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Tahini Harissa Cauliflower

Tahini Harissa Cauliflower

This recipe is a copycat from one of my favorite restaurants-True Food Kitchen! In my opinion, it’s the best appetizer they have on the menu as it’s unique, flavor packed and both gluten and dairy free! I love this recipe for the holidays/potlucks-it’s a great way to pack in some fiber & veggies into your (usually carb heavy) appetizer spread!

GLUTEN FREE
GrainFree
DAIRY FREE
SUGAR FREE
EGG FREE
PALEO
VEGAN
WHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower-cut into florets
  • 2 T fresh mint (chopped)
  • 2 T fresh dill (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup salted pistachios
  • 2 dates
  • avocado oil, salt & pepper
  • Tahini Harissa Sauce:
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 2 T fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4-1/3 cup warm water
    • 1/2-1 T harissa paste (more if you like spicy!)*
    • 1 small clove of garlic-minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in a few tablespoons of avocado oil and spread out evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden and edges are browning
  4. While the cauliflower roasts, chop dates roughly with a sharp knife
  5. Add all ingredients for tahini sauce to a bowl and whisk-add more water to thin out (should be the consistency of a creamy salad dressing)
  6. Remove cauliflower and let cool briefly; place into a large dish or wide mouthed bowl and drizzle with sauce, toss lightly
  7. Sprinkle nuts, chopped herbs and chopped dates over top
  8. Serve immediately!

*If you don’t have harissa you can alternatively sub about 1/2 T hot sauce (I recommend Siete brand), 1 tsp paprika and a pinch of chili powder

Makes ~ 4-6 servings

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Blueberry Peach Breakfast Bars

Blueberry Peach Breakfast Bars

These bad boys are free of any added sugar whatsoever and this recipe features my fav grain free & gut friendly flour alternative of the moment-tigernut flour! Learn more about this nutty tasting, lightly sweet, fiber-rich root vegetable here. You can absolutely sub any fruit you like and make this a healthy dessert vs. a breakfast by adding a spoonful of coconut whipped cream or coconut milk icecream! Are you strict Autoimmune Paleo (AIP)? Sub a gelatin egg (see below) for the regular egg and leave out the flax and nut topping-add coconut flakes instead 🙂

GLUTEN FREE
GrainFree
AIP
EGG FREE
PALEO
WHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup tigernut flour-sifted!
  • pinch of pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • heavy dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup full fat coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pastured egg (room temp)
    • OR 1 gelatin egg-(1 T grass fed gelatin with 1 T lukewarm water until gelatin is wet; pour in 2 T hot boiling water and whisk vigorously until it thickens)
  • 1.5 T ground flaxseed (flaxmeal)
  • 1 small peach (chopped)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup blueberries
  • 2-3 T chopped pecans (optional)-leave out for strict AIP

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375, line 8×8 with parchment paper or grease well with coconut oil
  2. Combine dry ingredients
  3. Combine coconut oil. coconut milk, vanilla
  4. Whisk apple cider vinegar into wet ingredients, whisk in egg until well combined
  5. Add wet to dry until combined
  6. Pour into baking dish and top with fruit, press down lightly to make sure fruit is in the batter
  7. Top with chopped nuts
  8. Bake for 40-45 min or until edges look golden + knife comes out clean -should appear soft in texture like a muffin/scone
  9. Let cool & slice

Makes 9-12 bars depending on how you slice ’em

Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze!

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Paleo chocolate chip cookies

Paleo chocolate chip cookies

These cookies are made with my favorite nutrient dense superfood of the moment-tigernuts! These little nut-free root vegetables make a delicious fiber-rich flour once blended up and offer a nutty flavor without the nuts! These are not only free of nuts but SUPER allergy friendly as they are free of gluten, soy, eggs and peanuts!

GLUTEN FREE
GrainFree
AIP
EGG FREE
PALEO
WHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 cup tigernut flour
  • 2 T cassava flour
  • 2 tsp grass fed gelatin
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup salted butter (I used Vital Farms)-room temp-use ghee if AIP
  • ¼ cup coconut oil-liquid (can use other liquid oil like olive)
  • 2 T raw local honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c chocolate chips**-I used Pascha unsweetened but Lilys stevia chips work well here too!

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine flours, gelatin, baking soda all in a large bowl with a whisk-make sure there are no clumps in the flours
  3. Mix together room temp butter/oil, honey, vanilla and add to dry ingredients; mix until combined
  4. Fold in carob/chocolate chips or other add in
  5. Scoop large tablespoonfuls onto lined cookie sheet and flatten tops a bit
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges just golden-don’t over-bake!

Makes 12 cookies

**Use carob chips if strict AIP; use macadamia nuts/coconut flakes if strict low histamine

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DIY Hemp Milk

DIY Hemp Milk

This is an easy and more gut friendly nut-free milk that you can make in a pinch and avoid any gums/additives that you find in most plant-based milks these days!  I love whipping up a batch of this to add to my smoothies, matcha lattes or for making chia pudding!  If you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec you may need to use a cheesecloth or milk bag for straining.

GLUTEN FREEGrainFreeDAIRY FREEKetoWHOLE 30PALEOVEGANSUGAR FREE EGG FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLY

What you need:

  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (make sure GF)
  • Pinch of himalayan sea salt
  • optional: local honey, cinnamon, cacao powder, nutmeg

How you do it:

  1. Add all ingredients above to a high speed blender (Ideally vitamix or blendtec) until creamy
  2. Add optional ingredients to taste!

Makes four 1/2 cup servings

Store in a mason jar in the fridge for 2-3 days; shake well before using.

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Recipe adapted from http://nourishingvibesnutrition.com/

Cauliflower Hummus (bean-free)

Cauliflower Hummus (bean-free)

Does anyone else have a baba ganoush obsession?!  This is my easier and nightshade-free version of that delicious dip! This recipe is also bean/nut free and low histamine compliant!  Make sure to use a high speed blender or food processor to get this extra creamy!

Low HistamineGLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOGrainFreeWHOLE 30SUGAR FREEVEGANCANDIDA-FRIENDLY

What you need:

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1/2 small lemon
  • 1.5 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • warm water
  • optional: extra olive oil for drizzling

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash/dry/chop cauliflower into florets and layer onto a baking sheet with garlic cloves (unpeeled), toss in oil
  3. Roast for 25-30 min or until golden, let cool
  4. Remove garlic skin and add all ingredients above to a vitamix or high powered food processor; add water to thin as needed (you may need to scrape down and pulse multiple times)
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days and serve with raw crudite or gluten free crackers of choice!

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How to eat your gluten free cake and keep your friends too

How to eat your gluten free cake and keep your friends too

Worried about going gluten free and being that person at the party or that friend at dinner who seems like they have to ask all the questions and need ALL the things!!??  How do you go gluten free in a way that serves you and doesn’t impose on your relationships with friends, family, and significant others around you?!

In the spirit of national Celiac awareness month, I wanted to take things beyond the (gluten free) food.  If you’ve ever had to go on a restrictive diet or give up any of your favorite foods you understand that going gluten free goes far beyond just the food itself.  Because food is such an integral part of our quality of life and we MUST eat to survive, changes in diet can ultimately change our social lives and the community around us. It’s easy to let yourself BECOME your diagnosis and let it own you in a way.  Say no to being jail-bound by your gluten free lifestyle and say yes to it providing the opportunity to help you feel your best and live your best life! How to do that?

 I’m here to share the scoop as someone who has gone through the ups and downs and ultimately found some of the secret sauce.  

How to go gluten free & still maintain a happy body, mind & social life!

Always come prepared

If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac or gluten just simply doesn’t love you back in the way you wish it did-introduce yourself to your kitchen appliances.  Bringing my own gluten free dishes and/or baked goods has become a regular part of my attendance to a social gathering. This way, I always know I’ll have something to eat at that summer bbq or get together.  Never expect your friends/family to be completely on board with having food for you-especially when this is a new diagnosis or lifestyle for you. If they happen to cook things for you-hooray! That’s a huge win!

Do your dirty work behind the scenes

Whenever going to a restaurant, ALWAYS call ahead and ask that they can accommodate you-specifically asking if they can avoid cross-contamination with gluten if you have Celiac disease.  Using a script as follows has been very helpful to me: “Are you able to provide a safely gluten free meal for an allergy that will avoid any cross contamination?  Can you share with me what items on your menu would accommodate that so I can plan ahead? Do I need to ask to speak with anyone in particular like a manager?”  This way, you will get to the restaurant armed with an order in mind and you don’t have to be “that person” asking a million questions at the table in front of your friends. Always remind your server of your allergy when you get there.

Verbalize gratitude

There is no need to apologize for your allergy or food preferences-but ALWAYS be grateful for those around you who help support, accept and accommodate for you. Gratitude puts out good energy into the world and brings that positivity back your way.  Those around you will be that much more likely to support and help (and maybe even make you some gluten free treats) when you genuinely thank them for going out of their way. If family/friends aren’t supportive or don’t seem to get it, have patience and be kind to them. Stay present to this fact: Those who have never had to personally deal with a food allergy on their own will never fully understand eating gluten free like you do-and that’s ok!

