Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tangy Maple BBQ Chicken Bake

This simple and super delicious dinner uses the tastiest, easiest homemade BBQ sauce that you'll want to slather on everything. The only sweetener used is pure maple, so it's paleo friendly! If you need some maple, you can find the very best at

Marinade/BBQ sauce:
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c maple syrup
1/4 c Dijon mustard
1 TB granulated garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 lbs. chicken (thighs and drums or leg quarters)
2 sweet potatoes, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
granulated garlic
smoked paprika

Preheat over to 400 F. In a roasting pan lightly covered with olive oil, combine chicken, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and onion. Season pan contents with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and smoked paprika to taste.
In a mixing bowl or small saucepan on medium heat combine tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, granulated garlic, black pepper, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake to 1.5 to 2 hours, occasionally basting. Enjoy.

Just about to go in the oven!

Double the marinade if you want extra sauce!

Leftovers can be used in a pot pie or casserole. The sauce can used for any kind of barbecue.

This little fellow loved it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Paleo "Reese's" Pie

This pie is definitely more like a candy bar: a totally rich, sweet, delicious treat for any Paleo people out there craving the creamy, salty, chocolate goodness that is Reese's. Only, this treat doesn't have any peanut butter. The magic ingredient is sunflower seed butter.
My husband loves peanut butter treats, so my mom-in-law passed a sunflower-seed-butter fudge recipe my way, which became the inspiration for this pie. Take note, if you've been a well behaved cave boy or girl and stayed away from sugar, this little treat just might knock your socks off.
For the crust:
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TB raw honey
Crust prep:
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredient and mix well. Next, add wet ingredients; combine until well mixed. Press crust into a prepare 9 in round pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool while preparing filling.
I mixed my crust with a silicone spatula.

Pressed in before making.
Baked and cooled.
For the filling:
3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 TB coconut cream (skimmed off the top of a can of settled coconut milk)
3 TB raw honey
1/2 tsp salt
Filling prep:
In a small saucepan on low heat, combine all ingredients and stir together until smooth and melted. Pour into cooled pie shell and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until firm, before adding the top layer of chocolate.
By itself, this filling would make a nice fudge.

I think next time I might fold in some whipped cream and try a more traditional "peanut butter" pie.

This is after about an hour in the fridge.
Chocolate topping:
1 1/2 cups 60% or higher cocoa chocolate
2 TB coconut oil
Topping prep:
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and coconut oil until melted and mixed. Pour on top of the pie, and return it to the refrigerator until it is firm (about 30 minutes).

Additional notes:
1. Keep pie refrigerated.
2. It may be a bit challenging to cut at first because the top layer is nice and firm, like you'd expect from refrigerated chocolate.
3. Best if eaten like a candy bar.  



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paleo Brownies

These brownies actually taste like brownies -- chocolaty, cakey, fudgy goodness. Don't let the sweet potato fool you. I believe the sweet potato to be a mystical root vegetable. Though, I can't take credit for basing my recipe off them: I first saw a sweet potato brownie recipe over at PaleoOMG when my friend Bess posted it on facebook a couple months ago. It's an awesome site, so definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

Immediately, the idea of a sweet potato in brownies made perfect sense, but I knew I was going to want a significantly higher amount of cocoa and a bit more honey. I've made a few variations of this recipe, and I've been pleased with them all. The following recipe uses both coconut flour and blanched almond flour, but feel free to omit either. If you omit one or the other, the result will simply be fudgier. My husband prefers the fudgier variety, my kids can't tell the difference, and I prefer the one that combines both flours.

1 large sweet potato (baked in the oven at 425 for 50 minutes -- I like it to become complete mush.)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 large eggs
1/2 cup raw honey
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13in pan with coconut oil.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream baked sweet potato and coconut oil (doing this while the sweet potato is still warm will melt the coconut oil). Add remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, and beat until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

As you can see, it's a thicker batter, but the brownies still come out nice and moist.
This is a picture of the brownies with only coconut flour. This batter is thinner and the brownies have a more even surface.
Either way, the flavor is phenomenal.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chocolate-dipped, Almond-topped Bacon Hearts

'Heart attack' may be your first thought as you lay eyes upon these slightly extravagant professions of bacon love. They are a bit over the top. Oddly enough, if you're a Paleo or Primal person, these porkers are an acceptable treat.

