Friday, February 5, 2016

Maple Balsamic Chuck Roast

I have to admit, that there are not many dishes that I make multiple times. Being a food blogger, I am always trying top find new, creative ways to make food, so sticking to the same recipes time and time again is something that I struggle with. But when I find a really good one, I break all of my natural blogging instincts and just go with it. I have made this roast twice in the past 2 weeks, which is a record for me. Something about the way the meat becomes so perfectly juicy and tender in the sweet and tangy sauce makes my taste buds sing. My secret ingredient (which is not so secret anymore because I just posted it on the internet for all to see ), is Dijon mustard. It adds the perfect kick of flavor to my favorite dishes. Try it out next time you make meatloaf, or a salad dressing and see what you think!

Maple Balsamic Chuck Roast

  • 2.5-3-lb. boneless chuck roast
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 cup vegetable or beef broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. high heat cooking oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Season chuck roast all over with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a bowl, mix together the coconut aminos, syrup, vinegar, mustard, broth, garlic, and onion. 

Heat oil in ovenproof dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Sear roast for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned all over. Add in the sauce, cover, and place in the oven to roast for 2 1/2-3 hours until the beef is tender and pulls apart with a fork. 

Serve hot with roasted vegetables.

Toss vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper, and toss in a couple of stickS of rosemary or thyme. Roast vegetable mixture (I prefer sweet potato and carrots) at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes until cooked through.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Top 10 Appetizers for Superbowl 50

As heartbroken as I am that the AZ Cardinals did not make it to the Superbowl this year (classic Arizona sports, choking when it counts the most), I am not heartbroken to share with you my top 10 recipes for Superbowl appetizers. We will be spending the big game bike riding to a friends house and watching game, aka stuffing our faces and then riding off the calories on our trek back home. I personally love eating a bunch of small plates as a meal. Touching down (football pun) in all of the different food categories from wings, nachos, dips, and meatballs. Head on over to idieh design to see my top choices!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekend Recap: Bridal Shower #2

Back in November, my fiance's mom and my mom threw me a "Fall in Love" themed bridal shower for our family and family friends. I am so spoiled that over this past weekend, I had a second shower, thrown by my bridesmaids with a perfectly-timed garden party theme. Hosted at a local Scottsdale cafe, they rented out a private room, where we sipped on champagne cocktails, ate tea sandwiches, and treated our sweet tooth to some delectable lemon tarts, shortbread cookies, and strawberry shortcake. The icing on all of the cakes was that my college roommate and sorority little sis drove out from Los Angeles to come celebrate with me. I am anxiously awaiting the photos that my future-sister-in-law took with her fancy camera, but until then, here are some cell phone shots from the day! It was a weekend full of laughs, sharing old memories, and testing my knowledge of my fiance with some fun party games! I am truly the luckiest girl to be surrounded by so many adoring friends and family. I cannot wait to become Mrs. Johansen in just 19 days!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Paleo Chocolate Pudding

Internet friends, I have something exciting to share with you! We're under the 1 month countdown for our wedding! It means so many things to me besides just the obvious. Only one more month to use the word fiance (I love being able to introduce Andrew as such and am sure husband will pack an even more exciting punch!). Only one more month of making decisions like which napkins to use, or where to seat people, or how many hors d'oeuvres to serve during cocktail hour. Only one more month until the next chapter of our lives begins. Our forever. It has been a great 14 months of planning, but I am ready to see all of our hard work come to life as we take the biggest step of our relationship thus far. So what does all of this have to do with pudding? Well, not much. Except the fact that it has been my saving grace when the cravings for dessert strike and I am torn between driving to the nearest Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, or looking svelte in my wedding dress.

