Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Paleo Banana Bread with Streusal Topping

Who knew there were so many different parenting philosophies out there?  My older sister introduced me to Montessori and RIE methods and that is loosely what I look to for inspiration.  I'm constantly reading about different techniques and approaches to raising good children.  Some of it I think is insane, other stuff I like.  Some people say "don't praise your kids", others say, "Be sure to praise them a lot".  Some say "never tell them no", others say "tell them no all the time".  Haha so many different opinions out there.  As parents I feel like we all just have to do what feels right for our families.

Every night Charlie and I have our own little routine.  I kind of recap our day to him and talk about how it went.  Every once in a while he chimes in with random words like "Waffle" or "Book".  Then we say night prayers together...which, now that he can fold his hands in pray position it is even more precious : )  Then I take him to his crib and before I lay him down I tell him that "He is wanted, he is needed, he is appreciated and he is loved."  Who knows if this is emotionally good for him or not, I am his mother and I plan on saying these things to him as often as I can.  I think a lot of people out there feel unloved and unwanted and that makes me sad.  If I can do one thing here on this earth, I want to be sure that I love my husband and kids as best as I can, and that they know without a doubt that they are loved by God and by me.

I heard a good homily this week and Father said something that really stuck with me: "Receive the love and joy of Christ and share it with others - this, this is your vocation."

One way I show people that I love them is by cooking.  Anyways, as I type I have a double batch of this paleo banana bread in the oven - it is so tasty!  Charlie and I love it as a healthy snack option.  I have made it at least a dozen times in the last year.

A few tips to making this bread:

- We always have frozen bananas in our freezer.  If they are a little over ripe and you don't plan on eating them before they are too far gone - peel them and stick them in a ziploc in your freezer.  When you want to bake with them take them out of the freezer at least an hour before you need them so they can defrost.

-  Almond butter is expensive!  Whenever I make this bread I make my own.  Super easy.  Toast the almonds for a few minutes until they smell toasted.  Place in a high powered blender or food processor with a little bit of coconut oil and process until smooth.  Down here in Texas I can get almonds for as low as $3.99/pound - so it is a lot cheaper then buying the almond butter made already.

Paleo Banana Bread with Streusal Topping
adapted slightly from the paleomg.com 

  • 3 brown bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup almond butter 
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Topping Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup walnuts chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and then line pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and almond butter until smooth.
  3. Then add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan. 
  5. In a small bowl, add butter, coconut sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and walnuts. Use your hands to mix the toppings together.
  6. Place chunks of the toppings all around the top of the banana bread mixture.Place in oven to bake for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Holy Guacamole!  I haven't posted in over 5 months!  I'm sorry dear Blog, I have neglected you so!

My almost 17 month old son doesn't like it when I get on my phone or computer - so I stay off of them a lot these days otherwise I have to deal with him hulking out - something I aim to avoid as much as possible.  He does love helping me cook though. I need to buy him one of those kitchen helper stools so he can reach the counter and help me bake and cook more.

The other reason I haven't been posting is the baby growing inside of me has somehow sucked the desire to cook out of me.  I don't cook/bake nearly as much as I did when I wasn't pregnant - but somehow I am still eating more : )

I had some mommy friends over the other day and made this cinnamon crumb cake.  It comes together pretty quickly and doesn't necessarily call for any special creams or buttermilk, which I never have on hand.  It is super moist and stays that way for a few days.  You can totally make it ahead of time.

Cinnamon Crumb Cake
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 1 Tablespoon flour, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, firm and cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used almond milk with a splash of vinegar in it instead, or you can use any milk)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Generously spray a 8-9" square cake pan  with cooking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 Tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess

  • In standing mixer bowl or large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together until combined.  Using paddle attachment or hand held beaters - mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the butter/flour mixture in a small bowl.

  • Mix the baking powder and baking soda into the remaining large bowl of flour/butter mixture. Add the room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.  Vigorously mix everything together until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting - about 2 full minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

  • Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture in the small bowl. Toss with a fork until well blended.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressingly lightly so they stick. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean 45- 55 minutes.  Cool completely before serving (about 2 hours).

  • Make ahead tip: Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Clean Eating Applesauce Pancakes

I don't sleep much at night.  Our almost one year old is an epically horrible sleeper - most nights he wakes up every hour to hour and a half.  Ugh.  Praying this "phase" will end soon...does 6 months count as a "phase"?

