Kelly’s Grain-less “Granola”

granolaA go-to recipe for teacher gifts around the holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 2 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey (more if you desire)
  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. 
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. 
  • Microwave the coconut oil, raw honey and vanilla extract together in a medium sized mixing bowl for about 30-45 seconds. 
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
  • Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon, pressing the mixture together to form a flat surface.
  • Allow to cool for about 20 minutes or until hardened, and then break into chunks and enjoy. 

This is really good anytime of the day and feel free to add on some fresh berries or sliced apple or pear. This granola can be the perfect fit for breakfast, snack or treat. Pair it with either coconut milk/almond milk or Greek yogurt.

Give this recipe a whirl and let me know how much you enjoy it!

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Springtime Chicken Salad Recipe

Tis the season of great produce. Everything is sprouting up and more and more fruits and vegetables are approaching their peak season. It’s time to put aside the slow-cooker and pull out new recipes such as this Springtime Chicken Salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breast, organic, free range
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, organic
  • 4 mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup halved green grapes, organic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OJ

Method:

Marinate the chicken breast in orange juice over night.

The following day, or 4-6 hours later, boil chicken on medium for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain chicken and set aside to cool.

While chicken chills, chop the celery, mandarin oranges, and grapes. MIx all ingredients together, including almonds. Shred chicken by hand or with forks and add to the mix. Lastly, add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add more or less to your preference. If you intend to keep the chicken salad over a few days, have some mayonnaise on the side to add later, to prevent it from tasting dry.

Enjoy this over a bed of greens or just plain. Perfect for a picnic, wedding shower, packed lunch, etc.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Sunday Session: Sausage Stew, Breakfast Bacon muffins, Spaghetti Squash, Chopped Veggies

With today’s freezing weather I found it to be a great time to spend some time in the kitchen. This is what I’ve made for the week.

Veggie Sausage Stew:

  • 1/2 lb farmer’s market ground sausage
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cups celery diced
  • 1 medium to large zuchini cubed
  • 7 tomatoes cubed
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of roasemary
  • 1/2 cup parsley, freshly chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to your liking
  • salt to taste

Method: Brown sausage, combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, and allow it to cook on low for several hours. Batch half the meal in a freezer safe container and store half in the refrigerator for the week. *I doubled this recipe by just multiplying the ingredients by 2, but you may want to also increase the amount of spice. This stew was also good with some spaghetti squash. Provided a more comfort food craving. 

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins – Bacon:

  • Uncured bacon, strips (I did some with leftover proscuitto too)
  • Framer’s market eggs, or I like Trader Joe’s free range
  • Spices – crushed red pepper, pepper, coriander.

Method: Heat oven to 375F, using a cupcake baking pan, line the cups with the bacon, allowing for none of the pan to show, crack open an egg in each cup and add spices. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, pull out of the oven, allow it to cool, and store for the week.

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 squash, cut length-wise

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once the squash is cut length-wise, remove the seeds and strings with a spoon. Place a sheet of foil on a baking sheet, place the 2 squash halves faced down. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Pull out of the oven, allow to cool until you are able to touch, and fork the squash to create angel-hair like pasta. Store in the refrigerator up to a week and season with a variety of spices and ingredients. A few ideas include olive oil, lemon and basil, marinara sauce, coconut oil with cinnamon, ginger and raisins or it’s great just plain!

Snacks

I chopped raw veggies to have on hand for quick snacks and as a side for lunch. If I don’t have my vegetables cut, in a clear container, I am less likely to eat them.

I also had a nice stash of hard boiled eggs in the fridge from last week

I have plenty of raw fruit on my table including clementines, apples, oranges and bananas. Sometimes having a fruit bowl makes me happier than a bouquet of flowers. The fruit is colorful and purposeful!

Have a good week team!

Sunday Session: Frittata, Ice-cream, Muffins, Bigos

Prepping some meals for the week! Enjoy!

Veggie Frittata

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • minced garlic, or 1 garlic clove
  • 1 package (4 ounce) prosciutto
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 15 asparagus spears, chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup grated sweet potato
  • fresh basal, chopped, 1 handful
  • 8 eggs
  • salt/pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 350. In a large saute pan, saute the onions in the coconut oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent.  Add the meat, asparagus, green pepper, grated sweet potato and garlic.  Cook until the the sweet potato is soft.

Add the chopped basil and season with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a 8×6 glass (square) baking dish and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs add pour over the veggie mixture in the baking dish.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 22 minutes.

Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle when you jiggle the pan.

Paleo Ice-cream

  • 1/2 can organic coconut cream
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp seed
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 squares of 85% Lindt dark chocolate

Method: In a food processor blend the coconut cream, bananas, vanilla extract, hemp seed. Once the mixture is well-blended, break up the chocolate squares and mix into the blend. Freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. Optional is the addition of honey if you want a sweeter taste.

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins

  • Prosciutto (make sure you look at the ingredients, sugar is NOT needed)
  • Framer’s market eggs, or I like Trader Joe’s free range
  • Spices – either fresh cilantro or basil

Method: Heat oven to 375F, using a cupcake baking pan, line the cups with prosciutto, crack open an egg in each cup and add spices. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, pull out of the oven, allow it to cool, and store for the week.

