Category Archives: Paleo

Gluten Free Low Calorie Paleo Recipes Vegetarian

Low Cal Snack – Dried Tomato

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dried tomato recipe

Juicy tomatoes ready to become tomaisins.

When I’m running errands I don’t like to stop for lunch. I prefer to pack up a baggie or two with veggies and/or fruit. Recently I’ve been running a lot of errands and getting tired of carrot and celery sticks so I thought I’d try making up a few low cal snacks that I can toss in my bag and eat just as easily as my unimaginative veggie sticks.

First up are these dried tomatoes. Super easy. I cut organic grape tomatoes in half, sprinkled with salt and placed on a dehydrator tray. I dried them at 115 degrees so I could keep these raw but you can dry them at any temp that you like. In fact I started drying these later in the day and before I went to sleep I turned the dehydrator down as low as it would go so they could keep drying but not get over-dried while I slept. The next morning I turned the dehyrdrator back up to 115 and a few hours later my tomatoes were now tomaisins.

Note: I like to take half the tomatoes out when they’re at the chewy stage and then keep dehydrating the rest until they’re chewy crisp.

$$$avers Gluten Free Paleo Tips

12 Healthy Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkin Puree

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how to use leftover canned pumpkin puree

Not all recipes call for two cups of pumpkin. How annoying is that? The last time I was left with pumpkin in the can I decided to use the rest of the pumpkin throughout the week and I came up with twelve delicious ways to use  leftover pumpkin puree. I came up with a few full on recipes which will be in my gluten-free and Paleo cookbooks but I did want to share with you all some quick and easy ways to use leftover pumpkin.

Note: I’m talking about plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which has seasoning and loads of sugar added.

Chili: add one tablespoon per cup to any chili, canned or home made.

Tomato Soup: add a tablespoon of pumpkin to each cup of tomato soup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: I could tell you to stir a tablespoon or two along with a large pinch of pumpkin pie spice into your latte (and you can) but if you’re really into Pumpkin Spice Lattes and especially if you’re hooked on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes you’ll want to check out this recipe from Eating Bird Food. I love that this recipe is so healthy. I can feel even better about not standing in line at Starbucks.

Fruit Smoothie: add a tablespoon or two to a fruit smoothie. Pumpkin goes especially well with apple, peach, or pear smoothies. Add some ginger or pumpkin pie spice for a holiday flavor.

Pumpkin Creamer: Sally’s Baking Addiction has a seriously awesome recipe with vegan options.

Pumpkin Pancakes or Waffles: stir up to 1/2 cup pumpkin into your pancake or waffle batter.

Pumpkin Pudding: mix 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup pumpkin into 1 cup of cream cheese, Neufchatel cheese, or mascarpone cheese. Sweeten with your choice of sweetener and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Nut Butter: mix up to 1/4 cup pumpkin with 1 cup nut butter. Use as is or sweeten to taste with honey, maple syrup or your sweetener of choice.

Pumpkin Hummus: stir some pumpkin into hummus.

Pumpkin Oatmeal: add a tablespoon or two to your morning oatmeal.

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese: stir up to 1/4 cup pumpkin into your kiddos’ mac n cheese.

Replace eggs and oil in baked goods: You can replace both eggs and oil with a 1:1 ratio of pumpkin when making brownies, bars, and cakes. For instance if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter you can replace it with 1 cup of pumpkin. If a recipe calls for 4 eggs you can replace them with 1/4 pumpkin for each egg. You can even replace all of both the eggs and oil. You won’t get a strong pumpkin taste and if its a chocolate recipe you won’t taste it at all.

 

That’s all that I came up with this week and I’m not even slightly pumkinned out I’ll be adding pumpkin to lots of things over the next few weeks. I’d love to hear how you all use leftover pumpkin.

Gluten Free High Protein Kid Friendly Low Carb Paleo Recipes

The Easiest Tastiest Breakfast EVER!

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egg-cups

I don’t know about you but I DO NOT WANT to spend any time in the kitchen in the morning, yet I’m not really into the usual suspects on the instant breakfast train – cold cereal with milk, instant oatmeal? No thank you. So I decided that it would be worth it to spend some time developing a make-ahead breakfast that I would actually look forward to. Enter the Egg Cup in all it’s many variations.

I started with a simple scrambled egg base which I can make up in big batches and then add different ingredients so that I’m not eating the same thing every morning. In one hour I can make up enough egg cups to keep me happy for a month! Now if you don’t think that’s the easiest breakfast EVER then you can go back to your bowl of cold cereal.

Each of the filling recipes makes enough for 6 cups.

 

Large Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 29 egg cups.

