Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

Directions for the crust:

Set oven to 400 degrees.

I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand).

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Roll out dough on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect. There will be extra dough as this recipe is originally for the type of pie with a top and bottom crust.

Having the extra helped make it easier to work with.  🙂

Bake the crust for 10 at 400 degrees.  Remove from oven, and turn oven up to 425 degrees.

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Ingredients for the filling:

1 (15 ounce) can of organic pumpkin puree

1 (13.5) oz can of Native Forest Organic coconut milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup of Grade B Maple Syrup

3 TBS coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

 

Directions:

MIX:  cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.

BEAT: eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices. Fold in the coconut milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for an hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean (mine took a little over an hour). You may need to gently cover the edges with foil if they start to brown too fast.

***Cool on wire rack for 2-3 hours. This step is necessary for it to firm up!

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Top with whipped coconut cream!

 

Whipped Coconut Cream:

Refrigerate 2 cans of Native Forest coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl.

 

 

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*you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pie!

 

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Whip with beaters until whipped cream consistency with 3 TBS Grade B maple syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla.

 

 Enjoy!

 

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Pork Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

 

 

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Ingredients:

(1) head of cauliflower “riced” in a food processor

(1) pork tenderloin chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)

(1) egg beaten

(1) large leek finely diced

(3) cloves of garlic minced

(1) carrot shredded

*any other veggies you find in the fridge that you want to add, chopped.

(3) scallions chopped

(2) TBS ghee or coconut oil

(3) TBS coconut aminos

(3) TBS coconut vinegar

(1-2) TBS fish sauce 

pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor, and steam it for a few minutes (I used a rice steamer, but a pot works as well):

 

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2. Saute the meat and veggies (minus the scallions) in 2 TBS ghee or coconut oil with pink salt and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and veggies are tender.

3. Fold in the riced cauliflower and add the coconut aminos, coconut vinegar, and fish sauce.

4. Add the beaten egg and stir until fully cooked.

5. Season with pink salt and black pepper to your liking.

6. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Jamaican “Brown” Stew Chicken

I would like to introduce my friends over at “Jamaicanitpaleo!”  They did a guest recipe for me and I am so excited to try this stew out. It looks amazing!

 


Jamaican It Paleo is a new website ran by a husband and father named Alex who created it along with his wife to originally chronicle their family’s recipes for their children.  When his wife had to make some dietary changes, due to her health, they decided to make the focus of his cuisine the focus of her new found paleo way of eating and living.  Originally from Kingston, Jamaica and a US transplant, he was amazed at the way of eating and living in his new country.  Jamaican It Paleo seems like a catchy phrase, but honestly, in Jamaica, they don’t do paleo…they just eat real food…and they COOK! In Jamaica, they love, they work, they cook and they eat—it’s that simple.  Jamaican It Paleo is combination of food, culture and simple living tips about family, money, wellness and organization.  It’s a “likkle-bit-of-dis-an’-a-likkle-bit-of-dat”.  Above all, Jamaican It Paleo seeks to inspire others to live a more simple and delicious life.

To learn more aboutJamaican It Paleo, visit www.jamaicanitpaleo.com or LIKE them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamaicanitpaleo.

Some of us call this stew chicken and others call it brown stew chicken.  Either way, it is chicken (usually dark meat) ‘stewed’ in a rich gravy made from its own juices and the seasonings.  Many of us use a whole chicken too and cut it into smaller pieces to cook with this recipe, but for ease of preparation, we usually will use some thighs or legs.  Us Jamaicans have to season our meat before cooking it and we won’t settle for nothing less.  My wife likes to meal plan and she helps with making sure that we know what we are cooking and defrosting so we can marinate or ‘season the meat’ at least overnight.   If you are not as organized and do not have time, you can give it at least 1 hour to season.  If you haven’t ‘stewed’ meat before, you need to try it.  Check out more information on our stewing page for that.  You can really make this dish spicy if you mince up the scotch bonnet pepper (aka-habanero pepper), but we chose to leave it whole to make it less spicy. Check it out!

For this recipe, we used our dutch oven, chef’s knife, cutting board, and silicone spatula and brush set.

Jamaican “Brown” Stew Chicken

 

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb of chicken thighs, legs or breast

  • 1 tsp. of salt

  • 1 tsp. of pepper

  • 2 tsp. allspice

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 3 scallions (chopped)

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper/habanero pepper(whole)

  • 1 green pepper (chopped)

  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)

  • 1 tbsp. ginger (minced)

  • 2 tsp. of dried thyme

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil for frying

  • 1 cup of water

 

Instructions:

 

1. Gather the onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger and scallion and get them ready to chop.

2. Chop all of the vegetables and get them ready for the marinade or to “season the meat”.

3. Season the chicken by rubbing in salt, pepper, coconut aminos, thyme, onion, scallion, peppers, garlic, and ginger and allow it to marinade for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

4. Add the cut up vegetables to the chicken and allow it to marinade for at least 2 hours or in the fridge overnight.

5. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven on high heat and when it is ‘screaming hot’, remove only the chicken to fry in the oil and leave behind the vegetable marinade.

