Between serving warm melted dark chocolate on strawberries yesterday for my son’s birthday classroom treat and today serving magic shell (more melted dark chocolate!) on top of ice cream for Tate’s Valentine’s Day classroom party, it has been quite a challenge to abstain from dark chocolate and my muffins as part of the Whole 30 I started on Monday. I want my chocolate, and I want it now!! So…what could make this even more of a challenge?? Cookie cake! My favorite dessert and BIGGEST weakness!! But it’s also my family’s favorite treat and since it’s Valentine’s Day (weekend), and it’s going to be really cold, I wanted my kids to have a feel good treat they could enjoy…ugh self sacrifice!! I hope the family really appreciates this one!
Why oh why am I torturing myself?!
Fortunately we had the help of some good friends to get through this thing the day I made it…
I asked Alice what she was doing with the binoculars and she said she was “looking for more cookie cake!”.
It really is so addictive!
This is a recipe from my book Super Paleo Snacks and it’s called Birthday Cookie Cake, hence the prettier picture below. I used a round dish for the original recipe but think it fits better in a 9×13 glass dish. We cooked it for 40 minutes yesterday and it was perfect!!
I don’t know if you guys have tried Num Num BBQ sauce (I got mine from Whole Foods) but my friend Daphne introduced me to it when she brought it over for our dinner the other night, and I was blown away. Now granted, I haven’t had a lot of BBQ sauce over the past 7 or so years because it is hard to find one that doesn’t have a lot of sugar or other gross ingredients. I know, picky, picky, but even with those complaints I still wasn’t willing to make my own. Anyway after trying this Country Boy’s Mustard Num Num sauce with our dinner, and while Daphne was giving my husband a lacrosse lesson in the kitchen, I blurted out “I’ve got a new dish I’m going to make with this sauce!!” Clearly I wasn’t as focused as much on lacrosse as everyone else was…
Sometimes I will wait to post a recipe just to make sure we love it as is and won’t need any tweaks. Well, it has only bee a few weeks and already we have made this recipe 4 times. It’s now a new staple in our household and there is little that gets me more excited than finding a new staple meal. We love it so much my daughter has been taking it to school to have as a part of her lunch for the past few weeks. Oh and she came up with the name, too, if you couldn’t tell.
You’ll see the recipes calls for avocado oil or butter as the cooking fat. We did try it with avocado once and with butter another time, and, honestly, it tasted pretty much the same so feel free to use whatever you have around! I hope you love this meal as much as we do!
cook with avocado oil or butter until brown and mostly cooked.
add salt garlic powder smoked paprika (optional), scallions.
once done, add cabbage back to pan and stir in bbq sauce and cilantro.
In a large pan, add 2 tbsp avocado oil or butter and saute cabbage until it starts to soften and turn brown.
Then set cabbage aside.
In the same pan, turn to medium high heat and add another 2 tbsp of avocado oil or butter and cook chicken until it's brown all over.
Once it's brown, turn the heat down to medium and allow the chicken to cook for another 10-15 minutes or until it's no longer pink in the middle.
Stir in the salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika to the chicken while it's finishing cooking.
Once the chicken is done, turn the stove off, add the cabbage back to the pan, along with your BBQ sauce and stir it all together.
Then garnish with scallions and cilantro and enjoy!
You could use a rotisserie chicken too if you're trying to save time. Then just skip the cooking part of the chicken and once the cabbage is sauteed, you would then just add the shredded chicken along with all of the rest of the ingredients.
EDITED 2/16 - I actually like it best with a whole or rotisserie chicken. The juices from the cooked chicken breast can dilute the flavor some. For a quick easy and even tastier meal, try the rotisserie!!
I work with many clients that will say, “I’m eating clean, but I still just can’t lose any weight.” It must be old age, right? Well, sometimes it is. But many times, when we gain weight without any nutritional changes, it isn’t always food related. Many times it has to do with one of these four things:
Do you have breast tenderness? PMS is worse than ever? Are you gaining weight around your hips, thighs and stomach? Do your cravings for sugar or carbs spike at certain times of the month? Then you may have a hormonal imbalance.
2. Thyroid problems (sluggish T3, low TSH)
Are you exhausted way too often, have muscle weakness, constipation, feel cold even when no one else is cold, have dry coarse hair? All could be signs that you might have a thyroid problem.
3. Adrenal/cortisol problems (stress hormones)
Are you under a lot of stress and have a hard time sleeping through the night? Do you wake up utterly exhausted (even after a good night’s sleep)? Might be time to check your adrenal hormones like DHEA and pregnenlone.
4. Serotonin levels (low levels in particular)
Are you irritable or short tempered, are you REALLY craving carbs (especially in the fall or winter), feeling a little blue, or feeling not very confidently lately, and/or do you have tinnitus?
These are just a few examples of the symptoms you could be experiencing.
Fortunately, you can get lab work to see if any of these things are going on with your body (in particular it’s easy to test for the hormones, thyroid, and adrenals). It’s important to find out if you have any of these imbalances, deficiencies, and if so, why? If you have a good doctor that will accommodate you, they could order the labs for you. My office also specializes in working with many of these issues.
