Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/neolith6/public_html/wp-content/themes/Builder-Cohen/lib/builder-core/lib/layout-engine/modules/class-layout-module.php on line 499

Archive for SCD Recipes

Hey, I’m a FunGuy! A delicious vegan mushroom soup for your health

All mushrooms contain selenium, which is a powerful Immune system-supporting antioxidant! They also contain varying degrees of fiber, and B & D vitamins. Mushrooms also have a high concentration of lectins which bind to abnormal cells. If you’re really interested in everything mushrooms can do for us in all their fungal glory, check out this TED talk on the power of mushrooms by mycologist, Paul Stamets.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the health benefits of mushrooms during my 3 pm slump. This is when Alba is napping, the winter day is darkening, and I want to be napping too, but I should be WRITING (or folding laundry or working out). Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix plus my keto creamer is a way to enjoy coffee while SIMULTANEOUSLY enjoying some nutritional benefits. I definitely recommend giving this (or any organic brand) a try so that your coffee routine adds to your health instead of working against it!

This week I’m having mushroom soup for breakfast! This is sort of the same concept of a smoothie: something easy to travel with and a smooth texture to ease you back into meal time after your nightly fast. However, if you ascribe to digestive theories of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), then having fruit or anything cold for breakfast is not working in your best digestive interest. In order to balance my digestive xi (chee), I always have something WARM (above body temp) in the morning. Soup gives me the benefits of a warm breakfast, along with the healing qualities of the broth, and delicious nutrient rich veggies like mushrooms. I also love having my “creamy” cauliflowerpumpkin lemongrass or broccoli cheddar soups in the morning. This specific Mushroom soup recipe I’ve provided below is for my Follicular Phase, to balance estrogen and progesterone. You can read more about that at my Seed Cycling post.

Mushroom and Pumpkin Seed Soup

  • 16 oz (2 grocery store packs) of mushrooms- I used a Baby Bella, oyster, shiitake, and Cremini mix.
  • 3 cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • *(optional) Mushroom Umami spice powder from Trader Joes
  • optional 1/4 cup dry sherry

Instructions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium heat,  use olive oil or other fat to cook chopped onion until translucent
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and diced garlic, cooking until tender
  3. Add vegetable broth, spices, and thyme
  4. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, add pumpkin seeds and cream soup until smooth with an immersion blender (or in your food processor/ blender)
  6. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and pumpkin seed

 

*I love this salt-free spice mixture from Trader Joes! It is full of flavor without added sodium! I recommend using it on Avocado toast or chicken breast!

 

Paleo/Keto Sausage Balls – Just like Grandma made!

Nothing says the holidays quite like a sausage ball, cheese straw, or piece of fudge or fruit cake! That’s what we grew up having here in the south at my grandmother’s house. I have taken on the other 3 treats in Christmases past, so I’m excited to share my recipe for these amazingly delicious keto/paleo sausage balls, which are also gluten-free!

The secret to the perfect taste of these paleo/keto sausage balls is the ground pork sausage that we get from our local farm, Reverence Farms in Saxapahaw. It is beautifully spiced, and tastes incredible because these pigs live their best life, foraging in the woods surrounding the Haw river, living as pigs should.

There are so many different takes on sausage balls, but I really wanted to keep mine simple to highlight the great pork taste. I love the coconut flour flavor with them, and the type of cheddar I used is also a favorite: Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. I hope you enjoy making this simple, yummy snack for your family this holiday season.

Paleo/Keto Sausage Balls

  • 1 pound ground pork sausage (I used a pre-spiced mix from my farm. If yours is plain, you may want to add sage, fennel, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper to taste)
  • 6-7 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brown sausage on stove top
  3. Combine browned sausage with other ingredients and mix together thoroughly
  4. Use hands to form mixture into 1-2 inch balls. You should have approximately 24!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top

 

Paleo Holiday Cookies

It’s that time of year again! Last year, Matt and I made almond flour cut-out cookies in the shape of snowflakes and Christmas trees while we watched a Star Wars Marathon in preparation to see the new Star Wars movie on Friday, December 15th. We never did! I ended up going to the Hospital to have Alba that day…And Matt brought the dozens of uneaten, messily-iced cookies to our recovery room to share with the nurses 🙂

If you’re attending a cookie party or participating in a swap, I have some great recipes already on my website.

And now I have two more options for you! The first is a famous no-bake Fudgy Oat Drop Cookie that you can pull together in less than 10 minutes if you have an hour or so to let them set up in the fridge. Everyone loves this cookie and you can’t miss with it as a last minute option!

The second is a Paleo version of my favorite thumbprint cookie, Ginger Molasses Peppermint Bark cookies, that my roommate Lilli used to make. Instead of putting the white/red striped kisses in them, I use sugar-free/paleo peppermint bark. These cookies are a big hit with my in-laws and after having them on my first trial, they requested them for Christmas Day! They are not paleo or sugar-free, so that tells me that these will be a big hit with any cookie consumer!

