Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Lara bars

Hello there bloggy blog.  I'm sorry that I've neglected you.  I'm just boring and keep eating the same stuff over and over, or I've been using a lot of the recipes from eMeals, or just kept it basic.

However, I finally got to the business of organizing my kitchen cabinets and to my surprise, found 4 separate containers of sesame seeds (whoopsie, I'll need to do something with those) and a big ass container of dates, as well as 2 others.  So after perusing Pinterest and looking for a homemade Lara bar recipe that I could make with what I had on hand, I improvised because I was short on one thing or another.  So here's what I came up with and the results were quite pleasant.  I apologize in advance for the lack of precise measurements.

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (I had roasted/salted but unsalted is fine too)
  • 1 cup almonds (again, I used roasted/salted)
  • 15-20 dates, pitted
  • Coconut oil, melted.  (maybe a tablespoon or two, I didn't measure)
  • Couple of handfuls of dried fruit of your choice, I used Craisins
  • Vanilla
In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds and almonds and pulse until ground well and combined.  Don't let it go too long, you don't want to make almond/sun butter out of this.

Once the nut/seed mix is blended, toss in the dates and continue to pulse.  This is where your coconut oil comes in.  I just drizzled it in so everything would mix better.

After those are combined, toss in a handful or two of whatever dried fruit you want (or chocolate chips, that's your choice) and a teaspoon or two of vanilla.  Continue to pulse for another minute or two until everything is combined.

Unload your mix into a baking dish (my 8x8 was dirty so I used, I don't know, a 5x7 one or something) lined with parchment paper and press down evenly.  Refrigerate for a few minutes to let things solidify a little and cut into squares.

I was surprised with how quick and easy these came together and how delicious they were!  The dates and dried fruit are plenty sweet on their own, so you don't need honey, but that's always an option if that's your thing.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blue cheese bacon burger salad

Yesterday I was craving a burger.  Not just any burger, but a blue cheese bacon burger.  My friend and I went to Five Guys Burger and Fries (where he said I could get onion rings, and it turns out he's a dirty liar because they don't have them).  So instead I ordered a (bunless) bacon cheeseburger.

Seriously, it was pathetic.  And between that, the fries and drink, set me back $10.  Total waste.  The burger was so messy and just kind of tossed into the little bowl with condiments on the side.  Lesson learned, there's a reason why I've only been there one time before....

So today, I fixed the craving and I fixed it good!  Make this for the family or, if you're cooking for one like me, you'll get 3-4 lunches out of this.

  • 1 pound ground beef (grass fed if you've got it)
  • 6 ounces of bacon, sliced (thick cut if you've got it, or use whatever you want)
  • 8 ounce package of mushrooms (optional, but I like sauteed mushrooms with my burger)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Blue cheese (yeah yeah, dairy isn't paleo, but whatever, it is in my world.  Omit it if you want, but if you can do dairy, do yourself a favor and keep it because it adds the perfect creamy texture to it)
  • Lettuce
In a large skillet, toss your ground beef along with a teaspoon or so of fat of your choice (I used tallow, and if you have access to it, I HIGHLY recommend it because it adds a delicious flavor to it) along with whatever seasonings you like (I did a few shakes of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder) and cook.  

Once the beef is done, remove it from the pan and transfer to a bowl.  Then toss your bacon in the pan and cook that, and when that's done, place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate, then toss in the mushrooms to the pan and cook those.

Assemble your salad as you normally would, and drizzle it with some mustard vinaigrette and enjoy.

Mustard vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Dash of salt & pepper


So I seem to have developed some kind of intolerance/allergy to nuts, so I'm keeping them out of my life for now.  I know, it's sad.  Especially when I do things like crave a PB&J sandwich or something....

And okay, there are a million recipes floating around the interwebs for sunflower seed butter, and I'm not taking credit for anything, I'm just posting how I did mine today.

  • 4 cups roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (more on this in a minute)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and more on this too)
Get your food processor out and put the seeds in and turn it on.  Now just forget about it for a few minutes until the processor grinds it into a mealy texture.  Now start to drizzle in your olive oil, letting the processor go, and it will gradually start to thin out and turn into a more creamy texture.  You may use less oil, you may use more, just stop the processor periodically and scrape down the sides and see where you're at.  And the same thing with the honey, add in a tablespoon at a time, test it, and if you want it sweeter, add more.

You want a really good treat?  Toss some on a banana with some strawberries, it'll solve the PB&J dilemma.

Makes 3 cups

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bacon wrapped blue cheese dates

I'm not going to lie, this is a little labor intensive project, but the reward is well worth it.  The combination of salty/savory/sweet is a perfect balance.

I had a party last night and ended up making 40 of these guys, but you don't really need to measure anything.

  • Dates, pitted and sliced down the middle
  • Bacon
  • Blue cheese
Stuff the dates with a little bit of blue cheese and wrap with bacon, securing with a toothpick.  I cut a slice of bacon into thirds.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a rack on a cookie sheet so the grease drips down into the cookie sheet.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy.  Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Roasted beet and apple salad

Before you make this salad, do yourself a favor and go out and pick up some goat cheese, it will put it over the top.  This kind of turned into a "I have 3 pounds of roasted beets, what should I do with them?" situation, and I kind of hate lettuce but I buy it anyway, then remember I don't like it.  Issues, I tell you.

  • A few handfuls of romaine lettuce (or whatever lettuce you like), chopped
  • 1 cup of roasted beets, diced (if you've made your beets ahead of time, toss them in some coconut oil in a skillet and warm them up a bit)
  • 1/4 of a Granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 of a roasted red onion*, sliced
  • 2T chopped pecans
  • 2T red wine vinegar
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1t dijon mustard
  • 1t lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
How are you going to roast the red onion, you ask?  Simple.  Take a whole red onion, thinly sliced, and toss it with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Remove and toss in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl combine all of your ingredients and if you're nice, this will serve two.  If you're selfish and hungry (and live alone like I do), this will make one big salad.  The flavor of the roasted beets paired with the crisp apple and mellow onions are kind of awesome.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Green beans with mushrooms and onions

Well I'm back on the paleo wagon and my problem is coming up with sides.  Today I scored some baby bella mushrooms on sale and found a bag of haricot verts in the freezer, and amazingly had some onions sitting around, so off I went.  And the results were tasty!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • 1 24-ounce bag of extra fine french green beans (if you have frozen, just let them thaw and use paper towel or a salad spinner to get rid of the excess moisture)
  • 12 ounces of baby bella mushrooms, halved
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2-3 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a large baking dish combine all ingredients.  Cook at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serves 6

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mashed sweet potatoes

Seriously, why eat boring old white potatoes when sweet potatoes are like dessert?

This is a super simple, super delicious recipe that had people raving when I took it for a party recently, so I'm sharing it with the world.
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
If you have a pressure cooker, this will make your life much easier.  Place the sweet potatoes in your cooker and cook at 15 pounds of pressure for about 5 minutes.  Cool immediately by running cold water over the pressure cooker.

If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can always steam them or roast them in the oven.

Once your potatoes are soft, mash them and add in all of the ingredients and stir until combined.

The coconut adds such a great flavor but doesn't leave anything overly sweet.