Banana Chocolate Chip & Walnut Bread

Someone help me before I eat this whole loaf. I’m already 1/4 into it and am so stuffed but can’t stop eating!! I need help. Stat.

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This is what I’m about to stuff my whole body with. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s not over banana-flavored which sometimes is overwhelming. It’s the perfect amount and then the chocolate chips and walnut pieces mixed in, YUM!! SO much better than the previous banana bread recipe I posted a while back. That recipe has nothing on this one. So let me get to the recipe. I came across it on chowstalker, which brought me to here.

I changed the ingredients a bit, so here’s the list according to how I tweaked it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand) or a bit more depending on your preference
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 well ripened banana (the riper the better)

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl (almond flour, baking powder, salt, walnuts, chocolate chips). Mix the wet ingredients in another (whisked egg, mashed bananas). Fold the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients. Transfer it to a loaf pan and bake for roughly 30 minutes at 350 F.

Side story: I almost burnt down my new apartment for this banana bread and it was SO worth it. Ok maybe I didn’t exactly burn it down. But the oven started smoking during preheat and I wasn’t sure why. Apparently new ovens have to run a while to burn off the oil that is on it. So slight mishap and delay that almost made me give up this recipe. But I’m glad I didn’t and was worth all the trouble I had to go through (fanning the apartment out with all the smoke for a while). Seriously. Try it.

 

Tilapia Croquettes

Yeah, I know. I’ve disappeared for a while. And even longer than last time. I apologize. It’s taken me a lot longer to settle into this new apartment that I thought it would. And with all this mess, I haven’t been cooking much lately. But I do try my best as I hate eating out two days in a row. Few nights ago I made tilapia croquettes, which was fun. I typically eat tilapia as a filet so it was good to swap it up a bit and make it something else. I came across the recipe here and pretty much followed it straight through.

 

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The pictures a little blurry…my bad. I guess I was really hungry that day and just wanted to get the picture taken so I can dig in.

I really was a fan of the aioli that went on top of the croquettes. Really gave it an extra degree of flavor. Adding this recipe to my rotation of foods. Yum.

Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken

I’ve been MIA recently..haven’t posted in 5 days. So busy with moving. Trying to pack, buy new furniture, all that nonsense. It’s keeping me pretty occupied. But I made this recipe a few days ago, that I found here.

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Followed this recipe pretty much straight through. Only change I made in the recipe was that I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. It was a hit in the family – there wasn’t even enough to go around for seconds! Ended up making it again for dinner 2 days later since it was so well received. 

Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Meatballs

Ground chicken was on sale this week at the grocery store – something I don’t see often, so I figured I’d give it a try. I made this recipe a while back but it didn’t have enough of a kick that I was looking for. Added/substituted other ingredients from my previous run at this and this time it came out much better, much more tastier.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • One jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Few fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to use my hands to really get it mixed well. Then form medium or large sized meatballs and place on a cookie sheet or in a pyrex dish. Bake for roughly 25-30 minutes at 375 F. Then enjoy. I topped it off with a tomato sauce I quickly whipped up with a medium sized tomato diced, teaspoon tomato paste, and some dried thyme. This was only for a single serving though, since no one else is the household seems to be huge fans of tomato sauce.

Italian Meatloaf

Original recipe is courtesy of PaleOMG – found here

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Meatloaf always didn’t appeal to me. But wow, this recipe has put a whole new perspective on meatloaf for me. I’ve become obsessed and would totally eat this everyday. (or maybe not..I was just exaggerating a bit there). The softness (and moistness – I know, everyone hates this word) which is different than a regular meatball just crumbles in your mouth. Yum. Anyways, I put a different spin on this recipe, just a bit.

The original recipe can be found on the link I posted above, but here are the changes I’ve made.

For the meatloaf

  • 1lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce (made myself – recipe below)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

As for the tomato sauce, I cut up one medium/large sized tomato and put it in a hot skillet. Put a bit of water and a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. Threw in some fresh basil, thyme, salt and pepper and let it simmer to a sauce-like consistency. After the sauce was ready, in a large bowl, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then put into a loaf pan or pyrex dish and bake. Mine took an hour at 375 F in a loaf pan but I doubled the recipe for 2 pounds of ground beef. So just change the baking time accordingly. This was one of the easiest dinner – takes 5-10 minutes prep time total and then your dinner will be ready shortly. Great for leftovers for lunch to take to work the next day – big plus for me. 

Egg Breakfast Wrap

Love some eggs for breakfast. So easy to prepare and so filling. But I’ve been getting bored of the omelette and scrambled eggs. Instead of throwing everything in for an omelette, I decided to create a wrap.

