Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars – with Healing Collagen! (AIP/Paleo)

Collagen Protein Bars

 

The one food I’m sure to eat every single day is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
I will buy 3 to 4 canisters at a time because I get anxious if I’m running low. Having a convenient protein option when you have food allergies is KEY. Protein keeps me from being hangry. I know the Paleo community is all about the fat but for me protein + veggies = life sustained.

 

My favorite way to use Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides right now is in my Pineapple+ Grapefruit Digestive Tonic recipe. I made it this weekend with the addition of strawberries and cucumber. So dang refreshing. As I type this, I’m excited to go to bed so I can wake up for that delicious drink. It’s so full of fiber and it really fills my tummy (known to be an insatiable bottomless pit, quite frankly.)

 

I’ve also added it to my Cranberry Fig Collagen Protein Bars and a whole bunch of smoothies like my Pina Colada Smoothie Bowl. Collagen definitely does what its purported to do… and I can’t say that about most supplements. I find most supplements to be a waste but this stuff has been in my daily rotation for over a year and a half. I really amped it up during pregnancy and with breastfeeding the extra hit of protein is helpful for my supply.

 

These Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars are another great way to get your gut-healing goodies in. I love all the Paleo energy ball recipes out there but a lot of them use dates, and I’ve been keeping my sugar/treat intake lower recently.

 

These Protein Bars are also nut-free so they make the perfect school snack for your kids (just make sure they stay cool)

6 reviews

Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bars

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 9 squares

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the raisins, coconut, sweet potato flour, collagen, cinnamon and sea salt until a fine and moist crumble forms.
  2. Add in the coconut oil and process for 1 to 2 minutes until you achieve a dense mixture that sticks together. Add in water and process to help smooth the ingredients.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 4"x6" parchment-lined glass dish. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until solidified. Slice into squares using a sharp knife. Best stored and served from refrigerator.

Chocolate-Covered Power Balls

Chocolate Covered Balls

I’m baaaaaaack. [titillating pause, I know]

I took the last month off to do some thinking about … well a lot of things. Big things. Like continuing my maternity leave from occupational therapy. What to do about the blog. How to get into a routine with Grace that was respectful of both of us individuals. Where to set boundaries in parenthood + beyond. Whether or not I should take the leap with some business ideas. I needed clarity.And clarity is what I got.

 

I decided on a few things:

  • I’m going to set limits on how often I post + always post with purpose. I will be posting 2 to 3 times a week. Likely one recipe + one to two articles. This ensures high quality content for you guys and less burn-out for me.
  • I’m going to shift the focus of the blog slightly from simply an AIP recipe blog to a real food [mostly AIP] + lifestyle + motherhood blog that incorporates my passion for non-toxic beauty, outdoor living, & baby-everything. 
  • I’ve started working as a Consultant for Beautycounter. After using their skincare + makeup every day for the last 6 months, I’m in love. My skin has never looked better + I’ve finally found the beauty solution for lowering my toxin load while still getting the benefits of anti-aging formulas, skin-brightening creams + gorgeous make up that fulfills the hole in my heart that Sephora left. I’ll be sharing product reviews, make-up tutorials + the skin care routine that has this new mom looking bright-eyed + bushy-tailed every morning! Hint: It’s the Rejuvenating Night Cream!
  • I’ll be starting a segment on Nourishing Littles, including how/when to introduce foods + the best foods for optimal cognitive and neurodevelopment.As a WELCOME BACK offer, I’m partnering with Power Balls … my #1 AIP Purse Snack of Choice. Each pack contains two balls and 12 grams each of protein, fat and carbs… making it a perfectly balanced snack or treat. My favorite flavors? Vanilla (tastes like cake), Orange Cranberry (tastes like a Starbucks scone) + Snickerdoodle (tastes like a snickerdoodle, duh)

 

Chocolate-Covered Power Balls

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 2

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Freeze Power Balls for 20 minutes until solid.
  2. Mix coconut oil, cocoa and honey in small bowl til smooth. Dip and roll Power Balls in chocolate until well coated. Place on parchment lined plate and return to freezer until solid. Repeat this step  until all chocolate is used up (2 to 3 coatings), sprinkling with flaked sea salt after the last dipping!
  3. Store in refrigerator and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

I prefer using the Snickerdoodle, Carob, Chocolate or Vanilla Power Balls for this recipe!

Breakfast Tostones with Fried Garlic Guacamole (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan)

 


 

This recipe was inspired by the latest AIP product to hit my kitchen, and I’ve honestly never been so impressed at the quality of a spice line before! Primal Palate, the Paleo power duo, have recently launched their newest product line of high quality dried spices and herbs. After giving the Everyday AIP Pack a good go, I can’t imagine a more fresh, flavorful, or vibrant than these spice blends, dried herbs, and sea salts. They have managed to create 3 fantastic spice blends without the use of nightshades, black pepper, or seed-based spices that can turn any Ho-Hum meal into something freakin’ fabulous. 

