Perfect Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Crisp on the outside? Check. Satisfying chew on the inside? Yup. Holds up to lots of toppings? You betcha. Can you eat it one-handed? Yes, indeed. On the table in under an hour and a half? Absolutely. Yeasty, dough-like taste and texture? Double check. It may not look like much in the picture, but try it and taste it! I think you’ll agree, your quest for the perfect gluten-free pizza crust is complete.

After a trip to a pizza place (where I was not able to enjoy the pizza), I became a woman on a mission – to create a pizza crust which was allergy-friendly while satisfying my discriminating pizza palate and raging pizza craving. No small task honestly. And I’m pleased to say this one is a true winner. When we ate it the other night, the discussion at the table included the words – “so delicious,” “please make this again,” and “I sure hope you’re going to share this one on your blog.” So here it is.

No need to drag out the mixer or fancy dough hooks, no bread maker or any other fancy equipment. Mix up almost everything in a single bowl. Let it rest for an hour while you prepare your toppings (or do something else), add a final ingredient, knead the dough a few times, let it sit for 10 minutes while you stage your other ingredients, assemble, bake, and eat. Done. Homemade gluten-free pizza on the table and in your mouth in less than 90 minutes from start to finish.

I called this recipe a pizza crust, though it’s so much more than that! This dough can be used to make all manner of pizzas, flatbreads, calzones, and most likely other tasty goodies as well. Let your imagination run wild!

We made flatbreads topped with pesto, my No-Heat Italian Sausage Crumbles, caramelized onions and garlic cloves, black olives, and a sprinkle of oregano on top. We’ll be coming back to this one again and again!

Perfect Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

This delicious dough is made of cassava flour and arrowroot powder, yet has the sturdy texture and chew mimicking a traditional wheat crust. Use this dough to make pizzas, flatbreads, calzones and more! Your family will love this! (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cassava flour plus extra to form dough
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-1/4 cup water (105-110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 package yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1 Tbsp gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp hot water

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add 3.5 cups cassava, arrowroot, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Then add in olive oil and whisk again until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture.
  • In a glass bowl or liquid measuring cup with the 105-110 degree water, add sugar/honey and yeast and allow to sit for a few minutes until bubbling. When yeast is proofed, add water and yeast mixture to flour mixture and form dough ball with hands. Knead a handful of times, just to make sure it's evenly mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area of your kitchen for 1 hour.
  • In a small cup, add gelatin and hot water. Immediately, mix to combine, ensuring no lumps. Then, as quickly as possible, pour liquid gelatin into bowl with dough. Using hands, incorporate gelatin into dough. Adding 1/4 cup cassava flour at a time, knead a handful of times again until dough is not sticky (I added 3/4 cup cassava).
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide dough into eight evenly sized pieces. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out dough into a round disk of your desired thickness. Place on a pizza pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browning.

Notes

Thicker crust will be chewier. Thinner crust will be lighter and crisper. Increase cooking time to make crispier.
Leftovers can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days. Reheats best in a toaster oven (crispiness), may also use a microwave.
For paleo or AIP, use honey instead of sugar.

several varieties of citrus fruits on a plate and platter, each stopped with pomegranate and mint

Winter Citrus Salad

This celebration of seasonal fruit is the antidote to dreary, overcast winter days on a plate. Unlike the brown and gray of short December days, my Winter Citrus Salad is a feast for the eyes. Containing four different types of citrus fruits – naval oranges, pink grapefruits, pomelos, and mandarin oranges – this salad is beautiful, refreshing, and uplifting.

Oranges are a classic, staple fruit in many households, but why stop there when there’s so much variety to enjoy? Citrus fruits of all kinds have a few things in common: they’re vividly colored, bursting with bright acidity and sweetness, juicy, and oh-so fresh smelling! Take advantage of the winter growing season and try some of the others this year; I bet you’ll be glad you did.

Slices of pomelo, grapefruit, naval orange, mandarin orange, and clementine with pomegranate and mint leave sprinkled on top.

