Balancing Act Part 2 – Paleo Apple Crumble

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I know I know. I’m late on getting this recipe out and it’s already Thanksgiving and people have been up and cooking for hours and have had menus planned for weeks yada yada. But the good thing about this recipe is that it’s super simple, fast, and easy. AND it’s not chock full of sugar and fat so you can feel good about making it for all of those Thanksgiving leftovers that you’ll have after today and not indulging.

Today for my family I’m making a pumpkin pie and this apple crumble.

 

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I love a good decadent dessert, but I think it’s so important to have some healthier options lining your dinner table so that people have OPTIONS. No one has to eat it. But someone will. Trust Me. AND they’ll thank you for not contributing to the strain in their skinny jeans the next day 🙂

What do you typically bring/make/buy for your thanksgiving dinners??

I hope everyone has a happy happy thanksgiving and take the time to enjoy your friends, family, and all of the accomplishments and good things that you have experienced this year – you know there are some!!

xxo

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Paleo Apple Crumble

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 5 medium apples, peeled, sliced, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Set oven to 350 degrees

2. In bowl, stir together almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

3. In separate bowl, combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla

4. Mix wet ingredients with dry to create crumble topping

5. Place apples in 8X8 baking dish (I used a pie dish this time around) and cover with topping

6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until crumble is browned and juices from apples are bubbling up (At about 40 minutes I covered the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning)

7. Serve warm! With ice cream of course.

Balancing Act Part 1 – Chocolate Bourbon Pie

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It is officially T-minus 24 hours until I am on break and I.am.puuuuumped. Woot woot!

Despite the torrential rain/snow/sleet that I keep hearing about, I am determined to hop in my car bright and early tomorrow am and drive from Philadelphia to home sweet home. CT.

Typically Thanksgiving is NOT my favorite holiday. I know I know. Who am I?? Long story short my family typically doesn’t make the tradition reign with my fav peeps, but this year we are doing it au naturale and keeping the invitation list small. Mom, Dad, and Bro. Can’t wait!

Part of me was thinking that since it was just the four of us, we didn’t need to go all out. Maybe just some cheese and crackers for an app, and dessert could be some chocolate covered fruit or some of this crack-corn. OMG so good. I mean honestly, if I bake a whole pie, I’ll likely end up sitting and eating that sucker with a spoon right out of the dish.

But then…I thought about it. And how could I not celebrate a special holiday with just my closest family members without some extra special dessert to go along. It just wouldn’t be right? Amiright?!

Needless to say – I”m thinking of going in two opposite directions for dessert. One outrageously amazingly gooey liquor-laden sugar inducing coma option. And one paleo, clean, simple yet delicious recipe. Of course I had to test out the chocolate one first 🙂

Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie (inspired by Eat Live Run)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup corn syrup (light or dark) – I used light
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 graham cracker crust (purchased)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. I used a prepurchased crust so I didn’t have to do anything here. However, if you had a refrigerated pie crust or made your own, follow directions on the box or your recipe to bake.

3. Scatter and mix together the roughly chopped pecans and semisweet chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie dough.

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4. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar and bourbon. Bring to a boil, stir well, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt. SLOWLY drizzle hot syrup into the eggs, stirring continuously with a whisk while you drizzle. You must go very slow otherwise you may cooking the eggs in the process! Continue drizzling and whisking until the last of the syrup has been poured into the eggs. Pour this over the pecans and chocolate into the pie dish.

6. Pie should be overflowing with ingredients – this is perfect! Place it carefully in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Top should be puffy and crust should be golden. Let cool for 1 hour before serving. (This can be made up to 2 days in advance)

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Winter is Coming

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This morning I woke up bundled in my comforter and wasn’t sure that I’d be able to move. I could feel the cold coming in from my windows. This is it folks. The warm weather is over…winter is coming.

