Paleo Coconut Curry Chicken…

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Summer is coming to a close. Leaves are quickly turning those lovely deep oranges and reds that we love so much as we meander in our neighborhood trying to get the walks in that we miss so much during the winter months.

The seasons change pretty quickly around here. One day you’re planning a big barbecue, throwing the frisbee around outdoors and lathering on that suntan lotion and the next day you’re putting on your hoodie, pulling out your rainboots and thinking about when you’re going to need to make the winter tire appointment.

It also means that local foods around here change. Root veggies become the predominate staple and instead of those big old summer salads you begin to think about hearty stews that warm your insides.

This is one of those hearty stews. We found this little recipe over at Nom Nom Paleo and as usual changed things up according to what we had and what we like. The recipe below is a little larger than most recipes because when we cook we’re also thinking about lunches for the coming work week. Change amounts according to what you need but seriously it’s better to have more and cook less if you ask us!

Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (or thighs),
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat is preferable)
  • Lots of veggies ( we used asparagus/sugar peas/peppers)
  • Garlic, minced (we used 8 cloves)
  • Spices according to your likes (we used chili powder/paprika/salt/pepper)
  • Zucchini (optional – used for “noodles”

The players

As usual, you want to think about food handling safety while prepping so it’s better to prep veggies THEN prep chicken.

Veggies

cute bowl

*** Side Note: A friend of ours gave us some stuff to sell at an upcoming yard sale and we found this cool bowl in with the goodies. Yhea, not gonna lie, we’re totally keeping it for ourselves***

Once you’ve cut your chicken into desired size, you want to add your spices. Again, in the Martin/Dowe household we do love a little spice in our life:

  • 2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • A little Salt
  • A lot of pepper

Chicken...

Heat up your coconut oil (or FoC) in saucepan or wok and cook chicken thoroughly. Remove from pan and set aside…

mmmmmm chicken...

Once removed, add garlic to pan or wok and saute for a minute or two…

garlic...

Add veggies of choice and saute. Don’t over cook. Keep them crunchy!

veggies!

While veggies are in the saucepan/wok, mix coconut milk and curry paste together in separate bowl. Add sauce to veggies and return chicken to pan. Turn down the heat and let simmer…

Now if you’re adding the zucchini as a base this is where you want to make your “noodles”. We have this really handy grater:

"noodles"

You can also use mandolin and slice thin or use practice your knife skills and do it by hand. In separate saucepan heat up a little coconut oil/FoC and saute the “noodles”…BE CAREFUL and don’t over cook. These little strings of deliciousness only take a minute to heat up. After that they turn to mush…

noodles

Serve and Enjoy!

Paleo Coconut Curry Chicken

We only cooked enough “noodles” for the one meal. If you want to stretch this out a little you can add quinoa as a base (which by the way if freaking amazing with the coconut curry sauce!).

We were able to get one meal and 4 lunches out of the whole shebang!

~Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

Knock knock (Paleo “Nutella”)

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It’s been a while folks.

Like a long long LONG while.

In between things like moving, training for Half Ironman, working and all the other “stuff” happening around here, this poor little blog of ours got real quiet…

Shit happens and of course by shit we mean just plain old LIFE happens.

We won’t lie, there hasn’t been much creativity in the kitchen as we would have liked this summer. We find ourselves making the same batch of Spicy Pineapple Chili over and over (and over) again because of convenience.

When we do try our hand at something new (like Paleo “Nutella”) we might forget to take pictures or actually take pictures and promise a blog post only to find ourselves giving the laptop the middle finger because we’d rather sit on our new front lawn and drink a beer than tap tap tap away on the keyboard.

But things are rather quiet (finally!) around the Martin/Dowe household so there has been an inkling to sit down and tap tap tap this Paleo “Nutella” recipe because let’s face it, who doesn’t like to eat Nutella? We’re not “OMG GET IN MY FACE” goo goo over it but it definitely hits the sweet tooth when necessary. Also we find we appreciate it more (and by appreciate we mean we’re not going to go to the store and buy a plastic tub from Costco) when we take the time to make it at home. More work + more time to make = we make that shit last!