15 large eggs (in my house these are going to be pasture raised organic eggs)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or heavy cream

1 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 29 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 24 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Small Batch Egg Cup Base

Makes 12 egg cups.

5 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a blender or large bowl with a pouring spout whisk everything together until well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 12 muffin cups or cook in smaller batches.

Place the filling ingredients for whichever type of egg cup you’re making into the oiled muffin cups. If you’re able to work with 12 cups at once then you can easily divide the egg base evenly among the cups. If you’re working in smaller batches then pour in enough of the egg base to fill about 3/4 of each cup.

 

Smoked Salmon Cups

This makes enough for 6 egg cups.

3 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1 inch squares

3 ounces mascarpone, Neufchatel, or cream cheese, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

I don’t like to add another bowl to wash to my task list so I just divide the ingredients evenly amongst the muffin cups, however if you’re making more than six Salmon Cups it would probably be easier to mix all ingredients in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.  Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Chorizo Cups

4 ounces chorizo, crumbled

1/4 cup diced roasted green chili, or roasted red or green bell pepper

1/2 cup cheddar, Jack, or pepper Jack, shredded

1/4 cup drained salsa

Divide ingredients individually or mix in a bowl and then divide amongst the muffin cups.   Top with egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

 

Mushroom Cups

1/2 cup diced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup shredded white semi-soft cheese such as jack, Havarti, mozzarella, gouda …

Heat a small pan over medium high heat. When hot swirl some cooking oil into the pan. Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until al dente. Divide vegetables among muffin cups, topping with shredded cheese and then egg base either evenly divided among the cups or filled to 3/4 of the cup. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until egg is puffed and golden.

Remove from pan and serve or cool, pack in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month.

Gluten Free Low Carb Paleo

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

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bacon-wrapped-pork

This is one of the recipes from “14 Days – 14 Pounds – Phase 2 Low Carb Menus with Recipes”.

Everything’s better with bacon, don’t you agree? Really I could have just made this book a series of meat wrapped with bacon with sides of veggies wrapped in bacon and we would have all been happy.

When wrapping something in bacon be sure to use pork bacon, not turkey bacon. You need the fat and flexibility of the pork. Believe me, I’ve tried to make turkey bacon work and it just doesn’t. It really doesn’t.

Ingredients

1-pound pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon steak seasoning

3 bacon slices, cut in half crosswise

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°.

Lightly oil a wire rack and set inside a foil-lined roasting pan.

Remove the silver skin from the tenderloin, leaving the thin layer of fat. Sprinkle seasoning over pork on both sides. I find it works well to sprinkle half the seasoning on a plate and lay the tenderloin on top of the seasoning. Then sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top of the pork. Pat the pork to press the seasoning into it. Wrap pork with bacon and secure with wooden picks. Place pork on wire rack in roasting pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 155 degrees. Once it reaches 155 degrees, increase oven temperature to broil. Broil 5 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven; cover with foil, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 4 portions.

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo

Sicilian Pork Tenderloin

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garlic-pork

This recipe is for two pork tenderloins but is easy to multiply to make as many pork tenderloins as you need. I’ve often made up a quadruple batch and frozen three portions to cook up later.

Ingredients

two 1 & 1/2 pound pork tenderloin

4 minced cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

sea salt

black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut several 1/2 inch deep slits into each pork tenderloin.

In a small bowl mix remaining ingredients. Stuff the garlic mixture into the slits. Season each tenderloin with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Oil a foil lined baking pan, casserole dish, or cast iron baking pan. Place tenderloins in pan and roast for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 145 degrees F.

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo Recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Mole

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mole-stew

This slow cooker dish is so satisfying on a cold winter night. Put everything together after lunch and you’re kitchen will smell amazing by dinner time. Whoever thought of putting chocolate and beef together deserves to take a bow to a standing ovation and come back for an encore. Mole is generally a complicated and time consuming process; this is a pared down version that still has a rich and complex flavor. I especially love that there’s no need to brown the beef prior to adding to the slow cooker.

Ingredients

4 cups beef or veal broth

2 tablespoons diced jalapenos or smoked chipotle peppers

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup chopped onions

2 tablespoons taco or fajita seasoning mix

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Instructions

In a five quart slow cooker stir together broth, jalapeno, tomato paste, garlic, seasoning, oregano, chile powder, and cinnamon. Add beef and onion and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. Add the chocolate during the last hour of cooking.

Before serving, stir and garnish with your favorite taco toppings.

Note: I served this dish at a Mexican themed potluck, which is why you see white flour tortillas in the background.

