Mint Chocolate Chip Ice “Cream”

Ohhh summertime. Nothing is more satisfying on a hot day than a big bowl of ice cream. Although there are a few brands of coconut or almond milk ice cream that taste quite good, they can be expensive and still have quite a few ingredients that make me skeptical.

On this fabulous first day of summer, I thought I’d share a recipe with you that you can indulge in…guilt free, dairy free, and with no added sugar.

mint chocolate chip ice cream

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas, cut into pieces
1/4 frozen avocado
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
1 tsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp raw cashews
1/4-1/2 cup coconut water or coconut milk (depending on consistency you like)
1/4 cup Mini Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Enjoy!

If you want a greener color, you can add some raw baby spinach! If adding the spinach, I suggest blending everything together expect the bananas and chocolate chips at first, then adding the banana once the spinach is broken down. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

 

How to Make Chicken Soup from Scratch

What’s more comforting than a hot bowl of chicken soup? I’m not talking about that junk that comes in a can that claims to be healthy and hearty, I’m talking about the real deal. Homemade. Making chicken soup from scratch can sound a little intimidating, but it’s really very simple and versitile.

Check out my video to see instructions on making your own chicken soup completely from scratch. Use any combination of vegetables and seasonings you like! This is more of a method than a recipe, so adapt it to your taste.

 

 

How to Make Chicken Soup from Scratch

 

Broth Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, giblets removed (2-4 lbs)
  • 2 hearts celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • Water to cover ingredients in pot

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 Pot of broth
  • Shredded chicken (from broth)
  • 2-6 cups of vegetables of your choice. (Broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, spinach, kale, cauliflower, okra, green beans, mushrooms, etc.)
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp paprika)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, begin with broth ingredients. Simmer ingredients for 1.5-2 hours, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and meat is falling off the bone.
  2. Remove chicken from pot, and strain solids from the broth.
  3. *Optional Step*Cover broth and place in fridge to cool, allowing fat to solidify and float to the top. Skim fat off top once cooled, or you can leave it. It’s up to you. If you choose to leave fat in broth, no refrigeration needed. Leave at room temperature.
  4. *Optional Step* Puree solid vegetables, giblets (bones removed), and 1-2 cups of broth. Place puree in fridge to cool if you cooled broth. If you are leaving fat in the broth, then don’t place puree in fridge because the process is going to go much faster.
  5. Separate meat from bone of chicken, shredding it with your fingers. If you wish, you may use a knife to cut chicken, but I’ve found that using my fingers is much easier and quicker.
  6. Add meat back to pot of broth, bring to boil. Add veggies and seasoning, simmer until veggies are fork tender.
  7. *Optional Step* Stir in puree mixture and allow it to come up to temperature.
  8. Enjoy!

This soup freezes well, so you can make a large batch and freeze some so that you can enjoy it over the next few weeks.

 

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Easter-inspired Dinner

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With Easter around the corner, I decided to pick up a fresh ham from my local farmers market. I made it tonight with some roasted butternut squash, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and broccoli. So tasty! All enjoyed with a nice refreshing glass of white wine. I’m in heaven!

One of my favorite sides is roasted veggies, and they are so easy to make. For this, I diced up my veggies, tossed them with some melted coconut oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and paprika. Baked them all at 375 degrees (F) for 25 minutes (I threw the halved cherry tomatoes in with 8 minutes left on the timer), an voila! A super simple yet delicious side that will be sure to impress your family.

Crunchy Kale Chips

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Crunchy. Salty. Healthy? Healthy is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of chips, but not all chips are created equal. This is especially true with kale chips. These crispy little bits of goodness offer a variety of nutrients (iron, potassium, and Vitamin A, just to name a few) and are very low in calories. Although there are some great brands out there that can be found in grocery stores, nothing beats making them yourself at home for a fraction of the cost.

While walking through a farmer’s market this week, I saw one vendor with tons of fresh organic kale for only $2 a bunch. That’s much cheaper than normal, at least where I tend to shop. So I figured I’d pick some up and finally make these kale chips…I’d been wanting to see what all the fuss was about.

Man, oh, man! These chips pleasantly surprised me…maybe just a little bit too much. I ate the entire batch in less than 24 hours…oops! At least this was a guilt-free snack packed with tons of good stuff. On to the recipe!

