Tag Archives: paleo

Awesome salad! (Or rice bowl)

Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Paleo option | Clean eating 

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I hear it’s winter somewhere. We’ve had highs in the 70s almost every day, so it’s often weird to remember that there’s snow on the ground in literally every other state but ours. For those poor cold souls, here’s a nice shot of summer freshness for you!

With the option to make it a warm, comforting, but still fresh and bright, meal too!

This is another winner from my good friend Jessica. She texted the recipe to me as soon as it was pronounced delicious by her family, and I couldn’t wait to get it on our meal plan! But I knew I’d have to make some kind of modification for my non-salad-eating girls. So here’s what I did: I cooked up a batch of jasmine rice. Yep, that’s all. (I’ll share how I make it extra delicious in a second.)

For myself and my husband, I made the salads. The tangy dressing with the delicious marinade, creamy avocado, and peppery bite of the grilled veggies – so good.

But THEN, put the chicken and veggies on top of the savory rice, and the whole flavor profile changes! The marinated chicken takes on a completely different personality! I’m still floored by how versatile this fresh marinade is. (The marinade, which doubles as the dressing, does have chili flakes in it, but it really doesn’t translate to spicy heat, just great zesty flavor.) I can’t wait for leftovers!

Grilled Chili Lime Fajita Salad (or Rice Bowl)

Original recipe here

Marinade/Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml (just over 1/3 cup, or about 4 limes) fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (1 Tbsp dried works just fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and rough chopped
  • 1 tsp honey (or brown sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Salad:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 3 breasts, or a combo (I haven’t decided which I like better!), no more than 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced, and 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced (or if you’re in a pinch like me, just use a whole orange pepper!)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • lettuce leaves
  • avocado, sliced
  • optional: additional cilantro for garnish
  • optional: sour cream, to serve

Rice:

For every cup of dry jasmine rice, add:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and whisk well to emulsify.
  2. Place chicken in a shallow dish; pour half of marinade over chicken. Cover remaining marinade with plastic wrap and save in the fridge to use as salad dressing. Marinate chicken 2 hours or all day.
  3. If making rice, start the rice. Cover and simmer on low 15 minutes, then leave covered until ready to serve.
  4. Heat your grill pan to medium-high and spray with soy-free cooking spray. Grill chicken until done on both sides, with nice grill marks. (I like to cover the pan while the second side cooks so that it heats evenly.) When done, set it aside on a warm plate and cover to rest.
  5. Remove any burned bits from the grill pan, spray again with cooking spray, and add the pepper and onion slices. Grill to desired doneness.
  6. Slice chicken into strips, then build your salad or rice bowl:
    Salad: lettuce, avocado, sliced chicken, and pepper and onion slices. Whisk the dressing again and pour over the salad.
    Rice bowl: rice, sliced chicken, pepper and onion slices, and anything else that sounds good!

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Flourless double chocolate peanut butter muffins.

Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Clean eating | Paleo

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Not much to say about these muffins, except they’re quick, easy, and delicious! Don’t be dubious of the pumpkin – you can’t taste it at all. All it does is make these muffins incredibly moist! (And add a little extra veg to your daily intake…) This recipe yields about 18 muffins, or a dozen each of standard and mini muffins. The cupcake liners are purely optional; as you can see from the photo, the papers were practically falling off of the muffins straight out of the pan, and the mini muffins did just fine without liners of any kind.

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Adapted from here

  • 2 large eggs, room temp, beaten
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life (or other vegan brand) mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray wells of muffin (or mini muffin) tins with soy-free cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the last in a large bowl with a rubber spatula. You’ll have to stir quickly at first to get the peanut butter to incorporate, but soon it’ll all come together. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup (for standard) or 1/8 cup (for mini) triggered ice cream scoop to divide the thick batter into the wells of your muffin tins.
  4. Bake 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Do not overbake!

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Grilled chicken and green beans.

Dairy-free | Soy-free | Nut-free | Gluten-free | Clean eating | Paleo option

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Lately I’d been finding myself both in a dinner-making rut, and feeling lazy about our clean eating; I wonder if the two are related!

