Favorite Recipes

What's in my pockets on a ride? It depends on how long the ride is. Homemade energy bars are best, but Lara Bars are a great alternative. Honey Stinger gels and Untapped Maple are fine in a pinch, but only if I need a shot of sugar. Here is what can be found in my back pockets on a ride:

Energy Replenishment
  • Bananas
  • Dates, figs
  • Apricot Energy Bars (recipe below)
  • Trail Mix (no peanuts)
  • Small snack bag of almonds or walnuts
  • Small bag of grapes
  • Homemade Lara bars (recipes below)
  • A grain-free muffin
  • Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
  • Untapped Maple

Apricot Energy Bars

We make these in several variations. My favorite includes dried cranberries & orange extract. Or dark chocolate chips (80% cacao) and vanilla. The bars fit easily in a pocket on a bike ride.

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
In a food processor blend the dried apricots and walnuts until crumbly. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Blend to combine. Fold in dried cranberries (or chocolate chips). Spread the mixture into an 8"x8" baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 25 minutes. How easy is that?

A Lara Bar substitute is easy to make with the simplest ingredients. A great online recipe can be found at The Kitchn, where they spell it out simply as 1 part nuts, 1 part dates, 1 part dried fruit.) 

Apricot Almond 'Lara Bar'

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup (packed) pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until the mixture forms a sticky, crumbly "dough". Place onto a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper and form an even rectangular slab, about 1/2" thick. Wrap it up and refrigerate for an hour or two to firm. Cut into bars, wrap individually and store in fridge. (These can also be frozen.)

Double Dark Chocolate 'Lara Bar'

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup walnuts (or any favorite nut)
  • 2 heaping tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (70% cacao or higher)
In food processor, combine dates, apricots, and walnuts. Pulse to form coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend to form soft dough. Add chocolate chips and pulse 10-15 times to combine. Pour dough mixture onto large sheet of waxed paper. With hands, press to form dense rectangular slab, about 1/2" thick. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for one hour. Cut into bars and wrap individually. Store in fridge (Note: In my photo I have 9 large bars. When I wrap these, I cut each bar in half to give me 2 smaller bars, which are perfect on a ride.)

Banana Walnut Bread
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 TBSP honey (I've also used maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with waxed or parchment paper, (so it doesn't stick to the bottom. In a mixer, blend all of the wet ingredients, (vanilla, coconut oil, eggs, honey). Add mashed bananas and mix well. In separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients, (coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon.) Add to mixer and blend well. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Spread into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown and cooked through the center. Mmmm...

Muffins, along with a piece of fruit, are an easy on-the-go breakfast and they freeze well.

Paleo Pumpkin Mufins

I make a double batch of these and freeze them in pairs for on-the-go breakfasts.

  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 can)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Mix wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (pumpkin, eggs, honey, vanilla) until well blended. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder/soda salt & spices). Add to wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in walnuts and raisins. (Sometimes I add a cup of shredded carrot, too.) If batter is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degree oven..

Gingerbread Carrot Muffins

This is another recipe adapted from Practical Paleo. Making a batch of muffins each week and putting them in the freezer in pairs gives us a ready-to-go breakfast. (Mike takes them to work each morning.)

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey (original recipe calls for molasses)
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Whisk wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, maple syrup) until well blended. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in carrots and raisins. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degree oven.

Chocolate-Walnut Muffins

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 c dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Add wet ingredients (except water) to mixer, including the mashed banana, and blend. In separate bowl, add all dry ingredients. (I actually sift through a mesh strainer. I do that for all my muffins and it gives them an even, tender crumb.) Add dry ingredients to mixer and blend until well combined. Add walnuts and stir in water. Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

Who said you can't eat cookies for breakfast? These remind me of a firm muffin top. Soft and cakey, but solid like a cookie. 2 cookies and a cup of coffee? Yes, please. These are a great on-the-go breakfast before a ride.

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c honey or grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Whisk wet ingredients to combine, sift in dry ingredients, mix well. Fold in raisins. Let batter stand to thicken a little. Dough will be soft but should hold a shape. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered in parchment or non-stick mat, (silpat). With your hands, pat down and form your cookie. These will not spread like regular cookies. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. Cool on cookie sheet and remove to wire rack. Makes about a dozen cookies. I store these in a container in the freezer, and take two out for a quick breakfast rather than a muffin. (Note: These aren't very sweet, which I prefer -- But Will thinks they need more honey or maple syrup for added.).


Buffalo Chicken and Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes and chicken, with bacon and hot sauce... a perfect protein-carb combo, and a great post-workout snack or meal, hot or cold. This makes a big batch. (Portion into small containers.) Bacon optional.

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves finely diced garlic (or 1 tbsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup Frank's red hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces (optional)
  • a little bit of chopped parsley (optional)
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, garlic, hot sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the sweet potatoes, chicken, and onions, and stir to coat. Pour into a roasting pan or casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When done, mix in bacon and top with parsley.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, hot or cold... yum.

Chicken Curry

Like stir fry, curry can be versatile. Vegetables depend on what is in season. Protein can be chicken, beef or shrimp. Below is a basic curry.

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp curry
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil for cooking
  • Any variety of vegetables. (Tonight's curry included 1 red pepper, 3 carrots cut into large cubes, 1/2 lb snap peas, (ends snapped, strings removed), and cauliflower.
Cook chicken in coconut oil, remove from skillet and set aside. Add onions, garlic and veggies to skillet and cook to crisp-tender. Add chicken broth, coconut milk and seasonings. Stir and cook to simmering. Serve over cauliflower rice. Easy!

