Summer Strawberry Crumble (paleo, with a vegan option!)

Last week, it was crazy hot. Like, so hot, I considered experimenting if the whole frying-an-egg thing would work on my car.  (Just kidding, I’d rather die than put something like a raw egg on my car… you know that.)

But – it still got me thinking, is it unseasonably warm? Am I just old? Or, have I thrown out the concept of time for the last 12-15 months because the world’s structure and order was flipped upside down and I don’t remember what I was even doing last year? Probably all of the above.

If there’s one thing that really makes me think about summer, it’s strawberries. I… just love them. Sometimes when I was younger, on the last day of school, my mom would pick my sister and I up and take us to this local yard where you could pick strawberries, and that was when I knew it was summertime. Things were way more simple back then – I didn’t have to work, do much, or even really think. I was just kinda floating around like a somewhat-anxious-yet-carefree kid, picking strawberries.

Yesterday, I also was floating around shopping, wanting to be out-and-about, but not remembering what I typically do on a summer Sunday morning when not sequestered inside. Naturally, I went and bought some crystals, because why not? So after I picked out my assortment, I found one last one – I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I needed it.

I bought myself a little polished piece of strawberry quartz.

It’s not quite as soft pink as a rose quartz – and it definitely “felt” different in my hand. It most closely resembled a strawberry JellyBelly bean to me, with its little dark speckles, suspended inside like little strawberry seeds. After thinking about strawberries all weekend, I took this as a little nudge that the Universe needed me to have it.

One thing I like about quartz crystals is their universal solutions to common problems. Whatever Earth energy a precious gemstone can pull is unique in its own right – but I knew this one was special as soon as I held it. You may be familiar with clear quartz – known as a common “cleansing” stone, it serves as an empty (clear) vessel to absorb whatever negativity that may be lingering and allow you to replace it with more wholesome or loving thoughts.

Something like strawberry quartz is a bit more specific to me. It has the pink hue to it but isn’t quite as soft as a rose quartz – the stone most widely known for love, and the heart chakra. Strawberry quartz, with its complex color and formation, is a very rare type of quartz. Its “seeds” are flecks of hematite, so this one has a lot going on inside.

Strawberry quartz goes beyond any kind of basic attribute about love, or happiness. This one is known as a “finder” – it’ll point you to what you’re looking for if you need a little nudge. If you are looking for things like love, or happiness, or wisdom, this one ties into healing your thought process in pursuit of all of that, offering a better sense of clarity. As expected – this one is tied to the third eye chakra, but I really believe it also ties to the root chakra – getting to know yourself through your thoughts and your identity (which plays a huge part in trying to find love and happiness).

Having said that – I felt inspired to continue with my strawberry kick, so here is a delicious little recipe for a bright strawberry crumble, just in time for strawberry season. Go grab your baskets, pick some berries, and go eat!

Summer Strawberry Crumble (paleo, with a vegan option!)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 4-5 cups strawberries, roughly chopped with both smaller and larger pieces (strawberries have a lot of water – you don’t want them to totally breakdown into a puree while baking!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (just a dash for flavor depth!)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

For the Crumble

  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup steel cut oats (instant is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup of cold butter (real or vegan is fine), cubed
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix your filling ingredients together, carefully folding the strawberries together so they don’t become crushed.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together your crumble topping ingredients, pressing the cubes of butter into the oats, flour and flaxseed. 
  4. In a greased 8×8 baking dish (or smaller for a thicker), add your strawberries, spreading to an even layer.
  5. Next, sprinkle your topping evenly over the strawberries, ensuring it coats the whole strawberry mixture and the butter chunks are distributed evenly.
  6. Bake until bubbling and topping is golden brown. Remove from heat to let stand and cool for 5 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy!

-S

Teriyaki Ginger Turkey Meatballs (Paleo, Keto-friendly!)

Hey y’all. What’s poppin.

