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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Ice Cream Dairy Free, Paleo Approved

I love this time of year! Well moreso around Thanksgiving, but its time for 'pumpkin anything'
All of a sudden I felt like Pumpkin ice cream, but wanted a dairy-free 'healthy version' I adapted to use what ingredients I had on hand and I always keep a frozen drum for my ice cream maker in the freezer which seems ironic as I've only used it....3 times. 2 times before this.

**Double ingredients for full recipe

1 canned Coconut Milk
1/2 can Approx 7.5 oz pumpkin purée
2 egg yolks ( organic is best) we get ours from a family friend
1/2- 3/4 c. Maple syrup or sweetener of your choosing
3/4 tsp. cinnamon or as much to your taste
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional) I decided not to use
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt

Directions: Add all ingredients together & whisk or blend til fully incorporated & pour into frozen drum of maker. I have 2 so I always have one in freezer ready to use.
The mixer should only need to run 15-20 minutes if that, as this is a halved recipe option. Just check on the consistency til frozen & then pour into air tight containers & freeze.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stuffed Turkey Bells

There are some nights when you just don't know what to make for dinner - but one of the easiest things to make is a stir-fry! You basically take whatever you have and throw it all together, so I have made countless adaptations of this one- It is one of my fave Go-To dinner options.

You've probably seen this from when I posted on FB - but I love to make this one! Easy Peasy!
You can even prepapre the mixture ahead of time ( like when baby is sleeping, then load in the peppers in the evening and pop in oven and voila! Dinner is ready

Sauté onions in olive oil
Add approximately 1/2 package of each- o Lean grnd 99%,  Fat Free turkey & 2 -3 Hot Italian turkey sausage links ( casing removed)
Add carrots (diced small)
Add frzn corn & peas
Add broccoli slaw ( optional)
Seasonings: Cumin, Allspice & Paprika
& a dash of cayenne, Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
Put mixture into hollow bell peppers sprinkle lightly w Parmesean cheese
Cover w a tented piece of foil for the 1st 1/2 hr (careful not to allow to touch the cheese)
Bake approx 1 hr
I played with the temps-starting higher at 1st @ 400 while covered w foil & then lowered temp to 325
The ingredient filling options are endless: spinach, rice, tomatoes & mushrooms are a few options I didn't use but that would taste good
I served over Butter Lettuce

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Carrot Cake Pudding

Here's a simple recipe for Carrot Cake pudding, which on its own is sweet enough, however, I added raw honey and more cinnamon to the original recipe adapted from PaleOMG and it really enhanced the flavor that much more; There is a close similarity to the taste of pumpkin pie filling. Hope you enjoy and its really simple to make. Next time I'm going to double the batch to have more on hand for that little evening sweet treat we all need :-)
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 3 tablespoons canned coconut milk 
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter of your choosing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or add more to your liking
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg & allspice
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • small handful of pecans
  1. Cook carrots until tender
  2. Drain carrots.
  3. Place carrots in the food processor and puree.
  4. Add rest of your ingredients to your food processor while its going and puree until completely mixed. You may have to scrape with spatula the ingredients that get stuck to the side and re-pulse to completely incorporate & if you like a bit of a crunch, which I do I quickly blended in whole pecans, some of them got blended, and the rest of small chunks gave a little crunch.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dinner on a Stick

Schools out for Summer!! Oh Wait! It is Summer... Summer school rocks and then it also sucks... a whole semester crammed into 4 weeks, Say Wha...? Ok the first half totally and completely sucked the life right out of me! But I think the teacher front loads all work in the beginning to weed out the Those-Who-Can't-Handle it, because it was a full class and 2 weeks in, half the desks were empty. But getting a whole class out of the week in 15 days- yes I counted down the days and the hours, as 1 of the days was 4th of July almost makes all the pain and suffering worth it.
Today was the final, and I'm thinking I Rocked it, but don't want to give myself false hope.- Hopefully by next week, grades will be posted.

