Paleo Almond Pistachio Breakfast “Granola”

I must apologize for a short stretch of silence there!  You see, my little brother….(I call him my little brother, but let’s be honest here, he’s been bigger than me since oh, fifth grade? ;))…is moving to Virginia!  And he stopped here on his way through!!  He is still here, actually.  I just decided I could take a moment to blog, because he and Mr. Rodgers are very much engrossed in a game of NFL Blitz on Nintendo 64 right now.  Yeah.  Be jealous!!  Anywho, I haven’t abandoned you my friends, I have just been spending time with the fam.  It is the most important thing in the world to me, and I haven’t seen my side for a year!!  So I’m soaking up every minute!

But here I am!  I promise I’m still cooking!!  And here is a little treat for you!  I call it breakfast, but in all honesty….the few days after I made this, it was more like breakfast granola…then mid morning snack granola…then lunch granola…then mid afternoon granola…you get the picture.  😉  I.  LOVE.  GRANOLA!  But my options are limited since most granolas have sugar…or even if they are a healthy organic brand, they are mostly oatmeal.  Which I LOVE, but definitely react to.  Sad day!  Needless to say, I was stoked when I found this Abel Jame’s recipe for “Caveman Crunch.”  I tweaked it a bit, and whabam!!  Granola is back in my life!  I want it to be in your life too, so here you go:

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 C Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 C Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 C Almond Flour
  • 1 C Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 C Almonds
  • 1 C Pistachios (Shelled)
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 C Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1/3-1/2 C Raw Honey (melted)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C Raisins (THIS IS MY ADDITION!  I am okay with raisins, but some paleo people are not!  If you don’t want the added fruit sugar, then you can leave it out.)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325*
  2. If your almonds and pistachios are not slivered or chopped, then place them in  a food processor and pulse until a good, granola-like consistency.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients (minus the raisins) in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, combine the oil, honey, and vanilla.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.  Dump the wet ingredients over the dry and mix together till it is evenly coated.  Spread it out on your cookie sheet.  It should be in a nice thin layer.
  6. Bake in the oven until just starting to brown.  The original says 25 minutes, but mine never lasted that long.  You are cooking with honey, which burns VERY QUICKLY.  So check it often, and stir it at least once while cooking.  About 5-10 minutes before its done, sprinkle your raisins in.  Remove, let it cool, and serve however makes you happy!  I eat it in a bowl with unsweetened almond milk!  Would also be good on top of some Greek yogurt…whatever you can think up!

 

Peectures:

Granola 1

Measure out your nuts!

Granola 2

Put them in a food processor if they didn’t come slivered or chopped…

Granola 3

And whiz until you get a good “granola” texture.

Granola 5

Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl minus the raisins.

Granola 6

Stir together all your wet ingredients.

Granola 7]

Pour the wet stuff over the dry stuff and stir to coat.  Spread thinly over a foil line cookie sheet.

Granola 8

Bake at 325* until just starting to brown, stirring at least once and keeping a sharp eye out for burning!  Add raisins a few minutes before it is done.

Granola 9

Enjoy however you desire!!!

 

Simple Cauliflower Rice

I know I have posted a version of cauliflower rice before.  It was an extremely delicious, Asian, “fried rice,” only cauliflower style.  😉   It was amazing.  One of my favorite things ever!  But sometimes you just need a simple, quick rice substitute, not packed with too much flavor…since rice is usually the base for something more rich.  So here is a little treat for you in those times!  A healthier alternative to rice, a great way to sneak in veggies…and literally takes just a few minutes!  I am so thankful to Abel James for opening my eyes to just how easy this can be!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place cauliflower (in batches if needed) into a food processor, and pulse until it is about the size of rice.  Alternately, if you have a grater attachment to a KitchenAid, that works well too!
  2. Dump into a large microwave safe bowl.  (I know…its crazy right?!  I am usually not a believer in using the microwave for anything other than warming up left overs or melting butter…but this works so well!)  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Carefully remove, stir, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  If needed, return to microwave in minute increments until “rice” is softened and a nice texture for your purposes.  I usually have to cook an extra minute or two over the suggested 5.  🙂
  3. Serve hot under your favorite dishes!  My serving suggestion will be up soon!  I used it for…drum roll please…Grain Free Fish Taco Bowls!  Soooooo good!!

