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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homemade Lara Bars

Enjoying the new Ninja and had to try these with the processing attachments.  You could really add/omit anything here using basic mixture of 1/2 cup pitted dates/raisins and 1 cup dry nuts/seeds/granola/oats, 1 Tbsp water and any other add is what I used!

1/2 cup Medijol Dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup 70% dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbsp water (more or less to consistency)

Blend until the consistency you would like then mash into a parchment paper lines dish (mine is about 4 x 8 inches).  Later, I will cut and place in single serve baggies for easy snacks on the go!  Yum!

Afternoon Mocha Blast

We just got a new blender, The Ninja, and are enjoying "playing" with it.  Yesterday, we made a new smoothie for a treat!

1 frozen banana
2 shots espresso, cooled (or half cup of coffee would work)
1 cup chocolate almond milk or you could do plain almond/coconut milk and add cocoa powder/honey

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

I found this recipe, tweaked it a bit and these are a delicious "treat" and easy to snack on at home or on the go!

1-3/4 cups Organic Oats (gluten-free if needed or I used an oats/quinoa blend)
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Sugar
3/4-1 cup Organic Brown Rice Flour (original recipe called for whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 cup Raw Organic Honey
2 Tbsp. Melted coconut oil
1/4 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup enjoy life chocolate chips (optional)

Mix all ingredients together (I did the wet first), then press into a greased pan (mine was 8 x 11)-dough will be a bit crumbly but presses in well.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes (pulling it out after 20 minutes to sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top so they do not fully melt-or you could drizzle melted chocolate on top afterwards).  Take out and let cool entirely before cutting into rectangles and place in snack size baggies (if they can last that long, my family devoured these)!

Banana Pancakes Two Ways

Here are two delicious ways to make banana pancakes (quick and cheap too), one is grain-free and the other is simply gluten free but both are healthy and tasty (and filling)!

Paleo Pancakes:
2 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp chia seed
1 tsp cinnamon
coconut oil (for cooking in hot skillet)

1.  Using an electric mixer, mash the bananas and mix in the eggs.  Combine until frothy.
2.  Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
3.  Let batter sit for 5-10 minutes then cook (you need to cook extra on side one so they flip nicely).  Serve hot with pure maple syrup (or raw honey as my daughter and husband prefer)!

Gluten-Free Rice Flour Pancakes:
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 Cup Coconut/Almond Milk
1 egg (two if you prefer pancakes a bit fluffier)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle sea salt
1 cup Organic Brown Rice Flour (cheap at all stores)

1.  Using electric mixer, mash the bananas and combine wet ingredients until smooth.
2.  Add dry ingredients then mix well again until batter is smooth.
3.  Add in berries, chocolate chips, nut butter or prepare plain.
4.  Use more coconut oil to cook 3-5 minutes each side.
Serve hot with pure maple syrup or raw honey!

These were both tasty!  The coconut flour version was tougher to flip and a bit more cumbly and did not store batter well for leftovers, but the rice flour blend was like a "normal" pancake and great left over as well!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of our favorite places to eat out!  I typically get the salads and love the dressing so I found and tweaked a recipe for that dressing and we made homemade salads of our own!  They were awesome!  I made the adobe dry rub first, used part for the dressing and used the rest as a dry rub on my chicken (steak would have been great too) before grilling it.

Adobe Seasoning:
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tbsp. Chipotle Powder
1 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
3/4 tsp Dried Oregano
3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
less than 1/4 cup raw honey (I used just under and mine was almost too sweet so use sparingly)
1 Tbsp. Adobe Mix (from above)
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh Oregano (or a sprinkle of dried)
3/4 Cup Olive Oil (more or less to taste)

Mix together in a blender, food processor, or shaker bottle.  This made a full bottle of dressing and tasted great that night and even better left over the next day! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

21 Day Paleo Challenge

My husband and I decided to follow up a rough eating month (January holds both our daughters birthdays, plus we had guests visit and several big Football celebrations) with a 30 day Paleo Challenge.  We are trying to make it a positive change, so not being extremely legalistic, just no grains, no refined sugar (we will allow small bit of honey or maple syrup to sweeten but try not to do much), and no desserts (even healthy ones, haha).  I am typically a person who will work out 6 days/week but then enjoys some treats throughout the week but I am going to try to continue my workouts but skip those treats for a month!  So, I plan to blog the journey and keep updating this post every few days with what we ate each day plus what my workout was.  Keep in mind, we are very busy so some of the meals might seem a bit 'repetitive' but here we go!  PS-our daughters (3 and 6) will eat mostly paleo as well but I will let them eat occasional brown rice pasta (they both dislike spaghetti squash that I love), crackers/pretzels, or a treat if they earn something special but overall they will also participate!

