Zesty Sauteed Collard Greens w/ Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes

Collards are the new kale.  What can I say?

collard greens tgipaleo.com

For those of you who may be skeptical, I admit collards don’t have the best reputation.  I mean, generally they come out straight up *boiled*…goopy, bland, and just plain nasty.  These are not like that.  Sauteeing them with all this simple goodness not only lets the flavor permeate and keep the texture right where it should be, but actually keeps too many of the oh-so-lovely nutrients in these deep green leaves from leaching out and getting thrown away.  Whoever thought it was ok to boil leafy greens…ew.  Just ew.

Zesty Sauteed Collard Greens w/ Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups collard greens, chopped
  • ⅓ c sun dried tomatoes, dried or in oil
  • ⅓ c olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. If you are using dried sundried tomatoes, soak in hot water for 10 mins or so to plump them up.
  2. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat in a large pot or heavy pan with a lid.
  3. Sautee the garlic until nicely browned and fragrant.
  4. Add the collards, stirring to coat in the oil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Allow the greens to simmer for 5 minutes or so, until wilted.
  5. Add the remaining oil, sundried tomatoes, vinegar, and seasoning. Toss to coat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes more. Serve.

 

BBQ Pulled Chicken Platter

Did you notice a trend in the last few days?  My January barbecue obsession comes to a close with a plate full of July picnic fare…

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Sugar-free BBQ Sauce

Butternut Baked “Beans” <—-Seriously, cannot stop eating this stuff.

No-Mayo Avocado Slaw

And finally, a super quick and easy formula for some meaty goodness to top it all off.  You could even do the whole BBQ Sundae in a jar.  You know, with the pickle spear on top?  Too cute.

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I just used leftover cooked chicken breasts to throw this together, but you can also toss some cutlets (or a whole bird) in the slow cooker for the day and it’ll be ready to go!

BBQ Pulled Chicken

2 lbs cooked chicken (leftovers work really well!)

1/2 recipe Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

**Shred the cooked chicken.  Pour on the sauce and mix away.  Serve.

(Too easy.  I love it.)

No-Mayo Avocado Slaw (Paleo, Raw, Vegan)

I made some health-related New Years Resolutions this year.  Hey, even on a Paleo diet it’s easy to fall into a rut when you get a little too cozy with all the junk food that seems like a good idea just because it’s “Paleo.”  Live and learn.

The theme of the dietary stuff is to get more veggies.  It’s pretty simple, and if ANY diet can agree on anything it’s that we could always get more veggies.  So my biggest resolution is to include something green at every meal…I’m also committing to at least one meatless meal a week.  Too easy.

Ross and I are also doing a 21DSD this month.  Which means I’m going to be really cranky for the next week, then totally high on life.  I love Diane’s program…more than anything it’s a great wakeup call.  Unlike a generic Paleo challenge or even a Whole30, it hits you hard by cutting out anything that contains sugar…to include fruit sugar…and get your system back on track.  I feel like other challenges–while great and highly effective for folks new and/or skeptical of the whole Paleo thing–offer a little too much room for error since you’re allowed fruit and starch.  And I also like that the sugar detox is only 21 days…that extra week makes a difference ;-)

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So here’s a quick side I threw together.  I made an ass-ton, since I’ve had this weird craving for summery food even though it’s 7 degrees outside.  It’s great for any meal of the day, too…try it with eggs in the morning, on a salad for lunch, and just as-is for dinner and I’ve met my green veggie goal for the day.  Another bonus?  I didn’t have to make home-made mayo.  I love it SO much but it’s more work than I have energy for at the moment.  And that’s probably because I’m balls deep in my sugar detox hangover.  Yeesh.

4.0 from 1 reviews
No-Mayo Avocado Slaw (Paleo, Raw, Vegan)
Author: 
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Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ c rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • ¼ c full fat coconut milk
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 4 c shredded cabbage
  • 2-3 c packaged broccoli slaw
Instructions
  1. Place the avocado flesh in a food processor with the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse until mashed up.
  3. Add the vinegar and coconut milk a little at a time, pulsing until smooth.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage and broccoli slaw with the avocado mixture. Stir to coat.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the fridge. Makes 6-7 cups.

 

Easy Butternut Squash Risotto

Risotto is seriously intimidating to make.  I mean, c’mon…how many competitors on Chopped get destrominated because they try and fail…miserably…to make risotto.  But I love it enough that I took the plunge and gave it a shot.

So, listen, I’m here to tell you it isn’t that bad…this was such a nice winter meal that was definitely do-able…on a weeknight, no less.  Just takes a little extra TLC.  It’s one of those dished that requires your full attention whilst cooking–so I’d recommend you have everything ready to go before you start–veggies chopped, broth hot, wine glass filled…

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Oh, and for all the radicals out there, yes, I am fully aware that this recipe has dairy and–*gasp*!–rice.  Maybe those aren’t part of your Paleo, but they’re sure as hell part of mine.  I eat rice.  And cheese (sometimes).  Deal with it.

