Saturday, November 12, 2011

oui, paris

Paris. Of all the places I've been to and through.... the only one that did not surpass my expectations is Paris. You always hear terrible things about France in general. Some of the things I have heard regarded rude Parisians, bad body odor along with other problems with hygiene, and expensive food. I actually loved the people. They were so incredibly friendly, even though I obviously didn't know a lick of the French language. I seriously did not even know how to count past 3 prior to my trip there. And when it comes to body odor, it wasn't just France that is an offender... I sat between incredibly smelly men on the train to Germany and considered the whole way what would be the most appropriate way to ask them to not sit next to me. When I arrived in Germany, I noticed the trend continue. At our hostel in Berlin, I almost could not sit in the dining area due to the overwhelming, unbearable fragrance.

On to more my exciting day in Paris... my first stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral. This may possibly have been my favorite site. This is actually the only picture I took inside of the Cathedral, simply because I could not bring myself to take pictures of sacred religious art. Once you walk into the sculpture of a church, you are overwhelmed with awe at the size and awesomeness of it.

I love the Louvre! This place was ginormous. Several people have told me prior to going how large the place is, but I just was not prepared for a place this incredibly large. Words can not describe how big this place is. It's intensity at it's most inconceivable. I only walked through half of it, where I saw the French and Italian paintings and sculptures, including the Mona Lisa, along with the Egyptian and African art. This was one of my favorites, where the people in the pictures are completely made of fruit. You are what you eat, pictured at it's best!

After visiting to the Louvre, I took a quick peek at the Opera house then walked the 3 miles to Des Si & Des Mets for lunch. The restaurant is devoted to gluten free food and is apparently quite delicious according to reviews. As you can see, I walked all the way uphill for 3 miles to get to that restaurant that is now closed down. Wonderful. I walked down a couple blocks to an Italian restaurant where there was a chalkboard posted with the specials of which included Risotto Frutti Di Mare. This is a dish that I was sure didn't contain gluten, as it is simply seafood, tomato sauce, and rice. I walked into the restaurant and handed the manager my GF dining cards and he told me to go to a French restaurant, even after I explained the risotto shouldn't have gluten. He obviously did not know any English and did not even know what gluten was. So I walked down to the creperie next door, handed the guy my dining card and asked if he had crepes de serazza, and he said if I have a problem with gluten, I would have no problem dining there. I could have kissed that awesome server. I enjoyed every single bite of my very large buckwheat crepe filled with goat cheese, peppers, and mushrooms. The restaurant, by the way, was called Creperie Lepic Assiette. Delicious.

After making it over to the Eiffel tower, another 3.5 miles or so later, I found a bakery on my way back home. Macaron is a cookie-like dessert made from Almond flour. I got one chocolate and one caramel, and they were delicious! Totally loved them.

At the end of the day, I figured I walked about 15 miles, if not more. I didn't take a single train, simply because I would rather see all of the sites and not miss any by being underground. Paris is a really good city when it comes to sites... the entire city is full of awesome looking buildings with no in-betweeners. All in all, Paris is a city I'm glad I had the opportunity to visit, and I now really want to learn French. However, it is not a city I would want to spend a long period of time in. I would miss the trees, ocean and good quality food at a good price. One thing I will say is that French people have no concept of temperature, it seems, unless I am an old lady with hot flashes. I was wearing a tank top and sweating waterfalls (keep in mind that I rarely ever sweat outside of doing Crossfit WODS), while everyone else was clothed in thick wool coats, furry boots, scarves, and hats. I felt the need to cover up simply because I felt so naked in comparison.... but then I figured I would brave my outfit to keep myself from dying of a heat stroke.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scotland the Brave

Oh Scotland... a country I have always wanted to see. Actually, the only European countries I have ever been interested in visiting were Scotland and Germany. My grandparents have roots in Scotland and Ireland while I have just never had the chance (outside of America) to actively involve myself in German conversation. My grandmother visited Scotland years ago and her pictures were so lovely. I will pick the fresh air and open fields of the country side over a gasoline-smelling, sun-shielded city any day. Scotland was just that for me. Everywhere you look, for the most part, you could see the hills and cliffs, seas and fields, and smiling faces everywhere. I mean you literally see smiling faces everywhere. That may have been my favorite part about Scotland.

