Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa Granola

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 1/2 cup uncooked oats
3/4 cup almonds (whole or sliced)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)
1/4 shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup dired fruit or berries (I like blueberries and cranberries best)

Directions

Preheat oven to 225.
Combine quinoa, oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut (is coconut considered a nut?)
Mix maple syrup and vanilla together then stir it into dry mixture until everything is evenly combined. 
Spread granola out on baking sheet into a thin layer.
Bake for 1 hour.
Let cool, remove from baking sheet and add dried fruit.

Banana Wheatgrass Soup

A couple weeks ago I ordered Banana Lemongrass Soup at a restaurant. It sounded weird, but I love bananas, I had no idea what lemongrass was, and I was feel adventurous. It turned out to be SO good. So good, in fact, that I wanted to recreate it at home. So I looked online and tried to find a recipe and surprisingly there were quite a few. I ended up using a couple different recipes to make mine. With my shopping list in hand, I was off to the grocery store. I went to 3 different stores and couldn't find lemongrass anywhere. I never ended up finding it, but Karl said wheatgrass was probably similar so I got that instead. I still have no idea what lemongrass looks like, I think it's more similar to a leek? Anyway, using the wheatgrass turned out great! It was sweet, but savory and spicy. So good!

Banana Wheatgrass Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sliced bananas (the riper the better)
1 cup yellow onion- chopped
1 cup leak- chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup carrot- chopped
2 garlic cloves- smashed
1 tbsp wheatgrass
1-2 tbsp hot chili paste, depending on how spicy you want it (I use about 1.5 tbsp)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup orange juice
3 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (14 oz)
Salt and Pepper

Directions

In large saucepan- heat olive oil over medium/high heat. 
Add bananas, saute for 4 minutes- until they start to brown. Flip.
Add onion, leek, celery, carrots, garlic, wheatgrass, chili paste, and lemon juice. Saute 10 minutes.
Add cumin, reduce heat to medium, saute 2 more minutes.
Add orange juice, reduce heat to low, simmer for 2 minutes.
Add vegetable stock, simmer for 10 minutes. 
Puree in batches until all soup is smooth. Sir in coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. 
Enjoy!





Pork with Pineapple-Mango Salsa

This is a perfect summer dinner- easy to put together and the salsa is so refreshing!
This recipe was adapted from Family Circle magazine

Pork with Pineapple-Mango Salsa

Ingredients

Salsa

2 cups cubed pineapple
2 cups cubed mango (1 large)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves- chopped
2 jalapeno peppers- seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Pork

1 pork shoulder (about 3 lbs)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 large sweet potatoes (optional)

Directions

To make the salsa: combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cover and chill until serving.
For the pork: Preheat oven to 450. Place pork shoulder in baking dish. Cover pork shoulder with olive oil then rub the rest of the seasonings on all sides. 
I chopped up 2 sweet potatoes and baked them with the pork.
Bake for about 1hr and 15 minutes.
Serve pork and sweet potatoes with salsa on the top. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Paleo Challenege: Day 12


Karl and I are still trying to figure things out for this challenge. I always make our meal plans for the week, and I use to plan 3 or 4 meals which would get us through the week with having leftovers for lunch and dinner some nights. But apparently that isn't working with this challenge. Last week we had to go to the grocery store 3 times to restock our fridge. I went grocery shopping Sunday and by Wednesday we were out of food.. aka meat and sweet potatoes. Then by Friday, we needed to go back again.

So I've learned that I can't count on leftovers for dinner anymore. I've also learned that I need to start planning our breakfasts as well as our dinners (lunches are always leftovers- THAT I can count on!). Since we aren't just eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning anymore, I am having to do more prepping.  Like shredding 6 pounds of sweet potatoes for hash. And making 2 pounds of chicken breakfast patties.

I'm still trying to find the perfect balance of foods to make my intestines happy too. Too many veggies make it mad, too much grease, too much fruit. Hopefully I'll find a good balance soon.

Here's some of the things on the menu for this week:

Breakfast

Spaghetti Squash Hash
Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage
Butternut Squash Pancakes (I'm really excited for these!!!)