Fruit salad, while always tasty, typically makes its appearance during the summer months at picnics and graduation parties. It’s much less often that we think of fruit salad as an option during the winter. But why? With all this delicious fruit in season right now, we’ve been missing out! Bring a little pizzaz to your table this winter. Grab a sharp knife, cutting board, some fruit and try my Winter Citrus Salad!

Vibrant slices of pink, orange, red, and yellow citrus are eye-catching on a platter, especially when accented with slivers of deep green mint leaves and pops of dark red pomegranate. Not only that, but these fruits are a much needed contrast to the warm, cooked foods we often eat as winter-fare.

Close up of slices of citrus fruit with pomegranate and mint on top.

One last thing. This salad is highly forgiving. Can’t find pomelo? Tangerines or clementines look better than the mandarins? Dying to try some blood oranges? Swap out whatever citrus fruits are available or sound good. For best results, I would include a minimum of three different citrus varieties, though four or even five is definitely preferred. (I actually thought I had grabbed some clementines, but instead ended up two different types of  mandarins – oops!! Those things happen sometimes when shopping while distracted!) Also, I don’t recommend subbing in lemon or lime as these are much more sour than sweet, unlike the other fruits. Have fun with this no-cook beauty!

Winter Citrus Salad

A celebration of seasonal fruit, this salad contains slices of pink grapefruit, naval oranges, pomelo, clementines, and mandarin oranges topped with pomegranate arils and sliced mint leaves. (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pomelo
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • 2 naval oranges
  • 6 mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Instructions

  • Peel fruit with soft, thin, easily removable skin, like mandarins, by hand. Using a sharp knife, chop off end with stem and opposite end to create two flat surfaces. Stand up fruit on one flat end. Using knife, cut off peel in strips, rotating the fruit around in a circle until all peel has been removed.
  • Cut each citrus fruit into cross-sectional slices of even thickness. Arrange citrus slices randomly on platter or plate. Sprinkle pomegranate arils on top.
  • Chiffonade a few mint leaves (stack and fold mint leaves together, then cut with sharp paring knife into thin strips). Sprinkle over plated fruit. Garnish with remaining mint leaves.

Notes

May make in advance. If doing so, recommend waiting to cut and add mint leaves until time of serving, for freshness. Cut mint leaves can discolor on the edges.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.

Cooked bacon wrapped pears in rows on a rectangular metal serving tray.

Bacon Wrapped Pears

Appetizers which require only a few real-food ingredients, look attractive and get gobbled up quickly are in high demand this time of year. Whether you’re attending an autumn dinner party or hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering, add these Bacon Wrapped Pears to your short list of appetizers to consider. They’re an awesome addition to just about any planned menu or potluck!

Have you ever tasted roasted pears? Fresh pears are tasty, but roasting takes them to a whole new level of yumminess! Caramelized pear tastes sweeter and more refined than the fresh fruit. And contrasting in many ways, the bacon is the perfect compliment, making my Bacon Wrapped Pears a true treat. Sweet and salty, savory and cinnamon-y. Don’t pass up this recipe, seriously. You’ll be missing out!

While the prep work is easy, it’s a bit tedious. Coring and cutting the pears is a cinch. As is cutting the bacon pieces in half length-wise. However, wrapping the individual pieces of bacon around the pear slices and skewering with an appetizer pick is the part which requires a little more attention and patience. To speed things up, I recommend creating a mini assembly line by having all the ingredients prepared and kitchen gear ready before you begin the bacon-wrapping. And, if you can recruit an assistant, more hands make for lighter work, of course!Uncooked bacon wrapped pear slices laying on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

While you can wrap the bacon around the pear slices any way you like, I think creating an “X” or “criss-cross” pattern around each pear slice is the most attractive pattern. Although, simply winding the bacon around the pear would save you a few minutes of prep time, and will obviously taste the same.