 

 

Fish Taco 13

Avocado Salsa Featuring Persian Lime Olive Oil

I must tell you a story.  A few Mondays ago (Mondays are our day off, so always turn into a date day extravaganza!), we decided to go visit one of our favorite towns called Clayton!  Clayton is about 20 minutes away, and is right on the Saint Lawrence river, which is home to the Thousand Islands.  Yes, the Thousand Islands is a place, not just a dressing!  We stroll by the Inn where the dressing was first served all the time!

So like I said, we love Clayton!  However, it is pretty small, and there is only so much to do…so we drove there with only a little bit of concern that we would not be able to find anything new to do, and that we would end up just wandering around aimlessly.  But, our cares must have wafted up to Heaven and been heard, because we had a blast at a new place we didn’t even know was there!  If you are a foodie like me (as I am assuming you are if you are reading this blog,) you will appreciate our little mini-adventure.  Right next to the River Rat Cheese Store we always stop by (SO MANY AWESOME CHEESES!), we noticed a new store front called The 1000 Islands Cruet.  So we decided to wander in.

Quickly we were greeted by a jolly gentleman who obviously loved his business.  What was that business?!  VINEGAR AND OLIVE OIL!  Most of you probably guessed that by the “Cruet” in the title…but I had no idea what a cruet was so I thought I’d mention it for the newbs like myself.  😉  Before long we had little paper cups and bits of bread and were trying all sorts of samples…mixing this with that, nerding out about what we would use it for, and hearing endless fun facts from the owner and his wife.  It was truly really fun!  And the different flavors they had were amazing!  We were mixing things like orange infused olive oil with chocolate balsamic vinegar!  I wish I could remember more, because the possibilities were endless and so tasty!

And so, to end our adventure we decided to choose one oil to bring home that we knew we would use often.  Our final decision?  Persian Lime Olive Oil.

So.  Good.  And incredibly useful!

I wanted to share with you the first thing I used this incredible oil for!  I’ve had to step up my game before it is all out, Mr. Rodgers is loving it on his salads and I can hardly keep up!  So here is my first creation:  Avocado Salsa!  Easy enough!

This recipe came out of necessity, as I was halfway through preparing my salsa for my fish taco bowls (coming soon) and I realized I had no lime juice.  Then…LIGHTBULB. <—Please read that in Gru’s voice.  I remembered this bottle of magicalness that I had hiding on my lazy susan.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Avocado, Diced
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Tomatoes, Diced
  • About 1/4 C Red Onion, Minced (Depending on taste, you can use more or less)
  • Good squeeze of cilantro paste, or a handful of fresh
  • 1-2 Tbsp Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil…just enough to coat everything with a limey flavor
  • Optional: A dash of red wine vinegar for an extra twang

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Dice all your veggies and toss together in a bowl.  Gently combine so your avocado doesn’t break down.
  2. Add oil, paste, and vinegar if you are using it.  Stir gently.  Taste, add salt or pepper if needed, and adjust any flavors as you desire.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

 

And that’s it!  I will soon post the beautiful dish I used this salsa with, but until then, enjoy this just as it is!  Goes great on top of meat, with chips, as a dressing for a salad…whatever your mind can think up!

 

What would you use Persian Lime infused Olive Oil for?

Lime Oil 2

Lime Oil

Fish Taco 1

Fish Taco 12

Delicioso!  Enjoy!

 

 

Chilled Curry Chickpea Salad

This was so fun!  I rarely do cold side dishes, but now I am thinking I should do them more often!  Not to mention…I am in LOVE with chickpeas!  And there are tons of benefits in lentils!  And Mr. Rodgers loves curry!  Basically I am saying…this is a win win win WINNNN!  Such an explosion of flavors and textures!  Great!

