Category Archives: Paleo

Ground Turkey and Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potato with Avocado // Paleo // Whole30 // Gluten Free

I actually took these pictures the next day as I had the leftovers for my lunch.

Dare I say that it was even better the next day?!

Isn’t that the case with a lot of dishes?  The flavors just need to settle into each other sometimes.  One of the many reasons I always make extra!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic (I cheat and use Trader Joe’s pre crushed :))
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Ginger
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 Cups shredded Carrots
  • 2 Cups Diced Mushrooms
  • 2 lbs ground turkey (I like to make a lot so we have leftovers :))
  • Avocado for garnish.  Not necessary, but the creaminess of the avocado was so good with the savoriness of the dish.  Plus…avocado on everything, I say!
  • Jar of your favorite pasta sauce.
  • 2-4 large sweet potatoes.  We all each had just half, but if you only have small sweet potatoes, or love them…do more!

Directions

Start your sweet potatoes ahead of time!!  I’ve tried numerous times, and they ALWAYS take longer than they are supposed to!  This might be the ONE thing that pushes me over the edge to finally try my Instapot….that has been sitting there unused for the last two years, because I’m scared of it haha.  BUT…

  • Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or a baking pan, pierce with a fork and bake for an hour, or until the inside is soft.  It took my ginormous ones an hour and 15, so fair warning if you are on a time schedule for dinner!! 😦
  • Dice up onion while your potatoes are cooking…you’ll have plenty of time 😉
  • Sautee 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with garlic, ginger, and onions for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in ground turkey (or any ground meat!)
  • Add in diced mushrooms
  • Add in shredded carrots
  • Either add Trader Joe’s “Everyday Seasoning” or…add all the things…I’m lazy.
  • Add in your pasta sauce.
  • When potatoes are done, take them out, cut in half if big, or slice down the center if small or medium.  Crush it up a little.
  • Spoon on meat and veggie mixture, and top with avocado!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

3 Generations…Girls Night Out! | Aqua by El Gaucho

My dad decided a while back that he wanted to do a boys night out with Houston, the boys, and Houston’s dad.

Great idea!!

Oh, but, WAIT!!

Then, my mom suggested that us girls should go out too!  Sadly, my mother in law couldn’t join us, but my mom, Maya and I went out!

Such a special evening. Of course…we’re girls and we used it as an excuse to get dressed up! As we should.

The food was AMAZING! I cannot believe I’ve never been to AQUA by El Gaucho . The food was delicious, views were gorgeous, service was exceptional, and the company…beyond words.

Thanks Mom! ❤️

A few pics we snapped before we hopped into our Uber!

Uber car selfie for the win!

And, Maya took the image of me with my mom!
I mean…

Coloring!

YUMMY FOOD!!
And bathroom selfies! 🙂
I ran outside before the boys left to see if they’d at least let me take a picture with my phone, but…

This was all I got.

THANKFULLY they had their picture taken at the meal!
On me…

Leather Jacket- Vintage (thrifted)
Dress- L’Agence “Sophie  Print Maxi Dress” (eBay $35, retailed $600!!)
Belt- Vintage (thrifted)
Booties- Paul Green “Kimberlie” (eBay $24!!, retailed for $400+)
On Maya…
Jacket- Xhiliration (thrifted, similar here)
Dress- (thrifted, similar here)
Leggings- Crewcuts (thrifted)
Sandals-
Keeping it Real…
Um…where are we supposed to stand??  AND…Maya’s face!
Again…I just want a hug!! haha.
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Goi Ga | Vietnamese Salad with Chicken

The Huz and I went to Chicago last weekend, and had the most amazing time!  At some point, if I have time, I’ll do a blog post about what we did and where we ate.

One of the restaurants we went to was Le Colonial.  We got some of their Goi Ga, and it was perfection on a hot day!!!  I kept thinking about it for days afterwards, and was inspired to try and make something similar.

