30 December 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates or Figs

As promised, I did indeed make bacon wrapped dates (I thought they were figs originally...oops!) for Christmas and again a few nights later. Caution-these are addicting!

Dried dates or figs
pecan halves

1. Stuff each date with a pecan. (Depending on the size I sometimes had to cut the pecan in half to fit it in.)
2. Wrap a piece of bacon around the date. This is where is gets a little tricky. I used some kitchen shears to cut the bacon. There should be plenty of overlap when wrapping the bacon around the date, otherwise when you bake them the bacon will come undone.
3. Bake at 350 until bacon is crispy. Be sure to turn the pieces throughout the cooking time to make sure the bacon cooks evenly.

24 December 2010

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

So we've been on a bacon kick lately (can you blame us?) and Rory had bacon wrapped sweet potato fries at a friends place. Super easy and super delicious. I'm going to attempt some bacon wrapped figs for Christmas.

Sweet potatoes

1. Cut sweet potatoes into thick fries.
2. Slice bacon in half length-wise.
3. Wrap a piece of bacon around a fry.
4. Bake at 350 until bacon crisps (turn the fries a few times to allow bacon to evenly cook).

19 December 2010

Pumpkin Custard

The sun finally came out today and there's nothing quite like warm sun combined with brisk air. I was really in the mood for something fall-like so I whipped this custard up for dessert tonight.

2 eggs
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can pumpkin
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp vanilla
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses

1. Set a pot of water to boil.
2. Whisk eggs and milk together.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
4. Pour custard into 6 ramekins and place into a baking dish.
5. Pour water into baking dish so it comes half way up the ramekin.
6. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
7. Chill and serve.

15 December 2010

Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Apples

We hosted a fabulous dinner for some of the local CF athletes (see picture in last post) and this was one of the sides. It went over well and I know both Rory and ROBO loved it. Gotta get our greens!

1-1.5lbs brussel sprouts
1 small apple, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp honey
salt to taste

1. Cut sprouts in half then into 1/8 inch sections.
2. In a large skillet, cover bottom with a thin layer of oil.
3. When pan in hot, add sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until you start to see some golden pieces.
4. Add apple, garlic, honey and salt. Continue to cook until spouts are done to your liking. (We like ours soft, but not mushy).

This makes a lovely side dish and I love adding color to our meals. I imagine adding some toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts) would be tasty.

13 December 2010

Anvil Guys

Nothing like a big group of hungry men sitting around our table! Exciting things in the works for this group of guys... can't wait to see what happens!

MDA recipes

I've been tinkering around with some of the Mark's Daily Apple recipes lately. There are some really great recipes on there... I do get a little frustrated sometimes with some of them because of the odd ingredients that I can't find around here. As you may know about me, I tend to do A LOT of improvising based on what I have in my kitchen. I'm not a 'plan out my weekly menu' type of person- when inspiration hits, I go for it or look online for something to inspire me.

Anyways, I HIGHLY recommend the following two recipes.

1. No-atmeal: This is now a staple in our household. The beautiful thing about it, Rory was the first one to make it so now he has no excuses for not being able to whip up a batch! :)
2. Primal Breakfast Casserole (I added two extra eggs and 8 pieces of bacon and only used 2 turnips.)

I also tried the cauliflower and mushroom stuffing. It was alright, not quite to my taste, but my mind has already come up with a few ways to improve it.

06 December 2010

Nut Butter Blondies

Things have been busy in the Hanlin household. Two little girls=one very busy mom! But none-the-less, I still find time to do some cooking and baking... I have to spoil my family! Aubrey loves anything with chocolate and I try and keep gluten free, paleo-friendly snacks around the house for her (lucky for Rory!). I whipped these up today and got thumbs up from Rory, my Mom, and most importantly, Aubrey Rose!

Nut Butter Blondies

1 cup almond butter
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup agave
1 tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
handful of dark chocolate chunks

1. In a mixer, blend all ingredients, except chocolate, until well combined.
2. Spoon into a greased 9x13 inch pan.
3. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips and gently pat into the batter.
4. Bake at 325 for ~30 minutes.

23 November 2010

31 October 2010


Lately the Hanlin household has been a little obsessed with cabbage. I randomly bought some purple cabbage the other week and now it is a staple. Here's how we make it...

1/2-1 head of cabbage (depending on how large the head is)
1 stick of butter
salt to taste

1. Cut head of lettuce in half. Cut out core if it is large or seems like it would be really tough.
2. Cut lettuce into strips widthwise.
3. Saute in butter until soft.
4. Season with salt, if desired.

Easy as pie!

26 October 2010

Roasted tomatoes

Well, things in the Hanlin household have been super busy as of late. Prepping for baby #2, Rory's Army commitments, family visiting, etc. However, my kitchen never stops being busy! This one came from my mom... I can guarantee your house will smell like a gourmet kitchen when making these!

