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Dark Chocolate Cranberry-Date Truffle

My original Dark Chocolate Date Truffle got me thinking of making another version. Something that had a little tart and sweet. This new version captured what I had in mind. I hope you enjoy thee as much as my family did.

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  • 7 Medjool dates
  • 1 c dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Add dates, cranberries, almond butter and cinnamon to food processor. Pulse until well combined.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out mixture and roll into balls. Place on a sheet pan lined with either a silicone mat or wax paper.

In a small bowl melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds; stir. Repeat. Remove bowl from microwave; stir well.

Place 2 date-cranberry balls into the melted chocolate and turn to coat. Lift out of bowl letting the excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Place truffle back onto silicone mat/wax paper. Repeat with remaining truffles.

Freeze for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and transfer to a container with lid. Store in the refrigerator.

Share. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Creamy Southwestern Chicken Soup

I was inspired to make this soup  because it actually got cold down here in Florida. Well, if you think 30 – 40 degrees is chilly. That is a bit chilly for down here. I made this in the slow cooker. The house smelled so good. Serve this with a side salad and a biscuit and you are set.

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  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 onion, medium, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c each of red, yellow, orange peppers, diced
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked, chopped
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 5 dashes of fish sauce
  • 4 c chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 c cashew cream
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot
  • Feta, garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro, garnish

Place chicken breast in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season generously with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Layer onions, garlic, peppers and bacon. Season again with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fish sauce, chicken broth,  and cashew cream. Stir.  Spoon out 1 cup of liquid; add arrowroot and stir to make a slurry. Return slurry to slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve. Eat. Enjoy

 

 

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Fudgy Chocolate Cake

If I could eat chocolate every day I would be a happy girl. This is a fudgy chocolate cake. Two of my favorite things combined, chocolate and cake. Yum. The cake is such a surprise. It actually has butternut squash as the main ingredient. Nothing like sneaking in some veggies into a chocolate treat. It gives this fudgy cake moisture and some sweetness. I have had fudgy cakes that were so dense it was more fudge than cake. This delicious bite is the perfect combination, not too light or dense.

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  • 2 c uncooked butternut squash, peeled, diced
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c maple syrup
  • 2/3 c paleo all-purpose flour or GF All-purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/4 c raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 flax eggs, prepared
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • whipped coconut cream, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

In food processor add flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt to processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined.

Combine squash and water in microwavable bowl; cover. Microwave on high until squash is fork tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to food processor and blend until creamy; add vanilla extract. Pulse ingredients until they are combined.

In a small bowl combine almond butter, and chocolate, microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until all chocolate is melted. Pour chocolate into processor and pulse . Add vinegar and pulse until all ingredients are well combined.

Transfer chocolate mixture to 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

 

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Roasted Baby Potatoes

This is one of my family’s favorite kind of potatoes that I make. They take only about 20-25 minutes to make. I like them because they are easy, fast, and tasty.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Quarter potatoes.

In a large bowl toss potatoes, vegetable broth and seasoning to coat potatoes.

Place potatoes on prepared sheet pan (parchment paper or silicone mat).

Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Stir after 10 minutes.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Orange-Ginger Carrot Puree

This is my favorite carrot side dish. It has the perfect balance of orange and ginger. This recipe calls for roasting the carrots first. Roasting the carrots brings out the natural sugars and develops the flavor of the carrots.

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  • 1 lb. of baby carrots
  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 orange, zested and peeled
  • 3 tbsp of vegan butter (optional)
  • 2 tsp of raw honey agave

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place carrots in a large bowl. Add broth and seasoning. Toss carrots so they are well coated.

Spread carrots out on to a sheet pan in an even layer. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, or until carrots are easy to mash with a fork.

Add carrots,  vegan butter, orange zest, orange segments, and sweetener. Pulse until carrot mixture is a puree.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Dark Chocolate Date Truffles

I have not made these in a long time, and I do not know why. They are so delicious. They make you feel like you are cheating, but you are not. These are a wonderful treat and so easy to make. Just a little FYI – these are only 2 smart points each, if you are following weight watchers.

