Paleo Nachos (AIP, Dairy & Grain Free)

Paleo Nachos (AIP, Dairy & Grain Free)

Paleo Nachos are made with tostone “chips”, flavourful ground beef, an avocado crema & dairy free nacho sauce. It’s one of the best healthy & hearty nacho recipes out there! Free of gluten, grains & dairy + AIP friendly! Enjoy them while watching a game or movie, or as a fun dinner dish!

Did you know, more and more research is showing that cattle, pigs and poultry raised on their natural pasture and grass-based diets yield meat that is lower in total fat and calories, and food that is higher in good fats like Omega 3’s. In addition, this meat more concentrated with antioxidants such as vitamins E, C and beta-carotene, and with increased levels of other disease-fighting substances.

Generally speaking, animals are not eating what they were naturally meant to eat. As more animals are raised by the thousands and packed into concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), their natural diets of roots and grasses, grubs and bugs has been replaced by a standard factory farm food of grains, soybeans, King Corn and various advanced pharmaceutical products.

Good science shows that eating meat, milk and eggs from grass-fed and pastured animals will provide your body with more health-enhancing, disease fighting materials than industrial-grade CAFO-raised protein.

Therefore, you should consider sourcing out animal products from farms that have ethical farming practices–and raise animals on their natural pasture from beginning to end.

One of the farms I order meat from is Wild Meadows Farm in Grey County Ontario. Not only can you taste the quality in the meat, but you feel good about eating it too. I’m truly grateful for businesses, like Wild Meadows Farm, who put the time, energy and resources into ethical farming practices.

I’ve used their grass-fed ground beef in various recipes and the result is always amazing & delicious!

I highly recommend Paleo Nachos with grass-fed ground beef. This dish is made from whole food ingredients and is free of gluten, grains and dairy. It’s great for those following a paleo or AIP diet — or anyone looking for a super healthy version of nachos!

Paleo Nachos AIP Dairy Free

What you need for Paleo Nachos

Want more wholesome comfort food recipes? You’re going to love these …

Tostone Nachos

Paleo Nachos are made with tostone "chips", flavourful ground beef, an avocado crema & dairy free nacho sauce. It's one of the best healthy & hearty nacho recipes out there! Free of gluten, grains & dairy + AIP friendly! Enjoy them while watching a game or movie, or as a fun dinner dish!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 people

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Stove-top pans

Ingredients
 

  • 2 large plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • Sea salt
  • Avocado oil

Avocado Crema

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk, canned
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt , to taste

Nacho Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk, canned
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato, steamed or roasted
  • Juice of 1/4 lime
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, chopped
  • Black or green olives, sliced

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Using a food processor or blender, pulse all avocado crema ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Blend or process all nacho sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
  • Prepare all toppings and set aside.
  • Cook ground beef with taco season + 1 tsp salt in a pan until meat is browned.

Fried Plantains/Tostones

  • While beef is cooking, cover bottom of a large pan in avocado oil and heat on medium-high.
  • When oil is hot, add plantain slices and fry on both sides until golden (roughly 2-minutes per side).⁠ Season with salt.
  • Remove plantains from pan and gently smash until flattened (I smash my plantains between two pieces of parchment paper with a mug or can).⁠
  • Add smashed plantains back to the pan and fry again on both sides until golden brown.⁠ Now you have tostones, which will be used as a base for your nachos!

Assembly

  • Lay tostones on a serving platter and spread beef on top.
  • Drizzle avocado crema and nacho sauce on top then garnish with toppings. Serve while it's hot!

Paleo Nachos AIP Dairy Free

Chicken Pesto “Spaghetti” (Gluten Free, Low-Carb, Paleo)

Chicken Pesto “Spaghetti” (Gluten Free, Low-Carb, Paleo)

Chicken Pesto “Spaghetti” is not only delicious, but it’s also a quick meal to whip up during the busy work week.

This dish is a great way to put fresh basil (or that batch of pesto you have sitting in your freezer) to use.

