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.

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!

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,


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

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

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.


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.

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

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.


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!

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

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 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.

  • 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 
  • 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!