Tag Archives: healthy

Banana Pumpkin Pancakes

8 Feb

A new breakfast staple in my house is banana pancakes. The first recipe I saw for these called for 2 bananas/2 eggs/ 2 tablespoons of almond butter. They were delicious but my batter wasn’t a consistency I liked. They were delicious though, like banana nut bread!  I saw another recipe that called for 1 banana/ 2 eggs. I decided to try this one and I like it much better! A few days ago I saw a can of pumpkin in my cabinet and decided to play with the recipe.  As with everything I seem to make, it’s super easy, kid-friendly, and oh-so-delicious!

1 can of pure pumpkin

2 bananas

6 eggs

1 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice

a thumbs worth of butter, ghee, or coconut oil

Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender. This makes A LOT. I portioned it into 4 equal containers. Each container made me about 8 to 10 small pancakes.

pumpkin banana pancakes1

Now heat up your skillet on medium heat and add some fat. You could use butter, I used coconut oil.  I use just a regular spoon and use 2 spoonfuls for each pancake.

pumpkin banana pancakes cooking

Takes just slightly longer than regular pancakes to mostly cook through. Give it a few minutes and when there are bubbles around the edge and the middle part will be kind of “solid” looking as opposed to liquidy. Flip over and cook another minute or two. Done.

pumpkin banana pancakes

Garnish with berries and serve. For syrup use a touch of local raw honey or a good quality maple syrup (check the label, there shouldn’t be anything but maple syrup in it!!) Your kiddos will be happy because they get pancakes. You’ll be happy because they’re eating whole delicious food!

Here are some regular banana pancakes I made a while back. 2 bananas and 4 eggs. It made A LOT of pancakes, at least 20. You could half it and save some for another meal or cook them up and store them in the fridge for snacks or a really quick meal for the kids.

kiddos pancakes

Gigi is having fresh blueberries with hers.(non-messy version)  For Hunter I heated up some frozen berries for about 3 minutes and it made a compote, no added sugar, the fruit is sweet enough! No syrup needed!

Do you make a version of banana pancakes? I’d love to hear your different recipes or if you try this one, please let me know what you think.

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Kale Chips

7 Feb

Why have I never done this before? This is the first thing I thought when I made these kale chips for the first time . They were salty and crispy and oh-so-good. I was seriously impressed. One of my favorite things in the world is finding ways to enjoy super nutritious food. Kale is something that hasn’t been in my diet…. uhmm ever? Back in the day I waited tables at Texas Roadhouse and they served kale on the plate as a garnish. Not to be eaten, just to look pretty. It is pretty, it’s a deep, rich, dark green and almost “fluffy” in appearance. After hearing repeatedly the numerous nutrients and health benefits of kale I decided I had to start eating it! I have recently incorporated in my smoothies and I saute it with a bit of olive oil and eggs for my one year old in the mornings.

What are the many, many benefits of adding kale to your diet, you ask? So glad you did, because I’d love to share!

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium. Kale contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale, these flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process. It is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases..  A megadose of vitamin K further aids to fight against excessive inflammatory-related problems, such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma. According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis

For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating. Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest.

With that said, I give you these.

What you’ll need:

A large bunch of curly kale (it’s 99 cents at my grocery store!!)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350. Tear your kale into bite size pieces. Toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. I use a gallon sized ziploc, put everything in and shake it up!

Kale chips1

Spread out on a cookie sheet. Don’t crowd your kale or it won’t get crispy. For one bunch of kale I have to use 2 cookie sheets.

Kale chips

Bake for about 15 minutes on 350, but keep a close eye on them. I’ve burnt many a batch from not paying attention! Use a spatula to cipher into a bowl, and enjoy! They taste like popcorn, kind of, to me. My son was hesitant to try them, but once he did he ate a whole bowl of them!

Remember that old Lay’s potato chip commercial? “Bet you can’t eat just one?” That’s my challenge for you, but with these!

Pizza! Pizza!

