Asian Kale Salad

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Massaging the kale helps to soften the leaves and removes any bitter flavors. It also brings out the bright, green color!

1 bunch of kale
1 red pepper, chopped
½ avocado, cubed
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into strips with peeler
1 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced

Strip kale leaves from tough stem and break into bite-sized pieces.
Sprinkle with sea salt and massage kale leaves to tenderize.
Add kale to a large bowl.
Make the salad dressing by whisking dressing ingredients.
Drizzle dressing over kale.
Add the Brussels sprouts, carrots and red onion.
Toss with dressing.
Add avocado and top with cilantro.

Serves 2-4

Low Carb Bagels

Yum!

Sometimes you want a bagel but you don’t want to mess up your blood sugar for the rest of the day. These was easy to make and the bagel seasoning was perfect for an everything bagel flavor that’s not too heavy on the garlic.

½ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp aluminum-free baking powder
2 ½ cups organic mozzarella cheese
2 oz. organic cream cheese
3 large pasture-raised eggs, beaten
2 tbsp pasture-raised butter, melted
Bagel seasoning, sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Mix coconut flour, almond flour and baking powder and set aside bowl.
Melt mozzarella and cream cheese in a microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring after one minute.
Using hands or a dough hook on a mixer, beat eggs.
Add butter and flour mixture until dough is formed. If dough is too dry, add more butter.
Divide dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a tube (dough is easier to work with wet hands).
Round each tube and connect to form bagel shape.
Place bagels on parchment paper and top with seeds (brushing with melted butter will help seeds stick).
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-16 minutes.

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Quick Protein Muffins

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My son had a friend sleepover so I had a captive audience and the picky palates of two 10 year olds to test some new recipes. I was looking for something that would taste like a muffin, without the grains and carbs, but could be made quickly on a busy morning. One of my clients told me about microwave muffins in a cup so I looked up some recipes. Ideally, I don’t cook something like this in a microwave but I decided to test in both the conventional and microwave ovens. I also wanted to make a savory and sweet version. In the end, the microwave version did come out with a better consistency and can be made much more quickly. I know that will appeal to many busy people. There are concerns about using the microwave but Chris Kresser’s updated article “Are Microwave Ovens Safe?” looks at various studies showing that microwaves pose no danger and, in some cases, retains higher levels of nutrients than other cooking methods.

All muffin flavors got approval from my critics but they preferred the cinnamon version. I also found the cheese version quite tasty.

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1 pasture-raised egg (see how bright the yolk is?!)
2 tsp coconut flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
Coconut oil

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Place all ingredients in a small bowl or mug.
Mix thoroughly to avoid any clumps.
Grease a ramekin with coconut oil.
Pour mixture into ramekin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or microwave for 1 minute.

Variations:
Cheesy – add 2 tbsp shredded cheese before baking
Cinnamon – add 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp granulated stevia before baking. Once finished, brush top with butter and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and stevia



Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

This was surprisingly VERY popular with the family. I added some shredded pecorino Romano cheese and it tasted like pizza in a bowl!

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1 tbsp avocado oil
½ head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
3 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 Yellow, red or orange pepper chopped
½ head red cabbage, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 26 oz. box of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Option for protein: 1 lb. of ground chicken, turkey or Italian sausage

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté.
Add avocado oil.
Add garlic and meat (if including).
Sauté until fully cooked (approximately 5 minutes).
Add tomato paste and cook for additional minute.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to “sealing.”
Set manual cook for 12 minutes (high pressure).
When cooking is complete, manually release stem.
Once steam is fully released, open lid.
Option to top with pecorino Romano cheese.

 Can also make with a crockpot by sautéing meat and garlic first, adding all to the crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Pumpkin Brownies

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I love a little pumpkin this time of the year and pumpkin is the perfect addition to make a moist and tender brownie.

1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond butter (unsweetened)
5 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tbsp Swerve or stevia sweetener
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a bread loaf pan with coconut oil.
Using a mixer, mix the pumpkin puree, almond butter and cacao powder.
Mix in the pumpkin pie spice and sweetener.
Using a spoon, add the chocolate chips.
Pour mix into bread pan.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a toothpick is inserted and removed with limited batter attached.
Cool completely before cutting into brownies.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Creamer

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Who doesn’t crave a little pumpkin spice this time of the year?! Who also doesn’t want the sugar and additives in a pumpkin spice latte from the coffee shop that will not be named?!

