Sunday, August 26, 2012

Paleo Dark Chocolate Heaven


When Ger first saw this cake, he said, "Mom, you can't put that on the blog - the chocolate chips aren't paleo." I told him they were optional and were 62% dark chocolate. He proceeded to eat 2 huge pieces - just sayin'...

So, I have been tweaking my recipe that's from way back in my family, trying to make it paleo AND really good.  The first one - we wound up calling Chocolate Smoosh, so I tried it again, adjusting a couple of things since it wasn't quite what I was looking for. But, THIS IS IT.


I took 2 TBSP Kerry Gold Pasture Butter, melted and mixed it in with 1/2 cup agave nectar. ( the real stuff, or honey, or pure maple syrup)
Next, I stirred in 1 egg, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 tsp vanilla. I mixed this well and set it aside.

Next I mixed my dry ingredients well in a different bowl:
2 TSBP coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP dark cocoa
1 cup unsweetened coconut ( i used the unsweetened coconut chips, which are chunks, from nuts.com.)
After mixing the dry ingredients well, mix them into the wet mixture. Mix and spread into a 9 inch square baking dish that's been rubbed with coconut oil.

Next, I put the topping on:
I sprinkled evenly 2 TBSP cocoa and
1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)
This pic shows how it looked at this point.


The last step might seem very odd, but you are going to have to trust me here. I haven't steered you wrong yet!  I boiled 1 cup of water, and poured it over all the cake.
I baked it for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

When it came out of the oven, I quickly sprinkled 1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips on the top so they would melt some.

It's so good, you won't even miss the sugar. That's why I call it my Paleo Dark Chocolate Heaven!

Cheree hired me to make John one of these for his 40th birthday. This was after a nutrition lecture by Jeremy Mullins at CrossFit Countdown. Happy Birthday, John!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Paleo Crock Pot Chicken and Onions


My "Paleo Crock Pot Chicken Breasts" gets lots of hits on here, and people are so busy, so I decided to do another recipe along those lines. Another reason this recipe came to be is that Ger is on an ONION KICK. He's right - they are delicious and SO good for you in so many ways. So, here's what Jessica did:

She rubbed the crock pot with coconut oil. (We love tropicaltraditions.com best.) She rinsed a big package of antibiotic-free chicken breasts and put them in.

She cut 5 organic, sweet yellow onions into large pieces and laid them on top of the chicken.
She poured in 2/3 cup of Basic Chicken Stock. (This brand doesn't have a bunch of stupid ingredients that you shouldn't ever eat....)
The spices went in last. She used 1 TBSP garlic powder, 1 TBSP smoked paprika, and 2 tsp ground mustard. A little sea salt and freshly ground pepper finished things up!   She DID NOT STIR IT.
She put it on low all day.

I took a package of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots out of the freezer and microwaved according to directions. (I never microwave anything now.... fresh is best and microwaves may be very unhealthy for us..... have you read about that?)  While waiting for that, I wilted a huge container of organic baby spinach in a skillet with a little coconut oil. I stirred in the vegetables and sprinkled 3 TBSP of pine nuts on the top. Smoked Sea Salt from Salt Traders was all it needed.

Delicious Paleo Dinner! (in record time) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Annette's Salsa

My sister and her niece, Hannah, pictured above, made fresh salsa the other day. I said, "Oh, that's paleo. You want to share that on my blog?"  My brother-in-law, Andy, wanted to know what paleo people would do with salsa, since we don't eat corn chips (or any other corn....) Well, we could put this great stuff on chicken, or in the middle of a salad, or scoop it up with red and green pepper slices, too!

So, here's how Annette and Hannah made their salsa:
They put 8 medium tomatoes and 4 jalapeno peppers into a pot, covered with water, then put a lid on them, and boiled them for 15 minutes. They drained off the water and cut the stems off the peppers.



They put this into a blender, along with a medium-sized onion, chopped, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. (It could also go into a food processor.)

They blended to their desired consistency and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Annette says, "Spices are really to taste, so you can add more or less according to your liking. You could also try taco seasoning mix, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or Super Lucas, a spice mix from Mexico. Just try a little at a time and taste test as you go, as it can get spicy quickly!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paleo Chicken Onion Date Bake

Jessica made this one.

