Tag Archives: whole30

Paleo or Whole30: Which Is Better?

Paleo or Whole30: Which is better?

It’s a question I get a lot. I’m answering it for you today so that you can go forward with confidence and select the best nutrition approach for yourself—especially if you’re planning to kick off the New Year with a renewed focus to eat better.

A Bit About Paleo First

Paleo is a way of eating focusing on real, whole, minimally processed foods. Foods that support gut health, hormonal balance, stable energy, and lean body mass. The stars of the show are meat, seafood, and eggs; veggies and fruit; and healthy fats. Most people start with a yes and no list of foods to eat and avoid, respectively.

Yes: Meat, seafood, and eggs; veggies and fruit; and healthy fats.

No: Grains, legumes, dairy, added sugars, processed foods, and salt. (There are others.)

Five years ago when I first started eating this way (on January 10, 2010 to be exact), the list of what was and wasn’t Paleo was pretty fixed across the board. It was easy to find a lot of consistency from book to book or website to website.

My, my…how things have changed.

Now it’s anyone’s guess, especially when every nutrient-poor baked good under the sun and processed / packaged food is now labeled with the “P” word because it’s “technically” Paleo. It’s kind of a mess, especially for newbies.

One site says white potatoes are okay. Another says to avoid them like the plague. One book says never, ever salt your food. The world replies back with, “But some salt makes food taste good.” Confusing, right?

While a yes / no list is a decent way to start your Paleo lifestyle and wrap your brain around it, it’s no way to live the rest of your life.

And, it’s not the smartest idea either. Why? Here’s an example.

Athletes need more carbohydrate than sedentary folks. By adhering to extremely low carbohydrate Paleo approaches and training extremely hard, many athletes have gotten into hot water with their cortisol levels, thyroid health, and poor performance (to name a few). Applying one Paleo protocol across the board where everyone eats the same exact thing—with disregard for life context, goals, health history, etc.—can have negative implications over time.

Another example. My husband’s been Paleo since 2007, but in the last couple years, he’s battled skin irritation like eczema around his eyes and elbows. Trial and error seemed to link it to certain foods like beef and eggs, but after much research, he narrowed it to a histamine intolerance. Eating a lot of fermented veggies, kombucha, leftover meat, bone broth and even certain vegetables—all foods widely lauded and encouraged in a Paleo diet—actually made his symptoms worse.

Long story short, you are an individual and context matters, which is why you need to learn about yourself and your relationship with food. That’s where Whole30 comes in.

Get Your Learn On With Whole30

[Note: I am an Envoy Extraordinaire for Whole30, which means I help educate the community and answer questions about the program.]

Whole30 is a month long elimination plan that’s been described more than once as “squeaky clean Paleo.” Dallas and Melissa Hartwig created this strategy to help people learn about their relationships with potentially problematic foods, then develop a plan for which foods to avoid long-term and which to reintroduce.

You see, we don’t all react to foods in the same ways. Me? I had a really tough time with sugar. Even after 18 months of Paleo eating, I couldn’t shake it. It consumed me. I wanted to stop eating sweets and craving junk food, but I was stuck. Even notoriously “healthy” foods like dried fruit were irresistible to me. I could slam back a whole bag of Trader Joe’s dried mango in about 10 minutes, then go back for more.

In 2011, I did my first Whole30 which required me to cut out all added sugar. (And, I avoided dried fruit because I knew it was a trigger food.) By the end, I had broken the cycle. Something I struggled with my WHOLE LIFE no longer had a grip on me.

Was I allergic to sugar? No. Do I have a sugar sensitivity? Maybe, but it depends on how you define that. Did I have a bad psychological relationship with it? Eff yeah, I did. What you learn about yourself during and after a Whole30 might surprise you.

So, completing a Whole30 will give you valuable, personalized feedback about which foods affect you positively / negatively, then allow you to make informed modifications to a Paleo approach for life. Sounds cool, right? You get to drive your boat based on how foods make you feel, not because of what some yes / no list you read five years ago told you to eat.

To Summarize…

Paleo or Whole30: Which is better? The answer is neither. They’re just different. They both serve their own purposes and have distinct goals.

The simple solution: Do a Whole30 at the start of your Paleo journey so you know how to better eat Paleo for life.

Paleo is a long-term nutrition and lifestyle strategy where nutrient-dense foods are encouraged, but inflammatory, nutrient-poor foods are avoided.

Whole30 is a short-term, very strict program designed to help you learn about which foods may be problematic for you. You can then apply what you learn to a slightly looser, less strict (but very much informed) Paleo approach to eating for life.

Whole30 Resources To Help You Plan for January 1

1: Get a copy of It Starts with Food. It’s really easy to read, and it’ll set clear guidelines for you. (Plus it has a ton of tasty recipes from Mel Joulwan of Well Fed and Well Fed 2.) No time or dinero to get one? You can read about the program on the Whole30 website here. Not sure if you should get the book? Check out my review here: 5 Reasons to Read It Starts with Food.

2: I’ve tagged every recipe from the blog that’s Whole30-friendly (over 100 to date) for easy searching in the Recipe Index. If it says W30, it’s made from Whole30-friendly ingredients. There are hundreds!

3: My Whole30 Pinterest board. Love to pin? You can find all my Whole30 recipe pins (plus other photos and videos) by clicking here: Stupid Easy Paleo Whole30 Pinterest Board.

4: My Whole30 video tips! You can find them on the Stupid Easy Paleo YouTube channel or by clicking the blog posts here: 5 Tips for a Successful Whole30 and 5 More Tips for a Successful Whole30.