You know what gets me up in the mornings?  I mean besides my whining baby : )?  Pancakes.  Pancakes are powerful motivators!  I start my mornings off like a zombie, but after my pancake fix I am good to go.  I usually rotate between this recipe and my paleo pumpkin pancakes recipe.  Let's just say, I spend waaay to much on maple syrup these days...someone plant me my own maple tree please! : )

What do you eat for breakfast?  I'm curious as to what other people eat!  I know I am a creature of habit and eat the same thing for breakfast for months, then switch to something else that I eat for months...and so it goes on and on!  Plus, I never get comments on my blog...haha - just comments in person or on facebook from people saying they tried something...let me know if my comments section still works by letting me know what you eat for breakfast!

Clean eating Applesauce Pancakes
adapted from Fit Foodie Finds website

4 eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce*
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS honey or maple syrup

Whisk eggs in bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth and combined.

Heat a skillet pan or griddle.  Coat generously with coconut oil or butter.  Spoon batter onto pan, about 3-4 TBS worth.  At this point I sometimes sprinkle nuts or coconut onto the batter.  Cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles form and flip quickly.  Pancakes are fragile - so just be brave and flip!  Cook for additional 1-2 minutes on other side.  Remove from pan.

Serving ideas: Whipped coconut butter, chopped nuts, maple syrup or honey, applesauce.  Also, these taste great cold.  I like to use leftovers for snacks on the go during the week - high in protein!

*I have used homemade and store bought applesauce with good results for both!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lava Cakes

Image result for mother teresa quote about love

Today is St.Valentine's day.  I am not a Valentine's day fanatic, and hate the over commercialization of the day...but...like most girls I still appreciate flowers and a nice card : )  My mom would make us watch the movie of St. Valentine every year on Valentine's day...some would think watching a movie about a martyr would suck the love out of the day, but really isn't that what love is all about?  Laying your life down for someone you love?  Real love is self-sacrificing!  Questioning whether you are loved or not today?  YOU ARE SO LOVED!  Jesus lay down his life for YOU!  Ultimate self sacrifice right there.

On to the food...which is why you are here : )

You know what is a funny word?  Ramekin!  My husband is so proud that he now knows what this word is!  I have quite the assortment of random ramekins in my kitchen.  I use them for everything.  Baby food bowls, small servings of granola, little sauce dishes, salsa, hummus - they are awesome!  The best thing I use them for is making LAVA CAKES!

Are you looking for something quick, easy, and delicious to make for your valentine today?  THIS IS THE RECIPE FOR YOU!

Andrew and I never need an excuse to make these...we make them every other week.  They are sort of fancy, but sort of comfort food level.  I have tried a few recipes for lava cakes out, but this one has been our favorite, and happens to be the easiest too!  Each recipe makes 4 lava cakes - so we eat 2, then eat 2 the next day cold or reheated.  I can't decide if I like them better hot or cold!  If you get invited to our home for dinner there is a good chance we will serve you these for dessert.

Lava Cakes
adapted from the Chef in Training Blog

4 oz. or 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (You can also use milk or dark chips if that is what you have)
½ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tablespoons flour
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray 4 small (6-8 oz) ramekin dishes* with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium heat combine butter and chocolate and heat until just melted. Whisk until smooth and combined.  Add powdered sugar and whisk in evenly.
Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk in until well combined.
Whisk in flour until well combined.
Pour and distribute batter evenly in the 4 prepared ramekin dishes.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 12-13 minutes until edges are firm and center is soft, but not super jiggly.
Let cool for 2 minutes. Using a knife, gently pull cake away from the edges then invert onto plate or serving dish.

*If you don't have ramekins you can use muffin tins, they are just a little bit harder to get out without falling apart...or if you have oven safe mugs you can use that too.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Paleo Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

My husband is reading a book about different personalities and he asked me to take a quiz to see what type I was.  I love these kinds of questionnaires and usually answer very quickly.  This time it was different.  For every question he asked me I had to stop and say, "I used to be like that, but post baby I am now like this."  I was shocked to see how that answer applied to most of the questions.  For example, one question was: "Are you more submissive, self-sacrificing, sociable or strong-willed?"  Pre-baby I would say strong-willed, post-baby I would say self-sacrificing.

I had to stop and laugh as I realized how much I have changed since becoming a mom.  I don't feel like I have lost myself or who I am, I really think that I am just too exhausted and tired to be that person I used to be.  Most days I'm too exhausted to make basic decisions...paper?  plastic?  Who cares!  Just get the groceries into the bag so I can bring my cranky baby home!  Haha the mom life!

