Category Archives: For The Holidays

Easy Sweet Potato Savory Pudding

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Ack! It’s been another month! Forgive me ūüôā

So I’m not entirely sure what you call an unsweetened baked pudding. it’s not really a souffle, a pudding, or a custard….it’s a little of everything. Regardless, it’s beyond easy and has a wonderful comforting texture.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Can Sweet Potato Puree
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove, Ginger [Heavy on the Cinnamon, maybe a Tbsp or 2, and a tsp or a little less or everything else]whisk or stir all the ingredients together until well combined. Pour into custard cups or ramekins, and place in a larger baking pan. Fill half way with water (but don’t get water into the ramekins!) and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!!

Note: I’ve also made these with added fillings, such as spinach and chicken, skipped the water bath, and baked like a creamy Quiche. Equally as awesome, and worth experimenting with!¬†

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Holiday Banana Pumpkin Cake

IMG_1386.JPGhere is a super simple, egg based “cake” thing that I made. Things like this never last very long in my house. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking, but it’s not meant to be super sweet, more like a pound cake or a banana bread. You could probably convert it to muffins, but I like using a pie pan or square glass pan.

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, or combo of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg,ginger,and a dash of clove
  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 1/3 can pumpkin
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Grade B Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Sugar to Top Before Baking
  • Pre-Heat oven to 375. Mix the ingredients together, either in a blender, or with a hand mixer. Pour into a greased/lined baking pan of some sort. Sprinkle some coconut sugar on top of the mix once you have it in the pan. Bake in the oven for 20-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares or wedges.


    Cocoa Coco-Cookies and Taddy Almond Roons

    These are SO EASY, and you can make them as sweet (Or not sweet) as you want. Great for parties or holidays. The cocoa ones could use the maple syrup to counter the bitterness of the unsweetened cocoa powder, I tried them without the sweetener, and they were bitter, and less of a cookie. These take minutes to prepare. and it’s easy to make a big batch.

    1. Mix the ingredients together.
    2. Scoop with an ice cream scoop onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet
    3. Bake at 375 degrees (Pre-Heated) until coconut starts to get a nice golden brown on the edges and cookies are held together and set.
    4. You can keep them round like macaroons, or flatten them more like a cookie and garnish with a nut.

    Cocoa Coco-Cookies

     

    • 3 egg whites
    • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon coconut flour

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    Taddy Almond Roons

    • 3 egg whites
    • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
    • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
    • Pinch of salt

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    Paleo Corned Beef and Cabbage (Home Brined)

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    It’s Saint Patrick’s day weekend, and while drafts of recipes are piling up, waiting for me to finish, I thought I’d give you a heads up on a super easy corned beef and cabbage recipe. The meat is pull apart tender, and while it is not as strong as the pre-seasoned, loaded with junk, store-bought ones, it’s delicious and something your whole family can feel good about eating.

    The brisket, was between 4 and 5 lbs and from US Wellness Meats and I largely followed Against All Grain‘s recipe for the brine (and instructions on cooking), though I only left mine in the brine for 2 days. Mine was a combination of

    • salt
    • cinnamon
    • allspice
    • mustard seeds
    • cloves
    • black pepper
    • juniper berries
    • bay leaves
    • ground ginger

    To make the actual corned beef and cabbage, I put the brined brisket in a large stock pot. I added 1 Quart of “Cabbage Broth” that I had frozen from last time I made corned beef, so you can use water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or anything you have on hand. I also added aboout 6-8 cups of water, enough to cover the brisket with about an inch. I added the same seasonings from above, excluding the salt and cloves. Then I covered, and brought to a boil. In the meantime, I peeled, chopped, and added 3 large carrots, 4-6 stalks of celery, 2 onions, and 5 cloves of garlic to the pot. Once it came to a boil, I lowered the heat and let it simmer 3 1/2 hours.

