Basket of Baby Heirlooms

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There is so much about the summer that I truly love.  I believe I frequently mention my adoration for fresh produce and the delicious gift of vine ripened juicy tomatoes.

Mmmm….

With just a touch of salt ~

My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Most often I treat myself to the big Beefsteak heirlooms, with their gnarly and knobby edges and happenstance shapeliness.
This week I happened upon a basket of baby heirlooms.

Truly wonderful.

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Basket of Baby Heirlooms

2 c. baby heirloom tomatoes, halved and quartered (changing up the size makes for a fun and colorful salad)
1 lb. fresh asparagus, stems quartered, steamed until bright green, and flashed cooled in an ice bath (drained)
2 Tbs. fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
2 Tbs. fresh chives (including the precious flowers), minced
1 Tbs. Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground sea salt
fresh ground pepper

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Combine all ingredients together and gently toss.  Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to fully combine and develop.  
Best served room temperature…along with your hot and steamy grilled goods!

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And The Hugs are the BEST Part

How amazing is this?

Dance your way through the day today, no matter what.

Breakfast.  Lunch. Hugs.

And, remember “hugs are the best part!”

Live life.  Love LIFE.

It’s MAGIC

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July 17, 2014 · 7:30 am

Beef Béchamel

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This is the mother of all meals ~

Béchamel sauce (/bɛʃəˈmɛl/ or /bʃəˈmɛl/;[1] French: [beʃaˈmɛl]), also known as white sauce, is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine.  It is used as the base for other sauces (such as Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese).

Thank you, Wikipedia.

Inspired by Sarah Fragoso‘s recipe in Everyday Paleo Around the World: Italian Cuisine, I decided to take a stab at this.

Oh brother…oh mother…

Delicious.

We hit the “mother lode.”

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Beef Béchamel

Serves 2

1 large white sweet potato, “spiralized
1 large yellow summer squash, “spiralized
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 lb. 85% ground grass fed beef
1/2 red onion, diced
1 lb. frozen butternut squash
1 14 oz. can full fat coconut milk
1-1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Using a super amazing spiralizing machine, “noodle” both the sweet potato and the squash.  Set aside.

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Brown the beef in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until the fat begins to render.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent.  
Meanwhile, microwave (I know, it’s a dirty word…heat over the stove to thaw, if you prefer) the squash until thawed and nice and warm.  Puree the squash and coconut milk in a high speed blender until nice and smooth.  Pour into the beef and onion mixture and add the salt and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil momentarily.  Reduce to a simmer and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until the sauce really begins to thicken.
As the sauce thickens, in a separate skillet, heat the coconut oil and add the “noodles” to cook until soft and just becoming crispy.
Divide noodles among two giant bowls and evenly distribute beef cream sauce over the two bowls.  
Toss.  Top with a bit of extra freshly ground nutmeg, if desired.  Enjoy.

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