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.

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Lemon Herb Salmon Patties. (GF/DF, Paleo)

These stunning Lemon Herb Salmon Patties are incredibly filling and so healthy! Enjoy them in a sandwich, on a salad, or with your favorite vegetables!

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I’m slightly obsessed with these Lemon Herb Salmon Patties.
They’re super filling and hearty, plus they’re so healthy! Lots of protein and Omega-3’s going on here. Love it.

If you’re guilty of getting in a salmon rut like I am sometimes, you’re going to love this simple and fresh dinner idea, especially because it’s quick enough to make on a weeknight.
Getting the patties together took maybe 5-7 minutes, and then it’s about a 4 minute cook time on each side. You could definitely have these on the table in less than 20 minutes!

For this recipe, you’re going to use the food processor to cut up the salmon so it will form burger patties.
Yup. Did you know you can grind up your own meat in the food processor?!
I use my food processor quite a bit, but I had never done this before. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
All you have to do is cut your salmon into chunks, put it in the food processor and pulse it for maaaybe 10-15 seconds. Once it’s ground up it’s ready to go!
This machine is magic, y’all. Is there anything it can’t do?? No? Okay then.

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I served the salmon patties two ways–once on top of a salad and once along some roasted vegetables (yay brussel sprouts!!), but you could definitely turn these into a sandwich if you’d prefer. They’re really sturdy and won’t fall apart on you.

To keep this meal gluten and grain free, I used almond flour as a binder. The original recipe called for a cup of cooked quinoa, which would be great if you have leftover quinoa, but having to make it is an extra step (and pot!) I’d rather not deal with since almond flour worked well!

You may be wondering what that dollop is on top of the patties. We noticed they’re a tiiiiny bit on the dry side if you don’t have some sort of sauce on them. Tartar sauce would be a good option. My husband used a thick blue cheese dressing in a pinch, but then I made a homemade ranch-type of sauce which is what you see pictured here. I’ll include directions for that below in case you want to make it. It’s super easy, but it does require an immersion blender.

Lemon Herb Salmon Patties

Ingredients:

  • 1lb raw salmon, skin removed
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 red or yellow onion, finely diced (as tiny as possible!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • juice of 1 lemon (If you only use 1/2, the lemon flavor doesn’t shine through)
  • salt and pepper

1). In the bowl of a food processor, add the raw salmon and pulse until it’s evenly ground and starting to be sticky.

2). Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add the salmon. Mix to combine. Lightly score the mixture into 4 sections. Form the 4 pieces into burger patties.

3). Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the salmon patties and cook for about 4 minutes per side. Remove when they’re cooked through and no longer pink. Enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 364 Carbs: 3g Fat: 23g Protein: 32g Fiber: 3g Points+: 9 Recipe adapted from here.

For the homemade ranch-style sauce:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup extra light (must be extra light!) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Immersion blender

1). Important: You will need an immersion blender to do this. Place the egg, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt into a mason jar or container with tall sides. Put the immersion blender in the container so it’s resting at the very bottom, then turn it on. Let it blend like this for several seconds, then slowly and gently move it up so it blends all of the mixture. This should take less than a minute.

2). Once it’s blended through, add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks! If you want to make it into a thinner dressing, add a tiny bit of water at a time and stir until you get the consistency you want.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups. Serving size: 1 Tablespoon. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 101 Carbs: 0 Fat: 11g Protein: 0g Fiber: 0g Points+: 3 Recipe adapted from here.

5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms.

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms are a perfect appetizer or side dish–and they’re so easy to make!

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Mmmm. Mushrooms.
They’re so polarizing.
It seems like people either fanatically love them or absolutely loathe them.
Me?
I’m on Team Mushrooms all the way.
I’m the person who actively seeks out the dish with mushrooms on the menu.
And I’m guilty of taking the mushrooms off my husband’s plate because he won’t eat them.

So, I assume if you’re still reading that you’re on Team Mushrooms as well.
In which case, YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOMS.
They’re sooooo garlick-y and butter-y and mushroom-y. Yep. I’m making up words over here.
That’s how good they are.

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There are five (count ’em!), FIVE simple ingredients to make this dish.
Two of them are salt and pepper.
Do those even count? No? So really just 3 ingredients, then.
Garlic + butter + mushrooms = magic.

