Grilled Peaches and Banana Nice Cream

I want you to take your expectations for level of entertainment from a blogger and lower your standards by about 75%, and then start from there with me.  Being an adult is HARD.  I don’t know how some of you people do this with kids.  I have a social life, a half assed garden, yoga, meal prep, and 1.5 jobs which have absorbed all of my humanity.  I haven’t watched a full movie in months.  Even when I go to a party, I’m the first one to tap out.  If I ever did have kids, they would be the biggest food snobs.  I know because I was a snob from a young age.  I hope my kids turn out as cool as me.  And humble.

Make your kids eat this and tell me what happens.

peaches

Ingredients

2 ripe peaches, halved and deseeded

2 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

Instructions

Preheat grill to 350F and place peach halves face down on grill for 15-20 minutes.  In a food processor or blender, mix frozen banana, coconut and almond milk.  Scoop into a refrigerated plate.  Sprinkle coconut sugar over peaches.  Enjoy!

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Chicken & Hummus Salad

Daddy needed a little bit of a detox after last nights shenanigans at the Urban Pedal Tour.  Ps:  I am referring to myself as daddy from now on.  I already did in real life but it’s about time you guys call me by preferred name.  Daddy has had a long week and wanted to make the perfect hummus flavoured dressing for a nice light salad – and he did it!

A friend of mine made some tigernut flour for me so you may have a hard time finding it depending where you live.  I know for sure it’s a rarity in Edmonton.  Try with almond or coconut flour instead.

This is also topped with black Hawaiian sea salt, which was a birthday gift from my righthand man.  Like really, this is a recipe you’d have a hard time replicating just for the sheer lack of this combination of ingredients so it’s mostly just me bragging… but if you can live without whatever you’re missing, then I’m sure you can take inspiration from this anyway!

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Ingredients for Dressing (Makes enough for ~6-8 salads)

1 acorn squash, peeled and deseeded

3 garlic cloves

4 tbsp unrefined coconut oil

4 tbsp tahini

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp chilli flakes

Ingredients for Chicken

1 chicken breast, sliced

1/2 cup tigernut flour

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp coconut oil

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F and roast squash and garlic for 30 minutes.  Melt coconut oil in microwave for 15 seconds.  In a food processor, combine coconut oil, roasted squash and garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, chilli powder, chilli flakes and salt until smooth.

In a small mixing bowl, combine tigernut flour with onion powder, chilli powder and sea salt.  Roll chicken strips in mixture until the surface is fully covered.  Preheat a small frying pan to medium/high and melt coconut oil.  Fry chicken, turning often until they are golden and crispy.

Salad Ingredients

Spinach

Cucumber

Pumpkin Seeds

Black Salt

What is Paleo?

The main thing I wanna erase from people’s understanding of paleo, is that it’s a caveman diet.  If you’ve ever said a joke to someone along the lines of “Do you think cavemen ate paleo cookies?” then you should know, that person has probably heard it 70 thousand times, and is smiling to be polite. It’s too far gone for us to change the name of it now so let’s just roll with Palaeolithic and start to rebuild everyone’s comprehension.

“What am I not allowed to eat?”

If this is your main question, then you’re asking it backwards.  The list will go on forever and you’ll spend every day googling if things are paleo.  What is paleo?  Fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, unrefined oils.  There are some foggy items, but that is up to your own discretion.  Some people eat potatoes, some don’t.  Within weeks of starting, you will understand how these judgement calls are made via a more thorough understanding of your own body.  I eat a very small amount of fruit, usually closer to unripened because I’ve noticed over the years that fructose reacts with my skin and makes me sluggish.  Start simple and build off of what your body is communicating to you.  When you dull the loudness of processed foods in your system, you’ll be able to decide if eating kale every day is right for you. (PS: it’s probably not, but it would be funnier if you learned the hard way like the rest of us)

What are the differences between Paleo/Keto/Whole30?

They’re all pretty similar but depending on your health goals, you may want to know the difference.  Paleo is quite simply wholesome foods that are low on the glycemic index, which helps regulate energy, weight, mental clarity, emotions, stress levels, etc. In my opinion, it is the easiest of the three, and easier to maintain longterm.

Ketogenic is about getting your body into a state of ketosis (Low carb, high fat).  It usually starts off with a day or two of fogginess, followed by unreal clarity.  In the #LCHF world, we call it low-carb flu. I advise having a nap that day. Keto is the best for intense weight loss.  On a ketogenic diet, you will have no fruit, no high fructose vegetables such as squash, no natural sweeteners that would be allowed on paleo (coconut palm sugar), and no tubers such as potatoes and yams.

