Maple Balsamic Dressing

I recently returned from Vermont and I now have a new found love for Maple Syrup. The real pure stuff. For a long time I have been buying the sugar free low cal stuff but more and more I learn how bad the artificial stuff really is. Plus real maple syrup is paleo friendly and delicious. I have been finding uses for it well beyond pancakes and french toast. I love using it in coffee and with savory items. Try this dressing on any salad and you will amazed.

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Balsamic (the higher the quality the better)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
4 Tablespoon Real Maple Syrup (Grade B is best)
1 inch of Salt

Place everything in a bowl and whisk well. Store in an airtight container. Serve tossed with any salad.

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Marinaded Mushrooms

Marinaded mushrooms are easy to find on any olive bar or in a jar with other italian speciality foods. They are super easy to make and fun to serve. Try this one at your next party.

Ingredients:

2 pounds button mushrooms cleaned
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Tamari (gf soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon Wishchester Sauce
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons dry parsley
1 Tablespoon Honey

Start by cutting the mushrooms into 4-6 pieces depending on how big they are. Place the mushroom in a pot of water with the salt. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for about 5 more minutes. The mushrooms will start to get soft and a bit darker. Gently strain the mushrooms and pour in to a bowl to cook for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl mix together all remaining ingredients to make marinade. When ready pour marinade over mushrooms and mix gently. Serve cold or at room temp.

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Stewed Okra

I recently started loving okra. My mom always hated it so I never had it growing up. It reminds be of a giant green beans in a way but super juicy. It has slime like texture inside which takes some getting use to but when cooking with it that liquid really helps thicken any sauce naturally. This is one of Jays favorite veggie dishes so I make it a lot in the fall when Okra is in season.

Ingredients:
1 Pound Fresh Okra
1 Tablespoon Oil
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce (can also be crushed tomato)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/3 Cup Wine / Hard Cider or Water

Start by washing the okra and cutting into 1/2 inch size chunks. Add oil to pan and heat. Toss in Okra, salt, pepper and cook over high heat for 5 minutes on high. Add wine or cider and lower heat to medium. Now add tomato sauce and mix gently. Cook for another 10-15 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and okra becomes soft. Serve hot as a side dish with any protein.

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Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa really is a super food. Treat it like rice but it has 9g of protein. It is good on its own or as a side.

Ingredients:

1 cup red quinoa
1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
2 cups Water
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 Lime

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cook the quinoa as instructed. I prefer 1:2 ratio. For every one cup quinoa I use two cups water. Once cooked let cool in large bowl. Add cilantro, tomatoes, olive oil and lime. Toss well and serve.

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Brussel Sprouts on a Stick

All the fall produce is starting to slowly appear. It’s fun going to the market and finding something new to play with. This week they had big beautiful Brussel sprouts that I wanted to play with on the grill. This recipe is easy and fun to eat.

Ingredients:
1 Lb Brussel Sprouts
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
4-8 soaked wooden skewers

Start by washing and drying all the brussel sprouts. Then trim the hard piece off the button and slice them each in half. Place all the cut halves in a big bowl and toss with EVOO, salt, pepper and celery salt. Place seasoned halves on wooden skewers. Place them on the grill cooking about 4 minutes each side. Watch them so they don’t burn, you want nice grill marks on each side. Serve simple on the stick with any protein. Enjoy!

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Roated Corn Salad

It is totally corn season right now. It’s like 10 for $2. Sometimes I am tired of the same old corn on the cob. I wanted to make an easy side dish with some extra grilled corn that would go with anything.

Ingredients:
2 Corn on the Cobs
1 Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Honey
1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Start by grilling the corn well in the husk. Also grill the whole red pepper until the outside is completely charred then remove and cool. Once cooled scrape of the burnt peel by hand. This should happen really easy. Do not rinse the pepper, a bit of burnt skin is fine. Remove the top and the seeds inside. Lay the pepper flat and slice into strips. Place pepper into a big bowl. Now take the husk off the corn and cut of all the pieces off and also place in the bowl with sliced pepper. Finally add the oil, honey, salt and pepper. Mix well by hand and serve hot or cold. Enjoy!!!!

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Avocado Tomato Salad

Avocados go great with just about any meal. Finding new ways to serve them is always fun. This side salad is simple and great for a hot day.

Ingredients:

1 Avocado (cut into chunks)
1 Tomato (cut into chunks)
1/2 TBS honey
Pinch Salt
1 TBS Lime Juice or Vinegar

Gently mix avocado and tomato in a bowl. Then add honey, salt and lime juice. Mix well but gently so you don’t break up the avocado. Serve cold.

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Avocado Dressing

Normally I choose a vinegar based dressing on my salad but sometimes you are just in the mood for a creamy dressing. Using an avocado is a nutritious, healthy and paleo dressing option.

Ingredients:

1/2 Avocado

1 Tbs Honey

Juice of 1 Lime

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Simple place avocado, honey and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Toss dressing on salad greens and enjoy.

 

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Warm Kale Salad

Playing with kale is a lot a fun. It’s a green veggie that can be prepared many ways. This salad goes as a great side dish to any meal.

Ingredients:
1 Lbs Kale cleaned and cut
1/4 cup White Raisins or Dry Cranberry
1/3 Cup Walnut lightly crushed
1 Tbs Honey
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 Orange
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start by steaming kale lightly for about 5 minutes or until stem starts to soften. While steaming place juice of both lime and lemon in a large bowl with honey. Add salt, pepper and whisk together. Then, add nuts, raisins and toss well. When kale is done, while hot, toss it into bowl with the nuts and dressing. Toss everything together well and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Serve warm.

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Pineapple Guac

Avocados are great this time of year and finding new things to do with them is always fun. For this recipe I decided to kick a regular gauc recipe up a bit. With a fruity twists it can go with anything or be enjoyed on its own.

Ingredients:

2 Avocados (peeled and cut in half)

1 Lime

1/2 Cup Cilantro

1/2 cup Pineapple Chunks

Pinch Salt

Pinch Pepper

Start by crushing avocado in a bowl with the back of a fork.  Add the juice of the lime and continue to crush avocado until you get a smooth constancy. Chop the cilantro well and add to avocado mix. You can also use a small food processor up to this point. Then chop the pineapple well and also add to avocado and  cilantro. Now mix with a fork to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold with chips or on seafood.

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