Paleo Power Truffles

Here we go with my little food fling, once again…  Into the land of Paleo.  I feel as if I must continue to claim my anti-absolutist stance when it comes to these foods and I’m really not sure why–I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my ego and my resistance to drinking anyone else’s Kool-aid!

These are just plain yummy, and a great source of energy to boot!  I came up with the idea because I saw something similar on the  Justin’s website, using peanut butter, sans the paleo crunch, and my mind started spinning.  Here’s what I came up with:

Paleo Power Truffles

Ingredients:

2 Cups Almond Butter, crunchy or creamy (my intent was to use Justin’s  but I wasn’t willing to spend the $11, compared to the $6.99 Whole Foods brand!)

1/3 Cup Grade A Maple Syrup

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

2/3 Cup Paleo Crunch, chopped (plus a small amount to sprinkle on top).
(I chopped this kind of course in a small hand chopper)

1 Box Chocolove Dark Chocolate Chips

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Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine almond butter, syrup, coconut flour, and sea salt.  Mix well.
  • Add Paleo Crunch and stir until well combined.
  • Form into bite-sized balls, place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, and refrigerate.
  • In a double boiler, melt chocolate on low-medium heat, stirring frequently.

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  • Dip each almond butter ball into the chocolate and place back onto the parchment.
  • Sprinkle the remainder of paleo crunch on top.
  • Freeze the balls for about 20 minutes or until chocolate is set.

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  • Enjoy!  (yields about 24 balls)
  • Keep refrigerated

My kids were devouring these and I didn’t even have to feel bad.  No refined sugar, no weird additives…  just good, nutritious, whole food!  (Okay, a little sugar in the chocolate, but not much and….  well, it is dark chocolate!)

I’d love to hear your feedback!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

Greek Dolmades

I LOVE having my kids in the kitchen with me.  It doesn’t always happen,dolmades3 but when I can cook things that are fun and engaging, that get them involved, the time we share is priceless.  That’s when conversation flows easily, when we share stories and work together.  These are the moments that remind me of my best growing up memories in my Mom’s kitchen.  And they’re the moments that remind me of who I want to be as a Mom, and what I want to give to my kids.

One of our favorite recipes is for homemade Dolmades–most people have heard of “Dolmas” but I grew up with Dolmades, the Greek version.  Dolmas, traditionally, are rice wrapped in grape leaves, with a light lemony sauce.  Dolmades are similar but with meat inside as well.  And the great thing about this recipe is it’s a fun way to get kids involved in helping with dinner!

Here is my recipe–a little different than what my Mom and Dad have done, and adapted as well from my sister, Martha’s, recipe.  They’re really not that difficult at all, so have fun and get your kids involved!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jar grape leavesDolmades4
  • 2.5-3 lbs. Ground Meat (my favorite combination is 1/2 lamb and 1/2 free range lean beaf.  I’ve used beaf, buffalo, elk, deer…  lamb alone is a bit heavy but anything will work!)
  • About 1 cup raw rice (this is one of the rare times I use plain white rice–Uncle Bens–it’s what I grew up with and doesn’t require as long to cook, which is important in this recipe)

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  • 1 Medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-5 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Can tomato paste (optional)
  • Homemade chicken stock
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • A bunch of fresh parsley and oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS Cornstarch
  • A few TBS cold water or broth

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine meat, rice, onion, garlic, spices, and paste.dolmades5
    This is where the kids start really having fun!dolmades2
  • Get your hands in there and blend it up really well.
  • Lay out your grape leaves and gently separate them.
  • One at a time, take a spoonful (or small handful) of meat mixture and place into the center of the leaf.
  • Roll the ends over and roll lit up into a small tube.dolmades6
  • Place in a large flat pan with sides that are about 2″ high.
  • Fill the pan tightlydolmades8
  • Pour chicken broth and the juice of your lemons over the top, just to cover the rolls.
  • Bake for one hour
  • Just before you take them out of the oven, ladle some of the broth out and place into a sauce pan.
  • Mix the cornstarch with the cold water or broth and blend into the saucepan,
    to thicken the sauce.
  • Remove the Dolmades and place into another pan, so you can add any leftover sauce into the saucepan.
  • Serve with sauce and enjoy!

This is great served with a green salad!

I would love to hear how this goes for you!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

 

 

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

We all have “emotional eating days, right?  So at least if we plan for them…  have some healthy treats on hand, knowing that the moments will come and they don’t have to destroy us, we’re proactively protecting against the inevitable brain hi-jacking, in the desperate search for comfort.  Today, I had one of those days…  and knew if I didn’t do something quick, I’d be rummaging through hidden Halloween baskets in search of something to stimulate a little dopamine release, and I’d be miserable in the morning.

So here I go, playing around in the world of Paleo once again…  I sometimes cringe a bit, only because I don’t like the rigidity of most “styles” of eating–including the Paleo-Craze.  I’m an “all in moderation” Mama, with a strong lean in toward organic, raw, and nourishing foods.   I really do love some of the creations that fit into Paleo recipes, however.  And after finding “Zest” Cookies in Whole Foods (for about $3 a piece!) and fearing complete addiction, I knew it was time to play around.  

