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For the Love of Food: Sloppy Joe!

Posted on by Alycia

“I know how you kids like them exxxxtra slllloppy!”

We have a great cookbook by Ellie Krieger. The recipes are not always Paleo friendly, and she definitely has a low-fat slant, but we like the simplicity of her dishes and the focus on real, fresh ingredients.

This is a Sloppy Joe recipe that we adapted from her book, “The Food You Crave”. It’s a great one to try out on your unsuspecting family. They will love it, and they won’t have a clue that it’s actually healthy.

Brown 1 lb of grassfed ground beef in a saucepan, using 2 spoons to break up the meat into tiny pieces (ie: don’t let it clump together into hamburgers). Cook until all pieces are brown.

To the saucepan,  add 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1 minced jalepeno pepper ( you can substitute for another spicy pepper, or eliminate altogether if you don’t like spice). Cook and stir for an additional 5 minutes.

Then add 1 diced medium white onion, 1 diced red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper,  1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce ( or diced tomatoes, if you want it to be chunkier), 1 T of red wine vinegar, 1 T Wocestershire sauce, 1 t dry mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

Let the mixture simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve in a bowl. Yum!

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For the Love of Food: Tuna Burgers (aka: how NOT to alter a perfectly good recipe)

Posted on by Alycia

In general, when we find a recipe we like, we have to remove a few non-whole foods (dairy, cheese, bread, rice, corn, etc). We also usually find a way to add in some extra vegetables to the dish, to make it even more nutritious.

There are a few times, however, where adding random ingredients, especially vegetables that give off water when they cook, results in a (temporary) culinary misstep. But not to worry – in our opinion, if it still tastes good, we just eat it anyway!

Here’s an amazing recipe that was link off of another CrossFit recipe blog ( I’m still searching for the recipe’s original author…I WILL find it and link here!).

Cook about 4-5 slices of bacon on the stove top.

While that’s cooking, mix together an avocado, 1/4 white onion, paprika, chili powder and some fresh lime, if you have it. Mix together until it looks like guacamole. Feel free to add a tomato in there.

This is the part where I derailed.

Mix together 4 cans of tuna, about 1/4 cup of almond meal, the chopped up cooked bacon, some white or red onion, and the leftover bacon fat. Also sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and paprika.

I went ahead and added broccoli and red peppers here as well.

Now, it becomes a “choose your own adventure”. Will you stick with the original recipe, which yields yummy looking tuna burgers? Or add in some more veggies ( doesn’t have to be broccoli and peppers – just use whatever you have)?

Still looking good

Total meltdown

Mix all of the ingredients ( minus the avocado spread) together in a bowl, form patties, and cook the patties, just for about 2 min on each side, or until warmed all the way through.

Even though the patties fell apart in the pan, the meal came out amazing!

Try it for yourself, and alter the recipe, or not  :)

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For the Love of Food: Braised Brussels Sprouts

Posted on by Alycia

From Wikipedia:  Braising (from the French “braiser”), is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor.

This recipe was one of our first attempts at braising a vegetable, and I must say, it turned out GREAT!

Rinse and chop the brussels sprouts in half. Place cut sides down in a large saucepan coated with melted pastured raised butter.  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, then for about 1 additional minute on high heat, or until the bottoms start to brown slightly. Don’t let them burn!

Add about 1 to 1 1/2  cups of chicken broth to the saucepan, cover with a lid and cook about 10 minutes, or until each Brussels sprout is soft all the way through. Remove the lid and let the remaining liquid boil off.

In  a different pan, cook 2 strips of bacon, and saute mushrooms and red onions until soft.

Add the mushrooms and bacon to the Brussels Sprouts. Mix and eat!

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For the Love of Food: Roast Pork Loin in Tomato Sauce

Posted on by Alycia

This is a variation on a pork roast that we wrote about in August.  It was so good that we had to make it again….and add some ingredients!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put a (roughly) 4lb pork loin/pork roast into an oven safe glass or metal pan. Season it with about 1T each of chili powder, garlic powder, oregano and cumin. Pour a 1/2 of a 15 oz jar of crushed tomatoes on top.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 for the remaining time ( about 50-60 more minutes)

Since the over is already on, cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast that once the oven temp has been lowered ( about 40-50 minutes, depending on size)

After the pork and squash have come out of the oven, sautee about 1/4 of a white onion in a pan with coconut oil, and add red Swiss chard. Cook with a lid for about 8 minutes, then 2 minutes without the lid.

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For the Love of Food: Whole Foods Salmon Burger with Eggplant and Broccoli Stir Fry

Posted on by Alycia

No meat or fish in your fridge? Running low on time? What to do?!

