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.