It’s Beginning to look alot like Christmas + Orange-Cran Loaf {Paleo,GF}

Happy Friday everyone!! One of the things I love most is preparing early for the holidays.  I find we get to enjoy them the most when we prepare ahead of time and keep it stress-free!  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the busyness of getting last minute gifts and all the baking that goes into the holidays.  We often forget the real meaning of Christmas and to sit back and ENJOY this awesome time of year!

While I love living close to family so we can spend the holidays with both my side of the family and my husbands, we also enjoy being home on Christmas morning to enjoy each other’s company and a nice, cozy Christmas brunch.  This tradition started when I was a child and ever since, I have loved putting it together for T and I so that we could continue this tradition with our own family!

One of our brunch staples is the Sausage and Egg Strada (option to make it gluten-free) I posted last year.  This is a personal favorite of mine that I’ve been making for years!  We only make it on Christmas Day so it is definitely something we look forward to each year.  This year I am adding another delicious staple which is a Paleo, Gluten-Free Orange-Cranberry Loaf!  I find this to be a light bread that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy all day.  It is sooo flavorful, I am literally obsessed! I think the best part of it is that is is free of refined sugar.  So many holiday breakfasts are full of sugar and having sugar in the morning makes me feel sick all day! Of course, we both eat these dishes in moderation as there is just so much food around the holidays!
 
Orange-Cranberry Loaf {GF, Paleo}
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups almond flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. ¾ tsp baking soda
  4. ¼ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  5. 1/3 cup organic honey
  6. 1/3 cup grass-fed butter (plus some to grease the bread pan)
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 cup chopped cranberries
  9. ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  10. ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  11. Zest of one large orange
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand-mixer. After about a minute, add in the other wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients, saving half of the orange zest until later. Stir.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while mixing.
  6. Add the chopped cranberries slowly and stir until they are dispersed throughout.
  7. Slowly pour into loaf pan.
  8. Add the rest of the orange zest to the top of the bread.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Alyssa Grieco http://alyssagrieco.com/
Earlier this month, while out and about doing our shopping, we stopped into Pier 1 and found the most beautiful place settings for our brunch.  I had so much fun setting them up, and looking at them as I would pass our island the past few days!  They have the most beautiful stuff this season! Be sure to check it out!
 
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!
 
xox,
Alyssa

Zucchini Fritters {Gluten-free, Low-Carb}

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with different veggies in clean, light dishes. I feel as though simple weekday meals have been my theme because I know we are all so busy, whether it is working, being a mom, etc. etc.  From my perspective, I think it’s those times when we are short on time, that we break away from eating healthy and grab the nearest, fastest thing, often straying away from our goals.

This week I made a few batches of these zucchini fritters. I posted these on my Instagram a while back, but have made a few tweaks since – making the recipe even better, in my opinion ;). Often when I am out and see “fritters” on the menu, I stay away as they are heavy and deep fried. That being said, they always look delicious and have inspired me to clean them up.  The recipe below creates light, delicious fritters that are unbelievably easy to make and on top of that are low-calorie and low-carb. They are the perfect way to add in veggies to meals without even knowing. They can also be served with lunch, dinner, an appetizer… or if you are like my husband, maybe even along with breakfast! 🙂

zucchini fritters

Zucchini Fritters
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 1/4 C chopped yellow onion
  3. 2 C (packed) grated zucchini
  4. 2 Tbs parmesan cheese (optional)
  5. 3 Tbs almond flour
  6. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Take 2 Tbs olive and the chopped onion and place in skillet over medium heat and cook till translucent, set aside. In a bowl wisk the egg and almond flour together, add the parmesan cheese, onion and zucchini and continue to mix well. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil on a skillet at medium heat and place large spoonfuls of the mixture, as in the picture. Spread and flatten-out with spoon to resemble a small pancake. Cook for approx 5 minutes, try flipping one over to make sure not too dark. When they dont fall apart and are lightly browned, flip all and continue cooking till lightly browned on both sides. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Alyssa Grieco http://alyssagrieco.com/
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zucchini fritters

 zucchini fritters

zucchini fritters

Paleo Banana Nut Bread – Gluten-free, Grain-free

 

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Good morning! Hope you are having an amazing Saturday so far! I’m beyond pumped it’s the weekend where I am able to take a step back and relax a little. I posted a picture of my banana bread earlier this week on my Instagram and I’ve been perfecting the recipe over the past few days.  It is seriously… awesome. Since I can’t eat gluten, I’ve totally strayed away from breads which is still somewhat crazy to me because at one point of my life, I literally lived on bread!… and didn’t know it was the reason I was so sick. Even gluten-free breads are a rarity as I don’t buy them very often unless I am buying it for a specific recipe or purpose. Anyway, I was thinking about changing things up a bit and putting some creativity into our menu this week and had an idea to make a Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free banana bread.  Banana bread brings me right back to my childhood as it is an awesome classic, comfort food that has an aroma that warms the home!  Having this was such a treat!

