Thursday, February 19, 2015

Paleo Apple and Banana Bread Pecan Muffins


Banana bread is so comforting, but can be filled with tons of sugar. I found a recipe for paleo banana bread but halfway through tossed the recipe and started throwing in some of my own stuff. I loved how it turned out!

Makes: 24 muffins

  • 1 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine both flours, baking soda, and salt
  3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, whisked eggs, and applesauce
  4. Mix flour into eggs
  5. Add mashed bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well
  6. Fold in pecans 
  7. Add muffin liners to muffin pan and pour in batter 
  8. Cook for about 20-25 minutes


Paleo Apple Crisp


I was so excited when I found this recipe because my husband LOVES everything apple. This looked so amazing, and I can't believe there's no sugar or flour. It did not disappoint! We had a friend over for dinner and the three of us ate the whole thing!

  • 3 apples
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon (2/1 separate)
  • 1 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Peel, core, and slice apples into thin slices. Put into bowl
  2. Pour cinnamon on top of apples and mix. Place everything in a pie plate 
  3. Pour apple sauce on top and spread evenly
  4. Combine almond flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  5. In another bowl, combine coconut oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
  7. Crumble over apple sauce 
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes
  9. Remove foil and cook for another 5 minutes
  10. Let cool a few minutes before eating
We ate this as is, but next time I'm eating with whipped coconut milk! The crumble itself would be a delicious topping on a muffin...



Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and Gravy


Every recipe I have ever tried from Nom Nom Paleo has not disappointed. I made a roast chicken a few weeks ago and while it was so delicious, it was a lot of work (I was trying to combine 3 recipes... still working on refining it). When I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy, I wanted to try it immediately. I don't agree that this should be called "roast" chicken as it doesn't have the crisp skin like you would expect from a roasted chicken, but everything cooks great, and the gravy is so delicious. I ate this with Garlic Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"(which are SO garlicky - my warning) and roasted broccoli.

  • 4-5 lb. organic kosher chicken
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp. seasoning (I used a roast chicken seasoning from Williams Sonoma)
  •  S&P
  1. Melt ghee in large cast iron skillet over medium heat
  2. Saute onions and garlic
  3. Add tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes 
  4. Put onions in slow cooker
  5. Add chicken stock to pan, make sure to scrap off anything off the pan into the stock, and pour over onions in slow cooker
  6. Dry off the bird
  7. Season well with seasoning and S&P, both inside and outside
  8. Place breast side down 
  9. Cook 4-6 hours (1 hour per pound of weight)
  10. When done, remove and let sit for 20 minutes
  11. Meanwhile, take an immersion blender and blend everything in slow cooker to make the gravy
Enjoy! Thanks Nom Nom Paleo!


Vegan Carrot Almond Butter Soup


I can't remember where I found this recipe by Vegan Richa, but I'm so glad that I did! I subbed almond butter for peanut butter to make this Whole30 friendly, and it looked very strange, but I thought it was so delicious! Probably not something I'll make every week, but definitely a recipe to keep in my back pocket.

  • 1 tsp. avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c. almond butter
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. water or broth (veggie if you want vegan, or chicken/beef)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Frank's hot sauce
  • Dash of apple cider vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a skillet
  2. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add carrots and cook for 1 minute
  4. Add tomato sauce and almond butter and cook for 4 minutes
  5. Add coconut milk, milk or broth, salt, red hot sauce, and apple cider vinegar
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes
  7. Cool slightly
  8. Blend with an immersion blender
I added roasted sweet potato and sausage (omit if you're keeping vegan).



Garlic and Herb Roasted Shrimp


We have nine weddings upcoming this year (WHOA) so my parents will be taking care of our dog quite a lot. As a thank you, I like to cook them dinners. This dinner was special because the recipe comes from Ina Garten's book "Make it Ahead", which my Mom bought for me for Christmas. I made a few changes to make this Paleo and Whole30 friendly, but you can easily make adjustments to go the other way!