Laugh it off

Some of the best advice I have ever been given was: “Stop taking yourself so seriously”.  This may seem silly and somewhat counterintuitive being that Celiac is a serious thing but sometimes we need to be reminded to laugh it off and that life is never perfect!  Remembering to laugh when the going gets tough and making fun of ourselves can be so healing! Surround yourself with those who enjoy laughing and joking around like you do and remember that mistakes and screw ups are part of what make us human.

Looking for a tasty and crowd pleasing gluten free recipe to bring to your next get together?  Try my Mediterranean Seven Layer dip here!

With Love, GFG

Green Basil Chicken

Green Basil Chicken

This instant/crock pot recipe is super simple and great for those of you who want to ‘throw it all in a pot’ and be done!  This happens to be Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) friendly-this is an anti-inflammatory elimination diet used for reactive autoimmune conditions-you can find out more about it here (PS I call it “AIP friendly” as a strict AIP diet would exclude the jalapeno, curry, chili powder)  This goes great over cauliflower rice and I love it served with roasted baby bok choy for a calcium boost! Oh, and I forgot to mention-this is insanely detoxing as a meal thanks to the huge dose of fresh herbs, garlic and pungent spices; so eat up!

GLUTEN FREEKetoGrainFreeAIPDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE EGG FREE PALEOWHOLE 30CANDIDA-FRIENDLY

What you need:

  • 3 organic chicken breasts
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 large handful organic fresh basil; save some for garnishing!
  • 1 large handful organic fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno (deseeded unless you like a lot of spice)
  • 1 heaping T yellow curry powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 small red onion-roughly chopped
  • 1.5 tsp fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 T avocado oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp salt

How you do it:

  1. Add all sauce ingredients (everything but the chicken) to a vitamix or high powered blender/food processor (should make a thick sauce)
  2. Add raw chicken to instant or crock pot and pour sauce completely over top
  3. Cook in instant pot on low pressure for 10 minutes (make sure valve is switched to closed, then manually release pressure) or 3 hours on low for crock pot
  4. Shred chicken once done

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Makes ~ 6 servings

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Sugar Detox Breakfast Brownies

Sugar Detox Breakfast Brownies

These brownies are my go-to for satisfying a chocolate-y dessert craving without any added sugars or sweeteners!  They are great for busy weeks to grab on the go for breakfast; I also love crumbling them over smoothies as a replacement for granola. I generally like to keep a batch of these on tap in my freezer for when a chocolate craving strikes.  These are very versatile in terms of changing up the toppings-I recommend adding a few sweetened chocolate chips to the mix if serving kids or people who are used to sweeter palates-these are just barely sweet! 

Makes 9 squares

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOGrainFreeWHOLE 30SUGAR FREECANDIDA-FRIENDLY

Bar Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
½ cup cacao powder (can sub carob powder)
2 large eggs
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup melted coconut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix ins/Toppings (recommend about a 1/3 cup total toppings):

  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • walnuts
  • cacao nibs
  • unsweetened chocolate chips (I recommend Pascha organic 100% cacao chips) or Eating Evolved midnight coconut bar (chopped) or Lilys brand stevia baking chips; if wanting sweetened chocolate then I recommend chopping Eating Evolved 70% or higher bars or Enjoy Life mini chips

How you do it:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Wash/dry sweet potato and pierce with a fork a few times- bake for 35-45 minutes (make sure you can easily poke a fork through, should be very soft)
3. Once baked, let cool and remove skin (if short on time you can try cooking in the
microwave instead)
4. Grease 9×9 dish with coconut oil or ghee
5. Add cooled sweet potato and all other bar ingredients to food processor and mix until well combined, fold in chocolate/walnuts (save some for topping)- you can also just mix everything in a bowl if looking for a light arm workout 🙂
6. Scoop batter into greased baking dish and sprinkle with reserved nuts/toppings
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean
8. Cool before cutting; store in the fridge for a few days or freeze!

Makes 9 squares

**updates:

-Add 2-3 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen peptides to boost protein content (mix right into the batter after other ingredients are blended)

-I have tried half coconut oil/half coconut butter and they came out great-super fudgy!

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Served as a ‘heathified’ dessert! Topped with fresh organic raspberries, chopped hazelnuts and a scoop of So Delicious No Sugar Added icecream

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Salted Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Salted Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

These cookies are what I call Pegan=paleo and vegan!  It can be tough to find a recipe (that actually tastes good) that is devoid of gluten, dairy AND eggs but this one is a winner!!  I tweaked the sugar to be as low as possible but you may be able to alternatively sub a small amount of monk or stevia sweeteners if you prefer.  Also-I’ve included my recipe for making a flax egg as well-this is an easy egg substitute for baking recipes for those who don’t do well with eggs.  Enjoy!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEEGG FREEGrainFreePALEO

What you need for cookies:

  • 1 flax egg (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup softened (not melty) coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

For Flax egg

  • 1 T ground flax
  • 2.5 T warm water

How you do it:

To make Flax Egg: Whisk ground flax + warm water in a small bowl, let sit for 10-15 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 350S
  2. Sift (you can just use a whisk) together almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda and salt
  3. In another bowl blend together nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla until smooth
  4. Add flax egg into wet mix
  5. Add flour to wet mixture and mix just until a dough forms
  6. Fold in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips
  7. Chill mix in the fridge for 15 minutes
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat oven to 350
  9. Scoop onto baking sheet and flatten tops slightly
  10. Bake 13-15 minutes until just turning golden brown (should still look a little soft)
  11. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet before serving, sprinkle with a touch of salt
  12. Serve with steamed almond milk 🙂

Makes roughly a dozen cookies

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Vegan Broccoli Cheddah Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddah Soup

Yes-you heard that right! No dairy here!  Despite the lack of cheese this still has the creamy, cheesy-flavored goodness of this classic creamy soup without the heaviness of adding cream or cheese. It contains a healthy dose of fiber thanks to all the veg and is even keto-friendly! I also love this recipe because it uses both broccoli stems and florets to reduce food waste 🙂 Please make sure to use fresh dill-the flavor is necessary and it packs a punch of immune boosting trace minerals like zinc-this herb is small but mighty!

DAIRY FREESUGAR FREE EGG FREEVEGAN

Without croutons: GrainFreeKetoPALEOWHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 large stalks of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tsp miso (gluten free)-optional
  • 1 small yellow potato (about golf ball size)
  • 4-5 cups chopped broccoli/broccoli stems-separated (I used ~3 heads)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews-soaked in hot water at least 10 min
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast – optional but recommended!
  • small handful of fresh dill
  • squeeze of 1/2 of small lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 slices gluten free sourdough (I used Bread Srsly brand (this is BY FAV the best GF bread I’ve ever tasted; Schar would also likely work well)
  • avocado oil

How you do it:

  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. Wash/chop onion, celery, carrot and mince garlic
  3. Drizzle about a tablespoon of avocado oil into a large soup pot, heat on low/medium
  4. Add chopped onion/garlic; cook until translucent
  5. Add chopped celery/carrot and stir in miso; cook until soft ~3-4 min
  6. Chop potato and broccoli into florets (also cube up broccoli stems)
  7. Add chopped potato and broccoli stems with a splash of broth to the pot and cover to cook on low/medium until soft ~8-10 minutes (check that it is soft enough with a fork)
  8. While that is cooking-chop the bread into cubes, toss in plenty of avocado oil and herbs of choice (I used garlic powder and fresh parsley/rosemary but use whatever you have on hand!)
  9. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden and crispy ~13-15 minutes; remove from oven and set aside
  10. In a high powered blender or vitamix add 16 oz of broth, cooked/cooled veggies from pot, drained raw cashews, apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast-blend until creamy
  11. Reserve a large handful of broccoli florets to the side and add the remainder to the blender-pulse to blend so that some of it remains chunky
  12. Pour the soup back into the pot with the remaining broth and reserved broccoli
  13. Cook the soup until the broccoli is cooked (bright green/tender) ~10 more minutes
  14. Add lemon juice, fresh dill and sea salt to taste (likely will need 1-2 tsp); add black pepper
  15. Ladle into bowls and garnish with croutons and fresh dill!

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Makes roughly 6-8 servings

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Sweet n Spicy Cauliflower

Sweet n Spicy Cauliflower

Why do I like using monk fruit when trying to avoid added sugar?  It is a natural sweetener derived from a fruit-not an artificial sweetener like sucralose or splenda.  It also doesn’t trigger blood sugar spikes or reactions in your gut as other sweeteners or sugar alcohols can.  My favorite thing about it?  There’s some cool new research supporting that it helps improve insulin response in the body-this is a GOOD thing as we WANT insulin to respond quickly and adequately!  A little goes a long way..it tastes sweeter than maple syrup or regular sugar on it’s own so use it in small amounts!  I used Lankanto brand of monk fruit maple syrup for this recipe but you could also try subbing just liquid monk fruit + maple flavoring if you don’t have that!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYWHOLE 30PALEOGrainFreeKetoEGG FREE

What you need:

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower
  • 2 T olive or avocado oil
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1.5 T monk fruit maple syrup (Lakanto brand)
  • 1 T tamari/gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos (for paleo/whole 30)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

How you do it:

  1. Oven at 400
  2. Whisk all sauce ingredients except cauliflower together in a bowl
  3. Wash and chop cauliflower into small florets
  4. Pour sauce into a large stasher bag or plastic baggie and add cauliflower
  5. Mix well until cauliflower is fully coated
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pour coated cauliflower on top-make sure they have room and aren’t too crowded!
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until desired crispness and enjoy immediately!

