Monday, July 29, 2013

Meatless Monday: Vegetable Stew

Fat Burning Man is my favorite podcast and I highly recommend it! I have learned so much from all the great people he interviews. He recently had the Paleo Parents on his podcast and they talked about making a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week and eating it throughout. They even said they like to eat it for breakfast! Well we still haven't ordered more beef, so I went with a veggie packed version. Feel free to add stew meat, chicken breast, or serve with a side of your choice of meat ;)

3 mushrooms
3 whole carrots
1/4 cup diced green chili (you can add more if you are a pepper belly)
5 cherry tomatoes
3-4 cups of bone broth
1/2 cup broccoli
2 tbs minced garlic
1 small zucchini or 1/2 cup zucchini
1 tbs salt
1/2 cup of spinach
A few jalepenos when served

Coarsely chop the veggies and toss them into the crockpot. Add everything else, pouring in the bone broth last. Pour enough bone broth to cover everything and then a little more to make it soupy-er. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve immediately or transfer to a large container and reheat during the week!

Look at all that healthy fat pooling on the surface!

Nutrition notes: Feel free to eat as much of this as you want!(Don't hurt yourself ;)) It has incredbile health qualities with so many veggies! The bone broth super charges it. If you are looking for a low carb version, omit the carrots. If you'd like to add some starchy carbs toss in some sweet potato.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweet Treat Saturday: Dairy Free Cheesecake

Cut into pie pieces

Or cut into bars (this shape stores well minus the toppings)

We are big fans of cheesecake around here! I wanted to create a paleo version and saw that you can use cashews in stead of cream cheese! I've actually never made a real cheesecake, so this was an experiment that happened to go really well. I made a second cake with a different crust and half the honey, and it did not turn out as tasty. It was still easily edible, but not as treat like.

Printable Recipe

FIRST: Soak 2 cups of cashews in water overnight.

For the crust:
1/2 cup almonds (you can soak these and dry them before using to get rid of the anti-nutrients, but the crust may not be as crunchy)
10 pitted dates
1/4 cup coconut oil

Put the dates in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Remove and set aside. Put the almonds in the food processor and process until finely chopped as well. Add the dates back in and the coconut oil. Process until the mix starts to clump and is well combined. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 for 5-10 min (you can skip this step if you want a raw, no bake version). Place in the freezer while you prep the cheesecake.

Love those little helping hands! So easy a 1.5 year old can do it.

For the cheesecake:
2 cups of pre-soaked cashews
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey (we made another version with 1/4 cup honey, so try if you want! you can also swap for maple syrup for a vegan version. I'd like to try Stevia next to find a fructose free version.)
1/2-1 cup of fruit or extras (we made a blueberry version, and a plain version topped with blueberries from our blueberry picking! Feel free to add chocolate, or nuts. Anything you can think of!)

Drain your soaked cashews and add to the food processor. Add in the lemon juice, coconut oil and honey. Process until smooth. This will take some time, so be patient! Around 5-10 minutes. You may need to scrape the sides every so often. The batter should be smooth without any chunks of cashews. Add your extras at the end and pulse to the desired consistency.

Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully spread the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Smooth the cheesecake until it looks pretty and return it to the freezer for at least an hour. I recommend chilling about 4 hours. When it is done slice it up and enjoy! We had ours as pie pieces first, but then decided cutting it into bars would be best. I cut the whole cheesecake into bars and stored it in an air tight container.

All of our blueberry picking paid off with this yummy compote!

For the compote put 1 tbs of water in a sauce pan and a handful or 2 of blueberries. Cook down for about 5 min. until it becomes compote-like.

We even made a blueberry version!

Nutrition Notes: This is definitely a treat. One small piece should be the serving size. The honey makes it high in carbs and fructose. Nuts like cashews should only be eaten in small amounts. This would be a perfect dessert for a holiday meal!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gettin' Figgy with It: Fig Almond Coffee Cake

My Great Aunts have this awesome fig tree in their yard and my momma brought me a sample after my eye surgery last week. I fell in love and made her take me to pick more! She claimed to hate figs, but was singing a different tune after she retried them. We didn't know what to do with them all besides fig newtons and eating them fresh.

Here is our first fig recipe, check back for more later! I have a gallon baggie of figs chillin' in the freezer.

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup chopped figs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup almond butter
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Pinch of salt

Chop your figs in a nut chopper, blender or food processor. Remember to remove the green stems. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a baking dish. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes. 
Serve with whipped cream or bulletproof coffee!

