Stuffed bell peppers with an egg on top

These bell peppers make a nice light dinner on their own or can be served with pasta or risotto. They are also the perfect way to use an abundance of herbs if you have a garden!

Ingredients:

1lb grassfed ground beef

1/2 cup chopped herbs (oregano, parseley and basil work well)

Sea salt, to taste

Cracked pepper, to taste

One egg for the meat mixture

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup goat cheese

1/2 can tomato sauce

An egg to top each pepper

Four large bell peppers

Directions:

Slice the bell peppers open lengthwise, remove stem and seeds. Place side by side on a parchment-lined pan, like this one. Mix one egg, herbs, spices, Parmesan and beef in a bowl thoroughly. I usually mix with my hands. Separate the mixture into 8 equal portions and smoosh into the halved bell peppers.

Top each one with a couple of tablespoons of the sauce, then sprinkle a bit of goat cheese on each one. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and create a little divot in each. Gently crack an egg on top. Add a bit more salt ans bake another ten minutes.

Cabbage slaw with tarragon dressing, an easy salad idea

This one came from a need to use a head of cabbage I’d picked from the garden for this recipe. I’d only used a couple of leaves and wanted to do something with the rest before it became forgotten in my crisper. I also had some fresh snap peas harvested this morning, so I decided to put them together. This ended up being tart, spicy, sweet and crunchy with the added depth of the tarragon’s light licorice flavor.

Recipe:

For the slaw:

  • One small head of cabbage (if store bought, use half or less), chopped into bite size or smaller chunks
  • About a cup of fresh snap peas or green beans, ends snapped off and cut into thirds
  • 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Cracked pepper, to taste
  • A light dusting of cayenne pepper

Combine all of the vegetables and toss in a medium sized bowl. I love this bowl for everything.

Combine all of the dressing items and whisk. add the dressing to the slaw and toss. Enjoy on its own or as a side dish.

Sweet Potato With White Chicken Chili Topping for an Easy Weeknight Meal

There are many white chicken chili recipes out there, and yet somehow I’ve never made it until this week. I decided to use this version as a sweet potato topping, but it would be good on its own or rolled into a tortilla as a taco or enchilada.

Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • Six boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One large white onion, diced
  • Two four-ounce cans of green chili
  • One fresh jalapeno (seeds removed if you want to tone down the spice, leave them in if you like it hot)
  • One can white beans, drained –navy or cannellini work best
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Six sweet potatoes
  • About 1/4 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Sea salt, enough to coat the potatoes in (about a tablespoon)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 and prep a baking sheet with foil. Wash the potatoes and set on a paper towel to dry. Once they are dry, coat them with the avocado oil then roll them in the sea salt. Poke them each with a fork twice and place them in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

For the chili: While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the green chili and the water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs whole, then dust with salt. Add the cumin and allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning the thighs occasionally. Add the beans and the heavy cream, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs and shred them or cut them into small chunks. Place the chicken back into the mixture. Add the butter, and allow to simmer about five more minutes, until the butter melts. Correct for salt and pepper.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to sit for five minutes. slice them open lengthwise and top with about a cup of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Chicken Soup with Spring Vegetables and Saffron Broth

This dish started with me flipping through one of Julia Child’s cookbooks and seeing something called “Pot-Au-Feu.” It looked good, if a little complicated. In Julia’s recipe, she trussed the chicken and stuffed it with homemade dressing before placing it in the boiling water. That sounded great, but I needed something quicker. I started with the veggies I had on hand — carrots, a leek, some green beans from the garden and a few gold potatoes. I also added four cloves of garlic later. The real magic of this meal is that my VERY picky children loved it. That’s a win in this house. (Scroll to the bottom for quick ingredients and instructions.)

