Raw Macaroons (dairy, sugar, grain-free, paleo)

You know that feeling when you find gold? When you know you discovered something great? You lose sleep thinking about it? You stand at the open fridge just staring at it?

Well that’s how I feel about this recipe. I’ve discovered a recipe that I absolutely love! It all started when I (kinda) made the mistake of buying Hail Merry Macaroons impulsively at Whole Foods last week. I ate the whole bag in just over a day, and kinda felt bad about it for 5 seconds. But ya know, they are just so dang good!! But the price… CRAZY!

I was looking at the ingredient list and thought to myself that there’s no way I can’t just make these at home in like 2 minutes. Well sure enough I did just that last night and the only reaction I needed from my sugar-lovin twin was, “HOT DAMN!!”

She was an instant believer, and she doesn’t even like coconut, but she mentioned that the chewy texture you get from both the coconut flakes and almond flour is super delicious!

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Raw Macaroons (recipe My Heart Beets)

1 cup finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond flour (grinded my own so it was a course texture that I quite liked)
6 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maple syrup

// Combine all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a sticky ball.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out round balls and place in a container.
Refrigerate for at least 10 min but a couple hours resulted in the best firm texture.

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Eat them right outta your hand (according to my lovely pictures), but just try to stop at 1 of these! It’s impossible!!

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Twin Tuesday

What’s a more fitting activity to do with your twin sister than go to a Minnesota Twin’s Game?? (Note to my Irish roommate: the baseball team was not named after us…)

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My wonderful mother bought us 4 tickets with awesome seats right behind the Twins dugout (we’re so spoiled). It was a rainy Wednesday but in-between getting yelled at for having my umbrella up (twice, oops) and seeing those hot baseball players up close 😉 it was a fantastic time! Though I did spend a large portion of the game flinching because foul balls were flying all over us :/

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We also walked around the entire stadium scoping out all the great food options. Andrew Zimmern even has a restaurant in there serving top quality steak sandwiches and cucumber lemonade (tip: add vodka)! After perusing the stalls on the lookout for something not fried and quintessential to a Midwestern baseball game (i.e. fake hot dogs and chicken tenders); I found the lovely stand that is Kramarczuk’s sausage. Nothing screams classy baseball watcher like a big, juicy sausage overflowing with onions and sauerkraut.

The great thing about Wednesday night games is that it’s ‘Student Night’ which means $1 (fake) HOT DOGS!!! and cheap tickets but that comes in second! Though I splurged on a real ‘hot dog’ this time; I’m never opposed to shitty encased meats once in a blue moon… (Shoutout to the other night’s ‘Blood Moon’)

Since the twin invited her bf to the game, I didn’t wanna be caught third wheeling AGAIN, so I invited one of my girl friends to join me. She was pretty quick to come alone when she found out where the seats were located. It’s always a good time with the other Rachel!

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Well until next season Twins, and for now I guess my real twin will have to suffice over the long winter season 🙂

Fruity Popsicles (dairy, sugar-free)

I’m on that popsicles grind these days. After such success with my first endeavor (here), I decided to try my frozen luck again and throw a bunch of few ingredients into my blender and freeze away.

Honestly, these popsicles had no crazy ingredients and weird combinations like the last avocado ones, but I had some coconut milk to use up so popsicles it was. They’re great for a nice little sweet dessert before bed, or I’ve even eaten them for breakfast as they are basically my morning smoothie in popsicle form.

The great thing about these popsicles is that they can be the base for pretty much anything. I just recommend using the frozen banana and coconut milk, but the other parts are endlessly swappable (is that a word?), so go out and grab a popsicle mold (mine’s from IKEA) and blend away. I promise they’re REALLY hard to mess up!

My roommate was so inspired by my popsicle making that she went out and bought a mold, and just froze some orange juice. While the creativity was not really there; the simplicity was. Popsicles are the simplest pleasure in life, I tell ya!

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Fruity Popsicles

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen berries
1 tsp cinnamon
Optional: any fruit (pineapple, peaches, cherries, etc.), chocolate chips, avocado, and on and on

// Throw all ingredients into a high-powered blender.
Blend until super smooth, then add to popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

It’s that simple!!

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Restaurant Spotlight: Sea Salt Eatery

Minneapolis isn’t necessarily known for having outstanding seafood. I mean we have killer fresh water fish, but usually it’s just thrown in some breadcrumbs and fried to death. That’s not how I want to remember a beautiful piece of walleye (ehhh walleye actually aren’t that cute, but you get the idea).

Sea Salt is smack-dab in front of Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, and they’re taking inspiration from the water flowing around them and slinging some killer seafood tacos and po’boys (massive fried seafood sandwiches famous in New Orleans). I almost always go there for the shrimp or mahi mahi tacos, but when there’s watermelon gazpacho on the menu… no competition. It’s sweet yet super tangy. Light yet luscious from the olive oil. When you throw some of their fresh tortilla chips on the side and meaty crab and shrimp dangling on the edge of the bowl, you’ve got a meal fit for a seafood lovin’ queen.

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Their seafood offerings are top tier in the Minneapolis area, so you won’t be disappointed. In fact, the only thing majorly disappointing about this place is that it closes from late October to early Spring. How do I get good shrimp in January?!?! Please enlighten me, Sea Salt people!

