Easy Paleo Recipe Roundup: SNOW DAY Edition

Buffalo has had a blizzard warning since a day or two ago. I didn’t want to miss a whole day at work, so I worked two and a half hours instead. Does that make sense? Probably not. Don’t judge me.

I decided to use this time at home to catch up with the recipes I haven’t posted yet. Those will come later today. Right now, I have some healthy inspiration for you. The last one is the fan favorite:

Image

(Almost) PALEO. For this simple breakfast, I used nitrate-free bacon, frozen potatoes, green bell pepper, onion, and an egg. I cut the bacon into small pieces and cooked in a frying pan. I drained all but a small amount of the bacon fat, which I used to cook the hash browns in. I added the onions and peppers until they were cooked through and soft. I added the bacon and topped with an egg. EASY.

Image

PALEO. The easiest appetizer to make. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the stem and seeds from the mini pepper. Stuff with a cherry tomato (my peppers could only fit half of a tomato) and wrap with a 1/2 piece of bacon. I used a lined baking dish with a rack on top so the fat could drip off of the bacon. Bake them for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is browned and cooked through. EASY.

Image

PALEO. Is it weird that I used the word “flexible”? I feel like that word is really important to gluten-free people. These wraps bend and don’t crack when you fold them! These wraps are AMAZING. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend: 3 plantains, 1/3 cup eggs whites, 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, and a dash of salt, until smooth. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon batter in a circle shape and swirl with the back of your spoon until thin (and the size of a tortilla). Bake for about 15 minutes or browned on the edges. Makes 4 tortillas. EASY.

Let cool and fill with whatever the eff you want! I love spreading peanut butter on them if I’m leaving the house in a hurry! I have also used these for steak tacos. The combination was surprisingly great!

I hope these recipes have sparked your own creativity and inspire you to make something AWESOME and healthy! Please let me know what you think!

My Staple Ingredient List for Paleo Recipes

My refrigerator is so bare at the moment. It makes me sad. There are condiments, a few mini sweet peppers, a lemon, and an apple. I have enough frozen veggies to hold me over…but still! I was planning on going grocery shopping after work today, but all I’ve wanted to do since 2:00 pm was drive straight home. All day it has felt like a large toddler was sitting on my chest. All day the one thing I really wanted to do was unhook my bra to try to relieve some pressure from my chest. You see, for the past week and a half, I thought my asthma was flaring up. Yesterday, I had a gross cough…I’ll spare the details. It’s bronchitis. I have freaking bronchitis. The meds I’m on are going to give me diarrhea and knock me on my ass. Hopefully those things don’t happen at the same time.

I was thinking that I need to make a grocery list. And then I thought: I should write about the staples in my diet! It works because I have no food to make a new recipe anyway. Ya dig? There are a bunch of things I keep in my pantry at all times. I figured this may be helpful for you new Paleo people!

Here we go.

Sweet potatoes. Probably one of my favorite foods ever. I peel, dice, and bake them to throw into a hash. I slice them into wedges to make sweet potato fries. I slice them super thin to make sweet potato chips. You could make a sweet potato mash, baked sweet potato, the list goes on. I think you get the idea. I did chop off part of my thumb while slicing one, so be careful!

Frozen cauliflower. Steam, then “rice” in your food processor. I use this in place of rice pretty often! I don’t like cauliflower on it’s own, but when it’s in a stir fry, I love!

Vidalia onions. I saute these for scrambled eggs. I saute them and mix in with ground turkey for lettuce wraps. I basically only saute them and add them to recipes. Like sauce recipes. Yum.

Bell peppers. I roast them. I also saute these with onions to put on chicken or mix with ground turkey. I also love to stuff bell peppers!

Coconut oil. I use coconut oil a lot. I use it for sauteing veggies, I use it in my baked goods, I use coconut oil spray so my foods don’t stick, etc. My favorite use for coconut oil will change your life forever. I melt some in the microwave and mix in some white sugar until it’s a body scrub consistency. BEST BODY SCRUB EVER. It leaves my skin so soft.  It’s cheap, too! I get mine at Trader Joe’s.

