I know, shame, shame, SHAME on us for the… oh, you know, 4 month delay in a new post. I attribute it to… life happenings, being busy, but also being lazy at the same time. A lot has occurred between February until now. I (Jennifer) wrapped up my second year teaching, Joseph has added multiple group fitness formats under his belt (P90X, PiYo, and TCX), I finally PR’d a 5K in March, we got engaged, I turned 26, oh wait… what? WHAT? WHAT?! Yes, we got engaged. Most of our readers are our friends, so it’s kind of old news to y’all whomp whomp, but I think we have a few readers who aren’t as familiar with our personal lives, so yes… WE GOT ENGAGED!!! I plan on posting a FULL BLOW-BY-BLOW POST of my emotions and what happened and all that wonderful jazz. Because everyone loves a good proposal. And boy… did Joseph do good. (Yes, I know. Incorrect use of good, but stylistically it works for the purpose of my sentence. GET OVER IT, MS. NGUYEN’S KIDS)
But we’ll save that for a later post. And we’ll save wedding planning woes for later posts as well. But let’s get back to the true purpose of this blog. Paleo-friendly recipes. But hey, I DID mention in our original post that this would include life tangent posts. And I think wedding stuff is a pretty big life tangent and will include those posts for other current and future brides that would like to know more about planning a wedding. Everyone loves a good (or bad) wedding planning story!
So, to be perfectly frank, we’ve been pretty bad at trying out new recipes. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for us, so we’ve just been sticking to our usual tried-and-true recipes (i.e the recipes we’ve already posted). Sometimes I’ll throw a random mishmash of ingredients together, but I never find them worthy enough to post because I don’t think they taste that post-worthy. I’m also really bad at actually measuring out ingredients (insert Joseph sighing loudly because he’s all about measuring), so I don’t even know how much of everything I put in… Oops.
This recipe is for brussel sprouts. Ugh. Brussels sprouts. I hate brussel sprouts. Even when I cook them, I hate them. I hate the way they look. I hate their texture. I hate THE NAME. Brussels sprouts. It even sounds disgusting. But Joseph gets batches of brussels sprouts from some of his fitness clients, and I have to do something with them to make them palatable. And I discovered the magical ingredient that transforms brussel sprouts into something I can handle. BACON. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about bacon that helps ease the pain of brussels sprouts. So here’s my recipe… ENJOY!
GATHER THE INGREDIENTS!
- Brussels sprouts
- Applegate Uncured Sunday Bacon – PALEO FRIENDLY BACON! THIS IS THE KIND YOU GET! APPLEGATE!
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tsp Ground pepper
- 2 tsp Garlic powder**
- 2 tsp Onion powder**
**To be honest, you can season as you’d like. I kept it simple. I also don’t know the measurements… I just eyeball it. You can leave out the garlic and onion powder if you’d like!
- Wash brussels sprouts well and then cut the “stems” off. I like to pull off a layer or two of the brussels sprout for sanitary reasons. I am possibly wasting a lot of good brussels sprout leaves, but I like to be clean!
- Cut brussels sprouts in half and then set brussel sprouts to the side.
- Slice your bacon into small pieces or however big your bacon pieces you would like to be (the world is your oyster)
- Turn your stove to medium. Take a big skillet and throw in that bacon! No need to use any ghee/oil because that bacon will create its own fat.
- When bacon is sufficiently fried/browned, spoon out the bacon into a small bowl. LEAVE THE FAT IN THE SKILLET! Lower the stove heat to LOW or OFF.
- Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet. MAKE SURE YOUR BRUSSEL SPROUTS ARE DRY, or you will get some painful oil splash back (learned this the hard way). Once you’ve added all your brussel sprouts, turn the heat back up to medium.
- Season your brussel sprouts accordingly. Cook for about 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Some of your brussels sprouts will brown. That is good (in my opinion). I’ll add a cover on top sometimes to give the brussels sprouts some steaming action. Helps bake the brussels sprouts a little more tender.
- After 10 minutes, turn the stove to low and add the bacon bits and stir around until everything is fully integrated.
- VOILA! YOU ARE DONE! I hope it tastes good for you.
Hope you enjoyed the recipe! Again, you can ALWAYS play around with the seasonings! I still don’t like brussels sprouts in the least. But now I know what to do with them! I might try roasting them next time, but I’ve had roasted brussels sprouts before, and they are not my cup of tea. We promise to try and not laze about before posting another recipe/update!
