Paleo/Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I stumbled upon this recipe for Grain-Free Banana Bread yesterday, and rushed home to make it! I altered the recipe a little because I added dark chocolate chips and made it Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread! It was decadent!!! So far, everyone who has tried it has loved it (even my picky boyfriend who never wants to eat my healthy food)! If he liked it, then it must be delicious! It is so easy to make as well! I recommend trying this recipe as soon as you can!!

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dry ingredients
-1/2 cup coconut flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– a dash or two of sea salt

wet ingredients
– 4 eggs
– 1/3 cup coconut oil
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 4 medium ripe bananas
– 1/4 cup raw honey
– 1/2 to 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips (For paleo use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
– (Next time I think I’ll add some chopped walnuts, to give it a little crunch).

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and set aside.
3. Mash the bananas in a small bowl
4. Melt the coconut oil on the stove top (and the honey if it is in a solid state).
5. Add ALL ingredients together in one bowl and mix til batter is smooth.
6. Mix well and pour into a greased loaf pan
7. Bake for 1 hour and enjoy.

There you go! It is delicious warm, room temperature, and I’m sure it would be GREAT after sitting in the fridge for a while too! For breakfast this morning I even warmed a sliced up and spread a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Crunchy Unsalted Almond Butter on it—-ANGELS WERE SINGING!!! I cannot keep my hands out of this stuff! Good thing it is completely clean and grain free!!

I could go on and on about it, but how about you just go try it for yourself? :]

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Article—20 Mainstream Nutrition Myths That Most People Believe (Even Though They’ve Been Proved Wrong!)

Found this read this morning and really felt like I should re-post it! So many different opinions on what you should and should not eat are constantly being jerked around! This article right here summed up a lot of the myths that the food/health industry have been feeding us for so many years! It is time for people to stop listening to mainstream health fads, do the research for themselves, and JUST EAT REAL FOOD! Take a look for yourself!

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/13256-mainstream-nutrition-myths-proved-wrong.html

Catching up–Fourth of July Treats, New Recipes, and New Baby Nephew Noah!!

Sorry for all the sporadic blogging. My posts have been anything but consistent lately. This week was extremely busy between the 4th of July party I had to plan for, my boyfriend’s birthday and the birth of my new baby nephew Noah! It has been a hectic, but fun week!

Isn’t this just the sweetest face you’ve ever seen?

Sweet Baby Noah!!

For the 4th, I had a few of my friends from my grad program come over to hang out with my family. We hung around the pool and my dad cooked for us. We had such a BLAST and it was so great to catch up with them! It’s crazy how you see each other everyday during school and then suddenly you go weeks without seeing each other during the summer! I missed them so much and it was such a pleasure to have them over for the day!

Future Social Workers of America! LOVE these girls!!

I was so excited about all of the healthy festive treats I made because usually on a holiday, I am surrounded by junk food and end up having to resort to it when I’m hungry. Not this time though! I made sure I had plenty of healthy and clean options to choose from! Below are some pics and recipes! My favorite was the Coconut Flour Cupcake recipe I got from BreeLovesBeauty on Youtube! Click the link for the recipe and also check her Youtube page out! She has a lot of other recipe, workout, haul, and fashion videos!

Red, White, and Blue Coconut Flour Cupcakes

American Flag Fruit Kabobs

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Vodka

For the Strawberry Lemonade Vodka, here is what I did:
-Fill a pitcher with water and add a ton of slices of lemon and fresh strawberries (I didn’t count exactly, but I think it was about 3 or 4 lemons per pitcher and 1/2 of a small container of strawberries).
-Let sit in the fridge overnight (I let it sit for 2 nights, just to make sure it really got the flavor)
-The morning of the day you are wanting to drink it, add in Absolute Citron Vodka (I put about 1 1/2 cups per pitcher, but add as much or as little as you want).

I received more compliments about this drink than anything! Everyone loved how LIGHT and REFRESHING it was. It was also pretty strong, so you didn’t need to drink too much of it. But, I found (just as I do when I drink water and vodka) that drinking this helps you to stay hydrated while drinking, and doesn’t give you the bloat that you normally get when drinking alcohol. It also helps flush your system (just like drinking lemon water) and I felt like I stayed full and didn’t feel the urge to snack as much as I normally would! If you have any kind of pool party or event, I recommend you trying this out!

