Crispy Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts (AIP, Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

You know how brussels sprouts at restaurants always seem to taste better than the ones we make at home? It’s because they’re able to get them perfectly crispy and crunchy…that texture of our dreams.

But how to achieve that at home without using a ton of oil or straight up frying them? I’ve been determined for some time and finally completely mastered it. It is SO easy and yields perfectly crispy brussels every time!

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There are a couple of keys here:

  • They must be shaved brussels (see photo for how I cut them).
  • Letting them sit undisturbed is what develops that crispy, caramelized brussel that you crave.
  • The big secret is turning off the heat, allowing them to cool slightly, then cranking the heat back up for one last crisp.

I know the recipe seems like a lot of “set your timer for 2 minutes!” but I promise it is WORTH IT. Trust!!

Feel free to multiply this recipe, just try to avoid crowding the pan because you don’t want the brussels to steam–then they’ll get soggy and not crispy!

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Crispy Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 cup shaved brussels sprouts
1 TB oil of choice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB coconut aminos

Directions:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil and then brussels sprouts. Quickly stir to toss the brussels sprouts in oil then allow to sit in a single layer for 2 minutes, undisturbed.
    • How to tell if your pan is hot? Sprinkle a drop of water onto it and if it sizzles, your pan is ready. I’ll just run a little water onto my hand and flick it onto the pan to check.
  2. Toss/sauté the brussels, then spread them into a single layer and allow to sit for 2 more minutes, undisturbed. After the 2 minutes are up, repeat this process twice more.
    • To clarify, it goes: add brussels & toss → sit 2 minutes → toss → sit 2 minutes → toss → sit 2 minutes → toss → sit 2 minutes (so you’ll set the timer for “2 minutes” 4 times total here).
  3. Add garlic, salt, and coconut aminos, then sauté for 1 minute then turn off the heat.
  4. Let it sit in the pan until cooled, about 15 minutes.
  5. Quickly toss the brussels, then turn the heat back on to medium-high.
  6. When the brussels start to sizzle (listen for it!), let them sit for 2 minutes undisturbed.
  7. Toss/sauté, then allow them to sit for 2 more minutes.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy the crispy deliciousness that is upon you.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup (AIP, Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 large shallot or 1 small onion
16 oz baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 tbsp cooking fat of choice
1 can coconut milk
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 TB fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 tsp black pepper (optional, omit for AIP)
1 tsp+ Magic Mushroom Powder*
Salt

Directions:

  1. Heat a pot on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp cooking fat, and when it has warmed or melted add in shallot/onion. Sauté until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and zucchini with a pinch of salt (the salt will help them release their liquid and brown more quickly).
  3. When veggies have cooked down and are soft (another 5-7 minutes), add in minced garlic and stir well to incorporate. Sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add coconut milk, then fill the coconut milk can with water and add that as well. Stir to combine things well.
  5. Add kale or spinach to the party and allow them to wilt (2 minutes for spinach, 3-5 minutes for kale).
  6. When greens have wilted, add bay leaves and Thyme, and stir to combine.
  7. Bring the soup to a simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low and put a lid on top. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes, it’s time to blend ‘er up! Either carefully add soup ingredients to a high speed blender and blend well, or use an immersion blender to blend. Blend until velvety and smooth.
  9. Add 1 tsp Magic Mushroom Powder and give it a quick blend. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
    • Alternatively, you could add 1 tsp salt, but keep in mind that the umami flavor will not be as strong (you can always add something else in to achieve an umami flavor, like fish sauce).
  10. Spoon into bowls (or mugs) and slurp up!

Notes:
-You can buy Magic Mushroom Powder at Whole Foods (which is not AIP-compliant because the storebought version contains nightshades), or you can make your own via the recipe here. I made my own (a 1/3 batch made PLENTY) and omitted red pepper flakes to keep it nightshade-free. It’s the perfect pop of umami, and I love adding it to dishes in place of salt.
-This keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheats well, either on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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Roasted Veggie Salad with Chickpea Croutons & Jalapeño Pesto Vinaigrette (Vegan)

I recently started a new job that is quite a commute from where I live. An hour, to be exact…without traffic. My first week, I was spending at least 2 1/2 hours per day on the road, which just didn’t feel feasible and was incredibly draining.

My second week, I was lucky enough to have dear friends who opened their homes to me and cut my commute down biiiiiig time. I actually had time to make dinner in the evenings and wake up at a decent hour in order to get to work on time!!

Of course, I had to thank my friends the only way I really know how: by cooking for them. Each night, I tried to make nutritious meals that tasted great and filled us up. It was a weird form of self-care to come home from a day of recipe testing to spend even more time in the kitchen, but I loved it.

I think it was different than cooking at work because I knew that whatever I made would be good, loved by both of us, and appreciated (not that my food isn’t appreciated at work, but it’s certainly different). It’s also such a joy to cook for two versus always cooking for one. Knowing that someone is going to be eating with me and enjoying the food I make is very motivating for me.

Each morning, I would do a quick scan of the fridge and pantry, then slowly dream up our dinner throughout the day with my mental inventory. This meal came together the same way. All I picked up from the store was the kale and broccoli, and everything else was pulled from what was already available.