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Really simple. Just listen. Whisk two eggs and pour a thin layer into a hot skillet with coconut oil. Flip and then the egg will become crepe/wrap-like. Two eggs were able to make two wraps for me. Then I diced some basil, tomatoes, red pepper and ate it. A little spin on the traditional eggs, you know? Feel free to add anything inside the wrap as with an omelette – sausage/meats or any other vegetables.

Salmon Cake Patties with Homemade Honey Mustard

Felt the burger/patty binge lately, so why not move from the meats to some seafood? 

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These salmon cake patties were delicious, especially with the homemade honey mustard dressing I drizzled on top.

Ingredients (makes 4 large patties):

  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour (add more if the patty is still not sticking together)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Coconut Oil

First bake the salmon steaks with just some coconut oil, salt, and pepper at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Let it cool, then pull apart the salmon from its bones and skin. (You can probably use filets as well to avoid all the bones, but I only had steaks in the house) In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together. Form into patties (I made four large ones) and heat it on the skillet for 3-5 minutes on each side. Drizzle with honey mustard, if preferred.

Honey Mustard Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

The recipe above only made enough dressing for one patty, so you can adjust it accordingly. Also, you can change the dijon mustard/honey ratio to your liking (I didn’t want mine too sweet). The above numbers are just close estimates since I would add tiny teaspoons more at times to balance out the flavor. (I apologize for the lack of specific numbers, but you can play with it however you prefer your honey mustard)

Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks (or Wings)

Continuing with the latest spice craze that I’ve been hit with, dinner was some really easy buffalo chicken drumsticks. Could use wings as well but I didn’t have any in the house nor did I feel like driving to the store to get some. So I went with drumsticks. Just as good.

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For 14 drumsticks, I used roughly 6 ounces of Frank’s Hot Sauce (original only – Buffalo Wings flavor is not paleo), 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and onion powder, and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and poured the sauce on top of the chicken legs in the pyrex pan. Cook at 400 F for 30-35 minutes. I threw some extra sauce on last minute and didn’t spread my sauce evenly which is why it looks like that..sorry for the lack of photo appeal. But I promise it was real yummy. Goodbye yucky frozen buffalo wings.

Spicy Jalapeño Burgers

Not going to lie here, but last night I did have a cheat meal. Only because I had a groupon. And because it was my favorite pizza place, almost like the pizza I had in Florence. It was delicious at the time, especially the Nutella dessert s’mores pizza (amazing at the time..coming from me who hates marshmallows) but boy was my stomach not used to any of the gluten or sugar. It’s been almost a month and about an hour after the meal, I had the worst stomach ache. Haven’t gotten one like that in ages. Not worth the meal at all. Now I’ll have to be cautious of what I decide to “cheat” on. 

All that aside, I made probably one of the best homemade burgers I’ve ever had. I love and crave spice in almost every meal I eat (probably not the best thing for my body at all) so I decided to make a spicy chipotle burger.

Image(I apologize for this picture from the grill pan. After a long work day and an hour commute back, this burger couldn’t sit any longer on a plate for a photoshoot)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds grass fed ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Recipe makes roughly 4 patties. Grill on outdoor grill or grill pan for 5-7 minutes each side, depending how you like your burger. I don’t like any red in mine at all so I let it sit a bit longer. 

 

 

Larabars Product Review

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Stacy at Larabar was kind enough to send me a few of the products to sample and review! Larabars are made from mostly dates and nuts. They are soy free, dairy free, and gluten free. I love these as a pre-yoga snack because it gives me the perfect amount of energy without making me feel bloated. They come in many different flavors, more than the four flavors that were sent – they can be found on the website here – http://www.larabar.com/products

As for a review of the product, my least favorite out of the ones sent to me was Lemon Bar. The lemon flavoring was added through natural lemon flavor and lemon juice concentrate. To me it wasn’t natural enough and had a dull lemon flavor – not the tangy and very distinct taste that you get when added to certain dishes. The lemon flavor also overpowered the dates, cashews, and almonds, which were the remaining ingredients of the bar. It just tasted like a mush of dates, cashews, and almonds that were lemon flavored. Not a fan of this.

Next was the apple pie. This was better, but not as good as expected since I LOVE everything apple. Although the apple flavoring is added through unsweetened apple, I felt like the apple flavoring wasn’t brought out enough. It was overshadowed by the other ingredients – raisins, almonds, walnuts, dates, and cinnamon. I would have loved it more if the apple flavor was more prominent.

The coconut cream pie was my favorite. Simple – dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. I love the shredded coconut pieces in the bar because it gives the perfect amount of coconut flavor. The date and coconut flavors were also well balanced, which was something that lacked in the others.

Lastly, the cashew cookie was also one of my favorites. Just two ingredients – cashews and dates. Not much to it since it is just two ingredients mixed together, but the simplicity itself is part of what makes the greatness. 

I have to get around trying the other flavored ones..but be careful. There are several flavors containing peanuts – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Jelly, which are not paleo.