Fudgy Oat Drop Cookies

Sugar/flour/dairy/egg free

Makes 12 cookies

  • 2 cups of Organic rolled Oats
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic 100% cacao
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 drop almond extract
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or food processor. Mix or pulse gently ( so as not to break up oats too much)
  2. Form into 2-3 inch cookies and place on a plate lined with parchment
  3. Chill until set

Ginger-Molasses Peppermint Bark Cookies

 

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (treacle) or maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Extra 1/4 cup coconut sugar for rolling cookies
  1. Preheat Oven to 350
  2. Cream butter, sugar, and molasses/maple syrup
  3. Combine dry ingredients
  4. Add in vanilla, Egg and butter/sugar/maple mixture
  5. When mixture is combined, use two spoons to scoop out 1 inch cookies
  6. Roll Cookies in coconut sugar and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined sheet pan
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until brown, and when you take them out of the oven IMMEDIATELY place a peppermint Kiss or Paleo Peppermint bark on top of each cookie so it slightly melts!

 

 

Try something NEW: 10 Alternative Thanksgiving sides and accompaniments EVERYONE will love

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away! Does anyone else’s family eat totally differently, with an array of allergies and preferences? One Vegetarian (or vegan), me, the token paleo, someone is always part-time gluten-free or Keto, various people have serious or subtle allergies to nuts (me and my cousins), or new restrictions like broccoli (also ME. I AM the problem). There is a lot to keep track of, and it’s hard to please everyone all the time. I hope that I’m bringing a solution to you in the following whole food, easy-to-make options for Thanksgiving. Whether you’re hosting, contributing to a potluck, or pulling together a “Friendsgiving” celebration, these dishes can help you to both please a crowd and branch out at the same time. It’s easy to dazzle tastebuds with loads of sugar coating or generous amounts of butter and cream, but you can also dazzle in a healthy way this holiday season. All my recipes are inspired by comfort foods and big flavors, so you can give the gift of a healthy side-dish that doesn’t “taste healthy” as my husband puts it!turmeric cocktail

For a spectacular and dazzling appetizer pair, try my Fall Turmeric Cocktail with Bacon-Wrapped Dates or shooters of Lori’s Butternut, Fennel & Leek Soup with a fennel garnish on top! For a different, but classically delicious Italian spin on traditional squash, try Acorn Squash Agrodocle, an uniquely delicious side that I recently posted.

Butternut Sage Quinoa

For a protein-packed vegetarian side (Vegan if you replace the butter with oil), try my very popular dish that everyone at Friendsgiving wanted the recipe for, Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa with Macadamia nuts

For your sometimes gluten-free, one-time vegetarian, newly keto cousin, who you never know what the hell they might eat, try my spin on my Granny’s classic Tart Cranberry Relish.

Tart Cranberry Relish

Thanksgiving can also be stressful. Whether you’re hosting, spending time with the in-laws, or navigating your own colorful family, this holiday can be tricky. It can also get monotonous with everyone clinging to their favorite tradition. This is going to make me sound like a grinch, but it’s hard for me to endorse even the most sentimental traditions when they’re often made up of non-foods: canned cranberry sauce, marshmallow/sugary toppings, evaporated/condensed milk, instant puddings, the list goes on… Tradition is important, sure. It’s also important to have a balance, which is why I like to introduce new WHOLE food recipes that are totally homemade, but easy and with no artificial ingredients. THESE are the traditions that I want the children in my family to remember and adopt so that they can have sentimental favorites that also benefit their health.

In my mind, the most important Thanksgiving tradition is the Pumpkin Pie, and thus, I think it is my most important recipe for you to try. I encourage you to whip up some full-fat coconut milk, sweetened with a bit of vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup to top it! This recipe is dairy free, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo.

If Pumpkin pie is not your thing, I encourage you to try my newest recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding (coming 11/11) or my crowd-pleasing and nut-free Sunflower Sesame Seed Cookies

And finally, you will need some nourishment in the morning as you prepare the day’s Thanksgiving meal and watch the Parade! My Pumpkin Coffee Cake is my best recipe to date! It is melt-in-your-mouth perfection and would be an EXCELLENT way to say “Thank you” to your Thanksgiving host or “Good Morning!” to your house guests!

If this was helpful to you AT ALL, please drop a comment and let me know. It would make my holiday to know that one of the recipes I’ve created has made it to another family’s precious dinner table!

paleo pumpkin coffee cake

BBQ Jackfruit Nachos {Vegan/Paleo}

This recipe is not only healthy for a comfort food like Nachos, it is also super cheap, at under $12 for the ingredients. I got everything from Trader Joe’s. I love their plantain chips, but they also have some great multigrain/ Quinoa tortilla chips. Jackfruit doesn’t really taste like chicken, but it has a similar texture and the flavor is neutral and covered completely by the BBQ sauce, so it is a great “imposter.” I fed these nachos to Matt and his friend, Jake, and they had no idea it wasn’t chicken until I told them. Those BBQ flavors are strong and that is what your palate focuses on, along with yummy fats like cheese and guacamole.

Eating meatless meals is often cheaper, and a good balance to my paleo diet. I love experimenting with vegan foods because, like paleo, it is such an anti-inflammatory diet, if you do it right! I know I suggest going without cheese for the Vegan version, and some people probably think that’s crazy for nachos. HOWEVER, I have been on a strict AIP paleo regiment and had nachos with sweet potato fries or plantain chips that are served just with veggies, pulled chicken, and tons of flavorful guacamole and THEY. ARE. DELICIOUS. If you opt out on the cheese, for either a strict paleo or vegan meal, I strongly suggest you double the guacamole and you will be absolutely satisfied on every front! Fat, protein, and carb!

