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Chocolate Almond and Coconut Bark

8 May

Chocolate Bark!

This is a yummy recipe I’ve adopted from Mark Sisson’s Quick and Easy Meals. I’ve played around with portions and added butter to make this a bit more fudge like in texture. The great thing about this recipe is its flexibility and forgiveness. Feel free to play around with proportions, etc. Maybe even throw in some dehydrated fruit. I think strawberries or blue berries would be awesome!

Ingredients

Recipe (Double batch)

8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate (I use at least 65%)
1/2 c. Coconut oil
1/2 c. butter (room temperature)
1 c. Sliced almonds
1 c. Coconut flakes
1 tsp. Coarse sea salt

Directions: Using a double boiler is the best way to melt the chocolate, butter and coconut oil, but since I don’t have one, I make due with a small sauce pan on medium to medium-low heat. The trick is to start with the coconut oil, as it melts, add the chocolate. Make sure you stir constantly so the chocolate doesn’t burn. When the chocolate is almost completely melted, add the butter. Again, keep string. Once everything is melted, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the almonds and coconut flakes.

Pour batter into a 13×9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Evenly spread out the batter, sprinkle with coarse sea salt (the salt REALLY makes this dessert! So don’t skip it!)

Put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes until hard. Cut into squares and serve! Makes about 20-25 squares.

coconut flax basic bread

28 Mar

Eating grain free is hard. Sometimes I just want a warm soft hunk of bread. (I’m drooling just thinking about it…) Well, for all you grain free (gluten intolerant) people out there, this is your bread!

Coconut Flax Bread

This is by far the best grain/gluten free basic bread I’ve ever had. SO yummy, especially smothered in butter. It goes well with pretty much everything, from soup to served as dessert – piled high with berries and homemade whipped cream. On top of its tastiness, the recipe is straight forward and easy. Try it and let me know what you think!

I found this recipe at Joyful Abode, check out her other awesome recipes!

Coconut Flax Basic bread Recipe

  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 cup flax seeds, ground and sifted (I discarded the hulls that wouldn’t sift through)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 10 eggs (yeah, here’s the high-protein part)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together flour, flax, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, yogurt, and vinegar.

Pour  the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition (I did about 3-4 “rounds” of adding dry ingredients).

Pour into a greased loaf pan, and bake 50 minutes. (Probably longer if you are using a smaller loaf pan so your bread is “deeper”.)

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cutting board. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

 

I made this bread along with stew for dinner tonight. Hit the spot!

a slice of goodness

 

time for dinner!

fried eggplant

25 Mar

gluten free fried eggplant

 

I can’t really take credit for this recipe, I found it here. (Definitely check out their blog, I’ve found some tasty ideas over there!)  This is now one of both Abe and my favorite appetizers. Seeing I don’t eat gluten, or many grains for that matter, it is hard to find good alternatives to deep fried goodness.

Recipe

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or lard (I like coconut the best)
  • Salt
  • Paleo Breadcrumbs (see recipe below)

Directions: In a bowl, beat eggs. Slice eggplant 1/8 inch thick. In a skillet (cast-iron if you have one) melt oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, dip eggplant pieces in egg, getting them thoroughly coated and then drop them in the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are well dusted. Place breaded eggplant in hot oil. I can usually fit four to five round pieces of eggplant in at a time. Fry on each side until golden brown. Serve with a side of mustard, horseradish and ketchup.

Paleo Breadcrumbs Recipe

  • 1 cup Almond Flour or Coconut flour (I usually use Coconut flour)
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Cheese (Parmesan works great too!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons dried Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sea Salt

Direction: Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.

rainy day soup

25 Mar

butternut squash soup

I actually made this yesterday. It seemed appropriate to make warm soup on such a cold rainy day.

Recipe*

1 Medium Butternut Squash
1/4 C Heavy Cream
4-5 TBS Butter
1 C Full-fat Milk
Cinnamon to taste
Touch of Cayenne Pepper, Cumin and Coriander
Salt

Directions: Halve and place squash face down in large baking dish. Cover the bottom of dish with water. Bake at 350 until soft (usually about 35 minutes or so). Let the squash cool a bit and then remove skin. I do this with a peeler, but whatever works for you. Using a wand blender (my fav) or food processor mix squash, butter, cream and milk until there are no lumps. Add extra milk if it seems too thick, we are going for a soup consistency! Once blended, pour contents into a sauce pan, warm over medium low heat. Add spices and salt to taste. Serve with a dash of cinnamon!

