Tag Archives: wholelifechallenge

Easy Sweet Potato Savory Pudding

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

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! 


Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

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This is a super simple dish, easy to prepare, and packed with flavor. The earthy mushrooms are balanced quite well by the subtle acidity of the balsamic, and the sweetness from the coconut milk. I used a combination of mushrooms, but depending on budget and availability, you can simplify it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Portobello cap, halved and sliced
  • 3 Large Shiitake Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Cup Oyster Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1/2 Vidalia/Sweet Onion, Sliced
  • 2/3 Can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 1-1.5 lbs Chicken Thighs, Cut into Chunks
  • 3 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into Chunks
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Heaping Spoonful of Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Goat Butter (Or Regular Butter) – Omit if you cannot handle dairy
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • A Pinch of Allspice
  • Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Salt, and Pepper to taste, i didn’t over spice it

Heat the coconut oil and butter over medium-medium high heat and add the onions. Let them cook just a little, and then add the mushrooms, balsamic, and coconut milk. Once the mushrooms simmer for a while and cook down, add the chicken and seasonings. Simmer until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Add the coconut flour, and continue simmering until the chicken is finished cooking.

 


Pattypan Squash Stuffed with Beef and Wild Mushrooms

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I love Patty Pan squash, they are one of my favorite seasonal vegetables in the summer, Not only are they tasty, but they have such a fun shape, it’s hard NOT to get creative. I found some bigger ones at the Fairway Market that just opened up, so I grabbed them with stuffing in mind. I found some grass-fed ground beef for a reasonable price as well as some wild mushrooms, so I left with a mission for dinner the next day. If you really want to make this paleo or whole life challenge compliant, omit the goat cheese, but since my system handles it well, i decided to include it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large patty pan squash
  • 2.5 lbs grass bed ground beef chuck
  • 1 onion, Chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, Chopped
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, Chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/8 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup greens (I used a mixture of kale, spinach, and chard)
  • Sage,pepper,salt,thyme,smoked paprika
  • 2-3 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Bake patty pan at 350 for about 20-30 min while mostly cooking your filling. You WILL have extra filling. You just want to soften them up so you can easily scoop out the middle.

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Cut off the top, just enough to expose the seeds. Scoop out the seeds, along with a little of the flesh to form a bowl. You can chop up any flesh and add it back inside, mixed in with your stuffing. If you are going to add some goat cheese, mix it with the stuffing, and crumble a little on top as well. Bake for another 15 -20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.

 

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Crock Pot Garlic Basil Short Ribs

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The crock pot wins again! I swear I ate this for days and didn’t get sick of it. Now ideally you would use grass-fed short ribs (Try US Wellness Meats!) but I happened to buy a big ol’ value pack from BJs this time. Short ribs are awesome, but you HAVE to cook them slow. I’ve never had any luck cooking them any other way, they always come out tough and gross, but in the slow cooker they are DIVINE. By the end they are falling off the bone and tender, and I cannot think of a more lovely way to be greeted coming in from work.

As for prep, there isn’t much. I threw the onions on the bottom, packed in the short-ribs, and threw the garlic in between. Then I piled the rest of the veggies on top, added any liquid, and cooked on low for 8-10 hours. Super simple and tasty! Be sure to go heavy on the fresh herbs and garlic!

  • 4-5 Lbs Short Ribs
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/8 Cup Coconut Aminos
  • 4-5 Tops/Bunches Fresh Basil
  • 6 cocktail tomatoes – Halved
  • 6 – 7 small Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 2 small vidalia onions
  • 6+ Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Celery Hearts – Chopped
  • Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika

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Green Gazpacho

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I love gazpacho, especially in the summer. It’s super easy to make, and served cold, so it’s perfect for a hot day. It’s also a great way to get a bunch of veggies into your day! Traditionally gazpacho is made with pieces of bread included in the mixture, and I’ve seen gluten-free versions made with rice, however I don’t think you need it, and instead I added an avocado for some creamy richness. Most gazpachos are tomato based, and this one DOES have tomato included, but I used a yellow, and a green heirloom variety, so it stayed a nice green color. I also went heavy on the other veggies, so it really was vegetable based rather than tomato based.

  • 1 red onion – quartered
  • 2 large tomatoes – red, yellow, green heirloom, doesn’t matter, quartered 
  • 8 large radishes – halved
  • 2 bell peppers – seeded and quartered
  • 2 cucumbers – halved lengthwise and cut into thirds
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch celery hearts
  • A generous amount of basil and mint (I used A Lot – but season to taste)
  • Some oregano, thyme, and cilantro (season to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt, pepper

After lightly prepping the ingredients, the rest couldn’t be any simpler! Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend!

Please note, if you don’t have a high powered blender like a Ninja Kitchen Systemor a Vitamix, you might have too chop things smaller. Chances are you will have to blend a little anyway to make room as you go.

Blend until everything is liquefied and well combined. Chill and serve.