I got most of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s.  This isn’t an ad for them, just an fyi 🙂 . Minus the fish sauce…they recently discontinued it, so I went to another local store for that.  Good grief is it expensive?!!  It does make the dressing though…

The dressing typically has chili flakes in it, but I left that out for Maya’s sake.  I added plenty of hot sauce on mine though 🙂

Ingredients (feeds 4-6)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce 
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Local Honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspooon crushed lemongrass
  • You can add red chili flakes, but I left that out for Maya’s sake and added hot sauce after :))

I put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shook it up-done!

Salad

  • 9 oz bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Shredded Green & Red Cabbage with Shredded Carrots
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4’s of 10 oz bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch (Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Brocolli, and Cabbage.  (I was going to add the entire bag, but it was a bit much…)
  • 1.75 oz container of Trader Joe’s Organic Micro Greens
  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded.
  • Optional diced peanuts (Maya is allergic, so I left these out.  If I’m being honest, I totally forgot haha.  I might add almonds next time!)

What to do

Combine all the salad ingredients, top with chicken, and salad dressing.  It’s best to let it sit for a few minutes and keep tossing it to make sure the dressing gets absorbed.

I topped mine with red chili garlic sauce and Sriracha, but it’s nice and refreshing all on it’s own!

Enjoy 🙂dit-elle-Lauren

Chicken Meatballs + Veggies (easy one pan meal!) Gluten free + Paleo + Whole30 + Costco Hack

Sooooo…. What do all kids like?  Never mind, what does everyone like?

MEATBALLS!

I frequently use meatballs to hide a ton of veggies in a meal, when I don’t really want to make a seperate salad.

We were down the teenage boy for this meal, so I went with a one pot meal with no extra carbs.Ingredients

  • 2 packages of Coleman Organic Chicken and Basil Meatballs
  • 1 White Onion
  • Olive Oil (or oil of choice) I just drizzle, but maybe 2 Tablespoons.
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I cheat and use this)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic (I use this, but woah…go to the store! It’s a fraction of the cost)
  • 8 Organic Bella Mushrooms
  • 3 organic Rainbow Carrots (regular are just as good-not as pretty though ;))
  • 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 4-5 handfuls of Power Green Mix which is spinach, baby chard, and kale)

Directions

  • Use a pretty large non stick pan, and add in the garlic, ginger, and oil of choise
  • Dice up the onion and add it in.
  • While the onion is sauteing dice up your other veggies.  I honestly just use whatever I have on hand.  I’ve subbed in various sweet peppers or even broccoli.  Add whatever you have in.
  • Once they are almost al dente add in your meatballs.  I like to get them cooking with the veggies to impart their flavor a little bit.
  • Once everything is almost ready, add in the hand fulls of greens.  It doesn’t have to be mixed.  Just spinach would be good!  If it’s all kale, I would add it in sooner due to the toughness of kale.
  • Top it all off with a jar of your fav spaghetti sauce and your good!
  • Frequently I’ll add in these gluten free noodles (can be bought in smaller quantities at Thrive Market or in bulk at Costco.  We LOVE them not only for their flavor but QUICKNESS to cook!) . Or you could easily add zoodles to keep it dietary compliant!

None of this is sponsored.  We just live by the easy shopping of Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Thrive Market.  And are happy to share the easy cooking to be had from there!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Chia Pudding with Blueberries + Rasperries + Almonds

“Brilliant Breakfasts”

How many of your girls read #FancyNancy?  Maya is a big fan, so when I saw @redtricycle was doing a @disneyjunior Photo Challenge, I thought it would be the perfect thing for Maya and I to do together!
No, this isn’t an ad.  Yes, it was somewhat staged.  But also yes, we had fun!  AND…ate some yummy chia pudding.
That’s where the “brilliant” comes in!  #ChiaSeeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium.

Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

#RTDisneyFancyNancy

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds (or more depending on how many people you want to feed-this would make about four to five 1/2 cup servings)
  • 2 Cups unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or whatever milk you want to use)
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or agave, plus a little additional for drizzling.
  • Handful of Blueberries, raspberries, and almonds.