For everyone else…enjoy!  There is also a couple of substitutions to make if you want to keep this bad boy dairy free.

Easy Butternut Squash Risotto
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c arborio rice
  • 5 c chicken stock
  • ¼ c butter**, divided in half
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c diced butternut squash
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 c shredded Parmesan cheese**
Instructions
  1. To make the squash easier to work with, place the cubes into the food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times to get them nice and fine.
  2. Heat the stock in a saucepan to a light simmer. Have a ladle handy.
  3. On a burner next to the saucepan of stock, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add half the butter.
  4. Sautee the onion, squash, garlic, mushrooms, squash, sage, and thyme for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until the onions are transluscent.
  5. Add the other half of the butter and the rice.
  6. Stir the rice and the veggies to coat for a couple of minutes and add enough stock to just cover it.
  7. Continue to stir and as the rice absorbs the liquid, add another ladle-full of stock.
  8. Repeat this process for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  9. Stir in the Parmesan.
  10. Serve as a side or as the main event.

**To keep this recipe dairy free, simply omit the cheese and use coconut oil in place of butter.  Add a little coconut milk to create a creamy texture.

Roasty Toasty Fall Veggies..with Bacon

Confession…I’m a wee bit obsessed with the British royal family.  Well, not so much the family themselves but really just the clothes that Kate and Pippa Middleton wear.  More Pippa these days.  Ever since Kashete became a mommy (which is awesome, don’t get me wrong!) I feel a disconnect between us…I’m still a fresh-faced newlywed and you…she’s a real live grown-up now.  Which means we automatically have nothing in common.  Except that I’m absolutely obsessed with those giant wedges she was wearing at the kids’ volleyball game.  I ordered a pair of these but they came in way too small (damn you, European size chart!!) and now I can’t find ANYTHING similar in my size (shocker…the whole world wants those shoes…and I have giant feet).  And worse, every time I put in a search for “wedges” or “wedge heels”…for some awful reason I keep getting stuff like this.  If you actually wear these…not hating or anything but…I hate them and think they’re friggin ridiculous.  Sneakers are cool.  Heels and wedges are cool.  Sneaker-Wedge-Heels are NOT OK.

Oooooh so let’s stop talking about my fashion icons and talk about food for a sec.  This dish…welp…this dish has made an appearance almost daily and has been sustaining me all semester.  Very little prep.  Makes great leftovers.  Bacon.  It’s a total lifesaver.

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I wasn’t going to share originally because, I mean, it’s sorta kinda maybe boring looking?  Except that I’m obsessed–try new veggies, duck fat instead of bacon…I dunno.  For more civilized folk it would even make a phenomenal side dish.  Especially with Thanksgiving coming up in less than a week!  Eek!

Fall Veggies Roasted in Bacon Fat
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Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into lardons
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • ½ large butternut squash, diced
  • 1 c sliced mushrooms
  • 1 t dried rosemary
  • 1 t salt
  • pinch black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Preheat the pven to 375 degrees.
  3. Add bacon and brown till crisp and has a good amount of drippings.
  4. While the bacon is cooking, toss all your veggies into a large roasting pan...make sure it's big enough for everything to spread out in an even layer.
  5. Pour the bacon and drippings all over the veggies.
  6. Add the seasonings and mix everything to distribute evenly.
  7. Roast the veggies for 1 hour.
  8. Serve on its own or as a main dish!

 

Detox Salad

As soon as I saw this recipe pop up in my Facebook feed, I hopped on the bandwagon.  I mean, who DOESN’T need something wholesome to eat in between Halloween candy binges?  (Oh, Reese’s Pumpkins…you are my nemises…)  Buuuuuut when I went shopping my TJ’s didn’t have any beets or sunflower seeds (seriously, WTF?), so I kinda just grabbed anything and everything I thought would taste good together.

detox salad

Here’s my own riff on this salad, and it’s pretty damn good.  Filling, so healthy it hurts, and a great way to change up my daily Big Ass Salad.  I’ve had this every single day for lunch this week with some chicken and it’s so much more fun than spinach and tomato.  Plus, you know, it’s got superfoods in it.  Kale and cabbage and apple cider vinegar, OH MY!

Detox Salad
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**This recipe can be scaled. I made a HUGE batch to last the week.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 4-6 cups shredded kale
  • ½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ½ c RAW almond butter
  • 2 T fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Toss the cabbage, carrots, kale, and cilantro in a big salad bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, almond butter, ginger, and vinegar.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

 

Layered Paleo and Vegan Enchilada Casserole

I love Halloween but Halloween loves me.  Too much.  Smothering me with sugary sweetness and refusing to let go.

