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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Harvest Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Turkey

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the brisk mornings and the early sunsets that lead into crisp, cool nights – though admittedly the season here in Southern California isn’t nearly as gorgeous as it is elsewhere in the country. I’m looking forward to tights, coats, boots, and scarves, and am burning my favorite “Pumpkin Caramel Latte” and “Leaves” candles as I write this. I’ve even gotten myself a couple decorative pumpkins already! What I also love about fall is the abundance of seasonal squash at the market. Just yesterday I got organic butternut, spaghetti, acorn, and kabocha squash for just 99 cents a pound!

Harvest Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Turkey // Naturally Lindsey

In honor of the season’s imminent arrival (and to make use of some of my newly acquired squash bounty), I decided to make a salad celebrating the flavors of fall. Yes, I know, salad doesn’t typically scream “fall,” but one bite and you’ll be a believer. The spinach, though cold, wilts slightly when topped with the warm squash and turkey, but you could steam the spinach slightly if desired. I didn’t use any sort of dressing for this salad as I feel the tender squash provides enough moistness and flavor on its own, but tossing the spinach with lemon, ACV and olive oil would be lovely as well. This recipe serves one, but can of course be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to make more.

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

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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.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Protein Pudding

I normally try to eat a fair amount of protein, following the 30/40/30 macro ratio of fat, carbs, and protein, respectively, though sometimes I find it hard to stomach that much protein without feeling sick. However this week I started CrossFit and boy am I craving it! I’ve felt really weak when I don’t eat enough and it’s definitely been protein that’s kept me going. Tonight after dinner I wanted something sweet for dessert, but still needed to meet my protein allotment for the day. This deliciousness was the outcome:

propud

 

Yum! You can use the plant-based protein powder of your choice, but if you use one that’s chocolate flavored you may want to use half the amount of raw cacao powder or just nix it all together. I used Pure Matters Vanilla Pea Protein, which I was going to link to but apparently the company went out of business at the beginning of this past May. How sad!

This recipe is
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut free*
• Soy-free*
• Vegan*

*Depending on your choice of ingredients

Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Protein Pudding
serves 1

• 1/2 – 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
• 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
• 3 tablespoons coconut, almond, hemp, or other non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
• 1 tablespoon non-dairy plain or vanilla yogurt (you can also use regular yogurt if you can tolerate it!)
• 1/2 tablespoon raw local honey or agave nectar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well. Add your choice of toppings. I used unsweetened shredded coconut and fresh organic blueberries!

What’s your favorite plant-based protein powder? Let me know in the comments below!

Healthy Gluten-Free Tuna Veggie Burgers with Goat Yogurt Sauce

You know those days where you’re in between grocery trips and you don’t want to make anything but you want to hole up at home and you don’t trust the delivery places to disclose all their ingredients? Yea, me too. Tonight was one of those nights. The fridge was almost empty save for some assorted vegetables and the only protein I had was in my cupboard, canned. Low and behold: the tuna veggie burger.

This recipe was quick and easy to make and turned out quite deliciously. You can serve the burger on a gluten-free bun with all the usual burger fixings or go for a low-carb version on a plate, like I did, topped with avocado and yogurt sauce. Yes, I know, “yogurt isn’t dairy-free!” but hear me out: I love yogurt. When I became lactose intolerant I was eating 2 servings of nonfat greek yogurt per day (protein!) and I’ve missed it immensely every day since. However, recently I discovered goat yogurt which, like goat cheese, I can tolerate with minimal gastrointestinal upset. I’ve tried a few brands, but my favorite is Capretta for its thicker texture and slightly sour greek yogurt taste, not to mention the 15 grams of protein per cup! So use the goat yogurt if you can. If not, no worries – the burgers will be delicious either way.

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Soy-free
• Nut-free
• Refined sugar-free
• Dairy-free without the yogurt sauce

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Healthy Gluten-Free Tuna Veggie Burgers with Goat Yogurt Sauce
makes 6 servings

• 1/4 cup minced onion
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 large zucchini squash, shredded, about 1 1/2 cups
• 3 medium carrots, shredded, about 1 1/2 cups
• 1 can white tuna, in water, drained and flaked
• 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, or ~2 pieces slightly stale gluten-free bread torn into small pieces
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 3 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
• 1/4 teaspoon each black pepper, sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and turmeric
• 2+ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, cooking the onion and garlic for about one minute.
2. Increase heat to medium high. Add in the shredded zucchini and carrots and saute until barely tender. Be careful not to overcook – you don’t want the veggies getting too mushy.
3. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile combine the tuna, gluten-free bread crumbs, egg, flaxseed meal, and spices in a large bowl.
4. Drain any excess moisture from the vegetables and add them into the tuna mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
5. Shape into six 4″ patties.
6. In the same skillet you used for the veggies, heat 1-2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully transfer the veggie patties into the pan, cooking two at a time for about 3 minutes per side until lightly browned, adding more olive oil as needed.
7. Remove from heat and serve with avocado slices and yogurt sauce, below.

Goat Yogurt Sauce

• 1/2 cup Capretta plain nonfat goat yogurt
• 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve each patty topped with a generous tablespoon and enjoy!

How do you feel about “beefless” burgers? Let me know in the comments below!