I don't travel to eat different food or buy souvenirs or even see their national monuments. I travel to talk to different people and live in their culture. Scotland was so incredibly welcoming and happy. Every person you pass by seems to be smiling or humming... the only people with grim looks on their faces were British. Every server who waited on me in a restaurant appeared so incredibly happy to please me, even with my diet limitations, and would even direct me to places where food or coffee could be enjoyed.

I stayed in Helensborough, a small town in Scotland made up of mom and pops shops (my favorite) and incredibly friendly faces. It wasn't bustling like Glasgow which is pictured at the top of the page, but it was relaxing and exactly what I expected from a small Scotland town. I loved it.

Edinburgh was one of my favorite places to visit in Scotland. Although most of the architecture in Scotland makes you think you're in a land of castles, the Edinburgh castle is truly something amazing. The views from the castle itself are spectacular, as well as seeing all of the imagery inside that portray the story of Scotland from the 1300s and whatnot. After hours of walking throughout the castle, Jake, who met up with me for a couple of days during my trip, wanted to go on a Scotch whiskey tour. The tour started off with a barrel ride that taught us all about the whiskey making process, and ended with us choosing the type of Scotch we wanted to taste by smelling different scents depicting each area of the country in which the whiskey was made. Seeing as the region I chose smelled like pineapple and honey, I thought maybe for once I would actually slightly like the taste of that whiskey. As you can see in the picture, Jake ended up tasting both of them since the taste was definitely not the same as the smell in the region.

Scotland's got another little piece of my heart :) It's awesome, I love the people, and absolutely love the fresh air Scotland has to offer. The food.... not so much, but like I said, I don't visit anywhere to eat their food. I feel like anything any country has to offer, I can make much more tasteful in my own home. I had to run to the store and buy a bottle of hot sauce and a jar of cayenne pepper to actually add flavor to my food. And wine with every meal wasn't a bad thing either. My new love I took away from my restaurant experiences in Scotland? Sangiovese. It's my new favorite wine.

Monday, November 7, 2011

who goes to canada?

I went to Canada with the sole purpose of visiting my cousin and her fiance. I had no idea I would be so incredibly busy taking part in every Canadian activity I thought I might do to keep myself busy while there, and actually enjoy being in Canada. A cousin asked me the night before my flight mockingly, "who goes to Canada?" Out of all the other awesome places one could go, the only reason I could think of is to visit family.

Museums, national monuments, historic landmarks and big cities are not my thing. Considering my trip to Toronto would be a big city with Niagara Falls off to the side as well as art museums and what not, I really didn't care much for doing anything but spending time with my cousin and getting to know her groom-to-be. Little did I know that Toronto would acquire some of my love and the groom-to-be would totally strike out. Just kidding, he's a winner, and I'm not even being sarcastic.

Museums and what not might not be my thing, but sports and watching people beat one another with sticks definitely qualifies as my thing. The first thing my two wonderful sibling-ish people took me to do was watch a hockey game at a huge Maple Leaf bar. I was able to partake in the whole experience, cider, gluten free nachos, huge screens that covered all of the walls, fan shirts and all. By the way, this was Jisoo's first hockey game and she's been in Canada for several months. I got on to her. And the only reason we didn't go to an actual game was due to the fact there were no home games while I was there. We also went to FC Toronto's final match where we had third row seats, after celebrating Jisoo's old woman birthday the night before. We went to the top of the CN tower, the highest standing tower in the world. It was quite awesome.... beautiful. Jisoo and I who aren't afraid of heights, were so afraid we held hands to hold ourselves together as we tip-toed across the glass floor.

