Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Chicken Salad: Paleo Version

Last night I made a paleo version of our Tzatziki Chicken Sweet Potato Salad.  Instead of the yogurt based-dressing, I used the follow combination:
1/2 c olive oil
2-3 T dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
salt, pepper, and dried parsley to taste

Depending on how "saucy" you want the salad to be, you might want to double the amount of dressing.  It's funny to think that not long ago I hated all types of mustard, but lately I've been adding dijon to a lot of my recipes.  I particularly enjoyed the zing the dijon gave to this dish.  It was also well received by some fellow CrossFitters!  For those of you who are vegetarians, you could leave out the chicken and add 1/2-1 cup of sunflower kernels, or even tofu.  Enjoy, and let me know if you try any new variations!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Paleo Apple Recipes and Things I'm Loving Right Now

Paleo Apple Recipes

When I went apple picking a few weekends ago I knew I would need tons of apples so that I could bake with them!  I love eating fresh picked apples, but I like them even more combined with cinnamon in baked apple dishes!  

The first recipe I made is a favorite of mine that I created this summer: paleo apple cinnamon muffins.  When I make these muffins I have to be careful not to eat the whole batch because they are that good.  Rem loves the Banana Blueberry Muffins we make, but these apple cinnamon ones are my favorite!  They are super simple to make and make your house smell heavenly.  

The second recipe I made was a new creation inspired by lots of research around the web on grain and refined-sugar free apple crisps.  My childhoood favorite had lots of oats, butter, and brown sugar.  It was delicious and highly addicting.  But I wanted a version that I could feel good about putting into my body, and even eat for breakfast!  This was the first time I made this particular apple crisp recipe and it turned out great!  Is it just me, or is the best part of making apple crisp eating the clumps of topping?  Somehow I managed to keep myself from eating all of the topping this time, but I did eat almost the whole pan of apple crisp.  I had to remind Rem to try a bite before it was gone, and I think one bite was all that he got!

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1 c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c coconut oil
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c coconut flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Brand)
1 tsp baking soda
2 T cinnamon
1 apple, chopped (with skin on)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.  If your coconut oil has become solid, heat it in the microwave with the applesauce until melted (*don’t melt the oil by itself, because if you add cold applesauce to it it will harden).  Cool for a few minutes then whisk in the 5 eggs and the vanilla.  Sprinkle coconut flour, baking soda, and cinnamon on top and then stir with a spoon until well combined.  Then stir in chopped apple.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups (I use a large ¼ c ice cream scoop).  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 min or until toothpick comes out clean.  As soon as you take the muffins out of the oven, drizzle a very small amount of honey on top of each muffin (*optional).  Cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack.  Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 1 month. 

Paleo Apple Crisp

5 assorted apples (I used Jonathon, Jonagold, and Gala apples)
Lemon juice
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
2 T coconut oil
½ c almond meal
¼ c ground flaxseed
¼ c unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ c slivered almonds
½ T vanilla
Drizzle honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use apple, peeler, corer, slicer to core and slice apples, then cut each apple ring in half OR if you don’t have a peeler, corer, slicer, cut your apples into thin slices.  Toss apple slices with a few tablespoons of lemon juice, a generous amount of cinnamon, and a few shakes of nutmeg and ginger.  Place apple in 8x8 pan greased with coconut oil.  Melt the 2 T coconut oil in a medium bowl, then stir in almond flour, flaxseed, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Mix until combined but still crumbly.  Spoon over apples then drizzle honey over the whole pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.  I recommend serving this with plain Greek yogurt! 

Things I’m loving right now… 


Snowville Creamery Grass Grazed Milk

Based on a lot of our recent research and our values about the food we eat, we decided to be more proactive about buying and eating mainly grass fed beef.  In fact, we found a farm that sells grass fed beef and bought half of a cow!  In the same vein, we decided to start buying milk from grass fed cows.  We’ve been trying to find a brand of milk that is isn’t crazy expensive, and happily discovered that our local Giant Eagle carries milk from Snowville Creamery, an Ohio farm!  Milk from grass fed cows is better for the cows, for the environment, and for our health.  Visit the Snowville Creamery website to find out more about their company and the benefits of their grass grazed milk  



Dropbox is a free online service that lets you save your files so that they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device that you use.  You set up a “drop box” account, download the service to your computer and a drop box folder becomes available on your computer.  Then you can save any document in the drop box folder.  When you go to use a computer other than your own, just sign in on and your files are there ready to be opened!  This is amazing for me as a teacher because I previously found myself sending tons of e-mails with attachments of the files I needed to print or work on at school.  Now I can just save everything to drop box and it’s available anywhere! 


If You Care muffin liners

These are THE BEST muffins liners ever.  They are coated with silicone so your baked good won’t stick to them.  They are also unbleached and made from 100% recycled materials, which makes them very environmentally-friendly!  I originally found these at Whole Foods, but after my first box was gone I ordered them from  I decided it would be frugal to just order them in bulk, so I ordered a package with 24 60-count boxes.  Yep, that’s 1440 muffin liners.  I think I’m set for the next 10 years or so!  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tzatziki Chicken Sweet Potato Salad

We have a new favorite mid-afternoon/post-workout/whenever you’re hungry snack at our house - another weekend concoction that ended up being mighty tasty.  We have other sweet potato salads we like to make (if you still don’t know, we eat LOTS of sweet potatoes), but this one is refreshingly light with the tzatziki dressing and big chunks of veggies.  Also, the chicken adds enough protein to make it the perfect, well-rounded snack.  When Rem or I take it out of the fridge to eat, the other one usually sneaks over and steals a couple bites.  That’s usually how we tell a recipe is a keeper.
One tip when you make it: don’t cut the pieces too small.  Just smaller than bite size for each piece is good, so you can still eat the components together, but can enjoy each individually too (plus it maintains a nice texture that way).

Tzatziki Chicken Sweet Potato Salad

**Note: this was another one of our throw together recipes, so all measurements are approximate.  We went with the “that looks like a good amount” method of measuring.

2-3 lbs chicken (we use the frozen chicken thighs from Trader Joe’s)
4 large (2-3 lbs) sweet potatoes (skin on or skin off, your choice)
1 large cucumber
1 lb broccoli florets

1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
Salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Bake the chicken until done (will depend on what type of chicken you use; we just follow the directions on the bag).   Chop sweet potatoes and boil until just tender.  Dice chicken once it’s done cooking, and allow sweet potatoes and chicken to cool.

Chop cucumber and broccoli. Combine with cooled chicken and sweet potatoes.   Combine yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice with whisk (start with the yogurt, add lemon juice, then continue to add oil until it reaches dressing-like consistency).  Pour dressing onto mixture and season to taste.