Whole30 is paleo and keto on steroids.  I’ve done it 4 times now and each time I end up sprawled out on the floor begging for chocolate while my roommate tries to console me with an avocado.  Whole30 is a reset to help you break bad habits. The hardest part, is no chocolate.  Second hardest is no alcohol, if you don’t drink you’re way ahead of the game. Being faced with peer pressure at social outings (if your friends are used to you having a beer) is difficult but you just have to say “I’m on a cleanse, and it’s only for 30 days.” and people usually back off.  Third hardest, is not making paleo approved tasty treats.  Trendy paleo recipes you see, like paleo lattes or cauliflower pizza crust, or fancy replications of the unhealthy food you are used to enjoying are not allowed on Whole30.  The point of this is to get it out of your head.  It takes 30 days to make or break a habit.  If you mess up, you have to start over from day 1.  The results are tried and true. Whole30 Results

To assume only makes an ASS out of U and ME

No, paleo isn’t a meat-eater diet.

The amount of protein a person should consume on any of these diets is 20%.  This meme going around with a giant plate of bacon that says “Paleo Salad” is sOoOoOo wrong.  Most bacon contains refined sugar. Finding hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats as well as sugar-free cured meats is the way of the wise.  Even bone broth loses its anti-inflammatory properties if it comes from grain fed animals. The fat from grain fed animals also usually contains more toxins and can be harmful whereas a quality tallow can make a diet anti-carcinogenic with the added bonus of improving hair, nails and elasticity of your skin.  Reasonable amounts of high quality meat is paleo. High quality vegetables are also important if it is within your budget.  To help you prioritize, there’s a list called the Dirty Dozen:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

As for produce, these are important to purchase organic because they absorb and retain pesticides more than other fruits and vegetables.

So anyway, if you are paleo and you’re just trying to explain to someone what paleo is, just say “it’s everything and nothing” and then walk away without saying anything else. Please. Because it’s funny.

If you’re not paleo but are actually interested in trying it out, the BEST advice I can give you is to stay out of the aisles at the grocery store. Everything you need is usually right in front of your face when you walk in the door.  When you start wandering through the “health food” section and pick up gluten free pasta – you’ve gone too far.

This super formal and scientific explanation is brought to you by For the Love of Paleo – Never Feel Restricted

Find your Paleo inspiration here: Inspiration

Beet and Avocado Side Salad

I know I’m not perfect.  I get annoyed over petty things that I should be able to ignore.  No matter how hard I try to live and let live, I won’t be able to get over the sound of shitty styrofoam flip flops hitting the back of people’s feet.  MY GOD PUT ON A REAL PAIR OF SHOES PLEASE.  I also think it has something to do with the lazy slouch and splayfooted stride people adopt when they’re wearing them.  You look like a fuckin neanderthal, stand up straight.  So yeah I’m working on myself.

What happened here tonight, is I spent too much time looking at the Alder Room’s menu at work today and ended up craving this idea that I could make an extremely organized salad.   And that’s what happened!

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Ingredients

1 beet, peeled and sliced 1mm thick with a mandolin

1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced 1-2mm thick

1-2 chive flowers

3 sun gold tomatoes, halved

3 fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Steam beets for 10 minutes and let cool.  Neatly arrange beets and avocados overtop of each other.  Cut off about 5cm from each side.  Arrange all other ingredients on top.

Bonus:  I totally forgot I was going to season it with smoked paprika, and by the time I remembered, I had already eaten the whole thing.  So sad.  If you do it, let me know!

Artichoke Shakshuka

When FOMO turns into reaching my saturation point, I come to the kitchen.  I’ve always wanted to make shakshuka in my own way but never set the time aside.  Looking at my  day planner is overwhelming because I always say yes.  What restless part of the brain is it that causes you to be completely unable to relax?  Yeah yeah, I do yoga, I do the breathing thing, I do meditation, I’ve done float therapy and I ignore my phone often… but it seems futile if shutting off is not what you want.  There’s something about being a really introverted extrovert that makes you feel like you’re missing the point… but then I sit down in front of my food creations and realize 20% of the world goes to bed hungry.  It makes all these feelings so petty, but then they keep coming back.