Dinner

Balsamic Garlic Chicken
Almond Pizza Crust with Salmon
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs and White (Cauliflower) Sauce
Tuna and Avocado Salad

For lunch today Karl was making a pineapple bacon wrapped burger. Since I'm trying to limit my fruit intake, I opted to switch out the pineapple with roasted sweet potato slices.... and it was AWESOME!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Makes 2 burgers

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground turkey
4 slices of bacon
1/2 large sweet potato (roasted)
whatever spices you want to season the turkey with ( I didn't use any, but next time I think I'll add in some rosemary)

Directions

Make 2 Xs with the bacon.
Form the ground turkey into 2 patties and place them in the center of each X.
Slice up the sweet potato and cover the top of the turkey.
Wrap the bacon ends over the sweet potato. If you need to, use a toothpick to hold them in place.
I used my George Foreman to cook them. To cook the bacon evenly, I flipped the burgers after about 7 minutes. 

I topped mine with avocado. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

One Minute Snickerdoodle Cookie- Paleo

Sometimes you just need one cookie...

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp egg (or just the egg white from one egg)
1/2 - 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Combine all in a microwave safe mug or bowl.
Zap in the microwave for 1 minute.
And just like that- you have a cookie!

I like to top mine with raspberries or blueberries.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Scallop Tomato Sauce- Paleo

Paleo Challenge: Day 4

CrossFit Open: 13.1-


Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees

75/45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
135/75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
165/100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 Burpees
210/120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

I only made it through 40 burpees, 30 snatches, and 30 burpees, so 100 reps. But I figured that would happen. My PR for snatches is 65 lbs... so 30 reps of 75 lbs was clearly not going to happen.
I actually get to do this workout twice. Since it was the first workout for the Paleo Challenge, we will do it again at the end of the 5 weeks to see how much progress we've made. So hopefully I'll be able to hit one or two reps at 75 lbs in 5 weeks!

I'm already over eating all this meat. Meat, meat, meat. I really didn't have to change the way I eat too much for this challenge, the only thing I eat on a regular basis that isn't allowed is steel cut oats. So I'm not expecting to see any dramatic changes or anything. Hopefully a little extra muscle though!

I was craving something different, something new, something not chicken and vegetables. For some reason gnocchi popped into my head. I did a lot of searching online for ideas for a paleo gnocchi. I was trying to find one that used almond meal because I already had some. After looking at at least 7 different recipes I FINALLY found one that used almond meal! I found it on Bam Bam Paleo.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Scallop Tomato Sauce

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes (I left the skin on and it turned out fine)
4 cups almond meal + extra for sprinkling 
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg

Sauce:

1 cup small scallops
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 onion- diced
3 cloves of garlic- minced
olive oil

Recipe:

Gnocchi

Cut potatoes into cubes or coins, boil in a large pot until you can easily stick a fork into it, about 10 minutes or so. Drain and set them aside to cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, throw them into your food processor or blender with the eggs, salt, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. I had to do a couple different batches because my blender wasn't big enough. 

I transfered the sweet potato mixture into the big bowl of my kitchenaid mixer. Start adding the almond meal slowly until you have a weird, kind of sticky, dough-like mixture. You may need more than 4 cups of almond meal or less. You want it to stick together, but be careful not to add too much almond meal, or else it could be too dry.

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle almond meal onto your countertop and place a quarter of the gnocchi dough on top. Roll the dough out into a thick sausage shape (you may have to sprinkle more almond meal on top) and cut it into bite size pieces. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Boil a large pot of water and then turn it down slightly- you still want it to be boiling, but not going crazy. If the water is too rough it will just break the gnocchi pieces.

Drop the gnocchi pieces into the water and cook for about 3 minutes or so, I probably did about 10-15 pieces at a time- it will depend on the size of your pot.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi, and place them on a greased baking sheet. Pop them into the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up a bit.

Sauce

In a large pan, saute your onions with a splash of olive oil. When they are tender and translucent, add the garlic. A minute or so later add the tomatoes and scallops. Let the whole pan simmer for 15 minutes, until it thickens up a bit.
I really had to work for this meal- it took a long time to prep, it definitely wasn't the easiest thing to make, and in the end you don't even get THAT much food! But it really did hit the spot. It was a nice change, plus it was DELICIOUS! The nutmeg and the scallops definitely made this meal great.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mashed Potato Pizza Crust

I loooove mashed potatoes. For Thanksgiving, half my plate is mashed potatoes.
I'd seen pizzas with mashed potatoes as a topping, but I'd never seen one with mashed potatoes as the actual crust. I had recently made a this pizza with a sweet potato crust and it turned out great, so I thought I'd give regular ol' potatoes a try.

