Paleo Pumpkin Banana Walnut Muffins

I should be slapped on the hand for my level of inconsistency with these posts –  Particularly as it relates to this one, as this muffin recipe is requested by the hubby on at LEAST a weekly basis!  I very much enjoy them, too, of course 🙂

I found this recipe awhile back – I would say, around October/November or so – when pumpkin was the hot ingredient of the moment.  But when the cans of pumpkin slowly began to diminish in stock at my local Trader Joes, I knew drastic measures needed to be taken.  I wound up stocking up in bulk on cans through my good friend, Amazon.com.  That’s about the only ingredient in the mix that carries a bit of a seasonal tone.  Granted, you could substitute something just as tasty (or perhaps even omit, adding an extra banana or 2); but something just seems lacking without it, in my humble opinion! Yum pumpkin.

Onward muffins…

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chopped walnuts, or any other nut (optional)
Unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Blueberries (optional)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 F
  • Grease muffin tins, as needed, with olive oil (this recipe will make 12 muffins)
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon).  Stir to mix ingredients evenly and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mash-up the banana with a fork.
  • Add the eggs to the mashed banana. Stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining wet ingredients to the egg/banana mixture (canned pumpkin, raw honey, almond butter, vanilla extract).  Stir well to combine.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients.
  • Stir until the dry and wet ingredients are well-incorporated.
  • Add a handful of chopped walnuts, unsweetened coconut, blueberries, or any other desired accessory (or not!).  Give a few stirs to evenly distribute these ingredients throughout the batter.
  • With a spoon, evenly distribute the batter into the 12 greased muffin tins.
  • Optional: top each muffin with a couple pecan halves or sliced almonds, for aesthetic value!
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 18 minutes
  • Let cool in the tins about 10 minutes.  Then, remove from tins by first gently circling the muffin with a knife in order to loosen the muffin out.

Tips:
-Store in refrigerator for longer-lasting muffins
-To reheat, nuke for about 20-30 seconds

Broccoli, Sausage & Egg Muffins

I stumbled upon this recipe over the weekend and thought I’d give it a try! I just modified a few minor details to ensure a Paleo diet quality.

The main component of our breakfasts are eggs, typically either frittata-style, (which is easy for advanced prep, and a few days’ worth of reheatable breakfasts); or simply scrambling up some eggs with whatever veggies and pre-cooked meats happen to be in the fridge on that morning’s occasion.  I thought these muffins would be a nice change in the rotation on the pre-cooked breakfast front, so I gave them a try! Plus – they’re kind of cute, these little muffins…don’t you think?

So onto packing those tins!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground sausage (pre-seasoned, or self-seasoned: I like to season my own & make spicy! Plus, that way I know exactly what’s going into the sausage on the seasoning-front)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Olive oil for greasing muffin tins

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 F
  • In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the sausage until it is browned, no pink remaining (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in the broccoli florets. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the coconut milk & baking powder, and continue to whisk to combine.
  • Season with a little salt & pepper, and add red pepper flakes to your liking.  Whisk again to combine.
  • Lightly spray or coat a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil.
  • Spoon in the sausage & broccoli mix evenly amongst each of the 12 cups.
  • Ladle the egg mixture over the sausage & broccoli.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes

* To re-heat, I put 4 muffins in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes.

Since there are only two of us in the household, and because my honest intention is to have ready-to-heat-up muffins at my fingertips for a few days (2 muffins per serving); I would suggest storing them by wrapping them in aluminum foil or putting in a sealed container for the fridge.  At first, I just tossed them into a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag, but it got a little condensation in it (not that it mattered in the least bit after reheating…I simply didn’t like reaching my hand into dampness to retrieve!).

Store to your pleasure and enjoy!

Coconut Flour Paleo Waffles and Pancakes

Well, I have had a bit of a writer’s block lately.  Or perhaps it has more to do with having less time (at least in the evenings) for cooking up new creations.  But nonetheless, I’m still here, whipping up a delicious storm! Believe.

I should add that, over time, I have slowly made the migration over to the Paleo “Lifestyle” from that of the “Four Hour Body.”  Four Hour is very much still the driver behind these recipes – they are similar enough.  Really – I would describe it as with the allowance for a few extra ingredients in the Paleo-food world (i.e., sweet potato; raw honey; a touch of fruit, namely bananas and berries).  I still use beans from time to time (hardy is as chili does!), but as such, I will do my best to classify these recipes as accordingly as possible!

That being said, a new breakfast treat I’ve enjoyed cooking for the hubby and myself on the weekends lately (weekends = when I actually have the time in the morning to cook from scratch!), are Paleo Waffles.  Or Paleo pancakes.  Batter is one in the same, of course.  Waffles are just so much cooler, in my opinion.

I had tried a few different recipes for Paleo pancakes through general internet recipe browsing, and finally found one that actually tasted good enough to bother with making a Paleo-style pancake.  They had the right consistency, fluffiness, and stuck together just right.  You can find the recipe here, or below.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Coconut oil for greasing waffle iron or griddle/pan
  • Blueberries (optional)
  • Walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  • If making waffles, grease the waffle grid and allow the waffle iron to heat up.
  • If making pancakes, preheat pan or griddle over medium-low heat.
  • Beat eggs in a stand mixer until frothy.  Mix in coconut milk, vanilla, and honey.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon; stir together to combine.
  • Combine dry mixture with wet in the stand mixer and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium to medium-high for another minute or two, until the dry ingredients are completely mixed into the batter.Once your batter is complete, add desired amount of blueberries and walnuts, and stir into the batter gently to distribute evenly.
  • If making waffles, spoon several scoops of batter in the center of the waffle iron and cook to desired completion
  • If making pancakes, pour batter into discs that are 3 inches in diameter – cook for about 3 minutes on one side, flip, then cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • Then I strongly encourage you to stack ’em high.

