Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zoodles and Bolognese

Hello hungry internet peeps! I have another recipe for you today... Zoodles and Bolognese sauce. This is my absolute favorite sauce, and when I discovered my food allergies, I was heart-broken because I couldn't have pasta anymore. How do you eat bolognese sauce without pasta? But then I discovered the beauty of vegetable noodles (like today's zoodles!), spaghetti squash, and polenta (for those people who can do corn).

So this recipe I'm sharing with you today is Paleo and AIP-friendly. The origin of the recipe is Mario Batali's "Babbo" cookbook, but I have had to alter the original recipe to make it allergy-friendly for me. If you don't have a gluten issue, please feel free to use regular noodles. This sauce works great with tagliatelle or pappardelle noodles, penne, or even spaghetti. If you can't do tomato paste, you can use canned pumpkin, but it will change the flavor a bit.

Start with the freshest, healthiest options you can find. Except the Pancetta. Just do it. It's worth it. I make this in a 6 quart dutch oven. Any large stock pot will work, but make sure it's large. This recipe makes a ton. :) It freezes well, though, so don't let that be a deterrent.

So I start with onions, carrots, celery and garlic. I sweat it with some olive oil.

Then I add in the proteins and keep stirring until they are browned.

Then the rest of the ingredients... wine, tomato paste, coconut milk and spices. Then let it simmer for an hour and a half. The smell will drive you crazy! This sauce smells so good.

I used zucchini to make my noodles. I like to call them Zoodles. But you can do this with a spiralizer, or you can use a mandolin to make them more like flat tagliatelle noodles. I steamed the noodles before serving, too.

Zoodles and Bolognese


Olive Oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
5 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lb ground beef (or veal would work well if you have access to ground veal)
1 lb ground pork
4 oz Pancetta (or slab bacon, ground or finely chopped)
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 cup Coconut Milk (I recommend using the So Delicious brand, not the canned versions for this recipe)
1 cup dry White Wine (if you don't do wine, you can sub chicken broth, but I recommend the wine...)
1 tsp Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Zucchini for zoodles - each zucchini makes about 1 1/2 cups of zoodles


Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a heavy 6 to 8 quart stock pot. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the meats and stir into the vegetables. Brown over high heat, making sure you stir frequently so the meat doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, white wine and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for an hour and a half. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the zoodles, use a spiralizer or mandolin to turn the zucchini into noodles. Steam for about 15 minutes prior to serving. You want the noodles al dente.

Serve the bolognese over the noodles.

And then eat the hell out of it. It's that good.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Black Bean Chili with Mushrooms

We had our annual craft night party this week, and I made some vegetarian Black Bean and Mushroom Chili to share. The ladies liked it and asked for the recipe, so here it is. :) First things first, if you are using dried black beans, soak them overnight. Just do it. It's longer than the boiling method, but it leaves you with a better consistency bean.

So I soaked my beans overnight. Then the next morning, I started with some basic spices: mustard seed, chili powder, cumin and cardamom. I added a little olive oil and toasted the spices.

Then I mixed in mushrooms and onions and some water and let it sweat a bit. :)

I drained my black beans and put them in the crockpot. I added tomatillos, tomato paste, vegetable stock, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to my onion and mushroom mixture. I mixed it all together, and then poured it over the black beans.

I cooked it on high for about 8 hours. I wanted the beans to have more of a creamy texture.

Sorry for the steam in the pic, but it was hot. :)

We served it in these super-adorable and 'easy to clean up' paper bowls. Mostly because I don't actually have enough dishes to feed everyone. :) But the bowls work great. My mom made cornbread to go with the chili. The corn bread she makes is off the corn meal box, and she substitutes honey or organic cane sugar, almond milk, and almond flour to make it allergy friendly for me.