6.  Cover the pot and allow the chicken to brown on one side for about 5 minutes (leave covered).

7. Uncover after 5 minutes and brown on the other side, add the remaining vegetable marinade, the whole scotch bonnet pepper, cover and cook on medium high heat for 20 minutes.

8.  After 2o minutes, add the water and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens.

Serve with irish potato, okra, coleslaw, green banana, plantain, sweet potato or a green salad.  Enjoy!

 

For more recipes like this, visit www.jamaicanitpaleo.com and for updates, free recipes, meal plans and more, like us on FB at www.facebook.com/jamaicanitpaleo.

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Program Guide and Cookbook Review!

 

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With the New Year approaching people start to want to make changes to feel better. I often have people ask me about specific diets and programs. I am not in support of diets, and never will be. I am in support of leading a simple, healthy, real food lifestyle. With that said, most of us are addicted to sugar. Our bodies are adjusted to using sugar for energy, and we crave a constant flow of carbohydrates. When your body adjusts to using more fat for energy and less carbohydrates, you become more satiated between meals. Overall you look and feel better. The goal is to stabilize your blood sugar and get off the blood sugar roller coaster that leaves you jittery, moody, and frequently hungry. Even though the program is 21 days, it gives you the tools to make a lifestyle change, and start eating nutrient dense, real foods.

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Program book written by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC is an amazing 21 day program that kick starts this for you. The book comes in 3 program levels with special considerations for athletes, pregnant and nursing moms, pescetarians, and autoimmunity.The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook contains over 100 recipes for any program level!

 

 

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The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide is helpful in determining where you are now and which level is best for you. There is a quiz that helps you to determine which level is best for you to start with (3 levels). It gives meal plans for each level, and a list of yes and no foods for each level. This makes it easy to stick to your goal! There are tasty and delicious recipes that go along with each meal plan, and the recipes have beautiful pictures to go along with them. This guide contains complete program details, the science behind sugar detoxing, what to expect, a preparation checklist, supplement recommendations, frequently asked questions, a daily success log, a replacing food guide, a guide to sugar synonyms, a guide to fats and oils, a guide on dining out, where to find special ingredients, and much more!

I made some of the recipes from the guide.

I made these delicious bacon wrapped pork tenderloins:

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and these Asian meatballs over fresh cabbage slaw…

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and the leftovers made a great lunch for my son Joshua 🙂

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I also made a ginger-garlic beef and broccoli, and this herbed almond “cheese spread (I brought this to a party with cut veggies for dipping. It was a HUGE hit!

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The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook contains over 100 recipes that work for any of the 3 levels in the guide. It is an awesome complement to the guide and gives many more amazing recipes! I tried a few of these recipes as well.

I made these cabbage wrapped dumplings with Asian dipping sauce. These were very tasty and they were not too difficult to make.

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I made this creamy cilantro garlic sauce which I drizzled over my taco salad! I looooove cilantro, and the flavor married well with coconut milk.

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I also made this satiating carrot-ginger soup. Perfect for wintertime in upstate NY.

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Now…for my favorite recipe from the Cookbook…

Caramelized brussels sprouts and onion(Aka…heaven) with bacon:

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There are so many more awesome recipes in this cookbook…you will be amazed!

My birthday is January 6, and I have decided to join the largest group of people starting this program…on my birthday! It is a great way to kick start the year. Eating tasty, amazing, easy to make recipes while getting yourself off that crazy blood sugar roller coaster. Please join me 🙂

Who is in with me?

Link to Diane Sanfilippo’s blog: www.balancedbites.com

Link to purchase the guide and cookbook:

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide

The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook

 

Book Review: The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

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It was my pleasure to review the Cookbook “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking” written by Hayley Mason and Bill Stayley. I enjoyed reading this cookbook and making some of the recipes! I highly recommend it!

 

In the first few pages The Author’s share several Paleo success stories with pictures. Each story tells the age of the person, their favorite paleo benefit, and their favorite paleo dish. These success stories are very inspiring and motivational. They also help you to realize that everyday people are benefiting tremendously by making these lifestyle changes!

 

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The book is broken down into 3 easy to read parts.

The first part of “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”  discusses what the paleo diet is, the difference/similarities between “primal” and “paleo” (in easy to understand terms). They describe what foods to enjoy, and what foods to avoid. They include aesthetically pleasing pictures. They also include a section on growing your own food. In the first section the author’s also list the key ingredients you would want to stock up on when eating a paleo diet. Following this are answers to many common questions.

