Quick Prep

Between a toddler and a baby it’s always go time; I often find myself throwing together whatever I can get my hands on fast enough.  Let me just be blunt:  meal time with little kids is nonexistent for the adults – I rarely enjoy a meal or even know what I am eating!!  That being said I need quick items.  I have been relying on frozen veggies and meat prepped ahead of time.  I usually will then defrost the veggies in the microwave, reheat the meat and toss that together with some sauce or dressing that I have on hand.  After I eat my entree I pray that I have some leftover dessert I baked earlier that week or I finish off my meal with a protein bar – lately I am a big fan of RxBars (they were on sale on amazon – we stocked up!!).  Here is a sample meal from yesterday:

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Featured Above:

ENTREE

Broccoli Florets (individually packed portions from Costco – see image below)

Grilled chicken (prepped the night before by my husband)

Paleo Tahini Dressing (featured in Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry)

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DRINK

Coffee (paired with nut milk or choice – see image below)

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I am kind of obsessed with this coffee.  It doesn’t give me the high jolt of energy paired with high anxiety like a regular cup of coffee.  I believe a cup of this coffee wakes me up to be alert without the jitters.  This blended caffeine beverage consists of coffee, matcha tea & cocoa nibs – it is tasty, light and refreshing.  I personally enjoy it iced with nut milk it’s usually my breakfast dessert.

Speaking of dessert… Every good meal ends with a sweet treat!

Here is a great recipe for a favorite Italian holiday cookie:  Paleo Pignoli Cookies

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These cookies were a big hit!!! My husband & my toddler loved them, as did I!

Happy Friday!!!

NomNomNomaste!

no shamrock juice, please.

Every “wholesome foods” blogger I am sure posted a green juice (or smoothie or whatever you want to call this liquid drank).  I cannot say I didn’t enjoy one of these delicious energy packed drinks on this special day.  I just didn’t want to overwhelm readers with another recipe you will take a screen shot of to make at a later point.  You know you never will sift through your archived photos because you have too many faves to try over your lifetime!  No liquid greens today; I promise I will make this post as sugary as possible.

 

The chocolate chip cookies, featured below, are made using a recipe from the book Paleo Cookies By:  John Chatham.  My husband kindly ate the entire batch one fine evening.  He asks me every night, no exaggeration, to make these again.  If you want lots of praise for your baking, make these for your loved ones!!  They are very soft and moist; they melt in your mouth!

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These Almond Butter Brownies are a specialty of Food Babe, a long-time respected blogger!  I tried the water + flax egg replacement option and I think I needed to adjust the cooking time.  The brownies it not come out of the oven looking raw and mushy (like the middle photo, pre-baking).  The batter tasted delicious I could’ve eaten a bowl of it with a spoon while watching an episode of Girls.   I did enjoy the flavor; next time I baked these paleo brownies I will try using an egg and see if there is a difference in the texture.

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Get a nice sugar rush and run around with your kid(s) – they will think you are hilarious!

Enjoy the warm weather coming our way   🙂

NOM NOM NOMaste.

drinking your cals

Let’s start off with filling our belly with some food.  Here are two Costco faves.  The red peppers make an appearance again.  They have a little olive oil drizzled on top with some herbs de provence sprinkled a top.  These veggies are paired with a few slices of OLLI sopressata.  This is a quick, easy lunch that can be followed with a guilt-free dessert since this is a carb free meal.

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and your liquid treat:

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Hard ciders are gluten-free most of the time.  My husband noticed there were more than just apple ciders at the grocery store.  I could decide between the pear, raspberry and blackberry… I chose the pear to try first, and I was more than pleased with my selection!  I highly recommend this delicious treat after a low-carb meal.  Why not indulge every now and then!  Additionally, the pear hard cider has less cals than the traditional apple ciders.

Let’s get onto the good stuff…

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WHOOP-PIES!  What is better than baking when the weather is sub-par?!?!??  ummm, nothing!  I decided to double-up and make two batches, my husband really is loving the fully stocked refrigerator with desserts.  These two recipes are from John Catham’s book:  Paleo Cookies.  The modifications I made for each of these are as follows…

chocolate: use carob powder instead of cocoa powder

vanilla: use maple syrup instead of honey for the cake & filling

add palm shortening into the filing to make it creamier if the butter separates

This is a lovely afternoon snack, or a breakfast on-the-go.  I have eaten one of these for breakfast twice this past week as I have had early morning doctors’ appointments to attend.  I follow one of these bars with a liter of water spiked with fulvic acid (7-14 drops) – I will post the brand I have purchased in the hydration section!  I am in love with this product, it really helps your cells quickly absorb nutrients & water.

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Looks like today will be SUNNY!!!  Rain, Rain, Go Away!!

peace. love. paleo.

 

 

Sugar Rush

I wanted to start off with introducing the cookbooks I am currently using:

Paleo Cookies  By: John Chatham

Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  By: Elana Amsterdam

I will rotate these books once I’ve completed all recipes!! 2015/03/img_7199.jpg Breakfast details: the standard eggs and thick-cut bacon, a side of sautéed roasted red peppers (from Costco, I will post the image in the bottles section) and onion, a bulletproof coffee using 1tbsp coconut oil and a green shake!!!! Smoothie recipe below…

Cucumber-Mint (2-16oz servings):

3 cups cucumber

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cups spinach

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4-1/2 cup coconut water

1 cup ice

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener

Add to Nutribullet large container and blend until smooth, add coconut water until thick & creamy consistency is achieved.

Recipe modified and adapted from Superfood Smoothies  By: Julie Morris

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NOMaste.

In like a lion, Out like a lamb.

Welcome March!  I am hoping you bring lots of warm weather this month!! I have a full week of sweets coming up!! The following week I will switch to savory dishes – make sure you stay tuned!  I have to been going to the gym as much as possible and have supplemented in a few YouTube videos and barre classes.  It takes a while to shlep to Gold’s Gym, some nights it is easier and faster to do a workout at home.  I have also been forcing myself to try some workout classes at the gym.  I don’t like being in a classroom setting with routines to follow, because personally I am horrible at keeping up.  I never had the skills to memorize routines quickly.  When it came to school plays during the middle school and high school days I really was not one for a main character dancing around the stage.  I have pushed myself to be uncomfortable and attend the classes that involve routines that are choreographed to specific songs.  Unfortunately, for me, I have also not been able to stand in the back every class – other people seem to be just as uncoordinated as me, so it appears!!  When I don’t get my cozy corner spot in the back of the room, I realize nobody is starring at me and outwardly criticizing me, so I might as well get in a good workout and stop worrying about what others think!  Thus far I have tried the Insanity, BodyPump, BodyAttack, HIIT, and RPM cycling classes and have fully enjoyed each moment of them all.  If you are like me, attempt to go to a workout class even for half of it – just give it a try.  You might find that you enjoy jumping around a room looking ridiculous along with everybody in the class.

Today we will review a wonderful paleo granola I created.  The recipe calls for a cup of raisins, a cup of whole almonds, a cup of cashews, 1/2 cup flax seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4-1/3 cup honey and 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (you can adjust the honey & oil amount to ensure all fruit, nuts & seeds are coated with some liquid).  Mix everything together and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cook the granola at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes – cook until the mixture does not have a sticky texture and tastes “roasted” (yes, samples are allowed).  Once cooled, break apart the big block and it will quickly resemble granola.  I sprinkled this delectable treat over some coconut cream.  Thai Kitchen makes a great full-fat coconut milk – the cream is on the top and literally looks like fage yogurt.  If you scoop the cream out you will see liquid on the bottom.  I pour this into ice cube trays and freeze the remaining part of the coconut cream.  I then will use these coconut cubes in smoothies for coconut flavor.

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With the snowy days here I will be baking quite a few items; be prepared for sugar overload!!

I have been browsing my cookbook collection and have realized that I need to start using them – they’re getting dusty.  I have found myself always researching recipes online – for the obvious reason: the computer is so convenient and easy.  I have tried to remove myself from some social media to focus on “the present time” and play with my son.  With this I have felt more relaxed and have gone ‘back to the basics.’  I have begun to realize it is wonderful to flip through a cookbook.  This being said I have picked a savory and a sweet cookbook to make literally every recipe from cover to cover.  Once this is done, it’s onto the next one!  My husband loves cookbooks, he is the same way as me; he personally “likes to look at the pictures.”  I want him to get through his books too!  I encourage you to dig through your cookbook collection and start cooking some delicious dishes.

Stay warm & dry during the snow storm…. don’t forget to BAKE!!!

peace. love. paleo.

hello again!!

WOW, it has been a while since I have updated the site.  I have been consumed primarily with my more important responsibilities – such as taking care of my son 😉 . I have some news to report, I joined a gym!!  I finally took the plunge, and just got a Gold’s Gym membership.  This gym is not your ordinary gym though, they have just about everything – including a swimming pool where I can take the baby and a movie theatre I can bike or run or elliptical or sit or whatever inside of, etc etc etc.  The amenities are wonderful and I am very happy with my decision; don’t worry I will still post home work-outs and the various exercise classes I attend.  After this post I’m going to head over there and bike in the movie theatre, I’m so tired I can’t handle much stimulation from lights right now.

