Weekends are always awesome, right?

It’s always interesting when you go into work on Monday and everyone asks “How was your weekend?”  Isn’t the answer always “IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!”?!?  No need to wake up early, drive 20 minutes to the train station, park, walk 5 minutes to get the train platform, spend another 5 minutes (sometimes more if it’s running late, which it always is) on the platform to wait for the train, try to find a seat and be somewhat comfortable on a ~27 minute train ride, fight the other commuters to get downstairs to catch the work shuttle, pile into a crammed vehicle with your other commuter colleagues to get from the train station to the office, and finally arrive at work 1+ hours later.  So yeah, since I don’t have to get up and do that on Saturday and Sunday, then yes, my weekends end up being pretty awesome.

We’re starting to experience Spring-like weather, so I was out and about this weekend.  I went to cardio boxing on Saturday, hot yoga on Sunday, and did some shopping and cooking in between.  We picked up some fresh cod fillets which paired really well with the vegetables we had on hand.  Light and flavorful – the perfect meal to end a great weekend.

Pan Fried Cod with Roasted Red Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 4 asparagus spears
  • Olive oil
  • For the breading:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup, almond meal
    • 1 teaspoon, Old Bay seasoning
    • Sea salt
    • Black Pepper
  • For the topping:
    • 1 roasted red pepper (jarred), chopped
    • 2 tablespoons, sundried tomatoes (jarred, in olive oil), chopped
    • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg.
  2. In another small bowl, mix the almond meal and seasonings.
  3. In a medium skillet over low to medium heat, drizzle olive oil.  Meanwhile, pat cod dry with paper towels.  Dip in egg, dredge in almond meal mixture on both sides.
  4. Add cod to the skillet, cooking for 7 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat.
  5. Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in skillet for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Plate by placing the cod first, then two asparagus spears.  Top with 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of roasted red pepper, sundried tomato, and basil mixture.

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Paleo Pancakes (Trial #1)

I’m on a mission to find the perfect recipe for Paleo pancakes.  A few months ago, I tried making them with two simple ingredients: mashed ripe bananas, and an egg.  It did not come out great.  It tasted like….. scrambled eggs with bananas (yum?).  After that weird experience, I held off on trying another recipe for awhile… But today, I was craving something other than eggs for breakfast (I know, shocking, right?!).  I found a few ingredients in my fridge, threw them together in a mixing bowl, and this resulted in Paleo pancakes – trial #1.  It’s not perfect yet, but it was MUCH better than the scrambled eggs and banana recipe…

Paleo Pancakes (First of many recipes)

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of almond meal
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil
  1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  2. In a small skillet over medium to low heat, melt some coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice), and pour batter into the skillet into small silver dollar sized circles.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes on each side (be patient or it will fall apart!!).
  4. Serve with fresh fruit or agave syrup.

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Paleo Pizza

The thing that I love about this diet is cooking with natural substitutes for the dishes that I love…. cauliflower as a substitute for rice, spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, cauliflower/almond meal/flaxseed meal for pizza crust.  Yep, you heard me correctly — pizza crust!

After an awesome trip to Trader Joe’s, I got all of my ingredients for the pizza crust.  I love being able to pick up everything in one place and for such an affordable price, too.  The 16 oz bag of almond meal is only $3.99 and the 16 oz bag of Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed meal is only $2.69!  I bought so many other goodies that I’m so excited to try… Kale chips, coconut chips, coconut ice cream; will provide an update on all those treats in a future post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was very excited to try making Paleo pizza tonight.  It was surprisingly pretty good!  I think I’m going to add cheese next time.  I know Paleo is dairy free, but I have not cut dairy completely out of my diet.  The pizza turned out tasty, but definitely needed some cheese to complete the true pizza experience!

Bjorn didn’t try this because it was “too healthy”.  He opted for the frozen Digiorno’s in the freezer instead.  🙂

Paleo Pizza

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, steamed, and chopped in a food processor (same as preparing cauliflower rice)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Toppings of your choice (I added tomato sauce, red bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and prosciutto)

1.  In a mixing bowl, add chopped up cauliflower, almond meal, flaxseed meal, eggs, baking soda, and seasonings.  Mix well.

2.  Roll the mixture into a ball and press down onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees (F), or until crust turns golden brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  While the crust is baking, prepare your toppings of choice.  I sliced my veggies and sautéed them with minced garlic in a skillet (I like my veggies cooked well when on pizza).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Once the crust is done, remove from oven, and add your toppings.  Place back into oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, slice, and enjoy!

Banana bread… Paleo style

The crisp autumn air just makes me want some warm, comforting, banana bread.  So warm and comforting banana bread I shall have!  Here’s a very simple recipe for Paleo friendly banana bread.  Enjoy with a hot cup of tea before you start your day.

Bjorn says: “Mmm, this is actually pretty good!”

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups of almond meal

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)

2.  Whisk the egg yolks and honey in a large bowl

3.  Add the oil, vanilla, mashed bananas, cinnamon, baking soda, and almond meal to the egg yolks and honey. Mix well

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form (easiest with an electric mixer!)

5.  Fold egg whites into mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.  Coat baking pan with coconut oil and pour the batter in

7.  Bake for 45 minutes

Chocolate chip scones… say no more

Have I told you that I have a HUGE sweet tooth?  Well, I do.  I love chocolate.  I love cake.  I love cupcakes.  I love ice cream.  I love candy.  I’m the only one of my siblings that has this serious addiction to SUGAR.  When my mom was pregnant with me, she went through a whole baking phase — she learned how to make homemade cakes for her and my father to enjoy.  I wonder how many cakes she consumed while she was pregnant with me… but anyway, I blame my addiction on her, hehe 🙂

I finally made a trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up some essential items.  Another thing about this whole Paleo thing is that it gets crazy expensive!  I refuse to make trips to Whole Foods because…. just because they are ridiculously overpriced.   So I go to Trader Joe’s, hoping that they will have what I need.  I picked up a package of their almond meal – similar to almond flour, but not as fine.  Only $3.99 for a lb!  (Seems expensive for a baking item and especially when compared to flour, but this is a pretty good price as almond flour can cost about $8 a lb)

The chocolate chip scone was the perfect mixture of sweet and salty.  I tried it right when it came out of the oven.  YUM.

Note: The best way to keep leftover almond meal is to put it into an airtight container and freeze.

Bjorn gives this: 2 thumbs down – it tasted too healthy for him.  Here’s how our conversation went:

Bjorn comes home from work, starving for dinner, grabs the tupperware container with the chocolate chip scones.

B: **Chewing**

Me: Do you like it?? It’s so good isn’t it???

B: No, it’s gross! What is that? Why is it so salty?

Me: Sigh…

Of course I enjoyed it and I’m sure you will, too.  I just love his reaction to some of the stuff that I’ve been making… 🙂

Chocolate Chip Scones

Makes 16

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (recommend using at least 70% cacao)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond meal, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop batter on pan using an ice cream scoop.  Keep the scoops about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. DEVOUR!