Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Dinner

Easter is on of my favorite holidays because it's the day Jesus rose from the dead! He defeated sin and death just for us! How amazing is that? Here is how we celebrated:


Sweet potato casserole is an old Z family holiday favorite. I did my best to recreate it in a healthier way. 

Ingredients:
3 giant sweet potatoes
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup coconut milk (native forest is the canned brand I use)
1/2tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey

Topping:
1/4 cup almonds
Drizzle of honey
1tbs butter


Directions:
Enlist a handsome husband to peel sweet potatoes. Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil in a large pot until soft. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Mash the potatoes and mix in all ingredients until well combined. Transfer to a baking dish. For the topping, toast the almonds in butter in a skillet on the stove stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Add the toasted almonds as the topping and drizzle with honey. Bake at 350 for 15min. Serves 6-8


We don't eat many green beans around here, but when we do we wrap them in bacon. 

Ingredients:
1lb uncured bacon
2 bags of frozen whole green beans

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375* Cut the bacon in half to make double the strips. Stretch the bacon and lay 10-12 green beans on a strip. Wrap the bacon around the green beans and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes until bacon is cooked thoroughly. Serves 6-8

We enjoyed these sides with a yummy ham. I wish I could say it was uncured but our tiny town doesn't have that option. I guess we need to order one next time!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blue Blobs on a Log

Let me start the post off by saying I despise raw celery. I love it in soups but raw?...gag me. I've been trying to eat more veggies, so I cooked up a soup. (You can find a similar recipe here.) I had raw celery left over, so I attempted to smother it in something to make it not taste like celery. Shockingly it worked! I present to you...Blue Blobs on a Log. Terrible name I know, If you have a better name please share...


Ingredients
2 stalks of celery
1-2tbs almond butter
16 small fresh organic blueberries
1/4 tsp sesame seeds

Directions
Separate 2 celery stalks from the bunch and cut in half. Slather with almond butter. Top with 4 blueberries each. This makes 1 serving. Feel free to ignore the measurements and wing it. I always do ;) Enjoy! 

Isn't that the easiest way to sneak in veggies! Plus you get antioxidants from the blueberries, a mini dose of calcium from the sesame seeds, and some good fats from the almond butter. Feel free to experiment with other nut butters!

P.S. I've been experimenting with "no-poo" for my hair and have lots to share about that. So be on the lookout for a future post! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Waffles

In celebration of my 21 Day Sugar Detox coming to an end, I wanted to whip up some pancakes for breakfast....E nixed that idea and requested waffles. Who am I to argue with that. I had a hard time finding a recipe that used ingredients I had on hand, so I created my own. I'm pretty proud of myself. Cooking recipes are easy to throw together, but things that actually have to hold a certain shape are a little tougher especially when your husband is a breakfast connoisseur. Here's the recipe...

These were so tasty that I took a bite before I remembered to snap a picture

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups almond flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut milk or water would work also
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (I used a mix of canned and fresh. Fresh has more water so you may be able to skip the 1/4 cup of coconut milk if you use fresh.)
1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 pumpkin pie spice

If you want to be fancy combine your dry ingredients first. If you're an entrepreneur (read as "lazy") just throw all the ingredients into your KitchenAid mixer and mix away! While the batter is mixing, heat your waffle iron and grease with 1/2 tbs of butter or coconut oil. Once the iron is hot, pour 1/3 cup of batter and cook until golden. Mine cooked very quickly today. Every waffle iron will be different so you're on your own for cooking time. Enjoy with your favorite toppings! If you skip the maple syrup, these would technically by 21dsd friendly!


How awesome is my face? And my partner's.
Crossfit update and rant: We've been doing Crossfit since September and man do I feel strong!! I also feel heavy. I keep telling myself, it's all muscle, it's all muscle, but I couldn't make myself believe it until this past weekend. After seeing this picture, I feel so proud of myself and all that I have achieved with Crossfit. 
Go me! 
I feel healthy and alive, and in the grand scheme of things that should be all that matters. Right? I'm sure you're thinking if only it were that easy. And you're right it is hard. But why??? Why is it so hard for us as women to accept compliments? And be satisfied with our bodies? I have a hard time celebrating myself and accepting compliments. I know I'm not the only woman who feels this way. I recently read this amazing article from Jen Sinkler at Thrive, and it made me decide that I am going to be "unapologetically strong." You should read it too...and be unapologetic about your strength, success, and beauty!

"Mrs. Zeller, do you have make-up on today?"
"Yes, for picture day!"
"But Mrs. Zeller, you're prettier without make-up."
3rd graders melt my heart daily. I swear they teach me more than I teach them.

If you're feeling in a funk about your health and fitness lately, you should read this also from Jen Sinkler (she's inspired me lately). It's exactly what I need to hear when I become too obsessed with fitness.





Thursday, November 21, 2013

Theme Night Thursday: Fajita Fiesta!


I've posted a fajita recipe before. You can find it here. This time around I used frozen bell pepper strips, skipped the tortillas and served these with a side of Mexican rice. I wanted to share the rice recipe. It's a family recipe and is super easy to make.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup white rice (not instant)
1 tbs coconut oil
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 can of water (about 2 cups)
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs (pickled) jalepeno juice
1 tsp salt or taste


In a skillet melt the coconut oil. Add the rice. Brown the rice until it pops. Then, add in the other ingredients. Cook until the water is completely absorbed, stirring occasionally. It should take 10-20 minutes.



Viva la Fiesta from ashagupta on 8tracks Radio.