You can find sugar-free BBQ sauces in stores, but if you prefer to make one at home, I combine:

  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos or Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon
  • 1 Pinch each of: all spice, salt, pepper, hungarian paprika, chili powder, cayenne, garlic

Jackfruit Nachos

  • Tortilla or plantain chips (paleo) (1.99)
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (I use cheddar and pepper jack) (3.99)
  • 1 can of jackfruit, marinated in *paleo barbecue sauce (0.99)
  • 1 cup of black beans (0.89)
  • 1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion ( a few cents for all veggies)
  • 1 thinly chopped celery stalk
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 avocados, mashed, liberally salted, and topped with juice of one lime for a basic guac! (2.99)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. The only purpose here is to melt cheese and warm through jackfruit
  2. Spread chips out on a parchment lined baking sheet so that they are touching, but do not cover one another up
  3. Sprinkle on half of cheese first (this will help other ingredients stick)
  4. sprinkle black beans,onion and celery on
  5. evenly spread BBQ marinated jackfruit over chips, feel free to dump extra marinade on
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and “BBQ” is warmed through
  8. If you used parchment, you can easily pick up nachos and transfer to a platter
  9. THEN top with your cherry tomatoes and avocado, so you don’t lose any to the sheet pan!
  10. I also top with some bonus PICKLED red onions, because I love them!

For Paleo Version

Sub out tortilla chips for Plantain Chips

For Vegan Version

No Cheese or sub with vegan cheese

More Guac Please!

Acorn Squash “Agrodolce”

Agrodolce is Italian for sweet and sour. This dish is just that, with a bit of spice at the end to round out the gorgeous flavor. It’s also super easy and completely paleo, accomplishing all those flavor bombs without sugar or starchy thickeners. This is on my list for Halloween and potlucks this fall. Its something that has familiar ingredients, so it won’t scare people away, but the taste is absolutely new and different. My friends and family get so excited about this simple dish! What do you think of the way I spooked it up with the black rice underneath? Happy Halloween Week!

Acorn Squash Agrodolce

Serves 2-4 Takes 30 minutes and…

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 pinches of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Microwave your acorn squash for 3-4 minutes to make slicing easier!
  3. Cut Squash in half, remove all seeds and pulp and slice halves into 1/2 inch half moon slices
  4. Place squash slices on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake for 25-30 minutes until fork tender
  5. While squash bakes, make your Agrodolce: combine maple syrup, red wine vinegar, butter/oil, red pepper, nutmeg, and sage in a saucepan, on med-high and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and continue to reduce Agrodolce until syrupy and think
  7. Add currants
  8. Remove acorn squash from the oven, plate it, and then pour agrodolce syrup over it!

Additionally, you could add chopped nuts as a topper. I plated my squash over black rice for a very Halloweeny look! What do you think? Spooky, spicy, sweet?

VEGAN Sunflower & Sesame Seed (SSS) Cookies

vegan cookies

I am so excited when I get to share vegan recipes that are nut, grain, and sugar free! This recipe ticks every common allergen box, so I can deliver to the widest range of consumers out there, which is my goal. Speaking of goals, I’m really trying to consume fewer animal products, so creating vegan treats is a priority for me lately.

Because they have virtually NO allergens, these cookies are a great option for kids’ party potlucks or schools that allow homemade treats. Personally, I really wanted to find a cookie we could enjoy at home without worrying about Alba being exposed to nuts or honey, which are not recommended for kids under 2.

This is a chewy cookie, and would be great for ice cream sandwiches or packing lunch or a picnic because they are not crumbly or over-soft.

Now, let’s get to this Vegan recipe so you can cooking! If you are not a vegan, or do not have an egg allergy, please feel free to use 1 large egg white in place of the flax egg!

Sunflower & Sesame Seed (SSS) Vegan Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch/powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • The last one is variable! I have used:
    • 1. A vegan egg replacer from Bob’s red mill that contains potato starch, psyllium husk, and tapioca
    • 2. One LARGE egg WHITE only
    • 3. One Flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp water)
Directions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine Coconut sugar, maple syrup, and egg white (or replacement) with electric mixer (you need a good mix on these!)
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except chocolate covered sunflower seeds and mix until smooooooth
  4. Stir in chocolate covered sunflower seed with a spoon
  5. Spoon mixture onto parchment covered cookie sheet. THESE COOKIES SPREAD A LOT so you will need 2 cookie sheets. You can make 12 medium sized cookies or about 16 small cookies.
  6. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden. I think I have a hot stove, so my bake times are always on the low side!

My hope is that you get to enjoy these delicious vegan, nut free, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free….Phew! (ha ha ha) cookies with ALL of the people you love! They are delightfully colorful and would make a great addition to your upcoming Halloween or Friendsgiving celebrations!

Thanks for visiting the blog!

 

 

Autumn Favorites!

autumn favorites paleo

We had a rainy fall weekend here in NC, which is one of my favorite types of weather! We went on two long runs with our dogs and I finally got to whip up one of my favorite fall recipes: Bison & Acorn squash Chili. My recipe was featured on Mind Body Green this year, so go on over and check it out on my favorite health blog.2

We were supposed to go apple picking this weekend, but our outing and my paleo apple bread got rained out. Instead, I whipped up some Paleo Pumpkin bread. I went a little crazy with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, but this definitely tastes like fall, so I recommend to all! This is my own recipe, and if you haven’t noticed, I like to keep it simple with the measurements and ingredients.

paleo pumpkin coffee cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Lots of ground pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom and ginger ( i do 1-2 teaspoons each)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup organic pureed pumpkin

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix your first 4 ingredients in a bowl (dry ones)
  3. Mix your wet ingredients  in a separate bowl until smooth
  4. Combine all ingredients into one bowl and mix until all is incorporated evenly
  5. Pour into bread pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.
    Disclaimer: Know thy Oven!! And know thyself: I like REALLY moist bread that falls apart.

Fall Spiced Paleo Caramel Apple Butter

I had so much fun making these sweet favors for my baby shower last weekend! All of our guests were gifted my Paleo Caramel Apple Butter and my Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte mix in the adorable mini mason jars below! My family also made some incredible appetizers that I could enjoy too, which was so nice! We had a pumpkin and apple quinoa salad, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and bleu cheese stuffed dates before a beautiful cake from Edible Art. I promised I would post the Caramel Apple Butter Recipe, and it’s taken a full week, but here it is!

This apple butter is not overly sweet like some store bought brands. It contains ZERO sugar or thickeners, so it’s all natural and flavored with pumpkin pie spices. I love this as a new fall staple in our house because it’s basically just a mixture of all my favorite fall flavors, and it’s easy to make! Store this in a mason jar in the fridge for the season and enjoy it on GF toast, biscuits, ice cream, pancakes, or on a cheese plate (I love it with cheddar on a rice cracker). I have also been stirring it into my oatmeal and yogurt lately! Let me know how you like to eat your apple butter in the comments!

Paleo Caramel Apple Butter

Makes several jars full! Keep one (or two) for yourself and give the remaining as gifts!

  • 6-8 cored, chopped fuji apples
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  • 4 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground clove
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cardamom

For the Caramel

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large pot on the stove, combine chopped apples and all remaining ingredients (except for the caramel ingredients!)
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  3. Stir mixture until apples are covered in liquid and allow the mixture to come to a simmer on the stovetop.
  4. Move your apple mixture to an oven safe baking dish and into the oven for 2-3 hours, until apples are browned and easily mashed. Mine took about 2 and a half hours.
  5. While your apples bake, you can make your caramel! Simply combine your coconut milk and coconut sugar in a pot on the stove. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
  6. Once your caramel is boiling, turn the stove down to “medium-low” so that your caramel is at a low simmer, and add in your vanilla and pinch of salt.
  7. Continue to stir until well-incorporated, this whole process should take less than 15 minutes.
  8. Remove your apple mixture from the oven and use an emersion blender to puree it (if you do not have an emersion blender, you can move the contents to a blender or food processor to puree)
  9. Stir in your caramel, and voila! Your Paleo Caramel Apple Butter is ready to jar and enjoy!
  • Fun fact: If you’d like to enjoy some stewed apples, simply omit caramel, take your apples out of the oven a little bit earlier (after only 30-45 minutes),  and do not puree them. This is a delicious fall side dish to serve with pork, chicken, or your breakfast oatmeal! Yum! I often do not get to make much apple butter around here because we stop the process early to eat the delicious/nutritious stewed apples!

paleo caramel apple butter

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

Paleo Blueberry Muffins are my favorite snack to bring my Doula clients! I’ve been experimenting with recipes lately because my plan is to stock my freezer for late pregnancy and early newborn days. This is a great time of year to freeze blueberry muffins so you can take advantage of summer’s delicious in-season blueberries! I’m getting a list of healthy, hearty, filling, easy-to-reheat recipes together for a week of cooking and baking at Thanksgiving before my baby gets here, so look for more freezer friendly food on the blog then!

Paleo Blueberry Muffins are at the top of my freezer list because blueberries are a “galactagogue,” meaning they promote milk production. I’ll also be sharing a paleo lactation cookie recipe soon!

Please comment below if there was something you really enjoyed having on hand during late pregnancy and early breastfeeding days! Matt and I are also thinking about doing a meal service plan like Blue Apron or Sunbasket so we are not dependent on take out or processed foods, and can really control what is going into our bodies and into my breastmilk.

By the way, these muffins aren’t just for lactating Moms! They are great for kids & husbands too, and my co-workers REALLY enjoyed the batch I made them this week! It’s so fun to surprise people with tasty treats by introducing them to delicious sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free options (but always give them the nut warning for almond flour!)

And Mondays always need a little more cheer 🙂

Paleo Blueberry Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

You will need 30 minutes and

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or maple syrup for sweetness
  • 1/2 cup of coconut or almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line tin with muffin cups
  3. Mix almond flour, salt, and baking soda together
  4. Mix wet ingredients separately
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and fold in blueberries
  6. Bake for 20+ minutes until a dry toothpick can be removed
  7. Set to cool on a wire rack!! If you are freezing, i would double or even triple this recipe, which is easy to do and still works!

silicone muffin wrapper

Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake

This is my new favorite recipe! This paleo cake is so moist and melt-in-your-mouth perfect! It is impossible to resist cutting a hot piece when you take it out of the oven (you can see the steam rising off my piece in the below photo). This coffee cake can be made in a 9 in. pie dish (like mine) or a 9 X 9 pan. The only caveat is to be patient while it cooks. It is a super moist cake, like I said, so it goes from barely looking “set” to perfect fluffy consistency very quickly. I checked at 45 minutes and it was not done, but was perfect by 53. And always use parchment paper!

You will want to hoard this cake all for yourself,  BUT it would really impress folks at a potluck party or as a gift. In fact, make 2! One for yourself, and one for some else. Spread the pumpkin love 🙂

In honor of Fall being just 2 weeks away, I’m delighted to bring you this recipe, Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake

You will need 1 hour and…

  • 1 cup of organic canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: Nutmeg, clove, ginger, and cardamom  (optional)

For the Optional Crumble on Top

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line your dish in parchment paper
  2. Mix all ingredients for the crumb topping in a bowl and set aside
  3. Combine all wet ingredients of your coffee cake: pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, and eggs, mixing by hand until incorporated.
  4. Add Dry ingredients the wet mixture: almond flour, baking soda, salt, spices and thoroughly mix
  5. Pour Coffee Cake Mixture into your baking dish
  6. Crumble topping slowly & evenly over the top of your cake mixture
  7. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with minimal batter on it

 

paleo pumpkin coffee cake

Fall Salad with Port-Mulled Cherries and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Traditionally, I would eat a Fall Salad on a bed of spinach, but spinach has not been my best friend through pregnancy!

Instead, I built on a bed of spring greens, and used pork loin as my protein. I cook with a lot of fish, veggies and chicken in summer, supplemented by the occasional burger (red meat), so Fall is when I bring in some more gamey proteins like bison, elk, turkey, and some beautiful free range pork. Free-ranging pigs do incredible things for the soil, and their happiness with human interaction could only be compared dogs!

I’m obsessed with the honey mustard/pork combo, so my dressing is a honey mustard vinaigrette, which is honestly just a great salad dressing to have around all the time. {recipe below}.
Caramelized red onions round out the salad in this photo. HOWEVER, I made a very important last minute addition to this salad– which is kind of the highlight of this meal — port-mulled cherries!

I recommend serving this salad with the components warm (not hot) which increases the feeling of heartiness and seasonality in the dish! These nuances help us to keep salads a year-round meal at our house. I’d love to see the different, creative ways YOU build a fall salad! Feel free to tag me on instagram if you make on yourself!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

In a mason jar (or used and rinsed store-bought salad dressing jar, which is what I do!!!) COMBINE:

-1/4 cup olive oil

– 1/4 cup dijon

–  1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

– 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

– 2 raw garlic cloves (do not eat, just for mixing)

– pinch salt and pepper

Port-Mulled Cherries

(Perfect as a low glycemic way to sweeten your morning Oatmeal!)

In a large mason jar or air tight container, COMBINE:

-1/4 cup purified water

– 1/4 cup port wine

– 1/4 cup maple syrup

– 1 cinnamon stick

-1 star anise

– several cloves

– 1/2 inch orange peel

– 2 cups of pitted, organic, dark sweet cherries

port-mulled cherries

We’re Back! Happy National Ice Cream Day! (Vegan, Dairy free)

I have been absent from my blog for the last 5 months, desperately missing my Paleo community! However, it’s not without good reason, because I’ve been cooking up my biggest success yet: pregnancy announcement with dogs

 

The last 4 months of pregnancy have been brutal at times, and I have really struggled with my diet. I’ve lacked the energy to cook for myself, developed new aversions, allergies, and digestive problems, and I’ve only recently gotten over incapacitating nausea and vomiting. I’m hoping to begin working with an RD (registered dietitian) who can help me maintain a modified paleo diet throughout the rest of my journey with pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I believe that everyone, pregnant or not, should eat what makes them feel their best in mind, body, and soul. That looks different for different people. I’ve found, for me, that disconnecting with my paleo diet during my pregnancy has disconnected me from a huge part of myself and has thus: A) been detrimental to my energy and digestive health and B) not served me emotionally or spiritually.

Becoming a Mom means so many things to me. Right now, it means taking care of myself in a new, more profound way. First, so that I can nourish our little to be strong and healthy. Later, it will mean nourishing myself for optimal breastfeeding, and cultivating the energy I need to participate in my family fully. If you have recently been pregnant, raised an infant, battled food allergies, or autoimmune disease, you know how huge that energy play is for me!

I’ve learned a lot already, and I’ve still got a little over half my pregnancy to go. I’m excited to learn even more from my changing body, my baby, and my dietitian. Another great lesson in all of this: it’s so important to ask for help when you need it! I hope you will follow me on this journey! I promise to post candidly and (as) frequently (as a new Mom can). My goal is still to use this blog as a collecting space for the recipes that will comprise my future Cookbook. As a Doula, I’m excited to add new pregnancy and breastfeeding specific recipes to the repertoire!

Because eating for your best mind, body, and soul sometimes means indulging, I haven’t forgotten National Ice Cream Day! This is a special Paleo/ Vegan Ice Cream Recipe for all those celebrating on a special diet! Yes, I tried regular ice cream in early pregnancy (not with pickles) and it burned all the way down, so coconut cream it is from here on out!

Paleo/ Vegan/ Dairy Free Ice Cream

vegan paleo ice cream

  • 1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk – chilled for 30 minutes in freezer or 3 hours in fridge
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey if you are not Vegan and prefer a sweeter finish)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 cup of your fruit of your choice
  • 4 t Tapioca flour if you are not using an ice cream machine.

With an ice cream maker: 

  • Simply combine your first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend well
  • Then process through your ice cream maker

Without an ice cream maker (like me): 

  • Blend all 6 ingredients thoroughly
  • Pour coconut cream mixture into a freezer safe container and cover
  • Let freeze for 2-3 hours, and then blend again (repeat this step 1-2 more times until your ice cream reaches desired consistency)

A great way to dress up your Paleo Ice Cream is to melt some dark chocolate and/or almond butter to drizzle on top!

 

Gravlax: How to Cure your own Salmon

Gravlax

I only wish I had started curing my own salmon earlier! Matt bought a beautiful 3 pound salmon filet for us last week. I divided it in half and baked one part with the traditional lemon, dill, and sea salt, which sustained us with 2 delicious dinners this weekend.

The other half rested in the fridge over the long weekend before it magically became GRAVLAX (or salt cured salmon), which will comprise my lunches for the week. The entire cost of these 4 indulgent salmon dinners and 4 healthy lunches for the week was $16- the affordable cost of the fresh salmon. That’s about the same price of the largest package of smoked salmon at Whole Foods.

If you’re not convinced yet, just look at how quick and easy the curing process is! I’ve included all the tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way below within parentheses. Get ready for melt-in-your-mouth salmon!

Gravlax

To cure your own salmon gravlax you will need…

  • A 1-2 pound salmon flank
  • 1/2 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/8 cup of black pepper
  • a serrated knife
  • plastic wrap
  1. Take your raw salmon flank and cut it (longways) into 2 equal pieces. (Make sure the size is relatively consistent in thickness and width because the thinner pieces will get tough and overcooked, like salmon “jerky”)
  2. Mix all of your seasonings together (If you want the smoked taste, then use “smoked” salt. We prefer gravlax without smokey flavor, so we use regular coarse sea salt)
  3. Generously rub spice mixture into the meaty part of your salmon flanks and place one on top of the other (meat to meat; not skin to skin) Think, “orange on orange!”
  4. Wrap your salmon in plastic wrap tightly ( It’s easier to lay it in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap on a table to begin wrapping like a gift)
  5. Once your salmon is wrapped, place it on a large platter that will not overflow as oils and juices collect under fish. On top of this platter, you will add another platter, plate, or cookie sheet that covers the salmon. (stay with me, friends!)
  6. Once the plastic-wrapped salmon is covered with two plates or cookie sheets (one on bottom, one on top) put it in the fridge and stack something heavy on it to create pressure. This is important because it drains the salmon of its raw juices. (I used cans of beans one time, and large glass pyrex containers of leftovers another time)
  7. Wait patiently for 3 days while your salmon “cooks” in the fridge!
  8. On the 3rd day, remove salmon from plastic wrap and slice thinly for your desired gravlax thickness (I’ve found that a serrated knife works best for this!)
  9. Store your Gravlax in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week! Serve with thinly sliced red onion, capers, or this delicious

Paleo Dill Mustard Sauce

For an excellent addition to your Gravlax, Mix together:

2 Tablepoons of Dijon Mustard
3 Tablepoons of apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon of honey
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Handful of fresh, chopped dill

Tasty Turkey Burgers with Apple and Fennel

tasty turkey burgers

Does the title of this post sound like an oxymoron to you? Then you are the perfect person for this recipe!

I don’t usually eat turkey burgers because they’re often dry or tough and sustainably/morally farmed turkey is hard to find in NC. However, turkey is such a fabulous source of lean protein that I made an effort to find some good-quality ground turkey and create some of my own delicious recipes!

The first recipe up is for a tender, juicy turkey burger. Dicing 1 apple and 1/2 a fennel bulb not only gets moisture into my turkey burgers, but introduces produce as well. These turkey burgers turn up a notch with the addition of a dried apple slice, caramelized red onions, spicy mustard, and brie or cheddar cheese (if you’re into that).

For my tasty turkey burgers, you will need 30 minutes and …

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 apple
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • your desired turkey burger “accoutrements” but I suggest aged cheddar or brie (if you can have cheese!) and caramelized onions (thinly sliced red onion, cooked slowly on the stove top in ghee)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Chop 1 apple ( I used fuji) and 1/2 a fennel bulb into small pieces the size of your pinky nail
  3. In a bowl, combine your ground turkey with chopped fennel and apple, and season with salt and pepper. You will use much more pepper to add a kick to your burgers and to limit salt. These flavors speak for themselves!
  4. Create patties the size of your palm or fist. 1 pound should make 4 patties.
  5. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicon
  6. Bake on each side for 10-12 minutes
  7. Top your burger as desired and eat over salad!

Vegan/Paleo Holiday Biscotti

vegan paleo biscotti

Vegan/Paleo Holiday Biscotti

It’s the week before Christmas! That means that I bought about a pound of chocolate “for my mother-in-law” (who loves chocolate) and promptly “ate most of it.” For some folks that sounds like a typical holiday season mistake, but for someone like me who rarely consumes sugar, it’s painful afterward! I told Matt to try to pry it from my hands, but that’s not working. THUS, I’ve decided to create something that will encourage a healthy “after dinner snack” to replace my steady consumption of a tall glass of red wine and chocolate candy (which both nutritionally and calorically ruins my uber-healthy dinners!) So my plan tonight is to hide the rest of my mother-in-law’s chocolate, and enjoy this Holiday Biscotti alongside a peppermint tea! I’ll let you know how it goes….

Biscotti is Italian for twice baked cookie (just kidding, but that’s essentially what it is). In my opinion, biscotti is even easier to perfect than cookies, because it’s supposed to be burnt, so don’t let the fancy name deter you! We are hosting Christmas this year, and this is so great that I might make this holiday biscotti for my family, but add some pistachios for that festive flash of red & green! Biscotti is also really delicious with almond extract flavor and/or orange zest!

Vegan & Paleo Holiday Biscotti (makes 8-10)

You will need 2 hours and….

1 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of cacao powder
1/2 cup of organic oats
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 teaspoon on cinnamon
1 cup of dried fruit of your choice- I did cherries for tart sweetness and Turkish apricots for deeper sweetness
optional nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together dry ingredients
  3. Add in Maple syrup and ix until thoroughly incorporated
  4. Stir in dried fruit and nuts by hand
  5. Use your hands to form a large rectangular slab of dough/log on cookie sheet topped with parchment paper
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely (45 mins-1 hour)
  8. With a bread knife, slice on the diagonal and lay out biscotti individually
  9.  Bake again for 15 minutes or until crispy
  10. Serve with tea or coffee!

 

The Only Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie

paleo choc chip cookies

I have never baked a better cookie. Even when I consumed white sugar and bleached flour and god knows what else- never tasted anything better from my kitchen. These will be in my repertoire FOR-EV-ER, so I had to get the recipe down as soon as quickly as possible. These cookies are crispy and delightfully chewy, like every cookie should be!

Tis the season for decadence, right?  And these are surely that (for me). I don’t EVER eat baked goods, paleo or not. I bake cookies twice a year, which I suppose is why it took over 4 years of eating paleo to perfect my chocolate chip cookie recipe! My point is, you should make these for your annual cookie swap or christmas party, for those who may be paleo or gluten-free OR you could just make them for your family and not say a word. You see, almond meal has infinitely more nutrition than white flour AND it’s way more filling, which is why after 3 cookies, I’m writing this absolutely stuffed. These are perfect for staying on a diet/regime, but they’re also fulfilling for those of us who want to walk on the wild side and indulge during the holidays.

I’ve annotated my recipe for those of you who may be like me, and not natural bakers. Thus, I’ve justified each ingredient and why you can’t sub it out– hope this helps!

PERFECT Paleo Chocolate chip cookies (makes about 18)

  • 1/2 cup of browned ghee (ghee is paleo butter because it lacks dairy and casein. Brown your ghee in a sauce pan on low heat or use butter if you are not lactose intolerant. To “brown” butter, you really just want it a shade darker than yellow/golden to achieve a caramel/nutty taste. Dark BROWN butter is actually burnt.
  • 1/4 a cup of coconut sugar ( I use trader Joe’s)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla ( I use Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla)
  • 1/4 a cup of maple syrup ( I buy in bulk because I use it in everything)
  • 2.5 cups of almond flour ( I use Trader Joe’s. It’s 6.99 and great quality)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • himalayan sea salt
  •  1 egg and 1 egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and use parchment paper to line your baking pan. Parchment paper never fails.
  2. Combine browned butter, coconut sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup
  3. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white to mixture
  4. Now combine almond flour and baking soda and stir until smooth. I hand stir because electric tends to over stimulate
  5. Add chocolate chips and pinch of salt
  6. Spoon Cookie Batter onto parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are brown
  7. I make 18 cookies in two batches
  8. I salt my cookies again right after they come out, so they draw in that salt while they are cooking, and have a very sea salt/ caramel taste from the browned butter.

You wont believe the chewiness you get in these paleo cookies! It’s incredible!

 

pumpkin, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, in that order: a catalogue of my favorite decorative (and edible) gourd recipes

11990580_10103061083131688_8852628486602303272_n

Acorn Squash & Bison Chili

Hey-O! The Blog went a little haywire while I was away from home celebrating our recent marriage with friends  & family in Chapel Hill, home of our alma mater UNC- Go Tarheels!

I’m back at home, settling in for some serious fall cooking-which is my favorite cooking- and some even more serious liver detoxing with fun, fall recipes! Fall is the best time to detox, because like the earth around us, we are shedding what is “dead” or no longer of use to our bodies. The best way to support general health, detox, and immunity is eating seasonally, which is why I support massive gourd consumption in the fall. I really try to limit alcohol, sugar, processed foods, and bad fats leading up to holidays. This produces a more enjoyable holiday season, and a more creative New Year’s Resolution than “Lose 5 pounds” or “Get healthy.”  I know that sometimes these large, tough, strong tasting autumnal fruits can seem overwhelming and impossible to cook, so I’ve catalogued some of my favorite recipes below.

FYI: Trader Joes sells by the gourd, not by the pound, so they are the best price I can find. The great thing about buying gourds and squashes is that you get to decorate with them until you eat them! They live for weeks as your table’s centerpiece!

Pumpkin

Enjoy a Pumpkin Smoothie, pumpkin chia pudding or a healthy PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) every morning this week!

Pumpkin Smoothie: 2 servings
1) Blend together: 1 banana, 1 handful spinach, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 2 cups of almond/hemp milk, generous cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 scoop macha powder or collagen for an extra boost!

