Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fish butter here!

For dinner tonight we had a delicious scampi. We had ours as a wild caught Alaskan cod. You can however use the same sauce for shrimp, scallops or any fish that you desire. For the shellfish you would likely want to keep the dish cooked on the stove top. Fish can be baked in the oven.

Paleo Fish Scampi

2-3 lbs of fish (we use cod, haddock or grouper)
2 shallots, minced
7 cloves of garlic, 3 sliced, 4 minced
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the shallot, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute until shallot is translucent. Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Put fish in baking dish, and cover with scampi mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish flakes. Enjoy!

Paleo Ice cream!

You heard that right. Its Paleo Ice cream. As a former ice cream aficionado, it was difficult to kiss the cold stuff goodbye (well except for cheat meals). This allows me to get the feeling of ice cream, without deviating from my preferred Paleo way of eating. I decided in honor of Halloween that I would make pumpkin ice cream. I want to try a chocolate version next time.

Paleo Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 cups coconut milk (Thai kitchen works great)
1/2 can of pumpkin
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8 egg yolks

Mix together the milk, pumpkin, syrup, vanilla and spice in sauce pan. Cook over medium heat. In bowl, mix together the egg yolks. When the milk mixture starts to simmer. Use the milk to temper the eggs (pour spoonfuls of the hot mixture into the eggs, while whisking the eggs). Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan. Continue cooking over medium low heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Strain mixture and put into the refrigerator until cool. Freeze using an ice cream maker (according to manufacturers directions). Enjoy!

yet another recipe for Paleo Pancakes

I know there are tons of recipes out there for Paleo pancakes. I really wanted just a basic pancake recipe so that I could modify it to seasonal flavors (ie blueberry for summer, pumpkin for fall). Well, after searching and coming up somewhat empty handed, I decided to develop my own. This is an almond flour based recipe. There is a strong almond flavor to get used to, but I guess that is just the way it is with Paleo. Serve these up with sausage on a Sunday morning and you have a very nice weekend breakfast. (make extras and you can have a quick weekday breakfast) Just remember this is a very plain pancake recipe. Be sure to dress it up as you see fit.

My plain Paleo Pancakes

3 cups almond flour
3 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (make sure its just apples on the ingredient list, or better yet, make your own)
2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

Mix together almond flour, 3 eggs, almond milk and apple sauce, until fully combined. Gently fold egg whites into mixture. Cook on hot griddle (be sure to grease griddle, coconut oil is my preferred grease), like you would traditional pancakes. Just know that they will not look cooked when they need to be flipped, so be sure to check for browning. Enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicken nuggets and fries...oh yes they are Paleo!

So my boys love chicken nuggets. They are kids after all. They miss their Chick-Fil-A nuggets, since they are now forced to eat grilled chicken. These are fantastic! Seriously, we devoured them. Once again, I made a lot so that I can have leftovers. I seasoned them as I thought would work, but feel free to season anyway you see fit. You could turn them italian with some italian herbs, you could make them thai with some curry and coconut. Let your creativity inspire you to make some fantastic nuggets.

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

2 lbs chicken breast or tenderloins, cut into large bite sized chunks
1.5 cups almond flour (I get mine from Trader joes)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets with olive oil. Mix almond flour with seasoning. Dip chicken in egg, shake off excess, dip in almond flour and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with all remaining chicken pieces. Be sure to give them a little space so that they can let off their moisture. Put chicken in oven and cook for about 40 minutes. Be sure to check that the chicken is fully cooked. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Fries

2-3 sweet potatoes (or if you are lazy, Trader Joes sells precut fries)
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes into fry shape. Place fries in bowl or ziploc bag. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Stir/shake to coat. Spread fries onto non-stick cookie sheet. Give them some space. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Delicious paleo frittata, for a great start to your day

So remember that roasted chicken? Well here is a great recipe to use up some of the extra meat. This is a great way to start your day. Tons of vitamins and protein! I only used sea salt and pepper to season mine, but feel free to spice yours up. Just make sure your spice mix does not have sugar in it!

Paleo Frittata

olive oil
1/2 of large onion (diced)
10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cooked chopped chicken meat
1/2 cup water (can also use coconut milk)
sea salt

Saute onion in skillet in oil over medium heat until caramelized (yum). Mix eggs, spinach, water, and seasoning in small bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the onions. Quickly stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, until firm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tropical Caramelized Banana Cookies

So I frequently watch our bananas turn from yellow to brown. As they age, I reminisce about how I used to make banana bread or muffins with these sugary sweet fruits. Now, I started brainstorming. Wouldn't it be fantastic to utilize that sweetness to make some type of dessert? How about a cookie? And so my Paleo Tropical Caramelized Banana Cookies were born. The trick is to cook the banana first to release all of its fantastic sugars and flavor.