I don’t know if it was just an overwhelming need for a “break”, but I’ve had a renewed sense of “why the hell am I ignoring this blog when I love cooking, cook every day anyway, and need to document it”, so I am back.

If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve posted some stories here and there. Back in January, I had some house drama and I kind of fell off the blog wagon. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be a normal human again, socializing, going out to dinner, seeing friends, and sitting my derriere pool side. I suppose I haven’t made much time to be online, as that’s LITERALLY all I did for the last year…. But I’m back. Vaxxed, waxed, all the sass.

So, what’s so special about today? Well, considering from the fact that I am now a work orphan (my whole team has taken really amazing opportunities elsewhere within the organization, go team!), it made me think about how I need to really cultivate and leverage my skills. Professionally, sure – that’s one thing. However, I love sharing food, woo-woo spiritual stuff, and just my general weird self with you all.

Tonight is the new moon in Gemini – I find this particularly relevant, because my moon (when I was born) is in Gemini. I’m a Libra, my ascendant is in Pisces, everything is duality in my life.

Guess who hates ambiguity, “close calls”, and grey areas? Yeah, it’s me. I hate that shit.

So, back this new moon in Gemini. I treat new moons like a jumping off point into the next energetic window – what renewed feeling do you want to embrace? What do you want to reset? This one in particular though was also a solar eclipse. To put it in laymen’s terms, this window of renewal also removed our illumination temporarily, so eclipses can often feel like a point of total confusion and darkness. What better time to pull the plug and press the reset button when you can’t see shit? Just kidding.

However, I don’t see this window as a time of major action – just reevaluating. I know sometimes people like to do whatever rituals feel right during a new moon – which, by all means, please continue to do what makes your heart sing. However, when something like this happens alongside an eclipse, I think that pressing the reset button just requires a bit more thought and introspection. Let this “period of eclipsed darkness” kind of let your mind go where it needs to go.

A friendly reminder that not only the sun and moon are in Gemini today, but Mercury is also there too. And Mercury is in retrograde… so it’s alright if you’re feeling a little jacked up when trying to take some time to think about what you may want to re-evaluate, reset or renew. When the Sun and Mercury are together in the same sign, typically you get that happy, cheerful confidence around your own thoughts, but the retrograde adds a very real layer of confusion. The moral of the story – be chill during this time, things are really weird.

In other news, I made meatballs. I haven’t given a lot of thought to curating my recipes recently, so here’s a shitty picture of them. They taste good. I promise.

Teriyaki Ginger Turkey Meatballs (Paleo, Keto-friendly!)

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

Makes 12-15 meatballs

Ingredients

  • Ground turkey, kept as cold as possible
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped or minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • dash of fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Place back in fridge or freezer so that meat can cool, making it easier to handle (I buy Koch’s Ground Turkey from Harvest Market – it’s a bit “wet”, so it has to be cold to handle well).
  2. Roll into even meatballs. Place on a parchment or foil-lined/greased baking sheet, approx. 2-3 inches apart.
  3. Bake until starting to brown, about 20-25 min.
  4. Serve with sesame oil/soy sauce zoodles, your favorite teriyaki dipping sauce… heck, throw them in a bowl and eat em straight… I like to garnish mine with sliced scallions. They’re delicious. I missed together some miso, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and Vegenaise for a dipping sauce…. it was righteous.

Enjoy!

-S

Asian-Inspired Broccoli Cabbage Slaw (Paleo, Keto-Friendly, Vegan!)

I always say I’ll keep my momentum going with making posts and recipes to share, but often times I just get so busy that I completely forget. I love to make things, but in all honesty, a lot of what I make either doesn’t make the cut aesthetically, or I eat it before I even think to take a picture. You win some, you lose some.

