Easy Peasy Paleo Strawberry “Ice Cream”

I’m going to make this short and sweet… Literally. It was hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks yesterday and for the first time in awhile all I wanted was ice cream… And a lot of it. So what’s a time crunched lactose intolerant fitgirl to do?!!! Whip up some easy peasy paleo ice cream of course.
If you google “paleo ice cream” you’ll find dozens of fancy ice cream alternatives out there but quite honestly “I ain’t got time for that sh*t” not to mention money. Plus a lot of them still leave you filling up on unnecessary calories and high fats. They’re essentially “f-aleo” recipes. I love this one because it requires things I always have on hand, takes just minutes and is mostly fruit based.

What You’ll Need

2 Large Frozen Bananas
1 Cup Chopped Strawberries
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (full fat from the can. I like to keep mine refrigerated)
1/4 cup Almonds
1 tsp Raw Honey

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until they are at your desired consistency (2 minutes)

Voila. There’s your easy peasy ice cream. I put my extras in the freezer in individual serving size glass mason jars for grab n’go snacking later : )20140702-135356-50036553.jpg

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Paleo Blackberry Raspberry Pie

I’ll be the first to admit, I have absolutely zero will power when a berry pie is in front of me. Seriously, blackberry pie might be the one thing on the planet I love more than peanut butter covered bacon (mmmm bacon). Ive never been a big fan of fancy pies though. Forget the apple pie or strawberry rhubarb while your at it. Im a bery pie girl, through and through. Warm with a lattice top and a little scoop of coconut whip on the side. YUM!!!

While I truly enjoy eating pie, it’s really the activity of baking the pie that warms me the most. There is something soothing about the process. Like no matter what else has happened in the day, I’m calmed by the assurance that mixing well known ingredients together creates something so classic and comforting. Picture Amy Adams in Julie and Julia while making chocolate creme: “I love that after a day when nothing is sure—and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing!—you can come home and absolutely know that if you add eggs yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick.”

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That’s how I feel about reducing berries and making crust from scratch. Someday’s it seemed as though the only thing I knew how to do right was bake pie, and when I’m done, there was this amazingly satisfying treat in front of me.

But you see, its a dangerous thing for a single girl to bake pies. Who is going to eat them? In college I had roomates and guys friends who could help me split the shame. But nowadays, a whole pie in my apartment means a whole pie in my tummy. Therefor, I rarely bake them anymore. But when a good friend asked me to make a paleo version of my favorite pie for her wedding I jumped at the chance!!

Now if you’re looking for a smooth perfectly polished crust a la Martha Steward this  is not the receipe  for you. I learned the hard way that in order to get a lattice top from a gluten free dough, there is a lot more time and effort needed than this little fit girl was able to give. This recipe is easy peasy and tastes amazing but its a bottom only crust.

Filling:

3 cups blackberries
3 cups raspberries
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup raw honey

In a medium sauce pan add water and berries and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 20 minutes or until the berries have reduced. Add remaining ingredients and continue to stir for 5 minutes. Take off the burner and let cool while making crust.

Crust: I stole this crust recipe from ElanasPantry.com. I tried a couple different recipes  and this was the only one that worked well with a berry pie filling with little effort. Her recipe calls for 2 tbsp. coconut oil but the first crust I made was a little oily so the second one I used slightly less.

2 cups almond flour/meal
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 egg

Pulse almond flour in a food processor (a high powered blender works well too). Add eggs and coconut oil and blend until dough is formed. Press evenly into 9 inch baking pan and cook on 350 degrees for 4 minutes.

Let the crust cool for 5 minutes then pour in filling. Put back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Simply, easy peasy paleo summer pie!

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Paleo Sweet Potatoe Pancakes

Confession: Some days, I get so lost in my own internal narrative that I forget everything I’m doing. My motor skills are seemingly in tact until I abruptly snap out of my mind while running head first in to a pole or tripping down stairs. People think I’m clumsy but the truth is I seem to get truly lost in thought while living out my day to day life. More often than not, lately, these things happen because I’m writing my next blog post in my head or planning out my next post to my challengers. I find myself so consumed by cooking and writing that everything else disappears into the back ground. The sad thing is, for the last month, none of these blog posts have actually been posted!!! I have over a dozen half written recipes or topics that need to be finished. I swear there is just so much I want to do or say and not enough hours in the day to both DO and SAY them at the same time. So this last month I chose to DO and this month Ill work on sharing a little better.