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Creamy Ginger Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl

Creamy Ginger Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl

Why do I love a smoothie in a bowl this time of the year?!  It’s far more digestion-friendly than slurping your smoothie down out of a cup through a straw.  In the teachings of Ayurveda: cold, mixed foods like smoothies can be harsher on the digestive tract-especially during the Vata (late fall-winter) season AND especially for those of us who identify with a Vata dosha-for more on Ayurveda visit this site for some quick info or I recommend this book: Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda 

While Ayurveda preaches somewhat against smoothies in general I find that they are an easy way to pack in a lot of nutrition and are convenient for a busy morning.  If you’re like me and you find that you smoothies just don’t “sit” as well in the winter months as they do they rest of the year then scroll down to my “belly-proof” smoothie tips below the recipe!

PS: this smoothie is fruitless, refined sugar free, belly de-bloating and filled with skin food! (walnuts, sweet potato, flax, collagen are especially skin-nourishing!)  A whole lotta functional nutrition going on here 🙂

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEGrainFreeWHOLE 30SUGAR FREEEGG FREEPALEO

What you need:

  • 1/2 small frozen sweet potato (~1/3 cup mashed)
  • ~1 cup Ripple pea milk (you can use another dairy free milk here but you may need to adjust measurements since this one is a bit thicker) + hot water
  • 2 T ground flax seeds
  • 3-4 raw walnut halves
  • 2 scoops collagen protein (I used Vital Proteins collagen peptides, Vanilla Bulletproof collagen would work well here too!)
  • 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • ~ an inch of fresh ginger root
  • 1 date (ideally soaked in hot water to soften)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • optional: dash of turmeric, pinch of black pepper
  • optional toppings: bee pollen, unsweetened shredded coconut, sunflower seed butter, fresh fruit

How you do it:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until desired thickness is reached.  I added ~1/4 cup hot water to warm up my smoothie a bit. Use less water for thicker; pour into bowl and add toppings!

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Belly-Proof your Smoothie:

What to do to help your body tolerate smoothies better during the winter (Vata) season and/OR all year long:

  1. Eat out of a bowl with a spoon:
    • this slows down your consumption of the smoothie and encourages some chewing action-all of which will better up-regulate digestive juices and bile flow to more efficiently break down and absorb food + reduce bloat
  2. Eat at room temp or warm it up
    • warm foods soothe the digestive tract during the colder months of the year
  3. Make & blend the day before
    • this allows the nuts/seeds to soak and partially breakdown allowing for easier absorption of micronutrients
  4. Add potent spices (ie turmeric, ginger, cinnamon)
    • these help to amplify the metabolism and soothe the gut lining
  5. Add seasonal produce
    • add fresh fruit/veggies that are in season->sweet potato, root vegetables, cooked apple for natural sweetness during this time of the year vs. berries in the summer; choose fresh vs. frozen if you can

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Mine is topped with coconut flakes, bee pollen, sunbutter and chopped organic pear

 

Creamy Vegan Alfredo Pasta with Crispy Kale & Roasted Mushrooms

Creamy Vegan Alfredo Pasta with Crispy Kale & Roasted Mushrooms

Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of pasta? 

As a GF gal it can be hard to find the right pasta to fit the bill but I personally have loved using lentil pastas as a replacement!  I have had Banza chickpea pasta and that is less of a fav…I personally love Ancient Harvest POW lentil pasta, Chickapea brand pasta (chickpea and lentil) and this newer brand Cybele’s that I just ordered to try from Thrive Market (they only use lentils and veggies!)  I like that I’m getting a punch of fiber and protein from the lentil varieties vs. the typical rice/corn based GF ones and find that they have a good bite.  If you just can’t get on board with a lentil pasta try DeLallo-their GF pastas are the real deal and you wont notice the difference!  

This alfredo has all of the creamy, dreamy, richness of a typical alfredo without the stomach ache after!  Tip: You can DIY a healthier vodka sauce by blending roasted tomatoes into this recipe or roasted red peppers!

GLUTEN FREEGrainFreeVEGANDAIRY FREESUGAR FREEEGG FREE

What you need:

Alfredo Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk (doesn’t need to be canned, just unsweetened)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 T olive oil or vegan butter (can use grass fed butter if tolerated)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • pinch of black pepper
  • optional: lemon zest (~2 pinches)

Other Ingredients:

  • box of GF pasta (see above for recommendations; I used Chickapea brand here)
  • 1 pint of shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped lacinato/dinosaur kale
  • optional: fresh/dried chopped parsley or basil to garnish
  • avocado oil

Preparation:

For the sauce:

  1. Boil water, pour over raw cashews and let soak for at least 30 minutes
  2. While soaking: add 1 T vegan butter to a large saucepan with minced garlic and onion, saute on low ~ 5-10 minutes (just until golden, not browned), add red pepper flakes
  3. Add 1/2 cup cashew soaking water + cashews to a vitamix or blender, add coconut milk, sauteed butter/garlic mixture, salt and pepper, lemon zest
  4. Blend on high until smooth and creamy; taste and add more salt as needed

For the accompaniments:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Roughly chop mushrooms and kale, lay out on parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with avocado oil spray (I like Primal kitchen brand) or oil of choice
  3. Place veggies in the oven and set timer for 15-20 minutes, check and toss halfway through; remove once kale is crispy (basically kale chips) but not overdone (It will sound crispy when you shift it around)
  4. Boil water and cook pasta according to box instructions, do not overcook!
  5. Add cooked/drained pasta back into saucepan and pour alfredo sauce all over, spoon into a bowl and sprinkle with mushrooms,crispy kale and a dash of parsley.

 

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Vanilla Sea Salt Cashew Butter

Vanilla Sea Salt Cashew Butter

THIS. STUFF. IS. SO. GOOD.

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Why it took me so long to DIY my own cashew butter is beyond me.  This was oh so simple and tastier than any store-bought brand I’ve ever had!  Be patient with your food processor though…it does take time and the creaminess will come, I promise 🙂  

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEGrainFreeEGG FREEKetoPALEOWHOLE 30VEGANSUGAR FREE

What you need:

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ~1/2 tsp himalayan pink sea salt

  • optional: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, pinch of cayenne

How you do it:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. This will take time people, be patient! Depending on how powerful your gadget it may go for 15ish min but it will happen!  I used a NINJA food processor and it took about 7-8 minutes (I stopped it intermittently to scrape down the sides).

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Store in a glass container in the fridge for 1-2 months- if you don’t eat it all first 🙂

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

Beans in your protein balls!?  Yes mam!  I love this recipe because it is a different take on the typical homemade protein ball using beans and whole food-based ingredients only vs. protein powders and added sweeteners! I like to use Eden Organics brand of beans to help the digestibility factor and you can likely sub chia for flaxseed here as well if you so choose!  Sugar addicts-these may be less sweet than you are used to therefore I recommend the dark chocolate drizzle component or adding chocolate chips into the batter.  I can best describe these as the result of pumpkin pie and cookie dough having a baby-therefore they have a soft cookie dough-like texture with a spiced punkin pie flava-I love adding the walnuts to add a crunch (if you are nut free add pumpkin seeds instead)!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEGrainFreeEGG FREE

What you need:

  • 1 can organic white cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T coconut flour
  • 5-6 dates-pitted and soaked in hot water to soften for 5-10 min
  • 1.5 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ~2 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts (if you don’t need nut-free) to mix in, dark chocolate chips for melting (I used a bar of melted taza 95% dark chocolate + coconut oil)

How you do it:

  1. All in a food processor: combine beans, pumpkin, coconut flour, dates, flax, vanilla, cinnamon
  2. If adding walnuts/add ins-fold into batter now
  3. Line parchment paper on a baking sheet
  4. Scoop out batter (should be a thick/sticky batter) and form ~tablespoon size balls, place on baking sheet
  5. If drizzling with chocolate melt chocolate bar with ~1 T coconut oil; drizzle or dip balls into chocolate ( I topped with a few sprinkles of bee pollen as well)
  6. Freeze at least 30-40 minutes and enjoy!

Tip: Store in the freezer or in the fridge for 3-4 days

Makes about 12 balls.

