Creamy Smothered Beef & Artichokes (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

I think I need to do a G&E Instant Pot recipe round-up sometime soon! For those of you without one, you may be a getting a little tired of my obsession, but I promise you every Instant Pot owner becomes a die hard. We can’t go a day or two without our fix.

 

 

creamy smothered beef artichokes

 

 

This week I used mine to make the Maple Tamarind Ribs from the blog and this Creamy Smothered Beef & Artichokes. With a baby coming soon, I’ve been trying to cut back on our grocery bill even more while still maintaining the nutritional principles of the autoimmune protocol. The Instant Pot has helped me save so much money because it turns less than exciting cuts of beef into something special and really infuses the meat with the flavors and seasonings you add. 

 

Even though I’ve healed my histamine intolerance dramatically, I still cannot tolerate spinach, but I keep seeing all these yummy Paleo recipes for Spinach Artichoke Dip! I made a batch of the Avocado Mayo from The Healing Kitchen this week to serve with cast iron sweet potato fries (ooooh!!). I forgot how yummy that mayo is and so nutrient dense too! And it takes 5 minutes or less to make!

 

So with my leftover mayo and no more fries, I decided let’s do something wild and combine it with the ground beef in my fridge and the artichokes in my freezer and see what kind of magic we can make happen. Creamy, flavorful, ridiculously easy, satiating, and a wonderful excuse to make some mashed cauliflower or white sweet potatoes! I buy frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe’s. I will warn you those still contain citric acid, but many people seem to tolerate it just fine occasionally, and I don’t personally avoid it. You may be able to find frozen artichoke hearts without citric acid from another brand. I have not made this recipe with canned artichoke hearts, but definitely give them a good rinse and drain before adding to the recipe if using. Marinated artichoke hearts would probably be even more tasty!

 

Creamy, flavorful & ridiculously easy meal that everyone will love!

 

15 reviews

Smothered Beef & Artichokes

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:12 Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking fat of choice
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 pound grassfed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon dried dill (to your own taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12-ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teapsoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Avocado Mayo from The Healing Kitchen

Directions

  1. Set your Instant Pot to the sautee function. Heat your cooking fat in the pot. Add the yellow onion and cook for 5 minutes until lightly browned.pan>

  2. Add ground beef and seasonings to the pot, breaking up the ground beef with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until lightly browned for 2 to 3 minutes.pan>

  3. Add artichokes and water to the pot and set the pressure cooking function to a Manual timer of 7 minutes. Seal the lid. Once timer is up, release the vent.pan>

  4. Let cool 5 minutes. Drain out any water at the bottom of the pot. Now stir in the apple cider vinegar and Avocado Mayo, breaking up the artichoke hearts into smaller pieces as you stir. Serve warm with mashed cauliflower or white sweet potatoes.pan>

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Instant Pot Caribbean Spiced Shredded Beef (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

 

Nothing easier than Shredded Beef in your Instant Pot! This Paleo, AIP and Whole30 recipe features well-seasoned beef and an easy button. That’s it! Serve it on salad, cauliflower rice, for taco night or throw it in a veggie soup!

 

Can’t stop Instant Potting. It is my life. Well, not my life, since it takes up a marginal portion of it, but it saves my life. I got a beautiful pastured grass fed chuck roast the other day. It was almost too pretty to turn into a pile of shredded brown meat, but I pulled through and did it.

This is a heavily spiced recipe and not shy on flavor. If you aren’t a giant fan of cloves, you can cut those down to 3 but don’t leave them out completely. I served this two ways. For me, over cauliflower rice with cucumber-avocado salsa, and diced mangos with lime juice. For my husband, over tortilla chips with the same salsa and extra avocado. It really works for any season of the year even though it uses a hefty dose of Caribbean-inspired spices. Just switch up the sides!

It’s not organic, so take your “risks” there, but it’s super delicious and makes a really easy side. We honestly can’t afford to buy 100% organic vegetables 100% of the time, so I do my best t buy 75% organic for the things that matter most to me and then the rest (bananas, avocados, mangos, oranges) I don’t worry about so much. Simply spiced but full of flavor! No nightshades here which makes this easy, anti-inflammatory shredded beef an easy choice for a weeknight AIP meal! 

