Basic Recipes & Local Treats

I often turn my nose at the idea of “paleo-izing” items from modern food culture. Bread, brownies, pancakes, noodles… attempting to recreate these items doesn’t allow you to fully change your habits. One of the first rules of new habits: Set yourself up for success. Not failure.

In my head, I either change or don’t change. Eating paleo bread makes me want to choose regular bread when there isn’t a paleo option. While I’m pretty black and white for myself, I understand folks may be easing their way into this lifestyle change or, perhaps, look to such food items for comfort or tradition.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

That said, I’ve been known to bake chocolate chip cookies from time to time. You can find my Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in Paleo Parent‘s first book “Eat Like A Dinosaur” along with an arsenal of approachable go-to’s for families or people with a traditional palate including freezable chicken nuggets, fruit roll ups, waffles and more. I respect their copyright and would encourage you to check out the book for yourself, it’s been one of the most used recipe books in our house! Not to mention, there is a children’s book, their familiar back story of (un)health and an easy-to-read allergy index included on every single page.

Now that I got you all amped up on the idea of a delicious chocolate chip cookie, I’ve got great news for my local friends! Betsy’s Bakery created their first prototype! As soon as I saw their Facebook post about Paleo cookies, I grabbed a kid and headed right over. As the story goes, Betsy has Celiac disease and her bakery is entirely gluten-free! She also has dairy free, vegan and now (the most healthy of all) paleo options!

Betsy's Bakery in Mechanicsburg, PA has recently added a delicious PALEO cookie to their gluten free repertoire.

Betsy’s Bakery in Mechanicsburg, PA has recently added a delicious PALEO cookie to their gluten-free repertoire. Remember to support local commerce for the things you want in your life or don’t complain when it’s lacking.

When we chatted briefly about her chocolate chip cookies, future recipes and marketing to the audience of these sweet morsels, she thought Fridays would be a great day to offer fresh Paleo items. I agreed! As a used-to-be Crossfit’er I know how focused I was during the week, but by Friday it was definitely time for a reward. What better way to celebrate then with a naturally sweetened, protein and (good) fat packed dessert that tastes like a cheat, but isn’t! Remember to refrigerate paleo baked goods – fresh ingredients stay fresher when chilled.

ROASTED VEGETABLES

Paleo eating is easy and shouldn’t overwhelm anyone with ‘how to cook’. I am not, repeat, AM NOT a ‘good cook’. In fact, I didn’t begin really cooking, or understanding how to cook, until I decided to eat paleo. Plants and protein, so EASY. I typically roast or crock pot large proteins, I’ll pan cook smaller portions of proteins, and sauté or roast veggies. The creativity comes in the spice blends, medleys and pairings.

Roasted-Brussels-Sprouts-Carrots-and-Leeks-1.jJPG_.jJPG_-1000x288
To roast veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add a dollop of coconut oil or grass-fed butter to a baking sheet
  3. Place in oven till oil is melted
  4. Toss chopped veggies onto sheet
  5. Season to taste (salt, pepper and garlic are my go-to’s, be as simple or creative as you’d like with your spice)
  6. Toss veggies every 10-15 minutes until desired  – typically around 25-30 minutes for most of my vegetables – the softer the veggie the faster it cooks so I may wait to add onions to a sheet until half way through, etc
After greasing the pan, dip your veggie fries in egg then a blend of coconut & almond flours with preferred seasonings.

After greasing the pan, dip your fry-cut veggies in egg then a blend of coconut & almond flours and preferred seasonings. It’s definitely a special treat in our house. Who has time for dredging?

Alternatively – and a great way to cook ‘fries’ (sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, etc):

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Chop vegetables to even sizing, add to bowl
  3. Pour melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter on top
  4. Season with preferred blend
  5. Mix
  6. Add to baking sheet
  7. Toss every 10-15 minutes until cooked

CHICKEN on the bone

I get asked how I roast my chicken a lot. I forget how something so simple can feel so scary for a new cook. It wasn’t 3 years ago that I cooked less than 10% of the time and now I do most of the cooking/preparing. Paleo food is EASY and that’s the whole point. While I roast/bake most of my chicken the same way (350 and flip/marinate every 20 minutes till cooked – whole birds I flip every 40 minutes) the wings I made for dinner tonight were too good not to share. I only regret I didn’t take a snapshot, but they were gone before I gave it a thought. Moist and crispy. They were a flavor so delicious the whole family enjoyed them.

