December 28, 2015

Morning Butter Biscuits and All-American Paleo Table Review



Hi friends! How was your Christmas? I hope amazing and filled with good food, friends and family. And hopefully a little time to relax as well. The holidays can be a stressful time so it's important to make some time for yourself if you can. I managed to fit in both a massage and a facial last week so there was lots of TLC happening in my life. Not something I normally get to experience I must admit.

But guess what I have for you today? A new recipe plus a cookbook review. Yep, it's a two for one kind of post today. I could even call it a three for one post as you will have a chance to win a copy of All American Paleo Table later on as well, so keep reading! I must admit that I am pretty excited to get to share these Morning Butter Biscuits with you. Don't they look amazing? And of course, they are grain free and made with only real ingredients. I bet your taste buds are watering already! But first...


Is it just me or has 2015 been an incredible year for paleo cookbooks? And the one I am sharing today is no exception. Caroline Potter's first print cookbook (and I am sure not her last), All-American Paleo Table, is brilliant. Simply brilliant. And the photographs are stunning. I never tire of flipping through the pages of this book and looking at the beautiful photographs. Something for me to aspire to for sure!


If you don't already know Caroline from her blog Colourful Eats I will give you a little introduction. At the age of 20, Caroline was diagnosed with type I diabetes. With this diagnosis came a drastic lifestyle adjustment. Being health driven, Caroline was determined to do everything possible to improve her health, so she turned to the paleo diet, and has never looked back. She has had amazing results when it comes to her diabetic control by going grain free, however, this also meant giving up many of her favourite foods, and the traditions that go with them: think apple pie at Thanksgiving, pizza dates with her husband, tailgating snacks and more. It has been her goal since then to help re-create those familiar recipes in a healthier, grain-free form. She does this on her blog, and in All-American Paleo Table. And she does an amazing job of coming up with delicious, healthy recipes that are fit for both children and adults.

All-American Paleo Table is broken into chapters that represent events that are familiar to Americans, with foods that would normally be found on the American table. Think breakfasts, everyday comfort foods, game day eats, movie nights treats, fall feasts, joyful eats, holiday treats and more. There is definitely something for everyone in this book, with over 100 grain free, paleo friendly, real food recipes inside.

Some of my other favourite features of the book include:

  • Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful photograph
  • The directions are straight forward, and easy to follow
  • It's a hardcover book - I have a tendency of abusing cookbooks so this is always a bonus
  • Each recipe specifies whether it is dairy free, nut free, or contains no added sugar
  • The resource section at the back of the book which tells you where to find the specific tools and ingredients used in the book
  • Caroline's guide to sweeteners
  • The helpful introduction that specifies the foods that are safe, and unsafe to eat on the paleo diet

As I mentioned there are over 100 recipes in All-American Paleo Table. And to be honest they all sound and look amazing! Some of the recipes that I can't wait to try include:

  • Crunchy Cinnamon Toast Squares
  • Nut Free Banana Bread Waffles
  • Strawberry Chocolate Granola
  • Nut Free Sandwich Bread
  • Banana Chocolate Chip Griddle Cakes
  • Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Crumb Cake
  • Fried Banana Stuffed French Toast
  • Chipotle Tri-Tip Bowls
  • Chicken Pot Pie and Biscuits
  • Carnitas
  • Pan Seared Cajun Salmon
  • Hawaiian Inspired Braised Short Ribs
  • Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Proscuitto Wrapped Peaches
  • Soft Plantain Tortillas
  • Crackling Pork Belly Croutons
  • Chewy Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Lemon Curd Celebration Cake
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs
  • Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Skillet Peach Cobbler
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos
  • Kicking Barbecue Sauce
  • Bacon Jam and Fried Egg Burgers
  • Crispy Bacon Sweet Potato Waffles
  • Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
  • Smoky Chipotle Stuffed Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
  • Creamy Coffee Ice Cream
  • Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Build Your Own Milkshakes
  • Duck Fat Mayonnaise
  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Loaded Nachos
  • Shredded Chicken Enchilada Guacamole Burgers
  • Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
  • Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies
  • Thin Crust BBQ Pizza with Crispy Bacon
  • Garlic Bread Bites
  • Apple Pie
  • Cider Mill Donut Holes
  • Sausage, Apple, Mushroom Stuffing
  • Roasted Beet Salad with Pears and Candied Pecans
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Gingerbread Caramel Cake
  • Creamy Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
  • Browned Butter Whipped Cauliflower
  • Apple Date Spice Cake with Maple Cinnamon Glaze
Yes I know that's a lot of recipes! Trust me there are many more delicious sounding dishes in the book too, but I had to leave you something to look forward to. Plus I left the Morning Butter Biscuits off of that list because I get to share that recipe with you today. Now, it's been over 5 years since I had anything with grains, but I have to say that these biscuits are tasty, and definitely very similar to the gluten containing original if you ask me. Just way healthier!