Nutrition Notes: Figs are great as a treat, but are high in fructose. They also have similar effects as prunes on the digestive system so be warned! ;) Make sure to wash them before eating! You never know what could be lurking around.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theme Night Thursday: Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna

E had the grand idea that we should have a theme night where we eat a certain cuisine and listen to that style of music. I thought it was a hilariously grand idea, so started this week. I went easy on myself and started with our tried and true Zucchini Lasagna! We are getting to the end of the 1/8 of a cow that has been chillin' in the freezer, so we went vegetarian tonight.

Here is the playlist we listened too while we dined in style ;)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No-Bake Chocolate Candy Bites

I've been trying to cut back on my fructose intake lately. That means limiting my fruit consumption and cutting back on sweeteners including honey and maple syrup. I have a terrible sweet tooth as you have heard, and I am trying hard to rein it in!! My momma makes these delicious paleo chocolates, so I thought I'd put a few spins on them to make them sweetener free/fructose free. I will list the honey-sweetened version as well for those of you with room to splurge!

Printable Recipe

Base Ingredients:
1/2 cup freshly ground almond butter (I'm assuming other nut butters would work well, so feel free to give it a try! Remember peanuts are a legume and have inflammatory properties.)
1/4 cup coconut oil (make sure to use a coconut tasting oil, unrefined or virgin; I use Tropical Traditions Brand)
1/4 cup cacao powder (cocoa powder works as well, but I suggest transitioning to cacao powder)

Choose your sweetener:
None (best option for fat loss and gut health)
1/2-1 tsp Stevia (promotes good gut health, but there is limited research on long term effects)
1/8-1/4 cup of Honey (high in fructose, promotes Candida overgrowth in the gut, should be used sparingly and only as a treat!)
1/8-1/4 cup Maple Syrup (same as honey, but vegan)

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp mint extract
Whole almonds or other nuts like pecans

Combine your base ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well mixed. Choose your sweetener and add it in. (This recipe fills a 12 count mini muffin tray, so I made 3 different versions, one row of each.)  Add any extras you want except the whole almonds. Using spoon, transfer the mix to a mini muffin tray, ice cub tray, or a silicone candy mold(this is the best option). If using whole almonds, press them into the center of each candy piece. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour. The candies should be solid, you can remove them from the pan and store them in a baggie in the freezer, or you can cover them. These melt quickly!

Health Notes: The raw cacao powder and coconut oil in these babies do great things for your health! I can't even begin to list all the health benefits of coconut oil. A good serving size is 1-2 Bites. Remember that consuming large amounts of almonds(nuts in general) or almond products can lead to weight gain.When using Stevia, only use pure Stevia. Most groceries only sell the processed kind which have added ingredients...yikes! I buy mine from an herb lady in town. It is ground Stevia leaf, so the only ingredients are leaves! Whole Foods has decent brands and offers a liquid version. Always, always, always check the label!

EZ Eats: Dirty "Rice"

I've had dirty rice a few times in the past, but nothing compares to how yummy this turned out! I love when my experiments are successful!

Printable Recipe

1/2 head of a large cauliflower, 3-4 cups riced
1/2 bell pepper (green is traditional for dirty rice, but I used orange)
2 large mushrooms
1 fresh jalepeno
1/2lb ground sausage (make sure to choose a nitrate free brand without fillers or added sugar, pastured pork is best)
1tbs tarragon (tarragon has a strong flavor, if you are not a fan you can use parsley instead, I loved the taste the tarragon added)
1tsp of salt to taste
1tbs garlic minced or powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground lemon peel, lemon zest or lemon pepper seasoning.
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 tbs butter for the pan

Here's a sneak peak at our Cajun theme night meal! E won the wishbone break :(

Rice your cauliflower and set aside. Finely dice the bell pepper, mushrooms, and jalepeno. In a skillet with 1-2 tbs butter, cook your veggies and the sausage until cooked through. Add in your cauliflower and mix well. Add all of your seasonings and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve alone or as a side dish! This makes 2-4 servings.