For now I’m going to post more food and hopefully get to post more than a couple pending recipes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 Large Sweet Potatoe

1/3 Cup Almond Butter

2 Egg

1Tsp Cinnamon

(for a special treat, add three slices booked bacons bits)

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Cook large sweet potato in microwave for 5 minutes or until soft. Be sure to poke holes in sweet potato before cooking. Once soft, cut sweet potato in half and scoop out the innards into a blender. Add almond butter, eggs and cinnamon and blend until smooth..

Note: Don’t throw away the skins. You can save them to eat with a little almond butter as an afternoon snack later in the week.

Cook like a regular pancake batter and serve or freeze in single servings for later use.

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The Thrifty Girls Guide to Zucchini Pasta

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News Flash: You don’t need a million dollar kitchen filled with KitchenAid products to make healthy meals. You just need to be a little inventive. If you’re like me its a little discouraging seeing instruction like “then place the ___ in the juicer”. When I first starting eating clean all I could think is “I cant afford to buy a juicer/food processor/ spiralizer!!!!” I’ve got all the ingredients in front of my and suddenly I don’t have the tools to finish : (

Now, I’m a thrifty girl pinching pennies on the daily. Over time I have accumulated a couple of nice items in my kitchen but all in all, I’m far from Martha Stewart in the gadgets department. So far as I can tell, none of my recipes have suffered because I didn’t have a $200 mixer. You wont believe this but….. most of these fancy machines are convenience items.

My most recent discovery is by far my favorite thrifty-girl clean eating tip…. Did you know you can sub a juliane peeler for a sprializer? No I’m not kidding you! Is a spiralizer easier, yes! But it cost me $3 for my peeling kit which had a julianne peeler in it and it works just as well for straight edged vegetable pasta as any spiralizer I’ve seen. (plus its much easier to clean)

Now if you NEED those special swirly pasta shapes and thick cut fettuccini noodles, I cant help ya there. I’m just not that fancy.

So now that you have been so enlightened, what are you going to make??!!!!

My favorite quick meal is sauted zuchnin pasta and it takes 5 minutes from kitchen to table using my peeler.

What you need:

1 Julienne Peeler
1 Small/ Medium Zucchini
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic

Start by putting a small pan on medium high heat. In a large bowl, peal zucchini away from you using the peeler. The zucchini should shred pretty evenly into the bowl. No need to peel the zucchini before hand. Once that pan has heated, pour olive oil and garlic and sauté. Add zucchini noodles stirring frequently. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Top with homemade pesto, marinara or my favorite  

Lemon Aioli

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My dad returned from his recent trip to California with 4 large fresh lemons from my aunt and uncles trees. Seeing as I put lemon in waaaay too much these days I was quite elated when I found out he was gifting them to ME!! 

Now I just have to decide what to use them in. Many recipes to consider. I don’t want to waste such precious gifts on something trivial. (I put waaay to much stake in my food these days lol) I know for a fact that 1 will be used hfor Salmon on Friday but what else?!?! Maybe aioli with some steak…

At dinner with my family the other night my father says out of the blue “that’s what I need to find! I promised Monica (our aunt) Id find her a good aioli recipe.” My sister of course lights up, looks at me and says “Ashley makes an awesome lemon aioli!!!” Can I just say, proudest moment of my life : ) Not only did I receive a compliment but it came from quite the picky eater lol. At 17, life is all coffee and pizza and burritos so the fact that I got her to eat something called aioli in a dish with no gluten or dairy still astounds me. 

I know in have posted this recipe before (see Carne Asada Taco Bowls) but for the sake of speed and efficiency I decided to repost the recipe all by itself. It really does deserve singular applause for being such a simple, delicious addition to any meal. I’m also in the process of writing up my post for my chipotle aioli so I thought this might be a nice little precursor. 

If you have any questions or need suggestions on what to serve it with, feel free to comment below. 

