Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Swirl Banana Cake

My husband's grandmother just celebrated her 89th birthday, so we decided to have a special celebration at our house with the kiddos.  It's not everyday you turn 89!  So we wanted to have a little cake and sing to make it extra special.

This recipe is wonderful to make with little helpers.  Lots of opportunities for measuring, stirring and mixing.

I also added a super easy glaze which I will detail below.  Since I will not be eating this cake I used milk to make the glaze, but you could just as easily use almond or coconut milk for a dairy free glaze.

With a few candles you've got a lovely cake!

Paleo Chocolate Swirl Banana Cake
3 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 tbs oil, whatever oil you prefer to bake with (examples would be walnut, coconut, even olive)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Swirl (optional)
1 tbs cocoa powder
splash vanilla extract
1 tbs maply syrup
1/2 tbs oil
splash of your preferred milk, if needed

Glaze (optional and not paleo)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
splash vanilla or maple extract
couple tablespoons milk of choice, starting with just one, and add more until reaching desired consistency

Preheat your oven to 350.  I prefer to line a 9" square pan with parchment, but grease yours if you don't like or don't have parchment.

Mash your bananas and mix in your eggs, oil, syrup, ACV, and extract.  In a separate bowl, mix your almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and then add wet to dry and incorporate.

Pour your batter into your baking pan.  In a small bowl, mix up your chocolate swirl.  Pour it over top of the batter, and with a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the chocolate mixture around until it's well distributed.  I had some additional leftover that I just drizzled on the top.  Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out cleanly- start checking at 20 min.

When the cake has cooled you can pour your glaze on top, and use the back of a spoon to distribute.

While this cake is grain and dairy free, it does have almond flour so is certainly not suitable for those with nut allergies.  There are scores of coconut flour banana bread recipes available however.  I have one on this blog, but it uses sugar-free sweeteners, which I no longer use or approve of.  It would be easy enough to sub out the SF sweetener for maple syrup or whatever, but I would rather put up a new recipe than link to that one.

When it comes to baking, at this point my personal stance is that there are really no baked-goods that I should be eating, as I no longer eat artificially sweetened things, and cannot really tolerate the carbs or sugar anyways.  Whatever I bake is going to be for friends and family, and I want to be sure everything I use is natural, free of pesticides or chemicals, and as healthful as possible.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lemon Thyme Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are IMO.  They are super easy to roast, a total crowd pleaser, and so damn good for ya.  It's always nice to bring a brussel sprout dish rather than your customary green bean side dish I think.  We have roasted brussel sprouts pretty regularly in our household, so when making them for company it's nice to give your usual recipe a little boost.

This recipe definitely accomplishes that.  With a fresh, bright flavor and a bit of a tang, these are for sure not your average sprouts.  With just a few extra steps, you'll have an updated brussel sprout dish in no time.

Lemon Thyme Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Bag (or two) or Brussel sprouts, quartered
Juice from half a lemon
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 tbs dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients well on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until browned.  These are also good cold the following day, and are really excellent tossed into a salad if you have leftovers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paleo Cauliflower Broccoli Mash and Ground Beef Bowl

Funny lookin' bowl of food eh?  Yep, sure is.  And you know what- who cares?  It's tasty, it's easy, it's chock full of veggies, and it is FAST!

I was rummaging through the freezer yesterday, trying to locate my frozen bags of cauli, when I
thought- ugh how boring, cauli mash again.  Why not switch things up a little and make a cauli/broccoli mash?  It will be bright green and a totally new flavor.  Sounds fun right?

This is not even a recipe.  You throw a bag of steam-in-the-bag cauliflower and a bag of broccoli in the microwave and then get your stick-blender and mash it all up in a bowl with butter and salt and you're dunzo.  Cook your ground meat and spoon it over the top and you are good to go!  Obviously this side would be totally appropriate for whatever protein you have on hand, but I thought this sounded appealing and it was already defrosted so there you go.

The best part is that leftovers are perfect for my twin one-year-olds.  This is a great meal for little eaters as it is soft and easy to chew.

So next time you are considering cauli mash for the hundredth time, swap in some broccoli for some green mash that will give you and your kiddos the giggles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Bread- Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free

#Pumpkinspice is a thing.  It's a stupid thing if you ask me, since really all it means is that something has some combination of cinnamon, ginger, and clove in it, but it's a thing all the same.  Don't even get me started on the pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks.  Oh my god, none of the ingredients in that are even food!  Blech!

Anyways- if you are wanting a quick and easy recipe for pumpkin bread that is entirely nut and dairy free, this is your ticket.

I highly suggest you give my maple syrup/molasses combo a try to get an especially warm and spicy flavor, but if you don't like molasses or just don't have any, using all maple syrup will still be delish.

You could also bake this in a muffin tin for pumpkin spice muffins.  Or frost it for a cake.  Or bake it in a square pan for bars.  Lots and lots and possibilities.

