Paleo Fruit Crisp

Paleo Fruit Crisp

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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A sweet and fruity springtime dessert with a satisfying crunch. Based on the Skillet Fruit Crisp recipe published in Paleo Magazine.


Ingredients

For the Fruit Base:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 medium pink lady apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups blueberries and strawberries (cored and sliced)
  • 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup honey


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In  12 in. cast iron skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat
  3. Add the apples and berries and cook, stirring occasionally, until berries begin to release their juices
  4. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and honey
  5. When the juices begin to bubble gently, sprinkle tapioca flour over the fruit and mix well.  Remove from heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the topping ingredients up through the butter.
  7. Add the butter and use 2 knives to “cut” the butter into the mixture until butter is in small pieces
  8. Add honey, mix well, and spread the topping evenly over the top of the fruit mixture in the skillet
  9. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.
  10. Serve warm.


Good Eats

E.J. is always saying on Paleo Marine that the secret to sticking with Paleo is the tasty meals.  I happen to agree with him, and while I certainly enjoy looking forward to a tried and true favorite dish, I do enjoy trying new things and blazing new culinary trails.

This weekend, I ventured into the world of cast iron cooking, and found two new favorites to add to the list:

  • Paleo Fruit Crisp – This month’s Paleo Magazine has a recipe for a skillet fruit crisp that I modified to use up some of those lovely strawberries and blueberries I mentioned in my last post.  The resulting dish was not only delicious, but very pretty, and held up well to a dollop of coconut milk ice cream.  I’ll post the steps I used in another post this week.
  • Caveboy Casserole – This gem from Our Paleo Life (minus the olives) was another surprise win.  This one-dish meal packs lots of veggies and flavor together for a really enjoyable meal.  I had some of this for lunch on my cook day today, and look forward to having again for meals this week.

Since E.J. just finished up his first drill weekendIMG_2666 in the Guard this weekend, I decided to make him a special Sunday meal with one of his favorites – stuffed fish, Paleo style.  I have tried stuffed flounder, tilapia, and others in the past, but this Crab Stuffed Tilapia from FitChicLA is by far my new favorite.  It’s not difficult to throw together and makes a very pretty meal.

E.J. said it’s one of the best Paleo meals he’s had so far, so we’ll definitely have to make it again sometime.

 

Looking for the Silver Lining…

I know I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do – and for that I’m really sorry.  My only excuse is that it’s been a crappy couple of weeks at work, so that means my stress levels are through the ceiling, and consequently, so is the scale.

I have no idea if there’s been a reasonable study on it or not, but I can directly correlate my periods of successful weight loss to times in my life when things were relatively stable –   feeling somewhat in control at work and at home, and therefore over my body and my cravings.  Right now is not one of those times.  While things are actually humming along just fine at home, my stresses at work are at an all-time high, which translates to exhaustion, both physically and mentally.  While I may be holding on to some excess pounds I’d really like to shed along with the stress, I’m still able to find some bright spots in some of the recipes I’ve tried recently:

  • Paleo Lemon Cookies – I baked these for my company potluck, and while I substituted honey for the maple syrup and butter for coconut oil, the resulting dough was super easy to work with and made a really pretty and tasty cookie.  I’ll definitely be making these again, though I might add some additional honey and maybe fresh lemon juice.
  • Dublin Coddle – I made this for St. Paddy’s Day and simply substituted Paleo-friendly bacon and polish sausages, leaving everything else the same.  This along with corned beef and cabbage make up my annual offerings.
  • Pork Loin with Blueberry Sauce – Strawberries and Blueberries have hit the shelves this week, and I was really excited to find an excuse to enjoy them.  We made some grilled chicken strawberry salads over the weekend, and made this pork loin with Brussels sprouts for one of our weekly meals.  Spring fruits for the win!

I know, like all rough spots, this too shall pass.  So I’m going to do the best I can to stick with good eating habits and try really hard not to land face first in a tub of ice cream.