Until the next meal,
Joseph & Jennifer
If there’s one thing that you may need to know about my relationship with Joseph, it’s the fact that we really enjoy creating and maintaining traditions. His annual anniversary cake/dessert that he makes for me is one thing. Our annual holiday schedule (Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas day with his family) is another thing. Our annual puppy-themed greeting cards for every occasion that requires a greeting card. Our weekly Sunday schedule: church, lunch, nap, meal prep for the week. You get the gist. Another such tradition is my annual Valentine’s Day pizza making extravaganza for our Valentine’s Day date shenanigans.
Joseph loves pizza. That is his food kryptonite/achilles heel/weakness, and I really think that if he could, he would eat pizza every day for the rest of his life. True story. That is why for our first (or second?) Valentine’s Day when our relationship was just blossoming, I baked my first ever pizza for Joseph. I baked a Hawaiian pizza because I assumed that as a Filipino, he loved pineapples so his favorite pizza must have been Hawaiian pizza. Now, I don’t really know if that’s the case, and Joseph has never really clarified this because I think he loves me and doesn’t want to burst my bubble, so the tradition stuck.
As the years have gone by, my pizza-making skills have morphed and improved. The first few years I bought canned pizza dough, canned pineapples, and everything was just clearly pre-made/processed. I think around the third year is when I decided to make it somewhat healthier by purchasing canned WHEAT pizza dough and using fresh pineapples instead. Last year is when I attempted my first paleo pizza. It was… okay. And this year I have continued the tradition with another Hawaiian pizza, and yes, I made it paleo once again. And wow. I’m not going to lie, but it was absolutely fantastic. Delicious. I am quite proud of myself.
A BIG THANK YOU TO Paleo Spirit for the paleo pizza dough recipe. It really brought my pizza together. People might assume that making dough from scratch is difficult and time-consuming, and time-consuming it may be; however, it’s definitely NOT difficult, and it’s definitely worth it. So let’s begin, shall we?
Paleo Pizza Dough:
- 1 cup tapioca flour (starch) (plus more for rolling out dough)
- 1/3 cup + 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour, separated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 large egg, whisked
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the tapioca flour, coconut flour (minus the 2-3 tablespoons), and sea salt in a large bowl.
Add the oil and warm water and mix with the dry ingredients. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look dough-y yet. This will happen soon! Add the whisked egg and mix.
Finally, take your 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour and add to the mixture until it begins to form into a soft but sticky dough.
On PARCHMENT paper (not wax paper – I made that mistake last year. And the parchment paper really changed things), add a bit of tapioca flour to your roller pin and the parchment and roll out your dough. Be carefully of adding TOO much tapioca flour or else your dough will be too dense. I think I made that mistake last year as well. I always make my pizza dough into a heart shape, but you can roll it out into a regular pizza shape.
The dough is really break-able at this point, so be careful! Transfer the parchment paper onto a baking sheet/pizza baking sheet/etc. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on how “done” you would like your pizza to be. I baked mine for 12 minutes!
- Paleo Pizza Dough slightly pre-cooked
- Organic Pizza Sauce with NO SUGAR ADDED (purchased at Whole Foods – checked the ingredients to ensure everything was paleo-friendly)
- Almond “mozzarella” cheese substitute
- Pre-cut pineapple chunks
- Applegate Uncured Black Forest Ham diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut your toppings (pineapple and ham) to the desired pizza-topping size. I purchase pre-cut pineapple chunks and cut them into even smaller pieces. I once tried to cut an entire pineapple… that didn’t work out so well. Pineapple cutting is not my thing. Place toppings to the side.
After letting the pizza crust cool for a bit, I took a spoon and carefully ladled the pizza sauce over my pizza. Add as much or as little sauce as you would like. It is YOUR pizza!
You can layer the cheese and toppings however you would like (cheese first, toppings first, what have you), but after 5+ years of this, I think I figured out a way that really makes the pizza delectable. I lightly sprinkled the almond cheese over the pizza to where there was still a lot of sauce showing through the cheese. I added half the pineapples and ham to the pizza. The pizza should still look SPARSE. I then added the full amount of cheese to the pizza, and I topped it off with the rest of my pineapple chunks and ham pieces. It’s almost like a double layer of cheese and toppings. Yums.
