05 Feb 2020

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I like the idea of having one “go to” cookie recipe that I know I can count on to turn out cookies that taste great and are a favorite of most.  This recipe is my choice for just that!  The big question however is, what kind of chocolate chip cookie texture do you prefer?  Is it flat and crispy or is it chewy in the middle and crispy around the edges?  In the pictures above, I show both.  The only difference is the flatter cookies have less almond flour.  So how do you like your chocolate chip cookies?    

Notes:  I used 2 different types of sugar, organic coconut sugar and Monkfruit.  The coconut sugar has a similar quality to brown sugar which is often found in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes.  For the other half of my sweetener, I used Monkfruit which would replace white sugar in a non-Paleo recipe (you could also use an organic cane sugar).  Secondly, I gave a range for the almond flour for texture preferences, depending on how you like your cookies.  Start with the lesser amount.  You can always add more, if needed.  I will often do a bake test by baking a couple of cookies initially to see how they turn out.  If too flat for my liking, I add more flour and try again.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1¾-2 cups almond flour  (For the best accuracy, spoon the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping you measuring cup into the flour.)
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup Monkfruit or Swerve
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (I use Lily’s.  You could also use Enjoy Life.)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together to combine and get out any lumps.  Set aside.
  3. Add the coconut oil, coconut sugar and Monkfruit to a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes to ensure they are well incorporated.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.
  5. Combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients and mix with a large spoon.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a small scooper, place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad or parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly.
  10. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and allow to cool completely.

 

 

 

31 Jan 2020

Cashew Chicken Liver Stir Fry

I know, I know…another liver post!  This one has an Asian twist to it and is delish and super easy make!  The most important thing to remember when cooking liver is not to overcook it.  It cooks up very quickly.  Give it a try!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed chicken livers, cut up (pat dry and season with salt and pepper)
  • 2-3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter ( or almond butter)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • chopped green onion, topping

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add half of avocado oil.  When hot, add broccoli, onion and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
  5. In the same skillet, add remaining oil and return to medium heat.  Add the chicken liver. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side.  Flip and cook until browned and cooked through.  It doesn’t take long!
  6. Add vegetables back into skillet and combine with the liver.
  7. Pour sauce over entire mixture and toss to combine.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the cashew pieces.
  9. Serve over cauliflower rice or enjoy as is!
23 Jan 2020

Primal Meatloaf

I think we’ve all had an experience with a dried out meatloaf and we wonder where we went wrong!  I can, with great confidence, guarantee that this meatloaf will not disappoint and could very well become a family favorite.  This meatloaf is so moist and the sauce on top is like icing on a cake…they just go together!

The other great thing about this recipe is that there aren’t a lot of extra ingredients.  It’s very possible that you have everything you need in your pantry and refrigerator right now!  So what are you waiting for? 

 

Meatloaf Ingredients:

  • 1 lb organic or grass-fed ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • ½ red or yellow bell pepper, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp oil, for sautéing
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 5 Tbsp almond flour
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown or dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper

 

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • dried parsley, optional

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add all of the meatloaf ingredients.  Mix with your hands or a large spoon making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Place meat into a sprayed loaf pan and lightly press down to form a loaf shape.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, add the sauce ingredients and whisk together.
  5. Pour the sauce onto the meatloaf and spread evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the meatloaf is completely cooked through.
  7. Allow to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before slicing.
16 Jan 2020

Goat Cheese, Bacon and Walnut Dip

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to call this dip since it has a little bit of everything in it!!  It’s creamy and chunky at the same time and has just the right touch of sweetness…so yummy!!  This is a great dip to bring to a gathering because it appeals to everyone.  It is equally delicious served with crackers or sliced vegetables.  (I’ve actually caught people eating it off their fork!)

Note:  Dips can be very caloric so I suggest using the best quality ingredients possible.  You’ll  feel better knowing you are getting some nutritional value and splurging at the same time! 

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz of goat cheese (chèvre), room temperature
  • 2/3 cup approved mayo (I use Primal Kitchen)
  • 1 cup fresh cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped**
  • 5-6 slices of quality bacon, cooked and cut into smaller pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (look for brands with no added oil or sugar)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (reserve a small amount for garnishing)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Add the goat cheese, mayo, salt and pepper to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer, beat together until creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand with a large spoon or spatula.
  3. Chill for 3-4 hours.
  4. Serve with fresh vegetables and/or gluten-free crackers.  (I have a recipe for grain-free crackers if you’re really feeling motivated!)

