Y’all know I don’t do many treat recipes, but every once in a while inspiration strikes and I roll with it. Last night I was working on recipe development for the cookbook, looked over at a jar of Love Bean and a great idea popped into my head.
What’s Love Bean? It’s a fudgy spread that’s dairy-free, grain / gluten-free, vegan and totally delicious. I wouldn’t make these everyday—they are still a sweet treat even though they’re Paleo-friendly—but for a single, lush bite to take care of a sweet craving, they’re perfect.
No Love Bean? The product is a blend of coconut oil, cocoa and coconut sugar and while I have no idea what the proportions are, if you’re savvy in the kitchen you can probably figure out how to make a suitable substitute.
In a medium bowl, add the coconut, Love Bean fudge, coffee, sea salt and protein powder (optional). Mix well to combine. If the mixture seems very soft, put it in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. You want it soft enough to roll but not so soft that it falls apart.
Place the chopped macadamia nuts in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
Get a teaspoon of the mixture and shape it into a ball. Drop the truffle into the macadamia nuts and gently roll it around until all sides are coated. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Store covered in the refrigerator or freezer.
Change It Up
If you’re limiting caffeine, you can use decaf coffee or omit it all together. They’re still delicious.
Can’t eat nuts? Roll the truffles in cocoa powder or shredded coconut. Or just leave them naked!
Coconut 101 is here, where I’m going to take you through some need-to-know coconut basics for your kitchen!
Coconut Basics: Why’s It So Common In Paleo?
Coconut is a darling ingredient of Paleo / primal and real food cooking and for good reason: it’s loaded with healthy fats and is shelf stable. Its creamy texture is great for dairy-free cooking. I’m going to explain these in more depth, then break it down by coconut variant…sort of like an encyclopedia of coconut goodness.
Coconut Basics: All About the Fat
Let’s tackle the fat component of coconut first. Coconut oil’s a combination of three types of fat: saturated (92%), monounsaturated (6%) and polyunsaturated (2%). WHOA…hold up just a second..isn’t that a LOT of saturated fat?
Yes, coconut oil is mostly saturated fat which kind of makes it the animal fat of the plant world, and seasoned paleo eaters know that saturated fats aren’t bad in the context of a diet that’s not high in carbohydrates (for more on that topic, click here). If you’re a newbie to paleo, you may be surprised at all the sat fats showing up in recipes…ghee, coconut oil, duck fat. Even lard. Remember, paleo’s not a low fat diet, and human beings need fat to function properly. So…coconut oil, rich in sat fat, is good!
Why not just eat lots of mono- (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) like other plant oils then? Aren’t those healthier? Keep in mind *why* plant oils are liquid at room temperature in the first place. They contain one or more double bonds in their carbon-hydrogen tails, making the tails bend and preventing them from packing closely together. [Saturated fats contain no double bonds in their carbon-hydrogen tails, making them straight and easy to pack together, like Pick Up Sticks.] Back to the bendy tails…they make fats less stable and more prone to oxidation which is not a good thing.
Ever notice why some oils, like flaxseed, are sold in dark brown bottles and are supposed to be refrigerated? It’s because it, like other PUFA-rich oils, is prone to oxidative breakdown and will go rancid quickly at room temperature.
So, coconut oil (along with other dense saturated fat sources) is 1) more stable at room temperature, 2) more resistant to oxidation and 3) more stable at moderate temperature cooking than some other plant oils.
Coconut Basics: Creamy Dreamy Goodness
Because of coconut’s high fat content, it adds a great unctuous character to different dishes. Of course, there are classics like curries but virtually any way you’d use dairy, you can substitute coconut milk instead. In a pinch, you can try stirring in coconut cream or even coconut butter instead of coconut milk to add some extra creaminess.
For coconut milk, the fat content will vary by brand and I’d recommend staying away from those which contain emulsifiers (read more in my article here). If you want “lite” coconut milk, it’s less expensive to buy full-fat (canned) and water it down yourself.
