Showing posts with label Paleo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paleo. Show all posts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

{Paleo} Beef Rouladen

We leave for Thailand one month from today! Eeek! 

We still have quite a bit of planning to do (double eek!) but I am getting super excited for this trip! However, I don't think the fact that we'll be sitting on the beach so soon has really sunk in yet as I've been thoroughly loving sweater weather and eating my way through Portland (i.e. my last post). It's going to be tough to avoid temptation with Thanksgiving next week and December coming up, so I'm just going to try to enjoy treats in moderation (because let's be serious, I love me some holiday food) and do my best to make healthy choices when I can. 

One of those great times to make healthy choices is by trying to make our meals as Paleo as possible when we make dinner at home. I'll admit, I've been somewhat uninspired when it comes to meal planning/cooking healthy dinners since moving into our apartment thanks to the abundance of restaurant options in Portland. But the other night, Cameron got the (wonderful) idea to make a Paleo version of Beef Rouladen and it was SO GOOD that I just had to share it!

Lola clearly thought so too :)

In general, I enjoy baking more than cooking. I like to be able to follow a recipe exactly and have something turn out. However, Cam really likes cooking (which is awesome) and he enjoys improvising in the kitchen. He glanced at a few recipes before deciding to just wing it when making this rouladen.
And I took pictures while he cooked.
Because that's normal. 
Ha. 

But seriously, it turned out so well and was DELICIOUS! I don't have an exact recipe to share but it's actually pretty simple, so hopefully the photos will suffice for anyone interested in recreating it!

 First, you need beef. 
(See I told you this wasn't going to be super specific, ha!)
He used cube steak and it worked great for this, but you could also use thinly sliced flank steak.
 Salt the meat.
Take some grainy mustard.
 Spread it on your beef.
 Take bacon. Yummy bacon. It obviously makes any dish better!
 Lay out strips of bacon on top of your mustard-covered flank steak.
Part of what makes this recipe so easy is you don't have to cook the parts before assembling it.
Take some sliced onions and put them on the beef, then take a pickle spear and lay it on one edge.
Then roll the beef around the pickle spear like so.
Cam cut one of the pieces of beef in half to have two smaller rolls and left the other piece whole.
 My recommendation would be to cut them in half though, as we both thought that seemed better.
You then secure the rolls with toothpicks (or you could use twine).
 Saute some garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat and then add your rolls of beef. 
 Brown the rolls on each side and then add some beef broth to the pan. 
Cover the pan and let the rouladen finish cooking through in the broth. 
 I went to go do something else at this point in the cooking process, so I don't have pictures of the remaining steps. Whoops. 
However, Cam let the beef cook completely with the lid on, then I believe he removed them to a separate plate and added a little arrowroot to slightly thicken the remaining broth in the pan.
And there you have it, dinner is served!
"Seriously? You're just going to photograph it when I could be eating it. WTF." - Lola
#blogdogproblems

Rouladen is such a perfect fall dinner as it's very hearty, and I love that it's also Paleo. The bacon and pickle spear made it so flavorful and we both cleaned our plates! Definitely give it a try!


PS: If you do want a more specific recipe to follow, here are some links (1 / 2 / 3) to other Paleo rouladen recipes :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

My New Blog Design + Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! 

Things have been a little quiet in terms of posts this week...but as you can see there have been some pretty big changes around herel...I'm so excited to finally share my new blog design with you! 

In edition to debuting my new design today, I thought I'd also kill two birds with one stone and join in for the Five on Friday link-up. That way I can tell you all about my blog's new look along with sharing some other randomness here at the end of the week. Here goes! 


