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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yum. Salad. Bacon. Chicken. Avocado. Yum

This salad is great! If you haven't checked out Mark's Daily Apple, you need to! He's also got a great new cookbook (the Primal Cookbook - which I own) which is well worth the purchase!

This salad is sure to please even the largest carnivore in your family (I speak from experience on this matter!). It's really quick, flavorful and filling.

Bacon, Chicken and Avocado Salad


1/4 pound bacon, or 4-5 slices, cut into 1/2 inch bits
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 2 inch pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 avocado – peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped walnut
1 apple – cut into 1 inch chunks (optional)

In a pan over medium heat, cook the bacon “bits” until crisp.

Remove and set aside, but save the bacon grease in the pan. Next, add the chopped and seasoned chicken thighs to the pan and sauté in the bacon grease. Cook the chicken and turn so that every side is browned.

Allow it to simmer over low heat while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toss the chopped romaine, avocado, chicken and bacon together. Top with red onion, walnuts and apple. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette, or use Lauren’s:

Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon apple cider
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mustard
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients except olive oil (using a whisk, food processor, or blender). Slowly add in olive oil drop by drop to make an emulsion (like you would when making mayo) until it is all incorporated.

Chocolate Cupcakes

I love Elana's Pantry! She has the best recipes! So I wasn't too happy with my Cranberry Apple "cheese"cake so I decided to whip up a batch of these Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes. I decided to use her recipe for the Peanut Butter Icing found in her cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (page 124).

I was inspired to make the chocolate/peanut butter frosting combo by my visit to Abbey Girl Sweets in downtown Cincinnati, OH. It was a particularly rough week this past week and I needed a cupcake pick-me-up so I took a little break from work and found myself at Abbey Girls. It's a great bakery and I had an amazing chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing. Thus I was inspired to make a more healthful (and sort-of paleo) version. It still needs some work and I need to work on the icing, but I was pleased overall. Next time I might get a Newman's Own dark chocolate almond butter cup, cut it in quarters and top each cupcake (Abbey Girl cupcakes does that with the chocolate/pb cupcake).

Just a quick note on agave .. though I like dessert, I don't like things that are too sweet, so typically I half the amount of agave in a recipe. I halved the amount of agave in the cupcakes and the frosting and think it turned out pretty good.

oh, and did I mention these are ridiculously easy and quick to make?

¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup agave nectar

In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda
In a large bowl, blend together eggs, oil and agave
Blend dry ingredients into wet thoroughly
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and scoop a scant ¼ cup into each
Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes
Cool and cover with frosting

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1c peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter)
1/2c agave
1/2t sea salt
1 t vanilla

In a large bowl whip the pb and agave until smooth with a handheld mixer. Blend in the salt and vanilla and continue blending until rich and creamy.

Cranberry Apple "Cheese"cake

I decided to try something from the Rawmazing website for the CFN Farewell to Brent Bash. It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I am definitely going to try it again because I think it's worth it! I think there were 3 big problems to my version 1) I tried to hurry it and didn't read the total instructions before I started so time was a issue, 2) I had a 10" spring-form not a 6" which made it rather flat to cover the surface instead of high and 3) the directions I printed were from the tastykitchen blog which was the same title of recipe, but this version went into greater details so I wish I would have read both before .. but it tasted good and I'll definitely try it again!

Cranberry Apple "Cheese"cake


1 C Almonds
4 Dates, soaked until soft with pit removed


3 Apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 C Agave
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1/3 C Dried Cranberries
2 T Coconut Butter
1/3 C Crust


2 C Cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 t. Lemon juice
1/2 C Coconut Butter (softened in dehydrator)
1/4 C Agave
1 t. Vanilla
1 t. Cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg

Read Through This Recipe Before Beginning

2 hours before: Combine apples, agave and cinnamon. Place on non-stick dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 116 for 2 hours, stirring once during dehydration.

Make crust: Place almonds in food processor. Process until finely ground. Add dates, process until well mixed. Set aside 1/3 cup of the crust. Press remaining into spring form pan. I used a 6″ for this recipe. You may have extra crust. Place in refrigerator.

Make Filling: Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. This will take a bit. Pat over crust and return to refrigerator. Finish Topping: Combine dehydrated apples, dried cranberries, coconut butter and 1/3 C crust. Press over top of cheesecake. Return to refrigerator and chill for 2 hours before serving. Slice with sharp knife. Serves 8.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paleo Stuffed Green Peppers with Cauli Rice

Inspired by a recent post over at Elana's Pantry, I made these delicious stuffed green peppers for dinner last night. I made several modifications to the original recipe. The recipe below contains my modifications. Super yummy and really easy to make!

Stuffed Peppers
6 bell peppers (I used green)
1 pound ground beef (natural, no hormones added)
1/2 pound breakfast sausage (Bob Evans Naturals)
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
½ cup onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
6 small slices of raw milk cheddar cheese

In a medium sized bowl mix all the ingredients
Cut the tops off of the peppers and set aside
Place peppers in an 11 by 7 inch pyrex baking dish
Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture; place one slice of cheddar on each pepper. place tops on peppers to close
Bake at 350° for 1 hour (**I needed about 10 extra minutes)

We also tried the cauli rice recipe on Elana's Pantry. It was a good alternative to rice and gave the same consistency.

Cauliflower Riceprint this post
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat
Saute onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft
Add celery to skillet and saute for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the "S" blade and process until the texture of rice
Add cauliflower to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt