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 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 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 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 enters the chocolate lava cookie.  Eating cookies is cheaper then a new cold weather 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 not over bake!  Cool a few minutes and eat warm.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Gosh I love being a mom.  Every time I look at my sweet baby boy my heart swells with pride, he is such a fun baby and he makes me smile so much.  Sometimes we look into the mirror together and I don't even care that I look like a mess and my hair is all frizzy and crazy and I haven't had time to shower yet.  His smile is so big it doesn't matter what mama looks like...not to say that I don't shower and I don't take care of myself because I do, but there are some days that we stay home and play, take long naps, eat, sing songs, and laugh and cry all day.  He's teething and it's crazy how fast the days can go by and somehow it's like we haven't really accomplished that much, but I know we're accomplishing a lot because we are raising a little baby boy and that is a huge accomplishment.

It's funny and kind of annoying that sometimes you're the only thing that can make your baby stop crying and make him happy, but then it's oddly satisfying that you are the only one that can make him stop crying and make him happy.  It's just an awesome bond to have with this kiddo, and I'm looking forward to raising him -  it's going to be a fun adventure.  

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mom.  My mom has a picture of me when I was probably about two or three sitting in my little kid rocking chair trying to nurse my little dolls.  I've always had a maternal instinct and just always want to have my own little family.  I never really got too far in my career, mostly because I never wanted one.  Call me old fashioned, but being a stay at home Mom has always been my end goal.  I'm blessed to have an awesome partner in this parenting adventure that makes that possible for me.  He is such an amazing Papa to our little buddy.  

Recently I had a dear friend from college come down and visit.  She said it was her vacation,  and I responded that it was my vacation too.  It was a real treat to have her here - she is such a sweet soul and so good with babies. Anyway she is on a real strict diet,  kind of like the whole 30/ Paleo.  Every morning she woke up and made us an amazing breakfast.  She is into high protein pancakes made with banana and egg, and they are amazing.   Then on another day she tried a new recipe of paleo pumpkin pancakes. Yummy.  Pumpkin, egg and some spices - it is easy and delicious!  It has no dairy or gluten, and it's filling and awesome.  We had leftovers and they were great reheated in the toaster the next day.  They are also portable too if you need take them on the go - you could spread some almond butter on them and make a sandwich with him.  They are really good and these are definitely going into my breakfast rotation from here on out.

Was that enough alliteration in the title of this recipe for you?  I know it isn't Fall yet, but I decided to jump the gun on this one : )

Paleo Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes, serves 2 adults
Adapted from the Practical Paleo cookbook

4 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS maple syrup (optional)
1 1/2 tsp ground flax seed*
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 TBS melted coconut oil or butter
Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Whisk eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and maple syrup together.  Add the spices, salt, baking soda and whisk.  Add melted oil or butter and whisk until smooth and combined.

Grease skillet with coconut oil or butter.  Spoon batter in 1/4 cup increments onto pan, sprinkle with chopped nuts if using) once bubbles form on the surface flip to finish cooking.  Serve with maple syrup and coconut butter or butter : )

*This is a change to the original recipe I posted - I found the ground flax seed made the pancakes thicker, less spongy, and more substantial feeling.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Oat cookies

Being a mom is an emotional roller coaster.

A few weeks ago I felt like I had a clingy baby and couldn't do anything without having to hold him in the process.  Many days he would only sleep if I was holding him.  He was waking up on average 2-3 times a night.  I was often frustrated about this.

Then one day he decided to grow up.

Just like that.  He turned 4 months old and became an adult baby who doesn't need his mama as much anymore : (  He rolls over, sucks his thumb, puts himself to sleep, won't sleep if I'm holding him, and is basically a professional baby now.  Now this frustrates me too, but at least he still needs me to feed and change him!

Haha...sometimes you just can't win!

