Monday, November 26, 2012

Hearty Chicken White Bean Soup



Hello blog friends! I hope all of you had a healthy, happy thanksgiving. Our week was full of time with family, including a surprise visit from Evan's brother. It was a wonderful time of fellowship that we greatly needed. Our thanksgiving day went as planned: a morning hike in the beautiful Colorado outdoors and an evening paleo dinner that did not disappoint.

We topped our weekend off with getting our christmas tree with friends last night. I love my tree! It is perfectly round and smells of christmas. My sweet husband put it up and hung the lights on it all by himself while I chatted with my sisters. I then hung the ornaments on the tree. This is my favorite part. As I hang each one I think of the story or memory behind it. What joy! Christmas will be here before we know it.

Today's recipe is a great meal to have around to avoid grabbing just anything for lunch or dinner in the midst of this crazy, busy season.

I know what some strict paleo people are going to say... beans are not paleo. But, white beans are an excellent source of folate, fiber and a decent source of protein. For this reason, they occasionally make it onto our dinner menu. If you are going to eat beans, this soup is a delicious way to do it! Also, as the title says, this soup is seriously hearty and filling with great flavor.

HEARTY CHICKEN AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
Serves: 4-6

1 Tbs coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, sliced into rounds
1 bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 large cooked chicken breast, diced
4 cups broth of any kind (i used vegetable)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs ground thyme
2 tsp pepper
1 Tbs dried rosemary

1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and pepper. Cook and stir until tender. Stir in carrots, garlic and spices. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in beans, broth, chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour or until carrots are tender.
2. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes



Just in time for Thanksgiving week I have one more delicious pumpkin recipe to share. Now lets be honest, I actually have many more pumpkin recipes to share, like Pumpkin Sweet Potato Spice Bread, that will probably still find their way to a post before the year is over. Pumpkin recipes are just too good.

As Thanksgiving gets closer I hope you checked out my Paleo Thanksgiving Menu for delicious recipes for the big meal. As I said before, Evan's parents are coming into town and we could not be more thrilled. Our thanksgiving day plan is to go for a morning hike and then come home to cook and enjoy a mid afternoon meal. These pancakes, along with some uncured bacon, will make a great pre hike breakfast. I serve them sprinkled with a little cinnamon!



PALEO PUMPKIN PANCAKES
Serves: 2-3, makes 6 medium pancakes

4 medjool dates, pits removed
1/4 cup whole coconut milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbs coconut flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1. Place dates in a microwave bowl with 1 Tbs water and heat for 30 seconds. Mash with fork. Place dates in a food processor or blender. Add milk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Pulse to combine.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients (flours-spice). Add to blender. Pulse to combine.
3. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp coconut oil. Add pancake batter 2 heaping Tbs at a time to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter until all batter is cooked. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Paleo Thanksgiving Menu



Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust


It is time!! Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and, if you are anything like me, planning for the day of family time is in full swing. I hope you will take this menu and work some or all of the recipes into your special dinner of gratitude. The blog post includes the menu, a shopping list and all recipes. Double check the shopping list and pantry list to make sure you really do have everything on the pantry list. I advise you to read through all the recipes so you can make a game plan of when to make each dish.

The menu includes recipes enough to feed four people. To feed less or more the recipes are easily adaptable. We are actually having a huge beautiful fresh free range turkey instead of just breasts at our meal but you may not want to cook a huge bird for only 2 or 4 people. Please comment with any questions you have. I will say the menu is not 100% paleo. True paleo includes no added sugars like maple syrup but if you are going to have sugar and natural organic source is the best. Also, this is a special day that warrants exceptions with moderation! I would love to hear back from you about your special day and stories of your family enjoying eating food that truly makes them feel good.

In conclusion I want to give you three tips to keep the day healthy and stress free!

1. Drink Water
2. Choose good food (organic ingredients and free range organic meat)
3. Add movement to your day whether it be a family hike after the meal (this is what we are doing... after all we live in beautiful colorado), a family fun run first thing in the morning or a bike ride. Whatever brings your family joy.


