Hickory-Smoked Mocha Sea Salt Burgers with Kale & Chard Salad

Do you ever go into a a grocery store (or any store) and end up filling your cart with shit you didn’t go in for? Well, that happened to me today. I ended up filling my cart at Giant Eagle, then headed for the checkout lane before I realized I had nothing in my cart that I had walked in the store to buy. You see, I walked in and saw the fresh produce section, and a recipe began to materialize into my brain. So, naturally I started running around, talking to myself (it’s an embarrassing habit I’m trying to break – but really, I can’t be the only one who does this??) and figuring out what ingredients would work best for this amazing new recipe I was going to create. And guess what – it was. I ended up making the best meal of my life. Not trying to toot my horn or anything, but I made the world’s best salad & burger (burger recipe inspired/adapted by popular paleo) to go with it. I kept finding random ingredients at the store to add to this recipe, so really, you can thank my ADHD for kicking in to create this awesomeness!

Oh – and this meal is completely Paleo/whole30 approved – minus the bun (I used UDI’s gluten free buns, if you are into that kinda stuff) & cheese, both of which are very optional. So… eat this with a very clear conscience. You are welcome.

Paleo Burger 2

Hickory Smoked Sea Salt Mocha Burgers (makes 4-6 burgers)
recipe adapted from Popular Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke (popular paleo uses ancho cile powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cold brew coffee (i used trader joes, but you could just use leftover coffee)
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 tsp cocoa/cacao powder
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Optional: Mayo (I used kensington Mayo)
  • Optional: hamburger buns or lettuce
  • Optional: Gouda Cheese

Directions:
Combine liquid smoke with salt, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil & ground beef (**Olive oil is optional – I add this to make the burgers extra soft so they don’t get chewy when cooked.. it’s like biting into butter, trust me on this). Form into patties – I had about 1.11 lbs of ground beef and made 5 patties. Pour cold coffee brew over patties – let them soak for 10-30 minutes on one side, then flip and let soak for 10-30 minutes on the other side (I was preparing my salad and ended up letting the meat marinate in the coffee for about an hour).

That time I walked into the Grocery store for baby wipes & potatoes and came out with 100$ + more groceries....

That time I walked into the Grocery store for baby wipes & potatoes and came out with 100$ + more groceries….

                         mix insGround beef

Marinating Patties!

Marinating Patties!

While the meat is marinating, combine the cacao powder and olive oil & mix until there are no more clumps. Dump in the cold brew that was marinating your burgers and mix all together. Place your burgers in a skillet (or pan, or grill, however you want to cook them), pouring the marinade over top. Cook the burgers to your liking (I like medium rare!) and remove from pan when finished. Cook Bacon in left over coffee/cacao sauce. Place burger on bun or bed of lettuce. Top with gouda cheese, bacon & mayo. Enjoy!

Cacao Marinade

Cacao Marinade

Marinating Beef

Patties cooking in the marinade

Optional: Kensington Mayo

Optional: Kensington Mayo

Paleo burger with avocado

Paleo Burger

Fresh Kale & Chard Salad

kale and chard salad

Ingredients for salad:

  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 1/2 rutabaga, peeled
  • 1 beet
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 avocado
  • optional: grated cheese (I used manchego)

Ingredients for dressing:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/4 grapefruit
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 3 tbsp oil (i used olive)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic (or white balsamic) vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Chop all salad ingredients up and place into a bowl. Mix all dressing ingredients together, and toss with salad. Serve topped with shaved cheese (optional).

Rutabaga    Beets

salad mix ins Salad

Grapefruit  salad finish

Plate all ingredients and enjoy! Please note that the potatoes were a bit of an afterthought – i just roasted in a skillet with butter until cooked and topped with salt. Totally optional!