So anywho, on to something much more exciting- Food, what else?! and the fact that my cutting board got delivered yesterday just in time for dinner. Woo Hoo! Check it out!

These kabobs/skewers were super fast easy and yummy! Plus I've been on a Apricot kick lately- Ill take them anyway I can get them, dried, grilled, candied, in ice cream, and I just may have another apricot recipe coming up shortly. For my Paleo friends- this one is up your alley!
Chicken ( what else, coming out of my kitchen)

  • 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil- I don't measure
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or raw agave syrup
  • juice of 4 lemon ( approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon of Red Pepper Tomato Pesto
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5-6 skewers metal or wooden (wooden should be soaked in water for 30+min before grilling)

  • Instructions
     I only started marinating the chicken in the morning for that evening and it was enough time, but the longer you marinate, the better the taste.
    1. In a large bowl or large tupperware container, add all of your ingredients except for the chicken and apricots. Whisk together.
    2. Chop or cut chicken into pieces and place in bowl. Mix to combine. Cover and place in the fridge for minimum of 2+ hours. Preferably a day ahead.
    3. Once the chicken has marinated, take out of fridge to settle to room temperature. For about 20 minutes. Load up the skewers with the chicken, apricots, and perhaps add some pineapple, onion and red bell peppers for a full course dinner on a stick!
    4. Fire up the grill We have a Traeger wood pellet burning barbeque and that thing is Amazing!
    5. Place kabobs on grill. Turn after about 3 minutes and let cook for another 3 minutes, or until cooked through. (Time on the grill will differ depending on the size of the pieces, how many you do and the type of grill you have)

    And Voila! a Meal on a Stick, or over salad with rice. I also grilled some asparagus spears coated with a little coconut oil and sprinkle of Kosher Salt.
    Note: I topped with a bit of Red Pepper Apricot Chutney

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Pistachio Crusted Chicken

    So after a stressful midterm in summer History class this morning, I was in need of therapy- some cooking therapy that is. As I stood staring at the pantry door, I was inspired to cook with pistachios. I didn't know what I was going to make, although, it would probably include chicken but I didn't know how I would combine the two- Coat it, stuff it, throw it all together?.. Just how do you get pistachios to adhere to chicken?
    Well, an adaptation from AllRecipes got me to where I was going.
    And the best part is that its yummy, nutty, Paleo-ish goodness.


    1 package Chicken Tenders

    2 Tblsp Pesto
    1 Tblsp Roasted Red Tomato Pesto
    1 Tsp Crushed Garlic
    1 Tsp Agave Syrup
    2 Tblsp Olive Oil
    Kosher Salt and Pepper

    Crust mixture:
    1/2 cup Crushed Pistachios ( unsalted would be better/healthier) although mine were not, and it came out a bit too salty
    Approx 1/2 cup Almond Flour ( sorry I didnt measure)
    1/8 cup crushed pecans
    1/8 cup bread Crumbs ( I used Lemon Pepper, but plain would be fine and probably better) and if you're really trying to adhere to Paleo 'regulations', omit altogether.

    Bake at 375 for half hour depending on how many you did and whether you used breasts or tenders. I used tenders as to allow for shorter time for cooking. (Note: I lined pan with new non-stick parchment/foil paper, optional)
    I premade everything, which really just means throwing it all together, marinated chicken in refrigerator for 2 hours, then crusted with dry mixture and threw in oven half hour before we were ready to eat. Served over butter lettuce, along side hericot french green beans.

    Dinner was done just in time for a conference call I joined in and then TurboKick right after that, so I was glad to have dinner prepared, cooked and ate early in the evening. One of my favorite night of the weeks is when I go get my sweat on at TKB! I literally leave the party, I mean class drenched, not to mention lose a pound or two overnight- probably water weight from all the sweating- but hey, I'll take it! Its one of my passions, in which I am certified, but don't be looking for me at a gym near you- I'll just be in front row of Lizs' class at Golds Gym Watsonville- Come check it out!