I am proud of my little guy, and every time another developmental light bulb goes off in his head it makes me so happy.  The days go by quickly and I am really making a conscience effort to not get frustrated when the house needs to be cleaned, or my to-do list is getting neglected.  To me, the most important thing is to really savor these precious moments with our little guy, and to take as many opportunities as possible to play with him, to watch him, to cuddle him and to love him.  I know that in a blink of an eye he will be graduating college, and I just want to enjoy this special time with him.  Mama and Charlie one-on-one heart is full : )

When super baby is napping I'm usually in the kitchen making something.

When I'm in the kitchen I'm usually making cookies.

When I make cookies they are usually fattening but delicious.

I was in the mood for a non typical cookie and decided to try a new recipe out.  I found this one on all recipes, but altered it a bit to my liking and to my pantry.

White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Oat cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In mixing bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Scrape bowl and beat again.

In separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Then add the oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips, and walnuts.  Stir to combine.

Add dry ingredients to the wet and beat until combined.  Scrape bowl and beat again.

Using a small ice cream scoop or TBS. drop onto parchment lined baking pan pretty close together.  freeze for 1-2 hours.  remove from freezer and space out more on pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  DO NOT OVER BAKE unless you want a dry crispy cookie.  If you don't plan on eating all of these cookies at once you can scoop the batter onto parchment and freeze, once hardened place in ziploc bags and bake directly from the freezer as needed.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Husband Pancakes

I remember when my hubby and I were just friends and there was some issue that we totally saw eye to eye on.  It kind of took me by surprise and I remember looking at him differently after that.  One of the reasons that we started dating was that we found that we saw eye to eye on lots of other things as well.  Up until meeting him there was no one that I had ever been so in sync with was such a nice feeling when we both realized we were two puzzle pieces that had finally been matched together.  All was right in the world. : )

The husband and I still agree on a lot of things, most importantly the big things.

One thing we do not agree on however, is the thickness of our Sunday morning pancakes...

He likes thick pancakes, I like thin ones.  This is his go to recipe and he loves making these pancakes.  He found the recipe somewhere online and always wants to make them.  They come together quickly and really are delicious...that is for thicker pancakes : )

 Husband Pancakes

1 1/2 cups of milk or milk alternative such as almond milk
4 TBS vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 TBS melted butter
2 tsp vanilla

Combine the milk and vinegar together in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In smaller bowl whisk the milk/vinegar, egg and melted butter together.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together in a bowl until just mixed, a few lumps is okay, don't over mix.
Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.
Grease pan or griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan or griddle.  Cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancakes then flip to brown on the other side.  Serve with REAL maple syrup : )

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Super Green Smoothie

Green smoothies? Yuck.

That is my general response to most green smoothies I have tasted.

This however, this I like.

Now that I am a nursing Momma I snack ALL THE TIME!  I'm not kidding folks...ALL THE TIME!

I usually have a smoothie at least once a day and usually in the afternoons around 4 to hold me over until dinner.  My go to smoothie is my banana chocolate almond smoothie, but this one is definitely going to be made a few times a week now.  Plus, its green, so that means it extra okay to eat it right? : )

I found this smoothie recipe on the barre3 website...which is my favorite go to for most of my workouts.  If you are looking for a great exercise program this one is pretty great, not too expensive (they usually have groupon or living social promos every once in a while - my subscription ends up being about $6/month), and no jumping : )  I always feel great when I stick to their workouts on a regular basis, great for toning!

Now that summer is here you need to make this recipe and help cool down on these hot summer days!

Super Green Smoothie
adapted from the Barre3 website, serves 2

1 frozen banana (you can also use non-frozen)
1 pink lady apple, cored and chopped, skin on
1 cup kale, raw, stems removed
1 Tbs. flaxseeds, ground
2 Tbs. sunflower butter (or almond or peanut butter)
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened, or your favorite milk or milk alternative
Blend all ingredients until smooth, add ice and blend until desired texture is achieved.