Saturday, December 22, 2012

Twice-Roasted Cinnamon Pecans

You know those roasted cinnamon and sugar-covered pecans they sell at the mall around Christmas? You know! The ones that smell (and taste) so good? Yeah those! Well they are full of crap and you can't have them. That sucks, but you're in luck because Casey has come up with a Paleo-friendy version that is Ahh-maz-ing, they are way better than the kind at the mall. Plus, as an added bonus your house will smell like the cinnamon fairy sprinkled cinnamon goodness all over your kitchen.

Twice-Roasted Cinnamon Pecans


4 C. Pecans
4 oz. coconut oil, melted
1/4 C. raw honey
2 T cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Coat pecans with melted coconut oil. Place a sheet of parchment parchment paper on a cookie sheet, place nuts on it and bake for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and transfer pecans to a mixing bowl and stir in honey until nuts are coated.

4. Transfer pecans back to the cookie sheet and dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and serve.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cocoa Gingerbread

Gingerbread is one of my all-time favorite things ever. Ginger snaps, gingerbread men (or women, let's not be sexist) whatever gingerbread-y I love. It screams THE HOLIDAYS or HEY IT'S WINTER to me.  This would be a perfect breakfast bread on a cold morning or a nice little party treat or something to bring to your neighbors. However, you can make this and hoard them all for yourself-- that works just as well!


Cocoa Gingerbread


1/2 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup. molasses
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tbs + 6 oz. chocolate, melted
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt



1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Using a mixer, mix flour, molasses, eggs, vanilla and almond extract together.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine melted coconut oil and chocolate together.

4. Whisk all other ingredients into oil chocolate mixture and pour into the mixer.

5. Mix everything together until thoroughly combined.

6. Grease loaf pan with remaining coconut oil. (I used ramekins but a regular loaf pan or mini loaf pans will work too) Bake about 35-40 mins or until cooked all the way through.

*If using ramekins or mini loaf pans, cook about 15-20 mins.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Paleo Chicken "Noodle" Soup

There is nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup on a cold day like today. Yesterday, it was too warm for soup but today-- today is winter for us in Texas and it's perfect! This soup makes me all warm and cozy on the inside... it also reminds me of being a little kid and being served "comfort food" when it was too cold to play outside (kids those days used to do that). Plus this is another hybrid recipe; half crockpot half stovetop, and that's exciting.


Paleo Chicken "Noodle" Soup


1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
1 whole chicken (3lbs-ish)
1-2 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 32oz carton chicken broth plus juices from the cooked chicken
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Stab holes all over spaghetti squash, place on cookie sheet and bake for 45 mins, or until the squash is soft all the way through.

2. Place chicken in a crockpot, cover with olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn on low heat, cover and cook for 6 hrs.

3. Once chicken has cooked, set it aside and let it cool.

4. Take out a large pot and drain juice (broth) from crockpot into the pot then add the carton of chicken broth and heat on medium heat.

5. Add celery, carrots, yellow onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.

6. De-bone and shred chicken. Add it in with the veggies and broth. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, cover and let simmer, stirring on occasion. Turn heat down.

7. While soup is simmering, cut squash open length-wise and clean out seeds. Take a fork and scrape out the "noodles," placing them into the pot, stir to combine.

8. Cook about 20-30 more mins, remove bay leaves and serve, garnishing with green onion. Or cook it all day long then serve. This is a dish that gets better and better the longer it sits.

*Side-note. This can all be done in a crockpot as well!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mint Aioli Smothered Lamb

Two of the things I love in life are mint and lamb. Luckily, they are a match made in Heaven. I can't think of anything that goes together better. This dish has a bit of a fancy touch without all the fuss, perfect for a holiday dinner or a sit-in-your-pjs-and-watch-Christmas-movies kind of night.


Mint Aioli Smothered Lamb

2 lbs lamb shoulder


Aioli

3/4 cup olive oil
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup mint
3 Tbs. parsley
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
salt to taste

1. Turn oven broiler on low.

2. Separate egg yolks from whites (keep the whites to use in something else, like breakfast the next morning)

3. Put the yolks in a large mixing bowl. Or using a stand mixer, beat until yolks are a pale yellow and have a creamy consistency.

4. With your mixer on a medium-to-high speed, VERY VERY SLOWLY mix in oil, I mean a tiny drizzle at a time, this step took me at least 10-15 mins. I poured the oil in a steady slow thin stream for about a minute, then I would wait a minute so the oil could mix with the yolks.

5. Do this over and over until all the oil was mixed in, then I let the mixer continue to beat the oil in for another 5 mins.

6. FINALLY add the mint, parsley, cayenne pepper and salt

7. After everything has been thoroughly mixed, whip the mixture for a few more mins then pour over lamb, wrap tightly in foil and place in a broiler-safe pan.

8. Cook for 45 mins.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Citrus Cornish Hens

I watched this video the other day and it really made me think how the messsage rings true for so many of us. Our success and satisfaction with our life is often driven by money and material things. I know more people that hate their job than love it, and it just seems like we are willing to do anything (even if it makes us unhappy) for a few extra bucks or a new designer handbag or the latest gas guzzling car. I am just as guilty as anyone as being materialistic and I'm not going to lie and say I don't love things. Though I am feeling myself shift a little bit over the last two years and my perspective has started to change. It started a little before that but I really began to act on it within the last two years. I want to be successful. I want to live comfortably. I want to have "nice things," too but my idea of success and "nice things" have changed. I'm not going to do anything stupid and throw away all the  handbags I have or anything like that (I've already paid for them, I might as well get some use out of them) I'm probably not going to stop getting butterflies when I see the Spring shoe collection at Dillards and I won't stop drooling over that ridiculously expensive oven at Williams-Sonoma. It's funny because a few hours before I watched the video I saw said oven and got sick to my stomach when the sales clerk told me how much it cost. I felt kinda defeated because I knew that's not something I would ever be able to buy and it stung. While watching this video I thought "Wow that's what we all need to do!" I want to do what makes me happy (both of us not just me) and I really don't care about rolling in money... OK I wouldn't exactly hate it. I want to go somewhere with all of this, really that's what I want. Simply put, those material things are just becoming less important to me.  I just want to make enough money to pay our bills, buy grass-fed meat, eat as clean as we can, do CrossFit and make sure our little fur babies stay healthy paleo pets. It would be nice to wear Lulu and not work until I die, too. That's it.

Do you ever ask yourself what you really want? What makes you itch? Are you surprised by the answer? Enough food for thought, here's some real food:

 


Citrus Cornish Hens
4 Cornish hens
juice of one orange
zest of half an orange (the same orange, don't be wasteful!)
1 shallot, very finely chopped
3 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic
pinch of sage
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Place hens in a baking dish.

2. Combine orange juice, zest and shallots.

3. Stir in honey, paprika, garlic, sage, salt and pepper.

4. Pour glaze over hens and bake for 35-45 mins.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Butterscotch Cake

Well the holidays are here and there is nothing we can do about it. We might as well embrace them, right? Right. All I know is I will NOT be missing my weekly yoga class or my WODs at Ternion this month (Thanksgiving is over so as far as I'm concerned it's December). I will need to throw weight around and get all centered if I want to live to see January. It's a stressful month. As many of you know, by day I'm Brittany the hairstylist, and I see pretty much every single one of my clients in December. I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not because busy = $$ which is great because we could def. use more of that around here, but couldn't we all? I actually like to be busy; Casey says I'm addicted to stress... I probably am. I must admit I do love the hustle and bustle of the season, I can't help it.

