Rutabaga is even more delicious than potato atop this paleo version of shepherd’s pie. This shepherd’s pie with rutabaga is one of my go-to dinners during the colder months! Recipe and photos updated September 2019.
Sesame Kale & Beef Rice Bowls with Fried Eggs & Pickled Carrots
These sesame kale and beef rice bowls with fried eggs and pickled carrots make a quick and hearty gluten-free dinner with plenty of vibrant colors and rich flavors.
I’m finally back with a new recipe! I’m currently typing this with one hand while Madeline is nursing. Having a baby is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t leave me with much extra time. Luckily Madeline is generally an easygoing baby who eats and sleeps well and doesn’t cry too much, so if I play my cards right I can still get a fair amount accomplished.
It’s been wonderful having three uninterrupted months to focus on bonding with Madeline and Ben, but I’m very excited to get back to sharing recipes with you. These sesame kale and beef rice bowls with fried eggs and pickled carrots may sound like a mouthful, but they’re easy to put together and just the kind of thing I want to be eating on a Monday night.
Instant Pot Bacon and Sweet Potato Chili
This paleo & Whole30-compliant Instant Pot bacon and sweet potato chili is an old favorite made twice as fast in the pressure cooker. Make a big batch and freeze some for later!
I’m kind of a chili purist. I don’t like beans in my chili and I don’t want any tomatoes in there, either. I also don’t like it to be too soupy. Over the years I’ve tried many chili recipes, but my bacon and sweet potato chili is the only one I come back to again and again. Many of my friend have made it, too, and it’s always a hit. It freezes really well, so it’s a perfect make-ahead meal. I’m definitely planning to stock my freezer with some to have on hand once our baby arrives!
Bolognese Stuffed Zucchini with Pesto
This post is sponsored by Uncle Steve’s Italian Specialties.
These bolognese stuffed zucchini with pesto are a satisfying and summery Whole30 meal made with organic tomato basil sauce, ground beef, and plenty of fresh pesto on top.
How is summer treating you so far? Here in Chattanooga it’s been nice and hot (just the way I like it!) and we’ve been getting in a lot of swimming. I’ve also been working on my tan while doing my farm share work, and loving the first rounds of summer produce showing up, like zucchini, basil, and even a few tomatoes.
I used my early squash to make these bolognese stuffed zucchini with pesto, which combine seasonal vegetables and a few pantry staples to make an easy but hearty paleo dinner.
And no, I’m not suggesting you make a true bolognese sauce that needs to simmer away for hours in this heat. This is a bit of a cheater’s bolognese, because we’re letting Uncle Steve’s do the hard work for us. Their organic tomato basil sauce is so flavorful that all we have to do is brown the ground beef with a little onion, and stir in the sauce. The resulting filling will fool all your lucky dinner companions into thinking you worked all day to handcraft an authentic Italian sauce.
Vietnamese Beef Lettuce Wraps
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These quick Vietnamese beef lettuce wraps are my new go-to light dinner for spring. They’re gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, and easy to put together.
I am a huge fan of Vietnamese food. When Ben and I lived in Boston, our neighborhood had a lot of Vietnamese families and businesses. There was a great little supermarket within walking distance where I could pick up everything from fish sauce to rice paper wraps to long stalks of fresh lemongrass. One of our favorite restaurants, Pho Hoa, was just blocks away. I usually ordered the house special vermicelli plate. It had pretty much everything: grilled pork, shrimp on sugarcane, meatballs, grilled scallions, pickled carrots, chopped peanuts, and even a sliced spring roll all on top of vermicelli. It also came with rice paper wraps and a bowl of hot water so you could make your own fresh rolls.
These fast and easy Vietnamese lettuce wraps are loosely based on the flavors of that dish. Instead of vermicelli and rice paper wraps, we’re using fresh leaves of lettuce with a little jasmine rice inside to soak up the saucy beef. You could definitely use rice noodles or cauliflower rice instead if you prefer! The beef is quickly cooked with a little garlic and a sauce that combines tamari (or coconut aminos), fish sauce, honey, and sambal oelek. The result is an umami-packed flavor with just the right balance of sweet, salt, spice, and funk.