Tomatoes (Best if you can get fresh from the garden)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

1. Slice tomatoes into thick wedges/slices (or in half if on the small side).
2. Seed tomatoes.
3. Place tomatoes on cookie sheet or roasting pan.
4. Drizzle liberally with oil.
5. Sprinkle spices/seasonings on tomatoes. (Sorry there is no definitive quantity to give, it sort of just goes by taste preferences.)
6. Drizzle liberally with vinegar.
7. Bake at 325-350 for 45-120 minutes. Tomatoes should be at least half their original size.

I've made these a few times and the cooking time really depends on the size of the tomato pieces. The first time I had very small tomatoes that I cut in half. They were done in about 50 minutes. The second time I had large tomato halves and cooked for 2 hours (probably could have used another 15 minutes or so).

Rory, who does not like particularly care for tomatoes (but loves ketchup and marinara sauce), absolutely loved these.

23 September 2010

Chicken with a Strong Tomato Sauce over Spinach Flatbread

Rory is always asking for dinner that includes a "strong" tomato sauce. I always end up spicing up store bought tomato sauce to appease his taste. :)

3 diced chicken breasts, cooked
1/2 jar organic tomato/marinara sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried thyme (not ground)
2 tsp rosemary

1. Add all ingredients to a pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

To serve, smother your flatbread with the chicken mixture. I left Rory's cheese free but for mine, I melted a few slices of manchego cheese on the flatbread. I LOVE manchego!

10 September 2010

Spinach "Flatbread"

Rory and I have really been on a greens kick lately and I'm trying to come up with new ways to serve them. As much as I love wilted spinach, Rory can only handle so much! This is sort of a twist on zucchini cakes and it adds a nice variety to regular leafy green dishes.

1 frozen block spinach
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup almond flour
salt and pepper

1. Slightly thaw spinach (do not ring out any water).
2. Throw all ingredients into blender and blend on high for 60 seconds.
3. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into an oiled skillet and cook, covered, over low-medium heat for a few minutes.
4. When set and lightly browned on the bottom, carefully flip and cook the other side.
5. Repeat with remaining batter.

You may be asking yourself what to do with these giant spinach pancakes... Recipe to come! Stay tuned!

07 September 2010

crock pot carnitas

I highly recommend you try this recipe for crock pot carnitas I made from the Whole9 website. Awesome. (I used beef spare ribs and they were super tasty!)

03 September 2010

Blue Cheese and Bacon Pasta

Summer has come and is about gone! Time is flying by so quickly and before I know it, baby #2 will be making her appearance. We are so excited! And while time has been flying, I promise there has been a lot going on in my kitchen. I've been doing some experimenting with coconut milk lately and needless to say, Rory has been very pleased with the results. Tonight I was inspired by Rory's favorite burger... blue cheese and bacon!

Blue Cheese and Bacon Pasta (and by pasta, I mean zucchini noodles)

2 lb ground beef or bison
2 eggs
1/3 c almond flour
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seasoned salt
8 pieces bacon
1/2 onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can coconut milk
3 oz blue cheese
1/4-1/2 cup water
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine meat, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoned salt. Mix well.
2. Form into about a dozen or so meat balls and cook in a little olive oil.
3. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy.
4. Remove bacon from pan and cook onion in bacon fat.
5. Crumble bacon back into pan when onions are cooked. Add in the coconut milk, water, garlic, and blue cheese. Stir.
6. Whisk in the arrowroot powder and bring sauce to simmer.
7. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a nice pile of zucchini noodles onto a plate. Top with a few meatballs and a generous amount of sauce.

12 August 2010

Scrambled Eggs with zucchini

So it has been awhile... Things around here have been rather busy and I just haven't sat down to write what I've been cooking up. Last month I said I would post some more egg recipes and here's what I made yesterday for breakfast. It was a nice change up from the usual scrambled eggs and salsa.

8 eggs
1/4 onion, diced
1 small zucchini, sliced into moons
few ounces of cream cheese

1. Saute onion in a little oil until just starting to turn golden.
2. Toss in zucchini and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add eggs and scramble.
4. When eggs are almost done and in cream cheese.
5. Give it a good stir and then serve! (Season with salt/pepper if desired.)

27 July 2010


Rory and I have never had Kale before today. Recently we were discussing how important leafy green vegetables are and while at Whole Foods, I decided to try something new. I turned to my trusty inspirational blog (www.elanaspantry.com) and found this scrumptious looking recipe for chicken with cherries and kale. (click here for the original recipe) Let's just say that kale will be making a more regular appearance in our diet.

