No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

Sometimes, you want cake, but don’t want to buy special ingredients to make it or have an entire cake in your house. Am I right? Well, you can have your cake and eat it too with these scrumptious no-bake carrot cake bites. Not only are these grain-free, but they’re also dairy-free and date-sweetened. They’re incredibly easy to make and won’t wreck your gut either. Plus, you can’t go wrong with carrot cake, especially this time of year. It’s reminiscent of both spring and Easter, and tastes magnificent too.

These bites are loaded with healthy fats from the walnuts and coconut, and are naturally sweet from both the dates and carrots. Not only that, but you get a dose of vitamins and antioxidants from the carrots too. The warm spices add the perfect amount of zest to these melt-in-your mouth morsels.

If you don’t have walnuts on hand or just want to mix it up, try pecans instead. Also, feel free to tweak the spice ratios to your preferred taste. Luckily, you can taste along the way with this recipe, so it’s easy to adjust the flavors to your liking.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • About 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (~1.5 cups grated)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted (pecans would also work well)
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Extra unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling, if desired

Directions:

  1. Place sliced carrots in food processor bowl. Process until finely grated.
  2. Next, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the extra unsweetened coconut (for rolling at the end). Process until ingredients are fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Mixture will be sticky when done.
  3. Shape into 1-2 Tbsp sized balls with hands (I did a generous tablespoon size for the amount I yielded). Roll into extra shredded coconut, if using. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 20-30 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~25-30 bites

Advertisements

Classic Summertime Coleslaw

coleslaw

Summer is nearly here, though the weather has been pretty nice in Portland for quite some time now.  We finally cleaned our little grill and got it in tiptop shape for summer. Since then, we’ve been making burgers regularly and love eating this coleslaw alongside. I’ve actually made it twice in less than one week (it makes a big bowl too). We’ve eaten it mainly with burger patties, but with chicken too, and I even ate it with eggs and sausage the other day. It seriously tastes good with nearly everything! I’m a big fan of it.

Be sure to taste the dressing as you go and adjust the flavors to your liking. The coleslaw tastes even better the next day and the flavors are more abundant. Also, I recommend making the homemade mayo with avocado oil for this salad, as the flavor is a little more neutral (though the macadamia nut oil version in my recipe link is awesome).

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2/3  cup homemade mayo or Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • 2.5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1.5 tsp dried mustard or 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the mayo, vinegar, raw honey, mustard powder, celery salt, sea salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
  2. Pour dressing over cabbage and carrots, and mix well to coat.
  3. Place in fridge to chill for at least an hour, but longer if possible. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if needed.

Spicy Curried Beef Stew

IMG_3576

Curry and slow cooker meals are among my favorites, and here’s yet another one I’ve added to my list. I don’t know what it is, but I can never seem to get enough. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is either — I’ll eat this on a hot summer day and be happy as a clam.

Meanwhile, keep a watch out on my blog for details about a giveaway, which is coming soon! It’s been a long time since I’ve done one, so I’m pretty excited about it! Plus, the prize is awesome…tasty too. I also have a guest post coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that as well.

Anyway, I’m keeping it short and sweet today, so that’s all I’ve got for you. As Jason Seib says, “Go forth and be awesome.” Happy Tuesday, folks!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow or other fat of choice
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (leave more seeds if you want it spicier)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed beef stew meat
  • 2 carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 large head green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth
  • 1-1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

IMG_3573

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Stir to coat everything in the fat and saute a few minutes, until onions are soft.
  2. Once done, pour the onion mixture into the bottom of a slow cooker. Then, add the beef stew meat and chopped carrots on top.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the curry, smoked paprika, cayenne and sea salt. Add to the slow cooker and toss with the meat and veggies, until well coated.
  4. Pour coconut milk and broth over top and stir. Place chopped cabbage on top of everything and then cover the slow cooker with the lid. Set on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  5. Halfway through, give everything a stir and then replace lid to finish cooking.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup.

