Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders

I made these Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders three times within two weeks for my family (which amounted to about 15 meals shared among the three of us)!  We all liked them SO much (seriously, we weren’t sick of them during those two weeks) that I decided putting them on the blog was a must.  So, I actually took out my measuring cups and spoons and wrote down specific measurements so that I could share with all of you; which is something I rarely do when cooking savory dishes.

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I very rarely measure the ingredients in a savory meal unless I’m creating a recipe.  That’s one of the things I love about cooking (rather than baking): it’s not an exact science.  When cooking, I enjoy looking at recipes to get a general idea for flavor combinations but I like using my own palate to determine quantities.  It does take some practice, but once you’ve played with enough spices, seasonings and sauces it’s easy to just eye-ball it.

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So, although the recipe for these Curry Crusted Chicken Tenders has specific measurements, I urge you to play around with the quantities.  Even add or subtract spices as you see fit!

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These simple chicken tenders are Paleo friendly, Whole 30 approved and free of most allergens.  If you don’t or can’t eat nuts then swapping out the almond flour for ground flax seed is an option. Read More

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Almond Banana Bread

Banana bread recipes appear to be very popular.  I’m by no means complaining, as I too love a good banana bread or muffin.  I think the most appealing part is that banana bread can be naturally sweetened just by the bananas, making it a pretty healthy bread option so long as the other ingredients make the grade.

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I’ve experimented with quite a variety of flour blends which have resulted in various banana breads and muffins: gluten free, grain free, Paleo, high protein and Vegan.  I love them all, but if I had to choose a favorite it would be a close tie between this Almond Banana Bread and my Grain Free Ginger-Banana Bread.  Both are grain free, Paleo friendly, only sweetened with bananas and have a soft, moist and slightly dense (but not too dense) texture.

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I’ve noticed that a lot of banana bread recipes on the internet use added sugar or sweeteners and I find that completely unnecessary.  I think bananas are sweet enough!  So (obviously) this Almond Banana Bread recipe just uses bananas for sweetness 😉  This loaf is Paleo friendly, only 9 simple ingredients and free of: gluten, grains, dairy, soy and refined sugar.

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Paleo Grain-Free Oatmeal

For me, oatmeal brings back memories of college; as I went through a “oatmeal for breakfast every morning” phase.  I used to eat my oats very plainly.  I would add rolled oats and flax seed to my coffee grinder, grind them up, pour them into a dish with water and then microwave.  If I was lucky enough to have cinnamon on hand, then I would add some of that too.

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I’m not saying how I ate them back then was “wrong”, in fact, I think I did pretty well for a college student living in a sorority with access to only a microwave for cooking!  These days, although I do still rely on my microwave, I like to think I’ve stepped things up a notch.  I still like to grind up my oats because I think that makes them thicker and in my opinion, the thicker the better (kinda like my take on smoothies)!  But when I make oats now I add cinnamon, ground ginger, a pinch of pink salt, sometimes almond milk, sometimes water and then I top them with nuts and seeds and often berries.  They are heartier, more filling and more nutritious than my college version.

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Another thing I like to do is nix the oats completely and eat grain free oatmeal; otherwise known as Paleo oatmeal 😉  I created this recipe after trying some Wildway Grain Free Hot Cereal.  My husband tried it too and loved it!  Their product inspired me to create my own and the result was just as delicious.

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This Paleo Grain-Free Oatmeal is made using nuts, seeds and coconut and is sweetened with dates.  It is a healthy oatmeal option and great if you are trying to lower your grain intake or have an oat allergy/intolerance.  This recipe makes 5 servings, so excellent for meal prep!

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Allergy-Free Mini Carrot Muffins

You know, sometimes I think I should be ashamed of the lack of carrot recipes on my blog, haha!  I mean, carrots ARE my favorite vegetable but when it comes down to it, I very rarely include them in my baking.  The reason why is mostly because I eat so many carrots that I feel like adding them to my baked goods is a bit too much.  (My hands are orange enough as it is!)

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Fun fact: did you know that my husband hates carrots.  Well, plain carrots.  He’ll eat them in baked goods or when I add them to savory dishes like burgers or pizza.  He did approve of these muffins, although reluctant to do so knowing carrots were involved!

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So if you know someone who isn’t too fond of carrots, give these muffins a try 😉 These mini muffins are a fun way to sneak some veggies into your kid’s (or husband’s) diet.  They are allergy free (free from gluten, dairy, nuts, peanuts, corn, soy and eggs) and can be made Vegan by substituting the honey for maple syrup.

