Butternut Squash and Zucchini Spaghetti Plate

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Guys! I FINALLY got around to getting myself a spiralizer, and oh my gosh – it is the best thing EVER!  I decided to get myself a lil Christmas present, because well…I deserve it ;), and this spiralizer was it! It was delivered today, and I immediately got it out, washed it up, and made this delicious “spaghetti” dinner with it! I actually didn’t expect it to be as easy to use as it was, and clean up was a cinch, so I am super satisfied with its purchase, and our tummies are happy with our dinner!

This dish is absolutely delicious! I spiralized butternut squash and zucchini, but you can totally stick to just one type of veggie. I was just overly ambitious since this was my first go with the spiralizer! Both types of noodles turned out amazing, and both butternut squash and zucchini have some pretty awesome health benefits!

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I added cooked chicken and baked brussels sprouts to my “spaghetti”, and I topped it with a sauce made of plain greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar – delicious!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI NOODLE DINNER

Ingredients (makes 2 – 4 servings, depending on size):

  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/2 butternut squash, seeded and peeled
  • 1 medium zucchini, ends cut off
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic granules, divided
  • 1 cup of cooked chopped chicken
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a spiralizer to make noodles out of your butternut squash and your zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer, then you can hand cut thin strips, or you  can use a carrot peeler to peel long thin noodles.

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2. Toss your brussels sprouts in about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and 1/4 tsp. garlic granules. Spread evenly on one of the prepared baking sheets. Then, toss your noodles, onion, and garlic in about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. garlic granules. Spread evenly on another one of the baking sheets. Bake the brussels for about 25 minutes at 380 degrees, and bake the noodles for about 18-20 minutes at 380 degrees.

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3. While the veggies are cooking, use a small bowl to mix together the yogurt, apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp. garlic granules, and the dried basil together in a small bowl. Stir to combine completely.

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4. When the veggies are done baking, combine the vegetables together in a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken, and stir in the yogurt mixture to coat. Transfer to plates, and season with sea salt to taste.

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YUM!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Casserole

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This recipe has me all excited! I was craving buffalo chicken recently, but I wanted it to be healthy! I decided to see what I had on hand to try to get that flavor while still filling my body with lots of nutrition. I found some spaghetti squash, chicken, pumpkin, carrots, onion, coconut milk, and eggs. Huh…well I figured throw in some spices, and lets see what we can do. Guys, I even surprised myself with how good this turned out! And it totally hit the spot in terms of my craving!

I love spaghetti squash, because it can lend itself to so many different dishes, and it’s great for you! Why? Well, take a look at this lil’ pin and find out!

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Awesome, right?! With this as one of the main ingredients of this dish, you know it’s gonna be good! Plus, all the other ingredients are great for you too! I used chicken, spaghetti squash, carrots, and onion for the base of the casserole, and then I made a sauce out of pumpkin, eggs, coconut milk, and spices. It actually ended up tasting like there was cheese in there, but there’s not any! You could add some, I suppose, but you really don’t need to…I think the coconut milk gives it a creamy texture, and with the spices, it tastes a lot like there’s cheese in there already. At any rate, it’s DELISH, and you will absolutely love it!

BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 1 very large spaghetti squash, or 1 1/2 smaller spaghetti squash
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded into bite size pieces…you can use chicken breast or thigh. I used thigh, because it was what I had on hand, but I think breast would go even better with this dish.
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • pinch – 1/4 tsp. of ground red pepper (optional – amount is up to you too – more = hotter/spicier)
  • sea salt for seasoning
  • Olive oil for cooking

Directions:

1.) Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, and brush with olive oil. Place face down on the baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees. When done, take out of the oven, and reduce the heat to 380 degrees. Let the squash cool till you can handle them comfortably. Use a fork to shred the insides onto a clean dishtowel. Use the dish towel to wrap around the squash, and squeeze as much moisture out of the squash as you can. Set aside.

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2.) While the squash is baking, heat 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and let cook till it starts to sweat – about 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots, and allow to cook until the carrots begin to become tender, about another 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

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3.) In a small bowl, stir together, the pumpkin, coconut milk, and spices. In another small bowl, whisk the eggs. Pour the eggs into the pumpkin mixture, and stir to combine completely.

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4.) Use olive oil to oil a 9×11 baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper. Place the spaghetti squash, carrots and onions, and chicken in the baking dish. Stir to combine. Top with the pumpkin and egg sauce. Stir in to combine completely. Spread out evenly in the dish.

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5.) Bake in the oven at 380 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let sit for about 5 minutes.

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6.) Use a spatula to cut into square servings and transfer to a plate. Season with sea salt. Eat as is, or stir it all up to have more of a “messy” dish.

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YUM!!! Enjoy! 🙂

Cheesy Vegetable Torte

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A vegetable cake?  Kind of!  Wow, so I came across the following pin on Pinterest the other day:

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It got me to thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner, and how I could include something from each color in one meal.  I went in the fridge and realized that I had all of the colors in the vegetables sweet potato, rutabaga, cauliflower, red onion, spinach and arugula, and garlic.  Then, I looked in the cupboard and saw my spring form pan that I usually use to make yummy healthy desserts like ice cream cakes.  I figured why not make a vegetable cake, or torte?