Directions

  • Mix, chia seeds and Honey/Agave in with the milk and let it sit overnight, or do it first thing in the morning, if you want to have it for dessert.  It will plump up, and ends up looking like tapioca pudding.
  • Scoop out into bowls.  Top with berries, almonds and drizzle a little more honey over the top.

Enjoy!

dit-elle-Lauren

Bone Broth Rotisserie Chicken Ramen Soup with Soft Boiled Egg || Crockpot | Gluten Free

We had two gorgeous days this week, and then…back to rain and cold.

We cannot seem to shake the illnesses over here, so I’m still cranking out the bone broth soups!

LOVED this one!!

This recipe can be varied in so many ways, but…here’s what I did!

I buy two rotisserie chickens each week.  One we eat as a meal, and then I use both carcasses, for the bone broth.  The other chicken goes back into the soup I make!

Ingredients (feeds 4 with leftovers)

  • Two Rotisserie Chickens (Use both carcasses for the bone broth but the shredded chicken from both can be used for multiple meals!)
  • 4-6 Medium sized carrots (I used usually use organic Rainbow Carrots, because… FUN COLORS! 🙂 but didn’t have them this time.  I highly recommend them though :))
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 Medium to Large Onion Diced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Soft boiled egg (boil for 7 minutes and then immediately put into ice cold water)
  • Avocado and any other veggies to top for crunch.  I added tomatoes, but shredded carrots or sprouts would be yummy too!
  • Ramen Noodles (I used these) . Or you could do zoodles or sweet potato “noodles” for Whole 30!

Directions

  • Pick off all the chicken from the bone and set aside in an airtight container.
  • It’s not necessary, but I found these bags and I put all my bones in them.  No need to pick out bones and you get to keep all the yummy onions and carrots  Very crude Video HERE haha.
  • Place the carcass in the slowcooker with the carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Pour 10-12 Cups of Water depending on your crockpot.  I filled mine until 1″ of the top.
  • Cook on low overnight for 12-18 hours.  Honestly…longer the better.
  • The next morning, pull on the bones out unless you bought the bags!!.  I left the carrots and onions in there, and for me…it’s a must for flavor!  They were mushy, but I figured the flavor would still be good and it SO was!
  • Add in ramen noodles and let them sit for a few minutes or all day.
  • Add shredded chicken back in and let sit on warm until dinner.
  • Top with soft boiled egg and any other condiments.

For other recipes…

For beginners that haven’t tried making bone broth before….I hadn’t either.  So…here’s (with adjustments added!  My first attempt here, and my 2nd version with sweet “potato noodles”.

And, other easy Crockpot Recipes you might enjoy…

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Healthy Chicken and Dumplings

Crockpot Veggie Pasta and Turkey Meat Sauce

Most importantly…

Enjoy!!

And let me know if you have!dit-elle-Lauren

Bone Broth Rotisserie Chicken Sweet Potato “Noodle” Soup || Crockpot | Whole30 | Gluten Free

I’m officially obsessed with making bone broth soups!!

Admittedly so much so that the Huz said….”Ok, I might need a soup break.”

haha.  Whoops.

Yet…are you kidding me?  SOUP break when it’s FREEZING outside and everyone is getting sick??!!

NO!!

I changed my original attempt at making this, because one chicken carcass didn’t seem to wield enough flavor-mostly because I don’t like adding a litany of seasonings!.  Also, my original attempt used regular noodles, so don’t despair, if you want a hearty DELICIOUS recipe, that is not Whole30…it would be delicious with any kind of noodles!  And would be even more so with the two carcass addition!

Admittedly, I didn’t soak mine for days… as it probably should have if you are only using one carcas.

I’m more of an overnight for the next meal kinda person.  SO…if you’re with me on that, and want even MORE left overs…

TWO CHICKENS!

Otherwise…one chicken carcass for longer 15-18 hours is what I read.

