Category Archives: Sauces & Soups

Healing Chicken Soup—Paleo & Whole30

Healing Chicken Soup—Paleo & Whole30 |stupideasypaleo.com

It’s hardly a secret that chicken soup is “good for what ails you”—as my grandmother used to say. If you’re a science nerd like me and want to know the how and why, click here and here. If you’re just here for the yummy recipe, you can skip all that. Suffice to say, maybe this soup isn’t a panacea, but it is definitely delicious.

I kicked up the healing properties of bone broth with the trio of ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Besides tasting aromatic and well, decidedly victorious, ginger and turmeric bring their anti-inflammatory compounds to this dish, and garlic, its antiviral properties. Infusing the broth is well worth the extra twenty minutes!

You can really dress this up anyway you’d like. I added some shredded chicken, green onion, carrot and shiitake mushrooms (gotta love that umami!) along with some gluten-free noodles made from mountain yam. Consider the broth a blank palette upon which to draw with your favorite flavors.

Healing Chicken Soup—Paleo & Whole30

Rating: 51

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (946 mL) chicken broth
  • 2 inch (5.1 cm) piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin coins
  • 1 inch piece (2.5 cm) fresh turmeric*, sliced into thin coins
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 mL) fish sauce
  • 2 cups (280 g) cooked shredded chicken
  • 4 ounces (113 g) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 green onions (48 g), white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot (40 g), julienned or shredded
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Optional: 1 cup (227 g) zucchini noodles, kelp noodles, or mountain yam shiritaki noodles
  • Optional: Paleo Sriracha for drizzling

Directions

  1. Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot, and add the ginger, turmeric, garlic and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to really infuse the broth with flavor. Note: If using turmeric powder (ground turmeric), start with 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 gram), and increase to 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram), depending on your preference. I find turmeric powder to be insanely potent, much more so than the fresh root, so always add less and bump it up if you'd like. While the broth is simmering, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ginger, turmeric and garlic. Discard. Or, if you like to live dangerously, leave it all in the soup and pick around it while you're eating (like I did in the photo). Just be aware: Biting into a large chunk of ginger, turmeric or garlic is usually not pleasant.
  3. Add the chicken, mushrooms, green onions, carrot and if desired, your noodles. Heat about 5 minutes on medium-low or until everything is warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of sriracha for some extra heat.

Notes

*If you can't find fresh turmeric root, sub in 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) turmeric powder. When working with any form of turmeric, take care because it stains hands, clothing and porous surfaces.

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Change It Up!

  • Use beef or fish broth instead of chicken.
  • Use any protein you prefer or have on hand.
  • Add in your favorite thinly cut veggies.
  • Instead of fish sauce, substitute 1 teaspoon coconut aminos.

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Healing Chicken Soup—Paleo & Whole30 |stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question? Leave it in the comments below!

Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew—Plus a Chance to Win Meals Made Simple

Paleo Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Today’s recipe is a sneak peek from Danielle Walker’s new book, “Meals Made Simple” which releases on September 2, 2014. I’ve been lucky to preview the cookbook, and it’s amazing…great for newbie cooks or anyone who just enjoys simple, delicious food. Danielle notes: “Jicama may seem like a strange ingredient to add to this dish, but it provides a slight crunch similar to that of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots and adds a mildly sweet flavor.” Serve with cauliflower rice (pictured).

Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed of fat
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 (13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups julienned carrots
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned jicama*
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each batch of browned meat directly to the slow cooker, then continue browning. Wipe out the skillet between batches if a lot of liquid has accumulated at the bottom to ensure even browning.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and stir continuously to release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the tomato paste, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt, then pour the mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Add the broccoli, carrots, and jicama during the last 30 minutes if cooking on high, or the last hour if cooking on low. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Notes

*Omit for SCD

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Stretch It

The leftover meat tastes fabulous in scrambled eggs!

Make-Ahead Tip

Prepare Steps 1 through 5, then place the contents in an airtight container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Julia B. at a*****9@gmail.com!

To enter for a chance to win a free copy of “Meals Made Simple!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to finalize your entry and unlock other bonus entries! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest ends August 10, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PT, and the winner will be announced here on the blog by August 12, 2014. Be sure to check back to see if you won!

The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to confirm back with his or her full name, address, and phone number to claim the prize. Open to US residents only.

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Paleo Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew | stupideasypaleo.com

Bone Broth 101: How to Make the Best Broth

Bone Broth 101 | stupideasypaleo.com

Bone Broth 101: How to Make the Best Broth

Steph’s note: Today’s awesome tutorial is brought to you by Ryan Harvey, founder of Bare Bones Broth Co. Bare Bones offers hand-crafted broth shipped right to you, but if you’re more of a DIY type of person, Ryan shares some of the secrets for making the best bone broth right here for you.

All About Bone Broth

So what’s the big deal with bone broth these days? It has less to do with bone broth and more to do with the rising awareness of the role our gut health plays in the overall health of our mind, body and soul.

We’re finally starting to acknowledge that what we use to fuel our bodies directly affects the way we think, the things we do and how well we do them. Often referred to as our “second brain,” the human gut is home to over 10 trillion bacteria, a number no human can fully comprehend, yet we’re always looking for and believing in that one all-inclusive lab-manufactured antidote promised to make us feel better.

