3 Ingredients to Paleo Pancakes

Paleo-pancake-porch

Friday morning I woke up at 5am.  Typically, I would take the dog out and then go back to bed.  But yesterday I was feeling well rested and decided getting up 1.5 hours early was a good idea. <— it was!  I cleaned, took Emmie on a long walk and made breakfast! I love breakfast but I don’t take the time to sit down and enjoy it in the morning.  Usually I eat it on the way to work.  (it being cereal – from a plastic cup) But not this morning!   This morning I decided to enjoy breakfast on the porch.  In a “get-up-early-be-productive-and-do-something-good-for-myself” mood I was in, paleo pancakes were a must!

The Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet.  Essentially, what cavepeople ate, is Paleo approved.  The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List is a great source for the dos and don’t of Paleo.  I made a very yummy Thai Red curry Spaghetti Squash with Chicken dish that was specifically Paleo friendly.

For breakfast I mixed 3 ingredients and made a very delicious “pancake.”  Paleo-pancake-ingredients

  • Eggs – packed with protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin!  <— ok, I didn’t go with cage-free organic eggs, but eggs > no eggs, right?
  • Bananas – hello potassium!
  • Cinnamon – The smell boosts brain functioning… CPA is 6 days away!

 

The ratio should be 1:1 but if you have a big banana (like I did), I just used 1 banana and 2 eggs.  The banana makes the batter thicker so play it by ear…

Paleo-pancake-cinnamon

I love cooking with coconut oil!  I lightly coated the pan with coconut oil to give the pancake a crispier outside.

Paleo-pancake-coconut-oil

Cook the pancakes in the frying pan and wah-la!  Breakfast served!

Paleo-pancake-cook

For dinner, I made grilled steak kabobs and used the Weber Grill Chicago Steak Seasoning.  Oh my goodness… so delicious!  I visited the Weber Grill in Chicago (which was A-MAZING) so when I saw this seasoning in Publix, I was sold!  I coated the petite tender medallions beef shoulder pieces with olive oil and the seasoning.  I must say, that was a great decision!

Weber-grill-spice

What’s better than grilled steak?  Grilled steak AND grilled veggies!

Veggies-kabobs

What did you eat healthy this weekend?

 

Catch up and bake – Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

carrot-cake-coverWell hello, friends!  Many of you have emailed me about my whereabouts and thank you!  I’m here and hope to blog more often very soon. 🙂 Remember that little thing horrible-stressful-welcome-to-my-new-life-thing called the CPA exam I told you about awhile ago?  Well it has consumed my life and it paid off because I PASSED the first one!

That’s right, I passed!  Good thing is I’m 25% done, bad thing is that the clock starts ticking for when I have to pass the other 3!  I’ve been so focused on studying I haven’t done much of anything else… my days consist of going to work, studying on my lunch break, coming home and cranking out a few hours each night if possible.  Right now I’m studying for the Business section, BEC.  My exam is April 18th and I’m not stressed (well right now, at this moment anyway… don’t ask me tomorrow) because for the first time in this exam of my life, I’m caught up!

So what does one do when finally caught up on the work and it is an absolutely beautiful day?!  Play outside of course!  After finishing studying this morning, doing laundry, cleaning the house, walking the dog and going grocery shopping (man, being a grown up is rough!), I took a trip down to St. Augustine to hang out with a good friend and got to bring Emmie along for the ride!  To recap how much fun we had, I give you a few pictures…

emmie-car-ride

The top picture was on the way down to St. Augustine.  Emmie was so excited and curious.  The car ride home was, well you can see what happened!

When I got home I was having a hankering for baking.  I didn’t really care too much for eating the cupcakes (note: there has been NO mention of working on yet – yikes!) I just wanted to bake something!  I realized I haven’t posted a recipe for carrot cake, so guess what, carrot cake was the winner!  (If you’re interested in a slimmed down version, check out my Weight Watchers Carrot Cake Recipe)

The “you can save that recipe” Carrot Cake Cupcakes

carrot-cake-wetIngredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil or canola (I used extra virgin olive oil because I had that)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups finely chopped carrots

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Chop up the carrots.  I bought the matchstick carrots and tossed them in my food processor.  The most efficient way to get this done!

carrot-cake-carrots

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs in a large mixer.

carrot-cake-mix

In a separate bowl, whisk remaining dry ingredients and then add to the wet mixture.  I think this is the key to the best carrot cake… it’s all about the spices.  the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and make or break the taste!

carrot-cake-dry

Fold in the carrots and fill cupcake tins 3/4 full.  I used the jumbo sized tins and baked for about 30 minutes.  Adjust time as needed.

