Silver Dollar Pancakes

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m fairly certain that eggs have been behind my ever-occurring acne breakouts.  At least, since puberty ended.  However, there’s also the chance that I was reacting to the source of the eggs (I was purchasing from a farm that apparently feeds their chickens soy.  I didn’t know that and I’m DEFINITELY sensitive to soy).  There’s also the chance that I’m only reactive to part of the egg.  Most of the time, people who don’t tolerate eggs are reacting to the whites.  So, I’m reintroducing eggs again, slowly this time, beginning with the yolks.  Even if it does turn out that eggs are indeed the cause of my problem and it had nothing to do with what the chickens ate, I would at least like to know if I can use yolks when cooking.  They’re like nature’s multivitamin and there are so many things you can do with just the yolks!

Like this.

plantain pancakes

Which brings me to my new recipe for today… Plantain Pancakes.  The plantain obsession is real and I don’t think it’ll go away for a bit.  So let’s just see where it takes us, yes? 🙂

I haven’t felt like I’ve really had a “weekend” this whole semester – between work and continuing education classes for my personal training certification, I really haven’t yet.  So today, I did Pancake Sunday.  Involving egg yolks and plantains.  What could be better!?

Silver Dollar Pancakes

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 10 minutes   Total time: 15 minutes

Yield: 20-ish small pancakes, 2 servings

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Ingredients

2 yellow-black plantains, peeled

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Cut the plantains up into chunks, size doesn’t really matter.  We just don’t want them whole.
  2. Place the plantain pieces, almond milk, and egg yolks into a blender or food processor (I just used my Nutribullet and it worked fine!) and blend until smooth.
  3. Scrape the sides of the blender to get everything to the bottom, and add the sea salt and baking powder.  Blend one more time to get everything evenly incorporated.
  4. On low heat, melt the coconut oil in a pan on the stove and scoop large spoonfuls (I just used a dinner spoon) of the batter onto the warm pan.  The low heat is essential because these WILL cook faster than you think!
  5. Once the pancakes freely remove from the pan with a spatula, about 2 minutes, flip them and let the other side cook up to 30 seconds.  Remove the pancakes and repeat until the batter is gone.
  6. Serve with some maple syrup for a nostalgic and delicious breakfast!

Pizza Plantains

Y’all… I have done a thing.  This thing.plantain pizza 2

This thing just might be the reason for world peace one day… or the reason the Internet crashes.  I don’t know.  All is possible now that this exists.  I have no shame in admitting this was my entire dinner on Super Bowl Sunday.  This recipe is the combination of two of man’s greatest culinary feats: Tostones and Pizza.  Long story short: MAKE THEM.

I’d also like to say that since starting food allergen testing, I made the beautiful (and potentially dangerous) discovery that I am, in fact, tolerant of dairy.  For the longest time, I thought that dairy was the culprit in my terrible recurrences of dairy.  Through the Body By Butter Bootcamp, which I am still participating in, I was able to discover that high-quality cheese and keifer do not actually make me feel bad OR cause my skin to break out. I tested both goat dairy and cow’s dairy with the same conclusion for both: my Scandinavian-Polish-Irish genes pulled through for me!

I’m both very excited and a little worried about this realization.  Very excited because now it means I can indulge in some cheese from time to time and use keifer as another source of probiotics.  Also excited because I will be studying abroad in Italy this summer, and while gluten is actually very easy to avoid there, I am going to LOVE having some mozzarella and gelato without fear of digestive or skin distress.

However, this leaves me with a new issue: what is making my face break out?  Well, I have an idea.  After dairy, the next thing to reintroduce on the Protocol was eggs.  I tried to take it slow by only eating yolks for the first few days, but realized after meal prepping for the week that the mayo I used to make my Primal Chicken Salad had whole eggs in it.  Well, my face has broken out this week.  I cut the eggs back out altogether these past few weeks to see if my skin would heal up, and it did.  So there’s that.  Next up is to slowly test PROPERLY this time, with only yolks for probably a week and then slowly work in whites if nothing happens from that first round.  I also need to make sure that I buy eggs that are NOT from soy-fed chickens, because apparently the brand I’ve been loyal to for a while now feeds them FREAKING. SOY.  That is the worst food allergen for me, so honestly even that could be the issue.

