A New Home, A Few Gadgets and Bacon Wrapped Mini-Meatloafs

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Now before you get all “WHAT? You moved again? Haven’t you moved 3 times in the last damn 3 years?…

Yes, we’ve moved a lot since the beginning of our co-habitation but we’re not talking about *that* kind of new home. We’re talking about the doors finally opening up at Crossfit Ironstone. It’s always hard to leave one Box when you have friends made, goals accomplished and a sense of community but as soon as we heard some of the best athletes in all of Atlantic Canada were going to be opening CFIS we knew we had to follow our hearts and become founding members.

It’s a commitment to people we believe in.

It’s a commitment to getting stronger.

It’s a commitment to ourselves and each other.

If you’re ever in the Halifax area, you have to make this a stopping point. Swing by and meet some top notch coaches, drop some sweat with some awesome friends and then let’s talk about what we love the most: FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

In the last post we promised to talk a little more about our kitchen gadgets and what we use to help us put that #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen hashtag to good use. Again, let us emphasis we are not rich beyond our wildest dreams (wouldn’t that be awesome though?!?!) We don’t have the latest “this is gonna revolutionize the kitchen” gadget. We have some cheap ass things and today is what we’re calling the “You could use the change under the sofa cushions to get these things” gadgets.

We’re serious.

IMG_1981The first thing we use a lot is a garlic roller. If you’ve been reading any of our recipes for a while you know WE. LOVE. GARLIC. The list of health benefits goes on and on and let’s just get right to the point, it tastes amazing. When recipes call for a certain amount you can be assured we’ve either doubled it or tripled it. This little roller takes a lot of the painstaking peeling process out of the equation. Insert bulb, roll around on counter and kaboom! No more annoying skin. We know most of you have seen these in your local food stores and maybe you’re thinking “well it’s not that hard to peel in the first place so what’s the point?” Here’e the point: IT MAKES YOUR LIFE EASIER and at usually less than $5 what you should be thinking is “Why didn’t I get this sooner?”

The other (cheap ass) little gadget we have is a hand held grater. The one we have is a little on the older side so price comparison is a little hard but usually these will run under $10 at most places. We have a garlic press but to be totally honest this thing is much easier to use and more important; to clean.

For less than what most breakfasts cost when eating out you can arm yourself with a few gadgets that make creating delicious food in what doesn’t have to be the most intimidating room in your house a whole hell of a lot easier.

(PS those are some of the new cookbooks we got over the Holidays! Lucky us!!!)

Okay, time for the recipe.

Here’s a few things you should know before making these little morsels of heaven….

IMG_1908Don’t be afraid to change things up. Yes, you can follow this recipe exactly but when we were researching different recipes we decided to leave a few things out and add a few things in. When it came to spices we literally opened up our jars, took a big sniff and asked ourselves “would this enhance the taste?” In order to get comfortable in the kitchen you have to get comfortable in your ability. Just like in almost everything we do, the more we practice, the better we become.

These are going to be a little higher in calorie so if you’re counting, then take that into consideration when thinking about your serving size. The recipe below made 15 really good sized mini meatloaves at around 220 calories each. Two, with a good size side of vegetables made a meal so don’t think you’re gonna have to eat six in order to feel full. Also you can adjust size of the of each serving or use turkey bacon if calories are something you’re watching.

Enjoy!

Paleo Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaves

Ingredients:

  • 2lb Ground Meat of Choice (we used a beef/pork combination)
  • 1 Pack of Bacon (we needed 15 slices total, thawed)
  • 1 Large Onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 100g of Spinach (~ 2 cups, finely chopped)
  • Lots of Garlic (we used 8 large cloves, peeled and grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Any other seasoning you think will make this taste delicious!

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large mixing bowl add ground meats, chopped onion, finely chopped spinach, garlic and spices. Remember to take your rings off and then mix together thoroughly. Set aside and work on those fun little bacon liners.

