Pizza Frittata | PALEO, Whole30



One of the many things I love about blogging is the fact that I can reach you guys from just about anywhere (as long as I've got a WiFi connection!)  And today that somewhere is Disneyland!  I'm here with my mom and younger brother, since it's become sort of a tradition to take a trip "just the three of us" before back to school/work time.

Now although it's the land of churros, ice cream treats, and corn dogs... I'm still managing to eat pretty clean.  There are actually a ton of healthy options, especially at the sit-down restaurants.  But with the number of "steps" we get in trekking it back & forth between Disneyland and California Adventure... I wouldn't feel too bad if a corn dog or Dole whip snuck onto the menu!

Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Meatballs | PALEO, Whole30


I haven't shared much about my health/weight loss journey and how I found a Paleo diet.  It was a long road to where I am now, but the Paleo part started for me about 5 years ago when I met Dathan.  He showed me by example that you could be healthy, strong, and thriving on a super simple diet free of dairy and grains.  I jumped on board the Paleo train, thinking maybe it would be a "fad" for me... and here I am 5 years later, still going strong!

Over the years, I've come up with so many Paleo-fied recipes to replace the comfort food favorites I once splurged on.  But one realm I haven't quite conquered is the party food snack table... because I'll still 100% go to town on some chips & salsa if they're sitting in front of me at a gathering.

Three-Ingredient Soft Baked Cookies | PALEO, Vegan


I have come up with many fun Paleo-fied dessert recipes over the years, and love whipping them out on special occasions to impress friends & family with how delicious grain- & dairy-free baking can be.  A couple of my favorites?  My simple Lemon Bars and popular German Chocolate Cake Bars.   

Both are Paleo friendly, but do require a little time and effort.  And while I love them *so much*... I don't always feel like spending a ton of time in the kitchen... especially when I've already spent my time cooking dinner & cleaning all that up.

Tuscan Chicken Skillet | PALEO, Whole30


With summer time here and more time on my hands, you'd think I wouldn't mind putting in more work in the kitchen.  But with the summer heat and 100 other things on my to-do list that I'd rather be spending my time on, turning on the oven and spending a whole lot of time on dinner doesn't always make the cut.

So here I am, a good way through the summer:  still craving those fresh summer flavors and wanting enough food made to get us through lunches the next day, but not willing to spend more than about 30 minutes on a meal.  Sound familiar?

Vanilla Cashew Collagen Bites | PALEO, Whole30


In case you haven't noticed, collagen is slowly taking over.  It's all over Instagram and YouTube, and sneaking into tons of skincare products too.  Are you guys on board with it?  Pretty sure you already know that I love it!

Collagen is great in coffee and smoothies, and I also love how it dissolves pretty effortlessly into most recipes.  A sneaky way to get in extra protein to snacks and meals that need a boost.

Sausage & Egg Breakfast Bake | PALEO, Whole30

This recipe has been updated as of July 2017 ~ same great flavors, just a few minor tweaks & new photos.  I love all of your great feedback on this breakfast bake, and have made it about a million times now myself!


I love waking up and sharing breakfast with my family, especially on the rare occasion where we're all at home to enjoy each other's company. This dish is a great way to bring everyone together, without spending all your time in the kitchen.

Quick Shrimp & Green Bean Curry Skillet | PALEO, Whole30


One of my favorite flavor profiles that I've grown to love in adulthood (because I was a picky kid) is a good Thai curry.  The warm, mildly spiced curry sauces are some of my favorites, and pair so well with almost any protein.  The fact that the coconut-based creaminess lends itself so easily to a Paleo or Whole30 meal is just an added bonus!

And while I continue to love & make more traditional-spiced dishes like my Thai Coconut Curry Chicken and Thai Coconut Curry Soup, taking the time to create a Thai spice blend can be consuming.  Often I'll make a large batch at once, so it's ready to be sprinkled into a skillet dish or soup whenever I'm ready for some spicy-sweet Thai flavor.  However, I totally understand not wanting to go out & purchase 1 million different spices just to create one blend (or to even have that many to store in your spice cabinet).  For those reasons, and for the love of quick & simple meals, I decided to come up with a simplified curry.  The less ingredients, the better~ but still with enough flavor to give it that traditional Thai flair.

"Cheesy" Cauliflower Rice | Paleo


I am always on the hunt for some tasty side dishes that I'm actually going to make.  Because as much as I love me some grilled steak or chicken (especially in the summer time), it's just not a complete meal without a couple of side dishes to compliment those smokey flavors and satisfy every craving.


