Sunday, January 26, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Today is a special birthday party day for my youngest daughter! I was going to wait till after the contest to share this recipe but the bday girl requested this bread for breakfast and it is soooo yummy. It has one controversial ingredient in it though...coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index but it could be a gut irritant for some people. As with ANY treat I don't recommend that they are eaten on a daily basis. We thrive very well on NO sugar. Treats should be reserved for just that....occasional treats. Ok, I'm done ranting... let's get to the recipe!

Apple Cinnamon Cake

3 T of coconut sugar
1 T of cinnamon

1 apple, diced

1/2 cup of coconut sugar
6 T of softened grass fed butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of apple cider

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-prepare a greased loaf pan

-in a small bowl mix the 3 T of coconut sugar and cinnamon, set to the side
-in a large bowl mix the remaining sugar and butter
-add the eggs and vanilla and
-wisk until incorporated
-add in the dry ingredients and mix, should be fairly thick
-add in almond milk and cider, mix until all is incorporated

-dump half of the batter into the greased loaf pan
-sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture and 1/2 of the diced apple
-repeat with the rest of the batter and the rest of the cinnamon/sugar and apple
-press apple into batter
-bake at 350 for about an hour

Now don't PLEASE remember about our contest!! See last post for details! I will be choosing a winner of Melissa Joulwan's new cookbook Well Fed 2 tomorrow!! IF YOU SHARE THIS POST AND LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS YOU WILL RECEIVE AND EXTRA ENTRY TO THE CONTEST!! So share away!! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year.....New Giveaway!!!

It's still January. Some of you are still holding onto those New Years Resolutions. Congrats! I know lots of you have healthier eating goals for the new year....thats what my last post was all about. Some of you have started eating paleo, whole 30, or sugar detox. And some of you are on the verge of giving in and giving up.

Well, I have something that can help you with your healthier eating goals! And something that will help you to keep on keeping on. Most of us run out of steam with our eating goals because we run out of ideas. We eat the same thing day in and day out and say to ourselves, "I can't LIVE like this!" What if I told you that the wonderful Melissa Joulwan (from the very delightful blog The Clothes Make the Girl, and the suburb cookbook Well Fed) has agreed to give one of my readers a copy of her latest masterpiece, Well Fed 2!!

Some time ago she released her second cookbook and very generously sent me a copy to cook from and let me tell you.......You thought the first one was yummy???....Well Fed 2 is even yummier!! I could that even be possible? My absolute favorite thing about her recipes are her use of spices. It is my personal opinion that home cooks don't utilize spices nearly enough. It is also my opinion that spices not only hold incredible flavor but some pretty stellar medicinal and healing qualities as well. Other cultures that know and understand the benefit of these spices BEGIN with spices as the base of their dishes and build on that. We tend to throw some spices in at the end of our cooking and we tend to use the same spices over and over again instead of learning and venturing outside the box. We should attempt cook with the rule: Spices to begin a dish, and fresh herbs to end it. Side note: I subscribe to Alton Brown's podcast and he recently did a show with the owners of The Spice House. Very should check it out! Anyway, Melissa doesn't just throw spices in willy nilly. There is a reason for each one. I credit her for my new found love of spices and spice mixtures. Boring food be gone!!

The spice and sauce sections in the book are invaluable on their own. I would absolutely buy this book for just those alone. When you have those under your belt, in is impossible to have another bland meal.

The burgers, balls, and bangers section of the book is my absolute favorite! The name is pretty great to! As you guys know.... I make LOTS meatballs to keep on hand every week anyway, and there isn't one in this book that isn't absolutely delicious! She is a flavor genius!!

There is also a section for quick meals. And we all need more ideas on how to get some fuel in us quick to avoid the drive thru!!

You WANT to own this cookbook and here is your chance to WIN it. If you love it (and you will) pay it forward and get a book for a friend who is struggling with new ideas for food. Sometimes people just need a little support and guidance to keep on keeping on!

