Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Cookies

I made these little treats for my friend Brian's birthday, and they were a hit! Brian Nedab by the way is the proud owner of CrossFit SteadFast in Savannah, Georgia, opening in May! These were super duper easy and delish. I have always loved shortbread, butter, snickerdoodle, and sugar cookies and most any other type of cookies. But my fave were the simplest kind, like shortbread because they are just a delicate no-fuss little cookie and these remind me of them. The addition of any flavor coconut milk ice cream is the key component; I used mint chocoloate chip because it was the birthday boy's favorite. Vanilla would be amazing as well! When buying coconut milk ice cream make sure to READ THE INGREDIENTS!!! So many of the brands have rice flour, soy milk and other junk in them so be careful.


Coconut Milk Ice Cream Cookies
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup coconut ice cream (mint chocolate chip)
1/2 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 bar dark chocolate (85%)
4 eggs
pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to  350. Mix all dry ingredients throughly, add in eggs then beat. Next, throw in the vanilla, oil and icecream and mix until blended. Break up chocolate into small chunks and mix into dough. Ball up one spoonful of dough and place on sheet until no dough remains. Bake 20-25 mins.
Put them on a platter and watch them disappear.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pork-Fried "Rice"

This dish is AMAZING! My husband loves asian-inspired food so this is a staple. He doesn't care for cauliflower but likes this dish. I think it tastes just like pork fried rice and goes great with pan-seared steak and sauteed zucchinni, which is what I always serve it with. It's also not near as complex as it looks but even if it was it would be worth it!

Seared steak, zucchini, and pork fried "rice"

1 head of cauliflower, broken up
6 slices bacon (diced)
2-3 pork chops
1 yellow onion
handful of baby carrots
1-2 tsp. fresh ginger (minced)
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small jalapeno (minced)
3 eggs
1 Tbs. Tamari or coconut aminos
Salt to taste

Steam cauliflower just enough to barely puncture it with a fork (if it's too soft it will fall apart and you'll have mashed cauliflower) while  cauliflower is steaming, cook bacon and along with pork chops place in a wok or large skillet and cook until done.  Cauliflower should be done now so transfer it in small batches into a food processor and process a few times until it has a rice-like texture, then place in large mixing bowl and set aside. When the chops and bacon are done cooking, turn heat off and remove them to dice them into small pieces and add back to the skillet. Using the food processor chop onion and carrots then pulse in jalapeno, a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger and the garlic cloves. Place entire contents into mixing bowl with cauilflower, eggs and tarami and stir until combined. Turn skillet on medium heat and add in cauiflower mixture combining it with bacon and pork while making sure to coat the mixture with the fat from the bacon. Cover and cook about 5 mins, then uncover and toss until the veggies are soft. I threw in a splash more tamari and when it was completly cooked sprinkled with salt.

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Kale Chips

Kale chips are quick, easy, and cheap to make. Paleo-ers are often asked "If you don't eat dairy then how do you get your calcium?" The answer is simply "greens." Veggies. You know...

Brussels Sprouts

The absorption rate from leafy veggies otherwise known as "brassica" vegetables is higher than from milk (which I hate anyway!) plus they have numerous other health benefits. In my house, kale is a must-have; and this is a good snack or treat to bring to a party or get-together.

Kale Chips
1 large bunch kale
1 Tbs. Tamari
juice from 1/2 lime
dash Cayenne pepper
splash of olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325.
De-stem kale (lay the kale flat and cut alongside of the "seam" that runs up the middle on both sides of kale and discard the stem) Continue on all Kale leaves and tear or cut into small (not too small) chip-sized pieces.
Mix Tamari, lime juice, pepper and olive oil in a large mixing bowl then add in kale. Toss kale in liquid mixture until coated. Lay kale out on a cookie sheet, careful not to overlap leaves and sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 25 mins or until kale is dry.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pico Pork Chops

