Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z Is for Zuppa Toscana (Slow Cooker)

     I could have gone the easy route with anything zucchini related, but I love soups so much. I love filling my tummy with warm bone broth full of love, and this soup is no exception. It's a remake of a restaurant that shall not be named's classic, but instead of white potatoes, I went with my beloved sweet potatoes. I also made my own Italian sausage.

2 Tbs. coconut oil or bacon grease
1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. onion or garlic powder (optional)
4-6 sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 onion, minced
4-6 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
4 cups bone broth
1/2 bunch kale; de-stemmed ant torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1 Tbs. tapioca flour
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a sauté pan, over medium heat, combine pork, basil, oregano, marjoram, and onion or garlic powder (if using). Heat until no longer pink.

2. Place pork, broth, sweet potato, and onion in slow cooker. Add enough water to cover vegetables and meat.

3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or 4-5 hours on high until potatoes are soft.

4. Thirty minutes before serving, add flour to coconut milk, mixing well to remove lumps.

5. Add coconut milk and kale to slow cooker and stir.

6. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y Is for Yakitori with Cauliflower Rice

     Traditional yakitori is made with mirin, which is a sweet Japanese sake, but since rice and alcohol are on the limited list, I just cut them out. I didn't miss it. This dish was wonderful. We just all wished we'd had more of it.

3/4 cup coconut aminos
4 Tbs. coconut sugar
1 small onion or garlic clove, pressed (optional)
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Cauliflower Rice:
2 cups cauliflower, riced in food processor
1 cup bone broth

1. To prepare cauliflower rice, placed riced cauliflower and broth in a medium saucepan or rice cooker. If using a saucepan, bring to boil over medium-high heat and allow to cook for 12 minutes. If using a rice cooker, follow manufacturer's instructions.

1. Put coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and onion or garlic, if using, into a medium-sized sauce pan, and cook over medium heat until there is only half as much sauce remaining.

2. Let cool slightly while preparing chicken.

3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

4. Thread chicken onto skewers.

5. Begin grilling the chicken skewers on both sides without the sauce, when the meat starts changing color, brush the sauce on both sides, and continue grilling, brushing on sauce about 3 times total, and turning until done.

6. Serve half a cup of cauliflower rice with two skewers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Xia Ren Chao Mian

2 cups of sweet potato, cut into noodles
8 oz. shelled, de-veined shrimp
2 onion, minced finely
2-3 cloves garlic, minced finely (I did not use this due to allergies)
3 green onions
10 oz. broccoli slaw
1/4 cup tapioca flour
Fresh ginger
1 Tbs. anchovy paste
3 Tbs. coconut aminos
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Shredded red pepper for topping

1. Boil sweet potato noodles for 2 minutes, drain, and spread on a paper towel to dry.

2. Combine sauce ingredients.

3. Lightly dip shrimp in tapioca flour on both sides and thoroughly shake off excess.

4. Heat wok over high heat, and add 2 Tbs. coconut oil. Cook shrimp quickly, just enough until they lose their translucence. Remove and set aside.

5. Add about another 1-2 Tbs. coconut oil to wok. Add onions. Allow to caramelize slightly. Add garlic and ginger then broccoli slaw. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add noodles and begin to toss with other ingredients.

6. After 2 minutes or so, add sauce and continue mixing until heated through.

7. Heap noodles onto 4 plates and top evenly with shrimp. Garnish with shredded red pepper and serve.

Monday, April 27, 2015

W Is for Winter Vegetable Soup (Vegetarian)

     This is a great post-workout meal or just a warm up meal for a cold night. It's sweet and savory and warm and happy-making. The only person who didn't enjoy this soup was Victor, but that's because he was sick and hadn't been able to eat anything for a couple of days.

Serves 10

3 medium carrots, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs. grass-fed butter or coconut oil
7 cups bone broth
3 cups cubed peeled red potatoes
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
2 large tart apples, peeled and chopped
2 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir the carrots and onions in butter or coconut oil until tender.