Coconut Basics: Products
Coconut Aminos: This is used commonly in Paleo cooking as a replacement for soy sauce. It’s made from the sap of coconut trees that’s been combined with salt. (where to find coconut aminos)
Coconut Butter (also called Coconut Manna or Coconut Cream Concentrate™): When dried coconut meat is ground down into a very fine pulp (much more finely than coconut flour), the result is coconut butter (click here to learn how to make your own). It can be used in place of nut butters and used in a variety of ways (my favorites of which is to eat it off a spoon or on a piece of high-quality dark chocolate). When you buy coconut butter, it’s probably going to be solidified in the jar and have separated out into two layers: the upper layer (translucent) is oil and the lower layer (opaque) is the meat. Warm it up in a pot of hot water and stir to combine.
Coconut Cream: This is the fraction from coconut milk that separates out when a can of coconut milk without emulsifiers is allowed to sit still for a while. The cream component rises to the top and separates from the water. It’s different from coconut butter because it’s been strained and contains no fiber. Hint: makes a killer whipped cream substitute when whipped until airy! Some brands advertise cans of coconut cream: they just contain less water than coconut milk.
Coconut Flakes: The dried meat from the coconut. These can be used to make coconut milk or coconut butter at home. Looking for a crunchy snack? Gently toast some coconut flakes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and cinnamon. YUM. (where to find coconut flakes)
Coconut Flour: This is the dried coconut meat that’s been ground up and as such, still has the fiber intact. It’s used in gluten-free baking and as a thickener, but it can be a bit finicky. If you’ve ever tried to substitute coconut flour for white flour or almond flour in a recipe, you’ve probably been met with a dry, chewy mess. Why? The fiber in coconut flour makes it ultra-absorbent like a super-powered sponge. In general, use the following ratio when adapting recipes for coconut flour: 1 cup white flour = 1/4 cup coconut flour. (where to find coconut flour)
Coconut Milk: When coconut meat is blended with water and strained, the result is coconut milk. Its fat content varies by brand with cheaper cans often containing less coconut cream and more water. Choose a brand without emulsifiers (like guar gum, carrageenan, methyl cellulose, and corn starch) that’s sold in BPA-free cans (like these) or tetra-pak cartons (like these). I don’t recommend coconut milk sold in cartons (except for the one I just listed) because they tend to contain preservatives.
Coconut Nectar & Crystals (also called Coconut Sugar): Don’t be fooled. Even though it’s derived from coconuts, it’s no better than any other sweetener out there from a health perspective. Use judiciously, if at all.
Coconut Oil: This is the pure fat from the meat of the coconut and comes in several different varieties based on which processing method was used to extract it. Decoding a bottle can be a lot like deciphering what’s written on an egg carton…lots of terms, some of which are pretty confusing. Here’s a quick list:
Virgin…coconut oil obtained from raw coconut meat that hasn’t been heated. Note: the standards for what denotes virgin from extra virgin don’t actually exist.
Extra Virgin…this term really means nothing between coconut oils (though it does for olive oil). A term used to market and appeal to consumers as “higher quality”.
Refined…usually treated with deodorizers, bleaches and other chemicals. It usually smells / tastes less like coconut. Very low quality refined oils are sometimes even hydrogenated (eek…trans-fats!!) to increase shelf life even further.
Unrefined…not treated with deodorizers, bleaches and other chemicals. Most virgin and extra virgin coconut oils fall into this category. They tend to have a stronger coconut flavor.
Expeller-pressed…coconut oil obtained from the manual pressing of the coconut meat, not by using chemicals.
Centrifuged…the liquified meat is spun down in a centrifuge to fractionate the oils away from the water. Therefore, the oil was exposed to less heat during processing.
Organic…the coconuts were grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, etc. This term doesn’t tell you how the oil was harvested, however.
