Paleo Breakfast Bowls

Lately I’ve been really into reading about the paleo diet. After seeing so many of my friends post about their Whole 30 journeys, it made me elated to read about their newfound passion for clean eating.

Over the years of exploring a healthy lifestyle, I’ve found that personally adopting a “diet” or dietary restrictions is not helpful for me. The black and white perspective of foods being inherently good or bad leaves me craving all the foods I’ve restricted myself from, takes away from my energy and puts me in an unhealthy relationship with food.

Instead, I like to learn about new diets and ways people are eating so that I can integrate them into my recipe catalog. While going paleo wouldn’t work for me, I can appreciate all the principles the eating lifestyle teaches. Further, I love the encouragement for people to eat more whole foods and less packaged garbage, in addition to reducing their added-sugar intake, dairy and gluten consumption.

In honor of all of my Whole 30 and paleo friends I thought it would be fun to create some more paleo-approved recipes for the blog. These Paleo Breakfast Bowls are perfect for anyone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or paleo and make a wonderful satiating meal to start the day off strong!

While the recipe below makes two servings, I usually like to double or triple it in order to keep a batch of spiralized potato hash in throughout the week. That way when I want to make a paleo bowl all I have to do is fry an egg and slice an avocado! 

* Oh and PSA, you WILL need a spiralizer to make this recipe. If you don't have one you can find loads on Amazon, they're a great investment! 

Paleo Breakfast Bowl

Serves 2
Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
1 russet potato, spiralized
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup yellow onion sliced
5 cups of chopped kale, washed well
1 cup of chopped bell pepper
2 organic, cage-free eggs
1/2 avocado (optional) 
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

2. Wash and dry your russet potato and cut off the rounded ends. Place a wide bowl or plate under the spiralizer and attach the potato to it. Spiralize the potato completely until you have loads of stringy potato goodness! 

3. Place the spiralized potato on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add the paprika, garlic powder and chili powder over the potato and mix to combine, breaking any potato strands apart that are too long. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in oven for 25 minutes.

4. As the potato cooks, prepare the veggies by placing one tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced onion, kale and chopped peppers and cook for 5-6 minute on medium-low heat under the kale is tender. Remove from heat and place contents in a bowl or plate .

5. Using the same frying pan, cook an egg in your favorite style (I like mine sunny side up!)

6. Once the potatoes are done cooking, remove the pan from heat. Allow the hot baking sheet to cool for a few minutes before using a spatula to carefully scrape the spiralized potato curls off the pan.

7. Place the potato curls into the same bowl or plate as the cooked veggies and lay the cooked egg on top. Pair with half an avocado and top with salt and pepper! 

Nutritional Information (per 1 sering w/o avocado) 
400 calories, 20g fat, 47g carbs, 10g fiber, 5g sugar, 16g protein.

Easy Weeknight Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas… YOU GET ME. While I focus on eating a plant-packed diet, I also have found that my body craves protein-rich foods such as chicken every once and awhile. After being vegetarian and vegan for a number for years, I’ve found that integrating meat into my everyday diet gives me more energy and keeps me satiated throughout the day. Since I don’t eat a ton of meat, when I do buy it I like to make sure that it’s organic and free-range. "Certified Organic" indicates that the animal is not given antibiotics which means it’s free of hormones and thus, a cleaner source of fuel for our bodies. 

This week I’m coming at you with a brand new recipe for Easy Weeknight Fajitas. What I love about this recipe is how satisfying it is! Aside from these fajitas tasting amazing, they make a great meal to keep in throughout the work or school week. I also love how many veggies I was able to sneak into this recipe without it tasting too “healthy”. In fact, packed in its 4 servings are 2 whole bell peppers and 3 cups of kale! 

I’m also obsessed with the versatility of this dish. Once you have the sautéed protein and veggies you can virtually eat this with any base you’d like. I like to eat it with tortilla, but you could also enjoy it in a lettuce wrap, over rice, salad, quinoa, etc. 

If you don’t eat chicken, you can sub another protein source such as tofu or shrimp! 

Easy Weeknight Fajitas 

Serves 4
Time: 90 minutes (chicken marinates for 1 hour) 

* Disclaimer: Don't be intimidated by the length of the ingredient list... 5 of them are spices ;) 

Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pound of chicken tenders, raw
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cups of chopped kale

Additional Ingredients:  
1 avocado, sliced into quarters
4 tortillas or base of choice

* Seasoning recipe inspired by Taste of Home

Directions: 
1. Place the oil, lemon juice, salt and seasonings in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag and allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour, though the longer you wait the more flavorful the chicken will be. Alternatively you can use a large, shallow bowl if you don’t have a freezer bag on hand. 

2. Once you’re ready to cook, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and sautee the peppers, onions and kale in a pan. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and place the veggies in a large bowl.

3. Using a fork, transfer the marinated chicken to the pan that was just used and cook on medium heat until the chicken is completely cooked through (roughly 4-5 minutes on each side).

4. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board and cut into thin strips, making sure the chicken is fully cooked in the middle. 

5. Place the chicken strips back into the frying pan and add the sautéed veggies. Cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Remove from heat. 

6. Place the veggies and chicken on a tortilla (or desired base) and top with sliced avocado. 

[A Tip of Two For You]
* Look for tortillas that have minimal ingredients and are preservative-free (I suggest trying Whole Foods).
** If you have the time, try and let the chicken marinate for longer than an hour, it will be much more flavorful.

Nutritional Information (1 serving without additional ingredients) 
261 calories, 13g fat, 7g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 28g protein 

Banana Bread Bites

Oh banana bread bites… I am smitten! With Spring in full swing here in DC, the last thing I want to do is miss any time outside! Since the warm weather has hit I’ve fallen in love with sneaking daily walks into my routine. It feels so good to step away from my desk when I need a break and get some fresh air! Aside from my weekday barre classes, I don’t do much cardio so these walks have been a great way to get me moving! I also love getting competitive with myself to complete my 10k steps everyday day, it’s seriously addicting!

With all of the movement I’ve been adding into my day, I often find myself craving a nibble of this and a nibble of that. Nothing too filling, but something satiating with a good balance of energy. That’s where these banana bread bites come in! Filled with hearty oats, creamy almond butter, fiber-rich chia seeds, anti-inflammatory cinnamon, ripe banana and a touch of honey, these bad boys totally do the trick!

My favorite thing about these banana bread bites is definitely the no-bake aspect to them! With just a few simple ingredients poured into a bowl, these tasty treats can be made in about 5 minutes. While these bites don’t require any baking, they do require freezing. I usually allow them to freeze for about 30 minutes or so before I go to town.

For storage purposes I recommend keeping them in the freezer (since they're raw!) and grabbing them for a quick burst of energy. You can also pack these for work, though you may want to refrigerate them so that they don’t fall apart. 

I'm also dying to try these with mini chocolate chips and crushed walnuts too! The possibilities are endless! :) 

Banana Bread Bites

Time: 5 minutes
Makes 20 bites 

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, mashed well
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond butter (I used Barney Honey Flax!)
1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Substitutions 
* To make gluten-free use gluten-free oats
** To make vegan use agave
*** To make nut-free try using Sunbutter or peanut butter for those who are not peanut-free

Directions
1. In a medium size bowl mash the banana with a fork until the banana has an apple sauce like consistency.

2. Add in all the other ingredients and stir well. 

3. Wet your hands lightly with water and roll the batter into balls (should make about 20). Place the balls in a tupperware container and freeze for at least 30 minutes before enjoying! 

Storage: These store best if kept in the freezer!

Nutritional Information (per bite)
84 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein 

Thanks to Barney Butter– makers of my fav Honey Flax Almond Butter – for sponsoring product for this post! And for being a great brand all-around! 

3 Ingredient Buffalo Bean Burgers

On Sunday I went grocery shopping. But not the kind of productive grocery shopping I like to do, the walk into the grocery store unprepared and put random stuff in my cart kind of grocery shopping. As a result, when I went to make dinner Sunday night, I realized that I had a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables, but virtually nothing to make a satiating meal out of. 

After being on Pinterest earlier that day and seeing some black bean burgers, I decided that I could probably find the ingredients in my pantry to scrap by and make those. To my dismay I was completely out of black beans… and half the other ingredients that the recipe called for. As I waded through the layers of my cabinet I found two cans of cannellini beans and decided to get creative.

Two batches and eight bean burgers later, I developed a three ingredient recipe for Buffalo Bean Burgers. What’s cool about these burgers is you can bake them ahead and then freeze them for later to reheat like a store-bought veggie burger. Did I mention they taste amazing on salad...?! 

3 Ingredient Buffalo Bean Burgers 

Time: 30 Minutes
Makes 4 bean burgers

Ingredients
1 can cannellini beans
1/4 cup buffalo sauce
1/2 cup almond flour

Optional Salad Ingredients
Mixed greens or greens of choice
Shredded carrots
Sliced cucumber
Sliced red cabbage
Sliced avocado
Quinoa or grain of choice
Blue cheese dressing
Buffalo sauce

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

2. Drain the cannellini beans and place in a small food processor or medium size bowl. Pulverize the beans until a thick dough forms, leaving some beans still intact. 

3. Transfer the mashed beans into a bowl and add the buffalo sauce and almond flour. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

4. Cut out four squares of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Spray each foil square lightly with oil.

5. Mold four burgers out of the batter and place each burger on a piece of aluminum foil.

6. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet from oven and flip each piece of foil to cook the other side of the burger. Toss foil in trash.

7. Bake for 10 more minutes until lightly browned and remove from oven to cool. 

Nutritional Info (per burger)
180 calories, 8g fat, 25g carbs, 6g fiber, 5g sugar, 9g protein