If you have ever gone out for Thai (I am choosing to TRUST that you have) then you will probably have seen this on the menu. I find it’s not very well known as most people bypass the whole “leafy green” part of Thai menus and head straight over to the rice-and-noodles/ Thai basil chicken stir fry or orange beef stir fry kinda section
What is Larb?
Larb itself is a salad based on minced meat and is often called the national dish of Laos, although it’s super popular in Thailand (hence why you find it in Thai restaurants)
Larb GAI (sometimes pronounced as laab gai) which is translated as chicken larb, is a Thai style salad that is made up of ground, chicken mixed with diced red peppers, shallots, cucumbers, Thai basil (GAH, this stuff is ah-may-zing!), mint and some sort of leafy green. It is topped with a sweet and spicy dressing made of fish sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and diced Thai chili peppers.
Side note: If you own a pressure washer, use that to wash your hands after you dice a Thai chili.
I used the regular old kitchen sink and thought that would get the juices from the chili off my hands. I then rubbed my eyeballs. I clearly thought wrong.
Chili peppers: 1, Taylor’s eyeballs: Ouch.
The typical larb gai recipe also has finely ground toasted rice, which this one doesn’t. So, TECHNICALLY it’s not a traditional chicken larb recipe, but you get the idea, right?
It’s also not traditional (because why not continue being rule breakers?) because I am making you chicken larb gai LETTUCE WRAPS instead of making it into a pretty little salad that you eat with a fork.
Truth life fact: food that you can eat with your fingers > Food that you have to eat like a grown up with a fork and be civilized.
The lettuce wraps themselves are a flavor explosion of punchy garlic and onion with crisp peppers, crunchy cucumbers and these bursts of fresh mint and thai basil dancing across your tongue with juicy pieces of ground chicken. Then you DOUSE them in a sweet, salty and TANGY super-simple dipping sauce and when you put it all inside your mouth pretty much everything in the world makes sense.
But, I want to touch on the sauce for a second for 2 reasons!
It is STRONG so you want to use it super sparingly. It’s salty and tangy and fishy in an actually authentic kind of Thai way.
It might not be for you. Like I said it’s authentic and strong and I love it like that. Mr. FFF though? Not so much. He told me to tell you that if you don’t love salty fishiness you should probably find a good peanut sauce and use them as the sauce!
What kind of lettuce for lettuce wraps?
A note on the lettuce situation. You can totally use my favorite lettuce-wrap lettuce: butter lettuce. BUT, for these chicken larb gai lettuce wraps, I REALLY love cabbage. It’s a little sturdier and has this nice crispy crunch that really plays well with the soft, juicy ground chicken.
Just ignore the photos. I couldn’t find cabbage at the store that day.
Heat 1/2 Tbsp of the peanut oil in a medium pan on medium heat. Cook the ground chicken until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later use.
Heat the remaining oil in a small pan over medium/high heat and cook the shallots and garlic until they are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Combine all the salad ingredients, excluding the fish sauce, in a large bowl. Add in garlic, shallots and chicken and stir until well combined. Finally, pour the fish sauce over top and stir until well mixed.
Pour the 2 Tbsps of fish sauce over the chicken and vegetable mixture and toss until it is evenly coated. Set aside.
Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill each lettuce cup with chicken/vegetable mixture and top with chopped nuts and a drizzle of sauce (or you can dip the wrap into the sauce.)
*This sauce is very strong so you want to use it sparingly. If you don’t love tangy, salty flavors I highly recommend you find a good peanut sauce recipe and use that instead. I LOVE the salty tang, but it might not be for everyone!
This Indian spiced chicken is mixed with a creamy, flavorful cilantro pesto for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner that is low carb and has big flavor!
PIN Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Pesto
Bright, zingy, zippy and nutty. That is what this cilantro pesto is all about.
It has this base of salty, roasty cashews that are blended with a HECK of a lot of cilantro, fresh mint, vibrant lemon and this underlying pop of jalapeno spice that will make you wonder why you have been making pesto out of basil for your whole life.
Not that there is anything wrong with basil pesto. In my book, ALL pesto is a good pesto.
But cilantro pesto with tender, juicy chunks of tomato simmered Indian chicken? It is the BEST decision.