This salad was GOOOOOOOOD. We both loved the flavors and textures at play.

And if you haven’t even massaged your  kale, START NOW. It changes everything. My friend said that she had never really cared for raw kale until that day, and her impression of kale completely changed when she saw how much the composition changed when it was massaged. I’ve changed the opinions of many people on kale simply by massaging it, which only takes an extra minute or two and is WORTH IT. It breaks down the tough green and makes it easier to chew (and digest), cuts the bitterness, and creates a bright green leaf that you will keep going back for because it’s that good. TRUST.

I have ingredient amounts included in the recipe but everything is pretty flexible and feel free to change things up as you wish! I included a few suggestions in the notes, but you can do whatever you’d like with the template I provided. Let me know if you make any changes–we could all use a little inspiration!

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Roasted Veggie Salad with Chickpea Croutons & Jalapeño Pesto Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Chickpea Croutons:
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp black pepper
(or 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp seasoning of choice)

Roasted Veggies:
Broccoli – 1 small stalk
Sweet Potatoes – 1 small or 1/2 large
Carrots – 1 large or 2 small
Cherry/Grape Tomatoes – 1 cup
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil

Jalapeño Pesto Vinaigrette:
1/2 jalapeño (de-seeded if you don’t want it spicy, leave the seeds in if you do)
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic
2 TB olive oil
2 TB water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Greens:
1 large or 2 small bunches curly kale
1/2 tsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then dry well with a paper towel. Try to remove as much of the peels from the chickpeas as you can, but don’t sweat it if you can’t get all of them removed.
    • Tip: lay a paper towel on a flat surface, pour the chickpeas over, then lay another paper towel over them and rub the chickpeas between the two paper towels. This will dry them well and get off many of the outer shells.
  3. Toss chickpeas with remaining crouton ingredients, then spread onto a cookie sheet and put into the oven for 35-40 minutes, tossing once at the 15 minute mark and once more at the 30 minute mark.
    1. When you remove them from the oven, they will need to cool for a minute or so before they become deliciously crunchy. To test when I think they’re done, I will take one out of the oven and let it cool for a minute, then taste it. If it’s perfectly crunchy, I’ll pull the rest out. If not, I’ll leave them in for 5 more minutes then check again.
  4. After you put the chickpeas into the oven, chop your veggies. Chop them into bite-sized pieces, and cut the cherry/grape tomatoes in half. Spread them out onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss and mix well. Add to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are soft and lightly browned.
  5. After you put the veggies into the oven, make the vinaigrette. Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend well. Alternatively, you could use an immersion blender or just verrrrrry finely chop the ingredients and mash well. Either way, the dressing will be thick but that is okay. It will still mix well with the salad!
  6. De-stem the kale then tear into smaller pieces. Wash and dry the kale, then add to a large bowl and add the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Massage the kale very well (about 2 minutes) until the kale is bright green and soft, and it has absorbed the oil well. Taste a piece and adjust salt if necessary.
  7. To assemble, place a large bed of kale onto your plate. Top with roasted veggies, spoon dressing on top, then add a generous amount of chickpea croutons on top of everything.
  8. Inhale and live your best life while feeling amazing and nourished.

Notes:
-This may look overwhelming, but it actually comes together really easily. Get the chickpeas in the oven, chop the veggies and throw them into the oven, then make the dressing and massage the kale. Assemble and bam!
-Not feeling the veggies listed here? Use any veggies you like! We loved the roasted tomatoes because they felt like additional little pops of dressing in the salad, but you can use any veggies. It’s incredible versatile.
-No jalapeño? Use another pepper! Scrape the seeds out and throw a habanero pepper in there instead.
-If prepping ahead of time, I recommend massaging the kale and storing the components separately, then assembling whenever you plan to eat the salad. Keep dressing, greens, and roasted veggies refrigerated, and keep chickpea croutons in an airtight container out of the fridge.

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Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

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Easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IMG_6094Ingredients:

1 large or 2 medium/small sweet potatoes, orange or white
Avocado Oil
Seasoning of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges by cutting in half width-wise (think hamburger vs. hot dog), holding each half cut-side down and cutting into approximately 4-5 thick slices, then cutting each slice into 4 wedges.
  3. Toss wedges with 2 TB avocado oil in a large bowl.
  4. Add desired seasonings and toss again to coat wedges evenly.
  5. Add wedges to a grid baking rack*, assembling in a single layer.
    • Be sure not to overcrowd the rack, leaving a little space in between each wedge. Otherwise they will steam and not roast. Roasting = crunch factor.
    • I put my baking rack over a baking sheet to catch any potential drips. I recommend you do this too.
  6. Place into oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking for doneness at 45 minutes. They’re done when they are lightly browned and crispy!
  7. Eat up, buttercup!

Notes:
-These keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week and can easily be reheated in the oven or crisped back up on a skillet.
-I used Primal Palate Adobo Seasoning and love it for this recipe, but you can use any seasonings you’d like. A simple sprinkle of salt and pepper would be divine!
-A grid baking rack* is essential to getting that perfect crisp without having to flip them because they cook evenly the whole time. If you don’t have one, then flip the wedges at the halfway point to ensure that they evenly brown on both sides.

