Dairy-Free Spinach Pesto | Paleo, Whole30

I love the flavors of a good pesto, and how it can transform a simple dish into something delicious.  Unfortunately, finding a dairy-free option at the store can be tricky, and I don't always keep fresh basil on hand to make my own.  There are a few great versions available at Whole Foods Market, if you're interested in buying one~  but it's actually really simple to make!

All you need is a food processor, and a few simple ingredients.  Traditional pesto is done with fresh basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, but of course I switched things up to make it more convenient and Paleo-friendly.

First, I swapped the basil for spinach (because we always have spinach on hand & I actually love the flavor it gives).  I then ditched the pine nuts, mainly because they're expensive and I don't feel like they're necessary.  I used cashews instead~  they give that toasty "nutty" flavor, and also serve as a great replacement for the Parmesan cheese.

Just a couple minutes of prep time, and you've got the perfect pesto that you can use in so many ways!  Spread it over chicken or fish for a burst of fresh flavor, or stir it into spaghetti squash as a "pasta sauce".  I also love what pesto does to scrambled eggs~  just mix in a tablespoon or so after cooking!

Let me know if you give this a try, and tag me in your Instagram photos so I can see how you decide to use it!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I used always have cans of low-sodium, low-calorie soup on hand for quick dinners, and they became sort of a go-to.  But once I started switching over to a Paleo diet, and checking my labels with a new perspective, I realized that they weren't exactly the best bet for a nutritious meal.

I started making my own Paleo-friendly soups from scratch, but they became less of a go-to~ because they're just simply not as convenient as a can that's ready to heat & serve... and I didn't always have the time (or motivation) to "go there" for a weeknight dinner.

Enter my "Creamy Tomato Basil Soup":  my way of bringing the convenience back to soup on a Paleo or Whole30 diet.  I've made this many times now, when we're low on groceries and in a pinch, and I still can't get over how delicious & EASY it is.

Diced tomatoes, spices, coconut milk, & broth combine in the blender then heat on the stove for a creamy, luscious soup that takes just minutes to prepare.  It's really just as easy as a boxed or canned soup~ but so much cleaner!

Paleo Banana "Porridge"

This quick & easy "porridge" copycat has a special place in my heart... and that's because it's not really my recipe.  It's Dathan's!

Every time I'm feeling under the weather (which ends up being often when you work in a pediatric setting) Dathan whips this up for me.  It has that perfect "comfort food" vibe... just like a bowl of typical oatmeal or porridge would.

It's sweet, filling, and perfect whether you eat it warm or cold.

Dathan was happy to share his first recipe on my blog... so here it is!  Hope you guys love it as much as I do.  & Please feel free to switch it up~  add berries, extra cinnamon, coconut sugar, or whatever else you like on your porridge.

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • bowl
  • fork

  1. Slice the banana, then mash with a fork in a small bowl.
  2. Smash the almond butter into the mashed banana until smooth.
  3. Stir in the coconut & cinnamon.
  4. Chill in the freezer for 2-3 minutes if you're serving it cold, or heat it in the microwave if you'd like it warm.  Add coconut milk if you like it thinner!

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Pizza Meat Sauce Skillet | Paleo, Whole30

Another one-dish dinner for you!  I've been meaning to share this one for awhile, and am finally getting around to it.  It has the heartiness of a meat sauce, with the ease of a one-dish meal, and the flavor of pizza... do I have your attention yet!?

I created mine in a typical "combination pizza" style, which is my favorite... but you could switch it up however you like!  Meat Lovers, Hawaiian, Plain ol' Pepperoni;  the options are endless.  

While I love a bowl full of this deliciousness on its own~ it would also be awesome with something to dip in it, such as:  a flat bread (you could make a Paleo pizza crust then slice it up into pieces), my Paleo Drop Biscuits, or my Paleo Garlic Herb Bread.  It would also be AMAZING over spaghetti squash!

If you follow the recipe below, this is a Paleo dish.  To make it Whole30 compliant, just double check your meats and sauce for compliance.  We love the 365 brand sauces from Whole Foods Market~  lots of compliant options at a great price!

Creamy Lemon Garlic "Pasta" with Scallops

Today, I'm here to share another of my Whole30 dinner creations... Lemon Garlic "Pasta" with Scallops!  

The "pasta" is spaghetti squash, and I made a quick, creamy sauce using the pan drippings from the scallops that is bursting with flavor.