Carb Nite Baked Triple Sweet Potato Frites

Yeah Carb Nite! As I mentioned in my last post I am following the Carb Nite Solution by John Kiefer, and tonight is my “Carb Nite” – glorious. Now, I am not binging on donuts, pizza, and scones like some people, and am keeping it pretty much paleo. I am allowing myself white rice, since it’s pretty harmless (Phase One: SUSHI ) and have recently added some full fat dairy as I mentioned previously that I’ve discovered that I can handle goat milk pretty well (Generally, I will consume it in the form of full fat goat milk kefir and some goat milk cheeses) so I found this brand of GOAT MILK ICE CREAM which will definitely serve as an occasional “Carb Nite” indulgence (Phase Two: Figs and Ice Cream) ….I figured it was a holiday…. Oh man.

Just to get side tracked for a second, let me tell you about ice cream. This past year and a half, if I had Ice Cream (Rare Occasion) it was Larry and Luna’s Coconut Milk based Ice Cream. Which is absolutely awesome. But holy cow, this Goats Milk Ice Cream by LaLoo’s is A-MAZE-ING. I don’t particularly like that it has carrageenan in it, but considering this is going to be a very occasional treat, it’s not the worse thing in the world. The two flavors I bought were the Dark Chocolate, and the Vanilla Snowflake. Absolutely lovely and rich in flavor and the level of creaminess in the texture is just not something you are going to find in the coconut based ice creams. Easy on the digestive system and delicious….I’m totally sold.

Anyway this post is not about any of that. Well I guess it is, but mainly it’s about Sweet Potatoes (Phase Three: Sweet Potato Fries!!!!)

I’m big on homemade food, and getting rid of processed artificial crap, but sometimes you don’t want to chop up a million sweet potatoes. Sorry folks, unless you know of a brand I don’t, I’m pretty sure a bag of simple sweet potato fries doesn’t exist. All the ones I’ve seen have crap oils and weird seasonings. That’s OK, who needs the freezer section anyway. I decided to just suck it up and make them myself.

I decided to make things a little more fun, and used three different varieties of sweet potatoes: Japanese, Garnet, and Hanna

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As for the recipe, I cannot take any credit beyond that. These are pretty much verbatim from THIS recipe on NOM NOM PALEO‘s website. For the seasoning I used Salt, Pepper, and Paprika as described in her recipe, but added cinnamon as well. They came out amazing, so I highly recommend you check out her recipe and make them.

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Ultra Low-Carb Paleo Herb “Biscuits”

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Recently, I started following the “Carb Nite Solution” by John Kiefer. I met him at the Universal Fitness Expo earlier this month (Along with The Paleo Coach
author Jason Seib of EPLifeFit – Everyday Paleo Podcast fame…. Super…Flippin’ …Awesome) – Anyway, I was talking to both of them, and particularly Kiefer about my current fat-loss goals.

At this point, I feel great, I’m sleeping well, I have energy, and I’m pretty darn happy with how I look. By comparing myself to pictures and using largely inaccurate calculators, I would guess I’m around 27% body fat…but healthy. My diet is dialed, I’m not over training, and I’m sleeping well, so I decided as long as I feel good I don’t want to do anything too drastic for largely aesthetic goals. That said, I would LOVE to get myself down to the 22-25% range. Enter the Carb Nite Solution

In a nutshell, I am eating Ultra Low Carb ( Under 30 grams) for 5-10 days, and then having a “carb nite” on which I load up on carbs (keeping it paleo, mostly, so sweet potatoes, white rice, fruit, winter squash) over a 6 hour period to jump start some hormonal thing that’s supposed to help me lose the pesky fat that’s hanging on. Seemed easy enough, and not too drastic of a change for me, so I’m giving it a go. Currently I am on my second week of ultra low carb.

So….Food.

I wanted something a little different to have as a side to my salmon. I decided to make egg-y biscuit things. Simple, not overloaded with nuts, and tasty! best of all, they are safe for my Ultra Low Carb Days! For flavor, I wanted to utilize the abundance of fresh herbs growing in my garden. I picked a few sprigs each of thyme, basil, sage, oregano, and chives, and a sprig of rosemary.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Sage
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Goat Butter (Or regular butter if you can handle it)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Flax Meal
  • A pinch of Salt and Pepper

Now, I guess you could mince or chop all those herbs by hand, but I was totally not about to sit there forever chopping. I decided to utilize my Ninja Blender. I actually used one of the single serve smoothie cups, and threw the herbs in whole with the 4 eggs and butter. A few seconds later and the eggs were thoroughly beaten, and the herbs were minced and evenly distributed. Afterwards, I simply poured the egg mixture into a bowl, added the dry ingredients, and mixed until everything was combined into a moderately thin batter. I poured it into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and baked at 375 degrees until it was set and golden, and a toothpick came out clean (about 20-30 min). The parchment paper makes it super easy to remove, and makes clean up simple.

Oh and just a note about goat butter. It’s not that easy to find, I get it at Whole Foods, but it’s a little pricey. I just decided to use it, since I recently learned I can handle goats milk dairy pretty well, without digestive upset. I’m still trying to figure out if it causes any other inflammation, but if anything, it seems to be small enough, that if I don’t go crazy, I should be able to enjoy goat milk products occasionally without guilt. It’s going to take a bit more testing, going off it again, going back on, before I know for sure. In any case, you can use cows milk butter if you can handle dairy, or omit it altogether.


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