When in doubt…get the fuck in your kitchen (Paleo Chicken Carbonara)


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We’ve said it over and over again.

We find  a lot of solace in our kitchen. That little space (and since our move that not so little space) where time slows down and we focus on the very thing in front of us and not the ever shrinking yet ever growing world around us.

The chopping and dicing. The adding of spices and measuring of liquids. The excitement over new recipes and the possibilities of left overs (with that good old friend of ours the fried egg).

Oh we’ll be the first to admit some days it just seems like a pain in the ass to get in there and make a meal or two after a long day knowing it’s going to be repeated in a few hours and all we can think about it zoning out with something on Netflix and some called in / picked up boxes of hot food ready to eat with the push of the front door buzzer.

Nothing, however, is more satisfying than sitting down (with a disaster of a kitchen that still has to be cleaned up) to something that we created. With our hands. With our hearts. With patience knowing that for a least a little bit, time has slowed down and that big bad world isn’t so big and isn’t so bad…

Make this meal.

Again and again.

It’s amazing!


Paleo Chicken Carbonara


  • 1 large spaghetti squash;
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into small cubes
  • 10 – 15 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large pepper (you pick the color), seeded and chopped.
  • 5 – 7 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (save the rendered fat!)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F

To prepare the spaghetti squash, you’ll have different options (the microwave, bake it whole, cut in half….). We always cut in half, clean out the seeds, place on nonstick cookie sheet (squash side down) at 400F for about 20-25 minutes. A good indicator that it’s done is a fork will pierce the skin (we take it out when fork has a little resistance because we like it more el dente. While this is cooking in the oven get over to those veggies and start chopping and get that bacon started!!!

carbonara 5

Remember for proper handling of foods, chop your vegetables first THEN your meat. Don’t use the same chopping mat either…have a designated mat just for cutting raw meats and never ever (ever) use it for your veggies. Ours is red. You know for ‘warning! warning! You’re about to cut raw meat!”

Hopefully you have great time management skills in the kitchen and about the time you’re done chopping the veggies/meat the bacon will just about be ready. Set bacon aside but leave the rendered fat in the saute pan. If your time management skills need some improvement, do the bacon first so it doesn’t burn and set aside. Chop those veggies and meat and then get ready for the magic. The spaghetti squash may be ready at this point so check it and if it’s done, remove from oven and place in refrigerator to help cool down a bit for easy handling.

carbonara 2

(fuck yes! BACON!!!)

With the rendered fat still in the saute pan, add garlic and cook on medium heat for about a minute (but no more or it will start to burn). Add onions and saute for additional minute or two then add asparagus and peppers. Cook for another minute or so then add chicken. Continue to saute on medium heat until chicken is cooked thoroughly then turn down to low heat so it will continue to simmer while you get that delicious spaghetti squash ready.

carbonara 1

(Fuck yes!!! VEGETABLES!!!)

If your spaghetti squash is in the refrigerator; get it out! With a fork work your way from the inside around the sides to remove the spaghetti like strands from the skin and add to the saute pan.

If it’s still in the oven; HANDLE WITH CAUTION!!! It’s gonna be hot and you’re gonna need to remove the spaghetti like strands from the skin. Fear not our little kitchen friends, with practice you’ll become an expert in the handling of spaghetti squash. Once separated from skin add to saute pan and mix chicken/veggies and squash thoroughly.

Chop up that amazing bacon!

carbonara 3

Now put it all together! Plate your carbonara and top with bacon!

carbonara 4

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

Paleo Cuban Bangers (Or burgers or meatballs)


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vow renewelLast week, we did something pretty awesome!

And by awesome we mean “hey, let’s do something crazy like renew our vows in front of a few hundred complete strangers because it’s the 10 year anniversary for Marriage Equality in Canada!

It was a little (though 27 couples means it really wasn’t so little) shin-dig put on by the city of Halifax with our very own Mayor officiating the ceremony.

In case you didn’t know this about us, we love any occasion to get dressed up with our fancy shoes and red lipstick (Mimi) and our spiffy bowties (Tee). The fact that there were cupcakes and champagne made the event all the more awesome cause seriously, who doesn’t love cupcakes?


From there we whisked ourselves off to Prince Edward Island for the weekend which of course means food choices weren’t as “good” as we wanted. The food was delicious. The wine was delicious. The time spent together on the beaches was delicious.

Now we’re home and focusing on our kitchen again.

Whenever we want to make something relatively easy we pull out a few banger/meatball recipes. Not sure what can be more easier than ground meat + a few ingredients + spices. Unless you consider calling up the pizza man down the street for delivery then yes there, are other things that are easier but remember we’re focusing in on OUR kitchen!

