Game Day Recipes – Buffalo Chicken Wings & Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Hummus”

Are you ready for some football?!?

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Super Bowl Sunday is here, and if you’re any sort of football fan, you’re getting all geared up for a fun day of football, friends, food and maybe some adult beverages. If you’re still looking for a healthy, paleo-friendly dish to bring to your football party, wait no longer! Today I have two recipes that are obvious choices for any type of social gathering – especially one that involves watching hunky men run around in tights. Wink, wink.

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You can’t watch sports without chicken wings. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule somewhere. So I made these buffalo chicken wings for the big day today and they make my heart happy. They’re spicy without burning your face off, messy and get all over everything. Basically, they’re perfect.

“But Stephanie, I’m more of a dipper. What do you have for me?”

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Have no fear my fellow dip loving friends. You can still get your dip on today without having to choose between the nacho cheese or artichoke bowl. I’ve got a caramelized onion cauliflower hummus for you that’ll leave you feeling good about your dip choice all throughout the game.

So let’s get to the food, shall we?

Game Day Paleo Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • Servings: Approx. 10-12 wings
  • Time: 55 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold, or ghee
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • chopped cilantro, for topping

Other Tools Needed:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Foil lined baking sheet
  • Large mixing bowl

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 400(F). While the oven is preheating, take the wings, baking powder and 1 tsp. of sea salt and mix together in the large mixing bowl until the wings are completely coated. Why baking powder, you ask? The baking powder will suck out any excess moisture, leaving you with nice and crispy wings. YUM.

Throw the wings into the oven for about 45-50 min. While the wings are baking, prepare the buffalo sauce in the rewashed mixing bowl by combining the remaining ingredients (minus the cilantro) and mixing thoroughly. Store in the fridge until the wings are done.

When the wings are out of the oven and cool enough to handle, remove from the baking sheet and toss them into the mixing bowl with the sauce. Then mix baby, mix! Make sure the wings are completely covered with the sauce, transfer all the wings and remaining sauce to your serving dish, top with cilantro and you’re ready to go!

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Make sure you grab some paper towels because these bad boys are sure to get all over your hands and face like a true chicken wing should.

Serving Size & Nutrition Facts:

2 lbs. of chicken wings should yield approximately 10-12 wings. The data below is for 1 wing, based on a total yield of 12 wings. If you’re following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

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*Nutritional values given in this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful. 

Now that you have your wing fix in, you need a dip! Here is my caramelized onion cauliflower hummus, which you can pair with your favorite sliced veggies, or some homemade potato chips or fries.

Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Hummus

  • Servings: 14
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (approx. 4 cups of florets)
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Optional Toppings: a drizzle of olive oil and some paprika

Other Tools Needed:

  • Food processor
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan
  • Mearing cups/spoons

Method:

Divide the cauliflower florets into 1 cup portions and process them in your food processor in these increments. Process the cauliflower until you reach a mash-like consistency – this can take about 15 minutes.

Warm up the frying pan and coconut oil on low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are nice and caramelized. Take your time with this and be patient – you don’t want to burn the garlic and onions and have that flavor come through in the hummus.

When the onions are done, add them to the food processor with the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients and process until completely combined and the consistency looks good to you. Transfer the hummus to your serving dish and then top with a little paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with your favorite veggies and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts & Serving Sizes:

The appetizer version of this recipe makes approximately (14) 1/4 cup servings or 4 tbsps. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

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*Nutritional values given in this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful. 

Time to get ready for some football! Go Panthers!

StephanieSignature1

Weekend Wrap-Up 1.31.16

Hi friends,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend! Mine was packed with activities – two good friends became engaged on Saturday and we had the privilege of being apart of their special day with the rest of their friends and family. Earlier today, we were off to my best friend’s birthday brunch at a great restaurant downtown. So much happiness and fun in two days, but I’m definitely happy to be settling down and having a low-key Sunday night with a few stacks of homework. So, this post will be short and sweet as I’m sure you want to get back to your Sunday evening too!

I have some new beverage obsessions this week, and I’m excited to share them with you! I’ve been drinking more tea lately, which is surprising because I’m not usually a huge tea fan. BUT when you find a great flavor like this non-caffeinated Bengal spice from Celestial Seasonings, mix in a splash or two of almond milk and a little stevia, what’s not to love? It’s creamy, sweet and completely guilt free.

I’ve tried this little concoction with chai and black tea as well, and it turned out fantastic.

