Who doesn’t love a chicken tender?! I used to pretend I was making them “for the kids” all while plotting how delicious they were going to be on my salad or dipped into something fabulous. But, chicken tenders, fingers, nuggets or whatever ya want to call them are usually over-breaded and fried in yucky fats when eaten out — and not much better for you when baked from those bags from the freezer section.
My recipe for Baked Turmeric Almond Chicken Tenders uses fresh chicken breast coated in almond meal for satisfying crunch! The golden color comes from turmeric, a spice beloved not just for it’s hue but also amazing health benefits — I’ve blogged about that a million times. By using almond meal (along with coconut flour for the pre-egg dusting), I’ve kept this recipe gluten-free and paleo-friendly! Read on to get the recipe! Continue reading →
Weekends are for waffles, especially around the holiday season! I “leggo” the typical waffle a long time ago, they are so carb heavy and the straight-up sugariness would always leave me with the hangries an hour or two later. But, not so with my Almond Protein Waffles with Dark Cherry Syrup when I pump up my waffles with a little protein powder, almonds and a little Greek yogurt on top, I get a morning meal that makes me feel fuller longer.
I’ve used a gluten-free flour blend to keep it friendly for those with intolerances and it’s also dairy-free if you choose not to dollop with Greek yogurt at the end. Depending on what type of preserves you choose at the store, the recipe can also be refined sugar free.
Feel free to make a double batch, let cool, and then stick in the freezer for a quick and easy breakfast later – they are so good sandwiched with nut butter in the middle (and convenient for car munching)!
My old-school, weary waffle maker is on it’s last legs and I’ve asked Santa to take me to the next-level of waffle making with the Smart Slice Waffle Iron from Breville. It has “Waffle IQ” — I need those smarts!
Also, please take a look-see at these other healthy waffle recipes that will start your morning off most magnificently – I have a sweet and a savory option for you! Why not make some for your holiday guests?!
Place gluten-free flour blend, protein powder, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl and whisk to combine.
In smaller bowl, whisk together legs, vanilla extract, butter and milk until frothy.
Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until combined; okay if a few lumps.
Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, scoop mixture onto waffle maker. Spread evenly and close. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
To make syrup, add frozen cherries to medium sauce pot and pour in juice. Stir in cherry preserves and real maple syrup; bring to light boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat and let simmer until thickened and syrupy, approximately 20 minutes.
To serve, pour syrup over waffles and top with a dollop of greek yogurt and toasted almonds.
Cookies are part and parcel of the holiday season in every family, in every culture, from Christmas sugar cookies, rugelach for Hanukkah, bene Wafers (sesame seed cookies) for Kwanza and more. All of these cookies are so yummy (really what cookie isn’t, chocolate krinkles are a favorite) but so many are loaded with sugar, refined flours and whatnot – and not to mention artificial dyes and colorings in the case of the typical decorations for cutout sugar cookies.
Sometimes it’s fun to create new, healthy traditions with your family that meet your own dietary restrictions, taste preferences and needs for optimizing performance. That’s why I came up with these Paleo Pistachio, Chocolate & Beet Cookies – there is no added sugar, 75 calories per cookie and only 5 grams carb. Plus, they are gluten-free but not vegan unless you use a vegan egg substitute.
The beet powder (I used Beet Essence from Green Foods) is rich in antioxidants, many of which help to reduce inflammation. Organic Cocoa, Sugarless Sugar (a stevia-based blend) and Coconut Oil from Now Foods create a sweet, chocolatey taste and pistachios give that salty, nutty taste I love – plus iron! Did you know pistachios are the most iron-rich nut of any?
Strange as they sound, everyone loves these Paleo Pistachio Chocolate Beet Cookies – even Lucy!
Last week, we devoured another winning cookie concoction, Paleo Gingerbread Cookie Brittle. This one is so easy, just smoosh into the pan and break! If you don’t want to cut into tidy wedges, you can just break it off in sweet shards!
Mix together stevia, potato starch, almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, beet powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.
Stir in coconut oil and egg until all dry ingredients are incorporated. If dough seems too wet (could be if eggs were too large), add coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough pulling away from sides of bowl.
