Avocado Fries

When you heat avocados, they become very soft, but flavorful. If you put a breading on sliced avocados prior to frying, you turn those delicious but mushy wedges in to a great finger food. In this recipe, a traditional flour breading is replaced with a mixture of parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast to keep it low carb and primal-friendly. Next time you find yourself with a few too many avocados on hand or needing snacks for a party, give avocado fries a try.

Avocado Fries

  • 2 large avocado, cut in half, pit removed, cut in to strips and removed from the peel
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (NOT brewer's yeast. If you can't find nutritional yeast, crushed plain pork rinds will also work)
  • 1/2 cup powdered parmesan cheese (normally found in a green can)
  • 1 tsp each black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Coconut oil for frying (A couple of inches worth in a medium pan will work if you don't have a deep frier)

After removing the avocados from the peel, pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture - this will help the breading stick better. In one bowl, whip the 2 eggs. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Dredge dried avocado slices through the whipped egg, then coat with the yeast/parm mix. Place slices one by one in the coconut oil, making sure pieces float freely. Cook until "breading" is browned, turning avocado over at some point to make sure both sides are cooked. Drain on paper towels. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve with a cream cheese or sour cream-based dip.

"Caveman Crunch" calms cereal cravings


Cereal is a quick and easy breakfast food. Made from grains and often containing added sugar, it is also a great way to spike your blood sugar and set you up for a major crash an hour after eating. To satisfy that desire for a fast, tasty breakfast but without all the fattening carbs and insulin issues, try combining coconut flakes, nuts and some dried fruit. Paleo and low carb-friendly, "Caveman Crunch" hits the spot. 

Caveman Crunch Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Dehydrated strawberries or other low carb berry
  • Cinnamon, vanilla extract or almond extract (optional)
  • Cashew, almond or coconut milk from a carton

Mix all dry ingredients. Add nut milk and flavor extracts just prior to serving. Place individual portions in mason jars (minus the liquid) and seal for an easy, instant breakfast. Vacuum seal lids for long term storage. 

Shown: Caveman Crunch with cashew milk from Walmart. Coconut flakes purchased at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers. Nuts and dehydrated, sugar-free strawberries from Trader Joe's.

Grilled Portobello Pizzas

A low carbohydrate diet is not reason to miss out on fantastic pizza flavors. Instead of a high carbohydrate crust, this pizza uses portobello mushrooms for a delicious, savory crust. These can be made in the oven, but our test kitchen gets really hot in the summer time and we did not want to turn on the oven and make it worse. So we grabbed our favorite ingredients and headed out to the grill. The result was a delicious treat that really satisfied our pizza cravings without a lot of carbohydrates. 

Because the amount of ingredients is going to completely depend on the size mushrooms you can find, no exact quantities are given. Simply use your judgement and don't pile the ingredients too high or they will spill over the sides.

 

Ingredients

  • Large portobello mushrooms - de-stemed with gills removed
  • No sugar-added pizza or spaghetti sauce (like Ragu No Sugar Added Tomato & Basil)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Additional toppings like pepperoni, cooked sausage, onions, etc...
  • Olive oil

Directions

  • Lightly brush the insides of the mushroom caps with olive oil
  • Grill face down on low heat until mushrooms soften 
  • Remove from grill and dap off any excess moist with a paper towel
  • Brush the inside of the caps with pizza sauce
  • Add cheese and your favorite toppings
  • Place completed pizza back on the grill and continue to cook over low heat until the cheese is melted and starts to bubble

 

Low Carb Peanut Butter Fudge

Alton Brown has created a rather tasty recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge. However, since it requires an entire pound of sugar per batch, it's not something to try if you're watching carbohydrate intake. 

Luckily there are products like Powdered Swerve that allow you make a delicious peanut butter fudge without all the sugar. If all you can find in your area is plain erythritol, you can make your own powdered version by pulsing it in a blender.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter (with no added sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered Splenda
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve or erythritol

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Stir, then microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Caution! It will be hot!) Add vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Spread into a 8 by 8" silicone pan and refrigerate until cool (2-3 hours). Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in the refrigerator. 

