Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PaleOMG's Chicken Bacon Bowl

Original recipe here.

I made mine pretty well the same was as the original PaleOMG recipe, but I cut my bacon into pieces and cooked it with onions and mushrooms. For the assembly, I mashed the sweet potato slightly with a fork, placed it in a bowl with a handful of spinach, then topped it with the bacon & mushroom mixture and a chicken thigh. To finish it off, I added a bit of fresh cracked pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

The original recipe is scaled for one serving but I made mine for 4 servings using 4 chicken thighs, 1 large sweet potato cut into quarters and 4 slices of bacon. It worked out fabulous as left overs for lunch.

Banana Paleo "Pancakes" with Fruit Compote

This is a quick and easy breakfast, dessert or snack that tastes surprisingly good too! The basic recipe has been all over the internet (hello, Pinterest) but I tweaked it a bit.

Makes 4-5 pancakes

2 very ripe bananas, peeled
2 eggs
pinch of pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice or spice blend of your choice
pinch salt

1. Add banana to a bowl and mash until smooth. Add in eggs and spices. Whisk vigorously until well mixed. Mixture will be slightly runny - more like crepe batter than pancake batter.

2. Heat non stick pan over medium heat. Add a bit of coconut oil. OIL IS NECESSARY, even with non-stick pan.

3. Cook just like a pancake! Pour approximately 1/4 cup batter per portion into pan, cook until top starts to bubble, flip, cook another couple minutes. Voila!

Fruit Compote

1 cup fresh or frozen fruit mixture (should include either apples or strawberries). I used a frozen blend of strawberries, blueberries and peaches.
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon water

1. Add everything to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.

2. With the back of a spoon, mash the fruit to break it up. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until it starts to thicken. Leave to simmer while you cook your pancakes. Pour into a bowl and serve with pancakes!

Apples and strawberries have natural pectin which will cause the compote juices to thicken slightly.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Choco Coconut Almont Banana Smoothie

Chocolate! Coconut! Almond! Banana! In a smoothie! This is my go-to quick breakfast of late, but it could also double as a dessert!

Makes 1 Super Delicious Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 scoop unsweetened protein powder (optional)
1 teaspoon flax seed meal (optional)

For breakfast smoothie, I include the protein powder and flax. For dessert smoothie, I omit those and include the vanilla.

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix on high until well blended. For an icy treat, add 4-5 ice cubes to the blender.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thai Chicken and Cashew Nuts

This is one of my ultimate favourite Thai dishes. The chicken recipe is adapted from Six Sister's Stuff. The chicken is cooked in a slow cooker but you could very easily adapt the recipe to be straight stir-fry. You can also omit the chicken to make a delicious Thai vegan stir fry.

Serves 2-4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce or Bragg's Aminos
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
1 tablespoon sucanat
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Thai chili paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup whole cashews
2 green onions, chopped
handful of cilantro, rough chopped

1. Trim fat off chicken and place in slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, sucanat, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and water. Pour sauce over chicken.

3. Cook on low for 3 hours for breasts and 3 1/2 to 4 hours for thighs.

4. Once chicken is cooked, remove from slow cooker and set on a plate to cool slightly. Once cooled, roughly chop chicken into cubes. Reserve sauce.

5. In a walk over medium heart, stir-fry onions and peppers for 2-3 minutes. Pour in sauce from the slow cooker and bring to a boil to reduce slightly. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.

6. Add chicken and cashews to wok and mix together. Remove from heat and mix in green onion and cilantro. Serve immediately with rice or quinoa. If you aren't serving immediately, do not add the cilantro until just before serving.

If you plan to modify the recipe so it is not a slow cooker recipe, I would cut the chicken into small pieces and stir fry it in a small amount of sesame oil. Once chicken is browned, remove from wok and set aside, then begin with step five.

To make this recipe vegan, omit the chicken and use extra veggies or tofu in the stir fry (step five).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Green Smoothies

I was thinking of buying a juicer so I could drink my vegetables. I even had a juicer all picked out and ready to buy. Then I came across Tera Warner's Green Smoothie Challenge. Instead of juicing her veggies, Tera just blends them up into what she affectionately calls "lawn mower pulp". No expensive, messy juicer required. And by blending your veggies instead of juicing, you keep all that wonderful fiber!

For green smoothie newbies, Tara recommends the following green concoction:

Green Smoothie for Newbies

1 cup water
1 banana
1 handful spinach

Add water and banana to blender and blend until smooth. Add in spinach and blend together.

Instead of water, I had some Green Goodness juicer from Bolthouse Farms. It added a bit of extra sweetness and made the spinach much more palatable.

My next green smoothie experiment included even more greens:

Orange, Red and Green All Over

1/2 cup carrot juice (or carrot/fruit blend)
1/2 cup water
2-3 strawberries
1 handful spinach leaves
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh parsley leaves

Add liquid and strawberries to blender and mix well. Add in spinach, parsley and celery and blend on high until everything is pulverized and juicy green!

Next up I'm going to try kale. I'm not sure how that one will go but I'm willing to try it out!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Guest Post - Very Peach Cobbler

My cousin Tobe put together a great summer peach cobbler that is low in added sugar and gluten free. She was so thrilled with the results she wanted to share with my readers (if there are any of you left out there!). She even included step by step photos. Here is Tobe's post:

I found some great Organic peaches at Costco and decided to make a cobbler. I have trying to cut down on my sugar and carb intake, so I surfed the web trying to find recipes that had limited sugar and no flour. I couldn't find a single recipe that used exactly what I wanted, so I decided to make my own recipe. Its pretty forgiving so you can change things up to suit your own tastes. If you don't have Stevia, you can use agave syrup or honey. If you don't have coconut oil, you could use butter or Earth's Balance.


