foxyolive

Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


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Sweet potato hash with eggs

When I first saw this Whole30 friendly recipe I knew that one day I would definitely make it!  I finally made it yesterday and it was so good.  I’m 6 days into my Whole30 and I’m doing great. Yesterday I definitely felt the need for more carbs though.  I made this delicious meal which was tasty and satisfying.  I had it with a big salad on the side.

Ingredients

1/2 sweet potato
1 large pinch of Himalayan sea salt
A few shakes of a mixed herb powder
1 tablespoon of fresh crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 egg (if you want)

Peel the sweet potato and shred it.  If you have a food processor then you can follow what nom nom paleo did.  If you don’t then you can use a spiralizer like I did.  It was a bit tricky, but once I got the hang of it the spiralizer worked great!  Put the shredded sweet potato into a mixing bowl and add the salt, herbs and garlic.  Use your hands to mix it up.  Feel free to change it up for your taste buds.  You can add pepper, chili flakes and various other herbs.  Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add your shredded yam.  I cooked it with the lid on for a few minutes until I could see the potato browning on the bottom layer.   On the side make an egg (I always use coconut oil to cook my eggs).  Eat while hot!

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Paleo carrot soup (using Vitamix)

I have been wanting to make soup for a really long time. I finally got around to it. The recipe is so simple – anyone can do it! I used elana’s pantry’s recipe as a base.

Ingredients

1lb of carrots
1 medium sized apple
1 medium sized onion
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 can of coconut milk (I used a 560ml can)

Directions

I followed a very similar process to Elana. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and chop the onion, carrots and apple into large chunks. Saute the onion, carrots and apple in coconut oil until tender. It took about 15 minutes for me to do this on medium heat. Add ginger to the saucepan and stir in. Put this mixture into your Vitamix and add the coconut milk. Puree the mixture.  I transferred the pureed mixture back to the saucepan and brought to boil.

I did not use chicken stock or water as per Elana’s recipe. Believe it or not I completely missed reading that line! My soup was very thick (tasty, but thick). Next time I’ll be adding water. I do not drink orange juice (google it – you might stop drinking it too!) and did not have any oranges to make my own juice so skipped using this too. Next time I’ll add homemade orange juice and see what happens.  I’ll also add some crunchy veggies like broccoli or celery.  I think it would really compliment the soup.

The soup is filling.  The recipe made about 5 cups of soup and lasted us a couple of days.  Enjoy!


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Cauliflower mash

I love mashed potatoes. It’s one of those foods that I can’t get enough of once I start. However, I eat limited potatoes these days. Also, I need to bring more vegetables into my diet. What better way to do that than by substituting potatoes with cauliflower, but still getting the feel of mash potato in the end?!

This recipe is inspired by Dianne Sanfilippo of balancedbites.com, and her loaded cauliflower mash recipe can be found here.  It was so good that I thought I was eating mashed potatoes!

Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Handful of fresh parsley
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Chop the cauliflower into 2 inch pieces (after removing the leaves).  Boil water (I used about 1 inch) and steam, covered, until cauliflower softens.  It took about 12 minutes for me.  This was the first time I was steaming vegetables and had to look up how you do it.  I ended up buying and using this – it was so easy!

While the cauliflower is steaming, prep all the other ingredients.  I don’t have a food processor so used my Vitamix.  I put the half onion in my Vitamix and turned it on.  It chopped/minced the onion in less than 5 seconds.  Heat the onions on low heat until it’s softened (use a bit of the coconut oil if needed).

Place the cooked onions, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, handful of parsely and pinch of Himalayan sea salt into the Vitamix.  Mix until the parsley has been chopped and the mixture has blended together.  Drain the cauliflower and add into the Vitamix (with the blended ingredients).  Mix everything together.  Use the Vitamix Tamper to stir.  Scoop out and serve!

Tips

I love parsley so I added a lot.  Add according to your taste.  I also love cilantro – I’ll make sure I have some on hand next time.  Diane added bacon and mushrooms too which I’m sure would taste fantastic.  I’m a big onion fan and there wasn’t enough for me – I”ll be adding more next time.

This recipe has great creamy texture and you can change ingredients every time you make it.  It’s a great staple, and it’s an awesome way to sneak in some veggies.


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Gluten free crackers

Gluten free crackers

It is near impossible for me to find delicious sugar free crackers (and I won’t eat sugar substitutes). Even when I have found sugar free crackers they tend to have non natural ingredients that I would like to eat less of whenever possible. A friend passed this recipe to me. They are so easy to make and so tasty! I can also see so many variations that can come from this recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed meal
4 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead until a dough forms. My dough was soft and sticky. I’m not sure if it was meant to be this way. I substituted soy milk (original recipe my friend gave) with almond milk so this may have done it. Either way the final product was really tasty. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the dough from the fridge and divide it (I chose to divide it into 4 sections). Place one section between two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to make the dough thin and into a paper-like sheet. My dough was still quite soft so this was easy for me to do. Before I rolled out my dough I made sure the parchment paper matched the size of my baking tray. Peel off one sheet of parchment paper and lay the other sheet with the dough in the baking tray. With a pizza cutter or knife slice up the dough into squares. Repeat with other sections. I had some leftover dough which I rolled into balls and baked too.