    To finish, I cored and quartered a head of cabbage, and added it to the pot, as well as about 2 cups of extra water. I covered the pot and let it simmer about 45 minutes longer until the cabbage was soft and tender.


    No Added Sugar Cocoa Souffle/Custard with Cocoa Berry Sauce

    I love when I decide to “wing it” and something awesome happens. I’m definitely happy with how this came out. It’s not too sweet, but I’d definitely think of it as dessert. It’s not too heavy, but still indulgent enough to be a fun after dinner treat. It’s hard to even¬† call it a treat, maybe it’s not. Honestly I’d totally have this for breakfast.¬†I also can’t decide if it’s a custard or a souffle….but does it matter?¬†Anyway, this was¬†my answer to a “birthday cake” replacement for¬†Mike, since we were looking to have a ¬†Whole Life Challenge compliant birthday for him. It’s super easy and satisfying. I used a 9×9 glass pan and we each had 1/4 of it….meaning there was 1/2 a cake left to split the next day!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can light coconut milk
    • 5 egg whites
    • 5 eggs
    • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • Insides of 1 vanilla bean
    • 7 Oz Coconut butter/ cream (softened)

    Prep:

    Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer and mix everything together until well combined. Pulse hand mixer, and move it around, as well as up and down as it mixes, to let a lot of air in the mix (it should have bubbles). I don’t know if this actually matters. Just make sure it’s well mixed.

    Grease¬†a¬†foil lined 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil and pour in the mixture….The foil¬†isn’t totally necessary, but allowed me to remove it from the pan easily . You could also use one of those silicone baking things, or a well grease spring form pan.

    Bake at 400 degrees until toothpick comes out clean, about 35 min

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    Optional: I put a plate on top of the pan and flipped it over and removed the pan. Then I peeled the foil off, put another plate on top, and flipped again, so the top was back on top. It made it easy to cut, and remove slices.

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    To top:

    In a small sauce pan, heat a frozen berry mixture. Once it is warm, and getting juicy, add a spoon of coconut oil and a spoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder and stir. Spoon mixture over souffle and eat!

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    Happy New Year! Hello 2014! Product Review and Giveaway!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Update 2/1/14 : contest is closed! I will be going through the comments this weekend and will update with a winner shortly!

    Update #2: Congrats to Karen who entered the contest and was the lucky winner of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil, Enjoy it!

    Not only is this my first post of 2014, but, it is also post 100! Can you believe it! It’s been a great ride so far, and even if I help a small handful of people make a few healthy, tasty meals, I’ve done my job. I’m really looking forward to 2014. I’m not one for resolutions, and I’m not fond of the “New years gym rush” but I think it’s safe to say that my wish for 2014 is just to grow. I am looking forward with positivity. I will grow stronger, both physically and mentally, build on my foundations as a human being, and become better at living a healthy lifestyle. I hope to become consistent at mobilizing, at being mindful, and at giving myself more time to do things I love like playing guitar or reading. I hope to end 2014 smarter, stronger, and healthier than when I entered it. Anyway, to celebrate such an important post, I decided instead of a recipe, I would host a product giveaway!

    Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. I am also participating in a referral program through Tropical Traditions. If you order by clicking on any of my links or images and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. That being said, I think their product is pretty darn awesome and stand behind it with an unbiased opinion, regardless of those facts.

    That’s right!¬† Tropical Traditions has been kind enough to send me a quart of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to review ($40 Value!), and has given me the opportunity to sponsor a giveaway so you can get a jar just like the one I got. I use A LOT of coconut oil, so I was psyched to try it out. I have been using it for the past month or two, so I’ve had ample time to build my opinion, and I have been nothing but happy. Seriously, they make a great product.

    For those who are new this lifestyle, and haven’t used it yet, you can get familiarize yourself and learn, What Is Coconut Oil ? and How To Use It?

