Garlic Herb Bread | PALEO

 While coming up with original Paleo/Whole30 approved dishes is one of my favorite things to do~ there's always going to be something extra exciting about Paleo-fying a non-Paleo food.  & The first thing that comes to mind when I think absolutely not Paleo?  Bread.

My mom used to make the most amazing bread in the bread maker when I was growing up.  She's known for always adding "extra" ingredients to recipes she'd find... like yogurt to the waffle mix, oats to the meatloaf, and spices & cheese to the bread.  The recipes always turned out different, but so tasty, and you knew it was Mom who made it.

This recipe was inspired by that cheesy, herby, garlicky bread-- but without the cheese.  It somehow takes on those same flavors, while keeping the perfect "bread" texture.  Not too spongy, not too dense.  Just Paleo-fied bread magic!

I was inspired by a recipe for Orange Cranberry Bread from Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers.  I used her ratio of eggs to butter to coconut flour, and came up with my own savory version with those garlicky herb flavors I knew I would love.

Use this for an open face "sandwich", spread it with some ghee, or dip it in your favorite chilis & soups.  I personally think it would be the perfect dipper for my Simplified Seafood Stew (Cioppino).

Apple Berry Crumble | PALEO

I know I've been bugging you all lately on Instagram & Facebook with several requests for your feedback & input...  I hope that's okay!  I just truly value the opinions of each of you who are reading my blog.  

Because as much as all of my recipes make me happy... I already have the recipes!  So I want to make sure I'm putting out what you want to see, when you want to see it.  So, by popular demand, the next recipe I have to share is this "Apple Berry Crumble".

It's the perfect way to get your "pie fix" without giving your stomach a pie fix... if you know what I mean.  Like it tastes delicious and warm & bad for you just like a good pie should... but it's not.  :)

I kept the filling simple with plain ol' apples & berries, then topped it with a quick & easy crumble topping that gives it that sweet pie crust vibe we all love.

I hope you enjoy this simple & delicious dessert as much as we have.  Our first one lasted less than 24 hours (dessert & breakfast!)  :D

Hash Brown & Sausage Breakfast Casserole | PALEO

The holidays always get me thinking deep thoughts...  About family, priorities, being thankful for what I have, choosing the perfect gifts to remind my loved ones that I care, and breakfast casseroles.  :D

It seems like most families have their old school go-to breakfast casseroles that are light on the eggs, heavy on the cheese and white bread.  & While I'm sure that's tasty, I wanted to change this up:  Paleo style.  Still easy, filling, & enough to feed a crowd, but without the whole bread/cheese scenario~  & I thought frozen hash browns were the perfect replacement.

I also wanted something that could be assembled the night before, then baked in the morning.  Because, say it's Christmas morning.... Who's wanting to brown some sausage & cook hash browns?  (Not me.)  I'll be the one with the coffee watching a Christmas parade on TV, checking out everyone's Christmas gifts, while this bad boy bakes in the oven.

So, whether you're looking for a healthy recipe to kick off your weekdays, or feeding your family on Christmas morning, give this a try!  It's as delicious as it is simple to prepare.  Enjoy, & make sure to read all of my "notes" for tips & suggestions!

(PS:  I now have a "print" button at the very bottom of my blog posts, where you can delete photos/ramblings, and print the recipe!  Check it out!)

Cinnamon Roll Freezer Fudge | PALEO

I am here to bring you the easiest no-cook, no-bake Paleo-approved dessert recipe ever... & it only has 4 1/2 ingredients.  (because that's just not fair to count sea salt as a whole ingredient)

It's sweet, rich, fudgy, and literally tastes like an actual Cinnamon Roll that transformed itself into a fudge consistency that melts in your mouth.  I don't know what else to tell you about it, besides.... it's time for you to make it.

For a holiday gathering, an "I need something sweet, or else" moment, a recipe to impress your friends, or even breakfast:  this is it.  It's clean, simple, Paleo-approved, actually good for you, and even vegan.
I can't wait to mix up some other flavors!
Let me know what you think in the comments below, and tag me in your social media pictures!  Enjoy, and try not to eat it all in one day!  :D

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken | PALEO

Next up on my Paleo-fied recipe list:  this Cashew Chicken!  I know I've been tempting you with it over on Instagram & Facebook... but I just couldn't wait to show off the pictures, in hopes that you would somehow realize how amazingly delicious this is.