And to finish off my stay in Canada, Jisoo and I went on my favorite thing in the world to do.. a wine tour. We went to Niagara Falls then toured the wineries in the region. First of all, I don't enjoy visiting national monuments. I wasn't prepared to be so amazed by the beauty of Niagara Falls. The Falls are incredible to say the least. We then went on to the wineries where I tried ice wine for the first time, which I have been dying to try for years now. It was amazing. I am not a fan of sweet wine, but this stuff was better than dessert. Then there was a winery that served their ice wine in chocolate cups, which was an experience everyone should have at least once. It's absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to serve this up for the family back in the states.

Canada was fabulous. I can't wait until my next visit to Toronto. I'm definitely looking forward to taking my Jake to Niagara so we can run along the awesome trails stretching aside Lake Erie and Ontario, and check out the beautiful little towns as well as the wine. The other thing that truly impressed me in Canada, was the people. The people in Toronto were the nicest of any group as a whole I have ever come across in my life. At no point in my trip did I feel like a tourist or an outsider. Everyone is accepting and welcoming. Toronto is definitely a place I can not wait to get back to.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

dream cream: peach semifreddo

A while back, I posted my amazing recipe for peach ice cream. I also promised that I would some day find a way to make a healthy peach ice cream. Well spending a week with Mallory was a great motivator, since her diet excludes dairy. Back at Winthrop we would indulge in delicious ice cream, and since she's turned a new leaf, I had to make something amazing for her :)

I found a recipe for peach semifreddo in my clean eating magazine, and changed the ingredients a tad bit to make it a little closer to Paleo. The result was MM MM delicioso!!!

1 cup non fat vanilla coconut yogurt
1 egg, separated
1/4 cup agave
3 egg whites
2 medium peaches, peeled and mashed

Line a loaf pan or dish with plastic wrap. In a large bowl, blend the yogurt, egg yolks and agave. In a medium bowl, beat 4 egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into yogurt mixture 1/3 at a time and stir until well combined. Add in the peaches and gently stir. Pour into prepared dish and freeze for 2-3 hours or until softly frozen. Flip pan onto a cutting board and slice into desired servings. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

perfect pesto pasta

I loooooove pesto! Pesto is so simple to whip up, is super nutritious, and incredibly delicious. You just put all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender then pour over your food and you're done with your dinner. It doesn't get any better than that. I mean really, if I had to use one herb for the rest of my life and nothing else, it would be basil. Fresh basil is where it's at, and is super easy to grow!

1 cup packed basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 T minced garlic
red pepper
yellow onion, sliced
mushrooms, sliced
brown rice pasta
1 lb chicken, cubed

In a blender or food processor, add in the first 7 ingredients and pulse until well blended. Boil a large pot of water and add in the noodles. While the noodles are cooking, saute the chicken and pesto sauce in a large pan. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add in the mushrooms and onion. Saute until cooked through. Drain the noodles and add to the chicken mixture. Toss together and serve!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

angeled eggs over tuna

I did a recipe overhaul on my usual deviled egg recipe, and these were delicious! This version is packed with even more protein, since I threw in a can of tuna. I also removed the vegannaise so these are now Paleo.

12 eggs, boiled
1 can tuna
2 T spicy mustard
2 T horseradish
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
black pepper
red pepper
2 T olive oil
1 diced jalapeno

Cut the eggs in half and spoon out the yolks into a large bowl. Mix all of the rest of the ingredients in with the yolks until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the egg whites, which should be overflowing with goodness once you are finished. Enjoy your healthy, delicious, perfect snack!

Monday, October 17, 2011

the kitchen sink aka stir fry

Every single person who says they can't cook is lying. It's not that they can't cook, it's that they don't WANT to cook. Cooking isn't my favorite thing in the world either, but I'd like to have edible food on my table when it comes time to eat. If you "can't cook" make a stir fry. If you can cook but just don't feel like cooking anything, make a stir fry. Mallory is so awesome that she keeps a huge bag of frozen veggies in the freezer for whenever she wants to use them. You can use whatever you want... shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, bison (although I would never waste bison in a stir fry)... I mean the Chinese use cat in their stir frys so no complaints. I'm kidding for the most part so don't get offended. Anyway, this is what we threw into ours.