THE ONLY INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR INSTANT POT SHREDDED BEEF:

  • 2 1/2 pound grass fed chuck roast

  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 1/4 cup water

 

HOW TO SERVE SHREDDED BEEF

  • Over cauliflower rice with guacamole, diced red onion and fresh cilantro

  • In a grain-free tortilla for taco night

  • Thrown in a bone broth and veggie soup for a hearty dinner

  • In lettuce wraps with avocado and kraut for a low carb lunch

 

 

 

You can find this recipe + 140 more AIP Instant Pot Recipes in THE PALEO AIP INSTANT POT COOKBOOK!

 

 

36 reviews

Instant Pot Caribbean Spiced Shredded Beef

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 01:30 Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pound grass fed chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

 

  1. Whisk together all of the seasonings except the whole cloves. Rub evenly overly all sides of the chuck roast. Stick the whole cloves into the chuck roast and place roast in your Instant Pot insert. pan>

  2. Pour water around (not on top) of the roast. pan>

  3. Set the manual pressure setting timer for 90 minutes. Let vent naturally when the timer expires. pan>

  4. Transfer the chuck roast to a serving dish and shred with two forks. Pour some of the juices from the pot over the shredded beef. pan>

  5. Serve the beef with avocado, red onion, cilantro, and cauliflower rice for a Caribbean-inspired taco bowl. pan>

 

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Shredded Caribbean Beef instant pot

Parsnip & Pancetta Chowder with Crispy Leeks (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

parsnip pancetta chowder

 

 

Today was all about resting, relaxing, and taking care of my body. I’m not very good at relaxing for extended periods of time (30 minutes is good, right?). I thought more than once, “Man, this is boring” and “Ugh, I want to go exercise, it’s been 3 days!” But I knew it’s what I needed after a day from the dark depths of you know where on Saturday. We had our Austin book signing Friday night which was super fun because we did a group dinner before it. It was a delicious 4-course AIP off-menu meal at Vox Table, and they served the most amazing smoked sunchoke and rutabaga chowder. It put me the mood for root veggie chowder this week, but I couldn’t find rutabaga or sunchoke at my store. It ended up being much more affordable to go with parsnips and leeks anyways, so this chowder tastes nothing like the one I had at Vox, but it’s hearty, filling, and fairly delicate in flavor. It really could be the base of a lot of additions such as salmon or cod chowder, and it’s based on my Bacon & Salmon Chowder from The Healing Kitchen. Fun back story, I know.

 

So basically the Austin book tour stop came in the middle of 4 weeks of insomnia that had been getting worse as my pregnancy progresses. Part of it I know is caused by stress (new job, new book, new baby, new city, new life in general) and anxiety (“Oh my god, I’m going to be a mother and not just for like a few years, but for the rest of my life. How am I going to survive on no sleep!? Will she be a good breastfeeder!? I hope she’s nice and not a bully when she’s older. I’m going to teach her about bullying from a young age and how important it is to be nice to everyone. Will I put cute notes in her lunch box? When is she going to lose her virginity!? I’m going to lock her inside the house if it’s before 16.” Yeah, that last one is the definition of anxiety. Worrying about your unborn child’s future romantic relationships. Yeesh. Plus all the tossing and turning you do as your belly grows and your tail bone aches and your little sweet nugget it simultaneously kicking your bladder and your pubic bone at the same time somehow. 

 

That night, I could NOT sleep, and I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before, so I was delirious and exhausted. I had a series of tear-filled anxiety attacks that night, my husband stayed up with me the whole time like an angel, and when the sun rose, I had to make the decision on whether or not I would make the 5-hour roundtrip drive to Houston for the book signing. Honestly, book signings are exhausting I’ve learned. You’re on your feet for 3 to 4 hours, meeting tons of new & friendly people, and not taking enough water and pee breaks. I couldn’t imagine doing that to my body or my baby on a total of 3 hours of sleep in a 48-hour period, and I was also having a return of some pretty violent pregnancy sickness, which in itself is very exhausting. It ended up being a blessing that I did not go because I didn’t keep any food or liquid down for 24 hours that day and night and ended up extremely dehydrated. I’ll spare you the details, but I broke down crying on the floor at 11 pm Saturday night after I had gotten sick all over my bathroom floor for the 8th time that day, had to shower (again), and then on my way back to bed rolled my ankle and dropped my puke bucket on the floor. Remember, now I’m only at 5 hours of sleep in a 72-hour period at this point. I also have a terribly guilty conscience and felt really bad about letting people down about not going to Houston. I was feeling extremely defeated and anxious at this point.

