Sunday, June 30, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

My boyfriend loves ice cream. Like, SERIOUSLY loves it. He can eat a half gallon in one sitting, which is strangely impressive. So in an attempt to push him a little bit more towards 90% Paleo, I decided to make him some coconut milk ice cream for his birthday.

The result was delicious. At least I think so, because I seriously got 2 bites of this, while he ate the whole other two cups himself. In about 3 minutes.

You could absolutely put whatever you want into this mix. I am sure that he will request many other flavors in the future, but this was what we had in the pantry and what he thought would go well with the banana bread I made him for his cake. :)

1) 1 can (14oz) of coconut milk (full fat)
2) 1 ripe banana (the riper, the sweeter the ice cream will be. If not totally ripe, also add in some honey or maple syrup)
3) 1 egg yolk
4) Toppings: I added in 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. These things are delicious and only 3 ingredients. Soy Free, Dairy Free. Awesome, awesome. I would love to add in some coconut chips and some blueberries next time!

1) Use a blender. A food processor will leak and you will make a mess....TRUST ME....
2) Add in your coconut milk, banana, and egg yolk. Blend until smooth.  Then add in your toppings and mix with a spoon.

Blended up and ready for the ice cream maker!
3) It's going to be easiest to make this in an ice cream maker. If you don't have one, you should definitely get one because it pays for itself! If not, you can just pour into a pan and put in the freezer until it hardens. It will get a little icy, so you'll probably want to heat it up a little before you serve it if you do it this way.
4) Prepare as instructed by your ice cream maker.
5) The boyfriend was impatient, so we ended up churning it to the consistency of soft serve. If we had gone another 5-10 minutes it would have been thicker. It's up to you!
6) Enjoy. This makes 1 pint of ice cream, and it cost about $2 to make depending on how much your coconut milk is. Way cheaper than the So Delicious Coconut versions that sell at the store! And this one is chemical free, and has no added sugar!

I see ice cream!

Try to get your boyfriend to share with you. If it's his birthday, then you can get 2 spoonfuls and give the rest to him. Then watch him eat it, like I did.
Ready to eat, soft-serve style

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How to use a whole chicken (and also make chicken stock)

I really wish that store bought chicken stock was healthier, and also not so expensive.  What's a Paleo girl to do?!

Make your own, that's right. And this recipe here is a two-for-one. (or a three-for-one if you ask my dog!). Not only do you get about 10 cups of awesome, delicious, chemical-free (and cheap!) chicken stock out of it, but you also get about 3 pounds of easy shredded chicken to use for whatever you want. We happened to also use ours to make chicken pot pie, but you could literally eat it straight up if you wanted (which I definitely have before), or put it on salad, etc.

I put the stock that I get left at the end into ziplock bags, and I measure out 1 cup of stock and put it into each ziplock. This way when a recipe calls for chicken stock, I can just defrost the appropriate amount of cups at a time. I sometimes double bag these because mine seem to have a tendency to leak when I defrost them. You could totally put them into tupperware containers and save the environment while you're at it.

1) 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds---we got ours at Sam's Club. But if you can find/afford to get an organic pastured one, then do that!)
2) 1 onion, chopped into quarters
3) 1 carrot, chopped into chunks
4) 2-3 bay leaves
5) Salt and pepper
Flavoring for the stock

Ready to cook!
1) First, this will all occur in your crockpot, so get it out and hopefully it's a large sized one!
2) Cut up your onion and carrot, and toss them in the crockpot with a few bay leaves, and about a teaspoon or so of salt and pepper. You could add more spices if you'd like your stock to taste more complex.
3) Place your chicken in your crockpot, and then fill it up with water as high as it goes.
(NOTE: My chicken was only 95% covered with water, so I ended up flipping it halfway through the cooking to make sure it all got cooked).
4) Set it on low for 8-12 hours, and then let it cool completely in the crockpot.