I’m also hopping on the La Croix bandwagon this week. I know, I’m like a year late on this, and I’m sad it’s taken me so long to give it a try. But now I’m hooked! Think naturally flavored sparkling water, so no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The grapefruit flavor is my favorite, and Safeway had a 2-for-$8 deal, so…

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…we stocked up at the house. Rolo the pup approves of this purchase.

In other news, we’re entering Week 5 of the CrossFit Livermore Weight Loss Challenge and I wanted to share some of my favorite Cave Girl Culture recipes with the participants as well as my readers. These particular recipes always leave me feeling good about my food choices and fueled for my workouts throughout the week.

Back at the end of 2014, I posted this recipe for my Kalamata Turkey Meatballs, which can be served as an appetizer, or as an entree with potatoes. The olives really give these meatballs an extra zing in the flavor department. I love ’em so much that I wanted to reshare them with you!

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Another fantastic lunch and/or dinner option from 2014 is this one here for my Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats. I’m actually cooking up a batch of this tonight to tie me over for the first part of the week, woo-woo!

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats

If you’re in a time pinch, you can use a store-bought marinara sauce instead of making one from scratch. Just make sure to check those labels, because food manufacturers just love to sneak in a bunch of extra sugar and fillers. Trader Joe’s has a pretty clean organic marinara sauce, that has just a trace amount of organic cane sugar in it. I use it when I need to cut some corners in the kitchen and I really like it. It’s always good to have a plan B for when you’re in a time crunch!

Well, I hope you get a chance to try some of my favorite meals, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Brand new recipes will be posted next weekend, so make sure you stay tuned for that. Have a great week everyone!

Happy Eating,

StephanieSignature1

 

 

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza

I live in a house of CrossFitters. There are four of us – six if you include significant others that we consider honorary roommates – and it’s no secret that we love to lift heavy and we LOVE to eat. Most of our interactions in the house happen post-WOD, when we’re all in the kitchen preparing our recovery meals, talking about meal plans, PR’s at the box or how much the workout sucked.

I kid you not, this is the truth. We’re like a freakin’ CrossFit parody from YouTube, but it’s real life.

Here at the house, we all have our ways different ways of eating. I am primarily paleo/primal, my roommate Jess is experimenting with the RP (Renaissance Periodization) diet, and the other two – Pete & Nicole – eat a clean diet that includes some dairy & grains. But there is one thing we all unanimously agree on – we all love pizza. There have been many weekends when we would all get back from the box, kick our feet up around the TV, grab our adult beverages of choice and order a few pizzas. Or, we’ll walk downtown and grab a pizza at Cravings with friends. It’s a big part of our life around here.

Following a paleo/primal diet, I have three choices when it comes to pizza time at the house. I can either enjoy it “as is” and choose not to feel guilty about it, order mine separately with a gluten free crust and light cheese, or I can make my own pizza with ingredients that I choose. For me, any of these options works. I follow a 80/20 rule when it comes to eating paleo – I just know that when I’m more strict about it, I feel better on a day to day basis. That’s why I prefer to order mine separately with a gluten free crust and choose my dairy wisely – my body will thank me afterward. But ultimately, my favorite thing to do is make my own, if I have the time. I have full control over the ingredients and I’ll feel the best with this option.

Diet and nutrition really boils down to educating yourself about how the body interacts with different foods, and then experimenting with that knowledge and finding out the right template for YOUR body. Then you can decide how to balance out things like pizza, desserts, and whatnot. You don’t necessarily have to cut them out to be a healthier version of yourself. You just have to be smarter about your intake.

Anyways, I swear there is a point to all of this. I’m here rambling about being smart with your pizza intake, and you’re like…

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Alright, alright! The point IS….I made you a pizza! But not just any ordinary pizza, because, hello – we’ve all been there, done that. It’s time to expand your pizza loving horizon with a breakfast pizza.

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YES. 

The crust is a thin, crunchy, garlicky crust using cauliflower as the base. It’s a very simple recipe using only 3 main ingredients and some seasonings, so it’s easy to whip up quickly. If you’re a thin crust lover like myself, this crust is for you. Then you add a little tomato sauce (*see recipe notes on using tomato vs. marinara sauce), sautéed greens, and the best part – two sunny side up eggs. When you cut into the pizza and the yolk runs out and mixes in with the rest of the flavors…it’s just a little slice of heaven, my friends. And the best news yet – you don’t even have to share because each pizza serves one.

Does life get any better than this?

