Paleo Bacon Veggie Muffins

OCTI try to get some kind of veggie into my breakfast every day, but it can be a challenge sometimes to cook and still be at work at a reasonable hour. I’ve noticed lately that I’m setting my alarm for later but still pressing the snooze button once or twice, generally creating a frenzy to get out of the house each morning. I know good and well that I feel so much better if I just get up without hitting snooze, but who can resist this animal all snuggly in the morning??cultivatedwellbeing.com (7)

“Be prepared or prepare to fail!”

Weekend Prep: One of my favorite ways to prepare for the week ahead is to make a solidly healthy breakfast over the weekend that will last through the weekdays. That way, I can just grab it from the fridge and either gently heat it or just eat it cold, and I’ll be guaranteed a good start to the day. There are quite a few ways to accomplish a quick morning breakfast, but for me, it really needs to hit a few key points. 

  1. It needs to include a vegetable (I count sweet potatoes as a veggie when I make this delicious bread!)
  2. It needs to have a healthy dose of protein and good fats
  3. It needs to be delicious
  4. It needs to not be cold cereal

Not so hard, right? I’ll often make a veggie-packed frittata or a green smoothie to serve this purpose, but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. That’s where these muffins come in. Without a doubt, they hit all the points, especially the delicious one.

Why not cold cereal you ask?

Well for one, I don’t like it. But more importantly, with the exception of very high quality organic, gluten-free granola (which I do like but still don’t eat for breakfast because it’s pretty high in carbs), cereal is garbage. It’s either made of wheat, soy, corn or rice so heavily processed that it turns to sugar in your body basically immediately — yes, even the “whole grain” stuff does this.

A little-acknowledged fact in the world of boxed and packaged foods is that whole grain flour is no longer a whole grain. It’s a flour. Whole wheat/oat/rice/WHATEVER flour has almost the same glycemic load as white flour, and when it’s extruded into little “o’s” or flakes or whatever shape you like, the proteins are denatured, and the whole grain ingredient is no longer healthy in any sense of the word. Plus boxed cereals almost always have too much added sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup, and most people eat cereal with milk, which contains even more sugar. Good quality granola and other homemade cereals (one of which I will share with you soon!) are exceptions to this rule because they don’t contain grain flours or excessive added sugar. Instead, they either contain whole oats or (in the case of the one I’ll be sharing with you soon!) a pseudocereal that big agriculture hasn’t had a chance to mess with. 

Ok, now that I’ve stepped off my soapbox that has basically nothing to do with the recipe I’m about to share … 

I mentioned grain flours as no longer being a whole grain, but I didn’t mention anything about alternative/paleo flours. These muffins contain almond meal and coconut flour — neither is a grain, and both have a low glycemic load, so they don’t apply to the “WHATEVER” category in my list above.

Paleo Bacon Veggie Muffins

I love eating these muffins for breakfast not only because they’re grain-free, full of veggies, healthy fats, and protein, but also because they are fabulously delicious. Plus they contain the building blocks of serotonin that I talked about on Tuesday’s post about Gut Health and Mood: tryptophan coupled with just a little bit of healthy carbs

These little cuties got two thumbs up from Loren, and we ate them every morning this week. Just one muffin keeps me full until lunch, although different people have different appetites. (My rail of a husband sometimes has a snack around 11 after eating one of these …)

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Paleo Bacon Veggie Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 12 strips organic uncured, sugar-free bacon
  2. 1/4 large red onion
  3. 6 ribs purple kale
  4. 3 or 4 scallions
  5. 12 pastured eggs
  6. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  7. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  8. 1/4 cup almond meal
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 375
  2. cut 12 strips of organic bacon in half and place each one criss-crossed into a muffin tin
  3. cook bacon in oven for 10 minute
  4. while the bacon is cooking, dice onion, chop purple kale and scallions
  5. when the bacon is done, carefully remove from the oven
  6. pour about 3/4 of the bacon grease into a jar to use for later and the rest into a warm skillet or fry pan
  7. set bacon aside
  8. saute onions, kale, scallions until the onions are translucent (3 to 5 minutes) and turn off the heat
  9. in a large mixing bowl, crack eggs, and beat with coconut milk, coconut flour, almond flour, salt, and black pepper, making sure to get rid of all of the clumps
  10. once all ingredients are mixed into a smooth batter, add the vegetable mixture and stir to incorporate
  11. pour the veggie batter into each bacon-lined muffin tin until the batter is evenly distributed
  12. bake on 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the center is done
Cultivated Wellbeing http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/