Not sure what the rest of the summer looks like for theHDD. Mimi has decided to return to Lean Eating for the next 365 days (that’s right folks, talk about commitment to your health). We’re both super excited to see what kind of ass kicking she’ll be doing and over the course of the next month or so food foundations may be getting switched up to better fit her needs.

Don’t worry though; The Healthy Dynamic Duo is always in the kitchen making good food that’s good for you and as always wanting to share it with anyone who visits our little blog.

Enjoy!

Paleo “Nutella”

The Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Hazelnuts (skin removed)
  • 1 Heaping Tbsp Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
  • 1 Tsp vanilla Extract
  • 1 – 2 Maple Syrup (depending on taste)

The players

Preheat oven to 350F

You will want to roast your hazelnuts. As you can see by the picture above and below the skins are still attached. Toss them in a container with a lid (either before or after roasting) and give them a good shake to remove as much skin as possible. We left what was still attached so no need to get all crazy about removing every piece of skin.

Hazel nuts

* See the almonds in the back? We were “two birds/one stone” that morning and made Almond Butter too!

Roast these delicious little nuggets of goodness for about 10 minutes or so. Throw into food processor and begin the break down process:Hazel nut flour

(Hazelnut Flour)

This really is the most time consuming part. Hazelnuts don’t break down as easily as almonds and because you’re using a smaller amount (we tend to make quadruple the amount of almond butter than “Nutella” there is a lot of a) stopping b) scraping the sides c) repeat  happening. See; more work means you make that shit last when it’s all done!

HazelNut Butter!

(Hazelnut Butter!)

As a side note; Hazelnut butter is pretty freaking amazing…slap that goodness on a banana and we might have an “OMG GET IN MY FACE” problem.

Once you have the nut butter consistency add cocoa, coconut milk and vanilla and pulse until mixed thoroughly.

Delish!

"Nutella"

Once mixed you can go ahead and add the desired amount of maple syrup to sweeten it up to your liking. We only used one tablespoon because we’re more “dark” chocolate people than “milk” chocolate people. Start with one tablespoon and give it a little taste. You might find you prefer it to be not as sweet as the store bought kind…

Paleo "Nutella"

~Now that’s good eatin’ Folks!

 

Where the hell is Spring? (Paleo Spicy Pineapple Stuffed Burgers)

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No seriously, where the hell is Spring?

This time last year it was hovering around 20C (for our American friends that’s around 68F). The first day of Spring here in Halifax saw a dumping of about 15cm of snow (just under 6″) and then another few centimeters this morning.

We have our eyes set on the budding trees around our neighborhood and are so looking forward to warmer days (and by warmer we mean above 5C [40F]). We’re on our official two week staycation (this is day 3). We had hoped for some road trips down to the states to see friends but alas(!) we’re still waiting for that ever frustrating permanent residency card and don’t want to take the chance of crossing the border without it!

So instead we’re working out hard, cooking up some freaking fantastic foods and literally checking out every movie we can get our hands on at the library (yes, we’re that geeky)!

Normally it takes us a bit of time to go from testing a recipe to actually posting it but today we couldn’t resist getting this one out as soon as possible. The original recipe was found over at PaleOMG and can we just take a moment to say how much we dig Juli. Her recipes are always TO DIE FOR (okay maaaaaaybe not die for but you get the picture) and the words she throws down on her blog are always good for a laugh and an “oh man do I get it”. If you haven’t checked her out, do so and then get in your kitchen and try out this recipe.

As always we made some changes according to our tastes and what was available in our kitchen. Don’t be afraid to mess around with what you like / don’t like for this one. You really can’t eff up a burger no matter how hard you try (unless you have and then we’d like to hear about it!)

Enjoy!

