Basil Pasta

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This is a great “pesto” substitute if you don’t eat dairy.

The lemon gives the pasta a little “zing” that you’d typically get from the Parmesan cheese in regular pesto.

We skip the pine nuts, too, because I had a really bad experience many years ago where I lost my sense of taste for an entire week after eating some “bad” pine nuts!

Sure, you could add a different nut to make it more like pesto, but we enjoy it just fine like this.

Basil Pasta Recipe

Serves 4 (as an entree) – – or serves 6 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed VERY tightly
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp unrefined salt
1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 tsp raw honey
3 medium cloves garlic

16 ounces pasta of your choice (we prefer Trader Joe’s gluten-free rice pasta as shown below)

DIRECTIONS:

Toss everything (except the pasta) into a food processor or blender, and process until combined (stopping to scrape the sides a few times as needed).

Makes 3/4 cup – 1 cup of sauce. This sauce freezes well for later use, too, so feel free to make extra while you’ve got your blender dirty! 🙂

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; and drain/rinse.

I like to cook the Basil Sauce a bit before tossing it with the pasta. So, while the pasta is in the strainer, add the sauce to the empty pasta pan. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Then, add the pasta and toss to combine.

Enjoy! And be sure to check out our RECIPES PAGE for more delicious recipes!!!!

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Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Confession…

I’m not a big shrimp fan – – mostly because of the texture

(Actually, I’m not really into seafood, in general, if I’m being totally honest. It’s just so “fishy,” ya know?!)

So the fact that I enjoy this dish, really says something about its appeal. LOL!  

Plus, “score” for Chad because he likes shrimp…but I never cook it because, as I mentioned…not a fan. 

Well, we made this dish last week …and we’re making it again this week, so I guess I’m officially on the “shrimp train” now. (Luckily for Chad! Ha!)

If you like lime and cilantro (and cumin), you’ve got to try this dish! If you like shrimp, that probably helps, too. But, apparently, that’s not necessary! Hee, hee! 

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Recipe 

Serves 4 

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/8 tsp ground cumin
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 lb wild-caught, raw shrimp (peeled, deveined and tails removed)
½ tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste
3 TBSP freshly chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare rice (if using).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add oregano, cumin and garlic, and saute 1 more minute.

Add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are softened.

Add the shrimp, lime juice, sea salt and black pepper. Cook until the shrimp are just opaque. 

Serve over rice (or riced cauliflower).

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Yum!

Enjoy! And be sure to check out our RECIPES PAGE for more delicious recipes!!!!

Weight Loss the Easy Way = REAL FOOD Nutrition!

It’s difficult for me to believe, but just 5 short years ago, my kitchen was fully-stocked with commercial “diet” products. My freezer and cabinets were filled with “low calorie” frozen meals….weight loss and protein bars…and, yes, even….(gasp!) diet pop and sugar-free gum! Like so many Americans, that is what I thought I needed to do anytime I wanted to drop a few pounds. Of course, now I cannot imagine ingesting any of those products! Not only are they comprised of mysterious chemical ingredients, but they also taste… horrible! (Of course, at the time I convinced myself that I liked them – – because I wanted to lose weight! Yikes!) Luckily, I now realize that these weight loss gimmicks and products are SO not necessary, and they actually deplete our health in the long run. So I just stick with eating an additive-free diet, instead! 

In her guest post below, wellness coach Jedha D. shares with us how she lost weight without any “specially-formulated” shakes or other “diet products” – by just eating real, unprocessed foods! She was even kind enough to include one of her favorite, figure-friendly recipes below! Check it out!

So what about you? Have you lost weight and kept it off by eating a real foods diet? What tips can you share with others who would like to do the same? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below….

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Weight Loss the Easy Way = REAL FOOD Nutrition! (by Jedha D.)

When it comes to weight loss, it really seems to baffle so many people. We chase the diet fads and the bright shiny objects that claim to help us lose weight fast. We get drawn into the advertising campaigns, the ‘so called’ truthful claims, and the airbrushed images that portray perfectly beautiful bodies.

Weight loss is easy! I know because, after years of yo-yo dieting, I discovered real food and lost the 33 pounds that I had gained. I learned about the types of foods that cause weight gain and health deterioration, and I got them out of my life for good!

Since then I have never looked back, I can sustain my weight easily and I am more healthy and vibrant than I have ever been. I’m here to share the real truth about weight loss so you can stop chasing all the shiny objects coming your way and buckle down to getting some real and long-lasting results!

Real Food Nutrition

When it comes to weight loss, it’s ALL about real food nutrition!