You may like to skewer each pear slice with an appetizer pick to make it easier to eat – saving the food from being manhandled on the serving tray (yuck!) and saving guests from having sticky or greasy fingers. If you stick the pick through the bacon, it may help it stay in place, too. However, this is not necessarily needed depending on how the bacon is placed. And it is easier to slide the appetizer picks through the pear only, going around the bacon. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Appetizer picks are superior to toothpicks, in this instance, though toothpicks will do in a pinch. Choose appetizer picks with a squared-off or rectangular post, if possible. These will work better, preventing the cooked pear from sliding or spinning on a round post on the way to your mouth!Cooked bacon wrapped pears, fresh out of the oven, sitting on a rack on top of a baking sheet.

Serve these pears warm or at room temperature – but not cold! They’re best when eaten fresh, so I don’t recommend making these far in advance. If you bake them at home, then pop them in the oven for a few minutes to reheat when you get to your destination, this works well and won’t monopolize the host’s oven space. A considerate guest is one who gets invited back. And a guest who brings these Bacon Wrapped Pears gets a repeat invite, too 🙂

Bacon Wrapped Pears

Crisped bacon wrapped around slices of cinnamon spiced roasted pear. An ideal appetizer for Fall and Winter gatherings and special meals. 
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe pears, cored and cut into wedges
  • 12 oz bacon, strips cut length-wise
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Making a criss-cross pattern, wrap a bacon strip around each pear slice. Slide appetizer pick through the middle of each pear slice. 
  • Place bacon wrapped pear slices on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet (rack not necessary in order to make recipe). Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 35 minutes, or until pears are tender and bacon is cooked.
  • Remove from oven. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before plating or eating.

Notes

Best eaten immediately, or if covered for a short period of time and reheated in oven for a few minutes. 
Number of servings depends on number of people eating and how much other food is available. May serve more or less depending.

Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette

Have you ever made your own salad dressing before? For most people, the answer is likely “no”. It may seem unattainable, unnecessarily fancy, or complicated. After all there are shelves and shelves full of ready-to-eat salad dressings in every supermarket. Hopefully, this recipe will change your mind and introduce you to the wonderful world of homemade salad dressing.

If you’ve yet to make salad dressing, my Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette is a great one to try first! It is fresh, zesty, and has depth. The warm, homey maple syrup contrasts with the bright, acidic citrus. This stuff is seriously good. And I’ve never seen this flavor in the store before. Dress some salad with it. Pour it over some roasted vegetables. Marinade some chicken before grilling. Right now, my favorite way to eat this dressing is drizzled over my Harvest Salad (previous post and pictured below); the two are a perfect match! With a handful of ingredients you may already have in your kitchen, you can make this Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette in 3 minutes. That’s all – 3 minutes! And in as much time as it takes you to check the mail, you’ll have a fresh, original flavor of salad dressing which has all real-food ingredients!

Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients on the pre-made bottles of salad dressing? With very few exceptions, salad dressings have become a magnet for all sorts of cheap, processed ingredients not found in nature. Many dressings include several of these all in the same bottle – even brands promoting themselves as healthy and natural! From the very base of the dressing- the oil (ex: soy, canola, safflower) to “natural flavors,” which by the way are really essentially the same as artificial flavors, to “spices” (another umbrella term preventing transparency in our food supply), to emulsifiers, thickeners, preservatives and so forth. 

No, thank you! I don’t mind giving my dressing a quick shake before I pour. And I’ve got 6 ingredients, a jar, and 3 minutes to make this dressing. How about you?

Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette

Savory-sweet vinaigrette style salad dressing which comes together in minutes. (AIP option, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time3 mins
Total Time3 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 mandarin oranges, juice of
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake vigorously until completely mixed and has an even, consistent appearance.

Notes

May prepare in advance. Store in refrigerator. Lasts for at least 1 week.
Serving recommendation: dressing on my Harvest Salad.
AIP option: omit dijon mustard.