I have been wanting to make a version of Italian wedding soup for some time now and finally did it! Granted, I know a hot bowl of soup may not be the best summer meal, but the day I made this, it was quite a bit cooler. If I recall, I was wearing long pants this day and it was before the major heat wave. Anyway, even if you don’t make it now because the weather is too warm, it’s a good one to archive. For those of you lucky folks that have air conditioning, it won’t matter and you can make it anytime while keeping cool.

The soup itself comes together quickly, but the most time consuming part (and it really doesn’t take that long) is making the meatballs. These can always be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, which may be helpful if you have a busy schedule. Also, depending on the size of your meatballs, it will take more or less time to make them, unless you’re just an awesome meatball maker. In that case, take pride in the fact that you’re that good!

This recipe was inspired by and adapted from, Chow Bella: Paleo Italian Wedding Soup.

For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 pastured eggs, beaten

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands. Form into small meatballs, about 1/2 tablespoon size and place on large plate. If desired, make meatballs larger or smaller. Once done, set aside or in the fridge until ready to use.

For the soup:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (use leaves if on stalk too)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed with excess water squeezed out
  • 12 cups broth (I used a combo of homemade bone broth and low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 pastured eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic, and saute a few minutes, until softened a bit.
  2. Add the broth, oregano, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Stir and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Then, add the spinach.
  3. Next, drop in the meatballs and allow to cook through. You will see them float to the top as they cook. Depending on the size of the meatballs, it it will take 8-10 minutes for them to cook.
  4. Pour in the beaten eggs in a thin stream, stirring with a fork when it meets the soup. Stir in fresh basil and serve immediately.

Turkey Sausage Veggie Hash

IMG_3272

Before I rant about this recipe, I want to announce an exciting event coming up in Portland this Saturday. Some of you may have seen it on my Facebook page, but I want to share it again! Anyway, Jason Seib, author of The Paleo Coach, is giving a FREE talk at the Pearl District Whole Foods from 12-1 p.m, this Saturday, May 4th. There will be copies of Jason’s book available for purchase and he will also be available for signing. In addition, there will be some delicious paleo recipes to try made by the lovely, Ashley Kipp, the pearl store’s Healthy Foods Specialist and blogger behind Craving4more. Space is limited and an RSVP is required, so if you want to sign up, please email Ashley at ashley.kipp@wholefoods.com. It’s only two days away, so make sure you reserve your spot now! The presentation will be held upstairs in Salud, the demo kitchen next to The Mezz.

**********

Meanwhile, this simple and tasty dish is versatile and pretty much foolproof — at least in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t have too much to say about it, other than the fact that it’s just plain good. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’d also be great mixed with some scrambled eggs, but a runny egg on top is lovely too. Can you believe that I used to detest runny yolks? Up until a couple years ago, I only ate my yolks cooked through. That’s just blasphemy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, torn into pieces
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp bone broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Sunny side-up pastured eggs for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break up with a spatula. Then, add the chopped garlic. Season with a little sea salt and pepper, and continue to cook.
  2. Next, add the radishes, carrots, spices, bone broth, and a bit more sea salt and pepper; stir. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Then, add the torn spinach leaves and butter. Cook another couple minutes, until spinach softens a bit. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Optional to serve with a sunny-side up egg on top.

Yields: 3 servings

IMG_3273

Simple Supper Friday: Chicken with Snap Peas and Carrots

IMG_3110

Hello from Minneapolis! I’m in the midst of my trip home to Alpena, Michigan and am SO tired. I never got a chance to nap yesterday, which didn’t surprise me at all, so I’m running on a few janky hours of airplane sleep and it’s still very early in the morning Portland-time. I’m looking forward to taking a nice nap when I get into Alpena, and lucky for me, I’m flying directly into the tiny airport there, which means no 4-hour drive from Detroit. The 4-hour layover in Minneapolis was the tradeoff though.

