Faux Reese Cups

I’ve had carbs – WHITE – carbs for EVERY SINGLE MEAL today.  Thank God I only had two meals.  Oatmeal pancakes for breakfast… that were totally not worth the calories… AND… pizza for dinner.  I will admit the pizza was totally worth the calories.  It was delish, I’m not gonna lie.  So… Because I started my day off eating really bad, I ended the day with a Paleo dessert in hopes that it would make me feel better about my poor eating (and drinking) binge today.

If you love a Reese cup, you’re going to LOVE these little nuggets of absolute goodness!

Here’s my somewhat healthier version of a Reese cup… Enjoy!

ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 – 10 oz bag dark chocolate chips, melted (You can also use the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)

Directions:

1.  In a double boiler, melt your chocolate.

double boiler

2.  While the chocolate melts, add the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and stir it up until well combined.

3.  Get out your mini-muffin pan and start adding the almond butter mixture to each little cup, about half way full. Don’t spray the pan with nonstick spray.

almond butter in cups

4.  Once your chocolate is completely melted add a little dab to the top of each butter cup.

chocolate on top

5.  Put the mini-muffin pan in the freezer for at least 30 – 60 minutes.  After they’re firm you can pop them out with a paring knife, put them on a pretty plate, and serve!  Keep them refrigerated if you don’t eat them all at once…

finished cups

finished cups2

finished cups3

 

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Healthy Banana Nut Bread

Y’all I’m so EXCITED I can barely stop smiling!!!  I posted a blueberry muffin blog last weekend where I used Hodgson Mill whole wheat flour…  I heard about this flour through my Big Daddy.  We’re very much into all things organic, non-GMO, little to no processed foods, etc…  I bought this flour a while back, but never made anything with it until last weekend.  My blueberry muffins came out wonderfully so I decided to make some Banana Nut Bread this week…

Little did I know that today would be the day I was going to get TWEETED at, FAVORITED, and FOLLOWED by Hodgson Mill for using their flour in my recipe!!!  I seriously couldn’t believe it..  I’m still in awe and so happy!  I think Omar might have been just a little bit more excited 🙂  I’m so incredibly thankful to have a man in my life that encourages me, loves me, and gets just as excited about the little things that happen to me.  He’s my biggest cheerleader in that oh so masculine way!  This blog wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for him… I love that man!

If you’re interested in learning more about NOT eating foods with GMOs, check this site out:

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

Ok, enough talk… Here’s this scrumptious recipe!

  • 1 cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup honey OR organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 – 3 cups pecans, chopped (I do realize that’s a really BIG measurement of nuts… I used 1.5 cups, but Big Daddy would’ve put a minimum of 3 cups 🙂 It’s totally up to you!)
  • 3 bananas, 2 mashed and 1 chopped

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.

dry ingredients

3.  In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.

4.  Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Fold in your bananas and pecans.

wet into dry

5.  Mix well until combined.

ready to bake

6.  Spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray.  Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.  Do the tooth pick test to see if it’s done 🙂

finished bread     finished bread3

7.  Slice it up and serve it with a little pat of butter and maybe a drizzle of honey!  Enjoy!  It’s a bread you can eat guilt free!!!

 

 

Dijon-Maple Chicken

This recipe is one of my favorite go-to meals… It’s quick and easy to make, super healthy, and it’s Paleo!  Feel free to use any cut of chicken you prefer.  I’ve used chicken breasts and chicken thighs, skinless, but with the bone.  It takes a little bit longer to cook with the bone-in, but I think the bone keeps the chicken so much more moist.  I hope you love this dish as much as I do!

Here’s what you’re going to need:

ingredients

Yields:  4 Servings

2 – 2.5 lbs organic chicken (breasts, thighs, or legs), washed and pat dry

1/2 cup 100% Maple syrup (NOT Aunt Jemima’s pancake syrup 🙂 )

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2-3 tbsp fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)

pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

Directions: 

1.  Make the sauce… In a small bowl, add the following:  maple syrup, Dijon, vinegar, herbs, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

sauce ingredients2

2.  On medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet (or oven proof skillet) add olive oil.  Once the pan is hot, add garlic and onion.  Saute until translucent.

chicken cooking2

3.  Add the chicken (to what would be skin-side-down) to the pan and brown.  When it’s ready to flip, add the sauce and finish cooking.  At this point you can either continue cooking the chicken on the stove top OR you can throw it in the oven on 350 degrees and let the internal temperature reach 165 degrees.

finished chicken in sauce     finished chicken in sauce2

4.  Serve this with your favorite veggies… And CONSUME!!!

 

Berry Delight

One of my favorite post workout snacks to eat is this little bowl of absolute goodness!  Actually, I love it anytime of day, but after a great workout, it’s perfect.  It’s super easy and quick to make.  100% healthy.  And it’s PALEO!!

berry delight2

All you need is just a few ingredients… Throw it all in a bowl, stir it up, and voila!

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • handful of fresh mint, chopped (optional)

berries in a bowl

berry delight

Paleo Bacon Carbonara

If you don’t love spaghetti squash, you will after you try this recipe!!!  I fell in LOVE with it about a year ago when I went Paleo.  I tried it out for the first time when I was craving pasta one day and decided to use spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta.  The beautiful thing about spaghetti squash is that it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook with it.  I’ve drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper on it… I’ve topped it with a marinara and meatballs… I’ve used it with Picadillo instead of rice… And tonight… I used it in a new bacon carbonara dish!

Here are a few health benefits for spaghetti squash:

It’s highly rich in beta carotene.

It contains omega 3 fatty acids… which help prevent heart disease.

Lots of potassium.

The folate contained in it helps prevent birth defects.

It’s a great source of vitamin C and A.

And my favorite thing of all is that it only has 40 calories per cup and it has ZERO fat grams in it!!

Now for this scrumptious recipe!  It isn’t 100% PALEO… Only because I used a tbsp or so of AP flour and I added a tiny bit of fresh Parmesan as a garnish.  Everything in moderation!  Who wants Carbonara with no cheese?!  By all means, use whatever you want to thicken the sauce you’re about to make.

spaghetti squash2

 

What you’re going to need:

1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash, cut open, seeded, and baked

1 package beef or pork bacon, chopped and cooked

1/2 onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 tbsp fresh herbs (I used Thyme, Oregano, and Basil), chopped

1-2 tbsp flour

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 – 2 cups beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

a dash of cayenne

1 tbsp honey

2-3 tbsp fresh Parmesan, grated

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2.  Get your muscles out and cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise!  Scoop out all of the seeds and discard.  Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray and lay squash seed-side down.  Bake for 45 minutes.

4 squash

3.  While the spaghetti squash bakes, start frying the bacon.   I cut the bacon with kitchen sheers and fried it in a cast iron skillet.  When the bacon is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove bacon pieces on to a plate.  (I put a paper towel over the plate to let the grease drain off the bacon.)

bacon2

4.  Reserve 2 tbsp of bacon fat and saute the garlic and onion until translucent in the same cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.  Once translucent, add a tbsp of flour.  Stir and let the flour cook for a minute or two – create a roux… then add beef stock.  Whisk immediately.   Sauce will thicken quickly.  Bring it to a boil for 5 minutes, then add coconut milk.  Simmer the sauce at this point and add fresh herbs (save a little for a garnish), salt, pepper, honey, and cayenne.  If your sauce gets too thick, add a little more stock.  TASTE it and make sure it has plenty of seasoning.

sauce

5.  Once your squash comes out of the oven, let it cool for a couple of minutes.  Using a fork, start scrapping the inside of the squash into a bowl.

done squash     scrapping squash

6.  Pour sauce over squash, add most of your bacon (I saved some for a garnish), and mix together using tongs.  Serve it up on a pretty plate and top with a sprinkle of bacon, herbs, and fresh Parmesan.

finished carbonara2     spag squash with wine

 

 

 

Bruschetta Chicken with a Honey Balsamic Glaze

Bruschetta Chicken with a Honey Balsamic Glaze

A new Paleo Chicken dish… THAT. IS. DELICIOUS!!!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE bread…especially bruschetta of any kind!  BUT… My hips don’t lie and they don’t get along with bread so well.  So, I found this recipe and added a few new ingredients to make it my own.  I’m so happy with how well it turned out 🙂  Here’s the recipe!

What you’re going to need:

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 big handful of basil, chopped

2-3 tbsp onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lime, juiced

salt and pepper

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

4 organic chicken breasts

Directions:

1.  Start with the honey-balsamic.  Add vinegar and honey to a small saucepan.  Bring it to a boil for 5-7 minutes.  Stir it with a whisk occasionally.  Simmer on low heat until you’re ready for it.  If it gets too thick, add 1 tbsp of water to thin it out.

honey and balsamic

2.  In another bowl, add your chopped tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil, juice of lime, salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready for it.

ingredients for bruschetta      mixed together bruschetta

3.  Season your chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Cook chicken however you want… Grill it, smoke it, bake it, or saute it!  This particular night I smoked it.  It was delish!

4.  When your chicken is cooked, drizzle the honey balsamic over the chicken and top with the tomato bruschetta. This part is totally optional…After the chicken is cooked, I chopped up some more fresh herbs (basil, thyme, and oregano) and sprinkled on top of the chicken, then topped it with the tomato bruschetta.  YUM!

finished chicken      finished chicken2

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with a Granola Topping

I found this recipe on Pinterest, it looked really yummy… BUT… It was made with vegetable oil and lots of brown sugar. After looking at the recipe, I decided to use this recipe as a guide for creating my own healthier version.  Unsure of how it would turn out, I was totally surprised when I took a little bite of that warm blueberry muffin and absolutely LOVED it!  I hope you love it too 🙂  If you don’t want to use my ‘healthier’ version, I’ll put the regular ingredients in parenthesis.

ingredients for muffins

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with a Granola Topping

  • 1 cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour (this is a non GMO All Purpose flour)   (1 cup AP flour)
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup Organic Coconut Palm Sugar    (1/2 cup brown sugar + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut milk       (1 cup milk)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, all natural apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted     (1 tbsp vegetable oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup organic granola (no high fructose syrup or artificial flavors)     (1 cup granola)

Directons:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin tin with liner or coat them with nonstick spray.

2.  In a large bowl combine the following: flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3.  In another bowl whisk together: coconut milk, apple sauce, butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour this over the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.  Add blueberries and gently toss until combined.

4.  Scoop the batter into the muffin tin and sprinkle the top with granola.   Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  (I left some muffins without granola…)

raw muffins    cooked muffins

5.  Top a muffin with a little bit of butter and consume!

finished blueberry muffins    finished blueberry muffins3