Monday, September 17, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just finished the Diamond of the Tough Masters Qualifiers!
(40-44 division) Whew! And I was ready for a tasty reward. This fit the bill beautifully! I got this recipe from my dear friend and CrossFit trainer, Michele Mootz. It was past down to her by a friend that had it passed down to her by another friend, and so on (you get the idea)..... Therefore, I do NOT know who is responsible for this amazing Paleo recipe creation to give them the appropriate credit! I am truly sorry for that. I would also like to add that these delicious cookies were made FOR me by my 16 year old daughter who loves to bake Paleo. Am I lucky or what? I hope you enjoy... and if you're even more fortunate, maybe someone will make them for you! :-)

3 C Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 C Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 C Raw (local) Honey
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 C Organic 65% Cacao Bittersweet (dairy-free, soy-free) Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly stir in the almond flour, sea salt and baking soda to the mixture. Add the chocolate chips! Mixture will seem a little sticky, that's okay! Drop spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Soft, rich and decadent. Hey... we all deserve a treat now and again! One cookie goes a long way!

* I did find dairy-free, soy-free organic chocolate chips locally at: "Staff of Life". The brand name is: SunSpire, Fair Trade Organic 65% Cacao!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweet & Tangy Paleo BBQ Sauce


My new favorite Paleo Barbecue sauce! Particularly good on skinless, boneless chicken thighs! I make a batch in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Honestly I have been craving this on a weekly basis! Enjoy these precious last few weeks of Summer with some good ole fashioned BBQ!

(Makes about 4 cups of BBQ sauce)
2 6-oz cans of tomato paste
1 1/4 C agave nectar
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
3 T Dijon-style mustard
2 T olive oil
2 T *coconut aminos
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well! I let some sauce sit on the chicken a bit before barbecuing, and brush some on the chicken as needed while barbecuing. Delicious!
Hope you enjoy!

*Coconut Aminos is my absolute favorite soy-free seasoning sauce. You can find it at most health food stores. Brand name: Coconut Secret.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Prosciutto Wrapped Alaskan Cod

Easy. Delicious. Paleo. Elegant. Nutritious... and Quick!
This really was an unbelievably quick and easy way to add a special elegance to an ordinary weeknight  dinner! A simple stop at Trader Joe's for THREE ingredients and voila!
Wild caught Alaskan cod, spinach and prosciutto... dinner in minutes. Enjoy.


2-4 Alaskan Cod fillets
2-4 slices prosciutto
1 bag pre-washed, trimmed spinach
1 yellow onion
1 T olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Fresh lemon or lemon juice

Heat broiler. Season cod fillets with sea salt and pepper. Wrap one slice prosciutto around each piece of fish. Place seam side down on a baking sheep about 4-6 inches away from heat. Broil until prosciutto is browned and starts to crisp, about 8-10 minutes. If prosciutto starts to crisp too much before the fish is done, move fish to center of the oven and cook just a little longer, until fish is opaque throughout.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion. When onion is translucent, add the entire bag of spinach and cook until wilted and tender. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with the cod fillets!

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Honey-Glazed Carrots

This is a springtime family favorite! I make it every year for Easter. It is simple, tasty and attractive! A pretty Paleo compliment to any spring gathering! Hope you enjoy.

1 lb. whole young carrots, with greens
2 T grass-fed pastured butter, or coconut oil
2 T honey
2 T fresh chives, finely chopped
pinch sea salt and pepper to taste

Trim and peel carrots, leaving about 2" of greens at the tops. In a steamer over boiling water, steam carrots, covered for about 5-7 minutes (until just tender). In a skillet melt butter with honey over moderately low heat. Stir in chives, salt and pepper. Add the carrots and gently toss them, until they are nicely coated with the glaze, cooking an additional minute. Serve! Use some of the trimmed greens for decoration!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Paleo Broccoli Salad

I have been craving broccoli lately and making a broccoli salad has been on my mind for weeks! I love when long lingering ideas turn into something tangible and tasty! I will definitely be making this again, and I will definitely ignore my family's anti-raisin gibberish... oh yes, I think this salad would benefit greatly with that added ingredient! Hope you enjoy! :-)

About 2 broccoli crowns, cut in bite-size pieces
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 C slivered almonds (or walnuts)
3 strips bacon
3/4 C raisins (optional)... I thought is sounded good, my family voted me down!
1 C Paleo Mayonnaise (click here for recipe)
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C coconut crystals (coconut palm sugar)

Cook bacon and let cool, chop or crumble into small pieces. Combine broccoli, celery, onion and almonds. Toss well. In a separate dish, mix Paleo mayonnaise, coconut crystals and apple cider vinegar together until smooth. Stir the dressing mixture into the salad. Refrigerate and serve chilled! I could see this as a great Summer take-along side salad! Enjoy!