 I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! Mine was small, but I did go to my parents’ house, against my better judgment. I was fine with eating alone, but decided that I would spend dinner with them, after we all decided that we had been sufficiently social distancing. Boy, was I wrong! COVID scare in the immediate family, and my test is scheduled for later today. Fortunately, they are asymptomatic and okay – fingers crossed that my test comes back negative, but I am quarantining for a few more days just to be sure.  It’s a bummer that I have to miss the farmers market today, but it’s in the interest of public good. Sigh.

So did anybody cook anything really interesting for Thanksgiving? I made a creamed corn recipe that is a hybrid of a fancy Epicurious recipe crossed with a sweet elderly lady named Millicent’s creamed corn. It was delicious. I ate the carbs. I enjoyed the carbs. I am over the carbs. To that end, I am only likely continuing my ketogenic adventures until the end of the year. I’m considering skipping Dry January, because it’s the one indulgence I can still have during COVID. We will see.

I made an Asian Slaw that I want to share with you all, so I guess that’s what I’m sharing. I have been all over the place, and I can’t go to the store until Monday 😦 (I know I could order food and have it delivered, but I’m very particular about feeling my avocados before I buy them) This was made a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely really tasty! Plus, it’s paleo, keto-friendly and vegan!

Asian-Inspired Broccoli Cabbage Slaw (Paleo, Keto-Friendly, Vegan!)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: n/a

Ingredients

  • 3 cups red cabbage, sliced very thin

  • 1/3 red onion, also sliced very thin

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small, bite-size florets

  • 1 large carrot, julienned

  • 1 large handful cilantro, chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 3-4 stalks of scallions, sliced thin/on a bias

  • For the dressing

    • ½ cup Vegenaise

    • 2 tbsp sesame oil

    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar

    • sweetener of your choice, just a pinch to take out the tartness – I used a ½ tsp of monkfruit sweetener, but you can use a tsp of honey or maple syrup

    • 1 tsp Tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos (may not need as much sweetener if using coconut aminos, FYI)

    • juice from ½ of a lime

  • Directions

    1. Mix together your salad ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, in a small bowl, mix together your dressing ingredients, whisking until emulsified.

    1. Combine dressing and salad ingredients. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

    1. Note – if kept overnight or in the fridge for a while, it may darken due to the soy sauce and red cabbage colors bleeding together. It’s still edible! I always have red cabbage in my fridge, so if it gets over-saturated, I freshen it up the next day with some fresh-sliced red cabbage. Of course, err in your best judgment, but I like to make my salads last 🙂

    Enjoy!

    -S

    Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins (PALEO!)

    It’s Friday. Fri-yay.

    I’ll excuse myself, now. JUST KIDDING!

    A reader (who am I kidding – a real life friend) sent me a DM that I never post desserts – and I really think that’s indicative of my eating habits. I really don’t often eat desserts. I never wanted birthday cakes, I don’t really crave chocolate and I never have sugary drinks. My recipes aren’t a direct reflection of my eating habits (I really don’t each this much bacon, I swear) but I do make things that I’m familiar with. I thought it’d be a good time to show y’all some muffins. If we can’t all sit together at a coffee shop and stare at one another while sipping spiced cider and lattes in our new sweaters and puffer vests surrounded by pumpkins and apples, muffins will do.

    There’s something really universal about muffins… I feel like they appeal to everyone. You have your breakfast muffin crowd, you have the let’s-put-fruit-in-everything crowd, you have the i-can-sneak-a-zucchini-in-here crowd… there’s a muffin for everyone. Personally, I hate surprises and I never want a surprise with my muffin, so this recipe really goes off of my universal muffin recipe base with some tweaks to keep things interesting. They’re paleo, use fresh fruits, and you can put whatever cocoa powder and chocolate you’d like in them. They freeze really well, and they don’t “taste gross and healthy” according to my step-dad, who hasn’t eaten anything dark and leafy green since 1986.

    Having said that, to all my sweet-tooth-dessert-loving friends, here’s a muffin. I promise there’s no bacon in it.