We suggest stopping on your way home at your local supermarket for the next best thing. When you run out of all the local, grassfed, raised right meats and fish, or when you are on your way home to a hungry family and you have no time to cook, the next best alternative is usually found in the prepared foods section of Whole Foods or Wegmans.

We found these great salmon burgers at Whole Foods that have only a few ingredients: salmon, spinach, pine nuts and feta cheese. Unlike crabcakes, these babies are free of fillers, breadcrumbs, or any other necessary ingredients.

We cooked them on the stove, flipping after a few minutes and serving right away.

Also on the stove, we steamed some strips of eggplant and florets of broccoli. We didn’t even bother to use the steamer – we just cooked them in a shallow pan with some water and a lid, until they were soft. Then, we drained the water, added a little olive oil, and sprinkled on some Italian spices ( thyme, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper) and cooked for an additional 3 minutes.

We ate the salmon and the side dish with a half of an avocado, which melted onto the salmon burgers really nicely.

Not bad, for a quick meal from the store!

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For the Love of Food: Butternut Squash Stuffed with Swiss Chard

Posted on by Alycia

Cut a butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and set down on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Poke some holes with a knife into the skin of the squash. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

As the squash is almost done baking, rinse and chop up the Swiss chard into small squares and sautee in olive oil with sliced onions and a handful of raisins.

When the squash comes out of the oven, flip the halves over, and let them cool. The entire inside of the squash should be really soft.

Turn off the heat on the stove, scoop out the insides of the squash, but try to leave the skins intact. Mix the squash in with the Swiss chard, onions and raisins. When it’s thoroughly mixed, put the whole mixture back into the squash skins.

Return the stuffed squash to the oven, this time with the skins side down, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Cool and serve. This is a perfect fall side dish!

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For the Love of Food: Farmer’s Market Veggie Delight

Posted on by Alycia

This colorful dish was crafted using only vegetables that were grown right here in South Jersey.  Last summer/early is a great time to stock up on vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant before the frost comes in.

This dish is super-simple, and very flavorful.  It’s great if you’re trying to impress a friend, a first date, or your family – it looks intense, but all it takes is a sharp knife and some simple seasonings!

Chop up some heirloom eggplant (purple and squat), white onion, baby tomatoes (we got these from this farmer), zucchini, and sweet red peppers.  Very quantities depending on how many people you are serving.

Toss all of the vegetables, except the tomatoes, into a large sautee pan with some olive oil, a splash of water, and cover. Cook on low to medium heat for about 7 minutes.

Uncover and add in the tomatoes, season with black pepper and garlic powder, and continue to cook until the skins of the tomatoes begin to wrinkle.

Add to your dinner plate and eat!

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For the Love of Food: Cooking 1 Week of Meals in 1 Hour Flat

Posted on by Alycia

Trying to eat Paleo, but find yourself reaching for a ‘quick snack’ during the day because real food isn’t available?

Read, or re-read these articles. You might need a refresher!

Baby Step #1: Change your Breakfast

Baby Step #2: Pack your Lunch

Baby Step #3: Get Rid of the Bad Stuff

Hopefully (especially if you’re a member of our gym!) you’ve adopted some of the suggestions that were provided to help you transition into 100% clean eating. For most, you probably had a few ‘take aways’ from the articles, but you surely didn’t implement all of the tactics for eating well. After all, that would include a ton of COOKING….and who has time for THAT?


Don’t believe me?

Take a look at my Monday night. I cooked all of my food for the week between 6pm  and 7pm while Justin coached a single CrossFit workout. I knew that the week would be VERY hectic, and rather than set myself up for bad decision making later in the week, I decided to go on a cooking rampage and just cook everything in my fridge at once!

6pm - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap a Trader Joe’s Cabernet Pot Roast, plop it on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Remove 5 marinated chicken legs (free range chicken from Reading Terminal Market) from the fridge (these were marinated in Newman’s Own olive oil and vinegar dressing) and put them in an oven safe dish and cover with foil.

6:05 - Put the meats in the oven and set the timer for 1 hour.

6:10- Rinse and chop fresh arugula, garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers ( all from Haddonfield Farmer’s Market). Dress with olive oil and cracked black pepper.

6:15 – Put a pot of water on the stove with high heat. Peel and cube a sweet potato.

6:20 – Chop a 1/2 of a yellow squash into rounds and sautee in a large pan ( try to have a single layer of rounds) on medium heat in some Kerrygold pure butter.

6:25 – Put the sweet potatoes in the water. Flip the squash rounds. Rinse and chop some kale.

6:30 – Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the stringy part and seeds. Score the inside of each half. Set open sides up on a baking sheet. Put a pat of Kerrygold butter and a few shakes of allspice in the scooped out portion of each. Put that in the oven with the meats.

