Entrées, Food

No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Paleo*

It’s eggplant season and these curvy purple fruits are coming in fast and furious. We got two this week in our Misfits Market box!

Lately I’ve been making them into casseroles with other summer veggies like yellow squash and zucchinis, but this week I tried something different. The end result was a fantastic no-noodle, gluten-free eggplant lasagna packed with seasonal veggies and bursting with flavor.

How to Make No-Noodle Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients

2 eggplants, thinly sliced (1/4 inch)
coarse salt
1 lb ground beef
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups frozen spinach
4 15 oz cans diced tomato
2 TBS dried basil
1 TBS oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4-6 cups aged cheddar, shredded (more to taste)

Preparation

Arrange the eggplant slices on drying racks placed over towels. Lightly salt them and allow the eggplant slices to stand for at least half an hour while you prepare the filling. This step draws out the water, so unless don’t skip it unless you like lasagna soup.

Brown the meat together with the onions and garlic. When the onions are translucent and the meat is browned, stir in the spices, spinach, and diced tomatoes. Allow the mixture to simmer and reduce.

Next, use a paper towel to remove the moisture and salt from the eggplant slices. You can also use two fingers and squeeze the slices while moving your hand downwards. I find this second method works better.

When the slices are dry, line the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish with a single layer. Next add a layer of meat sauce and a layer of cheese. Continue alternating layers of eggplant, meat sauce, and cheese until your casserole dish is full.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove and top with more shredded cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.


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Entrées, Food

Maple-Ginger Salmon

Autoimmune Paleo (AIP), Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Paleo

Here’s a new recipe that our family loves! It’s a sweet and savory salmon filet with a touch of spice.

Lately our family has been eating more fish. I used to take fish oil supplements to make sure that I was getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are important for bone and brain health so I didn’t want to be missing out, especially while pregnant and nursing. But supplements are expensive!

After mulling it over, I decided that eating fish is better than taking omega-3 supplements for a couple reasons. First, instead of consuming a highly processed capsule, you are eating a whole food which contains other important nutrients like selenium, B vitamins, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc. Second, it’s cheaper. Instead of buying something extra, you’re just buying food – something you already do.

Now I know that fish can be expensive, but there are a couple ways to save money. One way is to choose frozen or canned fish over fresh. Another is to choose smaller fish, like Atlantic Mackerel or sardines, instead of larger fish like salmon.

If you decide to incorporate more fish into your meals, be sure to choose low mercury fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and aim for 2-3 servings per week. Here’s a list of the top 9 fish that meet these criteria.

This recipe features salmon, which is a great low mercury, high omega-3 fish. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

How to Make Maple-Ginger Baked Salmon

Ingredients

4 4oz salmon fillets
6 TBS avocado oil
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS powdered ginger
1 TBS dried thyme

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together oil, vinegar, syrup, ginger and thyme in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.

Dry salmon fillets with a paper towel and place them in the bag to marinate for at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. Make sure that the fish is fully covered and refrigerated while it is marinating.

Place salmon with its skin facing down on a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until flesh is opaque and flakes with a fork.


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Entrées

Apple-Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Autoimmune Paleo*, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan

Last week’s order from Misfits Market included a handful of apples and a couple of acorn squashes, so I’ve been brainstorming creative ways to use them. I finally settled on stuffed acorn squashes because it allowed me to use up some of the apples. (I’m not a huge fan of eating apples by themselves!)

Sometimes I like to use a lot of spices when I cook, but this time I decided to let the individual ingredients bring their unique flavors to the table. The acorn squash, with its subtly sweet and buttery taste, paired well with the sweet and tangy apple. When combined with the bitter kale and walnuts, these sweeter ingredients yielded a well-balanced savory dish with a touch of sweetness. Ginger and cinnamon wedded the flavors together nicely and added a touch of autumn to the dish. Overall, I’m really pleased with how these stuffed squashes turned out and I think you will enjoy them as well.

These Apple-Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash are very filling and make a great addition to any lunch or dinner. This recipe serves 6, assuming each person has half a squash.

How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

3 acorn squashes, halved and seeded
3 TBS avocado oil
2 apples, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
4 -6 large kale leaves, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt, add more to taste
1/2 cup walnuts

Preparation

Place squash face up in a baking dish filled with 1/4 inch of water. Brush the flesh of the squash with avocado oil. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F.

While the squash is baking, saute the apples, onion, and kale until tender. Mix in the spices and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, turn off the heat, and set aside.

When the squash is done, scoop the filling into the squashes. If you have extra filling, you can either overload your squashes or eat it right out of the pan!

Return the stuffed acorn squashes to the oven for another 10 minutes to reheat. Serve hot!


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Entrées, Food

Quick Pickle Sushi

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Low-FODMAP, Nut-free, Vegan*

Last year I discovered that it’s quite simple to make your own sushi at home. Not only that, but it’s cheap, it’s fun, and it makes for a great stay-at-home date-night experience. One of the best parts about it (other than how inexpensive) is that you can customize the sushi to your heart’s content.

That’s how I ended up with these delicious mackerel-pickle rolls. You might be wondering if that was a typo. Pickles in sushi? Really?

