(720) 727-7105 | 400 McCaslin Boulevard, Suite 210, Louisville, CO 80027
Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale Soup

Kale may seem like a trendy food your kids might never eat, but Portuguese Kale Soup is… not. It’s a traditional staple along New England’s south coast. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have the highest concentrations of people with ancestry from Portugal than any other states in the US. These are regions where Portuguese first landed ashore possibly as early as 1511. From the late 1800s into the 1960s, waves of Portuguese immigrants were literally the backbone of coastal New England’s economic booms in whaling, fishing, textiles, and farming. Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay, and Rhode Island are home turf for me, and this means Portuguese Kale Soup has always been on the menu rotation at my house.

Land-locked as a Colorado resident since 2005, this also means if I want Portuguese Kale Soup, I have to make it – nobody here serves it. And it means nobody here makes a good linguica, the spicy smoky Portuguese sausage essential to this recipe (not too many Portuguese bakeries or Portuguese family sausage operations around Boulder!). I improvise with a serviceable hot Italian sausage from Natural Grocers, a market chain with strict policies for no GMO products, organic wherever possible for everything in the store, and organic-only produce. Other than getting a good rustic and spicy sausage in the mix, recipes vary with whether or not to include red kidney beans (a pared down version called Caldo Verde excludes them) or tomatoes – both of which I call keepers.

We serve this with a hearty gluten free bread from Kim and Jakes Bakery, which, luckily for me, is a small family business right in my neighborhood. The peasant bread from this gluten free facility is perfect with this soup.

Portuguese Kale Soup
Print Recipe
A full meal soup perfect for cold blustery days. Makes about 3 quarts of soup. The longer this soup simmers the better it will taste, but you can enjoy it as soon as the vegetables are cooked soft. In any case, don't simmer longer than two hours.
Servings Prep Time
3 Quarts 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Quarts 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Portuguese Kale Soup
Print Recipe
A full meal soup perfect for cold blustery days. Makes about 3 quarts of soup. The longer this soup simmers the better it will taste, but you can enjoy it as soon as the vegetables are cooked soft. In any case, don't simmer longer than two hours.
Servings Prep Time
3 Quarts 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Quarts 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Quarts
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium with 1-2 Tablespoons of chicken fat or chicken broth. Add minced garlic and chopped onion. Sauté about 2 minutes, til they become soft but not browned.
  2. Next add carrots and potatoes. Cover with remaining chicken broth. If you have homemade chicken broth with some of the fat in it, this is ideal. If not use boxed organic chicken broth such as Kirkland brand (Costco) or Imagine brand. Bring to simmer on medium heat, and cover.
  3. While the vegetables are simmering, prepare your sausage. Place links in a skillet with a little olive oil, water, or extra broth to prevent sticking. Cover and cook on medium high heat til cooked through, and browned on all sides (turn as needed after 2-3 minutes per side). Set aside to cool enough to handle them.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, tomato soup, parsley, and kale. Stir well to mix everything. Cut the sausage into small chunks once they are cool enough to handle, and stir those in also. Cover and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix.
  5. If you are including kidney beans, stir these in long enough to heat through, ahead of serving.
  6. Once all veggies are soft and beans are heated through, enjoy with crusty GF bread.
Recipe Notes

You can use tomato paste in lieu of Imagine Organic Tomato Basil soup: Mix 2 Tablespoons paste with 1.5 cups water and add to the soup.

Share this Recipe
Chocolate Shake That’s Actually GOOD For Your Kids

Chocolate Shake That’s Actually GOOD For Your Kids

Most kids love chocolate, or, at least, chocolate milk. Using an elimination diet doesn’t mean they can’t have something even better. In fact, chocolate – or specifically, cocoa and cacao – are so full of health benefits that keeping them in rotation is a good idea. You can do that, and lose the milk protein allergens, plus the sugary low (no?) value stuff that’s in organic chocolate milk, not to mention any number of processed, GMO ingredient drinks like Muscle Milk, Boost, Ensure, or Pediasure. Yuck.

Go one better. Way better. Use a blender, VitaMix, or any strong and efficient machine to blend this all up. Let your kids experiment with ingredients they like. Cocoa powder tastes great with all sorts of other ingredients, from turmeric root (peeled fresh raw) to sesame tahini or sunflower butter to the old stand by, peanut butter. Use organic unsweetened plain cocoa powder to get the health benefits your kids deserve. Skip the store-bought, sugar-added stuff. You can sweeten to taste with better options! And, even if you’re using a pre-sweetened product like chocolate flavored grass fed collagen peptides to mix with your milk substitute, it will have a better texture if you use a blender rather than try to mix it with a spoon.

If you must buy a dairy and soy free packable version for school lunches, check out these favorites of mine (I have no affiliate relationship with these products. I just like them):  Rebbl Chocolate Protein; check other Rebbl flavors here.

Cocoa and Cacao Shake
Print Recipe
Make it as chocolate-y as your kids like. This version is big on fruity, full chocolate flavor. Experiment with all sorts of additions! Pictured here is cocoa with turmeric root and flax.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz servings 8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz servings 8 minutes
Cocoa and Cacao Shake
Print Recipe
Make it as chocolate-y as your kids like. This version is big on fruity, full chocolate flavor. Experiment with all sorts of additions! Pictured here is cocoa with turmeric root and flax.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz servings 8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 8 oz servings 8 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 8 oz servings
Instructions
  1. Place crushed ice in bottom of blender, then add ingredients in order listed.
  2. Blend on high speed til thoroughly blended and nibs are reduced to flecks rather than chunks.
  3. Add honey, maple syrup, or more stevia to taste and blend again. Pour and enjoy!
Share this Recipe
Super Easy Ratatouille

Super Easy Ratatouille

Ratatouille seems exotic, but it’s easy to make, especially with this stackable-ingredient recipe. Don’t overlook this simple skillet version of ratatouille for chilly nights. Organic veggies will be worth the flavor boosts they give, so spring for those – they’ll make this dish much tastier. Kids who like pizza and the flavors of Italian herbs can enjoy this over their favorite pasta. Add a side of authentic hot Italian sausage to make it a hefty meal. Go grain free by serving with Paleo rolls like these made from quick mixes by Chebe. This reheats well and is even more yummy with time.

Super Easy Ratatouille
Print Recipe
Warming and delicious, savory goodness. Use a big skillet and stack ingredients in the order listed below. If you have it, a cast iron skillet is a great choice for even-heat simmer, and it will add iron for kids needing that boost - the acidity of the tomato pulls iron into the food. Peeling the eggplant is optional.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Super Easy Ratatouille
Print Recipe
Warming and delicious, savory goodness. Use a big skillet and stack ingredients in the order listed below. If you have it, a cast iron skillet is a great choice for even-heat simmer, and it will add iron for kids needing that boost - the acidity of the tomato pulls iron into the food. Peeling the eggplant is optional.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. If you prefer, peel the eggplant before slicing it. This is optional.
  2. Heat 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and soften over medium heat for one minute.
  3. Layer in the vegetables in the order listed, leaving them to lie flat. Between each layer, sprinkle salt, oregano, and black pepper. Drizzle remaining olive oil (1 Tablespoon) on the top. Don't stir it. Leave it stacked just as you laid it all in
  4. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan and let 10 minutes longer to reduce liquid.
  6. Gently turn and tumble the veggies, and serve with crusty bread of your choice, over pasta, or on its own for a lighter meal.
Share this Recipe
Mushroom Quiche, Gluten AND Dairy Free

Mushroom Quiche, Gluten AND Dairy Free

Quiche is so yummy, and so off limits for so many kids in my practice – until this gluten and dairy free mushroom quiche option worked out perfectly! I combed many sites for a way to do this that met my criteria for no dairy or gluten, and, tasted really good. I ended up with this amalgam of my own that worked really well.

You will need a gluten free pie crust for starters. You can buy these in the frozen section of most supermarkets now, but I don’t love those, and I don’t mind making my own. I use Bellas’ Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix for this, and it’s a snap. I have made my own for years but like this product and recipe better for pie crusts. I’ve even cut the back of the box out and tucked it into my recipe binder in my kitchen so I can grab this recipe fast, any time…

 

So, either buy or make a GF crust, bake it for ten minutes while you assemble the quiche ingredients, and let it cool. When your filling is ready, the crust will be too.

Mushroom Quiche, Gluten AND Dairy Free
Print Recipe
No compromise here. Classic quiche taste and texture that will satisfy even the most hardened cheese lovers.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 50 minutes
Mushroom Quiche, Gluten AND Dairy Free
Print Recipe
No compromise here. Classic quiche taste and texture that will satisfy even the most hardened cheese lovers.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 pieces 40 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. Prepare your pie crust per package instructions if you've bought a mix (See product and image above). Whether you'e made your own crust or purchased one, once it's ready, place it in a 400 degree oven and bake for ten minutes. Once it is done, set it aside, but keep your oven ready: Reduce heat to 375.
  2. Slice mushrooms into thin segments and chop onion fine. Heat a skillet to medium and add the ghee (or olive oil, coconut oil, or vegan spread of your choice). Sauté the onions first, for about two minutes, to just soften. Then add mushrooms and reduce heat to low. Sauté until mushrooms are lightly but not completely cooked, about 3 minutes; remove from heat before they spill a lot of water into the skillet. If they do, drain it off before placing in your pie crust later.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, almond milk and spices until frothy and evenly blended.
  4. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly in the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over all. Lay tomato slices gently on top of the egg and vegetable filling in a ring pattern, around the outer edges of the mixture, working your way in toward center of the quiche. If desired, add cheese substitute shreds and sprinkle on top. You may also use any grated cheese your family tolerates here if desired, like Manchego (sheep cheese) or hard goat milk cheddar.
  5. Place the quiche on a baking sheet to prevent spillage and drips in your oven. Bake at 375 for 45 - 50 minutes or until the top has puffed up and browned, and the quiche is set when given a gentle shake. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. The top will settle when cooled.
Share this Recipe
Paleo Chocolate Tahini Millionaire Bars

Paleo Chocolate Tahini Millionaire Bars

Paleo + Chocolate + Tahini in an easy recipe? I’m in! This is my new favorite recipe, and there are several versions of it around. These are basically classic Millionaire Bars, adapted to fit into grain free, dairy free, egg free, and no cane sugar parameters. Millionaire Bars have been a favorite in Scotland for years, where they may have originated, and where you might see them with names like Caramel Shortbread, or Millionaire’s Slice. They start with a shortbread crust, have a caramel middle, and chocolate layer on top. Decadent!

