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....

Friday, December 13, 2013

Paleo Christmas Bark

I needed something "festive" to bring to a holiday party, so I went on searching on good old Pinterest. Although this looks nothing like the beautiful picture of the recipe that I found from a blog called "She Talks", it actually tastes delicious.  I didn't have any coconut butter, so I ended up making my own.

1 cup coconut butter, melted (instructions to follow if you don't have any on hand)
2 TBS coconut oil
2 TBS cocoa powder
4 TBS maple syrup (you could probably get away with 3, maybe 2, but 4 made it nice and sweet)
dried fruits and nuts for topping (I used dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds)
sprinkle of coarse sea salt (my own addition, and it added a really nice touch)

Melt coconut butter in small pot over low heat stirring constantly.  Add coconut oil and keep stirring until melted.  Add cocoa powder and maple syrup and stir until smooth. Pour mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (I had to kind of press it down and smooth it out with my fingers until it was about 1/4 inch thick).  Add toppings and press into chocolate (this is when I sprinkled the sea salt on).  Freeze for 15 minutes. Cut or break into pieces and store in airtight container in the fridge.

For the coconut butter:
Blend 4 cups of coconut flakes in food processor for about 10 minutes, scrapping down the sides as needed.  It goes through a couple of different stages: grainy, lumpy liquid, and then finally smooth liquid.  It just takes patience.  :-)

The Only Chili My Kids Will Eat (Crockpot)

I've been meaning to post this for awhile now.  Another recipe from "Make Ahead Paleo", but I adjust the recipe as needed, based on what I have.  This is the only chili my girls have ever eaten willingly, so it's a win in my book!

Con Carne
1lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage (I just use one package, not sure of weight, probably closer to a lb)
1/2 lb chuck roast, cubed (I use much more than this, probably closer to 1-2lbs)
1/2 lb boneless pork chops, cubed (I've never made it with pork chops)
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, cored, seeded, and diced (I just use 1)
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
2 cups brewed coffee (you could probably use chicken stock)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 TBS chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp granulated onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

1) Crumble ground beef and Italian sausage into crockpot.  Add chuck roast and pork cubes on top.
2) Sprinkle onion, pepper, garlic and jalapeno over the meat
3) Combine sauce ingredients
4) Pour sauce over meat in crockpot
5) Cook on low 7 hours, stirring occasionally

I served mine with my "cornbread" muffins, diced avocado and chopped cilantro.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crockpot Apple Cider Chicken Thighs

This recipe is taken directly from a new cookbook I got, "Make Ahead Paleo", by Tammy Credicott.  I've tried a few recipes out of it, but this is the best one so far.  I tried my own version of this recipe a few weeks before I saw this one, but this one nails it.

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 apple (I used a Honeycrisp), peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh)

Place chicken in slow cooker and season with S&P.  Sprinkle shallot, garlic, sliced apple and bay leaf over chicken.  Mix cider, vinegar, oil and thyme together and pour over chicken.  Cook on low 6 hours.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve (I ladled some of it into a small saucepan and simmered over medium heat until reduced by about half, which thickened the sauce a bit and concentrated the flavors).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Cornbread" Paleo Muffins

This is totally not my recipe (I've decided that while I cook many things well, I'm not the best baker).  I got it from here, with a few tweaks.  I changed up the amounts of flours (instead of all coconut flour I added almond flour as well) and I made muffins instead of a skillet cornbread.  Let's just say that the recipe made 15 muffins and I don't have any left after dinner (we had them with my Spicy Turkey Chili/Stew).  It tastes even better than the real cornbread muffins we used to eat a few years ago.  Enjoy. And try not to eat them all in one sitting.

  • 1/2cup of Coconut Flour 
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • ¾ cup of Tapioca Flour 
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 TBS Coconut Oil, melted
  • ¼ cup of Raw Honey
  • ½ cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine the apple cider vinegar and coconut milk in a glass and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk together.
  4. Melt the coconut oil and add to the dry ingredients and beat on medium until combined.
  5. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixing bowl. Beat until thick and pasty.
  6. Stir in the honey into the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar mixture.
  7. Using a hand mixer, add the liquid in two batches and finish with the 30 second high beating.
  8. Add batter to muffin tins (if not using silicone ones, then grease really well).
  9. Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chunky Monkey Muffins

Okay, so this recipe is more "treat" than Paleo, but it's still gluten and dairy free (if you use dairy free chocolate chips, such as Good Life chocolate chips--I didn't have any on hand, so I just used regular dark chocolate chips).  I got the recipe from here.  The only sub I did was to replace the butter with coconut oil.  I'm glad that I'm bringing them to a potluck tonight, because I could easily eat half of the recipe in one sitting.  Like I said, it's a treat.  :-)