2. Add the broth, potatoes, squash, apples, turnips, and parsnips. Reduced heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in the basil, thyme, and pepper; simmer 15 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V Is for Vanilla Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream

     I was never much of a fan of ice cream. Even growing up, when my parents would ask me if I wanted ice cream, I would get it just as a vehicle for rich fudge sauce. Then when I realized I had a lactose intolerance, it began to make sense. Then I tried coconut milk ice cream, and I was hooked. Although we don't eat it often, I do enjoy playing around with flavor combinations. This combo is delicious and fruity and was completely eaten up by my family in about 30 minutes.

2 cans full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raw, local honey
1 cup cherries, use frozen if desired
1 vanilla bean pod
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Add coconut milk, almond milk, honey, cherries, and vanilla extract to a blender or food processor.

2. Using a sharp knife, cut open vanilla bean pod and scrape seeds into the mixture.

3. Run blender or food processor until blended. Blend longer for smaller cherries pieces or shorter for more chunks.

4. Follow you ice cream maker instructions.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U Is for Upside-Down Pineapple Cake

     This cake has caused me no end of stress and agitation. I've never made an upside-down cake, not even before I was Paleo. So just the thought of attempting this cake without a recipe made my heart race and my palms sweat. But I have to say that it turned out really well. It is super tasty and moist and fruity. I just made it today, but because we had coconut cupcakes for my husband's mother's birthday, we split up a piece to give it a try. As I'm writing this, all I can hear are "Mmmmm's" and "Oh my goshes," so I'd say it's a winner. The only drawback is that it's a bit on the pricy side to make, but this is a special-occasion/company kind of cake.

1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2.5 cups blanched almond flour
4 eggs at room temperature
2/3 cups raw, local honey
1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped tropical fruit (we used mango and pineapple)
1/4 cup grass-fed butter or extra-virgin coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1 20-oz. can sliced pineapple in juice
10 cherries, pitted (if using frozen, thaw)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease spring-form cake pan.

2. In spring-form cake pan, melt butter or coconut oil over low heat.

3. While butter is heating, combine oil, flour, eggs, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla in a food processor. Process for 45 seconds, until smooth.

4. Add baking soda, salt, and tropical fruit. Process for 15 seconds, to create a smooth batter.

5. Once butter in spring-form pan is slightly melted, turn stove off and make sure it is spread evenly over bottom of pan.

6. Sprinkle coconut sugar evenly over butter. Place pineapple slices into sugar. Add a cherry to the middle of each pineapple slice.

7. Pour batter into cake pan and place in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

8. Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then loosen the sides and remove the spring-form, leaving the bottom of the pan on the cake.

9. Invert the cake onto a cake plate and remove the pan bottom.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T Is for Turkey Sliders

     One day, I was eating sweet potato chips and reading a Paleo cookbook that was mentioning sliders, and the two things coupled in my head, and these are the delicious babies they made. I can't begin to explain how delicious these are. They're even better if you put them together and let them sit for about 5 minutes because the sweet potato chip bun softens a little, and the turkey gets moister, and they sort of fuse together into a little bite of heaven.

Serves: 4-6

1 large sweet potato
1 Tbs. coconut oil or bacon grease + some for sweet potato chips
1 lbs. ground turkey
1 large egg
1 tsp. coconut aminos
1/4 cup of bacon, chopped
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Dill Honey Mustard:
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
2 Tbs. raw, local honey
1 Tbs. mustard, we use spicy brown, but you will get good results from any of your favorite mustards
1/4 tsp. dill weed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Slice sweet potato, thinly into about 20 slices. Brush lightly with melted coconut oil or bacon grease and lightly salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

3. While sweet potato is baking, melt 1 Tbs. coconut oil in skillet. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towel-covered glass plate. Set aside. DO NOT clean out pan.

4. In mixing bowl, combine ground meat, egg, coconut aminos, bacon, basil, marjoram, oregano, and onion powder until meat mixture is homogenous.

5. Roll meat mixture into about 10 golf-ball-sized balls. Press into patties.

6. Cook in skillet with remaining bacon grease, 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

7.To make honey mustard, combine mayonnaise, honey, mustard, and dill. Mix thoroughly.