Place the trays in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Both sides will turn a lovely golden brown colour. My dough was very thin so if your dough is rolled out thicker then it may take a few more minutes to cook. Keep an eye on these every few minutes as they burn easily!

Tips
The chia seeds are optional, but they did add a really great flavour (not to mention the nutritional value). You can also add onion powder, oregano, cinnamon or even cayenne pepper. The possibilities are endless. If you’re baking with kids you could use cookie cutters to make some fun shapes. The crackers were tasty on their own, but I’m sure they would go well with many kinds of dips.

Be warned:
these crackers are just as addictive as the ones out the box – once you start it’s extremely hard to stop. Sometimes you just know when a recipe is going to become a regular in your home and this one will be visiting me often!


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Baked sweet potato fries

Baked sweet potato fries

Baked sweet potato fries

There are no words to describe much I love these! Having grown up in the UK I have always enjoyed my ‘jacket potatoes’ or, as we call them here in North America, baked potatoes. I discovered sweet potatoes last year. Yes, you heard me right – I had never had sweet potatoes – ever! A baked sweet potato is awesome. I am sure that one day I will expand my cooking with sweet potatoes, but for now I will continue to make baked sweet potatoes and this delicious simple recipe.

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other oil you would prefer)
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt (and/or any other topping you like: paprika, garam masala, cajun seasoning etc)

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Clean and slice the potato. I was not sure whether I wanted it with the skin or without the skin. So, I did half with and half without. Ensure that your potatoes are not too wet (this can cause soggy fries!). Put the sweet potato slices into a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and toss the slices. Once they are coated, add the salt and toss again. The ingredients are rough measurements. You want to make sure that all the fries are coated in oil (and not sittng in a pool of oil). The salt (and/or other toppings) should be as per your taste. Place the fries onto a baking sheet in a single layer. It’s very important to keep them in a single layer if you do not want them to be soggy. The oil they are coated in should prevent them from sticking. Keep in the oven for 30 minutes, turning once after about 15 minutes. However, keep an eye on your fries. Some of my smaller pieces were slightly burnt. Once the fries have browned they are ready.

It turned out that I enjoyed all the pieces. Overall the fries were not as crispy as I would like. Of course, the burnt pieces were crispy! I usually don’t like the burnt flavour, but with these I really didn’t mind them. It must be something to do with the sweet/burnt mix.

I made the fries again (I could only wait 2 days to have them again!). This time I sliced them up thinner hoping that would help make them crispier. They were slightly crispier, but not significantly enough for me to spend the extra time slicing them thinner. If you do slice them thinner then note that this will affect your baking time. It took less than 25 minutes for them to be cooked the second time around.

They are always crispy when I have them in a restaurant. However, I know that this is because they are coated. Maybe I will try a gluten free coating one of these days. I’ve also read that the skin of potatoes is harder to digest so in future I might just stick with skinless fries.

I am not a ‘fries gal’. They never did much for me and I have never craved them.  However, I enjoyed these – I am a ‘sweet potato fries gal’. 🙂 If you have never had sweet potato then now is your time to try!


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Paleo chicken bites

Chicken bites

Chicken bites

I get easily bored and so I am always on the lookout for new recipes. I love chicken nuggets and so this recipe stood out to me and inspired me for dinner tonight.

I used the suggested ingredients:

  • 2 lb chicken breast sliced into 1″ chunks ( I used just over 2lbs)
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • Coconut oil for frying

I tried to follow the process as closely as possible.  I copied the process from here on Primal Palate and have adjusted the wording to match what I did:

  1. Place the 1″ chicken chunks in glass container and add the pickle juice; marinate in the fridge for an hour (up to 4 hours).
  2. Pour out any excess pickle juice. It does not have to be perfectly drained, just not totally juicy.
  3. Mix together the egg and the coconut milk.  Add the mixture to the chicken and let sit for five minutes.
  4. Pour out the excess liquid, if there is any. Texture is important at this point – the pieces should be wet but not swimming in a soup of pickle/egg/creamy goodness.
  5. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the chicken mix.  I used a wooden spoon to do this.
  6. Heat coconut oil in your pan.  I coated the bottom of my pan with coconut oil – enough for it to bubble when I added my chicken pieces.
  7. Fry the chicken pieces in coconut oil, flipping every few minutes, until nice and golden brown. It should take about 6 to 8 minutes per batch.  I put them in a single layer in my pan.  I have a big pan (yay!) so I did all the pieces in 2 batches.
  8. Drain the chicken pieces on paper towels as you cook the next batch.   I put a couple of layers of paper towels on a plate and put my cooked chicken pieces on that.

Did I enjoy it?

Yes, and my husband liked them too 🙂  They were not quite the chicken nuggets I know and love (so I call them chicken bites), but they are a great dish when I’m looking for something different.  The best part was that the pieces were so juicy and succulent.  Chicken tends to dry out when I cook it, but not this time!  Maybe this was due to the pickle juice – using that was a first for me!

I think I would enjoy them with a bit more of a kick so will be adding more cayenne pepper next time (maybe even some red chilli!).  I’ll also experiment with different spices to change it up.  I found that some of my pieces stayed coated in the mix and so they had a crispy shell, and others were not crispy (but just as tasty!).  I preferred the crispy pieces – maybe I’ll get better with practice, or maybe I just need more coconut oil.

If you’re looking to try something different with chicken then I would give this recipe a shot!