Aegean Salad with Blackened Shrimp {Whole30 + AIP}

Aegean Salad

 

Ever since I can remember I have been resourceful in ways I’ve been able to generate income for myself, and I truly believe that I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was 7 I was begging to cut the grass to earn some extra cash. I remember even asking my sister if she’d pay me to clean her room. I did whatever I could to save money and use it wisely on things that mattered to me (it’s all relative, I mean what matters to a 7 year old when it comes to money!?) None the less, I made it a priority to always find ways that I could feel and express my independence and one of those ways was having a job.

 

So in high school I started working as a life guard during the summers but the rest of the year I needed something else to supplement my income and the little free time I had in between playing volleyball and having an active schedule. I remember deciding I was going to apply for a hostess job at my family’s favorite restaurant near our house. We were regulars at this little family owned Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant. The food was amazing and having grown up in Europe the variety and quality was a welcomed change from the options across the colonnade (Outback).

Read More

Herbed Duck Egg Scramble

Herbed Duck Egg Scramble
I am nearly ready to go on my soul trip. I can’t believe that it’s only a week from today! I finally feel I can actually start getting excited about it. I’ve been so busy lately, and I don’t mean to make busy a glorified state of being, it’s just truly how it’s been. So I haven’t fully been able to get super excited about leaving for my trip. I’ll be going to Stockholm, Croatia and Florence and when my heart thinks about traveling right now it is so fully of pure joy. This is some of my own deep self-care work that’s vital to my own health, happiness and inner relationship. I am gearing up for the kickoff of September Self-Care on Monday, I cannot wait for everyone who is a part of this! Self-care has been so integral to my own healing, so I know how significant this will be to those are who are a part of it.
 

Read More

Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Pasta

Zuchinni Noodle & Shrimp Pasta

 

 

I can’t wrap my mind around where summer went. It feels like it was just the beginning of July and here we are now at the end of August. Who let that happen?

One thing I know for sure, I am soaking in on all of the summer produce possible. Fresh items like peaches, nectarines, berries (all the berries!), summer squash and greens are in such abundance right now. So I am using them up in every way I can possibly fit them into my meals.

Read More

Savory Pumpkin Stuffing

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin Stuffing

I love fall and winter for many reasons, partly the Holiday season, but if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s all the warming food that really does the body good. The foods of the season are things like winter squash, hearty herbs, root vegetables and savory meats.

These foods give us sustenance, keeping us fuller longer. But yes of course, there is an association with the Holidays that makes these meals all the more special. It means friends and family come together, more meals are shared and good conversation is had. This savory stuffed pumpkin stuffing is going to be the talk of the table, trust me.

Read More

Shepherd’s Pie {AIP + Paleo}

Shepherd's Pie

The transition from winter into spring is here and we’re all anxious to celebrate! I think hunkering down with one last crazy cozy meal is just the way!

I spent my weekend with a trip to the farmer’s market, some time in the sunshine but also a lot of time indoors, hunkering down working on projects and things I needed to get done. This meal was an easy one pan throw together that I knew would last me several meals. It’s warm spices take this comfort food to the next level, but truly the mash takes it over the top.

Shepherd's Pie Shepherd's Pie

Meat pies originated during the Middle Ages in England, Ireland and Scotland and it’s suspected that  many peasant women would have come up with the idea by wanting to use up any leftover meat. Traditionally they would have used pastry dough to top the pies and it wasn’t until later when potatoes were discovered in the new worlds that the cottage and shepherd’s pies became a popular. Little did they know then what a staple potatoes would be to their country’s cuisine.

With the autoimmune protocol, potatoes are on the NO list because they are in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. These vegetables are known to disturb the gut lining and can often aggravate people with autoimmune conditions, causing flares and food intolerance.  In fact it’s only recently that potatoes have been welcomed back into the Paleo and Whole30 sphere overall as a safe starch. Even though the mash on top of this shepherd’s pie is not potatoes, you won’t be disappointed.