Gingerbread Spiced Bulletproof® Coffee is a warm, comforting cup of holiday flavor…sort of like eating a gingerbread man, but without the gluten bomb in your gut. You can make your coffee using your preferred method, and I’ve got a few ideas below for different ways to incorporate the gingerbread spice into your next cup. Curious about exactly what Bulletproof® coffee is and why it’s so good? Read my post here.
If you’re looking for DIY gift ideas for the holidays, make up a large batch of gingerbread spice mix, and put it in a fancy jar with a beautiful label (see more ideas for DIY spice mixes here). Even better would be to print out this recipe (or maybe the one for my Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs).
Sprinkle the gingerbread spice mix into the coffee grounds. Brew the coffee using your preferred method (I use a French press but any preparation will do).
Pour hot coffee into a blender. Add the grass-fed butter and coconut oil, plus any extras like sweetener if preferred.
Blend for 30 seconds until frothy and creamy (use caution when using a blender with hot liquids). You could also use an immersion blender or just melt the butter and oil on top of your hot coffee, but I don’t prefer it that way…it ends up like an oil slick. If that’s your thing though, that’s okay
Sprinkle with extra gingerbread spice, if desired.
Change It Up
Prepare the coffee according to step 1. Instead of adding butter and coconut oil, add coconut milk, almond milk or grass-fed heavy cream (if it agrees with you). Or, if black coffee’s your thing, drink as is.
Make it a gingerbread spiced latte by brewing espresso, combining with steamed or heated coconut milk, then sprinkling with some of the spice mix.
Use chai tea instead of coffee or a gingerbread spiced chai.
Do you like gingerbread spiced coffee? Have you ever tried Bulletproof® Coffee?
It’s your lucky day…another great giveaway here on the blog and this time, it’s a Radiant Life gift certificate for $100.
If you’ve never heard of Radiant Life, they’re a really top-notch company that has pretty much anything you’d need for natural skin care to nutrient dense foods and trusted supplements that fit in perfectly with a paleo way of living. I’m really excited to share some of the stellar products they offer so you can shop away and stock up, like:
Coconut oil. They’ve got it…a high-quality virgin oil, made from raw coconut that’s processed without heat, solvents, bleaches or deodorizers. My kitchen is always stocked with coconut oil for high heat cooking (and as my daily moisturizer).
Magnesium. Radiant Life offers that, too. Mag’s so awesome because it helps – among other things – with muscle recovery after tough training sessions. It’s also soothing at night…helps me sleep like a baby!
Butter oil and fermented cod liver oil. Indeed! Radiant Life sells butter oil which is rich in Vitamin K2 and gives you the benefit of grass-fed butter without the worry of dairy sensitivity reactions. They also carry fermented cod liver oil (which I use) – it’s rich in vitamins A & D.
How to enter for a chance to win a Radiant Life $100 Gift Certificate
To enter the giveaway for a chance to win, you’ll need to subscribe to Radiant Life’s Newsletter using the link below. Simply click on the link and fill in your email address in the tan box in the upper right corner of the new page. Then come back to this page for more chances to enter. (Note: you MUST click the link – and be subscribed at the time of the drawing – to be eligible to win.)
For more entries for the $100 Gift Certificate from Radiant Life, you can:
#2 – Use Rafflecopter widget below to finalize your entry and unlock other bonus entries! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)
Man, I love soup. It’s warm, filling and a perfect way to bump up veggie consumption without having to gnaw down on a plate of kale (no offense, kale…I still love you). Sometimes, though, it’s just more fun to slurp up a bowl of soup. This recipe’s actually based on one that I made when I first started this blog but I decided to switch things up by changing the spices. The sky’s the limit here and you can really get creative with new flavor combinations.
To make the best tasting butternut squash soup, my secret is to roast the squash first…it brings out a caramelized, almost nutty flavor that steaming it can’t give. It’ll take a bit of extra time, but it’s so worth it, so don’t skimp out. Once that’s done the rest of the soup is a snap to put together. Bonus points for using your own stock for a liquid!
