Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crustless Quiche

I found this recipe on Pinterest and wanted to try making something similar. So I just used most of the veggies in my fridge plus some eggs and coconut milk. The only labor-intensive part was pre-cooking the veggies, but that actually didn't take too long.

4-5 big leaves of chard
1 small sweet potato, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1/2 red bell pepper
1 onion
1/3 spaghetti squash
1 lb ground pork
6 eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 375. Have a 9x13 pan ready.

I chopped the stems of the chard and the bell pepper and started those in a big skillet with coconut oil. Then I chopped the onion and the chard leaves and added those after a few minutes. Once those were all getting soft, I added the sweet potato, zucchini, and spaghetti squash (which I had already cooked and shredded) to warm up. I didn't stress about cooking all of these completely because they would soon be sitting in an oven for 40 minutes. In a separate skillet (or remove the veggies and use the same one) I cooked a pound of ground pork with quite a bit of seasonings (21 seasoning salute, chili powder, garlic powder, Italian herbs). This could easily be replaced with sausage or whatever meat is on hand. Put a layer of veggies, then meat, in the 9x13 pan.

In a small bowl, mix the eggs and milk. Add a little pepper. Pour this over the meat and veggies. This can be done with less eggs in a smaller pan, or more eggs to make a thicker quiche. Once the meat/veggies are covered, pop it in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the egg looks firm/cooked.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Mug Cake

I've played around with this recipe for a while, I like that it doesn't have added sugar and its pretty easy to adapt. And since it has pumpkin in it, I feel like its not totally bad for me.

I made it last night with applesauce and cocoa powder and I think its my favorite version so far.

  • 1 big spoonful pumpkin puree (maybe 1.5 tablespoons?)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients in a mug (I used my 2-cup Pyrex) and microwave for 2:30, then an extra 30 seconds if the middle is still gooey.

I dumped my cake into a bowl, cut it in half, and tossed a handful of chocolate chips in the middle to melt. Perfect dessert.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sliders on Paleo Bread

Paleo bread. Red meat. Sweet potato. Oh my.

I had to deconstruct it to eat it...with a fork and knife, like a civilized person.

Start with the bread, since the batter has to sit for a few minutes before you microwave it. And definitely toast it before you build your burger.

Cook your hamburger. I think mine was just ground beef with some seasonings then shaped into a patty. I made a few last weekend and froze them individually for nights like these, but I can't remember exactly what I did to it. Once the burger is done, I let it rest for a while on a paper towel-covered plate.

While my burger was cooking, I did some kale in a big skillet. Coconut oil and garlic in a hot pan, toss in a bunch of kale, add approximately half a cup of liquid (I use chicken/veggie broth) and let it simmer for a while. I don't have a lid yet for my big skillet, but if I did, I would use it here. Add steak seasoning and stir every few minutes until the kale is soft and liquid is gone.

And because I'm me, and I had just run a speed workout, I shredded a sweet potato and cooked that in the same pan my meat was in. I just left the meat grease in there, I don't know if that's gross, but it tasted good, so I went with it. I probably seasoned the potato too, but that's just my preference.

Once the bread is cooked, cut it in half (like a hamburger bun) and toast it.

I didn't build this in a way that made it easy to eat, but this is what ended up on the burger: paleo mayo (on the bun), avocado, shredded sweet potato, meat, bbq sauce. And my kale just ended up piled on the plate. It made for a messy meal, but those are the best anyway, am I right?

Coconut Flour Bread

1  Tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 Tablespoons coconut milk
1 tsp olive oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the egg, coconut milk and oil. Stir well with a fork. Let rest for a couple of minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquid. Spray the inside of a straight sided mug with cooking spray. Spoon half the batter into the mug. Tap it on the counter to remove air bubbles. Cook in the microwave for 65 seconds. If the center is steaming, but firm to the touch,  run a knife around the edge and remove the bread, allowing it to cool on the counter. To make a slider bun, slice the bread in half.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fish Tacos with Coconut Flour Tortillas

Yes, I do love labor-intensive meals. How did you know? This one took me a while since I made the tortillas, and had to cut up a giant frozen block of mahi-mahi...but it was a free giant frozen block of mahi-mahi, so no complaints here.

Fish tacos:
1 lb mahi mahi
Coconut oil
Minced garlic
Lime/Lemon juice
Garlic powder, chili powder
Paleo Tortillas (recipe below)

Start with the tortillas since you have to let the batter sit for a while before cooking. While those are doing their thing, cook the fish in a large skillet. I had a pound of mahi-mahi that I cut into chunks (2 inches? I don't know, I didn't have a ruler) Then, a spoonful of coconut oil in a hot pan, and some garlic perhaps, then toss the fish in, and let the chunks cook for a while. I didn't time it, and I fear uncooked fish, so I made sure they were done by cutting some of the bigger pieces with a knife to check the middle. Once all the middles were cooked (white + flakey), I put all the fish on a paper towel-covered plate and sprinkled them with some garlic powder, chili powder, and lime juice. Then I went back to my tortillas and cooked a bunch of those in a small skillet (street taco size).