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Healthy Candy Guide

Healthy Candy Guide

As we approach Halloween and the holiday season, allowing yourself or your kiddos some sweets and treats can totally be part of a balanced lifestyle!  How can you make informed choices?  Broaden your awareness of  toxic ingredients to watch out for so you can feel empowered in the choices you’re making!  I’ve done some of the work for you and listed below some common candy additives to watch out for (and the sneaky candies they’re still hiding in) as well as my top picks for healthier candy choices.  Candy that can benefit your health seem too good to be true?!  Some candies on my list even include health boosting additions like added fiber, turmeric and antioxidants 😀

The Top 5 Junky Candy Ingredients to Avoid:

  1. Artificial Food Dyes: Food colorings have been found in numerous research studies to be correlated with cancer, hyperactivity and allergy reactions.  
    • The most commonly used dyes include Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6; these can be found in skittles, jolly ranchers, smarties and sour patch kids.
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup: Linked in countless research studies to diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, this heavily processed form of sugar is highly addictive and made from genetically modified corn.
    • Where will you find it? Lifesavers and Baby Ruth bars
  3. Vegetable Oils: Since the recent outlaw of trans fats from foods this year (aka partially hydrogenated oils) many candies have been replaced with processed vegetable oils.  The problem here is that many vegetable oils are laden with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) as well as high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.  Look out for vegetable oils in the form of soybean oil, canola oil and peanut oils on ingredient lists.  As a side note, the FDA has granted a one year extension for some companies who have found it difficult to find a replacement for trans fats in their products until July of 2019. Therefore, keep a lookout for partially hydrogenated oils still hidden in some packaged candies and foods!  
    • Almond Joy and Snickers bars
  4. TBHQ: a synthetic food additive used to extend shelf life; associated with increased incidence of tumors; possible association with ADHD and food allergy incidence
    • Candy that contains it: Butterfingers and Reese’s cups
  5. Shellac: May be found on ingredient lists as resinous glaze or confectioner’s glaze; it makes up the shiny shell of various candies and it is derived from a resin secreted by a type of beetle; it is also used in sealants and varnishes for furniture
    • Found in the coatings of colorful candies such as M&Ms and Skittles

PS for my gluten free peeps: Look out for ingredients such as yeast, natural flavors, flours, maltodextrin, caramel color and food starch; unless on the list specified above, those candies may contain gluten!

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Did the information above inspire you to find healthier candy options free of all of the junk?  The list below includes my favorite junk-free candies that are also free of gluten, artificial colors, flavorings, dyes and additives!

My Top Healthier Candy Picks:

1. Smart Sweetsthe “healthified” take on swedish fish, gummy bears and sour patch kids we’ve all been waiting for!  These are free of added sugar and any artificial sweeteners/colors/flavors in addition to being made in a dedicated gluten, peanut, tree-nut, dairy, soy and casein free-facility.  They are just sweetened with a little bit of stevia-a natural sweetener derived from a leaf that does not stimulate a blood sugar spike.  Bonus-these have prebiotic fiber added-a good source of “food” for your healthy gut bacteria to help them flourish!

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2. UnReal Candy-A healthier take on some childhood favorites- M&Ms, peanut M&Ms and Reese’s cups-their colorful candies use natural food-based dyes from things like beets and turmeric!  All of their tasty chocolate treats happen to be certified gluten free, fair trade, vegan, organic and free of GMOs.

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3. Eating EvolvedChocolate bars and nut butter cups, all products are certified organic, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, and vegan.   All products have a simple ingredient list and sweeteners range from stevia to coconut sugar-a lower glycemic sweetener.  The darker the better-the 100% coconut cacao bar is chock full of cancer fighting antioxidants!

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4. Wholesome Candies-do you have a child with numerous allergies?!  Not to fear-this company makes gummies, lollipops and jelly beans that are made and packaged in a facility free of the 10 most common food allergens, including dairy/casein, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, sesame and sulfites!  They are also fair trade certified, corn syrup free and vegan.

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With Love, GFG

References:
https://www.verywell.com/gluten-free-candy-list-562806http://www.glutenawayblog.com/2012/10/gluten-free-candy-list.htmlhttps://www.fda.gov/https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/https://jillcastle.com/childhood-nutrition/halloween-treats-ingredients-allergens/https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/tbhq-what-is-it-and-is-it-dangerous/http://www.onegreenplanet.org/

Soothing Chicken Zoodle Soup

Soothing Chicken Zoodle Soup

This recipe is my go-to “tummy is in rough shape and needs a reset” soup recipe-commonly a need for me when my stomach is out of whack after getting what I call “glutened” (exposed to gluten).  This is also a fav of mine during cold/flu season to keep my immune system strong -the gut is the center of your immunity!  The bone broth contains collagen which has repairing amino acids such as proline and glycine that help nourish and rebuild the gut integrity.  The veggies are easy to digest (leave out the garlic/onion if you have issues with FODMAPs) and help the liver increase its own detox ability (dandelion/arugula).  The turmeric reduces inflammation in the gut and the ghee provides a source of the gut healing short chain fatty acid butyrate-an immune system booster.  I recommend using a sprouted rice to help with digestibility or leaving out the rice altogether if you don’t do well with grains-you could sub sweet potato instead if you like!  Make sure to add in fresh black pepper with the turmeric-this + heating on the stove helps enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of this spice!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOWHOLE 30SUGAR FREECANDIDA-FRIENDLYAIPEGG FREE

What you need:

  • 1 clove of garlic (if tolerated)
  • ½ white onion (if tolerated)
  • 4 stalks organic celery
  • 2 large organic carrots
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (or fresh grated turmeric root)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 organic chicken breasts (or boneless chicken thighs)
  • 4 cups organic bone broth (I like Bonafide or to make my own)
  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 1 cup raw dandelion greens or arugula-chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • grass fed ghee/butter or avocado oil
  • Optional: ½ cup organic sprouted brown rice (I used Lundberg farms)

How you do it:

  1. Wash/peel and chop onion, carrot and celery into small bite sized pieces, chop/minc garlic
  2. Add a few teaspoons of ghee/oil of choice to a large pot and put on low heat
  3. Add chopped garlic/onion and cover pot, saute for 2-3 min on low/medium
  4. Add chopped carrot and celery and saute until just softened
  5. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp turmeric (ground or fresh) to the pot with a few cracks of black pepper
  6. Fill the pot with bone broth and add the whole chicken breasts directly to the pot and bring to a boil (may need to add water as needed to make sure the chicken is fully covered)
  7. Simmer chicken on medium heat until cooked through (this will take about 15-20 min or so); add zucchini noodles in the last 5 minutes of cooking
  8. Remove chicken breast from the pot and shred with 2 forks; add back into soup
  9. Add chopped raw greens of choice, allow to wilt
  10. Add sea salt to taste, serve warm

Optional: rinse and then cook brown rice per package instructions and add a spoonful to soup once serving (I like to keep it on the side so you can portion how much grain you’re using at a time and it doesn’t absorb all of the liquid out of the soup)

I love to serve this with Bread Srsly sourdough rolls (gluten free/vegan/yeast free) and SUPER tasty

Serves roughly 5-6 people

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Baked Herb Crusted Haddock

Baked Herb Crusted Haddock

Who doesn’t love a cracker crumb crust?  This simple haddock dish uses one of my favorite brands of crackers (Simple Mills) for a grain free “crust”.  I served this over mashed sweet potatoes and garlicky greens to round out the meal and boost overall antioxidant content.  Did you know swiss chard is one of the best sources of Vitamin K found in the diet?  This vitamin has always been known as the blood clotting vitamin however more recently being touted as the “longevity vitamin” due to it’s bone boosting and cancer fighting benefits!  

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYWHOLE 30PALEOGrainFree

What you need:

  • 2 lb raw wild haddock fillets
  • 1 cup gluten free crackers (I used Simple Mills rosemary and sea salt)
  • Handful fresh parsley
  • 1 large head of rainbow swiss chard (you can use any greens of choice)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Avocado oil or grassfed butter

How you do it:

For the Fish:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place crackers in a bowl or baggie and crunch up into a powder (can also do quickly in a food processor)
  3. Cut fish into roughly 4 oz portions; drizzle fish fillets with avocado oil (~1-2 tsp) and dip into cracker mixture; press in coating to make sure it sticks
  4. Lay fish skin side down on a baking sheet or cast iron skillet; top with chopped fresh parsley
  5. Bake fish at  350° for ~15-20 minutes or until it flakes easily

For the Sweet Potato Mash:

  1. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite sized pieces (can do this while the fish is roasting)
  2. Fill a large pot with boiling water and bring to a boil; add potatoes
  3. Reduce heat to a slow boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender; ~20-25 minutes
  4. Once cooked, pour potatoes into a strainer
  5. Pour cooked potatoes into a bowl with olive oil or grass fed butter and mash; add salt and pepper to taste

For the Greens:

  1. Add a drizzle of avocado oil to a large pan and turn on low; add minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes (you can use the same pot you cooked the potatoes in)
  2. Add washed/dried/chopped swiss chard
  3. Cover greens and let cook on low until wilted for roughly 7-10 minutes, add salt to taste
  4. Serve fish layered over cooked greens and mashed sweet potatoes

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Green Goddess Bowls with Creamy Garlic Sauce

Green Goddess Bowls with Creamy Garlic Sauce

This bowl is power-packed with detox boosting veggies (broccoli, kale), plenty of fiber (beans, quinoa) and liver nurturing phytochemicals (garlic, lemon).  The high content of healthy fat sources provide a satiating benefit that helps squash sugar cravings!  This is thanks to rich sources of monounsaturated fat coming from the from the sesame seeds in the tahini sauce and the avocado.  I love this bowl both hot and cold-great for lunch meal prepping!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE VEGANEGG FREE

What you need:

  • 1 head of organic broccoli
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 head of organic lacinato kale
  • 1/2 cup organic quinoa (makes 1.5 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic-minced
  • 3 T braggs liquid aminos (or tamari works fine!)
  • 1 can organic chickpeas
  • 2 T sesame seeds or Eden Foods Gomasio seasoning
  • 1 avocado
  • avocado oil