I bake my wings and other chicken parts atop a cookie cooling rack, over tin foil on a baking sheet. Sophisticated.

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place wings on rack apparatus mentioned above, or something similar
  3. Brush with coconut oil or grass-fed butter
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Savory Spice Shop‘s Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning: Hickory smoke salt, Hungarian and California paprika, roasted garlic, toasted onion, black pepper, hickory smoke flavoring and oregano OR ANY OTHER SPICE/MARINADE YOU CONJURE UP
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Flip wings and repeat steps 3, 4 then 5
  7. When timer goes off the 2nd time, flip wings as you place them onto the tin foil covered baking sheet
  8. Wrap wings – I use an additional piece of foil for leaking and insulation – place in oven
  9. Turn heat up to 450
  10. Bake for 10 minutes
  11. Flip foil package and turn off oven – this is when I make salads, get the table set, etc.
  12. ENJOY!
A friend recently tried my Cookie Bar recipe and was delighted! I haven't made them since I originally posted this photo, perhaps I'll make a batch for an impending slumber party.

A friend recently tried my Cookie Bar recipe and was delighted! It’s been some time since I made a batch, perhaps I’ll whip some up for a certain (about-to-be) 5 year old’s slumber party. A special treat packed with protein!

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Why No Grain?

Without getting too scientific on anyone, I would like to post about grains and why I do not include them in my diet. They are EVERYWHERE, even in cleaning products (what?!), and make up the majority of the American diet. Whole grain or otherwise, a grain is a grain. The links below will shed additional light on why grains should not take on such a substantial role in our eating habits. I will share some thoughts in laymen’s terms on each link. Hope it helps.

A grain is a grain...

Why avoid grains? This is a short article, with just a little science, that explains what is actually in grain. All the good things in grain are nearly cancelled out because of the anti-nutrients that are also in grain. The anti-nutrients essentially block the absorption of the good-nutrients creating a LACK of nutrients altogether and even begin to block the body’s absorption of good fats, vitamins and minerals from other sources.

One word: DIABETES Another short read explaining how the massive consumption of carbohydrates recommended by our government is killing us. Modern disease is related to chronic inflammation which is related to anti-nutrients found in grain and other foods like legumes, some nuts and berries, even eggs but you’d have to eat a massive amount to experience an effect. Type II Diabetes is directly related to the consumption of grain and here is how: carbs turn to sugar, the body makes insulin to keep blood sugar at a nice calm level, too many carbs = too much sugar, insulin is in overload, inflammation begins, cells become resistant (DIABETES) and the pancreas goes into overdrive. Now you’re prescribed medication so you won’t die. OR, you could cut grain from your diet.

Auto Immune Diseases and Rheumatoid Arthritis This is a testimonial, and there are many more, from the website of one of my favorite Paleo leaders, Robb Wolf. This is also a disease my family is predisposed to and a major factor (aside from vanity) that led me on the path of Paleo.  RA is said to come from an overactive immune response to infections caused by viruses and bacteria which then cause the disease to fight healthy tissue. When removing grain from the diet, adding omega-3 and probiotics (mmm, sauerkraut), the body’s gut will become healthy again. If the gut is sick or ‘dirty’, you will experience negative health effects throughout your body, most of which you would never even think to relate to an unhealthy gut. Eating Paleo is not a cure for RA, but it could help stop it’s progression, relieve symptoms and pain by helping inflammation subside and make for a healthier body to fight off the disease.

Happy cows eat grass.

Grass-fed, why? This is my science heavy article. In a nutshell: Did you know corn is a grain? They feed it to our cows, pigs, chickens, none of which eat grain in the wild, all of which need antibiotics to stay healthy and alive in many cases. (Not to mention the growth hormones we use to take a calf to the size of a 5-year-old steer by the time they’re 18 months old.) They even feed corn to our farmed fish now – FISH DON’T EAT CORN – buy wild caught, or heck, go catch it yourself.