Grain-Free Goulash (AKA Upgraded Hamburger Helper)

It may not look all that picture perfect, as it’s kind of a brown blob, but trust me when I say – this grain-free version of goulash/hamburger helper is LEGIT.

I really hate the word goulash. Say it out loud. GOO-LAWSH. Gross. But hamburger helper makes me think of the cute little hand with a face – anyone remember that? My mom says when she made goulash I disliked it, but I don’t remember that. When I made this, the scent took my mind to a happy place in my childhood.

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It took about 15 minutes to make and it is such a tasty, whole-food-packed version of the original. Cauliflower goes in place of the pasta. If you think that’s disgusting, or you fear your people won’t eat it like this, you could probably do a bit of undetectable riced cauliflower to keep the veggie content up, and then stir in cooked pasta instead of cauli florets. It will still be delicious! Continue reading “Grain-Free Goulash (AKA Upgraded Hamburger Helper)”

The BEST Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe

Don’t let the name scare you away. I’ve never been a fan of egg rolls. But this dish – major fan. In fact, I’ve tried just about every variety out there on the interwebs, and this is my favorite. My kids love it. The adults love it. It’s a win.

(Just to be clear, my kids also like sushi and dislike pasta with red sauce. So take their feedback with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt, okay?)

My FAVORITE things about this meal: it takes about 15 minutes to make (start to finish) clean up is simple, and it’s extremely filling and satisfying.

I don’t like to use pork too much because I don’t trust the sourcing/toxicity, so sometimes I’ll use grass fed beef and that’s good, too. The most flavorful meat to use in this is ground breakfast sausage. Again – toxin alert for you purists. But it’s soooooo delicious.

As far as cabbage goes, I prefer a head of green cabbage because it’s so cheap and cabbage is one of the “Clean 15,” so you don’t have to freak about buying unorganic. Pre-shredded bagged cabbage works too, but as long as you have a good knife, save your money!

I’ve used a blend of purple and green cabbage with shredded carrots, and that’s good too. You really can’t go wrong. You could add mushrooms or broccoli or any other vegetable you’re in the mood for.

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Basic Frittata for Not-So-Basic Mamas

I love a good one skillet meal. I love easy. I love minimal prep. This is why the frittata is becoming my BFF.

Here’s the thing about this frittata – I’ve done it a few times, with a variety of ingredients. And it always tastes yummy. So while I DO have an ingredient list and directions, know that it is completely malleable to fit your needs or desires.

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Slow Cooker Pork “Al Pastor”

I’m going to admit something that may seem outrageous to some of you: I don’t always love slow cooker meals. I love the convenience factor, but I don’t love the texture of the meat. Shredded meat is not my favorite, and sometimes it turns out dry and hard to chew.

Not this recipe.

This easy-to-blend marinade is so flavorful and delicious that the pork turns out PERFECT. This recipe is another one adapted from Keto Quick Start (see the Keto-rific Chicken Tenders here). In the original recipe, pork is supposed to be cubed and marinated, then roasted in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then broiled for 2-5.

Let me admit something else – I don’t like cutting raw meat. It grosses me out and I avoid it if I have to. So to be able to throw the pork butt in the slow cooker and top it with the marinade on low for 8 hours was a much easier solution.

Continue reading “Slow Cooker Pork “Al Pastor””

Keto-rific Chicken Tenders

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the ketogenic lifestyle for brain health purposes. The husband wanted to lose some Christmas weight, so having him on board has helped me to dive in and try new recipes. We typically eat Paleoish and Ketoish at our house anyway, just because we feel good on whole food, but going completely grain free and refined sugar free (and alcohol free) has taken things to the next level.

Spoiler alert – 3 weeks in and we feel amazing. Both of us are sleeping like rocks. I’m full and fueled throughout my day, and my mood is leveled. Now, this all could have to do with a new adaptogenic herb-based product we’re taking, but I think the nutritional changes affect soooo much!

I found this recipe for chicken tenders in the book Keto Quick Start, available here. I followed the instructions completely except chose to use ghee to cook the tenders in, and it was a perfect addition! The flavor on these tenders are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They weren’t dry at all, like some chicken tenders I’ve tried in the past. If coconut is a problem for you, you could probably bread them in almond flour and they’d still be tasty. But man, that flaked coconut fried in ghee left over on the pan is just mouthwatering!

All 5 family members loved them and ate them up. Do you know how tricky that can be???

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Ancestor’s Stew

The blood of my ancestors is in this crock pot stew. Kidding. But seriously, I did some DNA testing a while back and found out I’m 50% British/Irish… so there is really nothing better for me than beef stew (other than whisky of course – kidding again)!

Stew is a comfort food for me. I spent many, many years hating beef, but I always loved the stew my grandma made. I think she would be pretty proud of this recipe I concocted, as I once told her I would never ever cook with raw meat (it totally disgusted me).

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I used beef bone broth as the base (because gut health), switched out extra potatoes for a turnip and some radishes, and added my favorite herbs – oregano, thyme, and ROSEMARY. Continue reading “Ancestor’s Stew”

Gut-Friendly Breakfast Cookies

My kids LOVE sugar and gluten. But their guts don’t. So I was thrilled when I first discovered this recipe for breakfast cookies that are free of sugar, gluten AND dairy (depending on the chocolate chips you use)! I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, and I have to say, they’re pretty dang good!

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Start by mashing up bananas with a fork and then add the coconut oil and vanilla. From there, dump in the dry ingredients and mix it all around with a fork. I never even need to use a spoon, and hey – that’s one last thing to load in the dishwasher right? Check out this happy banana-masher I had today:

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Oats are a little controversial for some, as they can potentially contain gluten if they aren’t labeled “gluten free.” But there are many studies that link oats with the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is always something I’m a fan of! The walnuts in this cookie are a nice brain-boosting touch, and you could also add in dried fruit or even blueberries, another brain-boosting food.

The chocolate chips do add some sugar, but it’s minimal when you consider the typical breakfast food item for kids these days. It’s hard to find chocolate chips free of soy, gluten and dairy. I like the Enjoy Life brand or Lily’s because they contain stevia! Continue reading “Gut-Friendly Breakfast Cookies”