21DSD’s Sweetener Free Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Even though Brent’s and my sugar detox is over, I still like to check the 21DSD program for delicious ideas. One recipe I resisted while doing the detox was the Sweetener Free Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. I was a bit skeptical, but I have to admit, these are pretty good!

Here’s my final product (I just had to take a bite so you could see the almond butter in the center, haha).

Ok, these are not perfect replicas of the Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. But I’m willing to bet they are a million times less unhealthy. And the flavors are awfully similar. The chocolate flavor is rich and dark. The sprinkle of sea salt is a perfect complement to both that and the savory almond butter center. In my opinion, almond butter is nearly as scrumptious as real peanut butter.

Anyways, these little guys are a tiny bit chalky, but otherwise very good. I think the next time I make them, I’ll play with the recipe a bit. For now, they will certainly satisfy my occasional craving.

As a disclaimer, for those of you who are disappointed that I’m not providing the recipe: I’m sorry, but Diane Sanfilippo of BalancedBites.com has a copyright on her 21DSD program, and as someone who’s involved in the publishing industry, I believe in respecting copyrights (most of the time… I’m only human). Plus, I had to pay $21 for the 21DSD program (it’s a PDF and it’s really quite handy), and if any of you really want to discover the awesomeness that is the 21DSD, you should buy it too. Or, if you just want an almond butter cup recipe, I’m sure someone has one online somewhere. When I get around to tweaking this recipe to suit my tastes–I’m also planning to try it with cashew butter, yum!–then I’ll let you all in on the secrets of making these sweet (but completely unsweetened) chocolate cups. 😉

Pan Seared Creole Tilapia

We’ve been making a lot of recipes from the 21 DSD program and our favorite Paleo sites lately (PaleOMG, Primal Palate, Mark’s Daily Apple, etc.). So, tonight for dinner, I wanted to be a little creative. Ok, maybe creole tilapia isn’t all that creative… but at least it isn’t something we’ve found on any other specifically Paleo website, so there!

The best part is, this recipe is really quick and easy.

Ingredients

  • 2-4 Tilapia fillets
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper (If you don’t have white pepper, you can just double up on the black pepper; personally, I can’t taste the difference.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • lemon wedges (optional, for garnish)
Method
  1. Blend all the spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Dredge the tilapia fillets in the spices. Make sure both sides of each fillet are fully covered in the spice rub.
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high flame.
  4. Cook each fillet for 2-3 minutes per side. (If your fillets happen to be thicker than 3/4 of an inch, you may need to let them cook longer per side.)
As you can see, I paired my creole tilapia with roasted sweet potato and asparagus because that’s what we had in the house that needed to be used. However, I think sautéed kale would have been better than asparagus. You could also serve this over cauliflower “rice” instead of with sweet potatoes.
Did I mention this was delicious? I love, love, love a good cajun or creole dish (yes, they are different, if only slightly). One of these days, I’m going to try making dirty rice from scratch… and make it paleo-friendly, of course. Anyways, until I get around to figuring that out, I hope you find this quick and easy tilapia recipe a good way to get your Louisiana fix. 😉
For the heat seekers: To get a really good bite, use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon more of the cayenne, garlic and pepper.
P.S. This recipe is Paleo, Whole30 and 12 DSD friendly. Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Mocha Latte

I’m working from home this morning and with the sudden onset of dreary weather (the past few days have been in the 80’s and bright, but this morning it was a chill 57 and grey out), I was in the mood for something warm and comforting. “Coffee?” I thought, “No… Maybe tea? No. Maybe, later.” I sighed, I wanted something but I wasn’t sure what. So I tidied up my breakfast dishes and started to make my way downstairs to my office.


Now, I know from experience that hot chocolate made with coconut milk and baking cocoa powder isn’t naturally sweet (I foolishly thought it might be the first time I made it, haha). So, I knew I would have to add something… sugar, maple syrup, stevia, honey…? I decided on raw honey because maple just didn’t make sense, sugar didn’t sound appealing at all (in fact, the past few months, every time I’ve had the opportunity to use sugar, I’ve felt somewhat adverse to it because of this vague sense that it’s “fake,” but I’m not really sure where that came from, lol), and stevia leaves a weird chemical taste in my mouth.
So, here we go… my attempt at a dairy-free mocha latte. 🙂
Ingredients and Tools (yeilds 2 6-oz mugs)
  • approx. 10 oz of coffee
  • approx. 2 oz of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • a blender (I actually used our MagicBullet, but you could use a regular blender, immersion blender, etc.) OR just a jar or cup with tight sealing lid
 Method
  1. Put all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Mix it up really well.
  3. Serve, sip and savor!

Then, I suddenly remembered we had coconut milk in the refrigerator, leftover from my attempt to make icing for carrot cupcakes this weekend. “I could make hot chocolate! Oh, but I could really use some caffeine… Mocha latte! Yay!”

Homemade Ghee

From what Brent and I have read, clarified butter and ghee are more or less the same thing; and what we’ve noticed is that ghee can be expensive and somewhat hard to find, depending on where you live. So, what did we decide to do? Make our own. 🙂


While Brent was at work on Saturday, I tried my hand at making ghee. It was really easy! Here are the two sources I used today to guide my ghee making adventure:


I clarified 4 sticks of unsalted butter (2 cups) and ended up with 13 ounces (1.625 or approx. 1 and 1/3 cups) of ghee. So far, I’ve used it in a number of dishes and I think its tastes and behaves just like the ghee we bought at the store. 🙂

This is the ghee we normally purchase at the store.
The butter cooking down.
After I spooned off most of the foam.
The straining is complete!
I was able to reuse the jar from the store-bought ghee and it was just the right size (13 oz).
The final product, cooled and sealed and ready for use! 🙂

 

Quick and Easy Bacon Burgers

This recipe is one of our all-time favorite burger recipes.  Growing up both with families from the Midwest, grilling and hamburgers are staples of the American diet.  We originally posted this recipe back in April of 2012, just 2 months into our paleo, real-food journey.  Boy has a lot changed, and the look of this post (and the recipe) needed a little revision.

These are super easy and can be put together in under a half-hour, especially if you’re making a half-recipe or using an outdoor grill.  The chipotle chili pepper powder is totally optional, but it does add a nice flavor to the burgers.

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