Recipes

Paleo Almond Coconut Cookies

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Almond Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I have said this before…I am not a baker. However during our previous paleo diet my hubby was constantly craving cookies and since we weren’t doing the strictest level of the paleo diet I was able to make these delicious treats.

I had tried several recipes I had found throughout the Internet but somehow none of them hit the spot. I set out to do something that is seldom a good idea when it comes to baking….I winged it. Attempt number #1 and #2 for that matter were to put it lightly, disasters. While we eventually ate the ‘cookies’ they were nothing to write about that is for sure. I am pretty sure that without dipping them in coffee or tea those bad boys would have been inedible due to how dry they turned out. If you ever tried to eat a spoon full of cinnamon for some reason (most likely as a dare of sorts), you would have a reasonable comparison to my first two attempts at cookies.

Third time was a charm however, and what turned out was devoured within half an hour. Yes, we ate a plate full of cookies at 11:00pm, judge all you want…we certainly judged a bit after looking down at a plate of crumbs, this passed quickly and turned into a high five 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Almond Meal
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
  • ¾ Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil

How To:

  1. Combine the above in a bowl and mix until everything is combined thoroughly.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment.
  4. Taking small pieces of the dough, roll them in your palms to make balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Flatten then in your hand and place on the baking sheet. Mine were about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Place cookies into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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Apple Cider Slow Cooked Pork

This has become a staple in our house. After trying various different methods for making some slow cooker pork this one has come out on top in our house. It all began with not having enough time to make Paleo approved dinners in our house so I began trying to make more and more meals in our slow cooker. This recipe is one of the main reasons I started eating more pork. It is full of wonderful flavors and pairs with so many different things which makes it a super easy Paleo dinner options. Your house will be filled with amazing smells and if you make enough of this, you will have leftovers that can be transformed into tacos, stir fry’s and a number of other options. When I first made this version of pulled pork I made so much of it that we decided to invite my father-in-law over to help us get through some of it. Now normally he does not go up for very many second helpings but after he had a bite of this pork he asked for 2 re-fills and a tupper ware for lunch!. i was more than happy to oblige and since then I have made this dish several more times in order to perfect it. I usually pair it with some of my homemade Apple Cider Pickled Onions, the flavors combine into an amazing meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/2 White Onion (sliced)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (halved)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (No MSG)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Paprika

How To:

*If you are putting this pork in before work I recommend combining all the spices the night before in a bowl and putting your onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker before bed, that way you can simply put in the pork, season it and top it off with the broth and vinegar.

  1. Place your onions, garlic and oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Rinse your pork loins and place them into the slow cooker.
  3. Combine your seasonings together in a bowl then generously coat the pork with the mixtures. Try to cover the sides as best as possible.
  4. Mix your broth with the vinegar then gently pork it around the pork being careful not to wash away the spices.
  5. Close your slow cooker and set it for 8 hours on low.

Finally, come home from work or a day of running around doing errands and enjoy your pork with whatever sides you wish 🙂 You also won’t need to light and scented candles because your house will smell amazing!

Smoked Tomato Red Pepper Soup

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Smoked Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a fan of tomato soup, there is just something comforting about it and always brings me back to my childhood. Let’s just say I had and still have an obsession with tomatoes. My mother can attest to the fact that growing up I practically lived off of tomato and cheese sandwiches and since I used to be such a picky eater, sandwiches it was, for most snacks, lunches and sometimes even dinner. Bless my moms heart, she tried just about everything to get me to eat anything but these sandwiches but with limited success. I even distinctly remember when we lived in Spain she tried to trick me into eating fish by telling me that it was “pollo” something I actually ate on occasion. For those of you who do not know Spanish, “pollo” means chicken, not fish. However at that age and a very limited palette, I took my moms word for it and ate the fish thinking it was chicken. The jig was up pretty quick and I went back to tomato and cheese sandwiches as my go to food source. Since I loved tomatoes so much, tomato soup was a pretty regular occurrence in our house, perhaps that is why it is still such a comfort food for me.  This past Thanksgiving I decided to put a twist on the standard tomato soup and since Thanksgiving brings so many rich flavors and sweets to our plates I wanted to start the meal off with something savory and different. Bring on the smoky richness of those crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (796ml)
  • 4 Roasted Red Peppers (I used mine from a jar)
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 White Onion (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth (I used one with No MSG)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour (optional for thickening)

How To:

  1. In a medium soup pot heat up your oil and toss in the onions and let them brown.
  2. Toss in the peppers and tomatoes and combine with the onions.
  3. Add in your seasonings followed by the broth.
  4. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. If you do not have a hand held blender you can always pour the soup into a blender to puree.
  6. If you would like to thicken your soup a bit, mix 2 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water (i used coconut flour for the paleo version of this soup) Once the flour is dissolved into the water without clumps, slowly pour it into the soup and bring it all to a boil again.

