Chunky Monkey Muffins (paleoparents.com)

chunky monkey muffinsI love to have healthy snacks around the house for my boys so this means I bake almost every day.  I discovered this recipe on the Top 100 Paleo Recipes.  It is orignially from the Paleo Parents blog and when you taste them and have eaten ‘paleo’ for a while you will discover these definitely taste like a treat.  They are super moist and bursting with chocolate flavour (I’ve only made them with the cocoa option).  I have once again used another blogger’s recipe and encourage you to check out these sites as they have plenty of great recipes and ideas to feed your families healthy food.

http://paleoparents.com/2011/chunky-monkey-muffins/

(We used coconut oil or butter to replace the palm shortening in this recipe).

Planning healthy meals for your vibrant family

turkey1

Being the main cook (and Cindy being the main baker) I thought it may be helpful to send along some of the meals we ate in the last week or so.  Some may not have recipes but the intent here is to offer some guidance on how to create a week of healthy eating.  Here are some of our ideas from last week’s meals:

  1. One of our strategies typically involves pre-planning a meal or 2 a few days in advance.  When we buy our healthy protein we tend to buy a decent amount and some good variety (grass fed beef stew, roasts, and ground beef, free range organic whole chicken, thighs and ground turkey).   We buy a lot of these frozen and therefore need to think a few days ahead to decide what we will thaw.  We then choose our meals and veggies around the meats we have thawing.
  2. We plan for bigger meals to last 2 days.  Some good examples of 2 day meals are a beef stew, turkey or beef chili,  beef roast, and a whole roasted chicken.   We occasionally freeze bigger meals as a one meal portion so we can enjoy them later rather than get bored of eating the same thing several days in a row.  For example, on Saturday night we enjoyed turkey that we thawed from Christmas and steamed some brocoli to go with it and it was easy and great.  The seasoning we typically use for brocoli is butter/ghee, Bragg’s and onion powder.  On a side note, we found some organic brocoli at Costco last week.
  3.  We have found some Indian spice mixes and bottled products that do not seem to have any preservatives or things we cannot pronounce so we have tried a few with the chicken thighs that we get and it has turned out great.  Peas and cauliflower are a nice compliment to Indian dishes.  butter chicken
  4. We will also use a Greek style recipe for chicken thighs or whole roasted chicken which is super easy–lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.
  5. For breakfasts this week we did eggs once or twice, coconut flour blueberry pancakes, and oatmeal (not Paleo but my kids love it).  We almost always have a green smoothie which consists of water or unsweetened almond/coconut milk, Greens First (a great tasting greens product we have at the clinic) and sometimes a little whey protein powder.  We also have been putting spinach or kale into a vitamix smoothie with blueberries and vanilla whey and the kids love that as well.  The last time I was at Costco I tried an unflavored whey protein that has no artificial sweeteners and is made from cows without the use of antibiotics or growth hormone. Davidsmoothieface
  6. David takes a lunch every day and most of the days it is a small serving of our previous night’s dinner in a thermos with a piece of fruit and some veggies.
  7. We also ate out a few times in the last week or so.  When eating out, we just substitute bread or rice for more vegetables or extra salad.  This may not seem appealing at first but when your meal arrives full of fresh goodness, it will taste better and help you feel better too!  We were at Pete’s Frootique yesterday and Cindy had a 3 egg omelete with a side of brocoli instead of toast, I had a salad with chicken and the boys had some sushi (and some of my salad).  We were also at a Greek restaurant last week and I ordered a 1/2 chicken for the boys to share, haddock for me (no breading) and Cindy had a greek salad with chicken.  Delicious and easy!  We certainly hope this is helpful…

greek saladomelette

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (PaleOMG)

chocolate zucchini breadOne of the integrative medicine specialists I follow on facebook had this recipe as his post one day.  I’m glad I tried it because it’s just the right sweetness, very moist, and delicious.  It’s originally from www.paleOMG.com  She has a lot of great recipes on her blog.  Enjoy!