In Health and with a grateful heart,
Hillary


PALEO THANKSGIVING


Maple Spiced Roasted Turkey Breasts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots
Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Crumble
Spinach Salad with Pears and Toasted Nuts
Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Almond Crust
Slow Cooked Apples with Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream



MAPLE SPICED ROASTED TURKEY BREASTS
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine Nov 2012

One  2 1/2-3 lb bone in, skin on free range turkey breast
3 Tbs organic maple syrup
1 Tbs olive oil or melted coconut oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place all ingredients except turkey in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add turkey and toss to coat- make sure you get the mixture under the skin and rubbed into meat. Marinate for 20 minutes
3. Remove turkey from marinade and place turkey in a 9x13 baking dish or a roasting pan. Discard marinade. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 155 degrees.
4. Remove turkey to a large platter. Cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve


ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CARROTS
We love this dish and honestly have it at least once every two weeks in the fall and winter. It is simple food but is an easy addition to a large meal because it is easy to make and tastes great!

3 lbs brussels sprouts, ends removed and sprouts quartered
6 carrots, ends removed and carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients on a large parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
2. Place in oven with turkey and cook 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn vegetables. Return to oven and cook 10-15 minutes until tender.



SAUTEED GREEN BEANS WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

2 lbs fresh green beans, ends removed
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced (if you do not have you could substitute a small onion)
dash of salt and pepper

1. In a medium pot, bring a small amount of water to boil. Add steamer basket. Add green beans. Steam 5 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile. in a large cast iron skillet heat 1 Tbs coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallots. Cook until tender an brown. Watch them to make sure they do not burn. Remove shallots from pan.
3. Place steamed green beans in cast iron skillet. Saute 5 minutes with a dash of sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add shallots. Toss and serve.


MAPLE MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH PECAN CRUMBLE
This recipe can me made ahead of time and then popped in to the oven as directed at the end of the recipe to heat and toast the crumble.

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 Tbs organic no salt added butter
2-3 Tbs maple syrup (amount depending on how sweet your potatoes are)
1 Tbs cinnamon

Crumble:
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs melted coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes and wrap them individually in foil. Place on a baking sheet and place in oven. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender.
2. Slice potatoes into large chunks and place slices in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter, syrup and cinnamon. Process until smooth. Scoop potatoes into a casserole dish.
3. In a small bowl, combing crumble ingredients. Using your hands, Crumble the topping onto the potatoes. 
4. Place dish in oven heated to 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are warm and crumble is toasted.





SPINACH SALAD WITH PEARS AND TOASTED NUTS

6 cups baby spinach
2 ripe bartlett pears, sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries sweetened with orange juice
1/2 cup raw nuts (pecans or walnuts are my favorite)

1. In a large salad serving bowl, place spinach. Top with pears and cranberries.
2. In a small skillet, melt 1 tsp organic, unsalted butter. Add nuts. Toss and cook until lightly browned. 
Add nuts to salad. Toss and serve lightly dressed with Honey Mustard Dressing.

This beautiful slice of pie is served on my beautiful Grammy Crawley's china!

PALEO PUMPKIN PIE WITH ALMOND CRUST
I have posted this recipe before with a gluten free flour crust. Now I have upgraded it to be healthier and paleo! The crust is from Elana's Pantry and I did not even adapt it... you can't fix what isn't broken :)
Remember.. the cashews have to soak overnight so plan ahead.

1 cup raw cashews (NOT roasted or salted)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can (15oz) organic pumpkin puree
1 cup organic maple syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crust: 
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 egg
1 Tbs coconut flour
1/8 tsp sea salt

1. Place cashews, water and sea salt in a large bowl. Stir. Refrigerate overnight. When are you ready to bake, remove cashews from water and place in a blender. Discard water.
2. With cashews in blender, add pumpkin, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend until smooth.
3. For crust, place pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the texture of coarse gravel.
4. Pulse in egg, flour and salt until a ball forms. Place pecan mixture in a coconut oil greased 9 inch pie plate. Press mixture into pan and up the sides using your hands.
5. Pour pumpkin mixture into pecan pie shel. 
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 
Remove pie from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate pie for at least two hours. 
THIS IS DELICIOUS!!



