1-minute paleo blueberry crisp

I got a little overly ambitious the other day and bought the biggest container of blueberries. Then they all starting to ‘turn’ as berries often do and I needed a way to eat them up. I’m sure I’ll have this same (wonderful!) problem in a few weeks once we hit the pick-your-own as bleubs come into season here in Ontario.

Anyways, since making the switch to paleo, I’ve missed the traditional desserts and sweet treats, but a crumble or a crisp is something I just can’t live without – so I set to making this beauty. And since I wanted it in a hurry, I cooked it in the microwave.

And since I know you really just want to get to the recipe, without any further ado, here it is!

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1-minute paleo blueberry crisp (serves 2)

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One-Pot Cherry Apple Chicken with Napa Cabbage

I’ve been obsessed with my Instant Pot since I purchased it to replace my broken slow cooker about a month or so ago. There’s really no point in putting the thing away as I use it pretty much almost every day (sometimes multiple times a day!) for its speed, convenience and the fact that I’m not heating up my kitchen. I’ve also fallen off the AIP and paleo bandwagon since I completed my Whole30. I’m feeling like crap and it no doubt has to do with my poor dietary choices lately. My HS has even flared up again and so it’s time to pull up the bootstraps and get back on plan. My health will thank me for it!

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Homemade popsicles

The recent heat spell we had in the city had me feeling like, ugh. I hate summer. I’m not built for it. If the temperature gets above 15 I’m pretty much dying. Heat is not my friend. Normally, one quick way I cool down when the mercury rises is to nosh on an ice cold ice pop. But, being on Whole30 recently meant that store-bought varieties were out – due to the added sugars, sweeteners and other non-cool ingredients. So, homemade icy treats to the rescue! This ‘recipe’ – I use the term loosely here since I didn’t really even measure anything – is so easy, healthy, and fully customizable to whatever fruit yums you have on hand. IMG_1230 IMG_1238 Homemade popsicles (made 6 in our molds)

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Fruit juice/puree of your choice

Since I wanted a little variety in my pops, I pureed a half pint of raspberries and mixed about the same amount of the coconut milk with the puree and poured into the mold to freeze. I then took the remaining coconut milk and mixed it with an equal amount of pure fresh pineapple juice. If you wanted a little more sweetness you could definitely add some honey or maple syrup, but I skipped on this since it’s not allowed on Whole30. A tablespoon or two should do it. Pour into molds and freeze. That’s it! Once they’re frozen (in a few hours) just slide them out and enjoy! What’s your favourite way to make homemade ice pops? Share your tips in the comments below. And let me know how you like this recipe if you end up making it!

Chicken salad wraps

Even though I can’t eat eggs for breakfast anymore, I’ve found lunch to be one of the hardest meals to find ideas for since making the switch to paleo. I’m sure it has a lot to do with just how ingrained (ha!) grain-based products are in our lives for that midday meal. Sandwiches and wraps are just so portable, and perfect for holding all that other deliciousness together.

One saving grace for me has been taking big leaves of greens (romaine, collards, chard) and filling them with leftover protein. A year ago I would have smothered it in hot sauce and called it a meal, but peppers and I are no longer friends, and since mayo is out along with the eggs, ‘sauces’ have been few and far between.

But – avocados provide that perfect creamy texture, while satisfying your body’s need for fat and fibre. I don’t know if I’d use it in something like egg salad (never say never) but it was perfect with chicken and I imagine turkey and beef would also be tasty.

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Chicken salad wraps (Adjust portions to serve as many as needed) 

  • 1-2 big green leaves of choice (here I used romaine)
  • 1 serving of leftover protein of choice (here I used ~ 1/3 pound of chicken)
  • ~ 2tbsp diced veggies for added crunch and vitamins (celery, onion, carrots, beets, mushrooms, jicama)
  • ~ 1 tbsp fruit, if desired (here I used raisins, but grapes or cherries would work too – blueberries with beef is something I’m keen to try!)
  • 1/2-1 avocado, mashed

Mash avocado and mix in the protein, veggies and fruit. Divide evenly between your green leaves. Pick up and enjoy! It’s that easy – really! I served this with a side of root vegetable chips for a summer picnic vibe.

What are your favourite bread-less lunch ideas? Tell me in the comments below. And let me know if you make these chicken salad wraps (or some version of) and how you like them!

Shepherd’s pie

I blame it on my Irish roots, but I could seriously eat some version of shepherd’s pie every single day. There’s just something about those crispy potatoes on top a bed of meat and veggies that speaks to me. So when I found out I couldn’t tolerate white potatoes very well anymore, I had to get creative. Enter, the sweet potato!