 

I laid in bed and cried and thought about my grandma whom is very special to me that passed away several years ago. I told her I missed her and that I wish she was here to meet baby Grace. I just kept telling her out loud how much I missed her while I was shaking and crying. And then suddenly every muscle in my body relaxed for the first time in I can’t remember when, and I felt a strong sense of calm come over me. Within a second and no more. I’m a pretty spiritually-connected girl and believe our loved ones that have passed are not in our past. They are always with us, and I know my sweet grandma was reminding me how she will meet Grace and that I will be okay.

 

So that’s some pretty intimate stuff to share on a blog, but if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I’m not shy. People hide behind social media and online communications so much these days, and no one just tells it like it is. This is what it is (other than poor grammar):

– Being a first time mommy is really scary and it’s normal to have a lot of self-doubt

– The people who really care about you will be there for you when you need them (i.e. my husband and my grandma) and will put their needs aside 

– Never feel guilty about choosing your health and healing and your family’s health over an obligation

 

I’m sure these aren’t the last lessons I’ll learn this year, but I thought I’d share. Writing a cookbook wasn’t easy, and doing it in the midst of full-time work, finishing my master’s program and research project, dealing with the worst Hashimoto’s flare ever, moving 4 times throughout the process, finding out I’m pregnant and dealing with everything that goes along with that, and then realizing “Crap! I need to be closer to my family once this baby arrives… we need to move AGAIN”, definitely chalks 2015 and the beginning of 2016 up to a year of stress and change.

 

So what I ask of you all is to be patient, kind, compassionate, understanding, and empathetic of others.

We often don’t know what someone has been going through, especially if the only communication we have with them is a text message here and there or a check in on Facebook. As a society, we seem to have lost the art of grace and selflessness in turn for power, money, ego, and self-interests. When we’re tunnel visioned, we don’t have the opportunity to see the people around us who could use some kindness. It’s time to take it back old school, if we’re going to talk about an ancestral movement at all, and remember that without our clan, family, and kindred, we would never have survived the dark ages.

 

This savory dairy-free chowder is filling, comforting & easy too!

 

14 reviews

Parsnip & Pancetta Chowder with Crispy Leeks

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

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
  • 2 cups chopped leek (white part only)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped into even 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 28 ounces beef or chicken bone broth*, plus additional for thinning if desired
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Smoked sea salt and fresh parsley, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven. Sautee leeks for 2 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the pancetta and garlic and sautee for 4 more minutes until fragrant and the leeks have wilted. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the saucepan and turn heat to medium. Stir in celery and onion for cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Now stir in the parsnips, bay leaf, thyme, and sea salt. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the parsnips have begun t soften.
  3. Add bone broth to the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cover saucepan with a lid. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the parsnips are tender enough to puree but not mushy. Immediately transfer 2 cups of the chopped veggies from the pan to a separate bowl using a slotted spoon. These will be the chunky vegetables in your soup.
  4. Transfer the remaining contents of the saucepan, including the bay leaf, to a high-speed blender. Blend until silky smooth.
  5. Transfer blended soup back into the saucepan and then stir in the reserved leeks/pancetta, reserved chopped and cooked parsnips/celery/onions, and the lemon juice. Determine if you would like your chowder any thinner. If so, add 1/4 cup of additional warm bone broth at a time until desired thickness is reached.
  6. Serve sprinkled with smoked sea salt and fresh herbs, if desired.

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Smoked Clam Linguine (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

 

February is a month where you can & should show off your new-found or well-seasoned cooking skills for loved ones. Complex flavors, creamy pasta, AND a nutrient-dense outcome may seem like the enigma of the  paleo autoimmune protocol, but I have solved that puzzle for you!

