Every. Single. Recipe. – Going deep into it – Chocolate covered Caramel Cups.

caramel bite
Caramel Cups.
Yeah, that’s right.

This is beautiful stuff from a beautiful recipe.  Actually, it takes in two recipes from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind.  Caramel Sauce, and then Chocolate Covered Caramel Cups.

The Caramel Sauce itself is just lovely.  Smells divine, easy make.  My personal tip?  Watch your temperature.  And…consider not putting it in the freezer.  At least in my climate (Houston, TX)….the fridge should do it.  In the freezer, it froze rock solid in minutes and never went back to liquid…but never fear….I mananged to heat and stir it back to softer and form it into little balls, pressed them into the chocolate…and then you get the pic above, which, is the DEVIL!  So decadent and rich, even my husband (who would normally eat something like this like popcorn) said it was so rich he couldn’t eat more than one. DANG!

The flavor of the caramel is just beautiful…especially when you realize it comes from coconut milk!!  Crazy good!caramels
So, yeah. Do these. You will not regret it at all!  I’m thinking these will be beautiful on your Holiday spread!

Oh one other thing, she leaves you on your own to pic the level of chocolate you use.  I used semi-sweet mixed with dark chocolate.  I will go all dark chocolate next time…the caramel is so sweet you can go deep and dark with the chocolate and still have plenty of sweet!

I hope you give these a try, they were fun to make!  And more fun to eat!  (Don’t panic, there are plenty in the fridge right now!!)

Kristen

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Every. Single. Recipe-Cha Cha Cha!

pepper plate
Let me start off by saying, “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”. That is technical jargon.
I am beginning to think Ms. Barajas may have a calling in the savory world!
Of the handful of savory recipes she has in the book, they are all knock-outs so far!
Chiles Rellenos. I can honestly say I have never made this before. But have certainly enjoyed it in many a Tex Mex restaurant! I have lived in Houston, TX my whole life and am spoiled for mexican fare for sure! So I don’t usually even bother with it at home, it is too easy to go get some. But since going paleo, it is not so easy. You know the cheese does not come from a grass fed source, nor the meats. You can count on pretty much nothing being organic, although some of the newer, trendier spots are catching on!
So being a lover of spicy cheesy goodness, let’s give it a whirl, shall we?

I certainly have never purchased these little beauties before….it was fun picking them out!  and handling them!  And prepping them, which was just simple!

poblanos
As the peppers par boiled, I followed her directions for the meat mixture which came together very quickly as well! I admit…I did add a couple of things, which I think is appropriate with a canvas recipe such as this one. She gives you a tasty, simple version…how far you jump from there is up to you! I really love to see tomatoes in the meat, so I added some fresh pico de gallo, a handful of cilantro and some fresh chopped garlic. The recipe assembles super easy! When layering, I admit, I did add a handful of grated pepper jack between the layers as well as what is called for on top. (Note – I cannot find sliced pepper jack from a grass fed source around here, however, I love Rumiano’s brand grassfed cheeses…I used a block of their pepper jack and grated the whole thing….some for the middle layer and the rest on top. MMM cheesy!).

It only takes about 20 minutes in the oven to heat through, cheese melty and golden….while it was in the oven I whipped up some fresh quacamole with EXTRA lime juice…the citrus-y tang of the guac was perfect with each bite of the Chiles Rellenos…and this dish was fantastic!  In fact, plenty for 4 people,  or in my case leftovers for 2, yay!  Except for when your husband decides to go and get a full 2nd helping!  Then it becomes my lunch later in the week  (today!!!).

Make this….you can really push it a number of different ways!  It is not overly spicy, just tasty!  If you want spice, add some peppers, or salsa, or red pepper flakes to the meat mixture.  A spanish cauli-rice would be great alongside as well!

Let me know what you think after you make it!  And you SHOULD make it!  Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind…in the first chapter…hurry!  It is too delicioso not too!

Kristen

Paleo Pizza with a CRISPY thin crust! (yeah, I said crispy!)

