There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Energy Bites (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw)

Wow!  These little bites are amazing, and horribly addicting, so be sure to ration them!  I’ve come across bunches of cookie dough bite recipes, but most used flour or oats.  I wanted a grain-free version that didn’t scream “I have nuts!” and didn’t taste like a typical Lara Bar.  And frankly, I didn’t want them to just resemble cookie dough, I wanted them to taste just like cookie dough!  Tall order, but I think I delivered with this recipe.  They’re also kid approved!

These are vegan as long as you choose vegan chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life.  You can also just chop up your favorite dark chocolate instead of using chips. I used 1/2 cup in the recipe here, but it was a generous amount of chocolate.  1/3 cup would also work well.  You may find the baking soda an odd addition to the recipe, but it adds to the true cookie dough flavor so don’t leave it out.  You can substitute another 2 dates for the coconut sugar, but again, the coconut sugar gives it just the right flavor.  Trust me!

These are very easy to make and come together in about 10 minutes start to finish.  These are energy bites, but they taste like a treat for sure.  Just two of them is about a perfect 200-calorie clean food snack.

Enjoy!

But don’t eat the whole batch at once! 😉

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

Makes approximately 2 dozen energy bites.
Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour  (Don’t substitute ground almonds for this one)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp coconut sugar
6 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp coconut oil (Not melted.  Use refined for no coconut flavor.)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 c dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels, not the mini chips.)

Method:

Step 1:  Put all ingredients except the chocolate chips in your food processor.

Step 2:  Process until the “dough” starts to come together.  It will still look very crumbly.

Step 3:  Dump into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips. (Don’t be temped to zoom them in the food processor.  The chips are best left whole)

Step 4:  Form into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  I used a cookie scoop to get uniform balls.

Step 5:  Pop into the freezer for an hour to set before storing.  Store in an airtight container either in fridge or freezer.

I enjoy these cold, but you can eat them at room temperature as soon as you make them.

Makes approximately 2 dozen energy bites.

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STEP 1

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STEP 2

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STEP 3

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STEP 4

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STEP 5

There is No Secret to Getting Fit

PALEO COOKIE DOUGH BITES

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Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Turkey Chili (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

One of the meals I miss since I no longer eat beans is chili.  It’s an easy weeknight meal to make, and is a nice comforting meal on a cold night.

I experimented with a few different variations of this recipe and came up with one that’s savory with a bit of sweetness.  The chili powder adds a slight kick, but not enough to consider it spicy.  If you prefer a more spicy chili, you can add some red pepper flakes.  We enjoy this one as is, and the kids gobble it up!  If you have family members or guests that do not follow a Paleo diet, you can serve this with some corn tortilla chips too.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Chili

Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced  (any color works well, I like orange or red, but you can add green for a contrasting color)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 large sweet potato, diced
28 oz (about 3 cups) diced tomatoes
2 cups pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
sea salt to taste

Step 1:  In a large pot or skillet, melt coconut oil.  Sauté onion and bell pepper until onion is translucent (season with a little s&p).  Add minced garlic and sauté another minute.
Step 2:  Add ground turkey, season with a little s&p and cook until no longer pink.
Step 3:  Add the tomatoes, pumpkin, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice and pepper.  Simmer covered for about 20 minutes, or until sweet potato is cooked through.
Step 4:  Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

If you eat dairy, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese.

**Make your own pumpkin pie spice:  1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp allspice

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Sweet & Tangy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Did you know that brussels sprouts were once rated the most hated vegetable in the US?  Yep, when I was growing up, I had only seen them boiled to a pulp, stinky and, well, gross.  But times have changed and brussels sprouts seem to be the big “come back” veggie of the year.  I’ve seen tons of recipes posted and they seem to pop up on lots of menus now too.  Here are some interesting facts about Brussels Sprouts for you to peruse as your sprouts cook.  Read quickly though, this recipe cooks up fast!

