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.
Tiger nut chocolate chip cookies are soft, chewy and so delicious! They’re the perfect cookie recipe for those following a nut free paleo diet.
You might be wondering — “Why tiger nuts, Jen?”
Well, my obsession with tiger nuts started a while back when the BF was having bad gut reactions to nuts.
At that time, most of the treats I made contained some form of nut which were a big NO for him. So, I began searching for a nut replacement that would not only make delicious treats, but also keep his belly happy.
It turns out that tiger nuts, which are small tubers and not actual nuts, are a great alternative since they have a similar taste and texture to nuts. I like to describe them as a cross between an almond and pecan with a hint of honey.
Eventually the BF’s issue with nuts went away, BUT the loads of tiger nuts and tiger nut flour that I bought didn’t!
SO, when life gives you tiger nuts, make tiger nut everything! Right?!
This time around I decided to try a classic treat–THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE! Turns out that tiger nut flour works well as a base. These cookies turned out soft and chewy, like all chocolate chip cookies should be.
If you’re following a nut free paleo diet (or maybe you just want to add more variety and nutrients to your diet), I highly recommend this recipe.
DID YOU KNOW? Consuming plantains is a great way to relieve constipation and provide relief from hemorrhoids and digestive conditions like diverticulitis since they are high in fiber.
One cup of plantains contains 25-30 grams of fiber! The fiber and starch found in plantains are complex carbs.
Fiber and complex carbs are less processed and more slowly digested than the simple carbs found in processed foods. They keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer after a meal, which can be helpful for weight loss and management.
Cooked plantains are also a rich source of vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium and potassium.
Although they may look like bananas, plantains are starchier, contain less sugar and are much more versatile as a cooking ingredient. Also, unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before eating.
How to prep plantains for cooking:
1. Use a paring knife, chop off ends of the plantain.
2. Score the sides of the plantain (lengthwise) all the way down.
3. Dig your thumb between the peel and plantain to remove each section of the peel.
4. Remove any remaining skin/peel using the knife.
5. From there you can dice, slice or use the plantain whole (depending on what the recipe calls for).
One of my favourite ways to enjoy plantains is in the form of tostones! Tostones are slices of unripe plantains, fried, flattened, then fried again.
They’re super easy and quick to make and only require 3 ingredients! Check out the recipe below.
Here are a few ways you can enjoy tostones:
As a snack or appetizer.
Dipped in guacamole or your favourite healthy dipping sauce.
As a breakfast side, along with bacon, eggs, and avocado.
No-bake Creamy Matcha Bars are delicious and so easy to make with only 5 ingredients needed! They are perfect for a mid-day snack or end of a meal treat. Best part is, you can feel good about enjoying these creamy matcha bars since they’re sweetened with honey.
Honey (and maple syrup) is a great alternative to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners when you’re looking to create healthy desserts, treats or snacks.
Did you know consuming high amounts of refined sugar and artificial sweeteners can contribute to IBS and other digestive system disorders.
Most artificial sweeteners cause symptoms of indigestion, including gas, bloating, cramping and constipation.
A big step you can take towards creating a healthier gut and supporting digestion is to remove refined sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet and use small amounts of unrefined natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup instead – if needed.
Now it’s time to give these creamy and super satisfying bars a try!
No-bake Creamy Matcha Bars are delicious and so easy to make with only 5 ingredients needed! They are perfect for a mid-day snack or end of a meal treat. Best part is, you can feel good about enjoying these creamy matcha bars since they're sweetened with honey. Gluten, grain & dairy free. Paleo & plant-based.
1. Coconut meat is high in insoluble fiber (meaning that it doesn’t get digested), which helps bulk up your stool and supports healthy and regular bowel movements. Just 1 cup (80 grams) of shredded coconut provides 7 grams of fiber, which is over 20% of the DV.
2. Coconut meat is high in healthy fat which helps you absorb fat-soluble nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, and K.
3. The MCTs in coconut meat have been shown to strengthen your gut bacteria, which may protect against inflammation and conditions like metabolic syndrome.
Try my Coconut Lemon Bars! They only require 4 ingredients and are super easy to make. Plus, no baking required.
This high-fiber healthy snack is perfect for those following a vegan, keto, paleo or IBS diet.