If it’s the End of the World…What Would You Eat?

12/21/12….the end is near!

Actually I don’t think the world is going to end.  But if it did, and you were to have one last meal – your all-time favorite meal – what would it be??

Back in the day (a year or so ago) I would’ve said pizza…or pasta…even old school Pasta Jay’s. Those were the days.  Days filled with bloat and a sick feeling after every meal.  No thanks.

I have to say my hands-down favorite meal of all time is a perfectly grilled filet – (new favorite: Whit’s Amuse Bouche’s restaurant style filet – love the blogger and the steak.  It was seriously the most perfect filet I’ve ever cooked indoors.  I used my regular old non-stick pan – just remember to wrap the handle of your pan with foil!), a loaded baked potato, and grilled romaine.  And a big ol glass of wine (or 3).

Where?  Not in some fancy restaurant, but on our deck, in the summer…which kinda conflicts with the Mayan’s prediction for Friday, but whatevs.

For dessert…I’d totally eat a dozen or so of those pumpkin cheesecake truffles I mentioned a couple posts back.  Hey, it’s the end of the world, who cares about gluten?

What’s your favorite meal of all time?

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Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

Baby it’s cold outside…. And that calls for crockpot time!

Not the prettiest of pics but what did you expect stew to look like?  It's orange & it's yummy.

Not the prettiest of pics but what did you expect stew to look like? It’s orange & it’s yummy.

Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew (adapted from the cookbook that came with my crockpot)

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & cut into ½ “ pieces
  • 1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp celery
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Dinner is done.

Pesto Meatloaf

What’s more stick-to-your-ribs-comfort-fall-food than meatloaf?  It’s one of those meals that I actually really love but never make…until now.

I kind of combined 2 recipes (this one and this one) to create one ultimate meatloaf!

Pesto Meatloaf served w/ mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli slaw & mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1T garlic
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup pesto (I used my vitamix pesto recipe)
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes (I meant to include these but forgot in this photo…)
  • 2 T parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup marinara
  • 2 tsp balsamic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Sauté onion until it starts to brown.
  3. Add garlic, lower the heat and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  4. Combine your meat, sautéed onion/garlic, pesto, sundried tomatoes, parmesan, salt, almond flour, and egg.  Best to use your hands!
  5. Last time I used a deep glass pyrex dish, but next time, I will shape my meat mixture into a loaf-like shape and put it on a sprayed rack on top of a cookie sheet so that the fat drips off into the pan.  But either way will work.
  6. Bake for 30 min.
  7. Stir together your marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  8. Brush – or spoon – it on top of your meatloaf when the first 30 min are up.
  9. Continue to bake for another 30 min and brush on some more of that yummy marinara/balsamic sauce on top a few more times.
  10. Slice that bad boy up and enjoy!

Vegetarians Beware…I Made MEATZA!

My hands-down favorite food of all time is pizza.  I like fancy-pants pizza – you know, the kind with the thin crust and crazy toppings (have you ever tried clam & bacon?  I’m not even joking – it’s delish).  I’ve even tried the gluten-free crust pizza….it was meh.  But what I really love is the totally basic take and bake pepperoni classic.  I love it.  It’s a go-to dinner when we have the kids b/c it’s easy and they love it and there’s leftovers for lunch (or breakfast).

I’ve tried stopping at one piece and it never works.  Inevitably, I eat 3 more, plus cutting tiny corners off here and there just to have “one more bite”.  Every. Single. Time.  I feel sick to my stomach and wonder why I did that to myself.

I tried the cauliflower pizza.  It looked like pizza, tasted like pizza…I didn’t even miss the crust!  Unfortunately cauliflower and I are not friends, if you know what I mean.

So…how can I shovel all of my favorite toppings (mainly pepperoni) into my mouth?

Enter MEATZA!  Check this out – looks like pizza, tastes like pizza, still don’t miss the crust!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 an egg (I know that sounds weird, I needed to bind it somehow and I thought a whole egg would be too much….next time I will just make 1 lb beef + 1 egg, and have 2 pieces of meatza…so much easier)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp italian herbs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used an italian mix)
  • 1/4 cup marinara
  • pepperoni or whatever toppings YOU like on your meatza.

Directions:

  1. heat oven to 350*
  2. mix the meat, egg, spices by hand in a bowl
  3. press out into a greased pan (I used a 7X5X1.5 pyrex)
  4. cook for 15 min
  5. take out and pour out the excess liquid then top with your marinara, cheese, and other toppings.
  6. cook for another 15 min
  7. enjoy!

I served it with roasted veggies (red onion, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, broccoli) – I just tossed in olive oil and salt & pepper and cooked at 350* for 45 min, mixing it all up at the halfway point so nothing burned too bad on one side.  I topped it with a drizzle of homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

It was so yummy I had it the next night – using homemade pesto  (instead of the vinaigrette) & pesto chicken burger, topped with more cheese.  No pic, it wasn’t pretty…but it was SUPER yummy.

I used 1 Tbsp for my veggie pesto mix and froze the rest in a ice tray – which makes 1 Tbsp servings to use whenever you are in the mood for some yummy pesto.

Clearly these recipes include a lot of cheese.  So perhaps this is more “primal” more than paleo.  I’m ok with it b/c I don’t eat a whole lot of cheese in general.  If you don’t do cheese, just skip it.  Meatza is yummy any way you top it!

