Looking for the perfect summer burger? Look no further, honey! This burger is sweet, savory, packed with protein, and has tons of umami flavor.
Looking for the perfect summer burger? Look no further, honey! This burger is sweet, savory, packed with protein, and has tons of umami flavor.
I started making this salad when my husband and I went vegan a few years ago, and all but forgot about it until recently. It’s a summer favorite because it can be enjoyed warm or cold, and it requires minimal cooking.
This salad is mostly raw/no-cook – the only component that requires cooking is the rice. You can use leftover brown rice, or you can cook it fresh. I prefer to cook the rice fresh, because I think the lime flavor soaks best into warm rice as opposed to chilled.
I start by chopping the peppers and onion, and placing it into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
I use about 1/3 of a red onion, because I find the flavor to be strong after a while. If you dig raw red onion, you can definitely put more in there.
I enjoy colors, so I use half a red bell and half an orange bell with 1 small finely diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed). The jalapeño does not add a lot of heat – it’s very mild and my kids enjoyed this salad a number of times without being bothered by it.
Once your veggies are chopped, add them into your big bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When the rice is cooked and cooled slightly (not piping hot, but not completely cool) add it right on top of the chopped veggies and squeeze the lime juice over the rice. The rice being warm helps it to absorb the lime flavor easily, and it slightly cooks the veggies. Give it a stir, then add the beans, a big handful of chopped fresh cilantro, and a little extra S&P.
And there you have it! A fresh, colorful salad packed with fiber and protein to go with any lean meat or fish.
I love this salad with some grilled chicken – shrimp, cod, or halibut would be fantastic mains as well.
This salad is fit for a big crowd, or as a make-ahead side to go with your E meals all week long.
Burgers are a staple in my household. Husband loves them. Kids love them. I love them! Plus, they are ridiculously easy to make.
This whole recipe (burgers plus a sauce topper) is less than 10 ingredients. Unbelievable, I know, but this recipe packs in the flavor with just a few ingredients.
It probably sounds weird to “season” burgers with wine before cooking, but trust me the flavor is *amazing*. The sherry adds a beautiful depth of flavor while keeping the burgers nice and moist. I cooked my burgers to a strong medium (warm, pink center) and there was no trace of raw alcohol.
Mix the burgers with your hands until just combined, score with the side of your hand into sections (for even patties – I got about 7 big burgers out of this), and form into patties.
My best burger tip is to always make these slight dents in the center of your patties prior to cooking. The centers rise as they cook, so instead of them rising and you ending up with cylindrical burgers they rise to the height of the outsides, making it flat.
Before tossing your burgers onto the grill or sauté pan, season each one with a little extra salt and pepper on the outsides. This helps to ensure they’re seasoned well.
I cooked these burgers in a cast iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes on each side, turning only once.
While the burgers are cooking, make the bleu cheese sauce.
Place the sour cream into a small bowl with the bleu cheese crumbles, a few dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper, and a touch of half and half or heavy cream to slightly thin the sour cream.
When the burgers are done, top each one with a generous helping of bleu cheese sauce. I served my burger alongside some fresh celery sticks and Trader Joe’s parsnip chips (which are seriously amazing, by the way. 1g of net carbs per serving and they’re a real chip!).
You can serve the burgers atop lettuce (red or green leaf would be a great choice), or stuff it into half a Joseph’s pita. Either way, it’s delicious!
The burger itself really is incredible – the sherry keeps it moist while adding a slight red wine flavor and the dry seasoning adds a punch of different herbal notes (citrus, parsley, rosemary, etc.) with a little hint of onion from the scallions.
The bleu cheese sauce makes it rich and a little tangy from the cheese. [Really, I think beef and bleu cheese were put on this Earth to be best buds because they certainly rock together.]
These burgers would be perfect for a holiday party! With a burger this good, your guests will be knocking down your door for the recipe.
Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite summertime throw-together meals. It comes together quickly, uses simple ingredients, and has all the scrumptiousness of something that takes all day to cook.
For this meal, start with simmering the vegetable mixture. It takes a few minutes for the flavors to develop and reduce slightly.
Next, start crisping the bacon – trust me, you don’t want to skip it. That crispy bacon topping is EVER-Y-THANG.
Steam the cauli grits next.
And finish by sautéing the shrimp in the same pan where you cooked the bacon. The bacon drippings help get a nice, fried char on the shrimp.
Finish up the cauli grits, and you’re done!
Plate it by heaping a big pile of grits into a bowl, followed by the pepper and tomato mixture, then a few shrimp, and throw on some crispy bacon.
The grits provide a creamy pillow for the veggies, then the shrimp and bacon provide a crispy, slightly smoky bite.
I make this often during the summer months because it’s easy and kids and adults alike will gulp it down.
This quick and easy main dish packs in all the flavor of bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers without a ton of the work. I’ve even included in a more kid-friendly option, so the whole family can enjoy it.
