: Don't Eat the Spatula - Don't Eat The Spatula

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Parboiled Asparagus (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan)

If you are on the fence about trying asparagus  or are still recovering from the boiled, overcooked version you were forced to try as a kid, you must try this recipe. The parboil technique keeps the it light and crunchy and the touch of lemon counter balances the slight bitterness of the asparagus.

Pair the asparagus with my Pan-seared Boneless Pork Chop recipe and you will have a complete meal made in less than 30 minutes! And let's face it, with a toddler to chase after and a husband that works evenings, I am ALL about 30 minutes meals. Which why I was so excited to be asked to contribute this meal (and a few other meals) along with over 40 other AIP bloggers, to help put together and share a new AIP resources with you all.

Together we have come up with 120+, 100 % AIP, and ready in 30 minute meals! Plus, with over 300 separate recipes, you can make even more meal combos! They all can be found in the 30 Minute Meals for the Paleo AIP.

It was important to all of use contributing to put together this resource of 30 Minute Meals that had everything you need all in one place. Each of the meals includes protein and sides, and even sometimes dressing and sauces, making them all complete meals. But let's face it, meals in 30 minutes anyone can do, but these are delicious flavor packed meals the whole family will enjoy. So what will you find in this awesome new resource, you ask?
  • 100 % AIP elimination phase recipes
  • Over 120 total meals
  • With over 300 different recipes (meaning you can mix and match and you will have even more meal combos)
  • Nut, dairy, egg, soy, grain, seed, legume, gluten, dairy, refine sugar free (only the good stuff)
  • Simple, easy to find ingredients
  • Designed in an easy printable format, should you want to print any or all of the pages out
  • All meals can be made (prep to table) in 30 minutes or less!

Grab your copy of 30 Minute Meals for the Paleo AIP here and you will save time in the kitchen, your sanity and even in little money, since we took some of the easy steps of meal prepping down to just 30 minutes!

Parboiled Asparagus


  • Water 
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Fill a large frying pan half way with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Wash off asparagus and cut off the bottom two inches.
  3. Once water is boiling, place cut asparagus in the water and lower heat to a simmer and set timer for exactly 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the water immediately and toss in a large boil with extra virgin olive oil, onion powder, sea salt, and lemon juice. Served with your choice of protein, such as Pan-seared Boneless Pork Chops.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Strategies for Meal Prepping

It is no secret that planning meals and prepping them ahead of time will set you up with a successful number of healthy meals and snacks ready, give you time during the week with your family, and even save money. However, it can be very daunting to get started and commit the time and work right away. But there is no need to be intimidated. I am going to share with you my strategies to help set you up for a successful meal prep session. 

#1 Make the time

You are going to need to set aside the time to cook for about 3-5 hours straight. If that means sending the hubby away with kids, or blocking out an afternoon, do it. It will save you a lot more time throughout the week from cooking and give you the time back to spend with your family. If you are unable to cook for a longer session (4-5 hours) then you can divide your time into two smaller (2-3 hours) sessions. During longer sessions, I am able to make 4-5 different meals with maybe a snack or two (for my toddler). For a smaller session, I would likely make 2-3 different meals. 

# 2 List, Plan, Shop

List: First, take stock of your kitchen (fridge, freezer, and pantry) and write down all the ingredients you have in your house.

Plan: Using first the ingredients you have found in your house, begin to plan your meals and snacks. As you plan your meals you will also begin to create your shopping list, including those items you are missing to complete a dish. This part is key if you are looking for ways to save money.
        Shop: Now that you have a list of exactly what you need you will be less likely to get things you don’t need because you already have the meals planned. An additional money saving tip: depending on what items are on sale, you can make adjustments to your menu should you have a meal(s) where there is a little flexibility. For example, you could  swap veggies (carrots vs squash) or even a protein (ground beef vs ground turkey for instance) that could be used in a recipe.