 

 

Check out my Smoked Clam Linguine which is not only AIP-compliant, but also will help you meet your Whole30, 21dsd, or Low Carb goals (if you’re still riding out those goals from your new year resolutions!) 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all and be sure to celebrate, whether or not you have a significant other or not, because a day dedicated to love should not be missed!

Roasted Butternut, Pomegranate & Arugula Salad (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan)

Well the holidays are coming to a close. It’s always a weird feeling when your year comes to an end. The reflection that takes place is generally motivating or a bit depressing. At the end of 2012, I said I had the worst year of my life. Both my grandmothers passed away within two weeks of each other, my gut health was in really poor shape and I was in pain every day, I had recently quit my job in advertising and decided to go back for my master’s degree in occupational therapy – something I never could have predicted. I also had a lot of positive events that year: my husband, then boyfriend, and I moved in together, and I maintained a 4.0 for all my prerequisite courses that I was taking full time while working part time two jobs while still balancing a social life. 

This year I thought was a second runner up for worst year ever but really it was just a year of hurdles, challenges, changes, and really positive events. We lived in 4 different cities (which meant finding housing in 4 different cities and packing and unpacking 8 different times), I completed all my clinical rotations, graduated from my master’s program, wrote a cookbook,  restored my fertility, celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary – all while battling the worst Hashimoto’s flare I could have ever imagined. I unfortunately discovered what chronic depression is (prior to that, I only knew anxiety), my body changed in ways that weren’t always pleasant or encouraging, and I was scared I would never feel like myself again. Hashimoto’s can be a very debilitating disease that is often brushed off by physicians who think you can take a pill and every symptom magically disappears.

That’s not how it is for many people. Many people across the world struggle every day with depression, fatigue, weight gain, painfully slow digestion, and infertility as a result of this disease despite taking that magic pill. I had flared 3 to 4 times since being diagnosed at age 19, but nothing held a candle to this one. I flared because I didn’t listen to my body and my intuition. I listened to someone else and I took Nature-Throid which is a thyroid hormone replacement derived from pig thyroid. I knew I didn’t do well with Armour (a similar medication) 7 years ago but wanted to give it another shot on my quest for fertility. Within 3 weeks my thyroid levels had gone from a very stable level to some of the highest my doctors had ever seen. It took 8 months for my thyroid and adrenal function to recover from that veritable hell. So what did I learn this year?

 

  • Always listen to your gut. “You know your body best” is not devoid advice. By listening to my body in the past, I eliminated nightshades before I even discovered the AIP, I broke off relationships with doctors that were only harming and not helping, and I refused many courses of antibiotics that would have no doubt made healing my leaky gut much more difficult. 

  • I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. I don’t know many people who could work full time in a high stress environment while developing over 175 recipes for The Healing Kitchen, while struggling with a severe Hashimoto’s flare and subsequent depression, fatigue, and rapid weight gain, while dealing with the stress of moving 4 times. I’m going to pat myself on the back for that one because most people I know would absolutely crumble and give up. I didn’t give up on anything this year, including myself. 

  • It’s okay to rely on others. I had to rely on my husband, friends, and family more than I typically like to this year. It made me feel very vulnerable at times, and I didn’t like how people felt sorry for me. I’m not one that responds well to empathy, but I actually begged for it many times this year. I just needed, not wanted, but needed my loved ones to understand the hell my body and mind was going through. I don’t know if they ever will truly get it (probably not) but I’m glad I didn’t hide it for once. Pride has it’s place, but it can get in the way of receiving the support you need during tough times. 

  • Toxic people don’t deserve an ounce of energy. I had to deal with several women in my life this year (thankfully not family or close friends) that were absolutely, 100% negative toxicity for my ethos. Others begged me to confront them and stand up for myself and that is probably something I would have done in the past. But with these particular people, I realized it would be a fruitless effort. You can’t change others. They have to come to that on their own. When someone isn’t being a good person, you can sure as heck bet they have their own internal battles and demons they have yet to conquer. It’s not my job to help people realize when they aren’t being good to others. The universe will show them. I think with these particular women it already has even if they have yet to accept that. It will happen. But I no longer will make it my mission to help others “see” their effect on the world. I can only control how my actions and words affect others in a positive manner. Exiting the “mommy” rule I so easily take on has greatly increased my satisfaction with my relationships and let me let myself off the hook with the negative people I encounter. 