News flash: There isn’t just one food, one medicine or one supplement. There is, however, bone broth, which can be added to any diet as any or all three of these things. What other real food source contains as many bio-available vitamins and easily assimilated nutrients and extracts of pure collagen (A.K.A gelatin), skin, bone and fat ⎼ you know, the stuff that pretty much makes us human, gives us our silky smooth skin and allows us to grunt beautifully while hitting our max power snatch with ease.

Funny thing about bone broth: It’s nothing new. In fact, broths and stocks have been used for centuries by cultures around the world as a remedy to anything and everything. It also happens to be the base for all cooking, as it’s the first thing you would learn how to make in kitchens around the world as a chef’s apprentice or culinary student.

It’s what stops a stomachache dead in its tracks by soothing and healing the gut, and it quickly returns our joints to normal after an intense workout or rigorous hike. We have the natural occurring gelatin and glucosamine to thank for this; something all commercially available broths lack.

With that said, I want to share a handful of factors that will influence the outcome of your homemade bone broth. Got gelatin?

Factor #1 That Makes Great Bone Broth: Animal’s Upbringing

When deciding how to fuel my body, I always ask where my fuel came from and how it came to be.

Chances are, if you are here reading this then you and I have something in common. It’s no secret that what the animal eats, we eat. This doesn’t just apply to meat. Bones contain marrow, and marrow in turn pretty much contains the essence of our being.

If we’re healthy, that’s great but if we’re sick, our marrow is sick. The same goes for animals. The whole idea is that we’re extracting all this healthy good stuff from the animal and using it as both a food and a medicine for our bodies.

Believe it or not, this all matters on a molecular level, where everything that makes you you is working hard to maintain your optimal health as efficiently as possible. If the animal was factory farmed, ate garbage and didn’t see a pasture a day in its life, you won’t be doing your body any favors in the long run by using its bones.

Pardon my soapbox, but supporting the ranchers and farmers that raise pastured animals and grow organic produce is the only way we’ll ever see a change in our current food system. You want better access to healthy and sustainably raised meats and fresh produce? Then find and support a farm. I’ve seen numerous farms and ranches here in Southern California grow rapidly under the support of enthusiastic communities looking towards a better future in food.

Factor #2 That Makes Great Bone Broth: Animal’s Age 

That’s right. Animals are no different from us in that their bones and joints wear down and degrade over time, reducing the amount of connective tissue and consequently reducing the amount of gelatin that will end up in your broth.

The younger the animal, the more gelatinous your broth will be. Veal bones, joints, feet and necks would yield the most gelatin, as these animals are butchered very young.

You can usually find veal bones at a local butcher for a decent price. Stocks made from veal are a chef’s secret weapon in the kitchen, taking everything from soups and sauces to risottos and braised meats to the next level.

Factor #3 That Makes Great Bone Broth: Bone Type

This is where most people run into trouble.

In my experience the most commercially available bones are usually beef or veal femurs. Femurs are great as they contain a ton of marrow but very little collagen. You want a good mix of bones, joints and feet. I suggest using a 1:1:1 ratio of bones, joints and feet. This will almost guarantee you achieve that victorious gel.

Just remember to always use joints and feet, this is where you will find the most collagen. If you can’t find all of these, go ahead and make your broth with whatever you can get your hands on, you’ll still benefit greatly from the added vitamins and nutrients.

Factor #4 That Makes Great Bone Broth: Bone to Water Ratio 

Whether it’s in a crockpot or on your stove, add water just to cover the bones, and no more.

This is where a lot of folks think they’ve messed up. You’ve spent all those hours simmering away, finally cooling and refrigerating your liquid gold only to wake up in the morning to find no jiggle. You haven’t been defeated! Simply bring your broth back up to a gentle simmer and let evaporation take over. Reduce your broth by an inch or so, cool and refrigerate. If it’s still not jiggling, repeat the process.

A combination of things could have happened here – too much water, bones from sick animals, or you simply didn’t let it simmer long enough. In most cases, the gelatin simply isn’t concentrated enough to give your broth a Jello-like consistency. This is OKAY. Your broth is still loaded with plenty of good stuff.

Try not to get so caught up on the aesthetics. I see people everyday crying out for help because their broth didn’t gel, as if the broth gods are smiting their attempt at glory.

Factor #5 That Makes Great Bone Broth: Time

The beautiful thing about making broth is that once started, it requires very little attention.

The biggest issue here is not letting your broth simmer long enough. We simmer our beef broth for 48 hours and 24 hours for our chicken. Simmering for multiple days is a great way to really get everything out of the bones.

Something we do, and that I highly suggest, is to wait until you have 6-8 hours left to add your vegetables or leafy greens, such as parsley or leaves on your celery. This will prevent any bitter or burnt tastes from being imparted into your broth. The vegetables can only be cooked for so long before they begin to break down, giving your broth and undesirable and often burnt flavor.

It only takes 8 or so hours at a simmer to extract the nutrients and flavor from them, anyway. Anything much longer than this and the vegetables become sponges, soaking up all your hard-earned nutrients.

In my opinion, those are the most important things to keep in mind when making bone broth. As with most things, the more you make it the better you will get. And the better you will get at noticing all these little idiosyncrasies during the process, like waiting to add your veggies until later in the process. It took me several burnt, bitter and off-flavored batches before I finally started figuring out at what times to add what ingredients.

