Apple Spice Bread

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Yum! This was my first attempt at grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free baking… that’s a lot of “free”! 😉 I am so used to baking with flour that I was slightly apprehensive about how this recipe might turn out. I was relieved when this baked up beautifully light and soft. The kids and I, (well, mostly I), ate a whole loaf today. Instead of making one large loaf, I made three minis, cooled them completely, then wrapped them and stored them in the refrigerator. I know I’ll make this again and I’ll have fun trying out new coconut flour recipes soon. My next experiment will be testing this same recipe, but swapping the apple sauce for pumpkin puree. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

1Ingredients, minus the vanilla extract.

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These popped out of the pan nicely after cooling for 15 minutes. I love my USA Pans! 🙂

Applesauce Spice Bread – adapted from Au Naturale Nutrition

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee (melted)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, natural applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend until evenly combined. Grease pan(s).  Pour batter into 3 mini loaf pans or 1 large glass loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in mini pans.  Bake 65-70 minutes for 1 large loaf. Allow to cool completely.  Store in fridge.

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Paleo Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

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While sometimes I miss grains, I don’t miss the “bubble-gut” from eating them. Spaghetti squash can be a good replacement for pasta, especially if you cook it right. I have tried the “bake cut-side down”, (not my favorite – it becomes soft and mushy); and then bake “cut-side up” – my preferred method. I like a little bite to my finished “noodles”. Also, I recommend microwaving the whole squash for a few minutes before splitting in two. It softens the squash just enough to get my knife in without threat of losing fingers! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Meat Sauce – adapted from Food.com

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 -6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional or adjust to taste)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (can use two cans for a thicker richer sauce if desired)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Roma tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 – 1  cup water (according to your desired consistency)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add sausage to the pot and break up Add onion, garlic, dried herbs and pepper flakes saute for 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and shredded carrots to the pot, cook for a few minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add canned tomatoes and water and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. You can add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.

Paleo Orange Chicken

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Quick Post: This was pretty good, but next time I’ll add less arrowroot powder for thickening. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Paleo Orange Chicken – adapted from Paleo Cupboard

**shown with my modifications**

  •  1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  •  Sea salt
  •  Ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 cups steamed veggies, I used carrots and green beans

For the Sauce

  •  1 cup chicken stock or water
  •  1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  •  Zest of 1 large orange
  •  2 Tbsp. raw honey
  •  3 Tbsp. gluten-free soy or coconut aminos
  •  1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
  •  Dash red pepper flakes
  •  1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

Directions –

1. Season chopped chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium size saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium high heat and bring just to a boil, stirring frequently. Allow sauce to thicken and then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 -2 tablespoons of coconut oil and heat until it shimmers. Toss in the veggies and cook for about 2 minutes – remove them and set aside. Add the remaining coconut oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until nicely browned. Drain any excess fat from the pan and pour the sauce into the skillet. Add the veggies to the pan and stir to coat. Serve over roasted cauli-rice.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Ketchup

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Yum! The “fries” were sweet and a little spicy, soft but not mushy. I really liked dipping in homemade mayo over the ketchup, but over all I would say this was a successful experiment. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Oven-Baked Spiced Sweet Potato Fries – adapted from The Iron You

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 oz each)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt


Directions –

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Wash the sweet potatoes but don’t peel them, Cut each lengthwise in half. Cut again lengthwise into quarters, then once more into eighths and then once more in the same way, so you are left in the end with sixteen long wedges. Finally, cut each wedge in half crosswise.
Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a large Ziploc bag (or other freezer bag) and sprinkle with arrowroot powder. Close the bag and shake until the sweet potatoes are fully covered.
In a small bowl combine paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt.
Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet that has been line with parchment paper and brushed lightly with some of the olive oil (or coconut oil). Spread sweet potatoes evenly leaving enough space between them for the air to circulate. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil (or coconut oil).
Sprinkle with some of the spice mixture.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turning the sweet potatoes once with the help of a spatula (be careful not to burn yourself though). For crispier fries turn on the broiler the last 3 to 4 minutes.

