Cooking With Collin
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 6:12 pm.
I LOVE zucchini bread. It’s super moist and just plain delicious! …And oh so good with a cup of coffee or tea, for a quick afternoon snack, when a sweet craving hits at night and just about any time of day.
So that’s why I set out to make Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread that wasn’t just edible, but just as delicious as the typical zucchini bread I’m use to devouring AND bread that my kiddos would actually enjoy munching on. After some tweaking, here it is…
Zucchini Banana Bread
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 smashed nice and ripe bananas
4 eggs (whisked)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup Agave Nectar or honey (possibly more depending on how sweet you like it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a medium bowl, mix wet ingredients together (zucchini through almond butter). In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredient together (coconut flour through cinnamon). Now combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Mix together until well combined and then pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 5:45 pm.
OK… so let me start off by saying that I am not a good cook or maybe I should say I just don’t know what I’m doing in the kitchen. I really don’t – which I think makes it more fun and challenging!
So today I am sharing a recipe of which I am very proud. Through trial and error… OK, lots of error, I am finally ready to share a super moist and delicious gluten-free, flourless, and Paleo friendly chocolate cupcake recipe with you. If you love cupcakes like me and are missing out on them due to eating a certain way, give these a try.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup almond butter (you could probably use another nut butter and get similar results)
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey (or use another sweetener like Agave Nectar)
1 teaspoon liquid Stevia (I LOVE the NuNaturals brand!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
Throw coconut oil through banana in a Vitamix or blender or use a hand mixer. Blend everything until smooth. After doing so, stick your finger in (this is a requirement! ) and taste… good stuff. In a bowl, throw in the cacao powder, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Now dump the coconut oil mix in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is incorporated. Once finished, decide if you want to make an 8×8 cake or 12 cupcakes (make sure to grease your pan well or use cupcake liners or parchment paper)…
(I have baked both cake and cupcakes using this same recipe. The cake rose perfectly but the cupcakes, as you can see from the pic above, do have a tiny bit of a dip in the middle… no biggie in my book since I don’t know what I’m doing in the kitchen and they still tasted great, but thought I’d let you know, as you may have a solution?)
Bake at 325 for 30 to 35 minutes
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes
Now for the frosting… you can eat without anything, you can create your own., or you can check out my creations.
Almond Butter Spread with Honey and Banana
(By the way, this stuff is so yummy with sliced bananas and apples. Also, if I have a sweet craving, I put this on a spoon and get transported to a happy place. Love it!)
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid Stevia to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or blender until smooth. Spread on cupcakes… there should also be some leftover to indulge in whenever you have a sweet craving!
Simple Chocolate Frosting
(My kiddos opt for this over the almond butter spread)
Enjoy life chocolate chips (or any other chocolate chips you like)
Liquid Stevia (optional)
Melt chocolate chips in saucepan with a little coconut oil and Stevia. Chill in freezer for a few minutes and then spread on cupcakes. I also sprinkled chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes.
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at 8:37 pm.
I am guessing some of you have heard of mock mashed potatoes. Basically they are “mashed potatoes” made with just cauliflower (and not potatoes). I personally have tried them and never thought they were very good. In my opinion they don’t even have close to the same texture or taste as regular mashed potatoes. So with that being said, I was very happy when my sis gave me this tip…
For every head of cauliflower you use, add in one sweet potato.
Literally adding in that one sweet potato makes all of the difference. I felt like I was able to enjoy “mashed potatoes” again. In fact, I think I enjoy these mock mashed potatoes even more than regular mashed potatoes. And that says a lot!
3 Ingredient Mock Mashed Potatoes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled (or keep the skin on for extra fiber!)
1 head cauliflower
1/2 can of coconut milk
Bake or steam sweet potato and cauliflower or use whatever method you like to make both veggies soft enough to mash. Throw sweet potato, cauliflower and a 1/2 can of coconut milk in a bowl. Use an immersion hand blender (love this thing!) or a masher to get to the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper… and then enjoy! So yummy!
…And I also want to mention that lots of the concoctions I create don’t always turn out as planned. An example of that would be today’s banana chocolate chip muffins that I made with almond flour. Hmmm….
But I was actually shocked when I took them out of the oven and tasted. Wow! They were amazing. Now to figure out how to make them actually look like muffins. Stay tuned…
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.