In the words of Robb Wolf: "Every meal of every day cannot be a grand event." I have trouble with that. I tend to go way overboard... I'm sure it has nothing to do with my obsessive personality *eyeroll*. When I go somewhere, I almost always offer to bring a dish, not because it's polite but because I really want to. More often than not, I bring several things (which I do find annoying) but I start thinking well what if someone doesn't like my strawberry cupcakes? I'll bring (insert item here) too that way there will be another choice. In my family, food is an "event" so I always want to make it grand, and not just to be the belle of the ball (Ok, maybe a tiny little bit of me likes that) but because I dont mind putting in the work and I really like to make people happy. So I'm trying to work on that and this dish is a perfect example, it's easy breezy and has minimal ingredients.

Pico Pork Chops

Pico Pork Chops
2-3 lbs. pork chops
1 12oz package* pineapple pico de gallo (or equal parts pineapple, roma tomato, red onion jalapeno, lime juice, Serrano pepper, cilantro, vinegar and salt)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a baking dish, lay out pork chops and pineapple pico over it making sure to get all the juices in the dish. Stir so the pork is covered and wrap tight in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hrs.
Preheat oven to 350 and bake about 20-30 mins depending on how thick your chops are cut.
Let cool and serve. This needed no salt or pepper but add some if you would like.

*I used HEB's pineapple pico de gallo found in the produce aisle.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

BLT Coconut Wrap

I really loved BLTs back in the day. The combination of lettuce, tomato and bacon (which, let's be honest, makes just about everything better) is de-freaking-lish. Previously I would make them with turkey bacon, whole grain double fiber bread/tortillas and fat free mayo. Now, using coconut wraps found at our local health food store, they resemble french crepes and taste very similar as well. This is a great and quick lunch option and even though I don't have kids, this would be a great thing to pack for their school lunch. It's easy, fast and tastes good too!

The New and Improved BLT Wrap: Paleo Style!

1 Coconut Wrap* (links to an example)
1-2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 avocado
1-3 slices of bacon**
Handful of spring greens
2-3 tomato slices
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard*** (or however much you want)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Lay out the wrap and spread mustard over it. Throw your greens on there. Then chop eggs,  tomatoes and avocado and pile on top of greens. Top it off with your cooked bacon slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It doesn't get any easier than that!

* I used The Pure Wraps brand coconut wraps.
** As always nitrate free bacon.
*** I used Tree of Life Dijon Mustard. If you can't find that brand, choose one that is dye and sugar free. Read the labels!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Glazed Meatloaf

The word "meatloaf" has always sounded repulsive to me until recently. I have been making this dish for the last several years, trying to make it "healthier" each time until I paleotized it. I hated meatloaf for most of my life but since going paleo, I have found several meatloaf  recipes that I have really enjoyed. This rendition puts a grown-up spin (think "herbier") on the traditional dish. It's also a little more complex but perfect for a Sunday dinner or you can make it in advance and freeze, re-heat and serve. Personally, I  have never frozen it because we usually eat it all. :)

Not your mom's crappy meatloaf
Glazed Meatloaf
2 lbs. Grass-fed ground beef (or bison/turkey)
1/2 onion (chopped) *
1 small zucchini (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/4 -1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 egg
2 Tbs. dried parsley
1/2 Tbs. dried thyme
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 ground flax seed
3/4 cup ketchup (divided)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar + 2 Tbl.
1-2 Tbl. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Heat oil over medium heat and add zucchini, peppers, garlic and cook until soft. In a large bowl, mix meat, red pepper, egg,  flour, flax seed, 1/2 cup ketchup and 2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar and herbs. When veggies are done and have cooled, combine them with meat mixture and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Transfer meat to a loaf pan, patting it down so it's solid.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remainder of ketchup*** and vinegar and brush over the loaf.
Bake for 1-1/1/4 hour. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

* While the recipe doesn't call for it, I threw in half an onion because I needed to use it up.
** Yellow peppers go great in this but they are way too costly right now so I left them out.
*** I'm glad I had that jar of leftover ketchup in the fridge. It was in a red pepper jar that I saved (Hint hint).

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coconut Curry Burgers

Awhile back, my CrossFit girlfriends Sabrina, Lauren, Telia and I made a trip to the "big city," aka Houston, for the day. The purposes of making that 1 1/2-hour drive was to shop at Lululemon and Central Market, a health food store that I wish our small refinery town had. We had so much fun! We bought way too much Lulu (is that even possible?) and went crazy in Central Market. When we got to the spice aisle, we really went CrAzY. I find it more cost effective and green to "buy and bag" spices from the bins instead of the pre-bottled spices, then filling up my empty spice jars and bottles when I get home. I often re-label my bottles and fill it with whatever spice I just bought. This way you arent wasting glass and plastic (which makes mother nature cry) and you can buy as much or as little as you need which I find to be more economical. Back to going CrAzY-go-nuts, our health food store has only a small end-cap of seasonings and spices... this store had a selection of more than a aisle!  We started filling up baggies like nobody's business! That's when I came across coconut curry powder, took a whiff and loaded up a baggie. I looked over at Telia and said, "I have no idea how I'm going to use this, but it smells too good to pass up!" She said "Oh you'll find something." Well, I did! This dish was so good that I was just as excited to eat it the next day for lunch.

Carl's Jr. ain't got nothin' on this

Coconut Curry Burgers
2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
1 egg
1 zucchini (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
3-4 Tbs. coconut curry powder*
1 -2 Tbs. coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a large skillet or griddle.
Use your food processor (Still don't have one? Do you have a birthday or something coming up?) to chop zucchini, pepper and onion. In a large mixing bowl, add the meat, egg and coconut curry and mix with your hands until the veggies are really worked in. Make your patties and place in your skillet or on your griddle and cook until both sides are done, then serve.** I prefer my burgers well done but it's all about personal preference.

* If you don't have a Central Market I'm sure you can still find coconut curry powder at your local store.
** I topped this with guacamole and served fajita style veggies with it.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

I LOVE a good cupcake! I am a reformed sugar addict... Ok, maybe not entirely "reformed" but I'm trying. Going Paleo has made things better. However, there is nothing better than cupcakes, I mean not only are they delish but they are the cutest little things ever. Nothing screams "Girly!!" like a cupcake, and everybody who knows me knows I love all things girly and I'm not afraid to say it! I even bought a Lulu skirt to WOD in... Let's face it, a cupcake belongs in my hand at all times, preferably.  I even have a cupcake-print apron and a little cupcake necklace. So you could say I'm passionate about cupcakes... and anything girly and pink. Anyway I have been trying to come up with a recipe that tastes like a "real" cupcake and I think this is as close as I'm going to get:

P.S. Real men eat cupcakes. These smell amazing and taste great even without the icing.

Let them have (cup)cake.

1/2 cup coconut flour
6 eggs
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1 1/2 cups strawberries (finely-chopped)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 Tbs. Raw wildflower honey
1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 and line a 12 muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Mix all dry ingredients until combined and then add in all other ingredients except the strawberries.
After batter is mixed, add strawberries evenly and mix thoroughly. With a spoon, add batter into each liner about 3/4 full and bake 20-25 mins.

Strawberry Icing
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. arrowroot powder

Whip egg whites in a mixer until they form peaks (like meringue) about 10 mins.
With hand mixer, mix preserves, maple syrup, vanilla and arrowroot powder. When egg whites are ready, fold in the preserves mixture and very gently fold the whites over the mixture by hand until everything is evenly mixed.

*Arrowroot powder can be found in the baking aisle or with the spices. Arrowroot powder is the starch extracted from the arrowroot plant. It is used as a thickener as opposed to flour, cornmeal, etc.
** This icing is not as thick as "traditional" icing.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jicama Fries and Ketchup

Every once in awhile, I get a craving for french fries. I would have never allowed myself to eat french fries before Paleo. I would have a fry or two every blue moon but that was it. Even then I would agonize about the fact that I was weak and couldn't resist, or I would chew them up and spit it out just to get the taste. I don't have to torture myself anymore because I discovered sweet potato fries! But wanted something that tasted more like traditional french fries. I remembered my old friend jicama!

