All Posts Tagged ‘dairy free

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Cherry Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Finally sucking it up and learning how to make homemade dairy-free mayo has opened a whole new world of food for me. I now love making a big batch of the plain mayo, and then experimenting with it in all kinds of recipes, adding different flavours, etc.

Yesterday I threw this Cherry Chicken Salad together and made enough for a couple days of quick, cold lunches. Delicious and refreshing!

Ingredients:

-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I usually just bake mine with salt and pepper)

-3/4 cup dairy free mayo

-1.5 tablespoons of dill

-squeeze of lemon

-1 cup cherries, pitted and halved

-1/2 cup diced celery

-1/2 cup diced cucumber

-1 apple, diced

-1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

-lettuce for wrapping

Directions:

  1. Mix it all together and serve in lettuce wraps, or between two pieces of toasted gluten free bread. Yum!

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Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Quick (Car) Lunches

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that I post photos of my “car lunches” often. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I drop my daughter off at preschool at noon, then head to the gym, put my son in the daycare they offer, workout, pick him up, drive back to preschool for pickup and quickly eat my post workout lunch in the car while we wait for my daughter. Not ideal. Not even close. I firmly believe in sitting down to eat and enjoying it slowly. But I’d rather eat food in the car then not at all, right? And from what I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo, that post workout meal needs to be eaten pretty quickly after exercise. (To be clear, I eat a bit before I leave to drop my daughter off as well. This post workout meal is in addition to a light lunch beforehand.)

Based on the simplest version of the formula I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo and Whole9, my post workout lunches consist of protein + carbs. Make sure you read the whole post on post workout fuel here.

Pictured above is a sample meal that I mix up depending on what produce is on sale each week. In the photo is a grass fed steak from our 1/4 cow share, butternut squash (kept cubed and frozen in the freezer for quick frying), yellow pepper, kiwi, pear and pumpkin seeds on organic mixed greens. Protein (steak) + carbs (butternut squash). The rest (fruit and greens) just fills out my meal and adds extra nutrients.

Other combinations that I enjoy post workout:

Chicken breast, sweet potato, strawberries, bell peppers, mixed greens.

Steak, grape tomatoes, butternut squash, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, mixed greens.

Chicken breast, red cabbage, sweet potato, spinach, peppers.

Salmon, cauliflower rice, peppers, jalapeño, red peppers, mango, spinach, micro greens, coconut milk.

Chorizo sausage, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, apple.

Soft boiled eggs, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.

Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, veggies and Italian sausage.

Tips:

  1. I defrost the meat I am planning on using the night before in a ziplock bag in the fridge. For the steak, I usually marinade it in the bag with lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. For the chicken, I do combos of balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, or just plain salt and pepper. For the salmon, lemon juice and chili powder.
  2. When prepping your meat, always double or triple the amount for lunches that week. No one has time to prep and cook one single steak or chicken breast at a time, ha!
  3. I keep it simple. IF I use dressing (rarely because I’m lazy!), it’s a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If I’m feeling adventurous or have extra time to spare, I’ll mix up some Sunshine Sauce from Mel Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
  4. Invest in a thermos or some sort of container to keep your food hot. I LOVE coming out of the gym and getting to enjoy hot food like spaghetti squash. I’ve found it even works well for soft boiled eggs, which really surprised me.
  5. Use frozen, cubed butternut squash and sweet potato/yams. I promise that in this case it is worth the money and your time. I save so much time not having to peel and chop them!

I know what you’re probably thinking…why don’t I just drink a protein shake instead? It’s so much quicker and easier. There’s a lot of reasons, and I’m not judging those who do use shakes (but seriously, lets talk about it over coffee another day), but at this point in my life, the extra few minutes it takes for me to throw together these lunches is so worth it to me. I make sure that my schedule leaves time for this because it is important to me. I DO realize that someday my life may change, and I may feel like I don’t have the extra minutes to do this, but for now, I’m making it work. Also, this food tastes amazing after the gym. They’re full of flavour. I get to actually CHEW them, which is exciting to me. My children look at what I’m eating and ask all sorts of questions about it. This is a lifestyle of preparing and cooking healthy food that is sustainable for the rest of my life. There are zero sweeteners in these meals. (All Whole30 approved, in case you were wondering!) Basically, I feel great when I fuel my body this way.

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Chicken and strawberry salad with Sunshine Sauce

 

Leave a comment with some of your favourite combos – I’d love to try them out!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Paleo Granola

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I’ve been randomly craving granola and yogurt lately. A couple of weeks ago I splurged (nutritionally) on the Love Crunch brand of granola…what a treat! For my taste buds, not my body. Ever since then I’ve been wanting to create my own version, minus the sweeteners and oatmeal and plus some more nuts and seeds.

I’m not usually one for trying to get protein out of nuts and seeds, as I find my body absorbs and uses animal protein much better. But I figured it can’t hurt, right? And, it’s quick and tastes great.

