Easy sausage and lentil soup

Easy sausage and lentil soup

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School is back in, woot woot! Leaves are turning every shade of red, woot woot! Kids are sniffling, woo- wait no.

Fall is my favorite season but every year without fail, fall serves us up a hot steamy plate of illness. Yes guys, cold and flu season is officially here.

We got hit with flu the first week of school, and now it seems like a second round of something nasty is upon us.

Classic chicken soup just doesn’t excite me like it used to and I wanted to shake things up a bit.

I’m (finally) in school for nutrition and learning so much about how simple carbs effect PCOS’ers like me, so I knew I wanted to make a soup rich in protein and fiber, both key for slowing digestion and sugar release into the bloodstream. Noodles floating in some watery broth was just not going to cut it for me friends.

Because I use a bone broth as the base for this soup, it is loaded with essential aminos, healthy fat and delicious flavour. Bone broth is a much better option than powdered ‘soup’ stock or cubes filled with strange additives and unknown ingredients, but if that’s all you have on hand, you do you.

Most days I have some sort of broth bubbling in my cock pot, the stock for this soup was made from parts of my organic thanksgiving turkey carcass and aromatic veggies.
Even if you’re not sick, do yourself a favour and make this soup, it is so yummy, filling and nutritionally balanced so you can eat it on it’s own as a meal. It freezes well and stores in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Sausage and lentil soup, serves 4

Ingredients:
2 chicken sausages (use organic, gluten free, preservative free if possible) I used a local organic brand of chicken apple sausage that I love
1 tbsp grass fed butter, ghee or virgin coconut oil
1 small onion or large leek
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
½ cup tomato sauce or a chopped organic tomato
¼ tsp of each thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano
1 bay leaf
½ cup soaked lentils
8 cups bone broth (or stock of choice)
2 cups of kale, chard or leafy green of choice
½ lemon or lime juiced
Parsley for garnish

Directions :
Heat your fat in a soup pot and gently fry the sausages over medium low heat do not burn
Remove sausage from the pot and set aside, stir in onion and garlic and cook until just translucent
Add herbs, aromatic vegetables (not the greens), tomato sauce and bone broth, place the sausages back in the pot and simmer it all together until veggies are softened
Remove the bay leaf and sausages and blend with an immersion hand blender (super easy way to get kids to eat veggies but skip this step if you love a chunky soup)
Add soaked and rinsed red lentils and cook until softened or about 30 minutes to an hour
Finish with fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley and torn greens
Allow the greens to wilt in the hot soup, adjust salt and pepper to taste (this will vary depending on how salty your broth is)
Enjoy and share it if you love it!

Thai style coconut curry bone broth soup – grain free – gluten free – gut healing

Thai style coconut curry bone broth soup – grain free – gluten free – gut healing

It has been colder than a mofo up here in Alberta these past couple of weeks so I’ve been making soup on the regular.

There is something so comforting about a steaming bowl of soup on a cold winter day.  I love to listen to it simmer away on the stove as smells of warmth and comfort engulf my home.  I also love to use up every last bit of leftover roast chickens I make frequently and find that a good soup is the best way to do this.

Soup makes winter just slightly more bearable.

And according to my guy, this is the best soup I have EVER made.  My kids are always less enthusiastic but still happily cleaned their bowls(I served theirs over rice stick noodles) and if you know my kids, you’d know eating without complaint is basically a win for mom.

The broth is a perfectly balanced mix of fat, sweet, sour and spice.  I find Thai Kitchen curry paste to be incredibly mild so if you are cooking for a more adult palette I would suggest obtaining a more authentic curry paste or add a few extra chilis to your broth.  Thai kitchen seems to be the easiest to find around here and does the trick in this recipe.

We all know bone broth is a gut healing super hero but most people don’t realise it should be a near daily part of any autoimmune healing diet.

I usually have a slow cooker full of bone broth on the go as well as a few mason jars of prepared broth in my fridge.  You can also freeze it in popsicle molds or ice cube trays so you always have it on hand.

