Chocolate Mint Popsicles

These chocolate mint popsicles are creamy and full of mint chip flavor. Not only that, but they’re dye-free, have no refined sugar, include a dose of protein and probiotics, and have vitamins and minerals from the spinach (and natural light green color to boot). They are not your average popsicle. They’re the perfect healthy treat on a hot day and I’ve definitely been enjoying my fair share. I went through two rounds of experimenting with this recipe, so I’ve had a freezer full. No complaints on my end!

In the directions, you’ll notice that I don’t add the chocolate pieces to the blender. It doesn’t work all that well if you do and I know since I tested it this way on my first trial run. The chocolate pieces break up a bit more, but then sink to the bottom, which means you then have to scoop them out by hand.

Meanwhile, I’ll be making these popsicles on KATU Afternoon Live at the end of the month, along with two other flavors (one of which will be for adults only). Stay tuned for those recipes!

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July! Cheers!

UPDATE: watch the replay of my KATU Afternoon Live segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups coconut cream (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 3/4 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, preferably grass-fed (I used this brand)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (use more if you want it sweeter)
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 3-4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe peppermint essential oil OR 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (learn where to get therapeutic-grade oils here)
  • 2.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate bar, finely chopped (I used this one, which is lightly sweetened with coconut sugar)

Directions:

  1. To a high speed blender container, add all the ingredients, except the chocolate. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space at the top of each mold. Then, disperse chocolate evenly among the molds. Top off with more of the mixture and stir a little with popsicle stick, if desired (chocolate will distribute a bit during freezing though).
  3. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Once ready, rinse mold under hot water briefly to remove popsicle.

Note: I used these molds, but the Dixie cup & popsicle stick method will do the trick as well. Just put the stick in halfway through freezing. This way, the sticks will stay centered.

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

Sausage, Squash and Spinach Egg Casserole

egg casserole

Jesse and I ate this egg casserole Christmas morning and both thought it was spectacular. I threw it together that morning and while it baked, we enjoyed coffee and opened some gifts from our family. It was just us on Christmas and it turned out to be a quiet, but enjoyable day. We were both okay with quiet and hanging out at home since we were recently traveling in Hawaii (which was our Christmas gift to each other).

Meanwhile, when I made this recipe, I was fortunate to have half of a roasted delicata squash leftover in my fridge, but if you don’t have any leftover, here’s what to do: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place in a baking pan cut-side down. Fill the pan with about 1/4″ of water and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas that was filled with joy. I wish you all a happy New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (pork sausage is fine too)
  • About 6 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste if needed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream, if tolerated & preferably from a pasture-raised source
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 large roasted delicata squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (leave skin on)
  • 1/2 cup grated raw grass-fed cheddar cheese, if tolerated

egg casserole 3

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground breakfast sausage and break up with a spatula. Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place the spinach in the bottom of a 9×13 pan (note: you may need to grease your pan with a little butter before adding the spinach. I used a stoneware baking dish that doesn’t stick, but if you’re using glass or stainless steel, I’d recommend greasing it). Stir the sausage into the spinach and make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk or heavy cream, bone broth, sea salt, pepper, garlic granules, onion granules and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture on top of the sausage and spinach. Then, evenly distribute the squash pieces on top and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, if using.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

 

Simple Supper Friday: Red and Green Scramble

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Well, Christmas is nearly upon us, as is the Winter Solstice. I absolutely savor this time of year and the time leading up to Christmas, so I’m not sure if I’m actually ready for it to be here. But, ready or not, here it comes! I do look forward to celebrating with Jesse though and tomorrow, we actually have a big party to go to at our boss’s house, which should be a blast. It’s going to be a full house, with about 40 people! Let’s just say there will be lots of merry making going on!

Meanwhile, here is the fantastic scramble I talked about on Facebook the other day. It’s so simple, obviously, and oh so good! The recipe only serves one, but can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • 3 eggs beaten, preferably pasture raised
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp pure tomato sauce (I like this brand)
  • Splash of full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand or this brand)
  • Avocado slices for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the torn spinach leaves and toss in the butter, until slightly softened.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sea salt, pepper, oregano, tomato sauce and coconut milk. Add to the pan with the spinach, adding a little more butter first, if needed.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring the eggs occasionally with a spatula to scramble the eggs. Once cooked through, remove from heat and serve with avocado slices, if desired. If you tolerate some dairy, grate some raw cheddar cheese one top (preferably grass-fed).

Yields: 1 serving

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.

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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

BBQ Buffalo Muffins

IMG_3228

Welcome back, all! I hope you had a nice weekend, whether it was eventful, busy or relaxing. I always manage to have a good weekend, no matter what ends up happening. I’m always happy to have time away from school and a little extra time with Jesse!

My weekend consisted of the usual errands, yoga and work on Sunday morning, along with trying desperately to understand my exercise science readings and homework. Jesse did his best to break it down for me, but it’s extra tricky since I don’t have a chemistry background. I only had to take one chemistry class ever and it was my junior year of high school, 11 years ago. I was fortunate to never have to take chemistry when getting my BA, because I had passed it in high school with better than a C. So, it takes some extra studying on my part and even then, it’s still complicated.

