Saturday, September 29, 2012

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins!

Okay, I swear this is the last pumpkin recipe for awhile. But this is definitely my FAVORITE so far. Do I keep saying that? I'm sorry, every pumpkin recipe I've made this week has been so good! I wanted to make something to treat myself today and tomorrow before I start my Whole:30 challenge on Monday and these muffins fit the bill perfectly. Why won't I be able to eat this during the challenge? Because of the honey and the choc. chips. Those will be no-nos. This was my first time working with almond flour and I loved it. It keeps the muffins nice & light, like a typical muffin would be, where-as coconut flour makes baked goods a bit denser. I adapted this recipe from this one: I subbed peanut butter for the almond butter (but totally use that if you have it) and I added chocolate chips! Chocolate & pumpkin are a really good combination. I highly recommend it!
I used "Enjoy Life" mini chocolate chips, they are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free little bundles of joy. I was lucky enough to find them at my local grocery store- but if you can't I found them here on Amazon: seriously go read the reviews on there- these chips are the bomb. PS: In my pictures I halved the recipe because I didn't need 8 muffins laying around the house when I would need to eat them all by Monday. So I just made 4. The full recipe will make you about 8 muffins. :-)

1 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (make sure it's 100% pumpkin)
1/4 Cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, any nut butter will do!)
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
Ooooh my FSU cup made an appearance in the background, GO NOLES! :-)
Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a muffin pan or line it with paper liners. Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips until fully combined.
Step 2: Fold in chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Batter will be thick, that's okay!
Step 3: Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean!
ENJOY! I had mine with a cup of tea and I recommend that. It was terrific :-)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Do the Dew!

Happy Friday y'all! I hope everybody is having a great start to their weekend :-D I was approached by the #88 Mountain Dew Dale Earnhardt crew to do a little promo for them! I was pretty excited for this because while I RARELY drink soda, I love me some Diet Dew. It's kindof addictive. ANYWAYS they are sending me some sweet Dew/ Nascar swag that I will be giving away whenever it arrives! If you wanna learn more about Dale Earnhardt & the #88 crew or this promo (they do some sweet stuff on their FB page!) check it out:

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Mountain Dew.

Anndddd I will update y'all on the giveaway when I receive the goodies! Have a good weekend! Do the Dew!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Granola :-)!

Holy goodness sakes y'all, this might be my favorite pumpkin-y creation EVER. It is deeeee-licious and it makes your house smell heavenly! You may have noticed I'm on a bit of a pumpkin kick lately, I'm not sorry. I love pumpkin flavored goodies. I love pumpkin flavored HEALTHY goodies even more :-) This granola is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, goooooodness! It is a PaleOMG recipe (I LOVE her and her blog & you should DEFINITELY go check it out :)) and I got it here:
On a side note I am currently doing a giveaway on the Facebook page! It is for a jar of coconut oil, some chocolate almond butter (HEAVEN), and a $5 Whole Foods gift card! All you have to do to enter is go to the page @- "Like" The page and comment on the picture of the giveaway! That's it. I will randomly pick a winner Friday afternoon and I will happily ship it to you if you are not local :-) Good luck!
The giveaway goodies!
Okay back to the granola...

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure it's 100% pumpkin, no sugar added!)
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (I bought these @ Whole Foods in the bulk section!)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
8-10 dried dates, pits removed & chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
I'm sure you could substitute any kind of nuts and use pumpkin pie spice in place of some of the spices!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, oil, syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, & ginger. Whisk together until combined fully. (I didn't take a picture of this step, sorry it smelled so good I wanted to get a move on!)

Step 2: Add almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, dates, and coconut to the wet mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Step 3: On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread the granola mixture out in an even layer with a spoon.
Step 4: Bake 30-40 minutes, stirring at the half-way point so it doesn't burn! Mine took closer to the 40 minute mark.
Enjoy straight up (I was shoveling it in my mouth off of the baking sheet, no lie) or over milk as cereal :-D

