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!

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.

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 & Nut-Free Basil Pesto (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

paleo aip beef pesto

 


 

How many times a week do you stare into your fridge, nothing prepared, and say out loud “I need to eat and I need to eat NOW.” Me: 5 to 10 times a week on average, on a good week. I’m pretty horrible at “meal planning”. Like I PLAN to eat at least 3 meals a day, but I’m no good at planning what those meals will be. Lately, I’ve started to think at least 24 hours in advance and it’s saved me a lot of curse words. I’m going to store those up for a later date. Like when Macy’s smells like dust and polyester and I wonder what the _____ I’m doing in there. 

 

I have a hard time clothing shopping in public these days. Most of my purchases are made online in hopes of the item not looking terrible. If it’s a 5/10 or greater I keep it, rather than hassling myself with a return. I also care almost zero about clothing these days, so that helps. I don’t walk around looking like a schlep, I just don’t go all out like I used to (high-waisted skirts, tucked in blouses, statement necklaces, 4-inch pumps). Nothing sounds more horrible than what I just typed. I now go for comfort. I have a favorite pair of black leggings that look good no matter how much I weigh (that tends to fluctuate) and I know what looks good on my petite frame: long asymmetrical, lightweight, not too baggy shirts and sweaters with knee high slim boots. Now everything in my closet resembles this outfit in some way but that’s okay. I can’t help it – Whole Foods really knows my style.

 

Yes, that’s right, almost all my shopping is done at the same time as picking out 3 pounds of wild-caught sockeye salmon for chowder that evening. It’s a very gratifying and thrifty experience and it’s one of the only places I can get organic cotton and fair trade clothing without feeling like a sweet 4-year-old hastily sewed together my knits. I’m not negating child labor with that statement; I have found it increasingly difficult for me to shop at typical retailers like GAP and LOFT these days. I only like to support retailers that serve well-raised animals, so why wouldn’t I want to support clothing retailers that treat humans like humans should be treated! 

 

Unplanned rant for the week. Sowwy. 

 

About this recipe a little more: I made this basil pesto vinaigrette for my friends this weekend over a spinach salad. It was way too amazing to not develop into a recipe so this evening when I saw grass fed beef and a lone butternut squash in my kitchen just pleading to be eaten. I wanted to keep this recipe super simple for a weeknight meal and let the basil pesto do all the talking! If you want to add more greens, definitely throw in several handfuls of spinach when you add the bone broth and let it wilt! You can even add chopped roasted garlic, minced shallot, extra basil or parsley, whatever your sweet little heart desires! And it makes awesome leftovers!!

 

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!!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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!

 

Lamb with Olive Tapenade Rice (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

If you like olives, make this tonight. If you don’t like olives, we cannot be friends in real life. Fine. Yes, we can. We just can’t be the type of friends that sit around on a Thursday night throwing olives into each other’s mouths from across the living room.

You know what I’m tired of seeing? Paleo recipes that use quotation marks to delineate that the “Rice” or “Bread” in the recipe isn’t your standard grain-based rice or bread. It makes you feel like you’re losing out (you’re not). Like, “hey you know Rice, that sexy guy down the street? This isn’t him, but it’s Rice’s cute little sister “rice”‘. How about we just revise what those words mean and never use quotation marks again?

I had my first visit with a naturopathic doctor today. I have given up on the Western medical community. I am reserving their services the next time I sprain my ankle or need some advice on what not to do. I am super excited about her. She sent me home with a stool test. That should be fun. I had to take the train home with my nondescript white paper bag full of empty stool samples that cost $300. I was PARANOID that someone would choose this evening to mug me. I sometimes plan in my head what I will say if someone does try to rob me (“What would your mother say if she saw what you were up to?”) Tonight I decided a simple “That’s for my poop.” should ward off any villains.

Lamb with Olive Tapenade Rice

Serves 3-4 | Prep Time 10 minutes | Cook Time 14 minutes

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

1 tbsp chopped fresh Oregano

1 tbsp Olive oil

3 cups Butternut squash, cubes

1 lb Ground lamb

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 cup Raisins

1/2 tsp Sea salt

  1. Place olives, oregano, and olive oil in a food processor/blender and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

  2. Now place butternut squash in the blender/processor (no need to wash it – yay!) and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground lamb. Do not disturb for 4 minutes until the lamb is browned on one side. Now use a wooden spoon to break the meat into bite-sized chunks (size of mini meatballs). Flip each chunk and brown the other side for 2 minutes.

  4. Add in the riced olives, butternut, cinnamon, raisins, and sea salt. Stir well, cover with a lid, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5-6 more minutes. Serve warm.

Shrimp Ceviche Salad (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

 

My newest guest post recipe on Autoimmune Paleo is a triple threat: simple to prepare, nutritious, and refreshing enough for a hot summer day. I envision myself lounging around on the pool deck in mid-July after a long day playing in the ocean, kicking back with a fizzy Kombucha, ceviche, and some plantain chips with guac! Does that not sound like perfection? Okay true perfection would be an ice cold lager, but that ain’t happening.

 

To make this an even quicker preparation, find pre-cooked shrimp at your seafood counter. You could even grill the shrimp for added flavor. I would marinade them in some lime juice, olive oil and garlic beforehand for extra flavor!

 

So just how healthy is Shrimp Ceviche Salad?

Shrimp is rich in copper, selenium, omega-3’s, and vitamin B12. I don’t recommend making it a huge portion of your seafood budget because it’s difficult to source wild-caught and sustainably caught shrimp these days. Sad face. They are often farmed and/or trolled, so chat with your local fish dude and ask him what your best option is!

 

Get the recipe for

Shrimp Ceviche Salad here!

Bacon & Kale Breakfast Skillet (Paleo, AIP, 21DSD, Whole30)

 

 

I know I joke about being an 85 year old stuck in a 26 year old body,  but I think I’ve taken it too far. We are home on a Friday night surrounded in pillows watching Dateline reruns with ice water. Party.

 

You know what’s more fun than watching TV on Friday night!? Breakfast. I’ve been eating this quick and simple sautee regularly for breakfast since throwing it together a couple months ago on a cold winter morning. I have another recipe that I want to post before the end of the weekend for Skillet Apple Crumble. It is sweetener-free and SO delicious and uses Anti-Grain Apple Flour. So get on that if you don’t already own it because you won’t want to miss out on this recipe!

 

Bacon & Kale Breakfast Skillet

Serves 1 | Prep Time 5 minutes | Cook Time 12 minutes

2 slices Bacon, chopped

1 bunch Lacinato kale, 2-inch pieces

2 tbsp Coconut milk

1 tsp Minced garlic

1/4-1/2 tsp Truffle Salt

1. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until crispy. Set aside the bacon but leave bacon fat in the skillet.

2. Cook kale in the bacon fat until wilted. Stir in the coconut milk, minced garlic, and truffle salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the coconut milk has thickened and the garlic flavor has mellowed, 1-2 minutes.

3. Serve warm as either a side dish or a light meal.