1/2 cup liquid aminos
1 T garlic
2 T almond butter
1 T honey
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper
chicken, cubed

Marinate the chicken in the first 8 ingredients in the fridge for an hour or two. Saute them in a pan until chicken is almost cooked, then add in the vegetables. Serve once the vegetables are cooked to your liking!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

fit for a wedding; italian wedding soup

Belly up for veggies! Let me just tell you what freaks me out the most about food: the length of time it lasts in a can/bottle/jar. For example, I cringe when I watch those Progresso or Campbell's soup commercials. How do they make the meat in those cans last that long without going bad? How is that still edible? And people eat this junk because it's fast food? Barf.

Soup is one of the fastest things in the world to make. Well actually, any healthy meal can be super fast. And by healthy, I am excluding all the "organic" or "healthy" canned or frozen meals with all of those nasty chemicals that make the food last longer. Seriously gross stuff. Mallory and I made this soup in a pinch with no recipe.

This brings me to another issue... just because you do not have a recipe or have never made anything before does not mean you don't know how to make it! Simply throw some stuff in a pot until it tastes good. It really is that simple. It's called learning how to cook. Besides, cookbooks did not exist when many of the delicious staples were first created. They were passed down by word of mouth or by watching and doing.... which in turn changed all the recipes by a little bit each time they were recreated. So who cares if your recipe doesn't match Mario Batali's or your great-grandmother's?

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1 cup carrots
2 cups spinach
dash of parsley, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper

Throw it all into a pot and allow it to boil, then decrease the heat a little and allow it to cook until meatballs  are done.

1 lb ground beef
1 T minced garlic
1 diced yellow onion
1 tsp honey
1 T red pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup chopped celery

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together. Form them into balls, sizing them to whatever you prefer. Place them all on a slotted pan atop a baking pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss into the soup and serve!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

paleo mixed berry cobbler

Back in high school, my group of friends and I would go to Kaminsky's at least two to three times a week for coffee and dessert. Yeah, we were cool.... at least, we thought we were ;) During my last visit to Charleston a couple of my friends and I were reminiscing those old days and how care free we were. I, on the other hand, miss the mixed berry cobbler I would get more than being back in high school which I relate to being more like in prison. But that's beside the point. I love that berry cobbler. Here's a much healthier, paleo version of my old school favorite dessert.

Handfuls of fresh berries
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 egg
2 T coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
1 T cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. In a small baking dish, pour in all the berries and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, blend the remaining ingredients, minus the cinnamon and honey. Sprinkle cinnamon and honey atop the berries, then top them with dollops of the dough. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

mom-inspired steak

Again, not a fan of red meat. However, I can make an exception for this steak any day. I threw together a marinade inspired by my mom's carbi marinade, and it was phenomenal. And by phenomenal, I mean phenomenal. Best part? It only took 5 minutes to throw everything together (before marinating for an hour or so).

rib-eye steaks (or flank, etc)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup zevia ginger ale
1/2 cup liquid aminos
6 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, chopped roughly
1 T black pepper

Put all ingredients other than steak into a small blender or food processor until pureed. Pour it over the steaks in a shallow dish and allow to marinate between an hour and overnight. Grill it until desired doneness and enjoy!! Serve with asparagus sauteed in garlic and olive oil for an awesome dinner :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ernie's sausage balls!

It's gameday! There was a little joke made last year when Ernie made his sausage balls and Alabama lost to South Carolina.... but I'll save you all the laughs :) Anyway, Patti and Ernie came to visit last weekend and I made a healthier version of his lucky sausage balls. Although they were super delicious, Carolina lost. But hey, they were yummy!