I have a confession to make – I am a basil freak. Yep… I love it! And one of my favorite things to make with basil, why of course, pesto! If you haven’t had the chance to try pesto yet, you are so missing out and really should try the recipe below ASAP. This recipe will change your life! OK, maybe not change your life, but you get what I’m saying…
So usually pesto comes in handy when you want to turn a boring pasta dish into something quite amazing. However, since I am no longer eating pasta, I had to get creative and zucchini noodles came to mind. I made my zucchini noodles with this rockin’ gadget. I love this thing. It’s super user-friendly and clean up is a breeze. You gotta get one.
After making my “noodles”, I threw them into a bowl and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Then I set them to the side to focus on making some delicious and simple pesto.
Simple and Delicious Pesto
(Makes enough sauce for about 5 zucchinis)
2 bunches of fresh basil (about 4 to 5 cups)
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese (you could use Parmesan, but I love Romano!)
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (possibly more or less)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper (possibly more or less)
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients (except for the olive oil) in a blender or Vitamix. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil while blending until you reach the right consistency. Make sure to taste, as you may need to add more or less salt and pepper.
Nuke the zucchini noodles for a couple of minutes and make sure to drain any water that has formed in the bottom of the bowl. Throw Pesto sauce over the noodles and toss until evenly combined. I topped my pesto “noodles” with some additional grated Romano cheese and diced tomatoes… so delicious!
And yes, I am cheating a bit on Whole 30 by having the Romano Cheese… but I couldn’t help myself!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 at 6:18 pm.
Since I started blogging about my Paleo recipes, I have received questions from many of you. One of the main questions I hear quite often - What are you eating for breakfast besides eggs? This is a great question and one that I struggled to answer for a while because… well, I was honestly struggling with what to make for breakfast.
When I first started eating this way, I would on a regular basis scramble eggs with veggies or make an omelet. But, of course, over time that got really, really, really old! And I finally had to use google to my advantage to see what creative (and frugal!) Paleo-friendly breakfast ideas I could find. So for the past month, I have really started making a point to change-up what we have for breakfast… and it has actually been fun experimenting.
Here are a few of my favorite breakfast concoctions:
* Mixed Nuts (sometimes I add shredded coconut) and berries with almond milk
You can see a picture of what this looks like at the bottom of this recipe post.
* Squash or Sweet potato Hash with veggies and sometimes bacon or eggs
Similar to this recipe.
* Leftovers from dinner the night before
I know this may sound weird to some of you, but occasionally in the morning dinner actually sounds good to me. Last week, for example, I made meatloaf patties with sweet potato and cauliflower “mashed potatoes” (recipe to come) and I ate a huge helping the next morning for breakfast. Yum!
* Simple Paleo-Friendly Pancakes
Have I peaked your curiosity regarding these simple and did I mention scrumptious Paleo pancakes? Well, good! I’ll be sharing this super simple pancake recipe below. And the credit for this recipe goes to Mark’s Daily Apple… thank you! Once I saw that this pancake recipe required just 3 ingredients (and 3 ingredients I already had on hand), I knew I had to try it and I am so glad I did!
3 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes (makes about 4 to 5 pancakes)
2 ripe bananas
1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter (you could probably use other nut butters in place of this)
Vanilla Extract (or other flavoring extracts)
Chocolate Chips (I made a few for the kiddos one morning and added these!)
Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the egg and almond butter. Mix until combined. I also opted to add cinnamon and a little vanilla extract. Heat coconut oil (or whatever you have on hand) in a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour each pancake onto the frying pan.
Once you start seeing holes and bubbles on the pancakes (like the pic below), they are ready to flip.
Keep in mind that these pancakes are on the delicate side since they have no flour in them, so take your time when flipping them and use a good spatula. These pancakes are actually really good plain… but there are also lots of various topping you could put on them. Just get creative! Blended blueberries with a little Stevia make for a sweet and oh so delicious topping.
If you have any other healthy breakfast ideas, I’d love to hear!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 6:12 pm.
So, I am excited to finally share this non-dairy, paleo-friendly coffee creamer recipe with you. For the past week, I have been concocting various non-dairy creamer recipes… most have honestly not been edible. I guess I may be a little on the picky side when it comes to creamer. I wanted the non-dairy creamer I created to have the same consistency in my coffee that real creamer does… AND I wanted to really be able to enjoy my coffee again. Well, after a week of experimenting, I think I finally found a winner!