Jalapeno Cheddar Quiche with a Butternut Squash Crust


A quiche treat! My husband came across this recipe on the web, and we were both pretty eager to try it out.  Now, I’ll admit it…I do have a fault of being a bit too much of a stickler when it comes to the 4-HB rules; so, at first, I was a little wary of the small amount of cheddar cheese involved in the recipe.  But these things are fine on the occasion; and if you’re going to use cheese, sharp cheddar is one of the best choices!

All hesitations aside, we prepared this quiche and had a slice with our dinner that evening.  It was rich and delicious! Seriously.  So much flavor! And suffice it to say, I am impressed with how well butternut squash slices worked to make the crust at the bottom.  I think this method just might be featured in several other food creations in the very near future.

Here’s to melt-in-your mouth eggy goodness:

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash (you’ll use half)
Coconut oil or EVOO (for greasing pie pan)
5 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 jalapenos or serano peppers

Directions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
  • Roast the jalapenos or seranos in the part of the oven closest to the heat source.  After about 3 minutes, turn the peppers over and continue roasting for another 3 minutes.  The sides of the peppers will become slightly blackened.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cooled, peel off the outer skin and scrape out the seeds.  Discard the skin, seeds, and the stem.  Finely dice the remaining peppers and set aside.

  • Peel off the thick outer skin of the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife (the skin will be tough!).  Slice off the squash ends and discard with peel.
  • Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the squash into very thin rounds.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of a pie pan with coconut oil or olive oil and place butternut squash rounds in the bottom of the pan, and up along the sides.  For the sides, you may need to slice the rounds into halves to fit.

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms and saute until softened, and onions translucent.  Pull off of the heat source and set to the side.

Husband sauteeing up a storm.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with the coconut milk.  Add the cheddar cheese and whisk again.  Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms to the bowl, along with the peppers.  Stir to combine.

  • Pour filling into the butternut squash-lined pie pan. 
  • With oil, lightly brush the exposed edges of the butternut squash.

  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes (I would recommend placing the pie dish on a baking pan in the case of overflowing).  If an inserted knife comes out clean, it is finished!
  • Finally, allow the quiche to cool.  Then…slice and serve!

Breakfast Frittata

Slow Carb Frittata

Ah, a glorious way to start the day, indeed! I have to confess – I find that scrambled eggs loaded with veggies galore would be hard for me to become tired of (although I’m sure some will beg to differ).  But eggs are such a delicious, easy way to pack the protein in big time in the AM.  Needless to say, some mornings…you just don’t want to rush to get that first meal in your first 30/45 minutes out of bed, by pulling out the frying pan, oil method, and chopping up some additional veggies.  That’s a lot to think about while still in a fog.  I welcome, to your ovens, a yummy, easy, time efficient solution.  So easy.  No cooking professionalism needed, my friends.

Now, let’s get to the details:

Ingredients:
8 eggs
Vegetables (12 oz. or more/less)
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced (approx. 3.5-4 oz.) – (Trader Joe’s pre-cooked “Just Chicken” is a fast, convenient solution to add’l cooking)
1/2-2/3 cup of sliced almonds
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Beat eggs together, add salt & pepper
  • Add other ingredients, stir to combine
  • Pour into greased glass or other bakeware (I use a quiche dish) – a light, yet thorough, brush of olive oil will do the grease job well
  • Bake for 45-55 min (test by inserting knife or toothpick – when it comes out clean, you’re done!)
  • Cool, cover, and refrigerate, and there you have it, breakfast that will last for several days! Just microwave a slice in the AM, and voila! Quick, easy, tasty breakfast.

Frittata slice and turkey bacon! mmmm

Details that you just might not care about – but here’s where I get crazy (or make things just a bit more exciting):
Please don’t be thrown off by the all-allusive “12oz vegetables”.  Easily said, throw in a 12 oz frozen (preferably thawed) package of broccoli or spinach.  Or, if you’re a spazz and ridiculously chop-happy like myself, my frittatas usually end up with a mix of all kinds of veggies.  Whatever’s in the fridge, really.  And no, I don’t really measure so much these days….I say, the more veggies the better for ya…but don’t overdo it, as the eggs and chicken are the stars of the show. This is really about high-time protein, after all; so you don’t really want to wind up with too much content for the pan.

My extra ingredients, give or take:
– Eggs – 8 eggs is standard; but I like to swap a few/half of those out for egg whites. Use whatever equation you’d like, and remember that egg whites account for less egg volume than a full egg and its yolk…so compensate for that accordingly.
– Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, a shake of dried basil
– My standard veggies tend to consist of: part broccoli, fresh shredded spinach leaves, jalapenos (i like it hot!), diced tomatoes, diced bell peppers, mushrooms…and so on.
– And…hey, why not add some salsa and/or hot sauce on top of your breakfast slice for extra zip!

Point of the personal add-ons?
My goal is to give you the basis for a good, convenient, time-efficient 4hb recipe; one which is easy enough for those who don’t do much cooking (at all), but also a recipe with PLENTY of room for personal tastes/embellishments. Furthermore, one that can last for days, and cater to an easy 4hb morning start.  I like good flavor, personally (given the addition of whatever spices I decide to grab from the cabinet and a healthy dose of hot-spice). And yes, true; I did claim I could eat eggs every morning and not get tired of them….but you’ve got to throw some seasoning in there from time-to-time. You’ll thank yourself.

Finally:
I hope you enjoy.