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

 

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

Chocolate Avocado Mousse Layered with Banana Slices

As I mentioned in an earlier post (the Chocolate Avocado Brownies recipe), I learned of the diverse uses of avocado in baking and sweet treats on a trip to Maui.  I’ve been fascinated since.  This mousse was inspired by a chef in Wailaia; who made the most decadent, vegan dessert for my son because he wasn’t able to eat any of the other desserts on the menu due to severe food allergies.  I’ve wanted to replicate it since then.AvocadoMousse1

My kids are equally fascinated by the fact that avocados—a fruit—can be used in their treats, so when I tempt them with some new avocado experiment, I’m pleasantly surprised with their excitement!

I love that they receive healthy nourishment and get to feel indulgent at the same time!  This one, they devoured!

Ingredients:

1 Large Ripe Avocado

A heaping ¼ Cup measure of Organic Cocoa Powder

2-3 TBS Honey (I’m a big fan of raw, local honey!) *

1 TBS Pure Grade A Maple Syrup

1 tsp Pure Madagascar Vanilla

A Pinch of Sea Salt

1 Ripe Banana

Soy Whip Topping (or other whipped topping of your choice–there are some great homemade versions that use coconut milk.  Another of my favorites uses blended cashews…  I’ll need to find that one again soon!)

*Play around with the right sweetness, after adding both honey & maple syrup.  I definitely prefer the blend, and I personally prefer a bit of the bitter chocolate taste—my kids like things a little sweeter!

Directions:

Spoon the avocado into a large bowl, add the other ingredients and begin AvocadoMousse2mixing with a hand mixer.  Once all of the ingredients are combined, use a rubber spatula to scrape the edges, and keep mixing—the more you mix, the smoother it will become.  When you’ve blended it to the consistency you want, layer the mousse in dessert cups (four of them) with slices of banana.  Top with whipped topping and enjoy!

Variations:

I’ve had a similar dessert with mint leaves and a touch of mint extract added to the mousse.  I’ve also eaten it with raspberries.  I think it could be wonderful with most fruits!  I also would like to try it with a bit of almond extract and topped with sliced almonds, or with coconut extract topped with coconut flakes.  And for those who like a little heat, try a pinch of cayenne!  I’d love to hear of some of the other variations that you try!

AvocadoMousse3For the Love of Your Life,

Angie

Greens… it continues!

My greens obsession is in full swing!  In fact, I’ve finally had time for my garden to begin, and have planted rows and rows of healthy, nourishing greens.  I can’t wait! The great thing is, my kids are almost as excited as I am.

Today I was playing around with some new combinations of flavors and came up with a great Kale Salad.  I’ve done a few, all with some delectable blends that are sure to nourish and enliven your palate!

Kale & Pancetta SaladKaleBeatPearFig

with Beet, Pear, & Fig

  • One bunch of Dino or other Green Kale, chopped
  • One bunch of Red Kale, chopped
  • 3 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1/4 Purple onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 Cup Cubed Pancetta
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil and 1/2 Lemon, squeezed
  • 1/2 Cup cooked and marinaded beets (I’m crazy for the Love Beets that Whole Foods now carries)
  • 1 Pear, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Handful of Pine Nuts
  • 4-5 Figs, chopped
  • Chèvre Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • Tessemae’s all Natural Lemonette Dressing

Prior to adding the beets, pear, and cheese, blend the first half of the ingredients, and add about  2 Tbs Olive oil, and a hefty squeeze of lemon.  Take your time massaging the oil and lemon into the salad.  Add course sea salt and pepper to taste and keep massaging.  When the salad is tender the the touch, and the taste seems just right to you, add about 1/4 Cup Tessemae’s all Natural Lemonette Dressing.  Then top with beets, pear, and Chèvre.  A touch more salt and pepper if needed, and you’re all set for nourishing your body in a way that will also nourish your taste buds!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

Green Addiction

I just can’t get enough kale these days… it’s my new obsession (I fall into those sometimes.  WonderWomanThankfully, they’re all pretty healthy.)  I’m loving all greens really, though Kale is my favorite.  When I eat it, I have a bit of a super hero response, like I’m pretty sure if I spin around really fast, I might magically find myself in a satin cape, able to deflect bullets and all that…  (That childhood fantasy is still there!)

Greens can be the food that people respond to with, “I should eat them more, but…” and, “I know they’re good for me, but…” yet most folks simply just don’t get enough.

In a TedxTalk on “Minding your Mitochondria,” Dr. Terry Wahls talks about how necessary relatively massive amounts of greens are for the myelin protecting our nerves, for our brain cells, for our mitochondria, and of course for the rest of our bodies.

Greens are rich in vitamins B, A, C, and K, as well as minerals.  And Kale–my favorite! –has the most nutrition per calorie of any plant.

And knowing that… some of us still struggle, right?

kale3What is it about greens that has us shying away, even in adulthood?  too much limp, brown-tinted spinach as kids?  Whatever the cause, it’s time to develop a love relationship with everything GREEN!

Here are a few ideas:

Massaged Greens

Thanks to my friend Erica, who shared with me the somewhat therapeutic practice of “massaging” greens, I’ve come to use this technique almost every time I eat them!  It’s a great way to maintain all of the nutrition and still create a soft texture to chopped greens which can often have a tougher texture than other lettuce greens.

The idea is to chop the greens, put them into a large enough bowl that you can really get your hands into, add in whatever dressing, oil, or other complimentary items to, and dig in! …with you hands.  Squeeze, rub, work your way into softening the texture of the greens.  It really can be a wonderful sensory experience, along with creating a great nutrient-rich dish.

Here’s one of my favorites:greens5

1 bunch of fresh, organic Kale, chopped
About 3 Green onions, chopped
One large handful of raw pine nuts
One large handful of Goji Berries
salt and pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup Tessemae’s All Natural Lemonette Dressing (Found at Whole Foods).
A bit more Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and fresh lemon (just squeeze over the top to taste)

Massage the above together for a good 5-10 minutes

Then add:KaleSalad1
1/2 Avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 “cutie-sized” orange, sectioned and cut into bite-sized pieces
(optional:  1 serving chicken, cut into bite sized pieces)

(Note:  Chicken can be added prior to massaging, if you prefer your chicken to have an almost “shredded” texture, or added after, to enjoy more whole chunks)

KaleSalad2

Another way to enjoy greens is to put them into fresh smoothies. I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for green smoothies, detox drinks, and the like. Here’s one I’ve tried that is so fresh, a little tart, and starts my day out beautifully!

 

 

 

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Green Smoothie

1 bunch of fresh organic kale
1/2 of a fresh lemon, peeled
1/2 of a lime, peeled
1/2 of a “cutie sized” orange, peeled
1 Whole Organic Banana
1/2-1 Cup organic plain (no sugar added) Cranberry Juice

Blend together…  if you have a powerful blender (like a Blendtec) you’ll get a smooth consistency fairly easily.  If not, you might need to add a bit more water, and pulse on and off for a bit).

I’ve also added a handful of fresh, organic strawberries to this mix for a bit more “sweetness.”

Citrus fruits are full of phytonutrients that support not only our immune response, protecting us from a host of potential diseases, they are good for our skin and our other organs, and help keep all of our systems working smoothly.

GrSmoothie3The thing is….  we need to nourish our bodies–we need to Eat to Live, not Live to Eat.  And when we choose to nourish through the consistent use of healthy, whole foods, our bodies begin to crave those.  The “reward centers” in the brain become activated, and that feels good!

So plant some greens, eat some greens, LOVE some greens… and then ask your body how it feels!

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For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

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