Delicious Grain-Free Chicken Casserole

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Hello to you all! I apologize for my absence in the last several months. I do feel like I have somewhat of an excuse as we just gave birth to our third child (our first girl) on August 21st! Nora Kathryn is a bundle of love, and I am definitely enjoying the fact that I have another girl in the house! ๐Ÿ™‚

Still, all of that to say…I have missed you, my friends, and I am very excited to start posting again. Over the past months of preparing for our baby, I have also spent some time putting together recipes to post, and the one I am about to share today will not disappoint. In fact, you can ask my (almost) 2 year old what he thought of it last night as he shoved in his 4th helping! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can definitely say that I felt I have scored a “mommy win” with this dish.
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A huge thanks to He and She Eat Clean for this amazing recipe! Scott and Whitney Carlson are the authors of this blog; I found this delish dish off of their website, and am super excited to share their recipe with you. I have adapted it with a few changes, but the majority of the recipe remains the same. Check out the original recipe here, and while you are at it, take some time to browse around for a few more of their recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy this easy, budget-friendly, and delectable casserole!

Ingredients:
2 c cooked shredded chicken (Leftover rotisserie chicken works great.)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (I measured approx. 3 cups uncooked squash.)
1/2 c coconut cream (Skim this off the top of a can of coconut milk. It works best to refrigerate
the can overnight for this. Do not use low fat coconut milk, people! Full fat is best and truly much
better for you!)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 leek, chopped
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1.25 c frozen green peas, thawed
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the cubed butternut, leek, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl. Toss to combine. Next brush the cloves of garlic with a little coconut oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the leek and butternut squash mixture on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and set in the oven. Take the wrapped garlic cloves and set these in the oven next to the cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes. (Roasting these veggies is a key component in the flavor of this casserole.) ๐Ÿ™‚

Place the roasted leek and butternut in a large bowl. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin into the bowl as well. (CAUTION: The cloves will be extremely hot, so you will need to let them cool. Using a hot pad, unwrap the cloves and place them in the fridge until cool enough to handle!) Mash the butternut/leek/garlic mixture to a smooth, yet slightly chunky texture.

Add apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme to the mashed butternut squash and stir to combine. Add coconut creme and oil. Stir to combine. Next add the shredded chicken and green peas, and stir once more.

Place the entire casserole in a large skillet and heat the dish for 8-10 minutes on medium. Enjoy, and eat seconds! ๐Ÿ™‚
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*This post contains affiliate links.
*Credit to He and She Eat Clean for this recipe!

Delicious Homemade Chicken Soup (Grain-Free!)

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This one is a winner. It is such a delicious and warming soup recipe, and I can hardly wait for you to try it! Plus, while we have a couple colder days still in the weather forecast, isn’t it nice to have a few simple, yet absolutely satisfying, soups to use from your recipe file? ๐Ÿ™‚ This one is great for many reasons: it is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free. Plus, it is a super immune booster with the bone broth added into the soup. Oh, and did I mention that it is just downright delicious? ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil (If you don’t have a dairy sensitivity, I would strongly encourage you to use Kerrygold Butter. I find mine at Trader Joe’s.)
1 cup organic carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup organic celery, chopped with leaves removed
1/2- 1 cup chopped onion
3 cups homemade bone broth (You can find the recipe here. )
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I like to use a leftover rotisserie chicken from our local health food store. It adds a ton of flavor!)
1 cup full fat coconut milk (Homemade coconut milk is great in this recipe. You can find the recipe here.) *Note: If you do buy this from the store, use the canned, full-fat coconut milk, and make sure it is free of carrageenan.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil (or butter if using) in a large pot. Saute the carrots, celery, and onion for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Pour in the bone broth, and add in the thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Stir. Next, add the chicken to the pot, and gently stir again. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and stir. Heat through and serve! This soup is great with a side of plantain crackers. Get the recipe here.
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*This page contains affiliate links.