In addition to being delicious, I'm always trying to come up with sides that are realistic.  Ones that don't take tons of time and ingredients to make, but are still full of nutrients and homemade goodness?  That's what I'm talking about!

No-Bake Berry Tarts | Paleo, Vegan


Summer time is finally rolling around, even though we've still had lots of spring showers here in the Bay Area!  We've had some chilly days, but each time the summer sun decides to shine, I find all the inspiration I need to get my BBQ/grillin' hat on.  Because who doesn't love a paper plate of perfectly grilled meat with some cool, refreshing sides?  And once you've got your ultimate summer plate stacked up just right, there has to be a sweet treat to finish it off - am I right?

My mission was to come up with a cool, creamy treat - perfect for topping off those summer nights - that doesn't require heating up any household appliances.  Because you know that heating up an oven is not always the most welcome idea when the house is already warm!

Whole30 Breakfast Bowls with Spicy Cream Sauce


I think most of us have realized by now, that meal prepping is "a thing" - and everyone & their mom seems to be doing it!  What I don't think all realize, though, is that it doesn't have to be an all-day Sunday event that involves mountains of plastic containers that barely fit in the fridge, with the same-ol' boring foods packed in.

Preparing your meals ahead of time can be done any day throughout the week, and it doesn't have to be every single meal for the day - so don't be overwhelmed!  Start small with the meal that's most difficult for you to make in the moment, due to time constraints, schedule, or any other variable.  For us, that's breakfast.  

Because when you wake up in a rush to get out the door and start your day, it can be tough to fit in time to cook.  So rather than grabbing a bar, heading for the nearest Starbucks (although I do love it...), or skipping breakfast altogether:  prep this tricky meal ahead of time!  Even if it's just for a few days out, you will absolutely thank yourself later.

Cookie Dough Fudge Bars | Paleo


"School's out for the summer...."  "School's out...."  okay, that's all I know from that song.  But it's fitting, and ringing through my mind, because guess what?  School is out.  You guessed it - for the summer!

I just finished my first school year with a new district (I'm a speech therapist by day) and am so excited!  The year was filled with challenges and so much learning as I went, but it was a really good year.  I am so thankful for a great job working with kids that make me laugh every day.  And another big take away?  High schoolers aren't as scary as they look or seem.  They're actually so fun to work with, and I can't wait to jump back in for round 2 in August!

Asian Lettuce Wrap Filling | Paleo, Whole30


I may be alone in this, but... eating things with my hands (unless those things are fries) seriously stresses me out.  I'm talking sandwiches, tacos, wraps, etc.  Anyone else?

Fillings dripping out, taking a bite & watching stuff fall out the other end (not to mention just having to put my hands all over my food)?  No.  Way too many variables when all I want is to chow down on some delicious eats when I'm hungry and just want to get the food in my belly.

Everything Aioli | Paleo, Whole30


The secret to avoiding food boredom when eating paleo or on a Whole30?  Hands down:  sauces, dips, spreads, condiments... you get the gist.  Anything that turns a basic roasted veggie or grilled protein into something delicious that you will crave!

I use each with moderation, of course, but still find that even the lightest drizzle of a flavorful sauce can add SO much "oomph" to any simple meal.  

Balsamic Roasted Rainbow Carrots | Paleo, Whole30


Like many, my motivation for things comes and goes over time:  exercise, eating squeaky clean, waking up early, drinking plenty of water.  They're all things I wish were second nature & just happened.  Because if they did, life would be so easy, right?  The stars would align, and I would walk around feeling perfectly fit, rested, and hydrated all the time.

But as I'm sure y'all know there's this thing called life.  And it's unpredictable.  You've got to roll with whatever it throws at you - good times, bad times, super busy times, late nights at work and early morning meetings... and what goes to the wayside?  Probably your extra 16 oz of water intake, or those 2 more hours of sleep your body really needs.  For me?  It always (unfortunately) seems to be my exercise routine, or some type of meal prep that should get done.  

Sun Basket Meal Delivery Review

3 Free Meals - Sun Basket

If you're anything like me, you've been bombarded with meal delivery talk lately.  They seem to be everywhere:  commercials on TV, friends posting their discount links on Facebook...  Have you gotten one of the coupon flyers in the mail, too?  Where they come with a gift card glued on that you feel wrong throwing away?  I've stuck at least a few of those in a kitchen drawer, telling myself I'd eventually check it out or pass on to a friend...