Preheat oven to 350.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (first time using it, and it definitely makes them more "cakey" than almond flour--I found it in the same area I find the coconut or almond flours)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut crystals
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips, such as Good Life (dairy and soy free)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix flours and baking soda together in a bowl.  In a larger bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut crystals, bananas, vanilla and eggs.  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Spoon into muffin tins lined with foil liners (or use those nifty silicone liners placed on a baking sheet!).  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.  Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stacey's Thighs

My awesome SIL came up with this recipe.  My husband loved it because it has a bunch of his favorite flavors.  My kids liked it because it had bacon in it.  I made two pans worth, because that's just how I roll, but you could probably halve the recipe if you don't like to eat as much as we do.

4-5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or two packages)
3 TBS coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard (no sugar added)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
S&P to taste
A bunch of brussels sprouts (I used one of the bags from Costco-- 2lbs?), trimmed and cut in half
6 strips of bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix melted coconut oil, mustard, balsamic and S&P in a large bowl and add chicken.  You could probably do this step ahead of time and keep it in a ziploc bag until needed (I love to do most of my prep on Sundays).  The only issue is that the coconut oil would solidify. Not sure if that would be a problem or not. Pop the chicken in the oven in a decent sized roasting pan and set the timer for 20 min.  While the thighs are roasting, cook your  chopped bacon in a large pan and when cooked (I actually precook bacon on Sundays as well, so it was already cooked for me), add halved brussels sprouts and saute until tender (medium-ish heat), seasoning with S&P.  Once the oven timer goes off, arranged the brussels sprouts around chicken and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so.  I served mine along with cauli-rice, with some of the cooking juices spooned over.  Thanks Stacey!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Yep, everyone does these, but a few people have asked me how to do them, so here goes.

Preheat oven to 350.  I highly suggest using silicone muffin cups such as these, and putting them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  I finally broke down and bought some last week and as I said on Facebook, it was life changing.  At least for someone who makes about a dozen of these a week.

You can really put anything in these, but my hubby likes a spinach, onion, mushroom and bacon combo and my girls just like bacon in theirs.  You can line the muffin cups with bacon (in this case I tried pancetta, but it was a bit too salty).  Anyway...

Cook up a bunch of bacon.  You'll probably only need about 6 pieces (chopped), but you can store the rest in your fridge and use for breakfast throughout the week.  In the bacon grease, saute 1 chopped red onion and 1 package of chopped mushrooms.  When they're cooked down, add a few handfuls of spinach and let that cook down as well.  Let cool a bit.

Beat about 8-10 eggs with a couple of TBS almond milk, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if you wish.  Add chopped bacon (at this point I do a few "plain" ones and add to muffin liners).  Mix in veggies.  Fill muffin tins/liners. (With this amount of add ins, this will fill at least 12, probably a few extra)  Bake for 30 minutes.  Store  in an airtight container (I put wax paper between layers) in the fridge.

Pumpkin Coconut "Mouffles"

I don't bake very often, but we're in the process of trying to transition the whole family to Paleo, so I needed another breakfast/snack option for the girls.  Plus, I had some really ripe bananas that needed using.  It ended up being a muffin/souffle hybrid that was pretty tasty, especially the next day!  I hadn't gotten my silicon muffin cups yet when I made this, but that would make the process so much easier (and cleaner)!

Preheat oven to 350.  I highly suggest using silicon muffin cups for this.  Otherwise, line a muffin tin with foil liners.

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 can pure pureed pumpkin (I despise recipes that only use a part of a can, so I through it all in)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond flour
1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I only used a tsp, but wished I had used more)
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix everything together.  Put in muffin cups.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Crockpot Beef Carnitas

This is a Pinterest find (other than subbing beef for pork), from this site (not sure if it's her original recipe).  It was one of those meals that the whole family loved.  The girls both asked for seconds.  

1 nice sized (3ish lbs) beef roast (not sure what kind I picked up), trimmed and cut into chunks. 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
juice of 2 large limes
good amount of salt and pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced

I try to do as much prep for the week on Sunday as I can, so I mixed up everything and put it in a ziploc bag for a few days before I dumped it into the crockpot for 7 hours on low.  So easy and so good!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Yummy No Recipe Burger Dinner

So, my friend Megan W. posted a picture of her egg topped burger the other night and it looked D E L I C I O U S, so I copied her.  This isn't really a recipe, just a dinner idea.

Burgers (I just mix my ground beef with salt and pepper, form patties with indents in the top, and grill for about 4-5 min a side)
Fried egg to your liking (J likes his over easy, I need mine a bit more well done)
Sauteed red onions (just cook the bejesus out of a couple of sliced red onions over low heat, preferably in bacon grease)
Salad mix or baby spinach
cherry tomatoes
sliced avocado

Arrange burgers and fixin's over salad mix.  That's it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Amazeballs Bolognese

I think I finally nailed down a good Bolognese recipe!  I bought some pastured raised pork sausage from our local Farmers Market and put it to good use.