Paleo Spicy Pineapple Stuffed Burgers

This made 5 good sized burgers and were about 390 calories each (not including avocado)

Start to table time about an hour (because of sweet potato fries)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground Meat (we used pork for this)
  • 3 Sausages (the large kind like from the butcher – we used a nice spicy sausage from our favorite butcher Jess over at Highland Drive Storehouse), casings off.
  • 1 C Crushed Pineapple (canned is okay but we used fresh and “crushed” ourselves)
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 2 avocados
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • Fat of Choice

Now if you want to make sweet potato fries to go with you’ll want to take care of those first…who doesn’t want sweet potato fries for Pete’s sake!

SAM_1515

If you don’t know how to make them, go HERE!

If you do make them a good way to know when to begin cooking your burgers is to begin when the fries have been turned and are halfway finished. So time wise you should do this: Start fries. While fries cook first round, make burgers (wash your hands after!). Flip fries. While fries cook second round begin grilling / cooking burgers. While burgers cook, puree avocados…everything should finish up about the same time!

Okay back to the recipe!

The players

In small saute pan add coconut oil, pineapple and 1/3 of your cumin (1 tsp). Saute for about 3 – 4 minutes (the juice from the pineapple should cook off). Set aside and cool.

Pineapple

In mixing bowl add your ground meat, sausage (casings off!) and spices. Mix thoroughly. If you have a kitchen weigh this will come in right handy for making 1/4 lb patties (for a total of 10). It’s probably more space conscious to make 5 and keep the rest of the ground meat off to the side until your ready to put together.

With your “bottom” patty ready, divide pineapple evenly.

burgers getting ready...

(Are we the only ones that thought this looked like a tongue?)

Now form the top halves of your burgers and seal. Pinch edges together and when you think you’ve got it, pinch again just to make sure. The more you do this the better the burgers will stay together! You can salt side up for a more crispy burger but that is a personal preference.

(are you ready to flip fries?)

When all burgers are complete, heat up a little FoC (around 2 – 3 tsps) in large saute / frying pan (or if you have a grill get that bad boy ready. Apparently we’re the only people in Canada that don’t own a grill and we are missing out something serious!) and place burgers, salt down, and cook on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Salt top portion of burgers and flip, cooking again for 4-5 minutes until done.

For the Avocado puree:

Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop into food processor. Add lemon juice and puree until smooth.

SAM_1521

(Before)
SAM_1523

(After)

When burgers are thoroughly cooked, top with avocado puree and dig in!

Paleo Spicy Pineapple Stuffed Burger

instagram finished

We love Instagraming the hell out of our foods!

Oh and if you’re wondering what to do with any left over burgers you may have, may we suggest the following:

instagram finished 2

Yhea, that happened (and will happen again real soon!)

~ Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

#DontBeAfraidOfYourKitchen (Curried Sweet Potato Bacon Soup)

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This is a hashtag you’ll often see us use on whatever social media platform we happen to be on at any given moment. We feel very strongly that weight loss is at least 80% food and 20% physical movement.

You can’t out exercise your diet if what you’re eating is full of crap and unless you are reading labels religiously and mapping out your macro nutrient percentages you probably aren’t paying attention to what comes inside those neatly packaged pre-made meals with words like “Low Fat”, “Low Carb”, “Lite” yadda yadda yadda.

Most people complain about not having enough time. Well, we say fuck that. You make time!.  Make time to take care of yourself. Make time to put yourself first above busy schedules, soccer games and gymnastics and time to finally make some life long changes that lead to life sustaining changes that you’ve been so desperately trying to make.

You don’t have to go into the kitchen and channel the spirit of Jamie Oliver, making a six course meal fit for the Queen to make good food that’s good for you. You just have to have a recipe you want to try and a little patience with yourself.

So what if it doesn’t come out looking just like the picture? So what if your kitchen got more messy than you thought it would? So what if it took a little longer than you anticipated? Maybe the taste didn’t turn out exactly like you thought it would.

Who cares?

But what if what you tried to make in the kitchen came out just like you imagined? What if it tasted better than you anticipated? What if it didn’t take nearly as long as you imagined? That’s what being in your kitchen is all about!

And here’s a little secret: When you’re kicking ass in the 80% food department, you’re gonna be seriously kicking ass in the 20% physical movement. Believe that!

