Peach Almond Dutch Baby

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Hello, peach season!  I’ve waited impatiently for you all summer.  I even jumped the gun a few times, against my better judgement, and bought peaches in August.  They looked ripe and lovely on the outside, but the insides were mealy and flavorless.  What a cruel trick to play on someone!  When will I ever learn?  But here we are, surrounded by crates of perfectly ripened peaches at long last.  You see?  Sometimes good things do happen to good people.  

Last year during peach season I was dealing with constant morning sickness in my first trimester.  Nothing sounded good to me except for chicken broth made from those weird bouillon cubes (gross!) and pistachio frozen yogurt (strangely specific!).  Just the sight of fruits and vegetables made me queazy.  I kind of feel like that means I deserve an extra serving of this delicious Dutch Baby.  Which is good…because that already happened.

I’d like to go on the record by saying that I like all babies.  I do.  But I think I might like Dutch babies the best.  Just don’t tell the baby currently asleep in my lap.  She’s the jealous type.  This is really easy to make, and very versatile.  I’ve made it with almond slices and raspberries too.  Basically just take a gander at your fruit bowl and decide what needs to be eaten in a timely fashion, then throw that on top.  It’s perfect for breakfast, but would work great as a dessert too.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced

Directions:

  1. Place cast iron skillet in the oven and heat to 400 degrees.  
  2. While the oven is heating, crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat with a whisk for about a minute, or until they begin to froth a little.
  3. Add almond milk and whisk until well incorporated.  Gradually add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, almond and vanilla extracts.
  4. Peel and slice the peaches.  Man-handle them a little so some of the juice is released.  Add the peach juice to the rest of your ingredients.
  5. Remove skillet from oven.  Put enough unsalted butter in the skillet to coat the bottom and sides (about 1 Tbsp).
  6. Breathe in melted butter fumes for as long as you deem appropriate/healthy.
  7. Pour batter into the skillet.  Add peaches and any other fruits/nuts you want in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.  You will have some peach slices left over, these can be served alongside the Dutch Baby.  
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.

You can top this with butter, syrup, honey or coconut cream.  I’ve tried them all and they are all are equally delicious!

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Paleo Caesar Dressing

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All hail Caesar!  Or at least give him a nod of recognition for his delicious dressing.  Did you know the Caesar salad has nothing to do with dear old Julius?  Am I the only one who was a little fuzzy about the origin?  Apparently the creator was Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant living nowhere near the Roman empire.  The creation is not quite as epic as I assumed it would be.  Lucky for us, you can’t tell by the taste.

I am a dipper by nature.  If there is a food that traditionally comes with any sort of sauce, I would rather have said sauce than the actual food it smothers.  Sushi without soy sauce?  Unthinkable.  Ribs without BBQ sauce?  No thank you.  Don’t even get me started on Mexican food sans salsa.  Which brings me to this Paleo version of the afore mentioned Caesar dressing.  It’s Whole30 compliant as well, which will really dress up those veggies you’ll be eating by the truckload.  I make this at the beginning of the week when I’m doing my food prep, and use it all week long on just about everything.  Here are some uses I’ve really enjoyed:

Tuna Burgers

Salad (duh)

Raw or cooked zucchini noodles

Caesar chicken wraps

In/on Hamburgers

As a dip for virtually everything: sweet potato fries, raw veggies, breaded zucchini, plantain chips, my fingers…

You’ll be using a raw egg, so I would advise getting the freshest egg you can get.  Direct from the hen’s undercarriage would work nicely.  I was a little iffy about using raw eggs the first time I tried it. But I eat them almost every day in some form now, and I feel just great about it!  An immersion blender would also be very helpful.  If you don’t have one of these, make your life easier and purchase one.  Especially if you have a small kitchen.  The clean up is a breeze!  If you’re squeamish about using anchovies, being that they have spines and all, just close your eyes until it’s blended.  The taste is worth it, I promise!

Ingredients:

  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 raw egg
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cholulua

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients except the oil in a wide mouth Mason jar or similar receptacle.  You want to have enough room for the ingredients to mix without spilling, and a wide enough opening to fit the immersion blender.
  2. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
  3. Add olive oil.  Blend for another minute or so, or until all oil is incorporated into the mixture.

Enjoy your dressing.  Let me know what you use it for!

Buttered Chai Latte

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Last week we had some unseasonably cold weather here in Salt Lake.  If only it would’ve lasted a wee bit longer!  Like maybe for the rest of the summer?  I enjoy the activities summer brings, but could we turn down the heat a little?  I don’t enjoy sweating unless I’m burning some serious calories.  I don’t think loading the kids into the car technically counts as cardio, but on a hot day it sure feels like it.  Louis CK has a bit about white people not being from Earth because we’re not comfortable here.  He explains that if we really belonged here we would be comfortable with the temperatures we’re always complaining about.  I totally agree and am simply waiting for my mothership to return me to my completely temperate planet.