To be honest, I think I could make Indian recipes for every single recipe that I make for you forever, and be totally happy. Give me Indian paleo chicken kebabs, chicken curry, or lentil coconut curry and I would be one well-fed, excited-about-life kinda girl. Just like cilantro is my spirit herb, I am pretty sure that Indian food is my spirit, well, FOOD.
It’s creamy and spicy with a naturally sweet tomato base, and sometimes even has this underlying rich, smooth coconut flavor that makes it a FEAST for the senses. Which makes your hungry mouth want to FEAST for the belly.
This Indian chicken is sautéed to golden brown bliss and then kissed with golden-hued, sunny and spicy turmeric, garam masala and cumin to give it this BIG flavor that pretty much just explodes all over your taste buds. Then a little bit of sweet tomato swoops onto the scene to tone the excitement down just a little bit.
Let’s not get too crazy here friends.
Just when you thought you were already on board the bus to flavor town, population Y-O-U, you are going to add most of the creamy, herby, nutty cilantro pesto that you did not even know you needed in your life until now and be forever changed.
Not even an exaggeration.
You will try it and you will make it over and over to put on Indian Spiced Chicken, but you will also put it on everything else that even comes near your mouth. My current non-chicken go-to? Roasted vegetables or salmon. <– You will not be mad if you try either option. Pinky swear.
But, back to Indian Spiced Chicken with Cashew Cilantro Pesto.
You will then put the rest of the cashew pesto on TOP of the chicken but do not mix it in. The flavor of the un-mingled mint and cilantro add this cooling swirl of freshness to the underlying base of spiced chicken and tangy tomato sauce that is pretty much just perfect.
Daaaang my internet friend. You just made a delicious, nutritious dinner that is loaded with protein, vegetables (forgot to mention the cauliflower rice situation you will need to make happen in your life) and heart-healthy, good-for-you kind of fats. Also anti-inflammatory kind of spices that are gonna taste good and do your body GOOD.
So yea. Your dinner-eating life this week?
It is looking spicy. It is looking fresh. And it is looking so DANG delicious.
Just wanted to let you know that these FLUFFY healthy gluten free zucchini muffins with applesauce are sponsored by my friends over at Enjoy Life Foods!
These dairy free Zucchini Muffins are fluffy and sugar free! Sweetened with dates, studded with chocolate chips and so tasty!
PIN Healthy Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins with Chocolate Chips
Tell me: are you prepared for the zucchini apocalypse?
You know. The one that happens every summer to all the fancy-green-thumb people who actually have the skills to make things grow and plant zucchini in their gardens?
To be honest, I don’t much about this zucchini apocalypse phenomenon on account of the fact that I somehow managed to kill a cactus once. I also have about 5 dead succulents sitting in my house entry way right now.
Needless to say, my green thumb? Pretty NON EXISTENT.
Now, I may not be the worlds best gardener, but I DO know my way around making some muffins GROW. <– Which really just means I know how to make muffins but “grow” seemed like the right thing to say when talking about gardening.
These zucchini bread muffins, I do have to say, are pretty much perfect my internet friends. They are moist and soft and super tender, with that high, round, bakery-style top that is a little bit crispy and crunchy. They have these swirls of spicy cinnamon that complement the (natural!) sweetness of the dates and zucchini and then explosions of melty Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips!
May is Celiac Awareness month and while Mr. FFF isn’t celiac, he has sensitives to gluten and dairy, so I try to make mostly gluten/dairy free recipes for him. It’s definitely been a long journey of exploring what works for him and what doesn’t jive with his body, but it’s been a great learning experience and has pushed my recipe creation a lot!
He LOVES healthy zucchini muffins and has been begging me to make some, so these little gems are like a representation of helping him feel his best on this journey, while being able to eat the food he loves, and Enjoy Life Foods has been part of that process every step of the way! <3
Wow did not think I could get emotional about zucchini muffins yet here we are.
How to make these zucchini muffins vegan
I’ve made these muffins by mixing 1 Tbsp of avocado oil, 2 Tbsp of water and 2 tsp of baking powder and subbing it in the for the egg, and then removing the baking powder from the dry mixture. HOWEVER, the texture is not quite as good and you will only get 6 muffins, not 7, this way!
Final things that you need to know about zucchini muffin goodness:
These Healthy Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins with Applesauce are fluffy and sugar free! Sweetened with dates, studded with chocolate chips and so tasty!
