Friday, March 30, 2012

Cocoa Toasted Cauliflower

Another day, another recipe incorporating cocoa powder (100% cacao) into recipes that aren't deserts. On its own, cocoa powder is warm, slightly bitter, and not at all sweet.  I absolutely love the flavor of this cauliflower! A perfect compliment to any meat, we ate it with Italian sausage because that is what was defrosted. Chicken or steak would also be good.


  • 1 head fresh cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (100% cacao)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove core of cauliflower and break into florets. Place florets in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, mix the paprika, salt, cocoa, pepper and garlic with a fork. Add coconut oil and microwave for 15-20 seconds until the oil is melted and the spices smell delish
  • Drizzle the spiced oil over the cauliflower in the bowl, then toss with two large spoons until well coated.

  • Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender and brown.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Fried Apples with BACON and Pecans

Benjamin Franklin was wrong. It is not beer but BACON that is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I am always in a good mood when eating fried salty pig parts. Who said you cant put bacon in your desert? Someone who doesn't enjoy savory-sweet combos, that's who! Get on this porky train and make this the next time you have company over. I should warn you, bacon is the gateway drug for vegetarians, serve with caution.

  • 2 strips sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted pecan halves, chopped (eyeball this, you can really use as much/little as you want)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 large crisp apples cored and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • dash of ground clove
  • dash of nutmeg
  • zest from 1/4 lemon (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt
  • Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces, and place them in a large cold skillet. Turn the heat tio medium-high and fry the bacon until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  • Wipe the grease out of the skillet, put it back on the heat and add the chopped pecans. Stir until toasted, careful not to burn, about 3-4 minutes then remove from pan.
  • In the same skillet, heat the coconut oil, add the apple slices, and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix the spices, lemon zest, and salt with a fork, then add to the apples. Continue cooking until apples are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon into a small dish or bowl and sprinkle with chopped pecans and bacon bits.

Thank me later. I do this because I love you.
I also signed Minnie up for Hoarders: Puppy Edition, she refuses to part with any toys. It's just sick really.

Citrus Spiced Salmon and Cumin Roasted Carrots

Now that the weather is getting nicer, it is time to get that grill going again! Unfortunately, this city-dweller doesn't have a backyard or a balcony, but a counter top grill did just the trick! I had never marinated salmon before with these spices and I was very impressed at how well the flavors played together. The citrus and spices blended perfectly with this healthy fish, and the coconut oil kept it from drying out on the grill.  This will be going in my regular rotation. If only wild caught salmon wasn't so darn expensive! Either way, I was doing an incredibly awkward happy dance in my kitchen that involved pops, locks, and drops.

Citrus Spiced Salmon

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs wild caught salmon fillets (skin on)
Note, the pictures illustrate a double batch. I like my Sammy and leftovers went on a spinach salad for lunch the next day.
  • Mix the oil, orange juice, all the spices, and salt in a small bowl to form a marinade that is like the consistency of thick salad dressing. This will become a super yummy crust during grilling
  • Put the salmon in a glass dish, spread and press the marinade over the salmon, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When the coconut oil gets cold, it will become solid. Don't worry this is normal and it will melt during grilling
    • Grill the salmon skin side down for about 3 minutes dependinding on the thickness. The skin should be a little blackened and starting to seperate from the pink fish. Flip the filet and cook for about another three minutes. 
    • melting
    • Remove skin and serve!
    Now for the carrots. For all you carrot haters out there, you need to try this recipe. You probably hate carrots because you remember them from the grade school lunch room: soggy, lukewarm, and floating in a pool of water. These orange babies seriously redeem themselves and I promise you will be a carrot lover once more. My favorite part of this recipe is the fresh chopped mint leaves sprinkled on top of the carrots after they are cooked. The fresh burst of the mint mixed with the warm mellow spice of the cumin combine to make your taste buds sing! Mine were singing N*Sync. Don't judge.

    Cumin Roasted Carrots

    • 1 lb fresh carrots
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/2 fresh lemon
    • fresh mint, minced for garnish
    • Preheat oven to 400 F.
    • Wash and peel the carrots, then cut them lengthwise into thin strips, about 1/4 inch wide. Toss them into a large bowl.
    • With a fork, mix the cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a microwave safe bowl. Add the coconut oil and nuke until melted (about 20 seconds)
    • Pour the seasoned oil over the carrots and toss until they are evenly coated.
    • Spread the carrots on a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. They should be tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and garnish with mint leaves.



    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Pecan and Caramel Bars

    Leave it to Juli from PaleOMG to create this amazing treat. I could not believe how good these turned out! Dates and coconut milk are processed together to make the creamiest sweetest caramel I have ever tasted, and the nutty crumbly crust underneath is just as decadent! I only wish I would have thought of them myself! I had to get them out of my house in order to avoid eating the entire batch!


