Red Velvet Rooibos Floats

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ever since I discovered The Republic of Tea, I've been obsessed. The aroma that hits you whenever you open one of their cans is intoxicating. Also who doesn't love red velvet cake? The best red velvet cake I've ever had is made right here in O-Town (That's Orem, Utah for you non-natives) at The Chocolate. Those of you who know me, know that I will not hesitate to walk 3 miles to The Chocolate for an occasional om nom. My only sorrow is that they are not a gluten-free bakery, and I have secret fantasies of being hired there and offering more Primal goodies. Point is, the 6 mile round trip is worth it.
Getting back on topic now!
The Republic of Tea's Red Velvet Rooibos has inspired me a couple of ways. For some reason, I'm always trying to make it creamier (probably cuz I keep thinking of the red velvet cake at The Chocolate and its phenomenal in-house made cream cheese frosting and whipped cream from scratch. It's almost like eating sweetened Devon double cream. I'm tellin' ya, they do it right!)
Also with fall coming on, my thoughts have been turned to hot chocolate and other warm delicacies. And do you know what hot chocolate gets me thinking about? Well it sets off my curiousity about frozen hot chocolate. Can you see where this is going? You're going to laugh because this treat is ridiculously easy!

What you'll need:

8 oz water
2-3 sachets Republic of Tea Red Velvet Chocolate Rooibos
1 scoop vanilla ice cream (here I am using Talenti Gelato, which, in my opinion, is probably the best commercially available dairy dessert on the market! My 2nd choice, if you're unable to score Talenti Gelato, is Häagen-Dazs 5.)

Boil your water.

Steep your tea at least 5 mins. Admire how pretty and red it is!

Scoop in vanilla gelato.

That's it! Enjoy my red velvet/frozen hot chocolate inspired rooibos float. Cheers!

Alternatively, you could also try Zhena's Gypsy Tea Chocolate Chai Rooibos with a scoop of chocolate gelato!

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do you ever have one of those days where you get home from work, dog tired, and realize "Crap. I gotta make dinner."?
I'm sure you do.
Funny story about that!

In the very late 1800s, at the Waldorf Hotel in New York, a man named Oscar Tschirky was suddenly faced with a very similar problem to the one I described above. As the maître d'hôtel, he was in charge of developing and inspiring many of the signature dishes served at the hotel restaurant.
One night a bunch of crazy kids (and by "kids" I mean mid to late 20's) came in to the restaurant moments before it was to be locked up for the evening. All the cooks and servers had gone home and Oscar was alone in the restaurant. Well these crazy kids were hungry after some hard partying and they wanted some food gosh-darnit. Suddenly, Oscar was having a "Crap. I gotta make dinner!" moment. He rushed into the kitchen and stared wildly about. What could he possibly make to satisfy his customers' hunger?
And, like many of us do when we have a "Crap. I gotta make dinner!" moment, he started randomly grabbing stuff.

Take a moment to picture this all happening. Go ahead. Close your eyes. I'll wait...

Do you ever just grab a bunch of stuff and throw it into a big bowl and hope that it tastes good?
Sometimes we get lucky and it does. It even happened to our friend Oscar. In fact, the dish he created went down in the annals of culinary history. By grabbing some lettuce, mayo, apple, chicken, and celery, Oscar created the Waldorf Chicken Salad.
I'm going to show you how we make it at Au Restaurant d'PJF!

What you'll need:

A general mastery of Big Ass Salads (phew! Glad we got that out of the way. Now gird up your loins. Fresh courage take. Cuz, now, a salad we shall make!)
2 apples (I only had one, but it's tastier with two!)
1 bunch red or black grapes
6-9 cups baby greens
1/2c Mayo (see my mayo recipe here)
Lemon juice or another source of acidity (Apple cider vinegar is nice)
1 lb chicken breast
cooking oil (you can use EVCO, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil. Pick one)
3 celery stalks (optional. We leave it out cuz I don't like raw celery)
Nuts (traditionally the salad is made with walnuts, but tonight we're using slivered almonds)

First you're gonna want to prep your produce by washing and chopping.

Now grab yourself a frying pan and drizzle in your oil. Place bite-sized chicken breast pieces into pan and cook until no longer pink in middle.

In an enormous bowl, toss grapes, apple, celery, lettuce and chicken. Set aside.

