Monday, February 1, 2016

Delicious Recipes from the Web

Wow, it has been quite some time since my last blog post. A lot has happened in my life since then (mainly the birth of my sweet, beautiful, hilarious, precious son!) I haven't stopped cooking it's just that posting hasn't been a priority of mine.

I'm not sure how often I plan to post in the future but lately I've been making lots of good recipes from other blogs and websites and I felt I needed to share them with you!

MEAT (MAIN DISHES):

Tacos Al Pastor
After making this a few weekends ago, the recipe has been spreading among my friends who are doing the Whole 30 (sub chicken stock/broth for the beer, which is how I made it)!  It is such an easy, healthy, flavorful recipe, and is particularly good with these toppings (in my opinion): diced fresh pineapple, cilantro, raw red onion, and sliced avocado.  A few girlfriends and I made this into salads, piling the meat and those toppings on lettuce.  Rem ate his on corn tortillas.  Both ways= delicious.  And on the side we made sweet fried plantains.  (Find nearly black plantains.  Slice into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.  Saute in coconut oil, salt, and pepper until soft).
This pork ends up very saucy!  You can serve the sauce on your salad or tacos, but if you still have a higher sauce to pork ratio than you'd like, portion out your pork and sauce into containers for leftovers, and with whatever sauce you still  have left in the crock pot, make rice!  You'll need to make sure that for every 1 c of uncooked, white rice you add there is DOUBLE that amount of liquid in the crock pot.  You can measure or just eyeball it.  Add the uncooked rice to the liquid and turn the crockpot on HIGH for 2 hours.  2 hours later, you will have some seriously flavorful rice!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
I've tried other chicken tikka masala recipes, and they have all been good, but this one was the best yet.  Minimal work for maximum results.  I used coconut milk, not cream, and I doubled the recipe.  I froze a good amount of it, and it reheated well several weeks later!

Paleo Cincinnati Chili
After boiling the beef, I drained it, threw it in the crock pot along with all the other ingredients, and cooked on low for about 4 hours.  (I had never boiled beef like this before, but discovered it is a great method for giving your beef a very fine texture.  However, you could certainly just brown the beef instead if you don't want the fine texture!)  And by "I", I mean my awesome cousin and sister who made this while I fed my son!  We ate this with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, raw onion, and shredded grass fed Dublin Irish Cheddar.  Yum!  This is a great Whole 30 recipe! (minus the cheese)

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma
After baking the chicken, I broiled it for 8 minutes.  It gave the chicken a delicious crispier texture! The chicken was so flavorful and moist... definitely a keeper.

 
SIDE DISHES:

Indian Rice and Lentils
On an Indian kick the other week, I was looking for spiced rice recipes and found this hidden gem.  Some notes: I used ghee instead of oil, 1/2 T cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick, and 1/4 tsp cloves instead of whole cloves.  I used 6 cups of water instead of 4 1/3 and just put everything in my rice cooker.  At first I was disappointed because it seemed rather "mushy" but it was actually kind of amazing that way.  So, if you use 6 cups of water your rice and lentils will be more of a rice/lentil mash.  But if you want a little more texture to the rice and lentils, you might try using the recommended 4 1/3 c of water.  Either way the ghee and the spice mixture in this make it top notch.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing
If you like Brussels sprouts, you definitely have to try these.  If you don't, you might be converted after tasting this recipe.  I cut the sprouts by hand and it took some time but wasn't that difficult.  I also had to use 2 pans in order to spread the sprouts out enough to roast them.

Roasted Spiced Carrots
I love roasted carrots no matter what kind of seasoning is on them, but this seasoning was definitely something special.  But honestly, I think it was the addition of lemon juice at the end that made these really unique.  If you're getting bored of your typical veggie side dishes, try these carrots!  You won't be disappointed.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Every time I try to bake sweet potatoes I get frustrated because they seem to take much longer than I think they will.  Well this recipe sets you up for success by giving you a perfect guideline for how long to roast your potatoes, and also gives you a seriously soft, sweet final product.  But be aware, it also gives you caramelized potato juices on your oven rack.  But I'm hoping that just burns off next time I cook,  (I made these yesterday, so I don't know yet how that will turn out).  Regardless, this was a very easy way to make some great baked sweet potatoes.