A Simple Bone Broth Recipe

Run through this simple checklist when making any bone broth your gut desires:

  • Roast any bones beforehand for added depth and flavor, except fish.
  • Put bones in pot and add water just to cover bones.
  • Add your acid to help draw out the good stuff. We use apple cider vinegar.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Skim, skim and skim some more. Scum and impurities rise to the top during the initial simmer phase. Simply skim, discard and keep simmering.
  • Once there is no longer any scum rising to the surface, keep simmering, adding water only to cover the bones as necessary.
  • Prep your veggies. Peel onions, as the peel can impart a burnt or bitter flavor.
  • After about 15-18 hours for chicken and 35-40 hours for beef, add your veggies, herbs and spices. Wait until the final hour to add parsley or celery leaves.
  • Return to a simmer for the final leg, and this time don’t worry about adding more water. You want the nutrients and gelatin to concentrate as we bring in the flavors from the veggies and herbs.
  • Add your parsley and / or celery greens if desired. Let simmer for another hour or two.
  • That’s it. You’ve done it! Strain your broth and cool it down or use immediately for making your favorite soup, stew, sauce or meat dish!

If you’re ever short on time or can’t seem to procure bones from healthy animals come check us out at Bare Bones Broth Co.! We’ll ship our broths directly to your door, nationwide!

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Bone Broth 101 | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions about making bone broth? Leave them in the comments below!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update!

Time for an update on The Performance Paleo Cookbook!

The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s been a crazy past few months working on the cookbook, but we’re at an exciting stage. I’ve turned in the manuscript and completed the photographs (still need to finish editing those) which means the lion’s share of the creative content is done. I’m still catching my breath a bit!

Originally, I wasn’t planning to take the photographs myself, but the opportunity arose and I knew we’d get the best possible outcome if I stepped up to the plate (no pun intended). What followed was a hectic month.

We—the hubs and I—built wood backdrops and shopped for props. (I definitely have too many bowls now.) I cooked every recipe again from scratch and according to spec to check the flavors one more time. I styled and photographed 90 of the 100 recipes in the cookbook here in the dining room of our tiny, 100-year-old cottage. I made a literal mountain of dishes and went through a figurative ton of food.

It was all worth it because I know the cookbook is going to be on point for y’all! So, what happens next?

Now, the book will be formatted, arranged and edited over the next few months, then it will go off to the printer so it’s ready for its debut on January 6th. (Remember, this is an actual print book!) I know it seems like a long time to wait, but the time will fly by, I’m convinced. The good news is that you can pre-order now and lock in the early bird price of 25% off! Click here for Amazon or here for Barnes and Noble. It’ll also be formatted into a digital version if e-readers are your cup of tea.

What’s going to be in The Performance Paleo Cookbook?

  • 100 recipes with 90 full-color photographs,
  • 50 recipe combo ideas to make full meals,
  • 7 different fueling protocols to help plan for whatever time of the day you train,
  • Pre- and post-workout snack ideas,
  • Tons of protein-rich and carb-dense recipes,
  • …and more!

Awesome, right?

So for now, I’ll be turning a lot more attention back to the site (we have a site refresh coming up to make it more user-friendly) and working on some awesome new resources. Thanks for all your continued support!

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The Performance Paleo Cookbook Update | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about The Performance Paleo Cookbook? Leave it in the comments below!

Sweet Plantain Guacamole

Sweet Plantain Guacamole—The Paleo Kitchen | stupideasypaleo.com

Guacamole is pretty much like heaven to me. Packed with healthy fats, this combination of luscious, creamy avocado mixed with any variety of spices, herbs and aromatics is pretty great on just about anything. This recipe, one from the soon to be released book The Paleo Kitchen by George Bryant and Juli Bauer, adds a twist to the standard guac: plantains. That’s right. Plantains. These ripe beauties—a great source of healthy carbohydrate—are softened and then folded right in!

While you’re here, be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway to win your very own free copy of The Paleo Kitchen! The photos alone are drool-inducing. This is a flash giveaway which ends Sunday June 8th at 11:59 PT, so enter now!

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients for Sweet Plantain Guacamole

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large brown plantain, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 large avocados, cut in half, pits removed
  • 1/4 medium white onion, finely chopped (30 grams)
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions for Sweet Plantain Guacamole

  1. Place a small skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
  2. Once the coconut oil is hot, add half of the garlic to the pan along with diced plantain.
  3. When the plantain dice begin to brown, salt them, and then flip to brown on other side.
  4. Add the water to the pan and cover to steam the plantain. Once the plantain dice are soft, remove from the heat and let cool.
  5. While the plantain finishes cooking, scoop out the insides of the pitted avocados and add to a large bowl to mash. Mash up the avocado with a fork. Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in the plantains. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

To enter for a chance to win a free copy of The Paleo Kitchen!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to finalize your entry and unlock other bonus entries! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest ends June 8, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PT, and the winner will be announced here on the blog by June 10, 2014. Be sure to check back to see if you won!

The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to confirm back with his or her full name, address, and phone number to claim the prize. Open to US residents only.

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Sweet Plantain Guacamole—The Paleo Kitchen | stupideasypaleo.com

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please welcome Candace from Beyoutifully Delicious to the blog again. A couple weeks ago, I featured her PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw, and it’s gotten rave reviews. Candace is all about good food with big flavor, and this recipe will not disappoint. Without further adieu, take it away Candace!

Last Easter I came up with a fresh strawberry dressing that gave a subtle sweetness to a spring green salad. For the protein to compliment the slaw, I updated it as a marinade with some heat. There’s nothing like salty, sweet AND spicy. Now we’re talking game-changer.

I love this marinade on mahi-mahi, it’s a flakey fish that has a really clean taste to it. None of that “fishy” business that tends to draw people away from ocean proteins. If seafood is not your thing, this is perfect for chicken too.