To prepare dressing, place 1/2c mayo in bowl with your source of acidity. Mix until thoroughly combined. Toss with salad.
btw, I know this looks like a lot more than 1/2c, but I put it in a gerber baby bowl. Funny how small dishes make food look bigger!

Top with nuts and toss again.

Congratulations! Your "Crap, I gotta make dinner" crisis has been averted. Enjoy!

P.S. If you wanted to be really trendy, you could replace the baby greens with butter lettuce and wrap your chicken, nuts, apples, grapes, and dressing! You could even throw down some feta or crumbled bleu cheese. Oh man that sounds good!

Oh and P.P.S. Funny story. When my mom was visiting once, we had this lovely salad for dinner. She didn't know what to make of it. I was floored. How could this woman, who grew up blocks away from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, never know that the waldorf chicken salad existed? To this day, I'm still flummoxed over it. Continually puzzled. One of those things in the universe you go "Huh? How is that even poss-- nevermind."

Homemade Chipotle Mayo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I just want to say that I both love and loathe Red Robin.  I love it because I can get a lettuce wrapped 1,000 calorie cheese burger... and I loathe it because it's made me a chipotle mayo addict.  Heaven only knows what unnatural ingredients hide in that little cup of sunshine I slather on my monster burger!  I mean have you LOOKED at an ingredient list of a jar of mayo lately?
Soybean oil, "Natural Flavors", Calcium Disodium Edta... as if Soybean oil wasn't suspicious enough they add in the vague "Natural Flavors".  I mean WTH IS EVEN IN THAT?!
You know what?  F- YOU, MAYONNAISE!
I can do better.
And you can too, my friends!

What you'll need:

1 cup (16T) mild oil (avocado oil is very nice, but you have to watch it on olive oil.  It can get overwhelming fast.  Today we're using macadamia nut oil.  Cuz macadamias are the Mac Daddys of all that is good.  Read more here.)
1 egg
An acid souce (note:  NOT the fun kind.  We're talking about Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, etc)
1 tsp yellow mustard
Chipotles in adobo sauce
A food processor

To food processor, place egg, mustard, and your acid.

Give it a whiz
Slowly, not more than 1/4c at a time, add your oil.  You need to drizzle it in and build it up.  This takes patience.  If you have a Ninja like me, it's wise to keep some paper towels on hand to rest the lid on in between drizzles.

When it looks like this, you're done.

If you're too big of a pansy, now would be a good time to place your mayo in another container in the fridge and call it a day.  However, if you're ready to leave Mamby Pamby Land, follow me!  To your newly minted mayo, add
2 chipotles and some adobo sauce. 

Now this is where it gets fun.  You can make it as hot or as mild as you'd like.  Personally, I'm a 4-6 chipotle girl.  In my opinion, 1 chipotle would make a decent FRY SAUCE (you big sissy!). Just keep adding chipotles one at a time with sauce and building it up, tasting each time.  Make it just slightly milder than you want, because you're going to toss it in the fridge and allow it to stew for a couple of hours (and, really, who likes room temperature mayo anyway?  Not me!)

Alternatively you can buy a habanero or ghost chili, but I think that would take all the fun of slowly building up your own custom flavor :P

Oh and one more thing! If you have high quality yogurt in the fridge (and, if you're like me, you DO!), skim some of the whey off the top (the clear, watery stuff) and add it to your mayo. Not only will it give you a little probiotic boost, but it will help your mayo keep longer too!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (base only, serving size 1T):
131 cal, <1g carb, 15g fat, 1g protein, 5mg sodium

--A note to my fat phobic friends: I know that the fat & high cal look skeery, but TRUST ME on this. Homemade mayo is the way to go. It is WAY healthier and only takes 5 mins to make (I mean the low sodium alone should redeem it instantly). Honestly, I don't know why people waste $5 on a jar of mayo.

