Spinach Artichoke Dip

spinach-artichoke-dipSo, I am totally not a sports person, but I know many people are and therefore, many people may be looking for Super Bowl recipes (to be honest, I didn’t even know what teams were playing until I asked my husband this week). This recipe fits the bill and is a great appetizer any other time too. But, for all you folks going to Super Bowl parties or hosting one yourself, make this dip recipe to share! It is incredible and a healthified version of the classic.

You’ll first need to make a batch of almond “cream cheese,” which is super easy, but does involve soaking the almonds overnight (unless you buy sprouted almonds, then you can just skip to soaking them in boiling water to remove the skins). I have made this almond cream cheese other times too and it is so good, even on its own.

Even though this dip is a healthy twist on the original, it’s still hard to stop going back for more! It’s pretty much been my lunch (along with some added protein) everyday since making it. That’s okay, right?

Cheers and enjoy!

spinach-artichoke-dip-bite-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade almond cream cheese (visit HERE for recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 13.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 5 oz clamshell fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3 Tbsp fresh raw Parmesan, if tolerated (can also replace with nutritional yeast to yield a cheesy flavor)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes, until softened. Then, add the chopped artichoke hearts and sauté about five minutes more.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the fresh lemon juice, coconut milk, almond cream cheese, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, sea salt and black pepper. Stir well and let cook down a few minutes.
  3. Then, add in the chopped spinach and stir well. Let cook down a couple minutes or until softened and wilted a bit. Lastly, turn heat to low and mix in Parmesan, if using (or nutritional yeast, if using). Taste and add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  4. Serve warm with vegetable slices, plantain chips, or good-quality sweet potato chips (this brand is my favorite). You can even find good-quality regular potato chips made with avocado, olive or coconut oil, which are also good options if you eat and tolerate white potatoes.

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Herbed Turkey Potato Stew

herbed-turkey-potato-stew

It’s been chilly, damp and drizzly in Portland lately. With weather like this, I want nothing more than a warm and hearty one-dish meal. To me, this one kind of tastes like a mixture of Thanksgiving and shepherd’s pie, and it’s straight up healthy comfort food. It’s an especially great meal to have after a hard training session since it’s full of good starchy carbohydrates. If you’re not a regular potato eater, add more sweet potato or use butternut squash instead. Make it what you need it to be for you and most importantly, enjoy!

Meanwhile, I recently got my personal training site up and running, which you can check out HERE. If you live in the Portland area and are looking to do personal training in NE (MLK and Alberta) or NW (near Pearl District/Nob Hill), be sure to hit me up. I am currently taking new clients!

And, on another note, I was on live TV last week! I had the opportunity to go on KATU Afternoon Live here in Portland and make my pumpkin caramel bars. It proved to be a lot of fun and looks as if I’ll be a guest again in the near future. Watch the replay HERE.

UPDATE: I also went on KATU Afternoon Live and made this recipe on November 23, 2016! Watch the replay HERE!

herbed-turkey-potato-stew-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb ground turkey white or dark meat, or a combination of both
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (*or 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup good-quality chicken or turkey broth
  • 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces (peel if desired)
  • 1 medium white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 12 oz bag frozen peas

Directions:

  1. Heat large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil or butter. Once heated, add the onion and garlic, and sauté 1-2 minutes. Next, add the ground turkey and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Continue cooking until the meat is mostly browned (about 5 minutes), breaking up the large pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula as needed.
  2. Next, mix in the yellow potatoes, sweet potato, broth and thyme. *Note: if using dried tarragon, add now. Add more sea salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot with a lid and allow mixture to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 10-12 minutes, add the fresh green beans and frozen peas. If needed, add a bit more broth. Cover again and cook 5-6 more minutes or until potatoes and beans are tender.
  4. Stir in the fresh tarragon. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Serve.

Yields: ~6 servings

 

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

chicken and vegetable soup

There’s been a cold front coming through Portland, and it has definitely been chilly. Thankfully, the sun has been in tow a good chunk of the days, but nonetheless, it’s still cold. This soup has been the perfect remedy to ward off some of the nip in the air, and it’s definitely a hearty one. I’ve found that I can tolerate white potatoes just fine, which is exciting, especially after avoiding them for so long. I had to nix them completely when I was treating my SIBO, but after all that was over, I felt scared to try reintroducing them. Anyway, it’s good to have them back in my life, but they’re definitely not an everyday kinda thing.