1. New Blog Design/URL/Facebook Page
I have been wanting to give my blog a makeover for awhile now, and our recent move seemed like the perfect time to go for it. In the past, I've always been hesitant to make my design tied to where live in any way because I knew that we most likely be moving. But now that we're living in Portland and hoping to be here long term, I really liked the idea of incorporating something to do with that into my design. I'm also looking forward to posting more things like restaurant reviews (I already have at least five places to share!) in the future, and I wanted to make that content easier to access. I knew I wanted a design that was clean and modern, while still fitting with my personality. I started researching designers and came across Ashley Ella Designs through Etsy and decided to go for it!
Ashley has been amazing to work with and I've been very impressed with her throughout the process. I sent her a Pinterest board with the overall aesthetic I was looking for and she captured my vision perfectly! I'm a huge fan of the aesthetic of Rifle Paper Co. and really liked the idea of incorporating some of those modern vintage floral elements into my new design, especially because I decided I wanted to incorporate one of Portland's nicknames (The City of Roses, in case you didn't figure that out) into my tagline. Ashley did an excellent job of bringing what I envisioned to life and she was incredibly fast with any changes/revisions I requested. Plus, she somehow managed to put up with my crazy detailed OCD emails and trust me, that's saying something! I'm so pleased with how the design came out, and I would highly recommend her if you're looking for a new designer!


in addition to the new design I finally decided to make a Facebook page for my blog as well! I know I follow a lot of my favorite blogs on Facebook, and it makes it easier to keep up with their new posts so I figured it might be a good idea to jump on the bandwagon. I would just love it if you could "Like" In the Pink and Green on Facebook for me! {click here} My blog is still somewhat of a work in progress as I am planning on adding some additional content to certain pages on my navigation bar/sidebar, so liking my page on Facebook is a great way to keep up with those updates!

Last but not least, with all these changes I decided it was high time to update my URL as well!
You can now find my blog at:
www.inthepinkandgreen.com
(www.inthepinkandgreen.blogspot.com will still work too though!)

I truly appreciate each and every one of you that reads my blog, and I'm very excited that I now have such a pretty space to share my words and photos as we settle into our new city!

Now onto some other slightly less exciting, but still fun things I wanted to share...


2. Luna & Larry's Organic Cafe Latte Coconut Bliss Bars
 I've talked about the Dark Chocolate version of these bars on my blog/Instagram before, but I recently discovered a new flavor that is so so good! I snapped up a box at Whole Foods the other day, and I think it must be a newer flavor as it's not listed on their website. These bars are so creamy and the flavors of coconut and coffee blend surprisingly well together. They're organic, made with fair trade ingredients, and because they're non-dairy they are a great Paleo (and vegan) alternative to traditional ice cream. They are seriously the perfect after-dinner sweet indulgence that's not filled with a bunch of weird chemicals/additives! Definitely check 'em out!


I am just loving this colorful cotton pajama set I picked up at Target a few weeks ago. The bright floral pattern is a little loud, but I think it's so pretty! Since we're staying at Cam's parents' house right now, I figured a new pair of PJs might be in order instead of constantly coming down for breakfast in my old, mismatched sweats (although who am I kidding, I still do that too). I tend to get cold pretty easily (plus Cam's parents usually keep their house on the cool side) so love that these PJs have pants/long sleeves to keep me warm, yet they're lightweight enough that I don't too hot while I'm sleeping. Plus, as evidenced by my new design I am loving all things floral lately and just think these pajamas are fun!
 (Because the are 100% cotton they will shrink in the dryer...just FYI!)


4. New apartment update
I mentioned last week that we did find an apartment in Portland (yipee)! We are currently living with Cam's parents but move into our place downtown in two weeks and I'm looking forward to getting settled in! Unlike our rental house in Tahoe, this apartment is very modern and I'm excited not to have to try and decorate around things like 1970's wood paneling! We aren't going to have a ton of space though, so I really want to make the most of the room we have by only incorporating pieces that we love. We actually ordered a new couch this past weekend (and it's made in Oregon, as it says in the Instagram above) and I can't wait for it to be delivered next month. (It's not the color/fabric in the photo above though, just FYI) Now I'm on the hunt for a few additional items including a dresser, a rug, a coffee table, pillows, and a headboard. I'm hoping that we'll be able to complete a few DIY projects to check some of those items off the list, so if you have any DIY ideas you've tried and loved let me know!

