Oscar Party Appetizers!

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The 2014 Academy Award Weekend is upon us and we thought we’d share some great Paleo Appetizer ideas from the Paleo community to help you prep for the big event!

Mango Salsa from Elana’s Pantry

Bacon and Guacamole Sammies from Nom Nom Paleo

Butternut Squash Chips from Things My Belly Likes

Cranberry Spiked Sausage Balls from What I Gather

Endive Salmon Poppers from The Paleo Plan

Shrimp Cocktail from The Paleo Plan

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

Sweet Citrus Chicken Wings

Chocolate Date Squares from The Paleo Mom

Chocolate Chip Cookies and other delicious cookie flavors

Plus, stay tuned for our March Event schedule and join us to learn about two other delicious Paleo Appetizers: Cauliflower Hummus and Devils on Horseback!

May your Oscar picks win!

Melissa Van Dover and Camilla Carboni

The Paleo Flour Options

Source: http://paleoaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CoconutFlour2.jpg
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So you just started Paleo and you have no idea what you can actually use to bake with. We’re going to take a look at what flours are approved for Paleo baking and what flours are not. Let’s start with what’s not allowed.

BANNED FLOURS

Wheat- Wheat is a big no-no on the Paleo diet, stay away from this one.
Rice- Like wheat, rice is a grain and not allowed on the Paleo diet.
Potato- White potatoes are not approved for Paleo consumption.

APPROVED FLOURS

Almond- Almond nuts are allowed on Paleo, so this is an approved flour.
Coconut- Approved.
Flax Meal- Approved and this also doubles as a great egg replacer for baking recipes.
Tapioca- This will add a chewy texture to your baked goods.
Arrowroot- This is basically tasteless which is good for any baking you’re considering doing where you don’t want an additional flavor.

Here is a great article on why grains are bad from a Paleo perspective, since normal flour is made of grain it should give you a better understanding of it’s impacts to your body.  This article is from ThePaleoMom.com. It’s a great blog and I encourage you all to check it out.

Here’s to learning more about Paleo!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com 

Cheese, Butter and Living Paleo

http://www.peacelovefitness.com/2011/03/why-eating-grass-fed-beef-should-be.html
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So you love cheese and butter? Who doesn’t! Here’s the deal–a true Paleo diet does not include either–neither were available in Paleolithic times and our bodies are subsequently not naturally adjusted to eating these dairy bi-products.

That said, some of you are lactose tolerant (though I am not one of you lucky folks) and some of you may be able to consume small amounts of cheese and butter without feeling the after effects in and on your body.

While I am not an advocate of dairy and I strongly promote the use of coconut oil and ghee butter as an alternative to traditional dairy butters, if you do decide to indulge now and then, do yourself this one favor–buy grass-fed.

Why is grass-fed better?

Grass-fed dairy, just like grass-fed meat is the product of healthier animals. Rather than being fed grain or vegetarian diets that typically include modified starches and corn meal, grass-fed cows roam free, eat naturally and live healthily. It’s only logical that their milk and meat is therefore more healthy for us as well.

Research has shown that grass-fed dairy contains a lot more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and natural vitamins than grain-fed butter. It also has a much better ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids. Choosing grass-fed means that while you indulge in dairy, you are actually getting some benefit: CLA has been shown to improve heart health, K2 vitamins reduce arterial plaque and aids the body in using calcium correctly, and Omega-3 fatty acids support our metabolism, reduce inflammation and fuel our bloodstream and brain.

The great news is, grass-fed butter and cheese is more accessible than you would imagine. These products are typically available in any grocery store or online at one of these great pasture butter and cheese suppliers:

Organic Valley

Kalona Supernatural

KerryGold

Just steer clear of margarine…

Camilla Carboni  @camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni camillacarboni.com

Sweet Potato Brownies

Source: http://www.bigcitydreamer.com/2013/08/healthy-vegan-chocolate-mousse-cups.html
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Who doesn’t love brownies…seriously I have yet to meet a single person. One of the biggest challenges I had when I started cutting out my allergens and becoming Paleo was finding anything to eat as a desert. This recipe was what I needed, and for those of you wondering it did pass “my husband test”.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups shredded sweet potato, about 1 medium sweet potato (I prefer the orange sweet potato for this recipe)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (make sure you get real vanilla extract)
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (you want this heaping so don’t make it exact)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut flour
coconut oil

