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?

 

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.

Lessons learned with Chocolate PB Cheesecake Minis

PBC Cheesecake COVER

One of my favorite combinations are peanut butter and chocolate.  Hands down.  The.best.ever.  Just a few of my favorites…  peanut butter blossomspeanut butter cups, puppy chow,  cocoa crispy peanut butter treats, GF PB cheesecake…. all deliciously perfect.

I wanted to make mini chocolatey-PB desserts so I set off to make a yummy layered cheesecake.  I’m not sure if this is more for the PB lover or the chocolate lover.  If you are either, this is definitely a winner!  I learned a few lessons while making this dessert I thought were worth sharing…

Lesson #1 – When Life Hands You Lemons…

PBC Cheesecake Crust

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  When life hands you Oreos, make pie crust!  Well life didn’t really hand me lemons, or Oreos, but I did learn that Oreos can be used in place of chocolate pie crust!  The easiest way to make the crust on this dessert is to make it as a single pie and buy the premade chocolate pie crust.  This is definitely the easy route but it’s guaranteed goodness.  The second best would be chocolate graham crackers.  If this isn’t an option either, Oreos are a perfect substitution!!

PBC Cheesecake oreos

The Crust: 1 1/2 cups finely crushed Oreos or chocolate graham crackers, 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 tbsp sugar

Mix ingredients and scoop a small bit into the bottom on mini cupcake tins, lined with paper liners.  Mash the crust mixture down until it’s firm.  Step 1 done!  Bonus: chances are you will have leftovers for the Oreos so when life hands you Oreos… grab a glass of almond milk! 🙂

PBC Cheesecake crust 2

There are 2 parts to the filling – a chocolate layer and a peanut butter layer.

Ingredigents for the filling: 2 8oz packages of cream cheese,  1 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 2 cups chocolate morsels, 2 tbsp. almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla

Lesson #2 – If you think a bowl is going to be too small, it is. 

I overestimated the size of the bowl and underestimated the amount of the filling on this one.

In a bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese until smooth.  Add peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar.  Now fold in 1 lightly beaten egg.  Set aside.  Baker’s note:  this is so so yummy!  I try not to eat batter because of that whole raw-egg-get-sick thing, but sometimes I just can’t help but get a bite. 🙂

PBC Cheesecake filling PB

For the chocolate layer, melt the morsels in the microwave carefully.  Add 1 package of cream cheese and stir.  Mix in milk and vanilla.  Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs.

PBC Cheesecake filling choco

I ended up with two super small bowls and not a whole lot of room to do anything.  Slowing and carefully, the mixtures were complete but not without some spills.

PBC Cheesecake filling both

The final part is to layer the mixtures in the cups.

Lesson #3 – Mini cupcake tins aren’t tall enough for the perfect layers.

I’m a fan of chocolate-peanut butter-chocolate layers.  If using a single pie, this is the perfect order.  However, in these mini cups, I ended up running out of  chocolate and overflowing with crust.  Taste did not sacrifice here though!!

The right way: cover the bottom with half of the chocolate mixture.  Divide the PB mixture evenly among the cups.  Layer the remaining chocolate on top.

PBC Cheesecake stages

For the single pie – bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  For these mini cakes – bake for about 15-20 minutes.

The outer edges will be dry looking but the center will look darker and wet.  Cool on a wire rack and then chill for at least 4 hours.  Top with whipped cream before serving!   <— Taste > Looks (always)

PBC Cheesecake done

Bon Appetite!