Nutrition Notes: This is the perfect meal. It has a healthy meat source (leave out for a vegetarian option also making it un-"dirty"), health carbs that are mainly fiber, and yummy vegetables! Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D, peppers are high in Vitamin A and capsaicin which helps promote fullness. Tarragon is also a great source of antioxidants and vitamins. Cauliflower is packed with Vitamin C. No need to worry about serving size with this meal! Eat until you are full without worrying about calorie intake.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Paleo Poppers

I adore jalepeño poppers!! I could eat them by the dozen. Bacon, cheese, jalepeños...doesn't get much better than that. Dairy isn't a part of my life right now but bacon and jalepeños sure are! So this is what I came up with as an alternative.
5 jalepeños 
5-10 strips of bacon (you can cut these in half or use the whole piece. I'm a whole piece kinda girl.)
1/2 half avocado

Cut the jalepeños in half and remove the seeds. Slice the avocado to fit one piece inside each jalepeño half. Wrap the avocado filled jalepeño in bacon and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is crispy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Salmon Cakes

These were super easy to make and incredibly tasty! The recipe is adapted from I follow her on Instagram and she has awesome recipes!

12-14 oz of canned salmon (remove any bones)
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs butter for the pan 
1 egg

Butter a large skillet. The more room the better for making the salmon cakes. In a mixing bowl stir all the ingredients together (minus the butter of course) until well combined. Using a spoon drop a ball of the salmon mix into the skillet. Use the spoon to flatten and shape into round cakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes on one side at medium heat until its easy to slide a spatula under the cake (you'll have to loosen it from the pan a bit). Flip to the other side and cook another 3 minutes. The salmon cake should be a golden color. Put on a plate in the microwave or oven to keep warm until all the cakes are cooked. We served ours up with a side of broccoli slaw, garlic butter mushrooms and tomatoes. We also made paleo mayo to drizzle on top. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

EZ Eats: Alone :(

I've been in Iowa for a few days and left E to fend by himself! I wondered if he'd survive...

Looks like he's doing fine without me! Maybe I'll make him cook dinner a few nights a week. I love the whole mango sitting on the side of the plate. 

Zucchini Noodles

I'm currently hanging out in Iowa with the middle sister. Her husband has grown an amazing farm with rows of veggies, fruits and herbs. It's zucchini season around here so we've been brainstorming recipes. We started out with zucchini lasagna of course! My sister whipped up a batch of zucchini chips to go with our portobello burgers and tonight we had zucchini noodles! I've seen tons of recipes for these using a spiralizer, but ain't nobody got time (or money) for that. With some more brainstorming and maybe some googling (equivalent to brainstorming these days?) we decided to use a lemon zester. It worked great!

Printable Recipe
Here's what we made, we call this Mongolian BBQ in my family. 

2 zucchini
3 mushrooms chopped
1 cup kale or spinach
1-2 carrots chopped
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs braggs aminos, gluten free soy sauce, or coconut aminos
1 tbs garlic

In case you were wondering what a lemon zester might look like!

To make the noodles drag the lemon zester down the side of the zucchini. You will get to a point where you can't zest anymore. We just cut up the rest of the zucchini and tossed it in with the other vegetables. In a pan cook everything except the noodles and kale until the carrots and mushrooms are soft. Add in the kale and cook until wilted. Add in your noodles and cook 5-10 more minutes. That's it! Super easy peasy! You can easily add grilled chicken, ground beef or cubed steak to this. My middle sister is vegetarian so we skipped the meat. I do suggest adding cashews or slivered almonds as a protein source because we were hungry later that night with the only protein coming from the braggs aminos! 

I'm excited to have a way to make noodles without buying a spiralizer!! I know E is going to love these noodles with marinara sauce as spaghetti. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Carbnite Update

So this is the 3rd day since my carb overload on Saturday night. I am completely convinced that carb nite is NOT for me! Here's my list of reasons why:

1. My sugar cravings went through the roof on Sunday. 
2. I was exhausted (and still am) after. 
3. My stomach hurt so bad Saturday night I almost barfed. (Carb nite encourages eating anything you want and doesn't stick to the rules of Paleo. I chose to remain relatively Paleo and only had a tea with sugar, potato chips, and fries at a restaurant that were not Paleo. Everything else I ate was Paleo. I did not eat any gluten.)
4. Headaches!!
5. It's day 3 and my stomach is still out of whack! Of course I'm not positive that it is all from the carb fest, but I have not eaten anything out of my normal routine these past 3 days that would cause these symptoms.
6. I love sweets too much to stop eating them once I start. This did not go over well. goal is to still keep my carb intake low and eat real unprocessed food. We stick to Paleo guidelines because I like the research and ideas that support Paleo. I'm going to take what I learned from carb nite and limit my sweet treats during the day. Carbs process differently at night. I also think this was a huge stepping stone in my battle against sugar (fructose from honey and natural sources, not just the white stuff). I'm one step closer to being in control of my sweet treat cravings!

