Whipped Dairy-Free Lemon Frosting

lemon frosting front

I don’t share sweet stuff very often because it is not something that I regularly consume or make. But, special occasions and social gatherings are a good reason to make a treat. In this instance, Jesse and I had plans to go over to our friend’s house for dinner this past Saturday. They took on the main course, sides and drinks, and I agreed to make a dessert. I debated for a long time about what to make and decided that I wanted something springy, especially since it was Easter weekend.

After much browsing on Pinterest, I decided to make this coconut flour cake recipe. To jazz up the cake a bit, I thought I’d make some frosting to go on top. I knew I wanted the base to be from palm shortening and also wanted lemon involved (to add that springy flavor). This recipe is what I came up with and I am so pleased with how it turned out. It is light and lemony, with a whipped texture. It almost seems like a cross between frosting and icing, especially with its slightly shimmery appearance. It tasted great on the coconut flour cake (this cake recipe is amazing and super moist!) and was a HUGE hit with everyone!

lemon frosting

Also, this recipe makes quite a bit of frosting and is enough for a double layer cake. I actually ended up making two of the coconut flour cakes, so I could turn it into a double layer and use up the rest of the frosting. I garnished the top with grated lemon zest and definitely recommend doing so for a finishing touch!

The frosting doesn’t have to be stored in the refrigerator, but will keep longer that way if you aren’t going to use it right away or have leftovers.  It will firm up quite a bit in the fridge because of the coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), so remember to allow it to soften at room temperature before using. You may also want to refrigerate it in the summertime because it will get slightly melty when warm.

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.

YL number lemon

Whipped Dairy-Free Lemon Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup organic palm shortening (find here) –>not to be mistaken for red palm oil!
  • 7 oz. box coconut cream concentrate, melted (find here)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil (learn where to get therapeutic grade oils here)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the lemon essential oil to the the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip the frosting a couple minutes or until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the lemon essential oil. Whip again briefly to incorporate the essential oil.
  3. Enjoy on your favorite grain-free cake or cookie recipe for a special occasion!

Chicken Coconut Mango “Rice”

IMG_2645

Wow, it’s been exactly a month since I last posted…oops! I guess life got away on me a bit, but the past month has been great. I turned the big 3-0 on March 2nd and celebrated on my own (took the day off and got a 90 minute massage!) and with Jesse that day. Since my birthday was on a Monday, I celebrated with friends out in wine country the following weekend and it was a gorgeous 70 degree day. Work has kept me busier lately, but in a good way, though some days are definitely long and exhausting. All in all, I have no complaints, but I haven’t had with much time or motivation to experiment in the kitchen! Simple, quick meals and roasts in the slow cooker are pretty much my saving grace.

Meanwhile, this recipe turned out so delicious! The lime is very abundant and zesty, while the mango adds just the right amount of sweetness. It pairs well with the savory chicken and creaminess of the coconut milk. The house smelled wonderful while this was cooking, which I mostly attribute to the kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, omit them and add a little bit more lime zest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • About 6 cups cauliflower, riced in the food processor
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free fish sauce (I like this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Juice and zest of one small lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • Sliced green onion for garnish

chicken coconut mango rice

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the chicken and jalapeño, and season to taste with sea salt. Sauté until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, pour the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, kaffir lime leaves and ground ginger into a small pot over medium heat. Mix well and simmer until the liquid has reduced down a bit.
  3. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken and stir. After 1-2 minutes, stir in the cauliflower rice and season to taste with sea salt. Cook until the cauliflower rice softens slightly. Then, stir in the mango and cook about one minute more.
  4. Serve and garnish with sliced green onion.

Yields: 5-6 servings

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