Tag Archives: easy

Cinnamon grain-free granola or breakfast cereal

grain-free sugar-free paleo granola

I’ve been making this easy grain-free granola for ages! These days, I’m enjoying it as a low-carb substitute for breakfast cereal. Having it on hand makes it possible again to have a breakfast that’s as simple as pouring two things into a bowl!

It also makes a yummy whole-food snack: perfect for times when I want something portable, crunchy and munchy. (Hello, road trips and movie theaters!) And happily, this recipe also satisfies the requirements for whole food, real food, sugar-free, low-carb, and Paleo diets. Maybe also keto: see notes at the end.

It comes together quickly, and is made on the stove-top, so you don’t even need to heat the oven!

A few things about the ingredients…

The coconut used is large flake and unsweetened. For the best deal, look for it where bulk foods are sold.

grain-free granola, use large-flake coconut

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Sliced almonds will give a more delicate, crispy crunch than slivered — which will be better for cereal. But if slivered is all you’ve got, or you’re just making this for a snack, slivered almonds are fine.

sliced and slivered almonds

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stevia extract

 

 

Stevia extracts vary in sweetness. This is the brand and flavor I use.

 

Feel free to experiment with other brands and flavors, but just remember that it may need adjusting. If you’re unsure, try making a one-third batch first, to zone in on the perfect sweetener level for your taste.

 

Ready for the recipe?

 


Grain-free, sugar-free granola or breakfast cereal

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1.5 Tblsp coconut oil

6 drops liquid stevia extract, plain or flavored*

1.5 cups large, unsweetened, dried coconut flakes

optional: additional 1 teasp coconut oil

1 cup each:

  • sliced (or slivered) almonds
  • large pecan pieces (or small pecans)
  • large English walnut pieces

1/2 to 1 teasp cinnamon

optional: dash salt

*The sweetness level of this recipe as written is slightly sweet to someone who’s used to a sugar-free, sweetener-free life. If your taste runs sweeter, you may want to use more. If you’re unsure, try making a one-third batch first, to zone in on the perfect sweetener level for your taste.

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DIRECTIONS:

For a full batch, your skillet / frying pan should have a 9″ (23 cm) diameter bottom, at least. Larger is fine.

Place pan over medium-low heat. Add the 1.5 tablespoon of coconut oil and the stevia drops. Stir them together, then add the coconut flakes. Turn them over several times — gently, so as not to break too many flakes — so that the oil coats the flakes on both sides.

Then let it sit, but stay near, watching for it to begin turning brown on the bottom. (The first picture below shows it as it begins browning.) As it does, gently turn large spoonfuls over every few/several minutes till many of the pieces are lightly toasted; some will still be mostly white. (Second image below.)

coconut in two stages of toasting, for granola

If the bottom of the pan looks dry at this point,  add another teaspoon of coconut oil.

Add the almonds, pecans, and walnuts, and continue to stir for two or three minutes. Remove from the heat, and add the cinnamon and salt. Stir gently to distribute the cinnamon.

grain-free sugar-free granola, cooling in the pan

You may let it cool in the pan, stirring occasionally. This will probably be 30 minutes, at least. (I sometimes let it sit for several hours as I do other stuff around the house, just stirring it whenever I swing through the kitchen.)

When completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container. Keeps at room temp for a week or more.

For cereal, just top it with your favorite milk. I like coconut.  🙂

grain-free sugar-free granola or breakfast cereal

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Some questions you may have:

Is there a printable? – Sure: here ya go! Grain-free sugar-free granola/cereal recipe.

Can I add other ingredients, like flax seed, chia seed, or hemp hearts? – I wouldn’t add them to the mix, because this isn’t a sticky granola, and they’re so much smaller they’re going to sift quickly to the bottom of the container. But you could certainly sprinkle them on just before eating.

Wow! Isn’t this really high calorie? – Yep. Sure is. I don’t count calories. I find that when I eat all whole foods and keep carbs in check (oh, and address my emotional eating), my daily intake tends to correct itself without any counting.

Is it keto? – It’s certainly low carb, high fat. I haven’t run the macros, but I think you might need to add more coconut oil to make it high enough fat for serious keto. (I don’t have any experience with a keto calculator, but here’s wholesomeyum’s recommendation.)

How much is a serving? – That’s entirely up to you, but I’ll warn you: because it’s so low in carbs (carbs make you hungry) and high in fat (fat makes you full), you’re going to want a lot less of this than you would of cereal. And while I don’t count calories, they do count to some extent, and nuts can quickly get you outside of healthy bounds. To keep snack servings in check, you might want to portion it out into snack baggies or other small containers. I just put a small amount in a very small bowl at home, or in baggies when I’m out.