Tahini Garlic Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1 T miso (optional-I add for the fermented food (gut boosting) component but you can also omit!)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • warm water

How you do it:

  1. Wash and chop broccoli into florets, wash and chop zucchini into bite sized pieces
  2. Wash and dry kale, give it a rough chop
  3. Rinse quinoa and add to a small saucepan with water; cook according to box/bag instructions
  4. Drizzle about a tablespoon of avocado oil into a large saucepan, add minced garlic and saute 2-3 min on low/medium heat
  5. Add chopped broccoli to the pan with a few tablespoons of water and cover
  6. After ~5 minutes add chopped kale and zucchini to broccoli, add 3 T liquid aminos
  7. Stir and cook until kale is wilted and zucchini is cooked through (roughly another 5-7 minutes)
  8. Remove veggies from pan and use the same pan for cooking the chickpeas (you can also roast these in the oven if preferred)
  9. Add another drizzle of avocado oil to the pan on medium heat and add drained chickpeas
  10. Cook chickpeas until sizzling and season with Gomasio seasoning or add sesame seeds, salt and pepper; cook for ~7-8 minutes total or until golden brown
  11. Add all tahini sauce ingredients to a bullet blender with 2 T warm water and blend until smooth; add more water until desired consistency ( I usually add anywhere from 3 T to 1/4 cup water) depending if I want the sauce thinner for “drizzability” 🙂
  12. Add large spoonfuls of cooked green veggies to a bowl, top with cooked quinoa and  chickpeas, a good drizzle of garlic sauce and a few thick slices of avocado.

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Makes roughly 3-4 servings

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Crockpot Miso Ginger Chicken & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Crockpot Miso Ginger Chicken & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

This easy, time savvy meal was thrown together with some Butcher Box chicken thighs I had in the freezer and worked perfectly for meal prep!  Butcher box is one of many companies providing sustainably sourced, organic animal proteins.  We know that this is important but do we truly understand WHY? 

Chickens that are free range are raised in a stress free environment and allowed to roam freely; this is important because just as stress affects our physical health in a negative way it also affects animals!  When we eat an animal that is farm raised in a stressful, caged and crowded environment their meat has more inflammatory cytokines and antibiotics that we end up ingesting.  Organic practices guarantee that the animal has not been fed any synthetic fertilizers, chemicals and GMOs and must be fed organic feed. Organic chicken typically has a higher content of omega 3 fatty acids vs. the more inflammatory omega 6 fats.  Whenever you can, supporting companies or farms that provide locally sourced and sustainable meat is best for both the environment and your own health!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYPALEOGrainFreeKeto

What you need:

  • 4-6 boneless organic chicken thighs
  • 1 T miso (make sure gluten free if necessary) + 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos (tamari will also work)
  • 1-2 T chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 large clove minced garlic
  • 3-4 chopped green onions (save ~ 1 T for garnishing)
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 bag of frozen organic cauliflower rice or roughly 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • organic full fat coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 head of organic broccoli-chopped
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt

How you do it:

For the Chicken

  1. Whisk miso paste in 1/3 cup hot water and set aside
  2. Mix together aminos, ginger, garlic, onions, sesame oil; add to miso liquid and whisk all together
  3. Dump (thawed or frozen) raw chicken thighs into the bottom of your crockpot
  4. Pour sauce over top
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until cooked through

For the Cauliflower Rice:

  1. Add 1 T coconut oil to a pan on low/medium and add cauliflower rice
  2. Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium heat and add 1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk (depending on how creamy you want it!); turn heat on low and cover, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked through
  3. Empty into a bowl and top with 1 T chopped green onions

For the Broccoli:

  1. Wipe out cauliflower rice pan and add chopped broccoli
  2. Add a few tablespoons of water (about 1/2 inch thick) and cover pan; cook on low heat to steam broccoli
  3. After ~5-7 minutes or once broccoli is bright green remove from heat and strain off water
  4. Drizzle with additional melted coconut oil and sea salt to taste

Add chicken, cauliflower rice and broccoli to a bowl, drizzle some additional chicken sauce juices over to pan and devour!

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Snickerdoodle Fat Balls

Snickerdoodle Fat Balls

This recipe is a new fav of mine!  Great to help cut a sweet tooth when the going of sugar free, keto or candida diets gets tough!  These are high in healthy fats so they are very satiating and help cut cravings.  PS: they taste similar to snickerdoodle cookie dough 🙂

These also provide a gut healing benefit thanks to the collagen peptides and ghee (ghee is one of the best sources of butyrate in the diet-a short chain fatty acid linked to improved gut health, immunity and colon cancer prevention.  Read more about butyrate in my recent blog post on the Five Journeys blog.

GLUTEN FREESUGAR FREEWHOLE 30GrainFreeKetoPALEOCANDIDA-FRIENDLYEGG FREE

What you need:

  • 3 T melted coconut manna (coconut butter)
  • 3 T MCT oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee (I used Fourth & Heart salted ghee but the vanilla bean is highly recommended)
  • 2 droppers of liquid stevia (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 scoops collagen peptides (I used Vital Proteins)
  • ½-¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Extra cinnamon for topping!

How you do it:

  1. Melt coconut manna and ghee together in a large bowl, add in MCT oil, stevia and vanilla
  2. In another bowl whisk/sift together collagen, cinnamon, coconut flour, almond flour and coconut flakes; add to wet ingredients
  3. Using a small scoop or tablespoon scoop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with more cinnamon
  4. Freeze at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

Tip: Store in the freezer and enjoy whenever you need a sweet treat without breaking your sugar free plan 🙂

Makes about 6-8 balls

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Recipe adapted from Rachel’s Good Eats

 

Paleo Summer Veggie Lasagna

Paleo Summer Veggie Lasagna

Looking for a dairy free, gluten free alternative to a fav italian comfort food?  Your wish has been granted!  I promise you won’t miss the gluten or cheese because this dish is surprisingly satisfying and ultra tasty; the vegan ricotta is out of this world! You can add gluten free lasagna noodles if you prefer but I found it super delish even without the noods in there!  As a plus, the eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and basil are all seasonal veggies to the Boston area right now.  Always eat locally grown before organic guys!  Most of the veg in this dish were used from my CSA allotment with Stillman’s farm :). 

PS: this dish uses grassfed ground beef; one of the best sources in the diet of an immune system boosting fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-this is now being linked with fighting inflammation and cancer!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE GrainFreeKetoPALEOEGG FREE

What you need:

Lasagna

  • ½ pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow summer squash
  • 1 large (32 oz) can organic tomato puree
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil + more for garnishing
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic-minced
  • Dash of oregano
  • 1 tsp salt + more to taste
  • olive oil to taste
  • avocado oil

Vegan Spinach Ricotta:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 10-12 ounce firm or extra-firm tofu pressed/drained
  • 1 cup spinach
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons miso (make sure gluten free; I used Miso Master)
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

How you do it:

Prep the veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Slice eggplant, zucchini and squash into long thin slices (~¼ inch thick if possible)
  3. Lay out slices and sprinkle with salt; let sit for 10-15 minutes
  4. Generously pour avocado oil in a pan and heat on medium
  5. Lightly cook the eggplant slices ~3-4 minutes on each side until just browned (zucchini/squash don’t need to be pre-cooked)

Make the sauce:

  1. Add a drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil to a pot on low; saute minced garlic, salt until lightly sizzling
  2. Add tomato puree and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer
  3. Add chopped fresh basil and oregano; let simmer for 10 minutes
  4. In the same pan you cooked the eggplant add the ground beef and cook on low
  5. Cover and cook for ~10-15 minutes until meat is no longer pink
  6. Spoon ½ the sauce over the meat and set aside

Make the vegan ricotta:

  1. In a food processor: blend cashews, garlic, miso, salt and nutritional yeast until the mixture resembles a grated cheese
  2. Add the drained tofu, spinach, basil and pulse until thick (should resemble a pale green ricotta)

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Assemble the lasagna:

  1. Spread one cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large dish (I used a rounded 9×13 pan)
  2. Layer 1 layer each of cooked eggplant, zucchini and summer squash
  3. Spread ½ of the vegan ricotta over the veggies
  4. Layer all of the meat sauce over the ricotta layer
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above
  6. Layer remaining plain tomato sauce over the top and place in the oven
  7. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until bubbling
  8. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before eating; top with more fresh chopped basil & serve!

IMG_8333GFG Enjoy! Signature

 

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Simple White Bean Hummus

Simple White Bean Hummus

Thinking you can’t tolerate beans well due to the after-effects?!  A great tip for those of you with gut troubles is to stick to Eden Organics brand of legumes-this company pressure cooks them before canning so that the lectins are inactivated.  Lectins are a type of protein found in beans, grains, nuts/seeds that can reduce the nutrient bioavailability of that plant-based food-especially in those of us that may have difficult digestion to begin with (hello celiacs, IBS peeps).  This means you don’t absorb all of the vitamins/minerals that the food contains.  Lectins also contribute to symptoms of gassiness and bloating that can happen when you eat beans.

