Apple & Sweet Potato ‘Bread Pudding’

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I had the idea for this recipe circulating in my head for a while and I am SO glad I finally made it. Yum. Slightly sweet with custard-like egg filling, this has become my go-to breakfast for the week. It’s also paleo, Whole30 compliant and gluten free as always  – but if you’re feeding a crowd all that matters is it’s good! The recipe makes a large baking dish worth (about 8-10 servings) so you can prep it ahead and enjoy it for days. I’d also argue this makes a great afternoon snack – a kick of protein and carbs with some healthy fats to power you through until dinner.  In addition, if you want to get creative, bake this in muffin cups for an even easier way to take it on the go. Enjoy!

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Apple & Sweet Potato 'Bread Pudding'
 
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Healthy and paleo version of bread pudding that is also Whole30 compliant
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb apples (3 apples)
  • 1½ lb sweet potato (1 large sweet potato)
  • 3 Tbl coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dry thyme (dry)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (canned)
  • 1½ Tbl arrowroot flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a large baking dish very well with 1 Tbl coconut oil (about 10x10 size.)
  3. Chop apples and sweets into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Roast apples with 1 Tbl coconut oil, pinch salt and half the cinnamon until "al dente" in texture, about 15 minutes.
  5. Roast sweets with 1 Tbl coconut oil, pinch salt, half cinnamon and the thyme, until "al dente" in texture, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. While those roast, prep your filling:
  7. In a large bowl whisk a small amount of eggs with the arrowroot to form a paste, then slowly whisk in all the eggs, then coconut milk and salt.
  8. Add the roasted apple and sweet to the filling, then pour gently into greased baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle a pinch of extra cinnamon over the top.
  10. Bake until puffed and the center is firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  11. Baking time will vary slightly based on the size of your baking dish.

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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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

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I may or may not get overly excited about fall which results in pumpkin everything around my house. I can’t help it. If I still dressed up for Halloween I would be a pumpkin. Actually, I was a pumpkin when I was little and I was stuffed with newspapers to make my costume all puffy. I wish my family used cameras back then because it would be so fun to see a picture of that.

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This recipe hits all the spots for a fall baking treat, and BONUS, you can easily make these into muffins too. As muffins, they will bake a little faster but other than that you don’t need to change a thing. 

Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
 
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Fall inspired pumpkin cranberry quick bread
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbl ground flax
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl cassava flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbl pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs plus 3 yolks, beaten
  • 5 Tbl water
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbl maple syrup
  • 3 Tbl ghee, melted (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with ghee.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flours, salt, baking soda and powder, spices.
  4. Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: pumpkin, eggs, water, maple syrup and ghee.
  5. In 3 parts, slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, whisking as you do so.
  6. Add cranberries, then pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, spin pan front to back for even baking.
  8. Bake another 15 minutes, then start checking for doneness every 5 minutes- the top should not be jiggly and a knife inserted into the center should come out with barely any crumbs.
  9. Allow to fully cool before slicing.

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.
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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!

Root Veggie Stuffing Hash

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All the flavor of holiday stuffing, minus the stomachache! Even gluten-free versions of stuffing can be tough on the tummy, so I wanted to create a healthier and easier to digest version that’s full of veggies. Try it out for the holidays, especially if you’re doing a Whole30 or looking to keep your holidays healthy and clean. It also happens to be delicious for breakfast if I do say so myself….. 

Root Veggie Stuffing Hash
 
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A flavorful dish full of root vegetables. Perfect for breakfast or as a side.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbl coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 Tbl fresh chopped parsley, divided
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 smal or medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium parsnip, shredded
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Heat a large saute pan (one that has a lid) over medium heat.
  2. Add oil and melt.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add celery, 1 Tbl parsley, the other herbs, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Add shredded root veggies, stir to combine and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add broth and cover pan for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove lid and stir.
  8. Allow to cook until broth is absorbed and veggies are soft.
  9. Remove from heat, add remaining parsley, and enjoy!

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Hot Wings

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Party wings, hot wings, chicken wings, Super Bowl essentials…….Whatever you want to call them, these make the perfect party appetizer without any of the sugar and crap ingredients that come with store bought wings. I worked on this recipe for a party some clients of mine hosted, and I will definitely be making them next weekend for my husband’s birthday / Super Bowl extravaganza. 

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Hot Wings
 
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A healthy, Whole30 and paleo friendly recipe for chicken wings that makes a great appetizer.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 3-4 Appetizer Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken wings
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • ½ tsp dry thyme
  • 1 Tbl coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbl avocado oil
  • 1 Tbl hot sauce (Cholula or Frank's are good options)
  • QUICK RANCH:
  • ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp coconut aminos
  • 1-2 tsp fresh minced chives (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix all together in a bowl.
  2. Marinate 15 minutes.
  3. Roast at 425 15-20 minutes until browned and reaches internal temperature of 165.
  4. Broil 2-3 minutes.
  5. *Note: all ovens cook at varying temperatures and intensities. My oven is convection and it cooks hotter and faster than many other ovens. You may want to increase the cooking time if your oven tends to take longer to cook food or to brown the skin of chicken.
  6. RANCH:
  7. Mix all ingredients and chill

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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.
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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.

 

Caffeine Free Teeccino Latte

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I know my body needs a total break from caffeine –  I’ve been working on improving my depleted hormone levels and I specifically need to address stress and cortisol in order to do so. I’ve made many changes to support this – diet, improving sleep, meditation, yoga, reconnecting with activities that bring me joy (horseback riding) – but for the past 5 years, coffe is the one thing I didn’t want to give up. But I know caffeine feeds into my stress issues. If you are curious to learn more more about hormones, I suggest checking out Dr. Jolene Brighton and Dr. Sara Gottfried. I learned about Dr. Brighten from this podcast about female hormones on the Balanced Bites podcast. So informative! 

