Category Archives: recipe-Main Dish

Instant Pot Easy Pumpkin Chicken Curry

Left with half a can of pure pumpkin after making pumpkin chia pudding, I decided to add it to a Chicken curry I was planning on making that evening. The result is a generous boost of carotenoids and a nice thickening of the curry sauce. Take it a step further by adding 1 lb. of fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, diced to 1 ½ -2 inch chunks, to the Instant Pot before cooking.

1 small onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
2 zucchini, sliced into half-moon chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless/boneless, cut into chunks
1 cup bone broth or chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp. red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand often)
½ cup full fat coconut milk
7 oz. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix; use 100% pure pumpkin)
10 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted & squeezed out liquid
2-3 tbsp plain dairy or coconut yogurt

Blend coconut milk, pumpkin puree, stock, curry paste, tomato paste in blender.
Put in Instant Pot with chicken, onion, and pumpkin chunks. Set to manual for 12 minutes. Once completed, release pressure immediately. Stir in spinach and then serve with a dollop of yogurt.


Blend coconut milk, pumpkin puree, stock, curry paste, tomato paste in blender and set aside. In a large sauté pan, sauté onions and chicken in oil of your choice until chicken is seared. Add red pepper, zucchini, and curry sauce to the pan. Cover and simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir in spinach and let sit for a couple moments to warm through. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Sneakloaf del Amore

Back when my son was a toddler he was veggie-phobic, which admittedly broke my heart bit-by-bit on a daily basis. To bypass his bias, I would sneak veggies wherever I could, hiding them in smoothies and in this meatloaf, which became a family favorite, making its debut during the inaugural Glorious Greens Challenge in 2015.
I’m happy to report by age 4 his tastes broadened and now he’s open to almost anything (except seafood, so I still have some work to do)!

Give this recipe a try to get in a little extra veg for yourself or a reluctant family member and let me know how it goes!


• 2 lbs of ground bison (beef, turkey, or pork can be used if bison is unavailable)

• 3 eggs, whisked

• 1/2 onion, diced

• 1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped small

• 2 tbs of olive oil (to sauté vegetables)

• 2 cups of vegetable pulp or mixed vegetables, blended until chopped fine (broccoli, chard, carrots, peppers, zucchini, whatever is in the fridge!)

• 1 tsp of salt

• 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

• 1 tsp of oregano

• 1 tsp of thyme

• 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, or ketchup


Preheat oven to 350º F. Sauté onions and peppers over medium heat in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until just tender. Add vegetable pulp, garlic, and spices to the sautéed vegetables in the pan, stir gently. Remove saucepan with vegetables from heat, set aside.

Put uncooked ground bison in a large bowl and pour the whisked eggs in and mix into the ground meat with your hands until just mixed in, then add the veggies from the saucepan and pour into bowl, mixing into the meat until it is well incorporated. Now form the mixture into a loaf shape and center in a loaf pan or meatloaf pan – it should be a little smaller than the size of the pan. You may need two loaf pans for this! Finally, pour over the BBQ sauce or ketchup to cover top and sides of the meatloaf.

Cook for 60-75 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the meatloaf should reach 155º F. Avoid overcooking! Remove from oven and allow to set for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the egg to firm up a bit and prevents the meatloaf from crumbling. Add extra BBQ or your own sauce as desired and serve.

Lemon Fennel Roasting Chicken: an exercise in procrastination

I’m in my final month of grad school.
Our capstone consists of writing a substantial research paper on a narrow, focused aspect of our discipline, like a narrative review. We also have the option to submit a case study, and that includes a shorter narrative review in addition to presenting the case study. I chose the latter, because I have a tendency to take on more work whenever possible, it seems!
Having spent many weeks deep in the literature, my creative juices have totally dried up. I had the opportunity to step away from the paper for a 3 day conference and found that the extra socializing has opened up a side of me long neglected; my Inner Kitchen Witch.

My inner kitchen witch throws random things together and creates some amazing grub. It’s total alchemy and highly intuitive and comes from having a long-standing relationship with food, flavor, and the kitchen stove.

This recipe came to me as I was assessing what veggies needed consuming after being neglected for a long weekend. I love roasting a chicken on top of vegetables; the chicken juices become a flavorful braising liquid for the vegetables to simmer in and the flavor is just a delight and perfect for cooler winter evenings. If you’ve not yet roasted veggies with your chicken I highly recommend it! Cabbage, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and many other firm vegetables work really well here. Tonight a leek, several lemons, a fennel bulb, and some potatoes were called to serve as a cushion for this soy-free, pastured chicken I found at the Farmer’s Market yesterday.


