**READ ME: Keep in mind that while all of these recipes are Paleo. If you are currently doing the whole30, you will need to leave out all sweeteners!
I know, I know...but you will be able to enjoy them soon enough. Hang in there! I promise it's all worth it.**

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{ Jalapeno Turkey Burger & Garlic Sweet Potato Wedges }

Well, I tried really hard to wait patiently for nice weather, so I could throw some burgers on the grill… but, apparently we aren't expecting that any time soon. So, I just gave into my craving and made a batch indoors. This burger was easy to make and packed a little punch of flavor and spice. Grass fed burgers will always remain number one in my heart {trying to take a break from red meat right now}, but turkey actually comes in at a close second. A lot of people think ground turkey is bland and dry, but if you use a mixture of the right spices and flavorings, you actually have a juicy, flavor packed burger.

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground turkey breast 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, mined or finely chopped {we like bigger pieces!}
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced {or any onion really }
  • a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper
1. Chop all ingredients, and combine and mix well in a large bowl with the ground turkey breast. Separate into 4 patties and sprinkle with salt & pepper  FYI...burgers tend to puff up during cooking so what I like to do is make the center thinner than the outside so that when it cooks up, it all ends up being the same size without that huge bump in the middle. 

2. Place them onto a plate, cover with plastic, and if your schedule allows--stash in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the flavors marinade and give the patties a chance to firm up a bit. If not, go ahead and cook them. They will still be delish!

2. Heat grill, or skillet to medium-high and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side--or until no longer pink. Serve with your favorite toppings: we like avocado or guac, grilled onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, the possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

For the Sweet Potato Wedges...
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced {depending on how strong you want them}
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash and cut your sweet potato into wedges, leaving the skin on. Toss in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper { could use tinfoil--parchment helps with the crisp factor }, and place your coated sweet potato on the sheet. Bake for 15 or so minutes until desired tenderness. Then broil on LOW until golden brown and slightly crispy. This recipe is all in how you prefer them. Just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{ Coconut-Pecan Crusted Tilapia & Pineapple Salsa }

I love coconut. You should love it too! I realize this recipe can be "tricky." There are many of you that don’t like coconut and probably even more of you that don’t like fish. But I’m telling you… it’s really delicious! When do I ever steer you wrong? This fish is so delicious it could make you cry. It is not very sweet and is basically tilapia encrusted in coconut and pecans. Best combination ever. It’s super easy too – dip the tilapia then bake! A few squirts of lemon juice is mandatory, as well as the fresh combination of avocado, pineapple, cilantro, lime juice and red onion. But, don't worry I will post that part too... this recipe would also be very good with Mahi mahi. Enjoy!
*serves 2*
  •  2 tilapia filets {if frozen, thaw!}
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut { I may have added more...}
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk {canned}
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425. Add your pecans and coconut to a food processor. Pulse until they turn into alsmot bread crumbs. NOT until it's a pecan butter!

2. Add your seasoning along with a bit of salt and pepper, and pulse a few more times to incorporate.

3. Whisk your egg whites and coconut milk in a separate, flat bottomed bowl. Also, put your pecan/coconut mixture on a plate or a flat dish.

4. Season tilapia filets with salt and pepper. Then dip each tilapia filet in the egg whites, then coat with the pecan/coconut mixture. Lay on a foil lined baking sheet. If desired, spritz with olive oil to help the crust brown. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and fish is flakey. Once cooked, top with Pineapple avocado salsa {recipe below}, and enjoy!

For the pineapple salsa...
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 T. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seed removed--minced
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • dash of salt
1. Dice, chop and mince all ingerdients and mix in a bowl. Simple as that. Great on top of fish, or any other meat! YUM!
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

{ N'Oatmeal }

I know of a few Paleo peeps {including myself} who are really, really missing their oatmeal in the mornings. Sometimes you just need variety in your life, and eggs can get old after a while. I wanted something fast and satisfying that will get me through the day. Yesterday I was browsing some cookbooks and found a perfect paleo oatmeal, and decided to make a few changes of my own. I have tried multiple different ones, and this one is by far the best tasting. It's not thick and clumpy like regular oatmeal, but more of a creamy hot porridge like cream of wheat {we called it mush growing up}. This recipe will make enough for 2-3 breakfasts or 2-3 servings, it's packed with protein and lots of fiber, and you can quickly heat up the leftovers {BONUS!}. I love it. It’s perfection. And I can’t wait to experiment with different variations. This would be REALLY good with fresh sliced peaches and coconut milk drizzled on top. For now, enjoy this simple version!

