Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie (Paleo, GF, DF)

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I'm really on a nut butter kick, especially peanut butter. I've been putting it on toast, dipping apple slices into it, smearing it on banana, making peanut butter and chocolate chip pancakes. I also made this smoothie. I'm always super hungry after the gym and this is my new treat. I love it so much, sometimes I go to the gym just because I know I'll make this post workout. Silly, I know but whatever gets me there!

This shake is paleo friendly, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. No sweetener at all, actually, just a very ripe banana. It's a peanut butter banana bomb with yummy notes of chocolate. It's also not very thick - more of a shake than a smoothie. Blend a bit more chocolate or use chocolate flavored protein powder instead of the collagen and chocolate.

Not sure if I've shared this before, but I've found that instead of a traditional or high speed blender, we use a stick or immersion blender. Its so convenient to use - just stick it in whatever you want to blend and zip zip. It crushes ice no problem and is so much easier to clean. We have had and used this one everyday for about 4 years straight. It's a beast. 

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

1 small or 1/2 a large ripe banana

1/2 cup coconut milk beverage

1 tablespoon dark chocolate powder

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 scoop collagen peptides (This one!)

2-4 ice cubes

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Paleo, GF, DF)

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Snow day? No problem! If you're on the east coast, you probably experienced this 'bomb cyclone' that hit last week. Happily, I was told to stay home from work. Not only did I stay home but I made these paleo pancakes in my pjs and slippers because why not. Serious Sunday morning vibes happening. 

These are officially my snow day pancakes but you can make them anytime. Best thing is they are grain free, gluten free, dairy and sugar free. Yes! Also, no weird ingredients, just coconut four which you probably have already, right? What I like most about these is that the flavors are balanced with even tastes of banana and peanut butter and a nice does of chocolate here and there. No overwhelming coconut here. 

Serves 2-4. 

Snow Day Paleo Pancakes with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk, your choice but I used coconut milk beverage 

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon peanut butter

dash vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

dash cinnamon

dash salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Add all ingredients except chocolate chips into a bowl and blend with a stick blender or hand mixer. You can also use a bender. Just zip everything until smooth, about a minute. Fold in chocolate chips. 

Heat a non stick skillet over medium low heat and lightly oil. Do not use too high of heat, lower is better - these guys need time to cook without burning before flipping than usual pancakes. Add heaping tablespoon sized spoonfuls to warm skillet. Swirl back of spoon over batter to flatten and spread a bit. 

They will be ready to flip when they are fully set in the center, about 3 minutes. Shake to pan slightly and look for wiggling in the center of the pancakes. If they look wiggly and wet, cook a little more before flipping. There will be plenty of bubbles in the batter, too. When, ready flip and finish cooking on other side. Second side will cook much faster, about 1 minute. Serve warm. I find these perfectly sweet so we skipped the maple syrup - whipped cream and strawberries would be just right if you have them!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Paleo, GF, DF)

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Happy 2018!! Let's start things off right with these grain free cookies. I've been hiding a bag of chocolate chips on myself for the last month or so until I felt like whipping these up. I have a hiding spot in one of the difficult to reach cupboards that I never go into and that is away from all the other food. I use this to hide things from myself like crackers specifically for a get together, nutella or chocolate chips. I would have eaten these chocolate chips if I had not hidden them, same for said crackers. Maybe not the same for the nutella. 

Back to the cookies! These are a super yummy chocolate chip cookie made with almond flour and sweetened with maple syrup. I'm really pleased with this recipe: grain free, paleo, dairy free, refined sugar free, easy to make and soft. I like a soft cc cookie, don't you? 

A note on ingredients: Use almond flour, not almond meal. I use Nutiva coconut and red palm shortening. The coffee grounds should be very fine, like espresso. I had courser drip sized grounds here so I buzzed them in the grinder for a few seconds until they were fine. They can be considered optional but really give these cookies a warm, toasty flavor. I also used an electric hand mixer for all of the mixing, besides folding in the chocolate chips. You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 

makes 24 cookies. 

