Holiday Butternut & Apple Stuffed Pork

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Perfect for a special occasion, I made this thinking about a new dish for Christmas dinner. I used pork loin, which is larger and cheaper than pork tenderloin so easily serves more people without breaking the budget. However, bear in mind it is usually pretty lean so if you can get a pork loin with a fat cap on top, that really helps. I picked one up from a local farm, or discuss with your local butcher to see if they can cut you one and keep the fat cap on. Alternatively I would suggest wrapping some bacon slices over the top of the roast while it cooks to help add moisture and protect from dryness – plus, YUM!

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Holiday Butternut & Apple Stuffed Pork
 
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A paleo and Whole30 friendly roast perfect for a special occasion like CHristmas. Who needs ham when you can make this!
Author:
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 1 apple (about 5 oz)
  • 2 ¼ lb pork loin (with fat cap)
  • ½ tsp dry sage
  • 1 tsp dry thyme (divided)
  • 2 Tbl avocado oil (divided)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped sage
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Special equipment: kitchen twine and kitchen thermometer.
  3. Dice butternut and apples into 1-inch pieces, then spread on separate sheet pans. Toss squash with 1 tsp oil, ¼ tsp salt and the dry sage.
  4. Toss apple with ½ tsp oil, pinch salt and ¼ tsp dry thyme.
  5. Roast until both are fork tender but not overly soft.
  6. While those roast, prepare the pork:
  7. Butterfly the pork loin by making a horizontal cut mid-way through the pork so it opens like a book. You want to make the cut width-wise, not length-wise (again, so it opens like a book). Be careful not to cut all the way through – stop about 1 inch before cutting all the way through.
  8. Open the loin up like a book, then rub it all over with the remaining salt, dry thyme, black pepper and remaining oil (rub all sides). It should feel generously seasoned.
  9. For the filling: layer the butternut, apple and fresh chopped sage on the bottom part of the loin, then close it up. Use the kitchen twine to tie the pork closed in 4 places – a simple loop and a knot will do.
  10. Place pork in a roasting dish – if any filling slips out, just stuff it back in around the edges.
  11. This is the best point to let the roast marinate for about 30 minutes or place in fridge overnight and roast the next day.
  12. When ready to roast:
  13. Roast 20 minutes then baste with any juices that have collected in the pan. Rotate dish, roast for another 20 minutes, baste again. Roast until internal temperature reads 140, about 45 minutes.
  14. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Bangers N Mash with Gravy

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This recipe is simple yet oh so satisfying. You can’t beat mashed potatoes and gravy, can you? I am really excited to share this gravy recipe since it is not only gluten and dairy free, but it is made without using any type of paleo flour at all. My digestive system doesn’t agree with almond flour and I try to avoid using almonds in general. Why’s that? Their sustainability is not so great and they are being so overused these days (if you haven’t looked into more information on the California almond industry, I recommend it if you like to learn). I also tend to not feel great from coconut flour either, but I know some people are fine with it. For the sake of this recipe, I wanted a gravy that was strictly based on veggies and broth. Voila! I recommend making extra gravy and keeping it around to  add to meals during the week or freeze it for future use. 

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Bangers N Mash
 
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A simple healthy recipe that is gluten free, paleo and Whole30 compliant
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • Gravy:
  • ¼ tsp coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cup yellow onion
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 3 each garlic
  • 2 cups potatoes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 ½ Tbl fresh sage
  • ½ tsp dry sage
  • ¾ tsp dry thyme
  • 18 oz broth
  • 1 Tbl coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbl coconut milk
  • Mash:
  • 2 lb white sweet potatoes or white potatoes
  • 1 cup broth, warmed
  • 2 -3 Tbl ghee
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk, optional
  • Bangers:
  • 8 sausages of choice (make sure compliant if doing a Whle30)
  • 1 tsp ghee
Instructions
  1. Gravy:
  2. In a medium pot, heat coconut oil pver medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and sweat until softened, then add the celery and garlic, sauté 5 minutes.
  4. Add the potato, salt, pepper, herbs and stir together, then add the broth.
  5. Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft.
  6. Remove from heat, add the aminos and coconut milk.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree, or transfer carefully to a blender and puree.
  8. Mash:
  9. Chop potatoes into 2 inch chunks, put in a pot and cover with water (peeled or unpeeled, your choice).
  10. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Strain, then place in mixing bowl. Whisk in broth slowly, then add ghee and salt. Add coconut milk if using for extra creaminess. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  11. Bangers:
  12. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the ghee.
  13. When pan is hot, add the sausages. Sear until nice and brown on one side, then flip and sear second side. Reduce heat, cover pan with a lid and finish cooking sausages to an internal temp of 165.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower & Butternut Pilaf

