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Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Green Beans

This is such a colorful and delicious plate. Roasting is my favorite way to cook veggies. One reason I like to roast veggies in the oven is because that enables me to multi task in the kitchen. I am able to slice, dice and prepare other foods while my veggies are roasting away. The other reason is that they turn out deliciously. Roasting caramelizes the veggies and enhances their flavors.

Rainbow carrots are my favorite type of carrot because they are so colorful, and each color of carrot has a different flavor. I like to think they have more bang for their buck. I served these with pan seared salmon. Delicious.

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  • 12 oz. rainbow carrots
  • 12 oz. green beans
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the carrots to about the same thickness as the green beans. This will ensure even cooking.

On a large baking sheet combine all the ingredients, stirring so that the veggies are well coated.

Roast veggies in oven for ten minutes. Stir, and then continue roasting for another ten minutes. Veggies should be tender with a little bite still. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Balsamic Syrup – Round I

This week I want to share with you how to transform one main meal into other meals for the future. There are some people who do not like leftovers, and there are others who like to just warm up the leftovers as is. I am in both groups depending on the mood. However, I do like a culinary challenge. This week my challenge is to see how I can transform one evening meal into one and maybe two others meals for later in the week.

My thought is to start with a Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin (This recipe is on my website) as my protein. I think a large sheet pan of veggies will go well with the tenderloin and give me many options for future meals.

I added a balsamic syrup drizzle to complement the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin. The balsamic syrup is very easy to make and it adds so much flavor. I have drizzled it on flatbreads, and I have another use for it in Round 2.

Balsamic Syrup

  • 1 c balsamic  vinegar

Reduce balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it is about half in volume. Reduce it down until it becomes a syrup consistency.

I put mine into a squeeze bottle and keep it handy for many of my dishes. the vinegar reduces down to a sweet and tangy condiment.

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Cucumber and Tomato Herb Salad

What I like about this salad is that it is fresh tasting, colorful and has a crunch. Down here in Florida we are in the height of our growing season. So while those up north are planning and preparing their gardens, we are enjoying ours now. It is wonderful. This is the easiest salad I think I’ve ever made. I served this with a pan seared chicken breast. Delicious.

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  • 1 cucumber, quartered, diced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 large basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 1/2 c creamy herb dressing/sauce

Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Creamy Herb Dressing/Sauce

I initially made this sauce to go with salmon patties. However, it has taken on a life of its own. This makes a nice dressing for a salad, dip for veggies, and even a marinade for chicken. It is very versatile. This has become a staple in my refrigerator.

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Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes. Store in a a 8oz. mason jar with lid. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Banana Date Cake

Here is another recipe for those overripe bananas. Let’s face it. You can only make so many banana breads. This makes one 8-inch round. You can double the recipe if you want to make a layer cake. For a brag worthy dessert, top cake with a drizzle of melted chocolate and some sliced almonds. Little whipped coconut cream would be sublime.

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  • 10 dried dates, pitted
  • 4 bananas, roasted
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c paleo all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 8-inch round cake pan.

Place bananas on a foil lined sheet pan. Pierce bananas with fork by 1-inch increments. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Place dates in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes to soften dates. Break up dates with a fork. Add bananas and mash both together; blending together but still keeping it chunky. Add maple syrup, applesauce, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk ingredients until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Place on cooling rack and let cool completely before removing from cake pan.

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips

Melt oil and chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. This takes about 30-45 seconds. Drizzle or spread on top of cake. Sprinkle some sliced almonds to add another element of texture.

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Black Bean Stew

This recipe is for my vegan friends. It has been a while since I made this dish. It is veggie packed, gluten free and delicious. This can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker. It smells so good either way you make it. This would be good with a slice of my focaccia bread.

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  • 1 c onions, diced
  • 1 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c red peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1-inch Kombu, thumb size
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 c. spinach, cut into strips
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • cashew cream, garnish, optional

In a large dutch oven over medium heat add the onions, carrots, celery, red peppers and garlic. Cook until veggies have softened. Add beans, vegetable broth, kombu, tomatoes and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Just before serving add cilantro and top with a dollop of cashew cream.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Yogurt Parfait

This is an anytime parfait – breakfast, snack, dessert. They are a fun and easy to assemble. You can vary your ingredients to what you have on hand and is fresh. I like to have a couple of jars of these in the refrigerator for a grab and go meal or snack.

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I like to make the bottom layer a jam, kind of like fruit on the bottom type yogurt. That is my husband’s favorite style. So I start with jam, them some yogurt. Top the yogurt with a combination of almond-date meal and some pecans.

Repeat the layers. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Paleo All-Purpose Flour

Here is the recipe for the paleo all-purpose flour I use for almost all my baking. I make a  large batch and store it in a gallon size mason jar. I make a large batch probably every week. Any of the recipes that call for paleo all-purpose flour, this is the one. I will also have it available for sale soon from my website for those that do not want to buy separate flours or do not have the time to mix it up yourself. Contact me through the website if you are interested.

Paleo All-Purpose Flour Blend

  • 3 c almond flour
  • 2 c tapioca flour
  • 1 c coconut flour

Combine all flour into a mixing bowl, mix until well combined. Transfer into a large container. Now you have grain free all-purpose flour. Bake. Eat. Enjoy.

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Strawberry Jam

It is strawberry season down here in Florida, and that is what inspired me to make strawberry jam. It is not hard to make fruit jams. However, it does take a little time. This would be a great project to do with your children. There are lots of teachable moments in the process. Also, they make wonderful personalized gifts.

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  • 9 1/2 c fresh strawberries, hulled, chopped
  • 1 c coconut sugar
  • 1 c water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 4 1/2 tbsp pectin

You will also need a large stock pot, canning jars with rings and lids. There are canning kits online that are inexpensive.

In a large dutch oven combine all ingredients are cook over medium heat. Cook until fruit is at the consistency you desire. Transfer to sterilized jars and lids. Do not tighten lids too tight before you put them into the water bath. You can tighten when the jars have cooled.

Place jars in a large stock pot with boiling water. This takes about 10 minutes. You can tell when the jars are ready when you touch the lids and they do not make a popping sound. Share. Spread. Enjoy.

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Pancakes

Here is another recipe that I am excited about. Pancakes. These might just become my favorite pancake recipe. So if you do not eat grains or gluten this recipe will make you happy. Pancakes are good for breakfast or breakfast for dinner. It is one of those comfort foods that you probably do not have very often, but now you can have it whenever you feel like.

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Whisk together dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Let rest while griddle or skillet is heating.

Lubricate griddle/skillet with cooking spray Pour out batter to desired size of pancakes. When bubbles form on pancakes it is time to flip the pancake over. Top with maybe some Blackberry Jam ,fruit or warm maple syrup.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.