Hearty Turkey, Vegetable, and Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup with Turkey & Veggies

This soup was created with liver health in mind. Midway through my chemotherapy treatment for Breast Cancer, my liver enzymes were too elevated to continue treatment. We had to postpone treatment for at least one week to make sure that my liver was healthy enough to process the chemotherapy. At that time I was in school to become a Nutrition Consultant and I knew there were things that I could do to “Love my Liver”, so I went home and made some BIG changes to my diet for that week and well, IT WORKED! I went back the next week and my enzyme levels were low enough to continue with chemotherapy. Here is one of the recipes that I made for the “Love my Liver” week.

 

Recipe:

1 1/2 C green lentils (soaked overnight)

1 jar diced tomatoes

24 oz. homemade bone broth (chicken or turkey)

2 T butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

4 small summer squash, sliced

3 small bell peppers, diced

6 carrots, sliced

6 stalks of kale, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. ground turkey

Herbs:

Bay leaf, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano

Sea salt & Pepper

Rinse lentils and let soak overnight. Next day: in a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils, and veggies. Add ground turkey. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue simmering for 30-45 min.

Enjoy!

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Green Onions

Green onions probably aren’t anything new for many of us, but they are an essential ingredient in all types of cuisine. I don’t mind onions raw, I love them cooked, and I ADORE them caramelized. I realize that not everyone feels this way about onions, especially children. Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests including them in omelets or even making savory green onion pancakes. I like the idea of using them to make savory pancakes, but choosing a grain free flour for the pancakes, rather than whole wheat flour. (You probably know my stance on wheat, but if not, check out this post.)

Food Facts:

  • Onions are members of the allium family, like garlic and leeks.
  • Smaller onions have less water and a greater concentration of phytonutrients.
  • The sweeter the onion, the less phytonutrient activity.
  • The Western Yellow variety of onion has the most antioxidants
  • The papery skin layer of the onion has the most concentration of bionutrients. And while we don’t eat that part of the onion, it should be saved and added to homemade broth.
  • Onions are a rich source of the antioxidant quercetin. This phytonutrient is vital to support digestion and gut issues.
  • The antioxidant values in onions have been shown to prevent cancer
  • Onions have also been shown to fight against cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
  • Good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese.
  • Onions have been also been shown to support the respiratory system and fight coughs and congestion.
  • The sulfur in onions (and all alliums) is great for liver detoxification.
  • A good source of prebiotic fiber (this feeds your gut bacteria and helps to keep the colony thriving).

From: The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard, and Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson.

Photo Credit: Luv Kreativ Photography https://www.instagram.com/luvkreativ/?hl=en

 

Mexican Style Coleslaw

Mexican Style Coleslaw [GF, Paleo, Primal, Vegetarian]

Weekly shopping trips to the farmer’s market are my inspiration for the week’s menu. Some people plan their meals around what’s on their shopping list, but I go to the farmer’s market to see what produce is in season and let that guide my weekly meal planning. Then I head to grocery store to pick up whatever else I need for the week’s meals. I realize this may seem backwards to many, but eating seasonally is my thing, so you’re probably not too surprised! 😉

This past week, there were the cutest little heads of cabbage for one dollar each. I decided coleslaw would make a great accompaniment to the Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs from The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally.

I always make my own paleo mayonnaise, but I remembered that I recently got a free jar of Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Avocado Mayo from Thrive Market. I was feeling a bit lazy and not wanting to make my own mayo, especially when I had a perfectly good paleo mayo on hand. I decided I would “make it work”.  Then I had a lightbulb moment: what if I made a coleslaw that had a Mexican flare to it? And thus Mexican style coleslaw was born. This coleslaw was much, much better than simply “making it work”. I have made this huge batch of coleslaw 3 times in the span of one week. My husband looks at me with a big goofy grin when he eats it, because it is just that good. It was also a HUGE hit at our Father’s Day picnic at the winery. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Recipe:
1 small head of purple cabbage, sliced

1 small head of green cabbage, sliced

6 stalks of celery, grated

6 medium carrots, grated

1 small jicama, grated

1 medium yellow onion, grated

1 cup Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup raw local honey

1 t cumin

1 t chili powder

1 t cayenne pepper

2 t garlic sea salt

1 lemon, juiced

freshly cracked pepper

the zest of one lemon

minced chives, for garnish

Directions:

  1. I prefer using a food processor to grate and slice my veggies. It makes making a big batch of coleslaw that much easier. But feel free to slice and grate your veggies however you like. 🙂
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the veggie ingredients. (Reserve the chives and lemon zest.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk mayo, vinegar, mustard, honey, and herbs and spices. Add the lemon zest.
  4. Stir the dressing onto the coleslaw and top with chives.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!

