Creamy Shrimp and Avocado Sushi Rolls

So the other day the banquet servers adjacent to D’s restaurant sent him home with a bag of shrimp. Literally a bag full of shrimp. Who doesn’t love shrimp! After eating about thirty in two minutes (this girl reallllly loves shrimp) I thought I could do something creative with them (besides shoving them in my face).

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When life gives you shrimp – make sushi! These were super tasty and although this sushi doesn’t contain rice, I really couldn’t tell … I’m not sure if my brain was playing tricks on me but it just tasted like a roll from the store!

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The nice thing about sushi is, my roll is just a starting point. You can pretty much add whatever you want to yours and customize it to your tastes.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Nori sushi sheets
  • 10-12 cooked shrimps, diced
  • 1 egg scrambled
  • 1 1/2t paleo mayo
  • 1/2t dill
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • 1/2 avocado
  • carrots – diced into matchsticks
  • cucumbers – diced into matchsticks
  1. Take your shrimp, egg, mayo, dill and garlic powder and mash everything up in a nice creamy mix. Add about 1/2 the avocado that you have set aside (so really, 1/4 of a whole avocado) and mix it into the mixture.
  2. On a Nori sheet, put half the filling in the center of the sheet and spread it around so that you have the whole sheet covered except for an inch at the top and bottom.
  3. Slice up half the remaining avocado and layer it with carrots and cucumber.
  4. Wet the bottom and top half of the sheet with a little water and roll!
  5. Slice it up and enjoy! Can be dipped in coconut aminos. Mmm!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a safe holiday season! I’m off to the beach 😀

Lemon Vanilla Protein Cheesecake

If you’re not including dairy in your paleo diet, I’d skip this post.

This creamy, creaaaamy post.010

Normally, I do avoid the dairy but as I mentioned previously the organic, grass fed cream cheese was just calling my name. Along with the whipping cream. *Ahem* It’s okay to fall off the wagon once in a while 😛 Besides, this cheesecake is great for low carb diets and it’s high protein!

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And look how cute the little cups are! How can you say no? 😛

These cakes are super easy to make and took me all of 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 scoops vanilla protein (I use Precision brand because it’s lactose reduced and comes from grass fed New Zealand cows and has a very clean ingredient list)
  • 115g Coconut Butter (NOT OIL!)
  • 1 1/2T lemon zest (or orange, lime or any combination of your favorite citrus fruit really)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1t vanilla extract
  1. Melt the coconut butter in a small dish
  2. Throw everything together in the food processor!

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You should have a fairly runny pancake batter like consistency.

3. Pour into whatever mold you desire – you can make little cupcakes, pour it into a pan, atop your favorite paleo crust etc.

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4. Stick them in the fridge for a couple of hours and enjoy!

The cupcake liners come away really clean from these so don’t be afraid of having to eat paper.

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I topped mine with some fresh, homemade whipped cream. Yum!

Nutritional Info: (Per 70g which is quite a huge chunk in my opinion)

Calories:254 / Carbs 5g (3g fiber for anyone low carbing) / 21g fat / 14g protein

Raw Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Mmm fudge…

So it’s Christmas time and you’re trying to stick with the paleo thing. You brave soul! There are a lot of paleo treats out there that you can indulge in but damn, your friends make it hard with all their turnovers and danishes and short breads… Also – in my city anywhere – it is damn near impossible to find some goddamn chocolate without soy or other junk in there! So I say: make your own!

This recipe can be altered to make more of a fudge or a chocolate bar consistency.

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Now the pictures aren’t all that great because I froze my fudge for too long and made a chocolate and had to chip it out of the dish (usually I just stick a spoon in and go to town but the bowl is kind of a mess because of all the mixing and I wasn’t about to photograph THAT)

But I PROMISE you these are so worth making! And the best part is, you can customize them to whatever mood you’re in. I’ve been known to sprinkle goji berries and cashews, coconut flakes and hazelnuts etc.