Gluten Free Low Calorie Low Carb Paleo Vegetarian

Caulitillas – The Low Carb, Gluten Free, Paleo, Grain Free Tortilla

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cauliflower-tortilla

I didn’t invent this recipe, although I have improved it, expanded it, varied it, twisted it and generally taken it to outer space and back.

I never liked the extra work of wringing out the hot cauliflower. I always burned my hands, the cloth I used had bits of cauliflower clinging to it and consequently I had a mess to clean up just from the process of wringing the water out of the cauliflower. So I add 1 tablespoon coconut flour for every head of cooked cauliflower. It sops up the water and doesn’t affect the taste or the texture. Don’t you love a simple solution?

If you don’t have cooked riced cauliflower on hand, then after ricing an entire head of cauliflower place it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 2 more minutes. Let cool enough so that it doesn’t cook the egg when you stir it in.

If you don’t know how to make riced cauliflower it’s really easy. Just trim and cut a head of cauliflower into florets. Cut the florets in half so that each piece is no bigger than 1 inch square. Place half the florets in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine texture similar to bread crumbs. Dump into a microwave safe bowl and pulse the other half of the cauliflower.

Save the cauliflower stump to make a salad. Just shred it on a box grater into a bowl. Use your hands to wring out the water and mix it use it in place of shredded cabbage in a salad.

Some readers have asked if they can substitute almond flour for the coconut flour and the answer is no. The almond meal won’t absorb the water. I haven’t tried using soy flour, tapioca starch or arrowroot flour but I assume they would work fine.

Caulitillas can be used in place of lasagna noodles, corn tortillas when making enchilidas, as taco shells, for quesadillas, with a little cinnamon and sugar as pancakes, as bread for a grilled cheese sandwich. They are almost endlessly versatile. Try adding herbs and spices for a different flavor experience. I’ll suggest a few but you really can’t go wrong adding whatever seasoning you like to these.

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon taco or fajita seasoning

1 teaspoon cumin or mix of cumin and coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon lemon, lime or orange zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of stevia or monk fruit

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

pinch cayenne pepper or chili flakes

1 teaspoon oregano

up to ½ cup fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, sage, mint or dill

If after making this the first time it has too much of a cauliflower taste, you can add up to 2 cups of shredded cheese to the recipe.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower riced and cooked

2 eggs

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon coconut flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together warm or cold cauliflower, eggs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Use a quarter or half cup to scoop out onto parchment paper. Use your hands to pat each portion into a thin circle. They can be anywhere from so thin you can almost see through them to ¼ inch thick.

Place in oven for eight to ten minutes, until the underside is cooked enough that you can carefully peel them from the parchment paper and flip them. Return to the oven for five minutes. Remove from oven and do one of three things: cool and store in fridge or freezer with squares of parchment paper between them, or if you’ll be using them right away, lightly oil a heavy bottomed skillet set over medium high heat and cook the tortillas until the outside is browned and slightly crispy. Turn and brown the other side. No matter how you store them, be sure to brown them before eating them. You could also brown them before storing them in the fridge or freezer.

Gluten Free High Protein Low Carb Paleo

Florina Pork & Squash

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steak-zucchini

This is a quick one pan meal that you can serve with a green salad or if feeding friends or family that aren’t eating low carb, Paleo or gluten free you can serve it up with pasta, brown rice, or rolls.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cooking oil

8 pork cutlets (about 1 ½ pounds)

sea salt and black pepper

2 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Instructions

Place each cutlet in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet or heavy pan until ¼ inch thick.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook the pork until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

While the pork is cooking heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, zucchini, shallots, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the olives, parsley, and vinegar to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve the pork topped with the vegetable mixture.

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Pumpkin Spiced Almonds

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spiced-nuts2It’s a hot day here in Southern California, although that’s probably the equivalent of saying “pizza pie”, isn’t it? Anway, I was itching to get into the kitchen but the heat was zapping my energy so I settled for something quick and easy and for me that means – no measuring. Hopefully you all will be able to appreciate how easy it is to cook to your own taste without measuring exact amounts or ingredients.

I’d roasted a Delicata squash the other night and had saved the seeds. I’d given them a rinse and rubbed them to remove the squash goo, but had put them wet into a little container and refrigerated them. So the first step was to dry toast them.

I placed the seeds in a cast iron pan on the burner and heated it to medium. I stirred them occasionally and when they were no longer wet I added some nuts that I had soaked and dried last week. So in went pecans, almonds, and cashews. I continued toasting everything, stirring occasionally until the Delicata seeds started to pop.