With that being said I hope to have many new recipes for you this month! I want to be busy at work and busy cooking up some new noms. So let's get the best time of the year started!


Butterscotch Cake

2 cups maple syrup. grade B
1 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9in. cake pan with coconut oil.

2. Using a mixer, combine syrup and flour.

3. Mix almond, vanilla and eggs and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combine and you have a cake batter consistency.

4. Pour batter into cake pan and bake 1 hour or until cake is cook throughout.

* I greased mini tart tins and poured 1 Tbs. of batter into each, baked for 25 mins. and served (as pictured) for extra pizazz.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chicken with (Leftover) Glaze

So as you all know I am going Black Friday shopping (if you read my last post, you know) but the fun doesn't stop there! I'll spend the rest of my weekend decorating the house for Christmas as I expect most people will be doing. That leaves little time for cooking doesn't it? Well, there are so many leftovers from Thanksgiving every year why not make something easy and yummy from them?



Chicken with (Leftover) Glaze

1 4lb whole chicken

1/2 cup ham glaze (link goes to Citrus Ham Glaze Recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Clean chicken and pat dry.

3. Place in a deep baking dish and cover with glaze.

4. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hour. Let cool and serve.

5. Marvel at how easy this was.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Salad

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! We all know what that means, the next day is Black Friday! Yes, I'm one of "those" people. I will be completely exhausted from cooking, running the Turkey Trot (annual 5K/10K) and house-hopping. Naturally, it only makes sense to take a cat nap midday, followed by a dozen hours (give or take) of shopping.  I know it's totally crazy, but it's a blast and I look forward to it every year, I love the thrill of the kill... kill of a good deal that is. However, it's not all fun and games, there is a lot of "strategizing" involved.  First the naughty and nice list has to be made then my friend Amanda and I get together and go through all the ads with a fine-tooth comb (little hairstylist joke for ya) and decide what takes priority as we map out our stops. This year my friend/cousin Jamie is coming along, which is so exciting because she is a black Friday virgin!

I see we've gotten off track a bit...  Back to the food. I have to bring something to eat because the only things available at our families' respective Thanksgivings are... not the best, and I don't have time to be bread drunk or doubled-over from "cheating."  It has to be something yummy, portable and has to hold me over so I don't chew my arm off or worse, eat that bad food. I'm bring this! It's perfect, and has bacon because well it's bacon, sweet potatoes to replenish me and a handful of nuts for staying power! Enjoy!





Sweet Potato Salad
2 sweet potatoes
12 oz. apple smoked bacon (or whatever you have) diced and fried
pine nuts
walnuts ( I used black walnuts)
1 apple, cored and chopped (I used a Macintosh apple)
coarse sea salt
8 Tbs. cinnamon aioli

Cinnamon aioli

2 egg yolks
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. Honey
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Separate egg yolks from the whites, but keep the whites to use in something else, like breakfast the next morning.

2. Put the yolks in a large mixing bowl, or using a stand mixer, beat until yolks are a pale yellow and have a creamy consistency.

3. With your mixer on a medium to high speed, VERY VERY SLOWLY mix in oil, I mean a tiny drizzle at a time, this step took me at least 10-15 mins. I poured the oil in a steady slow thin stream for about a minute, then I would wait a minute so the oil could mix with the yolks.

4. Do this over and over until all the oil was mixed in, then I let the mixer continue to beat the oil in for another 5 mins.

5. FINALLY add cinnamon and honey

6. After everything has been thoroughly mixed, whip the mixture for a few more mins then pour in a serving bowl or jar and refrigerate until needed.

Salad

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Wash potatoes and with a knife make slits all over the it. Place on cookie sheet

3. Bake until soft, not mushy like a baked potatoes would be. You want it to be slightly firm. Let cool, peel and cut into 1inch chunks.

4. Place nuts on a small cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 5-10 mins or until nuts turn golden brown.

5. In a casserole dish mix potatoes, nuts, apple and bacon.

6. Pour in aioli and a dash of salt and stir until everything is coated.


*This is tasty cold or hot!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Buttered Pecan Pie

Well the Ternion Turkey Day (that I mentioned in yesterday's post) was a success, at least from where I was sitting! We started off with a pretty crazy team WOD that went like this:

Three person team, one teammate holds a dumbbell (if the dumbbell is set down, a team penalty lap must be completed), while the other teammates complete the following:

12 (200M.) laps
100 wall balls
100 burpees
100 sit ups
100 push ups
100 air squats
100 kettle bell swings

We were all hungry afterwards so it's a good thing we prepared and had all that yummy Thanksgiving food. This pie was a favorite of the group; I'll be honest I just don't like pecan pie. I keep trying but it's not going to happen. I can live with it I guess.

Pies, pies and more pies! A traditional American favorite gone Paleo... with a twist.



Buttered Pecan Pie

Crust

1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans
4 Tbs. grass-fed butter, room temp.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 8" pie plate.

2. In a food processor, process the nuts until they are a fine, flour-like consistency

3. Empty the nut flour out of the food processor and into a large mixing bowl.

4. Using a pastry blender, begin to work the butter into the nut flour.

5. Once butter and nuts are completely combined, transfer the mixture to the pie plate.

6. Very gently, using your hands, start spreading crust to evenly cover pie plate.

7. Bake crust for 5-10 minutes. Let cool.


Filling

2 cups pecans + handful for garnish
2/3 cup honey
3 eggs
4 Tbs. coconut oil or Grass-fed butter, melted
2 pitted dates

1. Using a food processor, process all ingredients until nuts are VERY finely chopped. You want this to have an almost creamy texture not chunky like traditional pecan pie.

2. Pour into crust and bake for 30-35 minutes.

3. Using the handful of whole pecans place on top of pie the last 5 minutes, then serve.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

I am baking this as I type. It smells sooooo yummy, I can't wait to eat it again.


You can have dessert first with this dish. My family always eats sweet potato casserole with our meal instead of dessert. Have it however you like, dinner, dessert, breakfast on Black Friday whatever you fancy.


Sweet Potato Casserole
4 Sweet potatoes or yams
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
5 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Stab holes in potatoes and place on cookie sheet, bake about 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are soft all the way through. Let cool.

3. Scoop out insides of potato and place in a baking dish. Using an immersion blender, puree the potatoes until they look and feel whipped. Then blend in coconut milk.

4. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, nuts and cinnamon together.

5. Using a large spoon, stir in the melted coconut oil and honey until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

6. Bake on 375 until the topping has browned and the potatoes are hot all the way through, about 30-40 mins.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Pudding

Again, if you would like the WHOLE menu you can download it for FREE. Just click the icon on the right hand side of the page... Yep, that easy!

Let's start with the star of the show. You cannot go wrong with this luscious crowd-pleasing desert. Late one Thanksgiving evening, our friend Ryan brought this pudding over and I fell head over heels in love. Once I went Paleo I began fantasizing about how to paleotize it, and this is the end result. It's safe to say I am once again head over heels.


Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Pudding
Adapted from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/health/nutrition/23recipehealth.html

1 quart full-fat coconut canned coconut milk      
6 tablespoons Almond meal (unblanched almond flour)      
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup mild honey
2 cups pumpkin puree      
4 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon coconut oil      
1/2 cup raisins
       
1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 2-quart casserole or baking dish with coconut oil.
      
2. Pour the milk into a medium or large saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and slowly add in the almond meal while whisking the milk. Turn the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring, until the mixture has thickened a bit.

3. Stir in the molasses and honey, and continue to simmer, stirring, for five minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and whisk in the pumpkin until the mixture is smooth.

5. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, and add the remaining ingredients. Pour into the casserole or baking dish.
       
6. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours until it's set; a knife should come out clean when inserted, and the top should be just beginning to brown. Remove and allow to cool before serving.      

7. Put stretchy pants on. You will thank me later.

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Citrus Maple Glazed Ham

Mornin'! It's Friday (thank God) and it's going to be a good day despite the fact that I set a new world record for Diane this morning... I'm not sure what my time was, something between forever and a day and all of eternity. It was one of those WODs that makes you want to cry. I almost did cry from the embarrassment and the physical suckage. It was bad, real bad, but I'm home chatting with you now so I'm better.  Plus, wallowing in self pity is certainly NOT fabulous. Anyhow, the day is looking up and speaking of which, go ahead and look down (the page) and that should brighten your day. Enjoy the Ham and have a nice Friday!


Because a turkey is just not enough, we Paleoers need two sources of meat! Plus, everybody loves a good ham with a delish glaze.


Citrus Maple Glazed Ham
1 butt-portion ham (mine was pre-smoked)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. dried orange peel

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Place ham in a roasting pan with a rack.

3. Make a "tent" with foil and loosely place it over the top of the ham.

4. Bake ham for 8 minutes per pound.

5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk honey, mustard, maple syrup, cloves and orange peel together.

6. When 20 minutes of cook remain, turn the heat up to 375, remove foil tent, and apply glaze to ham.

7. After 10 minutes, apply glaze to the ham again.

8. Remove from oven, let cool and carve.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie... Mmmmm. Nothing smells better than that aroma floating through the house on a cool autumn day.  Not to mention, what's Thanksgiving with homemade pumpkin pie? It's the best part!


Pumpkin Pie Crust

1.5 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Grease a 9" pie pan with coconut oil.

3. Using a stand mixer or food processor, mix coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

4. Add flour, baking soda and salt to the dry ingredients and mix.

5. Using your hands, take the dough and place it in the middle of the pie pan. Work the dough outward so it covers the sides and bottom of the pan evenly. This step takes some time.

6. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Let cool.



Pumpkin Pie Filling

3 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. In a stand mixer or using a mixing bowl and hand mixer, mix the pumpkin and coconut milk.

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well blended. It should look speckled.

3. Pour filling into the browned crust and bake for 45mins or until pie is set. A knife inserted in the middle of the pie should come out clean.

4. Let cool, then serve.

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Paleo Gravy (YES!)

If you are going to have "cornbread" dressing, turkey and cauli mash you MUST have gravy. The perfect topping to everything on your overflowing plate.


Paleo Gravy
1 cup turkey drippings
1/8 cup cold water
1 1/2 Tbs arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
splash of coconut aminos or tamari, for color

1. Pour the dripping in a small sauce pan and heat on medium heat.

2. Slowly add in the arrowroot powder along with about 1/2 of the cold water. Whisking constantly.

3. After a few minutes if the arrowroot powder has not dissolved add more water. The gravy is going to seem like it's too thin, but it will thicken up.

4. Add garlic, pepper and just a splash of aminos continue to whisk.

5. Simmer for about 10 minutes longer whisking frequently.

6. Pour into gravy boat and serve.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Garlic Herb Cauliflower Mash

I'm setting a PR: Three posts in one day! That's a lot of posts, sorry if you are overwhelmed by the amount of deliciousness in a single 24 hour period. I have a sneaking suspicion that you will forgive me.

Cauliflower mash is so creamyyyy, it's so creamy. This smells and tastes just like Thanksgiving day mashed potatoes to me. Nobody will miss the taste of mashed potatoes and the certainly not the bloated potato belly.



Garlic Herb Cauliflower Mash

1 head cauliflower, broken up
1 blub garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. thyme
2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. rosemary
salt and pepper to taste




1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cut just enough off the top of the garlic to remove the tip of the cloves (the pointed end), place on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake for 45mins or until bulb is soft. Let cool.

4. Steam cauliflower until it is almost falling apart. Transfer to a food processor or mixing bowl.

5. Once garlic has cooled, squeeze from the bottom of the bulb until cloves come out the top (they should slide out) and place them in with the cauliflower.

6. Add all other ingredients in the processor or mixing bowl. Pulse or mash until all ingredients are combined and the texture is similar to--what else? Mashed potatoes.

7. Serve.

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Holiday Turkey

Two recipes in one day?! Like whoa... I must be cray cray!


Now the main attraction... "The bird" as I call it. I was terrified the first time I cooked a turkey, I was so worried it would be dry and I would ruin Thanksgiving. It turned out to be one of the easiest and most flavorful things I have ever made.





Holiday Turkey

*Depending on the size of your bird, adjust measurements appropriately.*



1 *14 lb* turkey (cleaned out with neck removed)
1 1lb jar of Williams-Sonoma "Apples and Spices" Turkey Brine
4 Tbs. extra virgin Olive oil

4 Tbs. grass-fed butter, melted
1-2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 tsp. pepper
dash of salt (the brine is already salty, so go easy on the salt)

Other Materials:
large roasting pan with a rack
styrofoam ice chest (something that will fit in the fridge)
injector, without seasoning in it.
turkey bag
twine

1. Make sure turkey is thawed out completely.

2. Follow directions on the back of the brine jar.*

3. Place turkey and diluted brine in the Styrofoam ice chest and refrigerator for 36 hours, turning halfway through.

4. Preheat oven to 325.

5. Rinse turkey thoroughly, pat dry with paper towels and place on the rack inside the roasting pan.

6. Rub olive oil all over the outside of the bird. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Then fill injector with mixture.

8.  Inject into bird. You want to stab deep into the meat and make injections all over the bird so the flavor is evenly distributed.

9.Tie the legs together with twine. Place in the turkey bag, tie off the bag and make an inch long slit on the top of the bag.**

10. Bake turkey 12 minutes per lb.

11. Remove from oven but keep the bag closed until ready to be carved.


*The brine bath is WORTH IT! BUY IT! You can make your own but this brine is perfectly paleo and tastes amazing. I have used this jar for a 28 lb. turkey and it was just as flavorful as a 14lb. bird.
**You can add 1 tbs. of coconut flour to the turkey bag, shake to coat inside of bag the pour out excess flour, to make sure the turkey does not stick to bag. I recommend doing this before cooking

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Chocolate Crunch Pumpkin Pie

Have I mentioned you can find all Thanksgiving recipes in the FREE E-Book to the right... See it? Yeah that thing: The Paleo Fabulous Thanksgiving! I don't get any click-backs for downloads, to be honest. Just in case you don't want to download it (for some crazy reason) I am posting all the recipes individually.

I know this time of the year can be stressful and when you eat Paleo it can make things harder. To be honest, one of the things I fret over the most is wondering if that pie/cookie/cake is worth the cheat. I sit there on Thanksgiving day and think everyone else gets to enjoy a feast and I am deprived because, and let's be honest--unless I cooked it, it's probably not going to be something that I can eat. I use the word "can" because I have a hard time eating something I know WILL make me sick. I hate feeling like crap so yeah I can eat it if I want to but not without consequences. Make it easy on yourself, bring a dish that you can enjoy, I happen to love pie so something like this is perfect for me. I can pass up other dishes without hesitation but pie... it's hard... real hard. Don't make it hard; bake it and bring it!!

