fish stew

Fish Stew

This classic Italian Fish Stew makes a light, simple meal that takes less than 30 minutes to make! It’s perfect on its own or with a simple gremolata garnish which is made from lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It works best with a firm whitefish like swordfish, cod, or halibut.Fish Stew

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Fish Stew
fish stew
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Gremolata
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Gremolata
fish stew
Instructions
  1. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice and roughly chop tomatoes.
  2. Heat ghee in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, tomato paste, red pepper, and thyme and cook until leeks are softened, but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in wine and reserved tomato juice. Reduce for about 4 minutes. Add clam juice, tomatoes, and water and season with salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Cut fish into 1-inch chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Add to pot and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit until fish is just cooked, about 3 more minutes. Season with pepper.
  5. Make gremolata while waiting. Serve stew in bowls, topped with gremolata.
Gremolata
  1. Zest lemon peel. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in parsley and garlic. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
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Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

One of the best parts of summer is juicy watermelon, the quintessential summer fruit! It goes great in recipes, topped on salads, or in this Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche. I served it on my salt block which adds subtle salty flavor and makes for a pretty presentation! You can serve this as a light lunch or an extra special appetizer!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is one of the most alkalizing foods that you can eat which means that it helps keep your body’s Ph level normal. It is also super hydrating as it is mostly water. Eating watermelon in the summer can help prevent heat stroke due to its high amount of electrolytes.

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

Did you also know that watermelon is loaded with antioxidants and a great source of Vitamin C? This helps fight cancer and protects your bones and cartilage. It is also a good source of beta-carotene, essential for eye health, as well as potassium which is good for high blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease. Plus, watermelon’s pink color comes from the lycopene in it which has been proven to reduce cholesterol.

This low-calorie fruit is also an excellent go-to for staving off sugar cravings. Not only does the crunchy texture and sweetness satisfy your sweet tooth, the high fiber content also satisfies your hunger. Loaded with vitamins, mineral, and amino acids, watermelon should be a big part your diet in the summer!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

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Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche
Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche
Instructions
  1. Slice shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces and place in medium bowl. Add lime juice, orange juice, red onion, and chili pepper; toss to combine. Chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Add watermelon, cilantro, avocado, and cucumber and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with baked plantains or tortilla chips.
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Gluten-free Dutch Baby

Gluten-free Dutch Baby

I have several very old cast iron pans that have taken lots of abuse. There is just nothing like a well-seasoned cast iron pan that is not only versatile but also one of the healthiest cooking vessels to use. You can virtually cook anything in it, as it easily goes from stovetop to oven, as with this super-simple Gluten-free Dutch Baby for a quick and easy breakfast.

Gluten-free Dutch Baby

Cast Iron

A well-seasoned cast iron pan is naturally non-stick so you can skip all of those chemicals used  to make nonstick pans that are toxic and break down at high temperatures. Even modern non-stick pans use chemicals that can break down and cause fumes under high heat. Also, once you scratch them, they are no good anymore. Cast-iron is virtually scratch proof. Even if you do abuse it and cause damage, you just start over again and give it a new surface.

To maintain your cast iron, it is best to clean it while it is still warm. Don’t soak it. Use hot water and a plastic scraper or brush. Never use soap or put it in the dishwasher. Stuck on food can be removed with a sponge and some kosher salt.  Dry your pan immediately and then wipe a very light coat of coconut oil over the entire surface. Each time you cook with it, it get’s better and better!

Gluten-free Dutch Baby

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Gluten-free Dutch Baby
Gluten-free Dutch Baby
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Gluten-free Dutch Baby
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt ghee in your 8-inch cast iron skillet. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift flours, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in remaining ingredients until combined, but still a bit lumpy.
  4. Pour batter into skillet and bake until it puffs up and is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
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Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios

Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios

This Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios makes a perfect summer dinner! The pistachios bring out the nutty flavor of the scallops and it only takes minutes to prepare!

Choosing Scallops

Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios

If you live near the coast, buy your scallops fresh from your local fish store. If not, quick frozen scallops are a great choice. Scallops are often soaked in phosphate which is the same ingredient used in soap and detergent, so make sure you look for scallops labeled “chemical free” or “dry-packed.”

The key to cooking perfect scallops is to dry them thoroughly. Then use a good hot pan and only cook them for one to two minutes per side. Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios

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Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios
Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Endive and Lettuce Salad with Scallops and Pistachios
Instructions
  1. Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  2. To make dressing: zest lemon and squeeze juice into a medium bowl. Whisk in oil, dijon, salt, and pepper until creamy.
  3. To make scallops: Heat ghee in large skillet over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and place in a single layer in pan. After about 2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side 1 to 2 minutes more until opaque. Remove scallops, wipe out pan, and repeat to cook remaining scallops.
  4. Assemble: Toss endive and lettuce with dressing and divide among dishes. Place scallops on tops and sprinkle with pistachios. Serve.
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Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup

Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup

I found this huge organic asparagus at the farmer’s market today which makes the perfect summer soup. The cashews make this Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup thick and creamy without heavy cream! You can skip though, for a nut-free version.

Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup

This is my go-to recipe for any simple creamed vegetable soup. You can swap out the asparagus for any vegetable you like such as zucchini, broccoli, or even a combination like cauliflower and asparagus, or carrot.

Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup

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Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup
Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Dairy-free Creamy Asparagus Soup
Instructions
  1. Heat ghee or oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and sprinkle with a dash of salt. Saute until softened, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add asparagus and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add drained cashews and puree with an immersion blender or in your high-speed blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Gluten-free Ceylon Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Warm cinnamon raisin bread is such a special treat and easy to make even without the gluten! This gluten-free Ceylon cinnamon raisin bread is loaded with raisins as well as sweet Ceylon cinnamon. It is deliciously moist on its own or toasted and it makes fantastic French Toast!

Are you eating real cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a favorite spice for most of us and it is well-known for its healing properties and ability to regulate blood sugar. I thought all cinnamon was the same until I visited a spice vendor at a farmer’s market and learned that the cinnamon most us have in our pantries is actually considered fake cinnamon in the spice world. This is usually cassia cinnamon and what you will find in your grocery store.

That is when he introduced me to Ceylon, or “true” cinnamon and WOW! It blew me away. The aroma alone is incredibly sweet and pleasing. There are also many more health benefits from Ceylon as it contains high amounts of antioxidant compounds called proanthocyanadins. Ceylon cinnamon has also been shown to improve digestive health as well as naturally lower high blood pressure

Cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin, a blood thinner, which in high amounts can be toxic to the liver. So if you are using cinnamon every day, switch to Ceylon.

Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Heat coconut oil, honey, and coconut milk just until lukewarm. (110 degrees) Add in apple cider vinegar.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients into mixing bowl of your electric mixer. With mixer on low, slowly add in warm liquids along with eggs. Beat on low until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. (This helps build structure in gluten-free dough) Dough will be very sticky.
  4. Reduce mixer to low and add in raisins.
  5. In a small bowl mix together filling ingredients.
  6. Spray a large piece of parchment with oil and transfer half of dough on to it. With wet hands, spread dough into an 8 by 12 rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving a 12 inch border.
    Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  7. Using parchment paper, roll dough, beginning at the short side into a tight roll. Transfer dough to pan, seam side up. Repeat with remaining dough, but this time place roll seam side down on top of other roll in pan. Smooth out top.
  8. Cover pan with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour, or until dough rises just above edge of pan.
    Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  10. Bake bread about 1 hour until golden brown on top. Allow to cool 10 minutes, and then remove from pan and place bread on a baking rack to cool completely. Enjoy fresh or toasted with jam!
Recipe Notes

This bread makes great French Toast!

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Gluten-free Cinnamon Raisin Bread>/div>

paleo almond bread

Paleo Almond Bread

paleo almond bread

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Easy Almond Bread
paleo almond bread
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
paleo almond bread
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and milk and whisk to combine. Pour into greased loaf pan, or line it with parchment.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Alternatively, you can bake this in muffin tins or greased ramekinspaleo almond bread for an English muffin style.

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Can Stress Cause You to Gain Weight

Can Stress Cause You to Gain Weight?

You are exercising, eating healthy, but you just keep adding weight on? What’s going on? Stress can absolutely wreak havoc on your metabolism. If you are having trouble losing weight, one thing to consider is reducing stress in your life as chronic stress can cause you to gain weight.

Cortisol and weight gain

When you are under stress, the adrenal gland produces cortisol. If you are experiencing chronic stress, then your cortisol levels can become elevated which can really mess with your metabolism. It can leave you feeling tired, which makes you less likely to exercise. If your cortisol levels remain high, your body signals you to replenish your energy with food that you are unlikely to use up. Your body will also slow down your metabolism to save energy to deal with the threat that is causing you to feel stressed.

It is this increase in cortisol that can also cause you to crave unhealthy foods that comfort you.
Over time, high cortisol levels will lead to a decrease in muscle mass, which causes you to burn fewer calories. Thus you may gain weight.

Cortisol and belly fat

Chronic stress levels can lead to increased belly fat. A Yale study showed that even in women that are not overweight, higher levels of cortisol are correlated with excess belly fat.
There is a reason for that. Increased cortisol in your fat cells can trigger them to grow because of an enzyme called HSD. Fat cells deep in your abdomen contain more HSD than your other fat cells. So that’s where the fat ends up, around the belly. High cortisol causes our bodies to store fat, especially around our organs, instead of using it.

Sleep and stress

Stress is the biggest factor in keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep caused by stress disrupts the chemicals in your brain that control your appetite. Also, if you are tired, you a more likely to crave carbohydrates or drink coffee, which continues to disrupt your sleep cycle, and you go in circles with ups and downs of energy throughout the day. This can lead you to crave sugar or other carbohydrate-laden foods for more energy.

Thyroid Function and stress

One of the main concerns with chronic stress is impaired thyroid function. Thyroid disease is becoming epidemic in western countries. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones. The most important of these is T3 and T4. These hormones convert calories into energy and are therefore the master of metabolism. If you are not producing enough of these hormones, it is common to gain weight.