If you have had success with carb nite, I would love to hear from you!


Printable Recipe

3-4 Pickling cucumbers
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
2tbs salt
1/4 tsp ginger, turmeric, dill weed
1/2 tsp dill seed, ground mustard, crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
Slice pickles and add them to a mason jar (20 oz. works).Add the bay leaf and garlic. Add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Add spices, then salt water and vinegar to the pickle jar. Place the lid on the jar and invert or shake well to mix up the spices. If you seal the jar you can store outside the fridge, if not store in the fridge for about a week, so the pickles can ferment.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mango Avocado Salsa

1/2 a large avocado diced
1 mango diced
10 grape tomatoes halved
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp basil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
Pickled jalepeños diced to taste 

Cut up all your ingredients and then mix together gently in a bowl. This would be great with chips but we don't eat those around here so we just ate it with a fork! It was the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and savory!


I came across something called carbnite on Instagram and after some heavy research, I decided to try it. The basics of it are you limit carbs to 30g or less for 10 days then have a carb fest on the 10th night without stuffing yourself.  The theory is that your body should be running on fat supplies for those 10 days and then when you eat carbs, for 1 you are preserving your sanity and 2 you are able to burn the carbs quickly after being without them for a week. The idea is that   the calories in the carbs get stored as muscle instead of fat cells. Tonight was my first carbnite and I wanted to make sure I stayed mostly Paleo. (I may have had a few potato chips with salsa :)) i can see how this could work well for me because its easier for me to restrict carbs of I have a goal in mind. I'm also surprised by the fact that Im not dying to eat carbs on day 10. Anywho I've been wanting to grill fruit all summer and finally got around to it.

I used 2 whole peaches and 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Cut the peaches in half and throw out the pit. Place face down on a grill (my momma has this neat electric indoor grill that we used). Grill for 15 minutes. Watch closely as all grills vary. You want them to be soft and have dark grill lines. Remove from the grill and serve with fresh whipped cream! We sprinkled cinnamon on ours. This makes enough for 4 servings. 

What have you been grilling this summer?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Piña Colada

After making all that coconut milk, I had the brilliant idea to make a pina colada!! IT turned out delicious. Here are the ingredients:
1 shot of rum
1-2 cups coconut milk depending on how strong you like your drinks ;)
5 ice cubes
Add everything to the blender and pulse until smooth! It goes great with a piece of dark chocolate.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

EZ Eats: Fourth of July style

Hope you're having an amaze-balls Fourth of July! Here are some healthy eats to keep you on track or to compliment your cheat meals! 

Blueberries,strawberries, and fresh whipped cream! No sugar added and sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Two variations of a red, white, and blue chicken strip salad. 

E's salad with lots of blueberries and strawberries,mushrooms, mixed greens and almond crusted chicken strips. 

My salad is similar to E's but I chose tomatoes instead of strawberries, went easy on the blueberries (I splurged on dark chocolate at lunch), and added avocado. 

We made sure to fill our bellies with good food, hide a snack in my purse, and take our omega 3 supplement before we headed down to Willie Nelson's Picnic in Fort Worth! Are we nerds or what? ;) 

Paleo Brownies Take 1

These brownies are simple and easy to bake! I'm still working on tweaking the recipe to perfection. I'll post back if I make any changes.

Printable Recipe

I adapted my recipe from Baker Gal.
Here's what you need:
1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg

Combine all ingredients and beat to mix everything together. Pour into a glass pan. I lined mine with parchment paper, but I think that was unnecessary. Cook at 325F for 35 minutes.

EZ Eats: On the Road

Eating healthy while on the road is tough! Especially if you're trying to limit your carb intake (limited amount of fruit as an option). I like to eat a large meal before we leave, have 1 or 2 snacks for the car, and try to eat at our destination. (To be honest I actually ate my bacon and cantaloupe salad on the way to pick up E from work.) E on the other hand can't and shouldn't go that long without a meal. The food I bring is mostly for his benefit ;) and to battle my boredom.

Here is what I packed for our 6 hour road trip:

6 Lara Bars (check the ingredients, not all flavors are Paleo friendly, but all flavors have wholesome ingredients!)
1 bag pistachios
2 apples
Almond butter
1 dark chocolate bar
Raw carrots and cucumber
Dressing and cashew hummus for dipping
Hard boiled eggs
Date bars
Homemade Coconut milk
Paleo Brownies
(We did not eat all this, but I like to have it just in case! On our last trip to Dallas we were stopped in traffic for 3 extra hours)

Things we didn't bring but that pack well and last the day in the car:
Almonds, pecans, walnuts etc.
Roasted turkey or other nitrate free lunch meats (this is not the optimal choice for health since there are usually other additives)
Cooked, diced chicken
Bananas and other fruit 
Red Bell Peppers
Beef jerky (the only ingredients should be meat and possibly pepper and salt)
Baked sweet potato

Are there any healthy snacks you can't live without while traveling?

