Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Here! The FastPaleo Top 100 of 2012 eBook

This is too awesome not to share! FastPaleo, one of my favorite resources for Paleo recipes, has put together an eBook of the top 100 recipes they featured in 2012. I am proud to say that a few of my own recipes are even included! Here is a little info. on what you get when you buy this eBook:




  • Get 100 of the absolute best paleo and primal recipes of the year
  • Sample fantastically delicious recipes in 10 great categories
  • Baked Goods
  • Beef
  • Breakfast
  • Chicken
  • Dessert
  • Seafood
  • Pork
  • Slow Cooker
  • Salads & Vegetables
  • Soups & Stews
  • Learn about new paleo and primal bloggers through blogger links and bios
  • Be able to scan easily for paleo and primal recipes—all primal recipes clearly marked
  • Enjoy a clear, straight-forward, ad-free layout

There's more, too! With the Top 100 book, you'll get FOUR bonus eBooks!




  • Top 10 Cookies of 2012
  • Top 10 Ice Creams of 2012
  • Top 10 Muffins of 2012
  • Top 10 Smoothies and Beverages of 2012
You get all of this for only $14.97 - a $40 value!







They even give you a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee in case you don't absolutely love the books (but, who are you kidding, you'll love them!)

Click the banner below to purchase through my special affiliate link!

FastPaleo Top 100 of 2012

January Paleo Pen Pals Roundup





Paleo Pen Pals has been a lot of fun so far! As one of the founders, I love seeing this Paleo family grow. As a participant, I love sending and receiving Paleo ingredients each month and creating fun recipes. Thanks to everyone who has been participating!

Co-Founder Brittanie, from Three Diets One Dinner, and I were so excited to see all of the tasty recipes that came through this month and I am happy to share them with you today.

If you would like to become a part of Paleo Pen Pals and sign up for next month's food swap, click here to learn more. You can also become a fan of Paleo Pen Pals by visiting our Facebook page.

Before we get to the recipes, I want to mention that Paleo Pen Pals is looking for sponsors. It takes a lot of effort and time to keep this running, and we have opened up an international network of Paleo bloggers, cooks and eaters. There are thousands of eyes on this network and they are all hungry for the caveman lifestyle. If you have a Paleo product that needs a voice, let's talk! Send us an email.

Read on for a roundup of January's recipes!!


Bacon Bonanza from Beth at Time in a Bottle - 4 recipes, 1 Pen Pal!
 One
 Two
 Four



























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Sign up RIGHT NOW for the next Swap on Facebook or by sending us an email with your name, email address, blog (if you have one), twitter handle, facebook page, zip code and special dietary restrictions.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Paleo Pen Pals Guest Post From Amy - Homemade Mayo with a Twist


Read on for a guest post from Paleo Pen Pal, Amy. Ready to be a part of Paleo Pen Pals? Visit our Facebook Page or click here to sign up!

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Homemade Mayo w/ a Twist




I've been having SO much fun the past 3 months with the Paleo Pen Pals. I've cyber-met (if that's even a real phrase) some really great people, and am looking forward to the coming months to branch out even more!! For January, I was matched up with Jeremiah over at the Minimalist Nutrition.

Since going Paleo in September 2012, I've been experimenting with making more condiments homemade. I like knowing what I'm putting into my body instead of trying to decipher the ingredient list on the back of a bottle. One thing that I feel I've been successful with is homemade mayonnaise. I LOVE it!!! It's got a smooth, creamy texture. And tastes very light compared to your store bought variety. In the months that I've been making it, I have been using a light olive oil...taste is amazing!! With this months pen pal match-up, I decided to try something a little different. In the second week of January, I received a bottle of macadamia nut oil from Jeremiah. I was completely baffled on what to do with it. Then I ran out of mayonnaise. So I figured, why not try a slightly different version? This suddenly brings me back to the CSA I participated in during the summer and fall of 2012. Over the course of my 20 weeks CSA, I received quite a few items that I have never previously had. So I had to experiment to find things that would work for me (and I found quite a few).

Okay.....back to my macadamia nut oil. I found quite a few recipes online for mayo made with macadamia nut oil. I really loved the recipe I had been using, so I decided to just sub in the macadamia nut oil. 


Here is the mayo recipe I used. 

When it comes time to add in the oil, I follow Melissa's instructions to a t! I don't want to screw up this deliciousness!! Using the macadamia nut oil instead of olive oil gave my mayo a new taste. It had a stronger/bolder taste (and a little bit nutty). And while it did turn out light and creamy, I found that it wasn't as firm as my previous batches (with olive oil). Maybe I needed to reduce the amount of oil? Maybe I should have tried a different recipe? I'll experiment a little more next time I use a different oil. Don't get me wrong, I still love the stuff. I use it for dipping raw veggies, topping burgers, and sometimes just eating a small spoonful.

Don't be afraid to branch out and try something new. I know I love to.....even with some tweaking.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Sliders

Well, isn't this special? Not one, but two recipes with the Key Lime Juice from my Paleo Pen Pal this month! This time, I added a bit of the juice to a batch of mini chicken burgers along with some jalapeño, onion, cilantro and spices. I decided to go with mini burgers because I was making them for the Paleo Pitch In at ClarkFloyd CrossFit and I wanted there to be plenty to share with everybody. All of the food that everyone contributed was soooo good - jambalaya, lasagna, PaleO'Bryan, salad, soup, vegetables, and even some yummy desserts!

I tried one of everything!

These slightly spicy chicken sliders would be a perfect Paleo-friendly food for your Superbowl party. We cooked them ahead of time and warmed them in the crock pot before the meal. The recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled depending on how many you are cooking for. I like to make a lot at one time so we can have leftovers-I used the leftover burgers from the Paleo Pitch In for our breakfast this morning. I just made some eggs, heated up the burgers and topped it all with salsa and avocado.


Jalapeño Lime Chicken Sliders
 Yield: 16 - 20 Burgers
Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
2 lb ground chicken
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp key lime juice
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp paprika
Dash of salt and pepper


Directions
Spray grill pan with cooking spray or coat with olive oil. Heat grill pan over medium heat.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix until thoroughly combined and then form into small patties.

Once grill pan is hot, place burgers on grill pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.


Paleo Pen Pals Guest Post from Elizabeth - Sweet and Savory Winter Vegetable Bake


Read on for a guest post from my Paleo Pen Pal, Elizabeth. I sent her a Hubbard Squash, which was a squash unfamiliar to me. Ready to be a part of Paleo Pen Pals? Visit our Facebook Page and fill out the Contact Form to sign up!



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For my first month as a Paleo Pen Pal, I was stoked to receive a hubbard squash from Tarah in Indiana. I love me some winter squash- acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin, butternut, delicata… in fact, as a grouping, they're one of my favorite "vegetables". But up to this point, I'd never tried a hubbard before! It was a gorgeous cucurbit if I'd ever seen one, with an almost ethereal, silvery green rind that contrasted beautifully with its yellow inner flesh. Hubbards can get reeaaallllyyy large, but the one that I had to work with was- thankfully- on the small side (probably between 2-3 lbs). 


Although my favorite way to enjoy squash is just simply roasted and mashed without any added "bells and whistles" (and because who really needs another recipe for a winter squash soup or chili?), I decided to experiment a little for the sake of creating a recipe that actually counts as a recipe! And so, here it is: 



Sweet and Savory Winter Vegetable Bake

Ingredients:
1 hubbard squash 
1 butternut squash (about 4 cups of squash total, h+b)
2-2.5 cups finely chopped kale 
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tbsp bacon fat
2 eggs
2 very large cloves garlic (or 4 medium cloves), finely chopped
red pepper flakes (to taste)
Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp coconut flour


Directions:
1. Cut squash in half, remove seedy pulp, and roast cut-side down until a fork easily pierces the skin and underlying flesh

2. As squash is cooling, caramelize onions in 2 tbsp of bacon fat over low heat. I fried 4 slices of bacon and used the leftover fat from that.

