Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Instant Pot Coconut + Curry Butternut Squash Chili

I love chili, especially during a Whole 30, but lately, my go-to recipes seem boring.

I decided to take my favorite chili base: ground beef, fire roasted tomatoes and bone broth, and add in totally new flavors: red curry paste, coconut milk and butternut squash.

It was just what I needed. A chili game-changer.

You’ll need

2 lbs ground beef

1 butternut squash, cubed

1 each red, yellow, orange bell pepper, diced

1 whole yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup beef bone broth

1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (solid parts)

1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained

3 tablespoons red curry paste (you’ll find this on the international aisle in grocery store)

2 heaping tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

Sea Salt

Method

1. Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and wait for the metal insert to heat up.

2. When hot, add ground beef and a sprinkle of sea salt. Break apart and cook until no longer pink.

3. Stir in vegetables, add a bit more sea salt, and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Next, stir in the tomato paste, red curry paste, minced garlic and cook until fragrant.

5. Add in spices, bone broth, tomatoes and coconut milk last. Stir well to make sure liquid reaches the bottom.

6. Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. (Press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the time for 15 minutes under high pressure.)

7. Once finished cooking, allow pressure to come down naturally.

8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Notes:

•If cooking on stove top or in a slow cooker, increase beef broth to 1 1/2 cups and coconut milk to 1 cup.

•This makes a lot! Cut recipe in half or plan to freeze half.

Recipe, Whole 30

Whole 30 Slow Cooked Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Easy Meal Prep Protein.

You’ll need…

1 t Garlic Powder

1 t Dried Basil

1/2 t Salt

1/2 t Pepper

2 t Dried minced onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T EVOO

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts

Fresh parsley for garnish if desired.

Method…

1- combine first 5 dry spices in a bowl and then spread over chicken on both sides

2- pour olive oil and garlic in bottom of slow cooker

3 – place chicken on top of olive oil and garlic

4- pour balsamic vinegar over chicken

5- cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

I served over mixed greens with blueberries, slivered almonds and hard boiled egg then tossed in EVOO + balsamic vinegar. Also delicious with roasted potatoes and broccoli 👌🏻

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

W30 Egg Roll in a Bowl

All the deliciousness of an egg roll minus the greasy, unhealthy fried wrapper.

I discovered the idea of “egg roll in a bowl” a few years ago during one of my Whole 30s and since then I’ve made about 10 different variations (probably 10 times each!) I’ve even shared a couple of these recipes online, and today I’ve got a new one for you that I think is the best yet!

This recipe is a modified version of 40 Aprons Egg Roll in a Bowl. I love the mix of ingredients they put together and the delicious Creamy Chili sauce.

I changed the method a bit to reduce the greasiness from the ground pork, took out a few ingredients (ones I thought many people wouldn’t have on hand) and added scrambled eggs to the mix!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small bunch green onions sliced, green and white parts divided
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground pork (ground turkey or chicken could also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Whole30 compliant hot sauce (I like Franks RedHot Sauce)
  • 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 eggs

Garnish (optional)

  • green parts of sliced green onions from above
  • Sesame seeds

Creamy Chili Sauce (optional)

  • 1/4 cup W30 Compliant Mayonnaise  (store-bought or homemade. I like this recipe.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons W30 compliant hot sauce

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet and place over medium heat.

  2. Add white parts of green onions, diced red onion, and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until red onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. In another large skillet, brown ground pork and drain excess fat.

  4. Add onion mixture, grated ginger, and hot sauce to pork skillet and allow to cook together over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add coleslaw mix and coconut aminos. Stir until well combined. Cook, stirring regularly, until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1-2 tablespoons compliant hot sauce. (Totally unnecessary, but if you want to make your plate pretty, place creamy chili sauce in a small plastic sandwich bag to “pipe” when serving.
  7. Once pork-cabbage mixture is fully cooked, push mixture to one side of the skillet and crack eggs in open space. Allow eggs to cook for a 2-3 minutes then scramble gently and incorporate into pork-cabbage mixture
  8. To plate: Spoon a helping of the egg roll mixture in a serving bowl. Either spoon some of the creamy chili sauce on top or snip off the corner of the sandwich bag with the sauce and drizzle over egg roll mixture. Garnish with green parts of the green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Let me know if you try it!