Now you're going to disassemble this bad boy. The chicken will literally break apart now, so using your hands and three separate bowls, separate your chicken.
1) Shredded chicken in one bowl
2) Bones in one bowl
3) Skin and tendon-y bits in another bowl (this was for my dog, but if you don't have anyone to feed this to, you can put it in the garbage bowl too).

Now you have yourself a crockpot full of stock, a bowl of shredded chicken, and some leftover scraps for the dog and/or trash.

What you get at the end

Stock plus shredded chicken

Super easy shredded chicken!
Now it's time to do the stock!

First, you need to strain the juice that's left over in the crock pot.  Easiest way to do this is with a cheese cloth. You'll end up with the cloth full of some of the leftover chicken bits you didn't clean out in the last step, and then a bunch of crystal clear chicken stock.

Depending upon how you want to store it or use it, you can measure out 1-cup portions into ziplock bags like we did, or you can put it all into one big tupperware or into multiple ones. The possibilities are endless.

We put them into bags, and then put all the bags into a very large ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.

Now we have stock when we need it.

Makes: 8-10 cups of chicken stock, depending on the size of your crockpot and how much water you were able to fill it with.

Delicious, cheap, healthy chicken stock

Dogs love chicken skins and scraps :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Bacon Biscuits

Sweet potatoes are delicious. I really can't believe I hardly ever ate them before going Paleo, because they are so good! We used to just microwave sweet potatoes, until I had read something about how much better and sweeter they were if you cooked them in oven. And they were NOT joking!

So the thing that would make this recipe the easiest is if you already had some baked sweet potatoes on hand. We always seem to have a few cooked off in the fridge, but if not, you can whip some up very easily first! This an awesome breakfast dish, or even for a snack or dinner side. I really enjoy them, although usually I have to fight my boyfriend off before he eats the whole batch!

I think these kind of remind me of the biscuits from Red Lobster, which is my younger sister's favorite restaurant of all time. So I made these for her when she came to visit us in Texas, and she liked them too! Not quite exactly Cheddar Bay Biscuits, but hey---they're still delicious!

1) 1 pound of baked sweet potatoes (this was about 4 smallish sized ones)
2) 6-8 oz of bacon, diced (this is equivalent to 6-8 slices, I just had bacon ends so I had to weigh it instead to give you an idea) ---you will be using the bacon grease you produce to add to the mixture in this
3) 2 eggs
4) 2 tablespoons coconut flour
5) 1 teaspoon baking powder
Extra) I added a few TBSP of garlic powder to these today and it was greatly appreciated! You could probably even add shredded cheddar cheese to make it more like Red Lobster. YUM!

1) First, you need to make your sweet potatoes if you haven't already.  Take some raw potatoes and poke holes or mark an "x" on the top of them. Put on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad. Cook for 45-60 minutes until bubbling out of the holes and fork tender. Let these cool.
2) Peel your sweet potatoes if you want a smoother batter (and then feed the skins to your dog because she will LOVE them, see picture below...)
3) Dice up your bacon and add to a pan on medium heat. Cook up the bacon until semi-crispy (or to your liking), and it should release a few TBSP of bacon grease.
4) In the mean time, mash up your sweet potatoes, and then add the eggs, coconut flour and baking powder, mixing until relatively smooth.
5) Once the bacon is done cooking, add the whole pan (bacon and grease) to the biscuit mixture, and mix.
6) Add your spices at this time if you want to add any.
7) Scoop these into balls and place on a lined baking pan, flatten to make them all the same thickness.
8) Cook at 375 degrees for 23-30 minutes, until done.

Peeled, cooked sweet potatoes, ready for mixing!

Yummy Bacon!

Biscuits ready for the oven

......And EAT!
My name is Piper and I LOOOOOVE sweet potato skins!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beef & Onion Tomato Soup (aka Hamburger Helper Stew)

Before you run away, this is actually really delicious! I didn't quite know how to name it, but it does always remind me of Hamburger Helper, except without the the noodles. I made it for my boyfriend before and he loved it, so it's not a staple that we usually have a tupperware or two full of in the freezer. I was looking for a simple dish to make, and I had been doing some Zone dabbling at the time and came up with this. Because of the high amount of onions and tomatoes, this came out pretty close to a zone portion, surprisingly.