This recipe can be adjusted, depending on how sweet you like your creamer. For those that tend to use straight heavy whipping cream or half and half, there really is no need for sweetness but for those that use sweetened creamers, this is a great way to gradually get yourself onto something more healthy.

1 can full-fat organic coconut milk
5 tbsp organic pure pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
Stevia liquid drops to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix. Gradually add the stevia and taste as you add to obtain the desired sweetness. Add to coffee and froth if you like a little foam in your coffee. I love my cheap frother from Amazon for a quick way to add foam.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

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1 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
2 cups pumpkin, peeled and chopped or 1 box or BPA-free can of pumpkin puree
2 cups bone broth
2 cups full-fat coconut milk
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp red curry paste
½ tsp nutmeg
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Sauté onion and garlic in coconut oil in large soup pot over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add the pumpkin and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
Add the broth, coconut milk, bay leaf, thyme, red curry paste and turmeric and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and puree until smooth, using a blender or hand mixer.
Return to heat, add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

Vitamix instructions:
Sauté onion, pumpkin, bay leaf and garlic in coconut oil as directed above.
Remove bay leaf.
Pour soup into Vitamix and add broth, coconut milk, thyme, red curry paste, turmeric and set on soup setting or blend up to high for approximately 10 minutes.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Serve topped with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

Serves 3-4 

Adapted from the Food Babe.

Instant Pot Chicken and Sausage Soup

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2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp avocado oil
16 oz Italian 1 sausage, ground (can choose spicy or mild)
½ head of red cabbage, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 scallions chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups bone broth
½ can (14 oz) full-fat coconut milk
Parsley, chopped

Season chicken with seasoning, salt and pepper and allow to rest at room temperature.
Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add 1 tbsp avocado oil and sausage.
Cook sausage thoroughly, about 5 minutes.
Remove sausage to a plate.
Add 1 tbsp avocado oil to pot, along with the scallions, garlic, cabbage, celery and carrots.
Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Press cancel on pot.
Pour 1 cup of bone broth into pot and remove anything stuck to bottom of pot.
Add the chicken breasts.
Secure lid on Instant Pot and make sure steam valve is set to sealing.
Press the manual bottom and select 10 minutes.
Once 10 minutes are complete, allow pot to release steam and stay in warm setting for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, place a towel over valve and manually release any remaining steam.
Open the lid when steam is fully released.
Press cancel.
Remove chicken to a separate plate.
Add 3 cups bone broth, coconut milk and cooked sausage to the pot.
Secure the lid and make sure the steam release valve is turned back to sealing.
Press the manual button and select 3 minutes.
Chop the chicken into pieces.
After 3 minutes, allow pot to release steam and stay in warm setting for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, place a towel over valve and manually release any remaining steam.
Open the lid when steam is fully released.
Add the chopped chicken and allow to stay warm if chicken needs to reheat but soup will be very hot so chicken should warm up when added.
Top with parsley after soup has been added to bowls.
Option to add shredded cheese.

Serves 6-8

 

Adapted from The Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook

Asparagus with Bacon

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This is another recipe that is helpful if you already have bacon prepared. It should be a kitchen staple… no better way to get your kids to eat vegetables!

 4 strips bacon
1 tbsp grass-fed butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. asparagus trimmed
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

If you don’t have bacon already prepared: Cook 4 strips of bacon in a skillet on medium high.
Remove bacon.
Drain a portion of bacon grease but reserve some for further cooking.
Reduce heat to medium.

If you already have bacon prepared, heat butter in place of the above steps.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the asparagus to the skillet and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until bright green
Add desired amount of salt and pepper.
While the asparagus is cooking, chop the bacon into small pieces.
Add the bacon back to asparagus and cook for another 30-60 seconds.

Cheesy Bacon Cauliflower

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This is a fast way to make my favorite vegetable a little more rich and savory. I typically cook a full batch of bacon on the weekend, which makes this recipe really fast!

1 tbsp of avocado oil
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/4 cup bone broth
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon
Salt and pepper, to taste

If you don’t have bacon already prepared: Cook 4 strips of bacon in a skillet on medium high.
Remove bacon.
Drain a portion of bacon grease but reserve some for further cooking.
Reduce heat to medium.

