Homemade Cookie Dough Lara Bar

I LOVE cookie dough.

Homemade cookie dough Lara Bars

Homemade cookie dough Lara Bars

I love cookie dough more than actual cookies.

 

I make cookies just so I can eat the cookie dough.

 

But, the new Paleo diet I’m only doesn’t allow cookie dough…or cookies. Sniff…

So the next best thing is the Cookie Dough Lara Bar, which is one of the only nutrition bars that is Paleo friendly because it’s made purely of nuts and fruit, without wheat, grains or oats.

Lara bars are good, but I prefer FRESH food made from home than a box. I also love experimenting in the kitchen, so I made my own healthy cookie dough Lara bars. These are easy, require very little ingredients and can be made in seconds. Not only are these cheaper than Lara Bars, but I think they taste better.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cashews (I used raw, unsalted cashews)
  • 2/3 cup dates
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Blend the cashews, dates, vanilla and salt together in a blender or food processor. I used my Ninja Blender and it worked great. Add the chocolate chips. Roll into balls or cut into bars and refriderate. That’s it!

If you are not on the Paleo diet and just want a yummy nutrition bar, give these Homemade Nut and Honey bars or Protein Bars a try.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Do you have any nutrition bar recipes? I would love to hear from you!

 

 

Paleo Green Goddess Dip

Paleo Green Goddess Dip

One of the tenets of the Paleo diet is bidding farewell to commercially prepared salad dressings. This is particularly sad for me because I eat a salad everyday and I love the Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch Yogurt Dressing. I love to dip carrots and fresh veggies in the dressing for a snack, and veggies just aren’t the same without a creamy accompaniment. My birthday is tomorrow and every year on my birthday I go to Melting Pot, which has the most delicious Green Goddess sauce. So imagine how happy I was when I came across a recipe for a paleo-friendly Green Goddess dressing in the February edition of More magazine. Of course I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it Paleo friendly and to my liking. It was fun to make because I was able to experiment with using fresh herbs.

Green Goddess

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine everything in a food processor and blend until pureed.

It is delicious with veggies, but it’s too thick to put on a salad. Do you have ideas on other foods you can put green goddess dressing on? Chicken? Veggies? I need ideas to use the rest of my dip!

Paleo Pizza

Paleo Pizza

 

It’s week two of the Paleo Challenge and my palate is getting a little bored of chicken breasts, broccoli and spinach. I decided to kick it up a notch and attempt a recipe a saw on Paleo Grubs, with a few tweaks to meet my needs of course!

Paleo Grubs had lots of recipes for paleo pizzas made with a cauliflower crust, so I combined several of the recipes into one that I felt would deliver the most flavor while still being, “Paleo-ish”.

Many of the recipes I saw called for almond flour or coconut flour, and I really didn’t want to use any flour in the recipe. I found one that called for a cup of mozzarella cheese, but since cheese isn’t “Paleo” I didn’t want to use that much. Instead I used half the amount of cheese and used a combination of parmesan cheese and  75% reduced fat Cabot Light Cheddar. This produced an amazingly delicious, crisp and firm crust. I also know that turkey pepperoni isn’t technically “Paleo” either, but it’s certainly better than the alternative: Pizza Hut.

All in all, this pizza was absolutely delicious, grain-free, diabetic-friendly and healthier than take-out. I was skeptical over the cauliflower crust, but I actually liked this pizza better than a traditional pizza! Try it and let me know what you think:

Pepperoni Paleo Pizza

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup 75% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 12 turkey pepperonis

1.Pre-heat the oven to 450

  1. Grate the cauliflower in a food processor. Make sure it is grated, not pureed.
  2. Steam cauliflower in the microwave for five minutes. Drain and squeeze out all excess water.
  3. Mix cauliflower with the 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of the cabot cheese, egg and seasonings.
  4. Shape the pizza into a round disc on a pizza pan
  5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes
  6. Top with the tomato sauce, 1/4 cup cheese and turkey pepperoni

Broil on low for 5 minutes

Paleo Brownies

Paleo BrowniesI started a six week Paleo Challenge as part of the Cross Fit box I joined. It’s Day 6 and I’m already having significant sugar cravings. Since sugar, along with dairy, legumes, grains and artificial sweeteners are out, I have to be creative about how to satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking my diet.

