Herb & Garlic Roasted Pecans (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

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Herb & Garlic Roasted Pecans

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

3 cups raw pecan halves
2 TB finely chopped fresh herbs*
2 TB olive oil
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Use your hands to mix well and ensure that pecans are evenly coated.
  3. Spread onto a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet in a single layer. You don’t have to be too picky here; just make sure they’re spread out.
  4. Carefully place into the oven for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the pecans.
  6. Place back into the oven for another 7 minutes.
  7. Remove, allow to cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature.
  8. Enjoy! Use as a yummy garnish to balance salads, soups, stews, whole or chopped; grind and use to bread chicken or fish; or use as an emergency snack.

Notes:
-I used a combination of Rosemary and thyme, but use whatever you have on hand. Dill, chives, tarragon, or mint would be fantastic here too!

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Nightshade-Free Egg Bhurji with Crispy Sweet Potato Cakes (Paleo, Whole30)

When I had to give up nightshades almost 8 years ago, I was so devastated because I felt like I couldn’t eat any of the foods I grew up eating. In came my sweet mom, who has helped me think outside the box and find replacements for foods I thought I’d never be able to eat again. I’ll start sharing some of our swaps and recipes so YOU can enjoy them too. First up: Nightshade-free Egg Bhurji!

Our take on the classic Egg Bhurji recipe to make it nightshade-free! There ARE substitutions listed in the notes if you can have nightshades and want to use them instead.

When we were playing with this recipe, my mom was skeptical about the use of pumpkin puree and lemon juice, but she was shocked at how authentic it tasted. You honestly cannot tell that it has pumpkin instead of tomato–but you won’t believe it until you try it yourself.

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Egg Bhurji with Sweet Potato Cakes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Egg Bhurji:
1-2 TB oil of choice
4 cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 TB pumpkin puree
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Optional: 1 cup chopped spinach
4 eggs
Cilantro for garnish, if desired

Sweet Potato Cakes
1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup avocado oil

Directions:

  1. Get all your ingredients ready to go in separate bowls because things move rather quickly:
    • Combine cloves & chopped onion (unless using ground cloves, then the seasoning will go in with the rest of the spices).
    • Combine garlic & ginger.
    • Combine all spices (including salt & pepper).
    • Combine pumpkin puree & lemon juice.
    • Crack eggs into a bowl & whisk.
    • Add grated sweet potatoes to a bowl and use your hands to mix with the salt & pepper.
  2. Heat a medium-sized pot on a stovetop on medium heat. Add 1-2 TB avocado oil and allow to heat for 15-30 seconds, then add onions and cloves. Allow onions to cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally but allowing to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat 1/4 cup avocado oil for about 1 minute (you know it’s hot enough when you flick a little bit of water into the oil and it sizzles). Form approximate sweet potato patties of desired size, and carefully place into the pan. Use a spatula to gently smash the patties down. You’ll likely be able to fit 2-3 patties into the pan at a time.
  4. Allow patties to cook for 2-4 minutes, or until you can see that they are browning on one side. Then, carefully flip and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the rest of the grated sweet potato.
  5. After onions are browned, turn heat to low and add garlic & ginger. Sauté until fragrant, 1 minute.
  6. Add spices to the mix and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add spinach and sauté until wilted, approximately 1 minute.
  8. Add pumpkin puree and lemon juice and mix to combine well until heated through, about 1 minute.
  9. Add whisked eggs and stir to combine, continue stirring until eggs reach your desired consistency, probably 2-3 minutes or so.
  10. Place sweet potato cake on a plate, top with eggs, sprinkle with cilantro, and dig in! Be sure to avoid the whole cloves if you use them, or remove before you serve. Enjoy!