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza

  • Servings: 2 personal pizzas
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Grain/Gluten Free, Paleo, Positively Delicious

Crunchy Garlic Pizza Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (see notes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (found at Safeway or Whole Foods)
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza Ingredients:

  • 1 ‘Crunch Garlic Pizza Crust’ recipe, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, divided in half (I use TJ’s organic canned tomato sauce – see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 & 1/2 cups greens – I used kale, but spinach would work great as well
  • 4 eggs – 2 per pizza
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste

Other Tools Needed:

  • Medium sized mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Flat baking sheet
  • 2 frying pans
  • Heat safe spatula

*Notes:

  • To make the cauliflower rice, take the florets off a head of cauliflower and process them in a food processor until you have a fine, rice-like consistency. No head of cauliflower is made equal and each will produce different amounts, but generally speaking, a medium size cauliflower should produce around 4 cups.

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  • One may argue that a true pizza will have pizza sauce, a.k.a marinara sauce. The only difference is marinara sauce includes garlic & herbs and is cooked down to let the flavors of each element really develop. I’m all for that with this recipe if you have the time and want to put forth the effort. Most store-bought marinara sauces will have some refined sugar, but if you don’t mind, then go for it! Otherwise, regular tomato sauce works just fine in this recipe.

Method: 

To make the crust, take two cups of cauliflower rice, the egg, tapioca starch, sea salt and 1/2 tsp. of garlic and mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Let it set in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up a bit. While the pizza ‘dough’ is setting in the fridge, take the baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Once the dough has set, remove from the fridge and split into two batches. Using a large spoon, take each batch and spoon it out on the parchment paper. Spread the dough out in whatever shape you want – circular for a traditional pizza, square for a hipster pizza or you can think outside the box and make whatever shape you want! You want it to be fairly thin but evenly spread out, because no one wants holes in their crust.

Bake the crust at 375 for about 40 min. During the last 10 minutes, it may look like it’s starting to burn. Obviously, you don’t want it to burn, but the last 10 minutes is where it really gets crunchy. Pull it a few minutes early if you need – all ovens cook a little differently.

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While you’re watching the crust during the last 10 minutes, sauté the kale and cook the eggs. Begin with the kale by warming up the coconut oil in the frying pan on low heat. Season with a little sea salt and garlic powder, cover, and let cook down for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. You can also cook the eggs simultaneously, in a separate pan. Cook the eggs on low heat to achieve the sunny side up version. I usually cover the eggs to help steam cook the top a bit, but remove before the yolk starts to cook through. You can tell it’s time to uncover when the egg whites around the edges of the yolks turn from translucent to white. When the eggs are done cooking, remove from heat.

If you’ve timed it correctly, your crust should be out of the oven right around the same time the eggs and kale are done. Spoon half the tomato sauce on one pizza crust and half on the other. Put most of the sautéed kale on top of each pizza, but reserve a little for topping.

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Then add two eggs to each pizza carefully – you don’t want the yolk to run prematurely! Hehe. Sorry. Yolk joke.

Last step – top with the leftover greens, cut into slices and devour!

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Pizza + Breakfast = Love

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Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes two personal sized pizzas. The nutrition data below is calculated for (1) personal pizza. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

**CrossFit Livermore Weight Loss Challenge Participants – this recipe is a great post WOD recovery meal!

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*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

If you want more pizza action, check out my Mediterranean Style Pizza recipe by clicking here.

Well, friends, I’m one week into the spring semester at school and homework is calling my name loud and clear. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Cave Girl Out.

StephanieSignature1

Big ‘Ol Chopped Taco Salad

I love a good salad.

I’m talking about a big, fat salad with different elements, textures, and flavors. A salad that satisfies from the first bite all the way to the very last crumb. This salad – this incredible salad that I dream about sometimes – is full of fresh, whole ingredients and doesn’t need to be drenched in a dressing to make it palatable. It doesn’t leave me feeling hungry, sad or depressed about eating salad either.

It’s kind of like your BFF of salads.

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Isn’t that beautiful? So many colors on one plate – it’s almost hard to eat it. Almost. 

Big 'Ol Chopped Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Big ‘Ol Chopped Taco Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic, baby spring mix
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. avocado
  • 3/4 cup halved sugar plum tomatoes
  • 4 oz. taco meat (ingredients below)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped plantain chips (optional)

Taco Meat Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 96% lean for this recipe)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of cracked pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Large dinner plate or bowl (trust me, you want a big one)
  • Measuring cups/spoons

Method:

Prep all your produce ahead of time and place the chopped veggies in the fridge until you’re ready for them.

Prepare the taco meat by heating up a large skillet on medium heat. Add the ground beef and diced onion to the pan and mash up the ground beef with the spatula. As the beef begins to cook, you will start to see some grease develop in the pan. This is when you want to add all your spices and mix into the beef.

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Once the beef is done, remove from heat, cover and set aside.