 

Part 2 of the “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”  is a 30 Day meal plan that is broken down into weeks. This plan includes check lists and shopping guides. It doesn’t get any easier than this! They do all the planning for you. In the back of the cookbook are tear out guides that you can bring with you to the store!

 

Part 3 of the book is the recipes. They even include a page describing how to break down and read the recipes, and a informational “key” that lets you know the prep time and difficulty level for each recipe. I tried several recipes from this cookbook and they were all amazing. With these recipes you will feel satiated, and not deprived.

 

My favorite recipe from this cookbook was the beef and mushroom lettuce cups:

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Here is the recipe (with permission from Author’s to share)

2 lbs gr. beef

1 cup white mushrooms sliced

1/2 yellow onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 TBS BBQ Blend Spice

1 TBS salt,

1 TBS pepper

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup cilantro

1 head iceberg lettuce

 Brown beef over med-heat (in large dutch oven), toss in mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Top with BBQ spice blend, cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Place in individual lettuce cups and top with avocado and cilantro

BBQ spice blend: 1 tsp each of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon, coriander, and black pepper

 

Some of the other recipes I enjoyed included;

* fajita lettuce wraps with chipotle aioli

*pressure cooker pork roast

*beef brisket.

 

All the recipes are amazing, and everything is laid out for you. If you want to try the paleo diet for 30 days, or if you are looking for new recipes to try. This is the cookbook for you!

 

 

You can order “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Dieting” HERE

 

 

 

 

 

I was very impressed with this cookbook over all and highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon, Carmelized Onion, and Chive Ranch Dip

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My kids love the taste of ranch. However, I don’t like to purchase store bought dressings because of the use of GMO soy oil and other highly processed oils that cause inflammation in the body. This ranch flavored mayo based dressing can be used as a dip, dressing, or spread on a burger. It is very flavorful! My kids enjoyed dipping veggies in it. It can also be used as a spread for steak.

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for taste at the end

1 tsp white pepper

1 cup of macadamia nut oil, light olive oil (not extra virgin), or avocado oil

1 TBS vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

3 strips of bacon diced

1/2 onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of chives diced

*water to thin to desired consistency

 

Directions:

Cook the diced bacon over med heat until crispy, remove from pan and set aside.

 

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Put the onions in the same pan with bacon dripping and cook over med low stirring occasionally for a good 1/2 hour until golden brown.

 

 

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Finely dice the garlic (I used a mini food processor) and set aside:

 

 

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Finely dice the chives and set aside as well.
Pictured below is the bacon, chives, onions, and garlic:

 

 

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The base of this dip is mayo. You can follow any paleo mayo recipe. This is how I usually make mine:

Put the egg yolks, mustard  and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk or electric beaters mix until egg yolk begins to emulsify (thicken). Slowly add the oil a drop at time while beating-be very patient, you want it to get thick. Once you are about half way through the oil doing little drops at a time, and the mayo is thick, you can pour it in a stream and finish up.

***be patient, whisk hard, and it helps to have a partner helping to drop the oil in one drop at a time. It also helps to have a good mixer because your arm does get sore if you do it by hand. ***

Add the vinegar, white pepper, lemon juice, and more sea salt to your liking. If the mayonaisse is on the thicker side, add distilled water (a few drops at a time) until desired consistency. If you are using this to put on burgers or steaks, you would want it on the thicker side. If you plan to use it as a dip or dressing, thin it out more.

 

 

Next fold in the bacon, chives, diced garlic, and carmelized onions, and transfer to a serving dish:

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Enjoy!!!

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Crockpot Paleo Pork “Goulash”

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On a recent trip to Florida I tried some authentic German goulash. It was amazing! I wanted to try and recreate some of the flavors in the dish and this is what I came up with…

 

 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized pastured pork tenderloins (or 1 large would work)

1 1/2 cups of beef broth or bone broth

1 small can of muir glen diced tomatoes

1 onion chopped

1 red bell pepper sliced

8 oz of sliced mushrooms

5 cloves of garlic-thinly sliced

3 TBS apple cider vinegar

sea salt

pepper

paprika

fresh cilantro

2-3 TBS potato starch or tapioca starch (to thicken at the end)

 

 

 

Directions: 

Cube the pork into 1-2 inch cubes:

 

 

 

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Sprinkle pork generously with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika.

 

Place all ingredients except for cilantro and potato starch in a crockpot. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix it all up.