One of our most favorite recipes is a Cuban version of the banger (or sausage). The awesome thing about this recipe is you can mix up your ground meats (beef/pork/turkey/chicken/lamb) and it’s gonna come out tasting incredible.

The recipe below is a one pound of ground meat version. We always double it so there will be leftovers for the next day. This is so good we may triple it next time just because the leftovers didn’t last that long.


Paleo Bangers: Cuban Style!


  • 1 lb Ground meat (we tend to use beef and/or pork)
  • 2 – 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted almonds (if you have whole almonds: chop and toast on low heat in small saute pan)
  • 2 Tbsp Whole raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Green olives (pimento stuffed is really good!), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda.

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT water, cream of tartar and baking soda.

In a small dish combine water, creme of tartar and baking soda and mix well (it will fuzz a bit), add to large mixing bowl and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.

On a large non-stick cookie sheet or a sheet lined with parchment paper, shape your bangers (sausages). For us we were able to get about 7 good sized portions for each pound.

Pop that cookie sheet into the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until bangers are cooked all the way through!

Cuban Bangers

You’ll make these once, then make them again and we promise you, you’re going to double or triple the recipe. Even cold they are spectacular!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!


Paleo Chicken Cashew


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We are week three into our “we should really plan our meals” meal plan and we are happy to report it’s been going quite well. A mixture of making the foods that we know we love and finding recipes that we’re pretty sure we’re gonna love so let’s give it a try.

The last few Sundays we’ve sat down (usually over dinner) and decided what the following week is going to look like meal wise (and by meal wise we also mean dinner since breakfast is usually the standard egg-y goodness omelette that Mimi likes and the “I prefer left-overs with a fried egg on top” that Tee likes so much).

Mimi did some food investigating and found a simple cashew cabbage recipe that we thought we would liked We tweaked it a bit to add a little protein (cause if it’s one thing we love in this household we love our meat).

Make sure you make extra cause you’re definitely going to want to throw an egg on top of this delicious goodness!


Paleo Chicken Cashew


  • 1 Small Head of Cabbage (we used Napa), quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Small Onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 3 – 4 Celery Stalks sliced thin
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews, roughly chopped
  • 4 – 6 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and minced
  • Ginger, Thumb sized, Peeled and minced.
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tsp Fish Oil
  • 1/4 C Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Liquid Soy
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Salt

When you get started, always remember to prep according to food safety. If you use cutting boards, have designate a meat only cutting board so that you lessen the chance of cross contamination. Always prep veggies first, set aside and then prep raw meats.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you know we love the actual prep part almost as much as we love the eating part. Spending time with your food, in your kitchen gives you a better connection with what you’re trying to accomplish. A hurried rush of opening boxes, waiting for the microwave to ding or standing by the front door with cash in hand as the delivery driver pulls up takes away from the ultimate goal of taking control of your food. Practice your knife skills, think about how a different ingredient or spice might change things up…be present.


We decided to use a napa cabbage because it has a lighter taste but if it’s not available a regular green cabbage will do. Cut it in half (remove the stem), cut each half in half then slice thin (slaw size). Set aside. Cut Celery and set aside.

garlic ginger

You can adjust the ginger and garlic amount according to your tastes. Remember you can’t take away if you add too much so better to err on the side of less and add rather than all and regret it. Peel and mince and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine fish oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, pepper and salt. If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can add a teaspoon or two of sriracha sauce. Mix well and set aside.

Prepare chicken thighs (cut into small pieces) and set aside.

In a medium saute pan or wok, add sesame oil and heat to medium/high temperature. Add garlic and ginger and saute until garlic starts to brown. Add Onion saute for 1-2 minutes then add chicken and continue to saute 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Add cabbage, roughly chopped cashews and sauce to pan. Mix well and continue to saute for a short time (just enough for the cabbage to start to wilt).

Chicken cashew

Sprinkle with a little more pepper if you so desire and chomp down on this goodness!!!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

Getting back into the swing of things…Paleo Enchilada Stuffed Peppers.


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Sometimes it’s hard getting back into the swing of things.

It can feel both defeating and cumbersome.

You try to remember why you are doing what you’re doing and focus on how old “not so great” habits easily creep back in to your life when given the opportunity. You want it to be easy to pass on the sweet treats and the bag of chips at your best friend’s BBQ but at the end of the day you give in and promise tomorrow is another day…

Only to find that tomorrow turns into a few more tomorrows than you planned for.

That’s sort of where we are right now.

