Cod Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Cod Chowder

I love cod.  I love chowder.  I think this is a marriage made in heaven.  From start to finish, it took about 30-40 minutes (that includes chopping).  That is just an added bonus, of course, because the taste and texture of this chowder is heavenly!  Even though it wasn’t overly cold here today (it was in the 70s or 80s), I decided to make this anyway.  Why?  Because for the last week, I’ve been getting over a sickness that lies somewhere in the abyss between bronchitis and pneumonia.  Yeah, not fun.  Soup is just what the doctor ordered!

If you don’t like dill, you might want to pick another main seasoning…this is pretty dill-tastic.  It could work with a plethora of other spices, but to me, dill just goes with fish.  It’s like having macaroni without cheese…just…why would you?  If this wasn’t a Whole30 meal, this would be AMAZING with a giant, hot, crusty hunk of French bread.  I’m just sayin.

Cod Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4

2 Tbsp bacon fat

1 medium onion, chopped (about a cup)

1/2 C chopped celery

3 potatoes, cleaned and diced

2 Tbsp tapioca starch

2 C water

1 C chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp pepper

1 pound cod, boned and cut in 1″ pieces

2 C canned coconut milk


1.- Heat bacon fat over medium heat in large Dutch oven.  When hot, add onion and celery.  Cook until onion is soft (3-4 minutes).  Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two.

2.- Add tapioca starch over potatoes and stir while cooking for a minute.  Add water, broth, salt, bay leaf, dill, thyme, and pepper.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce to low, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes.

3.- Add cod, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Add coconut milk, stir, and heat through.  Serve plain or garnished with crispy bacon or chopped green onions.

Pork and Cabbage Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Pork and Cabbage Soup

I’m not a huge cabbage fan.  I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite.  There is a naturally occurring chemical in cabbage that a small percentage of people can still taste (this is a trait that has almost evolved out of humans), and if it’s not cooked within an inch of its life, cabbage is–quite frankly–disgusting to me.  It tastes like a mouthful of dirty pennies and sulfur.  Same thing with Brussels sprouts.  To make cabbage edible to me, it usually has to be boiled for HOURS.  Not so, in this recipe!  I cut it up fairly small, so I’m guessing that the small size helped it cook a lot more quickly.  I’ll go with that as my official hypothesis anyway.

Isak Pork 2

I think it’s also safe to say that it was a success with the toddler as well.  Pay no attention to the bookshelf in the background–it is in a constant state of disarray from me moving books back and forth and from Isak piling toys on the bottom shelf.  Anyway, this is a super delicious soup that you definitely need to try.  As my final note, I’ll leave you with this:

As tested by Isak, this soup does not make an effective conditioning mask for the hair or skin treatment.  The only thing it accomplishes in a topical sense is making things a bit greasy, making everything smell like soup, and ensuring the need for a bath.  #imjustsaying

Pork and Cabbage Soup

Serves 6

1 pound pork loin, cut in 1″ pieces

1 onion, chopped

6 slices bacon, diced

4 C beef broth

28-oz canned whole plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 tsp salt

2 bay leaves, torn in half

1/2 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

3 C chopped cabbage

2 tsp parsley


1.- Heat Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add pork, bacon, and onion.  Cook and stir until pork is no longer pink.

2.- Add broth, tomatoes, carrots, salt, bay leaves, oregano, and pepper.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes (there is some wiggle room here).  Remove bay leaves and throw away.

3.- Add cabbage and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce to medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes, covered.  Stir in parsley.

Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Soup (Whole30 without Garnish)

Philly Chesesteak Soup

If there is one thing I love, it is a good Philly cheese steak.  Half of that love belongs to the crusty, fresh-baked roll that it goes on; however, the other half belongs to the giant pile of meat, vegetables, and ooey-gooey Provolone cheese.  This soup tastes exactly like the sandwich, only without the bread.  I’m willing to overlook that for the delectable pile of meat in a super rich broth.

