Monday, September 28, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Wedges

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Wedges |
You only need two ingredients to make these bacon-wrapped potato wedges,
and they're perfect paleo football food!

It's football season! Are you into it? I have no idea what's going on, but my fiancé Ben is a big Broncos fan and is also in a fantasy football league. It's my job to complain about how much the TV is on and make delicious snacks, like these bacon-wrapped potato wedges.

We moved this past weekend--we'd been staying with Ben's sister and her family, and now we're renting a little guest house from some friends of ours while we look for a house to buy. The guest house is just two rooms plus a bathroom, but it's really cute. The kitchen and living area are in one room, but it's a pretty good size and I'm really happy with the kitchen area. Unfortunately, the TV is right nearby, so I have to listen to football while I cook.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Wedges |

Since things have been pretty hectic with our move from Boston to Chattanooga last month and our mini move into the guest house more recently, I've been on the lookout for easy recipes. I was assigned Rebekah's blog, Making Miracles, for this month's Secret Recipe Club, and found so many great possibilities in her recipe index. Her blog is full of fast, easy, family-friendly recipes, and I highly recommend you check it out!

I was planning to make her baked paleo chicken tenders, since I loved chicken fingers as a kid and haven't yet tried making a paleo version. In fact, I'm still planning to make them--I have all the ingredients and everything--but once I saw these bacon-wrapped potato wedges, they jumped to the top of my list. I had to have them right away.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls with Crispy Eggs #30MinuteMondays

Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls with Crispy Eggs #30MinuteMondays |
Spiced beef and sweet potato bowls with crispy eggs, fresh figs, and goat cheese:
a unique and satisfying grain-free breakfast or dinner in less than 30 minutes.

This may seem like a strange combination of foods, but don't knock it 'til you've tried it. This quick spiced beef with sweet potatoes is delicious all on its own, but adding a crispy egg, a few fresh figs, and a generous dollop of goat cheese kicks things up several levels.

The spiced beef and sweet potatoes is a fast, pared-down version of my bacon and sweet potato chili, with a few slightly more exotic spices added in. Microwaving the sweet potato chunks for a few minutes while the meat is browning saves times and ensures even cooking. Coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and allspice give the beef and sweet potatoes just the right amount of fragrance and spice.

Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Bowls with Crispy Eggs #30MinuteMondays |

In case you haven't had the pleasure of indulging in a crispy egg, let me sell you on it. It has perfectly cooked whites, a runny yolk, and irresistible crunchy browned lacy bits all around the edges.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Apple Honey Upside-Down Cake

Apple Honey Upside-Down Cake (Dairy free, Paleo) |
Dairy free, paleo apple honey upside-down cake is perfect for cool fall days.
Subtly spiced and not too sweet, it's great for breakfast or dessert!

The tradition of dipping apples in honey to celebrate Rosh Hashanah inspired me to bake this apple honey upside-down cake. Apples and honey represent the double dose of sweetness that's hoped for in the year ahead. I didn't get this post ready in time to share before the holiday, but this cake is an ideal dessert for anytime in the fall. Whether or not you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, everyone can use a little extra hint of sweetness as the air turns crisp and the nights begin to fall sooner.

I based this recipe on my lemon olive oil cake, which is a dessert I've made again and again for all sorts of occasions. This apple honey upside-down cake is the perfect fall twist on my go-to cake.

Apple Honey Upside-Down Cake (Dairy free, Paleo) |

To make this cake, I poured copious amounts of honey into the bottom of a parchment-lined pan, and then arranged apple slices on top. Since the apples and honey are so sweet, I only used a tiny bit of sweetener in the cake batter itself, and included a few hints of savory flavors to balance things out. Using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter makes the cake dairy free and provides a complexity that keeps the cake from being pure, unadulterated sweetness. And ginger and cardamom, spices that play on both the sweet and savory teams, are a welcome change from the usual cinnamon.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Lebanese Lemon Chicken #30MinuteMondays

Lebanese Lemon Chicken #30MinuteMondays |
Fast and flavorful Lebanese lemon chicken with shallots, fresh herbs, 
and a touch of turmeric--a comforting paleo dinner for fall.

There was a touch of fall in the air this weekend, especially in the early mornings. So, even though the highs will be in the 80s all next week, I've decided it's time for fall comfort food. And this Lebanese lemon chicken fits the bill exactly. The flavors of lemon, rosemary and thyme hint at cooler weather, but the dish is fast enough not to heat up your entire house if the temperatures outside are still hot.