3/4 Cup Deglet Noor Dates, (halved and packed (140g))
1/2 Cup Zucchini, (Grated)
1/4 Cup Unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 Cup Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Oat Flour ((103g)**)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Enjoy Life Foods Mini Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
Place the dates into a microwave safe bowl and microwave until just warm, about 30 seconds. Place them into a large food processor (mine is 10 cups) along with the zucchini, applesauce, almond milk, vanilla and egg. Blend until combined, stopping to scrape the sides down as needed. There will be tiny pieces of dates visible in the mixture, this is fine!
Combine the remaining ingredients, excluding the chocolate chips, in a medium bowl. Add in the zucchini mixture and stir until well mixed. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
Fill 7 muffin cavities just over 1/2 of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop for nice, domed tops!) and bake until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then, run a sharp knife around the outside and remove the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.
*If you don’t want to use the egg, you can mix 1 Tbsp avocado oil, 2 Tbsp water and 2 tsp baking powder, and then get rid of the baking powder in the dry ingredients. However, you will then only get 6 muffins and the nutritional info will change. The texture of these is not near as good as the egg version, but the taste is the same.
** Please make sure to measure your flour correctly (or just weigh it) to ensure results
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY MY FRIENDS AT ENJOY LIFE FOODS. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO CONTINUE CREATING GREAT CONTENT FOR YOU BY SUPPORTING PARTNERSHIPS WITH SUPER-FAB BRANDS THAT FOOD FAITH FITNESS LOVES TO WORK WITH! AS ALWAYS, OPINIONS REMAIN 100% MY OWN!
This butter chicken dip is an easy, healthy, gluten free and protein packed twist on the classic served with an easy no yeast gluten free naan bread!
PIN Butter Chicken Dip
The title of this post is actually kinda-sorta a lie.
There is actually NO butter in this what.so.eva.
In place of the butter in this easy butter chicken recipe we’re swapping in healthy, supa high protein, and SUPER creamy Greek yogurt.
You know those super amazing dips that you get at restaurants for an appetizer and then realize they are just so rich that you can barely even finish your dinner because you are just SO. STUFFED? Just like the Greek yogurt dip with kale and parmesan, this is not one of those.
You can probably even eat the whole thing and still have room for dinner! Who doesn’t love recipes where they can eat THEM ALL am I right
In our house, we LOVE Indian food, especially any kind of coconut curry, or the classic butter chicken recipe. What I do not love is all the cream and butter that goes into butter chicken. Mostly because it really upsets Mr. FFF tummy and partially because I like to save super heavy meals like that for weekends.
So, I made it my mission to make it healthy, but still keep all that flavor and spice that goes into the traditional recipe.
Man, oh man guys, this will totally satisfy your Indian craving.
It has got bold flavor with the cumin, garam masala and paprika, and has that thick and rich texture that is an absolute must in a dip. I hate me a watery dip. Plus, it is 10 zillion times easier than doing a traditional curry. Plus plus, it’s fun to bring to a party ’cause everyone and their dog brings homemade hummus or some sort of ok-to-eat-unbaked-and-somewhat-healthy-cookie-dough-dip.
But that is besides the point because butter chicken dip is in the house!
How to make butter chicken dip
Sautee some diced onion and garlic in a hot frying pan until soft and translucent
Add in your spices and cook until fragrant – you’ll know when that is because you’ll smell it!
Turn the heat to low and add in the tomatoes, Greek yogurt, cilantro and shredded chicken. Stir until well mixed
EAT UP with naan bread!
This would also be equally good just served with veggies or chips to dip but, if you have some extra minutes, please please PLEASE (I am actually begging you) do yourself a favor and make the gluten free naan bread recipe. It is so easy and so so so good.
I will preface this by telling you it’s a QUICK and easy, no yeast naan bread recipe, so isn’t quite as pillowy soft as you might be used to as it’s yeast-free. But when you’re in a pinch and want NAAN now, you will be VRY VRY grateful for it.
Do a dip, do a dunk..
Just do whatever it takes to get butter chicken dip in yo’ mouth.
This butter chicken dip is an easy, healthy, gluten free and protein packed twist on the classic served with an easy no yeast gluten free naan bread!
For the butter chicken dip:
1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 cup Onion, (chopped)
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic (minced.)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Cilantro, (diced)
1 Cup Shredded Chicken ((85g))
For the Naan: *
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Cornstarch ((88g) **)
1/4 Cup Oat flour ((GF if needed) (30g))
3 Tbsp White rice flour ((28g))
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp GF Xantham gum
2 Tbsp Garlic infused olive oil
7 Tbsp Unsweetened almond milk
Mix the cornstarch, oat flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add in the oil and milk. Stir until it comes together.