BREAKFAST:

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes
Rem loves pancakes.  I have tried making many paleo/gluten free versions and to me, they've all just been ok.  But these taste like actual pancakes.  They are so good.  A few tips: make them small (1/4 c of batter per pancake).  They will cook evenly and more thoroughly this way, giving them typical pancake texture.  Also, use real buttermilk, not milk/coconut milk and lemon juice/apple cider.  Kroger and Giant Eagle carry a local brand of buttermilk that's good.  There just really isn't a substitute for actual buttermilk (I'm sensing a theme... ACTUAL buttermilk= ACTUAL pancakes).  OK one more thing: the first time I made these I didn't have brown rice flour.  I used 1/3 c white rice flour, 1/3 c sweet rice flour, and 1/3 c potato starch.  I think I liked this version just ever so slightly more than the all brown rice flour version.  Experiment for yourself and see what you think!  Both ways are great.  I also recommend adding blueberries for a flavor variation.

Winter Fruit Salad
A few weeks ago I made this salad for a brunch with my sisters and cousins, alongside the blueberry muffins (below) and an egg casserole with homemade sausage using this seasoning (sub 2 lb. ground pork for the pork butt and use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar- this seasoning is GOOD, you have to try it), butternut squash, roasted red peppers, onion, and spinach.  But I digress- I made the yummy fruit salad with a few substitutions.  I used all apples (instead of pears) and added 1/3 c orange juice to the mixture.  I'm not sure I used the ratios of fruit called for in the recipe- it really doesn't matter though, just put in what you like!  But I would definitely include the oranges, kiwi, apple, and banana.  They have such different textures that I think all are necessary.  And I wasn't sure how I would feel about the mint, but it made the fruit salad almost addicting.  I kept eating it trying to figure out why exactly it was so delicious... Yeh, this recipe is definitely a keeper for a special brunch/breakfast.  

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins
Yum!  Sweet but not too sweet with lots of blueberry goodness.

DESSERT:

The Best Fudgy Brownies
All I have to say is: under bake these, cut them into small pieces (1/4 inch x 1/4 inch) and freeze them.  Eat one every night before you go to bed.  You will always go to bed happy.  The end.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
This is not a low fat dessert.  This is not a dessert to eat if you are trying to lose weight.  But with the right ingredients, this is definitely a WHOLESOME dessert- and THAT is something to feel good about!  To make it as wholesome as possible, use: organic cream cheese, grass fed heavy cream, grass fed milk, grass fed butter, coconut sugar (for brown sugar), honey (for sugar) and organic blueberries.  This ice cream is right up there with any you would get from a Jeni's, Whit's, Graeter's, etc.  You might want to make it for a special occasion, otherwise you will find yourself eating all of it because you can't stop.  Is that a bad thing?  You decide!
One change I made: instead of graham crackers, make a graham cracker CRUST and crumble that into the ice cream.  Trust me, just do it.  Crush up 1 sleeve of graham crackers.  Mix with 2 T coconut sugar and 8 T butter.  Smush it all together, spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake at 350 for 10 min.  Let it cool for 5 minutes then use a spatula to break it up into randomly sized pieces.  After it has cooled, you can layer it into the ice cream in place of the graham crackers.

Chocolate, Banana, and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake
After you've made the blueberry cheesecake ice cream, you will have leftover heavy cream and graham crackers and you will wonder what to do with them.  Well wonder no more!  As with the ice cream, make sure you have someone to share this with.  Wholesome with the right ingredients, but not light.

Write a comment if you decide to try any of these recipes and let me know what you think!  I would also love it if you shared any of YOUR recent favorite recipes from around the web!  Happy cooking!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Party Foods! Featuring Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins, Bacon Burger Meatballs with Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" and Homemade Garlic Mayo

I just had a doTerra party today and of course wanted to have an adequate supply of snacks and treats to serve my friends and family!  I made some tried and true favorites but also tested out some new ideas and recipes I found around the web.  I figured since a lot of people might be having SUPERBOWL parties next weekend, posting some party food recipes would be very timely!  
On the menu today was:

Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins (see below)
Bacon Burger Meatballs with Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" (see below)
Veggies with Homemade Garlic Mayo (see below)
Homemade Guacamole with Trader Joe's plantain chips
Sweet Potato Almond Butter Fries
Knock-off Rolos *I doubled the recipe and altered it slightly, adding a little more peanut butter
Baklava Balls

I hope this list is helpful, especially for those of you who came to the party and wanted the recipes. :)

Without further ado....


Buffalo Chicken Egg Muffins

Adapted from Balanced Bites
Makes 48 mini muffins or 24 regular size muffins

My mom got me this awesome 48 cup mini muffin pan that I am using a lot lately to make egg muffins!  This version is a great breakfast or appetizer recipe!