I was inspired by this:  Crockpot Cashew Chicken Recipe found on Pinterest.  & By "inspired" I mean that it totally made my mouth water & stomach turn at the same time.  Because it looked SO delicious... but the ingredients.  Oh, the ingredients...  I know I'm probably sounding like a snob, but when you know the magic that a few clean, simple, real-food ingredients can do~  it's hard to justify ketchup, corn starch, canola oil, and two types of sugar.  Plus, enough soy sauce to make your fingers swell for days.  So while probably tasty~ just not worth it.

This version takes the same idea & flavor profile, and cleans it up to Paleo standards, with no wheat, soy, or refined sugars.  What's left behind is a sweet Asian-inspired sauce with a light heat & tons of bold flavor, in a recipe that will feed you for days.

To top it all off, this is one of the easiest recipes I've ever made, and is Whole30 adaptable by simply leaving out the honey.  Quickly pan-fry your chicken (or not, see below), toss a bunch of stuff in the pot, and let it slow cook away... Come home to dinner that tastes like Asian takeout.  :D

Easy, delicious, and healthy... You must make this!  Then come back & comment your review below!

  • Double the sauce recipe if you like things 'saucy', or if you will be serving this over some sort of rice.
  • Add cashews during the last hour if you like them more crunchy.
  • Skip step one (coating/pan-frying the chicken) if you're pressed for time or just want to keep things simple.
  • Serve over steamed stir-fry veggies (we love the frozen blend from Whole Foods' 365 brand), cauliflower rice, or white rice (if you do grains).

Chicken Bacon Pizza with Garlic Cream Sauce

If you've ever tried the Chicken Bacon Artichoke "Delite" thin crust pizza from Papa Murphy's... or anything similar... you know that it is a little slice of heaven on earth.  I haven't had that pizza in ages, but had a sudden, serious craving for it.  

non-Paleo inspiration from the Papa Murphy's website ;)
So, I put my "Paleofying" skills to work, and came up with a healthy dupe!

My pizza sauce inspiration came from the "Alfredo" in my Paleo Chicken Alfredo Pasta, where I used a cashew base.  The result was a creamy, dreamy, garlicky sauce that was perfect for this pizza.  I then used chopped chicken, spinach, & crumbled bacon to top it off and make it extra filling.

As far as crusts go, I don't have a "perfect Paleo pizza crust" of my own quite yet.  I do have a really good Cauliflower Pizza Crust if you're into that, but I was looking for more of a traditional thin crust to make this pizza feel like the real deal.

I did my research & came across this Pizza Crust Recipe from Paleo Spirit.  I followed her recipe, substituting arrowroot flour for tapioca (since that's what I had on hand), and I was really impressed.

If you're not into the idea of making your own or buying specific flours just for pizza crust use, I would highly recommend the "Paleo Pizza Crust" from Julian Bakery.  I have a full review of it HERE if you want all the details.  The Julian Bakery products have been hit or miss for me, but this one was a big hit.

This pizza would be perfect for a lunch, appetizer, or dinner with a soup or salad.  The perfect comfort-food dupe for my thin crust pizza lovers!

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  & Don't forget to check out my "notes" at the bottom of the post for tips.  :)

PS:  I did not add artichoke hearts but think they would make this pizza even more amazing!

Friday Five: Holiday Desserts | Paleo

It's been awhile since I've done a recipe round-up post, so I thought this Friday would be the perfect time.  With the holidays in full swing, I've been excited about making the occasional Paleo dessert.  It's a fun way to satisfy your sweet tooth without triggering a food sensitivity or feeling too guilty. 

Now, all desserts in moderation of course (even Paleo ones)... but it is the holidays after all!

I also think the holidays are a great time to show up at a family gathering with something "Paleo-fied" to share with your friends & family.  It's a great opportunity for them to get a taste of Paleo without having to buy the ingredients or make anything themselves.  & It can show them that healthy eating doesn't have to be gross or scary!  :D

Let me know if you've tried any of these recipes, or if you have others to share.  Would love to see what Paleo desserts you guys have enjoyed.  Also, if you have a "request" for a dessert I should Paleo, leave it in the comments below or send me an email!  I'm always up for new ideas.

Happy Holidays everyone!

(**Click the dessert title to be taken to the full recipe!**)

This giant cookie pizza is made with super simple ingredients, and is completely flourless! 

These bars have risen to fame quickly on my blog, and for good reason!  Layers of rich chocolate, creamy coconut, and pecans give these a "7-Layer Bar" vibe with the taste of German Chocolate Cake.  

Hash Brown Waffles | Paleo/Whole30

My aunt & uncle gifted me a waffle maker for my birthday this year (something I had been wanting for awhile), and I've been itching to pull it out & put it to good use.