It’s not that our eating habits are so out of control that we’re face first in a trough of Ben and Jerry’s topped with cheesy Doritos. In fact if you looked at our overall eating habits it’s probably still cleaner than your average American/Canadian but it’s off kilter just enough to have it’s effects on our emotional and physical well-being.

So we’re pulling on the reigns a bit and working hard to stick to a plan. Part of that plan at this current juncture is one of us decides on the meals for the week (Mimi) while the other implements said meals (Tee). This has been working out quite well since there is no guessing at what one of us will eat and we know the other one will pretty much eat anything put in front of them.

The recipe below is not only super easy to make, it doesn’t take but a few ingredients and you can be guaranteed a least left overs for the next day (half a serving with fried egg is pretty much going to be a game changer).

The trick to this one is you can change up the “stuffing” portion of your peppers. This time we used spicy ground pork and quinoa. We’ve made it with sweet potatoes and chicken (delicious) and the next time….who knows.

The enchilada sauce stays the same each time so if you make a double batch you can freeze half and save yourself a little bit of time the next time around (see how planning your shit really helps!)


Paleo Enchilada Stuffed Peppers


The sauce

  • 1 – 1 1/2 C Tomato Paste
  • 1 – 1 1/2 C Chicken Broth (Veg Broth will work as well)
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder (adjust to your liking)
  • 2 Tsp Cumin (adjust to your liking)
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt (table salt is okay too and adjust to your liking)
  • 1 Tbsp FoC (Fat of Choice)

The Stuffing

  • 1 LB favorite ground meat
  • 1 Medium Onion, peeled and diced
  • Peppers left overs from the peppers you’re using, diced
  • 1 C cooked quinoa


  • 5 Large Peppers, cut tops off and de-seed (seperate stem from pepper ring and discard the stem and seeds but keep the extra pepper for stuffing)
  • Glass dish
  • Medium – Large saute pan
  • Medium sized mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 350F

First things first, get that quinoa started!

Then over medium heat, use FoC and saute chopped onions for 1 minute, add ground meat and cook thoroughly.

While meat/quinoa are doing their thing get started on that enchilada sauce.

In your mixing bowl add all sauce ingredients together and mix well. You should have a soup like consistency so if it’s too thick add a little more broth. If it’s too thin add a little more tomato paste.

Important info here so pay attention!! – You can never take away a spice but you can always add a spice. Start with half of what you think you want, give it a taste and go from there. Again: YOU CAN NOT TAKE AWAY A SPICE!!! Never assume that the recipe in front of you is going to be the end all be all in preferred taste. When we see the spices listed in a recipe, we always know we’re going to adjust them accordingly. We expect you to do the same in your kitchen…#dontbeafraidofyourkitchen!!!

Ground meat cooked thoroughly (check). Quinoa done (check). Sauce is ready (check check and double check).

Now add the quinoa and 3/4 of the sauce to the ground meat, mix well and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat.

Let’s prepare the peppers!

Another important tip coming up!!!!

stuffed peppers 4

When prepping your peppers, cut the tops off and separate the stem from the pepper ring. Take that pepper ring and dice it up and throw it into the ground meat/quinoa/enchilada sauce. Now if your peppers are uneven on the bottom, heed this little trick – Slice a thin portion off the bottom to create a flat surface…we know: MIND BLOWN! Now just like the spices you can always take more off the bottom but you can’t add what you take away so start as thin as possible and go from there. That little bottom piece? Ya, you know what to do with it. De-seed the inside and if you’re so inclined try and cut away the side edges inside to give you more stuffing space.

Stuffed Peppers 1

Get ready to stuff those beautiful peppers. Evenly fill each with the meat/quinoa/enchilada sauce (we hope we don’t have to tell you to use a regular sized eating spoon but if we do then there you go). Use the remaining enchilada sauce to pour over the top and fill the bottom of the glass dish.

Stuffed Peppers 3

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350F and serve as you like. We usually serve on a bed of mixed greens (our particular favorite is the kale/cabbage/brussel sprout mix from Costco sans dressing)

stuffed peppers 6

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks


Screw Spring, we have biscotti!


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snow stormSo here it is: the first day of Spring.

We’re buried under five feet of snow.

You heard us right; five feet. Winter has dug its ugly claws into the frozen ground and is refusing to let go. We thought for sure we saw the last of it last week and you could hear an Atlantic Canada wide sigh of relief until Winter slapped us on our frostbitten cheeks and laughed in our faces.

