Nightshade-Free Taco Beef Spaghetti Squash Boats (Paleo/Whole30/AIP-Adaptable)

taco spaghetti squash boats

aip paleo taco beef

 

Who doesn’t love a good boat? I personally love boats in all forms, food-stuffed, motor yacht-y, ones that pull up to island bars. We have a cabin cruiser on Lake Travis here in Austin that my father-in-law is letting us use. It has been pure glory.

 

The lake is huge even to feel all your own, especially on football Sundays when everyone in Texas is indoors watching the television. When they’re doing that, I’m at Whole Foods enjoying the hot bar all to myself and not waiting for someone to decide for several minutes whether they want to add shredded carrots to their salad.

 

 Last night we took an evening cruise with Grace and Rafael, relaxing music playing the whole time, engine off, and turn-taking long lake swims. I’ll really miss that aspect of our time here in Austin. It’ll be hard to leave here, especially since I grew my baby while in its perimeter. Even more reason to live it up while we’re still here.

 

This morning when I woke up at 7, I checked the weather and it said 72 degrees! So I fed Grace, grabbed a Thunderbird Coffee bar (my newest obsession) and off we went to walk around downtown and the lake before my noon gym class. I just LOVE getting out early in the morning for our walks. It keeps my sanity for the rest of the afternoon that we mostly spend at home playing.

 

I’m cognizant to not overwhelm her with errands every day, and while I’ve definitely “fit her” into my lifestyle, it’s also incredibly important for me to have a lot of time every day at home where she’s not stuck in a stroller or car seat. In fact, I saw her first pincer grasp today which is about 4 months earlier than typical, so maybe it was an accident, but it was so much fun to watch! [OT Mommy here, can’t help myself]

 

After our walk, I needed a quick hit of protein before my ass-kicking class (it did end up kicking my ass but I survived). When I think “quick”, I think INSTANT POT. You will never, ever, EVER turn your oven on again for almost an hour to get tender, shreddable spaghetti squash. SIX minutes. Six minutes, people. That’s about as long as it takes to read this blog post!

 

And you’re not even doing anything during those six minutes except watching the timer tick down, if that gives you the thrills like it does me. Since you already have your IP out, you’ll also use it to quickly cook the creamy ground beef mixture that is seasoned with nightshade-free spices reminiscent of taco beef.

 

Now without nightshades, it won’t be exactly like taco beef, but an AI girl can dream. It’ll still be damn delicious, especially if you top it with avocado cream, cilantro, green onions, olives and nutritional yeast if your little heart desires so. I didn’t use nutritional yeast, but it does add a zesty cheese-y flavor for the dairy-free crowd. 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE IT AIP

  • Replace the mayo with an equal amount of coconut cream or Avocado Mayo from The Healing Kitchen OR another AIP-friendly mayo. 

 

  • Make 3 tablespoons worth of Taco Seasoning from The Healing Kitchen  which is seed-based spice free as well (no cumin but has some extras in it that this recipe doesn’t like ginger)

 

  • Have you considered introducing seed spices like cumin, fennel and mustard? They tend to be successful reintroductions for many people with autoimmune disease, especially because the quantity in which you consume them is so low, compared to say sunflower seed butter. If you’re wondering the best way to reintroduce foods, I suggest Eileen’s guide called Reintroducing Foods on the AIP

 

 

 

aip paleo taco beef

 

 

 

Tonight’s taco night is ALL about the veggies!

 

 

 

2 reviews

Nightshade-Free Taco Boats

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:15 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti Squash:
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pound spaghetti squash, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • Taco Beef:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mayo (for AIP, use coconut cream or mayo substitute)
  • for serving: chopped cilantro, white parts of the sliced green onion above, sliced black olives, nutritional yeast, avocado cream

Directions

For the Spaghetti Squash

  1. Half the spaghetti squash widthwise. Check to see if both halves will fit inside your Instant Pot insert. If not, then half again into quarters. I was able to fit 3 quarters of my squash in my 6-quart Instant Pot insert, which is plenty for this recipe.
  2. Add the water to the insert and seal the lid.
  3. Set the Manual timer to 6 minutes and release the pressure once the timer goes off.
  4. Use tongs to remove the squash to a cutting board and dump the water out.
  5. While you cook the ground beef, use a fork to remove the squash from its skin. Keep the skins if you want to serve the taco beef mixture in them.

