Paleo Fried Chicken

This recipe was finger-liking good! If I could, I would make this every week. This one is from Paleo Comfort Foods book.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil
2 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
2 pounds chicken thighs, drums, breasts (I used 2 packets of chicken cutlets)

Directions:

1. Heat oil in large frying pan to 350F and preheat oven to 400F
2. Whisk eggs in medium-sized bowl
3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bol and mix well.
4. Dip chicken in whisked eggs.
5. Coat/cover chicken in dry mixture and place in hot oil. Allow both sides to brown (about 2 minutes each side).
6. Place drying rack on sheet pan and assemble check on the rack so there is space between all pieces.
7. Put chicken in oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve.

Step 2

Chicken in skillet for 2 minutes on each side.

Place chicken on rack on top of baking sheet.

Chicken comes out crispy and ready to eat!

Cauliflower Mash

This side dish is easy to make and it’s a variation from the usual sweet potato mash I make. This Cauliflower mash goes well with just about any protein and side of veggies. This recipe is from my Make it Paleo recipe book.

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, washed, and cut into florets
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons kerrygold unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place cauliflower in a steamer basket in a large soup pot, season with salt and pepper, and steam until soft (about 10-12 minutes, test with a fork).

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of kerrygold butter in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat.

3. Saute onion, garlic, and herbs until onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Place steamed cauliflower into a blender or food processor. Add the sautéed onion, garlic, and herbs, along with the second tablespoon of butter. Process until smooth.

…And you are done! Enjoy!

AROOOOO!

How excited am I for this weekend’s race??? VERY!!! My wonderful training partner whom you may have read about previously had the wonderful idea to drag me into this race with her. Can you feel the sarcasm?!?!? Well maybe it’s because this race is made up of an 8 mile obstacle course in which the participant has no clue what those obstacles are. Yup, it is all a surprise. I have seen pictures of other Spartan races at different cities that include swimming, climbing walls, running over fire, mud pits and God knows what else. So yes this race makes me a little nervous!

You can see more picture here.

The good news, my Jungle Fitness team decided to join and now our team consists of over 40 of us. And that gets me excited and pumped to kick some Spartan butt!

The race is this Sunday so wish me luck! 🙂

How Sweet Is Too Sweet?

What I love the most about my journey to health and fitness is having the best training partner EVER!!!!!!!! I’m pretty good about training and eating most of the time but I’m only human and have my slips here and there. After ING my eating has not been on point. I started to bake again (I had missed it soooo much) and even though I give most of what I bake to friends, those are still added treats into my diet. I have been more lenient on having dessert which is my weakness. Although I keep my main meals on point I found myself having treats more often than I would like to. The results, some weight gain. 😦

So what did I do??? I told my training partner! I was honest of how I’m feeling and the hard time I’m having to get back on track. Her answer….”We do well with challenges, why don’t we do one? A no sweets challenge!”

I love the way she thinks. For me, a great training partner is someone who takes health and fitness as seriously as I do. Gives it their all. Is there on my good days and cheers me on when I’m struggling. Doesn’t make any excuses. Goes out of the comfort zone and drags me with her. I really don’t know what I would do without her! Monica, you rock!

Ok, back to the challenge just in case someone out there is willing to join us. Very simple, 20 days of no sweets or sugar. That means no home-made sweets either. If we cheat in those 20 days, one has to be honest and say it. For each cheat one gets to do 5 burpees. At the end of the 20 days, add all the cheats and do all burpees at once. Let’s do this! Starting today and plan for no burpees!

Game ON!!!!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

I love making these easy dishes that include a protein and vegetable serving all at once. It is filling and you don’t need anything else to go with it. I have experimented before trying to make dishes like this one and they all keep coming out great!

Ingredients:

1 lb of any meat you prefer (I used lean ground beef)
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 butternut squash
2 Tbs of low-fat mozzarella cheese *optional

Cook and brown meat on skillet. Drain meat and add in the pasta sauce and mix well until meat mixture is warm.

In an oven safe dish start layering the lasagna starting with some meat mixture. Just cut the butternut squash into longer pieces to cover more space. The squash won’t be completely flat but that’s ok.

Sprinkle some low-fat mozzarella cheese on top and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until squash has softened and top is golden brown.

Pastelon Dominicano

The Dominican pastelon is more like a casserole. A main element of Dominican cuisine. There are more than six variations in the Dominican Republic the most popular ones being pastelon de platano maduro(yellow plantain casserole) and pastelon de yuca(cassava casserole). Pastelones can be found in other Latin American Countries like Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba, specially the eastern part which has great Dominican influence. Pastelones are usually stuffed with ground meat or chicken. (source: Wikipedia)

Here’s my very simple version of this dish.

