Kale Pizza Frittata (Paleo, Primal, Whole30) and Top 6 Cravings-Busting Tips
Here’s how I come up with recipes: I start with a craving and then I remake it, healthfully. That way, I never feel deprived and I get the wide variety of nutrients I need to keep my health (and weight, skin, energy, sleep, etc.) on track.
My goal is to teach you to do the same. I’m working hard on developing meal plans – Project Vibrancy Meal Plans! – for you, with shopping lists, batch cooking instructions, storage instructions, and tips for upping or lowering the carb count, based on your personal nutrition goals. They’ll be available for purchase on my new Healing Green Broth 30-Day Challenge website. If you’re interested in being notified when they’re ready, make sure you’re subscribed to my Project Vibrancy Meal Plans email list!
So, guess what I was craving when I came up with this frittata? Hahaha. I don’t know a person alive who doesn’t crave pizza. Don’t get me wrong – occasionally I splurge on gluten-free pizza, especially if it’s fantastic. (Local favorites include Young-Joni/Pizzeria Lola, Burch, Punch and Red Wagon.)
But for everyday eating, which for me is pretty low carbohydrate for about 1,000 reasons including starch, sugar and grains make me feel rotten, diabetes runs in my family, and eating flour gives me a higher post-meal blood glucose reading than I’d like to see on a regular basis. (Yes, even though I don’t have diabetes, I test my blood sugar and I have for years. I’ve learned a lot about how my body handles various foods. If you’re struggling with your weight, I suggest you do the same by purchasing Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf; I’ll write a full review about it in the next week or two, but if you want to learn about insulin resistance, appetite regulation, and how to easily test your own response to carbohydrates, dive in, it’s fantastic. If you’re a podcast fanatic like I am, make sure to listen to Robb’s podcast The Paleo Solution but also don’t miss Eileen Laird of Phoenix Helix podcast’s terrific and in-depth interview of Robb).
Photo by Erik Eastman
When I talk with people about changing their eating habits, I encourage people to see the abundance and deliciousness of real food vs. seeing the deprivation in not eating sugar and junk food. That mindset is everything. It’s the same conversation we all have when we face a challenge in life – we can be beaten down and feel ripped off all the time, or we can turn lemons into lemonaaaaaade. (My former boss used to say that all the time, when someone messed up or problems popped up: Lemons to lemonade! What an awesome mindset to be around.)
So in the framework of abundance and ease, here are my Top 6 Deprivation-Free, Cravings-Busting Tips:
1. Eat 20-30 grams of protein with each meal.
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. I find it most satiating in whole food form (vs. powders), but adding collagen to boost overall protein does help (i.e. adding collagen peptides to other protein-rich foods like meatballs, soups, omelets or frittatas, like below).
2. Eat carbohydrates in the form of whole food.
For most people, flour and sugar are incredibly appetite-provoking. They’re also very calorie-dense, inflammatory, and devoid of nutrients. Switch to eating nutrient-dense and fiber-rich potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and fresh fruit instead of bread, pasta, crackers, and juice and be amazed by how much farther your meals carry you. Bake potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash in big batches, keep them in the fridge, and eat them all week long in hashes, tacos, salads, etc. Eat berries for dessert.
3. Be a nutrient snob.
One of the easiest hacks for squelching cravings and boosting energy is to only eat foods that have a lot of nutrients. The whole point of eating is to acquire nutrients – that’s it! Our bodies know this. Remember it and your whole food paradigm will shift. If people call you a snob, embrace it. There’s is nothing wrong and everything right with treating your precious body and health like gold. You’re worth it!
4. Honor your cravings.
Discover the essence of your favorite meal, snack, or dessert, then find it in its whole food, deeply nutritious form. I LOVE DOING THIS. It challenges my creativity and really makes me think about what and why I’m eating something. I also absolutely REVEL in turning the tables on the processed food industry and media and taking control of the cravings they inspire. I often first crave a texture: cheesy comfort, crunchy/salty snackiness, creamy/sweet desserts. Fine! Tacos (in lettuce wraps or plantain tortillas), pizza (meatzah, cauliflower crust pizza, or pizza frittatas), fries (oven-roasted vegetables with great dips) and pastas (spiralized veggies) are still in my rotation.
Lean hard on sugar-free condiments made with healthy oils – ginger scallion sauce, chimichurri, tamari, avocado oil mayo, mustard, sriracha, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce, tomato sauce, on and on. Use these liberally! They’re delicious.