That’s right! 80-90% of your results are going to come from what goes in your mouth! The other 10-20% can be boosted through exercise. So if you’ve been running wild on those cardio machines at the gym and not getting anywhere, then maybe you’ve just realized why.

Yes, it’s ALL about the food. And despite what many people think, you do not have to starve yourself to lose weight either. You simply have to eat the right foods, real foods!

So the simple equation to real weight loss results is to get your nutrition right, eating the right foods that promote weight loss and improved health. That’s it!

Okay, right now you may be thinking…I’ve heard all this before. But just wait a minute. Has anyone told you what those right foods are? Has anyone told you that a calorie does not just equal a calorie?

Not all calories are created equal. Junk foods, sugar, and even grain-filled foods are all empty calories that do not promote weight loss. They are the type of things you need to cut out in order to lose weight effectively. Additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and excess chemicals all have to be cut out of the equation for best results.

So what foods promote weight loss? Believe it or not, it is proteins and fats! Chicken, eggs, beef, pork, and turkey are all good protein sources. Avocado, olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut cream, and a few nuts are all good fats that promote weight loss. Of course, you still need a big variety of vegetables and a bit of fruit. So to lose weight easily you combine a source of protein with a variety of vegetables and a bit of healthy fat at every meal.

It’s not rocket science; it’s actually that simple and works every time! That doesn’t mean your diet is boring. Far from it because there is actually loads of variety and hundreds of tasty dishes you can make. Essentially you eat real food that is tasty, satiating, and super good for you. That’s the whole idea, right?

It’s not all about just losing those pounds; the focus should be on getting healthy so you feel great as well. One thing is for sure; you must get your nutrition sorted out. Clean up your diet, and you will lose weight without fail so you can finally stop chasing all those bright shiny objects and sustain a healthy weight and a vibrant life forever!

Here’s a delicious real food recipe that is good for you and your waistline (click picture to enlarge)! 🙂

Nut Crusted Lamb Cutlets & Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 6 lamb cutlets
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • Coconut oil or olive oil for cooking

Garden Salad

  • 2 cups lettuce – shredded
  • 1 cucumber – halved and sliced
  • 1 tomato – halved and sliced
  • 1 carrot – grated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper – diced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil

Cooking Method

1. Trim the cutlets of any really big chunks of fat around the edges of the cutlet
2. Pat the cutlets flat between your hands and set aside
3. Place the flour on a plate and the egg in a bowl
4. Place the almond meal on a separate plate. Put the ingredients in line in this order:  flour, egg and then the almond meal.
5. Take the cutlets one at a time, and first coat them lightly in flour. Second, coat them in egg; and lastly coat them very well with almond meal, pushing the cutlets well into the nutty mix to coat them thoroughly. Then set aside on another plate.
6. Repeat the process for all the cutlets.
7. Place a thin film of oil in the pan so it completely covers the bottom of the pan. Then heat the pan until the oil is hot and ready for shallow frying.
8. Place the lamb cutlets in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown. You may have to reduce the heat on the second side to allow them to cook through at a slower rate.
9. Watch them carefully because you don’t want to overcook them. When you think they are done and the crumbs are nicely browned, turn the heat off and let them sit in the pan covered for 5-10 minutes. This resting period will complete the cooking and they will be ready to serve.
10. While they are resting, mix the salad together in a bowl and divide onto 2 plates. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil.
11. Serve your cutlets with the salad, and you have a delicious and tasty meal. Yum!

As you can see, this meal contains a good protein source in the lamb, some fats in the olive oil, and a little carbohydrate in the salad, making it a well-balanced meal.

These are the kind of delicious meals you can eat every day, and you certainly never feel deprived. I hope you’ll try it and enjoy!

Author Bio

Jedha D. is a weight loss and wellness coach who is passionate about helping people get off the merry-go-round and change their life from the inside out. She helps people achieve better weight loss results and a lifestyle they love, with real food and positive mindset changes. She is the author of a paleo breakfast cookbook and 30-day meal plans, and she writes an active real food health blog over at Paleo Weight Loss Coach.

Meal planning to the rescue!

My weeks are SO much more enjoyable when I create a dinner plan. And, I can definitely state this as a fact because I’ve been a HUGE slacker in this department for the past couple months and my diet has suffered from extreme lack of variety and (I’ll admit it) just plain weird food pairings because of it! But….I’m back on track this week! Of course, I can’t make any promises come Monday! LOL! (So, how about you? Do you plot out your strategy for the week…or just fly by the seat of your pants??)