Pumpkin Bread Cookies

Pumpkin Bread Cookies2

Okay so I’m a follower.  I jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon.  I’m just like everyone else I guess.  The temperature gets a little cooler and I feel like I need to consume pumpkin.  Well, so what?  You know you want it too!  It’s a thing. 

Anyway, since I can remember, my stepmom, aka The Baker, has always made pumpkin bread for the holidays.  You know, the kind that comes out of the tin coffee cans you can’t buy anymore?  Well, I set out to make a Paleo version.  These are great!  They have a bread like texture mmm, soft and chewy.  I gave them to my kiddos for breakfast and didn’t feel a bit bad about it.  The best part is, they don’t require you to be a trained pastry chef with special ingredients.  It takes a few minutes to mix all of the ingredients in one bowl and 10 minutes to bake.  Done.  That’s my kind of baking.  Let me know what you think!

So remember how I told you I have a wee little foot issue?  Well, I decided to take this weekend off from my long run and kill myself at the gym instead.  My foot is not horrible, but it was making me limp Friday.  I have three kids and a staircase, I ain’t got no time for limping around my house!  Plus, truthfully, I’m super excited about marathon training coming up so I’m trying to keep this injury at bay. 

I went to the gym Saturday morning and did my own rowing workout that was kind of fun.  I rowed as fast as I could for 1000 meters, then rested about 30 seconds, then rowed 900 meters, rested, rowed 800, rested and so on.  Talk about butt on fire!  I had to do squats in between sets to move some the lactic acid out of my butt cheeks.  Fun times!  Then I finished off with back squats, deadlifts, leg press for 1 minute intervals and leg extensions.  I was jello.  We were scheduled to run 10 miles at half pace, so I tried to do a workout that was just as hard.  I think I succeeded.  I’m going to try track out tomorrow.  Prayers I’m almost over this!

Now on to the important stuff.  The Bearded Husband and I are officially The Walking Dead fans!  Oh my gosh!  So intense!  My running buddies Lisa and Shirley kept telling me to try it.  Now I’m getting even less sleep because I’m sitting up too late with my eyes glued on zombies.  Then when it is time to turn it off I catch myself watching my back for any  “walkers” that may be lurking around my dark house!  How are these writers on these TV shows so smart?  Man, they think of all kinds of twist and turns.  I have to say as well, it is really fun to act like a zombie and scare the kids too. 

First the pumpkin, now the zombies, I’m such a follower!  Oh well, what can I say?

Pumpkin Bread Cookies
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 hr
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
20 hr
Prep Time
10 hr
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
20 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup almond flour
  2. 1 tbsp. melted butter
  3. 1 egg beaten
  4. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/4 cup honey
  8. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  9. 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet with butter.
  3. Add almond flour to mixing bowl then add melted butter. Stir
  4. Next add the beaten egg. Stir those three ingredients well to avoid lumps.
  5. Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla. Stir well.
  6. Then add honey, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and stir the entire mixture until well incorporated.
  7. The dough is a little sticky so using a spoon, form cookies into a ball and drop onto the greased cookie sheet. Then flatten the cookies just a little.
  8. Bake at 350 for 10 to 11 minutes, careful not to burn the bottom.
  9. Enjoy!
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins and I’m Emotional Today!

 ProteinMuffins1redoHi guys!  Remember how I’m not the baker?  Well, I came up with some muffins.  I have been craving some Paleo muffins so why not make my own?  They are chocolaty.  I like chocolate.  These are great for on the go…  I feel like I’m supposed to say that about breakfast muffins.  Anyway, try them out and let me know what you think.  I’m going to make a batch to take with me on my upcoming road trip.

NolaRaceConfirmationSpeaking of!  Nola!!  It’s marathon week!!  Woohoo!!  Can you tell I’m excited?  If not, ask anyone who has talked to me in the past few days.  They will tell you I might have mentioned it.  The kids have all been sick so I’ve been a wonderful mother trying to keep my distance as much as possible and washing my hands until they are literally raw.  Hey, it’s just a week.  If they get sick next week, I’m on it!

Other than excessively washing my hands and drinking “wellness tea” I have been busy this week dancing to Zydeco music and making a list of running things I need to bring.  I’m not sure why I’m making a list, really I’m just going to bring everything.  Hopefully, the other passengers in my car pack lightly.  Just kidding…maybe.