Nutritious Chocolate Mint Smoothie (Paleo Style)

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I know, I know…I am a couple days late with this one! I had planned to have this post ready for St. Patty’s Day, but unfortunately (or not:)), I drank this delightful smoothie before I gave myself a moment to take a picture. So, I just promised myself another smoothie the next day…and the next. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I have had three of these since March 17th, but I am not ashamed! There is no need to feel guilty for this one, because it is full of nutritious ingredients, paleo, and even more, it is absolutely satisfying. Go ahead! Make a few for yourself this week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado, peeled, cut into chunks, and placed in the freezer for an hour (Please do not skip this step! This is a smoothie “game changer” in regards to texture!)
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
*1/2-3/4 cup coconut milk (Try this homemade recipe!) If you do not make your own, it is important to purchase a brand which does not contain carrageenan.
1-2 mejool dates
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, alcohol free (I purchase mine from Trader Joe’s.)
1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (This is the brand I recommend, as it does not contain alcohol.)
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup ice
Optional add in: Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (This is a great protein source and super for gut health. Make sure to purchase the green can, not the red one.)

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. A high-speed blender works great for this, but if you do not have one, a normal blender will work just fine. It just may take a little more work to get it all processed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pour your delicious treat into a large glass. If desired, top with one of these brownies!

*Start with a 1/2 cup of milk. You may need to add a little more milk (or water) to assist in blending. Add a little at a time, so as to not make it too runny. You want your smoothie to have an “ice cream-like” consistency. ๐Ÿ™‚

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

GARLIC: A Powerful Ingredient in Your Kitchen (Guest Post by Sarah from Abundelicious)

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


I would like to introduce my friend, Sarah, the Founder and CEO of Abundelicious! Sarah is a
Certified Holistic Nutrition Counselor and is passionate about helping individuals pursue a life of balance and wellness. She has tremendous wisdom in the area of health, and shares a little today about garlic! Enjoy learning about all its benefits, and make sure to try the recipe at the end of this post!

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Garlic is one of the most potent natural medicines in the world. There isnโ€™t much it doesnโ€™t do! There also arenโ€™t many cuisines in the world that donโ€™t utilize it. In addition, it was given to the slaves who built the pyramids of ancient Egypt, as well as the Olympic athletes of ancient Greece.

People often shy away from eating too much garlic because of the smell. Donโ€™t get too upset about garlic breath; Itโ€™s the stinkiness that makes it such a powerful antioxidant (not to mention mosquito repellant โ€“ seriously). These antioxidants guard against, and even reverse, heart disease and cancer. Garlic also supports the immune system and fights off seasonal allergies.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


In addition to the antioxidants, garlic is rich in vitamins and minerals. A few more of the many benefits of garlic includeโ€ฆ

– lowering blood pressure
– blood thinner
– widens arteries
– prevents colon and stomach cancer
– stabilizes blood sugar by increasing the release of insulin
– antiviral (prevents the cold and flu)
– fights yeast overgrowth, as well as infections (use topically to treat athletes foot)
– better complexion
– tooth aches (press garlic oil or fresh garlic to the tooth and gum)

How does one best store garlic? Keep garlic uncovered away from heat and direct light. Fresh whole bulbs last about two weeks, but they only last about a week once broken.

Here is an easy and nutritious way to incorporate a little more garlic into your life! I have included a recipe that I hope you love. Substituting cauliflower for potatoes is also a great way to reduce starchy carbohydrates and inflammation.
Garlic
MASHED CAULI-TATOES
1 head of cauliflower
1-2 parsnips
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 shallots, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup coconut milk
thyme or parsley, to taste
sea salt and pepper

1. Cut the cauliflower and parsnip(s) into one-inch pieces, and steam until tender. Strain, and let cool.
2. Sautรฉ garlic and shallots in half of olive oil.
3. Place cauliflower/parsnip mixture, shallots, garlic, extra olive oil, and coconut milk in food processor. Blend until desired texture.
4. Top with herbs, salt, pepper and butter/olive oil.
*Serve them with gluten-free crackers, avocado and olives. Or this can be a delicious side dish to your main course.
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If you would like to learn more about Sarah, some additional great recipes, and the services she provides, you can find her over at http://www.abundelicious.com. Be well!
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*This page contains affiliate links.
*Recipe and Cauli-Tatos Photo Courtesy of Abundelicious.

Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies Topped with Ganache and Cassava Root Chips (Grain-Free, Egg-Free)

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So, I tried something a little new today, and I seriously was incredibly pleased with the results of these ultra gooey, flavorful, and nutrient-rich brownies! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so excited for you to try these! They are very similar to the Gooey Goodness Brownies on my blog, but there are a few changes. For the sake of simplicity, I am going to post this slightly altered recipe for you. Enjoy every bite, knowing that you are getting not only a delicious brownie, but you are also consuming a dessert containing dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. ๐Ÿ™‚

Brownie Ingredients:
4 tablespoons Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, 69% Cacao if possible ๐Ÿ™‚ (Otherwise, the semi-sweet still work wonderfully!)
ยผ cup Natural Value coconut milk (I like this brand because there is no guar gum or thickeners.)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
ยฝ cup pure maple syrup, Grade B preferred
ยฝ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
ยผ teaspoon sea salt
ยผ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons coconut flour
4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, coconut milk, and coconut oil. Stir constantly. Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl, and add in the maple syrup, cooked sweet potato, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, and arrowroot, salt, and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a spatula until just combined.
Place in a greased 8ร—8 pan, and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, and remove from the oven. Don’t worry about under baking a little. ๐Ÿ™‚ While the brownies are still warm, poke holes throughout the top and pour this amazing ganache recipe from The Comfy Belly over the top. Spread out evenly. These are delicious when the ganache seeps down inside the brownies! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cassava Root Topping:
*Cassava Root Chips? “What on earth?!” you say. These are a delicious alternative to potato chips and are divine when crushed on top of brownies. The salty-sweet mix is heavenly. Right before serving, crush a handful of these chips over the top of your dessert. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised!

*Of course, you can always use regular kettle cooked potato chips as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

*This page contains affiliate links.

*Remember, if you have never ordered from Vitacost before, make sure to use the $10 off coupon I have provided on the sidebar of my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

Paleo Chocolate Frosting (or Topping)

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Oooh…this is good, and it is just in time for summer. Who doesn’t love a little chocolate sauce on top of her ice cream? The great thing about this sauce is that it is tasty (No kidding!), but also, it only contains 2 ingredients–good quality chocolate (I prefer Enjoy Life chocolate chips or chunks) and full fat coconut milk. That’s it! It’s tasty, and actually, it is a super healthy dessert choice for topping, frosting cakes, or eating right off of the spoon.

If you know me, you know that I passionately research ingredients. Why? I want to know that what we eat is recognized by the body as natural and is supporting a lifelong lifestyle of wellness and health. I also want to find healthy food that tastes good! Every one of us has had an experience with “health food” that we want to forget forever, and I can say, I have definitely had my fair share of those times as I have continued on this journey of wellness. When it comes to this recipe, as well as others I post, you can know that I have researched it, made it, tasted it, and have approved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

So why use Enjoy Life chocolate and full fat coconut milk? This brand of chocolate is a frequent choice of mine since it is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, soy free, fish free, shellfish free. It is an allergy friendly chocolate, and this reputable company is knowledgeable when it comes to the ingredients they put into their products. They quote the following in their mission : “At Enjoy Life, our whole business is making smile-good foods that keep peopleโ€™s insides happy. We are focused on providing foods that are not only safe, but taste great too. Thatโ€™s why all of our foods are specially made to be gluten-free and free of the 8 most common allergens.” When it comes to the coconut milk, I most often will use the full fat option because it is a great source of medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid. Check out the benefits of coconut as well as a recipe for homemade coconut milk from the Wellness Mama. I have not personally made the homemade version yet, but am excited to try it. For now, I use the Native Forest brand of coconut milk as I know that their cans are BPA free.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe! Enjoy, knowing that you have created a healthy version of a delectable treat!

Paleo Chocolate Frosting/Topping

3/4 Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

6 Tablespoons of full fat coconut milk

Directions: In a double boiler, gently heat the coconut milk and chocolate together. Stir frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and enjoy! Store any leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge. ๐Ÿ™‚

Recipe from: Living Healthy With Chocolate