My Aunt Lylie makes this pie and people rave about it, so I thought I would Paleotize it. The result? People raved.



Crust

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9" pie pan with coconut oil.

2. Using a stand mixer or food processor, mix coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

3. Pour flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients and pulse or mix.

4. Using your hands, take the dough and place it in the middle of the pie pan. Work the dough so it covers the sides and bottom of the pan evenly. This takes time.

5. Bake the crust for 5-10 minutes. This crust will puff up a bit so using the palm of your hand gently press it down to flatten it. Set aside and let cool.

Then...

Filling

3 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Topping

1/12 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup Honey
5-6 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
5 Tbs. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. In a stand mixer or using a mixing bowl and hand mixer, mix the pumpkin and coconut milk.

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well blended. It should look speckled.

3. Pour filling in to crust and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until almost set.

4. Cover the pie with topping.

5. Bake 15-20 minutes.

6. Let cool and serve.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paleo Cornbread Dressing

Man oh man am I excited about Saturday! Ternion CrossFit is having their first ever Ternion Turkey Day, which will consist of a partner WOD followed by a Paleo seminar given by this girl I know, then a Paleo feast! You can guess who's in charge of the seminar and the nomnoms... Ok it's me! I can't wait to hang out with all of my friends and have some good old fashion CrossFit fun!

Casey often says this was my "Doctor Frankenstein (It's ALIIIVE) Moment" with paleo food. I have always made the cornbread dressing for Casey's family's holiday dinners and I have to say this: Paleo Dressing is every bit as good as "traditional" dressing. It is quite the undertaking paleo or not, but do not be intimidated! It has a lot of ingredients but it's so much easier than it looks. Actually it takes me exactly the same amount of time to make it as it did before. I made this last year as well as the year before and guess what... NOBODY knew the difference! I have to say this is the best dressing that I have ever had...sorry G-Ma!

Side Note: Nobody knew the difference the first several times they ate it, last time I told them ahead of time and I got "This dressing tastes weird" and "I like real dressing better." Moral of the story: Lie and say it's "real," they won't even know!


Dressing
1 large roasting pan or disposable roasting pan
1 4lb. chicken
3 32oz boxes of chicken broth
3 bell peppers, chopped
1 large head of celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 boiled eggs


1. Put chicken in a large pot, cover it in the chicken broth and set to boil.

2. Peel and chop eggs. Set aside.

3. Once chicken is cooked (takes about an hour) remove it from the boiling broth and let cool.

4. Place chopped veggies in boiling broth. Cook until they are tender, for about 30 minutes. Then turn heat off and let the pot cool.

5.  Debone and shred chicken.

6. Place chicken and eggs in roasting pan and combine.

Then...

Cornbread
***This makes one batch. You will need three. I make one batch without the honey/maple syrup.***
2/3 cup coconut flour
1 stick of grass-fed butter, melted or 8 oz ghee
7 eggs
1-2 Tbs. honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
pinch of sea salt

7. Preheat oven to 400. Grease a cast iron skillet  (any size will do but I use a medium-sized skillet) and heat in oven for about 5-10 minutes.

8. In a stand mixer, mix all ingredients (except water).

9. The mixture will be thick, but if too thick, add water until you get the consistency of batter.

10. Take skillet out of oven and pour batter into it.

11. Bake for 20-35 minutes. Depending on what size skillet you use, insert a knife into the middle of the bread, when it comes out clean it's done. Remove skillet and turn off oven.


12. When bread has cooled, crumble it in with the shredded chicken and eggs.

13. Mix thoroughly.

14. Preheat oven to 350.

15. Pour pot of veggies and broth over cornbread and chicken mixture. Entire contents of pot... It seems like a lot but the bread will absorb almost all of it.

16. Bake in oven for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring every time the top browns.

17. Take out, let cool and serve.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Cranberry Sauce

In case you missed it, I posted an entire Thanksgiving Menu last week!! Even though this recipe is in The Paleo Fabulous Thanksgiving E-Book, I wanted to go ahead and post it because you may not want to download the whole book. I'm not sure why you wouldn't want to but I'm not here to judge your lack of good judgment. ;)


Cranberry sauce is my favorite component to a Holiday dinner. Sweet and tangy with a cool, smooth texture. The holidays just wouldn't be the same without it.



Cranberry Sauce

16 oz. cranberries fresh or frozen
1 Bartlett pear, peeled and diced
1/4 cup water or apple juice
1/4 tsp. dried orange peel
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B
*1/2 packet gelatin

For lumpy sauce:


1. On medium heat in a medium sauce pan heat berries, diced pear and water. Stir to combine.


2. Continue to stir frequently.


3. Whisk orange peel and cloves into 1/4 cup maple syrup.


4. Once berries begin to burst open and the pear softens, stir in maple syrup mixture.


5. Simmer for 10-15 mins, let cool and transfer to serving dish then chill until ready to serve.


For smooth sauce:


Follow steps 1-4 above:

 
5. While sauce is still hot, add in a packet of unflavored gelatin and puree using food processor or immersion blender.

6. Let cool and transfer to serving dish and chill until ready to serve.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Paleo Fabulous Thanksgiving

Here it is! My team (Casey) and I have been working around the clock to get a Thanksgiving menu prepared for you. I know what a challenge the holidays can be when you are committed to eating Paleo and that's exactly why I put this Thanksgiving menu together as a way to say "thank you" to all my loyal readers and followers. I hope this Thanksgiving we all have a healthy, happy and full belly. I will be posting the recipes as individual posts as well, just in case someone only want one of the recipes instead of an ENTIRE Thanksgiving menu.

You can use the link on the blog sidebar, or you can click here to download the menu in PDF format:
The Paleo Fabulous Thanksgiving Menu

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Make it Paleo Book Review

Hey! Are you looking for the perfect gift?  Make it "Make it Paleo!" Below is a copy of my review of the book. You can also find more information about this awesome pair on their website. They have all sorts of awesome stuff on their site and they even have an app!



When I was asked to review “Make it Paleo,” I was beyond excited!  I have followed The Food Lovers’ since I went Paleo 2 years ago and I am grateful for them because they have paved the way for paleo bloggers like me, not to mention leading more and more people to the paleo/primal lifestyle.  So how did I like “Make it Paleo”?  What an impressive piece of art it is, page after page of beautiful photography followed by divine cuisine. To be honest, it’s a page-turner, when I finally got this book in my hands I literally curled up and read it like I would a storybook.  I couldn’t wait to see what was next! Then I started cooking… amazing. The recipes are simple enough for everyday meals yet elegant and sophisticated enough for a dinner party or special occasion.  As a matter of fact, a friend of a friend decided to get married on a whim (we’re talking 24 hr. notice) and I whipped up the dark chocolate cake on page 370 so that they would have a wedding cake.  It was perfect and took practically no time at all to throw together, thanks to the accurate measurements and easy-to-follow instructions.  The recipes in this cookbook are so versatile; everything from cakes to “Lo Mein” on pg. 204 (which took me from hating cabbage to craving it!) there is something for everyone.   If you want to throw a quick meal together that packs a little spicy punch, the Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs, pg. 194 are for you.  Or if you want a recipe that will impress for a Sunday brunch, check out page 62 for the “Root Vegetable Hash & Poached Egg” is a sure crowd-pleaser.   Something else that I loved about “Make it Paleo” is that it is a true health cookbook.   I have had so many so-called “healthy cookbooks” that were full of junk ingredients and processed garbage.  It’s no wonder we as a nation are so unhealthy, people are so confused about health, but this cookbook will clear the fog for so many people, all you have to do is open the book. One more thing, in the “gratitude” section, Haley thanks her hair stylist for styling her hair for the book cover photo shoot.  When I’m not blogging, I’m behind the chair styling hair and it touched my heart that she was so appreciative to her personal stylist.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Juicy Beef Jerky

