All Posts Tagged ‘Gluten free

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Chorizo and Yam Stew

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This is based off of a recipe a friend shared with me, with just a few tweaks here and there. It’s hearty, delicious, and has exciting flavours. I love topping it with cool avocado to balance the sweet and spice of the stew.

Ingredients

-4-6 chorizo sausage links

-3 cups diced yams

-1 onion

-3 garlic cloves, crushed

-2 stalks of celery, diced

-1 large carrot, diced

-1 bunch of kale, roughly torn

-1 can of diced tomatoes

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-4 cups chicken bone broth

-1.5 tsp chili powder

-1 tbsp smoked paprika

-1 tsp regular paprika

-1.5 tsp oregano

Directions

  1. Remove sausage casing and crumble the sausage into a large soup pot. Fry the sausage until it is cooked through, and then remove it and set aside, but save all the juices in the pot.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots to the pot and fry for approximately three minutes.
  3. Add the yams, herbs and spices and stir for another three minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and stir. Then add the chicken bone broth, stir everything, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to let the yams soften.
  5. Add the chorizo sausage back into the soup, stir, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until heated through.
  6. Ladle into bowl and serve with avocado if desired. This recipe makes about 6 servings.

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

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Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent any extra time creating new things in the kitchen. To be honest, recipe creating is not my jam. I only started cooking from scratch a couple of years ago and I’m much more comfortable following recipes from some of my favourite cookbooks and blogs.

This recipe was born from a lack of proper meal planning leading to a lack of ingredients. I was aiming for this recipe (which I’ve heard is absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it once I’ve collected the ingredients), but ended up doing the following:

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

3-4 lb pastured pork roast

1 cup beef bone broth

1 jar salsa verde

4 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tsp oregano

For the cauliflower rice:

2 heads cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp dried cilantro

Salt

Butter lettuce or preferred lettuce for wraps

Directions

For the pulled pork:

1) Rub the roast with the garlic, cilantro, oregano, and salt.

2) Place the roast in crockpot with the beef bone broth, and then pour approximately 3/4 of the jar of salsa verde on top of the roast. (Reserve the rest of the salsa for topping off the wraps.)

3) Cook the pork in the crockpot on the low setting for 24 hours.

4) After 24 hours, remove the roast from the crockpot and shred it with two forks.

For the cauliflower rice:

4) Grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or pulse in food processor until it resembles grains of rice.

5) Heat the coconut coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat.

6) Add the cauliflower to the pan, with the dried cilantro and salt. Fry it on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until it begins to get slightly crisp on the outside. Remove from heat.

For the wraps:

7) Wash and dry lettuce leaves. I like using butter lettuce or even cabbage leaves for extra crunch.

8) Fill lettuce leaves with cauliflower rice, pulled pork, and a dab of salsa verde on top.

Enjoy!

There's no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious.

There’s no way to make these look appetizing but I promise they were delicious. Trust me.

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Baby Steps (When You Don’t Feel Ready for Whole30)

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In my field I hear a lot of people ask questions like:

What’s the number one thing I can do to improve my health? Going cold turkey on these foods and behaviours is too difficult, so what’s the first step?  Everything is so overwhelming. What are the basics? Where do I even begin?

It’s tempting to dive in to the 10 million little things I feel could change their lives, and I get so excited about it that I have to hold myself back from overwhelming them. Sometimes I do get clients who want to go cold turkey on their old life and dive right in to a life full of health and wellness. They see things in black and white and they make decisions this way – no moderation. But most often my clients choose the slow and steady path, beginning with the basics and slowly edging out their less healthy choices and replacing them with better ones. Although I strongly believe that a quick, short term cold turkey approach can be extremely effective and rewarding, I don’t believe in manipulation or forcing my clients to do something they don’t feel ready to do or aren’t comfortable with doing, so I’ve come up with some baby steps.

Here are five basic things you can focus on to begin improving your wellness. Tackle all five at once if you wish, or introduce one new concept each week, or each month. Listen to your body, find out what approach works best for you, and dive in.

1) Sleep

One of the most basic but life changing things you can do is sleep more, and sleep well. Everything is affected by how long, how well or how poorly you sleep: your metabolism, your weight, your ability to make decisions, your energy, your ability to focus, and so much more. As much as it is in your control, aim to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, with 8 hours of solid sleep in between. No screen time for an hour before bed. No caffeine after noon. Sleep in a completely dark room, with no digital clock or computer or light showing. To the young mothers and others who don’t have full control over your sleep habits: do the best you can with what you have. It won’t always be this way, I promise.

