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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Why Eating Wheat is Bad For You

I thought this was a good commentary on why I feel eating grains (especially wheat) is damaging to our health…

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What’s For Dinner 11/28-12/2

OK, first of all, can you believe we are nearly in December?! Craziness. Secondly, I’m sorry about the formatting in this post–I’m still getting familiar with WordPress, and am not sure why it’s being finicky. Here are some great wintery meals to share with your family! Remember, the crock pot is your friend. Don’t fight it!

Monday: Turkey (or chicken) soup, Almond flour “crackers” and Frozen bananas

Recipe: Turkey soup *Whole30 Compliant

*You can substitute chicken in this recipe if you prefer.

By now, your turkey carcass may be long gone, but if you still have it around, this is an easy way to use it up and make delicious soup! If you don’t have a carcass laying around, I love to get a rotisserie chicken, eat it up, and then throw the carcass in a pot.

4 TBSP olive oil

1 large onion, diced

5 large carrots, sliced

4-5 stalks celery, sliced

2 TBSP minced garlic

1 TBSP dried basil

2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1 TBSP garlic salt

16 cups water

turkey or chicken carcass

Heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and garlic salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until onion is translucent and a nice aroma is filling your kitchen. Add carcass and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a few hours. The longer it simmers, the better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Frozen bananas

3 ripe bananas

1 TBSP vanilla (the pure kind)

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of cloves

Mix vanilla, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl and set aside. Slice each banana lengthwise and baste each flat side with the vanilla mixture. Lay on parchment paper-covered plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • Recipe: Almond flour “crackers” 

Use the pizza crust recipe from HERE, but use whatever herbs you would like to add (I used dried basil and parsley) and roll out more thinly than the pizza crust. Cook in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into small squares with pizza cutter. 

You may still be finding yourself with leftover turkey hanging around…a carcass, perhaps? Even better!

Tuesday: Crock Pot Cross Rib Roast with Veggies and Frozen Berry Salad

I love this recipe because of its simplicity. I don’t even peel the carrots or sweet potato–I think it gives it a wonderfully earthy taste, and keeps those extra nutrients in the dish! I didn’t even thaw my roast, just threw it in frozen.

Recipe: Crock Pot Cross Rib Roast with Veggies *Whole 30 Compliant

4 lb Cross Rib Roast

1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks

4 large carrots, cut into chunks

1 cup largely-chopped celery

3 TBSP. garlic salt

ground black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

5 cups water

Put roast in bottom of crock pot.  Add all the chopped veggies. Sprinkle the garlic salt and both peppers over the veggies and meat. Pour water gently on the side, so it doesn’t wash off all those seasonings on top. Set timer for 9 hours on low. Let it simmer in it’s own goodness all day, and you’ll come home to a wonderfully-smelling house!

I strained all the leftover liquid, threw out the stuff in the strainer and froze the beef broth for future recipes. No need to waste!

Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops, Artichokes with Lemon Ghee and Fresh Mandarins

It’s mandarin season! Seize the opportunity and grab some of this delicious fruit!

Recipe: Baked Pork Chops *Whole30 Compliant

4 center-cut loin chops (bone-in) about 1-1.5 inches thick

olive oil to baste

garlic salt

pepper

chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil (remember–easy clean up!) Place each pork chop on sheet and baste with olive oil and spices. Place in oven for 12 minutes. Flip over, re-baste and apply spices. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops (mine were 1.5 inches thick). Let stand for 5 minutes before eating.

Recipe: Artichokes with Lemon Ghee Dipping Sauce *Whole30 Compliant

4 artichokes

3-4 TBSP salt

Sauce:

4 TBSP ghee (the great thing about ghee is that it is just clarified butter–no lactose or casein left in it!)

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add artichokes, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Melt ghee in microwave, squeeze juice from lemon and add salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Dip artichoke leaves in for a savory treat!

Thursday: Leftovers from Previous Days, Apples and Kale Chips

1 bunch Kale

olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper to taste

Kale chips last much longer and, in my opinion, taste better after being made in a food dehydrator. However, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can follow this recipe, but just pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, and they will taste great if served immediately. They will, however, get soggy if left overnight.

Remove stems from Kale by laying the Kale flat, folding over the leaves to one side, and then slicing the stem off with a big butcher knife.

Tear Kale into smaller pieces and lay on dehydrator in a single layer.

Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (too much will make them really oily), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set dehydrator at 135 degrees and run for 4-6 hours. Again, if you don’t have a dehydrator, no problem–just follow the above directions, but place them on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet in single layer and bake at the above temp and time.

Little hands had already snagged some of the finished product before I took a picture. They don’t disappear when you cook them–just get smaller and crispy. =)

Friday: Shrimp Veggie Stir Fry, Green Beans and Pears

Recipe: Shrimp Veggie Stir Fry 

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP peanut oil

1 tsp coconut aminos (I got mine at Whole Foods–it’s a substitute for soy sauce)

2 tsp minced garlic

6-7 green onions, sliced thin

1 lb stir fry veggies (you can buy frozen or sometimes fresh in the produce section, or use whatever veggies you’d like)

2 lbs small precooked shrimp

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and peanut oil over medium heat. Add veggies, green onions, garlic and coconut aminos and cook for 6-8 minutes, until veggies are getting tender. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, and cook until shrimp is heated through. Serve immediately and top with sliced almonds for a little extra crunch!

Have a wonderful week, and I hope you enjoy some if not all of these recipes!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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An Eggsample of Why to Eat Pastured Eggs

Can you spot the homegrown egg??

We have 30 chickens. One’s a rooster, and about 17 of them are actually laying eggs. The rest haven’t reached full maturity yet.  Because they free-roam every day, we are constantly hunting for their new “laying spot” and trying to track down eggs. I actually had to {gasp} buy eggs a few weeks ago because I couldn’t find the newest nest!

Costco sells “organic, cage-free” eggs. You would think they would have the same benefits as homegrown eggs, but you might be surprised! Just look at the difference in the photo above. Three eggs are the Costco organic, cage free; one is homegrown. Isn’t that amazing?

I think the photo is proof enough to buy pastured eggs from local farmer’s markets (or even better, have a few yourself! Many city ordinances allow for at least a few chickens), but you can read an interesting article comparing the benefits/drawbacks of pastured vs. factory-farmed eggs HERE. And you can look at this graphic to see clearly the benefits of eating eggs from chickens who spend their time foraging for their food.

Thanksgiving is just two days away…I will be hit or miss here until Monday, so if I’m not back before Thanksgiving, have a wonderful turkey day, and don’t forget–ponder on some things you are thankful for!

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Etc.

 

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Almond Flour Silver Dollar Pancakes

Being Thanksgiving week, I’m not doing my regular “Weekly meal plan,” but no worries–I’ll be back on next week with some delicious, easy recipes! Yesterday morning I made these awesome pancakes. If you’re wondering where you can get almond flour and not have to pay $10 for a tiny bag, you can go HERE. I buy the 25-bound box, and it brings the price down considerably. We go through a lot of almond flour in our house, so it’s worth it!

This is another recipe from the wonderful Elana’s Pantry. I’ve adapted it for our family and changed up the prep a bit to make it easier.

Recipe: Almond Flour Silver Dollar Pancakes (makes enough for 7 people + leftovers–they taste just great the next day and then you don’t have to make breakfast!)

6 eggs

3/4 cup honey

3 TBSP vanilla

4.5 cups almond flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

Grape seed oil for frying pan (you can use another oil–but we steer clear of any vegetable oils like canola or safflower).

In a large bowl, beat eggs, honey and vanilla until frothy and well-combined. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda and then add slowly to wet ingredients while beating with a hand mixer. Continue adding until it is all combined. Don’t worry about over-mixing–it’s not like regular pancakes. Once it’s all done, let it sit for a few minutes while your oiled pan heats up over medium heat.