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The restaurant is super casual, with picnic tables covering every inch of the space. You’re basically just eating super delicious food in the middle of a park. Pure Minnesota summer perfection to me!

Next time you’re in the Minneapolis area (and make sure it’s before late October), bike over to the Falls and grab a couple tacos, or just make a night of hanging out with your long-lost roommate like me 🙂

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Squash ‘Porridge’ (dairy, sugar, grain-free)

I’ve been in a breakfast rut. Nothing ever sounds good to me besides a huge stack of pancakes, but then again the thought of my stomach churning all day post-glutenous-pancakes sounds incredibly unappealing.

So I’ve been on the hunt for something that’s warm for these falls days, nourishing, and delicious. On the paleo diet that’s kind of easier said than done, especially when you’re low on time. None of those ‘magical’ overnight oats for this girl. I also try and avoid eggs for breakfast as they are usually a large part of my lunch or dinner (though I could easily eat them for every meal).

Breakfast ‘porridge’ to the rescue. I love me some starchy squash (in moderation, because it can be harsh to digest sometimes), AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE anything coconut so voila!

Squash + Coconut anything = a darn good way to get me outta bed.

So it was set. I would pick up an acorn squash (tend to be on the sweet side, which is perfect for breakfast) and some coconut flakes/milk.

It turns out that I was right. Shocker 😉

Enough about my love for carby veggies and coconut, here’s the real gem… Though it looks like something not so appetizing, I promise it’s delish!

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Squash ‘Porridge’ 

1 acorn squash (any squash will work)

2 tbsp coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut milk (any milk will work)

optional add-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.

// Cut squash in half and roast in 400 degree oven until tender 30-45 min.

Let cool then scoop out and place in a bowl.

Sprinkly on the coconut flakes, and drizzle on coconut milk.

Grab a spoon and start shoveling (into mouth…)!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Anyone do anything particularly exciting to begin the fall season?

Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

My go-to grocery shopping destination lately has been Trader Joe’s. I don’t necessarily go for the cheap prices, because if I was focused on that I would strictly shop at Aldi. I go for TJ’s quality products and even better customer service.

Did you know that you can sample ANYTHING in the stores if you ask? Apparently Trader Joe’s has a policy that if a customer wants to try one of their products, the employee has to let them! THAT’S INSANE (in a good way). Though I haven’t tested it myself, because I feel like it would be weird for them to open a bag of something that I likely won’t buy due to my college budget… I have been dying to try a few of their snack products, so this might be a good way to stave off hunger while I shop.

Anyways back to what you’re really here for- Cauliflower Rice 😉

I was at TJ’s and checking out when the cashier stopped at asked if I wanted a “less brown” cauliflower. Honestly I had just chosen the largest one in the bunch, but sure why not really get my money’s worth by getting the creme de la creme of cauliflower. They weren’t able to find a better looking one on the shelf, so they WENT ALL THE WAY IN BACK TO HAND PICK ONE!! I wasn’t expecting such incredible customer service for a dang cauliflower. Anyways I got my top-crop-cauli and headed home to make some rice with it.

This is my new favorite easy side dish (besides my roasted sweet potatoes), and I can make a huge batch and have some fluffy rice all week long. However, it doesn’t tend to last around me, as I am lacking desperately in the willpower department at this time!

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Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp ghee

// Place florets in a microwave safe bowl with a bit of water.
Microwave until tender or 6-8 minutes.
Place in food processor or high powered blender and pulse until the texture resembles rice.
Put the “rice” mixture into a large saute pan with the ghee, and crisp up the rice for a few minutes.
Add seasonings to pan, and stir.
Remove from heat and add cilantro.

Then eat straight from the pan or portion into a small bowl like me (though I ate multiple bowls).

Also, if anyone has tried the “Sample anything at TJ’s” with success, please comment and tell the world about your experience 🙂

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Coconut Flour Pancakes (grain, dairy, sugar-free)

My diet has been anything but exciting in the last month. Unless you consider brussel sprouts and eggs for every meal something to write home about… so when I woke up without a hangover last Saturday I thought, “Let’s actually put some thought into my brunch!”

I’ve been trying to stay away from nuts/seeds so coconut flour would have to do. I took inspiration from some fellow bloggers and whipped up a fluffy batch of coconut flour pancakes for myself.

My roommate was making Bisquick waffles at the same time, ironically… It really brought me back to my freshman in college days when I would host ‘Waffle Wednesday’ in my tiny dorm room. I would whip up batches of Bisquick waffles, but would always use chia seed eggs instead of real eggs because why not?! Those waffles were a hit, I tell ya!

These pancakes tasted just as good though, and I credit that slightly to me cooking them up in a pan of my Homemade Ghee. That way they could get nice and crispy on the outside to contrast the fluffy interior.

Plus they take T-minus 2 minutes to throw together, so what’s not to love! Bye bye Bisquick!

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Coconut Flour Pancakes (Serves 1)

2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

ghee to grease the pan/griddle

// Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
Let batter sit for a few minutes so the coconut flour can absorb the liquid a bit.
Spoon big dollops in a pan, and cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook another 3 minutes.

Flop onto a plate and enjoy with your most favoritest toppings from your childhood 🙂

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