The BEST Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

This creation is one year in the making. Even with a strong baking background, paleo baking is a whole 'nother ball game. After one year of ever so subtle changes to the recipe, I have done it. The BEST paleo chocolate chip cookies. Game over. Mic drop.

What you'll need:
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup ultra-fine almond flour (Honeyville brand is preferred)
1/4 coconut flour
6 tbsp palm shortening (Spectrum or Nutiva brand) 
*You can use coconut oil in place of palm shortening but results will not be as good
6 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup Grade A or B organic maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg (room temperature)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup EnjoyLife Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Begin by whisking together your dry ingredients in a bowl (arrowroot powder, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda & salt). In a separate bowl, cream your shortening, almond butter, maple syrup and coconut sugar together using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add in your egg and vanilla then beat until creamy and smooth. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients,  and blend together using your mixer. Gently fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. 

Drop cookie batter by the spoonful on the cookie sheet roughly 2 inches apart. The batter will actually spread a little while baking! Place cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown. 

Chewy Paleo "Granola" Bars

I love keeping these no-bake bars in the fridge for a quick breakfast or snack for the boys. They are so easy to make, and are a great raw source of protein. 

What you'll need:
2 cups raw almond
1 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup almond butter
6 dates
1/4 cup Grade A/B maple syrup
2 tbsp organic coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips -or- any other mixture of your choice

In a food processor add the almond and coconut flakes. Process until you have a coarse crumb mixture. Add in your dates and process until the dates have been thoroughly ground. Next, add coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, and sea salt. Process for about 30 seconds-1 minute or until the mixture sticks together. Gently stir in your chocolate chips. Firmly press the mixture in a square 8x8 pan lines with parchment paper for easy removal. Make sure the mixture is firmly packed in. Place pan in the fridge for and hour or two or until firm. Cut the sheet into even bar sizes. Keep in the fridge.

Paleo Pizza Crust

After A LOT of trial and error, I have finally developed a pizza crust worth sharing! It holds up to any toppings you can throw on it, and has a slight crisp to it while maintaining a slight chew.

1 cup arrowroot powder
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 cage-free eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line your pizza pans with parchment paper.

Whisk eggs, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and almond/coconut milk together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together arrowroot powder, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt & pepper. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture, and stir until combined. It will create a thick batter rather than a dough. Poor the mixture on to your prepared pizza pans. Spread the batter out until your create a thin even circle. You should be able to make two 14 inch pizza crusts. Place your pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes without any toppings. After 10 minutes, take your crusts out of the oven and place your desired toppings on the crusts. Place your pizzas back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. 

Almond Crusted Chicken Strips

When you live in a home with two boys under 3 it is essential that you have a recipe like this! 
So simple, so yummy!

What you'll need:
4 large chicken breasts, cut into 12 strips
1 cup almonds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning 
1 egg
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up. I also like to use the grate from my toaster oven which raises the chicken strips off the pan and allows heat to get underneath. You can see what I'm talking about in the photos below.
Begin by grinding the almonds, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a mini food processor. Process until the mixture is the same consistency as bread crumbs. Place oat mixture in wide bowl with enough room to toss the chicken strips.

Next, prepare your egg wash by whisking the egg and Dijon together with a fork. Place in a seperate, but similar bowl as the oat mixture. (See photo below). Now begin the "breading" process. Make sure to dab your chicken strips with a paper towel to ensure that they are dry so the "breading" sticks better. One at a time, dip the chicken strip in the egg wash so the egg wash completely covers the chicken. Next, lift the chicken strip from the egg wash (allow excess to drip off) and place it into the almond coating. The key is to get the chicken strip coated in the oat mixture as quickly as possibly so as not to make the rest of the mixture soggy. Place "breaded" chicken strip on your prepared pan. Continue these steps for the remaining chicken strips.
Bake chicken strips for 25-30 mins (turning half way through) or until golden brown and an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve alongside some siracha ketchup for an added kick!

Siracha Ketchup
1/4 ketchup
1 tsp (or more!) siracha 

Peppermint Chocolate Almond Clusters with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

What you'll need:

1 (12 oz.) bag of enjoy life chocolate chunks
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup raw almonds
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Optional: crushed all-natural candy cane such as Hammond's Candies (no artificial coloring)

Add your bag of @enjoylifefoods chocolate chunks and 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil in a microwave safe bow. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth. Stir 1 cup raw almonds in to melted chocolate. Drop spoonfuls of mixture on to parchment paper. Sprinkle tops with a little sea salt.Optional: Top with crushed candy cane (like @hammondscandies all-natural candy cane). Sprinkle tops with a little sea salt. Let candies harden in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.