Ever since watching the Philly Marathon this past Sunday I’ve been on a roll motivation-wise. You hear it all the time…”If I can do this, anyone can.” But wait…. what if I have bad knees? Or have trouble breathing? Or, just get bored? (that last one is me. Without a good playlist I’m a goner)

Picture from my run on river on Tuesday

Picture from my run near river on Tuesday

 

Well no more I say. Half-marathon training is in full effect. I have a year. I should be able to pull this off. Right?! Some external motivation would be helpful right about now too people – sheesh 😉

I had big plans for an outdoor run this morning. Out of my apartment and about 1.5 miles to the river, 1 mile down the new running trail, and then back home. But when I woke up to frozen toes my motivation slowly drained out of me back into the comfort of my warm warm bed. Luckily I came across this treadmill workout on Tone It Up last night and had it ready and waiting on my phone to bust out at the gym.

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On and off the treadmill in 30 minutes but definitely sweaty. Always a good sign 🙂 I topped off the workout with 30 minutes of arms and was out the door!

I start a new project tomorrow at work that will require travel so I’m sad to say that my AM workouts will likely take a beating. drats.

Any suggestions for quick but awesome cardio workouts that I could do in the AM? What is your favorite motivation tactic?

Curing the Sniffles

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The sniffles is an understatement for what I’ve been experiencing the past 24 hours. Curled up on my couch with the heat up to 78, 4 blankets, 3 socks and 2 sweaters – I tried to fight through a bout of the chills as best I could. It took a lot of shivering and a whole lot of this

teaGood thing I had recently stocked up on a whole plethora of tea: Apple Cinnamon Chamomile (my new fav!), Vanilla, Blueberry, Cinnamon Spice…so delicious.

I also happened to have a doctor’s appointment in the morning with a Holistic doctor (more of that to come in the future) and he gave me 2 things that would help fight off cold/flu symptoms.

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This first one contains a mixture of Echinacea (known for stimulating the immune system, Astragalus (immune system enhancer), Osha (body aches), Schisandra (a number of uses – one of them being stimulating the immune system and speedy recovery), Goldenseal extract (common cold)
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Contains Echinacea, Propolis (resinous mixture collected by honey bees to soothe), Hyssop leaf & flower (soothing, cough suppresant), sage leaf, St. John’s Wort Flower Tops (mood enhancer)

Who knows if these actually worked but I’m feeling 100x better today so I’ll take it!

What’s your favorite cure for a cold? What do you think actually works?

 

Zoodles!!

What? What is a zoodle??

Pleeease – you’ve never heard of a zoodle before? Get with the times. Who eats regular ol’ noodles these days anyways?

zucchini + noodle = ZOODLE ! (it’s just kind of fun to say spell it so pardon the repetition)

I’ve dabbled in tons of different types of diet fads, food experiments, etc just to see what works and what doesn’t work for my body. Last year I did an 8 week Paleo program with some co-workers and while the whole meatmeatmeatmeat mentality doesn’t really float my boat, I will say I upped my game in the kitchen pretty significantly. Zoodles being one of those scientific experiments in the kitchen gone right (surprisingly). This past weekend, we brought back one of the show-stoppers and created Zucchini Lasagna.

So get your bum back in the kitchen, clean off that old baking dish and your trusted veggie peeler and be sure to say zoodle (or dance – that always works too) throughout the whole cooking process. It’ll add a lot of fun and laughter to the dish guaranteed 🙂

paleo lasagnaINGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs grass fed lean ground beef
  • 1lb mild Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1cup organic black olives sliced
  • 6 zucchinis thinly sliced (I used a food processor which sliced zucchinis into thin round discs – next time I would try to slice lengthwise to replicate a thicker noodle) **NOTE: zucchini’s have alot of water in them so as they cook, the dish tends to get very liquidy. A trick is to cut the zucchini and then sprinkle a good amount of salt on them and let sit for 30 minutes, this should help.**

DIRECTIONS

1. Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil in large pot until onions are transparent

2.  Add ground beef and sausage until browned

3. Season meat mixture with all spices (dry) ingredients and then add in the tomatoes and tomato paste – mix well.

4. While the meat mixture is cooking down, start putting down your first layer of zucchini into a big baking dish.

5. When meat is well mixed and has cooked down to be a little thicker, cover zucchini layer with meat mixture and then sliced olives.

6. Repeat layers until meat mixture is done (I only did 2 layers)

7. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and back at 350 for 30 min.  Let sit for at least 10 min before serving.