Sweet Potato Sloppy Joe Sliders (Paleo)

I’m not going to lie, the holidays are crazy, and so is my schedule right now! Instead of boring you with my weekly life-lessons and updates, we’ll just get right to the point. Here is a fun recipe that turns another childhood favorite into a more sophisticated, comforting meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I (and a few taste testers) did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
  • 1 TB. avocado oil
  • 1 TB. coconut oil
  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 TB. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TB. water
  • 1 cup spinach leaves (optional)

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)

-In a large bowl toss the sweet potato rounds in avocado oil, salt and pepper

-Place seasoned sweet potato rounds on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway

-While potatoes are baking, add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat and cook the beef until only a little pink remains

-Add the onion, celery and garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes

-Add tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and paprika to the meat mixture and stir for 1 minute

-Add the honey, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce and water to the mixture, stir to combine and summer on low for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

-Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking arrange them on a serving plate with toppings of your choice! I like to add spinach leaves for a fun color pop (they also hold on the meat quite well) or you could use larger lettuce leaves as a “boat” for the sliders

Mint Chocolate Macaroons (Paleo)

Well I’ve officially “moved” from the hills of western mass back to my home town near boston. My house is still on the market so my feet are still somewhat tied but on a weekly basis I’ve begun working my new jobs and living out east full time! It’s WONDERFUL to not have to drive back and forth across the state every other day and I believe most of the craziness has past but there is still so much that I need to organize and settle into. So far I am LOVING my new jobs as a coach at Crossfit Tri County and a waitress/bartender at an awesome super busy restaurant in Dedham. I’m on track to enroll in the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner course through the NTA starting in February which has been on my to-do-ASAP list for far too long, my new living situation and job flexibility will allow me to finally continue my education in the field I am most passionate about.

While all this news sounds so positive and “Merry”, if you asked me how I was doing just a few days ago I wouldn’t have been able to answer because I was overwhelmed with sad, negative, self-degrading emotions. The ups and downs of change and, in this case, huge life transitions can really mess with your brain and challenge your internal strength but ultimately there will always be good and bad days, happy and sad moments, comforting and fearful experiences. No matter what life throws your way its important to stay present and remember that you can only control you; how you react, how you behave, how you feel. Feeling emotions isn’t a bad thing, but letting them affect your life in a negative way is. If something is causing you pain and you can remove it from your life, you need to take charge and remove it. If some reoccuring thoughts are causing you to be unable to move forward, you need to confront them and forgive yourself so that you can move on. Life doesn’t always present you with rainbows and butterflies, or maybe it does but we just cant see them because we are too upset about the rain? Food for thought. 🙂

Now, enough of that, back to the reason why you’re here: here’s a super easy and festive recipe you can whip up to bring to your next holiday cookie swap or party. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • dash of sea salt

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F)

-In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except egg white and salt

-In another bowl whisk egg white and salt with a hand mixer on high for 1-2 minutes until stiff peaks form

-Carefully fold egg white into the coconut mixture until well combined

-Scoop balls onto parchment lined backing sheet

-Bake for 30 minutes

-Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature

-(Optional) melt 1/2 cup dark chocolate in a small bowl and mix in 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (alcohol free). Dip the bottoms of each macaroon into chocolate and place back on parchment paper until chocolate has solidified

Paleo Pop Tarts! (Paleo, AIP, Nut-Free)

Of the many random topics we discuss at Crossfit Iron Will… the other day the debate of “Toaster Strudel versus Pop Tart” came up. I had to search back into my pre-gluten-intolerance days to add in my two cents. Who are we kidding though, Pop Tarts were one of my favorites, and I remember them like it was yesterday! Perhaps, because I made my own paleo version of Pop Tarts… 🙂

I will fore-warn you that these aren’t the easiest to make, (make sure you are’t in a time-crunch for best results) but they are definitely worth it if you’ve been craving a pop-tart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cassava flour (plus 1/4 cup for prepping)
  • 1/2 tsp. natural baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (solid)
  • 1 egg (plus 2 egg whites)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 TB. local honey
  • 1/3 cup strawberry rhubarb jam (or your choice of fruit preserves)

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-In a large mixing bowl combine cassava flour, baking soda and sea salt

-Add solid coconut oil to flour mixture and use your hands to work the coconut oil into the flour, the result will be small crumbles



-In another mixing bowl whisk together one whole egg, honey and water.