    Prep time: 10 min

    Cook time: 20 min

    Makes 12 muffins

    Ingredients

    • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup fresh raspberries
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (unflavored is also fine)
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin lightly with your preferred cooking fat.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Whisk in your egg, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk until smooth.
    3. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, mix your cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt and almond flour. Once your dry mixture is evenly mixed, slowly add to your wet mixture, combining until smooth.
    4. Lastly, gently fold your raspberries into the mixture, careful not to break or mash them up.
    5. Since almond flour doesn’t immediately absorb the liquids, I like to allow my batter to rest for about 5 minutes before moving it into my muffin tin.
    6. Once the mixture has absorbed a little, divide batter evenly among cups – the muffin cups should be about ¾ full so they don’t overflow and bake over the sides.
    7. Bake for 18-25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Check if they are done by sticking a knife or toothpick into a middle muffin – if it’s clean, they’re finished. Let cool, and serve!

    Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, spread a little ghee over them.

    Enjoy!

    -S

    The BEST Broccoli Salad (Vegan, with options!)

    Hello my friends.

    It’s Thursday, which means it’s almost Friday, which means it’s time to party! By myself.

    Mars retrograde began yesterday – just another exciting moment for 2020. We all know that when Mercury is in retrograde, things go haywire, people act weird…. But Mars is a different breed, only going retrograde about every two years. Mars is masculine energy – moving, aggressive, and intense. However, in retrograde, things just move and happen slower… and these next two months will prove to be frustrating in needing to have a lot of patience.

    Speaking of moving backward, since today is Thursday – it’s a throwback Thursday! Taking this recipe back from the past. I used to work as a sub shop as a teenager, down in the boonies of Landenberg. I made homemade chicken salad, deviled eggs, sandwiches.. and broccoli salad! I loved making this, but I haven’t had it in years. I made a few minor tweaks to keep it current, and above all else… vegan! Enjoy the last bits of warm weather with this side salad for your social-distancing BBQ.

    The BEST Broccoli Salad (Vegan, with options!)

    Prep time: 10 min

    Cook time: n/a

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into small, bite size florets
    • ½ cup dried cranberries
    • ½ of one small red onion, minced
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup of walnut pieces
    • 1 cup carrots, julienned
    • 1 cup vegan mayo, such as Vegenaise
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 heaping tbsp of coconut sugar, or 2 tsp maple syrup
    • 1 tsp celery seed

    Directions

    1. Whisk together mayo, sugar or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and celery seed in a small bowl. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
    2. In the meantime, combine broccoli, walnuts, green onions, cranberries, carrots and red onion in a large serving dish.
    3. Toss the dressing with the rest of the salad ingredients and stir. Allow to sit for at least 30 min to an hour prior to serving to allow the dressing to absorb.

    Enjoy!

    -S

    WHIPPED Coffee, aka “Dalgona” Coffee! (Paleo, Vegan)

    Hey y’all!

    As it turns out, all I needed was a little globally-enforced R&R to feel rejuvenated and start churning out the recipes again.

    I have been seeing a lot of videos and Facebook posts on this whole new “whipped coffee” trend. So… what am I to do with 16 hours of waking time in my house and nothing to do? I’m going to make the darned coffee.

    I found out that it’s an Indian/Pakistani tradition and was popular long before these quaran-times…. I don’t know how we never found out about this until now.

    No story time here, just going to give it to you straight. This recipe is PALEO! I’m doing my best to still eat healthy, but when there’s little else to do… I’ll eat whatever I’ve got. You can certainly sub this recipe out with regular granulated sugar, but it will definitely be sweeter. I drink my coffee black anyway, so I wanted minimal sweetness. The whole thing was different, I’d definitely try again!

    A disclaimer…. This would be SUPER hard without a hand mixer of some sort. I had to whip it for about 5 minutes, and I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t use real sugar, but if you’re doing this by hand, be prepared for a workout!