If you are interested in learning more about All-American Paleo Table, click here.

And if you would like to win your own copy of All-American Paleo Table please head to my instagram account where I am giving one copy away to one lucky follower.

As always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 





MORNING BUTTER BISCUITS RECIPE
Dairy Free

These biscuits are my absolute favorite baked creation. Cashews have a light, mellow flavor, so you will hardly notice that the biscuits are made with nuts and that they are very low in carbohydrates—a great staple to keep in the kitchen. These are slightly denser than their gluten filled predecessors, but are so buttery and delicious that you will probably want to eat more than one—yes, I can say that with experience! I like to freeze any extras to keep on hand for a snack or bit of comfort food because if you are anything like me, you will probably be craving these!

MAKES 8 BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS
6 tbsp (86 g) butter*
3 cups (435 g) raw cashew pieces
3 tbsp (18 g) coconut flour (buy here
1 tsp (3 g) grass-fed gelatin (I recommend this brand
1 tsp (4.5 g) baking soda (this brand is SCD legal)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) raw honey
2 eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) apple cider vinegar (I use this kind)
Coconut oil for greasing hands

* Palm shortening can be used for strictly dairy-free, but I prefer them best using butter.





DIRECTIONS
1. Slice butter into small cubes and set aside to soften for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C), adjusting the rack to the bottom portion of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Add the cashew pieces to the bowl of a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until a smooth nut flour begins to form. Be careful not to turn into nut butter.
4. Next, add the flour, gelatin, baking soda, baking powder and salt, pulsing several times to incorporate.
5. Finally, add the softened butter, honey, eggs and vinegar and briefly blend for about 10 seconds or until the dough starts to form.
6. Lightly grease your hands with coconut oil. Pinch off a small handful of dough and shape into biscuits, using your fingers to form a smooth top and round shape. Place on the baking sheet about 3 inches (7.6 cm) apart, because these biscuits do expand a bit. Repeat the process to form all the biscuits. If your dough becomes too sticky, wash and lightly re-oil your hands.
7. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, so they firm up.
8. Serve warm with butter, Blackberry Skillet Jam (page 32) or White Sausage Gravy (page 46).

This & That

I decided to use cashew pieces as opposed to whole cashews; they’re generally more cost effective. You can use whole cashews if that is what you have. Just use about 15 ounces (425 g).




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December 21, 2015

Citrus Arugula Pesto (Paleo, Vegan, SCD, GAPS)



Sitting on the couch, in my pyjamas, drinking coffee and watching Ellen. That is where I am writing this post from. Basically my happy place. I have a whole 12 Days of Giveaways to catch up on so I am officially in the middle of an Ellen Degeneres marathon. And how do I have time to do that do you ask? I have a whole week off for Christmas that's how! Can you tell that I am excited? If not, I will make it clear: I am! I am really trying to focus on my self and personal wellness right now so I have booked a massage, a facial, nights out with my girlfriends, time with my family, extra spin classes and of course some time to relax and curl up with a good book or movie. Sounds amazing doesn't it? Do you get time off for the holidays? What do you have planned?  


Can you believe it's only four days until Christmas? How did that happen? December has just flown by! Maybe because we have had such a mild winter this year, but for someone it really doesn't feel like Christmas to me. Normally, come December 1st I am busting out the Christmas music and starting to feel festive, but for some reason this year has been different. I'm not sure why. Although I have still been doing my fair share of holiday baking. Between the Christmas parties, work gatherings and chocolate cravings I have been satisfying my sweet tooth this month that's for sure. But I have also had time to go to some extra spin classes lately, so it all balances out in the end. Although I must admit that I really don't stress about a little extra sugar intake. A little treat here and there is definitely healthy if you ask me.

