Spaghetti Squash with Veggie & Meat Sauce 

Grain-Free, Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Meat & Veggie Sauce by: Kimberly Lam Wellness

I am quite certain the very first real meal that I learned to cook was spaghetti with meat sauce. And distinctly remember cooking it solo for the first time (late middle school or high school) for my family and I accidently opened the “spoon-sized” flap of the cayenne pepper…and shook vigorously. Haha.

Since then, I have switched out the refined white flour pasta, added more seasonings and veggies, cleaned up the meat, and learned to check the seasoning tops more closely. Ha. But no matter the changes, I think back to my childhood every time I make it…and shiver a bit every time it comes to adding the cayenne. Haha.

This is a family favorite around here. Pretty simple. Super tasty and makes for amazing leftovers! What is it about meat sauce that tastes so much better the next day!?

I hope you enjoy it as well!

Veggie & Meat Sauce: 

*Avocado Oil

*1 Zucchini, diced

*1 Yellow Squash, diced

*1-2 Carrots, peeled and diced

*1-2 Celery Stalks, peeled and diced

*1/2-3/4 Onion, diced

*3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced

*6ish Mushrooms, sliced

*Spinach or Kale (optional…)

*1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef (or ground turkey/chicken or leave out for vegetarian)

*1/2 tsp Sea Salt

*1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

*1/2 tsp Onion Powder (or flakes)

*1/2 tsp Paprika

*1/2 tsp Chili Powder

*Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

*1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

*2 Bay Leaves

Spaghetti Squash: 

*1-2 good sized squashes (squash? Squashes? Anyway…) – quantity depends on how many you are feeding. I cooked two pretty good sized ones and they served 6 (though really appetites of 5 since two are toddlers) and has some leftover.

*Avocado Oil (or some other clean oil)

*Garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, onion flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and chili powder to sprinkle.

1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and toss. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle on seasonings. Rub them in a bit and then place the squash cut side down on the parchment lines baking sheet.

3. Roast on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes, checking periodically for done-ness. The top (outside) will be sort of soft and starting to brown a bit. Remove from oven, flip over and try scraping out some of the “noodles” to see if it is done. Set aside. *You will want to use a fork to scrape the noodles out in the opposite direction from the original lengthwise cut…in the direction of the inside “noodles”.

4. Meanwhile as the squash is cooking, dice the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.

5. Heat avocado oil over medium high heat in a large, deep pan or a stock pot, depending on the quantity  you are making. Add in the garlic and onions and let cook until they begin to soften.
6. Add in meat of choice, breaking it up as you go, and seasoning with roughly 1/2 the amount of seasonings, minus the bay leaves.

7. Once meat is mostly cooked, toss in the remaining veggies (except the kale or spinach, if you are using it), stir to combine, and sauté briefly.

8. Add in crushed tomatoes, other 1/2 of the seasonings and the bay leaves. Stir to combine.

9. Bring to a boil, cover partway and reduce to a slow simmer for 20-30 minutes. *The longer you’ve got, the better the flavors will meld, but time is King with little people around. Haha. So…simmer for as little or as long as you can, making sure the veggies are cooked to your liking.

10. With a few minutes of simmering to spared, stir in kale/spinach, if you are using it. *If you are using spinach, it cooked super fast and you can practically toss it in just as you are about to plate it. If you are using kale, give it more like 5-10 minutes to cook down.

11. Plate the “noodles” and top with sauce! Enjoy!

Black-Eyed Peas and Cabbage for Good Luck & Prosperity in the New Year

Happy New Year! Welcome, 2016! Can you believe we have waved “goodbye” to 2015 and are moving onward and upward! The New Year is a fantastic time to start fresh, re-focus, write out your goals and make some changes. I mean…you can do it anytime of the year, month, week, day, etc. but their sure is something about that January 1st date that seems so new and exciting.

Start by taking in the year of 2015 – the ups, the downs, the stretches in areas that may have been uncomfortable, but have helped you grow.

Be grateful for it all.

Reflect on it and then remember that it has passed.

Hold on to the positive. Release the rest.

And make this NEW year everything that you want it to be.

We started this year like we have the last three with a delicious Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage and Ham Soup. This year we added some brown rice on the side too. There seems to be a lot of different thoughts on how this tradition goes, but really…they are all pretty awesome, so no matter if it is “peas for peace and rice for riches” (hence the rice add on this year) or “black-eyed peas for good luck and cabbage for financial prosperity” or any other breakdown…you just can’t really go wrong. That and it is just plain delicious.