#3 Start with a Clean Kitchen

Do you ever notice how on cooking or baking shows and competitions their kitchens are always clean before they start? It is not just for appearance’s sake, it really does help set you up for a good cooking session when you start with a clean kitchen. How do I define a clean kitchen? This means an empty sink, cleared counters, an empty (or close to empty) dishwasher, and a floor cleared of toys (ok maybe that one is just for me). 

#4 Set the Schedule

This one changed my meal prep game completely. It may seem a bit odd to do this the first time, but once you do it, I promise you will notice a difference in your meal prep session. The concept is to plan out your session, as in make a tentative timeline of your prep/cook schedule. What does this look like? Here is sample schedule of a cook timeline for a meal prep day. I plan to make one oven meal, one Instant Pot meal, two stove top meals, and baked veggies.

Cook day schedule

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Prep meal #1 and place in oven.
  3. Prep meal #2 and place in Instant Pot.
  4. Prep veggies for oven, place on cooking sheets, and set aside.
  5. Prep meal #3 and #4 (chop veggies and/or prepare meat)
  6. Pull out meal #1 and allow to cool on table. 
  7. Turn off Instant Pot and allow it to depressurize.
  8. Drop oven temp to 350 F and place veggies in oven.
  9. Begin to cook meal #3.
  10. Clean up dishes from prepping.
  11. Remove meal #2 from Instant Pot and pack away, place pot in sink to soak.
  12. Finish meal #3 and pack away.
  13. Remove veggies from oven and turn it off
  14. Pack away meal #1.
  15. Begin to cook meal #4, clean dishes while it cooks.
  16. Finish meal #4 and pack away.
  17. Pack up veggies .
  18. Clean dishes and kitchen.

#5 Mise en Place

A French cooking phase meaning “everything in its place,” mise en place is a strategy you can use in any cooking session, beyond just a large meal prep session. In the template schedule above, you will notice I set aside to “prep” each meal. In order to keep things moving during cooking, you should pull out all the ingredients you need in a meal before starting. Additionally, chopping up all the veggies and pre-measuring ingredients before you start to cook, helps you move swiftly through a recipe. This is just one reason starting a meal prep session with a clean kitchen is so important.

#6 Clean as you go

Cleaning up as you go is just as important as starting with a clean kitchen. When you are finished with an ingredient or a cooking utensil, put it away or in the sink/dishwasher. If you are at a point where you have a number of things cooking and your kitchen is crazy, take a second and wash a few dishes. Once you pack up a meal, take a minute and soak or clean the dish it was cooked in. The more cleaning you can do along the way, the less you have to do at the end. This will save you from when you hit that wall near the end of cooking and you just want to be done. If you can clean as you go, you will have one to two things left to clean vs an entire kitchen worth of dishes.

#7 Hydrate and Feed the Chef

Last but not least, keep a bottle or cup of water in the kitchen with you and drink some as often as you can. Also, have some snacks on hand or even sample some of those delicious meals you make. Remember, you are going to be prepping, cooking, and cleaning for 3-5 hrs. That is a lot of time on your feet, and a lot of going going going. You will need to keep yourself hydrated and fed to keep your energy up while you work in your kitchen. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Banana Veggie Collagen Muffins (Paleo, Whole 30)

I was fortunate enough to receive a tub of Dr. Sarah Ballentyne's Collagen Veggie Blend when it was first released. This new blend was created by the wonderful team at Vital Proteins and Dr. Sarah Ballentyne of The Paleo Mom. It is a wonderful product for the AIP/Paleo/Whole 30 community that provides you the benefits of collagen along with the nutritional benefits from organic fruits and veggies. I was super excited to try this out on days when I was low on my veggie in take, or when Emily hit one of her anti-veggie stage.

After a few tries I developed this yummy muffins that both Emily and I enjoy that are perfect for kids 6 months plus and mommas who need to up their nutrition game.

Banana Veggie Collagen Muffins



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Distribute mix evenly between either a lightly greased muffin pan or 12 silcone baking cups.
  4. Baked in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until it passes the tooth pick test. {stick a tooth pick into the center of the muffin, if it comes out clean, the muffins are done}
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and the place on a dry rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container in fridge up to 5 days.