It’s rather depressing. We sort of feel like mice in a scientist’s maze as we maneuver around the already narrow streets of Halifax. Add a  7 foot wall of plowed snow (if your street is lucky enough to have seen a plow) on either side of you and you understand why we feel like we’re mice in search of end of the race.

It does mean however, that we’ve been having some fun in the kitchen. Remember that dreaded fail of a mess we blogged about last week? A second attempt still rendered it fail-like though this time edible. It’s got to be too many “wet” ingredients in the mixture. More tweaking should result in a better end product and hopefully a recipe sooner rather than later…

The other thing we’ve been experimenting with is delicious biscotti. Nothing tastes better with your morning (and afternoon and evening) coffee than biscotti and since we can’t get outside to buy if from the local bakery/coffee shop we decided to see what we could come up with in our own kitchen.

The first batch was pretty good. Not as crunchy as we would like it and after following the recipe we found verbatim we decided to change it up a little and see if we could come up with a tastier batch!

biscotti 2 (2)

(Which we did!)

The recipe below is after we changed a few things up so you can either 1) follow as plan or 2) change it up again and make it your own. Think about your ingredients. Do you want it to be more chocolate-y (add dark chocolate chips)? Want it to be more nutty (add more almond slices or extract of almonds and take out the cocoa)? This is a good base recipe but by all means it’s not the only way to make biscotti!

Also, remember to break out the coffee pot because man they go good together!


Paleo Coconut Almond Cocoa Biscotti


  • 2 C Almond Flour
  • 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 C Shredded Coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 C Honey
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Slivered Almonds

Also: Parchment Paper, Medium Baking Sheet, Cooling Rack, Serrated Knife

Preheat Oven to 350F

In large mixing bowl combine almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Mix well.

Add Honey and eggs and mix together. You’ll start to get a cookie dough like consistency. Fold in slivered almonds.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and split dough in half. Shape each half into log and bake for 20-25 minutes.

biscotti 3Take them out of the oven and transfer to cooling rack. On a side note, we noticed during the first baking time it started to “pull apart” or cracking a little. Not to worry. Once on the cooling rack gently press biscotti back to together. Let cool about 30 minutes to an hour or so (depending on how much free time you have!)

Reheat the oven to 300F.

Using the cooling rack as your measurement guide, cut width wise (across) into 3/4 inch slices and return to parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down. You can cut them length wise but the biscotti may be a little fragile while cutting and in our case the first batch fell apart much more easily (length wise) than the second batch (width wise).

Return to oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like them). Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Store in air tight container or just eat them all in one day (not that we know anything about that!)

biscotti 2

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!


Own up to your failures…Paleo Shepard’s Pie


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shepards pie end productOne of the things we stress more than anything is the hashtag #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen. For the both of us the most significant change we made to our lifestyles that put us on the journey of losing a shit ton of weight was eating food made by our own hands. Not food eaten out of a paper bag, popped into a microwave or spoken into a speaker box with Ronald McDonald staring back at us in anticipation that we’re going to Super Size our double quarter pounder meal.

It can be really scary standing in the middle of your kitchen and think “what the eff now?!?” Sometimes you look over websites and see all the recipes you want to try, knowing full well you can’t even come close to making it look *as* good as those “professional” food bloggers. Let’s not kid ourselves. The better the food looks, the more money they probably spent on cameras, lighting and our guess is it wouldn’t be their first go at making whatever is making you drool.

Mistakes are made in the kitchen all the time and sometimes you just have to own up to them and realize that just like life, it takes practice to get good at it and every once in the while the thing in front of you is going to turn to shit.

You’re either going to never try again or throw that crap of a mess to the side and go at it again learning from the previous “WTF’s”.

We had that in our house just this last week. We thought this new spicy pineapple banger in the making was going to make love to our mouths like it was the best damn thing next to…

Well next to nothing cause that’s how good it was going to be.

Hours spent prepping. Pretty little pictures taken with our expensive camera iphone, and the expensive lighting overhead kitchen light just right. This meal was going to be amazing. We popped it in the oven and proceeded to dance around with joy at our remarkable skills.

Okay maybe there wasn’t any dancing but we were pretty damn excited.

Until we took it out of the oven and…


In hindsight we wish we had taken some more pictures of this experiment failed miserably, because instead of looking like delicious bangers, everything globbed together like we just attempted to make our own cat food which upon tasting a little (cause you know we had too) wasn’t even fit for the cats.

We’ve been cooking in our kitchen a long damn time. And yet, we still make mistakes. We could have easily attempted the recipe again (after we figured out what happened) and gone about this blog like it never happened. Posted our pretty pictures (man we really wish there was proof of the disaster cause it was a DISASTER!!!), and continued on about our business, but the truth is, it’s easy to be afraid of your kitchen when you think you’re the last person that can create anything close to being edible.