Harvest Salad

This salad truly tastes like a celebration of Fall in a bowl, and it comes together with only minutes of hands-on cooking time. In the midst of the busyness of the holidays, we all seem to have an abundance of “extras” on our to-do lists while treats persistently loom nearby. The temptation to over-indulge is sky high! As a result, the question of “what to eat?” sometimes feels more daunting than usual. Have no worries, friends, this salad will keep you nourished, satisfied, and back to the holiday festivities in a flash! And it’s seriously delish. 

Seasonal fruits are the true jewels of this Harvest Salad. Their flavors are sweet and tart and there’s something undeniable about their visual appeal. Crisp juicy apples are, for many people, the quintessential autumnal fruit. An abundance of varieties are readily available in stores now – take advantage and try something new! The satisfying chew and bursts of flavor from dried cranberries can’t be beat! Roasted brussels sprouts and red onion contribute savory saltiness and a bit of a bite. A mix of three kinds of salad greens, arugula, spinach, and butter lettuce, keeps the salad base interesting. The greens have a mix of crunchy and delicate textures. Mild flavor from the butter lettuce and a peppery spiciness from the arugula. Top that all off with some crunchy pumpkin seeds, and you’ve got yourself a real salad. No boring, wimpy salad here! 

Another convenience is that ingredients can effortlessly be swapped out depending on what’s on hand or your taste preferences. Swap pears for apples, cherries for cranberries, carrots for brussels sprouts, or almonds for pumpkin seeds. So many possibilities, surely there’s something for everyone!

I highly recommend topping this salad with my Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette (post coming soon). The sweet-savory flavor perfectly compliments this Harvest Salad and adds to the all-things-fall feel. Even if you’re in a time crunch, this dressing comes together in under 5 minutes and really “makes” this salad! Top with some shredded rotisserie chicken or goat cheese, if dairy is tolerated,  to quickly turn this salad into a stand-alone meal. Enjoy!

Harvest Salad

Crisp salad greens topped with roasted brussels sprouts, seasonal fruit, red onion and pumpkin seeds. Pairs beautifully with a savory-sweet dressing such as my Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette. (AIP option, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Harvest Salad

  • 1 big handful arugula
  • 1 big handful spinach
  • 2 big handfuls butter lettuce
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread brussel sprouts on a baking sheet. Coat brussels sprouts with olive oil, and shake pan to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes, giving the pan a shake about every 10 minutes to move the sprouts around, until brussels sprouts are moderately browned and tender. Remove from oven. Allow to cool.
  • Assemble salad in a large bowl- adding greens, red onion, roasted brussels sprouts, apple slices, dried cranberries, and sprinkling with pumpkin seeds on top.
  • At time of serving, drizzle desired amount of dressing on top. 

Notes

Dressing recommendation: my Maple Mandarin Vinaigrette.
Best enjoyed the day prepared. May prepare in advance. If doing so, add dressing at time of serving to keep lettuce crisp.
Will last a day or two in the refrigerator.
AIP option - omit pumpkin seeds

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

In the mood for a smoky, satisfying dinner which can be cooked in a single skillet? Try this Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet. It’s chock full of vegetables – satisfying sweet potatoes, sauteed onions, wilted spinach, creamy avocado, and layers of flavor boosting ingredients, including lime juice, scallions, cilantro, oregano, and cumin! This skillet meal also has a variety of textures thanks to the mix of cooked and fresh produce. Grab a spoon and dig into this one dish meal tonight!

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

Hearty skillet meal with smoky Southwest flavored ground beef and lots of veggies.  (AIP option, paleo option, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Cooked Vegetables

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (omit for paleo, AIP)
  • 1 large handfull spinach

Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp oregano

Fresh Garnishes

  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add all ingredients under "Beef" ingredient heading above. Stir occasionally until fully cooked and browned. Remove from heat, pouring into a bowl and covering.
  • In skillet, add sweet potatoes, olive oil, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are lightly browned and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Add ground beef back into pan along with corn and cook until heated. Remove from heat. Add spinach and gently incorporate while allowing spinach to wilt.
  • Garnish with sliced avocado, lime wedges, scallions, and cilantro.