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I know, I have been missing for a while. As much as I think I am a blogger, I really spend all my time raising my daughter and working.
So I finally buckled down and got myself an awesome personal trainer who is helping me get the fitness thing going, and I have had a few moments to think about things in the kitchen!
After my workout this morning, I was crazy hungry and just wanted to lay down. But my brand new copy of ZenBelly (amazing paleo cookbook…give it a read!) was laying on the table as I walked by and I flipped through it becoming more and more inspired. I took a few notes of things i needed from the store to make a couple of the recipes and headed to Whole Foods. While there, I stumbled across the most beautiful tomatoes I have ever seen! And what crossed my mind was pizza.

I have tried many different pizza crusts from different cookbooks and in restaurants…all trying to be the best paleo crust ever and all they ever tasted like were burnt nuts, and soggy at that.
I have used a recipe a couple of times that got the flavor right, but still got soggy as soon as you put toppings on, so I decided to start tweaking it. And this time, I got it! Real pizza crust flavor and crispyness to the crust that doesn’t sog out in the first 5 minutes!

There are more pics of this over on my instagram at paleo_k so come check it out!

Alright, enough banter, on with the Pizza!

Pizza Crust
In a large bowl, combine:
1 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp Potato Starch/Flour
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl:
1/3 cup water
1 tsp gelatin (sprinkle over the water)
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk the wet ingredients and add to the dry by mixing with a spoon until combined then kneading with your hands a few times.

Press dough out on your cookie sheet or pizza pan (greased with olive oil). I like to split the dough into 3 or 4 small crusts for more crunch edges. Press the crusts out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Prick the crusts all over with a fork and put in a 400 degree oven for 16-18, until golden and lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and start building your pizza!

MY PIZZA:

Brush the prepared crusts lightly with olive oil.
I topped with shredded Rumiano’s mozzeralla cheese (from organic grass-fed cows!)
VERY thin slices of onion
Thin slices of cherry tomatoes
torn basil
Light dusting of salt and fresh cracked pepper

Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Cut with a pizza cutter…..and devour!

NOTE:  I find when I use pizza sauce, the sog happens.

My Twist on Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers 2

stuffed peppers 1

There is a great recipe that I have gone back to over and over for stuffed peppers in “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo. It is basic and tasty and good for you! Easy to prepare ahead, even to have in the freezer.

I am always wanting an additional flavor punch. OK. I can’t help but tinker with recipes sometimes.

So with the addition of Chorizo for flavor punch, and spinach for extra veggies, and cumin and double the garlic? OH you just have to make this, it is so good!

Here’s what:

My Twist on Stuffed Peppers:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While doing that, halve and remove seeds from 3-4 red bell peppers. Place these in a large pyrex dish, flesh side up, and roast for 20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool enough to handle….flip over and they are ready to stuff.

The Filling!
1 pound grassfed ground beef
1 pound organic chorizo (I use a veal chorizo)
begin browning these two ingredients in a large skillet.

As the meat browns, add:
1 onion, diced
8-10 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1/4+ tsp red pepper flakes (depends or your heat pleasure!)

Keep moving it all around in the pan, browning the meat and onions as you go.
Add in 1/2 tsp or more dried basil and oregano
add 1/4 tsp cumin
Add in 1 can fire roasted diced organic tomatoes
Add in several handfuls of baby spinach (fresh). Up to 10 oz.

as the spinach wilts, turn off the heat….this part is done!
You can add in some fresh basil leaves at this point as well.

Fill your roasted peppers with the meat mixture, and any extra meat just tuck in around the peppers, someone will eat it!

Put back in the over at the same heat for another 15-20 minutes to heat through and let the flavors meld. (Especially tasty the next day!)

Because of the flavors involved, you can push this as mexican food or italian…maybe this is fusion? I don’t know. But it is a meal in itself. Or you can dice a little avocado on top! Or serve with a salad!

So dern good. You need to try this one!

A Lovely Plate

again 2

Nothing complicated here, just clean, easy yum.

Fresh avocados with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of coarse sea salt.
Thick cut no sugar all natural bacon, perfectly fried.
A small pile of fresh fruit, all organic.
And the raw crunchy salad I am so addicted to!

The fast way today:

In the bottom of the bowl, 2 TBSP of home made paleo mayo, 2 tsp honey, couple of splashes of raspberry balsalmic vinegar to taste….wisk wisk wisk.
Now add to the bowl a handful of bite size raw broccoli and of cauliflower. also a few dried cranberries. (I usually add radishes and pecans, but was in a hurry!).
Now toss everything together! The longer you have, keep tossing and the flavors build!

