Breakfast roll-up (paleo)

When it comes to breakfast I’m always on the hunt for something new to satisfy me, so when I woke up Sunday morning to an empty, clean kitchen I decided to bake something to dirty it up a bit. I didn’t feel like spending another hour perusing the internet looking for inspiration, so I dug up the recipe for my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and made them savory.

The recipe is so versatile as far as filling, and if you don’t want to use pumpkin in the batter; banana, applesauce, sweet potato, basically any puree will work instead. Just make sure what you choose is not too liquid-y.

I was working with very limited ingredients after coming back to an empty fridge at my apartment (no thanksgiving leftovers made it past Saturday in my house), so I just added some scrambled eggs. Bacon would have been my dream, but I didn’t have any thawed. My bad.

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Breakfast Roll-up

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp psyllium husk powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (see above for other options)
1 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Filling:
3 eggs
pinch of salt

// Preheat oven to 350.
Scramble the eggs in a pan until set but still runny, then set aside.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk (very important so the psyllium doesn’t clump), and then mix together wet ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
Put dough onto a piece of parchment paper and form into a large rectangle that’s 1/2 an inch thick.
Line eggs on the dough and roll up the dough using the parchment paper so it doesn’t crack.
Cut the log into 8-10 rolls and place on a pan, but make sure to space them out, otherwise they will come out doughy in the middle.
Cook for 30-45 min, or until they’re firm to the touch and golden on top.

 

 

 

 

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Risk Taking

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I’ve been contemplating what my plan is for after graduation…

Move to Europe? Or just get out of Minnesota?

Quit my 9-5 job and take a year off and travel?

Move back into my parent’s house (yeah right)?

Keep interviewing for marketing jobs I don’t want?

These are the thoughts that go through my head day and night. I graduate in exactly a month and I don’t have it figured out. Though, apparently I’m not supposed to have it figured out, according to my advisor.

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Then I had an epiphany coffee date with one of my good friends, and I realized that I don’t have to do something I don’t love for the rest of my life. I’ve always said my dream is to own a bakery/cafe, but why do I just keep talking about it?

Why don’t I DO IT?

My friend happens to be a PR and Marketing guru, and we talked all summer about opening our own business ‘one day,’ but I don’t want to keep saying ‘one day.’ I want that day to be today!

I watch lots of ‘Unique Sweet’s on Cooking Channel and they are constantly showcasing small bakeries run by someone with a passion for baking ever since they can remember. They just made what they loved their income too. It’s that simple (but not really).

After working with Rise bagel for a good chunk of my summer, I’ve received some good insight into what it takes to get your product out there and create a buzz around it. They also found a niche in the Twin Cities market, and decided to create an incredible product to fill that.

My dream has been sitting at the top of this blog for almost a year. It’s my picture of the incredible liége waffles I made a little over a year ago. That’s the thing, I feel that I can provide something that the Twin Cities doesn’t have. I haven’t found a good Liege waffle since I went to Europe (they’re traditionally from Liege, Belgium). Chicago has a great one at Waffle cafe, but that’s quite the drive. I want to bring my love of liége waffles to the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.

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Prep Tips (& a Recipe)

I call this the “fridge” bowl dinner because it’s basically my fridge, in a bowl, for dinner, but it’s the tastiest way to clean out your fridge without it tasting like you actually cleaned out your fridge. Did ya follow that? The dish also comes together with my spicy Tumeric seasoning mix that I always have on hand. I even added it to coleslaw last night for a nice kick to normally plain but tangy cabbage.

Cooking during the week can be super easy, as long as you always have ingredients prepped and ready to go in your fridge. These are what I always have on hand to throw together a healthy meal in minutes:

Spaghetti Squash (Throw the whole squash in the crockpot for 5 hours, then slice and scoop out the seeds and then flesh)

Shaved brussel sprouts (I buy a bag of whole sprouts at Trader Joe’s and cut them up myself)

Broccoli Slaw (Also from Trader Joe’s, but it comes already prepped)

Spinach (pretty self explanatory, no prepping required)

Chicken (I buy Trader Joe’s drumsticks for around $2.50 for a pack of 6 and then throw them in a crockpot for 6-8 hours on low then remove the bones and skin. Ta-da- so easy.)

Tumeric seasoning mix (Indian flavors)
6 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp salt
2 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp ginger

Now here’s the easiest recipe which pretty much involves just throwing all the above ingredients in a hot pan.

