Posts made in September, 2013

apple bumpkin breakfast bake

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in breakfast, desserts, featured | 0 comments

SONY DSC

 

I found this apple bumpkin breakfast bake from The Foodie and The Family while searching for some new paleo breakfast ideas for the kids. Before each school year starts, I vow that I am going to send my kids off with tummies full of good nutrition, especially enough protein to carry them through until lunch.  And because they are in charge of what they choose at their school’s cafeteria for lunch, I have no idea if they are refueling with anything of substance in my absence (one of mine is known to make a lunch out of condiments).  Hence the reason breakfast becomes that much more important in laying a good foundation for their morning at school and beyond.

Even though I have come to the point of not really missing bread after years of eating gluten free and now grain free, my children really REALLY like those big starchy breakfasts…muffins, pancakes, waffles, toast, etc.  Even though this hearty breakfast recipe is really more of an egg strata, it tastes sweet and almost presents like a coffee cake.

My first attempt at making this apple bumpkin breakfast bake did not go over well with my kids.  “Mo-om…I don’t really like it…it’s too…I don’t know…egg-ie for me”.  (For the record, I thought it was delicious!)  Nothing infuriates me more than using a dozen pasture fed fresh eggs plus all kinds of other healthy organic ingredients only to be met with such a tough critique of what I was sure would be our family’s next favorite breakfast.  Ugh… back to the drawing board…but I’m not giving up.

Too egg-ie, huh?  Well, let’s just fix that.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe, and this time it was a hit.  The best part of this breakfast is that it makes 12 servings, so it feeds our family breakfast for at least two mornings of the week.  Plus, I can make it the night before so no need to wake up an hour before the family to get breakfast on the table.

The first steps in making the apple bumpkin breakfast bake are to preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with coconut oil.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Next, I chopped three apples and spread them out in the baking dish.  I chose honeycrisp apples because they are my family’s favorite, but any variety will do.  Although honeycrisp apples are the best type to enjoy raw, they are pretty tasty baked too.  Fall is the season for apples and the only time of year for fresh honeycrisps.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

I combined the bananas, eggs, pumpkin, coconut milk, almond flour, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in the Vitamix and blended until smooth and creamy, stopping a few times to scrape the sides.  When choosing canned food products, I check for BPA free on the label.  I picked up this BPA free canned pumpkin at Whole Foods and a can of Native Forest BPA free coconut milk there as well.  BPA stands for bisphenol-A – a type of chemical found in plastic products like water bottles and the linings of food cans.  Too much BPA exposure messes with your nervous system (your brain) and is a hormone disruptor, as it mimics the natural hormone estrogen.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

I poured the egg mixture over the apples in the baking pan and topped with slivered almonds and shredded coconut ribbons.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Lastly, I baked it for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the eggs were set.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

 

apple bumpkin breakfast bake
Author: 
Recipe type: eggs, breakfast, dessert
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 3 apples, chopped
  • 3 bananas
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¼ - ½ cup maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup coconut ribbons
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with coconut oil.
  3. Spread chopped apples in the baking dish.
  4. Combine bananas, eggs, almond flour, pumpkin, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in the Vitamix, and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the apples in the baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle slivered almonds and coconut ribbons on top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the eggs are set.

 

Read More

paleo chicken caesar salad

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in entree, featured, salads, vegetables | 5 comments

SONY DSC

 

“Mom, this is the best salad you have ever made…” says my 11 year old.  This summer, while spending his days on the golf course followed by swimming at the pool at our nearby country club, Ben developed a love for Caesar salads.  Traditional chicken Caesar salad usurped his usual order of chicken strips with honey mustard and fries – he made a step in the right direction in my book by adding in some greens.

But chicken Caesar salad is not gluten free, so to make his new favorite at home, I decided to come up with my own gluten, grain, and dairy free version.  Ben gives this recipe two thumbs up (he and his two friends walked into the kitchen right after I made this salad, and the three of them quickly polished it off), and so do I because not only is it made with healthy whole food ingredients, but it was super easy to make when in a pinch for time.

 

SONY DSC

 

And most evenings, I am just that – pinched for time.  To make life a little easier, I picked up a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods to use for the salad.  Their chickens are pasture fed and gluten free and $2 cheaper on Wednesdays.

 

SONY DSC

 

The most tedious part of making this salad is removing the chicken meat from the chicken carcass.  Kayley and I have gotten quite speedy at this process after volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house where our main job was to remove the meat from 5 birds and chop it for sliders.  Our first chicken was a mess…we were s-l-o-w and wasted a good deal of the chicken.  But then we got in a rhythm and discovered the best way to do it was just to dig in with our fingers and pull off anything that resembled meat and set it aside to chop later.

I have a big stockpot that I put any part that is not meat – the skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, etc., so I can make a large batch of bone broth to use in making a soup for dinner the next day.  Real bone broth is soooooooo much better than the boxed or canned version.  And it’s one of the most healing foods for your body, as it’s chocked full of gelatin, collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamino glycans, and lots of minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Homemade bone broth is good for healing your gut lining and building strong bones and joints, and it’s beautifying too – nourishing your skin, hair, and nails.  After pulling off all the meat, I placed the entire carcass in the pot with the rest of the shrapnel I’d already pulled off, filled the pot with purified water and a splash of apple cider vinegar (helps to leach out the minerals and goodness from the bones), and let it simmer on the stove for the next day.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Now for the romaine lettuce…the morning before serving the salad, I cut off the end of the head of romaine and thoroughly washed the leaves.  I like to lay the washed leaves out on a stream of paper towels and then roll up the paper towels with the leaves inside.  I lay the rolled up leaves in the refrigerator to crisp throughout the day.  Romaine lettuce is definitely my kids’ favorite green because it’s crisp and refreshing without the bitter taste of some of the other greens.  And it’s one of my favorites to use because they will actually eat it, getting in a serving of those nutrient dense leafy greens which are the most lacking in most of our diets.

 

SONY DSC

 

When ready to make the salad, I chopped the romaine and placed it in a medium sized salad bowl.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Next…on to the dressing.  I used my Vitamix to make the Caesar dressing with olive oil, water, 2 egg yolks, 2 cloves of minced garlic, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, and some pine nuts as a substitution for Parmesan.  The dressing initially tastes pretty salty but once on the salad it’s delicious.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

The only thing left to do is to layer the romaine lettuce, chopped chicken, another sprinkle of pine nuts, and fresh cracked pepper in a salad bowl.  I drizzled on about half of the dressing and tossed the salad.  After tasting, I drizzled on a little more dressing and tossed the salad again.  Perfect.  I saved the remaining dressing in the fridge where it will be good for about 3 -5 days.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
paleo chicken caesar salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, entree, vegetable
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, depending on the size of the head
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Tear off leaves of romaine lettuce, and wash. Lay flat on a stream of paper towels, and roll up leaves inside paper towels. Let crisp in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  2. Remove meat from a rotisserie chicken and chop. Set aside.
  3. Remove lettuce from the refrigerator, and chop.
  4. In a medium sized salad bowl, layer chopped romaine lettuce, chopped chicken, ¼ cup pine nuts, and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  5. In a Vitamix or other blender, blend together garlic, ¼ cup pine nuts, egg yolks, olive oil, water, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.
  6. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste and add more dressing if desired.
  7. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.
  8. Save the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days for another use.

 

Read More