 

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Bars

Take care of that craving for chocolate chip cookies without the sugar and gluten!

This recipe was designed for a counter top brownie bar maker, but should adapt well to using a muffin tin or brownie pan.

There is no specific measurement provided for the chocolate chips because you will add the chips to the bars depending on your carbohydrate tolerance and the type of chocolate you use. In our test recipe, we used 60% cocoa Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips because that is what is available in our local market. Because these are higher in carbohydrates, only about 7-8 chips were added per bar. Adjust the number of chips to fit your carbohydrate needs. 

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Bars

  • 1 cup cashew meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 13.6oz can or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 duck eggs (or 6 large chicken eggs plus 2 extra yolks)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sweetener such as erythritol or Splenda
  • Dark chocolate chips or chopped up squares of dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • coconut oil for the brownie maker or pan

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the coconut milk and vanilla. Fold the egg mixture in to the dry ingredients and mix just until ingredients are blended. Let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquids in the batter. Stir one last time before portioning to a brownie bar maker or brownie pan. Cook according to manufacturer's directions. The bottoms and sides will become light brown, but the tops will not darken much. Be careful not to overcook. 

Cashew Coconut Pancakes

Pancakes without wheat flour can be tricky, but this recipe combines two flour alternatives to create a tasty pancake experience without the wheat. 

Cashew Coconut Flour Pancakes

  • 1 cup cashew meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 13.6oz can or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 duck eggs (or 6 large chicken eggs plus 2 extra yolks)
  • 1/4 cup sweetener such as erythritol or Splenda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • coconut oil to season your griddle

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the coconut milk and vanilla. Fold the egg mixture in to the dry ingredients and mix just until ingredients are blended. Let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquids in the batter. Stir one last time before frying in coconut oil on a griddle or other shallow pan seasoned with coconut oil. Flip when the top of the pancake starts to look a bit dry and bubbles stop forming. 

Serve with butter and sugar-free honey or syrup to keep it low carb. If you follow a paleo or primal diet, use coconut butter and real syrup.

Shoe String Zoodles

By deep frying zucchini cut in to thin ribbons, you can finally replace fried potatoes, noodles or french fried onions in your favorite dishes. 

Shoe String Zoodles

To get the shoe string effect, you will need a special kitchen tool like the Vegetti, a julienne peeler or a spiral slicer. These are available in stores or online through Amazon. Three of the most popular spiral slicers are pictured below.

Zoodle Tools

Once you turn your zucchini in to zoodles, they will look like the next picture.

Zoodle cut zucchini

Your next step is to deep fry the zoodles in lard, palm shortening or peanut oil according to your fryer manufacturer's directions. Since zucchini has a high moisture content, be extra careful that the oil doesn't foam out over the top of the fryer. (Pan frying is also possible if you have a high-sided cast iron pan.) Once the zoodles cook for a while, you will notice them float to the top of the fry basket. As the edges turn light brown, use a slotted spoon and flip over the zoodles. Allow them to continue to cook until they are a nice, golden brown on both sides, then place on a paper towel to drain. Your cooked zoodles will look similar to this.

Deep Fried Zoodles

At this point, you can lightly season with sea salt and eat as is. They are delicious and make a great substitute for french fries or potato chips as a snack or side dish.

The Modern Savage Kitchen has also included a list of ways to use your shoe string zoodles to help you cut down on carbohydrates and still maintain flavor and fun in your favorite dishes.

  • Use to make a ramen-style soup
  • Top a burger with shoe string zoodles
  • Dust with onion powder and use in dishes requiring french fried onions
  • Replace spaghetti noodles with fried zoodles
  • Use as a fried noodle replacement in Chinese food
  • Use in a salad in place of croutons
  • Include in sandwich wrap for extra flavor
  • Sprinkle with chili powder and use as a side dish for Mexican food
  • Use as a topping for casseroles
  • Use fried zoodles instead of noodles or dumplings in soup

As you can see, there are many possible uses for these tasty, healthy vegetables. Use your imagination and have fun!

