Monday, 10 June 2013

Paleo "Lara Bars" / Chocolate Naked Orange Bars

Once again, another recipe that came to me via Just Eat Real food!  We enjoy eating Lara Bars in our house (well some of the flavors).  Relatively healthy snack that is easy for when you are on the go.  The thing is, they are a little on the pricey side!  $1.50-$2.00 per bar.  Why is eating healthy so expensive.  I saw this recipe and though, well it looks just like a Lara bar!

Is making them cheaper?  I would have to say yes. I spent $10 on dates, and maybe (at the most) used 1/4 of the box.  $8.00 on raw cashews I maybe used 1/3 of the bag.  Oranges - mine cost $1.27.  Cocoa powder, I had a ton of that, but its cheap enough.  I had some almonds and walnuts in the cupboard already. I'm guessing it cost less than $10 to make 8 bars....

Was it easy to make?  Yes.  Doesnt take any skill, its just really messy!! Dates are super super sticky!

I took Avery a sample when I picked her up from her dayhome I had a bar for her.  She ate it up! My husband (the pickiest eater in the house) sampled it and said it was "nice" that is good coming from him!  Perhaps he will take them as snacks to work.  I certainly loved them, chocolate and orange just mesh for me.  Ive already eaten two :-)

I cut them up and individually wrapped them for on the go snacks!

  • 1.5 cups of nuts  (I used almonds, walnuts and raw cashews)
  • 20 Medjool dates (these are the big, fat, squishy ones)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  1. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with plastic wrap or wax paper. Set aside. (I used wax paper)
  2. Add the nuts to the food processor and pulse down until they become small, crumbly bits. Don’t let it go too long or it will become nut butter –  Some pieces may be a bit bigger and some might be tiny. That’s okay. Pour the nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Now, pit the dates and put them in the food processor. Pulse about 5 times until they are slightly broken down.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, orange zest, orange juice and sea salt.
  5. Process until the dates form a huge chocolatey ball. (My food processor struggled a bit, so I had to keep breaking up the giant ball of goo)
  6. Now, with clean hands: add the chocolatey dates to the nuts and combine both together. You’ll have to knead pretty well but keep at it. (its really sticky and really messy)
  7. Once all the nuts are blended in, you’ll take the lump of deliciousness and put it in the baking dish. Press the mixture into the dish until it’s packed down and smooth. (i laid down more wax paper and used a jar - kind of like a rolling pin - to pack the mixture down)
  8. Freeze for 20 minutes until firm.
  9. Turn out the mixture onto a cutting board and chop into pieces as big or small as you’d like. I usually make 12 bars from one dish.
  10. I individually wrap them. They can be frozen for a couple months if packed to withstand freezer burn. If not, store in the fridge for short term use. ( I wrapped them in wax paper then in saran wrap)
 I would suggest just keeping them in the freezer until you want to eat them.

Original recipe:

Hope you enjoy!


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Paleo Gumbo!

Wooo!  Who doesn't love Gumbo?!?!  Well I guess all those people who don't like or are allergic to seafood.  The picture was posted by Jest Eat Real Food as a taunt on Facebook, if it got enough likes they would post the recipe.  Luckily I already had the recipe pinned on Pinterest ;-)

It was not a difficult recipe, but I found the prep time was more than 20 min.  Cracking all the crab legs took me forever.  I suppose you could have used canned crab, but that just wouldn't be as good.  

Its a very expensive recipe to make (although it does make LOTS).  Crab and shrimp do not come at a reasonable price in this part of the world! 

Oh, and OKRA?!?!  Where the heck do you go in St Albert to find Okra??  I tried walmart, save-on foods, and the Enjoy center.  No suck luck, either fresh or frozen! On top of that, I forgot onions. Oh well, Gumbo is traditionally a throw in what you have recipe so I threw in portabello mushrooms.

Last problem... it stinks!  Our house still smells like seafood.  Cook with the windows open!

Despite all this, the dish got mad reviews in our house, my husband said he would ask me to make it again.  I loved it.  I had two heapings of it! (I served mine with riced cauliflower)


  • 2 lb. shrimp; (907grams in Canadian terms)
  • 1 cup oysters; (we skipped this.  don't like oysters.  we threw in some cod instead)
  • 1 cup crab meat;
  • Crab claws;
  • 2 onions, chopped; (I forgot to buy onions-woops)
  • 2 cups okra, chopped;(i threw in portabello mushrooms instead, its what I had)
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil;
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes;
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced; (i used 4)
  • 6 green onions, finely chopped;
  • 6-cup of water;
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper; (I trew in some extra, and some FRANKS)
  • 1/3-cup fresh parsley, finely chopped;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;



  • ½ cup paleo cooking fat (I used bacon grease)
  • 5 tbsp. almond flour;
  • 5 tbsp. coconut flour; (I ran out of coconut flour so i just did extra almond)


  1. Over a medium-high heat, melt ½ cup of cooking fat. Whisk in the coconut and almond flour, and stir until you get a nice dark caramel color. (this takes a few minutes, so be patient)
  2. Add the shrimp to the mixture, cook for a few minutes, and then set aside.
  3. In a big soup pot over a medium high, heat up the coconut oil. Toss in the onions and okra and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the okra is done. (I threw in my mushrooms)
  4. Once the okra is nicely browned, add the diced tomatoes and garlic. This is where I threw my seasoning in.  Cook for a minute or two, then add the water and season to taste.
  5. Add the shrimp mixture to the soup and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the crab meat, the oysters, and the crab claws, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  7. Add the parsley and green onions and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until everything is nicely cooked.
Original Recipe: 
This will be a great recipe in the fall and winter.  Its been a little cooler these past few days, so it was nice to have some warm comfort food.  We have so much of it, I am going to throw some in the freezer too.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Happy Gumbo!!