Toast Alternative for Egg Dippers (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Every person who loves breakfast, runny eggs, and the toast that you dip in it cries a tear when they decide to give up bread.  It’s a bittersweet tear because it’s a complicated topic, but I think it’s safe to say that most wheat products these days are not exactly helping our healthy cause.  So, I decided to come up with a savory pancake that could double as an egg-dipper!  I can still have my runny yolks and dip them too, sans bread.
Egg Dippers (grain free, dairy free)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp fresh minced chives
1/4 cup chopped kale
salt and pepper
Directions:
Mix together your dry ingredients and then add you wet ingredients until you have a batter.  Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat and use bacon fat for the first batch to grease the pan.  Cook the batter on one side until the edges are firm.  Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes or so.  After your first set of pancakes you can see how long you need to be cooking them on each side so they are cooked through since every stovetop is quite different!

Wild Berry Muffins (gluten-free, paleo)

Wild berries are all over the place right now!  If you are lucky enough to forage around and pick some, then you won’t regret it.  Otherwise, you could easily use any berry.
Wild Berry Muffins (gluten-free, paleo)
Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 softened butter
1/2 cup local honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup berries
zest from one lemon
Tbsp of fresh thyme (optional)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix honey and butter together and then add everything else.  Fold in berries.  Fill muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool and enjoy.

My Favorite Paleo Recipes Using Strawberries!

The best strawberries I have ever tasted are the ones out of my own garden and the one in this picture.  This little guy was straight out of the garden at a California vineyard.  Either way, I think it is because both scenarios mean the berries are fresh, perfectly ripe, and have zero chemicals.

Strawberries are in full swing, but they are something that have porous skin and therefore, absorb a lot of chemicals if they are sprayed.  If you have ever tried to grow berries yourself, you know that they ripen and get sniped by insects quickly if you don’t eat them first!  That’s why they tend to be heavily sprayed.  So, make sure to buy organic on this one!  I love getting organic strawberries by the flat from the farmer’s market because they are so cheap.  I’ll cut them up and throw them in the freezer for use throughout the year.  However, there are plenty of options to include them in your daily food, and you should try each and every one of the recipes listed below!! Eating in season is such an important (and overlooked) aspect of nutrition.  So, now’s the time to eat strawberries like they’re goin’ outta style because blueberries will be in season quickly!

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Kale, Strawberry, Avocado Salad

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Banana Breakfast Bowl

Balsamic Marinated Chicken with Strawberry Salsa


Stuffed Pineapple Teriyaki (Deconstructed)-paleo, GF

Half of my enjoyment in traveling is to bring back everything that left an impression on me back to my life, share with the lives I touch, and create a more permanent memory of where I’ve been.  Food is a huge part of that, and I have been way too busy lately to create travel-inspired recipes, but I decided to take the weekend to get my life back in order.  This helped me carve out some time to experiment!!  My last business conference was down in Hollywood, FL and while at dinner one night, I have a roasted stuffed pineapple with shrimp.  It was the perfect marriage of summer flavors, and I wanted to share the idea with you guys!
As you know, I don’t have a ton of time these days to cook, but that doesn’t mean recreating the flavors isn’t completely doable and simple!  I created a simple teriyaki sauce to use, and the ingredients couldn’t be more simple for the deconstructed version.
Stuffed Pineapple Teriyaki
Ingredients:
Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
3 Bell peppers, seeded, cut into chunks
1 Red onion, chopped into chunks
2 Avocado, cubed
1 lbs. wild-caught shrimp
Sauce:
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or gf soy sauce)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp of honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Directions:
Place all the sauce ingredients together into a big ziplock baggie or glass container.  Place the pineapple, bell peppers, and onion in the bag to soak up the goodness.  You can go multiple directions here and make skewers with shrimp for grilling, you can grill it in a grill pan, or you can sautee it on the stove top over high heat.  If you sautee, place the veggies and pineapple in the pan until cooked through, add the shrimp for a few minutes so you don’t overcook it.  Top it off with fresh avocado.  You could serve this over rice or place in “pineapple bowls” if you want to be fancy!

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

While doing my March detox, I stumbled on this salad when I had avocado and grapefruit to consume before traveling one week.  It was one of the most addicting combos I have ever tasted!   Why?  I have no idea, but you should try it even if you don’t like grapefruit.  It’s like when their flavors get together it creates something different than I have ever experienced!  I should also add that it’s super easy, too.
Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
Ingredients:
Avocado
Grapefruit
Lemon
EVOO
Salt and pepper
Protein addition optional
Directions:
Section grapefruit and slice avocado.  Place them together.  Mix juice from a lemon, a splash of EVOO, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour over the salad.  Add cooked shrimp or other protein if desired.

Zucchini Ice Cream

I got home from work one day and thought myself how much I love zucchini bread, why not make zucchini ice cream? I like pumpkin ice cream, so I should like zucchini ice cream. Brain child was born.

Zucchini ice cream:
1 zucchini pealed and pureed in a food processor
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cans full fat coconut milk
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of cardamon

Directions:
Blend or puree all the ingredients together in a bowl and use in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It tasted really good although I used a really large zucchini, so the texture may have been slushier than normal ice cream; so, I have doubled the coconut milk in the recipe. Since I used the entire zucchini, it’s hard to tell how much it measured out to be. I would use 1 cup and move down to 1/2 cup if you don’t think it’s creamy enough. Either way, the taste is great!