7 Feb

Alright folks I have attempted two different pizza recipes this week, all primal, gluten free, and of course DELICIOUS! First one I made a few days ago when Hunter requested pizza for dinner, as I have said before, he has a little trouble with the primal thing, especially in the grocery store, which was where we were during this conversation. 6 year olds just don’t understand that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which are awesome, just aren’t that good for you. Hell, I have a hard time understanding this myself.

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a pizza crust made with cauliflower for a while so it seemed like the perfect night. It turned out okay. As far as flavor goes, it’s great. However don’t be expecting an imitation for the consistency of a bread dough.

1 head of cauliflower

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

italian seasonings of your choice, I used basil and garlic powder, about 2 teaspoons of each. Oregano would be equally delicious.

Pizza sauce preferably homemade or hopefully one without added sugar or other nasty ingredients. I’ve only managed to find 1 store bought one at Target that fits that bill. Giada de Laurentis Marinara with artichokes. It’s sooooo good too.

Toppings of your choice

Preheat your oven to 450. Cut your cauliflower into pieces and use a food processor or blender to get a grainy texture. I tried to use a cheese grater at first and this was laughable so I put it in the blender a little bit at a time. It’s very moist so kind of a pain. I would definitely recommend using the food processor if you have one but don’t over do it or you will puree it. Once you’re finished with that put it in a bowl and microwave for about 8 minutes. Add your egg and seasonings and mix until combined. Spread a bit of oil onto your cookie sheet or pizza pan and transfer your “dough”. With your hands work it out onto the pan evenly just like you would a crust. Brush with olive oil. Bake this at 450 for about 15 minutes.

cauliflower pizza crust

Add your sauce, toppings, and cheese. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts.

We had pineapple and olives.

Hunter pizza Hunter eating cauliflower pizza

He had to eat it with a fork but as you can see he loved it! Kid approved, healthy, paleo option for dinner!

We all start somewhere…

2 Feb

It’s day one of my whole 30. I’ve started contributing post to a wonderful sight http://greenokla.com/. I’d like to be able to share my recipes and insight with even more people!  If you would like to check out my latest recipe, it’s featured on their site. http://greenokla.com/2013/01/chicken-alfredo-with-roasted-broccoli-and-spaghetti-squash/

I really want to get on track with my paleo/primal lifestyle. Eliminate the junk that keeps sneaking in. I decided to do a Whole 30 for 2 reasons. 1. I wanted to write about it and 2. I’ve really been wanting to do it for a while. It’s a month of a pure eating clean. Meat, veggies, fruit, nuts. No bread, no dairy, no sugar, no cheating! When I eat a little sugar here, or a piece of bread there, I’m usually fine. As time moves on it becomes a little more often and I start noticing changes. Aches and pains, swollen feet and hands, not sleeping well, constantly fatigued, and just a generally sense of blah! I’m excited to feel better, lose a few pounds, and create amazing  recipes using the Whole 30 concept. Sometimes I lack discipline keeping to things and it’s something I’d really like to change. I want to do the whole 30 to prove to myself I can. I want to write about it to hold myself accountable as well as share with you all my challenges and triumphs. My introduction will be published on site tomorrow morning, I know you can’t wait for that! I’ll also being doing daily-ish blogs here, about what I ate and how I feel.

For me the first day, even days, are always the easiest. It’s a few days in it gets really hard for me. I did have one moment of Ehhh tonight. I bar tend at a mexican restaurant and it’s not uncommon to snack on chips and queso/salsa and it really sounded good tonight.  (disclaimer: if my boss is reading this, then it’s very uncommon, in fact I never, ever snack on anything during work. That would be against the rules, which I would never break any of. And also your butt looks nice in those pants.)

Also a co-worker of mine, a particular favorite, got a promotion! I’m so happy for her! I immediately thought ” We need to have drinks and celebrate!” No booze on the whole 30 thought. Booooo! So instead of talking about what all I can’t have, let me tell you what I did have. Some pretty amazing stuff here. Sorry there aren’t any pictures. I failed on that. I didn’t really think about it but I will do better tomorrow, promise!

First thing, I wake up have 2 cups of coffee, do my morning chores. I like my coffee black, so this isn’t a tough one for me. I occasionally add half and half, but it’s definitely something I can live without.