Frosting:  Cream Cheese frosting is probably my favorite frosting.  4 simple ingredients (butter, vanilla, cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar) combine perfectly!  Or can combine perfectly! I’ve had some not-so-perfect cream cheese frosting and appreciate the good ones even more!  You can find my frosting recipe on my blog post about red velvet cupcakes.

carrot-cake-frostingI chopped up pecans and added them as a garnish.  Enjoying my one (yeah, I only baked one of them tonight!) cupcake, while drinking hot tea (my new night time regime) and watching The Walking Dead season finale (my not-so-new Sunday night regime) was definitely the perfect end to a perfect day!

Being caught up, even if it is for only one day, is such an amazing feeling and I can’t wait until April 18!!  Well actually, I can.  I’m not completely prepared yet and have a lot more studying to do before then.  But when it does get here, expect more recipes and adventures! 🙂

If you were completely caught up with your stuff, how would you spend your day?

Bon Appetite!

 

 

Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast-prunes

What are you doing this weekend?  How does this sound…..Detox.  Rejuvenate.  Heal.  That’s exactly what I did 2 weekends ago when I completed Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse.  What started out as a skeptical very skeptical project, turned into a great journey with surprisingly, pretty good recipes! <— (I’m serious!  I’m still drinking the detoxing fruit drink today!)

When I read the recipe for breakfast – quinoa with chopped prunes, I thought… ok, ok, I love quinoa. But the prunes?! Let’s just say this skeptic is now a prune lover!  In fact, oatmeal raisin cookies will never be the same again!

Dr. Oz’s 48-hour cleanse is summed up perfectly on his website.  To avoid that thing called copyright infringement and save me some time, just go to that site for all the details and benefits of detox as well as the recipes.  I’ll share with you some pictures of the yummy recipes and my progress here instead!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast-prunes-quinoaWhy should you try the 48-hour cleanse?

1 – It’s only 48 hours.  Do the math – 48 hours, minus sleep leaves you only 32 hours to follow some very simple recipes. You can do it!

2 – You may try a new ingredient, or two.  for me this was the fennel!  Not bad – tastes like black licorice before it’s cooked!

3- You may like the new ingredients!  for me this was prunes!  I feel old to say I like prunes but the truth is, these sweet, sticky gems are packed with antioxidants and a low glycemic index according to The World’s Healthiest Foods.

4 – Why not?  You have 363 other days in the year to eat whatever you want.  Why not test yourself with something new in 2014!?

BREAKFAST – Breakfast for both days was a quinoa dish with chopped prunes, ginger, nutmeg, milk and oil.  Think of this as oatmeal with warm fruit!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-breakfast

DETOX DRINK– This was a blast of fruit – 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 squeezed lemon and 3 cups water… Add some vodka and enjoy!  Ok, so no vodka – this is a detox weekend, remember!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-drink-pom

LUNCH – Lunch was a smoothie.  Contents: almond milk, blueberries, flaxseed and banana.  <— see I told you it is easy!

SNACKS– I just love snacks.  Especially when followed with “You can consume as many of these snacks as you’d like throughout the day.”  Dr. Oz says eat, eat, eat!  There are many veggies on Dr. Oz’s list.  I had cucumber, celery and radishes (<— NOT a fan of those red crunchy things!) tossed in a lemon, olive oil and spice dressing.  Very Tasty!

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-snacks

DINNER – Up to this point in the day I was actually happy with Dr. Oz.  I didn’t think the recipes would be so easy AND good!  When I saw the grocery list for the dinner: vegetable broth soup, my skeptism grew.  Cabbage, a lot of cabbage and fennel.  Two things I #1 have never cooked with and #2 have rarely eaten (if ever!).

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-dinner-ingredients

So the chopping began.  All the veggies got chopped up and put in a large pot.  I never knew how long it would take to chop veggies!  After about 30 minutes of simmering, my tummy started to rumble and I was ready to eat!  It smelled amazing!!! But I had to wait… so I drank more of the detox drink! 🙂

Dr-oz-48-cleanse-dinner-soup

When dinner was ready, I had a very tasty (and healthy!) vegetable broth.  Think about the veggie broths you buy in the store.  They are packed with sodium and “extra stuff.”  This is the real deal.  Homemade vegetable broth!

Potato-broccoli-soup-broth

One thing to note about the soup is that one recipe of it makes enough soup for BOTH days.  I assumed it made enough for 1 like the rest of the recipes so I bought 2 of everything.  Luckily I LOVED the soup so much I made it again with the leftovers!

At the end of the 48 hours I can say I did feel better.  I’ve had the sniffles on and off with this weather and felt refreshed.  I didn’t feel tired but pumped for the week (ok maybe the “pumped” was for other foods!).  I think this detox is super easy and doable.  No crazy ingredients you won’t ever use again.  I will definitely do the Dr. Oz 48-hour weekend cleanse again this year as a way to reset and refocus.  Oh I also took advantage of my Groupon for hot yoga at Birkram and felt even better!

So if you don’t already have plans this weekend, consider doing this cleanse.  If you can’t this weekend, schedule it soon!  Your body and mind will thank you.