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Spaghetti Squash Patties (Paleo, Whole30)

Here’s the thing…I love the idea of spaghetti squash more than I enjoy the vegetable itself. I like it for the first few bites, then the texture largely becomes unappealing.

Yet I buy the vegetable again and again, hoping to reinvent it in a way that keeps it interesting for me.

This time, I decided to make some patties! They’re wonderful on their own or with some chimichurri drizzled on top (although let’s be honest, chimichurri just makes everything better).

Hope you make this super simple recipe and enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash Patties

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 small spaghetti squash or 1.5-2 cups spaghetti squash strands
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 TB Primal Palate Adobo seasoning
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half, scrape out the seeds, then rub 1-2 teaspoons olive oil into each half and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  3. Place onto a lined cookie sheet and bake in oven for 40 minutes, or until the top feels soft/you can easily insert a fork through the skin.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the strands out of the spaghetti squash halves, and measure 1.5-2 cups strands into a medium-sized bowl.
    • Alternatively, you could roast/steam/microwave your spaghetti squash according to your own preferences, then use 1.5-2 cups of the strands for the patties.
  5. In a small bowl, crack the eggs, being careful to not leave any shell behind, and whisk them gently to scramble.
  6. Add eggs to the spaghetti squash, along with coconut flour and Adobo seasoning.
  7. Form the dough into balls then press down with your hands to form patties. This recipe will make approximately 15-16 patties.
  8. Heat a skillet on low heat (low heat is important here because it will allow the patties to cook through and brown without burning).
  9. Add 1 TB olive oil, then add patties to the pan, cooking until browned on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side). Carefully flip the patties to ensure they don’t fall apart. You’ll likely cook the patties in 3 batches of 5 at a time. Be sure to add 1 TB olive oil to the pan for each new batch.
  10. Serve! Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

Notes:
-These patties will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
-If you don’t have Primal Palate Adobo Seasoning, feel free to use your favorite spice blend, just adjust salt as necessary.

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Coconut Fizz Mocktail (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Listen. LISTEN. I know that it’s freezing outside and tropical cocktails aren’t exactly what everyone is craving.

But HEAR ME OUT.

…I don’t care.

Really though, sometimes when it’s cold outside I like to take myself to a warm, tropical destination by having some kind of fun beverage that makes me feel like I’m on the beach. Anyone else? Just me?

This drink does not have any alcohol in it as-is, but if you’re feelin’ frisky, I think it would be fantastic with some vodka or gin.

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Coconut Fizz Mocktail

  • Servings: 1 mocktail
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

3 TB coconut milk
Coconut LaCroix
Lime wedges
Ice

Directions:

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  2. Add 3 TB coconut milk.
  3. Top off with the Coconut LaCroix.
  4. Squeeze a wedge or two of fresh lime juice into the drink.
  5. Stir well until everything is combined.
  6. Sip away!!

Notes:
-If you don’t have Coconut LaCroix on hand, feel free to use plain sparkling water. It won’t be as coconut-forward, but it’ll still be refreshing and delicious!
-Recipe is for one serving so you can double or triple as needed. The LaCroix does lose its carbonation, so I would not recommend making in advance.

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Sweet Potato Oat Breakfast Bars (Gluten-free, Vegan)

Oat bars are such an easy grab ‘n go breakfast option. I’m always looking for things that don’t take too much effort, especially recipes that don’t require expensive ingredients.

I actually dreamed up these bars while I was making celery juice one morning. I knew I had sweet potatoes I needed to use up, so I just threw them into my Instant pot per these instructions and went from there. Sometimes the best recipes come when you don’t have a real plan and are just throwing together whatever works. 🙂

There are so many ways to customize them too. Add some fruit (I love apples or pears), add nuts, add chocolate chips, maybe add in some collagen or other protein powder to get an extra protein boost. You can customize them however you want!

However you choose to customize, you must make these ASAP because you will definitely love them for their simplicity and flavor. The extra vitamin boost from the sweet potatoes doesn’t hurt either!

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Sweet Potato Oat Breakfast Bars

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato (see notes)
2 large eggs (or 2 flax eggs/chia eggs, to keep vegan)
1 cup milk of choice
1 TB cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (see notes)
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup optional mix-ins: nuts, chocolate chips, chopped apples, etc

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mashed sweet potato with rolled oats. Use your hands to make sure they are combined well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (except for the optional mix-ins) and mix well.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the sweet potato/oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add in your optional mix-ins and combine.
  6. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet with coconut oil or ghee.
  7. Pour mixture into skillet, using your hands or a silicone spatula to spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. The edges should be coming in from the sides of the skillet.
  9. Allow to cool, then cut into bars.
  10. ENJOY!

Notes:
-For a quick mashed sweet potato, you can follow this recipe to cook them in the Instant Pot, then peel and mash. Otherwise you can make the sweet potatoes in advance or used canned!
-These bars are not too sweet. If you want a sweeter option, then feel free to increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup instead.
-The bars will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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