*I cook using the eyeball method!

food and exercise goal reflection

26 Jan

It’s almost the end of January!!!

I’ve been pretty good about exercising everyday. One of the ways I find that helps a lot is making my goal to motivate Abe to exercise…for some reason getting myself to exercise is much easier if I have to motivate him to do it too. So on that level, doing pretty good! I can tell just this month I’m getting stronger.

The most important muscle we can work is our consistance muscle. Bekah and I talked about this just the other day. How setting little goals that are totally achievable is better than setting bigger goals and only meeting them sometimes. For example, it would be better to set a goal to workout everyday by going to the gym, etc. But then, set a “minimum” goal such as, I have to do at LEAST 10 girly push ups, or 10 squats a day. And you need to recognize this as a legitimate goal. Not say to yourself, yeah this is my minimum but I SHOULD do more, blah blah blah, cause then it isn’t a real goal. Setting doable “minimum” goals allows you to build that important consistance muscle. When you are crawling into bed and you’re like, “shit, I didn’t workout again today”….or when you get home from school or work and you are exhausted and feel like shit, you know you can do your minimum for the day. You can do 10 push ups in less than a minute. And THAT, that consistance is more important than three 1 hour workouts at the gym a week. Why? Because meeting a minimum is building that habit into your brain that exercise is important and part of your EVERYDAY life, not just something that happens when you feel like it or on special occasions.

I think for the month of Febuary we should make the challenge to work on goal setting. February will be about learning the best way to set goals for YOU.

Anyway. Foodwise I’ve cleaned some things up in my diet this month. I have IBS which can be very debilitating at times. Last summer I often had to leave work early because I was so sick. I also had issues with depression (common with IBS) and other wonderful issues. Well, since I started eating a more traditional/paleo diet and focusing on reculturing my gut, most of my symptoms have gone away. I had an “episode” this month though and I was instantly horrible depressed. When I have problems I feel very helpless and down because I can’t always figure out why I have symptoms sometimes and not others. usually when I have an episode it lasts at least a week. This time I decided to try eliminating dairy from my diet because I’d not tried that before. I don’t eat a lot of dairy but I had been having a latte almost everyday the week before I started having problems. Plus I was eating heavy cream and other yummy dairy products. So, I stopped the dairy and BANG! my symptoms were gone the next day. It was amazing!!! I waited a few days to see if it was for real or just my imagination, but so far so good, still symptom free! This is sad though, it means I need to be much more careful with dairy than I thought I needed too. But hey, it’s worth it to feel good.

make your own health and workout journal

18 Jan

What you need:

– 1 large Moleskine or a cheap knockoff (I got my knockoff at Borders)

– Post-it tabs

– pen (that won’t bleed through the pages)

– ruler or something with a straight edge

– a pair of sissor

– coloring pencils or highlighters

– glue stick

-time…..

I also printed out and used a number of templets from MyMoleskine You do have to create a user account to access the templates but it is well worth it. They have a number of fun things you can use to make your health and workout journal more effective. I used the “English Wellness Journal Template” as well as the “Horizontal Planning Templates” in my journal. I just printed, trimmed and then glued the templates into my journal. Take a peek around and see what you think is useful.

Here is the structure and “outline” of my Health and Workout Journal:

Tabs:

  • Notes
    • Body Measurements
    • Warm up/cool down ideas
    • Workout ideas
    • (extra pages and space for other stuff I might want to “note”)
  • General Health
    • Vitamins and Supplements
    • General comments on health issues concerns
  • Goals
    • Yearly Goals
      • What I hope to accomplish by next year….
    • 6 month goals
      • what I hope to accomplish in 6 months..
    • Montly goals
  • Workouts
    • Each week gets four face pages. The first and second page has a section for weekly goals, notes and Monday, Tuesday and Wed. The third and forth page are dedicated to Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday workouts.
  • Sports
    • Here I can record events I’ve participated in, such as 5k races, etc.

You can get really creative with this and paste pictures, inspirational notes and all that fun stuff in your journal. Really the possiblities are endless. I had a lot of fun making this workout journal and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It is exactly what I wanted because I created it.

Do you miss pasta?

8 Jan

Here’s the cure!

spaghetti squash!

Spaghetti squash! This was dinner. Hit’s the spot every time.