At this point, you have two options. You can get fancy and lay out the lettuce first, then add all the ingredients on top as pictured. Or you can say hell with it, you’ve already seen in that way in the picture and just throw everything in the bowl. Your choice. It’ll all be mixed together at one point right?

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You also may be wondering – what about the dressing? Well my friends, that’s what I love about this recipe – the salsa IS the dressing. No need to make one from scratch or buy one from the store with a gazillion crappy ingredients that you don’t need. Just salsa. So make sure it isn’t a salsa that is going to burn your face off. Unless, you know, you’re into that sort of thing.

Meal preppers – this recipe has all the leftover ingredients you need to make several portions for the next few days. You could even do one of those fancy salad-in-a-jar things from Pinterest! Just keep the salsa separate and add it right before you eat a serving.

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size

The nutrition values below reflect one serving of salad (with or without plantain chips) – the entire recipe above. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your serving size to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

I hope you get a chance to make this for yourself this week! And if you happen to love it, I would equally love for you to share in the comments below.

Stay tuned for another brand new recipe before the weekend is up!

Happy eating,

StephanieSignature1

 

 

 

 

This Week – We Snack, with *2* New Snack Recipes

Hi guys!

Today is a special day on the blog – it’s snack-palooza! That’s right, today I’m sharing two new recipes that are downright perfect for you when you need a quick and healthy pick-me-up between meals. It’s time to change the way we think about snack time.

Snacks tend to get a bad rap because there are so many bad snacks out there filled with sugar, chemicals, and just junk in general. And big food companies make it so darn easy to just grab a pack of chips, a snack size serving of cookies, or a high sugar-high crap filled granola bar. So we snack poorly because we’re hungry, but then feel frustrated when we’re not meeting our weight loss or nutrition goals. But not all snacks are created equal, my friends. With a little preparation, you can snack guilt-free, knowing you’re putting nutritious AND tasty food in your body. Win-win, baby.

My first choice for snack time is kind of like a spin-off on deviled eggs, but you make a sandwich with your eggs as the bread and guac as the sandwich filling. And don’t forget to add a little hot sauce or Sriracha, if you like things a little hot. These things are so simple, SO delicious, and come on, they’re adorable little egg sandwiches.

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My second choice for snack time are these chocolate-banana protein bites. I mean, what’s not to love? You get a little protein by adding your favorite protein powder, healthy fats from the pecans and almonds, and some safe carbs from the banana – ALL in one bite.

AND THERE’S CHOCOLATE INVOLVED. Mic drop.

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Wait, wait. I need to pick up the mic again because there IS a disclaimer here. I make these when I have a handle on my sweet tooth, and I eat one or two at a time, max. It’s quite easy to over indulge on a treat like this, but when snacking in a smart manner, you’re getting lots of good things in one bite.

So, if you’re ready to step up your snack game, check out the recipes below!

Guac & Egg Snack 'Sandwiches'

  • Servings: 2 eggs
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (organic, pasture-raised or cage-free eggs are best)
  • 2 tbsp. avocado
  •  1 dash of sea salt
  • 2 dashes of garlic powder
  • 1 dash of your favorite hot sauce, or Sriracha

Other Tools Needed:

  • 1 medium size pot
  • 1 large, slotted spoon
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 chef’s knife
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • 1 spoon
  • 2 toothpicks

Method:

The first step is to boil your eggs. I personally prefer medium boiled eggs (when the yolk is not runny, but not hard boiled either – right in between).

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Mmm, a perfect egg.

Take the medium pot and fill it with water. You want the eggs to have about an inch of water over them. Bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. The recipe calls for two eggs, but you can boil up to 6 at a time- just make sure the eggs are not crowded in the pot. When the water is boiling, gently place each egg into the pot with the slotted spoon.

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Boil the eggs for 7 minutes for medium boiled eggs (if you want hard boiled eggs, add another two minutes) and then remove each egg with the slotted spoon and place in a cold water bath in the large bowl for about a minute. Dump the water, and then fill it with cold water again. Now the trick to getting the shells to come off clean is to remove the shells immediately. Take each egg, crack it against the sink, and place it under cold running water while you peel off the shell. Place each peeled egg on some paper towels to dry off.

Once all the eggs have been peeled, set them aside and make your guacamole filling. This is super simple. Each egg gets about 1 tbsp of filling, so if you’re making one egg, just use one tablespoon of avocado, two eggs with two tablespoons of avocado and so on. Add the avocado, dash of sea salt and two dashes of garlic powder to the small mixing bowl and mash baby, mash. Once the guac tastes good, set aside.

