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Recipe: Deconstructed Taco Salad

I came up with this one on a day where I really wanted Mexican, but didn’t think I had the time/makings for it. I had cooked meat in the fridge, but little else. I thought about what went into a taco salad. I had salad greens, meat, and in the pantry salsa and olives and just went from there.

This can be made Primal with the addition of greek yogurt.

Deconstructed Taco Salad
(by Beth Jones)

This one is quick and a great meal to whip up when you are short on time.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 lbs cooked hamburger, or cooked chicken (whatever cooked protein you have on hand)
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ can tomato paste (or two chopped tomatoes), optional
2 cups cauliflower rice
½ Tbsp Cumin ( can add more if desired)
1 tsp chili powder, optional
handful spinach
salsa (no sugar added)
peppers (unless avoiding)
green onions
black olives
plain greek yogurt (full fat – skip if strict Paleo)

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and cook until they start to go translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower and heat through. Add the meat and tomatoes/paste if using. Finally add the cumin and chili powder. Serve over the the spinach. Add whatever garnishes you like.

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Recipe: Slow cooker chicken curry

This is a super simple curry recipe from Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower. It can be made as mild or as spicy as you’d like it and reheats wonderfully. It also freezes well for bulk cooking. Chicken breasts will work, but tend to be a bit drier than the thighs.

Mild Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)
(from Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower)

This will make 4-6 servings easy and this does freeze well.

4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion
4 minced cloves garlic (more or less to taste – I love garlic so a lot goes in)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full fat)
½ cup chicken stock or water
couple handfuls of spinach
2-3 Tbsp yellow curry powder (use red if you want a really spicy curry)

Place the veggies and garlic in the bottom of the crockpot, pour in the water or the stock. Add the curry powder, chicken and finally the chicken. Cook on low for 6 or 7 hours. When finished, shred the chicken with two forks, and add in the spinach to wilt. Serve over cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, or simply eat as is.

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Recipe: Quick Pasta

This is the recipe I made for the Paleo Webinar. It came about one day when I was really craving Italian “comfort food”. I looked in the fridge and saw some pre-cooked hamburger and veal and spaghetti squash. Having pre-cooked meat and veggies like squash, cauliflower rice and such makes meals a total breeze.  From there, it was all experimentation. I whipped up some Italian seasoning (This can be store-bought spice mix or make your  own), grabbed garlic and tomato paste and cooked this off.  It turned out to be a mega hit in this house and is still on rotation. I hope you enjoy it!


This comes together in minutes with a little bit of prep.

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (or 2-3 Tbsp minced garlic, or as much as you can stand)
  • 1 lbs cooked hamburger
  • 1 lbs cooked veal (or chicken or pork)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 spaghetti squash, cooked and separated into strands
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • water or stock

Heat the oil in a pan. Add onion and cook until it starts to become translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the meat and warm through. Add the tomato paste and enough water or stock to thin it out some. You aren’t looking for a “sauce” but you don’t want clumps of paste. Add the seasoning and finally the squash.  Heat through and serve.

Spaghetti squash

Heat the oven to 375. Split the squash in half and scrape out all the seeds and the icky stringy stuff around the seeds. Place  squash halves face down on a cookie sheet Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of water around the halves and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully flip them face up to cool. When cool enough to handle, scrape the strands out into a bowl.

Italian Seasoning

(credit: from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan)

  • 4 tsp EACH dried parsley, oregano, basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic (otherwise known as dried minced garlic. garlic powder works just fine if you don’t have the dried minced stuff)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, can skip if doing AI Paleo)

Mix all in an air tight bowl. Store out of direct sunlight.

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Recipe: Protein Oreos

Second recipe from Kay to complete the second part of her two part series… This definitely fits the Valentines theme for today. Enjoy!!

Protein Oreos

Preheat oven to 350

1 cup almond meal/flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T vanilla extract
¼ cup agave
1 T baking powder
1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder (I used chocolate mint)

Form into cookies (I made ten BIG whoopie pie sized cookies, but you can easily make more cookies if you make them Oreo sized). Warning: dough is REALLY sticky!

Bake for 10 minutes.

While they are baking, you can make the frosting for the middle. I altered the recipe from what I was given as it ended up being too thin and less frosting-like.

Whisk ¼ cup of egg whites with a fork until fluffy. Then add in one scoop of vanilla casein (I didn’t have vanilla so I used chocolate) and continue to whisk. This should yield a pudding consistency. Spread between two cookies to make a sandwich and enjoy!