You can easily flavor swap blackberry or apricot for the strawberry as they work well with chili peppers. I would use fresh apricots rather than dried just because I want to keep my sugar in check. It’s very easy for that to get crazy if I’m not intentional about food preparation.

Ingredients for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

This is enough for two (6 ounce or 340 grams) filets of mahi-mahi or chicken breasts.

  • 1-1/4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberries, crushed into a powder (sub: 1 Tbsp apple juice)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried Thai chilis or 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients except coconut oil and blend on high.
  2. Turn down the speed a little and slowly drizzle in coconut oil.
  3. Marinate the meat or fish for at least 2 hours and grill it until it’s no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Discard the leftover marinade. Or, bring the leftover marinade to a boil and cook it for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria.

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Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comment box below!

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com Please welcome today’s guest blogger Meg, founder of the popular blog A Dash of Meg. I first met Meg on Instagram and have followed her journey as she’s learned how to properly fuel her body for health and strength. Meg even recently did a Whole30 and posted up lots of tasty eats along the way. She’s got a great, positive attitude about nutrition and health. Take it away, Meg!

If you had to pick a favorite fruit what would it be?

Personally, I’d say berries. But, if you asked me which berry was my favorite, I’d have a hard time choosing. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries… oh, they are all so delicious! But, if I absolutely had to pick I’d say my favorite is the blueberry. Although blueberries are itty bitty, they are packed with a lot of nutrients!

Blueberries are particularly high in the type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the elasticity of capillary walls; therefore, they may help fight heart disease and some types of cancer. Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants, but they are also rich in vitamin B2, C, and E, manganese and fiber.

Blueberries are beautiful, delicious and nutrient-dense! They are definitely something you should incorporate into your diet especially when they’re in season.

Blueberry season is from July to August, and although I try to eat as seasonally as possible, when I saw that the blueberries at my local market were on sale last week I just had to grab some. I think this long, brutally cold winter is really getting to me (Steph’s note: Meg lives in central Canada), but these blueberries reminded me of the beauty of summer and were able to cheer me up quite a bit!

They also inspired me to create a new recipe. I love recipe developing. I’m actually hoping to publish my own cookbook some day, but for now I will just share my recipes with you!

This recipe was actually inspired by Steph! After seeing her “strawberry mango relish” on Instagram a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the though of creating a recipe for a fruit relish / salsa of my own, particularly a blueberry-flavored salsa. So, I created this incredibly stupid-easy Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa!

Before I even met Steph, I always chose the simple way of doing things. My Mom and I call it the “KISS Method” (Keep It Simple Stupid Method). I believe that’s why Steph and I became such good friends ;) Or at least one of the reasons why…

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe! Use it as a condiment with any meal of your choice. I particularly love it on top of my salmon or with my runny-yolk eggs! Eggs and blueberries are a match made in food heaven!

Ingredients for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, whole
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (use half for less spicy salsa)

Directions for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (Note: For milder flavor, seed the pepper and remove the white inner membrane. Wash your hands thoroughly.) Serve immediately or allow flavors to mingle for 30 minutes.
  2. I chose to keep this recipe stupid-easy, as you can tell. I’m not a fan of onion in my fruit salsas, so I left it out. The blueberries I used were incredibly sweet, think candy-like, so I chose to leave out lime / lemon juice. However, feel free to add in your favorite salsa ingredients!

Change it up!

Try adding the following:

  • lime or lemon juice
  • lime zest
  • fresh basil
  • sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave a comment in the box below!

How to Make Homemade Extracts – Vanilla, Mint & Lemon

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Learning how to make homemade extracts for cooking is really quite simple, and I’m going to let you in on how easy it is! Yes, most extracts contain alcohol and though I’ve seen alcohol-free versions, I haven’t been stoked about using glycerine as the solvent. Considering I use these extracts in small quantities, I don’t have a personal objection to the alcohol content but as always, your Paleo is up to you alone to dictate. In this post, I’ll show you how to make vanilla, mint and lemon extracts using the same basic method.

How To Make Homemade Extracts?

You’ll need some sort of alcohol to help extract the organic (carbon-based) compounds that actually make the scents and flavors from the chosen plant material—in this case, vanilla beans, lemon rinds and mint leaves. Did you know that when you smell something, what you’re really sensing are tiny organic molecules that diffuse through the air, attach themselves to the olfactory receptors of the nose and send nerve impulses to your brain? Through experience and learning, you’ve come to associate these molecules with the foods that emit these “smells.” For example, vanillin is one of the predominant carbon-based compounds that makes the scent you know as vanilla. And while it can be synthesized by a series of chemical reactions in a lab, I think you’ll agree that getting it from a natural source is always better.

Small organic compounds like vanillin are chemically compatible with alcohol, meaning they’re soluble in it. When you make a homemade extract, you’re taking advantage of that fact. SCIENCE! For best results, remember to steep your extracts for at least 4 weeks before you use them and keep the plant material completely submerged so nothing molds.

How to Use Homemade Extracts?

I chose vodka for this recipe but you can use something like bourbon for the vanilla, which tends to pair really well. Use these extracts in any application you’d use store-bought extracts. How about using a dash of vanilla in my Apple Coconut Pudding or the mint in my Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups?

My favorite reason for making homemade extracts is that I know exactly what’s in them. So many of the store-bought extracts contain added sugar or other funky chemical ingredients. These also make fantastic gifts!

