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Whoops–Here’s the real link to the new web site!

Sorry, here’s the link to the new Web site: Clean Eats In The Zoo

Stop on by!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

New Web Site Up!

My new Web site is up, and you can see it HERE! Come on over!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Olive-Stuffed Sausage

I adapted this recipe from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook. I am not a fan of green olives, but for some reason, when they’re wrapped in sausage they strike my fancy! I made these for a snack the other day for the kids and I. They all approved. *Note to self (and anyone else who may not think about things thoroughly all the time…): Make sure you buy pitted green olives–these are hard to eat when you have to munch around a pit! The first time I made these, I made that mistake. The kids liked them a lot better being able to freely bite into them. =)

Recipe: Olive-stuffed sausage

2 pounds ground pork sausage

1 tsp red pepper flakes (if you don’t care for spicy, cut this in 1/2)

10 oz jar pitted green olives (something like THIS is fine–just make sure to read those ingredients. You don’t want any junk added)

1 TBSP tomato paste

Combine all ingredients except olives in a bowl…with your hands. Scoop out a few tablespoons of sausage and form into a ball in your hand. Smash flat-ish and press a green olive into the center. Mold the sausage around the olive until it is completely covered and in the shape of a ball. Set aside and repeat until you have used up all the sausage.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place the balls into pan.

Cover with lid and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn over and cover with lid again for about 2 minutes. Take lid off and cook for another 3-4 minutes, so the liquid evaporates and you get a nice brown color on the bottom of each ball. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate and let cool for a few minutes before you bite into the flavorful goodness. Don’t wanna burn those taste buds!

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Homesteading Fun: Homemade Candles!

These were so fun to make, and a great simple Christmas gift for friends or family.

First, I bought microwaveable soy wax (hey, soy is good for something!). I was glad I went for microwaveable…it saved a lot of time.

The wax is in shavings in a big bag:

I also bought concentrated candle dye:

And cinnamon candle scent:

Candle wicks:

And a candle thermometer (probably not completely necessary, but it was on sale for $5 at Michael’s, so I picked one up):

I melted a few cups of the shavings in a big bowl in the microwave for a few minutes, stirred and microwaved a bit more. Then I added a piece of the concentrated dye (read label for how much to use) and a few drops of scent and let it cool until it got to 175 degrees. Meanwhile, I dipped the bottom of each wick in a bit of the wax and stuck them to the bottom of the 6 oz. jars that I bought. Then poured the melted wax to partially fill the jars:

Let that cool until hardened:

Repeated the process and poured a second layer on. This time I didn’t add dye so it would be a layer of white on top:

Let that cool and voila! Homemade Christmas gifts! As you can see, my red dye ended up cooling to pink. I’ve come to terms with that. Next time I’ll add more dye.

I ended up making 10 candles, and the total cost was about $2.50/candle.  Not bad!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Homesteading, Uncategorized

 

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What’s For Dinner 12/5-12/9

I arrange my weekly menu according to what we have going on that week and, well, I’ll have to admit…the weather. If I know it’s gonna be a rainy day, I like to make some sort of warm comfort food. Feel free to change the order of these meals to fit your schedule!

Monday: Honey glazed ham with pan-fried sweet potatoes and mandarins

Recipe: Honey glazed ham

1 medium ham, bone-in

1 cup honey

1 tsp ground cloves

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

Let ham sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour before you are ready to cook it. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil and place ham on pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine honey, cloves, garlic and salt in a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat. Baste ham generously with mixture.Tightly cover with foil and cook for 2.5 hours, uninterrupted. No peeking! After 2.5 hours, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. If it’s not at 130 degrees yet, put it back in the oven for another 1/2 hour or so (still covered) until it reaches about 130 degrees. Uncover, and baste again. Return to oven. Take out every 10-12 minutes and re-baste until temperature reaches 140 degrees. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, turn oven to broil to make the outside into crispy sweet goodness. Let rest for 10 minutes, and then carve and enjoy!

P.S. When you have taken all the meat off your ham, wrap it and freeze it to make wonderful ham soup later, or you can just put it in the fridge if you think you’ll have time in the next few days. Just throw it in a pot with whatever veggies and spices you’d like, add enough water to completely cover the ham bone and slow-cook for a few hours over low heat.