 

Ratatouille

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Baked RatatouilleBaked Zucchini Ratatoullie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add  it into yours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
  2. In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
  3. In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
  4. Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  6. Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
  7. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Apple Cider Pickled Red Onions

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DSCN1218

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the inspiration for these bad boys came from several places. Initially we were in BC wine country over the summer and had an amazing lunch at Burrowing Owl. There we ordered a charcuterie platter and one of the fixing they had on the side were pickled red onions that they made on site. Amazing. A few weeks later we were in Vancouver and decided to stop off at a taco joint which several of my husband’s co-workers rave about. As a side and added fixing you could put on your taco was nothing other than pickled red onions. Being the person that I am and a grandchild to an amazing pickler of everything and anything you can think of, I decided I would try my hand at pickling! Thanks granny! All those early years spent watching you fill the basement with mason jars packed with veggies, fruits, jams and so on paid off! This was my very first attempt at pickling and I am proud to say they are delicious and jam packed with wonderful flavors! Try them on anything from tacos and Mexican inspired meals to pulled pork and sandwiches 🙂

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (use coconut sugar for paleo)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiled Water
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1 Large Red Onion

* This recipe makes 2 full 500ml mason jars

How To:

  1. Clean and sanitize your mason jars. (I simply placed them in a large pot with water and boiled them for 10 minutes)
  2. Cut up your onion into strips and place into a strainer. Pour the 1 cup of hot boiled water over the onions and let them sit for a minute to soften them.
  3. In a small sauce pot combine the rest of the ingredients and bring them to a boil.
  4. Strain the onions then stuff them into the mason jars.
  5. Once the vinegar mix is boiling, pour it into the jars and fill to the top to cover the onions.
  6. Seal the jars and let them stand. Once they have cooled place them in the fridge and store for up to 2 weeks.
  7. The onions will be ready to at after 24 hours in the fridge.

Spicy Ginger Green Beans

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A week ago we decided to go out for a dinner and  a new item on the menu caught our eye. They were spicy green beans and they were delicious! Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at making these. Last night as we were leaving from the vet, my father-in-law drove past us and my husband quickly gave him a call to let him know he was spotted. Earlier that morning I had put in a ridiculous amount of pork into the slow cooker so I figured why not invite him over for dinner. However, all we had at home was just that, pork. Now I also had some of my recently pickled onions but my father-in-law flat out refuses to eat onions so those were off the table for him. (The recipe for those amazing things will be posted soon along with the pork) Alright back to the beans. I had recently picked up some lovely looking green beans at the market for the purpose of attempting to recreate the spicy beans from the dinner. So last night was the night I gave it a shot, I have to say for something so easy and quick, they were delicious! If my father-in-law hadn’t shown up soon after I made them I think me and my husband would have easily polished them off as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pack of Green Beans
  • 2 Small Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Rinse your green beans and cut off the tips a bit for freshness. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Heat up your wok and pour a little bit of water mixed with some olive oil into the bottom.
  4. Once the water is bubbling, throw in your beans and sauté them until they are bright and starting to get a bit golden (approx. 5 minutes)
  5. Pour in your sauce and cover the beans. Saute them for about a minute more.
  6. Remove and serve right away.

Rustic Stuffed Bell Peppers

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DSCN1200

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite dishes made by my mom is stuffed bell peppers. She usually stuffs them with a combination of ground turkey, pork, rice and an array of spices. Last night I set out to make a similar meal. As much as I would have loved to stuff some rice into these cute little peppers, our Paleo diet was there in the back of my mind shaking its finger at me. Insert *sigh* here. It has been a bit of a rough week so some comfort carbs would have tasted amazingly. At least the rice would have been better for us than the pizza and beer combo my hubby kept dreaming about. I am happy to announce that we did not give into any of those amazing sounding food temptations. Instead we ate these cute little peppers filled with all kinds of Paleo goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Medium – Small Bell Peppers
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 400 grams Ground Lean Turkey
  • 400 grams Ground Pork
  • 6 Tbsp White Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Celery (chopped finely)
  • 8 Brown Mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (I used a 796ml can and strained it)
  • 6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 8 Tsp Almond Flour (for topping)
  • Almond Slices (for topping)

