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Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

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Can you tell I’m on a strawberry kick? I think this is my second post in a row centered around strawberries! What can I say? It’s screaming hot in Dallas right now and anything “citrusy” and refreshing sounds amazing!

And, when I can make a meal without having to turn the oven on or stand over the stove, COUNT. ME. IN!

I know you’ve read my salad schpeal before so I’ll keep this short for anyone who hasn’t read previous salad posts… I LOVE salad. Would eat it almost daily. But I don’t just love any salad, I love BIG salads that have lots of ingredients and textures and feel like a meal vs bird food. THAT is a salad in my book!

And this recipe will not disappoint that criteria. This recipe was actually started by Mo and then I swooped in and amp’d it up a bit.

We really believe in eating seasonally and we practice coaching out clients the same way. When you eat seasonally you get far more nutrition out of the food and you’re body is able to operate cyclically. Meaning, when you begin to pay attention to eating per the season, you will notice that you will crave lighter, brighter foods in the spring and summer months and heavier, more rich foods in the fall and winter months. Unless of course you live in SoCal and you have one season per year. Okay, okay, maybe one and a half. 😉

This salad recipe is super quick to make and is so refreshing and light. It is perfect for the hotter months!

If you’re practicing strict Paleo, feel free to sub the couscous with cauliflower rice. I offer directions on how to cook the cauliflower rice in the Notes section.

Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¾ cup dry couscous*
  • ½ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries, leaves removed and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, halved and toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  • While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  • While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  • Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!

Notes:

  • To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice – saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.
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Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  3. While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  5. Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!
Recipe Notes

To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice - saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.

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Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

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I stumbled into writing this recipe on accident. I’ve learned that those are the recipes that are often-times the very best and the ones I go back to over and over again!

A little insight into me: I love french fries (hang with me here…) – many days after school when I was in, I don’t know, let’s say 1st grade through 5th or 6th grade, my mom would stop and let me get french fries and a coke or chocolate milk shake for a snack… Yes, you read that right. 🙂 My parents actually used to joke that I was going to turn into a french fry, I ate so many of them! Ha! And I would not go near a vegetable – except broccoli, which my grandmother always called “trees” – which she would make Italian style with good olive oil and lots of garlic… That’s the only way I would eat it. But put greens in front of me or carrots even… I was having none of it!

Obviously, as my taste-buds have changed (through a lot of work I’ve done on my own through my nutrition – I’m here to tell you, just because you were raised eating a certain way does NOT mean you have to give in to that way of eating as an adult – I’ll save this for one of our Health Episodes Podcasts 🙂 ) I do not eat near as many french fries as I did when I was growing up. That is not to say that I don’t crave them and full confession – I have my share of sweet potato fries about once a week at our favorite Dallas restaurant: Origin Kitchen + Bar

What I try to do now is create things that allow me to have the same process of eating as if I had a bowl of french fries in front of me. Meaning: french fries are a finger food – they are a little crunchy and salty and they just satisfy, you know? So, I’ve found that when I roast green beans or even asparagus and allow myself to eat them with my hands as I would french fries – it truly satisfies that craving in my brain and in a far healthier way.

Okay, so back to THIS recipe and how I stumbled upon it… I was craving something salty and wanted that unctuousness… But I try to keep my french fry indulgence to once a week or less… So I thought, “Green beans!!!” I had intended to make roasted chicken with a side of salty roasted green beans and a side salad of baby greens, roasted cherry tomatoes and grated raw parmesan. But when I started cooking, the salad just didn’t sound as good anymore – I just wasn’t that hungry anymore, but I had already blistered the tomatoes for the salad… So I thought well, I’ll just pour them in with the green beans and grate some of the parm over the green beans and tomatoes – that way nothing goes to waste.

Whoa! Best. Audible. EVER! Mo and I started eating and looked at each other and decided this should be my new go-to side dish for any occasion! The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the salty green beans and the cheese adds so much flavor. Gah! It is so good! I could eat a whole recipe by myself, I think! That said, it is great as leftovers for lunch the next day too! And SO easy to double the recipe and use it as a food-prep item that you keep in the fridge to eat through the week.

Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 10oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4oz block raw manchego or parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  • Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  • While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  • When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!

Notes:

  • You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

 

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  3. Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  4. While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  5. When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!
Recipe Notes

You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

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Blood Orange Summer Salad

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Salad’s can be boring. We get it. But when it is 7000 degrees in Dallas (not really, obviously – but good-ness it feels like it!) and the LAST thing you want is something hot to eat – salad’s can make the perfect meal! That’s right… To all my manly men out there – I just referred to a salad as a “meal…”

When Mo and I first met and I offered to make dinner and told him we were going to have “a big salad…” he almost broke up with me right there on the spot. (Look what he’d be missing out on today! Ha! 🙂 ) Nevertheless, he indulged me and all but licked his bowl clean. This girl can make a mean salad… And one that does not leave you feeling like you just ate “rabbit food…”

The key is loading it up with different textures and temperatures and then tossing it with a really yummy dressing.

First you’ve got to start with really good greens – none of this iceberg lettuce crap. I’m talking spinach, arugula, kale, mixed baby lettuces, mache, etc. Anything but iceberg!

Then, you pick out your protein – be it salmon, as on this salad, or perhaps roasted chicken, ground beef or bison, if you’re vegan – maybe some tempeh… And season whatever you choose really well! THIS is key!

Now lets talk temperatures – I love to toss a salad with some vegetables (anything in season) I’ve just roasted or a just cooked protein source – this way the warmth from the cooked item gently wilts the greens… I know this may sound odd but THIS is what brings the whole salad together and makes it really feel like a true meal vs just greens and vegetables on a plate.

So you have the crisp from the greens, the warmth from the vegetables and/or protein and now we need something chilled that when you bite into it along with the greens and protein creates this awesome experience in your mouth… Stop! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about FOOD! 😉 This is where avocado or fruit, like the blood oranges in this salad come into play…

Now the dressing… It really depends on what season we’re in for me. So, if it’s cold outside and I am craving greens but want something really hearty – I will make a creamy dressing with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo as the base. If it’s hotter than hell outside and I want anything BUT hearty – I will simply use good extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and either with a vinegar – red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or my fav: apple cider vinegar.

Last but absolutely not least – something crunchy – this should go on the salad after you’ve dressed it so that it doesn’t get the crunchy item soggy. I love to toast up sourdough croutons or roast some chickpeas or black beans. Toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, pecans, cashews, etc. are great too! In this salad, the crunch actually comes from the way I cooked the salmon – because it is seared, it gets this wonderful crust! Mmmm… It’s SO good! You could also make your own tortilla chips by slicing up Ezekiel brand Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Siete brand Almond Flour or Coconut Flour Tortillas and toasting in the oven to get them crisp!

See? Salads don’t have to be boring! They are AWESOME if you follow these steps!

Now make this one and you can thank me later! 😉

Enjoy!!!

Blood Orange, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Salmon

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 5-7oz wild caught salmon, skin on
  • 2 tsp ghee butter
  • 3-4 handfuls raw spinach, arugula or mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • ½ blood orange, segments only
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  • While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  • To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Instructions
  1. Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  3. To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

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I have a confession to make – I watch Ina Garten’s cooking show, Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network every day while I eat lunch. I know… I know… We’re not supposed to watch TV or be distracted while eating – but it is one of my very favorite things! Sounds silly, right? But, it is so relaxing to me… Not to mention I learn so much. I swear, I learn something new every time I watch her – which I suppose is one reason she has been so successful!

Her recipes are by no means what I would categorize as “clean eating” – but she’s got several that with some light tweaking, they are wonderful for you! And that is the story with her Celery Salad with Parmesan.

I’ve made a few minor adjustments that don’t change the flavor at all, but help the salad become more anti-inflammatory. For example: I suggest a raw parmesan cheese vs a processed parmesan.

