Heart shaped with love

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I baked a heart shaped cake. Boom. Who’s hungry?

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2 bite bits. Sans flour!

Happy Sunday everyone. Hope the sun is shining and warming your soul.

I’ve been drooling over these flourless recipes all over the net these days and decided to whip up a batch this morning.

Introducing my version of Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins!

What you need:
1 medium banana, ripe
1 large egg
3 tbsp honey
1/2 cup PB, make the bad boy heaping
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice
* I used semi sweet. You can also use mini chips since they are mini muffins. But if you’re craving chocolate, go big and use regular size. I did!

What you do:
Preheat oven to 400F. Prep a mini muffin pan by greasing it with coconut oil, or cooking spray. I used mini muffin liners because they are adorable. Set aside.

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Blend on high until smooth. Once blended, stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.

Using a tablespoon, scoop batter into your prepared muffin pan. Filling each cavity 3/4 full. You should be able to get about 20-22 muffins.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops are set, springy to the touch. Or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Because they are small, make sure to watch them closely. Time will vary with oven. Allow muffins to cool about 10 minutes before diving in.

Enjoy!

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Getting my Italian on! Because I am.

I’m heading away to the mountains with friends this weekend and decided to make my homemade pasta sauce with meatballs for everyone. It’s always a crowd pleaser and enjoyable to make!

These recipes are without measurements which makes them even more special as even though they’re always different, the end result is always the same – delicious! Made from the heart and past down from Great Grandma, to Grandma, to Mom and then me.

Here are the sauce basics:
Crushed tomatoes
Garlic
Onion
EVOO
Salt
Chili flakes
Oregano
Truffle oil to finish
Pasta noodle of choice

And the meatball basics:
Fresh ground pork and beef
Egg
Garlic
Salt
Oregano
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

The rest is up to you. I hope you’re inspired to create your own delicious meal from the heart.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Sautee onions, garlic in EVOO

Saute onions, garlic in EVOO

Add the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes

Simmer. The longer the better

Simmer. The longer the better

Combine the goods for the meat mixture

Combine the goods for the meat mixture

Portion out and place on baking sheet

Portion out and place on baking sheet

Bake for 20 mins at 400 degrees

Bake for 20 mins at 400 degrees

Baking makes for simple clean up

Baking makes for simple clean up

Holy crap I made Paleo cabbage rolls!

I’ve always thought cabbage rolls would be difficult to make. No idea why! Maybe it’s just an Italian thing. Now lasagna is a piece of cake, but cabbage rolls, forget about it. Until now. The thing is, I’ve been craving these little rolls of cabbage for bit now. Asking my Ukrainian pals to bring me one. Just one is all I need to satisfy the craving. But no. All the good cabbage rolls are back home in Winnipeg or somewhere in Saskatchewan. True story. So I decide to give a recipe from the best damn Paleo recipe book a go. And… The result was pretty impressive! For more great Paleo recipes like this one check out Practical Paleo.

What you’ll need:
1 head savoy cabbage, leaves carefully separated to remain in tact
1 cup grated cauliflower
1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1/2  white onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups simple cranberry sauce – recipe below

What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add about 2 inches of water to a large pot and steam the cabbage. If you have a steamer use it. Set cabbage aside. Sauté the cauliflower in the butter or oil for a few minutes until it is slightly softened. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, cooked cauliflower, garlic, onion, rosemary and more sea salt and pepper and mix well. Just roll up your sleeves and have at it.

Fill the end of the leaves about half full of the mixture and roll them up into your version of a burrito. Place the cabbage rolls in a deep oven safe dish with the tucked sides down.

Combine the crushed tomatoes and simple cranberry sauce together and pour over the cabbage rolls. Place the dish in the oven, covered with foil.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the meat is cooked all the way through and enjoy!

Simple Cranberry Sauce -101 15-16 oz fresh cranberries Organic honey or maple syrup to taste -1-4 tablespoons *Simply simmer the cranberries until all the berries have popped open and the texture is gelatinous. Add the honey or maple syrup to taste.

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Dad’s homemade split pea & ham soup

Waking up to a bed of fluffy white snowflakes this morning brought me back to chilly winter days growing up back home and the house filled with a delicious scent from one of Dad’s homemade meals. Split pea & ham soup being my favorite!

What you’ll need:
1-1lb smoked ham hock
1 tbsp EVOO
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp each of S&P
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 cups dry green or yellow split peas
3 green onions, thinly sliced

What you’ll do:
Using a knife, peel off any skin from the ham and discard. Trim off and discard of any fat. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and ham hock. Stir occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock, split peas and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, skimming off any foam. Cover pot and simmer over medium low heat until peas break down and meat is tender to a forks touch, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham hock. Pulling off and shredding the meat. Set meat aside. Discard of ham bone and remove bay leaves from the pot. Return meat to the rest of the soup, garnish with green onions and enjoy!

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Zucchini Boats to float

A friend of mine inspired this new zucchini recipe this weekend. Thanks B! Simple, delicious and healthy are all wins on your side with this one.

What you need:
Zucchini x 3. Cut in half and scoop out the guts
1 cup of diced tomatoes. I dice my own to remove the seeds and excess moisture
1 jalapeño, diced
1 lb of extra lean ground beef
S&P
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Oregano
Fresh grated Parmesan

What you do:
After scooping out the zucchini, sprinkle each boat with a bit of salt. This helps release the water that they hold. Set aside. Sauté the beef. Add 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, and s&p. While the beef is sautéing dice your tomatoes (or drain if using canned) and jalapeño. Place tomatoes and jalapeño into medium bowl. Once beef is nearly cooked, drain any grease first and then add meat to the bowl of tomatoes and jalapeño. Mix it all up. Now you’re ready to prep your boats. First you’ll want to dab the boats with a paper towel to absorb the released water. Fill each boat with plenty of your meat mixture and place in an oven safe glass dish. Drizzle with a bit of EVOO and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once removed from the oven, top with grated Parmesan and oregano.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Boats