Category Archives: sides

Perfectly Cooked Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti SquashThere was a few days between my last update and this one. Things haven been a bit hectic with sick family members, doctors appointments, hospital visits etc. So now things have started to wind down I can take a moment to update this blog. I know I have something similar to this one on my Bolognese post but I just wanted to make a post dedicated to this squash.

Spaghetti squash can be used for so many things but most people use it just as a spaghetti substitute. Here are some alternatives you can use it for.

  • Spaghetti Squash Pizza
  • Spaghetti Squash Salad
  • Base for meatballs
  • Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash
  • Those are just some sample things you can do with Spaghetti Squash, hopefully it just gives you some thing to think about. It is really easy to actually cook this squash. You just need to cut it length wise, scoop out all the seeds, salt and pepper to taste and lastly bake it at 375 and cook it for 30-45 mins based off how large your squash is.

    Pretty simple right? If you have alternatives that I should try please let me know!

    Homemade Coconut Milk

    tilted fork iconI finally did it, I said last week to @ThePaleoMom (Twitter link) or ThePaleoMom (Blog) that I was going to try to make her homemade coconut milk.  I am proud to report that I did it.

    There are a few things to note on this back story on why I did this.  Most people I tell that I was looking forward to making coconut milk would ask me why I wouldn’t just buy it in a can.  Well its a simply answer, if you go through coconut milk as fast as I do $2 a can adds up quickly.  On top of that if you have been following my blog you also know that I suffer from a rare stomach disorder so I am avoiding known gut/stomach irritants.  Most cans of coconut milk that you buy off the shelf contain an additive called Guar Guam.  Now I am not sure if this will irritate my stomach chances are it may not if I consume it in moderation however with the coconut milk that I go through I fear that it will add up and trigger another attack.

    So that is a little back story on why I decided to try to make coconut milk.  The better part of this is how EASY this was.  I have tried other methods of making coconut milk but I could never seem to get the texture right.  This recipe that the PaleoMom posted is spot on perfect.  I did not tweak this at all and full credits/concept etc go directly to her.  You should try to take a moment and check out her blog.

    The only thing I can add to this, is next time I am going to make this with coconut water instead of regular water and take her up on her suggestion of putting this over her Paleo Granola.  I will have to try to make that in the near future.

    Homemade Coconut Milk

    Yield: 8oz (1 Cup)


    • 3/4 cup organic finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
    • 1 ¼ cup just boiled water


    1. Boil the water
    2. Put coconut in to blender with the boiled water
    3. Blend on high for 5 minutes
    4. Pour pulp into a Nut-Milk Bag or Cheesecloth (or other chosen strainer) suspended over a glass bowl
    5. Let the mixture drip in to the bowl or if you have no patience let it cool and squeeze it through

    Paleo Spicy Beef Jerky

    paleo spicy beef jerkyHectic Hectic Hectic.  That is how I would describe these last few days.  Even with everything being hectic I had recorded the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley and I had a chance to watch it last night.  I work in IT, more specifically Computer Software design and architecture etc so its pretty safe to say I was looking forward to this show.  I absolutely loved it.  It reminded me alot of Office Space meets The IT Crowd.  It was a good show and I found myself messaging 1 liners back and forth with a friend of mine.  So needless to say I hope it continues and doesn’t get cancelled.  It’s good to see a comedy every once and a while on a pay channel that doesn’t have nudity etc all over the place.

    So today’s recipe is one of my favorites.  I started making Jerky over a year ago and I have made all kinds of Jerky.  Before I decided to venture on this Paleo journey all the jerky I made was not Paleo compliant simply because it contains a form of gluten or soy.  So it took a while to try to come up with an alternative and I will post a series of different recipes but I will start with a bit of a spicy one.

    In general there are different types of jerky you can make one is made from a ground beef/bison or you can get a flank steak or similar and cut that in to strips.  I have made both types but personally I have gravitated towards the ground beef simply because of price and it gets a texture like a slim jim.  Here is a video of me putting some jerky on to my dehydrator.

    This is really just a jerky gun and I load my jerky in to it and shoot it out.

    On to the recipe.

