Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Wow – a month since my last post. I suck! I have been crazy busy the past month, went home to Pittsburgh for a week for Easter and have for reals been lazy on the posts. Not that this is going to be one to write home about, but I do have a fab recipe to share.

Saturday night in Chicago was freezing cold and rainy, so my friend Cherith and I decided to make it a night in with a few bottles of wine and made dinner and hung out. I was feeling the baking bug (I haven’t baked anything in forever- and I LOVE baking). I was about to whip up a batch of paleo cookies and realized Cherith is allergic to nuts. Awwwww, nuts. What’s a girl to do? Make regular cookies full of white flour and sugar? Please.

I found this awesome recipe from PaleOMG (of course!) for nut free, dairy free AND grain free cookies. And they were surprisingly really good. I know you’re thinking- okay, so what even goes into it? Read on, my friend.

Giant Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sunflower seed butter
⅓ cup raw honey
1 egg, whisked
1 vanilla bean stem, slit lengthwise, little baby beans removed with the edge of your knife
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½-1 cup Enjoy Life Mega Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out a dollop of cookie mix and pour onto baking sheet.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes; be careful not to overcook these.
6. Let cool. Then eat up!


Read Full Post »

So with the start of the new year comes all the marketing relating to new diet gimmicks and ridiculous exercise equipment. Including this super weird thing. This also means the mogul of the dieting world, David Zinczenko (he’s the “Eat This, Not That” guy) is at it again with another diet idea to ring in 2013. This one is called the “8 hour diet” which claims that weight loss can be achieved by only eating within an 8-hour window (instead of the constant eating from the second we wake up until we go to bed that our culture is so used to). For example, eating late at night messes up our digestive system and does not allow time to process our food before we go to sleep. Zinczenko claims that you can “eat whatever you want, as much as you want” as long as it is limited to an 8-hour window. Sounds awesome, right? Reading the small print, he recommends you get two of his eight “Powerfoods” at each meal or snack (these include eggs, lean meats, dairy, legumes, nuts, blue & purple fruits, red fruits & vegetables, yellow & orange fruits and vegetables and green fruits & vegetables. Lastly, you can follow it anywhere from 3-7 days/week to see results!

My take: First, the “whatever you want, as much as you want” thing scares me. Our culture as a whole is incredibly gluttonous, and my fear is that the 8 hour window will turn into a binge sesh and not include a ton of high quality foods. Example: putting berries on a bowl of ice cream. Lean meat on your pizza. Lettuce and tomato on a fried chicken sandwich. You get it. I also don’t have to get into how I don’t agree with the dairy and legumes being included as “powerfoods”. HOWEVER, I think that the idea of fasting is incredibly valid and I am excited to see that it is something that has finally reached the mainstream. I do see a difference when I intermittently fast- in my body, my energy and my satiety levels post-fast. I am by no means an expert AT ALL, but this guy has a ton of info and is definitely worth checking out. Simply, there are proven benefits to fasting, including an increase in resting metabolism, healthier gastrointestinal area and a lower bodyweight. After my Whole30, I think I may experiment with this 8-Hour Diet but use paleo as my guide towards what is a “Powerfood”. To be continued…

Secondly, speaking of the Whole30, I am well into Day 1. Had a great back-to-Crossfit class (love me some tabatas) and I found out there are over 15 of us doing Whole30 from my Crossfit box. Super stoked to find this out- and our coach even set up a “support” page on Facebook so everyone can share tips and recipes and keep each other motivated. Today, I whipped up some Smoky Bacon chili (compliments of PaleoOMG) with one small tweak- no potato and I simmered it for about 2 hours. I also added about a ¼ cup of water to her recipe. It is deelish and I even took some over to my sick-at-home friend who had a raving review! I also got around to making a batch of my Spicy Paleo mayo. Recipe below. This stuff is so good (took me a few attempts of experimenting!) but I put it on a ton of stuff.

Spicy Paleo Mayo

1 organic egg
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ¼ cups of olive oil (light tasting so it doesn’t taste bitter like EVOO [I get mine from Trader Joe’s])
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ cup diced jalapenos & their juice (I buy the little cans from the Hispanic section)
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

In a blender/food processor/bowl/whatever, break the egg and add the lemon juice. Let it get to room temp. (I usually wait an hour or two). After the egg warms up, add all the spices, jalapenos and ¼ cup of olive oil. Depending on what device you are using (blender, food processor, hand mixer), blend the ingredients together. Now comes the emulsion process! Slowly, slowly (teeny little drizzle) add the rest of the oil while blending. The more oil you add, the thicker it should get until it turns into mayonnaise! If your concoction is having a hard time emulsifying, you can add another room temp egg yolk which should probably help it thicken. If you’re still having trouble, then you are a horrible chef. Kidding. YouTube “homemade mayo” and you will find some tricks of the trade. I usually keep mine in the fridge no more than 2 weeks (essentially, as long as your egg is good for- make sense?)

Read Full Post »

Long time no post! Work has been cray lately and so has my social life- in a good way! Gotta love holiday season. So, first off, recipe time. It’s another doozy, so get those pencils sharpened. (kidding… it’s super easy)

Crock Pot Ribs

I love ribs- I mean who doesn’t? But I hate all the sugary BBQ sauce and sugary rub that goes along with making them. So I have devised a delicious rub and copied a delicious BBQ sauce that is all paleo, all the time. First things first.

Rack of ribs.
Rub: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, chili powder, ground mustard, oregano, and salt & pep.

Set that crock pot to low. Cut the rack in half if you have a smaller crockpot (like me). Mix a bunch of the rub ingredients together. No measurements, just make your own concoction! Rub ‘em all over. Rub ‘em in nice and good. Place ribs in crockpot. Walk away for a few hours. Depending on the cook quality of your crockpot, they should take 3-5 hours. Just keep an eye on them; when the meat is falling off the bone, they’re good to go.

