Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

chicken broccoli stir fry

Recipe: Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

1 lb chicken (boneless, skinless) — I used thighs

3 TBSP sesame oil

pinch red chili pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

3 TBSP coconut oil

1 lb broccoli, chopped

1/2 head cabbage, sliced into “noodles”

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

2 TBSP coconut aminos

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper and red chili pepper flakes, and cook until chicken is almost done. Remove and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to the skillet and cover. Cook 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add chicken back in and continue to cook until done. Serve warm.

What Sugar Does to Your Immune System…a Clean Eats in the Zoo Original!

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Ok, be gentle on me. This was my first video attempt, and I learned a lot from it. Next time I’ll have better lighting, a better camera angle (I guess that’s what having a 9-year-old camera man looks like!), and probably do things a bit differently. But it was fun, and the kids had a great time helping with it, so I’m posting it anyway!

Check it out and share it with your kids so they can see what sugar does to their immune systems!

 

 

My Philosophy on Food…and why 100% Paleo isn’t for us

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I think I’ve mentioned before I grew up on the Standard American Diet (SAD). I ate sugar cereal for breakfast, junk food at lunch, and dessert every night. When I was in my teens, I skipped meals and just ate candy or donuts or cookies. Don’t get me wrong, my dad cooked a homemade dinner nearly every night, but being that my taste buds had made themselves comfy with the flavors of processed food, I rarely liked the delicious Indian food he set before me.

Fast forward about 30 years, until right before Superman’s diagnosis with Celiac disease. We had 5 kids and I thought I was doing a great job by giving them “healthy” cereals for breakfast, sandwiches at lunch, and lots of homemade baked goodies. I always bought “whole grain” and thought that by buying the regular goldfish crackers instead of those colored ones, I was one up on the rest of the world. Then, after Superman’s diagnosis and realization that going gluten-free for him wasn’t sufficient, I read “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf. I decided we’d give it a go as a family, and after the first month, couldn’t believe the health improvements I saw in myself, as well as our kids. That was reason enough to continue with a pretty strict Paleo diet for about a year.

That was the healthiest year of our lives. As I’ve said before, our son’s allergies, asthma, and eczema disappeared. My joint pain was gone. Superman was actually starting to stabilize, and it was our first year not getting a flu shot, and we didn’t get sick. I think the kids maybe had one cold that winter, and it was just runny noses. It was amazing.

The second year was more about discovering what could work long term for our family. Obviously, we go to family functions, and there’s no one else on either side of our family who eats like we do. The kids go to birthday parties. We go to restaurants sometimes, and other times, we just. want. some. ice cream!

I slowly began to give the kids more responsibility in choosing their foods outside of our house. If we go to a family function, I usually tell them to pick what they want to eat. If we go to a restaurant, I point out to them what choices would be the best, but let them ultimately pick. I don’t want the kids to see me as a food nazi…I want them to make choices and then to realize that those choices will make a difference in how they feel. Plus, this way I don’t feel like a nagging mom all the time telling them “you can’t have that” or “sorry, honey, that’s not Paleo.” Yes, there were and are times where I make choices for them…they are children, after all. But at some point they will be grown up and living on their own, and will need to make educated choices for themselves, and I want them to be ready for that. It has been such a blessing to see our kids learn how to make healthy choices and to know why they are making that choice!

Initially, I would feel guilty if I veered from the “Paleo” guidelines, thinking I was doing something awful to my insides (or allowing the kids to harm themselves by ingesting grains). Then I realized there is no one diet that is perfect for everyone. There is no perfection. I do feel strongly about wheat, however, and we never (well, almost never) have it in our house. Every once in awhile the kids and I will indulge in a “real” pizza since there is just nothing like it, but wheat to me is something to be avoided. Mostly because it’s just not what it used to be. 