Shape dough into approximately 1 tablespoon sized balls. Roll into pistachios and press down slightly so they adhere, if necessary.
Place balls on ungreased baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Press down on cookie dough lightly with the bottom of a baking glass to flatten slightly.
Bake at 350 F degrees for 10 minutes. Let rest on pan for 2 minutes before removing with spatula to cool completely.
White bread ain’t got nothing, not one single thing on my Nutty Purple Sweet Potato Flatbread. That is, unless you actually like gummy simple carbs and are willing to put your bod through the resulting blood sugar surge/crash and gathering of gluten all from eating one puny slice.
This kinda weird, but decidedly delicious flatbread has none of that nonsense. Featuring Stokes Purple®, a special type of California-grown, non-GMO sweet potato with purple skin and vibrant purple flesh that get even brighter when cooked, this bread alternative is nothing to “loaf” about – flat is where it’s at! #PurplePowerToThePeople
The texture of a Stokes Purple® is a little drier and denser than a traditional sweet potato, rendering it perfect for a substitute flour filler in my grain-free, gluten-free flatbread recipe. Purple sweet potatoes offer similar nutritional benefits of regular orange sweet potatoes in the fact that they are both healthy source of complex carbs with a low GI impact, are full of dietary fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. The Stokes Purple® also has anthocyanins, a plant flavonoid that not only gives the potatoes their distinctive purple hue, but also have been linked to a host of health benefits including reductions in certain cancers, lowering of bad cholesterol, improvements in vision, liver and heart health, and have also been linked to boosts in cognition.
So back to the sweet potato flatbread details, the recipe also features almond meal, and coarsely chopped pumpkin and sunflower seeds. There are a couple eggs in the recipe, but otherwise it’s dairy-free and suitable for a vegetarian or gluten-free diet. If you have an allergy to nuts, sub out the almond meal for an equivalent amount of oat-flour to keep it nut-free.
Eat this gluten-free flatbread warm out of the oven, spread with a little honey butter – it’s like eating a sweet potato in portable, easy-to-pick-up format. But, a little more interesting and flavorful than that “sweet potato toast” trend on Pinterest. You can also use two slices to bookend your favorite sandwich fillings – since I made these right after the holidays, my gluten-free sandwich is layered with leftovers including turkey, cranberry relish and spinach!
Heat oven to 400F degrees.
In small food processor, coarsely chop sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Add to small bowl, along with other dry ingredients including almond flour, salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic powder.
In small blender, add milk, eggs and 1 cup of pre-cooked sweet potato mash and process until smooth. Stir in remaining cooked sweet potatoes with spatula, adding a splash more milk if needed, but consistency should remain fairly thick.
Scrape this wet mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and mix with spatula until well combined.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread batter from end to end, corner to corner, keeping even thickness. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin and sunflower seeds, if desired.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until edges and top are turning lightly golden brown. Remove from oven to cool on wire rack.
Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. Save leftovers in zip-top bag in refrigerator – reheat in microwave or toaster oven before serving.
Yes, I have been guilty of eating REAL cookie dough and a lot of it. Once as a kid, my indulgent grandmother let me eat as much as I wanted while my annoyed mother looked shaking her head and telling me I was going to get sick. So, what happened? I barfed . . . mothers are always right. While I still like to make “real” chocolate chip cookies for the family now and again, I try to stay out of the dough (as much as I can). My recipe for Nut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bites is a healthier option with no raw eggs, no gluten, and no added sugar except for a few chocolate chips.
With less than 100 calories and almost 5 grams of protein, one these yummy little no-cook treats also make a sensible alternative to eating that whole chub of cookie dough and turning into the Pillsbury Dough Boy (but, darn if he isn’t the cutest thing).
Your sweet tooth will be satisfied with the smattering of chocolate chips, but you can also omit these from the recipe.
I’ve added a whey protein powder for sustained energy, muscle-making and to prevent that sugar crash that comes with eating too many sweets. The protein also makes this no-bake recipe a great choice for your post-workout or run recovery snack. You can use your favorite brand of protein powder, but note that it may change the nutritional info depending on the brand and exact ingredient list.