SLOW COOKED APPLES WITH VANILLA COCONUT ICE CREAM
This picture does not do the deliciousness of these apples justice. I posted this recipe only a few weeks ago too.
True Paleo means no dairy. The great thing is that for special occasions there is a delicious ice cream that is made from coconut milk. It is called SO Delicious dairy free ice creams. You can buy it at our local Sprouts or Whole Foods but I have also seen it in our King Soopers (the same thing as Kroger in the South). 


30 small apples or 20 large apples
2 Tbs cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/4 cup apple cider (make sure it is natural, unfiltered and no sugar added)

1. Peel apples and cut the sides off of the core. Place apple pieces in crock pot. 
2. Add cinnamon and apple cider. Stir.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until falling apart tender. Serve warm over vanilla coconut ice cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon.



SHOPPING  LIST
  • 2 1/2 - 3 lb bone in, skin on Free Range Turkey Breast
  • 3 lbs Brussels Sprouts
  • 6 Carrots
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans
  • 1 large shallot
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 6 cups spinach
  • 2 Bartlett Pears
  • 1 can 15oz Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • Fresh Apple Cider (no sugar added)
  • 30 apples 
  • PANTRY  LIST
  • Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ground Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Organic Unsalted Butter
  • Almond Flour/ Meal
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Agave or Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Flour
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Coming Soon... Paleo Thanksgiving Menu


I am very excited about Thanksgiving this year. It will be very different than in the past. I will admit, although I do not like to dwell on it, I am sad because I will not be with all of my family in Alabama as I have been for the past 27 years of my life. But, my in laws are coming to Colorado, and for that I am more grateful than they will ever know. In addition to them coming, the reason I am so excited is because this will be the first Thanksgiving I host and cook! It is a cooks dream. Even before we moved out to Colorado Evan and I dreamed about what thanksgiving would often now look like for us. Our dream included a healthy, whole foods thanksgiving meal with a good hike afterwards in the beauty that surrounds us. My mother in law makes the best turkey ever (whose remains makes the best stock ever :) and I hope to twist her arm to have her cook the turkey and anything else she would like so the meal also feels like tradition to them too.

But, on to the reason for all this chatter. Since I am hosting it means I get to plan the meal and all of you are going to get to benefit from this! Next week, after much recipe testing, I will be posting a Paleo Thanksgiving Menu! You may cook one recipe from it or use the whole menu. It is up to you. May you take this opportunity to have food that makes you feel grateful for eating it and not wishing, or maybe even feeling like, you were in a coma. At the end of the day, may your cells thank you for giving them what they need on a day that is so known for abandoning all logic and, as I have seen on the internet, "gobbling til you wobble." And a little hint of the yumminess to come.... the menu contains TWO delicious desserts!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Slow Cooked AppleSauce



Above is a sneak peak of the recipe I am sharing with you today! I have been hinting for two weeks at the delicious apple recipe to come and tada.... It is applesauce. I know what you are thinking, that is baby food and I have had jarred applesauce and it is not that great. But hang in there because this is the most delicious thing I have tasted in a while, and I cook good food every night of the week.

First I want to show you the beautiful winter wonderland we had last week. It snowed Wednesday and Thursday nights. It was our first true snow since living in Colorado and it was gorgeous. As we rode to work Thursday morning I said to Evan, "I hope I always find the snow this magical." It was a mesmerizing site. The craziest part is that as I went shopping with my friend on Friday I reached out to touch some of the leftover snow on a bush. I realized that was the first time I had actually touched it! Praise God for busy days of serving. Here are a few pictures.

Sunrise after crossfit. My husband Evan out in the street with our neighbors house in the picture. He was trying to get a picture of the beautiful aspen for me. 

