Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paleo Apricot Chicken

I am a teacher in need of a snow day..... I am several recipes behind on this blog! So, we did not have Apricot Chicken tonight, but when we had it, it was really very good!

Chicken....we eat a lot of it. We don't want to eat it the same way all the time, right?

I took 1 cup of dried apricots and cut them up with scissors; maybe into thirds. You might want to use a knife, or a food processor. ( I am getting a food processor for Christmas!!)

I put the dried apricot pieces into a small bowl and added:

1 TBSP dry mustard
1 TBSP + 1 tsp Colavita  Balsamic Vinegar
2 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp chipotle chili pepper ( or less cayenne pepper)
2 TBSP raw honey

This made a chunky glaze of sorts.
Then I rubbed a baking dish with coconut oil and placed 4 huge chicken breasts in the dish. I put the glaze over the top of the chicken and covered the dish with plastic wrap. I put it in the refrigerator to marinate for an hour. (It marinated an hour because I was going to CrossFit Countdown for a WOD - a half-hour would probably be fine, if you are in a hurry...)

When I got home from the box, I removed the plastic wrap and I put the apricot chicken in a 400 degree oven. I left it there for 12 minutes, then took it out and turned the chicken over and brushed the glaze on the top of the chicken.
 I put it back into the oven to roast for 12 more minutes. I took it out and turned it, and basted it again. It went back into the oven for 8 minutes.

We had coconut oiled, roasted zucchini on the side, and some nuts. Yum!

                   Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas tress are going up. I am already thinking about what the costumes will be for the Halloween WOD next year..... Ger, I have an idea! (but this is going to be hard to beat....)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paleo Deer Chili

First of all, let it be said that Darren Roberts is a fine man with a heart of gold. ( Thanks for the deer, Pnut.) Next, let me say that I would rather have a deer in my freezer than in the road in front of my car! I've taken out one deer with a car, and almost killed 4 others this way.

I've made this deer chili twice now and we eat every single bite.

I thawed and cooked up 3 lbs of ground deer burger. I put the following spices on it as it cooked:
2 TBSP cumin
1TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp chipotle chili pepper

While that cooked, I put the following things into my big stock pot:
1 48 oz container of tomato juice
2 big cans of diced tomatoes

When the ground deer was done, I put it into the stock pot, and cooked 2 yellow, sweet organic diced onions with a TBSP of coconut oil in the same skillet, fro just a few minutes and then put them into the pot. The last thing to go in was 2 cups of organic carrots that I'd peeled, cut, and cooked the night before. ( If you are are doing this all the same night, just throw the carrots in and cook them in the tomato juice while you brown the meat.)

I let it simmer for 15 minutes to blend all the flavors.

It makes a BIG amount of chili. You can freeze it. You can feed it to friends. You can eat it for days.

Here's a pic from the Halloween WOD at CrossFit Countdown. That's Darren on the left, as 1/3 of Duck Dynasty. (Shannon and Angie were the other 2/3 lol!)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roasted Banger Pork Sausage

So, we LOVE banger Pork Sausage from Whole Foods. We love it. Did you know that back in the old days in England, they were called banger sausage because the skin would burst with a bang in the skillet! These days, it's more about the spices in the sausage mixture that makes it a banger sausage.

anyway, people don't always want to cook sausages in the skillet. You have to remember to pop the skin with a knife a few times so they won't burst. You have to stay right there with the skillet, trying to get them to turn over, and stay there. You have to work to get them browned on all sides, and done in the middle. Some people don't like the skin, so you have to skin them and crumble it and cook it that way....

Oh, what the heck, just put them in the oven! They won't be quite as brown, but you can forget about them and put the timer on. Easy.

So, I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees. I put aluminum foil on a heavy cookie sheet. I left the banger sausage (9 of them) out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then put them on the cookie sheet, not touching each other. I cooked them for 20-25 minutes. That was it! I didn't even have to turn them over.  No one complained. They were still delicious. We had them with steamed broccoli and the leftovers of "Jared's Super Awesome Sweet Potato Surprise." It was a perfect meal!

I may never cook banger sausage in the skillet again.... then scrub the skillet.... then wipe the grease off the cooktop.....

Paleo Cocoa Roasted Pecans

We love pecans, don't you? This is a way to make them even more special. Isaac came into the kitchen and said, "What smells so awesomely awesome?"

I covered a big cookie sheet with foil and rubbed coconut oil on it.

I heated the oven to 350 degrees.

I  took a 1 lb package of pecan halves and put them into a mixing  bowl. I added two simple ingredients - Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and agave nectar. ( I always make them with raw honey now - even better!)
 I didn't measure. I just guess it would be close to 3 TBSP of agave nectar and 2 TBSP of cocoa.
 I stirred it like crazy, until the cocoa is mixed into the agave and is coating the pecans.
 In the photo above, you can see what they look like - this was before they were put into the oven.

