We just celebrated Easter and my family thought this Greek Salad Pita Dip was a HUGE hit! It was super easy to put together, had amazing flavor and was perfect for a beautiful spring celebration. The only problem, I should have made two!!
I chose to use gluten free pita chips for this recipe but you could really use any type of chip you like. I would love to try a soft pita. If you try that, you would have to take more care to assemble the dish like you would a pizza, rather than tossing together.
If you're looking for a low carb option, the topping itself would make a scrumptious salad all on it's own. Toss it together with my Greek Salad Dressing and you'll have a delicious salad. Add some grilled chicken or other protein and you've got yourself a clean, filling meal.
I hope you love it as much as my family did! Enjoy!
I've been drinking my coffee black ever since I went paleo. It's something I never thought I'd be able to do, but now I've come to love it.
In the paleo community, a lot of people rave about bullet-proof coffee. Call me crazy but the thought of adding butter to my coffee makes me want to...not drink the coffee. Whoa, that's crazy talk...not drink the coffee!!
Then I came across a recipe for coffee with coconut oil! Well, now you're talking. I've been cooking with coconut oil forever. It adds a very mild flavor to foods that most people can't even taste.
Coconut oil has some amazing health benefits, too. It contains medium chain triglyceride (MCTs). Most of the fat in a typical American diet is from long chain triglycerides (LCTs).
The advantages of a shorter chain:
As you can see, finding ways to increase your consumption of coconut oil is incredibly beneficial not only to your health but also your weight.
I suggest using unprocessed or virgin coconut oil. If you are new to using coconut oil, it is solid at room temperature until your room gets above 75 degrees or so. So the summer months are much easier to use the oil. When you need a liquid consistency, such as in recipes, heat the amount you need in a pot first, then add it to your other ingredients.
Coconut Oil Uses:
Now I'll show you how to add it to your coffee.
Creamy Coconut Oil Coffee:
Enjoy your frothy goodness!
1) Baba, N., Bracco, E.F., Seylar, J., Hashim, S.A. Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diets containing medium chain triglycerides. J Am Soc Clin Nutrition, 1981, 34: 624.
2) Kaunitz, H., Slanetz, C.A., Johnson, R.E., Babayan, V.K., Garsky, G. Nutritional properties of the triglycerides of medium chain-length. J Am Oil Chem Soc, 1958, 35: 10-13.
3) Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. doi: 10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6. Epub 2009 May13.
4) Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1996 May;20(5):435-44.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Every day I find lots of things in my life to be thankful for, but a whole day centered around gratitude...that's awesome! Plus, we get to have a yummy dinner with all of our family.
Now, that yummy dinner does not have to disrupt your health or weight goals. I know most of the traditional Thanksgiving meals can be loaded with excess food and overdone portions, but yours doesn't have to! Let's look at some ways you can enjoy this holiday without the food coma and next day bloating.
The Turkey: This is the easy part. Whether you like to butter your turkey or go with olive oil and balsamic does not matter. Go with your favorite recipe and enjoy! Personally, my family and I are going with spatchcocking this year. I'm always up for something new!
Stuffing: If going and staying paleo is important to you, or if you truly have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten, there are plenty of options for stuffing.
Try these recipes for a delicious treat:
If you really miss traditional stuffing and you don't have any reactions to wheat (other than bloating, cravings and weight gain!) you may want to give yourself a day to enjoy a traditional recipe. One important note: only do this if you trust yourself to go back to your healthy eating plan. I don't want to tell anyone that they can NEVER enjoy their favorite foods ever again if the only reason they gave it up has to do with weight. I'm not an extremist! I even think that sometimes it's good to remember just how awful you felt eating that food to reinforce the need to keep it out.
Vegetables: There are so many options here. The more veggies you put on your plate, the less room you have for less healthy option. Roast them, steam them, add your favorite spices. Just keep the bread crumbs and marshmallows off of them! The veggies that are always on my table on Thanksgiving are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potatoes, green beans and for Mom, turnips!
Here are some delicious recipes to try:
Cornbread: I love cornbread and so does the rest of my family. The issue is, of course, that it's unhealthy and loaded with sugar and wheat. Because of all that sugar and wheat our bodies don't get the signal that we've had enough. Before you know it, two, three, four pieces are gone and you have no idea how that happened!
There's no need for all of that. There are plenty of alternatives that will satisfy your cravings AND keep you healthy.
