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Paleo for athletes: Chowder

28 Apr

I would like to start out by saying that normally bacon, sausage, and sweet potato are not paleo.  Given that sweet potatoes make and excellent post workout recovery carbohydrate, they are allowed for paleo athletes.  As for the meats, these are not paleo because they typically contain a lot of salt, fat, and nitrates.  I purchase uncured and nitrate free bacon and freshly ground, nitrate free sausage and you can skim excess fat off the top of the chowder.  Please keep all of this in mind as you decide whether or not this paleo-ish recipe is for you.

We’ve had a chilly couple of spring days this week which put me in the mood for a heartier dish.  I think you’ll enjoy the warmth, flavor, and beautiful presentation this recipe offers.

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil

4 acorn squash, 1 lb. each in size

1 lb. uncured nitrate free bacon

6 ribs celery, sliced

1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced

2 leeks, white and light green part, halved and sliced

1 lb. sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 lb. fresh, nitrate free sweet saussage

1 lb. fresh, nitrate free hot saussage

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart organic low sodium chicken broth

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage

Kosher salt

Pepper

1 tbl. fresh, flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp. xanthan gum

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Split acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard.  Plase the squash halved cut sides up on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

In a large pot cook bacon in a little olive oil until crisp and fat has rendered.  Remove bacon to paper towels to drain.  Discard bacon fat.  Heat 3 tbl. olive oil in the same large pot over medium high heat.  Saute celery, carrots, leeks, and sausage for 3-6 minutes.  Add potatoes, butternut squash, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add parsley, coconut milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in xanthan gum.  Serve in cooked acorn squash cups.

It seems I have made more chowder than will fit in my acorn squash cups, you might want to cut the recipe in half (still using 4 small acorn squash).

Paleo avocado vegetable dip

19 Mar

Got raw veggies?  Looking for a way to jazz up your block of carbs (raw vegetables) with a healthy block of fat?  Try this delicious, easy to make, avocado vegetable dip with a hint of a kick.

Ingredients

1 avocado, pitted and removed from skin

2 tbl. paleo mayonnaise (recipe available in Paleo Made Easy)

Juice of one lime

2 tbl. chives, minced

5 scallions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 clove garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)

1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on how much of a kick you want the dip to have)

Method

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Helpful tip:  Once avocados are exposed to air they oxidize (become brown) and while there is nothing wrong with the avocado it doesn’t appear very appetizing.  Acid, such as lime juice slows down, but does not inhibit this process.  Someone special recently stumbled upon the secret to keeping your avocado green…save the pit and toss it into the container with your avocado.  I have no idea why or how, but it WORKS!  Take a look.  This is my avocado dip a day after I made it, it is still exactly the same color!  The photos were taken under different lighting and with two different cameras (differing by about 4MP) but trust me, it is the same color.  No matter what you’ll agree it isn’t brown!

Paleo chocolate hazelnut spread

29 Feb

There are certain flavor combinations that just seem destined for each other.  If you have ever enjoyed Nutella you probably agree that chocolate and hazelnuts are one such combination!  This delicious chocolate hazelnut spread is something that can easily be made from scratch, but I set out to make a paleo version, and my creation is one of the recipes I am most proud of!  This paleo chocolate hazelnut spread is amazing with bananas, strawberries, or just a spoon 🙂  It should take you 45 minutes or less to make, but this from scratch plaeo version is absolutely worth your time! Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 can (13.66oz) full fat Thai Kitchen coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut crystals

2 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed

4 oz (by weight) Enjoy Life dairy- soy- nut- gluten-free semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tbl. organic blue agave

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a heavy saucepan heat coconut milk and coconut crystals over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture reaches a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring often, until mixture has reduced by half, approximately 30 minutes.  Stir in “butter” and vanilla, remove from heat and cool.  Arrange hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven.  When nuts are cool to the touch rub them between your fingers or a tea towel to remove the skins (if you can find blanched hazelnuts, which are hazelnuts that already have their skins removed, you can save yourself some time here).  Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler (in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water) and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  In a food processor process the cooled nuts until pasty, approximately 1 minute.  Add the cooled sweetened condensed coconut milk mixture, agave, and salt.  Blend the mixture well, scraping down sides of food processor bowl as needed.  Add the melted chocolate and pulse until combined.  Transfer spread to an air tight container and store in the refrigerator.

In my cookbook, Paleo Made Easy (available here), I have several paleo icings for my baked goods, but this chocolate hazelnut spread will also make an EXCELLENT frosting for any of your paleo baked goodies!  If you are loving these recipes I’ve created definitely check out Paleo Made Easy!

Paleo breakfast hash

27 Feb

Homemade corned beef hash is something two diners in my area are famous for, but paleo it is not.  Here is a recipe for a delicious hash that abides by paleo guidelines for whenever you are in the mood to make a comforting breakfast (or breakfast for dinner).

Ingredients

1/2 lb. uncured nitrate free beef bacon (or substitute uncured nitrate free pork or turkey bacon)

1 1/4 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced (if eating this as a post workout meal you can substitute sweet potato for all or some of the squash)

1 onion, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread (can substitute avocado oil, olive oil, or canola oil)

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

Method

Heat “butter” in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add bacon and squash and turn the heat to medium high.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until has is browned, approximately 5 minutes.