Here is what ours looked like:

New Year’s Day Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage & Ham Soup.png

New Year’s Day Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage & Ham Soup

* 1 Ham Shank (unless really little, then two…though they contain more meat than it looks)
* ½ Large Onion – diced
* 3-4 Cloves of Garlic – minced
* 3 Cans of Black-Eyed Peas (or 3-4 cups of dried, soaked, and cooked ones – ideal scenario)
* 1 Large Cabbage Head – we used Savoy (yum), but any would likely work.
* 8ish Cups of Broth – divided (ideally homemade stock, but we used Organic Chicken from a box)
* 1 Cup Brown Rice
* Seasonings (optional): We didn’t add any and it was amazing, but you could always add a little garlic powder, onion powder (or flake), sea salt (really not likely needed with the ham), black pepper, and/or bay leaves.

1. Dice onion and mince garlic. You could sautee them a bit to richen the flavor, but we used ours raw and they were great too.
2. Place ham shank in bottom of the slow cooker. We bought ours from Whole Foods. It was packaged in the fridge section by the butcher, but not processed with a bunch of nastiness. 😉 Get the cleanest version you can find. You wanna start out the year on a toxin-free note, yeah?
3. Rinse beans and place in slow cooker.
4. Add onions and garlic slow cooker.
5. Pour in 6 cups or so (really up to you) of the broth, making sure you leave room to fit the cabbage in later.
6. Turn on low for about 6 hours.
7. Somewhere within that 6 hours, you’ll want to get the cabbage out and prepped. Remove the first layer outer leaves and toss them. Cut out the heart, if it is big and obnoxious. Chop it into pieces roughly the size of a torn piece of lettuce for salad…or slightly bigger.
8. Add the cabbage to the pot and continue cooking on low for another 1-2 hours.
9. With an hour-ish left of the cooking of your soup, rinse your rice and place it into a medium sized pot. Add two cups of broth and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, toss in a touch of avocado oil or a ½ tsp of butter, reduce it to low, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 50 minutes.
10. When you are ready to eat, turn off the slow cooker and remove the shank. Remove the meat from the bone and return the meat to the soup. Stir to combine all the deliciousness and serve!
11. You can add the rice to the bowls of soup at the end or serve it on the side, whichever you prefer. Enjoy!

For a printable PDF, click the link below! Yay!

New Year’s Day Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage & Ham Soup



Making Christmas: Paleo Pies, Prime Rib, Clean Cookies for Santa, Mary Poppins, and a DIY Lego Table…

Christmas Eve eve…when the making of Christmas really begins… 🎄❄️😍❤️
The goal: Have as little possible to accomplish on Christmas Day other than hanging out and playing with the littles.

So today…

*Cookies for Santa baked (and nearly burnt…doh!) by me and the kids. 🍪

I asked het to go grab an apron. she came back with a cape.

*Prime Rib seasoned by Anthony.

Me and My Love Taking the Kitchen By Storm


*Pumpkin Pie baked by me.  

*DIY Lego table under construction (me). 🎁 

*”Mary Poppins” as performed by Nolan Lam for his sissies and neighbor friends. 🎭🎶 

It’s been a good day.
Cookies (my fave clean chocolate chip cookies!!):
Pumpkin Pie Filling:
Pumpkin Pie Crust:

Foodie Friday 11.20.15 – Yummy, Clean, and often Paleo Thanksgiving Sides

Happy Friday! I’m doing things a little different this week. Instead of my top three meals that we made this week, I’m going to share with you the top three meals I’ve been eyeballing for the ol’ Turkey Feast for Thanksgiving next week. Alrighty? Okay. Good. Glad you’re on board. 😉

A few years back (alright, maybe more than a few), I discovered the theory that just because it is a special occasion…just because you want your food to taste delicious…just because you want some pie…you don’t have to eat a whole bunch of crap! We live in the age of so many non-conventional ideas on how to fuel your body healthfully AND full of amazing flavor. Don’t let the holidays be an excuse! Be smart. Make some changes to your standbys, try something new and delve into the world of yummy and nutrient dense food! Celebrate with your friends and family. Share with those who have less. Enjoy. Treat yourself right. Your body will thank you.

Down to business!


We are gluten free around here, but also don’t really use much GF bread to substitute, so I’m super excited about this grain-free cornbread stuffing recipe (uhm…with bacon! Hey…if you source it right, it is totally a superfood!).