It's Halloweenie week! I watched Halloween movies all weekend... in my pj's... on the couch... while eating coconut milk ice cream and beef jerky. It was great! Well, I did that after the Barbell for Boobs event at Ternion CrossFit. Which by the way raised $1304.40 for the "Mammograms in Action" foundation! Pretty awesome since the box was born merely 6 weeks ago!! It was a blast and I had the reason to wear pink head-to-toe, okay that's really not uncommon but whatevs. I made these cute little ribbons (idea stolen from my friend/cousin Jamie) and went around town selling them to try to raise money for the cause. While doing this, I learned a few things:

1. It is extremely humbling to ask for money and I feel for anyone who actually HAS to do that to do basic things like eat.
2. People can be are freaking rude jerks.
3. People can be extremely generous and have huge hearts.

All in all it was a huge success and I can't wait to do it all again next year. Now I would like to share a recipe with you, if you're into that sort of thing?!

Juicy Beef Jerky


*Requires a Food Dehydrator*
2 lbs flank steak, cut into strips or chunks
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup tamari
1/8 cup honey
1tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper

Place strips of meat in a gallon-sized plastic bag. In a mixing bowl, whisk the broth, tamari, honey, seeds, garlic and red pepper. Once the mixture is combined, pour it into the baggie along with the meat. Make sure all air has been let out and the bag is sealed, then shake the bag to cover all of the meat. Refrigerate for 24 hrs. After, remove from the fridge and place meat in a food dehydrator, being careful not to crowd or overlap the meat. You want it evenly distributed on the trays of your dehydrator. Increase temperature to 135 and allow to dehydrate for about 12-16 hrs. If you want a drier, more "traditional" jerky (as pictured) go about 24 hrs.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Honey Ginger Chicken Wings

OK my hiatus from blogging is over! Sorry about my absence; I have been working super-hard(!!) on a few things for y'all. I have not been sitting around eating bon-bons... They are disgusting so I wouldn't eat them anyway. I am so glad to be blogging again, I feels like we haven't spoken in for-ev-er. So what's new?  Are you excited about Halloweenie (that's what it's called in this house)? I sure am! I love Halloweenie, it's so much fun seeing everyone dressed up. There is just something about October in general, it even smells different, I love it. It puts me in the mood to cook, I am kinda always in the mood to cook but it gets worse (better?) in the fall. Not to mention it's football season and even though I am not head over heels in love with football, (Editor's Note: This is an understatement) I think it adds to the excitement of the season. The most common food synonymous with "football" these days is "wings." Well lucky for you I've got just the recipe!

Honey Ginger Chicken Wings
3lbs. chicken wings
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbs. ginger, fresh minced
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. tamari
1/2 tsp. paprika

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, ginger, tamari and paprika. Place chicken wings in a large freezer bag and pour honey mixture over it, zip the bag and shake until the sauce completely covers the wings. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Take wings out of bag and place them on a baking sheet (one with a lip) and bake for 25-30 mins or until juices run clear. Sit down in front of the game and enjoy.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kale With Roasted Pine Nuts

I love all green veggies, but my favorite is kale. It. Is. Amazing! Did you know that kale is the single most nutrient-dense food on the PLANET? I was going to tell you all about it but I will make it easy for you; Watch the video below, it will change your life!




Kale With Roasted Pine Nuts


2 Tbs. bacon fat
1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and torn away from stem (the seam running down the middle)
3-4 Tbs. pine nuts
4 Tbs. raisins
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/4 cup beef broth



In a large skillet on medium to low heat, heat bacon fat and add in pine nuts, tossing them in the fat until they are coated. When the pine nuts brown, add the kale into the skillet and combine with nuts and oil. You want to try to get each leaf "wet" with oil. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together beef broth, cinnamon, allspice and raisins. When kale is starting to wilt, pour broth mixture over it and toss everything together, sautee another 3-5 mins and serve.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Take-it-Easy Spaghetti

Man, life can be hard sometimes, right? Full of tough decisions and lessons learned the hard way. The road can be more than rocky at times and some people get lost along the way. That stings, but life goes on and the stings slowly heal. We all get so busy these days, and sometimes we just need to stop, breathe and reevaluate what we really want out of life and what really makes us happy. I feel like such a hippie as I type this, plus I have been doing Yoga every Sunday so I feel like I am a bit more centered, but it's so true! That's where this recipe comes into play. While it simmers, take that time and actually STOP. I know it's hard because all we seem to do is go go go, but seriously stop and let your mind wander for a change. Not to mention there is something so calming about letting a big ol' pot of something cook all day. The aroma slowly filling your house and no sense of urgency. It's great. Give it a try!

Take-it-Easy Spaghetti
1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 green bell pepper
7 gloves garlic, minced
1 purple onion (again the onion is purple not red), chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
1 28oz. can of san marzano tomatoes
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
1 cup basil, chopped
3 Tbs. dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil + 1 Tbs.
salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 375. Take a sharp knife and puncture the squash all over (like you would if you were to bake a potato) and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for an hour or until you can insert the knife all the way through the squash EASILY. Let cool, then cut in half (length-wise) and scoop out the seeds. Finally, take a fork and scrape from one end of the squash to the other (this is how you get the "noodles") and continue until all the "noodles" are scraped out and all that's left is the shell of the squash.

Meanwhile...

In a large pot heat 1 Tbs. oil and then add in chopped bell pepper, mushrooms, and onions (on medium heat). Saute until veggies start to brown and become fragrant. Add in the ground beef and sausage, crumble meat and let brown. When meat is almost completely cooked, start adding in the tomatoes, combine with meat and veggies, then stir in chopped basil, dried oregano and remaining olive oil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally. I let this simmer for 3-4 hours and it turned out extremely flavorful.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn Breakfast Casserole

Fall is in the air, don't you just love it? I do! In fact, if you read my last post I even talked about how nice it's been outside. Not surprisingly, it's hot as hell again but I'm used to it and it makes me appreciate those nice days even more. Fall is inspiring. Everything changes, colors, the trees, the plants, even the sky changes. There are so many different textures hay, pumpkins, dried vines, gourds, the smell of fall is hearty and spicy rich with cinnamon and herbs. It is visually and mentally stimulating and brings out my desire to cook even more, does it make you want to cook too?

Recently, I asked if anyone had any requests via Facebook and Carrie Pugh said she needed something different to make for breakfast. What a perfect suggestion for this time of the year! This casserole has a few components but it is worth it because it's pleasing to the taste buds AND this lasted us the entire work week so we weren't rushed to cook breakfast after our morning WOD, which we usually have to do. I hope Carrie and everyone else likes it!