~Side note: If you are going to count calories this would be a good time to weigh the entire mixture so you can figure out how many servings you want to make. You did go out and buy that scale right?IMG_1906

Cut your bacon so you have 3/4 and 1/4 slices. First lay the 3/4 slice around the edge of  your large muffin tin, then the 1/4 slice on the bottom so it become a fully enclosed liner. You might have to move a little faster with this part of the recipe because once the bacon starts to thaw it can get a little cumbersome to line the muffin tin but don’t worry the filling will put everything back in it’s place.

Stuff those babies!

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Bake at 375F for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Something that most websites won’t tell you is that there is going to be a lot of fat rendering from both the bacon and the ground meat mixture. Don’t be discouraged. We like our bacon a little on the crispy side and that just won’t happen when everything is cooked up in a muffin tin. Don’t fret. Do what we did. Once everything is cooked thoroughly you can remove each little mini meatloaf without a hitch. It will stay together and it will sit upright because you made those fun little bacon cups. Put them on a cookie sheet and put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked to your sweet sweet perfection!

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These won’t last long in your house but if you need too, you can freeze for a later nom nom session!!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

 

A new year and a new recipe…

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Holy crap you guys!

It’s 2015.

Well technically it’s already the 8th day of 2015 but the feeling of “where did the time go” is still with us as we bundle down for winter and start thinking about what 2015 will look like for the Healthy Dynamic Duo…

This is the time of the year when countless people resolve to “do it right“, “finally make those changes” or make it stick for good” and if anyone knows about that feeling of a a new year, a new me being replayed over and over again each year, only to fall (very) short of those seemingly out of reach goals it’s us.

You start out, fist pumping in the air, motivation bubbling over and a sense that no one or nothing can get in the way…

Then shit gets in the way.

Life. Relationships. Getting hit by a truck.

Maybe your motivation just peters out when you don’t get the results you want or that refrigerator of yours looks damn right boring with it’s contents when your local pub serves the “OMG THE BEST FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR”.

It’s hard.

Wait. Let us rephrase that: IT’S REALLY FUCKING HARD.

So this post less about “oh here’s a recipe you can just whip up” (which you can in about 10 minutes) and more about giving you the freedom to take a deep breath, air your frustration and know that if anyone understands the frustration of weight loss, taking control of your life, and more importantly taking control of your fucking boring ass fridge it’s theHDD.

Over the course of a few posts we’re going to spend a little more time talking about what exactly is in our kitchen that helps keep food under control and tasting so damn amazing. Remember, we’re not rich ass fancy chefs with expensive equipment. We’re on a budget like most people. We buy in bulk. We make our dollar count while counting calories and breaking a sweat as often as possible.

(Don’t worry there is a recipe at the bottom if you want to skip all the mumbo jumbo)

Food Scale:

food scaleThis is imperative if you want a solid understanding on what exactly a serving size looks like. We don’t spend enough time looking at that little information square on the side of a box (and if you’re eating out of boxes a lot, that might be the first thing you want to change) telling us what a serving size truly is. A serving of cereal is NOT a bowl filled to the rim. It’s usually a 1/3 – 1/2 cup…seriously, who eats just a 1/2 cup of cereal in one sitting (especially if it has those tasty little marshmallow nuggets)?

We pretty much weigh everything. Even though our diet primarily follows a Paleo foundation and one of the stronger emphasis on this foundation is to NOT count calories, we still do. It’s more about logging food rather than counting calories. Making sure we’re getting enough protein, good fats (yes you should be eating your good fats) and good carbohydrates (and YES you should be eating good carbs), only happens when we know how much of a good thing we’re eating. It helps when putting together recipes and wanting to know how many calories (and the macro break down) per serving we’re eating.

It’s not a budget buster to buy a food scale. Our’s cost $20 and we use it all the time.

