Creamy Dairy-Free Chicken & Winter Squash Soup

Soup. The word itself almost makes time slow down. Standing over the stove, stirring as it simmers… a taste here, a dash there… then curling up on the couch with a big ol’ bowl and a blanket. Sounds like a perfect night to me!

Often times the most comforting soups contain dairy, which is a no-no for my sensitive tum. This recipe uses blended winter squash and white beans to provide a creamy, dairy-free base with a ton of flavor and nutrients. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can leave the beans and squash whole. It won’t have quite the same effect, but I’m sure it will taste just as delicious.

Creamy Dairy-Free Chicken & Winter Squash Soup // Naturally Lindsey

I used acorn squash for this recipe, which has a sweet yet slightly peppery flavor. I really love it for more savory recipes that use squash, where sweeter squashes like butternut can oftentimes over power the other flavors and become a bit too sweet. That being said, you can certainly substitute butternut, kabocha, Hubbard, or even pumpkin in this recipe!

No matter which squash you choose, your soup will be chock-full of nutrients. Just one cup of winter squash contains 214% of the RDA of Vitamin A which is great for vision, a healthy immune system, and the growth and repair of cells within the body. Conversely, it is thought to slow or prevent the growth and production of DNA within cancerous cells. Winter squash is also a good source of Vitamin C and fiber among a host of other nutrients! Did I mention it also tastes delicious? Seriously, guys, there’s really no downside to eating squash…

Creamy Dairy-Free Chicken & Winter Squash Soup // Naturally Lindsey

And then there are the beans! White beans (aka navy beans or great northern beans) are a wonderful source of low GI fiber, which not only fills you up but stabilizes blood sugar while providing you with a lasting source of energy. They’re also a good source of folate, iron, potassium and magnesium. They also contain 15.2 grams of protein per cup. That is one well-rounded bean!

This recipe is
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut-free
• Soy-free
• Sugar-free

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Baked Mustard Apple Pork Loin

Pork is not something I usually buy for dinner meat. Actually, besides bacon, I rarely consume it at all. Personal preference, really. Lately, to try and save money between the two of us, my boyfriend and I have taken to making each other meals during the week with what we have at home. On this particular night, I was challenged with a nearly empty fridge and pantry save for a few condiments and a good sized pork loin he had purchased. I accepted the challenge and put my craftiness to the test.

Baked Mustard Apple Pork Loin // Naturally Lindsey

The sweetness of the apple juice contrasted nicely with the tartness of the mustard, the two pairing well with the mild savory flavor of the pork. Served over rice with broccoli on the side, it made for a satisfying meal made only more satisfying by the fact that we didn’t have to go to the store to get anything to make it ;)

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut-free
• Refined sugar-free

Baked Mustard Apple Pork Loin // Naturally Lindsey

Baked Mustard Apple Pork Loin
• 3 cups 100% apple juice
• 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
• 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
• 1 tsp dried garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
• sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
• 1 1/2 lbs pork loin

1. In a medium bowl, combine apple juice, mustard, tamari, garlic and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
2. Place pork loin in a large plastic bag and pour in half of the apple juice mixture. Reserve the other half at room temperature. Seal the bag and let marinade 30-60 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Place pork loin in a 13×9″ roasting pan and pour the marinade from the bag evenly over the meat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and bake for 45-60 minutes, turning the meat over and seasoning the other side halfway through cooking. The center of the pork should be opaque and very slightly pink when finished.
4. While the pork cooks, pour the reserved marinade in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Bring the marinade to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring the mixture and reduce the heat, simmering the mixture until it becomes thick and syrupy. If the it begins to stick add a tablespoon or two of apple juice, stirring to combine.
5. In about ten minutes, the reduction should darken and reach a sauce-like consistency. Remove from heat into a new bowl. Once the pork is done, slice and serve over a bed of rice topped with the sauce. Pair with you choice of vegetable and enjoy!

Paleo Steak Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Carrot Slaw and a Tangy Cashew Sauce

Lettuce wraps have got to be one of my favorite dishes, like, ever. Juicy marinated meat, some kind of crunchy slaw, and deliciously tangy sauce all wrapped up in crisp, fresh lettuce – sign me up. But foodie, beware! Those tasty little cups they serve in the restaurant are packed with sugar that practically negates any nutritional value and makes the calorie count skyrocket. Luckily, this recipe makes it easy to get the flavor your crave in a clean, healthful way by using a bit of raw local honey.

Paleo Steak Lettuce Wraps

Unlike the blood sugar spike that refined white sugar causes, raw local honey may actually help blood sugar control and insulin resistance as it contains nearly a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose, which the body tolerates better than sucrose (white sugar) alone. Plus, honey is naturally sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of it. Pretty nifty, right?

The marinade in this recipe is also the base for the sauce, but you won’t cook the sauce so make sure you divide it before you add it to the meat. I used romaine lettuce hearts as little boats for the wraps, though Bibb lettuce cups work wonderfully if you can get them. My boyfriend and I enjoyed this recipe for dinner one night, and I may or may not have devoured the leftovers alone in the kitchen after I got home from work the next day.

