Strawberry Bellinis

29 Apr

With the weather warming up, soon we’ll be attending barbecue’s, outdoor parties and the occasional beach bash. One of my favorite festive beverages has to be the Bellini. Traditional Bellinis are made with Prosecco & peach purée – but don’t let those yummy, fuzzy stone fruits thwart your creativity. Bellinis can be made with any fruit purée – the combinations are endless.

Bellini

I’ve made a simple, yet super tasty Strawberry Bellini – make this for your next get-together and you’ll impress all of your guests!

INGREDIENTS:

1lb (16oz package) strawberries; hulled & halved

1 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)

1 bottle Prosecco or Champagne, chilled

DIRECTIONS:

To make the strawberry purée, place all strawberries in a bowl; add coconut sugar, lemon juice and Grand Marnier (if desired). Toss together and allow to macerate for 3o minutes, stirring occasionally.

You may ask…What the heck is macerate? Maceration merely means to make soft by soaking in liquid. Here we’re adding minimal liquid, but the sugar helps breakdown the berries along with the acid & its own juices.

After 30 minutes, place the strawberry mixture into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth & no berry chunks are left.

Pour the purée into a large pitcher. Stir in the bottle of Prosecco to combine the bubbly with the purée. Serve immediately!

CHEERS!

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Sorry for the lack of posting, Life’s been lemon-y lately…

4 Apr

Hi all,
As you might have noticed (or not), my blog has been a bit, well, sparse.

My “job” job is working in TV production in Los Angeles. Making the magic happen for you all to sit back and enjoy. I’ll tell you this: it’s not all that sparkly all the time. It’s a grind – a base of 60-hour work weeks, crappy pay and hours spent waiting until you need to be done yesterday. It’s brutal and honestly, my time working in the “industry” is coming to an end.

The life of a freelance producer….it’s a constant roller coaster of “when will my next job be” and “how long will I be employed this time”. Too often friends and co-workers (and myself) get laid off because the show ended and your/my time wasn’t needed any longer.

I could go on. Life’s been handing me and my love Sean aka The Free-Range Human a lot of lemons lately. We’re trying to make lemonade, one squeeze at a time.

On a lighter note, this past week Sean and I went to Paleo f(x) in Austin, TX where we learned so much from some brilliant minds. Oh, and we got to hang out with our friends new & old while eating delicious food. While at Paleo f(x), I felt nothing but excitement. I love this community and I cannot be more grateful for the love I feel from it. I’ve gained so many friends who are near and dear to my heart. You know who you are – thank you so much for your love & support!

Thank you for your patience and I promise I’ll be posting more recipes soon!
I love you all.
xoxo,
Suzanne

Spicy White Chicken Chili

9 Jan

Why, yes! I do cook regular food and not just yummy treats 🙂 While I was home in Alabama, I decided to attempt a paleo version of white chili – the specialty of a local deli (Duffy’s for any Huntsville folks!). White chili is usually made with navy beans, cream and chicken – 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, right? This version has my own twist and got the family approval. Great change up to the usual ground beef chili! Plus, I love any recipe where the prep is minimal & you throw it all in one pot…oh, Crock Pot…how I love thee.

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INGREDIENTS:
2 Tbsp Bacon fat
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
3 carrots, peeled, halved longways and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 can green chilies
1 can full fat coconut milk
4 cups chicken stock
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (extra for garnish)
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender.
Transfer onion/garlic mixture to a crock pot.
Once all ingredients are chopped/measured, add to crock pot. Stir all ingredients together and combine well.
Cook on HIGH for 2 hours then reduce to LOW and cook for another 4-6 hours.
Serve into bowls, top with fresh cilantro and avocado slices.

Notes: The beauty of the crock pot is that you can just let the slow cook do its thing to your ingredients. The broth of coconut milk & chicken broth cooks the chicken to perfection.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bites

11 Dec

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Like my Maple Coconut Macaroons, this recipe of mine first appeared on my boyfriend’s site, The FreeRange Human – but now I can give it a proper home! This recipe started as a tribute to a favorite treat from back in the day, and I think the paleo version is just as good!
INGREDIENTS

Dry:
2 cups Coconut Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

Wet:
1 cup palm shortening
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 10-oz bag Good Life Chocolate Chips
Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixer, cream together wet ingredients. The palm shortening will not completely bind, which is normal.

Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Using ½ C at a time, add dry ingredients to the wet batter and continue mixing. The batter will turn very dense.

Once all of the flour mixture is combined into the wet batter, add in the chocolate chips. If adding walnuts, add them in here.

Spoon batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

Cover & store in the refrigerator. Best enjoyed at room temperature.

Maple Coconut Macaroons | Black & White Macaroons

30 Nov

This recipe of mine was initially posted on my boyfriend’s blog, The FreeRange Human, but now that I have a blog of my own I figured I should post it here!

I love macaroons. These little yummies are generally gluten-free, and didn’t take much to make them more paleo-friendly! This surprisingly simple recipe is just that – simple: minimal ingredients, easy execution and a crowd-pleaser.

I’ve included the Black & White option, which is an easy way to impress your friends. You’ll look like Martha Stewart!

Gentle reminder…these are paleo treats. Indulge with moderation.

Ingredients:

2 ⅔ C unsweetened shredded coconut (1 package Let’s Do Organic shredded coconut = 2 ⅔ C)
⅔ C Grade B Maple Syrup
¼ C Coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
4 egg whites, gently whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract

*For Black & White Macaroons:
1 10oz bag of Good Life Chocolate chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix together coconut, maple syrup, coconut flour and salt until combined.

Gently fold in egg whites and vanilla, continue mixing until the mixture is fully combined.

Drop rounds of the batter onto the baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes (depending on size) until tops of the macaroons are lightly browned. Allow macaroons to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Once cooled, keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Macaroons are best enjoyed at room temperature.

Yield: 2 dozen macaroons, size depending.

Additional Directions For Black & White Macaroons:

Line a pan with parchment. Can even be the same pan on which you baked the macaroons.

Using a double boiler (or a makeshift one using a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water), bring water to a rolling boil.

Empty back of chocolate chips into the top of double boiler and begin to temper, stirring frequently.

Once all the chips are melted, spoon the chocolate into a bowl for dipping.
Using clean fingers, gently dip half of the top of the macaroon into the chocolate. Place immediately on the parchment.

Repeat until all are dipped and on the parchment. Place the pan into the freezer (yes, make space!) for at least 10 minutes.  To check if they are ready, look at the chocolate; if it’s still shiny, they need more time in the cold (the chocolate should have a matte look to it).

Once the chocolate has hardened, keep the macaroons refrigerated in an airtight container. Best enjoyed at room temperature.

Primal Chocolate Pecan Pie

29 Nov

Pecan pie is about as American as, well, pie! It’s sugary, gooey and as a Southern gal, it’s one of my all-time favorite holiday treats. While delicious, this pie is definitely still full of sugar and should be consumed on special occasions – especially when you can share it with friends and family!

The chocolate chips are optional. If you’re more of a fan of traditional pecan pie, omit the chocolate!
INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

1 1/2 C Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6 Tbsp grass-fed butter, chilled

3 Tbsp palm shortening, chilled

ice water

FILLING:

2 eggs, whisked

1/2 C grass-fed butter

1 1/4C coconut sugar

1 Tbsp coconut flour

1 Tbsp coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 C pecan halves

1 C Good Life soy-free chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

For Crust:

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a food processor, using the dough blade, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pulse until blended.  Cut in shortening and butter and pulse. Add ice water (1/4C at a time) until the flour turns into a dough texture.

Mold crust into a 9″ pie pan. This dough doesn’t roll out like traditional pie crusts – you have to use a spatula, or as I prefer – my (clean) fingers, to spread it into the pan.

Pierce bottom of crust with a fork a few times.

Place in 400° oven for 10 minutes.

For Filling:

Lower oven temperature to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Add in melted butter. Stir in coconut sugar, coconut flour and mix well. Next, add in coconut milk and vanilla until combined. Gently fold in pecan halves (*note: do not use your mixer to blend in nuts; this will cause your pecans to get chopped up) and chocolate chips (optional).

Pour filling into the pre-baked pie crust. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, the middle will still be a little jiggly (and that’s OK).

Let cool completely before serving. Serves 8.