Autumn Breakfast Casserole
1 acorn squash
3 Tbs.coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. flax seed meal
1 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)
1-2 Tbs. cinnamon + 1/8 tsp.
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey sausage
1/2 Tbs. sage
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow onion diced
2 cups spinach
two pinches nutmeg
6 pieces bacon
Maple syrup


Preheat oven to 375. Place acorn squash on a cookie sheet and stab (with a knife) all over the squash , puncturing just as you would for baking a potato. Bake for about 45mins. or until it is soft all the way through. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, dice pepper and onion and heat skillet, place veggies along with the sausage and sage in the skillet and just before sausage is browned and the veggies have softened, mix spinach in and as it wilts, throw in nutmeg and the 1/8 tsp of cinnamon. Once meat, onion, pepper and spinach is cooked let cool.

The squash should be cooled now, so cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, then spoon out the insides and place in a large mixing bowl. Next, add coconut oil, flax seed, coconut milk and remaining cinnamon and using your hand or an immersion mixer, mix everything together until you have a creamy, almost whipped, texture.  Then spoon the mixture in a casserole dish, spreading evenly, then pile on the meat and veggies, last but not least top with the BACON and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake for about 35 mins or until bacon has reached the desired done-ness (you like that word?).

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tequila Pesto Chicken Tacos

I have been in a chicken mood lately if you haven't noticed. This post will be short and sweet because I don't want to take up your time when you could be making these tacos instead--but with a grain-free modification of course! I got the idea from "What's Cookin, Chicago"

The point is I am in love with the pesto--in love. This special pesto has my favorite things in it: garlic, cilantro and tequila...yum! In fact, I ate this for breakfast the next day and no, that doesn't make me an alcoholic! The best part is, this is one half crock pot meal and the other half is pretty dang easy too. So here it is, make it! Hope you likey.


Chicken
1 whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste

Pesto
3 Tbs. almonds
1 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/8 cup tequila
juice of one lime
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, whole
1 Tbs. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Garnish
1 red bell pepper

Cover chicken with olive oil salt and pepper and put it in a crock pot. Roast for 8 hours, then remove and allow it to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. On a small baking sheet, roast 3 Tbs. of almonds until they turn dark brown (about 8 mins). Remove from oven and place in a food processor along with cilantro, tequila, lime juice, olive oil and garlic cloves and process until you have a smooth consistency. Then add cumin and cayenne and process for another 1-2 mins. Once the chicken has cooled, start shredding it and place meat in a large bowl. I used paleo flatbread in place of tortillas/taco shells. Smear pesto on the flatbread or you can use large-leaf of lettuce and pile on the chicken and top with bell peppers, purple onion or whatever else you prefer.

*You can leave out tequila and use more olive oil and a little water if you like.
** You can also use walnuts instead of almonds but they give a drier end-result, so you may want to add more oil and tequila.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken Aioli

It feels so good outside today which is why I moved my office outside today. This is rare, even in the fall it's usually in the 90's. Not today though, and I know it's only 8am but it is nice and cool... I'd guess the high 70's to low 80's-ish. Wow, am I really talking about the weather? I just wanted to share with you all how great it is to be able to sit outside and not die of heat stroke, that's all. Next topic: This chicken. Delish. From what I hear, people want easy breezy recipes that they can whip up at a moments notice. This is pretty easy in my opinion. I made aioli a few days ago and decided it was too tasty not to incorporate into a recipe. If I were you, I would do like I did (that's confusing) and make the aioli ahead of time, maybe the day before? I hope you enjoy this dish and if you do, you could, just maybe, leave a comment. I really LOVE getting comments!



Chicken Aioli
3lbs. chicken breast
aioli sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Lay chicken on a baking sheet (with a lip) or baking dish. Liberally brush both sides with aioli, preserving a small amount for later. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 35-45 min. or until juices run clear. Plate and top with a little aioli and serve :)

*I used bone-in chicken breasts (with skin)

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Aioli Sauce

In April we took a trip to Washington state which I blogged about in a previous post. We love it there for many reasons but in true foodee form, one of our highlights was Mor Mor Bistro in Poulsbo. HIGHLY recommended,  so highly, we ate there twice in the one-week trip. That says a lot because we are big on trying as many different types of food as we can when we travel. This place was GOOD, and best of all it had this a-maz-ing aioli that was pretty dang close to paleo as far as we could tell. We couldn't get enough of it so back in August I made some aioli for the BLT Skewers... It was just ok. It was very watery but it worked for what I was using it for. Since then I have been thinking of ways to make it have a better consistency-- more like the aioli I fell in love with on the trip, and I finally did it. I can't wait to make some sweet potato fries to dip it in...MMMMmmm... I did make a chicken dish using it and I will be posting that in a few days.


Aioli
3/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 egg yolks (at room temp if possible)
2 tsp. dijion mustard
3 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Separate egg yolks from the whites, but keep the whites to use in something else; breakfast the next morning? Put the yolks in a large mixing bowl or using a stand mixer like I did and beat until yolks are a pale yellow and have a creamy consistency. Next with your mixer on a medium to high speed, VERY VERY SLOWLY mix in olive oil, I mean a tiny drizzle at a time, this step took me at least 10-15 mins. I poured in the oil in a steady slow thin stream for about 1 min. then I would wait a minute so the oil could mix with the yolks. I did this over and over until all the oil was mixed in, then I let the mixer continue to beat the oil in for another 5 mins. FINALLY one by one, add in all other ingredients, stopping to let each one mix evenly before adding the next. After everything has been thoroughly mixed, whip the mixture for a few more mins then pour in a serving bowl or jar and refrigerate until needed. You should have a very pale yellow creamy somewhat thick sauce. It should also be VERY tasty.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Casey's birthday was yesterday; the big 29! Oh, this post is going to be mushy-gushy-lovie-dovie so if that makes you want to vomit, just skip ahead to the recipe.

Like I was saying, he is such a good husband, best friend and everything in between not to mention he is my blog editor and webmaster. He helps me run this blog which is no easy task since I can't spell to save my life. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably notice more mistakes there. I also have the tendency to ramble on and on but he is patient enough to sift through all my botched up posts to make something that a normal person can read and understand. He also helps run all my social media outlets, which I kicked and screamed about doing until he taught (Editor's Note: Forced) me to learn how to use them to my advantage. Casey never (Editor's Note: Never ever) complains about having to taste EVERYTHING that I put in front of him, I know that sounds like a fun job but I'm sure it gets old, especially when it's a recipe that didn't make the cut. I adore him! I could not ask for more support; he always supports me in everything I do including any harebrained idea that I have, which is pretty much a daily occurrence.  I have openly admitted that I am obsessive, bossy, controlling and annoying at times (Editor's Note: You know what? I'll stop now.) and I know that it can not be easy to deal with me all the time but he does anyway. Then there is the added perk of his brilliant mind which I would be lost without, and his dashing good looks, which I would be sad without. It feels so good to know that not only do I adore him but I KNOW he adores me, that may sound a little arrogant but oh well. Everyone wants to be adored and I am not ashamed to admit that he makes me feel on top of the world. Behind closed doors, I am a completely goofy idiot and he loves me anyway. There is one more thing I want to point out then I'll get to the recipe. We have an equal partnership... We both prefer it that way. I do most of the cooking because I LOVE to cook, not because he is a man and thinks it's my job to cook based on the fact that I have uterus. I love that most about him, NOTHING is expected of me because of my sex. We are equals and I know that that can be difficult to find, especially in the old school south that we call home. OK OK I'll stop! I made him Molten chocolate lave cake for his birthday and here it is.


Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup maple syrup (Grade B!)
6 eggs + 6 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
12 oz. chopped 100% chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. apple pie spice

Preheat oven to 400. Using a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix together the coconut flour, maple syrup, eggs, yolks, vanilla and almond extract until mixture is smooth and looks like batter. Next, in a small sauce pan, combine chocolate, oil and apple pie spices, whisking constantly. Once chocolate is melted, combine with the batter and mix until your golden batter turns into chocolate cake batter. Divide batter in 6 greased ramekins and bake for 10-12 mins. DO NOT COOK TOO LONG! Molten lava cake is cake that is still uncooked in the middle for that "gooey" effect.

*I used coconut oil to grease my ramekins/mugs
**My ramekins are very small so I also used oven-proof coffee mugs.
***If your ramekins are small you made need to bake for a shorter amount of time to insure that it stays raw in the middle.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing

I live in what is affectionately refereed to as "The Grove." We have pecan trees everywhere, hence the name. It is a cute little town, very neat and clean. Most of the houses are old, including ours, which was built in 1956--the same year my mother was born as a matter of fact. While Groves offers a lot of charm and character, it does not offer much culture, our major claim to fame is right down the road from where we live, a super cute, locally owned, very authentic Italian restaurant, that sadly has nothing for us to eat anymore :( Although if I were going to have a MAJOR cheat I would go there but I would be sick for days I'm sure. It's nice to know we have a little taste of something besides fast food or chain restaurants. Their sauce is traditional, meaning it has brown sugar in it which is a crying shame because I could drink their meatsauce! Aside from their many scrumptious menu items, they have a house salad dressing that will have you tasting garlic for days. I crave it. It is amazing, and people rant and rave about it and although this doesn't taste just like it; it's close, real close.

Vampires, beware.
Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
8-10 cloves minced garlic
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
any dried herb goes nicely too

Whisk together all ingredients and store in a olive oil dispenser and refrigerate.
Take out 15 mins. before serving or run the bottle under hot water for a minute, so the oil will liquefy.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Our coaches Lauren and Burt got married recently, and we threw Lauren a Crossfit Shower at my house. It was so much fun to shower her with love and houseware, plus we got to have some major girl time! We borrowed kettle bells from the box, tied balloons to them and lined the walkway, so cute! It was a lot of fun!

To add to the fun and cuteness of it all I made this chocolate dipping sauce, poured it in wine glasses and garnished the glass with strawberries and I'll just say it was well-received. I love this kind of stuff! I think this would be a perfect dessert or hors d'oeuvres for any party and I hate to be the one to say this but the holidays are coming up. So whip this up and let me know what you think, I would LOVE to hear from you!

It doesn't get classier than this.


Chocolate Dipping Sauce
1 1/4 cup 100% chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup honey
splash of vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Chop up chocolate into small chunks then toss it in a small saucepan and heat on low. Melt coconut oil and add it along with the honey into the sauce pan just as the chocolate is beginning to melt. Whisk it constantly so the chocolate doesn't burn. When the chocolate is melted and the oil is mixed evenly, add a splash of vanilla and a pinch or two of sea salt then whisk to combine. Continue to heat on low for about 5-8 mins, then transport the pan (with sauce in it) to the freezer and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour in a bowl or get totally fancy and fill wine glasses with sauce, put a fondue skewer in the glass and line the rim with fruit, bacon or whatever else you want to dip in heavenly chocolate.

*I put the pan in the freezer to thicken up the sauce so it would be perfect for dipping.
**I'm so glad I went with wine glasses instead of bowls it was really cute, plus your guests won't need a plate.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mojito

So obviously alcohol isn't Paleo; we all know that. Drinking on the reg is a bad idea if you are training for the bigger picture, i.e. competitions, or if you have any fat to shed and muscle to gain. If you want to feel like crap every day than drinking every day is for you, but I like to feel alert and refreshed so alcohol is just not that important to me.  Even though I'm not big drinker, I do like to enjoy a refreshing adult beverage from time to time.  I prefer wine but like I mentioned before, I live in southeast Texas, (in other words, it is so freaking hot, it's ridiculous) and an ice cold mixed drink seems so much more appropriate. Here's the problem, you can't just order a mixed drink without it coming out full of crap that is really not Paleo, like simple syrup, sweet 'n sour, soda and don't forget sugar, sugar, SUGARRRR! When we go out and I really wanted a drink I would order 2 shots of tequila on ice and ask for a bowl of limes, squeeze all the lime juice in my tequila, add a little honey (previously agave until I found out how naughty it was) and BAM,  it was my version of Robb Wolf's Norcal Margarita. While tequila will always be my first love, 2012 has been the summer of Mojito. My Crossfitting/Paleoing friend (and cousin) Jamie says "Why drink when you can eat," but I am a responsible adult and I certainly know my limits and I, too indulge on occasion. I have been working on this recipe for awhile now and I have to say it's pretty refreshing, just sweet enough and strong enough for a man but gentle enough for a woman. I always hated that slogan...

Mojito
3/4 cup coconut water
2 limes
handful of fresh mint
1/3 cup rum
slices of pineapple for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, mix coconut water and rum, juice both limes and add the juice in the shaker. Rinse mint and peel the leaves from the stem, take a handful of the leaves and place in with the liquor. Add ice and with a muddler grind the mint leaves in like you are trying to smash them to the bottom of the shaker. If you don't have a muddler you can use a wooden spoon and get the same effect OR watch the video below, I will be doing this from now on. Put the lid on the shaker and shake it like a Polaroid picture. Put a few pieces of pineapple in the bottom of a glass and fill with mojito, add a few mint leaves and drink up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RKvuIn25ms
*I used coconut water with pineapple puree in it.
**I also strained the liquid out of the shaker so the mint would stay in my shaker.
***I found a brand of rum that has mint extract in it but I can no longer find it, so look for it and if you find it please let me know.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pineapple Guac Buffalo Burgers

I have been fantasizing about making this burger for a week. Are you like that? Do you eat to live or live to eat? I definitely live to eat but understand the importance of what we eat in terms of living better. Well, this burger will make your life better and it's just in time for Labor Day so you've got the time to cook it up. No excuses, just get to cookin', especially if you want to have a better life. Ok, all your problems won't disappear and your mortgage company isn't going to call and say "Hey, don't worry about that pesky house note this month," but it's a dang good burger and you have worked hard all week, you deserve it!

Side note: I'm working on being a better photographer. Bear with me please.

Pineapple Guac Buffalo Burgers

2lbs. Ground buffalo
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp.
1 tsp. hot smoked paprika
1 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
liberal amount of salt and pepper

4-6 Portabella mushrooms
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
sea salt
1 pineapple
1/4 chili powder
1-2 Tbs. coconut oil

4 avocados
 1 12oz package pre-made pico


 Heat up your grill. Mix 1 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, garlic, salt and pepper into the ground meat and make into patties, roughly 4-6. Next, take a damp cloth and wipe both sides of the mushrooms. Take out olive oil and balsamic vinegar and brush on a liberal amount of each on both sides of mushrooms, then sprinkle with sea salt and set aside. Slice pineapple into rings, making sure to core each ring. Melt coconut oil in a small bowl and mix in the remaining cinnamon along with chili powder and brush oil mixture on each ring.
Once grill is heated, place mushrooms and burgers on grill. Grill 8-10 mins* per side. Very carefully place pineapple on grill trying on not to break them and cook 3-4 mins per side. While burgers, mushroom and pineapple are cooking, make the guacamole by spooning out avocados and adding the entire package of pico in a large bowl and mix together with two forks (or your hands) until you have the preferred consistency.