My intention was to use 5 uninterrupted hours to dive back into my paper and tighten up my arguments, research, and ensure the rough draft was ready for submission. However, my kitchen sang a siren song and the urge to put off that bit of drudgery was too compelling to resist. However, staying home studying all day allowed me to use a low, slow bake for this chicken, resulting in a crispy skin and moist interior. Even the wings retained moistness! The meat comes right off the bone easily, and the lemon adds a delightful brightness to the chicken and vegetables. If you have some time in the afternoon, I highly recommend getting a head start on dinner and going for a low, slow bake the next time you roast chicken. This is a great weekend meal that can be roasting away while you tackle laundry, bills, homework, or housecleaning. Leftovers are great for early-week chicken salads, tacos, or pasta.


1 roasting chicken, 3 – 5 pounds
3 lemons
1 fennel bulb, sliced
6 small red potatoes, chopped in large chunks
1 large leek, sliced into rounds
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp thyme
5 bay leaves
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
oil as needed


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
Pat chicken dry and remove giblets, if included.
Slice one lemon in half, lengthwise, and stuff it into chicken with 1 bay leaf.
Slice 1-2 lemons thinly and de-seed slices. Slip the lemon slices under the chicken skin on both sides and tuck them under the wings.
Slice fennel bulb, leek, and potatoes. Toss with olive oil, garlic, and remaining bay leaves.

Place vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan.
Slice remaining lemon and set slices atop the vegetables.
Place chicken on top of the veggies and rub oil onto the skin. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, and a bit of the fennel fronds.

Bake, uncovered, in a 275 degree oven for 3-4 hours. Aim for 3 hours with a smaller chicken (3 pounds or less), 4 for a larger bird (up to 5 pounds).

Let chicken sit for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Serve with mashed celery root, cauliflower mash or rice.

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Mediterranean Frittata from Prep Dish

This January, as part of leveling up my healthy habits, I started subscribing to Prep Dish. Since I’ve been in grad school I have found that getting well-rounded meals to the table reliably has become much harder, especially during finals! Prep Dish offers paleo and gluten-free, dairy-optional menu plans that are heavy in veg and family-friendly. Since starting, I’ve been able to become a food prep pro and have taken a huge mental load off of choosing new recipes and figuring out my grocery list. Allison has masterfully assembled the menu for the week, organized the shopping list for me, and given clear, concise instructions to batch prep 4 dinners, a salad, snack, breakfast, and dessert for the week in just one afternoon. With practice I’ve been able to reduce my weekend prep time and have either heat and eat meals or meals which take about 30 min to cook all prepped and ready to go. Each menu serves a family of 4, so our family of 2.5 has leftovers for lunch that keep us through the entire week as well, so this really takes a lot of meal planning logistics off the table for me.

When you eat vegetables in the morning, I feel like celebrating!

Some of my favorite recipes I’ve tried this year are the Lamb Kofka w/ Tahini Sauce, Paleo Snickerdoodles, Cider Cream Scallops over Mashed Cauliflower (which I’ve made multiple times), Chicken w/ Peanut Dipping Sauce, Sesame Broccoli & Brown Rice, Paprika Roasted Chicken w/ Trio of Roasted Vegetables, Apricot-Glazed Chicken Thighs w/ Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes and lots more. Nearly every week has at least one “home run” recipe that I can add to my repertoire of tried and true favorites. Each Friday I get my instructions emailed to me, so I can do my shopping that night after work or on Saturday for Sunday prep.

This week’s breakfast is a Mediterranean Frittata that is so loaded with veg that each slice has 1.5 servings of vegetables. This makes me SO HAPPY, because getting veggies in the morning is quite a challenge for lots of people. This frittata has a lot of flavor and is a filling way to get started in the morning. Make it on a Sunday and enjoy it for the next few days! Serve it for Brunch on the weekends! Special thanks to Allison Schaaf, creator of this recipe, for permission to repost it here. If you are ready to take hours of time back in your week spent planning your meals, be sure to check out Prep Dish. 

