Paleo Porridge

While I don’t consider myself “Paleo” many of the concepts of the diet are naturally part of my families eating lifestyle.  When I came across this recipe for a warm oatmeal like breakfast I was intrigue and gave it a try.  It got three thumbs up from J, Trey, and myself!
I like to make a big batch so it’s ready for a high protein breakfast or pick-me-up snack in a jiffy. 

Paleo Porridge
Recipe from

1.    Process coconut, walnuts, almonds, pepitas and flaxseed together in a blender or food processor until finely ground and blade starts to seize.
2.    Boil water in a kettle or in the microwave.  Pour into a microwave-safe container and mix in honey if using. 
3.    Stir ground nuts into hot water.  Add protein or other fixins.
4.    Heat in microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir once more.  Let sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken.  Enjoy!

Variations:  Just like traditional porridge, you can stir in some extra ingredients at the end to change the flavor.  Here are some ideas, but feel free to experiment!


Pork Chops & Peaches

Using fresh, seasonal produce always brings out the best flavor!  This recipe can also be prepared with pears in the winter. 
Sweet Pork & Peaches

w/ goat cheese on quinoa
loosely adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

2 C chicken broth
1 C quinoa
olive oil cooking spray
4 4 oz boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of visible fat
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 ripe peaches, cored and chopped
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 T roasted silvered almonds
2 T crumbled goat cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium-high and mist with cooking spray.  Season both sides of pork with tarragon, salt, and pepper.  Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add peaches, vinegar and honey and stir to combine.  Cover skillet loosely with foil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches begin to break down and pork is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. 
Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with pork, peach mixture, goat cheese, almonds, and parsley. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Nut Butter Power Bars

To add to my collection of “clean” power bars, I tried two variations of this Wellmark recipe last week.  Both turned out yummy according to my tough critics, J and Trey, so thought I’d share!

Nut Butter Power Bars
2 C quick oats or old fashioned
1 C natural peanut butter, almond butter or other variety
1 C honey
1 C dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots, etc)
1 C ground flaxseed
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (I used NNW Healthy Whey)
Mix all ingredients together and stir until blended  Spread mixture into a 13x10inch pan and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Store in fridge for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze for later use.  I like to cut and wrap into individual portion sizes for a quick on-the-go or pre/post workout snack.  If you cut into 32 bars each serving is about 170 calories.  Keep in mind the dried fruit and nut butter will make a higher calorie snack, especially if your bars are larger. 

Have a teenager at home who “doesn’t have time for breakfast.”  Throw one of these at them as they head out the door!  A sure hit! 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Ginger Soy Chicken & Edamame Stir-Fry

Bowl full of goodness

With a title like that I just about want to get the words or at least the picture right out of the cookbook. I love stir-fry has it is pretty much impossible to mess up and you always have the ingredients to make it….veggies? check, meat or tofu? check, condiments? check, brown rice or quinoa? check (of course you all have quinoa in your pantries by now, right? 😉

recipe from Clean Eating Magazine
1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
1/4 C low sodium soy sauce
3 T unsalted almond or cashew butter (you can you peanut butter if you are trying to stay more wallet friendly)
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 tsp honey
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T grapeseed oil, divided (higher smoke point)…if you don;t have it wont hurt to use olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
2/3 C unsalted raw cashews (you can use peanuts if wanting to stay more wallet friendly)
1 C frozen shelled edamame, thawed (great protein source)
4 green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 1/2 C brown rice, optional
Prepare sauce: in a medium bowl, whisk broth with soy sauce, nut butter, ginger, honey and mustard.  Set aside.  IN a large nonstick wok or skillet on medium-high, heat 1/2 T oil.  Add chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a small nowl; heat remaining 1/2 T oil in wok.  Add pepper, nuts, and edamame and cook for 3 minutes.  Return chicken to wok.  Add onions and sauce.  Bring to a boil on medium-high, then reduce to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Serve stir-fry over rice, if desired. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

Clean Energy Bars

Clean Energy Bar

my fellow crossfitter, Katie, found this on
(makes 12 or 24)

1/2 cup nut butter
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and bananas until a paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

For one granola bite (12 in recipe) = 190 calories, 8.4 g fat, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 3.1 g fiber

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Crossfit Des Moines Chili Cook Off

Crossfit Des Moines held a chili cook-off at fellow crossfitters Susan’s beautiful home Saturday.
The competition and the chili was hot hot hot!