After recently finishing a Whole30, I wasn't looking for something sweet to drown in maple syrup~  but thought it would be fun to test out something more savory.  I decided on these "hash brown waffles", and absolutely love how they turned out.

I have issues when it comes to cooking regular old hash browns in a pan... They never turn out quite right for me.  The waffle maker, however, made hash brown life easy.  

The hash browns look adorable, like fluffy potato-ey waffles... but taste like the perfect hash brown with a soft inside & crisp outside.  Seriously the best thing I've ever put beneath a fried egg.

To see these waffles in action (and me in my awkwardness...) head over to YouTube, and watch the video!  :)

Let me know if you give these a try!  I think they would be a fun addition to lunch or dinner too.  Enjoy!

All-American Crockpot Chili {Paleo}

Updating an old favorite from 2013 that has been a go-to dinner for us for years now.  It's super simple to prepare, and makes your house smell amazing:

One of my all-time favorite cold weather meals is chili. Nothing warms you up like a warm bowl of chili, eaten on the couch while wrapped in a blanket. You can, of course, go for the kitchen table like a civilized person... but the couch is really where it's at, just sayin'.

No matter what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, you've got to try this one out. I love the heat (both temperature & spice-wise) of the chili, that's balanced out with the sweet hint of coconut sugar & the cool creaminess of the avocado on top... So good! 

Chili doesn't have to be packed with legumes either... It's very easy to do it Paleo-style. With all of the flavor this recipe punches, I don't miss the beans one bit.

This recipe is free of dairy, gluten, legumes, soy, and refined sugar, and also happens to taste amazing. You've got to try it! It would be great for game-day when serving a crowd, and is super convenient to toss in the crockpot overnight or while you're at work. This makes for some great leftovers, too~ it tastes even better reheated the next day.

Let me know if you try it out, & enjoy

Ooey Gooey Almond Joy Cookie Bars (PALEO)

One of my new favorite pastimes is scrolling through the "food/recipe" section on Pinterest.  So many recipes, so many calories, so many unfortunate ingredients.

Yet, these are the recipes that always inspire me the most.  Because I want to taste that Crescent Dough Pizza Pinwheel, and that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting... but I also want it to be Paleo.  Is that so much to ask?

Well, I figured taking matters into my own hands was my best bet;  especially when it came to these Peanut Butter Gooey Bars I saw from "Crazy for Crust".  The chocolatey goodness oozing out of the middle reminded me that I had Enjoy Life chocolate chips in the pantry, and a really good cookie recipe (I'm looking at you Paleo Pizookie), and that I could actually make something like this...

So I got to work subbing all of my Paleo favorites like coconut milk for condensed milk, almond butter for the peanut butter/bleached flour combo, maple syrup for brown & white sugar, etc.~  & this is what I came up with.  I layered it all in a dish, crossed my fingers, and... it worked.

Now: try it, and taste this ooey gooey deliciousness for yourself!  You will not regret this!  & If you find yourself feeling bad about eating the whole dish... remind yourself that the ingredients list could be much worse.  ;)

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Ham

After Thanksgiving, I'm left feeling extra grateful for my loved ones, blessed for another holiday spent with them, and totally unmotivated to go grocery shopping.

So, while I sit at home putting out the Christmas decorations, planning Christmas gifts, and getting in the holiday spirit, I also brainstorm ways I can make something delicious for dinner without leaving the house.

Pre-Whole30-restart to my healthy habits, this might have called for takeout night... But, with my dedication to Paleo and clean eating restored, I'm all about using up those healthy leftovers & making something fresh & creative.

My family found the most amazing ham with super clean ingredients at Costco this year~  and it stole all the turkey's glory.  I scored a huge bag of the leftovers, along with a barely-touched veggie tray, and knew I could whip up something awesome with the two.

I pulled out an onion and box of chicken broth from our pantry, teamed it up with the leftovers, and created this soup.

It's much more pleasant to look at (and eat, if you ask me) than split-pea soup, but with the same idea:  A rich, hearty soup made from veggies that are simmered in broth & given a touch of creaminess with coconut milk--  then blended to a thick, smooth, luscious consistency.  

I added a ton of diced ham (& extra pan-fried ham on top) to make it filling enough to be a true meal, and it hit the spot... big time.  If you are into comfort foods that fill you up and make you feel cozy & satisfied... don't let the unsexiness of this soup throw you off.  You need this in your life!  It tastes 100x better than it looks.

Let me know if you give this a shot.  I think you will love it!

