Paleo Fruit and Nut Muesli

I recently created this recipe out of breakfast boredom. It immediately became a favorite staple in my house and I hope it will be a favorite in yours too. You can increase the recipe and make up most of the ingredients (minus the apple and milk) ahead of time to use as needed; just keep it in an air-tight glass container. This delicious Paleo muesli is packed full of nutrient-dense goodness with plenty of protein, fiber, and complex carbs to start your morning off right.

Serves 1-2

  • 1/2 apple, cored
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted or raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/8 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries (look for apple juice sweetened varieties to avoid processed sugar)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (optional, but highly recommended)

Chop the apple and nuts into small, bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl. Mix in the raisins, cranberries, and coconut. Eat as is, or serve with a bit of non-dairy milk. My current favorites are So Delicious Cashew Milk and the unsweetened variety of Milkadamia macadamia nut milk.

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Vegetarian Yellow Split Peas with Ginger and Cumin (Dal)

Dal is an Indian lentil stew that is delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Dal has an extensive history as a staple food in Indian and South Asian diets. I love dal as a comforting and hearty stew with lots of warming spices. It works well as a main course for breakfast or a side dish for lunch or dinner along with basmati or cauliflower rice.

Dal also has some amazing health benefits! The split peas are a heart healthy source of fiber and the spices (turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and fennel) are anti-inflammatory and support healthy digestion.

I hope you enjoy my take on this wonderful dish!

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Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Bring the water, split peas, and turmeric to a boil in a large stock pot. Once it’s come to a rolling boil, turn down the heat and cover. Allow the split peas to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not falling apart.

In the mean time, heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Sauté the onion, cumin seed, fennel seed, and ginger for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the potato and carrot, salt and pepper, ground spices, and the onion/spice mixture to the pot of lentils and simmer 20 minutes more. Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish each serving with chopped tomatoes and cilantro, and serve warm.

Paleo Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Ginger Cilantro Chutney

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I love these Paleo cauliflower fritters for a nice change to my typical breakfast routine. When I’m busy it’s easy to get into recipe ruts, eating the same thing every day for breakfast. These fritters are easy to make ahead to eat throughout the week when I’m craving something flavorful and filling. They also make a great afternoon snack paired with a cup of hot tea!

These fritters are inspired by the Indian flavors that I grew up enjoying in the bay area. Although they use some traditional Indian spices, they are not an authentic Indian recipe. The fritters are accompanied by a mint cilantro chutney, which is a delicious Indian sauce that is super easy to make and goes well with other foods like grilled meats and roasted veggies.

I hope you enjoy them!

Makes 6 fritters

Paleo Indian Spiced Cauliflower Fritters

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour

Note: If you can’t find whole spices at your local grocery store you can find them online or substitute ground spices instead.

“Rice” the cauliflower using a food processor or box grater. Using a metal steamer basket in a large pot filled with 1 inch of water, steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Allow the cauliflower to cool.

Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, cumin, fennel, and mustard and cook for 5 more minutes.

Once cool, scoop the cauliflower rice into a large piece of cheese cloth and squeeze out all the excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine with the onion and spice mixture and the rest of the ingredients.

Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Form the cauliflower mixture into 6 small patties. Cook the fritters, covered, for about 4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Serve hot with Fresh Ginger Cilantro Chutney.

Fresh Ginger Cilantro Chutney

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Soak the pitted dates in a small bowl with the water for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the dates and the soaking water to a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined. This chutney will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

 

Easy Chicken Tacos with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

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Want an easy go-to recipe for healthy weeknight dinners? These delicious and flavorful chicken tacos are bound to be a new family favorite. Swiss chard is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and magnesium; and since it picks up the flavor of the salsa it’s cooked in, it’s a sneaky way to eat more veggies.