Once everything is grilled to perfection, place mushrooms on plates, put the meat pattie on top, then pineapple ring and then top with a generous amount of gauc**. Grind a little cracked pepper on top for garnish then devour.

* Every grill is different, we used a charcoal grill. Cooking time may vary.
**Sliced avocado would be great on top if you don't like guacamole.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oven-baked Crunchy Okra

I have a confession. I am sharing it because I think it will help me and possible someone else who might be going through the same thing. If you read the "About B" section, you might remember that I've had some pretty major issues with food and body image. I don't really blog much about it because who wants to read a post from Debbie Downer waa waa waaaa. However, I need a little therapy session and you will be my shrink. For the last several weeks my "issues" have reared their ugly little head and I have been struggling with not allowing the pattern that I set many years ago to spin out of control yet again. Since going Paleo, I have gotten worlds better and I am eternally grateful for that! BUT that doesn't mean that it's something that I won't have to deal with for the rest of my life, I'm now realizing. I think I have realized from the start, that I just put blinders on and avoided that little fact. I do that by the way; it's genetic. I can lie to myself about something and keep avoiding it until it goes away. That's the problem though an...oh God I can't believe I'm going to say it...an...deep breath...eating...disorder doesn't just go away, I have to deal with it. So I teared up typing out those words, I am a major crybaby so that's not really a big shock.

You see, it all started because I have been very busy and overwhelmed with trying to find the balance in my new... much happier... life. I basically have two jobs now and I am trying to go somewhere with my food/paleo/nutrition thing and I think I started feeling like I didn't have control, I am also a major bossy pants and control freak (just ask Casey or anyone else who knows me). Then I went shopping to get my mind off things and relax and it happened gasp I went up a pant size! Now before you get all "omg I quit Paleo because I don't want to gain weight!" "I knew it was all a plot to make me fat and give me a heart attack" calm down seriously, you need to know before CrossFit and Paleo I looked like a tomato on toothpicks. My legs were stupid skinny. They needed to gain mass so I looked like I could support my upper body. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having bigger legs and an actual butt so much I ask everyone "How does my butt look?" Or saying, "My butt is SO big HUH?!?"  I know that I went up a pant size because of my awesome huge butt (it's not THAT huge) and legs, but in the past the number on the tag or on the scale out-weighed everything else--no pun intended. I could go from feeling like a house, get on the scale and weight 5lbs less than I thought and the world was right again OR I could feel "skinny" and try on clothes and feel like a huge failure, it had that much power over me.

So my past was triggered and it all came rushing back to me. I have been withdrawn because I thought someone might sniff me out and that was a scary thought, I also felt like a huge hypocrite. Now I had not done anything in the way I used to, i.e. binge, punish, completely obsess, but my mind was going to that place and that made me feel like I had no right to preach the Paleo lifestyle to others.  So I sucked it up and confessed my sins to my friend Sabrina because I knew I needed to vocalize it, which is something that I would and had never ever ever done before. That was a big break-though for me. I was strong enough to say it out loud before it could have a chance to spin out of control. Not this time! That night I told Casey and I have felt better ever since.

Two years ago, I would have never thought I would be in the place I am today, that's my message I guess. It is possible to overcome these obstacles and with Paleo I really don't think I would be doing it. I'm a fighter--more of a lover, but in this case I'm a fighter. I'm going to keep fighting this... probably forever but I know I can do it! I'm a work-in-progress, and we all are. None of us will ever "B" perfect and that's OK. Let's face it, if each and every one of us was perfect, life would be sooooo boring and we would never have epic stories of awesome fails to tell! Fight the good fight!


Oh yeah here's some major noms for you to try.


Oven-Baked Crunchy Okra
 
1 bag frozen okra
2 handfuls walnuts
4-5 Tbs. flaxseed meal
2 eggs
1 Tbs. curry powder
liberal amount of sea salt and cracked pepper





 
Preheat oven to 375. Using a food processor, grind walnuts to a fine flour... be careful not to process too long or you'll have walnut butter. Get out a medium size mixing bowl and dump in the walnut flour, flax meal, curry and salt and pepper. mix it around with your hands and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk two eggs until yolks are busted and mixed with the whites. Dip each piece of okra in the egg and then coat it in the flour mixture and place on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 mins or until crusted has browned. And don't feel guilty about feeding your body!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

"The Babies"

So I realize that I have been neglecting the "Paisley's Bites and Dapper's Gripes" section of my blog. I am a terrible mama dog. I am going to make an effort to be better, after all my little rats deserve some face-time and maybe they will become an interweb sensation and start pulling their weight around here financially. They aren't total freeloaders though, they clean up any "veggible," (that's dog speak but you will get to know them and be able to understand their complex language soon enough) that hits the floor or that jumps off one of our plates.

The Rats

Paisley and Dapper are 100% Paleo, and although it does cost more than the crap than the label dog food, we save A TON on vet bills and our pups are healthy and happy! Paisley's allergies have gone away and she no longer takes meds to treat them. Dapper doesn't have any health problems because he started Paleo the day we brought him home... SHHHH they don't know they are adopted. While not 100% unavoidable, fleas are not a big issue. That's just one of the perks of having a Paleo pet!


I always find Paleo-friendly dog treats at Marshall's, of all places; these are some of the latest I've found... for a fraction of the cost of most major pet food stores.








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Saturday, August 25, 2012

BLT Kebobs

I threw a bridal shower last week and when deciding what food to serve I thought, "What better for a bridal shower than bacon," am I right? I love a good BLT, I mean I LOVE A GOOD BLT! Who doesn't?! If you say you don't then shame on you. This treat would be perfect for school lunches for all you Paleo parents out there, which I am not, but I do pack plenty of lunches for ourselves. I made a version of aioli for this recipe... It was very tasty but the consistency was a bit off. After chilling it an hour or so, it had much more workable texture. The flavor was a great compliment with the B the L and the T. There was one other problem... it is really hard to NOT eat all the bacon while you are trying to make the skewers. Fight through it; It will be worth the wait, I promise.


BLT Kebobs
1 lb. uncured nitrate free bacon
1-2 small tomatoes
a couple handfuls of spring greens
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup olive oil, not virgin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
tooth picks or skewers

Aioli
Using a mixer, beat the egg yolks. Then VERY SLOWLY drizzle in the olive oil, this step should take a few minutes. After all the oil is added and mixed with the yolks, whisk in all other ingredients until everything is thoroughly blended together. Pour in a jar and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cut bacon in half and piece-by-piece lay flat in the skillet and cook until done. You do not want it to be to crispy, it needs to be pliable. After the bacon is done, place on a covered plate and let cool.

Dice tomatoes into small thin pieces, you want them to be slightly smaller than the bacon strips. Take your lettuce, aioli, toothpicks/skewers and a serving platter. Take a leaf or two of the lettuce and dip into the aioli, saturating it, then place the lettuce on a slice of bacon, top with tomato and fold the "sandwich" in half or you can roll it up. Either way works great. Stab it with a toothpick and place it on the serving platter. Continue until all the bacon is rolled up...or until you eat all the bacon whichever comes first.

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