Bacon & Egg Biscuit Cups | PALEO

Anyone else been impressed by those "BuzzFeed Tasty" videos going around on social media lately?  Well, I have!  Except not always impressed with the ingredients.  

So, I decided to take a very tasty looking breakfast idea, and Paleo-fy it!  It worked out perfectly, and we will be making these little guys again & again!

These breakfast cups would be great for entertaining, but were also a perfect on-the-go breakfast for work mornings this week!  We made a batch to enjoy for our Sunday brunch, then ate them leftover the next couple of days~  & they reheated perfectly!

They're super easy to make, and I feel like the "Paleo Drop Biscuit" bottom I used has got to taste better than a piece of white sandwich bread.  ;)

(You can check out the original recipe video that inspired me here on YouTube.)

Let me know if you give these a try, and if you have any other recipes I should Paleo-fy!  Enjoy!

  • Paleo Drop Biscuits (1/2 recipe)
    • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp milk of choice (I used canned coconut milk)
  • 12 slices cooked bacon
  • 12 eggs
  • spinach leaves (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Creamy Chicken & Rice Casserole (PALEO)

I'm back with another "one-dish meal"... my favorite way to pull together a delicious dinner with minimal effort!

This recipe was something I threw together on a whim on the last day of our Whole30.  The weather was chilly, and I was craving creamy, home-style comfort food that would be easy to make on a weekday work night.

I decided to go for this... juicy baked chicken that cooks over creamy cauliflower rice.  I kept it simple, just to test it out, but immediately thought of all the different ways I could change up this dish.

Craving Thai food?  Throw in some Thai spices (listed below) with some broccoli and sliced red bell pepper to simmer with the rice as it all cooks.   Thinking more of a spicy, Mexican-style vibe?  Try adding diced green chiles & smokey spices like cumin & chili powder.  

Another version I personally can't wait to try involves sliced crimini mushrooms & crumbled bacon... The perfect savory touch to this creamy & comforting dish.

Let me know if you give this a try, and what flavors you decide to go for!  I hope you enjoy!

P.S.~  This is Paleo-friendly and Whole30 compliant!  :)

Post Whole30 Round-Up: Before, During, & After!

My third round of Whole30 has by far been my most "successful"... and I think that's because this was the round where I needed it most.

Prior to starting, I wasn't on my A-game.  I woke up late every morning, sleeping through way too many alarms (and even phone calls from Dathan to get me up), yet still felt tired.  Coffee was absolutely necessary (at least 2 cups), and I found myself daydreaming of the Starbucks breakfast sandwiches & vanilla lattes that used to be just an occasional treat.

Speaking of treats... well, there were too many treats.  Things like cookies with my coffee, plantain chips for snacking after work, Quest bars mid-morning, and resorting to takeout when I felt too tired to cook were becoming less and less of a "treat", and more of a regular occurrence.  While I could still fit into most of my size 2's, there were more and more pairs that were being sent down to my storage bin in the garage... because they just weren't comfortable anymore.  & I decided that most stores must actually cut their sizes too small, so maybe the next size up was just fine.  (Somewhere around here is when the little voice in my head suggested a Whole30)

Now, while the Whole30 felt incredibly effective due to my increasingly bad habits, that doesn't mean it was an "easy" fix.  The first two weeks of this Whole30 were so much harder than the early days of my first two rounds.  I was having to overcome the physical feelings of headache and fatigue while my body detoxed from junk... but was also having to re-learn my old mental habits at the same time.  No wonder why sushi & pizza seemed so appealing... it's so much easier.

Zucchini Casserole (Paleo)

You know those dishes that taste like comfort, family, Thanksgiving and home...  yet you wonder:  "If someone else ate at our family feast... would they think this is weird?"  

I'm hoping thinking I'm not the only one with a favorite dish like that.  And this is mine:

Every year, one of my favorite humans in the whole world makes this dish for the holidays:  my grandma.  & I could literally skip all of the turkey and potatoes and biscuits & everything else... and just eat this (okay, & maybe some stuffing).  

When my grandma or my mom (one of my other favorite humans) make this, it's certainly not "paleo".  It's comfort food:  rich, savory, filling, and delicious;  but not exactly good for you.
So, on my most recent 'Sunday recipe-testing day', I set out to use up the zucchini in the fridge while trying to recreate one of my favorite dishes.  And, since I wanted to eat the entire thing, I'm pretty sure I succeeded.