I’ll often drink bone broth like a cup of tea or cook my veggies in it as an alternative to oil. But after making countless pots of the nourishing liquid I began to tire of the typical, carrots, celery, onion, garlic bay leaf flavour.

If you’re getting bored with plain old bone broth try some different variations. With herbs, spices and veggies, there is a world of taste possibility out there.

The key to making this soup super good is making a super good broth as the base.  I make mine with some key Thai ingredients so when it comes time to assemble the soup you are already half way there.

It just takes a few simple add ins to transform the broth from something typical to something spectacular.  And if making broth seems like more trouble than its worth don’t fret, its actually just a few minutes of prep time.  Your stove will do the rest and your house will smell amazing.

The broth is the most daunting part of this recipe as it comes with a fairly long ingredient list.  Feel free to leave out any ingredients you can’t find as long as you include the curry paste and lime leaves, it turns out.

This recipe yields extra broth that freezes super well so you can make future batches of this soup quickly whenever the craving strikes. Once you have the broth made, the rest is easy.

 

Thai coconut curry soup 

 

Broth ingredients:

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tbsp. red curry paste

1 organic chicken carcass stripped of meat (set meat aside for the soup)

1 onion or 2 shallots chopped

1 stalk of celery chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 roma tomato chopped

3-4 cloves of smashed garlic

3 litres filtered water

a few thin slices of fresh ginger root

2-3 lime leaves

a bunch of cilantro stems

1 smashed stalk of lemongrass

1-3 thai chillies (whole for milder broth chopped for more heat)

1 tsp fish sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Soup ingredients:

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tbsp. curry paste

1 can coconut milk

6 cups prepared broth

1 lime juiced

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp fish sauce

2 cups chopped cauliflower (or cauliflower rice)

1 chopped red pepper

Shredded left over chicken

Handful of chopped cilantro leaves

 

Directions for broth: 

Heat your oil in a Dutch oven and add the curry paste, cook a minute until it becomes fragrant

Add the onion, celery, carrot, tomato, and garlic, cook a couple minutes more

Add water and scrape any browned bits to incorporate

Toss in chicken carcass and remaining ingredients

Bring up to a low simmer and allow to cook for a minimum of 14 hours or up to 48 hours

If you would like to you can transfer it to a slow cooker or leave it to simmer on your stove top (not recommended for gas ovens)

 

Directions for soup:

Heat the oil in a soup pot

Stir in curry paste and cook until fragrant

Add prepared broth and bring up to a simmer

Toss in peppers and cauliflower, cook about 10 minutes

Add a full can of coconut milk (the light variety works fine too)

Add chicken, fish sauce, coconut sugar and salt and pepper to taste

Simmer another 5 minutes

Finish with lime juice, cilantro and coconut sugar to taste

Serve with a lime wedge.

Serves 3

 

Feel free to adjust to your tastes, if you are watching those cals go lighter on the coconut milk and supplement with more broth.  If you are still on the grain train serve it over rice stick noodles or basmati rice.  Be sure to taste it as you go, and you’ll know when its perfect.

If you make your own version please tag me on IG @tha_wild_sage or go ahead and pin it.  Getting good feedback on my healthy recipes is all the motivation I need to keep making more.

Happy healing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pad Thai – Grain free – Low Carb -Delicious

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I love Pad Thai, but not just any version, it has to be the authentic flavor created with a base of Tamarind paste.  Ketchup on rice noodles?  NO THANK YOU.

When people suggest the taste difference between the two methods is barely discernable I scoff.  As someone who doesn’t even really like ketchup on fries there is no way a plate of ketchup-y noodles is going to suffice for the real thing.

The best Pad Thai looks like it barely even has any sauce on it.  The rice sticks are soaked in warm water (never boiled) so they don’t get over cooked and the balance of flavours is so perfect I can polish of a plate without even stopping to realise I have just ingested a full days worth of calories.

I believe it is super important to eat healthy food ninety percent of the time, especially when healing from an autoimmune disease, but I also feel it is important to treat yo self! Subscribing rigidly to diet labels can ultimately set us up for failure and on the rare occasions I find myself eating out in a Thai restaurant, I order the Pad Thai. As long as they can make it gluten free I do the dang thing, no guilt, no shame.