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    A special cookie for a special occasion

    Baby Maiyo Torin was born yesterday to Mary and Anastacio weighing 6 lbs, 13oz, 20 inches long, same as Jaxon on the day we brought him home. I had been thinking of him all day and have been so excited to finally go meet him. I felt that the cookie of choice to bring to Mary at Sutter should be Mexican Wedding Cookies for no other reason than they are pretty amazing tasting! I've heard they are supposed to be crescent shaped to be called that, but according to whom...? They've also been known to be called Russian Tea Cookies. They are not really tied to any culture specifically, but traditionally they are served to guests at special occasions or holidays because they are made with rich and expensive foods ( (the richest butter, the finest sugar, and choisest nuts)
    Basically, they are a nutty shortbread rolled in powdered sugar. But these little snowball like cookies just melt in your mouth. Once they hit your tongue, the powdered sugar just dissipates. The buttery cookie center is slightly crunchy then they too just melt away. I don't know how else to describe them. The cookie itself has very little sugar in them since they're coated twice in powdered sugar once they're baked. But the final product isn't too sweet, they're just perfect.


    • 2 cups whole pecans, chopped fine
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 lb butter ( 2 sticks), softened
    • 1/3 c. superfine sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar for rolling cooled cookies
    1) Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix 1 cup chopped nuts, flour and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Using food processor fitted with a steel blade process remaining nuts to the texture of fine cornmeal. Stir into flour mixture and set aside.
    2) Either by hand or in bowl of an electric mixer; hand or standing, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, next add in vanilla scraping sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula; add flour mixture and beat at low speed until thoroughly mixed without over-mixing.
    3) Working with about one tablespoon of dough at a time, roll and shape cookies into balls, crescents, rings or cigar shapes as desired. Bake until tops are pale golden and bottoms are just beginning to brown, approximately 10- 15 minutes. ( although baking times will differ on your oven) If using a convection, only heat oven to 275, and bake for 7-10 minutes.
    4) Cool cookies on sheets for about 2 minutes. Remove with metal spatula to wire rack. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Then give a first dusting of confectioners' sugar, working 3 or 4 cookies at a time. Before serving, roll cookies in confectioners' sugar a second time to ensure a thick coating, and tap off excess.
    (Can be stored in air-tight container for up to 5 days)

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    1st Fathers Day! Stuffed Bells

    My husband has had to work so much, even on Fathers Day he worked until 2:00 or 2:30; however, we spent a nice afternoon at the pool and his special dinner request was stuffed red bell peppers. Coincidentally, just a week ago, I had come across a recipe ( from a health magazine no less) that I had saved and had 'stuffed' in an old binder. We were both pleasantly pleased with how they turned out!

    Stuffed Red Bell Peppers- By Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef

    • 4 red bell peppers, tops sliced, seeds removed
    • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey- or in my case I used Jenny-O Spicy Turkey Sausage
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 tblsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • 1/2 tblsp chopped fresh sage leaves
    • 3 cremini mushrooms, chopped ( I omitted)
    • 1/4 cup fresh frozen kernel corn, ( about 1 large ear of corn)
    • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • Sea Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 1 cup cooked white, brown or basmati rice ( I used brown)
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large saucepan over medium heat, add turkey and saute until beginning to brown. Add onion and garlic. Saute until tender and turkey is browned. Add thyme, sage, mushrooms, corn, broccoli and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add cayenne pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Add rice and mix well.
    Using a kitchen spoon, spoon rice mixture into peppers, pressing down to stuff. Transfer stuffed peppers to an iron skillet or small roasting pan, standing up, place tops on top ( its ok, if peppers are overstuffed.) Place in oven. Bake 40 minutes or until peppers are tender, but still slightly firm. Remove from heat and serve.

    Susan Irby, the Bikini Chef is a radio host, author and specialist in healthy "bikini" cuisine.