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
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
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!
Have you heard about different ‘superfoods’ that can be added to smoothies to make them even more healthy?
There’s a long list of them; so many that it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the land of superfoods.
I always recommend to keep things simple, but I can understand the urge to test out something new, especially if there are health benefits attached to it.
To save you the time and energy required to sort through all the superfoods out there, I’ve put together a short list of my favourite smoothie boosters. Check them out and give them a try!
5 Ways to Boost Your Smoothie
1. MACA POWDER
Known for its hormone balancing effects. Maca has been studied to help normalize the symptoms of premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, as well as the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, cramps, fatigue and lethargy. Look for gelatinized maca for easier digestion and absorption. Add 1 tsp.
The ultimate anti-aging smoothie booster! As we age, our bodies’ natural production of collagen starts to slow. Collagen supplementation has proven to be effective in supporting the strength and flexibility of bones, tendons and cartilage, as well as the appearance of skin and nails, and GI tract health. Incorporating a collagen powder into your smoothie is an easy way to support many areas of your health and stay forever young. Learn more about the benefits of Whole Body Collagen. Add 1-2 scoops.
Whole Body Collagen
A unique blend of THREE collagen peptides supported by clinical research showing their efficacy for supporting collagen production, bone strength, joint & gut health, skin elasticity + more.
3. CACAO NIBS
These little guys are loaded with antioxidants, even more so than tea, wine and blueberries! In addition, cacao nibs are a high source of magnesium, iron and fibre. A great way to add extra nutrition and crunch to your smoothies. Stir in 1 tbsp.
4. SEA SALT
Not only will a high-quality sea salt enhance the flavour of your smoothie, but it will add life-giving nutrients. Sea salt is rich in trace minerals that are hard to obtain from food due to the lack of nutrient-rich soil. Sea salt can help promote vascular health, healthy pH & electrolyte balance, as well as increase energy, regulate sleep and improve symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Look for Pink Himalayan or Celtic. Add a pinch.
Popular for its blood sugar lowering effects, but also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immunity-boosting abilities. Great way to naturally sweeten your smoothies as well. Opt for Ceylon cinnamon over Cassia (aka “fake”) cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon contains a higher amount of coumarin, a natural plant chemical that can be toxic to the liver and kidneys, and it may also be carcinogenic, in large doses. Add 1/2-1 tsp.
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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!
Love this recipe?! Then you’ve got to try this Classic Margherita Pizza and Mediterranean Tuna 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)
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.
Chocolate Covered Almond Smoothie is rich & creamy–and bursting with rich chocolate and almond flavour! This smoothie is the perfect meal in a cup. It’ll leave you feeling energized, nourished and satisfied.
Do you want to create chocolate flavoured smoothies, like this one, but only have vanilla or unflavoured protein powder?
Here’s a quick tip to help you achieve a rich chocolate flavour from your smoothies when using a vanilla or unflavoured protein powder!
Just add 1-2 teaspoons of cacao powder into your blender along with the other smoothie ingredients. Blend & enjoy! That’s it!! Told ya it was a quick tip.
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate which is why I recommend it. It’s an easy find since most grocery stores carry it nowadays. You can also find cacao powder online.
Now, whether your protein powder is vanilla, chocolate or unflavoured, give this addicting smoothie creation a try. I promise, it’ll be love at first sip!
If you’re looking for more gut friendly chocolate-inspired smoothies, join my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge or grab my smoothie e-book which has over 30 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes for IBS & weight loss!
Chocolate Covered Almond Smoothie
INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 cup frozen greens (spinach, kale, and/or broccoli)
2-3 soft dates
1 tbsp dry-roasted almond butter
1-2 tsp cacao powder*
1 scoop PurePaleo Protein (chocolate)
1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
*If you’re using vanilla or unflavoured protein powder, add 2 tsp of cacao powder. If you’re using chocolate flavoured protein powder, add 1 tsp.
1. Blend all ingredients using a high-powered blender.
2. Pour into your favourite smoothie cup and enjoy!
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Join the challenge for delicious smoothie recipes, a shopping list and all the support and info you need to blend smoothies that will set you on the right path for weight loss & better health!
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:
Looking for a yummy side to pair with this fish dish? Try cauliflower “rice”, vegetable mash or sauteed garlic chard.
Halibut with Fresh Mango & Avocado Salsa
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.