One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables #SundaySupper

One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables

I’ve changed a lot over the past few years.  One of those changes has to do with my insatiable desire to do things, particularly in nice weather.  Until, I move to California (dear universe, can we make that happen soon???), I hibernate in winter.

But give me a nice day, even a reasonably nice day, and I want to be out and about, doing things, experiencing things.

My favorite thing may be concerts.

One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables

I’d enjoyed concerts as a kid.  I remember standing in line at Hudson’s (yep, I’m throwing it back with that one!) or sending Dad to stand in line when the tickets went on sale.  The lady in the Ticketmaster booth would pull out her big book of seating charts and point to the usually terrible place where our seats would be located.

But then I got scared.  I’m still scared of a lot of things.  I didn’t want to go to concerts.  Crowds!  Germs!  Late nights!

After skipping lots of shows I wanted to see, when Justin Timberlake and Jay Z announced they were coming to town, I knew I needed to be brave and go.

One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables

I’m not going to tell you I didn’t have a meltdown the day before and day of, because I don’t like lying.  But I did have a great time and began, slowly, to go to more shows.

Flashforward to now, and I saw one show already (Bon Jovi – I’m posting about it later this week) and have tickets for four more with hopes to add OneRepublic and an open mind to any new tours that might be announced.

I realized something the other day.  Concerts are my Prozac.  Music is a powerful thing in and of itself.  But there’s something about being there in person, an anonymous face in a crowd of twenty thousand or more people.  The music so loud your body vibrates.

One Pan Oven Roasted Halibut and Vegetables

No one looks at you funny for dancing and jumping up and down and singing louder than you thought was possible.  In fact, sometimes they look at you funny if you don’t do those things.

It’s cathartic, a healing experience that makes my problems fall away.  You can’t worry when you’re screaming and taking pictures and waving your hands in the air.  You can’t.  you just can’t.

There’s no experience like it.  Not watching a movie or seeing a play or shopping.  All those things have fissures, quiet moments when bad, negative thoughts creep in and bring you down and out of the moment.

If you don’t believe me or say concerts aren’t your jam, that’s cool.  You’re not alone, I asked twelve, yes twelve people to see Bon Jovi and ended up going with Mom.  Which really, was a blessing in disguise, because she’s my person.  And we should experience transcendental experiences with our person.  But I’ll be over here working out my demons and searching for more concerts to attend.

One Pan Oven Roasted Halibut and Vegetables

Also making One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables because concerts require serious sustenance.  This meal is healthy, gluten free, and Whole30.  It celebrates spring with some of the first of the season Alaskan halibut and ramps.  Once it’s in the oven, you are free to catch up on chores or Netflix and then dinner is served.

One Pan Mustard Crusted Halibut and Vegetables #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds wild Alaskan halibut
¼ cup yellow mustard (I love Raye’s)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt, optional
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1 pound ramps, cleaned
Lemon, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Arrange onion and mushrooms around the edges of a large, rimmed, nonstick baking tray. Season with pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt. Drizzle oil over the vegetables and the center of the tray. Make sure the entire tray is coated in oil.
  3. Place the halibut in the center of the tray and spread evenly with mustard. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the ramps to the tray and bake an additional approximately 15 minutes until halibut is cooked through and flaky. Cooking time will depend on how thick your fish is.
  5. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper recipes!  Thanks to Claire McEwen of Sprinkles and Sprouts for hosting!

25+ Best Sunday Supper Seafood Recipes

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

I’m not much of a lunch person.  Bring on breakfast and dinner, but as for snack and lunch, I’d rather pass.

However, I typically need a little something midday to keep me going and power me through workouts, writing, baking, and blogging.  It’s just, I’m not sitting down to a giant salad with chicken and quinoa without feeling like I ate a house and wanting to skip dinner.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Before you say how unhealthy this is, fasting is actually very good for your body.  There’s all this science behind it on how it helps give your system a break and reset you.  Sounds good to me.

I typically only fast all the way from breakfast to dinner a couple days a week, sometimes with a coffee in the middle because coffee is my new thing.