This soup gets thicker as it sits because of the starch in the potatoes, so it ends up becoming a little more like a stew. It sort of reminds me of a hybrid of chicken soup and chicken pot pie. It’s definitely comforting, savory, satisfying and filling. It would also work great with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. You’d have to already have some stock on hand though, use store bought or make a fresh batch from the turkey carcass.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you have a joy-filled Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy it and remember what you’re grateful for (more importantly, do this everyday!). Jesse and I will be headed to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving up in Vancouver, Washington. We often do our own thing, so we’re excited to be with lots of friends this year, many of which are from our hometown in Michigan. I will be taking my crustless butternut squash pie to share, along with some special bacon almonds.

Cheers!

chicken and vegetable soup 2

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • Filtered water (enough to completely cover chicken in large soup pot)
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium-large white potatoes, peeled & cut into pieces (alternatively, you could use butternut squash or sweet potato)
  • 12 oz bag frozen green peas
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (I like this brand)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped, plus stems for making stock

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a large soup pot and cover completely with filtered water. I usually leave fill it a couple inches from the top. Add the 2 Tbsp sea salt, bay leaves, 1 chopped celery stalk, cilantro or parsley stems and the halved garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer for about 3 hours.
  2. After 3 hours, remove the chicken from the pot and strain the stock through a fine mesh colander. Allow the chicken to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place the same pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and once melted, add the 2 stalks chopped celery, carrots and yellow onion. Sauté a couple minutes and then add the potato pieces. Stir well and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Pour the stock back into the pot and stir in the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Allow mixture to simmer about 10-12 minutes or until potato pieces are tender. Then, add the frozen peas.
  5. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and stir into the pot. I recommend saving the bones and skin for making bone broth. You can even store the bones in the freezer until you’re ready to make broth.
  6. Remove from heat and add a generous handful of chopped cilantro or parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve into bowls and garnish with extra cilantro or parsley, if desired.

Spiced Chicken Stew

spiced chicken stew 2

This dish is so good that I’ve made it twice already over the course of three days. It is so flavorful and has the comforting qualities of chicken soup. It is incredibly easy and quick to throw together too. I think it’s going to be a regularly occurring meal for us this fall and winter.

Meanwhile, Jesse and I are getting ready to depart Wednesday evening for LA, where we’ll reside for 10 days to complete a week-long training with Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up. We’re excited, but a little nervous too because it’s going to be a lot of work (but, good work!).

Happy Monday!

Update: Watch the replay HERE of me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live on January 9, 2016!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • ~1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium-large head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and stir to coat. After a minute, add the chicken pieces and 1 tsp of the sea salt. Continue to cook until the chicken is mostly browned, but still has some pink to it.
  2. Pour chicken mixture into the slow cooker with the cumin, turmeric, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, black pepper and cabbage. Stir well.
  3. Place lid on slow cooker and let cook on low for 4 hours. If you’re home, I recommend stirring halfway through the cooking time, but it’s not critical and nothing to fret over if you can’t do so.

Yields: ~3-4 servings

Note: I’ve since tried this recipe with the addition of sweet potato and also really like it that way (if using, add to slow cooker with the cabbage and spices). I’ve used one medium-large sweet potato and found that it was enough.

Italian Beef and Vegetable Soup

Italian Beef and Vegetable Soup

Isn’t it hard to believe that it’s almost Autumn already? We’ve already had several days that feel and smell like fall, but they’ve been interspersed with hot days. I do enjoy fall, but am not quite ready for summer to be over yet, even though it’s been a scorching one. Summer is definitely my favorite and I love the warm weather. But, I have a lot of exciting things on my plate this fall, so the anticipation of the changing season is sweet.

Next month, Jesse and I are headed down to the LA area to complete a week-long training with Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up. We both have a lot of respect for Jill’s work and are grateful for the opportunity to train with her. Then, in November, I’m headed to NYC with a very dear friend of mine. We’re going to a conference called, “I Can Do It!” and are spending some extra time there for fun (it’ll be my first visit to NYC!). I’ll get to visit my second cousin who lives in Brooklyn as well. In December, Jesse and I are headed to Honolulu for a week of pure vacation. The ticket prices were a super good deal, so we decided to bite. We won’t actually be spending Christmas there, but will be there a little bit before.