Now, I am perfectly happy with devouring these just the way they are. BUT I appreciate those of you that are condiment lovers or just possibly can’t imagine consuming ribs without BBQ sauce. Here is my favorite paleo BBQ sauce recipe so far (it’s called Beastly BBQ Sauce, I mean, c’mon)

And a short rant for today…
So I came across this article this morning on CNN. Could it be? A soda that can combat obesity as we know it? “Hey Bob, want to go to the gym today?” “Nah, Charlie, I already drank three Pepsi Specials… I’m good to go”

No. People will believe everything and the Japanese have really outdone themselves this time. To summarize the article, this pop has a chemical, err… supplement called “dextrin” that is a dietary fiber that absorbs water as it moves through the intestines. So they are claiming that by adding this to soda, drinkers can lose fat. This claim is based on a 2006 study (also done in Japan) that concluded that rats that were given dextrin with their food absorbed less fat than their non-dextrin eating buddies.

pepsi-specialAccording to the article, dextrin hasn’t been tested on humans to the extent of these poor rats and in fact gives humans side effects such as stomach pain and gas, but alas, no long-term effects on humans have been studied or documented.

What an incredibly deceptive and ludicrous claim that a pop could help you lose fat. There are even already lawsuits that have been filed for misleading claims about nutritional benefits of soft drinks in the US.

A spokesperson from the NY State Dietetic Association said it perfectly: “Adding a fiber to a drink made from caffeine, caramel coloring, phosphoric acid, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup doesn’t make it healthy. If people think they’re going to lose weight by drinking a beverage like this, then they are more likely to drink more soda and therefore consume even more calories.”

Exactly my point. WHY are companies so quick to promote these deceptive, gimmicky marketing tactics instead of just promoting a product that is actually good for you? Eat your vegetables! They are healthier and probably will give you more fiber than guzzling creepy chemical Pepsi’s all day. I pray that this product doesn’t make its way to America. One would like to hope the FDA would not allow it, but we all know the FDA can’t be trusted to ban things that are bad for us. Ugh.

Read Full Post »

So many friends, too little time. I kid. But seriously- I have a total of 4 friendsgivings before I hit the road for actual THANKSgiving. Normally, this would be bad news on my waistline. But fear not- I have two super-easy, amazingly-delicious options for those holiday parties that are paleo-friendly and also super YUM.

Chicken Bacon Poppers

Ingredients: Chicken (raw), bacon (also raw), pepperoncini’s  (or jalapenos if you are a crazy person)
Other things you need: Foil, toothpicks, baking sheet


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with foil. (Strongly recommended but not required, but it makes clean up easy breezy).

2. Cut, cut, cut. Cut chicken into little pieces. Cut bacon into pieces. I usually do thirds, but if you want your poppers extra bacon-y, cut them in half. Cut tops off of pepperoncini’s and slice down the side.

3. Assemble. Place a chicken chunk into a pepperoncini, and then wrap it on up in a piece of bacon. Jab a toothpick so it stays put. Place that little guy on the foiled baking sheet. Repeat until they’re all wrapped and ready to go.

4. Put them in the oven! Depending on your oven, they will take 10-20 minutes. Just keep an eye on ‘em.

5. Plate and serve!

Dunzo. Appetizer is served, everyone loves them, and you don’t have to jump off the paleo train to enjoy one. Or 5. Or 10.

So now you are thinking, “that is great, but I am in the mood for something chocolate-y and sweet.” But paleo. -ish. Click here for my fav chocolate chip cookie recipe, compliments of Food Lovers’ Primal Palate.  Totally giving credit where it’s deserved, but here’s a little pic of the end result. Took these guys to my Crossfit friendsgiving potluck and they were a hit!

Technically, these aren’t 100% paleo, since they do have a little bit of maple syrup and of course chocolate chips, but hey, live a little, right? Still better than those gluten and sugar-filled monstrosities your friends probably brought. Happy Friendsgiving, friends!

Read Full Post »

So I have been in my current job for about 6 months now-  and it definitely has its perks. One of these said perks would include working from home 3 days a week. No getting up early, dressed for the cold and trekking downtown. No microwave-friendly meals for lunch at my desk. Instead, I can sleep in AND make something fresh and delicious (when my work schedule allows it!).

Considering the name of my blog, I felt a bit obligated to begin my recipe collection with one involving my favorite pork product. And it’s a good one. And an easy one. I mean, really easy. Like a if-you-can’t-handle-this-then-you-are-completely-hopeless one.  But really, it’s easy.

Here it is:

Baked Bacon

Ingredients: bacon. (additive, antibiotic, hormone & nitrite-free, of course!)
Difficulty: ridiculously easy.
Cook time: 10-20 minutes (depending on your oven)

Step one. Get your bacon out of the fridge. Don’t preheat the oven.

Step two. Cover a baking sheet with foil. (easy clean up!) I repeat- do not preheat the oven.

Step three. Lay your bacon strips on your newly-foiled baking sheet.

Step four. NOW you can turn your oven on. 400°. Place baking sheet in the oven.

Step five. Walk away. Come back 10 minutes later to check on your bacon.

Step six. Depending on your oven, pull those delicious piggy slices out when they are a nice golden brown.

Step seven. Remove bacon from the sheet right away so they don’t keep cooking. Place slices on some paper towels to cool.

Step eight. Eat!

So now you are probably thinking, what do I do with all the bacon grease? Save it, silly! Pour that liquid fat into a container and save it for cooking later on.

DONE! Easy peasy.

The best part? Enjoying those slices this morning post-WOD with my fried eggs (in leftover bacon fat) and coffee!

Read Full Post »