Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

 

I always love comfort food as the weather gets cooler and this Shepherd’s Pie fits the bill. But I don’t necessarily need a lot of heavy, starchy carbs to weigh me down so this recipe is light on the top using cauliflower as the crust. The roasted garlic cloves give it the most wonderful flavour!! (not to mention great nutritional value!).

 

The benefits of cauliflower and garlic go way beyond the delicious taste. Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants that provide an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. It also contains sulforaphane which helps to reduce oxidative stress and tissue/cell damage.

 

If you want to make this dish vegan, just substitute cooked lentils in for the ground meat. I hope you enjoy it!!

 

Paleo Shepherd's Pie

Check out this lighter version of the traditional comfort food. It still has the same great flavour that won't leave you feeling heavy for the rest of the evening.

Course Main Course
Keyword shepherd's pie
Servings 6 servings
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

Bottom Layer

  • 1.25 lbs ground meat grass-fed preferred
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 zucchini shredded
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Mashed Cauliflower Topping

  • 1 large cauliflower head or 2 small
  • 6 roasted garlic cloves see instruction 1
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Roasted garlic cloves - done ahead of time - don't skip this step!

    Using a sharp knife, cut ¼ inch from the top of a whole garlic bulb to expose the individual cloves. Place bulb (unpeeled) on top of a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the bulb, just to moisten. Wrap the bulb with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Once cooled, the whole cloves should push out easily when pressed from the bottom.

    Extra roasted garlic can be used as a spread on veggies or in other recipes.

  2. Prepare bottom layer
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté onion + garlic until tender. Add the carrot + zucchini, cook until they start to soften. Add the ground meat, salt, and spices. Cook until the meat is browned, and very little moisture remains.

  3. Prepare Cauliflower

    Chop the cauliflower heads into small chunks, and steam until they soften. Add the steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic and salt to a food processor. On a low setting, puree until smooth. It may be necessary to use the tamper if you have one.

  4. Assemble the pie

    To assemble your Paleo Pie, distribute the meat mixture evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Spread cauliflower mixture over the top, and bake for 25 minutes. If you want, you can sprinkle nutritional yeast on the top.

Tart Cherry Recovery Smoothie

 

Adding this tart cherry recovery smoothie to your routine can be a huge benefit to your workout recovery plan. Did you know that tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food and therefore are an optimal post-workout snack?

 

Tart cherries have been studied to reduce inflammation, improving muscle soreness and recovery. In addition, tart cherries support your overall health and they help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

 

Try consuming tart cherries (using this tart cherry recovery smoothie) for 7 days before a big exercise event such as a running race to minimize post-exercise muscle pain.

 

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Tart Cherry Recovery Smoothie

Are you looking for a workout recovery snack that is also easy to whip together in minutes - or can even be made ahead of time? You’ll love this delicious smoothie - packed with protein, fibre and the anti-inflammatory benefits of tart cherries. Blend, sip and watch those muscles grow!

Course Drinks
Keyword recovery, smoothie, tart cherry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen tart cherries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds can substitute hemp seeds
  • 1 cup chopped kale can substitute spinach
  • 2-3 ice cubes more if you're using fresh cherries

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Matcha Energy Balls

 

Matcha (aka green tea) is full of beneficial antioxidants especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Its EGCG content reduces inflammation and safeguards cells from damage.

 

And these matcha energy balls are a great way to get some of these green tea benefits when you are not drinking the real beverage.

 

They are so easy to make and take with you if you are traveling or packing a lunch. And sooooo delicious!!

 

If you like this recipe, you might also like this matcha latte recipe and this write up on the health benefits of green vs black teas.

 

Matcha Energy Balls

Want the antioxidant benefits of green tea without the tea? I have a special (and awesome) way to eat your tea.

Course Dessert
Keyword energy balls, matcha
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 balls
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into food processor and pulse until blended. Shape into 1-1.5" balls. Serve & enjoy!

    Tip: If you use sweetened coconut, then you can eliminate the honey/maple syrup.

Superfood Soup

 

This superfood soup is an easy and tasty way to get your greens. And with colder weather outside, there’s nothing like a warming, creamy soup!!

