Super close to Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

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I’ve been trying recipes that claim to be “copycat Panera Bread” Broccoli Cheddar soups for a couple years now and haven’t found any to my liking – until tonight.  I almost never post a recipe same day, but this soup was SO close to Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup that I couldn’t wait to share.

For all the primal peeps out there – substitute arrowroot powder or tapioca starch.  I used flour because I didn’t have arrowroot on hand this time around.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour (or arrowroot powder)
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • lots of fresh broccoli (I used about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 8-16 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (depending on how much cheese you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and chicken stock. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add salt and pepper and sharp cheddar cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. For a smoother soup puree it with a handheld blender, but I kept it chunky.  SO yummy!
  5. Enjoy!

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Chicken Fried Rice

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You guys – it’s been awhile.  But I’m still here – cooking new recipes up & not finding the energy to post them for you.  I’m going to try to do better – we’ve hit the 6 month mark with my newest babe and she’s finally (finally) sleeping longer stretches.

Anyway, this recipe is a winner!  It’s super yummy & I promise it won’y even seem like you’re eating cauliflower.  Plus, bonus, it’s Paleo as well as Primal (no dairy!).

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Chicken Fried Rice

Marinade:
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp ginger (I used the tube variety)
1/8 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsp red chili paste

Main ingredients:
1 C minced carrots
1 1/2 C minced mushrooms
1/2 a head of cauliflower, riced (approximately 5 cups)
1 C minced onion
2 eggs, beaten
5 chicken thighs, bones and skin removed and cut into tiny pieces
4 Tbsp sesame seed oil
1/4 C soy sauce

Blend the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix marinade in a larger container with the chicken and set into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours (I did overnight and it tasted great!).  While the chicken marinates, mince your carrot, and mushroom – which I did in a food processor.

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Heat sesame seed oil in a large wok & scramble the eggs until firm; remove and set aside.  Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok and then add the onion, carrot and mushroom. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.  Create pocket in the center of the wok; add a quarter-sized drop of oil and then add the chicken.  Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the cauliflower rice and cook until the rice is tender.  Drain any excess liquid off (I find there is some after the chicken & rice).  Then, drizzle in the 1/4 cup soy sauce and continue sautéing for another minute.  Add the eggs back in and serve!  Enjoy!

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Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

I’m back from my time off of having a baby back in March – thanks for your patience with me 🙂

I had a healthy baby girl, Olivia Claire, and she’s a cutie, if I do say so myself!

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Anyway…now that life is back to a new normal, I’ve started incorporate new recipes in our meals – heck, I started making meals, period.

I wanted to share with you this new favorite – Pizza Spaghetti Casserole.  I normally do not care much for spaghetti squash, but in this recipe, I really liked it.

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

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  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound italian or regular sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • Add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, cheese, etc…
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.  Cook for another 30 minutes or so.
  3. Once squash is done cooking, remove threads and place in a large bowl.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add italian sausage and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.  Drain the grease & add to bowl with squash.
  5. Add pizza sauce, dried basil and salt and pepper, toppings to the bowl and mix well.  I used cheese in mine pictured
  6. Lastly, add whisked eggs to the bowl and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
  7. Pour into a greased 8×8 dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!

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Cashew Chicken

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I love Chinese food – this is a really yummy recipe and I sat on it for awhile before trying it because there were a lot of steps.  I like easy recipes, and wasn’t sure if this one would end up being easy.  Once you get through the first time, it’s simple. 🙂

We almost always use cauliflower rice for our “rice” but this time around we just used regular rice.  Sometimes it’s a nice change.

Also, you can make your own Hoisin sauce if you like, but I just bought some.  Easy.

Cashew Chicken

3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 in cubes

1-2 Tbs of arrowroot powder (or more, depending on what your chicken looks like)

sea salt & black pepper

6 cloves of garlic, minced

6-8 green onions, white and green parts separated, chopped

2 Tbs of rice vinegar

1/8 – 1/4 cup of Hoisin Sauce

3/4 cups of cashews (I used roasted/salted)

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Instructions:

Toss chicken cubes in arrowroot powder & salt/pepper.  I used a ziploc bag for this.

Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium/high heat.  Cook chicken, garlic, and white parts of the green onion.  Stir OFTEN, until chicken is cooked through.

Add rice vinegar to wok and cook until evaporated.  This took about 1-2 minutes for me.

Add hoisin sauce (as much as you’d like – personally I used 1/4 cup and thought it was a bit too much) and cook until warm.  Add cashews and green parts of the green onion and stir.  Take off heat.

Serve over rice, cauliflower rice, in a lettuce wrap, etc…

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Enjoy!!

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Frittata

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I oftentimes do breakfast for dinner partly because I love breakfast for dinner and partly because I am not hungry enough at breakfast time to eat large amounts of food.  Frittatas are super easy, super yummy, and very adaptable to your preferences.  You can add whatever veggies, meat, cheese combos your want (or if you’re paleo, skip the cheese altogether!).

I make mine in a cast iron skillet that I’m still curing, so my frittatas stick a little, but if you skillet is cured, you shouldn’t have that problem.

Like I said, you can change up a frittata recipe easily – I make mine different each time.  The recipe below matches the pictures in this post.

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Frittata

Base ingredients:

1 T of olive oil or coconut oil

8 large eggs

1/2 cup of whole milk (coconut/almond milk if you’re paleo)

1/2 – 1 tsp of sea salt (if you are like me and like things salty, use 1 tsp)

1/2 tsp of pepper

Optional, Changeable ingredients:

1 chopped green pepper

1/2 lb of breakfast pork sausage

some chopped tomatoes (I had leftover garden tomatoes for this frittata)

1 cup of shredded gouda cheese

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up 1 T of olive oil in your skillet.  Add your veggies and sauté for a couple minutes.  If using meat, add your meat next and cook until browned, breaking up in small pieces.

While your meat/veggies are cooking, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  When veggies/meat are done, pour egg mixture into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until the bottom is starting to set.  Take skillet off the heat and sprinkle your cheese (if using) on top.

Transfer your skillet to the oven and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until the frittata puffs up, is brown on top, and doesn’t jiggle.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a little before serving.
Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

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I was meal planning for the next couple of weeks and realized that I haven’t posted our primal spaghetti recipe yet, which is just a shame.  I love spaghetti and there was a time when we were first married we had spaghetti several times a week for months because we remodeled our kitchen, and with a 1 burner hot plate, your options are limited.

This recipe, of course, is grain free and really great for you – you get your veggies in and can still enjoy a yummy, meaty sauce.  I always put a lot of parmesan cheese on top, too.  🙂   Skip the cheese if you’re going Paleo.

Spaghetti Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

Sauce:

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1 lb of ground beef

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

2 T of olive oil

2 T of butter

a couple dashes of red pepper flakes

salt & pepper

1 t of dried basil (or 3 T of fresh basil)

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant.  I don’t use a lot of red pepper flakes because I’m a wimp when it comes to spice.

Then add ground beef, break up unto pieces, season with salt/pepper, and cook until the meat is no longer pink.  Drain off most of the excess grease.

Pour in canned crushed tomatoes, reduce heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and let sauce simmer for a good 30 minutes.  If I am ahead of schedule, I like to simmer the sauce for an hour.

After you simmer the sauce, take off the heat and add butter and basil.  Stir to combine. 

Zucchini Noodles:

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Zucchini noodles are easy to make – if you have the right tool.  I use this gadget to slice the zucchini into noodles:  Mandoline Slicer  Then we just grab the noodles we want, plop them on our plates, and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes, until hot and tender.

Enjoy!!

