Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo)

I bumped this pesto up to the top of my “recipes to post” list because I wanted to share it before everybody’s fresh basil dries out.

My family and I are seriously obsessed with this pesto and have been putting it on everything (my favorites so far is pairing it with hamburgers, chicken, and salmon) 

And my friend who’s allergic to nuts has even been able to enjoy it because there’s no nuts involved! (Nut-free also means it’s more readily-available to make since we don’t always have containers of raw nuts around the house). 

To give it extra volume, I add a spear of broccoli to the mix. No fears though! The broccoli goes completely undetected, providing you still with a basil-pesto taste :)  

Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo) Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo) 

Ingredients: 

1 spear of broccoli florets (thick stems discarded)

2/3 cup fresh basil, loosely packed 

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice 

2 large garlic cloves 

1/2 tsp salt 

Directions: 

Place broccoli florets into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of cold water to another 5 minutes. Drain out the water again and transfer florets to a food processor. Add rest of ingredients and process until smooth. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow pesto to cool and for flavors to set. Serve! 

Spicy Nut Butter Cookies (Flour-less, Sugar-less, and Paleo)

Once again, I found myself housesitting a couple months back now. 

A friend came over to keep me company and we both got talking about food (a common conversation topic for us).

Which led to a severe urge to make something. Thing was though, I only had a couple of odds and ends with me. So, we had to be a little flexible. Of course I’ve spruced up the recipe since that night, but this nut butter cookie is essentially what we got! 

And no, I did not forget to add in a sweetener to this list of ingredients. You just don’t need any! (Plus, we had no sweeteners on us when we made this originally). Therefore, these cookies are healthy enough to eat for breakfast!   

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure the nut butters are stirred before using! Or else the batter will be too runny (resulting in pancake cookies)

Spicy Nut Butter Cookies (Flour-less, Sugar-less, and Paleo)

 

Spicy Nut Butter Cookies (Flour-less, Sugar-less, and Paleo) 

Ingredients: 

2 tbsp almond butter, stirred before using 

2 tbsp peanut butter, stirred before using (substitute in 2 more tbsp of almond butter if you’re paleo)

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

1/8 tsp cayenne (optional for an extra kick!) 

1/8 tsp salt 

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Combine and stir all ingredients in a bowl until everything is mixed in evenly. Drop about 1 tbsp of batter onto the cookie sheet for each cookie. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  

Spicy Nut Butter Cookies (Flour-less, Sugar-less, and Paleo)

 

 

Sweet Pepper Nachos (Grain-Free)

Every Tuesday evening, I visit my mom. If school and work isn’t bogging me down, I try to plan and prepare a nice meal. Just a small way to say thank you for feeding me for the last 2 decades (and, of course, I love having free reign of a kitchen :)

And the last Tuesday before school starts up calls for an extra special meal. This meant appetizers, side dishes, and a dessert. 

And nachos. 

But not with chips (I restrict my grain intake). Rather, I used mini peppers! 

Recently, raw peppers have graduated to the Top 10 List of my favorite foods. I down those babies like it’s my job. 

Anyway, I actually prefer the peppers to the chips. Plus, the bright yellows, oranges, and reds make it much more appealing!    

Sweet Pepper Nachos (Grain-Free) Sweet Pepper Nachos 

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground meat 

1 purple onion, chopped 

2 medium tomatoes, diced 

2 tsp cumin 

2 tsp garlic powder 

2 tsp paprika 

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tsp dried oregano 

salt and pepper

Mini sweet peppers 

Cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you desire) 

Directions: 

Cook meat and onion over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut sweet peppers in half and stretch out. Place in a single layer on a baking pan (make sure peppers are pressed close together!). When the meat is finished, spread on top of peppers. Top with desired amount of cheese and place in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Cauli’ N Cheese

As for many people, Mac n’ Cheese was always a comfort food in my house when I was little. And so, I wanted to take a crack at making a more grown-up version. Therefore I eliminated the cartoon-shaped noodles and replaced them with (you know me) cauliflower!And added some sun-dried tomatoes to complete the look. Very classy and mature, if I must say ;)

Not to say kids won’t like this too. I’m sure if I had been exposed to this when I was little, I would have deemed this comfort-like food as well!

Cauli’ N CheeseCauli’ N Cheese

Ingredients:

4 cups cauliflower, chopped into small florets 

2/3 cup plain yogurt 

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese

1/2 tsp paprika 

1/2 tsp garlic powder 

salt and pepper, to taste

sun-dried tomatoes 

Directions: 

Steam cauliflower until you can pierce it with a fork. Set aside. 

Combine yogurt, cheeses, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a pot (Note: make sure to do this before placing over heat). Place over low heat and stir constantly until cheese has melted. Take off heat, stir in desired amount of sun-dried tomatoes, and pour over steamed cauliflower. 

Slow Cooker Apple and Onion BBQ Chicken

To keep costs at a relatively reasonable rate, my family and I try to eat in while on vacation. This can be hard when we all have different plans and guests over and whatnot. Especially when we’re on the beach all day. 

So, this recipe was put to use this week to feed a bunch of people as they came and went. Since it’s a slow cooker, I was able to start it up before I headed down to the beach and come back with it almost complete. 

Plus, it wasn’t too laborious on my arm (still getting used to the cast!)

Oh, and another thing I loved about this? You get a side dish of BBQ apples and onions, a combination that tastes surprising good together!

Slow Cooker Apple and Onion BBQ ChickenSlow Cooker Apple and Onion BBQ Chicken

Ingredients: 

4 lbs organic chicken drumsticks 

2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Bill’s Best Organic BBQ Sauce) 

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 onions, chopped 

2 apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch-cubed pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker (don’t worry if it’s filled to the top- it’ll shrink as it cooks.) Put on low and let cook for 5 hours. Remove chicken. With a slotted spoon, scoop up remaining onions and apples, drain of excess sauce, and place in its own bowl to serve as a side dish. 

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