Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gluten Free Girl Scout Tag-a-longs

As most girls when they were younger they were Girl Scouts. If you were a Girl Scout you sold Girl Scout cookies! When I found out I could no longer eat anything that contained gluten the one thing I realized I would miss was Girl Scout cookies! Well I found a way make gluten free Tag-a-longs & it is just like being a kid again .

My good friend Strawberry Ginger ( pass on the opportunity to be a part of the Facebook Cookie Swap! It has been such a fun & exciting experience receiving Gluten Free Cookies from all over the US. I can not wait til next year to be apart of the swap again & I am already thinking about what I am going to make!!!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do ......

Gluten Free Tag-a-longs 


PREP TIME 15 min

COOK TIME 10 min

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour, such as Honeyville

¼ cup cornstarch

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons shortening

1 In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the vanilla. In another large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Form the dough into a ball, then divide into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 to 45 minutes.

2 Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Top each cooled cookie with 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4 Using a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate chips and shortening until smooth. Remove from the heat.

5 Line a cooled baking sheet with parchment paper. Using two forks, dip each cookie into the chocolate coating, turning to cover completely. Tap the fork gently on the rim of the pan to remove any excess coating. Place the cookies on the baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Benefits of Avocado for Healthy Guacamole

AVOCADOS........WHY ARE YOU THEY SO GOOD FOR YOU???? Well here are some facts for you & a tasty recipe

1. PROTEIN .... Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw food seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

2. GOOD FAT .... Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocados boost levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

3. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.... The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocados unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

4. GOOD FOR YOUR HEART... The fat content, which causes some uninformed health "experts" to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

5. HOW TO PICK THE BEST ONE .... To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.



3 Medium Avocados, halved
1 lime juiced
1/3 cup tomato diced
1/3 cup red onion diced
1 TBS cilantro 
salt & pepper to taste


Place the pulp from the avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher leaving some large chunks. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, tomato and red onion and mix thoroughly.

SECRET TIP - If you are serving this at a later time, a great tip to keep the guacamole from turning brown is by placing the pit in the bowl with the guacamole and cover.

Servings: 6  Calories: 149.4  Fat: 13.3 g  Fiber: 6.1 g  Carbs: 8.8 g  Protein: 1.8 g 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Healthy Can Be Tasty - Greek Style Turkey Burgers

My philosophy to healthy eating all revolves around BALANCE!  It is so important that you have a good balance of protein, fat & carbohydrates so your body can be satisfied and get all the crucial nutrients that make up such a balanced diet, especially after a killer workout at Blast 900 or whatever your favorite workout routine might be.  Many people have the misconception that healthy eating may be boring and hard to maintain.  But guess what, I can prove to you that eating healthy can still be TASTY and with a few simple tips it can also be easy.  I am a big "foodie' at heart, but even I have realized how delicious healthy food with fresh ingredients can be. 

My goal is to research & share well balanced meals that meet my clients' parameters of calories, protein, carbs & fat.  I work very hard to come up with a variety of meals that fit these needs while keeping your menus new & exciting. 

In addition to providing these insights, I also have clients where I offer weekly meal delivery services tailored to your desires, cooking classes for you and your friends, and catering for private parties.  Are you next? 

What better way to accelerate your results and hard work of working out then coupling those behaviors with a sensible, well-balanced, delicious diet.  Not a diet where you deprive yourself of key nutrients (carbs and fat for example) or where you deprive your taste buds of delicious food.  But a diet developed with your goals and taste buds at the forefront. 

Can't wait to work together towards a healthy, happy You! 