3. In a bowl, combine the roasted squash flesh with the caramelized onions and any residual fat. Mix in eggs and coconut flour. 

4. Spread half of the squash mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.

5. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to 2 more tbsp of bacon fat (I, once again, fried 4 more slices of bacon) over low/med-low heat, and let them infuse for a minute or two.

6. Add kale to pan, and saute until it loses its raw edge; add a two or three splashes of apple cider vinegar and hesitate (to let it "burn off" a bit) before removing from burner .

7. Add kale to the 8x8 bake pan, over the bottom layer of squash, then top with the remaining squash mixture.

8. Bake at 375F for about 35 minutes, or until the top seems set 


The product was delicious. Although it would still taste good using a different fat, I think the bacon fat is critical to making it REALLY tasty (not only because it's bacon, but because it really marries the squash and kale). I served mine with the bacon that I cooked to get the fat, an egg, and avocado. I think it would go extremely well with pulled pork or any sort of barbecued meat, though (probably because the kale tastes so much like collard greens!). 

     As for the hubbard squash itself, I tried a few bites of it alone after it was roasted, and though it wasn't sweet like some of the    other winter squashes, it was extremely flavorful. Nutty, not like      pumpkin. The texture was similar to the butternut, except a bit starchier and less "creamy". 

Friday, January 18, 2013

January Paleo Pen Pals - Spicy Key Lime Shrimp Grillers

My awesome Paleo Pen Pal this month was Elizabeth. Elizabeth lives in Florida and sent me a bottle of Key Lime Juice! I am originally from Florida so I was thrilled to have an authentic Florida ingredient to work with.


When I think of Florida cuisine, I immediately think of seafood. I decided to use the Key Lime Juice as a marinade for grilled shrimp. Kevin was in charge of side dishes and he made some awesome guacamole and sweet potato fries. It was a great meal!


Want to become a part of Paleo Pen Pals? It is a fun Paleo food swap for bloggers and non-bloggers alike! To learn more and sign up, visit the Paleo Pen Pals Facebook page.



Spicy Lime Shrimp Grillers
Serves: 4
Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients
1 lb shrimp
1 cup key lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions
Combine the shrimp and key lime juice in a large resealable bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

Thread shrimp onto skewers (I used three long skewers). Brush shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Flip skewers and repeat on second side.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Place skewers on grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until shrimp turns pink and is just cooked through.




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paleo Pregnancy - What I Feed My Face

Since I am trying to keep up this whole Paleo business while pregnant, I thought I would give you a little peek into my daily eats. This is a fairly typical day for me right now and not too terribly different from my pre-pregnancy diet, I just eat a few more snacks than usual. I find that my growing belly is better suited to handle smaller meals and snacks throughout the day than three large meals.

 And now, we invite to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents... your dinner.

Pre-Workout Snack - On this particular morning, Kevin and I went to a 5:30am spin class. Before heading to class, I ate a Lara Bar for a little pre-ride energy.


Breakfast - For breakfast we made Everyday Paleo Egg Cupcakes with bacon on the side. When I got to work, I also had a Pumpkin Coffee Smoothie (banana, coconut milk, pumpkin, espresso, molasses, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and ice).

                                     




Morning Snack - I get hungry every couple hours so I don't always make it to lunch without a little snack to hold me over. Today I had grapes and trail mix.

                                       

Lunch - I didn't get a picture, but I polished off four more of the egg cupcakes for lunch!

Afternoon Snack - Before leaving work, I reached for an apple with some almond butter.


Dinner - I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I whipped up a quick salad with baked chicken and apples, caramelized onions, pecans, crumbled bacon, spinach, cabbage and sun-dried tomatoes. I also made a homemade dressing with dijon mustard, oil, vinegar and herbs.