Day 1:
Lunch-Grilled chicken with side salad made with mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers (balsamic/olive oil dressing)
Dinner-Stuffed Peppers and Squash and Mushrooms
Snacks-Carrots, Apple, Cucumber slices
Workout-3.5 mile run with puppy

Day 2:
Bfast-Protein Shake
Lunch-Sliced Chicken roll ups (chicken with lettuce and avocado rolled up), carrot sticks
Dinner-Roasted Chicken, Coconut Flour Biscuits, Green Beans, Sauteed Carrots with basil
Snacks-Carrots, Apple with peanut butter, Organic Fruit Strip, Homemade latte with coconut milk, espresso and a touch of raw honey
Workout-5.5 mile run with jog stroller while my older daughter biked
*using the roasted chicken to make chicken stock for soup this weekend

Day 3:
Bfast-Scrambled Eggs, diced avocado
Lunch-Chicken Salad with cucumbers, carrots, and mixed greens topped with avocado dressing (using leftover chicken from roasting last night)
Dinner-Chicken Basil Curry, Roasted Mixed Potatoes and Carrots (the curry was a new try from another healthy site-I might make again and tweak a few things but overall tasty)
Snacks-Organic Fruit Strip
Workout-T25 Speed 1.0

Day 4:
Lunch-Salad Bar from Whole Foods (read ingredients)
Dinner-Spaghetti Squash with meat sauce (sugar free) and eggplant lasagna for my hubby
Snacks-1/2 apple, Homemade latte with coconut milk
Workout-T25 Cardio

Day 5:
Lunch-Grilled Chicken Sausages, roasted mixed veggies
Dinner-Homemade Grilled Chicken (Chipotle style) Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and homemade chipotle vinaigrette and topped with diced avocado
Snacks-1 piece sliced turkey wrapping lettuce, homemade latte with coconut milk
Workout-T25 Upper Body Circuit

Day 6:
Bfast-Smoothie, rest of family had scrambled eggs
Lunch-Grilled chicken with steamed broccoli, with a side salad (olive oil/vinegar dressing)-ate out and just read ingredients and specified order
Dinner-Leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce from day 4
Snacks-Organic Fruit Strip, ½ apple
Workout-day off

Day 7:
Bfast-Smoothie, rest of family had eggs
Lunch-Beef Little Smokies with non-sugar made BBQ sauce, Kale Salad (added cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers)
 Dinner-Zucchini Boat Enchiladas, with homemade guacamole
Snacks-Apple with peanut butter
Workout-T25 Speed 2.0

Day 8:
Lunch-Turkey Roll Ups, Cherry tomatoes, Sugar Snap Pea Pods
Dinner-Tacos with lettuce for shells
Snacks-Hard boiled egg, organic fruit strip
Workout-T25 Rip’t Circuit

Day 9:
Lunch-Salad with Grilled Chicken, tomatoes, and cucumbers
Dinner-Fajitas (with chicken, onions, red peppers, and mushrooms) served with Romaine lettuce shells
Snacks-Apple with peanut butter
Workout-T25 Ab Intervals

Day 10:
Lunch-Grilled chicken sausages, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes on side
Dinner-Bunless burger with sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers
Snacks-Hard Boiled Egg
Workout-T25 Upper Body

Day 11:
Bfast-Smoothie, my family all had eggs
Lunch-Grilled chicken salad
Dinner-Taco Salads with tomatoes, mixed greens, olives, and homemade guacamole
Snacks-Cheat Alert:  I cheated and bought some Organic Corn Chips and had Chips/Guac
Workout-3 Mile Run

Day 12:
Bfast-Hard boiled egg with strawberries
Lunch-Leftover taco salad
Dinner-Banana Coconut flour pancakes with chicken breakfast sausage (Heart shaped pancakes)
Snacks-Homemade coconut milk latte
Workout-T25 Core Cardio

They are not allowing me to add/edit this post but I will keep trying.  Until them, check out the new recipes!

Sauteed Carrots with Basil

This is not much of a recipe, but sure was tasty.  Very quick and simple!

Butter or Coconut Oil
Sliced Carrots
Sea Salt
Diced Fresh Basil

Simple melt the butter or oil in a skillet and saute' the carrots with sea salt until browning and starting to soften.  Then as you serve, toss some of the diced basil on top for garnish and sweetness!  Yum, they looked pretty and taste great!