Hungarian Breakfast Casserole

Recently we’ve had a number of questions about breakfast, and how to keep it from getting boring with bacon and eggs every day.  Personally, I don’t really ever get tired of bacon and eggs (how can anyone get tired of bacon?) but I do sympathize with food boredom.  E.J. and I have our favorites that we make often, but there’s always at least one somewhat experimental dish every week to help keep things interesting.

This week, E.J. was lamenting the lack of pulled pork to make another Pulled Pork & Apple casserole for breakfasts – and I just happened to have another pound of sausage left from the St. Paddy’s day so Hungarian Breakfast Casserole was born.

Hungarian Breakfast Casserole

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is our Hungarian version of the classic Paleo breakfast casserole


Ingredients

  • 1 lb polish sausage, diced
  • 1/2 lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced (optional)
  • 14 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sweet hungarian paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large skillet under medium heat, cook onion, green pepper and bacon until onion is soft
  3. Add polish sausage and apple (if using) and cook until apples are beginning to soften
  4. Turn off heat and stir in paprika
  5. Mix everything well and pour into greased 9×13 oven-safe pan
  6. In a large bowl, scramble the eggs and add salt & pepper
  7. Pour eggs over meat and vegetables and cook for approximately 25 minutes


Few more to go…

Ok, it’s been about a week and a half since we got back from our trip and I’ve still got a few pounds to lose.

E.J. was able to drop all of his trip weight within about a week – lucky bastard.  I did everything he did and mine not only came off slower, but are still sticking around.  I think this is what they mean when they say it’s harder for women to lose weight than men.

That being said, I have been running every other day or so without too much trouble, and and I’m happy to no longer feel swollen all over.  My right knee gave me a little grief after my 5k this morning, but I’ll give it an extra day or two before my next run and it will hopefully be good to go.

On the cooking front, this weekend I went the lazy route because I felt like I needed some quality time with my fur baby, Buddy, who really missed us when we were gone on our trip (how can I resist that face?).  I threw some ribs in the smoker which got paired with sweet potato halves in the instant pot.  Then made this Italian Pot Roast in the slow cooker, and one of E.J.s favorites, the Instant Pot Paleo Chicken Tikka Masala paired with caulirice.

Friday will be the big traditional St. Paddy’s Day viewing of The Boondock Saints with Irish Dinner.  I am so glad Sam’s & Costco now carry almond flour for a reasonable price, because I’ve got about 4 loaves of Irish Soda Bread to make Thursday and Friday!

10 lbs, No Regrets

If you haven’t been following along on Paleo Marine’s blog, then you wouldn’t know that my 2 week absence from posting was because of a fabulous trip to Spain.  Spain – the land of hot chocolate & churros, crusty bread, pastries, paella, turrones, sangria, and the list goes on and on.  Interestingly enough, there were actually a lot of Paleo-friendly delicacies we enjoyed while we were there including the sliced Iberian hams, the potato “tortilla” omlettes, suckling pig, duck, steak, etc, but above all, I simply just ate too much of everything.  Yeah, all told the damage was about 10 lbs and a dress size up – but after 2 days of “normal” Paleo eating, things are already getting a little more comfortable.

Could I have done better while travelling?  Absolutely.  But my philosophy on travel (especially overseas) is to take the opportunity to experience as much local cuisine and culture as possible while I have the chance.  While I feel a little guilty about all of the carbs I managed to consume during those 11 days, I most certainly would have felt cheated if I had denied myself the opportunity to taste some of those amazing treats (sometimes twice!).

All in all, my choice to eat a Paleo diet is just that – my chosen “regular” eating method. I’ve been doing it so long now that anything else feels weird, and actually kinda uncomfortable.  I admit to having trouble sleeping, being really bloated, and having intestinal issues as a result of my binge, so honestly I was happy and ready to go back to my “normal” eating patterns upon returning.  I think that’s the beauty of where E.J. and I are now in our Paleo journey.  It’s not really a “thing” anymore – but is instead just “back to normal”.

That’s a pretty amazing thing all in itself…