Read More

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

I am of the belief there’s nothing that cannot be combined, piled and squished into an acorn squash. Am I right? First of all, they are so darned cute! These petite squash have a ribbed silhouette that makes them a beautiful display. Serving them cut in half as a single portion is a great way to create what seems like a fancy meal, but takes little time and very few ingredients. If you make these and decide to keep them for meals throughout the week, they are perfectly portioned. Sometimes I can hardly finish a half of one of these lamb and beet greens stuffed acorn squash because while seemingly small, they are incredibly filling. Hence, being stuffed… bad joke?

Acorn Squash

When I cook, I enjoy combining produce that I haven’t tried together before. Whenever you’re trying to come up with a recipe to stuff into a squash there are a few good staples to think about; have a variety of green, a type of meat, something for change in texture like a crunch, and something to give it a creamy consistency. What I do for the last one may surprise you. Essentially, to make the crevice for the stuffing larger, I scoop out a bit of the squash after it’s cooked and stir it into the filling, it results in a luxurious texture that also acts as a binder for the stuffing.

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

One of my favorite winter greens, aside from my first love, collards, are beet greens. They are light yet filling when cooked with their stems. They give off a slight earthy beet flavor without being over powering, whereas the delicate greens are reminiscent of spinach. The combination of the greens and the stems were perfect as it takes care of two stuffing needs, a green and a crunch. Not to mention, the color adds to the appeal of these cute stuffed squashes.

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

When trying to decide a meat for my stuffing, I really wanted to have a lot of flavor. This is why I chose to use lamb, because it has a unique flavor on it’s own that I knew would contribute nicely to the other components and especially contrast the sweetness of the acorn squash. However, any type of ground meat would be great, you can certainly substitute ground beef or even turkey in place of the lamb.

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

Through the cooking process with these squash, the result is an extremely tender and soft flesh, not mushy as they can become after cooking for too long. They have to be able to hold up to the stuffing, and in this case they do wonderfully. I thoroughly enjoyed these and since they are a cinch to make they work perfect for me to batch cook and have throughout the week. Also, if you make extra of the stuffing, it’s great on salads, in stir-fries or in scrambled eggs if you’re able to tolerate! So stuff yourselves silly!

 

LAMB & BEET GREENS STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

Lamb & Beet Greens Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients
1 lb ground lamb
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme
Olive oil for drizzling
4 cups beet greens (including the stems)
4 large cloves garlic minced                                                                                                                                 1 medium onion diced finely
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/4 tsp salt

Process

1. Pre-heat oven to 375.

2. Rinse and clean acorn squash. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Cover baking sheet in parchment paper.  Olive oil each half squash lightly and place open face down in the oven for 30 min.

3. Meanwhile dice the onion until finely chopped. Heat skillet to medium and being cooking the onions in the oil until translucent. Add garlic minced and stir to combine.

4.Then add the ground lamb and all spices begin incorporating and browning the meat slightly.

5.Once browned add in the beet greens and stems and combine until well incorporated but not fully cooked.

6. Once the squash is done pull out of the oven and wait for it to cool. Once cool enough to handle gently scrape out a little of the squash from each hole, deepening the hole but not widening it. Roughly 1/2 cup of the squash should come out in total between the four. You’ll notice that towards the bottom it is not fully tender and you want it to be this way.

7. Then use the extra squash by mixing it into the stuffing to have a creamy effect. Once combined, stuff each squash amply and put back in the oven face up for 20 more minutes.  Serve and devour.

 

ENJOY!