Chicken with Cherries and Kale
1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup fresh cherries, seeded and cut into quarters
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon
dijon mustard
1 bunch
kale, chiffonade
celtic sea salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add onion and garlic and saute for one minute
  3. Add cherries and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, then stir in mustard and kale
  5. Cover and cook over low heat 4-5 minutes, until kale is just wilted, stirring occasionally
  6. In another large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat
  7. Add chicken cutlets to the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper
  8. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, until outside is browned and chicken is cooked through
  9. Transfer chicken to pan containing cherry sauce and kale
  10. Allow to marinate over low heat for 2-3 minutes so that chicken absorbs some of the sauce
  11. Serve

22 July 2010

Gluten Free Menu

I just found out, courtesy of Robb Wolf, that both Chilis and Outback have gluten free menus! Thought I'd pass the word along. :)

*adding to the list... PF Chang's and The Melting Pot!

Coconut Pancakes

I made these for my Mom while she was visiting for my daughter's first birthday and she approved! (So did Rory and ROBO!) This is my version of one I found awhile back on MDA.

Coconut Pancakes
1 can coconut milk
1/2 c almond flour
1/3 c shredded coconut
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla
5 eggs
Coconut oil

Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Add a little coconut oil to a skillet and cook over medium heat.

I cook mine one large pancake at a time (like a crepe). Pour enough batter (~1/2 c) into the skillet to cover the bottom with a thin layer of the batter. Let cook for 3-5 minutes then carefully flip and cook the other side. The pancakes should be set before flipping and are done when they are a nice golden color.

These are very tasty but do require a bit of time in the morning if you make the whole batch. I suggest having 2 skillets going at the same time.

17 July 2010

Spicy Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Recently I said I would focus on the many wonderful uses of eggs, but this was too good to pass up. I found the 'original' recipe on the New York Times site, but swapped cauliflower in the form of caulirice for the quinoa.

1 head of cauliflower made into caulirice (See bottom of this post)
2 cups diced cucumber
1 small red onion, minced
salt to taste
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1 to 2 jalapeƱo or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 avocado, sliced (for garnish)

1. Place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels. Place onion in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.

2. Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, season to taste with salt, and add the caulirice and cilantro. Toss together.

3. Serve garnished with sliced avocado.

08 July 2010

Happy Birthday to Rory!

My husband's birthday is today...

Happy birthday to the most wonderful man I know.

04 July 2010

Egg and Broccoli Bake with Hollandaise Sauce

Going with the Hollandaise Sauce recipe I recently posted, I made this egg dish for Rory and ROBO. Both loved it!

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1/4 c diced onion
10-11 eggs
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1-2 oz shredded swiss cheese

1. Steam broccoli.
2. Saute onions in a skillet with a little oil until mostly cooked.
3. Whisk all ingredients together.
4. Pour into an oiled 9in round cake pan.
5. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes (middle should be set).

Serve cut into wedges drizzled with Hollandaise sauce. Yum!

The incredible, edible egg!

If you eat like we do, then you eat a lot of eggs. If you are like my brother, you eat them and never get tired of them. Rory, on the other hand, can only handle so many scrambled eggs before he gets a little bored. Eggs do not have to be boring... ever. I promise. The next few posts will focus on eggs and some of the many ways they can be used.

Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 c grapeseed oil
1/2 c butter
5 egg yolks
2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper

1. Melt butter and combine with oil.
2. In a blender, combine yolks, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times then blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds.
3. Make sure oil/butter mixture is hot then with the blender running, slowly drizzle it into the yolk mixture.
4. Serve immediately. (If you must reheat it, do so carefully as it is easy to break the emulsion or cook the eggs. Better over the stove than in the microwave. Extra can get stored in a mason jar in the fridge.)

This makes about 1.5 cups.

Try it over roasted asparagus or steak. You can also make this using only oil if dairy isn't your thing.

20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the two most amazing fathers I know... My Dad and my husband. I love you both!!!

18 June 2010

Roasted Vegetables

Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables. There is something very comforting to me about them. Yes, roasting is usually thought of as more of a winter thing, but I enjoy it year round. Traditional roasting involves using a higher temperature and shorter durations, I actually prefer the opposite... I like lower temps and longer times. To me this yields a more tender bite with more caramelizing. Mmmm...

Picking out your vegetables is the fun part. In the winter, we use a lot of squash because it is in season. In the summer I go for asparagus or brussel sprouts. (Thanks Roxie! I've never done roasted brussel sprouts until your recent post!) Use a variety of oils as well (olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil).

I'm not going to post an exact recipe but just some ideas to try.

Brussel sprouts and garlic
Asparagus and rosemary, thyme, and sea salt
Cajun cauliflower
Curried squash (Rory HATES curry... much to my dismay)
sweet potatoes with cinnamon and coconut oil

07 June 2010

Just me and my baby!

Rory is off again for more training so that leaves just me and my baby. Positive #1- Lots of Mommy-daughter time! Negative #2 (#1 is obvious)- not a lot of creativity in the kitchen because cooking for myself is not nearly as fun as cooking for Rory.

Tonight I threw together a really simple soup. Soups are hard to get wrong when you keep your ingredient list simple.