5: Other awesome bloggers who’ve written about Whole30: Nom Nom Paleo and The Clothes Make the Girl just to name a couple rockstars! Click on their blog names for kickass Whole30 posts, including recipes. Mel’s got another newly updated post here: 30 Reasons to Whole30 with lots of good stuff AND her Week 1 Meal Plan with yummies like her famous Chocolate Chili and Sunshine Sauce!

6: My Stupid Easy Paleo Guide to Clean-Eating Challenges (It’s free!)

7: The Whole30 forum. A free forum dedicated to all topics Whole30-related. Click here to join.

Still got questions about Paleo or Whole30? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you!

Paleo or Whole30: Which is Better? | stupideasypaleo.com

Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak: Performance Paleo Cookbook

Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak: Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak is the first recipe preview I’m sharing with you from my soon-to-be-released cookbook, The Performance Paleo Cookbook

With less than one month before it comes out on January 6, 2015, I’ve gotten the go-ahead to start posting a few exclusive recipes here on the site to get your taste buds working! I’m starting off with a bang with this uber-tasty and flavor party of a dish, Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak.

I am so, SO excited to be nearly to release day. You’ve supported me through the better part of a year on this cookbook journey, and I know you’ll love the food. Remember to pre-order for the best savings!

From The Performance Paleo Cookbook

Tender-Asian Marinated Flank Steak

Flank steak is a really special piece of meat and when prepared well, its melt-in-your-mouth tender. Because it can be somewhat tough, there are some tricks I use to make it more delicate, like marinating it for several hours to break down the tough fibers, cooking it at really high heat to sear it and lock in the juices and slicing it against the grain. Set it up to go the night before or in the morning before you leave for work, and all youll have to do is cook it when you get home! Serve it on top of a tossed green salad with some avocado for a nourishing, complete meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients for Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak from The Performance Paleo Cookbook

  • 1 lb (454 g) flank steak
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1” (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into thin coins
  • 3 green onions (2 oz [57 g]), white and light green parts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (59 mL) coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil

Directions for Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak from The Performance Paleo Cookbook

Combine all the ingredients except for the coconut oil in a plastic zip-top bag or a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Longer is definitely better, up to 24 hours. Remove the meat and pat it dry. Discard the marinade.

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. When it shimmers, add the steak, and sear for 3 minutes until a golden brown crust has formed. Flip the steak and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until it’s to your preference, about 4 more minutes for medium.

Let rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Cut into thin strips, against the grain (muscle fibers). It’ll be really tender that way.

Try This: Instead of pan-searing the steak, grill it.

TOTAL RECIPE MACRONUTRIENTS (IN GRAMS PER SERVING)

PROTEIN 45G

FAT 36G

TOTAL CARB 12G

NET CARB 11G

Pre-order now through through AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesGoogle Play or IndieBound!

Tender Asian-Marinated Flank Steak: Performance Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata is one of my favorite post-workout foods because it’s 1) packed with protein and 2) totally portable. In fact, it’s totally representative of the tasty post-workout bites in my upcoming cookbook, The Performance Paleo Cookbook! (It comes out in just a little over a month, and it’s still on pre-order for 25 off!)

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

My pal Jesse from Whitford Foundry came down to the house today to film a video teaser for the cookbook, and I needed to whip something up as my “prep at home, take to the gym” dish. This fit the bill perfectly.

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

Normally, I like to keep post-workout food pretty low in fat—which slows digestion—but eggs are a great tradeoff for busy folks. The lean chicken bumps up the protein content, and I added sweet potato for a good carb boost.

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata

  • 9 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large roasted sweet potato, cooled and roughly chopped*
  • 12 oz (340 g) lean ground chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small head broccoli, stem removed, chopped small

Directions for Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with the smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix in the chopped sweet potato. Set aside.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Then, sauté the chicken until it’s cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to a separate bowl.
  4. In the same skillet, add the onion and broccoli and sauté on medium heat until they are softened and slightly tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Now, add the cooked chicken back to the pan.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Turn off the heat and stir the ingredients to combine.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set and not runny.
  7. Serve directly from the skillet or slice and store for leftovers.

*My weekly big food prep involves roasting half a dozen sweet potatoes. I line a baking sheet with foil, place the washed and unpeeled sweet potatoes on it, and get that into a 400°F (204°C) oven for about 45 minutes. I cool them, then store them in the fridge. When it’s time to use them, I just peel them! (The peels loosen right up after they cool.)

Remember to check out my cookbook! It comes out on January 6th!

Click here to pin this!

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

Tuesday Night Chicken

Tuesday Night Chicken—The Frugal Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: This recipe comes to you courtesy of my personal friend and fellow Paleo blogger / author, Ciarra Hannah of Popular Paleo. Her new cookbook, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook—all about eating delicious, flavorful Paleo food without breaking the bank—comes out on December 2, 2014!

She’s giving you a sneak peek with this tasty recipe for Tuesday Night Chicken. If you’re down for saving money while eating Paleo, you need this book. Plus, if you pre-order before December 2, you’ll get a free bonus package chock full of awesome info and coupons. Take it away Ciarra!