Lebanese Lemon Chicken #30MinuteMondays |

This recipe is inspired by the Lebanese chicken dish I had for lunch from the hot bar at Whole Foods last week. I don't do well if I grocery shop hungry, so when I arrive at the store not totally full, I get something to eat from the prepared foods section and sit down and eat it before doing my shopping. Whole Foods' version of this dish was made with bone-in, skin-on chicken, and also had potatoes, olives, and a few other ingredients. I loved the overall taste of the recipe, but wanted to simplify it a little.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Smashed Potatoes with Hatch Chile Tomatillo Crema

Smashed Potatoes with Hatch Chile Tomatillo Crema |
These crispy smashed potatoes served with an addictive hatch chile tomatillo crema
are perfect for game time or anytime. The recipe is grain free 
and there's a paleo vegan version, too!

Have you ever smashed a potato? If not, you're missing out. It's an easy and fun way to get roasted potatoes that are actually crispy, and shaped like beautifully abstract flowers to boot.

I saw this smashed potatoes idea over on Oh She Glows about a year ago, pinned it enthusiastically, thought about it often, and didn't actually try it until last week. That's one of the perils of reading as many food blogs as I do: there are so many great recipes to try, and so little time!

Smashed Potatoes with Hatch Chile Tomatillo Crema |

These smashed potatoes are going into the regular rotation, though. I'm going to offer a brief explanation of why they're better than plain old roasted potatoes (which are pretty delicious to begin with). When you roast whole small potatoes, only a very small portion of their surface area comes into contact with the hot pan below, and they don't have any jagged edges elsewhere to crisp up. Thus, it's really only a tiny spot on the bottom that becomes sufficiently crunchy.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches #30MinuteMondays

Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches #30MinuteMondays |
You're less than 30 minutes away from this healthy paleo meal of spice-rubbed pork chops 
and grilled peaches served with bitter greens and avocado.

How was your weekend? Whether or not it was a long one, I hope it included lots of time spent doing your favorite things. Mine did: I spent time cooking, baking, swimming, sleeping in, and eating burgers. I couldn't have asked for much more!

It's been about two weeks since Ben and I moved to Chattanooga, and I'm so happy to be here. I've only had three full days of work so far, so it's all felt a bit like a giant vacation. We're staying with my future sister-in-law and her husband and my three future nieces, and they are all so much fun. The girls are eight, six, and three years old, and make me want to have my own children YESTERDAY. They love to help me cook, which is a welcome change since so often I'm alone in the kitchen.

Grilled Pork Chops and Peaches #30MinuteMondays |

On Friday we made chocolate pudding. I'd made the recipe before (I just substitute tapioca flour for the cornstarch to make it grain-free) and knew it only made 6 servings, but figured we could stretch it to feed 7, 3 of whom are not full grown. Right when the girls and I had finished the pudding and were looking for cute little cups to put it in, Ben announced that his parents and brother would also be joining us for dinner. That raised the total count to 10.

Faced with the fear of not enough dessert, the girls suggested another batch of these brownies (similar recipe here--omit the cinnamon and cayenne and add a handful of chocolate chips for a kid-friendly, double chocolate version). I agreed. After baking the brownies, we spread our meager stash of chocolate pudding on top like frosting, added a layer of whipped cream, and sprinkled some more chocolate chips on top for good measure. The result was something so decadent that the eight year-old, who prides herself on usually being able to eat several servings of dessert, was satisfied after just one. When it follows the fear of not enough dessert, too much dessert is a wonderful thing indeed! The pudding brownies lasted for days in the fridge and made excellent snacks throughout the weekend.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

16 Paleo-Friendly Fig Recipes

16 Paleo-Friendly Fig Recipes |
A roundup of 16 grain-free, paleo-friendly recipes using fresh figs, 
from breakfasts and snacks to dinners and desserts.

Figs are in season now, and while they're great eaten just as-is, I also love cooking with them. I've been especially excited about figs this year, even writing a poem about them in the style of Pablo Neruda (scroll down in this post to read my ode to figs). My fiancé and I just moved down to Tennessee and, since my campaign to get him to raise goats with me has been unsuccessful, I now have my heart set on planting a fig tree or two. Hopefully in a few years I'll be able to make all these recipes with homegrown figs!

For now, store-bought figs will have to do. My local grocery store has plenty of black mission figs (pictured above in the top left of the collage), and I've also seen brown turkey and calimyrna figs. I wanted to round up all of the most delicious paleo-friendly fig recipes in one place in order to inspire us all to take full advantage while they're still around. I scoured all my favorite blogs and websites to find mouth-watering ways to use figs at every meal of the day. The recipes below should work well with any kind of fresh fig, or even a mix of more than one variety!

All of the recipes linked to here are gluten free and grain free, but some do contain dairy. If the original recipe doesn't list substitutions, I've noted ways to make the recipe dairy free. From breakfast bowls to pizza, salad to chocolate tarts, and smoothies to chutney, there's something figgy here for everyone!