Jalapeño poppers are one of my favorite things. I mean, cheese, spicy peppers, and bacon?! How can you go wrong?
I roasted my jalapeños under the broiler for a few minutes to soften them. Turn on your broiler to “normal,” halve the peppers lengthwise and spritz with coconut oil spray. Roast on both sides for about 5-7 minutes or until the skin begins to blister.
Place the peppers into a heat-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap then cool. This helps steam the pepper and release the skin from the flesh of the pepper. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel the skin away and roughly chop.
If you prefer them raw, just finely mince them instead of chopping so that there aren’t any huge pieces of raw pepper.
Next, grill 2lbs of thinly cut chicken breasts. My shortcut is to use the scallopini cut breasts from the store, but you can also slice them thinner yourself. Season simply with salt and pepper, and throw them onto the grill.
Mix the jalapeño with softened cream cheese, salt and pepper, then top each breast with a few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture and top with shredded sharp cheddar. [For the kiddos, I did not add jalapeño to their cream cheese. My daughter enjoys spicy food, but my son not so much.]
Bake the chicken for about 10 minutes at 350, or until the cheeses are melted and bubbling.
Top with chopped cooked bacon, and enjoy!
My kiddos are bacon lovers, and they devoured this main dish. The best part for me was how easy it was to make. I prepped the bacon and roasted peppers ahead of time, then the rest (with sides) came together in about 15 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights!
Let me tell you about one of my new favorite sides – cauliflower grits!
Cauliflower is a super food that can take on many roles – mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, and dairy free Alfredo sauce, just to name a few.
I’ve tried these grits a few times, but this recipe really hit it out of the park. They were creamy, flavorful, and a perfect breakfast or dinner pairing. This recipe actually went with my Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits, but I also ate the leftovers as a lovely breakfast side a few days later.
The best part is that these come together in under 10 minutes, and all you need is a microwave and a food processor.
Start by roughly chopping a small head of raw cauliflower. Toss it all into your food processor, and pulse until it’s finely minced. [Do not rinse out the raw cauli bits after pulsing. It helps add texture to your grits, so leave ’em.
Place the minced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with heat-safe plastic wrap. No water, nothing added to the cauliflower – just cover it. Throw it into the microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. My microwave is aging, so it generally takes longer whereas newer microwaves will take less time to cook the cauliflower. It won’t be completely soft – it will still have an al dente “bite” to it, but that’s what you want!
Carefully peel back the plastic, then place the (hot!) cauliflower back into your food processor (with the raw bits), add the butter, nutritional yeast, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, a few shakes of hot sauce, and the cream/half and half. Pulse a few more times until the grits are creamy and all the ingredients are incorporated. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and serve right away.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make these cauli grits. It’s one of those low-maintenance sides you can throw together in minutes while your main dish simmers.
And can we talk about TASTY?! The texture alone was just dreamy. You hear cauli grits and think, “OK, just more cauliflower mush.” NOPE. They have texture and depth of flavor – you get a little heat from the hot pepper sauce and creaminess from the butter, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar – it’s the perfect balance.
Try these with your low carb breakfast or for dinner (Shrimp and Grits, HAY). They’re perfect any time!
Summer is just around the corner, which means two things: 1) less cooking time (because your house it too hot already) and 2) lots of fresh, vibrant flavors. Enter, this beautiful quinoa salad.
I did roast the shrimp in the oven, but you could also grill them for an even quicker meal.
To roast the shrimp, and stay in E mode, start by preheating your oven to 400. Place the shrimp onto a large baking sheet lined with foil, spray lightly with coconut oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast the shrimp at 400 for about 6 minutes – it may be more or less depending on the size and thickness of your shrimp. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch, pink and opaque on the outside.
All that’s left is to assemble the salad!
Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, and feta.
For the cucumber, make sure that you take the time (2 seconds, really) to cut out the seeds of the cucumber – yes, even if it’s “seedless”. The seeds have more moisture and will cut the shelf life of your salad significantly. You don’t want the whole batch going bad over some cucumbers! That would just be silly.
To cut the seeds out of your cucumber, slice the cuke lengthwise into quarters and cut into it on an angle so the whole “log” of seeds comes out in one cut.
Give the salad a big toss, taste for seasoning, then add your shrimp and serve.
The great thing about this salad is that it’s wonderful at room temp or cold from the fridge. In fact, as it sits in the fridge the flavor gets even better.
The lemon juice adds a fantastic acidity to the salad, while the herbs add tons of fresh, green flavor. This salad just screams summer to me, and it couldn’t be easier to make!
If you can believe it, this was my first time EVER making a beef roast. Trust me when I say this shredded beef is easy, flavorful, and versatile!
I love using my Crock Pot for various reasons, but overall it makes dinner insanely easy and it cooks without heating up the kitchen. Between preschool drop off, working, and getting my daughter to and from karate (right before dinner, no less) dropping something in the crock pot is definitely the easiest part of my day. The best part is coming home to a fully cooked dinner!
Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the recipe – start with a 2.5 – 3lb boneless beef roast.
Next, throw the dry spices together in a small bowl: chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir them up, activating the spices by rubbing them gently between your fingers.
Season the whole roast on both sides, massaging the spices into the meat.
Into the bottom of your crock pot, stir together the broth (any variety is fine), lime juice, tomato paste, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and Fresno chili. Fresno chilis look like red jalapeños and are similarly flavored. You could also use another jalapeño, Serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, or a different pepper of similar heat level.
For the peppers, you can remove the ribs and seeds or leave them. I seeded half of my peppers, and the beef remained moderately spicy. I sliced everything straight across, because the crock will cook everything down to falling apart texture and tiny cuts aren’t needed.
Lay the seasoned beef roast on top of the veggies, place the lid, and set it on low.
Let it go low and slow for 8-10 hours until it’s falling apart.
After it’s done cooking, shred the roast between two forks. I say shred, but really that roast cooks up so tender that you could touch it with a fork and it just falls apart. Serve it right up, any way you like it. I put it over a big bowl of greens with some salsa, avocado, and fresh cilantro with a low carb tortilla on the side. My family enjoyed the beef as tacos with sliced avocados.
The beef is incredibly soft and tender. You get a hint of lime juice and a little smoky, spicy kick from the spices and peppers. All in all, it’s the perfect, casual way to enjoy a roast.
The leftovers could be used for salads or burritos later in the week. You could even throw them into a breakfast hash, because WHY NOT.
Barbecue is my family’s all-occasion food. Holiday? Barbecue. Birthday? Barbecue. The weekend? Well, you get the picture.
This recipe is so easy, you’ll be making barbecue every chance you get too!
Many times, you see barbecue done with a dry rub. While dry rubs are wonderful, I decided to go with a wet seasoning.
I started with a big, boneless pork shoulder, then the rest of it happens in a food processor or blender.
Place all of the seasoning mixture, except for the water, into your food processor. For the jalapeños, I seeded one half of it so that it would have some heat but not too much. If you like it spicy, feel free to leave the seeds and ribs on both sides, or remove them for a more mild flavor.
Pulse until it forms a slightly thick paste.
There will still be pieces of onion and jalapeño – that’s OK!
Place the pork shoulder directly into your Dutch oven, pour the wet rub over the pork and massage it all over.
Carefully pour (around the pork, not ON) in the water. Place the lid on your Dutch oven and place it into a pre-heated 300 degree oven.
This bad boy is going to cook low and slow for 4.5-5 hours with the lid on, then the lid comes off and it will continue cooking another 45 minutes to an hour. The pork should have a dark outer bark when it’s done.
Cooking the pork in the oven as opposed to the slow cooker gives you tender meat, while also having a crispy outer bark. The bark, to me, is one of the BEST parts. It’s crispy, flavorful, and a little smoky. The fat cooks down, making all of the meat perfectly tender. It’s the best of both worlds between a slow cooker and smoker.
Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before shredding it between two forks.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a make-ahead meal on a weeknight. Try it with my quick and easy Sweet & Spicy Paleo Barbecue Sauce!
Here is a quick and easy rollover dinner or lunch for that fabulous leftover roasted salmon from my Salmon en Papillote.
Niçoise salad is usually characterized by tuna, green beans, potatoes, olives, and boiled eggs.
I swapped tuna for my gorgeous leftover salmon. In order to keep this light, and THM approved, I removed the potatoes entirely. However, if you would like some light carb action, you can top it with up to 1/4 cup white beans. I would choose a great northern variety or cannelini, but it’s up to you. I also swapped the olives for capers, which I think go better with salmon (it almost reminds me of lox and bagels!).
Since you’re using leftovers for this salad, the only thing you need to cook is a couple of boiled eggs. And I have an awesome tip for you on how to get perfectly yellow boiled eggs every time!
I was watching “Brunch at Bobby’s” on Food Network the other day, and he was making boiled eggs using a tip I had never heard before.
Lay the eggs into a pot of cold water, and set it over high heat uncovered on the stovetop. When the water is almost boiling (not rumbling, but almost there), turn the heat completely OFF, put a lid on, and leave the pot on the hot eye for 14 minutes.
After 14 minutes, drain the hot water and turn it into an ice bath by adding a few handfuls of ice cubes and running cold water over the top. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes, then peel away! You’ll have perfectly yellow yolks in your boiled eggs every time.
After the eggs are cooked, simply combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. I used a simple vinaigrette of 1/2 lemon, juiced, about 1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Easy, fast, and fresh!
Balsamic vinaigrette would also be a good alternative to use here.
That is one beautiful, fresh, and flavorful lunch or dinner! This meal would pack well for on-the-go, or as a make-ahead. It’s the perfect protein-packed lunch or dinner.