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 4 tsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 14 oz container fresh mild salsa (usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 package corn tortillas

sauteed-chardSeparate the chard stems from the leaves. Chop the chard stems into small, 1/4 inch slices. Set the leaves aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp of the oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken breasts and sear, approximately 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside onto a plate. Add the remaining oil to the skillet along with the chard stems, mushrooms, and onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Pour in the salsa, making sure to cover the chicken. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the salsa doesn’t burn. In the meantime, roughly chop the chard leaves into 1/2 inch pieces. Flip over the chicken breasts and allow to simmer, covered, for 8 minutes more. Add the chard leaves to the skillet and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully shred the chicken using a knife and fork. Stir together the mixture and spoon over warmed tortillas. Sprinkle a small amount of feta on each taco before serving.

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Delicious Paleo Chocolate Truffles

 

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Got chocolate cravings? Try this recipe for amazingly decadent yet wonderfully healthy chocolate truffles. Best yet, they’re Paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Once you make the basic recipe you can experiment with different flavors by substituting the vanilla extract with other flavored extracts like peppermint, almond, or orange. You can also try rolling the truffles in finely chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts to garnish.

Makes about 30 truffles

Basic Truffle Recipe

  • 8 oz. unsweetened 100% chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 4 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

For Chocolate Coconut Truffles

  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

For Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder

To make the basic truffle recipe use a hot water bath method to melt the chocolate. If you don’t have a double boiler you can nest a smaller pot inside of a large pot. Fill the large pot with about 2 inches of water and heat over low. Add the chocolate pieces, coconut milk, vanilla, and salt to the small pot and heat gently until completely melted, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Once melted, add in the honey and remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a small bowl and let cool in the fridge until it is firm (about 60-90 minutes).

Once the chocolate has set, get your other ingredients ready. If you are making the coconut truffles place the shredded coconut on a small plate. If making the spicy cinnamon truffles then mix together those ingredients and spread on a small plate.

Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out a small amount of chocolate mixture. Roll the mixture using clean hands to form a small ball. Roll the ball of chocolate in the coconut or spicy cinnamon so that all sides are covered and set aside. Continue until all of the chocolate has been used. The truffles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (but they likely won’t last that long!).

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Creamy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup

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This dairy-free Paleo butternut squash soup gets it’s creaminess from coconut milk. This soup is slightly sweet and full of flavor. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods and it’s super easy to make. Butternut squash is a great source  of Beta-carotene and Vitamin C, nutrients that are important for immune function and healthy skin. Butternut squash also contains Vitamin B6, Magnesium, and Calcium, which are beneficial for promoting a calm, relaxed mood.

Serves 4-5

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 apple, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped finely
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a large stock pot over medium low heat. Sauté the squash for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. Add the onion and apple, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Then add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Pour in the stock or broth and bring it to a boil, before reducing the stove temperature to allow the soup to simmer for 5-10 more minutes. When the apple and squash are tender, add the spices and coconut milk and remove the soup from heat. Blend the mixture using an immersion hand blender, or if using a tabletop jar blender, allow the soup to cool slightly before carefully transferring to the blender. Serve warm.

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Spicy Black Bean Soup

blackbeansThis delicious black bean soup has just enough of a kick to warm you up on a cold night. Black beans contain lots of healthy fiber and protein as well as a wide array of vitamins and minerals like Folate, Vitamin B1, Magnesium, and Iron.

Serves 4-5

Note: If you have leftover soup try freezing it in a glass mason jar. Make sure to leave about 1 inch of airspace at the top to help prevent the glass jar from breaking during freezing.

 

  • 2 cups dry black turtle beans
  • 4 cups water + extra for soaking beans
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbs cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans in a large bowl with enough water to fully cover for 8-24 hours. Drain and rinse the beans. Place beans and 4 cups of cold water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until beans begin to soften. Add the broth, tomatoes, and spices (except for salt and pepper) and simmer for 30 more minutes. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper for 5-7 minutes until vegetables start to soften and onion becomes translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 2 more minutes, then remove from heat. Add the veggies to the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Discard the bay leaves. Try serving with sliced avocado or small amount of organic sour cream.

