whole 30 stuffed peppers

Confession…this may or may not be the first time I’ve ever made or eaten stuffed peppers!

So who knows if I really did this right? But I feel like I did! My husband and I nearly devoured them, so I think I’m in the clear ;) however, these aren’t your grandma’s cheesy, rice-filled stuffed peppers that most people are used to. While I am sure those are dang delicious, these are whole 30 stuffed peppers! Meaning no cheese, no rice, ZERO sugar, and completely clean ingredients and still down right tasty. That’s a win-win in my book.

I felt like it was time to do another Whole 30 recipe because a) it’s been a while and b) this time last year I was finishing my first whole 30 cycle. Ayo! 30 days of feeling absolutely amazing, in spite of the fact that most foods I LOVE were restricted. IT IS POSSIBLE! I still try to eat as many whole 30 meals as I can, but I don’t center my entire life around it. B-A-L-A-N-C-E!

makes 8 stuffed peppers

2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot , diced
1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
1 lb cauliflower, riced
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 lime, halved
salt & pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
8 large bell peppers (I used red, it’s what I had on hand)
2 avocados, pits removed, diced
20-30 large raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning

1. In a LARGE skillet over medium heat, add EVOO. When pan is hot, add garlic & shallot, cook until translucent.
2. Add sausage and cook until meat is no longer pink.
3. Add riced cauliflower to pan with sausage, more EVOO, diced tomatoes with green chilies and about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Stir and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Add salt, pepper and juice from 1/2 of a lime. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Cut the tops off of bell peppers and remove all seeds – discard all that mess!
5. Using a large spoon or ladle, fill peppers with cauliflower/sausage mixture and put in a glass baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes until peppers are soft and the tops are lightly browned.
6. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel to make sure the seasoning will adhere. Coat shrimp with chili lime seasoning well on both sides.
7. In a skillet over medium/medium-high heat – add EVOO and then add shrimp when pan is hot. Cook shrimp 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink.
8. Top the peppers with shrimp, avocado and additional cilantro and garnish with lime on side.

I know some of you may not have access to Trader Joe’s, I get it. You should probably move within 2 miles of one like me ;) BUT I also love Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning and you can find that stuff just about anywhere – use that! As always, feel free to sub out ingredients that you may not have on hand. Like maybe you have fresh tomatoes and a jalapeno? Skip the canned stuff and use that! I swear I just use whatever is in my pantry any given day. I really wish I had coconut milk to add to the rice mixture to make it a little creamy, but I didn’t. And I sure as heck didn’t run to the grocery store for that either! But if you have it, use it. If you don’t have it, substitute it. Have fun!


mini sweet potato breakfast waffle-wiches

You guys…check out my new favorite kitchen gadget! I kid you not, I have had this thing for maybe 2 weeks now and have already used it 4 times. It’s the best and only $10! I mean Target basically paid ME to take the thing home with me…if you don’t already own a mini waffle maker, ya need one.

So this all went down solely because we had a Tupperware full of mashed sweet potatoes hanging out in our fridge. It was time to finally say good bye to them…so hello, into my waffle batter they went this morning!

makes 3 mini waffle-wiches

for the waffle batter:
1/2 cup bisquick
2/3 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
4 slices cooked bacon, rough chopped
2-3 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
pinch of salt

for the toppings:
3 eggs
6 slices of bacon, cooked
green onion
3 slices of muenster cheese (for real though, use whatever cheese is in your fridge – I wish I had Gouda!)
1 avocado, halved, pit removed and sliced

1. Mix all the waffle batter ingredients together with a whisk. Spray waffle pan with cooking spray and pour into iron, close and let them get crispy…pretty self explanatory what to do from here on out, right?
2. In a skillet (mine was full of bacon grease, if yours isn’t, put some EVOO in there) – plop your eggs in & cook your eggs however you like em. We love ours sunny side up, so for that all you do is cook the eggs over medium/medium-high heat and you aren’t going to flip em. Using a spoon, keep coating the egg in whatever oil is in the pan. Like I said, I re-used my bacon grease so just keep drenching the egg until the edges are crispy, the white are set and the yoke is still runny.
2. When waffles are all cooked, assemble one side with cheese and egg. Bacon and avocado on the other side. Top with some green onions and you’re done!

Eat your heart out – because these are a beautiful mess to eat :)


clementine palomas

what’s a paloma? contrary to popular belief, the paloma is Mexico’s most popular cocktail…not a margarita! The Food Network taught me this, so it has to be true ;)

A traditional paloma is made with grapefruit soda, tequila & lime. But why stop there? Enjoy my take on Mexico’s #1 drink with a twist, a clementine paloma!

makes one cocktial

2 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice1 oz fresh lime juice
splash of simple syrup
Izze sparking clementine juice(any clementine/tangerine soda or sparkling drink should do!)
fresh mint sprigs, additional grapefruit/lime for garnish

1. Mix everything but the sparkling tangerine juice in a cocktail shaker and shake, shake, shake!

2. Pour mixture into a glass filled with crushed ice, top with sparkling clementine juice and garnish as you wish!

As always, my measurements are really guesstimates…a little bit of this & a little splash of that is the best way to make a cocktail anyways ;)

Happy February!


sour cream blueberry waffles

Sunday morning breakfast is ALWAYS the best meal of the weak…go ahead and try to prove me wrong…

Sunday mornings at our house almost always involve sleeping in, a well thought out breakfast and going to the the mid/late morning service at church.