Acorn Squash

Check out my Thanksgiving HIT, Acorn Squash Souffle 

And my Autumn staple, as published on Mind. Body. Green: Bison Chili in Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash

A big hit at any Friendsgiving is my Butternut Squash Sage Quinoa

My newest obsession is Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (Serves 4-6)

  1. Slice one butternut squash, 2 apples, and one onion
  2. Drizzle with coconut oil on baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes
  3. Remove from Oven and move into a pot with 4 cups/ 1 box Veggie broth and 2 inches of grated ginger
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes to incorporate flavors.
  5. Use immersion blender or food processor to blend soup until smooth!

5 steps to cooking your spaghetti squash in 10 minutes or less

  1. Stab with a fork 5 times and microwave for 5 minutes
  2. Remove Squash from microwave with oven mitts and cut it in half/remove seeds
  3. Place both halves in a dish with 1-2 inches of water in it and microwave for 3-5 more minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with baking soda to aid digestion and use a fork to scoop out spaghetti strands
  5. Season and serve with your favorite pasta sauce

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash & Bison Meatballs with Pumpkin Tomato Sauce

spaghetti squash bison pumpkin meatballsIf you’re interested in a dinner that is completely different and delicious, I highly recommend this one. My spaghetti squash has been staring me in the face from its resting spot on our breakfast table for some time, so I had to bite the bullet this weekend and decided on good old Spaghetti & Meatballs. I had a pound of bison in the fridge, so I decided to use that for the meatballs. Bison has more protein and less fat than beef or pork, which is great for the waistline, but not great for keeping meatballs together. Breadcrumbs usually act as a meatball adhesive, but I had seen Joy Bauer, of morning show fame, use pumpkin puree as an alternative adhesive in turkey meatballs, so I decided to try it- and I’m s glad I did!

Everyone knows that you have to brown meatballs before cooking them in your pasta sauce, so I decided that if the pumpkin meatball was going to leach out its yummy contents, then the sauce might as well be deliberately pumpkin/tomato. This may sound like an unusual combination, but Trader Joe’s actually makes a pumpkin/butternut squash/tomato sauce called Autumnal Harvest. 

The result of mixing pumpkin and nutmeg with my traditional salty tomato sauce was incredible! It provides that salty/sweet umami flavor that I love. I buy pumpkin puree in bulk for all of its many purposes, since it has a high fiber content and delicious flavor, so it always excites me to find yet another use for it! We really loved this new sauce and definitely plan on making it again. You can eat it over Spaghetti Squash like we did, for a low carb option, or over regular pasta. If you do eat it over Spaghetti Squash, then I recommend a teaspoon of baking soda sprinkled on teach side of he squash to aid digestion! I really hope you try this recipe and enjoy something a little different and autumn flavored!

Spaghetti Squash & Bison Meatballs with Pumpkin-Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

1 Spaghetti Squash
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups of pumpkin puree1 lb. of bison
1 lb. of tomatoes (roasted)
6 carrots (roasted)
1/2 cup of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
basil
2 tsp. Nutmeg
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Roast Tomatoes with garlic, and carrots, drizzle olive oil
  2. While Veggies roast, use your hands to mix 1/2 cup of pumpkin with 1 pound of Bison.
  3. Divide Bison into 4 equal parts and divide the 4 parts in half. This will give you 8 equal sized 1/8 lb meatballs. Roll them into balls between your palms.
  4. Heat a large skillet with olive oil on medium. When oil is hot, brown each side or your pumpkin meatball in the oil.
  5. After 30 minutes of roasting, puree your vegetables in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, basil, 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the mixture process until smooth and incorporated.
  6. Add the sauce mixture to your meatballs and turn heat to simmer.
  7. While your sauce and meatballs simmer together on the stove, puncture your spaghetti squash with a fork.
  8. Microwave your spaghetti squash is a glass bowl of water for 5 minutes so that it is soft enough to cut in half.
  9. Remove Spaghetti squash from the microwave, take out all seeds with a spoon and and your baking soda.
  10. Place each half of your spaghetti squash BACK in the microwave to cook for 5 more minutes until the squash is easily removed in strings with a fork*
  11. Serve with 2 large meatballs and heaping sauce on a bed of spaghetti squash! Enjoy!

*This is the fastest and best way to cook spaghetti squash. Letting in linger in the oven does nothing for the flavor or quality!

 

Superfood;Superwoman

Image result for pumpkin pie smoothie

Admittedly, the “superfood” craze is a little silly, but it still blows my mind that adding a little tablespoon of chia seeds to my morning smoothie can afford me enough protein and fiber to really keep me full through my strenuous workouts.

My newest smoothie addition is…

Maca, a root grown high in the Peruvian mountains, used by ancient Incas to increase both fertility and virility. Today, holistics prescribe Maca root powder for chronic fatigue syndrome, fertility issues, hormone imbalance, and low libido. It’s important to start off using Maca in very small doses since it IS a potent superfood. The really great thing about increasing energy and vitality via Maca is that it does not tax the adrenals the way that caffeine does. Your energy is much more slow burning and long lasting. This is great news for the large percentage of the population suffering with adrenal fatigue, which correlates with hormone imbalance in women and causes a lot of stress on our systems.

I’ve instagrammed my use of collagen and chlorophyll in fruit smoothies. To make my smoothies more “Seasonal” this fall, I use Maca in combination with 8 oz. of almond milk, 1 banana, 1/2 a cup of pumpkin puree, a slice of ginger root, a few drops of vanilla extract and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon to create a delicious pumpkin pie smoothie. I’m really looking forward to sharing more details with you about the direct effect of Maca on my quality of life!