So, there you have it. I don’t like to label myself “Paleo” because I’m really not…I eat lots of absolutely delicious baked goods, and a true “Paleo” diet doesn’t consist of much of that. But I will say we eat mostly grain-free, with some indulgences now and then. Heck, a good batch of popcorn (organic, non-GMO of course!) is one of my all-time favorite treats. And that’s perfect for us. No guilt. No shame. And I don’t like to say I’m “Paleo” because if I do, any time I veer off the “path,” it is considered a failure. I just like to eat good, healthy, clean food as often as possible.

 

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

pumpkin apple muffins

What two ingredients sum up fall better than pumpkin and apple? These Pumpkin Apple Muffins blend into the perfect fall treat for a cool autumn day. And there’s nothing like the amazingly radiant fall colors that grace the land this time of year.

Recipe: Pumpkin Apple Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

pumpkin apple muffins

3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

2 cups apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners or grease with coconut oil. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, syrup or honey, and pumpkin. Add coconut oil and whisk quickly, so it doesn’t harden. Whisk in cider vinegar, then pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine. Stir in chopped apples. Fill muffin tins to almost full, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Note: Store in fridge for best results.

What’s for Dinner

paleo chili

Here’s What’s for Dinner this week!

Monday: Paleo Chili, roasted asparagus and fruit salad

2 lbs beef chuck, cubed

1 lb ground beef

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce

3 TBSP tomato paste

1/2-3/4 tsp chipotle powder

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp onion powder

2 TBSP honey

1 cup chicken or beef broth

salt/pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, then put into crock pot. Brown beef chuck and add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

Tuesday: Asian Cod, broccoli and sliced apples

4 cod filets

1/3 cup coconut aminos

1 TBSP sesame oil

2 TBSP honey

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/2-1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

salt/pepper to taste

3 TBSP coconut oil

Add all ingredients, except coconut oil, to large Ziploc bag. Let fish marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place fish in skillet, discard remaining marinade, and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, until fish flakes easily.

Wednesday: Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

2-2.5 lbs pork tenderloin

3 TBSP olive oil

1/2 cup homemade teriyaki sauce

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup honey

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

1 tsp onion powder

salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet and brown tenderloins, then place into crock pot. Stir remaining ingredients together, pour over tenderloin and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Cut up and drizzle juice from crock pot over meat. Enjoy!

Thursday: Leftovers from previous days

Friday: Asian Almond Chicken, pan-fried zucchini and olives

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter

2 TBSP sesame oil

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (optional)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped green onions

3 TBSP coconut oil

2 TBSP roasted sesame seeds

In a large Ziploc bag, combine the chicken, almond butter, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and let marinate for at least an hour. When ready, heat the 3 TBSP coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (with the marinade) and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in green onions and cook another 5-7 minutes, until chicken is done. Remove to serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve promptly.

 

 

Grain-Free Cinnamon Funnel Cakes

funnel cake

Oh, the fair. Carnival rides, overpriced stuffed toys, and fried, greasy foods. Nothing like it, right? Not really the place for grain-free funnel cakes, though. I’ve only tried traditional funnel cake a few times, but they burned a sweet, greasy image into my tastebuds.

 

These grain-free cinnamon funnel cakes are seriously good. They are reminiscent of the real thing, but without the nasty stuff that goes along with fair food. They were gobbled up almost as fast I could make them!

Recipe: Grain-Free Cinnamon Funnel Cakes (makes at least 12 funnel cakes)

funnel cake

2 cups almond flour

1 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot starch

2 tsp gluten free, cornstarch free baking powder

1 TBSP cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2-3/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey

1.5 cups sparkling water

1.5 quarts coconut oil

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until a drop of batter immediately sizzles and floats to top. While the oil is heating, mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, syrup or honey, and sparkling water. Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Once oil is ready, using a large serving spoon (the kind you would use to serve a dinner casserole or something), pour a spoonful of batter straight into the oil. Note: You could put some batter into a large Ziploc bag, cut off a corner, and “funnel” the batter out, but this was oh, so much easier, and worked just as well. Don’t swirl the batter around, just pour it into a “pile.” It will float to the top. Add another pile in, if you have room, and let cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is golden brown. Gently turn over and fry the other side, until done. Remove onto a wire rack covered with paper towels. Eat while still warm.

