Morning Glory muffins (Paleo)

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

I was willing to bake something and Keven pointed out today that our apples are going bad, so I decided to seize the moment and do something with apples. Of course, I have my favourite apple fritters muffins recipe that I love and could eat all the time, but also wanted to try sometihing new.

I went to check on PaleoOMG website to see if there are some ideas that I could use. I took her Morning Glory Nut free muffin recipe, twisted a lot and got my own version of Paleo Morning Glory Muffins. They came out very nice, feel a lot sunflower taste and misses a bit sweetness, so if you have sweet tooth, I would advice to put at least 3 TBSP of honey, but if you are trying to limit sugar then keep initial 1 TBSP.

Here comes the glorious recipe for 12 muffins:

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, grated
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled ir grated
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Walnut Oil or Coconut Oil(melted)
  • ¼ cup dried apricots or any toher dried fruits of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Chocolate chips (Enjoy life) -optional
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds over medium heat with 1TBSP fat. I used regular olive oil, but you can go with coconut oil. Make sure that you don’t burn seeds, so keep mixing very frequently.
  3. Grate apples and carrot to a bowl and add  almond butter.
  4. Then add your roasted sunflower seeds to the food processor and puree until you get a flour/meal.
  5. Then add your sunflower seeds flour, eggs, walnut oil, honey, apricots, chocolate chips, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
  6. Pour your batter into muffins tins. I lined my muffins tin with silicone muffin liners but paper would do just fine.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Let cool slightly, but but best to eat them warm. ENJOY!

Pork Tenderloin with apple stuffing and Pecash Butter sauce

Since going pale, I am cooking meat much more often than before and before I wasn’t doing that much with it. Like, for instance, I have never done anything with pork tenderloin, I did not even know how to butterfly it. I had some idea in my head, but I still checked on internet to make sure. So, changing way of eating makes me learn new things and I am really happy about that. So, there was a week of pork ribs, now came time to have some pork tenderloin (my menu of the week depends on what I can find at reasonable price or sales that would be organic and humane raised 🙂 )

The hardest part in this recipe was actually not the tenderloin but the sauce which includes making pecash butter. I do not have kitchen food processor, just blender so it took me a while and some modifications were required to be made to get the right consistence.

Pecash Butter

  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (if you are stuck with blender as I am)

Basically, the recipe was calling for cups of nuts, but I did not have that much, so I simply chose to keep the proportions in minds, that goes 2:3 and thats it.  If you do have a food processor, then place nuts into its bowl and let it run for 8-10mins. until creamy and smooth texture. If you do not have, then its more work. I had to scape sides of my blender quite often and after around 10mins, I decided that it is going not exactly as I would like it to be, so I decided to simplify work by adding coconut oil to get the moisture out of the nuts and finally get this creamy and smooth texture. It work really feel and in couple minutes I had my beautiful pecash butter which is really tasty as well (Glad that I am over the phase of nut butters, so it will stay in fridge for much longer and I won’t have to make new butter soon 🙂 )

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Filling

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup pecash butter
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butterfly the tenderloin lengthwise to have a uniform peace. Place apples, cinnamon, lemon zest, honey into food processor or blender and process until smooth but still chunky texture. Pour apple mixture onto flattened tenderloin and spread evenly. Roll up the pork and place into baking dish. Bake for 45-60mins (~25mins. per pound of pork). Remove from pan and let rest for 10 mins.

Mix pecash butter, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in bowl. Slowly add water to get desired consistence, something like thick soup. Serve Pork tenderloin with 1/2 sauce on top and rest on the side.

I took this recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods book and it was really nice. However, I was doubtful when I was making it that there is no seasoning on the top of the roll and just apples inside, so I was a bit worried that the taste might be quite bland. Actually it would have been, but that is where the almighty sauce comes in. It really makes all the difference, so if you plan to make this recipe, do not omit sauce. You can use any other combination of nuts, but sauce is a must, because it brings richness of taste.

Trout with pecan crust

Yesterday I made trout with pecan crust that was super delicious. Literally, best trout dish that I have eaten so far (though I haven’t eaten that much 🙂 ). I love pecans and especially when they are a bit toasted. The recipe is really not complicated and I made it for 2, so I needed the following:

for sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup wine (recipe called for white, but I used red one and it was still really good)
  • 1/8 cup drained capers
  • 1 tbsp parsley

Prepare in separate plated almond flour, beaten egg white and roasted pecans. Place trout fillet flesh down first into almond flour, then egg white and lastly into roasted pecans. Press firmly to make sure that pecans stick to the trout. Heat ghee over medium heat and put trout flesh down first, fry for about 5mins.( the aroma will be amazing), then carefully flip it and roast for other 4-5mins. Take trout out of the pan, add rest of ghee, lemon juice, wine, capers and parsley. make sure you scrap the rests of trout and heat the sauce. Pour over the trout. Enjoy. Yummi!