Aspens

Guess we will hang out on our back porch another day!

There is one more thing I want to chat about that has been on my mind. As you know, this blog is all about giving your body the foods it requires and was designed to eat. We originally came across this knowledge from Dr. James Chestnut, DC and his research on humans, genes and the wellness lifestyle (eat well, move well, think well). We immediately began to change our diet by adding even more good, whole food to the point that we now eat a "hunter gatherer diet" better known now as the paleo diet. I have been hesitant to label our diet because we do not consider it a specific diet at all, rather we eat the way we know is best for our bodies. But I do feel it would be wise for me to begin to give some guidance to my readers in addition to recipes. So, in the future you can expect more application on eating well and reference to the Paleo diet.  This recipe is a perfect example! 

Fall is apple season and slow cooking is the best way to cook. These apples are delicious and are perfect eaten still in large wedges (although they wonderfully fall apart when you touch them with your fork) or you can mash them into applesauce. These are so good I actually plan to serve them as a Paleo dessert at thanksgiving this year with coconut milk ice cream! I hope you will let me know what you think.

Also, remember you can sign up to follow this blog and receive emails of the posts!



SLOW COOKED APPLESAUCE
Serves: this makes a lot of applesauce (at least 8 cups) but my husband and I still finished the first batch in three days!

30 small apples or 20 large apples
2 Tbs cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/4 cup apple cider (make sure it is natural, unfiltered and no sugar added)

1. Peel apples and cut the sides off of the core. Place apple pieces in crock pot. 
2. Add cinnamon and apple cider. Stir.


3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
4. Eat as is or mash into applesauce with a fork or potato masher. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet Potato and Apple Sausage Hash







Hello all! I know I said I was going to post a delicious apple recipe and I have not forgotten. This is note the one I was originally talking about but is definitely one of them. The original will be coming next week when I am not too lazy to load the new pictures from this week:) But since I am too lazy it means you get to hear about this amazing recipe that is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This hash is fabulous. It is sweet and hearty all at the same time. We have literally had for all three meals of the day and often have to discuss who gets to eat the last of it. Another great thing is that it is easy!

Other than delicious hash I do not have too much to share. I did find out a few weeks ago that I will be an aunt again and am thrilled about it! I love being an aunt so much... the only thing that would make it any better would be to get to see all of my sweet family more often. We got to do some beautiful hiking yesterday and today. Fall is still alive and beautiful here and it is breathtaking. The mountains in the distance have snow on them, the skies are blue and the trees are all sorts of autumn colors. God is good.
Also our dear friends had a baby on friday and we got to go see them today. He is a beautiful baby and mom and dad are thrilled. I am grateful to have so much love and new life in my life (and delicious food :) I hope you all have a great week until next week!


SWEET POTATO AND APPLE SAUSAGE HASH
Adapted from Multiply Delicious
Serves: 3-4


1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 apple, peeling optional, diced small
1 tsp cinnamon
3 links fresh chicken apple sausage from your local grocer (make sure it is fresh made in house with good chicken and no nitrates- ask for an ingredient list to check)
1/4 cup onion, diced
3-4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 Tbs coconut oil. Add sweet potato, apple and cinnamon. Stir. Cook until tender- approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep potatoes from burning. 
2. Meanwhile, heat a second large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp coconut oil. Remove sausage from casings and put sausage into pan. Add onions. Cook until cooked through using a spoon to crumble sausage. Add spinach and allow to wilt- this will take 1-2 minutes. 
3. Add potatoes and apples to sausage. Stir and eat!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Potato and Kale Chicken Patties


I missed you guys this weekend. Sorry I am so late posting. We had a fall festival and fresh food drive at our chiropractic office this weekend. It went well and we collected fresh food for our local food bank. That brought be a lot of joy because, as you know, fresh food is our passion! If you want to check out the food bank it is Sister Carmen Food Bank in Lafayette, CO.

