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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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!

 

Thai Chicken Salad

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Thai Chicken Salad

Fish Sauce.  I love it.  I just try not to inhale when in its presence.  I’m realizing more and more that sometimes the stinkiest food is the best tasting.  Is that a metaphor for life?  You decide.  I, however, will probably continue taking showers.

Back to the fish sauce.  Fish sauce is used a lot in some of my favorite cuisines.  Thai and Burmese to name a few.  And for good reason.  It adds a saltiness and tang that’s hard to replicate.  Plus, it’s on the Whole30 approved list.  Huzzah!  If you haven’t used it before, don’t let the smell stop you.  In fact, just try not to smell it.  Your taste buds will thank you later.

This afternoon I found myself starving, staring down a head of purple cabbage.  I always end up wasting cabbage.  I buy it for fish tacos or something, use a tiny chunk of it and the rest grows ever stinkier in the back of my fridge.  This time I was determined to break the habit.  I had a dozen Pink Lady apples from Costco, so those needed to be used up too.  I’m really trying hard these days not to waste produce.  A coleslaw-type chicken salad sounded appealing, but I didn’t want the mayonnaise base for the sauce.  What I came up with is basically a vinaigrette with fish sauce.  And I’m so glad I did it!  This salad was everything.  The savory flavor of the fish sauce, the sweet crispness of the apples, the soft and creamy avocado coupled with the kick of the jalapeno… So good.  My husband even liked it, and he is generally afraid of most fruits and vegetables.  Once he was about halfway done eating his he said, ‘This sure doesn’t look like it should taste good, but it does!’  Ahh, the things that warm your heart after 7 years of marriage.

This salad is easy to put together if you have the chicken already cooked, so make sure to have that done first.  It made enough for my husband and I and there was about a serving left over.  Next time I will definitely double the recipe!

Core the apple but leave the skin on.  Slice all ingredients into long strips and put into a medium-sized bowl.  Remove the seeds from the jalapeno if you don’t want it very spicy.  Put the fish sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard in a jar with a lid and shake.  Add to the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 c. shredded chicken
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage
  • 1/2 Jalapeno
  • 1/2 white or red onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 Pink Lady apple
  • handful of cilantro

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Cholula Burgers

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So it’s been a month since I gave birth to my sweet, adorable daughter. One month. I know in the reality based portion of my brain that a month isn’t long enough for one’s body to recover from the previous nine months it took to look so terrible. But still! I long for my ‘fat pants’ to button up.  I long for the end of slimming undergarments. I long for them now. I don’t want to wait several more months to wear my normal clothes. I am sick of my fat lady uniform of stretchy pants and flowy tops.
Enter:Whole30. It sounded a little harsh when I first read about it. Now it’s sounding downright reasonable. As long as I see some solid results, I don’t care what I have to do! Bring on the restrictions! No honey? No problem! Just take my muffin top. Please. I also have some thyroid/skin issues I’d like to see improved.  Whole30 has promised me as much.  So what have I got to lose?  (Answer: my muffin top.  Pay attention!)
If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 program, it’s like a stricter version of the Paleo diet.  Not only do you forgo gluten, dairy, legumes and the like…you also cut out all sweeteners.  That’s right-no agave, honey…nothing!  You’re not supposed to snack, or cook up those wonderful Paleo recipes that try to mimic junk food.  No almond flour muffins or banana pancakes.  I love those!  And here is the real kicker.  If you falter…if you have one tiny taste of something on the forbidden list… You. Start. Over.  Oh, you were on day 29 of your 30 day commitment? Too bad!  Start over!  This diet is like the Soup Nazi of the nutrition world.  And that’s exactly what I need right now.  I need some borderline unreasonable guidelines to get things moving in the right direction.  Here is the official website for both the nitty and the gritty: http://whole30.com/ 
I’m only on day 4, but it actually hasn’t been that bad so far.  One thing it’s made me realize is how much I crave sweets. I don’t eat refined sugar often, so I didn’t think I had a problem. But apparently I eat honey and other natural sweeteners quite a bit!  I’m really feeling their absence.  I’ve also had a hard time with the no snacking thing. Apparently I’m used to eating basically all day long.  Grazing, some might call it.  Part of it might be the fact that I’m breast-feeding and hungrier than normal. Who knows.  So I do my best. If I feel legitimately hungry, I eat a little something. I don’t want to mess with my milk supply. (Yeah I know…I graze and I produce milk.  Moo.)
One good thing Whole30 has done for me so far is to make me focus on using healthier ingredients. I’ve found myself trying to fit as many vegetables as I can into my meals. Not a bad habit for anyone to be forming, yes? I think that’s the point of undertaking something like this. Focus on the things you should be eating more of instead of what you can’t eat.   So for the next month or so I’ll be sharing some of my Whole30 creations.  And here’s the best part, you don’t have to commit to the diet to eat them!
This burger recipe is a simple way to amp up the flavor quotient on your bun-less burger. Honestly, I never miss the bun. Who needs it!  You can use a lettuce wrap or just dig in with a fork. Don’t forget to pile on as many veggies as you can. Cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, jalapenos, sprouts… Get crazy.  I chose Cholula because it’s on the Whole30 approved list.  Plus, have you tasted it?  Duh.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Cholula
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Form into patties.  Cook as desired.  I cooked mine with bacon grease in a skillet.  Top with any yummy thing you can think of.  I topped mine with a fried egg, avocado, cilantro and onion.
Whole30 never tasted so good!