I'd also like to mention that Dathan, who doesn't have the same sentimental attachment to this recipe as I do (and could easily rule this out as a "weird" thing that my family eats), actually loved this too.  He asked for seconds, and for thirds.
So whether it's Thanksgiving, brunch, a side dish with dinner, or a main dish with a little chicken or ground beef tossed in~  give this family comfort favorite of mine a try.  I don't think you will be disappointed!

P.S.:  Please let me know what your favorite comfort food dishes are!  I'm always looking for new things to Paleo-fy  :)

Paleo Cheesecake Dip

If you read my ramblings on my Paleo Chicken Alfredo Pasta post, you know how I feel about cashew butter.  On its own, I think it tastes "funky"... a little too cheesy/sweet for me.  

However, that cheesy/sweet weirdness is what led me to make my favorite Alfredo sauce ever.  So, this time, I decided to take that inspiration in more of a sweet direction... a cheesecake direction to be exact.

I knew I wanted to create with cashews, and was also inspired by the good ol' cheeseball dip mixes we used to have when I was younger.  You know, the powdered mix where you just add cream cheese to make a creamy dip?  While most people loved the savory ones for dipping crackers & veggies, I always loved the sweet versions with flavors like strawberry and key lime.

My last inspirational thought behind this dip was to make something we could enjoy with our sliced apples on the Whole30 (because plain almond butter can eventually get old).

With just a few simple ingredients, and a "Sunday-recipe-testing-day", my Paleo Cheesecake Dip was born.  It's light, creamy, and absolutely delicious!  Almost as if cheesecake and a whipped topping had a baby...  :)

I made two flavor variations to start, but the options are endless.  My favorite was the "Pumpkin Pie" version, while Dathan really loved the "Mixed Berry Cheesecake".  We brainstormed together to come up with even more varieties you could try~  but keep in mind that this is also awesome plain!

One last note:  I used dates to lightly sweeten and add texture to the dip.  However, you could also substitute honey or maple syrup if you're not on a Whole30, and want it extra sweet.  Just skip the dates & soak your cashews alone.

I hope you enjoy!  Let me know if you have any other flavor ideas, and what you would dip into this creamy creation!

What I Bought: Costco on the Whole30

If you've been with me on my blogging journey for awhile, you've seen many grocery haul posts.  
 Well, I decided to do this one slightly different-- and I'm hoping the extra effort will make it just a bit more helpful to you guys.

I made a super exciting Friday Night Out trip to Costco the other night, and this is what I came home with.  Dathan & I were heading into week two of our Whole30, so I avoided the areas of Costco I knew I shouldn't be in, and stocked up on some super-clean items.

While I did manage to get out in under 30 minutes, don't worry~  I still took the time to double check the ingredients (although many of these don't have more than one!) to make sure they were Whole30 compliant.

& Now, for the twist:  I decided to include a list of meal ideas at the end, using the items I bought on this trip & just a few more ingredients you might already have on hand.  They are all Whole30 compliant, and easy to make!

Tips & How-To: Preparing for Your Whole30!

In my mind, success on the Whole30 comes down to two things:  Mental strength & Preparation. 

Are you really hungry, or just craving a snack?  Do you get the 5 minutes of extra sleep, or get your snacks ready for the next day?  It all comes down to being self-aware & making good choices.  

So, for Week One of Whole30, I wanted to make sure that I started off on the right foot by being prepared.  

I took some pictures & jotted down a few notes over my weekend-before-Whole30, and am here to share it with you all!  

I hope this is helpful, and that it makes the Whole30 seem a little less intimidating.  You just have to get a little organized, and let your mental strength take over from there!  :)

Here are the steps I took on Sunday, before our Whole30 started the next day:

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

I love applesauce all year round... but especially in the fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the smells, the crisp weather, & the warm, hearty food.

This is my recipe for super easy at-home applesauce. Perfect for using up some of your less pretty apples (bruises don't matter once they're baked). Great for entertaining, as your house will smell amazing & your guests will have a sweet, healthy dessert.

I came up with this recipe after searching all around for a cinnamon apple side-dish to serve with the pork chops I was making for my boyfriend's "surprise dinner". Every site I found seemed to recommend canned pie filling & strange additives.... I decided to pass on that & make my own.

Apples are delicious on their own, so they don't need much help to create a great applesauce. Use whatever apples are your favorite, and feel free to mix & match to switch up the flavors. I go for Pink Lady apples, since they are a favorite of mine (& boyfriend's) for their sweet-yet-slightly-tart taste.

This is amazing served warm for dessert (would be perfect with vanilla ice cream!) & just as good as a cold snack. Mix in some almond butter for some healthy fats & a little crunch! I hope you enjoy one of my most favorite recipes, & happy Fall!