Most of you may already know about ghee, it’s amazing taste and benefits it may bring to your diet. For those that don’t, I have provided a quick little intro:
WHAT IS GHEE?
Ghee is a form of clarified butter, which is basically butter slowly cooked down until the milk solids seperate, and the lactose is removed. It is mainly used as a cooking oil, has been around for centuries, and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. However, it has started to become more popular in Western culture and can be found in almost any grocery store near you.
WHY COOK WITH GHEE?
Ghee has a very high smoke point therefore is an easy oil to cook with. It has a rich, nutty flavor and brings your food to the next level! Since it is lactose free, it’s also great if you are lactose intolerant or chose to live a paleo/Whole30 lifestyle, such as I. It is also a great
source of vitamins K, A, and E. According to Organic Authority, Ghee is also rich in medium-chain fatty acids with, like carbohydrates, are absorbed directly into the liver and metabolized as energy. Studies
have shown that when replacing butter with Ghee, metabolism increases, and cholesterol remains unaffected.
WHAT DO I USE GHEE FOR?
I can’t even think of all the dishes I have used ghee in, because it’s truly amazing, but I will name a few things where it is a must-have ingredient!
-Buffalo Sauce! When I make wings, I always use a mixture of ghee and Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce. It makes an amazing spicy and creamy sauce that is perfect to toss onto crispy baked wings.
-Bulletproof coffee! I have this at least 3 times a week and love it! The ghee adds an amazing flavor and when blended with the coffee, gets extra frothy and creamy.
-Frying eggs! It gets the eggs nice and crispy on the edges, with a great buttery flavor.
-Mashed Potatoes! Makes mashed potatoes nice and creamy with a buttery flavor.
WHY DO I MAKE MY OWN?
Don’t get me wrong- there are some amazing brands that make good-quality ghee, but I have found that some of them can be quite pricey! Making it yourself will usually save you a couple of bucks. I also feel that when making your own fresh ghee, it just tastes better. There’s something so satisfying about making it yourself instead of buying it!
WHAT YOU NEED:
WHAT YOU DO:
Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? A picnic lunch for the weekend? Or maybe even a salad to prep for your office lunches? Look no further! This chicken salad is light and healthy, but packed with flavor! It is both Paleo and Whole30 compliant. I love tossing this together after a busy day at work, and we always have leftovers for lunches the next day!
This chicken salad will feed a family of 4-5 people, or make some awesome leftovers! One of the great things about making a chicken salad, is that you can get creative and make it your own! If you don't like celery, leave it out. If you prefer bell peppers, toss 'em in! You can mix and match different fruits, veggies, and nuts to make a combination that you love. I have found that the ingredients I list below are my favorite, and they make an amazing salad every time! I usually serve this chicken salad over a bed of fresh, crisp romaine lettuce. Another great idea would be to bring it to a party with some paleo crackers!
WHAT YOU NEED:
WHAT YOU DO:
Tips: I cook my chicken breasts in the oven at 350° for about 25-30 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Make sure you let your chicken rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking, so that the juices drain and it is easier to chop.
To save on time, I sometimes cook my chicken ahead of time, and dice it up, along with the grapes, celery, and pecans. (Not the apple though - it may brown, and I prefer it crisp and fresh right before tossing into the salad.) I usually cook my chicken, and cut up the grapes, celery, and pecans in the morning, before I leave for work. That way when I get home in the evening, I can easily toss it all together and it's ready in no time!
I meal prep a jar of homemade mayo every week, so that I have it on hand. If you're in a pinch, you could also use Primal Kitchen mayo, which has clean ingredients, and is Whole30 compliant.
Sunday mornings are always my favorite part of the week. I love waking up with no alarm, making coffee, and opening the blinds to let the natural light into our apartment. It’s always quiet and peaceful. My husband and I love to go on walks or out exploring on Sunday mornings. When we get back, we’re always starving and it’s kind of become our tradition to make a big hearty hash. It’s delicious every time, savory, and keeps us full until the the late-afternoon.
I originally was inspired to make my first hash this way, after watching this YouTube video of Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. It just looked like such an amazing all-American breakfast! At the time, we were doing a Whole30 so I had to change a few things to make it compliant.
The amazing thing about making this kind of hash is that it can be different every time! You can use up whatever leftover meat or veggies you have laying around in your refrigerator.
Each time I make it, I use a similar method, but ingredients are always a little bit different. Get creative with it! Use what you’ve got, what your family likes, and what sounds good in that moment. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations because you can’t really go wrong with a dish like this!
