Tonight I decided to cook! Not just warm something up…but REALLY cook. I found this lovely Paleo recipe on Against All Grain. I have been ogling the cookbook and all of the beautiful recipes for some time now. I don’t know what took me so long to check out her website. I guess sometimes I can be a little slow. But it is now book marked!
I planned this meal a few days ago and headed out on one of my days off to shop for the ingredients. However, the 3 stores I went to were out of leeks. Yep you heard that right…out of leeks. I have never had a Leek in my 40 years on this earth…and you’re telling me that they are so popular that Sprouts, Kroger, AND MarketStreet were out of them? Hogwash I tell you. So take note, even though I pride myself on following a recipe to a ‘T’ the first go-round, this one was Leek-less. Oh well, I am sure I would not like Leeks anyway. They look very vegetable-y. My unhealthy body can only handle one new veggie at a time…and tonight it was cauliflower.
I hadn’t even planned on cooking tonight. It was the fear that my cauliflower and already thawed organic chicken would go bad sort of forced me into it. The meal didn’t take too long to prepare. However, one of the first steps is to remove the chicken tender from the chicken breast. WHAT?!?! Are you telling me that the tender is not the same thing as the chicken breast? Tenders are not just chicken breasts cut into strips? I was stumped. So I did what any novice chef would do. I Googled “How to remove a tender from a chicken breast”. Thankfully, there was a YouTube video of just that…removing a tender. My chef ranking has now gone from novice to novice II. I’m a fast learner.
The recipe states that the prep time is 20 minutes. Well, that is only if you have already removed the tenders and made the pesto sauce. Which I hadn’t. So I am going to say the prep time is more like 40mins. Just a heads up.
So enough fluff. Let’s get to the meat of the matter. Get it? Do ya get it? The “meat” of the matter? tap, tap, tap is this thing on?
Excuse my grainy pic…but I started cooking late and well, our lighting stinks.
Here is the recipe that I followed! Try it out for yourself. You will not be disappointed!
Thanks to Pinterest, tonight I made this amazing soup. It’s so delicious I should describe it as sinful. But it’s not!!! It’s healthy and Paleo!!! Woot Woot!! I didn’t take many pics of the process because I was doing other things at the same time like cleaning and cooking lunch. So my hands were never clean enough to pick up the phone/camera to snap a few more pics. The ones I took are…ehhhh and don’t do the soup justice. But take my word for it…this soup is D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!! A tad tangy and a tad spicy!
Here is what you will need:
3 pounds chicken breasts (I only used 2…but wish I had used 3)
3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
3 Tsp of fajita or taco seasoning (to keep it healthy and paleo…make your own like this recipe I used)
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (to be healthy…use organic that states they used BPA-free lined cans, or fire roast your own)
Juice of 2 limes
1 Cup cilantro, chopped
Avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection). Place your chicken breasts in a large baking pan, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your fajita seasoning over the chicken, coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Using two forks, shred the chicken (while this is not so easy to do while the chicken is hot, I find I get a better “shred” if I do so while the chicken is still hot). Alternately, you can just chop the chicken into small pieces.
2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.
3. Add in the garlic and peppers and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
4. Pour in the chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes and bring to a medium boil.
5. [THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL] If you want a slightly thickened soup, strain out some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers to a blender or Magic Bullet and puree. Pour back into the broth mixture. I did this with about 1/2 of the solids in the soup.
6. Add the chicken, cilantro and lime juice to your bubbling cauldron of goodness. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.
7. Serve with avocado and cilantro on top.
I am not gonna lie…I wanted to top it all off with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla slices. But because I didn’t…I could eat two whole bowls…guilt free. And that my friends, is DELICIOUS!!
Yep TIMES 2!! I have been a busy girl today. I wanted make something “sweet” for the hubs and kiddos since I am eating paleo and haven’t brought any kind of dessert into the house in a while. I found a couple of recipes that sounded pretty good…all while being paleo friendly. I had such high hopes because of the raves these recipes received. But I know me…and my taste buds can NOT be deceived by fake desserts. But these weren’t for me were they? Sometimes I forget.
