Ooooweeee. It’s been HOT around here lately. Boozy pops have been on my cocktail to-do list for a while and this weather seemed like the perfect opportunity. I had a hard time deciding what kind of pop to make though — it might be hot, but this time of year also means so, so much fresh fruit. Part of the problem was that I came across a whole rainbow full of yummy ice pops from 84th and 3rd, all of which seemed relatively simple and didn’t require adding sugar (so paleo/primal peeps who drink some alcohol, these are perfect for you). But I spotted one that called for dark rum and I had a teensy bit of Myer’s Jamaican Dark Rum to use up and a whole lot of Jamaican vacation withdrawal. So I went with that. The original recipe didn’t call for basil, but I was a little worried it would be too sweet with all that coconut milk (even without adding sugar, I find coconut milk a tad sweet sometimes). And I think the addition was a good call — the basil gave it the perfect balance.
Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops (slightly adapted from 84th & 3rd)
Makes 4 ice pops
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– 1/4 cup orange juice
– 3/4 cup coconut milk
– 6 large basil leaves, chiffonade
– 2 tbsp dark rum
Simmer berries and juice for 5 minutes. Blend berry mix, 1/2 basil chiffonade, and coconut milk in blender until smooth. Stir in dark rum and remaining chiffonade. Pour into ice pop molds (I used these) and freeze overnight.
* if you are making some non-boozy pops as well, follow same directions omitting rum.
I love, love, love the versatile Mexican drink Horchata (and the Vampire Weekend song by the same name, btw) and when the weather gets warm, I start craving some of that sweet goodness. But the drink is traditionally made from rice and I’m attempting to eat (and drink) more cleanly these days (yeah, yeah, I know alcohol isn’t clean either. but I’m trying to be more realistic here). So I hit the AFL Test Kitchen to see what I could craft up and I’m pretty happy with the result, if I do say so myself. And not having to soak and blend rice makes it much simpler. Now kick your feet up and pretend you’re beachside.
p.s. for a brunchy version, add 1 shot espresso to each serving or try adding the Horchata Cocktail as a creamer to our Cold Brewed Iced Coffee. Or, if you want to get really crazy, use it as the base in our Almond Milk Chia Seed Pudding for a yummy dessert (I tried it without the rum, it’s delicioso).
Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail (A Feteful Life)
(makes 6 servings)
– 6 cups unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 cup raw honey, melted
– 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
– 6 ounces favorite dark rum (about 1 ounce per serving — adjust as you wish)
Add all ingredients to a pitcher and combine. Pour over crushed ice into glass. Enjoy.
One of my absolute most favorite foods is sushi. And almost every time I order from my favorite DC takeout joint, I get shrimp summer rolls with spicy peanut dipping sauce. But I’m trying to take it easy on the rice and soy, so I haven’t had much sushi lately. And that’s meant not a lot of summer rolls either. I decided that there must be a way to make relatively “clean eat” summer rolls and so I researched and shopped and chopped until I found the closest clean substitute I could. And they are delish!
Now, because one of my favorite things about summer rolls is the gorgeous transparent rice wrapper, I kept them. If you want these to be completely clean/paleo/primal, you can use a large green leaf instead (collard green or chard are my favorites to use as wraps generally, but a lighter green would probably work best with the flavors here). The rice wrappers took a little bit of practice, but they were surprisingly forgiving. I used my favorite crisp veggies, but these are so versatile, you can pretty much use whatever you want. I also subbed kelp noodles for the rice noodles traditionally used in the rolls — they were SO crunchy and really soak up whatever flavor you add to them. I actually think they might be my new favorite thing and can’t wait to try them in other Asian dishes (and they’re totally paleo compliant!). For the kicker, I came up with a fairly “clean eat” sweet/spicy cashew dipping sauce to take the place of my beloved peanut sauce. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty flipping good.
Shrimp Summer Rolls + Sweet/Spicy Cashew Sauce (A Feteful Life)
- 12 – 15 rice wrappers
- 1, 12 ounce package of kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
- about 40 shrimp, cleaned, deveined, cooked and cooled (I bought mine pre-everything)
- 4-5 mini cucumbers (also called Persian cucumbers — you can use regular cukes, you just won’t need as many)
- 3 carrots, peeled, end trimmed
- 2 bell peppers (I like red and yellow for the color)
- 2 avocados
- 1 large bunch of fresh mint
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp Sambal Olek (Asian chili paste)
- 1 tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce (this isn’t paleo, but if you want to leave it out, just up the Sambal Olek and raw honey a bit)
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- hot water to thin sauce, as needed
- Julienne vegetables and wedge avocado, and set them up in a row for easy access. Place kelp noodles, shrimp, and mint within reach as well.
- Wet a tea towel or cloth napkin and set on a flat surface. Fill a shallow pan with water and place nearby.