Truthfully this could be named after any day of the week. It’s so approachable and affordable that you won’t hesitate to make it after a long day at work or just before payday hits. This recipe highlights my favorite way to cook a rich tomato sauce quickly: red chili flakes and cinnamon. It’s how my Italian grandmother fed our family, so naturally I consider it the right way, as any true Italian would. Enjoy using these straightforward ingredients to create a bold and flavorful classic Italian dinner…any night of the week.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients for Tuesday Night Chicken

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound [454 g])
  • 1 tsp (5 g) House Seasoning Blend (see below)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (150 g) diced white or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 batch Italian Seasoning Blend (see below)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14.5 oz [411 g]) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Fresh basil and/or flat-leaf parsley for garnish

For the House Seasoning Blend

For the Italian Seasoning Blend

Directions for Tuesday Night Chicken

Prepare the chicken breasts first by filleting lengthwise to make 2 thick breasts into 4 thinner ones. Dust both sides with the House Seasoning Blend.

Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat and add a little bit of olive oil to the pan—enough to just coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, lay the seasoned chicken breasts in to sear. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan as overcrowding leads to steaming, not browning. When the chicken has been seared (note, not fully cooked) on both sides, transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Reduce the temperature to medium and replenish the pan with a little more olive oil if it looks dry. Add the onion, garlic, Italian Seasoning Blend, kosher salt and cinnamon and cook, stirring often. If you are not accustomed to building sauces this way, I know it may appear a bit strange, but trust me on this. Applying heat and oil to the dried herbs prior to immersing in liquid revives the oils and creates a deeper flavor. It’s the trick to crafting a rich tomato sauce in such a short amount of time.

Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic and herbs fragrant. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes and mix together. When the sauce bubbles, add the par-cooked chicken back to the pan, nestle it into the spiced-tomato-goodness, cover and reduce the temperature to a simmer.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes while chopping the fresh garnishes—use either or both basil or flat-leaf parsley. This final simmer also allows plenty of time to whip up a quick vegetable side like an easy salad, sautéed dark leafy greens or Pan-Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini, which is available on page 157 of the book or here on www.PopularPaleo.com.

I like to serve this directly from the pan after scattering with the vibrant green fresh herbs.

Love this recipe? Pre-order The Frugal Paleo Cookbook here!

Click here to pin this!

Tuesday Night Chicken—The Frugal Paleo Cookbook | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about this recipe? Leave it in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you!

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash doubles as a hearty fall dinner or a great game day appetizer. It takes a little advance planning because the pork gets the low and slow treatment in the slow cooker, but the meat can be made a day ahead of time and reheated after the squash is roasted. Or, just make the meat itself! There are tons of options here. If you omit the honey, this recipe is Whole30-friendly and just as tasty.

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

Delicata squash are cylindrical and generally smaller than a butternut. You’ll recognize them by their yellow skin with long green stripes. The skin is thin and edible, the flesh creamy and a bit sweet. You can even experiment with different types of squash if you can’t find delicata—acorn would work well—but instead of four, you’ll probably only need two. I slice the squash boats in halves or thirds for appetizer portions or keep them whole for dinner. Serve with a side salad or some roasted veggies for a complete meal.

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

If you’re ever interested in checking out the pastured pork from 5280 Meat in Colorado, my readers get 10% off any order with the code SEPaleo.

Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lb (1361 g) pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 2 tsp (10 g) fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) stone ground mustard, divided in half
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) raw honey (omit for Whole30)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 small delicata squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tbsp (15 mL) melted fat or oil of choice
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. You'll make this recipe in two parts. First, make the pulled pork because it needs 8 hours in the slow cooker. Overnight works really well.
  2. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, then rub all over with the salt and half the mustard (about 2 tablespoons / 30 mL). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the meat, place in a bowl and shred with two forks. (The cooking liquid can get quite salty which is why I don't shred it in the slow cooker itself.) Mix in the other half of the mustard, the honey and the cayenne pepper.
  3. About 45 minutes before you want to serve the food, get the squash roasting in the oven. This can be done ahead of time, too, and then everything can be reheated.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F (204C). Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Arrange the squash halves on the sheet with the empty boat side facing up, and drizzle with the melted fat or oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then roast for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and starting to lightly brown.
Notes
If you're doing Whole30, check labels on the mustard and omit the honey.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 4 to 6

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Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question? Leave it in the comments below.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef—Paleo & Whole30

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

The flavors of fall always inspire me. Roasted root vegetables, soups and stews, and slow-cooked roasts are highlights, meant to warm you up on a cold day. Pomegranates are coming into season now, so I decided to make a beef roast with the juice—for a bit of sweetness—and balanced it out with some heat from the habanero pepper. (I get the juice with no added sugar.) Customize to how spicy you like it. If you want it hotter, leave in the seeds or use jalapeño pepper instead.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

I used my Dutch oven, but I’m sure you could make it in the slow cooker…I just haven’t tested it yet! Be sure to use a cut of beef roast with enough fat so it turns out tender and not dry. If you’re ever interested in checking out the grass-fed beef from 5280 Meat in Colorado, my readers get 10% off any order with the code SEPaleo.

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

Pomegranate Jalapeño Shredded Beef—Paleo & Whole30
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Pat the roast VERY dry with paper towels and season with the salt. You want the meat to be very dry so that a nice crust will form when you sear it. Otherwise the surface will steam instead of brown.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the ghee. (Ghee is great for searing meat because it has such a high smoke point.) Sear all sides for about 4 to 6 minutes each or until a golden brown crust forms.
  3. Turn off the heat, and add the habanero (or jalapeño), beef broth, and pomegranate juice. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and put the pot into the oven.
  4. Bake for about 3 hrs or until the meat is very tender. Shred with two forks. It's great served over roasted sweet potatoes. Bonus points for serving with a drizzle of pomegranate reduction. To make that, pour ½ cup pomegranate juice into a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the juice has reduced by about half and coats the back of a spoon. Just keep an eye on it because it can burn quite easily. If you're on Whole30 I would avoid the reduction because of sugar content.

