So, I started this whole "clean eating" thing back in February 2011, after being really intrigued about a plan called the Whole30 . I decided to give it a go, but quickly realized that I needed to make it more adaptable to the way that our family eats and lives. I like my glass of wine at night. I don't think a piece of gum is going to sabotage me. I think that a DQ Blizzard is a good thing every once in a while. If my friend makes the most awesome jalapeno poppers you've ever had, you know I'm going to have one. But I also know that I feel pretty darn good when I'm eating quality proteins, fats, veggies, fruits and nuts, while leaving out dairy, grains, legumes (including soy and peanuts) and the big one, sugar, at least most of the time.
Here are some of the ways to do just that....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mustard Maple Chicken Thighs

While technically not Paleo, I thought I'd give this recipe a try, as it seemed pretty "clean".  I thought it was quite good....but it wasn't as big of a  hit with my little ladies as the bacon wrapped tenders.  I got the recipe off of, which calls it "Man Pleasing Chicken".  You be the judge!

1 package chicken thighs (mine had 6 in it)
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 TBS rice wine vinegar
Fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary (optional, I used about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme)

Preheat oven to 450.  Place chicken thighs in a foil lined baking dish and season with S&P.  In a bowl, mix mustard, maple syrup, and rice wine vinegar.  Pour  over chicken and toss to coat.  Bake for about 40 minutes, basting with sauce about halfway through.  Let rest 5 minutes and sprinkle fresh herbs over the top.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

You know it's good when your daughter asks for you to put it in her lunch for the next day!

I got this recipe from, of all places.


  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 chicken tenders (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 8 slices bacon


  1. Place a sage leaf on each chicken tender, then wrap each with a bacon slice. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add tenders, sage side down, and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is browned, about 6 minutes. Flip and cook until tenders are cooked through, 6 minutes. With tongs, transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet to drain.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Twice Baked Butternut Squash, Paleo style

There was a recipe floating around on Pinterest (I know, big surprise!) on butternut squash re-baked in it's own shell.  I played around with the recipe a bit (no cream or breadcrumbs needed here) and this is what I came up with--it's a keeper!  It's got a sweet/spicy thing going on that is perfect.

2 butternut squash, halved and seeded
6 TBS coconut milk
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS almond meal

Preheat oven to 450 and place halved squash in a large pan with 1/4 inch of water on the bottom.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 35 minutes until tender.  Remove squash from oven, uncover and let cool until you can handle them.  Reduce oven to 425.  Use a spoon (I used a melon baller to scoop flesh out of the halves into a large bowl, leaving 1/4 inch border around 2 of the halves so that they don't collapse on you.  Discard the other 2 skins.  Add the coconut milk, S&P, chipotle powder, and cinnamon to the bowl and blend with a hand blender until smooth.  Place mixture back into the reserved squash shells and sprinkle with almond meal.  Bake for about another 20 minutes until starting to brown on top.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chipotle Chicken Cauliflower Bake

Not my own creation as usual, but another find from Pinterest (the website is .  This was a bit too spicy for my girls, so if you have kids in the house, you may want to tone down the seasonings a bit, but I loved it!

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Olive oil or bacon fat for sautéing
  1. Cut cauliflower into florets. Steam over boiling water for about 12 minutes, until it florets are tender but not mushy. (Note: this is a good time to cook up your chicken and bacon if you haven’t already.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
  3. Heat frying pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil or bacon fat and red peppers. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add green onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Set aside.
  4. Cut cauliflower into ¾ inch chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in chile powder, chipotle powder, cumin, and salt until well blended. Stir in red pepper mixture, chicken chunks, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  5. Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until heated through and the top is golden brown.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hawaiian Bacon Burgers with Grilled Brussels Sprouts

The girls were begging for burgers and I had some nice Brussels sprouts in the fridge, so this is what I came up with.

Hawaiian Bacon Burgers
 1ish pounds of organic ground beef (makes about 4 burgers, 2 of which are for the kiddos, on a regular bun).
Garlic and Onion Powders (you could use fresh, diced up very finely, but I wanted a shortcut)
Fresh pineapple, cut into 1/4 inch rounds, brushed with olive oil--I only needed 2 rounds, the rest I cut up for dessert
Red onion, cut into rounds, brushed with olive oil
Cooked bacon
Sliced avocado
 4 Portobella mushroom caps, brushed with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper

Mix ground beef with spices and shape into 4 burgers (I usually put a "dent" in the middle and they don't shrink up so much.  I ground extra black pepper onto mine and sort of pressed it in--pepper corn crusted, if you will.  Grill over medium heat until done to your liking--mine took about 4 minutes a side.

While burgers are grilling, add sliced pineapple, onion and mushroom caps (I put the mushrooms on that little rack above the main one.  Turn when you turn your burgers.

To assemble, place a burger on one mushroom cap, top with pineapple, onions, bacon and avocado.  Place another mushroom cap on top.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1/4 cup diced red onion
Drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Place Brussels sprouts and onions on a sheet of tin foil.  Sprinkle with olive oil and S&P.  Fold up foil so that it makes a little packet.  Grill over medium heat about 8 minutes per side (flipping once).  I should have added some cooked chopped bacon to the mix.  That would have really been delicious!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Paleo Pina Colada Cake

Desserts are few and far between in the Paleo world (which is usually fine for me), but sometimes you want something cake-y.  This was pretty darn good, but next time I think I'll add a little (maybe 3 TBS?) of melted coconut oil to the batter so that it's a little more moist.  But my girls loved it, so I guess that's what counts!

1/2 fresh pineapple, diced (about 1.5 cups, although you could use more)
1 TBS coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 375.  In a saucepan, melt coconut oil.  Add pineapple and saute until it starts to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Place in a pie plate, greased with a little coconut oil.  In a food processor, add coconut milk, coconut flour, vanilla, nutmeg and eggs and blend until smooth.  Pour over pineapple and bake for about 45 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes and then serve.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ellen's Easter Potatoes

For some reason, I had never thought about adding sweet potatoes to my mashed cauliflower until my friend Ellen recommended it.  The result takes care of that slightly watery thing that can happen with just cauliflower.  It was delicious!

1 large head of cauliflower
3 sweet potatoes
1 tsp coconut oil
S&P to taste

Bake whole sweet potatoes at about 400 degrees for at least an hour (or until nice and soft).  Steam cauliflower until very soft as well. Place both (peel the potatoes first) in a large bowl and add coconut oil.  With a hand held blender, puree until smooth.  Add S&P to taste.