Paleo Coconut Flour Pancakes.

This healthier take on pancakes using coconut flour, applesauce, coconut oil, and eggs will get your day started on the right track!

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Good morning! Grab a seat and settle in for some pancake stories.

Growing up, pancakes were my favorite breakfast treat. My mom would make them on Saturday mornings occasionally and I promise nothing got me out of bed faster than the smell of fresh pancakes!

Unfortunately, there’s not much going on nutrition-wise in traditional pancakes, so I’ve been on the hunt for a healthier pancake for a while. I also needed to find a substitute for flour to keep them gluten free.
That’s where these Coconut Flour Pancakes come in!

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The first time I had these were with some friends on a ski trip. One of my good friends made these for us one snowy morning and I was so impressed with how delicious (and filling!) they were! Unlike old-school pancakes, these will actually fill you up and keep you full for hours thanks to fiber-filled coconut flour and a good protein-fat ratio from eggs. Yup, there are 5 eggs in these pancakes!

Let’s talk texture. These pancakes are soft and somewhat spongy, but in a good way. They’ll soak up whatever oil (coconut oil or butter) you use to cook them in, and whatever topping you choose to add. I’m somewhat of a pancake purist when it comes to toppings: just real maple syrup, please!
But honestly? Can I tell you a secret??
I think they’re pretty good plain.
When we were skiing, I ate some leftover for lunch on the slope and thought they were just fine the way they were!

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One last little trick: coconut flour requires a few minutes of rest so it can soak in some of the moisture of the batter. 5 minutes is all you’ll need. I whipped these up in my Vitamix in no time. The time-consuming part is cooking all the pancakes! Don’t forget, if you need to keep them warm while you finish cooking all the pancakes, put the ones that are ready in the oven on low, covered with a damp towel. The damp towel will help keep them from drying out in the oven!

I hope you make these Coconut Flour Pancakes for your family soon! One batch makes abouttttt 12-14 pancakes depending on what size you make them. Enjoy!

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • add-ins like bananas, blueberries, chocolate chips (optional)

1). In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the optional add-ins. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

2). Heat a large skillet (or pancake griddle) to medium heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil or butter to the skillet or griddle. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to drop the batter. Do not overfill. Let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes per side. These pancakes take a little bit longer than traditional pancakes, so be patient and keep an eye on them. You probably won’t see a lot of bubbles on the surface like you would with regular pancakes. Don’t rush them too much!

3). Top with whatever toppings you’d like and enjoy!

Yield: 12-14 pancakes. (I got 13) Approximate Nutritional per Pancake: Calories: 110 Carbs: 7g Fat: 7g Protein: 3g Fiber: 2g P+:3 Recipe adapted from here.

15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli. (GF/DF)

All the flavors of the classic dish, but on the table in under 15 minutes!

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This recipe is for all of you who are super busy but want a quick, easy meal on the table in 15 minutes at the end of the day.
Read: EVERYONE.
AmIright?!
I thought so.
So here’s the deal: with a tiny bit of alacrity, you definitely CAN have this recipe done in under 15 minutes start-to-finish.
Promise!

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I’m slowly getting over my fear of making Asian-inspired dishes. This one was super simple and turned out really well, especially considering how quickly it all comes together. In order to get this done in 15 minutes or less, you’ll have to multi-task a little bit. But that’s okay, because you’re a kitchen rock star and can totally handle it.
Here’s how easy it is to do:
The chicken gets chopped up into bite sized pieces and cooks on medium-high heat. The higher heat will help it stay really moist and tender. Bonus: it also cooks faster! 5-6 minutes is probably all you’ll need to have it cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, you’ll whisk up your sauce.
Now, if you’re like me and want to have plenty of sauce to mix into the broccoli/rice, you’ll be happy to know I doubled the original amount.
There’s nothing worse than a dry dish, ya know? We can’t have any of that going on here.