 

Paleo Persimmon Cookies

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These cookies are a winter tradition for me and I have made them almost every year without fail for the past 17 years. The recipe is from my Great-Aunt, via my Grandmother, and is a family favorite. I adapted the recipe to be grain and dairy free and they are just as delicious as the ones I grew up loving.

Note: The recipe calls for Hachiya persimmons, which are the tear-dropped shaped variety that is used mostly for baking. Hachiya persimmons  are extremely astringent until they are VERY ripe and they will usually need to ripen on the counter for 1 to 2 weeks before they are ready to use. Don’t worry if they develop small black spots on the outer skin, this is common while they are ripening.

Makes 2.5 dozen cookies

  • 2 very ripe Hachiya persimmons
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare the persimmons by removing the stems and peeling them. Place the inner persimmon flesh in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the persimmon pulp to a small bowl (you should have 1 cup of pulp) and mix in the baking soda; let stand. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, blend the coconut oil and sweetener using a hand mixer. Mix in the eggs and persimmon pulp mixture. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the pecans and raisins. Oil two cookie sheets and spoon the cookie dough onto the sheets. Bake the cookies for 35-40 minutes, or until done.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Herbed Turkey Hash

acorn-squash-938936_1920This is one of my go-to recipes for Autumn dinners and it is always a favorite in my house. The hash is also delicious for breakfast over a bed of sauteed greens and topped with a fried egg. Acorn squash is a wonderful seasonal vegetable that contains lots of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium.

Serves 2-4

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (I prefer dark meat for this recipe, but white meat is fine too)
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper + small pinch for the squash
  • 1/4 tsp salt + small pinch for the squash

Preheat oven to 375 F. Carefully split the squash in half length-wise with a sharp kitchen knife. Scoop out the seeds and discard or reserve for roasting (they are delicious and taste very similar to pumpkin seeds!). Place the two halves of the squash in a glass or ceramic baking dish, cut side down. Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until the squash softens. Use a fork to test if it is done.

While the squash bakes, heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent burning. Set the vegetables aside in a medium bowl and mix in the sage, thyme, marjoram, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp of black pepper.

Using the same skillet you sauteed the vegetables in, cook the ground turkey. Break up large pieces and stir occasionally until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Mix the cooked turkey into the vegetable mixture and set aside.

Once the acorn squash is cooked, remove from the oven. Turn them over and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over each half and then season with salt and black pepper. Fill each half with a portion of the turkey hash and return them to the oven to bake for 5 more minutes. Each half can easily feed two if served with other vegetables or another side dish.

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Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

IMG_3281These grain-free pumpkin pancakes are delicious any time of the year, but are an especially satisfying treat on cool Autumn mornings. Try serving them with a small amount of Grade B pure maple syrup and chopped hazelnuts. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C and a wonderful way to eat seasonally.

Serves 4

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 3 Tbs butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbs honey (optional)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • approx 1 Tbs coconut oil for cooking

Beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add pumpkin puree, honey, and 3 Tbs melted butter or oil and mix well. In another bowl mix the flour, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend well. Melt a small amount of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. When the skillet is hot but the oil is not smoking, pour 1/3 cup portions of pancake batter into the pan so that the pancakes fill the pan but don’t touch.

Cover the skillet with a lid and allow the pancakes to cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes before flipping to cook the second side. Test the pancakes before flipping by sliding a spatula under them. They are ready to flip when the bottom has browned and the spatula easily slides under. Cover and cook the second side for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until both sides are browned but not burnt, and the pancake is no longer wet in the middle. The pancakes can be kept warm in a low oven (150-200 degrees F) while you cook the rest of the batter. Add more coconut oil to the skillet as needed so the pancakes don’t stick.

Note: Grain-free pancakes are more delicate than typical pancakes. They burn more easily and should be cooked at a lower temperature. They cook more evenly when the batter is carefully spread out in the pan with the back of a spoon.