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Paleo Lemon Cookies

Lemon peels help detoxify your body and boost your immune system!
paleo lemon cookies

These cookies are what I call a “pantry dessert”. That means that I can whip it up without having to go to the store for anything. These paleo lemon cookies are made with a bunch of ingredients found in many healthy pantries and with some fresh lemons.

Everyone who knows me knows that desserts are not my forte. I oftentimes get an A for effort, but a C for taste. I was the mom who used to burn the chocolate chip cookies that you just had to slice and bake. I attribute this lack of baking ability to the fact that I like to taste as I go and I hate to measure. My daughter is constantly slapping her hand to her forehead in frustration when she watches me bake — she’s a great baker and understands the value of the science behind it.

So, believe me when I tell you, that these paleo lemon cookies are easy. I made them and they came out great the first time. I took the original impressive recipe from a great blog, Texanerin Baking and it’s a winner — even with my not-so-standard adjustments.

These cookies taste like deliciously sweet sugar cookies with a hint of lemon. The first night, we ate a bunch of them because they were so good. The second day, the taste was the same, but the texture changed to be like moist soft macarons. The taste was still just as amazing, but we crumbled them on top of smoothie bowls and yogurt parfaits. I highly recommend that you try this too!

For another great simple cookie, try my Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies.

paleo lemon cookiespaleo lemon cookies

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these paleo lemon cookies:

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. This recipe uses zested lemon peel and lemon juice.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

In eastern medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. These cookies contain coconut oil and coconut flour.

In eastern medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour.

paleo lemon cookies

Paleo Lemon Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, cookies, paleo
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Texanerin Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 13
 
These cookies taste like deliciously sweet sugar cookies with a hint of lemon. They are completely grain-free and dairy-free and contain healing ingredients!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  3. In another bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, and hemp seeds.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Roll the dough into golf-ball size balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray, spacing them at least a few inches apart.
  6. Press down on the cookies with a fork or your hand. (I used a fork, but found it much easier when the fork was wet.)
  7. I got 13 cookies out of my dough, but whatever you get, is fine.
  8. Bake until the cookies are slightly brown on the edges and a bit on the tops too; mine took 23 minutes, but the original recipe says to check them after 12 minutes...
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing them from the tray.
  10. I stored my leftovers in a sealed container and they were awesome the next day, just a lot softer. (I highly recommend crumbling them up the next day and topping your yogurt or smoothie bowl with the crumbles...yum!)
  11. Enjoy!

paleo lemon cookies

Paleo Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant reduces pain and inflammation… I know that my over 40 body (okay… waaaayyyy over 40) needs that… don’t you?

paleo eggplant parmesan

Eggplant parmesan is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I have tried, and failed, to make a delicious, healthy, paleo, vegan, grain-free version for so long that I can’t even remember when this obsession started. But today, I can finally say: TA-DA! I did it. This paleo eggplant parmesan is perfect. For real. And not just by my ridiculously healthy standards. But by everyone’s standards.

And now I feel unstoppable. Because I am going to be making zucchini parmesan next. And who knows what will follow.

I think the artwork hanging in my kitchen helped me with this recipe. I mean, when you look at a colorful canvass of The Hulk smashing rocks, it kind of makes you feel all-powerful. Or, maybe it was the awesome paleo wine that I was sipping. But, what-evuh…

The eggplant in this dish is thinly sliced and crispy with a deliciously traditional texture. The sauce is a little sweet and a little spicy and it screams Southern Italy. The cheese is vegan, but I’ve found the most delicious vegan mozzarella ever, so even this part of the dish passed muster by my non-vegan, and often overly-critical, family.

Here in New York, it’s cold and it’s damp. And it’s dark out at 4:30. Wow, do I hate these short days. But let me say, that a big dish of this paleo eggplant parmesan just makes it all right. I think it even tastes better on these cold, dark, and dreary days…

For another great eggplant dish, try my recipe for Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

paleo eggplant parmesanpaleo eggplant parmesan

Here are some of the reasons you need to make this paleo eggplant parmesan:

In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour to coat the eggplant slices. This makes for a healthy, crispy coating.

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies or water when anyone has a cold… it works great!