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The recipe is so simple, I feel weird even posting an ingredient list. Here’s what I do:

Start with about 2T coconut butter. *NOT the same thing as coconut oil* and microwave for about 30s. Add 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and mix. If it’s not quite melted enough or too hard to mix, I’ll add about 3-4T coconut milk (full fat please!) and mix until everything is nice and creamy and well incorporated. The ones in the picture got a 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened coconut and were topped with some hazelnut butter. Delicious, easy and satisfying! I throw the whole dish in the freezer for about 5 minutes (or longer if you want hardened chocolate) and voila! Or if you want a warm chocolate pudding kind of deal, eat it right away (or use to ice this coconut flour chocolate pumpkin bread!)

Creamy Olive Tapanade

I must warn you – this recipe is not strictly paleo but we got this organic, grass-fed cream cheese in our grocery box and I just couldn’t turn it down. After my initial whole 30, I had experimented (after a fearful two weeks of staying away!) with dairy and I have no discernible problems with it. If you do… maybe skip this one 🙂

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I  never really missed dairy on my whole 30 but now that I made this spread, I’m wondering how I ever got along without it. I forgot how amazing eggs can taste with a dash of (raw!) whipping cream and a slice of dill and garlic gouda melted over top. Mmm… sorry, the intent of this post is not to derail you from your respective diets! Anyway, This:

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I would lick off of a gas station bathroom floor. Too far? Okay maybe but it’s really freakin tasty! Took me all of 5 minutes to whip up too!

Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese – 52g (a little less than 2T)
  • Basil Pesto – 40g
  • About 15 black olives
  • 3T Capers
  • 1 small clove garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1T Olive oil
  • Optional: anchovies, parsley, cilantro, a dollop of mayo
  1. Place in your food processor and blend!

If you’re a bread eating type, this would be amazing on some crusty bread. I boiled  up some green beans (I have a love affair with them!) and ate them with the dip. You could also dip celery, broccoli or any veggies really into this sucker. Spoon it into your face!

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Just me and my beans and we’re havin a good time… also special cameo appearance by books! Those things that I haven’t been able to read in ages for fun!

So a couple of pretty important events in my life… well this weekend has actually been the best of my life (so far!)

D proposed! My practicum is over, it’s Christmas time, I can go back to blogging more than once a month and now – I’m marrying my best friend. I can’t stop giggling and gushing to friends about it. I just thought I’d share a little slice of my personal life with you all seeing as I can’t shut up about it. We’re going on vacation next Sunday so I will be AWOL again but I plan on blogging my face off before and after 😀 Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Sweet Potato Tuna Cakes

Regular followers (if, after my month long hiatus there are any left!) of the blog know that I am an Intermittent Faster. I have tweaked the program a little bit however to do fewer carb refeed days in my week because quite frankly, I love my fats. I hate having to keep them low on refeed days but I know it’s a  necessary evil! I mean – meat is just not meant to be eaten without fat, it tastes awful! (Tell that to the 300g of plain white turkey breast I ate today. Just ugh!) So here I am racking my brain trying to figure out a nice, low fat/high carb post work out meal for my carb refeed day when I remembered that in the whole30 book there’s this recipe for salmon & sweet potato cakes… While salmon doesn’t really work (lots of yummy fats) I figured tuna would!009

These cakes are awesome. They’re really quick, super easy to make and delicccious! I changed the recipe a bit and made them spicier. I was very happy with the result! And you can totally use these on a regular paleo day, fry them, bake them, whatever you like!

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I was worried they would be a bit lacking in the taste department because I baked them (didn’t want to up my fats for today) but they were totally awesome baked. What’s more, the sweet potato adds an awesome consistency and savory sweetness to the whole thing.

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I have a feeling these are going to become regulars around this house!

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While you can easily whip up some kind of mayo based dipping sauce for these – they’re totally awesome on their own!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can polecaught, wild, skipjack tuna (about 115g)
  • 100g cooked sweet potato (or from the can works)
  • 1 egg
  • 2T minced fresh parsley
  • 1T (about 12g) almond flour
  • 3/4t dried dill
  • 1t hot sauce
  • 1/2t paprika (although I had success with more!)
  • 1/2t red curry paste
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  1. Literally all you have to do is throw everything in a bowl and mix! Use your hands – it’s more fun and the food tastes better 😛
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. Form patties about 2” in diameter and 1” thick. I made 7 with this recipe.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Take them out, flip em over and bake for 10 more minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

*If you want to reduce the fat in this recipe, use egg whites instead of egg yolk.