Mediterranean Frittata

by Allison Schaaf, MS, RD, LD of Prep Dish

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 14 oz. canned or frozen artichoke hearts, thawed or drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 cup diced Kalamata olives
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 oz feta (optional; omit for paleo/dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Dice artichoke hearts and add to diced onion and garlic in a glass bowl. Half cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
Add 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil in a deep skillet on medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, herbes de provence and salt and pepper to taste to the skillet. Sauté for 6-8 minutes, allowing the moisture to evaporate. Add spinach and olives and cook 2-3 minutes more until spinach wilts significantly. Return to the bowl to cool.
Crack 8 eggs into a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Stir in cooled vegetables, adding 4 oz feta if desired. Place into an oiled 9″ by 9″ dish or pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center is firm.

Sooo tasty!

Instant Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken and Rice (Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

  • 8 Chicken thighs
  • Tbsp. Avocado Oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup Sliced Sun-dried Tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp.Italian Seasoning
  • large pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or rice pilaf mix
  • 14 oz. can Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 boullion cube (chicken or veggie)
  • 4-6 small yukon gold potatoes
  • Fresh Basil, shredded, to top

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Place chicken in the skillet and brown on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion and extra oil, if needed. Sauté until just soft, then add garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir often until onions begin to caramelize.*

Place onion mixture in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add rice, coconut milk, chicken stockand boullion cube. Place browned chicken on top, nestling it into the rice and onion mixture. Arrange potatoes just on top of the chicken and put the lid on the Instant Pot, sealing the mix. Make sure the toggle on the lid is set to the pressure setting.

Choose ‘Poultry’ on the menu and let cook. This should take about 20-25 minutes total.


 *These steps are ultimately optional. I have foregone them in the past when I am in a hurry and the dish turns out fine. I include these here because the pre-cooking adds a depth of flavor to the onions and seals the salt and flavor into the chicken. You won’t miss out if you are pressed for time and decide to throw everything in the pot instead!

Pastured Pork with Tart Cherry Reduction

A neighbor of mine gave me a huge gallon ziplock bag full of Mortmorency cherries from his friend’s tree in exchange for a kombucha scoby. Having never worked with fresh tart cherries before I knew I was in for a treat. I immediately went to Pinterest, Google and my standby, The Flavor Bible, for some ideas. Here’s dinner tonight, adapted from a recipe I found on the Cherry Marketing Institute website.


2016-06-29 18.04.19


  • 4 grass-fed pork chops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup whole Montmorency tart cherries (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Zinfindel – don’t use wine in cooking you wouldn’t happily drink!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder


Bring pork out of the refrigerator to warm slightly.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the tart cherries, red wine, orange juice, maple syrup and rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the arrowroot and turn off heat, allowing the sauce to gel slightly.

Turn the oven on broil.

Prepare chops by seasoning with salt and pepper. Broil for 5-7 minutes per side for thin chops or 8-10 minutes per side for thicker chops. Plate the pork chops, spooning cherry reduction over each one.

Serves 4.

Autoimmune Paleo Cuban Mojo Pork

Cuban Mojo Pork

This recipe is a simple derivation from the recipe used in the movie Chef, which was a hit amongst foodies in 2014. The original recipe can be found here.
This pork roast is an easy and highly flavorful dish that is most authentically served alongside fried plantains or sliced, tucked into a homemade plantain wrap and served with a salad. Simple and Merry makes my favorite plantain wraps recipe, which you can find here.

As I am testing out the AIP diet on myself I am eager to find easy dinners and meals that can be prepared with a wide variety of flavor. It’s very easy to get bored on AIP, so we gotta shake it up as much as we can!

Try this out and tell me know what you think!

AIP Cuban Mojo Pork

1 cup lightly packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
¾ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced oregano
Sea Salt
3½ lbs. boneless pork shoulder, in one piece
Butcher’s String to tie pork together


Place all ingredients aside from the salt and pork in a blender and food processor and pulse on low to finely chop the herbs and garlic. Add a tsp. of salt to the marinade and pulse again once to mix.

Set the pork in a large glass bowl or baking dish and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, rotating once to allow both sides to soak up the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 425° and set a rack over a shallow roasting pan. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and discard the marinade. Fold the pork under itself, into thirds if necessary, and tie with string to form a neat roll. Season all over with salt and place it upon the rack.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes at 425°, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 150° – 160°
Remove the pork form the oven and to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove the butcher’s string, slice across the grain and serve.