    Coconut oil is a great oil to cook with, as it is very stable to use at high temperatures. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil: http://coconutoil.com

    Prior to getting this coconut oil, I had been using Trader Joe’s (and was running low), so to really form a proper opinion, I put them against each other and A/B ‘d them properly. I tested them on 3 main criteria: “The Spoon Test” (Straight out of the Jar), “The Egg Test” (Using them to make eggs), and “The Coffee Test” (Blending them in a cup of coffee and drinking). Overall, I definitely preferred the Tropical Traditions.

    First Impressions:

    Opening the jar, it wasn’t super strong-smelling. Sometimes coconut products strongly smell of coconut. I found the Tropical Traditions coconut oil to be light and pleasant.

    The Spoon Test:

    I found Tropical Traditions to be much more palatable. There was a certain “greasiness” that came with Trader Joe’s, and it left my mouth feeling funny and made me uncomfortable. It had an aftertaste. Tropical Traditions had a very pleasant coconut taste, and melted nicely in the mouth. I’m still not totally a fan of eating it straight, but Tropical Traditions is definitely the winner.

    The Egg Test:

    I covered half the griddle with Tropical Traditions, and half with Trader Joe’s. I thought the Tropical Traditions side cooked better and browned nicer. I thought it gave the eggs a pleasant and slight coconut taste. The Trader Joe’s side did not have as much of a coconut taste, but it also spread itself thinner. Mike was more fond of this because he is not a huge fan of the coconut taste that sometimes comes with cooking in coconut oil. I don’t mind it, so I preferred the Tropical Traditions by far. Something like this is really going to be a matter of taste.

    The Coffee Test:

    By far Tropical Traditions stood out here. It blended better, was nice and foamy, and tasted better. It was less oily, melted better, and even us the coffee started to cool, it stayed light and remained delicious even as it started to separate. By contrast, the Trader Joe’s coconut oil lost it’s foamy texture quickly, was oily, and felt and tasted heavier as it cooled. It actually started to make me gag a little. It got really, awkward on the tongue. Yuck, I had to stop drinking it. Tropical Traditions Hands Down took this round.

    The Winner:

    Tropical Traditions!
    Overall it was just better, and is seriously a great, high quality product. A quart is a large jar of coconut oil, and yet I could never have enough.And now for the giveaway! That’s right, one of YOU will get a jar just like the one I got. Super Cool! Believe me, it is such an amazing deal! The giveaway is running the whole month of January, and the winner will be picked at random and notified by email.

    All you HAVE to do is Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Email Newsletter and Like TasteThat! on Facebook. Then comment on this blog post letting me know you did those two things.

    As a bonus, and to increase your chances of winning, you can do any of the following things. Let me know in the comments what you did.

    Good Luck everyone and Happy January!


    Happy Holidays 2013!

    Happy Holidays everybody! Now that everything has settled, I have just come to the realization that it’s been almost 10 days since I’ve posted anything, so I feel like a totally horrible blog person! It’s just been a little crazy with the holidays, as I’m sure many of you can relate.¬†The funny thing is, ¬†I didn’t even do that much cooking! I got my gifting stuff done pretty early,¬†but there’s always some last-minute¬†thingy-ma-bobbers and I was helping Mike with his last-minute wrapping. I do have a few tidbits to recap¬†from the past week that I can share as part of my Holiday Post 2013!

    Growing up Italian, Christmas¬†Eve meant seafood….lots and lots of seafood. Staples were always Smelts (Basically a bait fish….Dredged in flour and fried), Baked Flounder, Stuffed colossal¬†Shrimp, Crab Sauce, Stuffed Crabs, Baked Clams, Seafood Salad, Scungili¬†Sauce, and Bacala¬†(Salted Cod). Aside from the inevitable pasta, Most of this is very un-paleo¬†because of the breading. For the past few years, we’ve been going to a restaurant, since my great-grandmother stopped cooking the feast a decade ago at 89 years of age, and it was getting too hard¬†for¬†my aunts and grandparents to carry the traditions on as they were. I miss them, but I think one day when I have the space and time, I will start something new, healthy, and paleo, but similar and inspired by my heritage. I love me some seafood!

