Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

Every coffee shop I have walked into this fall has had this in the case, and I wanted to create a paleo/primal version!  So, after one attempt, a love affair was born.  I used real cream cheese but if you can’t handle dairy, then use Kite Hill.  I have used Kite Hill to stuff muffins before and it works, I just happened to have the real deal on hand!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping (gf)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Filling

  • 1 block of cream cheese at room temp
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Topping (optional)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine all the ingredients besides the filling and toppings.  Once combined, set aside. Use beaters to whip the cream cheese and maple syrup together.  Also, in a food processor, pulse the topping ingredients until crumbly.  Now grease 12 muffin spaces in a tin or use silicon baking cups.  Put a dollop of batter in the bottom of each muffin space, put a dollop of cream cheese mixture (a Tbsp?) into each muffin space.  Now top with the remaining batter.  Place the crumble topping over each muffin.  Place in oven for 35 minutes and once cooked, brown the topping by broiling on low until golden brown.  Allow to cool at room temp for the next hour or two.

Cauliflower “oatmeal”

Cauliflower is one cruciferous veggie that is great for detoxification!  Cauliflower includes antioxidants that boost Phase 1 of detoxification, which is all about turning toxins from fat-lovers looking for storage and prepping them to become water-loving chemicals that are easy to eliminate. Cauliflower also has sulfur-containing nutrients that boost Phase 2 detoxification, which is where they get fully transformed into water-lovers. It also contains phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which activate detox enzymes and intensify their activity. Can I just also mention that it contains something called  indole-3-carbinol, which breaks down bad estrogens in the body to help with hormonal harmony!
For those keeping track of carbs, cauliflower is the low carb sub for potatoes in dishes, and it contains some fiber to health regulate bowels and blood sugar.
BUT, have you ever considered cauliflower for breakfast?! Now you can try it, even if just for your new year reset.
Cauliflower “Oatmeal”
Ingredients:
One bag of frozen cauliflower rice
Coconut milk/Almond milk
Pinch of salt
TBSP or more of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Toppings: feel free to top with berries, coconut, nuts
Optional additions: add nut butter or protein powder
Directions:
Pour the bag of cauliflower into a pan on the stove top and add about 1-2 cups of milk.  Start with less and decide what you like in terms of consistency.  Add you cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes.  Cook longer for more mushy consistency.  Take off heat and add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Top with your favorites and enjoy!

Paleo Pear Crisp

It’s pear time! And while apples get all the attention, pear can be just as good!

Paleo Pear Crisp:

  • 4-5 pears, cored, and sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Topping:

  • half stick of butter (or 1/4 cup coconut oil)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

Directions:

Mix the filling ingredients together until coated and put in an 8×8 or 9×13 depending on how thick you want it.  Crumble the topping ingredients together and cover the filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  Turn the oven to  broil and brown the topping  for about 3 minutes!


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!