Saturday evening was especially lovely because I had a girl’s dinner out with my friends, Laura and Ashley (aka Craving4more). I introduced the two of them to each other and we had a nice meal and conversation at Dick’s Kitchen. We all ordered lettuce-wrapped burgers and veggies, and it was Laura’s very first experience at Dick’s. Naturally, she liked it (it’d be hard not to like it). We were there a couple hours and then afterward, Ashley walked home and Laura and I went for a cup of hot tea before driving back to my place. It was a good evening for us all, and nice for me to get out with the girls…something I never really do.

Anyway, these meat muffins make for an easy, tasty lunch and are suitable for breakfast or dinner as well. The Tessemae’s All Natural BBQ sauce is delicious, but I realized that I need to be careful with it. It has balsamic vinegar in it and I discovered that it’s still a bit too much for me at this point (balsamic is a SCD-illegal food because of the natural sugar content). I thought it’d maybe be okay since I’m far in my healing, but I guess not. My bloat was tolerable each time, but still annoying. I’ll try it out again down the road or understand the potential consequences if I choose to eat it. For most people, this won’t be an issue, but if you adhere to the SCD, don’t try balsamic until you’re far enough into your healing, but realize that it may still cause a problem. On another note, the muffins are really, really delicious and so is the BBQ sauce!

IMG_3226

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/4 cup Tessemae’s All Natural BBQ sauce (homemade or other legit brand like this one works too)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, and add the bacon grease. Once melted, add the red onion and saute a few minutes, until translucent and softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the ground buffalo, egg, spinach, BBQ sauce, sea salt, pepper and cayenne. Then, add the sauteed onion.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin, filling to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Time and quantity will vary based on the size of your muffin tin.

Easter Eats 2013

It’s hard to believe I go back to school already today, but then again, I did only have one week off. Anyway, I feel settled in again after my trip home to Michigan, and had a lovely weekend. It felt so good to not have any schoolwork and besides that, the weather was in the 70s! It felt incredible and I did my best to soak up the vitamin-D!

Look at all those daffodils in our back yard!
Look at all those daffodils in our back yard! Sun and green grass too! Hooray for spring!

Because this is already going to be a lengthier post, I’m going to recap about our Easter dinner and then talk about my Saturday in Tuesday’s post. Here’s a little precursor about Saturday though: sauerkraut tasting!

I mentioned on Friday that I was thinking of making deviled eggs, and so I did. I didn’t want to make a big batch, so I made just enough for Jesse and me to eat. I had never made deviled eggs before, but have looked at many recipes and eaten them before, so I knew the basic idea. These turned out great, and Jesse and I sat out on the patio in shorts and t-shirts while eating them. We also enjoyed some chardonnay in our new wine glasses that my aunt and cousin sent as a shower gift, and had some pleasant conversation.

For dinner, we had a petite ham from US Wellness Meats with a homemade glaze, pineapple chutney, a spinach salad and cooked asparagus. We had a cake for dessert, which you’ll see my note about at the bottom of the post. Recipes are listed below.

For the small-batch deviled eggs:

  • 4 hard-cooked pastured eggs, peeled
  • 1.5 Tbsp macadamia nut oil mayo
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • Paprika for garnish, optional
  1. Slice eggs in half, lengthwise and carefully scoop the yolks out into a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and then add the remaining ingredients, except the paprika. Mix well and spoon into a small zip-lock baggie.
  2. Snip one of the corners from the baggie and pipe yolk mixture back into the egg cavity.
  3. Before serving, garnish with paprika, if using.
Small-batch deviled eggs.
Small-batch deviled eggs.

For the ham and glaze:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in a foil-lined roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the glaze ingredients. After 30 minutes, brush half the glaze on the ham. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and brush on the remaining glaze. Bake for another 10 minutes.

The chutney was inspired by a Whole Foods recipe, but modified to my liking. It was a wonderful accompaniment to the ham and together, it was out of this world (and the glaze was not overpowering or super sweet). I hadn’t tasted ham probably since early high school and boy, was it good! I’d buy this US Wellness Meats ham again in a heartbeat! Compassionate-raised pasture ham is hard to come by, especially one that is both sugar-free and nitrate-free. This is a major win.

For the chutney:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for 10-20 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  2. Remove cinnamon stick and serve warm atop of ham.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and caramelized asparagus.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and browned asparagus.

The salad idea came together while grocery shopping for Easter dinner…on Easter Sunday. Ha, we never made it to the store on Saturday, like we usually do, so we had to go on actual Easter day. I expanded upon my salad idea as I assembled it at home, and the result was refreshing and summer-like.

For the spinach salad:

  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup curley parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp chopped raw cashews
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Tessemae’s lemon garlic dressing (Whole Foods carries this line now! So excited!)

In a large bowl, mix together everything, but the dressing. Just before serving, mix in the dressing.

Easter dinner.
Easter dinner.

If you really want to know what I did for the asparagus, I melted 2 Tbsp of grass-fed butter over medium heat. Then, I added a bundle of asparagus (woody ends removed) and seasoned with sea salt and pepper. I tossed the asparagus occasionally and allowed it to brown and caramelize a bit. Once tender, after 5-7 minutes, I removed from heat.

We had a delicious chocolate cake for dessert that I will post about later in the week. I think there’s enough recipes here for one day!

I’d love to hear about your Easter, and what you cooked and ate! Feel free to share!