Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes

These pumpkin pancakes have just a hint of orange flavor which makes them extra special. I made these during my meal prep session this weekennd to be reheated for breakfast during the week.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cassava flour
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grassfed butter or coconut oil, melted plus additional for the pan
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 orange

Instructions:

  1. Crack and whisk the eggs until they are well combined.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix.
  3. Heat a pan or gridle over medium low heat and add your fat of choice.  Cooking these pancakes slowly helps make sure that they are fluffy and cooked all the way through.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter onto your pan into circular pancakes.  Allow to heat for approximately 3 minutes, or until large bubbles start to form on the pancake.  Flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until cooked through.
  5. Transfer to a plate and continue with your remaining batter.
  6. Serve with additional butter and syrup.

Kid Approved Simple Guacamole 

This is one that I hesitated to post because it is so simple. But, if you have a spice hater like me, it could be pretty useful.

My daughter refuses to eat anything spicy. Don’t even ask. It will not happen. She even complains about spice that I can’t even taste. I once convinced her not to eat a chocolate peanut butter cup by telling her it was spicy. (What can I say… I am a terrible mother!)

Guacamole is hit or miss. Sometimes a restaurant will have a B Approved guacamole, and sometimes not. We struggle to get consistent guacamole even at the same restaurant. And if a restaurant EVER had spicy guacamole, she will always label it as such.

This simple guacamole can be made at home, but most Mexican restaurants also have the ingredients so you can make your own at the table in tiny amounts.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scrape out the interior of the avocado with a fork and put it in a small bowl.
  2. Add the juice from 1/2 a lime, cilantro and salt to taste. Mash with a fork and stir until it is easily combined.
  3. Serve on the side of any meal because kids love dip.

Paleo Banana Pumpkin Muffins

I make a dozen paleo Muffins every Sunday. They are still convenient. I put one in B’s school lunch almost everyday and the rest are eaten as after school or pre-workout snacks and can be added to any breakfast in a pinch. If it doesn’t look like we will eat them all within the week, I toss a few into the freezer to be used in case of a meal emergency, hectic work week or when I am feeling a little lazy.

This was my first attempt at making my own muffin recipe. Most of the paleo muffin recipes I have found are dense, eggy or too sweet.  I was pretty impressed with how these turned out. They are light, fluffy and not too sweet. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Ingredients 

  • 1 over ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin purée (I used a boxed organic version)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 arrowroot flour (you can sub in tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions 

  1. If you remember, take your eggs out of the fridge about an hour before you make your muffins. This will prevent you coconut oil from solidifying when you mix it in to your batter. (I usually forget and It isn’t a big deal.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mash banana. Mix in pumpkin, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla, spices and syrup.
  4. Add dry ingredients (baking soda and flours) and stir. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes because the coconut flour will soak up the liquid.
  5. Put muffin liners in a muffin pan. I use these silicone liners and they are fantastic.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop into each liner. You should have just enough for 12 muffins.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Instant Pot Pork Chops

Pork Chops are a staple in my house for a few reasons:

  • They are cheap (ish).
  • They are quick and easy to prepare.
  • B will eat them even if they are simply prepared.

The only problem is that they are easy to over cook. The instant pot helps keep them tender. This recipe isn’t fancy, but it is easy and kid approved. B and I split one for dinner last night.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick bone-in pork Chops (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup bone broth (any type will be fine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  1. Push the sauté button on the instant pot and heat up your coconut oil.
  2. While the coconut oil is heating, mix salt, pepper, garlic, sage and rosemary. Spring the mixture on top of your pork Chops.
  3. Brown your pork Chops in the instant pot for about 4 minutes per side. I was able to brown both at once, but if your Chops are too large, brown them separately.
  4. Pour broth over the top and place the lid on the instant pot. Cancel the sauté mode and then press the meat button. This will cook your Chops for 20 minutes.
  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally, then open the lid. Serve the Chops with freshly chopped parsley.

Purple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

My favorite grocery store posts their weekly ad at 6 am every Wednesday morning.  I check it every Wednesday morning… pretty compulsively.  I start planning my mid-week grocery run on Wednesday morning when this ad comes out.

Please, don’t be fooled. I am disorganized it almost every aspect of my life. However, I am almost always planning my next meal while consuming the last.

I get an odd little thrill when something extraordinary comes up on that weekly ad. I love the extra inspiration that an unusual item brings.

Yesterday it was purple sweet potatoes. How fun are they?

 The color is absolutely amazing. My daughter was in total awe when I chopped these up and she couldn’t wait to eat them.

Don’t have purple sweet potatoes?  No worries.  Just use orange sweet potatoes (yams).  The flavor is a little different, but every bit as good.  Also, like many of my recipes, this couldn’t be easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add your diced potatoes to the pot.  Bring the water back up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Boil the potatoes for about 2o minutes, or until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan.  Add in coconut milk and spices.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  4. Serve hot!

 

Ginger Berry Smoothie

I am a little under the weather this morning. Food doesn’t sound great, but I did want something cold for my throat. Also, B isn’t sick so I am trying to give her immune system a boost.

