Lavender Meltaways

lavender meltaways

I’ve had this recipe brewing in my head for a while now and finally got around to testing it out the other day. I seriously bought the fresh lemon to make these over two weeks ago! Lucky for me, lemons stay good for a while in the fridge. Anyway, these are delectable little fat bombs with a refreshing lemony and lavender flavor. They’re the perfect little after dinner treat and quite satisfying too. The lavender in them is just right and tastes so lovely. If you aren’t a fan of lavender, you can omit the oil (and flowers) and add 2 drops of peppermint or orange essential oil instead. These are also tasty plain, but I think it’s fun to add a little extra something.

Please make sure to only use pure therapeutic essential oils for cooking. Many essential oils that are sold in stores are not 100% pure and can be chemically adulterated. These are not meant for consumption! My essential oil of choice is Young Living. Learn where to get high quality essential oils HERE.

lavender

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz box coconut cream concentrate, melted (find here)
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil (find out where to buy therapeutic grade oils HERE)
  • Dried lavender flowers for garnishing, optional

lavender meltways birds eye

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients together until smooth (the texture will be a little gritty from the coconut cream concentrate — just make sure it’s all blended well!).
  2. Then, add the drop of lavender essential oil and stir again.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with mini paper liners. Alternatively, you can place the liners on a baking sheet, but they might be a little misshapen. Spoon mixture into the liners.
  4. Place in the fridge to chill about 10-15 minutes (mixture should still be a little tacky). Remove and garnish with lavender flowers, if using. Then place back in the fridge to set completely.
  5. Store in the refrigerator. You can eat them cold, right out of the fridge or let them soften slightly at room temperature before eating.

Yields: 17 meltaways

Homemade BBQ Sauce

homemade bbq sauce

This is the first time I’ve ever actually made barbecue sauce. I always had visions of doing it because I love barbecue, but then would look at a recipe and see way too many ingredients. I used to sometimes buy Tessemae’s All Natural BBQ sauce, but sadly, can’t find it at the store anymore.

Anyway, after my visit home to Michigan last month, I felt inspired to finally make my own sauce. One night, my mom decided to whip up some country style pork ribs for dinner and made an impromptu batch of homemade barbecue sauce, since there was nothing decent at the store. I don’t know all of what she put in hers other than a few things, but after seeing how easy it came together, I decided I wanted to make some too. I also had an urge to make the ribs on my own because they were delicious, so I kinda needed some sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strained tomatoes (I like this brand or this brand)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I prefer this brand, which is raw & organic, & has the mother culture)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (find here)
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules or garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne, optional

bbq sauce birds eye

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Use right away or store in a jar in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Alternatively, you can also store it in the freezer.

Yields: ~1.5 pints

Chicken and Italian Veggie “Rice”

Chicken and Italian cauli rice

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope all of you that celebrate Valentine’s Day had a great one. We don’t really celebrate or care much about it, but I always get Jesse some nice chocolates every year, just to be a little cheesy. He surprised me this year and gave me a raw honey-sweetened chocolate bar with a generous gift card to Athleta. I was not expecting it at all since he generally doesn’t get me anything (he’s done flowers once or twice in the past, but the cats eat them), so was shocked when he handed me a gift. It was so sweet of him and I was quite touched. The rest of my Valentine’s Day was spent at a friends house meeting her 4-week old baby boy. I took lunch over to her from Cultured Caveman, hung out with her little dude and talked essential oils with her (and her husband too!). She wasn’t able to come to the oils class I hosted a couple weeks ago since she had just had a baby, so I came to her. After that, I headed home for a bit and then Jesse and I met our friends for dinner at Besaw’s. We didn’t choose to go out to dinner because it was Valentine’s Day, but because we had all been wanting to get together, and it just so happened to work out that day. Anyway, it was a fun evening with good friends! It was a great day too!

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this recipe! It came together unplanned (like many of my recipes do) and to be honest, I really wasn’t prepared to take a picture of it, but snapped one anyway. Hopefully, I can remake this sometime soon and update the photo with a better one. I just know I didn’t want to wait any longer to share the recipe (I already waited a little bit) since I’m a bit overdue.

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 small or medium head of cauliflower, “riced” in the food processor (I use this one)
  • 2 cups torn lacinato kale leaves with stems removed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • Splash of chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, plus more if desired
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter or ghee in an oven proof skillet (I use and love this one) over medium heat. While pan is heating up, season chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the hot pan and sear 4 minutes each side. Then place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  2. While chicken is baking, melt the other Tbsp of butter or ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel, and sauté 3-4 minutes or until fennel is softened slightly. Then, add the kale and bone broth, and stir.
  3. After a minute or two, reduce heat to medium-low and add the riced cauliflower, oregano, and sea salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add a dash more bone broth. Then, add the chopped tomato and stir. Allow mixture to cook through a couple minutes and then keep warm over low heat until chicken is done.
  4. Once the chicken is done, slice into strips and serve on top of the cauliflower rice mixture.

Essential Oils and Homemade Dark Chocolate

Well, I’m back in Portland after a wonderful trip back home in Michigan to see my family. It was relaxing, wintery and great all around. It’s weird how I go back home and it feels like I never left. I told my mom it felt like I was back on a college break, especially since Jesse wasn’t with me. Anyone else experience this when they go back to their hometown?

