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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: 
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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!

Sesame-Orange Chicken and cookbooks…

So to be honest, I was never really that big into cookbooks. I thought, why pay the money for a cookbook when you can just pull up any old recipe online. But then I discovered how a good cookbook allows my kids be a part of the whole cooking and meal process. There is no better way for my kids to take control than by flipping through and bookmarking anything that looks good to them, especially when it’s a book full of healthy meals.

They also help me stay organized. I’m not searching and trying to remember what recipe I found where. Anyway, I’ve come to discover, they just make things so much easier! I have a good collection of recipes from my staple books, which has been so nice, especially because I felt like I was starting to get stuck in such a rut! I’m creative, but I’m not that creative, and I certainly love the new ideas from these wonderful books. I’m just sayin’…maybe something to keep in mind!:)

Alice was showing my dad everything she wanted us to try. See, it works!

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So tonight we made a recipe from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain that my daughter had bookmarked.

We made this Sesame-Orange Chicken, with a few changes, and it turned out wonderfully!

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Lots of bookmarks. Think I need to invest in some some post-its? We are so unorganized!

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The picture doesn’t do this justice, apparently. I will say, I never got to try it because I went out that night, but my daughter and our cute babysitter LOVED it! And, my husband had the rest when he got home and said it was “awesome”.

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Sesame-Orange Chicken
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5- 2 lbs chicken thigh/breast
  • ⅓ cup coconut aminos or Tamari gluten free soy
  • ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (or honey)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • ¼ tsp celtic salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot
  • 1 tbsp water
  • garnish sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut chicken in small bit sized pieces and place in a glass oven safe dish. In a small sauce pan, add all of the ingredients sans the arrowroot powder and water. In a small bowl, add the arrowroot and water and stir until completely dissolved. Then pour that in the pan along with the other ingredients and turn the pan on medium high. While continuously stirring, allow it to come to a boil and then immediately pour the sauce over the raw chicken. Bake on 350F for approximately 30 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Add some sesame seeds to garnish and enjoy! This also goes great with cauliflower rice, broccoli, kelp noodles (our new favorite stir fry addition that I will post about soon) to soak up the yummy sauce.

 

 

 

Swedish meatballs (“better than IKEA’s!”)

Ever have one of those spells where it feels like you just can’t prepare a meal that will make everyone happy all the time?! Shoot, or anyone happy, any of the time? Lately, one of us in particular— not saying any names because I dont want to throw my only son under the bus (this phase better end soon!)— has been complaining a lot lately.  ”Just to tell you mom…this isn’t my favorite.” So, while the kid is polite, it would be nice to hear a positive comment, at least once in awhile.

Last night….I was successful! Tate said “these are amazing!” and he actually said it TWICE. And then said  ”Hey, hey, this is even better than IKEA meatballs!!!” Wait…what?!? So apparently he had a sample meatball when the family went to Ikea this weekend while I was working. Anyway, I’m not sure that is a compliment, but I’ll take it. He actually said these were “better…way better!”. YEEEESSS. EVERYONE was happy last night! Me included!! This is definitely a new staple for us. Lots of flavor, but no crazy spices that might offend one of your more picky eaters.

Oh and speaking of kids and picky eating, I’m doing a talk at Dr. Bhatia’s (Dr. Taz) office TONIGHT (8/13) on how food affects our kids and how to prep them for success at school so they can concentrate well and be their very best. It’s from 7:00-8:00 at 1401 Dresden Drive in Brookhaven. Be sure to call the office at 404.814.9808 or email admin@atlantaholisticmedicine.com to reserve your spot.

Mmmm, these meatballs were so tasty! I have to admit, I’ve never had “swedish meatballs” so the flavor might not be 100% authentic, but they were still really good! I mainly called them “Swedish Meatballs” because of Tate’s IKEA point of reference…

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The kids were hungry during pictures so I let them sample our new meatballs…

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I really shouldn’t have made dinner so late last night…

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Oh and we sautéed the asparagus in some ghee and then poured in the extra gravy. It was so good!

I made enough so we would have leftovers so (about 4 meatballs) so if you have a family smaller than 4, or you don’t want the leftovers, you might want to half the recipe…

Meatballs

  • 2 pound grass fed ground beef (makes the best gravy with 80/20)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced (dried or fresh)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried onion (it’s all we had but fresh would be great too)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the gravy

  • 1 cups chicken (or beef) broth
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy alternative)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 350F. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then with your hands, mush it all together until well combined. Then form meatballs (about 2″ in diameter). Heat cast iron skillet or pan on high.