5. Oregon Brewers Festival
When people think of Portland, they often think of great breweries and it's definitely a big part of the culture here. July is actually Craft Beer Month in Oregon and this weekend there is a big beer festival down by the waterfront featuring over 80 different craft beers. Apparently the festival is pretty big deal and gets quite busy, but Cameron and I are looking forward to checking it out! Follow me on Instagram (@inthepinkandgreen) to keep up with us as we imbibe and celebrate summer in our new city! :)




Be sure to let me know if you're also joining in the fun for the Five on Friday Linkup today as I always love reading everyone's list posts! Also, don't forget to like my Facebook page and grab one of my beautiful new buttons on my sidebar! Have a great weekend everyone! Xoxo


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Truffle Aioli

I've got two recipe to share with you today and it's a combo you don't want to miss!


On a random weekend before we moved out of Tahoe, Cameron and I were trying to use up this enormous bag of sweet potatoes we got at Costco. We thought that making a giant batch of sweet potato fries would be pretty tasty, so that's just what we did! And of course, you can't have fries without something to dip them in (or at least I can't), and a creamy aioli is definitely my favorite choice, so we decided to make some of that as well. 

This Saturday project of making homemade fries and aioli was definitely a team effort with Cameron tackling the fries while I handled the aioli. Here's the recipe he used: 

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe Source: Cookie + Kate

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes. I’d plan on at least one per person.
(Also it's important to note that we used yams not sweet potatoes...many people use the terms interchangeably but sweet potatoes are actually yellow and yams are orange...it's just everyone calls yams sweet potatoes, and when you go to a restaurant the orange sweet potato fries you get like these are actually yam fries...just FYI)
Corn starch. A big sprinkle’s worth. (optional)
Olive oil. A couple of tablespoons or so.
Salt, pepper and spices. Amy suggested cumin, but I much prefer cayenne pepper, paprika or curry powder. Garlic is great as well. It’s up to you!

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces (see photos). Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly.

Toss the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag, or just onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornstarch (if using) and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the fries. Season with salt, pepper, and spices. I’d try to use half a teaspoon per potato or so. Mix/shake to distribute evenly (corn starch should be evenly mixed in so there are no powdery spots).

Pour the fries directly onto a non-stick baking sheet for best results (lining with aluminum foil produces mixed results and parchment paper can burn in the hot oven). Arrange your fries in a single layer and don’t overcrowd, otherwise they will never crisp up. 

Cam actually opted to bake them raised on a rack like this to help make them more crispy
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides. I find the easiest way to flip them is with a metal spatula. Section by section, scoop up about ten fries and flip them with a quick turn of the wrist.

Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the fries are crispy. You’ll know they’re done when the surface of the fries change from shiny orange to a more matte, puffed up texture. It’s essential to bake them long enough, otherwise they won’t be crispy. Don’t worry if the edges are a little bit brown, they will taste more caramelized than burnt.


I think that sweet potato fries are such a perfect combinations of sweet and salty and these fries definitely fit the bill. We seriously could not stop eating them, they were so delicious! We made a few batches a little less done, and some that were more extra crispy--it's all personal preference in how you want to make them!


For the aioli, I found a recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, PaleOMG. Aioli is really similar to mayonaisse, and if you've never made your own homemade mayo then you need to ASAP. It tastes amazing and it's nice knowing that you're eating something that's not full of chemicals/preservatives. This aioli is super easy, here's the recipe I used:

Garlic Truffle Aioli
 Recipe Source: PaleOMG

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 egg yolks
juice of ½ a lemon
pinch of coarse salt
½-3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons black truffle oil
 
Instructions
 
In your food processor, add the garlic cloves, egg yolks, lemon and salt and mix well to combine. Scrape the sides down as needed to make sure the garlic cloves break down completely.
 