My favorite part about this dish is the balance... it tastes light & fresh, but is still hearty & filling.  This would be great any time of year, but I love how it brightened up our winter menu;  a nice break from heavier soups & chilis.

Both the spaghetti squash & scallops I used are from Costco.  I love that they offer high-quality wild scallops that are frozen, so you can thaw as many as you'd like at a time.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Try it for a nice lunch when entertaining, or dinner anytime.  It's not as difficult as it looks!

This dish is also Paleo-friendly, grain & dairy free, and Whole30 compliant.

What I Ate: Whole30 at Work! | VIDEO

Head over to my YouTube channel to follow along with me as I take on Day 13 of the Whole30.

Nothing super exciting, but I thought you might like to see what I eat on a typical mid-workweek day when I'm not feeling super creative.  Just simple, effective meals & a snack to get me through the drive home.  ;)

Let me know if you like this sort of video!  & Thank you for all of the positivity & support you guys give me... your kind words make my day every time, and keep me motivated to continue sharing!

Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce | Paleo, Whole30

I have SO many recipes written on a list in my "Notes" app, called "Ideas to Paleo-fy".  I swear the list is never-ending.  

This sauce has been one of those on the list that I knew just how I would make, & just how great it would taste... but for some reason I kept putting it off.

Now that it's here, and it's real, all I can think is:  "Why did I wait this long!?"  

This sauce is SO easy to make.  I literally pulse the ingredients in a blender then heat it up.  It doesn't get much simpler than that.

And the flavor.... is out of this world!  It's sweet with a light heat, and is PERFECT on my Crispy Oven Fried Chicken.  It would also taste amazing over shrimp, in an Asian stir-fry, or on some blackened salmon!

Let me know if you give this a try.  I think you will love it!  Did I mention that it's sweetener-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant? 

Crispy Oven Fried Chicken | Paleo, Whole30

I came up with this chicken recipe on a whim one night last week.  I knew that I wanted to make a Pineapple Teriyaki sauce (recipe to come!), and wanted some deliciously crispy chicken to go underneath.

It had to be crispy to hold up to the sauce, and I wanted it to be easy... I mean this was a week night creation after all.  I knew almond flour would make a good coating mixed with some savory spices, but I wanted to up the "crunch" factor to make it just right.  So I came up with a secret ingredient.  ;)

This worked out perfectly on the first try (don't you love it when that happens...) & I knew it had to be shared soon!  I took to Instagram & Facebook for some feedback from you guys, and you agreed!  So I bumped this up to the top of my "to-post list" and am here to share it with you today.

It's amazing how all of the chicken pieces-- both breasts and thighs-- cooked perfectly at once.  I did a quick pan-fry at the beginning to get the browning started, but this can also be done solely in the oven to simplify the process.

It has that perfect hot, salty/savory crunch but is balanced out perfectly by a touch of natural sweetness from my secret ingredient (the one that gives it that extra crispy texture)...

Southwestern Breakfast Skillet

I love breakfast dishes that can make a beautiful Sunday brunch, but also store & reheat easily so that they can be portioned into leftovers for the week.

This dish was created with that meal prep scenario in mind, but was also inspired by my non-egg-loving friends.  Some of you (including my little brother) have asked for egg-less dishes that still make a healthy, hearty breakfast.  

Whether you're allergic, sensitive, or just don't like eggs~  this would be a great one for you.  Just call it done before the eggs are added in.

I hope you enjoy the smokey-sweet flavors of this dish.  The ingredients are simple, but this breakfast becomes something special with a little spice!

Change up the sausage or type of potato if you like, and make this dish your own.  I hope you enjoy!  & Don't forget to check out my "notes" below for preparing this.  :)

What I Bought: Costco on the Whole30 | Part 2 + a Video!

Come join me in my kitchen over on YouTube to see "What I Bought" at Costco for the Whole30! 

I've done a few of these posts before, & this is my second time hauling only Whole30 compliant foods.  To see my last one, click here:  What I Bought: Costco on the Whole30

If you've seen my previous YouTube videos, you know they're not exactly my expertise.  I feel MUCH more comfortable sitting here behind the keyboard on my laptop, reaching you all through my blog.  It is, however, a goal of mine for the year to get out of my comfort zone & branch out in different ways to reach you all even more.  

So bear with me as I learn the ropes and lose my deer-in-headlights look!  I promise I'll get there with practice, haha.  That little "recording" light can be quite intimidating! ;)

 "What I Bought:  Costco on the Whole30"

Roasted Green Veggie Dip

Dathan found a clean "dip" recipe on the back of a tortilla chip bag at Whole Foods, and the idea got me thinking... I have been missing dips (besides salsa & guac) since going Paleo. 