I was determined to like brussels sprouts since seeing them pop up on menus and in recipes online.  I’ve had them out at restaurants and enjoy them somewhat, but never really loved them until I was at the airport (of all places) and had them at a restaurant with bacon.  Bacon makes everything taste better!  I then set out to come up with a recipe that wasn’t too sweet, wasn’t overpowered by bacon, but was delicious.  After many attempts that resulted in just mediocre sprouts, I finally came up with the right combination of ingredients.  These are sweet, but not overly sweet and they have a nice tang and a crunch of bacon too.  You don’t have to roast them in the oven and they just take minutes on the stove.  They’re really rather easy and quick to make!  Depending on the size of my sprouts, I may halve them or quarter them or leave them whole if they are tiny.  If you like to keep your sprouts in tact, just halve them and don’t stir too much.  I don’t mind when my sprouts fall apart a bit though.

Join the brussels sprouts movement*! (*That’s not really a thing, but maybe it should be?) If you’ve been looking for a brussels sprouts recipe to make you love brussels sprouts, give this one a try and report back to me with what you thought!  This dish will be going on our Thanksgiving table this year!

Enjoy!

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Sweet & Tangy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon 
via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

INGREDIENTS:
4 thick slices of uncured bacon, diced
1 package (about 1 lb) brussels sprouts, washed and halved (remove any brown leaves and the bottom part of the stem)
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

METHOD:

Step 1:  Using a large skillet or wide bottom pot, cook your diced bacon until crisp and browned. (You can add a tsp of coconut oil to prevent sticking, but you shouldn’t need it since the bacon will release fat.)  Remove bacon bits to a paper towel with a slotted spoon, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
Note* It’s easiest to dice your bacon when it’s very cold, and I prefer this method to cooking bacon in strips and crumbling it.

Step 2:  Place your brussels sprouts in the pan with the bacon fat.  Season liberally with salt & pepper.  Cook on med/high covered for about 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are caramelized.  Toss and cook another 3 minutes, covered.  The sprouts should be just about cooked through and caramelized.

Step 3:  Add the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup (not the apple cider vinegar yet!).  Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4:  Add the apple cider vinegar.  Toss and cook for about a minute.  Add additional s&p if needed.

Step 5:  Remove from heat and add in the bacon bits.  Toss and serve.

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Step 1: Make the bacon bits

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Step 2: Season and cook the brussels spouts in the bacon fat.

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Step 3: Add the balsamic vinegar & maple syrup. Step 4: Add the apple cider vinegar just before removing from heat.

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Step 5: Remove from heat, toss with bacon bits and serve!

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Apple Pie Pancakes (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

It all started with 2 eggs and a banana.  Or how about this… 2 eggs and a banana walked into an apple pie… no?

Anyway… When I came across the simple combination of 2 eggs and one banana to make a pancake “batter”, I started playing around with all sorts of versions of this simple, good for you pancake!  I posted the original version of these “everyday pancakes” here.  During APPLEMAGEDDON this fall (that’s when we all go crazy picking too many apples than we know what to do with so we have to come up with recipes to use them in like this one and this one)… wait, where was I? Oh yes, so I came up with recipes to use my apples in and this was a Sunday morning whim where I decided some warm apples would be super yummy in pancakes for the kids and the husband.  They eat grains and tolerate them well, so I made “real” pancakes with apples for them and I tossed some of the leftover apples in my pancakes.  They turned out fantastic!  I have since made them a few times and have even gotten lazy and just microwaved my apple instead of using a separate pan on the stove.  That worked well too, though it wasn’t quite as thick as it gets on the stove.  Do it on the stove for the full YUM factor.

As with the original version, you have to be patient and let them cook for a good 5 minutes on one side before flipping.  If they wobble and start to break when you try to flip, just wait another minute.  Make sure your pan is nicely oiled too and I find an electric skillet cooks these most evenly without burning.

Enjoy!