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Take an egg, slice it in half vertically and put a dash of hot sauce on one half (or both if you like it really spicy). Then take a tbsp. of guac and put it on one half of the egg. Take the other half, place it on top of the guac and voila! Egg sandwich. Use a toothpick to keep it together – if you can wait that long before eating it!

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Cute, right?

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes 2 eggs, but you can adjust and make as many as you need. The nutrition data below was calculated per egg sandwich. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

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Chocolate-Banana Energy Bites

  • Servings: 12 balls
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I used Nitrean Natural-Chocolate Fudge Brownie, see note)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Other Tools Needed:

  • 1 small bowl
  • Measuring spoons & cups
  • Food processor
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 large dinner plate

Method:

Soak the Medjool dates in hot water for about 10 minutes. While the dates are soaking, put all the ingredients in the food processor.

When the dates are done soaking, remove the pits and place in the food processor. Process the ingredients until completely blended (little bits of nuts still present is okay) and you have a sticky paste.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Measure out 1 tbsp. of batter per “bite” and roll into little balls. Using the tablespoon as the scoop actually works wonderfully here. It also helps to keep your hands just a teeny bit wet to keep the batter from sticking to your hands. Place each ball on the plate as you go and then place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let them set.

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*Notes: Nitrean Natural Chocolate Fudge Brownie contains milk, egg and a little bit of soy. It tastes delicious, but it’s not my favorite or the cleanest protein to use – it’s what I had around when making this recipe. I highly encourage you to use a clean protein of your choice.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can add other ingredients as you want! Try rolling the balls in a mix of cocoa powder and coconut sugar for a really sweet treat. Or you can roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut for a little contrast. Add dried fruit, different nuts, etc. Play around with it as you please!

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Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes approximately 12 bite size balls.The nutrition data below was calculated per ball, but does not include data for the protein as all protein powders vary. Take the nutritional information for one scoop of the protein powder you’re using and divide each category by 12, then add to the data below. It’s a little bit of work, but worth it if you’re tracking this type of information. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

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Happy snacking friends,

StephanieSignature1

One Skillet Chicken Sausage & Potato Stir-Fry

I shared this one-skillet recipe on my Instagram account awhile back and it got such a great response that I wanted to make sure it was on the blog for quick access. I know most of us are always on the go and need to have recipes like this that they can whip up quickly without sacrificing quality and health standards. Well here’s another one to add to your list!

Think of this as your paleo fast food, minus the drive through and grease-stained napkins littering your car.

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One Skillet Chicken Sausage and Potato Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 2*
  • Time: Prep time: 5 min, Cook time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped (see note)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder, or a few cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 garlic-herb chicken sausages (I used the Trader Joe’s variety)
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • handful of chopped green onions, for garnish

*Notes: I used Japanese sweet potatoes – the purple variety with the white, creamy flesh. If you don’t have these readily available, you can sub in a sweet potato or white potato.

Other Tools Needed:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan

Method:

Over low heat, warm the coconut oil in the skillet until it’s warm. Add the chopped sweet potatoes to the skillet and cook covered, over medium heat until softened. Add the onions and sauté with the potatoes until translucent. Season the skillet with all the goodies – salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne – and give it a good stir. Once all the spices are mixed in, add the chicken sausage and let them cook for another two minutes or so before adding the remaining ingredients (reserve the green onions). When the kale and mushrooms have cooked down – which should only take a few more minutes at most – you can turn off the heat and serve with the green onions sprinkled on top. Easy peasy! 

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size*:

This recipe makes a little over 2 cups. The nutrition facts below have been calculated using a serving size of half the recipe – a little over 1 cup. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

One Skillet Chicken Sausage &amp; Potatoes Nutrition Facts

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

Alrighty friends, enjoy the last bit of your weekend! I’ll talk to you soon!

StephanieSignature1

Pan-Fried Greek Chicken Thighs with a Smashed Cherry Tomato & Kalamata Olive Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Happy Saturday!

I’m writing this post from the beautiful, snowy mountains of Tahoe, California. Being here amidst the snow covered peaks and breathing in the clean, mountain air, I am reminded once again of how amazing our world is.

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This is a panoramic view from our cabin patio, however, a picture just doesn’t do it justice. I wish you could be here!

I’ve been a little under the weather this whole week, so I’m staying in the cabin this weekend instead of playing in the snow. Ahh, total relaxation – just what I need! And this is a perfect opportunity to share a new recipe with you, inspired by a dish Matt had made a few weeks ago that I wanted to make more paleo friendly.