Monday, September 24, 2012

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

Happy Monday everybody! I hope that you all had an awesome weekend! I did- ish. My Seminoles won a BIG game Saturday night (ranked #4 in the country wahoo!) and my Jaguars won a nail-biter yesterday afternoon :-D So beyond those 2 awesome things, I have a quick confession. I've been eating super duper healthy for a couple weeks now, and feeling great about it. Then yesterday morning I woke up a little hungover from the Saturday night Nole game (it was a really celebratory night!) and I was craving something unhealthy. BOOOOOO. Terrible idea. If I would have thought about it in a rational manner I should have thought like this- "I feel badly because of nutritional imbalances and dehydration. Time to get some veggies and protein and hydrate" But of course, I thought very irrationally and ate a sub and potato chips instead. Guess what? It didn't make me feel any better. Anyways, long story short I'm back on the healthy eating wagon today, re-starting myself with this pumpkin smoothie. 
This smoothie brings all the flavors of fall you're craving, without the sugar coma. It's like drinking a pumpkin pie. A healthy pumpkin pie. Winning! So after I fell off the wagon yesterday I made a decision for myself, starting October 1st I'm going to do the "Whole 30" paleo challenge. 30 days of no dairy, no wheat, no legumes, sugars, processed anything, etc- just real food. Also, I'm going to be legit and do no alcohol. Say wha? Yeah. Doing it. I would LOVE for some of you to try it with me too :-D I understand this is a huge commitment, but think of what you're committing to- YOURSELF. And the best thing about doing it in October? The 31st day when I'm done is Halloween, and I can stuff myself with booze and candy! Okay, that might not be the best goal, but I'm just saying. So we'll talk more about this later... for now, here's the pumpkin smoothie I promised. And yes, it's paleo. :-D

1 Cup coconut milk (from the carton, not the can) {or almond milk, or milk of choice}
1/2 Cup pureed pumpkin (make sure it's 100% pumpkin!)
1 tsp. Cinnamon (or 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp. Honey
1 Banana (the riper, the better)
Handful of ice cubes- like 5-6

Step 1: Add all ingredients to the blender.
Step 2: Blend until smooth, pretty orange smoothie!
And PS: Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook- there will be a very good giveaway happening this week, on the FB page only!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes!

'Tis the season for pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING, my friends. I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. etc. If it's pumpkin, I'm going to eat it. Here's the may-jor issue I've been having with pumpkin recipes lately: they're all LOADED with sugar. Like, a ton of freaking sugar. Pumpkin is actually super healthy for you- it's really high in vitamins A & C, potassium, manganese, copper, riboflavin, and it's low in salt, cholesterol, & saturated fat. SUPER FOOD, PEOPLE! But when you cover it in sugar you're kind of making all those good things a moot point. So I've been on a mission to health-ify some pumpkin goodies. And make them paleo. And it's been a success so far!
These pancakes scream everything fall. Perfect Saturday morning breakfast (or like me, Thursday afternoon lunch ;)). Have your pumpkin and eat it too!

PS: When I hit 200 fans on the unBearablyGood Facebook page I am doing a really good giveaway (YOU REALLY WANT TO WIN, TRUST ME!) It will only be open to people who "like" the Facebook page, so make sure you see the Link on the right hand side of the page >>>>> that says "find us on Facebook" and hit the little "Like" button. :-D

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (make sure it's 100% pumpkin, no sugar added!)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
3 Tablespoon coconut milk (from the carton, not the can)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (can be firm, you're just gonna whisk it in)
pinch of kosher salt
(optional) hand-full of chopped walnuts

Step 1: Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Whisk together flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk, baking soda, honey, eggs, vanilla, oil, and salt.
Step 2: Pour batter onto skillet in about 1/4 cup sized pancakes. Flatten a lil bit with your spoon.
Step 3: Cook about 2 minutes, or until bottom is cooked through and flip. Cook an additional 2 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve & Enjoy!

Doesn't that one look like a jack-o-lantern face?!
Serve with some protein, just do it. I had mine with sausage! :-D

I hope everyone has a great weekend! My Seminoles have a big 'ol game vs. Clemson tomorrow night! GO NOLES! :) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Margarita Grilled Chicken!

So I guess this could fall under a "Thirsty Thursday" recipe since it contains tequila, right? Yeah, I realize I haven't posted any cocktail recipes in awhile. My b. Don't worry, I haven't quit drinking! I've just been sticking to my old stand-bys wine & vodka (vodka, club soda, splash of cran). Come to think of it, it is about time for a more fall-like cocktail. I'll report back next week with a new Thirsty Thursday drink, swear. 

I love this chicken. I love it because A) It's super easy and B) with the leftover tequila I make actual margaritas to go with dinner. 2 birds, 1 stone. Do you feel like it's alcohol abuse to use tequila in a chicken dish? Don't worry, it's just a 1/2 cup. There will be plenty for your consumption afterwards. And all of the alcohol will cook out when you grill it, so it's cool for the kids too. Don't sweat the 1 jalapeno- it doesn't make this spicy. If you WANT it spicy, add 2 jalapenos. 
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup tequila (any brand will work, I used Jose Cuervo)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 2 limes (or about 1/4 cup lime juice)
1 jalapeno, minced (I left the seeds and ribs in)

Step 1: Whisk together the tequila, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil, lime juice, and jalapeno.
Step 2: Place chicken breasts in a gallon sized ziploc bag, add marinade to bag and close. Marinate for at least 2 hours.

