What happens when you buy a bag of apples and don’t get around to eating them because you’ve behaved naughtily and eaten snacks that you shouldn’t instead of the bag of apples? Applesauce happens. Easy, quick, warm, yummy applesauce.
- 6 apples (these were Jonamacs but I’ve used all kinds)
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp agave
- Peel and cut apples into chunks.
- Boil apples until you can pierce through with a knife.
- Drain apples and leave in pan.
- Mash apples until desired chunkiness (I like em big, I like em chunky – if you get that quote you win!).
- Mix in agave and cinnamon. Serve warm! Or cold. Enjoy!
I remember the marvelous Sundays of my childhood when we got home after church and could smell amazingness (spellcheck isn’t arguing that word hmm) in the oven. That smell promised a day of sweatpants and football and naps. Ahhhh. I’m sure everyone has their own idea of that smell. For me it was these five, scrumptious letters: G-R-A-V-Y. Yesss anything with thick, home-cooked, flavorful, gravy. In search for that same level of goodness and comfort, I came across this sweet and savory, Fall-ish creation.
3 Bone-on pork chops
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp Sage, dried
4 T Balsamic vinegar
2 T dijon mustard
4 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375, grease a pan with 2 T olive oil and place pork chops in pan.
- Whisk together garlic, sage, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt.
- Spoon or brush mixture over pork chops. Pour the rest into the pan.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked.
My desire for comfort food was on 10 so I paired my chops with mashed butternut squash (cooking directions similar to spaghetti squash here) and corn. No butter needed! It is a yummy alternative to gravy-soaked mashed potatoes!
This recipe was fast (30 min tops) and tasted incredible! I grilled some portabellos over the weekend and had one left. The only other things in the fridge were some lemons, bacon, and eggs. Boom, protein-filled dinner! I doubled the recipe for you below:
For the poached egg
4 fresh eggs, large
1 T vinegar (rice or white)
For the Hollandaise
Pinch of salt
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp vinegar
1.5 tsp hot water*
2 egg yolks
5 T butter
2 large portabello mushrooms
4 long slices bacon
- Prepare your mushrooms by removing the stem and scraping out the black gill thingys (don’t know the real name). Spray the mushrooms with oil (or wipe oil on with a paper towel) & sprinkle with salt. Broil bacon & mushrooms, skin side down for 5 min, flip everything, broil for another 4-5 min.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 T vinegar to the water & reduce heat. (The vinegar stops the water from boiling a little.)
- Crack eggs into a small bowl, then slip the eggs into the water, one at a time. Turn off the heat, cover the pot & let them cook for about 3-5 min. (I did 5 min and the yolks were soft, not runny.) Once they’re cooked, remove them from the water.
- Melt the butter in the microwave until frothy.
- In the blender: the 2 egg yolks, 1.5 tsp hot water (*from the saucepan is faster), pinch of salt, & 1.5 tsp vinegar. Put the blender on the lowest setting & let it blend for about 30 seconds until the mixture gets light in color.
- Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the blender as it blends, then let it blend for a few seconds longer. Add the lemon juice & let it blend for a few seconds. Shut off the blender.
- On your plate, top the mushrooms with bacon, then layer the poached eggs, and drizzle with the hollandaise. Eat!
One thing that happened once I went paleo was that my taste buds changed. I never used to have a sweet tooth but once I eliminated refined sugars from my diet, I started craving them like crazy! One quick solution I found was this chocolate bark recipe.
- 1/3 lb Chocolate (You can buy raw cacao nibs or 85% + cacao chocolate from a store)
- 2 T Coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 2/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Variations that I’ve tried: dried apricots, cinnamon dusted on top, small cooked bacon pieces, a sea salt dusting, dried pineapple.
- If you’re like me and don’t have a double boiler, grab a glass bowl and place the chocolate and coconut oil in it.
- Fill a saucepan about 1/2 full with water and place your glass bowl inside, burner on medium-high. The water will boil, causing the contents to melt. Add more coconut oil if the chocolate does not become somewhat runny (you want to be able to pour out the chocolate). Warning: this step can get messy!
- While the chocolate is melting, assemble your cranberries, almonds, and coconut flakes onto a sheet of foil.
- Once the chocolate is melted, simply pour it over the mixture on the foil. Some people like to leave it as-is and some blend it up. I blended it this time.
- Toss it into a plastic bag and then into the freezer for about 30 min or until it becomes hardened. Break it apart & store in the freezer for a quick little sweet snack!
The chocolate is so dark that a little goes a long way! I usually make up a big batch like this and I’ve kept it for 5-6 weeks…depending on the need for chocolate!
Let me preface this meal by saying that I am not the pairing queen when it comes to meals! I’m learning, but usually, I just put together things that I like (peas & spinach, corn & scrambled eggs, etc.). Pairing colors and flavors is an art; someday I’ll get there! This meal was one where the pair actually turned out well! (FYI, the chicken recipe is usually for wings but it worked well here.)
Honey Sriracha Chicken Ingredients (heads up – need to marinate):
- 8 chicken legs (skin on)
- 1/2 cup Sriracha
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- 2 T honey
- 2 tsp ginger root
- one pinch of salt
- 4 T melted butter
- Poke holes in the chicken with a fork & place into a plastic bag (or container) to marinate. If you’re nervous about the spicy factor, don’t poke holes!
- Mix up the ingredients (except the butter) and add to the bag of chicken for 8+ hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 375. Bake chicken for about 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Turn the oven up to broil. Melt the butter & drizzle over chicken.
- Let each side of the chicken broil for about 5-7 minutes, until it has a nice crisp skin.
Spinach Sweet Potato Salad Ingredients:
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 medium onions
- Olive or coconut oil
- 1 lemon (or lime)
- 1 – 6 oz. bag of spinach
- Preheat oven to 400-425.
- Peel & cut sweet potatoes into cubes. Chunk onions. Place into a dish to roast. Toss with oil.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.
- While roasting, place spinach into a casserole dish with a lid. Cut lemon in half & set aside.
- As soon as the veggies are done roasting, toss them over the spinach. Squeeze your lemon halves over the veggies & spinach & toss quickly. Place the lid on the dish & let sit for 5 minutes so that the spinach softens somewhat.
Put these two recipes together or mix and match with your favorites! I will definitely be making these a lot more in the future! Sweet & spicy, just like Midwest Chicks!
Believe me, hummus is easy to make! I’m not kidding. I always assumed people were lying when they said that. For example, my amazing coworker who makes the rest of the office drool with her homemade, completely amazing Iraqi hummus. I didn’t believe her (sorry Heba). But, after paying $5 for organic hummus, I decided it was time to try.
- 1 large head of garlic (I used one huge elephant clove. I really love garlic)
- 2 1/2 T olive oil, divided
- 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained (I used Meijer brand organics bc it didn’t have preservatives)
- 3T lemon juice (or 1 squeezed lemon)
- 3T tahini
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Pepper to taste
- 2 – 3 Tbsp water
Ok, set the oven to 400 and cut off the top of the garlic so that the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with 1.5 tsp olive oil, or whatever amount you need to roast it. Wrap up in foil & roast for around 30 minutes or until the garlic is golden.
While the garlic is roasting, grab your food processor and throw in the drained chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and cumin. Grind it up until it is kinda creamy.
Then add in the remaining 2T olive oil, roasted garlic, and water. Pulse until the mixture is good and creamy. Toss in some pepper until it tastes how you like it and BOOM! Homemade garlic hummus! I served it with fresh peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and celery.
Disclaimer: chick peas are not considered Paleo.