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I’ve been making different versions of this dish for years but I finally buckled down and took pictures so I could post it. My original plan was to make it with root veggies instead of cauliflower (it’s great with riced parsnips and/or white sweet potatoes) but then today I went with a slightly lower carb version using cauliflower. Feel free to try it with about 2 lbs of root veggies instead of cauliflower and serve it as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s festive, seasonal and has all the flavors you expect at this time of year: sage, thyme, celery, cranberry and butternut. I’m so obsessed with these ingredients right now I’ve been eating this for breakfast with eggs or sausage. Yum!

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Cauliflower & Butternut Pilaf
 
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A healthy side dish great for Thanksgiving, Christmas or anytime during the fall and winter! Paleo, gluten free and low carb.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-5 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • ¾ cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 apple (such as Gala or Honeycrisp)
  • 3 Tbl ghee or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry sage
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Set out two baking sheet pans.
  3. Peel butternut squash, scoop out seeds, then chop squash into 1-inch pieces. Set on one sheet pan, drizzle with 1 Tbl oil and 1 Tbl balsamic, plus half the salt and pepper.
  4. Roast squash for 20 minutes until starting to get soft, then add in the cranberries, stir so they are coated with oil, and continue roasting until squash is soft and cranberries are shriveled.
  5. While squash roasts:
  6. Trim leaves and stem from cauliflower, then pulse the florets in food processor until forms "rice". Transfer rice onto other sheet pan.
  7. Dice the half onion, celery and apple into small pieces and place on sheet pan with cauliflower rice.
  8. Sprinkle herbs, remaining salt and pepper over top, drizzle with 2 Tbl oil, then toss together using your fingers or a spatula and spread evenly across sheet pan.
  9. Roast cauliflower rice mixture until veggies are just soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  10. Combine squash, cranberries and cauliflower mixture in a bowl and serve.

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Sausage & Vegetable Stuffing

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If you’re looking to maintain your healthier eating habits over the holidays, or perhaps you’d like to stay as Whole30 compliant as you can, this is a recipe that can sub in for the traditional bread stuffing we all probably grew up eating. I LOVE stuffing. It took up 1/2 my plate in years past before I had to stop eating bread.

This dish also happens to make a yummy one-pan meal at any time of year. I’m serving it as a side dish for Thanksgiving and can’t wait to have it as leftovers too. 

Note: I am also working on a stuffing made with grain free / paleo bread –  it will even more closely replicate traditional stuffing, however it is not Whole30 compliant (nor am I really one to eat lots of grain-free bread, but heck it’s the holidays so if you want to try it, stay tuned!)

 

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Sausage & Vegetable Stuffing
 
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An easy gluten free, grain free, paleo and Whole30 compliant stuffing option for your holiday table. You can also omit the sausage for a vegetarian option.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 2 Ttbl ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 1 lb ground sausage meat, optional
  • 5 oz onion ( about 1 heaping cup)
  • 5 oz celery (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 4 oz crimini (about 1 heapung cup)
  • ½ cup chopped chestnuts
  • 1 lb cauliflower, riced
  • ¾ tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
  • ¾ tsp dry thyme (or 1.5 tsp fresh thyme)
  • ¾ tsp dry sage (or 1.5 tsp chopped feesh sage)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup broth
  • 2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. For the sausage meat, choose your favorite sausage and remove it from the casing.
  2. If following Whole30, make sure there is no sugar in your sausages.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt 1 Tbl ghee.
  4. If using, brown the sausage meat until no longer pink, then remove from pan and set aside. You can skip this step if you don’t want the meat.
  5. Add remaining 1 Tbl ghee to the same pan.
  6. When pan is hot, add the onion and sauté 5 minutes.
  7. Add celery. Sauté 5 minutes, then add the crimini and chestnuts.
  8. Stir occasionally for another 5 minutes, add the cauliflower, herbs, salt and pepper.
  9. Stir, then add the broth and cover pan with a lid.
  10. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes. Add sausage meat into the pan and stir to combine. Add the parsley.
  11. Remove from heat and serve.

 

 

 

 

Butternut Leek Soup

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This is a soup you can pull together pretty quickly and with minimal ingredients. As you may have started to notice, I’m a fan of simple recipes.  This soup is an example of simplicity that celebrates the ingredients without being overdone. I recommend this dish for a variety of situations, ranging from breakfast if you’re avoiding eggs, to having this soup chilled for lunch, to serving it as an appetizer for dinner. It’s Whole30 compliant, paleo friendly and happens to be a favorite snack of mine.