On the days I don’t, I reach for a healthy, satisfying “lunch.”  Usually fruit, vegetables, or a Larabar.  Just enough to keep me going until dinner, my favorite meal.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

One of my favorite lunches is these Frozen Paleo Banana Bites.  They are easy to make, full of great nutrition, and super satisfying.  Kind of like eating dessert without … you know … eating dessert.

With bananas full of potassium and resistant starch, coconut oil with healthy fats, and powerhouse toppings, these vegan, gluten free, Whole30 bites are sure to become your go to snack, lunch, or dessert.

The snap of the coating is so satisfying and reminiscent of a candy bar.  The toppings add crunch and even Mom admitted the creamy banana was pretty awesome.  With these for lunch, I am more than ready to tackle everything life throws my way.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

2 bananas, cut into 1 inch slices and frozen
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons carob or cocoa powder
Toppings like chia seeds, hemp seeds, and nuts

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until liquified. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder. Dip a banana slice and dip it immediately into the toppings of your choice. Place on a plate to set. Repeat until all the bananas are dipped.
  2. Serve immediately or store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Tropical Fruit Salsa #SundaySupper

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Mom always says everything looks worse when you’re tired.  While I have learned that Mom is pretty much always right, I had an epiphany about this the other night, when I was very, very tired.  By the way, I don’t mean that in a snarky way … Mom really is almost always right.  Seriously, it’s kind of freaky.

Back to the epiphany.  I began thinking about her statement and I have my own spin on it.  Maybe we just see the truth, a harsh reality when we’re tired.  We see things with eyes that don’t have the energy to rose color our surroundings.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

There’s nothing wrong with trying to put a positive spin on things, see the good in the bad, find the hope in the dark, but maybe sometimes we need a wakeup call, and that is what being tired, really, really tired brings.

It shows us our faults and those of our surroundings.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  We can all use to take a harsh look in the mirror sometimes.  That glimpse of reality, even if it is short lived, can stick with us, and teach us how to make things better.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

We can’t change what is wrong if we never see it in the first place.  Or worse, if we don’t see it until it is too late.

So the other day and night I was wiped out after the Bon Jovi concert (more on that next week – it was worth every lost moment of sleep), I learned a little more about me than I had known before and found some of the drive to fix things the next day.

And also to make this Tropical Fruit Salsa.  Full of fresh, vibrant colors and flavors, don’t you just want to dive right in to this healthy, vegan, gluten free, Whole30 dip, snack, salad, side?  I love mixing fruit and vegetables, sweet and spicy, and this salsa has some of my favorites.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Tomatoes.  Pineapple.  Onion.  Cucumber.  Jalapeno.  Mango.  Serve this with fish, beef, pork, chips, or just a fork.  And then solve the problems of your world.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Tropical Fruit Salsa #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Varies

Ingredients

2 1 inch thick slices of pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 mango, cut off the seed, peeled, and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
1 red onion, diced
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together pineapple, mango, tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and cucumber. Add the lemon juice, pepper, and salt, if using. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Rini from Healing Tomato for hosting!

Sunday Supper Recipes Using Fresh Tomatoes

Chicken Recipes

Main Courses

Pizza, Pies, and Pastas

Side Dishes

Snacks

Soups and Salads

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

My Whole30 is over, but not really.  I never thought I’d say this, but I think it changed my life.

I was hesitant about this whole Whole30 fad.  All those restrictions.  Life is too short.  But in a push to take back control of my life and my body, I gave it a go and fell in love.

Yes, it’s restrictive, but it also opened me up to new meals, ideas, and foods I used to love but thought weren’t healthy.  It showed me how important protein is and how fun it is to cook new and exciting meals.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

I didn’t get bored, well, except now, as I take reintroduction very slowly and am nearing a Whole60.  With Thrive Market and Barefoot Provisions having tons of Whole30 approved products, my pantry is stocked, and that is the only way to survive on this program.  By the way that isn’t a paid advertisement, but I totally wish it was.

I feel better.  So does Mom.  I actually think Mom got even more out of this than me.  And she was way more hesitant than me.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

When it came to reintroduction, legumes and dairy couldn’t have gone better, but things were more problematic with grains of all kinds.

Mom had been struggling with debilitating back pain that just went away during the Whole30 without either of us really noticing.  A few rice cakes for breakfast and it was back with a vengeance.  Gluten bothered her stomach and all the grains left both of us feeling bloated and not our Whole30 best.