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.

Raw ‘Oats’

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This is currently my favorite breakfast recipe.  And I’m really into breakfast.

I’ve seen some different versions of it online, but this is the one I like best.  It’s quick and easy, my two favorite recipe adjectives.  It tastes really fresh, and has everything my breakfast needs – protein, healthy fats, fiber, you get the idea.  I’ve tried it with different kinds of apples.  I prefer Granny Smith, but I like things a little on the sour side. In fact, I like my food to be just shy of pucker inducing.  Also, I have a Grandma Smith…which now that I think about it is entirely unrelated.  

Anyway.  I soak the date in hot water for about 10 minutes before adding it to the blender.  I don’t have a super fancy blender, so this method helps a lot with the date dispersion.  You could use any kind of nuts you have lying around.  I’ve done a walnut/almond combination that was just divine!  This recipe makes 2 servings, one of which I occasionally find myself eating later the same day.  It’s just too good, y’all.  

1 Apple, chopped

1/4 c Pecans 

1/4 c Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)

1 Date, softened

Pinch of Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Juice of 1/2 Lime

Once the date has softened, throw all your delicious ingredients into the blender.  I would advise adding the lime juice after you’ve tasted the finished product.  You may or may not need it, depending on the apple and your taste preference.  Blend until all ingredients are chopped into small pieces.  Be careful not to blend too much or you’ll have an unappetizing paste on your hands.  You want it to be about the consistency of oatmeal.  

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe right now?

Fluffy Almond Butter Pancakes

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I feel like I’ve been searching  for this recipe my whole life.

Maybe that’s an overstatement.  Maybe the ‘hunger of ten grizzly bears’ stage that is the third trimester is clouding my brain.  But I want a cake for breakfast! Not some, but the whole thing!  I will settle for pancakes, but it’s going to take a lot of them.

Lately I’ve tried a lot of variations of the 1 egg/1 banana pancake recipe.  The taste is pretty good, but they always end up on the heavy side and take waaaaay too long to cook.  Who has that kind of patience?  I need my breakfast now!

So I turned to Apple Cider Vinegar, that magic elixir.  The vinegar and baking soda combination make these as fluffy as regular pancakes.  They taste downright normal.  Go on, try to fool your family!

This recipe makes about 6 good sized pancakes and is open to new relationships.  I think it could get along well with nuts, fruit or chocolate chips.  (I added coconut flakes to mine.)

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1 c Almond Butter

2 Bananas

2 Eggs

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp Flax Seed

Dash of Cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a food processor/blender.  Pour into a greased skillet, flip when bubbles start to form.  Enjoy with reckless abandon.

Avocado Chicken Salad

 

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I have a love/hate relationship with chicken.  What a tricky bird!  Can we call a chicken a bird or do we have to call it a fowl?  Or is it strictly poultry.  Let’s talk about it later.  Right now I want to address how difficult it can be to avoid dry, bland chicken.  Even when you marinate!  Even when you cook it slowly and lovingly in a variety of juices.  It is exactly this frustrating history that led me to create this decidedly un-dry concoction.

I used shredded chicken I had from a whole chicken I’d roasted earlier in the week.  (Spoiler alert, the thing came out a far cry from moist!)  I added chopped celery, onion,  orange bell pepper and cilantro and then mixed up the following sauce:

1 Avocado

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tbsp Vegenaise

1/4 c. Plain Greek Yogurt

1 clove Garlic

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Dash of Celery Salt

Dash of Oregano

Blend the above ingredients in a blender/food processor until smooth and creamy.  Add chicken and vegetables.  I put mine over broccoli slaw, but you could also put it in a lettuce leaf/wrap of your choosing.

Blueberry Scones

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I woke up yesterday morning with a powerful craving for scones.  Did I mention that I’m severely, astoundingly pregnant?  It’s true.  I haven’t seen my feet in a fortnight.  I get worried looks from strangers in the grocery store.  Anyway.  If you’ve been pregnant, you know that cravings don’t call for wishing and waiting.  They require swift and very specific action.

It was with this in mind that I came up with the following recipe.  I quite enjoyed it, all 12 of them in the space of two days to be exact.  (Diet starts in 4 weeks…ugh.)

You could substitute raspberries or other fruit for the blueberries if you like.  I used frozen blueberries, but fresh would work as well.  I also think these would be good with a little grated lemon rind.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 c. Almond Flour

1/4 c. Arrowroot Powder

1/4 c. Coconut Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Honey

1 Egg

4 Tbsp. Pasture Butter, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine softened pasture butter, egg, honey, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mix until barely combined.  Add blueberries.  You can roll out into a circle and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter, or separate into little mounds.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.