Variations for Butternut Squash Soup
If you can’t do coconut milk, you could use heavy cream if you tolerate that well. If not, omit and add an extra 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
Add any cooked protein you’d like to make it a heartier meal.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger for another warm spicy note.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Peel the squash and cut it lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds (they’re delicious roasted by the way). Chop the squash into a large dice. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Do the same with the carrots (I usually leave them unpeeled).
Bake the carrots and squash for at least 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft and lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and put the veggies in a pot.
Add the rest of the ingredients: chicken stock, coconut milk, cumin and cinnamon to the post and stir.
Now, puree the soup until smooth. If using a blender, you’ll probably need to do this in at least two batches (use caution when putting hot liquids in a blender). If using an immersion blender, you can puree it right in the pot. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
Serve hot. Bonus points if you sprinkle with some roasted squash seeds (I throw them in the oven on a small sheet tray with a bit of chipotle pepper and salt. Roast for about 10-15 minutes while the squash cooks, for texture.
Have you ever tried butternut squash soup? What did you think?
Ah, the beloved cup of morning Joe. It’s a ritual (er, habit) for millions of people around the globe; the United States alone imports almost 1/3 of the coffee grown worldwide, with Germany coming in a distant second (source). Its health benefits are hotly debated:
Is caffeine good or bad? (Depends on your sensitivity, other stressors in your life because it may increase cortisol, personal objections, etc).
Doesn’t coffee contain antioxidants? (Yes. So does red wine but be honest, nobody really drinks it for that reason.)
How much is too much? (If you measure your consumption in “pots per day” rather than cups or think a coffee IV would be much more convenient, you may need to reconsider).
Is it even Paleo? (Purists will state that coffee isn’t Paleo. Others concede it’s one of those exceptions they’re willing to make.)
While I can’t tell you if coffee consumption is right for you—remember, it’s up to you to know your unique context, needs, and goals—I can show you how to make the coffee you drink better for you. Meet “bulletproof”.
Bulletproof® is a brand founded by Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley investor and life hacker. His formula for making this trademarked brew is quite specific, requiring specially grown, Bulletproof Upgraded coffee beans that are devoid of problematic mycotoxins (linked to all sorts of health problems), high quality grass-fed butter and MCT oil (I’ll go over these components shortly). In the past couple years, this concept of packing coffee with healthy fats has taken off and spawned its own variations. It’s kind of like calling all photocopiers “Xerox” machines, right? Not all coffee put together in this way can technically be called Bulletproof® but the spirit of the original is there.
What’s the Bulletproof Coffee® recipe? Basically brewed coffee + grass-fed butter + MCT oil. More on these in a minute.
How can this Bulletproof® coffee formula really improve your health? It’s all about the fats. If you’re new to Paleo, be advised this is not a low fat diet. We rely on fats – particularly of the saturated variety—for slow-burning, stable forms of energy. They also compose a large percentage of our cell membranes and are important in the absorption of fat-souble vitamins. In short, saturated fat (in the context of a relatively low carb approach like Paleo) is a good thing.
This may be surprising since shelf-stable saturated fats (particularly of animal origin like butter, lard and tallow) have been vilified for years thanks to the weak correlation concluded between fat consumption, cholesterol levels and mortality rates from heart disease from a study by Ancel Keys (Seven Countries Study). While Keys’s intentions and motivations are still debated, what’s clear is that the Seven Countries Study became the study used to justify steering the boat toward polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) consumption and away from saturated fats. PUFAs (most plant oils and some of animal origin like fish oil) are highly unstable and prone to oxidative breakdown due to their chemical structures. Read: PUFAs are not a better choice for dietary fat sources. Saturated fatty acids (SFA) are much more stable and better for high-temperature cooking.