Because flukes happen, we’re going to give it another go after having been back on the full plan for almost a week.

People don’t realize how powerful food is.  It heals and hurts so much more than we know and by doing a Whole30 it shines a light on that.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating how I was before and that’s okay with me.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Partly because real food is tasty.  Just look at these Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls.  Bob’s Red Mill sent me some Hemp Hearts awhile back and though I was suspicious at first, I have really grown to love them.

Here the hemp hearts partner with chia seeds, warm spices, sweet dates, rich carob powder, and the new love of my life: coconut oil for a decadent treat that is packed with nutrition.  These Bliss Balls are healthy, gluten free, and vegan.  Forget brownies (well, maybe not forever) and pass the Bliss Balls.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 balls

Ingredients

¾ cup almond meal
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup dates, softened in hot water
2 tablespoons carob powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons hemp hearts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3-5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Additional cinnamon, carob, hemp hearts, and chia seeds for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the almond, meal, coconut flour, carob powder, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, hemp hearts, and chia seeds. Stir to combine. Add the dates, draining off most of the water, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Combine the mixture, using your hands to break down the dates and form everything into a Play-Doh like concoction. If the mixture is too dry, add more coconut oil until it comes together.
  3. Form the mixture into about ping pong sized balls. Roll each ball in your desired toppings. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. These are amazing cold!
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Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

The other day I was surprised when one of my friends said she had recently been anxious.

It’s not that I have the exclusive rights to anxiety.  Trust me, I don’t want them.  It’s that she always seemed rather unflappable.

It made me realize that we all have anxiety about some things.  They might all be different but one of the universal truths of human existence is that we are all scared of something.  It might make our hearts race or keep us up at night or ruin our appetites.  Like the things that cause our anxiety our reaction to it is equally as unique to us.

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

It provided me comfort, not because I want everyone to be anxious, even if misery does love company sometimes, but because it was reassuring that I am not alone.  In this way I am not special.  She could understand part, even a small part, of how I feel a lot of the time.

While it may seem like we are all so different, there are a few things here and there that connect us.  Fear.  Joy.  Laughter.  We all have our ups and downs, even if some of us hide the downs better than others.  No one is immune.

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

When I need comfort, I turn to this Brisket Sweet Potato Chili.  It is healthy, gluten free, and Whole30 approved, and supremely comforting with a warm spice that hits you just enough in the back of the throat.

The Whole30 made me fall madly in love with sweet potatoes and they add a creamy richness here with some vegetable help from kale, fennel, onion, peppers, and carrots.

Take comfort in the fact that we are not alone and this chili is here to save the day.

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

Brisket Sweet Potato Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
3 pounds brisket, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes
2 2 inch pieces brisket fat
2 large onions, diced, divided
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 small or 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
32 ounces Whole30 approved stock (I used Imagine Organic low sodium)
16 ounces water
1 bulb fennel, sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, diced
1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bunch kale, stems removed

Instructions

  1. Preheat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil. Add the brisket, fat, jalapeno and poblano peppers, and 1 onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and pepper flakes. Flip meat and cook for about 3 minutes more until browned.
  2. Add stock and water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed.
  3. Add the remaining onion, fennel, potatoes, and carrots and cook for an additional hour with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the lid and taste for seasoning. Add more spice, pepper, or some salt as suits your taste. Add the kale. Cook for an additional 20 minutes with the lid off to allow the liquid to reduce. Serve immediately. Chili may also be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.

Notes

Cooking time is not all active - just occasional stirring.

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Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad #SundaySupper

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

There would be hurricane force winds, they said.

And sporadic power outages, they said.

Despite one local station’s promo that declares how accurate their meteorologist was, no one saw this coming.

The high wind warning began at 10 am Wednesday and our power couldn’t even hold out until then.  At about 9:40, the lights fought and flickered and then turned off.

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

I finished breakfast, trying to play it cool with restoration estimates at noon, but as time wore on and the estimates switched to 4 pm, I began to panic.  I kind of became unhinged.