Chef Lesley Palmer

Greek Style Turkey Burgers 
Serves – 4(1 burger & 1/3 cup salsa each)

1/3 cup fine dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 TBS of plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
1 TBS crumbled feta cheese
1 pound of ground turkey or chicken breast
Assorted Greens (optional)
2 whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved & light toasted
1 recipe of Olive-Tomato Salsa
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese

Olive - Tomato Salsa

1cup Tomato ( chopped, seeded )
¼ cup Cucumber (chopped, seeded )
¼ cup Kalamata Olives (chopped, pitted – or another type of ripe olive )
½ tsp Rosemary – fresh chopped
¼ tsp Oregano – dried


1.    In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, egg white, rosemary, oregano, the 1 TBS of feta cheese & 1/8 tsp black pepper. Add turkey; mix well. Shape turkey mixture into four 3/4 –inch-thick patties.

2.   Grill patties on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium heat 12 to 14 minutes or no longer pink(165degrees) *** turning once halfway through grilling.

3.   In small bowl stir together all ingredients & set to the side

4.  Divide assorted greens, if using, and pita halves among the four plates; top with burgers. Top burgers with Olive-Tomato Salsa and the 1/4cup feta cheese.

Per Serving – 275 calories, 6g total fat, 23g carbs, 26g protein 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Watermelon Martini - Skinnygirl Style

Two things I love ...... Skinnygirl anything & watermelon. I thought, "why not marry the two and make a watermelon martini" that would be cool & refreshing on these hot summer days. Had a little dinner party with my cousin & his girlfriend who are about to leave town on an amazing adventure to Argentina... no better time then to give this recipe a shot.

So hope you enjoy this great refreshing summer cocktail .......

Ingredients & Utensils

Cucumber Flavored Vodka or Self-made Cucumber Infused Vodka - 2oz
Watermelon  - 4 x (1 inch cubes)
Simple Syrup  - 1 TBS
Lemon Juice - 1 TBS
Lime Juice - 1 squeeze
Martini Glass
Cutting Board


1. First cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes, place a few cubes in the freezer for garnish later.

2. To prepare the simple syrup - combine equal parts sugar & water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

3. Place two watermelon cubes in a shaker & muddle the watermelon.

5. Add to the shaker - cucumber vodka, simple syrup & lemon juice 

6. Fill shaker with ice & shake until chilled 

7. Pour the drink into the martini glass & finish off with a squeeze of a lime 

8.Get the watermelon popsicle cubes from the freezer & place on a bamboo skewer & garnish the drink. ENJOY!!!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RAO's Famous Lemon Chicken - Healthy TOO!

Well here goes...... This is my first blog post for Chef LP Healthy Meals! So my plan is to post tips, recipes & other little interesting tid-bits as frequently as I can. My name is Lesley Palmer (aka Chef LP) & I am a chef! I am a southern gal - born & raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

I currently specialize in healthy, well-balanced meals, and I often cook gluten free for myself & my husband too! I run a homemade meal delivery service called Chef LP Healthy Meals, so I am constantly looking out for fresh and tasty recipes that are good for you, too.

In addition to the blog here, I will be sharing alot of this tasty stuff on Facebook (search: Chef LP Healthy Meals) and Twitter (@lesleypalmer).

To kick things off with a bang, here is a really easy, and equally delicious recipe which is also caters to your healthy side:

RAO's Famous Lemon Chicken 


Whole Roaster Chicken - 2lbs
Lemon Juice - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
Dried Oregano - 2 tsps
Red Wine Vinegar - 2 Tbs
Minced Garlic - 1 Tbs
Salt & Pepper To Taste


1. First you need to cut the chicken into halves & then into quarters.
2. Line a sheet pan with foil & set aside. In the mean time turn on the broiler to high.
3. Season both sides of the each piece of chicken with salt/pepper & then place skin side down on the baking sheet.
4. Place in the oven under the broiler for 6-8 minutes on each side. (your goal here is to get the skin side of the chicken charred)

5. When this is done, remove the chicken from the oven, cut all of the chicken into smaller pieces & place into a oven safe pan skin side down.
6. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic & salt/pepper.

7. Pour the lemon mixture all over the chicken & return to the oven for 2-3 minutes - then flip the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes

8. Remove from the oven & enjoy! It is so tender & has such a great lemon flavor that you will want it again & again. Plus any leftovers will be great for salads or sandwiches.