{Whole30} Cajun Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash

With the combination of  ghee, olive oil, garlic and Cajun seasoning, this roasted butternut squash will be a new favorite of yours. 

Squash is one of my favorite veggies. In fact, it was the first veggie I have eaten as a child. My Mom used to cook it with coconut milk, mash the squash and add little white rice. That’s what I did with my siblings, too. No wonder, squash is their top favorite like me. I must admit that we do the mashing of squash until now.

Although I love squash a lot, I haven’t tried roasting them. I think that’s because whenever I try to attempt trying a different recipe, I still end up cooking the one I grew up eating. This time, I had to fight it.

homemade cajun seasoning

Roasting squash is very easy. Peeling and cutting is the insane part that I almost knocked at my neighbor’s door to help me with it. 😀 I am very happy that my efforts paid off.

This roasted butternut squash is flavored with homemade cajun seasoning. I am not very familiar with cajun seasoning and I see so many versions so I followed what I felt I’d love. I am very pleased that everything turned out incredibly good! With the combination of ghee and olive oil with garlic, it tastes amazing!

I am happy to share this with my friends at Fiesta Friday #165. Thanks to our host, Angie and to our co-hosts this week, Monika and Diann.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash


  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I have a recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 420 F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil or a deep large pan which can accommodate your squash.
  2. Cut the squash lengthwise, peel and remove the seeds.
  3. Brush all sides of the squash with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the squash on the greased pan, cut side down.
  5. Roast for about 20 minutes.
  6. While the squash is roasting: In a small bowl, combine ghee, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. You can do a taste test and adjust accordingly.
  7. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the squash to a board. It’s like making hasselback potatoes, make crosswise cuts, about 1/8-inch apart, making sure not to cut all the way thru the bottom. To make this easier, you can place chopsticks or wooden spoons on the long side of the squash so you don’t cut all the way thru the bottom.
  8. Transfer the “hasselback” squash to the baking pan. Pour the oil and ghee mixture, making sure to coat everything between the slits.
  9. Roast for another 20-30 minutes, basting with the cooking juice every 10 minutes.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Source recipe: Eatwell101

Homemade Cajun Seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili/cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients and keep them in an airtight container.

Enjoy your weekend, people! Happy Fiesta Friday!💃🏻


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{Whole30} Baked Sardines in Olive Oil

Fresh sardines baked in olive oil with aromatics like oregano and thyme – super easy to make, yet very healthy. This can be served with salad or if you are not on a Whole30 program, bread or white rice would be perfect!

There are things that I prefer doing all by myself.


All food related stuff – grocery, cooking, food storing and preparation… all things food, I say.

Cleaning the house? Help, please!

Dishwashing? Hmm, let me think about it.

Cleaning fish? That one, my friends, I prefer doing all by myself. Oh, that smile I see from the fishmongers when I say “no need to clean”. I was once asked why I do not let them clean the fish and my answer is always “because I don’t like the dish looks like after it is being cleaned by them”. I am not saying the case is always the same, but there are things that you are really comfortable doing than letting others do it for you. You know what I mean? But this time, I could say that I wished I let them clean the sardines for me. It was late night and it was my first time to get fresh sardines (You say whaaat? Ssshhh!) and decided to clean them. It was a nasty, painful experience (think about the fish bone and me not wearing gloves – don’t ask, I hate wearing gloves).

Thankfully, I won the fight. (Note to self: next time, it’s either you wear gloves or let them clean the fish. I think I’ll go with the second one.)

I hated that fish bone coming out from the sardines when it’s cooked. Anyway, the dish came out really nice that I wanted set aside the Whole30 rules and get a cup or two of rice with me. Gladly, survived without the rice.

This dish is very healthy. Although the dish has few ingredients only, it came out very tasty and oh so good! Okay, enough… why don’t you come to Fiesta Friday #164 so you could taste this amazing dish? 😛

It’s crazy that my topic today is about doing things all by myself and then Angie told me that I am co-hosting alone just after I finished the draft of my post. We are psychic! Ha! Anyway, time to join us now at Fiesta Friday #164 so go ahead – link up, chat and have fun! See you! 😉

Baked Sardines in Olive Oil


  • 500g fresh sardines, cleaned and scaled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking dish that could accommodate the sardines in a single layer.
  2. Make sure that the sardines are cleaned and scaled very well. Place them on a baking dish in a single layer. Season all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, dried thyme, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Mix and pour over the sardines and let sit while waiting for the oven to reach the required temperature.
  4. Bake the sardines for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with salad or bread (can be paired with white rice, too). Drizzle with more lemon juice, if desired.

Source Recipe:  Baked Sardines by Kali Orexi

Enjoy your weekend, people! Happy Fiesta Friday!💃🏻


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{Whole30} Beef, Peppers & Spinach Breakfast Muffins

These egg breakfast muffins are packed with good stuff. These can be made ahead of time which makes them egg-cellent as grab-n-go meal. 

