By Cindy Bloomfield, Nutritional Consultant and Patient Coordinator
We need to eat plenty of protein foods every single day to keep our metabolism running, our energy up and our blood sugar levels stable.
- Protein is used in every single cell in our body and is critical for building muscle mass, supporting neurological function, and aiding in digestion, among other things.
- Protein foods make us feel full and require more work for the body to digest than fast-acting refined carbohydrates. Therefore, the first meal of the day shouldn’t be cereal and pancakes!
Some eaters enjoy variety, while others like the same thing every day. No matter what, make sure to provide real, nourishing foods:
- Include protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and fruit.
- When packing lunches and snacks for school, try to remember the Golden Rule of Packed Lunches: don’t pack anything for the kids that you wouldn’t happily eat yourself!
- Get your kids involved in picking foods and packing their own lunches! If they have a say in selecting items from your real-food pantry, their food is more likely to end up in their bellies rather than the garbage can.
GRAIN-FREE RECIPES TO EAT ON THE GO!
Swiss Chard & Ricotta Muffins (Grain and Gluten free. Contains dairy)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 cups swiss chard, chopped
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb mild sausage (organic, pastured)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for several minutes or until soft. Add the swiss chard (or other greens of your choice) and cook for about 5 minutes until the leaves are wilted and the stems have softened. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Stir in the sauteed greens.
- Use your fingers to press the sausage into place, lining the cups about ¼ inch thick. Then spoon in your filling – don’t overfill because they will puff up slightly when baking. Make sure you bake these on a cookie sheet, as the grease from the cooking sausage will overflow the cups and you will have a mess on your hands if you don’t put something underneath it to catch it! Also, by all means add more cheese on top if you so desire.
Blueberry Pumpkin Muffin Breakfast Bars (Contains eggs)
For the muffin crust
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon powdered ginger)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
For the toppings
- 2 cups of fresh blueberries (frozen blueberries work, just thaw first)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream concentrate or coconut butter (In a pinch I have used coconut milk or coconut milk creamer)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- zest of ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
For the crumble
- ½ cup mixed nuts, chopped (I used cashews, pecans, and walnuts)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together wet ingredients in a bowl: pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- In another bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, powdered ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well.
- Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish then cut a piece of parchment paper down so it can fit into the baking dish, leaving two sides out of the baking dish. This way you can pick the bars out of the dish without breaking them apart.
- Pour the muffin batter into the parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
- Place in oven and baking for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
- While the crust bakes, place a small saucepan over medium heat and add blueberries.
- Add honey, coconut cream concentrate, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix well.
- Once the blueberries begin to burst, remove from heat and add coconut flour. Mix until completely combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes to thicken up.
- When the crust is done cooking, pour the blueberry mixture on top.
- In a bowl, add nuts, coconut, sesame seeds, honey, cinnamon and salt and mix together and mix.
- Add clumps of the nuts to the top of the blueberry mixture.
- Add to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan, then place on a cool rack to cool for 5 more minutes before cutting into 6-8 squares.
- Store in fridge.
Sweet Potato Walnut Breakfast Bars (Contains eggs)
Makes about 20 cookies
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup sweet potato purée (I roasted a whole sweet potato in aluminum foil for about 40 minutes on 350 degrees F—scooped out and mashed the insides)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. finely ground salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- A few whole walnuts for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- With an electric hand mixer, beat together the almond butter, sweet potato, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Discard the hand mixer and stir from this point on with a rubber spatula or spoon. Add in the baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt—stir until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Fold in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries. Carefully pour small circles of batter onto a lined baking sheet (roughly 1 1/2 teaspoons each) and place a whole walnut in the centre, lightly pushing it down so that it stays in place but does not spread the cookie too thin.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes until lightly browned on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before diving in. Be careful removing the cookies from the pan—they can be fragile. Store in an airtight container for 5 days and enjoy as a breakfast treat or on-the-go snack all week.
Protein Pancake, Bacon & Egg Sandwich (Contains eggs)
I’ve provided an egg substitute as an option for the pancakes if you do not want to eat this as a sandwich. The pancakes can be served as a side.
For the pancakes
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 organic farm-fresh eggs OR 2 flax eggs
- Flax eggs: For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed (measure after grinding) with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir well, and place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the result should be a sticky egg-like substitute.
- 1 scoop natural or vanilla protein powder
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash cinnamon1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 4 organic farm-fresh eggs
- 4 strips nitrate-free bacon (or sausage)
- Optional: serve with pure maple syrup
- Prepare bacon as desired
- In a bowl, mix together pancake ingredients
- Grease pan (coconut oil or grass-fed butter), place muffin molds onto pan, and pour pancake mix into each mold, cook over medium/low heat
- When pancakes begin slightly bubbling on the sides, carefully remove the mold and flip pancakes
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until fully cooked through, and set aside
- Using the same size molds, crack eggs into the molds; once egg whites begin cooking, gently break the yolk, let cook until fully done
- Assemble sandwich and serve
Veggie Egg Power Cups
- ½ carton of 500 g liquid eggs (or 4 large eggs)
- ½ bunch asparagus, sliced in ½” chunks
- ½ head of cauliflower, heads cut off and crumbled
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 pickled Peperoncini peppers, chopped (optional)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl pour eggs, adding in the garlic and oregano. Whisk to mix.
- In a silicone muffin pan (large 6 muffins), portion out vegetables starting with cauliflower.