You will notice that these recipes do not contain any corn. Corn is a grain which is the seed of a plant in the grass family. The seed's job is that of reproduction of the plant. It does no exist for our consumption. The most abundant energy contained in that seed is carbohydrate. High carbohydrate leads to an increase in insulin. We want to keep blood sugar stable to prevent all kinds of problems including weight gain, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Also, up to 88% of corn grown in the US is genetically engineered (GMO).
Desserts: This is my favorite part! I don't need to tell you why this part of the meal can go horribly wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a treat every now and again. However, if you can do something better, you should! If your favorite part of Thanksgiving is your mom's good old fashion pumpkin pie, I would never ask you to not have a slice, unless you are truly sensitive to one of the ingredients. You can, however, make a healthier version of most desserts.
Here are a few of my favorites.
What's most important is that we remember exactly what this holiday is all about. I know most of us think it's all about the food, but it's not. It's all about gratitude. Finding things in your life to be grateful for is exceptionally important in anyone's healing process. Take this day to enjoy your friends and family, contemplate just how thankful you are and enjoy this holiday!
Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
What would Thanksgiving be without mashed potatoes and gravy? Well, it would be a paleo Thanksgiving! Although there are now some people in the paleo community that say white potatoes are fine to eat, they still pack a lot of carbs into that skin. Carbs that could be better spent elsewhere, like dessert!!
This recipe is so good you will never miss those spuds. Plus, think about all the nutrients you get from cauliflower. For each 100 grams of cauliflower vs. potato you will save 52 calories and 12 grams of carbs. Cauliflower also packs more vitamin C and calcium.
Top your mashed cauliflower with real, organic butter (or ghee if you are sensitive to dairy) or try the paleo gravy recipe. Either way, it's yummy and nutritious!
2 heads cauliflower
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsps. sea salt
1 quart organic chicken stock
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbs. thyme, chopped
Pan drippings (from a roasted turkey or chicken)
Directions for Mock Mashed Potatoes:
• Wash cauliflower, cut into large pieces, and steam until tender.
• Puree in a blender or food processor; add in olive oil and salt.
• Reheat in a casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 min.
Directions for Paleo Gravy:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat chicken stock, coarsely chopped onions, and garlic to a boil.
2. Reduce heat; simmer until onions and garlic are soft (30 min).
3. Pour pan drippings into saucepan.
4. Blend stock-onion-drippings mixture in a blender until smooth.
5. Place mixture back in saucepan and reheat, then season with sea salt and thyme.
6. Serve over mock mashed potatoes and enjoy!
When I was first introduced to the paleo lifestyle, it quickly became obvious how important bone broth was. Everyone talked about it and touted it's magical powers! As a recovering vegetarian I wasn't so sure about it. The thought of simmering animal bones kind of freaked me out.
As I researched it and found recipes I had to laugh to myself. My mother has been doing this forever! She always saved the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving and made broth from it. I used to roll my eyes at her thinking how strange that was, all the while not realizing the incredible health benefits she was giving her family.
She told me that her family has been doing this for generations, and now I'm continuing the tradition.
Every time I make something from scratch that I'm used to purchasing at a store, I'm blown away by how much better it tastes. There is something about fresh food made with love that store bought food just can't compete with. Add the incredible health benefits of no preservatives, chemicals or additives and you've got perfection in a bowl! I know exactly what is in my broth, and that's priceless! No natural flavor mystery here!
So why bone broth? Let's take a look at the health benefits:
Needless to say, consuming bone broth on a regular basis is exceptionally good for your overall health. Here's a very delicious recipe adapted from Againstallgrain.com.
Some important points to remember:
I am all about batch cooking. I do not have time to cook every day, nor do I care to! Twice a week I cook up a bunch of veggies that will last me for days. I'll use them for my breakfast and dinner all week long. (Lunch is always raw veggies.)
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to roast them. You can do a whole bunch at once so it's a better use of your time. Plus, they taste scrumptious!
The best vegetables to roast are, well...any veggies! Broccoli, cauliflower, squash, Brussels sprouts; they're all so yummy roasted. Each time you make these, change up the veggies and spices for a totally new dish.
I have to say, I do love my coffee. For years I drank it light and sweet. Heaven forbid! Now there are days where I drink it black or with a touch of stevia. I guess I'm starting to appreciate the taste of coffee as I age!
