Paleo recipe Archives - Kohler Created

Paleo Orange Chicken

By | Food, Main Courses, Paleo, Recipes | 4 Comments


Happy Thursday! I had the best time at an event I attended last night. We have a  group of women in town that meet every so often called Girls in Tech (or is it women?) They throw little mixers or structured informative events. This was the latter,  so  it was so cool to not only socialize with people in-person but also swap ideas and talk shop. The conversation also turned to topics like guns, Mexican food and cats eating spools of fishing line, but we’re in the Midwest so that’s pretty par for course. The group has smaller break-out groups I sometimes co-work with, so it was nice to hang out and not work. However an evening out kind of threw my whole day around, so I was working on projects super early in the morning, and doing CrossFit over lunch and this little gem of a recipe didn’t get blogged.

A few years back, we tried our hand at one of our favorite take-out meals, Orange Chicken. I wrote what I thought was a pretty bulletproof recipe for our crock pot to do all the work. We assembled everything in the morning, left for work for the day, and came home to a crusted, blackened mess at the bottom of our crock pot. I still don’t know what could have gone wrong, or how a crock pot set to low can achieve full-on char, but needless to say, we were pretty disappointed because we haven’t tried it since.


Until now.

We did it! And it was amazing. It tasted just like our old take-out favorite. We’ve obviously altered some things to make it Paleo, but they were really just ingredient swaps and not major changes. Also, instead of the crock pot, we made it on the stove. And  we served it with steamed rice this round — we were a little extra hungry after our workout.


for the sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed coconut sugar sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons water

for the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and liquid aminos in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the orange zest, coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Then, remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag, reserving the remaining sauce in the pan. Seal the bag, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the coconut flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
  5. Line a plate with several paper towels. Heat olive oil/coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken pieces evenly into the skillet, and brown on both sides. transfer to the plate of paper towels and cover to keep warm.
  6. Wipe out the skillet, and add the reserved sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir arrowroot powder into 2 tablespoons of water and then slowly stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can prepare remaining sauce and pour over chicken. Serve with cauliflower “rice” or steamed white rice.

Serves 4.


Tangy and Sweet with a little kick of spice via Sriracha that Neil added post-cooking. The sauce is truly pure addiction. We had some leftover, and made another batch the next day for lunch. As you can read, the recipe is a little time consuming, so if you’re looking to save some time (like we were over lunch), just prepare the chicken naked sans breading.

Paleo Flax and Raisin Breakfast Bread

By | Breakfast, Food, Paleo, Recipes | No Comments


I have a hard time motivating myself to do a lot of Paleo baking. I know I mention this every blue moon when I actually bake something, but it’s something I really want to improve for 2013. Yes, I’m already thinking of my New Year’s resolutions. Next year promises to be a big one and I think it should have a few more baked goods than 2012.

I’ve been gradually trying to get better at understanding the flours and combinations that produce the best results. It’s been a challenge, and I’ve had more than a few failed experiments, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. I will say that there are more than a few terrible recipes lurking out there that I’ve had the misfortune of trying along the way.


This has been my favorite loaf thus far. It’s the combination of a few different recipes. I absolutely love the light and fluffy crumb contrasted with the slight grain of the flax. Neil has taken to lightly toasting it with coconut butter for breakfasts, and it tastes phenomenal. I’ve enjoyed more than a few slices before CrossFit with some almond butter on top.


5 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup coconut flour, plus 1 tbsp
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk


  1. Whisk the eggs, honey, milk and melted butter together (make sure the butter is cooled first). Stir in the flax-seed.
  2. Toss the raisins with a tbsp of coconut flour and set aside.
  3. Sieve the coconut flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the raisins. This batter is deceptive. It will be somewhat dry, but resist the urge to add additional milk/moisture.
  5. Pour into a 9in x 5in loaf pan. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.


I think I’ve finally managed a really solid base recipe that I can now branch out a bit with and hopefully use with other flavors and fruit. I’m thinking cranberry, or perhaps a date bread might next?

Paleo Sweet Potato Stew

By | Food, Main Courses, Recipes, Soups | 2 Comments


Paleo + sweet potatoes. Next to bacon, I don’t know if there is a more popular association — which is unfortunate, because we don’t actually eat that much bacon — a post for another day.

The inspiration behind this stew is a cup of sweet potato stew I was surprised by last Friday while eating lunch with friends at a local spot. For weird, almost Seinfeldian reasons, I never order soup or stew from restaurants, but as I was unfamiliar with the restaurant’s menu, I told Neil to “surprise me” and order for me at the counter while I found a table. This stew appeared with my reuben sandwich (a favorite cheat) and it was love at first slurp, the perfect combination of creamy soup and hearty stew. I knew we had to have it in our recipe collection.