Tortilla, Paleo mayo, shredded cabbage, diced tomato, avocado, fish, fish, fish, lime juice and some more mayo (or salsa). Eat.

Ingredients (makes 8-10)
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon grain-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cup egg whites (16 egg whites)
¾ cup coconut milk

Mix all of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can soak up some of the moisture, and then whisk again. The batter should be runnier than that of pancakes, about the same as a crepe batter.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with oil or melt enough butter to coat the bottom and sides of pan. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, swirling the pan while you pour to ensure the bottom is coated and the tortilla is thin.

Once the bottom looks set (about 1 minute), carefully release the sides of the tortilla with a rubber spatula and turn over. If your first couple break, don’t fret and don’t throw them away. Add a little more coconut flour and try again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sweet Potato Chicken Salad with Paleo Mayo

I found this recipe on 3, 2, 1 Paleo ( and changed a couple things. I made the Paleo Mayo (look at me go), and got a little weirded out because of the whole raw-egg-thing. But I ate it anyway, and it was totally worth it.

• 1.5lb Chicken
• 1 large Onion, sliced thinly
• Broccoli slaw (small-ish bag?)
• Garlic powder, TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute, other spices if you want them...
• 1-2 Sweet Potatoes
• Coconut Oil
• Good Olive Oil
• Salt + Pepper
• Paleo Mayo (see recipe below)
• Sausages- 4 “breakfast” sized ones (I didn't have these, but I want them next time I make this)
• Mustard

So I started with defrosted chicken breast cutlets and did some oil/21 S.S. and put them in the oven (at 400) for maybe 20 minutes...or until they were cooked. In a separate dish, I diced up sweet potatoes and onions with the same oil/seasonings and put those in the oven too. In a skillet, I did some coconut oil and garlic, then threw in my broccoli slaw with 1/3 cup of chicken broth and let that soften for a while.

While all that was happening, I made Paleo Mayo (scroll down) in the food processor, then put that in the fridge.

Once everything finished cooking, I let it all cool for a while. Then started dicing/shredding the chicken and put that in a bowl, tossed in the potatoes/onions and the broccoli slaw. And because I was impatient and hungry, I put the bowl of stuff in the freezer to cool faster. When I decided it was cool enough (like 2 minutes later), I put maybe 1/3 of that mixture in a bowl with 1/4 cup mayo (more or less depending on your taste) and some garlic powder. Et voila.

Update: chop up some bell peppers and throw them in there raw. Just do it.

I had already eaten most of it by the time I thought about taking a picture.

Paleo Mayo
2 eggs (I've heard that these should be at room temp or it doesn't work right)
1.5 cups olive oil (I did 1 cup olive, then ran out, so I used grapeseed for the rest)

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed garlic

Put the eggs, apple cider vinegar and mustard into a blender and blend until smooth. Next, add in your olive oil VERY slowly with the blade still running. Don’t get impatient and just dump it all in! Let it thicken up and add it in a very slow drizzle. After the olive oil is all added, toss in the chili powder and salt and blend a couple more seconds. Lastly, add the crushed garlic and blend by hand or in the blender – up to you! This keeps about a week in the fridge.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grilled Vegetables

When I said I roasted veggies every night, that wasn't quite true. If we are grilling chicken, fish, or even hamburgers, I usually also grill some vegetables. I usually use "softer" vegetables for grilling, and really like to make lots and lots so there are leftovers. Hopefully.

Grilled Vegetables

olive oil
favorite seasoning (mine is Montreal Steak Seasoning, salty and peppery)
You need a grilling wok or pan to do this -- mine looks like this.

veggies to use: bell peppers, any kind of summer squash, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, eggplant, spicy peppers too

Cut veggies into consistent sizes, toss with some olive oil and seasoning. Again, use your hands to rub the good stuff into the vegetables.

Dump the vegetables into the wok and grill on a bbq, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are browned, tender and delicious. 

If I am lazy, I throw the veggies into the pan, swizzle some EVOO and seasoning over and mix it up there. Most of the time. These are before seasoning.

Don't crowd the pan though. If you need a lot, do the in batches and then just heat a minute in the microwave when you are ready to eat. Yum.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Dates


You're welcome in advance because your lives are about to change. For the greasier.

You'll need:

Pitted dates. Costco has a giant tub of yummy ones.

