The Perfect Snack for Fall

Snack number two of today!

Pinterest is a wonderful thing. It’s horrible to browse at work because I want to eat my computer screen, but I love saving recipes I come across that look A) delicious, and B) actually possible to make.

And recently, my savior came along.

Let me begin by saying I grew up in a nutless household. My dad was allergic to all, and I am allergic to hazelnuts, pistachios, and cashews, but never really liked any kind of nut. My mom loves cashews as a snack, but the one time I tried one I blew up like a balloon. Not my ideal kind of Saturday morning.

Now that I’m older and live away from my parents, I have lost my fear of these tasty treats. I eat wasabi soy almonds on the regular to fight my craving for sushi, and you’ve already seen my roasted almonds on here.

And now, I’ve discovered

the

best

granola 

EVER.

And it’s paleo!

Heavenly Paleo Granola

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2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup ground flax seed
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup honey
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
¾ to 1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit

Yes, it’s a lot of ingredients. But many health food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods have areas where you can only get what you need! I managed to get everything for less than $20 because I already had spices, honey, and coconut oil on hand, which is pretty decent when you consider pre-made granola (that isn’t mass-produced) can be expensive.

First, preheat your oven to 275° and cover a baking sheet with lightly greased aluminum foil.

Combine nuts and seeds in a large bowl, and begin melting the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan on the stove (or in a bowl in the microwave). Do not let it simmer, as soon as everything is melted, add all your spices and vanilla into the saucepan. If you’re feeling extra Autumny, you can substitute some of the spices for pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, allspice, or nutmeg!

Pour the liquid over the nuts and seeds, and mix really, really well. You want to make sure every tiny flax seed is coated in coconut honey deliciousness.

Finally, spread the mix onto your sheet and stick it in the oven for up to 60 minutes. 45 minutes is the sweet spot, but if you like everything a little more roasted, keep it in there. Stir it around every 15 minutes to keep the edges from burning.

For clumpy granola:

Take it out when it’s ready and don’t mix it. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then separate it into chunks to store.

For uniform granola:

Take it out when it’s ready and mix it, then mix it every 5-7 minutes until it’s cooled down.

Recipe adapted from The Café.

Who Says You Have to Give Up Carrot Cake?

I’m not gonna lie,

we fell off the wagon.

Busy schedules and life are hard to maintain while also eating healthy.

But look! Shiny!

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That’s right, we will soon be Mr. and Mrs. Paleontologists, so it’s time to kick it back into gear and get healthy for out new life together!

Enough of the distraction, let’s get on with the food right?

Almond Flour Carrot Cake

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2 cups almond flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp raw honey
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Grease a bread pan and preheat your oven to 350°. Let’s get cooking! …Baking? Let’s get baking!

Combine your flour and spices in one bowl and your wet ingredients in another (no carrots yet!), then add your wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well.

Now you can add your carrots, raisins, and nuts. Make sure they’re all cozy and evenly spread out in the batter, then pour your batter into the bread pan and stick it in the oven!

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Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and when a toothpick comes out clean.

I bit into this, having never tried almond flour in a recipe before, and was blown away!

Although almond flour should by no means be a large part of your paleo diet (baked goods still tend to have quite a bit of calories and carbs regardless of what you put in them), sometimes you have to find a healthier alternative for your sweet tooth.

Recipe adapted from Lexi’s Lean Kitchen

Cauliflower Power

Thanks again to Pinterest, I found what seems to be the perfect recipe for cauliflower rice. Now that I’ve tried it, I have a few tips:

  • Use raw cauliflower, not frozen, if you can. It makes for a better grainy consistency. That being said, I will show you how to do it with either fresh or frozen cauliflower.
  • Be careful about the ingredients you use, as cooking the rice is tricky. Cauliflower cooks very fast and can burn before the other ingredients are cooked.

Cauliflower Rice

You will need

  • One head of cauliflower or one 1 lb bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • Any spices or flavorings you’d like
  • Cooking oil or fat

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Step One

Roughly chop the onion and throw it into the processor for a few seconds. Then add the cauliflower and process it until you see a fine grain to the whole batch.

If you’re using fresh cauliflower, chop up the whole head into small chunks. If you’re using frozen, make sure they’re completely thawed, and if there is a lot of excess water, take a paper towel to them to dry them out a bit.

If you’re using fresh, congrats, you’re done! Pick out any large chunks and save your rice for use throughout the week, and skip to step three for tips on how to cook it.

But if it was frozen…

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Step Two (for frozen)

Because of the moisture left after thawing frozen vegetables, you’re going to have to dry these out, unless you plan on having veggie mush for dinner. I spread out the processed onion and cauliflower mix onto a baking sheet and picked out the large chunks. Then I let it sit in a 175° oven for three hours, just until it was dry enough and fluffy–not damp. It turned a little brown, but I was satisfied.

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Step Three

Throw some cooking oil or fat in a hot pan, and cook the rice until it’s heated but still “toothsome.”