Sweet Potato Pound Cake [Gluten-free]

sweet potato pound cake

The first version of this recipe I tried was in the form of a pumpkin pound cake (rather than sweet potato). It was part of a group potluck, and I loved it so much I took the leftovers home to Loren to share it with him. I’ve since made my own version using my homemade roasted sweet potato puree, and it was every bit as delicious as the original pumpkin one. Both versions are absolutely fabulous, so interchange the ingredients as you wish. I brought what was left of our sweet potato loaf home to Texas a few weeks back, and my mom loved it so much she asked me to make another one before I left. She even made sure to copy down the recipe before the trip was over (and she’s not generally a baker).

What makes this recipe shine is that it’s so SIMPLE. With only a handful of whole-food ingredients, none of which requires any special baking chemistry, it’s almost impossible to get this one wrong. And the final product is nothing short of decadent.

 

Delicious AND Nutritious

Not only would you never know that this pound cake is gluten-free, you’d never know that it’s actively good for you, filled with nutrient-dense ingredients that will nourish your body and make your taste buds sing. I’ll just give you a quick nutrition rundown so you can feel awesome about eating this pound cake for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert — add a dollop of coconut whipped cream to this creation and you have yourself a guilt-free, paleo dessert.

  1. It uses only whole food ingredients
  2. It is entirely gluten-, grain-, and dairy-free
  3. It uses only healthy fats from coconut oil, pastured eggs, and almonds – CLICK HERE for your free 15 oz jar of coconut oil
  4. It’s rich in beta carotene and other healthy phytonutrients (this is true whether you use sweet potatoes or pumpkin)
  5. It’s high in fiber and low in glycemic load (even lower GL with pumpkin but true for both)
  6. It includes warming spices, including cinnamon (which helps regulate blood sugar) and ginger (which aids in digestion)
  7. It uses a small amount of natural, unrefined maple syrup (1/4 cup for 8-10 servings), a natural sweetener rich in minerals and minimally processed

sweet potato pound cake

I have to give credit to my friend and colleague, holistic Chef Christine Cully for sharing her amazing recipe with me and allowing me to post it on CWB for you all to enjoy. Lucky for me (and for you as you’ll soon find out once you try this), Christine’s generous attitude is to share the wealth of her great recipes and get people eating better — just get the information out there, no credit requested! Well I’m giving her credit anyway. So here it is, my amazing sweet potato pound cake, adapted from a recipe by Chef Christine Cully. 

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Sweet Potato Pound Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup roasted sweet potato puree (recipe linked at the top of the post)
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 cup almond flour
  6. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Melt coconut oil
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  4. Combine dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until smooth
  6. Bake in a greased loaf pan for 35-40 minutes
Notes
  1. Let sit for about 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan or cutting to serve.
  2. This recipe works great for muffins as well, and yields about 10 muffins
Adapted from Holistic Chef Christine Cully
Adapted from Holistic Chef Christine Cully
Cultivated Wellbeing http://cultivatedwellbeing.com/

Breakfast on-the-go: Easy Veggie Frittata Recipe

About mid-trip during our vacation to Canada, we had access to a kitchen. After almost 5 days of not cooking, I was excited to make food for my husband and myself. We’d climbed hard that afternoon, and after getting off my last route for the day, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to stand up and hold a spatula, but by the time we picked out or feast at the grocery store, I had regained some steam and was ready to cook!

Dinner was delicious, but I hadn’t quite filled the 4-day cooking void, so I decided to make breakfast for the rest of the week too!

Enter, delicious frittata!

VeggieFrittata4

With climbing on the agenda for the remainder of our trip, I wanted to make breakfast as streamline as possible so that we could get out the door quickly each morning. I decided that a veggie-filled frittata would do the trick nicely. This one, as with most of my cooking, does not require any measuring — perfect if you’re in someone else’s kitchen and can’t find anything, or simply don’t want to dirty a bunch of measuring spoons and cups (the case for me basically all the time).