RECIPE

Heat oven to 365°F. Mix sweet potato, eggs, agave, olive oil and vanilla in a bowl making sure they are combined well. Add baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powered and coconut flour to wet mixture, incorporate throughly. Grease a 9×9 baking pan with coconut oil and add mixture so that it is roughly 3/4″-1″ thick. Bake for roughly 30 minutes or until you can insert a pick tooth and it comes out clean.

For anyone new to gluten-free baking, I’ve learned that you should try to keep the oven door closed as much as possible. If you open it regularly, you tend to get baked goods that fall flat.

Happy Baking!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com 

Yam Fries and Spicy Aioli

Yam Fries
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Just because we’re Paleo doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in fries, especially healthy homemade yam fries. They make a great little (but filling!) snack and an excellent side to just about any dish, plus they are incredibly easy to make.

INGREDIENTS

1 yam
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup paprika

RECIPE

Set the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel the yam and slice it into thin strips.
In a medium sized pot, bring water to the boil and cook the yam strips on high for a few minutes (they should still be firm when you remove them from the pot).
Remove the yams from the boiling water and lay out on a foil-lined baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil until liquid.
Drizzle the coconut oil over the yams and then sprinkle with paprika.
Place in the oven for about 15 minutes (or longer if you prefer them crispy).
Remove from the oven and serve hot!

SPICY AIOLI

For a quick and tasty dipping sauce combine the following in a small bowl (or blender if you prefer it pureed):

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons coconut milk
1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 teaspoon raw agave nectar

Spicy Aioli

Snack time should be satisfying! Enjoy,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni camillacarboni.com

Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

Property of #thepaleopact.
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This is another great “week night” recipe. It takes roughly 30 minutes, you need only 1 pot and it is absolutely amazing. It passed what I call “my husband” test, essentially if my husband likes it, most people will like it. He’s not super adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, so I consider him liking this recipe a mini-victory.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound ground, sweet pork sausage (most natural food stores have great Paleo, organic options)
32 ounces organic, natural chicken stock
24 ounces water
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 cups chopped organic kale
2 medium sweet potatoes ( I used white sweet potatoes for this recipe)

RECIPE

Wash and peel sweet potatoes, slice into 1/4″ slices. Place water, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and pepper into a pot and cover. Bring to a boil and remove cover. Add sausage too boiling mixture, breaking it up with your hands. Reduce to medium-high heat, stir occasionally. Test potatoes with a fork, see if you can easily push the fork through the sweet potatoes (about 20 minutes). When you can easily poke through the sweet potatoes add chopped kale to the mixture and stir in. Cover and let stew for 5 minutes. It’s ready to serve!

This is a great savory & sweet recipe. As a note of caution, let the soup cool down for a bit before you try to eat it. Otherwise you’ll end up burning your tongue a bit, and for those of you who are curious, yes I know this from personal experience.

Hope This Keeps You Warm!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com 

A Successful Cookie Demo at Vitamin Cottage

Property of #ThePaleoPact
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We had such a great time at our Valentine’s Paleo Cookie Demo on February 8th at Vitamin Cottage! We want to send a special thank you to Vitamin Cottage for hosting us. We can’t wait until our next demo which will be focused on Paleo appetizers. We’re also going to prepare a Paleo breakfast demo due to the high demand, so stay tuned for details on dates and times.

For those of you who where there, thank you for participating!

Here are a few photographs to commemorate a successful event!

Property of #ThePaleoPact

Property of #ThePaleoPact

Property of #ThePaleoPact Property of #ThePaleoPact

Property of #ThePaleoPact  Property of #ThePaleoPact

Property of #ThePaleoPact

If you weren’t able to make it visit The Paleo Pact on Facebook to download your free copy of our Cookie eBook.

Camilla and Melissa