Spaghetti Squash with Veggie & Meat Sauce 

Grain-Free, Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Meat & Veggie Sauce by: Kimberly Lam Wellness

I am quite certain the very first real meal that I learned to cook was spaghetti with meat sauce. And distinctly remember cooking it solo for the first time (late middle school or high school) for my family and I accidently opened the “spoon-sized” flap of the cayenne pepper…and shook vigorously. Haha.

Since then, I have switched out the refined white flour pasta, added more seasonings and veggies, cleaned up the meat, and learned to check the seasoning tops more closely. Ha. But no matter the changes, I think back to my childhood every time I make it…and shiver a bit every time it comes to adding the cayenne. Haha.

This is a family favorite around here. Pretty simple. Super tasty and makes for amazing leftovers! What is it about meat sauce that tastes so much better the next day!?

I hope you enjoy it as well!

Veggie & Meat Sauce: 

*Avocado Oil

*1 Zucchini, diced

*1 Yellow Squash, diced

*1-2 Carrots, peeled and diced

*1-2 Celery Stalks, peeled and diced

*1/2-3/4 Onion, diced

*3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced

*6ish Mushrooms, sliced

*Spinach or Kale (optional…)

*1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef (or ground turkey/chicken or leave out for vegetarian)

*1/2 tsp Sea Salt

*1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

*1/2 tsp Onion Powder (or flakes)

*1/2 tsp Paprika

*1/2 tsp Chili Powder

*Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

*1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

*2 Bay Leaves

Spaghetti Squash: 

*1-2 good sized squashes (squash? Squashes? Anyway…) – quantity depends on how many you are feeding. I cooked two pretty good sized ones and they served 6 (though really appetites of 5 since two are toddlers) and has some leftover.

*Avocado Oil (or some other clean oil)

*Garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, onion flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and chili powder to sprinkle.

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and toss. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle on seasonings. Rub them in a bit and then place the squash cut side down on the parchment lines baking sheet.

3. Roast on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes, checking periodically for done-ness. The top (outside) will be sort of soft and starting to brown a bit. Remove from oven, flip over and try scraping out some of the “noodles” to see if it is done. Set aside. *You will want to use a fork to scrape the noodles out in the opposite direction from the original lengthwise cut…in the direction of the inside “noodles”.

4. Meanwhile as the squash is cooking, dice the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.

5. Heat avocado oil over medium high heat in a large, deep pan or a stock pot, depending on the quantity  you are making. Add in the garlic and onions and let cook until they begin to soften.
6. Add in meat of choice, breaking it up as you go, and seasoning with roughly 1/2 the amount of seasonings, minus the bay leaves.

7. Once meat is mostly cooked, toss in the remaining veggies (except the kale or spinach, if you are using it), stir to combine, and sauté briefly.

8. Add in crushed tomatoes, other 1/2 of the seasonings and the bay leaves. Stir to combine.

9. Bring to a boil, cover partway and reduce to a slow simmer for 20-30 minutes. *The longer you’ve got, the better the flavors will meld, but time is King with little people around. Haha. So…simmer for as little or as long as you can, making sure the veggies are cooked to your liking.

10. With a few minutes of simmering to spared, stir in kale/spinach, if you are using it. *If you are using spinach, it cooked super fast and you can practically toss it in just as you are about to plate it. If you are using kale, give it more like 5-10 minutes to cook down.

11. Plate the “noodles” and top with sauce! Enjoy!

Foodie Friday 11.20.15 – Yummy, Clean, and often Paleo Thanksgiving Sides

Happy Friday! I’m doing things a little different this week. Instead of my top three meals that we made this week, I’m going to share with you the top three meals I’ve been eyeballing for the ol’ Turkey Feast for Thanksgiving next week. Alrighty? Okay. Good. Glad you’re on board. 😉

A few years back (alright, maybe more than a few), I discovered the theory that just because it is a special occasion…just because you want your food to taste delicious…just because you want some pie…you don’t have to eat a whole bunch of crap! We live in the age of so many non-conventional ideas on how to fuel your body healthfully AND full of amazing flavor. Don’t let the holidays be an excuse! Be smart. Make some changes to your standbys, try something new and delve into the world of yummy and nutrient dense food! Celebrate with your friends and family. Share with those who have less. Enjoy. Treat yourself right. Your body will thank you.

Down to business!

✨STUFFING!✨

We are gluten free around here, but also don’t really use much GF bread to substitute, so I’m super excited about this grain-free cornbread stuffing recipe (uhm…with bacon! Hey…if you source it right, it is totally a superfood!).

http://deliciouslyorganic.net/cornbread-sausage-stuffing-grain-free-gaps-paleo/

✨Veggies!✨

LOVE Brussels sprouts and beets. So good. Such rich colors and flavors. I will definitely be adding some Brussels to this deliciousness! And we will use either grass-fed butter or avocado oil. Mmmmmmm…


http://www.culinarycolleen.com/roasted-carrots-and-beets-thyme-big-news/

✨Pie!✨

And of course, there was no getting around it…everyone needs a little more pumpkin pie in their lives…but only if it is goooood. Can’t wait to try this! My mouth is already watering. I’ll be using an ol’ fashion real pumpkin to make my puree, but other than that…here are the recipes I’ll be following:


http://www.primallyinspired.com/paleo-pumpkin-pie/
http://www.primallyinspired.com/paleo-pie-crust/