Notes:
-Instead of the spices, you can use garam masala! Replace all spices (except salt and pepper) with 1 1/2 tsp garam masala.
-You can also replace the pumpkin + lemon juice with 3 TB tomato paste, but if using tomato paste make sure you don’t add lemon juice because it is acidic enough on its own.
-Use regular potatoes in place of sweet potatoes if you want, or even toast instead!
-Feel free to add cayenne or any other form of heat.
-You can also add any other veggies you have on hand–add them in place of the spinach and sauté until cooked through.
-You can make a large batch of the pumpkin mixture and then use a bit of it to make scrambled eggs throughout the week. Easy breakfast prep! Keeps well in the fridge on its own for up to 7 days.
-You can also make extra with the eggs and reheat throughout the week. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Pecan Butter (Paleo, Vegan)

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Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Pecan Butter

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 cups raw, unsalted pecans
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TB Cinnamon Sugar Cookie spice
or 1 tsp cinnamon + 2 tsp coconut sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Spread pecans onto a lined sheet tray and roast for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add pecans to a food processor and process on high speed for 10-12 minutes, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides.
    • First, the pecans will break down and form small crumbs. Then, they’ll start to blend but will be very grainy. You know it’s perfect when it is runny and fully blended–be patient! You don’t need to add anything for the pecans to blend; they will release natural oils as you blend them.
  4. Add the sea salt, vanilla, and Cinnamon Sugar Cookie spice (or alternatively cinnamon and sugar), then continue to blend for 1-2 more minutes.
  5. Scrape into a jar and enjoy with fruit, yogurt, crackers, chocolate, drizzled onto ice cream or oatmeal, by the spoonful…

Notes:
-Should be good for up to 1 month, but guarantee it won’t last that long.
-Recipe makes about 3/4 – 1 cup pecan butter, or 6-8 2 TB servings.

 

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Mustard Pretzel Brussels Sprouts (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

I can confidently say that these are probably some of the best brussels you will ever have (if you love mustard). And that most of you likely have never cooked brussels using this method.

I actually learned this method from Ronny at Primal Gourmet and it forever changed my life. Perfectly cooked brussels in 10 minutes? YES PLEASE.

Also, this method allows for even cooking and perfect caramelization on the bottom of the brussels. They get nice and soft, but they soak up the vinaigrette so well. It’s truly a heavenly culinary experience that you’ll only understand if you try it.

If you think brussels sprouts are tough or don’t like the rough texture, I recommend you try them this way. They melt in your mouth in the best way, and the flavor is unparalleled.

Enjoy!!

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Mustard Pretzel Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 lb brussels sprouts (about 2 cups; fresh, not frozen)
3-4 TB olive oil

For the vinaigrette:
1 TB coconut aminos
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fish sauce (omit for vegan)
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB avocado oil
3/4 tsp smoked sea salt
1 TB lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse the brussels and dry them well. Carefully cut off the bottom ends, then remove the outer layer. Cut them in half, lengthwise.
  2. Lay the brussels sprouts cut side-down in a single layer in a cold, 12″ skillet.
    • I’ll usually just cut the brussels and arrange them in the skillet as I go.
    • Take care not to crowd the skillet and keep the brussels in a single layer (see photo in notes) to promote caramelization.
  3. Add 3-4 TB olive oil to the skillet and give it a little shake to disperse evenly.
  4. Cover the skillet with a lid, and place it on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
    • Check after 5 minutes to see whether the brussels have started to brown on the bottom. If not, give them another minute or so. If so, move on to the next step.
  5. Remove the lid and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  6. While the brussels are cooking, make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking to mix well.
  7. When the brussels are done, turn off the heat and pour the vinaigrette into the pan, and gently stir to combine. This will gently cook the garlic which will mellow out the flavor and balance it perfectly.
  8. Serve immediately and spoon vinaigrette from the pan over the brussels.

