Grain free pumpkin spice muffins

Grain free pumpkin spice muffins

In the holiday dictionary, these refined sugar free, grain free pumpkin spice muffins with maplebutter frosting appear under “FREAKING WORTH IT.” ‘Tis the season for sweets and treats that won’t break the nutritional bank, after all. I’ve talked about Paleo-friendly/Real Food “treats” at length many times – including with the amazing Juli of PaleOMG in a podcast interview. I’m one o’ those folks who used to get offended by the mere suggestion that a “treat” made of (gasp!) almond “flour” or coconut “flour” or anyoftheflours could possibly fit into a healthy, Paleo or Real Food lifestyle. I was wrong. I’ve been doing this nutrition thing a long time, and I was wrong. Because Eyes on your own plate. Caveman would if he could. Eyes on your own plate. Whatever your reason for choosing any food, whether spinach or grass fed beef or protein bars made from crickets or pumpkin spice muffins with maplebutter frosting, it’s YOUR business. Right or wrong, positive mindset or negative, your experience is your business. Generally, when a food is made from high-quality ingredients, yet carries negative connotations, it’s actually not the FOOD that’s the problem. It’s the approach, the mindset, the attitude, or the individual digestive landscape that’s the...
Easy homemade almond milk (with a cashew milk variation)

Easy homemade almond milk (with a cashew milk variation)

All right. I know this is probably the easiest, most obvious recipe ever. But guess what? I’m a bad cook. Things aren’t always obvious. I share them nonetheless. Okay, on to the healthier homemade almond milk AND how to blanch almonds. Here are a few facts: Almond milk from the store is full of gunk. Almond milk is so friggin’ easy to make, there’s no reason NOT to make it at home. Blanched almonds are really FUN to make, so again: no reason NOT to do it. While we usually get raw, full-fat milk from grass-fed cows (yep, we do raw dairy), we’ve been too busy fighting ticks and raising goats to make it to our farmer lately. And yesterday, I needed some white liquid to put in my coffee. That’s just how I like it. So I made my own almond milk. I know there are LOTS of recipes for this all over the internet, but scout’s honor: I figured this out myself. Maybe I’m even doin’ it wrong – who knows. (Let me know in the comments.) I use this nut milk bag (tee-hee). SO much easier than cheesecloth. I chose NOT to soak the almonds, because...
Greek Chicken Skillet

Greek Chicken Skillet

Husband and I went to Greece on our honeymoon. The beginning of our obsession, and the reason the Best Greek Skillet Ever exists. (Our gift to the world.) Now, of course, this isn’t AUTHENTIC Greek food. (I have to say that in case my Greek friends Tony or Mr. Panos are reading.) But it’s EASY. And so, so, SO delicious. And when I say EASY, I mean easy like Sunday morning (whatever that means). This is basically a yummy, delicious, FAST meal, a high proportion of which you simply dump out of a series of cans. (“Dump out of cans” sounded much more elegant in my head.) But srrsly. What’s easier than dumping food out of cans? I always keep a few cans of olives, capers, and artichokes around lest I get flustered and plan poorly and don’t have any ideas for dinner. Beyond that, all you need are a few basics to make the dish sing. If you do dairy, add some goat’s milk feta cheese. It really ties the dish together. Note: no added salt in this dish – the canned capers and olives add plenty of it! Also note: canned stuff isn’t always perfect. Some canned...
Bacon jam

Bacon jam

…I really don’t think I need to say much more about this. I mean, it’s bacon freaking jam. It’s the bacon-wrapped date, amplified. This doesn’t have the amazing complexity of the restaurant stuff, nor is it as ingenious as the other recipes, but it’s easy, delicious, and it’s bacon freaking jam. The best part? It takes just 3 ingredients – all of which are staples in most Real Food kitchens. It tastes amazing on anything, but it’s ESPECIALLY amazing on fresh fried eggs.   Bacon jam Print Bacon jam Print Ingredients 5-6 strips bacon chopped1/2 cup yellow onion chopped10 dates pitted1 cup filtered water Servings -4 Prep Time -15Min Cook Time -30Min Ingredients 5-6 strips bacon chopped1/2 cup yellow onion chopped10 dates pitted1 cup filtered water Servings -4 Prep Time -15Min Cook Time -30Min Instructions Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, add the dates, remove saucepan from heat, cover, and allow dates to soak in the hot water until you get to step 4.Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat until done but NOT CRISPY. Set aside, leaving bacon grease in the pan.Cook onions in the bacon grease for approximately 10 minutes (they should be...
Kansas City style homemade BBQ sauce