You'll need to:

Wrap each date with a half piece (or third of a slice, depending on how much bacon you like) of bacon

Place on a baking sheet with edges to catch the bacon fat that comes out

Place wrapped dates on sheet, bacon end side down to keep them together

Bake at 400 for as long as it takes for them to crispify. (about 25 mins)

Now eat them before lions even know you made them. This was my mistake.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scrumptious Veggies, easier than pie

Since we eat a LOT of vegetables (I try to serve at least two different ones with each dinner, and often more), I need a fool-proof, fail-proof way to quickly cook them. Sometimes I do a stir-fry, once in a while I will quick-boil broccoli or green beans, but this is how I cook fresh vegetables almost every night.

Roasting the vegetables creates a whole new flavor -- rich and caramelized and delicious. Since trying asparagus and cauliflower this way, I've never cooked them any other way. 

Roasted Vegetables
fresh vegetables, choose from:
  • asparagus
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • red, purple or white potatoes
  • red, white or yellow onion
  • summer squash, including zucchini
  • brussels sprouts
  • beets
  • kohlrabi (yes!)
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • red, green, yellow, orange or other sweet peppers
  • probably lots of others I can't think of now
Extra-virgin olive oil
Favorite seasoning (my go-to is Montreal Steak Seasoning, easy and delicious) (Salt and pepper will work fine, so will chili powder, paprika, garlic salt, TJ 21-Seasoning Salute, Mrs. Dash, etc)

Choose your vegetable(s), and cut them into a consistent size. Somewhere around an inch is good, but some experimentation is necessary. I cut brussels sprouts in half, most others into about one-inch chunks. Cauliflower is fabulous but tricky - aim for the florets to be a consistent size. I like to cut carrots, beets, and kohlrabi into french-fry-style sticks. You can do the same for potatoes, and you will (voila!) get roasted "french fries." 

Dump your vegetables into a rimmed baking pan - I have a 9x13" pan that came with my counter-top oven that is just right for us. The pan should allow the veggie pieces to be in one layer for even cooking. Surface area is important. Drizzle some olive oil over them and then shake your desired seasoning on. 

Now the most important part: USING YOUR HANDS, rub the olive oil and seasonings lightly into the vegetable pieces, so they are fairly evenly coated. Spread them around on the pan into one layer. This takes about 10 seconds; do it next to your sink so you can then wash your oily, seasoned hands.

Pop into a 425-degree oven and leave them alone. Depending on the vegetable, check with a fork in about 10-15 minutes -- poke the fork in and sneak one out for tasting. They should be tender but not overcooked. Asparagus and summer squash cooks quickly; carrots take 20-30 minutes. Others are somewhere in between. Meanwhile, you can quickly cook your protein on the grill or in a skillet, and poof! dinner is ready.

Note: combinations of veggies are especially good. I started with sweet potatoes and red onions (our Thanksgiving tradition). Carrots and potatoes obviously are a good choice. 

Last night I did summer squash and sweet peppers. The photo at the top is carrots, kohlrabi and a lonely beet (all three of which were getting a bit limp and needed to be eaten).

Make extra (duh!) and enjoy them for lunch the next day. Or as Hil says, put a fried egg on top and call it breakfast!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Squash, Spinach, Sausage

I don't have a name for this meal, since it was something Em and I threw together with things from our fridges. But it was still good, and can be easily altered and added to depending on what veggies you have. This made enough for 2 relatively hungry girls.

Maybe a bit blurry, but it still looks good

3 summer squash (or zucchini)
1 lb ground sausage (any kind of meat, this was probably chicken)
a couple handfuls of spinach
Salt + pepper
Parmesan (unless you're strict Paleo)

In a skillet, cook the ground sausage. While it's cooking, make "noodles" out of your squash. I used a potato peeler and just peeled the squashes down to the seedy parts. When the sausage is done, put it on a paper towel-covered plate. Then toss the squash noodles into the empty-but-hot pan with some oil and garlic. Let these cook, stirring frequently until they're soft-ish, probably around 8 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like your "noodles"). A few minutes before the squash is done, throw in a few handfuls of spinach, and let those wilt while the squash finishes cooking. Then toss in your sausage to let it all heat together. Salt, pepper, and parmesan, then serve.

Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops, etc.

After making this family favorite "recipe" a bunch of times, I decided to actually write down what I usually do. The inspiration and basic ingredients came from a Rachael Ray recipe I found a few years ago, which is now spread across the internet and does not always credit her appropriately. Oh well. The original is from "Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats, A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners" and can be viewed here. The original also gave options to use the glaze and technique with chicken and swordfish, as well as instructions for a rice pilaf with arugula (and you know I don't make that part).


Basamic-Glazed Pork Chops

4 1" thick pork loin chops
2 tbsp EVOO
salt and freshly-ground pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (thyme or sage works too)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp butter

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook about five minutes on each side, and remove to a platter and cover to keep warm. Return pan to heat and add a bit more oil if necessary, and the onion, herbs and garlic and saute about four minutes. Add the vinegar, honey and chicken stock. (I use about 1/2 cup stock; the original called for a cup.) When the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit, turn the heat off and add the butter and stir. Return the chops to the pan and coat in the glaze, warming them up a bit before serving.

