So my sister & her husband run this amazing farm out in Pennsylvania, and I always buy her meat (basically the happiest cows on earth). The last time I placed an order, I decided to be adventurous and buy some ribs. Problem is, I have never cooked ribs… and I don’t have a grill, which is probably the best way to make them. However, I am all about research, creating new recipes, and making them as easy as possible to put together. Also, you can’t ever go wrong with grassfed meat & bbq sauce 🙂 Recipe is below!
Crockpot BBQ Short Ribs
- 3-4 lbs short ribs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
Combine all spices + liquid smoke with 1/4 cup of brown sugar & cover/rub into ribs. Let sit overnight, if possible. Cut up onion & place at bottom of crockpot. Place ribs on top, then cover ribs with BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1/4 cup of bbq sauce & rub over ribs. Place ribs on a foil sheet & broil in oven until caramelized. Serve with a side & Enjoy!
Ever since I got back from Europe, I have been wanting to re-create a recipe for a soup that I had while in Chamonix, France: Beet Soup. It sounds gross, but it wasn’t ALL beets – it was potatoes, and shallots, and red wine vinegar… and it was sweet and salty and just amazing. So, I decided to make the recipe tonight – anddddd it didn’t exactly turn out the way that I wanted it to… BUT. It was still amazing! My beet soup recipe ended up turning more into a root veggie soup – with only a hint of beets. Also, the color should have been straight up the color of beets, but it turned out orange. I will definitely be tweaking this and trying again another time (less potatoes, more beets). So for the time being – enjoy my not-as-planned soup below for a perfect fall meal!
Sweet & Creamy Root Vegetable Soup
- 1 Potato, chopped into cubes
- 1 Sweet Potato (chopped into cubes)
- 2 carrot stalks (chopped)
- 4 cooked beets (I cheated and bought pre-cooked ones from Trader Joes)
- 1 shallot
- butter (or ghee)
- 1 can coconut milk (full or light)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 baby leaf
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 cups broth (I used vegetable, you could use chicken)
- garlic powder to taste
- sugar to taste (optional – I used coconut sugar, you could also use dates)
Cook shallots & garlic in butter until they start to brown (I cooked in a large cast-iron skillet). Add in broth, potatoes & carrots. Place a lid on top of skillet & let cook until vegetables/potatoes are soft. Remove the bay leaf. Transfer entire mixture into a blender/processor, adding the rest of the ingredients. *I recommend adding the spices at the very end, a little at the time, to find the perfect blend
Mix for a few seconds at a time – or fully mix – depending on how you want your soup, creamy or with a few veggie chunks.
Serve with a side (I was roasting chopped brussel sprouts and carrots while making this, so just topped my soup with them!) or some bread. Enjoy!
To prep for my upcoming trip to Europe, I’ve been stashing up on snacks and protein bars to bring with me. For the days that I will be walking around a lot, working out, unable to find food right away, I need snacks on hand to tide me over. Insert: Exo Protein Bars! For those of you who are a little more adventurous, these bars are made out of cricket protein powder. Yep, you read that right. Crickets.
Now before you stop reading and swear on your dead body that you would NEVER eat a bug, let me drop a little knowledge on you about the greatness of these bars:
- the percentage of protein used in these bars is almost 2-6 times more than any other protein source
- crickets are a complete protein source
- crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases than cows
- raising crickets is dramatically less harmful than raising traditional livestock – see the info chart below!
So are you sold on trying them yet? If not, below is my own personal review – and let me tell you, I was a bit freaked out at first to eat bugs 😉
Exo sent me 4 bars to try:
Peanut Butter & Jelly
I originally thought blueberry would be my favorite – however, the Peanut Butter & Jelly and the Cocoa nut ended up being my favorite! The blueberry & Apple cinnamon bars tasted a little earthy – I liked that the other 2 bars had a more prominent flavor. When I first tried these bars, I was definitely thinking a few things: OMG. I am eating crickets. Are these going to be crunchy? OMG this is gross.
After taking a few bites, I realized that it wasn’t so bad. The crickets are washed, dried to remove the moisture, then milled into fine flour. The result is slightly nutty-tasting flour that is high in protein and micronutrients (source). I think the only issue with these bars is the mental hurdle – the fact that you are eating bugs. If someone handed me this bar without telling me it was made with crickets, I would have thought it was just a tasty protein bar. And – if you need any more convincing – a few of my girlfriends tried these bars with me, and they gave a thumbs up!
So – after reading my reviews, I know you all are just itching to try these bars… especially you adventurous, paleo, backpacking, planet-saving people of the earth! Exo has 1 box of PB&J bars to give away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is 1) 1) Follow my blog and 2) tell me why you want to try these bars! Enter at the link below, and leave your response in the comments below. Rafflecop will randomly choose a winner by the end of Monday, 9/7 @ 11:59 pm ET. I can’t wait to read everyone’s response!
**This contest is now closed… The winner is Linda R! Congrats!
Click here to be entered into the EXO Protein Bar Giveaway!
**The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
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.
Hickory Smoked Sea Salt Mocha Burgers (makes 4-6 burgers)
recipe adapted from Popular Paleo
- 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
- Optional: Mayo (I used kensington Mayo)
- Optional: hamburger buns or lettuce
- Optional: Gouda Cheese
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….
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!
Patties cooking in the marinade
Optional: Kensington Mayo
Fresh Kale & 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
- 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).
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!
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!
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
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
- 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)
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
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.
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)
Ingredients for Salad:
- ½ head of cabbage
- 1 head of bibb lettuce
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 1 large florida avocado
- Optional: onions, cucumbers, etc
- 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)
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!