This recipe is inspired by a spaghetti squash dish I had in Salt Lake City when I attended the Young Living Conference in June of 2017. It was so good and filling that I knew that I needed to recreate my own version at home. Every time I make it, Jim raves about it!
Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs
I've included the sauce recipe that I use, BUT for a quicker version, my two favorite clean and tasty sauces are Rao's and Otamot. Feel free to substitute. This is a satisfying and hearty winter dish and I think will be a crowd pleaser.
Cut the top and bottom off of the spaghetti squashes. Then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squashes flesh side down in a rimmed pan (like a jellyroll pan) with about a 1/4 inch of water.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the skin.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, add the olive oil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices. Stir to combine.
Allow to come to a low simmer.
In a medium bowl, add the meat and spices. Mix together with your hands until spices are well distributed throughout the meat.
Form the meat into eight evenly-sized meat balls. Place meatballs in the sauce to cook.
When the spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, use a fork to loosen the flesh from the skin. Keep the flesh in the skin to allow for a "bowl" in which to serve the squash, sauce, and meatballs.
Cook meatballs in sauce turning over after about 25 minutes. Cook for about 20 additional minutes, or until meat is done in the center.
To serve, place one half of the spaghetti squash in a bowl. Top with meatballs, sauce, fresh parsley, and shaved parmesan.
This recipe is inspired by a pumpkin cookie recipe that I fell in love with years ago. I remember thinking, who needs pumpkin pie if you have these cookies. I know -very controversial, but I still stand by that statement today – 100%. In this recipe, I swap out white flour for “Paleo” flours, regular sugars for low-glycemic sugars/less processed sugars, and I use grass-fed butter.
Grain-Free Pumpkin Cookies
This recipe is inspired by a delectable gluten-full pumpkin cookie recipe. It took a lot of tweaks to make a delish grain-free version. I also include two "frosting" options – dairy and dairy-free.
1cupgrass-fed buttercoconut oil can be subbed for dairy free option
Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
cinnamon-sugar marshmallows regular marshmallows work well too
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (I use baking stones for cookie baking.)
Combine the first six ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add the butter and coconut sugar to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low-medium until well combined. Add the maple syrup and mix again. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Mix on low-medium until well combined.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredient mixture a little at a time. Scrape down the sides one more time and mix well.
Using a cookie scooper (I use the medium size from Pampered Chef ~ 2 Tbsp.), drop cookies onto a baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2" apart.
Bake for 20-24 minutes or until cookies test done when touched in the center.
Cool cookies and frost with one of the following:
Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
Add the cream cheese, butter, and ginger to mixing bowl and mix on high until light a fluffy.
Half a cup at a time, add the confectioners sugar and mix into the cream cheese and butter mixture. Add water to the mixture and mix until a proper spreading consistency.
Spread a generous layer of frosting on each cookie.
Cinnamon Sugar Marshmallow "Frosting"
Turn on oven to low broil.
Just before serving your pumpkin cookies, place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet (don't skip this – it gets messy). Top with one marshmallow per cookie.
Broil until marshmallow turn golden brown and begin to ooze marshmallow goodness.
Serve immediately. This is such an easy way to "frost" cookies and is my ABSOLUTE NEW FAVORITE frosting. Must try!
Keyword cookies, fall dessert, grain-free cookies, pumpkin, pumpkin cookies
There is just something about enchiladas. Maybe it’s the sauce, maybe it’s the melding of all the flavors, whatever it is, I simply love them. Since going paleo about nine years ago, enchiladas left the regular rotation in my diet, but with Siete’s products, enchiladas are BACK! If you want to know why we avoid grains, check out this post here. I hope you’ll try out the recipe and send me a picture or tag me on social media.
Paleo Chicken Enchiladas
Everyone needs a good enchilada recipe, especially if you've gone grain-free. This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser – even for those that aren't grain free.
2.5lbsboneless skinless chicken breastsbaked and shredded
1 ½cupriced cauliflowerfresh or frozen
1jarSiete Enchilada Sauce
1 tbspcooking fatbutter, ghee, etc.
Siete Traditional Hot Sauceoptional garnish
8ozCotija cheeseoptional garnish
2tbspcilantro, chiffonadeoptional garnish
2avocados, slicedoptional garnish
ground pepper to taste
Saute onions over medium-high heat in a large saute pan with 1 tbsp cooking fat. Once translucent, add in riced cauliflower, shredded chicken, and diced tomatoes.
Add in spices and saute for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld and the cauli rice to cook.
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
Pour the enchilada sauce into a container large enough to dip the tortillas in. Once the chicken mix is done cooking, dip a tortilla into the enchilada sauce on both sides.