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Refined sugar-free
• Paleo

Paleo Steak Lettuce Wraps

Steak Lettuce Wraps and Tangy Cashew Sauce
• 1/3 cup gluten-free tamari
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon raw local honey
• 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1″ fresh ginger root, peeled and minced (or 2 teaspoons dried ground ginger)
• 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
—-
• 2 tablespoons cashew butter (sub almond butter if needed)
• 1 1/2 lbs steak (inexpensive cut – flank is good here), cubed, or stew meat
• Romaine hearts or Bibb lettuce cups
• 2 tablespoons chopped cashews

1. Combine soy sauce through garlic (all ingredients above the line) in a small bowl. Whisk ingredients until well combined.
2. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade and set aside. This will be your sauce.
3. Pour the remaining marinade over the cubed meat in a flat pan or large plastic bag. Let sit for about 30 minutes (longer is always better if possible!) while you prepare the sauce and slaw.
4. For the sauce, combine the 1/4 cup marinade with 2 tablespoons cashew butter. Whisk until smooth.
5. Once you prepare the slaw, you’re ready to get cookin’. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and marinade, and cook until medium rare, about 5 minutes.
6. Let the meat cool a bit while you wash and dry your lettuce of choice.
7. To assemble your wraps, place the meat inside the lettuce. Top with slaw and sauce. Sprinkle chopped cashews on top if desired.

Cucumber Carrot Slaw
• 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 2 teaspoons local raw honey (optional – can negate if desired)

1. Prepare your vegetables. For the carrots, you can use a box grater and shred them by hand or use the grater attachment on your food processor. Separate the onion layers with your fingers.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar and honey. If not using honey, skip to the next step.
3. In a large bowl, place the cucumber, carrots, and onions. Add the vinegar mixture and gently stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the meal.
What’s your favorite fresh dinner dish? Let me know in the comments below!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea, Tomato Salad

I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. With a two-week long heatwave and no air conditioning, it’s very easy for one to become uninspired. However, yesterday it started to cool down… with 87% humidity. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I too thought I lived in California and NOT Florida. But I digress…

Recently I’ve been try to eat more paleo (not completely – I love a good legume, as you’ll see here!), but I wanted to make my boyfriend a delicious meal that he would enjoy but that I could eat (no gluten, dairy, or soy) while also not spending a ton of money by using things I had on hand. Chicken breasts and bacon in the freezer. A can of chickpeas in the cupboard. A bag of red onions in the pantry. Two cucumbers and a bag of spinach in the fridge. Little did I know where my inspiration would take me.

My FastPaleo app (seriously download it, 99 cents and best recipe filtering I’ve seen on a food app –including a dairy/non-dairy option!) pointed me in the direction of The Civilized Caveman’s B.O.A.R.S. Chicken Breast and then I stumbled across Martha Stewart’s Broccoli, Chickpea, and Cherry Tomato Salad… buuut seeing as I can never seem to be able to leave a recipe alone, I turned them into Bacon, Peach, Spinach Stuffed Chicken and a Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea, Cherry Tomato Salad, respectively.

I made the salad first and let it chill while I cooked the chicken. Though more time consuming then my normal dinner, the recipes were really delicious (IF I don’t say so myself) and I would definitely make both of them again!

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Both recipes are

• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut-free
• Soy-free

The chicken is • Paleo and the salad is • Vegetarian/vegan (and can be Paleo if you remove the chickpeas)

Bacon, Peach, Spinach Stuffed Chicken

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 4 slices of bacon
• 2 fresh peaches, diced
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• handful of fresh basil leaves (5-7 leaves), torn
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• kitchen twine – enough for 4 chicken breasts (ask the deli section of your local grocer – they’ll probably just give it to you for free!)

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook your bacon until almost crispy, then add in the diced onion and cook until soft.
2. Add in your peaches and spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat and stir in the basil. Set aside.
3. Place a large cast iron skillet (mine’s 12″) or oven-safe sauté pan on the burner. Preheat to medium-high heat.
4. While the pan is heating, butterfly open your chicken breasts and pound them down to 1/4″ thickness with a mallet or other flat heavy object (full disclosure: I was at my boyfriend’s house [read: no kitchen tools] so I placed two layers of saran wrap over the chicken and just used a hammer). Sprinkle salt and pepper inside each breast and spread the B.B.O.P.S. reduction on the inside of the breasts, saving some for a topper if desired.
5. Preheat your oven to 350°. Tightly roll the chicken breasts lengthwise and secure with twine to make sure none of the filling comes out while you cook.
6. The pan should be nice and hot now, so go ahead and place your chicken rolls in the pan. From here, you want to sear every side of the chicken for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes so there’s a slight char around the outside of each breast and no white spaces in between. When you get to your last side, place the pan in the oven until the chicken is cooked all the way through, another 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and garnish with the extra B.B.O.P.S. stuffing or basil leaves OR just devour them as is.

Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea and Cherry Tomato Salad

• 1 pound broccoli, separated into florets
• 1/2 large cucumber, diced
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. In either a sauce pan or pot with a steamer insert, steam the broccoli until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegars, oil, and onion until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, and broccoli and stir to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve room temperature or chilled.