Evening Snack - My favorite! Banana soft serve (banana and coconut milk) mixed with cocoa powder and topped with coconut and raw honey.



Well, that was my day in a nutshell! I feel pretty good about my food choices most days. I am pretty snacky so I try to keep my meals on the lighter side.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Paleo Pregnancy - First Trimester Recap and Paleo Living Magazine Subscription Giveaway!


As I sit on the couch with my ever-growing belly, reflecting on the first few months of my pregnancy, I definitely have some mixed feelings. It was a miraculous blessing to learn we were going to bring a baby into this world, but I felt less than stellar for most of those first few months...that detracted a bit from the whole glowing, miracle on Earth thing. Today, I want to share my reflections on my diet, exercise, energy levels and overall feelings during the first trimester. But first, a little background...

Kevin and I made the decision to have a baby (as if one has total control over these things) in November 2011. I threw out my remaining packs of birth control and by Christmas, I was pregnant. A few days after learning I was pregnant, though, we lost the baby. It was very early in the pregnancy, but that did nothing to ease the pain. We had already started to think of ourselves as parents and all of the changes we were about to endure. It was difficult for both Kevin and myself, but after letting ourselves have some time to grieve, we knew we still wanted a baby and decided to try again.

Over the coming months, my cycles never returned to normal. 35 days, 45 days, even 60 days - there was no rhyme or reason, which really made me think about the birth control I had been taking for the past ten years. Maybe my body's natural cycle is not a perfect 28 days. I was putting these unnatural hormones into my body for so long, just to make my life more predictable, with no thought to the real effects they could be having. I know some of the irregularity could be a result of the miscarriage, but after having the time to really think about it, I know that I will not be ingesting those hormones again. We avoid hormones in the food we eat, why would I willingly take a little pill every morning just to pump my body full of them?

Fast forward to the third week in September 2012. I took two pregnancy tests with lines that were fainter than faint. So we went the digital route and there was no guessing there, it flashed "Pregnant" loud and clear within a few short minutes. We were beyond excited, but it was hard not to worry that the past would repeat itself. I so badly wanted this baby to be healthy and with each passing day I tried to accept that it was out of my control and feeling anything but happiness and excitement wasn't going to get me anywhere.


What WAS in my control was how I cared for my growing baby. By that time, Kevin and I had been following a Paleo way of eating for over a year and I was so grateful that we were giving our baby the chance at a clean, nutritious, whole foods diet from the very start! I am really glad that we made the decision to eat this way before we ever made the decision to have children. Once I learned I was pregnant, I thought even more about what I was putting into my body because it wasn't just affecting me, it was also affecting my baby's development. I spoke with my midwife about my Paleo diet and she let me know that as long as I was eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies and protein that my baby and I would be getting all the nutrients we need. That was easier said than done, however, when morning sickness reared its ugly head in the sixth week...


I ate practically like clockwork - almost every hour, on the hour. Keeping a bit of food in my stomach was one of the only things that seemed to help the sick feeling. The mere thought of most of my favorite foods made me nauseous so I ate the same three or four weird meals and snacks for weeks. An example: Trader Joe's broccoli and carrot slaw mixed with salsa, sun dried tomatoes and cut up Applegate Farm's hotdogs. I ate this almost daily. Now, I can't even look at those hot dogs. Hey, at least it wasn't a quarter pounder with fries and a milkshake! 


My constant nausea, along with the extreme exhaustion, also had a major impact on my workouts. I just did what I could, though, and tried not to beat myself up over it. I worked out in the evenings when I couldn't drag myself out of bed at 5:00am and if I missed a workout because I wanted to sleep, I knew it was what my body needed. Before hitting the gym, I talked to my midwife and she advised me that anything I was doing before pregnancy I should be able to do while pregnant without any problem. I could continue to run, swim, even CrossFit. She told me to listen to my body and find modifications when certain movements became uncomfortable. My body didn't change too much in the first trimester, so I didn't modify much. I took a lot of breaks, drank a lot of water and worked out at a pace/intensity that felt right for me.