Notes

Best served immediately.
If made in advance, store garnishes separately from rest of cooked sweet potato beef skillet to allow for reheating before adding fresh garnishes.

Herby Lamburgers with Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

These herby lamburgers were just what we needed for dinner! After eating turkey and ham leftovers from an early Friendsgiving party which we hosted this past weekend, our taste buds were ready for something different. After all the Thanksgiving dinners will have been eaten at the end of next week, you may be looking for some variety in the animal protein department, too! Lamb to the rescue!

Swapping ground lamb meat for ground beef can be a welcome, occasional departure from the typical beef burger. This Mediterranean twist on the hamburger is rich in deep, herby, meaty flavor. The cucumber salsa contrasts nicely by adding some crunchy texture, bright acidity from some lemon juice and little bursts of sweetness thanks to the pomegranate arils. And the dollop of kalamata olive tapenade on top of each burger brings a complimentary saltiness which takes the taste up a notch.

Serve these lamburgers with a side salad with Greek vinaigrette dressing to quickly make a colorful, satisfying meal. Because of my love of leftovers (seriously, why would you want to make a whole new meal EVERY time you eat?!), I used 2 pounds of ground lamb to make six 1/3 pound burgers. This guarantees us leftovers. However, the recipe is easily scaled up or down in 1 pound increments based on your individual needs.

Herby Lamburgers with Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

Satisfying Mediterranean lamb burgers sure to infuse some variety into your dinner routine (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free).
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Lamburgers

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp capers, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely

Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

  • 3 cups diced cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 6 Tbsp kalamata tapenade

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients for lamburgers together in a bowl. Form burger patties (I made six 1/3 pound burgers). Pan fry on medium heat until done.
  • For cucumber salsa, mix all ingredients together except 1/2 the pomegranate and the kalamata tapenade. Spread cucumber salsa as the base on serving plate.
  • When lamburgers are done, remove from fry pan and place on top of cucumber salsa. Spoon a dollop of kalamata tapenade on each lamburger. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate and serve.

Notes

If making in advance, store lamburgers separately from cucumber salsa and tapenade, so lamburgers can be heated up on their own before assembly and serving.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Quick – it’s cold outside, and you want a veggie side dish that is not a cold salad. What do you do?? Crank up the oven, throw some veggies on a baking sheet, and 30 minutes later, you’ve got happy taste buds and a warm tummy!

If you’re like me, sometimes you crave variety in the way your food is prepared. So even though my instinct is to make a salad or roast whatever vegetable I have in my kitchen, I am always looking for new ways to do the familiar (aka make dinner).

And so, last night we had this warm Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate side dish. My little guy happily ate it up – the pomegranate contributed to this, full disclosure, but the brussel sprouts were eaten right along with it! He’s got good taste in fruit, for sure. Luckily for him (and me!), I learned a easy way to separate all the juicy, delicious jewels – they’re actually called pomegranate arils (or seeds) – from the papery, cream colored membrane lining the inside of the entire fruit. Even better, it doesn’t look like a massacre occurred in my kitchen when I’m all done, nor have I ruined any clothing or white kitchen tile grout!

The way I prepare the pomegranate is unique to other fruit. First grab a medium sized bowl big enough to fit both of your hands plus the pomegranate in at the same time while being fully submerged in water. Also, take out a plastic cutting board with a ridge around the perimeter and kitchen knife. Choose plastic instead of wood if you don’t like your board getting stained! Fill up the bowl almost to the top with water warm enough to be a pleasant temperature – no need to have freezing cold hands while doing this! Cut the pomegranate in half; the cutting board ridge will catch any juice which decides to run. Place the pomegranate halves in the bowl, under water. Working on one half at a time, gently peel the pomegranate arils out of the membrane layers while being sure to keep the fruit submerged. The water will prevent juice spatters like a charm! The papery membrane floats to the top of the water, while the arils sink towards the bottom. As a result, skimming off the membrane pieces is a cinch, leaving all the goodness behind!