Ingredients:
Depending on size of dish to be used..
-4 ripe plantains
-1 lb. of lean ground beef
-2 eggplants
-1 tbsp of tomato paste
-1 green pepper
-1 red pepper
-1 onion
-1 tsp of garlic powder

Directions:

Peel plantains and boil until soft.

Cut eggplants lengthwise and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake for about 20 mins at 350.

Cook lean meat in skillet and add peppers, onion, tomato paste and garlic powder. Feel free to add any seasoning you would like.

Once plantains are done let them cool for a bit and mash them with a fork. You may want to take out the black seeds from the inside of it.

When you have the main 3 ingredients ready; mashed plantains, cooked meat and baked eggplants it is time to put it all together. Start by layering with plantain and then eggplant followed by the meat. Continue until all your ingredients are finished.

When finished you can sprinkle some low-fat cheese on top and bake for another 20 minutes at 350 until cheese is bubbly.

This dish was very tasty and I know that because my husband and I fought over the last piece!!! Hope you enjoy it. This is a great balance of protein and carbs as the ripe plantain is a complex carb with lower glycemic index.

Lemon Cookies

I usually don’t post on the weekends but today was a lazy Sunday and I was in the mood for baking!! Found this very easy recipe on Elena’s Pantry website and gave it a try. I made some changes, working with ingredients I already had at home. Still these came out delicious!! Easy treat for Valentine’s day.

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cup blanched almond flour – I used half blanched, half unblanched
pinch celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (packed)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine almond flour and salt.
2. In a smaller bowl combine oil, agave, vanilla and lemon zest.
3. Stir wet ingredients into dry forming a dough ball.
4. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick.
5. Cut out hearts or any other shape with cookie cutter.
6. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

A Valentine’s Day Treat

Saint Valentine’s day is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, greeting cards and sweets. In the past few years I have also celebrated Valentine’s day by showing my appreciation to close friends and family. This time I decided to include a few special readers. I ran some basic stats from the blog and picked the top 5 most active readers (readers that posted the most comments) on the blog. Thankfully they are all good friends and live locally so I was able to make them a treat.

Chocolate Cupcakes was my treat of choice! I found this recipe on Elena’s Pantry website. I love that website and can’t wait to get a copy of her book!!

Ingredients:
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
¼ cup grape seed oil
½ cup agave nectar

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and agave.
Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients thoroughly. This will also serve as an arm workout!
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and scoop a scant ¼ cup into each.
Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes.

Makes about 7-9 cupcakes. For frosting I just used store-bought sugar-free chocolate frosting.

Hope you guys enjoyed it! Have a great weekend and Happy Valentine’s day!

Women’s Vitamins

As I’m running low on my children’s gummy bear multi-vitamins I start to do some research to find an adult vitamin that is still to my liking. I always had a tough time taking those huge pills and I’m not alone. Recently I read on Fitness magazine that 40 % of adults have trouble taking large pills. I also learned that I need to get over that and just take the damn pill. So in my research I found 2 vitamins that caught my attention. I opted for one (yes I gave in and found another gummy vitamin) and later I will try the second option.

Here are the two I found:

The first one is BodyBoost Women’s Energy and Wellness Multi Gummy.
I picked this vitamin because it is made with all natural/organic fruits and vegetables. I had some key components of what I’m looking for. Energy, bone, digestion and immune support. The deciding factor was me giving in to gummy vitamins. 🙂 I’m a kid at heart what can I say. I also take my vitamins right after lunch and having something sweet to chew on after the meal took care of any sweet cravings. Even if it was just vitamins. Oh and please adhere to the serving size. I never just eat them like candy!

The second option was Just Once® Multivitamin. This vitamin is not chewable but it caught my attention due to that it is also a food based vitamin for better absorption. It is gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and yeast-free. I can’t wait to try this vitamin.

Whatever you choose just make sure that it goes with your eating habits. That’s why I opted for more natural/organic vitamins without preservatives or processed ingredients. It doesn’t make sense to dedicate so much to cooking and eating wholesome foods and then take supplements that are the opposite of that. Please always do your own research. Not everything works the same on everyone and remember, I AM NOT A DOCTOR. This is only my personal findings and opinions.

In addition to a multi-vitamin I also take vitamin C, B-complex and fish oil….

Have a great day!!!!!!!