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. The tomato sauce in this recipe is delicious, so I suggest making double the amount so you can freeze a batch.

paleo eggplant parmesan

Paleo Eggplant Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, grain-free, comfort food
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This dish tastes just as good as a traditional, non-healthy, great eggplant parmesan. But this one's paleo and vegan. This is my favorite creation yet!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium thin eggplants (I used some Japanese ones), sliced thin vertically (so you end up with long, thin slices)
  • 2 Tbs flax meal whisked into 6 Tbs water (or substitute 2 eggs, beaten and mixed with 2 Tbs water)
  • 1-1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 4 oz thinly sliced vegan mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese shreds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the egg and water mixture into a shallow pie plate or dish.
  3. In a second shallow dish, combine the almond meal with the oregano and some salt and black pepper.
  4. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture and flip to coat well.
  5. Then dredge each piece in the almond flour mixture, again turning to coat well.
  6. Place the dredged slices on parchment-lined baking sheets in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other.
  7. Place the trays in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then flip the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the slices start to get crisp and golden brown. (Note: all ovens are different, so check your slices occasionally to make sure they don't cook too quickly.)
  8. Meanwhile make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven, and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
  10. Ladle some sauce into the bottom of a 13x11 baking dish (or a dish close to that size).
  11. Arrange eggplant slices over the sauce, putting them close to each other but not overlapping much.
  12. Spread some sauce over the eggplant. Layer some mozzarella over the sauce. Repeat with a second layer (and a third layer if you have extra eggplant).
  13. After you add your final layer of eggplant, finish with sauce, then mozzarella, and then sprinkle on the Parmesan.
  14. Bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

paleo eggplant parmesan

Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

You’ll swear there’s oatmeal in these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies, but nope… totally grain-free!

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

These grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies are magical. I say that because there is no way you can tell that they are grain-free. You can’t tell by the texture — they have the exact texture of traditional oatmeal cookies. You can’t tell by the taste –nthey taste better than most oatmeal raisin cookies!

Full disclosure: I am not the magician here. The original recipe is from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain, cookbook, so kudos to Danielle! I took some liberties with the recipe when I made it (because I am pretty sure I am incapable of not changing a recipe…), and I (not being the best baker in the world) was so impressed with the end result that I ended up making a ton of these cookies and putting bags of them in my freezer! Another disclosure: they are so good that sometimes we eat them frozen instead of waiting for them to defrost…

A few weeks ago I had some old friends over for dinner. It was the first dinner party I had in our new apartment. But more importantly, the women who were coming are amazing women who I re-connected with after many years and I really wanted the serve special food.  I knew some of my guests would bring dessert (at least those that were not bringing wine) so I just wanted to have something here that was healthy to nibble on so I wouldn’t go crazy eating all of the decadent desserts I expected would be on the table. Well, my friends did not disappoint. Yes, we had lots and lots of wine. But, between the Italian pastries and the cheesecake and the prettiest boxes of cookies I ever saw, I set a basket of these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies. And, they were able to withstand the competition! They really are that good!

If you like chocolate chip cookies, but don’t want the grains, try my Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookie recipe.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

Here are some of the reasons these cookies are awesome for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. Even if you are not on a dairy-free diet, almond milk is the way to go. This recipe uses almond meal instead of a grain-based flour.

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. It’s the coconut flakes that mimic the texture of oatmeal in these cookies, and there is also some coconut flour included.

Raisins help relieve constipation, can help bring down a fever, and can be good for you if you have anemia. Research has also shown them to be effective in helping to ward of cancer because they increase antioxidant levels in your body.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Goji berries are a Chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in these cookies shoud be fine for anyone.

