easy paleo recipes

Lamb Meatballs with Dill Dip

lambdinner

 

It’s about time I post this recipe. I must have made these meatballs about 4 times in the past month alone.  My sister made these Aromatic Lamb Meatballs by Nigella Lawson while I was visiting her one day and they were the bomb. So, of course, I decided to change up the recipe and make my own Paleo version with an optional side of dairy goodness. This whole meal pictured above took me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make, veggies, dip, and all included. If it was just the dip and meatballs it would have taken me under an hour. I served it with cooked frozen spinach (quick and cheap) mixed with grass-fed butter, s&p. And asparagus that was on sale at Weis, rubbed in oil, granulated garlic, s&p, then broiled on high for 8-10 minutes.

Switching gears here, I’m going to share a short, sweet, and random story. I recently went to one of my best friends birthday dinners and one of the ladies in the dinner group told me she’s a fan of my food blog and asked about how I got into the Paleo diet, how I got into cooking, and so on. Let me just say, I LOVE when anyone asks me this. I will save the whole story of how I started the Paleo diet for another post. But I must say, instances like this remind me of why I started this blog and why I’m sharing my recipes. So, this is a big thank you to that person. It’s a great motivation to keep posting and keep up with this blog. Thank you! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

Makes about 15-17, 1.5 inch meatballs

1lb ground lamb

1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion

3 tablespoons almond flour (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

Yogurt Dip:

2% or whole Fage Greek Yogurt-Whole is best

lemon juice

fresh dill, chopped

Granulated garlic

salt & pepper

*all of these ingredients don’t have measurements because I taste as I add them until I get the right balance. I advise starting by adding 1/2 teaspoon of s&p and garlic, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped dill. Then taste and add more of each as you feel it needs. Taste as you go, only add a little at a time. I have extra pics below to give a better idea of what the final dip looked like.

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Form mixture into 1.5 inch balls (about the size of golf balls) The mixture will be pretty sticky.

2. Bake meatballs for 25-28 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

3. While the meatballs cook, make your dip. Grab your container of Fage (I had a medium size tub, refer to pics below) and mix it up with a spoon until smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped dill. Mix well, taste, add whatever you think it needs. Only add a little at a time.

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4. Serve with the dip and some broiled veggies or chopped spinach and enjoy!

Vanilla Chai Chia Pudding

chiapudding

 

Gosh, Sorry I haven’t posted for a long time. Been busy testing new, easy, Paleo recipes and applying for jobs like crazy. One of these quick new recipes I have discovered is chia pudding. I can’t stress it enough, this recipe is so easy! The first time I made chia pudding, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it because I hated tapioca pudding. But turns out, I love it! Chia seeds don’t have all of the Omega fatty acids you need/should have in your diet, but it does contain one called ALA that’s good for you. Google it and try it out this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup white chia seeds. I got mine from Weis. I’m sure black chia seeds would work just fine too.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or vanilla flavored almond milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk will give a creamier consistency.

1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla beans

1-3 tablespoons strongly brewed chai tea, cooled

1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of honey, depending on how sweet you want it.

Optional-A jar

Toppings (berries, granola, etc.)

 

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, adding the chia seeds last. Set the timer for 20 minutes and stir or whisk the mixture on and off. Be sure to taste the mixture to make sure you sweetened it to your liking. Add more honey if you want. Wait a couple minutes, stir again, wait another minute, stir again…When the 20 minutes of stirring are up, you’ll finally see the mixture become more like a pudding consistency. Pour mixture into a jar, or tightly sealed container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with fruit or granola and enjoy!

*I quadrupled this recipe and it worked out really well. I save glass jars to store the pudding in. The pudding can also last a long time in the fridge (over a week).

 

Paleo Mixed Berry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

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OMG these are delicious. I can see why they’re from a blog called PaleOMG. Seriously, her recipes are amazing. I love messing around with them and giving them my own personal cooking touches, adding things here and there. She actually liked this photo on my Instagram yesterday! Yeeaaah I’m such a geek, but I’m a huge fan of hers, so I was really excited about it.

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The best part about these bars?….I doubled the original recipe and it cost me $5. Yes, $5 for 16 bars the size of the palm of my hand, homemade, and healthy! But I have to add, I only needed three more ingredients (a lemon, more frozen berries, and pumpkin puree) to make these. This may seem like a huge ingredients list, but if you’re a regular Paleo/low carb dieter, you probably have coconut flour, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and basic spices already in your pantry. Also, I already had some frozen berries in my freezer. I love keeping frozen berries as back up because I’m a supporter in trying to eat what’s in season. The berries I like to eat aren’t usually available during the winter or else they’re probably shipped from outside of the country, or they’re probably genetically modified or something…I don’t know…I think eating what’s in season is just a nice habit to get into. Think about it, google around. You can google what produce is in season and when and post the list to your fridge. I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but my sister is (almost) a certified nutritionist and I get a lot of advice about food from her.