8. Use sweet potato chip as bun. Top meat with honey mustard and serve.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S Is for Sweet Potato Cassarole

     I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on this blog a few times just how much I love sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes in so many different ways, and this is one of them. You can make this anytime, but it's especially good at Thanksgiving. I was good this time with a topping of dried fruits and almond crumble, but it's also good with homemade marshmallow on top. YUM!

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond flour
1 Tbs. coconut sugar
1 Tbs. butter from grass-fed cows or coconut oil, melted
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dried dates, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover wit water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover an simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl; mash. Cool slightly. Stir in the egg and egg white, syrup, and vanilla.

3. Transfer to an 8-in. square dish coated with a light greasing of coconut oil. Combine butter or coconut oil with coconut sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.

4. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dates and cranberries. Bake 5-7 minutes longer, or until the thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit and the fruits are heated through.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R Is for Roasted Turkey Breast with Mushroom Gravy

     Want a taste of Thanksgiving dinner any day? Then this is a good way to get what you want. The broth in the roasting pan with the turkey keeps the meat from drying out. We paired it with a refreshing salad with carrots, red peppers, dried cranberries, and homemade honey mustard, and it was delicious.

1 cup bone broth
4 boneless turkey breasts
5 oz. mushrooms, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. almond flour
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Lightly grease roasting pan with coconut oil or bacon grease. Place turkey breasts and broth in pan, and bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow meat to rest for 15 minutes.

3. While turkey is cooking, heat small amount of bacon grease or coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.

4. Sauté mushrooms until tender. Remove from pan.

5. Add two tablespoons coconut oil or bacon grease to frying pan.

6. Sprinkle almond flour into the pan. Stir it with a fork to blend it into the grease. Break up any clumps. Continue to stir and cook for two minutes until golden brown.

7. Slowly whisk in one cup of coconut milk and cook another two minutes. Once the gravy begins to thicken, whisk in the other cup of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and continue stirring.

8. Add the mushrooms back in and cook until the gravy reaches a desire consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Plate the turkey and top with gravy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q Is for Quesadilla (Primal)

     Sometimes I just want some of my old comfort foods, and this really hit the spot. It's like a restaurant quesadilla meets a grilled cheese sandwich. Of course, you can stuff it with your favorite quesadilla fillings. We used real queso fresco because every now and then, we like to indulge. I'll always have fond memories of eating this for the first time. I was on a staycation, we were watching a Monster High movie, and I was cooking these joyful creations for my family. We were going to make a guacamole to have on it, along with the salsa, but all of our avocados had gone very, very bad.

Serves 5

6 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. coconut oil
1 medium onion
5 oz. mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
Pinch cayenne pepper
15 oz. cooked chicken
5 oz. queso fresco
2 Tbs. coconut oil

1. In a medium skillet, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat, and add onions, mushrooms, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Sauté onions and mushrooms until tender. Set aside.

2. Place the eggs, egg whites, almond flour, salt, tapioca flour, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whish for 1 minute.

3. In a 5-inch cast-iron skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.

4. Pour a 5-inch circle of batter into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned in center, and then flip and repeat on the other side. Set aside.

5. Follow above instruction for making another tortilla, making sure to whisk batter before pouring each time. Once you flip the tortilla, add 1/5 of the mushroom and onion blend, 3 oz. cooked chicken, and 1 oz. queso fresco. Top with the first tortilla.

6. Repeat this process 4 more times.

7. Serve immediately or keep warm in a warm oven. Top with salsa before serving.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P Is for Polynesian Stir-Fry

     What's not to like about pork, pineapple, peppers, onions, and apricots? We ate it as is, but you can serve it over a bed of caulirice for a more traditional stir-fry or regular rice, if you take the more Primal approach. The kids love it, asking for more, prompting the recurrent joke around our house that we don't know what leftovers are because we never have any.

Serves 4

1 8 oz. cap unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 Tbs. tapioca flour
2 Tbs. cold water
1 Tbs. coconut aminos
1 Tbs. unsulfured, dried apricots, diced
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 pound pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
3 tsp. coconut oil, divided
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups cauliflower rice (optional)

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set aside.

