Monday, May 13, 2019

Chocolate Oat Snack Bites


I have a confession to make.
I am a snacker.  A hardcore snacker.  I didn't realize how much my family snacked until I got married and was shocked at how little my husband's family snacked...as in not at all!  I have turned my boys into snackers as well and they eat all day long.  Seriously, we are like cows and graze all dang day!  I go through phases of what snacks we like to eat, and right now these are one of our favorites.  I try to have paleo muffins or pancakes stashed in my fridge at all times, and then one kind of energy bite like these.  They are easy to make and keep in your fridge for a few weeks.  Also make great on the go or road trip snacks.

Kid approved

Chocolate Oat Snack Bites

1 cup oats (old fashioned and quick cooking both work well)
1/4 cup nut butter (I use almond or peanut butter-no added ingredients just the nuts)
1/4 cup + 1 TBS honey
2 TBS cocoa powder
2 TBS hemp hearts or ground flax or chia seeds
2 TBS unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix all ingredients together in standing mixer until well combined.  Roll into balls and store in fridge.  The batter should stick together when rolled into a ball.  If it doesn't stick together for you add more honey or nut butter until it holds its shape.



Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thai Veggie Soup

How's your Lent going?  The last 3 Lent seasons I have either had a newborn, or been struggling with health issues.  This Lent is looking to continue with that pattern for me.  I finally have time for another recipe post because I am sitting on my sofa all day recovering from gallbladder surgery.

All the extra estrogen in my body from past pregnancy led to some painful gallbladder attacks.  We worked hard for a few months to heal it, and we did heal it to some extent, but all those attacks had wore down on my gallbladder and there was no coming back from the damage they did.  So - I had my first surgery ever and am now living one organ down.  Day 3 into recovery and it is getting better every day.  We are super grateful for all the help from our families - especially my in laws and my mom.  To get ready for surgery I made a few freezer meals and this Lent Veggie soup was one of them.


A facebook friend posted this recipe a few weeks ago and it looked delicious!  Figured I would give it a try.  It was super easy and sooooo good!  My husband even liked it, and he is not a fan of Thai food.  I have tried to make Thai red curry dishes before and they have never worked out too good.  This one did though!  It is super flexible and quick to pull together!  If you don't want it to be vegetarian you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth and add some cooked chicken in at the end.  You could also add in some cooked shrimp at the end as well.  The broth is a really delicious soup base that you can play around with.  The second time I made it I added some cooked snap peas and finely shredded purple cabbage to it.  Another time I added some steamed zucchini to it.  Most steamed veggies would be delicious in it.



Thai Veggie Soup

Adapted from the Budget Bytes recipe

2 TBSP oil (I used olive oil or coconut oil)

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 TBSP finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 TBSP Thai red curry paste
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into dice sized pieces
1 large bok choy or 3 baby bok choy*
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1/2 TBSP coconut aminos, soy sauce or fish sauce
1/2 TBSP - 2 TBSP brown sugar, honey or coconut sugar*

Garnish options

red onion finally sliced
green onions
freshly squeezed lime
chopped fresh cilantro
Sriracha

Prepare the vegetables.  Peel and Mince the garlic and peel and chop the ginger. Peel and dice the sweet potato into one-inch cubes. Wash the bok choy well, then chop into one-inch strips, separating the stalks from the delicate green ends.

Add the oil to a large soup pot along with the minced garlic, grated ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and curry paste over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Add the diced sweet potato and chopped bok choy stalks to the pot (save the leafy green ends for later) along with the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk, fish sauce/coconut aminos or soy sauce, and sweetener of choice to the soup. Stir, taste, and adjust the fish sauce or brown sugar if needed. Finally, add the bok choy greens and let them wilt in the hot soup.

Serve plain or over cooked rice vermicelli noodles or rice. Top with red onion, cilantro, a wedge or two of lime, and a drizzle of sriracha.

*you could probably swap in another green here as well, like spinach, chard, or beet greens maybe
*I used all three sweeteners at different times and liked them all.  Sweeten to your liking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Paleo Breaded Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce

Are you a Chick-fil-a fan?  Who isn't?  Pre-gallbladder attacks I used to eat there every 2 weeks.  Only fast food restaurant you will ever see me in!  Sadly, that doesn't happen anymore.  My 3 year old often asks to go to Chick-fil-a for lunch and I always tell him we can't because it hurts Momma's tummy.  Boo.  I do send him there with his dad occasionally though!  I searched around and tried out a few Paleo recipes for chicken nuggets and this is the one I liked the most!  You can use chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs.  As always, I am a fan of dark meat and always choose thighs.  I dropped the pan some how when I was pulling it out of the oven and half of the chicken ended up on the ground...it happens!  So, the pictures are not great since I was rushed and mad at myself for dropping dinner!  This honey mustard sauce is quick and easy!  Super delicious on chicken, a salad, or on roasted veggies. 