***Fun thing to note regarding dairy: Did you know that most people who deal with lactose intolerance can actually tolerate raw dairy vs processed? It’s the heat in the processing of cheese/dairy that denatures the lactose and that most often causes the issue for people who are lactose intolerant. Now, I am not insinuating that you if you are lactose intolerant that you go out and eat a bunch of raw cheese – but I do suggest you give it a try and see how you feel – maybe an ounce at most, to start… See how it goes! Quality really can be everything!

I like to serve this with some simple grilled chicken or salmon… It is cleansing and refreshing during the hotter months!

Hope you enjoy!

Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Celery and Parmesan Salad

Serves 4-6…

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, juice only, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • approx. 12 stalks celery + leaves, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 4-ounce block raw/unpasteurized Parmesan cheese*
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only

Directions

  • At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, juice of 1 ½ lemons, shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Then, place the celery in a large bowl and toss it with the remaining juice of the leftover ½ lemon and ½ teaspoon salt (Ina says this is an important step and I must say – after making this, I 100% agree!). Add enough of the dressing in step one to the celery to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
  • When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, cilantro leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Notes:

  • You will probably only need to use about ¼ cup of the dressing, so you will have about ¾ cup leftover. It is GREAT on other salads or to use as a marinade for fish! So don’t let it go to waste!
  • You can sub a raw manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese if you cannot find raw parm.
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Deviled Egg Potato Salad

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Potato Salad brings back all the feels for me… EVERY time we went to my grandparents house, growing up, we always had homemade barbecue! I grew up in Texas, so no shock there, right?

My grandaddy would smoke ribs and my grandmother always made THE best pinto beans, skillet cornbread and yep – you guessed it: Potato Salad! …we also always had deviled eggs – but not in the potato salad.

Her potato salad was always my favorite because it was just enough “dressing” to coat the potatoes but it was never, well, slimy. You know how some potato salads are just nothing but sloppy mayo? Yuck! 🙂

My potato salad recipe is a rendition of hers, but I thought: “Why not add the deviled eggs to the potatoes?” Plus, Mo would eat his weight in deviled eggs and while I love to make them, I don’t always have time. And when I do, he’s in heaven. So this recipe kills two birds with one stone and honestly? After you try this, I’m not sure you’ll ever miss having them separately!

Whether you’re prepping for a summer picnic or a trip to the lake… Or something new and fun to put in the kids lunches – MAKE my Deviled Egg Potato Salad! You will love it!

Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Makes approximately 4, 1 cup servings…

Ingredients:

  • 20 small heirloom (purple, red, yellow) potatoes
  • 6 cage-free eggs
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  • Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  • Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  • Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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  1. First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  2. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  6. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  7. Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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Paleo “Cheesy” Cauliflower with Lemon Coriander Dipping Sauce

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THIS cauliflower! I mean… I made it for myself as part of my dinner one night when Mo was gone. I thought: “No way I’ll eat a whole head of cauliflower on my own, so great! I’ll have leftovers!” …you know where this is going, right? Yeah… Uh, no leftovers. I ate every last morsel!

I learned about Nutritional Yeast when I was practicing a plant-based lifestyle. And it has that reputation – people who can eat dairy or “normal” forms of protein from eggs, meats, etc, don’t include this in their regimens. Most have never heard of it. Plus, if you do practice a plant-based routine you know that animal proteins can add a lot of flavor to dishes, so without it, a dish can leave you longing. Nutritional Yeast will pack a punch of flavor!

So a little bit about what exactly, Nutritional Yeast is and why it is good for you:

  • Nutritional yeast is a complete protein (and a plant-based one, at that!), meaning that among the 18 amino acids it contains, nine are essential ones that your body cannot produce – we must get it from the foods we eat.
  • It is an immune booster due to the fact that it contains glutathione, among other things!
  • It also offers a significant dose of the minerals iron, selenium and zinc + 4g of fiber per serving!
  • Just a half tablespoon of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of B vitamins. These vitamins help you extract the energy from food and produce red blood cells.
  • It contains little sodium and fat AND it is gluten, soy and dairy free!

So even if you are fine with dairy and have no aspirations of practicing a plant-based lifestyle, you might want to start including Nutritional Yeast into your weekly routine! You could be missing out on some good stuff!

