Recipes

CHICKEN FAJITA LETTUCE WRAPS

June 3rd, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

INGREDIENTS

BRINE: The trick to juicy chicken fajitas is brining the chicken in saltwater prior to baking. It’s such a simple trick but it makes a big difference in taste, texture, and tenderness of the chicken.

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds organic, free-range, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled + smashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns

VEGGIES + SEASONING:

  • 2 medium bell peppers (any color), cut into thin strips
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 8–10 wedges
  • 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime
  • Black pepper, to taste

TO SERVE:

Iceberg or butter lettuce
Guacamole
Fresh salsa
Fresh cilantro
Cheese, grass-fed and organic
Hot sauce
Jalapeños

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and salt, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Add the chicken breasts, garlic, and peppercorns. Let chicken brine for 30 minutes, uncovered, at room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Spray a 17 X 12-inch rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Slice into 1/2-inch thick strips and add to a large bowl. If the chicken breast is thick, cut in half lengthwise, and then slice into strips.
  7. To the chicken, add bell peppers and onions.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  9. Pour the mixture over the chicken and veggies, and toss with tongs until fully coated.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 18-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir once halfway.
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken mixture. Season with more salt to taste if needed.
  12. Serve in a lettuce cup with desired toppings of choice.

Courtesy of Little Broken


Inside Outside Egg Rolls

May 27th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cabbage or tri-color coleslaw mix, shredded
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 6.5 oz lean grass-fed ground beef – you will need 4.3 oz cooked
  • 2 farm-fresh eggs, whisked
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1 tbsp lite soy sauce or Braggs amino
Directions:
  1. Combine shredded cabbage, celery, and scallions. Toss together. Set aside.
  2. Brown ground beef. Throw the veggies in with the meat.
  3. Sprinkle stir-fry mixture with ginger, garlic, and five-spice blend.
  4. Add soy sauce and whisked eggs into the skillet.
  5. Continue to stir-fry until vegetables are tender, but firm. (No pieces of egg should be visible.)
  6. Remove skillet from heat and serve.

from Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures


Cauliflower Grits with Spicy Shrimp

May 11th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

Cauliflower Grits

  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milkor coconut milk or grass-fed whole dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butteror ghee
  • ¼ cup unsalted chicken stockor vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grated organic sharp cheddar cheese

Shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimppeeled and deveined, 16/20 count
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher saltdivided
  •  teaspoon black pepper
  •  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  teaspoon paprika
  • 4 slices nitrate free baconthick-cut, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlicabout 4 cloves
  • ¼ cup yellow oniondiced into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup red bell pepperdiced into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oilto substitute bacon grease if desired
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup green onionsthinly sliced

Greens

  • 8 ounces swiss chardsliced into 1-inch strips

Instructions

Cauliflower Grits

  1. Grate or add cauliflower florets to a food processor. You want the cauliflower to be about the size of rice grains. See the video linked here.
  2. Add cauliflower to a medium-sized saute pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to release some moisture from the vegetable.
  3. Add one tablespoon of butter, ¼ cup of cashew milk, ¼ cup of chicken stock, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir and cook until moisture gets absorbed and cauliflower cooks through about 5 minutes.
  4. sing an immersion hand blender or blender, pulse cauliflower mixture until it resembles the texture of grits (smooth yet still grainy). You don’t want the mixture to be completely smooth.
  5. Transfer back to the pan. Turn heat to medium and add in ¼ cup grated cheese, stir until melted. Slowly add about ½ to ¾ cup more cashew milk until the grits are smooth and creamy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Keep warm over very low heat while making the shrimp.

Spicy Shrimp

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine shrimp, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon paprika. Set aside. You can add more cayenne pepper if you like it really spicy.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, frequently stirring about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and drain. Keep 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan, or you can remove and use 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead.
  3. Heat pan to medium and add garlic and onion, stir and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the bell peppers and cook 1 minute.
  4. Turn heat to medium-high and add shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, and 1 minute on the other until pink. Add in 4 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons green onions and cooked bacon. Stir to combine, cook about 1 minute. Transfer shrimp to a warm bowl.