2 16 oz packages sausage (All natural, no msg or any additives)
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T crushed red pepper
1.5 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Form into 1inch balls. Place on ungreased slotted baking sheet, atop a baking pan; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with cocktail forks or toothpicks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

paleo poppyseed vinaigrette

My all time favorite salad dressing is poppyseed dressing. I order it any time I get a salad at a restaurant, since chances are, its made of oil and sugar, sans any gluten problems. My cousin Mike is the owner/chef at Kelley's Courtyard Cafe, and no one makes poppyseed dressing better. There's probably no chance he'll give up the recipe, so I decided to venture out on my own and make a Paleo version. The dressing I ended up with was a total success. It's delicious, nutritious, and very similar to the flavor Mike will someday bottle up like Paul Newman did after his glory days :)

1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
juice squeezed from 1 orange
1/3 cup honey
1 T mustard
3 T poppyseeds
dash of salt and pepper

Whisk it all together then store in the refrigerator after serving.

Friday, September 23, 2011

paleo philly burgers -the world's most lip smackingly delicious burgers

I am honest to goodness not a huge fan of burgers. The other day, I went to Ted's Montana Grill and they had a bison burger on the menu, so I had to have one. I love bison. The burger I had was topped with philly cheesesteak toppings, minus the cheese, and was so delicious I had to make one of my own. Don't you hate when you go to a restaurant, try to recreate what you had that tasted so good, and the restaurant food was so much better than what you created yourself? Well this was not one of those time. I didn't have bison, but beef worked just fine, and it was so tasty!

75/25 beef, about 2.5 lbs
2 jalapenos, diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced
3 T worstershire sauce
2 T liquid aminos
dash of sea salt, dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients together and throw on the grill until done the way you like.

Philly topping:
1 T olive oil
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
handful of sliced mushrooms
dash of salt, dash of pepper

Saute it all together in a pan on medium heat until onions and peppers are slightly soft.

The rest:
sliced tomato
lettuce leaves

Wrap a bit of everything into lettuce leaves and you now have a load of a wonderful burger. No lie. 100% guaranteed delicious!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

paleo fried "rice"

I am so excited about this. I'm Asian, and I love rice. Rice has always been my food-love. It's always been there... I'm slightly kidding. In all sincerity though, I have probably had it with almost every one of my meals since I was able to eat solid food as a kid. Bread has never been a big deal to me, nor has any other grain. But rice. Dear goodness, rice. Anyway, I ran across an awesome blog that instructs you how to make cauliflower taste like rice and how to incorporate it into your everyday rice dishes. Saved!

Find it here:

I decided to incorporate it into my mom's famous fried rice. The other day I was sad that my cousin ate all of my fried rice, but now I'm better seeing as I can make my own healthy version :)

1 head of cauliflower
1 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
3 T liquid aminos
1 T sesame oil
1 T black pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper
3 eggs, scrambled
3 slices bacon, chopped

Cut up florets of the cauliflower then blend in food processor or blender by small amounts, into rice-like texture. Set aside. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add olive oil, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and cauliflower. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the liquid aminos, sesame oil, black pepper, and ground red pepper. Saute for 2 more minutes, then add the eggs and bacon. Stir everything together and let cook until the cauliflower has a rice-like consistency.

paleo nut crunchy treats

I DID IT! Alright, so not these didn't stick together in their perfect little squares like rice crispy treats do with all that marshmallow holding them together. But these are so incredibly yummy and a great snack. They are nothing but protein (with a little bit of chocolate...) and so delicious. I love rice crispy treats, but wanted to make a Paleo version that I could snack on and not feel guilty. Great success!

6 cups raw nuts, chopped (I used walnuts and cashews)
dash of sea salt
2/3 cup almond butter
2/3 cup honey
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Toss all of the chopped nuts into a large bowl, then mix in a dash of salt. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in the rest of the ingredients until everything is melted and well blended. Remove pan from heat and stir the mixture into the nuts. I put on a glove and mixed everything together by hand to make sure everything was combined. Pour it all into a casserole dish a press down. Allow to cool, then cut when ready to eat.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

spicy wings over paleo, just in time for football!