Mashed Potato Pizza Crust

Ingredients


1.5 cups mashed potatoes
1.5 cups almond meal
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 cup cheese
 1 tsp baking powder
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt


Recipe
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine all the ingredients, mix well.
On your silicone baking sheet (recommended!), greased pizza stone, or greased baking sheet, spread the dough evenly into one or two circles, about 1/2 inch thick. I made two smaller pizzas because I think it cooks better in the middle, plus they are easier to get off when they are done.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until center in firm and the edges are lightly browned. 
Add your toppings and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melty and browned. 


For my toppings I used ricotta cheese as the sauce (because it's my favorite!), some green onion, mushrooms, bacon wrapped chicken, and mozzarella.




Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

My box is having a Paleo Challenge that is starting next week, so I've been doing some major paleo recipe collecting lately. I'm trying to stock up on recipes to make the challenge as easy (and delicious) and possible. So since I've been searching through tons and tons of paleo recipes, I've obviously been looking at lots of pictures of bacon. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go search for paleo recipes for a minute or two and you will understand!) Bacon this, bacon that, bacon bread, bacon cookies, bacon breakfast, bacon lunch, bacon dinner, bacon soup.

And of course all those bacon pictures makes me want bacon, and I just so had a package in the fridge! I saw a recipe for bacon wrapped pesto chicken- which sounds delicious. But I didn't have any pesto. So I simplified it even more and made bacon wrapped chicken. How easy is that?

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

serves 4 (perfect for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day, or on some mashed potato pizza!)

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts
1 package of bacon
whatever seasonings you want to put on the chicken

Recipe

I started by slicing each chicken breasts into three strips each. You don't have to do this, but I wanted it to cook faster. Season the chicken breasts however you want to (I just did salt and pepper). 
Wrap the bacon around each chicken breast, I used about 2 pieces for each piece of chicken. The bigger the piece of chicken the more bacon you'll obviously need. If you need to, stick a toothpick into the end of the bacon to make it stay put.
I cooked these on my George Foreman for about 10 minutes or so.

Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients


2 cups broccoli
olive oil
sea salt

Recipe
Preheat oven to 400.
Rinse the broccoli and spread evenly onto baking sheet.
Drizzle or mist with olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt over all the pieces.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and crispy. 


Paleo Fudge

For Valentine's Day, Karl and I had a hot date.
Our Crossfit box had a Sadie Hawkins workout- so I asked Karl to be my date. We did as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 20 pull ups, 30 squats, 4 laps running, and 2 laps wheelbarrow walking. Holy cow- my shoulders were shot after the wheelbarrow walking! And then my hands kept slipping off of Karl's sweaty shins, so I had the hardest time holding him up (sorry for dropping you!!). 
Since it was Valentine's Day I felt like I needed to make something to share with people at the box, so I decided to make fudge (because it makes sense to bring fudge to a gym right?). And it was perfect timing because I had recently seen a recipe for paleo fudge- score!

Paleo Fudge

This fudge has a rich, melt in your mouth coconut flavor. It's awesome!

Recipe from Practical Paleo

Ingredients

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Recipe

Melt the coconut oil (and only the coconut oil! On my second batch I made the mistake of putting all the ingredients in a bowl and then melting them- totally changed the consistency.)
Blend all the ingredients together.
Pour into a lined muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tin). You could probably use a greased 8x8 baking dish and then just cut it into squares, but I haven't tried it. 
Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes or so until it's firm. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.


Spinach Pizza Crust

This pizza was delicious!!!!! I know- it looks weird, it's green. And it's main ingredient is spinich. But seriously- soooo good! Oh, and the best part? It doesn't taste like spinach at all!

This is the easiest pizza crust I've ever made. Way easier than regular wheat pizza crust. No yeast needed! And it's only 3 ingredients plus whatever spices you want. 