Almond meal/flour. I use a lot of almond meal in my paleo treats/baked goods. I also use a little bit if I’m making paleo turkey burgers or meatballs in place of bread crumbs.

Frozen bananas. Buy a bunch of bananas. Peel them. Chop them into small slices. Place them in tupperware. Freeze! It’s as easy as that. I use frozen bananas in my smoothies and protein shakes. It makes them super creamy! Frozen bananas are also one of the main ingredients for my paleo ice cream recipe!

Frozen strawberries. I use frozen strawberries in my smoothies, too! I like using frozen strawberries over fresh because they last longer, and they keep my smoothie nice and cold. I also microwave frozen strawberries (just to soften) and whip them in the blender with a bit of pure maple syrup to make a strawberry sauce for pancakes and waffles.

Unsweetened almond milk. I love this stuff! I use it in my smoothies all the time. It seems as though I’m obsessed with smoothies…

Ground turkey, boneless/skinless chicken breast, and shaved steak. I usually have all the above in my fridge to choose from. These are my favorite meats to cook with.

Other items I’m regularly using include:

  • tapioca flour
  • coconut flour
  • cashew meal
  • carrots
  • coconut cream
  • almond butter
  • cinnamon
  • basil
  • coconut sugar
  • tomatoes
  • hot sauce
  • eggs
  • maple syrup
  • broccoli
  • cacao powder
  • spaghetti squash
  • pineapple
  • bacon
  • pitted dates
  • protein powder

I hope this helps guide you to a healthier lifestyle! What are some staples in your diet? I’d love to know!

PALEO/GLUTEN-FREE Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I must share a story with you: I was a bit early driving into work today, so I stopped at the Tim Hortons (a coffee/bakery shop) drive-thru to get a coffee. When I got to the window to pay, to my surprise, the person in front of me had paid for my coffee. I LOVE WHEN PEOPLE DO THIS! I returned the favor to the car behind me, of course. It made my day. AND!!! the “Rrroll Up the Rim to Win” special is going on. I have listened to my co-workers complain of their losses ALL WEEK LONG…and I won a free coffee or latte! Go me.

It’s the small things, people.

Now that I’m working full time, it seems like I’m only doing chores around the house and cooking in my spare time. I make it to the gym on the weekends. How do you people fit in gym time after working all day??? I feel horrible confessing this! I need to manage my time better, apparently. Please share your tips and tricks if you have any. I desperately need it. After sitting at a computer all day, wouldn’t you think I would WANT to get up and move? Nope. I don’t.

I do still come up with awesome recipes, though. I made another zucchini muffin recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Image

Look at that chocolatey goodness…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add the rest of the wet ingredients (minus coconut oil spray) and mix well. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, add coconut flour, almond meal, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and mix evenly. Fold in Enjoy Life chips.
  5. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray with coconut oil.
  6. Fill with batter until about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes about 9 muffins.

Note: make sure they completely cool! It is a very wet batter, it will fall apart on you!

PALEO/GLUTEN-FREE Paleo Strawberry Zucchini Muffins

It’s been a while since I have posted a new recipe. I know this. I’m trying to get into the groove of working full time again. I am slowly getting adjusted to my new routine. Please forgive me! I rarely post on Instagram during the week anymore because of this! So sad. I will fix this. That is a promise!

I have been keeping up with my food prep, though. I made protein pancakes to last me a few mornings. I will not be sharing that recipe. They were too dry! I’m sure you saw that picture I posted of a strawberry massacre on top of two pancakes, right? That solved my problem.

I just made acorn squash and turkey meatballs for tomorrow. NUMS. It’s really not hard to prep food for the week on days you don’t see your boyfriend because he’s slaving away on homework for eight hours in the computer lab at school. I also don’t have kids. I’m sure that helps.

