Creamy Asparagus Soup

There’s nothing like fresh asparagus when it’s in season – take advantage! Asparagus is a nutritional STAR that’s high in fibre, with lots of vitamins and minerals. This recipe is so simple and fast, and a big favourite in my house. It’s great any time of year, as a quick warm snack, or as part of a lunch or dinner.

Keep this in mind – I recently read that eating soup before a meal can lead to consuming less calories overall. Another reason to love soup, right? So grab your spoon and get sippin’! Mmm …

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp avocado oilIMG_1975
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Lbs asparagus
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
  • 10 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
    ( I like to use homemade stock – check out my last blog post to learn more!)

Directions:

  • Prep asparagus:  wash and cut and discard woody ends.  Cut asparagus tips and reserve.
  • Heat avocado oil and sautee leeks and garlic.
  • Add in chopped carrots, potatoes and asparagus.
  • Cover with chicken stock, approx 10 cups (note you can use half water and half chicken stock).
  • Simmer for 20 – 25 mins.
  • Add in seasonings.
  • Take soup off heat and blend with immersion blender.
  • Quickly steam asparagus tips in the microwave (place in micowave safe bowl, 1/4 cup water, microwave for 5 mins).
  • Top soup with cooked asparagus tips.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Classic Chicken Soup

I love soup and could eat it every day for every meal!  It is so versatile, and the flavour combinations and ingredients are endless! The amazing thing about soup is that, in general, they are low-calorie and packed with nutritious goodness. They can be a lunch, a dinner, a snack, and can be super filling! The chicken soup that I’m sharing with you here is a classic recipe, and good to use for chicken noodle soup, holidays (including upcoming Passover), matzah ball soup, and serves as a great chicken stock base for other soup recipes. Enjoy! IMG_2020
Mmm…

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken quarters – drumstick and thigh
  • Chicken bones (if you can find at your local store) this will make a richer broth
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 leek, trim top and bottom, slice lengthwise 1/2 way (do not cut full way through)
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken and chicken bones in a large stock pot and cover with water, approx 16 – 18 cups

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    Remember to skim the foam to make your soup as clean as can be!

  • Boil on medium heat, for about 15 mins.
  • Skim the foam and particles that rise to the surface of the water.  Repeat until it has all been removed as best as you can.
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer and add in the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper).
  • Cook for 2 hours.
  • Add in a small bunch of flat leaf parsley 30 min before cooking is done.
  • And salt and pepper to desired taste.
  • Allow broth to cool, and put through a mesh strainer into another pot.
  • Reserve carrots and shred chicken off the bone.
  • Serve with shredded chicken, carrots, noodles, matzah balls, dumplings, etc.
  • Also freezes great for on hand chicken stock for cooking needs or as a base for other soups!

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Whenever I go to Asian restaurants, one of my favourite things to order are Asian Lettuce IMG_1863
Wraps. The great thing about this recipe is that it can serve either a main entrée, or as an appetizer. Also, they are super fun to eat; the crisp of fresh lettuce plus the warm filling gets my mouth-watering just thinking about it! Below is my take on a Paleo and Whole30 version of this ‘far east’ favourite! Mmm…

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained, washed and chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, reserve one of the tsp for garnish at the end
  • 2 Tbs coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil, drizzle on dish at the end
  • 2 green onions, sliced for garnish
  • 1 head ice burg lettuce, or lettuce of choice.

Directions:

  • Heat coconut oil in skillet and add in onion and garlic (TIP: sprinkle with some salt to help the onions sweat and get translucent).
  • Add in ground chicken and cook until browned.
  • Add in shredded carrots and water chestnuts, cook for 5 – 10 mins until carrots are tender
  • Add in coconut aminos and all other seasonings (except sesame oil and green onions), let cook for 5 mins
  • Turn off heat and drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with green onions and remaining sesame seeds.
  • Scoop into lettuce leaves, wrap and enjoy!