However, I know some of you may be feeling a little guilty about all the extra indulgences this month so to help get you back on track I have an amazing pesto recipe to share with you today. This Citrus Arugula Pesto combines the tart flavours of arugula, with the sweetness of mandarine orange, and the flavour combination is amazing. Not only does this taste great, but it is super simple to make. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is ready within minutes. It goes great with raw vegetables, served with meat dishes or simply eaten straight out of the jar. My favourite way to eat this so far is with raw carrot sticks. I have been eating this as a snack for the last couple weeks and I am still not tired of it. That is the sign of a good recipe if you ask me. You might just want to add this one to your holiday menu. You still have time!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas! Until next time, happy eating!

And as always I would be thrilled if you followed my social media pages on  Instagram, FacebookPinterest and  Twitter.


Citrus Arugula Pesto Recipe




Ingredients

4 cups packed fresh arugula leaves
100g package pine nuts
1 large mandarine orange, peeled and pulp removed (1/2 a large navel orange should also work or 2 small mandarine oranges)
1/2 cup avocado oil 
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)





Directions

1. Place all the ingredients into your food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth
2. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: This stays fresh in the fridge for at least one week

Print Recipe




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December 14, 2015

2015 Paleo Gift Guide




Hey friends. How was your week? Did anything exciting happen? I hope so! Mine was pretty uneventful I must admit. I worked over the weekend so nothing too crazy happened. But I did get some good food-prep for the week done and managed to fit in a couple good workouts. I know, I know, really exciting stuff happening in my world.

Can I just rant about one thing for a second though? Donald Trump. Honestly how is that man in the running to be the president of the United States. Does this thought not terrify anyone else? The racist, egotistic and bizarre things that come out of that man's mouth astound me. I honestly cannot understand how he has so many supporters. Maybe as a Canadian I am missing something here? I would love if someone weighed in because I can only image the disaster that would ensue if he was elected.

Anyways, on to more exciting things. Like today's post. My second annual Paleo Gift Guide. Did you see the first one I made last year? If not you can see it here. I have put together a collection of some of my favourite real food resources for you to browse. My favourite cookbooks, health books, paleo books and kitchen gadgets. I know that anyone following a paleo or read foods diet would be thrilled to receive any of these as gifts (some of these are actually on my own wish list). Because we all deserve a little something from Santa right? Right!

And if you have a chance please don't forget to visit my social media pages on PinterestInstagram and Facebook

Until next time, happy eating!

Cookbooks






Kitchen Tools 



Health and Wellness Books





Paleo Books






December 07, 2015

The Loving Diet Book Review


Love can heal. Say it with me, "love can heal."
I realize this may sound ridiculous, but those of us in the medical world have seen so many patients who are doing all the right things with their diet, supplements, medications and other therapies and still not feeling as well as they should. Does this sound like you? Or someone you love? If so then you need to read The Loving Diet. And this doesn't just apply to those trying to heal from an illness. If you have recently lost a loved one, or had a relationship end, or if you are struggling with any other kind of adversity or hardship you could benefit from this book.

The Loving Diet came to me at the perfect time in my life. Like the author, Jessica Flanigan, who discovered the healing power of love after the devastating end of her marriage, I received this book just after my relationship of nine years ended. Now I don't tend to discuss my personal life very often on the blog, but I felt it was important to do so for this post for you to really understand how powerful the messages in The Loving Diet can be.

So here goes (please go easy on me, this was extremely difficult for me to write)....




It's hard for me to put into words just how devastated I was when my relationship ended a few months ago. I was not at all prepared. Here was the person who I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with telling me they didn't want to be with me anymore. Just like that my world came crashing down. I know it sounds dramatic but I was honestly devastated. I cried everyday, multiple times a day for months. I would be at work and start crying, I would be driving and have to pull over because of the crying, I couldn't sleep because the tears just wouldn't stop. It was horrible. I have never felt emotional pain like that before. I was also in the middle of studying for the most important exams of my life, and between the stress of the two it was just too much. I have never felt so helpless and overwhelmed in my life. I am normally a very organized, driven person, who is able to juggle many different things and still feel great. This girl that was crying everyday and no longer thinking of the future with excitement wasn't me. But I couldn't stop the overwhelming sadness that I was feeling all the time. It still brings tears to my eyes with I think back to how I was feeling during those few months. I hated the sadness, I resented the sadness, yet I couldn't escape the sadness. Fortunately, then I started reading The Loving Diet.

