Sunday, October 20, 2019

Penne Alla Vodka

These days you can find a wide array of grain-free pastas with genuinely delicious flavor and texture. If you like the taste of pasta but want to limit the pasta carbs, add meat and veggies so less pasta goes further in the dish. Chicken thighs are a great choice to this end. Experiment with adding in veggies like spinach, baby broccoli, mushrooms or bell peppers, and create a variety of versions to your own taste.

For the sauce, use a full-fat coconut milk for the richest flavor, or use traditional full-fat dairy milk or your favorite milk substitute along with our new Primal Kitchen® No-Dairy Vodka Sauce.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1.5 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil or Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1.25 cups chopped Yellow Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic, grated
  • ½ cup Full Fat Coconut Milk (or other dairy/non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1.5 cups Primal Kitchen No-Dairy Vodka Sauce
  • 1 box Chickapea Penne Pasta
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Reserved Pasta Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Shredded Basil
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and add them to the pan once it is hot. Sear for 2 minutes on each side, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the thighs from the pan and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or cutting into chunks.

In the same pan (or another, whatever you prefer) add the remaining oil and heat it over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion. Stir with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is browned and soft. Add in the grated garlic and heat until the garlic is fragrant. Add in the Vodka Sauce and coconut milk and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and come together.

Prepare the Chickapea pasta according to the directions on the box, but boil the pasta to be slightly undercooked. Drain the pasta, reserving about ¼ cup of pasta liquid. Pour the drained pasta into the pan with the vodka sauce and stir over medium-low heat until the pasta reaches your desired doneness. Add in the chicken and stir. Add the reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches the thickness of your liking. Top the pasta with a pinch of red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the shredded basil. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per serving (1/4 of recipe):

  • Calories: 547
  • Total Carbs: 50 grams
  • Net Carbs: 40 grams
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Protein: 40 grams


The post Penne Alla Vodka appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple

How Mal Supports My Health Issues, Developing a Thicker Skin, Cutting Out Sugar & Sleep Issues

Hey guys!

Welcome to the next edition of CNC Instagram Live! As always, I’m so glad to be able to jump on here and answer some of your questions and as usual, I have another awesome list of questions from you guys. Let’s get started!


How does Mal respond/support all of your health issues?

Great question! I’m going to preface my response by saying that Mal is absolutely my #1 supporter. He’s the nicest guy ever, and he really does want the best for me. That being said, he’s also somebody that’s not going to take my crap. He’s a straight-shooter and doesn’t sugar coat anything and that applies to my health as well. He wants me to be happy and healthy, so there definitely comes a point where he wants me to stop beating around the bush and just focus on getting better. He doesn’t have a problem giving me some tough love… and sometimes I need it! It’s easy for me to get wrapped up and overwhelmed by my disease, especially during a flare, and he knows that I don’t need to work myself up by going down a Google rabbit hole. He always reminds me to appreciate my health and to be grateful. 

That being said, I have done everything I can to get better and will continue to do so. Whenever I throw something new into the mix, Mal is up for trying it. So, he does always support me in doing what I believe will help (despite the few times where he thinks I’m a little nuts, too). When you’ve had a chronic disease for so long, you will try anything to get better, including drinking celery juice for four months straight! (For the record, I still drink celery juice 1-2 times per week. I really think it helps keep my skin clear!) 

How did you develop a thicker skin? Lots of strong opinions about your candida post!

If you read the post on CNC about my anti-candida diet, you will see that I received quite the mix of comments. Included were people saying that it’s “pseudoscience,” and that I’m an irresponsible blogger to even talk about it. On one hand, there is research out there about how candida related to autoimmune diseases like IBD. On the other, I’m sure you will find many studies and results that say candida is just a bunch of hoopla. Needless to say, there were a lot of not so very nice comments. Honestly, I’ve been blogging for almost twelve years, so I’ve gotten my fair share of Internet hate and trolls. It used to bother me a lot, and while I’ve come a long way, it still bothers me sometimes. I’m human, after all! 

Unfortunately, some people just really know how to hit you where it hurts, and I truly believe “hurt people hurt people.” I heard this quote a few years back, and it really stuck with me. I completely believe that if you’re happy and enjoying your life, you don’t have the time to leave nasty comments online. I’m not saying this to call out anyone, but I did come across a really good example of this. Someone left a really mean comment on my post, and she left her email address in the comment so I could see who it was. I remembered her as a “friend” from the early days of blogging. I had gotten to know her, and she struggled with depression, an eating disorder, chronic pain, an autoimmune disease… so it was clear to me that her comment was less about me and probably more about her. Maybe it was related to her own fears and insecurities, or just not feeling great about her life in general. Regardless, it was really helpful to understand where she might be coming from.