P.S. You could top these with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or a homemade glaze if you so desire, I just avoid processed sugar and so didn’t use any.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

crock pot teriyaki pork tenderloin

Recipe: Crock Pot Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

2-2.5 lbs pork tenderloin

3 TBSP olive oil

1/2 cup homemade teriyaki sauce

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup honey

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

1 tsp onion powder

salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet and brown tenderloins, then place into crock pot. Stir remaining ingredients together, pour over tenderloin and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Cut up and drizzle juice from crock pot over meat. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

homemade teriyaki sauce

This is an awesome easy homemade teriyaki sauce, and will be used in a pork tenderloin recipe later this week!

Recipe: Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup water (depending on how thick you want your sauce)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut aminos

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1 TBSP tapioca flour or arrowroot starch

1 tsp sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Serve in place of traditional teriyaki sauce in any recipe!

Baked Apple Pockets

baked apple pockets

Recipe: Baked Apple Pockets (Makes 4 pockets)

Outer Crust:

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 eggs

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, then add to dry and stir to combine. Place in fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour. While that is chilling, do the filling:

Filling:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated (I grated mine in the food processor)

3 TBSP arrowroot or tapioca starch

1.5 tsp cinnamon

3 TBSP pure maple syrup or honey + a bit extra to baste

Stir all filling ingredients together. Once the dough is chilled, divide into 1/4s. Place 1/4 onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Remove top piece of parchment, and using a fork so you don’t get a lot of liquid with the apples, add the filling to one half of the rolled-out dough:

Gently fold the parchment paper over so the empty half covers the filling. Gently press down to help seal the edges (you can use a fork if the dough is still pretty chilled). Pull back the parchment paper from the top of the pocket and lay flat. Cut around the apple pocket so there’s not a lot of excess parchment:

Baste lightly with a bit of pure maple syrup or honey and place onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees, until outside is golden brown. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Dairy-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate

dairy free peppermint hot chocolate

Recipe: Dairy-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate (makes 2-4 servings)

Today was a hot chocolate kind of day. Overcast, cool, breezy. Perfect weather to have a fire and sip a cup of something warm. This is chocolately, creamy and filling! I know it’s a little early for peppermint (I always associate the flavor with Christmas), so if you want to leave that out, you can. But it’s really, really yummy with it in!

1 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup water

2 oz bittersweet chocolate (you can eliminate this and only do cocoa powder if you want, it just won’t have quite the same “melted chocolate” texture)

1 TBSP cocoa powder

splash pure vanilla extract

2-3 TBSP pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on low, whisking occasionally, until chocolate is melted and steam is starting to rise. Serve promptly–preferably on the couch, in front of a fire, with a good book in hand.

Thank you giveaway!

 

Thank you to each and every one of you who have “liked” my Facebook page! As a token of my thanks, I am giving away a copy of “It Starts With Food” and a pound of One Drop Coffee’s coffee! Just click on the Rafflecopter image below to enter (there are two easy ways to enter)! Giveaway closes Wednesday, October 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze

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Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze

This recipe is basically the same as my Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake, with a few minor changes. A key to success with this is to make sure the cake is completely done before you take it out of the oven, and allow it to cool for a full 30 minutes before removing from pan. I know this is yummy because, well, I loved it and every one of my kids had seconds!