The next order of business, I have two updates on the food portion of this blog.  I finally tried NICE CREAM and IT WAS DIVINE.  I blended 3 frozen bananas in the food processor and topped with Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  I do have to report that this portion was very large, my husband and I shared, but you could easily make this for three people.  I thought the flavor was fantastic, the consistency was smooth and creamy – literally like banana gelato.  I’m a big fan of this treat!!!

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This morning I finally indulged in a matcha green tea almond latte and again it was blissful.  I upped the matcha a bit, the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp, however, my bottle of matcha powder reads serving size as 1tsp – so I did just that!  Flavor was excellent, I even added more water to make it hotter longer and it did not lose its flavor one bit!

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Wish I could stay and type longer, but I have to quickly get in my workout before I eat dinner and head to bed… mommy life.  I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying their new year’s resolutions 🙂 !

toodles,

peace. love. paleo.

got a sweet tooth?

This morning I woke up and finished off a fresh batch of almond milk before going on a walk in this lovely 50-something degree weather!!  When we get back I will begin making my weekly batch of energy ballz.

Finally tried these Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies which I found posted on The Coconut Mama’s website, however, I believe they are a PaleOMG recipe.

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The batter was like a bowl of honey – I was not expecting that consistency!! I was pleased with the “gooeyness” of the cookie – I do not like crunchy/hard cookies.  Essentially, my favorite part of baking is eating the batter.  I hope you like macadamias if you are making these because these cookies taste like you are munching on some nuts.  I was hoping for something a little sweeter, but my husband was clearly digging them – the batch lasted two days.  **I used homemade macadamia nut butter, which is featured in my butter section under the vittles tab.

Next up are paleo oreos!! Yummmm!  I do have to admit mine do not look as beautiful as the ones on the website posted below – I don’t have that much patience at this stage to make perfect oreos when we are going to gobble them down.  Now if they were for other people to enjoy maybe I would take more time to prepare them as eloquently as displayed on Will Bake For Books’ website.  Please go make these treats and enjoy them as much as we did!!  The only thing I changed in the Raw Oreos recipe is using 1/2 cup cocoa with 1/2 cup carob powder.  I have been trying to use carob powder, I know it is supposed to be good for you, but I honestly have zero idea what it is.  I am going to do some research for myself and my readers and get back to you with some mind blowing facts!!

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I will work on my presentation skills 😉 .  Paired with the oreo is an energy ball, I enjoyed both after eating a salad for lunch one fine day.

And, to wrap up this wonderful dessert feast I have something festive for the holidays and winter hibernation months.  Dig your teeth into these Paleo Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for a light treat after dinner or a snack during the day.  I apologize for my coconut whipped cream – I over whipped it and it lost it’s fluff.

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I didn’t get a good picture of the inside mushiness – they are like raw banana bread slices.  The pumpkin taste is subtle, the spice flavors compliment the pumpkin & banana nicely.

After indulging you might want to hit play on some of these videos!!

I really liked this video – it was a solid workout of the whole body.  The only part that was super challenging was the oblique exercises when you are laying sideways on one elbow and one knee – at this point i was like oh my gosh this is really challenging at that point of the workout!!! I pushed through – there are some words of encouragement during the video, which is helpful.  I just listened to the music and made some grunting noises as if I was in a meathead gym.

If you would like to keep it easy on your knees you can try this workout, which I also really enjoyed.  If you look at the comments lots of people are skeptical of the low cardio workout, but they write they were sweating a lot and extremely tired at the end.  I too thought this was going to be an “easy” day, however, my sweatshirt was nicely coated with sweat [sweat makes me extremely happy, I feel accomplished after a sweaty workout knowing my body is free of toxins].

happy monday!

peace. love. paleo.

sistah sistah

Almond milk or as some like to say “mylk” has a sibling…

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Soak the cashews overnight (8-12 hours) or until swollen.  IMG_6140

Remove the water and add 5 cups of water – like the almond milk, I did this in two batches (half the almonds and 2.5 cups of water blended in the Nutribullet at a time and then mixed together through the cheese cloth to strain.

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Before straining, add one date (pit removed) and cinnamon to your container. IMG_6142

Once fully strained – pour through funnel into your jar and label as desired (see above picture).  You will also be left with some cashew “cheese” this can be used as a spread or eaten plain – great flavor and texture, just like a ricotta.

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Cashew milk can be paired very nicely with a dessert or enjoyed by itself.  As my husband says about them:  they are light and refreshing!  And, I couldn’t agree more – it’s like a liquid smoothie.  You could even enjoy a cup with one of these…

PUMPKIN PIE ENERGY BITE:

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1 cup dates

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp golden flax meal

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp maca powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

dash of cloves

splash of vanilla extract

*blend all ingredients together in food processor and roll into bite size balls.

If you eat a few too many, you could always run the stairs!!

