Roasted Pumpkin Soup

It’s kinda funny that I was never a pumpkin lover growing up. I never liked pumpkin pie and really never had it any other way.  Fast forward and I can’t get enough of fall and all things pumpkin.  This recipe works great with any pumpkin that is in season or butternut squash.  It’s so convenient to have pre-cut butternut squash available in most grocery stores which would cut down on a lot of the prep work for this recipe.  The key is really to use a good ghee, brown butter ghee if possible, when roasting your pumpkin and sauteeing your shallots.  It really adds so much flavor to this soup.

2 ½ pounds of pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed
4 T brown butter ghee, melted
3 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 T brown butter ghee
2 C coconut milk
1 t salt
½ t white pepper
¼ t dried sage
¼ t ground nutmeg
Pepitas for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Add cubed pumpkin to the baking sheet and add melted ghee and salt. Toss to coat.
• Roast for 35-45 minutes or until pumpkin starts to brown and is fork tender.
• While pumpkin is cooling, sauté shallots in 2 T brown butter ghee in medium sized skillet over low heat. Let shallots cook until they are soft and start to caramelize.
• Place roasted pumpkin, shallots, coconut milk, salt, white pepper, sage, and nutmeg in blender. Puree until smooth. If you have a Vitamix, blend on high for 2-3 minutes until hot.
• If you do not have a Vitamix, place soup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until warm.
• Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk or aged balsamic vinegar, pinch of nutmeg and pepitas.

Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Freeroasted pumpkin soup2

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

Strawberries and asparagus are beautiful right now and I pick both up almost weekly during this time of year. This is a refreshingly light salad that’s loaded with goodness.  I love the sweetness from the strawberries and the zestiness from the balsamic vinegar.  This salad is so versatile, feel free to add your favorite in season fruits and veggies.

**If you are a fan of adding cheese your salads, crumbled goat cheese, feta or gorgonzola would be an extra layer of deliciousness here.

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad
Created by Kimberly Smith

1 packages of mixed greens or spinach
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
4 radishes, chopped (or 1/2 c chopped jicama)
½ C pecans or honey roasted almonds
Creamy White balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe below


The first thing you want to do is blanch the asparagus.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Add 1 T salt to boiling water and stir.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove asparagus from water with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process.
After 1 minute, drain the asparagus and pat dry.

To make the salad place salad greens in a large bowl, add asparagus, sliced strawberries, chopped radishes, and pecans.

Top with the creamy vinaigrette.

Creamy White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Created by Kimberly Smith

½ C avocado oil or light olive oil
¼ C white balsamic vinegar
1 T honey (you can omit the  honey for Whole30 or substitute honey for real maple syrup or agave nectar for a Vegan version)
1 T Dijon mustard
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Immersion Blender Directions:
Place all ingredients in a mason jar or 2 cup measuring cup.
With the immersion blender at the bottom of the jar, turn on the blender and slowly move wand to emulsify the dressing.

Blender Directions:
Place all ingredients in the blender except the oil. Turn blender on low and start drizzling the oil into the blender slowly until the dressing emulsifies.

Paleo, Low Carb, Whole30 option, Vegan option, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Grain Free

IMG_20180513_175006_265 (2)

Asparagus and Fennel Soup

It’s officially asparagus season. During asparagus season, I get at least one bunch every time I go to the farmers market. It is a short season, and this is one of the recipes I make every year. It only has a handful of ingredients and it is easy to make. The recipe is Whole30, Paleo, Keto, and Vegan. This soup is delicious all by itself, but, I like topping mine with bacon, crab, shrimp, or a poached egg for some extra protein.

Asparagus and Fennel Soup
3 T olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped
½ t salt
2 C water
½ lemon, zested

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add shallot, fennel, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until fennel and shallot are tender.
Add water and increase to medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
Add asparagus and cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer all ingredients to blender. Add lemon zest and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free

asparagus soup

Twice Baked Potato Skins

Twice baked potatoes were one of my childhood favorites.  These are a mini version that are great for an appetizer or shared at a potluck.  The main difference is these are dairy free and loaded with veggies.  This version is packed with broccoli and topped with bacon and chives.  You won’t even miss the cheese, I promise!  Top them with my ranch or chipotle aioli and they will disappear in no time.  Find my Ranch and Chipotle Aioli recipes below.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this recipe. This is a great recipe to make in advance and I definitely recommend making the Ranch or Chipotle Aioli at least 4 hours in advance, but both will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Twice Baked Potato Skins
Recipe by: Kimberly Smith

2 pounds small red potatoes (try to get similar sized potatoes)
1 package bacon, sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 ½ C)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, chopped (about 3 C)
¼ C ghee or olive oil
½ – 1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 bunch chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse and dry potatoes. Pierce potatoes with a form on both sides.
Place potatoes on lined baking sheet. Use parchment or foil.
Bake potatoes for 30 minutes and then turn potatoes over. Cook potatoes for about another 45 minutes until fork tender. (Cooking time will vary based on how big your potatoes are. Check them after 30 minutes).
Once fork tender remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes. (You can do this a day ahead as well. Refrigerate if you cook them the day before).