However, when cooking at home I’m pretty serious about avoiding grains and dairy, (aside from the occasional gluten free tortilla chip)  Since ditching most grains my thyroid antibodies have improved, my body composition has improved, I’ve had more energy and I’ve noticed hair regrowth.  Why mess with a good thing?

Yesterday I had a craving for some Pad Thai and decided I would create a version I can eat as often as I like, one that would nourish my body and keep those insulin levels stable.  What I came up with did not taste exactly the same as the noodles from an actual Thai restaurant, but it was very similar, and completely satisfying.  Craving crushed!

Using a combination of zucchini and carrots for the ‘noodles’ kept my palate interested and made the dish look super pretty and colorful.

 

Ingredients:

Sauce – 1 tbsp. coconut aminos, 1 tsp tamarind paste, 1 tsp coconut sugar, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 clove grated garlic, salt and pepper.

1 small organic chicken breast

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 small shallot finely diced

1 egg

3 tbsp. chopped peanuts

1 chopped scallion or garlic chives (green parts)

A few sprigs of cilantro

A lime wedge

Red chilis to taste

2- 3 tbsp. cooking oil

 

Directions:

Make the zucchini/ carrot noodles with a spiralizer or vegetable peeler

Make the sauce in a mason jar, shake vigorously to combine

*Tip* Make extra and save the excess for future preparations, it lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge

Slice chicken breast into long thin strips, lightly season with salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet and sauté shallot

Toss chicken in and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until light brown

Push the chicken to one side and crack the egg into the skillet, stir it around to scramble for about a minute

Add the zucchini and carrot ‘noodles’ to the pan pour the sauce overtop and stir everything to combine

Let it simmer another 1-2 minutes, allow most of the liquid to evaporate but don’t overcook

Drizzle with lime juice, and top with fresh herbs and peanuts

Plate with an additional lime wedge and optional red chilis

Serves 2

 

 

 

 

 

Braised beef tacos – gluten free – grain free – dairy free – kid friendly

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It sounds a bit gruesome but I love to split a whole cow from a local farm with friends and family.  Other than hunting wild game (which, there is just no way) this is probably the most economical, humane and sustainable way to eat meat.  You know exactly ‘who’ you are eating and how they lived.  Its easier to meal plan when you have a couple months supply of beef in the freezer, there are less trips to the grocery store and less food waste overall.

Throwing out meat is something that just does not happen around my house.

For a long time I was vegan, and for an ever longer time I completely abstained from red meat, opting instead for poultry or fish.  In turn, for a long time, my blood tests have revealed super low ferritin levels (ferritin is just a fancy word for a body’s total iron stores.)

As it turns out, having low ferritin is often associated with hashimotos, and low ferritin can even end up being the true culprit behind many hashimotos symptoms (specifically, hair loss, cold sensitivity, fatigue and even heart palpitations!)

No amount of Spinach, molasses, lentils or supplementation could ever seem to do much for raising those stubborn ferritin levels.  For years, they consistently hovered between 4 and 17, but when I finally added red meat back into my diet (and cut out those grains) all of my symptoms slowly began to improve.

My ferritin levels finally crept above 20, and best of all, my hair shedding slowed dramatically.

I still love a good plant based meal, but I no longer believe that eating meat is ethically wrong.  I feel it is my first priority to be a good mom to my kids and being a suffering wreck riddled with autoimmune disease and anxiety was truly effecting my ability to parent and just exist in the world.

Anyone who has experienced either can attest, hashimotos (and PCOS) can be downright painful.

I now believe eating ethically is all about making better choices about the meat we do eat and eating less of it overall.  The most important thing we can do is listen to our bodies.  If something in our health is amiss, chances are high that something in our diet is amiss too.

I love Mexican flavors and find that this braised beef is a foolproof yet super flavorful way to cook almost any cut of beef. I have tried this with chuck, sirloin and tip roasts, it always turns out.  When in doubt, ask your butcher to recommend a roast that braises well.  The key to this beef is in the long game.  You have to make the time to cook it super low and slow, and if your cut of beef is particularly large and lean, cut it into smaller chunks before searing and braising.