If you’re looking for a healthy pesto recipe, I definitely recommend my homemade dairy free pesto. I usually make a large batch of it at a time, freeze what I don’t use (ice cube trays are great for this), and defrost the pesto for dishes like this one. The end result is easy and delicious weekday dinners.

In addition to being delicious and easy, this dish uses spaghetti squash, making it perfect for those living a gluten/grain free, paleo, low-carb or keto lifestyle.

Spaghetti squash is great whole food alternative to processed spaghetti

Nutrition facts: spaghetti squash vs. processed spaghetti …

Spaghetti squash – 10 grams of carbs/cup & 42 calories/cup + mother nature’s nutrients
Processed spaghetti – 43 grams of carbs/cup & 220 calories/cup + a carb crash after consumption

I recommend replacing processed spaghetti with spaghetti squash if you;

  • want to lose weight (lower carbs & calories + more nutrients = weight loss)
  • have IBS or gut issues (since gluten and grains can aggravate symptoms)
  • have diabetes (lower carb foods = better blood sugar levels)
  • follow a paleo, keto or low-carb diet

3 simple ingredients for Chicken Pesto “Spaghetti”

Chicken Pesto "Spaghetti"

If you love this dish, then you need to try …

Chicken Pesto "Spaghetti"

Chicken Pesto "Spaghetti"

Chicken Pesto "Spaghetti" is not only delicious, but it's also a quick meal to whip up during the busy work week. It's the perfect spaghetti recipe for those living a gluten/grain free, paleo, low-carb or keto lifestyle. 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Low-Carb, Paleo
Servings: 2

Ingredients
 

  • 1 spaghetti squash, medium
  • 1 lb ground chicken, pastured
  • 2 - 3 tbsp dairy free pesto, recipe link in notes
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions
 

For the spaghetti squash

  • Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon. Sprinkle flesh with sea salt.
  • Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10-min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. See notes for cooking spaghetti squash below.
  • Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.

For the chicken pesto

  • Using a stovetop pan, cook chicken over medium to medium-high heat. Use a spatula to break a part meat. Season with sea salt.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, reduce heat and add pesto. Combine chicken and pesto until fragrant.
  • Place spaghetti squash noodles at the bottom of a bowl or plate then top with chicken pesto. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes on cooking spaghetti squash
  • Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.
  • Time your spaghetti squash so that it’s done cooking around the same time as your chicken pesto, so your noodles don’t cool.
Get the dairy free pesto recipe HERE.
Keyword chicken

Chicken Pesto "Spaghetti"

Green Goddess Chicken Plate (Keto, Paleo, Quick Meals)

Green Goddess Chicken Plate (Keto, Paleo, Quick Meals)

Don’t you hate it when you forget to take frozen meat out of the freezer the night before your planned dinner?

Or maybe you decide on a recipe (like this one) last minute, but your ground chicken is frozen solid?

These scenarios are not uncommon in my world. There’s been numerous times where I forget to take meat out of the freezer with enough time to thaw out in the fridge OR I decide on a recipe last minute with only frozen meat on hand.

I’m assuming I’m not alone with my frozen meat problems, so I decided to give you some quick tips for thawing out frozen ground meat safely! 

The first method is best, BUT the second method comes in handy for those who forget to thaw out their meat using the first method or are last minute planners.

THE LONG THAW METHOD: If you have 12 to 24 hours…
If you know ahead of time that you want to use your ground meat, thawing it in the refrigerator is the safest way to do so. It takes about 24 hours to fully thaw one pound of ground beef in the refrigerator.

THE QUICK THAW METHOD: If you have 30-minutes to 1 hour…
With less than an hour to go before dinner and a pound of frozen ground meat in your hands, you can defrost it in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the frozen meat is in a sealed package, then submerge it in a bowl of cold tap water. Important note: DO NOT use warm or hot water since this will heat the outer layer of meat too quickly, risking the growth of bacteria. For this reason, you should also change the water to keep it from getting too warm. One pound of meat will take about one hour to defrost in a bowl of water, then it should be cooked right away.

