Lemony Garlic Parsnip Fries

A lighter version of the classic favorite, perfect for fall.

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If you haven’t tried parsnip fries yet, I gotta tell you…YOU MUST. They are a lot like carrots — naturally sweet when roasted — but they have more of a warm-spiced flavor that is to die for.

I feel like I always forget about parsnips and then re-discover them when I’m trying to get out of a veggie rut, and I’m always so happy about it. Plus, that spiced flavor heading into fall…they are the perfect veggie to try out to switch up your game!

For all intents and purposes, you can prepare them and use them the same as you would carrots. Just don’t expect the same carrot taste!

Since it is the end of summer and the beginning of fall, I used these to make some garlic fries because WE MISS SPORTS here in this house. But, these would also go great with a burger or grilled salmon, or cut them into rounds and serve with roasted lamb or beef.

One thing to note – if you don’t want to cook these in the oven, I bet they’d be awesome cooked in an air fryer. I haven’t tried it, so can’t recommend any settings/times, so let me know if you do!

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 large parsnips
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1tsp. + 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. pepper
  • Juice of 1 small lemon (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel your parsnips, and cut into fries. Coat with avocado oil, and season with half of your salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for about 25 minuttes.

While the fries are baking, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl.

When the fries are done, pour the lemon garlic mixture over the fries. Toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top of the fries, and serve!


Dairy-Free Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup

A dairy-free version of this comfort food favorite.

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The end of summer is here, and that usually means garden tomatoes will soon be fleeting. It also means if you grow tomatoes in a garden yourself, you probably have a HUGE bounty right about now!

My mom has been growing heirloom tomatoes, and when she said she had a ton of extras, and would I like any, it was a very quick yes from me. I knew we wouldn’t eat them all by the time they went bad, so I decided to whip up a batch of tomato soup.

I wanted to make my soup dairy-free, as all of my family’s tummies just feel that much better without dairy. I used soy creamer, which makes this recipe dairy-free, but not Whole30 compliant. If you want to make this recipe Whole30, I would recommend you use a nut milk-based creamer, like Nutpods. The flavor may change slightly (soy tends to have a bit more of a vanilla taste to it), the creaminess will not.

I also used heirloom tomatoes in this recipe, and I prefer to use heirloom, as they are naturally a bit sweeter than other varieties. You can ABSOLUTELY use whatever variety of tomato you have (or want), just note that you may need to add a bit more balsamic vinegar if you want to sweeten it up a bit more.

Now, with a toddler around, you know we served this with a grilled cheese. But if you want to forego that staple, serve with some roasted or steamed broccoli, and/or some sliced sausages of your choosing.

One thing to note — In this recipe, I do not peel my tomatoes. I like my soup a little chunky, so don’t mind any peel remnants that add some texture to the soup. That being said, if you DO want to peel your tomatoes, this how-to from Mean Green Chef is a great recipe to follow for that.

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, cored
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly diced
  • 3/4 cup soy creamer
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Oregano to top

DIRECTIONS:

Heat your oven to 500, or the highest temperature it will go, and move your rack to the top rung. Place parchment paper (a Silpat works just as well!) on a sheet pan, and put your tomatoes on the pan. Roast for about 10-15 minutes. Some char is okay on the tomatoes, but you don’t want them to be black.

Once the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and place them in a stockpot on medium-high heat. Add in the onion, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.

After the tomatoes are simmered, add the balsamic vinegar and hot sauce, and stir. Then, blend the tomatoes until smooth, or your desired consistency. Once blended, add your soy creamer and stir. Taste test your soup – if it needs more sweetness, add more vinegar. If it needs more of a kick, add more hot sauce. If it needs a little “more”, add some more salt and pepper. Tailor to what you like best!

Lastly, SERVE!


Healthified Fried Green Tomatoes

Use this Whole30 version to clean up your favorite southern indulgences.

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I really have a thing for fried green tomatoes, and I can’t explain it. I just love them? My mom’s family is from Texas, so maybe it’s the Southern roots in my genes.

I love them on their own, on a slider, or my personal favorite—on a southern-style eggs benedict (cue the drool).

When I saw green tomatoes at the store, I knew I wanted to try my hand at my own version of fried green tomatoes, but I hesitated because I wasn’t sure I wanted to indulge in something so…fried and indulgent. I recently found out that I’m anemic and have been trying to make changes in my diet to cut out foods that inhibit iron uptake, so the traditional way of making these wasn’t going to cut it.

So when I had the idea to clean them up a bit and create this Whole30 compliant and paleo friendly version, I was like YES PLEASE. Also, I may never fry things in anything except cassava flour ever again because it seriously gives your food the perfect light-yet-seriously-satisfying coat.

A couple things to note — When you are buying tomatoes, the firmer the better! Ripe tomatoes that are squishy will be HARD to grasp with tongs when you are trying to flip and remove them from the pan.