Trust us, you can create. It might take some practice but every single one of those food blogs you follow are full of their own disasters. Oh we’ll tackle those bangers again because they really are delicious (at least we think they are) but until then enjoy the Paleo Shepard’s Pie we made this week.

Super easy. Super fun. Super changeable according to what’s in your fridge and not even close to looking like cat food (unless you feed your cat the primo stuff!)


Paleo Shepard’s Pie


  • 2 lbs Ground Meat of Choice (we used Beef/Spicy Italian Pork)
  • 2-3 lbs of Potatoes (preferably skin on so use something tasty like little reds)
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • Lots of Garlic (we used 8 cloves – peeled and minced)
  • 1 Red Pepper (diced)
  • 10-15 Asparagus Stalks (remove ends and chop)
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste (~13 oz)
  • 1 C. Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Flour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp FoC (Fat of Choice)

Large (8 x 11) glass baking dish.

Preheat Oven to 350F.

In a medium sauce pan boil those little potatoes of yours until you can get a fork through them. Drain and mash with enough Almond milk to make them smooth and tasty!

Prep is always key to a smooth cooking experience. Very rarely do we begin something until all the ingredients are ready to go. You can take the time to work on your knife skills, hang out a bit with your food, think about the process in which you’ll add things to your saucepan. It can feel very “get in touch with your oneness” but there’s nothing wrong with taking a few extra minutes and just staying focused on the task at hand instead of worrying about whether or not someone on Facebook is commenting on a status or getting to the next level of Candy Crush.

So while the potatoes are boiling, prep your damn veggies.


When everything is ready to go, heat up your FoC in a large saute pan on medium heat.

Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute.

Add chopped onion and saute for another 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent.

Add Peppers and Asparagus and continue to saute for just another minute or two.

Add the ground meat and continue to saute until cooked thoroughly.

While the meat is cooking, this is a good time to work on mashing those potatoes, and prepping the rest of the ingredients (open your can of tomato paste, measure out your almond flour).

Once the ground meat is cooked through, add chicken broth and tomato paste. Preferably in that order so the tomato paste can easily blend in to the mixture. Add almond flour to thicken and continue to simmer on low heat for a few minutes.

Transfer meat mixture to large glass dish (if you have extra you can do something fun like make single servings in baking ramekins or just grab a smaller baking dish and divide between the two)

shepards pie 1

Top with mashed potatoes.

Shepards pie 2

Place into oven at 350F for about 30 minutes to get everything all cooked up and deliciously hot (NOTE: This can get a little messy in the oven so if you have a baking sheet you can put down first it is HIGHLY recommended).

This is going to make a lot. Pair it up with a nice salad or other side dish and you’ll easily get 8 servings out of it. Eat some. Freeze the rest and BOOM! Delicious lunches ready when you are!

shepards pie 3

Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

A New Home, A Few Gadgets and Bacon Wrapped Mini-Meatloafs


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Now before you get all “WHAT? You moved again? Haven’t you moved 3 times in the last damn 3 years?…

Yes, we’ve moved a lot since the beginning of our co-habitation but we’re not talking about *that* kind of new home. We’re talking about the doors finally opening up at Crossfit Ironstone. It’s always hard to leave one Box when you have friends made, goals accomplished and a sense of community but as soon as we heard some of the best athletes in all of Atlantic Canada were going to be opening CFIS we knew we had to follow our hearts and become founding members.

It’s a commitment to people we believe in.

It’s a commitment to getting stronger.

It’s a commitment to ourselves and each other.

If you’re ever in the Halifax area, you have to make this a stopping point. Swing by and meet some top notch coaches, drop some sweat with some awesome friends and then let’s talk about what we love the most: FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

In the last post we promised to talk a little more about our kitchen gadgets and what we use to help us put that #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen hashtag to good use. Again, let us emphasis we are not rich beyond our wildest dreams (wouldn’t that be awesome though?!?!) We don’t have the latest “this is gonna revolutionize the kitchen” gadget. We have some cheap ass things and today is what we’re calling the “You could use the change under the sofa cushions to get these things” gadgets.

We’re serious.

