Monday, March 2, 2015

Paleo Cherry Cookie Bars

I knew Ger and Cassie were coming to the house today to eat Turkey Bone Broth Soup while I was at school. I knew he was doing 15.1 over tonight (I think that may have been a first and this is his 5th year for the Crossfit Open) so I thought the bone broth soup was perfect for strength and joint support for his beastly endeavors. I wanted to add to that through a very healthy dessert and after I thought about it, it had to be something with cherries, right? (reduce post-exercise muscle pain and inflammation, antioxidant protection and more. Here's more: Health Benefits of Cherries) So, it's OPEN season and these cookie bars are OPEN-worthy.

Here's how I made these big cookie bars:

In a large bowl I combined:
1  1/2 cups almond flour  (I always use the non blanched but blanched will work)
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder  (or Cookies n Cream protein, or whatever you like- be brave)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a small bowl I combined:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey 
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP peanut butter  (or almond butter)
2 TBSP water

I poured the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredients and stirred with a wooden spoon.

I folded in:
1 1/4 cup dried cherries (Vitacost brand has these big gooey ones we love)
1 cup unsweetened chunky coconut

I rubbed coconut oil in an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. I put the dough into the dish and pressed it down into the corners.

I baked it in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes and then let it cool completely on a rack.

Ger DEVOURED them at lunch after the soup.   He did a mighty fine job on 15.1 tonight, too. You can check out his scores on the leaderboard. Gerald Sasser. The box was fired up tonight!  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turkey Bone Broth Soup

Sometimes I just don't have time to simmer bone broth for 24 hours so I try to keep some in the house. There are several brands you can buy or order online. I use Pacific Organic Turkey Bone Broth in this recipe and it also works fine with chicken broth.

Bone broth is so mineral rich. It should turn into a jellylike substance when you put it in the refrigerator. I've been using it as often as possible while feeding Ger Sasser and I know it strengthens him. He and Cassie are both great cooks and I am proud of them for cooking things with bones in them. AND, bone broth is very important for people like me. Let's face it, you can't eat whatever you want as your age increases. My bones and joints need all the support they can get and I can really feel the difference.  So, I made this soup today, concentrating on ease and speed and nutritional content. (It's also seriously delicious)

I browned 1 lb of organic ground turkey in a skillet.
While that was browning I put the following ingredients into a stock pot over medium heat:

32 oz turkey bone broth
1/4 cup quinoa
3 carrots, peeled and sliced

When the carrots begin to soften, about 20 minutes, I added the browned ground turkey into the stock pot. Then I added these ingredients and simmered another 20 minutes:

1 red pepper, chopped
1 bunch kale torn from the stems
1 tsp dried onion
1 tsp Garlic Gold Nuggets (if you'd rather use fresh garlic, add it to the skillet when browning turkey)
1/4 tsp turmeric
pink Himalayan sea salt (more than you might think - bone broth isn't salty)
freshly ground black pepper

So, be strong and get some bone broth into your system.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Paleo Snow Cream Flavors (Coffee, Cocoa, and Strawberry Snow Cream)

What do you do when life gives you lemons? We all know the answer to this one - Make lemonade. What do you do when life gives you record amounts of snow? Make snow cream. Here's my classic recipe:  Paleo Snow Cream
What do you do when it's a week and a half later and school is still out, snow is still here and water lines are breaking all over the area? You keep working and stay positive, that's what, and you make many different versions of Paleo Snow Cream.

Paleo Coffee Snow Cream
I stirred the following ingredients in a huge bowl:

1/4 cup strong coffee, cooled 
1/3 cup coconut milk from a can, CHILLED ( or almond milk if you prefer)
1 tsp real vanilla
1/4 cup real maple syrup  ( you can also use 1/4 cup local honey instead if you prefer)

I added 4-5 cups of fresh snow and stirred it all up. (You will want to add 4 cups of snow and stir it up and taste it just to see if you need more. Different moisture levels in the snow make a big difference.

To make Paleo Cocoa Snow Cream, just add cocoa to the original snow cream recipe, starting with 1 TBSP and adding until it's as chocolaty as you like it. (Kids love this!)
You could add cocoa to the coffee version, too.

Here's a photo from Abigail Edwards. She adds strawberries to Paleo Snow Cream. Try smashed blackberries, little wild blueberries and whatever else you might think of.  Leave a comment or send me a photo on the Feeding Ger Sasser Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @feedinggersasser.