Comments like these aren’t always about negativity or hatred directed towards me; more often than not, the person leaving them has issues in their own life. I’ve talked to friends and family about what can happen when you put your life out there on the Internet, and they’ve all said that even if they don’t agree with something, they’re not going to take the time to leave a comment, especially something mean. They just move on with their busy, fulfilled life, and I totally understand and relate to this point of view. 

I’ve come a long way with Internet meanies, and it’s not always easy. I’m a real person with real feelings, and I get hurt sometimes. But having the ability to understand where people might be coming from and knowing that it’s not always about me, really helps! And, hey, not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay! 

How easy/hard was it to cut out sweets and desserts on an anti-candida diet?

Surprisingly, this diet hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be! I really love sweets, and I usually have dessert every single day. Toning it down really hasn’t been all that bad, and I think it is because I stay prepared. I keep prepped food in the fridge, like protein sources, veggies, and other diet-friendly snacks, so when I do get a sugar craving, I have something ready to curb it. Eating protein first thing in the morning( before I go to the gym) also helps, like Teechino with collagen and some chicken sausage. Holding off on carbs until lunchtime keeps my blood sugar steady.

Protein sources have included chicken breast, ground chicken, deli turkey, and shrimp. Veggies are usually roasted and include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale. The practitioner I’m working with said I could have some fruits and complex carbs; they just need to be in small portions. I’ve been eating bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Daily Harvest also makes these lemon coconut bites that you can keep in the freezer, so I’ve been cutting those in half for when I’m really in need of something sugary. They are mostly coconut, lemon, and a little bit of honey with only 3-4 grams of sugar, so not too bad!

I also think that keeping the ultimate goal in mind is helpful. I know that if I cheat and have a bunch of sugar, I’m not helping the situation. For example, the other day, the boys had pancakes for breakfast and though I was tempted, I kept reminding myself that I wanted to get better. I only have to stick with this diet for 3 to 4 months, and I’m already well into it, so cheating is just going to bring me right back to the beginning – not worth it! 

Have you ever had sleep issues?

Yes! I wrote a whole post about it. After I had Quinn, I flared really bad, had a baby waking up multiple times a night, and was dealing with new mom anxiety. I felt like I went weeks without sleeping and was a freaking zombie during that time. A few years later while I was working on Designed to Fit Nutrition, I felt like I had 8 million jobs and was super stressed out, so I definitely had trouble sleeping then.

What changed everything for me was a book called 10% Happier (I’ve talked about this before, so I apologize if this feels a little bit redundant!). It’s by Dan Harris, a correspondent for ABC news. He had a panic attack on TV and the book chronicles his journey with anxiety and how meditation changed his life. I’m not super into meditation, but there are a few tactics in the book that have helped me sleep better. I call them “Jedi Mind Tricks,” and I use them every night when I get into bed to help me fall and stay asleep. They’ve proven to have a 100% success rate for me! 🙂

CBD oil has also been a huge help, and I’ve noticed an immediate difference after I started taking it. I also take Natural Calm, a magnesium powder, maybe not every night, but definitely every other night or so to help with my sleep. Knock on wood, I haven’t had many sleep problems lately! Of course, there are nights where I’m tossing and turning a bit, but I’ve come a long way from those days of being up all night!

Halloween costumes for the family?

This is a fun one! Last year we went as the PJ Masks trio – Quinn was Catboy, I was Owlette, and Mal was Gekko. Quinn wants to be Catboy again, so the PJ Mask trio might be making a return. However, I found a banana costume from a million years ago and now he wants me to be a banana, so the Haupert family might just be Catboy, Gekko, and a banana this year!

I hope you guys found this helpful! Thanks again for all your awesome questions and I’ll see you on the next CNC Instagram Live!

Turn on your JavaScript to view content

The post How Mal Supports My Health Issues, Developing a Thicker Skin, Cutting Out Sugar & Sleep Issues appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

from Carrots 'N' Cake

Flourless Brownies (Diary Free Too!)

These flourless brownies are also dairy free and stuffed with fiber!

Made with sweet potatoes, these brownies are soft, mildly sweetened and actually quite filling! They are excellent with a glass of… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry