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Through the Paleo diet/lifestyle and the Whole30 my family, friends and I are becoming healthier! We are getting to our healthy weights, moving more, sleeping better and have better energy. We are suffering fewer mild medical issues and are just overall feeling better every day!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. We cook and enjoy a lot of great food that's both tasty and healthy. I hope you'll find some recipes here that you'll enjoy!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Bowl (whole30)

By now you may have figured out that I am completely obsessed with buffalo chicken. I could eat it every day. Here's an original recipe that is inspired by this meatball recipe and this burrito bowl recipe.

What you'll need:

Ranch seasoning (see below)
1lb of ground chicken breast
Rainbow Slaw (2 packages)
Franks Red Hot Sauce (I used 5 TBSP total, you can use more or less to your taste)
cooking fat of choice
My famous Ranch Dressing for topping

For the Ranch Seasoning:
1 TBSP dried Parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard

I usually have some of this mixed up in a jar ahead of time, but today I just tossed it all in a bowl and stirred it a little before I started cooking.

Add some butter (or fat of choice) to a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add the chicken and start breaking it up. When it's about halfway cooked through, add the ranch seasoning. At this time you can heat some fat (I used olive oil) in another pan for sauteing the slaw. I do this on medium-high heat. Stir the slaw often to keep it from burning. Once the chicken is cooked through you can lower the heat and add 3 TBSP of the hot sauce and stir it in. Let the chicken continue to simmer in the sauce while you finish cooking the slaw. Add 2 TBSP of hot sauce to the slaw and continue cooking & stirring until it is tender-crispy. 

To serve, place a scoop of the cooked slaw in a bowl and top with a scoop of the chicken mixture. Now put a dollup of ranch dressing on there and enjoy!






Sunday, March 9, 2014

Keeping the Cave Clean

Hey there! It's been a while! I do have a some food related posts in the works, but I wanted to talk about something different today. While I've been walking, running, skipping, lunging & occasionally dancing (when nobody's looking) down this paleo path, I've also been taking a long, hard look at the products that I use to clean my cave & myself!  I will save the cave-girl cleaning for another post. Today, I want to share with you a few simple things that I've learned about keeping my cave clean.

There are a few simple reasons that I have been slowly changing how I clean the cave:

1) I am trying to eliminate as many toxins in my life as possible (with the understanding that I can't avoid them ALL!)
2) Regular cleaners can be expensive
3) Organic cleaners are even more expensive

I have been researching DIY cleaners and essentials oils were popping up everywhere in my research. I put a post out on facebook asking local people where I could find good essential oils to purchase and within hours I found myself at an open-house celebration at a local doTERRA oil retailer. And thus began my essential oil adventures. I'm still very much in the baby stages of learning how to use these oils, but there some methods that have worked wonders for me in the past few weeks.

BASIC CLEANER
A very simple mixture of 1 gallon of water, 1/2C of vinegar & about 6 drops of Wild Orange essential oil (I think any citrus oil would work here) has been a fantastic cleaner for my laminate wood floors, tile floors, painted wood baseboards & even my kitchen cabinets. The dogs have been tracking in mud and smearing it all over everything and this cleaner works great for that!

STICKY STUFF
I read yesterday that eucalyptus oil works great for removing stickers...etc. I put that to the test today and it worked like a charm! 

RELAXING IN THE BATH
I found this recipe for scented bath salts using only empsom salt, baking soda & lavender essential oil and whipped up a double batch yesterday. I haven't tried it yet, but stay tuned for a review!

CLEANING THE BATH
I found this simple recipe for a tub/shower cleaner and tried it out today. The vinegar smell was bothering the Huz, so I added about 12 drops of wild orange oil to it. It helped the smell and increased the cleaning power.

TOUGH LAUNDRY ODORS
I have one of these Dirty Dog Doormats that I purchased at my favorite local pet supply store. I keep it under the water dish because our new German Shepherd "puppy" (ie. 80lb clutz) tips it over a lot and often drips water out of his mouth all around it! The thing was getting a "musty" smell to it despite being washed weekly. So, last weekend when I washed it, I put a little vinegar and a few drops of both lavender and eucalyptus oil in the washer during the rinse cycle and guess what! It hasn't stunk since! Amazing.

LAUNDRY MONEY SAVER

Speaking of laundry. While I haven't yet tried making my own laundry soap, I have been saving money by using less of it. I don't use soap to wash my towels any more. I use this method that I found on pinterest instead! I don't bother with two separate loads though. I just use vinegar in the wash cycle and baking soda in the rinse cycle. Works like a charm :)












I hope you find these cleaning methods helpful and I look forward to hearing other ideas from all of you! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oxtail Bone Broth

I've had a package of oxtail in the freezer for some time now. I also had a collection of other beef and pork bones from roasts, chops, steaks..etc. that we have eaten the last few month weeks/months along with vegetable scraps in the freezer. I put the oxtails and other bones my cast iron pot and tossed a whole quartered onion in the pot along with some baby carrots and roasted everything at 450 degrees for 30 minutes (turning once). *note: this makes your house smell amazing!


