Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

I'm using this week as one last summer hoorah. I know fall doesn't start until mid-September, but it's really never felt that way, has it? By the time September hits, it already feels like fall, and my tastes turn from zucchinis and tomatoes to brussels sprouts. 

My mom and I are headed to northern California for a little get away. I'm not even there yet but I am already excited to just walk the streets of somewhere different. 

Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

Things I am looking forward to: 

  1. Wandering through the fish markets, and sitting down to a meal where the fish is so fresh it was caught that day. Being inspired by eating something new and different and bringing that inspiration home with me. 
  2. Taking it easy: Give my email inbox the pass and unplugging. Sleeping in. Going out for breakfast.
  3. Exploring the parks, forests, and vistas in Northern California-- place I visited as a kid but have long forgotten. My memories of redwood trees are just pictures now and my view of the ocean mostly made up in my head. 

What are you doing as an end-of-summer hoorah? 

Ratatouille with Italian Sausage
Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

Zucchini and tomatoes are layered in a spiral over a bold Italian sausage & fresh tomato sauce.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound hot Italian pork sausage
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 medium summer squash
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • Optional: Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Make the base sauce: in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. While the oil heats, chop: dice the tomatoes into a small dice; dice the bell peppers; dice the white onion, mince the garlic.
  2. When the oil glistens in the pan, add the garlic and onions. Sauté until the onions are transparent. Add the pork sausage. Using a wooden spatula, break the sausage up into grounds. Cook until browned. Add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the pan, cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the sausage mixture. Add in fresh herbs. Cook 5 more minutes, at a simmer, with lid off.
  4. Now, prepare the top layer. First, preheat the oven to 400°F. Then, slice the remaining zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes into thin rounds. Layer rounds in a pattern over top of sauce.
  5. Using a brush, spread melted coconut oil over top layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Bake in over for 15-20 minutes, until top layer just begins to brown. Serve hot. Optional: sprinkle with parmesan.

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

I have this terrible habit of buying the fruitiest trail mix at the store, and eating pretty much only the nuts before deciding I'm done. Buying the trail mix without fruit takes some serious self control-- at the store, it looks like sweet little pieces of candy. A few bites in, I'm done and ready to move on. 

What's better is when the nuts are somehow transformed into a treat, like the cocoa-dusted pecans in this trail mix, which are roasted with a bit of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne. 

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

A healthy dose of chocolate never hurt, so I usually opt for the trail mixes with dessert-like names. No regrets. This trail mix follows suit, with chocolate-covered espresso beans and cacao nibs. It's the perfect afternoon pick-me-up to keep in my desk drawer, with a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of caffeine, and some healthy fat from hazelnuts and macadamia nuts to slow it all down so I don't end up bouncing off the walls (that part is important). 

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

Time to get ready for National Trail Mix Day (It's on the 31st!)! 

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

Mexican Mocha Trail Mix

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

Cocoa-dusted pecans with cinnamon and cayenne, along with chocolate-covered espresso beans make this trail mix a sweet and spicy treat!

Yields: 4 cups   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

    For the pecans:
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Small dash salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the trail mix:
  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Whisk egg white to soft peaks. Fool in pecans until coated. In small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Toss pecans in mixture. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Toss pecans with macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, and espresso beans. Store in airtight container.

Salmon Taco Salad with Peach Salsa

Salmon Taco Salad

I think blackened salmon and peach salsa were made for each other. The combination of spicy & savory mixed with the sweet and fresh makes them perfect for one another; beautiful counterparts that when combined, dance on your plate and wake up your appetite. Avocado rounds out the trio, rich and creamy. Those three alone could make a meal-- just some salmon, topped with salsa, and a bit of avocado.

Salmon Taco Salad

It started on a hot afternoon, when my co-workers and I walked out from a skyscraper onto the streets of downtown Denver. Denver, while only a few miles away from where I live, is not somewhere I venture often. Since it does sort of allude me, it feels like there is aways something new to explore when I visit. 

With lunch as our mission, we set off around town, until we found ourselves at a taco joint with menu items such as "the Dirty Sanchez" and "Mr. Pink". I ordered a "Mr. Orange" and found a table. 

Salmon Taco Salad
Salmon Taco Salad

Mr. Orange is where my salmon taco phase began: it was a fresh taco with blackened salmon, avocado salsa, queso fresco, and slaw. The very next week, I made salmon tacos at home, testing out a pineapple salsa. It was the next day that I laid my eyes on the peaches sitting in our fruit basket, and a light went off. Peach Salsa. That's what my tacos have been looking for. And, well, the rest is history. 

Salmon Taco Salad

Salmon Taco Salad with Peach Salsa

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

Blackened Salmon + Peach Salsa = ♥️

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

    For the Salmon:
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, bones removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • For the salsa:
  • 2 peaches
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • For the taco salad:
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • Avocado, diced
  • Bell peppers, diced
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Optional: cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place salmon filet on cookie sheet. In a small bowl, mix the blackening spices. Spread spice mix over salmon in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon is flakey and cooked through (this could take up to 30 minutes if your cut of salmon is especially thick, but a normal piece of salmon should be done right at 15 minutes). Remove from oven, set aside.
  2. For the salsa, dice the peaches. Mince the jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place all in a medium bowl. Add lime juice and toss to combine.
  3. Assemble taco salads: Add romaine and cabbage to serving plates as desired (I enjoy the crunch of cabbage, so put a decent amount of cabbage, but you can go with whatever you like). Top with diced tomatoes, avocado, and bell peppers. Slice the salmon into 4th, and lay 1 piece over top of each salad. Top with peach salad and serve.