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“Fridge” bowl

1/2 cup cooked spaghetti squash
handful shaved brussel sprouts
handful broccoli slaw mix
handful spinach
1/2 cup cooked chicken
1 tsp ghee (butter or coconut oil work too)
2 tsp tumeric seasoning mix (recipe above)

// Heat ghee in medium high pan until sizzling.
Add squash, brussel sprouts, slaw and spinach, and cook until brussel sprouts are tender.
Add chicken to warm through and throw in seasoning, and cook for 2 more minutes.

That was so simple because most of the prep was done ahead, AND in the crockpot 🙂

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LOOK AT THAT STEAM!!

Chicken Stir Fry (grain, dairy-free, paleo)

I find that if I put some effort into cooking a “real recipe” I feel more satisfied with my meal, and then I’m less likely to want an indulgent dessert or something after. However, finding time to cook real “recipes” has been hard lately with everything I have going on with work and school (I graduate in a month!!). Then I made a trip to Trader Joe’s and my life was complete. I realized that if I just buy the prepared veggies they sell I can have a meal cooked in no time. They have everything from chopped butternut squash to chopped peppers and onions. I opt for the broccoli slaw which is under $2 a bag and easily has 3-4 servings in it. That bag of slaw has been a lifesaver lately, and I’m loving the versatility.

I also usually roast a bunch of squash and sweet potato and have it in my fridge during the week so that I can add that to my dinners for some carbs. This recipe would also be great if you add some avocado, but I can no longer eat it (that’s another post).

I also chop up some brussel sprouts to throw in with the slaw and cook all that together with some precooked chicken (chicken + water + crockpot on low for 6 hours = chicken all week) and my dijon mustard vinaigrette. Easiest and tastiest meal you can make in under 10 minutes, provided you do some preparing of ingredients prior.

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Chicken “Stir-Fry” (Serves 1)

1/2 cup shredded chicken
1 tsp ghee
big handful of TJ’s broccoli slaw mix
big handful shaved brussel sprouts
1/4 tsp smoked paprika, optional
salt & pepper

Vinaigrette:
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper

// Cook brussel sprouts and broccoli slaw with ghee until tender.
Add chicken and seasonings and cook until chicken is warm.
Drizzle over the vinaigrette and enjoy!!

(I added a cooked sweet potato at the end this time, but that’s completely optional.)

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Restaurant Spotlight: Colossal Cafe

OMG! I have no idea how I’ve had this blog for almost a year and never done a full post on my infatuation of everything Colossal Cafe has to offer. This place can literally do no wrong. Now I know plenty of people who don’t prefer their yeast-based “flappers” over buttermilk pancakes, but I can’t think of a better way to start my morning than with a massive pancake that tastes like my favorite sourdough bread! I guess it’s not for everyone, but there’s always gonna be haters. If you do love them as much as me, make sure to try them with the brie and apple walnut sauce on top. PURE. PERFECTION.

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Good thing they offer literally THE BEST omelets in the Twin Cities area. They’re super thick yet fluffy with mounds of roasted veggies, or sausage and cheese peaking out the sides. Then there’s the breakfast sandwiches. With the choice to get your fave breakfast food (eggs & bacon?) sandwiched between a homemade biscuit, “flapper” (my personal favorite, obviously) or their insanely buttery and delicious homemade bread.

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I can’t possibly say enough about this place. Even their salad dressing for their side salad had me raving! This is the only place in the Twin Cities that can satisfy me these days. I don’t feel deprived when I can’t order the bread or pancakes here because I know that I can still get a massive breakfast sans carbs without paying extra for a side of meat just to be disappointed. My go-to right now is the “Colossal Breakfast.” It’s 2 eggs, a mound of super buttery and crisp hashbrowns, choice of meat (get the ham!) and toast (I skip that, sadly).

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One super small detail about this place that just makes it even better is their coffee dispensers. No need to wait for someone to refill your cup, AND you can drink as much as you want. Who needs to pay for refills these days?

The menu is semi-small but absolute dynamite. With 3 locations now, Colossal Cafe is gaining steam with breakfast enthusiasts like myself, and there’s no place I would rather spend my mornings or afternoons. It helps that it’s within biking distance from my apartment, but the food coma after makes it kind of hard to get back!