 

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Apple Pie Pancakes
Apple mixture:
1 small apple, diced (Gala or Golden Delicious work well)
2 tsp coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
splash of maple syrup

Pancake Batter:
2 eggs
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt (optional)
1 tbsp coconut oil

Method:
Step 1:  Heat a small pan and melt coconut oil.  Add apples and salt.  Cover and let soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Step 2:  While your apple is cooking, mix pancake batter ingredients using a stick blender, blender or hand mixer until smooth.
Step 3:  Once apple is softened, add cinnamon, nutmeg and syrup.  Stir and let cook on high heat for a moment, until the juices  reduce and you have a nice thick apple mixture.
Step 4:  Heat electric skillet and melt coconut oil.  Pour the batter onto your heated skillet into 6 small pancakes.  You can either mix your apples into the batter OR you can make your pancakes and top with the apples before flipping.  Both methods work, but you do need to be very patient about flipping your pancakes.  They really need to firm up nice and golden underneath before flipping.  This may take up to 5 minutes, depending on how hot your skillet is.  Be sure to watch your pancakes and make sure they don’t burn!  Once flipped, cook until golden on the other side, about 1 minute.  Enjoy!  (These are delicious with no other toppings added.)

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Zucchini Pie with Spinach and Mushrooms (Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Meatless)

I came across a version of this recipe for crustless zucchini pie quite a while ago.  I modified it to be grain-free and gluten-free and added a little more flavor to it too.  I’ve made varying versions of it as a side dish, a main meal, for pot lucks and to bring to friends that are vegetarians.  It’s basically like a quiche, but there’s fewer eggs and cheese and a lot more flavor.  It’s such an easy recipe to change up too.  You can eliminate the mushrooms or spinach and add something else or just have a plain zucchini pie.  I’ve made many different combinations with this recipe.  You can also reduce the cheese even more or eliminate it all together if you don’t do dairy.   It’s such a great recipe for leftovers because it reheats nicely.  Plus, it’s something you can feel good about eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a side.  Awesome, huh?  I used to think that about ice cream too, but as it turns out, though ice cream is delicious any time of day, it doesn’t do wonders for the waistline!  Go figure.

My instructions tell you to combine the dry ingredients, then add the wet and so on.  You can do that, but to be honest, I usually just have a giant bowl, toss it all in and mix it up.  I do give the eggs a bit of a whisk first though.  Keep it simple!

Enjoy!

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Zucchini Pie with Spinach and Mushrooms
Via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

INGREDIENTS:
4 medium zucchini, shredded
1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 package of mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 cups raw baby spinach
Sea Salt & Pepper

3 tbsp died parsley (or 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley)
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded cheddar, monterey jack or a combo
2/3 c almond milk
1 tsp melted coconut oil
3 large eggs, whisked
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup (or less) freshly grated parmesan cheese

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 1:  Place zucchini and salt in cheese cloth (or clean tea towel).  Let sit at least 15 minutes before squeezing out all of the liquid.  Sometimes I squeeze it out, then go back to my prep work and squeeze one more time right before adding it.

Step 2:  Melt coconut oil in a skillet, sauté onion (season with s&p) until translucent, then place in a large bowl.  Sauté mushrooms (season with s&p) in the same pan, transfer to the bowl.  Finally, sauté the spinach (season with s&p) until wilted and set aside.

Step 3:  Combine the parsley, almond flour, baking powder and cheeses with the onion and mushrooms.  Add the milk, coconut oil, eggs, worcestershire sauce, S&P and combine.  Add the drained zucchini and spinach and mix until combined.

Step 4:  Pour mixture into a deep dish pie plate sprayed with olive oil (I use my Misto).  Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees until completely set, about 60-70 minutes (knife will come out clean and the top will get golden brown).  Cover the top of your pie with parchment paper if the cheese is getting too brown.

Remove from oven and let cool about 5-10 minutes before cutting.

 

Step 1: Prep the zucchini.  10_29_13 477 10_29_13 479 10_29_13 480

Step 2:  Yes, I know, I didn’t take pictures of my sautéd onions, mushrooms and spinach. No worries, you got this!

Step 3:  Here you can see all of the ingredients mixed up in one bowl.  IMG_5854

 

Step 4:  This is the end result, out of the oven, sliced and plated up!  Yum, yum, EXTRA YUM!  (Did anyone get that reference?  Probably not, because you have to have kids and you have to read some pretty random books to have gotten that one.  It’s from a book called “Little Pea”.)
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Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cookies with Chocolate Chips (Gluten Free with Paleo option)

I made these Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Bars to take to a friend recovering from surgery. We kept a few for ourselves, which everyone enjoyed!

