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My favorite meal of the year!

I know! It’s a big statement, isn’t it? But really, so far this Thai Basil Coconut Chicken Pasta is my favorite dish of the year. And honestly I’m not even a huge fan of Thai food, but this extremely flavorful, wonderful little meal is so amazing.

I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs, Food Renegade. Kristen not only shares wonderful recipes, but also her site is also very educational. You should check it out if you haven’t before!

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I ate so much my stomach hurt—like really hurt! But I am just so happy that we have a new staple.  If you ever thought about buying a spiralizer, this recipe is enough reason to get one!!

Alice and I started taking pictures of the meal in the pan, and then we sampled, and then sampled, and then…..well now you see why my tummy ached! Alice and I actually felt really bad we didn’t save more for the guys, but we couldn’t stop ourselves. Alice started sipping the leftover sauce, and that’s when we discovered this also makes an excellent soup.  We actually sauteed mushrooms the next day and used the rest of the sauce to make a soup. And with really healthy ingredients like coconut milk, turmeric, ginger and garlic, this really is a super soup.

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I hope y’all like this as much as we did! 

And I bet you thought just my kitchen was a mess….

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Oh, and I’m using a new recipe format (see below). Do y’all like it, or do you prefer the one I was already using? Would love to hear from you! 

Thai Basil Chicken Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb chicken
  2. 3 zucchini
  3. 1 can coconut milk (we used light because it was what we had)
  4. 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (or fresh)
  5. 2 tsp turmeric
  6. 2 1/2 tsp sea salt
  7. 2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh)
  8. 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  9. 1/4 (for kids)-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  10. 3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  11. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Start by cutting your chicken into bite sized pieces. I did really small because my bite-sized pieces so you get more flavor with each bite! Set aside.
  2. Now make your zuchinni noodles with your spiralizer.
  3. Then, in a large sauce pan, on high heat, add about 2 tbsp coconut oil and add your chicken. Cook until it's no longer pink on the outside. Then add the zucchini noodles.
  4. Next, add your spices on the chicken and zucchini (this part is important rather than adding the spices to the coconut milk. It just won't have as much flavor).
  5. Stir everything together.
  6. Then pour the can of coconut milk over everything, add the apple cider vinegar, and stir again.
  7. Allow to cook on medium low for another 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, and devour!!
Notes
  1. I did increase the amount of ingredients (from the first time we made it) so there would definitely be enough to feed 4 people.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

Michelle - Landria, just wanted to let you know I tried this recipe last night and it is AMAZING! It’s definitely going to become a regular for my family. Thank you!

landriav - Great to hear Leilani!!! Sorry about the acv. I just added it. Thanks for the comment!!

landriav - Aw thanks so much Amy! So great to hear!!! So sorry, I forgot to add the ACV in the directions. I just added it. Thanks for your sweet input!

Leilani - It was so delicious! I forgot to add the vinegar–it was good anyway!

Amy Johnson - This dish was amazing as expected!!!! Loved all of the flavors together. Where was I supposed to add the apple cider vinegar? I just added it with the rest of the spices and it seemed to taste just fine. I also like your new format! It is much easier to shop for ingredients this way! Will keep following your amazing website. Thanks for keeping us healthy and eating delicious Landria!

Britton - I like the new format better

Jennifer Godfrey - Yum! Can’t wait to try this one! I like the new recipe format. :)

landriav - test

Calling all chocolate lovers wanting more protein!

Yep, chocolate AND protein! These Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins are a great breakfast, snack (especially since they are nut-free (if for school)), treat…you name! We made about 16 or so muffins on Sunday and put them in the freezer so the kids, oh okay, so we ALL would have some good little treats around this week and next but I have to say, they are going quick. It’s Thursday now and we only have a couple left. Hmm….

While the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are pretty popular, I know everyone doesn’t love pumpkin (and especially kids some times). But…who doesn’t love chocolate!? I mean, really. Anyway, these things are aaaawwesome!! And again, they are high protein, low glycemic and have lots of good healthy fats. I hope y’all love these as much as we do! Feel free to let me know if you love them, or even if you don’t. I think my comments section is finally back up and working again. Sorry for that long delay!!

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Paleo Protein Muffins
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp celtic sea salt
  • ⅓ cup raw cacao powder
  • 9 organic eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (except for the coconut oil) in a small to medium bowl. Now mix all (but the chocolate chips and coconut oil) ingredients together until blended well. Now stir in the melted coconut oil. Then, fold in the dark chocolate chips. Now fill your silicon muffins cups or paper muffin cups and fill ¾ of the way full. Cook for 21-24 minutes (until butter knife comes out clean) and eat while the chocolate is still melting! Freeze the rest once cool and you'll have a snack ready for the week. Just take it out the night before, throw it into a lunch bag and put in the fridge. They should be thawed by lunchtime!