For the Taco Beef

  1. Turn the Saute function on and heat the olive oil. Add the green parts only of the green onion and the diced yellow onion to the insert. Saute for 5 minutes until fragrant and softened.
  2. Crumble the ground beef into the insert and cook with the onions until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add all of the remaining seasonings except ½ teaspoon of sea salt to the pot and stir to coat the ground beef.
  3. Stir in the mayo and the 6 cups of cooked squash. Continue to cook for a couple minutes until everything is well combined.
  4. Remove insert from heat and stir in remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  5. To serve, spoon Taco Beef mixture into spaghetti squash skins or in individual serving bowls, taco shells, or lettuce cups. Top with chopped cilantro, sliced green onion, black olives, nutritional yeast, and avocado cream.

 

Bistro Chicken Salad with Garlic-Thyme Vinaigrette (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

Bistro Chicken Salad

 

It’s finally salad season! Salads don’t go out of season in my house, but then again I spent the winter in Texas where I had little excuse to avoid a light and refreshing meal. Although I eat soup at all times of the year, so why do we think salads are only for sweltering days!? Yesterday it was 88 degrees and dinner was chicken and vegetable soup — heated up to a barely lukewarm temperature though! 

 

I’m trying to get a few blog posts up and ready for before Baby Grace arrives, but my focus right now is mostly getting things together for her, overanalyzing every menstrual-like cramp or episode of nausea I am having (first-time-mom probz), and loading up my freezer with homemade food.

 

I am one of those so-called “lucky people” that can go hours and hours and hours without eating, forgets to eat if they’re busy, or will go without food out of laziness when big shifts in my life happen. I am so gung-ho and excited about breastfeeding though, and I know it both causes and thrives on a healthy appetite, so I’m doing my best to prevent light-snacking all day in favor of varied and nutrient-dense AIP meals after she arrives. 

 

I was thinking back to the moment I found out I was pregnant on a beach in Hawaii (could it have been anymore beautiful!?) and all the feelings I felt at the time. Exhilarated, shocked, nervous, proud. I still feel all of those things, so not much has changed, but I also feel incredibly confident in my abilities to be a good mother.

 

All these years of pretending my dog is a human baby that requires 24/7 love, attention, and tending may be paying off, but my motherly instincts have always been strong. Make sure you follow me on Instagram for baby updates though, in case I take a mini blog hiatus! I also post some daily meals (the ones that aren’t a hideous display of splattered soup, unevenly chopped vegetables, and shredded meat that never catches the right light), photos of my adorable cockapoo Rafael, and life here in Austin! 

 

Get the recipe for Bistro Chicken Salad – aka best salad ever!

Plantain Chips & Avocado Dip [AIP/Whole30/Paleo]

I was deadset on some pseudo-Mexican food tonight, so I combined all remotely Mexican-y ingredients in my kitchen for this bomb meal. The shredded pork is Nom Nom Paleo’s famous recipe for Kalua Pig made in my Instant Pot. Best investment I have ever made for my kitchen by the way. It makes batch cooking so dang easy and delicious. I layered plantain chips dipped in Avocado Dip with pork on top, sat on the floor of my balcony, and watched the sun go down. It was a fantabulous way to spend a Monday night. 

Good news from the “Great Hashi’s Flare of 2015” front. General Fatigue has retreated, and I am now able to pick up my exercise again! Considering I may be one of the most kinesthetic, hyperactive people you have ever met, my lethargy of the past several months was more depressing than my heinous bloodwork. I was walking home from work tonight and not feeling completely wiped, anxious, depressed, and foggy like I have been almost every day at 5pm since the beginning of January. I can’t explain to you how pumped that made me feel. I was starting to think this flare would be my forever (irrational thoughts & Hashi’s go well together). I still have a long ways to go to get my hormones back on track, but since I realize that is a long-term goal, it doesn’t bother me as much. For the meantime, I am still confined to my stretchiest yoga pants and lots of “No, I can’t go out tonight. My adrenals will hate me tomorrow.”‘s. 

