Tag Archives: cinnamon

Apple and Kale Salad


  • 1 Bunch Purple Kale
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Red Delicious Apple
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 2 TBsp Apple Cider
  • 2 TBsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 TBsp olive oil
  • salt, Pepper, Cinnamons
  • 1/4 Cup raisins
  • Fall is a really exciting time for recipes. I find myself lightyears more inspired by fall flavors. Sure, Summer is full of fruits and colorful veggies, but my heart stays in the cooler months. Apple season is starting up, so I felt inspired to create a recipe based on a tried and true combination of delicious, healthy, goodness: Apples and Kale. Raisins, and a touch of apple cider, add some extra sweetness. Remember, apples are part of the dirty dozen, so always try to buy organic (and even better if you pick them yourself!)

    After rinsing the kale, I tore it into small pieces, smaller than I normally would for salad. I tossed the thick stemmy parts to my dog (optional of course), then I Tossed about a quarter of the kale leaves in my food processor, along with the apples, onion, and liquids. I pulsed until everything was very finely chopped. You can skip this step if you don’t have a food processor, but then remember to chop everything up pretty small. I poured it into the bowl with the kale, added the raisins and seasoned, and then stirred with a rubber spatula until everything was combined.

    Paleo Harvest Chestnut Stuffing

    HarvestStuffingEdit 170

    Ah, chestnuts! Nothing quite gets Christmas carols and holiday cheer in your head like a bag of raw chestnuts. Well, actually it all started when I picked up a bag of organic roasted and peeled chestnuts the week prior. I forgot how amazing they are. They’re starchy, almost bready, and have a subtle and wonderful nutty sweetness. Naturally, since this was the week before thanksgiving, the wheels started turning, and I decided to make my stuffing with a combination of chestnuts and sweet potatoes. I figured I’d pimp it out with sausage and fall flavors, and make a bunch of it to bring to our respective families houses, not only to share the love, but to give myself a paleo option. Actually, my parents made a pretty-much-paleo feast, since they’ve been starting to go in that direction, and everything was at least gluten-free, since my mom has a grain intolerance anyway. She made stuffing with gluten-free bread, and I did have a spoon of it to taste, but stuck to mine mostly. There were all sorts of yummy veggies, roasted carrots, brussels, kale salad…Even the desserts were paleo-fied. I brought some of my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Balls, and the stuffing, which disappeared by the end of dinner.


    • 1 cup Pecans
    • 1 bag/ lb Chestnuts
    • 2 Apples
    • 1 Onion
    • 1 carrot
    • 3-4 stalks Celery
    • 1 large purple Sweet potato
    • 2 lbs Ground turkey / beef (or sausage)
    • 1 pt duck broth.
    • Cinnamon, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt


    1. Mix your sausage meat the night before so the flavors have a chance to combine. I use a pound of turkey and a pound of beef. Mix them together with generous amounts of cinnamon, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap.
    2. Chop all the vegetable ingredients in a food processor, or if your don’t have one, just make sure they are small and evenly sized. Add to a bowl with the pecans and Set aside.


    3. Roast the chestnuts. Cut an X into the flat side of each chestnut, and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or so. The cut part will peel back. You want to peel them while they’re still warm, because they get harder to peel as they cool. Honestly, you can use the bagged pre-peeled and roasted chestnuts if you want to save time, but I think roasting them from scratch is more festive, plus you can get the rest of the family to participate and help peel. Break up the chestnuts into pieces and combine with the veggies.
    4. Brown meat and then mix together with the rest of the mixture. Add some more seasonings and mix. pour into a 9×17 glass pan and bake uncovered about 30 min. Add duck broth and return covered to oven. Bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

      HarvestStuffingEdit 169

    It’s fairly easy, and super yummy. The chestnuts give it a nice starchiness that is a totally different texture than the sweet potato, and definitely pays a respectful flavor homage to some of the stuffing I’ve encountered.  Next time I might use a different variety of apple, but overall it came out great. I might just use the packaged chestnuts though, because it was very labor intensive to peel them all, and the packaged ones I’ve tried are all fantastic.

    I made A LOT of this stuff, enough to bring to both parties, and I still had my own batch of leftovers coming out of my ears…..definitely not a bad thing. One of the things I used it for which I loved, was breakfast the following morning.  I put some eggs over it, and it kept me full for hours. It’s one of those versatile dishes that makes a great snack or side dish, breakfast or dinner. I ate it in some way, pretty much every day until it was gone, and never got tired of it.

