Archive for SCD Recipes – Page 2

The Best Chili I Ever Made: kale & butternut squash edition

best chli i ever made

The Chili with my newest stag head

It’s a rainy September day in Wilmington, and we are currently basking in bowls of the best chili I ever made. There are a few “secret” ingredients in this recipe that I think are important elements to the chili.

spicy sweet

Growing up, my mom made meaty spaghetti sauce that was delicious; both spicy and sweet. She used regular processed sugar in our sauce, but for mine, I used 90% DARK CHOCOLATE. I used 2 squares of an organic bar (about 1 oz.) and it added a rich, sweet element, especially in combination with the sweet BUTTERNUT SQUASH.

To achieve the spicy element that pairs so well with sweetness, I used 1/8 cup of RED CHILI FLAKES. I love these on everything: avocado toast, cauliflower pizza, ice cream (just kidding!) They really are one of my favorite cheap flavor punches. Additionally, I used a can of GREEN CHILIS to deepen the spicy note.

why bison?

Bison is a lean meat that has the flavor of beef, but is packed with less fat and more protein. See my OTHER bison chili recipe for more details! I also like that bison is raised in humane, sustainable practices.

mushrooms

Meaty mushrooms are the key to the texture of this dish. I DID NOT use beans in this recipe because I wanted there to be an easy Vegan Sub out for this chili. Thus, if you are not eating meat, you can simply sub in 1 can of Navy Beans and 1-2 cans of Kidney Beans for your Bison/ Beef. Because there are mushrooms in this chili, it tastes MEATY both ways! Mushrooms are essential to good vegetarian meals. Thank you, FUNGI!

kale

Because Kale.

And those are the secrets for the Best Chili I ever Made!

Butternut Squash, Kale & Mushroom Chili (6-10 servings)

1 butternut squash, sliced and chunked (I used Trader Joe’s pre-chunked)
1 bunch of kale (your preferred type)
1 pound of Bison or Beef (OR sub 2-3 beans as described above)1 can of organic tomato paste
3-4 cups of vegetable broth ( I use the 32 oz box when I don’t use my own which is about 4 cups, but 3 will suffice)
1 large zucchini
1 red onion
1 can of green chilis
1/8 cup of chili flakes
salt and pepper
1 oz. of dark chocolate
cooking oil

  1. In your large chili pot, use cooking fat or oil to saute your chopped onion on medium heat
  2. Add in the beef and dark chocolate
  3. Break down beef, browning in oil for about 3 minutes
  4. Add in butternut squash, mushrooms, chopped zucchini, tomato paste, vegetable broth, green chilis, and spices
  5. Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, and then turn down to low heat for 1 hour. It will look soupy- That’s good!
  6. Stir in kale and cook until kale is softened and absorbs extra liquid

Cuddle up and enjoy!

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

gluten free paleo chocolate chip pumpkin cookies

Arthur wants some!

Matt loves baking cookies with me, so it was the perfect hurricane activity for us on this blustery weekend. It’s our first hurricane season as coastal dwellers, so we both have a bit of cabin fever by now.

I also wanted to bake something and eat it up before Whole 30 starts on Wednesday. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but it’s impossible to resist a fresh, warm cookie! And I do love chocolate.

These cookies are perfect for Celiac and Gluten Free folks. I find that a lot of gluten-free flour mixes have weird after-tastes and a lot unnecessary filler, so I prefer using coconut or almond flour, as a purest.

It’s important to note when baking with Coconut flour, that it does not “rise” or “spread” so you will want to shape your cookies exactly like you want the end result to look! Coconut flour also gives you a soft cookie, not a crispy one. So Matt really likes these cookies for making Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 10 cookies

1/2 cup Coconut Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I use target brand- it’s always in stock and has 1 ingredient!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup melted, then cooled butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup molasses/ maple syrup for Paleo or Brown Sugar for Gluten Free
3 cage free Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Combine all Dry ingredients: Flour, Sugar (optional), baking soda, cinnamon
  2. Add wet ingredients: eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, syrup for paleo, cooled liquid butter
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir thoroughly by hand
  4. Roll dough to smooth and then shape cookies by hand, lay onto parchment paper or greased cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes until bottoms of cookies are a rich golden brown

Enjoy! 

Paleo’s Greatest Hits

I feel a bit presumptuous coming out with my Greatest Hits so early. Sort of like Rihanna getting a lifetime achievement award at the MTV VMAs last night. I started compiling Paleo and SCD recipes to prep for my 30 day detox challenge starting next week, and I realized how helpful it is to have a stack of recipes to help you create shopping lists and plan meals when you’re majorly changing your diet. I hope this online compilation will be especially helpful to anyone joining me on this challenge. It’s also a great way for everyone to have a one-stop-shop for some of my favorite recipes. Gathering recipes also helps me to see what I’m missing in my Greatest Hits and what recipes I might want to experiment with in the coming months– so I have a great list for future posts!

