Hi There!

A big hello and welcome to you! Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world.  What you will find here in this space are my ideas, thoughts, and experiences on how I try to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle with a side of charm. Hope you enjoy!

My Red, White, and Blue Paleo Menu

My Red, White, and Blue Paleo Menu

Who's ready for a 4th of July spent lounging around with family and friends?  I certainly am!  These last few weeks have given my little family and I a run for our money.  I will spare you the gory details of sickness and parasites that have invaded our lives but suffice it to say I am ready for a holiday!  Due to the fact that things have been so chaotic around here I have definitely fallen off track a bit with my healthy eating.  I am slowly making my way back around and I surely don't plan to let a holiday knock me back off the wagon (like it usually does if we're being honest)!  So I decided to create a menu that is red, white, blue, and paleo friendly!  Now let me assure you the food has all been approved and enjoyed by my family, despite what the picture may show.  I definitely need to work on my food photography game LOL!  Hope this leaves you with a little healthy inspiration for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.  Whatever you do and whatever you eat, just have a great one!

Greek Yogurt And Berry Breakfast Parfait Recipe

Greek Yogurt and Berry Breakfast Parfait

How about a delicious and filling breakfast that is healthy and gets your day started off with the Red, White, and Blue theme?  This one is super basic and easy with a few of my special twists.

Ingredients

Non Fat, Plain Greek Yogurt

Washed Strawberries, Blackberries and Raspberries (approx.3/4 cup total)

Granola (Be sure to use unsweetened or naturally sweetened, can omit for strict Paleo diet)

Unsweetened Coconut Chunks

Large Glass, Mug or Parfait Bowl

Directions

Start with a mixture of fruit on the bottom, then add 2 large spoonfuls of yogurt on top.  Continue this layering method until you are 1 inch from the top of the glass or when your fruit runs out, whichever comes first.  Sprinkle with granola then coconut chunks on top.  For an even creamier version you can puree all the fruits together in a blender and layer puree and yogurt alternately.

 

Spinach and Arugula Pecan and Berry Salad Recipe

Spinach and Arugula Pecan and Berry Salad

This one is also a simple and basic recipe with a few add ins.  I love the combination of spinach and arugula, add in some sweetness from the berries and crunchiness from the pecans and this salad is a total winner!

Ingredients

Even Proportions of Spinach and Arugula (I used about 1/2 cup each for a small salad)

Washed Blueberries and Strawberries (I used about 1/4 cup total for a small salad)

Unsweetened, Unsalted Pecans (I used about 10 for a small salad)

Dressing: Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar OR Blueberry Sauce Recipe Mentioned Below

Directions

Toss together all ingredients with your chosen dressing and enjoy!!

Jalapeno Chicken Burger Recipe

Jalapeno Chicken Burgers

So this is not exactly with the color theme but these are a quick, easy and healthy option for those that are firing up the grill.  You can omit some of the spices and jalapeños if you are adverse to spiciness and replace with pineapple chunks!  Or try both for an extra taste bud zing!

Ingredients

1 lb of Ground Chicken

1-2 Jalapeños depending on spiciness preference

1 Tsp Paprika

1 Tsp Garlic Salt

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Optional Add Ins: 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese OR 1/4 Cup Pineapple Chunks

Directions

Mix all ingredients together with your hands in a mixing bowl, do not over mix.  Form into patties (be prepared, they will be very sticky) for your Grill Master!  Grill and enjoy! 

Grilled Garlic and Basil Cherry Tomato Recipe

Grilled Garlic and Basil Cherry Tomatoes

Here is another quick and easy recipe you can use as a side to the chicken burgers.  These are so good you will be wanting to have them all summer long!

Ingredients

1 Pint of Washed Cherry Tomatoes

4 Garlic Cloves Finely Minced

Approx. 8 Full Sized Basil Leaves Coarsely Chopped

Olive Oil

Directions

Place the tomatoes in a grilling pan/dish.  Add the garlic and basil to the pan and coat all with olive oil.  Toss to evenly coat the tomatoes with all ingredients.  Hand off the Grill Master!  

Sparkling Berry Popsicle Recipe

Sparkling Berry Ice Pops

These beauties are an easy and refreshing treat to have after spending the day out in the sun.  My first attempt with these was made with coconut water which were good but not approved by my girls.  I made another batch with flavored sparkling water and they turned out much more flavorful! Just be sure to check the sugar content of whatever flavored water you choose to be sure it's sugar free or very low in sugar if you are trying to stick to a healthy diet!  Trader Joe's always has a great selection of sparkling and non sparkling flavored waters!

Ingredients

Flavored Water of Choice or Coconut Water

1/2 Cup of Preferred Berries  (For 6 Popcicles)

Popsicle Mold

Directions

Fill your mold three quarters of the way full with your chosen berries.  Now pour in your liquid of choice to the brim of the mold.  Place the popsicle stick in and place in the freezer until completely frozen.  Remove from the freezer a few minutes prior to eating to allow to thaw slightly which will make removing the popsicle from the mold easier.  

Paleo Crockpot Brisket WIth Blueberry Sauce Recipe

Crockpot Brisket With Decadent Blueberry Sauce

 You guys, this one was good!  A couple of months ago when I was beginning the plans for this post I began thinking of enterees that would fit with the red, white, and blue theme.   Not many came to mind and I knew I would have to get creative.  Well I first began thinking of foods that reminded me of 4th of July.  Barbecue immediately came to mind but I knew I needed to find a way to make it Paleo friendly.  I also wanted something easy to make so that all time could be spent on enjoying the holiday.  So crockpot brisket popped in my head as something that checked all those boxes.  My next thought then was how to incorporate color and thus the blueberry sauce was born.  The good thing about Paleo is that there are only so many ingredients that are acceptable to use so creating recipes is much easier when you only have a certain amount of things you can use LOL.  So I just grew together a couple ingredients I thought would work well together and it actually turned out great!  And you can actually use this blueberry sauce on anything, it is pretty versatile.  The apple cider vinegar makes it best suited for savory meals but it would also work just as well with ice cream, pancakes, and waffles.  Just promise me you'll make it (and then comment below what you think)!!