2. For sauce, in a small owl, combine tapioca flour and water until smooth. Stir in coconut aminos, apricots, maple syrup, and pineapple juice.

3.In a wok, stir-fry the pork in 2 tsp. coconut oil until no longer pink. Remove; keep warm.

4. Stir-fry the onion and peppers in remaining oil for 3 minutes. Add pineapple; stir-fry 2-3 minutes longer or until just beginning to be tender.

5. Stir sauce mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pork; heat through.

Friday, April 17, 2015

O Is for Orange-Glazed Carrots and Broccoli

     One of our favorite go-to meals is baked chicken and a big side of veggies. This may sound boring, but their are so many different chicken and veggie combos, and if you start adding spices and sauces, you extend your menu even more. Sadly, my daughter is allergic to oranges, so she couldn't eat this. She ended up having leftover veggie soup, while the rest of us enjoyed this dish. My husband proclaimed that he never wanted to eat veggies any other way again, which made Lydia pout. Oh well, there aren't a lot of foods beginning with "O."

Serves 6

1 pound fresh baby carrots
1 pound fresh broccoli florets
Coconut oil, melted
Juice and zest of one organic orange
Sea salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease roasted pan with coconut oil.

3. Add carrots and broccoli to pan. Lightly oil with melted coconut oil. Add juice and salt. Cook for 25 minutes.

4. Sprinkle vegetables with zest and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N Is for Nasi Goreng

     I can't begin to tell you how good this is. The kids inhaled it. I've never had this dish before, so I can't tell you how it holds up to the original. I actually found this recipe while looking up foods that started with :"N" for this challenge. Not only is this the first time I tried this recipe, this is the first time I ever fried an egg. It was actually pretty easy and very tasty. This dish is traditionally made with rice, but I replaced the rice with cauliflower. We found shrimp sauce at a local Asian market. Make sure the shrimp paste you get only contains fermented shrimp and salt, and remember, a little goes a long way.

(Serves 4)

5 cup cauliflower, riced
3 cups bone broth
1 tsp. dried shrimp paste
1 Tbs. coconut sugar
1 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 eggs
salt to taste
4 1/2 tsp. coconut aminos

1. In a medium pan, mix cauliflower and bone broth and bring to boil over medium-high heat.

2. While cauliflower cooks, process paste, sugar, onion, chilies, and 2 Tbs. of water until smooth. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Add eggs, season with salt, and cook until heated through and crisp at the edges, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

4. Remove cauliflower from heat and drain.

5. In a wok, on medium heat, add flavoring paste. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

6. Increase heat to high, add cauliflower, and cook stirring until heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.

7. Add coconut aminos, and cook stirring until evenly combined, about 30 more seconds.

8. Season with salt and sere with egg.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M Is for Mushroom Marinara

     This is a go-to favorite on Sunday nights when we forgo meat. We usually serve it with spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to noodles and can be baked in the oven or cooked in the microwave. Just remember to poke holes in it or cut it in half, of it might explode. The mushrooms in the sauce give the umami flavor that really satisfies, especially if you are going meatless. Sadly, this picture is not of our best effort on this dish. We've had a hard time finding a good spaghetti squash lately, so this was the best of three Sundays effort. The first Sunday, we ended up getting invited out to eat, so we just put it off. The next Sunday, our squash was unripe, so it wouldn't noodle. This picture is of squash that is overripe. The sauce, however, was delicious and can be used in a number of ways.

1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced (I don't use this because of allergies)
8 oz. portabella mushrooms
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup raw, local honey
1 Tbs. fresh or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 Tbs. fresh or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. fresh or 1 tsp. dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat.

2. Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté until tender.

3. Add mushrooms and sauté for an additional 5 minutes or until tender.

4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, basil, oregano, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Partially cover and turn heat down to simmer.