    Oh, and I also don’t recommend putting it in a champagne flute… but I didn’t want to waste any more almond milk than needed, gotta limit my trips to the store!

     

    WHIPPED Coffee, aka “Dalgona” Coffee! (Paleo, Vegan)

     

    Prep time: 10 min

    Cook time: n/a

    Serves 2

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp instant coffee
    • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (granulated regular sugar or really any other type will do just fine)
    • 2 tbsp very warm water
    • 8-10 oz piping hot almond milk (or other dairy/non dairy milk), or chilled with ice cubes if preferred

     

    Directions

    1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the coffee, sugar and water. Whip until you have semi-stiff peaks, somewhat close to egg whites. Set aside.
    2. Over stovetop or microwave, heat your milk to preferred temperature and pour desired amount into your coffee cup or mug. If using chilled milk, pour over ice cubes into your cup.
    3. Spoon your whipped mix overtop, and enjoy!

    -S

     

     

    Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits (with vegan options!)

    Hey everyone!

    So…. Last time I wrote, the world was normal, I was busy, and stuff was all status quo. Since then, a wild novel coronavirus has infiltrated every corner of the earth, I am stuck at home along with nearly 7.8 billion other people, watching Tiger King, praying I find toilet paper somewhere, and waiting for off-hours to log into my work computer because of network volumes. I am grateful to have a safe place to be, but I’d be lying if I said this was peaches and cream.

    I’ve had a LOT of time on my hands in the last 3 weeks…. So why wouldn’t I take the time to post about food!??!

    To be completely, honest, I’ve been down. I have been cooking a ton, but I haven’t been enjoying it all that much. I’ve felt guilty when I indulgently dump more shredded cheddar into a bowl (that I normally wouldn’t even eat), wondering if I should be more aware that I’ve still got a paycheck and should be more responsible with my resources. I go to the grocery store, holding my breath (literally) hoping that there’s vegetables there that I can think clearly enough to buy what I need and how to make it last so I’m not out and about, unnecessarily. I’ve left messes in my house, making me quite uncomfortable, so that I have “something to do” a few hours later in cleaning it up.

    But it’ll get better – I am alive, healthy (as far as I know, for now), and I have luxuries that I still need to be appreciative of. Having said that, I am going to try to continue posting recipes to my blog, but with more awareness that right now, we’re all just doing the best we can. They may not be paleo, they may not be vegan or gluten free, but hopefully it gives you some inspiration to pass some time and think of everything we do still have until we can all frolic around town like a Disney movie and hug the townspeople.

    If you have these things around and can tolerate a bit more lax of a diet, try out this treat for some normalcy, and to make friends with your quarantine buddies. Mine’s my dog, and she’ll eat anything….. but these will still please a picky eater!

    Also, pardon this crappy picture of biscuits. Resources are a little stressed, and I ate the rest of them…. 🙂

    *4/8/2020 note…. I just looked at my measurements, and they were super super wrong… like ‘worst typo ever’ wrong. Please see below for updated measurements!

    Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits! (with vegan options!)

     

    Prep time: 5 min

    Cook time: 15 min

    Makes 6-8 biscuits

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning, or a pinch more if you like zest
    • ½ cup cold salted butter (cut into cubes), plus ¼ cup melted butter – vegan butter is fine
    • 3/4 to 1 cup milk (non dairy is fine!)
    • ¾ cup shredded cheddar (vegan is fine)
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh, or dried parsley

    (note: if you have Bisquick, you can swap the flour, baking powder, salt, cold salted butter and sugar for 2 cups of Bisquick and ¼ cup of melted butter)

     

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. Pour the flour, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, and 1 tsp of Old Bay seasoning in a food processor, then add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is chopped into small pieces. If a food processor isn’t available, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly by hand, then mixing the butter in by hand, pressing the dry mix into the butter thoroughly. (If using Bisquick, mix the Bisquick in a bowl with the garlic powder, Old Bay and melted butter and stir).
    3. Next, pour in the milk and shredded cheddar, then mix to combine. The mixture should be easily breakable by hand, somewhat sticky, neither runny or dry and crumbly. Add more flour or milk (or Bisquick) accordingly to achieve this consistency, if needed.
    4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease a foil-lined sheet. Use a scoop to place even portions of biscuit  (approximately 1/3 cup) batter onto the baking sheets, two inches apart.
    5. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
    6. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining melted butter and parsley together for the biscuit tops. Once the biscuits come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter.