My daughter was looking through a catalog for ideas on to dd to her Christmas wish list.  She came across some silly kids’  cooking set.  I told her, we have everything she needs to cook in our kitchen and she’s old enough to use it, so she can learn the right way using real cooking tools.  She quickly decided she wanted to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Funny thing is that we have never made these before, so it was totally her idea! She’s been enjoying all of the pumpkin recipes we’ve been making with my many cups of frozen pumpkin puree!

My husband suggested making the bars I referenced above into cookies because they we really good. So I modified the recipe only very slightly and made cookies (no added date caramel, however you can add it if you like a sweeter cookie). The result is a big hit with everyone.  They’re soft and not overly sweet at all and have just the right combination of pumpkin, spices and chocolate chips.

PALEO NOTE*  As you know, I follow mostly Paleo with the occasional oats in my diet, but I can enjoy these (one or 2 on occasion) and have no issues. However, you can also make them Paleo by substituting 1 1/4 cups total almond flour plus 3 tbsp coconut flour for the oats. The cookies will need to cool completely to set up before removing from tray.

By the way, check out the site where I got the original recipe.  She’s vegan, but many of her recipes are quite versatile and she does have lots of gluten free, flourless and even paleo recipes.  I’ve even used some of her recipes as a base for a meat or chicken dish.

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Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cookies with Chocolate Chips

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 cup raw pecans, plus ¼ cup reserved
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg

½ c mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Step 1:  In a food processor, grind up the pecans and oats into a slightly coarse flour.

Step 2:  Add remaining dry ingredients to the flour and pulse a few times to combine. Pulse in the extra ¼ cup pecans, keeping them course (or mix in chopped pecans). Transfer to a bowl.

Step 3:  In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mix well.

Step 4:  Add wet to dry and mix until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips.

Step 5:  Using a cookie scoop, drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees 15-18 minutes.

Makes about 40 cookies.

These should be stored in the fridge.  They will get a bit moist when stored.  You can eat them cold or pop in the toaster to get that “fresh from the oven” taste.  YUM!

 

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Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites with Spiced Coconut Whipped Cream

Paleo PPie Bites

My cravings for seasonal treats haven’t completely disappeared since I switched to a clean, whole foods, mostly Paleo diet.  Though I don’t crave super sweet, dense, rich desserts, I still have the occasional craving for seasonal treats like pumpkin pie.   I wanted the moist, creaminess of the pie filling, but in a stable enough form that you could still pick up without having a crust or tart shell.  These little babies are just that.  They’re super creamy and moist, but you can still pick them up (gently!) and pop one in your mouth.  I like to make most of my teats in bite size form because I am usually just craving a little taste of a treat, rather than wanting to indulge in a big serving.

As I mentioned in my last post, I got a great deal on pie pumpkins and have a huge amount of pumpkin puree frozen and ready to use at a moment’s notice!  I made a very similar version of this recipe about a month ago and my daughter was asking me to make it again.  I tweaked my recipe a bit and came up with something worthy of posting.

My pumpkin moment arrived last night.  Armed with my over-abundance of pumpkin that I pureed and froze conveniently in 1-cup measures, I set to work on this delicious little bite.  As I said, my 7 year old daughter is a huge pumpkin fan and absolutely loves these, and my non-pumpkin-loving husband really enjoys them too!  My 5 year old son thinks they look suspect and didn’t want to try them- yet.  We’ll get there with him!  😉

Be sure to plan ahead a bit.  These are best eaten cold!

Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites with Spiced Coconut Whipped Cream
Via There is No Secret to Getting Fit
Yields about 48 mini muffin sized bites

INGREDIENTS:

Pumpkin Pie Bites
2 cups pureed pumpkin (if you use a can, the ingredients should just say pumpkin)
1 very ripe banana
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/3 c maple syrup
1/3 c coconut sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 c almond flour
3 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Spiced Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch nutmeg

METHOD:

Step 1:  Using a blender, combine pumpkin and banana until smooth.  Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and fully combined.  Let the batter sit for a few minutes.