So yeah, I had an existential crisis and resorted to shakshuka and I was pretty happy with it.  I did a lot of research on the history of shakshuka before making this so just trust the recipe, as crazy as it sounds!

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Ingredients

2 lbs vine ripened tomatoes, cubed

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

12 garlic cloves (lmao, yeah man)

2 eggs

1 cup fresh oregano

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 chives

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except for eggs in a large cast iron skillet, or two smaller ones.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes or until tomatoes and garlic are soft.  Make a small divot where you want to put the egg.  Crack the egg into it and let simmer for another 15 minutes or until egg white turns white.  It is customary to have a very runny egg, so it is ideal to use pastured eggs.  Garnish with chives and oregano or parsley.  Add cayenne if you prefer more spicy.

Chicken on a Stick

I have so much wisdom for you because I’ve made these two hundred and fifty thousand times, but first…

Up until last week the only things I had to keep alive other than myself were my basil plant and my terrarium.  I’ve recently added a little collection of things kickstarted for the garden and also a herb garden and flowers for the front. I feel like I have 37 children. I got home and one of my peppers was wilted all the way down on it’s side like someone on life support begging to have the plug pulled.  I threw a cup of water and he was back to normal within the hour, what a fuckin drama queen.

Speaking of drama, I need minimum one extra hand to do this food photo bullshit.  I had to hold the tongs far away from me to make it look like someone else was grabbing the skewer while holding this massive Canon Rebel with my right hand crouched over the barbie.  Soooo many bad things could have happened, but my food looks great so 👍.

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Ingredients

1 yellow pepper

1 orange pepper

1 pint button mushrooms

1 zucchini

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp onion powder

Instructions

Rule #1: Soak your sticks if they are wooden for at least 10 minutes before making your kabobs.   Otherwise, they will burn on a hot grill or in the oven.

Rule #2: Mmmmmmmmarinate.  Not just the chicken, the vegetables as well.

Keep the vegetables in a separate mixing bowl, away from the meat while it is marinating.  Disperse the olive oil and spices evenly in each bowl and mix well.  Set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Once the sticks are soaked and the ingredients are marinated, then you can assemble them randomly.  Preheat barbecue to about 400 and grill each side for about 10 minutes.

Makes about 12 skewers.

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Beet Cones, Truffle Garlic and Salmon Dinner

That awkward moment when you’re a blogger and you’re so tired that you just wanna punch the keyboard 17 thousand times and see if anything interesting is left in your soul.

Summer is here and all I wanna do is convince my roommate to rip a hole in the backyard so I can cook in an underground oven like that super cool dude from Chef’s Table and then go to sleep in the tree beside the garden so I can shoo away the bunnies that try to eat my spinach.  Probably so relatable.

Inspired by the ChefSteps Ikura cones, except totally not because I can’t afford Ikura are you kidding?  I can afford one single avocadaaaa!

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Mise en Place

Oven preheated to 350F

Vegetable Steamer

Small frying pan

Piping bag with 5-6mm star tip

Food processor

Mandolin

Ingredients

1 avocado

2 tbsp solids from canned coconut milk

1 lime, squeezed

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 beet

1 head of garlic

1 tsp truffle oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 chunk of yummy salmon

1 tbsp olive oil

oregano, celery seed, salt and black pepper for seasoning fishy

Beet Cones

Peel beet and slice about 1-2mm thick using a mandolin.  Lay slices flat in steamer and steam for 15 minutes.  Let cool and cut 1/4 circle from slices and roll into cones and set aside.

Avocado Filling

In a food processor, combine avocado, coconut milk solid, lime juice, and coconut oil.  Spoon mixture into piping bag and pipe into cones.

Salmon

Pretty standard.  Heat olive oil in small frying pan.  Season salmon and fry, flipping after 5 minutes.

Truffle Garlic

Chop the top off of a head of garlic and remove extra peels that may be hanging.  Separate cloves slightly and place on a chunk of tin foil.  Pour truffle oil into crevices and salt.  Roast for 20-30 minutes.

Make it look bae and Bob’s your uncle.

Grilled Salmon and Zucchini with Basil Sauce

I’m having a blog-life crisis… I’ve always been 100% concentrated on coming up with simple paleo recipes that are usually very easy to do but I’ve grown a little bored with it.  I’ve learned a lot lately about pairing and how everything is on the plate for a reason so I want to start posting entire meals and hopefully you can trust my own palette enough to know that I think these things belong together and you’ll probably enjoy it.