I use these five simple steps when deciding what to make for my breakfast hash:
1. Choose a type of potato or starchy vegetable for your "base." I have used Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.
2. Choose a protein. I have used bacon, ground pork sausage, and chicken & apple sausage.
3. Choose your spices/herbs. I usually use cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and sometimes parsley.
4. EGGS! (They totally make the dish)
5. Add any extra veggies or leafy greens if you desire! I have used kale and spinach.
My favorite combination thus far has been: shredded sweet potato, bacon, salt, pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, eggs, and kale! It's a perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy!
If i'm being honest, there really isn't a set "recipe" for making a hash, but there are a few simple guidelines I would recommend following.
1. When using potatoes, shred them with a cheese grater. Once you have shredded all you desire, use a cheese cloth or thin linen to squeeze out all the liquid from the potatoes. (Getting rid of this liquid will help to get your potatoes super crispy!)
2. Heat your skillet on medium with the oil of your choosing. (I typically use olive oil.)
3. Spread the potatoes out evenly into your pan and press them down making a "bed" of potatoes.
4. While waiting for your potatoes to crisp up, you can cook your protein (bacon, sausage, etc...) in a separate skillet. I like to chop my bacon up into smaller pieces so I can sprinkle on top of the hash.
5. Once your potatoes start to crisp up, place some ghee (or butter if you eat dairy) around the edges. Use a plate to flip them over. (Watch the Gordon Ramsey youtube video above to see an example.) This is a little difficult the first time, so if you can’t get it to flip, just move around the potatoes, and press back into place.
6. Once the other side of your potatoes are crisp to your liking, Crack your eggs on top. (Side note: When using shredded potatoes, I crack the eggs right on top. When using diced potatoes or squash, I make little wells to crack the eggs into.)
7. Season your eggs with spices that you love! I like salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of cayenne.
8. Place your skillet into the oven, heated at 350°, and cook for about 6 minutes. I like my egg whites firm, but my yokes a little runny. If that's not what you like, feel free to cook for a shorter or longer period of time.
9. Take your skillet out of the oven, top with your protein, and leafy greens if you've got any!
10. DIG IN! You're gonna love it.
More important that any type of skincare product is food. Food is not only fuel for our bodies, but also medicine. Food has the amazing power to heal from the inside out. Eating a healthy, natural diet will heal your insides, which will in turn, reflect on the outside. I have found that switching to a mostly Paleo/Whole30 diet, and eliminating sugars and processed foods has done wonders for my skin. During my first round of Whole30, my skin became more radiant, and I was no longer having issues with redness or unwanted blemishes.
Some foods that are great to feed your skin:
Avocados are not only delicious (bonus points!), but they are high in healthy fats that help to keep your skin moisturized and flexible. They also contain a good amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which your body needs to create collagen! (I touch on collagen later, in this post!) A deficiency in vitamin C could cause you to suffer from dry, rough, and scaly skin...and no one wants that. This totally gives you an excuse to pig-out on some guacamole, right?!
I try to incorporate between 1-3 avocados per week into my diet. I like to eat them with my breakfast, or top them on soup and/or chili!
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are so important in maintaining skin health. These fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation, and when you reduce inflammation, you more than likely will reduce redness and acne.
I try to eat salmon at least once a week! It's one of my all-time fav sources of protein. My husband is not a fan of seafood, so I try to treat myself one night a week when he works late.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and protects your skin from sun damage. The beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes also may give your skin a warm, natural-looking orange tint, which makes your skin appear more radiant!
I eat about 1-1 1/2 sweet potatoes per week. My favorite meal to make with sweet potatoes is a breakfast hash with kale, eggs, and bacon. Yum!
Similar to salmon, walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are much richer in these healthy fats than most other nuts. They also contain good amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, and selenium which are nutrients vital to keeping your skin in good shape.
Fortunately, walnuts are my favorite nut! I eat a couple handfuls per week as a snack, or cook them into my Pecan & Walnut crusted chicken tenders.
Collagen is the basically the glue that holds our bodies together. According to Further Food, In our 20's, our bodies start producing less collagen which results in wrinkles, saggy skin, joint stiffness, and weaker bones. Collagen is the main component of the dermis, the part of our skin that helps our skin with elasticity and flexibility. Taking collagen peptides can help decrease wrinkles and hide cellulite and stretch marks by strengthening the dermis layer of our skin. Daily use of collagen peptides can help hydrate skin and increase skin elasticity, while reducing the effects of sun damage on the skin.