Food Processor

food processorOne of the most used pieces of equipment in our kitchen is this little beauty of a food processor. It’s done wonders for helping us put that instagram hashtag #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen to good use. No lie. It can feel like a bigger purchase money wise (we spent around $200) for ours but after breaking a few lesser quality processors with our almond butter (motors couldn’t take running that long), this kitchen aid has done nothing but stepped up our game in making delicious foods. Everything from the fore-mentioned almond butter (which we use in numerous recipes) to soups to Paleo treats (like the recipe below) to sweet potato hash (a weekend staple in our house). Half of our recipes probably call for the use of a food processor. Remember your kitchen is where 80% of the battle happens. Arm yourself with only the best weapons.

Okay let’s move on to the recipe. You’ll see how both the scale and the processor aided us in making these super easy and super tasty little treats.

Cashew Date Balls

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Cashews (~510 cal)
  • 150 grams Dates (pitted) (~411 cal)
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (~100 cal)
  • 1/4c Dried Cranberries (~68 cal)
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (~64 cal)

(Get a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper)

In food processor add the first four ingredients and pulse for about sixty seconds until all ingredients are minced finely and when you press between your fingers the ingredients stick together.

Add honey and pulse for an additional 30 seconds.

We weighed out 20 gram portions for each serving and pressed into balls. Refrigerate on parchment lined cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for easy popping access.

cashew date balls

Total servings: 20

Calories per serving: ~58

Fat (g): 2.6 Carbs (g): 8.5 Protein (g): 1.1

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

 

Leek and Spinach Bangers!

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Oh the holiday season.

How we love to celebrate.

And by celebrate we mean eat.

Tree!It’s hard not to get through the next couple of weeks without over eating, over drinking and over indulging all in the name of the Christmas spirit. People gather together to wish each other Merry Christmas, out do each other in the ugly sweater category, and clink glasses to another year gone by.

This year we’ve decided to kibosh the over indulgence with a little help from our friend, Brooke, over at Brooke: Not On a Diet. I’m sure most of our few readers have heard or read about her phenomenal weight loss but if not then just clicky clicky the link there and spend a little bit of time getting to know her (she’s amazing!)

She’s brought back the Skinny Snowman Challenge this year and we jumped on the opportunity to spend the next 5 weeks keeping on track with our food, our water, our exercise and all around “keep your hands out of the Christmas chocolate as much as possible”. The concept is simple enough: Each week we print out a points chart and keep track of a few very important factors like logging food, getting lots of veggies, drinking a crap ton of water, leaving some sweat behind and completing some mini weekly challenge.

This week’s challenge: Try a new recipe.

Welllllllllll…..

You know we are all over that like (insert some saying here about cake or rice or flies) and since we love to create in the kitchen we came up with our own recipe.

In our house you can always be assured of finding one thing in stocked in our freezer: Ground Meats. Mostly of the pork and beef variety. We keep ground meats stocked because in a pinch to make something delicious we usually revert to a meatball or banger recipe. Same meat + different spices + different veggies = a whole new recipe.

leek and spinach bangers 6

This is a leek and spinach banger we whipped up last night and it was pretty freaking amazing. Ingredients logged in on MyFitnessPal puts each banger at about 132 calories and considering the size we make them that’s a pretty darn good number.

The only time consuming part is the veggie prep because you know how much we love being in the kitchen and putting our knife skills to work. There’s something to be said about spending time in the kitchen, slowing down and really putting some effort into your food.

Enjoy!

Leek and Spinach Bangers

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground meat of choice (we used beef/pork)
  • 3 Leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 3-4 cups of raw spinach, chopped
  • Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp FoC (fat of choice)

leek and spinach bangers 1

The first thing you want to do is prep your leeks, spinach and garlic. Everything should be minced, chopped and sliced small enough to fit into a meatball size serving without chomping down on a big ole piece of something (not that chomping down on a big hunk of garlic isn’t delicious because it is but just in case the person you’re sharing your meal with isn’t a fan just spend a little extra time working on those knife skills).

knife skills at it's finest!

knife skills at it’s finest!