On a totally random note…I saw Alton Brown LIVE! In Baltimore, last Saturday. I was elated! I have a pretty great guy, getting me such a great gift for Valentines Day. The man knows me so well. I wish I was half as good as buying gifts for people as he is….

If you don’t know who Alton Brown is….*siggghhhh*…….

 
 

Yields two 8×8 inch baking dishes. Feel free to half the recipe and make one dish.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin muffin part:

2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (if you get a can, save the leftovers for pumpkin waffles, recipe coming soon!)

2/3 pure maple syrup

1/2 melted coconut oil..or butter..or whatever oil you have that you think would work.

6 eggs, whisked

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flour (Bobs Red Mill brand- cool, employee owned company. My sister met Bob too. Not the happiest of guys..)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 pinches of salt

 

Berry layer:

4 cups frozen mixed berries (thawed) or fresh berries. You could use just blueberries, cherries…get creative

4-5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut butter

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

4 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Topping:

1/2-1 cup of any nuts you like or have lying around. I used raw almonds (banged it up in a zip loc bag using a butter knife handle), macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Could add shredded coconut to that if you want to. Again, get creative!

1/2-1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Add how ever much you like, really.

1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on the amount of nuts you’re using)

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

pinch of salt

 
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease two 8×8 baking dishes with butter or coconut oil. Then, line the bottom with parchment paper. You want one, long 8×8 strip, so the edges hang over two sides. This allows you to take the bars out more easily once cooked and cooled.

3. Mix together the wet ingredients- pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, syrup, and oil-in a large/medium bowl.

4. In a separate and smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the pumpkin muffin part- flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix it all together until well combined.

5. Divide the batter among the two greased baking dishes, pouring it into the bottom of each and spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Then pop that in the oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know it’s cooked all the way through if you poke the center with a toothpick/skewer and it comes out clean.

6. While that’s cooking, combine the thawed out berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and honey in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. If you have fresh berries, you’ll know they’re done when the blueberries start to burst. If you have frozen berries, you want the fruit to be cooked to the point where you can easily squish the berries with a spoon/spatula. Then add the coconut flour and stir until well incorporated. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool.

7. Once the muffin part has finished cooking, divide the fruit mixture among both dishes and spread out evenly again with the spatula.

8. Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and sprinkle/crumble it on the top of the bars.

9. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove the bars from the pan, moving it to a cooling rack.

10. Refrigerate the bars, uncovered on plates for a half hour to one hour. After that it will be much easier to cut into rectangles. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Paleo Meat Sauce/Pasta Sauce

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It’s been almost a week since I last posted a recipe. We had this big snow storm and our roof ended up leaking through to our ceiling 😦 Since I have to be here while it’s being repaired today, I should post a recipe. I wanted to make several servings of something really easy, so what’s easier (and cheaper) than spaghetti sauce? The vegetables in this recipe can be cooked in a different order than I do in my directions. Some like to saute their veggies separately. Also, the order/time will depend on what vegetables you use. I used mushrooms in this one and I didn’t saute them separately because I like my mushrooms tougher than most. I like to bite into a mushroom, not cook it until it’s flimsy. That’s just a personal preference. There are so many possibilities with this sauce. You can add several diced peppers, add broiled broccoli, add double the mushrooms, add fresh basil, add riced cauliflower…you could even use turkey or italian sausage rather than beef, or all three! It’s a great way to use up whatever you have leftover in your fridge and not let good ingredients go to waste. So, here we go!

 

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 lb ground beef, or turkey, or italian sausage

1/2-1 28 oz can tomato sauce (depending on what texture you want your sauce to have)

Half of a 25 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce

2 tablespoon of honey, to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes

1-2 green peppers (get any color you want), diced

1 package of sliced mushrooms

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, diced

1/2-1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)

Optional-small can of tomato paste for thickness and/or 1/2 cup of fresh basil, freshly grated parmesan cheese also optional

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, or whatever fat you want to use

For the ‘pasta’ either use spaghetti squash (look at buffalo chicken pasta recipe for instructions) or spiralized zucchini and/or squash like in my photo. I microwave the spirals, covered for 1 minute before serving.

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot or sauce pan, saute garlic and onion in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium/medium-high heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground beef and cook until browned, chopping into chunks and stirring here and there while it cooks.

2.Once it’s browned, add your diced peppers and sliced mushrooms and spices. Saute until softened. Add some more olive oil if you think it needs it.

3. Now it’s time to add your tomatoes. Start by adding the diced, drained tomatoes, half of the tomato sauce, and the half jar of pasta sauce. Then add the honey. Make sure it’s all well combined and taste it. If it is too sweet, add more salt. If it’s too acidic/salty add more honey to balance it. If you want more thickness, add tomato paste. If it’s too chunky and you prefer it to be more runny, add the rest of the tomato sauce. Always taste your food!