Paleo Breaded Chicken with Honey Mustard sauce

2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenderloins
1 cup almond flour
1 TBS Flax meal
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
coconut or olive oil in a sprayer

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl mix together the almond flour, flax, and seasonings.

In another small bowls beat the eggs with a fork.

Using a paper towel blot the chicken to remove any moisture from them.  Then dip the chicken piece by piece into the eggs first then press into the breading mixture.  Make sure the chicken is completely coated.  Place onto baking sheet and spray all the breaded chicken with the coconut or olive oil sprayer.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Then flip the chicken over and spray again.  Bake another 8-9 minutes until internal temperature is 180 degrees.

Serve with honey mustard sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup honey
1 TBSP white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.



Thursday, January 31, 2019

Paleo Double Apple Muffins


During the Christmas season they sang the song "I Sing a Maid" at Church one Sunday and I was struck by one line:

"...For God's own son became her child, And she his resting place."

Even though her Son was the Savior of the world, she was still a resting place for her dear son.  What an awesome gift and responsibility it is to be a mother and to strive to be that resting place for our children.  Many days, like today, I fall short of this.  Too many tantrums and whining from them, and from me, makes me feel like the opposite of a resting place for my boys.  It is a constant struggle to strive for that peace in our day and to truly be a resting place to my boys and to anyone I encounter that day.  So as we all carry on in this journey of life let us all strive to be a resting place for anyone we meet.



A few months ago I guest posted my favorite recipe for Paleo pumpkin muffins over on my friend Stephanie's blog.  The pumpkin muffins have been part of my weekly baking for months now!  I was getting kind of sick of them so I decided to play around with some apple muffin options.  These turned out way better then I was hoping!  Like most Paleo baked goods I store them in the fridge so they can last up to a week.  Let me know if you try this recipe out!  I love to hear feedback!





















Paleo Double Apple Muffins

1 1/4 cups almond flour
2 1/2 TBS coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
5 TBS melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 1/4 cup apple chunks, about the size of a marble*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

In a medium sized bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  In another bowl mix together the eggs, oil, syrup, vanilla and applesauce.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry one and mix until well combined.  Add in the apple chunks and stir to combine.  Scoop into 12 muffin liners.  Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. 

*Use whatever kind of apple you like!  I use Fuji and Kanzi apples.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Healthier Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten free, dairy free) and word of the year!



Social media is being flooded right now with new hopes, dreams, resolutions, goals and different things to help start our new year off right.  Another thing I keep seeing is people choosing a word of the year to help motivate and keep them on track.  I was sitting in Mass the other night thinking about what word to choose and the choir began to sing "Silent Night", as always when I hear that song my heart was flooded with peace and calm.  Can I choose two words this year?  "Peace" and "Calm".  I took a deep breath, yes, these are my words for 2019.



2018 was a year filled with many blessings, but also heartaches for me.  Adjusting to life with 2 little ones proved a lot harder then I thought it would be.  My body has been struggling since the birth of my second son, and physically I was at my lowest.  My gallbladder attacks would hit out of nowhere and bring with them severe pain that would have me rolling on the ground in agony crying.  When I wasn't having attacks I had the fear of having another attack looming over me asking "is this the day? Will I get one in Mass?  Will I get one while walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid? Will I get one when I am alone with the kids, who will take care of them and me?"  It has now been 10 weeks since my last attack and my body is feeling much stronger as it continues to heal.  Praise the Lord!

Mentally, the last 2 years have been really hard on me.  My original family has been broken apart by the pain that comes hand in hand with divorce.  After 36 years of marriage my parents are now legally divorced.  I know I am a grown woman, as are all of my siblings, but no matter how old you are divorce affects the children on some level.  My dad lives 10 minutes away from us and we haven't seen or heard from him in over 18 months.  He has not met my 1 year old.  I have a history of not doing well with rejection, and to have your father reject your mother, your family, some of your siblings, your kids and me is a hard pill to swallow.

Peace.  Calm.  

This is what I want for myself and my family for 2019.

I have seen many people go through hardships and suffering in this life, and those that remain calm and at peace amidst the turmoil and storms are the ones that have such beauty and grace surrounding them as you can visibly see the hand of God at work in their lives.  This is what I want.  This is what I need to strive for.  The storms will come no matter who you are, but if you have faith and trust in God you will not be overcome.  


"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 

they will walk and not be faint."