Chai Spiced Rooibos Custard

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I don't know about you, but I love a hot breakfast! What's more, I love unique hot breakfasts. Now most people wouldn't think of baked custard as breakfast, but with it being loaded with protein and deliciousness, I think it's a viable option. My grandmother (God rest her soul til I get up there!) made awesome custard. Her parents immigrated from England, so I'm sure her recipe was the real deal. It kills me that I do not have her personal recipe (talk about tradition lost on the new generation, blah. *Kicks self*). I've tried a number of recipes online, but I can never get it just like my grandmother's. Sweet, baked custard is one of my favorite smells (and I loved the way my daughter's breath smelled of custard after a feeding when she was an infant <3), and surely a great way to start your fall morning... but I digress. I wanted to share my love of custard with you, but I also wanted to put a PJF twist on it.
I've recently taken up drinking herbal tea again, what with the mornings getting cold and all, and I'm a sucker for anything chocolate (and any girl that isn't should really get her head checked!). So you can imagine my delight when I came across Zhena's Gypsy Tea Chocolate Chai, a rooibos based tea (an herbal, red tea that makes me think of kangaroos b/c of its name).
When you open the tin you are hit with a beautiful set of floral aromatics, and the taste is excellent when steeped a good long time. Furthermore, rooibos is rich with antioxidants! This inspired me. What better than to mix baked custard (extremely nourishing soul food) with the physically nourishing qualities of rooibos. So here's what we're gonna do:

you will need...

2c heavy cream
4 Zhena Gypsy Tea Chocolate Chai Sachets
1/2T ground cardamom
6 eggs
stevia to taste
Custard dishes
9 x 13 glass baking dish
2 Pots

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill 1 pot with water and set it to boil.

In separate pot, pour your cream and warm slowly. While it's warming, add your tea sachets and cardamom.

When it begins to bubble (just before boiling point), remove from heat. It should be slightly tinted from the chai.
Whisk egg yolks with 1/4c powdered stevia (or 6-8 drops liquid stevia, liquid vanilla stevia is also acceptable), until light and creamy.

Remove tea sachets from cream, and slowly drizzle part of the cream into egg mixture, stirring constantly.

Pour back into pot and place on burner over low heat, stirring often, until mixture becomes thick. Place your custard cups into 9x13 glass dish, and pour your custard into the cups.

Sprinkle nutmeg and allspice over custard mixes. Take your pot of boiling water and fill the 9x13 glass dish until water covers 1/2 way up the custard cups.

 Place in oven & bake 30 mins. Check it by inserting knife. If it comes out clean, it's done. If it doesn't, bake another 10-15 mins. Keep checking. It shouldn't take longer than an hour.

Allow to cool in bain marie (the water in the 9x13 glass dish) until the water becomes cool to the touch. This will help prevent cracking, but by all means enjoy while still warm!

Key Lime Protein Pudding

This one's short, sweet, and to the point! 

What you'll need:

1 scoop Zero/low carb vanilla protein powder (note the Isopure Zero Carb)
1/2c Full fat Greek yogurt (shame on me!  I ran out of Fage.  Let's pretend the fat free Chobani is really Fage Total, okay?)
Key lime juice
vanilla stevia (or plain stevia)

To 1/2c Greek yogurt, add protein powder, and juice. 

Mix it all up.  Taste.  You can adjust the tartness and sweetness from there.  Quick, easy key lime protein pudding!

415 cals, 43g protein, 24g fat, 7g carb

Muscle Nog

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I feel blessed to live in the great, industrious state of Utah. It's always growing and changing (just look at the freeway constantly under contruction, hahaha). Really, there's a reason we're called the Beehive State. I have access to raw dairy, grass fed critter, and real honey straight from the hive. Even better: I live in a town full of Primal goodies! Less than 2 miles from my house is Amano chocolate, Kara chocolate, and Crio Bru (what's really crazy is they're all within a block radius from eachother!).
However, a new and even more exciting company has recently popped up, Muscle Nog. If you read my Quick N Dirty Egg Nog recipe, you'll know how much I love egg nog. Now Muscle Nog has come along with a wonderful, creamy protein shake that is surely after the warm fuzzy cockles of my heart! Charlie Mitchell very generously hooked me up with not one, not two, but FOUR samples of his exciting new protein powder-- two of each flavor. He's even in the process of developing an actual egg nog flavor which I demand to get in on! ;)

The great thing about Muscle Nog is not just that it's produced locally, but that it's an egg based protein. They don't spray dry it, or denature it in any way. This is a highly bioavailable protein for your body. The quicker your body can access protein after a workout, the quicker and easier you're going to bounce back. Did you know that pasteurized egg whites you get at the store are not as bioavailable as Muscle Nog? Pasteurized egg whites are low heat pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria, have to be refrigerated to prevent growth of harmful substances, and can cause gas. Ew.
Muscle Nog takes the egg whites and processes them into crystals. These crystals can be reconstituted in water or your favorite milk for a rich and creamy recovery treat. Muscle Nog reaches into the biological bank and maintains equal value and quality as close to a freshly laid egg as you can get without all the messy, gooey, sticky cracking involved from the egg cartons. Muscle Nog digests slowly so you get more anabolism out of it and less catabolism. The slow digestion is especially beneficial to individuals, like myself, who have diabetes. The slow release of nutrition results in a more even insulin response, and less of a spike and crash. Trust me on this one, I tested my sugar like a madwoman for your benefit just so I could make that statement!