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups almond flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon course kosher salt

dash cinnamon

1 tablespoon very finely ground coffee

2/3 cup coconut & red palm shortening, room temperature

2/3 cup maple syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coffee to evenly combine. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat shortening and maple syrup together until it no longer looks curdled, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, mix 2 minutes more. Mixture will look weird and slightly curdled or separated. This is ok. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. 

The batter will seem much different than your usual cookie dough - lighter, wetter and stickier. This is ok. 

Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with a silicone baking mat or lightly oiled parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and drop tablespoon sized spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared trays. Give them some room as they will spread when baking. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a bit on pan before removing. 

Cookies are best warm out of the oven or stored in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Cranberry Bundt Cake (Paleo, GF, DF)

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I made a conventional version of this cranberry bundt cake for Thanksgiving and it was so good I knew I wanted to make a healthier, grain free version. This cake is very balanced - a slightly sweet crumb with a bite of fresh cranberry here and there. If this was made in a loaf pan, I'd call it a cranberry bread. 

This can be glazed or dusted with powdered sugar and served as dessert or slice a piece off and smear it with coconut butter for breakfast. Or snack on it as is. Would doesn't need more snacking cake in their life? (We all do.) Either way, its a great festive, paleo cake to make for the holiday. 

Serves 10. 

Paleo Cranberry Bundt Cake

1.5 cups almond flour

1.5 cups coconut flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup agave

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

6 eggs, at room temperature

zest and juice of 1 orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 oz fresh cranberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 or 14 cup sized bundt pan and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk agave, oil, applesauce, eggs, set, juice and vanilla until very smooth. This can be done with a mixer or by hand. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient and stir until well combined. Make sure the dry ingredients are very well hydrated. Stir in fresh cranberries.

Transfer batter to bundt pan - since this is not a very pourable batter I spoon it into the bundt pan and the smooth the surface with a spatula or spoon. Make sure its even so the cake isn't lopsided. Bake until deep golden brown on top and set in center - about 1 hour and 30 minutes. I like to start checking every 15 minutes after the 1 hour mark. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Invert onto plate and serve. 

Cranberry Coconut Healthy Cookies (Vegan, GF, DF)

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As you can probably tell from my posts, I don't eat many sweets or sugar anymore. I try to limit my sugar intake to only fruit which means not a lot of baked sweets happening around here. I prefer to 'save' my sugar indulgences for things like coconut ice cream or a piece of vegan layer cake. Treating it as a rare, special occasion thing has helped changed my sweet tooth to a healthy tooth. You'll notice most of my dessert recipes are sugar free, use natural sugars like maple syrup or are sweetened with a fruit. 

These cookies are made without sugar and sweetened only with a banana and the dried cranberries. 

Cranberry Coconut Healthy Cookies

1 mashed ripe banana

1/2 cup quick GF oats

2 tablespoons dried cranberries 

2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tablespoon chopped pecans

dash cinnamon and nutmeg

pinch salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking tray with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Use a tablespoon to portion 8 cookies onto prepared baking tray. Cookies will not flatten or expand during baking so flatten them into round cookie shapes. Bake 15 minutes. Remove. Cool. 

Detox Vegetable Soup (Vegan, GF, DF, Paleo)

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So, summer is juuuuuuuust about over, isn't it? Instead of quietly crying into my pillow, I though I'd make a bright tomato based, vegetable heavy soup. I wanted something that was healthy but filling which this soup is thanks to all of the veggies. Vibrant, fresh produce always reminds me of warm summer farmer's markets, long sunny days and great meals. 

Serves 8. 