I started taking collagen peptides about a year ago. There are so many great benefits to collagen, but I am only talking about the skin benefits. For more info on the benefits of collagen, check here. The awesome thing about the collagen peptides I take is that they are odorless and tasteless! You can just pour a scoop of them into your hot tea, or coffee, and can't taste any difference! I take 8-12 grams daily.
Bonus: If you'd like to purchase collagen peptides here, use my coupon code GOODCUFFKITCHEN10 for a discount!
I also take Vital Protein's beef gelatin, which has very similar, if not the same benefits of collagen.
PRODUCTS I LOVE:
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This clay is amazing! You can use it for facials, treating acne and insect bites, clay baths, foot soaks, and more! I have even heard of some people putting it in their hair! I make a face mask out of this clay once a week. It makes my skin feel so clean and refreshed!
I got this on Thrive Market.
Nourish Organic Face Cleanser
I love this cleanser so much! I can't even begin to tell you how many cleansers I've tried in my lifetime. I always break out or my skin gets super dry. This cleanser is gentle, yet powerful. It gets the job done when it comes to penetrating your pores and dissolving dirt, makeup, or unwanted oils. I apply some onto my exfoliating facial loofah and cleanse once in the morning, and once at night.
I get mine at Target, but it can also be found on Thrive Market.
Coconut oil has multiple benefits for your skin, but I mainly use it as a moisturizer for my face, and a deep-conditioner for my hair. Organic Virgin coconut oil can speed up wound healing for your skin, and it is found to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in dry skin. I usually moisturize my face with coconut oil once a week, after a face mask.
I get mine from Walmart. I like this 14 oz size because it is portable, and a lot goes a long way!
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner
This is an alcohol-free toner that is gentle and great for sensitive skin. It helps to tighten pores, restore your skin's pH balance, and moisturize and smooth skin. I love this toner because it makes my skin feel light and refreshed! I use cotton balls to apply to my face daily.
I got mine from Thrive Market, but it can also be found at Target.
Shea Moisture Overnight Face Oil
I have to say this is one of my favorite skincare products I own. Don't be afraid of oils! They can actually help to regulate the overproduction of sebum, which can help to get rid of acne! They contain lots of healthy fats and vitamins that hydrate and restore your skin. I apply a thin layer of this oil to my face, after cleansing, before bed, once every 2 days. It makes my skin feel so great in the mornings!
I got mine at Target.
Castor Oil has so many amazing health benefits. It works very similar to coconut oil, when it comes to healing your skin, moisturizing, and preventing acne. I apply a thin layer to my face, as well as my eyelashes and eyebrows, before bed, once every 2 days.
I got mine on Amazon.
Cocokind MyMatcha Stick
I am so thankful to have discovered Cocokind on Instagram, because this MyMatcha stick gives my skin life! It is all natural, and made with ingredients you can actually pronounce...you can't say that about a lot of skincare products. I apply this under and around my eyes, and occasionally on my lips. It helps eliminate bags under my eyes, and keeps my skin looking fresh.
I got mine at Whole Foods, but you can also buy it here.
Cocokind Turmeric Stick
Another incredible Cocokind product! I can thankfully say I don't have to use this product often, but when i do, it comes in clutch. This turmeric spot-treatment stick helps to reduce inflammation, and reduces acne scars. As soon as I see something unwanted pop up, I apply this right away!
I got mine at Whole Foods, but you can also buy it here.
Nourish Organic Face Lotion
The formula that Nourish Organic uses for this face lotion is amazing because it is so light, non-greasy, and makes my face so moisturized and radiant! I apple a small amount to my face after cleansing, once in the morning.
I got mine on Thrive Market.
EcoLips Lip Scrub
In the Fall and Winter, this stuff is my saving grace! When its cold out, my lips get so chapped, which often leads to sores, and bleeding lips. Ouch! This exfoliates and moisturizes my lips, and doesn't taste bad either! I keep this in my purse so I always have it handy.
I got mine on Thrive Market.
Dr. Bronner's Naked Organic Lip Balm
My go-to lip balm! This stuff is all-natural with minimal ingredients. I use this several times a day, to always keep my lips soft, moisturized, and shiny! It feels so good, and doesn't have any weird taste or smell like most lip balms do. I also keep this in my purse, and use it sometimes several times a day.
I got mine at Thrive Market.
Things to know:
WHAT YOU NEED:
WHAT YOU DO:
Put it on everything and ENJOY!
On our way home from Asheville, I was already missing it so much. The sights, the vibes, the weather, and the food! All were incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mini-vacation to celebrate our two years of marriage! Yay!