My blueberries were in their final stage of life so I knew I just had to make waffles! I will admit, I use Bisquick 99% of the time I make waffles/pancakes. It’s easy, affordable and ya know what – it just tastes so darn good! I added some sour cream in these bad boys too for some extra flavor and they seem to add a light & fluffy texture as well.

waffles for two:
1 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon bourbon-vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

  1. Mix all ingredients except the sour cream and blueberries in a medium mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Whisk in sour cream and then gently fold in blueberries
  3. Grease waffle iron with cooking spray and make them waffles! My waffle maker has a timer that cooks em perfect every time ;)
  4. Add additional blueberries if desired and top with maple syrup

If I fall asleep in church, it may be because I’m in a waffle coma…


carrot noodles with meatballs & artichokes

Who wants another killer whole 30 recipe?!

Don’t all jump at once…but I bet ya, you’ll fall in love with these carrot noodles just like I did. Find them at your nearest Trader Joe’s (frozen section) or take the extra time to whip up your own if you have a spiralizer.

They are so great for weeknight dinners because they take less than 10 minutes to cook in a skillet. We eat them regularly and throw whatever the heck we have right in the pan with em. The secret is to forget they are carrots and just treat em like regular noodles ;)

The artichokes were actually just an after thought and they’ve been sitting in my pantry starring at me for months so hey, in the pan they go!

for the meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons onion, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 (heaping) cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut aminos

for the “noodles”:
12 oz frozen carrot noodles cooked according to package directions (or spiralize your own!)
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 cup store-bought bruschetta, divided (I used whole 30 compliant bruschetta at Trader Joe’s)

10 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained

  1. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Best way to do this is just with your clean hands :)
  2. Using a cookie/ice cream scooper, make 10-12 large meatballs. Remember, they will shrink a little as they cook!
  3. Bake at 400 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that’s been sprayed with cooking spray for around 12-14 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add EVOO and artichokes and cook until lightly browned, maybe about 5 minutes or so and then set artichokes aside
  5. Using the same pan, cook carrot noodles according to package directions. Add in spices and about 1/3 cup bruschetta/marinara and stir until cooked through
  6. Plate carrot noodles, 2-3 meatballs, additional bruschetta/marinara and then top with grilled artichokes.

Seriously though, feel free to add whatever veggies you may already have. Don’t feel like you need to go to the grocery store just for some artichokes…throw in that bag of spinach that’s about to go bad or the leftover broccoli from last night’s dinner. Too plain for you? Add some fresh jalapeno or red pepper flakes for a little heat . Use what ya got and like I said, just pretend the noodles AREN’T made of carrots ;)


creamy pimento cheese

Wanna know the secret to the BEST pimento cheese…

CREAM CHEESE! Whipped to perfection and gives the most flavorful bite. Pimento cheese is so versatile – it can be enjoyed simply between two slices of bread or (my fav) a dip! Pretzels, pita chips, Ritz crackers, etc…I mean I could go on and on. But for whatever reason my go to has always been Club crackers. They are just too dang good! I could eat them forever. If i die young bury me in Club crackers.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder (Trader Joe’s is the only place you should ever buy this)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup mayo (Hellman’s! Anything else is sacrilegious)
7 oz jar pimento peppers, drained & rough chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. In a medium sized bowl, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until you get a fluffy, whipped texture
2. Stir in seasonings, Mayo, pimento peppers and cheddar cheese
3. Beat everything all together and you’re done! Do not overbeat, we don’t wanna pulverize those lil pimento peppers

And that’s it! 3 steps and you’re done. Chill in the fridge until about 30 minutes prior to serving. I usually let it sit out on the counter to soften up a little so it’s easier to spread/dip into.

Oh and don’t forget the club crackers! ;)


spaghetti squash brunch skillet

Today is day #2 of being snowed in our little town home in Raleigh, NC. We got around 6-7 inches of snow! Here is a picture from our walk around the trail in our neighborhood. Seriously, How beautiful is this?

I love a good breakfast/brunch skillet. One pan, minimal clean up & casserole style dishes tend to be my favorite. Especially for breakfast, keep it simple.

For all my friends out there doing the Whole 30 plan right now (prayers goin’ up), this dish is for you! While I am not currently on the Whole 30, I do try to make most of my meals as close to their guidelines as possible. I did make a giant batch of blueberry muffins right after this and we won’t go into how many of those I’ve eaten…balance, right? ;)

serves 4

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise & seeds scraped out
5 slices of prosciutto, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, rough chopped
5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
salt & pepper

1. Place spaghetti squash halves (cut side down) onto baking sheet with a little drizzle of EVOO. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until strands are easy enough to pull back with a fork
2. While the squash is baking, in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, add EVOO, prosciutto, garlic and onion. Cook for a 3-4 minutes or until onions are tender and caramelized.
3. Add spinach, sundried tomatoes, sage and salt and pepper and continue stirring. Add additonal EVOO if mixture becomes dry.
4. When spaghetti squash is cooled enough to handle, pull back strands with a fork and discard squash
5. Pat strands dry with paper towel as best as you can to get out any excess moisture. Add to skillet, turn off heat.
6. Make 4 small wells within the skillet and crack an egg into each. You can do more or less eggs, totally up to you!
7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until eggs are cooked through to your liking. Just keep an eye on them! I overcooked mine just a tad, but it was still delish!

As always, use what you have on hand! Leftover bacon or sausage? Use that instead of prosciutto. Kale instead of spinach? Do it! Your meal is what YOU make it. Be creative and have fun :)