Paleo Nachos

A month ago, if you would have told me that I could eat nachos while on paleo, I would have told you to get out of town. That was, until I came across a photo of Paleo Nachos on Pinterest and thought … duh, Jordan, nachos can be made clean if you just avoid the cheese and make your own sweet potato chips. So what else would I do with my Saturday than make said Paleo Nachos. And they …. were delightful.

Paleo Nachos

I got impatient and pulled my sweet potato chips before they really got crispy, but I was okay with them being  a bit softer (like fries) and I just ate the nachos with a fork. Think of it like …. Paleo Irish nachos. Sort of. But, if you prefer crispy chips, just be patient. Read a book. Do a puzzle. Anything to keep your mind off the fact that you will soon be devouring glorious nachos.

I made extra ground turkey taco meat and ate it for lunches with tomato and avocado. This can also be made with ground beef. Or chorizo. Get crazy with your bad nacho-eating self.

Paleo Nachos

 

Paleo Nachos

Ingredients

  • For the sweet potato chips:
  • 1 skinny sweet potato
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the taco meat:
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef, bison, whatever)
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 3 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • For garnish:
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Salsa
  • (lettuce, olives, or whatever else)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Use a mandoline or a knife to cut your sweet potatoes thin. Put some parchment paper down on a cooking sheet. Place sweet potato rounds on the parchment paper.
  3. Melt coconut oil and use a pastry/cooking brush to paint some coconut oil on top of each sweet potato round. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven to bake for around 8-10 minutes. Flip sweet potatoes over and bake for another 5 minutes or until edges are brown and have curled up a bit. Set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, sauté jalapeño until soft. Add ground turkey and brown, stirring to break up the meat –about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to low and drain fat from turkey.
  6. Mix together taco seasoning. Add ¾ warm water to taco seasoning and stir until mixed. Pour on ground turkey and simmer 5-10 minutes.
  7. To assemble, layer sweet potato chips with taco meat and any toppings you'd like!
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Spaghetti Squash “Fried Rice”

GUEST POST! Okay, so this isn’t the kind of guest post written by another paleo-loving food blogger. Instead, it’s a recipe submitted to me by my sister, who has always been a much better cook than me. But don’t tell anyone I just admitted that.

Since anyone who knows me knows that I can’t cook or eat anything without first snapping a picture of it, my sister was nice enough to photograph this lovely meal so I could share the recipe with you! It’s a spaghetti squash “fried rice” flavored with all my favorite Asian ingredients: sesame oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. The beauty of this grain free treat is that it’s super easy to make and a great way to use up extra veggies and whatever protein you have on hand.

 

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Spaghetti Squash “Fried Rice”

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • Shrimp or other protein
  • 1/2 cup broccoli slaw (to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (GF if needed)

Instructions

  1. Pierce your spaghetti squash all over with a knife. Microwave for 8-10 minutes until soft to the touch or roast in the oven for 45-55 minutes at 425. Once cooled, carefully open, scoop out the seeds, and pull into strands using a fork. You can cut the squash into "rice" sized pieces if desired.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in your pan over medium high heat. Whisk together the egg and egg white. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and cook until just scrambled. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, sauté shrimp on both sides until cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the sesame oil and remaining olive oil to the pan. Then add the broccoli slaw, garlic, ginger, and any other veggies you like. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they just begin to soften.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash and cook for 2-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, until it begins to crisp up.
  6. Add the soy sauce, egg and shrimp. Stir together and cook for 1 more minute.
  7. If you love spice as much as I do, top it with a little schiracha!
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Meatza Pizza

Let’s talk about the paleo diet for three seconds. Now, I often think to myself, “Man, everyone would be so much more interested in trying my recipes if they weren’t all full of meat, and coconut oil, and chia seeds, and other strange ingredients normal people never cook with.” However, since my mom got me started on the no grain, no sugar and minimal dairy diet, nothing else has ever been as effective for me. I feel better, I look better, I sleep better, all my normal cravings go right out the window after only a few days eating paleo. Besides the fact that this diet can get expensive, I’d recommend giving it a try to anyone.

That being said, I can’t really blame my sister for being completely terrified of what I’m going to make her when she comes over for dinner. The poor soul thought “Meatza” just meant a pizza with a whole bunch of meat piled on.  Of course, cheese is a no-no on strict paleo, but if my unsuspecting sister is going to be fed a Meatza, I had to at least load it up with cheese. (See how I blamed that on her ;-))

Meatza-2

 

Don’t let this photo scare you. When there’s a fresh-out-of-the-oven Meatza in your kitchen, there’s simply no time to fuss with trying to make it look presentable. None at all.

The cauliflower pizza crust more closely resembles a normal dough-y crust, but this Meatza will satisfy any pizza craving! I used ground turkey because I’m still weird about ground beef, so it’s very lean and VERY filling. I thought I slathered on enough pizza sauce, but after baking I wished I would have really lubed it up. Then, top with any veggies that are burning a hole in your produce drawer and you have one heck of a mighty fine Meatza.

