This paleo friendly acorn squash bowl is inspired by Thanksgiving! It has all my favorite fall ingredients including ground turkey, poultry seasoning, acorn squash, and dried cranberries. I used salt-free poultry seasoning to flavor the ground turkey from Frontier. I love the smell of this spice blend. It reminds me of thanksgiving since I use it in my stuffing. This seasoning includes sage, thyme, onion, marjoram, black pepper, celery seed and cayenne. You could easily make an AIP friendly version if you mix your own spice blend and eliminate the cayenne.
I used organic sweetened dried cranberries from whole foods. Last year I tried to make my own in the dehydrator, but they ended up too hard and bitter. You could always remove the cranberries from this recipe if the ingredients in dried cranberries don’t fit in with your elimination diet. There is only a half a cup in the whole recipe and I thought it would be fun to have another thanksgiving flavor.
Acorn Squash Stuffed Turkey Bowls
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: 4 bowls
Serving Size: 4
1 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning from Frontier
1 lb of ground turkey
7 cups of fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
2 acorn squshes
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1/4 tsp of sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup of water
Steam acorn squash in slow cooker with 1/2 cup of water for 3 hours
Wait for squash to cool or use oven mitts to slice squash in half and slice of ends to sit flat.
Scoop out squash seeds, until inside resembles a bowl.
Add coconut oil to a pan and cook ground turkey with sea salt, and poultry seasoning.
Wilt in baby spinach, and add dried cranberries at the end.
Scoop mixture from pan into acorn squash bowls and serve.
This recipe for chorizo and spinach stuffed sweet potato is really great for an easy weeknight meal. You can even bake the sweet potatoes ahead of time, and then quickly saute the chorizo and spinach together when you are ready to eat. Instead of baking the sweet potatoes in foil, like I normally do, I baked them in salt instead. I’m still working on the best way to get an amazing potato crust, so I need to do a bit more trial and error to get it right. However, I do think baking them in salt was an improvement. I didn’t have to poke holes in the sweet potatos, and as a result, the final result looked a lot less messier. Although I did have to increase the amount of time I kept it in the oven.
The chorizo has a ton of great flavor, so it makes the spinach taste delicious. The spinach get’s to cook in all the tasty fat and flavor from the chorizo. Honestly, I think the chorizo and spinach would make a delicious side dish all on it’s own. It would also make a great filling for an omelette or quiche as well. I definitely plan to cook with these ingredients again.
Chorizo and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Serving Size: 2
2 chorizo links
5 cups of fresh spinach
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 sweet potatoes
2 cups of kosher salt (for baking sweet potatoes)
Line bottom of a baking dish with kosher salt. Then place washed sweet potatoes on top of salt. Then lightly cover baking dish with foil.
Place baking dish in oven at 450 degrees fahrenheit for 2 hours or until potatoes are soft to touch.
Grease a saucepan in coconut oil. I prefer the high sides of a saucepan when cooking down greens. Saute chorizo until cooked. Then add in spinach and saute until it's wilted.
Spoon chorizo and spinach over a sweet potatos and serve.
Cook sweet potatoes ahead of time to make this a quick 10 minute meal.
I decided to make a healthier applesauce recipe, since I can’t get enough apple recipes this fall. Now that I know how ridiculously easy it is to make it yourself, this will be one item I no longer need to buy. If you’re too old for just plain old applesauce, you can always get fancy and mix it into muffins, cakes, waffles, an well anything you can think of. I’m seriously considering adding this to popsicles. It may be October, but it’s still hot in LA.
I kept the applesauce pretty chunky and didn’t cook it down a crazy amount. I wanted to apple taste and texture to really shine through. I used Granny Smith apples, which are pretty tart, so I added some maple syrup to balance out the sour with a bit of sweetness. A lot of recipes called for brown sugar, and since maple syrup is a similar color, I thought I try it out. However, you could always use honey or eliminate the natural sweetener altogether.
A Healthier Applesauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4
5 granny smith apples
1/4 cup of grade b maple syrup
1/2 cup of water
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of cinnamon
Peel and chop apples. Add them to to dutch oven with water, cinnamon stick, and maple syrup.
Cook down mixture until apples are desired firmness.
I prefer the apples to still be still chunky and firm. About 30 minutes. Stir often so apples don't burn.
Transfer to a food processor, and blend/pulse for a few seconds. Add a pinch of cinnamon, or more to taste. A little goes a long way.
(optional) sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top and serve.
These peanut-free copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups taste just like the real thing. Maybe a bit better, because I like my chocolate darker and this uses Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate. I love this brand because their products, including the chocolate chips, are made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility, and are certified non-gmo and vegan. Beware, these chocolate chips are dangerously addictive and often go straight to my stomach, instead of a recipe.
I also used Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter. Do not substitute a different brand. This almond butter is also made in a peanut free facility and is also certified non-gmo, gluten-free, and vegan. Plus, it tastes exactly like peanut butter! I don’t know how they managed it, but it I’m so excited to try more peanut recipes. The ingredients in this almond butter are blanched roasted almonds, evaporated cane juice, palm fruit oil, and sea salt. I found this at my local Whole Foods, but you can also purchase it on amazon. Seriously, if you don’t tell anyone it’s not peanut butter, they won’t know.
Peanut-free Peanut Butter Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes
Serving Size: 4-6
2 10oz bags of Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate
1 jar of Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter
Line a muffin tin with baking cups.
Melt chocolate over a double boiler.
Add 1 tbsp of melted chocolate to baking cups. Then freeze until solid.
Then add 1 tbsp of almond butter over frozen chocolate.
Then add 1 tbsp of melted chocolate over almond butter. Then freeze until solid.
Let it defrost for 10-15 before eating it, so chocolate isn't too hard.
Make sure you use Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter if you want it to taste like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. You can also experiment with fillings. I've tried it with homemade pecan butter as well.
Some times all you need a funny quote or a cute exercise shirt to get you excited about working out. I’ve made a board on my Pinterest profile called Funny Excercise Tanks & Shirts that I think a lot of health minded people would love get as a holiday gift. If you like the board on Pinterest, please follow it, and be sure to check out my Healing and Eating Recipes board as well.
Here are a few of my favorite funny exercise tank tops:
I wanted to let everyone know about this cool running event coming up on Sunday, Oct 19th, for a good cause. Between 15-20% of proceeds from the event will go toward SMMEF (Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation), and for those who can’t attend, you can still donate separately to https://www.crowdrise.com/2014runfest, which supports Santa Monica and Malibu schools sports programs and athletes.
Participants can join the 5K or 10K timed races for both competitive and non-competitive runners, as well as the fun Retro Run, where runners are encouraged to dress in the spirit of their favorite decade (think 70s, 80s, and 90s) and have a great time with no pressure. This is a non-timed course for those just looking to have a some fun. Plus, with Halloween right around the corner, any excuse to dress up sounds like a good time.
Details: Participants can register at http://santamonicarunfest.com/ The RunFEST starting location is south of the intersection of Barnard Way and Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica. Parking is located just south of Pico Blvd. and can only be entered going south on Barnard Way.
FYI, Skechers Performance is supporting Santa Monica RunFEST by giving a free Skechers cinch sack to all participants, so you can also look forward to some swag. If running is your thing, why not support a good cause and your health too?