 

This soup is so yummy, you might not be thinking about the health benefits, but there are many. Particularly important are the cruciferous vegetables … broccoli and kale. This family of vegetables is important because of the ingredient sulforaphane, which helps eliminate harmful toxic compounds in the body that might otherwise promote inflammation.

 

The greens are super nutrient-dense and the tahini boosts the creaminess as well as the calcium content. Check out this post for more details on superfoods.

 

Enjoy!

Superfood Soup

Course Soup
Keyword broccoli, kale, soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 large handfuls kale
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 4 stalks broccoli chopped
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Sautee garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot.

  2. At the same time, add half of the raw kale, celery, and broccoli to your high-speed blender (in that order). Cover with up to 4 cups of broth and blend.

  3. Empty blender content into the pot with the sauteed garlic. Do the same for the other half of the veggies and broth.

  4. Heat soup and simmer for up to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tahini and sea salt. Stir well.

  5. NOTE: If you want the soup to be extra creamy, you can re-blend after it's heated.

Easy Apple Muffins

 

There’s no excuse for grabbing something processed when you have this quick and easy apple muffin recipe on hand. You can make extra and freeze them so they are always handy.

 

And while you’re enjoying this delicious treat, you can feel great about the health benefits that you are providing for your body. Apples are one of those foods that helps to reduce C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) in the body that can lead to arthritis and heart disease. In addition, apples provide high levels of antioxidants vitamins A and C that will help protect your cells from free radicals.

 

This recipe has a lot of natural flavour from whole foods, and you can add an extra kick by sprinkling cinnamon on top before baking. Enjoy!

 

Easy Apple Muffins

An easy recipe so that you have a treat on hand without all the processed ingredients!

Course Dessert
Keyword apple, muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix the oats and cinnamon. Add the quinoa and mix again. Now add maple syrup, apples and eggs, and mix until just combined.

  2. Place 12 muffin liners into a muffin pan. Fill each muffin cup about ⅔ of the way

  3. Place in oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). Before baking, sprinkle each muffin with a touch of cinnamon for extra (natural) flavour. Serve & enjoy!

One Pan Mediterranean Dinner

 

This is one of my favourite recipes that embodies the Mediterranean way of eating. I’m sold on anything that is tasty, easy and only takes one pan to make!

 

I also love the anti-inflammatory health benefits…

 

Feel free to vary up the type of fish that you use (and even the vegetables). There are a few people who avoid tomatoes since they find that nightshade vegetables contribute to their joint pain. Feel free to add another Mediterranean type vegetable instead, like artichoke!

One Pan Mediterranean Dinner

I love this easy, one-pan meal that is quick and tasty and cleans up in a flash.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword cod
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 4 cod filets
  • 1 bunch asparagus ends removed
  • 1 cup kalamata olives drained
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the fillets in the middle of the pan. Add the asparagus, olives, garlic, and tomatoes around the fish.

  2. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with dill and pepper. Slice the lemon and place one onto each fillet. Squeeze juice from the rest of the lemon onto the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Check if fillets are opaque all the way through and flake easily with a fork. If not, then cook for another few minutes. Serve & enjoy!

Pumpkin Seed Butter

 

I love a good pumpkin seed butter!. But not only are the good ones a bit pricey but sometimes it’s nice to just be able to whip up some of your own in a flash.

I created this pumpkin seed butter to satisfy my craving for variety. And also to get sufficient magnesium in my diet (here’s why).

Another reason that I love this alternative to my regular nut-butter is the anti-inflammatory benefits of pumpkin seeds. These little seeds contain a high level of zinc which is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that also helps the metabolic process.

Making your own nut/seed butter is not as hard as you might think. You just need raw or roasted nuts or seeds and a good food processor. Making your butter with raw nuts or seeds retains more of the mineral content, but roasted blends a bit better and has a richer taste. So, up to you!

This recipe includes options for using either raw or roasted pumpkin seeds so that you can choose.

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Homemade butters are easier than you think. Make your life easier by using already roasted pumpkin seeds so you can skip to step 3.