This dish features Greek style, pan-fried chicken thighs with a lemon reduction drizzled on top, paired with cauliflower rice that has smashed cherry tomatoes, parsley and kalamata olives. YUM. I love using thigh meat because it’s a fattier cut, imparting more flavor into the dish. Thigh meat is also typically cheaper per pound, making it easier on the wallet than breast meat. The reduction is made by adding chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan the chicken was fried in, scraping the bits of chicken off the bottom of the pan, and reducing the liquid down to a thick sauce.

The cauliflower rice is one of my favorite side dishes to date. It’s simple in nature, but the flavors from the parsley and kalamata paired with the cherry tomatoes make it a standout dish for any meal.

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Pan-Fried Greek Chicken Thighs with Lemon Reduction

  • Servings: 4*
  • Time: Prep Time: <5 min, Cook Time: 15-20 min.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. organic, skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp. tapioca starch* (optional, see note)

Other Tools Needed:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Small mixing bowl
  • 1 large dinner plate
  • Frying pan

Method: 

Combine the herbs and sea salt in the mixing bowl and divide it evenly, then set aside. Take the chicken thighs and lay them out on the dinner plate, then season the first side with half the seasonings. Dress the seasoned chicken thighs with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, then flip each thigh and repeat. Once each side is seasoned and dressed, warm up the frying pan over low heat. When the pan is nice and hot, place each thigh in the pan and pan fry each side for about 5 minutes, flipping as needed. I like to cover the pan with a lid for the first two minutes and then continue frying with the lid off for the remaining time. You want the thighs to stick to the pan a little and leave some remnants – that will help create your reduction later. When the thighs are done, remove them from the pan and set aside in a covered dish to retain some heat.

To create the reduction, pour the chicken broth in the frying pan over high heat, and scrape the remnants off the pan to mix in with the broth. Add the lemon juice and tapioca starch and whisk together. Let the liquid cook down until you have the desired consistency for your reduction. When you’re satisfied with your reduction, spoon over the chicken thighs and voila! You fancy now.

*Notes: The tapioca flour will gelatinize in heat, giving the reduction a little more substance. This is ingredient is completely optional- the liquid will still reduce without it. If you choose to use it, you can find this brand of tapioca starch at Safeway or Whole Foods.

These chicken thighs are best paired with my Smashed Cherry Tomato & Kalamata Cauliflower ‘Rice’.

Nutrition Facts* & Serving Size*:

This recipe makes approximately 1 lb of chicken thighs. The nutrition facts below have been calculated using a serving size based on a 4 oz. chicken thigh. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

Pan Fried Greek Chicken Thighs with Lemon Reduction Nutrition Facts

Smashed Cherry Tomato & Kalamata Olive Cauliflower 'Rice'

  • Servings: 7*
  • Time: Prep time: 1o min, Cook time: 10-12 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped and divided
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped vertically and divided
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, divided

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Food processor
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • 2 medium size mixing bowls
  • Frying pan

Method:

The first step is to remove the cauliflower florets and split into at least two batches for the food processor. This is important, because if you put too much cauliflower into the food processor, the bottom layer will process down to a mash before the top layer has a chance to process to the rice-like consistency that you’re looking for. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to reduce to three or four batches. Pulse each batch until you have a rice-like consistency and set aside in the mixing bowl.

Heat one tsp. of olive oil in the frying pan. When the pan is warm, take half the batch of cauliflower rice and sauté in the pan over low heat. Add the half portions of the tomatoes and seasonings to the pan and cook until the cauliflower is soft. Gently smash the tomatoes into the pan and let the juices mix in with the rice. Lastly, add the Kalamata olives and remove from heat. Set aside in a mixing bowl and repeat the steps above for the last batch of cauliflower rice.

When the cauliflower rice is done cooking, serve with your choice of protein. I suggest pairing with the Pan Fried Greek Chicken Thighs with Lemon Reduction above– delicious!

Nutrition Facts*& Serving Sizes*:

This recipe makes approximately 3.5 cups. The nutrition facts below have been calculated using a serving size of 1/2 cup. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice with Smashed Cherry Tomatoes &amp; Kalamata Olives Nutrition Facts

More good news – I’ll have another BRAND NEW recipe posted tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Until then,

 

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*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

Birthday News, A New Recipe & *Free* Weekly Meal Planner

Well, friends, today is a big day – it’s my birthday!

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Today, I’m 28 years young and ready for a new year ahead of me! And although I would love to indulge in some traditional birthday treats like cake and champagne, I’m giving the gift of healthy eating and good ol’ R&R to myself on this day. I need it guys. After two months of non-stop activity with traveling, holidays, parties, final exams and a few injuries, my diet and exercise is off and my body is tired and starting to shut down. It’s time for a reset.

