Saturday, May 26, 2012

Baked Plantains

I recently had a request for a blog post involving plantains. I love plantains because they are just sweet enough without being overpowering. Pair them with a nice batch of guac and now we are talking! I have been making these for the Paleo workshops I have been leading, and they seem to be a crowd-pleaser. Although I love them so much, I admit they are a bit of a pain to make--especially to fry, so I did a little experiment and baked them and it was so much easier and tasted exactly the same. These are great for parties, as well as  "post-WOD" snacks.

Feelin' chippy

Plantain Chips
5 Plantains (Do NOT peel yet)
4-5 Tbs. coconut oil
Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Slice the plantains thinly, but not see-through, about 1/8 inch thick. After you have sliced all the plantains, take the peeling off the slices individually. This is time-consuming, but I have found that it is much harder to peel before the plaintains have been sliced. Melt coconut oil in a large bowl and put all the plantain chips in the oil and toss around until chips are coated in oil. Spread chips out on a baking sheet (one with a lip) and bake about 15 mins or until the underneath is golden to medium brown. Flip and bake another 15 mins. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cool. I also made guacamole to serve.

4-5 avocados
1 12oz package pico de gallo* (found at HEB)
Optional: Salt, pepper, juice of 1/2 of a lime

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit, spoon the "meat" into a mixing bowl and add entire container of pico. Mix the avocados and pico with a fork, leaving it a little chunky.

*If you can't find the pico, you can make your own:
1/2 purple onion (they are NOT red so I refuse to say red onion) chopped
1-2 roma tomatoes diced
3-4 green onions chopped
handful fresh cilantro chopped
1 jalapeno minced or finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
sea salt to taste

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Citrus Ribs

It's practically summer, so bring on the ribs! Ribs are one of my favorite things to eat, and down in the south we have no shortage of restaurants that serve them. Unfortunately they are all covered in high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil and all kinds of other junk they call "sauce." What a shame, huh? I just don't understand why we can't have real food served in our restaurants! It really makes me want to march down there (wherever restaurant owners can be found) and give them an ear-full! But we all know that wouldn't do any good so I made these at home instead, and enjoyed the end result even more.

I want my baby back.

4 lbs. ribs
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. tomato sauce
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
zest of one orange
juice of one orange

Resource management: zest the orange then juice it. Pour juice and zest in a large bowl and whisk in all other ingredients (except the ribs). Put the ribs in a large Ziplock bag and pour in the liquid mixture, zip the bag and toss around so all the ribs are covered. Let marinate for 24 hours.
Get out your Crock pot! Empty the ribs with all the juice into the Crock pot and cook on low for 10hrs. Set it and forget it (until dinner)!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Salsa Pork Loin

Last week was a pretty good week in the kitchen... I made a couple of crock pot recipes, and this one took top honors, according to Casey. The crock pot is so easy and convenient because dinner is ready when you get home from work so it's a win-win! I mean, all you do is throw the food in the pot, turn it on, set the timer, put on the lid and BOOM dinner is all but served! I know that seems like a lot of work--I mean setting a timer is so lame but it's worth the elbow grease! USE THE CROCK POT!!  It doesn't get any easier that that, peeps. My friends over at CFSteadfast are finding out that you can literally cook anything in a crock pot... anything. Yes, I know that cavemen didn't exactly cook with one but I'm sure if they would have they definitely would have utilized it!

Hey Salsa!
Salsa Pork Loin
5lb pork loin
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 jalapeno
1- 1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 Tbl. lemon pepper
1 Tbl. Garlic salt

In a food processor, add entire can of tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon pepper, garlic salt and puree them.
Now it gets a bit tricky so hang with me... Put the pork loin in the crock pot and pour the salsa over it and turn it on low heat for 10-12 hrs. Presto! Dinner is done!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blueberry Banana Muffins

I hosted my first Paleo workshop Thursday night at CrossFit Bridge City. Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. I am so thankful that people actually wanted to hear me speak! I'm just glad that I didn't stutter uncontrollably or spit all over the people in the front row. I am so happy to help spread the word about Paleo...even in a small way.  I am also very happy to see an interest in Paleo and overall healthiness grow in my little part of the world. So I brought a few samples of Paleo food with me: coconut curry burgers, plantain chips and guacamole. I also featured mini blueberry banana muffins. These muffins were one of the first Paleo treats I ever made and I have been tweaking them to near-perfection ever since. I think I finally got them just the way I like 'em, and no one should have to live without muffins--no one! Since I made them mini I ended up eating a million but I mean they were so tiny and cute they couldn't go to waste!

They're berry good.

