Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic “Hummus” Dip 


A few of my best friends came over for dinner and a movie today, and we had a GNI (girls night in). Gone are the days of late night partying… We were so excited to hang out in our PJs, eat homemade, nutrient dense, comfort food, catch up and watch a chick flick. Anyways, since I’m now on day day 12 of the Whole 30 Program, I purposely had the girls come to my place for dinner so they could get a taste for what I’ve been eating. So, I decided it was a good time to test this recipe, since I had to put together Whole 30 compliant appetizers. Some of you have asked what I snack on in between meals, and lately, it looks something like the photo below (minus the chips). I usually pack cut up veggies like carrots, radishes, cucumbers, sometimes jicama, and I usually carry a bag of marcona almonds or cashews too.

 
This dip goes with just about everything and this recipe makes a large batch to last you for the entire week. The dip is light, airy, zesty, refreshing and similar to traditional hummus, but better. I hope you enjoy this recipe with good company. Cheers and happy Friyay y’all! 

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & GARLIC “HUMMUS” DIP

Ingredients: 

  • 1 head of cauliflower  (1-1 1/2 lbs) 
  • 1 head of garlic 
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced 
  • 2 tablespoons Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta 
  • 1 cup EVOO (reserve 1/4 cup for roasting cauliflower)  
  • 1 1/2 Tblsp sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 Tblsp fresh chives, minced

Method: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Cut cauliflower into florets and place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 
  3. Drizzle 1/4 cup EVOO over cauliflower and sprinkle 1 tsp of each of sea salt and ground pepper over cauliflower and mix throughly 
  4. Chop 1/4″ over top of garlic head and place garlic on 6×6″ piece of foil, drizzle 1 tablespoon EVOO over garlic and season with salt and pepper 
  5. Wrap foil around garlic, but leave a tiny opening to release air when baking 
  6. Place garlic on cookie sheet with cauliflower and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes 
  7. Place roasted cauliflower, garlic and remaining ingredients except chives in a food processor and blend until smooth
  8. Add chives and season with additional salt and pepper as necessary. 
  9. Refrigerate and keep for up to 5 days

What is and Why Paleo?

 

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Happy new year, friends! It’s been about a year since I’ve transitioned to the Paleo lifestyle. So much has changed for the better within the last year, that I wanted to share my personal journey with you.

A little bit about my history

It all started when I came to the realization that I was mentally and physically out of balance. I had worsening symptoms of dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, irritability, cloudy headedness, spinal and joint aches, and increased episodes of petichiae and purpura in my lower extremities. Psychologically and emotionally, I had feelings of insecurity, moodiness, paranoia, and hormonal imbalances.  All of these symptoms seemed to progress within a 10-year span, and became more prevalent within the last 2 years.

I finally decided to seek help from several medical professionals. In the summer of 2015 I met with a Rheumatologist who ran blood tests and diagnosed me with several autoimmune disorders: Sjogrens Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Wegener’s Granulomatosis. I was prescribed 2 different types of anti-inflammatory medications, and was instructed to take them twice a day. I followed my doctor’s instructions and took my medication as prescribed. I continued to consume excess amounts of refined sugar, refined starches, alcohol, while exercising inconsistently and traveling very frequently for work. I was living my life in excess: tons of sugar, high stress, little to no exercise, without regard to how I felt.

After six months, I stopped taking my medication as there were no signs of improvement in my health. I knew the medications were just masking the symptoms, rather than resolving the underlying causes. I knew that I needed to change, because I couldn’t ignore the symptoms I was having. Something had to give.

I started conducting research online about autoimmune disorders, and how to heal naturally. I quickly found that the paleo lifestyle, through many different types of paleo protocols, were beneficial to hundreds of people like me who were suffering. Conditions included multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Hashimoto’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, among many others. Many of these individuals were reversing their symptoms and improving their overall quality of life through the paleo lifestyle.

SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PALEO DIET? 

As Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, creator of the blog, The Paleo Mom explains, “the Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.” There are several clinical trials conducted in the U.S. that provide evidence that the paleo diet versus other diets, such as the Standard American Diet and the Mediterranean diet, has improved overall health with those living with chronic autoimmune disorders. For more information on paleo diet clinical trials, click here.

For more information on WHAT is a Paleo Diet, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne explains it well here.

WHY THE PALEO DIET?

Based on the evidence from several clinical trials and reports from those that have survived and improved their health through the paleo diet, I became convinced that this could do the same for me. I started following several paleo food blogs and their social media accounts, and became so inspired by the community, that I wanted to give it a try. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking and love to be challenged, especially with food. I started with recipes from paleo food blogs and paleo cook books and soon after began experimenting with recipes of my own.

Six months later, I was inspired to share my recipes and how much better I was feeling in such a short time after converting to the paleo lifestyle. I also started exercising regularly, I lost weight and I felt great.

In June 2016, I started this paleo-centric food blog to share my journey back to good health through my recipes. Some of the recipes are inspired by my childhood, many are my favorite recipes reinvented, and some are from other paleo food bloggers. I can’t say that I’ve been 100% strict paleo every step of the way, but I have made a conscious effort to make this a permanent lifestyle change.

For more information on WHY the Paleo Diet, Chris Kresser explains it well in this video here

OK, I’M SOLD, WHERE DO I START? 

Based on what you already know about the Paleo diet, I suggest going through your kitchen pantry and refrigerator and begin replacing or getting rid of the non-paleo friendly food items. This will limit temptation and encourage you to utilize the foods that you already have that fall within the guidelines. Next, compile your paleo grocery list and head to the grocery store. There are a TON of resources online for paleo grocery lists – I’ve listed a few below for your reference.

Grocery Shopping Lists: 

 

 

Turkey Bolognese + Spaghetti Squash Noodles

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Here’s another easy weeknight meal that only takes 30-45 minutes to whip up, and can be made in advance for all you meal planners out there. This dish is not your average bolognese recipe, as it’s packed with flavor and is super filling – perfect for those cold, winter nights when you want a bowl of comfort food. The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes even better the next day!

I cooked the spaghetti squash according to Nomnom Paleo’s electric pressure cooker method, but in case you don’t own one (which you should! It’ll change ya’ life!), she also has alternative cooking instructions. Don’t be intimidated by the spaghetti squash – it’s not that hard.

This post is dedicated to all my favorite/best friends who have had the chance to try and love this recipe (you know who you are!). Happy FriYAY, folks!

TURKEY BOLOGNESE + SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Serves: 4 hangry peeps.

Cooking/Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tblsp Avocado oil or EVOO
  • 1.5 lbs of ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Teaspoon sea salt (add more at the end if needed)
  • 1 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 jar (25 oz) of your favorite tomato sauce (look for a bottle with no sugar if possible)
  • 1 large (~2lbs) spaghetti squash
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced for garnish

METHOD:

  1. Prepare your spaghetti squash (I used Nomnom Paleo’s method)
  2. In a large pot over medium high heat, heat oil and saute onions and garlic for about 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Add add crushed red pepper flakes and mix to combine for about 1 minute.
  4. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, mix to combine and cook for 7-10 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Throw in the bay leaves and tomato sauce, mix to combine, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. Add 1/2 – 1 cup of water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Serve on top of a bed of spaghetti squash and garnish with fresh parsley.

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