 

 

Tonight I got home really late from work and *almost* went to Whole Foods to pick us up dinner from the salad bar instead of cooking. Then I remembered I have this spice pack at home that had the potential to turn my empty fridge into a real meal with just a shake. We ended up having crispy chicken thighs seasoned with the Garlic & Herb blend and roasted cauliflower seasoned with Super Gyro. My husband was like, “What is ON this chicken? It’s so good!” and “I actually like this cauliflower – how did you make it taste this way!?” He hates cauliflower and Super Gyro made him a believer. I thank Hayley & Bill for that. Two nights ago I made homemade gyro meat using Super Gyro too, and the smell & taste brought me back to the time I visited Athens & Turkey and ate gyros off the street. Well, not off the street physically. I purchased them from a street vendor. You know what I mean. You guys have to check out the AIP pack below – it’s going to seriously change how you do breakfast, lunch, and dinner and save you so much time from having to develop flavor in a dish on your own. Magic.

 

The Everyday AIP Pack contains:

Super Gyro

Himalayan pink salt, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Garlic

Garlic & Herb

Garlic, Himalayan pink salt, Onion, Oregano, Thyme, Sage

Breakfast Blend (which I used in this recipe in a really interesting way – to top tostones!)

Himalayan pink salt, Garlic, Onion, Oregano, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sage

Primal Palate Spices are Certified USDA Organic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Non-Gmo, Non-Irradiated, Whole30-Approved and guaranted to be the freshest spices you can get! Get in on the action now and check out all of their other packs including the Savory Pack, Broth & Sauces Pack, & Signature Blends!

 

 

 

BEST PARTY FOOD! I make this recipe every time I host a gathering because it is such a crowd pleaser!!

 

1 review

Breakfast Tostones with Fried Garlic Guacamole

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:10 Serves 2 to 4 (can be easily doubled)

Ingredients

  • Fried Garlic Guacamole:
  • 1 large Haas avocado, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves or 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
  • Breakfast Tostones:
  • 2 green plantains (yellow will not work)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon Primal Palate AIP Breakfast Blend
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

For the Guacamole

  1. Peel and pit avocado and place in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork. Stir in shallot, cilantro, lime, garlic powder, and sea salt. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings to your preference.

  2. In a large deep skillet, heat the bacon fat or olive oil over medium-high heat.

  3. Peel the garlic cloves and smash with the flat side of a large knife. Try to ensure each clove stays in one piece. Place smashed garlic cloves in the olive oil and fry on each side until light golden brown, about 60 to 90 seconds per side. Remove garlic to a cutting board before it reach a deep golden brown, which indicates it has turned bitter from over-frying. Keep the bacon fat or olive oil in the skillet because you will use it to fry the tostones!

  4. Chop the fried garlic and stir into your guacamole. Set aside.

 

For the Tostones

  1. Carefully score the plantain peel from tip to tip with a sharp knife ensuring you do not slice the plantain. Use your fingers to remove the plantain peel. Slice plantain widthwise into 1-inch coin.

  2. Reheat the leftover bacon fat or olive oil that is remaining in your skillet from making the Fried Garlic Guacamole over medium-high heat.

  3. Fry plantain coins on each side until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Quickly remove the plantain to a large cutting board for smashing.

  4. Use the bottom of a heavy, flat-bottomed glass to smash the plantains into ¼-inch thick tostones.

  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons fat to the skillet.

  6. In two batches, fry tostones on each side until crispy, about 1 minute per side. Quickly transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle immediately with ¼ teaspoon Breakfast Blend per batch. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve crispy & warm with the guacamole!

 

 

 

 

Salt & Vinegar Cauliflower Bites (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan, 21DSD)

 

 

 

These smelled like french fries when they were in the oven. Tell me if I’m crazy. They’re also ridiculously addicting, and I will unabashedly admit that I ate the entire head of cauliflower over a 4-hour period between lunch and dinner. I don’t even think I ate dinner that night because it was so filling. I feel like cauliflower is one of those house-divided foods. 50% of people love it and 50% of people despise it. I am in the former camp and really could eat it every day! It was on my food sensitivity panel a year and a half ago, and I eliminated it for an entire year. Now that I tolerate it well, I am getting my fair share in. It’s one of those foods  that is surprisingly packed with vitamins.

 

Today, I have my pinning ceremony for my master’s program that I have been in full-time for over 2 years. I found occupational therapy, a profession I never heard of until 4 years ago, when I quit my job in advertising. That job was incredibly unsatisfying for me. I’ll never forget the day before Christmas Eve one year when the client pulled the fire alarm (so to speak) because she realized she still had $100,000 to spend before the year ended on TV, radio, and digital ads. If you’ve never worked in advertising, you probably have no idea the excessive amount of money companies throw away (in my opinion) to get people to buy their sub-par products that often times are manufactured in unethical ways or using poor quality ingredients or materials. Do you know how many people you can positively affect in this world for that amount of money? Instead companies spend it on fried chicken commercials. I guess that’s how the capitalism world goes round and round. That disgusted me so much when I working in the industry, I vowed to get out as soon as possible once I saved up enough money to justify being jobless for the foreseeable future. Then I went to go work for Ironman in a weird combination of customer support and an event organizer role. The customers (athletes) were the most Type A crew of humans I ever met in my life, and I couldn’t stand it for longer than 3 weeks. That job also had me traveling for at least 50-60% of the year (while cool, it is not cool when you don’t like the people you travel with!), and I wanted my relationship with my now husband to prosper and not get pushed aside.