Anyway.  On those rare and lovely cool summer days, a hot beverage sounds so refreshing.  That, and watching Harry Potter.  There can be one itty bitty rain cloud in the sky and instantly my thoughts turn to horcruxes and Diagon Alley.  Nerd alert!  When it comes to hot drinks, I generally drink my coffee with butter and coconut oil.  Have you tried this yet?  It sounds wrong at first, I remember feeling that way too.  But now that I’m used to it, it tastes so much better than creamer!  And it’s better for you too, in my opinion.  For more information about the health benefits of butter in your coffee, go here: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

In this vein, I have created buttered Chai.  It’s so heavenly I find myself craving it even on hot days.  You still have the wonderful creamy taste of butter and coconut oil, all the healthy fat benefits, but with the sweet spiciness of Chai.  If Chai isn’t your thing, Earl Grey makes a delicious substitute.  Any tea you want, really.  Get crazy.

I know the moderate temperatures won’t be back any time soon.  I would have to live somewhere lovely and insanely expensive to expect that (sigh, San Diego).  And now that the temps are in the high 90’s once again, I’m drinking this iced.  Take that, sun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chai tea bag
  • 1 c filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp ghee or unsalted pasture butter
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp canned light coconut milk

Steep tea bag in the boiled filtered water for five minutes.  Place tea in blender, or wide mouth mason jar if using an immersion blender.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 1 minute.  Allow to cool first if adding ice.

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Cranberry Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

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Does blogging in your workout gear count as exercise?  I kind of feel like it does.  The intent is there, isn’t that what matters?  Plus strong fingers are extremely important these days!  How else am I going to ‘like’ my neighbor from third grade’s Facebook review of The Expendables 3?  Just recently, while complaining about my slooooow progress in the weight loss department, it occurred to me I haven’t really been…exercising much…at all.  I guess I was just kind of hoping a burning desire and a healthy diet would be enough.  My regular brain knows better, of course.  But my seemingly permanent post-baby brain fog sometimes hides the facts from me.  So I’ve started exercising daily (or as close to that as I can get).  It isn’t always easy to find the time with two kids, but I sneak it in whenever I can.  Luckily, babies enjoy napping at least occasionally and preschoolers can be distracted by a little QT with Jake and his Neverland pirates.  I must say I feel much better since I’ve been exercising.  I feel stronger.  I feel like I’m doing something for myself.  That can do wonders for your mood!  My kids deserve a happy mom, and I deserve some sweaty ‘me time’.  I’ll remind myself of that the next time I’m cursing Tracy Anderson, damn her eyes!

So let’s talk about detoxing, shall we?  It seems to be a popular enough concept.  While at a visit to a Naturopath recently, it was suggested that I do some liver detoxing.  I don’t have a lot of intimate personal knowledge of my liver, but I appreciate its efforts and will gladly do what I can to increase its efficacy.  The Naturopath suggested I drink a mix of apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice.  I already drink apple cider vinegar on a pretty regular basis, so all that was needed was a little tweaking of the recipe.  Organic raw apple cider vinegar is said to have many health benefits, including; weight control, immune system support, muscle pain relief, maintaining healthy skin, soothing dry throats, removing body toxins, etc.  Personally, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful with acid reflux.  I started drinking it during my recent pregnancy for that reason and haven’t had any reason to stop.  I make a large drink in the morning, and drink it throughout the day.  I’ve found it inhibits hunger if I drink it before meals.  It’s on the sour side, but I don’t mind it.  You can add some Stevia or honey if you simply must have it sweeter.  I’m not sure what effects my liver is experiencing, but it’s worth a shot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c Pineapple juice
  • 1/4 c pure cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • Filtered water

Put the juices, vinegar and cinnamon in a quart sized mason jar, then fill to the top with filtered water.  Put the lid on, give it a good shake, and it’s ready to go.  It can be sipped with a straw or transferred to a more portable receptacle.

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Here’s to your liver!