LOVE Brussels sprouts and beets. So good. Such rich colors and flavors. I will definitely be adding some Brussels to this deliciousness! And we will use either grass-fed butter or avocado oil. Mmmmmmm…


And of course, there was no getting around it…everyone needs a little more pumpkin pie in their lives…but only if it is goooood. Can’t wait to try this! My mouth is already watering. I’ll be using an ol’ fashion real pumpkin to make my puree, but other than that…here are the recipes I’ll be following:

Man, I love Thanksgiving. It is going to be a little weird just being my little (sorta big) family of us five, but we’re gonna go with it. The sun is supposed to be shining and the temps are supposed to be cccccccooooolllld. It is going to be amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Foodie Friday 11.13.15: Top Three Clean Eating Meals From This Week’s Meal Plan

This week’s round-up is pretty simple, but still tasty as can be. As always…each meal was served with a simple green salad with carrots, celery, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

✨Monday’s Steak and Chicken Fajitas with Sauteed Veggies and Brown Rice✨

* Your meat of choice (we used chicken breast and beef short ribs)
* A mix of three to four bell peppers (we used two green, one red and one yellow) – cored, seeded and sliced
* One onion – peeled and sliced
* 3-5 cloves of garlic – minced
* 7+ crimini mushrooms – cleaned sliced
* Brown rice (we used 1.5 cups)
* Water or broth (we used 3 cups of chicken broth – brown rice is a 2:1 ratio)
* Seasoning: garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, dried onion, sea salt, black pepper, cumin
* Tortillas or lettuce wraps (we did half and half)
* Garnish: really up to you, but we used tomatoes, avocados, a little cheese for the kids and some plain whole fat yogurt (a la sour cream)

* Rinse rice. Combine rice and broth into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low(ish) and cover. Cook for 50 minutes.
* You can either thinly slice the meats and saute them in the pan with the seasonings above (like I would) or you can season them raw, grill them whole, and then thinly slice them (like my husband would…haha).
* If you saute the meat, while it cooks, prep the veggies. When the meat is cooked through, remove it from the pan.
* In the same pan, add a little grass-fed butter or avocado oil and toss in the onions. Cook a couple minutes, throw in the garlic and mushrooms. Cook another minute or two and then add in the peppers. Add same seasonings from above.
* When veggies are done, add the meat back in and mix together.
* If there is yummy stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan, rev up the heat and when it is super hot, toss in a tiny bit of broth and scrape it up!
* Serve it up!

✨Tuesday’s Grilled Salmon with Sauteed Kale and Baked Yams✨

* Wash and poke yams. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) at 350*, flipping halfway through.
* Rinse and trim Kale (we used two bunches…but we really like kale)
* Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
* Heat avocado oil (or grass-fed butter) in a large pot (or pan, depending on how much kale you are cooking) over medium-high heat and add in kale and garlic. Toss frequently and be sure not to let the garlic burn on the bottom of the pan. Season with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried onion. It only takes 10 minutes or so to cook the kale, so plan accordingly. When done cooking, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.
* Brush salmon (or other fish of choice) with avocado oil and season with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried onion and paprika.
* Grill 6ish minutes each side (depending on thickness and desired cooked-ness)
* Plate it all up, serve with fresh lemon, and enjoy!

✨Wednesday’s Italian Quinoa Skillet Meal✨

So I found a recipe on Pinterest that was my inspiration, but I changed a fair amount so the below link really isn’t all that similar, but…just I included it in case.

* 2 cups of quinoa
* 4 cups of broth (or water)
* 32ish ounces of your choice of spaghetti sauce. I used Autumn Calabrese’s “Grandma’s Tomato Sauce” from her “Fixate” cookbook. Yum.
* 1lb of ground turkey (or chicken sausage or ground beef, or something else delicious)
* 3-4 cups fresh spinach – rough chopped
* 3-5 cloves of garlic – minced (I adore fresh garlic)
* 1/2-1 onion – diced
* Seasonings: garlic powder, dried onion, dried (or fresh…if fresh, add it in last) basil, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper and a touch of chili powder

* Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve (for about one minute). Place rinsed quinoa into a medium sauce pan on medium heat (with no oil). Let the heat sort of dry out the excess water from the quinoa. Stir often and keep the quinoa from burning. Once the quinoa is dried out a bit and starts to stick to the pan, add in the broth and bring to a boil. Toss in a bit of grass-fed butter or avocado oil, turn the heat down to low-ish, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes.
* Meanwhile, heat avocado oil in a large skillet or stock pot, add onion and garlic and cook until they start to soften and the garlic is fragrant. Add in the meat of your choice, season to taste (with above seasonings) and cook through.
* Add the cooked quinoa, marinara/tomato sauce, spinach, and any additional seasonings into the skillet/pot with the cooked meat.
* Stir to combine and heat through.
* Serve with the optional Parmesan cheese topping and enjoy!

Let me know what you think and share a picture and how you liked them, if you give them a try!!

Comment, like or share this post with someone who may wanna have a few new ideas for meals thrown their way each week! Thanks for checking in!