Use your hands to knead the dough about 10 times in the bowl, until it forms a smooth ball. Set aside to rest while you make the dip.
Preheat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
Add in the onion and garlic and cook until they just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add in the cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Stir until well combined.
Sautee the onion and spice mixture until the onions are soft and the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low and add in the crushed tomato, Greek yogurt, diced cilantro and the shredded chicken.
Stir until everything is well combined and transfer to a serving dish.
Divide the naan dough into 4 sections and roll each with a rolling pin until about 1/8 inch thick. You can lightly flour the counter if the dough begins to stick.
Lightly spray a large pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
Place one or two naans (depending on the size of your pan) in the pan and cook until it darkens in spot on the underside, about 1 to 2 minutes. You can lightly press it down with a spatula so it cooks evenly.
Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Repeat with remaining sections and then serve with the butter chicken dip.
*This is a quick Naan, so it won’t be as fluffy and bubbly as the traditional kind!
**Please weigh all your flours to ensure accurate results
This EASY healthy taco mason jar salad recipe is low carb, gluten free and Paleo friendly! THIS salad in a jar will actually make you actually LOVE salads!
PIN Taco Mason Jar Salad
I am pretty sure that I am one of THOSE people who just can’t get my head around the “dang fangled new trends of the 21st century”
And by that I mean, I am an 80 year old living in a 24 year olds body.
I mean, when did we start putting a salad in a jar? Back in the old country where I walked UPHILL both ways to school (WITH NO SHOES) we ate our salads in a bowl. You know, like all mixed up. Not in layers of COLOR and flavor that made my eyeballs happy because PRETTY.
But today I’ve got you a jar salad recipe that is never going to make you go back to bowls again: this paleo-friendly Chicken Taco Salad loaded with creamy avocado, spicy salsa and lightly-crisp-but-a-little-bit-smoky cumin toasty-roasty veggies.
Because my life motto is “CILANTRO ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME.”
For serious. I have about 6 bunches in my fridge right now. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME that I go to the store I walk by the leafy green section and go “BUT WHAT IF I HAVE NO CILANTRO AT HOME? WILL MY WORLD GO ON?” so I buy some out of sheer panic and terror.
What I didn’t understand about this whole salad-in-a-jar-shenanigans was exactly HOWONEARTH I am supposed to eat said salad out of said mason jar. Would it magically mix together if I just gave it a little shake and be ready for me to munch? How would I fit my fork into the bottom of the jar once I had gotten down to the end?
It stressed me OUT.
Until I was informed that you don’t, in fact, eat a mason jar salad OUT of the jar. It’s strategically layered so that the ingredients don’t do that gross soggy/mushy/veggie thang that happens when you bring pre-mixed salads to the working environment. You then dump it into a bowl and faceplant into your perfectly fresh and crisp green lunch and feel the healthy energy from your head to your tippy toes.
And, really, now that I actually get concept, HOW BRILLIANT IS THAT?
This salad. It’s seems unassuming and low-key. And it is. If I were taking the IDEA of this salad on a date, I would think just a small, cozy café lunch date would do the trick.
And then you take a bite and the creamy-smooth-avocado and toasted cumin hit you SQUARE in the taste buds, and you know this salad deserves something more than that. It needs to be wined and dined.
I really don’t even know what all the means. But, let’s roll with it.
How to Make Salad in a Jar
The key to making mason jar salads is ALL in how you layer them. You have to be strategic about how you layer so you can ensure it will stay good, fresh and not get soggy. You’ll start with the dressing on the bottom and then you’ll work your way from bottom to top with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients on the top. The lighter, more-absorbent ingredients will be on the top. Then your greens will go on the VERY top so they don’t get soggy!
How long does a salad in a jar last?
This mason jar salad will last a good 5-6 days in the refrigerator, if you layer it as I’ve outlined here. The layers are strategic so it stays fresh and not soggy!
THIS mason jar salad salad, with its healthy vegelicious unassumingly-delicious ways was declared “a salad that I actually don’t mind eating” by the kale-fearing-only-eat-steak-always-forever-the-end Huberoni.
In Mr. FFF speak that is like reaching the Mecca of salad GLORY.
And I know you want a piece of that.
