Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I try make healthy meals at home. I’m not a perfect eater/dieter/paleo follower or whatnot, but I do try my best to make our meals at home gluten free, grain free, or paleo as often as I can. Doing this makes me feel better, but it can sometimes be a pain with the kids. They are not on board with the paleo lifestyle or even a grain free one yet. They openly shout their love for grains, and I totally get it. It’s hard asking kids to change their diets after years of eating pasta, bread and other grain/gluten filled foods. Especially when they can’t understand the benefits of eating that way. So I try not to push them, but I also try to get them to eat meals that have been turned into paleo or grain free ones because I know that they are better for them.
This Chicken Noodle-Less Soup is just one of those meals. But instead of being mad that it’s missing the noodles, my 5 year old son actually prefers to eat it this way. He loves the chicken, carrots and broth. Months and months ago he asked me to make him a chicken noodle soup without any noodles, and this is what I came up with. Instead of actual noodles I julienned carrots with our mandoline and use them as a substitute. Every bowl is packed with these carrots instead of noodles. And every bowl is delicious.
CHICKEN NOODLE-LESS SOUP – paleo, grain free, gluten free
3 stalks of celery (diced)
1 large white/yellow onion (diced)
10-12 large carrots (peeled & julienne cut with mandoline. *we use this one OXO Mandoline (affiliate link))
3-4 chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
8 cups of organic chicken broth
2 tablespoons Avocado oil (or you can use olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a dutch oven or heavy stock pot add the oil, onion, carrots, and celery and cook on medium to medium high heat for 5 min. or so, stirring a few times.
2. Add the chicken, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken looks to be cooked through. (It should only take a few minutes since the pieces are cut small.)
3. Add the chicken broth, the parsley, and a little more salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then drop the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer 20-30 minutes.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Pumpkin pancakes have seriously become a favorite of mine this season. Not only do I get to use up the insane amount of roasted pumpkin puree I have in my fridge by making these, I also get to feel like it’s a little more Fall like in our house. Because lord knows when I walk outside it feels more like Summer is never going to end.
These pancakes are bursting with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin flavor. Topped with maple syrup they’re perfection. Add some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, and your kids will beg for more. Allow them to spread some Barefoot Chocolate Hazelnut spread on them and they’ve got dessert. Any way you make these, they’re bound to make someone happy.
PUMPKIN PANCAKES – paleo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons of raw honey
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 rounded teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 rounded teaspoon of baking soda
1. In a small bowl mix together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda, and then set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, almond milk, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and use your whisk to mix them together. If the pancake batter looks a little on the runny side add a tablespoon or two of coconut flour to help thicken it up.
4. Heat up your skillet or griddle to medium. Use coconut oil to coat the pan. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop up your batter and pour it onto your griddle. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The pancakes will bubble up just like regular ones, to help indicate that they’re cooked on the one side.
Last week or so I roasted a really pig pumpkin and had a ton of pumpkin puree on hand. Most of it I canned and put in the freezer. But I kept two jars in the fridge and knew I needed to use them up this weekend since I didn’t wan them to go bad. On Sunday, I may have went into some kind of pumpkin cooking frenzy because I ended up making Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes, and Parmesan and Bacon Pumpkin Mash Potatoes in addition to this soup. All three turned out amazing, but I wish I had got my but in gear earlier in the day so I could take my pictures then, instead of at 8pm Sunday night. A little bit of a photo fail, but life goes on, right?
SAUSAGE AND KALE PUMPKIN SOUP – grain free, gluten free
1 pound of ground pork sausage
1 small to medium yellow onion, minced or diced into small pieces
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of parsley
1/2-1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of marjoram
1/4 teaspoon of sage
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
4 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3-4 cups of chopped kale
2-3 slices of crisp bacon, crumbled (optional)