It’s not me, Halloween.  It’s you.

Nothing better to start anew and kick off November than with a nice, wholesome veggie-packed meal before I start baking Thanksgiving pies, eh?

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I know quinoa is a controversial ingredient amongst Paleo-ites, but I’m cool with it.  So I don’t want to hear it, k?  However, this would be equally as delicious with cauliflower rice, rutabaga hashbrowns, or white rice if you’re cool with that.

Couple things about this recipe…it’s a relatively high-prep recipe so I’s recommend doing some prep in advance.  When I do my weekly cook=up for lunch I tend to have a lot of this stuff around (that’s actually how this little guy came to be…just another one of my “whatever-let’s-just-throw-all-my-leftovers-in-a-pot-and-see-what-happens” dealios).

Special thanks to Paleo Pot for this riff on “refried beans” that was a critical addition.

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Vegan Enchilada Casserole
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Prep time: 
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Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 delicata squashes, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ c water
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c kale, torn up into small pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 leeks, sliced
  • 1 c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 c cooked quinoa (or cauli rice, etc)
  • 1-2 c salsa
  • 3 ripe avocados, mashed
Instructions
  1. Place the delicata squashes into a pot with the cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, and water. Bring to a good simmer, cover, and cook for an hour.
  2. Mash up the cooked squash, remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with 1 T olive oil, chili powder, and salt and spread on a baking pan. Roast at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, place the kale, bell pepper, onion, and leeks with the last bit of oil and salt. Toss to coat. Set aside
  5. Whew! Finally ready to assemble this bad boy...
  6. In a large baking dish, first spread half the cooked quinoa on the bottom.
  7. Then cover with half the mashed delicata squash.
  8. Then spread the roast sweet potatoes.
  9. Then spread/dollop the mashed avocado.
  10. Spread the other half of the quinoa.
  11. Then the other half of the delicata squash (it's OK if layers are thin)
  12. Spread a layer of salsa,
  13. Finally, spread the veggies.
  14. Cover and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
  15. Uncover, raise the temperature to 425, and bake for 15 minutes more.
  16. Serve and enjoy!

 

Ancho Chili Sweet Potato Enchiladas w/ Avocado Crema

Here’s a picture of a cat.

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Orange Kitty decided that the space between the keyboard and the end of the desk was perfect for naptime.  Makes typing really hard.  But I can’t say no to that face.

Sooooo…another vegetarian dinner!  I was craving Mexican food like nothing else and figured I’d give some enchiladas a whirl.  No, I’m not a Veg Head…but I will say I have my reasons for incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet.  Namely, plants are , like, really good for you.  And quality meat is expensive and I’m on a student’s budget…which is hard since I’m not 21 anymore and don’t enjoy living in a dorm eating nothing but instant oatmeal packets.  Five years of having disposable income kinda spoiled me, what can I say?  And I really don’t enjoy knowing that my steaks from the big box grocery store are probably pumping me full of hormones (like I don’t have enough already) and all the other weird crap that filters into the animal’s body fat stores.  Factory farmed meat is creepy, y’all.  OMG I sound so paranoid.  Please don’t think less of me.

Look!  Dinner!

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So these enchiladas.  They’re a wee bit time consuming only because the tortillas take forever to make.  God…first I inundate you with vegetarian meals and then I make them tedious.  Cool, real cool.  Totally worth it, though.  Ross and I killed that entire dish in about an hour.  Food coma ensued.  But, you know, it had sweet potatoes and kale and fresh peppers and avocados…so basically that means we’ll live forever now.

What do you guys think of this plant-based takeover?  Don’t worry…in about a week I’ll start busting out the sweet stuff again, so maybe that’ll win you all back.  I’m thinking pumpkin flavored…everything.

Ancho Chili Sweet Potato Enchiladas w/ Avocado Crema
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 dried ancho chili peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Black Pepper
  • 4 garlic Cloves
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1½ c chicken stock
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 c fresh kale, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 6 Eggs
  • 6 T coconut flour
  • 6 T coconut milk
  • 2 Large Avocados
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • ¼ t cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the ancho chilis, tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and stock. Pulse until it's liquefied.
  2. Transfer the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least an hour.
  3. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the diced onion and pepper. Pour in the coconut oil and toss to coat.
  4. Spread out on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  5. Allow to cool and add the kale and a ladle-full of the red sauce to the mixture.
  6. For the tortillas, whisk together the coconut flour, eggs, and coconut milk.
  7. On a skillet over medium heat--note: you want to make sure the surface is VERY well lubricated--pour batter by ⅓ cup fulls and swirl to spread.
  8. When the surface bubbles a little bit and starts drying, use a spatula to loosen the edges a bit.
  9. When lightly browned on one side (this takes 2-3 mins) flip over and brown the other side.
  10. This part takes patience so I apologize in advance...continue making tortillas until all the batter is used up, stacking finished tortillas between sheets of paper towels.
  11. For the avocado crema, pulse the avocado, coconut milk, and remaining seasonings in a food processor till smooth. Set aside.
  12. To assemble the enchis, fill each tortilla with the sweet potato mixture. GENTLY roll up the tortilla and place it in a greased 9 x 17 pan. Continue till it's full.
  13. Pour the red sauce over the enchis and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  14. Remove from the oven and spread the avocado crema over the enchiladas.
  15. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer.