Deep Dish Paleo Tamale Pie
This paleo tamale pie combines a beef chili base made with peppers, tomatoes, and squash with a fluffy, grain-free “cornbread” topping.
Have you heard of tamale pie? It’s a casserole that’s loosely based on the ingredients for tamales, except they’re layered in a dish or skillet instead of wrapped in corn husks. Think a really delicious beef chili with a layer of cornbread baked right on top.
I didn’t grow up eating tamale pie, but apparently a lot of people did–a Bon Appétit article caught my eye recently with the headline: “Cornbread Tamale Pie Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time.” The author made a great case for why this dish is one of the best foods ever, and I was left with a distinct hankering to create a paleo tamale pie of my own.
For the filling, I packed in as much delicious produce as humanly possible: diced scallions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash, and cilantro. No, butternut squash is not a traditional ingredient in tamale pie, but I had half of one in the fridge just begging to be thrown in. I ended up loving the subtle sweetness the squash added. Conventional tamale pies often have corn kernels in the filling, so the butternut makes up for that by lending sweet pops of flavor without the addition of grains.
When you make this, you may find yourself tempted, like I was, to just eat the chili base on its own and to forget about the faux cornbread topping. I actually spooned myself out a little bowl of filling to eat while the tamale pie baked, and I suggest you do the same: I don’t want you to miss out on the fluffy topping, but the chili is great in its own right, so why not sneak in a little mid-cookup snack?
Picadillo with Plantains from Well Fed Weeknights
This Cuban picadillo with plantains is a quick and tasty Whole30 meal that covers all the flavor bases: sweet, savory, tangy, spicy, and creamy.
Big news! The third book in Melissa Joulwan’s best-selling Well Fed series is almost here, and in my opinion, it’s the best one yet. Well Fed Weeknights is packed full of creative and delicious dinner recipes that can all be made in 45 minutes or less.
I’ve been a fan of Mel’s scrumptious recipes ever since I first made her carnitas years ago, so I was super excited when I got my hands on a preview copy of the book. Since I love Cuban food and especially adore plantains, this picadillo with plantains called out to me right away.
Picadillo is sort of like a hash made with ground beef and various other additions depending on the country each version hails from. This Cuban one starts off with onion, garlic, and a fragrant mix of spices starring cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, and is finished off with chunks of green plantain, sweet raisins, and green olives.
The picadillo is then served with lime slices, scallions, cilantro, and–if you’re me and you like to try out food trends but usually do so several months late–avocado roses. The result is a dish that’s satisfying and interesting in the best way, with sweet pops of raisin, sour olives, perfectly spiced meat, chewy plantains, and creamy avocado coming together to make quite a flavor party.
Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls with Crispy Eggs
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Spiced beef and sweet potato bowls with crispy eggs, fresh figs, and goat cheese: a unique and satisfying grain-free breakfast or dinner in less than 30 minutes.
This may seem like a strange combination of foods, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. This quick spiced beef with sweet potatoes is delicious all on its own, but adding a crispy egg, a few fresh figs, and a generous dollop of goat cheese kicks things up several levels.
The spiced beef and sweet potatoes is a fast, pared-down version of my bacon and sweet potato chili, with a few slightly more exotic spices added in. Microwaving the sweet potato chunks for a few minutes while the meat is browning saves times and ensures even cooking. Coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and allspice give the beef and sweet potatoes just the right amount of fragrance and spice.
In case you haven’t had the pleasure of indulging in a crispy egg, let me sell you on it. It has perfectly cooked whites, a runny yolk, and irresistible crunchy browned lacy bits all around the edges.
Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce with Sweet Potato Spaghetti
There’s nothing more comforting than a slow-cooked Bolognese sauce with sweet potato spaghetti! It’s gluten free, paleo, and much more colorful and nutritious than regular spaghetti and meatballs.
Bacon and Sweet Potato Chili
This bacon and sweet potato chili is my go-to paleo dinner. The recipe makes a large batch, and it freezes well!