I have also had to address gut health as well, which is so interesting to learn how strongly all these components of health are connected. You can read more about gut health from Chris Kresser here. I would have said my gut health was pretty good after making a bunch of dietary changes, but I have had some lingering issues from years ago that needed to get resolved, in addition to having SIBO, low digestive enzymes, low stomach acid, and low populations of beneficial gut microflora. Phew! It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion and you have to take it one step at a time. 

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Suffice it to say, it’s time for a caffeine vacation. Here is a recipe for a coffee substitute that I found to be equally satisfying, along with some of the hacks I have tried to ease the transition off of caffeine. It’s a process and I’d say it takes conviction but I am feeling better already.

Caffeine Free Teeccino Latte
 
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A coffee and caffeine free frothy latte drink
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 12 oz brewed teeccino
  • 1 – 2 scoops peptides
  • 1 tsp cacao
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl coconut milk (or other non dairy milk)
  • ½ tsp ghee or coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp ashwaghanda, maca or cordyceps of choice (Four Sigmatic) - optional
Instructions
  1. Brew the Teeccino tea bag just as you would make tea.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour and enjoy!

 

Hacks: please note, these are things that helped me, but you know your body best, so use your discretion.

  • I eased the transition off coffee by first slowly increasing the ratio of decaf beans in my coffee – this helped my body get used to less caffeine
  • I also slowly decreased the amount of the coffee I was drinking – even when it was 75% decaf, I still focused on needing less to get going in the morning. I went down from a 16 oz, to a 12 oz…..
  • Experiment with coffee substitutes that have less caffeine or no caffeine: Choffy, Teeccino, matcha lattes – things that can be frothed and made into fun, satisfying drinks helped me give up my frothy bulletproof coffee lattes.
  • Even decaf coffee gives you caffeine – I realized this once I stopped having my 2nd cup of decaf because I still got caffeine withdrawal headaches. So this is the time to go for tea instead – Tulsi Red Chai Masala is one of my favorites for afternoon.
  • First thing in morning, have some water with fresh lemon, and
  • Add pomegranate to your water to help with headaches (I bought dried powdered pomegranate powder like this).
  • Exercise and sunlight – I always felt better after getting in some exercise and getting some natural vitamin D from the sun – take a walk outside in the sunlight even in the winter. Take a friend for bonus points!
  • Saunas – if you have access to a sauna somewhere, go.do.it. I can book time in an infrared sauna in my neighborhood which is amazing. Helps you detox and feel amazing. Or take an Epsom salt bath.
  • Drink more water!
  • Fresh squeezed OJ or grapefruit juice – ideally you want it fresh and you want it organic. I felt so much better with a nice dose of natural vitamin c during the day. There is a connection between vitamin c and balanced hormones, so maybe that was playing into me feeling a little more energized without caffeine in the afternoons. Or maybe it’s a placebo.
  • Bone Broth – a hot beverage in general can help any headachy feelings from caffeine withdrawal, and with bone broth it’s win win because it’s also great for your gut.
  • If you’re into the extra woo-woo like me: meditation and yoga also helped me feel better during this time. Meditation calms your nervous system, calms your mind, balances your cortisol, and it tends to make me feel all around better. Yoga too – plus the movement gets your blood flowing and can really help with headaches.
  • Heart rate monitor: I bought one for some specific exercise work I am doing, but I started tracking my heart rate for fun at other times during the day (I am a total loser, I know). When I take 2 deep breaths, my heart rate goes down. Ad then, I noticed when I started decreasing caffeine, my heart rate was a little lower in general I am not 100% sure it’s the caffeine but the possible connection has been enough positive feedback for me to feel like I see a difference. It’s really interesting to be able to physically see an effect on your body – that’s what helps motivate change.
  • And finally – embrace the process! I’m trying to just ride along with the experience and not stress about how perfect I am or how quickly I can get off caffeine. This is ultimately an experiment in self-care, and part of that means don’t stress about it. Don’t judge yourself. If you hate matcha lattes, don’t feel like you’re supposed to drink them (I had a hard time with that flavor for a while but I have gotten used to it).
  • Let me know if you are also working on your hormones or reducing caffeine! The more we share, the more we can help one another.

Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins

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This is one of my favorite muffin recipes – not too sweet and even sneaks in some veggies. If you’re feeding a crowd that is used to more sugar, you can add 2 -4 Tbl of coconut sugar, although I always am in favor of less sugar whenever possible. NOTE: if you don’t have Cassava flour, you an do this recipe with all coconut flour. I use Let’s Do Organic coconut flour and Otto’s cassava flour.

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Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins
 
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A healthy, gluten free, grain free and nut free muffin recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 22 Muffins
Ingredients
  • 6 Tbl ground flax
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 16.5 oz sweet potato puree
  • 15 eggs
  • ¾ c water
  • .5 cup maple syrup
  • .5 c coconut oil, melted
  • 4 oz grated carrot
  • 6 oz raisins
  • Pumpkin seeds, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine sweet potato, egg, water and maple syrup in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, whisking as you pour to incorporate and avoid clumps.
  5. Once it's pretty thick, switch to a spatula to mix.
  6. Slowly add the coconut oil, then the carrots and raisins.
  7. Portion into paper muffin liners in a muffin pan, top with pumpkin seeds if desired.
  8. Bake until puffed and firm, about 25 - 30 minutes.