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grain-free sugar-free granola or cereal

Taco hash – get your grain-free, dairy-free taco fix!

grain-free dairy-free taco hash

When you’re craving tacos, but you know you feel better if you skip the tortilla and/or the cheese, this Paleo-friendly way to get your taco fix is quick and simple when you’ve got prepped ingredients ready to go.

This isn’t a recipe: it’s an assemblage of several things I keep on hand, thrown together. If you have all the ingredients ready, this will cook up in about 15 minutes, maybe less. It’s super easy! I’ll walk you through it…

diced sweet potato and onion

I’ve always got cooked diced sweet potato and diced onion on hand in the fridge. (Check out my sweet potato post for tips and a how-to video.) On this happy day, I also had cooked, seasoned, crumbled hamburger in the freezer. I don’t always have it on hand, but when I’m cooking hamburger for a recipe or immediate meal, I try to cook extra. It’s cooked with onions and maybe garlic, and seasoned with a little salt and pepper (not too much, since it’s usually added to other things that may already have salt and heat). Then I divide it into single-serving baggies, and stash those in a gallon baggie in the freezer. The small baggies are quick and easy to thaw, making meals like this much quicker.

I rarely cook dishes like this by recipe anymore. But for those who aren’t so comfortable winging it, here’s my guess, per serving:

  • onion – about half a small onion, or a quarter of a large one
  • hamburger – about 4 oz. or 1/2 cup
  • sweet potato – equal to or a little less than the hamburger

On this particular day, I added some diced bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and kale, but those are quite optional. Another no-chop option would be to just stir in some salsa.

Then I add a generous sprinkling of homemade taco seasoning (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon; start small, taste, and add till it suits you), stir it in, and boom! – it’s done!

(Here’s my gluten-free, sugar-free taco seasoning mix recipe.)

Toppings are optional. If I’d had avocado or guacamole on hand, I would’ve used one of those. But I didn’t, so I topped it with dairy-free “sour cream” (coconut milk yogurt with a splash of lemon juice stirred in). You could use real sour cream, if you do dairy.

Yum! Tons of flavor. You won’t miss the taco shells or the cheese at all!

Taco Hash - Ready in 15 minutes, if you have some simple ingredient prep done. Paleo + Whole30 friendly, too!

Citrus avocado salad with orange vinaigrette

citrus avocado salad with orange vinaigrette

This salad is beautiful, and scrumptious, but it’s also super easy to throw together. You can use whatever sweet citrus you have available. I used Cara Cara oranges this time, but you could use regular oranges, blood oranges, or any kind of orange cousin: tangerine, clementine, mandarin, satsuma.

The hardest parts are slicing the avocado and citrus, but that’s not really difficult, once you see a demonstration…

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The Five-Food Plate: a template for healthy meals

steak salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Since losing more than 30 pounds two years ago, and because I’ve kinda become known as a food guru in my social circles, people often ask me, “So, how do you eat?”

I’ve had a hard time answering that. It took me a long time and much trial and error to arrive at what works for me, and even when I found it, I was too close to it to be able to articulate it for others.

But this week it hit me. It’s just this simple five-part formula:

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BLT Salad with Avocado

Easy BLT salad with avocado - gluten-free, low-carb, paleo

This salad couldn’t be easier, and because it borrows the classic flavors of a BLT sandwich, what’s not to love?! Trust me: you won’t miss the bread. My hubs who’s usually all “meh” over salads even likes it! And because there’s no bread, this salad is gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, low-carb, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant. (Assuming you use compliant mayo and bacon.)

You could also add chopped cooked chicken to this and call it a one-dish meal!

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Amazin’ Asian sauce: stir-fry, broth bowl, & crack slaw

homemade stir-fry sauce, crack slaw

This started out just being a homemade stir-fry sauce, but I’ve found that the leftover stir-fry makes a great broth bowl (curry optional), and the sauce also works for that addictive stuff known as “crack slaw.” (Sometimes also called “egg roll in a bowl.”) So it’s really an all-purpose Asian sauce: that’s what makes it amazin’!

You could, of course, also use it in a meatless main dish or veggie side dish. And made with tamari or coconut aminos, it’s gluten-free.

You might want to make a small batch, first, to figure out how you want to adapt it to your taste; feel free to improvise on my recipe! Then make a larger batch to keep on hand in the fridge for easy, throw-together meals.

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Greek salad with tzatziki dressing

gyro-inspired salad

This sort-of-Greek salad was inspired by a gyro wrap: it has all the contents of a gyro, minus the pita wrap, with a modified tzatziki dressing. Gyro is a Greek dish featuring meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, and usually served wrapped in pita bread, with cucumber, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is traditionally made using yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill, mint, or parsley. Sometimes they’re also served with french fries stuffed inside.

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