Chocolate Dessert Shakes With Protein for Kids

This one is a kid favorite. And a hot tip, the leftovers can be combined with some baileys for Mom for after they go to bed.

Recipe:

Two tablespoons good cocoa powder. This kind is my favorite.

A half scoop of grass fed whey. We use this kind.

3 cups ice

One cup of coconut milk (the kind in the carton, not a can)

About a tablespoon of raw local honey.

Blend! This makes three 8 oz servings or four 6 oz servings. I also added a couple of marshmallows for my kiddos.

Homemade Spicy Green Chile Salsa

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know I am originally from New Mexico and that I use green chile a lot. Like – a whole lot. I love it and when I can get a big quantity of it I’m all in. I found this 3 lb. bag of it recently and tucked it away in my freezer for just the right occasion. I woke up last weekend craving a big bowl of green chili salsa, so I figured the time was right. The heat of this salsa obviously depends on how hot your green chili is, and it can really vary. I usually find that it is not as spicy as a jalapeno or a chipotle salsa, but if it’s too spicy for you, it can be tamed by cutting it with a can of tomatoes or some roasted tomatillos for a true salsa verde. My recipe is pretty basic and goes well with everything. This made enough to fill several jars at my house, so it’s great if you want to make someone a homemade gift or freeze some. I did link to the exact green chili I used in this recipe and it is an affiliate link.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs chopped and peeled green chile (Click here for the kind I used)
  • 2 large onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (or about four to six cloves)
  • Juice of two limes

Directions:

Chop the onions finely and saute them in the avocado oil in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat for about ten to fifteen minutes, until they are very soft. Add the green chili (defrosted if yours was in the freezer like mine). Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until the chilis and onions are soft and most of the liquid is gone. About ten minutes in, add the garlic and the salt. Once it is cooked thoroughly, add the lime juice and stir.

This would go great with chips but we liked it as a veggie dip. This salsa shines when you put it on top of eggs or on a baked potato, too!

Perfect Herbed Scallops with Butter and Garlic

Scallops are one of our favorite sea foods, but when we mess them up they are almost inedible. These take a very light hand on the spices and a precise cooking time, and then a big ol’ dump of butter at the end. We ate these with a baked red potato and a fresh garden salad topped with mozzarella.

Ingredients:

  • Roughly 12 oz sea scallops (if frozen, defrost them). These are what we used.
  • Two tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, or 2-3 cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter and a handful of chopped herbs of your choice (I used oregano and parsley)
  • A small handful of chopped chives
  • Sprig of rosemary

Directions:

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and salt and pepper both sides. Set a cast iron pan or other heavy bottomed skillet on high heat with the avocado oil. Wait for the oil to get hot enough to smoke a little bit, and then set the scallops in the pan to sear. Sear for about two minutes, then flip. After another minute, add the butter and herb mixture. Spoon the butter over the scallops continuously for about a minute. Remove from the heat and lightly tap each piece several times with the rosemary. Sprinkle the chives on top. Serve immediately.

Gluten free pancakes made with oat flour (the perfect weekend breakfast)

Pancakes are a holiday staple around our house, but they always make me feel a bit sluggish—even gluten free ones. I discovered that oat flour doesn’t have that effect on us and this recipe is a little bit indulgent with the almond extract and salted butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Salted butter (for the griddle)
  • Pure maple syrup (for serving)

Directions. Combine all of the dry ingredients thoroughly in a batter bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour four-inch circles of batter onto a hot griddle or pan, flip when batter becomes bubbly. These will cook just a minute or two, depending on your pan. I used a cast iron griddle and biscuit forms to make these perfectly round, but any pan will do.

Brussels Sprouts With Sweet Roasted Glaze

This side dish really goes with anything, but the last time I made it I accidentally discovered that it is the.best.chili.topping.period. I already think there is little better in the food world than a super crisp, almost burned Brussels sprout, but when you add them to the chili it created a whole new texture and taste combo that really worked. We had planned to serve this dish with pork chops, but they were spoiled when we opened them, so after already having the sprouts in the oven we took a quick assessment of the rest of our ingredients and chili became dinner. The sprouts were already cooked so we tried it together and the result was … just really good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of shaved or halved Brussels sprouts. If they are halved and not shaved, chop them lightly to break them up a bit.
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons course organic sugar (regular or brown will also work)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Steak seasoning, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, ghee, duck fat or lard. (Any high-quality fat with a high smoke point will do)

Directions: mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly covered. Pour the sprouts into a parchment lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until the small sprout leaves are crispy. Serve alongside your favorite meal, on top of a chili, or alone as a snack.

Coconut milk tapioca pudding (with fruit purée)

I love puddings of all kinds and tapioca is no exception. Tapioca is one of those things I always plan to make but rarely do, so when I saw that I had some in the pantry I went to work. This recipe has fruit, and you can sub it for any type or omit it completely. You can also add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg if you like.

Ingredients :

  • 1/3 cup tapioca pearls (I used this kind)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon grassfed gelatin plus four tablespoons water
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peaches
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • Two eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Add the tapioca, water and coconut milk to a sauce pan. Let the pearls soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, set the fruit (defrosted) in a bowl with the sugar and let them sit for a few minutes. Beat your egg whites until they are stiff. Then, add four tablespoons of water to your gelatin and stir it up a bit to dissolve. Let it bloom for five minutes.

Purée the fruit mixture, either with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Set aside.

Once the 30 minutes is up, turn your burner to medium heat and start whisking the tapioca mixture. Before it gets hot, add the egg yolks and whisk them in. Add the gelatin and whisk it really well so no gelatin pieces remain. You’ll bring the mixture to a simmer, while constantly whisking. Don’t let it fully boil or it will scald. This process takes about ten minutes. Add the butter and stir until it melts.