1lb ground beef
2 tbsp butter or oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
5 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup green beans
4 cups water or stock
dash of salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 bay leaves

1. Cook beef.
2. In a large pot, melt butter and then cook onion, pepper, carrots and celery for 5 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
4. Simmer for 30+ minutes until vegetables are tender.
5. Remove bay leaves.

Simple hamburger vegetable soup. Enjoy!

02 June 2010

Faux Rice... AKA caulirice

There were a few questions about the faux rice that I make using cauliflower. I thought I would post a picture of what mine looks like before I cook it...

27 May 2010

Off to Florida for the Dirty South Regionals

The Hanlin clan is heading off to Florida tonight for the Dirty South Regionals. Packed in our cooler is breakfast hash for tomorrow morning and a garlic pulled roast with lettuce cups for lunch. I gotta make sure Rory eats right! :)

I'm super nervous for him and am so glad we've got friends coming to help keep me calm... oh and to cheer Rory on as well!

Have a happy Memorial Day everyone!

20 May 2010

Getting creative with leftovers

My last post I mentioned I made ham and turned the leftovers into some tasty jambalaya. Leftovers don't have to be just microwaved and eaten. Be creative! I usually make so much food that there are plenty of leftovers to feed Rory the next day. I made a lot of almond chicken the other day, forgetting that Rory was heading out to the field for some training for the next week. All those leftovers reminded me of two things... 1. Too many leftovers can get boring really fast and 2. Rory eats a lot of food! The point is that leftovers can be fun. Here are some ideas for using leftovers in some very tasty ways...

1. Almond chicken- Heat, dice and toss with zucchini noodles and marinara sauce or pesto.
2. Ham- jambalaya :)
3. Salmon- try it scrambled with eggs, spinach and a little cream cheese for breakfast. Mmmmm...
4. Roast- make a 'sandwich' with romaine lettuce cups, mustard and some fixins (tomatoes, avacado, pickles... whatever floats your boat).
5. Steak (although seriously, who has leftover steak???)- dice and simmer in salsa for a few minutes and then make a tasty taco salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, peppers. Top with cheese or sour cream if that's you thing.

09 May 2010


I made ham the other day (aka 'hamb'... sorry inside joke with unit) and we had quite a bit leftover. All day I thought about what I wanted to do with the leftovers for dinner and it dawned on me to make a jambalaya. Rory loved it and said "the key to a successful jambalaya operation is using excellent sausage." That's a direct quote, I kid you not. We certainly enjoyed it and if I were to change one thing, I would add some shrimp, which I just didn't have on hand.

1 1/2 chicken breasts, frozen 1 1/2 precooked italian sausage links, sliced
8 oz ham, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 c diced onion
1/2 cup diced peppers, combo of red and yellow
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I LOVE Annie's Organic)
1-2 tsp Tabasco sauce (or more... or less... depending on how hot you want it)
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 c water

1. Dice chicken breasts while still frozen. This is so much easier than trying to do it when the chicken is thawed. Set aside.
2. In a large pan heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Saute onions and peppers.
3. Add chicken to the pan and continue to cook until almost cooked through.
4. Add ham and sausage. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add can of tomatoes (do not drain), water, vinegar, worcestershire, tobasco and seasonings.
6. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
7. Serve over faux (fake) rice*.

*Faux rice is made by placing cauliflower florets in a food processor or blender and processing until you have a course texture. I blend a few large florets at a time by using the pulse mode. In a skillet cook cauliflower with a few tbsp oil in small batches over medium-high heat. It should get slightly brown but maintain its texture. Mushy cauliflower is not the goal.

02 May 2010

Agave... Good or Bad???

I've been thinking about this topic for awhile and have been meaning to address it in my blog. I use agave nectar because I get a lot of inspiration from Elana's Pantry. Now, I do think some of her recipes are too sweet for my taste and will often cut the agave nectar in her recipes to half or so. That works well for me. Do I eat it every day? No. Do I need dessert from time to time. Absolutely.

Elana addresses this very issue just the other day. Click here to read her take on the controversy. I tend to agree with her. Yes, sugar is bad for you. I understand that. But at the same time, life is meant to be enjoyed and if that means I'm going to have some strawberry muffins or some brownies on occasion, then so be it.

There, now I've said my piece.

Fruit Salad with Toasted Coconut Dressing

I generally consider myself a morning person, and its a good thing, now that my daughter likes to get up at 6:30. We enjoy our mornings together... lots of playtime and mommy-time! Right now she is crawling all over the kitchen making the most adorable noises.

Anyways, on to the recipe. Here's another super easy one.

Fruit (I like using 1/2 of a melon, a few cups of strawberries, a handful of blueberries, and some mango)
The cream from 1 can of coconut milk
3-4 tbsp toasted, shredded coconut

Toss all together and viola... awesome fruit salad!