Once everything is looking all pretty and ready to go, grab a medium sized saute pan and add your FoC over medium heat. Add Garlic and saute for ~1 minute, then add leeks and spinach and continue to saute until spinach wilts (about another 2-3 minutes)

leek and spinach bangers 3

In large mixing bowl add sauteed mixture to ground meat and mix well.

Using same saute pan over medium heat, form palm size bangers (like sausages but a little flatter) and cook on each size for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

leek and spinach bangers 4

Right now here in Atlantic Canada winter squashes are in abundance so naturally we paired these with an Amber cup/Sweet Potato mash with a heaping side of vegetable (Lots of check marks for our skinny snowman challenge with this recipe!)

leek and spinach bangers 5

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

 

Slow Cooked Cranberry Balsamic Pulled Pork (Paleo)

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We are not ready for winter!

Already missed are the early mornings on the deck, drinking coffee and watching the sun come up before we tackled our days. The last minute walks down to the library to return books just under the wire. The flip-flops. The blasting of the a/c right along with the blasting of the music as we drive down to the states just as the leaves begin to change color.

It’s official. It’s cold as all hell. Snowing even as we speak.

Time to put away all the days of summer and pull out all the layers of winter.

That includes using our crock pot on a regular basis. We have no idea why slow cooking our food feels more like a winter-y appropriate activity. We use our slow cooker all year long but there is just something about looking outside, seeing the cold, filling a crockpot with delicious goodness and anticipating the warmth from within.

A few weeks ago, we got a large bag of fresh cranberries from our local CSA - speaking of which, do you take part in a local Community Shared Agriculture? If you haven’t, spend a few minutes checking out your options. It’s a great way to support local farming and it helps kick start your journey to the hashtag #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen. We made a really delicious sweet potato/cranberry/sausage stuffing for Canadian Thanksgiving (waaaaaaaay back in october) but still had 1/2 bag of cranberries and no idea what to do….

Enter the crockpot.

Here’s a little advice for you if you don’t know what to do with a few ingredients sitting in your fridge: GOOGLE THE CRAP OUT OF THOSE ITEMS.

Eventually you’ll find something and usually it’s gonna be pretty darn good. That’s what we did and that’s how we came across this little doozy. We changed a few things according to our tastes and what we had and we always suggest you do the same.

Enjoy!

Paleo Slow Cooked Cranberry Balsamic Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderloin (we used a 20oz piece)
  • 1 Tbsp FoC (fat of choice)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries (for a sweeter taste use 1 cup dried cranberries)
  • 1 Large Leek (cleaned and sliced) or medium onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 C Chicken broth
  • 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried Basil

The only “man do I have to do this step” is the very beginning. You have to brown your tenderloin. Lock in those juices friend! LOCK IN THOSE JUICES!!!!

In a large skillet on medium/high heat, add FoC (we usually use bacon grease) and brown tenderloin on all sides. Usually about 2-3 minutes on each side (brown! Not burnt!). After completing this somewhat hassle of a step, throw that delicious hunk of meat into the bottom of your crock-pot.

Add remaining ingredients!

balsamic cranberry 1

Very important step coming up here so pay attention: Cook on LOW heat for 8-10 hours. Not all slow cookers are created equal so pay close attention to your cooking times. Sometimes we’ll read a recipe that says cook all damn day on low and it actually cooks for us in under 5 hours. We know how our slow cooker operates and with this particular recipe 8 1/2 hours was just about perfect.

The Cranberries are fairly tart once the whole shebang comes together so we paired it with a sweet potato and turnip mash.

balsamic cranberry 2

Hello Winter.

We’re ready now.

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

Cuban style Meatballs…

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Are you serious?

Has it really been since May that we posted a recipe?