Long Story short: food allergy testing is hard.

For me, an egg allergy will be harder to face than a dairy one.  I’ve been dairy-free for a year and a half now.  Dairy is pretty easy to avoid in most things – you just don’t use it in the recipes that call for it and don’t buy the few products it’s included in.  But eggs… DANG. Those are one of my favorite protein sources.  I love breakfast.  And eggs are used in so many products and recipes.  I know it’s totally doable, but I’m having a bit of a diva phase about this possible readjustment I’ll need to be making.  In the meantime, though, don’t you dare take away my Pizza Plantains that are, indeed, filled with CHEESE.

Plantain pizza

Pizza Plantains

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 30-ish minutes   Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: Varies, 2-4 servings

Ingredients 

4 green plantains

1/2 cup grass-fed shredded cheese (if tolerated) or cheese alternative (like this one)

1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more as needed

Sea salt to taste

1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping

Optional:  some other pizza toppings like preservative-free pepperoni, sausage, or other things you can stick in some cheese & get to fit between two plantains!

Directions*

*NOTE: If you already know how to make Tostones, do that with the plantains and then jump to step 5 to pizza-fy them!  If you don’t know, that method is outlined in steps 1-4.

  1. Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.  There should be a thin, 1/8 inch layer of melted oil along the entire bottom of the pan.
  2. While the oil is melting and heating up, peel the plantains and slice in 1-inch thick pieces.
  3. Place plantain pieces in the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until the majority of each piece is golden.
  4. Remove the plantain pieces from the pan and grease the bottom of a gar or glass cup (I used a mason jar).  Use the bottom of your jar to smash each plantain piece into a flat disk, and return the disks back to the hot oil to fry again.  Keep frying them until they begin to get brown spots on each side, flipping as needed.  Sprinkle salt, if using, on each side of the plantain disks while they are frying this second time.
  5. Remove the disks from the pan again, and sprinkle shredded cheese and other toppings, if using, in the middle of half of them.  Take the other half of the chips and place them on top of the ones with cheese on them.  Place back onto the pan, still over medium heat, and leave them there until the cheese is melted.  Flip as needed to avoid burning the plantains.
  6. Remove the plantain cheese sandwiches from the heat and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

plantain pizza 3

Chocolate-drizzled Baked Grapefruit

For some reason, I always forget that winter is citrus season.  Maybe it has something to do with associating oranges with Florida, Florida with beaches, and beaches with summer.  I don’t know.  Whatever it is, it always comes as a nice surprise when the produce section at the grocery store lights up with the bright yellows, oranges, reds, and greens that indicate it’s time for some tangy fruit.  Texas doesn’t even really get dreary for too long in the winter, but those bright fruity colors always cheer me up in the cold(ish) months!

Baked grapefruit 1

Since I love citrus so much, and I love chocolate so much (but really, who doesn’t?), I decided to combine the two.  This is a simple dessert that is sure to delight with its exciting flavor combinations and topping possibilities.  Give it a try and get creative with it!

Chocolate-drizzled Baked Grapefruit

Prep time: 3 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes   Total time: 18 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

1 large grapefruit, cut in half

1/4 cup melted chocolate of choice (I recommend Enjoy Life brand)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp coconut sugar

Pinch of sea salt

Optional extra toppings: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, etc.  Think sundaes add-ons!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Slice grapefruit in half and sprinkle the cinnamon, sea salt, and coconut sugar on the fruit’s flesh.
  2. Place the grapefruit, flesh side up, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until it is warm and soft.
  3. While grapefruit is baking, melt chocolate using method of choice.
  4. Remove grapefruit from the oven once done and drizzle the chocolate on top, along with any other toppings you may be using.  The fruit should pull away easily from the skin with a fork or spoon when eating.  Keep the skin on and use that as the “bowl” – serve warm and enjoy!