So, smoothies it is….

I make hers with a little less spinach and ginger and a little more coconut milk to make it more palatable.

For hers:

  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup spinach

For mine

  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup spinach

Chicken, Bacon and Potato Bake

After cooking on Saturday for B’s birthday party, spending Sunday meal prepping sounded pretty awful. We had enough leftovers to get us through a couple days, but not much more. By Tuesday we had almost no food and no plan. I had chicken and potatoes, but when I proposed that for dinner B acted like I stabbed her favorite stuffy.

This recipe was created in an attempt to rebrand chicken and potatoes so that B would eat it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, cubes
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 pound potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing (also available on Thrive Market and Amazon)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix potatoes, bacon, garlic  and onion powder, paprika and salt in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after about 20 minutes.
  3. Combine chicken and ranch dressing and then stir into the potatoe mixture. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Add green onions and parsley and serve.

Grandma’s Spanish Rice ~ Instant Pot Version (Not Paleo)

I hate to be a traitor to my Paleo peeps, but I think I am officially giving up on Cauliflower rice. It has three major problems:

  1. It’s not that easy to cook. I have the worlds tiniest food processor so I have to rice it in batches, causing cauliflower chunks to get all over my kitchen. Then, I usually over or under cook it.
  2. It doesn’t taste or smell great so B won’t eat it. She can identify it as cauliflower a mile away and she will not put it in her mouth. One time I did get her to try it and she put the equivalent of 1 grain in her mouth and proceeded to act like she’d been poisoned.
  3. White rice is actually easier for me to digest.  The whole reason I started to eat paleo was provide me some relief from my constant stomach issues, and cauliflower doesn’t settle well with me. Rice rice is fine.

So, this is the one grain I regularly consume in small amounts.

I used to eat a ton of Spanish Rice as a kid. My grandma made the absolute best rice. It was flavorful without being overpowering. I made it with her countless times as a kid, but I haven’t been able to recreate it with that same flavor (grandma magic?).

But this week I nailed that flavor in my instant pot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp bacon grease or pork lard
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth (add 1/4 cup if you prefer a wetter rice)
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3/4 tsp salt (omit if your broth and tomatoes include salt- you can always add more later)

Instructions

  1. Mix chicken broth, diced tomatoes and salt in a blender and set aside.
  2. Set instant pot to sauté and add pork fat. One the fat has melted add the onions and sauté until fragrant. Add in garlic and stir continuously.
  3. Add dry rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown, but be careful not to let it burn.
  4. Add the tomato and broth mixture.
  5. Push the cancel button on the instant pot. Then select manual and set the timer to 7 minutes. Put the lid on the pot and allow it to come up to pressure. This will take 5-10 minutes.
  6. The pressure cooker will begin counting down. When the timer is done, it will start to gradually release pressure. Do not open the lid until the pressure has been fully released.
  7. Stir rice and serve.

Italian Sausage

My daughter will not eat eggs. If she can see them, they won’t go into her mouth.  As I have said before, I love them.  That makes breakfast a bit of a challenge, especially when I am scrambling to get to work by 7:30 am.

I like to have these sausages on hand to give to her for breakfast, but it is also great in a sausage potato soup.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz ground pork
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cooking oil of choice (bacon fat is my favorite!)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  I find that combining these with my hands works best.
  2. Melt your fat of choice over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Portion out your sausages to the desired size.  I use an ice cream scoop to get consistent sized portions and then pat them down into patties.
  4. Cook In small batches for 3-4 minutes per side until they are cooked through.

This makes about 12-14 sausages.

 

Easy Weekday Homefries

We just got home from our family Crossfit night.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my daughter B goes to a Crossfit Kids class.  Our box also offers an outdoor WOD at the same time.  Going to that class is a no brainer because my kiddo is occupied and happy while I am getting my workout in.

The only downside is that we don’t get home until about 6:15.   During the winter, when it is dark so early, my daughter is usually tucked in bed by 7:30.  That doesn’t leave a lot of time for dinner prep.  Also, I still have quizzes to print for my classes tomorrow.

Tonight, we had my Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings  that I prepped last night.  After a WOD, I also like something a little more carb heavy on my plate, so I decided to make these super easy homefries.  They shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Also, if you aren’t sure if potatoes are considered paleo or not… it depends on who you ask.  And if you ask me…. We eat them.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed red potatoes, cut to your desired size*
  • 1-2 tbsp bacon grease (sub butter or coconut oil if you don’t have any)
  • 3 green onions

Instructions

  1. Put cubed potatoes in a microwave safe bowl. I usually cut them and place them directly into my 4-cup measuring cup like this one.
  2. Microwave on high for 6 minutes.
  3. When the microwave has about a minute left, add your bacon grease to a large pan and melt on medium heat.  When the potatoes are done, add them to the melted grease.  (Be careful, the moisture can cause some splattering!)
  4. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes on medium to medium high heat, stirring occasionally making sure not to let them burn.  When you have about 2 minutes left, chop your green onions and add them to the potatoes.
  5. Serve hot.  These make an excellent side for any meal.

* Smaller potatoes will cook faster and be crispier.