For real, I have been doing all of those things but this week has been emotional for me.  My team and I have put 40 weeks of training into this race.  40 weeks of super early mornings, following the plan, stressing about injuries we had and might get, countless miles and hours of cross training, chiropractic visits, lots of money on gear, watching every bite of food we eat and talking about every workout.  Here’s the thing, I’m a little sad it’s over!  There are of course going to be other races but this is the end of this one chapter.  It’s been awesome!  No matter what happens on Sunday, the training went well.  The support from my Coach and the bond I have formed with my running buddies is amazing.  Tear…ok I’ll stop.

Speaking of food.  I have a plan.  I WILL NOT head to Louisiana and eat a bunch of Cajun food before a marathon.  Very bad things would happen.  Instead, I’m bringing my own pre-race food.  On the menu is boiled eggs, almonds, cuties and bananas, mushroom chicken and white rice and quinoa loaded with veggies and almonds.  I know, I know, white rice and quinoa are not Paleo.  I’ve needed carbs through this training and those things have been a good source for me.  I know they have no ill affect on me so down the hatch. 

When the race is over…um.  Whatever food I can get my hands on in New Orleans, Louisiana is fair game.  Just look away.

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins
Yields 12
Chocolate chip Paleo breakfast muffins. Filling and yummy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 mashed banana
  2. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  6. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  7. 2 tsp. chocolate baking cocoa
  8. 1 tbsp. coconut oil melted
  9. 4 whole eggs
  10. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  11. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  12. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  13. Olive oil or coconut oil spray for muffin tins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips. If the flour is lumpy use a hand mixer.
  3. Dust the chocolate chips with the almond flour.
  4. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  5. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  6. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin tins.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy warm.
Notes
  1. If you don't want to use the protein powder add extra cocoa powder to keep the chocolate flavor.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Country Style Pork Ribs

 PorkRibsFirst

Those ribs are as good as they look.  Totally tender and warm and yummy.  This recipe is similar to the beef tips.  I thought I would mix it up a bit.  I don’t usually eat a ton of pork like this because I haven’t really known what to do with it.  Oh man, now I do.

Still crazy here in my world.  I’m a creature of habit and a person with a schedule.  The whole holiday season throws me off.  That’s ok.  My hubby is home more and my workout buddies are finding all kinds of excuses to drink mimosas.  Yeah, I need to stop that.  Bottled orange juice is not exactly Paleo.  I suppose it would be weird to take Cabernet to drink after a run though.

Speaking of the holiday season.  That means the year is coming to an end.  Duh.  Everyone is all a buzz about goals.  As you know, I hit my goal of 1000 miles this year.  I am so not motivated to set another goal!  I’ve had mileage goals for probably the last four years and they are pressure.  I’m thinking I’m going to rebel and just run.  I also want to do a little more cross training. (Secretly, that’s what makes the difference come swimsuit season.)  I do, however, REALLY want to hit a sub 2:00 half marathon.  Oops.  I think I just said that out loud on the internet.  What about you?  Goals?

Well, I have a baby crying, one with mulch in his pants, one digging for snacks, clothes to fold, presents to wrap and volunteer time at church.  I guess I better get out of the blog world and take care of biz-ness!  See ya!

Paleo Country Style Pork Ribs
Super tender and savory country style pork ribs.
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Ingredients
  1. 11/2 lbs. country style pork ribs (or one package)
  2. 2 large onions sliced
  3. 1 apple cored and sliced
  4. 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  5. 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  6. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  7. 1 can of free range chicken stock (or about 11/2 cups)
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and avocado oil in dutch oven or oven safe pot.
  2. Over medium to low heat cook onions and apples for about 45 minutes stirring often. Careful not to burn them but you want it brown and caramelized.
  3. While apples and onions are finishing season pork ribs with salt and pepper and coat with almond flour.
  4. When apples and onions are done remove and sear pork ribs on all sides.
  5. While pan is hot add chicken broth to deglaze pan and scrape to remove bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add apples and onions back to pot, cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  7. Check occasionally and add liquid if needed.
Notes
  1. Pears can be substituted for the apples.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

CreamofMushroom1

Hi guys!  Man, it’s been a busy week doing the Christmas thing.  Of course I’m still running like a crazy person but I also have to do the mom thing.  You know, buy presents, wrap presents, remember all the little things I’m supposed to take to school for Christmas parties, remember to go to the Christmas parties… you know the deal.  I would make a terrible room mom. 