Course Snack
Keyword pumpkin seed butter
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, raw or roasted if roasted skip steps 1 and 2
  • 1 tsp olive oil optional, only needed to help blend into butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet.

  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool for 15-20 minutes.

  3. Put the pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Run the food processor for approximately 4-5 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds begin to have the texture of butter. If necessary, stop the food processor and scrape the sides.

  4. Continue running the food processor for another 2-5 minutes until the pumpkin seeds have the texture of butter. Add some of the oil, if needed, until the desired consistency is obtained.

Hormone Balancing Fat Bombs

 

These fat bombs are the bomb! Hormone balancing and delicious. Easy to make quickly with ingredients you probably already have on hand. When I make these in our house, they disappear quickly!!

 

Another benefit of these treats that I like is the anti-inflammatory cacao powder. It’s packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. It’s the flavanols in cacao that are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Also, the monk fruit sweetener keeps this treat blood sugar balancing and the fruit’s mogrosides are said to be anti-inflammatory.

Hormone Balancing Fat Bombs

These are easy to create, delicious, chocolatey and one of my favourite desserts! I store them in a jar in the fridge because they are likely to melt otherwise!!

Keyword fat bomb
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 34 bombs
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter can substitute another nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp monk fruit sweetener can substitute stevia (adjust amount for sweetness)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a small pot melt coconut oil and nut butter over low heat.

  2. Stir in cacao powder and desired sweetener. Remove from heat and add vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. Pour or spoon mixture into silicone candy molds or mini-muffin cups.

  4. Put in freezer or fridge until set. Remove from molds and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Papaya Avocado Fruit Salad

 

This high-fiber, low sugar fruit salad recipe is sure to be a hit this spring and summer! The prebiotic fiber is exactly what you need to keep your microbiome in balance and keep your digestion moving (and not weighing you down).

Low sugar fruits are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the body.  And these 4 fruits (avocado, papaya, berries, and jicama) fit the bill.

Jicama may be a new fruit for you. It is a great one that is low in sugar and I think you’ll love trying something new.

This recipe is super easy to make and is delicious enough for company (especially with the berry balsamic dressing).

Papaya Avocado Fruit Salad

Payaya and jicama may not be fruits you eat often, but this salad is refreshing, high in fiber and low in sugar and is perfect for a spring or summer day. It’s worth trying something new!

Course Salad
Keyword fruit
Servings 2 servings
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Papaya diced
  • 1 medium Avocado diced
  • 3/4 cup Jicama diced
  • 1/3 cup Berries sliced or whole
  • 4 halves walnuts chopped (and toasted if desired)

Berry Balsamic Dressing

  • 2 cups Mixed berries (frozen OK)
  • 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp Sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine fruit and nuts in a bowl. Then make the dressing as follows.

  2. In a blender or mini food processor, puree berries. Place a small strainer over a bowl. Pour pureed berries into a strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove the seeds. Return pureed berries to blender or food processor. 
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except oil; process until smooth. Add the oil slowly (by teaspoons), again until smooth. Taste, then add more honey, salt, and pepper if desired. Gently toss the salad with 2-3 Tbs of the dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Optional additions: to kick your dressing up a notch, add 1 small clove garlic, chopped &/or 1 Tb finely chopped fresh thyme leaves.

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

I’m a big fan of bone broth to help heal the gut and have previously posted a chicken bone broth recipe here. And I can’t help but note that bone broth is also excellent for joint health (this is especially important to me since my previous diagnosis of osteoarthritis: story here)

In addition, bone broth is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The amino acids glycine and arginine both help fight inflammation which can protect against disease.

I have made this particular bone broth free of the usual onions, leeks and garlic in case you are following a low fodmap or specific carbohydrate diet. It also happens to be just as delicious without them for everyone else!

Bones can be bought at your local butcher and it is so worth it to make your own. Even though it takes a lot of time, it is not “working” time, so it’s easy. The slow cooker makes it especially easy to set it and forget it.

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

Bone broth is good for many purposes other than just being tasty. it’s good for gut health, joint health and maintains healthy skin, immunity and boosts detoxification. Try this one without onions and garlic – using carrots and celery root instead.

