Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe



Fall is here and our family is enjoy the fall season of fresh vegetables that are available. Also, the weather and the fall foliage is beautiful this year in East Tennessee. This was our drive through the mountains this weekend. Where we live the colors are spectacular this year. I hope you have great fall foliage you are enjoying too. (Don't worry my hubby was driving!).

Fall leaves and scenary

One of my new favorite finds is the Acorn Squash. I walked into Whole Foods one day and they had a huge display of Butternut and Acorn squash for sale. My first instinct was to grab the Butternut, but I decided instead to grab 2 Acorn squash to try. I figured I could stuff them with something tasty for an easy dinner. The one thing was I didn't really pick up extra ingredients for the "stuffed" portion of the recipe. That led to an interesting first try at Stuffed Acorn Squash.

I will share two versions of this recipe, the more put together ingredients recipe and my use what was in the fridge leftover version. Both were very tasty and delicious. This is an easy go to meal for the middle of a busy week. For the apples in this recipe I used a small apple called a Lady Apple. They reminded me of a less bitter/tart McIntosh. I think that any fall apple will go well with this recipe, but I would not recommend a sweet apple. Also a few things to clear up on this recipe and AIP eating. You want to watch out for nightshades in your sausage that you choose. Most store brand sausages add spices and red pepper to their mix for flavor and you want to avoid these. I purchase a local source that I have double checked for their ingredients. When in doubt just make your own or ask the company or source for help with the ingredients. Also, I have come to find out pepper is not allowed on the AIP list of ingredients. This is new for me and I am making the change to this recipe and my food list I have provided in the past. I enjoy that fellow AIP followers are helping me out on my journey, thanks!


Stuffed Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 2 medium Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 pound Sausage (pork or beef and nightshade free)
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 small apple, cored and chopped
  • salt and garlic to taste, or other approved AIP spices

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Cut Squash in half and remove seeds.
3. Drizzle your favorite Paleo oil and seasoning on the squash and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, checking about 20-30 minutes to make sure it is not overcooking.
You want it to be tender, but still hold its shape.
5. Cook your pork or beef sausage and drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
6. Chop your stuffing ingredients and heat the drippings pan over a medium heat.
7. Add onion and celery to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
8. Now, add in your apple and cook for 2-3 minutes.
9. Add back in your sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes and stirring well.
10. Season with salt and garlic or other AIP spices and mix well.
11. Place large spoonfuls in each section of your squash. They will be full and almost overflowing.
12. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
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Here is the printable version Stuffed Acorn Squash







Here is my leftovers = tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe.I had broccoli left over from a few nights before and the artichoke hearts were Trader Joe's frozen brand.
 
Stuffed Acorn Squash II
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1/2 pound sausage (pork or beef and nightshade free)
  • 1/2 cup precooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thawed artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • salt and garlic to taste, or other approved AIP spices

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Cut Squash in half and remove seeds.
3. Drizzle your favorite Paleo oil and seasoning on the squash and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, checking about 20-30 minutes to make sure it is not overcooking.
You want it to be tender, but still hold its shape.
5. Cook your pork or beef sausage and drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
6. Thaw frozen artichoke hearts and roughly chop.
7. Heat the drippings pan over a medium heat.
8. Add back in your sausage and add the artichoke hearts and broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes.
9. Season with salt and garlic or other AIP spices and mix well.
10. Place large spoonfuls in each section of your squash. They will be full and almost overflowing.
11. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Powered by Recipage

Here is the printable version Stuffed Acorn Squash II
Why am I posting the 2nd version I made? I wanted to show you how versatile the acorn squash are. I think any type of ground style protein and veggies will work well with the stuffed acorn squash. I really liked my leftover version, while my husband said both were good but he preferred the more planned out recipe. Either way enjoy cooking and eating your acorn squash!


This recipe is featured on Phoenix Helix Roundtable 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

60 Day Paleo Food Challenge - Results

60 Day Paleo Food Challenge Results
My 60 Days on the Paleo Diet ended yesterday. And I am still seeing results and changes towards my first goal weight. Here are the current results compared to the last 60 days.