Make Ahead and Freeze:

Place all ingredients aside from the salt and pork in a blender and food processor and pulse on low to finely chop the herbs and garlic. Add a tsp. of salt to the marinade and pulse again once to mix. Place the pork and the marinade in an extra large ziploc bag or double layered plastic bag and use a rubber band AND butchers string to tie it together. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To cook, remove from freezer and thaw overnight. Preheat the oven to 425° and set a rack over a shallow roasting pan. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and discard the marinade. Fold the pork under itself, into thirds if necessary, and use the butcher’s string from the freezer bag to form a neat roll and tie it together. Season all over with salt and place it upon the rack.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes at 425°, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 150° – 160°
Remove the pork form the oven and to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove the butcher’s string, slice across the grain and serve.

Lightened Up Steak Frites

This looks oh-so naughty but is quite fat-loss friendly! The listed serving is 4 oz. of steak and 1/4 of the fries, but few people I know will be satisfied with such a small potion. In mi casa I double the meat and add a salad to balance the meal. Consider this to serve 2-4 people.

Steak Frites and Salad

  • 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ strips
  • 1 tsp. EVOO
  • 1 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard (have extra on hand for serving)
  • 2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pound lean flank steak
  • 2 tsp. finely diced parsley, as garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Toss potatoes in oil and add rosemary and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Layer on a baking dish so they do not touch (this is essential to crispy oven-baked frites!). Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden, tossing halfway through baking process. Remove from oven, gently loosen with a spatula and keep warm.
  3. While potatoes are baking, whisk vinegar, mustard, pepper, thyme and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a large dish. Add steak and marinate for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Place oven rack at highest position and switch oven to broil. Oil a broiler pan. Broil steak for 6-7 minutes per side or until desired degree of doneness is achieved. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 2-4 portions, depending on appetite.
  5. Place steak and 1/4 of the frites on each plate. Garnish with parsley and serve with extra mustard, if desired.

(From Health Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009)

Recipe of the Moment: Asian Slowcooker Short Ribs

  • Recipe (and photo) from Nom Nom Paleo
  • 6 pounds of grass-fed short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pear; cored, and chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 hunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into two pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
To prep ribs:Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper and lay the ribs, bone-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the ribs for 10 minutes, flipping them over to broil on the other side after 5 minutes. Stack the ribs in a single layer in the slow cooker.

To make sauce:

Toss the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, ginger, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour the sauce evenly over the ribs then add the chicken broth. Cover with the lid, set the slow cooker on low, and let the ribs stew for 9-11 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the meat and set aside. Let the remaining sauce sit for five minutes, then skim fat, if desired.  Ladle some of the sauce (about a cup) over the ribs and serve with diced fresh cilantro. Serve the remaining sauce on the side or save it as a marinade for chicken, pork or beef.

Roasted Chicken Thighs and Delicata Squash

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

This recipe has been adapted from one published by the New York Times. It’s a great way to branch out and try Delicata – a squash in season that is frequently overlooked due to pumpkin madness and our familiarity with other squashes such as acorn and spaghetti squash. I had a turtle that loved Delicata Squash, so I always think of this winter vegetable fondly. I find the incorporation of the squash into a full meal to be perfect for the colder, darker days we face. Using chicken thighs instead of breasts adds a bit more richness to the dish and also increases satiation when winter cravings show themselves. Serve with sautéed winter greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar and studded with dried cranberries.

 Try this recipe tonight and tell me what you think!

Serves 4
  • 1/2 lemon, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and thinly sliced crosswise into half-moon wedges
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped sage or 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes (coconut oil for dairy free)
  • Large pinch chile powder (optional. Can be omitted; sub rosemary for different yet equally lovely flavors)
  • 1 delicata squash (1 and 1/4 pounds), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings, then seeds removed.
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light-green parts


1.Lightly salt lemon slices.
2.In a large bowl, toss chicken with lemon slices, 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Rub sage and coriander between your fingers or palms and mix well into chicken marinade. Let stand 30 minutes.
3.Heat oven to 425 degrees.
4.In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup, butter/coconut oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and chile powder. Simmer on low for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with squash.
5. Spread squash in a 9-by-13-inch pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Nestle chicken and lemon on top of squash. Roast for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, toss scallions and remaining oil. Scatter over chicken and squash; keep roasting until chicken is no longer pink, about 20 minutes more.
If you have had delicata squash before – what is YOUR favorite way to eat it? Comment below and share your ideas and tips with us!