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!