I thought I would make this last week to introduce Isak to the wonder that is cheese steak (of course he’s going through one of his picky phases).  He ended up eating one piece of meat, some broth, and a few vegetables.  The next day, he ate an entire bowl from the leftovers and decided it was ” ‘licious.”  He just turned 3 yesterday, so I can only imagine that the worst of the strong food “opinions” are coming up this year, but whatever.  Take a look at his PICTURES here–he’s had a great week!  His food choices are definitely going to keep me on my toes in coming up with toddler-friendly primal recipes.

*  DISCLAIMER: We do not have Isak on a strict primal diet (not that we are 100% strict, but we try to be 80-90% compliant).  Breakfast and lunch for him are non-primal meals.  I usually make him buckwheat pancakes (I make him a billion silver-dollar sized pancakes once a month and freeze them) or waffles, yogurt, fruit, cheese, meat, and crackers.  He really enjoys the sesame flax-seed crackers, so we get those.  Dinner, however, is primal because I’m not making separate meals.  He can have some crackers or something if he wants with dinner, but I’m not a short-order cook, HA!

Philly Cheese Steak Soup

Serves 4-6

2 pounds chuck shoulder roast (I ended up getting an almost 3-pound roast for $7, so this is definitely affordable)

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 onion, sliced

2 green peppers, seeded and sliced

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

32 ounces beef BONE BROTH

Provolone cheese (not Whole30 compliant)


1.- Rub beef roast with pepper and garlic powder.  Place in slow cooker.

2.- Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and bone broth.  Stir to mix.

3.- Cook on low, 5-7 hours.  Serve immediately, topped with Provolone (if desired).

Chicken Fajita Chili (Primal with the Dairy; Whole30 Compliant without)

Chicken Fajita Chili


It’s been in the 40s here for last week, so soup is on the menu a couple times this week.  I know, for most of you around the country, the 40s would be a heat wave compared to the weather that you’re experiencing!  Here in San Antonio, it seems as though the winter coats come on after it drops below 80, so 40 here is positively frigid haha!  It’s good that this recipe fell this week though, because for most of you, it’ll be warming to your frozen bones.  JR (the husband) really likes this one.  Even Isak (the almost-3-year-old) ate about half of his.  Yes, up until he was a little under 2 1/2, he was an awesome eater.  I guess I’m lucky that we never had the throw-all-the-food-on-the-floor phase or the one-eat-apples-or-peas phase when he was a baby.  That being said, we’re now going through the mostly-want-to-eat-macaroni-or-chicken-nuggets phase.  Ahhhh, toddler independence!  I’ve come up with every idea I can think of to make food *look* or *taste* like chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese, and I’ve had about 50% success with that.  The other thing that occasionally works is giving something a pirate treasure type name.  Last night with the soup, that’s exactly what we did: gold doubloon treasure chest soup.  Boom, he ate half of his bowl.  Victory!

If you use dairy garnishes, this is primal (shredded cheese, sour cream, etc).  If you forgo the dairy, the whole shebang is Whole30 compliant.  Shazam!  Options!  You’re welcome!  As an additional bonus, this is a slow-cooker recipe, so it’s minimal work for maximum taste.

Chicken Fajita Chili

Serves 3-4

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter (or other fat of choice)

2-3 pounds chicken breasts, cut in 1/4″ slices

2 lg onions, cut in 1/4″ slices and again in half

3 lg red peppers, seeded and cut in 1/4 slices

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes

1/4 C chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp salt

Garnishes: shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, lime wedges, cilantro


1.- Coat slow-cooker bowl with a thin coat of coconut oil, kerrygold, or ELT olive oil.  In large skillet, heat fat over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until lightly browned (this took me about 5 minutes per batch–don’t overcrowd the pan or you’ll be steaming the meat, not browning it).

2.- In slow cooker, layer onions, peppers, and cooked chicken.  In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and salt.  Pour tomato mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours (or you can do high for 3 hours–I like to use the low temperature because it really mixes the flavors better).

3.- Serve with what ever garnishes you want.  If you’re looking for suggestions, we did (in this order): soup, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.  SO GOOD!

