Category Archives: Meals

Gluten free, dairy free, paleo, sugar free, grain free meals

Thai Curry Beef

Thai Curry Beef - Instant Pot or Slowcooker Options, made with Stewing Beef and Bone Broth in less than 15 minutes!Cooking for kids is a game changer eh? And I only have 1! Kudos to you mamas (and papas! #dontforgetdads) cooking for multiple babies. I never truly appreciated the flexibility I had when it was just me and maybe my husband I was cooking for. Timing didn’t really matter, meltdowns didn’t happen if we ate too close to bedtime, smoothies or salads were a totally fine fall-back option. Add in a baby learning to eat and having to be a little extra thoughtful about making sure our meals fit her stage of eating development just complicates things even further!

Since nutrient-dense, home-cooked meals are the top priority in my house (read: non-negotiable), I have had to figure out some ways to get those kind of meals on the table quickly! My favourite tool for accomplishing this is without a doubt, my Instant Pot. I use it several times a week and honestly don’t know how I would manage without it! Things are usually a little crazy in the mornings, so while I could put dinner in the slow cooker, it goes much more smoothly if I can throw it in the instant pot during her afternoon nap around 1-2ish. (Bonus: you can put frozen meat in it too! So I only sort of have to plan ahead.)

Instant Pot Love

Ingredients for Amanda Naturally's Thai Curry Beef using the instant pot or slow cooker!

This amazing gadget is especially helpful because the easiest meat for my almost 11-month old to eat, is anything that is shredded or pulled. Chicken thighs, pork shoulder and stewing beef are top choices right now. Considering the fact that it’s the middle of summer, stewing beef doesn’t normally come in to the rotation. But it’s such a great food for her – both developmentally and nutritionally – that I was determined to figure out how to use it in a way that wasn’t just plain ol’ stew!

This recipe for Thai Curry Beef is a typical weekday recipe for me – a non-recipe recipe as I like to call it. A “throw it all in the instant pot and see what happens” recipe. And boy did it turn out delicious! It’s now part of the weekly rotation and we all love it – especially the kiddo! 

Thai Curry Beef
A quick recipe with only 10-15 minutes prep TOTAL! Delicious, family-friendly, nutrient-dense and flexible!
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 1 cup bone broth
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1 tbsp green curry paste (I like Aroy D brand)
  4. 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional, but it takes it to the next level)
  5. 1-2 cloves of garlic (or 2+ tsp garlic granules/powder)
  6. ½ tsp salt
  1. 2 lbs stewing beef (grassfed preferred)
Final Touches
  1. 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  2. ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  3. cilantro, for garnish
  4. green onion, for garnish
  5. sweet potato noodles, zoodles, cauli-rice or white rice for serving
  1. Combine broth, onion, curry paste, fish sauce, garlic and salt into the bottom of your slow cooker. Mix well.
  2. Add in stewing beef. Cook on low all day (minimum 8 hours).
  3. Stir in ½ cup coconut milk and spinach about 10 minutes before serving. Heat through.
  4. Serve on sweet potato noodles, zoodles, cauli-rice or white-rice, topped with cilantro and green onion.
  1. Combine sauce ingredients in bottom of the instant pot.
  2. Add stewing beef, secure lid. Press "Meat/Stew".
  3. When done, let it return to pressure naturally and ideally let it sit in warming or slow cooker mode for another hour or so. You can let it sit more if you have the time!
  4. Stir in ½ cup coconut milk and spinach about 10 minutes before serving. Heat through.
  5. Serve on sweet potato noodles, zoodles, cauli-rice or white-rice, topped with cilantro and green onion.
Amanda Naturally

Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en Papillote | 15 minute healthy meal | AmandaNaturally.comThis recipe sounds fancy. It looks fancy. It tastes fancy. But it’s so darn easy. Which is amazing, since over or under cooking fish is the worst!!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might be familiar with our #TacoTuesday tradition. Since we work late on Tuesdays, we need to make something quick for dinner. Lettuce Wrap Taco‘s have been our go-to for years, however with the recent changes in my life (a.k.a. pregnancy) I’ve been doing everything possible to get as much seafood in my diet as I can.