IMG_1981The first thing we use a lot is a garlic roller. If you’ve been reading any of our recipes for a while you know WE. LOVE. GARLIC. The list of health benefits goes on and on and let’s just get right to the point, it tastes amazing. When recipes call for a certain amount you can be assured we’ve either doubled it or tripled it. This little roller takes a lot of the painstaking peeling process out of the equation. Insert bulb, roll around on counter and kaboom! No more annoying skin. We know most of you have seen these in your local food stores and maybe you’re thinking “well it’s not that hard to peel in the first place so what’s the point?” Here’e the point: IT MAKES YOUR LIFE EASIER and at usually less than $5 what you should be thinking is “Why didn’t I get this sooner?”

The other (cheap ass) little gadget we have is a hand held grater. The one we have is a little on the older side so price comparison is a little hard but usually these will run under $10 at most places. We have a garlic press but to be totally honest this thing is much easier to use and more important; to clean.

For less than what most breakfasts cost when eating out you can arm yourself with a few gadgets that make creating delicious food in what doesn’t have to be the most intimidating room in your house a whole hell of a lot easier.

(PS those are some of the new cookbooks we got over the Holidays! Lucky us!!!)

Okay, time for the recipe.

Here’s a few things you should know before making these little morsels of heaven….

IMG_1908Don’t be afraid to change things up. Yes, you can follow this recipe exactly but when we were researching different recipes we decided to leave a few things out and add a few things in. When it came to spices we literally opened up our jars, took a big sniff and asked ourselves “would this enhance the taste?” In order to get comfortable in the kitchen you have to get comfortable in your ability. Just like in almost everything we do, the more we practice, the better we become.

These are going to be a little higher in calorie so if you’re counting, then take that into consideration when thinking about your serving size. The recipe below made 15 really good sized mini meatloaves at around 220 calories each. Two, with a good size side of vegetables made a meal so don’t think you’re gonna have to eat six in order to feel full. Also you can adjust size of the of each serving or use turkey bacon if calories are something you’re watching.


Paleo Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaves


  • 2lb Ground Meat of Choice (we used a beef/pork combination)
  • 1 Pack of Bacon (we needed 15 slices total, thawed)
  • 1 Large Onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 100g of Spinach (~ 2 cups, finely chopped)
  • Lots of Garlic (we used 8 large cloves, peeled and grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Any other seasoning you think will make this taste delicious!

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large mixing bowl add ground meats, chopped onion, finely chopped spinach, garlic and spices. Remember to take your rings off and then mix together thoroughly. Set aside and work on those fun little bacon liners.

~Side note: If you are going to count calories this would be a good time to weigh the entire mixture so you can figure out how many servings you want to make. You did go out and buy that scale right?IMG_1906

Cut your bacon so you have 3/4 and 1/4 slices. First lay the 3/4 slice around the edge of  your large muffin tin, then the 1/4 slice on the bottom so it become a fully enclosed liner. You might have to move a little faster with this part of the recipe because once the bacon starts to thaw it can get a little cumbersome to line the muffin tin but don’t worry the filling will put everything back in it’s place.

Stuff those babies!


Bake at 375F for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Something that most websites won’t tell you is that there is going to be a lot of fat rendering from both the bacon and the ground meat mixture. Don’t be discouraged. We like our bacon a little on the crispy side and that just won’t happen when everything is cooked up in a muffin tin. Don’t fret. Do what we did. Once everything is cooked thoroughly you can remove each little mini meatloaf without a hitch. It will stay together and it will sit upright because you made those fun little bacon cups. Put them on a cookie sheet and put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked to your sweet sweet perfection!


These won’t last long in your house but if you need too, you can freeze for a later nom nom session!!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!


A new year and a new recipe…


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Holy crap you guys!

It’s 2015.

Well technically it’s already the 8th day of 2015 but the feeling of “where did the time go” is still with us as we bundle down for winter and start thinking about what 2015 will look like for the Healthy Dynamic Duo…

This is the time of the year when countless people resolve to “do it right“, “finally make those changes” or make it stick for good” and if anyone knows about that feeling of a a new year, a new me being replayed over and over again each year, only to fall (very) short of those seemingly out of reach goals it’s us.

You start out, fist pumping in the air, motivation bubbling over and a sense that no one or nothing can get in the way…

Then shit gets in the way.

Life. Relationships. Getting hit by a truck.

Maybe your motivation just peters out when you don’t get the results you want or that refrigerator of yours looks damn right boring with it’s contents when your local pub serves the “OMG THE BEST FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR”.

It’s hard.

Wait. Let us rephrase that: IT’S REALLY FUCKING HARD.

So this post less about “oh here’s a recipe you can just whip up” (which you can in about 10 minutes) and more about giving you the freedom to take a deep breath, air your frustration and know that if anyone understands the frustration of weight loss, taking control of your life, and more importantly taking control of your fucking boring ass fridge it’s theHDD.