  •  1/2 c. ghee butter
  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. shrimp, wild caught, tail and shell removed and cleaned
  • 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a medium saute pan
  3. Add EVOO, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute
  4. Turn the heat off
  5. Zest half a lemon over butter
  6. Put shrimp on a baking sheet
  7. Pour butter over shrimp
  8. Cut the half of lemon into 5 slices and tuck into shrimp
  9. Roast for about 14 minutes
  10. Juice the other half of the lemon over
I ate this over zoodles but my parents ate over noodles with Parmesan cheese.  

Enjoy! Thanks Ina!


Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust


I found this recipe through the Whole30 page, which directed me to a page called Pretty in Paleo. This was so amazing! What I love about dishes like this is you can add anything you want, so it can be different every week. I also doubled this and made

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. mushrooms
  • 2 links of sausage, pre-cooked
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  •  2 loose handfuls of spinach
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 1/2 tbsp. adobo seasoning
  • S&P

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat until oil melts
  3. Saute mushrooms, sausage, and onion until translucent
  4. Add spinach and cook until wilted down
  5. Grease a 9 inch pie platter
  6. Layer with sweet potato slices (don't stress about these being perfect. I just used a really sharp knife to make even, thin layers)
  7. Add the spinach mixture on top
  8. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and top with basil and adobo seasoning
  9. Pour on top
  10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  11. Bake for 20 minutes 


Easiest Guacamole You'll Ever Make


Good guacamole is one of my favorite things to eat; however, bad guacamole is always so disgusting and disappointing. I also feel like it's stressful to make: constantly tasting and checking. Here is the best way I've found to make guac:

  • Fresh avocado
  • Trader Joe's hot salsa (or a salsa you like)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  1. Cut avocado open and cut flesh into cubes
  2. Mash with salsa one spoonful at a time until you get the mix you want
  3. Top with fresh cilantro and salt
No brainer right?! Enjoy!


Paleo Meatballs


Meatballs are a great thing in my house because they're filling, versatile, and both my husband and I love them.  The recipe I grew up eating and loving that my Mom made had Parmesan cheese and pesto (probably why they were so good), and I was having trouble finding a Paleo recipe online that sounded good to me, so I experimented and this is what I came up with! I loved it. They're also super easy to make if you have all of the ingredients, and the best part is you can make a ton and freeze them for dinner in the future. Let me know what you think!

  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp. dried)
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix with hands
  3. Top baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil
  4. Form into golf ball sizes meatballs and place on sheet
  5. Bake for 30 minutes
Add into sauce or freeze for later. I ate these on top of zoodles with red sauce and cashew "cheese."



Paleo Soft Tortilla Shells


My husband and I have taco night pretty regularly, and while eating tacos on lettuce shells can be fine sometimes, other times a taco shell or tortilla is necessary. These cauliflower tortillas from Paleo Leap were pretty easy to make, and tasted amazing - even the next day!

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • S&P
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Clean the cauliflower, remove stems, and cut into florets
  3. Place cauliflower in food processor and pulse until you get pieces a bit smaller than rice
  4. Steam (I did this in a bowl over boiling water... but you can use a steamer - which I need to get! - or in the microwave)
  5. Let cauliflower cool (make sure you do this. I burned myself because I was too impatient)
  6. Put in towel and squeeze as much water out as you can
  7. Put cauliflower in bowl, add eggs and spices, and mix until combined
  8. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet
  9. Section into 6 equal sections, and make 6 torilla-shaped figures on the parchment paper
  10. Bake for 9 munutes
  11. Flip and cook another 5 minutes
  12. Fill with your favorite taco toppings!

Next time I make these I want to experiment with the spices... maybe some cayenne pepper for a kick?!

Enjoy! Thanks Paleo Leap!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Chocolate Chili


I read about this recipe a ton of times and how amazing it was, but I was always very skeptical about the inclusion. Chocolate chili? But then I started reading about cocoa powder, and using it as a seasoning, and how it makes food more deep, like mole, than like candy like you would typically think. I loved it!