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Speaking of broccoli, you have some options as far as how you want to cook it:
#1) You can add it to the pan once the chicken is done cooking.
Pro: Same pan! No extra mess!
Con: It will take longer to cook and this will become a 20 minute dinner.
#2) You can steam them in a separate pot.
Pro: It can steam away while the chicken cooks. Yay multi-tasking!
Con: More clean up because of the extra pot.

Either way works, it just depends what your priority is: dinner on the table ASAP or as little clean up as possible.

For a complete meal, serve the chicken and broccoli over some rice (hello, 10-minute boil-in-bag rice!) and enjoy!

15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Broccoli florets

For the sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp GF Tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

1). Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.

2). While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3). If steaming broccoli in a separate pot, bring water to a boil and place in the steamer basket. Alternatively, you can add the broccoli to the pan with chicken and cover to cook for a few minutes.

4). Once the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is crisp-tender, add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional), and serve over rice, if desired. Enjoy!

Servings: About 4. Recipe adapted from here.

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with 3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.

 Up your salad game with this restaurant-style Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad! A quick but impressive 3-minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing ties it all together.

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May = Strawberries!
And, also the end of the school year. Womp womp. It’s always bittersweet!
I have been creating lots of delicious recipes for you the past month, so get ready for lots of cooking and baking inspiration to come your way this summer!

Today I’m sharing TWO summer ideas with you. One is a salad, and the other is a 5-ingredient dressing that will be ready in 3-minutes or less AND will compliment the salad perfectly! I even have a bonus mini-recipe for candied almonds at the bottom of the post!

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So, this salad. Just look at it! Swoon. I love adding fruit to my salad for a little natural sweetness, and ripe strawberries are the perfect way to achieve that. This Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad is perfect for serving company or just enjoying on a weeknight. It’s simple. Ready?

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Spring mix.
Ripe strawberries.
Sliced/slivered almonds for some fun crunchy texture.
My 3-minute strawberry balsamic dressing (recipe below).
Crumbled goat cheese aka chèvre.
The goat cheese is slightly tangy but suuuuuuuuper creamy and compliments the strawberries perfectly. SO. GOOD.

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And then there’s this strawberry balsamic dressing. I’ve been making it for about 6 years now and it never disappoints. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of strawberries but he LOVES this dressing.

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This dressing is sooo quick and easy to make (3 minutes max!). There’s absolutely no reason to buy dressing when this is so easy to make. And, unlike some pre-packaged fruit dressings, there are no food dyes here; that beautiful pink color comes straight from 5 whole strawberries! I love how naturally colorful food can be.

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You’ll have to use some sort of blender to blend the strawberries together with the other ingredients. I used to use my immersion blender, but now that we have a Vitamix, I use it instead. It cleans itself so it’s just a little more convenient! But seriously, use whatever blending appliance you’ve got. Even a food processor should work nicely here.

Along with the strawberries, you’ll add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, a little honey and a touch of salt. Blend it up and BOOM. Done! I like to store my homemade dressings in mason jars so I can give it a quick shake before serving, but you can store it however you want in the fridge.

3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 5 large strawberries, ends cut off
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons honey (use 1 Tablespoon unless your berries aren’t very sweet, in which case add a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1). Combine all ingredients in a food processor, immersion blender, regular blender, etc. Blend until smooth.

2). Serve immediately or store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 46 Carbs: 4g Fat: 4g Protein: 0g Fiber: 0g Points+: 1
Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring mix
  • Ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • Sliced or slivered almonds*
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Strawberry Balsamic dressing from above

1). Add all ingredients to a bowl (I eyeball the measurements depending on what size crowd I’m feeding) and toss together. Serve immediately!

*Note: If you want to get really fancy, make your own candied almonds by sprinkling 3 T brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T water as it heats up to help it dissolve. Watch carefully as the sugar and water come to a boil, then, when the water burns off, you will notice a change in the bubbles. Instead of being wet, they will start to thicken and turn darker. That’s when you add 1/4 cup slivered almonds. Toss them around, let them cool, then add them to the salad!

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

20-Minute Paleo Burrito Bowls with Broccoli Slaw. (GF)

A healthier take on popular burrito bowls using a super easy to make veggie base! 