 

Plantain Bread with Raw Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

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Continuing on with my recent rhubarb prescription…

Today I adapted two recipes, and together they are super ultra delicious.  The plantain bread is an adaptation of zenbellyblog’s Plantain Tortillas.  I had ripe plantains, but wanted something fluffier than a tortilla.  I added a few more ingredients to make the finished product the consistency of corn bread.  The plantain makes this a little on the sweet side, so I whipped up something sour to go on top.  I’d been meaning to try Thankful Expressions’ Strawberry-Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam after a wild rhubarb search on Pinterest.  I added more rhubarb and strawberries, and swapped out the honey for dates.  The refrigerator jam is meant to set up overnight, which a patient person could definitely do.  I ate mine immediately, and see no reason to subject yourself to that amount of waiting.  Especially if you are hungry, and want your jam right this instant.

I think this might technically be SWYPO.  If you’re not familiar with Whole30, SWYPO (Sex With Your Pants On.  No, really.) is a term for making healthy dishes that mimic junk food.  The idea is that the healthy imitation isn’t as good as the real thing, so eventually you’ll just eat the real thing.  I decided to take it easy on myself though, and made it anyway.  Hey, someone has to look out for your best interest right?  And today my best interest was using up the rhubarb in my fridge, and eating something that tasted good when I ate it.  Easy decision as far as I’m concerned.

Bread Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil (olive or coconut oil would also work)

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Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Spread evenly on greased baking sheet.  You could also bake this in a 8×8 baking dish to make it thicker, in that case I would double the recipe.  Bake at 350 for between 15-20 minutes or until the bottom starts browning. This serves 4.  I only wish I had more plantains at the moment so I could make more!  I ate 2 servings back to back.  That’s probably why you shouldn’t SWYPO.  Very rarely am I like, ‘GIVE ME SEVERAL HELPINGS OF THAT RAW VEGETABLE!’  But that’s just me.

The jam is very easy to make.  You can do it while the bread is baking.  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  And that’s it!  Slather over the plantain bread with some pasture butter or ghee, and try to contain yourself.

Jam Ingredients:

  • 1 c chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/3 c strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 dates

Strawberry Rhubarb Juice

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Recently I went to a holistic health/acupuncture appointment (thanks, Living Social!).  You know what the best part was?  Lying in a dark room by myself for 30 minutes.  In total silence.  I didn’t even care that I was covered in tiny needles.  I hadn’t taken a nap by myself since my 3-year-old was born!  It was heavenly.  Anyway, during my consultation the practitioner suggested I try eating rhubarb for my postpartum hot flashes.  (If this is a glimpse of what Menopause is like, no thank you!  I’ll just skip that part of aging if you please, along with all the rest of it if possible.)

I don’t have much experience with rhubarb.  I think I’ve had it in pie once or twice, but it was most likely covered in sugar.  I knew it was sour, but I couldn’t say exactly what it tasted like by itself.  So I took a bite of some.  I wouldn’t recommend that exactly.  But it was quite delicious in this juice I concocted.  I know juice isn’t really Whole30.  Of course I do.  But I’m really tired of being overheated, and plus Rhubarb is technically a vegetable. I threw some kale in there too to balance out the fruit.  And also I’m on day 22 and I’m not starting over!  (I’m sticking my tongue out right now in protest)  I don’t use my juicer that much in general these days.  I don’t like losing the fiber of the fruits and vegetables, plus juices can be a little high in calories without being filling.  However.  I think a little juice here and there is a fine idea.  Especially when there are strawberries involved.

It’s too early to tell whether the rhubarb is affecting my unholy hot flashes, but the juice was so good I don’t even care!  I put 3 fruits in this juice to counteract the sourness of the rhubarb, but I think 2 would have been fine.  (I would probably leave out the apple next time.)  The taste of the strawberries comes out the most in this juice, with just a little punch from the rhubarb.  Drink some for your hot flashes, or just drink some for fun.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 red apple (I used Fuji)
  • 1 pear
  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 5 small strawberries
  • 2 handfuls chopped kale

Fish Taco Bowl

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Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t need an excuse to eat Mexican food.  I have been known to eat it every day for days on end without realizing it.  But since I stopped eating, oh I don’t know…beans, rice, corn, tortillas…I haven’t been eating much food from south of the border.  Recently on Cinco de Mayo, I found myself with a powerful fish taco craving.  Ordinarily I would make a tortilla exception, but I’m doing Whole30!  A tortilla wasn’t worth starting over again.  I decided to make a fish taco bowl instead.  It was so good I may even prefer it to fish tacos.  And I felt so good after I ate it.  There is something about the Paleo/Whole30 diets that make my body feel really light and energized after eating.  Maybe it’s because there isn’t half a loaf of bread weighing my stomach down.  Hmm…maybe.