I swirled in a little coconut oil, then stirred in a small handful of pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of sea salt and a couple pinches of monk fruit (sweetener). You could really use any sweetener that you have on hand, stevia, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rapadura, sucanat … and continued stirring occasionally for five minutes. I removed a couple of nuts. Let them cool, then tasted them and adjusted the seasoning. When I liked the seasoning I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the nuts to cool before packing them in a glass jar and storing in the fridge.

Then I read that a Penn State study had determined that eating 35 almonds a day resulted in a 1/4 cup loss of fat around the belly. One more reason to enjoy these almonds :)

Gluten Free Living Food Low Calorie Neutral Paleo Recipes Vegan Vegetarian

Bacon Eggplant Jerky – Paleo, Vegan, & Gluten Free

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eggplant jerky recipe

You can find various recipes for eggplant jerky all over the Internet. I don’t claim to have invented this one, but I do believe that I’ve worked to make it as simple and tasty as possible while giving you easy ways to alter it according to your own diet or taste preferences. There are so many ways you can change up this recipe within a certain framework that will still  end up with the chewiness of jerky and tasting like bacon.

Start with an eggplant that has a smooth and shiny skin. While I don’t like to remove the peel, its so full of nutrition and honestly, its one more step to get to the end result, but I do prefer this without the skin. My compromise is to slice it so that not every piece has skin attached to it. In the end the few pieces which were mostly all skin were the crispiest.

I tried to use a mandoline, as well as a food processor to slice it but that was a complete fail – a combination of the tough skin and the sponginess of the flesh. I tried peeling it and running it across the mandoline but the spongy flesh still fouled up the process, so out came my favorite chef’s knife and my bamboo cutting board and three minutes later I had a pile of bacon shaped pieces of eggplant. Well really you wouldn’t have thought they looked like bacon at this point, but since I knew where I was going with this, it was already starting to look like bacon to me. Do you think that positive thinking helps in the kitchen?  I do. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling less than confident or unexcited about a new recipe it often turns out badly.

In the interest of making the recipe as simple as possible I used a Tandori spice mixture which has paprika, garlic, and salt. You can use any spice mixture which has a paprika base. I used garlic flavored olive oil, but you can of course use plain olive oil, just be sure it’s extra-virgin. Your taste buds will thank you. And I used balsamic vinegar because I love the rich flavor, but you can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer. I didn’t use black pepper but if you want to add some be sure it’s freshly ground.

I like my version of the marinade because you don’t get a lot of runoff like many of the recipes I found on the Internet. You don’t get oil dripping off into your dehydrator and you don’t have to use towels to sop up the oil after dehydrating them. Still I think my recipe would be better with a little more oil. Flavor-wise, it won’t matter much, but it will help the jerky to be a little less dry.

All of the recipes tell you to mix up the marinade, pour it over the eggplant, and stir to coat. That really doesn’t work very well when you’re working with what is basically a vegetable sponge. The first few slices soak up all the marinade and then you have to press on them to release enough marinade to coat the other slices which still don’t get evenly coated with the marinadde. So I covered the bottom of my bowl with a thin layer of marinade. Placed half the eggplant slices in the bowl, drizzled with half the marinade, added the rest of the eggplant, the rest of the marinade and tossed to coat.

I dehydrated my first batch for 12 hours and while I liked the end result, there were a few pieces which weren’t as dry which I liked even more. So my next batch will go for maybe 8 hours.

Ingredients

2 large eggplant

1/2 cup coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional

Instructions

Trim the bottom and top from the eggplant. Discard.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Stack 4 or 5 rounds and slice into strips.

Place all marinade ingredients in a small jar. Cover and shake well.  Coat the bottom of a large bowl with marinade. Working quickly, place half the eggplant in the bowl, drizzle with half the marinade, the remaining eggplant and then the remaining marinade. Toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but you can leave it there all day or overnight.

Place strips on dehydrator trays being careful not to overlap the slices. Depending on your dehydrator you should have 5 to 6 trays. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 to 12 hours. Take a few pieces out after 6 hours. Let them cool down and see if you like the consistency. If you do then stop the process. If you don’t then let them go for another hour or two and check them again.

And there you have it – your basic recipe for eggplant jerky. The next time I make it I’m going to make the following tweaks to see if I get an even better result:

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

I’m sort of resisting adding the maple syrup because I don’t like to add sugar when it isn’t really needed, but I want to see what happens to this jerky with the addition of the rich amber flavor. I’m also going to use 1 eggplant and 2 medium zucchini. I don’t see why zucchini wouldn’t work and then the tough skin wouldn’t be an issue and it can be easily sliced on the mandoline.

I’ll update this post after trying out the new version. Happy eating!