This is my first go at it, and I think I came pretty darn close. I’ll share my ideas for my next batch below the recipe — let me know what you think!

Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess


1 tablespoon light olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon light olive oil or coconut oil
1 tablespoon red or green curry paste, to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium red onion, peeled, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled, diced
2 large yellow bell peppers, deseeded, diced
1 jalapeño or other hot chile pepper, deseeded, diced fine
6 celery stalks, diced (about 2 cups)
6 medium carrots, sliced/diced (about 2 cups)
1 quart broth (chicken/beef/veggie, your choice)
1/2 cup almond butter melted stirred into 1/2 cup of boiled hot water
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of one lime
2-3 teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
sriracha, for extra HEAT


  1. Heat olive oil/coconut oil in a large dutch oven/pot. Add pork and stir until cooked through. Remove pork from pot and set aside.
  2. Add more olive oil/coconut oil to dutch oven/pot to coat. Add the curry paste and cinnamon and stir until blended with the oil. Once blended, add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, carrots, yellow peppers and jalapeño. Cook the veggies for 5-8 minutes until they soften.
  3. Add the celery, melted almond butter, broth, red pepper flakes and cilantro.
  4. Bring the soup to a low boil, then lower the heat and continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. To complete, add lime juice and coconut sugar/honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a swirl of sriracha for extra HEAT. Finally, top with some more cilantro, because you know you bought more than anyone could use and it looks fancy.


As I mentioned above, I’m thinking of doing round 2. I have plenty of ingredients left since grocery stores assume all people have at least 3 kids in the midwest, and I’m pretty sure Neil would eat soup all day long if he could. For my next round, I’m thinking of upping the almond butter and creating a sweet potato puree with a third sweet potato. I’d decrease the amount of broth to offset, making the final result creamier and less brothy (legit technical term — don’t judge).

Little ideas for improvement aside, this is an amazing soup. I’m thoroughly convinced after this stew and our hugely successful African Beef and Peanut Stew, that almond/peanut butter is a key ingredient. Maybe I’m just a newb, but it’s the last ingredient I would have expected to make such an impact. This coming from a girl who likes chocolate and coffee in her chili.

What’s your favorite soup?

Edited to add: We upped the almond butter and cut the veggies smaller and instead of creating the puree, we displaced a little of the broth with a 14oz can of coconut milk. Delish!

Dinner Last Night: Paleo Sticky Baked Chicken

By | Food, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes | One Comment

Sticky Baked Chicken

This weekend = amazing. A perfectly unplugged three-days with my brothers and Neil’s parents at the annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. I can’t believe this was our fourth year attending! I think that’s long enough to call this a tradition right?

This year, we challenged ourselves by signing up for the festival 10k (me) and half-marathon (Neil). I’m still writing our recap, so for now, I thought I’d share our dinner from last night. If you’re feeling lazy, or perhaps you too are sore and recovering from a race, this is the deliciously hands-off recipe for you.


Olive oil, to drizzle
4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat
Sea salt and black pepper

For the glaze:
6 tablespoons coconut sugar (or honey)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking dish. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. While the chicken cooks, prepare the glaze. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Remove chicken from the oven and pour the glaze evenly over the chicken to coat. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, turning 2-3 times, until the chicken is tender and well glazed.
  4. Let the chicken rest for several minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

This glaze is super easy and light, and it doesn’t turn gooey like some glazes seem to. Tastes great with plenty of green veggies too! The perfect meal to aid in a little recovery for our sore muscles.

Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken

By | Food, Main Courses, Paleo, Recipes | One Comment


After our Cashew Chicken treat this past weekend, we’ve been on a bit of an Asian kick. I love coming up with ways to Paleo-ify (is that a word?) our take-out favorites. So often they are overly breaded, fried and salt and sugar-laden, so it’s fun to come up with ways to achieve the flavor without all the filler. While I will freely admit that there is no perfect substitute for legit take-out in all its saucy glory, This definitely hit the spot.

Adapted from Twenty-something Misadventures


3 cups fresh pineapple, chopped, (finely chop 1 cup) – you can use canned, but it’s so much better fresh
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup tomato, in one piece
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon Braggs liquid aminos
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
Arrowroot powder to thicken sauce to desired consistency
2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 large green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced into bite-sized pieces


  1. Add cup of finely chopped pineapple, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and coconut sugar to a medium sauce pan and bring heat to a simmer and stir until thoroughly blended. Add ginger and tomato. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Reduce heat and remove tomato. Mix arrowroot powder with a tablespoon or two of cold water and slowly add to the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency/thickness.
  2. In a large skillet, add coconut oil and chicken and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked trough. Add onion, pineapple and green pepper and continue stirring until green pepper begins to soften.
  3. Pour sauce evenly over chicken and vegetables. Stir until thoroughly blended and continue simmering for a few minutes, adding additional arrowroot if desired to thicken.