I have been waiting to share this recipe with you for months. It is from Multiply Delicious and is geniously delicious. I did of course adapt the recipe just a tiny bit but MDelicious is who hit the nail on the head. These are also a great way to sneak in vegetables to little ones... just tell them it is a hamburger:) Warning: this recipe has two steps and requires you let the chicken mixture sit overnight. So read the directions carefully. These must go on your menu this week!

Also, I have been apple picking so stay tuned for recipes using them including homemade cinnamon applesauce that I could eat a whole gallon of!


SWEET POTATO AND KALE CHICKEN PATTIES
Makes: 6 patties

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into TINY cubes
3 cups kale, finely chopped, leaves only
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb ground chicken breast
1 tsp smoked paprika (the smoked makes all the difference:)
1 tsp dijon mustard or yellow mustard
1 egg, whisked
2 Tbs coconut flour

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 heaping Tbs coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and potatoes. Cook 10 minutes until tender. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Add kale, stir and cook until wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, place chicken, paprika, mustard, egg and coconut flour. Add potato mixture. Using hands, combine mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, remove bowl from refrigerator and form chicken mixture into 6 patties. 
4. Heat grill to medium heat. Add patties and cook until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side).
5. Enjoy on a salad or with two vegetable sides.












1/4 tsp sea salt

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chocolate Almond Date Bars with Coconut and Cranberries


I hope you have all had a great weekend. I have! I am a little late posting this week's recipe as we have been so busy. We have also had very cold weather here and our first snow. As you know, it is this kind of weather that makes you put on sweats, grab a good book and not move :) So really, it is the weathers fault that I am late posting.

Since I am only posting once a week now, I have a huge stockpile of amazing recipes that I am just dying to share with you. I am trying to behave, though, and space them out. This recipe is a perfect example of one of the amazing! I made these bars in August to take on a hike with our church group.


This is us on the top of the mountain after we ate our bars. You cannot really see our faces. 


This is our cute Mocha after the hike. We hiked 6 miles with around a 3000 foot climb. It was hot...like upper 90's hot and she still had energy left!

Onto the bars. For the recipe I basically took everything I love in a raw bar and put it all in one. They are my favorite bar I have ever made. Truthfully they are like a dessert. The dates are so sweet, the cranberries tart and the chocolate... well who does not like chocolate? I hope you will make them and let me know what you think!


Chocolate Almond Date Bars with Coconut and Cranberries
Makes 12 bars

2 cups pitted medjool dates (14 dates)
1 ½ cups raw (unroasted, unsalted) almonds
¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I love the Enjoy Life brand)

1. Place dates and almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for two minutes until dates are pureed and almonds are finely chopped.
2. Add coconut, cranberries and chocolate chips. Blend two minutes until mixture starts to come into a ball.
3. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Dump blended mixture into pan and press into pan with hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to eating. Cut into 12 bars. Store in refrigerator. 






Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lunchtime Gut Check- Raw Fruit and Vegetables with Roasted Chicken

Have I mentioned lately how blessed I am to live where I live. And I do not just mean in a beautiful place in Colorado, but also for my home and neighborhood. I have the best neighbors ever. They are all so kind and welcoming and down to earth. My neighbors on each side of me are gardeners and have blessed us with their bounty. One couple next to us has quite the green thumb and has been a huge blessing to us. Below is a basket of the bounty they gave us this week!


I mean what does a girl do to deserve this! So, as I am inspired by the wonderful acorn and butternut squash I have been gifted, stay tuned for some delicious recipes. I also plan to make Chicken Veggie Meatballs with Homemade Veggie Tomato Sauce for my bible study group this week. I will share that with you later this week!


This is Mocha checking out the goodies. Is she not the cutest!

On to my post this week. When I was taking the picture you will see below my husband asked me what I was doing. I told him what I am about to tell you, and he said, "harsh." But I want to take a minute to address lunch. My posts are often on what we eat for dinner or breakfast. I promise we do eat lunch everyday though. I often make enough dinner so we can eat it again for lunch the next day. But sometimes there is not enough or we are out for bible study the night before and I do not cook. So, what do we do for lunch then? We always have a lean protein and either raw vegetables and fruit or a veggie fruit smoothie.