 

For the cake:

4 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP cinnamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3 eggs

3/4 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk

1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 340 degrees and grease a bundt pan with coconut oil (very important!) In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin, maple syrup and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredients. Pour into greased pan and bake in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before turning upside-down onto a serving platter. While it cools for another 15-20 minutes, prepare the glaze:

For the glaze:

1/2 cup coconut cream concentrate, melted

1 TBSP full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

3 TBSP pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

water

Combine the coconut cream, coconut milk, syrup and vanilla in a bowl. It will thicken, so add water slowly until it gets to a “glaze” consistency. After cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over it and store in fridge for best results.

 

Crock Pot Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding

crock pot cinnamon apple bread pudding

Recipe: Crock Pot Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding

3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes (I used Fuji)

2 cups almond flour

1 TBSP cinnamon

2 tsp aluminum-free, gluten-free baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey

coconut oil to grease crockpot

Grease crockpot with coconut oil. Stir flour, cinnamon baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl, then pour over apples and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and syrup or honey. Stir into apple mixture (it will be lumpy and the dough will be kind of crumbly), then pour into crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Scoop out and enjoy some warm fall goodness!

What’s for Dinner 10/8-10/12

lemon dill salmon

Monday: Lemon-Dill Salmon, kale salad and mandarin oranges

4 salmon filets

1 TBSP dill

2 TBSP lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 TBSP garlic salt

In a large Ziploc bag, combine the dill, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic salt. Add salmon and toss gently to coat. Marinate in fridge for at least a 1/2 hour, then bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, switching the oven to “broil” for the last 5 minutes.

Tuesday: Crock Pot Stew, caramelized butternut squash and frozen blueberries

4 lbs beef stew meat

5-6 large carrots, sliced in rings

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP salt

1 tsp cumin

3 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and stir. Cook on low for 4-6 hours and enjoy!

Wednesday: Shrimp with Green Beans, mixed green salad and strawberries

2 lbs small, pre-cooked, shelled shrimp

1 lb green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

pinch of cayenne

dash of red chili pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

3 TBSP olive or coconut oil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until almost done. Add remaining ingredients and cook until shrimp is heated through and green beans are beginning to crisp. Serve promptly.

Thursday: Leftovers from previous days

Friday: Dairy-Free Chicken Tikka Masala, cauliflower rice and sliced apples

For the chicken:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

1/2 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

4 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves minced garlic

1 TBSP fresh grated ginger

For the sauce:

3 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 TBSP garam masala (I bought mine at an Indian food market, but I have seen it at Whole Foods–there are also recipes online to make it yourself)

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 TBSP honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Put the sliced chicken in a 9×13 pan, and sprinkle with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture sticks on chicken, and stirring a bit. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes (or overnight if you’re making ahead). In large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, honey, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut milk and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, heat a couple TBSP olive oil in a large skillet. Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and gently stir to coat. Using tongs, place into heated skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, until done. Remove from pan with tongs and place directly into sauce. Stir in cilantro and serve over cauliflower rice!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

grain free pumpkin bread

This recipe is based on my Grain-Free Bread, and was inspired by a reader! This would be great to give away during the holidays!

Recipe: Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

3 cups almond flour

1 cup tapioca flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted + a teaspoon or so for greasing

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 mini loaf pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, water, honey and oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until combined (it will be the consistency of cookie dough). Press evenly into the loaf pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Can you tell a kid took this pic?? =)

Caramelized Butternut Squash

caramelized butternut squash

Recipe: Caramelized Butternut Squash

1 lb butternut squash, cubed (I bought it pre-cut from Costco)

2 TBSP olive or coconut oil

pinch red pepper flakes

salt/pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over high heat, add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook 10-12 minutes, stirring only a couple times, until squash is tender and crisp-brown on the outside. Enjoy!

Fall Traditions and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds to Die For

roasted-pumpkin-seeds

I love fall. The morning crispness, changing leaves, the soft warm sun or grey-covered sky. The smell of dampness in the air. Cinnamon, baking, scented candles. Cute boots and soft scarves. The anticipation of trick-or-treating and the warmth of Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the bend. Days and nights smothered in traditions, laced with children’s laughter and giggles and wide-eyed wonderment.