Greens

  1. In the same pan add the swiss chard. Cook on medium-high heat until wilted and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Stir and reheat grits if needed. Divide grits, greens, and shrimp evenly among serving bowls.

by Jessica Gavin


Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

April 20th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 4 slices organic Provolone cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Dice the peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic.
  3. Add the ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium heat, crumbling as it cooks.
  4. When beef is broken apart, but still pink, add the peppers, onion, garlic, and seasoned salt. Continue cooking, stirring often, until beef is cooked through and vegetables have softened a bit.
  5. Drain grease from the skillet and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Tear the cheese into small pieces and place over the beef mixture.
  7. Add the eggs, cream, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the beef and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until the eggs are set.
  9. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 366 calories, 23g fat, 33g protein, 5g carbs, 1g fiber

Courtesy of That Low Carb Life


How Much Protein Should I Eat Daily For Weight Loss?

February 5th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Decades of scientific research on weight loss have uncovered a few key pieces of information on what helps people successfully win the battle of the bulge.

  • First, we know that while exercise is important, a person’s healthy eating habits likely matters more for weight loss than the hours they spend in the gym.
  • Second, when it comes to dieting, there is no single best one for losing weight; many diets can work quite well as long as total calorie balance is accounted for.
  • Third, dietary protein is one of the key “levers” in a diet that increases the likelihood of someone’s ability to lose weight.

This article is going to cut through a lot of the noise surrounding protein and tell you how much protein you should be eating to lose weight and some of the things you should consider when planning your diet.

WHAT IS PROTEIN?
Protein is an important macronutrient that is involved in nearly all bodily functions and processes. It plays a key role in exercise recovery and is an essential dietary nutrient for healthy living. Protein and amino acids are primarily used to create bodily tissues, form enzymes, and cellular transporters, maintain fluid balance, and more.

HOW MUCH PROTEIN PER DAY TO LOSE WEIGHT?
If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between .73 and 1 grams per pound. Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 1-1.5 grams per pound if aiming for weight loss.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PROTEIN IN WEIGHT LOSS?
Dietary protein can be an important part of a diet that is intended for weight loss. While there are many benefits to dietary protein, there are four main areas that have direct effects on weight loss:

  • Satiety
  • Lean mass
  • Thermic effect of food
  • Storage as body fat

Let us take a deeper dive into each of these topics.

PROTEIN HELPS YOU FEEL FULL LONGER
One of the biggest things that impede weight loss is hunger.

People are far less likely to stick with a nutrition or diet plan if they experience high levels of hunger.

Protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients.

Several different lines of research have all pointed to the same thing: higher protein intakes tend to provide more satiety and less hunger.

For example, in one study, high protein snacks allowed people to go longer between eating and also caused them to eat less at subsequent meals.

Another study showed that including protein into a glass of water decreased hunger compared to water alone.

Depending on the source of protein, there does appear to be minor differences in the exact amount of satiety that protein provides, however these differences are minor and don’t really make a meaningful impact for most people.

Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal level of daily protein intake in one’s diet with regard to staying full. However, roughly .82-1.32 grams of protein per pound appear to provide substantial benefit on satiety.

PROTEIN PRESERVES LEAN BODY MASS
In addition, protein has another benefit on weight loss: it helps preserve lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction.

One study compared the effect of low protein intake (1.0 grams per kilogram per day) to high protein intake (2.3 g/kg per day) on lean body mass over a short term caloric deficit. On average, the low protein group lost about 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) of muscle mass while the high protein group only lost 0.3 kg (0.66 pounds) of muscle mass.

Currently, most evidence suggests that .73 grams of protein per pound are a recommended daily target for protein intake to spare lean body mass loss during periods of weight loss.

PROTEIN INCREASES THE THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD
The thermic effect of food is the “cost” of digesting your food.

Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest “cost” of all three macronutrients.

While the total effect that the thermic effect of food has on daily energy expenditure and weight loss is small, it is not meaningless and is important to note.

In one study, a high protein diet increased the thermic effect of food by roughly 6-8 kcals per hour when compared to a low protein diet, which may translate to ~50-75 calories per day.

However, not all studies show this large of an effect, and the thermic effect of protein is not likely responsible for most of its benefit, but it may be the “cherry on top” of adequate dietary protein during weight loss.

PROTEIN IS HARD TO STORE AS BODY FAT
During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy (i.e. calories) is stored as fat is important.

The body processes the three different macronutrients (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) in very different ways.

Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or fats.

This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.

One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency.

During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat.

While many different diets can be successful for weight loss, the protein content of a diet is one of the important factors to consider when planning a diet. Protein has been shown to promote satiety, help maintain lean body mass, increase the thermic effect of food slightly, and can reduce how efficient the body is at storing extra calories as body fat.