But at least I’m on the up & up (as far as I know!). I will be getting more follow up labs done in a week, and I’m really looking forward to getting my numbers. Thyroid dork. It feels like winning the lottery when your T3 increases. If you’ve got Hashi’s, ya feel me. 

Avocado Dip [AIP/Whole30/Paleo/Vegan]

Makes 1 cup

1 Avocado, ripe

¼ cup Coconut butter, melted

¼ cup Water, filtered

1 T Apple cider vinegar

1 T lemon juice or lime juice

½ cup Parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp Sea salt or truffle salt

1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until mostly smooth. Parsley and lemon go well together or you can do cilantro and lime juice! Truffle salt takes this dip to a new level!

Plantain Chips [AIP/Whole30/Paleo/Vegan]

1 Plantain, green, peeled, sliced ¼ inch thick

1 T Coconut oil or choice solid cooking fat

Sea salt

1. Heat coconut oil or solid far in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place plantains in oil and fry 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve with Avocado Dip and Kalua Pig

Avocado Carob Fudge Bars – my favorite AIP dessert!! (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)


I’m obsessed with these. They fill a lot of craving voids on AIP… convenience snack, nighttime treat, on-the-go breakfast (there are worse things), and kid/husband-friendly. They taste exceptionally good the next day. The avocado comes through slightly but is balanced with the sweetness of the dates and coconut and more complex flavor of the carob. I don’t think I need to sell you on AIP-compliant fudge bars so I’ll change the subject.

 

My husband was out of town all week. I missed his companionship, but I stayed very busy with fieldwork, the dog, blog, and catching up on my reading. It reminded me that I’m not really good at staying on schedule when I live by myself for whatever reason. I ate maybe 2-3 actual meals, snacked all day on too many treats (like these bars. omg they are so good.), skipped the gym multiple times, and stayed up late reading about spinal cord injuries. Other than that last part, I sound like an irresponsible teenager who goes all free willy when her parents leave her home alone. God only knows what the heck he does when I go out of town. Frightening thoughts.

 

The honeymoon countdown has begun… 1 week until we will be in Arizona! I am being forced to not plan a thing, or be a freak and look up every hike, trail, horseback ride, restaurant, bar, tea shop, Whole Foods, and farmer’s market in the near vicinity. I have been instructed to “just go with it”. WHAT IS THAT? I’m gonna roll with the unstructured vacation though since it is our honeymoon after all, but I’m still packing snacks damn it. Did you see my post on AIP-Friendly Travel Snack & Meal Ideas? It got a ton of great response, even more than some of my recipes (let’s be honest: the vegetable ones). I’m wondering if people want more useful AIP lifestyle information? Leave me your thoughts if you feel so inclined!

 

Avocado Carob Fudge Bars 

Makes 5 bars or 20 squares | Prep Time 10 minutes | Freeze Time 55 minutes

Carob Date Crust

10 Medjool dates, pitted

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

2 T carob powder

½ tsp vanilla bean powder (For AIP: use pure vanilla powder)

Pinch sea salt

2 T melted coconut oil

  1. Blend dates, coconut, cinnamon, carob, and sea salt in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Add coconut oil to blender and incorporate until wet.
  2. Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on at least 1 of the sides. Press date mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until hardened.
  3. While the crust is in the fridge, make the Avocado Fudge

Avocado Fudge

¼ cup coconut butter, melted

¼ cup + 2 T palm shortening

¼ cup well-mashed ripe avocado

1 T honey

½ tsp vanilla bean powder (For AIP: use pure vanilla powder)

Pinch sea salt

  1. Melt the coconut butter and palm shortening in a glass dish in the microwave. Stir avocado, honey, vanilla and sea salt until smooth.
  2. Pour over the hardened crust and spoon evenly over the entire surface. Freeze for 25 minutes.

Carob Layer

¼ cup coconut butter

¼ cup palm shortening

2 T carob powder

½ tsp honey

  1. Melt coconut butter and palm shortening in a microwaveable glass dish, about 30 seconds. Stir in the carob powder and honey until smooth. Pour evenly over the Avocado Fudge Layer. Let freeze for 10 minutes to harden. Slice bars or cut into squares and serve. Store in refrigerator.