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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

We’ve got a special two-part recipe series from our lovely NE Spahten Kay Norm! She sent some great recipes along to share with everyone. These are not necessarily Paleo, but they are definitely “Clean Eating”.  Last week we did Protein Packed Cinnamon Rolls and Clean Stuffed French Toast. So now on to the next two recipes. Take it away Kay…

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

½ cup rolled oats
¾ mashed banana
1 egg white
1 T vanilla extract
1/8 cup almond milk
¼ cup cottage cheese

Then add desired amount of chocolate chips before pouring onto skillet.

I top mine with honey and sliced bananas! 🙂

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Recipe: Clean Stuffed French Toast

Second recipe from Kay to complete the first part of her two part series…  This looks really good. This could probably be made with gluten-free bread or Paleo Bread.

Clean Stuffed French Toast

2 slices of any bread (I used whole wheat bread)
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Stevia or other sweetener
Splash of almond milk
1 T PB2 or other nut butter
1/2 small banana
2 T fat-free cream cheese


  1. Heat pan/skillet to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, add the egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and Stevia.
  3. Dip bread into mixture and place on a pan/skillet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, then flip over.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the other slice of bread.
  5. Once you have cooked your French Toast, spread the layer of PB2 or nut butter on one slice of bread. Then spread the cream cheese on the other slice of bread.
  6. Slice the banana on top of one side, and then sandwich the two pieces together.
  7. Place back on the pan/skillet for a couple minutes so the French toast can get nice and crisp and heated all the way through.
  8. Cut in half, top with syrup, shredded coconut, and additional cinnamon if you like and devour!
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Recipe: Protein Packed Cinnamon Rolls

We’ve got a special two-part recipe series from our lovely NE Spahten Kay Norm! She sent some great recipes along to share with everyone. These are not necessarily Paleo, but they are definitely “Clean Eating”. Take it away Kay…


Protein Packed Cinnamon Rolls


The Dough:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 scoop cinnamon (or vanilla) protein powder
1tsp Xanthan Gum
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1/4tsp Kosher Salt
1tsp stevia
2 egg whites
5-6 T of water

The Filling:
2T cinnamon
1tsp agave (or honey)
2T almond meal
2-3 T water

The Frosting:
3oz plain non-fat Greek Yogurt
1scoop vanilla protein powder
1tsp vanilla extract
2T almond milk
1tsp stevia


  1. Preheat oven to 380°F. Mix all dough ingredients in a bowl. Dough will be clumpy. Put dough in baking paper and roll into a tight ball. Sprinkle some coconut flour on rolling pin to prevent sticking. Roll dough out until it becomes pretty thin.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together for the filling. Spread evenly on the dough.
  3. Roll up dough and filling mixture. You can cut off all the extra dough on the sides if you prefer.
  4. Set on cookie or baking paper and bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
  5. While the cinnamon roll is baking, you can make the frosting. Mix all frosting ingredients together with a mixer. Simple enough. 🙂

Try and be patient enough to let your cinnamon roll cool a bit before cutting it. I made 4 rolls with it. You can make more or less depending on how big/thick you like your cinnamon rolls. Cover with frosting, sprinkle with cinnamon for appeal and there you go!

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Recipe: Roasted Pork Loin

This recipe comes courtesy of fellow NE Spahten Paul Howes! I can vouch for this one – it is amazing! I’ve made this myself after he told me how to do this with some Rosemary Sage salt and it was fantastic! For the first time – I managed to make pork that didn’t turn to shoe leather. So definitely worth making for yourself. Take it away, Paul…

This is one of our favorite recipes to cook in the winter time. It’s quick, it’s easy, and all of our kids—human and furry—like it!  But before giving the recipe, I’m going to indulge in a little rant: Do not cook your meat by time alone! Always, always use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.

Very lean meats like pork loin have only a few minutes before they go from “done” to “shoe leather”. Most of the recipes I read say things like, “cook 20 minutes per pound”. Unfortunately this varies widely depending on what kind of oven you have and how accurate the temperature control is. For example, I roast most of our meats in a counter-top Breville convection oven. It has a “roast” setting that turns the upper heating element on low to brown the top of the meat, and a convection fan that circulates the hot air. I can roast meat in about an hour that would take 90 minutes or more in our regular oven. If I followed the directions in the cook book, we would eat jerky every night!

There are many kinds of thermometers. Most of what you see are electronic, have remote probes so you don’t have to open the oven, and are generally over complicated. I have killed several of these expensive models in one way or another and now use the classic dial type. They’re quick, reliable, and idiot-proof. Get one and you’ll be a better cook for it.