So dump the salad on your plate, your done!
Ready, set, delicious!

Oh Simple Thing, where have you been?

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The other night I was on my own for dinner, for a change, and was really having too much fun in the kitchen trying to time a quick meal that would be healthy and yummy while watching the Voice, (vice!) And I remembered a beautiful bunch of asparagus I had in the fridge. I had to do something with it! And it had to include my home made mayo! (The husband only likes mayo when he doesnt know he is eating it, same with my daughter. They see white and start gagging!!!)

So this little side dish made it on my plate, and besides being oh-so-good, was a pretty little number too!

Quick cook the asparagus…2-3 minutes in a shallow pan of boiling water, drain and squeeze lemon juice over the asparagus with a bit of salt.
Have a few pieces of bacon frying up while that is happening.

Place your asparagus on your plate, give it a very generous dollup of home made paleo mayo, and crumble your bacon over the top!

Could it be more simple? Maybe, but dang this is easy and so so so good!
I used nice fat asparagus this time…I usually prefer the thin, but these were fun to just pick up and eat.

Try it. You will like it, I am sure of it!

Let me know what you think!!!

Nom!

Refreshing light lunch – Paleo Chicken Salad

chicken saladckn salad prep

My usual hurried run home for lunch found me with a few extra minutes, I actually got to eat it at home instead of packing it up to go!
A grapefruit was calling my name loudly…and I knew that would be in the mix, but I wanted to change up the chicken a bit, so I took the Poached Chicken I have been eating off of this week and diced it up to make a quick chicken salad today….really nice!

Here’s what I did…

Paleo Chicken Salad:
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1-2 radishes, diced
Handful of halved grapes
small handful of chopped pecans
salt and pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
2-3 TBSP home made mayo (see previous post)

Mix all of the above gently and enjoy!
Of course there are a million variations, I was really wanting a little fresh parsely, but I was out!

pasta

I just had to share this….such a beautiful sight, a bowl of steaming hot pasta! NO no…not paleo you say? Well, it is.
If you have never run across a company called “Cappellos Gluten Free” you need to look them up. Grain free, gluten free pasta made with almond flour…it keeps in the freezer, and cooks in 45 seconds flat! delicious! They also have other little indulgences at Cappellos like Paleo slice and bake cookies….yep. you heard that right.

So I cooked my pasta and topped it with a lovely sugar free marinara I found at Whole Foods…and gave it a quick grate of parmesan (indulge me!).

Such a lovely lunch! I just had to share it! And check out the site for the pasta at http://www.cappellosglutenfree.com , you won’t be dissappointed!

And now a word from my Mother!

fritatta

My mother sent me a pic of her breakfast last weekend…she does this from time to time…and it always looks amazing so I post it on instagram and everyone loves it and it gets way more likes than anything of mine, whatever! She is paleo, she will not let me tell her age, but I am 43, and she gets discounted movie tickets! So that is all I have to say about that except how cool is it that she GETS it! She is holistic, organic, natural and paleo!

And because everyone on IG wanted to know, here is her recipe for the fritatta above, and her guest post….so, mother….you are on the internet now! you famous!

Guest Post from Mother:

I understand there are some who are
wanting to make the Sunday morning frittata.
This is a meal that fits many occasions. An easy breakfast/brunch
Or try for dinner on a busy day. Aren’t they all?

Most time consuming thing is grating the sweet potato. “What?” you say.
Yes sweet potato!
Recipe coming up and it is very healthy!
I have a little farm where I grow some of my own vegetables and herbs.
Love that and of course we do it organically !
So here is the frittata using veggies and herbs
a la my farm garden.

Sunday Morning Frittata with Chorizo
the oven does alot of the work for you…..and fast!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 -1 lb. chorizo sausage uncooked ( I used veal chorizo)

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed and shredded (about1 cup)

1/2 large yellow bell pepper sliced

1/4 cup of yellow or white onion

8 large pasture raised organic eggs

1 tsp. coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 roma tomatoes sliced, (even 9 or 10 small grape tomatoes sliced is fine)

Garnish: avocado slices and fresh chopped herb of your choice, cilantro, sage, basil

the marriage:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage, sweet potato, yellow pepper, and onion and sauté apx. 5 min.

(I browned the sausage first, and added the rest for a sauté of 5 min.)

Beat the eggs with the coconut milk and salt, then pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes

Just pour evenly, no stirring or turning…….just easy

Arrange the tomato slices in a circular pattern on top of the eggs. (I added1 cup chopped spinach first)

Place the frittata in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with the avocado and sprinkle with the torn herb

**I would add some “smashed garlic with sea salt”, we tend to thrive on alot of garlic!

And if you like hot peppers, I would do either of the next suggestions for a little “tickle” for your taste buds.

Just chop one hot pepper, could be cayenne, our personal favorite that we grow, or jalapeño or a small Tai pepper. I seed them mostly and chop finely with sea salt.

Add 8-10 sliced grape tomatoes. Toss some of this on each slice of the Frittata.

Or do all of the above except sauté with 1 teaspoon grass fed butter or oil in a small skillet for a minute and then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk and stir till thickened slightly. You can add some(grass fed) grated cheddar to this or just spoon it as is over… anything really. Just delicious!

Oh! Don’t ever breathe over a skillet with hot peppers cooking or you will choke a bit and or sneeze, depending on your particular physical make up. Experience is our teacher, right?

I think it took me longer to write out the recipe for you than it did to make it.

So, hope you try this, it will work for any “busy girl for a paleo world”.

Paleo meals can be quick, easy, and so good!

on the table in 20 minutes or less

on the table in 20 minutes or less

I love to be in the kitchen. Seriously! I love to cook, and on the weekends is when I get to take my time and really create or recreate some fantastic things! But, reality is, I am like most people, and most people don’t have hours to spend knocking out a fabulous meal during the week! I try to at least get one large batch of something done on a Sunday to make a couple of nights easier during the week, but you know, best laid plans and such.

So, time. I work. And I ferry my daughter around. And I go to her games. And I take care of the house, the dogs, the errands, the list goes on and on. My mornings start at 5:30 most days, and I get home around 6:30 or so in the evening. Trying to be a good cavegirl and shoot for 8 hours of sleep a night means off to bed at 9 (hahaha, sorry, choked on my coffee there!) So that math gives me what about 2 1/2 hours between work and bedtime to do dinner, a little laundry, tidying the house, getting prepared for the next day…and people wonder why it is so difficult to fit exercise into the mix!

I am a huge fan of the Paleo Community, and all the Bloggers and Authors who put out such amazing recipes and ideas! They are delicious, healthy, and inspirational! Many are quick, but many require a little more time than I have on a weeknight. So where I am going here, is I will try to post the fast and easy stuff! The fast stuff, the things to put together from what you can keep on hand!

This is what we had last night:

Hot Dogs!
What do you need?
Organic Grassfed Applegate Farms Hot Dogs (Keep these on hand!)
Lettuce
Paleo Ketchup (I make mine from the 21 Day Sugar Detox and keep it on hand, but Tessemae’s all natural is a good option!
Paleo Mustard or May
Kraut! (Last night we used Farmhouse Culture Ginger Beet Kraut…yum!)
Sweet Potatoes (small)
Broccoli

here is the order of events….took less than 20 minutes:
Put a pan of water on to boil…about 1-2 inches of water is plenty
Put a skillet on to heat with a little coconut oil in it for the dogs
Place 2 small sweet potatoes in the microwave (fork pricked, then hit the potato button!)
Put your dogs in the skillet and roll them around periodically to get a good “char” going on it.
Place medium size broccoli florets in the boiling water…they only need about 4 minutes. (drain them, hit with a pat of Kerrygold butter, salt and fresh lemon juice…yum!)
Potatoes are ready? cut open and put a pat of Kerrygold butter in there too…season how you like….salt, pepper….cinnamon is good here too!
Put your dogs together….we placed each one in its own lettuce leaf (like a bun!) and added a little kraut, ketchup and mustard!
I threw a few cornichons on the plate because I had some on hand and I love them so!

That’s it!

easy right? quick? you bet! You can do this!
More later….gotta go make the bacon! (so I can buy the bacon!)