The Sunday after my return back to Portland, I hosted an intro to essential oils class led by Arsy of Rubies & Radishes and Katja of The Savory Lotus. It was so nice to finally meet these ladies in person! We had an intimate group for the class, which was nice. We forgot about it being the Superbowl, so had some no-snows and late cancels, but it was all okay. Meanwhile, if any of you are interested in learning more about essential oils, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also check out my post about getting started with essential oils. I’m also available to lead classes for any of you in the Portland area!

Left to right: me, Arsy and Katja
Left to right: me, Arsy and Katja

Anyway, for the class, I made a batch of homemade dark chocolate flavored with peppermint essential oil. I can’t take credit for the recipe since Katja gave it to me, but I did want to share my experience in making it. You can find the recipe on Katja’s blog HERE. If you make a peppermint variety like I did, use 2 drops of peppermint essential oil. Please make sure you’re using high quality oils though!

This was my first experience working with cocoa butter and I was quite impressed. It is a little pricy, but fun to work with and makes totally legit chocolates! I only needed half a block (from a 1 lb package) for the recipe and it yielded a lot of chocolate, so in the end, it was probably a pretty decent deal. I was initially surprised when I took the cocoa butter out of the package because it looked like a HUGE bar of soap and was super solid. I had fun having people guess what it was on my Facebook page! For the record, I used this brand.

My big block of cocoa butter.
My big block of cocoa butter.

I poured my chocolate into a parchment paper-lined 9×9 pan since I didn’t have any molds. After it set, I lifted the chocolate out of the pan and chopped it into bite-sized squares. Perfecto!

homemade dark chocolate

Have any of you worked with cocoa butter before? What did you make with it?

Interested in getting started with your own Young Living essential oils and want to save 24% on all your orders? Find out more HERE!

Intro to Essential Oils Class in PDX

If you live in the Portland area and are interested in learning more about essential oils, I am hosting a FREE class on Sunday, February 1st at 1:30 p.m. The class will take place at Studio Blue in NW Portland. Arsy of Rubies and Radishes and Katja of The Savory Lotus will be presenting the class. If you want to come, please RSVP at the link below. Also, you are welcome to bring guests — just be sure to add them to your RSVP please! The class will last 90 minutes to two hours. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Hope to meet some of you there!

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intro-to-essential-oils-portland-tickets-15095517098

On another note, if you don’t live in the Portland area, but are interested in getting started with essential oils, please visit here for more details. You are also welcome to email me at paleoinportland@gmail.com

EO class flyer

Italian Meatloaf

Italian meatloaf

Well, the holiday season is officially over. It’s been fun, but I’m ready for some normalcy again. The decorations and tree are down, and the house is back in order. I’m usually a little blue after the holiday season, but I’m doing just fine this year. There are so many things to look forward to that I’m not too sad. I’m excited about 2015 and know that it’s going to be wonderful. It will be a great year because I’m going to make it great! Remember, that you choose what you want to create in your life and you choose your attitude.

On another note, I had to pick a new winner for the Paleo Eats giveaway. I tried notifying the first winner numerous times and allowed about two weeks for her to get back to me. So, the new winner was picked at random again and is Julie K. Julie left this comment, “I’d like to win this book so I have something tangible to reference when I’m at home, hangry, and about to go against my clean eating habits.” Julie, please email me your mailing address at paleoinportland@gmail.com. Thanks!

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out even better than I imagined, which made me happy. It’s total comfort food and hits the spot when you’re wanting both meatloaf and spaghetti. It’s seriously the best of both worlds. We ate ours on a bed of sautéed kale with marinara on top and a sprinkle of raw Parmesan, since we both tolerate it. It was perfection.

Enjoy and cheers to a New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb ground spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • No sugar added marinara sauce, for serving (I like this one and this one)
  • If tolerated, raw Parmesan for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté a few minutes, or until onion is softened. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Once onion mixture is cool, place in a food processor or small prep blender like this one and pulse until big chunks are broken up into fine pieces.
  4. Then, in a large bowl, mix together the onion mixture, ground beef, ground chicken sausage, egg, tomato paste, coconut flour, Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Mix everything well with your hands.
  5. Place meat mixture in a large loaf pan and spread out evenly with your hands. Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven.
  6. When the meatloaf is nearly done, pour some marinara sauce in a saucepan and let warm over medium-low heat.
  7. Serve meatloaf slices with warm marinara sauce and garnish with raw Parmesan, if tolerated and desired.

 

 

Chicken and Broccoli Egg Bake

chicken and broccoli egg bake

Chicken and broccoli are kind of a classic combo if you ask me, and these two foods especially taste wonderful together in casseroles. Something with chicken and broccoli was calling my name recently and in deciding what to make ahead of time for dinner the other night (since Jesse and I don’t get home until about 8pm), I threw together this little creation for us to eat when we got home. Every single ingredient was already in my kitchen, which goes to show that you can create easy, delicious meals without having to run to the store. Unless it’s a total Mother Hubbard’s cupboard scenario, which makes for a different story. That’s what my mom used to say whenever she needed to go to the store and I find that I say the same thing now when our fridge and cupboards are looking a little bare.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with a recipe. Hopefully, I’ll be back again soon with what I’m making on New Year’s day. Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy New Year too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, plus extra for greasing dish & sautéing veggies
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded (leftovers work great)
  • 3/4 cup homemade almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and set aside.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter (about 1 Tbsp) in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leek and mushrooms, and saute a few minutes. Then, add the broccoli and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to saute a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once broccoli has slightly softened, add the shredded chicken and stir. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup melted butter, eggs and almond or coconut milk. Once mixed, add the oregano, parsley, cayenne and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next, add the chicken/veggie mixture and stir. Pour into the greased casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
  6. Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yields: 4 servings