You’ll notice that many of the recipes are also Vegan or at least meatless. You’ll also notice that there are several soups, and this is not by mistake! Using liquid as your source of nutrition and nourishment gives your digestive system a much-needed break. Broth and soups are also a vital part of restoring balance to your system in Chinese medicine.

Below are 14 posts and 16 recipes for you to experiment with! I hope this is a valuable source for everyone to pull from in the coming weeks! I’m excited to start with some of the more late summer recipes: the bouillabaisse, the salad, the almond butter pasta; then move into the squashes and soups into later September.

Guest Post: Butternut Fennel Leek Soup

sweet potato fries with curried ketchup

Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa

Crispy Cauliflower Pizza Crust the right way

Paleo on the Go: 3 simple and filling lunch ideas for the woman on the move!

Bison Chili with Avocado

Video How To: Bacon Wrapped Dates

Anti-Inflammatory Detox Smoothie

Salad Sundays: Week 3 White Nectarine, Basil, & Prosciutto

lemongrass pumpkin soup

Boullabaise and Crispy Salmon Skin

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Almond Butter Indulgences: Savory and Sweet

It’s Almost Soup Season: Creamy, Dairy-free Cauliflower Soup, 2 ways

 

Easy Bone Broth Recipe to Make Right Now

Supporting your gut health is INTEGRAL to having energy and vitality. Some of us naturally enjoy a more diverse Microbiome than others, but the truth is that everyone should nourish their gut regularly. Recently, I wrote about the importance of probiotics and digestive enzymes in my own healing experience, but these things become expensive! Bone broth is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to nourish your gut lining and reduce inflammation- so why aren’t you doing it yet?

Do you buy bone in meat? Why not? It’s cheaper and has more flavor.

Do you discard the bones? Why? Would you throw away a multi-vitamin or a cup of superfood like chia seeds?

The marrow inside the bones of animals is dense with nutrients and minerals that we can’t find in any other source. Bone marrow, and thus bone broth, contains collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline, which reduce inflammation of all kinds– not solely gut inflammation. In short, our grandmother’s chicken soup cured our colds with more than just love and savory deliciousness.

If you take small, easy, cheap steps toward good health, then you’ll become addicted to the positive results. Remember, Hippocrates, father of medicine, told us: All disease begins in the gut. 

Easy Bone Broth Recipe

If you start buying (antibiotic-free, organic) bone in meat, then simply gather all your bones into a pot as soon as you are done.

Add filtered water to cover the bones X 2 (twice as much as you need to cover bones)

Add 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar to draw the marrow out of the bones

Season your broth with salt, pepper, one bay leaf, turmeric, sage, tarragon, or anything you might have in your spice drawer!

If you have carrots and celery, you can add those, but it’s not necessary– this is supposed to be convenient for you!

Bring to a boil and then let simmer for AT LEAST 4 HOURS to draw out nutrients.

what to do with extra bone broth

  • drizzle on dog or cat food for healthier pets
  • use as a base for homemade stews, or sauces– I’m making homemade enchilada sauce with it tonight!
  • freeze in an ice cube tray for later sauces or cups of broth

Weekend Brunch: Paleo Shrimp and Grits

Paleo shrimp and grits

I’m from the South, but I do not understand how anyone could love: vinegar based barbecue, humidity, or grits. So when I adopted an AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) regime, grits were not on my list of items I’d miss. HOWEVER, shrimp is probably my favorite food and everybody, even those of us who are doubtful about grits, loves shrimp & grits! In fact,  I’m often tempted to order it when it’s on brunch menus here in North Carolina (which it almost invariably is) so I was super excited when my Paleo Shrimp and Grits really hit the spot.

I got the idea for Paleo shrimp and grits when processing my cauliflower mashed potatoes from Nomnompaleo’s website. When very under-processed, the texture resembles hot and ready grits. For my Paleo shrimp and grits I used the recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes from Nomnompaleo, available in the link, but I under-processed the same mixture until grainy (as opposed to smooth) and added a cup of grated, aged cheddar (optional- I eat low lactose cheeses on occasion), lots of black pepper,  and a tablespoon of grass fed butter. You already have so much flavor in these “grits” from the garlic and seasoning in the original recipe, so it doesn’t take much!  Actually, it takes LESS processing!

Additional ingredients and directions for Paleo Shrimp and Grits (serves 2)

Applegate Farms nitrate free/ no hormone added bacon
12-16 large or jumbo shrimp
3 green onions, diced
cayenne pepper
coconut oil

  1. While you are cooking and processing your cauliflower, fry 4 pieces of bacon in a cast iron skillet on medium heat
  2. After your bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan and let it drain on papertowels
  3. Add a small amount of coconut oil to your bacon grease and throw your shrimp into the same cast iron skillet
  4. While shrimp is cooking (2 minutes on each side), dice up your 3 green onions (green and light green parts) and crispy bacon
  5. When shrimp is cooked through (pink), stir those shrimp into your grits!
  6. Sprinkle Paleo shrimp and grits with diced bacon, green onions, and cayenne pepper.
    Bonus: Drizzle everything with rendered bacon fat

I didn’t say this one was lowfat, but I DID SAY that it hit the spot! Play around with your garnishes and let me know what you come up! I was so pleased with this brunch because with just 2 pieces of crumbled bacon, 6 large shrimp,  and some cauliflower, I still felt super light and ready to go for a run and hit the beach with my husband!