Here’s yet another recipe that I modified from my vegetarian days. This was actually a vegan recipe and completely vegetable-based, but I used to add garbanzo beans for protein and then serve it over rice pasta. Now, it features grass-fed butter and chicken chunks. No grains either, obviously. It’s way better than it ever tasted before.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for carrot baby food, but you can definitely use your own homemade carrot puree by cooking some carrots until tender, and then pureeing them in the food processor. Easy peasy. If you use baby food, just make sure to use a quality brand that doesn’t have any additives or junk added to it. It should only consist of carrots!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 4 oz jar organic carrot baby food (I used this brand) OR 4 oz homemade carrot puree
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1-2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup chicken bone broth (preferably homemade), plus more if needed
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute a couple minutes. Then, add the chicken pieces and continue to saute. Season chicken to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. After about 5-7 minutes, pour in the chicken broth, carrot baby food and parsley.  Stir and continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 7-10 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, steam the chopped carrots in a steamer basket for 2 minutes. Then, add the sugar snap peas and steam for 3 minutes more. Once done, add to the chicken mixture and stir. Adjust seasonings if needed and let cook for a minute or two more.
  4. Serve over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. We ate ours over zucchini noodles, and it was wonderful.

Yields: 3-4 servings

IMG_3116

St. Patrick’s Day Recap

My St. Patty's Day meal.
My St. Patty’s Day meal.

Monday, already? It always comes so quickly, doesn’t it? Well, anyway, I hope you all had a lovely weekend and St. Patrick’s Day. Did you do or make anything special to celebrate? I made corned beef with carrots, onion and cabbage, which tasted delicious. I probably hadn’t eaten corned beef since I was between the ages of 12-15. I cheated a little and bought 2 lbs worth of fresh, local corned beef at Whole Foods. It was pre-brined and had spices rubbed all over it, and just needed to be cooked. I threw it in the Crock Pot with carrots, yellow onion, green cabbage and bone broth, and let it cook for about 4.5 hours. It was perfect and much better than the corned beef I recall eating as a kid. The beef was more brown than pink after cooking, because it didn’t contain any nitrates, but it did have beet powder in the brine, which allowed for a tiny bit of pink. I served it up for us in bowls, to allow for ladel-fuls of savory broth. Specifically, here’s what I did for the recipe:

Corned beef and cabbage

  • 2 lb pre-brined fresh corned beef, preferably grass-fed
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 6-8 medium carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces (I used orange and multicolored carrots)
  • 1 head of cabbage, quartered
  • 4 cups bone broth
  1. Place corned beef in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with carrots, onion and finally cabbage. Pour broth over everything, making sure the meat is covered by about 1-inch.
  2. Put lid on slow cooker and cook on high for about 4.5 hours.
  3. Slice meat against the grain to serve. Top with veggies and lots of broth. Watch out for loose peppercorns from the rub!

For a St. Patty’s Day treat, I whipped up the egg version of Against All Grain’s, cinnamon ‘oat’meal raisin cookies. Holy moly, these really do turn green too, especially as they sit and cool. The reaction of sunflower seed butter and baking soda causes the green to occur, in case you’re wondering. Mine turned just as green as Danielle’s (blogger of Against All Grain) did in her pictures! They almost look mossy and even look slightly blue, which may be in part from the raisins. Because of their mossy appearance, they’re definitely a Portland-appropriate cookie! We have a lot of moss here, because of rain and being in a valley.

Speaking of this recipe, I had to chuckle when I read some of the comments. One of the readers, who clearly doesn’t pay attention or read Against All Grain’s posts very often, asked how much oats are needed for the recipe because it wasn’t mentioned in the ingredients. I loved Danielle’s response, telling her that it is a grain-free site and there are no oats in the recipe! The unsweetened coconut is meant to emulate the oats. Some people are so oblivious, yet I find it entertaining…sometimes.

Danielle's pictures were so pretty, that I decided to borrow one. Mine wouldn't do the cookies as much justice! (Photo credit: Againstallgrain.com)
(Photo credit: Againstallgrain.com)

So, that was my St. Patrick’s Day. The rest of my weekend included (kind of) studying for finals, working on a final project, working at the gym, laundry and errands.