Fresh Fruit + Mint Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

We go through crazy volumes of fruit in our house. I don’t know many people who don’t enjoy fruit, but it’s the one food group that all of our kids agree upon and love wholeheartedly. This fruit salad is another gem from The Joyful Kitchen ladies. I have made it the last two weekends and I love, love, love it. The addition of mint just kicks it up and makes it taste so, so fresh and delicious.

I don’t really think it matters what fruits you choose, I’ve changed it up each time and it was equally delicious.

Fresh Fruit and Mint Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS: (for the fruit salad)
  • 1 pineapple, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 6 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 3 oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound of strawberries, chopped
  • 1-2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves
INGREDIENTS: (for the dressing)
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey (can use less depending on sweetness of fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons of a lightly flavored oil (olive oil is what I used, grapeseed oil would work great, too)
METHOD:
  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  2. Toss gently with the fresh fruit and mint.
  3. Garnish with more fresh mint.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Taken (with permission) from Julie @ The Joyful Kitchens.

Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

These chicken fingers are amazing.  They have the perfect amount of flavor and spice. And seriously you guys, the honey mustard sauce makes the meal.  They don’t crisp up like traditional chicken fingers, but I don’t think you will mind.  I’ve made these 6 times in the last couple of weeks… tweaking the recipe until I got it just right.  Plus, I was looking for excuses to make these again… I hope you all like this as much as we do.  Both my kids devour these.  Let’s be honest here, my husband and I do too.  How great to have a family favorite meal, but made without gluten or grains?!  Enjoy, friends!  Oh, and seriously – even if you don’t normally go for these non-traditional recipes, you might as well give these a try… you might be surprised just how delicious they are.  Oh and one more thing, they are baked and not fried!  Bonus!  Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (grain : gluten : dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS: (for the chicken fingers)
INGREDIENTS:  (for the honey mustard dippin’ sauce)
METHOD:
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a pie dish, or another flat bowl.
  2. Whisk egg in a bowl.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Take one piece of chicken and coat with egg, then coat with almond flour mixture.  I like to use one hand for the egg and the other hand for the dry mixture.  That way I don’t end up with sticky, coated fingers.
  5. Place chicken on parchment, and repeat step 4 until all pieces of chicken are coated with almond flour mixture.  Make sure the chicken fingers do not touch each other on the cookie sheet.
  6. Spray each chicken finger with olive oil, using the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer.
  7. Bake in 425F oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip each piece over, then spray again with olive oil.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches 180F.
  8. While chicken fingers are cooking, mix together all ingredients for the honey mustard sauce.  Trust me.  You don’t want to skip this step.  These puppies are amazing dipped in this sauce.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Allergy Free Alaska.
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Homemade Jello (made with natural fruit juice and no processed sugars, gluten + dairy free / paleo)

Homemade Jello?  I mean, it couldn’t be easier to do!  And did you guys know that gelatin, when sourced from grass-fed cows like Great Lakes Gelatin, is soooo good for you? Gelatin is a great source of collagen and has numerous health benefits:  It’s great for your skin, helps prevent stretch marks in pregnant mamas, boosts metabolism, strengthens joints and bones, strengthens nails and hair, helps boost the immune system, improves digestion, provides a great source of protein, and has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.  Phew.  Why wouldn’t you eat it?!  And, this recipe is SO MUCH cleaner than those little store-bought boxes filled of artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, food dyes, and surely not gelatin from grass-fed cows.  So, ditch the box, and make your own.  You’re gonna love it.  If you have kids, they will too.  But honestly, who says jello is just for kids?  I just made another batch and didn’t share any with the kids…  Alright, hope you all enjoy!