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Cauliflower Mashed potatoes

blackened salmon with asparagus, cauliflower mash, and roasted red pepper sauce

blackened salmon with asparagus, cauliflower mash, and roasted red pepper sauce

My mother-in-law visited last weekend and made Matt some good old fashioned mashed potatoes! I decided to try my hand at Cauliflower Mash one more time and….

It was SO amazing and flavorful! You don’t get that heavy feeing that comes with regular white potatoes and the cauliflower is so much easier to digest. Additionally, cauliflower is chock full of vitamins C and K and folate, which is especially important for pregnant/nursing women and for kids! Note, different people have different tolerances for cruciferous veg!

I made NomNomPaleo’s Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” and they turned out perfect! If you want them to be totally smooth, you have to process in a good food processor for about 7 minutes. However, I took some puree out early, which I will use as “Cauliflower Grits” for Paleo Shrimp & Grits this weekend! Lightbulb!

saucy vegan

I was feeling decadent because of my Wednesday Orange Theory Fitness workout, which burned 600 + calories (plus after burn). So I grated my favorite cheese into the Cauliflower mixture and baked it for 15 minutes on 350. I really like getting a flavor burst out of natural foods, so I decided to use an aging red pepper to make a roasted red pepper sauce to pour over my salmon, asparagus, and Cauliflower mashed potatoes. It was incredible and would be delicious on pork, fish, or chicken and is a Vegan sauce for pasta & veggies.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce- makes ~ 1 cup

1 Large Red Bell Pepper

1/4 cup almond milk

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cayenne

salt and black pepper to taste

  1. The key step to this recipe is just slow roasting your pepper(s). I put mine in the oven on 400 for 30 minutes on each side. When I removed it from the oven, I cut off the stem and the seeds/membranes pulled out easily.
  2. Combine other ingredients with your pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until completely smooth.
  3. Should be warm enough to serve, but you can also prepare ahead of time and reheat!

 

Boullabaise and Crispy Salmon Skin

Boullabaise

I’ve been taking full advantage of the fresh seafood markets, and thought there was no better way this week than to try my own version of the Boullabaise we had at Galatoire’s in New Orleans in February. It was a rare unfried/ un-rouilled  seafood treat I could have there.*
The result was something fabulous, and also different from our regular old meals of salmon/sushi/cauliflower/steak/salad…repeat. It will definitely join the “fancy meal” repertoire!

One of my goals while we are living here is to learn how to filet my own fish. The fish market gentleman were flashing me grins, insisting I must want a filet of my Rainbow Grouper and head off shrimp, so I politely took them up on the filets and did the heads myself, saving a few for garnish!

I also used mussels in my recipe because we love them and eat them a lot! Clams are just as good! And if you have lobster, PLEASE throw it in! We had eaten all our lobster the night before, so I just had the stock.

Elisabeth’s Cajun Boullabaise (serves 2-4)

You will need 1 hour and….

2 tomatoes, rough chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 can organic tomato paste
6 cups of fish stock ( I used lobster because it’s what I had. NEVER throw away your shellfish shells or fish bones! They make super stocks!)
1 lb. white fish like Cod or Grouper
1 lb Shrimp (save some heads!)
3 lbs. mussels and/or clams
2 threads or pinch of ground saffron
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 lemon
generous s+p
olive oil
red wine

Directions:
1. In a large mixing pot, combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

2. Add stock and tomato paste and bring to a boil, 5 minutes, then turn down to simmer.

3. Once on simmer, add all herbs and spices, fish and shrimp, let cook 3-5 minutes.

4. Add in 1/2 cup of red wine and shellfish for the final 2 minutes. They will open up when your Boullabaise is ready to serve!

I wouldn’t recommend this dish for a LARGE crowd, but it is a stunner for 4-6!

*Some Boullabaise recipes do have a rouille, which includes flour, but it’s not necessary for thickness or taste!

Here is a photo of me preparing the lobster that made our stock. Thanks for the Wedding gift, Auntie Anne 🙂

lobster stock

 

AND Check it out! I burned myself in the process, but I discovered the secret to REALLY crispy salmon skin!
Using coconut oil as your base, get your cast iron pan super hot on Medium-high heat.  Leave your salmon out while the pan heats and pat it as dry as you can, then score the skin in 5 swift motions with a sharp knife. GENTLY place your salmon in the hot oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and finish! It’s PERFECT!

crispy salmon skin

crispy salmon skin

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions are good on just about everything. I love the brightness and acidity that they add to any dish, but Ive been using them lately on salads, burgers, tacos, steaks, and anything that is rich and can benefit from that “bite” of the vinegar. Eating fermented veggies is a cheap and healthy way to balance your gut flora and get probiotics into the microbiome. Also, I normally can’t quite handle raw onions on my sensitive stomach, so pickling them gets that oniony flavor I love back into my recipes and diet.