Everyone should know by now what a wing fanatic I am. Wings are my go-to meal... even for a romantic dinner with Jake the day before he leaves for deployment. True story. I'm not sure why people think they are so bad for you. I especially like when someone tells me how unhealthy chicken wings are, as they grab a bowl of ice cream and a diet soda. Yep. Anyway, there is something about the way the meat cooks with the skin (fat) and the bone that makes it so sweet and juicy. I love my wings marinated and grilled, but we don't have a grill here at the beach house. I am about a few meals away from breaking down and buying the portable grill Jake and I have been wanting for a while now. Until then, baking and broiling will work. These wings were so absolutely delicious, I just can not describe how amazed I was at the full flavor. I didn't even use any vinegar/sugar/chemical-laden sauces. SOOO YUM!

1 package wings, wing tips removed
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
3 T liquid aminos
1 T honey
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T crushed red pepper
1 jalapeno, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
2 T cayenne pepper

Blend everything (but the wings) together in either a blender or processor, until everything is pureed and combined. Throw everything in a ziploc bag or a tupperware container with the wings. Allow to marinate overnight, and shake it all up when you get the chance. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the wings side by side on a slitted pan over a baking pan after greasing the slitted pan. Bake for 50 minutes, turning the wings over halfway through. Turn on the broiler at the end, then broil the wings 5 minutes per side to get it crispy. Or if you have a grill, just throw them all on a grill for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Warning: these wings are extremely deceptive when it comes to heat. They burned my mouth and I am a spice fanatic. I would only use 1/2 of the jalapeno and 1/2 of the cayenne as well as 1/2 the vinegar if you can not tolerate spice very well.

baked sweet potato aka my favorite Paleo snack!

I have been snacking on weird food since I was a baby. I believe my first snack other than my mother's milk was dried squid... basically squid jerky. Yeah, that's how hardcore beast I am. Now I can't even think about eating squid without gagging because of squid overload. Next I guess I moved onto yummy sweet potatoes, which are much more the "norm" I'd say. Sweet potatoes are yummy and it doesn't get any easier. Well, you could always reach for a bag of chips. Oooooh your chips are "whole grain"... well then, aren't you the healthiest person in the world. Not. Go several days without grain and see how different your body feels. You'll be amazed. But I digress. I just wanted to share how easy it is to snack on something other than junk.

sweet potato

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke many holes into the sweet potato then wrap it in foil, shiny side in. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until soft. Yummy!

paleo pancakes... that actually taste like pancakes!

First of all, some of you may have noticed the ugly plates in all of my pictures lately. No, my taste has not taken a significant plunge. I have been staying in an awesome beach condo with my parents in Florida for vacation. Thus, the ugly plates that come with the place. I'll take ugly plates for an awesome view of the beach every time I wake up!

Secondly, some of you are thinking, Paleo doesn't mean eating starches and alternative flours! No, no it doesn't. Not for people who are trying to lose weight anyway. However, I am not trying to lose weight and I love my carbs... therefore, I will be eating a ton of fruit and starchy veggies and coconut and almond flours thankyouverymuch! That's what Paleo means to me. It means eating healthy and doing what is best for my individual body.

Finally, these pancakes are wonderful. They are fluffy, nutritious, packed with protein, just sweet enough, and don't need syrup! You can top them with anything you want just like regular pancakes. I didn't think until after making them that I could have made blueberry pancakes. But hey, this was my first time making Paleo pancakes, so one thing at a time. At least this first attempt was successful! I'm getting quite lucky with all these successful first attempts, I'd say.