2) Less Sugar

Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. It also causes spikes and crashes in your energy levels, and contributes to almost every disease known to man. Sugar suppresses your immune system making it much more difficult to fight off a common cold or flu. Basically, sugar is trying to kill you. If you make only one change to your diet, cut out the sugar or cut back on it as much as you can. I advise cutting out sweeteners altogether but this is about baby steps, so try using more natural sweeteners like organic maple syrup, organic raw honey, or coconut sugar as a substitute. Be sure to read the labels on the food you buy and watch for any added sugar. You won’t believe the kind of foods they sneak it into.

3) Move Your Body

As often as you can, move your body. You don’t have to be a runner or Crossfitter. There are so many ways to move your body: swimming, walking, hiking, paddle boarding, yoga, rowing, skipping, weight lifting, kayaking, canoeing, playing sports, bootcamp, and many more.  Exercise should be enjoyable, not a form of torture, so find something that you enjoy and do it often. Outside is always best, but work with what you’ve got. Aim for at least 20 minutes per day of movement outside and you will feel an incredible increase in energy and mental alertness and you’ll sleep much deeper. The combo of fresh air and healthy movement wins every time.

4) Make Space for Veggies

It’s truly crazy how much bread the average North American consumes in a day. Bread, rice and pasta take up so much space on our plates. Rather than cutting out gluten altogether (baby steps), try replacing bread, pasta and rice with vegetables as often as possible. Try wrapping your hamburger in lettuce, try eating your sandwich fillings on a salad. Skip toast in the morning and have eggs instead. Have roasted yams with your chicken dinner instead of rice. It feels strange and unfamiliar at first, but after awhile you won’t miss it, and you’ll love the affect it will have on your waistline. You’re killing two birds with one stone: taking in more much needed nutrients from the vegetables and skipping out on the extra sugar and intestinal inflammation from the gluten. Watch your stomach bloating go down (you may not even have noticed it until it’s gone), and feel your energy level rise. (A little tip: roasting vegetables makes them taste so much better than eating them just raw or steamed plain. Basically any vegetable tastes fantastic tossed in coconut oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven. Even brussels sprouts.)

5) Hydrate

It’s pretty straight forward and you’ve heard it a million times: your body is made of water and needs water to function properly. Less wine, more water. Less coffee, more water. Less juice, more water. Less soda, more water. Find a water bottle that you really like and that you feel comfortable drinking out of (maybe you prefer a straw versus a wide mouthed bottle) and carry it around everywhere with you. Every time you have a craving or feel like wine, coffee, soda, or whatever else you’re wanting, stop and make yourself drink 8oz of water first, and then decide if you still want that other drink. Try squeezing some lemon in your water or fresh fruit. If you stay properly hydrated you will have more energy, less cravings, and increased mental awareness. Gulp, gulp, gulp!

Good luck with your baby steps, and as always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like me to coach you through these one on one!

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Shepherd’s Pie

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I think Shepherd’s Pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It reminds me of my childhood and especially church potlucks. The mashed potatoes were of course the best part, right?

I’ve tried a few paleo versions of Shepherd’s Pie and finally tweaked enough until I’ve got one that I’ll stick with. The main difference for me is in preparing the mashed cauliflower (faux mashed potatoes). Most recipes call for you to steam the cauliflower before mashing it, but I always find that this makes mine too runny and not close enough to the texture of real mashed potatoes. This time I tried roasting the cauliflower instead and the texture was perfect!

My little guy was shoving this into his mouth by the messy handful and Charley managed to swallow five bites, so I am definitely considering this a picky toddler approved recipe. (She did, however, refer to it as the Pie of Bravery, and suggested that maybe next time I should call Nana and ask for her recipe).

Ingredients:

-1-2 tbsp coconut oil

-2 lbs ground beef

-1 onion, diced

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-3 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)

-1 head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces

-3 tbsp tomato paste

-3 tsp coconut aminos

-2 tsp rosemary

-2 tsp thyme

-1.5 tsp paprika, divided

-1 cup beef broth

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads

Directions:

1) Heat a large pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.

2) Throw in your onions, garlic, carrots and broccoli and fry for approximately 5 mins or until they begin to soften.

3) Crumble your meat into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. (My pan isn’t very large, so I actually had to scoop out some of the vegetables to make enough space for the meat to cook evenly. Once the meat was cooked through, I add the vegetables back in).

4) While the meat is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop or slice your cauliflower (I slice the cauliflower into about 1 cm thickness so it will roast faster) and spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. For a little extra kick you could sprinkle with some minced garlic as well.  Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the cauliflower just begins to brown. Remove when roasted but leave the oven set at 400 degrees.

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5) Once the meat is cooked through and is no longer pink, add your beef broth, tomato paste, coconut aminos, rosemary, thyme and 1tsp of paprika. Taste and add salt if necessary.

6) Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer while some of the excess liquid dissolves and the flavours meld.

7) While the meat and vegetables are simmering, puree your roasted cauliflower in your food processor, Vitamix, or blender. I did not need to add any liquid to mine, but if it seems to dry then add some bone broth, water, or coconut milk, just a tablespoon at a time. I prefer it on the dry, fluffy side.

8) Remove your meat and vegetable mixture from the pan and press it into a 9×11 baking dish. Spread the mashed cauliflower on top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of paprika.

9) Bake it for about 25 minutes or until the top is nice and browned. Enjoy!

*This recipe is paleo and Whole30 approved.

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Chorizo and Yam Soup with Rosemary Sea Salt Biscuits

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My local butcher shop sells the most amazing chorizo sausage. I pick up a pack each week and try to find something new to do with it because it is just so delicious and packed full of flavour! Tonight I used it to top my pureed soup and give it a kick. Mission accomplished.

chorizosoupandbiscuits

Chorizo and Yam Soup (with Kale Chips)

(My husband and I polished this off in one sitting with no leftovers. Double it if you are feeding more than two very hungry adults.)

Ingredients:

1 pack of chorizo sausage (about 5 links)

1 leek, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

4 yams, peeled and chopped

1 apple, chopped

1.5 tsp of ground sage

2 cups of beef bone broth

1 bunch of kale, washed and roughly torn

1-2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 tbsp coconut oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine your chopped leek, pepper, garlic, yams, and apple in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the sage and a pinch of  sea salt and toss again.

3) Spread your mixture onto a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until yams are soft.

4) About 15 minutes before your roasting time is up, toss your kale pieces in some olive oil and spread on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and throw in the oven for 15 minutes while your vegetables finish roasting.

5) While your vegetables are roasting, melt your coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Remove the casing from your chorizo sausage and crumble the sausage into your pan.

6) Fry the sausage until it’s cooked through and then transfer it to a serving dish.

7) When your vegetables and kale are finished roasting, remove both pans from the oven. Let the kale chips cool and then transfer to a serving dish.

8) When the vegetables have cooled, transfer them to a blender, add the beef bone broth, and puree until smooth. Pour into a large soup pot and simmer on the stove for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, throw the roasted vegetables and bone broth into the soup pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

9) Once the soup has been simmering for 5-10 minutes, ladle it into your bowls and top with kale chips and chorizo sausage. Enjoy!

Rosemary Sea Salt Biscuits

(Note: These biscuits are NOT Whole30 approved. No biscuits are!)

Ingredients:

4 large eggs, whites and yolks divided

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp rosemary

4 tbsp cold grass fed butter

1 tsp raw honey (optional)

I really wanted to add some sharp raw cheese to these biscuits, but I don’t tolerate it well. If you are able to tolerate raw dairy, then I think it would be delicious in these biscuits.

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) Separate your egg whites and yolks into two bowls. Beat your egg whites until they are foamy and begin to form soft peaks.

3) Add your honey to the egg yolks and mix to combine well.

3) Fold your yolks and honey into your egg whites and mix softly until combined.

4) Combine all your dry ingredients into a bowl and then cut your butter into the dry mixture, using a fork or pastry cutter until it is crumbled.

5) Gently combine your egg and honey mixture with your dry ingredients until mixed well. Wait a few minutes for the coconut flour to absorb the excess liquid.

6) Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop your biscuits onto a lined baking sheet, leaving an inch in-between. Depending on the size of your scoop, the recipe should yield about 6-8 biscuits.

7) Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then slice and enjoy with grass fed butter on top.

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Chorizo Egg Muffins

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I’m always on the hunt for quick protein fixes, especially when I get home from the gym and want to fill my belly right away. In It Starts With Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, they advise to eat protein 15 minutes after a workout. I try really hard to make sure that happens and sometimes it’s difficult because I’m really not into shakes or fancy drinks. These egg muffins are perfect! You can pack them to take to the gym with you and eat cold, or pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds when you get home. There are all kinds of variations you could do with these: ground beef and salsa, bacon and veggies, ham and raw cheese, etc.

Ingredients:

-10 eggs

=3 chorizo sausage links

=1 tbsp coconut oil

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-half of a leek, diced

-1 small yam, diced

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.

3) Remove the casing from the chorizo sausage and crumble into the pan. Fry until cooked through.

4) Add your veggies to the sausage in the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, and then remove your sausage and veggies from the pan and let cool. (If you cook them too long they will become mushy when baking in the oven.)

5) Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them until well blended.

6) Add in your sausage and veggies and mix well.

7) Pour into a lined or well greased muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean and dry. This recipe yielded 15 muffins.