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If you already have bacon prepared, heat avocado oil in place of the above steps.
Add the cauliflower to the skillet and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add desired amount of salt and pepper.
Add the bone broth, cover the skillet and cook until cauliflower is tender (about 5-10 minutes).
While cauliflower is cooking, chop the bacon into small pieces.
Add the cheddar cheese and bacon and cook until cheese is melted.

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I love this combined with Dijon Balsamic Chicken Thighs!











Meaty Sausage Chili

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1 lb ground grass-fed beef, turkey or chicken
1 lb spicy Italian sausage
1 green pepper, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 (26 oz) can of chopped tomatoes in juice
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tbsp ground cumin
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup water
Optional: white beans (can omit if want to keep it keto) and shredded cheese

Instant Pot Instructions:
Press the saute button.
Add ground meat and sausage.
Cook until browned.
Press warm/cancel button.
Add the other ingredients (except cheese) to the Instant Pot and mix.
Cover and lock lid (make sure steam valve is closed).
Press the chili/bean button (30 minutes).
After 30 minutes the pot will move to the “keep warm” mode so you can allow the pressure to release naturally or you can use the quick release (be careful as steam can burn. I cover with a towel).
Serve in bowls with the option to top with shredded cheese.

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Crock Pot Instructions:
Brown the sausage and ground meat in a skillet.
Drain off half the fat and add to crock pot.
Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) to crock pot and mix.
Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.
Serve in bowls with the option to top with shredded cheese.

Adapted from the Keto Karma.

Pumpkin Seed Buns

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I love this recipe for a day when you are craving bread but don't want to spike your blood sugar or cause inflammation. It's so easy to make and I keep them in the freezer for those occasions. 

1 cup coconut flour
½ cup pumpkin seeds + extra for topping each bun
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup psyllium husk powder
1 tbsp baking powder
Sea salt to taste
8 egg whites (don't toss the yolks - they are so healthy!!)
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
Using a blender, mix the egg whites until foamy.
Add the egg whites to the dry ingredients. Dough will still be crumbly.
Add the boiling water to the dough.
The dough will still be slightly crumbly but press together to form balls.
Add the pumpkin seeds to the top of each bun.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Cool inside the oven if you prefer a crispy crust.

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Makes 10-12 buns

Adapted from The Nourished Caveman

Sweet Potato, Bacon and Avocado Toast

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You can make this as a snack or make smaller portions for an appetizer, as I did.

1 large sweet potato
1 avocado, cut into small slices
4 slices bacon, cooked to desired crispness
1 red pepper, chopped
Avocado oil
½ cup olive oil or avocado oil mayonnaise (I like the Primal Brand)
1/8 tsp chili powder
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the sweet potato into ½ to ¼ inch slices (lengthwise for snack or small rounds for appetizers).
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Baste both sides of the sweet potato slices with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the sweet potato until the slices start turning slightly crispy at the edges (30-45 minutes).
Allow the cooked sweet potato slices to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Top each slice with a dollop of mayo.
Top with avocado and bacon.
Sprinkle the chopped red pepper on top and serve.

Adapted from The Primal Kitchen Cookbook

 

Dairy and Gluten-Free Cutout Cookies

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This recipe is less sweet than the sugar cookies but still very tasty!

2 1/2 cups almond flour
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup agave nectar or raw honey
1 pasture egg
2 tsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Using a mixer combine the agave nectar or honey, egg, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can be refrigerated overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll to 1/4 inch thick (do not roll too thin).
Cut out with cookie cutters and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 8 minutes.

Makes 15-20 cookies, depending on size

Adapted from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations

Frosting options:

Dairy based - combine butter or cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extact and some type of milk (I use coconut milk).

Non-dairy based (and less sweet) - combine coconut butter, melted coconut oil with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I use a fair amount of coconut butter and oil so the frosting is not as sweet but the boys in my house prefer the other recipe. 

 

Gluten-Free Cutout Sugar Cookies

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I grew up making cutout cookies and decorating them with my family so it's a tradition I love to carry forward. These cookies are more like a traditional cutout with real sugar (gasp! but it's the holidays!) but made without gluten. 