Place the pizza in the oven. Cook until toppings are thoroughly heated. I put my timer for 5 minutes at a time, and I simply checked my pizza after each time was up to ensure the crust was not burning. It took about 10-15 minutes. I do want to mention that the almond cheese substitute does not melt as well as regular cheese. I assume because it is a substitute. However, it tastes fine! And voila! You have yourself a paleo-friendly pizza! You can switch out whatever toppings you would like to meet your taste buds.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend! Joseph and I enjoyed a casual weekend together. Honestly, it was just like any other Saturday we had… running in the morning, me making brunch for lunch, running errands, and then dinner. The only thing different was that he surprised me with flowers in the morning before the run (d’awww <3).
Then we had a small gift exchange after lunch – I gave him The Paleo Performance cookbook and a 26.2 mile car decal, and he surprised me with tickets to the Zac Brown Band concert! And finally after dinner, we went to go watch Kingsman (good movie, I recommend. But a little on the gory side, wow).
I also tried to be cutesy and romantic by using an idea I found off of Pinterest (wow, have I ever mentioned how much I love Pinterest?). While making Joseph do the dishes after lunch (hehehe *evil laugh*), I went into his bathroom and decorated his mirror with sticky notes I had written on previously. I think the original Pinterest idea had you write down things you loved about your significant other, but I just wrote down everything possible. Memories, things I love about him, inside jokes, positive comments, etc. I made them into a heart. I was feeling quite sneaky and proud of myself when I walked out of his bathroom. And then…
- Joseph: Were you doing something shady in there?
- Me: What?
- Joseph: You were in the restroom for a long time. And I know you didn’t poop. Or did you? You don’t poop that long.
- Me: ….I wasn’t doing anything shady! I was pooping!
- Joseph: … you look shady. I need to go to the restroom now anyways.
- Me: WAIT NO! WHY! ….I JUST POOPED. IT SMELLS!
- Joseph: …Why are you on the floor?
- Me: *crying/laughing* I don’t know! GO TO THE BATHROOM LATER, IT’S TOO SOON!
I honestly don’t know why I was on the floor. Sometimes, I get so embarrassed when I’m caught trying to be sneaky that I cry. Or I laugh so hard that I cry. Either way, I end up crying and on the floor. Don’t worry, Joseph accepts this. He eventually goes into the restroom, and he has that “I knew it, I know you” face, but he still appreciates the romantic gesture. Except for the fact that it’s covering his mirror and now he can’t see himself lol. Oops.
All in all, it was a perfect day with my Valentine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Until the next meal,
Winter = perfect crock pot season (click here to purchase the crockpot we have). Okay, to be honest, every season is perfect crock pot season, but there’s something about winter that makes you thinking of a simmering stew in a crock pot ready and waiting for you when you get home from a long day at work as pure bliss.
I found this recipe while trying to browse easy crock pot recipes that were paleo-friendly. Thank you to 5 Ingredient Paleo for the recipe!!! This recipe caught my eye because it only called for five ingredients! Yes, count that, FIVE ingredients! It’s also incredibly easy on top of that. You simply throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and let it go. That’s what I love about crock pots/slow cookers, one of the best kitchen tools for lazy cooking. Throw in the ingredients in the morning, go to work, and when you get home you have a meal ready for you. No fuss, no muss. So, let’s get started!
- 2 pounds chicken breast
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste + 1 cup of water
- 2-4 cups of baby kale or chopped regular kale
- Additional seasoning (optional)
Simply throw all of the ingredients except for the kale in the slow cooker, add your cup of water and tomato paste, and then stir to incorporate everything. You do not need to chop up the chicken breast because they will shred easily once cooked in the slow cooker. I added a dash of basil and rosemary. I honestly don’t know if it did anything, but the dish turned out well in the end. I think you can definitely play around with the ingredients by adding different seasonings/spices as well as other veggies as well (carrots? white potatoes? possiblities are endless!).
The recipe from the original blog post calls to cook everything on low for about 6-8 hours. And the in the last hour of cooking, open your slow cooker (slowly), and once again stir to mix everything up. The stirring should then shred your chicken easily. Add in the kale, and mix until well incorporated. Cook for about 30-60 minutes longer until the kale is tender.