Instead of avoiding these types of foods, I usually recommend for my patients who have digestive troubles to choose sprouted nuts, seeds, grains and to buy this brand of beans unless they want to soak and sprout them themselves (I myself have difficulty finding the time to dedicate to this).  The process of soaking/sprouting or pressure cooking of beans can reduce/inactivate lectins and other vitamin/mineral blocking molecules like phytates. This homemade hummus is much more gut-friendly being that I used Eden’s beans and there is no citric acid added (this is usually in most store-bought hummus and is a mold derivative).  I have varied this recipe in many ways-I recommend adding a roasted beet to make a beautifully colored beet hummus, add a spoonful of pesto for a summer-y variety or add cinnamon and honey for a sweetened, creamy dip for a fruit platter.  The possibilities are endless!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYVEGANGrainFree

What you need:

  • 1 can of Eden Organics white cannellini beans
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 T tahini (I like the Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s brands)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ~1/8 cup olive oil
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • optional: 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • water to thin as needed

How you do it:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend; add salt to taste and more water for desired consistency
  2. Store in a glass container for up to a week in the fridge

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Miso Ginger Dressing with Asian Slaw

Miso Ginger Dressing with Asian Slaw

This salad is an antioxidant powerhouse version of a Chinese chopped salad (side note the dressing is very similar to the orange gingery dressing you receive during the first course salad at hibachi restaurants…can anyone relate to having a long time love of this like I do!?)  This is a great potluck dish or fabulous to make in bulk to pull out of the fridge for lunches during the week with a piece of chicken or some tofu.  The miso paste in the dressing is a source of gut boosting probiotics being that it is a fermented food!  I altered the vinegar used to make this dressing suitable for my candida diet friends:)

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYVEGANKetoGrainFree

What you need:

For the dressing:

  • 1 carrot (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 shallot (peeled)
  • fresh ginger root (1-1.5 inch sized piece, peeled)
  • 1 T white miso paste (make sure gluten free-I like this brand)
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp stevia in the raw (or 1 T honey if preferred)
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup+1 T avocado oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water
  • dash of salt and pepper

For the salad (these are rough measurements):

  • 1 cup thinly chopped purple cabbage (~1/4 head)
  • 1/2 red pepper-thinly sliced
  • 1 head of baby bok choy-chopped
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup sugar snaps or snow peas-sliced length wise
  • 1/2 cup cashews-roasted and chopped (sub sunflower seeds or sesame seeds for candida peeps)
  • 2 T chopped cilantro

How you do it:

  1. Add cabbage, pepper, bok choy, carrots, sugar snaps and cilantro to a bowl and toss.
  2. Throw all dressing ingredients in to a blender and blend on high for a few minutes.  Add more water/oil as needed (consistency will be thicker than with typical dressing
  3. Scoop dressing over salad and mix well
  4. optional: I used raw cashews and toasted them myself in a pan on the stove:turned on low, added a few splashes of sesame oil, toasted until fragrant; sprinkle with sea salt
  5. Serve with chopped cashews

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IMG_8177.jpgMy ‘eat your colors’ mantra is truly lived out in this dish:D

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

What the heck is a garlic scape, you ask?  It’s a funky little vegetable that is commonly found at farmers markets this time of the year! (early summer)  I received this in my CSA from Stillman’s farm last week.  It has a delicious garlicky flavor and is actually tolerated much better than regular garlic for people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) being that it is supposedly lower in FODMAPs than the latter (discard the bulb and just use the green part for IBS-ers).  The picture above shows the scapes (looks similar to a curly green onion) and you can use the majority of the scapes (I just discard a little of the thick end and the skinny part after the bulb-use the rest!)  The curlier the scape the better the flava!

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What you need:

  • small bunch of garlic scapes (~7-8 scapes)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

How you do it:

  1. Chop ends off of garlic scapes and roughly chop into ~2 inch pieces
  2. Throw all ingredients into a food processor or bullet blender and blend on high
  3. You may add more olive oil as needed to thin out if preferred
  4. Serve or store in a glass container in the fridge for a week (freezes well too!)

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^Garlic scape pesto tossed in spinach/white bean gluten free noodles (I found these noodles when I was visiting Michigan as they are made locally but also found that they are sold on amazon!); also tossed in local tomatoes, pattypan squashes, zucchini and some jumbo shrimps!

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Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler free of gluten, grains, dairy and sugar…need I say more?  I promise you this healthified dessert is packed with peachy, nutty flavor without compromising your healthy lifestyle!  You may sub in another seasonal fruit if peaches aren’t local or in season for you.

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What you need:

For the peach layer:

  • 4-5 peaches-peeled, pitted and sliced (make sure they are juicy and ripe)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 droppers liquid stevia
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder or tapioca starch

For the cobbler layer:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, reserve a few for topping

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Grease a 9 inch skillet or pie pan with coconut oil
  3. Combine all peach layer ingredients in a bowl and pour into baking dish
  4. In another bowl combine all cobbler layer ingredients
  5. Scoop large spoonfuls over the peach mixture; top with a few more chopped walnuts
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly
  7. Serve warm with coconut milk ice cream or homemade coconut whipped cream

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Eggplant Fries with Tahini Dressing

Eggplant Fries with Tahini Dressing

These fries are a fabulous side dish to go along with any summer BBQ!  Making my favorite veggies into fries is a go-to move for me and these came out delish-soft and tender on the inside with a slightly crispy outside!  I love this tahini dressing recipe-it is a staple in my home for salads and putting on every kind of roasted veggie ever!  It is candida friendly (free of sugar and vinegar) and FODMAP diet friendly therefore great for anyone with gut troubles-especially bloating.  I will add water to the recipe until it’s the consistency I’m looking for at that particular time-it’s very versatile!

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What you need:

1 large eggplant
1 T tahini
1 lemon-juiced
~½ tsp garlic powder (can also use fresh garlic)
Sea salt/pepper to taste
Avocado oil

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Chop ends off the eggplant and then chop into fries (roughly 1/2-3/4 inch thick-like steak fries)
  3. Spread out fries on a lined baking sheet (use parchment or silicone liners)
  4. Toss in a few (generous) glugs of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper (eggplant absorbs the oil easily so make sure to use enough)
  5. Place in the oven for 15 minutes
  6. Toss the fries and set for another 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges and soft when pierced with a fork
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly
  8. For the Tahini Dressing: Whisk together in a bowl: tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt/pepper to taste
  9. Whisk in water until at consistency desired-I like to be similar to a creamy ranch dressing thickness so I can drizzle it over the fries but you can also dip them into it!
  10. Optional: Garnish with chopped fresh parsley

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Paleo Pesto Spaghetti Squash Bake

Paleo Pesto Spaghetti Squash Bake

This recipe is a great potluck dish that fits most people’s allergy/food restriction requirements without sacrificing on taste!  I like to whip up a quick vegan pesto to have on hand for most weeks however you can easily sub a store-bought vegan pesto (see my recs below) or a dairy pesto if you can tolerate some cheese. 

I usually recommend going for pecorino cheese or other sheep’s milk-based cheeses since they contain a less inflammatory type of casein called A2 beta casein (goat and water buffalo dairy also fit into this category.  The majority of the cow’s milk in the U.S. contains A1 beta casein which tends to cause more digestive woes for most of the population.  Check out this article for more info on this topic 🙂

Anywho…(enough of my geeking out tangents), this recipe is also fabulous for weekly meal prepping!  Simply scoop out, top with some nutritional yeast or cheese, some fresh herbs and serve (hot or cold)!

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What you need:

Pesto Casserole:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2-3/4 cup vegan cashew pesto or dairy free pesto (I like Seggiano’s found at whole foods)
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (look for those in just salt/water vs. vinegar)
  • 1 3 oz container of organic shitake or baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls organic raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup organic halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • avocado oil

Vegan Cashew Pesto:

  • 1 good handful of fresh organic basil (~1.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c raw organic cashews (or walnuts/macadamia/pine nuts)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1/3-1/2 c olive oil (may need more or less depending on texture preference)
  • Salt and pepper
  • optional: 2 T nutritional yeast or cheese, 2-3 T chopped walnuts

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half (hardest part of the whole recipe!) and scrape out the seeds
  3. Drizzle with a little avocado oil and then place (cut side down) onto a baking sheet
  4. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until you can easily pierce the yellow outer skin with a fork (skip to step 6/7 while squash is baking)
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool; reduce oven to 350
  6. If making vegan pesto: add all ingredients to a bullet blender/food processor and blend until combined (add salt and pepper to taste and more olive oil as needed depending on whether you like a more chunky or creamy pesto), set aside
  7. Wash, dry and dice mushrooms; heat a skillet on low heat with a few T avocado oil
  8. Add chopped mushrooms and saute for 6-7 minutes (until fragrant and browning)
  9. Dice zucchini (same size roughly as mushrooms) and roughly chop artichokes and spinach leaves
  10. Keeping heat on low/medium add all veggies to the mushrooms and add garlic powder (above is a rough measurement-I usually give a few healthy shakes)
  11. Saute for only about 2 minutes until spinach is just starting to wilt (veggies will continue to cook in the oven so we don’t want to overcook)
  12. Remove pan from heat, scrape out the “spaghetti” from the squash and add to the pan
  13. Pour in pesto and fold to combine all ingredients; scoop into an 8×8 baking dish
  14. Top with chopped cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast/cheese and chopped walnuts
  15. You can store in the fridge for later baking if meal prepping or you can bake now at 350 for 20-25 minutes (should be slightly bubbling when done); serve!