Also, I used Nuttzo Seven Nut & Seed Butter which is my nut butter of choice – again, you can sub in whatever almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butter you like, but I highly recommend this one because it is packed with so much extra wholesome goodness. Save 20% on your order with my discount code FITFORK-20 at Nuttzo.com.
I’m making an extra batch this week to take along on our road trip to Spartan Houston! It has been raining buckets all over Texas so it looks like it’s going to be ANOTHER wild, wet and super muddy course. If you’re thinking about running an upcoming Spartan Race (check calendar here), there is a new limited-time discount code SPRING20 you can use at checkout to save 20% .
Add protein powder, almond meal and oat flour in bowl; stir to combine. Stir in chia seeds and flax seeds (if using a nut butter that already includes these seeds, simply omit these ingredients).
Add nut butter, 2 tablespoons of almond milk and stevia to bowl. Use spatula to combine well; mixture should be a bit crumbly, but hold together when pinched between fingers. If too dry, add additional almond milk a teaspoon at a time.
Stir in mini chocolate chips.
Roll approximately 1 tablespoon between palms of had to form ball; repeat with remaining dough.
I’d love to be in New York City this Labor Day weekend, binging out on fabulous foods and Broadway shows. The last trip I took to the Big Apple with my mom, we took in a show every night for nearly a week – such an entertaining escape from reality! Check out the sweepstakes at the end of my post sponsored by Stella® cheeses; the winner and a guest will enjoy a trip to NYC to take in a show, dinner and the sights – it could be you!
While I’m not doing a Broadway boondoggle this fall, the hubby and kids do what we can to take in the ample arts and events in Austin – last week we sat in jaw-dropped amazement at Kooza by Cirque de Soleil and tonight the family is just taking it easy with a movie at home. I’m trying to keep my diet cleaned up now that I’m deep into training for Spartan Beast and a subsequent marathon and have retooled my salty snacks too be less processed, gluten-free and more protein-oriented.
For tonight’s movie (Wild), I whipped up a batch of Gluten-Free Asiago Almond Crackers – bite-sized, crispy and filled with grain-free goodness. Not only to these herby crackers work for folks with gluten intolerances, they also fit into a Paleo (paleo-ish) diet that is willing to allow for a bit of cheese and butter.
Made with artisan cheeses, my Gluten-Free Asiago Almond Crackers are sophisticated enough for a fancy cocktail party – but the kids love them as well. They’re actually not at all difficult to make and a sensible snack option you can feel good about feeding your family with ingredients that include Stella® cheeses, gluten-free baking mix, almond meal, flax seed, thyme and butter. Simple goodness!
When rolling out the gluten-free crackers, it’s easiest to do so between parchment or wax paper – use your favorite little cookie cutter or use a pizza cutter to make squares, diamonds or other shapes. I would also strongly suggest baking on Silpat or a sheet of parchment to prevent sticking and burning. The crackers made using Italian-style cheeses can be frozen for up to six months, so make a couple extra batches!
I really loved using the Asiago from Stella® cheeses – it had a distinct, aged flavor and natural saltiness that added addictive yumminess to the recipe without having to add extra salt. I’m a little bit of a cheese snob and Stella® cheeses really rock – made with old world craftsmanship and a rich dairy heritage that dates back to 1923, this company makes all sorts of cheeses from shredded to crumbled and sharp to sweet. Some of the products I think you’ll love are the Asiago (used in recipe feature), Rosemary Medium Asiago, Fontina, Fontinella®, Italian Sharp, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Mediterranean Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta, Romano and Black Pepper Romano.
So, back the sweepstakes I hinted at earlier – enter here for a chance to win a trip for two people to New York City with a $500 gift card, dinner for two, and two tickets to a Broadway show. You may enter once per e-mail address per day through October 31, 2015. For full rules, please visit Stella® cheeses. : #StellaTakesManhattan
Add flour, almond meal, flax seed thyme and cheese to work bowl of food processor. Pulse food processor to blend.
Add one tablespoon of butter at a time, pulsing between, until dough is crumbly.
Slowly drizzle about 4 tablespoons of ice water into dough while food processor is on. Stop adding water as soon as the dough is moist enough to start pulling off edges of work bowl.
