Paleo Bacon Beef

I got the idea for making this recipe from my Fast Paleo app when I stumbled across TGIPaleo’s Boston Baked Beef recipe. A Paleo spin on Boston baked beans (uh, yum), her recipe calls for 2-3 hours of simmer time. In the words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Needless to say, I made a few tweaks of my own.

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The recipe gets the basis of its flavor from unsulphured organic blackstrap molasses, a great source of nutrients like potassium, calcium, and iron – which I’m sure all of us could use more of! The kind I use is from Wholesome Sweetners, is fair trade certified, and like all blackstrap molasses ranks low on the glycemic index, giving you even more to feel good about. The addition of whole grain mustard and apple cider vinegar, or ACV, really balances out the flavor and gives the sauce quite a bit of tang. Though many of ACV’s health benefits come from its raw form as heat destroys the “mother,” it’s still a great staple to have in your kitchen to use for both cooking and everyday purposes. I actually take a 50/50 solution of Bragg’s Organic Raw ACV and filtered water in a shot glass every morning to help with digestion and balance pH levels and blood sugar – it also has the wonderful side effect of waking me up before I head out the door. So have a swig before you pour it in ;)

This is hearty take on a classic comfort food can be enjoyed over your choice of vegetable or grain, depending on how you roll. I’m trying to incorporate more glucose back into my diet so white rice, a “safe starch,” along with broccoli and peas seemed like the perfect fit. I ate the leftovers two days in a row, once cold wrapped in lettuce, and once (also cold) on its own. It’s really that good. As my boyfriend said after his first bite: “This one’s a keeper.”

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut-free
• Soy-free
• Refined sugar-free

Paleo Bacon Beef

• 1 lb ground beef (I used 96/4)
• 8 thick slices uncured bacon, diced (or more as desired)
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6 oz tomato paste
• 1/3 cup whole grain mustard
• 2 taplespoons honey
• 1/4 c unsulphered blackstrap molasses
• 1/2 c apple cider vinegar

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat.
2. While the beef cooks, dice your bacon and onion. When the beef is browned, remove from heat. Let cool for five minutes and drain the drippings into a heavy bottomed pot.
3. Cook the bacon in the beef drippings until crisp. Add the onions and stir, cooking for a few minutes more until the onions start to turn translucent.
4. Add the molasses, tomato paste, mustard, honey, salt and pepper, and ACV and stir it all around, working quickly so the molasses doesn’t scorch. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until well-combined.
5. As I stated before, the original recipe says 2-3 hours but after 40 minutes mine was good to go. I think the sauce would have burned had it been much longer. So let simmer for as long as you have, checking occasionally, and serve as you wish!

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Spring Vegetables

After doing a lot of reading on the topic and hearing some opinions, I decided to try organic free-range chicken. After all, any antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal byproducts that chicken consumes are also being consumed by you. It is pricey, yes, but Trader Joe’s had a deal for 2 breasts and 4 legs at $2.99/pound so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I wanted to let the flavors of the meat come through with a simple preparation. I decided on lemon and garlic mixed with olive oil and stuffed it under the skin of the chicken while it cooked to lock in moisture and add a good amount of flavor. The result was delicious, and I will definitely be buying organic chicken in the future as I felt the meat itself had a much better texture and flavor than the “regular” stuff, though the free-range part my have to take a backseat until my wallet gets fatter (sorry chickens!). I paired the chicken with Martha Stewart’s Sauteed Spring Vegetables, an eternal favorite especially when made with veggies straight from the famers market (recipe here). I also added a sweet potato baked at 350° for 45 minutes.

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Soy-free
• Refined sugar-free
• Nut-free

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Lemon Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:
• 2 lbs organic free-range chicken, skin on
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 lemon, thinly sliced, about 1/8″
• juice of 2 small lemons
• salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the center. Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl, mixing until well-combined.
2. Place chicken in a 13×9 roasting pan or other large baking dish. Gently find the open end of the chicken skin. Using a small spatula (or your fingers… no metal here) gently rub garlic mixture under the skin and onto the meat. Repeat on all pieces, evenly distributing all of the garlic mix amongst the chicken until there is none left.
3. Place the lemon slices under the chicken skin, taking care to keep the skin in tact.
4. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 15-25 minutes, until juices run clear when sliced. The cook time will depend on the size of the pieces, so you may need to remove the smaller ones (legs) first and leave the larger ones (breasts) to cook a bit longer.
5. Remove the skin and serve with lemon slices on top.

Have you tried organic and/or free-range chicken before? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

A Berry Green Smoothie Recipe & Raw Green Organics RawJuvenate 14-day Detox Review

For the past week I’ve been doing Raw Green Organics RawJuvenate Complete Organic Detox 14-day starter after finding the deal through Living Social! The detox kit includes their Vegan Protein Powder and Organic Super Greens Drink Mix as well as vegan probiotic, fiber supplement, and aloe supplement (a natural laxative) to be taken daily. I have quite a few digestive issues so finding a protein powder that’s low carb with a relatively high protein-to-calorie ratio that ALSO doesn’t upset my stomach (no dairy/whey/soy protein or sugar alcohols) is a task in itself, but I figured it was worth a shot, especially considering all the lovely tummy-helping supplements it included.

All you have to do is take the supplements daily and replace one solid meal with one liquid meal daily using the Organic Super Greens + Vegan Protein Powder – and since smoothies are in regular rotation in my morning routine, this felt a little more every-day and a little less “detox” which is always a plus. Don’t get me wrong, detoxes are great, but often times they leave you and your body with much to be desired – definitely not the case here!

I’ve made quite a few different smoothie recipes throughout this detox, but this one really stuck out because of it’s gorgeous deep aubergine color. In addition to the RawJuvenate Vegan Protein Powder and Organic Super Greens Drink Mix, it contains antioxidant-packed berries and plenty of potassium thanks to the addition of banana and coconut water.

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Berry Green Smoothie

• 6 oz coconut water (I like Zico or C20)
• 2 oz orange juice
• 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries, or 1/4 cup each frozen strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, and blueberries
• 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
• 3 scoops Raw Green Organics Vegan Protein Powder
• 1 scoop Raw Green Organics Super Greens Drink Mix
• 3-5 ice cubes

And now onto my review! Let’s start with the Vegan Protein Powder. One word: awesome. Not only does it not upset my stomach at all (a first!) but it’s gluten-free and dairy-free, high in Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, and certified organic and vegan, made with all-natural North American yellow peas, sacha inchi protein, organic hemp protein and flaxseed. The taste is very mild and not overwhelmingly “earthy” as many plant-based proteins are. And with 88 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, <3 carbs, and 18 grams of protein per serving, it fit my requirements and then some!

The Organic Super Greens Mix is tasty, high in phyto-nutrients that can help prevent disease and keep your body work properly. It contains alfalfa leaf extract, barley grass juice powder, wheat grass fiber, spirulina powder, spinach powder, and ginko leaf powder – all organic, and all wonderfully beneficial ingredients that you would probably not want to consume whole! The taste is a little green and slightly sweet thanks to natural berry flavor and Stevia Reb-A.

Now for the supplements. The vegan probiotic was great. Let me tell you it is not easy to find a probiotic that doesn’t contain dairy in some way, shape or form! The fiber supplement made a noticeable difference for me, keeping things moving, if you know what I mean. The aloe supplement however is very strong. It says you can take up to 3 a day, but for me 1 every other day is more than plenty.

Overall I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to start their mornings out in a clean, healthy way while really resetting your digestive system. I truly feel great, from the inside out!