Lime in the Coconut....on some Chicken!

This was so good my man and I ate it all.....and made a second batch right then and there...and ate it all again!!!

You put the lime in the coconut and shake em both up.... just kidding  ^_^  What I love about this is how the chicken and sweet potato flavors are so completely different, yet Perfectly complement each other.

Chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
Flaked coconut, unsweetened
Juice of 1/4 lime
Coconut milk, 2 oz.
Sweet potato
Cinnamon powder
Cayenne pepper

Toss the chicken bites in a hot skillet until almost cooked through, then add the coconut flakes until they are brown and toasty and you start to get that fabulous coconut aroma. 
Add the coconut milk and squeeze in the lime juice and simmer on low until the sauce thickens.

Cook up the sweet potato however is your fancy. Truthfully...it's about the only thing I use the microwave for. Potato in, 6 minutes, done. The skin comes off easily and they're perfectly tender without added water or oil. Chop into bite sizes.
Put potato bites into a bowl and toss with equal parts cinnamon and cayenne - about 1/4 tsp each per serving. 
Spoon the chicken and some sauce into the bowl and viola! 

A taste of the islands with just a hint of kick and warmth. SO GOOD.


Taco Night!

When a man has a craving for tacos...there is no stopping him.  So I took it as a personal challenge to make them delicious, nutritious, and beautiful...and inexpensive since student loan debt hovers over me like a black cloud of doom.

End result: success on all counts. 

Ground beef. I got 97% lean on sale, but I'd get grass-fed if I had access.
An onion, diced.
Romaine lettuce "shells" - washed and dried. 

Fixins: bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, roasted green chiles (or a spicy pepper like jalapenos), and the secret ingredient...green pumpkin seeds!  Trust me. It's a texture wonderland.

In a big skillet brown the diced onion in olive oil. 
     *Remember - heat the pan first, then add oil and food together and stir, preventing sticking and damage to the oil from heat.
When the onions start to brown and become translucent, add the beef. Crumble the ground beef as it cooks until well browned. I add spices after so they don't mask the done-ness.
Spice to taste - I add to 1lb beef about 1tbsp garlic salt, 1tbsp chili powder, 2tsp paprika, 1/2tsp oregano, 1/2tsp thyme, 1/2 cayenne pepper. Delicioso.

In a separate pan, saute bell peppers with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) until the peppers are browned and the seeds are toasted. Spice with a pinch of salt.

Finally, you may either coarsely chop tomato and avocado and use strips of green chile as I did here, or mash the avocado with tomato and jalapenos to make a guacamole/salsa. Your choice :)

Assemble onto the lettuce shells: beef mix, chile strip, peppers and pepitas mix, avocado and tomatoes. Get messy and enjoy!!


Thai Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls are a little time intensive only because the cabbage leaves take time to cook. You could boil the cabbage and peel the leaves ahead of time and store in the fridge up to two days, tightly sealed, to speed this up. They are so worth it though! Delicious, a nice way to get your cruciferous veggies in, and great fix for a burrito craving!

I put the beets and cabbage in the same pot of boiling water since they take about the same time to cook :)
Put the veggies in, add enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. 
As the cabbage leaves turn translucent, take it from the water and peel them off one at a time then return to the boiling water to continue cooking. 

Meanwhile - cook up whatever you want for filling!

I used tilapia, broccoli, and beets, and made a delicious almond sauce to go with!

Tilapia: Pan fry the fish until opaque and flakes easily. Don't flip until you see the fish is more than half cooked through.
** TIP ** : To get a crisp fry without heat the pan first, then add your oil right before adding the food so the oil doesn't have time to smoke. Then shake the pan a little right away and every minute or so to keep the food from sticking.

Broccoli: Use the same technique as for the tilapia, but add some flaked coconut (UNsweetened), garlic, and a splash of tamari.

Beets: These add a great texture and earthy flavor, but carrots could be used as well. Boil the beets until a knife can pierce them through easily (20-40 minutes depending on the size of the beets). Put into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Pierce with a fork to stabilize the beet on the plate and use a knife to cut the skins off, then slice and chop into sticks. Beware beets can seriously stain! Fingers, clothes, countertops - be careful!!

When everything is cooked and done - fill a cabbage leaf, roll the edges in, and viola! 

Thai Almond Sauce: Blend 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp tamari, 1/2 - 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp sriracha (no sugar added!), and 1 tsp honey to taste. Yum!

Confessions of a Non-Baker....and Paleo Pancakes

I...am not a baker. I can bake a few (non-paleo) things very well - I have "famous" chocolate chip cookies, for instance. But I've been working from the same recipe since I was 10, and for someone who hates stagnation and doing the same thing more than once....it's not a practice I usually follow. 

Baking requires patience. Perfection. Balance. Chemistry. Exact numbers and temperatures and times. This can be a beautiful thing and I admire all who can pop out a souffle or a Baked Alaska. Alas, I am not one of them.

I am a cook. Spontaneous. Heat of the moment. Passion and Emotion. There are no mistakes - nothing a little more liquid or a longer cooking time can't fix. I love that I can forage for Paleo things at my mom's house - and whip up something like frozen shrimp with frozen green beans, frozen basil, and powdered garlic in canned coconut milk. And it is unreasonably delicious.

That said - I have been craving, and I mean CRAVING pancakes.  I don't like to bake. I don't like to make paleo versions of non-paleo foods. But since my skin breaks out in a rash at the mere mention of Denny's...going out for a fat stack of pancakes just isn't an option.

So here is my attempt at Paleo Pancakes. Wish me Luck.
*Sourced with modifications from http://paleopancakes.co/paleo-pancakes-fluffy-coconut-flour-pancakes 

4 eggs, room temperature, separated.  (I use Omega-3 eggs, and the closest to pastured I can afford)
1 & 1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat of course. (Of note - "light" is just mixed with water, always buy the full fat kind and water it down if you want to save $$$!)
2 tsp vanilla extract (or you could infuse coconut milk with 1/2 a vanilla bean)
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking fat - coconut oil is easy, but ghee (clarified butter) would be delicious
Maple syrup and fruit for toppings!

Separate the eggs. Whip the whites until they form peaks. In a separate bowl - beat the yolks until smooth and blend in the coconut milk, vanilla, and honey. 

In a third bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. 
Add the wet to the dry, mix gently until no lumps, then fold in the whites until well blended. 
My Papa always told me the secret to fluffy things is to mix thoroughly - but not too hard and don't take your time about it. A light, quick hand does the trick!
While your batter is setting up:
Get your pan or griddle nice and hot - about medium high, or 6-7. 

Let the batter set for 5-10 minutes - this is important to let the baking powder do its job!
Grease your skillet well. 
Ladle the batter in small amounts - for ~ 3" diameter 'cakes. Big pancakes won't firm up with this batter.
Wait to flip until the edges look dry and are lifting up from the pan. 
Flip, let them cook another few minutes so they are done. 

And the verdict is....DELICIOUS!