I cooked them for jut over 20 minutes. But, don't go much over that. They would go from just right... to burnt.... very quickly.

We ate them all. Ger even said, "Mom, they're better than the cocoa roasted almonds."
High praise!
Make them both for the holidays and let me know which one YOU like best!

You might want to try my Chili Lime Pecans on this site, too, for a savory kick.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Paleo Roasted Plums with Whipped Coconut Milk

I'd bought a container of plums from Sam's Club that just didn't seem to be ripening. I didn't want to waste them, so that's how this recipe came to be. I decided to roast them. They were excellent, and would maybe be even better with nice, ripe plums!

The first thing I did was to put a can of coconut milk in the freezer. (I love Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk from

I took 6 plums and washed them and cut them in half. I took out the pits.

I rubbed a big square baking dish with coconut oil.

I put the plums in the dish, cut side down.

In a small bowl, I mixed:
1 cup organic orange juice
1 cup water
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp dried Valencia Orange Peel (optional)

I poured the liquid on the plums and put them into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Right before they are done, take the can of coconut milk out of the freezer , open it and spoon out just the thick part at the top of the can. (not the watery part - use it in a protein shake!)
Add 1 TBSP of agave nectar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired, and whisk. It will thicken and fluff up. If you want to be fancy, and beat it with your mixer, go right ahead, but I didn't bother. It's going to melt on those hot plums pretty quick and turn into a delicious dessert.

Let me know how it goes! (here, or on FB, or Google+, or Pinterest, or at CrossFit Countdown, when you see me.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zucchini Pizza Boats

These little pizza boats are so good!

I washed 4 zucchini and cut them in half. I took a teaspoon and ran it down the center of them , to take out a little of the seed. I put them on a foil-covered cookie sheet and brushed them with macadamia nut oil. (Olive oil or melted coconut oil would work great, too) I also sprinkled them with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and minced garlic.

I popped them into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
I took them out at this point and turned the oven up to 400 degrees. I put some KerryGold BallyShannon cheese on them with my cheese grater.

 I know that cheese is dairy, and not paleo, but at least KerryGold is made from grass-fed cows. We love it. So, we aren't 100 paleo. Some days, you gotta' have some NICE cheese.

Anyway, then I put some little sweet cherry tomatoes, cut in half, on them and grated just a bit more cheese on top of that. The last thing was to shake some organic basil on them and pop them into the 400 degree oven for 6 minutes. That's it!

Isaac said he would have eaten them if they had pepperoni on them instead of tomatoes. I will try that for him soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jared's Super Awesome Sweet Potato Surprise

This is Jared, CrossFit Countdown's newest Level 1 Certified CrossFit Trainer. He took 2nd place at the WV Mountaineer Games and sometime in the day, he was refueling with the mixture in the photo. I asked him what he was eating, then asked him if he would share his recipe in this guest blog. Lucky for us, he agreed!

Jared says:

"Ingredients -
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
2 apples peeled and diced into small cubes
1/2 cup pecans
2 TBSP honey (or agave nectar)
1/2 TBSP cinnamon
salt to taste
2 TBSP coconut oil (or any oil you like)

Heat oil in skillet. Add diced sweet potato and saute for about 10 minutes. Add apples and saute until tender. Add honey, cinnamon, sat, and pecans and mix well. Taste and make any adjustments needed. (more salt and the like) Also, if the mixture becomes dry during cooking, you can add a little water, apple juice, or oil until you get a desired texture.

Jared brings good food to our meals at CrossFit Countdown. He's a fireman with mad skills in the kitchen. Let's all try this recipe!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Paleo Pork Tenderloin

This Paleo Pork Tenderloin was a celebration tonight. Ger won the WV Mountaineer Games yesterday and that was 2 years in a row! So, today I made his favorite thing, my Paleo Lemon Blueberry Bars, and then I made this beautiful all-natural pork tenderloin. This is such a great way to do it: it's always so moist and tender.

I heated my oven to 500 degrees. I put aluminum foil in a 9 x 12 pan and rubbed a little coconut oil on it. I laid a 2 1/2 lb pork tenderloin in the pan, put a TBSP of coconut oil on top, and also added these dry herbs to the top:

1 TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

I cooked the pork tenderloin uncovered in that hot oven for 15 minutes. ( That's 6 minutes a lb) Then, I turned the oven off and put the timer on for an hour. I did not open the oven door - even for a little peek!  The oven gets hot and begins to cook the tenderloin and when I turned it off, the oven just slow-cooked it for the hour, slowing down as it went and leaving it all moist and juicy and perfect. It got plenty hot in the center - no worries.

