August 24, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Cherry Muffins


Again, I have a new favorite flour, almond flour!  It bakes up so moist and it is full of healthy fats and protein.  I got this recipe off of the blog,  There is also a cookbook, "Against All Grains".  The author is Danielle Walker.  She has some delicious recipes.  This cookbook is great if you are eating a diet low or void of grains.  I love whole grains and my family eats a wide variety.  However, any recipe that is full of whole foods (grains or no grains, gluten or no gluten, dairy or no dairy) and is worthy of posting then I don't keep it a secret! 


4 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cacao butter, melted (I used coconut butter)
1/4 cup coconut milk (I used full fat coconut milk from the can)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour (the almonds have been quickly boiled and skin removed, in blanched almond flour the almonds have been processed slightly to make a "lighter" flour)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (this is raw chocolate powder, you could use "regular" cocoa powder too)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the eggs with the cacao butter for 30 seconds to a minute on medium high speed.  Add the honey, vanilla and coconut milk then beat for a minute longer until fully incorporated.  Combine the coconut flour, almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer, sift the dry ingredients into the wet.  Beat for one minute, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is mixed well.  Stir in the chopped cherries and chocolate chips by hand.  The batter should be fairly think and lumpy.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Try not to over bake them.  You can store these in an air tight container on the counter or in the refrigerator.  They also freeze well.  You can top with a cherry pie filling and whip cream or they are delicious all by themselves!  Enjoy!
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August 21, 2013


Zucchini, oh the endless possibilities!    Zucchini Salsa, Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles and yes even zucchini milk. 

Zucchini Salsa
Adapted from:

10 cups zucchini, shredded
4 onions, chopped
2 green pepper, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pepper
5 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
12 ounces tomato paste

Day one:  In a large bowl combine: Zucchini, onions, green pepper, red pepper and the salt.  Mix together, cover and let stand over night.
Day two:  Drain well and put into a large pot.  Add mustard, garlic, cumin, turmeric, vinegar, brown sugar, nutmeg, pepper, cornstarch, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  I then placed them in sanitized pint jars and boiled them in a water bath for 20 minutes.  This recipe made 8 pint jars.  Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles
 Adapted from: Martha Stewart Living

2 pounds (about 4 cups) zucchini
1 medium onion
2 heaping tablespoons real salt
2 cups ice cubes
1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups cane sugar
1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Sterilize the jars for your pickles by submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Slice zucchini 1/8 inch thick.  Halve the onions and slice thinly as well.  Place zucchini in a large bowl.  Toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1 1/2 cups of ice.  In a separate bowl, toss onion with the remaining salt and then again with the remaining ice.  Refrigerate for 3 hours

Separately drain zucchini and onion.  Rinse and drain again.  Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil.  Add the onion and return to a boil.  Add the zucchini and remove from heat.  Ladle zucchini and onions into hot, sterile jars.  Bring liquid to a boil again and fill the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Top with a new lid and band.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  This recipe made 4 pint jars.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Milk
You can use this in replace of milk when baking or cooking!

Wash as many zucchinis as you would like.  Place in blender and puree until smooth.  Add a bit of water if you need to help break up the zucchini.  Freeze in freezer bags.  Enjoy!
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July 29, 2013

The Perfect Bowl of Quinoa


Quinoa can be used for sweet or savory dishes.  It is packed full of 8 different amino acids (proteins).  You can buy quino in a variety of colors.  I will often keep a pot of quinoa in the fridge so it is available whenever I need it.  You can add it to salads, soups or as a side dish for meals or just a quick snack.  Add any sauce or seasonings you would like.  You can cook it in the mornings with vanilla, a splash of milk (any kind), cinnamon and raisins just like a bowl of oatmeal.  I will eat it with a diced up boiled egg mixed in and fresh mozzarella crumbled over the top.  Check out my site for a variety of quinoa recipes. (To the right on the side bar there is a label for "quinoa".) The possibilities are endless.  Maybe you have already discovered the joy of quinoa!

Complements:  Feeding the Whole Family

1 cup quinoa
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 3/4 cups water

Rinse quinoa with water and drain.  (The surface of quinoa has a chemical called, saponin.  This is a natural coating.  It can have a bitter, soapy taste.)  Place rinsed quinoa, salt, and water in a 2 quart pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes (usually closer to 15 minutes).  Don't stir the grain while it is cooking.  Test for doneness by tilting the pan to one side, making sure all of the water has been absorbed.  I usually remove it from the heat, crack the lid and let it sit another 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.  Enjoy!
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July 25, 2013

Power Bars


You can make a batch of these, cut them into squares, wrap each square in wax paper, place in an air tight container and store them in the freezer.  Anytime you need a quick snack or fuel before a workout these are perfect!  They are one of my favorite go-to snacks.

1 cup dried apricots (I use 1/2 apricots and 1/2 prunes or raisins) (I LOVE prunes!)
2 pecans (I have used a mix of pecans, walnuts and almonds)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp real salt (or sea salt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, I chop the chocolate chips a little before I add them)

1.  Place apricots (or prunes/raisins) and pecans in a food processor and pulse until the texture of coarse gravel.  (After this step I move the mixture into a mixing bowl before I continue)
2.  Pulse in eggs, salt and vanilla until mixture forms a ball.
3.  Remove the mixture from the food processor and work in the chocolate chips.
4.  Place mixture in a greased 8x8 inch baking dish.
5.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
6.  Cool before cutting into squares.  They store well individually wrapped placed in a container in the freezer or in an airtight container in the fridge.  Enjoy!
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July 10, 2013

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

This isn't a great picture, but this salad is perfect for a warm summer day!  It stores well so you can eat it for many days in a row.

Complements:  Hopkins Healthy Home Cooking

1/3 head of green cabbage
2 stalks broccoli, chopped
5 green onions, sliced thinly
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 package Rameno Noodles (organic Koyo brand) (optional)(leave out if gluten or wheat free)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar

Shred cabbage finely.  Add broccoli, onions and celery.  Crumble dry ramen noodles and stir into salad along with the almonds.  Toss with dressing.  Enjoy!

Shred cabbage finely.  Add broccoli, onions and celery.  Crumble dry ramen noodles and stir into salad.  Toss with dressing.
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July 8, 2013

Paleo Blueberry Muffins


These are delicious!  They are very moist and very filling.

2 cups organic almond flour (or meal)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup coconut milk, full fat (from the can)
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, salt).  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (coconut milk, egg, hone and coconut oil).  Pour into the almond flour mixture and mix to form a batter.  Fold in the blueberries.  Pour batter into paper lined muffin pan cups.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Wait until they are completely cool before removing them from the baking pan.  Enjoy!
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June 26, 2013

Grain-Free Cranberry-Orange Scones

                                                        These are a new favorite in our house! 

3 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  The mixture will be a little bit on the wet side. You could add a little more almond meal if you need too, but I kept the batter as is.   I scooped about 3 tablespoons of batter out onto a cookie sheet and flattened/shaped the scone. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (they will begin to turn brown on top).  Enjoy!

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