     

    Enjoy!

    -S

    Authentic Maryland-style Crab Cake, but Paleo!

    Alright y’all, I’ve been newly inspired.

    This past weekend, I felt compelled to go buy a pound of jumbo lump crab meat. Why, you ask? Because apparently my greatest indulgences happen at the grocery store. I live a wildly dangerous life.

    Anyway, I had been menu-surfing restaurants out of town for an upcoming work trip (does everyone do this?) and I came across a very seafood-centric restaurant that had what looked like the most beautifully made crab cake, ever. I love seafood, but I am particularly…. particular… when it comes to crab cakes. I grew up in the Mid Atlantic – we’re blessed to be a short drive from the beach, whether it be New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland or the Chesapeake Bay.  Having said that, I’ve grown up to be a bit more  discerning with my seafood sources than someone that doesn’t live near water. (Shameless unpaid plug – if you want the best crab cake on the east coast, Woody’s in North East, MD has it, hands down. Not even up for debate).

    So this whole “being-around-Maryland” thing. I have a deep appreciation for the price of crab meat, after actually knowing what it takes to pick enough jumbo lump meat to fill a container. I was probably 17, visiting OCMD for the White Marlin Open that year. At the marina, this petite elderly woman sat in a chair at the end of the dock – we had time to kill, so we stood near her as she picked at the crab with the thimbles on her thumbs and tossed the shells aside. She asked us if we had any good crab recipes, and if we didn’t, did we want one? Without hesitation, she summoned me to find a paper to write her recipe down – I grabbed a Walmart receipt out of my pocket and scribbled it down. I’ll tell you – that recipe is THE ONLY crab cake recipe I’ll ever want to know. It’s indulgent but not heavy, and it will please even the snobbiest of crab-cake connoisseurs.

    For a friend with gluten-free needs, I adjusted the recipe and I have to say – it turned out fab. A few more paleo-friendly tweaks and it still turned out really well. I thought I’d share. You can cook them a few different ways – I normally bake mine (so they stay nice and tall and round), but they’re pictured pan-fried. You can make smaller portions for an hors d‘oeuvres, or larger for a dinner. Enjoy!

     

    Authentic Maryland-style Crab Cake, but Paleo!

     

    Prep time: 15 min

    Cook time: 15 min

    Makes 6-8 crab cakes, or 15-18 small bites

     

    Ingredients

    • 16 oz jumbo lump crab meat
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup paleo-friendly mayonnaise, such as Primal Kitchen
    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
    • Pinch of Fines Herbs seasoning, or dried parsley
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1tsp Grey Poupon (I only use this brand!)
    • 1 tsp paleo Steak or Worcestershire Sauce (I love Primal Kitchen’s Steak Sauce for this)
    • ~1tbsp ghee (or salted butter, if not strict Paleo)
    • Pinch of salt (optional, if making with ghee)

     

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or if using foil, grease your pan with spray or butter.
    2. In a small bowl, pick through the crabmeat to ensure there are no shells.
    3. In a separate, medium sized bowl, whisk your egg. Add your mayonnaise, continuing to combine.
    4. Next, add your breadcrumbs, old bay, herbs and garlic powder, and stir thoroughly. Add your Dijon and Worcestershire, and stir until combined. Lastly, add your crabmeat and gently stir in, careful not to break apart the lump meat.
    5. Form into 6-8 crab cakes, and space evenly (2-3 in) apart on the baking sheet. If using ghee, melt and add pinch of salt, drizzling a bit over each crab cake. If using butter, add a very thin pat of salted butter to the top to make a nice golden crust.
    6. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown.