And if you're really like me (as of about a month ago), you still haven't tried out any of the services.  Because what's the big deal anyway?  I kept wondering how good of a deal it was, whether or not the food would spoil as it sat on our porch waiting for us to get home from work, and why I would pay to get low-quality meats and produce that probably wouldn't lend themselves to a grain & dairy free meal anyways.  The Paleo struggle, right?

3 Free Meals - Sun Basket

Hearty Tomato Basil Meat Sauce | Paleo, Whole30

Updating another old favorite with fresh new photos & a couple of recipe notes.  It's the same old meat sauce that we love and go back to again & again... it just looks prettier this time around!


Confession: I'm the weird girl who eats an entire bowl of sauce. No pasta... just straight up sauce. It can't be any old sauce, though-- it has to be meat sauce. It's got to be filling & hearty with tons of ground meat & veggies. When it's made like that, who needs pasta? 

Breakfast Meatloaf Muffins with Sausage Gravy | PALEO, Whole30


If you haven't noticed yet, I almost always steer clear of muffin tins.  LOVE that muffin shape & convenience for grab & go meals, but HATE the thought of cleaning the tin.  

Or spending so much time baking a yummy dish that smells delicious & I can't wait to eat... then watching half of each muffin stick to the bottom of the tin as I try to remove them.  Seriously, nightmare material.

Chunky Monkey Chocolate Pudding | PALEO


"Chunky Monkey"...  What is it about that phrase that immediately gets my mouth watering?  Must be all the delicious memories of that rich & decadent flavor combo of banana - fudge - walnut.  

And now I'm wondering, was it Ben & Jerry's famous ice cream flavor that started the chunky monkey craze?  And everyone else jumped on board with loads of cookies, shakes, and brownies?  Or vice versa?  Don't know, and honestly doesn't matter - cuz this is one bandwagon that I have no shame in jumping on!

Slow Cooker Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya | Paleo, Whole30


Ever since I made a giant batch of Cajun Seasoning Blend for my "Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta", I've been on a major kick with that flavor profile.  I just love the savory-spicy kick that even a pinch of Cajun spice adds to any dish.  Cajun scrambled eggs?  Yum.  Cajun chicken soup?  Delicious.  Cajun Slow Cooker Jambalaya?  Perfect.

No-Bake Almond Butter Apple Pie Snack Bars | Paleo, Whole30


One of my all-time favorite flavor combos is apples and cinnamon.  Add almond butter and a dash of sea salt to that, and magic happens:  it tastes like apple pie... I promise.  

So you could easily mix up a snack bowl of apple sauce, almond butter, and chopped apples with the cinnamon-sea salt sprinkling over top and get that super yummy flavor...  But there's something about these no-bake bars that feels so much more satisfying.

Sheet Pan Alfredo Chicken & Broccoli | Paleo, Whole30


With Spring Break over and our normal work-week routine back in full swing - I've had simple, one dish meals on my mind.  And with a busy schedule PLUS being on a Whole30?  I was in serious need of some simple meals I could make on-the-fly without making endless trips to the grocery store (which is sometimes the way it goes when Whole30ing... am I right?)

One of my favorite compliant dishes here on my blog is my Paleo Chicken Alfredo "Pasta".  And while I believe every minute of cooking that spaghetti squash, grilling the chicken, and blending then simmering the sauce is absolutely worth the end result... I'm going to be honest:  I don't always have that many minutes to spend on dinner, especially during the work week.

Frosted Carrot Cake Cookie Bars | PALEO


For as long as I can remember, my mom's dessert of choice has been carrot cake.  Maybe because it's sweet and nutty - just like her!  Haha, totally kidding Mom! (about the nutty part

My mom is actually my best friend, and it's probably for that reason that carrot cake has become one of my very favorites over the years, too.  I guess because I wouldn't mind being just like my mom, even if it's just sharing some favorites!

Savory Stuffed Turkey Burgers | Paleo, Whole30


If you're looking to switch up your dinner options with a leaner protein, without losing out on flavor & moisture, these turkey burgers are for you!  I like to buy ground turkey every now & then so I don't get too burnt on ground beef~ gotta switch things up sometimes.


I know turkey comes with a negative connotation sometimes; many people hear turkey & think "dry, flavorless, health food, diet, etc."... not fun words.  These turkey burgers will change your mind!  

I stuff them with tons of veggies for nutrients, egg whites for moisture, and fresh garlic and sun dried tomatoes for big flavor.  


No need for a bun either - I throw these guys on top of a salad, or just eat them on their own with a fork & knife (and homemade oven fries or crispy green beans!)

These are really simple to make & can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a quick protein option during the week.  You could also freeze the patties before cooking and save them for a rainy day. 

I hope you enjoy these juicy, flavorful burgers!  They are so delicious, you'll never believe they're Whole30 and Paleo!

(PS:  See my notes under the recipe for tips & suggestions!)




Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • handful of arugula or baby spinach, torn
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes, julienned then chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • salt & pepper 

Directions:
  1. Melt the ghee in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and arugula, and cook until the veggies just begin to soften and greens are wilted (about 3 minutes).
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool.  Stir in the remaining ingredients (turkey, egg whites, salt & pepper).*
  3. Divide the mixture & shape into 4* equally sized patties. I pinch with my fingers to make them a little thinner in the middle (helps keep them from getting too round when they cook). Sprinkle each side with salt & pepper.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat, and coat with cooking oil of your choice (I like avocado oil). Add all four patties to the skillet and cook for 6 minutes.  Flip the burgers, and continue cooking for 4 minutes.
  5. Serve hot!



*Notes:
  • Step one is optional!  If you're short on time, just mix the raw veggies in without sautéing (this just adds more flavor).  They will cook just fine with the burgers!
  • If your meat mixture doesn't seem firm enough to form a patty, add a couple of tablespoons of flour (almond, coconut, whatever you have on hand).
  • You can also make these into smaller patties, and treat them more like a slider. 
  • Feel free to substitute whatever other mix-ins you like:  green onion, bacon, prosciutto, roasted peppers, etc.


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Chunky Vegetable Superfood Stew | Paleo, Whole30


After a trip to Disneyland that was filled with mostly good food choices, then sprinkled with kettle corn, ice cream, cocktails, and a corn dog ~ your girl was left craving vegetables something fierce.

Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Paleo, Whole30

This recipe has been updated with a few tweaks & new pictures as of May 2017.  Enjoy!


So it's Whole30 (Round 4) Day 7, and I'm feeling pretty good.  My headache isn't consuming my brain, and I didn't want to nap in the bean bag chair at work.  So that's good.

Yesterday, though, was a different story.  Day 6 got me good.  I had a headache that was controlling my thoughts, and didn't know if I needed to sleep, cry, or just drink a bottle of wine.  Day 6 was real, you guys.

Fortunately, I made it through:  largely in part to these little Enchilada-inspired creations.


I've seen gorgeous fitness supermodel extraordinaires like Paige Hathaway (who I shamelessly follow on Instagram) make something similar to this with their sponsored spice collection & some low fat, "macro-friendly" cheese, and wanted to put my spin on it.  No hate to them, since I obviously loved her idea ~ but I wanted to do it in a way that was Paleo & Whole30 compliant!

These are saucy, flavorful, & just overall delicious.  They're also extremely easy to make (which is my favorite part) & can be switched up to your liking.


Try these stuffed with my Shredded Salsa Chicken if you've got time for the slow cooker, or use grilled chicken, baked chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, leftover pulled pork, etc.  You can change this up however you like.  

If you're into cheese, throw some on top.  If you like to get sweaty while you eat, add a bunch of hot sauce.  You do you!


Here's how I made mine Paleo & Whole30 approved:


Makes 6 "boats" (I usually eat 1-2, he eats 3).
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium-large zucchini
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce*
  • 1/4 cup broth* or water
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each:  cumin, garlic, oregano, salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce
  • 1 lb shredded chicken breast, fully cooked
  • 4 oz can mild diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp dried onion or 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 4 oz can sliced black olives
  • sliced green onion, for garnish

Tools:
  • two mixing bowls
  • 9 x 13" baking dish
  • aluminum foil or parchment paper

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment for easy clean up.
  2. Trim the stems from the squash, then slice them in half lengthwise.  Use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds & insides of the squash* to make room for your stuffing.  Lay the squash "boats" into the lined baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, prepare your "enchilada sauce" by mixing the tomato sauce, broth or water, and spices until smooth.  Add extra seasonings to taste.
  4. In a larger bowl, mix the shredded chicken with diced green chiles, onion, and 1/2 of the sauce.  (You can also add a scoop of coconut cream plus a pinch of salt for a little creaminess!)
  5. Evenly distribute the chicken mixture into the boats (I over-stuff mine).  Spoon the remaining 1/2 of enchilada sauce over top of each "boat", then top with sliced black olives.
  6. Transfer to the oven & bake at 400ºF for 25 minutes.  Serve hot, garnished with sliced green onion, and avocado or guac if you've got it!