Well color us stumped cause we’ve been eating some amazing food. But we suppose in between said amazing food it’s been a little busy. We’ve moved. Started a full time position at Costco. Had surgery. Recovered. Traveled and pretty much been going non-stop for the last few months…

But still…

That’s a long time to go without one of our recipes.

Let’s just cut to the chase and share these Meat(AMAZE)balls!

Cuban Style Meatballs

Something important to remember when we share a recipe is that we always cook in large amounts. Especially now that we’re working opposite schedules and we’d rather sit around holding hands with the few minutes we have together rather than try and knock out something to eat. It’s easier to cook in bulk and have portioned meals for a few days (and relieves a lot of unnecessary stress)…moral of the story: adjust accordingly to how much food you want.

This recipe made 27 1oz meatballs…lots and lots of left overs!

Enjoy!

Cuban Style Meat(amaze)balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or any tasty vinegar)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peels and minced)
  • 4 tbsp ground almonds
  • 15-20 pimento stuffed green olives
  • 4 tbsp raisins (sounds weird but so tasty)
  • 4 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large mixing bowl, combine everything except water, cream of tartar, baking powder and ground almonds…

No need to mix just yet…just set the mixing bowl off to the side.

So about the almonds.

The easiest way to make ground almonds is to take your magic bullet, food processor, or blender and a handful of almonds and zip zip zip a few seconds until you’ve reached optimum state of ground goodness. For extra taste take the ground almonds to a non-stick pan and toast for 4-6 minutes on medium heat

toasted ground almonds

When the almonds are nice and toasted throw them into the large mixing bowl with everything else.

In a small bowl, mix cream of tartar, baking soda and warm water together then add to large mixing bowl and combine all ingredients…remember to take off your rings people!

Portion 1oz meatballs onto non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 35 minutes.

We paired this with an Ambercup/sweet potato mash but you feel free to combine it with anything you want cause it’s your damn appetite and it’s gonna thank the hell out of you for these AmazeBALLS!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake

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We went away this last weekend.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a weekend off together and lucky for the both of us it turned in to longer than normal weekend (with a little bit of a conference in the beginning). Before the weekend came we collectively decided to “let go” of food for the time we were away. We’ve been tracking food like mofo(s) for a while now and both felt like it would be a nice change to just eat whatever we wanted to put in front of us…

Think of it like we had the keys to our parents liquor cabinet.

We ate. We drank. We repeated the process multiple times.

Not gonna lie; we both feel like shit in the aftermath, but man was it fun.

Now we’re back home and cleaning up our plates!

We’ve seen this spaghetti squash pizza bake floating around the interwebbys for a while now and if you know us then you know we love our spaghetti squash with a passion and we’re gonna pretty much try any recipe out there and give it our own little flare according to what the HDD household likes to eat.

spaghetti squash pizza bake

Most recipes called for a jar of spaghetti sauce but we prefer to create as much as possible in our kitchen so we opted for making our own super easy sauce which is included down below. As always feel free to change things up according to your preferences.

Enjoy!

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 lb of your favorite ground meat (we used spicy Italian sausage)
  • 2 Medium Onions (diced)
  • Lots of Garlic (we used 6 large cloves – minced)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds favorite tomatoes (for this we used Roma tomatoes cause they were the cheapest)
  • Small Can of Tomato Paste
  • Your Favorite Italian Seasoning (Basil, Thyme, Salt, Pepper – to taste)
  • 3 eggs, whisked

Preheat oven to 400F and grab a 8X10 baking dish.

Spaghetti Squash can be a little difficult to cut lengthwise. Tips include microwaving it for a few minutes before hand (make sure to poke a few holes in that bad boy) to soften, roasting the whole damn thing until done or just cutting it lengthwise, removing the seeds and bake face down.

(in other words: whatever works for you!)