Peanut Butter Cup Christmas Cookies

You want to know the tragedy about peanut butter cup Christmas cookies?  The peanut butter cup is often gone in one bite!  I like cookies that have the goodness in every bite, personally.  This cookie recipe has peanut butter and peanut butter cups, so it is not paleo.  However, you could sub sunbutter for the peanut butter and replace the top with your favorite flavored chocolate bar….or….you could make paleo almond butter cups and chop those up if you are feeling really ambitious!  I tried a few different versions of this recipe, and I’m here to tell you that butter is where it’s at!  So, don’t mess with the butter!
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cup Christmas Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup grassfed butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • coconut sugar
  • 2 packages Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups, frozen, chopped
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix together almond flour, butter, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt until well-combined.  Create tablespoon balls and roll in a shallow dish of coconut sugar and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes or until the coconut sugar starts to brown.  Immediately after removing from oven, press peanut butter cup pieces into the top.  Let cool.  Enjoy!

Chocolate (Bone Broth) Protein Cookies (paleo, GF, DF)

I am not a huge fan of people using powdered food in substitute for meals.  It’s just not the same as real food.  I am a fan of homemade bone broth and using it regularly, especially for those with certain health concerns.  When bone broth protein hit the market, I didn’t spend much time addressing it because it’s powdered food.  However, as my life became a little more hectic, and I was struggling to cook as often as I used to, I decided I would try it.  I NEVER recommend anything for anyone without trying it first, which has it’s pros and cons I must say.  I tried the bone broth protein in all flavors (some are sweet and some taste like bone broth), I tried them in standard liquid, smoothies, etc.  Then I decided I was going to try and bake with it.  Bone Broth Chocolate Protein cookies at your service.
Chocolate Protein Cookies
Ingredients:
1 scoop chocolate bone broth protein
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup grassfed butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all the ingredients together until dough forms and roll into small balls, flattening with your hand.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.

 


Jerky (paleo, gluten-free)

I am not a hunter, but my family members are; so, deer season usually means venison.  Recently, a processed deer came creeping into my freezer at home and I thought “this is it; I’m going to make jerky and if it doesn’t work, then I’m never using the dehydrator again!”  I took a frozen steak and sliced it into jerky strips after letting it thaw slightly through.  I put a marinade on it that I got from Primal Cravings cookbook (Jamaican jerk).  I let it sit overnight.  The next morning I turned on my dehydrator to 160 degrees and put the strips down on parchment paper for easy clean up.  I let it go from around 7:30 in the morning until around 2pm. Mine may have been a little hard for some people’s taste, so next time I may go for an hour or 2 less.  Check it periodically to find the texture you like.  Since it doesn’t have preservatives, I am storing it in the fridge; however, supposedly you can store it for 2 days at room temp.  It was really good!  Venison is an awesome option, too, because it is really lean.  You don’t want fat on your jerky strips because the fat will go rancid. ;(

This was the spice mix I used, but there are tons out there to choose from!  You can also do this in the oven. My dad used to make his in the oven when we were kids, but I have never tried it personally.  You can also use regular steak or turkey, as well! http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Beef-Jerky

Jerky Seasoning (variation on Primal Carvings Jamaican Jerk)

1tsp molasses

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp salt


Homemade Chicken Stock for the Lazy Folks

Homemade month is moving along and next on the list is chicken stock.  I think this may be one of the easiest things you can do in your kitchen because it requires nothing but a crockpot and a chicken.  The picture is from a frozen chicken in the crockpot with veggie scraps from trimming them at other meals.  I believe I have onion tops, shallot tops, carrot ends, celery ends, etc.  I start a bag that goes in the freezer and accumulate scraps for the moment when I want to make a stock.  This is exactly what I did:  I put a frozen chicken in the crockpot with a little salt and cracked peppercorns and obviously veggie trimmings.  Cover for 10 hours (if thawed, 8 hours), and set crockpot on low.  Around 6 hours or so all the juices will begin to accumulate at the bottom of the crockpot.  After your 10 hours are up, remove the meat off the bone and put the carcass back into the crockpot.  Fill the crockpot with filtered water and let simmer for another 4 hours.  Strain your stock into containers!  That’s it.  I didn’t measure exactly but I want to say that it produced 10-12 cups of stock for me.  Typically, the ones you buy in the store come in 4 cup cartons.  So, that means I made the equivalent of 3 cartons of chicken stock with leftover bones from cooking a chicken.  I was already cooking the chicken and using the meat for tacos.  Therefore, it’s hard to estimate a cost savings when you are simply using leftover parts!  The cartons I buy of organic chicken stock at the store at $3-$4 bucks.  The entire chicken cost me $12 through Honored Praire.  For $12 bucks, I got about 3 lbs of meat and 3 cartons of chicken stock.  Not too shabby.  I put the stock that I will use that week in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.  I use the stock for everything from soups to simmering veggies.  It is packed full of minerals and healthy collagen for the joints.

Here’s my opinion on the whole homemade chicken stock ordeal: (1-5 with 5 being the best)

Ease: 5 (you put a chicken in pot and leave it for heaven’s sake!)

Price: 5 (I would have spent the same amount of money for 3-4 cartons of chicken stock at the store without the meat!)

Worth the touble: 5 (I am set now for weeks)

Taste: 5 (Way better tasting and way more nutritious than its processed counterparts!)