Serves 12-16

Hugs & Health <3,

Katie

Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Turkey and Vegetable Chili [Paleo, 21DSD, Primal, GF]

Turkey Chili

Recipe:                                                                     Spice Blend:

24 oz. chicken bone broth                                1 t cayenne pepper

1 jar diced tomatoes                                           1 T coriander

1 can kidney beans                                             1 T chili powder

1 can pinto beans                                                1 t cumin

1 medium onion, diced                                      sea salt and pepper

4 medium carrots, diced    turkey chili

4 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 T butter, grass-fed, organic

1 lb. organic ground turkey

2 T chives, minced

sour cream, full-fat, organic, grass-fed (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter until translucent.
  2. Add bone broth, tomatoes, beans, veggies, spices, and ground turkey. (Omit beans for Paleo, Primal, and levels 2 and 3 of the 21DSD.)
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue on a low simmer for 45 min.
  4. Serve immediately. Top with sour cream and chives. (Omit sour cream for level 3 of the 21DSD).  Enjoy!

Tomatoes are rich sources of vitamins C & K, carotenes (especially lycopene), biotin and fiber. They are protective against cancer and should be eaten with an oil to improve absorption.

Celery is helpful in preventing cancer, improves white blood cell activity, and helps to lower blood pressure. It is rich in potassium and sodium. It helps the liver to detoxify as well.

Onions are a member of the allium (lily) family and are related to garlic & leeks. Alliums are known to have a cholesterol reducing effect and are known for their ability to help fight off cold and flu viruses. Onions are rich in antioxidants and biotin, manganese, copper, phosphorous, potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C, and fiber.

In Season, in March

Happy March!

March is one of my favorite months because SPRING officially begins and because my birthday is in March. 🙂 As for what’s in season in Northern California in March, I wish there were fruits that were in season besides citrus fruits, but since there aren’t, I’m enjoying the citrus. March is officially asparagus season in most of North America. After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life I decided that I would only be eating asparagus during the late winter and early spring. 

It’s what I’m most excited for this month! Bring on the stinky pee!! What seasonal produce are you going to enjoy in March?

Hugs and Health <3,

Katie

 

In Season, in February

It’s February!! <3 <3 <3 For me, the first day of February means January is over. Woot! I’m not a fan of January. 1.) It’s winter. 2.) It’s cold. 3.) It’s dark really early. 4.) It’s winter. 🙂

With the start of February in Northern California, comes cherry blossoms. I also love seeing trees, plants, and bushes in my garden with little flower buds. Just this morning, I saw blossoms on my blueberry bushes! This fills me with happiness because homegrown blueberries = happiness in my world. 

Well, even though blueberries aren’t on the list, here is what is in season in February. What seasonal produce are you looking forward to? I’m enjoying mandarins and arugula.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

 

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole [21DSD, Paleo, Primal, GF]

While visiting my Aunt Regina and Uncle John in Austin for our trip to South by Southwest in 2010, she made us a delicious breakfast casserole. Ever since then I’ve played with the recipe and made it my own.

First, I added MORE veggies to the original recipe, because, well, VEGGIES. Next, I began omitting the potatoes when we went Paleo. I’ve made it with several different meat options; just bacon, bacon and sausage, just sausage, or some leftover ham during the holidays. My latest version has no cheese since I’m avoiding most dairy. No matter which version you make, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. This is my current go-to version.

This is the perfect recipe for Sunday brunch, Christmas breakfast (our tradition), or to make ahead for quick-and-easy breakfasts for the week. While on The 21-Day Sugar Detox, this has been a great option for my husband and I. Let me know what you think!

Recipe:
1 dozen pasture-raised eggs

8 slices of pasture-raised bacon, cooked and chopped

1 can of diced green chilies

2 bell peppers, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 t sea salt

1/2 t ground pepper

1/2 t granulated garlic

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 T grass-fed butter

1 t coconut oil

Optional (any or all):

1 C grated cheddar cheese

1 large russet potato, grated

1/2 lb ground pork sausage

1 C ham

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan with coconut oil.
  3. Sauté the bell peppers and onions in a skillet with the butter.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble. Season with sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  5. In the baking dish, layer the bell peppers, onions, chili peppers, bacon, and eggs.
  6. Optional: If using the optional items, layer the potatoes first and the cheese on top. Cook the pork sausage and include it in the egg mixture. If using the ham include it in the egg mixture. Feel free to include whatever meat you have on hand or you prefer.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until firm in the middle. Cool for 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fat; often considered a “perfect food”. They are a good source of vitamins B12, B6, and D, riboflavin, choline, phosphorous, selenium, folic acid, pantothenic acid, iron, and omega-3s. It is important to choose pasture-raised, organic eggs because they are rich in the above nutrients, while factory-farmed eggs generally are not.