Meal prep is one of the toughest things you’ll have to go through when you are on a Whole-30 program. I usually prepare my meals during the weekend or twice a week (and I stay in the kitchen longer than before). During these times, I cook two to three dishes, depending on my budget and my energy. Haha! I separate them between containers which are good as one serving each. So when it’s time to eat, I take one and pop it in the microwave.

Loaded Egg Breakfast Muffin

These breakfast muffins are perfect whether you’re on a Whole-30 program or not. They are super easy to make, delicious and healthy. These can be made ahead of time, too, so these are perfect grab-n-go meal. They can be eaten alone, can be served with greens or with a ketchup (a whole-30 ketchup if you are on the program… which I have to make that, too, yes?). This is a whole-30 recipe, so these babies are dairy-free, too. 😉 So what do you say, huh? Uh, just make sure you generously grease the muffin pan so you don’t have to go through the pain of removing them from the pan like what happened to me. Deal?


I am taking these beauties at this week’s Fiesta Friday # 163.

Beef, Peppers and Spinach Breakfast Muffins


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half (optional)
  • 1/4 cup red bellpepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bellpepper, chopped
  • 300 g ground beef, lean/low fat
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (I used kashmiri chili)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8-10 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper


  1. In a skillet over high heat, add oil. When oil is hot enough, add in onions, tomatoes and bellpeppers. Cook until little caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add in garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and smoked paprika. Cook for about 7 minutes or until beef is cooked.
  4. Add in baby spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Let cool while oven is preheating.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously spray muffin pan with olive oil spray.
  7. When the cooked beef has cooled down, scoop out about 2 tbsp cup and transfer to the prepared muffin pan, about 1/2 full.
  8. Beat about 8 eggs, season with salt and pepper. Pour beaten egg over the beef until it reaches 3/4 full. (You may need more or less eggs: if the egg is too much, you can fry them up. If less, than crack some more, season with salt and pepper and pour this over the beef.)
  9. Bake muffins for 23-25 minutes or until egg is set.


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Pickled Jalapeños and Onions

Easy to make pickled jalapeños and onions that’s excellent with salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, etc. Cut the sugar and it’s whole-30. 


The usual scene when I see something beautiful at the grocery store? Take a bag or two and leave without even thinking what do I do with it.

I don’t usually see individual jalapeños. So when I saw one, I took a bag. I happily took the bag at the counter, not thinking what to do with it. I was on my second week of Whole-30 that time and I just couldn’t make the melty, delicious jalapeño poppers! Ugh!

So before the jalapeños turned wrinkly and oldie, I made pickled jalapeños and onions joined in. I must admit that I did put sugar in this one and ate with my meals. So, so good – good balance between sweet and tangy. Ahhh… I could eat this whole thing! 😛 I know, I know. Sugar is not a good friend of whole-30, but it’s just ½ tbsp sugar and I will not literally eat the whole thing once – it will not affect my diet (at least that’s what I said to myself). 😛 Don’t be like me! 😀


I am glad that Fiesta Friday #162 is still on, so I could share this one with Angie, Liz, Sarah and with all of you. Thanks to Angie and to our lovely co-hosts. ❤

Pickled Jalapeños and Onions


  • 6-8 jalapeño peppers
  • ¼ cup onions, sliced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp white sugar (remove if Whole-30)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced


  1. Prepare an 8oz air-tight and well-cleaned/sterilized jar.
  2. Sliced jalapeño peppers thinly, about ¼ cm each. Rinse and place in a strainer to drain liquid.
  3. In a pot with medium heat, add vinegar, water, salt, sugar (if using) and garlic. Let the liquid boil and add in sliced jalapeños and sliced onion. Turn off the heat and push the jalapeños and onions down. Cover and leave for 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pickled jalapeños and onions to the prepared jar.
  5. Cover and leave to reach room temperature and keep in the fridge.
  6. Enjoy with salads, sandwiches, burgers… and many more!

Source Recipe:  Pickled Jalapenos by Peanut Butter and Peppers


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{Whole30} Potato Hash with Harissa-Tahini Sauce

A nice twist on potato hash with a bit of kick from harissa-tahini sauce. A one-skillet dish that’s ready in 30 minutes. Healthy and a whole-30 compliant meal.


Yes, I still have more to share about my whole-30 experience. 😀

Whole-30 program is not a weight-loss program. At least that’s what I’ve read. It’s more like of a clean-eating program. Some results didn’t lead to losing weight and some lost much.