It’s a season before the cold of winter, before the leaves fall and dampness turns into wetness. It makes me want to snuggle up, read a book, watch a movie, play a game. The other night we played hide-and-seek in the dark while the clouds covered the early-evening sun for us. As I write, stew bubbles in the crock pot and warm brownies (grain-free, of course!) sit on the stove, cooling and waiting for little mouths to gobble them down.

For us, fall means a visit to the pumpkin patch, fresh apples from Apple Hill, watching the turkeys return to our property, shorter days, baking treats, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds (see my amazingly delicious, accidentally-discovered recipe below), and just more of a relaxed, slow pace.

Not long ago, I made a pumpkin pie from scratch. I put all the gunk from the pumpkin into a bowl of water and added a bunch of salt. I figured I would get to separating the gunk from the seeds later that evening. Well, that night, the bowl full of orange gooey-ness stared back at me, and I didn’t want to touch it. So, there it sat…for two days. Finally, a brilliant idea came to mind: what else would a young boy like to do, but put his hands in a sticky mess and separate seeds from stringy pumpkin? So two of my boys did the dirty work for me. After they got them all nice and clean, I made the best batch of pumpkin seeds I’ve ever had:

Shanti’s Accidentally-Delicious Pumpkin Seeds

Image from Google

Seeds from 1 pumpkin
1/4 cup salt
Few tablespoons olive oil
Garlic salt to taste

Dig gunk out of pumpkin. Place into bowl of cold water and stir in 1/4 cup salt. Let sit for 2 days.

After 2 days, have a child separate out the seeds and get rid of the gunk. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse seeds in colander and toss in bowl with olive oil and garlic salt. Lay out on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes. Take out and enjoy! They WILL go fast!

So, what are some of your favorite fall traditions?

 
 
 

Dairy-Free Chicken Tikka Masala

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Recipe: Dairy-Free Chicken Tikka Masala

Years ago I subscribed to Cook’s Illustrated, and I came across a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala that I loved. This recipe is based off of that one, but changed up to be dairy/sugar free and simplified a bit. This is a bit more work than my typical recipes, but it’s well worth the effort! You could prepare the chicken the night before if desired and then just make the sauce the next day, or vice versa, to cut down prep time.

For the chicken:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

1/2 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

4 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves minced garlic

1 TBSP fresh grated ginger

For the sauce:

3 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 serrano chile, minced small (seeds removed if you don’t like spicy)

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 TBSP garam masala (I bought mine at an Indian food market, but I have seen it at Whole Foods–there are also recipes online to make it yourself)

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 TBSP honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Put the sliced chicken in a 9×13 pan, and sprinkle with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture sticks on chicken, and stirring a bit. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes (or overnight if you’re making ahead). In large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, honey, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut milk and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, heat a couple TBSP olive oil in a large skillet. Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and gently stir to coat. Using tongs, place into heated skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, until done. Remove from pan with tongs and place directly into sauce. Stir in cilantro and serve over cauliflower rice!

“Better for you than other” Caramel Popcorn

It’s Happy October Day here in our house, and to celebrate, we thought we’d go a bit off grid and have some caramel corn! Of course, this isn’t a “Paleo” treat, but it’s better than a lot of the alternative “Halloween” treats, and the ingredients are a heck of a lot better than what you would get at the store!

Recipe: “Better for you than other” Caramel Popcorn

1 cup organic popcorn, popped (I use coconut oil to pop mine)

1/2 cup grass-fed, pastured butter

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk

dash of salt

Set popped popcorn aside into large bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, lower heat and simmer until temperature reaches about 220 degrees. Drizzle over popcorn and stir, continuing to drizzle and stir until caramel is used up. Let cool for a few minutes, then gobble up!

Note: For a crunchy version, pop in the oven at 250 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once during cooking, then let cool completely before eating.