I love a good frittata, because it involves a bowl and a skillet and that’s it. We cut it into 6 pieces to last for three mornings, one for each of us. It was so good and so filling that we ended up eating lunch at around 3pm each day. (It also helped that we were climbing all day, which is WAY more exciting than sitting at a desk. Have you ever noticed how much hungrier you are at your desk than when you’re out and about? I suppose that’s fodder for another post one day…)

Easy Veggie Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 pastured eggs (in Canada, they call them VeggieFrittata3“free-run”)
  • 1/2 can of full-fat coconut milk (affiliate link)
  • 1 small box of baby spinach — not the big giant box, the one that gives you about 2 salads’ worth
  • Butter (affiliate link) – coconut oil works too
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a box with a variety of colors which made the finished product very pretty) — use however many you want in your frittata. I used 6.
  • Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (or your favorite white cheese) — slice into thin pads, again, as much as you want. I cut enough to loosely cover the top of the frittata.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Beat the eggs, coconut milk, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl
  3. Warm an 8 inch oven-safe cast iron skillet and add butter and half the box of spinach
  4. Cook the spinach just long enough to wilt, then add to eggs, repeat with the other half
  5. Turn off the stove and add a bit more butter to the skillet, enough to grease bottom and sides
  6. Pour egg and spinach mixture into the skillet
  7.  Lay the halved tomatoes and pads of cheese along the top of the mixture
  8. Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the middle is cooked through and the top is golden brown (you can use a fork to test the middle, or just press down with your finger to feel that it’s firm).
  9. It should pop right out of the skillet and onto a plate in case you don’t want to leave your skillet in the fridge all week.

easy veggie frittata

 


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation if you click and purchase it. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.

Sprouted Gluten-Free French Toast

gluten-free french toast1I’d say that I bother with making french toast about 3 times a year. It’s really not much of a bother really, but because as a kid I ate every bite covered in Aunt Jamima’s syrup and powdered sugar, I think I’ve had a mental block against it. For the longest time, I couldn’t help but think of french toast as a decadent, terrible-for-you refined sugar bomb not suitable for anything but dessert. Until now!

This sprouted gluten-free french toast recipe is different. It’s a breakfast you can feel good about, because you don’t collapse into a diabetic coma immediately after eating it or feel hungry 20 minutes later. My version of french toast uses sprouted, gluten-free bread (you can order it here), pastured eggs and grass fed butter (or extra virgin coconut oil), coconut milk (so it can be made totally dairy-free), and spices that are jam-packed with antioxidants and also help regulate your blood sugar.

Sink your teeth into this one. I love to make it on a weekend morning before a big day of yard work. It keeps me full until it’s time for a late lunch break at my favorite spot down the road (which also happens to serve margaritas…)

And speaking of yard work, we’re almost completely finished with our front yard remodel! The main lawn has been transformed into some beautiful flag stone raised beds and river rock, and now all we have to do is finish up the new succulent garden (and get rid of a LOT of dirt). Can’t wait to share it when it’s totally complete!

gluten-free french

Sprouted Gluten-Free French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 pieces sprouted g/f bread (like this)
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk (my favorite – affiliate link)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • /4 tsp REAL salt
  • grass fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil for the pan (affiilate links)

Directions:

  1. Slice the bread to your desired thickness (I go with thin so I can soak more batter into every slice. This bread is also pretty dense, so you’ll have better luck soaking in the eggy goodness with thinner pieces.
  2. Whisk all ingredients (except bread and butter) in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Soak your bread thoroughly — maybe even leave the slices in the batter for a minute or more to make sure it soaks all the way through.
  4. Heat your large skillet enough to melt the butter but don’t scorch it. If you have a safe non-stick skillet, use that. If you don’t, use cast iron or stainless steel.
  5. Throw on as many slices as will fit in your pan. The loaf of bread I use is pretty small, so in my large skillet, I can fit 8 pieces at a time.
  6. Depending on how many slices you are planning to make, be very liberal with the batter on the pan. My strategy is to get them all made in one batch, pouring the extra batter in with all the bread to make very eggy french toast. It’s delicious.
  7. Let sit on each side for a minute or two, depending on your stove, and flip when the egg starts to cook.
  8. Your gluten-free french toast is done when you can stick a fork in the center of each piece and no liquid comes up.

gluten-free french toast cwb2 gluten-free french toast2


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.

Rainbow Frittata – Easy Breakfast that Keeps in the Fridge

rainbow frittata

I love a good frittata. They’re easy to make, they leave room for creativity, and they keep well in the fridge so you can have a ready-made breakfast waiting for you on weekdays. Playing with the endless possibilities that come with baking eggs in the oven has unleashed some epic Sunday morning breakfasts in my house lately. I almost feel silly for ever paying a restaurant to make me a frittata.

I’ve recently confirmed that you can put basically anything in a frittata and it will be delicious. In fact, there’s a podcast about this very topic over at Table to Farm, a short podcast that’s been entertaining and educating me lately. In their frittata episode, they even suggest throwing leftover mac and cheese into the mix. Great idea! (sadly, I just noticed that Table to Farm is a year old and they haven’t made any new episodes. Boo.)

This particular gem covers the colors in the rainbow pretty well, because I was able to find a bright orange cauliflower at the market this week. It’s gorgeous!

orangecauliflower

I also used pastured eggs from my in-laws’ neighbors (they have 24 chickens!), and some of those egg shells were blue — maybe it’s a stretch to say that this frittata actually includes the color blue, but I’m counting it for the sake of the name Rainbow Frittata.

The beet greens have red stems and purple leaves, the kale is green, and the egg yolks are electric yellow (find out why the yolks were so vibrant in these pasture eggs).rainbow frittata

Rainbow Frittata:

Ingredients:

  • 10 pasture eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • orange cauliflower (or regular if you can’t find orange) — chop up as much as you like!
  • beet greens (chard works great too)
  • kale
  • lemon pepper
  • season salt
  • garlic powder
  • EVO or coconut oil
  • feta cheese (I used goat feta)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Chop cauliflower into small pieces
  3. De-vein the kale and chop all greens
  4. Lightly saute for 8 to 10 minutes in a bit of EVO or coconut oil
  5. Whisk the eggs and coconut milk until uniform and pour over veggies
  6. Add in the feta
  7. Bake for at least 20 minutes, might take longer, depending on your oven — you’ll know it’s done when a fork comes out clean from the middle
  8. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving
  9. Slice and serve1rainbowfrittatabitecwb

 

Gluten-Free Pancakes – Lemon Poppy Seed

Toot toot toot! Do you hear that? it’s me tooting my own horn for the unapologetically sweet, rich healthy gluten-free pancakes I invented. I have kept my promise to continue experimenting with grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, high-protein pancakes, and today I present to you a gluten-free lemon poppy seed pancake recipe that will knock your socks off.

 

I’m not one to gloat (well, I might be), but I impressed myself with these little goodies.

gluten-free pancakes

The back story: Loren and I went to brunch a few weekends ago at a new little spot in Oakland, and on the menu were lemon pancakes. We saw them on the table next to us, and I was mesmerized. Of course they weren’t gluten-free, but I had to try a bite of Loren’s short stack anyway. I just couldn’t pass it up, plus I had an ulterior motive: I was determined to make my own version at home that I could enjoy in all its glory, and I needed a point of reference. They were indeed superb pancakes. Not too dense, not too mushy, not to thick, not too chewy — just right (said Goldilocks).

gluten-free pancakes

To be perfectly honest, lemon isn’t usually my flavor of choice for sweet foods. In something like a custard or cake, I much prefer rich flavors like caramel, chocolate, or coffee and tend to shy away from fruity, and especially citrus-y, flavors. But these pancakes (and yes, I consider pancakes a sweet food, even if I’m eating them for breakfast) stuck out to me. They reminded me of the one lemon-flavored treat that I absolutely love: the lemon poppy seed muffin.

gluten-free pancakes

After this brunch, I was determined to create the perfect grain-free lemon poppy seed pancake. Following some of the guidelines I’d found to be successful in my first grain-free pancake experiment, I went to it, first with just the lemon, then with the poppy seeds and almond extract. Both were delicious, so it’s up to you which way you go.

The beauty in these flap jacks is that they’re full of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and phytonutrients from the lemon zest. And in the entire recipe there’s only 1 tbs maple syrup, so they are low in sugar too! Of course, how much syrup you add to your stack of jacks could dramatically increase the sugar load, so be careful if you’re concerned about such things — which we all should be.