 

Ramen Zoodle Soup

Many college students and young adults live on a diet of ramen noodle soup. The cheap price of a pack of instant noodles and complete lack of skill required to make ramen helped rise it to the ranks of dietary staple for the young and financially challenged. The high-starch, highly processed nature of ramen noodles mean they aren't something you should be eating if you want to make it past your dorm room days to a happy healthy old age. 

 Fortunately, there is a low carb and even paleo-friendly alternative. You simple use spiral cut zucchini in place of the starchy, white flour noodles. Spiral cut zucchini is gaining popularity as a pasta and noodle alternative and are often called ZOODLES by its many fans. You make the zucchini in to a noodle shape by using either a julienne peeler, a Veggetti tool or a spiral food slicer. 

Zoodle Tools

A few of the tools you can use to create zoodles

 

Once you have the "zoodles" made, you need to deep fry them until they are lightly browned and crunchy. After a few minutes on a paper towel to drain off any excess cooking oil, you simply add your ramen-ized zucchini in to a bowl a bone broth or some bullion mix. Zoodles can also be made ahead and frozen to get it near the instant status of traditional ramen noodles.

Ramen Zoodle Soup

  • Prepare a medium zucchini (around 196g) in to zoodles. Just wash and cut off the ends. No peeling necessary.
  • Use a deep fryer and cook the zoodles in lard, peanut oil or palm oil according to manufacturer instructions or at 350-400 degrees. Be very careful that the oil does not foam out over the top of the frier. Zucchini contains a lot of moisture so proceed with caution. Once the zucchini zoodles rises from the bottom of the frier basket and begin to look brown on the edges, use a slotted spoon to turn the mass of zoodles over. Continue frying until golden brown.
  • As the zoodles drain, heat 1 1/2 cups of bone broth (you can also add 1 tbsp of organic instant chicken bullion powder to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water if you don't have bone broth available.)
  • Add the crispy zoodles to the broth and top with chopped chives or green onions and enjoy.
  • For a more substantial soup, add mushrooms, cauliflower, white meat chicken or peas. This recipe is very flexible so don't be afraid to experiment.

NOTE: If you do not have a deep fryer, a cast iron pan with high walls can also be used. 

A medium raw zucchini cut in to zoodles (left) and the result after deep frying.

Baconnaise

Baconnaise

Avoid the processed seed oils found in commercial mayonnaise by making your own! This recipe uses both bacon grease and olive oil, two incredibly healthy fats that taste wonderful when combined. It also incorporates techniques from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" along with Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" fermentation instructions. By combining the wisdom of these two food masters, you can make the perfect bacon-powered mayonnaise every time!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup strained bacon grease
  • 1 Tbsp whey (optional - for fermenting)

NOTE: This recipe works best in a blender or food processor. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. If your kitchen is a bit cool, you might also want to warm your blender container or food processor bowl by running it under warm water then drying.

DIRECTIONS: Start by blending the egg, salt and mustard for 30 seconds to minute to turn it thick and foamy. Add raw apple cider vinegar and blend for a few more seconds. In a separate bowl, blend olive oil and bacon grease together until smooth. While blender is on high, slowly add oil mix to egg mix, starting with just a few droplets at a time. Slowly work your way up to a very thin stream of oil. DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS. The mayo will begin to thicken when about half the oil is incorporated. Continue adding oil very slowly until all oil is emulsified with the egg mix. If the mayonnaise is too thick, add a little extra raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Keep refrigerated and use within a few days.  

FERMENTING: To extend the life of your mayo, you can mildly ferment it following the Nourishing Traditions method. Simply add 1 Tbsp of whey to your finished mayonnaise. Then let it set covered at room temperature for 7 hours, then refrigerate. Fermenting your mayonnaise allows it to keep for weeks instead of days and turns it in to a probiotic super food!