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I made it 60 minutes…working my way back to my fit level – slowly.

A post workout snack or a breakfast delight:

IMG_6150 (prosciutto-egg roll-up) NOM NOM NOMaste

FINALLY!!!!

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ALMOND MILK:  check out the “shakes” tab above to reference the home-made process at any time.

For this drink I blended 1 cup of almonds (which were soaked in water for 8 hours prior) with 5 cups of water in a nutribullet (given the volume restrictions with the Nutribullet containers I did the process in two rounds and mixed both batches together during the next phase).  After blending both ingredients I applied a cheesecloth over a bowl that would hold the large amount of liquid – I began straining the mixture through the cloth.  Once the almond milk began to hit the cheesecloth I picked it up by the edges and wrapped it tightly around the almond meal.  I began squeezing the excess milk out of the cloth (as pictured above) and once completely rung-out I was left with a batch of almond meal.  I stored this byproduct in the Nutribullet container in the refrigerator for future use in other recipes.  I added one date (pit removed and fruit sliced) and a splash of vanilla extract.  Then, I poured the almond milk through a funnel into an air tight glass container (this bottle is from IKEA – another fab find!).

Another recipe I worked on today was some peppermint bark – this was always a favorite treat of mine during the holiday season.

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My apologizes for the poor slicing skills.  I found it very difficult to cut this bark into pieces, my husband assisted, but literally the chocolate was rock solid.  We used many different knives & kitchen tools, but this is what we were left with.  My husband had a great idea – let the chocolate sit out for a little bit to soften before slicing it into portions.  To make this treat I melted 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in the microwave – I would remove the bowl every 15 seconds and stir the chips for a total of approximately 2 minutes.  I then lined the bottom of a small Ziploc container with parchment paper, and poured the chocolate into the bottom of the container.  I placed this into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to solidify.  While this was setting I prepared the next layer.  I combined approximately 1/3 cup coconut butter (melted in microwave at 15 second increments for no more than 1.5-2 minutes), 1/2 tbsp honey (if that, this makes the mixture “doughy like” and easy to mold), 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract (or more to taste to your liking) and a dash of vanilla extract.  Once the proceeding ingredients are mixed I added two drops of food coloring – to keep paleo you could add a few drops of beet juice (I didn’t have any beets on hand today).  I gently kneaded the mixture to give the white “dough” more of a a peppermint appearance – don’t completely mix the food coloring or else you will end up with pink bark!!!  After this step, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator, once it is solid, and even out the peppermint layer on top of the chocolate layer.  Place the entire bark in the refrigerator until both layers are solid, remove and chop into pieces to serve to guests… that’s if you don’t eat it all before it makes it to their mouth.

Finally, the last thing I have to offer for my baking skills this evening are Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana’s Pantry.  These muffins are heavenly – they are moist, mooshy inside, firm outside and taste like a piece of pie.  They are satisfying enough as a dessert or an afternoon snack.

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***Don’t forget to exercise to keep sane during the cold months!!***

…and as always:      peace. love. paleo.

store energy to burn.

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#friendsgiving leftovers used to pair with my standard #baconandeggs, or is it #eggsandbacon?

I have some news though, that is not a Nutribullet blended coconut oil coffee…this is a winterwonderland coffee special!!  I used one non-flavored Nespresso pod and ran it through 3 times on the “cup” setting to have more liquid.  I then added one dropper full of liquid stevia (check out the vittles section, I use the Trader Joe’s brand) and a dash of peppermint extract, honestly this drink is spectacular for the holiday season.  I will experiment with other extracts to see if I can find other flavored coffee specials without the calories and blood sugar spike.

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For a mid-morning refreshing treat I had this water (YES THIS IS WATER) followed by 1L of filtered water.  The reason this water is black is because it has fulvic acid in it, which is instantaneous energy – NO JOKE!!! I am going to be purchasing fulvic acid on Amazon to add to my water once a day (check out the hydrate section shortly to see which product I’ve ordered).  If you would like you could purchase a case of these to make it easy to take on-the-go.  They are full of electrolytes and the water is a pH of 8, thus the hydration is easily absorbed by the blood.

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A wonderful refreshing salad comprised of garden mix sprouts, tuscan kale, pomegranate seeds, cucumber slices and rotisserie chicken chunks – toss with avocado oil & bacon vinegar (recipe for this is in the works, I will share with you when I figure out the appropriate days to ferment the vinegar in bacon fat).

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I enjoyed these sweet potato & beet Terra chips as my side with salsa.  We normally get the large bag of ridged sweet potato chips from Costco — excellent deal, but be careful they’re addicting!

While you’re waiting on dinner, engage in some physical activity…

Now go get drenched in sweat, NOMaste.