Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

A few words about this recipe... this has one or two ingredients in it that may or may not fall into the Paleo "grey area" list.  So if you're SUPER strict Paleo, you'll have to decide whether or not this is something you'll want to try.  However, if you're like me and mostly go with the 80/20 approach, you might just find yourself using this as one of your breakfast staples!

The great thing about this recipe is that it would be easy to come up with a spin on it and change it up a bit... let me know if you do, I'd love to hear reviews!

And, without further adew, I give you....

Pumpkin Pancakes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 TBSP Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 TBSP (Grassfed, duh!) Butter
  • 1/4 cup Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate Chips (optional, for garnish... if you have a big sweet tooth - like me!)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Pecans (optional, for garnish)

Beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin in a medium bowl.  Sift dry ingredients together seperately, and gradually add to wet. Melt butter in a frying pan, and add to batter.  Drop 1/8 cup at a time onto buttered frying pan (make sure it stays well buttered, these pancakes are delicate, and don't like to flip otherwise). Wait for the top to bubble a bit, then flip over to other side.  These only take a couple minutes each. Stack these babies onto your plate, add your toppings, and voila!

I usually have these with my Apple Butter on top, but when the kids were eating their Halloween candy, I came up with the chocolate chips version... cured that sweet tooth right up! I also like to add just a little Maple Syrup on top to give it some moisture (ew... such a gross word...).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Changing to Paleo

Hi guys! SO, it's been a while, and a lot has changed! I apologize ahead of time for this blog post being very wordy, but I feel it's necessary... so there!  I'll try to add some interesting pictures for your enjoyment. ;)

Okay, I gotta start right from the beginning, so that you can all know where I'm coming from and what lead me to this huge change in my  A couple years ago I heard about this eating style called "Paleo" and read a book called The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, by Robb Wolf

At the time, I'd just had my son, and was nursing while training for my first half marathon.  I was commited to eating clean, but had no interest whatsoever in eliminating carbs from my diet (Paleo isn't all about NO carbs, but that's kind of how I saw it with my huge addiction to those suckers)... thought the whole idea sounded great, and made sense, but could not imagine doing it myself. 
Me, looking and feeling like poo-poo, shortly after child birth.
It was around that time that I started having VERY painful stomach cramps, that would sometimes go on for hours... and ended up visiting the ER, going through every kind of testing you can imagine, etc.  Doctor visit after visit... NO answers!  All I knew was that when I ate certain foods, it would sometimes trigger the cramping, and other times it wouldn't.  And still, I didn't want to give up my carbs.  Over time I just started giving up certain foods as I realized that they seemed to be contributing to the pain.  Eventually it seemed like there was almost nothing that I could have and really enjoy... and I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to count my calories, keep sodium super low in every meal, and avoid the food that hurt my belly.  It was stressful and tiring, and a constant battle! 

About a month ago, I was planning my meals for the next shopping trip, so I could make my grocery list.  And I had a friend who'd recently gotten into eating Paleo, who'd been sharing with me some of her recipe adventures. So I decided to research some blogs to see if I could round up some new recipes for my meal plan.  I planned out a good handful of new recipes to try, and picked up the needed ingredients.  Guys, I can't tell you how DELICIOUS these recipes were, and what a nice change it was to try some new things! They were simple, yet very different from what I was used to.  I decided when I ate a Paleo recipe to forget the rules about calories and sodium levels, since it seemed to work for so many other people, and it was so incredibly freeing! I got to reading more and more over those couple of weeks, refreshing my memory about the what and the why behind Paleo eating.  And I was hooked! I was (am) completely obsessed with finding new fun recipes and trying them out. 

One of my favorite treats I baked in those first 2 weeks: Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
(I just added a few semi-sweet dark chocolate chips on top)
Click the link for the recipe!
I realized that my problem before was that I was focused on the "no-no" list... instead of looking at all the things I COULD do, and try.  And my "no-no" list with eating clean and all my food sensativities combined was becoming bigger and bigger, so at this point, switching was actually allowing me to try MORE foods and it really just made so much more sense to me. 

So, to all of you who have been following my facebook, and instagram accounts, and putting up with all my crazy Paleo posts... and wondering what the heck I'm freaking out about and why I'm so obsessed... it's because I feel freaking AMAZING, and I'm so excited now that I really understand what and why I'm doing what I'm doing for my body!  So, if you've had questions, I'm attaching some of my favorite resources to this blog, for getting started on your research!  Thanks for waiting for my explanation! I will do my best to start sharing my recipes also, as I've had so much fun playing with ideas and making new creations in my kitchen... they MUST be shared!!

I hesitate a bit to share this, because I don't want you to just see all the No-no's, like I did at first, but I feel this picture does well at explaining some of the basics.... so here you have it, keep an open mind, and please read the references I provide... or even do your own research!

Want to know more about Paleo?
I can't tell you how incredibly helpful this blog is. It's designed where it's easy to follow, and chalk full of practically everything you need to know about Paleo to get started!  Follow the links and prompts where it says "start here" etc. 
My advice is not to skip any of it, and to really read through it all with a fine tooth comb, so you can really gain an understanding of the why and the what behind the lifestyle.
Now that I've convinced you that you need to go Paleo, just like me, you're going to need to find some good recipes.  The great thing is that I'm behind schedule with this movement, and there are already TONS of people out there making amazing blogs with their own marvelous Paleo recipes... so here's where I started:
  • - I'm sharing her blog with you first, because hers is my favorite so far, and I'm using quite a few of her recipes as my staples right now.  Since squash is in season, I recommend trying her 5-Ingredient Squash, or Bacon Chicken Alfredo recipes first.
  • - This is a blog dedicated completely to crock pot recipes, all Paleo, and amazing! I just tried their Sausage in Peppers recipe yesterday, and loved it... and tomorrow I'll be making one of their Butternut Squash recipes!
  • has an amazing Banana Bread recipe (and I made french toast with it the next morning, with just beating up some eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon for batter). I haven't tried any of his other recipes yet, but am looking forward to doing so soon. 
Okay, friends, happy researching! Let me know if you're inspired or have questions about Paleo... I am no expert, but I may be able to at least point you in the right direction!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Greek Bean Soup Recipe

My neighbor made a soup like this for me a while back,
and I had to go home and make my own rendition of it!
This has been one of my favorite "comfort foods" of the fall
ever since!

Greek Bean Soup
- 1/4 C. + 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 2 large carrots
- 2 Celery Sticks
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 2 (15 oz) cans of Navy Beans, or Great Northern Beans
- 1 (14 oz) can of Diced Tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper (I always use Trader Joe's Pink Himalayan Salt Crystals)
- Feta Cheese for garnish
1. In a large stock pot, pour 2Tbsp EVOO, and add chopped carrots, celery, and onions.  Let simmer on a low heat setting until the onions are cooked through, about 2-3 min.
2. Rinse and drain beans.  They will bubble at first... rinse them until they stop bubbling.
3. Add your beans, tomatoes (NOT drained), remaining EVOO, and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir together.
4. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to med-low & let simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Serve with (or without) Feta Cheese sprinkled over top.
Note:  This soup is not exactly "soupy"... meaning, it doesn't really have a broth, but it is a delicious, budget-friendly, quick way to throw something together! Another thing I love to do with it is to make a double batch.  After it cools I stick half of the "soup" into a freezer bag  for another date (or to send home to a mom with a new baby... or someone else who needs it more). It keeps in the freezer for months... so it's a nice thing to have around in your freezer on a night you need something quick.. just remember to put a date on it so you know when it was made. :)