Here's how to enter in just 4 easy steps:

1.  LIKE The Clothes Make the Girl on FB
2.  LIKE Paleo Mommy on FB
3.  Share this blog post with your friends and family. The more people that participate the more giveaways we can have. 
4.  And finally, leave a comment right here in the comment section letting us know that you did all the above. 

A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday January 27th and will be announced on the blog. You will have 24 hours to respond or I will have to chose another.

Good luck with your goal (I am here if you need any encouragement or support) and Good luck with the Giveaway!! Get busy!! :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Beginnings

The new year symbolizes new beginnings for most: a new start, or a do-over, if you will. And with the New Year, come New Year’s resolutions – resolutions that are usually thrown out the window after two weeks...two excruciating weeks. Do you know what the #1 New Year’s resolution is? To lose weight. Oh how I have been there! EVERY year was more of the same thing - but not anymore. I have been “Paleo” for the past 3 years. Now it is a way of life, but it has been a long road. What follows is my story for those of you who don’t know.

I found out after the birth of my second child that I had Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune thyroid disease. Symptoms included being cold all the time, depression, losing my hair, fatigue, and gaining weight despite eating a well-balanced diet and doing P90X six days a week. All this prompted my visit to the doctor. My doctor put me on meds and sent me on my way. But nothing changed. I just got more depressed! As I sat outside of Madison Drugs (a local compounding pharmacy) getting ready to pick up some vitamins, I prayed. I asked the Lord to heal me as I had countless times in the past. But I also prayed that if He wasn’t going to heal me that He would at least show me a way to help myself. I was in tears and desperate. While talking to the pharmacist, he noticed I was sad and asked what was wrong. I told him my recent diagnosis and his response was, “Well, obviously you are gluten free right?” To which I replied, “What is gluten?” I had no idea! The pharmacist gave me a list of foods that I should and should not be eating. When I got home, I googled each of the foods and a basic Paleo diet kept turning up in the search results. I threw myself into studying the Paleo diet and consulted multiple resources after starting with material mostly from Robb Wolf, a leading Paleo expert. I switched out my diet immediately. And I also stopped working out until I could wrap my head around this diet change and get into a routine. Just 30 days later I had dropped 30 pounds and, more importantly, I had no Hashimoto symptoms! Needless to say, I’ve remained “Paleo” ever since!

I personally don’t care for the Paleo label since most people don’t really understand what that really means. For me, MY Paleo diet includes the following: high quality lean meat and protein (grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and pork, pasture raised eggs), every vegetable  under the sun, high quality healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil), some fruit, some nuts, sweet potatoes and winter squash. I have kept this diet for the past three years and plan to continue with it.

Perhaps you made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight in 2014. I would encourage you to tweak that slightly and say instead to “get healthier.” Losing weight may be part of that overall goal, but getting healthy should be the main focus. If going Paleo isn’t something you’d want to try, perhaps you could try to eliminate processed foods and foods high in sugar. Those two changes alone will make a significant difference in your health, and you will very likely lose several pounds to boot. If you have any questions about Paleo or the science behind it, feel free to email me! In the meantime, I will share with you one of my most popular recipes. It has been featured on many of the premier “Top 10 Paleo Recipes” sites. Small changes can produce big change! So take charge and start making small positive changes to better your health. 

Spicy Slow Cooker Chorizo Chili

1 Lb of grass fed beef
2 fresh chorizo sausages, casings removed (about 1/2 pound)

1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 can of rotel (I used hot)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 TB of chili powder
1 TB of cumin
S&P to taste

-brown off the beef and chorizo in a skillet, drain, and toss in crock pot

-in the same skillet cook off the onions and garlic. You can skip this step, but I like getting a little color on the onions before throwing them into the crock pot.
-add remaining ingredients, stir
-cook on low for 4-6 hours
-garnish with avocado, cilantro, red onion