So I suggest you shovel your nutritious nums into a pretty jar and watch as you give all those lovely co-workers a MAJAH case of LUNCH ENVY. For step-by-step instruction of this recipe, watch my video tutorial below: SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE! New recipes posted each week!
Healthy Taco Salad
This healthy taco salad recipe is low carb, gluten free and Paleo friendly! It’s served in a mason jar for a portable, easy lunch, that wont get soggy!
1 Tbsp Olive oil (divided)
8 Oz Chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 cup Large carrots (sliced (about 1 of slices))
1 Large Red Bell pepper (sliced)
1/2 Cup Large onion (roughly chopped (about 1/2 ))
2 tsps Garlic (minced)
2 tsp Cumin seed (not the powder)
1 Large avocado
1 Large Lime (juiced)
1 Cup Salsa of choice
2 Cup Roma tomatoes (chopped (about 1 ))
1/2 cup a Cucumber (chopped (about 1 ))
1/2 Cup Cilantro (roughly chopped)
2 Quart Wide-Mouth sized Mason Jars
Heat 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken breast until golden brown, and no longer pink on the outside. Set aside in a small bowl.
Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil into the pan turn to medium/high heat. Cook the carrots until they begin to just soften, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the pepper, onion and garlic. Cook until soft and the outsides begin to look charred.
While the veggies cook, place the cumin seeds in a small, dry pan over medium/high heat and toast them, stirring frequently until golden brown and fragrant, about 2-minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and crush. I use the bottom of a glass, which works really well.
Add the crushed seeds into the pan with the veggies and season with salt. Mix well and turn off the heat.
Scoop the avocado and the lime juice into a small food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You can also just mash them together in a bowl if you wish.
Place 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom of each jar, spreading evenly. Divide the avocado/lime mixture on top, gently spreading out. Then, divide the cumin roasted veggies, followed by the chicken. You may need to lightly pack everything in to get it all to fit.
After the chicken, place the chopped tomatoes, and then the cucumbers. Finish off by dividing the cilantro and then as much spinach as you can stuff in there!
How to Use Turmeric | 5 Ways + Health Benefits - YouTube
PIN How to Use Turmeric
Turmeric is everywhere right now. It’s basically the new cauliflower.
And, it’s for good reason because it is a powerful spice that has many natural health benefits when you use turmeric in food! It’s also super tasty so you’re getting a good health AND taste boost!
Because it’s everywhere, I thought it was time to do a little educational video on the health benefits of turmeric, how to increase the absorption of it (so you get all the good effects of it!) how to use turmeric powder, and favorite turmeric recipes!
5 Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory
The active ingredient in turmeric is called “curcumin” which is a power anti-inflammatory agent. Our Western diets are high in many foods that stress our bodies out, such as sugars, alcohol and processed foods. That stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which doctors have called “the silent killer.” So, eating turmeric can help reduce that chronic stress and inflammation.
Turmeric is great for joint health
When we have that chronic inflammation, it really makes our joints swollen and we lose mobility. This is especially true for those that have arthritis. Since that active ingredient, curcumin, is anti-inflammatory
Turmeric helps support healthy cardiovascular system
Turmeric helps promote health in our blood vessels. When our blood vessels are not working properly, we are unable to form blood clots and can get high blood pressure. NO GOOD! So, when turmeric works on those blood vessels it can decrease these things and promote a healthier heart!
Turmeric can help encourage healthy cholesterol levels
That chronic stress that we talked about, called oxidative stress, makes our “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) increase. When turmeric works on fighting that oxidative stress and inflammation it can in turn help lower that bad cholesterol.
Turmeric can help with stomach issues
Because of it’s warming, inflammation-fighting nature, turmeric can help with bloating, gas and ingestion. It can also stimulate your gall bladder which releases the bile that helps break down food. This helps the digestion of that food!
3 Ways to Increase Turmeric Absorption
If you want to get all the amazing, anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, you want to make sure you’re absorbing as much of it as you can so it’s there for your body to use. 3 ways to do this are:
Eat it with pepper
Pepper is high in a compound called piperine that slows down the digestion of curcumin. This ends up increasing the absorption of turmeric since it’s not digesting too quickly to be absorbed
Eat it with good fat
Turmeric is fat soluble. If you eat it without a fat for it to bind to, it will really struggle to get through your digestive system without being absorbed prematurely. When it is absorbed prematurely you don’t get all the benefits of it!