Tonight, we’re headed to an Empire of the Sun concert at Edgefield, and I’m really excited! Jesse surprised me with tickets a couple months ago, and it definitely was a pleasant surprise. I get the evening off from work to go too, which is a nice change of pace for a Friday.

Meanwhile, enjoy the soup recipe and if it’s still warm wherever you are, tuck this one away for a chilly fall or winter day.

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Italian pork sausage
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 5.5 cups beef and/or chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 box (~18 oz) unsweetened tomato sauce (I used this brand)
  • 2.5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 medium zucchini, “noodled” with a spiralizer or julienne peeler
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus extra for topping, if desired
  • Raw Parmesan cheese for topping, optional and if tolerated

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Sauté a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the ground beef and pork sausage, breaking up the meat with a spatula. Add the sea salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme and cayenne to the mixture, and stir.
  2. Once the meat is browned, add the broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste and bay leaf. Stir well and then add the zucchini noodles and fresh basil. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Taste soup after simmering and adjust seasoning as necessary. Remove bay leaf when ready to serve.
  3. Garnish with extra chopped basil and/or raw Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired.

Italian Meatloaf

Italian meatloaf

Well, the holiday season is officially over. It’s been fun, but I’m ready for some normalcy again. The decorations and tree are down, and the house is back in order. I’m usually a little blue after the holiday season, but I’m doing just fine this year. There are so many things to look forward to that I’m not too sad. I’m excited about 2015 and know that it’s going to be wonderful. It will be a great year because I’m going to make it great! Remember, that you choose what you want to create in your life and you choose your attitude.

On another note, I had to pick a new winner for the Paleo Eats giveaway. I tried notifying the first winner numerous times and allowed about two weeks for her to get back to me. So, the new winner was picked at random again and is Julie K. Julie left this comment, “I’d like to win this book so I have something tangible to reference when I’m at home, hangry, and about to go against my clean eating habits.” Julie, please email me your mailing address at paleoinportland@gmail.com. Thanks!

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out even better than I imagined, which made me happy. It’s total comfort food and hits the spot when you’re wanting both meatloaf and spaghetti. It’s seriously the best of both worlds. We ate ours on a bed of sautéed kale with marinara on top and a sprinkle of raw Parmesan, since we both tolerate it. It was perfection.

Enjoy and cheers to a New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • No sugar added marinara sauce, for serving (I like this one and this one)
  • If tolerated, raw Parmesan for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté a few minutes, or until onion is softened. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Once onion mixture is cool, place in a food processor or small prep blender like this one and pulse until big chunks are broken up into fine pieces.
  4. Then, in a large bowl, mix together the onion mixture, ground beef, ground chicken sausage, egg, tomato paste, coconut flour, Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Mix everything well with your hands.
  5. Place meat mixture in a large loaf pan and spread out evenly with your hands. Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven.
  6. When the meatloaf is nearly done, pour some marinara sauce in a saucepan and let warm over medium-low heat.
  7. Serve meatloaf slices with warm marinara sauce and garnish with raw Parmesan, if tolerated and desired.

 

 

Chicken and Broccoli Egg Bake

chicken and broccoli egg bake

Chicken and broccoli are kind of a classic combo if you ask me, and these two foods especially taste wonderful together in casseroles. Something with chicken and broccoli was calling my name recently and in deciding what to make ahead of time for dinner the other night (since Jesse and I don’t get home until about 8pm), I threw together this little creation for us to eat when we got home. Every single ingredient was already in my kitchen, which goes to show that you can create easy, delicious meals without having to run to the store. Unless it’s a total Mother Hubbard’s cupboard scenario, which makes for a different story. That’s what my mom used to say whenever she needed to go to the store and I find that I say the same thing now when our fridge and cupboards are looking a little bare.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with a recipe. Hopefully, I’ll be back again soon with what I’m making on New Year’s day. Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy New Year too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, plus extra for greasing dish & sautéing veggies
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded (leftovers work great)
  • 3/4 cup homemade almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and set aside.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter (about 1 Tbsp) in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leek and mushrooms, and saute a few minutes. Then, add the broccoli and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to saute a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once broccoli has slightly softened, add the shredded chicken and stir. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup melted butter, eggs and almond or coconut milk. Once mixed, add the oregano, parsley, cayenne and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next, add the chicken/veggie mixture and stir. Pour into the greased casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
  6. Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yields: 4 servings