Let’s look at the components of Bulletproof® coffee:
Grass-fed butter. Rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid produced by ruminants like cows, it’s been implicated in many studies as having beneficial effects. Grain-fed cows do not produce as much CLA in their milk as their grass-fed counterparts. Grass-fed butter also contains an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s basically 1:1 (that’s very GOOD). If you’ve ever seen pale (almost white) butter, the poor stick of saturated fat is lacking in beta carotene. Where to get bright yellow butter? You guessed it, cows fed on grass. In addition to all this, grass-fed butter contains more fat-soluble vitamins like K2 (which is converted from K1 by cows).
Verdict: Butter from grass-fed cows is better than butter from grain-fed cows.
But…isn’t Paleo supposed to be dairy-free? It’s generally not part of a Paleo template because some dairy can be quite problematic for people – not because Cordain wanted to make you cry by taking away your delicious cheese. For some, it’s a sensitivity to the proteins like casein. For others, it’s a problem with digesting the lactose carbohydrate fraction. Butter has very little protein and is mostly fat (read: butterfat doesn’t cause the same reactions that the protein or carb component can). If you’re sensitive to dairy protein, you could try using grass-fed ghee (how to make your own or find a commercially available brand) which is essentially clarified butter stripped of its proteins. The only way to know for sure if you’re sensitive to these foods is to remove them for at least 30 days and then reintroduce them methodically.
MCT oil. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a purified form of these types of fatty acids (capric and caprylic, naturally found in plant fats like coconut oil and palm kernel oil). MCTs have several benefits, including being an easily metabolized form of energy. MCT oil is purified from coconut and palm kernel oils and generally sold as a supplement instead of a food on store shelves. It can be quite expensive, so many folks have taken to using coconut oil instead of pure MCT to make their version of Bulletproof®-style coffee.
Verdict: MCT oil provides a higher concentration of these fatty acids, though coconut oil is a good, budget-friendly alternative.
And lastly, the beans. The mycotoxin issue makes sense to me – and apparently higher quality coffee isn’t necessarily devoid of these mold poisons – but I’m not sure it’s personally worth the cost of the upgraded beans for my wallet. You can certainly decide what fits your budget best though I recommend buying Fair Trade beans whenever possible.
Verdict: Get the Upgraded beans if you’re really concerned and want to spend some extra money.
Here’s my simple recipe for making bulletproof-style coffee at home:
Bulletproof®-Style Coffee Recipe
1 cup of hot freshly brewed coffee (I use a French press but any preparation will do)
Pumpkin Spice (per 1 cup): add 1 teaspoon pumpkin puree + a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Mexican Chocolate (per 1 cup): add 1 teaspoon cacao (or cocoa) + a dash of cinnamon and chili powder
Bulletproof® Chai (per 1 cup): substitute 1 cup of brewed chai tea instead of coffee
Iced Bulletproof®-Style Coffee: prepare the coffee as below, then chill and pour over ice. Trying to do it the other way around (by making cold coffee then blending in the fats) won’t work because the fats won’t emulsify.
Prepare the coffee, scaling the recipe up to suit your needs.
Pour hot coffee into a blender. Add the grass-fed butter and coconut oil, plus any extras like spices or sweetener if preferred.
Blend for 30 seconds until frothy and creamy (use caution when using a blender with hot liquids).
Enjoy. You could also use an immersion blender or just melt the butter and oil on top of your hot coffee but I don’t prefer it that way…it ends up like an oil slick. If that’s your thing though, that’s okay
Crunchy paleo coconut shrimp made even more mouth-watering with lime and chili. Serve with lime wedges for another extra punch of flavor. Some heat from a dipping sauce like Chipotle Mayo would make it even better! Use any size shrimp you like.