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Cheezey Spaghetti (Vegan!)

Oh yeah, you read right.  Ross and I had a VEGAN dinner last night.  It was also Paleo…which I tend to get excited about since there is so little that happens to be Vegan AND Paleo AND is substantial enough to make a meal.  Seriously, you can’t give me a salad with no meat and call it a meal.  You just can’t.  So, no, this isn’t a salad.

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I do have an strange interest in Vegan cooking despite my taste for flesh.  I honestly have a lot of respect for the Vegan movement–like Paleo, Veganism ultimately seeks to better the health of our population with good, clean food and do away with nasty ass farming practices and pumping our food sources full of hormones and antibiotics and stuff.  The more militant members of the movement get a little weird, sure, but so do the militant members of the Paleosphere.  A healthy diet shouldn’t be intimidating or make us feel like they’re bad people for not buying in.  I can be an asshole sometimes, I know, but I hate it when bloggers and spokespeople get condescending–like I’m not truly Paleo if I make Paleo desserts…or include dairy sometimes…or because I don’t follow so-and-so’s definition of Paleo to a tee.  Um, yeah.  Bite me.

What I do like about Veganism is the focus on the benefits of a plant-based diet.  Not all that soy-based crapola, but the emphasis on quality produce and sources of naturally occurring nutrients.  Lately, I’ve been working on making my own diet more plant-based…I think one thing we can all do to improve our health is to get more veggies.  Animal protein is an essential part of our diet, but a lot of folks, even those who have been Paleo for a long time, believe Paleo is all about eating massive quantities of meat and fat and very little of anything else.  I like my steak and bacon and all that as much as the next gal, but seriously.  Filling my plate with produce and supplementing with animal protein is much more effective.  And colorful.  You need veggies and other plant matter to get a number of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and high-quality carbs that your body can access for quick fuel.  For me, thinking less 50/50 animals to plants and more 35/65, perhaps.

So this cheezey spaghetti.  I was blown away at how good it was–the sauce tastes like Velveeta.  It’ll undoubtedly make an appearance again soon.  Like, on a cheeseburger.  Or with bacon.  Oh, geez, this would make a hell of an eggs Benedict.  My quality of life just got soooo much better.

(Cheeze Sauce recipe from Oh She Glows)

Cheezey Spaghetti (Vegan!)
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 c + 2 T raw cashews
  • ¾ c vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ c nutritional yeast
  • 1½ T Dijon mustard
  • ½ t onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bake the spaghetti squash at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Split in half and scoop out the flesh with a fork into a large bowl and discard the seeds.
  2. Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until fine.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
  4. Scrape down the sides and continue to pulse until the sauce is gooey and smooth.
  5. Add the sauce to the spaghetti squash and toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until heated through. This dish can be made ahead without baking and baked just before serving.

 

Coconut Beef Curry

I can’t believe I’d never used fresh leeks before now.  SO much…RICHER…than onions on a dish like this.  And rich is good when you want to ditch the sugar and not feel like you’re eating rat food.  Not even bird food…birds at least eat, like, berries and stuff.  And Diane’s sugar detox only allows ONE…UNO…green apple and green banana a day, and I can’t stand either of those things.  So bring on the coconut milk!

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This recipe is my take on this GF, Vegan chickpea curry that popped up on How Sweet It Is a couple weeks ago.  Literally, all I did was swap out the chickpeas for beef and some eggplant and add more coconut milk and curry paste, so full credit goes to Ms. Jessica.  This curry would also be lovely with chicken, pork, or shrimp…or even on its own as a veggie entree or side!

Adapted from this recipe.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Coconut Beef Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2-ish T coconut oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced (clean and trimmed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ t freshly grated ginger
  • 4 T red curry paste
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 c sugar snap peas
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 pound stew or stir-fry beef
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
  2. Add the beef and brown on all sides, then remove and set aside.
  3. Add the leeks, red peppers, salt and pepper to the beef drippings and stir to toss.
  4. Cover and cook until the vegetables have slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the garlic, ginger and curry paste and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in the peas, eggplant, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the beef and allow the curry to simmer for 30 minutes or more.
  8. Serve alone or over cauliflower rice.