 Isaiah 40:29-31




I know many of you have goals to be healthier in the New Year - here is a recipe that might help with that!



Back in October I did a yeast detox, which meant no sugar of any kind - even fruit!  I have slowly let the sweets seep back into my life, but in a much healthier way.  Yes, I indulged in pie at Thanksgiving, but it was Paleo and sweetened with maple syrup not refined sugar.  Yes, I eat honey and maple syrup again on a daily basis, but in very small amounts.  This recipe is a delicious cookie that satisfies my sweet tooth without making me feel like junk.  My kiddos really like it too!  Let me know if you try it out!



Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 15 cookies



1 cup oats

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins

2 TBSP melted coconut oil or butter, cooled for a few minutes before using

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter*

1/2 tsp vanilla



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.



In medium sized bowl combine the oats, almond meal, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips.  Mix well.  



In medium saucepan melt the coconut oil.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then add the almond butter maple syrup and vanilla and whisk 
until combined.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir well.  Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Dough can be a little loose, so sometimes I take the portioned out dough and roll them into balls before baking.  Bake 8-10


 minutes until slightly browned.  I  just store them in a ziploc or glass container on the counter - they usually don't last longer then a few days but have lasted up to 5 days for us.


*Use almond or peanut butter where the only ingredients listed are the nuts and maybe salt.  No added sugar or oils.









Saturday, November 10, 2018

Instant Pot Asian Chicken (Paleo or not)


Everyday I have a list of things to accomplish that day.  Most things carry over to the next day...and the next...and the next...but dinner is something that cannot be avoided.  I mean. we have to eat!  This recipe is easy to throw together and delicious!  I like to make a big batch and eat leftovers for lunches during the week served over greens.  I also like to serve it over rice or quinoa, roasted or steamed veggies, or in a wrap.  Super versatile and tasty!

Thankfully my instant pot makes dinner a lot quicker and more approachable.  Over the summer months I really like using it since it doesn't heat up my kitchen like my oven does.  Now that soup season is upon us I use it even more!  Soup everyday!!!



Instant Pot Asian Chicken (Paleo or not)

2# boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
3 TBS honey
4 cloves garlic, minced and peeled fresh
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt (do not add if using soy sauce)
1 onion, sliced

Place all ingredients except for chicken and onion into instant pot and whisk to combine.  Add in chicken and onions and toss to coat.  Lock on lid.  Set to Manual setting, 15 minutes.  Release pressure, remove chicken and onions from pot.  Put pot on saute mode and boil sauce until thickened (about 5-10 minutes)  This last step is what makes the sauce thick and syrup like without adding in refined sugars.  You can also shred the chicken if you like...usually I am too lazy and don't.

You can also make it in a slow cooker.  Follow the same prep steps and cook 6-7 hours on low.





Friday, October 5, 2018

Paleo Chicken Burgers


You guys all know that one friend who always has drama in their life? Yeah, that one friend is me.  Haha.  If it isn't one thing its another thing...they just keep coming at me like snowballs and all I can do is stand there and take it.

"Dear Lord, make me a bird so I can fly far far away."

So much drama.  Health issues.  Family issues.  Bring it. 

I just completed a 21 day yeast detox.  It was hell.  I was hangry all the time.  My poor husband.  He said it almost felt like I was pregnant again I was so crabby!  Anyway, the hard part of the diet is done and now I have 2 weeks of only excluding my food sensitivities - which is a lot, but still not as bad as the yeast detox which allowed no grains, fruit, sweeteners, vinegar's, gluten, corn, sweet potatoes, peanuts, soy, and basically everything!  Oh how I missed my smoothies and my paleo pancakes!

These burgers are really delicious and pretty simple to throw together.  Also great for meal prep if you want to make a bunch ahead of time and eat them throughout the week.  My husband and toddler both like them.  I usually make them every other week in our meal rotation.  Taste great with ketchup or mayo.  We eat them without buns because that is how we roll.  I'm sure they would be great on a tasty hamburger bun though!

Chicken Burgers
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com
makes 4 burgers

2 TBS olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper chopped
1 stalk celery chopped fine
1 pound ground chicken, dark meat is best *
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In large frying pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chopped onion, peppers and celery.  Saute for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Then mix the veggies together with the meat and the salt and pepper.  I use my hands to mix it together thoroughly. 

Wipe down original pan and then re oil with some more olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan).  Heat over medium high heat.  Form 4 patties and place in oiled pan.  Cook 6-8 minutes per side.

*It is hard to find dark meat ground chicken at most of our grocery stores.  The only place I have found it is at Sprouts.  You can also use white meat, which is also good, but not as tasty. : )