Also, you’ll want to prep 3 or 4 tomatoes to put in the pan and cook at a time (aka you want to batch cook these if you can). This helps the pan and the oil not to get too hot but still allows the tomatoes to cook quickly.

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 2 adults)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4” thick
  • 3/4 cup cassava flour + 1/3 cup cassava flour
  • 2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2-4 tbsp. Avocado oil

DIRECTIONS:

Set up a station for your tomatoes. On one plate, put the 1/3 cup cassava flour. In a small glass bowl, combine your egg and almond milk, and whisk to mix. On a second plate, add the 3/4 cup of cassava flour with the remaining spices and mix together.

Next, heat up your avocado oil in a pan over high heat. Use as much as it takes to cover the bottom of the pan, about 2-4 tbsp.

You’ll take your green tomato slices and dip them in each station in the following order: coat both sides in plain cassava flour, dip in the egg wash, then coat in both sides of the cassava flour spice mix.

Once your tomato is coated, place in your heated pan and cook until golden, about 2-3 mins each side.

After cooking, let cool on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Enjoy as a side with your favorite southern meal, or by themselves with a tasty dip (I love a spicy mayo or chipotle sauce with these).


Hatch Chile Avocado Salsa

Use these chiles to dress up your dinner with a southwestern flare.

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When I saw hatch chiles at Trader Joe’s I was so excited – I love experimenting with new ingredients, and I always get inspired when the new seasonal produce makes it’s way into the store.

But what I didn’t think about was, what was I going to do with an entire bag of hatch chiles? I’m talking just over a pound. So. many. chiles.

I first used them to make chipotle bacon melts which were amazing (you can find that recipe here), but I still had a ton left over. After a few days, it was taco night and I was still mulling over what to do with them. I had planned on making a corn salsa for the tacos I was preparing, but turns out I had only dreamt that I had bought corn, so I did a quick pivot and decided to use the hatch chiles I had instead.

And they did not disappoint! The mild, yet pronounced flavor blended so well with the tomato and avocado, and the garlic and chili powder in the spice mix I used were the best compliment at really bringing that out. Plus with the added citrus kick of the lime juice, I knew it was going to be good.

So next time you have a bunch of hatch chiles and avocado on hand, whip up a batch of this salsa – you won’t regret it!

One thing to note — this recipe is dairy free, Whole 30 compliant, and paleo, meaning it’s good for you and the soul!

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE

COOKWARE NEEDED:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Glass mixing bowl
  • Spoon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5-6 large hatch chiles
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Using a chef’s knife, dice the chiles, tomatoes, and avocado and combine in a small glass bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir to mix thoroughly. Serve with your favorite chips, tacos, or even with salmon.


Mexican Inspired Short Rib Tacos

These paleo tacos are the ultimate “treat yourself” for any taco Tuesday!

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I’m just going to tell you right now, this recipe is a bit of a labor of love, but my goodness is it worth it. Plus, make this recipe on a Monday, and you are sure to have leftovers to keep enjoying for the rest of the week!

I always seem to have a bunch of short ribs in the freezer, and I’m ALWAYS stuck on what to do with them. I’m not a fan of braised style short ribs – for some reason stews and most slow-cooked meats just don’t appeal to me (too heavy, I think!). Plus, to do short ribs right, they just take too long for my liking. To get that juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat, you need to cook them for hours and hours. As a mama of two littles under 3, I can’t commit to being that prepared!

I wish I could remember where I saw the idea so I could give credit where credit is due, but I came across a photo of Mexican short-rib tacos (with no recipe!), and I knew right then that I would try to recreate. I also knew that I didn’t want to slow cook these all day, so I opted for the Instant Pot, which saved me hours. Instead of all day, the meat was done in less than an hour!

And I seriously devoured these, you guys. My husband went back for THIRDS, which is when you know it is good. The meat has just enough spice with a ton of flavor, and the crispy edges were perfect. And let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with the crunch of a Siete tortilla taco. Plus, topped with the salsa and served with a fresh drink of your choice, it is as refreshing as can be on a warm summer day.

One thing to note — Siete foods also makes a fabulous nacho and white cashew queso, so if you aren’t in the mood to make your own queso, go ahead and buy one of these.

Also – if you want to get more veggies into the meal, you can eat the shredded beef over a salad or even serve on top of roasted sweet potatos. Add the salsa and queso as normal, it’s just as tasty!

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4)

COOKWARE NEEDED:

  • Cast iron skillet (or a regular pan, but cast iron is preferred)
  • Instant pot
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Meat shredders or forks

INGREDIENTS:

For the short ribs…

  • 1 lb beef short ribs
  • 1 cup beef broth (can also use bone broth)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I like the Siete Foods or Trader Joes brands)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 red onion

For the tacos…

  • Siete foods tortillas (I prefer Cassava flour, but any kind will work)
  • Salsa (click to see the recipe for my Hatch Chile Avocado Salsa)
  • Cashew lime queso (recipe coming soon!)
  • Avocado oil

DIRECTIONS:

For the short ribs…

Pre-heat a cast iron skillet (or a regular pan if you don’t have a cast iron) on high – you want it to get HOT. Put your short ribs in the skillet, and quickly sear on all sides (about 1-2 mins per side) – they should be just starting to get that brown crust.