Nutritional info (for the entire recipe as I expect you to gobble this bad boy down whole 🙂 ):

  • Calories:334
  • Carbs: 20.65g
  • Fat:12.06g
  • Protein:35.52g

Low Calorie Chocolate Pumpkin Coconut Bread

I love coconut flour. Why?  Because it allows me to enjoy these:026

 

How cute are they? I wanted a nice little low cal treat for our tree decorating day – one that I could about 6 of and still not blow my daily macros. So these came to be!

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And these totally don’t have to be cupcakes. Actually, I’d recommend against it because they stick too much to the cupcake liners and then you have to scrape off the left overs cause you’re a greedy little piggy and you want your share dammit  … If you’re me anyway.

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As for the icing – coconut butter. This stuff is a monster – you can find me at all hours of the night spooning it into my face straight from the jar.

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Throw them in the fridge for a couple hours for a crunchy icing (the coconut butter gets rock solid) dunk them in your coffee, inhale them whole, impress your friends and relatives!

A quarter of the entire recipe has only 175 calories and about 30g of carbs – perfect for high carb days!

Ingredients:

  • 3T unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 eggs (replace with egg whites if you want even lower fat/calorie)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut four
  • 3/4 cup water or almond milk
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 8×8 or 9×9 dish.
  2. Mix eggs, mashed bananas, and pumpkin together.
  3. Add coconut flour, cocoa powder, water or milk and spices. Mix well.
  4. Pour into the greased dish and cook for 40-45 minutes until sides pull away from the pan. Check with a fork to make sure it’s well done.
  5. Cool and ice with applesauce, coconut butter, nut butter etc.

*Heads up, this “cake” is more of a super moist brownie so don’t over bake it hoping to get something super dry!

 

 

Lamb Meatza with Balsamic Grape Reduction & Goat Cheese

So it’s been a while…

You know some days I’ve even had the time to update but I’ve just felt embarrassed with my posting schedule (or lack thereof)… What kills me the most is that I’m still cooking really good food. Actually some days I’m so impressed with what I’ve cooked but it’s always after freakin dark so I can’t take a decent picture! So today’s post has been taken in unnatural light but it was SO good I just couldn’t help but share.

I’ve been making a lot of meat pizza’s lately.

  1. They’re quick and easy
  2. They make an awesome vehicle for shoving food in my mouth without having to resort to paleo tortillas
  3. Because… meat.
  4. I can usually get in most of my day’s protein in one GLORIOUS sitting.

So when I get back to my regular posting schedule (2 more weeks!!!) be prepared to see lots of meatza experiments. Today’s isn’t strictly paleo … because I love lamb and goat cheese. I don’t miss bread, sugar, cheddar, mozza any of that crap but goat cheese? Ohhhh my. I have no idea if it’s grass fed although it IS organic. And in any case, since I did my whole 30 I still hadn’t tested the waters with some dairy so I thought I’d give it a shot. For those of you who want none of this foolishness – sub apple sauce. Apple sauce and lamb? Not even a second place, just as good!

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And yes. It is just as good as it looks. By the way this little specimen here is about 150g of lamb. The other day I made a meat pizza out of about a pound of beef.

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And ate it. All. In one sitting. Topped with 2 eggs, avocados, and bacon. As well as some paleo bread (recipe to come soon!!! … er… someday)

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For any of you Intermittent Fasters, these are GREAT for rest day meals. Also, if you’re on a diet and every last calorie counts – by the meat extra lean. Then drain the fat that collects in the pan and squeeze out the rest on some paper towels. Voila!

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I brought in one of these suckers to work the other day topped with some bacon – let’s just say the staff already hate me because I’m younger, healthier and have more free time (which isn’t saying much). They also like to pick on me because I love to cook and they don’t have the time… well this didn’t do much to earn me their favor!