Please note that this recipe does contain a raw egg, so proceed at your own risk. You can try the recipe without the egg, however, if you are wanting the consistency to look more like “cream”, the egg really helps with that. Lecithin in the egg also keeps the coconut oil from separating and floating on the top of your coffee. Here’s an interesting article regarding the safety of eating raw eggs.
Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer
1 can of Coconut Milk, 13.5oz
2 tablespoon of Coconut Oil (melted)
1 egg (preferably organic)
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Either 1 teaspoon (or more) liquid Stevia or 1 tablespoon honey
Optional ingredients (to create a flavored creamer):
Almond extract (or other flavored extracts)
Pumpkin Pie Spice with a little canned pumpkin (haven’t tried this yet, but sounds yummy!)
Put all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and blend until you have a nice cream consistency. You can then store in the fridge. The creamer will also thicken up, as you can see from the pic below.
I also made a variation with unsweetened almond milk (instead of the coconut milk). It did not have even close to the creamy consistency of the coconut milk mixture… it was a lot thinner. However, the almond milk concoction made for a delicious addition to a bowl filled with nuts and blueberries! Yum!
* Recipe adapted from here.
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 6:44 pm.
I love salmon or should I say I use to just love salmon when I would go to a restaurant to eat it? You see, previously when I would try to cook salmon… well, I would either over-cook it, under-cook it, or just make sure it wasn’t edible. Yep, I’ve learned that there are far too many ways to screw up salmon.
So with that being said, I was very happy to learn from a friend how to make salmon taste just like you are dining at a restaurant. It’s also super simple to make and doesn’t require very many ingredients. And did I mention it’s delicious?!
Even if you aren’t a salmon fan or think you aren’t a salmon fan, I would give this recipe a try. You may be surprised. Really.
Easy Baked Salmon
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon (or more)
3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil (honestly, I didn’t measure)
Optional ingredients depending on what you like:
Minced or smashed garlic with fresh or dried basil
Or use any other herbs or spices that you have on hand
Place salmon fillets in small casserole dish or glass baking dish (skin side down if you purchased the salmon with the skin and don’t worry, the skin easily peels off after it has been baked). Generously salt and pepper the salmon. I like salt… a lot. Now throw in any other herbs or spices you like. I threw in minced garlic. I didn’t have any basil on hand, but I would have added if I did. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the salmon and then drizzle olive oil generously over everything. Let marinate in fridge for about an hour… if you don’t have an hour, just marinate for as long as you can. It will still be delicious even without marinating at all.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until fish easily flakes with fork. Remove foil and broil for another 2 to 3 minutes until the salmon starts to look a little crispy! Yum!
I served the salmon with spinach salad, which I added apples, walnuts and a pear dressing to. I also cut a butternut squash into “fries” (so much fun cutting a butternut squash – NOT!). I tossed the “fries” in coconut oil, generously salted and peppered, then baked at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes while making sure to flip half way through. And then I devoured my plate. Eating Healthy tastes so darn good!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 8:33 pm.
So are you ready for another recipe?! Tonight I made Cajun Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”. I love dishes like this because you can literally throw in basically any veggies and meats you have on hand to create a delicious meal.
Due to eating Paleo, I have eliminated grains from my diet hence the cauliflower “rice”. Now you can opt to add in rice, but if you would prefer to try cauliflower “rice”, here’s how you can do it. Either put cauliflower in a food processor until you get the consistency of rice or if you don’t have a food processor (I surprisingly don’t), you can do what I do…
Throw the cauliflower in a Ziploc bag and seal it. Now take out a meat tenderizer or I guess you could use a hammer?…and get out all of your pent-up aggression. You’ll actually be getting some nice exercise in the process too. Smash up the cauliflower until you feel like it has a “Rice” consistency. That’s it!
Cajun Jambalaya with Cauliflower “Rice”
(Keep in mind that you don’t need to have all of the ingredients listed below… you can change-up this recipe as needed. Really the veggies and meats you add to this dish are up to you.)
* This recipe will make a large amount of Jambalaya. We were able to feed our family of five and we still have quite a bit leftover for lunch tomorrow. I LOVE leftovers!