These can be dairy-free or you can use butter or ghee in the pan as I did, totally up to you.gluten-free pancakes

 

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes – enough for 2 or 3 people

Dry Ingredients

*I like this gelatin because:

  1. it’s from grass-fed cows
  2. it’s easy to digest
  3. it’s great for muscle growth, bone health, and immune function
  4. it won’t gel and make your pancakes weird

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk (CWB Favorite Pick)
  • 4 pastured whole eggs
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp almond extract (CWB Favorite Pick)
  • 1.5 tsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted (plus extra for the pan, or butter/ghee)
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
  • OPTIONAL: have an extra lemon ready for zest topping at the end
  • Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tbs)

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, warm 1.5 tsp of coconut oil in microwave until melted (about 20 seconds)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients, and then slowly whisk in coconut oil
  4. Once all wet ingredients are mixed, whisk dry into wet
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add coconut oil or ghee to the pan
  6. Use a spoon to scoop the mix into the pan (about two spoonfuls per cake) and let cook for a few minutes on each side
  7. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle a little extra zest on the top of the stack before adding pure maple syrup

gluten-free pancakes


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.

 

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Editor’s note: This recipe is now one of many pumpkin recipes I compiled into one glorious eBook: 10 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes for the Vegan and Vegetarian Foodie. Download your free copy now!

DOWNLOAD IT NOW


Are you ready for the ultimate Christmas morning breakfast? Or any other day you have time for homemade pancakes?? (By the way, these also refrigerate quite nicely if you wanted to double or triple the recipe and eat them for a few mornings in a row without all the dirty dishes.)

Seriously, I don’t like to brag (yes I kind of do…), but these pancakes are THE BOMB. Full disclosure, the inspiration came from a totally legit, fully intact, awesome recipe by Gina Matsoukas at RunningtotheKitchen.com. But I believe I’ve taken these puppies to the next level and created a heaven-in-your-mouth AWESOME pumpkin pie pancake recipe that is free of grains and processed sugar, and packed with easily digestible protein, good-for-you spices, and DELICIOUSNESS. (Hint: toasted pecans play a big role in the over-the-top-ness of this recipe!)grainfreepancake

I’m not kidding when I say that these very well may be the best pancakes I’ve ever made, and that includes any box mixes, gluten-free, grain-free, or otherwise. I can’t wait to experiment further with other flavors and combination once I get over my pumpkin craze for the season. And when I do, believe me, you’ll be the first to know (well, second after Loren).

Ingredients (makes about 8 pancakes, enough for 2 people)

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground flax seed
  • (optional) 2-3 tbs hydrolyzed gelatin like this.*
  • 3 good cranks of the grinder of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon**
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 whole pasture eggs
  • ¾ cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ghee*** or coconut oil for cooking pancakes

*I like this gelatin because:

  1. it’s from grass-fed cows
  2. it’s easy to digest
  3. it’s great for muscle growth, bone health, and immune function
  4. it won’t gel and make your pancakes weird

**I use ceylon cinnamon because I use it in a lot of recipes, including my morning coffee every once in a while, and studies have shown that too much cassia cinnamon can cause liver damage. I don’t think I overdo the cinnamon, but you never know…

***I use ghee because I’m not strictly paleo. I like the flavor of butter with my pancakes, but the lactose and casein in regular butter and I don’t get along very well. I prefer to use ghee so I can have the best of both worlds. Plus, if you’re using ghee from a grass-fed cow, you’re getting a good dose of CLA, an important part of a healthy diet, especially if you’re trying to trim down or maintain a healthy weight.

Directions:

  1. Heat your non-stick skillet large pan over medium heat and wait for it to warm up before adding your raw pecan pieces
  2. Allow them to heat up, creating a nice, non-burnt pecan aroma before you add in a little ghee to coat them and a dash of salt
  3. Once they are lightly toasted, remove from pan and set aside and lower the heat on the burner
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller one, beating the wet until fully incorporated
  5. Add the wet to the dry, mixing well to create a nice thick batter
  6. Add a good, heaping tablespoon or so of ghee to the pan and turn the heat back up to medium-high
  7. Using a ¼ measuring cup or large spoon, scoop batter onto pan and cook on each side for a few minutes until browned. Feel free to keep adding more ghee as you do more batches until the batter runs out.

gfpumpkinpancake

Don’t forget to download your very own FREE copy of my homage to pumpkin: 10 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes for the Vegan and Vegetarian Foodie. Download your free copy now!

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