We microwaved it for a few minutes, cut it then removed the seeds and baked face down on cookie sheet (with a little bit of water to keep it from sticking) for about 20-25 minutes or until you can poke a fork through the skin. Now while this bad boy is cooking you should be preparing your sauce…

In a large skillet pan (or deep saute pan), add a little FoC (fat of choice) and saute garlic until browned, add onions and continue to saute until translucent. Add ground meat and continue to saute until cooked thoroughly. If you’re going the route of jarred sauce then open that shit up and add to meat/garlic/onions. Add your seasonings and reduce heat for about 15 minutes while waiting for squash to finish.

If you are making your own sauce through and through, then you’ll want to par boil the tomatoes to help remove the skins then coarsely chopped and add to meat/garlic/onions, along with tomato paste and seasonings. Reduce heat for about 15 minutes while waiting for squash to finish.

When squash is done, remove from oven and reduce heat down to about 350F. BE CAREFUL! The squash is gonna be hot so don’t just grab that up with your bare hands thinking you’re gonna be all bad ass about removing the insides. Use your common sense. Put it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down or use oven mitts if you want. We timed it so that the squash was done about the same time as the sausage so that when we added the tomatoes and it needed to simmer together our squash was cooling down!

Turn the stove top off and add the squash innards to sauce and mix well. Next add whisked eggs (this is your binder) and mix well then transfer the squashy meaty tomatoey goodness to glass dish and bake for about an hour. The top should be crispy.

Add your favorite sides and stick a fork in that baby!

The fun thing about this recipe is you can mix it up anyway you like. If you like it on a pizza, chances are you’re gonna like it in this recipe!

~Now that’s good eating Folks!

Helloooooooo Spring…

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Did you know we actually has some snow just this last week?

Crazy to think but yes, in the third week of April we looked outside to see those falling flakes. Our fingers are crossed, crossed and double crossed that those tiny little white specks of frozen rain are now behind us as the daffodils start to peek their heads out of the some what thawed ground.

It’s been a tough winter.

But it’s over and now is the time to look forward to all the goodness that is Spring, including the start of our Community Shared Agriculture from Taproot Farms. We use a hashtag on Instagram #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen and the CSA helps us over come that fear when we find things in our weekly share we’ve never seen nor heard of before. We came across our first “what the heck is this and how do we eat it?” item last week: Sunchokes…

sunchokes

Looks like a ginger root and tastes like a tart potato…Of course we immediately start looking at recipes on how to cook this little knobbly wonder and came across a recipe that also included a few other delicious items in our share last week: Celery root and white potatoes.

It was a simple potato/celery root mash with roasted sunchoke “croutons” but asked for other ingredients we don’t normally use: Milk and butter. Not a problem in our house since we just paleo-fy the recipe to our tastes. We were super surprised at how delicious this recipe turned out and wanted to share it with you…

Enjoy!

Celery Root/Potato Puree with Sunchoke “Croutons”

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Celery Root (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
  • 1 Pound White Potato (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
  • 1 Pound Sweet Potato (optional if you want lots of left overs!) (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
  • Garlic (the more the better – minced)
  • Almond milk (or other Dairy alternative)
  • 8 – 12 ounces of sunchokes, scrubbed and chopped into small pieces)
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 475

The easiest way to start is by prepping all your veggies…scrub, peel and chop then get to cooking!

Celery root / Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes

Sunchokes

Toss your sunchokes with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 425 for about 25-30 minutes. About half way through give them a good stir so that all sides get a little cruncy (hence the crouton effect). While roasting, bring potato, sweet potato and celery root to a boil, simmer and cook until tender. Drain and mash away! We used almond milk to get the consistency we like. We didn’t add anything else…the celery root gives it a nice spicy flavor.

Top with the “croutons” and serve with your favorite main dish!

finished product

The CSA this year is a little different than the one we used last year as this one goes for an entire 50 weeks and it pools together items from other smaller local farms that might not have the ability to sustain their own CSA (bigger local farms supporting smaller local farms is nothing but awesome!) We’re super super excited to see what comes along in the coming weeks and months! Hopefully a lot more use of the #dontbeafraidofyourkitchen is coming our way!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

 

 

Coconut Pudding

Mimi here. 

