20-Minute Paleo Burrito Bowls with Broccoli Slaw. (GF)

A healthier take on popular burrito bowls using a super easy to make veggie base! 

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Okay, here’s the deal.
Most burrito bowls don’t have a lot of vegetables since the base is typically a generous serving of rice and beans.
To make these burrito bowls paleo/whole30 approved, I swapped them out!
And, I took a shortcut, which I don’t often do in the kitchen.
This simple swap makes this meal super convenient and easy, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Are you ready?

I used an onion, bell pepper, garlic, and…

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…bag of broccoli slaw!

The end result is 110% delicious and you won’t even miss your former rice and bean base. Plus, it’s so so so fast and easy since all you have to do is open the bag and start cooking! Why have I not thought of this sooner?! I have a feeling I may be using this shortcut for other meal ideas, too.

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The meat is really flavorful thanks to spices, a can of diced green chiles, and fresh cilantro. Spoon it over your veggie base and then add whatever toppings you’d like! My favorites? Salsa and guacamole. Yum!

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One last thing–my husband put the slaw and meat in tortillas to eat as tacos instead of as a bowl, and he was a huge fan. So, that’s another option for you or your family members!

20-Minute Paleo Burrito Bowls with Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw from the produce department
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, regular or smoked
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: salsa, guacamole, etc.

1). Pre-heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli slaw, onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Sautee for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2). Brown the ground beef in the skillet. Add diced tomatoes, green chiles, and spices. Stir to combine, adding a little water (I used about 1/3 cup) if necessary. Cook until most of the water has evaporated.

3). To assemble: layer the bowls with the sauteed vegetables on the bottom, then the meat sauce and toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 301 Carbs: 17g Fat: 15g Protein: 25g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 8g Points+: 8 Recipe adapted from here.

Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon. (GF/DF)

Put an Asian flare on your regular salmon dinner with this easy but flavorful Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon! 

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My husband and I both love salmon, and it is definitely my go-to for a quick weeknight meal. It bakes in just 20 minutes, and it’s so good for you!
Unfortunately, even as a cooking blogger, I’m totally guilty of living in a salmon rut.
It goes something like this: salmon + a sprinkle of creole seasoning. Baked in the oven.
BOOM.
Done.
Dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat.

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And honestly? It’s really good.
We love it.
And if you haven’t tried salmon like that, you should plan on it.
But, when I get a chance to catch my breath from our whirlwind daily schedules (summer please hurry!), I get inspired to experiment!

This honey sesame ginger salmon, though?
Amazing.
I’ve mentioned before how I usually steer clear from Asian-style dishes because I’ve had a few complete failures in the past, so I was a little bit hesitant to try this recipe.
One bite and my husband and I both looked at each other in disbelief. It’s that good.

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You do need to plan ahead and let the salmon marinade for about 30 minutes, but you can work on prepping your side dishes during that time. (Or throw in a load of laundry…watch a re-run of Friends…waste time on Pinterest. You know, whatever.)

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The rest of the recipe is pretty self-explanatory. A lot of the ingredients in the marinade also appear in the honey ginger glaze. You’ll add the glaze on top of the salmon after it finishes baking. You can see how the marinade caramelizes on the salmon, and the glaze just takes it up a notch!

One last note–there’s a teeeeeny bit of sriracha in the glaze, but overall this dish is not spicy! If you’re worried about it, feel free to omit that ingredient completely.

Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

For the honey ginger glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1). In a large bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Add the salmon and allow it to marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Turn the salmon occasionally.

2). Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add the salmon, along with the marinade, to the dish and bake for about 20 minutes.

3). While the salmon is baking, in a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Serve salmon immediately with the honey glaze.

Servings: 4. Approximate nutritional information per serving: Calories: 395 Carbs: 20g Fat: 24g Protein: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g Points+: 10 Recipe adapted from here

Stuffed Pepper Soup. (GF, DF, Paleo)

A deconstructed version of traditional stuffed bell peppers–all the flavors of the original dish, but in soup form!

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I think I speak for, oh, half of the country when I say: brrrrrrr.

Snow, ice, and sub-zero wind chills? Pretty sure I’m going to turn into a human popsicle.
What better way to warm up than with this cozy bowl of stuffed pepper soup?
I grew up eating stuffed bell peppers (a lot), and I really love them.
But, did you know you can take all of the ingredients and flavors of stuffed peppers, and put them in a soup?

I was a little hesitant the first time I made this because I was skeptical that this soup could actually taste like traditional stuffed peppers. Thankfully, it did, and I’ve made it many, many times since!

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In a way, the soup version is easier because you don’t have to actually stuff the peppers and bake them. Just let the soup do it’s thing, boil some rice seperately (if you want it), and it’s ready to go!

A note on the rice: traditional peppers have rice in them. Add it if you’d like, or don’t! If you are trying to keep it paleo-friendly, you’ll want to skip the rice.

