Paleo Chicken Alfredo Pasta | Whole30

Once upon a time, I tried some raw cashew butter on my sliced apples... and I hated it.  The end.  :)

Ha- seriously though, it just had an odd flavor to me in comparison to my beloved almond butter.  I felt like it had too much of a "cheesy" flavor which was not my favorite for a sweet snack.  But- ever since then, I have been wanting to play with cashew butter a bit more.  I figured that cheesy, creamy flavor could be put to good use in some type of sauce or dip.

My first cashew butter creation happened last weekend, and I could not be happier with it!  I made my own cashew butter by blending the nuts with coconut milk (for extra creaminess) and chicken bone broth (for a savory flavor & bonus nutrients).  The result was a thick, creamy sauce that I knew would be the perfect base for an Alfredo sauce.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do... It's truly worth the extra effort!

Side note:  I added broccoli to mine, since that's how we ate our Chicken Alfredo as kids.  You could leave it out, or try some fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, etc.  Get creative!  Also see my "quick tip" below if you're just interested in making the sauce alone!  :)

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned; I used "light")
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or ghee
  • 4 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, broken into pieces
  • salt & pepper (I used about 1 tsp each)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place the open sides down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tender enough to scrape out with a fork.
  2. While the squash bakes, grill the chicken breast with a little salt & pepper to season.  You can use a skillet or grill pan; just make sure it is lightly browned & cooked through.  Allow it to rest, then slice into bite-sized pieces.  Now you can start your sauce....
  3. Blend the cashews, coconut milk, and broth in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Set aside or refrigerate if you make it ahead of time.
  4. Once the the squash is done baking, use a fork to scrape out your "pasta" and transfer it into a bowl.
  5. In a large skillet or pot over medium heat, sauté the broccoli, garlic, & onion in avocado oil or ghee until slightly softened (2-3 minutes).  Add the sauce, and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the spaghetti squash, and season with salt & pepper.  Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thin (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken to dish and stir.  Continue to cook until the sauce simmers and the chicken is warmed.  Serve hot! 
*Serves 4 to 6, depending on how much you eat!  ;)

Quick Tip:  If you'd like to make the sauce alone, start at step 3 by blending your cashews with the broth & coconut milk.  Then sauté the minced garlic & onion in a saucepan until translucent, add the sauce base, and season with plenty of salt & pepper!  Pour it over chicken, shrimp, or whatever dish you like!  And if you like things extra saucy... double that sauce!

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Wild Salmon Cakes

Do any of you watch the show "Chopped" on Food Network as much as I do?  Random oddball ingredients & 30 minutes or less to create a judge-worthy dish... I feel like that's me on a Sunday when we need to go grocery shopping.  ;)  I often think that I could totally win that show... unless my basket contained silken tofu or chickens' feet.

Last weekend my Sunday lunch challenge led me to create these salmon cakes, and the head judge (Dathan) approved!  

I decided to put the wild-caught Alaskan canned salmon I had been hoarding in the cupboard to good use, and tossed in a few other ingredients to create the perfect no-fuss meal.  No one would have guessed that we had an empty fridge!

These salmon cakes are light, crispy, & packed with savory, melt-in-your-mouth flavor.  They are also Whole30 & 21 Day Sugar Detox compliant!

Toasted Cashew Cookie Larabars

Back with another Larabar flavor... & I think this one's my favorite so far!

Up until now, I've recreated two of Larabar's original flavors:  Lemon Bar & Coconut Cream Pie.  This time around, I decided to get creative & make my own new flavor.  Instead of sticking to Larabar's strictly raw ingredient list, I thought it would be fun to try toasting the cashews used in this bar for more of a "baked good" flavor.

Well, it gave me just that... & I swear these bars taste just like a cookie!  No picture can explain to you the warm, slightly cinnamon-y goodness you will taste with each bite of one of these bars.  They are amazing!

Swiss Chard Deli Wrap

Not the best photo quality for this post... but I had to share one of my new favorite concoctions!

I'm not a huge 'lunch' person, so I usually stick to leftovers from dinner the night before.  On Saturday, however, all I had left over was a bowl of roasted veggies... so I wanted to whip up something quick & protein-packed to go with it.

I think this is my new go-to quick & easy lunch~ so I couldn't resist sharing (even if it's with iPhone pictures).  Hope you enjoy!

Whole30 Eats: Grocery Finds!

Hi everyone!

It's Saturday, so I've got some time to sit down & write-- and I figured it would be a great time to update you all  :)

I'm on day 10 of my Whole30, and finally feeling... great!  This round of the program has been much tougher than my first; simply because I was eating a lot worse before starting this time.  I actually had some junk to 'detox' from, and some cravings to kick.

Later on, I'm planning to do a round-up post where I let you know how I felt throughout the Whole30 (with all the ups & downs), but for now I'd like to share a few things (aka: lots of food) that I've found along the way.

The items mentioned below are from a few different trips to Safeway, Whole Foods, & Target~ I will let ya know specifically by each picture.  I also have two new items that we got from Santa this year (he found them on Julian Bakery's online store) that I have been loving!

Here we go! 

From Safeway & Whole Foods

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

I have been craving soups lately, most likely due to the weather.  & As much as I love using my crockpot, stovetop soups are sometimes more realistic for me when I don't have (or take) the time to plan ahead.

This one is super quick to toss together, but you'd never guess it from the amazing flavor you'll get.  The most time consuming part of this recipe is combining all of the spices... so I would recommend making a double or triple batch, so that you'll have leftovers on hand for future soups or stir-frys.  

Frozen vegetables are another great time-saver.  I really recommend the 365 brand "Stir Fry Vegetable" blend from Whole Foods Market.  It's one of the few that's truly Paleo-friendly... no baby corn or legumes.  We always have a bag or two on hand for a quick & easy dinner.

Besides being delicious, this soup is also full of good-for-you ingredients, and is Whole30 compliant!

Easy Chicken & Veggie Bake

By now, most of you probably know that while I love to cook... I am all about practical recipes.  My most favorite meals are ones that can be prepared in a single dish with absolute minimum dishes to clean.  If it's easy to cook & doesn't require me to "babysit" it~ even better!

This, my friends... has got to be the easiest dinner I've ever shared on my blog.  You don't have to be a chef to prepare this one.  All you need is a knife, a baking dish, and an oven- and you're set.  No flipping pieces of meat, poking veggies for done-ness, or babysitting a stove.

Simply chop, dress, mix, & bake.

My "Weekly Meal Planner"

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a great time celebrating last night, whether you did it big out at a raging party... or hung out on the couch like me  :)

I know many people get irritated by the whole "new year, new me" thing... but I, personally, do not!  I think the start of a new year is the perfect time to clean up your act and get your priorities in line.

I thought today would be the perfect time to share a simple way to get your eating habits in check.  "Meal planning" might sound time consuming & unnecessary to some, but I think it's a great way to stay organized and feel in control of what you'll be eating throughout the week.  

That way- when the stress of a work week hits you in full force, you won't have to worry about whether or not you've got a healthy meal to eat that night.

It takes a little planning ahead, but is worth it for the peace of mind!