Below is the recipe for one of our favorite soups that we found over at Cook’s Kitchen (it’s a paid website but the original soup was up for grabs for a day at no cost!). Because we practice A LOT in our kitchen we knew to change this up just a little to give it more complexity according to our tastes.

Enjoy!

Paleo Curried Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

This will make about 10 cups of soup (140ish calories per serving).

Start to Table time: Less than an hour

Ingredients:

  • 6 Slices of Bacon (chopped)
  • 2 Onions (chopped)
  • 3 lbs Sweet Potatoes (6-7 medium, peeled and sliced thin)
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Curry Paste
  • Garlic (we used 5 cloves, minced)
  • 4 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 C Water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

The Players

As always it’s best to prepare everything in advance so when you bring it all together, the process “flows” more smoothly. Raw meats should be the last thing you prep for safety reasons. Mince your garlic, peel and chop your onions, peel and slice your sweet potatoes then finally prepare your bacon.

sweet potato

In a large pot (or dutch oven), cook bacon on medium heat. Half way through add onions, garlic, curry paste and maple sugar. Continue to cook until bacon is crisp and onions are translucent.

bacon    bacon and onions    maple syrup

 

Add broth, water and sweet potato slices to the pot and bring to a boil.

Getting Close!

Reduce heat to medium/low heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes). When ready, transfer in small batches to blender/food processor or pull out your handy dandy hand held immersion blender (and if you have one of those we are officially jealous of you!) and blend until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper according to your tastes!

Paleo Curried Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

~Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

95/5; Paleo Thai Pork and Noodles.

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95/5

That’s our Paleo Food Foundation.

It’s not perfect and we don’t confess to being perfect. What we do confess to is trying to be as conscious about the foods we eat and the moving we do in order to feel strong, look strong and all around kick the ever living ass out of this life.

Many times we’ll post a recipe or picture of something we make and inevitably someone will point out that “such and such” can’t be Paleo by Paleo standards.

Sometimes Vegetarians eat meat/fish.

Sometimes Vegans eat cheese/eggs.

Sometimes a Paleo follower will use an ingredient that contains xantham gum.

It’s not the end of the world.

One of the things we can’t give up right now is our Sriracha Sauce. It pretty much rocks the socks off our feet and if we could tip back that beautiful rooster and digest the entire bottle, we would.

We also haven’t given up the occasional beer and pizza fest at one of our favorite hang outs. We are still Paleo. It’s a food foundation that we strongly believe in and just because it’s not iron clad, to the T, oh my god we just hunted down our very own grass fed moose out in the woods of Alaska we are still Paleo.

That being said; we did just found a Paleo recipe for Sriracha that you can bet your sweet rooster socks we’ll be trying!

The recipe below is for Thai Pork and noodles. The noodles of course is the delicious innards of a spaghetti squash (which we can’t seem to get enough of these days). The original recipe was found over at PaleOMG. Very little was changed. Make this once and it will be added to your list of “favorite” recipes. We liked it so much the first time, we made it again two days later and doubled the recipe so there would be plenty of left overs for lunch.

The great thing about this recipe is the ability to change it up to your liking: Change the meat, add seafood, omit the sriracha, add chili powder, throw in lots of veggies…you name it, it will probably work with this recipe!

Enjoy!

Paleo Thai Pork and Noodles

Total prep/cook time; about 45 minutes start to finish. Serves 2-3 (unless you eat smaller portions or serve with additional sides then 4)

Ingredients;

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1lb chopped pork
  • 1 yellow onion,  chopped
  • 2 tablespoons FoC (Fat of Choice – we used rendered bacon fat)
  • Garlic, minced (we used 5 large cloves)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp wheat free soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp siracha chili sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder or curry paste

The players

(As an after thought to this picture we decided to add the green beans)

green beans!

The key to cooking proficiently is to know in what order to prepare your food. For this it’s easier (and safer food handling wise) to 1) start the spaghetti squash 2) make the sauce 3) cut your veggies 4) slice the pork.

