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Posts Tagged ‘paleo’

Brussels Sprouts Chips

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Nom Nom Paleo chips

Nom Nom Paleo chips

Thank you Nom Nom paleo for this amazing recipe!
I LOVE these chips! This is the perfect snack for anyone that loves chips, but is looking for a healthy alternative.
What you Need

  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts leaves (from about 2 pounds of brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups of melted ghee
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon Zest (optional)
  • How you make them
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Cut the stems off right at the base of the baby cabbages and pull off the outer leaves.
    3. Wash the leaves
    4. Mix the leaves, ghee and salt together in a large bowl
    5. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the leaves evenly in a single layer on each tray.
    6. Bake each tray for 8-10 minutes until crispy and brown around the edges
    7. add optional lemon zest
    8. CHOW!!
    I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

    Gelato. And it’s Paleo!

    Thursday, June 12th, 2014

    banana_gelatoI feel like I’ve been nagging you guys about sugar, so this week rather than badger and berate, I’ve decided to sweeten the deal with a really fun dessert recipe to put some healthy no-sugar-added sweetness into your sugar reduction process (which I hope is going well!). All it takes is a couple frozen bananas, a little unsweetened cocoa, nut butter and voilà: a natural treat that, no kidding, rivals the richest, creamiest gelato imaginable with no added sugar!

    2 perfect-ripe (not over, not under) bananas

    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

    2 tablespoons nut butter

    dash vanilla extract

    pinch of salt

    Peel the bananas and slice into 1 inch or so sections. Freeze overnight.

    In food processor, place frozen bananas and rest of ingredients.

    Blend a good 2 to 3 minutes until mixture has the consistency of a smooth, creamy gelato.

    Serve immediately; must be eaten cold. And trust me, it will be awesome!

    If You Choose to Fly, Fly Paleo

    Thursday, May 8th, 2014

    plane_food1As I type this, I’m flying at 35,000 feet sipping complimentary Southwest airline decaf and enjoying a Paleo feast of steamed kale, lemon chicken, nut bread, and chocolate brownies.

    10 Years ago, I wouldn’t board a plane without first buying a box of Sees to mindlessly chow while complaining I didn’t get the whole can of Coke. I’d land with legs as wobbly as if returning from the moon and feeling jet lag before even leaving the terminal. I’ve since learned, though, how to pack Paleo so rather than experiencing sugar-crash landings, I now reach my destination with a clear head and much milder jet lag.

    Packing food for a flight just takes a little thought and planning. As with luggage, you want to minimize volume while maximizing utility, and for this Paleo is ideal. Here are a few ideas:

    • Steam kale and pack it in a zip lock bag
    • Microwave-steam asparagus: wash, trim and steam 3 minutes in a covered bowl (no need to add water, maybe just a sprinkle of salt)
    • Bring a mandarin orange or two for a healthy sweet
    • Egg Muffins or simply hard boiled eggs (and grab a salt packet at the airport McDonald’s you won’t be eating at)
    • Avocado (pack a plastic knife and spoon)
    • Almonds, other nuts

    You’ve purchased your ticket, you’ve planned your accommodations, now with a little thought you can give your trip the healthy start it deserves!

    Healthy Carbs

    Thursday, April 24th, 2014

    carb_chart2A Paleo Diet (PD) does not mean no carbs or even low carbs for someone who is active (meaning basically a minimum of 30 minutes/day exercise 5x/week). If you’re active, you need energy to burn. The great thing about the PD is that it looks to healthier ways of getting that fuel than the Standard American Diet which leans heavily towards refined grain products, white potatoes, and sugar additives for carbs. So what are healthy PD carbs? And how much do you need each day?

    Identifying good carbs

    To recognize good carbs, it’s helpful to first understand that carbs break down into three categories: sugar, starch and fiber. The first two provide energy, and fiber, well, just makes life easier! For the most part, carb sources that include a high percentage of fiber are regarded as healthy (click here or on chart above). High fiber carbs equate with a slower absorption rate which reduces blood sugar spikes which means less bad things happening in your body like organ stress, vascular damage, and fatigue, for starts. It’s also good to consume fat and protein with any carb as this also slows absorption and minimizes blood sugar spikes. For example, if you want banana, eat just half with a handful of nuts or dip it in almond butter.

    How many carbs per day does an active person need?

    Fiber is easy: 14g of fiber per 1,000 calories per day. It’s trickier with the energy-producing carbs as need varies according to personal goals (e.g., weight loss) and what makes you feel best. The Institute of Medicine recommends 112-162g per 1,000 calories per day (45-65% of your total caloric intake). If you follow and feel best on a Zone diet (40:30:30 carb-protein-fat), then a lower 100g per day per 1K calories does the trick. In other words, the amount of carbs needed varies by individual. If you find yourself thinking about sugar the way a 15 yr old boy thinks about sex, or if you feel like you’ve been flattened by a Zamboni after a workout, you may need more carbs. But if you’re looking to lose weight, go Zone.