I made this recipe up a few weeks ago and tried it out on my colleagues at Noeticus Counseling Center, and these cookies didn’t even last the afternoon!  So here’s a second attempt–and they’ve turned out so good I probably need to get them out of my house quickly!

Give them a try–I’d love to hear what you think!

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 ½ C. Almond Flour
  • ½ C Shredded Organic Coconut.  Lately I’ve been using closer to 3/4 cup, and I actually like them better!  (Be sure and get the “finely shredded” PaleoCookiescoconut designed for baking.
  • ½ Cup Coarsely Chopped Organic Walnuts
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil (Just under)
  • ¼ Cup Raw Honey
  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Pure Madagascar Vanilla
  • 8 oz. Organic Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Mix flour, coconut, walnuts, salt, and soda.

Melt coconut oil, honey and maple syrup together.

Add egg and vanilla and beat well.

Add the above to flour mixture and blend well.

Add chocolate chips and mix.

paleocookies1Roll into balls and place on parchment paper on flat baking sheet, about 3” apart.

Bake @ 350 degrees for about eight minutes.  Flatten with a spatula and bake for two more minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool, serve & Enjoy!

Tips:

After you add the coconut oil/honey/syrup mixture, wait until it cools before adding the chocolate chips or you’ll have chocolate cookies!

I’ve found that flattening the cookies just a little prior to baking works better than flattening them with a spatula at the end–less mess!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

 

Paleo Peach Crisp

Okay, so Peach Crisp hardly needs a “Paleo” version, right?  I mean, it’s peaches, brown sugar, nuts, oats—okay, so the oats bother some people.  And you can get “Gluten-free” oats, if it’s super important.

My reason for going Paleo on my peaches has more to do with wanting to add eggs, to which my son, Nathaniel, is allergic, as well as wanting to try out some almond flour in my recipe.  And so I made two!  One “safe” one and one that was a little “exploratory!”

You can find plenty of regular ‘ole peach crisp recipes out there, so I’ll share this one:

Ingredients:

3 Cups fresh peaches, peeled and slicedpeaches1

½ Cup Almond flour

½ Cup shredded coconut

¾ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ Cup chopped pecans

½ Cup organic Brown sugar

1 tbs organic honey

1 tsp vanilla

2 egg whites

1/3 Cup Coconut oil

peaches3Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9×9 pan with peaches.

Blend remaining ingredients, and spread evenly over peaches.

Bake for 25-30 min.  Cool and serve with vanilla ice, rice, or almond dream!

Enjoy!

 For the Love of Your Life!

 Angie

Spinach, Strawberry & Avocado Salad

I’ve recently seen a similar salad making it’s way around Pinterest, and wanted to give it a try.  I’m not a big poppy seed fan, however, and that is the dressing on the other–it does look good overall, but a little bland for my taste buds.  I altered a few things, added some new flavors, and came up with this:SpinachStrawberry1

Spinach, Strawberry & Avocado Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Pint Fresh Organic Strawberries (maybe a bit more), washed & sliced
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 Sweet Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 Cup (little less) sliced raw almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Goat Cheese, Crumbled

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Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 Pint Fresh Organic Strawberries, washed
  • 2 TBS Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/4 lime wedge, skin removed
  • 1 TBS Organic Sugar
  • 3 Large stems Fresh Mint, chopped

I like blending my greens with the dressing prior to adding the other ingredients, as it softens the spinach leaves and blends the dressing through the whole salad.  This is such a nice Summer Salad!  Hope you all enjoy!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

Sea Bean Salad

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Yes, you read right….  SEA BEANS!

Not a bean.  Not seaweed.  These little sea-vegetables are in a category all their own!  And what an odd little veggie!  Some people call Sea Beans “Sea Asparagus,” and while they used to be considered seasonal, they’re now found year round.

Sea beans are a great source of Vitamins A & C, as well as Iron & Calcium.  They can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, blanched or baked.  I tried them in Whole Foods the other day, in a salad made with simple, fresh ingredients, and immediately loved them.  A new veggie! It’s the little things that get me excited!

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While they’ve always grown wild, sea beans are now cultivated on the desert coasts of  the Sea of Cortez where, grown in pure seawater, they absorb the nutrients of the sea.  Sea beans are ultra salty so however you prepare them, you definitely won’t need to add salt!

I was told by the kind woman at Whole Foods to soak these in cold water for about five minutes prior to eating them raw.  I think it softens them a bit and possibly releases a bit of the saltiness… though they were still incredibly salty!  For the blend below, I happened to have just thinned some  spinach and swiss chard in my garden, so decided to add those.

Sea Bean Salad BlendSeaBean4

  • 1 cup pre-soaked sea beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs chopped, fresh chives
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Squeeze from half of a fresh lemon
  • 1/4 Cup fresh Baby greens (or other blended chopped greens
  • 3 Good sized stems of fresh basil, leaves chopped fine
  • 1 large stem of fresh mint, chopped fine

SeaBean5Blend above ingredients well to fully coat with olive oil & lemon

  • Add 2 large Vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • Top with a tsp or so of (vegan optional) Parmesan Cheese

Serve with fresh seafood, such as a Coconut & Lime Grilled Tilapia, and Enjoy!

SeaBean6For the Love of Your Life!

Angie