Blueberry-Banana Plantain Pancakes

Blueberry Banana PancakesBefore Aurora was born, Pumpkin Almond Flour Pancakes (recipe coming soon!) were a regular breakfast offering in our family. Since Aurora is allergic to tree nuts I don’t do as much with almond flour as I used to, so I have had to be a little more creative in coming up with a pancake recipe that everyone can eat.

Plantains have become a staple in our house. Green plantains are nice, safe starches- they are even FODMAP friendly! And plantains are so incredibly versatile. From green plantains you can make a savory side, like tostones or plantain chips, a delicious not-too-sweet breakfast or treat, or even crunchy crackers. Ripe plantains are a nice treat in the form of maduros. Although our plantains rarely last long enough to ever become ripe. And they are so inexpensive- they only cost $0.20 each at the grocery store, so it takes less than $2 to whip up a batch of these pancakes.

Aurora loves her pancakes!I recently found a great blog, called Purely Twins, and they have a major love affair with plantains. Their blog has already inspired a number of Plantain creations that I look forward to sharing with you soon. I originally found their recipe for Banana Bread Plantain Pancakes, and I present it now to you, with just a minimum of tinkering. They are quick and easy to throw together for a family breakfast. My husband says they smell like French Toast and taste absolutely delicious, and Aurora is obviously a huge fan. The only downside is that they are best fresh and lose a lot of their charm when reheated.

 

 

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Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa

 Mahi Mahi with Fresh Mango Salsa  DSC_1874

I was trying desperately to come up with something to eat for dinner the other night, since I had forgotten to thaw anything out. My musings led me to fish, because it can be thawed in a matter of minutes in cold water. So I went out to the freezer and pulled out some Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi filets. And then I began to ponder how to dress it up, from a plain fish meal to something extraordinary. I looked around my kitchen, saw some mangos at just the right level of ripeness, grabbed a cucumber and a serrano pepper, and a delicious meal was born! The sweetness of the mangos was nicely balanced with the tanginess of the lime juice, and just a touch of heat from the serrano made it a real husband-pleaser.

It was pretty quick and simple to throw together, which was especially good because both kiddos are sick and want to be held by mommy constantly. Prepare the Mahi Mahi anyway you would like. I cooked them on the griddle, but they could be baked, broiled, or grilled with equally delicious results. Paired with tostones, cucumber salad, and some fresh avocado, it was a perfect light meal for a hot summer day (the downside to living in Florida is that summer lasts well into October, and sometimes beyond.)

Mahi Mahi with Fresh Mango Salsa
Serves 4
A quick and easy dinner that will keep you and your kitchen cool.
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
For Fish
  1. 4 Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi Filets
  2. Healthy fat of choice
  3. Salt and pepper, to taste
For Fresh Mango Salsa
  1. 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  2. 1/2 C cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  3. 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (any chile will do, it just depends how hot you like it)
  4. 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
  5. Juice from 1 lime
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (opt.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the griddle, and lightly coat bottom with the fat of your choice (i.e. bacon grease, lard, coconut oil, olive oil). Season fish filets with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook fish filets for 5-7 minutes on each side, until fish flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through.
  3. While the fish is cooking, prepare the mango salsa by gently stirring all ingredients together until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve by spooning the mango salsa over the fish. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I served this with tostones, a simple cucumber and onion salad, and fresh avocado slices. For the kids, I made them a simple salsa, without the chile or green onion.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

 

Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins

Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour MuffinsAlmond flour has been a staple in our household for quite some time, although it doesn’t get used as much these days due to Aurora’s tree nut allergy and foraging habit. Add in our egg allergies, and it has been tricky to come up with a delicious muffin recipe that will both hold together and stay moist and delicious. This Apple-Cinnamon Muffin strikes the right balance between being a sweet treat and a safe and easy breakfast food. I hope you will enjoy them as much as Jonathan does!

(Note: Jonathan likes his “plain” so we leave out the apples for him, but they are so delicious with the apples in that I often make two batches- one without apples for Jonathan, and one with for the grown-ups.)

Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins
Serves 12
A delicious breakfast treat with just the right amount of sweetness.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 C arrowroot powder
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 C coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  7. 1/4 C raw honey
  8. 1 ripe banana
  9. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in 2 Tbsp water (helps replace the egg)
  11. 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, blend together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the ripe banana and baking powder/water mixture and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined thoroughly. Fold in the apple pieces. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. These freeze really well! Make up a double batch and freeze half, then thaw for a few seconds in the microwave for a quick breakfast.
  2. Try different fruits, like diced pears, peaches, or blueberries.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!

One of our family traditions since long before kids entered the picture has been a weekly Taco Night most Saturday evenings. Of course, we used to eat them with tortillas or corn chips. Now we love to enjoy our tacos in a simple lettuce shell, with plantain flour tortillas, or even scooped up with plantain chips. Even the kids get into the taco spirit, happily munching away on crisp lettuce tacos. We served these tacos at Jonathan’s last birthday party, which was a huge hit! I prepared the taco meat ahead of time, and warmed it up in the crock pot for the party. Everyone was able to enjoy a hearty meal that they could customize to their liking, and it was a great alternative to ordering a pizza like most families can do.

