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.

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Soup is wonderful for so many reasons.  It’s delicious, has so much nutritional value and it is the only way I can get my daughter to eat kale.  She’ll eat other veggies, no problem, but kale… not so much.  She practically inhaled this tonight.

Even my super picky husband will gobble it up and I am pretty sure some of the vegetables probably even made it into his mouth.  I usually make the carrots pretty small so that they areharder to pick out.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Italian sausage.  Make your own using this recipe.
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown your sausage in a large stock pot.
  2. Once sausage has browned, remove it from the pan.  Use the grease left in the pan to saute your carrots, celery and onion.  When it becomes fragrant and onions become translucent, add garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Return sausage to the pan along with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to boil and then reduced to simmer for at least 20 minutes or until potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove from heat and serve hot (or, with ice cubes for your little one!).

Worlds Best Mexican Grilled Chicken

I LOVE this grilled chicken.  It’s my go to chicken for salads, tacos and burrito bowls.  I served this last night at my daughter’s birthday party to be used for tacos and it went faster than the beef.  That is saying something.  I always make 3 pounds at a time because it never goes bad.

It is also SO FREAKING EASY.  I felt a little embarrassed by all of the compliments I got because this could not be easier.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp cumin (I use 1/2 ground cumin, 1/2 cumin seed)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • lime wedges and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Remove chicken from its packaging. Allow any juices from the chicken to drip off before placing it in a large bowl
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix them together with the chicken.
  4. Grill the chicken for about 3 minutes on the preheated grill.  Rotate 90 degrees  to create a crosshatch pattern and grill for another 3 minutes.  Flip the chicken and grill for about 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the thighs.
  5. Allow chicken to rest, and then cut into strips or cubes.

 

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.