- Pour eggs mixture to cover each muffin cup, approximately ¾’s full.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, serve warm or cold.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days for an easy snack or meal.
- Peperoncini peppers can be replaced by Jalepeno or hot red pepper at your discretion.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake (Contains dairy)
A thick, frothy shake made with frozen bananas, creamy peanut butter, and chocolate. This healthy recipe is perfect for a snack or breakfast on the go.
- 1 frozen banana (no substitute)
- 1/2 cup light vanilla or chocolate almond milk
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons Non-sweetened Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the shake is too thick, add a little more almond milk.
Paleo Morning Glory Muffins (Contains eggs)
You can use flax eggs as a substitute
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup shredded carrot
- 2 eggs (or flax eggs)
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
- Coat muffin tin with oil (or use paper liners) and divide batter among six cups.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through.
- Allow to cool before serving
Grab and GO Omelette in a Baggie
- Ziploc baggie
- 2 eggs
- handful of your favorite veggies and/or favorite omelette fillings
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes *optional
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Crack eggs into small bowl and whisk together.
- Pour eggs into baggie.
- Add handful of veggies and fillings into baggie.
- Add salt, pepper and any seasoning into baggie to taste.
- Zip up baggie, making sure it’s closed well so that no omelette drips out.
- Give baggie a good shake to mix.
- Carefully place baggie into boiling water.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on how well done you like your eggs.
- Cut open baggie and serve or wrap up and take on the go.
Low Carb Egg Breakfast Muffins
- 1 bell pepper (red/orange)
- 3 spring onions
- 4 little cherry tomatoes/one normal tomato
- 6 Eggs
- A good pinch of sea salt (about ¼ to ½ tsp)
- 12 slot muffin tin
- Optional – these all go great. Add whatever you like: cheese; spinach/green leaves, hot sauce, garlic powder, or curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 390°F.
- Wash and dice the pepper, onions and tomatoes and put them in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs and salt and mix well. Pro tip crack the eggs separately before adding.
- Optionally add some hot sauce, curry powder…whatever you like.
- Grease the muffin tin with oil or use paper liners and pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin slots.
- Optional – sprinkle some cheese on the top (you can also mix it in the batter)
- Pop the tray into the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch.
FOR THE LUNCHBOX
HOT-DOG-AS-THE-BUN with Roasted Peppers and Sauerkraut, Vegetables, and Mixed Berries
- Grass-Fed Hot Dogs, sliced in half lengthwise, but make sure not to cut all the way through
- Chopped, cooked onions
- Chopped, red,yellow, orange bell peppers
- Sauerkraut (optional)
- Pickles (optional)
- Cook the onions in olive oil (about 15 miutes), then add the chopped peppers to the skillet, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Cook until the peppers are pliable, and dish the sauteed vegetables onto a platter.
- Add cooking oil to your skillet and sear the dogs cut-side down until golden brown (about 3 minutes) then flip them over to cook the other side (about 2 minutes).
- Stuff them with your veggie fillings. To save time, you can stuff with some sauerkraut and chopped pickles instead of sauteed vegetables (or pile these on top of the veggies as well).
- Once the hotdogs are cool, place each hotdog on a leaf of romaine lettuce so that they are less messy to eat by hand.
- Add a side of mustard and/or organic ketchup in the lunchbox, some fruit (mixed berries, an apple, etc.) and a side of cooked veggies (green beans, peas, or blanched asparagus, broccoli).
Salad with Seared Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches
- 2 cups of watercress, thin stems and leaves only
- 1 ripe but still firm peach, pitted and cut into six pieces
- 6 thin slices of prosciutto
- 1 teaspoon ghee (or pastured butter)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon shelled dry-roasted and sea-salted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Black pepper
- Slice your peach in half, remove the pit, and divide each half into thirds to get six slices. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each wedge of fruit.
- The prosciutto should be coiled flat and tight around the peach slice.
- While you’re preparing the peaches, heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the and swirl to coat the pan. When the pan is hot, lay the peaches on one side and cook for about a minute or until browned. Then, flip each wedge over onto its other flat side, and cook for another 30-60 seconds.
- When the peaches are browned on both sides, flip them peach-skin side down. and brown the bottom for 30-60 seconds.
- Place the hot peaches on the bed of watercress.
- Sprinkle the pistachios on top of the salad
- Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste, and top with freshly cracked black pepper.
- If you don’t like peaches, you can substitute with apples, pears, or nectarines
Apple Sun-wich, & Veggie Skewers with Paleo Ranch Dressing
Ingredients for Sun-wich
- 1 apple
- Sun butter spread (or your favorite nut butter)
- Core an apple and slice the apple into round , fairly thick slices to make a “sandwich”.
- Squeeze a little bit of lemon or lime juice and toss with the apple slices to prevent discoloration
- Spread some sunflower seed butter on 1 slice and cover with a second apple slice (or use your favorite nut butter)
- Slice a strawberry on place on top of your “sandwich” for a garnish.
Ingredients for Veggie Skewers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cucumber sliced in chunks
- Wooden skewers
- Alternate between the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for the skewers
- Pack the pale ranch dressing for dipping
Ingredients for the Paleo Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup organic mayo
- ½ cup canned Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- ½ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 large clove Garlic
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill
- Combine the mayo and coconut milk, whisk together.
- Add apple cider vinegar and whisk to combine.
- Crush the garlic clove with a little bit of salt to form a paste. Add to the mayo mixture with some pepper and whisk to combine.
- Add in the dill and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before using to let thicken up and allow flavors to blend