Tuesday, January 22, 2013

healthy, easy Paleo chicken nuggets

every kid in the world loves chicken nuggets, including mine.

but, being uber health-conscious plus Paleo means they are a big no-no in terms of the golden arches type.

but, never fear, mom is here

these are crazy delicious and really, really good for you!

(please to ignore my really old, trusty, baked-on-grease pans, ok?)


i used one $5 package of organic chicken thighs from costco...there are about 3 nice-sized thighs in the package, which turned out to be more than enough for two adults and two kids.

even kids who are jonesing for mickey d's...

so, just cut them up into bite or two-bite sized pieces, pat dry and season with some kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper...

now, set up your breading station and prepare to get messy, there is just no way around it. you'll need about:

1/4 cup arrowroot powder (i actually had to use cornstarch, which you see below, since that is all i had, but it's not paleo, so if you want to be legal, use arrowroot)

2 whole eggs (you will have some left over, so you can try it with one egg and see if it's enough, but i never want to stop and make more so i just start with plenty) ((also, you could sub flax eggs if you are egg-free))

1/4 c almond milk (or half that if you are using one egg and feeling lucky)

1/2 c almond flour

1/4 c coconut flour

1 tsp herbs de provence

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 T nutritional yeast flakes (available at health food markets and gives a nice, cheesy, nutty taste the kids will adore)

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

:: place arrowroot (or cornstarch, if you are cheating) in one bowl

   mix together egg and almond milk in another bowl

   combine remaining ingredients in a third bowl

coat nuggets in arrowroot...shake off excess. this step creates a barrier between the chicken and the breading.

next, dip each nugget into the egg/milk mixture...and this is where it gets messy.

roll each battered nugget in the nut flour mixture and coat well. wash hands. repeatedly. remain calm. sing several songs.

it will be worth it.

place coated nuggets on a cooling rack set into a pan and let rest 10 min or so. this gives the starches a chance to fully hydrate and adhere to the nugget. drink a glass of wine while you wait.

or put lots of hand lotion on your hands that are now super dry from all that hand washing.

coat pan very thickly with coconut oil or other healthy oil and bake 'em at 375 degrees for approx. 20 min., flipping them after 10 minutes or so. You can cook them longer if you like them browner or crispier...thighs can handle a lot of cooking.

it is not golden arches...not by a long shot.

it is much, much better.


yummy paleo snickerdoodles

hey y'all.

sorry for the lack of posts lately..life is busy...i am sure you understand.

but really i am just struggling with the winter doldrums,

and satan

i know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. i believe when we draw very near to God, our hearts become very vulnerable to the enemy.

so, i've been laying low. praying. talking to God. trying each day to decide to obey Him. it should be easy, with all He's given us.

but sometimes it isn't.

pray for me, would you?

and i will thank you for it in Jesus' name...

(and with some yummy snickerdoodle cookies :-))

::recipe slightly modified from urbanposer::

for approx 16 cookies, you will need:

2 cups finely ground almonds (homemade or store bought "flour")

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, depending on how much you dig salt

1 tsp baking soda

4 tbsp soft coconut oil

1/4 cup raw honey

1 tsp pure vanilla

1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon, plus 1 more tsp for rolling

2 tbsp organic sugar or coconut crystals for rolling

heat oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment

mix all ingredients through first 1 tbsp cinnamon together in a bowl with your hands. this will be messy, but stangely satisfying. lick all the bits off your fingers (wash your hands) and proceed.

scoop 1 tbsp balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and place a few inches apart on parchment lined pan. press each ball down with the bottom of a flat glass...they stick so either wet the glass in between cookies or dip bottom of glass into leftover cinnamon sugar mixture between cookies...either way works.

bake anywhere from 8-10 min. do not over bake. let cool on pan about 10 min and enjoy.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

a good, basic paleo muffin

we need bread over here.

some kind of bread.

so here it is. a really good, moist, light, basic bread. we've had them plain, with pastured butter, with jam, with honey and even split them, grilled them and used them for slider buns. yum!

beware. these are NOT sweet. i wanted bread, not cake.


i fully intend to make them much more cupcake-like by at least tripling the honey at a later date :-)

paleo muffins:

makes 12

6 whole, organic eggs
1/2 c + 2 tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup date sugar
2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 c organic coconut flour
1/4 c organic golden flaxseed meal
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

place all wet ingredients into blender, then all dry ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. should be similar to a thick pancake batter.

pour into a greased muffin pan...you can use coconut oil to grease the pan or pastured butter or ghee or whatever you have on hand.

bake at 325 degrees for approx 25 min or until slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. enjoy!