The recipe I am using here is adapted from this one which happens to be vegan as well as Paleo. Luckily, it’s easy to adapt Millionaire Bars to a Paleo version. The sweet relies on maple syrup here – a lot of it. That brings up the question of whether maple syrup is Paleo. If it is, how much is ok?

This is a recipe that in itself – in my opinion – is too sugary to be valid as Paleo. We know that native North American tribes made and enjoyed maple syrup – there’s even a legend that it made them lazy and less interested in other food – hmmm! It was indeed in the hunter-gather repertoire, at least in the northeastern US.

But, if you’re looking for a sweet treat for kids who can’t eat peanut, wheat, dairy (including butter), or eggs, and you’re avoiding processed sweeteners, this is an good option for a special occasion or happy after school snack.

I haven’t yet tinkered with the maple syrup to tahini ratio in the “caramel” layer, but there may be some room there to reduce the syrup. This will reduce the volume overall of the caramel layer, unless you likewise up the tahini, or other ingredient. Some recipes use dates and less syrup. It may work to blend in an unsweetened additional nut butter (almond or cashew?) if your child tolerates that, and sweeten with some stevia, to make up for reduced syrup.

Changes in my version include adding some flax (technically a seed, not a grain) to enhance the crust, plus a different source for the chocolate chips (I like Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips) – yes they have soy lecithin. In my experience, this is not a deal breaker for IgE soy allergy or for soy exorphins potential.

I also suggest a different timing for firming up the middle layer, which took much longer than the 30 minutes suggested in the recipe I worked from. I found that the “caramel” layer needs a good two hours in the fridge to set. I got even better results when I let it set overnight.

Once you’ve got this easy recipe assembled, keep stored in fridge or even the freezer if you like. The tahini-maple caramel will soften to runny texture at room temperature.


Paleo Chocolate Tahini Millionaire Bars
Print Recipe
Easy to make. Just leave time for each layer to set, and you're good to go. Salty chocolatey caramel-y goodness, without the wheat, dairy allergens, or cane sugar!
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 30 minutes
Passive Time
2+ hours
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 30 minutes
Passive Time
2+ hours
Paleo Chocolate Tahini Millionaire Bars
Print Recipe
Easy to make. Just leave time for each layer to set, and you're good to go. Salty chocolatey caramel-y goodness, without the wheat, dairy allergens, or cane sugar!
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 30 minutes
Passive Time
2+ hours
Servings Prep Time
12 bars 30 minutes
Passive Time
2+ hours
Ingredients
Base Layer "Shortbread" Crust
Middle "Caramel" Layer
Chocolate Layer On Top
Servings: bars
Instructions
For The Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line an 8x8 inch square pan with baking parchment (a 9x9 pan will be too big).
  3. Melt the coconut oil (microwave or stove top). In a medium bowl, mix it with the almond flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Use a fork to blend it together so it forms a thick crumb texture. Add to pan, and use your fingers or the bottom of a glass or jar to evenly press it down into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, and allow crust to cool at least 10 minutes before adding caramel mixture. You can place it in the fridge to speed this part up.
For The Caramel Layer
  1. Add the tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt to a medium pot. Place over medium-low heat for approximately 2 minutes. Stir until evenly blended and smooth.
  2. Pour over the cooled crust. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or longer, ideally overnight, for a firm, evenly chilled crust. Freezing is not recommended to hasten this part. It can change the texture of your caramel to have icy crystals on top that will melt to water on serving.
For The Chocolate Layer
  1. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or on stove top, with the coconut oil. Stir to blend together til smooth. Spread this on your chilled and hardened caramel layer. Place it back in fridge to harden, about 30 minutes or longer.
Recipe Notes

Leave time for each layer in the process to set, and you're good to go. Make the base crust ("shortbread") layer, which bakes in just 10 minutes. Let it cool, then spread on your "caramel" layer. This takes longer to set. Ideally, refrigerate the caramel layer overnight for a good hard set. At a minimum, refrigerate it for two hours before adding the chocolate layer (which is a snap to make in microwave). Though the original recipe suggests placing this in the freezer if you're in a hurry to set the caramel, don't. It will change the texture so that ice can form at the top of the caramel. This will become watery at room temp. Once all assembled and firmed up in your fridge, it's fine to store these Paleo Chocolate Tahini Millionaire Bars in your freezer if you like!

Share this Recipe