    Paleo Spicy Beef Jerky


    • 3 lb Flank Steak or Ground Beef, as lean as possible (fat turns tough when dehydrated)
    • 3 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
    • 1 cup Coconut Aminos
    • 1 tsp Black Pepper
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
    • 1 tsp Onion Powder
    • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1 tsp Chipotle Powder


      If you are using ground beef
    1. Take all ingredients except for the meet and blend it all together
    2. Mix ground beef with marinade
    3. Let it sit for about 2 hour in the fridge (no more than 24 hours)
    4. Load in to Jerky Gun and and put it in dehydrator.
    5. If using flank steak
    6. Partially freeze meat for 2-4 hours, until mostly solid.
    7. Slice meat into thin strips. (try to make sure they are all about the same size)
    8. Create the marinade in a large ziplock bag
    9. Toss meat in to marinade
    10. Let it sit for atleast 2 hours in the fridge (no more than 24 hours)
    11. Place strips on to your dehydrator
    12. Sprinkle with a little Salt & Pepper (I also add a bit of red chili if i want it spicier)
    13. If you are using an oven
    14. You can dehydrate by setting your oven to lowest temp possible most can get to 160 or 170
    15. Add the steak strips or jerk gun strips on to oven sheet
    16. Cook for about 3.5 - 4 hours be sure to not over cook
    17. How to tell if its done
    18. Take out a strip let it cook for a min, try to bend it. if it snaps its over cooked if it slowly peels apart when you bend it.. its perfect.

    Homemade Sweet Pepper Hot Sauce

    Homemade Sweet Pepper Hot SauceIt seems to be a growing trend in my posts that things are getting hectic lol.  Well I am starting my exercise routine back up which is a good thing for me.  I welcome that type of hectic activity.  To be honest my workout hiatus lasted far to long and sadly I can say I missed working out.  I don’t really know why I say I sadly missed it, I think missing it is a good thing.  Anyway so yep I’m back at hitting the gym now.  I am still eating good and my energy levels are stable so to me its a good time to add in a few work outs.  My workout routine consists of 4 days of weights and 3 days of cardio.  My cardio routine is HIIT based which goes by really quick and my lifting days are 3 routines that just rotate, mainly day 1 is push based exercises, day 2 is pull based and lastly day 3 the all important legs.

    If you know what I am saying about leg day.. You don’t want to be that guy that ends up on the MEME of friends don’t let friends skip leg day.. you know…


    Man I love that MEME.  TO be honest though leg day is my favorite day of working out.  Probably because I do best on my legs.  I think all those years playing baseball and football paid off lol.  Favorite 2 exercises by far.. calf raises and leg presses.


    So yep that’s just a bit of my journey back to the gym which I know none of you are hear to listen to.  You are really hear about this awesome homemade hot sauce.  This is not your typical Tabasco hot sauce or Franks Red Hot.  This one yet again I am going to my wifes side of the family that my father in law has been making for some time.  Its a pickle based host sauce and you can put and pickle whatever you want in it.  The trick is pick a pepper that you find hot and use 2 of them in a mason jar. etc.  Anyway on to this recipe!



    Homemade Sweet Pepper Hot Sauce


      Veggies you want to pickle I used
    • Sweet peppers, I used green, yellow, red and orange
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • A good pinch of salt
    • 2 jalapeno's
    • Apple Cider Vinegar


    1. Again all of this is to taste so add how much of each you want just make sure you leave enough room in the jar to be able to shake it
    2. The only trick here is to take one of the peppers and grind it down really good to extract the oils. Leave the seeds in and add that to your mason jar.
    3. Add all your veggies that you want to it and fill it up
    4. Top the jar with apple cider vinegar up to the top covering all the veggies,
    5. Seal and shake, let it sit for 24 hours


    Paleo while traveling or dining out

    tilted fork icon
    Well if you have read my previous posts you know that I do not do this professionally and this blog is really a way for me to keep myself honest on choices that I make. With that said I didn’t make a post last week because I have had work functions that did not allow me to eat a good home cooked meal. Normally for the blog I actually write items that I ate the night before or even that same night. I am not one that just randomly selects a recipe online and writes a fake review on it so that is why there was no post. Now I must say that I was having a talk with my good friend Miguel about this and just as any friend he inquires about my progress and how its going. He was a bit concerned about me eating out at restaurants while being on Paleo and I told him I was surprised at how easy it really was.

    Before I explain all the details you must understand that I was not eating fast food I was at actually eating at sit down restaurants with a pretty good menu (avg meal price on the menu was about $15).