adapted from Mark's Daily Apple 

1/2 cup of pecans 
1/2 cup of almonds 
2 tablespoons flax seed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground nutmeg 
1 tablespoon almond butter 
1 banana, mashed 
3 whole eggs 
1/3 cup coconut milk or almond milk 
splash of pure vanilla 
1 handful fresh berries or fruit 

1. Add pecans, almonds, flax seed and spices to a food processor and pulse it down to a course grain/flour type of mix, making sure to stop before it’s totally ground into a powder. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs, coconut milk and vanilla until the consistency thickens a little bit into a loose custard. Thoroughly blend together the mashed banana and almond butter and add it to the custard, mixing well. Stir in the nut mixture. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the n'oatmeal reaches your desired consistency; this should only take a few minutes.

3. Sprinkle with some banana slices, berries, or whatever you would like on top. Also, add more milk if you want--I ALWAYS do to this in out bit, but I prefer it on the less thick side. Enjoy!

Did you try this recipe?? What variations did you top it with??

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

{ Blackened Chicken & Avocado Sauce--over Zoodles }

This recipe is extremely simple, can be made in less than 30 minutes, and is a good way to zest up the chicken you have been meaning to use. To me, it tastes reminiscent of a steaming bowl of fettuccine alfredo--a knowingly off limits indulgence on the Paleo diet. I usually have avocados on my daily agenda, but tonight I transformed a simple avocado into an almost effortless, dairy-free, protein packed, and super healthy "pasta" dinner. Enjoy!

  • 2 Free-range Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil {can use olive oil}
  • 1 zucchini, per person
  1. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until even thickness.
  2. Combine all the dry seasonings in a large ziploc bag. Mix them together and then season toss the chicken breast around until fully coated. Allow to sit on the counter for 30 mins before cooking.
  3. Add the teaspoon of coconut oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the coconut oil for a minute over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side--with the lid on. {THIS IS WHERE I WOULD START MAKING THE AVOCADO SAUCE--BELOW}
  4. After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them. Meanwhile, cook your Zoodles. { recipe here }
  5. Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the Zoodles, and top with a few tablespoons of the avocado cream sauce. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!  
For the Avocado Cream Sauce:
  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • 1-2 jalapenos {adjusted for spice}
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. In a food processor, or blender mix all ingredients until smooth. Serve on top of Zoodles or any type of veggie pasta. This would also be really good on a taco salad! Yum!
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Friday, January 11, 2013

{ Banana Bread Pancakes }

One of the main questions I hear quite often--What are you eating for breakfast besides eggs? This is a great question and one that I struggled to answer for a while because… well, I was honestly eating eggs and peppers for breakfast everyday. But, over time this can get really, really, really old! And I finally had to use google to my advantage to see what creative "Paleo-friendly" breakfast ideas I could find. So for the past little while, I have really started making a point to change-up what we have for breakfast… and it has actually been fun experimenting.

These lovely banana pancakes will surely satisfy that lazy Sunday morning pancake craving, and I love the simplicity of banana + eggs = pancake. {which means you can eat a whole batch yourself!} I've tried a few Paleo pancake recipes and this one so far is my favorite. The first time I made it, they came out very thin {almost like a crepe} so I had the genius idea of incorporating a tablespoon of almond flour to the batter, to make them a little fluffier. BRILLIANT! The important thing here though, is to realize it is obviously not going to taste exactly like pancakes you make from flour. However, for a pancake that doesn’t have any gluten packed flour, it is quite yummy and awesome recipe find!

