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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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BBQ Chicken and Cauli-Rice

This dish is very tasty and can feed a crowd. No one will ever guess it is healthy. You can make it with or no heat. I made it with some heat. Okay, a little more than some heat, more like fire. Maybe next time a little less fire.

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  • 5 c roughly chopped cauliflower
  • avocado oil
  • 1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breast
  • smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 c Monterey jack, shredded, divided
  • 1/4 c BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan.

Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until reduced to rice-sized pieces.

Pound chicken to about 1/2-inch thickness. Season with smokey southwestern seasoning.

Drizzle avocado into a large skillet. Over medium heat cook chicken breast for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breast and set aside.

Add cauliflower, onion, garlic and orange pepper. Sprinkle veggies with seasoning. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.

Chop chicken and add  1/2 c cheese, BBQ sauce, cilantro; stir. Combine veggies with chicken mixture, stir. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.

 

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Chocolate Delights

This dessert is amazing. The chocolate cake is incredibly moist and the filling is luscious. If you feel like showing off your baking skills, this is the one for you.

There a few tools you will need for this recipe: a biscuit cutter, parchment paper, piping bag/ziplock bag.

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  • 2 c paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 2 c honey granules
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 heaping tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 c water, filtered
  • 1/2 c almond milk (see website)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an 18 x 13 inch sheet pan. Cut parchment to fit sheet pan. Grease sheet pan; place parchment on sheet pan and grease top of parchment. This ensure that cake will not stick to the pan.

In a food processor combine the flour, honey granules and salt. Pulse to combine.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the raw cacao to the butter and stir. Add water to cacao mixture mixture. Bring to a boil. Add cacao mixture to flour mixture and pulse.

Combine almond milk, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Pour into flour mixture mixture and pulse. Transfer batter to sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let the cake completely cool.

Cut circles out of the sheet cake with a biscuit cutter. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before you add the filling.

To make filling:

In a small saucepan, whisk the four into the milk and heat, stirring constantly until it is very thick. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and honey granules together until light and fluffy and their is no grittiness from the honey granules. This takes a little bit of time. Add the milk-flour mixture and whip until the filling is completely combined and light like whipped cream.

Fill a ziplock or piping bag with filling. If using ziplock snip a corner off to use like a piping bag. Since this is for the filling I just use the ziplock. Squeeze the frosting onto one circle of cake. Place a second circle on top, and if you like you can put a dollop of filling on top. Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Southwestern Shredded Pork Soup

I made this soup with the leftovers of the Pork Shoulder and Veggies from the other night. Instead of having the same thing from the other night I transformed this into a thick and hearty soup with a little kick. The kick is optional. There is a little prep-work, but it is totally worth the effort. You can either make this in a large dutch oven or a slow cooker. Either way you decide, it is delicious.

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  • Pork Shoulder and Veggie leftovers (see website)
  • 3 c chicken stock divided 1c/2c
  • 17.64 oz. tomato sauce (Pomi)
  • 26.46 oz. chopped tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 tbsp siracha (optional)
  • 1 lime, zested, save juice from half the lime
  • greek yogurt, optional garnish
  • cilantro, chopped, optional garnish

Separate pork shoulder from veggies. In a blender of food processor blend together veggies and 1 c chicken stock. This will make a thick creamy base for the soup. The blended potatoes and carrots is what gives the soup its creamy thick texture.

Transfer veggie mixture to either a dutch oven or slow cooker. Add 2 c of chicken stock , tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, southwestern seasoning, siracha, lime zest and lime juice.

Shredded pork and add to soup mixture. Stir. If cooking soup in dutch oven, cook over low heat, If using the slow cooker use the low setting. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder with Veggies

This is another one of those assemble ahead and let it cook when you are at work type of meals. It is nice to come home to your meal all done and ready to eat. This is especially nice if you have children involved in multiple activities. Also, this is so much better than grabbing drive-thru food. Have leftovers? Turn this into a shredded pork and veggie soup by adding some peppers and tomatoes.

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Pat dry pork shoulder with paper towels. Season pork shoulder with southwestern seasoning.

Heat avocado oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Brown all sides of the pork shoulder.

Layer chicken broth, carrots, potatoes and pork shoulder on top of veggies. Cook in slow cooker on low for 8 hours.Top with gremolata. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushrooms

I had intended to make my Sesame Beef and Broccoli dish, but it was chilly so I switched to this comforting dish. The entire meal took less than 25 minutes from start to finish. Nothing like a quick and comforting meal.

Using the tenderloin tips gives you a tender bite. However, if you want to use a less expensive meat cut you could do this recipe in a slow cooker. Just assemble in the morning and cook on low while you are at work. You will come home with a meal ready to eat and a house that smells divine.

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  • avocado oil
  • shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz.beef tenderloin tips
  • 8 oz. button mushroom
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 c beef broth

In a large dutch oven drizzle avocado oil over medium high heat. Add shallot, garlic, tenderloin tips and mushrooms. Cook until beef tips are done. Remove beef tips mixture and set aside. Add beef broth and lemon juice. reduce until broth has thickened into a sauce. Return beefs tips mixture and stir. Serve over pureed cauliflower and rainbow carrots. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Maple Drizzle

I found these carrots in the grocery and just had to get them. They are colorful and the flavors vary with each color. Roasting them adds another dimension to their flavor. A tiny drizzle of maple syrup makes it so yummy.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scatter carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable broth and sprinkle all-purpose seasoning. Stir carrots so that they are all coated and seasoned.

Roast for 20-25 minutes; stirring halfway through the roasting time. Remove from oven. Drizzle maple syrup on carrots and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Banana Bread

This banana bread is not like any other banana bread. The key difference in this bread is that you roast the bananas to bring out their natural sweetness. By roasting the bananas you are able to cut down on the sweetener for the recipe. Once you taste this bread it will be the only recipe you will need for banana bread. It is so good and yummy.

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  • 5 medium bananas – leave the peels on
  • 2 c paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Prick banana peels, about an inch apart. Roast bananas for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the bananas cool. The banana skins will look dark brown/black. Do not worry. This is supposed to happen. You will be discarding the peels.

In a food processor add all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger. Pulse until well combined.

Add eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, walnuts, and bananas. Pulse 2-3 times.

Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes. To prevent over browning cover loosely with foil for the last 14 minutes. Cooling pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Wrap and refrigerate. Slice. 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.