Notes:
-Best eaten immediately,  but can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheated on a skillet or in the microwave.
-If you don’t have smoked sea salt, regular salt works in a pinch. But the smoked salt adds a unique flavor that goes really well in this recipe! I buy mine from Amazon and love using it to amp up salads, dressings, etc.
-Feel free to double this recipe, but it will either need to be cooked in 2 batches, or in separate pans.
-Here’s what the brussels should look like in the pan:

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Sardine Superfood Patties (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

I know. I know. Sardines are an intimidating food, and many of you may not feel brave enough to try them. I was among your ranks a mere 6 months ago. I bought a tin and let it sit in my pantry for months before I felt ready to give them a go.

I piled the sardines on top of crackers with mustard, lemon, and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. The acidity + salt + crunch was a winning combo, and I instantly fell in love. The health benefits are immense too, and you can check out some info about it here.

Sardines kiiiiiind of make me feel like I have superpowers. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I can feel the power running through my veins when I eat them. I’ve been trying to find more ways to incorporate them into my diet so I can continue reaping the benefits!

I heard from many of you the first time I posted on Instagram about sardines, and that’s when I decided to come up with a more user-friendly recipe for you (and me!) to enjoy this incredibly nutrient dense fish. These patties don’t taste fishy (and don’t smell too fishy, so they’re work lunch-friendly!), are packed with flavor and nutritional benefits, and come together in no time at all. Bonus points because they’re so easily customizable based on what you already have at home!

My good friend Shivangi from Raody Recipes graciously tested this recipe for me, using some simple substitutions based on what she had at home. Great news–her subs worked perfectly!! Even better news: she captured these beautiful photos you see of the patties. She generously offered for me to share her photos with the recipe since mine were less than stellar (especially compared to her gorgeous photos!!). She was nervous about reintroducing seafood, but rest assured by the stream of texts I got in ALL CAPS after she tried them, she loved them just as much as I did 🙂

Subs for ingredients are listed in the Notes section, so be sure to check those out if you want to make any substitutions!

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Sardine Superfood Patties

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tins Wild Planet sardines in olive oil w/ lemon
1 TB olive oil from sardine tin
2 TB Primal Palate French Onion Seasoning
(or seasoning of choice)
2 TB hemp hearts (optional, not AIP)
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
1 egg or 1 TB gelatin for AIP

For pan-frying:
Olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, or coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Add butternut squash to a medium-sized pot with enough water to fully submerge the squash, then boil on medium-high heat until the squash is soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and carefully mash the butternut squash.
  3. Combine all ingredients (except the oil to be used for pan-frying) and use your hands to mix well until fully combined.
    • Be sure to only use 1 TB oil from the sardine tins–you don’t want to dump in the entire tin with the oil.
  4. Form into patties that are about 2 inches in diameter. You should have about 12 patties.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add 1 TB fat/oil of choice. Carefully pan-fry patties for about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned on both sides.
    • Cook in batches, careful not to crowd the pan. You want them to get nice and crispy, and crowding the pan will prevent that! I recommend cooking 4 at a time, and adding 1 TB fat for each new batch.
  6. Serve with a dipping sauce, aioli, ketchup, or just enjoy on its own and unleash your inner super powers.

Notes:

  • Butternut squash can easily be replaced with mashed sweet potato or even 1 15oz can pumpkin puree. Any of these options work well!
  • If you use sardines stored in water, then drain them and add 1 TB lemon juice + 1 TB olive oil to the patty mixture.
  • If you use sardines stored in olive oil (without lemon), then add 1 TB lemon juice to the mix.
  • Play around with the seasoning, but make sure your seasoning blend already has salt added! These would be fabulous with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning, an Adobo seasoning, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, pretty much any blend will give it new life!
  • Tapioca flour can easily be replaced with arrowroot powder or cassava flour; however, I wouldn’t recommend using almond flour or coconut flour here.
  • Patties can be refrigerated for 5-7 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, you can microwave, pan-fry, heat in a toaster or oven, or (my favorite) reheat in an air fryer.

