My dad creates recipes too: dads paleo granola

My dad rarely gets involved with the kitchen. If he does, he’s making crazy weird experimental smoothies that he thinks are delicious but the rest of my family semi gags over. But today, while visiting me at school for my last family weekend ever (side note-I graduate in December–yayayayay!!), he comes up with this little gem. I’m not a huge paleo advocate, but my dad really digs it. This recipe is uber paleo friendly and it’s really tasty too with minimal sugar. The only real sugar involved is in the dates. But you guys have got to try this one out.

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I don’t know if you guys have heard of the whole butter in coffee thing… but I think it’s strange. It just sounds unappetizing. Paleo peeps love their butter, so this recipe has a little butter involved. Not as much as my dad wanted, but I made him compromise with me over the amount.
This recipe is great for a little pick me up to help hold you over between meals. Packed with healthy fats and protein! And make sure to use grass fed organic butter- we don’t want any nasty hormones in our recipe!

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Dads paleo granola
ingredients
1/2 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons butter (weird, I know)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons of the following:
-macadamia nuts
-walnuts
-pumpkin seeds
-pecans
-pistachios
-cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut flakes
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
A pinch of salt

1. Finely chop the nuts and seeds.
2. Combine EVERYTHING into a large mixing bowl.
3. Cover a pie pan with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the pan.
4. Put into the freezer for at least an hour then transfer to the fridge and enjoy!!

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Quinoa for breakfast?!?!

When I was at the Tone It Up Retreat last week, I ate a lot of quinoa. I mean a LOT of quinoa. I’ve always been a fan of quinoa because it’s a complete protein and a good grain alternative (because it’s actually a seed, not a grain). I have quite a few recipes on my blog already that use quinoa as a staple but I’ve never really used quinoa for breakfast before until this morning.

Well, actually, technically I tried it for the first time at the retreat. I was definitely skeptical when I saw “oatmeal” made of quinoa. It seemed like an odd pairing, quinoa and breakfast. But I gave it a whirl and I’m glad I did! Having quinoa for breakfast really helps fill you up and keep you satisfied throughout the day (probably because it’s high in protein). Plus, it doesn’t really taste like anything, so it’s extremely versatile and you can add whatever you want to it.

I pre-made the quinoa last night so that it wouldn’t take as long to prepare. I suggest everyone do it that way too since most people don’t have ample time in the morning to leisurely cook quinoa for breakfast.

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

**OH and by the way… along with this quinoa oatmeal dish this morning, I made a “clean” latte. And holy mother of all delicious food… it was incredible. Don’t you worry though, I’ll be posting THAT recipe soon enough!**

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram at @healthyfoodylifestyle for more recipes, fitness and health updates. And be sure to post your creation and tag me in it so that I can see how yours turned out!

So what are you waiting for… go eat some quinoa for breakfast!

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Superfoods and Strawberries Quinoa Oatmeal

serves 3

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1.5 cups almond milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped strawberries

3 tablespoons cacao nibs

3 tablespoons goji berries

3 teaspoons honey

1. Pour the quinoa, almond milk and cinnamon into a pan. Raise the heat to medium high until it starts to boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Let this cook for 20 minutes. If the quinoa dries up before it is cooked all the way through, just add 1/4 cup more almond milk to moisten it again.

*This step can be done the night before. Once the quinoa is cooked, just wait for it to cool off and put it into tupperware and into the fridge. When you are ready to reheat it, take out the desired amount, put it into a pot, add 1/4 cup almond milk and put it over medium low heat while you prepare the other ingredients*

2. Separate the quinoa out into three bowls. Sprinkle the strawberries, goji berries, cacao, and honey on top of each bowl. Serve hot!

Trying something new: Celery Root Fries

Every seen Harry Potter? Do you remember the Mandrake Root? The little plant that when you pulled out of the ground it would scream its head off? Well, celery root almost looks like that. Just in the fact that they both look so gnarly and inedible. It doesn’t scream when pulled out of the ground though, so no need to worry.
Celery root is actually very edible and rather tasty. Plus, with fall approaching, it’ll be in season so you’ll be seeing a lot of it at your grocery store. The first time I cooked with celery root was three years ago when I lived in Santa Barbara with a house full of five other girls. I don’t remember how I came across it or even how I knew what to do with it, but I do remember my roommates acting very intrigued.