It kind of looks like soup. We just call it "Beef & Onions" around here, but I figured my super exciting title up there might attract a few more lookers with a more descriptive title.  Was I right?!

1) 2 pounds of ground meat (I used beef, but anything could work)
2) 4 large onions
3) 1-2 cans (12oz) of tomato sauce

1) First, get your ground beef started browning on medium heat in a large pan. Don't drain it, or at least don't drain it all the way if you can't stand to use all the fat in the recipe. You need the fat to help cook the onions.
2) Now you need to cut up your onions. I make these into noodle shapes to make this more Hamburger Helper like. I used the slicing attachment on the food processor to make it A LOT easier, but have chopped it by hand before too. It filled up my entire food processor, so yes it's a lot of onions! But they cook WAY down.
3) Add the onions to the ground beef once it's released off some fat. Stir, and cover the pan, cooking for 20-30 minutes. Stir the pan every 5 minutes and check on your onions. Once they are to your desired likeness, then you're ready for the next step.
4) Once your dish is done cooking, add one can of tomato sauce. If it doesn't look saucy enough, add another half can or an entire can. I ended up using 1 1/2 cans for this batch. It should be well covered but not drowning.
5) Put this deliciously strange dish in your mouth and enjoy! Or pack it up into 6 tupperware containers and fill up your fridge and freezer for the week, like we did.

Browning the Ground Beef

A mount of sliced onions
Onions added to the beef

Everything cooked

Hooray for filling up the fridge/freezer with this tasty masterpiece!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Easy Crockpot Chicken Curry

I love using my crockpot. It is fantastic, and I am not even super busy. I am a full time student, but I would use this bad boy even if I stayed at home 24-7 and had all the time in the world. I just recently "upgraded" to one with a timer on it, and WHOA, this thing is changing our lives!

I love ethnic food in any capacity, and while this dish is really easy (it only has 4 ingredients, people!), it hits some great taste notes.  You can definitely add more to your pot if you want it (or make a double batch, because this only made us 4 polish-sized servings)---we served it over cauliflower rice but you could add some florets to the batch when you slow cook it and that would add texture and be more filling without really any more work!

This dish couldn't be simpler, and it's very budget friendly as well!

1) 2 pounds of boneless chicken (I used thighs this time, but breasts or a combo would work too)
2) 1 can (14oz) of full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
3) 1 onion
4) 2-4 TBSP curry powder

1) Get out your crockpot!
2) Toss in your chicken. NO NEED TO CHOP IT! The slow cooking will make it so you can shred it when it's done, saving you time and clean up!
3) Chop up your onion. I roughly diced it. It just adds some flavor and texture to this.
4) Add in your curry powder. I used 3 TBSP and it was just a little spicy. So depending on how much you like the heat, add to your taste levels. You can always add more curry when it's done cooking!
5) Mix up everything.
6) Let cook 8 hours on low.
7) Once done cooking, shred up your chicken inside the crockpot with two forks.
8) Serve over cauliflower rice (link below if you want one), regular rice, or just eat it as is.

Everything ready to be cooked

Cook me!

Curry plus "Rice" equals AWESOME!

Serve on top of some Cauliflower Rice for more texture. Here's a good one

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Believe it or not, my Polish boyfriend had never had sausage and peppers before. Sure, he's eaten a lot of sausage in his day, but never in this awesomely easy dish.

I've made a similar dish like this before on the stove, and it takes a lot of stirring and maintenance. This recipe was so much easier! Just pop in in the oven and it really requires minimal work.

I read about someone adding an apple to their dish, and I just HAD to try it out. It was very tasty, so we added one in here for good luck too!