In my case, I lost 13 lbs. I felt amazing, not only because of losing weight, but because I’ve proven myself that I can take a break or ditch those naughty foods. It felt great that I didn’t feel the “need” to eat ice cream or brownies.  I feel great and lighter. During the program, I didn’t feel bloated at all. I slept more soundly, but I still feel sleepy at work, though. I think it’s a normal thing for me. 😀


I was surprised by how I felt satisfied with meals like this and not to look for any other foods like burgers, pasta or rice. I have to say I had best friends during these times – potatoes, eggs, spinach and tahini. So expect more recipes with tahini sauce. 😉

This recipe is super easy. I microwaved the diced potatoes while preparing other ingredients so they will be cooked faster when they join the lovely onions and bellpeppers. I also added chopped rotisserie chicken as I had it as leftover from a previous whole-30 meal. The combination of the spices is superb. I must say that I always use that mix of spices in most of my whole-30 meals.


The addition of the tahini sauce? Brilliant!  I just added store-bought harissa to my tahini sauce recipe – it was amazing! I think I put too many sauce, you see. There’s no such thing as too many tahini, yes? 😀 That alone sounds really delicious, but I just couldn’t let this meal pass without sunny side up egg on top! This meal is really satisfying. I made this dish over and over again. It’s like this is my go-to whole-30 meal.


I really enjoyed this meal a LOT. I am taking this with me at this week’s Fiesta Friday #162. This week’s party will be co-hosted by Sarah @ Tales from Kitchen Shed and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas and Spoons. Thanks to both of you and of course, to our amazing host, Angie. ❤ Happy Fiesta Friday!!

Potato Hash with Harissa-Tahini Sauce


  • 2 cups potatoes, diced
  • water, to boil potatoes
  • salt, to boil potatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup red bellpepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup orange bellpepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow bellpepper, chopped
  • 1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 4 handfuls of baby spinach, washed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sunny side up eggs, to serve
  • Harissa-tahini sauce (recipe below, optional)


  1. In a large heatproof bowl, place diced potatoes. Add enough water to cover potatoes and salt.
  2. Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. You can also boil the potatoes over a stove until tender.
  3. When potatoes are done, place in a strainer to drain liquid. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet with medium-high heat, add olive oil.
  5. Add in sliced onions and cook until a little caramelized (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add in bellpeppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add in chicken (if using) and potatoes.
  8. Add in cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder and hot smoked paprika. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. (If you feel that the dish is a little dry for you, add more olive oil).
  9. Add salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  10. Add handfuls of spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  11. Turn of the heat and transfer to a serving plate.
  12. Top with sunny side up egg(s) and drizzle with harissa-tahini sauce.
For the harissa-tahini sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Warm water
  • 1 tsp harrisa paste
  • Salt, to taste
  1.  In a bowl, place tahini sauce. Start off by adding 3 tbsp lemon juice. Add water until desired consistency. Add in harissa paste (you can reduce the quantity or add more). Add salt. Do a taste test and adjust according to your preference. I love mine lemony, a little salty and not too thick and runny… and with a bit of kick from the harissa.


Thanks for being with me today and have a fantastic weekend to all!


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{Whole30} Coconut Lime Chicken

A skillet chicken dish with wonderful flavors of coconut, lime and coriander. So tasty and healthy! 


For me, starting the Whole-30 program was never easy. I was used to eating rice and bread everyday. I eat chocolate everyday and drink sugary drinks almost everyday. “How in the world would I survive this program?” – I asked myself.

Meal planning: Meal planning is the first step I did. Although I always plan what meals to prepare for a week or two, planning whole-30 compliant dishes was not easy at first. There are many things to consider like there should’t be anything dairy, any form of sugar, sugar, legumes, etc. So I carefully searched for recipes that are whole-30 compliant and Pinterest helped me a lot.

Certified total spender: During the whole-30 program, you will spend money way too much, at least that’s what happened to me. As I am following what’s in the whole-30 compliant recipe, I feel the need to follow what’s in the list of ingredients. Before the program, I could just settle for a whole chicken and cook whatever my tummy feels to eat regardless of the ingredients I’ll cook with it.

I used my pans, pots and oven way too much. Since I cannot consume what’s inside the fridge or anything I wanted to eat like before, I had to cook more. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen more than the usual. I had printed recipes taped to the cupboards like I was going to take a bar exam.

Hungry, but not HANGRY. Of course, I felt hungry, but not to the point that  I get furious when I cannot eat this or that. As far as I can remember, no serious cravings. The only thing I craved for are potatoes, spinach and eggs. No chocolate – hooray!

Read labels. I always read food labels when I want to buy something I am not sure about. When I have a doubt, I put it back on the shelf and think of an alternative, if there is. If not, I leave the store, but not with a heavy heart.

I kinda love Whole-30 compliant dishes. I quite enjoyed browsing Pinterest for whole-30 compliant dishes. I have tried some of the recipes on my Pinterest board and they were absolutely delicious! And of of them is my version of this coconut lime chicken.