2 TBS bacon fat
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finally chopped
1 package mushrooms, chopped
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb Italian pork sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine
6 oz tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz coconut milk

In a large saucepan, melt 1 TBS of bacon fat and saute onion, garlic, carrot, and mushrooms until tender.  Remove to a bowl.  Add the other TBS of bacon fat to pan and brown bacon, sausage and ground beef until cooked through.  Add veggies back to pan along with remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for a bit.  Serve over spaghetti squash.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just Peachy Crisp

We recently moved to the midwest, and I was craving something from back home.  Specifically, a good ol' peach cobbler.  I don't normally do much baking, and this is a far cry from my old canned peaches and biscuit topped cobbler, but it hit the spot (and made the house smell heavenly!).  It has honey and coconut crystals in the recipe, so it's not for the purists, but it's a nice once in a while treat.

8 peaches, sliced
1/2 cup raw honey (I also tried using 1/4 cup, and while it was good, it wasn't quite sweet enough for what I wanted, but you can play with it)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS vanilla

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut crystals
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBS cinnamon
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.  In a small bowl, melt honey for about 30 seconds in microwave, then stir in 1 tsp cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour over sliced peaches and toss to coat.  Place peaches in baking dish.
Melt coconut oil in a large bowl for about a minute, until liquid.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well (I used my hands).  Press mixture over peaches.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fried Plantains (aka, Little Patties of Goodness)

For one reason or another, I've never tried cooking plantains.  I've always zipped right by them at the grocery store.  Today I picked a few up and actually cooked them.  This is not my recipe--I got it from (I had no idea where to start with plantains!).

2 very ripe plantains
4 TBS coconut oil
sea salt
lime juice

Carefully peel the plantains (you may have to use a knife to start it), being careful not to cut into the actual plantain.  Cut into 1 inch rounds.  Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet until hot.  Add plantains and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned, but not burnt.  Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to soak up some of the oil.  Take a drinking glass and smash each round down a bit.  Sprinkle a little salt on each plantain.  Reheat oil and fry again, this time for 1 minute each side.  Again, place on paper towels, sprinkle some salt on those suckers and drizzle with fresh lime juice.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

(Cauliflower) Hummus

Sorry for the crummy photo, but this stuff is good and I wanted to share it with you.  "Snacks" can be few and far between in the Paleo world, but you can make up a batch of this and it will keep for a few days in your fridge.  Chop up a whole bunch of veggies and your set for that crunchy/salty urge.

1 head of cauliflower, steamed until very soft and cooled
juice of 1 lemon (you could also grate up some of the peel and add it as well)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (mince before you add it, or else it won't blend quite right)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt (more or less to your liking)
freshly ground black pepper
4 TBS tahini
3 TBS olive oil

Put cauliflower, lemon juice, garlic, spices and tahini in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Slowly add the olive oil and blend.  Serve with lots of fresh veggies!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Broccoli "Fettuccine"

I needed some comfort food tonight, but had a pretty empty cupboard and fridge.  A lot of these ingredients I had in my pantry or freezer.  Even better, it is a quick dish (well, minus baking the spaghetti squash)!

Broccoli "Fettuccine"

1 Spaghetti squash, cooked (Take the squash, use some muscle and cut it in half.  Remove seeds.  Mist or brush both sides with olive oil.  Bake on foil covered cookie sheet for 45 min at 350.  Remove and shred "noodles" with fork.  You might only want to use 1/2 of the noodles if you want it saucier.

olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 TPS parsley (dried or otherwise)
S&P to taste
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (some say it's Paleo, some say it's not, but I had it, so I used it)

Chicken, cooked to your liking (I had some chicken tenders that I had cooked up for my girls on hand)

In a saucepan, heat a bit of olive oil and add onions and garlic.  Saute until tender.  Add chicken stock and let boil for about 2 minutes.  Reduce heat and add defrosted broccoli, spices, and coconut milk.  Sprinkle nutritional yeast over mixture and combine.  Add cooked spaghetti squash and toss to coat.  Serve with chicken.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kicked Up Chicken Salad

I had some leftover chicken and a few avocados that needed to be used up, so here is the tasty result!

2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic
1-2 TBS pickled sliced jalapenos
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 or so cups diced or shredded chicken
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a food processor combine and blend first 8 ingredients.  Combine in a bowl with diced chicken, carrots and the rest of the cilantro.  I'm eating mine in lettuce leaves.  Simple, delicious dinner or lunch!