AIP

Italian Meatballs - Paleo, AIP, Whole 30

Meatballs are one of my favorite quick foods to batch cook for meals or snacks throughout the week. You can easily reheat them in bone broth, slice them up over a salad, pair with other prepped veggies or just eat plain as a snack, yum!

Equipment Needed

  • Baking sheet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Parchment paper (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb pastured ground pork
  • 2 small-medium shallots finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely diced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 pasture raised egg
  • 2 tablespoons of almond flour (Optional. Omit for AIP)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ground fennel seed (Omit for AIP)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and get your baking sheet ready. If you're using parchment paper, line your baking sheet with this now.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and prepare to get down and dirty!
  • I like to remove all my rings, wash my hands well and combine all ingredients by hand. If you have rubber gloves on hand and prefer to wear those, go right ahead.
  • Once everything is well incorporated, start to form your meatballs.   Pack them tightly between your hands and roll them around your palms to make them more even. You can make them any size you'd like but I usually go with a medium to larger size. 
  • Place meatballs on your baking sheet, leaving a half inch to an inch of space between each.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until is cooked through. Enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Bone Broth (2 Ways)

Equipment Needed

  • Slow-Cook/Crock Pot or Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) - at least 6 quarts
  • Mesh strainer
  • Large bowl or large measuring cup (preferably with spout)

Ingredients

  • About 2lbs of bones - try to use a variety of different bones such as chicken backs, necks, gizzards, feet or jointy bones (leg, thigh, wing bones, etc.)***
  • Filtered water - enough to just cover the bones
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped (optional)**
  • 1 yellow onion or shallot, roughly chopped (optional)**
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)**

Instructions - CrockPot

  • Place bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar in your crock-pot and fill with filtered water, just enough to cover the bones.
  • Cover and turn on high heat for 3-4 hours then switch to low heat. If you're not going to be home to switch it after 3-4 hours just start and keep it on the low setting.
  • Keep on low for 24-48 hours, stir bones a couple times throughout if you'd like. (I've found that with my crock-pot batches, 24-28 hours seems to be the sweet spot, richest flavor and more gelatinous).
  • Once you've hit AT LEAST the 24 hour mark, turn off and let cool. Sometime I let it cool for about an hour before handling it.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strainer your broth into another large bowl. You may need to do this in batches. A large bowl or large measuring cup that has a spout will make pouring your broth into containers easier! DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR BONES YET!
  • Store your broth in mason jars, freezer safe containers or portion into silicone ice cube trays.
  • Return your bones to the crock pot and REPEAT the above steps. Yes you can get TWO bathes out of the bones!! Many people skip this step and only do one. The second batch will not be as rich as the first but it will still have good nutrition and flavor (usually a little weaker). I will often use my second batch as the base for soups and stews.

Instructions - Instant Pot

  • Place bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar in your Instant Pot insert.
  • Fill with filtered water, just enough to cover the bones, about 1 inch below the max fill line usually.
  • Seal the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure your release valve is turned to sealing position.
  • Select the "Soup" setting, make sure it's on high pressure, and adjust the time to at least 90 minutes (I usually do 120 minutes)
  • Once it has come to pressure, it will start counting down from 120 minutes.
  • Once 120 minutes is complete, your Instant Pot will switch to the Keep Warm/Off function and start counting up from when it has finished. I usually let the pressure naturally release in the "Keep Warm" setting. This can take about 20 minutes or so. You'll know all the pressure has released once the small sliver float valve next to the release valve has dropped. The lid will then be unlocked and you'll be able to open your Instant Pot to see your liquid gold!
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strainer your broth into another large bowl. You may need to do this in batches. A large bowl or large measuring cup that has a spout will make pouring your broth into containers easier! DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR BONES YET!
  • Store your broth in mason jars, freezer safe containers or portion into silicone ice cube trays.
  • Return your bones to the Instant Pot and REPEAT the above steps. Yes you can get TWO bathes out of the bones!! Many people skip this step and only do one. The second batch will not be as rich as the first but it will still have good nutrition and flavor (usually a little weaker). I will often use my second batch as the base for soups and stews.

Uses for Bone Broth

  • Breakfast Soup - I usually add eggs, some fresh herbs, veggies or sausage for a really nourishing breakfast!
  • Base of soups and stews
  • Enjoy a mug or bowl totally plain, I usually season with a little Himalayan Sea Salt 
  • Base of sauces, glazes, marinades, etc.
  • Cooking liquid for roasted meats

Special Notes

***I like to use a combination of bones that have some meat on them still, like what you find with chicken backs, and bones that are pretty cleaned off. I save ALL bones from meats I cook. Simply rinse them off and throw them in a container or bag in the freezer. Certain health food stores will typically keep chicken backs, feet, etc. in the freezer or you can make friends with a local farmer for bones! High quality bones are key to making a high quality, nutrient dense bone broth! I suggest using local, pastured poultry or beef bones as your first choice and organic as your second choice.