After sharing it with a few others, I can definitely say it is fluffy, moist and has a delicious sweet banana flavor without any added sugar, besides a little honey. This is awesome for people with gluten-intolerance or also if you follow the Paleo lifestyle. Keep in mind, eating it in moderation is key! A slice of this in lieu of any boxed processed mix is definitely a better option.

For me, I had a slice along with my Greek yogurt after my workouts this week. I was totally satisfied and didn’t even give the sweet treats in my office kitchen a glance ;).

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Paleo Banana Nut Bread - Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large ripe bananas
  2. 4 eggs
  3. ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  4. ½ cup coconut flour
  5. ½ up almond flour
  6. ¾ tsp cinnamon
  7. ¾ tsp baking soda
  8. ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  9. 5 tbsp. grass-fed butter (pictured below)
  10. ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  11. ¼ cup organic honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease loaf pan with grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper and place it on bottom of loaf pan, then set aside.
  3. You will need two bowls for this recipe. With one medium bowl, add all dry ingredients. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, trying to get rid of any large clumps. Combine butter (melted), eggs, vanilla and honey to mashed bananas and whisk till fully mixed.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and whisk again till completely mixed.
  6. Fill loaf pan, smoothing on top.
  7. Place in oven for approx. 50 minutes. It really depends on your oven. Check with toothpick. Let cool.
Alyssa Grieco http://alyssagrieco.com/
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Gluten-free Clean Chicken Piccata

Happy Tuesday!! I am so excited to be sharing my new blog layout!  After a lot of thought, I decided to change from the blog host I had been using to a new host that has a lot more to offer. I love it already; so here is to new beginnings!

This weekend, in NJ, we had a crazy blizzard! A good amount of our time was spent shoveling so I could get to work Monday. 😉

For Christmas this past year, I got T and myself snowshoes (a little self gift :)) as it has been something I wanted to do FOREVER. T and I enjoy hiking and I feel snowshoeing extends the season into the winter. Anything aerobic, low impact on the joints and that burns calories automatically brings a big smile to my face! lol

As far as food goes, I have been working on some recipes more centered around clean meals for busy people.  I’ve really been trying to simplify in regards to the time spent on preparing, and making recipes that can be made in advance. I am such a planner and I firmly believe that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail – especially in regards to clean eating.  Even though cooking is such a big passion of mine, when I come home tired from work, I try not to spend hours at the stove or else I feel like the day is over and it is time to go to bed, only to do it all over again!  With my goal of maximizing in 2016, I want to get the most out of each day so simplifying recipes is definitely something I work towards.

Today’s dish, Gluten-free Clean Chicken Piccata, is one I have been making is one of my favorites that I have been making often.   It has a TON of flavor with the capers and it is super lean so it is hard to pass up when I am looking to make something quick. In about 15 minutes, it is all ready!  Another awesome thing about this is that it only includes a few ingredients, many of them you probably already have… not to mention, this dish smells delicious!!

gluten-free chicken piccata

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs thin sliced organic chicken breasts
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
7 garlic cloves (sliced)
4 tbsp capers
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp tbsp red wine vinegar
Parsley & red pepper flakes

Directions:
Heat olive oil in pan along with 2 tsp of butter. Place chicken in pan
and cook on one side. Once browned, turn over and add in sliced garlic cloves. Once the garlic just starts to brown, add 4 tbsp capers and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Add 3 tbsp red wine vinegar. Cover to minimize evaporation of the juices.  If you find too much of the sauce evaporated, add in more chicken broth and red wine vinegar (3:1 ratio). Add red pepper flakes and garnish with parsley.

gluten-free chicken piccata

gluten-free chicken piccata

 

gluten-free chicken piccata

Here is a pic of us snowshoeing! So fun!!

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