Paleo Pasta Carbonara

I just had to have a big bowl of pasta today… so I made this awesome Paleo Pasta Carbonara. And I ate way too much of it…

paleo pasta carbonara

I really did eat way too much. But, if I’m being honest, I can’t remember the last time I was dainty and restrained when there was a big bowl of steaming pasta in front of me. Ever since I found some grain-free pastas that I love, that actually taste and feel like real pasta, I’ve been creating these awesome pasta dishes whenever I want something fast and delicious.

Pasta carbonara is Italian comfort food at its best. It’s pasta with bacon and eggs… sooooo good! I remember this dish from when I was a child — the creamy sauce, the crispy, salty bacon, and of course, the perfectly cooked al dente pasta. This recipe recreates all of those amazing tastes and has all of the feels of that traditional dish.

And, by the way, by using grain-free pasta and whole eggs you are really putting your body in peak healing mode. For example, here’s why everyone loves eggs and you should too.

It’s important to remember (and I really do have to keep reminding myself…) that these paleo pastas are often protein based so there’s no need to eat such a huge amount. In fact, it’s better not to eat so much. I mean, when you are eating a pasta made out of beans or chick peas, you really feel better not eating the entire package. If I would just give myself a chance to digest before I shoveled this whole beautiful bowl of mouth watering paleo pasta carbonara into my gaping mouth, then my brain and my stomach would realize that I am satisfied after eating only a normal size portion. Ugh… when will I learn?

One of my all-time favorite things to do is to take a traditional comfort food and tweak it so that it meets my nutritional needs and becomes a healing meal. Yeah, I know, this doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to a lot of you, but this really is what floats my boat. This recipe is healing, it’s dairy-free, it’s grain-free, and it’s delicious. Oh, and you can easily make this vegetarian (I’ve done this many times when I’m in a veggie phase) by using mushrooms or coconut bacon or vegan sausage in place of the pancetta.

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I also get tremendous joy from creating a healthy recipe that my family actually loves. Because, let’s face it, my son, who is a great cook, doesn’t always go for what he terms my “voodoo foods”. So, last week when he Face-Timed me and he made paleo pasta carbonara, I was so happy. And, if it’s good enough for a 20-something Taco Bell lover, then it’s good enough for everyone — even the picky eaters in your family.

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When you decide you love paleo pastas as much as I do, you should also try my recipe for Creamy Mint Avocado Pasta.

paleo pasta carbonara

paleo pasta carbonara

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this recipe for paleo pasta carbonara:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used a chickpea penne for this recipe and it was awesome!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

paleo pasta carbonara

Paleo Pasta Carbonara
Recipe type: paleo, comfort food, grain-free, dairy-free
Cuisine: pasta, Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
If you love pasta as much as I do, then you have to try this healing paleo pasta carbonara. This is so comforting, really easy to make, and it's so delicious that even picky eaters love it.
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 8 oz grain-free pasta (I used this chickpea pasta)
  • ⅓ cup shredded vegan Parmesan cheese
  • ½ lb green peas
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the pasta, al dente. Save about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain it.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the pancetta.
  3. Stir in the shallot and garlic.
  4. Saute, stirring, until the pancetta starts to get a bit crispy.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and white wine.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the pancetta.
  7. Stir in the egg mixture, Parmesan, and green peas.
  8. Add as much of the reserved pasta cooking liquid as you need to make the sauce the consistency that you like.
  9. Season with black pepper.
  10. Enjoy!

paleo pasta carbonara

Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup

This slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup is so simple and healing and it makes for great leftovers!

slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup

The slow cooker is an awesome kitchen appliance. Sometimes, however, I shy away from it because I am just not that accomplished with it. I like my food to taste really fresh and sometimes when I use my slow cooker, I feel like the vegetables and other fresh ingredients just don’t seem as crunchy or fresh tasting as when I cook them for less time on top of the stove.

So, believe me when I tell you that this slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup recipe is perfect in the slow cooker. The vegetables keep just the right amount of crunch. And the soup tastes really fresh and healthy. And it requires almost no effort at all! If I can do it, you can do it!

Maybe my slow cooker won’t get the best of me after all…

One of the reasons I like this soup so much is that I held off adding some of the veggies until close to the end. This worked great because all of the great soup flavors melded together, I was able to let my raw Chinese herbs cook for the whole time, but even the delicate asparagus retained the perfect fresh and crunchy texture that makes them taste so good.

Another reason this soup is awesome is that instead of adding pasta, I used buckwheat. Buckwheat mimics a grain in this soup, but it’s really a seed, so if you are trying to eat grain-free, you will love this too!

I made a huge pot of this soup. Okay, I made way too much of this soup… so much that I ended up eating it for breakfast a few times and I even added some to a pasta sauce I made one night. I should have put a few portions in the freezer, but I still haven’t found any good glass freezer containers (and my mason jars have been cracking in the freezer lately)… but If I had some in the freezer, I’d be pulling out a jar for tonight’s dinner because I’m still not sick of it!

If you like vegetable soups, try my recipe for Lentil Vegetable Soup next!

slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup

Here are some of the great ingredients in this oh-so-easy soup:

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Buckwheat lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber. And, because buckwheat is also high in magnesium, it is the perfect food to combat heart disease. I’ve been substituting buckwheat groats in recipes that call for pasta or rice… it makes a great risotto, so try it!

Spring is asparagus season. In Chinese medicine, we use asparagus to heal the body from within; it gets rid of excess heat in your body, is good for circulation, can remove plaque from the arteries, soothes constipation and is good for hypertension. Many years ago, doctors used to prescribe asparagus juice to reduce cholesterol. Women can especially benefit from this vegetable’s healing abilities: it helps with menopause and fertility. One of my favorite Chinese herbs is called Tian Men Dong and it’s a form of asparagus. It’s great if you have yin deficiency (like so many woman do…), it can help if you have a dry cough, hot flashes, constipation, or night sweats.

I added a raw Chinese herb to this soup (as I usually do…). This time I used Shan Yao. Shan Yao is Chinese Yam, and it’s great for energy.

slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
This soup requires no cooking ability at all! It's made in the slow cooker, but the veggies retain their crunch... and it's grain-free because we add buckwheat groats instead of pasta.
  • 5 scallions, thickly sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 2 lge garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 pieces raw Shan Yao (an optional Chinese herb)
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 10 oz fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  1. Add all ingredients except asparagus to slow cooker except the green peas and the asparagus.
  2. Cook on low heat for 4-1/2 hours.
  3. Add asparagus and peas.
  4. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!


slow cooker vegetable minestrone soup