SO…I’m now converted to buying two chickens!  We eat one meal from the actual chicken, and then I take all the meat off both for later use (more recipes on that to come!) but most of one chicken goes back into the soup.

Ingredients (feeds 4 with leftovers)

  • Two Rotisserie Chickens (Use both carcasses for the bone broth but the shredded chicken from both can be used for multiple meals!)
  • 4-6 Medium sized carrots (I used organic Rainbow Carrots, because… FUN COLORS! :))
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 Medium to Large Onion Diced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Sweet potato spiralized to make “noodles” . Could also do any veggie or use any other kind of noodle!  I cannot even tell you how easy it is to do this! Less than 2 minutes.

Directions

  • Pick off all the chicken from the bone and set aside in an airtight container.
  • GUYS!!!  Editing to add.  I did NOT do this for this recipe, but later found these bags and I put all my bones in them, then lifted it all out!  DONE!  Very crude Video HERE haha.
  • Place the carcass in the slowcooker with the carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Pour 10-12 Cups of Water depending on your crockpot.  I filled mine until 1″ of the top (Ok, I filled it to closer to the top my next time, and…it didn’t go well for the cleaning up aspect…fyi :)) . SO…keep it within an inch of the top 🙂
  • Cook on low overnight for 12-18 hours.  Honestly…longer the better.
  • The next morning, pull on the bones out unless you bought these bags!!.  I left the carrots and onions in there, and for me…it’s a must for flavor!  They were mushy, but I figured the flavor would still be good and it SO was!
  • Meanwhile…spiralize your sweet potato.  You have plenty of time, so no rush on doing it 🙂
  • When the bones are all out (pick them out or lift them out in a bag!), place the spiralized sweet potatos back in and cook on high for another hour.
  • Add shredded chicken back in and let sit on warm until dinner!Great for those sick days….or NOT, because….YUM!!

For other recipes…

For beginners that haven’t tried making bone broth before….I hadn’t either.  So…here’s (with adjustments added!  my first attempt!

You can see Esther’s chicken soup post where she started from scratch with a whole chicken.

And, other easy Crockpot Recipes you might enjoy…

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Healthy Chicken and Dumplings

Crockpot Veggie Pasta and Turkey Meat Sauce

Most importantly…

Enjoy!!

And let me know if you have!dit-elle-Lauren

Vanilla Cake with Cashew Frosting and Strawberries | Paleo

I made this for Maya’s birthday, which was back in…..

OCTOBER!

Sigh…

Poor thing’s birthday is right in the midst of my busiest time at work!  She still got the cake she requested, but I never had time to blog it!

I used Paleo Grubs “Famous Vanilla Cake” and only made a few changes.  Everyone LOVED it, and no guilt either!

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp raw honey
  • 5 tbsp coconut flour
  • 5 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from one vanilla pod
For the filling
  • 1 3/4 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hour and drained well
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • about 1/3 cup water
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • seeds from one vanilla pod
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt

Directions for Frosting

  • Original recipe says to make the filling a day ahead.  I made mine the day of, but made it first and chilled it while I was making the cake.
  • Place all the ingredients except water in a high power blender and blend until smooth. Add the water, a tablespoon at the time until the filling become silky and you get your desired texture.Having a cute assistant adds even more sweetness 😉 . Ok, that was bad…but true! 🙂
  • Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or for a few hours like I did 🙂

Directions for the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Original recipe says to line two 8 inch spring-form pans with parchment paper, but I just greased two 8 inch cake pans really well and they popped right out.
  • In a large bowl or food processor cream the eggs with honey.
  • In a separate bowl combine flours with salt and baking soda.
  • Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and add vanilla extract or seeds from vanilla pod.
  • Divide the mixture between prepared pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

For visual reference.  The dough will be more dense. And it won’t rise much after cooking.