6 eggs
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 T baking soda
1 T honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coconut flour

Beat the eggs well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until everything is well-combined. Heat a pan to medium, drizzle a little grapeseed oil onto the pan then add in big spoonfuls of pancakes. Make sure you spread them out so they don't burn on one side before you can even flip them. I drizzled just a tad of honey atop the pancakes to give it a little more sweetness.... I can't give up my sweet tooth but at least I didn't throw in chocolate chips like I'm used to doing! Trust me, if I had dark chocolate on hand, I would definitely have done so ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

paleo eggplant dip

I know, I know. This stuff looks gross. My dad even said it looks like cat food. I'm not going to lie, it certainly does. However, this is so delicious, and PERFECT for football season in place of all those corn chips, pita breads, and cheese dips. I got the original version of this recipe from my friend Jen, and it was delicious! To fit it into my Paleo challenge, I substituted the beans for eggplant and added a tiny bit of extra ingredients. After one bite, my dad won't stop eating it... and he's a pretty tough food critic, unlike the oh-so-forgiving Jake I'm used to cooking for. So try it out!

4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 T fresh lemon juice
2 heaping T sesame tahine
2 tsp ground cumin
pinch salt
1 medium eggplant, cut into large chunks
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
pinch ground red pepper
1 T grapeseed oil (or olive oil...)
sliced veggies of choice for dipping

It's as easy as this. Throw everything into a blender then serve. Yeah that's right, what more can you ask?

chipotle mango chicken ahem-salad-ahem

I hate rabbit food! I'm not really sure who in their right mind would actually prefer to eat rabbit food over some other juicy chunk of whatever it may be that is certainly much more delicious. However, I love a good salad. The only type of salad I will devour, is one that is chock full of goodness, with lots of protein, fresh veggies or fruit, and very light on the dressing.

Today, I'm starting my own Perfectly Paleo Challenge. I tend to eat a good bit of Paleo food anyway, seeing as I cook everything from scratch and very very rarely go out to eat, would rather die than eat gluten (since it puts me near death anyway) and junk food makes me feel gross. However, I am now going to cut out all rice, corn, legumes, and sugar. Why? Because I like a good challenge, and I am always looking for ways to improve my diet. The only way to improve it, is to cut out the rest of the junk. I'm guessing I will continue eating mostly Paleo once the month of 100% Paleo eating is up, but I would like to simply challenge myself to eating nothing but simple foods until then, at least.

So anyway, I kicked off my first day of the challenge with a good paleo cereal, followed by this AWESOME salad. It's almost like a chicken philly salad, minus the cheese and add the mango. YUM. I got this recipe from and loved it, as I do all of her recipes.

4 bacon strips, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 baked or grilled chicken breasts, sliced
1 mango, diced
1/2 cup homemade chipotle mayo (
salad mix
chopped walnuts

Saute the bacon strips until half cooked, then add the bell pepper, jalapeno, and mushrooms until the bacon is crisp, then set aside. Place 3 plates full of salad out. Toss on the chicken, then mango, the bacon mixture, then drizzle the mayo atop the salads. Top them off with chopped walnuts. Hooray salad!

Friday, September 9, 2011

paleo cereal

I have never been more excited to try something in my life, food-wise of course. In Korean clubs, they serve bowls of fruit covered in a bath of milk and sugar. It sounds strange, but I would devour it every time. I never considered remaking it, because every time I would think about it I figured fruit is much better on it's own and I really don't even like milk. Recently, I ran across a website where a Paleo-lover professed their love for cereal and how they miss cereal every so much. He made this to satisfy his cereal tooth, and it did, so I tried it. Delicious! Seriously, better than cereal.

strawberries, blueberries, rasberries..... any fruit
chopped walnuts
almond milk

Throw it all in a bowl and you've got a great breakfast! It would also be great to add some ground flax seeds, slivered almonds.... whatever else you desire.

apple {pie} brie

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful restaurant downtown Norfolk called the Winehouse. This was 3 years ago to be exact, when Jake and I had first started dating. He doesn't know this, but this was actually my first real date at a nice restaurant, with a bottle of wine... you know, all the trimmings. We ordered the baked brie as an appetizer. The brie was baked in puffed pastry and folded in with cherries, apples, and sweet wine. It was absolutely amazing. My parents had a block of brie they wanted eaten, as well as some apples... and you know I will make sure something gets eaten! Food can not be wasted! So this is what I came up with, and is much lighter than if it had been baked inside of buttered bread.