Shrimp Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Shrimp Chowder

You all know I have a thing for soup.  And not the basic chicken noodle soup–though basic chicken soup has its place in our menu rotation.  I have a thing for soups that have more than four ingredients.  Why?  Because then I very rarely have to make side dishes.  I’m all into one-pot meals because they are generally the easiest things to make with a toddler under foot.  Anyway…this soup is A. Game. Changer.  I don’t say that very often, but this is my favorite soup that I’ve made so far.  Favorite.  And I think if you browse back through the archives, you’ll find at least 10 different types of soup just in the last six months alone.

You can make this Whole30 (and paleo, by proxy) or you can change the coconut milk to heavy cream and make it primal, if you prefer the consistency and taste of cream over coconut milk.  Honestly, there isn’t a huge difference between the cream and the coconut milk, other than the coconut milk gives it a very slightly sweeter taste.  You really don’t taste much of the difference (and the sweetness can be overcome with an extra pinch of salt).

Go check your cabinets and refrigerator–you might have most of this on hand already!  I keep pretty much everything that goes in this soup all the time, other than the shrimp.  Make it, make it, make it!

Shrimp Chowder (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

6 bacon slices, cooked to crispy and roughly chopped

1/4 C finely chopped green onion

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

3 celery ribs, cut in 1/2″ slices

1 pound potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1″ cubes

2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2-3 C chicken broth (2 C if you want it thicker, 3 C if you want it thinner)

1 C coconut milk (or heavy cream)

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I use smaller shrimp for this soup so there are more pieces)

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried dill (or 4 Tbsp chopped fresh dill)

2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter (or ghee)


1.- Cook bacon to crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.

2.- Heat bacon fat in large pot over medium heat.  When hot, add onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, Old Bay, salt, and pepper.  Cook until onion is soft (5-7 minutes), tossing occasionally to transfer bacon fat onto all of the vegetables.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost tender (10-12 minutes).

3.- Add coconut milk, dill, and shrimp.  Bring to a simmer.  Add in Kerrygold and simmer until butter is melted and shrimp are pink.  Serve, garnished with chopped bacon and green onions.



Spinach Artichoke Soup (Primal)

Spinach Artichoke Soup


We were at Applebee’s the other night and all I could think about was spinach artichoke dip (full disclosure: we had some…I had forgotten that as far as spinach artichoke dip goes, theirs is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, even under the TGI Fridays dip in the frozen section of your local grocery store).  On our way home, I decided that I was going to make a soup version of the dip.  I know, I know, I make a lot of soup.  But really…I don’t want to just make a primal version of the dip and eat it with a spoon, and dipping vegetables in it is boring.  You would have to cut HUGE sections of vegetable to scoop up the amount of dip that needs to be scooped up with each bite.

So soup it is.  And I shall eat it with a spoon.

It’s not a dead ringer for the dip, but it’s pretty close.  I mean, anything that you turn into a soup takes on a slightly different flavor…but this gets the job done, so try it!


Spinach Artichoke Soup (Primal)

Serves 4-6

1.5-2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced

3 C water

6 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks

1/2 C heavy cream or coconut milk

2-3 C chicken broth

5 oz chopped spinach

1 C Parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire


1.- Grill, fry, or cook chicken in any manner you would like.  Set aside, let cool, and cut into whatever size chunks you want in your soup.

2.- In a large stock pot, melt Kerrygold over medium-low heat.  When hot, add onions and saute until soft (7-8 minutes).  Add garlic and celery and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add potatoes and water.  Bring to a simmer.  Turn heat down and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

3.- Pull soup off heat and blend until creamy either in regular blender, food processor, or with a stick blender.  Add cream cheese, cream, and chicken broth and put pot back on medium-low heat.  Cook until cream cheese is well-integrated (about 15 minutes), stirring regularly.

4.- Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and Worcestershire.  Stir and taste to adjust seasoning.  Add spinach, Parmesan, and chicken to the soup.  Stir and cook until spinach is soft.