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded (equal to 1.5 cups shredded zucchini)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • ¾ cup sunbutter (we use almond butter)
  • ⅓ cup raw honey
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Shred the zucchini. Use the shredding attachment on your food processor or simply use a cheese grater.
  3. Once your zucchini is shredded, you need to remove the excess liquid, and zucchinis have a lot of it. Simply place a couple of paper towels down on the counter.  Place the zucchini on top, then put another paper towel on top of the zucchini and squeeze. The more you squeeze, the more liquid will come out.
  4. Use more paper towels as needed, but be sure to squeeze until the zucchini feels water-less.
  5. Place zucchini in a bowl with the rest of your ingredients. Use a large spoon to mix well until all the ingredients are combined and you have a deep chocolate color.  (We put all the ingredients in our food processor and let it do the mixing for us).
  6. Pour your ingredients into a loaf pan (worked well in our pan size 8 x 4.5)
  7. Place in oven to bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when you poke it. Mine took almost 35 minutes to completely cook through.
  8. Let cool, cut and serve!

Where to buy healthy meat in Halifax

Cows grazing in field

When we consider how our ancestors lived (thousands of years ago), they consumed healthy meats from healthy animals.  Today, most of the meats we eat come from animals raised on farms vs animals grazing about in their natural environment.  They are often fed food like grains and corn to fatten them up.  Some are also given antibiotics and other drugs to fight off infections they may have in their crowded environment.  We want to try to eat foods that come from the healthiest animals.  When we eat beef, we want to have grass-fed beef since this is the type of food these animlas would be eating in the wild.  We want the beef, chicken, and all the animal meats we eat to be free from antibiotics and other drugs.  When animals are eating the food they are genetically designed to eat and moving around to get healthier strong bones, their meat will often be more alkaline than the other types of processed meats.  These are the places in Halifax (HRM) that offer some healthy meats:

Some of the bigger grocery stores are now starting to offer locally produced healthy meats since there is now a greater demand for these high quality meats.

Look for healthier meat in your area and do your best to support your local farmers!

Very Blueberry Almond Muffins (Chef Shane Kelly)

Blueberry muffins

Jason made us a batch of these muffins this morning before work.  Alex (my 4 year old) helped him crack the eggs and add some of the ingredients to the mix.  Getting kids involved in the process pays big dividends because they are always proud of what they’ve made and more eager to eat the food.  He got this recipe from ChefShaneKelly.com and the following recipe is literally taken word for word from her blog.  Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons, Jason used just 1 lemon)
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  Place unbleached muffin cups (I use parchment paper muffin cups from Planet Organic) in muffins pans.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl use either a whisk or electric mixer and combine the eggs, honey, butter, vanilla, baking soda, sea salt and lemon zest.
  3. With a spatula fold in the almond flour, pecans and blueberries.
  4. Batter will be very firm so you’ll need to use a spoon to evenly divide the batter amonst the 12 muffin cups.  Place 2-3 blueberries on top and press down into the batter…just because it looks pretty!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean and they should be a nice golden brown…cool a bit and chow down!

Paleo Meatloaf

MeatloafThis morning before heading to work at noon, Jason made us some meatloaf and delicious paleo blueberry muffins.  He got our middle son Alex involved in the process by having him crack the eggs and use the slap chopper to chop the garlic.  He doubled the recipe so we could freeze one, brilliant idea since you’re already making the mess in the kitchen.  So, tonight we got to taste this amazing recipe he got from PaleOMG.com I literally copied and pasted the recipe below and changed a few minor things that Jason tweaked.  The boys had played outside and were starving when they came in.  Alex was proud to have taken part in the process of making it and was that much more excited to eat.  She suggests serving it up with guacomole.  I’m glad we did this since it made it that much more delicious.  We get to have a few leftovers, not a lot but this is also going in David’s thermos for his lunch tomorrow…one less lunch to make:)

Paleo Southwest Meatloaf
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ¾ cup almond flour (we grind sliced almonds from Costco in the food processor)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Bragg’s All purpose liquid seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fat (I used olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet under medium-high heat, add fat and minced garlic to the oil. Once the garlic has become fragrant, add your green pepper, red pepper, and onions.
  3. Cook until onions are translucent then remove from heat.
  4. Add your meat, egg, almond flour, spices, hot sauce, and cooked veggies to a large bowl. Mix together.
  5. Place meat mixture in one bread loaf pan (at least it’s useful for something) and pat down.
  6. Cook for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Top with guac!! Consume