Spaghetti Squash: preheat oven to 425F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place face down on cookie sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes (when you can stick a fork easily in the skin it’s done). While this is cooking move on to the rest of the prep work.

Sauce: Combine coconut milk, lemon juice, fish oil, sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil and curry paste and mix thoroughly. Keep the almond butter separate as it won’t mix well until heated.

Veggies and pork: remember cut veggies first then pork (helpful hint: the thinner sliced the pork the more tender it will be when finished).

veggies and pork

In a large skillet/wok over medium heat, add your FoC, onions, green beans and ginger.

Onions, ginger and green beansAfter a few minutes add your pork and cook thoroughly.

Pork

Once pork is cooked, turn heat down to low and add sauce and almond butter. The almond butter will heat up and blend really nicely with the sauce (helpful hint: if sauce thickens you can add almond milk to thin) . Simmer until Spaghetti Squash is ready.

Simmering

When spaghetti squash is done, remove from oven and very carefully (cause it’s HOT!) separate “noodles” from shell. Then mix directly into sauce.

spaghetti squash in sauce

Mix well and serve!

Paleo Thai Pork and Noodles

We garnished with grated carrots and green onion. You can garnish with whatever you’re little heart desires. Almond slices, thin strips of basil or cucumber slices on the side would work well.

~ Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

Snowed in…(Homemade Larabars!)

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Like many of you out there, we are riding out the snow storm that has hit the US and Canada. Snowstorm “Nemo” has Tara looking out the window muttering “just keep snowing, just keep snowing”…and it seems that’s just what’s happening at the moment.

We’re taking full advantage of warmth of our apartment (except the crazy howling wind coming through the gap of the back door) to make almond butter, babaganoush and give our try at making homemade Larabars.

Here’s the thing about Larabars: We love them, but they are freaking expensive here in Halifax. In case you don’t believe us, here’s a picture to prove it…

in store larabar

$2.39 for barely a mouthful of Paleo snack-y goodness. Well if you know us, we are all about trying to recreate the things we love to eat in our own kitchen. It just so happen that through a Facebook conversation someone posted a link to this recipe and before either of us could finish reading the post we were off to the closest Bulk Barn to stock up on dried dates and fruits.

Below is the very basic of recipes. Once you get the hang of this one you will want to be more adventurous with whatever your tasty palate can come up with. Now here’s a little warning; if you are counting calories you may want to look for alternatives to the coconut oil or make smaller portions. The first time we made these, we made 5 servings using a well packed 1/4 measuring cup. That means they were around 300 calories each.

Now don’t go running off thinking you can’t enjoy these. You can and you will. This is a natural unprocessed snack that you’ve made with your own hands. Take pride in what you’ve created and if you must find alternatives just think about what will taste good and give it a go!

Enjoy!

Homemade Paleo Larabars

Ingredients:

  • 1 C Almonds
  • 1/2 C Dates
  • 1/2 C Raisins
  • 1/4 C Dried Cherries
  • 1/8 C Shredded Coconut
  • 1/8 C Coconut Oil (melted)

The Players

In food processor, pulse together almonds, dates and raisins until you get a sticky mixture (took about a good full minute). You know it’s right when you can grab a little and it shape it.

just the right amount of sticky

When you’ve got the desired consistency, add dried cherries and coconut to the mixture and continue to pulse (about 30-45 seconds).

add coconut and cherries

Once mixed thoroughly, drizzle melted coconut oil into the mixture and give it one final pulse (and by pulse I mean turn the processor on for about 30 seconds).

Now for the shaping! You will find it a little messy to shape by hand but it is doable. They may not come out as perfect little larabar shapes but really who cares. Like we said earlier we used a 1/4 measuring cup and they looked like this:

larabar

Because the mixture is sticky we used a knife to loosen up the sides so they would “pop” out more easily. The second time we made these we used a tiny bread pan and got a more square shape:

Place on non-stick surface and put in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Paleo Homemade Larabar

You can wrap in saran wrap or store in air tight container. They will last longer in the fridge but since there isn’t anything that needed refrigeration from the beginning you don’t need to put them in the fridge if you know you’ll be consuming over the next couple of days…

Just to give you a little idea of the cost effectiveness of making your own Larabars, we spent a total of about $20 for all the supplies and will have made about 25 of these tasty morsels…

That equates to about $.80 each.