** To toast the walnuts, place on a sheet pan and put in a 350 degree oven for approximately 8 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.

08 Jan 2020

Sausage with Cabbage Slaw and Apples

Sausage, cabbage and onions together in a meal is the epitome of your traditional hearty meal.  But to take this dish to the next level and add another layer of flavor, I like to throw some apples in the mix!  What I also love about this dish is that the ingredients cook very quickly so your meal comes together in no time!  Oh, and I would be remiss to mention that it is very economical and prepared in one skillet for easy clean up! 

As should always be the case, have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go for quick and easy assembly.  You may even have most of these ingredients on hand.  I always keep several packs of the pre-cooked sausage in my freezer because they are a great “go to” in a pinch. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 precooked sausage links (I used an apple chicken variety)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 9 oz bad of cabbage slaw
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large apple, diced (a harder variety holds up better to the heat)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper

 

Directions:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and heat on medium heat.
  2. Add the sausage links and cook until browned, turning several times so all sides are a golden brown.
  3. Remove sausages from the pan, place on a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add additional oil, if needed.  When oil is heated through, add onions, red pepper, cabbage slaw, ACV, mustard, maple syrup and spices.  (I like to whisk the ACV, mustard, maple syrup and spices together in a small bowl before adding.)
  5. Sauté together, stirring continuously, until vegetables cook down and are tender (about 3 minutes).
  6.  Turn heat down to medium and add the apples.  Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add sausage back into the pan.
  8. Enjoy with some fresh greens!
14 Dec 2019

Paleo Pancakes

Do you feel as though you’re missing out on that beloved stack of pancakes?  That comfort breakfast that you use to occasionally enjoy before deciding to take your health seriously and go grain-free?  If so, this recipe is your answer.  These pancakes are light and fluffy and taste like the ones you remember.  Just kidding…they taste even better and they won’t leave you feeling like you’re in a carb coma!

I used a pre-packaged Paleo flour.  For convenience purposes, this is a quick option.  You can also make your own and store it like you would your other flours.  Paleo flour is a combination of 4 grain-free flours: almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour.  If you google the recipe, you will find slightly varying amounts of each, but I honestly think any of them will work.  Here’s one that I’ve used:

  • 1½ cups almond flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour 

 

Ingredients: (makes 10-12 pancakes)

  • 1-1½ cup Paleo flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk from  the can (could also use almond milk though they may not be as fluffy)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar substitute (optional)
  • ¼-½ cup water

 

Directions:

  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a small mixing bowl.  Stir together and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the eggs, applesauce and coconut milk and whisk together.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until incorporated.  You do not want to over-mix.
  4. Let the batter rest while warming a skillet with approved oil (butter or spray) over medium heat.  If the batter appears too thick when you’re ready to start, mix in a small amounts of water to achieve desired consistency.  Too much and you will have runny batter and flat pancakes.
  5. Using a ¼ measuring cup, pour batter into the hot skillet and spread batter out with the back of a spoon, if necessary.  Flip when lightly browned or bubbles start to form.
  6. Serve your stack drizzled with maple syrup or some berries of choice.  Enjoy!!
02 Dec 2019

Paleo Flour

Paleo flour is a combination of  gluten-free and grain-free flours that can be used to replace all-purpose flour in your baking.   It  can of course be purchased at various stores and online but it is super easy to whip up a batch!  I use this in some of my baked goods and it really is so easy and convenient!  Give it a try!!  

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup almond flour (It’s a good idea to sift the almond flour because it tends to be kind of clumpy.)
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour

 

Directions:

  1. Add all the flours to a mixing bowl.  Whisk together, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated!
  2. Store in an airtight container.  I used 2 jars, each being 1½ cups…very convenient for future measuring!

 

22 Nov 2019

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

I love the flavors of this soup!!  The combination of the spices with the roasted vegetables is so delicious and gives me that warm, cozy feeling.  And the beautiful golden color is perfect for fall and Thanksgiving!  