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened 100% cocoa
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz. fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 14.5 ounces broth (veggie/chicken/beef)
  • 1 c. water
  1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium/high heat
  2. Add coconut oil
  3. When melted, add onions, and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring every once in a while
  4. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds
  5. Crumble meat into pan and stir until combined. Cook until no longer pink
  6. In a separate bowl, add crushed oregano, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt, and stir
  7. Add to pot and stir
  8. Add tomato paste and stir until well combined
  9. Add tomatoes, with juice, broth, and water. Stir well
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours
I topped with avocado, and then the rest of the nights ate in a sweet potato bowl. LOVE!

Enjoy! Thanks The Clothes Make the Girl!


Balsamic Chicken Breasts with Peppers and Onions


My husband found this recipe and I knew we, especially he, would love it because it has everything we like. It was also super easy and delicious leftovers as the ingredients soaked in the sauce over time.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 c. thinly slice bell peppers
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • S&P  
  1. Cut the fat off the chicken and cut into cubes
  2. Sprinkle S&P over chicken
  3. In a large skillet, saute chicken in half of the oil over medium high heat, turning once, for a total of 8 minutes of until brown
  4. Put chicken on a plate
  5. Add the rest of the oil to the skillet, and add peppers and onion. Cook until just soft 
  6. Add garlic and cook for another minutes
  7. Stir in basil and vinegar and return chicken and juices
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked through, about 3 more minutes


Butternut Squash Soup


I got this recipe from Paleo Cupboard and I am SO happy I found it! I've made two full batches by now and loved it so much each time.  It's so filling, and it makes me feel great to eat because it's full of amazing ingredients. I also made a double batch just to freeze half for those nights you don't have time to cook. I think the most annoying part of this was peeling the apple! Make this immediately!

  • 6 c. chopped butternut squash (I find this at Costco, pre-cut, and it's so helpful)
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 c. baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 c. broth (chicken/veggie/bone)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • Optional toppings: cooked sausage, cooked bacon, parsley
  1. Place squash, apples, carrots, onion, garlic, broth, and seasoning in slow cooker 
  2. Cook for 7 hours on low
  3. Add coconut milk and stir
  4. Use an immersion blender to blend everything
  5. Add S&P, and any additional toppings you might like!
Easy as that! Enjoy!


Chicken Thighs with Peppery Pesto


Throughout my Whole30, I have come to love chicken thighs. The meat is so much more tender than a typical chicken breast, and I have even come to love the skin! This recipe came from Paleo Comfort Foods and I think this is one of my top favorites. The flavors all came together perfectly, and I was seriously sad when this was over. As I was typing this, I went to take some chicken thighs out of my freezer so I can make this again soon!

  • 3 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. spice seasoning of your choice (I used my Homemade Spicy Blackening Seasoning)
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cc arugula, firmly packed
  • 1/4 c. Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Dry the chicken thighs and cut the fat and extra skin off
  3. Sprinkle with seasoning, S&P
  4. Heat a large stainless steel iron skillet over high heat
  5. Add oil and chicken thighs, skin down
  6. Reduce to medium/high, and cook for about 10 minutes
  7. Turn over and cook 5 minutes
  8. Remove and put chicken on plate
  9. Pour chicken juices away
  10. To make pesto: place arugula, parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil in processor until well combined
  11. Add zucchini and broccoli into the skillet and toss with pesto (I used all of it)
  12. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of zucchini and broccoli, and place in oven
  13. Bake for 15-20 minutes
Typing this makes me want to make this again ASAP.... Enjoy!


Seared Mahi Mahi with Fresh Herb Sauce


Got this recipe from Paleo Leap, an Instagram I love following.  She suggests cod, which I love, but I had Mahi Mahi in my freezer (from Trader Joe's) so that's what I used. I ate this over zoodles (zucchini noodles) and LOVED it! The leftovers were also absolutely amazing.