Vegetable Soup

splash olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

4 cups shredded green cabbage

1.5 cup chopped green beans

2 cups chopped broccoli

2 cups chopped zucchini

s + p 

squeeze of lemon juice

In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, fennel, thyme, basil tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage, green beans, broccoli and zucchini. Simmer 5 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 

Ramen Soup Jars (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Aka your new favorite lunch. Who doesn't love a cute little jar lunch. It's so portable and easy to eat anywhere. All you need is hot water. You can definitely change customize these to your liking. Want spice? Add a bit of chile paste or hot chile oil. Want carbs? Add a ton of noodles. 

I'm calling these ramen jars but you can definitely make them with out noodles for a lighter, grain free meal. You can't see them in the photos, but we used these aip friendly Shirataki noodles. They are a dried noodle, made from tapioca starch, konica powder, calcium and citric acid. They taste just like a glass noodle. I found these at whole foods but they are also available online.  Feel free to use any noodle you like but precook them if they will need more than a few minutes in hot water to cook. 

Just remember when you're prepping the vegetables that everything in the jar is cooked by pouring boiling water into the jar, sealing and letting it sit for a few minutes. This means that everything should be sliced small and thin. 

Here's grocery list what you will need to make 8 jars:

4 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

2" knob fresh ginger, grated

4 cups thinly sliced green beans (about 1#)

4 cups chopped broccoli, in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup shelled edamame, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup miso paste

1/2 cup tamari soy sauce

1/3 cup sesame oil

2 teaspoons garlic powder

noodles, amount is up to you, I used 8 shirataki dried noodle nests.

Here's the recipe for ONE jar:

Vegan Ramen + Vegetable Jar

1 tablespoon miso paste

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 scant tablespoon thinly sliced scallions

1/2 cup carrots, cut into thin matchsticks

1/2 cup thinly sliced green beans

1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli

1 tablespoon corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon shelled edamame, fresh or frozen

1 serving of noodles (cooked or uncooked - see note above)

Line up 8 clean glass jars with lids. Fill each jar with the above ingredients. Seal and store in fridge. When ready to serve, fill jar with hot water. Stir, to loosen miso paste. Replace lid and shake lightly to mix ingredients. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove lid and enjoy. 

Kimchi Soup (vegan, paleo, GF, DF)

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I think I have a soup addiction. I made this earlier in the week after returning to Brooklyn from a weekend in Ithaca to a house with almost no food. I keep meaning to freeze a pint or two of each soup I make so that I'm not caught with nothing to eat but I never remember. 

Luckily, my mom sent us back here with a bunch of veggies from her garden and the local farmer's market. The haul also included a new jar of kimchi. Cameron had mentioned an idea for a kimchi soup earlier in the week and after a quick fridge inventory, I realized we had everything we needed for a healthy, late summer vegetable kimchi soup. (Thanks, mom!)

This is a great fridge clean out recipe since it will work with most stocks and vegetables. I happened to have corn, carrots, zucchini, kale and green beans but most other vegetable would work too.

Kimchi Soup

small splash oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

small 1" knob ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic clove, grated

1 quart vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup kimchi with liquid (I chopped mine first) 

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 cup chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped green beans

1 cup chopped carrots

3/4 cup corn kernels 

1 cup chopped kale

s + p, to taste

Warm oil in a pot, over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring frequently. Add stock, kimchi, tamari zucchini, green beans, carrots and corn. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Time will depend on how thin vegetables are, these took about 8 minutes. Stir in kale. Season to taste. 

Summer Cabbage + Vegetable Soup (Paleo, Vegan, GF, DF)

Generally, I don't eat nightshades because I have a sensitivity to them. I have, however, reintroduced potatoes and haven't had any issues with a bite of tomato something here and there. Also, it's summer and I'm dying for a beautiful summer vegetable soup with a tomato base.

If I'm being truly honest on why I made this soup (and the healthy meatballs posted previously) it's because I've been eating very poorly and not exercising. Which if you know me, is crazy because I love healthy a healthy meal and a good workout. I know exactly where things went wrong. I took a little trip to Raleigh, NC at the end of May and ate everything I could get my biscuit hoarding hands on. (Seriously, so many biscuits!) 