In lieu of rice, I cooked up some cilantro lime cauliflower rice.  You just pulse chopped cauliflower in a blender until the pieces are about the size of grains of rice, then sauté in a little olive oil.  While cooking, I added the juice from 1 lime and a handful of cilantro.  You can take the cilantro out once it’s done cooking, or chop it first and leave it in.  I’m crazy (for cilantro), so I left mine in.  A half head of cauliflower is enough to feed about 2 people with a little left over.  I like to blend up a whole head of cauliflower at once and store half in the fridge for later.  I’m just really a forward thinker like that.  For the fish I used a fresh Tilapia filet, but mostly because it was on sale.  Oh, you fancy?  Then throw some exotic and pricey sea creature in there! Any fresh or frozen fish you have will work.  In a shallow dish I combined the  juice from 2 limes, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika and salt.  I marinated mine for about 30 minutes before I cooked it.  It was plenty flavorful, but I would have let it sit longer if I had the time.  Time…does anyone else have any of this?  Maybe the fancy fish eaters do.  Don’t ask me. I cooked the Tilapia in olive oil and what was left of the marinade for a few minutes on each side, adding a little more seasoning to taste.

The best thing about this recipe (especially if you’re doing Whole30) is how many vegetables you can cram into it.  I mean…you’ve already got a veggie as your rice, but why stop there!  I threw in pretty much everything I had in the fridge.  Red cabbage, avocado, onion, cilantro, Daikon radish, jalapeño, and some fresh pico de gallo.  To finish it off, I added some lime juice and salt and pepper.  Ole!  So tasty!

Ingredients:

  • Tilapia or fish of choice
  • 3 limes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • veggies of choice
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • handful of cilantro

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Beets

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There’s nothing like going on the Paleo or Whole30 diet to make you appreciate sweet potatoes.  There was a time in my life when I didn’t see a sweet potato outside the confines of Thanksgiving dinner. You know the dish I’m talking about.  The one in which our no-nonsense tuber gets all dolled up in butter and brown sugar and is then smothered with ooey gooey marshmallows?

Yum.

But maybe not the best thing to be eating on a regular basis.  Plus the sweet potato is capable of so much more!  Since I’ve been doing Whole30, sweet potatoes have almost become a treat to me.  Does that make you feel sad for me?  I can see why it might. However, since I started the diet I’ve noticed desserts have become less tempting for me.  ‘Junk’ food in general seems to be losing its appeal.  If something unhealthy ever does sound good, I can usually think of how I’ll feel after and it immediately sounds less appealing.  I think that might be the point of the diet!  Hooray!

Back to our sweet potato discussion.  I’ve found myself cooking them with just about everything, even eating them for breakfast.  Thus, this super simple and ultra delicious recipe. The tart apples go very well with the sweetness of the beets and sweet potatoes  It’s also an easy way to sneak beets into your diet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love beets…in theory.  I love them in the sense that I know they’re good for me, but I kind of have to talk myself into eating them.  Beet lovers, please don’t take offense!

I peeled the beet but left the skin on the apples and sweet potatoes.  You can peel those too if you want.  Chop everything into uniform sizes.

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Pretty, no?

Place everything in a medium-sized bowl.  Add pecans.  Drizzle with enough balsamic vinegar to lightly coat ingredients.  Add cinnamon, rosemary, and salt and pepper.  Stir to distribute seasonings evenly.  Transfer to an unlined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tart apples (like Granny Smith or Pink Lady)
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 beet
  • 3/4 c pecans
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper

These seasoning measurements are approximate.  I don’t usually measure when I cook…so feel free to adjust according to your taste!

 

Skillet Apple Bake

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Phew!  What a week (or two).  The baby finally came, as much as I truly believed I would be the first woman to be diagnosed with permanent pregnancy.  I could see the headlines and everything.  Having a newborn in the house hasn’t left me a lot of time for cooking, blogging, sleeping…  And it’s really made me realize how much better I feel when I eat healthy foods.  We’ve felt so much support from family and friends through dinners and their general willingness to help.  It’s made me very grateful!  That being said, I’m really looking forward to getting back to my clean eating routine.  Especially with this strangely shaped post baby body.

I threw this together one morning before the wee one was born.  It’s so easy to prepare and really yummy.  You can almost convince yourself you’re eating an apple Danish.  Well, almost.  I guess it depends on how long it’s been since you’ve had a Danish!

Ingredients:

  • One thinly sliced apple (I used a Pink Lady, and left the skin on)
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 c. chopped Pecans
  • 2 tsp. Raw Organic Honey
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Dash of Salt

Cover the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil.  Slice apple and spread in an even layer in the bottom of the skillet.  Mix coconut flour, seeds, pecans, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Spread over the apple slices.  Pour honey evenly over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Then, eat it!  You could eat this with yogurt or OOH! on top of pancakes.  I think I’ll try that next.