“Why fish?”, you might ask… well the omega-3 fat found in fish, especially cold-water fish like salmon, is one of the most important (and least consumed) nutrients in our diet. The particular omega-3’s found in fish are EPA and DHA and are absolutely essential for proper development, not to mention all around heath. Here’s why:

  1. EPA & DHA make our cell membranes function better. Since our cell membranes are the brain of the cell (yep, that’s a major dogma shift from what most of us were taught back in highschool/university. The nucleus is in fact, NOT the brain of the cell, it is simply the gonads) if our cell membranes work better, cells work better, which means the tissues that they are a part of work better. All of our organs and systems in our entire bodies work better when our individual cell membranes work better. (note: this is also why we want to avoid vegetable oils because they do the exact opposite)
  2. EPA & DHA have a critical role in the development of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves, eyes).
  3. EPA & DHA are powerfully anti-inflammatory. They provide the building blocks for our endogenous anti-inflammatory molecules known as cytokines. (note: vegetable oils do the opposite, they feed into our pro-inflammatory pathways)

There are 2 very important things to note about omega-3 oils:

  1. The omega-3’s found in plants (flax, walnuts, chia etc.) are not the same. They are a different kind of omega-3 known as ALA. And while we can convert some to the usable form, the amount we can convert is in the range of 1-3% – and that’s with an optimally functioning body, which most people do not have. Which means it would take a cup of flax oil to provide the same health benefits as a few bites of salmon. 
  2. Fish oil supplements only work in the short term. Once you pass 6 weeks, the benefits peter out. So a supplement will not suffice. 

So what does that mean? Well, it’s time to start eating fish my friends. Not a fan? At risk of sounding like a total jerk, that’s kind of not an option if you want to make sure you’re hitting your required nutrients. Now I appreciate that some people have fish/seafood allergies, so that definitely is a roadblock, but unless that’s your case, start learning and wanting to develop a taste for it (trust me – I get it. I did not like liver. But I knew how important it was, so I set my mind to it and learned to like it.) If you are in the transition of learning to like fish, or you are allergic, the only other places you can find usable omega-3 fats in are grassfed beef and pastured egg yolks.

As with all food, the better the quality, the better the nutrition. For fish you want to try and purchase wild, sustainably caught species whenever possible. That can be challenging to find (and crazy expensive) in the middle of the continent, but luckily demand is going up, so places like Costco (where I get my frozen, wild salmon) are carrying more of this type of product! Though it definitely comes at a price, so you want to make sure you cook it up nicely!

Enter: Salmon en Papillote

This meal can be pulled together in 15 minutes flat – as long as the fish is thawed. It pairs beautifully with rice (cooked in bone broth of course!), cauli-rice, steamed potatoes or a simple salad.

Aside from being incredibly heathy and the minimal prep/cook time, one of the best features of this meal is it is super scalable. Last night I made it for just me (not too shabby for a solo dinner eh?) and I’ve also made it for a large dinner party.

The ingredients are very flexible as well, although I am partial to the ones I use! However if you need to avoid nightshades, simply omit the red peppers and if desired, sub another vegetable like yellow squash or bok choy.

Finally, while I made this particular one in the oven, you have the option of using the BBQ as well. We often do that in the summer to keep the house cool!

Salmon en Papillote
Serves 1
Sounds, looks and tastes fancy - actually super simple! Not to mention delicious and nutritious!
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 1 piece salmon (or other fish)
  2. 4 slices of zucchini
  3. ¼ cup sliced red onion
  4. ¼ - ½ red pepper, sliced thin
  5. olive oil
  6. sea salt
  7. 2-3 lemon slices
  8. squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a heart shape, folded in half.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil under where the salmon will go. Top with zucchini, then onions & peppers.
  4. Place salmon on top of veggies.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze a bit of lemon on top and season with sea salt.
  6. Starting at the furthest point away from the point/bottom of the heart, start rolling the edges together, moving all the way to the point.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut open parchment paper (don't get burned by the steam!) and serve!
  1. You can also do the same thing the BBQ. Simply use tin foil (don't worry about the heart/rolling method - just make sure to secure the tin foil tightly) and BBQ at medium high heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Scale up for the number of meals you need!
  3. For AIP friendly, omit the red peppers. Sub in yellow squash or bok choy.
Amanda Naturally

  Directions in Pictures!

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a heart shape, folded in half.     

2. Drizzle a little olive oil under where the salmon will go. Top with zucchini, then onions & peppers.

3. Place salmon on top of veggies. Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze a bit of lemon on top and season with sea salt.

4. Starting at the furthest point away from the point/bottom of the heart, start rolling the edges together, moving all the way to the point. Bake for 10 minutes.   

5. Cut open parchment paper (don’t get burned by the steam!) and serve!

Chicken “Noodle” Soup

Chicken "Noodle" Soup | gluten-free, grain-free, paleo | AIP & low-carb options | AmandaNaturally.comAnyone else love chicken noodle soup? I certainly do. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would make it to make me feel better!

Unfortunately, most chicken noodle soups out of a box or can are full of junk. And for those of us who don’t tolerate gluten or grains, even the homemade kinds can be off limits.