And now for the recipe, which could not be simpler:

  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs (Herbs de Provence, rosemary and garlic, etc.)

NOTE: We find that 2 lbs. is enough to feed four or five people. If you want to buy a larger piece, have the butcher cut it in half. Roast them together in the same pan, but be aware that it will take longer.

Place the pork in a small pan, fat-side up. Drizzle some olive oil over it. Rub the salt, pepper, and herbs in. Cook at 350 until the internal temperature is 160ºF. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This is very important as it allows the juices to redistribute and makes the roast a lot more moist.

Slice, plate, top with a little of the pan juice, and enjoy!

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Recipes: Paleo Energy Bars and Raw Vegan Brownies

This post is for all you NE Spahtens heading up to the ORTC VT event and to Blizzard Blast and will need some quick energy either before, during or after the race.  I’ve made these many times, and I can vouch for them both being really good, and both provide a decent energy boost. The brownies are more of a treat but are still decent on the energy front.

Paleo Energy Bars

The first recipe comes from Turtlewoman on Hubpages. I’m a huge fan of dates and these really work well. Now I tend to take these to a different level personally. I use protein powder mixed with some melted coconut oil to make these stick together better, and to bump up the protein.  I’ve chopped the chocolate bar up as written, but I’ve also melted it to drizzle over the dates and nuts/seeds. If you melt the chocolate bar, it gives these more of a decadent vibe. (If you want to cut out the refined sugar from the chocolate bars, combine melted coconut oil and cocoa powder for drizzling). Either method works well.

1 cup whole natural almonds
 12 to 14 Medjool dates, de-pitted
 ½ of a 88% dark chocolate bar
 ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  1. Pulse the almonds in food processor until you get small bits, but not paste. Empty into mixing bowl.
  2. Do the same with the dark chocolate.
  3. Process the dates in the food processor until smooth. They will tend to come together in a ball. Add to nut/chocolate mixture. Add the pumpkin seeds whole.
  4. Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Mix the ingredients in the bowl. I usually just smoosh all of the ingredients together well with my hands. Then smoosh the mixture firmly into the pan.
  5. Cut into bars.

I have no idea where I found the inspiration for this one, but these were a surprise hit with me. The avocado may seem weird, but it’s a great source of healthy fats, and with the cocoa powder, is actually really lush and masks the flavor of the avocado well. You need really ripe avocados for this, otherwise you get chunks in the frosting. This can be done with walnuts, but as I’m allergic, I use almonds or seeds replace them. Feel free to use any of them or even none. I’ve made these successfully with no nut or seed at all. Again, you can bump up the protein factor with chocolate protein powder for the frosting part, but you still need the cocoa powder for the brownie part.

Raw Vegan Brownies

 1 cup almonds
 1 cup dates
 ¼ cup cocoa powder

 2 avocados, ripe
 ½ cup honey or maple syrup
 ¼ cup cocoa powder
 2 tablespoons coconut oil
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
 dash salt
 dash cinnamon

  1. Place the brownie ingredients in a food processor and pulse the ingredients until blended and dry chunky. Press into a small pan.
  2. Icing: put all icing ingredients into blender or food processor and blend on high till smooth.
  3. Spread icing over brownies and pop in freezer to set for 1 hr. then cut and put in snack sized baggies.

Good luck to everyone this weekend!!

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Recipe: Smoked Paprika Tilapia

Here’s another in the “quick and easy” meal series. Another one of my favorite go-to recipes. I am a big fan of fish; however, after a while the usual lemon on fish gets boring. So I came up with this one day playing with my jar of smoked paprika. This works well with any firm white fish. We usually have tilapia in the freezer but I’ve done this with cod as well. This pairs well with a sauted spinach, asparagus or broccoli

Smoked Paprika Tilapia

  •     4  3 ounce tilapia filets, thaw if frozen
  •     ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •     ½ teaspoon onion powder
  •     ½ teaspoon salt
  •     ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  •     ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  •     1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. Spray skillet with non-stick spray. Heat skillet
  2. Season one side of the tilapia filets
  3. When pan is hot, place filets in pan seasoned side down.
  4. Season the face up side of the tilapia
  5. When fish is looking opaque and shifts in the pan easily, flip the fish (This should be about 5-6 minutes)
  6. Cook other side until done another roughly 2-3 minutes.

If you aren’t a fan of non-stick spray (I’m not), then you can certainly use olive oil or coconut oil. Use about a Tablespoon and let it get hot but not smoking.