One of the ways I survive the daily grind of cooking healthy, delicious and varied meals every.single.day is to periodically make multiple batches of favorite meals for the freezer, called a Mega Cook. We set aside a whole day on Saturday and with the help of family, will put together dozens of meals on one day that I can later just pull out of the freezer, thaw and cook or reheat. In fact, this was a life saver when I was put on bed rest for the last trimester of my pregnancy with Aurora. I wasn’t able to stand up for even a few minutes to put together a meal (and most meals take way more than a few minutes to prepare!). It was a huge blessing for my darling husband to be able to walk out to the freezer, grab a meal, and throw it in the crockpot or reheat it for dinner that evening. This taco recipe lends itself really well to the Mega Cook concept- just prepare the meat and freeze in meal-sized portions. Allow to thaw, then reheat and serve with some quick sides. And even if you aren’t up to doing a full Mega Cook, I will often just make 4 or 5 batches at once to freeze. (I jokingly call this a Micro Cook.) It doesn’t take much more time to make five meals worth than to worth than to make one.

This recipe is adapted from the Chile Rellenos recipe in Everyday Paleo, which I highly recommend. Such an amazing meal, and great for when you have dinner guests.

Beef Tacos
A delicious taco meat blend that is easy to prepare and freeze for a quick and delicious family meal.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
For each batch use
  1. 1 lb ground beef
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  4. 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  5. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 6-8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and onion until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until garlic is tender.
  3. Serve with: lettuce or plantain flour tortillas, avocado, green onion, diced bell pepper, hot sauce, or whatever condiments you enjoy with your tacos!
Notes
  1. This recipe is great to make large batches to freeze for future meals. Simply cook according to directions, and then freeze in meal-sized portions. Then thaw, reheat and enjoy!
Adapted from Everyday Paleo, by Sarah Fragoso
Adapted from Everyday Paleo, by Sarah Fragoso
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins

Double Chocolate Almond Flour MuffinsI love chocolate! (Who doesn’t, really?) The richer and darker the better as far as I, and the rest of my family are concerned. And these Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins certainly fit the bill! I love to eat them when they are warm, with the chocolate chips just a little bit melty and gooey.

This is a simple variation on my Apple-Cinnamon Muffin recipe and has been used for everything from breakfast treats to birthday cupcakes to potluck offerings. And it is one of those recipes that people can hardly believe is Paleo, much less egg-free and (mostly) refined sugar free.

Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins
Serves 12
A sweet, rich and decadent chocolate treat.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 C arrowroot powder
  5. 1/4 C cocoa powder
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 C coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  8. 1/4 C raw honey
  9. 1 ripe banana
  10. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in 2 Tbsp water (helps replace the egg)
  12. 1/2 C chocolate chips (more or less as preferred)
  13. 2-3 Tbsp water (if needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, blend together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the ripe banana and baking powder/water mixture and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined thoroughly. If necessary, add 2-3 Tbsp water to make a smooth batter. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffin tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. These freeze well, and make a lovely presentation for a birthday or tea party.
Adapted from Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Chicken & Bacon Skewers with Honey-Chipotle Glaze

Chicken and Bacon Skewers

Mmm… bacon. There is something magical about the combination of bacon and chicken. (Or bacon and just about anything!) Add a simple and delicious Honey-Chipotle Glaze with just a hint of lime and you have a tantalizing meal on the table in no time for that hungry crowd that always starts to clamor for dinner at the same time every night!

With just a few simple ingredients and minimal preparation you have a delicious meal on the table that will stimulate all of your senses and please everyone in the family. The skewers can be assembled ahead of time, which makes them great for a party or potluck. Just assemble, mix up the glaze, and then bake or grill them right before it is time to serve.

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Created To Be Paleo is Born!: Our Story, Part 1

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I have been thinking and praying about starting Created To Be Paleo for quite a while now, and it finally seems like now is the right time. I have really enjoyed sharing our lives over at Honey’s Musings for the past 3 years, and I really want to keep that a place to share about the things in my life that I love the most (namely, my husband Benjamin and children, Jonathan and Aurora) and the things that God is putting on my heart and in my life. I’d like to give myself the freedom to allow Honey’s Musings to be a personal blog, where I really can share my musings, and of course, lots of cute pictures of my kids!I hope you will join me over there to really see what is going on in our lives.

Because of my family’s unique relationship with food as a result of a plethora of food allergies and sensitivities, I have had to become very creative in the kitchen and in how we live our lives in this modern world. And that is where Created To Be Paleo comes in. I intend to share the recipes that I have crafted and borrowed to suit our dietary needs. I will share what it means to be 100% Paleo 100% of the time, because that is the only way for my children to thrive. And I really want this to be a place where families dealing with similar food issues and lifestyle changes can come to feel supported and part of a community. Just to know that you are not alone can make a huge difference. And you don’t have to eat Paleo to enjoy these recipes- they are all amazingly delicious and wholesome.

Why the name Created to be Paleo? As a Christ-follower, I fervently believe that God creates us to be the people we are and will become. Psalm 139:13-14 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I know that God had a hand in creating myself and my children. He knew that we would struggle with food allergy and digestion issues. He knew what a shift in thinking that would be for me to nourish myself and my children, and He made me strong enough and surrounded me with a support system that has allowed me to accomplish it.

My son had hives the day he was born, and both children by 6 weeks of age showed significant signs of food allergies, digestive and malabsorption issues , despite being strictly breastfed and my eating a “healthy” Standard American Diet (SAD), minus my own food allergens at the time (dairy, eggs, soy, some seeds.) When my son was a few months old, we reached a crisis point, and I embarked on a strict Allergy Elimination Diet, where for weeks I only ate chicken, rice, pears, and zucchini. When our allergist suggested I eliminate rice as well, and we finally started to see improvement it was a huge step forward. After that, I was able to determine that Jonathan was allergic and/or intolerant to all grains, seeds and seed oils, legumes (including peanuts), berries, tomatoes, citrus, pineapple and mushrooms.

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