I should mention that this was the ONLY food I missed while I was abroad. Besides wanting to see my family, this was the second biggest reason I came home and didn’t stay in Europe forever 🙂

Microwave English Muffin (grain, dairy-free, paleo)

Ever since starting the paleo diet about a year ago, I’ve found it fairly easy to give up bread. If I feel like going off track, my first choice is usually something sugary or cheesy. I didn’t even like cheese before I went paleo, so I’m not sure why it’s one of my top cravings now… If you can tolerate dairy or at least good quality grass-fed dairy then I highly recommend smearing some cream cheese on this muffin, or melting some to make a grilled cheese. Yummy!

There was a time when I had just gotten back from Ireland (studying abroad) and all I wanted was highly-processed American food (think Reese’s and Cheetos) and that’s exactly what I ate. I would eat Reese’s cup after Reese’s cup and my body just had no idea what was going on. It hadn’t eaten such bad foods in my life. I don’t know if my body had changed since returning to the States, but I couldn’t get enough junk. Normally I have enough willpower to stop myself from eating something that I know will set me back weeks in my gut healing, but there was no stopping me. I was ravenous around candy.

Needless to say, I suffered for months after coming home from work every night and eating my weight in candy (no joke, I ate like 20 Reese’s cups a day). No wonder I gained about 10 pounds when I got back after losing a large amount of weight abroad. With little time to eat and contracting a nasty parasite in Europe, that was bound to happen.

This recipe is the closest thing I’ve found to an english muffin in the paleo world. It takes 2 minutes to mix up and cook, and all you have to do is slice it in half and give it a good toast then smear it in coconut oil or ghee. It’s not exactly the texture of a real english muffin, but it looks like one and satisfies my occasional need for bread in no time flat.

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Microwave English Muffin (recipe from Primal Bites)

1 egg
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp psyllium husk powder (I’ve used ground flaxseed too)
1 tsp olive oil (coconut oil or ghee work too)
1 tbsp water
pinch of baking powder
pinch of salt

// Whisk egg in mug or small microwave safe bowl.
Add all other ingredients to the whisked egg and mix until it’s a smooth mixture without lumps.
Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until middle has set and it’s not gooey.
Remove from the mug/bowl and slice in half and toast it in the toaster.
Smear the toasted english muffin with butter/ghee/coconut oil and scarf down!!

Baking Fail

I would love to tell you that paleo baking always comes out delicious and nothing is ever dry and nasty and everything’s rainbows and butterflies- but it’s not.

I’ve had my fair share of nasty concoctions since I started baking solely paleo baked goods about a year ago. It’s definitely not a fool proof cooking technique especially when you’re working with ingredients like coconut flour and you can’t mask the flavor of things with copious amounts of processed sugar.

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I found a recipe for a chocolate torte last week and got home from work on Friday and was in the mood to just bake something chocolatey. I pulled up the recipe and went at it. I’m not sure what happened between the liquid batter stage and the consumption it stage, but it was just gross. I never throw things away, but I just didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t about to eat anymore of it than I had to and I sure as heck wasn’t going to subject another human being to the disaster that came out of the oven.

I’m not even exaggerating one bit.

The cake wasn’t even the worst part. I have no idea why I ever thought the strawberry sauce on top was going to work. It was just strawberries and gelatin and everyone knows that gelatin will turn into a gel, especially when cooled. Clearly I was just so confident in the recipe that I ignored all laws of science…

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Warning: My lovely pictures of this disaster are somewhat deceiving, but take my word- this thing was just nasty.

After literally choking down a couple dry chunks of the “torte” right out of the oven, I thought maybe it just needed to be eaten at a cooler temperature, so I patiently waited for it to sit in the fridge over night.

Side note: The strawberry sauce is DELICIOUS, warm but don’t you dare refrigerate it!

I woke up Saturday morning with high hopes for the torte and boy oh boy was I disappointed. It was just as gross and dry as the night before, but even worse because the strawberry “sauce” on top was now like a gelatinous blanket that could be peeled off in one sheet, and that’s exactly what I did. Right into the garbage it went!

The whole point of this post is to show everyone that I don’t just sit at home on the weekend and bake up delicious paleo recipes that come out great every time. I think that’s why a lot of people are turned off by paleo baking, because things don’t tend to come out like they want, or expect.

This recipe did not discourage me at all because all I had to do was make a batch of my cinnamon rolls or a honey graham cracker crust and my faith was completely restored in the paleo-baked-good-world!

However, I’m still craving a chocolate torte so stay tuned for a recipe that actually tastes good. I will not be defeated!!