Stupid Easy Paleo, coming at you with another snack for your Super Bowl party (or any time you damn please). I recently read that chicken wing consumption is at an all-time national high which explains why I couldn’t find any the first time I went to the store. Luckily, my persistence paid off. When I was thinking of what flavors to baste these little flappers with, my mind automatically went to orange and ginger with a bit of heat. These wings are pretty damn Paleo and though there are a couple tablespoons of honey in the recipe, it really helps to give it that sticky glaze that we all love to lick off our fingers. Easily double the batch to feed your hungry bunch!
Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 40 min Makes: 1-1/2 pounds (about 12 wings)
Preheat the oven to 375C (190F). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Prepare the sauce in a small saucepan: Remove the zest from one orange using a microplane or grater, then add the juice of both oranges to the pan. Grate about 1 tbsp of ginger into the juice using the microplane. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut aminos, minced serrano pepper (remove the seeds and inner pith for a milder flavor) and salt.
Simmer the glaze on medium-low heat until it reduces and thickens, coating the back of a spoon. This may take several minutes.
Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken wings dry with a paper towel and fry on each side to crisp / brown the skin a bit. Remove and drain on some clean paper towels.
In a large bowl, toss the wings with the orange-ginger glaze. Remove wings from the glaze with a slotted spoon. Arrange wings on the baking sheet and save any excess glaze.
Bake for 15 min, remove from oven, flip them over and baste with glaze. (NOTE: discard any unused glaze at this point as it’s been in contact with raw chicken).
Bake for 15 more min or until completely cooked through.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and EAT.
*Note: Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapeños, so substitute those if you’d like or leave them out entirely. Wash your hands well immediately after handling the peppers and for goodness sake, don’t rub your eyes (or your nether regions).
Stupid Easy Paleo coming atcha from the beautiful city of Glasgow, Scotland! I’m here visiting for 3 weeks, enjoying the chill of winter (even saw the sun yesterday) and enjoying some R & R. Yesterday we had a lovely Christmas dinner, the centerpiece of which was an amazing 7 lb (3 kg) free-range turkey breast that I picked up for $16 on sale at the last minute on the eve of the 25th. It was delicious, but let me cut to the chase: leftover turkey isn’t my favorite thing. Sure, there is the obvious soup or just reheated slices (blech), but I was looking for something different. A quick spin around the local market found me with basic ingredients to make a fine yellow curry. Feel free to vary the veg (I used what was pretty much on hand) and get creative.
This is one of those 5 minute side dishes that will leave you no excuses why you can’t eat some vegetables with your meal. This isn’t rocket surgery, after all. If your market doesn’t sell the tiny bok choy, you can get bigger ones and cut them in quarters.
Every once in a while, I like to show you all a recipe that is a bit fancy but has several options for making it faster and easier…this Mushroom and Fig Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is no exception. If you’ve been stuck in a protein rut lately (I’m guilty of eating grass-fed ground beef or eggs for several days in a row), try pork tenderloin. It’s lean and with the right preparation can remain juicy and flavorful. I used a brine (adapted from a recipe in “Well Fed”) to infuse more tasty goodness and moisture, but if you don’t have time you can skip it. I brined the meat for about an hour, but up to 3 or 4 would be great. No time to butterfly and stuff the meat? While it’s baking you can prepare the mushroom and fig mixture and serve on the side! See…no excuses. In order of prep time, here are some options:
Most = brine and stuff
Less = stuff the meat but skip the brine
Least = skip the brine and make the stuffing on the side
Ingredients for Mushroom and Fig Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
2. Prepare the brine solution by combining the garlic cloves, sea salt, peppercorns, cumin seed, coriander seed and bay leaves in a plastic zip top baggie. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and fill with water so the meat is covered. Seal the bag and place in a dish or large bowl. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours. [Note: you can certainly skip the brining process but the meat may not be as tender.]
3. Rehydrate the dried figs by placing them in a bowl or measuring cup and covering with boiling water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes or until softened.