Makes 4 servings.


Sweet. Sour. Winning. It’s hard not to miss the breading on the chicken, but the flavors are so fresh it almost makes up for it. Neil and I have often said in this journey that it’s amazing how much more flavor exists when you subtract bread and cheese from any recipe.

Paleo Thai Pork with Almond Sauce

By | Food, Main Courses, Meat, Paleo, Recipes, Running | No Comments


Ah, how is it already Friday!? I feel like this week went so fast! Maybe it’s because we’re fresh off a vacation? We need more of those if that’s the case.

We’ve suffered from major kitchen avoidance this week. With triple-digit temperatures nearly all week (Wednesday was nearly being 107 degrees!), it feels impossible to do just about anything comfortably, even just sit still. We’ve managed to keep up with our goal of working out at least 4 times a week, but it has been tough. I even nearly passed out while running during our workout on Monday. We were doing 200m sprints between rounds of cleans, kettlebell swings and front squats. Despite drinking a lot of water and keeping myself as cool as possible, I just got too dizzy. It was brutal. Running on the pavement felt like being cooked on a stove. My eyeballs were even hot, how does that happen?


So, in our avoidance, the crock pot has gotten a bit of a workout too. We put together a big crock of Thai pork with almond sauce, and it’s managed to hold us over with a variety of meals for the entire week. It’s juicy and sweet and perfect with steamed veggies or wrapped up in big pieces of lettuce. You can of course serve it over steamed rice too if that’s your game.


One 2-pound boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 pieces
2 large bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips (any color)
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup almond butter (peanut butter obviously works too)

For serving:
1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Coat the slow cooker with coconut or olive oil. Put the pork, bell peppers, red pepper flakes and garlic in the cooker. Combine coconut sugar, lime juice, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and rice vinegar, stir, and add to cooker. Cover and cook on low until pork is fork-tender, 8 to 9 hours.
  2. Remove the pork from the cooker and coarsely chop. Add the almond butter to the liquid in the cooker; stir well to dissolve and blend with the liquid to make the sauce. Return the pork to the sauce and toss to coat the meat evenly.
  3. Serve over veggies, lettuce wraps or jasmine rice and sprinkle with green onions and peanuts and a squeeze of lime juice from the wedges.

Makes 4-6 servings.

So what are your plans for the weekend? Anything exciting? Tomorrow, our CrossFit box is gathering to say goodbye to one of our trainers, Eric, who is leaving to join the Navy Seals. Needless to say a Hero WOD and a lot of good food is in our immediate future. We also have some planning to do. Here is a hint:


Crazy bright right? Squee!

Simple Paleo Veggie Quiche

By | Breakfast, Food, Gardening, Main Courses, organic, Paleo, Recipes | 12 Comments


I’m pretty proud of us, we got a lot done this weekend. However, none of it was blog-worthy. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, it was just a lot of paper-pushing and computer work. I’m concurrently working on my first two projects for work, and the hot weather and inability to do nearly anything but sit still gave me the perfect opportunity to read and watch documentation to get up to speed with the new software I’m using. Definitely not there yet, but I got a lot done. Meanwhile, Neil worked really hard on our latest client design, and I’m so excited about the shape it’s taking.


Because it was so beastly hot this weekend, we naturally felt like avoiding the kitchen as much as possible. Neil actually came up with the idea to make a fast and easy quiche, and he had most of the prep done before I could get the camera to snap some pictures.


7 eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup of broccolettes (roughly chopped broccoli works too)
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 tsp baking powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut milk together until thoroughly combined. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Grease a 9″ pie dish with coconut oil/butter. Sprinkle almond meal evenly and tip the dish all around, tapping with your other hand to make sure it sticks to all sides. Dump out any excess.
  4. Bake the quiche for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through in the center (we always cook a little extra so the sides are a little crisp). Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.


Without the cheese, this quiche is super light and fluffy with just a hint of a crust around the bottom and edges. Obviously we went with just a vegetable filling aside from the eggs, but it would be just as good if not better with fresh bacon or ham.

If you eat cheese, I imagine Neil would advise his favorite, sharp cheddar.