“You’re going to EAT that thing?!”

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They all sat around and watched while I removed the outer layer and started slicing the root into fry sizes. Once I had finished cooking them, the little fries were unrecognizable from the original form it took. I offered my roommates to try some. Needless to say, they were a little wary to try it after seeing the original gnarly, root-y shape, but once they got up the courage to try it, they ended up taking seconds, thirds, and fourths!

Try something new this fall and buy a celery root! I swear, it’s waaaay tastier than it looks!

Celery Root Fries

serves 1

Ingredients:

1 celery root (you lose a lot while trimming off the outer edges, so try and get a larger one)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional–for those who like a little spice in their life)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut the top of the celery root off. This will be used as your starting point for cutting off the outer edges.

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3. Using a sharp knife, slice off the fibrous-y outer layer until it resembles a peeled potato.

4. Cut the root into thin, french fry shaped strips and put onto a cookie sheet. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until each fry is coated.

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5. Put in the oven for about 25 minutes or until its reached your desired crispiness. Serve with a chicken burger or maybe even a steak! I paired mine with a nice big steak and some green beans 🙂

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Some days, you just need a little bit of pasta… garlic veggie pasta over whole wheat spaghetti

Does anyone else have the extreme issue of attempting to make pasta for just yourself and ending up with enough pasta to feed a family of five? It happens. Thank god for tupperware. Or hungry roommates.

I’m not a big pasta eater, mostly because when I eat a lot of it, I start to feel bloat-y and overly full. But every now and then, a nice big plate of pasta is the only thing I can imagine eating. An occasional carbo-load never hurt anyone.

I especially like this pasta dish because there’s no cheese and it mostly just consists of vegetables. I like to imagine the pasta as a grain replacement (like quinoa or rice) and it makes me feel better about it. That, and when it’s whole wheat, organic, nongmo, etc….

For those days when you just need to fill your belly with some comfort food… try this out!

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Garlic Veggie Pasta over Whole Wheat

serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked whole wheat spaghetti

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes

3 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

OPTIONAL: a tablespoon of parmesan (for a little extra flavor)

**Note: for this recipe, it’s easiest if you have the pasta already cooked and all the vegetables chopped before you start.

1. Put a pan over medium heat and add 1/2 teaspoon. add in the cauliflower and saute for about 5 minutes. After five minutes, add in the zucchini and tomatoes. Sprinkle the salt on top of all of the veggies and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Remove the veggies and add in the garlic and the rest of the olive oil. Saute until you can start to smell the garlic or until it starts to turn slightly golden. Sprinkle in the chili flakes and add the cooked pasta. Turn off the heat and toss the pasta until it is fully coated in olive oil. Add the vegetables back in as well as the thinly sliced basil. Toss to combine everything. Add parmesan on top at the end if you like!

Enjoy!

MUNCH THIS: Portobello mushroom steak with roasted cauliflower

Wow, if you’re looking to impress friends and family with a recipe, MUNCH THIS. I made this last night to just try it out. I’ve heard of “cauliflower steaks” before at fancy vegan restaurants so I went ahead and made that portion… Except that the finished product looked like a brain.

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Plus, a dish of roasted cauliflower just didn’t sound like it would be satisfying at all, so I added in my usual Portobello “steak” recipe. The Portabello steak combined with the cauliflower steak, a slightly strong raw cheese and a red wine sauce…. Drooling as I type this.