I always loved hummus, & felt like it made me eat more raw veggies as a snack~ since it makes them that much more exciting.  I wanted to come up with a Whole30 compliant/Paleo-friendly replacement, without the legumes.  My thoughts were "green goddess dressing" or "roasted red pepper hummus", that was thick enough for "dipping", and used easy ingredients that I had on hand.

This is what I came up with!  "Roasted Green Veggie Dip"

It's perfect for dipping plantain chips, bell peppers, carrots, celery, or whatever other dipper you like...  But it also would make a great dressing!  I drizzled it over my salmon salad for lunch one day, & it seriously took my boring salad to the next level.

So quick, flavorful, and easy to make!  It stores great in the refrigerator, and is easy to take on-the-go for a dressing or work snack in a small container.


Whole30 Banana Snack Boats

Stopping by to share a quick snack idea with you guys!

I whipped up these fun "Banana Snack Boats" on Sunday when I needed something small to keep me fueled until dinner time.  I ate a large brunch, this for a snack, and a large dinner & it filled me up perfectly.

Banana & almond butter is sort of a go-to around our house, but I thought slicing it up this way & topping it with a little something "extra" just made it that much better.

I know this is simple, but it always seems to hit the spot.  :)  It would also be great for breakfast with a boiled egg or sausage, & could work as a quick dessert too.

Take a picture if you make it yourself, and tag me in the photo on Instagram!  I would love to see it.  & Thanks to those of you who did already~  I love seeing your pictures!!

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie

You know those Marie Callender's frozen pot pies that cook in the microwave?

So me and those were besties when I was around 15-16 years old...  
But, unfortunately, it was one of those abusive relationships that you don't realize you're in.  Everyone around you sees it, but you just don't... it seems so perfect from the inside... Until someone intervenes & fills you in on what your relationship actually looks like, and what it's doing to you.  So you have to break up.

Then comes the recovery period, and it's hard to trust again...
Until the Paleo diet comes into my life, introducing me to foods that I can love again & not feel afraid.  That I can trust, for real this time.

Thanks to some of my favorite Paleo ingredients (coconut milk, chicken broth, ghee, meat, veggies, and a couple Paleo-approved flours), I can be friends with Chicken Pot Pie again.  
And this time it's for the long haul.

Enjoy~ and keep in mind that all of these ingredients are trust-worthy compliant, even for you Whole30ers...  It's just up to you whether the "crust" topping & overall deliciousness of this pot pie makes this a SWYPO* food.  If so, you could always go "crust-less"!

*(see the Whole30 site for definition of SWYPO, I keep it PG around here.)

Recent Food & Kitchen Favorites (Fall/Winter 2015) | Paleo & Whole30

Popping in quickly to let you know that I have a new YouTube video live!  I'm sharing a round-up of some of my "favorite things" that I've been loving lately.  All are Paleo/Whole30 related, and have made my life easier or happier in some way. :)

From Whole30 compliant packaged foods, to my favorite sweet tooth fixes, to some new tools in & around the kitchen~  I've got some fun things that you might want to try!  

I also share a tip I use for portion control when it comes to snacking.  Hope you enjoy!  & Please let me know if you have any other YouTube videos you'd like to see from me.  Growing my YouTube channel is one of my big goals for the New Year!

My Whole30 Shopping List + Recipe Bank

First, thank you to all who have subscribed for my email updates!  I hope you enjoyed your early access to my Whole30 shopping list, and had a chance to put it to good use.  I'm excited to come up with more fun things to send out exclusively to my email friends, so be sure to sign up to receive my emails if you haven't already!  Now, let's get down to business:

My Whole30 Grocery Essentials shopping list... is here!

I have been hard at work coming up with some handy resources to share with you guys, with one goal in mind:  make "healthy" simple.

I've already shared our "Weekly Meal Planner" that we fill out every Sunday (find it here: http://www.justjessieb.com/2015/01/my-weekly-meal-planner.html).  It's been a priceless tool for organizing & budgeting~ whether we are Whole30-ing or not.

This time, however, I thought I would take it a step back.  Because what if you don't know what to plug into your meal planner?  What if you don't even know where to start?  You threw all of the non-compliant food out of the house for your January Whole30, now what are you supposed to buy?  & What do you make with all of it!?

If you're feeling overwhelmed & need a starting point... this will help!  

Click the link to go to the PDF & download for free: