I’ve made a few different lemon muffins over the years. One of my favorite was the Coconut Flour Lemon muffin that was nut free and very lemony. But today, I was looking for a fluffier version of that muffin. Strictly coconut flour muffins tend to be a little denser than an almond flour one because you need to use so much liquid to balance out the thirstiness of the coconut flour. I wasn’t really looking to make this one nut free in particular so I played around with it a bit until I found a combo that I really liked. This Lemon Muffin is a coconut – almond flour combo that is just what I was looking for. You can add poppy seeds to it if you like them; I didn’t add them because I didn’t have any and they’re not my family’s favorite. Feel free to customize your own until you find your perfect Lemon Muffin!

 

Lemon Muffin

1/2 C almond flour

3/4 C coconut flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

5 eggs

3/4 C applesauce

1/2 C honey

2 T lemon zest (about 1.5 lemon’s worth of zest)

1 tsp. lemon extract

2 T poppy seeds (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl. Add applesauce, honey, lemon zest and lemon extract. In another bowl beat eggs until they are foamy or fluffy. Gently mix eggs into flour mixture. Spoon batter into lined muffin tin. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops are firm for regular sized muffins and 40 minutes for jumbos.

I’ve made several versions of the baked egg cups. Some had bacon, some had sausage, some had veggies. The other day I decided to make the baked eggs in a half of a bell pepper. I wasn’t sure how this might work and if the liquid from the cooking pepper might make the eggs runny or keep them from setting, but they turned out beautifully! I added cheese to mine, so these are primal rather than paleo, but you could omit the cheese if you don’t do dairy. You can add any mix-ins that suit you: veggies, meat, cheese, etc. I used mushrooms, onions, broccoli and cheese in mine. Now I’m thinking of other foods that may be cup-like…can I make a baked omelet in a giant mushroom or in a tomato? May have to give those a try!

Bell Pepper Egg Cups

3 Bell Peppers cut in half, and seeded

6-8 eggs (depends on size of your pepper and size of your eggs)

1/2 onion diced

2-3 button mushrooms diced

small hand full of shredded cheese if desired

Any other mix-ins you like!

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Half and seed bell peppers. Place them in a baking dish with sides to catch any egg that leaks out. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork and add salt and pepper. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of egg into each bell pepper half. Add any mix ins you like then top up with remaining egg. Bake for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set. If you are using more watery veggies it may take a little more time to cook. Enjoy warm!  

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We tried a new system this week to come up with our meal plan and to help with constructing our grocery list:

The bottom row consists of breakfast options to make ahead of time and packed lunch necessities.

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Kid friendly breakfast “Grab and Go” options: Paleo Pumpkin Mini Loaves & Easy Egg Breakfast Muffins

With a high schooler in the house, these are a staple!

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Here’s the meal plan for this week:

Monday: Apple and maple grilled pork steaks with roasted root vegetables and broccoli

Tuesday: Taco Salad

Wednesday: Chicken and Shrimp Stir-Fry

Thursday: Sausage Casserole and broccoli

Friday: Chili

Saturday: Brunch and then Eat Out 

Sunday: Roast Beef and veggies 

And a few photos from last week:

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Have a good’un!

Tomorrow the kids go back to school! I can’t believe I  have a third grader and a fifth grader, but somehow it happened. The kids have decided to try to be 100% dairy and gluten free (yay!). So we have been working on how to make that happen. Even though I eat Paleo, it’s not as easy to find things for the kids to take for lunch that fit into that category. I’ll eat practically any vegetable, meat or fruit, but they are much more picky. The boy also doesn’t really like cold meat, so we’re working on ways to keep his meat warm or find meats he will eat cold.

As we start the school year, we’re focusing on things I know they like and will try to add in other more adventurous items as the year progresses. So far in my preparations I’ve made a big batch of coconut flour chocolate pancakes to put in the freezer. Both kids like pancakes and can pop these babies in the toaster every morning to make their own breakfast. Add some precooked bacon and almond milk to that and they are set! Next week we may make some bacon and egg cups or pizza cups to have on hand for breakfast, but for now we’re sticking to pancakes.

I also baked a big batch of chocolate chip muffins to put in the freezer. Instead of the applesauce I usually use in the recipe, I substituted zucchini puree. That way even if he doesn’t eat the vegetables in his lunch box he’s gotten zucchini anyway.  I also brought home a few blueberry muffins from our Farmer’s Market Stall the other day just to give them some variety.

The kids will be packing their own lunches every night before they go to bed…at least that’s the plan. I made a chart for them to consult when deciding what to pack. It’s got 4 categories to choose from, and they should pick one item from each category. The 4 categories are: Protein, Veggie, Fruit, Treat. If they want an extra serving of one of the other 3, they can always leave out the Treat category, although I don’t really anticipate that happening. In making this chart I asked the kids what they liked and listed those items. I figure if they both dislike turnips, there’s no point putting that on the chart, right? So this is our chart so far…I’m sure we’ll add more items as the year progresses and probably ditch ones that don’t go over well.

 

Protein:

Boiled Eggs

Bacon and Egg Cup

Prosciutto

Jerky

Salami

Pastrami

Sliced Turkey

Ham Cubes

Meatballs

Chicken Legs

Salt and Vinegar Almonds – recipe to come!

 

Veggie:

Carrots

Pickles

Cucumbers

Lettuce

Spinach

Kale Chips – planning try out another recipe using the dehydrator

 

Fruit:

Banana – fresh or dehydrated

Apple

Applesauce

Nectarine

Peaches

Pears

Melon

Strawberries – fresh or frozen

Orange

Blueberries – fresh or frozen

 

Treat:

Chocolate Chip Muffin

Blueberry Muffin

Everyday Cookie

Smoothie in a Thermos

 

Here is what the kids packed for the first day of school. The girl chose pastrami, pickles, a banana and a blueberry muffin.

 

The boy chose pastrami, a nectarine, few pieces of romaine lettuce and a chocolate chip muffin.

 

I’m anxious to see what gets eaten and what gets brought back home!

It’s zucchini  season!  What do you do with your extra zucchini? I love sautéed zucchini as well as zucchini chips and even raw zucchini salad, but my favorite way to eat zucchini is probably zucchini bread. I’ve made several different versions of zucchini bread over the years, but this version is definitely my favorite.  Give it a try and see for yourself. 

 

Zucchini Bread (Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free)

2 1/2 C shredded and drained zucchini

2 1/2 C almond flour

4 eggs

1/2 C maple syrup

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1C chocolate chips

 

 

Mix all ingredients together except chips. Gently fold in the chips then scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake at 350 *F for 20-30 minutes.

 

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