To make filling:
Using a large skillet, place over medium heat.
Add bacon and cook and stir occasionally until slightly browned.
With a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a bowl or plate.
Keep bacon fat and add chopped onion.
Cook onion for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and stir to combine.
Add broccoli, ½ t salt and pepper and stir. Cook and stir for 7-10 minutes until broccoli is tender.
Remove from heat.

To make potato skins:
Cut potatoes in half and place them back on the lined baking sheet.
With a large spoon, scoop out white flesh and place in medium saucepan. Return empty potato skins to lined baking sheet.
Add ghee or oil to the potatoes in the saucepan and mash with a potato masher.
Add 2/3 of the bacon and 2/3 of the broccoli mixture. Stir to combine.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spoon potato mixture back into empty potato skins.
Top with extra bacon and broccoli mixture.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and garnish with chives.
These are also great topped with ranch or chipotle aioli. (Recipes Below)

Chipotle Aioli
Recipe by Kimberly Smith

1 C avocado oil or light olive oil
1 egg
½ lemon, juiced
2 T fresh cilantro
2 T kimchi sriracha (Wild Brine brand)
1 t ground chipotle
½ t granulated onion
½ t dried mustard
½ t salt

In measuring cup or mason jar add all ingredients.
With immersion blender place blade at the bottom of the jar.
Turn on high and slowly pull wand up until aioli is fully combined.

Whole30 Ranch
Recipe by Kimberly Smith

1 C avocado oil or light olive oil
1 egg
¼ C almond milk (leave this out if you want a thicker ranch dip)
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh dill
1 T fresh parsley
½ t granulated onion
½ t ground black pepper
½ t dried mustard
½ t salt
¼ t granulated garlic

In measuring cup or mason jar add all ingredients.
With immersion blender place blade at the bottom of the jar.
Turn on high and slowly pull wand up until ranch is fully combined.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Place all ingredients other than the oil in the blender and turn on low.  Slowly drizzle the avocado oil in until creamy and smooth.

**You can substitute coconut milk, cashew milk, or water for the almond milk

Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Appetizer, Party Food, Ranch, Chipotle Aioli, Finder Food, Ranch Dressing

twice baked potato skins

Asian Inspired Meatballs

Meatballs are always on hand at my house.  I always have some variety of meatballs, sausage and/or burgers in the freezer for an easy weeknight meal or for those times when we need something fast.  I make big batches and then freeze them in single serving portions so on those nights when we are having leftovers, we can pick what sounds good and we both don’t have to have the same thing.  We use these single portions for lunches as well.

These asian inspired meatballs are full of flavor and a nice change to a traditional meatball.  I like serving them with either roasted or stir fried veggies, fried cauliflower rice, or sauteed coleslaw.


Asian Inspired Meatballs

2 pounds ground chicken
½ C almond flour
½ C chopped cilantro
½ C chopped chives
4 T minced ginger
2 T coconut aminos
1 t salt
½ t pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper

In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix together.
Form into 1-2 inch balls
To cook in a skillet:
Use a large skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil of choice and once heated, add meatballs to pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. You will have to do a couple of batches to cook them all.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until they are browned, then use tongs to rotate the meatballs to brown on the other sides.
To cook in the oven:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the meatballs on the parchment paper about 1 inch apart.
Place sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned. Then increase temperature to broil, move baking sheet to top rack, and cook 2-3 minutes until nicely browned.

Dipping Sauce
1 C coconut aminos
¼ C ginger juice
2 T coconut vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds(optional)

Mix all ingredients together and serve with your meatballs. I store any extra in a small container and the leftovers are great for stir fry.

**Tip-when rolling the meatballs, I pour some olive oil on a plate and coat my hands before making the meatballs.  By doing this, the meatball mixture doesn’t stick to my hands and makes for much easier clean up. I use the remaining oil for stir fried veggies.

Alternate version-I used ground pork instead of chicken and left out the almond flour for a nut free version. They turned out amazing!

These meatballs are Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb, and De-lish!

pinterest asian meatlbass

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Created by Kimberly Smith

Makes 18 large meatballs


2 pounds ground chicken
1C fresh pesto
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C almond flour
1tsp salt
1tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in medium sized bowl. Using a scoop, form meatballs into the size of a golf ball. Place on lined baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for 15 minutes. Then turn oven to broil and broil for another 2 minutes or until the tops of the meatballs are browned.

1 big bunch of basil
1/2 C pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
Squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste
About 1/2 C EVOO


To make the pesto, place all garlic and basil in the food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until basil is rough chopped. Add Pine nuts and sale, pulse again until you have a fine shop. Begin drizzling the olive oil to the mixture until it is the consistency you want.  Add a squeeze of lemon and stir.

Putting it together

Meatballs and Sauce: Add you spaghetti sauce, meatballs and a couple tablespoons of water to saucepan.  Add 1-2 T pesto. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low if it starts bubbling too much.

For the Zucchini noodles: Place large skillet on stove and turn the heat to medium-high.  Add 2 T EVOO. Let the oil heat for 30 seconds then add the zucchini noodles. Using tongs, move the zucchini to warm through.  It should only take about 4-5 minutes to heat the zucchini. You don’t want overcook or they will be too soft.  Add Salt and pepper.

Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, Dairy Free, Gluten Free