I am also excited to share the Skinny Miracle Noodle Mac and Cheese recipe I got from Cassey Ho from Blogilates. I also recommend looking at her page because she has a ton of “Cheap Clean Eats” recipes. They are very simple, clean, and inexpensive. And I love that she always uses ingredients that you normally have on hand already! I have been wanting to try this mac and cheese recipe and finally did! I tweaked it a little though because I cooked it on the stove instead of the microwave and couldn’t get the right consistency. It still tasted delicious however!

–Miracle Noodle Ziti (I used Miracle Noodle Angel Hair instead)
–Pinch of salt
–2 tbsp of unsweetened almond milk
–2 tbsp cottage cheese
–3 TBS cheddar cheese (opt for organic or raw)
–1/4 tsp dry mustard
–Pinch of pepper and cayenne to taste

Here is what I did:
-Instead of using the microwave, I boiled the noodles on the stove for about 3-4 minutes. Then drained them in a strainer.
-After putting the noodles back in the pot, I added in the remaining ingredients and stirred while on low heat. Once all the cheese is melted and is mixed together well, you can eat it like this. OR….
-I transferred it to a glass pan, topped it with a little more cheese, cayenne pepper and sprinkled on some almond meal (like bread crumbs) and cooked it on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and macaroni seems more firm).
-TADA! DELICIOUS Baked Skinny Miracle Noodle Mac and Cheese!!
-Makes 2 servings!

Trader Joe's Jalepeno Chicken Sausage and Cassey Ho's Skinny Miracle Noodle Mac and Cheese

Yesterday, I also made some more homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars and I made my dad a recipe he has been asking me to make for him>> Frozen Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Banana Bites (I forgot to take a picture of them, but here is the recipe online). Since I have pretty much converted completely over to almond butter over peanut butter, I made some for myself using almond butter. They were so easy to make except the chocolate did not come out as pretty as in the picture. The recipe called for Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, but I used dark chocolate because I was trying to make this less processed and more clean.

For lunch today I brought the 2nd half of the Coconut Flour Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla that I made for supper last night. I feel like the more I make these, the better I get at them! SO FLIPPING DELICIOUS!!! It almost feels wrong to eat food this good and call it clean!! But, it so is!!

Okay, so now that I’m caught up…

HAVE A GREAT MONDAY EVERYONE!

Pizza Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe!

So, I saw this recipe online last week and couldn’t wait to try it. I know it’s not completely paleo, but it is definitely a better alternative for a pizza/spaghetti craving. I was worried it would not taste quite as good as it look, but boy was I wrong. It was AH-MAZING! For someone who does not eat very big meals, I have to admit that I went back for seconds. I would not suggest eating this in abundance only because of the cheese and pepperoni, but on occasion I feel it’s okay. It still has nutritional benefits from the spaghetti squash and ground venison, and it definitely proves that eating grain-free is not boring! I found the recipe at Holistically Engineered, but I changed it up a bit. Here is the recipe I used:

Pizza Spaghetti Squash Casserole:

  • 1 Whole Spaghetti Squash (or 4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb Ground Venison Sausage
  • 3 cups Arrabbiata Marinara Sauce (or your preferred brand/homemade)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 oz Pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I think I only used about 1/4, but however much you want)
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground venison sausage (or whatever meat you choose) until cooked through.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the marinara sauce, eggs, oregano, and garlic powder.
  4. Place the spaghetti squash into a glass baking dish (I used a 8X11.5″). Top with the marinara mixture and cooked venison sausage. Stir to combine with the spaghetti squash and smooth into an even layer.
  5. Top with a layer of half of the pepperoni, a layer of Parmesan cheese, and then a layer of Mozzarella cheese.
  6. Top with the remaining pepperoni and make for 20-30 minutes until set and heated through.
  7. Let sit for a few minutes to firm a little, or eat it while a little runny. Either way is delicious!

Because of the larger glass pan, this about made 8 medium-large servings.