6 cups chopped, fresh organic peaches
10 packets of Stevia
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp good Bourbon such as Makers Mark (optional)
Taste your fruit and determine its sweetness. Stevia is 30 times sweeter than sugar. You could use up to 20 packages in this recipe.

4 eggs or equal amount Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup of melted Coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup of shredded coconut or nuts of your choice
2 Tbsp of Earth's Balance


Peel the skins off your peaches. Cut up into bite size pieces.

Add Bourbon to the chopped peaches.

Sprinkle fruit with Stevia and cornstarch. Gently fold together until Stevia and cornstarch have dissolved.

Pour your fruit into a 13 x 9 baking dish and set aside.

Mix melted coconut oil and eggs together.

Pour in coconut flour and add coconut milk. Mix until you have a batter like consistency.

Top the fruit with batter. If you find you don't have enough batter to cover the fruit, make a second batch of the topping. Dot the top of the batter with Earth's Best/Earth Balance.

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Serve with your ice cream, frozen yogurt or coconut milk ice cream.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tuna Salad Rice Cake

Today's lunch... tuna on a rice cake topped with sprouts. Later on I added some cheddar cheese and made a tuna rice cake melt. Delicious!

- 1 can sustainably caught tuna (Raincoast Trading is the best!)
- 1 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- any additional mix-ins to suit your fancy (chopped onion, chives, green onion, celery, pickle etc.) I like my tuna plain.
- 2 plain, unsalted brown rice cakes
- Any sprouts of your choice. I used alfalfa but pea shoots and broccoli sprouts are great too.

1. Drain tuna well and add to a medium bowl.

2. Mix in yogurt, sour cream, salt and pepper and any other additions you've chosen. Stir together to mix well.

3. Top each rice cake with about 2 tablespoons of tuna mixture and spread to coat the top evenly.

4. Place sprouts on top of tuna.

5. Add thin sliced cheddar cheese, if desired, and place in toaster oven until slightly melted.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Almond Milk

The other day I experimented by making homemade almond milk. I looked through a few of my clean eating & raw food cookbooks and browsed online before settling on this recipe from Tasty Kitchen, mostly because it included photographs with step by step instructions. The recipe calls for the addition of vanilla and honey, but I opted to omit those ingredients as I prefer using plain, unsweetened almond milk.

The process was simple enough. Soak the almonds, add them to food processor with water and blend, strain through cheesecloth (I used mesh jelly bags from my canning supplies). Overall I found the experience messy and not really worth the time and effort. Homemade is less expensive than store bought (1 cup of almonds yields approximately 1 litre of almond milk), but the ease and convenience of store bought just cannot be beat.

If you do give homemade a try, be sure to keep the resulting almond meal. Many people throw the byproduct of homemade nut milk production away but almond meal is very nutritious and useful in its own way. You can add it to baking, toss on salads, serve over yogurt, mix in with oatmeal or use it any number of different ways.

With an abundance of homemade almond milk on hand (another downfall - it only lasts a few days), this morning I mixed up a concoction using fresh local strawberries. It was quite refreshing and perfect for my post run pick-me-up.

Strawberry Chocolate Almond Milk (serves 2)

- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup fresh, whole strawberries, stems removed
- 1/2 tbsp agave syrup (optional)

1. Add everything to a blender and blend on high until mixed.

2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baked Egg Muffins

In my ongoing quest to be more prepared and have meals made ahead, I spent this morning in the kitchen. Along with making a batch of Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Muffins, I also made egg muffins... and not the McDonald"s variety. These "muffins" are actually just eggs and chopped veggies, mixed together, then baked in muffin tins. The resulting egg muffins are great for "grab & go" breakfasts and even better for make-ahead brunches.

Baked Egg Muffins - Makes 12

- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk (any type - I used almond)
- 1/2 red pepper, minced
- 1/4 red onion, minced
- 1/2 tomato, diced
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped (yield's about 2-3 tbsp)
- salt & pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and milk.

3. Stir in veggies, parsley, salt & pepper and mix well.

4. Spoon mixture into muffin tins (approximately 2 oz liquid per cup).

5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 mins until eggs are set.

Can be served immediately, left to cool, or refrigerated for later use.

Experiment with other mix-in's. Mushrooms, crumbled bacon or sausage, feta or cheddar cheese... the possibilities really are endless.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

I got this idea and recipe from a co-worker. Homemade raw, vegan chocolate is a great substitution for a expensive dark chocolate bars I usually have on hand. When I have a craving, I enjoy one or two pieces and that is usually enough to satisfy the chocolate monster within. The cocoa powder has a slightly bitter after-taste, which you can mitigate by adding more sweetener. I don't mind the bitter taste and find it's actually beneficial as it stops me from over indulging!

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted slightly if solid
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, whole or chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

1. Line a small, shallow dish, pan or tray with parchment or waxed paper. A larger size pan will produce thinner bark type chocolate. A smaller pan will produce a thicker bar type chocolate. You may also have to make more than one batch to fill your tray. I usually make two batches at once, which fills a 8" x 5" tray perfectly.

2. Add coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and agave to a small bowl and whisk until well blended and smooth.

3. Add in coconut, macadamia nuts and cranberries. Stir together.

4. Pour mixture into lined dish. Using a spatula, spread mixture around to evenly coat the pan.

5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When set, remove from fridge and break into chunks.

6. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated when not in use. Coconut oil has a low melting point so if you leave your chocolate out, you will end up with a big mess!

This recipe is incredibly versatile. The only required ingredients are coconut oil and cocoa powder. Other than that, you are free to experiment and add in or remove whatever you'd like. You can also make bonbons by using mini muffin tins or make chocolate bars by scoring the chocolate after it has set slightly, then cutting it into bars when completely set.
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