For much of my life, I was embarrassed to admit that I really liked meatloaf.  I don't know if it was Adam Sandler's song about the sloppy joe's (which I know isn't the same thing, but still, it's a song about meat) or if it's that I always felt a little overweight and thought people would secretly think "ha, typical" if I told them I loved meatloaf or if it's just so, well, meaty, that I felt less than feminine for loving it.  Whatever the reason, meatloaf was a guilty pleasure of mine. 

Until a couple of years ago.  For no reason.  I just embraced it. 

Ever since then I've been on the look out for a great meatloaf recipe.  Especially since I cut out processed foods I've been looking for a recipe that didn't have steak sauce or brown sugar or powdered onion soup mix in it.  I was on the verge of (very regretfully) giving up when I came across a new blog.  Kate Schmate.  Kate is a new friend of mine, and I'm not even sure how I happened upon her blog, but I'm so glad I did.  She often blogs about cute clothes or gift ideas or other artsy things, the kind of blogging that I'm far from creative enough to pull off.  She also writes, very inspiringly, about her "thirty before thirty" list as she checks them off.  (I wish I had had a thirty before thirty list...maybe I"ll shoot for a forty before forty).  And every Friday, she posts a "Friday Feast" with a new recipe. 

Enter the answer to my several-year-old search for a yummy meatloaf.   I knew it must be good because it came from Kate's mother-in-law, and we all know that mothers from the South are the best cooks.  I was not disappointed.  And I don't think you will be either.  Interestingly this recipe calls for ground beef and sausage, which I've never seen in a meatloaf recipe before.  The sausage gives it a great flavor, without adding anything processed, so you don't feel like you're just eating a hamburger.  Genius. 

So embrace your meatloaf-loving self, and go tell Kate Schmate how much you love her recipe (and her blog!).


1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 pound pastured sausage (I used hot sausage)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 whole wheat hamburger buns diced
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 strip bacon


Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix together by hand.  Place mixture into loaf pan that has been greased with coconut oil or butter.  Place a strip of bacon on top. 

Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Printable Recipe

(Recipe adapted from

Smashed Cauliflower

This recipe might not seem very exciting to y'all, but I must say that it is one of my go-to recipes when I need a good side dish.  I will confess that I'm not always as organized as I'd like to be when it comes to planning my meals.  I try to be, but let's be honest...we can't do it all.  So for that reason, it's not often that you'll open my refrigerator and not find a head of cauliflower in there.  Unless, of course, I use the head that's in there, in which case I (practically) rush out to purchase another one.  Because like I said, it's my go-to side dish, and I never know when I'm gonna need it.

Not only is smashed cauliflower one of the easiest things to cook, but it tastes really good.  My four-year-old nephew fell for it when my sister told him he was eating mashed potatoes.  And he gobbled them. 

So for those of you who are in a hurry at dinner time or who have small children at home (or both) don't, too, can eat real food!


1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Cut off cauliflower stems.  Steam cauliflower until tender.  In a mixing bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Blend with an immersion blender until smooth (or add to a food processor and puree).  Serve immediately.

Orange and Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Scones

Do yall remember those commercials from years ago with a mother sitting in the kitchen reading a book or something so her family will think she's slaving away?  When the timer dings she puts the baked goods on a tray, throws some flour in her face, and walks out to serve the treats while her family ooohs and aaahs over the product of all her hard work.  This recipe kind of made me feel like that mother. 

This recipe is also one of those that help you realize that eating all natural ingredients, cutting out processed foods, doesn't have to be a burden.  With only a few minor changes from the original recipe (white flour replaced with white whole wheat flour, which has the same nutritional value as whole wheat flour but is not quite as dense, sugar replaced with honey) you have something fab.u.lous. to eat.  The orange flavor is subtle so even my husband who doesn't like oranges (weird, right???) loved these scones.  We ate them hot, and I must say, the melted dark chocolate made my Saturday morning, already great because I didn't have to go to work, even better.  And my sister was leaving town that afternoon so I gave her a couple for the flight.  She ate one the next day and told me that I was "so gourmet."  Guess that means she liked them.  I didn't tell her that the recipe was very, very easy.  I'll just let her think I'm gourmet, kinda like the mother in that commercial.


1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, honey, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  (I use my fingers to rub the butter and dry ingredients together).  In another bowl, combine egg yolk and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork.  Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times.  Roll or pat out into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into 4 large or 6 small  squares.    

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy hot!  Or store in air tight container for a several days. 
(P.S.  If this picture looks blurry, that's the steam rising.  Literally.  Yum. My.)

(Recipe adapted from

Salmon with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce

Apparently fish is a miracle food.  Ok, miracle food might be pushing it, but it's really, really good for you.  Because of its health benefits, we try to eat it at least once a week.  Sadly, I don't love fish.  I mean, it doesn't make me gag, but I don't love it proportionally to how healthy it is.  Because I'm committed to eating it regularly, and because I don't love it, I'm always looking for good recipes.  Enter this Salmon with Honey Mustard Sauce. 

I buy our fish from Trader Joe's because they have a good, and affordable, selection of wild fish.  One week my husband went to the grocery store for me, and he came home with salmon.  I typically opt for a white fish because it's easier to camouflage so I was at kind of a loss.  Trader Joe's provided a recipe on the pack of fish.  Being at a loss, like I said, as to how to prepare good salmon, I decided to try it.  Good decision.  The sauce is a perfect blend of sweet and savory.  And it camouflages the salmon just enough.  It's definitely still fish.  But it's got some flavor going on besides just fish.