Clean Eating, Recipe, Whole 30

Whole 30 One Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

December has been such a whirlwind: Holiday parties, school performances and activities, Christmas shopping (and wrapping OMG), one kid’s birthday party and a 24-hour stomach bug that swept through our house. To say it’s taken a toll on my nutrition and meal prepping would be an understatement. I’m getting back in the game NOW as I prepare for my January Whole 30!

And because I am all about the busy mamas out there, I wanted to share this recipe for Whole 30 Slower Cooker Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs because it only uses ONE POT! Yep, that’s right. One pot, super healthy and only 5 main ingredients.

Here are the deets:

You’ll need:

-1 medium sized spaghetti squash

-2 pounds of ground meat (I used grass-fed ground beef but I really love to mix beef and Italian sausage together when I have it on hand. Ground turkey is also a great option!)

-1 jar of W30 Compliant Marinara Sauce (Rao’s is my absolute fave!)

-1 20-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes

-2 eggs

-1 tsp sea salt

-2 tsp onion powder

-2 tsp garlic powder

-2 tbsp Italian seasoning (make your own or carefully read labels to avoid sugar and other additives)

Method:

1. In a large bowl, combine meat with eggs and spices. Using your hands, mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated and ready to roll into balls.

2. Roll into bite-sized meatballs (I put my kids to work in the kitchen as often as possible!) and place in slow cooker (the meatballs, not the kids 😊).

3. Pour marinara sauce and canned tomatoes over the meatballs and stir.

4. Cut spaghetti squash in half through the center and scoop out seeds.

5. Place spaghetti squash halves face down on top of meatballs.

6. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

7. Remove spaghetti squash carefully, scoop out insides, then top with meatballs and sauce. Garnish with herbs of your choice!

Notes:

-If you have picky little eaters like I do, you can quickly make some pasta and top with the meatballs and sauce from the crockpot. I do this and everyone in my family is happy!

-This is a great meal prep recipe as it makes a lot! You can use the meatballs in other meals too — I love them with roasted veggies and a salad.

Mom Life, Recipe

Snow Day (Grain-Free + Refined Sugar-Free) Waffles

The stars aligned for this mama — Sunday (our only day off) + Snow! It doesn’t snow here often and typically Mike and I have to figure out how to get to the gym to open… which makes us miss out on enjoying the moment with our boys. So today, even if it is sleeting, we are going to make the most of this snow day!

Before heading out to build a snowman and sled on the big hill in our neighborhood, we’re having the most delicious grain-free, refined-sugar free waffles for breakfast. These take a minute to make so I save them for days just like this!

You’ll need:

2 eggs

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1.5 cups almond flour

1 tablespoon coconut flour

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

**Note: this makes about 3 waffles. I always double the recipe!

Method:

1- Plug in your waffle maker to pre-heat to a medium-high setting.

2- Using a vitamix or high powered blender, add one ingredient at a time and blend.

3- Once all ingredients are blended, spray waffle maker with coconut oil cooking spray or brush with melted coconut oil.

4- Pour batter into the pre-heated waffle maker to cook. Mine took approximately 3 minutes.

5- Serve with pure maple syrup or toppings of your choice!

Stay warm today! Let me know if you make them!

Snow Day – Sunday, December 9th
Recipe, Whole 30

Meal Prep Hack: Sheet Pan Eggs in 6 Minutes

MEAL. PREP. GAME. CHANGER.  

I’ve been meal prepping since before meal prep was even a thing, and this trick may be the best I’ve seen.  Here is a new way to bulk prep eggs in under 6 minutes. Perfect when cooking for big crowds or for weekly meal prep – especially during a Whole 30!

You’ll need eggs, cooking spray (I like Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil) or parchment paper, and seasoning of your choice.  

Method:  Prepare your sheet pan by either lightly spraying the bottom with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper.  ( I tried both methods: cooking spray tasted a tiny bit better however parchment paper was a much easier clean up, so you decide!) 

Crack eggs (as many as you want – I’ve made up to 12!) and season with S+P or any seasoning you like (I’m currently obsessed with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning.) Put the eggs in a 425 degree preheated oven for 5-6 minutes. Watch closely the last two minutes to make sure the eggs are cooked to your liking!

Keep your nutrition in line and save time on busy mornings by making your eggs on Sunday.  They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge to use throughout the week for easy protein – think breakfasts (add a side of bacon and sliced avocado) or to put on sandwiches, salads or hashes.   