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Savory Lamb Sliders

If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed lately that I’ve been using the hashtag #BodyByButter a lot.  To explain, this is a new dietary protocol that my friends Anne Marie and James Garland over at Grass Fed Salsa have made.  I am currently in their group of live-coaching clients through the 6-week process, which will be available as an e-course around March that can be started at any time you wish.  Once I have completed the program, I will definitely be posting a full-length review for you to learn more about it!

That background has a point, I promise.  In the first phase of the Body By Butter Protocol, certain major allergens are removed from the diet to allow the body to heal from them before testing to see if you personally have an adverse reaction to any of them.  One of the things that is removed for a little while is eggs.

I. LOVE. EGGS.

Yes, that part was a slight digression.  But I’ve come to realize that, since cutting eggs out, the reason I like them so much is more because I just love breakfast foods and those have been a staple for me for so long.  I have been getting creative with the foods I have in the A.M. on this Protocol when I’m not doing some Intermittent Fasting with the help of Butter Coffee.  This is one of those recipes, and it is damn good.  It’s also Whole 30-compliant, which is great because a huge complaint I always get from the groups I help through the Whole 30 is that they’re sick of eggs in the morning.  No more using that excuse around me with this baby in existence!

Lamb sliders

Lamb Breakfast Sliders

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 10 minutes   Total time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 sliders

 

Ingredients

1 lb ground lamb

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

Pinch of sea salt

Black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp clarified butter

 

Directions

  1. Remove ground lamb from package and spread it out in a flat glob on a cutting board.  poke some holes in it with your fingers to get a larger surface area opened up.
  2. Sprinkle all seasonings listed above evenly on top of the meat.
  3. Roll up the meat and mash it around until the seasonings are spread evenly throughout it.
  4. Form 4 evenly-sized patties.  Melt the clarified butter on a skillet over medium heat, and cook the patties until they are done all the way through and slightly browned on the outside.  Serve right away and enjoy!

Actually-Good Cooked Broccoli

I mean I think the title says it all.

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Actually-Good Cooked Broccoli

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 5 minutes   Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

1 head of broccoli, florets removes & cut into small pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp clarified butter

1 tsp Italian herbs of choice (I use a basil/oregano/rosemary mix)

Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Prep broccoli as indicated above and melt clarified butter on a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic to melted butter and sear for about 30 seconds, until it just starts to brown and become aromatic.
  3. Throw in the broccoli florets and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix around the contents of the skillet so they are well-combined, and allow to cook for a few minutes before mixing again.  Cook until broccoli just starts to become brown and crispy on one or two of its sides, and then turn off the stove and serve broccoli, leaving in the chunks of garlic for extra flavor if desired.

Cinnamon Baked Pineapple

This recipe is special.  I’m in a bible study that two of my kinesiology professors run and announce invitations to every class they teach each semester.  I joined it after they told my introductory-level class of theirs my freshman year.  To give you an idea of how many people they invite to it, they each teach two lectures of around 200 students and then several upper-division classes every semester.  Anyone interested in joining can simply email or talk to them and they will give their home address to that person.  I think that is so kind and brave of them.

Anyway, even with the number of people invited, only a handful of us join and stick it out each semester.  This past year so far has had several of our members diagnosed with food allergies.  One person has recently been told to follow the low-FODMAP diet, and another girl is so sensitive to gluten that she cannot even be around it.  The female professor who runs the bible study is gluten and dairy-free, and the friend I began bringing this semester is as well.  Needless to say, I am not alone in this group of people in when it comes to avoiding certain things in my diet.