I share this with you because I feel like lunch is a meal that is often overlooked until it is upon us. Then people often go for foods that are lacking in nutritional content like sandwiches, fast food, bagels, pizza, etc. So, I want to take today and have a gut check. What are you eating for lunch? Do you take the time to be prepared with a fresh, nutrient dense meal that leaves you energized until dinner OR do you grab whatever you can find and end up feeling overly full and tired, especially when 3 o' clock hits? I encourage you to cook extra at night or cook some extra meat and chop some extra veggies sunday night and eat them all week long. Try it out and let me know if your overall day improves, especially your energy and stress level!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Wraps



Hello All! I hope you had a great weekend. I am late posting because my parents were in town. We had a great time just hanging out. We did go to Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday and the Aspen trees were putting on a show of yellow. It was beautiful. While they were here I actually made chili but I made this chicken recipe a few weeks ago and have been saving it to share with you. It is fresh and filling. It is also a breeze to make, which you know I love. Stick this chicken in the crock pot and walk away. Grab your family and go see the fall leaves before it is too late! Then you will come home to a ready dinner.

CROCK POT SALSA CHICKEN WRAPS
Serves: 4, serving is 2 wraps each for me and 3-4 wraps for my husband

1 small head napa cabbage
16 oz jar mild salsa 
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder to taste
(I add 1 tsp cumin, 1 Tbs garlic powder, 1 Tbs onion powder, 1 tsp chili powder)
1 can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
1 large tomato, diced
2 avocados, mashed
fresh cilantro

1. Place chicken and salsa in a crock pot. Add spices. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
2. Once chicken is done, shred it using two forks. Pull leaves off of cabbage. Wash and dry leaves. 
3. Add desired amount of chicken, black beans, fresh corn, tomato, avocado and cilantro to each cabbage leaf. Roll up and enjoy!



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thai Chicken



This is not the best picture, but I promise the chicken is delicious! Does your life and ebb and flow as far as busyness goes? Mine does and right now is a crazy, blessed busy time. So, I will not bore you with words but I do hope you will make this chicken. It is not boring at all!

THAI CHICKEN
Serves: 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1 Tbs gluten free soy sauce (i use the brand tamari)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (this is like an asian bbq sauce)
1/4 tsp ground dried ginger
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1. Chop chicken into 1 inch pieces. 
2. Combine ingredients garlic through sesame oil in a small bowl. 
3. Heat a large greased cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook 2 minutes. Turn. Cook 2 minutes on that side. Add sauce from small bowl and stir. Cook 1 minute more or until chicken is cooked through. 
Serve with two vegetable sides or on a salad.



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fresh Summer Salmon Salad with Peaches and Avocado





Summer is almost over. This has been a wonderful summer with lots of fun change and now I cannot wait for fall. Fall is colorado is beautiful. The aspens are our favorite. If you hit the mountains on the right weekend the landscape is a sea of yellow. We went on a hike this morning and the very tops of the trees were started to turn yellow. I am hoping the peak leaf change will be when my parents are here in two weeks. My dad would just love it. Crossing my fingers!

Since fall is upon us, I hope you will get in your kitchen and try this yummy summer salad before it is too late. The picture does not do it justice. The salmon is delicious; the vegetables are crunchy which is a nice contrast to the smooth avocado. And the peaches are an unexpected burst of fresh flavor. I happened upon this salad by mistake (I took all that needed to be eaten and threw it in the bowl) but it was so good. Don't you love when that happens! This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled to feed a family or make leftovers. Enjoy!