Yeah, I knew you were going to ask that.

I stacked up Muscle Nog against my beloved zero carb Isopure creamy vanilla and low carb Isopure chocolate whey powders, aaaaaand...
It's great! It was a thousand times better than Jay Robb's egg based protein powder, which I have also tried (IMHO, Jay Robb's egg based protein is, hands down, VILE!).
Isopure dissolves more readily when used in a shake, however whatever got stuck to the back of my spoon with Muscle Nog was good enough to chew, bite, and lick off. The Muscle Nog was like drinking the delicious, gooey stuff that's left when your ice cream melts.  Unfortunately the ingredient list isn't quite primal, but for a protein drink the deliciousness is definitely off the richter scale! Nom, nom, nom<3

I am aware that there's a difference between egg based protein and whey based, but I honestly felt that Muscle Nog deserved to be compared to a high quality protein such as Isopure. So here ya go:

Serving size 2 scoops
110 cals, 2.5g fat, 2g carb, 20g protein

Serving size 2 scoops
210 cals, 1g fat, 0g carb, 50g protein

Serving size 2 scoops
110 cals, 2g fat, 4g carb, 20g protein

Serving size 2 scoops
220 cals, 1g fat, 3g carb, 50g protein

But let's not be limited by shakes. Oh, no, no, no. I got FOUR samples, remember? So I made myself some waffles & pancakes. That's right, sucka. You heard me. Mmm-hmm... WAFFLES AND PANCAKES!

Isopure made a very dry waffle, but was easily remedied with ample sugar-free syrup and butter. Muscle Nog made a wonderful, eggy waffle, cuz, gee, IT'S MADE FROM EGGS!

Use your noggin, and go get nogged!
(for a limited time you can use the code 'ffdeal' on the Muscle Nog site and get a $20 discount!)

Disclaimer: Muscle Nog provided me with a free sample of this product for review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

Primal Fudge (And Tropical Traditions GIVEAWAY!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do you love chocolate? I do! Do you love coconut? I do, too! Do you love marshmallows? Throw ya hands up & say hail yeah!
What happens when you put them all together? If you've already come to the conclusion and are saying "Ohhhh, fu---"
You'd be right. It's FUDGE!

Here's what you need:

1/4c coconut cream concentrate (if it has separated into coconut butter & coconut oil, make sure to slowly warm it and recombine)
1/4c cacao butter
1/4c extra virgin coconut oil
1/4c cocoa powder (can also use carob if you are sensitive to chocolate)
8 drops liquid chocolate raspberry stevia (or any stevia, really)
Chopped nuts (optional)
1 package La Nouba gluten free, 0 carb marshmallows, chopped
2 pots (one smaller, one bigger, we're gonna set up a double boiler here)
water (enough to fill bigger pot just over 1/2 way)

Fill larger pot with water, set it on high heat. Get it boiling. In smaller pot, add coconut cream concentrate, cacao butter, and coconut oil. Place smaller pot into the boiling water. Lower heat to medium.

Stirring constantly, melt your ingredients until they are combined. Add the cocoa or carob powder and mix well.

Remove from heat, add stevia to taste, and the chopped marshmallows. Now would be a good time to add your nuts as well.

Spread on to plate and place into fridge.

Allow to cool and set. Enjoy!


I see you sitting there looking at the ingredient list thinking "Coconut cream concentrate. What's THAT? Where do I even FIND that?"
Never fear, my friend. The PJF is coming to the rescue. THANKS TO A GENEROUS DONATION FROM TROPICAL TRADITIONS, I will be able to hook you up with some delicious coconut cream concentrate. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tropical Traditions!
I love their stuff, and I'm so excited to share it with you. Tropical Traditions has simply the best products on the market, hands down. I use their Gold Label Coconut Oil whenever I can, and their coconut cream concentrate is wonderful to snack on.