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Okay, here’s the deal.
Most burrito bowls don’t have a lot of vegetables since the base is typically a generous serving of rice and beans.
To make these burrito bowls paleo/whole30 approved, I swapped them out!
And, I took a shortcut, which I don’t often do in the kitchen.
This simple swap makes this meal super convenient and easy, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Are you ready?

I used an onion, bell pepper, garlic, and…

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…bag of broccoli slaw!

The end result is 110% delicious and you won’t even miss your former rice and bean base. Plus, it’s so so so fast and easy since all you have to do is open the bag and start cooking! Why have I not thought of this sooner?! I have a feeling I may be using this shortcut for other meal ideas, too.

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The meat is really flavorful thanks to spices, a can of diced green chiles, and fresh cilantro. Spoon it over your veggie base and then add whatever toppings you’d like! My favorites? Salsa and guacamole. Yum!

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One last thing–my husband put the slaw and meat in tortillas to eat as tacos instead of as a bowl, and he was a huge fan. So, that’s another option for you or your family members!

20-Minute Paleo Burrito Bowls with Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw from the produce department
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, regular or smoked
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: salsa, guacamole, etc.

1). Pre-heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli slaw, onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Sautee for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2). Brown the ground beef in the skillet. Add diced tomatoes, green chiles, and spices. Stir to combine, adding a little water (I used about 1/3 cup) if necessary. Cook until most of the water has evaporated.

3). To assemble: layer the bowls with the sauteed vegetables on the bottom, then the meat sauce and toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 301 Carbs: 17g Fat: 15g Protein: 25g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 8g Points+: 8 Recipe adapted from here.

Stuffed Pepper Soup. (GF, DF, Paleo)

A deconstructed version of traditional stuffed bell peppers–all the flavors of the original dish, but in soup form!

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I think I speak for, oh, half of the country when I say: brrrrrrr.

Snow, ice, and sub-zero wind chills? Pretty sure I’m going to turn into a human popsicle.
What better way to warm up than with this cozy bowl of stuffed pepper soup?
I grew up eating stuffed bell peppers (a lot), and I really love them.
But, did you know you can take all of the ingredients and flavors of stuffed peppers, and put them in a soup?

I was a little hesitant the first time I made this because I was skeptical that this soup could actually taste like traditional stuffed peppers. Thankfully, it did, and I’ve made it many, many times since!

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In a way, the soup version is easier because you don’t have to actually stuff the peppers and bake them. Just let the soup do it’s thing, boil some rice seperately (if you want it), and it’s ready to go!

A note on the rice: traditional peppers have rice in them. Add it if you’d like, or don’t! If you are trying to keep it paleo-friendly, you’ll want to skip the rice.

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Growing up, we always topped our stuffed peppers with sour cream, so you can do that if you’d like. Again, for dairy-free/paleo, skip the topping.

Make a big pot of this soup tonight and stay warm!!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef (or turkey, if you’d prefer)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: cooked rice

1). Heat a large pot to medium-high heat. Brown the ground meat until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened.

2). Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram, and more salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

3). Serve in bowls, over rice, if desired. Top with sour cream if you’d like!

Servings: 6. Serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 261 Fat: 5g Carbs: 37.5g Fiber: 5g Protein: 17.6g Sugar: 6g Points+: 7 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu. (GF, DF, Paleo)

The most flavorful ragu ever! Perfect for a weeknight meal, and a great way to sneak in some veggies!

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I had NO idea how amazing this meal was going to be when I made it.
So. Much. Flavor!!
My husband proclaimed it one of his favorite meals ever. So simple, but seriously amazing.

You know it’s a winner when you genuinely look forward to the leftovers, and this sauce reheats beautifully–it’s almost better the second day! You can serve it over pasta, gluten-free pasta, or spaghetti squash (my favorite!).

Speaking of which, click here to learn how to cook spaghetti squash!

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Okay, so what makes this sauce so wonderful?