Spinach Pizza Crust

Recipe adapted from this blog that I found via pinterest

Recipe

4 cups raw spinach
2 egga
2 cups cheese (I used mozzarella)
whatever spices you want (I used garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt)
Whatever toppings you want

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.
Grease your silicone baking sheet. If you don't have one, line a regular baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper (you may want to grease the parchment paper too- this stuff sticks really easily).
Puree spinach and eggs until smooth. Add cheese and spices.
Spread evenly onto baking sheet. I made two smaller pizzas and they turned out great, but you could make one big one too.
Bake for 15 minutes- until edges are brown and center is firm. 
Add toppings and bake until cheese is melty and browned, about 5-7 minutes.

I made one pizza for Karl and one for me. On Karl's I used regular pizza sauce, ground chicken, mushrooms and peppers. On mine I used ricotta cheese as the sauce (AWESOME!), mushrooms, and some ground chicken.
This pizza held together really well, I could pick up a slice and it didn't fall apart.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

For some reason, I normally don't like food cooked in the crock pot. So I was a little wary of this recipe. But in the end, these were awesome and definitely will be made again!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

1 yellow onion- sliced
4 sweet peppers- sliced and deseeded
 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth (depending on how dry you want it)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
Big squirt of lime
Tortillas
Toppings- Guacamole or Salsa

Directions

Put the chicken breasts at the bottom on your crock pot, throw the chopped onion and peppers on top, then pour the chicken broth on top of it all. Sprinkle with the spices and give it a good squirt of lime juice. 

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Cook until the meat is easy to shred. 
When it's done, use two forks to pull the meat apart, then stir it all together again. 
Scoop the mixture out with a slotted spoon and place on tortillas. 
I topped mine with cheddar cheese, a ton of guacamole, and a little bit of salsa. 

Bun-less Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Burgers - Paleo

These burgers were awesome- the bacon added a salty flavor and the pineapple added a sweet flavor. These are the ultimate summer bbq burger (too bad it's winter!). And they are so easy to throw together.

Bun-less Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Burgers

Ingredients

8 slices of bacon
4 slices of pineapple
2 pound of ground meat

Makes 4 burgers

Directions

I used a whole pineapple, so I started by chopping off the rind then cutting them into one inch slices.

 Then I cut out the core- I used a heart shaped cookie cutter because it's almost Valentine's Day!

Season the meat to your liking, then form it into 4 patties. I used ground chicken because that's what I had in my fridge. 

Crisscross two pieces of bacon (+). Place the burger patty in the center then place a pineapple slice on the top. Pull the bacon over the top and secure it with a toothpick if necessary.

Plop them onto the grill, or if it's pushing negative temperatures outside, just cook them on the george foreman or in the oven instead!



You could dip them in bbq sauce or ketchup, but I found that they were awesome on their own.
 I served them with some roasted broccoli. Delicious! 



Of course Cooper was waiting patiently to get in on some of the bacon action


Bacon Sweet Potato Soup (Paleo)

I made the most amazing soup ever. It has sweet potatoes in it and BACON! Can't get much better than that! Oh wait, yes you can- it's also paleo. SCORE!

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

I adapted this recipe from The clothes make the girl

Ingredients

2 pounds of sweet potatoes (2-3 large potatoes)
8 slices of bacon
1 onion- finely diced
5 cloves of garlic- peeled and smashed
2/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
fresh chives

Makes 8 cups of soup

Recipe

Start by peeling and chopping your potatoes into large chunks. I had a ton of potatoes, so I decided to cook them all up at once.


After then are peeled and chopped, plop them into a big pot of boiling water. Boil them for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can stick a fork easily into them.
While the potatoes are boiling, start cooking your bacon. I used my George Foreman. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, place them on a paper towel. Save 1.5 tablespoons of the bacon grease. 
Next, I chopped the onion and prepped the spices in a bowl. 
When the potatoes are done, take them out, set them aside, and drain the water. In the same, now empty pot, over medium-high heat, put in the 1.5 tablespoons of bacon grease you saved, the diced onion and all the spices. Stir occasionally until the onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. 
Then, add the smashed garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds. 
Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes, just to let all the flavors seep into the potatoes. 
Next we turn it into soup! I don't have a food processor, so I used my blender. Working in batches, scoop some potatoes and some liquid out of the pot and add it to the blender. Blend until smooth.

Once it is all pureed, give it a good stir. Ladle it into bowls, add crumbled bacon and sprinkle with some chives. This soup is awesome on it's own, or with parmesan or cheddar added to it. I think this soup might have been even better the second day.

ENJOY!