Homemade Jello (made with natural fruit juice and no processed sugars, gluten : dairy : paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups fresh fruit juice (I juiced 12 little clementine oranges in the batch shown in the photo, but have made it with grapefruit, and also various berry mixtures)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1-2 tablespoons 100% Pure Maple Syrup (I used just 1 tablespoon for oranges, and 2 heaping tablespoons for grapefruit)
METHOD:
  1. Juice your fruit of choice.
  2. Pour 2 cups of juice into a small saucepan.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin on top of the juice, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, turn on stove to medium-low.  Stir constantly with a whisk until gelatin dissolves completely.  This will only take a couple of minutes.  Do not bring liquid to a boil.
  5. Turn off the heat, stir in maple.
  6. Pour into 9×9 pan, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes, or until no longer steaming. I like to line my pan with parchment, so when it is ready to eat I can remove the whole jello square instead of trying to remove individual pieces.  I cut it all at once, and store in airtight container in refrigerator.
  7. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.
  8. Cut, and enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Primally Inspired.
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Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon + Mushrooms (Alice Springs Chicken, gluten / grain free)

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are from eating out in restaurants as a family. I tell my husband that eating out is one of my love languages. It’s my parents’ fault. We ate out every Friday night with my sweet papaw. Usually Cracker Barrel, sometimes Wendy’s, and sometimes steakhouses! One of my favorite steakhouses, reserved usually for birthday celebrations growing up, was Outback. Oh yeah. The blooming onion! That dark loaf of bread! The salad with yummy croutons. And the Alice Springs Chicken. It’s been so many years since I last stepped into an Outback Steakhouse, but when I saw this recipe on Pinterest over a year ago I had to make it, and I have made this chicken over and over again. It makes me happy. My kids are kind of picky when it comes to chicken dishes unfortunately, but all three of them LOVE this chicken. I blame the bacon. I hope you and yours love this as much as we do.

Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon, Mushrooms, + Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-2 cups colby jack cheese, cheddar will do fine, too.   We like Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese. (Omit cheese if Paleo) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
METHOD:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cook your bacon. Put cooked bacon aside. Do not dump out the bacon grease – you’re going to brown your chicken in it in the same pan! 
  3. While your bacon is cooking, mix the mayo, mustard and honey together. This is your honey mustard sauce.
  4. Place your chicken in the pan with the bacon grease still in it and cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  5. Place lightly browned chicken in your baking dish, top with slices of bacon, mushrooms, the honey mustard and then finally the cheese!
  6. Let bake until chicken is fully cooked, about 30 minutes, but be sure to check for doneness.
  7. Serve with extra honey mustard sauce, if desired. Kids love dipping their chicken in this!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Amy’s Finer Things.
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Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream (dairy free, processed sugar free, paleo)

My kiddos have the best aunts and uncles.  Our siblings love our kids, are involved in our kids lives, and would give up most anything to spend time with our babies.  We are super, super thankful for them in our lives.  Every Monday, my bro-in-law, Joe, comes over to hang with us, and eat dinner.  He stays for hours, plays ball, writes with chalk, has tea parties, reads books, etc.  Whatever the kids want him to do, he is willing to play.  Setting aside that time in his busy schedule is priceless to us.  Kids love spending time with him, and it is great for Ehren and I to hang with him too.  I hope my kids will be great friends as adults, like we are with our siblings.  Every Monday, I make Joe this ice cream.  I think this ice cream seals the deal – as long as there is ice cream, he will be here.  Can’t beat that. Kids and ice cream.  Hope you guys enjoy it as well.  Oh, and if you eat dairy, we have a couple of ice cream recipes on here using cow’s milk – strawberry, whiskey, + chocolate chip.
coconut milk honey vanilla ice cream (dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (we use So Delicious)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (we use Natural Value Coconut Milk)
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon 100% pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life)
METHOD:
  1. Pour canned coconut milk into a large bowl.  Cut vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out seeds, and add seeds as well as bean into coconut milk and allow to soak.  Place a strainer on top of it.  Set aside.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and honey in a saucepan and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Place 5 egg yolks in a bowl, set aside.  I usually save egg whites and throw them in with scrambled eggs.  Or you could make coconut macaroons with them.
  4. SLOWLY pour warm milk mixture into separate bowl containing egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Continue until all the coconut milk mixture is added to the eggs.  This is called tempering your eggs.
  5. Scrape egg/coconut milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat until custard begins to form, again stirring constantly.  It’s fairly obvious to tell when the mixture is thick enough…. the back of your spatula will be coated with the mixture when it’s ready.  Don’t over cook this, or you’ll end up scrambling your eggs.
  6. Pour egg/coconut milk mixture through the strainer and into the full fat coconut milk and vanilla.  The strainer should catch any egg that cooked…. I usually end up with a tablespoon or so of egg in my strainer.
  7. Stir, cover, and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Then, discard vanilla bean and make the ice cream according to your machines’ instruction.  Both Evan and I have this ice cream maker.  We love it.  
  8. Just before ice cream solidifies, add chocolate chunks to the ice cream maker so that it mixes evenly throughout.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Posts may contain affiliate links.  If you purchase products through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Flax + Honey will receive a small commission.  This helps in covering the costs to keep the site up and running.  We appreciate your support!! 

