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Yes, often it does feel like all we have to eat for a vegetable is broccoli. How about you? What is your family’s go-to vegetable? Everyone at our house loves good steamed broccoli, but we have to eat more than that for vegetables with our meals.

I don’t know about your kids, but getting mine to eat dark leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach) is almost impossible. Isn’t that also true for most of us adults? The fact of the matter is that most of us were not raised eating a lot of leafy green vegetables, so adding them to our kids’ plates is a bit of a challenge for us.

But aren’t there other green vegetables we can eat besides the leafy ones? Yes, there are. Asparagus, zucchini, brussel sprouts, to name a few. For our family, this is a challenge because we are juggling so many limitations (and dislikes). If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought we would be limiting vegetables from our table, I would have called you crazy.

Aren’t all vegetables good for you? As far as nutrient density, yes they are, but there is more to choosing vegetables to include in our diet than whether or not it is a vegetable. Some vegetables are classified as nightshades, and for many people, this group of vegetables can be incredibly problematic. Common nightshades include bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (not sweet potatoes). Nightshades are not allowed on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet.

Another limitation is brought to our table in the Low FODMAP diet. According to Monash University, “FODMAPs are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that aren’t absorbed properly in the gut, which can trigger symptoms in people with IBS. FODMAPs are found naturally in many foods and food additives.” Surprisingly, asparagus, brussel sprouts, squash, cauliflower, and peas are some of those foods.

So that leaves us with broccoli and leafy greens. So how do we add leafy greens into our diet without feeling like a rabbit? There are tons of resources out there with recipes of how to “hide” leafy greens in other foods. I’ll have to write and share more on that another time. But for today I thought I would share with you a recipe that everyone loves at our house, including our guests. And, it incorporates a dark leafy green — spinach.

I have had to adapt this meal because some of the ingredients are not allowed by Low FODMAP or AIP, but for today I wanted you to see an amazing resource in this meal. It is simply a flavor burst that my kids eat well. I might also be known to serve this with a side of wilted spinach, so even more greens make their way onto our plates. I may only be able to get my youngest to eat 2 bites of the plain spinach, but at least I know I have hid some that he is eating too. The rest of us can end the day knowing we have fed our bodies well!

The Paleo Running Mama
Serves 4–6



  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (not very lean)
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or other cooking fat
  • 1 small onion minced, or 1/2 medium
  • 1–2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large handfuls fresh spinach chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard (check for Whole30 compliance)

Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo or purchased paleo mayo
  • 3 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8–1/4 tsp salt or to taste


  1. Heat the ghee over medium heat in a skillet, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook until just softened, then add in spinach and cook until wilted. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and very lightly grease a medium loaf pan with cooking fat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, eggs, almond flour, salt, pepper, seasonings, and mustard. Once spinach mixture has cooled a bit (it can be warm) add that in as well and mix using your hands or wooden spoon to fully combine.
  4. Transfer mixture to loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven 45–50 minutes or until done in the center (no longer pink and juices run clear). Allow meatloaf to sit for about 10 minutes, then serve with ranch sauce drizzled over the top and side dishes of choice.
  5. While meatloaf bakes, whisk together the ranch dressing ingredients, or make beforehand and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.