Although we try to eat mostly Paleo/Whole30 at home, we treated ourselves to lots of foods with gluten, dairy, and sugar on this trip! (So this is your warning if pictures of those foods will tempt you!!) Let me just start by saying the food was some of the best I’ve ever had. The restaurants were all so unique, innovative, and had so many interesting flavor combinations.
First stop: 12 bones smokehouse! We made a stop at their Arden location on our way into Asheville. We had the pup with us, and they were very accommodating. We sat out back in their heated patio, and enjoyed some GOOD FREAKIN' BBQ. I ordered the half rack of pork ribs, mashed sweet potato, collard greens, & mac and cheese! It also came with a side of delicious corn bread. Mmmm!
Second stop: White Duck Taco Shop! (So good we ate here twice!)
First time I ordered 3 tacos: the Spicy buffalo chicken, Shrimp & Grits (my fav), and Thai Peanut Chicken. We also got some chips & queso, and a margarita. Second time I ordered two tacos: Crispy pork belly with watermelon slaw (My absolute fav), and the Ahi tuna. And of course more chips, queso and margaritas!
Their Biltmore Ave location is downtown and within walking distance of lots of cute shops, if you’re looking to do some shopping. Their Roberts Street location has an awesome dog-friendly outdoor seating section (We brought the pup and she got so many head rubs and kisses!) This spot is also in the River Arts district, and is near some cool graffiti so you can definitely get some neat pictures!
Third stop: Biscuit Head! Being from the South, and loving southern comfort foods, this place felt like home! My husband probably got annoyed with me because I said “omg this is so good” approximately 27 times during the meal, haha! But it really was THAT good. The place was packed with people, so we were fortunate enough to only have a few people in line before us. After we ordered, we filled up our coffee mugs and headed outside to the heated outdoor seating area.
They have a collection of unique and random coffee mugs...no one alike! I was given a pink NY Yankees mug and my husband a Christmas mug with candy canes. The coffee was so delicious and they also offered almond milk, so that was a plus! They have a “Jam Bar” that is filled with all kinds of jam and honey that they make in-house. We tried the hot pepper, berry bomb, sweet potato chai, and Siracha honey. All were delicious but we both agreed that the sweet potato chai was the winner!
Our food came out surprisingly fast.
I ordered the Asheville Benedict which consisted of "an open faced biscuit topped with charred scallion cream cheese, fresh tomatoes, 2 poached eggs, hollandaise, roasted red peppers, and a tossed kale salad." I still can't get over how incredible it tasted. My husband ordered the Pulled Pork Biscuit which was "a biscuit with pulled pork, jalapeño pimento, bacon, poached egg, and maple syrup." We also got a side of the “Bacon of the Day” which was peaches & cream, and a side of Moon fries, which were Home fries with shaved midnight moon cheese
Everything was absolutely delicious, the prices were great, the service was friendly, and the restaurant had such a cute vibe. It’s probably a good thing we don’t live in Asheville because I’d be tempted to go here every day!
Side note: hubby ordered their cookbook for me since I loved it SO much, and you can get it here.
Fourth stop: Vortex Doughnuts!
I. was. in. a. sugar. coma. But boy, was it worth it! This is such a cool little spot downtown with amazing coffee and doughnuts. I ordered a latte, a chocolate and bacon doughnut, and their signature "Vortex" doughnut which was sugar coated and topped with a chocolate drizzle. Hubby ordered a Nitro cold brew, strawberry sprinkled doughnut, and a Vortex doughnut, as well. We both agreed the signature was our fav! This place was packed but we were able to find a cute little table by the window. The coffee and doughnuts were both delicious, the atmosphere was cool, and the service was great. They have vegan options, free parking across the street which was convenient, and it was in a good area to walk around downtown.
Fifth Stop: Rosetta’s Kitchen & Buchi Bar!
Yes, you read that correctly...a KOMBUCHA BAR. This place is great for vegetarians or vegans, as they offer tofu, vegan cheese, and other vegan options. We ordered the nachos for an appetizer, but opted for the “real cheese.” They nachos were pretty average nachos, nothing too special. But I did really like the salsa that was on top. We both ordered the "Family Favorite", and I can see now why it has that name! It came with baked peanut butter tofu, sautéed kale, and mashed potatoes with a vegan/gluten free gravy. Everything tasted great, and was very filling. They also offer two sizes, and I would definitely recommend getting the smaller one, unless you’re insanely hungry! My favorite part? The kombucha. They offer Buchi kombucha on tap, which is actually a local ‘booch and brewed in Asheville. The flavor I got was called “Fire” and it was the best kombucha I’ve ever tasted. So light and refreshing! Rosetta’s had a chill, laid-back vibe and I would definitely go back!