Add a pinch of ginger or cinnamon or red pepper flake to alter flavors. Sometimes I add diced chillies

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Fall crops are our favorite, and as the days get shorter and the nights colder, a soup simmering on the stove fills the house with yummy goodness.

Tonight I happened to pick up a butternut squash and pears from our farm share, and knew this recipe would be perfect with grilled chicken or coconut biscuits on the side. Fall is here.

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger (or minced ginger root)
  • 1 Tbsp curry
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • raisins (optional as added garnish)
Cut squash in half, remove seeds and guts and place halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 375 degree oven until very soft, about 45-50 minutes. Scoop from shell and set aside.

Melt coconut oil in dutch oven (or large sauce pan) over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and salt. Cook until onion is soft. Add chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add pears and squash and simmer until pears are soft.  Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Or pour soup into blender -- no more than half way full -- and blend in batches. Return to pot.) Stir in coconut milk and reheat. (If soup is too thick, add broth or coconut milk to desired consistency.)

Paleo Beef Chili with Sweet Potato
  • 1 large chuck roast, cut into small cubes
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 chili peppers*
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2" cubes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 quarts diced tomatoes (or 2 large cans)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake (or cayenne pepper)
  • salt and pepper
In dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add beef cubes to brown 4-5 minutes, stiring once. Add garlic, chopped onions, red peppers, and chilies*, stiring to soften slightly. Add all seasonings, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Mix well. remove dutch from stove and place in preheated 250 degree oven, (or transfer chili to crockpot set on low setting). Slow cook for 6-7 hours. For thicker chili, remove cover of dutch oven/pot for final half hour of cooking to allow some liquid to evaporate. The whole house will smell good. Perfect on a cold, wet winter day!

There's probably a great recipe somewhere for meatballs that I haven't yet come across. This one I made up on the fly, and the boys actually liked it. 

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor to a coarse rice-like texture 
  • one egg
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary)
Combine all of the ingredients until they are well mixed and form the mixture into meatballs. Gently brown in a heated skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil.

In a saucepot, heat tomato sauce or seasoned diced tomatoes over a low heat, and add meatballs to continue cooking in sauce for about an hour. (Another option is to place the meatballs in a slow cooker with sauce and cook on low for a few hours.)

Serve the meatballs over spaghetti squash (if you're paleo) or regular pasta (if you're a kid), or just eat them with sauce. Easy.

Broccoli Detox Salad
I make a big batch of this salad, store in individual square containers, and stack in the fridge. It's my go-to lunch and snack all rolled into one. Good to chase any hunger away.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley or italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • lime or lemon zest
Wash and cut cauliflower and broccoli into small pieces. In batches, grate on pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbles. Transfer to large bowl. Grate the carrots, add to bowl. (You can toss in finely chopped kale as well.) In a separate bowl, combine lime and honey to make a dressing. Combine all remaining ingredients together, add lime-honey and refrigerate. (This makes a ton. I divide into 5 lunch size containers and stack in fridge.)



Chocolate Paleo "Ice Cream"

Blend those frozen bananas (above) for a great "ice cream" treat!

  • Bananas, sliced and frozen
  • coconut milk
  • unsweetened cocoa
In advance, peel and slice 2 bananas, and freeze. Add to food processor along with about 2 TB coconut milk and some unsweetened cocoa. Blend in processor until smooth and enjoy. (You can also add cashew or almond butter.)

Sunday Prep


It takes me 2 hours on Sundays to get our week in order. It sounds like a ton of time (and sometimes it feels like it) but it's hard to stay on track without putting in the effort on Sunday. Mike takes a breakfast, lunch, and snack to work every day, including a salad, grilled chicken, 2 servings of fruit, an energy bar and a package of paleo muffins. Dinner is late, and often something he or I can make quickly like a stir fry or curry, so having the veggies and protein cut and prepped in advance makes life easier. (And I like having energy bars or lara bars ready-to-go in the fridge, for a long ride or pre/post workout snack.)

The Weekly Prep
  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs
  • 4-5 salads in ready-to-go containers
  • Grilled chicken, divided for 4-5 salads
  • 1-2 dozen paleo muffins, paired into sandwich bags and stored in freezer
  • 2 versions of Apricot energy bars -- one chocolate chip, one cranberry-raisin
  • 1 head cauliflower, "riced" in food processor
  • Broccoli and cauliflower, washed and cut for stir fry
  • Red peppers & onions, sliced for stir fry
  • Spiral sliced sweet potatoes, stored in ziploc bag
  • Strawberries (in season), washed, sliced, and divided into small containers for lunches
  • Watermelon (in season), cut into cubes

Our closest Trader Joe's is 20-30 minutes away, and I need A LIST when shopping there so I don't forget anything! Below are the paleo friendly 'staples' that are in our shopping cart. (Non-paleo items are noted.)

Trader Joe's Shopping List
  • Almond Butter
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Clover Honey
  • Grade B Maple Syrup
  • Dried Turkish Apricots (unsulphered)
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Golden California Raisins
  • Dried mango
  • Almonds (individual snack bags)
  • Nuts—Almonds, Walnuts
  • Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Pepper Salsa
  • Fire roasted diced green chilies
  • Salsa Authentica
  • Fire roasted red peppers
  • Olives
  • Almond meal
  • Vanilla extract (alcohol free)
  • Coconut Milk (in resealable container)
  • Almond Milk (unsweeteed)
  • Almond or Cashew Milk Yogurt
  • Coconut oil spray
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Dark Chocolate (70% cacao and up)
  • Tea

This is a great chart that reminds me what I can expect to see at our CSA or the Farmer's Market each month. Click photo to enlarge.