Tip: I love to top over some arugula and sprinkle with fresh parsley for extra detox support 🙂

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Aloe Berry (Gut Healer) Smoothie

Aloe Berry (Gut Healer) Smoothie

This smoothie tastes like a blueberry muffin and is jam packed with allll the gut healing components.  Aloe not only is soothing to the outside of our skin but it also offers anti-inflammatory and healing benefits to our intestinal lining.  It also aids the body in healing skin redness and breakouts from the inside out!  I also love that this smoothie is candida diet friendly given it’s free of any grains and added sugars!

Other gut healing smoothie components include collagen (intestinal lining repair and glutamine), chia seeds (good source of soluble fiber to support both constipation and diarrhea), cauliflower (source of glutathione-most potent bodily antioxidant) and coconut (naturally antimicrobial and antifungal-aka fights bad bacteria/yeasts in the gut).

You can purchase an aloe leaf at whole foods and slice it open with a serrated knife.  Remove the gooey aloe vera gel (it will be very sticky!) and add fresh gel to the smoothie-freeze leftover gel into ice cube molds for quick usage for smoothies at a later date! (You can also rub on your skin for immediate burn relief-its ahhmazing)

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What you need:

  • 3/4 cup wild frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 2 scoops collagen protein (I used bulletproof vanilla collagen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • handful of raw organic spinach
  • ~16 oz unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • optional but recommended: 1 T coconut butter
  • dash of cinnamon

How you do it:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender and sip away:)

Tip: I like to make my smoothies the night before to make my morning routine before work easier; I basically add all the ingredients (except the fruit), blend, stick my blender container in the fridge and then add the fruit in the morning and re-blend quickly!  This is also helpful for those with digestive struggles being that the chia seeds are technically soaked and the nutrients are more easily broken down and absorbed.

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IMG_7944Topped with nuts.com superfood hemp and greens granola and shredded coconut flakes

Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins

Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins

Anyone else struggle with healthy breakfast options while traveling?  Clean food options barely exist at the airport to begin with and then add in gluten and dairy restrictions and you have a whole lot of nothing to eat!  I came up with this muffin recipe as a solution to this problem.  These babies are not only grain and added sugar free, they also power in a dose of veggies, healthy fats and fiber!  I’ll bring two of these with some collagen powder to throw in my green tea and my travel breakfast is served! PSA due to amazing smell you will want to eat the batter (please don’t) raw; also will make your kitchen smell fabulous!

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What you need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 dropperfuls of vanilla stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup unpeeled, finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)-squeeze out the water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease muffin tin or fill with paper muffin cups
  3. Add all wet ingredients to a food processor or a vitamix (eggs, stevia, vanilla, and coconut oil); blend until well combined
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt)
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend; allow to sit for 3-5 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar, banana and zucchini and blend again until just combined
  7. Fold in the walnuts
  8. Spoon into muffin tins filling 3/4 of the way full
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean and edges are starting to brown
  10. Let cool and serve!  (Stores well in the freezer or a few days in the fridge)

Tip: Drizzle with melted coconut butter as a healthy frosting sub:)

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Asian Sesame Salmon Bowls

Asian Sesame Salmon Bowls

For those of you who hate dirtying a lot of dishes this meal is for you!  This recipe primarily involves using one cookie sheet as pictured above to do all of the roasting of your veggies and fish.  You can utilize a quick frozen or pre-made brown rice to make your life even easier if you want to forgo making the gluten free pilaf recipe below. 

This dish screams anti-inflammatory thanks to a potent dose of omega 3 fatty acids from the salmon and plant based polyphenols and antioxidants in the colorful veggies.  Sesame oil also contains an antioxidant called sesamin  Shoot for a rainbow of colors here-get creative by mixing and matching whatever veggies you have in the fridge!

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Makes roughly 2-3 servings

What you need:

  • 1 lb raw wild salmon fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 3 T toasted sesame oil
  • Avocado oil
  • ½ large head of purple cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 oz of shitake mushrooms (roughly 1 cup raw)
  • 1.5 bell peppers (~1 cup chopped)
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach
  • 1/4 cup organic brown rice
  • ¼ cup organic quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

How you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mats and lightly oil with avocado oil
  3. In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, tamari and minced garlic
  4. Place salmon fillets on baking sheet and brush with the sauce mixture; save remaining sauce and set aside
  5. Peel carrots and chop all veggies (except spinach) into bite-sized pieces (as pictured above); you can use a variety of veggies here (ie snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, etc; this is a great meal for using up those extra veggies you have in the fridge!)
  6. Spread out veggies on the same baking sheet as the salmon
  7. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the veggies and toss to distribute
  8. Place pan of salmon and veggies in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until salmon is flaky
  9. While the salmon/veg are baking: rinse quinoa and add to brown rice in a large pot with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp coconut oil
  10. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low until tender (~35-40 minutes)
  11. Once cooked; layer rice in the bottom of a shallow bowl, top with a handful of raw spinach, cooked roasted veggies and salmon; serve immediately

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Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Simple, tasty and …(I know we all dislike this word but) moist!  This easy one bowl muffin recipe is a fabulous addition to any springtime brunches or birthday celebrations.  Going grainless has become increasingly popular recently as a means of spurring weight loss and reducing symptoms of inflammatory conditions for some people.  While this is definitely not the case for all, I love that this recipe uses whole food based flours (almond and coconut) that provide more nutrients and fiber than their basic gluten free, processed counterparts made from rice/potato/etc.  Did you know the peel of a lemon contains a boatload more of vitamin C, magnesium and potassium than the juice?  Grate the peel into foods/drinks more often to reap the healing and detoxing benefits of lemons!

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What you need:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  •  1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T poppy seeds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh lemon zest (make sure to use an organic lemon)
  • 3 eggs (room temp)
  • 3 T real maple syrup
  • 3 T non dairy milk (I used so delicious coconut unsweetened vanilla)
  • 2 T melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped organic strawberries
  • optional but recommended: 1 tsp lemon extract

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Grease muffin tin or fill with paper muffin cups
  3. Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl (lemon juice/zest, eggs, syrup, milk, melted oil, extracts)
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (flours, baking soda, poppy seeds, salt); mix wet into dry ingredients
  5. Fold in strawberries
  6. Let batter set for 10 minutes (batter should be thicker and scoopable vs. pourable; add more milk if needed to thin out a bit)
  7. Spoon into muffin tins filling almost to the top
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean and edges are starting to brown.
  9. Let cool and then serve!  (Stores well in the freezer or a few days in the fridge)

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Recipe adapted from https://lexiborr.blog/

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Enjoyed in this dairy free, grain free coconut yogurt bowl above 🙂

Paleo Chicken Tenders & Fries

Paleo Chicken Tenders & Fries

Kid and adult friendly, these paleo tenders are to die for!  This is my healthified take on chicken nuggets and fries using only whole food based ingredients!  These tenders are a great meal prep recipe to bring for lunches on salads, veggie bowls, wraps, etc throughout the week.  The key to crisping the fries is using cassava flour and the purple japanese sweet potatoes (they have a purple skin with a white interior); they seemed to crisp up tremendously better than the orange guys.  This is a cute article I found showing the different types of sweet taters for those of you interested!

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What you need:

For the fries:

  • 1 large organic Japanese sweet potato
  • 1-2 T cassava flour or corn starch
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Avocado oil

For the Chickys:

  • 1 pound organic chicken tenders
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T unsweetened almond/coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt and garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Chop ends off the sweet potato and then chop into fries (roughly 1/2-3/4 inch thick-think steak fries)
  3. Spread out fries on a lined baking sheet (I like these) and toss lightly with cassava flour (doesn’t need to be coated, just a light dusting)
  4. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and begin prepping the chicken
  5. Grease or line another baking sheet
  6. Use three shallow dishes: add the coconut flour to one, crack the egg and whisk with the milk in the second and add the almond flour + seasonings to the third
  7. Dip 1 chicken tender in the coconut four to coat, dip in egg and let any extra egg drip off and then coat in the almond flour mixture
  8. Add to lined baking sheet; repeat for all chicken tenders
  9. Wash hands and get back to sweet potatoes: toss in a few tablespoons of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper
  10. Add both baking sheets to the oven and set for 10 minutes
  11. Flip the chicken tenders after 10 minutes and toss the fries; set for another 5-10 minutes
  12. Remove chicken from the oven and continue to let the fries bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden and crispy

Tips: I garnished with purple radish microgreens I found at my local farmers market-these are so nutrient dense and taste spicy like a radish! & roasted fennel (simply chopped, coated in oil and baked until tender)

I also like to serve with dijon mustard or my lemon tahini sauce

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Cacao Mint Chip Balls

Cacao Mint Chip Balls

If you have a crazy sweet tooth but like to find tasty treats with health benefits-this recipe is yours to savor!  Super simple and easily interchangeable ingredients is the name of the game here. You can use any type of raw nuts and seeds and sub the coconut butter for coconut oil or another fat of choice.  These are loaded with healthy plant based fats, antioxidants from the cacao, and naturally sweetened with a small portion of dates.  For those of you who deal with regular gas, distention and bloating the fresh mint is a natural stomach soother and digestive relief aid.

