless Monday)

This week’s Meatless Monday post comes from Craving Something Healthy and it is a perfect recipe for the upcoming Labor Day weekend!

Ingredients (12 servings):

Jerk Seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ground pepper

Vegetables

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 portabello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced in half
  • 1 pound of thin asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • 2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice + zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions

Directions

  1. For the spice blend, mix all spices, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  2. Wash and prepare vegetables as directed. Place vegetables in a very large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently to coat with oil.
  3. Sprinkle spice mix over vegetables and gently toss and rub spice mix into vegetables. Let coated vegetables sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Working in batches as necessary, grill vegetables until tender and lightly charred on each side, about 8-10 minutes per batch.
  6. Let vegetables cool slightly, and then slice into serving pieces.
  7. For yogurt sauce, mix together Greek yogurt, lime juice, zest and scallions. Season with a pinch of salt if desired.
  8. Serve with yogurt sauce, and brown basmati rice if desired.
  9. Enjoy!

Flavored Water and Tea (Thirtsy Thursday)

Here are 3 recipes from eMeals.com that are great alternatives to cocktails or just have in your fridge at home.

Strawberry-Basil Water:

  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 quarts water

Combine strawberries and basil in a large pitcher. Add 2 quarts water. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Fresh Mint Iced Tea:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 green tea bags
  • 1/3 cup sugar (you can also omit this if, like me, you prefer unsweetened tea; you can also substitute another sweetener)
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and let steep 2 to 3 minutes. Remove tea bags, and pour tea into a large pitcher. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Add mint and lemon. Refrigerate until chilled.

Agua Fresca:

  • 6 cups cubed seedless watermelon (from 5 lb melon)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (can omit or sub other sweetener)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Frozen raspberries to use as ice cubes (optional)

Place watermelon in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher. Add water, sugar and lime juice; stir until well blended. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens. The original recipe isn’t Paleo, but it is easy to make some Paleo subs. You can get this dish from prep to table in about 30-40 minutes.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 cup canned unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or sub arrowroot powder)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh lemon grass or 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • Nonstick cooking spray (or some olive oil)
  • 1 medium green sweet pepper, seeded and cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup packaged julienned or coarsely shredded fresh carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil (or sub olive oil)
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown basmati rice or regular brown rice (or sub cauliflower rice)
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • Fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. For sauce, in a medium bowl whisk together coconut milk, broth, curry paste, cornstarch/arrowroot powder, and lemon peel (if using); set aside.
  2. Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray (or some olive oil); heat wok over medium-high heat. Add sweet pepper and onion; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and lemon grass (if using); cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok.
  3. Trim fat from chicken. Cut chicken into thin bite-size strips. Add oil to wok; add chicken. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push from center of wok.
  4. Stir sauce; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to wok; stir all ingredients together to coat with sauce. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Serve chicken mixture over rice. Sprinkle with coconut and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
Per serving: 344 kcal cal., 13 g fat (5 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 3 g monounsatured fat), 81 mg chol., 445 mg sodium, 37 g carb., 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 21 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Vegetarian Pho, Meatless Monday

Oh My Veggies has a pho recipe that can be prepped, cooked, and ready to serve in about 30 minutes!

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

  • 64 ounces homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onion, grated ginger, and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  3. Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Add bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro and serve with lime wedges, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Meditteranean Baked Sweet Potatoes (Vegan)

These sweet potatoes from Minimalist Baker are sure to be a hit! If you have a grill, you could grill the sweet potatoes and the chickpeas instead of cooking them in the oven.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes*
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
  • Optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice

Garlic herb sauce:

  • 1/4 cup hummus (or tahini)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
  • Optional: Sea salt to taste

Toppings: (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Chili garlic sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min – 1 hour).
  3. Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).
  5. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.
  6. Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.
  7. Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown – roughly 25 minutes – remove from oven.
  8. For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

NOTE: If you don’t have hummus, tahini (which you can DIY!) will make a great base substitution for the sauce – just adjust the seasonings to accommodate the lack of flavor tahini provides.
Additional side ideas might include Hummus, Pita Chips, Baba Ganoush, or Persian Eggplant Dip.