Recipe: Pan-fried sweet potatoes

4-5 sweet potatoes, skins on, sliced about 1/4″ thick

1/2 cup olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop a tiny piece of a sweet potato in oil, and if it starts bubbling immediately, it’s ready. Lay in a single layer in oil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Take out and let drain on paper towels for a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Tuesday: Leftover ham with green beans and frozen blueberries

Wednesday: Chevre burgers with roasted artichoke hearts and sliced bananas

Recipe: Chevre Burgers

3 pounds ground beef

1 egg

2 TBSP garlic salt

1 TBSP chili powder

2 tsp. onion powder

heaping TBSP of olive oil

8-10 oz Chevre goat cheese

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except goat cheese…with your hands. They do a much better job than a spoon! Mix, mix, mix. Once they’re all having a party and blended well, form into patties of desired size. Press an indentation into each burger and get a small glob of goat cheese and press into indentation. While you’re doing this, heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once all your burgers are made, line them onto the pan, goat cheese side up. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and flip over. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, until there is little to no pink in the middle, depending on how well done you like them. Serve over lettuce, tomato, onion…whatever you like!

Recipe: Roasted Artichoke Hearts

32 oz jar artichoke hearts (ingredients should only be water, salt and citric acid)

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP garlic salt

pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drain artichoke hearts, and combine with remaining ingredients. Pour in single layer onto cookie sheet and put in oven for 20-25 minutes. Cook until the edges are crispy and brown. Serve!

Thursday: Indian-baked chicken thighs with cauliflower rice (recipe HERE ) and apples

Recipe: Indian-baked chicken thighs *Whole30 Compliant

3-4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

olive oil to baste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil and place chicken on pan, skin side up. In a small bowl, combine all spices. Using a spoon, sprinkle each piece of chicken with spice mixture. Use your fingers to massage spices into skin. Let sit for 20 minutes if you have the time for spices to absorb. If you’re in a hurry, just stick them right into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until juices run clear. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday: Bacon Meatloaf with roasted butternut squash (recipe HERE ) and kiwis

I realize I’m using 2 ground beef recipes this week…but that’s just the way it worked out. Ground beef is a great cheaper alternative to other cuts of meat, and is quick and easy to prepare.

Recipe: Bacon Meatloaf

3 pounds ground beef

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 cup almond flour

3 eggs

1 medium onion

2 TBSP mustard

1 TBSP chili powder

1.5 TBSP garlic salt

3 TBSP tomato paste

1/4 cup coconut milk (from the can–only ingredients should be water, coconut and guar gum)

Cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Remove pan from heat–don’t throw out grease!) In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients (with your hands again–that’s what God made ’em for!). Add the bacon AND grease and combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Form meat into two loaves and place on pan. Doing it this way will avoid all the grease that you’ll get if you use a loaf pan.

Put in oven and cook for about 45 minutes, until temperature reaches about 160 degrees.

Enjoy your week!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2011 in Dinner, Uncategorized

 

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How To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy Food

Want to know the secret to getting your kids to eat healthy foods?

Ready?

Here it is…

GIVE IT TO THEM!

I know, complicated, right?

Here’s the reason I cook healthy, yummy foods:

I love them.

Sure, I may have had to whip out a stern “mom face” to get my kids to eat something on their plate at some point, but overall, they adjusted pretty quickly to eating a grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet. They get to indulge sometimes. Heck, I do, too. But we live in a “safe zone” for Superman*.

*My awesome husband

There are still things that Superman can’t eat due to his highly overactive autoimmune disease that even “Paleo” people can…cinnamon, eggs, most fruits…and a list of about 100 other things. It’s sad. But he knows I’m not going to be serving things for dinner that aren’t safe for him. I don’t even know if I have any wheat flour anywhere…or sugar. I mostly bake with almond flour, and the kids enjoy “clean” treats just as much as they did cupcakes or traditional cookies or ice cream.

Our kids know just how broken daddy’s body is. They know that eating the way we do will help ensure they don’t have the same problems that he does. They get that. And even though they may enjoy splurging at times, it’s been ingrained into their noggins that it’s all about treating our bodies with respect, and feeding it things that make it thrive, not slowly die. And I truly believe by eating the way “traditional” America does, we would be setting our kids up for futures of unneeded pain and suffering.

Not to say they won’t still have health problems…I can’t predict the future. But I can do my best to ensure they get the best start possible.

And so, that’s how I get my kids to eat healthy. We’re honest with them. We’re open with them. And they eat what they get…at least while we’re at home…and they’re young enough for me to be their chef.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Etc., Uncategorized

 

Help me reach 100 “likes” on Facebook! **Updated

**Updated** You guys rock, and I jumped to 100 likes lickety-split! So I’m doubling your chances and doubling the fun–I’ll be giving TWO cookbooks away if we reach 200 likes by Sunday, December 4th!!

As soon as my Facebook page reaches 100 “likes” I’ll be doing a giveaway of this awesome cookbook! I feature many recipes from the Primal Palate, and believe me, it’s WORTH every penny…but you could get one for FREE! Help me out and spread the word! My Facebook Page

Make It Paleo Cookbook

The Primal Palate

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized