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Coconut Date Poppers (Paleo, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Nut- and Egg-free)

 

Coconut Date Poppers (paleo, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg and nut-free)

My kids and I have become huge date fans. They have become a staple in our household, and we purchase them in bulk, saving a bundle! I’m always thrilled when I come across a healthy snack food that the kids enjoy for more than a day or two, and even more thrilled when its something that Japheth and I enjoy too. Anything to make life a little easier while juggling the little ones and the business is awesome. We use them as a sweetener for our smoothie and a topping for our salads. We make homemade Lara bars with them, stuff them with almond butter or coconut butter, and even eat them plain by the handful. I love that they are sweet, chewy, and even more healthy than one might think! Read more about the health benefits of dates, and a few ways that we like to snack on them here .

Did I mention I love creating new recipes? Well I do, as many of our blog followers could have guessed. And since we love dates, I am frequently experimenting with fun new ways to eat them. These little date poppers are a perfect snack. They’re chewy with a little crunch to keep them interesting. Also, I have a theory that people love any kind of food that is in the form of a little ball. Right? The coconut provides a healthy fat that not only tastes great but can fill the tummy in a pinch. And cinnamon and nutmeg…I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what a perfect match they are! These are the perfect size for snacking on the go, and are sweet enough to even be a healthy dessert for the kids. And easy. True to form, I have created another super easy recipe here, as long as you have a food processor (which you should definitely have, but I’ll save that rant for another post :)).

Coconut Date Poppers

1c packed organic dates (pitted)
1/4c coconut butter
1/4c unsweetened shredded coconut
1T honey
1/2 rounded tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp nutmeg
1/4tsp Himalayan sea salt
Handful of toasted coconut flakes (optional)

Process all ingredients except coconut flakes in food processor for about 30 seconds. Mixture will look crumbly, like this. Add coconut flakes (if using) and process for an additional 5-10 seconds or until combined. It’s ok, even preferable, if coconut flakes are still a little chunky. This is the crunch! Mixture should look crumbly, like this:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form “dough” into 1″ balls and place them on the sheet. You will need to squeeze dough in your hands a little as you make balls to make sure it sticks together well. Balls will look like this:

Makes about 20-22 balls. Place baking sheet in fridge for about 20min or until firm. Keep stored in fridge for a week, if they last that long! I hope you enjoy this fun and yummy coconut date recipe as much as we do!

 

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This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Creamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette w Chicken Avocado Salad

Today was a balmy 60 degree day in Philly. A little weird seeing as it’s January and expected to snow two days from now, but rather than worrying about global warming and the climate change crisis, I chose to embrace it today. The kids and I spent all morning outside, even in the rain, enjoying the warm air and intermittent breeze. A nice break from the ice and snow that typically characterizes Philadelphia winters! The only problem was that my easy-breezy morning also meant no food when I got home. Oh where is that homecook that I dream of? Stuck in my dreams apparently. But for the second time today I chose to embrace my situation and pulled out some salad fixin’s (what? I’m southern).
This dressing is so good. So good that sometimes I forget to put a salad with it! Just kidding, I don’t ever forget the salad because I LOVE salads, but the dressing is so good that you could. Actually, you could forget the salad and use this dressing on other things like chicken nuggets, burgers, roasted cabbage, ice cream (okay that last one sounds kinda gross but if you decide to do that then go ahead – you do you!). I choose most often to pair it with my Chicken Avocado Salad but it really would be great on almost any salad concoction!

green saladCreamy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Mix together until well combined. Store in bottle or jar in fridge for up to two weeks. Shake before serving.

 

Chicken Avocado Salad 

  • 3-4c mixed salad greens
  • Few sprigs of herb of choice (I prefer parsley or basil)
  • 3oz cooked organic chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced or cubed
  • Salad dressing
  • 2T raw sunflower seeds (omit for AIP)

Toss together, make it pretty if you like. Enjoy!

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

 

Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, nut free, paleo)

Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, nut free, paleo)
Ice cream. Yum. Every time I see an ice cream cone I flashback to memories of looking through that glass at an array of flavors, colors, funny names that often left me wondering where the monkey or moose was. Then I would pick a flavor and beg my parents for 2 scoops because I couldn’t decide between chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip. Ice cream is fun, and delicious, and really an almost iconic image of childhood and carefree days, and while we endorse healthy eating in our house at all times, it’s important to me that my children get to enjoy treats too! That’s why we love the paleo lifestyle. We can have it both ways! Here’s a healthy and super yummy version of my old favorite – and my childrens’ new favorite – mint chocolate chip ice cream. Go ahead, have your 2 scoops and don’t feel a bit guilty about it!

Ingredients


Directions
  1. Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for three to five minutes.
  2. Add peppermint extract and stir to combine.
  3. Allow the liquid to cool down completely. You can speed up the process by refrigerating.
  4. Pour into the ice-cream machine and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions. (** If you don’t have the patience to wait for it to turn to an ice cream consistency, this can be enjoyed as a milkshake as well)
  5. Add chocolate chips to ice cream during last 5 minutes.
  6. Enjoy immediately as a soft serve, or freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
  7. When frozen solid, allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving!
Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (Dairy-free, Nut-free, Grain-free)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream (Paleo, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Grain-free)

I love cookie dough. It’s still one of my favorite treats, that I even crave, even paleo. I have a go-to paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe that I use, but I never make it to the cookie part. Just the dough. I remember when I first discovered cookie dough ice cream. I was in high school. Isn’t it funny how food triggers old memories, things that you never even realized were important until you’re reminded of them through food, and suddenly things make sense? I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I worked in an ice cream shop during the summers, where we made the ice cream ourselves, and our signature flavor was peach. Why peach ice cream was such a big deal I never quite understood. Maybe it was a southern thing, but people loved that homemade peach ice cream and would travel for miles around to our little stand for it. I, however, preferred cookie dough ice cream, and so that’s what I would make. I learned pretty quickly though that when a place was known for a signature flavor, people did not tend to buy something different. It didn’t sell that well, but I never got tired of eating it!
As I often do with favorite foods of childhood, I have re-created this teenage craving into a paleo-friendly and even healthy version. It’s delicious, and hits the spot. The kids ask for extra cookie dough just like I used too. Maybe it’s because I had some mad cookie dough ice cream cravings when pregnant too. A story for another time.
4271fcbac7947068381e13899f181ff0I used a vanilla base to limit caffeine intake for the kids, but a chocolate base would work just as well! Here’s a super simple vanilla recipe that is so delicious and pairs really well with that irresistible cookie dough!
Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients
Cookie Dough Ingredients
 *if you don’t have eating evolved try a really dark organic chocolate bar with as few additives as possible
 
Directions
  1. In a food processor, combine cookie dough ingredients, except for chocolate pieces. Once well blended, fold in chocolate pieces.  Wrap dough in parchment paper and place in freezer for an hour or even overnight.
  2. Combine all ice cream ingredients in a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for three to five minutes.
  3. Allow the liquid to cool down completely. You can speed up the process by refrigerating.
  4. Pour into the ice-cream machine and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Chop cookie dough into bite-size pieces and add to ice cream during last 5 minutes of churning.
  6. Enjoy immediately as a soft serve, or freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
  7. When frozen solid, allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving!

 

 

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Chicken (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free)

curry-chicken-recipe11

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Chicken (Paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free)

There is a blizzard warning. Blizzard. The Carolina girl in me is freaking out! But I’m in Philly now, so naturally I got this. I’m just gonna stay inside though. Y’all go ahead and play, walk, even drive (are you crazy?!) all you want, but I’m gonna stay in, do a workout, and cook. Something very warm. Roasted veggies, hot chocolate, and a yummy chicken meal…this! I love the flavor of pumpkin and coconut together, so I thought, why not add a little curry to the mix? This dish has just the right amount of warmth, creaminess, and spice to make even a blizzard day seem cozy.  I hope you enjoy it too. The only thing I didn’t account for is how quick and easy it is. Looks like I’ll be playing in the snow after all.
Pumpkin Coconut Curry Chicken
Throw chicken in slow-cooker. Combine other ingredients and pour the sauce over the chicken. Set on low for 4-6 hours (depending on your cooking device) and that’s it! Now you can go play in the snow, if you like that sort of thing.

Rutabega “Rutatato” Salad (Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy free)

 

Rutabaga “Rutatato” Salad (Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy free)

Have you tried Rutabegas yet? They have been a summer staple in our house, believe it or not. We’ve made everything from Rutabega fries, to hash browns, to simple roasted Rutabega. Then it occurred to me as I was missing my mom’s Fourth of July potato salad, that I could make a Rutabega potato salad to take its place! I have to admit I was a little skeptical, but it worked! This hits the spot for me. And the fact that Rutabegas are packed with Vitamin C and Magnesium doesn’t hurt either. Try it yourself, and let us know what you think!
Rutabega “Rutatato” Salad (Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy free)
  • 2 med/lg rutabagas, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 6 boiled eggs, diced
  • 1small onion, diced
  • 1/2c paleo mayo (we like this paleo mayo)
  • 1Tbsp ground mustard powder
  • 1tsp celery seed
  • S&P, to taste
  • Herbs for garnish (opt)
Directions
In large pot, boil rutabaga pieces until fork tender. Drain and place in bowl. Add other ingredients to bowl and mix gently until combined. Refrigerate until cool, and garnish with fresh herbs if you like!
-Suzanne

Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)

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Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)

Have you tried rhubarb yet? I met a nice woman at the farmer’s market the other day and we started talking about strawberries and how much we love making all different kinds of things with strawberries…pies, jams, etc., but then I mentioned rhubarb and how the tangy-sweet taste of rhubarb so perfectly compliments strawberries and she stopped talking. She had never tried rhubarb and admitted shyly that she’s afraid to. I thought that was so funny at the time, but then thinking back to that conversation, I think she voiced what a lot of us feel sometimes! How many times have you been to a farmer’s market, or even a grocery store and avoided the strange looking unknown vegetable or purple cauliflower because somewhere deep down you were a little afraid? That fear…of the unknown, of the “strange” or different…that’s real, and it holds us back, from achieving our health and fitness goals, from pursuing our dreams in life, and from trying that delicious rhubarb. I admit, it happens to me. But I want to encourage you to go out this summer to your local market and find and try something new! Buy it, google a recipe, or ask for my advice (if you’re desperate), and let me know how it goes!
Now…back to rhubarb. I was making my weekly batch of chicken salad (it’s a hands down favorite food of mine, always has been, even pre-paleo), and I just thought how delicious rhubarb would be in this, for both its flavor and its crunchy texture (similar to celery). Then I thought it would go so awesomely with a sweet and slightly tart fruit. Well, I was right! Now I can’t stop eating it, so I had to share the recipe. It’s the perfect summer salad. This recipe is originally nut-free, but if you enjoy nuts, I imagine some chopped pecans or walnuts would be great in it. I hope you enjoy it, and if this is your first experience with rhubarb then kudos to you for trying it!
Blueberry-Rhubarb Chicken Salad (Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free)
Ingredients
– 1/2 c rhubarb, diced
– 1 c dried blueberries (I use these)
– 4 c cooked chicken breasts, diced (I boil mine)
– 4 boiled egg whites, diced
Dressing
– 3/4 c mayonnaise (I use this or make my own)
-1T apple cider vinegar
– 2tsp honey
– 2 T chives, chopped
– salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Mix sauce ingredients together in small bowl. In large bowl throw together all other ingredients. Pour sauce into bowl with other ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate. It’s that simple! Serve on top of arugula or spinach, and maybe in a yummy wrap like this.