 She had 5 chicken breasts. She laid them in a 9 x 12 glass baking dish.
She diced up a big sweet organic yellow onion. She diced up 10 big medjool dates. ( more would have been even better!) She threw all that on top of the chicken.
She shook just a little rosemary, sweet basil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Next, she put 4 TBSP macadamia oil on top, (I've made it with coconut oil, too) along with 3 TBSP of Colavita balsamic vinegar.

She baked this for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees. (you want your chicken to be done with no pink in the middle, yet not overdone, because this dries it out)

Sweet, interesting chicken is what you will be enjoying. We had a skillet of fresh asparagus, broccoli,  and cauliflower.

When your family does WODs like Kelly, you need to fuel up. Try this and let me know how it works for you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Pecans


These bad boys are so good! They are fast and easy with 3 ingredients. So, I took a big cookie sheet and put aluminum foil on it. I stacked a pecan half on top of a pitted date and thenwrapped it with half a piece of uncured bacon. (preservatives in meat give it a longer shelf-life, but they sure don't increase a human's life!)
 I placed them on the cookie sheet and slid them into the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, maybe a little more.

It's best to count your bacon slices, then double that number, since you will be cutting them in half. Then I always count out 28 dates and 28 pecan halves. That way I don't have "bacony" fingers going into the bag of pecans or dates if I don't have enough prepped and ready.

I've also done them with other nuts. (Check out the brazil nut Bacon Wrapped Dates on here!) I also sometimes do a few with dried apricots..... but don't eat too many of those at one sitting......

I bet you don't have leftovers!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paleo Coconut Chicken Strips


Look at these Paleo Coconut Chicken Strips sizzling in the skillet. We loved them!

I took 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut each breast into 3 long strips.
I whisked 2 eggs and 1 TBSP of coconut milk in a small bowl.
In another bowl, I mixed 3/4 cup almond flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, 1/4 tsp sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and 1/4 garlic powder. ( I used the organic unsweetened coconut chips, which are big, moist chunks, from nuts.com. The unsweetened shredded coconut will do nicely, too.)

I heated a skillet to almost medium and added 2 TBSP coconut oil and 1 TBSP bacon grease. (If you don't bacon grease on hand, increase your coconut oil.)

I rolled each chicken strip in the egg mixture and then in the dry mixture. I smoosh the coconut onto the chicken. I pan-fry them until they are done all the way through. I didn't have my pan too hot so I wouldn't burn the coconut. I left them on each side for a good while. I knew if I flipped them over too much, the coconut mixture would come off of the chicken. I turned them over very carefully to avoid this.

I didn't want to do a dipping sauce. If you do, avoid any hidden sugar. I DID give them a tiny splash of balsamic vinaigrette right before we ate them. The flavor from THE FLYING OLIVE vinegars give you a big taste. Try the cherry one - my fav!

If you don't feed as many as me, you could have everything and just do 1 lb of chicken, but you might like to have these leftovers for lunch the next day. That's my plan!

I've also done this recipe with boneless chicken thighs. I just kind of unrolled them so they would lay flatter in the skillet and be done in the middle. They were so good!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cherry Juice Concentrate


It's fresh cherry season and everyone should be eating fresh cherries while they are cheaper, BUT this is another choice. Many people buy "cherry juice" and don't read the ingredients list. That stuff could be 85% apple juice with other things in there, like sugar, and just a little cherry juice for flavoring. Even 100% cherry juice has the issue of the environment - more glass or plastic to recycle.

So, this is cherry juice concentrate. You dilute it with water and drink it. I have been putting it in my vanilla protein shakes and it's really good!
I order it from vitacost.com. (give me your email so I can refer you to their site - we will both get a $10 reward!)

So, why cherries and cherry juice, anyway? Because they help you not to hurt.

I have a lovely marinade on this blog that uses this cherry juice concentrate on Venison Butterfly Loin. Use the search box. The marinade works with many meats but is especially good at taming the "wild" taste in game meats.

