Italian Meatball Burgers

by Susan on August 31, 2014

Now that Labor Day weekend is upon us, rather than focus on being sad about summer’s departure I’m going to instead focus on the positives: tons of great fresh produce.

For today’s burgers I used basil from our garden, and served them up alongside our family’s favorite grain-free “breaded” zucchini fries. The zucchini was the perfect alternative fry to compliment the Italian flavors of the burger.

These burgers were so easy to make and unbelievably delicious! While my kids enjoyed theirs on ciabatta, I enjoyed mine straight up (the basil and marinara sauce made this a perfect knife-and-fork burger).

As written this Cooking Light recipe was already gluten-free (sans the bun, of course!). Skip the cheese to keep it dairy-free.

Italian Meatball Burgers
adapted from Cooking Light

1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
1 tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2. tsp. crushed fennel seeds
salt & garlic powder
1 lb. ground sirloin
1/2 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese (optional)
6 large basil leaves
6 tbs. organic marinara sauce

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Remove casings from sausage. Combine sausage, chopped basil, and next 5 ingredients (through ground sirloin) in a medium bowl. Divide beef mixture into 6 equal portions with moist hands, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press thumb in center of each patty, leaving a nickel-sized indentation.

Grill burgers for 6 minutes. Turn burgers over; grill 2 minutes. Sprinkle cheese (if using) evenly over burgers, and grill 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.

Serve burgers drizzled with marinara sauce and topped with basil leaves (on ciabatta buns, if you do gluten).

{ 0 comments }

Grain-Free Stuffed Pepper Casserole

by Susan on August 30, 2014

grain-free stuffed pepper casserole

I love stuffed vegetables: mushrooms, peppers, zucchinis… you name it. My kids, on the other hand, tend to like the “stuff” inside but are less enthusiastic about the vessel containing it.

I found this creative recipe for a stuffed pepper casserole on Plaid & Paleo which seemed like the perfect compromise. The peppers are chopped up within the casserole, so while it’s less pretty to look at it’s a bit more kid-friendly. The recipe also uses cauliflower rice in lieu of traditional; with all of the other elements going on here, it’s practically impossible to tell that the dish contains cauliflower.

This is a perfect dish for busy weeknight and school days, as you can prep it quickly and then have it ready to bake at dinnertime. The recipe is both gluten and grain-free, and can be dairy-free if you choose to not melt any cheese on top.

Grain-Free Stuffed Pepper Casserole
adapted from Plaid & Paleo

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
2 minced shallots
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups organic marinara
3 medium green peppers, chopped
2 tbs. worcestershire
salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (lessen or omit if you don’t want any zip)
4 whisked eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and onions and cook until meat is no longer pink.

While meat is cooking, run cauliflower through a food processor to create “rice.”

Add cauliflower to a large bowl along with chopped peppers and marinara sauce. Add cooked beef and shallots. Season with worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes. Mix well.

Stir in eggs and mix again. Spread mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle on cheese, if using.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, or until firm. Finish casserole off under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp the topping, if desired.

{ 0 comments }

Plantain Chip Chicken Fingers

August 29, 2014

I first created this recipe after the kids and I spent a spring break in the Dominican, and they became slightly obsessed with plantain chips. While the snack might sound exotic, they’re quite easy to find (I buy them at Trader Joe’s, but have seen them at “regular” supermarkets near the nuts and dried fruit). [...]

Read the full article →

Grain-Free Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Mug Muffin

August 28, 2014

I adore mug muffins on busy school mornings. In minutes flat I’m able to create a healthy “homemade” treat for me and the kids. When I’m in a rush I fall back on the simplest of formulas: one egg, 1/2 ripe banana and 1 tbs. nut butter. You can eat mug muffins right out of [...]

Read the full article →

Creamy Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Pasta

August 26, 2014

Every family has food-related rituals. Some of ours have developed quite by accident, and it’s not until I’ve unconsciously honored them enough times that I even realize they exist. Take last night’s dinner, for example. It was the night before my kids’ first day back at school. Apparently I have made it a habit of [...]

Read the full article →

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

August 25, 2014

I get frustrated by many crock pot recipes, as they contain a ton of processed ingredients (condensed soup, for example). There’s no need to sacrifice fresh flavor and nutrition for convenience! This easy pulled chicken recipe is the perfect example. The ingredients and directions are simple, and the resulting tasty meat can be served up [...]

Read the full article →

Caprese Pizza

August 25, 2014

I make (and thus) share new pizza recipes all the time. I love that it’s pretty much the epitome of simple family food  but can be customized so easily to be creative and/or allergy-friendly. I can’t honestly say when I last had a slice of plain cheese pizza, and any pie I make at home [...]

Read the full article →

Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie

August 22, 2014

I love to create my own crazy smoothie and shake concoctions in my Magic Bullet, so it’s not very often that a print recipe for one really catches my eye. I’m very wistful about summer coming to a close, however, so when I saw the words “creamy, dreamy and tropical” used to describe this smoothie [...]

Read the full article →

Grain-Free Fajita Stuffed Peppers

August 21, 2014

I have been dying to try out this recipe I found on Pinterest for two reasons. First, I just love the idea of baking stuffed peppers in muffin tins. It worked like a dream, too! No drooping peppers or messy leaking filling. Second, I’m slightly obsessed with finding creative ways to serve cauliflower. NO ONE [...]

Read the full article →

Vegan Berries & Cream Popsicles

August 20, 2014

It’s a bit of a crime that I haven’t posted a popsicle recipe until now, when I have more requests for back-to-school eats than summer goodies. Truth is, I make popsicles for my kids through the beginning of school, when the days are still hot and they come off the bus dying for something to [...]

Read the full article →