Now that we’ve solved your frozen meat problems, it’s time to try this super delicious Chicken Green Goddess Plate!

This is one of my favourite go-to dishes during the busy work week. It’s super quick and easy to prepare and it’s packed with so much great flavour!

I used cabbage as a base for this recipe since I always have it on hand–it lasts long in the fridge and is super versatile. If you’re not a fan of cabbage feel free to substitute it with riced cauliflower, spaghetti squash, salad or another base of choice.

Green Goddess Chicken Plate (Keto, Paleo, Quick Meals)

Green Goddess Chicken Plate

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb ground pastured chicken
1 small green cabbage or half large, thinly sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper to taste

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING:
1/3 cup almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh parsley, basil or cilantro
1/4 cup chives or green onions
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. For cabbage: Using a deep stove-top pan heat 2 tbsp avocado oil, add cabbage and season with sea salt. Cook at medium heat, mixing occasionally, until cabbage is tender and begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat and mix in olive oil.
2. For chicken: While cabbage is cooking, cook chicken in another stove-top pan. Break meat apart, season with salt and pepper and cook until meat browns slightly.
3. For dressing: Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth.
4. Place sauteed cabbage on plate, add chicken on top then drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!

Green Goddess Chicken Plate (Keto, Paleo, Quick Meals)

Sausage & Rapini Pizza (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

Sausage & Rapini Pizza (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

DID YOU KNOW? Cassava flour is a good choice for those with gluten intolerance symptoms and sensitive digestive systems or disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Cassava flour is derived from cassava root (also known as yuca or manioc), a starchy, high-carbohydrate tuber – similar to yam, taro, plantains and potato.

Starchy tubers tend to be safer for people with gut issues since they contain more soluble fiber and less insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be soothing for the gut, whereas consuming large amounts of insoluble fiber when your gut is inflamed can aggravate IBS symptoms.

Once a month (OK fine, every two weeks ?) the BF and I experiment with different pizza toppings for this cassava flour pizza crust. You can find the original pizza crust recipe created by Otto’s Naturals, here.

We’ve nailed down another great recipe which was inspired by my little Jen days. I could always count on a sausage & rapini pizza from Caruso’s Pizza when I would visit my dad on the weekends. This pizza put all others to shame! Looking back, I’m truly grateful my dad was hopeless in the kitchen or else I wouldn’t have got my weekly dose of this pizza ?

So, if you’re looking for a gut friendly pizza with a whole lot of Italian love, this is the one for you!

Love this recipe?! Then you’ve got to try this Classic Margherita Pizza and Mediterranean Tuna Pizza.

gluten free sausage and rapini pizza

Sausage & Rapini Pizza

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-4)
½ cup warm water (roughly 105-110 F)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 cup cassava flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
5 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1 egg
¼ cup avocado oil

TOPPINGS: 
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, drained and crushed
20 whole mushrooms, sautéed
1 bunch rapini, boiled & sautéed
1 cured Italian sausage, sliced
Sea salt to taste (mix into tomatoes)

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Prepare yeast mix: In a small bowl, add warm water and honey. Mix to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast in. Mix to dissolve. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to activate. It will get foamy on top.

2. Mix dry: Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl to combine.

3. Mix wet: Lightly whisk eggs and olive oil together in a small bowl.

4. Mix together and form a dough ball: Add egg mixture and activated yeast to the dry ingredients and form a dough ball. Transfer ball to an oiled bowl, cover with dish towel and set aside in a warm place (70-80 F is ideal) to rise for 1 hour. It will not double in size, but it will rise a little.

5. Prep toppings while dough rises: Remove stems from rapini, boil until tender and drain. Grab two stove-top pans and saute 1 sliced garlic clove in 2 tbsp avocado oil, in each pan. Add rapini to one pan and mushrooms to the other. Season each with sea salt and coat in oil and garlic. After a few minutes remove rapini and set aside. Add some red or white wine (other liquids work too) to the mushrooms and cover for a few minutes. Remove when liquid evaporates and mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.

6. Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 550 F. Preheat pizza stone, baking sheet or metal pan.

7. Roll and shape dough: Place the dough on parchment paper. Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough (if necessary) and shape dough with your hands by pushing down (on top of parchment, so it doesn’t stick) and roll with rolling pin. Flatten your pizza about 1/8-1/4 inch thin. Roll the crust thick or thin (to your liking) by shaping with your fingers and rolling the edges. Use extra cassava flour if dough is sticking. NOTE: Split the dough in half before rolling it out to make two smaller pizzas. 

8. Add toppings: Add tomatoes, rapini, mushrooms and sausage onto the dough. Lift the whole piece of parchment paper with pizza on top and transfer to the preheated baking sheet.

9. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until dough is firm and slightly golden, pulling out halfway and removing parchment paper. For a crispier golden crust, allow a few more minutes. Allow more time if cooking at lower temperature.

Sausage & Rapini Pizza with Cassava Flour Crust

Tostone Taco Bites (AIP, Paleo, High-Fiber)

Tostone Taco Bites (AIP, Paleo, High-Fiber)

It’ll be love at first bite with this Tostone Taco Bites recipe! This dish is packed with all the good stuff including healthy fats from grass-fed beef and avocado, PLUS loads of fiber thanks to plantains and avocado, once again. So whether it’s Taco Tuesday or just a regular night, you’ve got to try this paleo & AIP friendly dish!

You know that feeling when you try a recipe for the very first time and after just one bite you can’t wait to make it again and again?!

Well, that’s the feeling you’ll get when you try this dish!

These bite-sized tostone tacos are to die for and super fun to eat. I replaced the traditional taco shell with tostones since they are grain free, gut friendly and so delicious! 

Just in case you’re wondering what tostones are, they’re slices of unripe plantains that are fried, flattened, then fried again (in heat stable oil, of course!). Learn more about plantains and tostones here.

You can find plantains at most grocery stores. They look like big green bananas and tend to be located next to regular bananas. I’ve been able to find them at stores like Walmart, Fortinos & Longos.

How to assemble Tostone Taco Bites:

  1. Spread guacamole on tostone.
  2. Add beef on top of guacamole.
  3. Grab with your fingers (or use a fork) and bite into your delicious creation!

This meal is packed with all the good stuff including healthy fats from grass-fed beef and avocado PLUS loads of fiber thanks to plantains and avocados, once again. I highly recommend adding this recipe to your list of “must try”, it’ll be love at first bite!

Tostone Taco Bites AIP Paleo

What you need for Tostone Taco Bites:

  • Ground beef⁠
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Mushrooms
  • Plantains
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • Spices: Oregano, garlic, onion, cinnamon

Want more healthy dinner recipes? You’re going to love these …

Tostone Taco Bites AIP Paleo

Tostone Taco Bites

It'll be love at first bite with this Tostone Taco Bites recipe! This dish is packed with all the good stuff including healthy fats from grass-fed beef and avocado, PLUS loads of fiber thanks to plantains and avocado, once again. So whether it's Taco Tuesday or just a regular night, you've got to try this paleo & AIP friendly dish!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: AIP, Paleo
Servings: 3

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb ground beef⁠, grass-fed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped⁠
  • 2 cloves garlic, ⁠sliced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped⁠ (optional)
  • 1 pack mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large green plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1-2 avocados
  • ½ lime, juice only
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

TACO SEASONING:

  • 2 tsp dried oregano⁠
  • 1 tsp garlic powder⁠
  • 1 tsp onion powder⁠
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon⁠
  • ½ tsp sea salt⁠