Here’s what I came up with for my first try. Of course you could easily swap out all different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, this is just what I happened to have. I think cashews would be great in this, but Charley ate the whole container we got from Costco so I didn’t have any left! Notice that there are chia seeds in this mix. They will gel when mixed with liquid (like almond milk or coconut yogurt) so leave them out if that freaks you out. Also, I really wanted to make this with NO sweeteners of any kind, so you’ll notice it doesn’t clump together like regular granola would, because of the absence of maple syrup or honey. Just deal with it, friends.

Ingredients:

-1 cup almonds, chopped

-1 cup pecans, chopped

-1 cup walnuts, chopped

-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

-1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

-3/4 cup dried cranberries

-1/2 cup mixed chia/hemp/buckwheat (I used this brand)

-2-3 tsp orange zest (about one small orange)

-2 tsp cinnamon

-1 tsp nutmeg

-1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix evenly.
  3. Spread on lined baking sheets and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn!
  4. When it’s toasty and browning and smelling amazing, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once it’s cooled down, store in an air tight container in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy by the handful (my style) or with berries and homemade almond milk. I attempted some coconut milk chia pudding to go with it (as seen in photo below) but I used a new brand of coconut milk and it was kinda gross. There’s always next time!image1

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Favourites – Week 4

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Whole30 is complete! As usual, I’m already looking ahead and planning to do another one. It’s funny how that works. You start to feel so good that you can’t wait to do it again.

This round, I learned that white potatoes make me feel exhausted immediately after I eat them. I had become suspicious of this over the past couple of months, so I tested it out over the first week and it’s definitely a problem. So I stuck with sweet potatoes and yams for the rest of the month and had no issues there.

Here are a few of my favourites from this past week.

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Top left: BBQ Chicken Skewers! These were so delicious. I combined a few different Whole30 bbq sauces to make my own sauce: 3oz tomato paste, 1tbsp orange juice, 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1 teaspoon salt. I cut 2 chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and marinated them in the bbq sauce for about 45 minutes. I chopped bell peppers and pineapple into 1 inch chunks, added grape tomatoes, and tossed them in coconut oil and South African Smoke seasoning from Trader Joes. Then I put everything on skewers and baked them in the oven (in better weather I would of course use the outdoor bbq) at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. I had them plain last night, but will be eating the leftovers on salad later today.

Top right: This was a car lunch again. The night before I marinated a grass fed beef inside round steak in lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. In the morning I quickly pan fried it and added it to mixed greens, grape tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, and yams.

Bottom left: Car lunch again. Stop judging me! My current schedule has me eating lunch in the car 3x a week, but it’s better than no lunch at all. This was a really simple leftover breakfast of chorizo sausage, yams and apple. I always find this hearty meal so comforting.

Bottom right: Pork side ribs from our 1/2 hog in our freezer. I put them in the crockpot, covered them in this Whole30 bbq sauce, and let them cook all day on low. They were awesome! We had them with my favourite yam dish again and salad. I was pumped to find a great Whole30 bbq sauce! I’ll be using this one again for sure.

I hope my recipe sharing has been helpful for you, and I hope it has helped you realize that Whole30 doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. I also hope my recipe links have pointed you in the direction of other awesome food bloggers. There are so many great resources out there!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Week 3 – Favourites

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Hard to believe I’m on day 21! Here are some of my favourites from this week.

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Top left: Car lunch again – leftover baked chicken (rubbed with Turkey Rub seasoning from Epicure), butternut squash, pear, raspberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. It was a perfect post workout meal!

Top middle: Soft boiled eggs, avocado, and some leftover Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo. 

Top right: Car lunch – chicken baked in paprika, garlic, oregano and salt with pan fried sweet potatoes, butternut squash and peppers with paprika, chipotle powder, garlic and salt. So good and so filling post workout.

Bottom left: Absolutely delicious Slow Cooker Puerto Pibil by Stupid Easy Paleo, with a simple salad and my new favourite: Spicy Lime Sweet Potato Mash by Popular Paleo. I want to eat these mashed yams every day! The Puerto Pibil made so many leftovers, which now makes it one of my favourite meals.

Bottom middle: One of my favourite salmon recipes by Melissa Joulwan, which I realized after is not available on her blog, sorry! Go buy her cookbooks Well Fed 1 and 2. We had it with yam fries, broccoli and cauliflower.

Bottom right: This is my go to, lazy, last minute dinner. Ground beef with taco seasoning (really just unmeasured amounts of paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt) with peppers, avocado, tomatoes and other random veggies on mixed greens. It’s sorta like a taco salad.

One week left! Wish me luck.

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Favourites – Week 2

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I’m dubbing this week the week of Ugly Food. Everything was delicious, I promise, even though my lame iPhone photos sure don’t make much look appetizing!

