Gluten Free Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins

It’s pumpkin and squash season, and while I adore pumpkin, butternut squash really shines in this easy muffin recipe.

Simply roast your butternut squash according to these directions.

If you are really pressed for time, you can use frozen squash (omit water) or organic canned butternut squash.

Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp unrefined sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup organic butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 TBL pure vanilla extract
2 organic eggs
2 TBL pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups mashed roasted butternut squash, prepared and cooled slightly
¼ cup +/- water, as needed
½ cup ground pecans plus 1 TBL sucanat, for topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large, glass mixing bowl, mix almond flour, sea salt, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.
In another glass bowl, mix butter, vanilla extract, eggs and maple syrup and squash.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
If necessary, you can add a bit (¼ cup, more or less) of filtered water to make batter a scoopable consistency.
Scoop into parchment lined muffin tins. Mix pecans and sucanat and sprinkle over batter, if desired.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until tops are slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan 10-15 minutes before serving.

A Real Food Recipe for Jambalaya

Growing up in Texas, we had many opportunities to savor the Cajun and Creole cuisines of our Louisiana neighbors.

Gumbo, boudin and jambalaya made regular appearances on our table and crawfish boils were an annual event.

Many people now use packaged jambalaya mixes or shortcuts to make this delicious and generously spiced dish. Unfortunately, those shortcuts come with unwanted chemicals, preservatives and additives that just won’t cut it in this real food kitchen.

So, we’ve referenced traditional recipes to make our real food jambalaya that’s sure to please, even if you are straight out of New Orleans.

Real Food Jambalaya
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

2 TBL grassfed butter
1 medium organic onion, diced
1 organic green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks organic celery, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 links natural andouille sausage, cooked, sliced into ½” thick rounds
2-3 organic chicken thighs, cooked, coarsely chopped
3 TBL organic jarred tomato paste (I use this one)
1 tsp. unrefined sea salt (or to taste)
½ – 1 TBL Cajun (or Creole) seasoning (I use this one)
1-2+ cups homemade chicken broth (or this one in a pinch)
10-12 medium shrimp, cooked, tails off
2 cups rice (your choice of variety), cooked

Extra cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter.

Add onion, green bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.

Add cooked sausage and mix well. Allow to cook until veggies and sausage are just beginning to brown.

Add cooked chicken, tomato paste, salt, Cajun seasoning and 1 cup of broth and allow to simmer 3-4 minutes for flavors to meld.

The broth will absorb some and thicken slightly. Add more broth if necessary to achieve a thick stew/sauce like consistency.

Add in cooked shrimp and rice, stir to mix well and serve.

I like Niman Ranch or Applegate andouille sausage in lieu of local, farm-made.
Use more Cajun seasoning if you’d like, and add cayenne powder or hot sauce if you want it extra spicy
Paleo or Grain-free? Use cauliflower rice instead!
Omit sea salt if your Cajun seasoning has salt in it- and adjust to taste.

Why I NEVER Fry My Bacon…And What I Do Instead

Several years ago, I stopped frying my bacon.

When you fry bacon in a skillet, it usually comes out unevenly cooked- half underdone and half burned.

Plus, the slices curl and never lay flat on your plate or sandwich.

There’s also the fire risk, and getting hit with splattering bacon grease really isn’t all that fun.

So, what’s a bacon lover to do?

BAKE the bacon!

Yep, right there in your oven.

It’s so easy and mess-free, you’ll wonder why you never thought of this before.

Nope, it hasn’t messed up my oven.  And parchment paper keeps cookie sheets pretty clean.

Plus, it leaves your stove (and your hands) open for other breakfast or kitchen tasks!

Here’s what I do:

Bake Your Bacon
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

1 package uncured, organic bacon
1-2 cookie sheets, with sides (also called jellyroll pans)
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper and lay bacon strips out straight, about 1/2″ apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until desired crispness.
Remove from oven, transfer strips to plate with tongs and serve.

After removing bacon, CAREFULLY pour off bacon dripping into a mason jar, pouring slowly so jar has time to acclimate to the hot liquid.
Store in the fridge for later use.

Real Food Sloppy Joes Recipe (Gluten Free)

There’s just something nostalgic about sloppy joes.

Hello, elementary school- I’m lookin’ at you.

Matt’s family actually made sloppy joes every year on Halloween before heading out to trick or treat and it’s a fun memory for him.

While these aren’t something we make very often around here, when you want a sloppy joe, there really isn’t any substitute.

So, we’ve upgraded this recipe from school cafeteria days (and certainly way better anything you’d buy in a can!) to include real food, from scratch ingredients that are also safe for those who are gluten free.


Real Food Sloppy Joes (Gluten Free)
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

Serves 4

1 TBL grassfed butter
½ organic green bell pepper, diced
½ organic onion, diced
1 organic carrot, diced finely
2 ribs organic celery, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1lb grassfed ground beef
½ tsp unrefined sea salt, or to taste
½ TBL chili powder
1 tsp mustard powder
½ cup organic ketchup
½ cup homemade broth
1 tsp pure honey
2 TBL apple cider vinegar
1 TBL gluten free soy sauce (tamari) or coconut aminos

For serving:
Gluten free, grain free or other buns, toasted

In a large stainless steel skillet, melt butter. Add bell pepper, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent and carrots are softened. Remove veggies from pan and set aside for later.

Add ground beef to pan and brown. Season with salt, chili powder, mustard powder.

Add ketchup, broth, honey, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce.

Stir to combine, add the veggies back in, and allow all to simmer until desired consistency is reached.

Serve on a toasted bun, with plenty of napkins alongside!

We’re serving on Against the Grain grain-free rolls.
Not down with rolls? Serve the mixture in lettuce leaves for a wrap!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes with Coconut Flour

These pancakes are so easy to make and really warm up a cold morning!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

1 cup pumpkin puree, homemade or packaged
6 organic, pasture-raised eggs
½ cup arrowroot powder
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp unrefined sea salt
½ tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp real ground cinnamon
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Coconut oil, for cooking

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until mixed well and batter is smooth. In a large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Pour batter (about ¼ cup at a time) into skillet and cook until bubbles appear and edges are slightly set. Flip and cook until golden and cooked through.

Serve as is, or with organic, grassfed butter and a swirl of maple syrup.

Can use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Adjust spice, salt and syrup to your liking.
Arrowroot powder may also be called arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour.
Tapioca flour (or starch) may be substituted for the arrowroot.