Then one day I found a new recipe for the most delicious-looking and easy green beans. I’m generally not too good at the vegetable side dish thing, to be honest; I try to incorporate the veggies in the dish itself and serve fresh fruit or salad on the side because I want to do as little extra cooking as possible, especially on a weeknight. But these just looked worth it. So I went looking for a good, and easy, chicken recipe to complement it. And I was blown away by the flavor! Usually you need to marinate a chicken breast for hours to get this kind of flavor and tenderness, but here you just brush on a spice rub that took literally 2 minutes to combine! Suffice it to say, this has become one of my favorite weeknight meals. I serve it with brown rice to bulk up the meal, but you can easily omit that, especially if you’re trying to eat paleo or low-carb. I start the green beans first, and as long as the chicken breasts aren’t too thick (tonight mine were), everything finishes at once.

Honey-Dijon Green Beans

Original recipe here

  •  1 lb green beans, washed and ends trimmed
  • 1-2 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp organic Dijon mustard
  • coarse Kosher salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large glass bowl, whisk together oil, honey, and mustard into an emulsion until very well combined.
  3. Add the green beans and use a rubber spatula to coat them thoroughly and evenly with the mustard mixture.
  4. Spread the beans in a single layer on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 7 minutes, then remove and carefully flip the beans. Return to the oven for another 6 minutes or until crisped and glazed. (Aren’t they pretty???)

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Flavorful Grilled Chicken with Spice Rub

Original recipe here

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, halved (make sure they’re less than 3/4 inch thick or they won’t cook evenly)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a small bowl, combine the spices and olive oil.
  2. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  3. Brush the spice mixture onto both sides of the chicken using a silicone brush or small spatula.
  4. Grill 4-5 minutes to a side until no longer pink in the middle.
  5. Enjoy with green beans and maybe some brown rice!

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Paleo Blueberry Scones.

Paleo | Vegan option | Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Clean eating

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I have always loved scones. Something about the bite being firmer than a muffin but still moist, and so flavorful.

Because of the time we spent in London exactly a year ago now, when a Teacher Appreciation Week breakfast was proposed with an English tea theme, I jumped at the chance to spearhead it! I ordered scones, English muffins, and bread from our Publix bakery; my mom sent homemade jam and marmalade; I displayed all the British children’s books I’ve amassed over the years (a LOT of books); and we had toasters and teas for the teachers to help themselves to. But I knew some teachers (my daughter’s included–yes, I’m biased) can’t have traditional bread or scones because of allergies and intolerances, so I sought out an allergy-friendly scone recipe for them.

I found it. Oh boy, did I find it! They were SO good, and they were gone SO fast. With our new farm-fresh blueberries, I just had to make them again! The texture is a little less dense than normal scones, but no less delicious: not too sweet, and so flavorful.

Paleo Blueberry Scones

Original recipe here

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour or macadamia flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs (for vegan, use 2 flax eggs)
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, room temp
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. The mixture should be slightly crumbly but stay in one mass. If your mixture is too dry, add a couple more drops of coconut milk.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. On a wax paper-lined cutting board, form the dough mass into your favorite scone shape. I form it into a square about 3/4-inch thick all around, then use a large chef knife or offset spatula to cut it into 6 rectangles. Halve each of those into a triangle and you’ll end up with a dozen triangles about 3-4 inches to a side.
  7. Carefully use the knife or spatula to lift each scone onto your baking sheet, spacing a couple inches apart.
  8. Bake 16 minutes or until just golden.
  9. Let cool completely before enjoying!

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Clean Sweet Potato Oven Wedge Fries.

Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Clean eating | Paleo | Vegetarian | Vegan

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This is one of my favorite, easiest ways to make sweet potatoes. (I’ll post the other one soon; we eat LOTS of sweet potatoes around here.) I got the original recipe from a paleo blog while we were living in London and had very few kitchen tools to cook with, but then I guess the blog disappeared because I can’t access it anymore! So since I still make this all the time, I’m posting my version here so that hopefully it never gets lost again.