 

 

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Cook on low for 6-7 hours. At the end whisk in the starch to thicken the broth. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Soft Cinnamon Banana Cookies (grain-free)

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These cookies were like eating warm soft banana bread! These were warm and satisfying on this cool rainy day. I used a recipe I had developed a few years back with wheat flour and oatmeal, and converted it to a grain-free recipe. Jonah helped me make them so it was a fun project for both of us!

Oven: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond meal

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of coconut oil or butter melted

1/4 cup of raw honey melted (use a little less if your bananas are very ripe)

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas

cookie sheet

parchment paper

In a mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

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Mash the bananas!

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Melt the coconut oil and raw honey together and pour it over the bananas with the eggs and vanilla, mix well.

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Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Then, using a cookie scooper or melon baller, scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Flatten them…

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Bake for approx 12 minutes. They will be soft and not very brown (maybe slightly on the bottom)

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Enjoy! (my helper…who is turning 4 this week)

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Mexican Crockpot Shredded Beef and Lettuce Cups

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I LOVE Mexican food and I love lettuce wraps. I wanted to create an easy weekday dinner. These were a huge hit! I served them with my Jalepeno Guacamole and Tomatillo Salsa…both very easy to make as well.

Ingredients:

1 head of romaine lettuce or boston bib lettuce

2-3 pounds of grass-fed braising beef

1 cup of beef broth or bone broth

himalayan pink sea salt

black pepper

1 TBS  ancho chili powder (this is hot, so use 1 tsp if you want it milder)

1 TBS chili powder

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS smoked paprika

3-5 cloves of fresh garlic thinly sliced

1 medium onion coursely chopped

Directions:

Place the meet in the bottom of a crockpot, sea salt and pepper both sides of the meat.

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Add all the other ingredients

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Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat shreds apart easily. Serve in lettuce cups with Guacamole and Tomatillo Salsa

Enjoy!

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I did it…I cooked and ate organ meat!

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First let me start by saying that as a child I was adamantly opposed to eating animals. I would ask my mom if the meat came from an animal or the grocery store. She had to say the grocery store or I wouldn’t eat it. That is a perfect example of how separated from our food sources we have become, and that was in the 1980’s.  Up until a little over a year ago I barely touched meats. I am an animal lover, and also big on textures.  It wasn’t until October of 2012 when I started researching ways to heal myself from autoimmunity that I discovered paleo eating. I slowly converted myself to eating real whole foods including pasture raised meats. What a difference it has made in my life, but more on that in the next post.

Well here I am in February 2013, a little over a year later…and I am cooking a beef heart. I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would be at this point. I’m sure my close friends will find it comical. My mom will be shocked, lol. My past self would be pretty disgusted. However, I swear I am not crazy!

Organ meats are extremely nutrient dense and healthy! The lady at the Farmer’s Market explained that it is a muscle just like the other cuts of meat. Plus…it only cost $3.00 so really helps when you are on a budget yet trying to eat healthy. 

Mark Sisson describes different organ meats and the health benefits here

“Because it is a muscle meat, heart is very similar to steak, roasts and ground beef, but is typically less expensive (we blame the “ick” factor for that!) and actually has a higher protein content. In addition, heart is an excellent source of a number of nutrients, including thiamin, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, CoQ10 and several of the B vitamins. In addition, beef heart contains amino acids that are thought to improve metabolism and compounds that promote the production of collagen and elastin (thin and wrinkle free? Sign us up!)”

I did not take on this endeavor on my own. I had my friend Steve (a cook) help me out with this one. He did all the cooking, I took pictures and watched/learned.

The heart was actually on the small side and my kids ended up eating almost the entire thing (I did try one bite…it tasted just like roast beef…not gamey at all and very moist). They loved it! Next time I will pick up a larger one, or 2 smaller ones to feed everyone.

Here is how we cooked it:

First I let the beef heart get to room temperature, and we patted it dry with a paper towel and added generous sea salt and pepper to both sides.

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We diced a head of garlic, some carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and onions.

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We braised the heart in a dutch oven on high heat for a few minutes to brown each side, and removed it from the pan.

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We added the carrots and onions to the pan to “sweat them” with some more sea salt. Then we added the garlic and mushrooms. After that we added a couple TBS of tomato paste and mixed it up.

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Next we put a hole in the center of the vegetables and added some beef broth (bone broth would work great…I just didn’t have any). We added a splash of brandy and lit it on fire to “burn” off the alcohol.

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We also added some thyme and bay leaves

Then we put the heart nestled back on the vegetables, covered the pan, and put in in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

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We removed it from the oven and let the flavors “marry” on the stovetop for an hour or so.

About 45 minutes before dinner-time I added some potatoes, brought it to a boil, covered and simmered until they were brown. The meat was in a foil tent during this time.

I thinly sliced the meat at an angle and served over the vegetables with the juices.

My kids devoured it. It was really delicious! So here’s to being brave and trying new things!

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