Have an awesome hump day peeps : )

Lemon Aioli:

1/2 cup mayo (I prefer Soy Free Veganaise)

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp fresh grated lemon

the juice from a small fresh lemon

a pinch of salt

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and stir. On occasion, I make three times the recipe to use throughout the week. In this case, seal in an air right container and store for up to 5 days.

A Little Ranting And Some Roast Chicken

Sundays never seem to last long enough. Am I the only one who feels this way? There is just so much I want to get done on a Sunday but I want to do it all from my bed hahaha. This last week has been painful to say the least and I decided that no matter how much was on my plate, I will not leave my bed until noon at least. So here I am, watching Moonrise Kingdom and drinking coffee from bed. This is happiness right here.

My bed time last night was 7:30pm. I slept for a whole 12 hours and damnit I needed it!!!

Waking up refreshed

Waking up refreshed

Woke up this morning feeling refereshed and healthy again (thank goodness) after a week of feeling beaten and bruised.

Unfortunately, the stress of my big girl job got to me this month. I have been fighting off a cold, working my hiney off and burning the candle at both ends all month long. To top it off, my endo symptoms are back with a vengeance, this week particularly. They are so overwhelming it sucks the life out of me most days. I come home and my body feels so bruised and beaten and all I can do is climb in bed and hope I wake up better. On top of the exhaustion, earlier this week I started experiencing excruciating pain in my lower back and legs again. This is the first time since my surgery that they have gotten this bad. Most days this week I was able to make it until 3 or so without it interfering too much. But by 3 pm I am stretching every hour, popping ibuprofen and holding back tears. When you are trying to be productive, this sort of situation is nothing short of impossible. Normally I would go home early or take a sick day if necessary but that really wasn’t an option this week : ( Truthfully, the scariest part of my week was Thursday evening. After three hours of unbelievable pain, I headed to a dress fitting for a wedding I am in this fall. As I sat in the dressing room slipping on the gorgeous flowing dress, my entire right leg went numb. I lost complete feeling from my hip to my toes. All the while, my left leg remained in excruciating pain. I took a deep breath to hold back tears, unsure of how long it would last. I regained feeling after about 20 minutes, finished the dress fitting and went home to take a hot bath.

These are the moments I fear the most. There is so little that can be done when I am in them and even worse, there is nothing that can be done to prevent them. I refuse to let them interfere with my life but honestly, it was very scary. Does this mean its time for surgery again? Should I dish out the money for another docors visit? Or wait it out and see if the symtoms calm down next week? Ugh. So, needless to say, I am taking it easy today and giving my body anything it needs!

On the flip side, there are so many great things happening in my life right now that I can’t stay frustrated too long lol. I am only 5 days away from my first long vacation in 2 years!! YAY!!! I’m taking today to plan out my vacation/staycation to Portland. So very much needed. I will also be, as usual, meal planning today and decided it was absolutely necessary to FINALLY share my roast chicken recipe with the world.

Recipe for Perfectly Simple Roast Chicken

Time to cook this baby!

Time to cook this baby!

Ingredients:
1, 5 lb Whole Chicken (preferably organic, hormone free)
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Small Lemon
5 Sprigs Fresh Rosmary
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Pepper (I prefer to use Penzey’s ground pepper)
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Preheat oven to 400.
It cannot be overstated how unbelievably easy this recipe is. Don’t over complicate it! I swear, for me, it’s simple nature makes it taste that much better haha. First step after turning on the oven is to rinse off the chicken. Reach inside and make sure that any and all remnants inside the chicken are discarded. Wash out the inside as well as the outside until the water runs through the center cavity, clean. Pat chicken dry. Place the chicken in the roasting dish (I use my favorite casserole dish because its the perfect size and allows the juices to stay close to the chicken while it cooks)
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Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the top and bottom of the chicken then coat with olive oil. Rubbing the entire chicken down, make sure that all outer surface is equally coated with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion and lemon. Now that is the step that I have been messing up for the last two years. I have been chopping the onion and lemon and putting the chopped pieces and slices in the cavity. DO NOT CHOP ONION!!!! Cut the onion in half, remove the outer skin and stick the whole onion half in the chicken. Cut the lemon in half and stick the lemon halves in the  chicken as well. Once this is done, make sure chicken is properly positioned in the pan (see photo) and top with rosemary sprigs.
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Cook chicken for aprox 75-90 minutes depending on the size of the bird.
Basting is key!