Broken mayonnaise? It can be fixed! If your mayo never emulsified, you do not have to toss it out and start over. All you need to do is warm a bowl with hot water then dry it well. Next, add 1 tsp of prepared mustard (room temp) and 1 tsp of broken mayo. Beat with a whisk until it gets thick and creamy. Beat in the rest of the broken mayo 1 tsp at a time, making sure the sauce thickens completely before adding additional broken mayo. (Julia Child promises this works every time!)

 

Cashew Coconut Chicken

This quick and delicious recipe requires two ingredients that can be hard to find - unsweetened flaked coconut and coconut aminos. If you can secure those supplies, the rest is easy to put together in a matter of minutes. Vitamin Cottage, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are your best chain store shopping bets, but independent health food stores should also have both those items on hand. The recipe shown is for two servings, but can also be easily doubled or even quadrupled to feed a raving hoard.

Cashew Coconut Curry Chicken

  • 16 oz raw chicken breast - cubed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper - chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes*
  • 3 tbsp raw coconut aminos**
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • additional coconut flakes and/or cashews for garnish
  • Optional: Squirt or two of liquid monk fruit or stevia extract for a slightly sweeter flavor.

Fry chicken in coconut oil. Add peppers when chicken is nearly cooked through. Add remaining ingredients after peppers soften. Cook and stir until all ingredients are well blended and sauce is bubbly. Add a little water or additional coconut aminos if sauce gets too thick.

Substitutions

* If unsweetend coconut flakes are unavailable, just add more cashews.

** If you can't find coconut aminos, soy sauce or Braggs aminos can be used instead. Just start with 1 tbsp and then add more to taste. The flavors of these alternatives are stronger and saltier than coconut aminos, so take it easy.

Estimated nutritional values (entire batch)

Fat: 72g, Carbs: 38g, Protein: 96g, Calories: 1,178

Five pasta alternatives

Whether you are trying to lower your carb intake or someone in your family is gluten intolerant, finding a pasta replacement can be difficult. The Modern Savage kitchen has done some experimenting over the years and here are our top 5 favorite pasta replacements. Lower in carbohydrates, less likely to trigger allergies, and higher in nutrients than your standard pasta, one of these alternatives is sure to fill the pasta void.

5. Quinoa: While it is used like a grain, quinoa is not a grass, but is actually related to spinach and beets. It has a much higher protein content than rice or wheat and is safe for many people who have grain allergies. It is most often used as a rice replacement, but it's very tasty with spaghetti and meat sauce. The drawback is that quinoa is still high in carbohydrates so should be avoided or used sparingly by those with glucose metabolism issues.

4. Zoodles: Rather than hiding and pretending you aren't home so your gardener neighbors don't give you yet another zucchini, consider investing in a spiral slicer and making zucchini noodles. You can use the spiral slicer to noodleize more than just zucchini, but the mild flavor and texture makes those zukes a great base for spaghetti sauce, cream sauces, or even zucchini carbonara!

3. Broccoli Slaw: Slawing is also a great way to use up fresh broccoli stems you might normally discard. Cut off the bottom 1" of stem, then either use a course grater to shred the stem or cut it in to match-sized pieces. You can even buy precut bags of slawed broccoli at the supermarket. Either steam or stir fry the slaw, then top with your favorite tomato-based sauce and some beefy meatballs.

2. Cabbage noodles aka Cabboodles: Cut cabbage in to thin ribbons with a knife and lightly fry in butter, coconut oil or bacon grease. Cabboodles work particularly well with Alfredo sauce-based dishes like chicken and mushrooms. Precut bags of cabbage slaw can also be used. Those are great in Asian-inspired dishes where you might normally use wheat or rice noodles.