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 pound shrimp (shelled and de-veined)
Sausage (this would be great to add, but I, unfortunately, didn’t have any on hand)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Cajun Spice Mix
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (I like salt a LOT… feel free to alter this if you are trying to reduce your sodium intake)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this will give the dish a spicier taste)
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
* Recipe adapted from here.
Set a large wok or skillet on medium heat and throw in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and sausage (or any other meats you’d like to use). Once cooked through, throw in the onions, bell peppers and celery. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes with juice, then add the Cajun spice mix and bring to a simmer. Now add in the cauliflower “rice” and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more. And finally, add in the shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve with hot sauce and salt & pepper. Enjoy!
On a side note, I started Whole 30 last Tuesday, which basically means that I have and will be eliminating sugar, grains, and dairy from my diet for 30 days. I have felt such a huge difference by eating a primarily Paleo diet… my energy is up, I’m sleeping better, my digestion issues are pretty much gone, I feel really happy and the list goes on. So that’s why I have decided to dive in even further and see how I feel after eating Whole 30 style for the next 30 days.
And the reason I am telling you all this is because most of you who check out Hip2Save on a regular basis know how much I love my coffee… AND I don’t drink it black. So going on this Whole 30 has really put me in a bind, as I love cream in my coffee. For the past few days I have been experimenting with ways to make a delicious non-dairy creamer. I have tried canned coconut milk by itself… but it just doesn’t have the consistency or even close to the same taste as my beloved cream. However, coconut milk with other ingredients does make a fabulous non-dairy creamer. So stay tuned for a recipe…
Also, if you have a yummy non-dairy creamer recipe, I’d love to hear!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 8:03 pm.
I love this question and topic! Aren’t you always curious to hear how others pull together last-minute meals and use what they have on hand? I personally try to go grocery shopping once a week – that’s it. I feel the less I am shopping, the less I am spending. It’s very easy to go to the grocery store and purchase a few items I hadn’t planned on purchasing.
Oh this product sounds amazing… I’ve got to try it. It’s only $1.50. No biggie!
Yep… that’s what I say to myself at various times in the grocery store. And, well, that $1.50 quickly changes to an extra $10 to $20 added to my bill. Now I do try to shop with cash (& coupons!) – which does help, but not when you put back a product that’s on your list only to buy an amazing new product you’ve spotted. Oh Collin, you’ve got such self-control in the grocery store!
OK… so back to the point of this post. I would love to hear from all of you, some last-minute, let me pull together what’s left in my fridge and pantry, meal ideas!
And to start, here’s mine…
On almost a weekly basis, we have omelets for dinner. I love omelets because you can literally take all of the veggies you have on hand and even leftovers from a previous meal to make an incredibly delicious omelet. Tonight I used leftover ground chicken from a previous meal and miscellaneous veggies to create a “Taco-Style” omelet! I topped it with avocado and fresh cilantro. Super simple and oh so good!
(Not sure if this looks appetizing… but it was delicious! )
Now YOUR turn!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 7:26 pm.
I have never been a huge fan of store-bought salad dressing. The various flavors on the market always sound so delicious and then once poured over my salad… well, they never taste nearly as good as I thought they would. For the past few months, I have been making homemade salad dressing or just using olive oil with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. It’s pretty simple, but in my opinion, better tasting and better for ya than store-bought.
Also, I have been so adventurous with my salads lately! I look in the fridge and basically throw in any veggies and fruits I have on hand… nothing is off-limits. Tonight I threw in tomatoes, apples and walnuts. I LOVE throwing nuts in salad… so yummy! Some other ingredients that tend to be in lots of my salad creations – red onions, spinach, avocado, berries, carrots and cucumbers. And one ingredient that I literally throw in most salads is fresh cilantro… I love the flavor it adds. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Also, I’d love to hear what your favorite salad ingredients are. I am always looking for new ideas to change-up the salads we eat on a regular basis.
Here’s one of my salad dressing creations I concocted recently…
(Makes about 10 to 12 servings… Should be enough for a couple large salads)
1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, either minced or pressed
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/3 cup white vinegar
A few drops of Stevia (optional)
1 tablespoon of mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Blend everything (but olive oil) in Vitamix or blender. Once blended, drizzle the olive oil slowly into the dressing and continue to blend until combined.