Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Happy Halloween!!!

Everyone needs a little chocolate and pumpkin in their Halloween day!!!

 I don’t know if I will ever get sick of the season with apples and pumpkins!  I keep coming up with recipes to use them in.  This recipe of Paleo chocolate pumpkin brownies combines two of my favorite ingredients…chocolate and pumpkin!  I used a similar batter to my chocolate chip cookies, with almond butter.  You will be surprised how gooey and yummy these are without flour!  My mom was shocked when I made these without flour.  They are simple to make and easy to bake!

I recently stumbled upon a deal for vanilla beans.  I’ve been using a vanilla bean in place of vanilla extract.  One vanilla bean is equal to one teaspoon of extract.  I recommend you give a vanilla bean a try.  I found them on sale for $1 a bean, normally they are close to $2.  To get the bean, I slice open the vanilla bean stalk and scrape the inside with my knife.

Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

 
Ingredients:
1 cup almond butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup pumpkin
3 TBL raw cocoa powder
1/3 cup honey
 
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix together.
3.  Pour into a 8×8 pan.
4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes for a gooey center.  
 
I store my brownies in the fridge or in the freezer.

 

Stomach Virus – Paleo Eatting

Well these last couple of days I have been down with the stomach virus going around.  It was tricky eating Paleo when I had the stomach virus.  It seems no matter how much bone broth I had, the virus still found me.  My mother refers to the BRAT meal when sick.  For those who don’t know the BRAT:

B – bananas

R – rice

A – applesauce

T – toast

Needless to say, I did it all without the “T”.  Incorporating bread may have created more of a mess, since my stomach already cramps up with it.  I’m not a supporter of rice in my normal eating habits, but I need something bland.  I even purchased a bag of rice pasta.  My motto is to go simple for two or three days.  I can’t even count how many ounces of coconut water I have consumed.  I tried to keep it simple and get my electrolytes from a natural source.  I also consumed a lot of bone broth.  My main goal was to stay hydrated.  I think I’m back on the mend to feeling healthy!!

Stomach Virus Hyrdratrion

 

Shopping is not a reward

It’s no lie, I’ve dropped down a few pant sizes in a year.  Well maybe six is more than a few sizes…and I am not one to brag about it.  So, lets just keep that between you and me!

Fall is here and I was eager to go out and boot shop.  Needless to say, I was an 1/8 inch away from zipping up a fancy pair of boots.  It was at this moment, I realized why my trainer always tell me “Shopping is not a reward”.  I did settle for another pair of fancy boots with a cute wedge.  After deciding my calves are still large, I have made a few comments and it seems a lot of women with large calves.  If you are one of these women, do not feel discouraged!  Own what you work hard for and find a pair of boots which are comfortable to you.  And yes, perhaps you are the girl I think is skinny, but rocking the Ugg knit boots because you too have muscular calves!

calves2

This brings me back to my trainers comment, “Shopping is not a reward”.  I urge everyone to reward themselves once a week for working hard.  You might work hard at work, following a meal plan or at the gym.  Personally, my reward is favorite reward is a  massage.  I feel very relaxed after them.  I think I benefit from them physically and mentally.  That is ‘me’ time.  Although I wish I could get them daily, I settle for a lot less!  Perhaps a reward is a manicure, pedicure, massage, seeing a great movie, watching a play, or soaking in a bath time.  This time should be spent with a smile on your face and allow you be refreshed!!

Paleo Crockpot French Onion Soup

This meal was created around the beef drippings from Drunk Paleo Beef Ribs.  However, if you don’t have the beef drippings…beef broth will work just fine!  This is a meal which needs about 10 minutes of prep the night before, will cook all night long and then it becomes a throw and go meal in the morning!  I’m happy to report I only had to get up 2 minutes earlier to prepare this meal in the morning.  However, I was a little crabby when I saw white ‘stuff’ falling from the sky.  Yes, I know that this ‘stuff’ starts with the letter ‘s’, but I refuse to use ‘that’ word in OCTOBER!  It is too early for white flakes to be falling from the sky!!  However, I was excited to go home tonight to my Paleo crockpot french onion soup with the cold weather in Michigan!!!

