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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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!

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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!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE CANDIDA-FRIENDLYPALEOVEGANWHOLE 30EGG FREE

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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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)!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE WHOLE 30PALEOVEGAN

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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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!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREE SUGAR FREE

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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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!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE WHOLE 30PALEO

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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