     

    Enjoy!

    -S

    Roasted Dijon Winter Vegetable Medley with Pancetta (Paleo!)

    Hello all, and happy 2020. 

    I’ve been… for lack of a better word, dormant, so far this winter. I’ve been physically tired, trying to do a lot all at once, have been trying to balance work with fitting in time to cook, and that’s always really hard around the holidays. There was DEFINITELY not a shortage of food, which would be the reason for my favorite jeans being a bit tighter than my preference…. Hoping that with some water, more exercise and more sleep I’ll be back to my old self.

    It’s been a whirlwind of a month so far, too. Out in the world there’s some whack shit goin’ down…. Plus we had a full moon that I swear made people turn into wild animals. I was talking with a friend about how this particular moon happened to coincide with a lot of feelings of anxiety, unrest and just general discontentment. I don’t like to feel stagnant – and I think that’s just what I’ve been feeling. I have a few goals, not New Year’s resolutions – I want these to carry on indefinitely, not just for the first six weeks. Although, I am doing Dry January and for those of you that love your red wine the way I do…. It’s been less than stellar but I’m getting by.

    Goal #1 – get myself back to my best physical state. I don’t mean crash dieting, “getting thin”, etc. I’ve always been fairly thin, but I want my body to reflect how hard I’ve worked, and I want to feel my best. I dropped the ball at the end of last year…. I plan to continue lifting, and I signed back up for unlimited monthly yoga. My  first hot yoga class of the year was last night, and it was HARD.

    Goal #2 – speaking of yoga, I want to take my practice more seriously. I want to be able to handle intense strength movement, and I plan to build upon that. Maybe a few new pairs of tights will be a good incentive.

    Goal #3 – indulge in less wine. I’ve cut out all wine for the month of January, which is surprisingly a lot harder than I thought. In noticing this, I realized that my social drinking on weekends crept into a glass with dinner, which turned into one with and one after dinner, which became a lot more frequent that I ultimately want. Learning what is moderation for me and sticking to it will be most important.

    Goal #4 – make time for mental clarity. This one is big. My self-proclaimed title as a workaholic is not a humble brag, or any badge of honor. In fact, I often feel shame if I am not working as much as I can – like somehow, I’m Less-Than if I’m not burning the candle at both ends. I don’t like to sit still, be idle, or not have a mental inventory of accomplishments that I can draw from to make sure I’m “still working hard enough”. What’s that even mean, anyway? Working “hard” enough? I’m an accomplished professional, I work long hours… I’ve had at least 2 jobs since I was 10, why am I still trying to check a box? Feeling burnt out already at my age is probably not a sign of good trajectory here, so I plan to take more Me-Time without the shame. I’m giving myself permission to bum it every now and again. 

    Goal #5 – lower my expectations. Being realistic, optimistic, pessimistic… those are all still expectations. 2019 was a hard year – I went in feeling like it would be my best year yet, and it was far from it. I’m going into 2020 with the intent to be happy – however that looks, I’ll know in 12 months. Expecting things to go a certain way will set me up for disappointment, which I am not trying to fall into.

    I think these are pretty realistic goals…they happen to coincide with the new year, but there’s something icky about calling them New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe it’s the idea that a new year must mean huge changes, and anything less than that means you’re falling short. I’m over that crap, I don’t want to go on thinking I’m failing some sort of test.

    I’ve held on to this recipe for a while, and it’s actually really simple… just makes for a really nice combo for your winter meals. Enjoy!