What you need: a few minutes and….

  • A mason jar or air tight jar and lid
  • 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs. salt
  • 3 tbs. maple syrup or honey
  • 1 large red onion
  1. Slice your Red onion EXTRA THIN by using a sharp knife or mandolin
  2. Combine remaining ingredients into your jar and shake until sweetener is dissolved
  3. Add onions and let sit for at least 30 minutes. These get better the longer they marinate!
  4. ENJOY on Everything!!

Also great for a Antipasto Platter for a party….

IMG_3418

Winner, Winner! One Pan Chicken Dinner

I have discovered fennel. The reason fennel is the perfect one pan ingredient in winter is because it is abundant, seasonal, subtly flavors everything and takes on lemon and garlic really beautifully. My other 3 ingredients in this simple, one pan dish are chicken thighs, parsnips, and carrots. It would also be delicious to use fish in this recipe! Another great substitute would be sweet potatoes for parsnips.

I love cooking, but sometimes you just need dinner to be cheap, fast, substantive, and nutrient-dense. I know that combination sounds impossible, but you’ll get it with this. Getting an array of colors in your veggies is a basic way to ensure that. I also might add that this entire dinner is $8. It would have been cheaper, but I refuse to sacrifice my standards for happy chickens!

One Pan Chicken Dinner

You’ll need 45 minutes and…

Chicken (or fish)
2 fennel bulbs
1 bag baby carrots or 3 large carrots
2 parsnips or sweet potatoes
a few cloves garlic
2 lemons2 Tbsp. White wine

I marinated my chicken thighs overnight in plain yogurt, sriracha, lemon juice and herbs ( just some extra parsley and dill I had). This isn’t necessary, but it helped the tenderness and flavor.
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Slice fennel into fourths, from top to bottom, reserving fronds
3) Chop carrots and parsnips into bite-size
4) Mix together the following to create marinade: juice of one lemon, lemon zest from that same lemon, 5 large cloves of garlic (minced), a few tablespoons of olive oil,  and salt and pepper. And then pour some out for your homies…AKA sacrifice just 2 Tbsp. of white wine for the sauce!
5) Toss your vegetables in this mixture, coating thoroughly, spread them out on the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
6) While veggies are roasting, slice the other lemon
7) After 15 minutes have passed, remove the pan from the oven, add the chicken to the pan, place lemon slices all over and pour the remaining lemon/olive oil/ wine marinade on top. Roast for 25-30 more minutes or until Chicken thighs are done (internal temp of 155/160).
8) Garnish everything with chopped fennel fronds!

Guest Post: Butternut Fennel Leek Soup

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.

One of the best parts of being an adult is finding true inspiration and fulfillment from your friendships. I’m really proud and lucky to say that I’ve been friends with Lori and Far for 15 years now, and they each inspire me in different ways. I’m totally humbled to think that my recipes and health lifestyle have inspired some of their own cooking. Far designed this website and Lori created and wrote this recipe with (ME?!) in mind. I’m excited to share that it is delicious and the perfect healthy way to warm up your icy weekend! Go get your ingredients quick, before the storm! And enjoy being snowed in this weekend.


This took me about 1.5 hours to make from start to finish. It has a very good earthy flavor and I think the
ginger does kick it up a notch, so feel free to use less if you prefer. If you don’t have a hand mixer (immersion blender) you can use a blender but be careful because it will be hot, so only fill it up half way! Also, I have read other recipes that call for coconut milk to thicken it up. I decided against it because once it’s all mixed together, I feel like its rich and thick enough. Here is how I made this soup. I think this is a good base and you can add or subtract anything to suit your taste. I thought, “Liz would have some good input!”

Butternut Fennel Leek Soup- Paleo, Whole 30, Dairy and Gluten Free

You will need 1-1.5 hours and:

1 butternut squash (cut in half and seeded)
1 fennel (separate stalks and fronds from bulb- fronds can be used to garnish)
2 leeks
ginger root (as mush as you want) I used almost an entire root- but
you can use 1-2 inches)
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
smoked paprika
olive oil- just enough to coat the veggies and a little to cook the
fennel stalks and ginger
garlic powder

  1. Preheat over to 350
  2. Chop up fennel bulb into 8ths, and cut leeks in half (I barely cut the
    end off and then just up to where the green on the stalk gets super
    dark- about 5 inches)
  3. Combine in a bowl with garlic powder, salt and pepper and olive oil
    enough to coat.
  4. Then take butternut squash halves, drizzle with olive
    oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. put on greased baking
    dish and surround with leek and fennel and bake about 40-50 minutes or
    until butternut is soft and easy to scrape out and the edges of fennel
    and leek are brown.
  5. Thinly chop up the fennel stalks, ginger and mash the garlic,
    throw into a pan and saute with salt and pepper to taste until almost
    caramelized- add some smoked paprika to taste. Add in the lemon juice.
  6. Then add about 4-6 cups chicken stock, simmer until the veggies in the oven are done.
  7. Finally, take a spoon and scoop out all of the butternut squash -should
    come out very easily and have nothing left but the skin, discard skin
    and transfer everything into a big pot. simmer for about another 5
    minutes. Take a hand mixer and mix everything until smooth- taste test
    it and see if it needs anymore salt
  8. Scoop into bowls and garnish with fennel
    fronds. Enjoy!