Losing power is a big deal for me.  There’s tons of food in my refrigerator and freezer that I don’t want to have to throw away.  It was getting cold in the house despite the fact that it was 55 and sunny.  Prospects for warmth didn’t look good either with terribly cold temperatures the rest of the week.  And let’s face it, I am a TV addict.

Mom and I turned on our trusty battery powered radio to learn that a record breaking wind gust of 68 miles per hour was recorded at our local airport and by the end of the day this had become the largest power outage the area has ever seen with just about one million people out.

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

In the middle of the day we did get a call from an automated energy company lady reassuring us there was “good news.”  A crew had been dispatched to our outage and it would be restored by 11:30 pm THE NEXT DAY.

Apparently I sounded like a dying animal, worried I’d have to go to a hotel, which is about the last thing I wanted to do, but it did come right before freezing to death.  We would have to act fast, by nightfall, there were no hotel rooms in the area.  None.

Four pm came and went as we headed for round three of Monopoly Empire, a surprisingly fast and relatively boring version of the classic.  I picked up a coloring book I’ve been meaning to use for a year and Mom called Dad, in the light and heat of work.

Then it happened.  I saw the light.  Well, the lights.  They came on.  And I cried happy tears for the second time in my life.

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

Being one of the first outages benefitted us greatly with the energy company reporting thousands of downed wires, we would have otherwise been out for a long time.  They hope to have 90% of customers restored by Sunday night.  At least I found the silver lining in this wild week.

Comcast was out for an additional 18 or so hours, and that didn’t make me too happy.  But we are all back up and running and I hope everyone else in the area is soon as well xoxo

After the drama, I needed a quick and easy, healthy, restoring, satisfying meal.  So I made Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad.  Kale is my comfort food – it always makes me feel good!

This salad is full of nutritious green ingredients for a heathy St. Patrick’s Day.  The kale drinks up the light vinaigrette, the onion provides crunch, the pear adds sweetness and a burst of juice, and the cucumber is supremely refreshing.  The Brussels sprouts are added to the salad while warm so they soak up some of the dressing and wilt the kale ever so slightly.

Gluten free, healthy, vegan, and Whole30 approved, I could happily eat this by itself, but I paired it with some Tonnino Tuna which I am currently obsessed with.  Here’s to salads, St. Patrick’s Day, and having the lights on.

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 19 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
2 cups kale leaves, roughly torn
½ large white onion, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together lemon juice, oil, pepper, and salt. Add kale, onion, cucumber, and pear. Stir until well coated.
  2. In a medium microwave safe bowl, place the Brussels sprouts. Add about ¼ cup water to the bowl and microwave on high about 3 ½ minutes, until tender.
  3. Half the large Brussels sprouts, leave the small ones whole and add to the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting.

Best Breakfasts

Must Make Main Dishes

Scrumptious Salads

Stunning Sides

Dreamy Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup

I have these distinct memories that come to me now and then.  They are nothing remarkable, not life changing events, but there they are like they happened yesterday, my very own movie playing on the screen in my brain.

One of these memories that has been on my mind recently is of Christmas break my freshman or sophomore year of high school, I can’t be sure which.  My dad was working the afternoon shift, so it was just Mom and me at home each evening.

Wild Rice Soup

This particular week, relieved to not have to go to school (I hated school if you don’t know that about me), I remember being happy.  And even happier to be watching the premiere of a new show NBC had probably been promoting forever: Deal or No Deal.

That’s right, the memory that has been on my mind and bringing me an unreasonable amount of joy is primarily about a TV show.

If you’ve never seen Deal or No Deal you are probably even more confused.  Yes, it was a game show, but like most game shows it wasn’t just about the game.  Though it really was fun to play along, choosing one of the briefcases that could contain a million dollars.

Wild Rice Soup

It was about the people playing.  Their stories.  Their friends and families.  Cheering them on.  Wishing the best for them even though we didn’t know them and likely would never hear about them again.

And the memory is about more than wasting my break watching TV and being crazy excited about it.  It’s about spending that time with Mom, relaxing, having fun during a time in which that was incredibly difficult for me.  It was one of those moments it felt like the whole world stopped and we were all watching this new game show.

Sometimes I miss days like that.