If you’re vegan or paleo and do not want cheese, I’m sure using nutritional yeast would work just fine. Adding veggies (vegan) or some other ground meat (paleo) instead of the pepperoni would be delicious as well! Not sure about the egg replacement, but I’m sure if you’re vegan you know of something you can use!Image

 

Happy Tuesday!

Weekend food pics and Recipes!

So sorry it has been so long since I last posted! I have been busy, and kinda lazy with posts. I have, however, been trying out some new recipes that I have been wanting to try for such a long time, so I wanted to share them with you! Below are are couple of pics:

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Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla.
I got this from Cassey Ho’s cheap clean eats. Oh how I have missed having quesadillas in my life since I quit eating grains! This recipe was so easy, quick and completely grain-less!  It was also DELICIOUS! Cassey’s recipe was double of mine and made 2 tortillas, but I was low on eggs so I just cut hers in half and made 1! Here’s the recipe I used:

Tortilla:
-1 tbsp coconut flour
-1 tbsp water (add more if it’s too thick)
-3 tbsp egg whites
-1/16 tsp baking soda

Filling: (I like my quesadillas plain for some reason)
-3-4 ounces of chicken breast
-Cayenne pepper to taste
-Cumin to taste
-Black pepper to taste
-Shredded cheese to your liking (I used colby jack, but whatever you prefer)
-You can also add in seared veggies or whatever

Just cook your chicken in a skillet til done, add in seasoning and cook til it soaks in to your liking. Mix all of the ingredients for your tortilla together and pour into a pan (swish around so that it covers the pan). When done,  transfer the tortilla to a plate, throw on your cheese and hot chicken, fold over and voila! Delicious quesadilla!!!

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I also finally tried the banana ice cream and some almond flour cookies. I wish I would have taken better pics of these! I have to say though, these were by far the best paleo cookies I’ve ever made! Here are the links for these 2 recipes below:
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Magic Banana “Ice Cream”

Hope you all get a chance to try them for yourself! Enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Recipe and how much I saved!

What a great Saturday it has been thus far! We went to the farmers market this morning to get some produce,  then my friend and I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things! My main reason for going there, however,  was to get the ingredients to make homemade Larabars! I have recently became addicted to Larabars–especially the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor–and realized how easy and cheap it would be to make my own! I made them and I am beyond excited to say that I saved so much money (and even calories) per bar! Not only did I save, these bars taste EXACTLY like the real thing! They are absolutely delicious! Here are some pictures and a breakdown of my savings:

-Trader Joe’s Price per bar: $1.29 (after tax $1.41)
-Calories per Larabar: 220

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar:
-Trader Joe’s Medjool Dates: $4.49; Calories: 1,265 for whole package
-Trader Joe’s 50% Less Salt Roasted and Salted Peanuts: $3.29 (I only used 2 cups, so for the recipe it’s only about $2.19); Calories: 1,280 for 2 cups

Here’s what I used:
-2 cups of pitted Medjool Dates
-2 cups of 50% less salted Roasted Peanuts

What I did:
-Blend the peanuts in food processor. Remove and put in another bowl.
-Blend the dates in the processor (this will take work! Lots of stopping and moving the dates around with a spoon because the dates are so thick and sticky). Make sure you remove the pits from the dates before blending as well.
-Add the peanuts back with the dates and continue blending until smooth.
-Spoon the mixture into a glass pan and press down to smooth and even out.
-Put in fridge for about 2 hours to form. Take them out and cut into desired size. Then wrap in saran wrap and store in fridge!

What it made:
-16 bars
-159.1 calories per bar
Cost per bar: About $0.46

– After tax I spent $8.48 on both items. What I used on the recipe came out to about $7.28 or $0.46 per bar! If I were to buy 16 of these bars at Trader Joe’s for $1.29, after tax I would spend about $22.50.
-Overall savings, about $15.22. How’s that for thriftiness? Never again will I spend $1.29 on a Larabar!

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Food Pics

Food pics from Tuesday night/Wednesday Morning!

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Tuesday Night’s Dinner: Venison Meatball with Eggplant Parmesan!

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Wednesday Morning Breakfast: Banana Almond Smoothie
Recipe:
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 banana
2 tbsp almond butter

Sorry for the short post, but have been busy today! I will try to post later tonight, if not tomorrow for sure!

Happy Wednesday!