Make your own pre-activated paste.
Love golden milk? Me too! You can simmer turmeric with water and black pepper to make a paste. This paste is pre-activated, meaning the power of turmeric has been ready to use when it goes through your body. You can store this paste for golden milk or to use in cooking!
How to use turmeric in food
Well now that you’ve got all the turmeric info you’re probably wondering how to eat turmeric? Here are 5 ways to use turmeric that are super simple!
Sprinkle it on an avocado (good fat!) with pepper
Add it into oatmeal. Don’t knock it! It adds some seriously spicy-sweet goodness that I love! Just don’t cook it TOO long as turmeric is heat sensitive. Cooking it too long can make you lose 85% of the health benefits!
Add it into a smoothie for more spicy-sweet goodness. Plus, no heat required! Add some coconut oil or nut butters for some good healthy fat for it to bind to!
Golden milk. I always use THIS RECIPE as both Mr. FFF and I love it. I find it’s a SUPER relaxing drink before bed!
On roasted vegetables. Adding turmeric gives them a little spice and a pretty, golden hue. Add some olive oil and pepper to increase the absorption!
I’ve shared MANY recipes with turmeric on here. If you want some more in-depth recipes, here are a few of my favorites:
This easy Instant Pot Pasta Primavera basically makes itself! It’s an easy, gluten free meatless dinner that kids or adults will love. Great for meal prep!
PIN Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
Should I be embarrassed about the amount of Instant Pot recipes that I’ve been making for you? Do I need to seek help for the addiction?
I know I told you in the paleo salmon cakes that the Instant pot should move over because the air fryer is in town but, ummmm, I MIGHT have to retract that statement.
Honestly, I was just intimidated by the Instant Pot because it had so many buttons and functions and I just did not know how to use it. You know what I mean? But then I made that Instant Pot turmeric chicken like 8 times and I got the HANG OF IT.
It’s like when you first learn to ride a bike. You want to do it all the time and you never forget how to do it. Or something like that.
Are you like me where you have zero judgement skills in the area of figuring out a. how much pasta to make (so you make enough to feed an army when you wanted it for two people) and b. what size pot to use to make pasta, so you always end up with it boiling over and making a mess?
You’d think 7 years into this blog I’d know how to do this simple task, yet here we are.
The beauty of making INSTANT POT pasta recipes is that you don’t need to worry about the water boiling over-age because of the whole lid situation. You also don’t need as much water so cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is basically idiot proof. Which is the same thing as Taylor proof apparently.
How Much Water to Cook Pasta in the Pressure Cooker?
While it does depend on how much pasta you’re cooking, I have found that around 4 cups work best when cooking an 8oz box. The most important thing is to make sure that the pasta is entirely covered with water before cooking!
How Long to Cook Pasta In a Pressure Cooker?
I played around with cooking times when making Instant Pot Pasta and found that about ½ the time recommended on the box is the best, when cooking the pasta on manual high pressure.
Once it’s all cooked up and tender you just must drain the water and do as you normally do with cooked pasta! For the primavera version I cooked the veggies separate so they wouldn’t get all mushy under the pressure of the Instant Pot. Don’t try to cook everything at once because I can promise you from real-life, first-hand experience that it is no good and you will not like it.
I can promise you that you will like the chewy, tender noodle action swirling around your tongue with tender-crisp, herby veggies with zippy bursts of tangy lemon and melty, creamy Parmesan cheese.
This easy Instant Pot Pasta Primavera basically makes itself! It’s an easy, gluten free meatless dinner that kids or adults will love. Great for meal prep!
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Cups Broccoli, (cut into medium sized florets )
1 Cup Carrot, (peeled and sliced)
3/4 Cup Onion (roughly chopped)
1/2 Large zucchini, (sliced into half moons)
1/2 Large red pepper, (roughly chopped)
2 tsp Garlic, (minced)
4 tsp Italian seasoning
8 Oz Chickpea Penne pasta ((I used Banza))
4 Cups Water
1 tsp Sea salt
1/2 – 1 Lemon, (juiced (to taste) *)
2/3 Cup Parmesan cheese, (grated and tightly packed (2oz))
2/3 Cup Cherry tomatoes, (halved)
Sliced fresh basil, (for garnish)
Heat the olive oil on saute mode in your Instant Pot. Add all the vegetables and cook, covering with the lid (just slightly, you dont want to get the lid warning on your Instant Pot!) and stirring occasionally, until they just begin to tenderize – about 10-12 minutes. Add in the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the garlic is golden. Transfer the veggies to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Add the pasta into the Instant Pot and cover with the water. Cover (make sure the lid is set to sealing) and cook on manual high pressure for 3 minutes. Let steam release naturally.