During the first trimester, I also experienced some pretty intense cravings. Don't ask Kevin how many times I have asked him if we can just order pizza one time or if he ever wants to have one DQ Blizzard before the baby gets here because he has probably lost count. Luckily, he is super supportive and gave me the strength I needed to resist those cravings when they came a knockin'. I did come up with some a passable swap for vanilla ice cream and one of my biggest cravings has been eggs so that one is good to go.


After speaking with my midwife and other moms or moms-to-be, I learned that the first trimester is all about one thing...survival. You may not be able to eat your favorite foods, workout like you used to or peel yourself off the couch to clean the house, but there is a light on the other side of the tunnel. Just do what you can to get through - you still have plenty of time to take care of yourself and your little one. Now that I am into my second trimester, I am full of energy and my appetite is most definitely back on track.


What I did love about the first trimester was that first ultrasound when we were able to see and hear our baby's heart beating. I loved seeing my growing belly and hearing the heartbeat again at every doctor's appointment. I love being able to share this journey with everyone in hopes that it will help other future mommies out there! 


An unexpected surprise was the opportunity to write about my pregnancy in Paleo Living Magazine!! My first article was about surviving the first trimester while sticking to my Paleo approach to eating. I plan to continue writing for them throughout my pregnancy (and hopefully beyond) to let others know that it is possible to resist the mac n' cheese and feed your baby nourishing, whole foods that promote optimal development. You can check out Paleo Living Magazine on Facebook or click here to sign up for a monthly subscription and read the full article. 

Paleo Living Magazine was kind enough to give me a few FREE 3-Month Subscription codes to give away to my readers.

If you would like a code, just leave me a comment in this post and be sure to include your email address. I'll email you with the link!



Friday, January 4, 2013

Jamaican Curry Mahi Mahi with Onions and Peppers

My mom went to the Grand Cayman Islands and all I got was this lousy Jamaican Curry Powder!


Just kidding - I just thought that sounded like a t-shirt. Actually, the curry powder was amazing. As soon as I inhaled this exotic, fragrant curry powder, I knew I needed to figure out a way to use it ASAP.

Now this isn't your run of the mill curry powder from the spice aisle at your local grocery store. This is the brand that I used. The ingredients were Turmeric, Coriander, Foenugreek, Salt, Cumin, Allspice, Pepper and Garlic. I turned to Google to figure out what in the world Foenugreek was, and learned that it is a plant whose leaves are often used for cooking in countries such as Turkey, Nepal and Spain. I would suggest visiting a local International foods market or a fancy spice shop to find a similar curry powder.

We happened to have some Mahi Mahi at home from Trader Joe's so I tossed the Mahi with a couple tablespoons of the curry powder and sauteed it in coconut oil along with some cabbage, peppers and onions. I am obsessed with avocado, so I served it up with some sliced avocado on the side.

Wow! My house smelled amazing and the meal tasted just as good!

On a totally random side note, I have been writing for an awesome local publication, Southern Indiana Fitness Source. The latest issue is currently available online, including my article on sticking to your New Year's resolutions...whatever they may be. Check it out by clicking here. Coach Case from Clark Floyd CrossFit also writes for the magazine and his article this month was on training during pregnancy. He even included a few tips from yours truly! Read his article, "Training for Two".


Jamaican Curry Mahi Mahi with Onions and Peppers
Serves: 3-4
Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients
1 lb Mahi Mahi filets, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp Jamaican Curry Powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small white onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup cabbage
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, sliced

Directions
Place cubed Mahi Mahi and 1/2 curry powder into a large freezer bag. Shake it all up to evenly coat fish with curry powder.

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Once oil is melted, add onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent, stirring often.

Add peppers and cabbage to skillet and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add Mahi Mahi and remaining spices to skillet. Stir well to mix curry powder with vegetables. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until fish is cooked through.

Serve it all up with a side of sliced avocado.