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Homemade Mint Extract

  • 1 cup good-quality vodka
  • ~1 cup organic mint leaves, packed
  • 8 ounce (240 mL) glass jar

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Mint Extract

  1. Pick the mint leaves from the tough stems and wash them. You want about 1 cup, packed.
  2. Add the leaves to the jar.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly. Make sure the leaves are submerged completely.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results. At that point, I recommend straining the leaves out and discarding them.

Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Extract

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla beans down the middle, lengthwise.
  2. Add the beans to the jar.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results.
  5. Hint: If the level of the vodka drops gradually as you use it, add more for a continuous supply of extract.

Ingredients for Homemade Lemon Extract

  • 1 cup good-quality vodka
  • 2–3 lemons
  • 8 ounce (240 mL) glass jar

How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Homemade Lemon Extract

  1. Wash the lemons and use a sharp knife to remove the outermost yellow skin. It’s okay if some of the white pith remains.
  2. Add the lemon skin to the jar. Use the flesh for something else or discard.
  3. Fill the jar with 1 cup of vodka and cap tightly. Make sure the skin is submerged completely.
  4. Let the extract steep for at least 4 weeks for best results. At that point, I recommend straining the skin out and discarding it.

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How to Make Homemade Extracts — Vanilla, Mint & Lemon | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you ever made homemade extract? Which one is your favorite?

Berry Mango Chia Jam

Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com

If you’ve been around the blog for long enough, you may notice I use chia seeds from time to time to create very lightly sweetened puddings. This time, I paired them with fresh fruit to make something that’s a jam-like consistency with no added sugar. Feel free to switch up the berries with other fruit!

Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients for Berry Mango Chia Jam

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) diced mango
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) blueberries
  • 1 cup (225 g) chopped strawberries
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds

Directions for Berry Mango Chia Jam

  1. Add the fruit to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until it has softened.
  2. Slowly stir in the chia seeds until they’re evenly incorporated. The “jam” will continue to thicken as the seeds absorb moisture.
  3. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

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Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings with Paleo Ranch Dressing

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings | stupideasypaleo.com

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings (with Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip) is coming at you today from my guest blogger Rach from Meatified! Wings—I mean, c’mon—what’s not to love? I first learned of Rach from her screen-lickable photos of Paleo food, and with a name like Meatified, I knew she was onto something good. A former vegetarian, she originally found the Paleo lifestyle while looking for a way to improve her health after years of thyroid-related issues. She creates original recipes that are grain- and sugar-free while trying to finally figure out how to work the camera she shamelessly “borrowed” from her husband. When she’s not in the kitchen, she can usually be found planning her perfect future mini farmstead in gloriously overly-exaggerated detail. Take it away, Rach!

Ingredients for the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings

  • 2 pounds (1000 grams) chicken wings
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Directions for the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings

  1. Add all of the marinade ingredients (not the chicken!) to a blender. Process until smooth. If the marinade is a little thick, add a splash of water and re-process.
  2. Put the chicken wings into a container or large freezer bag. Pour over the marinade and toss the wings through it so that they are evenly coated.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  4. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking tray with foil and place a cooling rack onto the foil-lined tray.
  5. Place the wings onto the metal rack, and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven up to 425°F (210°C). Turn the chicken wings over and return them to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until browned.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, make the Ranch Dressing Dip!

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip

Directions for the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip

  1. In a mini food processor or blender, process the soaked and drained cashews until you have a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of your processor or blender a few times to do this.
  2. Once your cashews are a spreadable texture, add the coconut milk a little at a time and process until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice, the rest of the coconut milk, the seasonings and herbs. Process until combined and the dressing is smooth. If it is still a little thick, add a splash of water and re-process.
  4. Once the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings are cooked, serve with the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip.

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Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings - Meatified | stupideasypaleo.com

[Steph's note: Brilliant, right? These wings are so easy, and the dip is a snap to make. Like what you see from Rach? Connect with her on her siteFacebookPinterest and Twitter.]

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Got questions for Rach? Leave them in the comments below!

Paleo Chicken Parmesan

Paleo Chicken Parmesan…this is not a dream!

Please welcome Kim from Nearly Natural Momma as my guest blogger today! She’s got tons of great recipes and shares her adventures in food, homesteading and homeschooling on her blog and on Facebook. Take a minute and read her story of losing over 50 pounds (link is below) by turning to a real food lifestyle…it left me with a tear in my eye for sure!

Take it away, Kim!

I’m so excited to write a guest post for Stupid Easy Paleo! My name is Kim, and I’m the owner of Nearly Natural Momma, and a few years ago after battling a personal illness I used the Primal diet to lose some 50 pounds. My husband has been making chicken parm for years, it’s one of our favorite go to weekend family meals. We tweaked it since going Primal and wanted to share our adaptation with you. If you’re not doing cheese that’s no problem. This is still amazing. [Steph's note: Paleo excludes most dairy, including cheese. If you're Primal and include dairy, go for it...I know there are a lot of Primal readers who visit the blog. Paleo eaters, skip the cheese. Just want to make sure nobody is confused.]

Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

If you’re short on time, use your favorite spaghetti sauce. We have a tough time finding any with out sugar so we’ve given you a very basic version of his sauce. Make it your own. Add mushrooms (I love it when the hubs does this), or green peppers, or extra garlic to give it your own unique twist.