** A lot of times I don't even bother with the additional veggies if I'm trying to just get a batch going real quick. I also like to leave it plain sometimes because then I can use it in soups or stews and season it how I like from there.

*I don't skim anything off of my broth when it's finished. I don't find it's necessary if you're using high quality bones. You'll notice that the fat separates to the top of the broth pretty quickly, especially after it has cooled and solidified in the fridge. If you know you have difficulty breaking down fats you can remove this fat. Sometimes I will also remove it and save it in a separate jar to use for cooking fat. Sometimes you broth will "gel" and sometimes it won't. This is completely normal! Usually my first batch gels really well (it will be totally gelatinous) but my second batch with the same bones will not. You're still getting lots of nutrients don't worry!

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Ginger Scallion Sauce

Equipment Needed

  • Food processor
  • Peeler
  • Knife

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of scallions, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 - 2/3 cup of olive oil ( amount will depend on how big your bunch of scallions is) I prefer Kasandrino's EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients, besides olive oil, into your food processor.
  • Begin pulsing your ingredients together. You may need to scrape the sides of your food processor a couple times so that everything gets will blended.
  • Turn your food processor on low and slowly add the olive oil to the mixture in a slow stream, start with 1/4 cup and add more as needed. You'll want to add enough olive oil so that everything can become well blended, there should be little to no "chunks" left of scallions or ginger.
  • The finished sauce shouldn't be runny but should be slightly looser than a paste or spread consistency.
  • Store in the fridge a glass jar Tupperware or freeze in a silicone tray for portioned serving sizes.

Uses

I like to use this sauce of almost everything! Try it on chicken wings, or Easy Peasy Poultry, broiled salmon, or on roasted root veggies

kasandrinos organic extra virgin greek olive oil
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Butternut Squash & Ginger Soup

Equipment Needed

  • Large pot - 5-6L
  • Immersion blender or regular blender
  • Large knife

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of bone broth
  • 1 cup of  full fat coconut milk
  • 1 medium-large squash
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 - 3 inches of fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil - coconut oil or bacon fat

Optional Ingredients

  • Nuts or seeds for garnish
  • Diced bacon for garnish

Instructions

  • Peel and cut your butternut squash into medium sized cubes. If you need instruction on how to go about cutting a butternut squash, check out this video. I like to wear rubber gloves when I mess with butternut squash because it always leaves this ridiculously sticky residue on your hands that just won't come off! (Anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's the worst!)
  • You can do two things with your butternut squash, you can roast it before hand or you can just allow it to cook right in the soup. If you're going to roast it, I recommend tossing it with a little coconut oil, salt and pepper and roasting on a baking sheet for about 20-30 minutes at 375. Otherwise, just set aside until you're ready to add to your broth.
  • In a large pot, melt 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice over medium heat. Add diced shallots, a pinch of salt and pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes until tender and translucent.
  • Add diced garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.
  • Next add the bone broth, coconut milk, butternut squash (roasted or raw), ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and sea salt/black pepper to taste. and bring to a light simmer.
  • Cover and let simmer for just a little bit, maybe 20 minutes or so if your butternut squash needs to cook through.
  • If you're using a regular blender, I like to let my soup cool a little bit and you will DEFINITELY want to blend in small batches. Don't make the mistake I've made before which was to pour almost my entire batch of HOT soup into my blender, crank it on high and watch it explode all over my walls, window and ceiling...
  • If you're using an immersion blender (highly recommended! They're just so easy and useful), you can start blending your soup right away. Blend until smooth and no more chunks remain. 
  • Sometimes after I've blended my soup, I cook it a little longer to let the flavors really soak in but this isn't a necessary step.
  • Serve with a swirl of full-fat coconut milk, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or diced bacon!
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Apple Cranberry & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Equipment Needed

  • Frying pan
  • Baking Dish
  • Large knife

Ingredients

*Serves 2 - double the recipe for additional servings

  • 1 medium-large acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of peeled, diced apples
  • 2 Tablespoons of diced fresh or dried sage
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee
  • Maple syrup for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Cooking the Acorn Squash

  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • Carefully cut the stem and bottom off the acorn squash, trying to cut as little as possible. I do this so it can lay evenly on a plate when serving.
  • Cut your acorn squash in half (through the middle width wise, not length wise) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  • Fill your baking dish with about a 1/2 inch of water and lay your acorn squash "bowl side" down in the dish. I like the addition of water to the dish because it helps cook the squash by steaming and also prevents it from becoming to dry!
  • Place your acorn squash on the middle rack in the oven. Set a timer (or note the time) and check your squash in about 20 minutes.