Fill the tortilla with the chicken mix, roll up and place in a large rectangular glass baking dish. Continue filling up tortillas until you run out of filling or room in the dish.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top the enchiladas and break apart and sprinkle the cotija cheese on the enchiladas.
Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. Top with optional toppings: Siete traditional red hot sauce, cilantro, and avocado.
Shredding the Chicken
Handmixer: add cooked chicken to a large bowl and turn on the mixer at a low speed. This will shred the chicken – voila! Caution – hot chicken bits might fly about your kitchen.
Stand mixer: using the paddle attachment, add cooked chicken to the stand mixer and turn on low. Increase the speed only 1-2 levels. This will also shred the kitchen EASY PEASY. Caution – hot chicken bits might fly about your kitchen.
Last summer, on our way home from Miller’s Meyer’s Farmhouse, we stopped in Grant’s Pass for Brunch. I found Lulu’s for the Love of Food and I had their EPIC Kalua Pork Hash recipe. So naturally, on our way home this year, we stopped again and this time we both got the Kalua pork and we were delighted once again.
Copycat Kalua Pork Recipe
On our way home from Oregon we stopped in Grant’s Pass for Brunch. I found Lulu’s for the Love of Food and I had their EPIC Kalua Pork Hash recipe. I knew I had to recreate this recipe. It's listed as a brunch item but makes a great lunch or dinner.
Pat the pork shoulder dry and season with the 4 tbsps of sea salt. If using garlic cloves, make enough incisions into the meat to tuck in the garlic cloves.
Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker with the fat cap on top. Add the liquid smoke. Close the slow cooker and set for 16 hours on low. Once the pork is done use tongs or two forks to shred and set aside with SOME of the liquid from the slow cooker.
While the pork is finishing in the slow cooker put the yukon and sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven to roast at 350°F. Cook for about 50-60 minutes, until fully cooked. Use a spatula to stir the potatoes on the pan 1-2 times during cooking.
While the potatoes are finishing up, add some butter to an egg pan and fry up one egg for each serving.
In a bowl, layer potato hash, kalua pork, fried egg, and pickled onions.
Many folks are embracing a grain free lifestyle these days and it’s not just trendy. All plants, grains included, are programmed with species protective mechanisms so that animals and humans do not eat them into extinction. Animals also have species protective mechanisms like, running away, swimming away, and defending themselves and their young. Since plants can’t do that, they have a tiny amount of toxins in them. The more you eat of one type of plant, the more of that toxin that gets built up in your body. (Here’s another reason for eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and for following a seasonal model of eating.)
Further, the seeds of the plant (i.e. the plant’s baby) often have the highest concentration of the those toxins in order to protect the next generation of plants. When we eat grains, we are eating the seeds of the plant. Those toxins are called antinutrients. They are substances that “steal” nutrients from the body and irritate the gut, cause inflammation in the body, and cause nutrient deficiency. Some examples are: phytates, lectins, saponins, and oxalates.
deplete magnesium and zinc and inhibit their absorption
are found in unsoaked grains, legumes, and seeds
good gut flora helps to aid in mineral absorption and minimize the impact of phytates
are better tolerated when consumed with fermented foods and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) a type of fiber the body can’t digest and that feeds the good gut bacteria
deplete magnesium and zinc and inhibit their absorption
good gut flora help to aid in mineral absorption and minimize the impact of oxalates
are found in greens like spinach, beet greens, chard, purslane, and parsley
impact the bioavailability of zinc
contribute to kidney stones
are sugar binding substances that can lead to poor digestion
humans have trouble digesting them and thus can develop antibodies
can cause flatulence
can damage the gut (leaky gut)
are found in grains, legumes, dairy products
are phytochemicals that are found in food (plant glycosides)
break down the gut lining
produce a soap like residue and lather
are found in quinoa, root beer, beans, potato skins, peanuts, and soy
So how does one avoid antinutrients?
A grain-free lifestyle is one option. Eating less grains or eliminating them altogether is one option.
Opting for white rice instead of brown rice will lower the exposure to antinutrients. White rice has the bran and germ removed, which also removes the antinutrients, making it more digestible for many folks. While brown rice certainly has more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, those are of no use to you if you are having trouble digesting and absorbing them because of the antinutrients.
Soaking and sprouting your seeds, legumes, and grains is another great way to reduce the exposure to antinutrients and help to make the nutrients more bioavailable to the body (aka easy to absorb). Here is a great article on how to soak and sprout.