  • Remove cakes from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  • After the cake is cooled off, smooth half of the frosting on top of one cake layer, and layer sliced strawberries.
  • Place 2nd layer on top and spread a thin layer of the frosting on top and place strawberries with the top cut off around the cake.
  • Scoop the rest into pastry bag or you can use a ziploc bag with the tip cut off.  Squeeze onto cake for decoration!

ENJOY!dit-elle-Lauren

Bone Broth Rotisserie Chicken Soup (Crockpot )

By now, I’m sure you all have heard about all the amazing health benefits of bone broth.  If by chance you haven’t, you can read about some of the benefits here.

Often, I’ll make a soup from the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving, by boiling it on the stovetop but other than that…I’ve been totally lazy thinking it was too much of a process to do regularly.

Until recently, when a friend told me she does it in her crockpot over night-DUH!!

Every week we have a rotisserie chicken for dinner.  For whatever reason, the chicken gets dried out and nobody eats it after a day.  So, every week I end up throwing away the leftovers after a few days and get SO frustrated over the wasting off all that chicken!  NO MORE!

This last week, I took off all the extra chicken we didn’t eat that same night and put the carcass in our slow cooker.  The next day, I added back in the chicken

Ingredients (feeds 4 with leftovers)

  • One Rotisserie Chicken (Mine was half eaten from the night before-haha!)
  • 4 Medium sized carrots(I used organic Rainbow Carrots, because… FUN COLORS! :))
  • 6-8 Cups of Water
  • 2 Can Chicken Broth (check labels if you are on Whole30)
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 Medium to Large Onion Diced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a bag of noodles.  (You could use gluten free OR 2 cups zoodles or sweet potato noodles etc if you are Whole30!)

Directions

  • Pick off all the chicken from the bone and set aside in an airtight container.
  • Place the carcass in the slowcooker with the carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Pour 6-8 cups of water.  I used 6, but then added some chicken stock later.  I wasn’t sure if just one carcass would flavor the broth enough.
  • Cook on low overnight for 12 hours.
  • The next morning, pull on the bones out.  I left the carrots and onions in there.  They were mushy, but I figured the flavor would still be good and it was!
  • Add shredded chicken back in and let sit on warm until dinner!
  • If you aren’t doing Whole30 or you could also add in noodles at this point and they end up cooking on the “warm” cycle til dinner.  Ours were a little soft, but still yummy!
  • For Whole30 add in zoodles or sweet potato noodles!

You can see Esther’s chicken soup post where she started from scratch with a whole chicken.

And, other easy Crockpot Recipes you might enjoy…

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Healthy Chicken and Dumplings

Crockpot Veggie Pasta and Turkey Meat Sauce

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Healthier Hello Dolly Bars

I haven’t had much time to bake lately, much less take pictures and blog about it!  BUT…I had a client reschedule this past weekend, and I knew it would make Maya super happy if we made something together, so…we did!

I’d been dying to try Feasting on Fruits “Vegan Magic Cookie Bars” recipe ever since I saw her post it on Instagram.  The originals are my husband’s all time favorite bar cookie, so I couldn’t wait to try a healthier version.

While they are not as ooey gooey and decadent as the original version, they are really good!  I got a thumbs up from all the taste testers, including grandparents, teenage stepson, Maya, AND the Huz!

What you need…

ALMOND CRUST OPTION (she posts an oat crust option too)

What to do…

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grab a cute assistant 😉

  • For the almond crust, combine the almond flour and maple syrup in a bowl. Mix to create a sticky and clumpy dough that holds together when pressed. Add 1 tbsp water if it seems too dry.

  • Press the crust into an 8x8baking dish  lined with parchment paper (I didn’t have any, so I just greased the pan). Bake for 10 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.

  • While the crust is cooling, blend the bananas until smooth.

  • Pour the banana puree on top of the crust.

  • Sprinkle on the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. Gently press down until the banana puree rises up covering everything.

  • Bake for 35 minutes at 350F.

  • Cool then chill (she said to do it overnight, but we ate them later that evening!)

    Enjoy!

    dit-elle-Lauren