Turn the heat off and add the puréed fruit, folding it in to combine. Add the vanilla, and allow the mixture to cool about ten minutes.

Add about 1/3 cup of it to the egg white and stir to temper them (so they don’t cook when you add them to the pudding). Fold this mixture into the pan and whisk until completely combined. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Potato With White Chicken Chili Topping for an Easy Weeknight Meal

There are many white chicken chili recipes out there, and yet somehow I’ve never made it until this week. I decided to use this version as a sweet potato topping, but it would be good on its own or rolled into a tortilla as a taco or enchilada.

Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • Six boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One large white onion, diced
  • Two four-ounce cans of green chili
  • One fresh jalapeno (seeds removed if you want to tone down the spice, leave them in if you like it hot)
  • One can white beans, drained –navy or cannellini work best
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Six sweet potatoes
  • About 1/4 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Sea salt, enough to coat the potatoes in (about a tablespoon)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 and prep a baking sheet with foil. Wash the potatoes and set on a paper towel to dry. Once they are dry, coat them with the avocado oil then roll them in the sea salt. Poke them each with a fork twice and place them in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

For the chili: While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the green chili and the water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs whole, then dust with salt. Add the cumin and allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning the thighs occasionally. Add the beans and the heavy cream, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs and shred them or cut them into small chunks. Place the chicken back into the mixture. Add the butter, and allow to simmer about five more minutes, until the butter melts. Correct for salt and pepper.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to sit for five minutes. slice them open lengthwise and top with about a cup of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Decadent Cadbury Gluten-Free Brownies (with hidden spinach)

Brownies are asked for all the time in my house. It is difficult to get just the right combo of chewiness and fluffiness – the ratios have to be just right to get them how you like them. I have probably made 20 different brownie recipes and experimented with several of my own. This one is a little chewy, a little cakey, very moist, and has a sweet and saltiness I love. It also includes my favorite chocolate bar in the world — Cadbury Dairy Milk — and two cups of spinach, which serves to cut the sweetness, add moisture, and force some nutrition into my picky children. If you have picky eaters like I do, these brownies feel like winning.

Ingredients

  • Two sticks of unsalted, grass fed butter. (Click here for the one I like)
  • One large Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate bar
  • 1 cup organic semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarse sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare your pan. I like to use a 9×13 Pyrex lined with parchment and sprayed with coconut oil spray. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Stir to mix it. Place the spinach in a blender and pour the butter mixture over it. Blend until totally smooth and there are no chunks of spinach.

Crack the eggs into a batter bowl and whisk lightly until they are completely blended. Slowly whisk in the chocolate/butter/spinach mixture. Once blended, slowly add in the sugar, flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the extracts, and mix just until blended (don’t over mix).

Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Bake about 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (check it at 25 minutes because ovens vary).

Allow the brownies to cool at least 30 minutes. These do crumble a little bit when warm, so send the kids outside to enjoy them!

Green chile salsa (enough to gift and store!)

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know I am originally from New Mexico and that I use green chile a lot. Like – a whole lot. I love it and when I can get a big quantity of it I’m all in. I found this 3 lb. bag of it recently and tucked it away in my freezer for just the right occasion. I woke up last weekend craving a big bowl of green chili salsa, so I figured the time was right. The heat of this salsa obviously depends on how hot your green chili is, and it can really vary. I usually find that it is not as spicy as a jalapeno or a chipotle salsa, but if it’s too spicy for you, it can be tamed by cutting it with a can of tomatoes or some roasted tomatillos for a true salsa verde. My recipe is pretty basic and goes well with everything. This made enough to fill several jars at my house, so it’s great if you want to make someone a homemade gift or freeze some. I did link to the exact green chili I used in this recipe and it is an affiliate link.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs chopped and peeled green chile (Click here for the kind I used)
  • 2 large onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (or about four to six cloves)
  • Juice of two limes

Directions:

Chop the onions finely and saute them in the avocado oil in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat for about ten to fifteen minutes, until they are very soft. Add the green chili (defrosted if yours was in the freezer like mine). Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until the chilis and onions are soft and most of the liquid is gone. About ten minutes in, add the garlic and the salt. Once it is cooked thoroughly, add the lime juice and stir.

This would go great with chips but we liked it as a veggie dip. This salsa shines when you put it on top of eggs or on a baked potato, too!

Asian-inspired chicken for an easy, healthy dinner

We love getting takeout from a local Chinese restaurant, but occasionally we want the flavors without the unhealthy stuff sometimes added by restaurants. This dish is an easy take on the flavors we love and is just as nice served in a lettuce cup as it is alongside rice. This would also work with cauliflower rice if you are paleo.

Ingredients:

  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Two tablespoons avocado oil (sesame oil would work well here, too)
  • One pound ground chicken
  • Several cups chopped greens (I used kale and chard)
  • A large handful of cilantro
  • A tablespoon garlic paste or several chopped cloves
  • A 2-3 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Two to three tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Two to three tablespoons fish sauce
  • Two to three tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • One tablespoon sambal olek
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chives and sriracha to garnish

Directions:

Sauté the onion in the oil until it’s soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and greens and sauté until they are wilted. Add the chicken and salt and pepper. Add the sauces, then the ginger. Allow it to simmer for ten to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure the chicken is diced up into tiny bites. Serve with rice or in lettuce cups. Cauliflower rice would also work well here! I added chopped chives and a drizzle of sriracha to mine.