Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms – No breadcrumbs

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This comes from my childhood LOVE of Crab Stuffed Mushrooms from Red Lobster…an absolute Must Have when we would visit on special occasions.  Well, thoses days are long gone…but I can still enjoy these little indulgences! 

 

What you will need:

  • 15-20 small button mushrooms
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temp. is best)
  • 1/2 c Fresh parmesan cheese (I like it shredded, but grated is fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp  EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 4-5 thick slices of Bacon (cooked) chopped
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • Small frying pan 

 How it’s done:

Preheat oven to 400

  1. Wash mushrooms with wet paper towel, and remove stems
  2. In a small pan, lightly sauté the garlic in EVOO
  3. Once garlic has  cooled, mix all ingredients together
  4. Arrange mushroom caps onto a parchment lined cooking sheet.
  5. Roll mixture into small balls and place into the caps.  Keep in mind the mixture does expand slightly an can over flow the mushrooms
  6. Bake for 20 min (or until bubbly)
  7. Sprinkle with extra parmesan or bacon

Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

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Note:  We each ate our own SMALL head of Cauliflower.  I served this with Lamb Rib Chops…very simple dinner, but a VERY fancy presentation and very tasty! 

What you will need:

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed

WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE AND ASSEMBLY
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces feta
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
Coarse sea salt (for serving)

How it’s Done:

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Preheat oven to 475°. Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.
Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes.

WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE

While cauliflower is roasting, blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.
Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese.

FROM: http://www.bonappetit.com

Roasted Margarita Spaghetti Squash

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Such a pretty looking dinner. 

This may qualify as one of my new comfort food dishes… Fresh flavors and super filling…and SO easy!

What you will need:

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 c. Finley chopped fresh basil
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

How it’s Done:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. (If it’s too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes.)
Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.

Recipe inspiration: http://acurvygirlsjourney.com

Grain Free Brownie Cheesecake Bars

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These are dangerously rich little desserts…you have been warned!  Note: I re-worked this recipe from its original form quite a bit…I feel like I also must say that I found these to be very dense…still VERY good…but maybe the recipe could use further “tweaking”.  Maybe my baking friends out there could give it a go…

What you will need:

-For the Brownie-

  • 8×8 pan
  • parchment paper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 c of raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 c of coconut sugar
  • 9 tbsp of Coconut oil (melted)
  • 6 tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 pinches of salt

-For the Cheesecake-

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (room temp)
  • 1/3 c Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 c Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs (room Temp)

How it’s Done:

  1. Preheat Oven 350
  2. BROWNIE: Add all dry ingredients, in a medium bowl whisk eggs together, add slowly into dry mix until well combined.  Add coconut oil and vanilla…mix well.  Pour into 8×8 inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake 15-20 min.  I checked mine with a toothpick at 20 min and it was perfect.
  3. Cheesecake: Beat all the ingredients together until smooth.  It is very important that the cream cheese be at room temp as it WILL have little chunks.  Pour over a slightly cooled brownie layer. 
  4. Return to oven for 25-30 min…30 min worked for me (use toothpick again)
  5. Allow the bars to cool before serving.  I ended up having mine in the refrigerator overnight before they were served

OPTIONAL:  We topped ours with Dark Chocolate Sauce, and fresh Raspberries.   I think Coconut Ice Cream would be divine!! (next time)

Recipe Inspiration from: http://thecoconutmama.com

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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This is the dish that used to make me miss potatoes like CRAZY…until I found that this works so well!  It is a Fantastic cold weather dish, although I am pretty sure I made it 3 times this summer!  We love it!  Legumes and all!! (gotta cheat sometimes, right?)

What you will need:

  • 8 oz Grass fed Butter (I use Kerrygold)  
  • 2 lbs Grass fed Ground Beef or Bison
  • 2 c. Fresh Peas (yes, these are legumes…we make an exception on this dish)
  • 3  Heads of cauliflower
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • Yellow Cheddar cheese (grass fed)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • Salt

 

How it’s Done:

Preheat 350 degrees

  • Make Cauliflower Mash: rinse and cut cauliflower, steam until VERY tender.  If you are short on time you can mash these by hand.  I will add salt to taste and about 4-5 oz of butter to them as I mash.  IF you have time to let them cool a bit I will “mash” them in my Blendtec…just creates a smoother texture.  Both ways taste GREAT!
  • In a large frying pan add oil, chopped onion, & ground beef.  Only cook Ground beef about 75% of way…you should still see a bit of pink. Drain meat of grease, set aside.
  •  I usually just wipe down the same pan … add the remaining butter and peas.  I sauté them for about 5-7 minutes.  You basically just want to get them a little soft.  Drain off excess butter.
  • In a 3 qt Corningware dish I layer:  The ground beef & onion, the peas, then cauliflower mash. 
  • Bake for 30-35 min.  The edges with slightly brown and pull from the sides of the dish.  I shred the cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top generously and bake for an additional 5-10 min   … until I like the way it looks 🙂
  • Let in sit for at least 5 minutes, contents will be VERY hot!

Strawberry Cream Bars

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(NOTE: You need to have the coconut milk IN the refrigerator overnight)

What you will need:

For the crust

  • 5 dried dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the toppings (part one)

  • 2 teaspoon coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 c. fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the toppings (part 2)

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk (placed in refrigerator overnight), only use the cream on top, leave behind the coconut water/milk at the bottom
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

How it’s Done:

  1. Place dates in food processor and pulse to break down into pieces.
  2. Then add almond butter, coconut, honey, vanilla extract and salt and pulse turn on to blend until ingredients are well combined.
  3. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, add ingredients from the food processor and press down until even throughout. Place in freezer while finishing the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Scoop out the coconut cream that has settled at the top of your canned coconut milk and place in the bowl and back in the fridge.
  5. Place 2 teaspoons of coconut milk/water that is at the bottom of the can, into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Add strawberries, honey, and lemon juice in the pan and mix together. Let simmer for less than 5 minutes or until the berries become just slightly soft. You don’t want a soup. Let cool.
  7. Now mix together the coconut cream, honey, and vanilla extract in the bowl that you placed in the fridge.
  8. Once the berries have cooled, finishing the layers. Add the coconut milk mixture on top of the crust, spread out evenly, then pour the berries on top, once again evenly.
  9. Place in the freezer for 1+ hours to harden a bit. And serve.
  10. *To store these, store them in the fridge. The coconut milk will melt fast.

I only made a few changes … Recipe from http://paleomg.com