Pumpkin Spice Bread
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove (optional, I chose not to use it because I hate cloves, but customarily that is part of "pumpkin spice")
5 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp ACV
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350.  Mix all your wet ingredients, and then add your dry and incorporate well.  Pour into a greased, or parchment lined loaf pan and bake until firm, 25 to 45 min depending on your oven.  You will notice this has a very dark appearance due to the molasses.  That is fine!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Paleo Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salad

I am a big proponent of salads.  Breakfast salad, lunch salad, dinner salad, salad as a side dish, main dish, appetizer, whatever.  They are great.  Probably what I eat for dinner most nights of the week.

But a salad doesn't always have to be your standard, run of the mill lettuce and tomato and carrot boring combo.  In fact, I eschew lettuce most of the time altogether.

A great example is this incredibly simple but colorful cucumber and bell pepper salad.  It's exactly what it sounds like- except this one has grape tomatoes as well.

With some EVOO and ACV you are good to go.

This is a huge quantity, as I had intended to bring it to a BBQ.  This would serve 5-6 easily.  Adapt as you will!

Some great additions to this would be:
Feta cheese, if you are primal
Pine Nuts
Greek Olives
Green onions

Here is the quick recipe- so next time you are sick of your usual salads, or want a fresh, raw and colorful side to bring to a potluck, try this out!

Paleo Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salad
2 organic english hothouse cucumbers, cut into bite sized chunks
1 green pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 tbs EVOO
1 1/2 tbs Bragg's ACV
Salt and pepper to taste

This salad keeps pretty well.  The following day in the fridge it is still crisp and not soggy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Paleo Faux-tato Salad

I cannot take credit for this recipe whatsoever, but holy sh*t it is fantastic!  If you are a paleo peep like myself you must try this out for your next shindig or BBQ.  Super easy, you can throw this together in just minutes.  If you miss traditional white potato salad, then please give this a try.

Thanks to the fabulous CupcakesOMG for coming up with this gem!

That is all folks- just a friendly PSA to make this shizz as Labor Day weekend approaches.  You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Natural Deodorant Review: Crystal Essence Deodorant Roll-On, and a New Drugstore Fave

I have been on the hunt for a "natural" deodorant for YEARS.  Firstly, I wanted something non-staining (you know those unsightly yellow stains under your arms?  That's not from sweat, that's from the aluminum chlorhydrate) and secondly, the thought of rubbing metals and parabens all over my skin day in and day out where they are surely being absorbed into my lymphatic system gives me the ickies.
So, I have been on the hunt for quite some time for a natural deodorant that would also, I don't know, work?  Call me crazy, but just because it's natural doesn't mean it shouldn't do its job.  And I am not one of those folks to embrace their natural "scent" and eschew deodorant altogether.  I'll leave that to Matthew Mcconaughey.  Throughout my trials, I found quite a few duds, which I won't discuss at this time, but finally, I have hit the nail on the head.  YAY!!!

This stuff is the  For reals!!!  It has a lovely, inoffensive smell, and is totally natural, and YES actually does the job.  Keep in mind it is a DEODORANT not an antiperspirant.  This means it's job is not to keep you from sweating, but to keep you sufficiently deodorized.  I find that this works for me because I don't normally have a huge wetness issue and so far, it has kept me pretty dry and odor-free.  However, you can't expect to not have to reapply it ever.  If you are of the sweatier persuasion, you may need to reapply this throughout the day, which I still find preferable to parabens and carcinogens in your pits alldayerryday.  And it has a pleasant smell and is a nice little compact shape, super easy to throw in your bag and reapply as needed.

Here is detailed product info, in case you're interested.

Mineral Deodorant Body roll-On. Natural deodorant protection. Crystal Essence Lavender & White Tea, made of natural mineral salts and infused with the relaxing aromas of lavender and white tea, leaves an invisible protective barrier against odor-causing bacteria. Lavender, known as anti-inflammatory and white tea, as a natural relaxant, combine to form an essence that pleases rather than overpowers the senses.  Crystal essence is long-lasting, non-sticky, non-staining and leaves no white residue.
  • no aluminum chlorhydrate
  • hypoallergenic
  • paraben free
  • safe for the environment
  • endorsed by Cancer Treatment Centers
Made in USA.

So,  if you find yourself in the market for a natural, non-shitty deodorant, totally give this one a go.  

Next up, a new love of mine.  Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya.  I own quite a few of these, and love them all, but this color in particular is stellar.  Gorgeous color, moderate staying power, super moisturizing and hydrating, gives a lovely sheen without being frosted or shimmery, and a great drugstore price.  I honestly prefer this to many of my high-end lippies.  If you like a non-shimmery peachy wash of color that has a great sheen without being matte, this is a wonderful product to try.  I would not call this color a coral, there is hardly any pink to it, if any, so it's definitely for the warmer complected folks.  However, there are a ton of more cool toned colors to choose from if that happens to be your jam.  Here is a pic of it on me:

And that's it for me today y'all!  Keep on keeping on GFGs.  XoXo