Course Soup
Keyword bone broth
Cook Time 2 days
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef marrow bones, thawed, grassfed preferable
  • 3 large carrots, unpeeled
  • 1/2 medium celery root
  • a few sprigs of herbs – rosemary, oregano & thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • water as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

  2. Place your bones onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.

  3. Wash and chop veggies into large pieces – large enough that they won’t turn to mush.

  4. Once your bones have roasted, pull them out of the oven and put them directly into a slow cooker. Add the veggies and the herbs into the cooker with the bones.

  5. Fill a 6-quart slow cooker with fresh water up to about ¾ inch under the rim. Add the bay leaves, ACV and salt.

  6. Cook in your pot on low. Remove the herbs after about 4 hours and remove the veggies once they’re very soft, but not yet mushy.

  7. Let the bones cook for a total of 24-48 hours. Strain the broth, let cool a bit, and store in glass jars for up to ONE WEEK in your fridge. You can also freeze the broth if you don’t use it right away.

Recipe Notes

The appearance of a gel-like substance (natural gelatin) is normal and desired – enjoy the gut-friendly goodness!

Juice Pulp Brownies

 

This recipe for juice pulp brownies is not only full of prebiotics but also helps reduce food waste (and is delicious).

In addition, unsweetened cocoa powder is a great source of antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and your risk of certain diseases.

You can make it with any juice pulp that you like, but for this recipe, I made it with golden beets and carrots. These are sweeter vegetables, so if you want to get your greens in there, I suggest adding in some kale too.

You can also play around with the amount of maple syrup. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but you may find them sweet enough with 1/3 cup. The sweeter the juice pulp you use, the less maple syrup you will need.

Enjoy!

Juice Pulp Brownies

These juice pulp brownies are full of prebiotic fiber and use up all the pulp that normally goes to waste after juicing. Remember that the sweeter the juice pulp, the less maple syrup is necessary. Play around with different combinations to find your favourite.

Course Dessert
Keyword brownies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder prebiotic
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour prebiotic
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups firmly packed juice pulp – I used carrots and golden beets prebiotic
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8”x8” baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Add cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Stir to combine.

  3. Add eggs, pulp, oil and maple syrup to a blender and blend until well combined.

  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine well. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into the baking dish.

  5. Bake for 30 mins until the top is firm and edges just start to pull away from the dish.

    Allow the brownies to cool.

Easy Applesauce

Making applesauce is easier than you think. And so much more economical (and often healthier) than buying it.

This recipe proves it can be done quickly! I don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen, and I don’t expect you to either. This recipe has only one ingredient (with a few optional add-ins). But more importantly, I share with you my favourite kitchen tool that will save you time and make your applesauce perfectly every time.

When I’m making applesauce, I use this food mill to puree it. The reason is that this mill allows me to cook the apples without peeling or coring…and we all know how time-consuming that can be!

That’s right, not only will it save you time because you aren’t peeling the apples, but also, by keeping the skin on and only removing it through the mill at the end, your applesauce will retain more of the nutrients and fiber from the apples. And if you use red-skinned apples, it makes a nice pink coloured applesauce!

I also love that this recipe uses an ingredient that may help to reduce inflammation. Apples may help reduce inflammation because they contain quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant.

So enjoy this recipe. And if you have more apples than you want to make into applesauce, try these other apple recipes too:

Cinnamon Apples

Cabbage and Apple Salad with Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette

Easy Applesauce

Super-easy, minimally processed versatile recipe here. Make homemade applesauce! And don’t forget to get your food mill to make it easier and turn out perfectly every time.

Course Snack
Keyword applesauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16
Author bonnieflemington

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs apples washed and quartered (stem and blossom ends removed)
  • 3/4 cup water

Optional Inclusions

  • cinnamon
  • vanilla

Instructions

  1. Place apples and water in a large pot (you may not need all the water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot). 

  2. Bring to a boil and simmer until apples are soft (about 20 minutes).

  3. Place the food mill over a large bowl. Tip cooked apples into the mill and turn the crank until all the apples are pushed through. Season with cinnamon and other desired spices. Enjoy!