October 3, 2013 Breakfast
These carrot muffins, however, are made with simple, wholesome ingredients and are much more filling than a typical morning treat. Throw in a few slices of fresh avocado and piece or two of pastured bacon, and you’ve got yourself an complete meal. Make a big batch on Sunday night and enjoy easy breakfasts for the entire week.
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 12 Muffins
2 cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/4 cup raw honey (or maple syrup, if you prefer)
1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
6 ounces shredded carrots
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 tin muffin pan with parchment baking cups. (I like If You Care ones best!)
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon.
- Mix with your hands to break up any clumps in the almond flour and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 2 eggs, 1/4 cup raw honey (or maple syrup, if you prefer), 1/2 cup of melted refined coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of almond extract, and 1 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar on medium (for me, about setting 4) until one solid color, about 2 to 3 minutes. The almond extract is optional, but I like it for the nutty taste it gives.
- Before you add the dry ingredients, add a heaping 2 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin. Mix for one minute more.
Add in the almond flour mixture and continue mixing until well-combined, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Then, pour in 6 ounces of shredded carrots, 1/3 cup of raisins, and 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts. Feel free to use walnuts, pecans, or almonds instead of the hazelnuts, or leave out the nuts and raisins altogether.
With two large spoons, evenly distribute the batter among the 12 muffin tins. Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Tags: Allergy friendly, baking, breakfast, carrots, dairy-free, delicious, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, paleo
June 28, 2013
One thing a lot of people don’t know about me (in the blogosphere, at least) is that I LOVE France. When I first went when I was 11, well, je suis tombée en amoureuse. I usually dislike big cities, but there was something about Paris’s narrow streets and petits marchés that made me think otherwise. I’ve been back twice since then, and every time I leave, I find myself wanting to return.
I’ve taken French in school since the second half of third grade, but I’m nowhere near fluent. I can write pretty well, but when confronted with an actual human being, I clam up! I always worry I’m going to say the wrong thing and wind up completely insulting whoever I’m speaking to.
I’m tired of being afraid and want to be able to have a real conversation in French. So…I’m going to France for a month to get brave and learn! This time, I’ll be going to a suburb of Nice called St. Laurent-du-Var, where I’ll be graciously hosted by my homestay mother. I’m really excited and extremely nervous, too!
One thing I’m looking forward to is the food. I’ve had plenty of Parisian fare—duck confit, chocolate mousse, and the like—but I want to taste what else is out there. Since it’ll be July, fresh fruits and vegetables should be plentiful; hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit one
or seven marchés en plein air and eat so many tomates cerises I’ll become one. I also foresee mountains of olives in my future, as well as whatever else I may be able to sample.
For the duration of my trip, I WILL NOT be eating squeaky clean by any stretch of the imagination. I may look into doing a Whole30 challenge or something akin to it when I return, but while in France, I’m going to enjoy myself. No, I’m not going to eat a massive croissant at every meal, but I’ll certainly try to have a little taste of a variety of different breads, pastries, and dairy products.
Fortunately, I won’t have to leave
the extension of my heart my laptop at home, so I’ll be able to take lots of pictures and update you guys on what I’m up to. Hey, maybe I’ll post a recipe or two, too!
In anticipation for my upcoming voyage, I made ratatouille, probably the tastiest mixed vegetable dish of all time.
I’ve been in French classes for over SIX years now, and the only movie I’ve ever watched is Ratatouille. At this point, I’ve probably seen it at least four or five times in French and six or seven times in English. And every time after I watch the movie, I want that idealized plate of vegetable goodness Disney so perfectly displays.
To make this dish a little more satiating, I melted a bit of raw Dorset cheese on the top. Don’t call the paleo police! If you’re lactose intolerant and/or avoiding dairy, feel free to take out the cheese…but if you can eat it, I highly recommend adding it for extra tang and creaminess.
This recipe is a breeze to make. All you need are some veggies, olive oil, a couple of dried herbs, and a big baking dish. If you’re sick of eating meat for dinner, this is a great way to work something vegetarian into the mix!
My recipe is adapted from this one.
At least a half an hour before you want to bake your ratatouille, slice two small eggplants into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch rounds. Use whatever you can find, whether it be graffiti, Japanese, or globe.
Liberally salt the eggplant rounds and let them sit on a baking sheet or cutting board until assembly time, at least 30 minutes. This is to help some of the water get out and make your eggplant tender, not mushy and gushy.
Next, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut two medium-sized zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds and two large bell peppers into 1/4-inch rings. Maybe it’s just me, but I always eat the ends of the peppers after I slice them.
Set the sliced veggies aside. On the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish, mix together 14 ounces of tomato paste or plain tomato sauce (about 1 medium can), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 chopped small onion, 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. With the back of a spoon or a small spatula, spread it out so the bottom is completely coated.
To assemble, put one piece of eggplant with two or three slices of zucchini and a slice of pepper. Keep going until you run out of space or vegetables…whichever comes first.