Fresh Summer Salmon Salad with Peaches and Avocado
Serves: 2

½ lb wild caught sockeye salmon, cooked as desired
½ head green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
2 cups organic spinach leaves
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ medium cucumber, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 peach, sliced
½ large avocado, sliced

Divide all ingredients equally between two large bowls or plates. Eat and enjoy the fruits of summer!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Veggie Scramble with Uncured Bacon and Green Smoothie


Breakfast for dinner. I love it!! This meal is actually great any time of the day. It has loads of vegetables, protein, good fat and fruits. The smoothie is an example of the smoothie we have everyday for breakfast. For breakfast we usually have 2-3 eggs and a green smoothie. That combo has all the ingredients to keep you feeling full until lunch, nourish your cells and kickstart your metabolism: good fats, protein and vegetables. Enjoy!





VEGGIE SCRAMBLE WITH UNCURED BACON
Serves: 2

4 uncured bacon slices
½ large red bell pepper, diced
1 cup brocolli florets, small chopped
1 ½ cup kale, finely chopped
6 eggs, whisked
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

Heat cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, turning once. Remove and set aside to drain on a paper towel covered plate. Pour all grease except about 1 tsp into a bowl and set aside. (Throw grease away later in trash once cooled)
In skillet, add pepper and broccoli. Cook 5 minutes. Add kale. Cook 3 minutes until wilted. Add eggs, salt and pepper. Cook until scrambled to desired doneness.



GREEN SMOOTHIE
Serves: 2

1 cup broccoli florets
½ medium cucumber, large diced
½ large avocado
2- 3 cups kale with stems
1 mango, large diced
1 small apple, quartered
1 cups frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries and black berries)
2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend! Enjoy!

Just a side note: we have vitamix blender and I do not know what we did before we got it. It is so easy to be healthy with this blender. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Bun Muffins



I am so happy to be sharing this recipe with you. Since discovering it I make it at least once a week when I have extra ripe bananas. This week I made it twice! It is from the blog Multiply Delicious. She has amazing recipes since going Paleo. I did adapt the recipe a little. We are learning more about the Paleo diet and quickly incorporating it into our daily meals.

These were my first experience cooking with coconut flour. I used Bob's Red Mill and it was delicious. Coconut flour is naturally sweet so you do not have to add sweetener. Also it has lots of great fiber: 5 grams in only 2 tablespoons of flour. I am now ordering it from the same company we order our coconut oil from, Tropical Traditions. Their oil is great and I expect their flour to be of the same quality.

I hope you make these and enjoy them as much as we do!

BANANA CINNAMON BUN MUFFINS
Makes: 9 muffins
Adapted from: Multiply Delicious

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 omega-3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk (canned full fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (1 large banana)
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
Cinnamon Topping
1 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking oil in nine of the muffin spots.
Whisk dry ingredients together.  Set aside.
In a small bowl add mashed banana, eggs, and coconut milk and whisk until well blended.  Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until well combined.
Add batter until prepared muffin cups.  Filling to about 3/4 filled. (I use a cookie scoop so all the muffins are even)
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, mashed banana, melted coconut oil, and honey .  Drizzle mixture over top of muffins and using a toothpick or knife swirl the topping into the muffin batter. 
Bake muffins for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool in pan 5 – 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.  Enjoy.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Chips


I discovered brussels sprouts chips by accident the very first time I made roasted brussels sprouts a few years ago. They are a delightful crunchy, salty to eat sprouts. I hope you make some soon. I will warn you, though, make a lot because they will be devoured right from the oven!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS CHIPS
Serves: 4

1 lb brussel sprouts
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1. Wash sprouts and chop off stem ends. Tear off as many outer leaves as you can from the sprout (I usually get at least 10 leaves).
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sprouts. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until brown and crispy.
3. Devour


Friday, August 10, 2012

Raw Almond Butter



I have so many amazing recipes to share with you. Looking at my "stash" I had the hardest time trying to decide which one to start with. Between it being summer, me having more free time and us getting a grill I have been cooking a lot. One of the things I learned after moving to Colorado is that the almond butter I used to buy costs $3 more out here! Yes, it is the same exact product from the same exact store. So, I decided to start making my own. It is easy and now I get almond butter that is completely raw (I use unroasted, unsalted almonds) and is is cheaper. I wait until the bulk raw almonds are on sale at my local grocer and buy multiple pounds. The taste is so pure and amazing! So, without further ado... the recipe.