 

So here’s what you need:

  • 1 Can Chick Peas (Garbanzos), or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1 Can Lentils, or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1/2 C Red Onion, Minced
  • 3/4 C Celery, Diced
  • 3/4 C Colored Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!  (It’s REALLLY hard <–sarcasm!)

  1. In a bowl, combine chick peas, lentils, and veggies.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Drizzle the “dressing” over the bean/veggie mix, and stir to coat.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.  Eat and enjoy!

 

 

 

Photo (6)

Stir together beans and veggies.

Photo (7)

Mix together your “dressing” ingredients.

Photo (8)

Drizzle dressing over veggie mixture and stir to coat.

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Put in something pretty!

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And eat!

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Serve along side some yummy protein!  This is beside some amazing ribs…that I am crying inside because I didn’t write down my recipe for and can’t remember 😥  Woe is me!  But!  That’s okay because at least we got this fantastic side dish!!

Super Easy Cheater Pesto!

Pesto.  I lived so much of my life without it.  It is a travesty I am trying to correct by sharing it’s beauty with the world in my adult years!

My love for pesto is deep.  But being limited on time, and having many heart breaks over fresh herbs gone bad by delayed plans…I have not made it nearly as often as I’d like.

But lately, I’ve had pesto on the brain.  And then I had an idea.

LIGHTBULB!! (Insert Gru voice here)

Because of the constant fight to use my fresh herbs in time, I have lately been converting mostly to herb pastes.  Easy to use, stay good for weeks, taste the same (just herbs with a little oil!), and can be stirred into pretty much anything.  So as I sat, wishing for pesto, the thought occurred to me that the two main ingredients of pesto are herbs and oil.

In my fridge, I have herb pastes that are made with what again?  Herbs and oil.

A couple of minutes of research later, and I realized my life was about to get much easier, and much pesto-ier.  🙂

So here ya go.  Super easy cheater pesto!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Basil Paste
  • 1/4 C Parsley Paste
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried: mint, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/4 C Pine nuts
  • 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste…it doesn’t take much!

And here’s how you do it, easy peasy:

  1. Put everything but oil in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Stream in olive oil until you have desired consistency.

 

YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE!  Note:  we stay away from dairy so we don’t use parmesan, but feel free to add it if that’s how you roll!

 

Peectures!

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Step one…

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Step two…

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Step DONE!

Now tell me…what is your favorite use for pesto?!  I’ d love some inspiration!

 

Cheesy Jalapeño Bites (Man Night Cheat Treat!)

So I haven’t posted a naughty treat in quite some time!  But the season of parties has arrived, so I thought I would share this little gem!  Perfect for man nights!!  I love man nights!!  My house always gets clean, I get to cook fun food…and before I leave or go hide in the bedroom, I get to enjoy the fact that most men are easily pleased.  So the fact that I can make tacos or chili or jalapeño bites gets me tons of “mmmm’s, “oh my gosh”s, and “Tabby this is so good, you’re amazing”s, haha!  Its a nice feeling.  So here is something to hopefully help you get a similar reaction!!

Cheesy Jalapeño Bites!!  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Egg Yolks (Psst…secret…I totally forgot these and they STILL WORKED!  Baha!)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softenedd
  • 16 oz Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Yes, it is a lot!  But worth it!)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Jalapeños (I used fresh, then found out after I had already mixed it that my mom uses the ones from the can!  But it seemed to still work well, so choose your fancy!)
  • Bread Crumbs

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix everything but the bread crumbs together in a bowl.
  3. Form into small bowls and roll in bread crumbs, getting a nice coating.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  THEY WILL FLATTEN OUT, that’s fine!! 🙂

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Yeah buddy!  Golden brown, melty, spicy…perfection!

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Here it is with a big ol’ pot of chili and sweet cornbread!  A perfect feast for  a man night in!!  I hope you enjoy!