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It presents really well also! Try it out when you’re feeling a little adventurous!! Plus, the entire meal is only 270 calories

Portobello Mushroom Steak with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Wine Sauce
serves 1

ingredients
1 head of cauliflower
1 portobello mushroom
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1/4 cup red wine (I used chianti)
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 thin slices of a mild raw cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Slice the very tip inch of the cauliflower off, then cut a 1 inch thick steak from it.
*the cuts should be parallel to the base of the cauliflower. Careful while you cut down so that you don’t break the steak into chunks.
3. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle two teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper over it. Put into the oven for 25 minutes.
4. While that bakes, take the portobello mushroom and remove the stalk by pulling it out. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a pan and heat to medium. Put the mushroom, gills up, into the pan and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook both sides for 3 minutes then add the thyme and wine. Let this cook for another 4 minutes or until the wine has reduced. Turn off the heat, add the chicken broth and butter and stir until a sauce is formed.
5. Place the entire cauliflower on a plate and drizzle it with the red wine sauce. Place the mushroom on top of the steak and add the sliced cheese to the top.

Yummmmmmmm.
Definitely MUNCH THIS!

Easy home made ALMOND MILK (without all the nasty preservatives!)

If you’re like the majority of health conscious Americans out there, you’ve probably lessened up on the milk and opted for almond milk (or other variations) instead. Growing up, I never drank regular cows milk. My parents supplemented my cereals with rice milk and that stuff… sucked. It always tasted so watered down and lacked any flavor. I was excited when I first discovered almond milk and the whole new realm of this flavorful and substantial liquid. It wasn’t until the last few years in the midst of studying for my Nutritional Sciences degree that I decided to take a hard look at the premade Almond Milks that you buy from stores. I was surprised to find the the majority of almond milks have around 11 ingredients. I didn’t even understand half of the ingredients and I study food labels in school! This sort of freaked me out because I believe in eating food as close to it’s original form as possible. So I decided to make my own almond milk and was surprised to find how easy it was to make. The one catch is that it only lasts about 3 days. That really makes you think because store bought almond milk lasts up to two weeks in the fridge after it has been opened. Just how many preservatives are in those almond milks that it can last that long?? It’s worth trying. Plus it just tastes so much better when you make it yourself. Another positive: it makes you seem ultra impressive to your friends when it really didn’t take that much effort on your part.

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Homemade Almond Milk
makes 4 cups
what you’ll need
1 cup raw almonds
1 nut bag
1 mason jar
Water

1. In the mason jar, soak the almonds in two cups of water for 12-24 hours.
2. After soaking, drain and rinse the almonds. Put the almonds into a blender with 4 cups of water and blend for about 30 seconds.
3. Position the nut bag over the mason jar and pour the water almond mixture into the jar. You’ll have to do this in batches but it’ll go by quickly using the nut bag. Make sure to squeeze the bag with the almond meal in it to drain out any liquid. Do this until the all the liquid has been drained from the almonds.
**this will last for up to 3 days
Try adding some dates and vanilla extract to make it taste even better!

The best damn dinner salad ever.

Okay, I may be a little biased, but this salad is really good! Plus, it looks so fricken pretty as if it came directly out of a food photoshoot for Bon Appetit magazine! It’s a perfect picture of hearty avocado with crunchy seeds, light lettuce and other fruit and vegetable delicacies. Make it. Eat it. Love it. Definitely two thumbs up. Top it with some sun dried tomato hummus to really sass it up!

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The Best Damn Dinner Salad Ever
serves 1

Ingredients
2 cups mixed greens
1 small carrot
1 small beet
1/2 small cucumber
1/2 avocado
1 handful parsley
1 handful cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup roasted tomato hummus
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a large salad bowl, pour in the mixed greens.
2. With a zest-er or a grater, zest thin strips of both the carrot and beet. Add to the salad.
3. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and add to the salad.
4. Cut the stalks off of the parsley and add to the salad.
5. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the salad along with the green onions.
6. Slice the avocado and scoop out on top of the salad.
7. Heat a small pan to medium and add in the pumpkin seeds. Allow the seeds to slightly brown while constantly moving them around do that they don’t burn. This should only take about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the crunchy seeds on top if the salad.
8. For dressing, add the hummus to the top and drizzle the olive oil over the entire thing.

**This salad is extremely filling so you probably won’t need anything else for dinner when you make it! Enjoy!