Paleo Mojo Pork & Rice Bowl

I sort of fell backwards into this recipe. After making a delicious pork roast with homemade mojo sauce, I realized that I had a ton of extra sauce. Well, I couldn’t let it go to waste because, man, it was really good. I looked in the fridge to see what I had that might go with the meal, and, fortunately, a head of cauliflower was staring me in the face. Perfect! The recipe really turned out well. And it was easy and we all loved it! I think I’ll try it next time using a whole chicken instead.

This is what you need:

  • 2-3 lbs pork loin or roast
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 or 8 garlic cloves, minced
  •  2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh oregano
  • pepper to taste
  • head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Start by trimming the large pieces of fat off of the pork, if you want. Or you can just peel it off after it is cooked. Then place the meat in a slow cooker or dutch oven. Pour the orange juice, lime (or lemon) juice, and the olive oil over the roast. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the top of the pork. If you’re using a dutch oven, cook it in your oven on 200 for approximately 6 hours. Or if using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

This picture would have been so much better looking, well maybe not “so much”, but had I added the cumin at the beginning and not the end. Oh well. You get the point. It’s easy to make. Just dump some ingredients and go!!

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When your pork is almost done, clean and chop your cauliflower into large chunks. Place the cut cauliflower in a food processor (I just used our favorite ulu knife and chopped it while it was in the colander, but wish I had made it more rice-like for this dish) and blend for about 30-60 seconds until rice like.  Place the cauliflower in a large pot and pour chicken broth or water over it. Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover the pot and let it steam for about 7-8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Then pour it into a colander to strain it.

stiritup.me paleo mojo chicken rice bowl

Once your pork is done, chop up the meat into small bite-sized pieces (and trim your fat then too, if needed). Add the cauliflower “rice” to the pork, stir well so the mojo sauce covers everything and then enjoy!!
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Everyone seemed to love this meal…even if it wasn’t quite dinner time._DSC5327
You can always save it and pin it for later: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/70439181647678322/
Paleo Mojo Pork & Rice Bowl
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs pork loin or roast
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ⅓ lime or lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 or 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh oregano
  • pepper to taste
  • head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Trim the big fat chunks off your pork, if you want. Then place the meat in slow cooker or dutch oven. Pour the orange juice, lime (or lemon) juice, and the olive oil over the roast. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the top of the pork. If you're using a dutch oven, cook it in your oven on 200 for approximately 6 hours. Or if using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  2. When your pork is almost done, clean and chop your cauliflower into large chunks. Place it in a food processor and blend for about 30-60 seconds until rice like. Place the cauliflower in a large pot and pour chicken broth or water over it. Once the broth or water boils, cover the pot and let it steam for about 7-8 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Then pour it into a colander to strain it.
  3. Once your pork is done, chop up the meat into small bite-sized pieces. Add the cauliflower "rice" to the pork, stir so the mojo sauce covers everything, and enjoy!!

Big Ole (Powerhouse!) Pancake…

While many say breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and I totally agree), I think that needs a bit of clarification. I believe a protein-filled breakfast is crucial. After all, we are giving our brains fuel to enhance concentration and focus for the school or work day. Would you put water or oil in your gas tank if you were about to take a road trip? No. Well, sugar and processed carbohydrates certainly aren’t your premium gas.

Also, I know we are all rushing around on weekday mornings, so breakfast needs to be quick and easy, and like I said, full of protein. This one checks the box on all three!

This is an easy-to-throw-together meal. If you really want to save time, either cook ahead of time and put in fridge for the next day (or couple of days). Or make the batter ahead of time, put it in a sealed container, and cook it the next morning so it’s warm and fresh.

With 20 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber, this gluten-free, low- glycemic (so you’ll have consistent energy levels) breakfast is very filling!

Here is how you make your Big Ole Pancake but you can see the ingredients and directions at the bottom of this post if you want to print it out.

Once you mixed the ingredients together and before you cook the pancake,  make sure the butter covers the pan…

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Pour the batter and let it cook about 3-4 minutes on each side and then carefully flip like so…_DSC4599 2Darn it!!_DSC4600 2

Okay so the only problem with the Big Ole Pancake is you really need to get under your pancake with the spatula. But on my 2nd, and 3rd, and even 4th tries, no problem. Yes, I made this a bunch of times but I wanted to make sure the recipe was just right.

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Ah-ha! See…

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It’s also good with some dark chocolate chips and whip. It doesn’t add that much sugar but makes them even more fun. This was our Saturday morning breakfast.

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They are also great with almond butters, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, eggs and bacon (make a sandwich!)…you name it!

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If you use a syrup, just be sure to use a good quality maple syrup instead of the bottle high fructose corn syrup also known as “pancake syrup”. Oh and instead of pouring it all over, just put a little on the side so the kids, or you, can dip it. It can save you about 20-30 grams of sugar.

If you don’t have protein powder, you can just skip that part and the pancake will still be fine. We have made them both ways, although to be honest, I did like the taste of it a little better with the Jay Robb Vanilla protein powder. The protein powder itself smells like cake batter! Mmmmm…

Big Ole (Powerhouse) Pancake...
 