This recipe and the way Neil made it reminded me a lot of his mom. She’s constantly whipping up recipes with whatever she has in the kitchen that day from the garden. Our quiche makes use of broccolettes from our garden and onions that she braided together from hers for us during her last visit a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to finally see her garden this week!

Weeknight NOM

By | Food, Paleo | 2 Comments


Dinner last night was NOM NOM Paleo’s Damn Fine Chicken and Sautéed Spinach with Warm Bacon Dressing. So good I ran outside as it was getting dark and snapped a few photos. My neighbors probably think we’re nuts. I don’t care, warm salad is definitely my new favorite side dish.


It’s so easy too. Cook bacon, remove, add scallions, cook in bacon fat, add spinach and continue cooking until wilted. Only downer is that it takes a LOT of spinach to make an ample side.


Our meals have been extremely simple lately. Not lazy or ill-thought, just extremely simple. Whereas even our “unprocessed” meals before going mostly Paleo were riddled with ingredients and processes to prepare them (therefore giving us ample content and many popular posts), our meals now really feel like just a dash of this and that, then baked, grilled or eaten raw or steamed. I’ve debated for that reason whether or not to post them, but decided that as lovers of food, how can we not?


After all, good food needs little primping right?

Paleo Cinnamon “Oatmeal” Raisin Cookies

By | Desserts, Food, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian | 12 Comments


Cookies! If you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been in a bit of a baking drought since going Paleo. Initially it was because we chose to abstain from treats to better acclimate to being newly grain free. I also quickly found that Paleo baking had a learning curve that I didn’t have time for while finishing grad school. There were new flours I’d never heard of and substitutions we’d never experimented with. Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed (and still am). My cabinet filled with bags of whole wheat flour are turning into smaller clusters of canning jars filled with various things I’m collecting as our budget allows—things like coconut flour and tapioca starch. I feel like I’m learning to bake all over again.

Thankfully I didn’t have to tap my newb skills too deeply for these cookies. They are completely grain free, and while this means they aren’t true oatmeal cookies, they’ve definitely fooled a few people.


1 cup pitted dates, chopped into chunks
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 cup pecans
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups almond meal
2 eggs
3/4 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place dates, coconut, oil, spices and pecans in a food processor. Pulse until nuts and dates resemble large and loose crumbs.
  3. Transfer mix to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix using hands.
  4. Form into tight hamburger-like patties and place on a greased cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Makes 8-10 cookies.



Fair warning, make these once and you’ll be consumed by the desire to make them often. They are super healthy as well as easy to adapt for other flavors. Last night (upon Neil’s request), I added a little vanilla and cacao nibs and made chocolate chip cookies. Next, I’d like to make snickerdoodles, because my Udi’s habit is very expensive.

Paleo Beef & Bacon Chili

By | chili, Food, Main Courses, Meat, Paleo, Recipes | 3 Comments


I feel like the differences in mine and Neil’s taste emerge in our chili choices. While I prefer more veggies and hints of coffee or chocolate (Mocha Tofu Chili anyone?), he prefers meat and heat. So this past weekend, when he was craving a “red-hot meaty chili”, he went down to the kitchen at 11 p.m. and came up with this recipe. Have I mentioned I love him?


This is a fairly traditional red chili with beef and plenty of tomatoes, however the addition of beer and veggies gives it a wonderfully complementary sauce and texture.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin (ground or seeds)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 pound of thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 green peppers, stemmed and sliced
3 dried red chiles, sliced
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, sliced thinly
8-10 tomatoes quartered
8-10 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup beer (we used a stout, however anything works!)
Greek Yogurt for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper, add it to the pot and brown it. As its browning, break up with wooden spoon and stir gently until it loses its raw color, around 6-8 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano. When cooked through, drain off some of the liquid.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook, turning over until it begins to brown, around 4 minutes. Remove from heat to a plate with paper-towels. After several minutes, chop finely.
  3. Add beef and bacon to crock pot with remaining ingredients (except Greek yogurt) and stir until thoroughly combined. Set Crock to low and go about your business for 5-6 hours.
  4. Garnish with Greek Yogurt because it’s better than sour cream.

Makes 6-8 servings


I always feel weird writing out crock pot recipes — like I’m cheating and should really be developing more process-intensive (read: legit) stove top directions. Looking around at other people’s chili recipes, it seems like most are written for stove top + 2 hours of slow cooking. I just can’t convince myself to go that route vs. going crock pot. You might laugh, but my skewed logic is “why be mindful for two hours when I can be absent for 5-6?” Am I just that lazy, or is there a super secret tastiness we’re missing out on by not going stove top?

Do you prefer stove top or crock pot?