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: http://feastingonfitness.blogspot.com/2009/10/cauliflower-rice.html

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 www.everydaypaleo.com 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 (http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/20/homemade-paleo-mayo-cooking-demo/)
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!

spaghetti and paleo meatballs

MMMMMMMeatballs!!! If you're truly paleo, A. don't add the parmesan and B. don't put it on top of a bed of noodles. I made these for my parents because my mom was craving meatballs randomly, and my dad loves my mother-in-law's real Italian red sauce. I'm not going to lie, it's the only red sauce I'll eat. .... I'm drooling. Yeah, it's that good, so this is definitely what should be putting together as we speak and throwing it in the crock pot to have for dinner ASAP. I used the crock pot but you can easily bake them in the oven and be done with it. I like to let things marinate, however.


3 lbs grass fed ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
pinch of oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt
1 T honey

Chi Chi's awesome sauce
2 cups of peeled tomatoes, mashed
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
crushed red pepper, salt
handful chopped basil

For the sauce, put a medium sauce pan on medium high and saute olive oil, garlic, and onion for a couple minutes. Add the basil and tomatoes and spices. Allow the sauce to cook down for about 5 minutes.

For the meatballs, mix all of the ingredients together. Form large balls with your hands, then place close together at the bottom of your crock pot. Pour the sauce over the meat balls and cover the crock pot and cook on low all day so they are ready for dinner. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. I have always hated... actually, LOATHED meatballs until I tried this paleo version and with the help of my mother-in-law's recipe, I'm totally loving meatballs!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

paleo fish tacos

What's better than tacos? FISH TACOS! Nothing is more satisfying than eating a full meal and not feeling gross due to malnutrition of the meal... like the grease or the breading or whatever is was that isn't good for your body. Many Americans don't eat enough seafood... one week next year I am planning on going one week eating nothing but seafood for my meat component, and maybe that will turn into the entire year or my entire life. But I digress. This meal is super quick and simple as long as you keep veggies in your house, and you don't even have to know anything about cooking to throw it together. No excuses!

fish fillets (I used flounder since that's what we caught)
olive oil
pinch of cayenne, salt, pepper, chili, cumin
2 cloves garlic, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, all chopped
salsa (optional, but delicious suggestion)

Spoon on a T of olive oil over the fish. Sprinkle the seasoning onto the fish fillets then broil for 4-5 minutes per side, or you can blacken them on the stove top if you prefer. As the fish are being broiled, saute the vegetables for about 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Top the lettuce with fish, then with vegetables, then with salsa if you desire.

2 Tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 lime, squeezed
handful of cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Stir it all together and you've got fresh salsa! Come on guys, please don't use jarred salsa... once you go fresh, you'll never go back. It's so simple... just do it.

cold peanut noodles

If you're anything like my dad and are weird about the temperature of food, and you don't like your noodles cold, I wouldn't attempt to make this. However, I love this recipe. Vegetarians can eat this and not worry about lacking protein for their meal. The protein is in the delicious sauce, and the noodles! Seriously, try it and you'll surprise yourself. 

  • lb quinoa spaghetti or soba noodles
  • cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten free reduced sodium soy sauce
  • tablespoons vinegar
  • tablespoons sesame oil
  • tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 T sambal sauce, or any garlic chili sauce
  • 1 T sesame seeds

Boil noodles according to package instructions. Blend peanut butter and next 7 ingredients in a food processor until smooth while the noodles cook. Once the noodles are done, rinse with cold water and mix in the peanut sauce. Toss in the veggies and sesame seeds. Serve cold and enjoy!