In the event you do not get 3 cups of bone broth drippings from your short ribs, it is ok!  Make sure you have 6 cups of bone broth in your crockpot.  In a pinch, I have made this soup with only chicken broth and it came out JUST FINE!  I want to forewarn you, the taste is a bit different when only using chicken broth.

 French Onion Soup

Paleo Crockpot French Onion Soup

Ingredients
3 Large Sweet Onions (2 lbs)
3 cups beef broth
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
3 TBL ghee/coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions
1.  Thinly slice the onions and place them in your crockpot.  Add in (3) 1 TBL fat of your choice on top of the onions.  Turn your crockpot on high for 10-12 hours.  I did this step the night before.  This step is caramelizing your onions for the soup.
 
2.  Add in both bone broths, water and thyme.  Switch your crockpot over to low and cook for 8-10 hours.
 
 
….and remember….Sharing is caring!!!

Drunk Paleo Beef Short Ribs

I’m glad my crock-pot was not driving any where today!  She is filled with 5 cups of red wine.  As the short ribs are cooking, the alcohol is cooking off. Needless to say, I wish I could just sit in a bath for 11 hours!!!

Crockpotparty

The best way to cook grass-fed beef is on low heat and for a longer period of time.  I will admit, I was not happy about searing meat at 5am in the morning.  However, it really does make a difference.  It helps to lock in the juices.  This is a great meal to put in the crock-pot and forget about ALL DAY!  Then after several hours you will start to smell the amazing aroma of the drunk Paleo beef short ribs!!  My mouth is watering just typing up this recipe!!

Taking this one step further, save your red wine bone broth!  I have french onion soup in my crock pot and I can not wait to taste it!  I’m replacing beef broth with the drippings from this meal.

Paleo Beef Short Ribs

Drunk Paleo Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients
1-2lbs grass fed beef short ribs
5 cups of red wine
1 cup mushrooms (I cut in them half)
1 onion thinly sliced
 
Directions
1.  Sear the beef in a skillet on medium heat for 2 mins on each side.
2.  Place all the ingredients in the crock-pot on low for 11 hours.
ShortRibs2
 

I served the meal with green beans and the taste and texture complimented each other.

Cream of Garlic Soup

I am determined to not get sick this school year.  I drink my bone broth daily.  However, I feel the sniffles coming on and everyone around me is sniffling.  I decided to kick up my immunity and incorporate garlic into my meals this week.  Cream of garlic soup is rich and creamy from the cauliflower and is a dairy free soup!!

I love getting all my vegetables at the farmers market and all the ingredients for this soup came from there (right down to the chicken used for chicken broth)!  A funny story about my trip this week.  I went shopping with a friend from the gym after a great workout.  Her husband is a chef and she is trying to learn how to cook healthier.  I mentioned I was looking for a few things on our trip and beets were one of them.  Needless to say, she got very excited when she spotted ‘beets’ and pointed them out.  I felt bad informing her they were radishes.  However, in her defense they were large radishes!  It’s amazing how things grow on their own when given the proper nutrients!

Cream of Garlic Soup

Cream of Garlic Soup

Ingredients:
5 cups of chicken broth
5 cups cauliflower cut into medium size pieces
3 garlic bulbs
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cut off the tops of the garlic and drizzle olive oil over them.
3.  Place in oven to roast for 50-60 minutes.  A fork should be able to pierce through them when finished.
GarlicSoup2
4.  When garlic is roasted and soft, squeeze out all the garlic and place in a bowl.
5.  Place the cauliflower in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes allowing the cauliflower to get very soft.
6.  Place roasted garlic into the pan.
7.  Using an immersion blender, cream the mixture together.  If you don’t own an immersion blender, you can place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. 
8.  Place mixture back into pan and add cayenne pepper.  Also add salt and pepper to taste.
9.  Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes before serving.