I LOVE how Lori uses EVERY part of the Fennel in this. Very clever and professional. Let me know if you guys try this out!

New Obsessions & Perfected Avocado Toast

What are you into so far in 2016? I’m ashamed to say this, but Matt and I were really enjoying “My Diet is Better than Yours” on ABC last night. I was especially intrigued by the “Wild Diet,” which is pretty much another name given to the nutrition that Paleo/SCD emphasizes. The team of men using that diet, including a popular Paleo cookbook author, was leading in weight loss and heart health after the first episode! Additionally, as a geek archaeologist, I really appreciate relabeling the diet as “primal,” “wild” or “neolithic,” which are all more accurate descriptors. I was so happy that these experts were revealing the truth that you have to eat fat to burn fat. In fact, the only diet coach voted off was the one who emphasized juice fasting(for a WEEK!) The transfats in processed foods are our enemy, not the healthy fats we get from avocados, olive oil, and bone broth. Segue to my other favorite thing of 2016, Avocado Toast. You may have heard of this or already be doing it, but I elevate mine by drizzling a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (made for dressings not high heat), and pink himalayan sea salt, which I truly believe is going to make me live forever 🙂 Try it on your favorite sprouted grain toast or on my homemade Paleo bread. I’m obsessed. And remember, healthy fats can power you through the day more effectively than sugary starches!

PS If you want the best version of Avocado Toast ever and live in the area, try out breakfast at The Siena Hotel on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

avocado toast

 

100 posts and sweet and savory paleo treats for Christmas Eve Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I’m so excited that this is my 100th post. I started blogging with WordPress  1 year ago, and my website was up 6 months ago, so I’m happy with my progress.

Today I’m sharing some fun and easy recipes that will help to keep me on track during the holidays. I plan on snacking on these tonight with a cocktail and my family.

Paleo Jalapeno PoppersPaleo Jalapeño Poppers

Processed Cream Cheese is a no go for me, so my poppers are stuffed with cheddar and pimientos and wrapped with Applegate’s humanely raised bacon. You will need 30 minutes and….

8 fresh jalapeños, halved and deseeded
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese1/4 cup pimientos
half a package (or 8 pieces) of bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. slice and de-seed jalapeños, careful not to touch your face! Wear gloves if necessary!
  3. fill each jalapeño half with shredded cheddar and top with diced pimientos
  4. slice your bacon in half and wrap each jalapeño half in 1/2 a slice of bacon
  5. bake for 20 minutes until bacon is crispy

Safin’s Paleo Peppermint Bark

You will need 1 hour, 30 minutes and….

1 cup Cream of coconut
1 cup 100% cacao nibs or powder
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2-3 drops peppermint essential oil or extract

  1. Melt your coconut cream (not milk, you need the thick stuff) in a double boiler
  2. Simultaneously melt (or just after if you only have one double boiler) the other 4 ingredients together; cacao, almond milk, maple syrup, and peppermint extract
  3. Line a dish or pan with sides with parchment paper
  4. Pour both melted mixtures onto parchment paper lined dish or pan and use a knife to swirl it together. The cacao will be denser than the coconut cream and fall to the bottom, and that’s OK! The bark will look cool.
  5. Freeze in the pan for 1-2 hours until solid
  6. Remove from the pan and break apart with your hands to make edges looks rugged, use a knife if it is too hard
  7. Keep bark refrigerated for highest quality. It will taste like a crisp, cold, sugar free peppermint patty!

Paleo Peppermint Bark

Tart Cranberry Relish


This is an oldie but a goodie. I used to love having this at my grandmother’s house when I was little, and now it’s a staple for us around the holidays because it offers the acidity you need to cut those heavy holiday meals. Mine is my own 2015 version because A) it has no sugar and B) I use macadamia nuts instead of pecans because I’m allergic!

Tart Cranberry Relish
What you’ll need: 10 minutes and…

a bag of fresh cranberries
3-4 stalks of celery
1 orange (including peel)
1/4 cup of grapefruit juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts (or a nut of your choice)
1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut

  1. Give orange and celery a rough chop
  2. Combine all ingredients into a food processor, adding liquid as needed. The orange peel is very important to the flavor! Don’t be shy!

broccoli cheddar soup & twice baked sweet potato with herbacious compound butter

Day 3 of the 12 meals of Christmas is coming to you with extra bang for your buck– 2 recipes in one, yes! This broccoli cheddar soup is as good as Panera’s, but without the MSG and if you need a little extra something on the side, then my twice baked sweet potato is perfect! For me, it helps fill the gigantic void in my heart left by crusty garlic bread when I bid wheat goodbye!