Biking and climbing + ribs, rubs and dips

It has been quite a few days since my last blog entry and I have been willing to write something for almost every day, but at the same time I did not feel like writing on my iPod 🙂 June started and I decided not to get a bus pass but use my bike instead. Saturday I bought a used bike (did not see point of getting new one, because we don’t know how long we gonna stay here blah blah). It goes so much faster with my new bike and even those horrifying hills don’t seem that horrifying anymore and quite manageable. I have been increasing my arrival time to my work place every day. Tuesday I made it in 60mins, Wednesday – 55mins. Thursday – 54mins. I am proud of myself to go each time faster and faster, means my legs are getting stronger. And I also reached fastest time to go down the hill: 52.5km/h 🙂 I also have been very good girls and already went to climb 3 times this week. It is so much more easy to go to climbing gym when I am on the bike, rather than bus, because I don’t have to get out of the bus, walk to the gym, walk back to the bus, take bus, walk home….It takes loads of time…With bike I arrive faster than with bus, plus I can leave work half an hour earlier than before, because I don’t depend on bus schedule, so it is very simple to take a little turn on the way home for the climbing gym. They also made new routes and some are really interesting and powerful. For the first two times I was climbing routes that are more of my level and does not require too much concentration and effort, because I was forgetting to take tape for my fingers, and my tendon is still not o.k. As much as I know it might take even a year for tendon to heal, so I don’t have any other choice as wait patently and climb using support. Yesterday I decided to climb routes that are higher than my level, because I want to improve and I was switching between overhanging climbing (powerful movements) and crimps (endurance and finger strength). That was super nice session that I really enjoyed. On Wednesday, when I did not go to climb, I made a little workout for the abs from Skimble app, called Ab-Bootcamp. Today was my rest day as I have Crossfit tomorrow, first time after a week break (seems like ages ago 🙂 ).

Obviously, I had to make something sweet and nice today, so I chose to make the chocolate cake that was actually my first paleo dessert which I made for my birthday 🙂 It is still cooling down and waiting its turn to be tasted. It is super delicious, just takes time to deal with those dates 🙂

This week I discovered ribs. Last time I ate ribs back in Lithuania and when I saw humane raised ribs for fair price in the shop I decided to take a chance and to make something out of it. It is absolutely delicious. Keven now is just dreaming about ribs 🙂 So, today I made a load of rub from “Paleo Comfort Foods” that probably will be enough for a year. The rub consist of:

  • thyme
  • four peppercorn blend
  • grilled sweet pepper
  • hickory salt
  • sea salt
  • black and white pepper
  • onion powder
  • ground cumin
  • chilli powder
  • turmeric
  • garlic powder
  • sweet paprika
  • rosemary
  • mustard powder
  • cayenne powder

Uff…It was easier to make than to write it down 🙂 But now I will have rub for all the rest of the year. In the original recipe there was no grilled sweet pepper and no hickory salt, but I found these smokey ingredients in some other recipe, tried it out and fall in love. I was checking many recipes to find how to make the ribs in the oven (most of them offer you to use grill, which I don’t have), so after checking probably 10 websites or more (all of them required roasting ribs in the oven for at least 3 hours), I came up with this preparation of Pork Back Ribs in the Oven:

Remove filmy membrane of the back of the ribs. Spread the dry rub all over. Leave it to marinate in refrigerator, covered with plastic film or aluminum foil for at least 2-3 hour or best overnight. Cut the ribs into 3-4 rib chunks. Preheat the oven to 450F. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan on high and both sides until nicely browned. It’s quite fast process, but it will give that amazing crunchiness afterwards. Place ribs on roasting pan and put in the oven for 50-60mins, turning over half time. This is much faster than having them in the oven for a longer period on smaller heat and I found it very nicely cooked and crispy.

It is also nice to have sweet potato chips along with ribs and some nice dip. I was using roasted red pepper dip from paleOMG and I loved it. Definitely recommend to try it out. It goes also really well with roasted cauliflower and broccoli. The other dip that I also used with ribs was Tahini dip ( good with veggies and fish as well) which is super easy to make:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water (start by adding less to check for the desired thickness)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce (optional)
I like hot sauces, so I do add hot sauce and as cumin is one of my favourite spices, I never forget this one 🙂
For my lunch when I am working, I am still stuck with Tuna salad (tuna, celery, apple, chive, spinach or kale, sometimes avocado, some nuts (pecan is super nice) and the dressing), because I just can’t get over it. It is easy to make and I just love the taste of it and sauce is really good with anything actually and I use it sometimes with other salads as well:
  • 1-2 tbsp of home made mayo
  • 1 tsp of mustard (I use old-fashioned)
  • 1 tsp of apple sider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
So much from my food and exercise world this week 🙂 I hope you will try out some recipes and enjoy them as much as I do.