The beauty of it is there’s no wrong way. You can make them salty, spicy, sweet–or a combination of all 3. I even throw one Russett potato in there for the 2/5 of my family who don’t like sweet potatoes (gasp!). The trick to getting them crispier without burning them is using a very small amount of oil. They’re still not going to be as crisp as the ones you buy in the freezer section that are coated with stuff to enhance the texture, but they’re so delicious.

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Sweet Potato Oven Wedges

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and well dried off
  • up to 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • spices of choice: I use about 1/2 tsp. salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and a touch of paprika. Try cinnamon and a little maple syrup; or salt, thyme, and cayenne; or any of your favorites! Please comment below with what you enjoy; I love trying new variations!
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Slice your sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges and place in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil and toss with your hands until wedges are just coated. Sprinkle on about 1/2 tsp. salt (or your maple syrup–remember, small amounts), tossing as you go.
  4. Spread them in a single layer onto an ungreased nonstick baking sheet. Don’t use parchment paper or foil; it makes them harder to flip. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the top.
  5. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then remove and flip all the wedges. Return to oven and bake another 11-15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

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Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew.

Paleo | Dairy-free | Soy-free | Clean Eating | Gluten-free | Nut-free

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Lesson one: No amount of processing can save a poorly lit photo. (Thanks for nothing, Standard Time.)

Lesson two: However it may look, this stew tastes incredible. And it’s easy. And clean, paleo, low-glycemic, dairy-free, soy-free, and kid-approved!

Browning the beef beforehand sounds like an extra step, but it is SO important to the full flavor of this dish. And it’s a quick way to get your kitchen already smelling delicious before you even turn on the crock pot! Put this one on your list for the cold, busy weeknights ahead. (Please send some of that cold down here to Florida!)

Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Original recipe here

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs stew beef (cubed)
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped)
  • optional, to thicken broth: 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the beef chunks, season with a little salt and pepper, and sear on all sides. Dump into your slow cooker and cover with the remaining ingredients, except tapioca starch.
  2. Cook on high 5-6 hours, or on low 8-9.
  3. Optional: if you want to thicken the broth, 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, whisk the tapioca starch with 2 Tbsp water. Pour the mixture into the stew, stirring gently, until distributed throughout, and allow it to resume cooking.
  4. Remove bay leaves and enjoy! In the unlikely event that there are leftovers, they reheat beautifully.

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Make-Your-Own Salad Night: Chicken Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Dairy-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Clean eating | Paleo

What would you say if I told you that, during our time living in Switzerland, Make-Your-Own Salad Night was my girls’ single most requested meal?

I wouldn’t have believed me either.

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But it’s true. When so many other things were different from what they were used to, we could count on the produce at our corner market to be both familiar and amazingly fresh. The bottle of Ranch dressing we brought with us helped too. (Don’t worry–I have a delicious clean dressing recipe at the bottom.)

Since returning, it’s still one of the few meals that don’t get any pushback or “how many bites?” Because they can make it how they want. Both of my big girls prefer to separate all the ingredients on their plates and eat one at a time.

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You can make this your own; I’m a big fan of fruity salads, so I just keep it simple with chopped apples, seasoned chicken breast, and balsamic vinaigrette, but I pull out as many of my girls’ favorite raw veggies and fruits as they can fit on their plates, and it all gets eaten! Tailor this to your (and your kids’) preferences and any dietary needs, and every once in awhile, add something that’s a little bit of a stretch for them to let them try: kale instead of spinach, for a start.

If making your own dressing sounds intimidating, start with this one. It has 4 ingredients and all you do is shake. Plus, you know what’s in it, and most importantly, what’s not in it.

Do you do a Make-Your-Own Salad Night? What do you include?

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Chicken Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Greens of choice
  • Chicken breast, seasoned as desired and grilled or broiled
  • apple, diced
  • vinaigrette
    • 1/4 cup GOOD-quality balsamic vinegar (trust me, it’s important)
    • 1/4 cup grapeseed or other light-tasting oil (avoid olive oil)
    • 2 tsp prepared Dijon mustard, no-sugar-added
    • 1/2 tsp (or more, to taste) dried Italian herbs
    • dash salt
  1. Assemble greens, chicken, and apple.
  2. Add vinaigrette ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake vigorously until well incorporated. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!

Adapted from here

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