For a time saving tip, roast your vegetables the day before and store in the refrigerator.  You will appreciate one less step when the time comes. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (bite size)
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 1½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • (additional salt and pepper for roasting vegetables)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add cauliflower and sweet potatoes to a prepared sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  3. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all the spices and set aside.  This makes it much easier as you will be adding them all at once.
  5. Add remaining oil to a dutch oven or stock pot and heat over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.  If too dry, add a small amount of water or oil.
  7. Add the broth, coconut milk and roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
  8. Stir to combine and simmer briefly over low heat.
18 Nov 2019

Apple Pie Crisp Bars

Any pie lovers out there?  I’m not raising my hand on this one because I will say, I’ve never been one myself.  I do however have very fond memories of growing up and watching (sometimes helping) my Mom make pies.  She was and at 96 years old, still is very good at it!  I remember she would take the leftover scraps of pie crust,  form little shapes, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them and bake them…Yum!!  Maybe that’s why to this day I still love the crust. 

I will admit that I have never made a pie on my own and really have no desire to.  However, I always feel a little sense of guilt at Thanksgiving time because it’s such a traditional dessert.  No worries though, these apple pie crisp bars fill in that gap.  They have that delicious, flaky shortbread crust with all the flavors of apple pie.  So whether you’re like me and can pass on that slice of pie or you love apple pie, I think you’ll give a thumbs up to these bars!  Bonus…crumble topping!!

Note:  I’ve made these bars several times and the pics on this post were taken at the most recent.  It also happens that I ran out of maple syrup by the time I got to the filling.  Oh well, sometimes you have to think on the fly!  So instead I used half honey and half blackstrap molasses.  I mention this only because the apple filling is darker in these pictures than it would be with the maple syrup.  

 

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups+2 Tbsp Paleo flour
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp grass-fed butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (Use a quality syrup as opposed to a conventional light variety.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Apple Filling

  • 2-3 apples, depending on size (about 2 cups), peeled and diced (I used Honey Crisp.)
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cardamon
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt

Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 Tbsp almond or paleo flour
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.  The paper will stay in place better if you spray a little oil on the pan first.
  2. Hint:  Prepare your apples first so they are ready to go when you start the filling.
  3. In a food processor, add all of the crust ingredients and process until mixture is well combined and forms a dough consistency.
  4. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press it out evenly so that it covers the bottom of the pan.  Tip: do not clean your food processor, will use it again for the crumb topping.
  5. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes or just until a light golden brown.  Remove from the oven.
  6. While the crust is baking, add all of the apple filling ingredients to a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Allow the mixture to heat.  It will begin to bubble and thicken.  Continue to stir the mixture during this process so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Once thickened (about 3 minutes), remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. In the food processor, add the crumble topping ingredients and pulse until they form a crumble consistency.
  8.  Lastly, pour the apple filling over the baked crust.  Spread the crumble topping evenly over the apple filling.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust becomes a golden brown and the apples are tender.
  10. Allow bars to cool before cutting.

 

13 Nov 2019

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This yummy bread is perfect for fall and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving Day menu or to take as a hostess gift to your Thanksgiving dinner destination.  My family is not big on the traditional pumpkin pie fare, so I will be having several loaves of this bread on hand.  They freeze very well so you can make them ahead of time.  One less thing to worry about!  

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups paleo flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup softened coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (I use the dark amber)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar, Swerve or Monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (my go to chocolate chips are Lily’s sugar-free brand)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line loaf pans with parchment paper (I use 2 small).  Put small amount of coconut oil on bottom and sides of pan to hold the parchment paper in place.
  2. Add flours, xanthum gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to a bowl.  Using a whisk, mix to combine ingredients and break up any lumps in the flours.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric mixer until frothy (about 1 minute).  Add pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla.  Beat until creamy.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat to combine.  Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated together (don’t over mix).  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula several times in between.
  5. Fold the chocolate chips and walnuts into the batter.  Set a small amount aside to sprinkle on top.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.  If using one larger pan, adjust baking time.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.  I like to check doneness by pressing slightly on the middle of the bread.  It should not feel too soft.  I find that when I use a toothpick to check, it comes out clean even when it may not be completely done in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.