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Growing up, we always topped our stuffed peppers with sour cream, so you can do that if you’d like. Again, for dairy-free/paleo, skip the topping.

Make a big pot of this soup tonight and stay warm!!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef (or turkey, if you’d prefer)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: cooked rice

1). Heat a large pot to medium-high heat. Brown the ground meat until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened.

2). Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram, and more salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

3). Serve in bowls, over rice, if desired. Top with sour cream if you’d like!

Servings: 6. Serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 261 Fat: 5g Carbs: 37.5g Fiber: 5g Protein: 17.6g Sugar: 6g Points+: 7 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu. (GF, DF, Paleo)

The most flavorful ragu ever! Perfect for a weeknight meal, and a great way to sneak in some veggies!

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I had NO idea how amazing this meal was going to be when I made it.
So. Much. Flavor!!
My husband proclaimed it one of his favorite meals ever. So simple, but seriously amazing.

You know it’s a winner when you genuinely look forward to the leftovers, and this sauce reheats beautifully–it’s almost better the second day! You can serve it over pasta, gluten-free pasta, or spaghetti squash (my favorite!).

Speaking of which, click here to learn how to cook spaghetti squash!

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Okay, so what makes this sauce so wonderful?

  • From start to finish, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Always a win, especially on busy weeknights. Thanks, food processor, for making this so quick and easy!
  • Everyone loves spaghetti and meat sauce, right? Right. Gotta love dishes that will appeal to your entire family.
  • The ingredients are simple. Humble, even. But, when they come together, they create a rich, cozy sauce. The key is using high quality beef (grass-fed), and marinara sauce.
  • The “shortcut” in this shortcut ragu is the marinara sauce. It’s (gasp) store-bought. Normally I’m all about making everything from scratch, but sometimessssss life gets crazy and you need a quick meal. Find a high-quality marinara sauce and it will make this meat sauce taste like it has been simmering all day.
  • My favorite –> Hidden veggies! In order to sneak some vegetables into the sauce, I threw them in the food processor first until they were chopped up teeny tiny. My husband hates mushrooms but didn’t even know he was eating them!

Hooray for adding nutrition and making a meal go further in a healthy, cost-effective way! I love it.

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Quick tip: double this recipe and freeze it!

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (I used a handful of baby carrots!)
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4oz sliced mushrooms
  • 24 oz high quality tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • cooked pasta (regular or GF), or spaghetti squash
  • salt and pepper

1). Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the ground beef. While it is beginning to brown, add the onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

2). Add the carrot, celery, and mushrooms to the food processor. Pulse until minced. Add to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.

3). When the ground beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, add the marinara sauce and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Reduce heat slightly and place a lid partially on top of the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4). Stir in fresh basil. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.

Servings of sauce: about 6. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 203 Carbs: 16g Fat: 7g Protein: 18g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from here

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. (GF, DF)

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that are gluten-free and are sweetened naturally instead of with refined sugar! All the ooey-gooey goodness of traditional chocolate chip cookies, but a little bit healthier.

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Valentine’s day is Saturday! Got any plans to make a sweet treat for your loved ones?

My all-time favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies. So, you can imagine my frustration when I found out about my wheat allergy over the summer and realized I would no longer be able to enjoy my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe. I had to find a replacement. Stat.

This recipe is an excellent alternative to my aforementioned traditional wheat-filled chocolate chip cookie recipe. The first time I made it, I was seriously skeptical. I mean, look at the ingredients! Can almond flour really work here? Can honey bind it all without even using an egg?

The answer: yes.

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These cookies are super chewy, which is exactly the way I love them.
And they’re soft.
Really soft. In fact, don’t even think about attempting to eat one as soon as you take the pan out of the oven because they will appear underbaked. This worried me at first, but sure enough, after they cooled for a while they firmed up and could be held just fine. (By the way, underbaking is one of the tricks for making my original chocolate chip cookies amazing, and it works here too!)

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Obviously if you’re making cookies you realize there’s going to be some serious sugar-intake happening, but I do appreciate that these cookies use honey instead of refined sugar. Honey is still a form of sugar, but if you buy good quality, raw, local honey, you are at least also getting some nutrients from the sweetener. The flavor of the honey does come through a little bit, but I love honey so that did not bother me at all. If you don’t like honey (is that possible?), then these might not be the cookies for you!

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A note on the almond flour–I used Trader Joe’s almond meal/flour. I am not sure how well any other brand would work. Almond flour can vary greatly depending on what brand you purchase, so just be aware!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (use enjoy life for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (coconut oil for dairy free)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with silpat liner or parchment paper.

2). In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together until well-incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips.

3). Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep 2-3 inches of space between cookies. Gently press down on the cookie dough to flatten each cookie slightly.

4). Bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on your oven. The cookie should be slightly golden on the bottom and will appear underbaked, but they will finish baking as they cool.

5). Important: cool for 10-15 minutes on the cookie sheet before enjoying! You absolutely must let them cool or else they will be too soft to handle. Enjoy!

Yield: about 19 cookies. Approximate Nutritional Information per cookie: Calories: 135 Carbs: 11g Fat: 10g Fiber: 1g Protein: 2g Sugar: 9g Points+: 4. Recipe originally from here.

Easy Paleo Almond Chicken Tenders. (GF)

These chicken tenders are coated in almond meal and baked for a healthy take on traditional chicken fingers!

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Ever want a no-fuss dinner that you know everyone will love?
All the time, right?
Add this one to your weekly rotation.
Oh yes, I said weekly.
If you know me well, you know I RARELY cook anything twice, but I’ve already made this dish numerous times because it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

I mean, everyone loves chicken tenders, right?
Exactly.

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Thankfully, these are much more heart-healthy than what you’d order in a restaurant or buy at the store because they’re breaded in almond meal instead of flour, and they’re baked, not fried.

Let’s be honest, usually when something is baked, that’s code for “not-as-good-as-fried”, but this chicken turns out perfectly cooked and amazing. Plus, it’s so much easier than frying since you just stick the whole pan in the oven at once and you’re done!

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Before baking, I dipped the chicken in a beaten egg and then in a spicy almond meal mixture. A lot of fun spices come together here like cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. There’s a bit of heat from the pepper but it’s not overpowering.

I used Trader Joe’s almond meal for the breading. Depending on what brand you use, you may have different results. 1 cup of almond meal is perfect for 2 pounds of chicken. Your chicken should be perfectly cooked in about 25 minutes, making this a great weeknight meal option your whole family (even picky eaters) will love!

Easy Paleo Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/2 tsp if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • cooking spray

1). Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a pan with foil for easy clean-up if desired, and spray with cooking spray.

2). Cut the chicken breasts into long strips about 1-2″ wide.

3). In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly.

4). In a larger bowl, combine the almond meal with all of the spices.

5). Dip each piece of chicken in the egg, letting the excess run off. Then dip into the almond meal mixture, coating well. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with leftover chicken. Tip: don’t overcrowd the pan! For crispy chicken tenders, there has to be space between them for the air to circulate. 

6). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Enjoy!

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 214 Carbs: 4g Fat: 11g Protein: 28g Fiber: 2g Points+: 6 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

 

 

Gluten-Free Oat Waffles.

Easy, light and fluffy waffles made with oat flour that the whole family will love!

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Happy Saturday!

Tell me: waffles or pancakes?

It seems like everyone has a preference.

Personally? A few years ago I would have said pancakes > waffles. I’m really not sure why, other than the fact we didn’t have a waffle maker growing up and my mom would make pancakes for a special breakfast. In fact, the only thing I wanted when I got home from months of studying abroad in college was pancakes!

Then I got married. My husband LOVES waffles. A very good friend of ours generously gave us a waffle maker over the summer, and waffles have been requested occasionally ever since. Usually I make him traditional waffles, but I was curious to try this gluten-free version a few months ago and it has never let me down! Now? Pancakes = waffles.

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I love that this recipe is so simple. No crazy combination of flours here, just one: oat flour. You can make your own, which is what I did since I already had oats in the pantry, or you can purchase some. If you have oats and a food processor/blender, it’s super easy to make your own–just blend away!

An important note: make sure to account for the 10 minute of batter-resting time. I almost forgot this step once, but thankfully I realized it before I started pouring the batter in the waffle maker! It’s absolutely crucial to let the batter rest so the oat flour absorbs excess moisture.

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Have fun with the toppings! You can’t go wrong with classic maple syrup (just be sure to get a high quality syrup if you go that route!), but I also love waffles with a small dollop of raspberry or strawberry preserves. My husband’s favorite is a spoonful of my crock pot apple butter, which adds a nice punch of warm spices. Then there’s always the savory route…chicken and waffles, anyone?

So, what are you waiting for? Go make a special breakfast for your family this weekend!

Gluten-Free Oat Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (if making your own, you’ll need about 2 cups of oats blended together to yield 1 1/2 cups of oat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons room-temperature maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1). In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

2). In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted coconut oil/butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

3). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to allow the oat flour to absorb excess moisture. Start preheating the waffle iron at this point.

4). Mix the batter once more then add it to the hot waffle iron. Once golden and cooked through, remove from the waffle iron then repeat with more batter. You can keep them in a 200F oven to keep them warm, if you’d wish, and they should also freeze beautifully. Enjoy!

Recipe yields about 5 square waffles (as pictured above). Serving size: 1 waffle. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 210 Carbs: 15g Fat: 15g Protein: 6g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 6g Points+: 6. Recipe originally from Cookie and Kate.