Greek Chicken Kebabs and Tzatziki Sauce

Don’t want to heat up the kitchen on these hot summer nights? Then fire up the grill and try these Greek Chicken Kebabs from Healthy Feels Happy.

Ingredients (makes 9 kebabs):

For kebabs

  • 1 3/4 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for grill
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 small zucchini (nearly 1 lb), sliced into rounds slightly under 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, diced into 1 1/4-inch wedges

For Tzatziki sauce:

  • 1 medium cucumber (about 8 oz), peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks*
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 (5.3 oz) containers plain Greek yogurt (1 heaping cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing kebabs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
For the kebabs:

  1. In a bowl whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste (I used 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  2. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour olive oil mixture over chicken and press chicken into marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate 45 minutes to 2 hours (no longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to get mealy because of the acidic ingredients). If using wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Drizzle and toss veggies with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil (I just left them on the cutting board and tossed them) and season lightly with salt.
  4. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Thread a red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, 2 chicken pieces on to skewer and repeat twice.
  5. Brush grill lightly with olive oil, place skewers on grill and grill until chicken registers 165 degrees in center, about 7 – 9 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
  6. Garnish with parsley, serve warm with Tzatziki sauce.

For the Tzatziki:

  1. Place diced cucumber* in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Rinse cucumbers and place over several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop fine (if there’s excess liquid drain it off).
  3. Pour cucumbers into a mixing bowl add Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

*Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop the seeds out and dice into chunks.

Spiralized Zucchini Pesto Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

This recipe from Against All Grain is dairy free, but you may opt to use dairy products if dairy is not a concern for you.

Spiralized Zucchini Pesto Pasta with Peas an Pancetta

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 4 large zucchini, spiralized using blade C
  • 1/4 cup Dairy-Free Pesto Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free Ricotta Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp.
  2. Add the zucchini noodles and sauté for 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in the pesto sauce and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the thawed peas.
  3. Divide between serving dishes and top with crumbled cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

Meatless Monday, Loaded Guacamole Vegetarian Tacos

Today’s Meatless Monday recipe if from Soup Addict , and it looks delicious! If you want some meat, you can always add some to the tacos.

Ingredients:

For the guacamole

  • 2 avocados, pit and skin removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 salt (plus extra as needed)
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels (raw, from about 1/2 of a large cob, or thawed from frozen)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons diced poblano pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon diced red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the black beans

  • 1 can black beans (15 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup corn kerns (raw, from 1/2 of a large cob, or thawed from frozen)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

For the tacos

  • 6 small flour or soft corn tortillas
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 1 Tablespoon minced cilantro
  • hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha (optional)
  • lime and/or lemon wedges

Directions:
Prepare the guacamole

  1. Mash the avocado in a medium bowl with a fork (or molcajete) until it reaches your desired consistency, chunky or smooth.
  2. Add a small squeeze each of lime and lemon juice, along with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well and taste. Add more lime juice, lemon juice, and salt as you like.
  3. Stir in the remaining guacamole ingredients. (To make ahead, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and press gently against the guacamole. The entire surface of the guac should be touching and covered by the wrap, to keep air out. Then, cover the bowl with a second sheet of wrap, and refrigerate.)

Prepare the black beans

  1. Add all of the black bean ingredients to a 2 quart sauce pot and heat over medium-low until hot. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to a very warm, eatable temp (a few minutes should do it).

Assemble

  1. If the tortillas are not soft and pliable (or if you like your tortillas warm), stack them on a microwaveable plate, separated with paper towels, and heat for 20 to 30 seconds.
  2. Line half of each tortilla with lettuce. Spoon the black bean mixture over the lettuce (on half of the tortilla). Spoon guacamole on the other half.
  3. Top with a few shakes of hot sauce (optional) and a sprinkle of cilantro.
  4. Serve with lemon and lime wedges.
  5. Enjoy!