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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April 10, 2013

Mostly Not Potato Salad


This is a complete meal.  This salad has vegetables that are rich in complex carbohydrates and vitamins/minerals, olive oil as your healthy fat source and tofu, the only source of vegetable protein that is a complete protein (contains all 9 of the essential amino acids).  It is delicious and stores nicely. 

Complements:  "Super Natural Every Day", by Heidi Swanson

4 small pink, red or purple skinned organic potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
Big handful of organic green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cane sugar, agave nectar or honey
Fine-grain sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
1 small leek, white and tender green parts trimmed and chopped
6 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 cucumber, unpeeled, and cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
6 ounces organic, extra-firm tofu, baked (or sauteed) and cut into small cubes

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.  Salt generously, add the potatoes, and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.  (I boiled my potatoes, let them cool and then cut them into bite size pieces) Thirty seconds before the potatoes are done cooking, add the green beans to the pot.  Drain the potatoes and beans and set aside.  In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a mason jar and shake until blended.  Taste and adjust if needed.  In a large skillet, saute the dill in a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add a couple pinches of salt, stir in the leek, and saute until golden and slightly crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.  In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes and green beans, celery, cucumber, tofu, chives and the leek and add the dressing.  Taste and add a sprinkling of salt, if needed.  Served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy!
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April 6, 2013

Loaded Quinoa Veggie Burgers


I think I could eat these every day!  You can make these up ahead of time and store the uncooked mixture in your refrigerator (for up to a week).  Then they are available to fry up whenever you need a meal or a snack.  You can eat them however you please, but I like them just like they are.

Adapted from :  Whole Living
I like to double the recipe

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 carrot, shredded
4 scallions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 ounces can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs (I think you could substitute corn flour for the bread crumbs)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
safflower oil for frying (1-2 tablespoons)

In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil.  Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12-14 minutes.  In a food processor, pulse quinoa, carrots, scallions, garlic, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, salt and pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.  Form the mixture into four even thin patties.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat; cook burgers until browned, about 5-6 minutes on each side.  Enjoy!
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April 2, 2013

Garden Veggie Antipasto

I am always looking for new ways to serve a wide variety of vegetables at the dinner table.  This salad is marinated in a tangy vinegar-herb dressing.  I have to be careful not to eat the whole bowl before it gets to the table.  It is also great to snack on throughout the day!  Instead of the herbs listed in the recipe, I used Bragg Organic Sprinkle (pictured above).

Complements:  Diet for a New World

1 small organic cauliflower, cut into florets (I was out of cauliflower and used green beans)
1/2 bunch organic broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
3 medium organic carrots, cut into sticks

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 teaspoon dried basil     
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put 1 inch of water in a large saucepan with a steamer basket, cover with the lid, and bring to a boil.  Put the cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots in the steamer basket, cover and steam until the broccoli is bright green in color, about 3 minutes.  Remove the steamed vegetables from the steamer basket; they should still have a crunch.  Put the vegetables in a salad bowl.  Put the vinegar, olive oil, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a jar.  Cover with the lid and shake until the ingredients are well mixed.  Pour the vinaigrette over the steamed vegetables.  Toss until well coated.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy!
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Double Chocolate Cookies


Are you looking for a hearty snack that includes chocolate? 

Complements:  The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

1/3 cup softened virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans), ground (optional)
2-4 tablespoons whole cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 cup organic brown rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder (vegan if necessary)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup organic chocolate chips (vegan if necessary)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place coconut oil, maple syrup, ground walnuts, sugar, sea salt, vanilla and almond extract into a medium bowl and blend on high with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and xanthan gum.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together with a fork or wooden spoon until well combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  Form dough into balls then gently flatten between the palms of your hands.  Place on the cookie sheet.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cookies will harden as they cool.  Enjoy!
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Spelt Muffins


These are our new favorite muffin around our house.  In the picture above I modified the recipe a bit.  I think I even added some millet.  However, the recipe is the best when made with the ingredients listed below!

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut butter
1 cup pumpkin, pureed
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Combine the honey, coconut butter, pumpkin and eggs.  Mix until combined.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl combine the spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, salt and chocolate chips.  Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Place dough in muffin cups and bake at 350 degree for 15 minutes (or until they are baked through).  Enjoy!!
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