I found these delish Paleo Brownies on The Healthy Foodie, and made a few tweaks. I was nervous, but they were absolutely devine! The only problem was that they were a little too good, setting the stage to overindulge. Try them and I promise you will like them!

Brownie

  •             1 ripe avocado
  •             1 cup sweet potato puree
  •             ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used Trader Joes)
  •             ¼ cup date paste (Make this by pouring boiling water over dates and letting it sit for one day in the fridge. Then puree the dates and water into a paste)
  •             1 tsp vanilla extract
  •             3 eggs
  •             1/4 cup coconut flour
  •             ½ cup cocoa powder
  •             ½ tsp  salt
  •             1 tsp baking soda
  •             ½ cup pecans
  •            ½ cup unsweetened coconut (You can find these at Earth Fare)

 

Icing

  •             ¼ cup date paste (see note above)
  •             ½ cup almond butter
  •             ¼ cup cocoa powder

Blend all of the brownie ingredients together in a food processor and pour into a 8X8 square brownie pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Refrigerate for several hours, as these are definitely best cold. Top with the icing if you’d like, but I actually prefer them sans icing.

What do you think? Have you ever had avocado in a sweet treat? Do you have any paleo sweet treat recipes to share?

 

Baked Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

It’s almost back to school time, which means time to begin packing lunch again. I’m launching a brand-new product and cookbook called Lunch, by me! which is a complete toolkit for parents and children to use together to make packing a nutritious school lunch easy and fun. This is HOT off the press and I’ll share more later this week on the full product line, but in the meantime, I want to give you a sneak peak of one of the recipes in the book: Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers.

Baked Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

Baked Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

For school lunch I like to pack my kids kabobs with the gluten-free chicken fingers, cut-up cheese sticks and grapes, threaded on a chopstick because

1 – Everything tastes better on a stick and

2 – My kids think that chicken fingers deserve their own food category

I usually make the chicken fingers for dinner the night before and then cut them up in the morning for the kabobs.

Cook once = eat twice = WIN!

I saw a recipe for Betty Crocker’s gluten-free chicken fingers , but I wasn’t a huge fan because her recipe used Gluten-Free Bisquick which doesn’t offer the crunch or flavor of typical chicken fingers. Instead, I used gluten-free panko, which you can find at Earth Fare or Whole Foods.

Baked Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup garbonzo bean flour
  • 1 cup crushed gluten-free panko flakes

1. Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl and soak the chicken tenderloins for several hours in the refridgerator.

2. Mix the garbonzo bean flour and spices and spread onto a large plate. Pour the gluten-free panko flakes in a large Ziploc bag.

3. One at a time, remove a chicken tenderloin from the buttermilk mixture. Dip into the garbonzo bean flour mixture on the plate, then dip back into the buttermilk, then place in the bag of gluten-free panko flakes and shake vigously (kids love to help with this step.)

4. Spray a 9X14 inch glass baking dish with Trader Joes Olive Oil Spray and place the chicken fingers one at a time in the dish. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

These are absolutely delish! My hubby and kids LOVED them for dinner and the kiddos had them the next day in their lunch. They even begged for them again for an afterschool snack!

Try them and let me know what you think.

Guilt-free maple roasted banana ice cream: dairy, gluten and fat free!

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I love ice cream. I could literally eat an entire half gallon of Edy’s Girl Scout Cookie Samoas Ice Cream. Ice cream is one of my “trigger foods” and I can’t keep it in the house because it will call my name until it’s gone.

 

Luckily I’ve created a healthier alternative using only four ingredients! Bananas, real maple syrup, vanilla extract and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

 

I was happy to see that Oxygen Magazineactually featured a banana ice cream in the March edition. They actually have a Mocha Banana Ice Cream which I’m also going to try. I made my roasted banana ice cream last week and was pleasantly surprised at the creamy, rich flavor. The bonus is that this recipe is dairy, gluten and fat free! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized bananas
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Peel and slice the bananas. I actually peel, slice and freeze my bananas in advance because I love to have frozen banans on hand (they are a delicious snack on their own).
  • Throw the bananas in a glass baking dish, pour maple syrup on top and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool (i can neither confirm nor deny eating a few bananas covered in maple syrup straight from the pan)
  • Scoop the roasted bananas, almond milk and vanilla extract into a food processort and pulse until combined. Chill for at least two hours.
  • Dump into your ice cream maker and make per manufacturer’s instructions.

Yum-o!

Let me know if you try it and like it!