The recipe is really simple…it’s basically just layering vegetables of your choice with cheese as a way of holding it all together.  i used the vegetables that I listed earlier, but you can use any veggies you want, making sure that the top and bottom layers are some sort of sturdy veggie like sweet potato, rutabaga, or turnips.  i will say that the veggies I used created a perfect blend of flavors, in my  humble opinion though!

I used a 9 inch spring form pan, so you may need to adjust the amounts of each ingredient based on the size of your spring form pan.  Let’s take a look at the recipe!

CHEESY VEGETABLE TORTE

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 4-5 cups mixed spinach and arugula
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used a hard goat’s milk cheese)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • olive oil spray
  • garlic granules

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic cloves and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the cauliflower starts to become tender.  Add the spinach and arugula and cook until completely wilted.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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2.) Spray your spring form pan with olive oil.  Place the following layers in the prepared pan: a layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom, sprinkle on some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, half of the cauliflower mixture, sprinkle with some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules again, a layer of the rutabaga slices, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, the rest of the cauliflower mixture, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, top with a layer of sweet potato slices.  Sprinkle with cheese on top.

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3.) Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any dripping.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Take out and remove the foil, then put back in the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees until the top is lightly browned.

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4.) Allow to set in the pan for 30 minutes at least.  Remove the spring form.

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Beautiful, isn’t it?  Use a sharp knife to cut into slices and transfer to plates to serve.

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Believe me, it’s just as tasty as it is beautiful!  Enjoy! 🙂

Chicken and Broccoli

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Oh my goodness, this chicken and broccoli dish is SO yummy!  This is one of my hubby’s favorites that I make!  With broccoli and chicken being its main ingredients, it’s super healthy for you, and it’s really easy to make even though it tastes like you slaved away for hours making it (don’t worry, it will be our little secret!).

The sauce for this dish is made from ginger, garlic, arrowroot, and coconut aminos.  Coconut aminos tastes exactly like soy sauce, but it is somewhat healthier for you.

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The above pin links to a site that explains some of the benefits of coconut aminos vs. soy sauce.  Some of those are as follows:

  • Coconut aminos are soy-free, so if you have a soy sensitivity, this is an excellent alternative
  • Coconut aminos are non-GMO certified, whereas some soy sauces contain GMOs
  • Soy is subject to cross-contamination of gluten.  There is no possibility of this with coconut aminos, so if you’re gluten free, this should be your go to replacement for soy sauce
  • Coconut aminos have approximately 73% less sodium than soy sauce
  • Soy sauce contains phytoestrogens which can lead to estrogen dominance in women causing various diseases.  Coconut aminos contains no phytoestrogens, so it is safe for women, men, and children
  • Soy is high in goitrogens, which are thyroid inhibitors that inhibit the thyroid from utilizing iodine properly.  Coconut aminos are free of goitrogens

Of course, if you buy 100% organic, non-GMO soy sauce, you avoid a lot of the bads that can be in soy sauce, but with coconut aminos, you don’t have to worry about it at all.  Not only that, but coconut aminos seriously taste amazing!

Okay, now that we’re up to speed about coconut aminos, let’s get to this recipe!

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients (make 4-6 servings)

Sauce:

  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. sardine juice (water from a sardine tin)
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

Chicken and Broccoli

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 5-6 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 green onions, sliced (dark green parts discarded)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) In a small bowl, mix together the coconut aminos, garlic cloves, ginger, and sardine juice.  Set aside while you cook the chicken and broccoli.

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2.) In a large frying pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, and sauté until soft.  Add in the chicken and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through and a bit browned.  Transfer the onion and chicken mixture to a bowl.

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3.) Place the same pan you just emptied the chicken and onion out of back over medium heat, and add the broccoli and 1/4 cup of water to the pan.  Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes, then remove the cover and let the water cook off.  Transfer the broccoli to the same bowl the onion and chicken is in.

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4.) Place the same pan back over medium-low heat.  Add the prepared sauce to the pan and slowly heat the sauce.  Very slowly, add in the arrowroot powder, and stir.  The sauce will thicken up considerably.

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5.) Add the broccoli, chicken, and onion mixture back to the pan, and stir to coat with the sauce.

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6.) Transfer to bowls or plates.  Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.  Top with the green onions and serve.

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Get ready to have your mouth full of deliciousness, and your body full of nutrition!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Spaghetti Squash and Chicken Casserole

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Spaghetti squash is one of my FAVORITES!  SO yummy, and I love how filling it is!  Of course, if you’ve ever even laid eyes on my blog before, you know I am going to now share the health benefits of this awesome squash with you in the following pin!

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Now, do you see why I love this stuff?!?  This casserole has plenty of spaghetti squash as well as other healthy ingredients like onion and chicken breast.

I made this for dinner, but after eating it I think it would make a great breakfast casserole as well.  Really any time of the day, this stuff is GREAT!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash, cut into rings and seeded
  • 1 large red onion, chopped into thin slices
  • 1.25 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oz soft goat cheese
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the spaghetti squash rings on the sheet.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and bake in the oven for 40  minutes.