    For the crust
    • 1.5 cups pecans
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1 egg, whisked
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    For the caramel
    • 12-14 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for an hour
    • 5-6 tablespoons canned coconut milk
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt
    • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
    • Add your pecans to a food processor and blend until you get more of a meal or flour, then add your melted coconut oil, raw honey and vanilla until you get pecan butter.
    • Add that pecan butter to a large bowl then add your almond flour/meal, baking soda and powder and salt, then add your egg and whisk all ingredients together.
    • Grease a 9x9 baking pan with coconut oil and then add your crust ingredients to the pan and use a spoon to spread out evenly.
    • Put in oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes or until middle is cooked completely through. Use the toothpick method to test it.
    • While the crust bakes, lightly clean out your food processor, then add your dates.
    • Turn on until dates have broken down (less than a minute) then add your coconut milk tablespoon by tablespoon to the dates while the food processor is still running. Then add your water as well.
    • And add your vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
    • Process until you get a caramel.
    • Once your crust is done baking, let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
    • Top caramel over crust using a spoon to smooth out.
    • Put in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to set.
    • Keep in fridge.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Mini "Italian" Egg Quiches

    Another St. Patty's breakfast recipe for y'all tonight. I make these quite a bit because they are so good leftover! I always recommend these to people who are new to Paleo because you can make a batch at the beginning of the week, put the leftovers in individual Ziploc bags, and grab one for a quick breakfast during the week. Just nuke for 20 seconds and you are ready to tackle the day!
    Another good thing about these quiches is that always turn out delicious no matter what I put in them. Leftover chicken or ground beef, veggies that are about to go bad (onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc) can all go in and will taste great! (Don't worry party guests, everything that went into Saturday's quiches was fresh!)

    • 4 slices of bacon, roughly sliced
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 114 oz. can of diced tomatoes, strained
    • 1 C cooked chicken breast, diced
    • 10-12 eggs
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    • Play around! Many things will work for this recipe. :)
    • Heat skillet and cook bacon pieces, remove bacon, set aside and reserve bacon fat. (depending on the bacon, if it seems like way too much grease, you can drain a little bit before adding the onions)
    • In same pan, saute onions until almost softened, about 5 minutes
    • Add tomato paste, cook and stir for one minute until well incorporated with onions
    • Add tomatoes, cook down for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently
    • Add bacon and chicken, cook together for 4 minutes, stirring frequently
    • In a separate bowl, crack and beat eggs until fluffy and bubbly
    •  Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper to eggs and mix
    • Grease muffin tin cups (eggs will stick) or use a silicon pan or liners (For the party, I used muffn papers and they didn't come out as easy as when I use my silicone muffin pan)
    • Spoon 1 Tbsp of tomato mixture plus any other additions into each muffin cup
    • Pour egg mixture into muffin cups until they are ¾ full (eggs do fluff up in oven)
    • Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until tops become golden brown. If making them for the week, have them be very slightly underdone so that when reheated the eggs do not become overcooked.
    Enjoy! Sorry for the lack of finished product photo, it was quite late the night before the party and I forgot!

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Blueberry Muffins

    Welcome to another week! Tim and I had the pleasure of hosting some people at our place for a St. Patty's Breakfast this weekend! I spent all night Friday getting the food ready, and I will be posting one recipe at a time for the next few days.

    The first will be blueberry muffins. These were light and fluffy, the way a homemade muffin should be.
    This is for a dozen, I doubled the batch

    ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    6 eggs
    ⅓ cup agave nectar
    ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 cup blueberries

    • In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda
    • In a large bowl, combine eggs, agave, grapeseed oil and vanilla and blend well with a hand blender
    • Mix dry ingredients into wet, blending with a hand mixer
    • Gently fold in blueberries
    • Place batter into a paper lined muffin pan
    • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
    • Cool and serve

    I will definitely be making these again, and experimenting with other berries...such as strawberry and raspberry! 

    recipe adapted from Elenas Pantry

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Shepherd's Pie

    The first time I had this classic British meal was with my mom and step dad in the British Virgin Islands. It has always been one of his favorite meals and I never thought it was anything worth writing home about. It doesn't help that the traditional recipe is loaded with potatoes and cream (replaced with mashed cauliflower). As a young girl I turned up my nose and made fun of Brad for loving Shepherd's Pie. I am really glad I gave this dish a second chance because it was delicious and made a good amount of leftovers to freeze. As he would say, it's "big fun"!

    This recipe uses ground lamb, but you could also use ground beef. Then it's called Cottage Pie!
    • 1 16oz bag frozen cauliflower
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed plus 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oik
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon dried chopped chives
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 lbs ground lamb
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
    •  teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    • 3 egg whites
    • paprika, garnish
    Preheat oven to 400 F

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melt. Add onion and carrot, reduce heat to low-medium and cover, soften for 5 minutes.

    Add the minced garlic and stir in for about a minute. Then, crumble the ground lamb into the pan and saute until it is cooked through and brown, about 8 mins. Season with salt and pepper.

    Add tomato paste, broth, coconut aminos, and spices to the pan. Stir to combine and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Set the pan aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the cauliflower.

    Cook the cauliflower according to package directions until soft. Drain any excess water and place florets in food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until smooth than add the crushed garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and chives. Puree for 1 minute.

    I love how Minnie is peeking
    Scramble the egg whites until partially cooked and frothy then blend into the meat mixture.

    Spread the meat mixture evenly in a 2.2 quart baking dish. With a spatula and a light hand, spread the mashed cauliflower on top of the meat. Sprinkle lightly with paprika (I forgot the "lightly" in one spot)

    Bake for 25-30 minutes, cool for 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy!

    recipe adapted from well fed