1) 2-3 pounds of sausage links (our package we bought had 10 links in it)
2) 1-2 onions
3) 4 green peppers
4) 1 apple
5) 1/4 cup of fat of your choice (whatever you use is going to flavor your meal. Duck fat was amazing in this, but coconut or olive oil would also work without quite as much flavor. Up to you---whatever you have on hand!)
Extra) Salt, Pepper, and a splash of lemon juice

All the chopped veggies and the apple, ready for mixing!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1) Chop up your onions, green peppers and apple into strips.
2) Toss your veggies with your 1/4 cup of oil and some lemon juice and even distribute into a 13x9 baking dish, or two 9x9 pans.
3) Season with salt and pepper, and/or anything else you want. We kept it simple.
4) Wrap the dish in tin foil, and let it cook for 30 minutes.
5) After the 30 minutes are done, remove the foil so you can brown your sausage. We had to cook another 10 minutes on this side to brown the sausages, then flipped the sausages over and cooked another 10 minutes until both sides were crispy brown.
6) At this point you can stop, or you can take the sausage out and cook the veggies longer if they're not tender enough for you. I didn't, but you certainly could.
7) Remove from oven, and serve! This makes 4-5 servings, depending on how big you make them.

Ready for the oven


Cut up the leftovers, put in some tupperware, and WOW your coworkers with how amazing your lunch smells!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Entertaining: Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

We hosted our first (of hopefully many!) game nights this weekend, and I was very excited to finally be able to cook for someone other than my boyfriend!

I know these have been around forever, but they were really tasty and super easy to prep! Plus they taste great at room temperature, which is always good and convenient when you've got better things to worry about, like kicking butt at games!

P.S. We won at game night. Boom! Probably thanks to these bad boys :)

1) 18-24 dates
2) 1/2 slice of bacon per date (so if you're making 20 dates, you need 10 slices of bacon) - we happened to buy jalapeno bacon and it was awesome, but any kind work work great
3) Something to stuff your dates with (we used 2 almonds per date, but you could use any nut you want, or more dried fruit, or nothing at all)
4) Toothpicks!
Before Cooking
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
1) Pit your dates if they weren't already.
2) Stuff your dates with whatever you want!
3) Cut your bacon slices in half so you have two short, wide pieces.
4) Wrap your bacon around your date, and put the toothpick through so that the date can still lay down. You're going to be flipping it, so want to make sure you can do that with however you pin it.
5) Place your goodies on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, making sure they're spaced enough so you can flip them.
6) Cook your dates for 8-10 minutes, and then flip over. Cook an addition 5-10 minutes until bacon is crispy.
7) Remove from the oven, and place them onto some papertowels to soak up the excess grease.
8) Serve to your friends, and show them how awesome Paleo is.
9) Kick butt on game night!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Honey Coconut Protein Muffins

Wow, these pretty much have almost every type of coconut possible in them. Whoops....or awesome, depending on how much you love coconut! Coconut is awesome, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and probably a lot of other -free things too. I bet if you topped these with coconut butter/creme, then you'd have every type of coconut possible, assuming you eat them with a big glass of coconut water. Boom.

My boyfriend could eat hard-boiled eggs only every single day for breakfast from now until he's 90 and probably not complain. I just can't do it! Sometimes we need variety with our breakfast, so I adjusted a recipe I used to make for muffins into something simple, minimal ingredients, and protein packed.

There's almost a whole egg in every muffin, and a ton of coconutty protein, fiber, and fat.

These are a fairly plain muffin, so you could certainly add in some fruit or nuts or whatever you want to make them more than 5-ingredients. They're yummy regardless. Add in some coconut chips if you are feeling brave and want a treat, or add in some shredded coconut to give it more texture and up the coconut amount even more. Or cover them in tasty jam post cooking...or almond butte.....or bacon. Do it!

I think these would be fabulous as a biscuit replacement in "biscuits and gravy", or as a tasty corn-bread type muffin side for a nice bowl of chili!

Or you can just eat them for breakfast, in place of your normal hard-boiled eggs. Unless you're my boyfriend, and now you'll just eat both.

True story.

1) 9 eggs
2) 3/4 cup coconut flour
3) 1/4 cup coconut milk
4) 6 tablespoons coconut oil
5) 1 teaspoon baking powder
Also, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt (these are spices so I think they should be technically exempt from the 5-ingredient list!)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Either line some muffin tins with something to make them non-stick, use muffin paper, or use your handy-dandy silicon muffin molds! Best invention ever.

