Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Soups On~Paleo Taco Soup

Y'all it has been downright cold here this past week.  While we do experience temps in the 30s from time to time in Atlanta over the course of the winter months, it generally lasts a day or two and then we jump back up into the 50s and 60s.  This system was here to stay!

Cold, chilly nights accompanied with a HUGE football game on the TV call for soup.  Good old comfort food.

I cannot take any credit for this one as hubby found it online, AND prepared it for us!  Winner winner, soup's for dinner!

Paleo Taco Soup


2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1 zucchini, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced (we used one red, one orange as our daughter cannot eat green)
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cups tomatoes, diced (we used organic canned)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 cup tomato sauce
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp cooking fat (we use Earth Balance Vegan Soy Free butter)
fresh cilantro (to garnish)
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the cooking fat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and onion, and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the ground beef and brown 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle all the spices over the meat.  Season to taste and mix everything well.

Add the zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, and jalapeno to the saucepan.

Pour in the tomato sauce and beef stock; give everything a good stir.

Cover, lower heat to medium, and let simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

Adjust the seasoning, and serve topped with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado.

The soups has a good hearty Mexican flavor, but not too spicy for those of you who don't care for a lot of heat.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

One Pan Ranch Chicken and Veggies~It's What's for Dinner

Happy Sunday friends.  I pray your week is off to a good start.  I had several request this recipe after I share in on Instagram.  I had thought it was already posted on here, but apparently I was mistaken.  Just the older one pan ranch pork recipe was.  Similar, but this new one is dairy free as well as gluten free.

Most Ranch dressings and mixes contain dairy.  So if that is of concern to you and you need to omit it due to dietary restrictions you can replace it with this homemade recipe.  The original recipe can be found here. 

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix


1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dried thyme


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

For Dairy Free Dressing: mix with 1 cup mayo, 1 cup original flavor dairy free milk and 1 tsp vinegar (we use Earth Balance Vegan mayo)

Dip: mix with 8-10 ounces of dairy free sour cream (we use Tofutti brand-this does contain some soy)

Other: use in place of one packet of Ranch dressing mix in recipes.

One Pan Ranch Chicken and Veggies


Chicken Breasts (we generally make 4, 3 for dinner and 1 leftover for our daughter's lunch the next day)
1 bag organic fresh organic green beans
1 bag small gold or red baby potatoes
Ranch Dressing Mix (I double the above recipe when making this)
Olive Oil


1. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper for ease of clean up.
2. Trim chicken breasts and lay them on the parchment paper, leaving room in between each.
3. Rinse and trim green beans and place in a large bowl.
4. Rinse and halve potatoes (quarter if they are larger) and place in bowl with green beans.
5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the chicken breasts, enough to coat, and then sprinkle with 1/2 of the ranch dressing mix.
6.  Drizzle the green beans and potatoes with olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix and toss to coat thoroughly.
7. Spread the vegetables onto the baking pan around the chicken breasts.
8. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.

You can adjust amounts depending on how many mouths you have to feed.  This is also great with boneless pork chops in place of the chicken.  And as always you can easily swap out the green beans and potatoes for other veggies, such as squash, zucchini, carrots, or brussel sprouts.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Shrimp and Rice~It's What's for Dinner

Hello from the chilly South.  Honestly, while it is cold here I can't complain as I know so many of you are experiencing far worse temps, wind chill, and snow fall.

After slacking off on our meal planning the week leading up to and after Christmas, I decided it was high time to get back to some sense of normal.  While I didn't full out meal plan this week, we are back to eating healthier dinners at home.

This recipe is similar to one we have made before, substituting shrimp for chicken.  My youngest is eating very limited beef due to new dietary restrictions, and she was a bit tired of chicken so shrimp it was.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Shrimp and Rice


2 TBS olive oil
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 garlic cloves, minced (we keep jarred minced on hand, so much easier)
1 /4 tsp salt (we prefer sea salt)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 C chicken broth or vegetable broth (for added health benefits you can use bone broth)
1 C uncooked Jasmine rice (or use any rice that says on the package that it takes 15 minutes to cook it-we had white long grain on hand)
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS lime juice, freshly squeezed + extra (we keep Whole Foods organic lemon and lime juice on hand)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed, drained (we used Eden organic soy free)
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped + extra



1. Heat large skillet until hot on medium heat. Add olive oil-it should run easily but not sizzle or burn. Add shrimp and minced garlic to the skillet, making sure it doesn't crowd, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes over shrimp.  Cook shrimp, stirring once or twice, on medium heat, about 3-4 minutes total, until pink in color.
2. Remove shrimp from the skillet to a plate.


3. To the same (now empty) skillet, add chicken broth, uncooked rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.  Mix everything well. Reduce the heat to low boil/simmer.  Cover the skillet with the lid.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, covered, until the rice is cooked through.  You might need to add 1/2 cup water if your rice in not completely cooked through.
4. Mix the lime juice, rinsed and drained black beans, and fresh cilantro into the cooked rice.
5. Add extra lime juice (about 1 tablespoon) and extra chopped fresh cilantro to the plate with shrimp, mix to coat shrimp.  Add the shrimp to the skillet with the rice and gently reheat.

Click here for the chicken version.

Stay warm friends.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy 28th Birthday to our First Born~

Happy 28th Birthday to the one who made us parents. You have been a blessing to many...your family, friends, co-workers, students, athletes, and the lives of 3 in your charge and their families.  We always told you to make a difference in someone else's life, and you have done just that.  Sometimes overlooking your own needs to do so.

We are so very proud of the young woman you have become.

Happy Birthday Elie.  May God continue to bless you and use you to do His will.