While it was a great trip, I returned to Brooklyn puffy as I like to call it. Somewhere around that time I lost the will to get myself to the gym. Honestly, I think I was bored with going to the same place every weekday. So I continued on with this lazy girl routine and things got a bit wider and squishier

This week is totally different. Poof! I'm excited to establish a new routine of running outside every morning, saying 'no thank you' to unhealthy foods and cooking delicious, nutritious food for Cameron and myself. It's a good feeling. 

Does this happen to anyone else? What do yo do to shake things up when your off your healthy game? 

Serves 8. 

Cabbage + Vegetable Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups chopped green beans

1 summer squash, chopped

juice of one lemon

s + p, to taste

In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, stock, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil, add cabbage. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in green beans and squash, cook 5 minutes more. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Turkey Meatballs + Basil Pesto (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

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Meatballs! Since I don't eat tomatoes or pasta, I almost never make these little things anymore. What am I thinking, right? They're so tasty and delightful. My new solution: basil pesto and spaghetti squash. A nice healthy meal for those time when I'm missing spaghetti and meatballs. 

For Cameron and I, I picked a small spaghetti squash. To cook it: cut off the stem, stand the squash on its new flat end and halve from navel to stem end. Scoop out seeds. Lightly rub cut sides with olive oil. Roast cut sides down on a lined baking tray in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes (small squash) to an hour (larger squashes). Flip over and shred with a fork, Discard skins. 

To make this AIP, omit almond flour or substitute with coconut flour. 

Serves 6. 

Turkey Meatballs + Basil Pesto

for the meatballs

2 lbs ground turkey 

1/4 cup almond flour

1 yellow onion, grated

5 cloves garlic, peeled, grated

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

for the pesto

1 large bunch basil, leaves only

2 garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup olive oil (I like half olive oil, half avocado oil, personally)

salt, to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking tray with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix well. Form into tablespoon sized balls and arrange on prepared tray. Roast 15 minutes, flip and cook 15 minutes more. 

While meatballs are cooking, make the pesto by blending all pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor. Serve with meatballs. 

Pickled Red Onions

This is possibly the quickest, easiest way to transform your meal into something special. It's true - imagine a simple taco, now imagine said taco with pickled red onions on it. Let's think outside this taco for a minute and explore what else you could improve with these onions. Sandwiches, salads, grilled cheese, fried rice, quesadillas, hot dogs - there are many more but I'm starting to get too hungry thinking about it. 

I like to keep a jar of these in the fridge and put them on everything. Since I can't have hot sauce, (why are you a nightshade, chile pepper???) I use these instead. They're not spicy at all but fulfill the same need with their sharp, briny punch. 

Feel free to add more aromatics if you like -  bay leaf, chiles, other seeds. I leave everything free floating in the jar but you can wrap the aromatics up in a piece of cheesecloth to keep things tidy. 

Pickled Red Onion

1.5 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/2 cup or so white vinegar

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Add kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns and vinegar to a 12-16oz jar. Shake or whisk to dissolve. Add onion slices to jar, pressing down to fit if needed. Top off with water so onions are covered in liquid, if needed. Leave them alone for one hour. After that, they are ready to eat. Store in fridge. 

Lemon Poppyseed Bread (Paleo, GF, DF)

I love that we can call this 'bread'. Bread sounds so much healthier than snacking cake, which is what this really is. I tried to keep things simple - no weird flours or anything. Just the usual paleo ingredients. 

There is no added sugar - just the sweetness of the banana. I like to use super ripe bananas that are soft and heavily spotted. They are nice and sweet. For me, it's a sensible amount of sugar but feel free to add 2 - 3 tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup if you're looking for that sweet fix. 

Makes one thin loaf. 

Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread

1 super ripe banana

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of two lemons

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons poppyseeds

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

pinch nutmeg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or paper a loaf pan. Set aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, very thoroughly mash the banana. Add eggs, vanilla, zest and oil. In a small bowl, whisk coconut flour, arrow root powder, poppy seeds, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Be sure flour is hydrated. Transfer to prepared loaf pan. Smooth top and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. 

Chicken Marsala (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I've never made chicken marsala and was dying for it the other day. Kind of strange to crave something I've only had once but I went with it anyway. So pleased I did! This was a very satisfying, fast but impressive mid week dinner with one of my favorite spring vegetables, asparagus. 

If you can pick up actual marsala wine, do it. It's much better than the marsala cooking wine, although either are perfectly fine. 

I hope you enjoy my AIP version of the classic Italian American dish. 

Serves 4. 

Chicken Marsala

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

s + p

1/2 cup coconut flour

splash olive oil

8oz mini portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch asparagus, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup marsala wine

1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

Cut each chicken breast crosswise into two thin pieces. Or butterfly and pound flat. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge in coconut flour. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add chicken. Cook until well browned on each side. When cooked through, remove and set aside. 

Add mushrooms, asparagus and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are soft, stirring frequently. Add wine and let bubble up a bit. Add stock and seasoning.  Make a slurry with the arrowroot powder and a little water or stock. Stir slurry into skillet along with the chicken and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce is thickened.  

Chicken + Broccoli Stirfry (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

As you know, I do a lot of batch cooking every Sunday, prepping all the healthy meals Cameron and I will eat through out the week. My menu planning usually follows the same pattern: a soup, a lunch entree and at least one quick mid week meal. The mid week meal is pretty much the only thing I cook start to finish during the work week so it has to be simple and fast. 

This is one of those recipes. AIP friendly, healthy, fast and delicious. You can even make the sauce and chop the veggies one night to speed things up. 

If you serve this with rice or noodles it can definitely serve 4 but since starting aip, I eat very large portions - which is fine because my meals are pretty much big bowls of veggies and protein. In the Vizenor household, this recipe is dinner for two with leftovers for one. 

Caramelized Chicken + Broccoli Stir Fry

4 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari 

1 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1" ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin, bite sized pieces

2 stalks broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces 

Whisk together water, vinegar, fish sauce, coconut aminos, honey, pepper, ginger and garlic, 

Heat a wok over high heat. Add chicken and sauce. Let cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 12 minutes. Add broccoli, stir to coat in sauce. Cover and let cook until broccoli is tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover, toss and serve. 

AIP Slow Cooker Beef Stew (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

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I swear I've posted this already but I can't find the post so here it is again. We make this all the time. I have the recipe memorized. It's usually a spur of the moment decision to make this. The ingredients are staples so we're usually almost all the way there with the ingredients, minus the beef.  

It's one of the easiest recipes, no searing or browning on the stove first - just easy chopping prep and into the slow cooker for a few hours. It's done when the beef is so tender it can be cut with a  spoon. This takes a surprisingly long time even on high - like 6-8 hours. Each time I make this, I cut the beef into smaller and smaller pieces and it's ready much faster. 

About 6-8 servings.

AIP Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

4 ribs celery, chopped

2 turnips, peeled, chopped

8 oz mushrooms, chopped

1.5 cups green beans

2 lbs lean stew meat, cut into 1" pieces

1 bay leaf

1 sprig rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

water, as needed

salt + pepper

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Place all the ingredients, except water, in slow cooker. Pour in just enough water to be level with ingredients. Cover, set on high and cook until meat is spoon tender, about 7 hours. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Season with salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar. 

Healthy Week 5 Grocery List + What I Cooked

This is week five of my batch cooking posts. The first one has a more in depth on tips and tricks - here's a link! Again, some of my tips for grocery shopping and batch cooking are: pick a menu,  inventory the fridge/pantry and write a shopping list that is organized by departments in the grocery store.