1 block of brie, rinds cut off
1 medium green apple, sliced
1 T butter, melted
1 T cinnamon
1 T honey

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cut the brie in half, and set the top half aside. In a small bowl, mix the butter, cinnamon, and honey together and set aside. Place half of the apple slices on top of the brie. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon butter mixture atop the apples. Place the top half of the brie on top of the apples. Repeat with the remaining apple slices and cinnamon butter mixture. Bake on an oven-safe surface for 15 minutes or until cheese bubbles. I suggest adding chopped walnuts and cranberries to the sliced apples before baking if you happen to have them in your kitchen! Serve with GF crackers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

paleo jalapeno burgers

I'm not a fan of beef. However, I can use a great burger or some good meat balls every now and then. These were delicious and juicy and super easy. I'm pretty sure there is nothing easier in the world to make than burgers (other than super processed, nitrate-loaded hot dogs). So anyway this load of beef made 12 large burger patties.

5 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
6 garlic cloves
4 jalapenos
1/2 yellow onion
2 T liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1 pinch salt
1 T black pepper
1 T red pepper flakes
2 eggs

Place the hamburger meat in a large bowl. Puree the garlic and the next 6 ingredients in a food processor and pour into the hamburger meat. Add the 2 eggs. With gloves on, fold all of the ingredients together so that everything is evenly combines. Mold into large patties, remembering they will shrink a good bit once grilled. Grill for about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on how done you like your burgers.

To serve, place on a lettuce leaf, then top with tomatoes, onions, and whatever else you like on your burger. Roasted red peppers make a great hamburger topping, as well as goat cheese if you're not 100%p paleo! Fold it all in and you've got the ultimate paleo burger. Yum!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chinese egg noodle stir fry- better than takeout!

One thing I used to LOVE when I was able to eat gluten without feeling like death, was the ability to enjoy takeout on a lazy evening. However, takeout or many other convenience foods are out of the question nowadays. I tried out this recipe and it was fantastic! It's ovo-vegetarian, and full of protein.

14 oz brown rice noodles
1 T olive oil
1 cup slice button mushrooms
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 T honey
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1 T sesame oil
1 T ketchup
1 heaping T sambal sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups spinach

Cook the noodles according to directions, drain, and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil to pan, then add mushrooms, garlic and onions. Saute for 1 minutes. Combine the liquid aminos and next 5 ingredients, add to the mushrooms, then bring to a boil. Add the noodles to the pan and toss. Drizzle the eggs over the mixture, cook 2 minutes while tossing, stir in spinach, then serve immediately.

Recipe modified from Cooking Light September 2011 issue

paleo omg-amazing carrot cupcakes

SURPRISE! Yes, these are totally paleo, totally cupcakes, and totally amazingly delicious. I'm not going to lie, this is the most I've ever experimented when it comes to baking. I can cook, but baking is really the one thing I do well. I used to make carrot cake all the time back when I could eat regular flour, and it became my Granddad's favorite dessert. Granddad asked for some the other day, and I could not bring myself to bake another gluten-filled dessert, simply because I hate cooking something when I have no way of telling how it tastes. So, I went out on a limb and baked these cupcakes and they came out amazing on the first go at it. I have never been more proud of something I've baked in my life. AND they're paleo!!! I think I found my new favorite thing to bake :D

3 cups almond meal
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
4 T grape seed oil (or olive oil)
1/2 cup raw agave
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1.2 cup chopped pineapple

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and allow cream cheese (if desired) to come to room temperature while you prepare the rest. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add the carrots and pineapple. Make sure to coat the carrots and pineapple with the flour well. Mix together all of the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend together well. Pour into cupcake cups and bake from 16-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool.

Icing (not paleo at all)
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup raw agave
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients together and allow to chill in fridge for about 10 minutes. Top the cupcakes once they are cool.

These cupcakes are delicious without the icing, but if you're someone who thinks carrot cake goes with cream cheese icing like a toothbrush and toothpaste, I included the recipe for the icing... at least it's sans white sugar!