Okay, back to my cauliflower! Did I mention it’s delicious? And I ate THE WHOLE RECIPE ALL BY MYSELF? And that sauce – it’s not a must but it really adds to the dish. It has so much flavor and it’s anti-inflammatory and so good for you and I mean… I would eat this every day! So go! Now! Make it! It will be your new favorite side dish!

Enjoy!!

Paleo Cheesy Cauliflower with Lemon Coriander Dipping Sauce

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for the Cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Real salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh dill, for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet in an even layer, without touching, and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast over the cauliflower as soon as it comes out of the oven and gently toss to combine.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients for the sauce into a medium bowl and whisking well to combine.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet in an even layer, without touching, and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast over the cauliflower as soon as it comes out of the oven and gently toss to combine.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients for the sauce into a medium bowl and whisking well to combine.
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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice and Avocado

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My Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Bowls are the ultimate easy, weeknight recipe! And, it screams SPRING!

I cannot even believe how easy this is to make. Really. I can’t. It took me 5 minutes to get it into the slow cooker and another 5 minutes to finish it up and serve.

Everything is made in the slow cooker – no extra dishes for prep… Well, except a whisk and a knife. Okay, are you convinced yet? It’s SO easy! 🙂

But aside from being easy, it is DE-licious!

I made this one evening for dinner and it had just gotten up to about 84 degrees in Dallas. It’s been in the 40’s in the mornings so 84 felt hot! So honestly? The last thing I wanted was a bowl of something hot. And I was kind of bummed that I had chosen this dish for dinner. I wanted something cool and refreshing. But guess what? This was that exactly! I served it over raw greens (I chose spinach because we LOVE spinach, but you could use any dark, leafy greens you like…) and it was so good – astringent, if you will. Which is how we should be eating this time of year… Cleansing, astringent foods.

This is the time of year for citrus, fresh fruits, raw produce, etc. You’ll see so much beautiful produce in the grocery stores right now! We LOVE this time of year!

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice and Avocado

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs organic chicken breasts
  • 1 quart low sodium, organic chicken bone broth
  • zest and juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp raw/local honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • real salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pre-washed container spinach or baby kale
  • 2, 10oz bags cauliflower rice
  • 1 large avocado
  • several cilantro or parsley leaves

Directions:

  • In the bowl of your slow cooker, place the broth, zest and juice of the lemons, onion, honey, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Whisk well to combine.
  • Place the chicken into the slow cooker and “nuzzle” down into the sauce so the chicken is almost completely covered.
  • Set slow cooker to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • Approximately 1 hour before the crockpot tells you it’s done, take two forks and gently shred the chicken to pull apart into desired-size pieces and add in cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Cover again and let it continue to cook.
  • To serve, place 1 handful spinach/baby kale on the bottom of a bowl and top with a big helping of the lemon chicken/cauliflower rice. Garnish with avocado and fresh cilantro or parsley leaves.
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Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Bowls with Cauliflower Rice and Avocado
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Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, place the broth, zest and juice of the lemons, onion, honey, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Whisk well to combine.
  2. Place the chicken into the slow cooker and “nuzzle” down into the sauce so the chicken is almost completely covered.
  3. Set slow cooker to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Approximately 1 hour before the crockpot tells you it’s done, take two forks and gently shred the chicken to pull apart into desired-size pieces and add in cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Cover again and let it continue to cook.
  5. To serve, place 1 handful spinach/baby kale on the bottom of a bowl and top with a big helping of the lemon chicken/cauliflower rice. Garnish with avocado and fresh cilantro or parsley leaves.
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A Healthier Panzanella Salad

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Ok – so let me preface with – this is not a “true” Panzanella salad in every sense of the word. There is not near the amount of bread that is in a typical Panzanella and I’ve added greens in lieu of all of the bread. Nor did I marinade the croutons in tomato juices, etc. BUT, it eats like a Panzanella. Everything is in big pieces and the juices from the roasted tomatoes create some of the dressing and that seeps into the croutons and mmm… I mean, I can’t get enough!