30 April 2010

Mashed Fauxtatoes

In the mood for mashed potatoes? This cauliflower recipe will definitely do the trick.

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 stick butter
5 oz romano, parmesan, or manchego cheese (or something like them)

1. Steam cauliflower
2. Add cauliflower, butter and cheese to blender.
3. Blend until smooth.

I made this last night for a small dinner party. I think they went over pretty well. That and the beef tenderloin with a port wine reduction. Mmmmm...

26 April 2010

Shrimp Alfredo

We went all out on our dairy night last night. We've decided to have a dairy night once a week or so because sometimes, you just can't help it. :)

Rory and I watched Julie and Julia over the last few days and I couldn't help but be inspired by Julia Child and her love of french cooking, and more specifically, butter and cream. Mmmmm... While this is not french, it certainly doesn't disappoint.

Shrimp Alfredo

20 large shrimp, peeled and cooked
2 cups light cream
3/4 c sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
4 large zucchini

1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute mushrooms in a some butter. Don't crowd the pan... let the mushrooms get a little brown.
2. Remove mushrooms from pan. Turn heat to low. Add garlic and 1 tbsp butter. Let garlic cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Pour in cream. Allow to warm.
4. In three batches, add the cheese to the cream. Stir frequently.
5. Meanwhile, in a second skillet, saute the zucchini noodles**.
6. Once cheese has melted into cream, add shrimp and mushrooms.
7. Toss noodles into sauce and serve.

** Zucchini noodles are made by peeling a zucchini with a julienne peeler until you can't peel it anymore (ie-you get to the seeded part). I find it best to peel the green part and cook that first since it takes longer for it get soft.

17 April 2010

Strawberry Muffins!

It is strawberry season in North Carolina and this has to be one of my favorite times of the year. I went strawberry picking with a friend of mine yesterday. There's nothing quite like a sunny day, ripe strawberries, and 2 babies trying to eat strawberries. Having Aubrey in her front carrier was an added bonus (yay for 20# front squats!). I whipped up these muffins for breakfast this morning.

Strawberry Muffins
3 eggs
1/4 c grapeseed oil
1/4 c agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 c almond flour
2 c diced strawberries

1. In a large bowl whisk eggs.
2. Add oil, agave, vanilla, salt and soda. Whisk well.
3. Add vinegar, mix, and allow to sit for a couple of minutes (this will help activate the baking soda).
4. Stir in almond flour.
5. Fold in strawberries.
6. Place heaping tablespoons into a lined muffin tin.
7. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

*** Alternate version***
Keep everything the same except use only 3 tbsp agave and add 2 tbsp coconut flour. This makes a denser, less moist muffin.

16 April 2010

Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Capers

I love cauliflower. I love the texture it takes on and the myriad of flavors you can use when cooking with it. This side dish is bursting with flavor and is relatively simple to make. It can easily be paired with simple grilled chicken or steak.

1 head cauliflower
1 can diced tomatoes (I'm dying to try this with fresh tomatoes, but I forget to buy them at the store)
1-2 tbsp diced/minced garlic
1/8-1/4 cup capers
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Break cauliflower into bite sized florets.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil and cook cauliflower. Be sure to allow cauliflower to brown slightly, it adds such a nice flavor. Cauliflower is ready for next step when it is softened, but still has a tiny crunch to it (think of how al dente pasta is supposed to be...not cooked through yet).
3. Add tomatoes (do not drain), garlic, capers and red pepper flakes.
4. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

14 April 2010

Ice Cream and Pickles?!?!?!

Mmmmm.... ice cream and pickles. Yummy.

In reality, I do not want ice cream and pickles but it is the stereotypical thing that pregnant women crave. What does this mean??? The Hanlin clan is about to get a little bigger! Baby H will be arriving in November! We are super excited!!!

29 March 2010

Dijon Mustard 'Breaded' Pork Chops

The co-op we get our meat from has AMAZING pork chops. Thick cut, bone-in, and SO flavorful. This has to be one of my favorite ways of preparing them...

4 pork chops
1 heaping tbsp prepared stone ground mustard
1 egg
almond flour

1. Heat oil of choice in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
2. On a plate, whisk together egg and mustard.
3. Place a nice pile of almond flour and a second plate.
4. Dip chop in egg/mustard mixture then dredge in flour.
5. Cook 10 minutes per side until golden and pork is done.

One of the keys to making these just right is to be gentle when flipping the pork. If you are not cautious, your 'breading' will easily fall off. Also, you do not want to use high heat. The breading will get done long before the meat is cooked through (this goes for all almond flour breaded meat).

If you really like mustard add some mustard powder to the almond flour. It'll boost the flavor up a notch.

Rory loved these and I have to give a shout out to ROBO for mentioning the fact that he made breaded pork chops for his wife. It was great inspiration! And as always, I look forward to your feedback on comments.