Honey is an amazing food. It is also a Chinese herb (Feng Mi). Raw honey is honey in its purest form; it has not been filtered, strained or heated above 115 degrees. This means when you eat it, the enzymes, anti-oxidants and nutrients haven’t been disturbed. I use raw honey in my tea, smoothies and in any recipe that calls for honey. Raw honey is solid and may need to be melted before you use it, but this is easy and only takes a minute or two. Honey helps with constipation, some coughs, and some stomach ulcers.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

 

Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, grain-free, paleo
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Against All Grain
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
 
These are oatmeal cookies with no oatmeal... but no one will ever know!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, place the shortening and egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla and mix until creamy.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and flax meal.
  5. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix for about one minute, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  6. Add the coconut, raisins, and goji berries and mix again until combined, about one minute.
  7. Using a tablespoon, place balls of dough onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen balls.
  8. Wet your palm and gently flatten each ball. I like my cookies kind of thick, so I didn't flatten mine too much.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes, then swap the tray positions so they will evenly cook. Then cook for 4 minutes and then swap again and cook for another 4 minutes. Then repeat for 3 minutes in each position.
  10. *This is how long my cookies took to bake; be aware and check the cookies often -- if they are thinner than mine were (see how thick mine are in the photos), they will cook faster. The original recipe calls for 12 minutes total cooking time.

 

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale

These lamb meatballs with herbs and kale are incredibly delicious and satisfying!

lamb meatballs (finished in pan)-9346

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I mean, you can’t be unhappy while eating a meatball, right? I’ve kind of become a little obsessed with them… I’ve been making them out of beef, chicken, pork, veggies… and they’ve all been good. But these lamb meatballs… these are great. They are grain-free and paleo, they are healthy, and they have a slight Greek feel to them. And the tomato sauce is so aromatic and amazing (don’t tell my husband that I hid olives in the sauce…)

A few weeks ago I went to The Meatball Shop. It’s a restaurant that pretty much serves meatball everything. I ordered “The Kitchen Sink”.  I got to choose they type of meat or veg I wanted my meatballs to be made from and which type of sauce I wanted. I got three big balls served on top of vegetables and salad, smothered in sauce. Can I tell you, I was in heaven.  Anyway, that kind of inspired me to create some meatball dishes that didn’t need to be on top of pasta or in a sandwich. These delicious Greek meatballs are filled with kale and scallions and hemp seeds and almond flour. I know, it sounds a little weird, but trust me and try them. You will not be disappointed.

lamb meatballs (raw on tray)-9323

So, let’s get to why these are so good for you:

In Chinese medicine, lamb is known to be the most warming meat. We recommend it for a lot of ailments caused by cold conditions. It’s great for some arthritic conditions, weakness, and back pain. Lamb also helps with insufficient lactation and impotence. By combining the lamb with all of the warming spices in this dish, you get a great winter-warming meal.

Kale is everywhere these days. I kind of got a little tired of just eating it in salads, so I now use it inside of different dishes, like here inside these meatballs. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. I bought this kale already shredded and washed. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really mind them if the kale is cooked). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion (Cong Bai) is considered an herb. With autumn coming, I implore you to always keep scallions on hand in your refrigerator so that you can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second you feel that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever. And, they give these meatballs a great flavor.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

I used some almond meal in these meatballs. In Asian medicine, we eat nuts because they are good for the brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

I add Chinese herbs to everything I can. This time I added Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) to the sauce. Tangerines are good for nausea, chest tightness, excess mucus, and some stomach pains. Dried tangerine peels are a Chinese herb (Chen Pi). At any given time, if you look on my kitchen counter, you will see a bowl filled with sun-dried tangerine peels. I make tea out of them, and I grind them up for some recipes. For this recipe, I simply dropped the whole dried rind into the sauce and let it work its magic.

lamb meatballs (ball on fork closeup)-9401

I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top of the meatballs before I served them. Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence…. And they look like little jewels…
Pomegranate seeds on parchement closeup-

 

Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 meatballs
 
These lamb meatballs are grain-free and paleo friendly. They are filled with kale, scallions, hemp seeds and more amazing ingredients! And the tomato sauce is slightly Greek tasting... so good!
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup finely minced kale
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 12 grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbs almond meal
  • For sauce:
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 10 oil-cured, pitted black olives, chopped
  • Optional Chinese herb: Chen Pi (dried tangerine rind)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Get in there with your hands and mush up just until mixed together.
  3. Form the meat mixture into balls (I made mine like big golf balls and I got 15 balls out of it)
  4. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the balls for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bak an additional 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Lay some of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Arrange the meatballs on top of the sauce.
  10. Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
  12. Enjoy!