This is one of those salads I crave at least once a week. It is one of my favorite and easiest meals to make. And yes, I just called a salad a meal and I promise you will feel this way once you’ve had this one!

Mo and I are eaters. Foodies for sure. But we really like to eat food. 🙂 So if you haven’t made any of my other salads and therefore you’re not “in the know” yet – you can trust that my salads are not for the faint of heart. This definitely took some convincing with Mo when I first started cooking for him. This is where the “inside joke” of “We’re having a ‘big salad’ for dinner…” came from. When I was racing triathlon a bunch and had a full load of clients, etc., etc. salads were an almost nightly thing at our house! But if you ask Mo – he loves them. They are filling, full of nutrition and full of flavor and texture! …I’m big on texture! Gotta have some crunch!

So this salad pulls out my Italian heritage. As I said, it is not an exact replica of a true Panzanella salad. But, the anti-inflammatory nutritionist in me cannot help myself, plus, we really like it better this way!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Primal Panzanella Salad

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1lb free range chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 large avocado, diced into large pieces
  • 1 ½ cups baby cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 pieces good sourdough bread, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions for the Salad:

  • Place chicken a large Ziploc baggie with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Seal bag and gently toss (over the sink – yes, I’ve learned the hard way! J) to combine. Marinade for 30 minutes, up to overnight. Pull out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two small sheet pans with foil.
  • While oven is heating up, on one sheet pan, place the tomatoes and on the other sheet pan, lay the sourdough out, in an even layer. Drizzle the tomatoes and sourdough with ½ tbsp olive oil each and sprinkle both with salt and black pepper. Set the croutons aside and place the tomatoes into the oven to roast for 7-10 minutes until slightly browned and starting to burst open.
  • Using tongs, pull the chicken out of the bag and place each piece in an even layer, without touching, onto a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; discard the remaining marinade. Let cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until each piece is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in a large salad/serving bowl place spinach, basil, goat cheese and avocado.
  • When you’re ready to pull the tomatoes out of the oven, place sourdough on the top rack of the oven to toast for 2-3 minutes and pour the tomatoes, while hot, in with the spinach and then add the chicken.
  • Drizzle remaining olive oil and balsamic over the top and toss gently to combine and coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and place croutons on top. Toss again to combine and serve!
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Primal Panzanella Salad
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Course Dinner, Main Dish
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Ingredients
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Servings
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Ingredients
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You:
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Instructions
  1. Place chicken a large Ziploc baggie with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, oregano and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Seal bag and gently toss (over the sink – yes, I’ve learned the hard way! J) to combine. Marinade for 30 minutes, up to overnight. Pull out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two small sheet pans with foil.
  3. While oven is heating up, on one sheet pan, place the tomatoes and on the other sheet pan, lay the sourdough out, in an even layer. Drizzle the tomatoes and sourdough with ½ tbsp olive oil each and sprinkle both with salt and black pepper. Set the croutons aside and place the tomatoes into the oven to roast for 7-10 minutes until slightly browned and starting to burst open.
  4. Using tongs, pull the chicken out of the bag and place each piece in an even layer, without touching, onto a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; discard the remaining marinade. Let cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until each piece is cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large salad/serving bowl place spinach, basil, goat cheese and avocado.
  6. When you’re ready to pull the tomatoes out of the oven, place sourdough on the top rack of the oven to toast for 2-3 minutes and pour the tomatoes, while hot, in with the spinach and then add the chicken.
  7. Drizzle remaining olive oil and balsamic over the top and toss gently to combine and coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and place croutons on top. Toss again to combine and serve!
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Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

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Spring is here and tis the season for cleansing! As holistic nutritionists, one of the things Mo and I focus on in educating clients is eating seasonally and the importance of that for the body!

If you think about it intuitively – as the seasons change, you likely crave different things. For example: when it’s cold outside you want a big bowl of chili or a hearty plate of creamy cauliflower rice risotto… Okay, okay, or maybe just good ‘ol risotto! 😉 And when the warmer months come around, a shake or smoothie might start sounding really good for Breakfast or perhaps a chilled soup or more vegetables and/or fish than heavy meats.