Primal Crockpot Beef & Broccoli w/ Cauliflower Rice

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I’ve tried a couple Beef & Broccoli recipes before finding this beauty.  The previous attempts all yielded very tough beef, something I can’t stand.  This recipe, though, is really yummy – great sauce for the “rice” and tender, chewable beef.

Crockpot Beef & Broccoli

1 lb of beef, cut into strips.  I buy stir fry beef.

1 cup of beef consomme  (I have used beef broth successfully as well)

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/3 cup of coconut sugar (I buy this)

1 T of sesame seed oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

about 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder

2 T of beef broth after the meat has cooked

3 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets, & steamed

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Place beef, sliced, in crockpot.  In a small bowl, mix together consommé, soy sauce, coconut sugar, sesame oil, & garlic.  Pour mixture over beef.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours (depending on how hot your crockpot runs).

Once beef is cooked, cut up & steam your broccoli florets.  I cooked mine for about 8-9 minutes.

While your broccoli is steaming, remove 2 T of beef liquid.  Stir in 1 tsp of arrowroot powder until well mixed.  Add that back into the crockpot and stir until thickened.  Add more arrowroot powder if necessary.

Add in broccoli and stir.  Cook about 10 minutes, to incorporate flavors.

Serve over cauliflower rice.  Enjoy!

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Primal “Hamburger Helper”

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This meal reminds me of the Hamburger Helper my mom used to have me make when I babysat my brothers.  Back them, HH was pretty simple:  meat, cheese sauce, & noodles.

This primal version of HH is really simple, too.  Meat, cheese, spices, & cauliflower.  My 2 year old likes this meal and I like that she’s eating her veggies without realizing it. 😉

Primal Hamburger Helper

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

2 cups of cheddar cheese

1 head of cauliflower, broken up in small pieces

1 tsp onion powder

salt & pepper to taste

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Brown the beef in a large sauce pan.  While the beef is browning, break up your cauliflower in small pieces and steam it until tender (about 10-11 minutes).

Drain the fat off the meat.  Add in the cauliflower, cheese, and spices.  Mix it up and serve.

See how simple?

Enjoy!

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Taco Soup

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I love all things Mexican…well, American-ized Mexican 🙂  And this taco soup is yummy – it reminds me a queso dip, but in soup form, which is a good thing in my book.  I found it to be pretty darn spicy (and I used MILD Rotel tomatoes) but I am a wimp with spice.

And also, I know it’s August and I’m posting a soup recipe, but people, it’s been in the 60s overnight.  Unseasonably cold weather + football season upon us = soup for dinner.

Taco Soup

1 lb of ground beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of chili powder

8 ounces of cream cheese

2 10 ounce cans of Rotel tomatoes

1 can of beef broth

3/4 – 1 cup of heavy cream

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Brown your ground beef and drain off the excess fat.  Add in the minced garlic and onion and cook until the onion is clear.  Add in your spices (cumin & chili powder) and let cook at minute.  In the meantime, cube your softened cream chess.  Add the cream cheese to the meat mixture and combine until the cream cheese has melted.

Once the cream cheese completely coats the meat mixture, add your 2 cans of Rotel, 1 can of beef broth, and 3/4-1 cup of heavy cream (depending on how creamy you like it).  Stir well, bring to a slow boil, and you’re done!

Enjoy!

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Crockpot Picadillo over Cauliflower Rice

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What is Picadillo?  Good question.  It’s traditionally a spanish mexican dish served over rice or in tacos.  I think it tastes similar to a chili soup.  While I liked this meal, I am not usually a fan of green olives, so I probably won’t make it often.  I still wanted to pass it onto you because I know a lot of you could like green olives and would like this dish much better than myself.

Slow Cooker Picadillo

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (manzanilla olives, pimientos, capers) or green olives
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste

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Directions:

Brown meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan. Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives).  I also added some of the brine from the jar for added flavor.  Then add the spices.

Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8. After it’s ready, taste for salt and add more as needed. Discard the bay leaves and serve over cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

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