1. Brown sausage, then add the onion, garlic, seasonings and salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
2. Add the pumpkin and mix in well. Then add the chicken broth. Simmer on medium low for 20-25 minutes.
3. Add the heavy cream and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add your fresh chopped kale to the soup and stir it in for a minute or two. Before serving top with crumbled bacon.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The flavors, the foods, the holidays, and the cooler weather (well cooler if you live anywhere other than Fresno, right?), are pretty much what makes this season my favorite one. Over the weekend it cooled down to 79 degrees for a day or two, and it actually sprinkled once for like 3 or 4 minutes. Once that happened I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about some of my favorite Fall desserts and flavors. This Butternut Squash Pudding from my friend Nicole at Pinch My Salt is so delicious. Seriously, she’s a genius in my eyes for creating this recipe and sharing it with everyone. I love the original recipe, but I also wanted to try to create a dairy free, no refined sugar version to try as well. If you are good with dairy and brown sugar head over to Nicole’s blog for her recipe. It will not disappoint you. But if you want to try my paleo version scroll down for the recipe.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUDDING – Paleo, Dairy free, gluten free, grain free, no refined sugar
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée (roast your squash then purée it using a blender, food processor, or handheld immersion blender)
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons ghee, cut into pieces
1. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and arrowroot powder. In a blender, combine the squash purée, coconut milk, coconut sugar mixture, salt, egg yolks and vanilla. Blend until very smooth, and then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium-sized, heavy bottom saucepan (I use a smaller 3-4 quart enamel coated Dutch oven). Rinse the sieve right away because you will need it again once the pudding has cooked.
2. Cook the pudding mixture over medium heat, whisking it constantly, until it is thickened. Turn heat to low, and continue cooking and stirring with your whisk or wooden spoon for another minute or two. (Nicole says: “pudding should be thick but still pourable”.)
3. Turn the heat off, and strain pudding through the sieve into a bowl. Push the pudding through the sieve with a spoon. Stir in the maple syrup and ghee into the hot pudding until it is completely mixed in.
4. Let pudding cool down to warm before covering it and putting it in the refrigerator. Serve and eat once cold.
Yesterday I posted on Instagram that I was making my Spicy Honey Lime Slaw for Taco Tuesday at our house. We don’t really have Tacos every Tuesday, though I could definitely be okay with that if we did, but since it was Tuesday and I had a craving for tacos, that’s what happened. As you can see, I’m not the only one who is excited about Taco Tuesday in our house. I’ve posted about this recipe before but will go ahead and update you all with fresh new pictures and put the recipe below.
Spicy Honey Lime Slaw
- 1/2 or a whole head of a small purple cabbage
- 1 small red onion
- juice of 2-3 limes
- 1/4 cup of raw honey
- 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce (We use Tapatio)
- salt and pepper to taste
Friday, September 19, 2014
Honestly, I don’t really know if there is a name for these other than Rubber Band Board? I never had one of these when I was a kid or played with one at school. Levi has some similar to these boards in his kindergarten class and since he loves playing with them I thought I’d make my own DIY version. And because I was making Levi one I knew I would have to make Rian one as well.
These rubber band boards are super simple, and take less than an hour to make. I purchased the wood and the nails from Home Depot, the nails from Office Depot, and already had the sand paper and paint on hand.
The wood was a 4 ft. pine stair tread that I purchased for $10.63, and had a Home Depot employee cut into 4 pieces. The nails are 1” panel board nails in white that I bought for about $2. You can personalize the boards by painting them whatever color you or your child wants, or even do something more creative than painting one color and paint designs or stencils them. You can even choose different nail colors. Rian picked the white ones out when we were shopping.
Once we got home I quickly sanded the rough edges of the boards, taking away any splintered pieces of wood. Then I used acrylic paint to do a quick two layers on the top of the wood, using a blow dryer to speed up drying time. After measuring my board and creating a grid pattern on paper, I started tapping in one nail along each point I had made so that I could reuse the paper.
After using a hammer and one nail to mark all of the holes on the board I pulled my paper away and began nailing each nail about halfway into the board.
Once all the nails were in place the kids were able to use their rubber bands to start making shapes and designs.
It’s been fun seeing what they make, and having them ask what shapes are which. And for about $13-$14 I was able create two of these boards, and have wood left over that I’m planning on using for another project. These would make fun gifts to give out to any kids around this age as well. Handmade Christmas gift anyone?
Friday, September 5, 2014
What can I say? I had a craving for cookies last weekend, but didn’t have any almond flour on hand so using my favorite paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe from Stacy Deering was out. But lucky for me and my sparse pantry, these peanut butter cookies don’t need ANY flour. They're easy to through together for a quick treat.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES – Grain Free, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar or Flour
16-18 oz. natural, no sugar added peanut butter
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup raw honey
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2-1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (Optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the peanut butter, coconut sugar, raw honey, and eggs together in a large bowl. Then mix in the baking soda and vanilla. Once done you can stir in the chocolate chips if adding them.
2. Using a spoon, scoop up some cookie dough and form the dough into medium to large balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and press down, flattening them a bit.
3. Bake cookies for approximately 11-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a plate or serving.