As the semester ended, the bible study leaders invited all of us to join together one last time for dinner at their house.  Everything they cooked would be gluten and dairy free, with as much consideration for everyone’s dietary needs as possible.  I was asked to bring something sweet since Anne Marie and I have recently released Paleo Cookie Exchange.  I knew that all of the recipes in there were paleo, but not all things paleo are compliant with low-FODMAP and the other diets being followed in our group.  So, I needed something else to make because I wanted everyone to get to enjoy dessert.  That is where this recipe comes in!

It is very simple, but so delicious.  This dessert doesn’t have any added sugar and can just as easily be enjoyed as a snack or side dish.  It is compliant with: Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, AIP, paleo, primal, low-FODMAP, low-oxalate, whole 30, and vegan diets.  Without the baking, it would taste just as good and would also be raw-vegan compliant.  Needless to say, I tried to make it so that anyone can have some.  I hope you do, too!

Cinnamon Baked Pineapple

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes   Total time: 25 minutes

Yield: One 9×9 pan

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Ingredients

1 large or 2 small pineapples, cored & diced

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until pineapple looks like all of the pieces have an even amount of cinnamon covering them.
  3. Add mixture to a 9×9 baking dish and cook in oven on center rack for 15 minutes.  If you want some juice retained, the dish is done at this point.  If you would like it drier, mix it around and leave it in for another 10 minutes.   If you wish to make this raw-vegan compliant, simply skip the baking and let your mixture chill in the fridge for 30 minutes so that the flavors marry before serving.
  4. Serve immediately for a pie-filling-like dessert, or serve cool for a sweet-and-tangy refreshment.

Bacon Fried Rice

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So… this is a recreation of the famous “fried rice” that everyone orders at Asian restaurants, but this time you actually know what’s in it.  As you can probably guess, I’m way too happy with this recipe.  And it is SO. EASY.  I know I say that about a lot of things, but seriously.  This is a well-rounded meal that pulls together excellently and will leave your friends thinking you’re a culinary genius when you really just threw some things in a pan and mixed them up.  Isn’t that the best kind of dish?

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Bacon Fried Rice

Prep time: 5 minutes    Cook time: Varies depending on rice choice   Total time: Around 30 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

Rice*:

1/2 cup dry white rice

1/4 cup + 2tbsp beef broth

2tbsp coconut aminos

*If you are strictly against grains, omit the above ingredients and instead prepare a batch of my Cauliflower Rice with beef broth.  If you are wondering why I have incorporated white rice into my Paleo lifestyle, click here.

2 slices of bacon, cut in half

2 eggs 1 green onion, chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. Mix together beef broth and coconut aminos and bring to a boil on high heat in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Add dry rice to the boiling broth, reduce heat to medium-low and place lid on top of the pot.  Allow rice to simmer on low until it absorbs all the liquid, then turn off the stove and keep the lid on the pot and allow steam to fully finish cooking the rice.
  3. As rice is steaming, slice the green onion and bacon.  Set the onion aside and cook the bacon to the wellness of your liking.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Leave the pan on the stove with the burner on, keeping the bacon grease warm.**
  4. When rice is done steaming, remove the lid from the pan and sprinkle the chopped green onion, garlic powder, black pepper, Chinese 5-spice powder, and cayenne pepper on top and mix together thoroughly to fluff the rice and incorporate the flavors.
  5. Carefully pour the rice into the heating bacon grease, watching for any splatters.  Spread the rice out and mix into the grease, allowing all of it to “fry” a bit.  This should only last about 30 seconds.
  6. Crack the two eggs onto the frying rice, and quickly begin mixing them in with the rice, using a spatula.  You’re essentially scrambling the eggs into the rice.
  7. Once eggs are fully cooked, turn off the stove and pour rice into a bowl.  Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with bacon slices on top.  Eat and you will go to food heaven.

**NOTE: This is the bare base of the recipe.  At this stage in the process, I also recommend throwing in additional veggies, such as diced bell peppers, sweet onions, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, etc. to this dish and sautéing them for a few minutes, then adding the rice to them to finish it off.

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