Much better than $2.39

~Now thats good eatin’ folks!

Stuffed Acorn squash (with Slow cooker apple pulled pork)

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We are buckling down for a winter storm about to hit the area…

They predict upwards to 30 – 40 cm (~15in for our American friends) over late Friday and all day Saturday. That may put a damper on a race that Tara should be running this weekend (Hype Half Marathon) but it won’t put a damper on the good foods we’ll be cooking up this weekend in preparation watching the winter wonderland from our apartment.

The last of the winter squashes are in season right now and we’ve been taking full advantage of the bounty. Our freezer is stocked full of soups ready to be had during these cold winter nights and we’re always looking for ways of incorporating squash into our more hearty meals.

This recipe was originally found over at Paleo in PDX but we took it one step further by slow cooking pulled pork for the stuffing instead the sausage used in the original recipe. Took less prep time since we set the slow cooker in the morning and by the time we got home from work we just had to pop the acorn squash in the oven.

If you live in the States or Canada and are getting ready for the snow storm; stay safe, eat well and make a snow angel for us!

Enjoy!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Slow cooker apple pulled pork

Ingredients:

  • Acorn squash 
  • 1 lb Pork Loin
  • 1/4 c Shallots (optional)
  • 2 Apples, chopped
  • 1 Med Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 C Spinach (optional)
  • Garlic (we used 8 cloves), minced
  • FoC (Fat of Choice)
  • Salt / Pepper to taste

The players

For stuffing: cut onion, apples, shallots and garlic and place half on the bottom of slow cooker, layer with Pork loin then add spices then top with remaining onion, apple, shallot and garlic.

Onion, shallot, apple and garlic. spices

layer with apples, onions, shallots and garlic then porklayer with rest of apples, onions, garlic and shallots

Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until cooked thoroughly.

About 60 minutes before you’re ready to eat, prepare and cook the acorn squash. Cut in half and remove seeds. Place face down in glass baking dish with a bit of water and cook in oven for 45 minutes. Flip and cook remaining 15 minutes (or until squash is tender). As an option you can add butter to the cavity of the squash during the last few minutes of cooking. We don’t eat butter so we left this out.

acorn squash acorn squash

We wanted to add a little color to the meal so when the pulled pork was ready we tossed it in a big pan with lots of spinach…

pulled pork add spinach

The spinach is optional if you don’t want to wait to eat!

Remove squash from oven and stuff with pulled pork goodness!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Slow cooker pulled pork

~Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

The rare seafood feast!

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When Meegan has to go out of town there is one stead fast rule for Tara:

EAT SEAFOOD!

(and lots of it)

Weeks before a trip you’ll find Tara planning the breakfast/lunch/dinner menu so that full advantage can be had to buying the seafood, eating the seafood and clearing out any remnants of said life from the waters.

Having stumbled upon this little beauty of a recipe over at EverydayPaleo, the possibilities are endless. A big batch is frozen in the freezer waiting for the next out of town excursion but we’ve also recreated it using chicken and for those vegetarians out there this would be a great meal any day of the week, minus the meat with lots of extra veggies.

As always we changed things up according to our tastes and what was readily available in our kitchen!

Enjoy

Paleo Caribbean Seafood Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs raw seafood (what you like is what should be in there!)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 3 Zucchini (sliced)
  • 1/2 Pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk (we use full fat version)
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Yellow Curry
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Garlic, minced (We used 5 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp FoC (Fat of Choice; we used bacon fat)

The Players

Prepare your vegetables!

zucchini / tomatoes

Be sure to keep onions separate from tomatoes and zucchini.

In large pot on medium heat, saute diced onions in FoC until just before browned, add garlic and continue to saute for another minute or two.

Onion / Garlic goodness

Add tomatoes, zucchini and spices to your soup pot and mix well. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes then add coconut milk and bring to simmer.