Bigos – Sauerkraut and Sausage Stew

  • 16 ounces of fresh sauerkraut (or homemade)
  • 8 sausages (does not matter on flavor. Ingredients are what to focus on. Look for beef, pork or chicken with no added corn syrup, sugar or other unnatural/chemical substance)
  • Small head of cabbage
  • Salt/pepper
  • Oregano
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 organic carrot stalks (optional)

Method: Brown the sausage in a skillet. Chop into small bite-size pieces. In a slow cooker, add the onions, sausage, kraut, cabbage, salt/pepper, oregano. Allow the stew to cook up to 12 hours on low. Towards the end, add carrot for color and texture variety.

Sunday Session – Almond butter, Slow cooker chicken, Sweet potato chips +

This Sunday I had family in town and therefore threw off my usual cooking routine. However, with a slow cooker there is always a way. This week I made a little something, something such as:

Almond Butter

Ingredients: Almonds and hazelnut oil
Method: Place a cup of almonds in a food processor. Let the almonds become rather refined and then add some oil, little by little, until the nut butter reaches a consistency you prefer.
Usage: almond butter can compliment many of things. You just have to be careful not to over consume it. This is one reason I prefer to make my own. I can make an amount that should last me at least a week. If it’s gone before the next Sunday, then it’s gone. Hmmm hence this being a staple item on my cooking list.

Slow-cooker Chicken, Mushroom, Onion, Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ingredients: Gluten free chicken stock (1/4 cup-1/2 cup), 3-4 chicken breast (I did skinless because that is what I had but it would have turned out even better with skin on), 1 yellow onion, chopped, 3 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup – 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 cup of green olives and spices.
Method: So easy!! Starting with the onion, place all ingredients in the slow-cooker on low and let it cook for 6 hours.
Usage: Pairs nicely with spaghetti squash, sauteed spinach or on fresh greens.

Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, sea salt, coconut oil, cinnamon
Method: Slice 4 sweet potatoes in thin cylinders; the size of potato chips. Preheat the oven at 375F, toss the sliced sweet potatoes in bowl of 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil (repeat this until all of the sweet potato is coated), lay sliced sweet potatoes across the baking sheet, sprinkle over the spices and salt, flip the potatoes and repeat. Cook for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes and allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Usage: Just as you would eat chips, enjoy some sweet potato chips!

Paleo Infused Breakfast Muffins

I

Ingredients: Farmer’s market eggs, prosciutto, pepper, cilantro.
Method: Line a cupcake pan with prosciutto. And make sure to be careful to completely cover the cups. If there are holes, then the Breakfast Muffin will not be able to remove as nicely as it should. Next crack an egg into each lined cup. You can leave the egg as is or mix the yolk and white together with a fork. Add spices. Cook on 400F for 25-30 minutes.
Usage: Quick and nutrient-dense breakfast on busy mornings or have one for an afternoon snack.

That’s all she wrote for me this Sunday! However, I do still have some nice pumpkin soup and green curry (seafood) in the freezer. Surely these items will come in handy towards the end of the week.

Next Sunday will be exciting as well. With some friends we have organized a Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner. We are starting the Sunday at our place at 2pm with appetizers then moving to other households for the main meal and dessert. What shall I make? I have in mind some bacon wrapped dates, maybe some sweet potato something….the list goes on! But open to some suggestions.

Cheers to you and good health, Kel

Sunday Sessions & Food Log

Sundays are so homey. Do you agree? It’s a day for personal time, preparation for the week and to reminisce on what took place in the last few days.

Most Sundays, especially when the weather agrees, I go on a run or walk or head to the gym, think of what’s on for the next 5 days and what meals I can prep and package away for easy lunch and dinner decisions.

If I do not have the ingredients I need on Sunday, I make a loop to the grocery, then the health shop and then the market. I love the market so much, even if I do not want to buy anything. It is such a positive happy place and the vendors really make an effort to get to know their customers. Just yesterday the Healthy Cafe owners came out into the market and gave us a hug to see how we were doing.

However, if I do not get lunches and dinner together on Sunday for the week, I tend to get takeaway during the week at work and for dinner, I usually sacrifice time that can spent outside walking or time at the gym in the evening making something from scratch and even worse, may skip the idea of making food altogether and eat out again.

Moral of the story is it is well worth it to plan ahead. This is what my daily food log looks like along with my plans for meals.

Breakfast: 10:30AM
Coconut pancakes with nutbutter – ingredients included free range eggs, coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, salt coconut milk and coconut oil. Here is a recipe for almond meal pancakes, posted a few months back.
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics
Allergy meds
Iced coffee, no sweetener nor sugar

Lunch: 1:45PM

Homemade nori rolls with avocado and shrimp
Water 

Snack: 3PM
Corn chips (5 or so) with organic cheddar cheese
1/2 banana and nutbutter

Exercise: 3:30PM
Walk – 4.75 miles

Dinner: 6PM
Fish and Spanish chorizo tacos – fresh guacamole, diced tomatoes, sauteed onions and pepper and more.
Water

Meals for the week: I have to suggest this was not the best example of what I do on Sundays. Quite often I make massive meals including soups, chipotle style chicken and vegetables fajitas, grass fed burgers, frittatas, guacamole and more.

But on this Sunday, I bought fresh bell peppers and onions to assist with any meal of fish or meat.
Tonight’s dinner was purposefully made 3x larger- I plan on having the fish taco leftovers for lunch a few times this week.
I made hard boiled eggs for mornings on the go.
I usually make beef, lamb or kangaroo patties but will wait to buy some minced meat on a night we plan on grilling out.

Do you practice Sundays in a similar fashion? What meals to you usually make up?

Cheers to you and good health!