Recipe: Spicy sausage and garbanzo bean stew (weeknight meal)

sausage-and-garbanzo-stew

With a couple of fresh items and a list of pantry-clearing ingredients, this spicy sausage and garbanzo stew recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. You can substitute a bunch of things in this recipe — leftover roast chicken for the sausage (or mild sausage instead), cannelloni beans for the garbanzo beans, and add/sub other vegetables like zucchini or kale to veg it out a little more. It’s so forgiving, it’s kinda tough to mess up the flavors in this stew with additional vegetables. You can even remove the garbanzos if you’re following Paleo or Whole 30 diets, with minimal affect to this little recipe that could.

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Recipe: Paleo Friendly Gazpacho Soup

Paleo Friendly Gazpacho Soup

It’s nearing the end of tomato season here in California and I’m always sad when this time comes. Soon, I won’t be able to simply walk outside, pick a plump favorite off the bush and maw on it with fervor. My husband professes that I have a freakish love for these nightshades and I unabashedly admit it — they are a perfect fruit that acts like a vegetable. Tomato sauce, Caprese salad, simply sliced with salt/pepper or in these recipes featuring tomatoes — I wallow in the beautiful yellow, red and green orbs all summer. I’ve been developing this paleo friendly gazpacho soup lately since this year’s massive crop has lent itself to tons of experimentation. The ingredient list might look long but this uncooked blender soup comes together in about 15-20 minutes. How easy is that? Add cooked shrimp to make it a complete meal.

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Easy grilled zucchini recipe with fresh basil

Easy grilled zucchini

Five ingredients… big, bang, boom. And this easy grilled zucchini is a simple pleasure anyone can afford and enjoy. With the brilliant advent of grill pans, non-stick or pre-seasoned cast iron, even those without a patio or with an evil, restrictive homeowners’ association can get in on some kitchen grilling action. One of the ingredients is a “luxury” item, lemon- or lime-infused olive oil, but worth investing in for salad dressing and drizzling over pretty much any vegetable, from steamed asparagus to sliced tomatoes. This recipes serves 2 people.

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Sweet potato hash recipe: Paleo, AIP, Whole30 approved

Sweet Potato Hash

For me, breakfast is the most difficult part of adjusting to a whole foods lifestyle. No cereal or grains pretty much limits a lot of options. On AIP, a regimen I followed for 60 days to cure my food allergies, you can’t eat eggs and that kinda sucked, so I started experimenting. It was during AIP that I began developing this sweet potato hash recipe and still make it frequently as a satisfying breakfast or side dish. Thankfully, I learned I’m not allergy-sensitive to eggs and now serve it with a fried or poached egg on top (NB: many people are sensitive to eggs and don’t know it). This sweet potato hash is Paleo and Whole30 compliant too. Enjoy!

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4 ingredient slow cooker pork roast

Slow Cooker Pork Roast

If you own a slow cooker, a four ingredient slow cooker pork roast is as easy as it gets: place ingredients in the pot and turn it on. Eight hours later, you have an amazing outpouring of pork love. Doubling or halving the recipe is simple too… it shrinks and expands with the poundage of your Boston butt or pork shoulder. Both of these are the recommended pork cuts you should seek out for their delicious fat content.

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Seared Cuban style ahi tuna recipe

Cuban-style ahi tuna

With my Florida roots, I love all things Cuban. The Cuban culture has firmly ensconced itself into the roots of Florida cooking and I’m there to welcome it with open arms. And mouth. The uniqueness comes from their slow-cooked dishes like Ropa Vieja, roasted pork rubbed with warm, aromatic spices and the pervasive use of their bountiful citrus in Mojo dishes. This Cuban style ahi tuna recipe reflects the best of what the cuisine offers — lime, garlic and cumin. Serve it with a crisp Pinot Gris, medium-bodied Pinot Noir, Italian Chianti or a hoppy IPA.

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Awesomely easy heirloom tomato salsa recipe

Easy heirloom tomato salsa

Every summer, I grow my own tomatoes. Giddily and enthusiastically. Almost to a fault. I receive my heirloom seed catalog each winter, earmark the hell out of it and plant new varieties each year — starting the seedlings indoors during February for a late April outdoor planting. Watching them grow (quite impatiently, I might add) is a uniquely geeky pleasure since I know what comes to fruition after all the loving nurturing. The harvest! If you follow me on Instagram, you won’t really see pictures of my pets or family… but red, yellow, and green heirloom tomatoes.

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Cookie recipe: Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you’re still reading this after seeing “gluten-free” in the title, then welcome. Many people don’t make it this far when “gluten free” is included. During my food allergy food cleanse, I discovered that I’m gluten sensitive. I’m not celiac or anything serious but post ripping into anything wheat-based, I get bloated and feel crappy. So I started eating as gluten free as I can. And that ain’t easy in our culture. As a former pastry chef who studied and used gluten for a living, it has been a tough, lonely road. But I’m learning to bake GF (as it’s called in this world and you’ll see on labels) while trying to avoid the scary sounding ingredients like xanthan gum, which acts as a thickening agent in the absence of gluten. It’s easier than you might think and you might even feel more comfortable after scarfing a few of these down.

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4 ingredient Dijon vinaigrette recipe for salads (or marinades)

Dijon Vinaigrette

Have you ever read the side of a salad dressing bottle? Be in a patient mood when you do. Hard-to-pronounce words followed by a list of chemicals. My mantra is that, if I can’t pronounce it, I shouldn’t be eating it. Ingredients often look scary to me… preservatives like potassium sorbate, red or yellow coloring, thickeners like xanthan gum and moderately evil flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate. Not to forget sugar. Plenty of sugar in them, there bottles. When I “went healthy” many years ago, I dropped the bottled stuff and started making my own. Very surprisingly easy to do, once you get the hang of it and learn what tastes good to you. And the biggest accomplishment is knowing how to dress a salad without measuring. Bonus!

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Recipe: Savory gluten-free garlic and herb muffins (paleo friendly)

During my food allergy curing, gut healing exercise, I hankered for baked goods. There’s nothing quite like sinking your chompers into soft, savory goodness and I missed that satisfying sensation. I also sought an alternative gluten-free, nutrient-dense breakfast option. Enter the coconut flour muffin. Combining insight from a few paleo recipe websites, I created a fluffy muffin that fit my tastes.

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