Nutrition Notes: White rice is not strict paleo, but it is not an inflammatory food. For endurance athletes like E, its a simple, cheap carb to refuel with. If you are looking to lose weight, skip the rice. If you are maintaining weight, feel free to enjoy a small serving.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sharpie Mugs

I made these for a good friend as an engagement gift. I used Crate and Barrel mugs, but feel free to find dishes at a thrift store or in the back of your cabinet :) All you need to make these are a couple of sharpies, white ceramic dishes, and an oven. I free handed these, but you could use a stencil.




Step 1: Design your mug, decide which colors you want and what design you will draw.
Step 2: Draw the design on the mug carefully. If you make a mistake use a q-tip with nail polish remover to touch it up.
Step 3: When your masterpiece is finished bake at 350 for 30min. to set the ink.
Step 4: Avoid the dishwasher! Hand wash only.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

I've been a in a pumpkin spice kind of mood lately so here is the 1st of the pumpkin spice recipes that I have been concocting. I have also been drinking wayyyy too much coffee. I seem to have an addictive personality. The downside to coffee is that I get a little jittery and anxious when I drink it everyday.
Trader Joe's has a chai tea that is caffeine free, so this is what I used. It's called Spiced Rooibos Ruby Red Chai Tea If you're not concerned about caffeine you can use coffee instead, or regular chai tea.

Ingredients:

8oz water
2 Chai tea bags
2 tbs pureed pumpkin (I used a canned version from Costco that is BPA free. Fresh works as well, but make sure to squeeze out the excess water.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (this is easy to create yourself with nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon)
2 tbs heavy cream or full fat coconut milk (refrigerate the coconut milk and skim the thicker liquid off the top)

 Directions Heat your water and soak the tea bags in a large mug or cup. I like to place the tea bags in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. You want a strong tea, but not so strong that it becomes bitter. Add the other ingredients and use an immersion blender to mix. You can us a traditional blender if you don't have an immersion. Blend for at least 2 minutes. Blending the cream/coconut milk will cause the drink to thicken. Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

EZ eats: Paleo Meatballs

Spaghetti squash is a weekly thing around here. The only problem is E is a huge spaghetti fan so the fake version with squash is not his favorite especially as leftovers. I on the other hand love it. To spice things up I decided to make some paleo meatballs. E said the made the spaghetti squash 100x better. So here's the recipe!



Ingredients
1lb ground beef (grassfed preferrably)
1/2 lb ground sausage
1 carrot shredded
1tbs garlic
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbs Italian spices
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg 
1/4 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with hands. Form into balls and space evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until no pink can be seen in the middle. Remove and serve on top of a pile of spaghetti squash with your favorite marinara! 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

21dsd Granola

I started the 21 day sugar detox on Monday because I'm tired of sugar controlling my life!! I've also been trying to add more fat to my diet. When served with cream, this is the perfect recipe to address both of those goals.


Ingredients:
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup pepitas
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 275. Lightly chop the almonds in a food processor or nut chopper. Combine the almonds, pepitas and coconut flakes in a bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the mix and sprinkle on the spices. Stir until well combined. Spread the mix out onto a cookie sheet. You can use parchment paper for less clean up. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to oven for 10-20 minutes until it's a golden brown. Let sit to cool before placing it into a container. It will dry as it cools. This goes great with heavy cream or coconut milk. It's good alone as well!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

EZ Eats: Sweet Potato Hash

My favorite way to give E a good helping of carbs is with a sweet potato or squash of some kind. Usually I'm lazy and throw it in the oven to bake. I decided to be less boring and make my own hash recipe to spice things up. This is an easy recipe that doesn't take a lot of standing in the kitchen cooking time.


Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato (baked in the oven for 45 min or until soft)
1lb stew meat (grassfed beef is best, you could use another inexpensive cut like bottom round)
1tbs dried rosemary
Salt to taste
2 tbs minced garlic (I love garlic so feel free to tone it back)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh spinach




I suggest precooking the sweet potato before you start this recipe. This will save you loads of time. 

If you're last minute like me....while the sweet potato is baking cook the beef in a skillet on the stove. Start with 1tbs of butter and the garlic. Once the garlic is golden add the beef and season with cayenne pepper. Stew meat is precut into chunks, so if using a different cut of meat you will need to cut it into 1 inch cubes. Cook the meat on medium to cook it slowly. Cheaper cuts of meat cook better on low heat for longer cooking times. Add the spinach to the pan once the beef is cooked through. When the potato is finished cooking remove and let it cool. You can remove the peel once is it cooled or leave it on. There are conflicting studies on the health benefits of potato peels. One side says that it's rich in minerals from our soul (our soil is deplete of those minerals lately) the other side of the fence says that the peel houses antinutrients and isn't beneficial so the choice is yours! Coming back from that tangent...cut the potato in 1 inch cubes. Add the potato to the pan and season with the rosemary. Let cook about 10 more minutes, remove from heat, and serve!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes

These are inspired by Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo. Her recipe is awesome, so try it too!


Ingredients
3/4 cup raw almonds ground in the food processor to a fine meal (I'm going to experiment with soaked almonds for my next recipe)
2-3 eggs (I use 3 but I think you could get by with 2)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice 
1 cup frozen blueberries defrosted and rinsed (you can put these in a strainer and run them under water to thaw and rinse.)
2 bananas 

After you process the almonds to a fine meal add the baking soda and other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the bananas and eggs. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Finally add the blueberries and stir gently. Grease a skillet with bacon fat (coconut oil, butter or ghee all work great but I love the bacony taste the bacon grease adds). Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve plain or with maple syrup! We enjoy these after a tough crossfit workout or as a Sunday treat!