How to impress your summer guests?  Let’s start with this amazing grill meal that can be entirely prepared in advance so you actually have time to socialize while hosting.

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Mise en Place

Quantities will vary based on number of dishes, this is for 1 serving.  Begin marinating 6 to 24 hours prior.

Food processor

Cutting Board, chopping knife and vegetable peeler

Sealable Sandwich Bags

Barbecue preheated to 400F

Salmon Fillet

2 Lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dill

1 Zucchini

1 cup fresh basil leaves

3 garlic cloves

Fresh chives for garnish

Salmon

Wash salmon fillets and then place in sandwich bag.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Peel one entire lemon with a vegetable peeler and add peels to sandwich bag.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp of dill and 1/2 tsp of sea salt into the bag.  Add one clove of garlic.  Massage to mix all ingredients in the bag and refrigerate to marinate 6-24 hours.

When the salmon is marinated, remove from bag and pick off the remaining peels and place on hot grill until fully cooked.

Zucchini

Slice Zucchini diagonally and lightly salt.  Store sliced until ready to grill.  Place directly onto grill.

Lemon

Cut the nubs from the lemon and then cut in half and remove any visible seeds.  Lightly salt and place face down on grill and rotate 90 degrees to create grill marks.

Basil Sauce

In a food processor combine the juice of your fully peeled lemon, basil leaves, 2 garlic cloves, olive oil, walnuts and remaining salt.  When the zucchini is fully cooked, spoon the sauce onto the zucchini.  Extra sauce pairs very well with the salmon as well.  Garnish with chives.

Roasted lemon halves are for squeezing over everything.

Summer Stew

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Summer Stewed Root Vegetables garnished with Shredded Fermented Carrot and Basil

My roommate is officially getting annoyed with me referring to my Perrier water as Dom Perignon… and then rapping to Drake as I drink it from the bottle.  So I’m in my room writing you this letter instead.  Still sippin’ on that Dom though.

I’ve been feeling pretty Zen for the last few months so the odd day/week that I get really irritated with everyone in the world ever I get even more angry that I’m actually angry because I’m supposed to be immune to it…but then I realized it’s actually just a part of life so it’s okay to just do yoga and spend the rest of the weekend binge watching Lost.   AND MAKING BEAUTIFUL FEASTS.  So that’s what I did and this is how it turned out.  I promise it’s not as crazy as it looks.

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Ingredients

1 Rutabaga, peeled and diced

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 beets, peeled and diced

1 leek, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups chicken bone broth

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

3 tbsp arrowroot starch

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large covered stock pot and let cook on low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  The secret ingredient is really the arrowroot starch because it makes the savoury broth turn into Whole30 approved gravy.

Reheats well for lunches. Enjoy!

Paleo Tom Yum Soup

I haven’t had time to cook a good meal all week so it was great to have a night off to make some tom yum soup and a summer stew (coming spoon).  I’ve always had a problem with planning too many things.  If I don’t know what is going to happen in the near future I feel so uneasy and keep refreshing my calendar and checking texts and lists to see what I should be doing.

I just googled it and it’s actually a thing called Obsessive-Compulsive Planning Disorder.  I knoooowwwww I shouldn’t be diagnosing myself with shit but you know as you’re reading the description of something and you’re like, “OH MY GOD, THAT IS 100% ME.”  THAT. JUST. HAPPENED.  So amidst over-planning and spreading myself approx. 1mm thin, I found time to make this soup that I love having at restaurants and made it totally Whole30! (Vegetarian if you eat chicken broth, sub it for vegetable stock and it’s vegan!)

The order of the ingredients is actually important this time so pay attention duh.

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Ingredients

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

2 lemongrass stalks

5 lime leaves

4 thai red peppers

3 garlic cloves

1 shallot

4 tbsp sugar free fish sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp paprika

6 thai basil leaves

1″ cube fresh ginger

1 package enoki mushrooms

1 lime, squeezed

1 green onion

Instructions

In a medium stock pot, on low heat, add chicken broth, water, lime leaves and lemon grass and bring to a low simmer.

In a food processor, blend thai chili peppers, garlic, ginger, shallot, fish sauce, basil, olive oil and paprika.  Add to broth.

Let simmer covered for 20 minutes until flavour is strong and aromatic.  Add enoki mushrooms and let soften for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add lime and green onion as garnish.  Add lime juice last because cooking it can make it funky.

Enjoy!