We’ve made them twice now and we are hooked!  The boys love them on breakfast sandwiches, Mike adds them to pretty much every meal and I like them just the way they are!  

Here are mine from yesterday: 

I know what you’re thinking: reheated eggs don’t sound great. Of course they are best right out of the oven, but they really are good reheated in the microwave — especially knowing I’m getting a healthy protein without prep time!

I’m actually having them for breakfast this morning. Let me know if you try them!

Recipe, Whole 30

3 Healthy Ways to Remix your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is the meal that keeps on giving, am I right?!  I’m pretty sure I have enough leftovers in my fridge right now to feed my family for a whole week.  And, y’all, as a working mom, leftovers are my jam, but I can only eat Thanksgiving dinner so many times! If you are like me and need to mix things up, I have a few ideas on how you can use what you have on hand in new, healthy ways:  

TURKEY TACO BOWLS

Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat to make these delicious Whole 30 compliant taco bowls.  Filled with cauliflower rice, lettuce and your favorite toppings, no one will be thinking “leftovers”!  

You’ll need:

1-2 Cups of Chopped Leftover Turkey

Taco Seasoning (Make your own — {2 T chili powder, 2 tsps of each: onion powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano + 1 tsp sea salt}

Cauliflower Rice (I always use frozen that I steam in the microwave.  If I have it on hand, I’ll squeeze some lime juice and add some fresh cilantro.)

Extras (get creative and add what you like): 

Shredded lettuce or spinach 

Salsa (Frontera Roasted Tomato is my favorite store bought salsa!)  

Guacamole 

W30 Compliant Ranch…like Tessemae’s (which is what I had on hand today!) 

Black Olives

Cilantro

Directions: 

  1. Season your turkey: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add turkey and stir to coat with olive oil.  Pour 1-2 teaspoons of the taco seasoning over the turkey.  Allow to heat through. 
  2. Build your bowl: Start with cauliflower rice.  Add turkey next. Then top with any extras: lettuce, salsa, guacamole, ranch… whatever you have on hand!  

TURKEY AVOCADO SALAD

Here’s a spin on my absolute favorite chicken salad!  Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat and cranberries in this fast and delicious salad that can be eaten alone or on top of a salad!  Throw some leftover roasted veggies on the side and it’s a full meal! This is a perfect post-Thanksgiving lunch as it’s light and a change of flavors from yesterday’s big meal.  

You’ll Need:

1-2 cups chopped turkey

1 small avocado, mashed

1 small granny smith apple, unpeeled and chopped into bite size pieces

1/2 cup dried cranberries OR 1/4 cup cranberry sauce (or sub sliced red grapes)

1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional… I had these leftover from my Thanksgiving cooking) 

1/2 tsp curry powder (or any seasoning that you like) 

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: 

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Eat immediately.  This can be made ahead of time by squeezing lime juice over the avocado.  

TURKEY BONE BROTH

If you haven’t made your own bone broth yet, you haven’t lived. Ok that may be a little dramatic, but seriously, making your own broth is the best! It’s super easy, makes your house smell amazing and allows you to control the salt content and additives. Freeze it in small batches and pull out for soups throughout the winter!  I will be making mine today following Kettle and Fire’s recipe: https://blog.kettleandfire.com/turkey-bone-broth-recipe/

What are your go-to recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  

Recipe, Whole 30

Stuffing or Dressing?

I was born and raised in the South where we eat dressing on Thanksgiving. Mike grew up in Maryland eating stuffing.

So what’s the difference? Well, technically the difference is how they’re cooked. Stuffing is a mixture used to stuff the turkey before cooking. Whereas dressing, comprised of similar ingredients, is cooked in a pan outside of the turkey. These days the two terms are used interchangeably depending on where you live.

Regardless of which side you’re on, we can all agree that a Thanksgiving menu isn’t complete without it.  Here’s my healthy spin on stuffing/dressing made with sausage, frozen riced cauliflower (hello easy!), apples and seasoned with fresh herbs.

Cauliflower and Sausage Stuffing/Dressing

Ingredients:

-2 pounds sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed OR breakfast sausage*

-8 cups of riced cauliflower (2 bags of frozen, riced cauliflower)*

-2 small yellow onions, chopped

-1 cup celery, chopped

-2 granny smith apples, unpeeled and chopped

-2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

-1 tablespoon sea salt

-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-2 eggs, whisked

-1/2 cup dried cranberries

-1/2-1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Brown sausage in a pan.