Once everything is mixed, turn food processor back on and begin to pour the olive oil is VERY SLOWLY. I mean super slow. Tablespoon by tablespoon, dripping in there very slow. Did I say slow?
 
After you mix in ¾ cup olive oil, mix in the black truffle oil, slowly as well. The slower, the better. Once the mixture thickens, you’ll have your aioli. If the mixture is still thin, add more olive oil.



The aioli really took these fries to the next level, and the flavor from the truffle oil is just divine. Although it took a little bit of work to make both recipes, it was totally worth the effort and we ended up eating a lot of fries and aioli that Saturday afternoon.

Also, both the fries and the aioli are Paleo, which is pretty awesome if you ask me! It's a perfect example of how Paleo is not about depriving yourself and eating all these weird foods, but it's about eating real food that tastes really good and makes you feel great too!
(Technically cornstarch is not Paleo, but it's optional whether or not you want to use that on the fries!)



If you're looking for something do to this weekend, I highly suggest that you add making a batch of these delicious fries with aioli to your agenda, you'll be glad you did! Tomorrow's Friday friends, we're almost there! Xoxo

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

First off, thanks so much for all your sweet comments on our news! We couldn't be more excited to be moving to Portland, and I look forward to sharing more in the weeks to come!

Life is definitely a little hectic right now, but I couldn't resist taking time to share a recipe that would be perfect for a 4th of July BBQ! Over Memorial Day, we had birthday party to go to where I wanted to bring a fun appetizer and I couldn't decide what to make. My grandma always makes traditional deviled eggs for parties (which everyone always devours!) but I also contemplated making homemade guacamole because it's a personal favorite of mine. I ended up deciding to combine the two, and voila, Guacamole Deviled Eggs!



I actually looked at a few recipes on Pinterest/foodgawker for this dish and ended up combining a few of the different ones I came across to make my own recipe. They're actually relatively healthy as appetizers go because you replace the mayo found in normal deviled eggs with avocado. (They're also Paleo--win!) I ended up piping the avocado mixture into the eggs with a pastry bag, but you could easily just spoon it in as well. I was really worried that the avocado mixture would turn brown so I made them right before the party, and they were all eaten within a short time of our arrival--so they're definitely crowd pleasers!



Guacamole Deviled Eggs
Ingredients
1 dozen large eggs
2-3 large ripe avocados, chopped
1 Tbs minced cilantro (plus more for garnishing)
2 Tbs lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp sea salt
Smoked paprika (for garnishing)



Directions
1. Hard bowl your eggs and let them cool in the refrigerator. (I would recommend not using eggs that are really fresh because it makes them much harder to peel vs. eggs that are a little older--I learned that the hard way!)
2. Peel your eggs and then slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk with a spoon and place yolks into a large bowl. Place halved egg whites onto a serving tray and set aside.
3. Add chopped avocados, lime juice, herbs, and spices to the yolks and mash together until everything is combined into a mixture resembling guacamole. (The spices I listed were just what I used, feel free to adjust to your own personal taste preferences.)
4. Spoon guacamole mixture into a pastry bag and pipe into the egg whites (or just spoon the guac mixture directly into the egg whites).
5. Garnish eggs by dusting them with smoked paprika and topping with minced cilantro.



I love the way these deviled eggs turned out as they're such a fun spin on a classic dish. I know they'd be a hit for any summer get-together you may have on your calendar, so give them a try and let me know what you think! Xoxo

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cameron's Breakfast Casserole

My husband and I have a some little routines for how things get done around the house. Every night before bed, I pack his lunch for work the next day; I make sure he has fruit, veggies, and a good serving of protein (usually leftovers from dinner the night before). In the mornings, he usually gets out of bed first while I lay in bed for a few minutes getting more sleep/browsing social media sites on my phone and goes downstairs to make us both breakfast. One big change for us in eating Paleo for over a year now is that we almost always have eggs/meat (usually good bacon from our butcher shop or organic chicken sausage) for breakfast. We both like it (plus coming downstairs each morning to breakfast made by my hubby is pretty nice), it's very filling, and we don't really ever get tired of it.