Paleo Burger

Paleo mocha sea salt burger

Lemon-Mint Chicken with Quinoa & Sauteed Broccoli + Fresh Salad & Herb Dressing

Some nights, I like to get creative with my food – and last night was one of those nights! I also had a lot of fresh food in my fridge that needed to be eaten, including veggies & chicken! When I was in Belize, all of the food prepared was very fresh, picked straight from the backyard! I missed that coming back to the states – buying local produce definitely makes a difference in taste! Normally I’ll just bake some chicken in foil with vegetables, but everything ends up soggy or overcooked. So, I put my cast iron skillets to work, and the meal ended up being AMAZING.  Very light, fresh and perfect for the end of the summer. Recipes are below!

Chicken broccoli quinoa

Lemon-Mint Baked Chicken with Quinoa & Sauteed Garlic Broccoli (Serves 4)

Ingredients for Chicken

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small bunch of mint sprigs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil (I used an herb-infused oil from Flying Olive)
  • 1/4 cup White balsamic Vinegar (I used the lemongrass mint from Flying Olive) – add a little lemongrass to the pan if you do not have this
  • 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine
  • Fresh garlic (a few bulbs finely chopped)
  • Cast iron skillet

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F. Pour about ½ cup champagne or white wine into a cast iron skillet. Add olive oil,, vinegar, garlic, and mint and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chicken, cooking for a few minutes on each side. Sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides of chicken. Place in oven and finish cooking for 15-20 minutes. The last few minutes of cooking, take about half a lemon and sprinkle over top of chicken.

Ingredients for Sautéed Broccoli:

  • 2-3 large heads of broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil (I used basil from Flying Oil)
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar (I used Sicilian lemon from Flying Oil)

Directions:

Add oil & garlic to cast iron skillet and sauté for a few minutes. Add in vinegar and cut up broccoli. Place a lid over the pan, stirring the broccoli around every few minutes. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat until cooked to your liking. Top with salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Cook according to directions on box. Once the quinoa is cooked, add in olive oil, basil, juice of ½ lemon, and chopped up garlic. Add in salt & pepper to taste – Stir and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to settle.

IMG_6526

Serve all together & come hungry – I had enough left over to feed myself lunch the entire week!

Fresh Salad with a Garlic-Lemon-Basil Dressing (Serves up to 10 people)

FullSizeRender

Ingredients for Salad:

  • ½ head of cabbage
  • 1 head of bibb lettuce
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 large florida avocado
  • Optional: onions, cucumbers, etc
  • Dressing:
    • juice of 1/2 Lemon
    • 1/3 cup Olive oil
    • 1 tsp Basil
    • Garlic (1 TBSP chopped up garlic)
    • 1/4 cup White Vinegar (I used Sicilian lemon from Flying Oil)

Directions:

Cut up all cabbage & lettuce & place into a bowl. Wash & let drain. Transfer to a fresh bowl and top with cut up radishes, avocado (I cubed mine), and optional veggies. For the dressing: combine all ingredients and let sit for a little bit so the flavors come together. Either toss salad with dressing, or serve on the side. Enjoy!

Paleo Banana Coffee Bread

More experimenting in the kitchen! I ordered banana flour on amazon, but unfortunately, I couldn’t wait to make this bread before it came in. So stay tuned for some fun recipes in the near future!

One of my favorite things to eat is banana bread. Normally topped with peanut butter, with a side of chocolate milk, but that’s only when I get a little too crazy on the weekends 😉 This is moist, delicious, and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

banana coffee bread paleo

Just take a look at the close up of this deliciousness!

Paleo Banana Coffee Bread

Banana Bread Ingredients:

  • 3-4 brown bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 TBSP coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (i used almond – I bet peanut butter would be amazing!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup honey (or any other type of sugar)
  • mini chocolate chips (optional – i used enjoy life)

Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/3 cup ghee (or butter) (put in fridge so its cold!
  • 1/4 cup of honey (or any other type of sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together (spices, flour) for the banana bread & set aside. Mix wet ingredients for banana bread together, then add in the dry ingredients. Pour into a greased bread pan (or line with parchment paper). Mix the topping ingredients together (cut the dry ingredients in with the butter/ghee), then sprinkle on top of bread. [Also optional – sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of bread before placing in oven] Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Serve warm, topped with nut butter & chocolate chips with a side of chocolate milk. Enjoy!

paleo banana bread       banana coffee bread paleo

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