I was a little pressed for time, so I blasted the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. I then switched it back to low for another hour, threw in the kale, and then blasted the slow cooker on high for the last hour. The chicken was not as easy to shred, but it was still shreddable with some prodding and poking on my end.
And voila! The stew turned out fantastic. Perfect dish to warm us up on a cold evening!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer
Apologies for the ridiculously delayed blog post! Joseph’s work schedule has been particularly busy at work these past two weeks, and I started teaching a brand new novel study that I’ve never taught before, so that usually means me attempting to stay ahead of my kids each night by studying up on the content that I’m about to teach… #procastination. Sigh. Plus, we’ve both just been too lazy to blog. We have tons of recipes to share, but we just can’t seem to find the time to just sit down and type away. Professional blogging is no joke!
Most of the recipes that I like to use the most in my kitchen are the ones that are most convenient, i.e great for meal prep and easy to make. I like recipes that are easy to cook in bulk! This is not only for meal prep but also because Joseph tends to eat a massive amount of whatever I make (he loves me? or he loves food? who knows…).
This recipe is for breakfast egg muffins. This recipe is not only extremely easy, but it’s also flexible as well! If you don’t like the ingredients that I put in, you can change it up to meet your needs and wants! The breakfast egg muffins store very easily for meal prep, and you can eat them as an on-the-go breakfast or even eat them for lunch. I do both!
First up, gather the ingredients:
- 5 links of Applegate pork breakfast sausage
- 10-12 eggs (Grade A, cage-free, and organic is preferable)
- ghee, coconut oil, or other fat of choice
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced into small pieces
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced into small pieces
- 1/2 onion diced into small pieces
- shredded cheese of choice (I use mexican blend)
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and also washing your hands!
Take the breakfast sausage and dice them into small pieces. Sausage is typically a no-no when it comes to paleo-friendly foods, however the Applegate brand is one of the better brands that have pre-made/cooked meats that are paleo-friendly. You will of course still have to check the ingredients listed on the back of any Applegate product to double-check if it’s pale-friendly, but the pork sausage has been verified by us!
In a medium/large bowl, scramble your eggs and season with salt and pepper. I also sometimes throw in FlavorGod seasoning just because! Add the green bell peppers, red bell peppers, onions, as well as shredded cheese (as much as you desire). Honestly, this is where you have fun. You can add diced cook mushrooms, diced tomatoes, chopped broccoli, bacon, basically anything that floats your boat! There IS such a thing as putting too many different ingredients because it will overflow your muffin tins. My recommendation is to vary it up each time you make it. Bell peppers and sausage one day and maybe mushrooms and bacon the next day!
Grease the cups of a muffin tin with your ghee/coconut oil/lard of choice. This is where it can get tricky. If you grease it TOO much then your muffins will turn out… well, greasy! Grease it too little and your muffins end up sticking to the pan. My recommendation is to use silicone baking cups (to purchase click here). There’s no need to grease, and the muffins slide out perfectly.
Place equal amounts of sausage in the bottoms of the muffin tins. Don’t worry, the sausages will rise up throughout your muffins. AMAZING.
Pour your egg mixture evenly on top of the sausage. You will want to pour it about 5/6th of the way full (a little more than 3/4 but less than the brim of the muffin tin). Don’t pour to the brim or else you will have a colossal crazy mass of muffin, but pour too little and you have dinky little muffins. 10 eggs will make about 10 muffins, and 12 eggs will make about 12 muffins.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and try to allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before digging in! Use a knife to loosen the egg muffin from the sides of the pan.
You can store in an an airtight container and refrigerate to eat later. You can eat these as is or serve these with salsa, bacon, paleo-friendly wraps (to purchase wraps, click here), or if you are not strictly paleo, you can even crumble it up and throw it in a tortilla for an easy breakfast wrap!
Again, feel free to be creative and add whatever breakfast ingredient you would like! The options are endless!