Veggies in curry goodness

Add seafood and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until seafood is cooked thoroughly.

Caribbean Seafood Stew

This was served over quinoa but is pretty hearty in and of itself. For a little more of a kick you can add chili powder. Play around with the spices to find the right combination for you!

Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

Preparation is KEY! (Babaganoush & Roasted Beet Carrot Bacon Soup)

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We all know that some days it’s harder than others to spend time in your kitchen.

Long hours at work. Kids to shuttle from to and from one after school activity to another. Pets to walk, commutes to drive, finding time to break a sweat and trying spend a few quiet moments with the love of your life can leave very little time for opening cabinets, pulling out some pots and pans and whipping up a meal fit for a king…

We get it.

We also understand the importance of preparation for those days when you just can’t muster up the energy to do much of anything except throw yourself down on the couch, grab the remote and catch up on the latest episode of Big Bang Theory.

Granted, we’re lucky (at least that’s what we try to tell ourselves). Tara isn’t able to work legally yet as the paperwork sits on someone’s desk in Ottawa so there is *extra* time spent in the kitchen. But let’s not fool ourselves. Most of the meals we’ve posted here are made in under an hour and very little prep time except for making sure the meat is thawed in time to use and the knives are sharpened for practicing our knife skills.

Truth be told, we don’t always feel like cooking either. But we do like to be prepared.

Freezer full of goodness

This is our freezer full of soup.

We make soups in large batches so on those days we just can’t muster up the energy there is still something easy to grab instead of picking up the phone and ordering delivery.

We also usually have homemade babaganoush in the fridge to eat with veggies (or our one true addiction right now: Homemade pita chips from the Mediterranean grocery store down the street…we know, we know it’s not Paleo but we always preach a 95/5 ratio on our food foundation and holy crap those chips are amazing!)

Below are the recipes for babaganoush and Roasted Beet Carrot Bacon Soup. Make both and stock up your fridge/freezer so the next time you just don’t want to cook, you don’t have too!

Enjoy!

Babaganoush

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggplants
  • Garlic – we used 4 cloves (add more or less depending on your tastes)
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 3 tsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tsp Cumin

Preheat oven to 400F.

The players

To roast the eggplants, poke skin multiple times with fork then roast in oven for approximately 40 minutes. HINT: Every 10 minutes rotate eggplant so it roasts evenly on all 4 sides. After 40 minutes the eggplants should be nice and soft. Put in bowl of cold water to cool then peel skin from eggplant.

Dice eggplant and put in food processor or blender.

roasted eggplant

Add lemon, EVOO, cumin and tahini then pulse/blend until smooth.

Lemon EVOO

Cumin Tahini

This is best served cold so make sure it sits in the fridge for a bit before serving.

Babaganoush

Roasted Beet Carrot & Bacon Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 Slices of Bacon
  • 3 – 4 Medium Beets
  • 6 – 8 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • Garlic (we used 6 cloves)
  • 4 – 6 c of preferred liquid to cut soup (Chicken/Vegetable Broth, Almond Milk)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 – 2 tsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350F

The players

Wash beets and carrots and prepare for roasting. For the beets we washed then cut the skin off. For the carrots we just washed but left the skin. This is a personal preference. Toss in olive oil to lightly coat then roast in oven for approx 20 minutes.

Beets and Carrots!

After 20 minutes add onions/garlic and continue roasting until beets / carrots are soft (another 20 minutes or so).

beets, carrots, onions, garlic

While roasting cook bacon in frying pan until cooked to your preference, drain and set to the side. Warm your liquid in saucepan and add minced ginger.

Stock and ginger

When beets and carrots are roasted to perfection, in small batches blend with stock in food processor or blender. If you’re lucky and have a submersion blender you can just put everything together and blend to your desired texture.

ready to go!

To serve you can keep a few pieces of bacon out of soup and crumble on top or shred some carrot as topping. The color of the soup is pretty banging! So the carrot really pops.

Beet Carrot Bacon soup

The really cool thing about this soup is it’s pretty amazing served hot OR cold.

Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Own Kitchen (Homemade Almond Flour and Paleo Almond Crusted Chicken Strips)

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We love a good workout.

The kind that leaves you bent over at the waist wondering if it’s ever going to end (and yet wishing it would keep going). The kind that as soon as it’s done, the first thing we think is “hmmmm, that’s gonna be sore later”. Whether it’s running, swimming, lifting heavy stuff or perfecting the pull-up we know the importance of moving your body…

But…

Ask either of us and we’ll be the first to tell you we strongly believe that it’s the food foundation that was the main factor in our weight loss journeys and understanding how processed foods affects us both physically and emotionally. You can run a million miles but you can never out run your “diet”.

These days, it’s about convenience. Pick up the phone, go through a drive-thru, pop a frozen dinner in the microwave and Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am; You can conquer any hunger pangs. But let’s not fool ourselves; That’s not food. Yes it’s easier, yes it takes less time, yes you might get away without doing the dishes for the night, yes maybe the only thing you have to worry about is whether you’ll stop in at Ben and Jerry’s on the way back from the All-You-Can-Eat pasta bar and yes you’re inserting a substance into your mouth and swallowing to begin the process of digestion but trust us,  you could do so much better.

One of the reasons people resort to the convenience of eating out (at a restaurant or out of a bag) is the fear of being in the kitchen. Our main goal here at theHDD is to prove to you that with just a few ingredients and no fancy equipment, delicious meals can be created and be created by you.

We also want to encourage readers to think about ways of making even the most basic of kitchen staples. Take for instance Almond Flour. You want to make better choices and what better choice than to switch out that bleached wheat based flour for almond flour? You head to the store and WHOA THERE…

you want me to pay what for this?”

It’s expensive people! But what if you could make it at home for a fraction of what it cost and in about 10 minutes? Not to mention you feel pretty bad ass for making something that seems so…well fancy smancy!

Homemade Almond Flour

Ingredients: ALMONDS

(a Magic Bullet and Old Fashion Flour Sifter)

It doesn't take much to make Almond Flour1. Throw handful of almonds into magic bullet and pulse.

Oh the power of the magic bullet 2. Pour into sifter and wheeeeeeee spin until only larger pieces are left behind.

Old Fashion Sifter is a fun thing to have in the kitchen.4. Put larger chunks back into magic bullet and repeat steps 1 – 4.

Almond Flour

Now just to show you that the almond flour we make at home (in less than 15 minutes and about 1/4th the cost of store bought almond flour), is as good as the  store bought – below is the almond flour we make on the left and Bob’s Red Mill almond flour on the right. The only difference is they removed the skins and blanched the almonds. Ours are right out of the bag making it a deeper flavor.

Comparison (R) is ours (L) is store bought

Okay Tara and Meegan so now I made almond flour (and you’re right I feel pretty bad ass) what do I do with it? Well shoot, why not try your hand at Chicken Strips!

Paleo Almond Flour Chicken Strips

Ingredients;

  • Chicken breasts (we use one breast per person)
  • Egg white
  • Almond Flour
  • FoC (we use coconut oil)

There won’t be any pictures taking you step by step since we already inundated you with the almond flour pictures but it’s pretty easy (especially if you know how to make any kind of fried chicken).

  1. Set up dredging area (one bowl with egg white, one bowl with almond flour and plate for finished product).
  2. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
  3. Brush or dip strip in egg white then lightly cover with almond flour and put on plate. Repeat until all strips are done.
  4. Heat up FoC (Fat of Choice) in skillet over medium/high heat.
  5. When FoC is hot, place strips in skillet and cook approx 3-4 minutes each side until chicken is cooked thoroughly. We tend to flip our chicken strips often to make sure they brown evenly.

chicken strips

Less than an hour from making homemade almond flour to eating dinner at the table. We might have had dishes to wash but we know exactly what went into the preparation of our food. No hidden sugars or added processed ingredients. Just good food that drives our desire to make better choices both physically and emotionally.

~ Now that’s good eatin’ folks!