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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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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Morning Magic Smoothie

Think it’s kind of funny that I have not posted this recipe before. This is a smoothie recipe I use probably four times a week and it’s great. It’s a green smoothie that everyone will love. The secret ingredient is peanut butter powder which is a new product on the market. It’s basically dehydrated peanut butter formed into a powder taking out a lot of the fat but leaving all the protein and flavor.

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 fresh spinach
1 Banana (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder

Place everything in the blender and blend well. Make sure that all the spinach is broken up well. Using a frozen banana rather than a regular fresh banana will give the smoothie more of a thick milkshake like consistency consistency.
* if you’re trying to avoid peanuts using 2 tablespoons of sun butter is a great replacement in this recipe

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Paleo Candied Yams

Sweet potatoes are a mandatory side dish at all holidays. Normally candy yams or most sweet potato dishes are filled with sugar and junk. This year I wanted to make a healthy version that taste just as great.

Ingredients:

7 medium sweet potatoes
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup (real stuff)
1 teaspoon cinnamon optional

Start by peeling potatoes but leaving them whole. place peeled sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Turn on heat and bring to boil. Cook at boiling for about 8-10 minutes until a knife can be pushed in but they are not falling apart. They need to be firm to hold shape. Time will depend on thickness of potatoes. Once ready strain potatoes and let cool.

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Citrus Glazed Green Beans

Green beans are in season this time of year and normally a big side for holidays. I’ve never been a huge fan of the creamy mushroom soup type. I like something that’s a little fancy. This version is a bit fruity, with a slightly Sicilian style, easy to do and definitely will impress a crowd.

Ingredients:
3 pounds green beans
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1/4 Cup + 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 pinch salt

Start by trimming the ends off the green beans. Next either blanch green beans or steam until they get slightly soft but retain a bright green color. To hold the bright green color always run through an ice bath after you’re done initially heating. A few minutes before you’re ready to serve take butter or coconut oil and melt in large pan. Add Green beans and toss. Next add orange marmalade, salt and a quarter cup of sliced almonds. Continue to gently toss while heating over medium heat for about two minutes. To serve place on a large platter and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds.

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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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Tropical Green Monster Smoothie

I drink a green smoothie almost everyday changing the recipe all the time. With a smoothie bar at work I have plenty of things to play with. William-Sonoma is doing a “not your typical smoothie project”.   They asked me to share a heathy smoothie recipe that was a bit out side the box. My favorite smoothie fit the request perfect and I decided to share. This smoothie recipe is gluten free, paleo, nut free and vegan.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup frozen spinach

3/4 cup frozen mango

2 tablespoon sunflower butter

Simple place everything in blend and blend very well. Using frozen fruit and spinach is the trick to making the smoothie smooth and creamy. With frozen ingredients their is no need for any ice. My favorite blender is a vita mix and it tends to be the best at blending frozen fruit. Sunflower butter adds the protein you want in a smoothie with a unique flavor. Sunflower butter seems to be a bit more subtle in flavor then other nut butters.

Williams-Sanoma has a great line up of blenders. Check them out here http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/electrics/blenders/IMG_4565 IMG_4566 IMG_4567 IMG_4568

Maple Soda

While trying to cut all junk out of my diet I am learning more and more how regular soda and diet soda are terrible for you. I have a soda stream and I am always trying to come up with new soda recipes that are healthy and delicious. Using fruit is easy and fun but I wanted to come up with something that’s more like cola and acceptable on the Paleo diet. Maple syrup like honey is Paleo approved as an all natural sweetener. When using in moderation it works great in many recipes. The most important thing is to make sure it’s all natural maple syrup. Yes the the expensive kind from the store. The only ingredient should be all natural maple syrup and grade B is the best.

Ingredients:
16oz Soda Water or Seltzer
3/4 Tablespoon maple syrup

Simply pour soda water in a wide glass. Add maple syrup and stir gently with a spoon. The more syrup you add the thicker it will get so depends on the sweetness level you want. I like it just lightly sweet. Serve cold and enjoy!

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