          



As you can see I am still seeing great results. I am still getting closer to my first goal weight of 190. My overall goal weight is between 150-170 for a healthy range for me. I am currently fitting into clothes I have not worn in a long time, over 6 or 7 years. My current size in clothes is a 12/14. Once you start to feel better and see results you want to keep going.

As I make my future goals, I am planning on trying this diet for a total of 6 months. That means possibly not adding back any of the food groups or items I have removed until then. I am still not drinking coffee, which is a big accomplishment for me. A fresh pot of Starbucks brewed coffee sits less than 5 feet from my desk at work. And I can say no to it! I am refining the recipes we eat each week as a family and what I eat for breakfast and lunch also.

If you are struggling with any auto immune or health issue, you can heal yourself with a better diet and exercise. It will take time, dedication, and yes even more dedication. But, just try it. Make a change for yourself. Start small with your changes if you have to, but COMMIT TO CHANGE!!! I have struggled for over 5 years and this is the best I have felt in a long time. I have more energy, I am sleeping well, my anxiety issues are more under control, and I just feel great. If I have a bad day it doesn't overwhelm me and I am learning to deal with daily issues rather than hiding from things. And you have to learn not to turn to food for comfort. I had a day a few weeks ago where everything went wrong. Work was rough and then I backed into someone's care at the bank. But, I couldn't turn to food for my bad day. I had to deal with things. And I made it through it, ok. That was a big step for me. Even when I wasn't eating badly earlier in the year, I would still turn to food for comfort. Now, I cannot do that so I have had to learn to just be upset and get through things. This has been a big step for me.

As for my thyroid, it is feeling better as well. My goiter is going away and my nodules are more tolerable on a daily basis. I think they will take time and being on the Tirosint (levothyroxine) to go down more in size permanently. As always, I will keep you updated on how my thyroid is healing.


My next Paleo update will be in 30 days, stay tuned and hopefully I will be closer to my first goal weight.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning Guides


Today's post is learning how to meal plan for each week. For me, it is one of the most helpful things I have done for reaching my weight loss goals. I am not lost each day wondering what I am going to cook or eat for each meal. Or, tempted to just eat whatever is readily available. Although, since my diet change to AIP Paleo I am not as tempted to eat random things anymore.

I used to think I was pretty good at this without writing it down. But, I was wrong. Since I have been planning out the week I am seeing more and more progress in my health and fitness goals. Below are the two guides I use each week for shopping and cooking.

This guide is for planning your shopping trips. It is grouped by foods and other sections of the store you might need. It also has a weekly meal section so you can remember what food are needed in certain recipes during the week.


Weekly Shopping Guide printable


Here is the link to the printable version: Weekly Shopping Guide


The other guide I use is a full weekly menu planner for all three meals. Just think you only have to plan out 21 meals each week. And I know for myself and my family we have favorite meals that can be repeated on different days of the week. So, if you have a favorite breakfast or lunch don't be afraid to repeat it.

Weekly Menu Planner printable

Here is the link to the printable version: Weekly Menu Planner


I will post some examples of what I am eating weekly on the Paleo Diet soon. In the meantime, start planning your week and what you eat! It will help you stay on track and reach your health and weight loss goals. When you plan your food out, you are more likely to stay on track and not eat things outside your diet.





Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Paleo Waffle Recipe

Paleo Plantain Waffle Recipe



Paleo Plantain Flour Waffle Recipe ( AIP, Gluten Free )


Today I am sharing today my favorite recipe that I have created on my Paleo Journey. This recipe is for Plantain Waffles made with Plantain Flour. Are you ready to have your mind blown?!?! If you have tried other Plantain waffle recipes I am sure you know the pain and possible disappointment in cooking them. They have always turned into mush cakes for me. And no matter how long I cooked them they would not solidify.

Monday, October 5, 2015

30 Day Paleo Food Challenge - Results



30 Day Paleo



I finished my 30 Day Paleo Challenge on 9/21/15. I must say it was a very interesting 30 Days. I had times where I was sad I couldn't eat whatever, but I did manage to stay strong on eating on most of the plan.

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I'm Heather from Knoxville, TN. I am a mom who is trying to succeed at balancing all aspects of life. My days are filled with working full-time, raising our son, and taking time to have fun and workout too! Welcome to my page, I hope you find helpful information on getting healthy and my adventures on raising our son. Please feel free to add me to your circle.

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