Step 2:  While your batter is thickening up a bit, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini muffin tins with paper or foil liners or silicone liners and spray with nonstick spray (I use olive oil in my Misto).  (I think the paper liners at the best idea if you plan on sharing these.  Though they can be picked up, they aren’t super stable.  The paper liners make it easier to pick them up, share them and even pack as a snack.  You definitely need liners in your muffin tins or they will not come out cleanly, no matter how non-stick.)

Step 3:  Once your oven is preheated and your muffin tins are lined, give the batter a quick whirl around in your blender.  Batter will still be very thin!  Pour batter into the mini baking cups, filling to the top.

Step 4:  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let cool on counter for about 10 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before removing from the tins. (The middle may sink a bit, but that’s just a convenient vessel for the whipped cream).  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.  I store mine in layers with waxed paper or parchment paper between each layer.)

Step 5:  When you’re ready to serve these, make your whipped topping.  Open your refrigerated can of coconut milk.  Scoop out the solid cream on top of the can and discard the remaining water (or save it to use in a smoothie!).  Using a whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the coconut cream for about 5 minutes, until it looks fluffy.  Add in the maple syrup and spices and whip for another 30 seconds or so.

Step 6:  Put a dollop of the whipped cream on top of your pumpkin pie bite and pop it in your mouth.

OK, maybe for you it’s more like 2-3 bites to be “dainty” about it.  🙂

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Chicken Satay with Creamy Pumpkin Curry Sauce (Paleo/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free)

Pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin!

Our local Whole Foods had an awesome deal on pie pumpkins, so I took advantage!  It’s so easy to make your own pumpkin puree!  Here’s my easy method:  cut your pumpkins in half, remove the stem and take out the seeds and pulp (save your seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds!).  Roast the pumpkin halves face down at 400 degrees for about an hour or until the flesh is very soft.  Remove and let cool at least an hour.  The skin should separate from the pumpkin flesh as it cools.  Remove the flesh, puree’ and freeze in 1-cup portions.  I have found that a stick blender is the fastest and easiest way to puree the pumpkin, but a food processor works well too if you add the pumpkin in small batches.

Now, with all of this pumpkin on hand, I needed come up with some recipes to use.  When thinking about pumpkin recipes, sweet treats always come to mind, but I wanted to try it in a savory dish.  I’ve used the satay marinade many times with a peanut dipping sauce, so I decided to change it up and try out a pumpkin curry sauce.  The results were so delicious, even my husband loved it and he isn’t a fan of pumpkin.

I have also made the sauce recipe to top just plain grilled chicken and it’s still quite good, but cuts the prep time down since you don’t have to marinade the chicken or even do kabobs.

Yum, try this one soon!!

Chicken Satay with Creamy Pumpkin Curry Sauce

Chicken Satay Marinade
1 1/2 to 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 cup full fat coconut milk (save the rest of the can for the pumpkin sauce)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Creamy Pumpkin Curry Sauce
2 tsp coconut oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you’d like an extra kick)
2/3 cup coconut milk (full fat makes a thicker and creamier sauce)
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
(Plus extra s&p to taste)

Method:

Step 1:  Combine marinade ingredients.  Toss the marinade with the chicken, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 1 day.

Step 2:  Make the pumpkin sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt coconut oil.  Sauté onion with a little s&p until translucent.  Add red pepper flakes and sauté for an additional minute.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  (You can make the sauce while the chicken is on the grill or reheat when the chicken comes off the grill.)

Step 3:  Thread chicken onto skewers.  (I highly recommend these skewers!) Grill chicken using indirect cooking on the grill until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Step 4:  Toss chicken with pumpkin sauce or you can control the amount of sauce you use by spooning it over your chicken.  Serve over brown rice or riced cauliflower.

Enjoy!

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Easy Savory Cinnamon Chicken Kabobs

I’ve been very busy lately with teaching my classes, kids activities, my own training, family time and my other businesses, but I’m finally trying to get through a backlog of recipes and get some of my favorites posted.  Finding where I saved the pictures is is always fun!