-Add the egg mixture into the flour and stir until no chunks remain and a sticky dough forms


-This is where the fun begins! The messier the better… on a clean surface (you can use parchment paper if you’d like but personally I have better luck straight on the counter top) throw down a bunch of cassava flour, and carefully roll out your dough into 1/4 inch thick layer

-Using a pizza cutter, cut rectangles in your dough and carefully transfer the bottom layer of rectangles to a parchment lined baking sheet


-Whisk egg whites in small dish and coat the bottom layers with egg white froth


-Then add your jam to the bottom layer of your pop tarts (you can decide how big or small to make them, in this case I made each about 2 x 1 inches which yielded 9 pop tarts)


-For the tops, make sure each rectangle is slightly larger than the bottom so the edges completely cover the jam and the bottom layer, coat the inside again with egg white before placing over the bottom layer

-Carefully pinch together the top layer to the bottom layer and finish each pop tart with 2-3 slits in the top to allow them to breathe in the oven

-Bake for 15-20minutes or until golden brown


-Let cool (or dont!) and add your favorite topping.. in my case I always enjoyed pop tarts with melted grass-fed butter on top…. YUMMM!!!


Don’t forget to share with your friends- you’ll forever be their hero! 🙂

Pumpkin Bacon & Chive Biscuits (Paleo, Nut-Free)

You might be wondering where I have been the last 9 months… and to answer that in one word, I have been BUSY! There have been a boatload of changes: bought a house, had to buy a new car, started a new full time job while still maintaining two other part time jobs. It’s been a little hectic to say the least. But I am happy to be back and although I haven’t had the time to make many new recipes myself, I wanted to share some that I have enjoyed making and munching on while I’ve been MIA.

These biscuits are brought to you by The Urban Poser whose blog I peruse quite often to find tasty recipes! So without further ado:

Pumpkin Bacon & Chive Biscuits (Nut, Dairy and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Strips of Bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 1/2 Cup melted fat (Bacon grease works great here!)
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 TB coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup  pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped fresh chives (substitute: green onions)

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, baking soda and salt

-In a separate bowl whisk together the cooking fat, vinegar, eggs and pumpkin puree until combined.

-Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients then add finely chopped bacon and chives

-Using a 1/4 cup measure, gently pack and drop the biscuits onto a parchment lined baking sheet

-Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges start to crisp

-Allow biscuits to cool for about 5 minutes and then enjoy!

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Banana Bread Bars (Paleo, AIP, LowFODMAP, 21DSD)

Often times its hard to stay on a “diet” when you don’t get to have things that you have grown accustomed to having on a daily basis. Although I believe that Paleo is a lifestyle and should be treated that way, I know a lot of people that use it more as a diet and thats okay, to each his own!

As I have been on my super-strict AIP and Low FODMAP diet (I will call it a diet because I hope to be able to re-incorporate many paleo foods that are currently restricted once my gut has healed) I have missed having a treat now and again. So I set out on a mission to create something that I was able to eat that was egg-free, nut-free, sugar-free and etc. So I did some searching around and found this recipe for AIP banana bread on the “He won’t know its Paleo” blog and my problems were solved! I followed the recipe but left out the honey because I can’t have it, and in my opinion the banana is sweet enough!

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I also made the recipe using tapioca flour instead of arrowroot and it comes out pretty similar. I did recently read that tapioca can sometimes be mistaken for gluten in the gut, so if you are doing strict AIP like I am the arrowroot is likely a better option. Also if the dough seems to be too dry then you can add in a TB or two of unsweetened applesauce (if you aren’t worried about FODMAPs) or water. The dough will generally be on the thicker side but it should’t be stiff as a board 🙂

Once I make a batch of these delicious non-sweet treats I usually cut them into squares and individually wrap them and throw them in the freezer. That way when I am on the run I can easily grab one as a snack or defrost one for a treat after dinner. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Check out http://hewontknowitspaleo.com/category/blog-news/ for more great AIP recipes!