Yes! And they’re amazing. In fact, I’d say they are the star of the show in this simple sushi roll. The homemade sauerkraut quick pickles pair brilliantly with the sour rice vinegar, while the brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness and the carrots a satisfying crunch. I found these little rolls so flavorful that soy sauce and wasabi wasn’t even necessary to make for an enjoyable meal.

If you’ve never made sushi before, it’s really not all that hard. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make a basic roll and this simple recipe will serve you fine and help you to make some delicious rolls.

The great thing about sushi is that it you can put whatever you want to in it. If you don’t like one of the veggies I used, swap it out for one that you do! If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, trade the mackerel for avocado slices. It’s easy and it’s fun to make your own custom sushi.

Enjoy!

How to Make Your Own Sushi At Home

Ingredients

5 or 6 sheets of nori
2 cups of uncooked rice
2 cans of mackerel
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
5 pickle spears, halved
1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger to taste

Preparation

First, cook your rice. I used parboiled wild rice because that’s what we had on hand, but if you want to be a bit more traditional use sushi rice. While the rice is cooking, prep your veggies.

Then, pour vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat on medium and stir until sugar dissolves. When the rice is cooked, stir in the vinegar mixture. Continue stirring until fully combined. Allow rice to cool until you are able to work with it.

Next, lay a sheet of nori on a flat, dry surface with the rough side facing you. Cover the sheet with a thin layer of rice, leaving one inch uncovered at one edge. This makes it easier to seal the roll.

Lay several pieces of carrot, pickle, and mackerel in a vertical line, about 1/4 of the way across the sheet. This is how your sheet should look when you’re done.

Start rolling your roll to the right until you’re finished. Repeat until you use up the rest of your ingredients.

That’s it! Slice and serve with your favorite sushi toppings!


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What did you think? Aren’t pickles and sushi a match made in heaven?

Food, Sides

Summer Citrus Salad

Autoimmune Paleo (AIP), Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Ketogenic, Paleo, Vegan

Looking for the perfect summer salad? This is it!

This recipe combines bitter kale, sweet balsamic, juicy grapefruit, and crunchy walnuts to create a salad that is nothing short of amazing! My only regret when made this was that I didn’t make more. (And that’s saying something, because I don’t even like raw kale!)

The one trick that takes this salad extra tasty is to peel the skin off of each grapefruit section. It’s a fiddly process, but it brings out the natural sweetness of the grapefruit and improves the texture of the salad.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did!

How to Make Summer Citrus Salad

Ingredients

8 cups chopped kale
2 grapefruits, sectioned and skins removed
1/2 cup walnuts
balsamic and olive oil to taste

Preparation

Mix and enjoy!


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Entrées, Food

Easy One-Pan Taco Skillet

Dairy-free*, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Ketogenic, Nut-free, Paleo*

Looking for an easy, flavorful Mexican-themed meal for a busy weeknight? Look no further! All you need to do to make this one-pan meal is chop, stir, and serve.

This recipe has two interesting ingredients: garlic scapes and limes. I’d never heard of garlic scapes until this summer when my dad dropped a bag of them off on our doorstep. I learned that certain varieties of garlic plants don’t produce flowers. Instead, they sprout flower stalks, which are known as garlic scapes. These scapes taste like garlic, and when they are removed, they cause the garlic bulb to develop a more concentrated flavor.

Depending on the time of year, you should be able to find them at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. But you could also substitute a couple of garlic cloves instead, and that would work out fine.

This taco skillet is mild, so if you’d turn up the heat, feel free to add some additional cayenne powder, chili powder, or red pepper flakes. We topped ours with aged grass-fed cheddar cheese, but if you’re Paleo or don’t eat dairy, feel free to leave it out.

This recipe makes 4 servings. Or 2 servings if you are super hungry and forget the tortilla chips and salad.

How to Make a Taco Skillet

Ingredients

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 summer squash, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic scapes or cloves, chopped
3 TBS lime juice
2 TBS paprika
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
cilantro, to taste

Preparation

Brown beef over medium heat. Add in remaining ingredients, except for cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Cook over medium heat and stir regularly to ensure everything cooks evenly. When veggies are tender, top with cheese, tomatoes and cilantro.

Serve with a salad or tortilla chips


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Entrées

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad

Autoimmune Paleo, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Low-FODMAP, Nut-free, Paleo

One thing I love about summer is being able to pick fresh herbs right out of the garden! Not only is growing your own herbs so much cheaper than buying a bunch in the store, but also I think they taste better. It’s been getting hot so our cilantro is starting to go to seed, but I did manage to gather enough to make this chicken salad, which I hope you will enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, blame your genes.

I was inspired to make a cilantro-lime chicken salad mostly out of necessity: my fresh cilantro was quickly going to seed and I had bought too many limes at the store this week! It was almost cheaper to buy a whole bag at the time, so I did, but it’s been a challenge to figure out how to use them all before they go bad. Fortunately, I was able to use four of them in this recipe!

How to Make Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3-4 lbs of cooked chicken, shredded
6 carrots, peeled and diced
2/3 cup dried cranberries (1/3 cup for Low-FODMAP)
6 spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Preparation

Mix and enjoy!

Notes: To keep this recipe Low-FODMAP, only use the green parts of the the spring onions and keep in mind that one FODMAP friendly serving of cranberries is 1 TBS per person. This recipe makes about 6 servings, so you will need to decrease the dried cranberries to 1/3 of a cup.


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Did you make this recipe? What did you think?