You can make this is a slow cooker as well –  I suggest sautéing the onion and leek, then placing all the contents into the crockpot. Cook for 8 hours on low, then puree. 

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Butternut & Leek Bisque
 
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A simple, delicious and healthy soup recipe that is dairy free but packed with nutrients
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil
  • 2 butternut squash
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken bone broth (homemade ideal)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 - 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • Optional Additions:
  • 1 Tbl fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbl fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbl lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash.
  2. Remove the roots and dark green ends from the leek, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly slice width-wise. Thoroughly rinse the sliced leeks to remove excess dirt, then strain well.
  3. Heat a 4-5 quart soup pot over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
  4. Once heated, add the onion and saute 5 minutes.
  5. Add the leek and saute another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and butternut squash, saute 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and simmer until the squash is very soft, about 20 minutes.
  8. I suggest pureeing with an immersion blender if you have one, this way you can just blend the soup right in the pot. However, a regular blender will do, but allow soup to cool a bit before blending.
  9. Add coconut milk and any herbs, then puree.
  10. Season to taste, adding more salt or herbs as desired. You can also add a little lemon to brighten up the flavor.
  11. **NOTE: You can also throw this in a slow cooker on low for about 8 hours, then puree!

Italian Meatball “Sub”

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I’m not sure where the idea for this recipe came from, but here it is. Maybe because I’m bored with my dinners lately and felt like making something fun? It is definitely fun to make and fun to eat it too, so there’s that, and it reminds me a bit of a chicken parm meatball sandwich I used to eat as a teenager. Mmmmmmmm. Except this one is free of all the glutenous, dairy-ous ingredients and is Whole30 compliant. Hope you enjoy! 

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Italian Meatball "Sub"
 
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An easy, paleo, Whole30 healthy version of an Italian meatball sub.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp italian herb seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbl fresh parsley
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black peppr
  • 6 Tbl tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (make sure no sugar)
  • 3 each delicata squash
  • 1 Tbl avocado or olive oil
  • 2 Tbl coconut butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Slice delicata in half lengthwise, remove seeds, brush with the oil and roast face down until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Combine in a medium mixing bowl: ground meat, onion, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, tomato paste. Mix well and form meatballs - 3 meatballs per serving.
  4. Roast meatballs on a sheet pan until reach an internal temperature of 165, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. To assemble: put a small amount of sauce in the middle of each squash, then toss the meatballs with the rest of the sauce (use more if you want it really saucy!) - then place 3 meatballs in each squash.
  6. Sprinkle the coconut butter over top, then place the "subs" in the oven for about 5 minutes to slightly melt the coconut butter.
  7. You can eat the skin of delicata squash, just fyi, if you're down for the extra fiber!

 

Cream of Broccoli Soup

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Cream of broccoli soup was one of my favorites for years. I used to work at Panera Bread when I was a young teenager and man did I love their version of this soup. When I gave up dairy, cream of broccoli soup faded into nothing but a distant memory…. until recently when I made a healthy version for my meal delivery business.  I decided to share it with you all since it’s a great time of year for soup. I’m finding that having soup on hand (either in the fridge or frozen) is an easy quick way to have a meal when I’m short on time, feeling lazy, or not super hungry. I have a bad habit of skipping lunch and I’m finding that soup has been a good solution, especially served in a big ol’ mug. I hope you enjoy! 

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Cream of Broccoli Soup
 
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A healthy version of a classic soup made Whole30 compliant and paleo friendly.
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 oz leek
  • 5 oz white sweet potato
  • 1 lb 2 oz Broccoli (including stems)
  • 1.5 each cloves garlic
  • .25 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bone broth (or veggie broth)
  • 8 oz water
  • 3 oz coconut milk
  • Optional: 2 handfuls baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Dice leek into about 1 inch pieces (it doesn't have to be perfect, it's getting pureed).
  2. Chop potato into 2 inch pieces.
  3. In a large pot, saute leek in the oil to soften over medium heat.
  4. Add potatoes and garlic – reduce heat to low and sauté a couple minutes.
  5. While the veggies saute, chop broccoli into 2 inch pieces.
  6. Add all remaining ingredients except coconut milk, cover and simmer over low until completely soft.
  7. Add coconut milk (and spinach if using) remove from heat, blend and taste for seasoning.