The two recipes I decided to try were this one from PaleOMG and this one from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. The first recipe I tried was the one from PaleOMG. On her page she warned that her brownies turned out super ugly. LOL How can a brownie be super ugly? That is just nonsense. Or is it? Keep reading.
This is what you will need for the PaleOMG Fudgy Brownies. (Or fugly brownies should I say?) ANYWHO…!
The main ingredients were figs and the Enjoy Life chocolate Mini Chips. This is what was going to give the brownies their sweet chocolatey flavor as well as most of the bulk. UH OH. That’s a lot of figs!! I followed the instructions and used my food processor to blend the figs to an even consistency. I kind of wish I would have used my Vitamix to achieve a smoother batter, but remember when I try a recipe for the first time I follow it to a T. And when Julie says to use a food processor I don’t ask questions. (Yes, we are on first name basis too.) BFF’s really.
I proceeded with the rest of the recipe but did not snap pics because my daughter let my camera battery run down. Phhht!! And well, this Iphone camera just doesn’t take very good pics. SOOOOO…fast forward to the batter complete according to the recipe and this is when I added 5 drops of Young Living Peppermint Oil. I blended it a little more to mix it in thoroughly and then it was ready to be poured into the muffin cups. Julie used silicone muffin cups. I on the other hand went rogue and used regular paper baking cups because I have tried to rid my kitchen of silicon, plastic, and such. Plus I never had silicon baking cups.
Understand that the batter was THICK!!! It could not be poured. It was very sticky so I had to scoop it up and scrape it into the cups and TRY to get it to fill them evenly. It took a bit…but I finally got it done. I stuck them in the oven for 20-25mins. When I took them out they looked like poop. Burnt poop. Literally. I could not get the batter “level” in the cups because of how sticky thick it was…and those peaks burned. But no worries…I just cut those little tips off and voila…unburnt poop brownies.
Thankfully my daughter and one of her friends were here to taste test and they both said they were good. They loved the peppermint taste and said they tasted just like “regular brownies”. I was shocked. I took their word. Then when my husband got home he gave me the thumbs up too. I will try one after dinner. I promise.
They are ugly. And the top is sort of dry. But the middle and bottom are very “browniesh”. Very moist and “heavy”. That’s how regular brownies always seem to me.
For Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s “Amazing Paleo Brownies” here is what I used.
The main ingredients in this recipe were avocados, chocolate, and cacao powder. I was a bit worried about them being too chocolatey. I know that is not possible for some of you to imagine but for me it is. I like chocolate…but just a little. I followed the recipe by blending the avocados smooth. Then each ingredient was added in one by one. This batter was super creamy and smooth. It looked delish!!! I finished following the recipe and of course then added 5 drops of the Peppermint Oil again.
This recipe called for the batter to be poured into an 8×8 pan. And this time it was easily pourable. I already knew these would be MY favorite just because they were “easier” to work with. I baked them for about 35mins. They were so pretty right out of the oven. No poop look alike with these bad boys. They were perfect…I thought.
Once I let them cool I had my hubby try them. He took a bite and then paused. That is never a good sign. He suggested they cook for a little longer. I looked and they did seem a little “wet” on the inside. I baked them for another 5 mins. Took them out and I tried one. Same thing…too wet. So back in they went. After another 5 mins I let my daughter try it. She said they were good but really “smooshy” which really meant wet. But not near as much. And I kind of just chalked it up to the avocados.
They were still given a thumbs up…but my daughter and my husband both agree the ugly brownies tasted better!! WHAT?!?! My verdict? I still haven’t had a poop brownie…and the avocado brownie was not very sweet. It has a very subtle sweetness. The Peppermint Oil saved this recipe. I think next time I will combine these two recipes. Maybe adding both avocados and figs. Just not as much as in the above recipes.
The Peppermint Oil was a nice little added flavor to both recipes. The crisp coolness of the oil made the brownies more autumnal. And who doesn’t like treats and eats to remind them of fall? I will definitely use it again.
Can yall tell the difference between the two when I put them together?
Here are the recipes and detailed instructions directly from the original sites:
PaleOMG’s Fudgy Brownies
1½ cup dried figs (any stems removed)
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
6 tablespoons coconut flour
3 eggs, whisked
½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, melted
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Pull out your handy dandy food processor and add your figs to it. Puree until your figs have broken down evenly.