I served mine up with a bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and chive omelet in a bag (recipe from my cookbook Paleo Made Easy).

Paleo chocolate pudding

20 Feb

I can’t take credit for the inception of this recipe, but I also can’t seem to figure out who the credit belongs to!  Suffice it to say the idea isn’t mine, but I have modified the ingredients a bit.  So if you are looking to get a chocolate fix and a good dose of healthy fat all in one this is the recipe for you!!

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados

4 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup organic blue agave

1 cup cocoa powder

Method

Slice ripe avocados in half, carefully remove and discard pit, and scoop avocado from skin.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.  Chill and eat!

Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fat and potassium!

Paleo pecan pie

14 Feb

Pecan pie is oh so delicious, but oh not good for you at all: flour, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup….these are the typical ingredients that, along with pecans, comprise this gooey, crunchy treat.  So, can you make this sugary, rich, calorically dense pie paleo?  I sure can!  Now so can you…

Ingredients

Crust

Coconut oil spray (for greasing pie dish)

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbl. agave

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup Earth Balance soy free buttery spread

2 tsp. vanilla

Filling

1 egg

1 egg white

1/2 tbl. vanilla

3/4 cup agave

4 oz. unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut crystals

2 tbl. tapioca flour (*Robb Wolf permits cassava root in paleo, and tapioca is dried cassava, therefore a bit of tapioca flour/starch is permitted in paleo cooking*)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup pecans, toasted

Method

Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.  Cool nuts.  Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor (I use the plastic “blade”).  Once combined press crust into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish greased with coconut oil spray.  Dock the crust with a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes at 400°F.  Whisk together the pie filling ingredients, except for the pecans.  Add cooled, toasted pecans to pie crust.  Pour wet filling over pecans in crust and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes.

Paleo chicken piccata

11 Feb

Everyone has their favorite dish at a restaurant, but one restaurant takes it a step further.  There is one Italian restaurant that makes, in my opinion, the best chicken piccata anywhere.  So good, I refuse to order chicken piccata at any other restaurant.  What’s so special?  This restaurant specializes in a garlic butter piccata sauce.  All other restaurants stick to a strict lemon butter sauce with capers, heavy on the lemon.  I’ve managed to replicate this garlic butter piccata sauce at home and decided to convert my recipe to paleo!  Here is your guide to being able to enjoy this delicious, paleo chicken piccata at home.

Paleo Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

1 3/4  pounds boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

2 eggs

1-2 tbl. So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage (used So Delicious culinary coconut milk for Whole30)

Kosher salt

Pepper

3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil

8 1/2 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread or ghee for Whole30

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups organic low sodium  chicken broth

1 tbl. fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tbl. fresh lemon juice

Paleo Italian nutcrumbs

1 cup almond meal

2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. pepper

Method

Whisk together Italian nut crumb ingredients.  Prepare egg wash by whisking together eggs, coconut milk beverage, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Dip both sides of chicken cutlets in egg wash and then coat with nut crumb mixture.  Shake off any extra nut crumbs and set cutlet aside.  Do the same for all cutlets.  Heat 3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbl. “butter” in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When sizzling add the chicken, 3-4 cutlets at a time depending on size of cutlets and pan, and cook on the first side for up to three minutes.  Using tongs flip the cutlets and cook for an additional 1 minute on the second side.  Transfer cutlets to a baking sheet.  Once all cutlets have been pan cooked, bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.  In a new skillet prepare the piccata sauce.  Over medium heat melt 1 1/2 tbl. “butter” and whisk in 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add chicken broth, parsley, and melt in remaining 5 tbl. “butter”.  Finish sauce by whisking in 1 tbl. lemon juice and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  When chicken is finished baking, remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

Paleo for athletes: Sweet potato vidalia onion tart

13 Jan

Ingredients:

Tart crust

3 cups almond meal

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tbl. agave

2 tbl. canola oil

2 eggs

Filling

1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes

2 ½ pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced

4 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. pepper

Method:

Tart crust

Mix ingredients together and roll into an 1/8 inch thick circle between two pieces of parchment paper on a pizza stone or baking sheet.

Filling

Bake sweet potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour.  Remove from skin and mash with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.

In a skillet melt the “butter” over medium high heat.  Add the onions, ½ tsp. salt, and thyme springs and cook over medium high heat until softened, approximately 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook until caramelized to desired level.  Remove thyme and season with ¼ tsp. pepper.

Spread tart crust with mashed sweet potato, top with onions.  Use parchment paper to help you fold up the edges of the tart and bake at 375°F until dough is browned, about 20 minutes.

Paleo for athletes: Creamy broccoli soup

12 Jan

Ingredients:

2 tbl. Earth Balance soy free buttery spread

1 tbl. extra virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, peeled and chopped

1 ½ lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 ½ lb. broccoli, cut into florets stalks sliced

1 ½ cups organic low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. pepper

2 cups So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage

Method:

Heat “butter” and olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add shallot and sauté until soft, 5 minutes.  Add sweet potato, broth, and water.  Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.  Add broccoli, salt, and pepper and cook, covered, another 10 minutes.  In batches transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour soup back into pot and mix in coconut milk beverage.  If desired season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Paleo Made Easy Cookbook Highlighted Recipes

22 Nov