*Paleo Mayonnaise: I used the recipe from Everyday Paleo's website for this mayonnaise. It turned out great! I don't usually use mayonnaise much, but I can see how this could come in handy from time-to-time! I made a little extra to store in my refrigerator for future recipe ideas!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Corned Beef & Cabbage

St. Paddy's Day is upon us once again. If only our kids were as excited about Corned Beef & Cabbage as Scott and I! I changed up the veggies this year and made a sweet little mustard sauce that was delicious! Due to other plans on the actual St. Patrick's Day, we had to feast on this traditional favorite a few days early! Okay by me... I'm hoping this Irish dish will bring me some much needed "luck" for WOD 12.4 tomorrow! Lucky wall balls. Really lucky double unders and (if I'm really really lucky) I'll get to do some lucky muscle ups!

3-4 lb. corned beef brisket
(I trimmed the thick layer of fat from the brisket after it cooked all day)
water, enough to just cover beef
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
ground black pepper
sea salt

Put corned beef (fat side up), pepper, garlic, bay leaves in crock pot and pour just enough water to cover beef. Cook on low for 8 hours. The fat is easy to remove after its cooked, just scoop it off the top of the meat!

I cooked the cabbage and vegetables separately after I got home. ... about 30 minutes before serving. I tried some new veggies this year: rutabaga and parsnips! ...And they were great!

1 head cabbage, quartered
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
2 parsnips, sliced
1 rutabaga, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
~1/2 C corned beef juice from the crock pot!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add rutabaga, parsnips and broth. Cover and cook until rutabaga is fork tender. Add cabbage and a little more broth, if needed. Cook until cabbage is done about 10-15 minutes.
Slice corned beef and serve with the cabbage and veggies!

OH... don't forget the Mustard Sauce:
1/2 C stone ground mustard
2 T 100% organic maple syrup
1 T raw horseradish cream
Mix ingredients together and spoon over corned beef!

Enjoy and may the Luck O' The Irish be with you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken

I got this recipe right out of my Jan/Feb 2012 Cooking Light magazine! Totally Paleo, totally delicious and totally easy! It yielded leftovers and made the family happy. You just can't get more from a meal than that! I was out of sweet potatoes which I think would have been the ultimate pairing for this dish... next time!

Now it's off to bed where I will undoubtedly dream of box jumps, push presses and toes to bar.
Good luck to all tackling WOD 12.3! Get your sleep and eat well!

1 T olive oil
4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, pounded and cut in half
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 C chicken broth
1/4 C 100% organic maple syrup
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T stone-ground mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Add chicken to pan; saute 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add broth, syrup, thyme and garlic to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vinegar and mustard; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan, and spoon mustard mixture over chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Place pan over medium heat; cook mustard mixture 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy, stirring frequently. Serve with chicken.

~Cooking Light January/February 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Orange-Ginger Baked Salmon

Please try this recipe if you love salmon and ginger! Flavor, spice, aroma... oh Wow! This was an unexpectedly delicious dinner. I mean, I did have high hopes. Tonight was an attempt to satisfy my week long, relentless craving for salmon! It needed to be good. It needed to satisfy. But I had no idea I would fall in love! Seriously. Needless to say, I will be making this again... And again and again! :-)

I can only hope my snatches in WOD 12.2 tomorrow morning will be just as successfully surprising! Good luck to all you "Openers". And I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!