Soup

What you’ll need: 1 hour, a food processor or blender and….
2 cups of stock
2 cups of almond milk

1 white onion
2 tbsp butter
2 heads of broccoli
4-5 large carrots, shredded
cayenne pepper

  1. In a pot, melt the butter and cook the onion (finely diced) until translucent on medium-low heat
  2. Add stock, and coarsely chopped broccoli and carrots to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender. Do it in batches if you have to, hot liquid will expand when processed. Process mixture until vegetables become as finely grated as you prefer.
  4. Move the mixture back to your pot on medium-low and add grated cheddar cheese and almond milk,  then stir in until melted.
  5. Season with cayenne and black pepper to taste.

twice baked potato (you can make this is the oven while you make your soup)

What you’ll need: 1 hour and….
1 large sweet potato (for each person) 1 stick of softened butter (1/2 a cup)
a few tbsp. green onion
1 tbsp fresh sage
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup yogurt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and cook potato(es) through until a fork enters easily (about 30 minutes)
  2. In your mixer combine the butter, green onion, and herbs to create your compound butter. If you don’t use it all on your potato you will have delicious herby butter left for other goodies!
  3. Remove most, but not all, of your sweet potato from its skin or  “jacket” but cutting in half long ways and spooning it out into a bowl. You want to leave some sweet potato on the skin so that they don’t fall apart after they’re baked again.
  4. Transfer 1/3 of the herbacious butter mixture into the bowl with the contents of 1 sweet potato and mash together with 1/4 cup of plain yogurt.
  5. Reheat in the oven at 350 this time, in a pan since butter will run, just for 10 minutes until warmed through

sweet potato fries with curried ketchup

This recipe is admittedly inspired by an appetizer at an iconic restaurant/bar in my college town, Chapel Hill. On my paleo/scd diet, I wasn’t getting enough carbohydrates to recover after personal training and weight-lifting, so I’ve had to get creative with the carbs I CAN eat, like sweet potatoes and squash and this is something that I really enjoy.

The best way to ensure your fries are crispy is to get them really, really thin, and I do that with my spiralizer, which is key for thin, crispy fries AND vegetable spaghetti.

What you’ll need: 30 minutes and…

1 sweet potato
natural, organic or homemade ketchup ( I make my own by mixing tomato paste, water, and maple syrup to taste)
curry powder
cayenne pepper
optional to bring it up a notch: 1/4 cup blue cheese and a 1/4 cup sharp cheddar

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. spiralize or finely chop into matchsticks one entire sweet potato
  3. spread sweet potato onto a sheet pan and salt before baking for 25 minutes
  4. while sweet potato fried are baking, mix a pinch of cayenne and a tablespoon of curry powder into a small bowl filled with the amount of ketchup you might typically use for a platter of shared fries
  5. When 2-3 minutes are left you can add shredded cheddar and blue cheese crumbles to drive the fries up a notch and add some delicious fats!
  6. Serve your delicious fries on a platter with your spicy ketchup!

12 Meals of Christmas

One of the big changes I’m making to my own daily diet and thus my blog is reducing animal protein and saving those valuable calories and nutrients for local farms, where I’m assured of the quality of life of the animals. This has added a new dimension to my recipe creation, and really challenged me outside of my comfort zone, so I’m excited to share a compilation of mostly vegetarian, and some vegan and pescatarian recipes.

I’ve been training really hard the last few weeks, and I’ve been replenishing with lean protein from wild-caught fish and shrimp, in addition to more carbs than were in my previous diet. These recipes reflect that nutrient shift,  as well as the seasonal quality of the starches and vegetables that I’m using in my dishes. I’m hoping to use the cohesiveness of these recipes {seasonal, varietal, mostly plant-based, healthy alternatives to comfort foods, and still allergen-free} to create a compilation or cookbook as I build on and test out these recipes. All these recipes are also grain, sugar, soy, and lactose free. So over the next 12 days, you can expect the following recipes:

  • butternut squash & sage quinoa
  • sweet potato cheese fries with curried ketchup
  • broccoli cheddar soup
  • Vegan Holiday Truffles
  • twice baked sweet potato with green onions and herbacious compound butter
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • tart cranberry relish
  • dressed up hearts of romaine
  • SCD/ Paleo Sticky Toffee pudding
  • curried spaghetti squash {with shrimp} and golden raisins*
  • paleo peppermint bark
  • Match stick root veg

I hope you’ll tune in and discover the 12 meals (or desserts)  that you can either enjoy during the holidays or put on the metaphorical “back burner” for next month when you’re trying to reset. And I hope this “plant-based paleo” movement really takes off.

https://i0.wp.com/static.pexels.com/photos/5876/food-salad-healthy-vegetables.jpg?resize=1033%2C689&ssl=1

It’s Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season!