27 March 2010

Garlic Pulled Beef

So I really wanted to make the garlic pulled pork recipe that was on Mark's Daily Apple the other week but didn't have all the right things. Here's my variation to accommodate what I had in my kitchen...

1 Beef Eye Round Roast
3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tbsp lime juice
1 diced onion
seasoned salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2-4 cups water

I put my roast in a crock pot. Then seasoned it with the salt and cumin. I spread the garlic over the top of it. Into the pot I put the onion, lime juice and water. I cooked it on high for 4 hours then cut it across the grain into 3 big chunks. Next I took 2 big forks and shredded it. Any liquid in the crock pot just sort of mixed in with the meat. We ate it on romaine lettuce cups and I will definitely be making this again. In fact, I just ordered 4 more of these roasts from my co-op.

21 March 2010

How to Marinate Meat Plus 10 Amazing Marinades

I was perusing Mark's Daily Apply for some inspiration and came across this post from last October. I think it is a real gem.

18 March 2010

Zucchini Cakes

3 Zucchini
1 cup almond flour
3 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
oil of your choice

1. Grate zucchini. Choose a medium grate... too large and they won't hold together as well... too small and you miss out on the texture.
2. Combine zucchini, almond flour, eggs, and seasoning. Mix well.
3. Form into ~ 12 patties.
4. Cook in oil roughly 7-10 minutes per side until golden.

In the past I usually make these with parmesan cheese thrown in the mix, but with our dairy free month well under way, I left it out. I must say, it is good either way. The cheese free version can take on a myriad of flavors... Dip it in salsa for a tex-mex night or try a mustard/mayo mix for grilling out.

11 March 2010

Coconut Banana Pudding

1 can coconut milk
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 small ripe banana
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Do not shake coconut milk can. Open and scoop out the cream leaving behind the coconut water.
2. In a microwavable safe bowl, combine the coconut cream, egg yolks, and agave.
3. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until slightly thickened.
4. Slice banana and place in the bottom of serving bowl.
5. Pour pudding/custard over bananas.
6. Toast coconut (I toast mine by placing it in a clean skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until nice and golden).
7. Garnish pudding with toasted coconut and a dash of cinnamon.

You can either serve this warm or let it set in the refrigerator for a few hours. I would imagine this would be splendid poured into an almond flour pie crust.

This was a dessert I threw together in a matter of minutes and Rory was very happy with the results.

09 March 2010

Ancestral Health Symposium

OPT posted this on his blog yesterday. Depending on the when and where and how much, I want to go! I wonder if I could get pharmacy CE credits for it...

Super Easy Roast and Walnut Stuffed Zucchini

Making a roast in a slow cooker is pretty fail-safe. The other day I made both a bison roast and an beef roast. In the cooker I added the roasts (still frozen...I love this about slow cooking!) 1/2 jar of artichoke bruschetta sauce, 1 diced green pepper and 6 cups of water. 10 hours later... delicious!!!

I served my roasts with walnut stuffed zucchini. I know it sounds a little weird, but I promise it is very good!

2 zucchini cut in half length wise
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c almond flour
1/2 beaten egg
3 dried apricots, finely chopped
1/4 onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
dash of poultry seasoning
pinch of salt

1. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeded part of the zucchini.
2. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients, including the zucchini innards.
3. Fill each zucchini boat with filling.
4. Bake in a 350 oven for 45-60 minutes

04 March 2010

Coconut Chicken

I was inspired by depaul's use of coconut oil while making almond chicken...

Follow the steps for making almond chicken excepts substitute the following...

Instead of plain almond flour, use a 2:1 ratio of unsweetened shredded coconut and almond flour (I added a little more almond flour than that to help it hold together a little more). Add a little sea salt if desired.

Dip the chicken in coconut milk instead of egg.

"Bread" the chicken twice. Dip in milk... coat in flour... dip back in milk and then back in flour.

Fry chicken in coconut oil, preferably unrefined.

We've been on a coconut kick as of late and it works perfectly with Rory's desire to be dairy free this month. I made a couple variations of coconut milk ice cream that were pretty good as well. Stay tuned for some of those recipes. I can't wait to sit on my back deck on my new patio furniture (thanks Kelly!) eating a bowl of ice cream this summer.

On a side note it looks like we will be vacationing in Calgary at the end of July this summer. If anyone has any suggestions for activities in that area, let me know!

27 February 2010

Banana Bread 1

I made this in preparation for Rory coming home from some Army training. He loved it and I had some friends taste test it and they, too, gave it the go ahead. The texture is not quite right but it is pretty darn close.

11 eggs
3/4 c coconut milk
2-3 tbsp agave nectar (optional)
1.5 tbsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1&1/3 c coconut flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
6 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 bread pans with grapeseed oil and dust with almond flour. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, agave, and vanilla. Whisk well. Add in salt, coconut flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir until all lumps are gone. Fold in bananas. Pour into prepared pans and bake for ~55min.