Now remember – those of you not on a calorie restrictive diet – FATS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! *As long as your lamb was organic and 100% grass fed. I really hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did i.e. a lot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package ground lamb – doesn’t really matter how much as you decide how much you need to eat. Mine was about 250g
  • quarter of an onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup grapes
  • 4T balsamic vinegar
  • 2T (more or less – you decide!) goat cheese – can sub with apple sauce
  • handful of pea shoots
  • hand full of fresh mint leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cut the grapes into halves or quarters and in a small sauce pan, add balsamic vinegar. Bring to a quick boil over medium high, cover and reduce. Let sit for a few minutes
  3. Don’t be shy – get your hands dirty! Mix onions, lamb, garlic, and mint leaves.
  4. Roll into a ball and do your best to squish into a patty shape.
  5. Bake for ~12 minutes in a skillet. What I usually do is (depending on if it’s a high fat or low fat day or what macros I have/still need to hit) take the patty out and drain the fat. I put it back in flipped over for another 3-4 minutes. When I take it out, I blot with lots of paper towel – warning! The more fat you remove the drier and less tasty the meat will be!
  6. Spread goat cheese/apple sauce and top with pea shoots. By now your grape reduction should be nice and thick – take the lid off and let it thicken up a bit.
  7. Top with grape sauce, bacon and whatever else floats your boat. (Raisins?)
  8. Take a picture and send it to your friends so that they can be jealous of your awesome meal 😀

 

Liver Pate with Coconut Almond Crackers

I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks since my last post! I’m really failing at keeping this blog going but alas, such is the joys of teaching. Not to worry, I’m done soon and I have been brain storming some kick ass recipes for ya’ll! (Think meat stuffed with meat. Mmm… Meat…)

Last night I just could not get to bed because I was so excited about all the things I want to make this week… I just hate living in Northern Alberta because by the time I get home from work it’s too dark to take any quality pictures! So here is my new promise to myself: I’m going to post at least every weekend. As much as it annoys me when my friends think I’m dramatizing how busy new teachers are (seriously. nothing but profanity fills my head when I hear this) I HAVE to find time to start blogging again!

So here’s one of my favorite things lately. And by favorite I mean I’m likely to be found at 2 am when I can’t sleep guiltily spooning it into my face:

 

I LOVE liver pate. It is simply phenomenal. My co workers make fun of me because I’m a young person that loves liver and honestly – if you haven’t tried it before and are afraid to because of the yuck factor – DO IT. Liver is cheap, nutritious and so incredibly tasty! I always say it has an almost nuttiness to it. This is the ultimate comfort paleo food by the way. Like spooning buttah straight into your mouth.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb chicken liver (I actually used beef liver in this recipe and it turned out just lovely!)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 3/4 cup cooking fat (I used ghee and I’m pretty sure I used less than 1/2 a cup. Just so you folks know there are less decadent options!)
  • 4T fresh chopped parsely
  • 3T vinegar
  • sea salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg to taste
  1. Heat a pan and add 5 or 6T of the cooking fat. Fry up the onions and garlic for about 8 minutes till nice and fragrant.
  2. Add the livers (I would chop them beforehand) to the pot and cook for about 7-10 more minutes with some more of the fat. When you’re using ghee – the aroma that ensues will drive you crazy!
  3. Add vinegar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley.
  4. Let everything cool, throw it in a food processor and add as much of the fat as you’d like to make your silky pate!
  5. Let it cool and harden and enjoy with some crackers!

Ingredients: Coconut Almond Crackers

I apologize in advance for those of you without a scale but I measured everything in this recipe for nutritional profile’s sake and unfortunately I didn’t write down a more traditional measuring format!

  • 1 egg
  • Almond flour – 92g
  • Coconut flour – 36g
  • Macadamia meal – 29g
  1. Throw everything into a bowl and mix!
  2. Sprinkle with favorite herbs (I used 1t garlic powder, 1t rosemary) and bake at 350F for 10 min.

Nutritional info:

Worked out to about 46 calories per a 10g cracker – the coconut flour makes it so incredibly tasty! These SHOULD be treated as a treat – unlike yours truly who devoured the whole batch in two days. Sigh.

Tuna & Olive Spread with Sun dried Tomato “Focaccia”

Oh hey there, remember me? The avocado lady that used to blog once a day?

*Sigh* So I’m super busy with my student teaching – and the thing that kills me is that I’m still cooking just as much. I just have no time to take pictures (It’s dark when I get home!) or upload anything. This blog used to be my little escape and now I’m trying to escape the guilt I have for neglecting it! Ah well, such is life. You know what really cheers me up though?