My husband begs me to make this at least once a week and thinks I’m an absolute superstar every time I pull it from the oven.  My picky kids like it too.

I love this beef on grain free tortillas, but it is also a treat served over mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice.  Pair it with a side of guacamole, pico de gallo, and slaw and you’ve got dinner.

Tip * Feel free to sub the beef for chicken, just reduce the cooking time by half.

 

Ingredients:

3-4 pound beef roast

Spice rub ; 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder

4 tbsp olive oil

2 cups beef stock

1 diced jalapeno

3-4 whole garlic cloves peeled

2 diced roma tomatoes

1 cup salsa verde ( I highly recommend the Herdez brand)

1 lime

1 bunch chopped cilantro (include the stems)

 

Directions :

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Let the beef sit at room temperature for about a half hour prior to cooking

Prepare the spice rub

Cut the roast into smaller roughly 1 pound pieces

Drizzle the beef with 2 tbsp olive oil and roll in the spice rub to coat

In a dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid heat the remaining oil and sear the beef on all sides to a light brown color

Pour in the beef stock and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot into the liquid

Toss in the salsa verde, tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic cloves and a handful of chopped cilantro.

The liquid should come no more than 1/2 way up the beef

Bring up to a low simmer, cover with a lid and put into the preheated oven

Try to forget about it for 2.5 -3 hours

Tip * If you are using a super lean cut flip the beef halfway through cooking so both sides spend some time immersed in the cooking liquid.

Assemble your tortillas, slaw and guacamole

After three hours turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven another hour

Pull out the beef and shred with forks

Optionally you can use an immersion blender to turn the liquids in the pot into a smooth gravy.  If you are feeding kids you might want to pull out some, or all, of the jalapenos before pureeing.

Mix the shredded beef back into the sauce and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Swimming rama – Thai style beef peanut curry with cauliflower rice – low carb – paleo – grain free – gluten free

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Swimming Rama is my favorite of the Thai curries.  Maybe because I have such a soft spot for the ever controversial peanut butter.  But yum.

It is so rich, flavourful and satisfying.  If you can’t do peanuts you can substitute for cashew or almond butter, it will taste slightly different but will still provide that rich creaminess we are all chasing.

This curry can be made vegan by subbing the meat for tofu, it also is great with chicken, prawns or whatever protein you have on hand.

The magic is in the sauce.

Traditionally, swimming rama is poured over a bed of wilted greens, and served with rice.  I like broccolini, spinach or bok choy, but again, just use what you have on hand.

Because I’m feeling so good eating grain free, I obviously recommend subbing out those grains for a fluffy, steaming bowl of cauliflower rice, but that’s your call.

Meat or vegan, rice or cauliflower this is a perfect meal any day of the week that comes together quickly and pleases even picky family members.

 

Ingredients :

1 shallot

1-2 tbsp. red curry paste (adjust to personal spice preferences)

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 can coconut milk

1-2 limes

chopped cilantro

3 tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp fish sauce

2 cups protein of choice

As much steamed or sautéed greens as you like

As much cauliflower rice as you like

 

Directions :

Finely chop shallot and lightly saute in oil about 30 seconds

Add curry paste and continue to saute until the paste becomes fragrant

Toss in protein and roll around in the curry sauce and shallots

Slowly add coconut milk and allow to lightly simmer (don’t boil)

When the protein has cooked through (about 10 minutes) turn off heat

Add fish sauce, lime juice, peanut butter and cilantro

Stir to combine and salt and pepper to taste if needed

*Tip* Serve with an extra lime wedge and let everyone add their own chopped red chilis at the end to individually customize the heat and acid.

If you try this recipe and like it tag me @tha_wild_sage and give it a pin!

 

 

One skillet primal chicken pot pie, gluten free, grain free.

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This is a much healthier skillet version of chicken pot pie.

One of my favorite weeknight dinners is the roast chicken.  It looks so impressive, tastes so good and is yet so simple.  But the real magic happens the next day when I turn the left overs into bone broth and subsequently, chicken pot pie.