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What you need:

  • 1.5 cup raw nuts/seeds (I used a mix of organic walnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds)
  • 2 dates (soaked for 5-10 min in hot water to soften, depitted)
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 T each flax seed, chia seed, maca powder
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut butter
  • 2 scoops collagen peptides
  • 3-4 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 handful of fresh mint or 1-2 tsp peppermint extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips

How you do it:

  1. Combine all ingredients (except cacao nibs/chips) into a food processor and mix to combine all into a thick tough
  2. Fold in cacao nibs or chips
  3. Roll into balls and freeze; Can store up to a week in the fridge or much longer frozen!

Makes about 10-12 balls

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Vegan Pea Walnut Pesto

Vegan Pea Walnut Pesto

I love a seasonal take on my favorite go-to recipes.  I often like to make my own pesto throughout the year however this recipe brings a touch of spring into my basic vegan pesto recipe.  Peas and arugula add beautiful natural coloring as well as a peppery/lemony kick to this recipe.  Thanks to one of my favorite blogger friends @Lexiborr for the recipe inspo here!

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What you need:

  • ½ cup thawed organic frozen peas (can use fresh)
  • 1 good handful of fresh organic arugula (roughly just over a cup)
  • 2.5 T raw organic walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3-4 T olive oil (may need more or less depending on texture preference)
  • Salt and pepper

 

How you do it:

  1. Throw all ingredients into a food processor or Vitamix and blend on high
  2. Add olive oil as needed until reaching desired consistency (I like mine on the thicker side but some like thinner)
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste

Tip:

  • Stores well in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week
  • I like to toss zucchini noodles (pictured) or lentil pasta in this sauce and add a plethora of extra veggies; this stores well for lunches throughout the week and can even be eaten cold
  • Leftovers? Use as a sauce on avocado toast or add a few tablespoons with a can a chickpeas to a food processor for a flavor packed take on homemade hummus!

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Queso Sauce (Vegan/Nut-free)

Queso Sauce (Vegan/Nut-free)

Easy Chia Seed Pudding

Easy Chia Seed Pudding

This recipe is a staple for breakfast meal prep.  This is a great way to get in a healthy dose of fats and fiber into your morning and awesome for taking on the go!  I love to top mine off with fresh berries, a spoonful of sunflower seed butter, shredded coconut and chopped nuts or energy balls if I have them on hand. You can add sweetener to this if you choose; I like to keep added sugars out of meals whenever I can and this one tastes great without it!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOSUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYWHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 cup canned lite organic coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic almond milk
  • 1/2 cup organic chia seeds
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For toppings: chopped berries, shredded coconut, almond/sunflower seed butter, coconut cult yogurt, granola, etc

How you do it:

  1. Combine coconut milk, almond milk and vanilla in a large mason jar or container
  2. Add chia seeds and seal container; shake to combine
  3. Let sit overnight; spoon out into a bowl and add toppings of choice!

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(Recipe above yields ~3-4 servings)

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Crispy Rutabega Fries

Crispy Rutabega Fries

While you may have never cooked with rutabegas before I highly recommend you start!  These root vegetables are a powerhouse of support to your gut microbiome. First off, they are a rich source of fiber and magnesium helping to prevent and ease constipation.  Speaking of fiber, these as well as many other root vegetables contain prebiotics-a type of plant fiber that acts as food for your gut bacteria (ie probiotics).  This helps keep our gut environment healthy and alive:)  It is also a functional food in the sense that it is naturally anti-fungal and therefore helps fight off any candida or yeast overgrowth in the body.  Feeds the good bacteria and kills the bad bugs?  Yes please!  You will love my healthified variation on the typical french fry below and your gut will thank you.

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOSUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYWHOLE 30

What you need:

  • 1 Rutabega
  • Avocado or coconut oil
  • Paprika,dried parsley, garlic powder, pepper, sea salt

For those of you wondering….this is a rutabega:

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I recommend looking for them in the section of the store where the parnsips/turnips or other root veggies are.  You can always ask the workers in the produce section:)

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375; wash and peel rutabega
  2. Cut off each end and then stand up on the flat side to cut in half
  3. Cut rutabega into fries-roughly 1/2 inch thick each
  4. Toss in avocado oil (~1-2 T) on a lined sheet pan
  5. Coat with spices above (I tend to just shake a bunch of spices on without measuring but I would recommend roughly 1 tsp paprika, parsley, garlic powder + 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  6. Bake for ~25 minutes or under golden and crisping around the edges

Tip:

 

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Mexi Black Bean “Rice” Bowls

Mexi Black Bean “Rice” Bowls

Who doesn’t love Mexican?  I for one could eat mexican multiple days of the week and not get sick of it.  However, I’m always finding ways to recreate and healthify the typical mexican meal by replacing dairy and gluten for nutrient dense alternatives and making the meal more plant-based.  Although stripped of dairy and gluten; this is by no means stripped of the yums (or colors)!  This meal is also completely vegan however, sustainable meat of choice can be subbed in place of the beans if you don’t tolerate legumes well.  This recipe makes roughy 3 meals and is great for meal prepped lunches for the week!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYVEGAN

What you need:

  •  1 large sweet potato
  • 1 head of organic cauliflower-riced
  • Avocado oil (multiple drizzles)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 organic green bell pepper-chopped
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 organic purple cabbage head
  • Chimichurri sauce:
    • 1 handful each of fresh organic parsley and cilantro
    • 1/2 avocado
    • juice of 2 limes
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • extra avocado/olive oil to thin until desired consistency
    • salt and pepper

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Wash sweet potato and chop into bite-sized pieces (can leave the skin on if well cleaned)
  3. Spread out potato chunks on a lined baking sheet tossed with avocado oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  4. Bake sweet potato until fork tender; ~30-35 minutes
  5. While potatoes are baking; add avocado oil (~1-2 tsp) and cauliflower rice to a large saucepan on medium heat (I like to use a cast iron skillet to naturally boost my iron intake)
  6. Cook cauliflower rice on low/medium until cooked through ~7-10 minutes; add salt and pepper to taste
  7. In a small saucepan add: a drizzle of avocado oil, minced garlic and chopped green peppers; heat over medium
  8. Once fragrant, add entire can of black beans, cumin and paprika; increase heat to high. Once boiling, reduce to lowest heat and stir occasionally to keep warm until serving
  9. While beans are warming through, chop cabbage into shreds
  10. To make the sauce: add fresh herbs, avocado, lime juice, garlic powder to a food processor; process until smooth (add additional lime juice/avocado oil to thin out as needed); salt to taste

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11. Assemble bowls: cauliflower rice as the base, top with sweet potato, black beans, cabbage and a dollop of chimichurri

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Tips:

  • I like to use Eden Organics brand of black beans-this brand of beans pre-soaks and sprouts their beans to make them easier to digest
  • You can sub regular brown/basmati rice for the cauliflower rice if preferred; I recommend a sprouted variety (like this one) if you have trouble digesting grains
  • Those following a candida plan should make sure the beans/sweet potato do not amount to more than 1/2 cup cooked total; may consider adding meat/tofu to increase protein content

 

 

Turmeric Chicken Soup

Turmeric Chicken Soup

There’s nothing better than homemade chicken soup for warming up those cold Boston nights!  I like to use my own slow cooked bone broth for this recipe-I usually keep a stash in my freezer for soups or when my gut needs an extra boost.

To make bone broth: I’ll add an organic rotisserie chicken carcass to the crockpot for 24-48 hours with organic veggies and a dash of apple cider vinegar.  Bone broth provides healing minerals and collagen to support gut integrity and healthy hair, skin and nails!

When I don’t have time for that I use store-bought organic chicken or veggie stock for this-be sure to make sure it’s labeled gluten free if you’re celiac!  I recommend adding a few scoops of Vital proteins gelatin or collagen if you can’t use bone broth for gut healing benefits.  Turmeric is great for reducing inflammation in the body and boosting overall immune function-the black pepper and heating process will enhance it’s effects:)

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREEPALEOSUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLY

What you need:

  • 1T avocado oil or ghee
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 large organic carrots peeled/chopped
  • 4 stalks of organic celery
  • 3 organic raw chicken breasts (can also use 2 cups shredded cooked chicken if you want to skip the cooking step)
  • 1/2 cup organic peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup brown or wild rice (dry)
  • 4 cups organic broth (bone, chicken, vegetable)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: kale chips, chopped fresh kale/spinach for wilting at the end

How you do it:

  1. Add oil or ghee to a large pot and turn on low; add garlic, onion and saute for about 1-2 minutes
  2. Add chopped carrots and celery and cook slightly-just for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add 4 cups of broth and add raw chicken breasts directly to the pot
  4. Bring to a boil then cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through ~roughy 10-12 minutes (I would keep a watchful eye)
  5. Once chicken is cooked remove each breast, shred and add back to the pot
  6. Add peas, ground turmeric and rice; add about a cup of filtered water (rice will absorb lots of water)
  7. Allow pot to simmer on low for another 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked through
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Tip:

  • I like to top off with crispy kale chips or wilt in some extra greens before serving
  • My favorite bread to enjoy with this soup: Bread Srsly rolls-these are amazing GF/DF sourdough rolls with supa clean ingredients!
  • If you replace the rice with cauliflower rice instead this recipe is AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) friendly!

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GFG Enjoy! Signature