Recipes will be posted this week and linked.  I prepared the stew, soup and chicken marsala on Sunday and the chicken stir fry on a week night.  Cameron helped and we listened to This American Life. 

The Menu:

Chicken Marsala

Chicken + Broccoli Stir Fry

Lentil Soup

Beef + Veggie Stew

And my snacks: plantain chips, tigernuts, unsweetened dried fruit, green apples with cinnamon, baby carrots, grapes, veggie snacks, smoothies (Chocolate Cherry!), canned tuna, blanched broccoli, curry cauliflower, Anita's coconut yogurt, sliced deli meats, hummus, roasted peas and avocado with lime juice, s+p.  These things always get added to the list as needed and are not included in the main list below. 

The List:

2 Yellow Onion

1 head garlic

1" ginger

8 carrots

8 stalks celery

2 stalks broccoli

2 turnips

24 oz cremini mushrooms

1 bunch asparagus

1.5 cup chopped green beans

1 bunch collard greens

1 lemon

1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 lbs lean stew beef

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 quarts + 1 cup chicken stock

1.5 cup french lentils

1/2 cup marsala wine

Pantry staples you will also need for these 3 recipes: coarse kosher salt, ground black pepper, tamari soy sauce, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, apple cider vinegar, coconut flour, olive oil, italian seasoning, arrow root powder, fish sauce, honey, garam masala spice blend, sesame oil

Pho-most Soup (Paleo, GF, DF)

I have no idea what to call this soup. When I was putting it together in my head, I wanted a super flavorful beef broth base like pho but I didn't exactly want pho. This soup is built on a rich broth infused with charred onion, browned ginger and toasted spices like cinnamon, anise and coriander seed. It's the best part of the soup. 

I just added carrots, sugar snap peas, collard greens and tofu knots - for protein. If you're aip or paleo, substitute any cooked meat. Toppings are a must. They really elevate the soup to a much better place. Shredded mint, cilantro, diced white onion and lime wedges. 

A word on tofu knots - They are delicious. I've used both fresh and frozen. Fresh are about 100 times better but they're hard to find. They also come dry but I haven't tried those yet. I've only seen each in asian grocery stores or markets. 

Makes 4 servings. 

A Pho Like Soup

3 star anise pods

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 yellow onion, peeled, halved

2" ginger, halved

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 quarts beef stock

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce

10 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

8oz tofu skin knots

2 cups chopped collard greens

juice of one lime

salt, to taste

lime wedges

chopped mint

chopped cilantro

In a small cast iron skillet, toast spices. Set aside. Use the same pan to char onion, garlic and ginger. Add spices, charred onion, garlic, ginger and beef stock to a large pot and simmer for 1 hour. Strain out and discard solids. Return liquid to pot and add fish sauce, snap peas, carrots and tofu knots. Simmer until carrots are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in collard greens and season with salt. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped mint, chopped cilantro and lime wedges. 

Thai Chicken Collard Wraps (Paleo, GF, DF)

I'm obsessed with these collard wraps. In the past two weeks I've made chicken burrito collard wraps, curry samosa wraps and now these Thai wraps. I have other types on my mind - I'll keep you posted. 

These have chicken, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro and peanut sauce wrapped up in a blanched collard green leaf. They're healthy and crunchy. I assemble them all a take them for lunch throughout the week. I like to two or three as a serving so each one, I add only about 1/4 cup of chicken and fill it up with veggies. I got 15 wraps out of the recipe but it will depend on the size of the veggies and how much you put in each. I would guess 12-17 to be the amount of wraps to expect. 

Makes about 15 wraps. 

Thai Collard Wraps

for the wraps

1/5 # skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 english cucumber, cut in matchsticks

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

1/2 small red cabbage, shredded

handful mint, chopped

handful cilantro, chopped

about 15 Collard Leaves

for the sauce

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon maple syrup

juice of one lime

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Cook chicken as you like: grilled, baked, boiled or my favorite way - season with salt and pepper and cook in a slow cooker on high for 2 hours or so and shred. 