    If you’re ever uncertain about carbs, try looking to Paleo Diet guidelines. There’s a world of healthy choices waiting to be enjoyed!

    What to Bring to a Paleo Barbecue!

    Thursday, April 17th, 2014

    What to Bring to a Paleo Barbecue!
    slaw1I love a party and especially enjoy making food to share, so reading Dana’s post yesterday about the upcoming Cave barbecue got me thinking about what I might bring. My mind jumped immediately to the coleslaw recipe below that I got from my sister-in-law last year and have been making just about every week since. It makes tons and is equally great for a summer soiree or a virtuous snack because despite the quantity, it disappears almost as quickly from the fridge as it does from a party, it’s so delicious!


    • half a head of a small red cabbage
    • half a head of a small Savoy cabbage (alternately you can use 3 - 4 cups shredded Napa or Green cabbage)
    • 3 medium to large carrots, peeled & trimmed
    • 2 ripe red bell peppers, washed and seeded (omit if strict Paleo as these are nightshades)
    • 1 bunch cilantro


    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (for strict Paleo use 2 T fresh lemon juice and 2 T fresh lime juice plus 1 T lemon and/or lime zest)
    • 1/4 cup tamari (for strict Paleo use coconut aminos, can be found at Whole Foods)
    • 1 T prepared mustard

    1. In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, thinly slice both cabbages. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Swap slicing blade with a grating blade; grate carrots and transfer to bowl with cabbages.
    3. Slice bell pepper into easy bite-size bits; add to cabbage.
    4. Loosely chop cilantro and add to the big bowl. Mix well.
    5. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake well and pour one third of dressing into bowl at a time, mixing well after each addition and stopping when flavor suits your taste. If any dressing is left over at this point, save to drizzle later over individual servings as desired. Will keep a week in the fridge, but I guarantee it will disappear well before then!

    Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

    Cave Cookbook co-author and nutritionist, Susannah Wallenstrom, had given this recipe to me to share back in September, and though it’s taken me a while to get it up at the blog, I’ve been enjoying making it right along. It really is a time saver as well as wholeheartedly delicious!

    Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
    from Susannah Wallenstrom


    Getting a healthy meal on the table every night is a challenge to say the least, but that’s where a slow cooker can come in handy! I love this dish because there are very few ingredients, it takes 15 minutes to put it together, and my whole family likes it (a miracle!) I put it together in the morning and it’s ready when I get home that evening.

    The only ingredient you might not have on your spice rack is garam masala, which is a mixture of spices often used in Indian cooking. If you can’t find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store, you can make your own by combining ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp coriander, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne.

    You can serve this by itself, over brown rice or quinoa or over sautéed spinach (my favorite way).

    Serves 8

    Hands on time: 15 min

    Cook time: On High: 3-4 hours, LOW: 7-8 hours


    1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

    1 medium onion, chopped

    4 cloves garlic, chopped (I sometimes use frozen garlic cubes from Trader Joe’s-so convenient and no mess!)

    4 tablespoons tomato paste

    4 tsp garam masala

    kosher salt and black pepper

    3 # boneless, skinless chicken thighs

    ½ English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

    ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

    1 tbs fresh lemon juice


    1. In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, stir together the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Place the chicken over the tomato mixture, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours, depending on how much time you have.

    2. In a small bowl, toss the cucumber and cilantro with the lemon juice and ¼ tsp salt and pepper. This can sit in the fridge for up to 8 hours.

    3. 5 minutes before serving, sauté the spinach and serve chicken on top

    4. Serve with the cucumber relish


    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    zucchetti1Since being confirmed gluten intolerant and consequently giving up pasta completely – even as a cheat – I just was never jazzed about the idea of vegetables subbing as spaghetti. But I recently broke down, gave in and am really glad I did! Super easy, healthy, and bowl-licking good, I find myself making this more than I ever made its grain-based namesake. Is it pasta? No. But is it good? Yes! The trick to making this is a solid julienne peeler. I’m quite happy with my Kuhn Rikon; just make sure you get one with a good grip as whether you are strict Paleo, gluten intolerant, or just want a delicious and ridiculously easy side dish in a pinch, you may find yourself making zucchetti a lot!


    This is for a single serving, but scales up well

    • 1 medium zucchini, washed (no need to peel)
    • olive oil
    • salt

    Julienne the zucchini, skin and all, as shown in photo above. Place in a pyrex or otherwise microwave safe bowl. No need to add anything else. Cover and cook at regular heat setting for two minutes. Test for doneness, drizzle with olive oil, dash on some salt, and enjoy plain or with any topping you might enjoy over pasta. (Told you this was easy!)

    Anyone for Dinner?