Our little guy decided around 6 months that sleep was for the weak.  He wakes up every 45 minutes to an hour most nights - it is ridiculous!  I am not quite sure how I make it through the nights or days...oh well, one day he will sleep!

As you can see from my recipe posts I flip flop between healthy and not healthy recipes...I like to maintain a balance : )  This recipe was super easy and a keeper!  My husband really liked it too!

Paleo Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
adapted from Grassfedgirl blog

2 TBSP coconut oil, divided (or any oil you like to cook with)
4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 cups cooked chicken, or 4 chicken thighs cooked and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan or casserole dish with 1 TBSP of the coconut oil.

Steam the broccoli until just barely cooked and set aside.  (I did this by placing it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and then draining it)

Cook the chicken thighs.  I heated a little bit of oil in a frying pan and added the chopped chicken thighs into the pan.  I seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne - or a cajun spice blend.  Cook until cooked : )  Remove from pan. Or if you have leftover chicken from something shred it up!

Cook the veggies.  In same frying pan melt the remaining 1 TBS coconut oil and brown the onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the mushrooms and saute until cooked.  Transfer the onions, mushrooms and chicken into the baking dish and distribute evenly.

In a bowl whisk together the chicken broth, coconut milk, eggs, nutmeg, and more salt and pepper.  Pour over the chicken/vegetables in the baking dish, spread evenly.  Place in preheated oven and bake 35-40 minutes until done in the middle.  Remove from oven and cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

We found this dish to be filling, but if you need it to be a little more carby feeling you can serve it over some quinoa or rice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sticky Seed and Nut Trail Mix

Let's talk about Kind bars.

Who doesn't love them?

So chewy and delicious.


And...I decided to try and make some of my own, but a paleo version.  Good news is they taste great!  Bad news is they fall apart.  Good news is - you can usually make a bad outcome okay with the right perspective :)

This is so yummy...I've been munching on it all day.  Only down side is those darn little pesky chia seeds that get stuck in weird places in your teeth...but I can live with that : )

Sticky Seed and Nut Trail Mix
adapted from Primal Bites Blog

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
3 TBSP sesame seeds
3 TBSP chia seeds
2 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper.

Place the almonds and walnuts/pecans in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped (or just chop the nuts the good old fashioned way)  In large pot on stove top melt the coconut oil and honey together and stir until smooth.  Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot and mix until thoroughly combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before breaking up the mixture into large chunks.  Store in airtight container.

* If you want to make these even more delicious add some chocolate chips...but then they aren't so good for you anymore : )

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chocolate Lava Cookies

You know those decadent molten lava cakes you see on many restaurant menus?  Yeah, this is the cookie version of that...you are most welcome. : )

As you can tell from my recipes that I post we have a healthy food/cookie diet in our household...I like to call it the "healthookie" diet.  We avoid most dairy and many grains, we don't do processed food, we eat our greens, our vegetables, our fruits, our proteins and our vitamins...but we also eat our cookies.  Oh the cookies.  Some days I wish that I didn't know how to bake, but then I laugh and realize that is absurd...my love language is "cookie" and if I took that away I would not know how to communicate love to others.  Can you imagine?  I would be trying to tell my husband that I loved him and so I would send him to work with a box of carrots...how depressing is that?

Good news...FALL is almost here!  Top season of all times!  We got married in the Fall, and that was a good decision...the marriage part and the Fall part.

Fall means colder weather, and colder weather means you need extra fat on your body to stay warm...here enters the chocolate lava cookie.  Eating cookies is cheaper then a new cold weather wardrobe...you are most welcome again. : )

These pictures don't do these cookies justice.  I waited until they cooled to take the pictures, and by that time the gooey molten centers had solidified.  They still tastes amazing, but they taste divine if you eat them warm.

Chocolate Lava Cookies
From the Guittard chocolate chip bag : )

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
3 TBS butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Melt chips and butter over double boiler until smooth but thick.  Set aside to cool.  In mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla on high until pale yellow and thick about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in cooled chocolate mix on low speed. Scrape bowl and mix again.  Add flour and baking powder and mix until combined. Scrape bowl and mix again.  Cover dough and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scoop 8 - 2 inch mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake 8-12 minutes until crusty on outside but soft in the center...do not over bake!  Cool a few minutes and eat warm.