Pour 1/2 cup of the pasta water into a measuring cup and drain the rest, rinsing the pasta with cold water and draining. Stir in the reserved water, salt and lemon juice and stir until mixed.
Add in the cooked vegetables, the cheese and cherry tomatoes and stir until the cheesy is melted.
Garnish with fresh basil and DEVOUR!
*We like this with the full lemon, but you can use less if you prefer
Although it’s the Spring time and flus and fevers aren’t AS common as in the winter, we can still get sick during the warmer months! In fact, I was SUPER sick just a couple of weeks ago and have a pretty nasty fever for almost a whole week!
During this time, I did a lot of learning about how I could get better naturally and implemented what I learned and I saw huge improvements fast!
So, here are the 7 natural ways that I’ve found that will show you how to prevent getting sick!
Eat leafy greens.
Leafy greens have been shown to boost protein synthesis in the cells that help support our immune system! I find the easiest way to get leafy greens in my diet is to drink a green smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
I love Smoothie Box because the smoothies are DELICIOUS and SO easy – you just have to throw everything in a blender with water. What I love the most though is that they are the only smoothie I’ve tried that actually have a great dose of protein (from collagen!) in them and truly keep me full! I used to drink smoothies and be hungry 30 minutes later, but not with Smoothie Box!
If you want to try them you can CLICK HERE and you’ll get $10 off each box for life. I also LOVE their cacao smoothie!
Get Vitamin D
Sometimes Vitamin D is called the “happy vitamin” because it comes from the Sun! If you live in a place that doesn’t see the sun much, or you just don’t out into it, you can be lacking in Vitamin D. I use a thing called a “Happy Light” which mimics the sun light, so you just have to sit in front of it for a little bit each day to get the benefits.
You can also get vitamin D from food sources such as beef liver (yuck!) egg yolks, canned tuna and canned salmon!
When we sleep, our body does repairs, and builds are immune system which is what fights off viruses! It’s recommended to get 8 hours, which I know is not always realistic, but studies have shown that getting even 7 hours can increase your risk of getting sick by 3%
Also, when we sleep, our body releases a protein called cytokines. This protein helps fight off viruses and builds our immune system. When we’re not sleeping, we’re not letting our body release them!
Stop stressing out
I know, I know. Easier said than done. Stressing out releases cortisol in our bodies which helps us fight stress and inflammation in our bodies. Sickness causes inflammation so cortisol helps fight that. HOWEVER, when we stressed out ALL THE TIME, our body is releasing cortisol all the time. So, eventually we build up a tolerance to it, and it just stops working like it should.
Naturally, cortisol should decrease closer to bed. But, when we’re stressed out, this doesn’t happen, and it affects our sleep. Like we just talked about, sleep is important to fight off sickness!
Check out the video for 2 ways that I use to fight stress!
Practice good hygiene
This is something that I hope we are all doing already! Washing our hands, showering, not blowing our nose into our hands. All the things we are always taught will go a long way in preventing the spread of germs and viruses!
Take elderberry syrup
Elderberries are a fruit from the berry family (obviously) that have been used to fight illness for a LONG time. They give us a higher level of anti-bodies, which are what fight off diseases. They work because they have a protein that penetrates the viruses cell membrane and prevents it from replicating. More details in the video!
For dosage, you’ll want to take ½-1 Tbsp per day for adults to prevent getting sick. If you are already sick, take that same dosage very 2-3 hours until you are well!
Fire cider is an apple cider vinegar tonic that also has ingredients like honey, onion, lemon, ginger, turmeric, pepper and horseradish. The powerhouse ingredient in this is horseradish as it has natural antimicrobial properties. All the other ingredients also work together to fight inflammation and if sickness causes inflammation, then those ingredients help fight that! I will warn you, this has a strong taste!
For dosage, you want to take 1 Tbsp in the morning to prevent getting sick. If you are sick, try 1 Tbsp 3 times a day until you are well.
This healthy turmeric oat flour bread is spicy-sweet and has melty chocolate chips! A gluten free and dairy free breakfast or snack that will be your new favorite flavor combination!