Make the most of whatever the weather throws at you.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Smoked Ham

Ger's been so busy lately - 4th place Men's Elite in the Orange County Throw Down, 2nd place Men's Elite Team at Wodapalooza Miami 2015, and he and Cassie just got back from training in Miami. We are days from the Open and then he'll be playing for the San Francisco Fire for the National Pro Grid League Season 2.
 In other words, it's go-time. I fed Ger some quality farm-raised protein yesterday when I made this beautiful smoked ham.

I poured 12 oz apple juice into the slow cooker.
I stirred up a glaze with the following ingredients:

1 TBSP stone ground brown mustard
1 TBSP cherry balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP honey
1 tsp arrowroot powder
(optional - sometimes if it's a big holiday I add 2-3 TBSP organic brown sugar)

I rubbed this mixture into the big ham and then placed it cut side down into the slow cooker. This ham was so big I had to work to find a way for it to fit and it's a big oval slow cooker! (Cut a pice off if yours is too big)

I added a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and put the lid on. I cooked it on low for 9 hours overnight.

It made for a wonder get-together for 6 people and I still have leftovers.
Feed the athlete within yourself what it deserves - what it needs to run on for an optimal life. So, find a good butcher and order a smoked ham or two, or find a farm-sourced pig. It's worth it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Best Nut Butter Bars

I am happy to be snowed in with an entire week off from teaching school - as long as the groceries last, I'm happy to have time to spend on creative recipe development. Look what happens! These bars happen. They are gluten-free, no-bake, vegan, practically raw, easy, and delicious. You notice I didn't say paleo - they have a few chocolate chips melted on the top. Oh, well. They are really nice without the top layer, but I think they make it the Best Nut Butter Bars.

I put the following ingredients into a small sauce pan:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (or one cup of either nut butter)
1/2 cup maple syrup ( or honey)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

I stirred this mixture up on low until smooth and then stirred in:

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (the big chunky stuff)
1/3 cup cranberries
1/2 cup almond flour

I put parchment paper into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish, pushing it into the corners. Then I poured the mixture into the dish and placed it in the freezer for 45 minutes.

You could eat it just like this but I like to have a little chocolate layer on the top so in ia small sauce pan I melted:

1 cup Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
1 TBSP coconut oil

I stirred this over low heat until it was warm and smooth and then poured it over the bars from the freezer.  I put them back into the freezer for another 45 minutes.

I took them out and cut them into 9 big pieces but 16 small pieces would work, too.

Heaven. They are the Best Nut Butter Bars!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Paleo Crock Pot Chili

We are living through Snowstorm 2015 and as long as the power stays on, it's actually OK. When it's cold outside (possible -17 tomorrow....) nothing warms the belly better than soup or chili.  I made this Paleo Crock Pot Chili today and we are nourished and happy.

I browned 2 lbs of grass fed beef in a skillet and then put it into the crock pot.
I added:

24 oz tomato juice
2  28 oz cans of organic diced tomatoes
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 can pumpkin (optional - I slip it in if no one's watching....)
1 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP Garlic Gold nuggets (or minced garlic)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle chili pepper
1 tsp sea salt
freshly black pepper, to taste

                                                  This should keep us going for a while.

This was WAY before it stopped snowing for this round. They are predicting another 2-4 inches of snow tonight, too. As long as I've got food to cook, I don't mind at all.  

Fried Eggs in Portobello Mushroom

I love to try different breakfast ideas and sometimes they make a great dinner, too. This is one of those fast and easy things. I started off with the portobello mushroom with egg cracked in it baked in the oven BUT the portobello got too juicy for the egg to bake properly and it just didn't work well.  So, I tried it all in the skillet and it was much better.

I put 1 tsp butter in a skillet over medium heat, letting it melt and swirling it around.
I added 2 large portobello mushrooms that I'd taken the stem out of. I smashed them down with a spatula and flipped them often until they were done, but still firm.  I put them out on 2 plates.

I added a bit more butter to the skillet and cracked 4 eggs into the skillet. I ran the edge of the spatula between them as they cooked so I would be able to flip them separately.
I sprinkled them with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When they were done I placed them on top of the mushrooms, added parsley and 1 TBSP of guacamole.
Done. This can easily be halved for just one person or doubled for 4. It's beyond delicious with Buttered Sweet Potatoes with Molasses on the side. Seriously, this is a beautiful meal that's easy and economical.

So, this recipe didn't work out the first time but I tried a different approach. Life is like that. You sometimes have to let the old habits just fall away and be brave enough to try new things. Who knows what you might uncover?