    I bring this up, since it was the inspiration for¬†the dinner I made a¬†few days¬†before¬†Christmas. ¬†I happened to find a bag of Smelts at one of my¬†Asian Groceries, and had to buy¬†it! I dredged about half the bag in Coconut Flour (Seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, oregano….you can do anything here), as¬†saut√©ed¬†them in coconut oil. The coconut flour didn’t stick as well as I hoped, So I might dip them in egg next time, but in reality, you don’t even need the “breading”. They were so good, and definitely brought back memories from past Christmas Eve’s!

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    To accompany my little fried fishies, I rolled a few flounder filets in coconut flour (with Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano) and Baked them for 12 minutes or so at 375.

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    These came out really good as well. I knocked off some of the extra coconut flour after they cooked. They were just the right amount of moist inside, with the dry flour outside. It was definitely beginning to feel like Christmas after that!

    For Christmas, we went to both My parents, and Mike’s Mom’s parties. At my parents house, there were lots of paleo options. Brussel Sprouts, Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs, Turnips, Cauliflower, Parsnips. The desserts weren’t completely paleo, but almost everything was gluten-free. I sampled the gluten-free¬†apple pie, as well as some gluten-free¬†cookies and the¬†gluten-free¬†cake pops my sister made. Honestly, it didn’t kill me, and while I make it a point to stay away from gluten and dairy, I felt it wasn’t a big deal¬† to sample some of the treats since there was no gluten. I knew that at Mike’s Mom’s house the desserts were all going to be off-limits, so I indulged while I could. At his Mom’s. I stuck to sweet potato casserole, turkey, ham, turnips, and any veggies available. It was pretty easy to eat according to my rules. The only un-paleo thing I had, was¬†a small portion of a wild rice dish with mushrooms and cranberries….it was good.

    I DID make paleo cookies to contribute to the mix at both parties. The first type I made were Snickerdoodles, from CaveGirl Cuisine. Click my photo to go to the recipe on her page. These were awesome! And since I used my Ninja Blender (Dough Attachment) they were SUPER easy.

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    Click to go to the recipe at CaveGirl Cuisine’s Blog!

    The second type was¬†Paleo and Nut-Free Cut-Out Cookies from¬† The Paleo Mom’s Blog. I used unsweetened cocoa powder instead of a bar of chocolate. I decided to make them into Dinosaur Shapes, since they were paleo….and well dinosaurs are awesome! They were a little crumbly, and hard transfer to my cookie sheet, but I managed. I blame my¬†cookie cutter, and Brontosaurus¬†having a¬†thin,¬†weak, neck. They¬†had a strong honey flavor and weren’t so chocolatey, but they were delicious!¬†I would definitely make them again!¬†Click the picture for the recipe.

    Click to go to the recipe at The Paleo Mom's Blog!

    Click to go to the recipe at The Paleo Mom’s Blog!

    Overall, I think I made it through the holidays successfully. No major upset to my digestive tract! With the drinks, and¬†treats I don’t normally eat,¬†including the nut/rice/processed stuff and¬†sugar involved in the gluten-free¬†desserts, I was a little gassy¬†the next day, but clean eating on Thursday cleared it right up. I’m ok with that, and it was totally worth it! Part of living the way I do, is being smart enough to know that one day of treating yourself a little, shouldn’t de-rail you. Especially if you stay away from gluten and dairy! Life is also about having fun, not stressing!¬† I am strong enough and smart enough to know my body now, and what I can and¬†cannot¬†handle on occasion.¬†Even though I was a little gassy, I wasn’t suffering from headaches, or pain, or major bloating and discomfort. I felt ok!

    Gluten and Dairy – Nope,
    Gluten Free and Paleo Treats at christmas time – Go!

    Anyway, I hope everyone else had a holiday that was as warm and loving as mine, and made it through with similar success! Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!


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