XO,

Kari

Ginger Whipped Coconut Cream With Pomegranates

Ginger Whipped Coconut with Pomegranates

Pomegranates have been used for centuries to represent fertility, abundance, unity and love. It’s complexity, the tiny sweet pods between fleshy membrane and sweet and sour tartness of each seed make the fruit alluring. Interestingly pomegranates seeds are full of antioxidant properties, healing vitamins, minerals and immune supporting benefits.  Behind the rich red skin lies the bursting granules of deliciousness. Similar with a coconut, you don’t know what’s inside or how to eat it without bursting it open to see for yourself. With it’s tempting beauty it rewards curiosity.

Pomegranate

Opening a pomegranate can prove tricky, and messy if you aren’t sure how. Disastrously, you could end up with little pods everywhere and pom juice splattered, making the kitchen transform to a murder scene. The best method, I have found, for getting to the root of the seeds is to pace a bowl in the sink, fill it halfway with water and then place the pomegranate in the bowl. Then puncture the pomegranate using your thumb while pulling apart the pomegranate shell keeping it submerged under the water. This is a gentle process. Take each half and pull out the ivory membrane by scooping it out with your hands. Once you pull it out, the flesh floats to the top and the seeds fall to the bottom of the bowl. Gather up the seeds and you’ve now got a ton of poms to enjoy!

Ginger Whipped Coconut with Pomegranates

When whipping full fat coconut milk (chilled) it creates a thicker substance that satisfies my craving for something creamy. The flavors in this side dish allow for a refreshing combo with ginger, cinnamon and clove. These are my favorite spices and with the added pomegranate seeds there’s a subtle sweetness with a tart aftertaste the wakes up the senses.

I had so much fun shooting these photos, pomegranates are a captivating fruit. I know now why the infamous Renaissance painters loved to represent them so often!

 

GINGER WHIPPED COCONUT WITH POMEGRANATES

Ginger Whipped Coconut with Pomegranates

Servings 2

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk (chilled)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon fresh ginger (zest)

Pomegranate seeds (as much as you like)

Sprinkling of ground cloves

 

Process

1. Whip the chilled coconut milk until  creamy and thick, I use THIS method without the honey.

2. Stir in spices and pomegranate seeds. Serve chilled topped with extra spices and poms!

 

 Enjoy!

XO,

Kari

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Chicken Salad

Turmeric Chicken Salad

Confession: I’ve never liked chicken salad, ever. Really, the idea of the traditional version of  mixing chicken with mayonnaise, boiled eggs, celery and sometimes even grapes offers no appealing factor to me. So it was something that I wasn’t going miss when I no longer used eggs regularly.

However, I do like the idea of chicken salad. The portable way it’s thrown into lettuce cups and the accessibility of using leftover chicken that you have in the fridge. That is what inspired me to create my version where I sometimes use either leftover chicken or turkey depending on what I have. Mixing it with avocado gives it the familiar creamy consistency of the traditional chicken salad, however egg-less, and with an overall different flavor.

Turmeric Chicken Salad

Turmeric is such a potent anti-inflammatory but it also rocks in the flavor category. It gives this chicken salad its glorious yellow color and distinct taste. What I love most though, about this particular recipe is the contrast from the warmth of the turmeric and the slight tartness from the apples. It really is such a great recipe to whip up with leftover poultry. Any type of green would work for the wrap, collards, romaine, Napa cabbage – possibilities are endless. So many options to think of on your own!

 

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY CHICKEN SALAD

Turmeric Chicken Salad

Ingredients

1 cup leftover chicken or turkey shredded

½ apple (green or pink lady)

½ tablespoon coconut oil combined with ½ tablespoon turmeric (or leftover turmeric paste )

½ teaspoon Garlic powder

Dash Sea salt

2 ripe avocados

1 small red cabbage

Green onion

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

 

 Process

1. Chop or shred turkey into bits and slice your apple into chunks or thin strips.

2. Mash avocado in a bowl until creamy consistency. Add salt and ACV, garlic powder and turmeric paste.

3. Add chicken and apples stir to combine.

4. Wrap in cabbage cups and sprinkle green onion.

 Enjoy!

xo,

Kari

1 | 2 |