Veggies ready for chopping
Vegetables including carrots, leeks, garlic, potatoes and garden green beans. Add what you have on hand!
Saffron
Saffron can be hard to find, but this one is at Central Market for $8. I used about 1/4 of it for this recipe.
Everything in the pot
I love it when it all comes together and looks like boiling art!
Whole chicken pulled out of the broth
Can’t you just smell it?
The finished product
The finished product!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, preferably pastured and/or organic
  • 1 package Italian sausage links (or sausage of choice). Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have Whole 30 compliant ones that we like.
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • Water, to fill the pan
  • Four to five medium gold potatoes
  • One large leek
  • One to two cups fresh green beans or snap peas, ends cut off
  • Three to five large carrots
  • Four cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Sprig of Rosemary

Chop all veggies and set aside. Place the defrosted whole chicken, giblets removed, in a large stock pan. Fill to cover 2/3 of the chicken with warm water. Bring pot to a boil while you add saffron, salt and pepper. Turn down to a simmer and cover for about an hour, or until chicken is cooked through. Time can vary based on the size of your chicken. Add veggies, garlic (diced), rosemary and sausages. Simmer for another 20 minutes or so, until all veggies and sausages are cooked through. Pull the chicken out and set in a bowl or on a platter with a lip, and cut off the pieces you want to serve. Place the chicken, a piece of sausage and desired amount of veggies and broth in a bowl. Enjoy!

Cabbage rolls with Italian sausage

Cabbage roll served with Parmesan, basil and cherry tomatoes

I’ve been wanting to try a cabbage roll with Italian flavors for awhile. I’ve done Asian-inspired rolls before but wanted to branch out. I love Napa cabbage and found a huge head of it at the store so it seemed like a good day to try this recipe. This recipe tastes a little like Italian wedding soup, all wrapped up. You could easily serve it in a broth or with a marinara, or even over some risotto.

Ingredients:

  • Ten to 12 leaves Napa cabbage
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (I used turkey, but pork will do too)
  • One onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I use bone broth)
  • 1/2 cup Italian farro – this is optional, omit if gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic powder.
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning, or fresh or dried chopped herbs of your choosing.
  • Parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes, to garnish

Directions:

Sauté the onion in a little bit of avocado oil until it is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the turkey and chop it up into tiny pieces with the spatula, and sauté about five minutes. add the spices and herbs. Add one cup of the broth and bring it to a simmer. Add the farro and simmer about ten minutes (you may have to add a bit more liquid to get the farro to soften enough). Add the tomato paste and stir it all together, remove from heat.

Add the second cup of broth to a stock pot or large pan. Bring it to a simmer. Take the cabbage leaves (washed and prepped) and place them on top of the broth, to steam for five minutes.

Pull them out onto a cutting board, draining excess liquid, and let them cool just until you can handle them. Scoop the sausage mixture into the leaves in equal parts, roll them and secure them with a toothpick. Place them back into the pan you steamed them in and let them simmer/steam covered on low for about another ten minutes.

Top with grated Parmesan and tomatoes and enjoy!

Cabbage rolls with Italian sausage and farro

Cabbage roll served with Parmesan, basil and cherry tomatoes

I’ve been wanting to try a cabbage roll with Italian flavors for awhile. I’ve done Asian-inspired rolls before but wanted to branch out. I love Napa cabbage and found a huge head of it at the store so it seemed like a good day to try this recipe. This recipe tastes a little like Italian wedding soup, all wrapped up. You could easily serve it in a broth or with a marinara, or even over some risotto.

Ingredients:

  • Ten to 12 leaves Napa cabbage
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (I used turkey, but pork will do too)
  • One onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I use bone broth)
  • 1/2 cup Italian farro
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, chili flakes and garlic powder.
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning, or fresh or dried chopped herbs of your choosing.
  • Parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes, to garnish

Directions:

Sauté the onion in a little bit of avocado oil until it is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the turkey and chop it up into tiny pieces with the spatula, and sauté about five minutes. add the spices and herbs. Add one cup of the broth and bring it to a simmer. Add the farro and simmer about ten minutes (you may have to add a bit more liquid to get the farro to soften enough). Add the tomato paste and stir it all together, remove from heat.

Add the second cup of broth to a stock pot or large pan. Bring it to a simmer. Take the cabbage leaves (washed and prepped) and place them on top of the broth, to steam for five minutes.

Pull them out onto a cutting board, draining excess liquid, and let them cool just until you can handle them. Scoop the sausage mixture into the leaves in equal parts, roll them and secure them with a toothpick. Place them back into the pan you steamed them in and let them simmer/steam covered on low for about another ten minutes.

Top with grated Parmesan and tomatoes and enjoy!

White chicken chili topped sweet potato

There are many white chicken chili recipes out there, and yet somehow I’ve never made it until this week. I decided to use this version as a sweet potato topping, but it would be good on its own or rolled into a tortilla as a taco or enchilada.

Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • Six boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One large white onion, diced
  • Two four-ounce cans of green chili
  • One fresh jalapeno (seeds removed if you want to tone down the spice, leave them in if you like it hot)
  • One can white beans, drained –navy or cannellini work best
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Six sweet potatoes
  • About 1/4 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Sea salt, enough to coat the potatoes in (about a tablespoon)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 and prep a baking sheet with foil. Wash the potatoes and set on a paper towel to dry. Once they are dry, coat them with the avocado oil then roll them in the sea salt. Poke them each with a fork twice and place them in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

For the chili: While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the green chili and the water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs whole, then dust with salt. Add the cumin and allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning the thighs occasionally. Add the beans and the heavy cream, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs and shred them or cut them into small chunks. Place the chicken back into the mixture. Add the butter, and allow to simmer about five more minutes, until the butter melts. Correct for salt and pepper.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to sit for five minutes. slice them open lengthwise and top with about a cup of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Easy no-breadcrumb meatballs

My family loves meatballs! But my stomach hates the hidden breadcrumbs. This recipe is a super simple, versatile version of the Italian favorite—and its gluten-free.

Ingredients (makes 15 two-inch meatballs):

  • One pound grassfed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs (I use parsley, but basil or oregano or a combo would work well)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl (I find it’s best to mix with my hands). Roll the meat mixture out into 15 balls. Bake for 25 minutes, let cool five minutes before serving. These go well with any gluten free pasta and Marcella Hazan’s simple marinara.

Stuffed poblano peppers

These are easy, not too hot, and pair perfectly with any Mexican food leftovers you may need to use. We had some pinto beans that I wanted to use creatively and with some leftover pozole my mom made the night before that we served on the side of this. The combo was perfect.

I made enough for two of us to each have one half, and another half to fry an egg on in the morning. You could easily double or even triple this recipe for a larger family meal.

Ingredients:

  • Two medium sized poblano peppers
  • About a half to 3/4 cup of cooked pinto beans
  • Four tablespoons creme fraiche (sour cream will work)
  • About a half cup shredded goat cheese cheddar, plus some to toast on top
  • A handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Two green onions, chopped
  • About a cup of finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the poblanos in half lengthwise and remove the tops, seeds and pith. Lie them face up on the pan and bake for about ten minutes to soften.

While they cook, mix all of the other ingredients together. Pull the peppers out of the oven and divide the mixture evenly between them. Top with additional goat cheese cheddar, or other cheese of choice.

Bake for 18 minutes. Let stand about five minutes before serving.

The easiest and best paleo chili

Years ago my husband and I owned a CrossFit gym. We decided to host a “paleo challenge” for our clients, which means, everyone basically cuts out processed foods and follows the paleo diet for 30 days and at the end we hosted a big potluck and handed out prizes. This was when I first discovered how food makes us feel, and that I have a pretty significant sensitivity to gluten. We’ve since added lots of foods back into our diet, especially since we had kids, but we’ve kept many of those clean recipes in our rotation. One of them is a good, classic and easy sweet potato chili. Below is a very easy way to prepare this dish, which has enough for two or three family dinners during the week. This takes less than 15 minutes to prep and can simmer for as little as 30 minutes and as much as 3 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (more or less to taste) sea salt. I start with one teaspoon and work up after that.
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 large cans Italian Style tomatoes, either whole or diced (with the juice)
  • 1 small can of green chilis, diced (heat level is up to you, I use hot!)
  • 1 bag of cubed sweet potatoes (16 oz). You can dice your own, but this makes it so easy.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, but only if you don’t care if it’s paleo! If you are a paleo person this can be omitted.
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped red or green onion, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until soft, about two to three minutes. Add the beef and chop it down to small chunks. Add the spices, and stir for three to four minutes, chopping the meat to small chunks all the while. Add the tomatoes, green chilis and sweet potatoes and let simmer about ten minutes on medium. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. If you don’t care if it’s paleo, you can add about a half a cup of brown sugar at this point for extra richness. Cover the pot and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes and up to three hours. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and onions of your choice. I also like to add a little bit of goat cheese cheddar.

This chili topped with crispy roasted Brussels sprouts