6:35 – Remove the yellow squash rounds from the heat and set aside. Put 2 small pork loins ( or one large one) in a crock pot and set it on high for 4 hours. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of the crock pot, and a small amount of water, just to make sure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom. Don’t worry about seasoning. You’ll do that later when the meat comes out.

6:40 – Drain the water from the sweet potatoes, and add the squash rounds to this pot. Mix in some Trader Joe’s Everyday seasoning and mash together slightly until it looks like chunky mashed potatoes. Put 3 slices of bacon in a small frying pan and cook on medium, occasionally draining the bacon fat into a larger sautee pan (large enough to cook kale in).

6:45 - Slice 6 small apples (organic,  from the Haddonfield Farmer’s Market) into thin slices and put them in a pot on the stove with a small amount of water. Cook covered on medium for 15 minutes.

7:00 - Remove the meats ( leave the acorn squash in there) from the oven and check for doneness. If they are done, set them aside to reach their optimal level of tenderness. If they need more time, stick them back in the oven! Don’t let the bacon burn. Take it off the stove when it’s done and chop into small squares when it’s cool.

7:03- Drain the water from the apples, and add in a handful of raisins and about 1/4 cup of  almond meal. Continue to cook on low heat for about 3-5 more minutes. Remove the acorn squash from the oven ( don’t undercook – the whole thing should be soft, and pliable when touched).

7:06 – Toss the kale into the sautee pan with the leftover bacon fat. Coat the kale, cook for a few minutes until it wilts and gets smaller. Toss in the the bacon squares.

Later, when the pork is done, remove it from the crock pot and shred into small pieces with two forks. Store in the fridge with the liquid from the crock pot ( should be water + fat from the meat). When you’re ready to eat it during the week,  add some minimally processed BBQ sauce, or make your own to put on it. You can also mix this with chopped raw veggies and olive oil, and eat cold ( a la chicken salad).

To recap, here’s what I made:

Arugula salad with local vegetables (2 servings)

Pot Roast with spices from Trader Joes ( 4 servings)

Pulled Pork ( 6 servings)

Baked Chicken ( 3-4 servings)

Sweet potato and squash mash ( 5 servings)

Apples, raisins and nuts ( 5-6 servings)

Kale with Bacon ( 4 servings)

Baked Acorn Squash ( 4 servings)

Depending on the size of your family, or how much you eat at one time, this could easily keep you fed and happy for the rest of the week. Simply cook some more green veggies to add to the plate each time you sit down to eat. These meals were prepared in about 1 hour, will feed Justin and I for an entire week, and the total approximate cost of everything was about $50!

My plan for the week:

Breakfasts: Chop up one of the meats into tiny pieces and add to eggs for an omelette.

Lunches: Meat + one of the squash dishes, and whatever greens are left/available.

Dinners: Meat, a little of one of the squashes/sweet potatoes, and cook more greens to accompany.

Snacks: Nuts, high quality lunch meats, and some of the apple/raisin/nut dish.

And there you have it. My hectic schedule seems less hectic now that all I have to do is cook some eggs or greens, and re-heat good, clean food.

Still think you don’t have time to cook?

Try this out next week and let me know how it goes!

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For the Love of Food: Mussels with Garlic and White Wine

Posted on by Alycia

After pondering over the perfect corny “muscles” versus “mussels” joke, I gave up and decided to leave it to the pro’s. Here’s  a gem, from Paleoblocks:

Fry up a few pieces of bacon ( about 4 slices). If you choose to omit the bacon altogether in this recipe – no problem  – its still delicious without it. But, as you know, the Golden Rules says, “Eat your bacon at every meal”.  Or something like that.

Saute about 1/4 white onion (cut into strips) and 4-5 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced) in 1T of butter. Once the onion turns translucent, add about 1 cup of dry white wine and add 1lb of mussels to the pan. We found these pre-steamed ones for $5/lb at Whole Foods.

Cook the mussels for about 5 minutes or so and sprinkle with a little black pepper and garnish with fresh parsley, or sprinkle on some italian seasonsings to taste. Add the bacon and remove the pan from the heat. Pour the ingredients into a bowl. Enjoy with friends!

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For the Love of Food: Just Add Eggs

Posted on by Alycia

A simple recipe for a wonderfully hearty weekend breakfast for those of us who have 5-star taste, on a $5 budget.


1. Make some coffee

2. Open the fridge and remove last night’s leftovers.

3. Heat up the leftovers in a pan on the stove.

4. Cook up some eggs- either in the same pan or separately.

5. Eat.

6. Smile.


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