This is a great basic recipe and is also delicious with chicken.

For our Labor Day "Pork Day" I served it with fresh green beans, and some root veggies that I cut into french-fry size, coated with olive oil, salt and paprika, and roasted at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. (We had some carrots, 2 kohlrabi and one lonely beet that needed to be eaten.) Yum.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pulled Pork, Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries

This is one of my new favorite dinners.

Pulled Pork
4-5 lb pork butt roast (mine was 3 lbs)
2 onions, sliced

Dry Rub:
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander (I skipped this one..I don't know what coriander is.)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp onion powder (I used garlic powder)
1 tbsp dried parsley (I skipped this too..I don't have dried parsley)
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (again, not in my spice cabinet yet.)
2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingrdients together then rub the mixture on the roast. Place a layer of onions in the crock pot, then the roast on top. Put the rest of the onions on top of the roast. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, then low for 3-4 more hours. My roast was small so I did 5 on high, 3 on low. The meat should be easy to shred from here. Mom says to put it in the fridge overnight to cool and then de-fat. Since I am impatient, and Mom said she does this too, I just took some out and made it into dinner right there. The rest is sitting in the fridge waiting for fat-removal (I'm looking forward to this process, obviously). Once I shredded my pork, I mixed in BBQ sauce (Trader Joes).

For the coleslaw dressing, I followed (for the most part) a recipe but now I can't find it. I think it was something like this:

1/4 cup canned coconut milk
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups cabbage/slaw/stuff (I used broccoli slaw)

Since I only had about 2 cups of broccoli slaw, I cut the dressing recipe in half. It also called for celery seed, but I didn't have any, so I finely chopped some celery and threw it in there (not an exact substitution, but whatever). Mix the coconut milk and vinegar, then slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking together. Pour over the slaw. I added some salt, pepper, and paprika on top.

This isn't my favorite coleslaw dressing, but it was still good.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp of each: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder (I'm guessing here, I didn't measure them)

Wash, peel, slice the potatoes. In a mixing bowl, toss them with enough coconut oil to coat them evenly. Mix the spices together (add others if you want to) and toss with the potatoes. Add more if you want them spicier.

Toss them onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, watching them toward the end (unless you like them charred). I took them out early and threw on some parmesan and baked for 5 more minutes at 450. Bake longer for crispier fries.

Serve with BBQ sauce.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sweet Potato Fries

I wanted to do fries, but I forgot to buy any kind of dipping sauce, so I just made them kind of seasoned/spicy and they turned out great. However, I didn't write down my recipe, so I don't know how much of anything I used. But its not an exact science, right?

3 lb bag of sweet potatoes (8-10 medium potatoes?)
Coconut oil
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into fries-sized pieces and toss in big mixing bowl with enough oil to coat them. From here, I just started adding spices, enough of each kind to cover all the fries, plus some salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on cookie sheets and bake until they start to crisp. The time to cook them will depend on how thick the pieces are, so keep an eye on them after around 15 minutes.

I baked mine until they were soft, then took them out and tossed some more oil and parmesan cheese on and baked them for around 8 more minutes (this might have been under the broiler).

Next time I make these, I'll pay more attention to how I do it, and I'll actually write it down  :)

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I've found that I like having pancakes in the fridge to eat as a snack. Almond butter and apple sauce has been my favorite topping combination. And of course, I'll eat anything with sweet potatoes. These turned out more like crepes, since the batter is pretty runny. 

Here is the recipe from

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ c sweet potato (about 1 large)
  • ½ c almond butter
  • ½ c carton unsweetened coconut milk (we used So Delicious brand)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ½  t salt
  • coconut oil
Peel, chop into small pieces,and boil your sweet potato until it’s fork tender.
Once the sweet potato is cooked and cooled, add all ingredients to blender and blend thoroughly.
Your batter should be pretty liquid-y thin. If it wouldn’t run off a spoon, it’s too thick…add a little more coconut milk until you get the right consistency.
Heat your griddle/cast iron/non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt a generous bit of coconut oil and pour in the batter, in whatever shape or size you’d like. When the pancake begins to have surface bubbles near the center flip and cook other side (each side 2-3 minutes). Add more coconut oil to cook surface as needed between batches.
Getting your heat right is the key to cooking these babies. If it’s too hot you’ll burn your pancakes before they’re cooked through. Try a small dollop of batter as a “tester” to see if the temp is just right before committing the entire batch. If your oil is smoking at any point it’s probably too hot. So adjust your heat accordingly during cooking. It can be a little tricky, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Let your pancakes rest in the oven on “warm” on a paper towel lined plate until all batches are complete.