Meanwhile, while the bones & veggies were roasting, I quartered another onion and tossed it in the crockpot along with some of the frozen veggie scraps, more carrots, some garlic cloves (slightly crushed, but not peeled), dried parsley* & oregano*, a bay leaf, course ground black pepper and some sea salt.  I added the roasted bones & veggies along with the drippings in the pan and then poured filtered water in to cover everything. I added 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar and let it all sit for about 30 minutes before putting the lid and turning the crockpot on low. Let cook for 12-24 hours (or longer) and then strain out the broth. This is going to make a fabulous beef veggie soup, I just know it... ;)


*Before putting the dried herbs in, I rub them between my palms to sort of "wake them up"

Also, note that my bones didn't fit in my crockpot, so I transfered everything over to a stockpot and put it on the stove top.  I brought it to a boil and then turned it down to the lowest setting and let it simmer covered for about 27 hours. About half-way through (when I got up in the morning after it simmered most of the afternoon and overnight), I took the oxtails out and pulled the meat off and then put them back in. I plan to put the meat in my beef veggie soup!


This stuff is delicious! 

Some of the broth will be put in the freezer for future use. I've heard of freezing it in ice cube trays so that you have measured amounts to use, but I am currently short on ice cube trays, so I will just freeze it in the jars (I left room at the top to keep them from cracking).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Autumn Recipes - Chili

When you adapt a paleo style of eating, some of your favorite recipes will undergo a major overhaul. One of those recipes is most certainly your chili recipe. Previously, my chili consisted of meat & beans along with macaroni noodles, spicy V-8 juice and other ingredients. We would often top a bowl of chili with sour cream & shredded cheese or buttered saltine crackers! My how times have changed! Now we top our chili with slices of avocado or eggs fried over easy!

Chili is one of those recipes that I make a little different every time, but here's (roughly) what I did today (adapted from this recipe):

Ingredients:
Splash of Olive Oil
2lbs of Grass Fed Ground Beef
1 chopped Onion
1 chopped Hot Banana Pepper
1 chopped Jalapeno Pepper
1 chopped Yellow Bell Pepper (small)
2Tbsp Chili Powder
1Tbsp Cumin
1tsp Salt
1tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2tsp Allspice
1/2tsp Black Pepper
6oz can of Tomato Paste (I use Muir Glen Organic)
28oz can of Diced Tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic)
14oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic)

Directions:
Splash oil in the bottom of a heated pot and add the onions & 3 different peppers. Next add the meat and cook until the meat is no longer pink inside. Then add all remaining ingredients and let simmer for 1-2 hours. 

Then have fun playing with toppings..etc. I've heard of topping a sweet potato or squash with paleo chili. Bacon is another popular topping... Or just top it with some over-easy fried eggs like I did!
NOT a very pretty photo, but it was so very tasty!





Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tip of the Day

Save small glass containers such as herb/seasoning containers
and baby food jars to store single servings of dressing for salads!
This week's menu is simple and requires very little cooking. We're having a lot of salads.

I bought iceberg lettuce, organic spring mix and organic baby spinach for the greens.

We've chopped up radishes, bell pepper, red onion, cucumbers & tomatoes for veggie toppings.

And we've got taco seasoned ground beef, tuna mixed with homemade mayo, nitrate-free ham cold cuts from the farm,  grilled or buffalo chicken & hard boiled eggs for protein.

And most importantly, we've got dressings!  I've made a fresh batch of ranch dressing and bottled them in baby food jars and glass herb jars. I've also got a bottle of Tessamae's Italian Dressing!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Paleo Coleslaw (with a kick!)

Hey everybody! The weather is starting to cool off and everyone is getting into their fall recipes and I'm over here making summer salads! I never really cared for coleslaw and the only one I've ever REALLY liked was the jalapeno slaw at Chili's.  I don't even know if they still have it and I honestly can't remember what it tasted like, but I've been craving coleslaw lately and I got to thinking about that slaw at Chili's with jalapeno in it, and then this happened:



Ingredients:
14 or 16oz. package of coleslaw mix (or you can shred your own cabbage & carrots)
1/2 - 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Fennel Seed
1 Cup Paleo Mayo
1 tsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Lime Juce
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the slaw mix with the jalapeno and fennel seed. In a smaller bowl, mix the remaining ingredients to make the sauce. Pour the sauce over the slaw mix and blend everything together well. Place in the refrigerator for a while to allow the flavors to blend.  

Oh yeah, and Whole30 5.0 week 1 is in the books!  




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Zoodle Salad

Are you looking for an alternative to the typical summer cold pasta salad?  Well, have I got the perfect recipe for you!  This one is simple and fairly easy to make.  I like it best the next day, so it's perfect to make it ahead of time and then carry it to your next picnic or family gathering.  

Ingredients:
1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP Butter
4-6 slices of cooked & crumbled Bacon
5-6 cups Zoodles (I used 3 large zucchini) 
1/4 Cup diced Red Bell Pepper 
1/4 Cup diced Red Onion
1/4 Cup Homemade Mayo
Salt & Pepper (to taste)


Directions:
Cut chicken up into bite-sized chunks. Heat butter in pan and add chicken and ranch seasoning to pan.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink. I put my chicken in a bowl in the fridge while I finished the rest of the recipe. While the chicken is cooling, you can start boiling a large pot of water and create your zoodles by using a spiralzer or julienne peeler. I salt the water and the zoodles. Once the water is boiling, toss the zoodles in and put a lid on it. It will only take 3-5 minutes for your zoodles to soften up, so keep checking them. As soon as you can easily cut one with a fork, put them in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. While they are draining, you can cook and crumble your bacon and cut your onions & peppers. Squeeze all of the excess  water from the zoodles and put them in large bowl. Mix in the chicken, bacon, peppers, onion and mayo. Add salt & pepper to taste. As I said, this dish tastes great after the flavors have blended in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).  

*I always have mayo & ranch seasoning made and on-hand.