If you’re going to add any ingredients to your rice, it might be wise to cook them separately, as we’re obviously not dealing with normal rice here. In order to get the grainy consistency that you’re used to with real rice, you’ll have to use a very hot pan–and this stuff cooks (read: burns) quickly.  Feel free to add spices or flavorings (lemon juice worked really well), but any chunky ingredient will probably not cook as quickly as the rice and might remain raw.

Ex: I didn’t chop my onion very finely, and the chunks ended up practically raw and very strong.

Below my chicken and green beans there is how my rice turned out. If I did it over again I would have chopped my onion more finely, but the consistency was great! It was so fluffy you could use it for stuffing if you wanted to!

Recipe Credit

An Apple a Day

It’s been a while!

After a hiatus, we are going back on Paleo. It’s hard to keep up such a strict diet when two people live in separate places but still try to grocery shop together, so our solution was to wait until we were finally moved in together to start it again!

As a way to ease into it, I made us a snack first. Pinterest makes Paleo easy with recipes and pictures, and that’s where I found this recipe for apple chips!

Baked Apple Chips

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Step One

Start with two large apples (washed), and preheat your oven to 200°. You want to cut the apples into the thinnest slices possible. If you have a mandolin slicer, it would be perfect for this. I used a very sharp knife.  Also, I left the cores in. Feel free to cut them out if you don’t want the extra crunch, but I thought they were prettier with the core left in.

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Step Two

Lay the slices flat on a baking sheet or other flat surface and sprinkle them with ground cinnamon, then flip them and sprinkle the other side. Be careful not to overdo it as cinnamon can get bitter in large quantities.

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Step Three

Put the chips in the oven and bake them for an hour, then flip them and bake for another hour. If you have a fancy oven with a dehydrator setting, this would be a good chance to use it. Otherwise you can pop the door open from time to time and let the moisture out. If two hours isn’t enough, feel free to bake them until they’re crisp.

I took mine out at two hours because I had something else to put in the oven, but I was still pleased with the result. They weren’t crispy like potato chips, but they were chewy like dried apples from the store (and way cheaper/healthier!). It’s hard to burn anything at 200° though, so keep them in as long as you’d like until they look good.

Original Recipe Credit

Over Easy Made Easy

I can cook and bake up a storm. Mousse? Meringue? Muffins? I got it handled.

The one thing I cannot manage to do, to save my life, is flip over an egg in a frying pan.

Normally I try so hard to get it flipped so that the white actually cooks that I end up breaking it. It ends up looking less like a fried egg and more like a Salvador Dali painting.

Well, good news for people like me!

If you rub some olive oil in a muffin tin, crack an egg into it, and bake it at 350° for 12-15 minutes, you get a beautiful, non-accidentally-scrambled over-easy or over-medium egg! Or a “hard-boiled” egg if you give it another minute or two.

Chicks in a Tin

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Step One

Crack some eggs into an oiled muffin tin and add any spices or flavorings you choose! My favorite was the one with just an olive, honestly.

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Step Two

Bake them for anywhere from 10-15 minutes. The longer you bake, the harder the yolk gets, but be careful to make sure the whole white looks baked before removing them.
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Enjoy! Or save them and enjoy them later! They should keep for about day.

I’ll definitely be doing this a lot in the future to make breakfast when I have a little bit of extra time to bake these lovelies. If you don’t want to eat them plain, you can always use this as a very decorative way to serve an egg with a meal, or for a neat way to make a breakfast sandwich (if you have a cheat day and some English Muffins!).

-Dee

Source: Pinterest

Bummmmmblebee Tuna!

Okay, it was Chicken of the Sea, but you get the point.

Fish is one my favorite foods, and it’s super healthy too! Even if you sneak a little mustard on top.

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Tuna Patties

3 5 oz. cans of tuna in water (so 15 oz total)
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon dried dill (or 1 1/2 tbsp fresh dill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Coconut oil for cooking

Drain the water from the tuna cans and mix the tuna with the egg, dill, salt, and pepper. Form into 10 small patties and cook in an oiled skillet for about 2 mins on each side. 

This dish is best served with cole slaw, but I had some squash in the fridge so I served mine with boiled squash and garnished it with a bit of dill and some mustard. The recipe calls for dried dill and the use of coconut oil, but I always prefer fresh herbs, and I didn’t feel like driving over to Sprouts for some coconut oil, so I just used olive. 

Source: Everyday Paleo (cookbook) by Sarah Fragoso

Chock Full O’Cinnamon

Growing up in a nutless household (my dad was allergic to all of them and I’m allergic to a couple myself), I never really got a taste for the things. But through trial and error, I found out that I can eat almonds and not die of anaphylaxis. So cinnamon roasted almonds sounded perfect for an afternoon snack.

 

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Preheat oven to 250º
Combine 2 cups raw almonds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast for an hour.

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Recipe Source: Joyful Healthy Eats

-Dee

 

The Paleo Diet and CrossFit – There's no better combination!