Blueberry Banana Muffins
6  (very*) ripe bananas
3 cups almond flour
3 eggs
2 Tbl. coconut oil (melted)
1 Tbl. honey
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Using a mixer beat the bananas until they are mashed (like baby food), then add the eggs, coconut oil, and honey and mix until well-blended. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients then add the contents to the banana mixtures and blend thoroughly. Next, fold in the blueberries; you want to mix them just enough to soften. Line your muffin tin and spoon in the batter, about 3/4 full to the top. Bake for 20-30 mins.

*Ripe bananas are easier to use for baking

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pecan Crusted Honey Glazed Chicken

Not only was this delish but pretty dang easy, which is good because I'm so sun-burned today the only thing I want to do is sleep, mostly because that's the only activity that doesn't hurt. Fortunately, I had everything I needed to make this even though it was grocery store day-- and as a result did not have to avoid the sun like a vampire, and this was what I came up with:

Pecan Crusted Honey Glazed Chicken
2 lbs. chicken breast, cut in half and beat with a meat tenderizer until 1/4 inch thick
1 cup chopped pecans (not flour just finely chopped)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 tbs. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
2-3 Tbs. olive oil

Heat oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet on medium heat. Cut chicken like you are going to butterfly it, but only cut all the way through and pound with a meat tenderizer until it is1/4 inch thick. Set aside. Chop pecans in food processor or put nuts in a zip-lock baggie and pound them with your meat tenderizer (stress reliever!) and pour them in a bowl with 1/4 cup coconut flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir until evenly distributed. In another small bowl beat the two eggs. Dip each piece of chicken into the eggs dousing both sides then place in flour mixture and coat both sides to "bread" them. Place chicken in skillet and cook about 5 mins on each side, careful not to overcook and dry the chicken out.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, heat the honey and water until almost boiling, stirring frequently. Throw in a few pecans to jazz it up. Drizzle the glaze over chicken and serve.

*I served this with cauliflower mash...recipe coming soon :)

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Cupcake Flowers

These are sooo cute, I wanted to keep them! I have been over how much I love cupcakes but I love flowers just as much so why not have both? This is the girliest thing ever, which makes me very happy. It's edible-- also great, and you can reuse the pot for real flowers or herbs! How many birds with one stone is that? Cupcake flower pots are so easy to make and you can personalize them for anyone. All you need is:

These were the first ones I made, though the picture above came out much better.
Cupcake Flowers
pack of chop sticks
flower pot(s) -- I found these at Target
tube of green paint
ribbon or decorative** tape
cupcake liners***
foam balls (craft store)
Moss or fake grass
hot glue
Strawberry cupcakes and icing

Bake your cupcakes and set aside to cool. Meanwhile paint your chopstick green so they look like stems. Then heat up your hot glue gun. While it's heating, measure and cut your ribbon, or if you're using tape, just apply tape around the top of the pots; If not, glue on your ribbon. Get creative*! Use ribbon and tape however you like. Cut foam to fit right inside the pot snugly, you want it to sit just inside not down at the bottom. I tried putting foam inside the bottom of the pot and the cupcakes were not "anchored" enough to stay upright. After the paint has dried, stab your chopstick into the foam, careful not to stab it all the way down to the bottom of the pot. Then cover the foam with moss or grass (no need to glue the moss) it will stay put, plus it will melt the foam. Gently puncture the bottom of cupcakes and place them onto the chopsticks. I iced the cakes after they were on the "stems" it's less likely to mess up the icing that way. Done. SOOO CUTE!

* I painted polka dots all over the first one I made. I also put the foam at the bottom of the pot which made it impossible for the cupcakes to stay put.
** decorative tape can be found anywhere!
*** I did the unthinkable and went inside a Walmart to buy the liners but others stores have them

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Foodee Project!!!

Apologies for the self-horn-tooting, but I was soooooo happy and excited to have one of my recipes named "Meal of the Day" by the Foodee Project! I know to most people it's not that big of a deal but to me it is!  I can't begin to tell you how stoked I was when I found out! I "psycho called" my Grandma until she answered her phone, and her response to the news was "Oh?...OH!!!!!" Even the pups were dancing around with me in celebration-- I like to think that they knew exactly what was going on. In fact, I think Paisley "asked" me not to forget about her if I make it big one day... silly dog.

It seems like such a milestone, and yesterday was such a good day in so many ways. I'm very excited about the future! My Facebook page is getting more and more "likes" and not just from people I know, which is amazing. I hope to have some pretty cool things happening soon and I feel like this is the start of something great.

Lastly and most importantly, I want to give a huge "thank you" to all of my friends and blog followers for all of their support. I am thankful to have such great friends and family that really make me strive to work harder. Without them, I'd have never started this blog to begin with, so most of the credit goes to you all!


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