5. Cook for at least 45 minutes, pulling the cover off for the last 10 minutes to help sauce to thicken.

6. Before serving, taste test and adjust seasoning if needed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L Is for Lemon Blueberry Muffins

     These muffins took a couple of tries before I was happy with them, but I have to say, they are tasty. When I was a teenager, I used to love whipping up berry-flavored muffins. I used a mix that included some kind of terrible berry-flavored chips. As I got older, I completely stopped eating those but I never lost my love of muffins. These muffins were inspired by Lydia. She loves to bake, and she had made some blueberry muffins that tasted like they had lemon in them, but they didn't. We use frozen blueberries, but you can also use fresh.

(Makes 12 muffins)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. coconut milk
1 tsp. real vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
1 cup blueberries (if you use frozen, rinse in cold water until the water runs clear)
1. Preheat oven to350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.
2. In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
3. To the dry ingredients, add eggs, maple syrup, oil, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix well until you have an homogenous batter.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Pour batter into prepared cupcake wrappers and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.

Monday, April 13, 2015

K Is for Kid-Approved Hearty Zoodle Casserole (Primal)

     My kids love this meal, and will fight over who gets the last of it. Even my tiny little Victor will eat 2 servings. Ray says it reminds him of a beef macaroni canned dish from his childhood, only good for you. I also love this dish. It's filling and is just really a comfort food after a long day at work. We don't use garlic because I'm allergic, but you can add a clove or two of minced garlic into the sauce.

(Serves 8)
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 sweet white onion, cut into wedges
2 tsp. coconut oil, melted
4 zucchini, cut into noodles
1 lb. ground grass-fed beef
2 cans (29 ounces each) organic tomato sauce
1 Tbs. fresh or 1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbs. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 Tbs. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
12 ounces good-quality mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine squash and onion; drizzle with melted coconut oil. Spread vegetables I  single layer on a parchment-lined baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium heat until no longer pink. (If you are using garlic, this is the point to add it.) Drain. Add tomato sauce and zoodles and heat through.

3. In a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish, add beef and sauce with zoodles. Cover and bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Uncover.

4. Switch oven to broil, and place slices of mozzarella on top. Broil for about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until cheese starts to bubble and brown slightly.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J Is for Jicama Nachos

     These nachos are delicious. I just wish we'd had our deep fryer when we made these. I also wish I had cut the jicama a little thicker. You live; you learn. You eat delicious food and think up ways to make it even better. Of course, if these get any better, my mouth might explode! You can make these with any meat, but I like the pork because it's a special treat around here. The best part is: you can start this recipe before you leave for work and finish it up pretty quickly when you get home.

(Serves 4)
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup bone broth
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
1-2 large jicama, sliced nacho-chip thin
1/4 cup lard or cooking fat of choice
2 ripe avocados
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
1 tsp. sea salt

1. In slow cooker, place pork, broth, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Cook 8 hours on low. Turn off and pull pork apart with two forks.

2. If using a deep fryer, follow your fryer directions. If using a skillet, heat lard or cooking fat of choice until oil reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place folded paper towel on wire rack. Fry jicama slices until they are lightly golden and crispy, draining excess oil on paper towel covered wire rack.

3. Split avocados in half, discard pits, and scoop the flesh out with a spoon into a medium bowl. Mash avocados with a fork until desired consistency is achieved. Add in tomato, onion, lemon or lime, and salt.

4. On serving plates, layer jicama chips, pulled pork, and guacamole. Top with salsa.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Is for Italian Herb Chicken and Broccoli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Primal)

     I've been wanting to try a roasted red pepper sauce ever since I saw it in one of my vegetarian cookbooks, but Ray and I did not see eye to eye on how it should be prepared. I finally created a winner with this one. This recipe is primal because it includes grass-fed Parmesan cheese, but you can leave it out if you like. It is important not to use the stuff that's already grated because it has wood pulp, called cellulose, and that is not delicious.