After years in the shadow of other fruit, tart cherries are emerging as a major Super Fruit. A substantial and growing body of scientific research has linked tart cherries to anti-inflammatory benefits, reduced pain from gout and arthritis and an extensive list of heart health benefits. Recent studies even suggest tart cherries can help reduce post-exercise muscle and joint pain."

This comes from choosecherries.com/health. 

The article "Benefits of Eating Cherries" on livestrong.com names also talks about cherries having an anti-aging benefit, cancer prevention, weight loss, pain relief, and DID YOU KNOW that cherries have melatonin and can help with your sleep cycles? They contain boron which helps with bone health, too! ( now, that's dear to my heart!)

So, Come on, my friends, eat some beautiful fresh cherries while you can, and keep the juice around, too. It's a superfruit!



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Paleo Shrimp, Asparagus, and Zucchini



Kerry Artis is my guest blogger today. Kerry's always taking great pics for our box. So, that's why this photo looks better than usual...and it's that beautiful kitchen, too!     She took 390 photos at the Festivus Games held at CrossFit Thunder yesterday!  CrossFit Countdown did very well. Prs were happening all day long. We took 3 out of 4 first place finishes  for the day and several other places, too.

Kerry rubbed her skillet with coconut oil generously. She sauteed large cocktail shrimp in the coconut oil and Emeril's Essence over medium heat until shrimp were no longer translucent.

She rubbed a pan with coconut oil. She rubbed the asparagus with coconut oil. She sprinkled them with Cherry Wood Smoked Sea Salt made by Salt Trader's and Mediterranean sea salt. She placed them in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.

She cut the zucchini in thin slices and added to a skillet over medium heat with extra virgin olive oil and just a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. (not too much - it will overpower)

It was very quick and easy, and one of her kids loved it! Go, Chloe!



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes


This was a lovely side dish skillet with the "Rosemary Pork Roast in a Crockpot." It's easy, healthy, and delicious.

I put 2 TBSP and 1/4 cup water in a big skillet. Then I put in a big container of sliced portobello mushrooms, some dried basil, and some Salt Traders Cherry Wood Smoked Sea Salt. I cooked this on medium heat for a few minutes.
I added a big can of organic diced tomatoes and a huge container of baby spinach. I had to put the spinach in a couple of handfuls at a time and then stir it in to wilt it.

That's it.
How many vitamins and nutrients are in this side dish? Plenty! So, boost your immune system and get strong. Eat your vegetables.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sauteed Onions with Turkey Burgers



Organic sweet yellow onions are so good for you. They boost your immune system, which is a very good thing!

I cut the top and bottom off of 3 big onions. I sliced them and put them in a skillet with 2 TBSP of coconut oil. I stirred and cooked them over medium heat until they were tender. I transferred them to a platter.

I made my usual turkey burgers.
 I always buy healthy turkey burgers. Healthy protein is very important.   No one should be eating meat with added hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides. (or GMO corn, but that's another post...)

 I put garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Turmeric can be added to this mix, too.

We had these with roasted organic beets from the farmer's market and avocado. Those onions were so sweet!

Paleo Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken


Ger's quote was, "Oh, mom, this stuff is so fricking delicious!"  And, now, thanks to Alicia and Adrian Van Balen, the photo looks nice, too. Thanks, guys!

I put  1 TBSP of coconut oil, 5 Harvestland chicken breasts, and 1 cup water into the crockpot. Then I ran errands and ran to the grocery.
Then I chopped into bite-sized pieces -
 2 green peppers,
 2  16 oz containers of fresh pineapple (that's 2 pineapples if you do your own) and
1 organic sweet yellow onion.

I added these spices:
1/2 tsp ground ginger ( I've also made it with fresh ginger....wow!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

I stirred it all up and left it on low for the rest of the day.
It will work if you put it all in at the same time, too.

Take the time to use a crockpot - a few minutes in the morning will bring you a great dinner with no trouble at all! OR, you can prep everything into your crock the night before and place it in your fridge. Then, the next morning, take it out and put it into the crock pot cooker, plug it in and set it on low.