I love this part of the Whole30 because it’s when my energy really kicks in. This morning I was up and had tonight’s dinner in the crockpot by 8am and let me tell you, that NEVER happens. I am NOT that person. (Seriously, ask my husband. Mornings are not pretty around here.) I’m currently feeling like a total Super Mom/Wife, and it’s only 9:32am…I’ll get back to you on that though, because I don’t see that feeling lasting all day. Ha!

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Top: Healing Chicken Soup by Stupid Easy Paleo. This was so delicious and soothing! We’ve had all kinds of sick bugs in our house these past two weeks so this soup was perfect. Next time I will double or triple the batch.

Bottom far left: Artichoke Chicken Lemon Pasta by PaleOmg. I loved this. I love pesto and will be using this pesto recipe for other recipes as well as this one again. I’m not sure why the colour of mine was so weird, but it tasted great and even reheated just fine.

Bottom second from left: Old faithful! Soft boiled eggs on Sweet Potato and Zucchini Hash. I used to always pan fry this recipe but lately I’ve been spreading it all on a baking sheet and baking it in the oven to save time. It gets nice and crunchy that way and I don’t have to stand over the pan, constantly mixing it.

Bottom middle: One of my all time favourites that I have been craving lately – Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque by my lovely friend Renee Jordan. I make this soup pretty regularly and in big batches. Try it and you’ll see why!

Bottom second from right: This was just a simple salad of mixed greens, prawns fried in coconut oil and Flavor God seasoning, with beets and pumpkin seeds. This was at the end of my grocery week so it’s lacking in colour and more vegetables, but it was yummy and filling none the less.

Bottom far right: This was a weird experiment that looked terrible but tasted fantastic. I used the Jerk Chicken recipe from Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan but subbed scallops for chicken. The entire recipe is not available unless you buy the book (so go buy it!) but the seasoning recipe can be found here, on her fantastic blog. I served it on cauliflower rice, and it reheated well for leftovers the next day.

Right now I’ve got Puerco Pibil in my crockpot for dinner tonight, and it smells fantastic. I’ll share it with you next week with the rest of my favourites.

Eat well, move your body, and enjoy your week!

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Whole30 Week 1 – Favourites

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Hey there! So it looks like January Whole30 is going to be an annual thing. I got off to a late start because I’m the type who likes to start things on a Monday, rather than the 1st of the month. This round of Whole30 has given me the quickest turn around I’ve ever experienced. On Monday I was feeling exhausted, lethargic, and slow from the holidays, but by Wednesday I felt energized and free. Each round becomes easier and easier as you get familiar with recipes and meal planning, and this round I’ve recently discovered something that is changing my life! ONLINE grocery shopping with DELIVERY to my doorstep!

During the spring and summer we have all our produce delivered by our CSA program, we have all our animal protein in our freezer already, and we just pick up local eggs from a farm a couple of blocks away, so there’s barely any shopping needing to be done. But during the winter the chore creeps back into my life – and to me, it really is a chore. So, I’ve recently started doing online grocery shopping once a week or once every two weeks at Save On Foods online, and for $4.95 it is delivered to my door step the next day. Every week they have coupon codes that are making the delivery price totally worth it. I find myself spending less, because I’m not wandering the aisles. I’m sticking to my meal plans better and not buying anything extra that I don’t need. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about that, and if you’re like me and despise grocery shopping then I highly recommend it.

Back to Whole30. Here are my favourite meals from this week.

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Top left: Pretty self explanatory breakfast. I’m currently obsessed with soft boiled eggs. My method: Bring small pot of water to a boil. Gently lower 2 or 3 eggs into the boiling water, being careful not to bump and crack the shells. Set timer for 6 minutes, or 7 minutes for 3 eggs. When the timer goes, immediately remove the eggs from the water and rinse them under cold tap water for 30 seconds. Then peel and enjoy. I love them with the yolks running over avocado.

Top middle: An old favourite of mine – Chorizo and Yam Stew. This is so hearty and delicious with the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I love it with avocado on top to balance the heat.

Top right: My new favourite roast recipe – Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef by Stupid Easy Paleo. This was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making it again very soon. We had it with salad and butternut squash one night, and with salad and roasted cauliflower the next night.

Bottom left: My usual – soft boiled eggs on sweet potatoes and kale. I fried the sweet potatoes in coconut oil, salt, pepper, and about 2 tsp regular paprika and 1 tsp smoked paprika. I tear the kale and add it for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.

Bottom middle: This is what my lunch looked like all week with slight deviations. Roasted chicken breast (rubbed in Epicure’s Turkey rub and baked), pear, butternut squash, sweet potato, and pumpkin seeds on mixed greens. I don’t like raw veggies, so as I mentioned on Instagram, my salads are really just #hotfoodpiledonlettuce.

Bottom right: I don’t really know what to call this – some sort of Mediterranean Skillet dish, I guess. I chopped up red cabbage, carrots, spinach and peppers and fried them in coconut oil and garlic. Then I dumped in artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and Kalamata olives and fried it for a few more minutes. Then I mixed in some leftover chicken breast. It was delicious and very filling.

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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