So on to the Cream of Mushroom soup.  There is no reason on earth you should buy the canned stuff when you have this recipe.  It is delicious and literally takes 10 minutes.  I looked up some other paleo mushroom soup recipes and I’m sure they are super delicious but none that I found are as easy as this. 

Here’s a little recipe I’m addicted to with the soup.  Make the soup and set it aside.  Then dice and season chicken tenderloins and sear in a pan with a little butter.  Then add the soup back to the pan.  Simmer for a couple of more minutes until the chicken is done.  It’s a creamy, delicious, chicken dish.  This is my new prerace food.  Seriously.  I’ve put it over white rice for carbs but cauliflower rice would be delicious too.  Or just a giant ladle, whatever it takes to get it in your face.  

I know since I’ve been MIA you’re also dying to hear my running schedule for the week.  You are right?  Anyway, sometimes I think maybe my Coach has lost his mind.  But then I remember I haven’t died yet and New Orleans is right around the corner.  EEK! 

Tuesday (two days after a half!) – Track work.  8 miles with 5 x 1000 5k pace with 400 recovery.  BRUTAL

Wednesday – 4.5 miles easy

TiredoutThursday – 10 miles.  Our workout said with 6 40 sec bursts.  He actually meant 6 but we took it as 6 miles!  Yep we basically did 6 miles of sprint intervals.  We were the laugh of the running club.  I felt like this.  And yes, that is a cookie in my mouth.  It’s not Paleo but it is gluten free.  Shoot me.  My socks say “Steak” and “Eggs” at least.

Today was Crossfit and tomorrow is 15 miles.  Fun times!

Basically, it’s crunch time.  That’s ok.  I’m trying to get enough sleep and still keep up with life…which is dang hard sometimes.  I’m also keeping a tight reign on my diet and rolling my legs a few times a day. 

On a last note.  I’m not one of those people to be vague and mysterious, obviously.  But my immediate family got some really great news this week.  This being the interweb and all, they probably don’t want me airing business, but I do want to openly thank God for his blessings.  It doesn’t even have to do with running!  Go figure!

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Creamy soup to eat alone or use as an ingredient in dishes.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (grassfed)
  2. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  3. large handful of cremini mushrooms diced small
  4. 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. More to taste
  5. 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  6. 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Add almond flour. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes to make a roux.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Then add the coconut milk and flax seeds. Stir until it thickens.
  5. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Notes
  1. Seriously! That's it!
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
Let me know any other ways you use the soup!

“Peanut Butter and Jelly” Waffles! And…Do Something HARD

waffel2

 

I am so excited about these waffles!  Paleo waffles are not always the best.  Sorry, just being honest.  And, making any sort of batter is not usually in my comfort zone.  These, my dear, are delicious and so easy!  I made them for the kids and they devoured them.  Believe me, the kids don’t always like my food.  The poor hubby hasn’t gotten to try them yet.  This weekend he will get to try them as long as he makes them and has them ready when I get home from my run.  Spoiled maybe?  Nah.

Post Indian Run.  Goofy friends.  Not me, them.

Post Indian Run. Not so bad huh?

So, this morning we had a 10 mile tempo run on the plan.  We decided to make it an Indian Run.  Basically after warm up, you get in a line, run, and the last person has to run faster to get to the front and so on.  This drill is always a lot of fun, however, it is not easy.  Somehow, we run faster and faster as the miles tick away.  Running fast is freaking hard!  In spite of huffing and puffing and sweating in December we still had a blast.

Well, that got me thinking.  The marathon is getting closer.  For those who have been under a rock, a whole bunch of my buddies and I are running the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on January 25th.  Training has been significantly harder and more time consuming than I expected.  I have spent a ridiculous amount of time running and cross training to get ready for it.  As it gets closer I find myself getting a little sad about training ending.  What?!  Who is sad about marathon training ending?? 

Let me explain.   Doing something HARD is rewarding.  Think about it.  Raising these three kids I have to be productive members of society and not be butt holes is HARD.  Everyday.  But, everyday, they give me another reason to do it.  Eating a diet that not everyone agrees with and doesn’t include classic cheeseburgers is HARD, but the way I feel and thrive is worth it.  Setting my alarm for 3:20am is plain hardcore, but I get to hang out with my crazy, early bird, buddies.  They are accountable, funny, God fearing, and a bunch of tough cookies.  I consider them my family.