2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
8 tbsp pasture butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
2 pasture eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder and salt and whisk together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl cream the butter with a mixer. 
Add the sugar to the butter and mix thoroughly. 
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper (or coat the surface with gluten-free flour to prevent dough from sticking).
Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Do not roll too thin.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 7-8 minutes.

Makes approximately 18 cookies, depending on shape.

Frosting options:

Dairy based - combine butter or cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extact and some type of milk (I use coconut milk).

Non-dairy based (and less sweet) - combine coconut butter, melted coconut oil with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I use a fair amount of coconut butter and oil so the frosting is not as sweet but the boys in my house prefer the other recipe. 

 

 

Pressure Cooked Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

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The meat was so tender it fell off the bone! May be adapted from the pressure cooker by baking in the oven.

4 bone-in pork chops (best with thinly sliced chops)
4 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ medium onion, sliced
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
½ tbsp grass-fed butter*
1/4 cup whipping cream*
¼ tsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch, tapioca starch or xanthum gum)

Mix the spices and salts.
Rinse the pork chops and pat dry.
Rub ¾ of the spice mix on both sides of the pork chops.
Add the coconut oil to the pressure cooker.
Turn the pressure cooker to “saute.”
Brown both sides of the pork chops (approximately 3 minutes per side).
Remove the chops and turn the pressure cooker off.
Add the sliced onions and mushrooms to the pressure cooker.
Top with the pork chops.
Add the lid to the pressure cooker, making sure the vent is sealed.
Cook on high for 25 minutes (use the manual setting on Instapot).
When done cooking, release the pressure, then remove the lid.
Remove the pork chops.
Turn the pressure cooker to “saute.”
Whisk in the heavy whipping cream, butter and the remaining spices.*
Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until gravy thickens.
Turn off the pot and add the flour/starch in small amounts to thicken the gravy.
Pour gravy over the pork chops for serving.

* For dairy-free option, you can skip adding the butter and cream, serving the mushroom and onion broth atop the pork chops.

Serves 4

Adapted from Ruled.me recipe

 

Watermelon Tomato Basil Salad

This is a refreshing salad for a hot summer day. 

After I made it the first time from the cookbook recipe, I made some revisions to make it a little less sweet and increase the nutrients.

1/2 small seedless watermelon, cubed
2 pounds grape tomatoes, sliced
1 English cucumber, halved and sliced
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt, ground
Goat cheese, cubed (optional)

Toss the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, vinegar and basil together in a large bowl. Season with salt. Place in refrigerator for a few hours. Remove from refrigerator and add goat cheese (if desired) for serving.

Adapted from Against All Grains Celebrations
 

Citrus Cinnamon Cod

On weekday nights I often find myself creating new recipes that are quick and easy. I start by checking the freezer and today I found some wild-caught cod. I quickly thawed the fish in cold water and then looked around my kitchen to see what ingredients I had. I usually do lemon but only had some oranges. I threw together the following ingredients and created a delicious fish dish that was ready in under 30 minutes. I paired it with some greens sauteed in coconut oil and topped with pine nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

4 - 6 oz. wild cod fillets
2 tbsp pasture butter
½ tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
1 orange
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup dry vermouth
1-2 cloves, garlic minced
Sea salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in glass baking dish in oven during preheat.
Squeeze juice of orange and add to butter.
Add garlic, cinnamon, cayenne and sea salt to butter mixture.
Dredge both sides of fish in mixture and use a spoon to pour more atop the fish.
Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Serves 4

Parchment Baked Halibut

Baking in parchment paper is nice because it limits the clean up, but it typically reduces the fat in a dish so you want to be sure you are starting with an ingredient that has some fat in it, such as halibut, and you want to include some additional fat to keep it tender.

 

 

 

 

4 six ounce pieces wild-caught halibut
Fresh thyme (or dried if you don’t have fresh)
1 lemon, sliced
4 tbsp pasture butter
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Sea salt
Pepper

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut four 12 – 15 inch lengths of parchment paper.
Place fish on each piece of parchment paper.
Top each with ¼ of butter, ginger, salt & pepper and lemon slices.
Fold parchment paper around fish and seal on the sides. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes.
Option to serve in parchment paper.

Makes 4 Servings