 

Fish Chowder

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Running a meal delivery business presents a welcome challenge for tasty, creative seafood dishes. This dairy free white fish chowder is flavorful yet mild and is really easy to whip up. If you’re hesitant when it comes to seafood dishes, this is a really nice meal to try – trust me, I tested it on my husband and he is super picky about seafood. Hope you enjoy!

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Fish Chowder
 
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A healthy, dairy free, paleo version of chowder that is mild and easy to make.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb white fish, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp ghee or olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz onion, divided
  • 1 lb white sweet potato, cubed and divided
  • 4 oz celery
  • 4 oz carrot
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • water as needed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch parsley, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Saute half the onion with oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add half the potato, then add enough water just to cover the potatoes.
  3. Simmer until very soft, then puree with an immersion blender or in a blender then set aside.
  4. Saute remaining onion, celery, carrot, garlic in ghee/oil about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining amount of potato, then the salt, and small amount water – just barely cover potatoes. Cover and gently simmer to soften the potatoes but don't overcook.
  6. When potatoes soft, add the pureed mixture back into pot, heat until warm over low heat.
  7. Add coconut milk and fish (over VERY LOW HEAT) – allow to heat just until fish is cooked, do not boil – only needs about 3 -4 mins. Fish is done when opaque.
  8. Taste for seasoning, salt as needed. Garnish with parsley.

Chicken Stew

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This is one of those failsafe, go-to recipes that is perfect for using up a whole roasted chicken. You get soup and broth all at once! I do suggest roasting the chicken ahead of time, pulling the meat off the bones and getting your broth going so you have it use in the soup. I usually make this soup out of leftover chicken from the day before. I’m all about transforming leftovers and saving money (and being more sustainable) by not wasting food.

Also, you can edit this dish seasonally by changing out the veggies that go into it – such as root veggies in the winter and zucchini in the summer. Once you get the hang of the technique, the actual measurements aren’t so important.

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Chicken Stew
 
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A simple, healthy chicken stew recipe that is easy to make and, as always, gluten free.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs)
  • 3 Tbl avocado or olive oil
  • 1.5 cup chopped leek or onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery (small dice)
  • 2 cups chopped celery root, parsnip or other root vegetable (about 1 inch pieces)
  • 4 carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp dry thyme (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 2 Tbl parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 - 3 cups broth
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place chicken in an oven safe dish, rub with 1 Tbl oil and 2 pinches salt.
  3. Roast chicken until 165 internal temp, about 1 hour. Allow to cool. This can also be done ahead of time.
  4. While chicken cools, prep your veggies. You will have chopped leek/onion, chopped celery, chopped carrot, chopped celery root/root vegetables.
  5. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil.
  6. Saute leek or onion for about 3 minutes, then add celery and stir for 2 minutes. Add celery root/root vegetable and carrot, a pinch of salt, and saute for several minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to low, add ½ cup water, cover pot and allow veggies to simmer.
  8. This is a good time to pull the chicken meat off the bones.
  9. Quickly throw the bones into another large pot, cover with water and get boiling for broth if you don't already have broth on hand.
  10. When veggies are soft, add broth, chicken and herbs to the pot and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat, add your lemon, and check for seasoning - you may need to add salt.
  12. Note, if you don't already have chicken broth on hand, I suggest roasting the chicken ahead of time, pulling the meat off the bones, making broth, and then making the soup. This is why this recipe works really well with leftover chicken, so you have an extra day to make the broth.

 

 

Carrot Ginger Soup

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It’s the time of year for soups and stews! This recipe is warming, satisfying and super delicious. The ginger flavor is not overly strong and I added turmeric for a kick of anti-inflammatory properties.

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Carrot Ginger Soup
 
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A healthy, flavorful and Whole30 compliant soup for the colder weather. This is also Autoimmune Protocol compliant.
Author:
Serves: 10 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbl ghee (or olive oil)
  • 2 lb carrots
  • 8 oz parsnip
  • 2 oz leek
  • 8 oz celery
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (optional)
  • 6 cups water or broth (I used a mix of both)
  • 2 Tbl fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tbl fresh grated turmeric (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 6 Tbl coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Peel and dice the carrots and parsnip.
  2. Dice the leek and make sure rinsed of any dirt.
  3. Dice the celery.
  4. Melt the ghee in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  5. Add the leek and sauté for 5 minutes until softened, reduce heat to low.
  6. Add the celery, sauté 5 minutes.
  7. Add the carrot, parsnip, salt, pepper if using and liquid, cover and simmer until veggies are soft.
  8. Add the ginger, turmeric and coconut milk, stir and remove from heat.
  9. Use an immersion blender or blender to puree soup.
  10. Season to taste with additional salt.