Did you add any additional ingredients when you made yours? If so, please share! We’d love to know all of the different combinations you can do with this dish! Remember to hashtag #jenjoandpaleo!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer
It’s been an incredibly crazy week for me and Joseph. It was my school’s Homecoming week, and I’ve been so busy with the Homecoming Coronation and Dance festivities. I can honestly say I literally spent almost 80 hours this week at school: monitoring my kids while they painted, decorated, and set-up for the dance; communicating with vendors for the dance; handling ticket sales and unsuccessfully trying to count/add/divide/multiply monetary amounts (my number skills are horrendous), and worrying about the weather raining out our Homecoming Coronation Ceremony which was outdoors. My poor kiddos got the full dose of crazy me this entire week, and poor Joseph, who is always ever-so-supportive, was stuck with the “assistant babysitter/food delivery/emotional support man” throughout the entire process. So I haven’t been able to even think about properly blogging until now. I’d hate to skip a week of not posting anything, so I’ll provide a recipe for a very easy side dish, baked sweet potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are not only paleo-approved but that are also absolutely delicious and can be cooked in so many ways. Sweet potatoes are GREAT for athletes, and they are a wonderful source for carbs.
Joseph and I like to cook our sweet potatoes in a variety of ways, and we’ll share those recipes in the next few posts! However, there is one very simple, tried-and-true sweet potato recipe that ANYBODY can do. Baked sweet potatoes!
Now, gather your ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes (your preference to how many you would like and which kind of sweet potato you’d like to use)
- Ghee (or coconut oil)
- Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Flavor God seasoning (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is warming up, wash the sweet potatoes well. After drying the sweet potatoes, take a fork or small knife and carefully prick small holes all over the sweet potatoes.
Melt the ghee, and with a cooking brush coat each potato with your ghee/coconut oil. Place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.
And voila! That is it! When you are ready to eat your sweet potato you have the option of mixing ghee and salt/pepper to the potato. Joseph likes to add Flavor God seasoning to his sweet potato. I just eat it plain-jane because I love the taste of sweet potato alone.
We’ve been using baked sweet potatoes as part of our meal prep. We bake the potatoes, cut them in half, and couple them with some kind of protein and maybe a small veggie side. Absolutely perfect and easy for meal prep!
Hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post! Remember to hashtag #jenjoandpaleo!
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer
Everyone assumes that just because we eat follow a paleo-friendly diet, we are unable to enjoy sweets and treats. There are a variety of fantastic and easy recipes for paleo-friendly sweets and treats. My favorite thing to whip up are these banana chocolate chip muffins.
Gather the ingredients:
- 3 mashed over-ripe bananas
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life chocolate chips are paleo-friendly, or you can just use regular chocolate chips)
What’s great about this recipe is that as StefMef24 put it so eloquently, “It’s the perfect recipe for the lazy person.” There are no steps to baking these muffins. You just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well!
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take all of your ingredients, and throw them in a mixing bowl. Then mix! I recommend using a Kitchen Aid mixer or electric hand mixer because mixing with a whisk by hand was a little difficult. The banana would get stuck between the wires of the whisk and it took a little more time than necessary and a lot more muscle-power than necessary to blend everything together well. Make sure bananas are well mashed/mixed! Unless you like banana chunks in your muffins, then keep your bananas half-mushed.
When I want to be fancy (which is all the time), I like to throw in some chopped nuts alongside my other ingredients as well. It adds a nice texture to the muffin, and the nuts complement the banana and chocolate well.
After mixing everything together, grab a muffin tin or silicone baking cups. Pour the muffin mixture into the tin/baking cups. The muffins do not rise that much, so you can pour enough mixture to where the cup is filled 3/4 of the way. You should be able to make around 12 muffins.
Place your muffins in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. They will brown a little on the top, but that’s okay. Let them cool before digging in. The muffins still maintain a “muffin-y” consistency, but they’re a tad bit spongier than your typical muffin. I love that this muffin is a little sweet, but it’s not TOO sweet.
The only thing “wrong” with these muffins would be the fact that they are next-to-impossible to try and store and save to eat throughout the week. Every single time I’ve baked them, Joseph and I will inhale EVERY SINGLE MUFFIN within 24-hours I kid you not. They are absolutely delicious AND healthy! Granted, they’re not healthy enough for us to eat be eating all of them in one sitting… but at least we’re not eating 12 processed cupcakes in one sitting, right?
Thanks to Pinterest and Your Paleo Recipes for the recipe! Original recipe can be found here.
And just for fun, here’s an adorable picture of my not-so-amused family pup, Cinnamon, in a banana costume just for kicks and giggles. I thought it might be appropriate for this blog post since it features bananas. For those who are curious, Cinnamon is a mix between a Pomeranian and Chihuahua.
Until the next meal,
Joseph and Jennifer