Basting is key!

Make sure to baste every 20 minutes or so with the juices accumulated in the pan.
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And voila! You have a perfectly juicy roasted bird : ) Enjoy!

 

Paleo Shepard’s Pie

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Top of the morning and happy Saint Patty’s day to everyone!! Seeing as I hold some Irish blood in my veins (yes I’m aggressive and enjoy whiskey more than the average person) I thought it only fitting to do an Irish themed Paleo post.

I know that most people see Shepard’s Pie as an English food but did you know it’s Irish. The English version is called Cottage Pie. This soul warming staple originated in the late 17th century when potatoes became universally accepted in Irish culture. Previous to this time, potatoes were a “New World” food. Both Irish and English cultures did not care to eat or grow it for hundreds of years after America’s colonization. Such a funny thing to think about isn’t it? Potatoes not existing in England and Ireland? Hmm. If only they knew that such a delicious dish could still be made without potatoes.

I must say, I am a little worried my great grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew I was replacing the potatoes in my shepard’s pie with cauliflower. Eeeek. But I can’t imagine not eating one of my favorite dishes this lovely holiday and unfortunately potatoes just aren’t on my list of foods any more. I hope you can forgive me great grandma!

Ingredients:

1 Large Onion
2 Carrots peeled and chopped
3 Cloves garlic
4 Strips Bacon
1 lb Ground Beef (grass fed, organic)
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
8oz Organic Chicken Broth
1 Cup Corn
1 Large Head Cauliflower (stems removed, chopped and steamed until soft)
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Fresh Nutmeg
1 TBSP butter (melted)

Steps:
1.Chop onions, garlic, bacon and carrots (keep separate)
2.Heat olive oil in large frying pan
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3.Sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft
4.While onion is cooking, steam cauliflower

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5.Add bacon pieces to frying pan and sauté until cooked, another 10 minutes
6.Add carrots to pan and continue cooking for another 5 minutes
7.Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown
8.Add seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Chili Powder) and continue cooking for 1 minute
9.Add chicken broth and cook down broth until nearly half is left (10 minutes)

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10.Once it has been reduced, add corn to pan, cook for 2 minutes then pour mixture into casserole dish (or 9×13 in pan)
11.Place cauliflower in food processor or strong blender with olive oil and melted butter
12.Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture
13.Bake at 350° for 35minutes

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Happy Saint Patty’s Day Folks! Hope you have a great one and drink a Guinness for me : )

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Meal Prep: Spicy Chili

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This is hands down one of my favorite meal prep items because it makes soooooo much food and tastes amazing! Chili is just one of those things that I could eat every day and never tire of. Im sure someone will disagree with me but I feel its one of the few foods that fits all seasons. In a not so distant past, I loved to add sour cream and cheese to my chili but obviously that’s not an option anymore. So these days I add a dollop of full fat coconut milk to make the chili creamy! It works like a charm : )

As far as the meal prep portion of the recipe goes, I like to freeze the chili in 8oz jars. This makes lunch planning throughout the week so much easier. It yields 15/20, 8oz portions!!! Once the chili is done cooking I let it sit for about a half hour to cool slightly. I then divide chili into individual containters and wait to cover until they are cooled. Do not freeze hot jars. Because of this I always suggest making the Chili in the afternoon. The first time I made this I made it at 7 and ended up staying up WAAAYY too late waiting for them too cool.