4. While the figs rehydrate, chop the mushrooms and mince the garlic and rosemary.
5. Heat a large skillet on high, add a spoonful of your fat of choice, and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of salt until browned and cooked through [hint: use a large enough pan to avoid overcrowding the mushrooms which will make them soggy.]
6. When the mushrooms are nearly done, add the garlic and rosemary and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. Drain the water off the rehydrated figs, chop them, and add to the mushroom mixture.
7. If you brined the meat, remove from the bag and pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel (it’s okay if some spices stick to the meat). Lay the butterflied tenderloin flat and place the stuffing mixture on top. You may have extra depending on the size of the meat. Fold the edges of the meat over and secure with several toothpicks (see pictures).
8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190C).
9. Heat a large skillet on high (I used cast iron because it can go right into the oven but you can brown the tenderloin in a skillet and transfer to an oven-safe dish to finish the cooking). Add a spoonful of fat and sear the outside of the meat for about 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip and sear the other side to create a nice crust. Transfer the meat to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads about 145 degrees F (63C).
10. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. You can also add a bit of water to the iron skillet, place it on the stove and loosen the caramelized bits of meaty goodness with a spatula or whisk for a quick pan sauce.
Every once in a while, there’s a dish that so reminds me of somebody that I just have to name it after them. Or in some cases, if I make a recipe specially for someone—like Jaimie’s Meatball Soup—that person becomes the namesake!
My friend Will makes a version of these yam fries, and they’re always a hit so I decided to put together my own twist on it and give him some of the credit. The mustard is very subtle after roasting and gives a layer of flavor that’s pretty delicious and tangy.
Why “yam” fries? Because that’s what these orange varieties are sometimes called depending on where you live.
Preheat oven to 400F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Slice into steak fries by doing the following: Slice the potato lengthwise. Turn each half so it’s lying flat. Cut into pieces ¼-inch thick.
Place the fries into a large ziptop bag or bowl. Add mustard, smoked paprika and melted coconut oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated.
Arrange the sweet potatoes onto the baking sheets so the pieces don’t overlap.
Roast 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked through, flipping them over once about halfway through. They should be nice and brown around the edges. Check frequently to make sure they don’t burn.
*If doing Whole30, check the mustard to make sure it has compliant ingredients.
I absolutely adore my CrockPot/slow cooker. It’s the ultimate in convenience cooking…gather simple ingredients, throw in the pot, set it and walk away. There is a bit of planning involved (as in it takes time to complete the meal), but I usually fill it up before I go to sleep. When I wake up, the house smells amazing and dinner for the night is already made. Invest a few extra bucks in a slow cooker that has a digital timer and a “keep warm” function.
This recipe is awesome for having a large amount of protein on hand for various uses throughout the week, and since it’s “just meat”, you can throw the pork into lots of yummy applications…street tacos, served with eggs, paired with a simple veggie side dish, poured over salad and topped with salsa….
Though I prefer to use boneless pork shoulder from US Wellness Meats, I didn’t have one on hand so I bought two lean pork loin roasts from the butcher at my local market and was sure to strip the fat off after cooking.
One of my favorite things to do while driving is listen to Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution Podcast. While trying to catch myself up on back episodes, somewhere in the realm of episode 45-ish, I heard co-host Andy Deas describe a dessert that really caught my attention because it sounded, well, amazing. And easy. And Paleo. So, while I can’t take credit for this creation, here is my take on Andy Deas’s pudding. Bon appetite!
Pour coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add chopped apples, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the tiny black seeds of yumminess out. Add to the saucepan.
Simmer for about 30 minutes until the apples are soft.
Puree in the blender until smooth.
Refrigerate until chilled and the pudding is set.
*When I was in Bali, I bought a grip of vanilla beans at the Ubud public market. I treasure them because I bought about 500 grams of vanilla bean pods for roughly $10 American. This is ridiculously inexpensive. If you don’t have any vanilla beans, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (but it won’t be as tasty, in my opinion)