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Parmesan

For the Sauce

For the Chicken

Directions for Paleo Chicken Parmesan

For the Sauce

  1. Cook onions and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients, mix well and bring to a rolling boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Cover after five minute to avoid a huge mess.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

For the Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. In a bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken first the dry mix, then eggs, then dry mix again. Carefully place each piece of chicken in the frying pan and fry until golden brown, or about 3 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan, and set them aside.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Pour your sauce into the frying pan and scrape “grubbins” (hub’s word for cooked on yummies on the pan) and mix the grubbins in with the sauce. Heat the sauce to a simmer, then add the chicken back into the pan on top of the sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then cover and cook in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. After 10 minutes remove the cover. If you want to add mozzarella slices of cheese this is the time to do it. Place one on each piece of chicken.Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com
  7. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes. Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

For the Spaghetti Squash

  1. Pierce holes in the squash, and bake for 90 minutes at 350°F (175°C). (We usually do this step first before we start making chicken parm).
  2. Let squash cool at least 30 minutes (or while you’re making the chicken parm), then cut it open removing seeds (which I give to our chickens!).
  3. Scrape the rest of the yummies into a greased frying pan.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Easy Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with your Chicken Parmesan, and enjoy!!

I’m psyched to try this recipe! What questions do you have for Kim?

Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing

Say hi to my guest blogger, Laura! I first stumbled upon Laura’s recipes via her Instagram account (@paleo_in_comparison) and quickly came to admire her creativity when it came to food and her genuine nature. She’s a wife, homeschool mom of two rambunctious boys, and the Paleo blogger behind Paleo In Comparison and a growing Facebook community of the same name. In November of 2011, after years of yo-yo dieting and eating disorders, she stumbled into the Paleo lifestyle. With a total weight loss of 60 pounds (27 kg), and a complete change in her physical and emotional health, she’s never looked back. Paleo gave her life and health back, and helped her form a healthy relationship with food (I can relate!). She’s passionate about sharing her story, and believes that clean eating and living are essential to lifelong health and wellness. I know you’ll love her approach to food and her sense of humor.

If you’re looking for a tasty salad for your holiday table, I think this is perfect and the thought of the hot, sweet dressing makes my mouth water! With no further adieu, here’s Laura and her Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing…

Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing | StupidEasyPaleo.com

“But salads aren’t sexy.”

That’s what I said to my husband when I told him I was considering making a salad for this guest post.

Salads are often neglected in the Paleo / Primal community for the glitz and glory of a rare steak, “Paleo” cookies, and bacon-wrapped…well…anything! But there are a lot of benefits to eating salads.

First, while I don’t subscribe to a raw food only diet, there most certainly are huge benefits to consuming our fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible. It’s just science – cooking can destroy and break down some of the vital nutrients and fiber in our foods. Cooking is a process – albeit a harmless one – but eating foods raw is the closest to unprocessed that we can get. Salads are a great way to get a lot of different veggies into our diets in their purest form.

On the more practical side, raw foods like salads are super convenient and easy to take with us anywhere. Cold travels better than hot, and you don’t need a microwave or oven to reheat it.

Whenever someone wants “a light lunch,” they go for a salad, but I would argue that nothing will fill your belly faster than raw veggies! Because all of that fiber hasn’t been broken down in the cooking process, you’re going to feel fuller longer – just be sure to drink plenty of water to help your tum-tum digest all that fibrous goodness!

Salads? Not sexy? Boy, did I change my mind fast! Healthy is sexy. So, if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It’s Logic 101. Salads are healthy, healthy is sexy. Therefore, salads are sexy!

The result of my salad revelation was this chicken thigh salad inspired by the colors of the Holiday season. Don’t worry, I was a good Paleo / Primal cook, and threw a little bacon grease in there for good measure. I hope you enjoy this sexy salad as much as my family did!

Serves: 4

Collard and Brussels Salad with Seasonal Fruit, Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing & Crispy Chicken Skin Crumbles

Ingredients For the Salad

  • 8 cups raw collards, shredded or finely chopped
  • 4 cups raw brussels, quartered
  • 1-1/3 cups raw cranberries
  • 1 large green pear, sliced (or two small)
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin on (if you have a hungry set, make double for 2 thighs per serving)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Special equipment: parchment paper

Directions for the Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove skins from raw chicken thighs. This should be very easy. You may need to use a small paring knife in some spots, but the skins should come off easily just by hand. Once removed, cut the square-like pieces of skin in half. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper – this will help absorb the grease as the skins bake, making them crispier. Place on the cookie sheet and bake until deep golden brown and crispy, approximately 15 minutes. When finished remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool completely, uncovered.
  2. Remove parchment paper from cookie sheet, use the grease from the skins to coat the bottom of the cookie sheet. Place chicken thighs onto cookie sheet and coat with remaining grease (if you don’t have enough grease, you can coat the thighs with a little fat of choice – duck fat or ghee is always great with chicken). Season simply with a little salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until internal temp reaches 160°F (80°C), approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how many you cook. Allow to cool. Remove meat from bones & shred with your fingers.

 Ingredients for the Dressing

Directions for the Dressing

  1. Melt bacon grease in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Reduce liquid until it starts to thicken and the fat and vinegar are incorporated. Stir mixture occasionally with a rubber or wooden spatula while cooking. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Keep in mind the dressing should be served warm. Refrigerate leftovers and simply reheat to serve. The fat in the dressing will cause the dressing to harden when cold, so don’t be alarmed. Reheating will bring it back to proper consistency.