How To:

  1. Wash your peppers, cut off the tops and remove the seeds.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Place your peppers cut side up on a lightly greased pan and fill the bottom with water.
  4. Bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once the time expires remove them and let them cool.
  5. While the peppers are baking make your filling. In a large pan, brown your onions with the olive oil.
  6. Add in the meat along with the beef broth and stir constantly to break up the meat. (the broth with water will help break down the meat into small bits)
  7. When the meat is no longer pink, add in your celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, thyme and garlic.
  8. Stir everything together for about 7 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
  9. Remove from the heat and let it cool a few minutes.
  10. Stuff your peppers generously but be careful not to tear the peppers.
  11. Top each pepper with a bit of almond flour followed by the almond slices.
  12. Pour whatever liquid is left in the pan into the bottom of the baking dish. If nothing is left pour some water into the bottom just to make sure it is covered. This will prevent the bottoms of the peppers from burning and sticking.
  13. Place the peppers back in your baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Let them cool a bit before eating as the stuffing will be very hot.

Enjoy 🙂

Cedar Plank Salmon with Dill Sauce

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Sadly we are nearing the end of BBQ season. Traumatizing, I know. Who doesn’t like the fact that with a BBQ there are almost no dishes and all you really have to do to clean up is scrub the racks and put the cover back on. Normally the BBQ is my husbands domain, as I think it is for almost every man (at least they like to think so lol). I will not take away from my husbands BBQ skills because they are very good and I always love it when he cooks something up for me. However, I am not entirely sure when this gender role was established in our society.

For the most part, our society associates women with cooking in a kitchen and men at the BBQ cooking on an open flame as a more or less traditional role.  You can almost picture it can’t you?! That stereotypical image of a woman in her kitchen surrounded by her friends while she cooks and sips her wine, oh and don’t forget the gossip that is unfolding as well. Meanwhile… the husband is outside in the yard, proudly standing in front of his BBQ, wielding tongs in one hand and a cold beer in the other while reliving sports greatest moments with his buddies to the smell of sizzling steak. Personally I think it goes back to the time of cavemen. Picture the cavewoman, sweeping up the cave to make it tidy and prepping her foraged food while the caveman proudly comes home with his kill just in time to roast it over a flame. Yup, I am going with that one, that’s where all this stems from lol. Since we are eating Paleo right now or in some circles “like a caveman” that explanation just seems to fit even more.

All stories and theories aside, lets get to last nights dinner of Cedar Plank Salmon. I did not abide by the traditional gender roles described above however and I took charge of the BBQ. Who says women can’t grill huh? 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Salmon (filleted and approximately 14″ long with skin on)
  • 1 Cedar Plank
  • 4 Tbsp Fresh Dill (finely chopped)
  • 4 1/2  Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp Honey or Agave Syrup *optional for strict paleo
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Water
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. Soak your plank in water for at least 2 hours. (If you do not do this it will burn on the grill)
  2. Rinse your Salmon and place it skin down on the plank.
  3. Pat it dry with paper towel.
  4. In a bowl mix the dill, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, water and olive oil.
  5. Pour your mixture over the Salmon making sure it is covered evenly and on the sides as well.
  6. Heat up the BBQ and leave it on a low setting. Check on it every couple of minutes to make sure the cedar isn’t burning.
  7. Place your plank with the Salmon onto the bottom rack and cook for 20 – 25 mins. Time will vary depending on how thick the Salmon is. After 20 minutes you can gently cut into the thickest part of the fish. If it flakes away nicely it is done. If not leave it in for a bit longer.