Friday, January 11, 2013

mmmm...paleo pancakes

****Hey y'all!!! Major overhaul on pancake recipe! It's perfect now!***************

delicious, grain-free pancakes...

it's what's for lunch

and dinner

we love pancakes and quite often have them for one or two meals each week, usually with some delicious bacon or sausage. but, i have to go shopping as we are all out of breakfast meats...so for today, just pancakes.

we don't mind.

you'll need the following to make about 27 large pancakes:

9 eggs
4 T coconut oil, melted
1 T pure vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 T cinnamon
scant 1/4 c date sugar (this is key to the great texture, do not substitute)
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 small, ripe banana

heave it all into your blender, zoom for a minute and done. pour pancakes onto 300 degree skillet and cook  until almost done, at least 3-4 minutes...low and slow is KEY. flip and cook about a minute longer and enjoy with pure maple syrup, honey or coconut whipped cream.

almost there....

a simple, delicous and nourishing lunch!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

breakfast smoothie

     after a few days of paleo waffles and chips and guacamole...

i feel the distinct need for simplicity.

a lovely combo of:

a big handful of organic black kale

a big handful of baby spinach

two clementines, peeled

one medium banana, peeled

spring water and ice

zoom zoom


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

my paleo lunch

i love mexican food. really, really love it. every bit of it's ooey-gooey-cheesy-corn-chipy-goodness. pre-paleo we had taco night at least once a week.
it was sacrosanct.
but now, well, it just doesn't seem doable. how do you have a taco without a wheat or corn tortilla? or cheese? or tomatoes? (for those of us on the AI protocol)
then i got to thinking...
one of the things i really love about mexican involves none of those ingredients: guacamole!
of course, you do have to have some sort of chip to get it to your mouth, although i am seriously NOT above just shoveling the stuff in my pie hole with a spoon.
just sayin'.

so i remembered reading something about making your own potato chips in the microwave but, of course, AI protocol and all...no white potatoes for me.

(i fried up a mess of them the other day, thinking this rule didn't apply to me and ate a ton. i felt like crap for two days. ugh.)

and also? guac on potato chips just sounds...gross.

but, hey! why not sweet potato chips? sounds good to me! so i got out my trusty mandoline slicer so i could get the sweet potatoes really thin, some olive oil and salt and went to work.

i set the mandoline to it's thinnest setting and sliced up about 1/4 of one peeled sweet potato.

you can do this by hand, but to get the thinnest possible chips, you are gonna need some serious knife skills.

please do not cut yourself, chips are not worth blood.

spray a piece of parchment with the oil of your choice....i used olive oil as i am still panting by the mailbox waiting for my gallon of pure coconut oil to arrive.


then, place raw chips on parchment, spray again with some oil and sprinkle with salt...use a light hand with the salt as it is easy to over-do it.

i trimmed up my parchement to fit better in the microwave and to allow it to turn freely...you could probably just use a paper plate, but this holds a lot more chips!

i must be very secure to take a picture of the inside of my microwave.

now, just zap them! every micro is different, so watch them close. i cooked 'em for 4 minutes, removed the ones that were done and zapped the rest for another minute.

be sure to wait a minute or two before deciding to cook them more if you think they aren't crispy enough. they crisp up quite a bit as they cool.

now, for the star of the meal...the guacamole.

so simple, anyone can make it yummy.

i don't have a recipe, per se, i just sorta throw it all in and taste as i go.  you should too.

but, you'll need:

 one ripe avocado

 juice of half a lime

 a clove of fresh garlic

 cumin seed 


see? just chop, squeeze, sprinkle and taste...so so so so good...

one perfect bite. one perfect paleo mexican bite.


Mourning the loss of Seymour

about two years ago I created a sourdough starter. we named him seymour.

as in, "feed me seymour"? get it?

he made wonderful bread. really wonderful grain-filled loaves of love.


my kids are not happy, to say the least. they started most days with several slices of seymour, toasted and dripping in butter.

so did i.


the mission becomes creating a sourdough coconut flour starter, a paleo starter.

apparently this will be the first in the world because everything I've read suggests it cannot be done.

oh yeah? we shall see.

all props to my favoite sourdough grain-based cookbook and it's author, the amazing chad robertson....such wonderful loaves of bread.

here's how one normally makes a wheat-based ferment...

here's how i am attempting a coconut-based ferment...

50 grams of organic coconut flour...

200 grams of spring water...

kinda resembles playdough....not gonna work...

so i added about 200 grams more of spring water...

which makes for a liquid starter, but, hey we are in uncharted territory here, so let's give it a whirl, shall we?

now here is my (hopefully) secret weapon...probiotic capsules. definitely NOT something you would see in a wheat starter but i am just not sure how much wild yeast digs coconut flour, so i thought i would give the local flora a boost with billions of good bugs.

so below is the start of something great (i hope). we named him pauleo. get it? so, off to the dark cupboard you go, pauleo. we'll see you in a few days when hopefully you will be bubbling and a bit stinky (in a good way).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday paleo brunch

after church sunday brunch goodness...a necessity around here

smoothie diets be darned 

on the menu today: a paleo feast of uncured, nitrite free bacon, organic green beans sautéed in all that lovely bacon fat and a pan of yummy coconut flour biscuits.

oh heavenly!

coconut flour biscuits (makes about 6)

4 large organic eggs, separated
2 tbsp organic raw honey
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

heat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin pan.

separate eggs into two bowls. into the yolks, add raw honey, maple syrup and liquid oil, mix until combined. in another medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.

whip egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. combine yolk mixture with dry ingredients and then gently incorporate beaten egg whites, do not over mix.

evenly divide biscuit mixture between muffin cups and bake approx 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden brown.

serve with coconut butter and raw honey.


biscuits...one of God's greatest gifts
use that lovely bacon fat to cook your beans!
bacon...God's greatest gift to mankind.