{**Ingredients are for one person, double for two**}
  •  2 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled {preferably quite spotty}
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour {can omit--will have more of a crepe texture though}
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  1. In a blender, mix all ingredients together until smooth and lightly fluffy.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet or large frying pan on medium-medium low. Moving around to coat the surface, and then pour small amounts of the mix in to the pan {I like to do two at a time}. 
  3. When the pancake bubbles on top and the underside is golden brown, flip it over using a very thin spatula. Brown the other side and then remove to a plate.
  4. Serve hot with a few slices of banana, some warm coconut butter, a drizzle of raw honey or pure maple syrup, whatever you like. Really the possibilities are endless here! Makes about 6 pancakes.
 I think next time I make these, they will be topped with coconut whip and fresh berries! Doesn't that sound yummy?? Enjoy!!!

Did you make these?? What type of toppings did you try??

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

{ Meatza! Meatza! }

Alright here it is! Even though we tweaked it a titch, I cannot take full credit for this recipe as it comes from the wonderful Melissa over at The Clothes Make The Girl. And let me tell you..this was absolutely amazing. I love pizza more than I love a lot of things. So, I am always looking for new ways to make it paleo/whole30 "approved. This definitely is my FAVORITE--so far.

What exactly is Meatza? Well, use your imagination and you just might figure it out! A “meatza” is a grain-free pizza with a meaty crust. It is a convenient and downright tasty way to get all your traditional favorites flavors, but without the hassle of refined flours, yeasty doughs, or anything even almost resembling gluten. There is also so many ways to mix things up! Doesn't HAVE to be a mexican meatza at all...just switch up the toppings and seasonings in the crust. You could also add cheese to this if you allow it on your diet. Play around with it, make it your own! Enjoy!

{Makes two-6 inch meatzas, serves 2-4}
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite salsa
  • Green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Red onion, cut into thin strips
  • Jalapenos, if desired
  • Garnishes (all optional): avocado, fresh lime, olives, chopped fresh cilantro, pretty much any mexican topping you desire.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef with the crust seasonings until combined.
  2. Making the crust: Divide the meat in half, roll into a ball, and press evenly into an 8 {or 9-inch} round cake pan. Cover only the bottom of the pan and smooth the meat with damp hands until it’s an even thickness. Repeat with the other piece of “crust.” 
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the edges are brown. Leaving the oven on, remove the meat crusts from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan.
  4. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the meat crusts on the baking sheet. Spread about salsa on each meat crust, leaving a small border around the edges. Arrange your toppings and press them gently into the salsa. Toss the pizza back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, until hot and browned to your liking.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with diced avocado, then squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Ps. We will be trying a chicken meatza next week, stay tuned! Let's hope it doesn't let us down...
Did you try making a meatza? What topping did you add?
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

{ Steak & Veggie Bowl }

Has it really been nearly four months since my last post?? Time flies when you are busy! I never meant to let this blog slip out from under me, but school and home life will do that to you--I guess. Nice excuse, right? Well, that doesn't matter now because I'm BACK! We started our third round of the Whole30 on January 1st. Which means there is a lot of cooking and food preparing going on in this household. It only makes sense to post what we are eating here, as we have so many of you have been asking for recipes. This recipe is comfort food at it's best...I made this recipe up as I went along, so this will be my best interpretation of it. I don't think you can really mess meat and veggies up--at least too bad. Feel free to play around with this recipe and adapt it to your liking. Enjoy!
  • 1-2 lbs grassfed steak
  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 1/2-1 bundle of asparagus
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive or Coconut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Any other seasoning you desire
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by cutting your butternut squash into chunks, wash and cut the ends off your asparagus. (If you have a Harmon's near by--you can purchase the squash already cut into chunks, back in the produce department. Such a time saver!!) In a ziploc bag, add the veggies, some olive oil, seasonings, 1 garlic glove and toss around until well coated. (Tip: save the same ziploc for steak!)
  2. In a 9 x 11" glass baking dish, place the coated veggies, cover with tinfoil and bake for about 15-20 mins, checking and stiring throughout to ensure you don't overcook. You will know it's done when you can fork a squash easily. 
  3. Towards the end of your veggies roasting in the oven, cut your steak into bite sized pieces (I bought mine at Harmon's pre-cut...again, huge time saver!) In the same ziploc you tossed the veggies in, add a drizzle or two of olive oil, some pepper and 1 clove of garlic. Toss until well coated.
  4. Heat a pan to medium-high heat, add steak. Sear both sides and cook to desired liking. Once cooked how you like, remove the (cooked/done) veggies, add to the mix all together and serve.
Have you taken on the Whole30 challenge?? 
If so, what are some of your favorite Whole30 recipes?
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{ artisana product review }