Add your melted coconut oil to the processor to mix with the figs.
Next add your melted chocolate chips and eggs and mix.
Now add your coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix together.
So I made these in silicone muffin liners in my muffin tin, filling them up halfway and they cooked perfectly. I’m not sure what they would be like if you baked them in a normal 8×8 baking dish.
Fill 12 liners with the THICK brownie batter. Yes, it should be that thick. That’s why my brownies look like sh*t in the picture. Totally the brownies fault.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool before consuming. Seriously. They honestly taste even better the second day around!
This made 12 muffins or fudgy brownie bites-if you must
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom’s Amazing Paleo Brownies
Ingredients:1 bar of dark, unsweetened chocolate (70% or more)
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Coconut oil (plus a little more to grease the pan)
Optional: Fresh raspberries or strawberries for toppingYou could probably add walnuts but I chose not to.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 8×8 baking pan with some coconut oil
Peel and pit the avocados and put in mixing bowl, use mixer and get them as smooth as you can. Put coconut oil in small saucepan and let melt, then add the dark chocolate. Make sure you stir it on low so it does not burn. Pour the melted chocolate over the avocados and mix again. One by one add other ingredients blending well with the mixer. You do not want any chunks of avocado left in your mix.
Pour the mix into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Let cool before eating.
I have had a few people ask why I am choosing to follow the Paleo approach and not just eat healthy? There are so many answers to that question. I could just say “because I wanna”. But honestly that’s not true. The reason I started on Paleo was because my doctor suggested it. I had heard a little about it but didn’t really pay attention to it. But lets get one thing straight. I use the word diet not as the miserable action all of us hate doing. But more of “as in the foods I eat”. Does that make sense? I don’t feel like I am on a “diet”. I feel like I AM just eating healthy. Paleo is not just for losing weight. It is a whole foods, natural, back to the basics, organic, no preservatives, no hormones, no food dyes, no adulteration way of eating. Ridding your body of all the crap that the food industry labels as safe. Trying to avoid those deceiving labels like: fortified, lite, fat-free, enriched, pasteurized, all natural, multi-grain, sugar free, cage free, etc. These foods have been modified so much from their original state that there really isn’t anything REAL left. And it all catches up…all that unnatural crap is wreaking havoc on our bodies. Not just making us fat, but really hurting us by causing multiple diseases. Sometimes I think the USDA, FDA, and the pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots together. Each putting money in the others’ pockets. And don’t even let me get started on Monsanto–and what they are allowed to do. That is another post for another time.
I have been on a journey for a couple years now trying to live a more natural life. I started removing chemicals from my home. And no…I am not 100% chemical free. But I try. I discovered essential oils a couple of years ago. I was able to substitute many oils for meds that I kept stocked in cabinets. I began using supplements daily. I even use cloth grocery bags…for the love of Pete. SEE?!?! That made me a healthy person right? Ha. It wasn’t until I went to my dr with heart palpitations that I was shown what was REALLY needed to get healthy. She went over my blood work with me and said “You are pre-diabetic. But it’s reversible…you can stop the progression to diabetes IF you make drastic changes to your diet.” I was sitting in my car on the phone with her when she told me that. Do you want to know my response? “Sooo…can I start that diet after I finish these fries?” She said “of course…doesn’t everyone?” I didn’t finish my fries…or burger. And they were from Freddy’s!!! I was sick to my stomach from the news she just told me. As a nurse I see LOTS of unhealthy people. Lots of diabetes. Lots of obesity!! And I see how hard recovery is for unhealthy people as opposed to healthy people. Our bodies just don’t work as efficiently as they could if we fed them clean, whole, healthy foods.
I am a sugar and carb addict!!! I admit it. They make my mouth water just looking at them. But they are killing me. I started researching Paleo and what it was all about. I realized it is not a diet of deprivation…but a way of eating what our bodies need. And eating foods that are as close as possible to their natural state. Eating this way can help people who suffer from diabetes to auto-immune disorders to digestive disorders to MS to ADHD and much much more. It is about real health. And that is what I want for both myself and my family. Not just an FDA standard of health…but a REAL health.
And for those still thinking I will never get to eat good foods like dessert again. Check out some of these lovely recipes that I very much intend to try!