- Place one rice wrapper in water pan and soak for about 20-30 seconds (until it just starts to get soft). Remove and carefully place on wet towel.
- Place selection of vegetables (I used two julienned pieces of each) in middle. Top that with a bunch of kelp noodles, then 3 – 4 shrimp, 1-2 avocado wedges, and a few mint leaves. Fold in ends, then roll up from right to left.
- Place all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water and stir well until you reach the desired consistency.
I don’t know about you, but with all the holidays and snowdays this winter, my sweet tooth has been out of control. In an effort to get myself back on the paleo track and in my skinny skinny jeans, I tried making a sweet treat that was still somewhat healthy. I’ve bought chia pudding before, but never made it, and I had NO idea how easy it was to whip up. A little bit of planning and a few ingredients is all you need. It’s super versatile — you can make it as sweet and add as many goodies as you want. Now put down those cookies and try it.
Vanilla Almond Milk Chia Pudding (serves 2)
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbls raw honey
handful of berries
small bit of something chocolate (I used a few dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds)
Combine the almond milk in a glass jar with chia seeds. Cover and shake, shake, shake. Let sit about 10-15 minutes and shake, shake, shake some more. Place covered in refrigerator overnight. Mix in honey and then top with berries and something sweet.
On a paleo cheat
between holidays month, weekend, errr, day not too long ago, I had a super yummy carrot ginger soup at brunch that was out of this world. But I knew it was cream-based and, while techncally still chock full of vegetables, was most certainly not healthy. I went in search of a version that would work for paleo foodies and found this. This soup is so incredibly easy, so warming, so versatile, and so not bad for you. It’s kind of crazy. I made a huge pot one afternoon and ate it all week long, in a different way each time. Get yourself some carrots and get this done. You’ll thank me.
Carrot Ginger Soup (slightly adapted from What This Foodie Eats)
3 lbs carrots
1 large sweet onion
1 medium-sized chunk of raw ginger (you can use more or less according to your taste)
1 1/2 tbls ground coriander
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Peel onion, ginger and carrots. Chop onion and ginger in a food processor. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions and ginger to soften. Grate carrots with a food processor. Add carrots, broth, and coriander to pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer partially covered for 30 – 40 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper mid-way to taste. Puree mixture with an immersion blender (or blend in a food processor or blender).You can add an endless variety of toppings to the basic soup. My three favorites (I eat some dairy) were:
- goat cheese + green onions + balsamic vinegar drizzle (photo above)
- bacon + walnuts
- kalamata olives + feta cheese
I am notorious for walking into the grocery store, in particular a well-known organic chain, for something as little as a bunch of bananas and walking out with my wallet $300 lighter. I am a lady who needs a food shopping plan and I started weekly menu planning a while ago. It became even more important once I started consistently eating a clean/Paleo diet — you can spend serious bucks on organic food at the drop of a hat. Menu planning and grocery list making help me keep everything organized and in check. But the grocery list template I bought a while back doesn’t work for me anymore. I jam everything into two categories and the rest of the pre-printed area covering the internal shelves of the store are a total waste. So I’ve been wanting to make a clean eating shopping list template and I thought that the new year would be a great time to share one.
This covers all my favorites and things in season, and whether you’re new to eating clean/Paleo/primal, are about to start your first 30-day challenge, or are a clean eating veteran, this should come in handy. I’m about to embark on my second Whole30 challenge and clean those holiday goodies right on out!
Just click RIGHT HERE to download your own printable grocery list template and meal planning chart. I like to print them double-sided on one piece of paper so I have both in store with me.
So, my plan was to find a way to paleo-fy one of my favorite holiday brunch recipes. BUT I just couldn’t get it together in time. Don’t worry, I still plan to make it happen soon, but in realizing that I didn’t have enough time to pull that post together, I realized that I hadn’t even planned any of my paleo dishes for Thanksgiving. As I said before, I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner, but I did plan on trying to make some special tasty sides that would help keep me on track. So I’ve gathered together a group of really yummy-looking appetizers that are easy, won’t ruin diners’ appetites, and will suit the paleo and non-paleo crowd alike. And you can probably easily get the ingredients before tomorrow if you don’t have them. I’m thankswinning.
1. these crispy prosciutto cups with pear look gorgeous and only require three ingredients;
2. paleo spiced nuts. heck yea;
3. the roasted beets with olive oil + sea salt from Sweet Paul are so beautiful, I might not be able to eat them. what? it could happen;
4. I’d serve pita chips for the non-paleo folk and kale chips for primal peeps with this cranberry avocado salsa;
5. I love the colors of these oven roasted cherry tomatoes and I bet they pack a sweet bite without filling you up;
6. you had me at olives, but turn them into orange + herb roasted olives? I’m yours fo sho.