Chili galore…white, red, vegetarian, bison, beef…..
here are a few of the wonderful recipes
Blue Ribbon Chili
by Kelly Heffron
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. sausage
¾ C. chopped onion
½ C. chopped green bell peppers
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 – 14 ½ ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 – 15 ½ ounce cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons pepper
1 – 15 ounce can chili beans, undrained
Brown hamburger. Add onions, green peppers, and garlic; continue cooking until the meat is well-browned. Remove skillet from heat. When the skillet cools, slightly, add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce; stir until the skillet is deglazed. Add the chili powder, cumin, parsley, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Cover and simmer the mixture slowly for 1 hour. Add the chili beans; simmer, uncovered, an additional ½ hour.

From: Sherry Ellingson
8 skinless, boneless chicken, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces. (I pre-cooked in chicken in crock pot and then shred it)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 (15oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, crushed
1 can beer
1 (10 oz.) bag of shredded cheddar cheese
Saute chicken, red pepper, onion, and garlic in oil in a soup pot about 5 minutes or until chicken is just cooked. Add chili powder, salt, cumin, and coriander; cook 3 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes with juice and beer. Bring to a boil. Simmer 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Stir in cheese. Serve when cheese is thoroughly melted. Serves 10 – 12.

all the fixins to make a mean chili dish
Katie Claeys Chili was quite the contender
from the kitchen of her dad, Roger Fiscus
2 lbs burger
2 cans of kidney beans (I usually do one light and one dark; low sodium)
1 qt. of tomatoes (my parents always froze tomatoes growing up, so that’s what he uses. I usually buy two cans of no-salt added diced tomatoes)
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 c. ketchup
1 c. water
2 T. cumin
1/2 c. celery
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire
1 t. Accent
1/2 t. vinegar
1/2 t. dry mustard
2 T. chili powder
crushed red pepper (I’m pretty liberal with this and the chili powder)
Brown burger with diced up onion, red pepper, green pepper, and celery. Drain fat/juices. Add everything but beans. Let simmer; stir often. Add beans last hour. I’ve done it on the stove top and in a crock pot- both are fine. It freezes well!
White Chickin Chili
although I made this recipe, props go to my pal Robin
1 pound Northern beans (canned – rinse until foam is gone)
1 large onion chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
dash cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
5 cups of chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1/2 cup lime juice
3 cups cooked chicken, diced (I use HyVee Rotisserie chicken – usually makes 4 cups – but go ahead and add it all)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Briefly saute onions and garlic on stove until fragrant and onions are translucent. Add to beans along with oregano, jalapeno pepper, cayenne, cumin, cloves and chicken broth. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add Rotel, lime juice and chicken. Cook 30 minutes, simmering. (Add more water if soup is too thick) Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh cilantro to serve.
of course there were yummy desserts to share
picture from Paula Dean’s site…thanks Paula!
Beverly enlightened our taste buds with this Paula Dean recipe:
enjoy this dessert while keeping in mind, “all things in moderation” 🙂
these almonds were so incredibly good….great way to add a little spice to your life
Black Peppered-Sugared Almonds
By Jill Oxberger
1 lb raw almonds
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp course ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg white
1 tsp water
Mix sugar and spices in a bowl large enough to hold the almonds and mixture. Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl large enough for the almonds too, then add the water to the whipped egg white then whip again until it’s frothy. Coat the almonds in the egg white mixture then drain the excess if necessary. Dump the almonds into the sugar/spices mixture and stir them to coat evenly.
Line a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan with foil, then spray the foil with a non stick Pam type coating. Spread the almonds on the pan in a single layer. Bake at 250 degrees for an hour and you can stir them during that time, but I usually don’t. Once out of the oven scrap them off the foil a bit to keep from sticking and let them cool.

Good times with good people!
Thanks for sharing your recipes everyone!
Have a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good