    Thursday, March 13th, 2014

    If you’re planning on having Paleo pals to dinner, or haven’t in a while, here are some thoughts for an easy evening’s meal. The links below are to recipes posted here that I’ve served to friends both Cave-conscious and Cave-oblivious, with common ground met by everyone enjoying delicious, healthy food and having a good time. So grab the phone, send some texts, and make some plans!

    Appetizers: Cayenne & Lime Pepitas,  Muhammara Serve with gluten-free crackers, plantain chips, or vegetable chips like sliced raw carrot and zucchini rounds.

    Soups: Deb’s Carrot Ginger Soup,  Avocado Soup

    Main dishes: Seared Ahi with Japanese Salsa,  Coffee and Cocoa Meat Rub,  Aaron’s Lemon Chicken

    Veggie sides: Cocoa Roasted CauliflowerPan-seared Asparagus (This is a really popular recipe, which is great since asparagus is perfect right now!)

    Dessert: For dessert, the recipe below is especially fun if you don’t tell your guests the secret ingredient, but rather let them try and figure out the elusive but ever-so-familiar flavor of basil that makes this minutes-to-make treat shine with unexpected elegance.

    basil_panna_cottaBasil Coconut-Panna Cotta

    Yield: 2-4 servings


    • 2 cups coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 envelope gelatin (about 3 T) or 2 T agar-agar flakes if vegan
    • 2 T (or to taste) maple syrup
    • smidgen of salt (1/32 tsp. if you don’t have a smidgen measure)


    1. In a small bowl, stir gelatin (or agar-agar if vegan) into 1/4 cup of coconut milk and set aside.
    2. Place remaining coconut milk in a saucepan along with basil. Warm at low heat for 10-15 minutes; do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and pour coconut basil mixture through a sieve. Discard leaves and return coconut milk to the saucepan.
    3. Over low heat, bring the coconut milk up to a simmer. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the hot coconut milk and blend thoroughly.
    4. Turn off the heat, let cool slightly, and add the vanilla, maple syrup and salt.
    5. Pour into individual serving bowls and chill until set, about 3-4 hours.

    Paleo Sweet Tooth

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    When Team BoManda headed to CrossFit Oakdale’s “Every Second Counts” competition in December, I met some of the Paleo Sweet Tooth people.  They gave me some of their almond butters to try, which are delicious!.  I am a HUGE fan of apples and nut butter as a snack, dessert, meal (basically any way I can justify eating it).  If I am being totally honest, it was peanut butter that started the relationship, but I’ve been having an affair with almond butter in my paleo attempts.

    Paleo Sweet Tooth
    I have seen Paleo Sweet Tooth at some of the other competitions we have gone to. Here is a shout out to their brand for making delicious treats!

    Just Because It’s Paleo Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
    Actually healthy food

    Actually healthy food

    The concept of Paleo eating used to be confined to a very limited crowd. In the early 2000s only those that were very actively seeking out nutritional information were even aware of it. This has changed. The term paleo has hit the mainstream, it is being talked about on major talk shows, news reports and other mainstream media. There are now paleo food products (which in itself is a bit of a stretch of the term).

    This makes it even more important as consumers (in the literal sense of the term) to pay attention to our food. As paleo becomes more popular it is going to become a buzz word for the food producers to use on their packaging. I assure you, their intent will NOT be to make their food more healthy. They will try to fulfill any requirements of the buzz words (at this time there are no constraints on the term paleo) while still making the food as appealing as possible, with no real consideration for the health consequences of the food.

    Think of the low fat ideas in the 80s. Everything became “low fat”. There were “low fat” and “reduced fat” versions of everything. In order to pull this off food producers packed the foods with sugar and processed grains. In most cases making the food far worse for you than the full fat original versions. The food industry even came up with engineered substitutes for fat so that they could label their food “low fat”. These substitutes have side effects, on example being expulsion of fat soluble vitamins because these substitutes are not digested and carry nutrients with them.

    Sugar substitutes have been around for a long time. People like sweet things, but we have known for a long time that excessive sugar consumption isn’t good for you, so we’ve figured out how to make things sweet without calories, or with drastically reduced calories. This now allowed food producers to label their over sweetened products “sugar free”. More buzz words for packaging.

    I have been offered to try out new “paleo” food products. In most cases they have been foods that I would recommend to our students here at The Cave, but in some cases it was clear these were not healthy food choices. They were loaded with honey or other “paleo” sweeteners. As the paleo idea grows and more people jump on board more food producers will want a part of the market. This will mean products labeled “paleo”. This label does not necessarily mean it is a good food choice.

    The base line concept behind paleo is to eat naturally occurring whole foods. Stuff that grows and hasn’t been refined. This means that you should prepare the vast majority of your food. If the food comes in a package you should really consider how it was produced before consuming it. Highly produced, refined food products are simply not a good choice. Pay attention to your food. Do not buy into the idea that you can eat large quantity of “treats” because they are “paleo”. Do not get caught up in buzz words. Eat foods produced by nature, not refined by people.