If you’re looking for a shortcut, there are a few brands that sell soaked and sprouted products:
Go Raw sells snacks make of soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds. They are also a small local company that uses real food ingredients and not much sugar!
truRoots sells a line of grain medleys that have been soaked and sprouted and are convenient and ready to use at home.
So, what are your thoughts on going grain-free and antinutrients? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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.
Hearty Turkey, Vegetable, & Lentil Soup
This recipe was created with liver health in mind to help my liver during chemotherapy. Whether or not you'd like a little extra support for your liver, I'm confident that this soup will be a crowd pleaser.
After reading Grain Brain, by Dr. David Perlmutter, when Brain Maker came out, I knew that I would have to read it too. At Paleo F(x) this year, Dr. Perlmutter was the keynote speaker, promptly reminding me that I needed to read his book.
As a nutrition consultant, gut health is one of my main passions, because as Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” A neurologist by trade, Dr. Perlmutter goes even further to discuss the links between an unhealthy gut and Autism, ADHD, allergies skin issues, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, inflammation, and many, many, more.
Out of the trillions of cells that are housed in your sack of skin that we call a body, 90% of them are bacteria. You read that correctly; you are 90% bacteria. Now don’t freak out. Without all of that bacteria, you literally wouldn’t be living. Dr. Perlmutter helps us to get acquainted with those bacteria and help us see just why we need all of those friendly little buggars. He then helps us to know what factors can throw our delicate ecosystem off balance. Some of those factors include: antibiotics, nsaid use, oral contraceptives, the chemical laden agri-business food system, among others.
Dr. Perlmutter gives action steps to help preserve and maintain a thriving colony of gut bacteria. The book is also equipped with recipes that include probiotics and help to maintain the gut colony. This book is highly recommend for those interested in improving their gut health or just like to nerd out on science and healthy living.
Sunflower butter or sunbutter is a great option for those that are allergic to nuts but can tolerate seeds. It has a great peanut-y flavor. As with all nuts and seeds, I recommend opting for organic because fat is where the toxins (herbicides) are stored. I also generally recommend raw nuts and seeds because roasting can damage the fragile fats and is often used to hide the rancidity of nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds have a season when they are fresh, just like all fruits and veggies. Choosing raw allows you to know that the nuts and seeds are still fresh. Although, raw and organic nut butters are CRAZY expensive (like $12-$25 for a fairly small jar). You can certainly make your own. Add the nuts or seeds to a food processor and turn it on. Once they become the right consistency, turn off and store in a jar (in the fridge to slow the oxidation process). Some people add salt, sugar, or oil to it. Feel free to experiment away!
Jennifer Tyler Lee, like many parents, was looking for a nut-free alternative for her children while at school. She suggests using it as you would peanut butter…ants on a log and apple slices dipped in sunbutter. She also suggests a no bake snack called Bitty Bites. I would obviously sub out the whole wheat flour for a grain-free option like cassava flour.
Good source of vitamins B1, B5, B6, and E, folate, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and protein.
Sunflower seeds contain phytochemicals, especially phytosterols, which can help to lower blood cholesterol.
They are a great source of monounsaturated fats (24 grams per 1/3 cup serving).
Sunflower seeds also contain arginine an essential amino acid that is important during periods of growth.
Contain heart healthy compounds.
Have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antiallergenic.
Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, is a neurologist. Most people probably think, “what does being a neurologist have to do with writing a book about diet?”. Well, just as we don’t live in a bubble, our bodies’ organs don’t exist in isolation. What we put in our bodies have an impact on how our organs function. Dr. Permutter reviews cutting edge science to demonstrate that diet does play a significant role in the health of our brain and our entire neurological system.
“Gluten is our generation’s tobacco.” This quote resonates with me because I have “heard it” all from well meaning family and friends as to why “everything in moderation” should be the mantra by which we live our lives. It also resonates with me because of the backlash the “gluten free” movement has gotten. Further, I can see so many parallels of doctors that once recommended cigarettes for “stress” and are now recommending “healthy whole grains” as a part of a “balanced diet”.
Through years and years of work with patients, Dr. Perlmutter has seen Alzheimer’s disease destroy many lives. He notes that chronic inflammation is at the root of the disease and that chronically high blood sugar is the main source of the inflammation. In Grain Brain, he calls Alzheimer’s disease Type III Diabetes for this reason.
In addition to his work with Alzheimer’s patients, he treats many patients with ADHD, Autism, MS, and more. Going grain free and refined sugar free is of great help to all of his patients.
This book is amazing and life changing. If you aren’t already gluten free, or if you are gluten free, Grain Brain restates the multitude of reasons why avoiding gluten is the way to go for a healthy body.