The big trick with the mushrooms comes to cleaning them.
You probably already know this, but you can’t rinse them under water.
Instead, you need to use a wet paper towel and gently wipe down each one.
It’s a little time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end!

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Two more things to note about the recipe:
#1: Trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. This will help the garlic stay on top of them instead of falling in between them.
#2: You will want to mince up your garlic as tiny as you possibly can so it’ll stay on the mushrooms.

5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz white or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned with a wet paper towel
  • 1/4 cup butter (I used KerryGold grass-fed butter, but you can even make them vegan by using Earth Balance!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced as finely as you can
  • salt
  • pepper

1). Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat it to 400F. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use a pie pan or a casserole dish, but you will not preheat the oven with either of those inside.
2). Using a small knife, trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully arrange the mushrooms in it.
3). Place the butter and garlic in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted. Spoon the garlic butter over each mushroom cap. Make sure to try to keep the garlic on top of the mushroom instead of letting it fall in between. Season the tops with salt and pepper.
4). Roast for about 25-30 minutes until tender, basting them about halfway through the cooking time. Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 131 Carbs:5g Fat: 12g Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g Points+:4 Recipe originally from here

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

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. (GF, DF)

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that are gluten-free and are sweetened naturally instead of with refined sugar! All the ooey-gooey goodness of traditional chocolate chip cookies, but a little bit healthier.

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Valentine’s day is Saturday! Got any plans to make a sweet treat for your loved ones?

My all-time favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies. So, you can imagine my frustration when I found out about my wheat allergy over the summer and realized I would no longer be able to enjoy my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe. I had to find a replacement. Stat.

This recipe is an excellent alternative to my aforementioned traditional wheat-filled chocolate chip cookie recipe. The first time I made it, I was seriously skeptical. I mean, look at the ingredients! Can almond flour really work here? Can honey bind it all without even using an egg?

The answer: yes.

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These cookies are super chewy, which is exactly the way I love them.
And they’re soft.
Really soft. In fact, don’t even think about attempting to eat one as soon as you take the pan out of the oven because they will appear underbaked. This worried me at first, but sure enough, after they cooled for a while they firmed up and could be held just fine. (By the way, underbaking is one of the tricks for making my original chocolate chip cookies amazing, and it works here too!)

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Obviously if you’re making cookies you realize there’s going to be some serious sugar-intake happening, but I do appreciate that these cookies use honey instead of refined sugar. Honey is still a form of sugar, but if you buy good quality, raw, local honey, you are at least also getting some nutrients from the sweetener. The flavor of the honey does come through a little bit, but I love honey so that did not bother me at all. If you don’t like honey (is that possible?), then these might not be the cookies for you!

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A note on the almond flour–I used Trader Joe’s almond meal/flour. I am not sure how well any other brand would work. Almond flour can vary greatly depending on what brand you purchase, so just be aware!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (use enjoy life for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (coconut oil for dairy free)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with silpat liner or parchment paper.

2). In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together until well-incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips.

3). Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep 2-3 inches of space between cookies. Gently press down on the cookie dough to flatten each cookie slightly.

4). Bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on your oven. The cookie should be slightly golden on the bottom and will appear underbaked, but they will finish baking as they cool.

5). Important: cool for 10-15 minutes on the cookie sheet before enjoying! You absolutely must let them cool or else they will be too soft to handle. Enjoy!

Yield: about 19 cookies. Approximate Nutritional Information per cookie: Calories: 135 Carbs: 11g Fat: 10g Fiber: 1g Protein: 2g Sugar: 9g Points+: 4. Recipe originally from here.

Easy Paleo Almond Chicken Tenders. (GF)

These chicken tenders are coated in almond meal and baked for a healthy take on traditional chicken fingers!

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Ever want a no-fuss dinner that you know everyone will love?
All the time, right?
Add this one to your weekly rotation.
Oh yes, I said weekly.
If you know me well, you know I RARELY cook anything twice, but I’ve already made this dish numerous times because it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

I mean, everyone loves chicken tenders, right?
Exactly.

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Thankfully, these are much more heart-healthy than what you’d order in a restaurant or buy at the store because they’re breaded in almond meal instead of flour, and they’re baked, not fried.

Let’s be honest, usually when something is baked, that’s code for “not-as-good-as-fried”, but this chicken turns out perfectly cooked and amazing. Plus, it’s so much easier than frying since you just stick the whole pan in the oven at once and you’re done!