  • 14 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Add dates, almond butter and cinnamon to food processor. Pulse until well combined. Use a tablespoon to scoop out mixture and roll into balls. Place on a sheet pan lined with either a silicone mat or wax paper.

In a small bowl melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Repeat. Remove bowl from microwave, stir well. Place 2 date balls into the melted chocolate and turn to coat. Lift out of bowl letting the excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Place truffle back onto silicone mat, wax paper. Repeat with remaining truffles. Freeze for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and transfer to a container with lid. Store in the refrigerator. Eat. Share. Enjoy.

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Meat Sauce

I had forgotten how good this smells when this is on the stove for a low simmer. Low and slow is what makes this so good. It lets the flavors meld and develop. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so use what you need today and freeze the remainder for another night.

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Mediterranean Seasoning
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 32.5 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 29 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • basil, garnish

In a large dutch oven over medium heat cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Sprinkle seasoning (about 1/2 – 1 tsp each time) over onion mixture. Add the ground beef and brown; when the ground beef is browned sprinkle more seasoning and stir. Let cook for about 2 minutes to develop the added seasoning.

Add the tomato paste and cook with the meat mixture. Work the paste into the ground beef, melding the flavors. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce; stir well. Add more seasoning, maple sugar and the bay leaves. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Serve over some vegetable noodles. Butternut squash noodles pair very nicely with the meat sauce. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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Blueberry-Almond Clafouti

I intended to make some blueberry muffins, but I had been wanting to make a clafouti for a couple of weeks. So the blueberries became a french dessert. Tasty.

Stir-ins:

  • 2 c blueberries
  • 2 tsp arrowroot

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c cashew cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 9 tbsp aquafaba (juice from canned chickpeas)whipped

Dry Ingredients:

Toppings:

  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch ceramic or glass pie plate.

Toss blueberries with arrowroot, spread in an even layer on bottom of prepared pie plate.

In a large mixing bowl whip aquafaba to stiff peaks.

Fold aquafaba into the cashew cream, vanilla and maple syrup.

Whisk together the flour, lemon zest, and sea salt.

Gently combine wet and dry ingredients.

Pour batter over blueberries and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until clafouti is puffy and golden, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes (center may sink). Sprinkle coconut sugar and slice into 8 pieces; serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped coconut cream.

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Beef Stew

I had been thinking about making beef stew for a few weeks. The trick to making this especially delicious is actually roasting it in the oven. The ingredient list may seem long; however, if you are cooking paleo you will probably have most of these in your pantry.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. beef sirloin tips, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb. baby carrots, 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 c celery
  • 1 1b. parsnips, peeled, cubed into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose seasoning, divided
  • 5-8 oz. white wine
  • 4 cups beef broth, 3 c/1 c
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot
  • parsley, garnish (optional)

In large ziplock bag add tapioca flour, 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning, and beef. Close bag, and shake so that the beef is well coated. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add beef to garlic and brown meat. Stir occasionally. When meat is browned add onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent.

Stir in tomato paste so that it is well incorporated with ingredients in the dutch oven. Add white wine, scraping the cooked bits off the bottom of the dutch oven. This is where lots of flavor will come out. Stir in 3 cups of beef broth. Cover dutch oven and transfer to oven.

Roast in oven for one hour stirring  occasionally; then test tenderness of vegetables. When they are almost to the tenderness you desire make a slurry with the remaining beef broth and the arrowroot. Pour slurry into stew and stir. Cook for another half hour.

Remove form oven, stir well and serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Meatloaf Muffins

I made these in an attempt to try portion control. It actually worked well. When these bake in the oven the kitchen smells so good. Add smashed potatoes and the roasted brussel sprouts and cranberries and you have a very filling meal.

  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 c onion, small dice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 2  egg yolks, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

This is a dump all together and mix with your hands kind of recipe. Really, that is all  you have to do.

I used a 12 well muffin pan. Fill each well with the meat mixture. All the meat mixture should fill all the wells perfectly.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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