Cook meatballs and let them get brown on one side, and then flip (about 4 min on each). Continue to turn the meatballs on the raw sides so they get brown all over. Then cook on 350 for 15 or so minutes. My pan was small so I could only fit half so if your pan is small or you don’t have a oven safe pan, transfer the meatballs to i put a glass dish or baking sheet. While that is cooking keep the grease in the pan and add the chicken broth and almond milk. While that is heating on medium high heat, stir the arrowroot powder and water in a small bowl. Once combined well, stir that in with the rest of the gravy. Add a dash of salt and pepper and allow to come to a boil. Then reduce and let cook for a couple more minutes until it thickens. When the meatballs are done, place them on a plate (or back into the gravy pan) and cover with gravy. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Serves 5-6 people.

 

Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes

I love a deal…especially on grass fed beef!

As you may know I am a huge fan of grass fed beef and all of the benefits that go along with it. We eat a decent amount in our household and while we try to eat organic things as much as we can, at least with thin skinned fruits and veggies, all of the red meat is grass fed. So we really try to save on cost where ever we can since it can all really add up.

Jason, who works at Destiny Organics, is a big help in that area. For about a year now some friends and I have purchased our grass fed meat from him. He has a wide array of meat, as well as fruits, vegetables, granolas, cheeses, etc. If you want his detailed price list, you can email him for it at jason@destiny-organics.com. Click here for their web site.

The main staple that we always get from him is the ground beef. We get it by the case, so 12 dozen per case, and it’s about $5.80 per pound (individually wrapped so easy for one night dinners). It’s almost half of what we pay at Whole Foods and the quality is great! And, it’s easy to get it. We just email him our order and then go pick it up at Sweet Auburn Market (downtown Atlanta next to Grady just off 75) which is a fun and entertaining place to visit regardless.

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Mmmm, we love cripsy and salty roasted okra! That post to come this fall…_DSC3531_DSC3552

Here the kids are checking out the “cow’s feet” and “pig ears”. Tate just begged me not to get those things. Thanks Tate, I’m not that bad! Well, okay, maybe we tried liver and some really hot things that the kids tried like a champ (I know, that one was super mean), but still…

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Meet Jason. The nicest guy, ever…

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Don’t forget Jason’s email at: jason@destiny-organics.com!

Extra protein in a fabulous summertime snack….

I don’t think there are too many people that aren’t looking for extra ways to get more protein into their kids. While mine do eat a healthy amount, I love that we’ve finally figured out a way to add it to tasty and fun snacks like this Strawberry Smoothie.

We made it two different ways—both with added protein using Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (which smells like cake batter by the way!). The reason we used the Jay Robb, aside from the cold pressed processing, strong reviews and good reputation, was that you could buy a sample pack from Whole Foods. I’ve heard so many say they’ve spent lots of money on other powders, only to learn they were disgusting. Anyway, I will admit I bought this probably a year ago (gross…maybe), but it was GREAT! There are still others on my list to try but this was a good start for sure! What is your favorite protein powder?

So the first milkshake, oh wait, I just called it a milkshake, but there is no milk in it and it’s suppose to be a smoothie. Still, to me it tasted like a strawberry milkshake, thick and creamy. So the first has everything in it that is listed below minus the almond butter. The second had the almond butter. The good thing about both of these smoothies is they are low in sugar. Smoothies can quickly become an insulin shock to the system with too many fruits, especially tropical ones. Try to stick with berries or green apples since they are lowest in sugar when making a smoothies.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter (optional)
  • 1 cup almond milk (I did 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 5 drops stevia (what we used) or 1 tbsp honey

stiritup.me strawberry milkshake

So Tate loved his with the almond butter which makes me happy. Extra good fat and protein! And I loved it too, but I think I might have preferred the other drink without the almond butter. Again, I think because it tasted a little more like a milkshake. Either way, they were both really good!!!

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Oh and speaking of protein, yes, I know, these Simply 7 chips we got at Whole Foods are not even close to “Paleo”. But, they are a fun snack that my son loves and has 9 grams of protein per serving. 9 grams! Not bad for a “chip”. While they are not cheap, they are on sale now…_DSC3648

landriav - Hey Jing! Yes that should be fine.

Jing Chen Lee - Hi Landria, My kids don’t like Almond milk. Can I use regular organic 2% milk? Thanks…

Landria - Hey Eileen! I couldn’t taste it at all. Hope you like it! :)

Eileen - I’m excited to try this! Have been searching for a good protein powder, but I don’t want to buy w/o sampling (call me crazy). Will grab a pack next time I am at WF. Glad it doesn’t use artificial sweeteners – can you taste the stevia in it?