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Before baking, I dipped the chicken in a beaten egg and then in a spicy almond meal mixture. A lot of fun spices come together here like cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. There’s a bit of heat from the pepper but it’s not overpowering.

I used Trader Joe’s almond meal for the breading. Depending on what brand you use, you may have different results. 1 cup of almond meal is perfect for 2 pounds of chicken. Your chicken should be perfectly cooked in about 25 minutes, making this a great weeknight meal option your whole family (even picky eaters) will love!

Easy Paleo Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/2 tsp if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • cooking spray

1). Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a pan with foil for easy clean-up if desired, and spray with cooking spray.

2). Cut the chicken breasts into long strips about 1-2″ wide.

3). In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly.

4). In a larger bowl, combine the almond meal with all of the spices.

5). Dip each piece of chicken in the egg, letting the excess run off. Then dip into the almond meal mixture, coating well. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with leftover chicken. Tip: don’t overcrowd the pan! For crispy chicken tenders, there has to be space between them for the air to circulate. 

6). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Enjoy!

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 214 Carbs: 4g Fat: 11g Protein: 28g Fiber: 2g Points+: 6 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

 

 

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.

Chicken with Mustard and Prosciutto. (GF, DF)

An elegant French-inspired chicken dish easy enough to make on a weeknight, and show-stopping enough to serve to company!

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See that?
That’s pure culinary enchantment, friends.  And a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner idea. Because French food is automatically romantic and inviting.

This is an adaptation on a French classic: tender chicken nestled into a savory mustard and herb sauce. With prosciutto. A very Italian ingredient. Sooo, this is really more of a French-Italian fusion dish, but the prosciutto is important–it’s salty character really brings out all the flavors of the dish. Don’t have proscuitto? No worries, use bacon or pancetta instead.

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If you like the flavor of mustard, you will really enjoy this dish because it uses both a classic dijon and a grainy mustard. The chicken gets coated in it and it’s also used in the sauce. Don’t worry, it’s not overpowering at all, though!

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Thyme is another main ingredient here. I don’t cook with thyme very often, mostly because I never have it on hand, and because the dried version is overbearing to my pallette. In this case, the fresh thyme blended beautifully in the sauce, so if you have any reservations about using thyme, leave those aside and try the recipe as-is. I think you’ll love it!

A few more important notes about this dish:

  1. There are a few steps involved, but none of them are difficult, so don’t let the somewhat lengthy instructions below derail you from making this recipe. It’s a lot of “cook this in the pan, remove it, now add something else, remove it, now add it all back together”.
  2. I used a mixture of both chicken breasts and boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can use what you want.
  3. You will need a skillet with a lid for this dish.
  4. Cooking nerd here, but one of my favorite steps in this recipe is deglazing the pan! It allows you to get all of the flavor off the bottom of the pan and into the sauce.
  5. If you can tolerate dairy, add 2 tablespoons at the end right before serving for a creamier sauce. Honestly, I didn’t miss it and don’t think it needed it, but I’ll leave it up to you!
  6. This dish is best served HOT and fresh!

Chicken with Mustard and Prosciutto

Ingredients:

For the chicken “marinade”:

  • 2 lbs chicken (I used breasts and boneless, skinless thighs)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or sweet)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup diced prosciutto (or bacon, or pancetta)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp grainy mustard

1). In a large bowl, combine the chicken “marinade” ingredients well.  Add the chicken and coat evenly in the mixture. Set aside.

2). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced prosciutto, stirring frequently until it starts to crisp up and brown slightly. Remove from the skillet and put in an empty bowl.

3). In the same pan, add 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir until soft and translucent. Add the thyme and after a minute, remove from the skillet to the bowl with prosciutto.

4). To the same pan, add the other 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken for a few minutes until browned on one side, then flip and cook a few minutes more. Remove from the skillet onto an empty plate.

5). Time to deglaze the pan! Add the broth to the hot, empty pan and scrape all of the crispy brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a flat edged wooden spoon. Add the chicken, onions, and prosciutto back to the pan. Cover and cook on medium-low for 15 minutes. Be sure to turn the chicken a few times. Check to make sure it is cooked through before proceeding to step 6.

6). Remove the chicken from the pan to stir in the grainy mustard into the sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan, give it a few quick turns in the sauce, and serve!

Servings: 6. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 246 Carbs: 2g Fat: 11g Protein: 38g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Points+: 7 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.