 

Cauliflower Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza, right?  When it’s pizza night in my house, and my kids are enjoying a hot, cheesy pizza, I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out with this Paleo-inspired version. It’s healthy, wholesome and just as delicious. Plus, my variation is easy to make because you don’t have to steam the cauliflower, which can be time-consuming and messy. It’s the perfect recipe when you want to fulfill that pizza crave without the calories!  MmmIMG_2090

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

*Toppings – customize to your preference

  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Bell pepper, sliced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Hot peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Shredded chicken or sliced cooked turkey sausage
  • Cheese as a non Paleo option

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Shred cauliflower in a bowl
  • Add all other ingredients and mix until combined
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non stick cooking spray
  • Spread out cauliflower mixture on baking sheet and spread out to approx. 1/3 inch thickness
  • Bake for 35-40 min
  • Remove from oven and place toppings of choice
  • Place back on oven for another 25 – 20 min, until veggies are tender
  • Once out of oven, cut up avocado slices and place on top
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Tip: I like to buy cauliflower when it is one sale at the store.  Then pre shred and freeze.  Makes for quick and easy cauliflower pizza!!

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Protein Pancakes – 3 Ways

IMG_1505Everyone loves a great weekend breakfast! For me, weekends are meant for spending  quality time with my husband and 3 boys. And what better way than 3 different types of wholesome, healthy pancakes!

These pancakes are a family favourite. I feel good serving them because they are delicious and nutritious, and the first 2-3 ingredients you are sure to have on hand. I like to try different fruits and veggies in my pancakes to add extra flavour and nutrition. Below are my 3 favourite varieties.

Top pancakes with mixed berries, almond butter and coconut cream, or any other toppings of your choosing. Mmm…

**Recipe note – the ingredients and initial directions for each type of pancake is different. At the bottom of this post are the final cooking directions to follow for each 3 types.

1. Basic Banana Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Place banana in mixing bowl
  • Crack in eggs
  • Add cinnamon

2. Sweet Potato & Banana Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 small sweet potato, cooked
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Peel sweet potato and cut into cubes
  • Boil small pot of water
  • Place cubes of sweet potato in boiling water and cook until soft, approx 10 mins
  • Place banana in mixing bowl with cooked sweet potato (approx. 1/3 cup)
  • Crack in eggs
  • Add cinnamon

3. Apple & Banana Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small single serve container unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Place banana in mixing bowl
  • Empty in container of apple sauce
  • Crack in eggs
  • Add cinnamon

** FINAL COOKING DIRECTIONS FOR EACH 

  • Blend with immersion blender until smooth (alternatively, mash banana by hand and mix in all other ingredients)
  • Spray pan with non stick cooking spray
  • Cook like regular pancakes, once you see a few bubbles rise to top of pancakes, approx 1 1/2 minutes on first side, flip and cook for another 30 seconds.

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Baked Buffalo Style Chicken Wings

IMG_1677.JPGI like to eat fun dinners on the weekend to keep my healthy eating on track. These dinners feel like a cheat meal, but they’re really not. One of my absolute favourite are my fabulous and famous Baked Buffalo Style Chicken Wings, which are sure to fool any serious wing fanatic! 

These wings are so crispy, you’d think they were deep-fried! Mmm

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs raw chicken wings
  • 1 cup Frank Red Hot Original

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Boil chicken wings for 10 minutes; remove and strain. Let wings drip dry a few minutes, then dry them well with a paper towel.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place chicken wings on top, but not overlapping.
  • Bake chicken wings for 30 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.
  • Remove hot wings and place in bowl.
  • Pour over Franks Red Hot Original and mix to fully coat. Use more or less sauce depending on your heat level.
  • Enjoy immediately while they are hot and crispy!

Asian Ground Chicken Stir Fry

One of my secrets to adding more vegetables into my diet is to make a big batch of my awesome Asian Ground Chicken Stir Fry. Asian flavours with crisp veggies, and topped with creamy avocado for the perfect pairing!IMG_1965 This delicious meal is quick and easy that takes less than 30 mins to make. Mmm…

Quick Tip – Prepare a big batch at dinner time and use the rest for a fast, pre-prepared lunch later in the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 bag shredded veggies mix sold at local grocery store  (I prefer the brussel sprout, nappa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrot & kale mix)
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds (reserve 1 Tbs sesame seeds for garnish)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbs cup coconut aminos (or you can use 2 Tbs soy sauce for non paleo option)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Directions:

  • Heat coconut oil in pan
  • Saute onions with a sprinkle of salt until translucent
  • Toss in garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant
  • Add in ground chicken and cook until browned
  • Stir in seasonings, coconut aminos, and veggies, cook for 5 – 7 min
  • Drizzle with sesame oil and top with remaining sesame seeds and chopped green onion
  • Top with sliced avocado – serve and enjoy!

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