I spent a good amount of time trying to come up with a name to describe this dish.  It’s not really an indian flavor, but has similar spices.  You can make it spicy or mild or anywhere in between.  The chicken always turns out extremely moist and flavorful.  Once you try it, if you have a better name, please comment!

This recipe is great for whipping up when you haven’t really planned ahead.  There is no marinade time needed.  Just mix all of the ingredients together, plop your chicken in, toss it around and grill it up!  It’s so easy, it’s ridiculous.  Super fast, healthy and delicious!

Though we enjoy making this recipe with kabobs, you can certainly just use chicken breasts or thighs and pop those on the grill.  Breasts or thighs will work with this recipe, sometimes we make a little of both on separate skewers.    Kabobs were once a bit of a pain, but ever since I came across these awesome skewers, they’re so easy to do.  I was skeptical when I saw the skewers at first, but the flat design means the meat won’t flip around, and the the handles don’t get hot, so you can turn them with bare hands!  Get these and you’ll start kebobing (is that a word?) all sorts of things.  Hmm… well maybe that doesn’t sound right, but you get the idea.  🙂

Enjoy!

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Easy Savory Cinnamon Chicken Kabobs

2 lbs chicken, cut into chunks for skewers (breasts or thighs work)
1 cup plain greek yogurt (I do not use fat-free)
3 tablespoons honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Method:

Step 1:  Combine all ingredients, except chicken in a bowl.

Step 2:  Add your chicken chunks and toss to coat.

Step 3:  Thread onto skewers (not packed too tightly).

Step 4:  Grill over high heat, turning once, until cooked through.  (About 10 minutes over high heat.)

Step 5:  Remove from skewers and enjoy!

Step 1

Step 2

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Step 3

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Step 4

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Step 5

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Spiced Maple Glazed Pork (or Chicken) and Apples (Paleo/Gluten-Free)

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Spiced Maple Glazed Pork and Apples via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

So many delicious local apples this time of year!  I thought I’d use them in a savory dish, rather than the typical sweet treats.  What I came up with is a savory chicken dish that’s a touch on the sweet side with plenty of spices to balance it out.  The combination of fresh ginger and cinnamon with the apples is so good! Two thumbs up from the kids and a big thumbs up from the Mr. too.  I’ve made it with both chicken and pork and both are delicious.

Sorry about the terrible chicken picture.  The photo was taken after we all decided the recipe was a hit, and that’s all that was leftover!  🙂

Spiced Maple Glazed Pork (or Chicken) and Apples

Ingredients:

Glaze:
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1.5 lb Pork Cutlets or 3 chicken breasts, butterflied
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Apples:
3 medium or large apples sliced into bites (I used Gala)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Method:

Step 1:  Combine ingredients for glaze and set aside.

Step 2:  Peel and core apples, cut into bite-sized pieces.  Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in pan on stovetop.  Add apples and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.  Toss, cover and cook on medium, siring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until apples are tender.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup once the apples are tender and cook for a minute on high to let the juices thicken up.  Turn heat off once tender.

Step 3:  While the apples are cooking, If using chicken, butterfly your chicken breasts so they are an even thickness. Coat your chicken or pork in the glaze (I just toss my protein of choice in my glaze bowl).

Step 4:  Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet.  Arrange your protein in the skillet, pouring any remaining glaze over the top.  Cook covered on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes (depends on thickness).  Flip and cook uncovered until cooked through (3-10 more minutes, depending on the thickness of your meat).

Step 5:  Add the apples to your pork or chicken, toss to coat the apples with the glaze and serve.

Alternatively, you could coat your protein with the glaze and bake in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. You could also glaze and grill.

Optional add in:  Sauté a sliced onion in your pan before adding the chicken or pork with it.  The onion adds just a bit more of a savory element, but it gets nicely caramelized with the glaze.

Spiced Maple Glazed Chicken and Apples

Spiced Maple Glazed Chicken and Apples via There is No Secret to Getting Fit

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