Pumpkin Muffins (Paleo)

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins | Hold the Lemon

As the weather here in New England intermittently begins to feel decidedly like winter (today there’s a high of 59 degrees F, but just a couple days ago the high was 32!), I find myself holding on to the last vestiges of Fall.  With all of the Thanksgiving dinner food coming tomorrow, here is an easy recipe for a make-ahead small breakfast to get you going the day of before the big meal, or easily grab a muffin or two the day after when you just don’t want to cook.

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Dinner: Primal Chicken Fingers and Creamy Curry Spinach

Paleo Chicken Fingers and Curried Spinach | Hold the Lemon

I generally tend to stay away from ‘faking’ my way through food I “can’t” have because despite “healthy” ingredients, sometimes those substitute dishes can end up being notably unhealthy. For example, restaurant salads or gluten-free baked goods that often have higher calories and even empty calories because of the add-ons to make them more appealing or the substitutions that bring more to the table than the original does.

That said, they are great for occasional indulgences. Like, this fried chicken recipe I based on one I found in in Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made Paleo by Megan McCullough Keatley and Brandon Keatley.  I put the creamy curry spinach recipe also found in this book on the side of this meal, so that makes it healthier right? Probably not after I added the coconut milk to it. But, oh yeah, it was good.

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Brussels Sprout Chips

Sometimes you just need a little green crunch. A spin-off from kale chips, I first made these after preparing the Dinner Menu: Sage Chicken Thighs, Brussels Sprouts, and Sweet Potato. I reserved the clean leaves from cutting and prepping the Brussels sprouts, and I waited until the pan drippings from the chicken thighs were cooled.  Delicious easy snack if you enjoy these little cabbages.

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Dinner Menu: Sage Chicken Thighs, Brussels Sprouts, and Sweet Potato

What’s for dinner? Simple, delicious, and balanced is key for me; this menu does the trick. Brush some oil and spices onto chicken and bake it. While it’s baking, pan fry some Brussels sprouts, and microwave a sweet potato. Dinner is done! These three recipes as is will feed two people (if you bake two sweet potatoes). And one serving of everything for the whole meal is under 400 calories! That leaves plenty of room for another helping of chicken, or some dessert!

As a bonus, I will also blog about an easy post-dinner snack recipe that works perfectly with this meal: Brussels Sprout chips.  Reserve the clean Brussels sprout leaves, and the chicken drippings!

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Nutty Cocoa-Coconut Cookies (Paleo)

Hey there, paleo cookie monster! Do you want to have your cookie and eat it too? This paleo cookie recipe uses the common basic ingredients in a paleo kitchen, so it’s easy enough to whip these up when the mood hits you! It’s also a great base to add your favorite nuts, or substitute dried fruit!

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Pineapple-bacon Chicken for a Crowd

Pineapple-bacon Chicken for a Crowd | Hold the Lemon

When I’m hosting a get-together for a large group of people and need to cook for a crowd, I value ease of ingredients, ease of preparation, and the ability to have everything all set before the guests arrive so I can spend less time fretting in the kitchen and more time socializing with my guests! I also like to make sure I provide a dish that is hearty (since guests often bring sides and desserts), hot (since it’s more difficult for guests to bring hot items), and can be eaten by the majority (if not all) attendees. These parameters can be difficult to match, but this recipe seems to fit the bill!

I adapted one of my favorite kabob recipes to create this easy bright dish, which uses only five regular ingredients (plus seasonings). This dish can be prepared before the guests arrive and is perfectly happy being set to warm in a crockpot. Extra bonus is that prep/cooking only dirties up one skillet, a cutting board, a knife, and a cooking utensil, so I don’t add too much to the pre-party dishes to clean!

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Bacon-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts. You either love them or hate them. I actually love them. But even a green vegetable avoider may give Brussels sprouts a second look when you pair them with their unlikely-but-perfectly-paired partner: bacon. Also, garlic, because why not. It’s tasty.

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Easy 5 Ingredient Paleo Snack Mix

Easy Paleo 5-Ingredient Snack Mix | Hold the Lemon

I am currently trying out paleo and loving it! I’ll add my voice to the many that say that it just gives me more energy and makes me feel better to be eating cleaner. For those unfamiliar, basically paleo restricts grains, dairy, legumes, processed foods, and added sugars. It’s a bit more complicated than that, and it involves more than just diet.

Every week or so I have been making myself a paleo trail mix snack. I find that having something quick and easy on me at work or while I’m running errands makes paleo more manageable for me. I was trying to make my snack mix in one big batch and divide it among the week, but this time I decided to get precise to one day’s serving.  Here is this week’s mix:

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