Paleo Chocolate Pudding

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 medjool dates, seeded
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor and whorl until smooth. Scrape down the sides and blend again as needed. Place into cups and place into the fridge for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chorizo Queso Fundido with Salsa Verde

As you all know by now Superbowl season is about to be in full swing, and what screams football more than chips and dip? Here in Arizona, I have grown up a true Cardinals fan (no bandwagoner here), and win or lose, I always support my team. You know what else I'm an even bigger fan of than the Cardinals? Queso. But this ain't no ordinary queso, folks. No way. You think I wouldn't go all out for you this year? I've you got your dip needs covered my friends. Arizonans love their spicy foods. In every shape and form. So queso is no exception. 

This queso combines perfectly melted cheese, topped with greasy chorizo, then swirled with homemade salsa verde, which comes together in a cinch thanks to my Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor. No dragging out my huge electric processor, cords and bowls askew. Nope, just toss everything into the easy pull and ta-da! Salsa verde just like that. I'm even giving one away to one of you lucky readers out there! To enter, simply go to my instagram page, follow me and comment with what you would make with the Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor! Kapeesh?!

Salsa Verde
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lb. pork chorizo
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz. white American cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and cook the tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic, and onion for 4 minutes, until slightly charred. Add the roasted vegetables along with the cilantro and lime juice to your Zyliss easy pull food processor and pull about 20 times until smooth and well-blended.

Place the bowl of salsa in the fridge while your prep the rest of the dip.

In a large skillet, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, then add the onion, jalapeno, and cumin. Continue to cook until the chorizo is cooked through. Remove from the heat.

In a medium sauce pot, heat the cream and flour until just simmering. Add in the cheese and whisk until the cheese melts completely and sauce becomes silky smooth. Add the pepper and whisk to combine.

Pour the queso in a serving dish. Add the chorizo to the center of the queso, then swirl the salsa verde around the outside. Serve hot with chips. 

**I was provided with 2 Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processors for this post. All recipes and opinions are my own. Contest ends Monday,  January 18, 2016 at Midnight ET. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Chipotle Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Cups

It's my final recipe of the week and with that I am sharing with you a recipe that can be made smaller as an appetizer (you know some big sports game is coming up in a few weeks), or made large enough to be a main course entrĂ©e for lunch or dinner! I love the combination of spicy and sweet. Probably because it reminds me of myself. I won't ramble on too much today because A) it's Friday, and B) you should be making these ASAP.

Chipotle Pineapple Chicken Lettuce Cups

  • 1 lb. raw chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head romaine or butter lettuce
  • 1 egg, scrambled and chopped
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce
In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.

Add chopped chicken, chipotle sauce, in the same pan and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes.

Add bell pepper and fresh pineapple. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add in the cooked bacon, chopped egg and cilantro. Stir and serve in lettuce cups.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Paleo Eggs Benedict

Paleo week continues with a breakfast dish sure to please everyone! Coming up with new and fresh ideas for meals is a bit challenging at times, especially when you finally come up with one and the lighting is poor, limiting your photo capabilities. But nonetheless, I just HAD to share this recipe with you. It's my paleo take on my favorite breakfast meal; Eggs Benedict. Take a crispy latke made up of sweet potato as your bread, then replace the standard ham slice with some sugar-free bacon, and top with creamy avocado instead of hollandaise, and the best part, a runny poached egg. Oh and hot sauce! If you've got a stubborn bread-eater in your house, simply place an english muffin or slice of toast on the bottom to satisfy their needs. See, pleasing everyone! 

Paleo Eggs Benedict


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
  • 3 green onions, green part only, sliced
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. high-heat oil (such as avocado oil)
  • 2 small avocado, pitted
  • 4-6 slices, nitrate free bacon, baked or fried
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce for garnish
In a medium mixing bowl, add the shredded potato, green onions (save some for garnish if you would like), garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix together with your hands and form into patties.

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. of the oil in a large pan and cook the patties, 4 in each bach as not to crowd the pan. Cook until dark brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side, remove from skillet and keep warm while you cook the next batch. Repeat.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a small bowl seasoned with salt and pepper and poach the eggs.

To assemble, place 1 to 2 sweet potato patties on the plate. Top with bacon, then a dollop of the avocado smash and lastly, an poached egg. garnish with more green onions and hot sauce.


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