Other things we did:
Explored the Blue Ridge Parkway! This was awesome free entertainment. It was so nice just to cruise along the winding roads with my husband and our pup, stopping to enjoy the views.
We saw the band Slowdive at The Orange Peel, and it was so awesome! Such a cool venue downtown and they put on a great show. We really enjoyed it.
Although we only stayed 3 nights, we packed in a lot of things. We visited all of the restaurants on our checklist, took the pup to the off-leash French Broad river park, explored downtown, explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, met up with an old friend, went to the WNC farmer's market, and still made time to relax in our cozy little cabin. Now, the memories we made in Asheville will hold a special little place in my heart, and I can't wait to go back.
I was never much of a pesto-person. Growing up in the south, pesto isn’t all that popular and I guess I just never had it much, or never cared to try it.
When changing to a paleo diet, I realized there weren’t many dips or sauces that I could have, so I decided to make my own!
This pesto is Paleo, whole30, and Vegan friendly! It’s light, refreshing, and packed full of flavor. It’s also an easy way to sneak in some veggies.
You can mix it with a baked spaghetti squash and some chicken for an easy weeknight dinner, or use it as a sauce for your paleo or cauliflower pizza crust. My favorite way to eat it? Straight out the dang jar! I love dipping Siete tortilla chips or Cassava Crunch chips right into it for a guilt-free snack!
Bring it to a dinner party or put it out as an appetizer when you have friends over. I promise it won’t disappoint! Even my picky husband (who before Whole30 basically lived off pizza and burgers) thought it was “so good”!
What you need:
What you do:
Toss everything into a blender or food processor until you get a thick and creamy texture!
Yes, it’s that easy! Enjoy!
After changing my diet, and especially after completing my first Whole30, I can proudly say, there’s not too many “bad” foods I miss.
But since I was little, one of my favorite foods has always been crispy, juicy fried chicken tenders. There’s not much better than fried chicken tenders, especially down here, in the south.
The awesome thing about doing Whole30 is that it forces you to be creative and think outside the box. I started brain storming what I could make to give me that crunch, but still have a juicy center with tons of flavor...And then the pecan-crusted chicken tender was born. (At least in the Goodcuff house!)
I’m sure someone has created something like this before. But I wanted to make a clean version that was both paleo and whole30 compliant!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know this is one of my favorite things to make. It is fairly easy, and seriously SO delicious. I love making a big batch so we can toss the leftovers on top of a salad for lunch the next day. They re-heat really well and taste SO good paired with my homemade ranch! Hope y’all enjoy!
What you need:
What you do:
I make my own mayo just about every week. It’s easy, simple, creamy, & delicious. The best part? It is made with clean ingredients that are both Paleo and Whole30 compliant!
You may be wondering “what the heck would I eat all this mayo with?” But believe me, there are so many amazing (and health-conscious) things you can make with it! Are you doing Whole30 and need something quick and easy for lunches? Egg salad,
Chicken salad, and tuna salad will do the trick! Going to a block party later and need something to bring? Potato salad! What about a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner? Deviled eggs!
I used to make my mayo in a regular blender, but recently got an Immersion Blender and it was life changing! Using an immersion blender cuts the time in half! It is so quick and easy. But it’s totally okay if you don’t have one yet— I’ll include directions for both a regular blender and an immersion blender!
My favorite thing to make with this mayo, you may ask? RANCH! It is a weekly staple in our household. My husband and I put this on just about everything! (I will work on posting my Ranch recipe for y’all later!)
IF USING AN IMMERSION BLENDER:
*you can double this recipe, if you wish. I have tested it multiple times and it works out just as well!
What you need:
What you do:
IF USING A CLASSIC BLENDER:
What you need:
What you do:
1. Crack the egg into the bottom of your blender.
2. Pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil.
3. Add salt and mustard powder.
4. Blend on a low setting until egg and oil are combined.
5. While you are blending, VERY SLOWLY, pour 1 cup of olive oil into the mixture (I do this so slowly it takes 2-3 minutes. Be patient!)
6. While you are still blending, add your lemon juice!
7. You did it! ENJOY!
Hey y'all! Growing up in the South, the traditions, lifestyle and personality have always spoken to me. I am dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the holistic food, drink, and culture of the world through the eyes of a true Southern belle.