Click here to pin this recipe for Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef—Paleo & Whole30!

Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question? Leave it in the comments below!

5 Questions With My Paleo Shero—Mel Joulwan

5 Questions with Mel Joulwan | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Every once in a while, I share interviews with some of the amazing people I’ve been lucky enough to get to know in this community. I am beyond excited to interview my friend Mel Joulwan, totally badass creator of the blog The Clothes Make the Girl and author of two amazing cookbooks: Well Fed and Well Fed 2. She’s cooked up some of the most well-loved Paleo / Whole30 recipes EVER (um, hello Chocolate Chili and Homemade Paleo Mayo) and completely lives the lifestyle. I’m a die-hard fan, and still hoping that one day, her, Nom Nom Paleo and I will dress up as Charlie’s Angels for Halloween. Please enjoy!

I know a lot about you Mel, but can you tell newbies about who you are and what you do?

I’m a book nerd who plays classical piano. Along the way to being a grown up,  I fell in love with punk rock music, leopard print, and cooking. I also played flat track roller derby. If you look me up on Amazon, you’ll find Rollergirl: Totally True Tales From The Track (my book about my Derby days), Living Paleo For Dummies, and my cookbooks Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat and Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. (You’re welcome to download free samples of our books: Well Fed and Well Fed 2.)

5 Questions with Mel Joulwan | stupideasypaleo.com

I have a blog called The Clothes Make The Girl where I write about my triumphs and failures in the gym, in the kitchen, and in life. I like to pretend I’m a badass so I workout at KDR Fitness  (where they have me lift heavy things over and over and over, sometimes quickly.) I also enjoy frequent soaks in epsom salts, walk 10,000 steps almost every day, and meditate. I’ve seen every episode of the original Law & Order at least three times (not an exaggeration), and my favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (not to be confused with books by Jane Austen.)

5 Questions with Mel Joulwan | stupideasypaleo.com

If you were stuck on a desert island (with a fridge), what 3 foods would you choose to have around?

A jar of Sunbutter, so I’d always have a sweet treat. (Plus, it would taste great on the bananas I’m going to assume are growing on the beach of my island.)

A jar of Thai red curry paste so I could turn the fish I’d catch and the coconuts I’d find into a luscious curry.

A bottle of champagne because…screw it! I’m stuck on a desert island! I’m having a little bubbly once in a while.

(This is all a lie. If I was on a desert island, I would wish I had Doritos, Fritos, and Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips.)

What’s your best time saving tip for making cooking at home less painful?

I have two tricks, and they’re both based on the helpful fact that I actually really love leftovers. Honestly, I think I enjoy leftover food more than the original meal. I know that makes me a weirdo.

1. I always cook a bunch of protein and veggies in advance. I grill chicken and brown ground beef. I partially steam broccoli, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts…and I put everything in BPA-free containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, I heat some ghee or duck fat (OMG! Duck fat!) in a skillet, then add garlic and onion. When it’s soft, I plunk in protein and veggies, add some spices, and sauté everything until it’s caramelized. If I’ve done the prep of the protein and veggies in advance, the “make dinner” part takes only about 15 minutes.

2. My best secret weapon is homemade mayo. It takes about 3 minutes to make, and it makes everything you blop it on taste better. Grilled meat. Canned tuna. Raw veggies. Just add some spices and acid (lemon juice or vinegar) to the mayo and you instantly have a creamy dipping sauce.

What’s new on the horizon for The Clothes Make the Girl?

You heard it here first: We’re working on a site redesign that will be more visual to better highlight my recipes and a new structure that should make it easier to find recipes in the archive. We’re super excited to see how it all comes together. It should be launched in early 2015. Whew!

And…I’m working on recipes for our next cookbook. The theme is still a secret, but I can tell everyone this: The recipes will be internationally-inspired favorites with lots of spices — I could never give up my spice drawer! — but there’s also a new twist that I think people will really like. That’s all I can say about it for now. It should be out in early 2016.

I hear you’ve got these cool curated boxes of your favorite Mel things happening now…what’s that all about?

Quarterly is a really fun company that recruits people — like Pharrell Williams, Andrew Zimmern, Nina Garcia, Timothy Ferriss… and me (!) — to curate boxes of goodies that are sent to subscribers a few times a year. The first box I put together was a Paleo starter kit. It went out to 650 subscribers in September, and it was really fun to see the reactions online as people unboxed their care packages. (You can see what was in box EAT01 right here.)

For EAT02, the theme is “Good Morning,” and I’m really excited about the cool stuff that’s going to be in the box. Morning can be a stressful time for people, so EAT02 will be filled with hand-picked items to make mornings a little sweeter. My husband Dave and I collaborate on a hand-drawn letter and recipe for each box. In EAT01, we included an illustrated letter — my handwriting, Dave’s drawings — and a recipe for Snuggle Soup that I developed exclusively for the Quarterly box. We have some really fun ideas for the letter we’ll include in EAT02.

My goal with my Quarterly box is to always give my subscribers delicious things to eat and useful things that are delightful in some way. It’s a care package from me to them. To subscribe, head right on over here: http://on.qrtr.ly/paleobox.

5 Questions with Mel Joulwan | stupideasypaleo.com

 Click here to pin this!