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Paleo Ketchup – adapted from The Iron You

  • 6 oz  tomato paste
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ small onion

Directions –

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine tomato paste, honey, water, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic and onion. Whisk until very smooth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every so often. The sauce will thicken and the flavors will bind.
Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let cool at room temperature. (*I used my stick blender to puree the ketchup*)
Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

 

Carrot Cake for My Gram

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My kids and I recently came back from our trip to California. While I was there, I used an entire 5 pound bag of flour…yeah, I went a little overboard spoiling my parents and my Grandma during those two short weeks 😉 I was glad to, and honored to cook with my 85 year old grandmother – the one who inspired me to cook in the first place. While it was a lot of time and effort to make so much for them, I was flattered to hear that my Gram actually learned from me!! and my Dad said my cinnamon rolls reminded him of his mother’s 🙂

Because Gram’s birthday happened the week after we flew in, I told her I would bake her a birthday cake. She couldn’t eat chocolate (huge bummer), but she loved carrot cake. Problem for this baker was that I have never made one, let alone eaten a piece in over 10 years!! Thankfully, a quick search at Pinterest led me to find this recipe that sounded tasty – kind of flimsy evidence to go on, but I went with it. I didn’t try any of it because of my Whole 30 craziness, but the family really enjoyed it and said it wasn’t too sweet and the frosting was perfect. That sounds like a win to me! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Carrot Cake – adapted from Sprinkle Some Sugar

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
  • 5 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (about 7-8 carrots)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 9″ round baking pans with parchment paper and lightly grease and flour sides. Be sure to get every inch! Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover all together and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined making sure everything is well mixed. Fold in the grated carrots by hand with a rubber spatula or spoon. Batter will be thick, this is okay. If you are adding pecans or raisins, do so now.
Distribute the batter evenly into both pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Start checking cake at 25 and check every 2 minutes after that. Once a toothpick comes out clean, cakes are done. Let them cool on wire rack or counter for 20 minutes. Flip pans over and cakes should pop right out onto wire rack or parchment or wax paper lined counter. Let them cool completely. While they are cooling, mix up the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add in the vanilla and mix until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low until combined. Whip frosting for another minute or so until smooth and creamy.
Once cakes are completely cooled, cut the domed tops off so they are completely flat and even. Place one cake on the bottom of a cake stand, facing up. Spread some frosting on top until completely covered. Add second cake, bottom up, and frost the rest of the cake. I found it much easier to do one thin layer of frosting, set it in the fridge and as it firmed up a bit, add another thick layer – the frosting looks much more even this way. This cake is even more moist and flavorful the second day once the flavors have all settled in with each other.
Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Paleo Beef Stir Fry

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I made this for the whole family, but served theirs with rice, and for a Paleo friendly side, use cauliflower “rice”. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – adapted from Deliciously Organic

For the Steak Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin, sliced thin against-the-grain
  • 1 tablespoon fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry

For the Ginger and Garlic Mixture:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the Garlic Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth (homemade preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 -4 cups steamed veggies – I used carrots, green beans and broccoli

Directions –

Toss together the sirloin, tamari and sherry in a small bowl. Let sirloin marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature. Whisk the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil in a small bowl. Whisk together sherry, chicken broth, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, arrowroot and honey in another small bowl.

Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to pan and swirl to coat. Place sirloin in one single layer in skillet and don’t stir (meat should sizzle – if it doesn’t the pan isn’t hot enough). Cook sirloin for about 1-2 minutes until bottom side is brown. Turn, using tongs, and cook until brown on the bottom, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer sirloin to a clean bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to now empty skillet and heat until just shimmering. Add broccoli, green beans, and carrots. Stir continuously for about 1 minute. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and add the ginger-and-garlic mixture. Stir ginger and garlic mixture in the middle of the pan for about 45 seconds and then combine with the rest of the vegetables. Add sirloin slices (and any accumulated juices) and garlic sauce to pan. Toss until sauce begins to thicken and ingredients are well coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Sausage

 

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This Whole 30 kick has forced me to make just about everything from scratch – not a problem on most days, but sometimes I want a break. This change has definitely been a huge lesson in discipline for me, but I can tell you that the results are completely worth it. In less than three weeks, I lost 9 pounds and haven’t counted a single calorie or fat gram, and I am not starving myself! I have more energy, sleep better, I feel stronger, my clothes fit way better and have much more confidence than I did a few months ago.

Anyway, back to the recipe – these are super quick and easy to make. I serve them with fried eggs, roasted sweet potato and some avocado – all Whole 30 approved! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Breakfast Sausages – adapted from Primal Palate

  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp Fennel
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper

Directions –

Process Combine pork, garlic, and all spices in a mixing bowl, mixing until it reaches an even consistency. Form pork mixture into 2-ounce patties (approximately 8 patties). Heat a skillet to medium heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per 4 patties. Cook the patties for approximately 3–4 minutes per side. Each side should be golden, and the center of the patties should no longer be pink.