This is only half of the final batch

This is only half of the final batch

Warning: This recipe is not paleo! While I eat paleo for the most part, I still struggle to cut out beans from my diet. I understand the reasoning behind not including legumes in the paleo diet but I still struggle with it. Some day I learn how to cut them out, but for now I’m going to eat my damn chili and I’m gunna like it : )

Ingredients You’ll Need:

3 Tbs Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic1 Yellow Onion Chopped
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
32 oz of Tomato Puree
1 Jalapeño Roasted ( I put mine in the oven straight on the rack until it starts to shrivel, usually about 15 mins @ 350)
4 Cups Organic Vegetable Broth
3 Bell Peppers, chopped finely ( I prefer Red and Green but you can use whatever kind you prefer)
1&1/2 lbs Organic Ground Beef Cooked & Drained ( you can also use ground turkey here too)
2 Cups Organic Black Beans
2 Cups Organic Red Beans
2 Cups Organic Kidney Beans
2 Cups Organic Frozen/ Fresh Corn
2 Medium Zucchini

Step 1: Brown Beef in Medium Pan, drain and set aside.

Step 2: Chop onion, garlic and peppers (keep separate)

Step 3: Heat up large pot on medium high heat. Once heated add olive oil. Sauté onions and garlic
5-6 minutes

Step 4: Add salt and continue to cook until caramelized

Step 5: Add all the dry spices and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: Add broth, peppers, jalapeños, beef, and tomato puree. Bring to a low boil and turn down to a simmer

Step 7: Simmer for 20 minutes then add beans and corn

Step 8: Simmer another 20 minutes until thickened.

I al also a huge fan of putting spur cream in my chili. Obviously this is not a “clean” option. So instead, I had started adding a dollop of coconut creme instead : )

For coconut creme, take a can of full fat coconut milk and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours of until creme and water have separated. The creme will rise to the top. Separate the creme and water in to different containers. The water can be used in smoothies throughout the week. The cream can be added straight to chili or can be used for other things including sweet coconut whip!

So there ya go! Happy meal planning folks : )

Leftover Quinoa and Kale

Leftover Quinoa and Kale

Leftover Quinoa and Kale

This is my favorite hearty weekend morning breakfast. I first discovered this recipe about a year ago after picking up Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Its All Good”.

Now a staple in my kitchen, I recommend anyone trying to get clean to pick it up immediately! Her struggle to become healthy is inspiring and her recipes are clean, easy, and delicious!!!

What You’ll Need:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or fat of choice)

1 clove garlic minced

2 large leaves of Kale (stems discarded) finely chopped

1/2 cup quinoa (cooked, follow directions on package)

Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 Egg (Gwyneth suggests it poached but I like mine sunny side up, cooked in olive oil)

1 Scallion

Heat oil and garlic over medium heat in a small skillet until the garlic begins to soften (about 1 minute). Add the shredded kale and cook, stirring now and then, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, until warmed through, another 2 minutes. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in a shallow bowl or plate, top with egg and scallions.

Serve with Hulk Juice or Fresh Coffee : ) Happy Saturday!

Hulk Juice

HULK JUICE

Nearly a year ago I started drinking a thick green kale smoothie every morning to boost energy and digestion. I had heard people talk about juicing and drinking juice smoothies but it never interested me until my post op, post diagnosis, health food awakening. There a million so called “amazing” juice/smoothie recipes out there but the hard truth is it’s all about finding what tastes best and works best for you and your needs. Try everything!!! Even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally eat in real life, it might be something you love in a smoothie. Try to keep milk or milk products out of it. It should be all about the nutrients in the juice.

Moving on from my lecture on nutrients, I call this  Hulk Juice because it was aptly named that by my co-workers. I drink this almost every morning. A strong green color, it takes up half to all of my coveted Blender Bottle each morning and to say that I am addicted is an understatement.

Hulk Juice:

1 1/2 cups cold walter

The juice of one lemon

1 inch ginger grated

1 cucumber, cut into slices (skin or no skin)

1 apple, cut into slices ( skin or no skin, I prefer Honey Crisp or Fuji)

4 sprigs parsley (optional)

2 Large Leaves of Kale

I make two different versions of this drink.

For a Smoothie: I remove skins from the cucumber and apple before blending.  Put all ingredients except the kale into a strong blender. When properly liquefied, place the juice in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When time is up, add the kale and blend until smooth.

For Juice: Add all ingredients to the blender and liquefy. Pour through a fine mesh strainer for clean pulp free juice. To make sure this juice is cold, I suggest keeping your apples and cucumbers in the fridge.

Happy drinking : )