Man, I love Thanksgiving. It is going to be a little weird just being my little (sorta big) family of us five, but we’re gonna go with it. The sun is supposed to be shining and the temps are supposed to be cccccccooooolllld. It is going to be amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Why This Busy Mom Will Be Oil Pulling For 30 Days For Better Health

why oil pulling

Ever heard of oil pulling? I first heard of it a handful of years ago when I first started diving into the world of Real food, holistic healing and natural living. It is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that is basically swishing unrefined oil (I prefer coconut, but I’ve heard you can use sesame or other oils as well) around in your mouth a la mouthwash style for 5-20 minutes (ideally 20). It is pretty much a wonder cure all…or so the rumor goes. Hormone regulation, reducing toxins in the body, increased energy, healthier and stronger gums, whiter and remineralized teeth (cool!), reduced throat and sinus congestion, improved sleep, clearer skin, pain relief for TMJ-related jaw pain and headaches, and more are some of the health benefits that have been associated with oil pulling. Sadly, whenever I have started, I have lacked consistency. But I can tell you that my teeth felt so much cleaner and my gums felt healthier after doing it even the few times that I did. Now..flash forward to the end of October 2015 and…I have a…

Confession: My son has a dentist appointment in the morning. You know, the ol’ every-six-months-you-head-to-your-dentist-for-a-cleaning-and-a-check-up type appointment? Right. Uhm…so it made me stop to think of the last time that I made such an appointment like that for myself. Let’s see…*thinking* I had one when I was pregnant with Nolan. I had a couple when Nolan was really little. I may have had one when I was pregnant with the girls, but I am sorta thinking not. And that’s it. How old are my girls? Oh…*ahem* they are two and a half. Crap. It is possible that it has been over three years since my last trip to the dentist.

What!? I haven’t been to the dentist in three years! That is madness. It is no wonder why my gums have been super sensitive lately. I am an avid brusher and flosser, but there is just something about a deep cleaning of that pokey little metal scraper. The worst part of it all though is that now I’m cared to go. Ha. I have never feared going to the dentist because my teeth and gums have always been quite healthy. It was never painful. I rarely had a cavity. Easy peasy. But now…if I really get serious with the little plastic scraper at the end of my kids’ little flossers (because I really don’t want to risk losing a finger on a nightly basis as I keep their little gums and teeth healthy), my gums hurt…bleed even. NOOOOOOO!!!

So what is a busy momma to do? Obviously I need to get to the dentist, but first, I’m going to take a month (what is one more at this point, right?) and oil pull daily and see if it makes a difference in the comfort and health of my gums before heading to the doc to be reprimanded.

I have read that the ideal oil pulling situation is first thing in the morning as you sit with your feet on the ground and just sort of chill out. Ha. Right. THAT isn’t going to happen. My son is up by 6:15am pretty much every day and that is when I need to get up and start cooking breakfast and getting us ready for the day. As soon as I get out of bed, the girls follow soon after. I can see it now, three newly up for the day little people, bursting with energy, hungry for breakfast, running around like crazy people (by the way, how in the heck do they do that? don’t they know there is a vital slow-to-start wake-up process?) while I sit on the couch, with my feet on the ground, resting peacefully, in complete silence (as I have a mouthful of coconut oil and definitely can’t speak), swishing…for 20 minutes. Ha! I think they would combust!

So…I will do what mommas do. We improvise. We try our best to take care of ourselves here and there and in the in-betweens. This Monday that meant pulling on my drive to the market and as I sat finishing an email in the parking lot before spitting said oil into a mason jar to take home and dispose of later. On Tuesday that meant forgetting about this plan completely. Today that means…well…it means I should be doing it right now as I type, but I’m sitting outside my girls’ room on the floor in the dark hallway encouraging them over and again to lay down, relax, be quite, close their eyes and go to sleep, which again doesn’t work all that well with a mouthful of oil. So instead, today it means I will do it later, after I finish this, after I workout, after I shower (hmmmm…maybe while I shower? that is a relaxing environment…but not for 20 mintues…eh…anyway), when I’m hanging out, replying to messages, and at some point finishing three panda bear costumes for the Halloween carnival at school that happens in two nights. Yup. It isn’t perfect. But that is how life is. I try to fit my oxygen mask first when I can, but it is so much easier said than done, right?

Today is day three (and already one slacker day) of my thirty day self-challenge to oil pull daily and try to heal my mouth a bit prior to my next appointment. I’m excited to see if I feel some of the above mentioned healthy benefits of oil pulling over the next month. And then hopefully I’ll avoid the side-eyed look, shaking head, and waggling finger of the dentist when I get there. Ha! I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I go along. I’d love to have some company on this oily journey, if you are up for it! Comment and let me know. We can swish, spit, smile and share together. 🙂

Here are a couple of articles about it for more scientific information. 😉

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-7-health-benefits-of-oil-pulling

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html