2 lb. salmon fillet
1 C orange juice
1 T coconut aminos
1-1/2 T finely chopped ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C sweet red pepper, finely chopped
2 (heaping) T chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
pinch sea salt
dash black pepper
1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put salmon fillet in a baking dish. Place orange juice in a sauce pan and cook over medium low heat. Stir occasionally for about 10-15 minutes, while you prepare other ingredients, until juice is reduced by about half. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a separate pan, saute garlic in olive oil (do not burn). Add ginger and sweet red peppers. After about 2-3 minutes, add coconut aminos, red pepper flakes and cilantro. Immediately add this to the orange sauce, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Pour 1/2 the sauce over the salmon. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes. Add remaining sauce over the top and cook for another 5 minutes. Salmon should flake easily with a fork when it's done. And your house should smell really really good! :-)

I served this with a side of sauteed spinach and steamed asparagus. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paleo Pork Chops Pizzaiola

Hi!! Mallory made me laugh recently in the gym when she said, "When are you going to do another blog post, I haven't eaten since November 20th"! Haha!
Well, with the kick off of the CrossFit Open and some things settling down a bit in my personal life, I think it's time to get my blog back on! The Open is a great time to focus on health and fitness and dial in beneficial life habits. I, for one, am excited to workout and share a whiteboard with the big names in CrossFit. What other sport enables you to do that? Do I expect to get to regionals or the Games? Nope! But I DO expect to have a complete blast these next 5 weeks trying my hardest and sweating bullets with my fellow CrossFit friends! Let's have some fun! :-)

4-6 Pork Chops (1-1/2 inch thick), boneless and trimmed of fat
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, chopped (about 3/4 C)
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
sea salt and black pepper
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1 C red wine (or substitute an additional cup chicken broth)
1 C chicken broth

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and saute. Add the pork chop to the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and garlic is caramelized. Remove the pork chops to plate and set aside. Add fennel, shallots, red pepper flakes and oregano. Reduce heat and cook until onions are tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, broth and wine. Stir until sauce is well combined. Place pork chops back in pan. Cover and cook on low for another 15 minutes. When the pork chops are done cooking, arrange them on a plate and pour extra sauce over the top! Enjoy. My son said the house smelled like pizza... I took that as high praise! :-)

Sides: I served this with sauteed red chard and roasted vegetables. But I think spaghetti squash would be great with a tossed green salad!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Pudding with Cocoa Nibs

I had a lot of fun at our CFSCC Nutrition Talk! Thank you so much for showing up on a Saturday afternoon excited for information about Paleo nutrition... What a great, motivated and inspiring audience! I've been in the field of nutrition for many years and it is not always something people are eager to respond to! In fact, I usually feel like I'm bearing some sort of "bad news" when discussing it! But not on this day, and I love it!!! I truly hope you all left with something valuable and motivated for a 30-day challenge! It truly is all of you that inspire me to experiment, create and cook! So, thank you!
*There are still a few Paleo cookbooks available!

I read all of the nutrition assessment forms, and hands-down, most the food cravings were for: chocolate! (There was one particular craving for pudding, so I figure this recipe takes care of everyone.) This pudding turned out wonderful! Honestly, you do not taste avocado at ALL. It just provides the perfect texture and creaminess. Careful not to use too ripe of a banana, or I think it will overpower the rich chocolate flavor. Be generous with the cocoa nibs! They add an excellent bit o' chocolaty crunch! Hope you enjoy! *This recipe is adapted from: Natural

2 avocados
5 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 banana (not overripe or it will be too overpowering)
1/3 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 T honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch sea salt
Garnish with cocoa nibs

In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients (except cocoa nibs). Blend well for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. If it's too thick, add a little more almond milk. Spoon into serving dishes and garnish with cocoa nibs. Chill for about 15-30 minutes before serving.

Hey! Here's a little Carbohydrate talk for you! I've had some questions in the gym lately and realized we kind of skimmed past this during the nutrition talk!
Hopefully this will answer your questions on Paleo Carbs!

There are two kinds of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex
Simple carbs are the simple sugars like; sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), glucose and lactose (milk sugar).
On the Paleo diet we would consume these in moderation: fruit, dried fruit and honey (small amounts). Limit fruit to 2 servings and dried fruit to 2 oz. per day if weight loss is a goal!
Best fruit choices: Berries, berries, berries! Melons, tropical varieties, and citrus.

Complex carbs for the Paleo diet are: starchy root vegetables. Best choices are: sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, rutabaga, carrots, beets, onions, kohlrabi, yams and jicama!!! ... That's enough to keep us busy cooking!
What we do NOT eat for complex carbs are: breads, cereals, bagels, crackers, tortillas, quinoa, rice, cookies, beans, baked goods and all highly processed grain-laden foods!

Please post thoughts to comments!

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central