Tropical Caramelized Banana Cookies

2 Ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
Coconut oil
4 eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract (may not be necessary, but figured better safe than sorry)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

In a skillet over medium high heat, melt enough coconut oil to cover the bottom. Add the bananas. Cook until they just start to caramelize (turn brown). Allow to cool.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In mixer, add bananas, eggs, extract, coconut oil, and honey. Blend until smooth. Add coconut flour, mix thoroughly. Wait about 2-3 minutes for the batter to thicken. Add macadamia and shredded coconut, allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
Drop 1-2 tbsp a time on a greased cookie sheet (grease with coconut oil). Cook in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cowboy spaghetti goes caveman!

Back before I started Zoning and especially before I started doing Paleo, we had a family favorite recipe. Rachael Ray's Cowboy spaghetti. Bacon, beer, fire roasted tomatoes all on top of spaghetti with melted cheddar cheese. As you can see, not really figure or paleo friendly. Tonight I re-did this recipe so that it now fits into my family's current lifestyle. Also remember, I cook in bulk so I have plenty of leftovers to freeze or eat the rest of the week. If you want less, you may want to only do half a recipe. :) I have included some vinegar based ingredients here. So if you are strict paleo and do not eat vinegar, then you may have to modify or skip this. If you modify, please let me know what you come up with!

Caveman Spaghetti Hash

6 slices of bacon
2 lbs ground beef (extra lean)
2 onions, diced
10 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp hot sauce (feel free to add more if you like spice)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch of chili powder
sea salt
black pepper
1/4 cup tequila
2 14-oz cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes (get organic if you can, they have less crap in them)
3 Zucchini, shredded
3 Summer squash, shredded

Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Once crispy, remove, cool and crumble. Set to the side. Add ground beef to the skillet (with the delicious bacon grease in it). Crumble and cook until almost brown. Add onion, garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add all seasonings. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add tequila. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and shredded veggies. Cook until veggies are soft. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Crockpot harvest pork...simple and nearly complete meal

So I originally found this recipe in a Fix it and Forget it cookbook. After examining I realized how easily I could make it deliciously Paleo. Plus, I love when everything just gets tossed into a pot and then you come home 6-8 hours later to an amazing meal. The apples and squash make a fabulous topping for the pork. Its so flavorful. The pork just falls apart, be cautious when taking it out of the slow cooker.

Harvest Pork

1 cup apple cider (apple juice works in a pinch)
1.5-2 lbs pork loin
sea salt
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1.5 whole butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp maple syrup (also works with maple flavored agave)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage

Heat the cider in a skillet. Sear the pork on all sides in the cider. Salt and pepper the pork to taste. Place in slow cooker, cover with juice. Mix apples, squash, maple and seasoning in a bowl (or a ziploc bag if you want to save on dishes). Place squash and apple mixture around the pork. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Once cooked remove pork from cooker and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve topped with the apple and squash mush.

paleo meat good you won't miss the pasta

My mom started making this amazing meat sauce for our family a few years ago. It quickly became a favorite for anyone that tried it. Its so good and the best part is that it cooks up in about half an hour. Its perfect for those "I don't want to cook" nights. I serve this over zucchini or spaghetti squash. Recently I tried it over steamed broccoli and I can tell you its just as fabulous. (And this is another recipe you may want to double. You can freeze up some leftovers and save for another day).

(My youngest son loves this meat sauce with zucchini noodles)

Quick Meat Sauce

1 lbs ground beef
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1-3 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper
sea salt
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (be sure to check the ingredients on the can, try to get one that is as close to just tomatoes as you can get)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Brown ground beef in skillet, until the beef is almost brown. Add onion, and garlic. Continue cooking until beef is just about dried out (feel free to drain grease if there is a bit too much), and almost crispy. Add a pinch of basil, mint and red pepper. Salt to taste. Add tomatoes. Stir. Add another pinch of each seasoning and allow to simmer for 20 min. Be sure to adjust the heat so that the sauce is just bubbling, but not boiling.
(this recipe originally came from a cookbook called The Northend Italian Cookbook, I have long since memorized how I make it, so I am not sure if this is exactly how the book calls for it to be made or not)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh so moist (and super easy) roast chicken

For dinner last night I made one of our staples. Roasted chicken. I love having chicken around to munch on all week long. I have even been known to eat it for breakfast. I hate when chicken dries out so I prefer to roast a whole chicken than to make boneless skinless breasts. Here is how I make my roasted chicken (oh and if you want lots of extra meat for salads, snacks, ect, roast two chickens at the same time). As a note, I do not eat the chicken skin. In this recipe, I would not recommend it unless you are looking to have some serious sodium.

