Paleo Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Muffins

AKA: Post-Push Press Proteinapolooza
So after peeling ourselves off the floor and shuffling home, it was clear I needed some post-workout fuel that was a grade higher than your average protein shake.

image_6424684a-8297-4f7e-9570-8dd25ff2e076_largeWe just got back from our Monday morning torture session… err… workout. I could go through the details of the horror, but instead, I’ll simply show you the post-workout carnage.

Our trainer seems to find delight in rendering us useless on the mat with little will, or desire for that matter, to continue living. But, as it’s a holiday today, and the ankle biters are home from school, I didn’t have the luxury of martyrdom. Seems they expect to be cared for. So after peeling ourselves off the floor and shuffling home, it was clear I needed some post-workout fuel that was a grade higher than your average protein shake. I found the original prep for these beauties here. But, made a few tweaks, and they turned out to be just the elixir we needed to continue the fight. Onward and upward. We’ve got forts to build, dogs to bathe and what looks to be a delicious crockpot chicken dinner to prep. (More on that later.)


So here we go. Holy banana chocolate chunk, Caveman.


Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Muffinsimage_526b0a22-5a57-41bc-8b8c-83f8e3f34274_large

What you’ll need:

• 3 ripe mashed bananas (I keep bananas frozen in the freezer. When they get brown and ick-tastic on the counter top, I’ll peal them and put them in a freezer-safe bag. When I need a super-ripe banana, I’ll just pull them out and let them thaw on the counter top for a bit.)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

5 eggs

1/4 cup honey (I used about half this amount. Up to you.)

1/2 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/4 cup flax seed

(optional) 1/4 to 1/2 cup dark chocolate (I like to use at least 70% cacao)


What you’ll do:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place liners in muffin tin. I like the reusable silicone liners.

2. Combine mashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs and honey in a large bowl or mixer.

3. Add coconut flour, almond flour, salt and baking soda to the bowl and mix until well incorporated.

4. Fold in nuts, flax and chocolate, if using.

5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

6. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until muffins are slightly brown.

Citrus Mustard Salmon and Sprouts

My local market had a great deal on wild salmon yesterday. Consequently, we had a great supper on the table last night.

salmon_done_largeYesterday was the last day of Christmas break. And, as much as I enjoy a quiet, productive house, dropping the girls off at school this morning was about as satisfying as mistakingly grabbing yesterday’s cold cup of coffee off the kitchen counter and taking a hearty guzzle. Bleh.

It has been a good few weeks together. I consider myself blessed that the domestic disputes were small and, for the most part, insignificant. We traveled a bit to see family. We enjoyed a few flakes of snow. We imbibed… a few times. And, not wanting it to end without its just finale, we enjoyed a swimmingly delish last supper together. (Yes, I said swimmingly. This terrible writing isn’t going to stop, people. Those that know me have learned to ignore my nauseating affinity for punny. To the rest of you, I’ll simply say, you’ll get there.)

Mustard and Citrus Salmon with Paleo Herb Crust

What you’ll need:

four 6 to 8-ounce fresh salmon filets

dijon mustard

fresh-squeezed lemon juice

fresh-squeezed lime juice

sea salt

black pepper

2-3 tablespoons almond flour

1 tsp fresh or dried dill

1 tsp garlic powder

dried basil, oregano, or thyme (optional, to your liking)

1 tbsp melted paleo cooking fat (coconut oil, bacon fat, butter)

What you’ll do:

Place fish in baking dish, and drizzle with lemon and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Note: If you enjoy the skin, which I do… like a hungry stray cat enjoys free tunafish… put a tablespoon of cooking fat in the bottom of your baking dish before placing the filets. This will allow you to abscond with the fish with the skin intact after cooking. Salmon skin is high in those good Omega-3s, and is just darn tasty. But, as always, there are skeptics and haters. I won’t hash out the “risks” here. That’s why there’s Google.) Place a dollop of a quality dijon mustard on each filet, and spread evenly. Let this marinate on the counter top while you prepare the herb crust.

In a small bowl, combine almond flour, dill, garlic powder and any other herb you like. It’s all flavor, and it’s all good. Go with what you like. There’s no science here. It’s pretty much fail-proof. Sprinkle the herbed almond flour over the top of the filets. Place in a 350-degree oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes. In the last five to ten minutes of baking, remove the filets and drizzle melted coconut oil, bacon fat or organic grass-fed butter over the top. Put back in the oven. This will allow the crumb topping to get golden and, quite frankly, irresistible.


Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

What you’ll need:
1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts

4-6 strips of bacon

garlic powder, dill or thyme (to your liking)


What you’ll do:

Steam the sprouts, no more than 4 minutes. (Let’s face it, the BS get a bum rap. And I’m convinced it’s because our mothers never knew anything other than to cook them to mushy smithereens… or thanks to schmucks like this guy. Poor little buggars. DON’T NEGLECT THEM. They need just a few minutes in the steam bath. You’ll thank me.) Remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, rough chop the bacon, place in a 9×13 baking dish, and put in the oven, which should already be set to 350 for your fish. While the bacon renders in the oven, conveniently absent from any involvement from you, (told ya… this is easy… nothing fishy about it…) cut the stems off the sprouts and quarter. Once the bacon is swimming in its own fat, pull it from the oven, add the quartered sprouts, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill (my favorite, but again, you can season to your little sprout’s desire), toss all in the bacon fat to coat, and back into the oven it goes.

I happened to have an eggplant that needed some love, so I cubed that up and tossed it in as well. Roast away while the fish is cooking, tossing every once in a while so everybody gets to play in the grease. I like to cook mine until I see a little caramelization, about 30 minutes, but again, totally up to you. If you’re using knives and an oven, I’m going on the assumption you have the wherewithal to adapt this to your liking. You can do this. I just know it.