  • From start to finish, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Always a win, especially on busy weeknights. Thanks, food processor, for making this so quick and easy!
  • Everyone loves spaghetti and meat sauce, right? Right. Gotta love dishes that will appeal to your entire family.
  • The ingredients are simple. Humble, even. But, when they come together, they create a rich, cozy sauce. The key is using high quality beef (grass-fed), and marinara sauce.
  • The “shortcut” in this shortcut ragu is the marinara sauce. It’s (gasp) store-bought. Normally I’m all about making everything from scratch, but sometimessssss life gets crazy and you need a quick meal. Find a high-quality marinara sauce and it will make this meat sauce taste like it has been simmering all day.
  • My favorite –> Hidden veggies! In order to sneak some vegetables into the sauce, I threw them in the food processor first until they were chopped up teeny tiny. My husband hates mushrooms but didn’t even know he was eating them!

Hooray for adding nutrition and making a meal go further in a healthy, cost-effective way! I love it.

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Quick tip: double this recipe and freeze it!

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (I used a handful of baby carrots!)
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4oz sliced mushrooms
  • 24 oz high quality tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • cooked pasta (regular or GF), or spaghetti squash
  • salt and pepper

1). Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the ground beef. While it is beginning to brown, add the onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

2). Add the carrot, celery, and mushrooms to the food processor. Pulse until minced. Add to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.

3). When the ground beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, add the marinara sauce and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Reduce heat slightly and place a lid partially on top of the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4). Stir in fresh basil. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.

Servings of sauce: about 6. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 203 Carbs: 16g Fat: 7g Protein: 18g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from here

Coconut Key Lime Energy Bites + 2 Year Blog Anniversary! (GF, DF, Paleo)

Slightly tangy but sweet, these coconut lime energy bites are a perfect light dessert or healthy on-the-go snack option!

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My blog turns 2 today, and I’m celebrating with a healthy little sweet treat: coconut key lime energy bites! If you’ve been reading Audrey’s Apron from the beginning, you know this blog idea had been a long-time dream of mine since college and I finally put it into motion 2 years ago today. A lot has changed in the 2 years that I’ve been blogging. I’m thrilled that so many of you follow this little cooking journey of mine. And it really does make my day when you comment that you made a recipe and loved it!

The biggest change on the blog this year? Probably my photography skills! It’s still a work in progress, for sure, but at least I’m not taking pictures with my phone camera anymore! OH the horrors! My ever-supportive husband got me a real, legit DSLR camera for my birthday this year and it has been so fun using it!

So, I just want to say THANK YOU for following, reading, commenting, tweeting, etc. I love sharing our culinary successes together!

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Back to this yummy recipe. I found these to be a perfectly delicious paleo substitute for key lime pie. They’re much healthier, and bite-sized, so that’s a win!

The coconut is totally optional, by the way.
I just love how it makes them look sort of like little snowballs.
Or truffles.
Yum!
So for all you coconut-averse readers, just know it’s more for aesthetics and you can definitely leave it off.

A word of wisdom: make sure that your dates are in fact pitted before you throw them in your food processor and turn it on.
Otherwise it will begin to jump wildly all over the counter while making an AWFUL noise.
Don’t ask me how I know, just promise me you’ll double check, ok? Ok.
P.S. The dates I bought from Costco most definitely did have pits in them. #IwishIwouldhavedoublechecked.

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So the great thing about this recipe is that the food processor does all the work for you! Throw in some cashews, almonds, dates (pitted!), lime zest & juice, and turn it on! Then all you have to do is form the mixture into little balls and roll them into coconut if you so choose.

Pack them in your lunch, serve them as dessert, or keep a few in your purse for emergencies–these chewy energy bites are perfect for whenever you need a quick boost!

Coconut Key Lime Energy Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • Zest and juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling, optional

1). In a food processor, add the cashews and almonds. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.

2). Add the dates and lime zest and juice. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture begins to clump together.

3). Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture out and roll it into a ball. Roll in shredded coconut if desired, then repeat with remaining mixture. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days, or in the fridge. Enjoy!

Servings: about 15. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 74 Carbs: 9g Fat: 4g Protein: 2g Fiber: 1g Points+: 2 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.