However, it is nice to change things up every now and then! The other day Cameron randomly mentioned he wanted to make a breakfast casserole, and then a few days ago he just decided to throw one together...and it came out awesome! It's been great to have a little variety this week as far as breakfast goes, plus it's super easy to just cut off a slice of casserole in the morning and warm it up. I did not have anything to do with making this dish as Cameron did it all (I promised him I'd give him credit on le blog) but I thought I'd share the basic recipe he used as it's a great way to have a hearty breakfast dish prepared that will easily last two people the whole week! 


Cameron's Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients
2 lbs of ground pork 
(you could substitute grassfed beef or really any other type of protein that you like!)
2 onions, chopped
4 cups of spinach (a few large handfuls)
24 eggs
Coconut Oil
Salt and Pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute the chopped onions in coconut oil over medium heat until translucent, and then remove from pan and place in a 9x13 rectangular baking dish (Cameron didn't grease our glass 9x13 and we've had no problems getting the casserole out, but feel free to grease if you like!)
2. Season the ground pork with salt and pepper and then brown in the same pan you used for the onions over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink (it doesn't necessarily have to be browned all the way through since it's going in the oven) and then remove from the pan and add to the baking dish with the onions
3. Add a little additional coconut oil to the pan and add your spinach. Saute over medium heat until spinach is wilted and then add to the baking dish with the onions and pork. Use a spoon to mix onions, pork, and spinach in the baking dish until combined. 
4. Take a large mixing bowl and whisk together 24 eggs (yes, I realize that's a lot!) until well mixed. Season eggs with salt and pepper and then pour into the baking dish over the onions/pork/spinach mixture. 
5. Bake casserole at 350 for 40 minutes or until the eggs are set (it's ok if it's a little wobbly in the middle as the casserole will continue to set as it cools)
6. Slice and serve! (Or put in the fridge and eat the leftovers throughout the week!)



This is a fairly simple recipe that Cameron just threw together but it turned out really well! However, there are tons of variations you could use when making this dish, including: 

-Incorporating other veggies: Bell peppers, shredded carrots, leftover brussels sprouts, whatever veggies you have on hand, you could probably throw them in! (I'd definitely make sure you saute them first though to soften them up!)
-Adding cheese: Cameron chose to leave the cheese out of this casserole in order to make it Paleo, but I know that incorporating some cheese (either to the top or mixed in with the eggs or both!) would be a tasty addition!
-More seasoning: Cam just used salt and pepper for this casserole, but adding a wider variety of herbs and spices could definitely kick it up a notch and we'll be trying that in the future!

{I added some shredded raw milk white cheddar to the top of mine before warming it up--yum!}
Bon Appetit! Xoxo

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

{Before I get into today's post, I just have to take a minute to say that my prayers go out to everyone affected by the senseless tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday. I'm so saddened that what should have been a fun and special day was ruined by violence, and my heart breaks for everyone involved.}


 This weekend, I posted a photo on Instagram of a recipe I made and absolutely loved, so I'm really excited to be sharing it with you today! Cameron and I love sweet potatoes and eat them frequently, so when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I was instantly intrigued. While potato skins are typically greasy appetizer, this healthy take on it makes it into a healthful meal. A sweet potato is hollowed out to hold a mixture of shredded chicken, spinach, and white cheddar and it makes for a completely delicious meal. 


