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Product Review: Coconut Secret Ecuadorian Crunch Chocolate Bar

13 May

Until very recently, I’ve never been much of a chocolate fan. I don’t know, it’s not that I hated chocolate, I could just kind of take it or leave it. And in most cases, if you offered me a choice between flavors, I’d pick “not chocolate.” But lately I’ve started to really appreciate chocolate, really, really good chocolate in particular, as a great not-too-terrible indulgence (as opposed to the gluten free lemon bar I ate earlier today, which was a straight-up quite bad for me indulgence).

So imagine my excitement when I found this:

Coconut Secret Ecuadorian Crunch chocolate bar — it has no soy, and it’s coconut-sugar sweetened! OMG! Hos is this possible!?!?!? It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? The only thing that could possibly make this more paleo is if it were dairy free, and rest assured their other bars are, but I really, really wanted milk chocolate.

So, how does it stack up?

THIS

IS

SO

AWESOME

Absolutely delicious. It has a wonderful flavor and mouth-feel, and the crunch is really appealing. I can’t detect any grittiness in the chocolate itself, but that may just be because there are all these other texture experiences going on. The flavor is the very best that milk chocolate can be, which to me is a very comforting taste.

I will definitely buy these again. It’s a little pricey (at my grocery store, $3.49/bar), but worth it.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

12 May

I can’t call this a recipe because I haven’t worked one out, it’s more like a “food idea.” But it’s a really good idea — paleo stuffed grape leaves! Our grape vines have such pretty soft leaves right now, and I really like stuffed grape leaves, and I’ve always wanted to make them at home with fresh leaves… so I figured why not?

Here’s what I ended up with:

paleo grape leaves

Stuffed fresh grape leaves

Before I started I did some poking around online for advice and came back with two things that seemed critical:

  1. Steep the leaves briefly in boiling water before starting, until they turn from bright green to dull green.
  2. Cut out the vein/stem at the very center of the leaf, where it attached to the petiole.

Other than that, I winged it. Here’s what I did:

  • Picked leaves that were still tender.
  • Put them in a tempered glass container, poured boiling water over them, let them sit until they turned olive green.
  • Drained and rinsed with cold water.
  • Made the filling: I had some grass-fed beef cut for stir-fry that I hand chopped (albeit with a pretty dull knife, so it’s more accurate to say I smashed it a little) then mixed with garlic, salt, and a Georgian (the country, not the state) spice mix that someone gave me some years back and that I don’t really know anything else about except that it’s yummy. I eyeballed the filling-to-leaf ratio and I didn’t get it quite right, but it turned out okay.
  • Separated the filling into little lumps, put a lump in the center of a leaf, and wrapped, making sure to completely enclose the meat and stick the leaf back to itself well.
  • Put each bundle in a steamer basket, then steamed them all for about 15 minutes.

Traditionally dolmas are served cold, but I ate mine hot. I drizzled a little olive oil on top and sprinkled on some coarse salt. This is great as a snack, or a party appetizer. They would be even better with lamb (which would also be more traditional), and you could add other vegetables to the filling easily.

Link

Low carb, grain free crackers!

7 Mar

Low carb, grain free crackers!

These are not paleo (they have cheese), but they are INCREDIBLE. And they keep pretty well too — I’m on day 3 of munching on them. They’re great after a workout, lots of fat and salt and protein and don’t require any prep.

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Road Trip Essentials

14 Feb

Road Trip Essentials

Mostly putting this here as a reminder to myself — this is what I once packed for a road trip from Oregon to Vegas. This kept me from stopping for junk food along the way! Not pictured: some leftover roast pork with peach sauce that was also part of this food adventure.

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