 

“Paleo” NorCal Margarita (gluten free)

Put the word “Paleo” in quotes there because technically alcohol isn’t Paleo.   But really, if you have more than one small child (or honestly even just one small child), you too will understand our sentiment – some nights just call for a drink.  A stiff one.  I read today that 4-year-olds ask an average of 437 questions each day.  Each day.  That statistic has got to be true, I have a child that can prove it.  And sometimes it feels like only 37 of those questions were unique – the other one was the exact SAME question asked 400 TIMES. Ok, I’m digressing.  Mostly, it has been awhile since you guys got a good alcoholic beverage recipe on here… (If you missed the past ones, try our Whiskey Sour or Bourbon + Bubbles).  This little drink has become our favorite in the past few months.  When husband and I did super strict Paleo challenge where alcohol consumption wasn’t allowed, we cheated one day a week and made this drink… I know, I know.  We are failures for cheating, but really – 5 drinks in 5 weeks wasn’t too bad given the number of questions we were fielding each day from a certain child.  So famous Paleo Nutritionist, Robb Wolf came up with this recipe… He has lots of scientific reasons why this drink is his drink of choice when it comes to alcohol, which you can read here (scroll down to page 26 of the transcript).  We think that stuff is cool too, but mostly we think it tastes good.  Really good.  Hope you all enjoy it too.

Oh, and did you know that most margarita mixes contain gluten?  Since you will be mixing this up from scratch, and since tequila doesn’t have gluten, you will be drinking a gluten-free margarita.  If you’re into that.

paleo norcal margarita gluten freeINGREDIENTS:
  • 2-3 shots 100% Agave Tequila (we like silver tequila)
  • Juice and pulp of 1 lime
  • Ice
  • Splash of soda water
METHOD:
  1. Pour lime juice / pulp and tequila into a glass
  2. Shake it up with a few ice cubes
  3. Top off glass with soda water. 
  4. Give it another quick stir.  Drink.  
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Robb Wolf.

Oven Cooked Bacon

This is another one of those duh posts, but seriously people – if you eat bacon (which you should), then this is the best way to prepare it.  I’ve tried all kinds of bacon cooking methods, and for the last year or so, this is the only way I cook it.  I used to get so annoyed at the messy bacon splatter all over my cooktop, and this way is completely mess free… Anyways, hope this simple little method helps you guys out – I like to make a whole pack and then stick whatever we don’t eat in the fridge…. Just about 20 seconds in a fry pan on the stove over medium heat and it is hot and ready to go for the next time.  Clean up is so easy.  Throw away parchment paper, and put cookie sheet back in cupboard.  And lastly, this post is for my super awesome brother, whom I adore, but who has asked me no less than 100 times how to cook bacon in the oven.  Here you go, bro!

oven cooked bacon

INGREDIENTS:
  • Approx 10-12 slices of organic, pastured bacon
METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 360F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread out bacon on cookie sheet, taking care that none of the pieces overlap.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved.  Bacon preference is a very personal thing, you know.  
  5. Take out of the oven, pour off grease into mason jar to be kept in refrigerator for later use (See Fats + Oils for reasons why we cook with bacon fat on a regular basis). 
  6. Eat.  
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.