1. Sweet potato noodles: If you have a spiral or mandolin slicer, use them to turn a sweet potato in to tasty noodles with a great texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Lacking special kitchen toys? You can still make sweet potato noodles with a plain potato peeler by peeling your sweet taters in to long thin strips. Sweet potato noodles can be steamed or even boiled just like pasta. Cook them until they are al dente and use in place of regular noodles. Sweet potato noodles are a perfect option for a primal or paleo version of your family dinner favorites.

Recipe: Low-Carb Almond Cookies

On a diet or not, sometimes you just need a cookie! By using almond flour and Splenda, a cookie goes from a sugar-ladened no-no to a tasty low carb treat. These whip up in minutes and taste a lot like those cookies you get at the Chinese restaurant...only better and healthier!



Ingredients
2 cups almond meal flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup Da Vinci sugar-free simple syrup with Splenda*
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream*
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
12 whole roasted almonds

Directions
Mix coconut, vanilla extract, almond extract, cream and Da Vinci simple syrup together and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix almond meal with baking powder, then add the eggs and stir. Add to the coconut mixture and mix well. Drop the resulting dough on to a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. The cookies don't spread out much, but they do puff up a bit so make sure that aren't piled high. Place a whole almond in the middle of each cookie.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes in a 350º oven or until the edges on the bottom begin to turn golden brown.

*For a Paleo/Primal version...

Substitute honey for the Da Vinci syrup and coconut milk for the cream.

Asian-Inspired Clam Sauce

Oyster sauce is very handy for Asian inspired cooking. Unfortunately, oyster sauce sold in the grocery store is often loaded with sugar, msg or high-fructose corn syrup. Fortunately it is fairly simple to whip up your own substitute from readily available ingredients. Though a different texture and a lighter color, clam sauce has a similar flavor profile and can be directly substituted for any recipe calling for oyster sauce.

 Shown: Shrimp lettuce wraps cooked in clam sauceShown: Shrimp lettuce wraps seasoned with clam sauce. 

 

Asian-Inspired Clam Sauce

  • 6.5 oz can of clams with liquid
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp raw, local honey or erythritol
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp plain, unsweetened fish sauce

If you have a food processor, pulse the clams and juice in to a paste. If you do not have a food processor, drain the clams, reserving the liquid, and mince as fine as you can with a sharp knife. Place clam mix (or minced clams and juice) along with remaining ingredients in to a sauce pan and simmer until sauce thickens.

Healthier Trail Mix

Avoid unhealthy commercial trail mixes loaded with chemicals, starches and sugars. Just make your own!

Healthier Trail Mix

  • 1/2 cup roasted and salter sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries or cherries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or sugar-free Nevada Manna brand chocolate chips

Place all ingredients in to a quart-sized glass mason jar and cover. Shake to mix ingredients. Keep in the jar for storage and pour as much as needed in to snack bags for hiking, school lunches or an office snack.

 

NOTE: If you are following a strict paleo diet, omit chocolate chips and replace with 1/2 cup dried unsweetened blueberries and 1/2 cup dried dates.

Turkey Parsnip Curry Soup

Leftover turkey is no trouble at all when you use it to make this creamy, delicious soup. And while it does contain turkey, the flavor profile is so different than your traditional Thanksgiving fare, there will be no complaints about having turkey in yet another meal. 

Turkey Parsnip Curry Soup

  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 2-3 cups turkey bone broth or 2-3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups leftover turkey pieces or chopped white meat chicken
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp shredded fresh peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise

Cook parsnips until tender by either oven roasting or microwaving. Add 2 cups broth to the parsnips, a small amount at a time, and either hand mash, puree with an immersion blender, or pulse with a chopping blade in a food processor until smooth and the broth has been incorporated. If soup appears a bit too thick, add another cup of broth. In a stock pot, caramelize onions in 1 tbsp of coconut oil or butter. Next add parsnip puree to onions and stir well. Add remaining ingredients and cook until carrot pieces are tender. Garnish with additional ginger and carrot shreds if desired.