(Serves 4)
2 chicken thighs
5 cups frozen broccoli, thawed
1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. dried basil, divided
1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram, divided
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup grass-fed Parmesan, grated
1 jar organic roasted red peppers, drained
1 cup bone broth
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. each of basil, oregano, marjoram, and salt. Bake for 45 minutes, but do NOT turn oven off.
3. Add broccoli to roasting pan with chicken. Sprinkle with remaining herbs. Sprinkle chicken and broccoli with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Return to oven for additional 15 minutes.
4. To create roasted red pepper sauce, liquefy peppers in food processor or blender. Combine peppers and broth in a small sauce pan and cook over medium until heated through.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H Is for Hamburger Salad

    What makes a hamburger great? I promise it's not the bun. It's the meat and all your favorite toppings. I love this salad. You can switch it up to have your own favorite toppings. You can grill your meat just the way you like it, then crumble it onto your salad. If you're primal, you can even add some high-quality, grass-fed cheese. I like ketchup and mayonnaise on mine, so I'm giving you a Thousand-Island-type dressing, but feel free to choose your own.

(Serves 4)
4 cups Romaine lettuce
1 lb. ground beef or turkey, cooked and crumbled
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and cooked
2 Roma tomatoes
1 small onion, diced (use your favorite onion; can be raw or sautéed; I like Vidalia, sautéed)
6 Tbs. organic ketchup

2 Tbs. organic, corn-syrup-free pickle relish
1 tsp. dried dill

1. Top bed of lettuce with ground meat, bacon, tomato, and onion.

2. Mix ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, and dill in a small bowl. Top salad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G Is for Granola

     This is my first attempt at a Paleo granola, and it is tasty. While it looks like a bar, and I cut it into bars, it is not really solid enough to be a bar. I'm not sure how to fix that, but if I figure it out, I will later update this post. It might help if I ground the sunflower seeds a bit, but if you're really missing some granola on the Paleo diet, try this out. This is definitely going down as a family favorite.

(18 Servings)
3-1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup melted coconut oil or ghee
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped, dried dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Line a 15-inch x 10-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Combine sunflower seeds and almonds. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine egg, coconut oil or ghee, maple syrup, and vanilla.
3. Stir in flax seeds, coconut, dates, cranberries, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
4. Stir in sunflower mixture.
5. Press into the baking sheet that is still lined with the parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-17 minutes or until set and edges re lightly browned.
6. Transfer parchment paper with contents onto a wire wrack. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F Is for Fruity Crab Zoodle Salad

    This salad is best if you make it the night before and refrigerate it, so the flavors blend. Sadly, though, it is not a salad that travel well. This is another recipe that has the kids asking for second.

(Serves 4)
4 zucchini, peeled and cut into noodles
16 oz. crab meat
8 oz. mandarin oranges in juice, drained
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup cold coconut cream (place a can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator; the cream will
      rise to the top and can be skimmed off)
4 Tbs. homemade mayonnaise
3 tsp. raw, local honey
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger

1. In a small bowl, combine zoodles, crab, oranges, and grapes.

2. Combine the coconut cream, mayonnaise, honey, and ginger. Pour over salad and toss to coat.

3. Refrigerate until serving. Better the next day.

Monday, April 6, 2015

E Is for Easy Travel Salad

     I love salads. They are crisp and crunchy and a refreshing break to my work day. This salad has protein, some delicious raw veggies, and a simple salad dressing that gets better while it thinks about being your lunch. You can throw all the ingredients together the night before, then throw it into your lunchbox in the morning.

(Serves 1)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 red bell pepper
1/4 cup matchstick carrots
3 oz. cooked chicken
1 cup lettuce
1. In a canning jar, pour olive oil. Add basil, oregano, and marjoram.
2. Layer in pepper, carrots, chicken, and top with lettuce.
3. Place folded paper towel on top of lettuce to keep lettuce crisp.
4. Before eating, take out paper towel, replace lid, and shake well.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D Is for Dijon-Peach Chicken Thighs

    This recipe came about because I needed a recipe for "D," and Dijon mustard is really tasty. This recipe is a new family favorite. No one even asked for ketchup to eat it with.

