Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fiery Jalapeno Buffalo Burgers with Sweet Potato Buns

YUM!! The sweetness of the sweet potato pancake aka "bun" compliments the spiciness of this burger nicely!




yields 4 burgers 

1 jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon onion powder ( I used a bit more!)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground bison


Dice and/or chop the pepper and grill it separately first ( take out all seeds and white ribs first unless you like an extra spicy burger) 

In a separate mixing bowl combine the meat, roasted pepper, and add the spices until well integrated.

Form into four 4-ounce patties and grill the burgers for 4-5 mins per side or until they are done to your liking. 

SWEET Potato Pancake AKA "BUN" (for a low-carb option you can also use carrots instead of sweet potatoes) 




Yield- 4-5 large pancakes

3 eggs
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups shredded sweet potatoes ( use a food processor!)
coconut oil for pan frying 


In a medium sized bowl beat the eggs with the coconut four, cinnamon, ground ginger and sea salt. Mix in the shredded sweet potatoes until well combined....

Add some coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat
spoon the mixture into the skillet in cakes that are 4-6 inches in diameter and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side- flipping as you would a normal pancake. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Cranberry Sauce

WOW!- Cranberries and tomatoes collide! It is like MAGIC :) 

Taken by me! 

I would have never guessed this combination would be so ....well....delightful!

Side note: It is a good idea to make the cranberry sauce ahead of time. 

Helpful tips: 

Savory cabbage is different from regular green cabbage and if you can't find it regular green cabbage works fine.

Also, I'd suggest seaming the cabbage leaves in batches since they are pretty big. 


- 1 head savoy cabbage, leaves carefully separated to remain in tact (seam first) 
-1 cup grated cauliflower 
- 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
-sea salt and pepper to taste
-1 lb ground beef
-1-2 cloves garlic-finely diced
-1/2 onion ( I used a small-med whole one!)
-1 teaspoon dried rosemary
-1 32 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes - (I used 28oz)
-1 cup simple cranberry sauce- (recipe below) 


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-start to steam cabbage (either in a pot or if you have a steamer use it!) (set it aside to use when soft- not mushy though.)

-saute the cauliflower in the butter for just a few minutes until it is slightly softened. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

-In a large mixing bowl  combine the ground beef, cooked cauliflower, garlic, onion  rosemary and more sea salt and pepper until well mixed. ( I usually use my hands to mix!) 

-Fill the end of the leafs approximately half full and roll it up like a burrito!  Lay the cabbage rolls in a deep oven safe dish with the tucked side down.

-Combine the tomatoes and simple cranberry sauce and pour over the cabbage rolls.

-Place the entire dish in the oven and cover with foil or a lid.  Bake for about 45 min or until the meat is cooked all the way through. 

finished result- taken by me! 
Simple Cranberry Sauce -101

-15-16 oz fresh cranberries (I used frozen)
-Organic honey or maple syrup to taste - (1-4 tablespoons) (I used two and it turned out great!) 

*Simply simmer the cranberries until all the berries have POPPED open and the texture is gelatinous. Add the honey or maple syrup to taste.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recipe #2- Pumpkin Pancakes

What can I say? There are times when I CRAVE me some bread like substances! Ha :)

These Pumpkin Pancakes from the Practical Paleo cookbook are quite simply to die for!  They are, in fact, totally better than bread or any other kind of flour product.  I have to admit I was quite skeptical at first...(Pumpkin? REALLY? I mean REALLY?) but I promise you won't be disappointed.  

Don't judge before you try em!



-4 eggs- (always use local- if you can- and ask your farmer what kind of feed they use for their chickens.  Grain free is ideal of course, but I've found it is difficult to find.  I will probably end up raising my own chickens at some point, so I know exactly what they ingest.

If it isn't grain free, secondly, ask if the feed is corn and soy free.  At least try to avoid those GMOs! 

-1/2 cup canned pumpkin- (you can now buy organic options that are boxed vs canned to avoid BPA) 

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract- (organic) (I always add a bit extra, cause I LOVE the stuff) 

-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup- (I usually leave this out and don't miss it, but sometimes I use a bit of Stevia)  You can always use a mashed whole RIPE banana instead.

*What is Stevia? 

Stevia Rebaudiana is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family. 

(Remember not all Stevia brands are created equal.  Look for a pure blend without other added sweeteners...I recommend and trust the sweetleaf brand.) 

Check out this link for more info! http://www.stevia.com/Stevia_Article/Frequently_asked_questions_FAQ/2269

-1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice- (I always use organic spices) 

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda- (don't forget this!) 

-2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil- (I use ghee..."clarified butter" meaning all the milk solids are removed!

*(optional)- I like to add a tablespoon or so of raw organic cacao nibs!


Cacao beans are protected by a paper-thin shell, which you remove before eating. When the shell is removed, the bean often breaks into small pieces, called nibs. Nibs are our most popular cacao product because they share all the nutritional benefits of the whole bean with the added convenience of having the shell removed for you.