 Step 3: Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
And ofcourse, make yourself a margarita to enjoy with your chicken ;)
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Healthy Hotel/Dorm Room Meals :-)

Early (EARLY!) Saturday morning  I got this text from my brother-in-law: "I just thought of something!! Why don't you try making some healthy recipes that would be available to students who live in dorms but want to still try to eat healthy and not instant crap. I think it's a good idea, and it'll help me eat healthy in hotels where I only have a microwave and a mini fridge." First of all, he's lucky I was already half- awake, my dogs had woken me up because all 3 of them were apparently dying to go outside. I re-read his text and thought about it for a minute. Just a mini fridge and a microwave? EEK. So I texted him back, "Challenge accepted" and thought about it allllllll weekend.

Not only do I think these ideas would great for a college student living in a tiny dorm room with limited resources or a traveling businessman, I also think they'd be great for all of my military family friends who at any given time could be living in temporary housing! I didn't really think about that until this morning when I was thinking about our upcoming move (In December- January ish we are PCSING). We will definitely be in a temporary housing situation (like a hotel room) for at least a week or so while we are house hunting, and I'm glad I have some ideas to feed us healthily for that time. I tried to keep all the recipes as close to paleo/gluten-free healthy stuff as possible too. NOT AN EASY TASK!
All of these recipes/ ideas are based on the fact that you have access to at least a mini fridge & microwave & also a local grocery store to buy your supplies. This is gonna be a long post (with LOTS 'o information) so Bear with me. Or just scroll down to what you're interested in. And forward it on to anyone you know in college or traveling or who may ever be in a temporary housing situation!

It's the most important meal of the day y'all! But really, it is. Do you know what breakfast means? It's literally "BREAKing the FAST" the fast of course being while you were sleeping. Your body needs fuel, stat! Here's my ideas:
Microwaved scrambled eggs (see recipe below)
Microwaved crispy bacon (see recipe below)
Store-bought hard boiled eggs (I found these at my local grocery store in the refrigerated section w/ the fresh eggs. Would be great for an on-the-go breakfast or crumbled in salads!)
Peel-able fruits (IE: fruit you don't need a knife for. Bananas, oranges, etc. Swipe some almond butter on top for added protein)
Microwaved sweet potato (or regular potato. Wash, poke all over with a fork, put on a paper towel in the microwave, nuke it for 5 minutes or until soft & cooked through, slice open and eat plain or with desired toppings)
Granola with coconut milk or almond milk (like cereal, but better for you)
Microwaved sausage

Scrambled eggs in the microwave:
1. Add 2 eggs, about 1 tbsp. of milk or water, pinch of salt & pepper to a microwave safe bowl.
2. Whisk together with a fork until combined.
3. Microwave 1 1/2- 2 minutes or cooked until desired consistency.
ENJOY! The texture is a little different that skillet cooked eggs, but tastes exactly the same.

Crispy bacon in the microwave: (Seriously.)
1. Line a microwave safe plate with paper towels and top with slices of bacon.
2. Top slices of bacon with another paper towel (to soak up the grease)
3. Microwave for about 1 1/2 min per slice, or until desired crispy-ness. My 4 slices took 6 minutes!

LUNCH: My FAVORITE idea for lunch/ dinner is to use the convenience of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Buy one at your local grocery store and ask your deli to cut it up for you (they don't mind, I swear!) then shred it with your hands (if you're an animal, like me) or chop it up and use it for salads, wraps, sandwiches, or just eat it straight up.
Jarred Salads (recipes below)
Lettuce wraps (roll up chicken or canned tuna in a piece of lettuce with desired veggies)
BLT wrap (lettuce wrap, microwaved bacon from recipe above ^^, tomato slices)
Canned tuna or chopped rotisserie chicken with microwave steamed veggies
Peel-able fruits
Nut butters slathered on fruits/ veggies

Mason Jar Salads: I realize  if you're traveling for business you probably don't have access to mason jars. That portion of the idea is more for college dorm living. You MAY however buy a salad mix that comes in plastic- type container (Like below) and fill it with your veggies, protein, salad toppings (everything BUT the dressing) and dole it out into individual salad servings. No jars necessary. The BEST thing about the jars is that they will keep your salad goodies fresh for up to a week. You can make them all ahead of time and grab and go as needed. Awesome.
Step 1: Put your dressing in the bottom of the jar (the KEY is for the dressing to not touch the lettuce, that's what keeps the lettuce fresh.)
Step 2: Top dressing with desired protein & salad toppings. For this jar it was a cobb salad with hard-boiled egg pieces, bacon bits, sliced tomatoes, & chicken.
Step 3: Shove as much salad mix as you can into the top of the jar & Seal.
I made 2 varieties when I was making these, the cobb salad as mentioned above, and a cranberry walnut salad that I used dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, hard- boiled egg pieces, tomato slices, chicken, & salad mix. Some other great salads would be a greek salad with olives & onions or a buffalo chicken salad- just toss your chicken into some Frank's Red Hot and build salad as desired.

DINNER: okay so dinner is kind of just a repeat of lunch. The only thing I would really add is maybe a microwaved potato to make your meal heartier. If you have a Whole Foods handy you can always hit up their ready-made foods section, it is STELLAR. I picked up a very paleo friendly curry chicken salad there last week that was to-die-for. I will be trying to replicate it ASAP. Canned soups seem really easy, but read the ingredients list because some of them are really sketchy. 

Do YOU have any other great dorm/hotel living healthy food ideas? Please share below :-D And share this article with anybody you think could use it! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Day in Paleo-Land {So What CAN You Eat?}

Soooooo since "going paleo" I keep getting the same question again and again. "You don't eat grains, wheat, dairy, legumes, processed foods, or sugars. What DO you eat?" I actually eat a lot of really good stuff so I thought I would go over a typical day of eating for me and add in a couple of ideas if you're considering trying the paleo lifestyle :) If you are even an iota interested (and you really, really should be!) I HIGHLY recommend reading Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" (link at the bottom of this post!). Yeah, I've said this on like every single post for the past 2 weeks and I will continue saying it, it's THE paleo book. Just is. Sure, you can start eating paleo and implementing it into your daily life without reading the book but at some point people are going to start asking you WHY you are doing this. And sure you can say you feel way better yada yada yada, but having the scientific reasons behind it will really make you stick to it (as well as really freak you about bread and gluten in general). So just read the book. You can buy it for like $9 on your kindle (I read it on my kindle app on my iPad and then I went and bought the hard copy so I could pass it along to family members). Okay ONWARD:

Breakfast: This was my actual breakfast from this morning and it's a very typical breakfast for me:
2 Eggs, Scrambled w/ salt & pepper
Sweet Potato Hash Browns! (use raw honey instead of brown sugar, I'm obsessed)
Slices of avocado
Some other great breakfast options:
Frittata w/ chicken sausage
Sweet Potato Hash Browns (again, I eat these almost daily I'm really obsessed)
1 Banana
Don't like eggs? Try:
Fluffy Paleo Pancakes! 
Mango- Banana Smoothie! 
2 Ingredient Banana "Pancakes" 

Lunch: This was my actual lunch last week @ Mellow Mushroom:
Spinach salad greens w/ jerk chicken & tomatoes (IT WAS SO GOOD!)
 & PS: that's my brother's calzone in the background, NOT paleo.
I usually do a salad with grilled chicken for lunch. Or scrambled eggs again. I really like scrambled eggs. Salad is the easiest thing to do when you're eating out, just order it with no croutons and no cheese and you're awesome.

Dinner: This was my mom & I's dinner the other night, this fed us for like 2 days so don't think we ate ALL of this in one sitting :)
Grilled chicken & Grilled zucchini
I usually just try to center my dinners around protein (chicken, beef, pork, seafood, etc.) and veggies. I love grilled veggies and it makes it super easy just to throw everything on the grill. ALSO as a side note we had a curry chicken salad that was 100% paleo from Whole Foods the other night and it was freaking awesome. I will be trying to replicate that on here, ASAP.

SNACKS: I love snacks. Justin's nut butters makes these crazy fabulous little squeezey packets and I like to squeeze them on fruit for a snack, it is SO GOOD.
Maple Almond Butter w/ Apple Slices!
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter w/ Banana Slices!
When I'm in a snacking mood I look for fruit, typically. Because I really like fruit. But nuts are a great choice, avocado (nom nom nom), cucumber slices, sliced marinated tomatoes, etc. 

The point is, really, just to eat real food. No processed, yucky, fake stuff. REAL food, that you can identify it's point of origin. It will blow-yo-mind how much better you will feel. Real food, seems like an easy concept right? Read the book. And have a great weekend! And GO JAGS! (look for me at the game on Sunday!) And GO NOLES! :-D