5 Questions with Mel Joulwan | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question for Mel? Leave it in the comments below!

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce—Paleo & Whole30

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

Sometimes, recipes are born out of necessity. My local market was sold out of a prepared butternut squash sauce, so I decided to make my own version. Of course, I had nothing to compared the taste to, but I’ll settle for “delicious” which is what I got.

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

This sauce uses butternut squash as the base, but adds in sautéed aromatics—similar to a classic mirepoix—to create a foundation of flavor. The red pepper gives it some body, and some tomato paste brings acidity without dominating and making it taste too tomato-y.

Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

I served this over warmed zucchini noodles, but the possibilities are really endless!

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce—Paleo & Whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) ghee
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 lb (454 g) butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) tomato paste
  • ~3/4 cup (177 mL) water
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. First, get the aromatic veggie base going. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the ghee. Add the onion, red pepper, celery and pinch of sea salt. Cook and stir until the veggies soften and lightly brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash cubes and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until the squash is tender. Stir a few times so nothing sticks. Turn off the heat and let the veggies cool for a few minutes.
  3. Then, add the veggies to a food processor or high speed blender with the tomato paste. Start with ½ cup (118 mL) water. Puree the veggies until they become a sauce. If it's too thick, add water by the tablespoon. I found that ¾ cup (177 mL) water made a sauce that was somewhere between a thin soup and a thick puree. Of course, the moisture content of your veggies may vary so start with less and add more as you go.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and warm in a small pot before serving.
Notes
Double the batch and freeze the extras for up to 1 month.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 3 to 4.

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Butternut Squash "Pasta" Sauce—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

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Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup is so stupid-easy to make with only five ingredients, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate my favorite fall squash. Kabocha—also called “buttercup” in other regions of the United States and simply “pumpkin” in other parts of the world—tastes like a mash up between butternut squash and sweet potato. It’s wonderfully tasty with a thin, edible skin, and it really shines when roasted. It’s recognizable by it’s mottled dark green skin and round shape.

Usually, I just slice it into semicircles and roast it in the oven. (The seeds are delicious roasted, too.) This time, though, I made a simple soup that’s the perfect accompaniment to any fall dinner. I think it’d pair really well with a basic roast chicken and a green salad. If you can’t find kabocha squash in your market, butternut makes a very good substitute.

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 3 to 4
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (204C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the bottom and top off the squash, then carefully cut it in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds (you can save them and roast them separately). Cut the squash into a few large chunks. Drizzle with the coconut oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 45-55 minutes or until it's tender and browned. You may want to flip the pieces halfway through cooking.
  3. Let the squash cool, and scoop the flesh away from the skin.
  4. Put the squash flesh into a high-powered blender along with the chicken broth, coconut milk, and curry powder. Blend for at least 15 seconds or until completely smooth.
  5. Pour into a medium pot to reheat, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Notes
*If you have mild curry powder, it you may need 2 teaspoons or so. When in doubt, add 1 teaspoon, taste, then go from there.
Substitute butternut squash instead of kabocha.
This soup freezes well.

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

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Curried Kabocha Squash Soup—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

What’s your favorite fall soup? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Paleo Swaps for Pasta & Rice

4 Paleo Swaps for Pasta & Rice | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo swaps for pasta and rice can really help ease your transition into this way of eating. When you first go Paleo, it can be challenging to construct grain-free meals particularly when pasta or rice were staples of your diet.

Luckily, there are some easy Paleo swaps you can use to replicate the “feel” of these foods. While they won’t always be the same flavor or texture, once your taste buds adjust, you’ll probably find you end up enjoying these swaps just as much. Bonus: Using veggies to sub for grains and other starches significantly bumps up the nutrient content of your meals.

Paleo Swap for Pasta: Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles or “zoodles” are probably my favorite pasta substitute because they’re mild in flavor and really simple to make. Probably the biggest complaint, though, is that they can get watery when cooked, but there’s a simple solution.

To prevent water-logged zucchini noodles, salt the zoodles after you make them but before cooking. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the zoodles in a colander. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
  • Place the colander in the sink or over a large bowl because liquid will be pulled from the zoodles.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse very well with fresh water. Then, gently squeeze any excess moisture from the noodles. Use raw or cooked.

How do you make zoodles? There are two basic methods: using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. I prefer the julienne peeler for a few reasons: the noodles are “finer,” and the peeler is inexpensive and small. Lots of folks love the spiralizer because it’s faster. Either way, both will work. You can also make noodles from several other veggies such as sweet potatoes or beets.

Here’s a video of how Mel from The Clothes Make the Girl makes her zucchini noodles.

Suggested recipes: Cold Zucchini Noodle Salad with Tomatoes and Olives, Paleo Noodle Bowl

Paleo Swap for Pasta: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash also has a fantastic noodly texture and while it doesn’t taste like a plain noodle made from flour, it’s a very common swap in Paleo cooking. Once you bake the squash, you use a fork to loosen the innards into long strings, a texture unlike any other squash you’ve probably ever had. There are a few ways to prepare spaghetti squash, but my favorite is to roast it.

To do that, preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C), and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice a small section off the squash so it won’t roll around the cutting board. Then, slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (They’re actually dynamite when roasted separately with some salt and pepper.) Lay the halves cut side up, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, then let cool. Scrape up the “noodles” with a fork.

You can also microwave it, cut side down on a plate with a little bit of water until tender, 10+ minutes. Or, if you’re brave, you can poke a LOT of holes in it and microwave it whole. I can’t really recommend that method though, because I had a spaghetti squash burst that way once. The clean up is not fun.