From the opening of the book where Jessica describes how completely devastated she was when her husband left her for another woman, I was hooked. Her pain was so familiar. If she could move past that heartache and learn how to heal and benefit from it, so could I. The first lesson I learned was to accept the sadness, love the sadness, and believe that the sadness could teach me something. Yes the sadness can teach you something. This same message goes for whatever it is that is causing you pain. Your illness can teach you something, the loss of a loved one can teach you something, losing your job can teach you something... the list goes on. To quote Jessica, "when I stopped fighting so hard against life not being what I wanted or thought, I had longer stretches without crying... And in my dedication to trusting life and loving the grief, an amazing upside started to surface. Life falling apart did not equal life falling apart. Life meant trusting that every single little thing that was happening to me was for my benefit. And even though I had no idea with the benefit might be, I just kept trusting it... when bad things happen now, I take the perspective that there is a deeper purpose for it coming forward than a bad deal or disruption. It comes forward because it can help me grow deeper into my life and a loving state." This change in mindset is the premise for The Loving Diet. And it is this change in mindset that has really helped me heal over these last few months. I still feel sadness, but I no longer fight it, and I am once again starting to look to the future with excitement. Jessica has taught me how to change my negative, non-loving thoughts, into positive messages. And while I have no idea what the future will bring, this lack of certainty which once terrified me, no longer is so overwhelming. I am now starting to imagine all the amazing things that could potentially happen in the future. It hasn't been an overnight transformation, and I still have bad days filled with grief and sadness, but by practicing the methods in The Loving Diet over the last few months I have been able to change my outlook and start to heal.


Okay but enough about me. Now that you know how The Loving Diet has helped me, let me give you a little preview of what exactly you will find inside the book.


The book is broken into various chapters, starting with an education on what autoimmune diseases are, how and why they occur, the stages of them, and other factors that can influence autoimmune diseases such as gut dysfunction and inflammation. Jessica outlines the tests that she typically performs and recommends for patients presenting in the various stages of autoimmune disease, and her approach to treatment. She teaches you the power of mindfulness and meditation and provides resources to teach you these powerful healing tools as a way to help accept and deal with your illness or hardship. Next Jessica teaches you how to truly let love into your life. The majority of the book is dedicated to these lessons.

Jessica has found great success in treating her patients once they are able to accept and love their diseases, rather than try to fight them. And it is much easier to accept a hardship or illness if you believe that it truly has something to teach you, and that the suffering is just a path to joy. There are multiple exercises and quizzes throughout the book to help you learn these lessons and ultimately help you heal. Jessica also provides many examples of patients she has successfully worked with using the strategies in the book. Some of the tools you will learn about include avoiding againstness, coming into cooperation with your illness, redefining happiness, appreciating the struggle, avoiding the victim mentality, trusting your life, and releasing the unconscious beliefs that are impeding your progress. The final portion of the book is dedicated to the diet that Jessica uses to help her patients heal. It is a modified version of the well known Autoimmune Paleo Diet that she has had great success with. By combining both the diet and the mental strategies in The Loving Diet, Jessica has seen patients have amazing success.



I am sure by now you can tell that I think The Loving Diet is an amazing and powerful book. I have read so many health and wellness books over the years, but none of them have resonated with me the same way that The Loving Diet has. I could rave about the amazing messages in this book for hours, but I realize this post is already getting pretty long so I wanted to leave you with just a few of my favourite quotes from the book:

"You might not be able to change your illness, but you are completely capable of changing your relationship to your illness to create more happiness in your life."

"It's about taking the approach that the very thing that is afflicting us is doing so for our benefit."

"I have found that love and loving our challenges is the most rapid form of change both in our hearts and lives. When we develop skills to increase self-compassion and tenderness toward ourselves and our circumstances, life transforms itself to meet us with joy, abundance, and health."

"We are all trying to run away from the things that we don't like, or others don't like, in ourselves and trying to be perfect. But the imperfections are opportunities for being vulnerable, building courage, and ultimately increasing wisdom. We choose to decide if we will love them. And when we do, when we love the difficulties in our life, they open a door to the idea that we are already whole and perfect, and adversity was just the way we came to understand that truth."

If you are interested in learning more about The Loving Diet, please click here. You can also visit Jessica Flanigan's website AIP Lifestyle for even more information.

And as always I would be thrilled if you visited my social media pages on PinterestInstagram and Facebook!

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

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