You could, of course, buy ready-to-eat pomegranate from the refrigerated produce section in your store. However, I find the often cloudy liquid in which the arils are sitting in unappetizing and makes me question their freshness. I’ll stick with prepping my own! When it’s this easy to eat pomegranate, you might find new ways to eat more, too!

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Roasted brussel sprouts pair up with crispy, salty bacon and juicy, sweet pomegranate in this cold weather dish. (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 12 ounces bacon, cut into 1" strips
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On a baking sheet, evenly spread brussel sprouts, bacon, and red onion. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brussel sprouts are cooked through.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Cook about 5 more minutes, until brussel sprouts and bacon are browned and crispy. Remove from oven.
  • Mix 1 Tbsp olive oil with pomegranate molasses. Drizzle over brussel sprout mixture. Sprinkle fresh pomegranate on top. Serve warm.

Notes

Best served immediately. If preparing in advance, wait to add fresh pomegranate until after reheating brussel sprouts.

 


Sheet Pan Dinner – Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Veggies

Are you looking for an allergy-friendly holiday meal? This sheet pan dinner with spinach artichoke stuffed turkey and roasted vegetables fits the bill! This elegant, festive meal is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. However, it is also simple enough to be prepared alongside a traditionally prepared bird, if this best suits your group’s holiday meal needs, to make sure there are safe, tasty dinner options for everyone. If this recipe will be the “main event,” it can easily be doubled, tripled, etc to feed larger crowds.  And, of course, the sheet pan dinner template just screams – easy, cozy dinner at home anytime! It’s delicious, and I bet you’ll want to make it again and again!

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Look at those nice, roasty bits on the carrots and brussel sprouts! So delicious! These are packed with fall flavor. Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables. They are guaranteed to develop rich, complex flavor.

If you haven’t cared for brussel sprouts in the past, I encourage you to try them again when roasted. However, you could easily substitute cubes of another slower cooking vegetable such as beets, butternut squash, or potato (sweet or white) with a similar cooking time. While these options are starchier, broccoli or pearl onions would be tasty lower carbohydrate options, though they would require a shorter cook time.

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I’ve been drooling over the vegetables so much, I almost forgot to tell you about the turkey… the skin is light and crispy, thanks to a coating of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt prior to baking at a higher temperature. Also, the herby lemon spinach artichoke stuffing under the turkey skin bakes flavor right into the turkey meat. If you’ve never tried this technique of stuffing flavorful goodness between the meat and the skin, you’re in for a treat. It adds festive flare and is much easier and more forgiving than it might seem. Even if the skin tears or comes disconnected on one side, just smooth it out and lay it down – crisis averted 🙂

Practicality points: While the skin won’t be crispy the next day, all other aspects of the dish keep and reheat well as leftovers, too. Because the turkey breast is so much smaller than a whole bird and will cook much faster, there is no need to baste or use a roasting pan! Yay for less dishes and less work!

Sheet Pan Dinner - Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Veggies

Capture the flavors of Fall with this unique rendition of a turkey dinner. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1-1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 9 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small lemon, zest of
  • 1/2 small lemon, juice of
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 2-1/2 pound split turkey breast, with skin and bone
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, quartered or halved
  • 1 pound rainbow carrots, peeled