Place ball of dough onto parchment paper. Flatten into a thick disk, wrap the dough up in the paper, and chill in the refrigerator one hour to overnight.
After chilling and ready to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is evenly 1/8 inch thick. Use pizza cutter to cut dough into squares or use small cookie cutters to punch out shapes. Place uncooked crackers on a parchment-lined baking sheet into top one-third of preheated oven (to prevent burning).
Cook for 8- 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cook for 5 minutes. Store in air-tight container.
It’s that time of year – Hatch Green Chile Season! I’m sure I’ll have several new recipe creations to share with you, but let me start off the Hatch love fest with three delicious dinner ideas using fish and Hatch green chile. The first is a brand new recipe of mine – Hatch Green Chile Salmon Cakes with Summer Veggie Saute! If you have dietary needs, this recipe is Paleo friendly, gluten-free, dairy free and low carb.
There are fire-roasted Hatch chiles in the patties and also a delicious sauce stirred into the veggie saute. I’ve made Hatch sauces from scratch before, but the Green Chile Anytime Sauce from Stubbs BBQ Sauces was awesome and had all that familiar flavor of Hatch, lime and garlic – it’s quite spicy, which my husband and I love! It’s perfect for a sauce, marinade or dip! I was sent bottles of the Anytime Sauces to experiment with, and I love them — check out their entire line of Anytime Sauces that also includes Sweet Black Pepper and Texas Sriracha versions. Yeehaw!
I can’t help but blog about Hatch Green Chiles all I can each year during their short August to early September season. These Hatch salmon cakes aren’t the first time I’ve paired up fish with the chile pepper – my Hatch Green Chile Trout is a personal favorite for quick-to-fix, one skillet meals (I keep a stash of roasted chiles in the freezer at all times).
In medium bowl, mix together salmon, chiles, green onions, salt and pepper until combined. Next stir in egg and ¼ cup of almond meal.
Form salmon mixture into four 1-inch thick patties; sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons almond meal over each patty, lightly pat down. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Cook patties in hot oil until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer patties to paper towels to cool off a bit while cooking veggies.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet. Add zucchini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until starting to soften, but not getting soggy. Add halved tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring, for another 1 minutes. Add hatch green chile sauce and stir for a few more minutes until heated. Stir in 2 tablespoons of green onions.
To serve, place mound of veggies on plate and top with salmon cake. Drizzle with additional Hatch sauce if desired.
Hey there, so “Sriracha” eating for dinner today? I hope you’re hungry because I’m sharing a simple healthy snack followed with a hearty halibut recipe – both with a spicy Sriracha spin.
The Sriracha brand of Hot Chili Sauce that lit a billion taste buds on fire.
If you haven’t been part this condiment craze, Sriracha is an Asian sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar. It first was produced by hand in the early 1980s and is sold in a signature squirt bottle with green cap and bearing a rooster on the front (so, I’ve always called it Rooster Sauce). In recent years, Sriracha has developed a cult-like following, but I’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to food and have been using it in my recipes since the early 1990s – while you can get it in your local grocery store today (even Walmart, it’s that mainstream), back then we’d have to venture down to the Asian market in Houston to score a couple bottles.
These days, Sriracha is used just about on everything, not just Thai or other Asian food — you’ll find it used on eggs, meats pizzas, pastas and other entrees as well as a bold flavor for popcorn, chips and nuts. In fact, I’ve been enjoying a couple cans of Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond – the flavor is intense and spicy, but not so over-the-top that your taste buds can handle the heat.
We love to enjoy Sriracha Almonds from Blue Diamond just as they are or paired with crispy roasted seaweed for a far eastern-inspired snack. Almonds make a sensible snack any time of day, the protein and heart-healthy fats found in this nut are satiating and take away the “hangries” until mealtime.
I love to make halibut for dinner – it’s such a hearty fish and great source of lean protein. However, the mild, sweet flavor of halibut needs a bit of spicing up in my opinion, so I decided to grind up some of the Sriracha Almonds to create a crunchy topping for this baked shrimp recipe. I’ve paired it with black rich (super rich in antioxidants) and edamame beans for a balanced, nutritious meal.