(Serves 4)
2 chicken thighs
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large peaches or 4 small peaches, chopped
3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. coconut sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cloves
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and cloves.
3. Bake chicken for one hour, or until completely cooked through.
4. While chicken is baking, place peaches, maple syrup, mustard, and coconut sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Pour sauce over chicken and enjoy.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C Is for Creamy "Cheesy" Cauliflower Grits

     I used to love Sunday mornings. I would wake up to music. My dad would either have out his record collection or he would have the radio on a station that played classic country music. I would lie in bed for a while listening to Gene Autry or Roy Rogers while the smells of breakfast wafted in. Sunday was music and fried bacon, buttery grits, and scrambled eggs. I would help set the table, then we would all sit down for a hot, Southern meal, and I would add a slice of American cheese to my grits. Later on, as the health fads of the '80's and '90's swept the nation, my mom stopped adding salt and butter to the grits, and they lost their appeal, seemingly never to return. My husband hated them, mostly in a long-held belief that all things Southern are gross to eat. Paleo wouldn't allow them because they are made from corn. Then a few months ago, I came upon Kelly Bejelly's Paleo Eats, and found her recipe for creamy grits, so I altered it, making it taste cheesy like my memories of the past. When I made this for my family, I was chastised for not making more. Even Ray said he was going to cry because it was so good. I share this with you with a wish for "Happy Trails."

P.S. I have since made this several times. It's become a family favorite. It's one of our favorite side dishes.

(Serves 4)
1 small head of cauliflower, cored and broken into pieces
2-1/2 cups bone broth
1 Tbs. bacon fat
1 Tbs. tapioca flour
2 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes (this is where the cheesy flavor comes from)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 cup almond meal
1. Place cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until pieces are the size of rice. You will need 3-1/2 cups. The rest can be frozen for later use.
2. Combine the cauliflower and broth in a medium-sized sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

3. Sprinkle tapioca flour over cauliflower and stir well.
4. Add yeast flakes, bacon fat, salt, and onion powder to pot, stirring until blended. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Turn the temperature down to simmer, and add in the almond meal. Cook for another 5-15 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy.
6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B Is for Best Basil Salad

     This recipe was created by Ray one day. We were low on supplies and had some fresh basil in the garden, and this salad was born. It's delicious, refreshing, and filling. I'm including the directions for a family salad and a travel salad.

(Serves 4)
Ingredients (for family salad):
4 cups Romaine lettuce
1 Tbs. fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 avocado
1 yellow bell pepper
12 oz. cooked, chopped chicken
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs. pomegranate vinegar
4 Tbs. raw honey
Directions (for family salad):
1. Combine Romaine, avocado, bell pepper, and chicken. If using fresh basil, add it into the salad.
2. Mix olive oil, vinegar, and honey. If using dried basil, add it into the dressing. Dress the salad and serve immediately.
Ingredients (for salad in a jar):
1 cup Romaine lettuce
1/4 Tbs. fresh basil or 1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 avocado
1/4 yellow bell pepper
Lemon juice
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. pomegranate vinegar
1 Tbs. raw honey
Directions (for salad in a jar):
1. Place olive oil, vinegar, and honey in bottom of canning jar. If using dried basil, add it into the dressing.
2. Layer in avocado (squeezing a little lemon juice on to keep it from oxidizing), chicken, and pepper.
3. Place lettuce at top of jar, adding in fresh basil, if using. Place a folded paper towel on top to keep lettuce crisp before closing.
4. To serve, take out paper towel; replace lid; then shake to combine salad and dressing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Is for Applesauce

This is really delicious applesauce, even if I do say so myself. It was created one day out of necessity. We needed applesauce for baking, and we had none in the house. I decided to try to make it myself, figuring that it didn't have to be the best, since it was for baking. After it was done, we tried it and fell in love. We'll never buy applesauce again. This is one of those recipes that gets eaten up quickly and seconds are begged for. It's good as a snack or in baking.

(Serves 4-5)

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
6 small, slightly tart organic apples (such as Jazz or Gala)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 Tbs. honey (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Prepare a glass pie pan with enough coconut oil to keep from sticking. Then pour apple cider vinegar in and swirl to create a thin layer of liquid in bottom of pan.

3. Peel apples and cut into bite-size chunks. Place chunks into prepared pie pan.

4. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and lemon juice. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Allow apples to cool before placing in a blender or food processor. Add honey, if desired, and blend to desired consistency.