-Suzanne

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

Paleo Granola (grain free, refined sugar-free)

When going full Paleo, cereal is often missed.  I admit it, I used to be a cereal eater.  And then I tried granola and never looked back. It was so much more filling, and if I found a kind that was both tasty and packed with protein, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! I loved granola: on yogurt, in milk, with vanilla ice cream…but when I finally became conscious of how grains were making me feel I said goodbye to granola and the whole cereal aisle.  Transitioning to Paleo wasn’t as difficult for me as I expected. It was a new challenge, and I accepted it. Not without effort, cravings of the foods from my past, bloated life, and a little adjustment period while I found the clean foods that worked best for me and my hectic lifestyle. But I soon realized that I was and am only limited by my culinary creativity! From this perspective numerous delicious recipes have been tried in our kitchen, fed to our children, and created through trial and error. This granola recipe was adapted from a few of my favorite Paleo blogs and tweaked and refined to create my own take on it.  It has been raved about by our clients and family, and serves as gifts to teachers and friends.

This is a staple in our house. I make it almost every week! You
seriously have to try it – it hits that snack craving: crunchy, sweet,
salty all in one! One warning though: make sure you watch this the
first couple of times you make it so that it doesn’t burn. I found
that cooking times vary from oven to oven. Cook a little less for a
chewy texture; a little more for crunchier.

Paleo Granola

– 2c sliced almonds
– 1c pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
– 1c sunflower seeds
– 1c chopped pecans
– 1c unsweetened shredded coconut
– 2/3c raw, local honey
– 1/2c maple syrup
– 1/2c coconut oil
– 1T cinnamon
– dash of salt

Mix everything together and spread half of it on parchment paper lined
baking sheet. Cook at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes (time varies
depending on oven), stirring occasionally. When golden remove from
oven and let cool. Continue to stir as it cools. Do same with second
half. Enjoy!

-Suzanne

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Bone Broth

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Let me tell you about my latest endeavor. Making my own bone broth. I’ve read about the health benefits and have been curious, but I don’t do well with bones. As a child my parents never gave me meat on a bone. Seriously. It was always boneless meat. Even when we went to KFC (I’m from the south – don’t judge) they would make sure I got boneless chicken. So the idea of using chicken bones or a whole chicken to make something didn’t really appeal to me. Besides, my beloved Whole Foods sells bone broth, so there.

Then my husband got sick. Flu sick. And he never takes a day off. He had to work while feeling awful, which made me feel awful. And do you know what is great for colds/flus? Bone broth. So what better time to suck it up and face my aversion to bones? So I did.

Here’s the thing. Homemade bone broth has tremendous health benefits. It literally heals the lining of your gut. It aids in nutrient digestion, helps your body fight infection, and even contains glucosamine, which reduces inflammation and joint pain. Additionally it contains calcium and magnesium to help bones repair. What about store bought broth? Well, the stuff in stores typically contains MSG or other chemicals, and even if it doesn’t, the nutritional value doesn’t even compare to homemade. While you can use it in cooking, it lacks many of the health boosting benefits. Also, it’s ridiculously yummy, it’s cheaper to make your own, and it’s EASY. Take it from me, the bone hater.

Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients:

-Whole raw chicken, insides removed.

-2 celery stalks, cut in quarters

-2 large carrots, cut in quarters

-1 head of garlic, cut in half

-1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters

-1 bunch of parsley

-water

What to do:

Throw everything in crockpot. Fill pot with water, up to within 1 inch of top of pot. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Take chicken out and remove meat (if you don’t know how, there are awesome videos on YouTube. It’s very easy!). Save meat for later (maybe a chicken and veggie soup!). Put bones back in pot and cook on low for 12 or more hours. Strain broth through sieve or coffee filter. Can freeze to use in future recipes or use right away, if, for example, your husband is sick!

Enjoy making and using homemade bone broth, and let me know your experiences!