Meatza

Oh, and while making it, you’re required to say the word “Meatza” at least 10 times. I don’t know why, it’s just a fun word.

The Verdict: Non-paleo sister approved despite her skepticism! I think she at one point even said, “I kind of dig this Meatza.” Win win win win win.

Recipe source: Dashing Dish 

Meatza Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (or ground chicken or beef)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg white
  • Toppings:
  • 3/4 cup pizza or tomato sauce of choice
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Whatever additional toppings you want (we used green pepper, onion, mushroom, tomato, fresh basil)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey with the rest of the "crust" ingredients. Mix it all together - don't be afraid to use clean hands for this. Just like my mama taught me with meatloaf.
  2. Line a pan with parchment paper and flatten ground turkey mixture out in a circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and blot off any grease with paper towels.
  3. Turn the heat up to 425 degrees F. Spread the crust with tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and top with your choice of toppings.
  4. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are cooked and cheese melted.
  5. Enjoy!
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Clean Eating Sugarless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pancakes

BIG NEWS: I have created a Smile Sandwich Instagram account. Instagram is super great because I can easily search Paleo recipes and scroll through thousands of delicious photos. BUT … it’s really, really not great in the sense that I probably spend multiple hours a day on the app, get a million different cravings each time, and my list of recipe ideas is ever expanding.

Enter: pancakes. An innocent weekend Instagram scroll presented multiple photos of healthy pancakes, and next think I know, I’m in my kitchen whipping up a batch of these amazing Clean Eating Sugarless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pancakes. Because when your body wakes you up at 7 a.m. on Saturday, you really don’t have a choice.

chocolate chip paleo pancakes

I have a big bag of oat flour I got from an Amish grocery store, but all you have to do to make your own is grind old fashioned oats in a food processor. All I know is, you’ll never buy Bisquick again after tasting these delicious gems.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the peanut butter drizzle:

  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions:

Mash the banana and beat with egg and flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Heat coconut oil in a pan. Pour batter onto pan, carefully spread the batter out to desired thickness. Once it starts to bubble on top, flip the pancake over and cook about 1 minute more.

For the drizzle: heat peanut butter and oil in the microwave until smooth. Drizzle over pancake stack.

 

The Best Healthy Broccoli Salad

Deli salads are a strange thing. I grew up going to potlucks and family gatherings where people just loved to mix miscellaneous savory ingredients with mayonnaise and call it a salad. Of course, I’ve never been too much a fan of deli salads … that is until I tried my recipe for super awesome fauxtato salad with sweet potatoes! Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for lightened up versions of classic deli salads, and this is yet another success.

Basically, you can throw whatever random produce you have in this and it will be good. Trust me … these ingredients may seem like an unlikely combination, but the sweetness of the raisins and saltiness of bacon along with crunchy, fresh vegetables all mix together to form one heck of a delicious broccoli salad. Helllloooo spring.

Broccoli-Salad-2 Broccoli-Salad

 

The Best Healthy Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup cooked crumbled turkey bacon
  • Honey Yogurt Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large serving bowl, add broccoli and all remaining salad ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Toss dressing with vegetables.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

It’s April! Which means … time to get ready for bikini season. Which, therefore means, back to eating paleo. I’ve even created an Instagram account to serve as a sort of food diary. So yes, this is serious.

When trying to come up with a healthy dessert idea to make with my sister, I stumbled across these dark chocolate peanut butter banana bites. They’re the perfect snack to pop after dinner when you need to satisfy a sweet tooth! Plus, with just three ingredients, they’re super easy to make and healthy.

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Three cheers for healthy dessert recipes! Your bikini will thank you for making these your go-to dessert.

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Don’t be afraid to make a mess. That’s what paper towels are for.

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup creamy nut butter of your choice
  • 3/4 cup baking chocolate
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice each banana into thin slices and arrange half the pieces on the baking sheet.
  2. Spread peanut butter onto each banana slice, then cover each slice with another slice. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until frozen.
  3. Place the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the chocolate, and continue to microwave until smooth. Use a fork or spoon to cover each banana bite in chocolate, then place back on the sheet. Freeze for one hour and enjoy!
  4. Store in freezer and thaw for a few minutes before eating.
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Tilapia Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

A day in the life of Jordan includes a bus, a train, another bus, work, another bus, one more train, and yet another bus. Since I leave my apartment at 6:10 a.m. and get home at 6:35 p.m. every night, I’m usually lucky if I have the energy to throw a turkey burger on the George Foreman. (Yes, I own a George Foreman. And I love it more than the average college boy).

So a quick and easy dinner like these Tilapia Tacos with Cabbage Slaw is perfect. I’ve tried to like grilled fish tacos, but they’re just not as good as the panko crusted kind! So, I sacrificed health for taste in this case, and it was definitely worth it.

fish-tacos

 

I would highly recommend making the slaw the night before – it will have time to marinade plus it cuts down on cooking time!