Banana pudding aka Paleo Ice Cream

I have been craving for ice cream lately, especially because it was really hot this weekend and everyone around were really enjoying ice creams all around me and it was hard to resist. However, going to the shop and buying one was not working for me as I could not see any organic (not sure if it’s better, should check labels) and when I looked at the consistence of all the other, I just had to put it back. I know it would not kill me, but somehow I really don’t feel like putting ingredients that I don’t know in my body and it would make me feel bad psychologically and remove all the pleasure of eating. I checked on internet for some ice cream recipes and though I could find some, it involved  either ice cream machine that I don’t have or lots of mixing every hour or so. I don’t have patience for that, so simply decided to go with banana pudding recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods book, especially as they even recommended to have it frozen as it reminds ice cream.

Banana Pudding

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 large egg yolks (organic preferably)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 really ripe bananas (very important, because then they are softest and sweetest. If you don’t have, wait until it will ripen or you will miss all the point)
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Whisk coconut milk, egg yolks and vanilla over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture starts to thicken, then set aside. In small frying pan heat coconut oil over medium heat and add slightly mashed bananas along with cinnamon. Cook until banana will start somewhat caramelize. Pour coconut milk and egg mixture along with bananas into food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour content into a bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate to serve. As I was experimenting, I divided the mixture into few small bowl added different ingredients:

  • just banana pudding (really good as a pudding and has really nice texture frozen)
  • banana pudding+2 tbsp cacao= chocolate ice cream (same nice texture)
  • banana pudding + mashed raspberries = raspberry ice cream (took much longer to get texture as it was more liquid that just pudding. But after one day in freezer it was really nice)
  • Banana pudding + mashed raspberries + 1 tbsp cacao = raspberry chocolate ice cream or pudding. Actually it was least good, as the texture was more liquify that banana pudding and raspberries brought out the bitterness of cacao. And it tasted much more banana than the plain banana one 🙂

All in all, this is really easy recipe t make and I think we will have it often this summer in our freezer as an ice cream 🙂

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers

This recipe is entirely taken from The Clothes Makes The Girl website, but I thought that it would be nice to share it with you, especially because livers are really nutritious, but at the same time not the food that is eaten every day. Anyhow, today I bought some chicken liver, because I saw them in meat section and I already made this recipe once. Keven really likes it and he is all about texture and really hesitant in trying new stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised that he loved them and actually ate almost all of the ones that I just made, before I could take a picture 🙂

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
1/2 cup coconut flour (there still will be left quite a lot, but it need to be a lot for proper dusting.  I just reserve it and used it later with some savoury recipes that require coconut flour, such as Zucchini pancakes – nothing to be wasted)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon  garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I did not have it, so used all spices mixed with Chinese 5 spices)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
garnish: fresh lemon and chopped parsley

Cut chicken livers into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour and all the spices in a big bowl. Add the livers and mix with flour making sure that the livers are all covered. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium high heat, let it heat for couple minutes and add livers. I needed two batches to cook them all as they need to have space and not touch each other. Be prepared for lots of some, as high heated oil and flour tends to have such a powerful smokey combination and don’t be too close to the pan. Fry for 2-3 mins. until bottom is browned and crispy.  Flip livers with tongs and brown other side. Put the done ones on paper towel to drain while you make the rest. Serve alone or with squeezed lemon juice.

Broccoli pancakes (fritters) and breakfast sausages

Some time ago I found this recipe for broccoli fritters that used broccoli stems as a base and I have been planning to make it for weeks now, so I was saving all the stems of broccoli for those fritters. The original recipe belongs to Juli from PaleOMG, though I modified it a bit. These fritters are so good that I could not stop eating them…I have to say that only with third batch in pan I finally understood what size they should be so that they would not break into parts, so don’t get frustrated while trying, their taste one way or another is still amazing. Seriously…amazing…

Ingredients:

  • 10-14 broccoli stems (shredded with food processor or grated) 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup of almond meal (I used 1 cup of almond meal and 3/4 cup of almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic (minced)
  • quite a lot of salt and pepper as broccoli absorbs a lot. (to taste)

Mix all ingredients together. It should hold together. Place in heated pan with some fat with a help of spoon. I discovered that best size is spoon size as it makes it much easier to flip it. fry for 3-4 mins. before flipping (it should be browned). Cook about the same time on the other side.