2) Place all the ingredients into a food processor or mix by hand, but the coconut lumps come out way easier in the processor.

3) Blend until smooth, then scoop into your muffin tins. This will make 12 good-sized muffins, or probably 18 half-full muffins. They do rise slightly, so it's really about how big you want them!

4) Cook for 15-22 minutes, until slightly brown on the top.

5) Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy in whatever way you want!
Starting to cook!

Yes, they're finally done! And mine are heart shaped. Adorable.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Treat: Watermelon Coconut Popsicles

It's summer time! Which in my house, means that every time you to go the grocery store, you come home with twice as much fruit than you had planned to buy.

But what to do with all that yummy fruit laying around, before it goes bad?

When picking up groceries the other day, me and the boyfriend decided to get an extra watermelon while they are in season, and I was going to puree one of them and store it up for making watermelon-flavored kombucha (doesn't that sound delicious?!). But we had run out of popsicles in the freezer, so I was going to make another batch. We made some strawberry banana ones last time, and they were AWESOME, but I thought maybe watermelon could be good.

HOLY MOLEY, this was the best decision ever! You could definitely make these with little dixie cups and popsicle sticks if you don't have the freezer mold. It was like $5 on Amazon, and one of the best things that we bought because we make a new batch at least once a week! Perfect little evening treats, especially on these hot summer days.

You know what else would be delicious? Make these into ice cubes. The possibilities are endless.  WARNING: be prepared to eat all of them way quicker than you planned!

1) 1 cup of coconut milk (I use full-fat, canned, but you could use Lite or even in the carton, or even cow's milk if you're feeling brave)
2) 2-3 cups of seedless watermelon


1) Puree the watermelon with the coconut milk in a food processor or blender, until smooth. Don't worry about the little white seeds, you will hardly notice them at all.
2) Poor into your popsicle molds, or into your dixie cups. Then put the lids on, or the popsicle sticks in if you went that route.
3) Put in the freezer and let harden up, probably about 4 hours.

We ended up having about a good 1/2 cup leftover after filling up the molds, which my boyfriend happily drank as a smoothie. Even though it's the same ingredients, the flavor of the smoothie doesn't do justice in showing what will happen when the popsicles harden!

Eat up!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weekend Sidedish: Easy Roasted Carrots

I make a lot of one-pot meals that include the veggies in them, but sometimes when I roast a chicken or cook up a steak, we need a yummy side dish to make our plate less boring (because let's face it, I could happily just eat a steak with no sides but I've gotta get some vitamins and minerals somehow so we add in the other stuff!).

Carrots are delicious. Raw, cooked, pureed.

The end.

Wait, wait --- how do we cook them up to be even yummier?!

Roasting, my friends, is where it's at!

1) 8-10 good sized carrots (or as many as you can fit on your tray! The more the merrier)
2) 2 Tablespoons of fat of your choice (I've made it with coconut oil, and with duck fat, but olive oil or any other oil would be easily delicious. Doing dairy? Make it with butter and make yourself insanely happy)
3) Salt/Pepper/Whatever spices you want (I just used salt and pepper but it's really up to you. Make it your own!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1) Peel your carrots and then slice into similar thickness pieces, so they all cook evenly.
2) Melt your 2 tablespoons of oil in a big bowl, and then toss in your carrots to evenly coat.
3) Spread your carrots out on a baking sheet covered in a silicon mat or some parchment paper to keep it from sticking.
4) Sprinkle whatever spices you want onto the carrots.
5) Cover the baking sheet in aluminum foil tightly, and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
6) After the 20 minutes are over, remove the tin foil and cook an additional 10-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until they're as tender as you want. Took me 20 minutes here because I like mine really soft.
7) Serve 'em up and enjoy, buttercup! Carrots are delicious and you just rocked this side dish!


Welcome to my blog! I'm hoping to be able to post a few recipes a week that are very easy to prepare and only include a few ingredients.