Garnish ideas:

Crumbled bacon (duh)

Green Onions

Sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Parmesan cheese

Sour cream


Roasted Garlic and Scallion Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Cream of Scallion Soup

Yep, I made more soup today!  It had a really great flavor.  I saw a recipe not too long ago for cream of scallion soup…I’d never heard of it before and it sounded interesting.  Of course I also found a recipe for cream of garlic soup which had never even occurred to be before.  They both sounded good and I decided to combine them to see if they were good together.  I had to alter a few things, make some substitutions to turn it paleo (or primal, if you so choose), and figure out ratios of vegetable to liquid…but it turned out great!

I have another soup (or stew, or whatever it’s considered) that will be coming soon: menudo.  I have never had it; however, there was some organic, grass-fed beef tripe at the grocery store last weekend and I bought it.  Of course I also bought pig trotters and I have no idea what I’ll be doing with them yet.  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, any ideas?

Roasted Garlic and Scallion Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

10 cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp Kerrygold

1 small onion, chopped

2 1/2 C scallions, chopped

1 1/2 C potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 C vegetable stock (or whatever mild-flavored stock you want to use)

1 15-oz can coconut milk (or 1 C heavy cream and 1 C water)

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

chopped scallions to garnish (green parts only)

optional Parmesan garnish (not Whole30 compliant)


1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Put unpeeled garlic in a baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast 30-40 minutes.  Cool and squeeze out of the skin.  Set aside.

2.- In a stockpot, melt butter over a low heat.  Add onion and scallions.  Cover and cook 10-12 minutes (until everything is soft).

3.- Add potatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes, add roasted garlic (without skins).  Cool for 5-10 minutes.

4.- Puree mixture either in the pot with an immersion blender or in a regular blender/food processor.  Return soup to rinsed pan.

5.- Add the coconut milk (or cream/water) and season with salt and pepper.  Reheat slowly while stirring.  Add the lemon juice, stir, and serve topped with scallions and/or Parmesan.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

My husband has said that this officially surpasses the CLAM CHOWDER as his favorite soup.  Of course you should know that after squeezing all this roasted garlic, your fingers will smell like Olive Garden for awhile.  It.  Is.  Delicious.  Isak ate a bowl and a half.  That’s saying a lot for a toddler who thinks that every meal should consist of macaroni and cheese, yogurt, and popsicles…even though he generally does love any food in soup form.  There is so. much. garlic. in this recipe, and you’ll love every clove.

If you are eating a primal diet, you can either use coconut milk or substitute heavy cream (personally, I think heavy cream gives it a smoother finish, but that’s just me).  I didn’t have time to make some, but a lovely garnish for this, as always, would be crumbled bacon!  Pay no attention to the green onions floating around there…I set them so nicely on top of the soup…and they just floated away.  How rude.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

30 cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp Kerrygold (or ghee)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

15 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp thyme

4 C chicken stock

1/2 C coconut milk (or heavy cream)

2 pounds cooked chicken, cubed

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Put unpeeled garlic in a baking dish, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast 30-40 minutes (until golden brown).  Cool and squeeze garlic out of the skins.

2.- In large pot over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions and cook until translucent (5-10 minutes).  Add roasted garlic, peeled garlic, and thyme.  Cook a couple minutes (until fragrant).  Add chicken stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Take off heat and puree (either in blender or with an immersion blender).

3.- Put back on heat.  Add coconut milk, cooked chicken, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Warm through and serve immediately, garnished with chopped green onions and crumbled bacon.

Zuppa Toscano (Whole30 Compliant–Minus the Garnish)

Zuppa Toscano

It’s actually starting to cool off here in Hell’s Incinerator (also known as San Antonio), so we’ve been having a lot of soup lately.  Not because it’s cold…but because when it cools off, Isak and I spend more time outside, leaving me less time to cook.  I like to have lots of leftovers to heat up, and soup makes the most leftovers.  Anyway, I love Zuppa Toscano, so I decided to throw together a compliant version.  Surprisingly, it was super easy and I only had to modify a few ingredients.