No-Bake, Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake

Desserts around the holidays can be problematic for anyone watching their carbohydrate intake. That is, unless you know how to make your own tasty low carb treats. This pumpkin cheesecake recipe can even fool some of those sugar junkie friends.

You may want to adjust the sweeter level to fit your personal tastes. Since this is a no-bake recipe and does not contain raw eggs, feel free to taste as you go.

Low Carb No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal (or hazelnut meal)
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 packets of Splenda (or 3 Tbsp erythritol)

 Filling

  • 1 14oz can pumpkin
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 packets of Splenda (or other sweetener equivalent)

Make the crust first, mixing the melted butter, sweetener and almond meal throughly. Press in to a 9" pie pan or a 9x13 rectangular pan to make pumpkin cheesecake bars. Bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes (until lightly browned). Allow crust to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling, using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth then slowly add pumpkin mix. Next, add spices and sweetener. Add cream and whip on high speed until filling is fluffy.

Pour filling in to cooled crust. If desired, sprinkle top with a bit of cinnamon and a little more almond meal. Chill for 2 hours prior to serving.

Perky Pumpkin Seeds

This pumpkin seed recipe is an old, Midwestern favorite. Waiting for them to cook can be torture since they need to slow roast and you can smell them cooking the entire time. This is a great way to use seeds from Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns or fresh pumpkins used for Thanksgiving pies. 

PERKY PUMPKIN SEEDS

Ingredients:


  • 2 cups (or so) fresh pumpkin seeds
 with goo
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp erythritol or honey (optional)

Directions:

DO NOT wash or clean the pumpkin seeds. Really. In fact, the more GOO they have on them, the better. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Combine the Worcestershire sauce and melted butter. Pour Worcestershire/butter mix over the seeds and stir. Sprinkle salt over the seeds. Bake at 200º for about two hours, stirring every half hour. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.

This also works with acorn squash or butternut seeds.

Nutrition Information (approximate - entire batch)

Calories: 492

Fat: 35.5g

Carbohydrates: 37.4g 

Protein: 12.1g

With 37.4g of carbohydrates, you might not want to eat the entire batch at one time. Well, you will WANT to, but you probably shouldn't. Save some for the next day or share with a friend. If using honey instead of erythritol, the carb count will be higher. 

Butternut & Red Pepper Soup

Butternut Soup

Chilly fall weather is the perfect time for a creamy, delicious soup like Butternut & Red Pepper. This is also the time of year to get winter squash like acorn, butternut and sweet potato squash at discount prices. Winter squash keeps well so be sure to purchase extra. You will need it to make future batches of this soup that has proven to be popular at parties and family get-togethers.

Ingredients

  • Meat from 2 butternut, large acorn squash or other winter squash variety
  • 3 cups of poultry bone broth or organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 roasted red peppers - fresh roasted or jarred
  • 1 large caramelized onion - chopped
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups roasted chicken or turkey - cubed

Directions

Cook squash by either roasting, microwaving or slow cooking until meat is tender. Remove from the shell and place in a food processor. Add coconut milk and mayonaise to the cooked squash meat and blend until smooth. In a stock pot, caramelize the onion in coconut oil. Add chopped roasted pepper, spices, vinegar and broth. Stir in the squash meat mixture. When smooth, add the cubed chicken or poultry. 

All Hail the Kale

Kale is one of those things your parents always tried to get you to eat because it was good for you. You tried to feed it to the dog when they weren't looking. Turns out your parents were right. You should eat kale. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

So why, despite all its benefits, do kids try to avoid it? Usually because it isn't cooked properly or picked at the right time. Kale that is too large can be tough. In extreme heat, kale can turn bitter. If you don't remove the thicker parts of the stem, biting in to that tough, stringy stem is unappetizing. If you steam or boil kale, you miss out on the nutritional aspect since many of the vitamins in it are fat soluble. If you aren't eating kale cooked in butter, bacon grease, olive oil or lard, you are just giving your intestines a workout and not fulfilling your nutritional needs. Not to mention you are totally cheating your taste buds.

