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!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fried Eggplant & Buffalo Wings

Dinner last night consisted of Buffalo Wings from The Food Lovers Kitchen.  I was wracking my brains to come up with a side dish/veggie to have with it.  I happen to have 3 large eggplants because I planned to try another recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen this week.  So, I sliced one up and made this Fried Eggplant recipe from Marina's Primal/Paleo Cooking.  I forgot to take pictures, but she has some pretty pictures on her site.  It was very easy to make and tasty!  Of course, my hot sauce loving friend, Brittany put some of my Rubin's Red hot sauce from Horsetooth Hot Sauce on them and it was REALLY good!

Fried Eggplant:

1 Large Eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced (the recipe SAYS to peel it, but the picture shows it unpeeled.  I  tend to think that the peeling of any veggie contains important nutrients, so I left it on!)
2 TBSP coconut oil or palm oil (I used coconut oil)
3 Eggs, beaten (I used 2 and still had leftover)

I sprinkled a little salt on them after I removed them from the pan.  I put them on a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the oil off.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bone Broth

It does kinda look like garbage...

While reading an article in this month's issue of All You magazine , I was directed to The Sweet Beet for directions on how to use your "garbage" to make vegetable stock.  I had already been collecting beef and pork bones in a bag in the freezer, but the idea of saving egg shells and veggie scraps was revolutionary!  I've told you how I've made chicken bone broth in the past, but I hadn't tried veggie broth or pork/beef broth yet.

So...last night I put my pork & beef bones in the crockpot (along with some tallow) with about a dozen egg shells and some veggies.  I poured warm water over it all and then a cap full of vinegar.  I covered it and left it turned off for about an hour and then turned it on low and went to bed.  When I get home tonight, there should be some delicious broth ready to be strained!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recipe Recap

I've tried a few new recipes in the last week.  Today, I will feature the ones that I liked!  I'll save the ones that I didn't care for for another day.  

First of all, I've been making my own almond meal!  I purchased this cute little coffee grinder for around $10 (and we use it to grind our coffee now too!)  I just put a handful of plain almonds in it and grind it up.  Then I sift it through the colander (because I don't have a flour sifter yet) and add the big chunks back to the grinder again.  It's simple!  And it saves a TON of money!  I buy large bags of almonds at Sam's Club.

Next, I used my homemade almond meal to make some "chicken strips".  This was an experiment to make a more flavorful chicken strip than a previous attempt.   
I used approximately 1-1/2 cups of almond meal and random measurements of the spices pictured above (paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, parsley, red pepper, dry mustard & white pepper).  I blended it all together and then in a seperate bowl, I whisked 2 eggs and little bit of water.  I dipped each chicken strip in the egg and then covered it in the "breading".  I then placed them on foil-lined baking sheet and baked them for about 25 minutes at 350.

I served them with homemade paleo mayo, canned french style green beans and sweet potato fries.  They were good, but I still think they need more flavor.

Last night I tried two new recipes.  One being these buttery dill carrots from the pampered chef.

Then I made baked spiced yams from The Paleo Mom.  I served it all up with grassfed beef burgers on the grill!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Soups and Stews

Image Credits: 
It's that time of year... the weather is getting cooler and the fall fruits & veggies are coming into season.  I love to make soups & stews on the weekend and then eat them throughout the week.  I've recently made two recipes utilizing in-season produce.  

The first recipe comes from page 108 of the the Paleo Recipe Book:

Crock Pot Beef & Sweet Potato Stew
1lb of beef stew meat
3C sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1" cubes (I used 3 medium sized sweet potatoes)
2 garlic cloves, minced
a pinch of allspice
1 bay leaf
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Large Onion, cut into chunks (I quartered mine)
1 can (28oz.) of tomatoes (I used diced in a can)
8 dried apricots, cut in half, optional (I decided to add these and while I enjoyed them, others who ate my stew said they would have left them out)
Chopped Parsley for garnishing (I didn't use this)
cooking fat
salt and pepper

Season meat with salt & pepper and brown in cooking fat in a skillet.  Place browned meat, sweet potatoes, garlic, cinnamon stick, onion, tomatoes and all spice in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours (or until beef is tender).  Add dried apricots and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes, until apricots are soft.  Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick and serve, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

I cooked this overnight and I kept waking up all night smelling this WONDERFUL scent in my house!  I enjoyed this stew, but the flavors were definitely a strange blend for me.  I'm not sure I will make this one again.

Turkey/Beef and Cabbage Soup
This soup is very easy to make and easy to customize. The inspiration for this one comes from the Weight Watchers Zero Point Cabbage Soup recipe.  Of course, WW and paleo are VERY different, but I've always enjoyed the flavor of this soup.  I turned it paleo by adding meat to it and using stock with fat in it.

1lb grass fed ground beef
1lb ground turkey
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Half head of cabbage, chopped
zucchini, cut into half circle slices
2 carrots, cut into half circle slices
2 celery stalks, sliced 
1 small onion, chopped
3C chicken or beef stock/broth
1 6oz can tomato paste
any other vegetables that you want to add (green beans, tomatoes, squash...etc.)
cooking fat

Sautee the garlic and onions in cooking fat (I used chicken fat from homemade broth) until the onions start to become tender.  Then add the ground beef and ground turkey and season with salt & pepper.  Fry meat until it is cooked through.  Add all vegetables, broth and tomato paste to the pot.  Cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 30-60 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.  Add salt & pepper and any other seasonings to taste.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Whole30 Benefits

One of the many, many benefits that I have enjoyed with my Whole30(s) is that I eat a lot more fruits & veggies.  Both in quantity and variety.  Today I've had:

Bell Peppers
Salsa (I count this is a veggie)
Butternut Squash
Honeydew Melon

...and I haven't eaten dinner yet! Dinner will most likely be Crock pot Beef and Sweet Potato Stew from the Paleo Recipe Book which includes, sweet potato, tomato, onion & apricots!

So... yeah, that's an awesome variety!

Almost makes me want to track a few days in MyFitnessPal...

upcoming book review!

Remember when I told you about the great myKitchen app from the Food Lovers Primal Palate?  Well, I've been selected to review their new cookbook Make it Paleo!  I'm so excited!  This cookbook has over 200 grain-free recipes in it and I can't wait to start making some of them.  The book should arrive within a week and I'm sure I'll get to cooking right away!  

Sidenote: Tomorrow marks 30 days since Husband and I started our second Whole30.  We haven't been nearly as strict as we were the first time around.  We've both had some alcohol and haven't stressed out too much over what kind of oil our dinner  might have been cooked in when we dine out.  But, we have gone 30 days without eating any grains, sugar, dairy or legumes (knowingly).  I plan to continue until October 6th when our friends are finished with their first Whole30!  Our other friends are finishing their first Whole30 up in a week!  It's really great to see other people (that we personally know and love) gain from this program. Things like:
  • learning to cook
  • having more energy
  • finding that they CAN live without bread and pasta after all
  • finding it easier to make healthy choices (even when surrounded by unhealthy options)  
  • losing belly bloat
  • finding new foods to love
This list could go on and on, but I digress.  For more stories about how the Whole30 has changed lives check out the testimonials on the Whole9 website or the Whole30/Whole9 Facebook page.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's on my Plate?

I'm sure you all are dying to know what I've been eating, so here's some photos!

Skirt Steak with Chive Butter from the Food Lovers Kitchen
A T-bone, seasoned and grilled with sauteed mushrooms,
sweet potato fries and homemade mayo

I'm getting bored with mashed sweet potatoes and sweet
potato fries, so I peeled them and cubed them and fried them
in coconut oil with salt & pepper!

The fried sweet potatoes went great with our pastured pork
sausage & green beans!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tip of the Day #7

Today's tip:

Waste not, want not.

Coffee is expensive.  Organic coffee is even more expensive.  So, it drives me crazy when there's coffee left in the pot.  I found a way to use that coffee.  I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.  When the tray is full of frozen coffee cubes, I put them in a bag in the freezer.  Then, on the days that I want iced coffee rather than hot, I use them in my coffee!

Doesn't that coconut milk look dreamy?

Baked Salmon with Asparagus & Roasted Beets

This is another recipe from The Paleo Recipe Book (Page 140).  I'll just go ahead and say that these e-books are worth the price.  It's $27 for 5 e-books.  The main recipe book has over 370 recipes in it and when you add the recipes from the dessert book and quick & simple book, you have about 400 recipes!  It also includes the meal plan and the herbs & spices guide.  When I first purchased it, I was a little intimidated by some of the ingredients, but I've been spending a lot of time in my kitchen lately and have become more confident and comfortable in there.  

It's really simple and I would have never guessed that these flavors would work so well together!  
For each serving, lay out a piece of aluminum foil (be generous with the size).  Then lay 4 asparagus springs with the white part cut off on each piece of foil.  Top with one diced beet (I actually used 1-1/2 beets per serving because that's what I had).  Next place your 4-6oz salmon filet on top of the beets (be sure to purchase wild caught salmon).  Top the filet with a tablespoon of cooking fat (I used clarified butter) and a teaspoon of chopped dill (I used fresh).

Next, fold the foil to make a packet and put foil packets on a baking sheet.  Place them in your preheated oven on 500 degrees.  The recipe said to cook them 10 minutes for each inch of thickness of fish and to keep checking them so that you don't overcook the fish.  Mine took 30 minutes.

This recipe was delicious!!!!  Husband, who doesn't even like salmon, ate it!  He said the beets made it taste better!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homemade Chicken Soup

I've been making chicken vegetable soup every 2-3 weeks.  I am now confident that I have the right method nailed down.  First I have to have some stock and some bone broth on hand.

Whenever I make a whole chicken in the crockpot I always save the stock from it.  I typically pour it into jars and freeze it.  

Bone Broth
Anytime we eat chicken with bones in it, I save the bones (in a bag in the freezer).  This includes chicken wings.  I also save the necks when I make a whole chicken.  Here's how I make the bone broth:

Put bones & necks in the crockpot with one chopped carrot, one chopped celery stalk and one small onion (quartered).  Fill the crockpot with filtered water to cover the bones and veggies.  Add about a tablespoon of any kind of vinegar and leave it sit covered (but not turned on) for about an hour.  This helps draw the minerals out of the bones.  Then turn it on low and leave it for about 24 hours.  Turn it off and strain the bones & veggies out of it.  Then freeze it or use it or drink it!  

Bone broth is a healthy substance that can aide in digestion, increase immunity and has many other health benefits!

Making the Soup
You'll need:
bone broth
chicken stock
chicken thighs (bone in is best)
bell pepper
any other veggies you have laying around (I like to use zucchini)
herbs & seasonings of your choice (I use oregano, basil, salt & pepper)

Take your stock out of the freezer and place it in the fridge (if you're using forethought, otherwise just set it out to let it start thawing while you get started).  The fat will have risen to the top.  Scrape it off and put it in your pot (on medium heat).  Have all of your vegetables chopped and ready.  Mince or chop the garlic (as much as you want) and saute it in the chicken fat for a minute to get it started.  Then add all of your chopped veggies and stir them to coat them in the fat.  Saute them while stirring frequently until they are aromatic and start to become tender.  Then pour the stock and the broth in the pot and add the chicken thighs and seasonings/herbs.  Cook for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Take the thighs out and pull the meat off the bones (or shred the meat up if you used boneless).  
Of course, you can reuse these bones for bone broth again later!  
Add the meat back to the soup.  Now is a good time to taste the soup and see if any salt or pepper needs to be added.  Turn it down and let it simmer with a lid on for 30-60 minutes.  I like to put it into jars with lids on to make it easy to carry to work for lunch.

Tip of the Day #6

Today's tip:

Find new ways to enjoy old favorites.  I'm not talking about SWYPO here.  I'm not talking about paleo-izing your pizza.  I mean, if you love coffee (and you aren't nixing caffeine as part of your Whole30), try new ways to make your coffee exciting.  Today, I made Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cream for my coffee.  I whipped up some of my  super thick (chilled) canned coconut milk with some cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice.  It's delicious!  Here's another great recipe for cappuccino!  Enjoy yourselves!  You may just find that you like this version of coffee better than the old cream & sugar version that you used to drink.  These are great alternatives to dairy and artificial sweeteners.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tip of the Day #5

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I have a few recipes to share, but just no time for that right now.  Hopefully later this week!  So here's a tip:

Save all glass jars, large or small and everything in between.  I get my freeze dried dill and chives in these little 0.3oz jars:
Image credit: Lighthouse Foods 
I've saved the jars because when I clarify one half pound of Kerry Gold pastured butter, it fits perfectly in this little jar.  I keep it next to the stove with the lid closed.  I also keep pickle jars, sun dried tomato jars, jam jars, salsa jars and their lids.  The salsa jars work great for portioning out my homemade chicken soup for lunches!  Also, when I open a can of coconut milk, I pour it into a glass jar with a lid and keep it in fridge to use in our coffee...etc.  When I make a batch of mayo or ranch... you guess it.  I keep it in a jar.  I recycle any plastic jars that I have, but the glass ones are great for reusing over and over!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I tried this fajita recipe from Paleo Effect last night and all I can say is....

....................................................................................................... WOWSERS!

That's some good stuff!  The meat had so much flavor and was so tender.  The one thing I did differently was letting the seasonings sit on the steak overnight.  I put the adobo seasoning, salt, vinegar, pepper, lime juice, cumin & garlic on the meat and rubbed it in before work in the morning.  Then I wrapped the meat up in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap and threw it back in the fridge until after work.  I also left the mushrooms & cilantro out (personal preference).  I overcooked the veggies a little and under-cooked the meat a little, but the taste was PHENOMENAL!  I cooked the meat 5 minutes on each side, but my flank steak was a little thick in the middle, so next time I'll go about 7 minutes on each side.  The pieces were still a little pink in the middle.

I apologize for not taking any pictures.  I was hungry and it was Husband's birthday, so I was busy preparing dinner and dessert.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sweet Treats!

I made this amazing Caramelized Apples & Cinnamon recipe from Clean Eats in the Zoo for some friends this weekend.  It went along with our dinner of Grilled Pork Loin (Husband made this and I have no idea what he put on it other than the spicy brown mustard), french style green beans & sweet potato fries.  The apples were DELICIOUS!  Everyone raved about them and I went to the Farmers Market today to buy more!

I also made this delicious dessert.  It's really just leftover Butternut Squash (reheated) and Banana Ice Cream.  Again, delicious! 

This is my favorite thing to read today:
This was my lunch today.  It's chicken salad wrapped in lettuce.  YUM!