I still remember the time that I opened the refrigerator as a kid and saw what looked like a glass of soda. That was a rarity in my house so I seized the opportunity and took a sip. Wow, was I shocked when I tasted my mom's very strong, black coffee! I vowed never to drink the stuff again. Of course that all went out the window in high school! The addiction quickly took hold.
I've given it up plenty of times since then. Every time I go on a cleanse I like to take a break from it. Eventually, it works it's way back into my life. I'm not an everything in moderation kind of person, but in this case, I'm good with 1-2 cups per day.
When I switched to a Keurig, I started to like coffee even more. It just tastes better. Between the cost and waste there was no way I was using the disposable k-cups though. The best part about using the reusable k-cups is you can add flavors to the grinds like cinnamon or cocoa powder. Mmmmm, yummy!
This summer I was in the mood for iced coffee and created this recipe that I can't get enough of. My own version of an Iced Mocha Coffee. Give it a try! I hope you enjoy!
FYI: A Starbucks's Grande Iced Caffé Mocha has 320 calories and 17g of fat. Mine has approximately 35 calories and 3 grams of fat depending on your milk choice. Plus, it will be no where near $3-$4 per cup! Bonus!!
Mornings can be a crazy time of the day. For most of us, the last thing we want to do is cook! Living a whole foods life doesn't leave us much choice. Except for batch cooking! Batch cooking is an essential tool that I teach my clients so that home cooked meals become super easy.
Batch cooking simply means that you take a few hours to do lots of cooking for the week. Then you're simply re-heating the leftovers for the next four to five days. I usually suggest two batch days per week. Once you get in the habit of taking the time to do this each week, you will save yourself tons of frustration over having nothing healthy to eat in a pinch.
The biggest problem my clients come across is failing to prepare. They are left rushing around with nothing to eat which means they resort to grabbing anything that's quick and easy. We all know quick and easy means convenience foods. Inevitably, this is when things start going down hill. A few days of that stuff and they are NOT happy with their weight loss progress and/or the way they feel.
That's where this Frittata comes in. No more frustration in the morning over what to eat. It's a very simple dish that only needs to be made every 4 days. Changing up the veggies and seasonings will give you a whole new dish each time. You can also add ground meat or sausage to the pan before heating the veggies. I usually have a serving of home made sausage on the side.
I must eat a ton of salad every week! It truly is a favorite meal for me. If I don't have it for lunch I feel like something is missing. I put the whole kitchen sink in my salads, too. A little bit of everything. The one thing I don't put on there is bottled salad dressings. The ingredient lists of these things are ridiculous! Vegetable oil, sugar, preservatives, MSG, polypropylene glycol…ugh! All those chemicals on those beautiful, healthy veggies.
The one bottled dressing I do miss is ranch. When I changed my diet to dairy free, this is something I really missed. Then I found this recipe from Theclothesmakesthegirl.com. It’s really yummy and something I use all the time and not just for salads. It's a great dip for veggies or as a topping for fish or chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
If you are new to eating a whole foods, paleo type lifestyle, you may be wondering why on Earth we need to make rice out of cauliflower when we have, well...rice! It's because grains, i.e. breads, pasta, rice, cereals and quinoa, are carbohydrates that spike our blood sugar. High blood sugar will eventually cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Americans do not need anything else in our diets that raise our blood sugar. We need to work on stabilizing it!
Grains can also cause digestive upset, skin problems, headaches, inflammation and many more problems. The bottom line is when people give up grains they report better health and less disease.
This recipe for cauliflower rice is super yummy! I do not miss regular rice at all. Regular rice make me feel heavy, not to mention look heavy! Have you ever noticed that after you eat it, you're hungry soon after? Not with cauliflower. You will be both satisfied and nourished. It goes perfectly with your favorite protein. My favorite protein with this dish is salmon, but you may want to try it with mushrooms for a vegetarian option.
Feel free to experiment by adding other veggies such as broccoli or colorful peppers. Enjoy!
This recipe contains coconut aminos. If this is new to you, it is a healthy alternative to soy sauce.
Cauliflower "Rice" Recipe
1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp. coconut oil (raw, unrefined)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
4 scallions, diced
2 carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. coconut aminos
Cut the cauliflower into large chunks and shred in the food processor with the shredding disk attachment until it resembles rice.
Heat the oil over med-high heat in a large skillet. Sauté the cauliflower, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the scallions, carrots and garlic and cook, for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut aminos and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 118 calories, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 7 g total fat, 3 g fiber, 271 mg. sodium