Roasted Chicken

1 (or two) whole roaster chicken
carrots (baby ones or regular...I like one bag of baby carrots)
sea salt (course grain works best)
sweet potatoes (about 3-4 will be plenty), cut into large cubes
1-1.5 cups water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you have convection, use it! It helps keep the temperature even in the oven. If not regular 400 degrees works great.
Prepare the chicken by rinsing (remove giblets if they are in there) and patting dry. Place in the roaster pan. Sprinkle liberally with course sea salt. Be sure to sprinkle some salt inside too. Put the carrots and sweet potatoes around the chicken, pour water over carrots and potatoes. Place in the preheated oven. Check the internal temp (I usually check the breast meat) in about 45 mins, if it is less than 165, then let the chicken cook for a bit longer. Check every 5-10 minutes until the chicken reaches 165-170. Pull the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter. Slice and enjoy.

A delicious breakfast

So I have figured out with any diet transitions, the best way to go is with a fantastic breakfast. It makes the transition soooooooo much easier. I found a fabulous recipe and wanted to share it with everyone. Homemade turkey sausage patties!!! The best part is, you take a few of these, add some fruit and/or veggies, a handful of nuts and tah-dah! you have breakfast. These little beauties can also be wrapped up and saved in the fridge or freezer for days to come. Good luck making enough for the freezer though, they are so tasty its hard to not eat them all in a matter of a few days.

Turkey Sausage Patties

2 lbs ground turkey (can also do pork)
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger
pinch of red pepper flakes (more to taste)
3 tsp poultry seasoning
1-3 tsp sea salt (to taste)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil or fat of choice

Mix together all of the ingredients (except for the olive oil). Heat a healthy drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once its hot, take about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture at a time, and drop into skillet. Smoosh the meat into a patty using a spatula. Allow to cook until brown, then flip. Cook until both side are browned and meat is fully cooked. Repeat until all of the meat is done. Enjoy!
(this recipe was adapted from

I swore I would never go down this road

I remember about a year and a half ago having conversations with my Crossfit coach about nutrition. I remember thinking she was absolutely off her rocker for wanting to eat a paleolithic diet. Why would any one want to deprive themselves so much??? She would always encourage her athletes to trust her and just eat like she did. While working out with her had been life changing, changing my nutrition was just not something I was interested in. It was almost an insult when she suggested it. I don't know why I was so offended by it, she was just trying to help.

Shortly after our conversation about nutrition, I decided to give the Zone diet a whirl. I had read a lot about it and decided it was something I could handle. I transitioned slowly to the Zone. I switched one meal at a time. After a few weeks I was Zoning about 95% of the time. In about two months I dropped 2 sizes and about 10 pounds. My times got faster and my weights got heavier. I loved the Zone. I also struggle with blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes, ect), this diet gave me a simple solution to prevent any major lows or highs. On occasion I would dabble in some meals that were Paleo, but I was not ready to give up my oatmeal or dairy. How could anyone live without DAIRY? I loved cheese. Even though, if I was quite honest with myself dairy did not love me back. It was horrific on my blood sugar. Always left me feeling hungry way before I should.

I only recently started becoming intrigued by the Paleo diet. I ordered a book by Robb Wolf to my kindle and began reading it immediately. It really helped open my eyes up. I suddenly had the urge to clear out our pantries and transform our way of life. The good news for me, is I have a fully supportive husband! My two sons (ages 3.5 years and almost 2 years) were likely going to be the harder sell. Yet they have come so far already. They both now know that they aren't to ask for candy at the grocery store. They have figured out that the only "treat" they are likely to get is fruit or fruit leathers. I am changing over their juice slowly but surely to mostly water. We are at about 60-75% water, the rest juice. I am switching their milk over from dairy to almond milk, once again its been a slow transition so they don't notice. As I have been making these transitions, I decided, that is it...we are all going to go Paleo!

I had planned on just doing things quietly, not sharing with anyone that we had made the change, because I am embarrassed I was so resistant to Paleo in the first place. My gym starts their Paleo challenge today and while I am not taking place in the challenge, I wanted to share my experiences with my friends. I wanted to share my recipes with them too. I am also not doing the challenge because to me, that means there will be an end to my Paleo eating. I am not planning on changing. I want this to be our lifestyle. Sure we will have the rare cheat, but I am sure that the "cheats" will make me feel so icky I won't want to cheat often (this is exactly what the Zone diet was like).

So please enjoy our family's journey back to the Paleolithic way of eating. I know its not always going to be easy, but its going to be worth it. And please, let me know what you think of the recipes I post. I scour the web for ideas and tweak them to my tastes. Let me know what you tweak and how.

Oh and one more final note...go ahead and gloat coach, you were right. You know I am stubborn and will always have a tough time saying it in public. ;)