Paleo Crock Pot Brisket 

Ingredients

2 lbs Flat Beef Brisket

3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

1 Teaspoon Pepper

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1.5 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2-3 Cups Beef Broth

Directions

Mix all ingredients except for the brisket and broth in a bowl, this will be your spice rub.  Once all ingredients are mixed you will want to pat dry your brisket on all sides and rub the spice mixture into the brisket.  If you have a little extra time it is always a good idea to sear the brisket on all sides in a pan over the stove top - this adds an incredible increase in the flavors.  Now all thats left to do is transfer the brisket to the crock pot and pour in your broth.  I usually do about three cups of broth but it all depends on how big your cooker is.  You want the broth to fully surround the brisket to keep it moist (it will not be submerged just surrounded).  I cook mine on low for about 7-8 hours, you can also cook on high for approximately 4 hours.  Just check as timing gets close to done so that it does not get overcooked and dry!

Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients

1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

1/4 Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions

Mix together the honey and vinegar in a pot over medium low heat on the stove.  Once mixed add in the blueberries.  You will want to cook and occasionally stir the mixture for about 10-15 minutes until the blueberries appear to have "popped" and let out some of their juices. Similar to when you make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving!  Once this has occurred, carefully transfer to your blender and puree to your desired consistency.  You can add more honey to make it thicker or water to thin it more if you would like.  With the brisket I will serve it still warm, you may want to refrigerate if you are serving the sauce with any cooler food items.  Enjoy!

Paleo Berry Pie Recipe

Paleo Berry Pie

So this one definitely steals the show in presentation.  It is so pretty but tastes just too good to be considered "healthy".  Now don't get me wrong, it doesn't compare to a decadent piece of Cheesecake Factory's finest (not that I am craving that or anything LOL), but there is just something so extremely delicious about eating something that tastes good, and sweet, and isn't filled with fat, sugar, and butter.  Am I right!!??  This is one that you will want to be sure to plan ahead on as the coconut milk needs to be pre refrigerated and the pie itself should be refrigerated over night.  But don't let all these directions fool you, I made mine with a hands on time of maybe twenty minutes.  Enjoy my friends!

Crust Ingredients

1 Cup Condensed Softened and Pitted Dates (You Can Soak The Dates In Water For 20 Minutes To Soften Them And Remove The Pits)

1/2 Cup Almond Flour

1/2 Cup Sliced and Slivered Almonds

1 Tablespoon Honey

1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Coconut Oil or Spray For Greasing Pie Plate

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.  The  mixture should be slightly sticky and hold together well.  Now prepare your pie plate or dish by greasing it down with some coconut oil to allow ease of slicing and removing pieces when it comes time to eat this delicious creation!  Once your pan is greased transfer your crust mixture to the middle of the pan/plate and form a base for the pie by pressing and kneading the mixture to completely and evenly cover the bottom of the pan and up the sides as much as possible.  With my pan I was only able to go up the sides about 1/2 an inch.  Be sure the crust layer has no holes or voids and is not too thin.  The more even, the better, even if this means you don't cover the sides as much.  Now place your pan in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  You will know its done when the crust starts to harden a bit on top and brown.  You do not want to burn it so pay close attention after the 15 minute mark.  Remove from the oven once cooking in complete.  If any spots bubbled up they will deflate once cooled or you can gently press it back down with the backside of a spoon.  Now place the crust in the refrigerator or freezer to cool down until you are ready to add the filling!     

Whipped Filling Ingredients

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk - Refrigerated For 24 Hours Ideally (In A Pinch You Can Place In The Freezer For About 30 Minutes To 1 Hour But Be Sure Not To Freeze It!)

1.5 Teaspoons of Coconut Sugar or Honey

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Powder

Directions

While your crust is cooking in the oven this filling can be whipped up.  Remove your can of coconut milk from the refrigerator and open the can to remove the top layer of coconut cream. You do not want to get any of the liquid at the bottom of the can, this will dilute your cream and cause the consistency of the filling to be flat.  Once you have removed all the cream from the can, discard the liquid or save for another recipe.  Now add your choice of sweetener (honey or coconut sugar) and the vanilla and whip it all together using a hand mixer or stand mixer.  You will want to whip on the highest setting for about 2-3 minutes.  You should end with a very fluffy yet thick cream.  Keep refrigerated until ready to put the pie all together. 

Fruits

1/2 Cup Strawberries 

1/4 Cup Blackberries

1/3 Cup Blueberries

1/4 Cup Raspberries

Assembly Directions

Once all of your fruits are washed and patted dry and your crust and cream have had a chance to cool down in the refrigerator it is time for assembly!  Simply pour the filling into the pie crust and use a spatula to even it out.  Now strategically place your berries into and around the filling until you fill up the pie.  Do not overfill as this will make cutting and serving the pie more difficult.  When finished cover the pan and place in the refrigerator over night to allow the crust to harden and the flavors to meld together.  Remove and slice and serve when the time comes and be sure to enjoy!!

I hope I have left you with some inspiration for eating healthy this 4th of July!  Please comment below your thoughts if you try out any of these recipes!!

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