 

I’ve always wanted to start my own company, so I drafted a 40-page business and marketing plan for a company called Fig & Lark (to me both represent prosperity and happiness). It was going to be a natural foods company, and I wanted to start selling on Etsy first with the main goal of getting into Whole Foods within 3 years. Then once I started looking into all the laws about food production, I got freaked out and decided maybe I should just go get my master’s degree in a health-related field with high job growth where I can still help people and use my creativity. Occupational therapy (as well as speech therapy and art therapy) was the only field that really fit all my boxes. I spent the next year and a half taking a million prerequisites for the program since my advertising degree didn’t require anatomy or any science classes. At that point, I realized I wouldn’t have a full-time paying job for at least 3 1/2 years and wouldn’t be a normal working person until I was 27 years old. THAT WAS SCARY. I am so glad I took that leap and made those risks. My husband watched me grow through these years, and gave me the sweetest card this morning telling me how proud he is of me. Such a sweet & caring human he is.

I tell you this because I firmly believe you should NEVER stay in a career that you are not in love with, that doesn’t make you happy in some way, or that doesn’t satisfy your core ethical or moral principles. As a little girl, I always knew I wanted to make a large impact on the world (even just a small section of it), and I quickly realized advertising was not the place for me. Occupational therapy will definitely provide me the ability to affect thousands of people’s lives for the better, but I am dreaming of bigger things than working in a hospital, while still using my skill set from all of my degrees and passions. I hope to grow my own business in the next 5 years that’s 100% focused on helping others lead incredibly satisfying and productive lives.

 

Do you have experience making a huge and scary career change to feel more satisfied? If so, please comment because I would love to hear your experience and think it would help so many others find the courage to attain their goals.

 

 

Finally something you can pop and not have to stop!

 

5 reviews

Salt & Vinegar Cauliflower Bites

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:20 Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop cauliflower into small even-sized florets, discarding the stems and leaves. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt on the baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 18-20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the cauliflower is a light golden brown in spots. Let cool a few minutes before eating with your hands for a fun afternoon snack!

Sweet & Crunchy Kale Granola (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

 

 

Yay for AIP snack food that you can actually travel with, enjoy the taste, and is nutritious to boot. I got the idea for Kale Granola after visiting Hu Kitchen in NYC last weekend. Their version was much sweeter and had nuts/seeds in it, so I was bent on developing an AIP version I could make for vacations or school snacks when I definitely want to stay 100% within AIP. You will love it! Promise! Even if you’re not a fan of kale chips.

 

I didn’t celebrate Halloween this year – it’s really a hit or miss holiday for me. I particularly do not like dressing up nor spending money on a costume that I will only wear once and likely be embarrassed of within 5 years. We instead saw Million Dollar Quarter with my mom who was visiting for 4 days. On the train ride home, the costumes provided a good chuckle. A group of Guy Fieri impersonators wearing flame-decorated shirt and bandanas. Ted the giant teddy bear, who stared at me the whole time with intent of making me as uncomfortable as possible. And a large white boy dressed as a ditzy white girl… Uggs, stretch pants, Victoria’s secret bag in hand, blonde wig saying things like “Omg guys we lost Stacy. We lost Stacy!!” and “Can we take a selfie? SELFIE TIME! Omg, wait, can we do it again? I wasn’t on my good side.”

 

Maybe you had to be there. Or maybe you need to just got turn on Bravo for 3 minutes and then you’ll understand why Generation Y is the way they are. Including myself – I do have VIP status at Sephora after all.

 

Sweet & Crunchy Kale Granola [AIP Friendly]

Serves 4 | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 35 minutes

  • 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn into 1-inch pieces*
  •  6-8 pitted dates (I used 8 Deglet Noir dates, but I recommend 6 if using Medjool which are larger)
  •  2 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I used Let’s Do Organics brand)

*Make sure the kale is very dry. I did this by sending it through my salad spinner after tearing it.

1.     Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2.     Soak the dates in very hot water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain the dates and place in a shallow bowl. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, mash dates with coconut oil into a paste. Stir in cinnamon, ginger and sea salt and mix well.

3.     Place kale in a large mixing well. Pour the date mixture into the bowl and mix well to coat the kale. Now stir in the blackstrap molasses until well coated. Add the raisins and coconut flakes and ensure they are coated as well.

4.     Spread kale onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for another 18-20 minutes until all kale leaves are crispy and the coconut is a toasty brown.