3. Remove sausage from the pan and add onions, celery and apples. Cook until tender.

4. Add sausage back into pan with the apple mixture. Stir in cauliflower and allow to heat through.

5. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

6. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in cranberries. Next stir eggs in and mix well.

7. Pour mixture into casserole dish.

8. Top with chopped pecans if desired.

9. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes or until set. Keep an eye on the pecans on top to be sure they don’t burn.

Notes:

*I tested the recipe using breakfast sausage from Whole Foods. This is not Whole 30 compliant. This recipe can be made W30 compliant by using ground pork in place of the sausage or making your own sausage.

*Fresh cauliflower can be used in place of frozen. Rice or chop into bite sized pieces.

Recipe

Creamy Pumpkin Bars

I’m one of those people who LOVE pumpkin everything: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes.  You name it, I want it.  However, thanks to Whole 30, I know the added sugar and other gut irritants in most of these seasonal treats will leave me feeling less than optimal.  

To get my pumpkin fix, I created a cleaner (and super easy, no bake) variation of pumpkin bars.  Made with nutritious ingredients, lightly sweetened with dates and maple syrup, and thickened with antioxidant rich chia seeds, they are so creamy that you’ll need a spoon.  Delicious served as is or top with coconut whipped cream.

Creamy Pumpkin Squares

For the crust:

In a food processor, finely chop:

1 cup pecans

1 cup walnuts 

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

5-6 medjool dates (pits removed)

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted

Once fully chopped, press into an 8×8 dish and then place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

In a food processor, puree: 

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

1 can full fat coconut cream** (use the solid parts only)

1/3-1/2 cup pure maple syrup** (see notes)

2 teaspoons chia seeds**

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Once pureed to a creamy consistency, spoon over the prepared crust.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Refrigerating for a full 24 hours will allow the filling to thicken more.  Cut into bars and serve.  

NOTES:

**This can be modified to be nut-free by substituting pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in place of the nuts.

**I tend to prefer things less sweet.  If you are a “sweets person”, you’ll need to increase the amount of maple syrup in the filling to 1/2 cup.  

**Coconut cream can be found near the canned coconut milk in most grocery stores.  I generally use the Thai Kitchen brand.  

**The chia seeds create a thickening effect.   5 teaspoons of gelatin can be used in place of chia seeds.  

**MOM HACK: This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.  I actually prefer them after a few days!

Recipe

Simple Whole 30 Sweet Potato Chili

This is the easiest and most delicious chili that MY KIDS WILL ACTUALLY EAT.  Y’all, I prepped it all in under 15 minutes, threw it in my slow cooker and it was ready when we got home!  A winner in my book.

Put all ingredients in slow cooker for 8ish hours on low (See notes for Instant Pot directions): 

  • 2 lbs grass fed ground beef, cooked and drained of fat. (Ground turkey is a great sub, too)
  • 1 small diced yellow onion, sautéed in olive oil 
  • 1-2 cups sweet potato (roasted and puréed). This adds great flavor, texture and nutrients… and my kids don’t even know it’s in there! 👊) 
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes 

Seasoning: (SKIP the prepackaged chili mixes as they have lots of added ingredients and sugar!) 

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your heat preference) 

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon onion powder

• 1 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper 

*Top with avocado and herbs of your choice!  I love scallions or cilantro.  Today I had scallions on hand to use.

Notes:

**This makes a lot.  It is PERFECT to feed your family for dinner and then freeze leftovers for a quick meal later OR use it as your meal prep for the week.  Eat by itself, stuff a sweet potato and then add some guac on top, or serve over sweet potato nachos.

**Easy swap: If you don’t have sweet potatoes on hand, or just dont want to deal with roasting and pureeing, try stirring in frozen cauliflower and sweet potato “rice”.  

**This can also be made in the Instant Pot.  Place all ingredients in the IP, then push the “meat/stew” button.  This will automatically set the IP to cook for 35 minutes.  Make sure the steam valve is closed.

**MOM HACK: If you are like me, there is not much extra time in the mornings to prep something to go in the slow cooker.  Here’s a little trick that I started doing a few years ago that has been a game changer… prep it all the night before and put the whole crockpot insert in your fridge.  Pull it out before you leave for work, plug it in and go.  Come home to an amazing home cooked meal without having to add stress to your morning routine.