JR (the husband) liked it so much that he was drinking out of the bowl by the end.  Isak (the toddler) was the one I was worried about.  As you can see from residual oil, the sausage was pretty spicy.  Isak is hit or miss with spicy.  Sometimes he loves it, sometimes he hates it.  I gave him a small bowl–fully prepared to heat him up some blueberry gluten-free waffle or some cheese and fruit–and when I looked over at him, he was going to town.  Seriously, he looked like he was trying to suck the head off the spoon.  It was hilarious.  He’ll be having that for lunch tomorrow (with me).  Of course I can’t wait for tomorrow night…I’ve made an autumn panna cotta topped with a cinnamon apple chutney that is setting in the refrigerator as I type this.  STOKED!

Zuppa Toscano (Whole30 Compliant, Minus the Garnish)

5 slices bacon, cut in 1″ pieces

1 pound hot ground Italian sausage (if you can’t find ground, you can cut the casings off the links)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 C russet potatoes, roughly chopped

4 C chicken broth

1 15-oz can full-fat coconut milk

3-4 C chopped kale (I used a kale-spinach blend)

salt and pepper

optional garnish: grated Parmesan


1.- In large soup pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy.  Add sausage, breaking apart as it cooks.  Fry until browned and cooked through.  Drain grease, but leave in 1 Tbsp to cook the onions.

2.- Push sausage and bacon to the side.  Add onions to the non-meat side of the pan and saute until soft.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes (until fragrant).

3.- Add broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper.  Bring to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes (until potatoes are tender).  Add coconut milk and kale.  Cook a couple minutes, until heated through.  Serve immediately.  Optional garnish on top is grated Parmesan (tasty!).


Zuppa Fresco (Primal–Whole30 Compliant with Cheese Omission)

Zuppa Fresca

Growing up, my mom used to make this yummy dish all the time.  I don’t know where she got the recipe or if she made it up (she frequently made stuff up based on what she had in the refrigerator, which is probably where I learned to throw stuff together), but it was delicious and she called it “pasta fresco.”  Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes in a tomato cream sauce served over farfalle.  Seriously, it’s delicious…and of course you go into a carb coma after all that pasta.  I’ve made it for pretty much everyone I’ve ever cooked for and everyone loves it…but no one loves it as much as my husband, JR.

Obviously when we started the primal lifestyle, we gave up pasta.  I *could* make it with gluten-free pasta if I *really* wanted the pasta with it, but honestly, I haven’t found a gluten-free pasta that does taste like…you know…mushy cardboard.  I know JR misses pasta fresco, so I decided to try out a compliant way of having the most tasty part of the dish: the sauce.  Ohhhh the sauce.  It’s like crack.  They way that I made it tonight did contain shredded Parmesan.  If you are doing a Whole30, just don’t include the cheese.  It’s really delicious with the cheese…but just add the cheese after you finish your Whole30!

Zuppa Fresco (Primal: If You are Doing a Whole30, LEAVE OUT the Cheese!)

1 pound Italian sausage, cut in 1/2″ slices and each slice in half

1 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

1 small to medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

Small drizzle olive oil

1-28 to 32 oz can crushed tomatoes

1-14 oz can full-fat coconut milk

2 C chicken broth

1/2 C grated Parmesan

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp basil

1-2 tsp salt (keep tasting to get desired salt amount)

3/4 tsp ground black pepper


1.- In stock pot (or large skillet) over medium-high heat, cook sausage until cooked through.  Remove to paper towel-lined bowl or plate and set aside.

2.- In stock pot over medium-high heat, heat a small drizzle of olive oil (maybe a tsp or so).  Add mushrooms and cook until browned.  Remove to the sausage bowl.

3.- Reduce pot heat to medium and melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter.  When butter is hot, add onions and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, nutmeg, basil, and chicken broth and heat to simmer.  Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, in a regular blender, or in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.

4.- Put back on the heat and add coconut milk.  Stir a few minutes until heated through and simmering.  Stir in Parmesan, if using.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper in increments to desired taste.  Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan (or chopped fresh basil).