Over the course of a few posts we’re going to spend a little more time talking about what exactly is in our kitchen that helps keep food under control and tasting so damn amazing. Remember, we’re not rich ass fancy chefs with expensive equipment. We’re on a budget like most people. We buy in bulk. We make our dollar count while counting calories and breaking a sweat as often as possible.

(Don’t worry there is a recipe at the bottom if you want to skip all the mumbo jumbo)

Food Scale:

food scaleThis is imperative if you want a solid understanding on what exactly a serving size looks like. We don’t spend enough time looking at that little information square on the side of a box (and if you’re eating out of boxes a lot, that might be the first thing you want to change) telling us what a serving size truly is. A serving of cereal is NOT a bowl filled to the rim. It’s usually a 1/3 – 1/2 cup…seriously, who eats just a 1/2 cup of cereal in one sitting (especially if it has those tasty little marshmallow nuggets)?

We pretty much weigh everything. Even though our diet primarily follows a Paleo foundation and one of the stronger emphasis on this foundation is to NOT count calories, we still do. It’s more about logging food rather than counting calories. Making sure we’re getting enough protein, good fats (yes you should be eating your good fats) and good carbohydrates (and YES you should be eating good carbs), only happens when we know how much of a good thing we’re eating. It helps when putting together recipes and wanting to know how many calories (and the macro break down) per serving we’re eating.

It’s not a budget buster to buy a food scale. Our’s cost $20 and we use it all the time.

Food Processor

food processorOne of the most used pieces of equipment in our kitchen is this little beauty of a food processor. It’s done wonders for helping us put that instagram hashtag #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen to good use. No lie. It can feel like a bigger purchase money wise (we spent around $200) for ours but after breaking a few lesser quality processors with our almond butter (motors couldn’t take running that long), this kitchen aid has done nothing but stepped up our game in making delicious foods. Everything from the fore-mentioned almond butter (which we use in numerous recipes) to soups to Paleo treats (like the recipe below) to sweet potato hash (a weekend staple in our house). Half of our recipes probably call for the use of a food processor. Remember your kitchen is where 80% of the battle happens. Arm yourself with only the best weapons.

Okay let’s move on to the recipe. You’ll see how both the scale and the processor aided us in making these super easy and super tasty little treats.

Cashew Date Balls


  • 6 oz Cashews (~510 cal)
  • 150 grams Dates (pitted) (~411 cal)
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (~100 cal)
  • 1/4c Dried Cranberries (~68 cal)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (~64 cal)

(Get a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper)

In food processor add the first four ingredients and pulse for about sixty seconds until all ingredients are minced finely and when you press between your fingers the ingredients stick together.

Add honey and pulse for an additional 30 seconds.

We weighed out 20 gram portions for each serving and pressed into balls. Refrigerate on parchment lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for easy popping access.

cashew date balls

Total servings: 20

Calories per serving: ~58

Fat (g): 2.6 Carbs (g): 8.5 Protein (g): 1.1

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!


Leek and Spinach Bangers!


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Oh the holiday season.

How we love to celebrate.

And by celebrate we mean eat.

Tree!It’s hard not to get through the next couple of weeks without over eating, over drinking and over indulging all in the name of the Christmas spirit. People gather together to wish each other Merry Christmas, out do each other in the ugly sweater category, and clink glasses to another year gone by.

This year we’ve decided to kibosh the over indulgence with a little help from our friend, Brooke, over at Brooke: Not On a Diet. I’m sure most of our few readers have heard or read about her phenomenal weight loss but if not then just clicky clicky the link there and spend a little bit of time getting to know her (she’s amazing!)

She’s brought back the Skinny Snowman Challenge this year and we jumped on the opportunity to spend the next 5 weeks keeping on track with our food, our water, our exercise and all around “keep your hands out of the Christmas chocolate as much as possible”. The concept is simple enough: Each week we print out a points chart and keep track of a few very important factors like logging food, getting lots of veggies, drinking a crap ton of water, leaving some sweat behind and completing some mini weekly challenge.

This week’s challenge: Try a new recipe.


You know we are all over that like (insert some saying here about cake or rice or flies) and since we love to create in the kitchen we came up with our own recipe.

In our house you can always be assured of finding one thing in stocked in our freezer: Ground Meats. Mostly of the pork and beef variety. We keep ground meats stocked because in a pinch to make something delicious we usually revert to a meatball or banger recipe. Same meat + different spices + different veggies = a whole new recipe.

leek and spinach bangers 6

This is a leek and spinach banger we whipped up last night and it was pretty freaking amazing. Ingredients logged in on MyFitnessPal puts each banger at about 132 calories and considering the size we make them that’s a pretty darn good number.