  • 4 filets of white fish
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 3/4 c. coconut milk
  • 6 Tbsp. avocado oil (or ghee)
  • 4 zucchinis, spiralized
  • S&P
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over fish
  3. In a bowl, combine oil, garlic, shallots, and herbs 
  4. Preheat a skillet over medium/high heat
  5. Pour herb oil in skillet and cook fish for 2 minutes on each side 
  6. Transfer fish to baking sheet and cook for 7 minutes
  7. While fish is cooking, add zoodles to pan and cook for a few minutes
  8. Pour coconut milk and lemon zest in skillet and bring to simmer
  9. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get the good stuff at the bottom!
  10. Serve with zoodles, sauce, and fish
Leftovers were also amazing!  





This is so good, and so easy I can make this before I leave for work! I also like this because you can use a ton of sauce and eggs if you're hungry, or a bit of sauce and only 1 egg if you only need something small. Plus, we always have marinara sauce and eggs laying around.

  • Marinara sauce
  • Eggs
  1. Pour marinara sauce in skillet and heat over medium heat until heated through
  2. Crack eggs on top, top with cover, and cook until eggs and cooked to liking
  3. Top with salt/parsley/whatever spices you want.  
That's it! Enjoy!


Medium Shells with Sweet Sausage, Pancetta, and Cannelloni Beans


This is another 5 star recipe from my man Kenny Polcari. Every recipe I have tried of his has been incredible, and this one is no different. It starts as a soup, but thickens to a stew, then you cook the pasta in the stew and it soaks up all the flavor and it becomes a thick pasta sauce type dish. LOVED IT. His recipes are sometimes hard because he doesn't specify amounts, so here's what I did, but do what works for you!

  • 2 cans cannelloni beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, mince
  • Thick cut 1 lb. pancetta (cut into small cubes) - (I might use bacon next time to make this more crispy)
  • 2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • Large onion, sliced
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. broth (veggie/chicken/beef)
  • 1 c. water
  • S&P
  • Finely chopped parsley
  • Fresh grated Parmiagiano cheese
  • 1 box medium shells

  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add olive oil and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes
  2. Add sliced onion and saute until soft and translucent
  3. Add in pancetta and sausage and allow to brown. Use a spoon to break the sausage up
  4. Add in the beans (plus juice)
  5. Add broth and water
  6. Let simmer on the stove for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. Bring to a boil
  8. Toss in shells, and cook about 8 minutes
  9. Served topped with parsley and cheese 
Loved this! Enjoy!


Canadian Maple Syrup Pie

My husband emailed me this recipe with the subject line WANT, so I was so excited to make it for him for Thanksgiving! The key is to find the best maple syrup (I found some great stuff from Trader Joes - no surprise there!)

  • 1 1/2 c. pure maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Pre-made pie crust
  • Whipped cream
  1.  Set oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring syrup to just a boil
  3. Cook at a gentle bubble for 5 minutes
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Stir in butter until melted
  6. Add cream and stir
  7. Transfer about 1/2 c. of the mixture to a small bowl
  8. Whisk in flour and salt, and then whisk into the mixture still in the saucepan
  9. Beat eggs in another small bowl and then whisk with the rest of the mixture until smooth and even
  10. Mix together until smooth and even
  11. Pour filling into pie shell  
  12. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until center is golden brown and relatively firm (might jiggle a little)
  13. Cool 1-2 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found this recipe from the Today Show and was so excited about making something pumpkin. My friends and I had a pumpkin carving party and this was perfect! I also made this for a Friendsgiving and it was just as successful!

  • 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (SOFTENED. I tried unsoftened once when I was in a hurry and it was not good)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 9-inch prepared graham cracker crust (or make your own like I did!) 
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Whipped cream
  1. Set oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla
  3. Add one egg at a time
  4. Take about half of the batter and pour into the bottom of the crust  
  5. To the rest of the batter, add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg and blend
  6. Pour over first layer  
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set
  8. Cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight
  9. Before serving: top with a hearty serving of whipped cream!  


Original recipe here