Monday, August 27, 2012

A Practically Paleo Dinner with Dessert

Having guests over and need something that's easy, delicious, and healthy? Look no further, friends. This won't take you much time at all.

First up, something to snack on while everyone is arriving.

Honey Drizzled Walnuts
1 egg white
1 TBSP water
2 cups Walnuts (halves and pieces)
1/2 TSP apple pie spice
1/2 TSP cinnamon
1/2 cup honey

1. Preheat over to 225 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine egg white and water. Beat until foamy. Add walnuts and toss to coat.
3. In a Ziploc bag, add spices and nuts. Seal and shake vigorously to coat the walnuts.
4. Place parchment paper on a pan and spread mixture evenly. Drizzle honey on top in zig zag pattern (approximately 1/2 cup).
5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove and let cool. Coat with a little more honey, if you so desire.

These are great for snacking on, but they also work really well in salads!

Easy Crockpot Ribs
2.5 lbs of ribs (I use grass fed)
1 quart container of mushroom broth
1 quart container of beef broth - (I use Pacific Natural Foods for my broths)
1 diced onion
1/4 cup Stubs BBQ Sauce- Original Flavor or 1/4 cup Better BBQ Sauce

Sprinkle in the following herbs and spices:

  • Garlic Pepper (or you can dice up some garlic cloves)
  • Cardamom
  • Sea Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Ground Mustard
  • Chipotle
  • Dulse
  • Kelp
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Basil

The variety of herbs will not only make your ribs taste delicious, but they'll make you feel great as well. Each one does it's own special thing to help digestion, remove toxins, and promote better immune health.

1. Combine broths, spices and herbs, onion, and BBQ sauce in crockpot. Mix well, then add in ribs.
2. Cook ribs in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours, checking occasionally.
3. That's about it. I told you they were easy! Pull them out and eat, when ready.

If you like BBQ Sauce, I highly recommend using this Better BBQ Sauce recipe with these. Or with everything, it's that good. If you don't have time to make it, buy the version I mention, above. It's a healthy alternative to the homemade one.

Additionally, I want to note that all of the beef I use is grass fed. When I make the ribs, the meat falls off the bone every single time. I can't speak for grain fed beef as to whether or not this will happen. What I will say is that people love my ribs and brisket (recipe coming soon!) and I truly believe a big part of the reason is that I use high quality grass fed beef from a local farmer. But give it a try however you like and see how it turns out!

Pair these with the Veggie Salad with Very Easy Vinaigrette or some roasted carrots (1 bag baby carrots, 2 TBSP's olive oil, 1 TSP rosemary. Mix together and bake in oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you want them!)

This next recipe is easy, as it requires a prepackaged bag of gluten free cornbread mix from Pamela's, which can be found in any health store and even at some local grocers. One thing I want to bring your attention to is that the bag states that it is dairy free, however, the recipe itself calls for butter. While it offers it's own variations on the bag, I have reformatted it slightly, below. Additionally, please excuse the lovely paper plate and plastic spoon picture below. Fancy, I know. We're high class folks up in here.

Honey Cornbread 
Original Recipe taken from Pamela's Cornbread and Muffin Mix

1 package of Pamela's Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1/2 cup of Honey
2 large eggs
1 cup water
7 TBSP's of olive oil

1. Lightly grease an 8" square pan and preheat over to 375 degrees.
2. In bowl, combine mix, honey, eggs, water, and oil.
3. Pour into pan and bake for 23-25 minutes.
4. Serve warm, with some additional honey drizzled on top.

These are really, really, super-duper incredibly good. They could technically be considered dessert, but I have an alternate idea for you- up next!

This dessert is easy and delicious, but it does require an ice cream maker and needs to be made a day in advance.
Homemade Raspberry and Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream
Recipe taken and altered from The Ice Dream Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz

Vanilla Ice Cream Base
1/3 cup cold water
2 tsp's agar agar powder (not flakes) or unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup honey or agave (I used honey)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp pure stevia extract powder or 1/2 to 1 tsp clear stevia extract liquid (start with less and add more as needed)
1/8 tsp finely ground sea salt
3 1/2 cups (or two 14 ounce cans) unsweetened, regular coconut milk (not the lite version)
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract

Raspberry and Fudge Mix
1 small container of fresh raspberries
French Meadow gluten free Brownie (or similar variety), cut into small squares
Side Note: I tried other gluten free brownies, but this version was the very best. I found it at Sprouts in the bakery section.

Options: Add whole berries with fudge squares directly to ice cream or blend raspberries in blender with a TBSP honey.

1. Add 1/3 cup of water to small saucepan. Slowly sprinkle in the gelatin or agar agar. Let stand for 2-5 minutes to soften. Warm over medium-low heat without stirring, until it dissolves. Scrape mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Add honey, stevia, sea salt. Blend. Add coconut milk and vanilla and blend until smooth. Do a taste test and add more stevia, if needed.
3. Pour into one or more wide-mouth jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before churning. Make sure your ice cream maker is ready to go as well, by placing in the freezer overnight.
4. Once the appropriate time has passed, scrape the chilled mix into the ice cream canister. Churn according to manufacturers instructions. 
5. Once ice cream has reached the soft serve stage, add the raspberry and fudge mix, churning until it is fully mixed, about 2 minutes.
6. Serve immediately or freezer in freezer safe containers. If you freeze, when you're ready to serve (if you're doing all steps prior to the dinner party), take ice cream out of the freezer and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes, to soften, or on the counter for 15-30 minutes. 

Alternate Recipe: Cherry Vanilla Ice Dream
1 cup frozen, unsweetened Bing cherries, placed in a bowl while frozen and allowed to thaw
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP honey or agave nectar

1. Drain the cherries, saving the juices, and chop them on a cutting board.
2. Add cherry juices that were saved, honey, and lemon to cherries and mix.

3. At step 5 with the original vanilla base, add the cherry vanilla mix instead.


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