{Sidenote: While this recipe is not technically Paleo because of the shredded cheese you could definitely omit it if you like...however, IMO the melted cheese absolutely makes the dish. Cameron and I try to avoid using dairy products in most of the meals we make at home, however, this article provides some great information for why certain types of dairy can be a part of a primal diet. In California, they sell many varieties of raw milk cheese at our local natural foods store, so I used a raw milk sharp white cheddar (and it was really tasty!) but feel free to use whatever kind of cheese you prefer!}

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins
Recipe Adapted From: Half Baked Harvest
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 pound (about 2 small) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 3 whole chipotle pepper, minced 3-4 tablespoons chipotle pepper sauce
  • (Our grocery store was out of chipotle peppers, so I ended up using some sauce made from chipotle peppers and it worked really well!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 (half a 10oz bag) cups spinach
  • 5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender. Place your chicken in a baking dish and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork or your hands. When the sweet potatoes are done cut in half and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers (or sauce, if that's what you're using), oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave). Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.
  4. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the remaining flesh, for another use) and place in a baking dish. Brush the skins with with a little of the chipotle sauce mixture and bake for 5-10 minutes until nice and crisp. While the skins bake mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and greek yogurt if desired (I chose not to do this). 

 

This is definitely a meal that I'll be making again and again! Xoxo

{I'm linking up for Tasty Tuesday today!}

Monday, February 11, 2013

{Paleo} Pumpkin Pancakes

And they actually taste good


Happy Monday everyone!

Today, I have a recipe to share that I'm really excited about. Although I have come to realize that I definitely feel my best when I eat Paleo (and I'll admit, the past few weeks I've been eating fairly un-healthy and really feeling the negative effects) I am not a huge fan of trying to Paleo-ify baked goods. To me the point of Paleo is to eat real food--meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Eating things that are simple and natural...and cutting out excess sugar. I'm not a huge fan of trying to make sweets or other baked goods that are "technically" Paleo but taste like garbage. (If I'm going to indulge, I'd rather just have a normal cookie!) So when I come across a Paleo recipe for something like pancakes that actually tastes like pancakes (and not some weird almond flour banana disaster) I'm thrilled! 


This recipe for pumpkin pancakes is light, fluffy, and tastes just like a traditional pancake. They're such cozy winter breakfast as the pumpkin and the spices are deliciously comforting. They're perfect topped with maple syrup or some honey. I'm so happy I discovered the recipe, and they're definitely going to become a staple at our house! 
 

{Paleo} Pumpkin Pancakes
Recipe Source: Carrots'N'Cake

Ingredients:
 
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
4 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
 
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
  2. Heat skillet to medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion the batter onto the skillet.
  4. Cook each side of the pancake for about 2-3 minutes and flip.
  5. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
Makes 8 pancakes
(Depending on how large you make them, I only ended up with about 5-6)


Although these pancakes would be perfect for the weekend (which always seems so far away on Monday morning!) they're very quick to make so they could easily be whipped up for a filling breakfast during the week as well. Even if you don't eat Paleo, they're definitely worth trying out as the added protein from the extra eggs will definitely help keep you full much longer than a traditional pancake! 



As for my weekend, it was very relaxing and uneventful. Friday night, we got together with some friends for dinner. Saturday, Cam and I went out for breakfast to one of our favorite local places and spent the afternoon relaxing. We went out for Thai food for dinner and saw a movie. (We saw Side Effects--I hated it, which is disappointing because I had really high hopes for it! I just thought the movie really dragged on and by the time they threw in some plot twists at the end, I was over it--I'd definitely pass on this one!) Sunday, we did some skiing, went grocery shopping, and spent the night relaxing and watching the Grammys, Downton Abbey (how is next week already the finale?!), and Father of the Bride 2 (one of my favorite movies--it was on TBS and Cam said he had never seen it--so obviously we had to watch the whole thing!) All in all, a good weekend! 

Hope your weekend was lovely as well! Have a fantastic Monday! Xoxo

Monday, February 4, 2013

{Paleo} Chocolate Ice Cream

Happy Monday friends! How was your weekend?