The Ultimate "Macaroni & Cheese"

I have finally discovered the BEST dairy-free & gluten-free "Macaroni & Cheese"! You won't be able to tell the difference! Serve alongside some pulled pork and veggies, and you've got yourself a perfect Super Bowl Sunday meal!

What you'll need:
1 cup cashew "ricotta cheese" (Recipe here!)
1 cup butternut squash puree
2 tbsp ghee (dairy-free) or grass-fed butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 16oz. package brown rice macaroni pasta
*to make this paleo, use zoodles in place of pasta

I prefer to use homemade butternut squash puree for this recipe. It's so incredibly simple. Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. Slice butternut squash in half and drizzle with a little EVOO and a little salt. Place facedown on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until squash is very tender. 

While the squash is baking you can begin cooking your pasta and getting out your other ingredients. Once butternut squash is out of the oven, scoop out seeds and discard. Add the "meat" of the squash to your food processor making sure no skin is left on. Puree for a few minutes until smooth. You will have more than a cup of butternut squash puree in your food processor, but just remove the remainder of puree to use for another meal later on. Add in the cashew ricotta, ghee, salt, and garlic granules to the food processor. Process for at least a minute or until smooth. Taste to make sure more salt isn't needed. You now have your "cheese" sauce. Add the "cheese" sauce to your cooked pasta, and you're all done!

Zoodle "Alfredo" with Grilled Chicken

What you'll need:
6-8 zucchini, spiraled to make "zoodles"
1 cup cashew ricotta (Recipe Here!)
 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into large pieces
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Spices for the chicken:
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat grill pan over medium high heat. Add in a little EVOO followed by your chicken. Add oregano, salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Set aside.

Add 1 tbsp EVOO to pan and add in zoodles along with the minced garlic and salt. Saute over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until zoodles are tender. Drain off excess liquid then mix in cashew "ricotta" cheese. Stir gently until evenly distributed. Add salt if needed. Serve grilled chicken on top of "Alfredo" zoodles!

Lasagna Pasta Bake: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free!

My boys LOVE this kid-friendly lasagna bake! Combining a few of my recipes, I created this dairy-free and gluten-free dish for my whole family to enjoy. Every Christmas Day my (Leto) side of the family would always have lasagna for dinner. This year my mom wanted us to be able to enjoy that same tradition so she created something similar to this for the Dietrich Family to enjoy. This meal is inspired by her support of our family, and her love for us!

Two recipes you will need:
10 - 12 Meatballs 

What else you'll need:
1-28 oz can pureed organic tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 16 oz bag of brown rice or quinoa pasta

Since the cashews for the "cheese" need to soak for a while, make sure you begin soaking your cashews in the morning or just have some ready to use in the fridge! 

Begin by making the meatballs of your choice. Here is my recipe for simple Meatballs. Once the meatballs are out of the oven, place them in a pan with the tomato puree and all the spices. Cook over medium low heat while you begin to cook your pasta. Don't forget to salt the water for your pasta!  Once pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large oven safe bowl. Stir 1 tablespoon EVOO into pasta. Starting breaking down your meatballs into large chunks. Stir in the crushed up meatballs and tomato sauce to your pasta bowl. Mix until combined. Add dollops of cashew "ricotta cheese" on top. Mix until even distributed. You can leave large sections of "cheese" if you would like. Bake in 375F degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until top is golden.

Cashew "Ricotta Cheese"

The perfect dairy-free cheese alternative is here! It's amazing what you can do with some cashews and a food processor. This "cheese" has been used in so many recipes I've been making lately. It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. As soon as you wake up in the morning, begin soaking the cashews and by the time you get home from work they will be ready to be made into cheese (which takes all of 5 minutes!).

What you'll need:
2 cups raw cashews
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt

As mentioned before, you need to soak your cashews. The longer you soak them the creamier the cheese will be. I recommend a minimum of 4 hours. I like to start the soaking when I wake up in the morning so that they are ready to go for dinner. You could also soak them overnight. Make sure you place them in a large enough bowl that will allow room for the cashews to expand a little bit.

Drain your soaked cashews and discard the water. Place the soaked cashews in your food processor along with 1 tbsp lemon juice, garlic granules, and salt. Process for a few minutes or until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and taste your "cheese". Do you like cheese a little more tangy? Add in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Do you need it a little saltier? Add in a little more salt! Do you want it a little creamier and less thick? Add is a tablespoon or two of water. Process again for a minute or two. YOU'RE DONE!

"Cream" of Mushroom Chicken

What you'll need:

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
16 oz bag frozen broccoli
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

Heat a 6 quart pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp EVOO followed by your cubed chicken breasts and chicken thighs. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until all sides are browned. Add in your onion and mushrooms, and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add sage, thyme, pepper and salt. Stir until evenly distributed. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant (about one minute). Next, stir in coconut milk and chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add in your broccoli 15 minutes before serving.