As with all banana bread, these improved in taste and texture the following day. I think this would be great with some walnuts added to the batter. I may try that the next time I make it.


25 February 2010

Baby Food!!!

I make most of my daughter's baby food. Not only does she prefer it, but I think it is more nutritious! I usually make two big batches of things every few days and freeze them in individual servings.

Here's a sampling of some of the things I've pureed...
  • butternut squash, sweet potato, coconut milk
  • chicken, apple, sweet potato, onion
  • broccoli, carrot, spinach
  • banana, cherry, apple
She loves it all and loves to eat!

23 February 2010

My latest obsession!

For years now I've been making zucchini noodles and when I would have to make a lot of them, it would get to be very time consuming. Well, wouldn't you know it, I found a julienne peeler the other day! So easy and so fast!

(click here for one sold at bed bath and beyond)

Last night I enjoyed a super quick meal by sauteing my 'noodles' then throwing in some precooked sausage and some organic tomato sauce. Yummy!

18 February 2010

Squash Chips

Sorry for the lack of posting the last week. I took a trip to WI to visit family and see my grandma, who is not in the best of health. It was a great trip and I wish I could have stayed just a few more days. Before I left I made these 3-4 times... I couldn't get enough of them!

1/2 Butternut squash, seeded, cut into thin crescents (leave the skin on!)
seasoning- I like sea salt, but if some you (ahem...Joey Warren) would probably forgo the salt and use something else. I bet some onion or garlic powder would be good.

I place the squash on 2 cookie sheets that have a lip then drizzle them with oil and season. Bake at 325-350 until desired crispiness. Careful, because it doesn't take much to go from under-done to black. Trust me... I know! Also, do NOT crowd the pan. If you crowd the pan the moisture from the squash can't escape and they end up soggy and not crispy.

09 February 2010

Fruit-free, milk free post WOD nutrition

1/2 cup cooked squash/sweet potato
1/2 c coconut milk
6-8 cubes of ice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein (we use Jarrow)
3 egg whites (we use the powdered egg whites from Honeyville)

Blend and drink.

Rory asked me for a fruit-free protein drink and I came up with this. He, of course, thought it should have nut butter so he added a big heaping scoop of cashew butter. He also thinks nut butter goes on everything... he even eats it on pears. Crazy man.

On a different note, Rory has left again for more Army stuff. When he returns in 2 1/2 weeks he wants to go dairy free for a month. I'm looking forward to getting creative in the kitchen when he returns!

06 February 2010

Almond Chicken

Another staple in the Hanlin household. Also a favorite of Unit.

1-2 cups almond flour
seasoning of choice (sometimes I use seasoned salt or cajun)
1-2 lbs of chicken breasts, cut into long strips
1 egg
olive oil

First set up your stations.
Station 1: raw chicken
Station 2: bowl with beaten egg
Station 3: plate with almond flour with seasonings mixed in
Station 4: Skillet with 1/4 inch of oil coating bottom. Use medium or medium low heat. (Be sure oil is heated before you start cooking the chicken.)

Dip chicken in egg. Transfer to plate with almond flour and coat evenly. Shake off excess flour and place in skillet. Cook 5-9 minutes per side. The almond flour should take on a nice golden brown color when done.

One of the keys to this is to not use overly large, thick pieces of chicken. The outside will get done before the inside of the chicken is cooked through.

02 February 2010

Cabbage, Tomatoes and Meatballs

I was perusing some of the websites I frequent and came across a crock pot recipe that looks great and not your usual stew-type crock pot meal. I haven't tried it yet, but I will after my next grocery shopping trip.

(click here for the recipe)

30 January 2010

Not So Good

Yesterday I attempted 2 new things and was disappointed by both. The first was a cinnamon walnut loaf which turned out dry and the other was homemade BBQ sauce, which tastes too much like tomato. Both need work but I'm hopeful. A few tweaks here and there and I think they will turn out just fine.

More to come later!

26 January 2010


I do have some "real" crock pot recipes, but I want to do a few test runs before I post those since it has been awhile. I've got some roasts from our co-op sitting in the freezer begging to be made. In the mean time, here's one that I make often...

10- 12 organic apples
2-4 cups water

Peel and core apples. Cut into large chunks and place in crock pot with water. Cook over low heat of high heat until you can stir the apples and they fall apart. For a smoother applesauce, I bend my in a blender for a few seconds.

Just for variety, I tend to use different apples every time. Rome apples make a really tasty sauce as they are a good mix of sweet and tangy. Or throw in a few different types and see what you get.