    So like I said above I was doing work functions such as meeting with clients, vendors or work meetings. I initially went in thinking great its going to most likely be a plain green salad and grilled chicken breast but as I started going through the menu I realized I actually had some pretty good choices. What I want to get across on this post is not really the things I are however it was my approach. I find that most people may settle for just having an undressed salad but I really wanted to know what they actually had that I could eat. So here are some questions that I feel were helpful

    1) When looking to order any type of beef, pork, chicken etc make sure you ask the waiter what is this marinated in?
    You want to verify what it is marinated in because the marinade could be gluten based (think beer, it is often used in marinades)

    2) If you are afraid of asking the waiter 101 questions about the food and you think they will brush you off simply tell them that you need to avoid all foods that contain Gluten, Grains and Soy if you just give them those 3 things they will come back with a selection of XYZ and then from there you can easily figure out which one you want to order. I am not telling you to say that you are allergic to those ingredients all though if you did they wouldn’t know the difference.

    3) If you really want to have no contact with the waiter because obviously they are low hourly paid employees and the more questions you ask them the more they may be irritated ask the waiter to speak to a manager on duty because of your dietary restrictions. I found this one honestly to be the best approach because the waiters get to just get drinks and do their normal routine and the managers are usually far more versed in the menu contents than the waiters.

    4) You can ask them if they have a Gluten free menu

    5) If you really want to ask no one for anything go to the sandwich area and look for a grilled chicken sandwich and order it without the bun and no sauce.

    Now those 5 tips above won’t give you the exact answer you want or if the place you are going has exclusive items on their menu but if you go with item #3 10 times out of 10 the manager will accommodate you because they want to earn your business. For example, lets say everything they have is marinated in beer and/or high sugar items. The manager and chef will have absolutely no issue just throwing a fresh piece of meat on the grill (or broiler) for you with just a little bit of salt and pepper.

    It may not be the best meal you will ever eat but it will at least put something in your stomach and keep you on track.

    Mushroom and Tomato Side Dish

    tomato and mushroom side

    Wow today has been a crazy day with work and all but I won’t get in to that to much I don’t want to bore you.  So I noticed I haven’t been putting alot of side dishes on here so this was a toss up between tomato and onions salad or mushroom and tomato (clearly I went with the mushrooms).  Both are really good one I eat cold and the other is preferred to be sauteed.

    In the past I use to eat mushrooms only on pizza but as I got older I really enjoyed there flavor and they have really become a bigger part of my diet.  I use them in anything from stir fry to toppings on a steak.  The best yet is there are many different types of mushrooms so play with the different flavors and you never know which you will like the most.

    On a separate note I have started watching Breaking Bad, I know, I know I am a few years behind the times but after hearing many good things about it and the availability of it on Netflix I jumped on board.  I am not far in to it at all I am only on episode 2 but this is definitely the slowest I have gone.  I think my record was watching Game Of Thrones all 3 seasons over thanksgiving weekend.  Any way that is something new I am doing if you like the show let me know your thoughts but don’t spoil it!

    Here is the recipe for a quick side dish you can make at any time.

    Mushroom and Tomato Side Dish


    • 1 Medium Tomato
    • 1 Cup of Mushrooms (I like white but pick which ever you prefer)
    • 1 Cove Garlic
    • 1 Tablespoon Grass-fed butter (i prefer the flavor of coconut on this)
    • 1 Pinch of salt and pepper


    1. Heat a pan on the stove top
    2. Add butter and as it starts to melt add the garlic
    3. As the garlic starts to cook add the mushrooms
    4. Cook for 5 minutes
    5. Add the tomato
    6. Cook for an additional 5 minutes
    7. Grab fork and enjoy!

    Nicaraguan Cabbage Vinegar Salad

    Cabbage Salad

    I have been thinking on what recipes that I have been eating for years would be a really good treat or entree for my current eating plan.  My wife is Nicaraguan and their cuisine mainly consists of fried foods but there  are some  gems that are amazing in flavor and healthy.  This post today though is really about one dish that my mother-in-law makes that is absolutely amazing.  Nicaraguan Cabbage Salad!!!! Lately I have been pairing this salad with my lunch and it just makes the flavors pop and its absolutely delicious.

    It is super easy to make and literally if you make a bowl of it will be good for days.

    Nicaraguan Cabbage Vinegar Salad


    • 1 Head of Cabbage
    • 1 Tomato
    • 1/2 Onion
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Water
    • Salt to taste


    1. This is very simple to put together.
    2. Shred the cabbage to however thick you would like it.
    3. Dice the tomato
    4. Dice the Onion
    5. Now this is where it can get a bit tricky you need to start off with about 1 cup of the apple cider vinegar for a normal head of cabbage if your cabbage is bigger you will need to increase this
    6. Take how much ever vinegar you added and now add 1/2 of that in water. Essentially this is 1/2 part water to 1 part vinegar. So if you added 1 cup of the vinegar add 1/2 cup of water
    7. Mix well
    8. Enjoy