Lemon Bars (grain / gluten / dairy / sugar free, paleo)

Soooooo… my awesome girl Noelle (yes, the same one who introduced me to the most amazing dessert ever), challenged me to create the best lemon bars of life.  I think the text went something like “if I know you at all, you won’t stop until you find it – I challenge you to create for me the best paleo lemon bars ever”.  And she does know me – it is crazy what you can learn about someone by the way they CrossFit. Because I texted back “challenge accepted” (duh), and immediately starting thinking, researching, preparing.  And now, behold. The best (paleo) lemon bars of life.
lemon bars (grain gluten dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS: (crust)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cups unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
  • 1 egg white (save yolk for lemon filling)
  • Pinch sea salt
INGREDIENTS: (filling)
  • 3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks (you are going to have one extra egg white – just save it, and throw it in your next batch of scrambled eggs)
  • 6 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
METHOD:
1.  Turn oven on to 350F.
2.  Melt coconut oil over low heat on the stove.  Add maple, coconut, almond flour, and sea salt.  Stir until combined.  Remove from heat.
3.  Add 1 egg white, and stir vigorously for 1 minute.  Crust dough will be very sticky.
4.  Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper, and pour crust dough into dish.  Using hands, press dough down in dish until compact, and evenly spread throughout.
5.  Poke a few holes in the crust using a toothpick.  Maybe 10.  To prevent it from bubbling up when cooking.  This step is important.  Don’t skip it.
6.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven.
7.  While crust is cooking, whisk the eggs plus the egg yolks in electric mixer until light and frothy.
8.  Add the rest of the filling ingredients, and whisk for 2 minutes.  Set your timer.  2 minutes, people.
9.  Pour the mixture over the crust, which you already baked for 10 minutes.
10.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown and center is set.
11.  Let it cool.  No really, don’t eat it yet.  Let it cool.  It is important for it to set.  Give it 30 minutes.
12.  Dust with coconut flour – looks just as beautiful as powdered sugar, and nobody will be able to tell the difference.  Promise.
13.  Cut, and consume.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories.
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Jalapeno Dijon Grilled Chicken

I’m always on the lookout for easy marinades for chicken.  I love eating it, but sometimes get stuck in my same boring chicken routines.  This recipe is easy, and freakishly good.  You combine everything, throw in the chicken, let it sit for a few hours, and then grill it up.  It is spicy, a bit tangy, and the chicken was so moist.  Give it a try!

jalapeno dijon grilled chicken

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lbs organic chicken breasts (or thighs, whichever you prefer)
  • 4 jalapenos, diced (no need to seed, unless you want less spice)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
METHOD:
1.  Combine all the above ingredients, except for the lemon juice, cover, and place in refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
2.  Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
3.  Grill chicken for 7-10 minutes per side, or until meat thermometer inserted into middle of chicken registers 175 degrees F.
4.  Remove chicken from grill and place on plate.  Squeeze lemon juice over chicken, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 more minutes.
5.  Serve, alongside side of your choice, and enjoy!  We ate it with heaping piles of roasted broccoli.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking.

Hummus

In my quest to spice up the lunchbox a bit and get my kiddos to up their intake of fresh veggies by having something yummy to dip them in, I decided to give Food Babe’s Hummus a try. I’ve been wanting to make it for a long time. I love hummus and am always tempted to grab it at the store, but there are so many crazy additives in there!

I intended to follow this recipe to the “t”, but when grocery shopping with two little girls, I must have gotten distracted. I thought I bought 4 cans of garbanzo beans, but when I started opening cans to dump into the food processor I discovered I had accidentally bought white northern beans and garbanzo beans, and unfortunately I opened the white northern beans first – so I felt like I had to use them. So I used 2 cans of garbanzo beans and 1 can of white northern beans and adjusted my spices and liquids accordingly. The result was delicious. This recipe made a ton! So we’ve been enjoying it spread on turkey sandwiches, dipping with carrots, celery, olives and on some whole wheat pita bread. What are your favorite ways to eat hummus?

hummusINGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 can white northern beans
  • 5 tablespoons of tahini
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • A handful or two of fresh, washed parsley
  • Juice of one (or two) lemons
METHOD:
1.  Drain and rinse your beans and dump in the food processor ( you could also use a blender).
2.  Add all other ingredients in the food processor except for the olive oil and blend.
3.  Scrape sides before adding the olive oil.
4.  Drizzle olive oil slowly while blending. If your hummus is still super thick, feel free to add more olive oil or more lemon juice until you have the consistency you’d like.
5.  Hummus! Pour it into a fun dipping dish or a reusable container with a lid and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Food Babe.

Cherry Whiskey Sour

Confession.  I dislocated my rib at CrossFit last week.  Lifting heavy weights.  Lame.  Doc said could have happened doing anything, so no.  I am not quitting CrossFit.  No way.  I love it, and although it has literally hurt to breathe for the last 5 days, I’m DYING to hit the
gym again.  Next time, I’m gonna push even heavier weight overhead.  Strong IS the new skinny, right?  Anywhoooo…. in an effort to help around the house and allow me to “rest” (as if that’s possible as a stay-at-home mama of 2), my husband has been cooking at bit.  You guys.  The man’s got some tricks up his sleeve.  Today he took last nights salmon and put it in an omelette with some goat cheese.  SERIOUSLY?  Salmon and goat cheese omelette?? Be still my heart…. well, more like my aching ribs.  More on that omelette later.  I scarfed it down so damn fast I have no picture to document its glory.  Nor do I know how he made it.  But I’ll ask him, and I’ll share it with you soon.  In the meantime, I’m dreaming of drinking this again.  Too bad cherries aren’t in season…. BUT, until next June when we start seeing those amazing Washington cherries again, I’ll be drinking this without the cherries.  Trust me.  This Whiskey Sour is amazing!  Thanks to Evan’s husband Justin for creating this drink!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 shots of bourbon / whiskey (I like Pendleton, Evan + Justin favor the Wild Turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons of 100% pure maple syrup
  • 5 fresh cherries
METHOD:
1.  In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix lemon, bourbon, and syrup.
2.  Shake.  Pour.  Drink.  Repeat.
3.  If you can get your hands on some cherries, smash em up and add to the cocktail shaker.  Pour.  Drink.  Repeat.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Lemon + Cayenne Water

My husband and I used to be people who took fiber supplements everyday thinking it was the only way to regulate our systems, until we discovered the benefits of drinking lemon water.  Now, we save our money… I just looked at the ingredients in the Metamucil we
were consuming everyday and I honestly can’t believe what we were putting in our bodies when there was a natural alternative that has proven to be just as effective.  Maltodextrin, artificial orange flavor, aspartame, and yellow 6.

Lemon water is proven to aid in digestion, naturally remove toxins from your body, assist with weight loss due to the naturally occurring pectin fiber, boost your immune system, and even help with clearer skin!  It’s amazing what this fruit can do!  When combined with cayenne pepper, you’re increasing the detoxing effect and jump starting your metabolism.  Ehren and I committed about 4 months ago to drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, every morning on an empty stomach. We have missed a few days here and there due to poor grocery planning, or staying at someone else’s house and forgetting to bring our lemons, but for the most part we’ve had this drink every morning.  And you should, too!

INGREDIENTS:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz water
METHOD:
1.  Combine all ingredients, stir, and drink first thing in the morning.  We drink it through a straw so our teeth aren’t exposed to the citric acid.  Also, I use 1 lemon for us both, so just 1/2 a lemon’s juice for each, but feel free to use an entire lemon.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Food Babe. Thanks for first teaching us about this amazing drink!