PIN Turmeric oat flour bread
Golden Goddess BLISS BREAD
That’s what I wanted to call this oatmeal bread, but I thought it was a little vague and it might confuse you.
Gang, this sunny little loaf of sweet and spicy goodness is everything that you could want in one bite. Maple syrup just here to set this subtly sweet tone with rich bursts of melty chocolate chips and then turmeric just bringing up the rear, adding in this addicting spice to your sweetness that is OH MY GOSH just so good right now.
You’ll know what I mean when your mouth munches through the LAYERS of sticky-sweet maple, vibrant turmeric and feels the little explosions of ginger and cinnamon popping all over the tip of your tongue.
The whole flecks of oatmeal in this bread give it this dense and chewy texture that is just going to make your inner carb lover so excited. Then there’s the applesauce that helps hold it all together, making it super moist and EXTRA chewy, but not gummy. You know how some applesauce baked goods are weird and gummy and you do not want to eat them, and you wish you would have just used oil so at least it would be edible?
This turmeric oat flour bread is not that.
You can eat a slice chilled, at room temperature or even warmed up with a little (read: BIG) smear of butter and you will be equally happy about turmeric bread on all occasions. There are really no wrong life choices you can make today, folks.
Except, well, NOT making a loaf of golden goddess bliss bread. THAT would be a poor life choice, but you will not make that mistake.
Besides being addicting and obscenely delicious, the current loaf situation that we find ourselves in is actually ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. You’ve seen this buzz word all across Pinterest and it means that something can help reduce the inflammation that can cause things like pain or even arthritis. <–!!!
Turmeric is considered to be anti-inflammatory, so eating a slice of chewy, wholesome, turmeric-laced bread when you have a headache is basically like taking a natural ibuprofen.
Look at you just turning into an all-natural healer kinda person.
Really though, even if you don’t have REAL pain, we are all no strangers to the pain of adulting, bills, and having to go to work every day. TRUTH.
Can’t promise this bread will pay your bills or do your work for you, but waking up to a slice with a little bit of coffee? Does WONDERS for the hating of adult-hood. Even just for a few BLISSFUL moments.
Told you I wanted to call it golden bliss bread, and that was for good reason.
AND NOW? Cottage cheese PROTEIN pancakes. Cottage cheese lovers rejoice!
Honestly, even if you are not like me and enjoy eating cottage cheese 500 times a day (only a slight exaggeration, I really do love it) you will love waking up to a stack of golden brown, pillowy-soft circles packed with NATURAL protein. No weird protein powders to see here folks!
Before you even ask, no they are not lumpy and chunky as one would expect when cottage cheese is a recipe ingredient. I was actually pretty impressed by how the cottage cheese just melts into the oat flour and gives this cottage cheese pancakes recipe SUCH an awesome texture.
Even Mr. FFF said “now that is a GOOD pancake” when he tried them. Was VRY VRY sad when I told him that they had dairy and that he should not eat ANY MORE of them or he will feel bad for the rest of his life.
Again, only slightly exaggerating.
These FLUFFY cottage cheese pancakes are made of wholesome oatmeal that bring this nutty taste to your breakfast table that, in combination with smooth vanilla notes and buttery, LUSCIOUS ghee, you are just going to go CRAZY for.
Top them with MORE cottage cheese, MORE ghee and a generous pour of maple syrup and you have a pretty darn balanced breakfast:
I know natural sweetness isn’t required. But, you and I both know that it should be.
How to substitute oat flour to make cottage cheese pancakes
I knew that many of you would want LOW CARB cottage cheese pancakes and I really really tried for you. I tried both coconut flour and almond flour, and even a mix of the two and it just did NOT work ever.
I haven’t tried any other flours in these pancakes, but I imagine whole wheat flour (if not gluten free of course) would work and MAYBE gluten free all purpose. If you try them, let us know!
How to substitute ghee
If you don’t have ghee, you can use butter. But, add an extra 1 tsp because ghee is a little fattier and richer in flavor than butter, so you’ll need a little more of it to bring these pancakes to flavor town.
You’ve probably had your fair share of Greek yogurt pancakes but let me just tell you, there is a new protein-packed pancake addition in town and his name is cottage cheese.
You are going to be really excited about all things morning when the promise of a fluffy stack of perfect pancakes is waiting to jump into your hungry belly.