Instructions
 

  • Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tbsp avocado oil until fragrant, then add in zucchini and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and taco seasoning. Break a part meat and cook until liquid evaporates and meat is browned.⁠
  • While beef is cooking, use another large pan to cook the plantains. Cover bottom of pan in avocado oil, heat oil then add plantain slices and fry on both sides until golden (roughly 2-minutes per side).⁠ Season with salt.
  • Remove plantains from pan and gently smash until flattened (I smash my plantains between two pieces of parchment paper with a mug or can).⁠
  • Add smashed plantains back to the pan and fry again on both sides until golden brown.⁠ Now you have tostones!
  • Mash avocado in a bowl, add lime juice, sea salt, black pepper and a pinch of garlic powder.
  • Place everything onto a dish, as shown in photo, and assemble your tostone tacos as you eat them!
Keyword autoimmune protocol, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, grass fed beef, healthy dinner, paleo diet, plantains, quick meals, tacos

 

Paleo “Spaghetti” alla Vodka (Low-Carb, Gluten & Dairy Free)

Paleo “Spaghetti” alla Vodka (Low-Carb, Gluten & Dairy Free)

Paleo “Spaghetti” alla Vodka is a spin on a classic Italian penne alla vodka dish. Spaghetti squash is the perfect gluten free & low-carb base for this dish– and coconut milk, tomato, bacon & vodka come together to make a delicious dairy free sauce to go with it!

Penne alla vodka is traditionally made with penne pasta, vodka, heavy cream, crushed tomatoes, onions, and bacon or pancetta.

This dish became very popular in Italy and in the US around the 1980s, but the origin of the Penne alla Vodka recipe has been disputed between Italy and the United States: both claim the creation of this recipe.

According to The Ultimate Pasta Cookbook, penne alla vodka was invented in the 70s at Dante, a restaurant in Bologna, Italy.

The Williams Sonoma Essentials of Italian cookbook states that it was invented in the 1980s by a Roman chef for a vodka company that wanted to popularize its product in Italy.

To support the creation of this dish in the United States, we have two tales: Luigi Franzese, the Italian American chef of Orsini Restaurant in New York and James Doty, a graduate of Columbia University.

As you can see, it’s not clear whether or not Penne alla Vodka is an authentic Italian recipe. BUT based on the ingredients, the technique, and the mark it left on Italian cuisine, the answer should be yes!

Since this dish is liked by many (including me), I decided to put a gluten & dairy free spin on it so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy these amazing flavours of Italy (or the US).

This recipe is also great for those following a low-carb, keto or paleo diet.

Paleo Spaghetti alla Vodka

What you need for Paleo “Spaghetti” alla Vodka

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Pastured bacon or pancetta
  • Vodka
  • Shallot or small onion
  • Tomato passata
  • Full fat coconut milk , canned
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

If you love this recipe then you’ve got to try:

Paleo Spaghetti alla Vodka paleo gluten free

"Spaghetti" alla Vodka

"Spaghetti" alla Vodka is a spin on a classic Italian penne alla vodka dish. Spaghetti squash is the perfect gluten free & low-carb base for this dish-- and coconut milk, tomato, bacon & vodka come together to make a delicious dairy free sauce to go with it!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low-Carb, Paleo
Servings: 3

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 200 g pastured bacon or pancetta
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 shallot , or small onion
  • 12 oz tomato passata
  • 7 oz full fat coconut milk, canned
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt , to taste

Instructions
 

For the spaghetti squash:*

  • Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon.
  • Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10-min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked.
  • Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.

For the vodka sauce:

  • Finely slice the shallot or onion and place in large frying pan with olive oil. Sauté for 2-minutes over medium heat.
  • Slice bacon into small chunks and add it to the pan. Cook over low heat until the bacon becomes slightly crispy.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in vodka. Let the alcohol evaporate. This may take a few minutes.
  • When alcohol is completely evaporated, add tomato passata. Season with salt, stir and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat without a lid, stirring occasionally.
  • When the sauce is cooked, add the coconut milk and cook until you get a fairly thick and creamy vodka sauce. Turn off the heat and let it rest.
  • You can add spaghetti squash strands into the pan with vodka sauce and coat OR place spaghetti squash strands into a bowl and top with vodka sauce.

Notes

*Time your spaghetti squash so that it’s done cooking around the same time as your sauce, so your noodles don’t cool.
Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.
Keyword bacon, coconut milk, grain free, healthy dinner, Italian, spaghetti squash, tomatoes