Plating the Salad

  • On each full-sized dinner plate, make a base with 2 cups of raw collards and 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts. Place 1/4 of the pear slices on greens. Top with meat from 1 chicken thigh (2 if you doubled the chicken). Top with 1/3 cup of cranberries and some crumbled crispy chicken skins. Serve dressing on the side, or simply drizzle over the salad before serving.

Change it Up

  • You can use any leftover white meat you have for this salad.
  • If you want to make it with leftover meat, and do not have the crispy chicken skins, simply replace them with crispy bacon crumbles.
  • You can also make a quick and cold sweet dressing with honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, and a little salt and pepper.

Do you have any questions for Laura? Let her know in the comments below!

Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing | StupidEasyPaleo.com

 

 

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix is pretty awesome. Why? It has that warm, yummy smell that evokes the holiday season (isn’t it so interesting how smells can conjure up such memories?!). Luckily, Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix is super simple to make so you can have a taste of the holidays any time of the year.

Want a simple DIY gift idea for the foodie in your life? How about getting crafty and creating miniature decorative jars of Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix and Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice with nice handmade labels? A thoughtful, useful gift that won’t get stuffed in a drawer like that reindeer Christmas sweater. (Oh c’mon, I know it just isn’t me with one of those!)

Makes: about 1/2 cup

Ingredients for Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix 

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Directions to Make Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix

  1. Mix all the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Seal in an airtight jar. (I like small Mason jars for this job.)

Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

What can you do with your Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix?

  • Stir 2 Tablespoons into ground coffee before brewing (if making 6 cups).
  • Sprinkle it over a coconut milk latte or brewed coffee.
  • Use it mixed into paleo hot chocolate (substitute the gingerbread spice instead).
  • Sprinkle it over roasted carrots or other root veggies.

Do you like gingerbread? What would you use this spice mix for? Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix | stupidesaypaleo.com

Coconut Butter from Scratch

Coconut Butter from Scratch | stupideasypaleo.com Coconut butter from scratch is one of those kitchen hacks that’ll save you a ton of money and it’s stupid-easy (we like that). It may sound mystical, but when you get down to it, coconut butter is nothing more than pulverized coconut meat that’s been ground down to a very smooth consistency. It’s delicious and absolutely full of the healthy MCTs (medium chain triglyercides) and saturated fatty acids that provide energy and keep us feeling satiated.

Why’d you want to make coconut butter from scratch? It’ll save you a LOT of bucks. Store brands sell for upwards of $12 or more for about 2 cups. That’s pretty pricey for my wallet even though the store bought coconut butter is pretty delicious. The good news is you can make something that’s just as yummy.

What can you do with coconut butter? Anything you’d do with a nut butter: bake with it, put it in mashed veggies for a punch of fat and creamy texture, eat it with apples or a square of dark chocolate or use it as a regular butter substitute. The possibilities for eating coconut butter are virtually endless though my favorite way to eat it’s probably just off a spoon!

The one caveat for making coconut butter from scratch: you need a powerful blender or food processor to grind the coconut down. I’ve done it in both and the blender (like a Vitamix or similar) is faster but they each give a good result.

Coconut Butter from Scratch | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Making Coconut Butter from Scratch

Equipment for Making Coconut Butter from Scratch

Directions for Making Coconut Butter from Scratch

  1. Load the coconut flakes into the blender or food processor. Add a pinch of salt. Turn the machine on.
  2. If using a blender like a Vitamix, you may want to use the tamper to push the flakes down. After a minute or so, the coconut will begin to liquefy. Stop the machine and scrape the sides down with a spatula. Continue until the coconut has turned to coconut butter and is liquefied and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar.
  3. If using a food processor, this processor will take longer…somewhere in the range of 8-10 minutes. Patience is your friend. Stop the machine and scrape the sides down with a spatula a few times. Continue until the coconut has turned to coconut butter and is softened and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar.

Recipe Variations for Coconut Butter from Scratch

Troubleshooting Making Coconut Butter from Scratch

What if….

  • …the coconut butter won’t seem to liquefy?

Try adding some melted coconut oil to the coconut flakes as it’s processing to loosen it up.

  • …the coconut butter is always hard when I go to use it?

Coconut oil solidifies around 77°F so in the cold months, it’s often in the solid form. You can store it at room temperature and not in the fridge to help it from being too hard. Also, if you’ve stored your coconut butter in a glass mason jar (recommended), you can warm some water in a pot on the stove and place the glass jar of coconut butter in to soften it.

  • …I can’t use a big batch?

This coconut butter recipe is easy to halve (or double if you want more).

Have you ever made coconut butter?

Coconut Butter from Scratch | stupideasypaleo.com

Ultimate Paleo Sauce Boss Round Up: 50 Tasty Paleo Sauces

50 sauces

You know why Paleo sauces rock? They take the average, the bland and the boring and shake things up. If you’re suffering from BFS (Boring Food Syndrome), I’ve got you covered.

I’ve collected FIFTY of the most taste bud teasing recipes for sauces, dressings, dips, mayos, ketchups and more and corralled them all into one convenient post. Scroll through and bookmark some favorites.

