In Search of the Lean Six Life

Smarter, not harder. Preferrably A LOT smarter.

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Because life is too short to skip dessert, whatever your dietary preference might be! I think everyone who eats paleo or primal has their own “favorite” chocolate chip recipe – here’s mine!

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies


With a shout-out to Oatmeal With a Fork, whose recipe served as my starting point.  (Although now that I read it, almost a year later, it’s really hard to see the family relationship between her recipe and mine. Oh well! She was my inspiration!)


2 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville almost exclusively for baking)
scant 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 Tbs melted butter, cooled (mine was salted because that’s what I had!)
6 Tbs coconut sugar (you could substitute raw honey, but I think the flavor overwhelms the cookie)
2 eggs – OR – 2 egg whites, 1 Tbs unflavored gelatin and 1 Tbs water (I know it sounds weird, but it improves the texture. I use Great Lakes brand – the kind in the red can.)
1 Tbs vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or less, according to personal preference – I use Enjoy Life)


Mix the dry ingredients (including the 1 Tbs gelatin, if using) in a large bowl, EXCEPT for the chocolate chips.  Tip: sift the almond flour, or use a fork to break up any clumps.

Mix the wet ingredients (including the 1 Tbs water, if using) in a medium bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet (bet you didn’t see that one coming!).  Gently fold in chocolate chips. If the batter seems warm – like the chips get melty because the butter wasn’t all the way cooled down – I will chill it for a while at this point while letting the oven heat up.

Heat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to measure out 16 cookies. Press the batter mounds flat with your palm or other likely accoutrement – these don’t “spread” like wheat based cookies do.  Bake for 11 – 12 minutes. Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.


Grain-free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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Ooey Gooey Paleo Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Did I mention this was grain-free and Paleo (-ish)?

This is my adaptation of a recipe from Jan’s Sushi Bar – you can find the original version here.  I SWEAR I meant to follow it exactly.  I’ve been cooking grain free for almost a year now (!), and I have finally developed a feeling for what “works” (or not) in a baked recipe. I rejected a lot of possible grain-free pineapple upside-down cake recipes before I settled on this one. But as I started mixing, I found myself adding a little of this, and a little of that… Luckily I kept track of all my changes, as the cake turned out AMAZING.

Grain-free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Ridiculously delicious pineapple upside-down cake. And it’s grain free!


2 8 oz. cans of pineapple rings, drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup butter or ghee
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 medium eggs, separated (or two large eggs…but my hens lay medium, so that’s what I use!)
1/4 cup butter or ghee, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
2 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (I use this brand as it doesn’t have cornstarch… but in the future I may make my own)
1/2 teaspoon salt (if you use salted butter elsewhere in the recipe, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum


1.  Preheat oven to 350F

2. Put 1/4 cup butter or ghee in a 8 x 11.5 inch baking dish, and bake in the oven till the butter is melted (sorry, I didn’t time this part!). Sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut sugar over the melted butter, and arrange pineapple rings across the bottom of the baking dish.  (If you wanted to add cherries, this would be the time, but we skipped them.)

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

4. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, melted butter or ghee, 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and 3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice.

5. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Use a fork or a whisk to make sure any lumps in the almond flour are broken up.

6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Fold in the egg whites.  (My egg whites lost all their “stiff peaks” in my effort to incorporate them thoroughly, so I might try skipping that approach in the future.)

7. Spread the batter over the pineapple, sugar and butter in the baking dish.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (But not too deep, or you’ll hit pineapple!)  Your kitchen will smell AMAZING.

8. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen up the cake around the edges of the pan.  Place a cutting board over the dish, and using pot holders or oven mitts, flip the dish and lift away, leaving the cake on the cutting board.  (I had to wait a few seconds for it to come completely away.)

9. Let cake cool completely, if at all possible. Refrigerate leftovers.

I actually made this the day before, kept uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, removed from fridge to come up to room temperature, and then served it.

Did I say it was AMAZING?  I couldn’t tell the difference between this cake, and wheat-flour-boxed-cake-batter recipes I’d made previous years. More importantly, the birthday boy loved it!

Nutritional info

If you cut this cake into 8 ginormous slices, here is the nutritional breakdown:

449 calories; 29.3 g total fat; 41.6 g carbohydrates; 9.6 g protein

(But you might want to cut it into 16 smaller slices, because it is very rich!)

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My Reward


Hard day in the garden, prepping for fall planting, saving the last of the “free range” strawberries, and beating back the weeds blocking access to the blackberries. My reward: blackberry cobbler!  Also a great use for not-pretty-produce…who cares what they look like when baked in a cobbler?  Especially with vanilla ice cream!

Quick Berry Cobbler

Preheat oven to 375. Melt 4 Tbs butter in a 9 x 9 pan in the oven.

While butter is melting, mix 1/3 c sugar, 1/2 c milk, and 1 c Bisquick (or similar baking mix) in one bowl to make the batter.  Mix 2 c berries 2 Tbs sugar in another bowl.  When the butter is melted, pour the batter into the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle the berry/sugar mixture evenly over the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes. Top with ice cream or anything suitably delicious and enjoy!

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Allergy Friendly Chocolate Almond Cherry Bars

The original version of this recipe appeared here.
I was trying to make it “allergy friendly” for a party I was going to where the only guaranteed “allergy free” item conceivable was purified air!  So this isn’t perfect, but I was making it for one specific person.  Oh and I made a few other changes as well.


1 cup toasted chopped almonds
1 cup almond butter (if you find a source which is guaranteed peanut free, let me know)
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Minis)
3/4 cup dried cherries
More honey to taste (I think I needed this because the Enjoy Life chips weren’t  quite as sweet as “regular” chips)

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, and sprinkle toasted almonds across the bottom.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt together almond butter, honey and coconut oil.
Remove from heat and add oats, chocolate chips and dried cherries. Stir until combined and chocolate chips are melted.
Pour carefully into pan, over almonds. Refrigerate until hardened, about an hour. Store in refrigerator.  Cut into squares, rectangles, or whatever other shape suits your fancy.
These will get very melty after they have been out of the fridge for a while, so be prepared to pop them back in at a moment’s notice.  They will get all over your fingers while eating. Guaranteed.


Which is why I don’t have any pictures to share. They were either being scarfed down, or they were chilling back in the fridge.