Just last night I had a grass-fed beef cheeseburger with pickles, chimichurri, mayo, and mustard, eaten between lettuce leaves, with sautéed spinach on the side (pictured above). Burger craving fixed, nutrient bomb achieved. I drank Prohibition kombucha in a champagne flute while I made dinner, and had berries and a piece of dark chocolate for dessert and said aloud, to myself, No one enjoyed their dinner tonight more than I did. Abundance. Gratitude. Nutrients. Energy. Deliciousness. Ease. NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. So important!
5. Eat low carb (and high healthy fat) until dinner.
This is another easy hack for those of you trying to drop a few pounds and who don’t do a lot of intense exercise. It takes energy and planning and willpower to limit yourself to a certain number of carbs per meal. Most people give up. One simple solution is to have none. Eat the breakfasts our grandparents ate: eggs, bacon, sausage, leftover roast. Add sautéed greens or greens cooked in broth or Healing Green Broth. Change your palate to crave savory foods for breakfast and change your whole day. For lunch bring leftovers to reheat and/or salads and/or soups. For snacks plan on jerky, nuts, plain Greek yogurt with berries, cold cuts with avocado. Save the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and higher sugar fruits for dinner. You won’t believe how much better you feel during the day, maybe even enough to sneak a quick walk at lunchtime.
6. Add greens to absolutely everything.
File this under Eliminates Over-Thinking! Greens are packed with nutrients that we need to stay healthy, look good, and not be starving all the time. PACKED. I gave a talk just yesterday about how important – and easy – it is to squeeze greens into all three meals a day. Saute some for breakfast, add them to smoothies and pureed soups, pile them on sandwiches, stir them into rice, puree them into tomato sauce, put them on pizza or other craveable foods, buzz them up into condiments like pesto and chimichurri and put that shit on everything. Say goodbye to nagging cravings and being hungry all the time.
None of these tips are hard! I cover many of them in one dish below: added collagen for protein, honoring a craving (pizza!), adding greens, low carb. BOOM.
Before I go, a quick shoutout to People Serving People, the amazing Minnesota organization that not only shelters homeless families, but offers training, education, childcare, job search, financial management, and permanent housing support. I am honored to attend their gala each year, as guests of Weekly Dish hosts (and dear friends) Stephanie Hansen and Stephanie March (it’s a Stephanies world). Each year I look forward to learning more about their work, hearing testimonials of people who have put their lives back together, giving to their most worthy cause, and to honoring and celebrating their talented staff and board.
If you’re wondering how to support people in crisis in the Twin Cities, People Serving People is an outstanding organization to contribute to and volunteer for – click here to help and do your good deed for the day.
Kale Pizza Frittata (Paleo, Primal, Low Carb)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (extra for serving)
4 ounces bulk Italian sausage
2 cups thinly sliced lacinato (dino, flat) kale, ribs removed
2 scallions, chopped
4 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (extra for serving; optional if avoiding dairy)
several turns of freshly ground black pepper (extra for serving)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon each minced fresh basil and oregano (extra for serving)
1 scoop collagen powder (optional)
1/3 cup Muir Glen organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes
12 slices pepperoni
Move one oven rack to second from highest position. Preheat broiler.
Add olive oil to a 10-inch, oven-safe skillet and set over medium heat. When oil is hot, add sausage and saute until just browning. Remove sausage from pan and return pan to heat. Add kale and scallions to the remaining fat in the pan, adding an extra drizzle of olive oil if the the pan seems dry (you want a nice amount of oil, which will be absorbed by the eggs). Saute kale until wilted and tender, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, pepper, salt, nutmeg, herbs, and collagen. When kale is tender, pour eggs over the kale. Stir around a bit until the eggs begin to thicken and set in places, but aren’t cooked through. Add tomatoes to the eggs in spoonfuls, stirring very lightly around each addition without fully mixing the tomato in (you want to still be able to see the tomato swirled through the eggs, not fully incorporated). Scatter pepperoni evenly over the top of the frittata.
Transfer pan to oven and broil, watching carefully, for 3-5 minutes or until top of frittata is browned and eggs are cooked through. (This varies so widely by oven and happens so fast, make sure to not just close the oven and walk away!)
To serve, drizzle frittata with a bit of olive oil and top with a few grinds of black pepper, sprinkle of Parmesan, and fresh herbs. Serve warm. Wrap leftovers in plastic and refrigerate – they’re terrific cold the next day!