My point is, just because it is uncomfortable does not mean it shouldn’t be enjoyable.  Don’t shy away from something because it’s not easy.  Embrace it and make the most of it.  Whoa!  More deep thoughts by Summer.

 

 

"Peanut Butter and Jelly" Waffles
Yields 2
Paleo waffles with a blueberry and almond butter jam.
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For the waffles
  1. 1/2 ripe banana
  2. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  6. 1/8 tsp. salt
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  9. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  10. oil for coating waffle iron
For the Blueberry Jam
  1. 1/2 cup blueberries
  2. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  3. 1 tsp. almond butter
  4. 1 tsp. honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Add all ingredients for the blueberry jam into a small saucepan and simmer.
  3. As the blueberries heat up smash some with a spoon to release juices.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, in a blender add all ingredients for the waffles. Add almond flour last.
  6. Blend waffle ingredients. Use a spoon to scrap flour off of the sides of blender.
  7. Spray or brush waffle iron with oil.
  8. Pour blended batter into waffle iron careful not to overfill.
  9. Waffles only cook for a couple of minutes. They are done when golden brown.
  10. When done, use a pot holder to flip waffle out onto a plate.
  11. Top with blueberry jam.
  12. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Recipe makes about 2 1/2 large waffles. Double if more are needed.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
 
 

 

Beef Tips with Sweet Potato Puree and My Thanks

BeefTips1It’s Thanksgiving week, yay!  You know that already right?  My recipe today has nothing to do with Thanksgiving because I’m one of those people that holidays sneak up on.  Ask me if I’ve bought a single Christmas present?  Nope.  I’ll wait until the last minute when I have to pay full price for everything.  Anyway, I always get stew meat (or beef tips) from the cow and I’ve had a hard time finding a way to cook them using Paleo ingredients.  Well, here it is folks.  Seriously.  It’s even taste tested by one of my running buddies.  It’s so flavorful.  It takes a little time but it’s worth it.  Mmmm, I love beef gravy.

Since it’s Thanksgiving we are supposed to reflect on what we are thankful for huh?  Well, here it is.

10 Things this Running Junkie is Thankful For

1. Running buddies who are not annoying.  I am easily annoyed.

2. Food

3. Good shoes and a husband who lets me buy them every other day

4. Bodyglide

5.  Compression pants

6. My watch that is more complicated than my twins

7. Salted caramel GU.  Nope, not Paleo.  Hey, it’s better than donuts.

8. Porta potties and public restrooms.

9. Finish lines

10. The chiropractor

In all seriousness, I have to admit, I am totally blessed.  For real.  I have an awesome family.  My husband, kids, parents, siblings, extended family, all of them are crazy birds but they are great and they are mine and I love them.  My church.  I get to wear jeans, rock babies and be held accountable for my actions.  It’s a pretty cool place.  My healthy body and early morning workout family.  Who the heck is thankful for early mornings?  You all know by now its a big part of my life.  I’m thankful for the ability to do stuff I never imagined were possible with some cool folks before dawn.  My freedom and comfort in the good ole US of A.  We have our trouble but we have it pretty great.  No, I’m not getting into a political argument with you either so don’t even try it.

What are some of the things you are thankful for? 

Beef Tips with Sweet Potato Puree
Paleo Beef Tips and Sweet Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb beef tips or stew meat
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 4 tbsp. butter
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup almond flour
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 1 tsp granulated garlic
  8. 14oz can beef broth
  9. 2 large sweet potatoes
  10. 1/4 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Thinly slice onion and cook it in dutch oven over low heat with 2 tbsp. butter and olive oil for about 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. You don't want them to burn but they do need to caramelize.
  4. When onions are done remove them from pan.
  5. Coat beef tips in almond flour and salt and pepper.
  6. Sear coated beef tips over a medium to high heat.
  7. Then add 3/4 can of beef broth and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan.
  8. Make sure you scrap the yummy bits out of the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add onions back to pan.
  10. Season with granulated garlic.
  11. Stir
  12. Put covered dish into oven for about 2.5 hours. Check a couple of times and add beef broth if needed.
  13. While beef is cooking peal and cube sweet potatoes.
  14. Boil for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  15. Drain water then add butter, coconut milk and salt and pepper. These ingredients may need to be adjusted depending on your taste.
  16. Mix with a hand mixture until pureed.
  17. When beef tips are done serve over sweet potatoes.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/