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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Carrots for Breakfast

One of the most common brunch side dishes is potatoes like hash-browns or some type of starchy breakfast potatoes. This recipe uses carrots to replace a common potato dish.

Ingredients:
2 jumbo carrots (or 5 medium)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 water

Start by dicing up the carrots into small squares. Heat a large pan with the olive oil. Once hot slowly add in the diced carrots. Cook the carrots over medium high until they start to caramelize on the outside. After a few minutes when the carrots start to stick to the pan pour in the water. The steam from the water will soften the inside of the carrots. Once the water evaporates after about a minute or two place the carrots in a well sprayed or oiled baking dish. Place in a 450° oven for 10 minutes. This will make them nice and crispy. Serve hot with eggs and enjoy.

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Paleo Flat Bread

I am trying hard lately to stick to a Paleo diet as much as possible. Sometimes you just crave bread so I needed a paleo recipe. This recipe worked out pretty well and it was easy.

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup almond flour
1 Cup tapioca flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 almond milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a fancy sea salt)

Start by mixing together almond flour tapioca flour and baking soda in a large bowl. Then add the milk, egg and half the salt. Mix together well and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Pour the batter into a well sprayed 3 x 8 baking dish. The bread does not rise much so the sides of the pan do not need to be high. Sprinkle the top with a little bit of the salt. Feel free to add any other flavors like garlic powder, rosemary anything you would like. Bake for 25 minutes at 350°. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Pot roast is a big deal in my family. Everybody has their own recipe but I want to come up with something a little different. It’s common in my family to add bottle wine to the gravy and some flour to thicken it up. I wanted to make a recipe for the slow cooker that was also Paleo and whole 30 friendly. The biggest changes I made was using vegetables to sweeten the gravy and also thicken the sauce at the end.

Ingredients:
3 meat (Chuck roast is a good cut for this)
1 onion sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic sliced in half
15 oz chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots cut into rounds
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon garlic powder

Start by heating a large pan with olive oil. Once the oil is hot and onions and garlic. Sauté the onions and garlic until they begin to become translucent around 3 to 4 minutes. Next season the meat with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Place the meat in the pan to brown each side. That should only take about a minute, you’re only searing the outside not cooking the meat. When the meat is finished remove and let it rest on a cutting board. To the onions and garlic in the pan add chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Bring the liquid to a boil making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you cook. While the liquid is cooking down you can start to prepare the slow cooker. Place the cut up carrots at the bottom of the slow cooker. Then put the meat on top of the carrots. Finally pour all the liquid with onions and garlic that’s in the pan on top of the meet. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours. Sliced thin and serve.

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Secret Shrimp

This recipe has become a weekly repeat in my house. Shrimp recipes are best kept super simple. Just
need the right texture, big flavors and fast cooking.

Ingredients:
1 pound large shrimp peeled and cleaned
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon old Bay seasoning in
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil

Start by rinsing the shrimp in a strainer then place the shrimp in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl mix the smoked paprika, old bay and cornstarch together. Add the seasoning mix to the shrimp slowly continuously mixing as you go. Make sure to cook all the shrimp evenly in the process. Now, add the olive oil to a large flat pan and begin to heat. Next, gently place each shrimp on the pan being careful not to let the olive oil splash. Cook the first side for about a minute or two and then flip cooking the other side for about another minute. Once the shrimp are pink and starting to brown they are done, it’s important not to over cook the shrimp. Remove from heat and 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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Smoky Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable. You can do tons of creative stuff with it and really infuse any kind of flavor. I wanted to try to come up with something that would match barbecue smoky flavors similar to what you look for in baked beans and this worked out great.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

Start by cutting the cauliflower off of the stem so you have smaller florets. place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss well. Now add the salt and paprika and continue to mix together. Make sure each piece is evenly coated with seasoning. Spread cauliflower on 1 – 2 baking sheets. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove sheets, flip each piece and carefully sprinkle water on top. The water on the tray will allow everything to steam a bit. Place sheets back in oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm, enjoy!

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Paleo Meenut Butter

I continue to sample new products that are paleo and fit into a whole30 life style. I have been hooked on nut butter forever. As a kid I loved peanut butter but since peanuts nuts are not considered paleo I have switched to sunflower and almond butter. If your read the ingredients on most nut butter you will find that they normally have sugar and other not so good junk in it. I learned about paleo meenut butter online and was very excited to give it a try.

Meenut butter is a combination of nuts and coconut into a wonderful nut butter. No added sugar and made with all local ingredients. It has a wonderful consistency that is slightly sweet and slightly salty. It worked great in my morning smoothies and  as a snack with carrots and apples. Filled with all the good stuff to keep you going all day. One serving has 5 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar! They have great recipe ideas listed on their site include cookies, cupcakes and savory treats.

INGREDIENTS (Quadruple Nut Power): California Almonds, California Organic Walnuts,Pecans, Organic Macadamia Nuts, Organic Coconut; Contains 2% or less of: Organic Golden Flax Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Sonoma Sea Salt;
CONTAINS: Tree Nuts

 

You can find meenut butter in some stores across the country or buy online at: http://mee-eat-paleo.myshopify.com/ 

They have a great selection of goodies to choose from. Makes a great treat or gift for anyone.

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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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Easiest Butternut Squash Soup

Soup is great year round. It is easy to just buy the basic soup in a box or can but it’s filled with preservatives, sodium and junk. This soup is so good everyone will think you bought it.

Ingredients:

2lbs butternut squash
2 apples ( cut off the core but leave skins on)
1qt chicken broth
2 carrots (cleaned, peeled and chopped)
1 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Peel and chop the squash into chunks. Some grocery stores sell one pound packages already prepared and cut up ( if using only use one package). Place squash chunks in slow cook and add carrots, apples, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Then pour broth on top and place cover on slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. Then using a blender or food imersiour blend the soup well till no chunks remain. Cook another 2 hours on low. Serve hot!

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