I fixed a skillet of yellow squash, zucchini, and peppers with marinara sauce.

Here's a great pic of one his PRs yesterday. (He got a 270 snatch and a 315 lb clean and jerk.... what a day) We had 6 athletes competing from CrossFit Countdown - all were in the top 10 - and we took 4 of the 6 podium spots. All of us enjoyed the day so much. Hooty and his judges ran a great competition at Mountaineer CrossFit. Jared Chamberlain took 2nd. Cheree Ross Davis took 1st in the Ladies Division and Sam Hartman took 3rd. It was a day to remember.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paleo Fried Chicken Legs

Everyone says fried chicken is a southern thing....a bad southern thing. But, when you fry them in a skillet with coconut oil, they aren't nearly so bad for you! They are GOOD!

I melted 2 heaping TBSP of coconut oil in a skillet. When it was hot, I put in the organic chicken legs ( I think I  cooked 9 - big skillet - big appetites!)
 I did not take the skin off of them. Some like it on and some like it off, so the ones that don't want it can take it off themselves.
 I seasoned them with Smoked Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper AND Private Selection Signature Rub in Kicked Up Poultry, a spice-blend from Kroger.

I got them browned and then turned them over to brown on the other side. I sprinkled them again with the same things.
When they were brown on both sides, I added 2 TBSP water, put a lid on them and turned them down. for 10-15 minutes more. This insures that they will be done in the center, and moist and delicious.

Then I had time to get  some vegetables going.

Come on, guys, have a chicken leg!
(If you're in a hurry, and have no time after work, you can make my Crock Pot Chicken Legs Paleo Recipe)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Paleo Chicken and Sausage Soup

Soup is fast, easy, warm, and filling. This one has lots of protein and so many nutrients from the kale and carrots. The broth is delicious! It has a can of pumpkin hidden in it and you can't taste it at all but it deepens the broth in such a nice way. ( You know I try to get pumpkin into everything I can!)

I started the broth in a big stockpot. I put in 1 32 ox container of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock, 16 oz of water and 1  15 oz can of pumpkin. I stirred this up and left it on medium low heat.

I put a 19 oz package of Italian sausage, cut into bite-size pieces, into a skillet. (try to find healthy sausage with no preservatives)

While the sausage cooked, I peeled and cut up 1 lb of organic carrots. I put them into the broth and put a lid on it, and turned it up to medium high. This is a very important step. Many people go for the convenience of those carrots that look like peeled baby carrots - they aren't baby carrots, they've just been put through some machine that cuts them that way. They start losing their nutritional value, too! I use them myself when I am in a raging hurry, but taking the time to peel whole organic carrots will make a difference in taste and fuel.

When the sausage was done, I put it into the stock pot.  I used the same skillet to next cook a 20 oz package of chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces.

While the chicken pieces cooked, I added most of a 1 lb bag of kale, and a 16 oz can of diced organic tomatoes to the stock pot.
When the chicken was done, I put it onto the stock pot. I added 1 TBSP of Salt Traders Smoked Sea Salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. (If you don't have smoked sea salt, you might want to add a tsp of Liquid Smoke, or some Hickery Bacon Salt)

This stuff is really good. It's good for days, too, IF it sticks around that long!

                                                     My boys eat good! That's important!

Pumpkin Pecan Paleo Pancakes

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back, or had devices that do it automatically.

Today we have an extra hour and I love this day in the fall. (not so much in the Spring...) I cannot get enough pumpkin this time of year, so I tweaked up some great-tasting pancakes this morning. They are Ger-approved. (and the rest of us, too!)

I stirred up 5 nice eggs in a bowl.
I added 1 cup of pumpkin. ( I love the 365 pumpkin form Whole Foods)
Then I put in 1/2 cup almond flour and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder.
Next went in:
1/4 cup coconut milk (almond milk would work, too)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP local honey
1 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 pinch sea salt
1 TBSP + 1 tsp MELTED coconut oil
1/4 cup pecan pieces

I stirred until smooth and fluffy with a wooden spoon.

I heated a skillet (not too hot) and added a little coconut oil.  I poured the batter into the skillet with a 1/4 cup measuring cup. This makes them all the same size. After about 3 minutes I flipped them with a spatula and let them cook on the other side for a minute or two. It never takes as long on the second side. I flipped them out onto plates. I put a little coconut oil into the skillet for each batch of 3 or 4.

We really splurged and had a tiny bit of KerryGold Butter (from grass-fed cows) on them. They were so good with my coffee!

Try them. You won't even need syrup, like the old days. Paleo forever, because it works - it makes you feel so much healthier.

                                                Let me know how they turned out for you.