One of the best ways to get over your childhood aversions and reap the benefits of this inexpensive green is to make yourself a batch of kale chips. You wont believe how a leafy, healthy vegetable can turn in to a delicious crunchy snack in a matter of minutes. Who knows? Once you master the kale chip, you might even become brave enough to eat it fried with your breakfast bacon!

 Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of fresh red or green kale
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • Nutritional yeast (or powdered parmesan cheese)
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Dulce flakes (optional)

Wash kale and trim, cutting off the thickest part of the stem. If stems are very thick, cut kale leaf totally away from the stems in to 2 pieces. Smaller pieces with thin stems can be left whole. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Toss trimmed kale in a bowl with the olive oil and vinegar. Make sure all pieces are thoroughly coated. Add more oil and vinegar if necessary.

Lay kale leaves flat on a piece of silicone baking mat inside a roasting pan or use another non-stick baking surface with sides. (If using dulce flakes, sprinkle them on the kale now.) Try not to overlap pieces. Bake in a 350º oven for approximately 15 minutes. Leaves should be very crispy, but not too browned.

Place on paper towels to drain excess oil and lightly sprinkle with nutritional yeast, then sea salt to taste.

Creamy Non-Dairy Turkey Mushroom Soup

Non-Dairy Creamy Turkey Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 oz shitake mushroom - chopped
  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms - chopped (or 8oz total of your favorite mushroom type)
  • 1 large sweet onion - chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 cup cooked turkey or chicken meat
  • 1 can coconut milk (or 1/2 can coconut milk and 1/2 cup mayo*)
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp - 1 Tbsp ground black pepper (start with 2 tsp and go up from there)
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder (or red pepper flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp Xantham gum
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Directions

In a small cup, dissolve xantham gum and 2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil. Set aside. Caramelize onions over medium heat in 1/4 cup coconut oil. Add mushrooms to caramelized onions and cook until mushrooms are soft. Add garlic, being careful not to overcook garlic or it will get bitter. After stirring in garlic, add xantham gum mix and stir, then immediately add 2 cups of broth. Allow mixture to simmer a bit, stirring as it thickens. Add remaining ingredients and check thickness when all items are incorporated. If mixture is too thick, add a little more broth. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with chives or green onions and serve.

Notes:

  • Coconut milk flavor varies from brand to brand. If the type you are using has a strong coconut flavor or is a bit on the sweet side, use the half coconut milk, half mayo version.
  • If you don't have a problem with dairy, you can directly sub butter for the coconut oil and cream for the coconut milk. 
  • If you don't have xantham gum, tempered egg yolks can also be used to thicken the soup. 

 

 

Melon Salsa

We've all gone to the store, bought what we thought was a delicious cantaloupe, and ended up with something bland and boring. While there are ways to avoid getting a tasteless melon in the future, there is no need to waste the less than perfect melon you have now. The texture of a cantaloupe, even if it lacks flavor, is still very interesting. Firm yet creamy, a cantaloupe's texture is just as important as flavor to its appeal.

This means you can take advantage of the texture of a cantaloupe to make a very tasty salsa where its lack of sweetness will not be a problem. Along with saving a bland melon from the store, this can also be a good way to use up cantaloupe from your garden if you are forced to harvest early because of frost.

If you do have a bit of nice, sweet cantaloupe on hand you need to use up, you can also use a combination of melon and cucumber to make a refreshing tasty salsa without to much sweetness. The amount and type of peppers can also be adjusted to make this a mild or hot salsa. As always, feel free to experiment and have fun!

 Melon Salsa

  • 1 large under-ripe cantaloupe - flesh chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch cilantro - minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion - chopped fine
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup jalapeño or other variety of pepper - minced  (adjust amount and hotness level to taste)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic - minced
  • 1 lime - juiced
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients well and chill to allow flavors to blend. Serve with slices of fresh jicama or as a side to grilled flank steak or chicken.