Periods of prolonged stress can inhibit the bodies conversion from T4 to T3 and can cause reverse T3. In this case, it is almost impossible to lose weight. Be sure to get your thyroid checked by your doctor.

Reducing Cortisol to Lose Weight

To reduce cortisol, you must work to reduce your stress levels. Find techniques that help you calm down. Taking a walk, a long hot bath, deep breathing, acupuncture, and massage are just to name a few.

Even during prolonged stressful circumstances, you can keep your hormone levels from staying elevated. First, eat a diet consisting of whole foods that are anti-inflammatory.
Reduce your sugar, caffeine, and alcohol consumption. Eat Fat, fiber, and protein at every meal or snack to help keep your blood sugar and hormone levels normal, which will help you manage those cravings!

Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us, but particularly light exercise releases endorphins into the body which helps us to relieve stress,

Get enough sleep

A good nights sleep is essential to reducing stress. Turn your screens off at least two hours before bedtime. Turn the power off on your cell phone as the wi-fi signal can disrupt your sleep cycle. Try reading a book to wind down or listen to soft music. Chamomile tea is a natural sleep remedy that helps to relax you and reduces your cortisol levels. If you are having trouble falling asleep, eight ounces of tart cherry juice contains natural melatonin that can naturally help with insomnia. You could take a magnesium supplement if needed. In addition, don’t eat three hours before bedtime. Your body needs to wind down and rest, and food revs you back up again as the body has to work to digest.

Drink water

It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. I use this Berkey System to filter my water so that it’s as pure as possible.

Laugh

There has been so much research on laughter affecting our health and particular reducing our stress. So have fun, play with your kids, watch a funny movie, and have a good laugh.

Eat Dark Chocolate

Ok, that’s my favorite advice, and also my go to in times of stress. Flavonols in dark chocolate reduce cortisol, just go for at 70% chocolate and the least amount of sugar. Nothing to feel guilty about here?

There are so many ways to naturally reduce your stress, which may be contributing to your weight. It’s time to take control! If you have any questions, comment below!

Sources

Tomiyama, A. Janet, et al. “Low-Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S.   National Library of Medicine, 1 May 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895000/.

Seematter, G, et al. “Stress and Metabolism.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Mar. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18370704.

Can Stress Cause You to Gain Weight_

Homemade Raw Almond Butter

Are all almonds the same?

Did you know most of the almonds grown in America are pasteurized? They can be either steam pasteurized, boiled, roasted, or treated with propylene oxide. The problem with pasteurization is that it kills most of the enzymes and vitamins in almonds making them difficult to digest.

Also, the problem with propylene oxide (PPO) is that it is a carcinogenic chemical according to the EPA. The use of this chemical has been banned in the EU, Canada, and Mexico because it has been linked to liver disease and other immune system dysfunctions.

how do you know which almonds to buy?

Homemade Almond Butter

Purchasing raw organic almonds or almonds directly from a farmer is one way to avoid pasteurization. Another way is to purchase almonds grown outside of the United States. Read the packaging when you purchase almonds. You can also find raw almonds online. One brand I like is Food to Live Almonds which come from Italy.

Furthermore, when purchasing almond butter, the same rules apply. Be careful to read the label for additives and for raw organic almonds. The simplest and most delicious solution is to make it yourself.

You will need a food processor or blender. It takes a good 10 minutes so be patient!

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Homemade Nut Butter
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Simply process raw almonds in your food processor or blender.
    almond butter
  2. After about 3 minutes it will start to look crumbly.
    almond butter
  3. It becomes creamy almond butter between 9 and 11 minutes.
    Homemade Almond Butter
  4. You can add salt, honey, cocoa, or any other additions, or just leave it plain.
Recipe Notes

This recipe works for any other nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, etc.

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Check out my recipe for Cranberry Orange Almond Butter Muffins made with your homemade almond butter!

Homemade Raw Almond Butter

 

 

Dairy-free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Dairy-Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Cherries are my absolute favorite fruit and they are only in season for such a short time! There are so many health benefits to cherries so try adding them to smoothies, muffins, granola, or my Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! The secret to this super creamy ice cream is avocado, but you would never know it’s in there. Plus no ice cream maker required!

Health benefits of cherries

Cherries are loaded with antioxidants and anti-cancer fighting properties. They also help fight inflammation in the body and can help with weight loss. Did you know that tart cherries are a natural pain reliever, especially for arthritic pain? They can also help with insomnia because they contain natural melatonin. Try an 8-ounce glass of tart cherry juice an hour before bedtime.

Cherries are also high in potassium which makes them a great food to help relieve high blood pressure. Need any more excuses to eat more cherries?

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Dairy-free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. Combine milks, with 1½ cups cherries, monkfruit (or other sweetener), avocado, vanilla, and almond extract in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add optional collagen and mix to combine. 
  3. Ice cream Maker option: Chill mixture for 2 hours and then place in ice cream maker per instructions.  When almost frozen, stir in remaining cherries, chopped and chocolate chips.
  4. Freezer option: pour mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid.  Chill remaining mix.  When frozen, place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.  Stir in remaining cherries, chopped and chocolate chips.  Serve soft or chill in freezer for firmer texture.
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