Courtesy of NASM.org


Cast Iron Whole Chicken

January 27th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

A simple and easy whole roasted chicken that is full of flavor, perfectly moist, and tender! This recipe is gluten-free, allergy-free, and paleo using a no-fail method for success. We think it’s just a fabulous way to up your protein and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Ingredients:
•1 whole free-range, organic chicken, 4-5 lbs
•2 small Gala apples, chopped
•1 large shallot, chopped
•2 t oil (I use sunflower oil)
•1 1/2 t dried thyme
•1 t dried basil
•1/2 t garlic powder
•1/2 t onion powder
•1/2 t ground ginger
•1/4 t ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375oF
2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken, inside and outside
3. Place chicken in a large seasoned cast iron skillet and stuff with chopped apples and shallot in the cavity of the chicken, place any extra pieces around the chicken in the cast iron skillet
4. Rub the outside with the oil, herbs, and spices
5. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour and 40minutes (about 20 minutes per pound) or until the chicken reaches a safe 180F
6. Remove from oven, cover with foil, let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving

Recipe from Strength & Sunshine


Zucchini Egg Nests

December 31st, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini or 4 small, to yield 6 cups spiralized
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • Coconut oil, for greasing
  • 6 Farm Fresh eggs
  • Optional: Crushed red pepper, spices, fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Use a vegetable peeler or a spiralizer to slice the zucchini into noodles.
  • Place in a colander over a bowl and toss with sea salt until evenly coated.
  • Let the zucchini noodles sit for 20 minutes so they can sweat.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and use coconut oil to generously grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins that are at least 3.5 inches in diameter.
  • Use your hands to squeeze the zucchini noodles to release as much moisture as possible.
  • Place in a bowl and add garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper.
  • Carefully separate the egg whites from the yolk. The easiest way to do this is to crack an egg into your hand over a bowl, then pass the egg yolk from one hand to another until the whites drip down between your fingers into the bowl.
  • Place the yolks on a plate, and add the whites to the zucchini noodles and mix together.
  • Divide the zucchini noodles into the prepared muffin tin cups or ramekins. Create a nest and leave an indent in the center.
  • Carefully place a yolk in the center of each zucchini nest.
  • Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the yolks are cooked to your liking.

courtesy of What Great Grandma Ate


Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

September 9th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients:
▪ 8 large organic eggs
▪ 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
▪ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
▪ 2 tablespoons of filtered water
▪ 1 tablespoon clarified butter or ghee
▪ 1 small tomato, roughly chopped
▪ 2 ounces soft goat cheese
▪ ¼ cup fresh herbs (chives, thyme, parsley, dill, oregano), roughly chopped

Directions:
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, and water.
Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, warm the butter over medium heat until shimmering. Add the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the eggs form
soft curds, about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Fold in the tomatoes and remove the pan from the stove. Gently fold in the goat cheese and herbs, divide among four serving plates, and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving: calories 250, fat 10 g, saturated fat 15 g,
cholesterol 359 mg, fiber 0.3 g, protein 16 g, carbohydrate 2 g, sodium 480 mg
Dr Hyman

Roasted Zucchini, Squash, Onions, and Tomatoes

August 14th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 small yellow squash (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 med onion, cut into 1″ thick squares
  • 14 oz cherry or small Campari tomatoes, sliced in halve
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (or your favorite dried or fresh herbs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded organic Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or dried parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line an 18 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning (if possible let rest 5 – 10 minutes to allow flavors to infuse into oil).
  4. Place zucchini, squash, onions, and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Pour olive oil mixture over top and gently toss with hands to evenly coat.
  5. Pour onto the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top of each.
  6. Roast in preheated oven 25 – 30 minutes until veggies are tender and Parmesan is golden brown.
  7. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve warm.

Recipe source: Cooking Classy


Zucchini Shrimp Scampi

July 30th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Using a vegetable spiralizer or a coarse cheese grater, slide the zucchini down the grater, shaving off long strips. Rotate the zucchini constantly, grating all sides, until you reach the seeds in the center.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, nonstick skillet.
  3. Add the shrimp in and season with the salt, black pepper, red pepper (do not omit), and garlic. Sauté the shrimp evenly until they begin to show a pink color, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice, and let the liquid come to a simmer.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles and stir until everything is combined and the shrimp are fully cooked.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley leaves and serve.

Enjoy!
Serves 6