Wild Rice Soup

And that’s when I make soup.  I love homemade soup so much, and it’s really not that difficult to make.  I had a bag of wild rice in my pantry just begging to be used and so I turned it into a healthy, gluten free, vegan if you use vegetable stock, vegetable filled soup because that’s what we do with things that need to be used up.

While the vegetables are interchangeable, mushrooms add a great meatiness, carrots a slight sweetness, and fennel and onions provide that flavor base.  Kale is always my go to green for soups since it holds up to cooking, and even freezing and reheating.  Oh, and the addition of fresh dill is such a pop of flavor and a sign that spring is on its way.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
1 large onion, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
12 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, broken into bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup wild rice
32 ounces low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
16 ounces water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
½ bunch fresh dill, stems removed

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the carrots, onion, fennel, and mushrooms. Add the coriander and pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to brown.
  2. Add the wild rice and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook according to package instructions on the rice. Mine took about 40 minutes to become tender and plump.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, add salt and kale. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes until the kale is wilted. Serve immediately with dill. Soup may also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until warmed through.
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Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops #SundaySupper

 

Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops

I mentioned briefly the other day that I am doing a Whole30.  I am a little more than a week in now and loving it.  You are probably wondering why I chose to embark on this adventure.  It is really to reset my mind, body, and spirit.  You can probably tell by some of my posts that I am a bit down, and while what I eat doesn’t seem to have a correlation to getting an agent, you never know.

I hadn’t been feeling my best physically or mentally, and while I do not expect this to cure me, a pledge to only eat real food for a month can’t be a bad thing.

I eat this way a lot of the time.  I’ve had to adjust breakfast since oatmeal, muffins, and such are out of the question.  Lunch and dinner haven’t changed much and dessert is gone except for a few raisins, which are surprisingly tasty when you want something sweet.

Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops

I’ll admit to a couple cheats.  I am a big believer in supplements, including Airborne.  I know, it’s probably junk that doesn’t work, but it makes me feel better just knowing I am taking it.  I’m not giving it up or my Omega-3 or biotin, which contain sugar and soy respectively.  I didn’t want to skip the Whole30 just because I wouldn’t give these things up, and I didn’t want to give them up to abide strictly and then worry.  Life is about compromise, people.

Also the program restricts certain foods even if they fit into the edible categories.  For example, potatoes are allowed, but potato chips are not.  Look, a potato is a potato, and I can eat just one.  Also, since I don’t eat chicken, eventually I just need a source of food.  I’m following the ingredient restrictions carefully, but an approved food is an approved food.  Period.

Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops

While I do think I have a little more energy than normal and have been feeling pretty good, I really love the ways the Whole30 has pushed me culinarily.  I am eating more of the foods I crave but typically shy away from for fear they are unhealthy or will weigh me down, when it reality it is other foods that are doing this.

Beef, pork, sweet potatoes, potatoes are filling my diet in satisfying ways that really keep cravings at bay, though I would happily take a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pie right now.  Protein, fruits, and vegetables are really rather delightful and I appreciate that now more than ever.

These Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops are one of my favorite dinners I’ve made.  One, yes, they are easy.  Everything goes on a giant sheet pan and into the oven.  Those are the dinners of my dreams.  Two, this is healthy, gluten free, and crazy flavorful.  Three, the pork is tender and succulent, even if you overcook it a little.

Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops

Feel free two swap out the vegetables for ones you love and have on hand, but the mushrooms really are a star here.  They create a savory umami bomb of a broth that keeps the pork moist and is great drizzled over the finished dish.

The Whole30 is one challenge I know I can conquer!

Easy One Pan Oven Roasted Pork Chops #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

3 1 inch thick bone in pork chops
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
18 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
½ pound Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the pork chops, onion, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and use your hands to ensure everything is coated.
  2. Bake for about 30 minutes, until pork chops are cooked through and vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.
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Don’t forget to check out this week’s Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Shelby from Grumpy’s Honeybunch for hosting!

Pork Chops

Pork Chops

And More Pork Chops

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie + Blogiversary

Can you believe I started this blog five years ago?  I know I can’t.