Raw Almond Butter
Makes 2 cups

1. Place 3 cups of raw, unroasted and unsalted almonds in the bowl of a food processor.
2. Turn on food processor. The almonds will go through a series of consistencies so you have to kinda watch it. I usually make this recipe when I am in the kitchen already doing something else. 
3. The almonds will become the consistency of dust, then will thicken and stick to the sides of the bowl. At this point, you will periodically have to stop and scrape down the sides. Then they will form into a ball and then puree into butter. 
The whole process takes about 17 minutes in my processor. Once the almonds reach the large ball form and then start to puree, I usually let them puree for 10 minutes until it gets smooth and creamy.

You will never go back to store bought again!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Grilled Asparagus




I would love it if my blog subscribers would participate in a study... whose pee smells when you eat asparagus??? I know,  it is very childish to ask this, but I thought everyone's did. I was teaching a phlebotomy class back in georgia and brought up this topic when teaching how to do a urinalysis. To my surprise, not everyone's pee smells when they eat asparagus. I was determined to find out why. I found this answer on The Discovery Channel's website. Here is the link and a bit of the article below. http://dsc.discovery.com/guides/skinny-on/asparagus.html

In 1891 a scientist named "Nencki" had so very little to do that he convinced four guys to eat seven kilograms of asparagus (that's about three and a half pounds each). He collected the pertinent pee, worked some medieval magic on it, and concluded that the smell was due to a metabolite called methanethiol.

So there you go. Nencki claimed that as your body metabolizes asparagus, it produces this smelly chemical, which your discriminating kidneys see fit to dump into the bladder.


Now if you're scowling at your screen and muttering, "My pee doesn't smell like asparagus," first ask yourself if you eat asparagus

Even if you do but lack the smell, you're still OK. In fact the fabulously funny book, The ReSearch Guide to Body Fluids (by Paul Spinrad, Juno Books, N.Y., 1994), says just 22 percent of survey respondents experience asparagus pee.



So, now that you know what I find fascinating, you will probably stop reading my blog :) But I hope
you will continue to use my blog and it's delicious recipes, including this one. 








GRILLED ASPARAGUS

Serves: 4

1 lb asparagus, washed and tough ends removed

1. Heat a grill over medium heat. Place grill pan on grill. 

This is what my grill pan looks like.

2. Toss asparagus with 1 tsp olive oil. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add asparagus to grill pan. Cook 8-10 minutes, turning asparagus so it does not burn.
Enjoy!



Monday, July 30, 2012

Mexican Spiced Steak Kabobs with Guacamole



I cannot believe it has been a week since I posted. It is true... time flies when you are having fun. Evan and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this past weekend. It was wonderful. We got up at 3:30 am to drive to climb a 14,000 foot mountain with a group from our church. We then drove to Frisco and had a picnic by the lake. It was perfect.

On to the food. This recipe, as so many as I have recently posted, is summer to me. Grilled steak vegetable kabobs with fresh mashed avocado and a side of summer's bounty of green beans. I used beef short ribs and they worked wonderful for this recipe. They are already trimmed and can easily be cut into 1 inch chunks. I cannot wait for you to try this and let me know what you think!








Mexican Spiced Steak Kabobs with Guacamole
Serves: 4

1.3 lbs boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 orange bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, halved and then each half quartered
24 small grape tomatoes
4 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chili powder
3 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 Tbs pepper


 For kabobs:
On six metal skewers, place the steak, peppers, onion and tomatoes, alternating each type of food on the skewer how you want it.
In a small bowl, whisk together with a fork the olive oil and spices. Baste onto prepared skewers.
Heat a grill over medium heat. Grill kabobs until steak is medium doneness- ours took about 10 minutes- turning throughout cooking. Serve with guacamole and steamed green beans.

For guacamole:
3 medium avocados, mashed
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs fresh minced cilantro
Combine all ingredients and serve with kabobs.