To be honest, before this recipe I really wasn’t a big fan of kale–and the only way I would incorporate it into my diet was by hiding it in a smoothie.
The BF managed to change my mind about kale in our early dating days …
It was Halloween 2018 and I was heading to his house for the very first time. The plan was to dress-up and hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters in his neighbourhood.
I showed up as Organic Farmer Jen (no surprise there) and he dressed up as Superman (padded abs, biceps, quads and all).
We really didn’t discuss dinner plans before I arrived (I was mentally prepared to eat my stash of organic dark chocolate and SmartSweets for dinner), but to my surprise this man had some dinner ideas up his jacked Superman sleeves.
He busted out a gluten free keto pizza from the freezer and then grabbed a bunch of kale from the fridge. Now, the kale didn’t excite me as much as the pizza did, BUT I was extremely impressed that this bachelor had something green in his fridge and was prepared to do something with it.
I decided not to mention that I wasn’t a big fan of kale, afterall I did show up as Organic Farmer Jen and what organic farmer doesn’t eat kale, right?!
So, after 10-minutes of methodical kale prep and warming up keto pizza, there we were, the organic farmer and jacked Superman enjoying our first at home dinner–that he made!!!
I realized two important things that night:
I actually do like kale, I just needed the right combo of ingredients to make it tickle my palate.
Jacked Superman and his kale recipe might be keepers!
We now make this kale recipe on a regular–and I enjoy it just as much today as I did when I tried it for the very first time.
The combination of lemon, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil makes kale exciting and flavourful. It’s the perfect low-carb, high-fiber side to any fish or meat dish (or gluten free keto pizza!).
Give it a try and leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Sautéed Lemon & Pine Nut Kale
INGREDIENTS: (serves 3-4)
1 bunch leafy kale, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1. In a large stove-top pan saute garlic in avocado oil until fragrant.
2. Add kale to pan. Use tongs to coat kale in oil and garlic. Add sea salt.
3. Once kale has wilted down, add pine nuts and allow them to toast slightly.
4. Add in lemon juice, turn off burner then finish with olive oil. Toss one last time and serve.
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!
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)
¼ cup avocado oil
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)
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.
DID YOU KNOW? Avocados are rich in fiber — half an avocado (roughly 100g) packs 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the RDA. Fiber has been shown to have important benefits for weight loss, metabolic health and gut health.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, which is known for feeding the friendly gut bacteria in your intestine. The number and type of bacteria is very important for optimal gut health and overall health.
If you’re dealing with IBS or weight loss resistance, I recommend replacing grain-based foods with high-fiber whole foods like avocados, vegetables and other fruits.
Here are a few way to incorporate avocados in your diet:
Add to smoothies (learn all about creating healthy smoothies here)
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb wild Pacific halibut*
1 avocado, chopped into small chunks
1 small mango, chopped into small chunks
1 tsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, basil or parsley, finely chopped
1 lime, juice only
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
*If you can’t find wild Pacific halibut or it’s too expensive, try wild cod or another similar fish. If you’re not a fan of fish, this salsa works great with chicken too!
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Coat halibut with avocado oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3. Place halibut in oven and cook for 10-15-minutes (more time may be needed for thicker pieces of halibut). Halibut should be opaque and flake when cut with a fork.
4. While halibut is cooking, combine mango, avocado, red onion, fresh herbs, lime juice and seasoning in a bowl and mix until well combined.
5. When halibut is done, let rest for a few minutes then top with fresh mango & avocado salsa and serve.
DID YOU KNOW? Chia seeds are a great plant-based food to help with weight loss.
Chia seeds rank high on the list of plant-based protein foods, making them great for putting on lean muscle, burning fat, and managing hunger and appetite.
Studies show that increasing your intake of protein can promote weight loss by curbing cravings and therefore reducing your caloric intake. Other research shows that following a high-protein diet rich in foods like chia seeds could reduce the hunger stimulating hormone, ghrelin.
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to add chia seeds into your diet, I highly recommend chia seed pudding. It makes for a great snack or dessert!
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1.5 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 large banana, ripe
6 tbsp. chia seeds
2 heaping tbsp. cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness) TOPPINGS: (optional) Cacao nibs
Dark chocolate chips
1. Add milk, banana and cacao powder to blender and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness, add maple syrup if desired and blend again to combine.
2. Pour into glass container, add chia seeds and whisk until well combined.
3. Let pudding thicken in fridge for a minimum of 1-hr before consuming. The longer you let the chia seeds soak the more delicious the pudding becomes (I like to soak my chia seeds for up to 24 hours).
4. Transfer to small serving bowl, add toppings and enjoy!
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.
Do you know of other stores that sell plantains? Let our community know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.
How to assemble Tostone Taco Bites:
Spread guacamole on tostone.
Add beef on top of guacamole.
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
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
1 pack mushrooms, sliced
2 large plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
½ lime, juice only
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
1. Saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp avocado oil until fragrant, then add in zucchini and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add ground beef and taco seasoning. Break a part meat and cook until liquid evaporates and meat is browned.
3. 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.
4. Remove plantains from pan and gently smash until flattened (I smash my plantains between two pieces of parchment paper with a mug or can).
5. Add smashed plantains back to the pan and fry again on both sides until golden brown. Now you have tostones!
6. Mash avocado in a bowl, add lime juice, sea salt, black pepper and a pinch of garlic powder.
7. Place everything onto a dish as shown in photo and assemble your tostone tacos one by one!