Stuffing Mixture

  • While your squash is cooking, melt coconut oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat.
  • If the Italian sausage you're using comes in a casing, use your hands to squeeze all of the sausage out of it's casing, it should come out fairly easily. Yes it's kind of gross and weird feeling, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! 
  • Add your sausage, sage and cranberries to the frying pan. Break the sausage up into smaller pieces as it cooks using a spatula or wooden spoon and stir mixture every couple minutes.
  • After about 5-7 minutes, your sausage should almost be cooked through. At this time you can mix in your diced apples and let those cook for just a few minutes. I like them to be a little crunchy still and not to mushy.
  • Switch your heat to very low so your sausage mixture won't over cook but will stay warm until the acorn squash is ready.
  • To see if my acorn squash is done, I poke it with a knife. If it goes through easily, it's ready. If it still feels a little hard I let it go a little longer and then test it again.
  • Once it's ready, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • After a few minutes, carefully flip your acorn squash and place on a plate or in a bowl. You can then add your sausage mixture and garnish with maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or whatever else you think would be tasty!
  • The acorn squash will probably overflow with sausage mixture which is fine, you'll want more to balance out the squash as you get into eating it!
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Please comment if you enjoyed this recipe, made some fun changes or if something didn't work for you! I'd love to hear your feedback :)

Slow Cooker Paleo Applesauce

Equipment Needed

  • Slowcooker or CrockPot
  • Sharp knife
  • Apple corer (if you have one, not necessary though)
  • Vegetable/fruit peeler

Ingredients

  • 12-14 medium apples
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions

  • Using your veggie peeler, roughly peel the skin off your apples. I personally don't mind if there is a little bit of skin in my apple sauce but you may choose to remove it completely.
  • If you're using an apple corer, remove the core and then roughly chop your apples into medium sized chunks. (Again, its a personal preference to have my apple sauce slightly chunkier, if you like it to be really fine, simply cut your apples into much smaller pieces.)
  • If you're not using an apple corer, I like to remove the core by cutting the apple into quarters, slicing alongside the core, all the way through the apple so you're left with a box shaped core. If you start cutting about 1/2 -3/4 of an inch away from the center of your apple you should slice right along the outside of the core. (Sometimes you do go through some of the core.) I carefully remove any pieces of apple core that might have been included in my quarters. I like this method because it's a bit quicker in my opinion and I don't have to manhandle my apple slices as much to remove the core.
  • Once all your apples have been peeled, cored, and roughly chopped, place into your slow cooker or CrockPot, with your spices and water. Stir until the spices are combined
  • Turn your slow cooker or CrockPot on low and let cook for about 3 hours, stirring a couple times throughout. Some chunks should remain but for the most part it will be very saucey!
  • Store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer to enjoy for many months to come! ( Make sure you do not overfill your jars if storing in the freezer as the sauce will expand some while freezing)

 

  • Tip: I like to eat my applesauce with a little bit of full-fat coconut milk and shredded coconut drizzled on top, so good and one of my favorite desserts!
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Paleo Shrimp Scampi

Equipment Needed

  • Baking pan or baking dish 
  • Frying pan 
  • Cutting board 
  • Knife
  • Hand juicer (optional)

Ingredients 

  • 1 spaghetti squash 
  • Italian Seasoning 
  • 1-2 shallots, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Juice of half a lemon (if you don't have a juicer, slice lemon into wedges and squeeze juice into pan that way) 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter 
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, thawed if previously frozen and deveined/detailed 

Variations/Additions

  • Shiittake mushrooms
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Asparagus 
  • Bacon 
  • Diced spinach 
  • Fresh basil 

Instructions

Makes 2-4 servings

Pre-heat oven to 375

  • Cut spaghetti squash in half and spoon out the seeds. 
  • Place in your baking dish or pan, inside up, brush with a little bit of ghee, butter or coconut oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  
  • Bake for about an hour at 375. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before scraping out your spaghetti. (You can also microwave spaghetti squash to cook it a lot faster. Check out Nom Nom Paleo for detailed instructions on how to do this.) 
  • Add coconut oil and diced shallots to your frying pan and sauté on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Add diced garlic to shallots and saute for another 3 minutes. If your adding vegetables to your scampi (or just doing a vegetable scampi) add them at this stage. 
  • Next add your butter, lemon juice and shrimp. (Sometimes I chop my shrimp so it's in bite sized pieces.)
  • Saute for about 5 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and then add your "spaghetti". 
  • Mix everything together thoroughly and allow to cook a few minutes longer, so all of the flavors really soak into the "spaghetti".  
  • Top with fresh basil (optional) and dig in! 
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Plantain Chips

Plantain Chips

Chips are probably one of the best comfort food snacks out there, in my opinion.  What's much better than biting into a salty, crunchy chip or scooping up a heaping mound of guacamole at the end of the day? Forget everything you've ever known about traditional potato or corn chips (fried in unhealthy oils) and give these healthy plantain chips baked in coconut oil a try. As a long time self proclaimed chip fanatic, I made the switch and i'm not looking back.