Thursday, November 15, 2012


I have a lot to be thankful for: my awesome husband and children, the rest of my family and friends, our health, and our overall lack of major worries (although Dave would claim that he has enough worries for the both of us). In addition to reflecting on what I am thankful for, I am thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. I thought I'd post the foods that I am preparing for our dinner next week. Every recipe can be prepared in advance, making your turkey day a whole lot more relaxing!

This year, as in years past, my mom and I will take care of most of the main course foods, while the rest of my family contributes appetizers, desserts, and salad. I'm not one of those people who can say, "Just bring whatever." Neither is my mom. We get together in October, go over notes from last year, determine our menu, and then make our specific requests of those who are joining us. Thanksgiving is also a day I indulge in one of my favorite sides: my mom's whipped potatoes. They are not paleo since they include some dairy, BUT they are the best darn potatoes I have ever had. And I'm never sorry for eating them. If you can tolerate dairy, they are SO worth it!

I just received my turkey delivery today from Door to Door Organics. It will take a week to thaw so it will live in the refrigerator until I prep it on Wednesday. I may post a turkey recipe later, but for now, here's a link to the basic instructions I use to  cook a perfect turkey: howtocookathanksgivingturkey.

I hope to update my photos this year, but today you'll have to imagine that these photos are actually really good :). Have a joyful week!

Shopping List for This Meal Plan

Chorizo Stuffed Dates Wrapped In Bacon

Mandarin Orange Salad

Cranberry Sauce (coming soon)

Baked Whipped Potatoes

Paleo Sausage Stuffing

Pumpkin Pie

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I cooked my first-ever batch of fresh pumpkin a few days ago and have been whittling my way through it making some great fall recipes. This one is delicious! Just the right balance of warm, sweet, and spicy. The cake comes together quickly with the help of pumpkin that’s already prepared, whether fresh or in a can. I had some leftover coconut cream frosting in the refrigerator so I put that on top, but it is just as good plain. I made the cake in a 9×9 pan, but you could also pour the batter into a loaf pan or cupcake tins. Aly really liked these. She had three bars for her after-school snack. Because they have no nuts, I will be able to send them to school with her. Enjoy!
Adapted from
Makes 20 bars.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
6 pastured eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree or fresh roasted pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 9x9 cake pan by coating it lightly with coconut oil.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a food processor.
  5. Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan. (Batter will be thick.)
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the enter comes out clean.
  8. Let cool before cutting.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Every time I have a yearning for something sweet or when I'm just in a baking mood (like today), I consider my arsenal of baking vessels. Should I use a sheet pan, brownie pan, tart pan, muffin or mini muffin pan? More often than not, I turn to my brownie bite pan for treats. I love it because its silicone and everything usually pops out without any effort at all. And considering just about every paleo treat is still a cheat, the size of these treats limits my cheating to a more acceptable level. That's assuming I have the willpower to stop at one...or even two. Bite-sized treats also give me a better negotiating tool when my kids ask for more than one. It's way easier for me to be generous with them.

I have been trying to incorporate more coconut flour in my baking since I am a self-admitted nut addict and know it's not good to consume too many nuts. So here's my go at pumpkin bites with absolutely no nut products. The texture is like a firm pumpkin pie. These are great topped with creamy cinnamon frosting. Enjoy this delicious fall treat!

Makes 48 bite-sized treats.

1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
6 large pastured eggs, room temperature*
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, set them in a bowl of warm tap water for about 5 minutes.

Makes 48 mini muffins or bite-sized treats, with enough leftover for 2 full-sized muffins.

I love my brownie bite pans!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, or combine in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer or whisk to combine.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Scoop mixture into bite pan or mini muffin tins lightly greased with coconut oil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely in bite pan. If you are not using a silicone pan, let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Friday, October 12, 2012

No-Cheat Chocolate Macadamia Bark

Sometimes I have a craving for chocolate but don't want any sugar. A while back when I was doing a sugar detox, my friend Michael introduced me to Sunspire baking bars as a great 100 percent chocolate bar for munching on. Other chocolate bars I've tried were super bitter, but the Sunpire bars are nice and smooth. I am happy to say that I still enjoy these bars post detox...but sometimes I need a little more. I decided to add my favorite craving squelcher, coconut butter, to sweeten it up a bit. I have a teaspoon of Nutiva Coconut Manna each morning before my early WODs and I love it. In fact, I was surprised it was allowed during a detox or Whole 30 because it tastes perfectly sweet to me. Then I added macadamia nuts and sea salt for good measure. What I ended up with is a yummy treat with no guilt. I could have eaten the whole pan, but I restrained myself to a couple of good-sized chunks. I have also made this recipe with a little bit of unsweetened coconut and some dried unsweetened cherries--delicious. You could definitely substitute your favorite kind of nuts. This has become my new go-to dessert. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Store the leftovers, if there are any, in the refrigerator.

1 4-ounce Sunspire 100 percent chocolate baking bar
1/2 cup coconut butter (I use Nutiva Coconut Manna.)
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt

optional mix-ins: 1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried cherries, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

  1. Combine chocolate and coconut butter in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of boiling water.
  2. Heat until melted and thoroughly combined.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in macadamia nuts.
  4. Line the bottom and sides of a pan with waxed paper. Pour chocolate mixture into the pan.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Place in freezer for 45 minutes or until hardened.
  7. Break up the chocolate and enjoy this no-cheat treat!
  8. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meal Plan 46

Easy Crock Pot Meals

I am on a huge crock pot kick these days and have been experimenting with recipes that are outside of the ordinary. These are some of my favorite crock pot meals that are surprisingly delicious, considering how little work goes into most of them. This week, try using your crock pot each day and see how much it simplifies your life. If you don't have a crock pot, these can be adapted to cook in the oven...but crock pots are not that big of an investment. I recommend you pick one up today!

I want to give a shout out today to all those competing it Fitoberfest at CrossFit Freedom this weekend.  If you want some great ideas for take-along foods, check out my earlier post Game On: Take-Along Paleo Fuel to Keep You Strong. I'll be volunteering at the check-in desk Saturday morning, so stop by and say hello! Good luck!

Shopping List for This Meal Plan

Filipino Adobo Chicken Thighs

Beef and Butternut Squash Tagine

Crock Pot Barbecue Ribs

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Beef Pot Roast with Yams