The wonderful people at Artisana were so nice to send us a few samples of their nut butters to try.  And by a few samples, we aren't talking one or two. They sent us an entire box filled with goodies! We love this company because they pride themselves on making their products from natural ingredients--most of them only having ONE {aka: the nut they come from}. What more can you ask for? We highly recommend trying them all.... and the squeeze packs make a great, healthy snack on the go.

A little about the company...

Artisana is a company that sells a variety of organic nut butters. They hand select the finest new-harvest nuts, seeds, and coconut for their butters. They have the best walnuts and almonds that California has to offer and when they create their butters, they only make them in small batches, this way you know you're getting the best quality possible. Also, their nut butters are free of sugar, preservatives, and all artificial flavors. This means that you are getting optimal freshness and a great taste every bite.
So, what did we think?? 
**Disclaimer: Artisana was kind enough to send us complimentary samples of their products to review. 
 All views expressed were purely our own, and we were not reimbursed by the company to share our opinions with you.**

Macadamia Butter: It has a very rich, but mild taste, “melt in your mouth” texture and the flavor is buttery-rich, yet delicate and slightly sweet. So perfect. And did you know that macadamia nuts have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut?

Almond Butter: It's not hard to say that we like anything almond these days, so it was no surprise that were a big fan of the ol' classic. To be honest, we weren't expecting to be impressed by the almond butter, because we have tried so many other brands. But, we were! It was good, smooth and flavorful.

Cashew Butter:  It definitely lived up to all the hype, and we really enjoyed it on an apple.  It obviously had a very distinct cashew taste. This one was definitely one of our top favorites!

Pecan Butter: The pecan butter was extremely palatable with a smooth mouth feel and creamy texture. The flavor of the pecan butter was also extremely unique and rich, perfect to satisfy any craving.

Walnut Butter: As you might expect, this one tastes just like walnuts. We were quite impressed with how awesome this one was as well. Although the cashew flavor was dominant the walnut gave the butter a hint of walnut flavor and an awesome, smooth texture. It's super healthy and tastes good on all fruits.

Coconut Butter: Talk. About. HEAVEN.  This stuff is SERIOUSLY addicting! This was my {lady of the blog} personal favorite. We heated it up in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to spread which really helped out. After tasting it the texture was quite similar to the cacao bliss, silky smooth and melt in your mouth. Coconut butter tastes sweet without any added sugar, and a ridiculously small amount of naturally occurring sugar. It is just luscious, perfect for when you're craving something sweet but avoiding sugar...and it's great on top of paleo pancakes.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a major staple in the Paleo diet, so we will definitely need to restock this soon! In our experiences, bad coconut oil tastes like what you would expect Vaseline to taste like. Artisana makes really good coconut oil--super smooth. We use it for EVERYTHING. From cooking our veggies, eggs, and adding to recipes that would regularly call for other oils. This is a MUST HAVE!

Cacao Bliss: This butter is actually a blend of coconut, cacao, and agave nectar. It tastes delicious, and reminds us of its highly processed "cousin," Nutella. So, if you are a huge Nutella...go buy some! It's good, and nice to have around for an occasional "treat."

While we had definite favorites, we honestly cannot say that we disliked any of the butters. They were all great, and we would most definitely recommend this brand to anyone. Again, we love the fact that these products have minimal ingredients, and love even more that they are Paleo-friendly.

Kind of a longer post--We hope you enjoyed our opinions on Artisana nut butters, if you haven’t tried them before hopefully this review will help you to decide which flavor would be perfect for you.

Thanks again to the wonderful people at Artisana for allowing us to review these products!

Check them out at www.artisanafoods.com to learn more about their 
nut butters and order some for yourself! They are also available in health food stores like 
Whole Foods, and even in some regular grocery stores.

Tell us why you would like to get the chance to sample these amazing nut butters, and which flavor you think you would 
enjoy most....giveaway coming soon!!!
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