    Pumpkin Meatballs


    Because you know…Pumpkin Everything! Seriously, what can’t you put pumpkin in? These were super easy, and just pumpkin enough to satisfy my craving for more festive flavor. Did I mention my love for winter squash? Anyway, I used a little leftover “Pumpkin Sauce” from another dinner this week, which I will post soon. Yes, I’m posting a recipe using one of the ingredients from it, before I post the….nevermind. The pumpkin sauce I made was as follows:

    Pumpkin Sauce:

    • 1 cup organic pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup organic strained tomato
    • 1/4 cup organic vegetable broth
    • Sage, cinnamon, thyme, allspice

    So anyway, I had some of that stuff in the fridge and used it for the meatballs. It added a bit more flavor and strength. If you don’t feel like making the sauce, just add a bit more pumpkin, and more spice.

    •1/4 cup pumpkin sauce
    •1/4 cup pumpkin
    •1 lb grass-fed ground beef
    •sage, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon

    Then I formed medium-sized meatballs, and put them in a 9×9 glass pan that I lined with foil. As you can see, depending on the size, it should make about 9 medium meatballs.


    Then I baked them at 425 for 10-15 minutes, drained any liquid from the pan, and cooked an additional 5-10 minutes. I just ate them plain, but you can put them over spaghetti squash, or use more of the “Pumpkin Sauce” on them.

    Spiced Raspberry Mahi Mahi (Over Salad)


    This dish was actually a pretty random creation, that worked amazingly well, and ended up on “Mike’s Favorites” list. Being that the weather is getting cooler, and I’m really starting to feel the fall, I use a lot of “Fall Spices” which to me mainly consist of nutmeg and cinnamon. I never really thought of using them on fish, but it went really well with the flavor of the Mahi Mahi. I think It’s a really nice holiday dish, and the raspberry sauce would probably go well over duck or turkey. In this instance I put it over a cabbage and endive salad, but you can prepare the fish and serve it with any seasonal vegetables.

    First, I seasoned the Mahi with:

    • Ginger powder
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Cayenne
    • Basil

    Then, I placed it in a foil lined and covered glass pan, and baked it in the oven, at 375 degrees, for about 30 minutes. In the meantime I made the sauce.

    Raspberry sauce:

    • 1/8 C. Coconut water
    • 2 C. Raspberries
    • 4-5 Allspice berries
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut aminos
    • Pinch Orange peel
    • 1 teaspoon or generous shakes Cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon or generous shakes Nutmeg
    • A few good shakes Ginger powder
    • 2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar

    Starting with the raspberries, coconut aminos, vinegar, and seasonings, I simmered over medium heat, stirring often. I added coconut water as needed, to get the consistency I wanted, alternating between stirring  with the cover off (and letting it thicken) and covering to manage evaporation. When it was done, I put it off to the side and made the salad.


    • Belgian endive
    • Savoy cabbage
    • Green heirloom tomato chunks
    • Avocado
    • Yellow onion
    • Olive oil

    When the fish was done, I drizzled some raspberry sauce over the salad, placed a piece of fish on top, and then drizzled the fish with the sauce. It had this wonderful and festive holiday spice to it, and the tart sweetness of the raspberries balanced the spice and also the bitterness of the salad greens.



    Chicken Paleoindaloo

    indialoo 144

    Ok, so the name needs a little work. Open to suggestions!

    Fairly often, one of my flavor cravings is indian food. So I decided to make something with a bit of spice and indian flair, my way. It’s not a particular dish, but the heat build up reminds me of a clove heavy vindaloo, which is one of my favorite dishes. I like cloves, which is why I added more than normal, but not everyone does, so you may want to cut back a little if you’re not sure. The heat definitely builds on this one – so keep that in mind if you are sensitive to spicy food.

    I didn’t measure anything – so any spices in bold, I used GENEROUS amounts of. I apologize in advance if some of the pictures aren’t as nice as usual…I usually don’t photograph the cooking process (because I’m busy focusing on cooking), and didn’t have special lights to set up over the kitchen while dodging tomato splatter ha!


    • 1 lb Chicken Breast
    • 3 large shallots
    • 3 large cloves of garlic
    • 2 yams or sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed
    • 1 28 oz can Cento Brand crushed tomato
    • 1 can Trader Joe’s light coconut milk
    • 2-3 cups sliced okra
    • 2 stalks celery
    • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 4 whole allspice and cloves – smashed
    • Cardamom
    • Red cayenne pepper
    • Ginger
    • Hungarian paprika
    • Coriander
    • Tumeric
    • Cumin
    • Cinnamon
    • Salt

    Put all spices in a ziplock with chicken and rub around as a dry rub – let marinate for 1-2 hours

    Cut up and cube 2 yams or sweet potatoes and chop 3 large cloves of garlic and 3 large shallots

    indialoo 146

    garlic and shallots

    Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat.

    DuckFat In Pan

    Using a kitchen scissors cut the chicken I to cubes or chunks and cook for a minute or two before adding the garlic and onion. Then throw them in and stir.


    After a minute add the sweet potato and stir.

    indialoo 149

    After a few minutes add the canned crushed tomato (28oz Cento brand) and coconut milk (Trader Joe’s) and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice

    indialoo 150

    Add more of the spices you used earlier and 2 bay leaves, cover and let simmer. After it starts simmering hard, turn the heat down to medium – add a little lime juice.

    Chop and add 2 stalks of celery and 2 cups (or 5 handfuls) frozen sliced okra.

    Cover and continue to simmer and occasionally stir for 20 or so minutes until it starts to thicken as the sweet potatoes soften.

    Add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, stir, and turn off heat.

    Duck Fat Love and Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic and Shallots

    Duck Fat. I’ve long heard of its golden status among chefs. I’ve often been told within recipes to hoard the drippings for later when cooking with duck. All of this was in the back of my mind, until I found Fatworks. [You can find a link to the website on the left sidebar of my blog]

    I first heard of Fatworks from a colleague at Crossfit. I checked it out, and immediately was interested. You see, I am trying to get away from using seed oils when cooking. They are terribly unstable, have low smoke points, and are generally better suited for cold use in salads. The most stable fat I owned at this point was coconut oil, and although I’d cook everything in it, it does have a discernible taste, and my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of coconut oil on everything, so i needed options. I generally can get away with a small amount of butter, but knowing how dairy affects me, I don’t really like the idea of using it, and avoid it. This left me using olive and sesame oil, even though it’s less than ideal.

    Now, Fatworks gave me access to some high quality, pure, animal fat, giving me more dairy free and stable saturated fat options to bring to my kitchen. I ordered the Duck as soon as it was back in stock. [Next thing I have to order is Tallow!] I was ecstatic when it came yesterday.

    Duck Fat Yum! - Click to go to Fatworks and get some for yourself!

    Duck Fat Yum! – Click to go to Fatworks and get some for yourself!

    Now what to make!

    It was a crossfit night, so I decided to roast a chicken. I figured the duck fat, being poultry, would go well, help bring some crispness to the skin, and give some nice flavor. I poured a spoon over the skin, rubbed it over, and then used my fingers to push some more  under the skin via the few holes I poked around the skin of the breast area. I shoved a few garlic cloves in the holes, seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper, and orange peel, and put it in the oven. My general go to technique [As I’ve mentioned before] is to bake at 450 for 15 minutes, and 20 minutes per pound at 350 after that.

    Then in the 10 minutes I had before leaving, I peeled a sweet potato and cut it into medium wedges and strips.

    Went to the gym, came home to a yummy smelling house, took a shower, and took this beauty out of the oven!

    DuckFatAdventures 105

    DuckFatAdventures 104

    Seriously – I think this was the best looking bird I’ve roasted. Thank you Duck Fat!

    While I was letting it rest, I sliced up a shallot, and two cloves of garlic and kept them off to the side. I turned the burner to medium-high, put 5 spoons or so of  the duck fat in the pan, and when it was hot, I threw the sweet potato wedges in, covered, and tossed. I let them cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, and then seasoned them with a little salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Keeping an eye on them, when I saw they were getting soft, I threw in the shallots and garlic, and tossed. Putting them in late like this, let them caramelize and crisp, without burning.

    DuckFatAdventures 102

    DuckFatAdventures 103

    Beautiful! The sweet potatoes, onions, and shallots all got a beautiful caramelization. The foodie in me was singing with joy and anticipation.

    Now all that was left was to eat!

    DuckFatAdventures 101

    Yum does not even cover it. The chicken skin was divine. It had a beautiful crispness and full flavor. The meat itself was juicy and delicious. The sweet potatoes were sweet, with a savory note, and addictive. I was beyond pleased.

    I highly recommend buying some of this fabulous fat!

    Complementary note – Even though I don’t drink too often anymore [When I do it’s usually red wine or spirits], I’ve been trying out some Gluten Free beers.  Especially in the heat of the summer , I find my mood longing for a beer over wine, and sometimes hard liquor can be a little harsh on my system. In the past I used to love beer, craft beer, robust beer, stouts, porters, imperial ales, I was a fan. Unfortunately, due to [likely] the grain sensitivity, they also would often give me a headache and mess my stomach up. I’ve avoided going back to them….until now!

    I was curious to try some of the Gluten Free beers, to see if I had better reaction to them. So far [I’ve tried 2 different ones], my post beer experience has been night and day; no headaches, no digestive system anger. For dinner tonight I tried this one from Dogfish head, and it was very nice. Light in flavor with subtle notes of the strawberry and buckwheat honey. I will definitely be buying it again!

    Gluten Free Beer!

    Gluten Free Beer!

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