Next up, a green smoothie. I prepackage a sandwich baggy stuffed with spinach and kale, get as much air out as I can, and freeze for the week. I add one of those to my blender, add some frozen pineapple, mixed berries, dark cherries, 2 kiwi, and grate a thumbnails worth of ginger. I brewed a cup of green tea prior and after letting it cool, added that as well. I blend on high for a minute or 2. I let it really mix and liquify everything well. Drink up! The above recipe will make about 5 cups of smoothie. I split it pretty equally between my 2 kids, myself, and my lady love Jo Anna, who I was lucky enough to get to spend time with today.

Snacky Snack: Handful of grapes I was feeding the baby  child.

For “lunch”  This happens around 4pm. I work at 5pm most days so if I don’t eat before I find myself eating at work, which is not paleo or waist friendly. Today I cooked up something amazing, simple, and delicious. There were 7 ingredients, that’s including the salt and pepper. You’ll also need olive oil, chicken, garlic, broccoli, lemon. It took me less than 10 minutes to prep and about 20 minutes in the oven. This one is a keeper!

1. Turn oven on 400F

2. smash and chop your garlic

3. cut your broccoli and chicken into bite size pieces

4. toss chicken, garlic, and broccoli in olive oil

5. season with salt and pepper

6. cook for 20 minutes

7 . squeeze lemon over your lunch, add a bit more olive oil and toss again

8 . Enjoy!

I also had a few cups of green tea including one right now. It was a pretty good day. I look forward to making the chicken and broccoli again. I probably will be making it a lot actually. I love simple recipes that only use a few ingredients and are quick!

Hope you enjoy following me along my journey!

Spontaneous snacks

17 Oct

When you have kids, getting them to eat healthy is a constant battle. They are surrounded by super sweet indulgences more often then not, and they want those cookies! Well friends, I am here to tell you that you can trick your kids into eating better, by creating and offering great snack choices. The other part of this is absolutely eliminating all the junk out of your house. Throw away the granola bars, cookies, sweet cereals, sodas, chips. No matter how “good” the label says they are for you, they aren’t. The food we eat shouldn’t be highly processed. God (and Nature), intended us to eat the fruit of this earth, not packaged with preservative crap you find in your local market. Just think about it!!! Start as early as you can offering your kids fresh produce constantly. Put a fruit bowl on the counter and let it be known it’s an anytime you’re hungry snack. Offer new kinds of fruit besides the old standard apple and bananas,like kiwi, mango, papaya, but keep their favorites around all the times. Make fun food and always let the kids help.

On this journey to transform my families eating habits, the biggest resistor has been my 6-year-old. He wants happy meals, corn dogs, cookies, ice cream…. all no-no’s on any healthy diet, but especially in the primal realm. The best advice given to me, was to have your kids make a list of things they want to eat. If they are at the picky toddler stage, you could do this for them. Choose the best options from that list. For instance, my son said

1.Hamburgers

2. Corn dogs

3. Salad

So we eat A LOT of salads. He helped me make a “special” dressing of oil and red wine vinegar, and because he made it he thought it was awesome, even though it tasted “sour”. I keep salad fixins around at all times for him, so even when I cook something new to try, if he refuses to eat it, he at least has an option. You might forget, but your taste buds evolved and changed, so give them time, and keep offering healthy options.


A few ideas:

Make a trail mix. I use a 100 calorie pack of walnuts/almonds. (nothing added to them) I just like they are convenient and pre-portioned. To those, add a little less than a 1/4 cup of raisin. (1/4 cup is 130 calories, so a little less will get you right about 200) To that add a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice. These can be made up in about 2 minutes or make a lot at once and put into snack baggies or the take and toss bowls for a quick snack for home or to go.

Baby food! Just because your little darling isn’t a baby anymore doesn’t mean they can’t get the benefit of whole, unsweetened, nutritious baby food. Let’s face it, almost all kids love yogurt and applesauce. This is the same texture and idea, just lots of different flavors. They are portioned to a 4 oz. size which is perfect for toddlers and school age kids and packed with vitamins and water!  You could spice the sweet potatoes up with the pumpkin pie spice or the apple and berries with a little cinnamon. If you’re really adventurous, you could make your own baby foodin the food processor!

Remember whole food is the best food. Bananas, apple slices, oranges, nuts, raisins, baby carrots, berries are all kid friendly and great choices. Eat a variety of colors everyday to get the most nutrients. Like skittles says “taste the rainbow”. Just the natural rainbow…..

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or snack ideas and also if you have tips or tricks to help your kids eat healthy. I plan to do another post about snacks and one for kid friendly paleo meals, which includes chicken nuggets. Stay tuned.

Primal Pumpkin Pie

10 Oct

Are you ready for your socks to be knocked off? ‘Tis the season for pie… pumpkin pie to be more specific. I’ve made this pie twice now and it was a big hit both times. Grain and sugar free, it’s so much better for you than the traditional recipe, but it’s rich, creamy, and delicious. Everything a pumpkin pie should be without anything processed or sugar, and best of all. I guarantee you will not be able to tell a difference!

 

Crust


1 1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup melted butter

2 T. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 packet stevia

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Mix together to form dough. Press evenly into your pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

Filling

1 package unflavored Knox Gelatin

16oz pure pumpkin puree (fresh or canned, just make sure it’s pure)

3 eggs, seperated

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 T pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1 packet stevia

Combine gelatin, maple syrup, salt, pumpkin pie spice, egg yolks (stick your egg whites in a medium bowl and refrigerate, you’ll need these later) and almond milk in a saucepan. Mix thoroughly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool. When the pan has cooled enough, refrigerate for an hour or so. When pumpkin is cold to the touch, pull your egg whites out. Add the packet of stevia and beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into pumpkin puree. When thoroughly combined, pour mixture into pie crust. Set back in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, until set. If you’re making this for an event. You will want to give yourself plenty of time or make the night before.

 

The first time I served this I whipped some heavy whipped cream with a packet of stevia and added a dollop on each slice with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. It was beautiful, but I forgot to take a picture. It was the night of the pot roast debacle….
As always, I hope you will make this and enjoy it. It would make a healthier option at your holiday dinners. Especially for the kiddos, I know both of mine LOVED it.

A fresh start!

2 Oct

As most of you know, I LOVE to cook. I don’t always cook healthfully, but that’s what this blog is about, to help hold me accountable and offer my simple, fresh recipes. This is my second attempt to go primal/ paleo. Basically I want to cook and make delicious food with whole food only. My most important goal is to be healthy and raise happy, healthy children.

With all that said, my first recipe is one of our households favorite. Taco Salad.

a few tablespoons of olive oil

1 whole onion, any color, diced

1 of each- red, yellow, green bell peppers diced

1 can of diced tomatoes and chiles, any size or variety will do

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 cup of diced carrots

2 heads of romaine chopped

2 lbs of lean grass fed, hormone free ground beef

1/2 cup of beef stock

For the taco seasoning

I use my own blend of seasonings instead of the packets for 2 reasons. First off there are no preservatives or sugar added and secondly I can adjust heat, salt, smokiness, etc… This is the amount I use for a mild taste and the 2 lbs of beef.

1 T. chili powder

3 tsp paprika

2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

Let’s get cooking!

On medium heat add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add your garlic, onion, peppers, carrots. Saute on med-low heat until your onions are transparent. Add your can of diced tomatoes and heat through. If your pan is large enough you can add the meat right in, turn up to med-high heat and brown the meat. When the meat is mostly brown, add your 1/2 cup of beef stock. You could use water, chicken stock, or any kind of broth here as well. It’s really just to add flavor while your meat simmers. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. At this point you’re pretty much finished. Add to a bed of romaine lettuce and garnish as you please. Sour cream and a touch of pepper jack cheese really hits the spot. I also added a sprinkle of chopped green onions to mine.

ImageImageEnjoy!

Let me know what you think. Don’t be afraid to play around with it and make it your own.

Much Love! Jessica

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