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.
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!
Picadillo (pee-cah-DEE-yo) is an Latin American dish that combines ground or finely chopped beef, vegetables, olives and dried fruit.
Depending on the region and personal customs, picadillo serves as a main dish, often accompanied by rice and beans, or as a filling for empanadas, chiles rellenos, tamales, tacos, stuffed potatoes and more.
Since tostones have been a hot menu item for me lately, I decided to pair this picadillo dish with these delicious golden bites on the side. Tostones not only make this dish hearty, but they also do a great job of soaking up the sauce! A great complement to this dish, if I do say so myself 🙂
Here are a few other healthy ways you can enjoy picadillo:
1. In a pot, heat avocado oil over medium-high then brown meat. Set meat aside in a bowl.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and peppers. Sauté until onions are slightly caramelized. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
3. Add paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and black pepper–stir for a minute until spices become fragrant. Add chicken stock and stir, scrapping off brown-bits at the bottom of the pot. Add in the browned beef, bay leaf, olives and dates. Mix to combine ingredients.
4. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 1-hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
5. When the picadillo is 20-minutes from being ready, prepare the tostones (get the recipe, HERE).
6. Serve picadillo in a shallow bowl and place tostones around.
When I switched over to an IBS friendly diet many year ago, pad-Thai was one of the dishes I knew I was going to miss most.
I fell in love with pad-Thai during my university days and always found myself gravitating towards Thai restaurants when I ate out. Something about the combo of spices and flavours is just magical in Thai cuisine.
So, since depriving myself of the foods I love most is never an option, it was important that I had a grain free version of pad-Thai that I could easily create in my kitchen whenever a craving hit.
Check out this delicious Shrimp Pad-Thai with simple and clean ingredients. It’s one of my favourite recipes to date 🙂
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb wild shrimp
2 pastured eggs
1 spaghetti squash
1 pack enoki mushrooms
2 large carrots
2 green onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch cube ginger, grated
2 tbsp. avocado oil
4 sprigs cilantro (optional)
2 tbsp. pine nuts or crushed almonds, lightly toasted
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
NOTE: If you’re not a fan of shrimp, feel free to swap it out for chicken. Just cut 1lb of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min. Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash. Set aside. (I suggest preparing the other ingredients as the squash cooks).
2. Finely chop carrots and green onion in a food processor or by hand. Set aside.
3. Using a deep pan over medium heat sauté garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp. avocado oil until fragrant. Add carrots, onion and mushrooms and continue to cook until carrots are tender. Season with salt.
4. Create a space in the middle of the pan, add eggs and scramble. Mix in with vegetables and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
5. In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients until smooth and creamy.
6. Add spaghetti squash and sauce into pan and mix all ingredients together until sauce coats everything.
7. Add in cooked shrimp (see instructions below) and gentle combine all ingredients until warm.
8. Plate the pad-Thai and top with toasted pine nuts and chopped cilantro.
Shrimp: (can be cooked at the same time as the pad-Thai)
1. In a separate pan, cook shrimp in 1 tbsp avocado oil over medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper. Turn shrimp halfway through cooking.
2. Once shrimp are cooked, set aside until ready to add to the other pan.
How would you like to indulge in holiday flavours like eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, roasted chestnut and peppermint mocha without worrying about your waistline expanding over the holidays?
Cravings for holiday goodies tend to hit hard given that temptation is all around.
You might be asking – “Jen, how the heck do you stay on track during the holiday season?!”
My approach is simple – I satisfy my cravings instead of attempting to beat them.
The trick here is finding ways to replace unhealthy, sugar-loaded options with healthy alternatives that leave you not only satisfied but healthier (mentally, emotionally and physically).
I’m always experimenting with different recipes that allow me to enjoy delicious and familiar flavours while still staying on track with my health and weight.
My dessert-inspired smoothies have allowed me – and so many others – to enjoy mouthwatering meals that not only leave you feeling satisfied and healthy, but help kick cravings too.
So, if you’re looking for healthy &delicious holiday smoothies like eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, roasted chestnut, peppermint mocha, french vanilla, ferrero rocher and more, grab my smoothie e-book HERE!
AND just in case you need some convincing, give my eggnog smoothie a try.
1. Blend all ingredients using a high-powered blender.
2. Pour into your favourite smoothie cup and enjoy!
Get over 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes when you join my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. I’ll teach you everything you need to know about blending the perfect health smoothie and provide you with support and health wisdom along the way. JOIN NOW!
DID YOU KNOW? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Brussels sprouts are used to improve digestive health.
Just one cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides four grams of fiber, which numerous studies show is important for digestive function.
Fiber helps to support digestive health by encouraging regular bowel movements, preventing constipation or diarrhea, and detoxifying the body by pulling toxins and waste out of the gut.
In addition, Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates and sulforaphane. Glucosinolates can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and stomach therefore reducing the chances of developing leaky gut or other digestive disorders. Sulforaphane facilitates in the body’s detoxification process and can help prevent bacterial overgrowth from occurring in the gut.
According to TCM, it’s recommended that cruciferous veggies (like Brussels sprouts) be cooked to enhance digestion and to nourish the spleen, which can become taxed if bombarded with too many raw or cooling foods.
Try this easy and delicious recipe for Brussels sprouts. It’s vegan, paleo, keto & IBS friendly.