This is a one-pan chicken dish that’s full of flavorful stuff like coconut, lime and coriander. This is exceptionally good. The combination of the flavors is so perfect. I am sure addition of baby spinach would be great as well. I would love to make this again. Hmm, by the weekend? 😛

The chicken can be shredded and turned into a soup. Get that bowl of yours and place a serving, top with more coriander and squeeze of lime juice. I made that version as well and it was fantastic. At first, I served this first with my cauliflower rice – oh, it was the best! The second day, I turned this dish into a soup. I am more convinced now that healthy dishes are delicious, too. 😉


I hope you all love this one as I am also taking this delicious dish at Fiesta Friday #161, co-hosted by Laura. Thanks, Angie and Laura. ❤

Coconut Lime Chicken

Ingredients: coconut-lime-chicken-tnscc-3

  • 3-4 boneless and skinless tender chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, homemade or organic
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped (more to garnish)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot* starch dissolved in 1 tbsp water


  1. Sprinkle each chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. In large skillet or deep pan with medium-high heat, add coconut oil.
  3. Add in chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until brown in color.
  4. Remove the chicken and transfer into a plate.
  5. Add in onion and cook until translucent.
  6. Add in red chili and cook for another minute.
  7. Add in lime juice, chicken stock and coriander. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add in coconut milk and chicken. Simmer again for about 10 minutes.
  9. Add in arrowroot starch and water mixture. Set the fire to high and once boiling, reduce the heat again to low. Cook until sauce is a little thick or for 5 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat and garnish with more chopped coriander and/or sliced red chili.


*If not in Whole 30 program, cornstarch can be used instead of arrowroot 

I used homemade chicken broth 

Source recipe: Coconut Lime Chicken by A Saucy Kitchen



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{Whole30} Cauliflower Rice

This cauliflower rice is a great and healthier substitute for white/brown rice. It’s perfect for stews, stir fry dishes, eggs and lot more. 


“I will start my diet tomorrow.”

That’s always the statement I’ve been telling myself for years. I didn’t even know what tomorrow means anymore. 😛 I’ve maintained my weight for years which is still overweight compared to my height. I didn’t care. Until one day, the scale just slapped me with additional 8.8 lbs. I had to buy new clothes. I blamed the inflammation I have in my body due to RA. My ex-colleague laughed at me when I told her “You know what? I think I am heavier now because of this inflammation.” I think I was waiting for her to agree with me, but she just laughed. 2017 came and no diet happened.

Just one month ago, I’ve finally decided that I should really start. On the same day of thinking about starting (and I am still not sure if that will be like final final), the Whole-30 Program just popped out from my brain.

When I checked the rules of the program, my first reaction was “Seriously? NO SUGAR, NO BREAD, NO RICE.. No ALMOST EVERYTHING I ENJOY?’ Knowing myself, I wouldn’t ever take a break from having sugar, rice and bread! No freaking way! But something just pushed me to do it. And I am very proud to say that I completed one round of the Whole-30 Program.

I will continue the story about my experiences on the next post as I don’t wanna bore you with a long post.

Now, let’s talk about this Cauliflower Rice…


I never thought, in my entire life, that I would trouble myself with making this rice. I would always tell myself “Why do I have to try or make it when I can cook white rice? That goes way better with stews and all.” I ate my words, I know.

Cooking white rice in a rice cooker may look easier, but this cauliflower rice doesn’t take that much of energy. Plus, it’s healthier and also goes very well with stews, scrambled eggs, stir fry dishes and a lot more. This can be cooked with water or broth, but broth will make the rice tastier. I hope you’d try it, too, and let me know what you think. 😉

I am taking this healthy stuff at Fiesta Friday #161, co-hosted by Laura. Also, thanks to our amazing Angie for having this party for us every week.

Cauliflower Rice


  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp broth
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Spring onions, sliced (optional)


  1. Break cauliflower into small florets, discarding the leaves.
  2. Place them in a strainer, rinse and let them dry.
  3. When they’re dry, place them in a food processor.
  4. Pulse until the florets look like grains of rice.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, add in coconut oil.
  6. Add cauliflower rice, stirring constantly, for about a minute or so.
  7. Add in broth and cook for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower rice is cooked/tender.
  8. Turn off the heat and add in sliced spring onions.
  9. Season with salt to taste.


I had about 3 cups of riced cauliflower. If you’ll have more or less, you can adjust the seasoning. I used the S-blade. Cauliflower can be grated, too. 

Addition of chopped coriander will be amazing. I just didn’t have them when I made this.

Ghee can be used instead of coconut oil and any broth will do.

I wish you all a relaxing and fantastic weekend! Happy Fiesta Friday!


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