One key to developing your sauce boss skills…having the right tools. Here are my 5 must-haves for making stellar sauces:

  • Immersion blender. You can use this little gem to make sauces silky smooth right in the pan. They are easier to clean up and make less waste than a blender. Helps make a killer mayo!
  • Microplane grater. These are perfect for getting really finely grated ginger and garlic into sauces so you don’t bite down on any big, crunchy pieces.
  • A basic whisk. Can’t say much more about this other than it’s an essential. Lets you incorporate airiness into sauces without a fancy appliance.
  • A teeny, tiny saucepan. Why? Sometimes you need to reduce a sauce down by heating it, and if the pan is too big, the sauce just sort of sticks to the bottom. These are also great for melting coconut oil and ghee for recipes when you don’t have a microwave (like me).
  • Squeeze bottles. One of the secrets to plating beautifully sauced dishes is using a plain ol’ squeeze bottle. So easy!

And now…the recipes!

BBQ Sauces

Bacon and Bone Broth BBQ Sauce from Real Food RN

Blueberry BBQ Sauce from Low Carb One Day at a Time

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Peach BBQ Sauce from A Girl Worth Saving

Real Food Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Wing Sauce from Real Food Outlaws

Spicy Maple BBQ Sauce from Ditch the Wheat

The Easiest BBQ Sauce Ever from Healthy Living How To

Bean-Free Hummus 

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Babaganoush from And Here We Are

No Bean Paleo Pumpkin Hummus - from Meatified and The Paleo Mama

Dressings

Strawberry-Dressing-WM

Almost Ranch Dressing from Meatified

Arugula with Strawberry Rosemary Dressing from Meatified

Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette from Real Food RN

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Lemon Basil Bacon Fat Vinaigrette from Stupid Easy Paleo

Spicy Mango Vinaigrette from A Happy Health Nut

Fruity Sauces

thick-apple-butter

Apple Butter from My Heart Beets

Creamy Strawberry Sauce from Empowered Sustenance

Pumpkin Butter from Nicky In The Raw

Vanilla Fig Compote from Nicky In The Raw

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Zesty Tangerine Sauce from Stupid Easy Paleo

Mayos

Garlic “Mayo” from Autoimmune Paleo (AIP friendly)

Homemade Mayo from Butter Nutrition

Baconnaise

Paleo Baconnaise from Real Food RN

Rouille (Fancy Spicy French Mayo) from DJ Foodie

Lemony Chive Paleo Mayo from Stupid Easy Paleo

Ketchups and Tomato Sauces

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Better than Ketchup: Serbian Roasted Ayvar Sauce from Jules Fuel

Homemade Ketchup from Nicky In The Raw

Homemade Pizza Sauce from Real Food RN

Italian Meat Sauce from Yuppie Farm Girl

Tomato Paste in Two Simple Steps from A Happy Health Nut

Other Sauces

Béarnaise Sauce from DJ Foodie

Carrot Dip from Meatified

Coconut Butter from Gutsy

grilled-chicken

Coconut Oil Chicken Glaze from Real Food RN

Creamy Grain Free Gravy from Empowered Sustenance (GAPS friendly)

Creamy Tomato Rosemary Sauce from Hollywood Homestead

Creamy Turmeric Sauce from Hollywood Homestead (AIP friendly)

beef-enchiladas

Easy Enchilada Sauce from Healthy Living How To

Fennel-Onion Jam from Popular Paleo

Harissa from DJ Foodie

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Hollandaise Sauce from And Here We Are

Homemade Almond Butter from Gutsy

Meat Masala from My Heart Beets

Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce from Stupid Easy Paleo

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Roasted Beet Dip from Autoimmune Paleo (AIP friendly)

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce from Popular Paleo

Romesco from DJ Foodie

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Homemade Taco Sauce from Living Low Carb…One Day at a Time

Tzatziki Sauce from Good Girl Gone Green

Vanilla Cashew Cream from Good Girl Gone Green

Walnut Pâté from Good Girl Gone Green

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Warm Pineapple Salsa from Popular Paleo

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What’s your favorite sauce? What do you put it on?

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup | stupideasypaleo.com Man, I love soup. It’s warm, filling and a perfect way to bump up veggie consumption without having to gnaw down on a plate of kale (no offense, kale…I still love you). Sometimes, though, it’s just more fun to slurp up a bowl of soup. This recipe’s actually based on one that I made when I first started this blog but I decided to switch things up by changing the spices. The sky’s the limit here and you can really get creative with new flavor combinations.

To make the best tasting butternut squash soup, my secret is to roast the squash first…it brings out a caramelized, almost nutty flavor that steaming it can’t give. It’ll take a bit of extra time, but it’s so worth it, so don’t skimp out. Once that’s done the rest of the soup is a snap to put together. Bonus points for using your own stock for a liquid!

Variations for Butternut Squash Soup

  • If you can’t do coconut milk, you could use heavy cream if you tolerate that well. If not, omit and add an extra 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
  • Add any cooked protein you’d like to make it a heartier meal.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger for another warm spicy note.

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Soup

Directions for Butternut Squash Soup

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Peel the squash and cut it lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds (they’re delicious roasted by the way). Chop the squash into a large dice. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Do the same with the carrots (I usually leave them unpeeled).
  3. Bake the carrots and squash for at least 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft and lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and put the veggies in a pot.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients: chicken stock, coconut milk, cumin and cinnamon to the post and stir.
  5. Now, puree the soup until smooth. If using a blender, you’ll probably need to do this in at least two batches (use caution when putting hot liquids in a blender). If using an immersion blender, you can puree it right in the pot. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve hot. Bonus points if you sprinkle with some roasted squash seeds (I throw them in the oven on a small sheet tray with a bit of chipotle pepper and salt. Roast for about 10-15 minutes while the squash cooks, for texture.

Have you ever tried butternut squash soup? What did you think?

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup | stupideasypaleo.com