So with that being said, I’ve joined forces with CrossFit Livermore as the nutrition coach for their 60 Day Weight Loss Challenge and am also participating in the team challenge. For me, this challenge is about cleaning up my diet (ugh, I hate that word), getting back to a consistent program at the gym, and helping my fellow participants reach their goals with their eating plan. It’s a pretty awesome opportunity, and I’m so excited to be a part of the adventure!

As a participant in the challenge, I’m sticking to a clean food plan of lean meats, veggies, and healthy fats. Nothing out of the normal for my day to day diet, but for the duration of the challenge there are no more cheats and very little to no alcohol. This is where I will have the biggest challenge. I love my wine and cherish the nights Matt and I open up a nice bottle together. But I know cutting my intake down will not only help with my body composition goals but also help my body heal from the craziness of the past few months. I’m also committed to completing two workouts a week from my team coach – which I will incorporate in with my CrossFit schedule – and sending my scores to my coach to track.

As the nutrition coach for the challenge, each week I am sending two recipes to the participants, which I will also be posting to the blog. So it’s a win-win for the participants and my readers. Yay! The first round of recipes went out last Sunday, 1/3/16, which was Day 1 of the challenge. The first recipe was one of my oldie-but-goodie recipes from the blog – Savory Sweet Potato Frittata. I love this recipe because a) it’s easy to make, b) it’s pretty dang delicious, and c) it’s a great way to get your protein and good carbs in around your workouts. Pair a slice or two with some avocado and you’ve got a nice breakfast, or eat a slice by itself for a quick, energizing snack.

The second recipe is a brand new recipe featuring beautiful, wild-caught salmon fillets with a simple balsamic glaze, paired with roasted lemon pepper broccoli.

This one of those recipes that it’s easy and quick enough to whip up on a weeknight, but can also be served as an impressive dish for a dinner party. It’s good to have these kinds of recipes in your repertoire for whenever the need arises.

Alright, enough with the chit-chat. Here’s the recipe!

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Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Roasted Lemon Pepper Broccoli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 30-35 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Ingredients:

  • 2 wild-caught salmon fillets, 6 oz. each
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard (I use Trader Joe’s Dijon with white wine)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Lemon Pepper Broccoli Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, stems removed* (see note)
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon, freshly squeezed
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt (adjust to taste)

Other Tools:

  • cutting board
  • chef’s knife
  • small mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • 2 baking sheets, lined with foil

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425° (F) for frozen salmon fillets. Place both fillets on one of the foil-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder, then set aside. To make the balsamic glaze, take the small mixing bowl and pour in the olive oil, balsamic, and dijon mustard. Whisk these ingredients together until they make a glaze and then pour over the fillets. Sprinkle the parsley on top of the fillets and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

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While the salmon is cooking, prepare the lemon pepper broccoli. Remove the florets from the stems and place on top of the second foil lined baking sheet. Pour the lemon juice over all the florets, followed by the black pepper and sea salt. When the time for the salmon reaches 12 minutes, pop the broccoli in with the salmon to roast for the remaining time. When the time is done, dish up the salmon and broccoli and enjoy!

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*Notes: Broccoli stems are completely edible and very nutritious! I usually clean them off, slice into what I call “broccoli chips” and roast them along with the florets.

Since it is the New Year, I know a lot of you are doing your own type of cleanse, weight loss challenge or workout program. What are you doing to get back on track? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Also, if you’re looking for a weekly meal planner to help keep you organized and on track, please check out my free weekly meal planning spreadsheet, available in the Tools & Resources section. No strings attached.

Alrighty friends, I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day.

I’ve got new recipes lined up for next week, so stay tuned!

StephanieSignature1

 

Slow Cooker Apple Spiced Pork Chops

Hey, hey Friends!

Who’s ready for the big Thanksgiving feast that’s right around the corner?

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Me too Jon Snow, me too.

If you haven’t started defrosting your turkey, this is your friendly reminder to check defrosting times based on the weight of your bird. Because you don’t want to be THAT guy/girl who messes up the turkey on Thanksgiving. Not that I know anything about that.

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You can check out this guide for safe thawing instructions from the USDA.

This year, Matt and I are driving down to Southern California to visit his family for the holiday, so no cooking for me! Sometimes it’s fun to be the guest and not the host, but I will miss the excitement of coordinating the kitchen just a TEENY bit. I’m sure a little wine will fix that.

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After the big day, we’re driving out to the desert with the family, friends, dirt bikes and quads for a little fun. I can’t wait!