Why This Busy Mom Will Be Oil Pulling For 30 Days For Better Health

why oil pulling

Ever heard of oil pulling? I first heard of it a handful of years ago when I first started diving into the world of Real food, holistic healing and natural living. It is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that is basically swishing unrefined oil (I prefer coconut, but I’ve heard you can use sesame or other oils as well) around in your mouth a la mouthwash style for 5-20 minutes (ideally 20). It is pretty much a wonder cure all…or so the rumor goes. Hormone regulation, reducing toxins in the body, increased energy, healthier and stronger gums, whiter and remineralized teeth (cool!), reduced throat and sinus congestion, improved sleep, clearer skin, pain relief for TMJ-related jaw pain and headaches, and more are some of the health benefits that have been associated with oil pulling. Sadly, whenever I have started, I have lacked consistency. But I can tell you that my teeth felt so much cleaner and my gums felt healthier after doing it even the few times that I did. Now..flash forward to the end of October 2015 and…I have a…

Confession: My son has a dentist appointment in the morning. You know, the ol’ every-six-months-you-head-to-your-dentist-for-a-cleaning-and-a-check-up type appointment? Right. Uhm…so it made me stop to think of the last time that I made such an appointment like that for myself. Let’s see…*thinking* I had one when I was pregnant with Nolan. I had a couple when Nolan was really little. I may have had one when I was pregnant with the girls, but I am sorta thinking not. And that’s it. How old are my girls? Oh…*ahem* they are two and a half. Crap. It is possible that it has been over three years since my last trip to the dentist.

What!? I haven’t been to the dentist in three years! That is madness. It is no wonder why my gums have been super sensitive lately. I am an avid brusher and flosser, but there is just something about a deep cleaning of that pokey little metal scraper. The worst part of it all though is that now I’m cared to go. Ha. I have never feared going to the dentist because my teeth and gums have always been quite healthy. It was never painful. I rarely had a cavity. Easy peasy. But now…if I really get serious with the little plastic scraper at the end of my kids’ little flossers (because I really don’t want to risk losing a finger on a nightly basis as I keep their little gums and teeth healthy), my gums hurt…bleed even. NOOOOOOO!!!

So what is a busy momma to do? Obviously I need to get to the dentist, but first, I’m going to take a month (what is one more at this point, right?) and oil pull daily and see if it makes a difference in the comfort and health of my gums before heading to the doc to be reprimanded.

I have read that the ideal oil pulling situation is first thing in the morning as you sit with your feet on the ground and just sort of chill out. Ha. Right. THAT isn’t going to happen. My son is up by 6:15am pretty much every day and that is when I need to get up and start cooking breakfast and getting us ready for the day. As soon as I get out of bed, the girls follow soon after. I can see it now, three newly up for the day little people, bursting with energy, hungry for breakfast, running around like crazy people (by the way, how in the heck do they do that? don’t they know there is a vital slow-to-start wake-up process?) while I sit on the couch, with my feet on the ground, resting peacefully, in complete silence (as I have a mouthful of coconut oil and definitely can’t speak), swishing…for 20 minutes. Ha! I think they would combust!

So…I will do what mommas do. We improvise. We try our best to take care of ourselves here and there and in the in-betweens. This Monday that meant pulling on my drive to the market and as I sat finishing an email in the parking lot before spitting said oil into a mason jar to take home and dispose of later. On Tuesday that meant forgetting about this plan completely. Today that means…well…it means I should be doing it right now as I type, but I’m sitting outside my girls’ room on the floor in the dark hallway encouraging them over and again to lay down, relax, be quite, close their eyes and go to sleep, which again doesn’t work all that well with a mouthful of oil. So instead, today it means I will do it later, after I finish this, after I workout, after I shower (hmmmm…maybe while I shower? that is a relaxing environment…but not for 20 mintues…eh…anyway), when I’m hanging out, replying to messages, and at some point finishing three panda bear costumes for the Halloween carnival at school that happens in two nights. Yup. It isn’t perfect. But that is how life is. I try to fit my oxygen mask first when I can, but it is so much easier said than done, right?

Today is day three (and already one slacker day) of my thirty day self-challenge to oil pull daily and try to heal my mouth a bit prior to my next appointment. I’m excited to see if I feel some of the above mentioned healthy benefits of oil pulling over the next month. And then hopefully I’ll avoid the side-eyed look, shaking head, and waggling finger of the dentist when I get there. Ha! I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I go along. I’d love to have some company on this oily journey, if you are up for it! Comment and let me know. We can swish, spit, smile and share together. 🙂

Here are a couple of articles about it for more scientific information. 😉