Suggested recipe: Paleo Chicken Florentine Spaghetti Squash

Paleo Swap for Rice: Cauliflower “Rice”

Okay, so this usually still tastes a bit like cauliflower, but the texture is very similar to rice provided it’s not overcooked or raw. Once I even fooled people at a party: My Paleo friend avoided trying my dish because she thought it was actual rice. The great part is that it’s a really blank canvas that you can add so many flavors to: Asian, Indian and Mexican are my favorites.

Cauli “rice” is relatively easy to prepare if you have a food processor. First, core it, and cut into large florets. Then, you can use a shredding blade (easiest) or use a regular blade and pulse it in small batches until it’s roughly the size of rice grains. If you don’t have a food processor, you can fill a blender pitcher with water, add chunks of cauliflower and whir it for several seconds until the pieces are small, then drain in a fine mesh strainer. I’ve never personally tried that method, but many people use it and say it works well.

I found the key to making great cauli “rice” is to cook it over high temperature and relatively fast. (Think of stir frying.) That way, the cauliflower doesn’t have a chance to get soggy. If chopped slightly smaller than rice grains, cauliflower can act as a replacement for cous cous.

Suggested recipes: Indian Pineapple Cauliflower Rice, Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”

Paleo Swap for Pasta: Kelp or Mountain Yam Noodles

While not my top choice for a gluten-free noodle, kelp or mountain yam noodles are pretty neutral in flavor and even closer to the texture of actual noodles. Generally, they’re not super nutrient dense (certainly not as much as veggies), but they are pretty low in carbohydrate. For an every-once-in-a-while addition to soup, they’re probably fine, but I wouldn’t make them a daily indulgence because, well, there’s not much redeeming to them.

Where to find kelp noodles or mountain yam noodles? The refrigerated section of natural grocers (such as Whole Foods or Sprouts) near the tofu. Remember to rinse them before use.

Suggested recipes: Healing Chicken Soup, Paleo Fresh Spring Rolls

What About Other Gluten-Free Noodles?

Nowadays, the gluten-free foods section of your market is bound to contain noodles made of various gluten-free starches such as rice, tapioca, potato, quinoa, corn, etc. Some things to consider: Some of these foods are generally avoided in Paleo, and when compared to vegetables (like making zoodles), these noodles are far less nutrient dense. Also, some may contain proteins that are still problematic for folks with gluten sensitivity.

Optimizing nutrient intake and consuming enough vegetable matter is a hallmark of Paleo eating, so choosing veggie noodles or cauli “rice” is my best recommendation.

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4 Paleo Swaps for Pasta & Rice | stupideasypaleo.com

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Paleo Slow Cooker Lamb Roast with Root Veggies

Paleo Slow Cooker Lamb Roast with Root Veggies

With fall weather starting to settle in, my mind naturally drifts to hearty roasts, soups, and stews. I’m a big fan of the slow cooker for this job, as the meal practically cooks itself once you’ve added the ingredients. Searing off the meat before you add it is an extra step that’s well worth the time because it helps to develop an extra layer of delicious flavor.

I got my lamb roast from 5280 Meat, a family-owned Colorado company that raises grass-fed, pastured animals. Normally, I’m not a fan of how lamb can be gamey, but this roast was mild and fall-apart tender. If you order from 5280 Meat, use the code “SEPaleo” when you check out and receive 10% off!

Paleo Slow Cooker Lamb Roast with Root Veggies
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 3 to 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 lb (1361 to 1814 g) boneless lamb leg roast
  • Couple generous pinches each sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ghee
  • ½ cup (118 mL) chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 2 to 3 sprigs thyme, stripped off stalk
  • ⅓ cup (77 mL) stone ground mustard
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped*
  • 1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp (2.5 g) sea salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) black pepper
Instructions
  1. First, you're going to sear the lamb roast to develop a nice golden crust. That's where the flavor really shines. To do that, dry the lamb very well with paper towel and season with a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, then add the ghee. You want the pan smoking hot. If not, the meat will steam instead of sear. Try for 3 to 4 minutes a side until you get most of the roast seared. Remove the meat from the pan (I put it on a plate), then reduce the heat to medium, and add the chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Place the roast in the slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, rosemary, thyme and mustard. Pour it on top of the lamb and use your hands to coat the meat with the mixture.
  4. Toss the chopped root veggies (carrots, parsnips, potato and rutabaga) with salt and pepper, and arrange them around the meat. Pour the chicken broth from when you deglazed the pan on top of the veggies.
  5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  6. Serve with a green salad or veggie of your choice for a complete meal.
Notes
*substitute with sweet potatoes if you do not eat white potatoes

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Paleo Slow Cooker Lamb Roast with Root Veggies

What’s your favorite fall slow cooker recipe?

Pork Chile Verde—Paleo & Whole30

Pork Chili Verde—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com Pork Chile Verde is a classic, flavorful recipe that’s Paleo and Whole30-friendly. Instead of the usual jalapeño peppers, I used some Hatch chiles. They’re in season right now at the end of August, and their mild heat really rounds out the base of flavors from the onion, garlic and tomatillos. If you can’t find fresh Hatch chiles, you can often find them canned in the ethnic foods section of the market.

Probably my favorite thing about this Pork Chile Verde recipe is that it’s affordable. Pork shoulder is inexpensive, but the meat can be tough, so simmering it for a couple hours makes it melt-in-your-mouth tender. If you have leftovers, try reheating the meat and sauce, then dropping a couple eggs into the pan and putting a lid on it until the eggs are poached through. It’s a fantastic breakfast, and so delicious. Serve with some cauliflower rice and my Simple Paleo Tortillas for a complete meal.

5 from 1 reviews
Pork Chile Verde—Paleo & Whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 to 2-1/2 lb (907 to 1134 g) pork shoulder, pork butt or Boston butt
  • 1 tsp (5 g) sea salt
  • 1 tsp (2 g) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (2 g) ground coriander
  • ½ tsp (1 g) black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ghee
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 3 Hatch green chiles* (6 oz / 171 g), seeded and diced
  • ¾ lb (340 g) tomatillos, husk removed and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c (473 mL) chicken broth
  • Large handful of fresh cilantro for garnish
  • *If you can't find fresh Hatch green chiles (available in late summer), you can use canned Hatch green chiles (two 4 oz / 113 g cans)
Instructions
  1. Trim the fat off the pork, and cut it into 1 inch (2.5 centimeter) chunks. Put the pork in a medium bowl, and toss it with the salt, cumin, coriander, and pepper.
  2. Heat a large, deep-sided skillet over medium-high, and melt the ghee. Add the pork and brown each side for about 2 minutes. You're just trying to develop some color, not cook it all the way through. Remove the pork to a clean bowl while you cook the veggies.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onion, tomatillos, and chiles. Cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions soften and turn translucent. Then, add the garlic and chicken broth, and put the pork back in the skillet. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the lid and simmer for 1 more hour, until the sauce has reduced a bit and the pork is very tender.

Change It Up

  • Double the recipe, and freeze the leftovers.
  • I haven’t tried this recipe in the slow cooker yet, but I suspect it would come out well if cooked on low for about 5 hours. I’d still brown the meat and onion / peppers before throwing everything in the slow cookers.

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Pork Chili Verde—Paleo & Whole30 | stupideasypaleo.com

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Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Beet Ginger Sauerkraut has long been on my agenda to make, especially after I picked up a bag from Farmhouse Cultures. It was so delicious, and while buying it pre-made is convenient, it’s far more affordable to make it myself. The beets add a bit of sweetness—plus, the color is fantastic—and the ginger is so flavorful and provides a little bite.

I have a few sauerkraut / fermentation posts on this site already, and this isn’t really any different from those. If you’re a newbie to making sauerkraut, take a deep breath (it’s going to be okay!), and read through the whole post before you start the process. It’s actually very, very simple but there are a couple key points to remember:

  • This method uses lacto-fermentation with only salt and whatever Lactobacillus bacteria are kickin’ around your kitchen environment. There is no whey in this method.
  • The veggies must stay submerged under the brine (in an anaerobic environment) the *whole* time you’re fermenting them…and even after they’re done. If not, they’ll mold quickly.
  • Clean all your glassware, utensils and hands well before you start. For extra insurance against contamination, rinse everything with white vinegar.
  • You don’t have to use a fancy fermentation cap like this, but they make the process a bit easier, and there’s less chance of contamination. I used the Kraut Source prototype for this batch, and I’m super impressed at how simple it was. It was especially good at keeping the veggies submerged. They are about to finish their Kickstarter, so get in on it while you can!
  • I’ve included a troubleshooting section at the end of this post, so if you’re seeing odd things during fermentation, check there to see if it’s normal or you should toss your ferment.

Prep time: 30 min     Ferment time:  7–14 days     Makes: 1-quart (946 mL) jar

Ingredients for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • 2 lb (907 g) green cabbage (you’ll use half unless making a double batch)
  • 8 oz (227 g) red beets
  • 2–3 oz (57–85 g) fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (22 g) coarse sea salt (I like this one)
  • If you need extra brine, use 1 tsp (5 g) salt in 1 cup (237 mL) water

Directions for Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

The basic method for making sauerkraut goes like this:

Thinly slice the vegetables, then salt them. Pulverize the veggies by crushing them with your hands to release the juices. Pack them tightly into a jar, submerging the veggies underneath the brine. Cover with something—like fabric—so dust and bugs stay out, but air can still escape. (Gas is generated as part of the fermentation process, so don’t cover it with an airtight lid unless it’s one specifically made for fermenting or you run the risk of the jar exploding due to pressure.) Let it sit in a dark cabinet for at least a week—or longer, depending on how sour you like it—then refrigerate.

For this batch:

  1. Cut the cabbage in half. You’ll only be using half for this recipe, unless you decide to double it. (In that case, you’ll need to double the amount of beets, ginger, and sea salt, and you’ll need another jar set-up.) Very thinly slice the cabbage. I used a mandolin, but I’ve done it plenty of times with a sharp knife. Toss the cabbage into a very large bowl. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. To prepare the beets, I scrubbed but didn’t peel them. If you’d like, you can peel them, but it’s just an extra step. I thinly sliced the beets into rounds using a mandolin, then stacked them up, and sliced them into matchsticks. Alternatively, you could shred them in a food processor or with a box grater (but that is SUPER messy because beet juice stains). Place the beets into the bowl with the cabbage.
  3. For the ginger, I grated it down finely using a microplane grater. You could also mince it by hand, just be sure the pieces are very small since biting into chunks of ginger is very spicy. Place the grated ginger in the bowl with the beets and cabbage. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  4. Now, add the salt. With clean hands, start to scrunch the veggies as you mix everything together. You have to get aggressive here because you’re trying to break down the cells in the veggies and (with the help of the salt) draw out the moisture. This takes at least 5 minutes of scrunching and squeezing. (Yay for kitchen fitness!) If there’s not a lot of moisture after that time, add more by making some brine (salt water) with 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water. Some cabbages are just drier than others. C’est la vie! Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  5. Pack the veggies into a wide-mouth quart-sized Mason jar. Really push them down. (I use my fist or a spoon.) The veggies should come up to about the shoulder of the jar. If there is not at least an inch of liquid covering the veggies, add some brine to cover. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Now, you have a couple options: use a special lid for fermenting to cap it all off or use a simple DIY cover. For this batch, I used a new prototype lid from Kraut Source. It uses a spring mechanism to hold the veggies down under the brine. However, if you don’t have that, the other method I’ve used successfully is to place a 4-ounce jelly jar INTO the wide-mouth jar to keep the veggies submerged. It works really, really well. Click here to see pictures and video. Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com
  6. Place the jar into a bowl or on a plate in case any liquid bubbles out. If you’re using the jar in jar method, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a cupboard or pantry for at least a week. Check the level of the liquid every couple days. If the level has dropped, add more brine. After a week, remove a bit of kraut with a fork and test the flavor. If it’s not sour enough for your liking, keep fermenting. (I find that it’s good for me around 10-14 days, but everyone is different. Some like to keep it going for weeks!) When it’s done, cover with a metal Mason jar lid and refrigerate. Keeps for a few months. Remember to keep the kraut submerged in brine the whole time, even in the fridge or it’ll mold.

 Troubleshooting your Beet Ginger Sauerkraut

  • My veggies are slimy. Bad bacteria have probably started to grow in your jar. Best to toss it out to be safe.
  • My veggies have run out of liquid. If this was recent, within a day or so, top off with more brine. If it’s been several days, you may want to throw it out and start again.
  • Help! My veggies are foaming! This is normal especially after the first couple days of fermentation because gases are being released by the bacteria and can cause bubbles or foam. You can skim the foam and keep on rockin’.
  • I see white stuff at the bottom of the jar. Is this okay? Yes. These are the bacteria. It’s totally normal.
  • Um, my veggies have greenish-black mold on top. If you’re adventurous, you can skim it and keep going. This is how moldy ferment has been dealt with for ages (and I can tell you lots of stories about what they do with moldy cheese in the grocery store). If you’re totally grossed out, just start over.
  • It’s been a couple weeks and the veggies still aren’t sour or tangy. You may have them in too cold of a spot. Try putting them in a warmer location to speed up the process a bit.

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Beet Ginger Sauerkraut | stupideasypaleo.com

Have a question about making sauerkraut? Leave it in the comments below!

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.

5 from 1 reviews
Healing Chicken Soup—Paleo & Whole30
Serves: 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
  • ½ 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
Instructions
  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 ¼ teaspoon (0.5 gram), and increase to ½ 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 ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) turmeric powder. When working with any form of turmeric, take care because it stains hands, clothing and porous surfaces.

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

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Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee

Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s time to break up with the chemical-filled coffee creamers! One of the more common questions I get from folks is what to substitute for their favorite coffee creamer once they go Paleo. Luckily, with a few easy swaps, you can create your own deliciously flavorful dairy-free creamer. Customize it by adding a bit of natural sweetener if you prefer or leave it out for a sugar-free creamer. The choice is up to you! For a joint- and gut-soothing boost, add high-quality collagen.

To go with this Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer, I’m showing you how easy it is to make your own cold-brew coffee. Cold-brew is gaining in popularity because it’s less acidic and tends to have a smoother taste than other brew methods. This ratio of beans to water is perfect for my palate, but you can always cut back to 3 cups of water if you like it stronger. Of course, you can use the creamer in any coffee or tea you’d like.

Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

For the Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer

Makes ~2 cups (473 grams)

Ingredients

Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions

  1. Place the hazelnuts in a glass jar or bowl—I like to use a quart-sized Mason jar—and add 2 cups (473 grams) cold water. Cover loosely, and let the jar sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. When you’re ready to make the creamer, pour off the soaking water.
  2. In a high-speed blender, combine the soaked and drained hazelnuts and 2 cups (473 grams) fresh water. Blend on high for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the nuts are broken down. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. Discard the pulp or save it to make hazelnut flour. Pour the hazelnut milk back into the blender.
  3. On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean down the middle and gently scrape out the black seeds. Add the vanilla seeds to the blender. If desired, add the honey and / or collagen. Blend on medium-high for 15 to 30 seconds until everything is combined.
  4. Pour into a storage jar and cover tightly. Keeps for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

*Omit the sweetener for Whole30.

Note: You can replicate this creamer with whatever kind of nuts you prefer.

Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

For the Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee

Makes 4 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (50 g) ground coffee beans (look for a fair trade variety)
  • 4 cups (946 mL) water

Directions

  1. Pour the coarse-ground coffee beans into a 1-liter French press. Add the water, and stir with a wooden spoon.
  2. Refrigerate the French press for 12 to 24 hours. Add the plunger and carefully press it down until the ground are filtered out. If your beans were finely ground, you may want to filter the coffee through a coffee filter before drinking to remove any excess residue.
  3. Pour over ice cubes to serve cold with Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer!
  4. Stores for up to a few days in the fridge when covered tightly (for best freshness).

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Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com Paleo Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer with Homemade Cold-Brew Coffee | stupideasypaleo.com

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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: 
Total time: 
Serves: 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
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • ½ 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
Instructions
  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

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