Chicken pot pie was one of the first foods I was determined to make grain free.  It’s such a creamy bowl of comfort that warms up even the coldest of days.

Turns out, with the combination of Cassava and Almond flour, making a flaky, grain free lower glycemic crust is actually nbd, and I now make this all the time.

The whole thing gets made in one skillet so there is way less clean up.  Tapioca flour thickens the filling and coconut milk gives it that creaminess we all crave.

Served with shaved brussels sprouts, swiss chard and salad it is to die for, and other than the grass fed butter and potatoes, completely paleo.

 

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Grain free primal chicken pot pie

 

Pie crust ingredients:

3/4 cup cassava flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

2 tbsp ice water

 

Filling ingredients:

2 tbsp fat (butter, ghee or coconut oil)

2 cups bone broth

2 cups chopped chicken meat

1 Onion

2 carrots

3 stalks of celery

2 potatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup frozen peas (optional, I sometimes leave it out because my son hates them)

2 tbsp tapioca flour

2 tbsp fat (grass fed butter or coconut oil)

thyme (fresh or dried)

bay leaf

chopped fresh parsley

 

Pie crust directions:

  1. Pop your butter into the freezer to firm it up, ( if using another form or fat it should also be chilled, but I can’t promise success unless butter is used so try at your own risk.)
  2. Mix the flours and salt in a bowl or the bottom of your cold skillet.
  3. Using a box grater grate in chilled butter.
  4. Using your fingers crumble the butter into the flours (if you have a food processor a few pulses in there works too).
  5. Add the egg and just enough ice water to form a sturdy dough.
  6. Don’t over mix, just bring it all together.
  7. Wrap the dough in saran and chill in the fridge while you assemble the pie filling.
  8. Once the filling has been assembled roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment, it should roll to about 1/4 inch and be just big enough to lay across the skillet with enough excess to completely cover the filling.
  9. Poke a few holes in the top of the crust.
  10. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and flaky and the filling bubbles over it.

 

Filling directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Chop the onions into a fine dice and cut the rest of the veggies to desired sizes.
  3. Heat the fat and sauté the onions until translucent.
  4. Toss in the garlic and thyme, sauté until fragrant.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies and the tapioca flour. (use any grain free thickener of choice)
  6. Let the flour brown lightly but don’t burn it (1-2 minutes)
  7. Pour in the chicken stock, coconut milk, bay leaf and parsley.
  8. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the veggies soften a bit.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool a bit and then drape with the prepared pie crust.
  10. Press the excess edges of the crust into the skillet to seal in the filling.
  11. Poke a few fork holes in the top so steam can escape and return it to the oven for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing gluten free – grain free pizza crust

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Have you ever tried cauliflower pizza crust?

This is how I feel about cauliflower pizza crust.

I mean, it is technically pizza, so I obviously ate it.  But I just don’t know about it… maybe I did it wrong?

I will probably attempt it again with tweaks, but I’ve got to say, since going grain free  I have missed pizza most of all.   Real, chewy, hold it in your hand and let your fingers get all greasy pizza.

And so I busted out my arsenal of grain free flours and whipped up a pie my kids actually LOVE and ask for at least once a week.

I guarantee I will never hear them request cauliflower pizza again.  But my grain free version of pizza with chicken apple sausage and cashew feta.  Yep.  They can’t get enough.

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Easy grain free pizza crust

Ingredients:

1.5 cups bobs paleo flour blend

salt to taste

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vinegar

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (it gives a really nice chewy texture, but just omit if you have severe dairy allergies, it’s good both ways.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mix the paleo flour with salt but reserve the coconut flour.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients including the cheese and combine into a wet dough.
  4. Slowly add the coconut flour until it comes together just enough to handle without sticking to fingers.
  5. Roll out between two pieces of parament and toss onto a sheet pan or pizza stone.
  6. Prick the surface with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Top with desired toppings and bake for an additional 15. (*If using any nut cheeses put them on at the very end after the pizza has been baked.)