Black Bean Chili with Mushrooms


1 lb dried Black Beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Ground Mustard
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cardamom
2 Onions, medium, chopped
1 lb Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 Cup Water
~8 oz Tomatillos, husked and chopped
~5 Cups Vegetable Stock
6 oz can Tomato Paste
2-3 Tbsp Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, minced. (Find the sugar-free version... it's worth it. Much smokier taste)


Soak the black beans overnight. In the morning, put the spices and oil in a 5-6 quart dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Toast the spices for a couple of minutes. Add the onions, mushrooms and water and let it sweat for a few minutes, maybe 5-7 minutes. Then add the tomatillos, vegetable stock, tomato paste and peppers. Stir and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Drain the black beans and put them in the bottom of the crockpot. Pour the onion and mushroom mixture over the top. Cover and turn on high for 8 hours.

Dish up and enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicken Sausage and Brown Rice "Risotto"

I made this for lunch on Tuesday and just had to share it...

It's one of those meals that I kind of threw together. I was craving risotto, but I can't actually eat any dairy, and because I am on another Whole Life Challenge team (www.wholelifechallenge.com) for the next 52 days, I only get brown rice. No white rice for me. So with those slight dietary restrictions, this is what I came up with. :) It's not strict paleo since it incorporates rice, but for those people who have kept brown rice in their diets, it works just fine. It is AIP friendly, however (unless you are in the 6-8 week Phase 1 with no grains, no citrus).

So I start with some organic chicken sausage. No sugars, no nitrates, etc. I quarter and slice it.

I used shallots, and diced them. You could easily sub these for onions, but I happened to have shallots just sitting there. True story. My kitchen is weird that way.

I melted some coconut oil (you could sub olive oil or some other kind of healthy fat), and sauteed the sausage, shallots, and some minced garlic together. Once it is fragrant, I added in a cup of uncooked brown rice and toasted it.

Then I added chicken stock. This would be awesome with bone broth, too, but that never just "sits around" in my kitchen. It is pretty much gone as fast as I make it.

Once it was finished cooking and the rice was soft, I added in two big handfuls of arugula. Again, you could easily sub something like baby spinach, but I was feeling the arugula today. :) I also zested and juiced a whole lime in here, and I added some fresh cilantro. Delicious!

Chicken Sausage and Brown Rice "Risotto"


1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (or other healthy fat)
3 chicken sausages (about 3/4 lb), quartered and diced
2 large shallots (or 1/2 onion) diced
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Brown Rice, uncooked
2 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (or bone broth)
2 Cups Baby Arugula
1 Lime, zested and juiced
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped


Melt the coconut oil in a 3 quart pan over medium heat. Add the chicken sausage and saute until just turning brown. Then add the shallots and garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Add in the brown rice and stir, letting it toast for about 2-3 minutes. Then pour in the chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is incorporated and the rice is soft. This takes about 35-40 minutes. If you are using white rice instead of brown, this will take about 1/2 the time.

Once it is cooked, add in the arugula, lime zest and juice, and the fresh cilantro. Stir and serve!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seahawks Make the Superbowl!

Okay friends, I apologize for having been so quiet for so long. I had some major changes happen in my life over the past couple of months and I am now blogging from my new office, which is right down the hallway from my new kitchen, in my new house. So it's been a bit hectic. On top of that, I had a custom quilt order that needed to get out the door in time for football playoffs, and that's the first thing I'm going to share with you this year!

As I am sure you all know, the Seattle Seahawks won the Superbowl last year. And they're going to do it again this year, I hope! Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have lots of Seahawks fans here. One of them contacted me and requested a quilt to celebrate the Seahawks. I really enjoyed this one because I got to design the pattern, hand-pick the fabrics, and keep it a secret until it was finished!

So here it is, all laid out my new living room floor. This was easy to do because I have no furniture in my living room. Priorities... ;)

The quilt was designed with the Seahawks' colors in mind. The navy, lime green, and grey. I used white for the sashing.

The back of the quilt is an ombre chevron pattern in the lime green and white and was just way too cool to pass up. :)

The numbers of some of our key players are appliqued on the blocks. The big "12" in the middle... yeah, that's for 12th Man!

 I used my stipple foot to meander in all of the blocks with white thread. I like the effect on the darker blocks, and I like the texture it gives to the blocks.

So there we go... the perfect quilt to curl up under and cheer the 2014 Superbowl Champs on to what will hopefully be a back-to-back Superbowl win!