Paleo Breakfast Frittata

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The Paleo Challenge has been set at our house again. For the next 40 days we will be eating ‘caveman’ style. Why? well it is simple really… in order to feel better and to shed some of that summer beer intake and the “lets just get take out because it is too nice outside” weight. Just in time for the low calorie holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas lol. The truth is, we have had great results with eating this way. It does take a significant amount of more work, but in the end the results make it worth it. The thing I have struggled the most with during this diet in previous months are the breakfasts. I start work at 7 am which makes time in the morning for chopping, frying and mucking about the kitchen hard to come by. Most breakfasts need to be made the night before or at least prepped in order to expedite things in the morning. I do this because most days I don’t know which way is up when the alarm clock starts going off. Therefore, something I don’t need to put much effort into is perfect. This was my first attempt at an egg frittata and for something that took under 30 minutes to make the night before, it was well worth it :). It made a perfect ‘grab and go’ style breakfast this morning that can be eaten cold or heated up.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (finely chopped)
  • 12 Kalamata Olives (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 5 Tbsp Frozen Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
  • Fresh Pepper

How To:

  1. Defrost your spinach and once it is fully thawed squeeze out the water.
  2. Cut up your onions, pepper, olives and tomatoes.
  3. In a frying pan heat up the coconut oil and toss in the onions. Cook until they start to go golden.
  4. Toss in the peppers, olives and tomatoes to allow the peppers to soften. Approx 3 mins.
  5. Add in the Spinach and quickly heat it up.
  6. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk your eggs and add in the seasonings. Mix well in order for everything to combine.
  8. Heat your oven to 400 F.
  9. Lightly grease a 9″ glass baking dish.
  10. Add your cooled veggie mixture to the eggs and mix them together.
  11. Pour it into the baking dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  12. Remove and let it cool.

Like I said before you can easily make this the night before and quickly grab a few pieces in the morning.

Beer Batter Onion Rings with an Arugula, Beet & Daikon Salad

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DSCN1176

Last night I decided to try something I do not do often as well as trying something new.

The thing I do not do often is make some deep fried food, more specifically as the title of this blog suggests, onion rings! The new thing we tried out for the first time was some Lo Bok which is just one of many names for Daikon or Japanese radishes. I had always looked at these guys in the market but never bought them for reasons I simply can’t explain because we love radishes! Now these  two things were never supposed to come to play in a dinner together. Originally, the daikon was for tonight’s dinner to go in a salad served along side some yummy lamb for my father in law. But since I had never used it, I wanted to try it out last night and not use my father in law as a guinea pig for some made up salad.

So here I am winging this new salad with the Food Network on in the background, when all of a sudden one of the competitors on Food Fighters busts out some onion rings! This is how the whole attempting to make onion rings for the first time occurred in my kitchen. I was inspired and figured it would go well with the salad I was making. I needed a bit of a richer salad to fill up my husband because the meat I had originally taken out for our dinner was still taking it’s sweet time defrosting in the sink, and would not be making it to the dinner table. So while I whipped up some beer batter for my rings he ran to the nearest Nando’s to grab some chicken. The meal turned out great! While I can’t take credit for the chicken of course the salad and onion rings worked perfectly together and made an easy and filling side dish. The onion rings were apparently so yummy that the last words I heard from my husband before going to bed was not “goodnight” it was “damn those onion rings were good tonight.”

I will take that 🙂

For the Onion Rings:

  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Can of Beer
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Dashes of Smoked Paprika
  • Oil for Frying (I used Grapeseed Oil but Vegetable Oil will be good too)

How to:

  1. Mix the flour and seasoning in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk the beer in with a fork and mix until the batter is smooth. Let it stand for 10 – 15 mins.
  3. Heat up your oil in the frier or a heavy bottomed pot to about 380 degrees. I used a medium pot and filled it about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. (if you want to know when the oil is ready, after about 5- 7 minutes drip a tiny bit of batter into the oil, if it turns golden in 20 – 30 seconds it is ready, if not, let it heat up longer)
  4. While the oil is heating up cut your onion into rings. Mine were about a 1/4 inch thick to allow for faster frying.
  5. When ready, dip each ring into the batter and gently put it into the oil. (You should be able to do 4-5 rings at a time)
  6. When the rings are a golden color, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper lined plate so they drip off.
  7. Repeat until all the rings are fried.

*Please be careful* this oil gets very hot! When you are done with the oil, take it off the burner and let it cool down slowly on the stove. Do NOT pour it into the sink right away as it could splatter and the last thing you want is to drop a pot of hot oil.

For the Salad:

  • 4- 5 Handfuls of Organic Arugula
  • 2 Small Red Beets (finely chopped)
  • Shredded Daikon (I used about 10 Tbsp)

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Place your arugula, beets and daikon in a large salad bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing in another bowl until the avocado is smooth.
  3. Drizzle over the salad and mix it all together.