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2.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chicken and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove the chicken and cut into bite size pieces.  Set aside.

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3.) Heat the 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until tender.  Add the chicken and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is very lightly browned.

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4.) While everything is cooking, create a sauce in a medium bowl by combining the coconut milk, eggs, cheese and garlic granules.  Stir until smooth and well combined.

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5.) Once the spaghetti squash is done baking, take out of the oven and remove the skins.  Use a fork to break the squash into strings.  Spray a 8 by 11 baking dish with olive oil.  Place the squash in the bowl followed by the onions and chicken.  Stir to combine.  Pour the sauce over top and stir to disperse evenly.

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6.) Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 50 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

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7.) Allow to set for 5-10 minutes, then use a knife and spatula to cut into pieces to serve.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

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AWESOME!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

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I have to admit that this stew is DELICIOUS!  I am not usually a big fan of red meat.  Mainly because I don’t usually like the taste.  However, I also am aware of the health benefits of eating red meat (in moderation), so I try to make a habit of it every so often.

In terms of health and health benefits, Dr. Lawrence Wilson says that Lamb is by far the superior red meat.  You can read more about what he says about lamb here.  In the article, he explains some of the health benefits of lamb and why he recommends eating it about two times per week, but no more.

For a quick rundown of lamb’s health benefits and nutrition content, you can click on the following pin.

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This links to an article that explains that lamb is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, copper, manganese, and selenium.

As I was saying, usually when it comes to red meat, I have to choke it down, but I am thrilled to share this SUPER easy slow cooker lamb stew recipe with you all, because it’s really quite good and I didn’t find myself dreading having to eat red meat!

The stew is full of vegetables, and uses arrowroot powder to make it nice and thick.  Because of this, it is filled with gobs of vitamins and minerals!  Seriously, this is a REALLY healthy and yummy way to get a bit of red meat into your diet!

HEALTHY SLOW COOKER LAMB STEW

Ingredients

  • 3 cuts of lamb shoulder (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into large bite size pieces
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped into large bite size pieces
  • 2 cups frozen french style green beans
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules, or 4-5 cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup water, divided

Directions

1.) Cut lamb into cubes, and place in the bed of a slow cooker.  Add the bones as well.  Don’t worry if you can’t get the meat off the bones, it will come right off after it has cooked.

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2.) Prepare your veggies and place them on top of the lamb in the slow cooker.

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3.) Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and 1/4 cup water.  Stir to mix.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or cook on high for 3-4 hours.

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4.) When there is about 1/2 hour left of cooking time, remove any meat left on the bones and discard the bones.  Mix 1/4 cup water with the 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder, and add to the slow cooker.  Stir to coat.  Let cook for another 1/2 hour.

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5.) Once done, ladle into bowls.  Season with sea salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.

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So easy! So nutritious! So tasty!  Enjoy! 🙂

Veggie Stuffed Chicken “Sandwiches”

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Oh my gosh!!! These chicken “sandwiches” that I made are absolutely adorable!  Eating gluten-free, sometimes I really miss just throwing a sandwich together for lunch or dinner, so I am constantly looking for different ideas for “bread” that isn’t really bread.  This evening, I had baked some chicken breasts, and I noticed how much the outside looked like it could pass for bread – LIGHT BULB!  A chicken “sandwich” in which the chicken is the bread.  It turned out wonderfully!  I mean, look!

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And yes, it tastes just as scrumptious as it looks!  It was amazing!

Another plus when it comes to using chicken breast as bread is that chicken has a lot of health benefits!  Of course, we all know that it’s an excellent source of protein, but it goes much further than that!  The following pin lists some health benefits of chicken and links to a site that describes 7 impressive benefits of chicken.

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Awesome!  Plus, um, these chicken sandwiches are so yummy, guys!  You can really use any fillings you would like, but I gotta say that the mixture I made to fill the sandwich really is amazing.  Let’s get to it!

VEGGIE STUFFED CHICKEN “SANDWICHES”

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1 large chicken breast (6-8 ounces)
  • 1/3-1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut into slices and small florets
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups of baby spinach and arugula (mixed), finely chopped
  • 2 ounces shredded cheese (I used a hard goat’s milk cheddar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • garlic granules
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with garlic granules, and place in a baking dish.  bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until baked through.

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2.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the prepared cauliflower on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic granules.  When the chicken has 25 minutes left to bake, place the cauliflower in the oven and bake for 25 minutes along with the chicken.

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3.) While the cauliflower and chicken are baking, heat 1 1/2 tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.  Add the spinach and arugula, and cook until completely wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in the shredded cheese.  Mix completely.

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4.) When the chicken breast is done cooking, cut it in half length-wise.  These will be your two buns.  Cut each of the them in half width wise creating a top bun and a bottom bun for each of them.  Place a layer of cauliflower on the bottom bun, and top with a layer of the spinach and arugula mixture.

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5.) Sprinkle with a small bit of sea salt, and then place the top bun on top, creating a sandwich.

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Dig in!  Enjoy! 🙂