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized glass bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat frozen spinach in the microwave on high for 1 minute, or until warm. With a fork, press out and drain as much liquid from the spinach as possible.
  • Then add remaining ingredients of spinach artichoke stuffing to the bowl/glass measuring cup: artichokes, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Place turkey breast on sheet pan. With clean hands, gently separate the turkey skin from meat starting on one end of the turkey breast and moving across to the opposite end, creating a pocket or tunnel, with the sides remaining attached.
  • Gently, "stuff" handfuls or spoonfuls of spinach artichoke stuffing under the turkey skin, ensuring stuffing is roughly evenly distributed across the turkey breast.
  • Brush 1 Tbsp olive oil on turkey breast skin and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt.
  • Place turkey in the oven and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, then increase the heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the carrots and brussel sprouts to the sheet pan. Drizzle remaining 4 Tbsp olive oil over veggies. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over vegetables.
  • When turkey skin is nicely browned, cover with aluminum foil to limit further browning/avoid burning. Be sure to tuck foil closely around the turkey to allow the veggies to roast uncovered.
  • Cook turkey until internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit at the center of the thickest part of the breast. Cook veggies until tender and browned, about 30 minutes.

Notes

Based on the exact size/thickness of your meat and veggie pieces, your food may cook a little slower or faster. It's better to remove one component or the other early, allowing the rest to roast a little longer, than have overcooked food. So do keep an eye on things as the food gets closer to being done!

Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

I have always been a fan of the humble sweet potato. Often with minimal effort, you have practically limitless ways to incorporate this nutrient-dense, relatively shelf-stable, hearty vegetable into your meals. Microwave a sweet potato as a quick side dish for dinner, jazz up a leftover baked sweet potato (they reheat beautifully by the way!) to make a loaded sweet potato for breakfast, roast them, fry them, mash them… you get the idea. Just please don’t ruin them by putting marshmallows on them!

I am aware though, that not everyone shares my love of the sweet potato. My husband has been in the “don’t prefer sweet potatoes” camp for years. “Too stringy,” he said. But this recipe had him taking a third helping at dinner – yes, you read that right! No, I didn’t disguise them. No, there was no bribery involved. Yes, he knew he was eating sweet potatoes.

I will let you in on my secrets for creating a sweet potato convert. First, I cook my sweet potatoes by baking them in the oven rather than boiling them in water on the stove. This cooking method concentrates the rich flavor of the sweet potato and reduces moisture content, rather than water-logging the veggie pieces by boiling. Also, it’s a lot less work, because there is no potato peeling or chopping! Win, win!

The second trick has to do with optimizing consistency of the mash. To achieve the delightfully luscious texture of my Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash, you blend the sweet potatoes. By throwing the sweet potatoes in the blender, there are absolutely no stringy strands of fibrous veggie left. Only velvety, creamy goodness, my friends!

In case you’re not convinced, here are some side-by-side pictures to illustrate my point. The pictures speak for themselves, really. In the first image, the sweet potatoes were mashed with a fork (common instructions given in other recipes). The middle bowl was whipped with a whisk. In the third image, the sweet potatoes were blended.

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Fork

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Whisk

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Blender

My sweet potato mash is tasty paired with any roasted meat or as the base of a “bowl” dish with toppings of your choosing such as roasted vegetables plus a fried egg, shredded meat and/or nuts and seeds.

Next time you make mashed sweet potatoes, you could mash them with a fork or potato masher or even whip them with a whisk. OR you could throw everything in the blender and press a button; then tell everyone how to long you spent mashing out every last tiny lump and wait for their applause 🙂 The only thing left to say is – if you’re not peeling, chopping, and mashing potatoes, how will you spend your extra free time?

 

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  1. Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

    Easy-peasy method for achieving the smoothest, most flavorful mashed sweet potatoes. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Resting Time15 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 6 servings

    Ingredients

    • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp salt

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350F.
    • Place washed sweet potatoes on baking sheet into the oven. Bake until a fork very easily slides through the flesh. Cooking time will significantly vary depending on the size and shape of your potatoes. Keep a close watch and check smaller/thinner potatoes first as these will cook faster.
    • When sweet potatoes are very soft, remove from oven. Allow to cool off enough to handle before removing potato skins.
    • Add peeled sweet potatoes to blender along with coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon. Blend until completely smooth.
    • Remove from blender and pour into serving bowl. Optional garnishes include: additional cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, (avoid the following for AIP) grated nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans.

    Notes

    May be made in advance. Reheats well.