 

Tilapia Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients

  • Slaw
  • 2 cups red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • Tacos
  • 1.5 pounds tilapia, sliced
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • Cilantro
  • 1 lime, sliced

Instructions

  1. Prep - Ideally the night before
  2. 1. Whisk together vinegar, cumin, honey, salt and oil. Add cabbage and cilantro and toss everything together. Season to taste with any other seasonings you prefer and let marinate overnight in the fridge.
  3. Make Tacos
  4. 1. Rinse and dry fish thoroughly with paper towels, slice into 1/2-inch pieces and place into a bowl.
  5. 2. Whisk egg with paprika and a pinch of salt. Pour over fish and toss thoroughly.
  6. 3. Combine panko, cumin, salt, and oil in a plastic bag, place the fish in the bag and shake to coat.
  7. 4. Heat oil in a skillet and cook fish pieces until golden brown.
  8. 5. Warm tortillas and fill with cabbage slaw, fish and cilantro leaves. I also added plain Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
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The BEST Pasta Alternative – Broccoli Slaw

Okay, so this is more of an idea than an actual recipe … but it’s a good one! The other day during my weekly stop at TJ’s (how cool people say Trader Joe’s), I picked up a bag of broccoli slaw on a whim. Never bought it, never eaten it, but for some reason I decided in my head that I needed one bag of broccoli slaw. My brain is a tricky place – I don’t even know.

Broccoli-Slaw-22.jpg

Anyhoot, once armed with a bag of broccoli slaw I took to Google to decide what the heck I was going to do with it. It was then that I discovered the most genius idea – use broccoli slaw as “pasta!” Why didn’t I think of that?!

I don’t own a spiralizer and let’s be honest, mandolins are dangerous. Besides that, thinly slicing a zucchini squash for “pasta” noodles is tedious. Enter: broccoli slaw. It’s the perfect quick pasta alternative that, quite frankly, doesn’t taste like much but adds a great texture to meat sauce, meatballs, or any other pasta variations.

Broccoli-Slaw

All you have to do is add 1/4 cup water to a skillet and cook slaw until the water has evaporated and the slaw is soft – about 5 to 8 minutes. Here I added vegetables, chicken and marinara sauce.

Yay! How neat is that?!

 

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Bell Peppers

Is it just me, or have stuffed peppers recipes been everywhere lately? I had never had the classic stuffed pepper until my step mom made them the other week and filled them with rice and ground beef. Needless to say, I dug it. But since I can’t do anything like a normal person would, I decided to make this exciting variation – Chicken Fajita Stuffed Bell Peppers. They’re good. Like, really good.

Chicken-Fajita-Stuffed-Bell-Peppers.jpg

One of the joys of moving into a new apartment is realizing everything you never think of needing until you need it and don’t have it. Which was exactly the case when I was uber pumped and ready to make these awesome chicken stuffed peppers, and realized I didn’t have a baking dish. So, I did what any savvy apartment owner would do and used my baking sheet. It worked out since I boiled the peppers first, but if you want to skip the boiling step make sure you have a shallow baking dish, and perhaps even fill it with a tiny bit of water so the peppers don’t dry out!

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Check out my pretty Amish cutting board! Ooohhhh … Aaahhhhh …

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Chicken Fajita Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 2 organic chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 bell peppers, washed, seeds removed, cut in half
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded organic cheese

Instructions

  1. Mix lime juice, cilantro, and all spices in a medium bowl. Place raw chicken in the bowl, stir to coat and marinade at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a casserole dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil bell pepper halves until soft, about 3 minutes, pushing them down with a spoon if they float. Once done, remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a medium pan and sauté chicken until cooked. Remove from pan, shred with two forks and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, sauté onion until it's soft. Turn off the heat, and stir in the chicken and tomato.
  5. Arrange the pepper halves open side up in the casserole dish. Fill each pepper with chicken mixture and cheese. Bake, covered with foil, about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
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Healthy Shamrock Shake

It’s not often that I eat something at McDonald’s and immediately want to make the copycat version, but when it comes time for a Shammy Shake, I simply can’t resist having one every year. Problem is, those mint shakes are as fattening as they are delicious. So I created this copycat Shamrock Shake recipe … the healthy way!

Now, I’m not going to rave about how this Healthy Shamrock Shake tastes just like the ice cream-packed one you get from McDonald’s, but it is good enough to satisfy that March-time craving.

Healthy-Shamrock-Shake

You can also make this a protein shake by adding a scoop of your favorite brand of vanilla protein powder.

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas, peeled, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 3/4 cup fat free milk (almond, soy, dairy, coconut)
  • 3/4 tsp mint extract
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 Tbsp cocao nibs (or chocolate chips)
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (honey, dates, agave)

Instructions

  1. Place the handful of kale in a blender with 1/4 cup of milk and blend thoroughly.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust sweetener to your liking and garnish with cocao nibs.
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