The only time consuming part is the veggie prep because you know how much we love being in the kitchen and putting our knife skills to work. There’s something to be said about spending time in the kitchen, slowing down and really putting some effort into your food.


Leek and Spinach Bangers


  • 2 pounds ground meat of choice (we used beef/pork)
  • 3 Leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 3-4 cups of raw spinach, chopped
  • Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp FoC (fat of choice)

leek and spinach bangers 1

The first thing you want to do is prep your leeks, spinach and garlic. Everything should be minced, chopped and sliced small enough to fit into a meatball size serving without chomping down on a big ole piece of something (not that chomping down on a big hunk of garlic isn’t delicious because it is but just in case the person you’re sharing your meal with isn’t a fan just spend a little extra time working on those knife skills).

knife skills at it's finest!

knife skills at it’s finest!

Once everything is looking all pretty and ready to go, grab a medium sized saute pan and add your FoC over medium heat. Add Garlic and saute for ~1 minute, then add leeks and spinach and continue to saute until spinach wilts (about another 2-3 minutes)

leek and spinach bangers 3

In large mixing bowl add sauteed mixture to ground meat and mix well.

Using same saute pan over medium heat, form palm size bangers (like sausages but a little flatter) and cook on each size for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

leek and spinach bangers 4

Right now here in Atlantic Canada winter squashes are in abundance so naturally we paired these with an Amber cup/Sweet Potato mash with a heaping side of vegetable (Lots of check marks for our skinny snowman challenge with this recipe!)

leek and spinach bangers 5

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!


Slow Cooked Cranberry Balsamic Pulled Pork (Paleo)


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We are not ready for winter!

Already missed are the early mornings on the deck, drinking coffee and watching the sun come up before we tackled our days. The last minute walks down to the library to return books just under the wire. The flip-flops. The blasting of the a/c right along with the blasting of the music as we drive down to the states just as the leaves begin to change color.

It’s official. It’s cold as all hell. Snowing even as we speak.

Time to put away all the days of summer and pull out all the layers of winter.

That includes using our crock pot on a regular basis. We have no idea why slow cooking our food feels more like a winter-y appropriate activity. We use our slow cooker all year long but there is just something about looking outside, seeing the cold, filling a crockpot with delicious goodness and anticipating the warmth from within.

A few weeks ago, we got a large bag of fresh cranberries from our local CSA – speaking of which, do you take part in a local Community Shared Agriculture? If you haven’t, spend a few minutes checking out your options. It’s a great way to support local farming and it helps kick start your journey to the hashtag #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen. We made a really delicious sweet potato/cranberry/sausage stuffing for Canadian Thanksgiving (waaaaaaaay back in october) but still had 1/2 bag of cranberries and no idea what to do….

Enter the crockpot.

Here’s a little advice for you if you don’t know what to do with a few ingredients sitting in your fridge: GOOGLE THE CRAP OUT OF THOSE ITEMS.

Eventually you’ll find something and usually it’s gonna be pretty darn good. That’s what we did and that’s how we came across this little doozy. We changed a few things according to our tastes and what we had and we always suggest you do the same.


Paleo Slow Cooked Cranberry Balsamic Pulled Pork


  • Pork Tenderloin (we used a 20oz piece)
  • 1 Tbsp FoC (fat of choice)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries (for a sweeter taste use 1 cup dried cranberries)
  • 1 Large Leek (cleaned and sliced) or medium onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 C Chicken broth
  • 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried Basil

The only “man do I have to do this step” is the very beginning. You have to brown your tenderloin. Lock in those juices friend! LOCK IN THOSE JUICES!!!!

In a large skillet on medium/high heat, add FoC (we usually use bacon grease) and brown tenderloin on all sides. Usually about 2-3 minutes on each side (brown! Not burnt!). After completing this somewhat hassle of a step, throw that delicious hunk of meat into the bottom of your crock-pot.

Add remaining ingredients!

balsamic cranberry 1

Very important step coming up here so pay attention: Cook on LOW heat for 8-10 hours. Not all slow cookers are created equal so pay close attention to your cooking times. Sometimes we’ll read a recipe that says cook all damn day on low and it actually cooks for us in under 5 hours. We know how our slow cooker operates and with this particular recipe 8 1/2 hours was just about perfect.

The Cranberries are fairly tart once the whole shebang comes together so we paired it with a sweet potato and turnip mash.

balsamic cranberry 2

Hello Winter.

We’re ready now.

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!