 

I encourage you all to take time to reflect on your year. What went well? What didn’t? Is there anything you wish you could change, or do you find value in it all – even the crappy stuff? 

OMG THIS SALAD. All the veggies, all the crunch & texture & all the colors!

1 review

Roasted Butternut, Pomegranate, and Arugula Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:25 Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 12 oz butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced shallot
  • 10 oz cauliflower florets, riced*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 oz arugula
  • 5 oz pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup cranberries**
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.Toss butternut squash with coconut oil and ¼ teaspoon onion powder and place on baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the squash is tender with golden brown edges. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Sautee the shallots in the skillet for 3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower and cinnamon to the skillet and toss until combined with the shallots. Cook for 3 more minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Using tongs, toss the arugula with the vegetables in the skillet. Add the vinaigrette to the skillet and continuously toss the arugula with the tongs for several minutes until it is wilted and tender.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently mix in the pomegranate, cranberries, and roasted butternut squash. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  6. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve cold.

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Recipe Notes

*Rice cauliflower florets by placing them in a blender or food processor and pulsing until very, very finely chopped to the size of small rice grains. I find when using a Vitamix, it is easiest to use the tamper to help break up the cauliflower for even chopping.
**Try to source cranberries that are either sundried or dried and sweetened with apple juice rather than cane sugar. You may also use dried currants, dried blueberries, or even raisins instead.

Butternut Rice with Beef and Nut-Free Basil Pesto (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

paleo aip beef pesto

 

Beef and Butternut Rice with Basil Pesto

This Beef and Butternut Rice with Basil Pesto is an interesting twist on grain-free pesto and rice. Shredded butternut makes for a low-carb option for traditional rice and when paired with a delicious dairy-free pesto, you’re going to look forward to leftovers! Paleo, Whole30 and AIP!

 

I’m always looking for easy one-bowl weeknight meals that my entire family will enjoy. We try to eat low-ish carb in our house and focus more on nutrient dense plant and animal foods. While we do enjoy organic white rice, it’s nice to have a vegetable option for a rice-like base for one-bowl meals.

 

Cauliflower rice has had its moment (or 1,654,893 moments) and I think you’ll enjoy the mix-up with this grain-free butternut rice. It couldn’t be easier to make butternut rice. Simply peel and chop the butternut squash (discaring seeds) and shred in a food processor using the shredder blade.

 

If you think “good pesto” HAS to have dairy and nuts in it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this vegan and nut-free basil pesto! It’s bright, herb-y and has just enough garlic to not overpower the other flavors in this dish. I like to keep pesto in my fridge to toss into skillets, top eggs or stir into soups. Making a double batch of this pesto will solve a lot of your “boring meal problems”.

 

INGREDIENTS IN EASY DAIRY-FREE PESTO:

  • Fresh basil

  • Fresh parsley

  • Garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Sea salt

Beef and Butternut Rice with Basil Pesto

 

This was my first dish using my NEW Cuisinart 9-cup food processor! And I am obsessed. You can make all different types of vegetable “rices”, thinly slice sweet potatoes to make homemade sweet potato chips in the oven, pulse small amounts of hard to chop foods like garlic & herbs and make the easiest chunky guacamole you ever did see! If you haven’t finished your holiday wish list you MUST add a food processor so you can get even more creative in your kitchen!!

 

 

 

3 reviews

Beef & Butternut Rice with Nut-Free Pesto

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:10 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 pounds grass fed ground beef (or pork or lamb)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup bone broth of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice nutritional yeast flakes, for serving (optional)
  • Nut-Free Pesto:
  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

  1. Make butternut rice by running cubed squash through your food processor using the shredder blade attachment. Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside. Wipe down food processor bowl so it will be clean when you make the pesto below.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef in skillet and season with sea salt. Cook beef, breaking up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Add butternut rice to the pan and toss well with the beef. Pour broth into pan, bring to a boil, and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 minutes until butternut is tender.