Kansas City style homemade BBQ sauce

What’s required in Kansas City BBQ is a good, tangy, molasses-y sauce. This homemade BBQ sauce uses a secret ingredient – and none of the junk. I’ve been trying to create a decent homemade KCBBQ sauce forEVER. Everything you can buy – and, for that matter, everything on order in the KCBBQ joints – is chock-full of gunk like HFCS and soybean oil and other industrial garbage. (I’m lookin’ at you, Cowtown.) It was only when my homemade Worcestershire sauce experiments failed miserably that I stumbled upon something pretty darn decent. This is tangy to the max, with a kick at the end; it’s not your standard BBQ sauce – but it’s my style. Seriously. This is SO tangy. And it’s tangy thanks to the “secret ingredient” that you also find in Worcestershire: tamarind (sometimes spelled “tamrind). Tamarind concentrate isn’t easy to find (it’s mostly found in ethnic markets), but it IS online. I use this brand, from Amazon. It’s one of the most interesting, fun things in my kitchen. I don’t use it much, but that’s OK, because it lasts forever. I LOVE opening the fridge and just looking at it. Having it around makes me feel special...
Homemade Sausage Patties

Homemade Sausage Patties

Did you know you can make your OWN breakfast sausage? Yep. It’s allowed. It’s incredibly easy. And the sausage-making mafia won’t come “off” you for doing it.* (*not a collection of euphemisms) I don’t know why that surprises me so much. For some reason, I always assumed that Bob Evans and Morningstar Farms and McDonald’s and Factory Farmland had some secret recipe for BREAKFAST that I wasn’t allowed to replicate, lest I be forced to swim with the fishes. Sausage patties are actually insanely simple. Need proof? I made some. That means it’s really, really easy. And because I’ve perfected the art of not ruining onions in the caramelization process (because, basically, “caramelizing” something means “browning” it, which means “almost-overcooking- slash-burning-it,” which I’m SUPER good at), I just HAD to add some caramelized onion to these puppies – er, piggies. It really makes ‘em sing – er, oink. You can cook these in the skillet, or (as I like to do) bake them in the oven. NOTE: for loose sausage, just skip the patty part. Cook the seasoned ground sausage mixture in a skillet and enjoy.   Homemade Sausage Patties Print Homemade Sausage Patties Print Ingredients 1 pound ground...
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

I don’t much know what to say about this paleo cookie recipe except…wow. I didn’t know my stomach could stretch this much. This is one of my proudest moments. It’s better than my college graduation or the second straight time I won the Mill Creek Elementary School Spelling Bee. (Winning word: squirrel. Which I just misspelled before correcting myself. Sigh.) I made something good on the first try. This is MAJOR. Who doesn’t love a big, giant, grain-free, refined-sugar-free chocolate chip cookie? And lest we forget all the constantly-churning controversy over “Paleo Treats” or, rather, why it’s “wrong” for us Paleo/ish bloggers to call something “Paleo” when it’s a cookie, a cake, or some other incarnation of a grain-free treat based around various nut flours and sweet, sweet nectar of life maple syrup (gasp!), here’s what I have to say: I’ve been doin’ this a looong time. A long time. (So long, they let me write a BOOK about it!) And I’ve learned that for most people, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat. Paleo treats used to tick me off. But not for any real good reason, other than I was occupying myself with internet indignance rather than, y’know,...
Orange Krab Salad

Orange Krab Salad

Okay, it’s chicken. Did you think we’d use imitation crab meat? Eww. This recipe is really good made with actual crab meat if you can find it, and your bank card can support that decision. Otherwise, the poor man’s version with chicken is just as delicious. And before we get nervous about the “fancy” orange serving cups, hear me out: it’s not that big of a deal. We’ve been buying a bag of oranges every couple of weeks to make fresh OJ. It never makes more than a small glass for each of us but, oh man…nectar of the Gods, my friends! I was saving the empty orange halves in the freezer for various projects that I never got around to doing, but instead you can keep them in the fridge and whip ’em out to use as adorable serving dishes. See? Fancy doesn’t have to be hard. Pro tip! Use a pair of scissors to cut the orange segments into small pieces. It’s so much easier than using a knife.   Orange Krab Salad Print Orange Krab Salad Print Ingredients 2 cups shredded cooked chicken cold1 cup chopped orange pieces1/2 cup minced celery1/4 cup minced onion1/3 cup mayonnaise (house recipe coming May 5th!)1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning2 TBSP...
Ginger Cilantro Slaw

