Fall temperatures arrived early here in Minnesota this year, and I’m getting a serious itch to cook allllllll the things. Craving nachos one night but not really wanting to eat corn, I decided to use a couple sweet potatoes we had on hand and whip up some sweet potato nachos. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite versatile vegetables for replacing grains in recipes.
I thinly sliced two sweet potatoes and tossed them in avocado oil, salt and pepper so they were generously coated and roasted them at 400 degrees until starting to brown (about 20-25 mins with one flip half-way through). Then I sprinkled shredded cheese and bacon bits on the tray of roasted sweet potatoes and popped them back in the oven to melt the cheese just a couple minutes.
Having previously prepped toppings, I let individuals make their own like a “nacho bar” style. Toppings included green onion, black olive, sour cream, etc. Really easy, and a big hit!
Garden produce season is alive and well here in the Midwest, which means since our house is the pit-stop in between my parents house in Iowa and our family’s cabin in Northwest Minnesota, we get regular produce deliveries from my parents. Right now we have yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and 5 million jalapenos. It’s been pretty hot and humid in Minnesota, so I’ve been eating fresh [cold] cukes a lot. I threw this salad together the other night, it’s really easy and has great flavor. The coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute) adds the perfect sweetness to the nutty sesame flavor.
Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Sesame oil
- Coconut aminos
- Sea salt
- Garlic salt
- Chili flakes
- Sesame seeds
Slice cukes and drizzle oil and coconut aminos over top (more or less depending on how much sauce you prefer, I wanted it to be a light flavor), then sprinkle with sea salt, garlic salt and chili flakes. Toss, and then top with sesame seeds last so they don’t get soggy.
I love seafood (although I admit I used to be very intimidated by it-which is stupid as it’s one of the easiest things to cook), I could eat it every single day and is one of the things I miss not living on a coast right now-less fresh options. I happened to be at one of our new local grocery stores recently and they had some really decent looking wild caught cod so I decided to buy some. It was in week three of my Whole 30 and I wanted to do something different with the fish instead of just putting salt/pepper and citrus on it, so I decided I’d use my Vitamix to make a “breading.” I have this brand new Vitamix and for whatever reason I haven’t used it a whole lot since I got it (shame on me!), so I winged it and threw some shelled pistachios in to pulse into “bread crumb” consistency. Super easy and it made the perfect crumbs. I then dumped them out on a plate to dredge the cod in – what resulted was probably one of the (easiest – win!) best recipes I’ve ever made, and because I ate it all before hubby came home from business travel I will absolutely be making it again and soon! I couldn’t get enough of the nutty, rich flavor combined with some truffle ghee I dropped on top at the very end of baking.
Pistachio Crusted Cod
- Pistachio crumbs (to whatever consistency you prefer)
- Cod filets
- Avocado oil
- White truffle salt ghee
Drizzle avocado oil on the cod and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge cod through the pistachio bread crumbs and bake in a glass baking dish at 400 degrees until cooked through (one end of my cod was really thick, so I used a meat thermometer to ensure it was thoroughly cooked to 145 degrees). Once the fish was cooked I turned the oven off and dropped about 4 TBSP of white truffle salt ghee (brand is 4th and Heart, and it’s my favorite thing ever) on top of the cod and let that melt into the fish. What resulted was the tastiest, flaky, rich, nutty dinner, and it reheated very well.
Sunday morning I made carnitas in the crockpot for dinner, and to eat throughout the week. It’s one of my favorite meat dishes because not only is it very versatile, it’s really easy. Sunday was day day 28 on my Whole 30, and I wanted something fresh and flavorful, but light. I’ve made them before with this same recipe and I really enjoy the flavor.
- Pork shoulder/pork butt (about 5-6lbs)
- 1 orange
- 1 yellow onion, loosely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
- Minced garlic (maybe 2 TBSP, I love garlic)
- 3 bay leaves
- Smoked paprika
- Crushed red pepper
- 2 cups Chicken broth
The meat I used this time was a combination 1/2 and 1/2 pork shoulder/pork butt wrapped together in netting (the butt was pretty fatty, YUM). I left the netting intact for cooking and generously coated the meat in salt and pepper, then sprinkled with the remaining spices: cumin, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper. Place the meat in the crockpot and squeeze the juice of 1/2 the orange over the top of the meat, then add all remaining ingredients. I set it on high for about 2 hours until it was boiling and then turned it down to low for a couple hours. I then flipped it and brought it back up to a boil on the other side, then turned it back down to low for another hour or so. Total time was about 6-7hrs. Then I cut the netting off and shredded the meat for dinner. We made carnitas bowls with all of our favorite fixings (cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, tomato, raw red onion, sliced green olive, hot sauce, salsa, cabbage, etc.).
All of the fresh flavor of carnitas, without the glycemic load of tortillas!
Clearly, I am not reinventing the wheel here, but nonetheless I receive enough public and private questions about the food that I share on social media, so I’m just going to blog about it! Bonus, this is a super easy meal.
Taco Tuesday was yesterday, except I’m not eating corn anymore (doing a Whole 30), but still love the flavors of tacos (duh) so I decided to make all the fixings for lettuce wrap tacos. Then when I had everything prepared I was like who even needs a lettuce cup, just throw everything in a bowl! We total scarfed, and nothing was leftover! Here is how I made them!
- 1 1/2 lbs chorizo sausage
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 1/2 TBSP coconut oil
- Black pepper
- Crushed red pepper
- Sea salt
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Fresh diced jalapeno
- Diced red onion
- Diced pineapple
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Sliced green olive
- Diced tomato
- Lime wedges
Saute the diced onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes in the coconut oil, then add the chorizo. Continue sauteing cooking meat evenly, and add all of the spices for the homemade taco seasoning. It’s up to you how much you use. I really like paprika and cumin so I was a little more generous with those. Once meat is cooked, turn to low heat to keep warm.
Dice all of the garnishments you’d like to add to your taco, wrap, bowl, etc. It’s really up to you! I love the flavor and spice of fresh jalapeno with cilantro and the sweetness of pineapple. Avocado and raw onion are a must for me. The green olives, not typically thought of but our favorite local Mexican restaurant, the chef adds green olives to tamales, salads, nachos etc. and they’re awesome (side note, he’s from Mexico City and cooks his grandmother’s recipes). P.S. I didn’t even miss the corn or cheese.