(Optional) I also add 1-2 tablespoons of organic flaxseed meal! Adds some crunch :) 

*Makes about 8 small pancakes or 2 servings


-Mix the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla extract, and maple syrup (if using) together.
-Sift the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients.
-Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet and then mix into the batter or skip this step and use extra butter or (Ghee) to grease the skillet. 
-Grease the skillet and spoon the batter into the skillet - (based on the desired size!)



Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe #1 Bison & Butternut Cocoa Chili

This was my first attempt in the Practical Paleo cookbook :)

It turned out great!  Although it was WAY TOO SPICY for my taste and my guest's taste.  If I were to make it over I would use half of all the spicy spices...(e.g. paprika, chili and chipotle powder) 

In addition, I used Lamb stew meat instead of Bison, because the Whole Foods near my house (Gateway shopping center) now finishes their Bison on grains, vs. their previous diet of being finished on carrots and potatoes.  I would have preferred to get the lamb from the farmer's market of course, but I was short on time, so Whole Foods had to do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for them!  In fact, I actually worked at that location for a brief season in between semester's at ACU, but anytime my dollar can go to the local movement (farmers market) I strive to do so!!

Remember every choice counts when it comes to our dollar and we make it at least three times per day! 

Photo: At home in the kitchen (of course:) cooking a new paleo delight...Bison and butternut cocoa chili :) + baked sweet potatoes with sundried tomatoes and a BEAUTIFUL salad with homemade avocado dressing.

It is wonderful to have a chili option that is legume free!


3 cloves garlic, smashed ( I used organic canned garlic and guessed on the exact amount/ in my opinion you can never have enough garlic!!)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I'd use 1/2 if I were to do it again)

2 tablespoons chili powder (Same as above)

1 tablespoon chipotle powder (Same as above)

1 tablespoon cinnamon - (more the merrier)

1 tablespoon 100% cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

32 oz diced tomatoes- canned or 4 cups fresh, diced

1 lb bison (I used lamb stew meat)

2 cups butternut squash, peeled (I used already prefrozen organic butternut squash in the frozen section at whole foods plus it's like 2.99 per package)

1 onion, diced into 2-inch pieces (I didn't worry with the whole 2 inch thing)

1 bell pepper, diced into 2- inch pieces ( same as above)


Mix the garlic and all the spices with the diced tomatoes

place the meat, squash, onion, and bell pepper in a slow- cooker and cover with the tomato mixture (above)

cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (I have a small slow cooker and it only took me 4 hours) 

*NOTE: Don't have a slow cooker? Use an enameled cast iron pot in an oven at 300 degrees F for 4-6 hours. 


Decided to pair this lovely chili with some baked sweet potatoes drizzled with a local garlic flavored olive oil (I get at the farmers market/downtown location) this company rocks!!


Plus don't forget the sun-dried tomatoes thrown in there with the sweet potatoes! Man they add the FLAVOR. I also made some grilled coconut flakes with a tad of cinnamon and sea salt as a topper for the sweet potatoes.  They are truly wonderful and satisfy that craving for crunch. 

Complimented it all with a fresh salad compiled with every veggie in my fridge that was fresh  (but I grilled them a bit first with a tad of coconut oil) Don't forget the homemade avocado dressing which compliments it nicely.  Whatever vinegar you have on hand will work!

My preference? Some avocado, a little apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar mixed with some spicy mustard, a bit of stevia and presto! 

Don't forget a nice red wine to wash it down; a bit sweet is nice in my opinion.  On a side note, I recently discovered that not all organic wines are in fact sulfate free! Make sure you check the label if this is important to you.  It is to me, because I don't experience the negative side effects associated with drinking wine with sulfates. 


Sulfite, also known as sulfur dioxide, is a preservative that both occurs naturally and is added to wine. Sulfites are produced by the yeast added to wine for fermentation, but sulfites are often added to boost the preservation of wines. In people who lack the enzyme to break down sulfites, they can at high levels produce some unpleasant side effects.

bon appetit :) 

Taken by me! 

One New Paleo recipe a week= doable?

Well this is it.

MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.  I officially dedicate this to all those people who have told me time and time again, "You should really start a BLOG."  Including, but not limited to my mom and most recently my friend Ryen Burrus. (I will add ...he said this after cooking him some Bison & Butternut Cocoa chili; which by the way, will be the first recipe I comment on.)

I have been inspired by Diane Sanfilippo's book "Practical Paleo" hence the name of this blog. 

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle By: Diane Sanfilippo

My goal? To make one new creative paleo recipe a week throughout the course of 2013. I am also using the terminology "goal" vs. "resolution" on purpose as well.   My past history is a good indicator I have a better chance at achieving "goals" vs. "resolutions." 

If you too have experienced the profound positive impact that eating REAL unadulterated food vs food like products/substances has not only on your body, but pretty much every aspect of your life please join me in this journey of exploration!!  

I am a huge fan of the Paleo diet/lifestyle (I like the word lifestyle better than diet) and my intent is to follow the recipes fairly close to how they are presented, but most likely I will change a few things along the way.  In my experience, this seems to be the true nature of cooking!

I will sign off this post with some words from Ms. Julia Child herself: 

“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” 

Yes, Ms. Child, that is exactly my intent! 

Let the games....(I mean cooking) begin!