     

    Roasted Dijon Winter Vegetable Medley with Pancetta (Paleo)

     

    Prep time: 15 min

    Cook time: 45 min

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
    • 1 large shallot, sliced but left in larger pieces
    • 2 cups fresh butternut squash, cubed
    • 1 cup fresh parsnip, peeled and cubed
    • 2/3 cup pancetta, diced
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the sauce:
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp dijon
    • ½ tsp paprika
    • Pinch of coconut sugar (to cut the acidity of the dijon)

     

    Directions

    1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add your shallot and pancetta. Sauté 8-10 minutes, until shallots and pancetta are somewhat brown – then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving remaining fat behind in the pan.
    1. Still at medium high heat, add your squash, parsnip and brussels, ensuring as many pieces are in contact with the bottom of the pan to crisp. Cover with a lid – this allows steam build up so that the vegetables can cook a bit faster. Stir occasionally – you don’t want the pieces to break apart, but you want them to thoroughly brown on all sides.
    2. Allow to sauté for about 10-12 minutes covered – once things are starting to brown, turn your heat down to medium low and continue to sauté uncovered and allow to crisp for another 20-25 min.. Season with salt and pepper, only stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as needed.
    1. Meanwhile, whisk together your sauce ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified. Set aside.
    1. Checking back with the vegetables, they should have started to caramelize – stir to ensure consistent exposure to the bottom of the pan. Add your pancetta and shallot back, continuing to gently mix. Add your sauce, drizzling over the contents of the pan, gently mixing.
    1. Remove from heat and serve. Delish 🙂

     

    -S

    Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Paleo!)

    It’s September!

    ‘Tis the season to no longer be ashamed of my basic love for all things PUMPKIN. And carbs. And SWEATERS. Apples! Crunchy leaves to step on when walking my dog! I have to stop here, I’m getting too overwhelmed.

    This weekend is the annual Mushroom Festival here in little ol’ Kennett Square. Here, you can find all things mushroom-related: décor, food, games, everything. I’ve been a lifelong spectator of the festival, but I’m extra excited for this year! I didn’t go into too much detail the last time I mentioned it, but I will be competing in the annual Amateur Mushroom Cook-off. This year’s special ingredient is Scaramuzza’s pasta – I will be making sage, pancetta and mushroom gnocchi in a garlic cream sauce. Definitely not paleo, gluten free, dairy free, or anything remotely *healthy*,  but it’s really tasty and I’m excited to make it! My first step to being on the Food Network…. hahaha. But no, really. Someone reading this, help me make that happen.

    After taking a long weekend and having a lot more time to make some recipe ideas for you all, I’ve turned out a LOT of fall stuff. I’m going to make this quick so we can cut to the chase and get on to talking about food. This is a nice variation of something similar I’ve made before, but it’s SUPER easy to make and freeze to save for later. I wrap them individually in foil or wax paper, defrost it overnight and take one on my way to work. These are nice because they stay nice and moist – they pretty much never go stale… they are what my neighbor’s kids refer to as “wet muffins”. It’s innocent because a four-year-old says it, so I’ll stick with it.

    Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Paleo!)

    Prep time: 10 min

    Cook time: 25 min

    Makes 12 muffins

    Ingredients

    • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
    • 1 fuji or gala apple, core removed – peeled and diced
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/8 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (unflavored is also fine)
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground allspice
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your muffin tin lightly with your preferred cooking fat.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Whisk in your apple, egg, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk until smooth.
    3. Next, mix in your cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, sea salt and almond flour.
    4. Since almond flour doesn’t immediately absorb the liquids, I like to allow my batter to rest for about 5 minutes before moving it into my muffin tin.
    5. Once the mixture has absorbed a little, divide batter evenly among cups – the muffin cups should be about ¾ full so they don’t overflow and bake over the sides.
    6. Bake for 18-25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Check if they are done by sticking a knife or toothpick into a middle muffin – if it’s clean, they’re finished. Let cool, and serve!

    Optional: if you’re feeling extra indulgent, spread a little ghee over them.

    Enjoy!

    -S