Decorative (and edible) gourd seasonOver here trying to contain my excitement!!! I definitely prefer the natural, muted, fall colors of real gourds, as opposed to the stark orange & black combo this time of year. the good news is, you can decorate with your gourds and eat them too. I’m coming at you today with a Paleo/SCD/Whole 30 recipe for each of my favorite seasonal centerpieces. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Acorn squash agrodulce. I hope you read and enjoyed my acorn squash chili bowl recipe on Mind Body Green. For the leftover acorn squash chili bowls, I slice them thinly up from bottom to top (where you put the chili in) and roast them. They’ve already been baked a bit to soften them for coring, so if you haven’t made your acorn squash chili bowl, then you will need to prebake for 30 minutes at 375 so that you can soften the squash up and remove seeds from the center. For the agrodulce, I used this recipe from The Kitchen, which is SCD/Paleo safe. Honey and Maple syrup are not always Whole 30 approved, but I do use them in very small amounts, as well as agave nectar. I agree that keeping the blood sugar’s stability is important, so I usually cut sweeteners in half, especially honey, so that would be just 1/8 cup in this recipe by Ms. Katie Lee! It is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread, or just a lunch/dinner entree on its own! I especially like this addition to a pork loin meal.
  2. Butternut squash gnocchi with sage butter sauce. These are some of my absolute favorite flavors in the entire Universe and it creates such a warm and hearty, yet delicate meal. To make your gnocchi, you will need 1/2 cup of roasted butternut squash (seeds removed), combined with 1/4 a cup of mashed sweet potato. I combine in a food processor with 1/4 a cup of sifted coconut flower and 1/4 a cup of sifted almond flour, then add 2 eggs,  1 tsp. sea salt, and garlic salt. Next, you will bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove your dough mixture and sprinkle generously with more coconut flour. Finally, you can follow the simple directions of making gnocchi in this video from minute 3-4 by rolling your dough up into a long tube and cutting 1 inch squares (makes about 30-40 squares). Gently, add your gnocchi to your boiling water, a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. They will rise to the top when done in 3-5 minutes. While you are doing that, in a pan, you can begin to brown 1/4 a cup of butter or ghee with 2 tbsp. fresh, chopped sage. To brown and not burn butter, you just want to heat it on medium/high and constantly stir until it is a golden, nutty color.
  3. Neck pumpkin Cinnamon mash. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the neck pumpkin into a baking dish, with the rind pointing up. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Set the baking dish in the hot oven. Bake the neck pumpkin until it is tender. The time will depend on the size of the pumpkin. Poke the rind with a fork. When the tines slide through easily, the pumpkin is done. Remove the rind and mash the pumpkin as it cools to the touch. I like to use my food processor to blend in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of almond or coconut milk, and plenty of Cinnamon and Nutmeg. This dish is reminiscent of my Thanksgiving Acorn Squash Puree from last year.

I also love using gourds as lanterns, rather than (or in addition to) pumpkins. There is some ethereal harvest feel I get from them that somehow surpasses the traditional jack-o-lantern. Good luck with your gourds and your paleo/whole 30  efforts to eat more simply, locally, and healthfully this season!

Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season

Martha Stewart Gourd Lantern

Crispy Cauliflower Pizza Crust the right way

crispy cauliflower pizza crust
This is a legit good recipe. Who wants soggy fall apart crust? I want crispy cauliflower pizza crust, don’t you?! I was a little shocked when I was perusing online for a cauliflower pizza crust recipe. So many included starches or creamy cheeses (what?!) and one I actually tried (with 3 eggs in it) tasted more like an omelet. I hope this one is fine-tuned enough that it’s just perfect! It’s hard to trust recipes on the internet these days, but I think the pictures are justification! This is also a note about staying AWAY from the gluten free crusts on the market. They may help with gluten intolerance, but they are too often packed with bad ingredients that result in higher calorie and fat content, so they are DEFINTELY not for the person looking to stay slim.

Ingredients

1/2 head of cauliflower (I rice the entire thing and freeze the other in baggies for use later)
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 egg
1.5 cups of Parmesan (sub with non-dairy cheese if necessary, but Parmesan has TRACE amount of lactose)
dried italian herbs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* I don’t use salt because I usually use salty ingredients like homemade pesto, prosciutto, or anchovies. You can salt it to tastes if you like.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Break cauliflower into florets
  3. Lightly blend until you get a “rice like” consistency- (makes about 2-3 cups)
  4. Using a cheese cloth or a dish towel, squeeze excess water from cauliflower (should get 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and combine remaining ingredients
  6. Heat cauliflower “dough” mixture in a double boiler until cheese is melted and it is warmed through and sticking together {it wont be as sticky as normal dough ;)}
  7. Take dough and spread VERY thin 1/4 -1/8 inch onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes until edges are dark brown
  9. Add your sauce and toppings and heat under a broiler for 3-5 minutes
  10. My toppings include: homemade pesto, prosciutto, more parmesan, and leftover veggies from previous dinner! if you like tomato sauce, then Trader Joe’s has some great natural options with no additives.