So today I want to share with you a few tweaks to the standard chicken noodle soup recipe, that can make it allergen friendly and a super food! 

1. Use Bone Broth!

I can go on and on about the health benefits of bone broth…oh wait, I already have. Check out my post on why making bone broth is one of the best habits you can get into!

If you can’t (or won’t) make your own broth, or you run out, you can use boxed broth. Keep in mind though that boxed broth is purely for flavour and won’t have any health benefits. In fact, many contain hidden ingredients like gluten and nightshades, so if either of those foods are a problem for you, make sure to do your research and get a quality broth.

If you want bone broth, but you don’t have time to make it, either get yourself a pressure cooker (this is the one I have and LOVE) or buy it from one of my favourite local companies – Eat Savage.

2. Use a Noodle Alternative!

My favourite option are spaghetti squash (as shown in the recipe below) or plain white rice. You can use zucchini noodles (a spiralizer helps a ton during prep) but they don’t stand up over time, especially in the freezer, the way rice and spaghetti squash do. If you do want to use zoodles, I recommend making the soup without them, and a few minutes before you’re about to serve, or while you’re reheating it, throw them in.

Quick note re. spaghetti squash. It takes about 45 minutes or so to roast – see squash tutorial for tips and tricks. But it only takes 5 minutes in the Instant Pot – another reason I love this gadget. Simply slice in half, remove the seeds and place in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. Set to manual for 5 minutes and let it do its thing. Use the quick release method when the 5 minutes is done!

What do I think of gluten-free noodles? Well, anything that’s trying to be something that it’s not, isn’t something that belongs in the diet on a regular basis. Gluten-free products, dairy-free milks – they don’t have any health benefits, and they sometimes come with negative ones (refined starch, gut irritants, additives, thickeners etc.). So if you must use gluten-free noodles, make sure to get ones that are as simple as possible. My favourites are Korean sweet potato noodles (found at Asian markets) or plain white rice noodles (vermicelli). Watch out for gluten-free noodles that use corn, quinoa and brown rice if you’re sensitive to whole grains (like I am!).

3. Add in veggies!

Many chicken noodles soups are just that, chicken + noodles + (store-bought) broth. Some have a few carrots or onions, if you’re lucky. Buck the trend and fill it with veggies! Stick with classic soup veggies like carrots, onions and celery (just use a ton) or take it to the next level and throw in some kale! I love using kale in soups because it doesn’t get slimy like spinach does. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some seaweed for a super hit of minerals and some thyroid love.


Chicken “Noodle” Soup

So without further ado, I give you my recipe for chicken “noodle” soup. It’s based on the recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid… it’s just been amandanaturalized as she likes say! 


Chicken "Noodle" Soup
Serves 8
A twist on a classic favourite - packed with nutrient dense foods like bone broth and veggies. Gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb and AIP options!
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil (or other healthy fat - butter, ghee, lard, tallow, avocado oil)
  2. 2 onions, diced
  3. 2 cups carrots, chopped
  4. 2 cups celery, chopped
  5. 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 8-10 cups bone broth (or broth + water combo)
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 2 tbsp basil
  9. sea salt to taste
  10. 3 lbs chicken thighs, cubed (about 6 thighs)
  11. black pepper (optional)
  12. 1 head of kale, roughly chopped
"Noodle" Alternatives
  1. 1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
  2. ¾ cup white rice (+ 1 extra cup water)
  3. 2 cups gluten-free noodles (preferably white rice vermicelli or sweet potato)
  4. zucchini noodles
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
  2. Sautee onions, celery and carrots for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in garlic, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Add broth (and water if using), bay leaves, basil, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add in raw chicken cubes. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Add chopped kale 5 minutes before serving.
  1. Spaghetti squash noodles - add in 5 minutes before serving.
  2. White rice - add in 15 minutes before serving, with an extra cup of water.
  3. Gluten-free noodles - add in according to package instructions (2-10 minutes, depending on time)
  4. Zucchini noodles - add to bowl before serving soup. Only spiralize enough for each serving. Freeze/store soup without zoodles. Add raw zoodles each time before you reheat!
  1. Raw chicken is easiest to cube when it is still partially frozen.
  2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are easiest to manage, but a little more expensive than bone-in, skin-on. Chicken breasts work as well, but aren't as tender in the soup.
  3. You can add the raw chicken directly to the soup! As long as it cooks at a boil/simmer for 15 minutes or so. I know it seems risky, but it's totally safe!
  4. This recipes freezes really well - especially if you use the white rice or spaghetti squash option for noodles.
Amanda Naturally
Copyright 2014 Amanda Naturally | Design by The Nectar Collective