While searing your short ribs, turn your instant pot on to the sauté function. Add in 1 tbsp. avocado oil, and then add in 4 crushed garlic cloves and 1/4 red onion (you don’t need to dice, the whole quarter is fine). Let the garlic and the onion sauté for about 3 mins, then turn off the sauté function on the instant pot.

After the short ribs are finished searing, move them into the instant pot. Add about 1 cup beef broth. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning mix on top of the meat. Use a wooden spoon to make sure the seasoning is evenly coating the top of the ribs. Add the lid back onto the instant pot. Turn the instant pot on to high pressure and set to cook for 40 mins. When finished, let the instant pot naturally release pressure for 10 mins, then quick release the rest.

Take out the short ribs, and let them cool and rest for about 5 mins. Remove the meat from the bones, remove all of the fat and tendinous tissue, and shred the meat using shredders or forks. Put in a bowl or container, and set aside.

For the tacos…

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Reheat your cast iron skillet on high. Add in your shredded short ribs, and cook quickly until the ends are just cripsy. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat about1 tbsp. of avocado oil. Lightly fry your tortilla on both sides, about 30s. Move your tortilla to the baking sheet, add in about 1/8-1/4 cup of the shredded beef to fill (you gotta eyeball this one for how much you want, and fold the tortilla in half. Continue to fry and fill until you are happy with the number of tacos (or out of tortillas!).

Transfer the baking sheet of tacos into the oven, and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the edge of the tacos are nice and crispy.

When the tacos are done, remove from the oven and serve with your salsa and crema of choice on top.


Steak and Kimchi Fried Rice

My favorite way to make a meal out of leftover veggies.

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One of my favorite dinner ideas from @thedefineddish’s cookbook is her Kimchi Fried Rice. It is perfect for cleaning out the fridge, and a light, yet filling meal. Just what we all need on a Monday after a food-heavy weekend, amirite? The best part is you can use whatever you have, and even though it is different every time, it is always on point.

It took me a while to get into kimchi. The thought of fermented anything was a little bit terrifying, and I cannot say I was an open book to trying it. It didn’t look great, it didn’t smell great…I don’t need to make this any more glamorous for you, do I?

My husband and I love Korean BBQ, a cuisine in which kimchi is a staple, so it would always be served as a side for the tabletop BBQ (which is what we do 100% of the time we go to Korean BBQ). I tried it once, just to say I did, and let me tell you – I still don’t love kimchi on its own.

But here is the marvelous thing about kimchi – GUT HEALTH. Fermented foods are amazing for gut health, and have some really amazing health benefits, so I knew I needed to give it a second chance. I love this article for explaining exactly what kimchi is, and the benefits associated with eating it.

So, when I saw the kimchi recipe in The Defined Dish Cookbook, I knew I needed to give it a go. 

And thank goodness I did because I loved it. When the kimchi is mixed in with your rice and veggies, it isn’t as bold as it can be when eaten plain. Rice compliments it nicely and eases the very forward taste that can be off-putting to some. And like I mentioned earlier, it is perfect for using whatever you have in your fridge – in the photo below, I used shredded carrots and chopped sweet peppers, but when I have it on hand, I also use spinach, green peas, corn, etc. This dish is truly your canvas!

A couple things to note — While this outline isn’t Whole30 compliant, it can very much be modified to be paleo and Whole 30. Just switch the brown rice for cauliflower rice, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and omit the sriracha (use chili flakes instead for a kick), and you’re in business!

Also, this is an amazing recipe to make with leftover steak. Just dice the steak you have up into pieces, and skip the cooking steps. Throw the pieces into the mixture to reheat when the recipe calls for it! For this reason, I don’t specify a particular cut of steak – I regularly rotate through using venison steak, sirloin, etc. Heck, you could even use leftover porkchops or chicken if you wanted to!

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4 adults)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb steak, cut into 1/2-1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup kimchi
  • 1-2 cups brown rice (depending on how many you are serving), cooked
  • 6 mini sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sesame seeds & chives for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut your steak into 1/2 to 1/4 inch cubes and cook over high heat until just browned
  • Remove from pan and set aside
  • Add some sesame oil to the pan, add your veggies, and cook for 3-5 mins
  • Add in your rice, soy sauce, and steak cubes, and mix in thoroughly
  • Make a well and add in your eggs
  • Let cook for 3-5 mins or until they start to look like an omelet
  • Break apart and mix in with the rest of the ingredients
  • Add in kimchi and mix
  • Season with salt and pepper