A Week of Whole 30 prep: salads, snacks, and meals

a Week of whole 30 prep Practice makes perfect when it comes to paleo and whole food recipes, so after almost 2 years on a Paleo-ish & Selective Carbohydrate diet (SCD), I have an easier time with the few things I do have to give up. I know it’s hard when you are doing a 30 day challenge because it almost feels as if you finally get the hang of cooking, planning, and filling yourself up after that month. Hopefully, the groove you get in after about 3 weeks is what keeps you going down this path, eating more of what we were meant to eat as a species, for your improved health and thriving! Here are some of the tricks of the trade to get you through your first full week of our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

  1. Planning ahead is key. I make a Large salad on Sunday evening, and there are some fabulous options all over my blog, like this one. This week, since I try to east seasonally, I mixed up an entire head of Tuscan Kale (which is my favorite because it is so hearty and stands up to creamy dressings), a bag broccoli slaw veggies, which is essentially julienned sliced broccoli and carrots, and raw Brussels sprouts that I shredded in my food processor by pulsing for a few minutes. I pre-dress this salad with with a cup of homemade salad dressing since these are all hearty veg. Tuscan kale either needs to be “massaged” or softened in dressing before eating it raw. This salad will be my base for all lunches this week, and I’ll add variety to the meal by changing up my protein anchovies, tuna, free range chicken, etc. Before dressing and dividing it up, I took out a sheet pan’s worth to coat in olive oil and roast for our dinner tonight, alongside bison patties.
  2. Every time I make soup or chili, I make a huge pot in my slow-cooker, and store half in the freezer immediately. This week, I get to take out 2 soups and a bison chili, and each will provide us with at least one dinner. This means my only prep for dinner those nights is to a) make a few bacon wrapped dates  to go on the side of my cauliflower soup, b) chop up some cilantro and green onion for my curry soup, and throw them in a green salad to go on the side  and c) slice some avocado for my chili.
  3. During Whole 30, I always have a large head of cauliflower in my crisper, ready to be called upon for my other dinners This week, I will take a sharp knife and cut the head in half. One half will be pulsed in my food processor until it is a grainy rice, and will be pan fried in one egg then mixed with vegetables, shrimp, coconut oil, and coconut aminos for my cauliflower fried rice. The other half will have a bit more processing to go through, when I turn it into my cauliflower pizza crust recipe, coming to the blog tomorrow!

This is a really simple way to get all your lunches and dinners out of some good produce and minimal prep.  I go with smoothies or smoothie bowls packed with fibrous chia and flax to keep me full in the morning. If I do get hungry before lunch, My array of mid-morning snacks include: 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, pistachios, 2 soft boiled eggs, extra bacon wrapped dates from dinner, almond butter on celery, 1 piece of fruit,  or a palm full of plantain chips.

Ok, get to prepping! I hope this was helpful for a week of whole 30 prep!

Paleo on the Go: 3 simple and filling lunch ideas for the woman on the move!

Today’s post is brought to you buy the 3 S’s of our modern lunch time: salad, sandwich or soup (or one of each). I don’t have as much time in the kitchen now that I have 3+ jobs and my sanity to keep, but these are some paleo on the go items that keep me happy and healthy!

  1. As of late, my go to lunch is a Paleo Caesar Salad with this amazing dressing from Primal Palate and anchovies on Romaine. My favorites are only 1.69 per can at Trader Joe’s and 120 calories per can with 8 g of protein! WHAT!? If you don’t have a taste for anchovies, acquire one! Seriously, if you are missing potato chips or salty fries, then this is a great way to curb that craving! prepare the dressing the night before. You can even use this recipe in a “mason jar salad” if you like. Just remember! Dressing on bottom, lettuce in between, anchovies on top!
  2. Cabbage leaves and Collard leaves are the new sandwich wraps to reach for. No more iceberg! Yesterday I had two cabbage leaves filled with Dijon, sliced turkey breast, tomato, and avocado and dipped them in homemade mayo (egg yolks +olive oil). It was decadently delicious. I use the collards more frequently with larger wraps like turkey burgers and bison burgers, It adds amazing flavor and nutrients, but those do need to be cooked (or at least blanched) There aren’t any excuses when it’s as easy as making a sandwich.
  3. It’s that time of year again when we can warm up soup for lunch and try not to drip it on our snuggly sweaters and scarves! My freezer is stocked right now with bison chili, cauliflower soup, and lemongrass pumpkin soup because I have to have back up. Here’s another quick option for you if you aren’t as over-prepared as me for a September blizzard 🙂
    Roasted Root Veg Soup
    -Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On one pan, roast: 2 sweet potatoes, 1 large yellow onion, 2 lbs of carrots (1 bag), and one head of garlic for 25 minutes. Cover vegetables with olive oil and sea salt.
    -In small batches, use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor to incorporate 4 cups of chicken broth and 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
    -Season with herbs of your choice!

low-fat roasted winter vegetable soup recipe | writes4food.com