Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grain-Free Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Mug Muffin

It's still summer but the mornings have been refreshingly breezy. I find myself craving something other than my usual smoothie, and convenient mug muffins often fit the bill. I often find myself just mixing up half a banana, some almond butter and an egg and calling it a day. This morning, however, I felt a bit more fancy...

I adapted this one from Mellow Mama's cherry vanilla almond mug muffin recipe. I cut down on the dried cherries a bit and added some Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips. Since I added the chocolate I totally skipped the honey and the sweetness level was perfect.

I made this one for my daughter, who requested that I serve it up like a "real" muffin with a little butter. It is one of the drier muffins I've made, so I'd suggest either buttering it or (if keeping it in the mug) drizzling a little coconut or almond milk over the top before serving.

Another tweak I made was to get a bit lazy and not prepare the recipe in the neat and orderly steps Mellow Momma suggested. And I think it still came out pretty darned tasty, if not perhaps the most beautiful breakfast I've ever prepared!

Grain-Free Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Mug Muffin
adapted from Mellow Mama

1/2 tbs. coconut oil
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 tbs. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
2 tbs. slivered almonds
2 tbs. dried cherries (unsweetened)
2 tbs. dairy-free dark chocolate chips

Put coconut oil and banana in a greased microwave-safe mug or bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds or until the coconut oil is melted. Mash the banana up a bit to stir it into the melted oil.

Add vanilla and egg and whisk with a fork. Stir in coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Stir again. Fold in almonds, cherries and chocolate chips.

Microwave for 2 minutes or until firm. Serve either in mug (with a little non-dairy milk drizzled on top) or remove from contained and serve as you would a traditional muffin.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Paleo Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

We spent one of our last days of summer together with another family at a local amusement park. Fun? Yes. Relaxing? Heck no.

So it was a great feeling knowing I was coming home to a meal that was basically ready to go. I prepped the chicken in the morning, and then asked the caveman to pop the crock pot on for me in the later afternoon.

When the kids and I finally staggered in all I needed to do was shred the meat. I ate my chicken over salad and found the sauce was flavorful enough that I didn't need to add any additional dressing. This meat would also be great in stuffed sweet potatoes or even on a grain-free crust to create a paleo-friendly BBQ chicken pizza.

Paleo Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

2 medium thinly sliced onions
1 tbs. coconut or olive oil
2 lbs. chicken breast or thighs
salt & pepper
1 cup organic ketchup (you could use homemade if so inclined)
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. dijon mustard
2 tbs. blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
few drops of hot sauce

Place onions in the bottom of the crock pot.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes a side, until starting to brown. Place in an even layer on top of onions.

While chicken is cooking combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour mixture over chicken and put lid on crock pot.

Cook for 4 hours on low. Remove chicken from crock pot and shred. Return to pot and stir into sauce to thoroughly coat.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paleo Bacon Burger Mushrooms

I like to use portabella mushrooms as a grain-free alternative to burger buns, but sometimes I find them a little messy and hard to eat. It can also be an issue of the meat to mushroom ratio being a little unbalanced (depending on the size of your shrooms).

When the caveman requested stuffed mushrooms this weekend I thought about combining burger elements in the stuffing, but wasn't quite sure how I wanted to do it. After a little online search I found that Beauty and the Foodie had already created just what I was envisioning, and I decided to follow her recipe.

This one couldn't be easier, and it was a HUGE success. Just the little bit of mayo and tomato sauce really brings a true burger flavor to the meat. Next time I think I will mince some onion and incorporate it with the meat, as it was the one element/flavor I found lacking (I added onion into the directions below).

I only melted a tiny bit of raw cheddar cheese on top of these, and I honestly think they'd be delicious without (especially thanks to the bacon!). I went with dill pickles and chopped tomatoes, but you could certainly get creative with your burger toppings of choice.

Paleo Bacon Burger Mushrooms
adapted from Beauty & the Foodie

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
salt & pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/4 cup organic tomato sauce
3 tbs. homemade mayo
2 tbs. ground flax
4 large portabello mushrooms, stemmed and gilled (I used 5 because a few were on the small side)
4 strips nitrite-free bacon, cooked and chopped
burger toppings of choice

Preheat oven to 400 and cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a Silpat liner.

Brown beef with salt, pepper, onion and garlic until no longer pink.

While beef is cooking, combine tomato sauce, mayo and ground flax in a large bowl. Add beef to mixture.

Place mushrooms gill side up on baking sheet, and divide beef mixture between them. Sprinkle with bacon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes before garnishing as desired.