21 January 2010

Almond Butter

Rory eats almond butter as if it were going out of style. One night I stumbled across (OK stumbled is the wrong word...I was desperately looking for a way to make his habit less expensive) the website for Once Again nut butter. Guess what?!?! They sell it by the 9lb tub (click here)! I ended up buying 2 different 9lb tubs because it made sense when looking at the cost of shipping. Anyways, it ended up saving us a nice chunk of change AND we never run out. Now Rory can add as much to his smoothies as he wants or eat it to his heart's content.

17 January 2010

Because sometimes, a girl just needs some chocolate!

Coconut Hot Chocolate

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp agave nectar
pinch of salt
3/4 c coconut milk

Mix cocoa, agave, salt and 2 tbsp coconut milk together until thoroughly mixed. Add remaining coconut milk and pour into sauce pan. Cook over medium/low heat until steaming. (Or microwave.)

Serves 2

The coconut milk I use is from Harris Teeter and is richer than some of the other brands. It seems to be almost a cross between coconut milk and coconut cream. Regardless, it makes this a very decadent hot cocoa!

15 January 2010

Artichoke Chicken

I keep the ingredients around for this easy chicken dish because it is so easy to make and cooks up fairly quickly. On the days that I have to work and Rory cooks, this is one of the ones on his list!

1 can artichoke hearts
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 c capers
1 c red wine (optional)
2 tbsp minced garlic
fresh ground pepper
4 large chicken breasts

Do not drain the artichokes or tomatoes. Put into a large pot with the capers, wine, garlic, and some pepper. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and enough water so chicken is submerged. Turn heat to low-medium and simmer until chicken is cooked through (time varies depending on size of chicken breasts). Remove chicken from pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce it until it is a nice chunky sauce.

Serve chicken with a generous amount of the artichoke sauce.

Sometimes I'll add sour cream, cream, or cream cheese to the liquid for a richer sauce.

13 January 2010

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tsp minced garlic

Toss all ingredients into a large bowl. Marinade all day (optional). Put into a roasting pan and roast at 375 for 45 minutes. Stir 2-3 times while cooking to ensure even browning.

Our meat and dairy

The above article talks about the farmer that supplies our co-op in NC. If you are looking to take your nutrition to another level, purchasing free-range grass fed meat is one way to go. It can be pricey depending on where and how you shop. There are, however, ways to cut down costs. For example, cow pooling. Mark's Daily Apple recently posted info on ways to find a cow pool (click here).

08 January 2010

Biscuits and Gravy

Last night I was chatting with my mom while on my way home from work and she challenged me to make a paleo (+ dairy) version of biscuits and gravy. I had some ideas rolling around in my head and couldn't wait to give them a try. As soon as Aubrey took her first nap today, I gave it a go. They turned out much better than I was expecting and I would say they are even better than the "real" thing!

So Mom, this one's for you!

2 egg yolks
1/2 c cream
1 c steamed cauliflower
1/2 tsp salt
generous amount of fresh ground pepper (tsp? maybe...I just added enough for my liking)
1/2 lb sausage, cooked

1. Whisk yolks and cream together in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture can coat the back of a spoon fairly thickly.
2. Pour into blender and add cauliflower and salt. Blend on high until thoroughly combine.
3. Return gravy to saucepan and add sausage.
4. Season with pepper to taste (typical country gravy has a decent amount of gravy).
5. Cook over medium heat until hot.
6. Serve over biscuits.
**I use 1/2 lb sausage and this makes quite a "meaty" gravy. I prefer it that way, plus it ups the protein content a little.

Biscuits (adapted from Elana's recipe in her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp water
1 egg
1 1/4 c almond flour
1/2 scant tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1. Whisk together oil, honey, vinegar, egg and water.
2. Add almond flour, salt and soda. Mix well.
3. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto pan. Slightly flatten with palm of hand.
4. Bake at 350 for 15 min or until edges start to turn light brown.

Yield: 6

My mom is coming to visit for my birthday at the end of this month. Can't wait to make these for her!

06 January 2010

Pancakes! (yes, these are legal!)

1 small sweet potato
3/4 cup raw almond butter
2 eggs
1/4 c water
1/2 very ripe banana

1. Cook sweet potato (I peeled and diced mine then boiled it until knife tender).
2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until thoroughly combined.
3. Cook on skillet over medium heat. (Flip pancakes when batter begins to darken).

I found that a smaller size works a little better.

I've made several attempts at pancakes and this is by far the best I've done yet. The banana lends it a nice amount of sweetness without going overboard. We ate these with strawberries and a big plate of fluffy scrambled eggs.

01 January 2010


1 cup raw almond butter
1 egg
1/2 cups
agave nectar
1 tablespoon
vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

With a mixer, blend the almond butter and the egg. Add the agave and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and beat on a low speed until combined.
Grease a 8 or 9 inch round pan. Spoon batter into pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Rory and I enjoyed these just after midnight last night. It was the perfect way to ring in the new year! 09 was an amazing year (we welcomed little Aubrey Rose into the world) but 2010 just seems like it will be full of excitement. Here's to making the most out of every moment!