The good news is there are many things that can be done to correct your levels. I go regularly (every three or so months) to make sure my all hormones are where they are suppose to be (especially since sex hormones can change pretty erratically at my age) so I check numbers 1, 2 and 3 from above. Anyway, I hope this gives you something to think about if you can’t lose weight or more importantly, you just don’t quite feel like yourself lately. We all deserve to feel and be our best!
Okay, on to the food…
For the past few years we have held a slumber party for my daughter’s birthday and every year Alice always requests ribs for dinner. But, this year, even though it’s only a mere 8 months away, she has already requested “Mr. Edward’s pork loin”. It is her new favorite meal. While the pork is so flavorful, the extra marinade really makes this so delicious. This has become a Sunday night regular, but we double the recipe so we can have it again Tuesday night. Though sometimes on the second night, we’ll use our favorite chimichurri sauce with it for a change. It’s so good!! It also goes really well with our cauliflower mash. I hope y’all love it as much as we do. Oh, and I did try to make it in the oven the other day and it wasn’t nearly as good as it was on the grill so definitely Big Green Egg it if you can!
Hi all! Sorry it has been so long, but hopefully you can expect some more posts coming up soon. I have some good, educational ones on the horizon I’m excited to share. Anyway, I hope your new year is going well so far!
So did anyone make a resolution to eat better or feed your family better for this year? Sometimes the hardest part about making healthier habits is feeling like you’re doing it alone. Multiple studies show that one of the biggest things that can help someone succeed in setting new goals is to do it with friends for accountability and support.
A part of what I do – aside from individual nutritional consulting – is to lead group sessions on health and nutrition. Over the years, I’ve delivered talks on getting and staying on a wellness track. I lectured about discerning dietary myth from fact. Taught about what helps our metabolisms be as efficient as possible and how to keep inflammation at bay. My point…Want to learn AND have some fun? Need a girl’s night out? If you and your friends want to pick someone’s house, grab a few healthy apps (OK, and some wine), let’s slate a session to discuss how you and your family can feel better. If you’re interested, shoot me an email with the number attending, and I can send you pricing (and I promise, it can be cheaper than going out to dinner). I’m afraid this only pertains to the local Atlanta area. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, on to the food…
Speaking of Atlanta, if you live in Atlanta, have you ever had the fried parmesan cauliflower from Yeah Burger? Oh my goodness it is SO good.
“Crazy Cauliflower” from Yeah Burger
Anyway, Alice and I love their cauliflower so much we thought we would try to recreate it. While we didn’t have a fryer or any parmesan, our new recipe completely exceeded our expectations. Honestly, I was going to make two batches. The first one without parmesan and the second with…but you know what? We didn’t need to do it. It just didn’t need the parmesan. The dish already was super tasty and bursting with flavor! Alice said in some ways, it was actually “better than Yeah Burger’s.” I had to literally wrestle with her for this dish. I held both of her arms with one of my hands and had to reach over her to get a bite (we were of course laughing while doing this). I gave Tate a bite while he was doing some screen time and he didn’t respond at first because he so focused on his show. And then he stopped… looked over and said “WOAH, mom. That is AMAZING!!!!”. This recipe is no ordinary roasted cauliflower.
One happy girl…
It’s so easy to make and you can even get your cauliflower pre-cut from Whole Foods or some of the other stores if you would like…
I was starting to plan out my Christmas eve dinner list, and one thing kept popping to the top of my list – this chocolate pudding pie. But it’s not any old chocolate pie. It is my VERY favorite dessert. Very. Favorite. And, I’ve never made it. Maybe that is part of why I love it so.
My daughter Alice found the recipe last year on the Against All Grain web site and it has been her signature dessert (aside from Molten Lava cakes) ever since. The only ingredient that some of you may not have is gelatin. You can still order it on Amazon prime and get it on time. It’s good to have around anyway. We use it for our gummies, also.
My sweet husband tried to make it for my birthday and instead of cinnamon, he accidentally used cumin. Eeek! I’m not sure if that’s worse that pepper and poppyseeds but apparently we all need to slow down. I hope you get to slow down, enjoy some good quality time with family and friends for the holidays, and have a fantastic new year!
1 cup whipped cream (either from 1 can of coconut milk, or from real dairy cream)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix your crust ingredients and press the dough into a 9-inch pie pan or a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake your crust for 12 minutes, until it is golden around the ridge.
Let the crust cool completely while you prepare your pudding. To save time, you can make the crust the day before and keep it wrapped tightly until you’re ready to use it.
Soften the gelatin by placing it in a small bowl with the vanilla extract.
Warm the coconut milk over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes, being careful not to let it boil.
Whisk the egg yolks, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl.
Slowly pour the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to temper the eggs. Pour the entire liquid mixture back into the pan, and continue cooking over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes while stirring constantly. You don’t want this mixture to boil and it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour the softened gelatin and vanilla into the pan and whisk vigorously and until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour the mixture into a glass bowl. If you are using agar-agar, it will take longer for it to dissolve, probably about 5 minutes. If you notice a few small lumps, pass it through a mesh strainer prior to pouring it into the bowl.
Stir in the chopped chocolate until it is incorporated and smooth, then let the bowl cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the pudding into the pie crust, and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the pudding.
Put the pie in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours until the pudding has set.
Top with fresh whipped cream or coconut whipped cream and dark chocolate curls or shavings for decoration.