Something a little strange happened to me this winter. I started craving rice pudding. Not the kind drowning in cinnamon, but plain rice pudding. I’m not ordinarily a rice pudding sort of girl. But I couldn’t shake the craving. And, we don’t eat much dairy, or rice, or sugar – all the main ingredients of rice pudding. So we looked for a option to improvise. 

That’s when I found this version of Paleo Coconut Cream Pie. I adapted the Coconut Cream Layer from their pie to make my own version of pudding. And it turned out great!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (we use Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (you can substitute regular all-purpose flour here if that’s not an issue for you.)*
  • 3 tbs organic sugar, or honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla  
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of sea salt

You take your coconut milk, egg, arrowroot powder (or flour), sweetener of choice, salt, and put them in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat. Make sure you stir constantly so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan. You’ll notice it will start to thicken. 

Once your mixture has boiled and thickened, turn off the heat and add your vanilla and shredded coconut. 

And then enjoy! Tara likes hers with some almonds on top. I like mine warm off the stove. 

The pudding does stay great in the fridge for a few days. Where it’s coconut milk based it will be thicker cold from the fridge than it is warm from the stovetop. 

I got five servings (approx 1/2 cup each) from the recipe. 

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*You could also try coconut flour, but try it with just half the flour – only 1.5tbsp

Cooking on the fly (Paleo Coconut Ginger Beef)

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Okay first we have to get the following rant out of the way:

GO AWAY WINTER!!!!!

No seriously, please go away. Your persistent winter storms have left us feeling down right depressed and your teasing of the few hours of sun you’ve shined on us has done nothing but practically left us in tears over the long awaited Spring that still seems so.far.away.

Man, it’s been tough. Really tough. Make you cry like a big baby tough. Make you want to eat frozen pizzas, tubs of ice cream and hunker under the covers until the first sign of Spring literally pops up on your front lawn.

Except we can’t see the lawn because it’s been covered in snow for almost 4 months straight.

Okay, rants over and with the recent Daylight Savings time change we are feeling a little more optimistic that Spring is in fact just around the corner.

(Thank goodness).

Back to business.

Cooking on the fly. How many times have you opened up the fridge only to find a few vegetables and pretty much nothing else? That happened to us. Busy week. Weekly shopping won’t happen for another day or two. We found ourselves in kind of kerfuffle…

So we took thawed a pot roast and threw those veggies together to make this Coconut Ginger Beef. Literally cooking on the fly.

Paleo Coconut ginger beef

And it was delish!

Paleo Coconut Ginger Beef

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of beef (we used a pot roast)
  • 1 Large Broccoli Stalk (cut into floret sizes – and use the stalk!)
  • 2 Large Peppers or 4 Small Sweet Peppers (sliced thin)
  • Thumb Size Ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • Garlic (peeled and chopped) – we used 6 cloves. Adjust accordingly]
  • 1 Tbsp FoC (Fat of Choice)
  • Sprinkle of Shredded Coconut

The sauce:

  • 1/2 cup wheat free soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Oil
  • 2 tsp Sriracha sauce (adjust accordingly)

Put the ingredients together for the sauce so that you can adjust the amount of sriracha you want to use. We like things with a kick and probably could have used a little more. Set aside.

Now the really nice thing about this recipe is this: almost any vegetable that you have will be good. Carrots, celery, peas, onion, brussels sprouts, cabbage, green beans….If it’s in your fridge it will probably work. So get creative. Remember to #eattherainbow! Prep your veggies before you prep your beef. Food safety and cross contamination are important things to keep in mind when you’re in your kitchen. Set aside.