Image

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add the rest of the wet ingredients (minus coconut oil spray) and mix well. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, add coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and mix evenly.
  5. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray with coconut oil.
  6. Fill with batter until about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes about 9 muffins.

Note: make sure they completely cool! It is a very wet batter, it will fall apart on you!

Gluten-Free Cake Batter Crunch Protein Balls

This may be one of my favorite recipes. Ever. It’s definitely in my top 10. Justin agrees.

Image

That, my friends, is a Cake Batter Crunch Protein Ball! It’s nut-based, crunchy, sweet, and is everything you want in a protein snack.

Image

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew meal
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life Cinnamon Raisin Nut & Gluten Free Granola (RAISINS REMOVED)
  • 3 scoops Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Cake Batter Protein Powder
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a food processor, grind cashew meal, granola, and protein powder into a fine powder (the granola should be broken down quite a bit from it’s original size).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. If your mixture is still too dry to form into a ball-shape, add a bit more maple syrup.
  3. Roll into ping pong-size balls (about 1-inch).
  4. Makes about 20 protein balls. Store in an air-tight container.

Consider the Source…

A small rant (and a tip for my readers):

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness and furthered my education beyond that. I have worked in a gym and was a Personal Trainer for over two years. I worked in a grocery store for about eight years (lots of experience reading nutrition labels and learning about produce). Although I am not a Dietician and do not know EVERYTHING, I try to give the best health & nutrition advice with the knowledge I do have.

I can not give advice when I am not familiar with the topic, and when I can, I will do research to educate myself and my readers.

With that being said, it frightens me to see some of the health & wellness advice that is being given on certain blogs. I follow some awesome blogs by people who are great, knowledgeable writers…don’t get me wrong. But some are not so great.

Friends, please be aware that not everything you read on the internet is true information. Recognize the difference between fact and opinion. Please be smart and consider the source for your own health and safety!

(Almost) PALEO, Definitely GLUTEN-FREE Nachos

Alright, friends. I’m about to get a little personal here. If you’re not into it, then step away from your computer screen NOW.

I enjoy Mexican food. I’m not in love with it, I don’t HAVE to eat it, but I do crave it occasionally. If you’re familiar with the spices that go into taco seasoning, you know that cumin is a MUST. Cumin absolutely makes a dish taste like that “Mexican taco” flavor. Thing is, as of a couple years ago, I’ve been getting really sick from taco seasoning. Thinking it was an additive, I tried making my own.

NOPE.

I have tried so many variations, and have finally realized that it’s CUMIN. Does anyone else have this problem? I can literally feel cumin running it’s course through my body. It’s torture. And last night, I made taco seasoning minus the cumin. I added the seasoning to the ground turkey, and then I decided to “sprinkle a teeny bit” of cumin into the meat.

NOOOOOO.

Why did I think that was okay? It was a horrible decision. The cumin woke me up before my alarm. My insides are literally purring right now. Not a cute kind of purring…that is all I will say.

By the way, it’s mid-February and -1 degrees outside in Buffalo…feels like -18. Why.

Image

These are Paleo minus that cheese! I just NEEDED that cheese. If you’re completely paleo, ditch the cheese and you’re good to go.

Paleo/Gluten-Free Nachos

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 20 mini sweet peppers
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon (smoked) paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • a sprinkle of cheese (optional)

Note: if cumin has no ill effects on you, I suggest adding 1 teaspoon of it!

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey and onions. Brown turkey and cook all the way through, onions will be transparent.
  2. While the turkey is cooking, remove stems and seeds from mini peppers, slice them in half, lengthwise to create a “chip”. Set aside.
  3. Add all spices into a small bowl, mix well.
  4. Once ground beef is cooked, add spice mixture and stir well.
  5. Serve beef on a plate or in a bowl (with a sprinkle of cheese if you wish), and scoop with mini peppers!