  4. Remove lid and cook for a couple more minutes until most of the broth has evaporated. Season with lemon juice and remove from heat immediately.

  5. Meanwhile make pesto: Place all pesto ingredients in clean food processor using regular blade attachment. Turn the machine on for at least 30 seconds until a very finely minced pesto sauce is achieved. Set aside.
  6. Distribute beef and rice among individual serving bowls and drizzle with desired amount of basil pesto. I personally like a hefty amount because it is utterly delicious and addictive! Serve warm sprinkled with nutritional yeast if desired & enjoy!

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Beef and Butternut Rice with Pesto

 

Creamed Mushrooms, Potatoes and Smoked Turkey (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

paleo smoked turkey mushrooms

 

 

Probably one of the hardest tasks when cooking for the autoimmune protocol is coming up with different flavor profiles and textures. Without a load of spices and kitchen staples, it can feel pretty limiting at times when you only have meat, seafood, veggies, and fruit to work with! After almost two years cooking this way every single day (and multiple times at that), I have developed a few techniques to mimic some old standby cooking comforts that were always guaranteed to make a meal comforting and satisfying, namely cream and butter!

 

Alas, dairy products and people with autoimmune disease and food intolerances often do not jive. Trust me, I tried to convince myself when I lived in Chicago that Jeni’s Splendid grass-fed ice cream didn’t cause me any gut symptoms since it was grass-fed milk, duh. That’s Paleo, right? Errr yeah. It took me 10 bowls of salted caramel (not in a row) until I realized dairy falls into the same category as nightshades for me (the danger zone).

 

This recipe for Creamy Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Smoked Turkey is inspired by a recipe in The Healing Kitchen for Creamy Bacon Scalloped Sweet Potatoes (so good!!) That recipe is a side dish though, and I wanted to prepare a cold-weather dinner for my husband and myself that would be packed with veggies, bone broth, and tasty smoked turkey!

 

My Whole Foods sells house-smoked turkey breast, ribs, and chickens season with only salt and pepper. The pepper is on the skin, so I just remove the skin to keep it AIP-compliant. Mushrooms are the steak of the funghi world and add a meatiness and bulk to this dish that wouldn’t be present otherwise. White sweet potatoes are slightly sweet, mild, and starchy and literally melt into the broth and coconut cream! The smokiness of the meat breaks up all the heaviness of the coconut cream, broth, and mushrooms and makes a perfect date night meal for two (or leftovers for one!) Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

This yummy all-in-one dish couldn’t be any easier to make!

Smoked Turkey with Creamed Sweet Potatoes & Mushrooms

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:15 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Sweet Potato Base:
  • 1 cup +2 tablespoons coconut cream (divided)
  • 2/3 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt, divided
  • 8 ounces white sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • Mushrooms & Turkey:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced shallot
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 ounces oyster mushrooms
  • 4 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 8 ounces pre-cooked smoked turkey or chicken breast, chopped
  • chopped parsley for serving

Directions

For sweet potato base:

  1. Combine 1 cup coconut cream, broth, thyme, garlic and onion powder, ¼ teaspoon truffle salt, and sweet potatoes in a small saucepan. Ensure the sweet potatoes are covered with the liquid as much as possible.

  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until potatoes are tender.

  3. Remove from heat.

  4. In a small dish, whisk together arrowroot and remaining 2 tablespoons coconut cream. Stir into the saucepan along with the remaining ¼ teaspoon truffle salt /continuously for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the liquid.

For mushrooms & turkey:

  1. Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms while the potatoes are boiling.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, garlic, and truffle salt and cook for 1 minute until fragrant ensuring you do not burn the garlic.

  3. Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until tender, stirring every couple minutes. Add turkey or chicken to the pan to warm.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in contents from the small saucepan and mix gently and continuously until the entire mixture has thickened to a creamy and thick consistency, about 1 to 2 minutes. If you have reintroduced black pepper, add some fresh cracker pepper now.

  6. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley with a simple green salad on the side.