Besides giving the dish a lovely bright colour, they also add a rich flavour and some different vitamins than your standard white potato. Feel free to get creative with this recipe, I usually use whatever veggies I have on hand that need used up and a mix of whatever ground meat I fancy. I’m not big on the flavour of lamb but I know it’s good to diversify my proteins and so I mixed this version equal parts with ground beef. Ground chicken, turkey or pork would also work. I might even try ground organ meats for a bigger nutritional punch one day.

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Shepherd’s pie (Serves 6-8)

  • 2 pounds ground meat (I used 1:1 beef and lamb)
  • ~ 1-2 cups diced veggies (here I used onions, garlic, celery, carrots, mushrooms)
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed with ~ 1tbsp coconut oil (or ghee)

Preheat oven to 375F. Brown meat in a skillet and then transfer to a baking dish, covering the bottom of the dish evenly with meat mixture. Sautée veggies in same skillet until softened and then spread over meat base. Top with mashed sweet potatoes and pop into the oven for about 45 minutes or until top begins to brown. If you can tolerate dairy this is divine with some shredded or grated parmesan on top, but is also delicious on its own. Serve with some additional greens for a complete meal. I might try this with Japanese sweet potatoes next time I make it so that it has that white potato-look to it.

What’s your favourite way to make shepherd’s pie? Share your tips in the comments below. And let me know how you like this recipe if you end up making it!

‘Spaghetti’ and meatballs

Probably one of my go-to dishes, due to the speed with which it can be prepared and how many different veggies can be added in, spaghetti is something I’ve really missed since switching to a paleo and autoimmune-supporting diet.

No pasta + no tomatoes or peppers = sad Caitlin. But no more!

I’ve discovered (and mastered) this AIP nomato sauce from He Won’t Know It’s Paleo (seriously, check her recipes out – I lick the bowl with every single one) and I’ve also discovered the beauty of spaghetti squash and spiralized veggies, perfect vessels for this delicious sauce.

But anyways, the recipe. Again, customize this to your heart (and family’s) content. Cooking is very forgiving and flexible.

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Meatballs (Serves 4-6)

  • 1-2 pounds ground beef (or chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or mix of)
  • About 2 tablespoons of your favourite spices. I used a mix of diced dried onion, parsley and some thyme, but use whatever flavours you like. I wished I had some sage on hand…

Mix everything well. Then, form into 1.5-inch (or so) balls (or use a cookie scoop like I did) and place onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Serve atop spaghetti squash ‘noodles’ (cut in half, bake cut side down for about an hour in a 400F oven) or zucchini ‘noodles’ (sauté in your favourite cooking fat with a bit of garlic until heated through). Top with nomato sauce and enough meatballs to satisfy your hungries.

Meatballs should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or frozen and eaten within a couple of months. Tip: If you have leftovers in the freezer you can also throw together a quick dinner if you don’t feel like cooking one night. Emergency protein FTW!

Let me know if you make these meatballs and how you like them!

Celeriac hash

One of the most challenging things about being on an autoimmune elimination diet is that eggs, a cheap, quick and easy breakfast staple for oh so many, are out. You really need to adjust your perspective about what makes a breakfast, and embrace the heartier offerings that are going to keep you fuelled and full all morning long.

With potatoes also out for those following AIP, breakfast can feel downright depressing if you let it.

Enter celeriac. Also known as celery root. Gnarly-looking but oh so delicious and packed with fibre and vitamins, it makes the perfect potato substitute for this hash recipe. If you need guidance on prepping it, see here. Once you do it a few times you’ll be a pro in no time! Seriously – I got my husband to prep these for me since I can’t chop super fine due to my wicked knife injury the other day and he did great.

Like always, customize to your heart’s content – I’m sure sweet potatoes, taro or even yucca would be great subs for the celeriac. And if you don’t have onions, garlic or shallots would also work. No sausage? No problem. Simply serve as a side or with whatever protein you have on hand. If you can tolerate eggs I’m sure this would be ahhhmazing with a fried egg on top. I might even add in 1/2 of a diced apple next time I make this for a little added sweetness.

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Celeriac Hash

  • 1-2 diced celeriac
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 2 tbsp cooking fat of choice (I used leftover bacon grease but would have done goose fat otherwise)
  • 1 tsp herbs of choice (optional)
  • 2-3 diced sausages (mine were turkey and already cooked – gotta love leftovers!)

Heat cooking fat over medium heat. Add celeriac and saute until it just starts to soften, about 8-10 minutes or so. Add in onion and cook another 2-3 minutes until softened. Mix in herbs and sausage and cook until heated through. Seriously, it’s that easy. You’re welcome – now dig in!

Let me know if you make this hash and how you like it!