Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread aka "Halloween Bread"

When I posted my Pumpkin Bread recipe, I had hinted that I had another "jazzed-up" version in mind that I wanted to try. I am officially calling this Halloween Bread because the orange colored batter with the black chocolate chips mixed in looked really fun and Halloween-y.

Hopefully you aren't getting sick of breads yet, because I have one more coming! I've been in a big baking mood since the temperature dropped, and enjoy taking a slice to work to nibble on while I drink my coffee in the AM. Lately, I haven't had time to make breakfast, but that's my own fault. (colder weather = harder to get out of bed)

2/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
6 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana (1 – 2 bananas, depending on size)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a loaf pan with coconut oil
  2. Combine coconut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
  3. Combine eggs, pumpkin puree, banana, honey and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well with a whisk or hand blender. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees 45-60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

recipe adapted from

Friday, October 26, 2012

Paleo Salted Caramel Apple Dip

Happy Halloween Weekend! Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, I am officially celebrating this weekend! I LOVE Halloween and really get into the couples costumes. In the past, we have been Sonny and Cher, and Adam and Eve (don't ask me how I got the boy to wear a nude-colored unitard with ivy leaves strategically sewn/glued on), and this year we are going to be a Pirate and Wench!
The funny thing is, that as much as I love Halloween, I HATE scary movies and being frightened. No haunted houses for this girl! Last weekend my girlfriends convinced me to watch Scream and I had to make them check all the closets and watch a "happy" movie before they could leave. 
Whether you choose to have a spooky or sweet Halloween weekend, I hope everyone enjoys this salted caramel apple dip! This seriously killed my craving for an Affy Tapple.

2 Tbl SunButter (or almond butter)
2 Tbl honey
1 Tbl coconut milk, canned
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of coarse sea salt
  1.  Place the SunButter and honey in a small microwaveable bowl. Heat for about 20 seconds until warmed through and easy to mix
  2. Mix the honey and SunButter until smooth
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and the vanilla
  4. Finish with sea salt and serve with apple slices

A word to the wise, if you are doing Whole30 or any other type of Paleo Challenge, I would skip this. Even if you aren't challenging, I would approach this as a rare treat!

Massaged Kale Salad with Dijon Poppy Seed Dressing

Kale is one of the staples in my diet. With all the amazing health benefits, I try to put some in my grocery cart nearly every week.  If you want to know a little secret, I was never the biggest fan of kale because of it's fibrous texture. It didn't seem to matter how much I sauteed or steamed, there was always a lingering roughness that made it slightly too "green-y" for me. I still ate it because I knew that it is one of the best things I could be eating. That has all changed now that I have learned the trick to silky, smooth kale...a massage! Rubbing the kale breaks down the cellulose, causing it to wilt. The greens reduce in volume and take on a smoother texture like spinach. Genius! Massaged kale can then be eaten raw as a salad, flash steamed, sauteed, whatever your little green-eating heart desires!

So give your kale a little rubdown before prepping and let me know if you can taste the difference!

Ingredients, kale
1 bunch kale, stemmed and sliced into ribbons
1 lemon
Cold-pressed olive oil
Sea salt
A couple handfuls each red and green grapes
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

  1. In a large bowl, dress kale with lemon juice and a few splashes of olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt. Wash your hands, then massage the kale until it turns dark green, soft, and tender. This takes about two minutes
  2. Add halved grapes, avocado cubes, and the pine nuts.
  3. Make the dressing, a couple tablespoons to taste and mix
Ingredients, dressing
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon honey

  1. Whisk all ingredients together. Store leftovers in a glass jar for up to one week, as this makes much more than you will need for the salad!

recipe adaption source

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paleo Fall Harvest Stew

Happy Monday, lovelies! Hope your weekend was fantastic. I had the honor of standing up in one of my best friend's weddings on Friday, and the rest of the weekend was spent catching up with some of my dearest college friends. We spent all day Saturday laying around my apartment, watching movies and chatting, only leaving twice to get food. So much fun, and much needed!

Let's ease into the week with something delicious yet simple to make, a fall harvest stew! Once again, you get to use your trusty crock pot for this meal! I loved the addition of the apples and apple cider in this stew, it really gave it a slightly sweet/savory  flavor and the squash and sweet potatoes made it very filling.

2 lbs chicken breasts
2 cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
1 cup cubed rutabaga
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
2 cups apple cider (make sure only ingredient is apples!)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Add chicken to bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Add all other ingredients on top of chicken and gently stir to just to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through.
  4. Carefully remove chicken, shred with a fork, then return to the stew.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

I promise I make things other than chili and pumpkin baked goods, but with this beautiful fall weather we have been having, can you really blame me? I get really REALLY into the holidays, and am already getting super excited for all the Thanksgiving and holiday creations that are in store for the upcoming season!