Use a small measuring cup (I use 1/8th cup) and pour into small pancakes 3-4 inches in diameter. Let cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and pop. Flip over. Be aware–they are a little finicky to flip at first–but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s all about using a very thin spatula (preferably metal) and sliding it under super fast. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ok, maybe not the lather and rinse part, but at least do the repeat part.

 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Carrot Banana Muffins

I know that title sounds a little scary. But these muffins are tasty. My kiddos gobble them up and ask for more! I came across this originally from the Paleo Plan Web site, but saw that it was initially created by Elana over at Elana’s Pantry. I changed it up just a teensy bit, but it’s basically the original recipe. It’s so good, changes aren’t needed!

Photo courtesy of Elana's Pantry

  • Recipe: Carrot Banana Muffins

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs cinnamon
1 cup dates, pitted
2-3 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 ½ cups carrots, shredded (you can buy organic pre-shredded carrots at many grocers if you don’t want to take the time. Or, you can use a food processor to grate them for you!)
muffin paper liners

What to do:

Preheat oven to 325℉.
In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
Fold in carrots.
Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes.

Hurry and grab one because they’ll go fast!


 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

New Segment: Homesteading Fun!

We typically don’t use our heater in the winter since we have a wood stove, and at the moment, an unlimited supply of dead oak around our property. Starting fires at 5 a.m. can be a bit of a chore, so to ease that burden a bit, we (well, really Superman*, since he’s the one who starts the fires…) buy those fire sticks that you light and they easily get the fire going quickly. We figured that those cost about 50 cents a piece, and we go through at least 1 a day, sometimes two if I’m a bad wife and let the fire go out during the day. That can add up, and if the point here is to save money (which it usually is), I thought there had to be a better way. Imagine my excitement when I came upon this idea!

*my awesome hubby

Homemade Fire Starters

What you need:

1 egg carton

Lint from your dryer (yes, I just said that. You can actually use the lint from your dryer for something!! I do about 2-3 loads a day  {thanks, kids}, so I racked up a lint collection pretty fast…or you could just check your belly button occasionally…)

Candle wax (you can reuse old stuff, but since this was a new venture for me, I went ahead and bought a small container just to see if this actually worked)

That’s it!

What you do:

Get some candle wax (I bought the gel kind this time since it said slow-burning, but you can just use old candles or regular candle wax):

Melt it in a saucepan over low heat:

While that is melting, stuff some lint into each hole of the egg carton:

Pour the melted wax over each hole filled with lint. I think a couple tablespoons should do.

Let cool for a bit until it hardens:

Pull off a segment at a time and place in fireplace. Light just like you would a fire starter and watch the magic happen!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Homesteading

 

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Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is just around the corner…and with it comes pumpkin pie. I was never a fan as a kid, but as I grew up, I began to love the smooth, creamy taste of it. I could eat cold pumpkin pie for breakfast every day. If I did that, would I turn into a pumpkin?

I went on a hunt for a delicious Paleo pumpkin pie, and experimented a few times before I finally ended up with 2 different recipes: one for the crust and one for the pie filling.

The crust is from the “Make It Paleo” cookbook.

  • Recipe: Almond Flour Pie Crust

2.5 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup palm shortening (I found it at Whole Foods, and it was called “organic vegetable shortening.” Just look at the ingredients–it should just say “palm shortening.”), melted

2 TBSP. maple syrup

2 TBSP. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients and then stir them into the dry ingredients. Pat the dough into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 10-12 minutes. While that is cooking…

1 can (14 oz) pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, nothing added)

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. fresh ginger

2 eggs

1/2 cup raw honey (if you don’t have raw, no worries. Just use regular honey; it’ll still be great!)

1/2 cup coconut milk (from a can, not a carton…the ingredients should just be coconut milk, water and guar gum.)

While the crust is in the oven, whisk all the ingredients together. Pour them into crust that has been baked for about 10 minutes. Return to oven and bake for about another 45 minutes. If edges of crust begin to brown too much, just cover the edges with aluminum foil.

This recipe is delicious at room temperature, but I thought it was even better the next day after sitting in the fridge overnight!

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Dessert

 

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