*Notes:
  • If Whole30ing, check your tomato sauce and broth for added sugar.
  • You can use the scooped out seeds & flesh from the squash by chopping it up & mixing in with the chicken "stuffing" mixture, or you can discard it.  If you don't like to waste, store it in the fridge then blend into shakes or smoothies.  It adds an awesome creamy texture! 

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Chocolate Almond Buttercream Cups | PALEO


You know what makes almost everything better?  Remembering that you have a sweet, chocolatey treat waiting for you in the freezer.  And when that sweet treat tastes like your favorite chocolate candy cup from childhood, but doesn't hurt your stomach & make you feel bad about yourself?  Hey, even better!

Banana Nut Breakfast Bars | PALEO


I have been loving bars lately, because they're just so easy.  Easy to make, bake, and grab to eat.  

And when you're using Paleo ingredients, that "bar" texture is an easy one to re-create.  Things like creamy almond butter, fluffy almond flour, and smooth bananas just seem to lend themselves perfectly to a fudgy bar consistency.

Whole30 Guide to Coffee

After doing my initial research on the Whole30, and learning about all the things I could not enjoy, I had one question I was almost scared to ask:  What about my coffee?


Thankfully the answer to coffee on Whole30 is YES, but I was left with just one more question that was equally as scary:  *gulp*  Will I have to drink it black?

While I can stomach a cup of black coffee, I certainly don't enjoy it (just not that girl).  So when I realized that black coffee was NOT a must, I got to work:  figuring out my favorite ways to make my coffee delicious, yet 100% compliant.

Skillet Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato "Cream" Sauce


I have seen a few different versions of a skillet seared-then-baked chicken with sun dried tomatoes floating around on Pinterest & Instagram (like this one from "Diethood" and this one from "Cafe Delites").  All have looked SO drool-worthy, I couldn't wait to give it a try with my own spin!

Berry Coconut Scones | PALEO


I went through plenty of dieting highs and lows when I was in high school (and beyond) - where I would bounce back and forth from "treating myself" to restricting everything I ate.  Anyone else?

Butternut Squash Oven "Fries"


First things first, let's throw a few things out there:  Potatoes get crispy in the oven.  Squash does not.  I went on a mission to make this happen-- crispiness, that is.  And I pulled out all the stops to get my squash ACAP (as crispy as possible)!

Simple Seared Scallops


A light, tender protein that cooks in 5 minutes or less?!  It may sound too good to be true, but these scallops are the real deal!

I love how they taste so light & summery over a giant fresh salad- yet can fill you right up on a chilly night, served over creamy Butternut Squash Cauliflower Risotto or with spaghetti squash in my Creamy Lemon Garlic "Pasta" with Scallops.

Scallops are a tricky protein- they're easy to overcook.  The best way to foolproof, perfectly seared scallops every time?  Keep it simple.  

Cake Batter Freezer Fudge | PALEO


I've had a "cake batter" flavor combo on my mind for some time now, with a list of recipes I could try it out on.  Then I remembered my Cinnamon Roll Freezer Fudge, and how I've been meaning to come up with a new flavor to share.  So, I spent a few minutes in the kitchen, put the two thoughts together, and.... IT WORKED!

Apple Spice Sausage Patties


I love me some eggs for breakfast, but I'm not gonna lie~ they do occasionally get redundant.  And I'm left in search of something different to start my morning:  like these sausage patties!

Paleo Pizza Bread


If you couldn't tell, I'm a pizza fan.  I make that fit with my lifestyle (with just the occasional slip) by making a fafillion variations of pizza-inspired Paleo stuff- some here on my blog:

Butternut Squash Cauliflower "Risotto"


When developing new recipes, I love to go through my own recipe index and take a look at which categories are sort of... lacking.  This time around, I noticed that while I seem to have lots & lots of healthy breakfasts and main dishes, I could use a little help on my "sides".  Enter this Cauliflower "Risotto"!

One Pan Maple Butter Chicken & Vegetables


There's something really satisfying about cooking an entire dinner with one dish, isn't there?  Even if it takes twice as long with a ton of prep- it just feels easier somehow.  

Luckily, this dish is not only a one-pan-wonder, but it also cooks in 30 minutes, and takes only about 10 minutes to prep!

Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Bake


While I don't have kids of my own at this stage in life, I do spend my days surrounded by them.  I work in the fields of pediatrics & education, and get my fair share of kid shenanigans from kids ages 3 to 22.

That, combined with the fact that I'm basically a giant 5 year old on the inside, leaves me in a constant state of awareness when it comes to all of the important current events:  like Dr. Seuss' birthday and "Read Across America Day" on March 2nd!