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Spiced Lamb with Caramelized Cabbage, Figs & Cranberries (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

Even with the boom of American food culture in the past decade (thank you Buzzfeed, Yelp, Instagram, and Food Network), lamb still does not hold a place in our country’s heart like it should. I could pull a Jimmy Fallon and ask 100 random people on the street if they have ever eaten lamb, and I think the majority would say either “Ew no” or “No, but Lamb Chops was my favorite creepy puppet show from the early 90’s.”

 

Lamb meets my three D criteria: decadent, drool-worthy, and damn tasty. It’s loaded in fat (the healthy omega-3 rich kind thanks to our friends Down Under perpetuation of grassfed animals), flavor, B vitamins, and selenium. All happy, nutritious, inflammation-fighting, and baby-making qualities we look for in our dinner.

 

I purchased a couple grass-fed bone-in lamb chops from Sprouts this weekend without a plan. I also happened to pick up dried Turkish figs (the big soft light brown ones) and dried cranberries. I had a leftover 1/2 head of cabbage in my fridge that needed to be used up, so I thought why not combine some of my favorite things into one dish. It can’t go wrong. And it certainly didn’t. I’ve spoken before about my introduction into cooking at age 15 spurred by an obsessive tendency to re-read my Food & Wine subscriptions over and over until I picked up on every nuance of a cooking skill I could from each recipe. When I cook for myself and my husband, I often imagine creating a recipe for F&W that would actually make it into their publication. Another recent meal I made would certainly make the cut: chicken thighs cooked using Jacques Pepin’s technique, garnished with lemon juice, fried capers, salt-cured olives, and fresh parsley. My horn is a-tootin’. And I don’t care. It’s my one skill.

 

This meal would be equally as good for date night, and quite a romantic one at that. There’s something about the rich smell and taste of seared lamb that is intoxicating and reminds me of cozying up in our favorite Chicago restaurant listening to jazz and dining on lamb and filet on a snowy night. One of my favorite memories of the city (which I miss terribly!) from our time there. Instead, I sweated my buns off in my Texas kitchen to prepare this meal for you and me, so I could at least pretend that eating at my countertop alone in silence was just as romantic.

 

If you enjoy wine, a bright and fruity red would go amazingly well with this meal! Cider lover? Try a sweet and light cider made from organic apples and nothing else.

 

Restaurant-worthy dinner on your table in 30 minutes!

 

 

Spiced Lamb with Caramelized Cabbage, Figs & Cranberries

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:20 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder chops, 1-inch thick (2 large chops)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups quartered and thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 6 dried Turkish figs, quartered
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Remove chops from refrigerator to countertop 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Rub chops on all sides with mixture of sage, salt, garlic, and cinnamon until evenly coated.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  4. Sear chops for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness. You want a crust on the bottom before you flip. Boneless chops will take shorter to cook; decrease cooking time by 1 minute per side if using boneless.
  5. Remove chops to a plate and rub with the sliced garlic clove on each side. You will see the garlic almost “melt” into the meat. Discard garlic clove. Let lamb chops rest tented in foil while you prepare the cabbage.
  6. In the same skillet, cook cabbage in the rendered lamb fat until caramelized and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. If not enough fat has been rendered to coat the cabbage, add one tablespoon to the pan prior to adding the cabbage.
  7. Add figs, cranberries and a pinch of sea salt to the pan, cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the figs and cranberries have deepened in color and are tender. Sprinkle lemon juice on top and stir briefly to combine. Remove from heat.
  8. To serve, divide cabbage mixture onto two plates and place lamb chop on top.

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Olive Pesto Meatza (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, 21dsd)

 

I was out to dinner the other night after seeing Trainwreck, and I was forced (well, that’s dramatic) to watch others eat delicious chewy pizza from Eataly. That’s a ginormous Italian food market in Chicago that has a bunch of different restaurants, meat, cheese, produce, and oils/vinegars. I bought fresh basil, prosciutto, fresh figs, and mango and made little bundles and ate that for dinner, but I went home jonesin’ for some pizza pie. I haven’t made “meatza” in a super long time as it’s more of a Paleo entry-level recipe and I’ve been eating this way for 3 1/2 years so the novelty wore off fast. But since I finally finished up recipes for The Healing Kitchen, I am trying to get back to the basics of meat & veggies as I was going a little too creative with each meal. There are 4 pizza recipes in the book, so you can imagine that I have eaten pizza 8-12 times in the past 4 months! But now I’m in the pizza habit, and in order to ween myself off such an insistent craving, meatza is making a re-entry back into my life. Meatza, especially AIP meatza, isn’t going to blow you away by how much it reminds you of the real stuff. It’s NOT pizza. I don’t care if you even get to eat tomatoes & cheese – it’s still NOT pizza. 