It makes quite a lot of them, but it is amazing dish for breakfast and to have as a snack. I had to stop myself eating them and Keven was laughing at me, saying that I am making such a big sin by eating broccoli :))))

As I have my new Paleo Comfort Food cookbook, I decided to make a recipe for minced pork to go together with broccoli pancakes. It is called breakfast sausages:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 tsp of pepper
  • 2 tsp of fresh sage leaves (finely chopped)(I did not have fresh herbs, therefore I reduced the amount in half for dried herbs.)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed pepper red flakes

Mix all ingredients in bowl. From 2 inch-wide patties. Heat skillet over medium heat , cook until browned or cooked through both sides.

 

 

Chicken soup for sore throat

So, I have been laying around and reading all articles about toddlers and their education and how to deal with different stages of their life, trying to find something interesting to watch (no luck, maybe too picky today), and switching to whole9 website and surfing through recipes. So then I though that it would definitely help my throat to get some chicken soup, especially because I have everything at home to make it. So here it is:

  • portion of chicken (I used some leftovers from cooked chicken) 20120423-151412.jpg
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (best if homemade)
  • broccoli, chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6-7mushrooms, sliced
  • one baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic, or to taste (garlic powder is also good here)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (this will give hidden hotness that helps sore throat)
  • 2 tbsp ghee, or favorite cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt ghee on medium-high heat in large pot. Add diced onions, cayenne pepper, and garlic and cook until onions are starting to soften. Add vegetables and continue to cook 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir.
When it becomes hot stir in chicken and mix it. turn of the heart, leave to stand a bit and serve.


Monday morning surprise

20120423-085124.jpg
I had to go to CF trainig today, but I was having sore throat, so I was a bit hesitant. And while waking up I startes hearing shores of rain, wind and snow knocking to my window. Radio turn on and they say that some schools are closed that wind is from 28mph. That’s it…I don’t know if I am gonna take myself out today as I work tomorrow as nanny and one of the girls who is 1.5 years old was having huge fever on thursday. So, I am just gonna stay at home warmly with camomille tea and my whole30 approved smoothie:
Berries (handful)
Mango (1/3)
Grapes (8)
Coconut milk (1/2 can)
2 organic pasturized eggs
Water (to get desired consistence)
1 tsp of almond butter.

This amount was enough for two of us and I think it is a quickest way to have breakfast that would not include cooking:)

Have a great Monday!!!

Sunday tradition adaptations

As I already wrote on Sundays we always have friends coming over to have brunch with us and most of
the times it consists of pancakes. Since I started to change my way of eating there were all different type of pancakes, most of them with oat flour (the ones with oat flour and ricotta were actually amazing), also with soya flour (I also made pizza base couple times with soya flour). However, as I was finishing to use up all those products and turning more and more paleo, my way of eating also changed. Last Sunday I was making pale pancakes with coconut flour, they were really delicious, but then on Monday I started my Whole30 challenge and such a thing as Paleo pancakes are not allowed. It is not that they would be bad, they are nutritious and healthy, however, it is still comfort food and point of the challenge is also challenge yourself psychologically. I have to admit that I do face difficulties (I would like to have slice of cheese and cottage cheese with berries in the morning) and Sugar Dragon is really attacking me (oh….sweet chocolate and all the nice treats…) and oh how much I would wish to have a nice glass of red wine, but none is allowed, so I just stick to what I have and just think about the end result and about my body being all clean and my taste receptors able to detect natural sugar in fruits and vegetables…Having said that, I still have Sunday brunch and today I decided not to think too much and make for everyone crepes with regular flour. Why? Because we still have them and we need to use them, so Keven was a cook this time 🙂 For myself I just had egg white crepes (1 crepe requires 1/3 cup of egg whites with pinch of salt and vanilla extract. then just pour mixture in pan with some fat, in my case it was ghee and wait until egg white is all done). I could not decide whether I want sweet or savoury, so I decided to have both, because I felt that eating just fruit would not be best idea in the world. So my savoury crepe had guacamole, chicken and cauliflower from yesterday dinner and some indian curry sauce. That was really good and I could not actually make that much difference between only egg white crepe and regular crepe. The second one was a dessert one, so it had almond butter and cut fruits in it (apple, pear, banana and raspberries). So, while my husband and friends indulged themselves in crepes with Nutella, I simply enjoyed my version with a cup of coffee with coconut milk. It was much less awkward than I would have though and I did not feel any less fortunate than them…