Heroin Chicken & Sweet Potato Stackers

I mentioned the Ambien chicken a couple weeks ago – it’s a staple at our house.  However, I no longer eat it because it requires Stove Top.  Well, I found a recipe called Heroin Chicken on Mark’s Daily Apple and tried it out last week and I think my bf will be happy to replace Ambien with Heroin – ha!  That sounds horrible…but it’s actually quite tasty and much healthier.  Who would’ve thought that Heroin anything would be the healthier choice?!

Heroin Chicken

Ingredients:

  • chicken – breasts, thighs, drumsticks, however you like it, however much you need of it.  (This recipe is for 4 lbs of chicken, I eyeballed it for 1 chicken breast.  Also you can add/subtract any kind of spices you like!)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. melt one stick of butter (I used about 1 Tbsp for my 1 chicken breast and it was more than enough)
  2. take your chicken and dip it in the butter then roll them in the cheese/spice mix.  I shook mine in a ziploc baggie – shake & bake baby, shake & bake!
  3. place onto greased pan.
  4. bake @ 375 for 50 minutes (or less depending on your cut of chicken).

Also on my plate are Sweet Potato Gratin Stackers from the book Sweet Potato Power  They kinda look like salami slices in my picture above…but trust me, they are like gooey stacks of potatoes au gratin!

I started to write out the recipe for that and I always link my recipes to the originals I find online.  Well, I can’t find this one online so I’m not sure I can repost it.  I’m relatively new to this whole blogging thing and I would never want to infringe on an author’s intellectual property (although maybe I already have by posting all of these other recipes??)  I don’t know!  I just know that I don’t see a recipe online from the source I used that matches the recipe I made.  So I will just have to highly recommend and urge you to go out and buy Sweet Potato Power by Ashley Tudor.  The book itself has so much information and a ton of delicious recipes.  Like Sweet Potato Gratin Stackers.   And then make yourself some Sweet Potato bars for dessert why don’t you!  They were another hit over here.  Sweet potatoes for dessert?! Who knew!

Serve it all up with a salad and/or some green beans (and lotsa butter in my case!) or your favorite veg and dig in!

Pesto Pazta

Who says you can’t enjoy pesto without a big ol plate of pasta??  I know I didn’t think it was possible.  But last night I made homemade pesto in my vitamix and put it on thinly sliced noodle-like zucchini.  Check it out!

Pesto Pazta (get it?  with a Z for zucchini!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 peeled medium garlic cloves
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 zucchinis julienned long ways to make noodle-like strips
  • shrimp or whatever kind of protein you like with your pesto pazta!
Directions (this is from my vitamix cookbook, if you don’t have a vitamix – get one!  I love ours!  But I think any kind of food processor would work as well):
  1. Place olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, basil leaves and pine nuts in the vitamix – IN THAT ORDER.
  2. Secure lid and select variable 1, quickly increasing to variable 7 – in other words, mix it up real good.
  3. Blend for 1 minute using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.  And there’s your pesto.
  4. On to the pazta – I used olive oil cooking spray in a medium-sized pan on medium heat.  Cook up your zucchini until it’s a little translucent.  I found that 1 zucchini = approx 1 cup, which was 1 serving
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of pesto to the pan and mix it all up.
  6. Add your pre-cooked protein and season with salt & pepper, and sprinkle with pinenuts & parmesan as you see fit.
1 tablespoon of this pesto is 86 calories and was plenty for my plate.  If you are using regular pasta, this entire recipe yields enough sauce to coat 1 pound of pasta.  But if you don’t want to use the whole recipe, never fear – pesto freezes!  One of the best ideas I’ve seen for freezing it is to scoop it into an ice cube tray and you have ready-made servings of pesto!  Having only used 1 tablespoon so far, I have plenty of pesto for future recipes!  Yum!

Mini Meatloaf

Last night was the first kinda cold night for us here in Colorado and we were craving some comfort food…and meatloaf sounded good.  I can’t tell you if I’ve ever craved meatloaf.  But after last night’s dinner…it might be a regular thing!

Mini Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground buffalo (but you could use ground beef or ground turkey)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 little can of mild green chiles
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters (but you could use real eggs or egg whites)
  • low sugar ketchup – although in the future I might kick it up a notch with some sriacha or cholula 🙂
Directions:
  1. mix the meat, onion, green chiles, and eggbeaters in a bowl.  Really get in there with your hands to mix it all up.
  2. make little meatballs and put in a greased cupcake pan.
  3. drizzle a little ketchup on top of each mini meatloaf.
  4. bake at 350* for 40 min.
  5. this made 8 mini meatloaves…two servings of 4 meatloaves.
Sauteed Turnips – fyi, I had never tried turnips before and although they look like french fries (and I soooooo wanted them to taste like french fries)…they tasted like turnips.  But hey, if turnips are your thing, you just might like this little side dish.
Ingredients:
  • 2 peeled turnips cut in length-wise chunks.   I say “peeled” because I did not know that turnips required peeling.  I’m new.
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • butter or margarine or pam
  • salt, pepper, paprika to taste
Directions:
  1. put all of the ingredients in a pan and sautee on medium/medium-low for as long as possible.  🙂
I served this with a salad and our comfort meal was complete!

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