Green Bell Peppers are one of the most nutrient dense foods and are a great source of fiber. They are rich in vitamins C, K, B6, thiamin, folic acid, and also beta-carotene. They are great sources of phytonutrients. Green bell peppers help prevent against cataracts, prevent blood clots, which reduces risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College Press.

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

In Season, in January

Yikes! It’s already January 14th! Better late than not at all. Here is the list of what’s in season [especially in Northern California] in January. 

I’m still enjoying all the cruciferous veggies and the citrus fruits! What seasonal foods do you enjoy in January?

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is something that I could eat nearly everyday during the winter months. Hearty, filling, healthy, and delicious. I found a recipe for it about 5 years ago, and since then, I’ve tweaked it to make it my own. I found the act of peeling the butternut squash simply ridiculous. It is insanely hard to peel a raw butternut squash. Then, while in Miami, a friend ordered some butternut squash at a restaurant and it arrived roasted with the skin on. MIND BLOWN. I decided then to stop peeling the squash for these three reasons. 1) It’s way too hard, 2) I’m going to puree the soup with an immersion blender anyways, and 3) the skin is where the nutrients are! So here is my favorite recipe for butternut squash soup. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup [21DSD, Paleo, Vegetarian, Primal]

Recipe:

1 large butternut squash, seeded and chopped

6 ribs of celery, chopped

6 carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 cups water

2 T butter

2 cups bone broth (or veggie broth)

1 T cumin

1 T coriander

1 T turmeric

1 T paprika

1 T garlic salt

1 t  pepper

2 T coconut sugar (optional)

2 lemons, juiced

Optional: Raw sour cream (or raw plain yogurt), for serving

Optional: Cilantro, for serving

Directions:

    1. Place a vegetable steamer in a large stock pot. Add water, butter, and butternut squash. Steam the butternut squash until pierced easily with a knife.

    1. Once steamed, place squash in stock pot (leave water in pot). Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. 

    1. Add cumin and the next six ingredients. Keep at simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

  1. Use an immersion blender to purée soup (regular blender or food processor will also work).  Add lemon juice. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and garnish with cilantro. Makes about 8 servings. 

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Carrots are good sources of vitamins A, C, B6 & K, biotin, potassium, thiamine, and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants and good source of starchy carbohydrates.

Butternut Squash is a good source of antioxidant carotenoids, vitamins C, B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. It is also a good source of potassium, manganese, and fiber. Dark-fleshed winter squash is shown to be protective against cancer, especially lung cancer, heart disease, and and type II diabetes.

Sources:

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Foods
New York, NY: Atria Books.

 Reinhard, T (2014). Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet
Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. 

Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps [Paleo, Primal, GF]

Ever since going paleo a few years ago, we’ve been trying to expand our repertoire of recipes. A colleague suggested lettuce wraps and boom this recipe was born. It’s been tweaked over the years, but here it is in its latest form.

Recipe:

1 lb. ground turkey (I prefer the higher fat content over the lean version)

5 medium carrots, tops trimmed

4 stalks of celery, tops and ends trimmed

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

10-12 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed

2 T Rendered Duck Fat or Ghee

2 T Coconut Aminos or Gluten Free Tamari (if you can have soy)

2 T Coconut Vinegar or rice vinegar (if you can have rice, I prefer this one)

1 T fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T sesame seeds

1 T sesame oil

Directions:

1.) Melt the duck fat or ghee in a skillet over medium heat. 2.) Brown the ground turkey. 3.) While the turkey is browning in the pan, grate the onion, celery, and carrots in a food processor, using the grater blade. 4.) Once turkey is nearly all browned, add the coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and oil. Mix to combine. 5.) Add the grated vegetables and bring to a simmer until veggies are cooked. 6.) Place ground turkey mixture on the romaine lettuce leaves and enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Quercetin plays a large role in healing the gut.

Carrots are good sources of vitamins A, C, B6 & K, biotin, potassium, thiamine (B1), and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants and good source of starchy carbohydrates.

Turkey is rich in glutamine, which is an important amino acid for healing the small intestines of those with leaky gut. It is also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, protein, niacin, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Ginger has long been used for gastrointestinal problems, making this an ideal food for those with leaky gut and other GI troubles. It relaxes and soothes the intestines and promotes the elimination of gas. It is also anti-inflammatory. Always choose fresh over dried, as it has higher levels of ginger’s active protease.

Nutrition Facts for one serving (this recipe yields about 4 servings)

asianstyleturkeylettucewrapslabel

Sources:

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Reinhard, T. (2014). Super Foods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books.

Robinson, J. (2013). Eating On the Wild Side. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.