 

BUT it is a fun & new way to get your meat & veg for the day in a pretty simple manner! This recipe uses a 2-minute olive ‘pesto’ as the base instead of a sauce which usually takes a bit of time to make. The zucchini and squash are quickly sauteed and served as is over a “crust” of ground chicken. You can use ground sausage, pork, bison or beef as well. Eat with a fork & knife or cut into large slices and eat with your hands! Speaking of hands… and feet, and abs, butt and pecs. Have you SEEN Trainwreck? You see all of John Cena’s EVERYTHING. Almost (it’s only R rated). I didn’t know who that was but I saw the movie with friends and went home and told my husband that some “large, muscle-y man is naked”. Then we went to see it again with different people and he was like, “Yeah, that’s a famous wrestler, idiot.” Okay, he didn’t call me an idiot (I’m sure he wanted to though), but I feel like I should know who that is. I also did not know who Tony Roma was, but now I do thanks to the movie indutry’s persistance in using professional athletes to sell chick flick tickets to their male counterparts. I guess I have officially assimiliated into American culture now. Overall, I thought the movie was pretty funny – mostly because of how inappropriate it was – I love inappropriateness. There’s too many rules in this world. We need less rules. Like I feel like I should be able to swim in my apartment’s pool before 10 am, but the sign says I can’t. Even though there are zero children in the pool at that time to splash me and make me swear off pregnancy for another 4 years. Doesn’t my management company want to prevent the overpopulation of their building? Clearly their interests lie elsewhere. 

 

Anyways, meatza. I just really like that word. Did you notice? 

 

 

 

 

Olive Pesto Meatza 

Serves 2 | Prep Time 8 minutes | Cook Time 12 minutes | Total Time 20 minutes

1 lb ground chicken thigh

3 tbsp coconut flour

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp sea salt

10 oz black olives, drained (6 oz once drained)

½ cup packed basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

 

1. Combine chicken, coconut flour, oregano, garlic, and sea salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Pulse olives and basil in a blender until finely chopped. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee zucchini and squash for 5-6 minutes until cooked and wilted. Stir in balsamic. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Press chicken mixtue into the bottom of the skillet using your hands to create a 10-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick circle. You may also form the circle on a piece of parchment and transfer the meat to the skillet. Cook on each side fo 3 minutes until cooked through and golden brown, carefully using a large spatula to flip the “crust” over halfway through.

5. Top with olive pesto then layer with cooked zucchini and squash. Slice into quarters and serve warm.

Bacon-Wrapped Cinnamon Apples (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

They say everything is better with bacon, but I have to admit I am not a bacon lover. Actually the smell of it cooking in the morning makes me incredibly nauseous! Weird. Word.

 

BUT bacon-wrapped things make me very happy. One of the best restaurants in Chicago is called HB (stands for Home Bistro) in Lakeview and they have bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed dates on their menu that are nothing like you’ve had before. There’s also a heavy sprinkle of brown sugar, so they don’t fit in to my life anymore but I’m glad I enjoyed them when I did. In fact, there’s an excessive amount of foods I am so glad I imbibed in pre-AIP because I likely will never enjoy true nightshade-y BBQ, fresh picked corn elote-style with grass-fed butter and lime zest, caramel cheesecake, and Jeni’s Spledid Brambleberry Crisp! Whew – did I just make you second-guess this whole healthy eating thing? Don’t – because a life of health, happiness, and vitality is much more satisfying than momentary gustatory pleasure.

 

To make up for the lack of the above in my life, at times I choose to indulge… as much as Paleo & Autoimmune Protocol lets you indulge! Cheers to overcoming illness and inflammation while still enjoying some delicious food like these

 

Get the recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Cinnamon Apples!