It’s easy to look at all the things that haven’t changed in those five years.  Hi gross Michigan winters.  I feel like I’ve have 2,000 likes on Facebook for most of those years.  I get job intermittently and my traffic is steady.  I’m still the frustrated writer spending all my time with Mom and Dad.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie + Blogiversary

But when I really look beyond, I see the changes.  The progress.  I create more of my own recipes and like to think my photographs are better even if they aren’t going to make the cover of Bon Appetit anytime soon.

I have become more adventurous and flexible, trying new restaurants, going to concerts, sporting events, and more.  I drop everything on particularly nice days and go out because it’s not like things are getting better chaining myself to the computer when the sun is shining and it’s a perfect 75 out.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

I have accepted myself more and become comfortable in my own skin.  No one is going to stand up for me, to fight for me, except me, so I had to take a crash course in Laura and I like to think I at least got a B+.

Because I never know when I will get that one yes (that’s all it takes), or what will cause it, and I’m more than ready for it, I wanted and needed a reset for myself.  So I am doing a Whole30.  I’m not quite a week in and it has been great, even fun and exciting.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

The thing that I have loved most about the Whole30 is that while it took away a lot of foods, it gave me freedom to eat others.  I typically shy away from potatoes and sweet potatoes thinking they are heavy, but when I take out all the junk, I have found them to be a tasty, satisfying food that feels a little decadent.

I really can’t begin to tell you how good this Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is.  It’s one of my favorite meals I have made in a long time, was a hit with everyone, and reheated amazingly well.  The base is ground beef and vegetables.  I used carrots, onion, and fennel, but feel free to swap them out for vegetables you love and have on hand.  Don’t buy beef that is too lean – the fat is where all the flavor and unctuousness comes from.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

The top is sweet potatoes – pure and simple.  They don’t need much except a little salt and pepper.  When roasted for a long time they become soft and a little syrupy.  Major yum!

Here’s to the next five years and beyond!

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie + Blogiversary

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

3 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef, aim for an 80/20 blend
1 large onion, diced
1 bulb of fennel, diced
6 medium carrots, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork or knife several times and place on aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 ½ hours.
  2. When the potatoes have about half an hour left, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and ground beef. Sauté the beef until it is fully cooked. Transfer the beef to a bowl, leaving the fat in the skillet and add the onion, fennel, and carrots. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beef back to the vegetables. Season with 1 teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. Scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and into a bowl. Season with the remaining salt and pepper and mash with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth. A few lumps are fine – this is a rustic dish.
  5. Spread the potatoes over the beef and vegetable mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes until very hot. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat covered in the oven for about 20 minutes or in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.
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Healthy Award Show Snacks

Healthy Award Show Snacks

The only thing that makes winter bearable are all the award shows that are on.  The Golden Globes, People’s Choice, and Screen Actors Guild shows are all past us, but we still have the Grammys and Oscars to look forward to!

The Grammys are actually this weekend. I never miss the show and have so many fond memories of the great performances.  It’s like watching the best concert of the year right from my home.  And with James Cordon hosting this year, I know it’s going to be better than ever.  I mean have you guys seen Carpool Karaoke?  OMG!  It’s the best.

Healthy Award Show Snacks

I have my favorites – Adele! Mike Posner! Lucas Graham! – that I will be cheering for all night long.  Luckily I have this handy ballot from SkinnyPop so I can keep track of all the awards I get right and many I will no doubt get wrong too.  Save the ballot and print it to play along while you watch the Grammys.

SkinnyPop Grammys Printable

I am not a huge snack person, but when I watch award shows and am in amped up party mode, seriously, award shows do something crazy to me, I enjoy a couple healthy snacks that I can feel good about eating and won’t leave me feeling stuffed and unable to sleep later.  I leave that to the songs stuck in my head.

Healthy Award Show Snacks

Snacks that are easy to prepare are paramount too.  I put together a vibrant spread full of colors and flavors that tons of nutrition.  I always have tons of fruit on hand, so it plays a prime role in my spread along with SkinnyPop Naturally Sweet popcorn which is always in my pantry, some crunchy walnuts and chewy, tart dried cherries.  Dried fruit is so underrated.

Of course you can mix up your snack platter with whatever fruit, nuts, and dried fruit you have on hand.  Whatever you choose, get excited for the Grammys with this fun ballot and your tasty, healthy snacks!

Healthy Award Show Snacks

Healthy Award Show Snacks

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