2.5 lb chicken breasts (or thighs), baked with salt, papper and garlic powder
1/4 c Frank's Red Hot
2 T grassfed butter
4-5 green onions, chopped
12 eggs
garlic powder (about 1 tsp)
pepper
1/4 c Frank's Red Hot

Immediately after chicken is done baking (I cooked frozen breasts on a foil lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 35 minutes), immediately shred with forks or your hands.  I also used some kitchen scissors to further chop the chicken up so it would fit well into mini muffin cups.  Mix together 1/4 c Frank's Red Hot and 2 T grassfed butter.  Pour over the chicken and refrigerate overnight to "marinate."  
The next day, prepare your mini muffin tins by greasing them with some olive oil or coconut oil.  If you're using standard size muffin tins, you could use liners for easier clean up!  Divide chicken mixture evenly among muffin cups.  Then sprinkle each cup with green onion.  Next, whisk our eggs with garlic, pepper, and Frank's.  Ladle the egg mixture into each cup, filling each almost to the top.  
Bake at 375 degrees 20 min. (For standard size muffins you might need to bake them for 10 min. longer).  Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold later!  They are great both ways.  


Bacon Burger Meatballs

I don't know exactly how many meatballs this makes, but hopefully this picture is helpful! The amount pictured is roughly the number of meatballs it makes, depending on the size. I form mine about the size of a ping pong ball.  

3-4 lb. grassfed beef
12 oz. bacon (use the kind without all the preservatives- Kroger Simple Truth is good, or Applegate Farms)
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 large pickle spears, diced
1/4 c tomato paste (about 1/2 a 5 oz. far)
garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
3 eggs
3/4 c almond meal

First, you will need to thinly slice the bacon and cook it over medium heat until you have brown and crispy pieces.  Next, mix ALL meatball ingredients together- it works best if you mix it with your hands until everything is fully incorporated.  You can prepare this mixture in advance and just refrigerate it for up to a day until you're ready to make the meatballs!  When you're ready to cook them, form the meat mixture into balls and place on either a foil lined baking sheet OR a broiler pan with grates.  (I like to use this because it helps drain some of the fat from the meatballs and helps the outside of the meatballs brown a little better).  Bake at 375 degrees about 30 min. 


Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" 

Honestly I have never had big mac sauce, but this is based on copycat recipes for big mac sauce, with substitutions to make it paleo.  All I know is, this is GOOD.  

1 recipe homemade mayonnaise (see below)
4 T tomato paste
1 T honey
1 pickle spear, diced
onion powder (1/4 tsp)
garlic powder (1/4 tsp)
pepper
salt to taste

Make homemade mayonnaise then add remaining ingredients and mix with immersion blender until tomato paste is incorporated throughout.  Refrigerate, then serve cold.  


Homemade Mayonnaise (*use this for the Paleo "Big Mac Sauce" and Homemade Garlic Mayo)

This is the easiest mayo recipe ever, it just requires that you have an immersion blender.  I asked for an immersion blender for Christmas a few years ago for the sole purpose of making homemade mayo (true story).  I use it all the time to make mayo all the time.  I often use mayo as a dressing, a veggie dip, or a dressing for chicken salad or cole slaw.  It's easy and infinitely healthier than store-bought Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise.  

1 egg
1/2 T apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp dry mustard (optional)
1 c avocado oil or light olive oil

Crack egg into cylindrical container that is wide enough to fit an immersion blender into.  (I use the measuring cup that came with my immersion blender).  Add apple cider vinegar/lemon juice and dry mustard.  Pour in 1 c of oil (all of it at once).  Then stick your blender over top of the egg and let it run, without moving it, for 30 sec.  Then, gradually and gently, swirl the blade head around and bring it to the top of the mixture.  It should be nice, thick, and creamy!


Homemade Garlic Mayo (Best Veggie Dip!)

1 recipe homemade mayonnaise
handful fresh chives, chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 garlic clove, minced (then sprinkle some salt on it and mash it up)
1/8 tsp paprika
pepper

Make homemade mayonnaise then add remaining ingredients and blend again until everything is mixed together.  






Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal


Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal

2 T coconut oil
2 ripe bananas
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 c almond milk
2 c oats
1 c brown rice crisps or puffs
1/4 c ground flaxseed
2 T pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c raisins


Melt 2 T coconut oil in a tall, round casserole dish.  Add bananas to the dish and mash them until they are soft and almost liquid.  Add pumpkin and eggs and stir.  Add almond milk, oats, brown rice puffs, flaxseed, pumpkin pie spice, and raisins.  Stir until everything is uniformly incorporated.  Bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes or until it doesn't jiggle when you jostle the pan around.  For a firmer oatmeal, bake longer, and for a more runny one, bake for a shorter time.  You can play around with the baking time each time you make it to get the consistency just right for you.

Ground Turkey and Pasta Skillet with Greens


Ground Turkey and Pasta Skillet with Greens

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 large onion, diced
1 c mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
32 oz. strained tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
1/4 c sundried tomatoes, chopped
4 cups greens of choice (I used spinach)
4 servings cooked quinoa or brown rice pasta (I used this brand from Trader Joe's) 

Saute ground turkey and onion in a pan, halfway through adding the mushrooms, garlic and spices. When turkey is cooked through, add the tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and the greens, cooking until the greens are completely cooked down and can be stirred into the turkey mixture.  Taste your sauce and add more seasoning if it needs it!  Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  When pasta is done cooking, add it to the ground turkey mixture.  I served mine over steamed broccoli and cauliflower and it was delicious!  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Recipe Round-Up

I know I've been MIA for a while, and what can I say... the school year is in full swing and my time is taken over by other activities, like planning for and teaching my amazing second graders!  I have still been doing a lot of cooking and baking, but haven't been experimenting quite as much as I do in the summer.  Nevertheless, I decided I should share some of the recipes I've tried lately that have gone in the recipe file for repeated use!

Scalloped Potatoes from Just a Pinch: I adjusted this recipe by using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour.  I also used grass-fed butter.  And PURPLE potatoes!  We get a LOT of potatoes from our CSA during October and November, and I was sick of making roasted potatoes in the oven so I was trying to find a recipe that was new and different.  This fit the bill, and hit the spot.

Smashed Potatoes from Oh She Glows: These are seriously good.  I didn't make the aioli but imagine that it would send these puppies over the top.  Even without it, you won't be able to stop eating them.

Thai Beef Stew from Against All Grain: Recommended to me by my friend Jennifer, this stew was a hearty crowd-pleaser perfect for a cold fall day and a nice alternative to a roast!  I didn't use the jicama, but thew in some mushrooms instead.

The Perfect Fudgy Brownie (Grain-Free and Paleo) from Deliciously Organic: These taste like my long-time favorite Ghirardelli brownies.  And they have no flour in them at all.  I wouldn't recommend eating these every day but as a treat they are fantastic.

No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts from Detoxinista: I love pumpkin pie but had never attempted a "paleo" version before this.  Well, I think it was because I was waiting to find this recipe.  I am in love.  You should make these tonight.

The bloggers who developed these recipes are awesome- check out their websites for more healthy recipes!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

And one more "bite" recipe for good measure...  These are probably my all time favorite of all the fruit and nut bites I have made.  Can't stop, won't stop... eating them.  (Does anyone else constantly have that lyric from the new Taylor Swift song running through their head???)  Enjoy!


Chocolate Hazelnut Bites


12 medjool dates, soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes
1 c hazelnuts (Skins can be on! I get mine at Trader Joe's)
8 T cocoa
7 T unsweetened shredded coconut

After soaking dates, process them in a food processor until they start to break down and form a paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to process until everything comes together and can be easily rolled into a ball.  As you can tell from the picture, I don't process them until the nuts are completely broken down- I leave them a little chunky.  Process longer for smoother bites and shorter for chunkier ones.  Roll into balls and store in the freezer.  They are awesome straight from the freezer!

Pumpkin Bites

My arsenal of dried fruit and nut "bites" is growing rapidly, as I find that these naturally sweetened bite size treats are my favorite thing to snack on.  Today I have a recipe inspired by a pumpkin bar created by a friend at my CrossFit gym.  These little balls have all the flavors of fall and are a nutritious treat for any time of day.  

Pumpkin Bites


10 medjool dates, soaked in hot water (*I microwave about a cup of water and then let the dates soak in it for about 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 c pumpkin seeds
1/2 c pecans
1/4 c flax
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut 
1/2 c golden raisins

After soaking the dates, process them in a food processor until they are mostly broken down and have started to form a paste.  Then add the rest of ingredients and process until the ingredients come together and can be easily formed into a ball (if you want them less "chunky" process longer, and for more chunky process for a shorter time).  Roll into 1 inch balls.  I store these in the freezer and they can be eaten straight out of the freezer!  Enjoy!