EZ Eats: Bacon Cantaloupe Salad

We were headed out of town for the weekend and needed to clean out the fridge. This is what I came up with! (I used the Tasty Food Photograph eBook to help in my picture taking! Can you tell the difference??)

Printable Recipe

2 cups mixed greens lettuce
4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
1/2 tomato
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup cubed cantaloupe
Mint leaves, minced
Favorite dressing. I use Cindy's Kitchen Rosemary and Roasted Garlic from Whole Foods. 

Cut your veggies and cooked bacon and serve over a bed of lettuce.
Pecans or feta would be a great addition!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tasty Food Photography Giveaway

This is my first giveaway and man do I feel special! Pinch of Yum has an awesome eBook up for grabs! This is an update to their original eBook. The best part is that this eBook is currently downloaded to my computer and I have already seen improvements in my photography. (I'm not exaggerating. Check out my Bacon Cantaloupe Salad) We all know I could use some help! They have amazing lighting tips and tricks. They also suggest different views for setting up a shot. What I am most excited about is their list of iPhone photography apps! Enter to win so you can check out what is inside their eBook. You won't be disappointed.

There are numerous ways to enter! You must give a valid email address to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Use the coupon newversion30 for a 30% discount to purchase the new version of Tasty Food Photography. The coupon is valid until 7/8/13. If you buy the book today and win the giveaway, Pinch of Yum will refund your purchase to make sure you get your book for free!

 Note: Pinch of Yum is an affiliate of this blog. I receive compensation for any purchases made through their link on my blog. I received a free copy of Tasty Food Photography eBook prior to this giveaway. All opinions stated on this blog are my own.

EZ Eats: Roast

Making the perfect roast is tricky! I struggle with my crockpot because it automatically switches from low to keep warm (more like keep boiling). I cooked this roast for 10 hours. 5 on the low setting, 5 on keep warm. I added in 1 cup of my bone broth, and extra garlic. It turned out amazing in all its grassfed goodness. Let me know if you have any roast cooking tips! I served it with stir-fried broccoli and a baked sweet potato for E.

Buns of Steel

Warm up: 5 min jog, 10 push-ups, 50 abs of choice

Warm down: 50 more abs of choice, stretching, walk 5 min if necessary. 

Workout Notes:
  • Start at a medium weight for dumbbell bench and work your way up to a max weight at the 4 reps. Go back down to your starting weight or less for the last round. The last round is an active recovery to offset the heavy lift from the previous round
  • Goblet squats are awesome for your buns! Mine are still sore. Hold a dumbbell at chest level like you are going to drink from a "goblet" or wine glass if that's more your speed (go light until you get the technique down). Stand on one leg in front of a weight bench or chair and lower into the squat position. Tap your butt to the chair and stand right back up. Do not stop in the seated position! Thats one rep. Complete reps on one leg then switch. 
  • We use a machine for standing row. Make sure to engage your upper back muscles (Latimus dorsi to be specific). Hold your core tight and do not use your lower back to pull the weight towards your chest.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Coconut Flour Pancakes

I have been trying to perfect a perfect coconut flour pancake recipe for a couple months, and I think I've finally got it! Let me know what you think!

Printable Recipe

1/4 cup coconut flour
2 egg whites, 1 egg (I would like to try just 2 whole eggs next time)
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
Coconut oil or butter to grease pan

Melt the butter in a skillet and leave to heat up. Pancakes cook better in a well heated pan. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour batter into the pan (about a 1/4 cup, but measuring is not important). Swirl the batter around in the pan so it spreads out, making a thinner pancake. Cook on one side until bubbles form and start to pop. Loosen from the pan and use a spatula to flip. If you're fancy you can flip it just using the pan (I'm practicing ;)). When the bottom is browned, 2-3 minutes, remove from pan and keep warm in the oven or microwave. Finish cooking the batter and serve with maple syrup or honey. Makes about 6 pancakes.

Health Notes: Everything in the pancakes is healthy. Be careful adding maple syrup and honey because both are pure sugar! If you have a clean protein powder, feel free to add it in. You may need to add more liquid to keep the consistency.