I know your foot's tapping impatiently now. "WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS HEAVENLY TREAT?!"
  • Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter HERE
  • "Like" Tropical Traditions on Facebook
  • Get twitterpated about Tropical Traditions by following them on twitter: @troptraditions
  • Go to Tropical Tradition's Online Recipe Book and tell me your favorite recipe, and how you would put your own unique twist on it

Do one. Do none. Do all 4. You decide how badly you want to win!


Have them comment below with "So and so sent me" (your name being so and so). They must become official followers in order to qualify.

I will choose a winner on September 23rd, 2011 (my birthday). GET CRACKIN!

*Please note only U.S. Citizens Will Be Eligible To Win (sorry, overseas friends)


Congrats, Candy. I will be contacting you shortly.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free
sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if
I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or
sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Bruschetta Chicken

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I remember when Olive Garden first rolled out with bruschetta as an appetizer.  My mom and I loved it, and started making it at home.  However, after going Primal, bruschetta wasn't really on the menu anymore.  I missed the olive oil laden bread, basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes.  This was not acceptable.  There had to be an acceptable Primal substitute!  And, really, what is bread except a mode of transportation for more delicious things?  So I came up with this recipe.

What you'll need:

1-2 lb chicken breast
diced tomatoes
mozzarella pearls
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for those of you who don't follow kitchen speak)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut slits in your chicken breast.  Make them nice and wide.
Using 1/3 of the package of mozzarella pearls, stuff the slits
Top chicken breast with another 1/3 of the mozzarella pearls, drizzle with EVOO, diced tomatoes, and herbs
Place in oven, and cook for 30 mins.  Remove, and top chicken with remaining 1/3 of mozzarella pearls
Place back in oven for remaining 15 mins.  During last 5 mins, turn broiler on to brown mozzarella.
Serve with your favorite vegetable and enjoy!

NOTE FROM THE PJF: I know it's better to use fresh ingredients, and I'm totally down with organic, chopping it all yourself, but I'm also proud of my recipes that are done quickly and efficiently.  If you are able to, use fresh tomato, garlic, and herbs, but if you're in a time crunch, there's no shame in using canned.  Just pay attention to the ingredient list on the label.

300 cals, 8g carb, 13g fat, 40g protein

Raw Cream and Raspberries

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When I was a little girl, I would spend my summers with my grandparents in their cozy cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford, NH. Not far from their summer home was a beautiful farm where we would get fresh produce. I remember spending mornings with my grandfather picking strawberries, and going to the register with him with our hard-earned prize. The cashiers (members of the family who owned the farm), knew my grandparents by name. It's not really an experience you get anymore!
I have many fond memories of my grandparent's cottage. It's where I felt the happiest, and it's where I go whenever I close my eyes. One of my favorite memories, though, was when my grandfather would bring me a bowl of fresh, farm-picked raspberries covered in heavy cream and a little sugar. Raspberries and cream is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I'm going to show you a spectacular twist on it today.

Can you see it? That faint line in the jug of raw milk.

Do you know what that is? That, my friends, is the veil between Heaven and Earth. One of the neatest things about raw milk is that the cream separates from it. It wants to be on top. For a while, I was whining about not being able to purchase raw cream, until a Primal friend mentioned harvesting the cream from the milk themselves.
Why didn't I think of that?

Here's what you'll need:

raw milk
a sterile glass jar, pre-chilled
24 hours

Pour your raw milk into the sterile jar (make sure you have chilled the jar in advance, so that it's the same temperature as the milk). Place lid on tightly.

Place in fridge. Wait 24 hours. You, too, will have a dreamy cloud of raw cream!
Remove jar from fridge.

Scoop out cream.

You will be left with skim milk.
Alternatively, if you buy a gallon or two of raw milk, you can place it into one of these:

a spigot jar/sun tea container (make sure it's sterile and cool). Pour your gallons of raw milk into it, cover, and place in fridge for 24 hours or slightly longer. Do not disturb it in any way at any point!

After 24 hours, remove your spigot jar and drain the skim milk, leaving yourself with only raw cream.

Now take your hard earned prize and drizzle it over fresh raspberries. Coat well. Take a bite. Listen to the voice of GOD! Yes, that angelic choir you're hearing is it.

Screw it! Putting nutritional information on something this special would be sacrilige. No other way to say it.
Think of all the probiotics and antioxidants you're getting. It's like trying to put a price tag on you're favorite child.