 One summer in Mexico, Casey and I were taking little stroll and I wanted some pineapple (which is AMAZING in Mexico) and we stopped at a fruit stand, bought what we thought were pineapple slices... it turned out to be jicama. It's a root veggie that looks a lot like an unpeeled potato, only sweeter with a slight zesty citrus flavor. I was really pleased with this dish and it tasted very close to the real deal!

Ketchup, anyone?

15oz tomato sauce
6oz tomato paste
3 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Pinch of cloves
Double pinch of allspice

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and heat on meduim to low heat for 10mins, whisking frequently.
Let cool and transfer to glass jar (all the ones you have been saving) and refrigerate.

1 jicama, peeled
1/2 cup fat (olive oil, coconut oil or bacon)

Heat oil in skillet and get it nice and hot (flick a little water on the oil and if it sizzles, it's ready)
Take the jicama and dice into small strips (like fries) and toss them in the skillet and cover. Cook about 10 mins or until crispy. Place on a plate and napkin (to absorb oils) and sprinkle with sea salt.

* I used left over oil from the corndogs, and an electric skillet.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

This used to be one of my signature dishes that I loved to make! With a lot of brainstorming I came up with Paleo Chicken and Dumplings! Sure, it a pretty time-consuming recipe but it's the weekend and what else are you going to do? It will be worth the effort!

Chicken and Dumplings
Paleo Chicken and Dumplings

4 Cups almond flour
1/2 Cup coconut flour
4 eggs
2 Tbs. softened Grass-Fed butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt

1 whole chicken
2 1/2 qts. water
1 1/2 Cups chicken broth
1 1/2 onion
5 celery stalks
1/8 Cup garlic powder
1/8 Cup pepper
1 T salt
1 T curry powder
3 bay leaves*
21 oz. cream of chicken soup

Combine all wet ingredients in a mixer and mix until eggs are beat. Then add baking powder, salt, and 3 cups of flour to the mixer and combine with wet ingredients. Then add in the rest of the flour and mix again. I find that it mixes more evenly this way. Remove dough from mixer and put on a flour-ed counter top (Silpats are awesome for this, thanks Ryan!) and knead by hand. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until it's needed. It is easier to make the dumplings with cold dough. When kneading, you may have to sprinkle in a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Boil chicken and bay leaves in the water and broth. Cook on high heat for 45-60 minutes. While chicken cooks, add veggies to food processor and puree almost to a soupy consistency. Remove chicken from the pot and add veggies and seasoning to the broth. Reduce to medium heat. When chicken has cooled, de-bone and shred and add back to the pot with cream of chicken soup. Reduce heat slightly. The trick is to cook it down. Let cook about 45 mins, stirring frequently, careful not to let the bottom scorch. Take dumplings out of fridge and roll them out the best you can, about 1/4 of an inch thick.  They will be sticky so it's tough to roll out. Cut into 1 inch pieces** and drop into the pot. You want the dumplings to drop below the surface of the stew. Rock or shake the pot if you have to. I used half my dough and froze the rest. Cook about 30-45 minutes, stirring VERY gently. Then it's ready to go!

**I like all different size dumplings, whatever you prefer is fine. If the Dumplings are to small they will fall apart.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cream of Chicken Soup

Cream of Chicken Soup
32-36 oz chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbs. arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed
3 chicken thighs (diced)

Combine broth and coconut milk and turn on low heat. Allow to warm while dicing chicken. Turn to medium heat and add seasoning, and diced chicken, stirring frequently as the mixture begins to thicken. Turn on high heat, add arrowroot powder and boil for 10 minutes, while continuing to stir. After 10 minutes, allow it to cool and use with my Chicken and Dumplings or any other recipe that calls for Cream of Chicken soup.

*This will not be as thick and creamy as traditional cream of chicken soup.

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