This:

 

I found this amazing recipe for a flax meal bread – and I KNOW this is technically not whole 30 approved but really I don’t care. In any case, I’m not craving bread – I just wanted something to put (my new favorite!) tuna spread on and my god is it delicious.

 

I found this basic recipe for a flax meal focaccia and added sun dried tomatoes and green olives into the dough… Fantastic. Simply fantastic!

Let’s not forget about the reason I’ve eaten about 7 cans of Skipjack tuna this week:

 

I love meat spreads. (Ha – ha). Seriously, I’ve been going to town on a liver pate I made this week and in my opinion all poultry should come in a creamy spreadable form. Just like this tuna.

 

And yes, these pictures are taken on my bed and SO WHAT!? My kitchen table is covered with lesson/unit plans so you know what? The bed it is! Anyway, a word to the olive haters out there: GIRL IS YOU CRAZY?

But actually, the olives add such a nice strong flavor to this tuna – if you don’t like them either leave them out or skip this recipe. But really … give it a try! So incredibly tasty you’ll start a tuna addiction like yours truly and empty out the fish market.

Tuna Spread Ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Skipjack tuna (low in mercury!)
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 (depending on your tastes) cup pitted black olives
  • 1 t mayo
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic
  • handful of parsley
  1. Throw everything in a food processor and mix!
  2. Spread on foccacia, fingers, spoon straight into mouth … you get the drift 😀

Flax meal Focaccia: Ingredients

  • 2 cups ground flax meal
  • 2-3 egg whites
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Add water, olive oil, garlic powder and eggs to flax meal. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites till they for stiff peaks. Gently fold into mixture.
  4. In a lined baking tray, pour in mixture. Run a spatula (or your loving hands) over the mixture and flatten it to about 1-1.5 cms thick. I found that putting parchment paper over the whole thing and then pressing down with my hands helped.
  5. Sprinkle with additional garlic powder if desired and top with tomatoes and olives.
  6. Back for about 20 minutes and thank me later 🙂

 

 

Ginger Apple Butternut Squash Soup

It’s been a while since my last post – I’m so not impressed with myself! But I really have had such a crazy busy week that by the time I have an hour left in the night, I’m just too exhausted to do anything but lay there and watch t.v. (Walking Dead anyone? God I hate Lori.)

Soooo I splurged and bought a Vitamix. SO GLAD THAT I DID! I got the CIA professional model for about half the price (thanks ebay!) – it’s been about 2 days and I’m already in love with this machine. LOVE. Seeing as I’m so busy with school right now, I cook up all my proteins and make vegetable juices. So  uh… if I ever get my act together, look for those recipes coming “soon”.

I’ve still been cooking paleo (actually whole 30!) and it kills me when I don’t take pictures – but I get home so late now that I would be doing it in the awful unnatural lighting in my living room. Although I really have no excuse as I have a backlog of recipes photographed from Thanksgiving to post… Like this one!

It’s starting to get colder out side (at least where I live in Northern Canada anyway!) and I find myself craving soups more. The nice thing about this soup is that it’s pretty sweet but still quite healthy. I love butternut squash, it’s got such a great flavor when you roast it for such a great calorie count. (1 cup = 82 calories!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roasted
  • 1 -2 apples (I’ll leave it up to you how sweet/appley you want the soup to be)
  • 3 cups chicken broth/veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 T ginger paste
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1-2 T cooking oil/fat of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. For those who are unsure – roast your squash at 350 for about 30 – 40 minutes till the skin peels away easily and the flesh is fork tender
  2. Heat the oil over medium high and add onions, garlic and a 1/2 T of the ginger paste.
  3. Cook until brown and fragrant. Then add the apples and let them soften a little. Add the squash and chicken broth to the pot. You’ll want to bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, add the cinnamon and let it simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. If you have an immersion blender, at this point it’s time to puree! If not, carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender.
  5. If the soup is too thin, let it simmer uncovered to reduce it a bit. If not, dash with nutmeg and serve!

I’m toying with the idea of using coconut milk as a base rather than the broth and making this a creamy deal. Perhaps next time… give a try and let me know how it goes!