Crunchy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (or your favorite seasoning…cayenne is yummy too!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and THOROUGHLY DRY kale. (This recipe will not work if your kale is wet)
  3. Cut kale into 1-2 inch pieces, cutting the leaf away from the stem. Discard stems, put them in your compost pile, or save them for a salad.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine kale with oil and toss with fingertips until kale is evenly coated.
  5. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, lay kale out flat making sure there is space between each piece.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! They cook up quickly.
  7. Once you remove chips from oven, sprinkle with salt and your seasoning of choice.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Spicy Tuscan Sauté

It’s officially spring. You know what that means? Farmer’s Markets!

I’ve been wandering around my local farmer’s markets in the Sacramento area and have come across the nicest rancher who raises all of his livestock pasture-raised, grass fed and organically. I’ve started buying various cuts of meat from him, including ground pork, lamb chops and sausage. My favorite thing so far from his ranch is the hot Italian sausage, which inspired this recipe.

When creating this recipe, I was in the mood for Italian food and wanted to make a quick and simple one-dish meal. This meal can stand on it’s own, and would be equally delicious as a main dish served with some roasted asparagus (check out my recipe here!) or a salad.

On to the recipe!

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Spicy Tuscan Sauté

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed if any (or mild if you prefer)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 small zucchinis
  • 2 cups white or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 bell pepper, any color
  • 1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, optional

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and turkey to pan. Cook until browned and cooked through, moving meat around pan occasionally and breaking it up into small pieces.spicytuscansaute
  2. While meat is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Chop zucchini into bite-size pieces, slice  the mushrooms, and dice the bell pepper.
  3. Once meat is cooked thoroughly, remove pan from heat and transfer meat into a bowl. Drain some of the liquid but leave a small amount of the fat rendered from the sausage in the pan.
  4. Add onion to pan and cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic. Once onion is translucent, about another 2-3 minutes, add zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers to the pan. Turn heat up to medium and cook vegetables until fork-tender, leaving them with a little bit of crunch. Season vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper.spicytuscansaute6
  5. Cut each of the tomatoes in half, and add to pan. Continue cooking for about 1-2 minutes, until the skin of the tomatoes begin to wrinkle. Add meat back into pan, stirring the entire mixture together. Turn heat down to low, and allow the meat to come back up in temperature, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Spoon the sauté into a bowl, and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts may very well be my favorite vegetable. These little nutrient-packed balls of deliciousness are surprisingly high in protein (about 3g per cup) and in vitamin K. They are also super easy to cook!
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts (organic if you can find them!)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil (melted), if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off stem of each sprout. Cut Brussels sprouts in half (cut large sprouts in quarters). Remove outermost leaves if they appear old or damaged. If they appear fine, then leave them. If they fall off, add the fallen leaves to a foil-lined baking sheet along with the rest of the sprouts.
  3. Drizzle oil (and vinegar, if you choose) over sprouts. Sprinkle paprika, pepper, and salt over sprouts, then toss with fingers to evenly coat with oil and seasonings.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, until fork tender and golden brown on top. Detached leaves will be dark and crispy…and delicious!! That’s the best part!

This recipe is enough to serve 4-8 people as a side, depending on how many vegetables you like to eat! Enjoy!

Spicy Cajun Turkey Meatballs (paleo!)

Turkey meatballs. Need I say more? These little balls of deliciousness are some of the easiest and most versatile dishes to make on the paleo diet. Whether you want to wrap them in bacon, have them smothered in tomato sauce, or just eat them by themselves, they are sure to deliver an excellent amount of nourishment (be sure to buy your poultry pasture-raised and organic if you can! This ensures better Omega 6:Omega 3 ratios!). Organic pasture-raised lean ground turkey offers ample amounts of vitamin B3, B6, selenium, and protein! It is also known to keep insulin levels in a desirable range after your meal is over, which is especially important if your goal is weight loss. If you’re curious about the role of insulin in your body, I suggest you read this article written by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD on her blog ThePaleoMom.com. Anyways, on to the recipe!

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Spicy Cajun Turkey Meatballs

Servings: about 18-22 meatballs, depending on size

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. To ensure meat is mixed thoroughly with spices, onion, and garlic, use your fingers to mix and incorporate all ingredients.
  • Using your hands, form meatballs about 1-1.5 inches in diameter, and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake meatballs for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through thorougly.

These meatballs go well with tomato sauce. A variation I like to do on these is add ground organic pasture-raised chicken livers to the meatballs for an extra punch of excellent nutrients. You can’t taste it, but the benefits are amazing! I add anywhere from .25-.5lb. of chicken liver to 1lb. ground turkey. Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=125