Cut your beef into thin strips

In large saute pan or wok, add fat of choice (we use rendered bacon fat) on med-high heat then add garlic/ginger and saute for about 30 seconds (just until the garlic browns). Turn stove top down to med heat and add beef. Continue to saute about 5 minutes making sure beef is cooked to a medium rare (more / less depending on your preference).

Add veggies. Saute another minute or two.

Add sauce. Bring to slight boil. Then turn down heat to a simmer and leave for another 5 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Enjoy!

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

Paleo Chocolate Cups (almond / coconut butter)

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paleo chocolate cups

Let’s not beat around the bush…

Chocolate is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

It tastes good. It makes most of us feel good if even for a few seconds and seriously we’ve never heard anyone said “ya know I’m having a great day and this chocolate I’m about to stuff in my face is going to turn my great day into a crappy day so I better not eat it

The only problem with most chocolate is it’s really shitty. Overly processed, with “how the hell do you pronounce these” chemicals added to it and enough sugar to send anyone on a binge and into a cycle of not being able to put down that 15th reece’s pieces peanut butter cup…

Following a paleo food foundation (or at least trying to the best of our ability) doesn’t mean we thumb our noses at chocolate. Fuck, we love chocolate. And there in lies the problem: because we love it so much we have to be very (very very) careful in our consumption.

In fact, we have to be very cautious in our consumption of anything containing any kind of “sweet tooth” factor. We don’t just take something we like, find the paleo version and then proclaim “IT’S PALEO THEREFORE WE WILL NOM OUR FACES OFF AND NOT WORRY”.

We worry.

So when we do make things like the following Chocolate Almond Butter Cups and Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups, we do so knowing we have to be very vigilant to make that shit last and not turn it into a replacement for say something healthier like oh we don’t know…vegetables or something.

Okay so listen, make these. Don’t go buy crappy cheap chocolate. Work for that shit. Roll up your sleeves, create in your kitchen and enjoy the hell out of knowing you’re taking another step away from the processed foods and taking a little more control of your food.

Enjoy!

Paleo Chocolate Cups (Almond Butter / Coconut Butter)

The amounts listed made 6 large cupcake wrapper sized portions. Adjust accordingly if you want more or less or smaller sized amounts!

Ingredients:

12oz Dark Chocolate (preferably 70% or higher)

Almond Butter Filling:

  • 1/4 c Almond Butter (or any nut butter really) and if you want to make your own you can go HERE.
  • 1 Tbsp honey (though you can omit this if you prefer a less sweeter cup)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (again this is a preference not a requirement)
  • Sea Salt for garish.

Directions for Almond Butter Filling: Mix that shit together until smooth

Coconut Butter Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions for Coconut Butter Filling:

In food processor or high speed blender mix ingredients until you get a sticky (delicious) mess of smooth coconut…It might take a few minutes and you’re gonna have to scrap the sides but that’s why we roll of our sleeves and put some work into it!

Now putting it all together…

Melt 1/2 your chocolate either in the microwave on high (but keep a close eye that you don’t burn the chocolate goodness), or in a double boiler contraption. We go for the double broiler method (bowl in a saucer on the stove top on low).

When melted, place approximately 1 Tablespoon of chocolate in the bottom of each wrapper and smooth out with the back of a spoon so that you create a “cup” like shape (meaning a bottom and sides). Tedious but damn if you don’t feel like a BOSS in the kitchen with your master chef skills!

Refrigerate until hardened (about 5 – 10 minutes)

Portion out Coconut Butter and Almond Butter into chocolate cups  and flatten (make sure you leave a little wiggle room on the sides for the chocolate topping).

Melt the other half of your chocolate and again place approximately 1 Tablespoon of chocolate over filling to seal. If you’re using a cupcake pan you can lightly bang it on the counter to help with the process. If not using a cupcake pan you can smooth it out with the back of a spoon.

Garnish coconut cups with shredded coconut. Garnish Almond Cups with a touch of coarse sea salt.

Refrigerate until hardened (again about 5 – 10 minutes).

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

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