Ingredients
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp canned coconut milk (we used light)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder (you can skip this if you don't have any)
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • Pinch baking soda
  • 2 tsp grass fed butter or ghee (for cooking)
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix the eggs and vanilla (you can skip the vanilla if you use vanilla flavored protein powder) together. Mix all of the ingredients together. Turn large pan on high heat, add butter, and pour in batter. Allow to cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Don't flip until the edges are brown. Then really get all the way under it with your spatula, flip and allow it to cook another 3-4 minutes.

Snacks are SO hard!! But wait…there’s help.

Planning food can be tough. But I think most of us get meals….it’s the healthy snacks that are so tricky! Unfortunately most conveniently packaged store-bought snacks are highly refined with preservatives, added sugar and less than ideal (and sometimes even unpronounceable) ingredients. But finding good, healthy, kid (and adult) approved snacks to make can be a challenge as well. I mean have you ever had to come up with, say, 100 really tasty, healthy Paleo snacks? And, then, get these snacks sampled and approved by friends, neighbors and even the pickiest of eaters? You see where I am going with this, right?:)

I am really excited and proud to announce Super Paleo Snacks, a book I have been working very hard on for the past nine months. And, as of today, it is now available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Indigo, and Bookish (sorry for the long list but I have to mention them all).  While the book won’t ship until mid-December (we are still figuring out exact release date), if you pre-order it now, you will get my book at the best price—guaranteed. Oh, and if you order now, it sends a strong signal to retailers that this will be a big seller so they’ll plan on stocking more copies.  So, please, go ahead and pre-order your copy now by clicking on one of the links above. I sure would appreciate it!!!

Here are a few pictures of some of the snacks that will be in the book!! What’s so fun about these recipes is that while you will see something like “brownies” in the snack book, you will learn that brownies (like some other snacks) don’t have to be just for desserts or special occasions. Brownie CAN be a great snack, low in sugar, high in healthy fats and protein!

Super Paleo Snacks book

Food has a purpose, especially snacks, and if we eat the right foods, it can help us to focus & concentrate, have balanced energy, and keep us full until the next meal. All of my recipes are gluten free, most are low glycemic (so we’ll have sustained energy and won’t get hungry too soon after), many are nut-free (even excluding the nut free section) and most take under 15 minutes to prepare! The chapters are broken out into different times of the day so you can use the right snacks to your benefit. The chapters include snacks for:

  • At Home
  • At Work/School
  • Pre-workout/Exercise/Sports
  • On-the-Road (For commuting, carpool or road trips)
  • Nut Free
  • Sweet Treats

I will share some of the snack recipes this fall but for today, I wanted to share a new snack that my daughter loves. She said “instead of granola bars they are granola balls”.  To be honest, my son isn’t a huge fan of this snack (he “likes them but doesn’t love them”), but Alice, who can be picky about snacks, absolutely loves them.  I don’t usually eat oats but I tried them and think they are really good, too! They’re so easy to make and perfect for a on-the -go snack like a road trip for Labor Day.

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Okay before you look at the ingredients and scoff at the Coconut Nectar:), please, give it a chance.

You can get it at Whole Foods, Amazon or Vitacost for about $7, the same price as honey and even less than maple. I love this stuff!  It is fabulous not only because it’s one of the only liquid sweeteners that is low glycemic and low in fructose (as opposted to agave nectar that has more fructose than HFCS – high fructose corn syrup) but it also has 17 amino acids and it is loaded with nutrients like Vitamins B and C. It’s worth a try! While it doesn’t necessarily smell sweet when you open the bottle, it makes any snack taste amazing!

Chocolate Chip Granola Balls
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup gluten free quick cook oats (we use Bob's Red Mill Quick Cooking)
  • ¼ cup almond or peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar (or maple or honey)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (may not need if you use maple or honey)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Then add the coconut nectar (or maple or honey) and peanut butter and combine everything together. As your hands get messy, it gets harder to roll into balls. Once you've mixed it, wash my hands off and stick the bowl in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. Then, start to use both hands to roll into golf ball sized snacks and set aside or enjoy immediately. If they feel a little dry or crumbly at all, just add some extra nectar and nut butter. Stores well in the fridge for about 5- 7 days.

landriav - Hey there Lori!! Hmm. That is so odd!! Im so sorry yours didnt stick! I’ve made them a couple of times now and have not had that problem at all. They’re actually pretty solid little balls. Maybe add a little extra nut butter or nectar? I’ll make them again soon to triple check the consistency and recipe. Glad you liked the taste though! Oh and yes, one time we did almond slivers in them and that was a nice addition! Thanks for commenting!

Lori - I made these last night just as directed (yes, tried and loved the coconut nectar) and they were delicious – thanks for sharing! Mine seemed to fall apart and crumble in my hands when trying to make into balls, even after refrigerating. Any suggestions to hold them together better so that they roll into “pretty” balls like yours? I just tried to put the crumbles together the best I could and I put them in the freezer to hold. Looks like yours also have almond slivers – yum!