Bison/Beef Burger with Avocado Dipping Sauce and Kale Chips

This dinner was amazing – I didn’t even miss the carbs and cheese! 😉  I used a pound each of bison and lean beef for the meat mixture, which I gently mixed, and formed into patties, then generously sprinkled fresh black pepper and pink salt on top. My husband expertly grilled them up; while I fried my egg – I’m not ashamed to admit that runny yolks are my favorite!

 

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For my Paleo plate, I placed a piece of Romaine lettuce, some dip, two slices of tomato, the burger, more dip, and then the lovely fried egg. I could not wait to dig into this meal. And the kale chips? They’re so light and crispy, salty and savory and complimented the avocado dipping sauce perfectly. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Avocado Dipping Sauce – adapted from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods

  • 1 medium ripe Hass avocado
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

1. Halve the avocado, and remove pit and peel.

2. Place the avocado halves and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Serve as a spread, dip or dressing.

 

Kale Chips – adapted from Kansas City Mamas

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lay each kale leaf on cutting board and cut out hard stem with a sharp knife.

3. Place leaves in a large bowl and wash well. Drain kale well, or spin in a salad spinner. Place leaves in a large bowl and coat with oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.

4. Divide leaves onto two cookie sheets if necessary- you don’t want the leaves to steam. Roast for 15 minutes, being careful not to burn.

 

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The money shot!

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Flat Bread

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Quick Post: Greek night is one of my favorites and the leftovers taste even better 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Gyros – adapted from Elly Says Opa

  • 1.5 to 2 pounds chicken breast, split
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3 TBSP
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping TBSP Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • salad greens
  • crumbled feta
  • flat bread

Directions –

Combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl – then pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the grill (or broiler, pan, ect.) Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook until done – about 5-7 minutes a side. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, feta and onions. Roll up and eat!

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Tzatziki – adapted from Culinary Cory

  • 2 (7 oz) containers of Greek yogurt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and unpeeled
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. fresh dill, minced (*I used about 1 tsp. dried*)
  • 1 ½ Tbl. garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • assorted fresh vegetables
Directions –
Shred the cucumber with a grater and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the dip ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Garnish with any remaining dill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables. Makes approximately 2 cups of dip.
bread
Flat Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Wrap bread

  • 3 cups AP flour (361 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup potato buds or flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

Directions –

1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it’s not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4) Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7″- to 8″-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat (about 325°F in an electric frying pan or on an electric griddle) for about 1 minute per side, until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool completely before storing in a plastic bag. Note: If you plan on making these into folded sandwiches, gently fold them in half when you take them off the griddle, rather than laying them flat. That way, they’ll retain that folded shape as they cool, and will be easier to make into sandwiches.

 

Simple Amish White Bread

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I’m always on the look out for my next favorite bread recipe, and this one is high on the list. There is a lot of liquid in this recipe, so I used all the 7 cups of flour and my dough was slightly tacky but smooth. Don’t fret about the full stick of butter – you should be able to cut each loaf into 18 slices, so that stick goes a long way. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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*I loved the texture and flavor of this bread and I decided to make the suggested buns.

Simple Amish White Bread Recipe – The Slow Roasted Italian

makes 2 9×5” loaves or 16 big hamburger buns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 ½ cup warm water (110° to 120°)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour (I used all 7)
Directions –
Melt ¼ cup of butter.  I microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until it is mostly melted.  I recommend covering with a paper towel to avoid messes.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add sugar and water.  Sprinkle yeast over top and swirl with spoon or fingers to combine.  Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes while the yeast bloom and become aromatic.
Add melted butter, 4 cups flour and salt.  Mix on low, using dough hook, until smooth.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough ball forms (I use the entire 7 cups).  Turn to medium and knead for 5 minutes.  Your ball of dough should be tacky (not sticky).  If it is sticky, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes tacky (does not leave dough on your fingers when you touch it).
Turn onto a floured board; knead about 10 turns. Place 1 tablespoon butter in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat butter in the microwave until butter is melted.  Place dough into bowl, turning once to grease top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a cloth over top and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and shape into two loaves (or 16 hamburger buns).  I like to make half and half.  Place loaves in greased 9-in. x 5-in loaf pans.  For hamburger buns, grease a cookie sheet.  Divide dough and roll into balls.  Gently press on dough balls with the palm of your hand (creating a bun shape).  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  When bread is removed from the oven, brush with remaining butter.  Serve and enjoy!
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