Chop and shred veggies while chicken cooks. A mandolin fitted with a juliene attachment is great for this. 

To prep the collard greens, slice off the chunky part of the stem by cutting straight across the base of the leaf. Use a peeler to shave down the thick stem. This will make it easier to roll up and eat. 

Bring a 10-12 inch skillet with an inch or two of water to a boil. Dip collard leaves into the boiling water, one at a time, for about 10 seconds. Transfer to towel until ready to use.

Make the sauce by whisking tamari, peanut butter, fish sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and apple cider vinegar together until smooth. 

Assemble wraps by laying out a collard leaf, smearing on a bit of sauce and piling on the chicken, cucumber, carrots, cabbage and herbs. Roll up tightly, tucking in sides as you go. I wrap them all in one sitting and store in the fridge. They last and make packing lunch quick and easy. 

 

Paleo Week 4 Grocery List + What I Cooked (Paleo, GF, DF)

I wanted some serious comfort food and that's exactly what I made. Paleo friendly, of course. 

This is week four of my batch cooking posts. The first one has a more in depth on tips and tricks - here's a link! Again, some of my tips for grocery shopping and batch cooking are: pick a menu,  inventory the fridge/pantry and write a shopping list that is organized by departments in the grocery store.

Recipes will be posted this week and linked.  I prepared everything on Sunday evening.  Cameron helped and we listened to S Town podcast and music. 

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The Menu:

Paleo Thai Chicken Collard Wraps

AIP Chicken + Dumplings

AIP Vegetable Pho-lmost

And my snacks: plantain chips, tigernuts, unsweetened dried fruit, green apples with cinnamon, baby carrots, grapes, veggie snacks, smoothies (Chocolate Cherry!), canned tuna, blanched broccoli, curry cauliflower, Anita's coconut yogurt, sliced deli meats, hummus, roasted peas and avocado with lime juice, s+p.  These things always get added to the list as needed and are not included in the main list below. 

The List:

3 limes

1 english cucumber

2" ginger

1 head garlic

1 yellow onion

4 stalks celery

9 carrots

6 oz sliced mushrooms

6 oz green beans

1/2 head small red cabbage

10oz sugar snaps peas

1 bunch mint

1 bunch cilantro

about 2 bunches collard green leaves (around 18 leaves total)

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

2 quarts beef stock

2 quarts chicken stock

peanut butter

8 oz tofu skin knots

Pantry staples you will also need for these 3 recipes: coarse kosher salt, ground black pepper, tamarind soy sauce or coconut aminos, fish sauce, maple syrup, 3 anise pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, teaspoon coriander seeds, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, dried thyme, bay leaf, dried parsley, olive oil

Strawberry Banana Mini Muffins (Paleo, GF, DF)

Many things are better when they are mini and a muffin is one of those things. I love popping these sweet little things into my mouth, crushing them with one bite and refreshing with a sip of coconut milk. I pretend I am a little muffin eating monster. Small pleasures, right?

Here's a tip - if you have super ripe, black spotted bananas that you either don't want to eat and don't feel like cooking, do not throw them away! Peel, chop and put them in the freezer. Then you can use them for smoothies or for these muffins. I actually made these with thawed, previously frozen bananas and didn't add any honey because they bananas were so sweet!

Makes 12 mini muffins. 

Paleo Strawberry Mini Banana Muffins

2 super ripe bananas, peeled

1 egg

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1/3 cup chopped frozen (thawed) or fresh strawberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with oil, paper or both. Set aside. 

In a bowl, mash the hell out of the bananas. Add egg, honey and vanilla. Mix very well. Add coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and coconut oil. Stir until evenly combined and flours are hydrated. Fold in strawberries. Fill muffin cups. Batter will be level with the top of the cup. Bake 25 minutes. Let cool.