Sprinkle the top with 2 teaspoons each of dried thyme, basil, and oregano, a good crack of black pepper, and an additional tablespoon of olive oil.
Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit snugly atop the dish. Stick the ratatouille in the oven until the veggies are tender and beginning to curl around the edges, about 45 to 50 minutes.
If you don’t want cheese, you can stop here. If you’re opting for the dairy, top the ratatouille with your desired amount of cheese (for me, about 10 tiny squares cut from two slices worth) and broil until completely melted, about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately with a large fork and a hungry belly.
Next time, I’ll make more…since we had no leftovers. Oh well, at least it was tasty!
What’s your favorite French dish? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: delicious, dinner, eggplant, France, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, nut-free, paleo, peppers, ratatouille, summer, vegetables, vegetarian, zucchini
May 24, 2013
A year ago, I probably would have said ew at holding a 30 pound pig leg. I would have never imagined that I would look the way I do…or spend every possible moment cooking up a storm.
Well, here I am. You really never know.
When I started my journey, I really didn’t think I could do it. I was clueless. I was frustrated. I was plain and outright SCARED. But I did do it, and I’m so glad I tried and didn’t give up.
So, whether you’re 15 or 50, just know that if I can do it, so can YOU. You have power over your body. You don’t need chips and candy to make your life complete. All you need is a little determination, and you can accomplish it.
Now, onto the real reason why you’re here: the chocolate mini muffins.
If you’re one of those people that will eat an entire pan of brownies as soon as they exit the oven, these are for you. With your chocolaty dessert pre-portioned beforehand, you’ll be much less likely to go overboard while still enjoying yourself. Yum.
And—bonus—these little guys are very allergy-friendly: they’re both gluten-free and nut-free, and can easily be made dairy-free. How awesome is that?
A special thanks to Tammy Credicott of The Healthy Gluten-Free Life for recipe inspiration!
First, preheat the oven to…you guessed it…350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with liners and grease a bit if necessary.
In a small bowl, sift together 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder, 1/4 cup of coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a good pinch of salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
On medium speed, beat together 4 eggs, 1/3 cup of raw honey OR maple syrup, 1/4 cup of melted refined coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of full-fat or low-fat yogurt. (I used Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free yogurt, which both my mom and I adore.) Don’t do dairy? Substitute 1/4 cup of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract instead.
Meanwhile, melt about 3 ounces of chocolate in a saucepan or in the microwave in 30-second intervals. (I used Alter Eco Blackout, my favorite dark chocolate bar.) Pour gently into the rest of the wet ingredients and mix for 1 to 2 minutes more.
Next, add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients. Mix on medium until well-incorporated, about 2 minutes longer. With a spatula, fold in 1/4-1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Using two large spoons, fill up each mini muffin liner with a generous glob of batter.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the tops are beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for at least five minutes (restrain yourself!), then eat alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What’s your favorite birthday treat? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: Allergy friendly, brownies, chocolate, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, muffins, nut-free, paleo
April 20, 2013
Arroz Con Pollo…without grains?! What?!
Yes, it’s true. Really, this recipe should be called Coliflor con Pollo, as it uses cauliflower instead of rice. With colorful veggies and vibrant, layered flavors, you won’t miss the grains at all. Get ready to lick your plate!
A couple of hours before you want to eat, make a marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 3 cloves of garlic with the juice of 2 large oranges and 2 limes. Process until no pieces of garlic remain, about 2 minutes, then pour the liquid into a large plastic bag with some chicken legs. (I used 3 pounds, about 6 medium chicken legs.) Shake to distribute the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high.
Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade. Lightly pat the legs with a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper.
Once the fat is hot, add half of the chicken skin-side down. Cook until brown, about 4 minutes, then flip over. Continue browning for an additional 4 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
After all of the chicken has been browned, turn the heat down to medium and add 1 large chopped onion, 2 chopped bell peppers, and 3 minced cloves of garlic to the remaining fat. Saute until soft, about 7 to 8 minutes.
While the veggies cook, toast 1/4 teaspoon of saffron in a small skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You will want to skip this step because of its simplicity, but DO NOT. The toasting helps the saffron release its wonderful flavor to its full potential. (By the way, did you know that it takes 1,000 flowers to make 1 pound of saffron?)
To the onion, pepper, and garlic, add 2 teaspoons of cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then add 1/4 cup white wine, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juices, the saffron, and two bay leaves. Stir a few times and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and return the chicken legs to the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer on the stove top for 10 minutes.
Next, transfer the lidded pot to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Upon taking the pot out of the oven, stir in about a pound of cauliflower, riced (simply pulse cauliflower in the food processor for 10 to 15 seconds until the size of grains of cous-cous) and 3/4 cup frozen baby peas. Stir to incorporate and, with the lid on, let sit for 5 minutes.
Do they eat cauliflower in Latin American countries? I don’t know, but I do know that Coliflor con Pollo is just as delicious as Arroz con Pollo.
What ethnic dish should I try re-creating next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: cauliflower, chicken, dairy-free, delicious, dinner, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, Latin, paleo