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Coconut Butter Bars

Sickness has hit us hard this winter.  My 3 year old has been sick on and off all season and although I don’t usually tend to be affected by what my kids get, I haven’t managed to escape the runny nose, fever, chills and worst of all sinus issues.  3 weeks; that’s how long my lingering cold lasted!  It started as a runny nose, slight fever and just feeling overall yucky, but developed into major sinus pain and the loss of my sense of taste and smell and eventually turned into a relentless cough.  The worst part was the sinus pain, but losing my taste was pretty awful too, especially as someone who enjoys cooking and baking like I do.  Have you ever lost your sense of taste?

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I couldn’t taste or smell anything for about a week, but when those senses finally started re-emerging I was all too eager to return to the kitchen and whip up something sweet.  Insert: Coconut Butter Bars.

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These bars were just what I needed to satisfy my sugar cravings once I could finally enjoy food again.  They are absolutely amazing; a nutty crust, layers of coconut butter and date caramel and topped with extra dark chocolate and flaked coconut.  These Coconut Butter Bars are Paleo and Vegan friendly, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free and don’t require any baking!  Needless to say, my taste buds were in heaven after not having been able to taste for a week.

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Summer Sausage Breakfast Rolls

I was walking into the gym with my kids the other day when the lady at the front desk asked what my son was eating.  He was snacking on one of Paleovalley’s grass fed beef sticks and I told her such.  She went on to say something along the lines of: “Ah, okay.  I thought it looked like a Slim Jim, but I figured you guys ate healthier than that!”  I laughed at the comment, not because it was false but because it is completely true – my family doesn’t eat highly processed snacks, especially when it comes to animal products.  I was also surprised that she guessed as much, but I suppose when you show up to the gym nearly every weekday morning people assume you’re healthy 😉

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Have you ever looked at the ingredients in conventional meat sticks or jerky?  They are often filled with soy, corn syrup, caramel color, “natural flavors”, sugar, wheat flour and preservatives; not to mention the meat comes from conventionally raised cows.  When it comes to feeding myself and my family, I just cannot buy products like that.  But I recently discovered Paleovalley’s grass fed beef sticks and was amazed by their quality, taste and texture.  I was expecting a hard, jerky-like texture, but these beef sticks are tender like sausage and easy to eat.  I love having them around as a convenient snack or quick lunch addition for both myself and my family, but I also couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and find a way to creatively incorporate Paleovalley’s beef sticks into a recipe, like these Summer Sausage Breakfast Rolls.

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Tigernut Flour Pancakes

Don’t mind me, just adding more to my collection of pancake recipes!  Haha!  I went years and years without ever making pancakes because I thought they were so unhealthy.  Well, yes, many pancakes ARE unhealthy, but if you make your own from scratch they can be quite nutritious.  These days, I make quite a lot of pancakes, waffles too (pancakes with abs…isn’t that what they call them).

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I mostly make pancakes/waffles because both my husband and son enjoy eating them for breakfast.  I like that they can be thrown together quickly and the flavor combinations are practically endless.  And although I haven’t been putting hidden veggies in my pancakes, that’s definitely an option too!  (Now I have a bunch of new pancake recipe ideas floating around in my head that involve veggies and hidden greens…stay tuned.)

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Anyway, back to these Tigernut Flour Pancakes.  They are allergy friendly, Paleo and can be made Vegan by substituting the honey for maple syrup.  The chocolate chips are optional; perhaps not quite so “healthy” as a daily breakfast, but definitely a fun Saturday morning treat!

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Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

One thing that I cannot get enough of lately: sunflower seed butter.  I love the Trader Joe’s brand, but have also started making my own.  I’ve been enjoying a spoonful of this unsweetened Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter with a bit of extra dark chocolate.  It absolutely satisfies that sweet’n salty craving and constitutes a healthy dessert.

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Sunflower seed butter is a great nut butter alternative.  It can be used in place of nut butter and/or peanut butter in many recipes and it’s less expensive!

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Making your own seed, nut, coconut or peanut butter is extremely easy, so I urge you to try it yourself if you haven’t.  Literally all you need is a good quality food processor (THIS is what I have), some nuts/seeds/coconut/peanuts and a little patience.  Homemade is often cheaper than store-bought, plus it’s fresh and you can easily tweak the flavoring, nut variety or sugar content to your liking.

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My recipe for Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter is only 2 ingredients and doesn’t contain any added sugar or sweeteners.  It is Paleo, Vegan and allergy friendly.

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