Now, think about it ancestrally – “back in the day” so to speak, there were no year-round-fully-stocked produce sections or butchers that carried any kind of meat any time of year, like we have access to now. The food people ate was because it was available per the season.

I’m not saying that in the colder months you should never have something that might not have been available to our ancestors. But what I am saying is that you should at least consider it. And know that when something is not in season, you will get very little of the nutritional value out of said thing but when it is in season, that is when it is chalked full of it’s nutrients!

Alllll of that to say: I came up with this Spring Vegetable Soup recipe while I was doing a spring detox – nothing major – only 4 days – just with the goal of resetting a bit and cleansing my liver from toxins, etc. I honestly haven’t been feeling right hormonally, emotionally, etc. for the last few months and with spring upon us it seemed like a welcome invitation to do some bodily spring cleaning, if you will! And no, before anyone asks – I’m not pregnant! Ha! 😉

This soup comes together very simply and make wonderful leftovers! It is just as good chilled as it is warm! But the best part? It is FULL of anti-inflammatory, cleansing foods! The mung beans in particular are chalked full of fiber and they taste amazing on their own too! My recipe calls for bone broth – which, I’ve gotta say, if I had to pick one food that I thought would nourish me more than any other food – it would be bone broth. If you’re unfamiliar with it’s benefits – check out this article from Cognitune.

So while you may not be inclined to a liver detox of sorts, I hope you will make this and incorporate some cleansing foods into your spring!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1-2 strips kombu dashi (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, unpeeled and thinly sliced into coins
  • 2 yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 small zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart beef or chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • 1 small container pre-washed baby spinach

Directions:

  • Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened – approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  • While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  • Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  • Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  • Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  • Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!

 

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Instructions
  1. Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened - approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  3. Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  4. Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  5. Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  8. Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!
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Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

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I get on these kicks sometimes… Recently, it’s chowders. I literally wake up thinking about making chowder. I’ve never made a chowder. Never really had a burning desire to. But then for whatever reason, and this is how it works with me, I see something on TV or I have something at a restaurant and suddenly I am fixated on this one thing.

Chowder can be defined in different ways. But from what I understand, it ultimately means that potatoes are involved in some capacity. This recipe incorporates a potato for texture and creaminess – but some chowders leave them whole/diced. Does it really matter? No, not really.

My version of chowder (this time – stay tuned, there will be more where this came from!) is smooth and creamy… It is almost silky in texture. And I gotta say, one of the easiest recipes, quite possibly, ever!

I’ve posted several meatless recipes to demonstrate yummy ways of incorporating a meatless meal into the weekly routine (if you’re not already…) It makes life so much easier when you don’t have to cook a protein + it’s so good for digestion when we give it a little break from time to time. For all of my plant-based eaters, this is is a no-brainer for you. But for all of my carnivores, I’d be willing to bet you rarely if ever consider eating a meal that doesn’t involve meat of some sort. I’m here to tell you – try it! Once a week. Give it a shot and I promise you will feel good from it!

Over the last few weeks I’ve posted some great meals that I can speak for Mo (aka the ultimate carnivore) in saying that the meatless state of those meals was lost on him. Had I not told him there was no meat involved, I am 98% sure he never would’ve noticed.

That being said, this chowder will be a giveaway. Its meatless-ness (I know, not a word, but it works well here… Go with it!) will be noticed. But it is warm and filling and full of good nutrition. I served, yes, you guessed it: a “Big Salad” to go along with, which I kept meatless as well. We were completely satisfied, not wishing for more. It was a great meal.

That being said, this would be the most wonderful start to a meal vs being the main dish as I served it as. Or, served with a big piece of my 5-minute Grain Free Bread. Either way, it is wonderful!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 Yukon gold potato
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1, 15oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained, rinsed and divided
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup, light, canned coconut milk
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  • Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  • Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  • Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.

Recipe adapted from Alyssa at simplyquinoa.com

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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  3. Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  4. Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  6. Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  7. Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.
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