Grilled Eggplant Salad

With the weather warming up its becoming easy to find fresh herbs everywhere. This eggplant salad is a great side dish for a BBQ. A simple combination of grilled eggplant, fresh herbs, a touch of honey and citrus.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
1/3 cup salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of half a lemon
8 fresh basil leaves chopped

Start by cutting the egg plant into large rounds. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and coat both sides of each round with salt. Let the eggplant sit with salt for an hour. This will remove some of the water and bitter taste. After the hour rinse the salt off the eggplant in the sink very well. Now, coat the rounds with the olive oil and place them on the grill. Grill each side about 3 minutes. You want the eggplant to be soft and have nice grill marks. Remove the eggplant from the grill and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Next, cut the rounds into cubes and place them into a large bowl. Finally, add the remaining ingredients including salt, honey, lemon and basil. I suggest heating the honey in the microwave for a few seconds to help soften it up if needed. Mix everything together and serve hot or cold. Enjoy!

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Wild Zora Bars

Wild Zora Bars

The Original Meat and Veggie Bar

Finding snacks that are gluten free and paleo is always a challenge. Finding option when your on the go is always a hard but these bars do the trick. Wild Zora sent me a sample pack of their meat and veggie bars. Each bar was great!

The story with Wild Zora is that they wanted to make a product that lived up to their standard. Something substantial, savory and nutritious. If a complete meal contains meat and veggies they wanted a snack bar to do the same.

Bars come in three flavors including BBQ, Cheesy Parm and Spicy Cayenne Apricot. My favorite was the BBQ but they all are really good. You can buy them online in any quantify. Give them a try!

Check out the website here: http://www.wildzora.com/

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Nutella Cookies

I don’t bake much but when I do I try to come up with recipes that are very easy. No need to buy tons of gluten free flours and other expensive ingredients. This recipe is a wonderful chocolate hazelnut cookie with no flour. I made them for a party and it was a hit!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Nutella

1 Egg

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 Pinch Salt

1 tsp Vanilla

Start by mixing Nutella, egg and sugar together. Add baking soda, salt and vanilla. Now roll the dough into about 1 inch balls. Place on 2-3 foiled cookie sheet. Make sure each cookie if far apart because they will spread out large. Bake for 11 minutes, remove and let cool. Cookie’s will harden as they cool. Enjoy!

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RX Bars

I recently just finished my Whole30 challenge. It was a great experience and I am happy I stuck to it. I spent a lot of time looking for good snack options along the way. I found a bunch a great products and I am excited to share them all.

Normally, finding a quick meal option that is gluten free is a challenge. Add the paleo restrictions can get tricky. One of the first items I tried was RXBars. It was a real protein bar with out the junk. These bars are made mainly of egg whites, dates, fig and nuts. Each ingredient brings something to the nutrition table: egg whites and almonds with protein, fruit and cacao with antioxidants ,vitamins, fiber and potassium. They never add sugar, GMO’s or preservatives. They offer a few different flavors and I liked them all especially the apple cinnamon and blueberry. Apple reminded me of an apple turn over and blueberry of a blueberry scone.

They have a great model and believe in what the product stands for. Companny statement: “At RxBar, we believe that food should be simple and delicious without compromising nutrition. We believe that quality ingredients should never be sacrificed because of cost. We believe that food should be consumed as nature intended. This is why we do what we do and as a company all of our products directly reflect these values.”

RXBars are easily available online. Check out the website for more info and grab a sample kit here: http://www.rxbar.com/products/sample-pack-17.html

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Tomato Mozzarella Salad

My bakery makes the best gluten free baguettes in the world. I am always looking for new ways to serve them. We make bruschetta all the time but wanted to mix it up. This recipe is like a cross between bruschetta and caprese salad.

Ingredients:

2 Large red firm tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Bunch basil leaves  (about 3/4 cup loosely packed leaves)
10 oz Mozzarella
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 Gluten-Free Baguette (click here to get my favorite)

Start by cutting the tomatoes in half and removing seeds. Chop each half into small pieces and place in a bowl. Next, cup mozzarella into similar sized pieces and add to the bowl. Now add the oil, salt and sugar to the bowl and toss. Finally, chop the basil up and add to the tomato’s. Mix everything together and serve with a toasted baguette. Enjoy.

 

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Whole 30 Power Lunch

As my Whole 30 adventure continues I am coming up with fun new lunch items. I was craving a good egg salad sandwich and this is what I came up with.

Ingredients:
1 Avocado
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
2 Tablespoon Mayo (see my paleo version)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch pepper

Place the peeled eggs in a bowl and mash with fork. Add mayo, salt and pepper to bowl and mix. Next, cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Gently spoon out the inside of each half of the avocado in one piece and place aside. Then fill the each half with even scoops of the egg salad. Enjoy!

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Whole30 “Candy Pecans”

I’m currently trying to do the whole 30 challenge. The rules are you can’t eat any grains, sugars or basically any starches. It is inherently gluten-free and Paleo but you can’t have maple syrup, honey or any type of sweetener. I have been trying to come up with a new snack ideas. This one came out great!!

Ingredients:

2 cups whole pecans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Start by melting the coconut oil in the microwave in a small bowl. Place the pecans in a large bowl, add the melted coconut butter and toss. Add the cinnamon and continue to toss gently. Spread the pecans out on a foiled baking sheet. Bake at 250° for about 25-30 minutes. Toasting the nuts in the oil will help them caramelize and bring out some sweetness. Allow the nuts to cool and then enjoy.

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Decadent Paleo Hot Cocoa

I was playing around with coconut milk I want to come up with a recipe that was like real European hot chocolate but Paleo. Again Paleo is not a low cal or low carb diet, it’s going back to eating real natural food like cavemen did. It’s very possible to cut out the junk including the refined sugars and flour to still have a sinful dessert.

Ingredients:
1/2 can coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder

Start by shaking or mixing together coconut milk and cocoa powder. Pour the mixture into a pot and start to heat on low. At honey and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes constantly risking or stirring together. Pour into a glass and enjoy hot.

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Maple Glazer Persimmon

I always had a fun with persimmons. They come out for a bit in the fall a bit expensive but look really cool. They are kind of similar to a tomato with bright orange color and sweetness of a sweet potato.

Ingredients:
8 persimmons
1/4 Cup maple syrup to
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Start by washing the persimmons and cutting off the top. Slice each into six even pieces and throw them into a bowl. Now add maple syrup olive oil and salt to the bowl. Toss together well by hand. Spread out on a foiled baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. The outsides will start to brown and get crispy. Serve hot!

Note: persimmons have a puckering quality. Which means once prepared they can create a very dry mouth feeling that takes time to get used to. One way to avoid this is by soaking the slices in salt water for 5 minutes and then rinse before you add the maple syrup or any of the ingredients.

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Guilt Free Chocolate Bar

I recently went on a trip to Hershey Park. I learned a lot about chocolate in this great class they offered. I felt inspired to develop a chocolate recipe that was guilt free and easy to make. My next attempted this will be a Paleo version for now try this one out it’s really good.

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Chocolate Coco Powder
1/3 Cup Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light
4 tablespoons Maple syrup
1 tablespoon almond milk

Start by mixing Cocoa powder, maple syrup and butter together in a bowl. Mix gently trying to add a bit of air to fluff up the mix. Finally add the almond milk and stir a few more times. Pour into any size mold, I like a rectangle small glass baking dish. Place in freezer and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Cut out squares and enjoy. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

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