I loved the way this pumpkin bread turned out, and my fiance has already requested that I make another batch. I have a jazzed-up variation in my mind, but you'll have to wait and see what that is...(if it turns out as good as I dream it to be)


2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbls cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 cup pureed pumpkin
4 Tbls honey
6 eggs
  1. In a food processor combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. Add pumpkin, honey,  and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes (this can also be achieved with a hand mixer if you don't have a food processor, but you should really get one!)
  3. Scoop batter into a loaf pan, or two mini loaf pans. I used this one.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes
  5. Let cool for 1 hour before removing from pan
  6. Slice and serve


Monday, October 15, 2012

Paleo Crockpot Chili

Hello friends! Are you sick of crock pot meals yet? What about chili recipes? I hope not because that's what I have for you today! The weekend rain postponed our plans for an apple orchard visit, but was a nice excuse to stay inside all day/night and watch football and Hocus Pocus. Just love that movie!

Something about fall just screams chili to me, and I love to try different types of recipes. Spicy, mild, on the stove, in the crock pot...the versions and possibilities are almost endless. This one is very mild, so if you don't like spicy it's the right chili for you! If you need more spice, add crushed red pepper flakes to your own bowl when serving, that's what I did. I do not recommend doubling this recipe, I ran out of room in the slow cooker and had to make last minute adjustments!

1.5 lb extra lean ground beef
1.5 lb ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 stalks celery, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1  15 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 Tsp ground black pepper
1/2 Tsp salt
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Avocado to garnish, optional

  1. Brown the beef and pork in a skillet over medium heat until meat is browned. Drain excess grease.
  2. Place the meat in a slow cooker, add in all other ingredients, stir to combine
  3. Cook 8 hours on low
  4. Garnish with red pepper flakes and/or avocado slices if you wish

Friday, October 12, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

This week really really wore me out! You know the phrase when it rains it pours? We had a regular monsoon over here! Between some craziness at work, broken internet at home, a clogged/broken sink, and some big wedding decisions that had to be made this week, I am approaching this weekend with a HUGE sigh of relief. I'm looking forward to brunch with my mom and step dad, watching my friend Danielle's dog Buddy while she is in LA, and maybe even prancing through an apple orchard and grabbing some pumpkins at County Line Orchard.

Luckily, something as simple as a fall-themed baked good can turn my day around, and these Pumpkin Cranberry muffins fit the bill. They were tasty, simple to make, and of course, Paleo!!


6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup ghee, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tbl pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (if you can't find fresh use frozen, thawed)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk the eggs, pumpkin, melted ghee, pure vanilla extract, and maple syrup together in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  3. In a muffin tin, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into each lined muffin cup, and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Recipe source

Friday, October 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Paleo Ropa Vieja with Cuban "Rice"

When the air starts to cool off and the days slowly begin to shorten, I crave a certain kind of comfort food that only a slow cooker can deliver. I love being able to throw all your ingredients into one pot, leave for the day, and come home to an amazing hot meal! My advice is always to buy the biggest slow cooker you have kitchen storage for, I use a 5.5 quart CrockPot and I have always been able to double recipes without worrying about running out of room.

This week, I made a Ropa Vieja, which is basically the most tender fall apart beef you have ever tasted, and paired it with cauliflower rice that was enhanced with tomato sauce and bacon bits. Do I have your attention now?  The best way to describe the flavors are warm, savory, and smoky. The bacon in the rice definitely adds a little something special to the meal. I was very pleased with the way this turned out! I used Juli's recipe and made a few adaptions which are noted below.

For the ropa vieja
1.5-2lbs chuck roast
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
For the Cuban rice
1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and roughly chopped
3 thick sliced of bacon, diced
1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Pull out your slow cooker
  2. Add onions and peppers to the bottom of the slow cooker
  3. Place your chuck roast on top and cut 4 deep slits into the meat and push your garlic cloves into the slits.
  4. Add all the spices and salt and pepper.Then add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and bay leaf to the rest of the crockpot. I was worried about the meat drying out so I added about 6oz of water as well (pour on the side so you don't rinse off all the spices you just put on the meat)
  5. Place on low for 8-10 hours. (9 hours for a double batch was perfect)
  6. When your ropa vieja is almost done, it’s time to cook your rice
  7. Add the chopped cauliflower to a food processor with the shredding attachment. And rice the cauliflower
  8. Add the diced bacon to a large saucepan and cook down up bacon has browned and cooked almost completely through, discard about half the grease
  9. Then add the cauliflower, tomato sauce and spices to the saucepan. Mix thoroughly then cover.
  10. Let cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring intermittently to help incorporate all the flavors.
  11. Once your ropa vieja is done cooking, use a two forks to shred your beef. I found it easiest to take the beef out of the slow cooker and put it into a big bowl to shred before returning the meat to the slow cooker and mixing it all together.  Serve ropa vieja on top of Cuban cauliflower rice