2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted buter
2 tablespoons Trader Joe's whole grain dijon mustard (I'm sure any brand will do)
black pepper to taste
1 pound salmon
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 cup water


Add grapeseed oil and butter to 12" skillet and cook over medium heat to melt butter.  Add mustard and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 - 2 minutes to toast mustard seeds.

Add fish to pan, sprinkle with pepper and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.  

Remove fish from pan just long enough to stir in honey.  Return fish to pan and cover with a lid to complete the cooking.  Fish should be opaque, but do not overcook.  Remove fish and set aside.  Add water to deglaze pan and heat over high heat to reduce the sauce by about half. 

Pour sauce over fish and serve. 

(Recipe adapted from Trader Joe's "Silver Brite Salmon with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce")

Chicken Basil Stir Fry

For some reason I've been craving stir fry for a couple of months, but I haven't made it yet.  I don't know why except that I haven't come across a recipe that looked really good and I'm definitely a follows-a-recipe kind of a girl.  So if I don't see a recipe that looks good, odds are that I won't be creating within my own kitchen. To that end, I recently ordered a new cookbook, "The Real Food Diet Cookbook," by Dr. Josh Axe.  The first recipe I saw on Amazon's "peak inside" was what made me want to buy this cookbook (which I'll try later and put on here if it's as good as it looks), and I haven't been disappointed so far.  One of the first recipes I tried, because of my aforementioned craving, was his Chicken Basil Stir Fry.  Really good.  It definitely has a soy sauce flavor, but it's not overpowering.  I tweaked some of the ingredient amounts to my taste(and added sliced zucchini because I had some that was going to go bad), in spite of my recipe following habit, so the recipe is pretty forgiving.  Forgiving = easy.  Which is good, especially for those of you new to the whole real food phenomenon.


1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
7 - 10 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cups carrots, peeled and julienne cut
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons Bragg's liquid aminos*


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and mushroom until lightly browned, 3 - 5 minutes.  Add broccoli and carrots and stir fry until broccoli is bright green and carrots are tender, about 5 - 7 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan if needed and cook chicken for 5 minutes or until done.  Return vegetables to skillet, then season with basil and Bragg's.  Cook one minute more or until heated through.

*Bragg's Liquid Aminos is an all-natural answer to soy sauce.  It is a Certified NON-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from soybeans.

(Recipe adapted from Dr. Josh Axe, "The Real Food Diet Cookbook")

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

I think brussels sprouts get a bad rap and people just assume they don't like them.  Maybe brussels sprouts are in the same category with broccoli and any other green vegetable that we don't like when we're children so we assume we don't like them as adults.  Myself included.  

I didn't know I liked brussels sprouts until about a year ago.  For some reason we didn't eat them much growing up, and it never dawned on me to try them.  Even though I learned to love vegetables years ago, it never dawned on me that I might like brussels sprouts.  Until, like I said, about a year ago.  Since that time, I can't get enough of them.  Sometimes I roast them with oil, salt, and pepper.  Sometimes I steam them.  Regardless of how I prepare them, they're always delish.  This recipe, though, beats them all.  Best brussels sprouts ever.  When I served them, my husband told me they were the best thing we've had in a long time.  Yep, they're that good.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved
2 shallots, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon walnut oil (I didn't have walnut oil so I used truffle oil)


Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add walnuts and toast 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant.  Transfer to plate and set aside.

Wipe out skillet and return to heat.  Add grapeseed oil and swirl skillet to coat bottom.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.  Add shallots and garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Stir in cranberries, honey, and 1 cup water.  Partially cover skillet, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated and Brussels sprouts are just tender, but not soft.

Transfer to serving bowl.  Stir in walnut oil and toasted walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper.

(Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times, January/February 2011)

Kale Lasagna Diavolo

My husband calls kale the rich person's greens and laughs at me because I say I like kale but not turnip greens.  We're far from rich (and I can't tell that it's any more expensive than other greens), so that's clearly not why I like kale!  The only thing I can figure out is that I STILL have memories of choking down turnip greens when I was a child, and I promised myself I wouldn't eat them as an adult.  And I haven't.  Odds are, I would like them as much as I like kale.  But I'm sticking to my guns on this one.  Besides, turns out kale is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.  Kale is one of the best sources of beta-carotene as well as calcium, fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, and folic acid. All great reasons to eat kale.  Now throw pasta and cheese into the mix and there's really no excuse not to eat kale.  In the recipe below, I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese simply because I had it on hand, but I'm sure the recipe would be good with the originally called for ricotta.  This recipe is vegetarian, but I think meat would be really good in it as well.  If you're adding meat, brown the meat and add it to the ricotta and goat cheese mxture.


1 tsp grapeseed oil or coconut oil
1 8-oz bunch kale, stems removed
1 15-oz package ricotta cheese
4 oz soft goat cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomatoe puree
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I used cayenne pepper because I didn’t have red pepper flakes on hand)
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat 8-inch square baking pain with coconut oil.  

Cook kale in large pot of boiling water 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle.  Thorougly wring out kale, then chop.  Season with salt and pepper if desired and set aside.

Mash together ricotta cheese and goat cheese in bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tsp grapeseed or coconut oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and cook 15 seconds or until fragrant.  Add tomato puree and red pepper flakes.  Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce in prepared baking pan.  Place 2 lasagna noodles on top of sauce.  Top with half of cheese mixture, half of kale, and 1/3 cup sauce.  Top with two more noodles, remaining cheese and remaining kale.  Top with last two lasagna noodles and cover with remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake 40 minutes or until cheese has melted and lasagne is bubbly.
(Recipe from Vegetarian Times, January/February 2011).