Ginger Cilantro Slaw

There’s really nothing worse than crappy slaw. And there’s really nothing better than AMAZING slaw. I think the key to a great slaw is fresh cabbage. Don’t try this with anything that’s been in your crisper for very long. (PS: I JUST learned that the crisper isn’t just any drawer. It’s apparently a very special and magical drawer, and not for defrosting raw dog food.) I like my slaw to be finely textured so it’s easy to scoop with a fork, and the salad shooter is amazing for that. It makes quick work of shredding while making intact work of my fingers. (Huh?) You can also use a mandoline or a plain ole’ knife to chop n’ shred. Your call. But the salad shooter has changed my life. This recipe took five minutes to make, and I still have all my fingers. Just sayin’.   Ginger Cilantro Slaw Print Ginger Cilantro Slaw Print Ingredients For the slaw2 carrots peeled and shredded1 head green cabbage small1 head red cabbage small1/4 cup green onion chopped1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped1 tsp fresh ginger gratedFor the dressing1/2 cup PaleoChef Ginger Cilantro dressing see notes for substitutions 1/4 cup honey1/4 cup lime juice approx....
Chocolate Coffee Cake

Chocolate Coffee Cake

I’m not a good cook, and I’m an even worse baker. But this recipe is super easy. Two bowls, maximum, and no tricky things that remind you of laundry, like tossing or folding. The end-product is moist, slightly gooey, cake-like, and just lightly sweet.   Chocolate Coffee Cake Print Chocolate Coffee Cake Print Ingredients 4 eggs1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk1/4 cup coconut butter1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso1/4 cup maple syrup1 tsp vanilla extract1/2 cup almond flour1/2 cup + 1 TBSP coconut flour1/2 tsp baking soda1 pinch sea salt1 cup dark chocolate chips1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes Servings -8 Prep Time -10min Cook Time -35min Ingredients 4 eggs1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk1/4 cup coconut butter1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso1/4 cup maple syrup1 tsp vanilla extract1/2 cup almond flour1/2 cup + 1 TBSP coconut flour1/2 tsp baking soda1 pinch sea salt1 cup dark chocolate chips1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes Servings -8 Prep Time -10min Cook Time -35min Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Combine the first 6 ingredients (eggs, coconut milk, coconut butter, coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla) in a bowl. Mix them together. I always use my favorite kitchen tool, my stick blender, to do the mixing.In a separate...
Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

This healthy Paleo dessert is delicious AND nutritious: it’s full of healthy fat from coconut and/or pastured butter, it’s got warm, healthy cinnamon, and it will make your mind happy, which is the most important thing.   Ten-minute Apple Crisp Print Ten-minute Apple Crisp Print Ingredients 2 large apples or 4 small2 TBSP coconut oil or butter2 TBSP cinnamon1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk1 cup Cinnamon PaleoKrunch Servings -2 Prep Time -5 Cook Time -10 Ingredients 2 large apples or 4 small2 TBSP coconut oil or butter2 TBSP cinnamon1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk1 cup Cinnamon PaleoKrunch Servings -2 Prep Time -5 Cook Time -10 Instructions Saute the apples in the butter or coconut oil over medium heat until the apples “give up” their water. About 3 minutes.Add coconut milk and cinnamon, and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.Put gooey, delicious apples in a dish of your choosing and top with PaleoKrunch! Serve and graciously accept compliments while stuffing your face with a healthy Paleo dessert. Recipe Notes If you don’t have PaleoKrunch, simply toss 1 cup crushed nuts with 2 Tbs. maple syrup (optional) for simple topping. Even better, roast them first for enhanced crunch and flavor.Just FYI: the...
Roasted Carrot & Bacon Hash

Roasted Carrot & Bacon Hash

Hash is Paleo/Primal/Real Foodie Speak for “cook everything, toss it in a bowl, and put an egg on top.” (Actually, the “egg on top” isn’t required, but what do you think I am – a crazy person?) Hash can be made in many ways. YOU LITERALLY CANNOT DO IT WRONG. This is a great confidence-booster, because even if you burn everything, cut your finger, spill hot coffee down your pants and cry, you can still put an egg on it and call it hash and it will taste good. Promise. This recipe combines roasted carrots, tossed in spices, with bacon. It’s so simple I could cry.   Savory roasted carrot hash with sage, cinnamon & bacon Print Savory roasted carrot hash with sage, cinnamon & bacon Print Ingredients 3 cups carrots peeled and chopped2 TBSP cooking fat coconut oil, ghee, etc.2 TBSP sage1 TBSP cinnamon1 tsp sea salt1/2 pound bacon chopped into uniform chunks Servings -2 Prep Time -15 Cook Time -25 Ingredients 3 cups carrots peeled and chopped2 TBSP cooking fat coconut oil, ghee, etc.2 TBSP sage1 TBSP cinnamon1 tsp sea salt1/2 pound bacon chopped into uniform chunks Servings -2 Prep Time -15 Cook Time -25 Instructions Heat the...