I can't take credit for this idea at all. Chocolate-dipped bacon has become a bit of a pop glutton-goody, and bacon hearts are a pintastic success. I do, however, think I can add a few little  tips to the execution of this sweet and savory treat which may assist in a successful presentation.

To begin, I suggest you use thick-cut bacon. Also, skip cutting the bacon (as performed by The Paper Mama)  -- just fold it like a heart. I read on one blog that cutting the bacon makes it more susceptible to falling apart, which will make it more difficult to glaze.

6 or 7 slices thick-cut bacon
1 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Shape and arrange bacon on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Once the bacon has cooked, move the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess grease and cool. In a small pan, toast almond slivers on medium heat. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Dip bacon hearts in the melted chocolate. A spatula will help coat the bacon more gently. Once the bacon in thoroughly coated with chocolate, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and top with toasted almonds. Keep these hearts from melting by storing them in the refrigerator.

Feel the love?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate Banana Coconut Flour Muffins

These banana-based, cake-like muffins are sweet, moist, and a great way to put ripe bananas to use. The addition of chocolate chips on top provides a touch of decadence. Putting some cherry-juice infused craisins or nuts in the batter would also be a nice way to create different flavor and texture dimensions.

3 ripe bananas (mashed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
Approximately 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. Combine all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Fill liners with batter about 2/3 of the way full. Top with chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool. Consume.
(Note: Makes about 10 muffins.)

(Depending on how much I fill the liners, and the size of the bananas, I can get as few as 9 muffins, or as many as 11.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Banana-Based Paleo Pancakes

Initially, I wasn't a huge fan of the banana-based pancake batter I found in the Paleo Pals cookbook by Sarah Fragoso. Furthermore, my family and I were really happy with the almond flour option in Elana Amsterdam's The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. As a result, I haven't really given the banana-based option much of a second chance, until this morning because I wanted something quick.

Elana's pancakes are totally legit; however, the length of time it requires to cook them properly is somewhat painstaking. By the time the first batch of four or five is cooked, the bacon and eggs are ready, and everyone is waiting at the table. Meanwhile, I've still got my eyes fixed on the right front burner, waiting to flip those suckers because almond flour is so gosh darn heat sensitive. Nobody likes a blackened pancake, no matter how Cajun they be! (We're not at all Cajun, but I like to pretend.)

While I was on Pinterest the other day, I saw a simple pancake recipe: only eggs, a ripe banana, a tsp of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. So, I thought, 'All right, lets give it another go.' Thus, I present the following:

1 ripe banana
2 eggs
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
coconut oil for greasing the pan

Mash banana with mixer, add remaining ingredients, mix well. Cook slightly less than a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on medium heat in an oiled skillet. Once the edges are cooked and the top's bubbles are breaking, flip and finish cooking the other side. Top with fresh berries and a little organic maple syrup. Yum!

Notes: This made 9 small pancakes.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Almond Butter Fudge: A Paleo Treat for Fall Holidays

This fudge is an awesome sweet-tooth fixer for those of us who may be suffering from excessive salivation every time we walk by the Halloween candy display at the grocery store. What's even more awesome, it's good for you. No joke -- check out the ingredients. This creamy fudge has a soft texture, so I think this recipe would double well as a pumpkin pie filling. If you were to sub the honey with agave it would be vegan friendly as well. Enjoy!

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put all your ingredients in a small saucepan (I used a medium-sized pan, but small would have been better) and set the stove top on a low temperature. Once everybody gets melty, blend the mixture with your immersion blender until smooth and creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, a food pro should work just as well. Pour the mixture into a small Pyrex or, like me, a small CorningWare brushed with a little coconut oil. Refrigerate for about half and hour. If you want it firmer, keep it in the freezer.