My weekend was relaxing and low-key. Cam was actually at a Michigan alumni retreat from Thursday night through Sunday morning in a part of Tahoe about an hour away from our house, so I was by myself pretty much all weekend. (The retreat was mainly for engineers, hence the reason I didn't go!) As much I as I hate it (and still never sleep well) when Cam is gone, I actually had a really nice few days of "me" time. Thursday night, I took a relaxing yoga class and watched the 30 Rock finale. Friday, I took a class at our gym and went out for fish tacos and drinks with some girlfriends. Saturday morning, I was going to go skiing but it was overcast and so much snow has melted recently that I figured it wasn't worth it. I slept in instead, caught up on episodes of the New Girl, and spent the entire day in the kitchen! It was awesome. I love to cook/bake, but I don't always have the time that I'd like to devote to it. It was so great to just stay in my sweats all day, listen to Disney Pandora, and try out some new recipes. Plus, because I was cooking during the day, I was actually able to get some halfway decent photos of what I made...a great day in my book! I made about 7 different dishes over the course of the weekend, and I'll be sharing all the recipes with you in the coming weeks. 

First up? Ice cream! Because it's Monday and that calls for a big bowl in my book!


Ice cream is one of my favorite indulgences, but since moving to eating a more Paleo-based diet a year ago, we have been trying to limit our intake. However, in the meantime we've also discovered the joy of coconut milk ice cream--it's really tasty, plus coconut milk has a lot of awesome health benefits. We absolutely love all the products we've tried from Luna & Larry Coconut Bliss, however, they're fairly pricey (as in $7+ for a pint of ice cream). But being the resourceful cook that I am, I decided I wanted to try and make my own coconut milk ice cream (I say why spend money on expensive ice cream when you can spend it on more important things--like shoes?!) and this weekend I finally got around to it!


The simple recipe I followed used two cans of full fat coconut milk, cocoa powder, and some raw honey from the local health food store. The result? DELICIOUS! This stuff was incredibly creamy and the recipe made at least 3 pints of ice cream--so definitely a huge cost savings from buying it pre-made. So while this ice cream is definitely still a treat, I can feel better about indulging because I know exactly what's in it and that there are no weird chemicals or preservatives. And it just tastes freakin' amazing!


Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
Recipe Source: A Couple Cooks (adapted)
 
What You Need

14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate before using if possible--I didn't do this and it was fine)
14-ounce can light coconut milk (I actually just used 2 cans of full fat coconut milk and my ice cream was super creamy!)
½ cup honey
⅔ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (I omitted this as I wanted plain chocolate ice cream, but I think I'm definitely going to add it next time!)
Pinch kosher salt

What To Do
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cans coconut milk and ½ cup honey. Whisk in ⅓ cup cocoa powder until it is fully integrated (it will take about one minute to mix in). Then mix in the remaining ⅓. Add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt.
  2. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker (it helps if the mixture is cold before freezing; as noted above, we keep cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator so they are already cold). Or, make it without the machine. (Jane's note: I didn't chill my mixture before and it was fine--I did mix it in my ice cream maker for about 20 minutes until it was the consistency of soft serve)
  3. You can eat the ice cream right away for a soft serve texture, or freeze it for about 2 hours for a harder texture. (I froze mine for a few hours and it firmed up but retained a really fluffy texture!) Enjoy!
 

I'd highly recommend making this ice cream ASAP! And now that I've had success with it, I'm planning on giving some other flavors a try soon!

As for the rest of the weekend, I went to the movies with a friend on Saturday night and saw Silver Linings Playbook (loved it!) and I finished the book I've been reading. Yesterday, Cam got home from the retreat and it was great to see him! The weather was gorgeous so we were able to take Lola for a couple of walks, and I got some more cooking in (I was seriously on a roll this weekend!). Finally, we went over to watch the Superbowl with our friends the Schues and had a great time hanging out with them as always. I wasn't super into the game and overall was underwhelmed by the commercials I saw...but I loved Beyonce/Destiny's Child! We ate wayyy too much delicious food, and I'm honestly still stuffed this morning! I'm really looking forward to sharing some more recipes with you ASAP, but in the meantime, have a great week everyone! Xoxo

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