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Garlicky Roasted Cabbage (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan)

I eat this roasted cabbage at least once a week. It’s currently my favorite vegetable and my favorite way to eat it. It’s so easy, comes together quickly, and the taste will completely blow you away. That crispy texture, the caramelization, the browned garlic…all of it.

Here’s just a few plates that are evidence of how often I make, eat, and love this cabbage:

So vibrant and perfect every single time. I hope you love it as much as we do!

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Garlicky Roasted Cabbage

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1/2 head cabbage
6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt
Pepper
Avocado oil or olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Carefully slice the tough core out of the cabbage, then slice cabbage into 1/4-1/2inch slices (give or take, thin but sturdy enough to stay together).
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. Lay the cabbage slices onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Don’t forget those little pieces that fall off when you sliced the cabbage–throw them on the pan too because they’re the best part!
  5. Top the cabbage in this order: minced garlic (spread out evenly so it doesn’t burn), avocado oil or olive oil (a spray works really well here if you have one), salt, and pepper.
  6. Roast at 375 until browned, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Enjoy, and try not to eat it all straight from the pan!

Notes:
-Best enjoyed immediately, but if you have leftovers they will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. I recommend crisping them back up on a skillet on the stove.
-Feel free to mix up the seasonings if you want. I added smoked paprika and used garlic powder when I made this for a client and it was loved by all!

 

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Chimichurri Chicken Nuggets (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t have quantities included for several ingredients. That’s because I want you to eyeball it! Use the amount you think you need–put your own spin on it. It’s  always better to start small and add more instead of wasting ingredients, but aside from that it’s fun to play with it instead of specifically measuring out things sometime.

Here is the chimichurri I recommend for this recipe. It’s absolutely bursting with flavor and will give your nuggets a bright flavor punch! Feel free to add some crushed red pepper into the mix if you want to spice things up a bit, but it’s incredibly flavorful on its own.

I hope you enjoy this easy chicken nugget recipe, from my kitchen to yours!

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Chimichurri Chicken Nuggets

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Chimichurri
Olive oil
Chicken breast or thighs
Tapioca flour/starch
Salt
Pepper (omit for AIP)
Avocado oil or ghee for pan frying

Directions:

  1. Either pound chicken thin, or carefully slice in half lengthwise to have two thinner cutlets instead of one thick piece. Then carefully slice into nuggets of desired size.
  2. Add some chimichurri to a shallow bowl. Use some olive oil to thin it out until it’s runny. Be sure to mix well.
    1. Alternatively: Mix chicken with some chimichurri, then cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, to marinate. Then proceed with the following steps.
  3. To a separate shallow bowl, add tapioca flour, salt, and pepper (omit for AIP).
    1. How much? However much you need to coat the amount of chicken you have. Better to start lower, then add more (+ salt/pepper) if you need it.
  4. Use one hand to dip both sides of chicken into thinned out chimichurri (skip this step if you marinated your chicken), then gently shake off excess.
  5. Use the same hand to carefully place chicken into the tapioca flour mixture.
  6. Use your other hand to sprinkle tapioca flour onto the chicken and make sure it’s evenly coated. Set aside and repeat this process for all nuggets.
  7. Heat avocado oil or ghee on medium heat. Once heated, carefully place chicken onto pan in a single layer, taking care not to crowd the pan (you’ll have to do multiple batches)
  8. Cook, undisturbed, until bottom side is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  9. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown as well, another 2 minutes. You may have to flip the nuggets a couple of times to ensure even cooking and browning.
  10. Set on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  11. Add more oil, then repeat process until all nuggets are cooked.
    1. The tapioca flour on the nuggets may burn if you don’t use oil, so be sure not to cook on a dry pan.
  12. Enjoy!! I recommend dipping into chimichurri for maximum flavor. 🙂

Notes:
-While, as mentioned, you can make chimichurri, slice chicken, and even marinate chicken ahead of time, only dredge with tapioca flour mixture immediately before frying; otherwise it will get gummy in texture and won’t crisp up the same.

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