But before we head out and everyone gets lost in the festivities, I wanted to share a brand new recipe to tide you over after all the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone. And best of all, the only work involved is adding a few ingredients to your slow cooker and letting it do all the work for you, leaving you with more time to spend with your loved ones.

Simply combine two bone-in pork chops with diced apples, warm spices, a little maple syrup and broth, then set on low overnight or throughout the day. When you’re ready to eat, the meat just falls off the bone and melts right in your mouth. Mouthgasm.

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Slow Cooker Apple-Spiced Pork Chops

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 8 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • salt, garlic powder, pepper – to taste
  • 4 apples, diced (I used Gala apples) *
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (homemade is best)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large plate
  • Slow cooker (aka crockpot)
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon

Method:

Start by dicing the apples and onion, then set half of each inside the crockpot. Reserve the remaining apples and onions and set aside.

Take the pork chops and season them with the salt, garlic powder and a little pepper. Then place them on top of the pile in the crockpot, and top with the remaining apples and onions. Pour the chicken broth over the whole thing, and sprinkle the spices on top. Lastly, drizzle the maple syrup and give it a little stir. Leave the slow cooker on low for about 7 – 8 hours and then it should be ready to go!

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**Notes: I left the skin on the apples and enjoyed it very much, but I can understand why some would want to peel the apples before dicing. Whatever your preference is will work just fine. This can be served with almost any side dish, but a starch would work wonders here. I served my slow cooker pork with roasted Japanese sweet potato, Satsumaimo (not pictured). The combination was phenomenal!

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That’s all I have for now, folks! Whether you’re keeping it paleo this holiday or not, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with the people that matter most to you.

Cave Girl out.

StephanieSignature1

 

 

 

 

A Paleo Take on African Beef & Nut Stew (Mafé)

I first heard about Mafé from a coworker a few years ago. She described this rich African stew that her kids would go crazy for, made with a special ingredient that she knew I would be crazy for –  peanut butter. 

Peanut butter! I know what you’re thinking…please, go on.

Mafé originated from West Africa, specifically from the Bambara people of Mali, and is also referred to as domodah or tigadegena, which literally means ‘peanut butter sauce’. Traditionally speaking, the dish is prepared as a stew with beef, lamb, chicken or seafood, starchy vegetables, peanut butter and spices, then served with rice, cassava or plantains.

With my version of Mafé, I swapped out the peanut butter with almond butter, making it paleo friendly and safe for anyone with a peanut allergy. I’ve also used ground meat and reduced the liquid in this dish to make more of a chili rather than a stew, being that it doesn’t quite feel like stew weather here in sunny California. This can easily be changed back to a stew by using beef stew meat, chicken or another choice of protein, and adding more water or broth in the recipe, which I will address in the notes. I also felt like this dish is so hearty and rich on its own, it didn’t necessarily need to be paired with a starch. I simply served it over a bed of romaine lettuce instead, and it was stop-you-in-your-tracks type of good.

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Matt and I had no problem eating it for lunches and dinners for a whole week!

So, without further ado, here is the #cavegirlapproved version of my new favorite dish, Mafé.

African Beef & Nut Stew (Mafé)

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Time: Approx. 30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (ground turkey works beautifully here as well)
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste (I used about a tsp. of salt)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 can organic, diced tomatoes, 14.oz can (BPA free, if available)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup creamy, unsalted almond butter, *see notes
  • One head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Toppings: slivered or crushed almonds, optional

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large skillet
  • Measuring spoons & cups

Method:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over low heat and add the onion.

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Season with a little salt and pepper and saute until the onions are translucent. Turn the stove up to medium heat, and add the ground meat to the skillet in small chunks.

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Let the meat brown, while seasoning it with a little more salt and pepper. After the meat has browned, turn the heat down low and add the spices, the canned tomatoes, and the water and give it a few good stirs to mix the spices with the meat and sauce. Then, add the diced potato and stir in the tomato paste.

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Cover this and let simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Once the potatoes are soft and the spices have developed a little, turn the heat off and stir in the almond butter.

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Serve hot, over a bed of romaine lettuce.

**Notes: As mentioned before, I prepared this dish more as a chili rather than a stew. You can add more water and reduce the tomato paste to give it the stew like consistency. If preparing as a stew, I would serve it alone (no romaine lettuce), or over cauliflower rice. Also, please be sure to taste test after mixing in the almond butter and adjust the liquid, spices or almond butter as needed. I found with the ground turkey version, I needed to use a little more almond butter to really elevate the taste.

A small portion of this dish goes a long way! Dig in, my fellow almond butter addicts.

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Cave girl out.

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