Category Archives: Food

Shrimp Scampi

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So, my husband made dinner. I’m still in shock.

Here is how he did it:

Ingredients:

  • 1lb de-veined jumbo shrimp
  • 4 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Directions:
In a skillet heat coconut oil, butter, and garlic on medium high heat until fragrant. Add shrimp. Cook until pink on one side, then flip. About 3 minutes per side. Serve with melted butter.

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How to slice and freeze avocados

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Avocados are a staple food in our household and we go through a lot of them every week. I sent my husband to the grocery store a few days ago and on the list it read “avocados, buy a bunch of them”…I should have been WAY more specific because he came home with a dozen avocados. Well, even the most avid avocado-eatin’ people can’t go through a dozen ripe avocados before some of them go bad. So, I had to do something with them. Then I found out that you can freeze them. Wow! Freeze them I did! They stay perfect and they last!

Here’s how I did it:

Slice an avocado into quarters and take out the pit. Peel off the outer layer. (Here’s a short video showing the same slicing technique that I use.) Stack into a plastic freezer bag and into the freezer they go. It’s just that easy. They work great for smoothies with frozen banana’s because they have a great ice-cream like texture when blended. Single-serving slices right out of the freezer.

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This bag of frozen slices had been in the freezer for 2 weeks and they are still bright green!

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Paleo chicken legs, fast!

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My little cave-family eats more like a pack of saber-toothed tigers. They eat a LOT! I pride myself on my meal planning (and quantity planning) abilities, but sometimes I fall short. When my fridge is bare I fear I will be eaten next. So, I always have a package of organic chicken legs in the freezer….it just might save my life someday.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large packages of organic chicken legs (the dark meat is the healthiest part of the chicken, so ditch the chicken breasts)
  • Coconut oil for smearing
  • Spices (this time I used salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375*. Grease a glass baking dish with coconut oil. Placed legs in dish and pat dry with paper towels. Smear with coconut oil. Season liberally with spices, they add a nice texture and crust. Bake until a meat thermometer reads 165*. You can baste with the juices as it cook,s but that’s totally optional. Who has time for that while fighting the family off with a wooden spoon anyway?!

How to cook the perfect steak

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I ate a limited amount of red meat during a weird phase in my 20’s. Then one day I started to crave red meat and decided to reincorporate it back into my diet. For me, cooking a steak was definitely the most intimidating way to prepare red meat. Growing up in Minnesota, I was VERY familiar with cooking ground meat because we are like the hotdish capital of the universe! After much trial and error I have come up with a method that is very easy, not intimidating at all, and super tasty. Move over hotdish, Mama’s making steak tonight. If you don’t have access to quality grass-fed meat you can order from US Wellness Meats, we order from them frequently and everything we have ordered has been amazing!

What you need:

My method:

  • About one hour before you plan to cook your steak, take it out of the fridge and put it on a plate. Cover it with coarse sea salt and rub it in. Do this on both sides. The salt will dissolve.
  • Next get out your pan, I prefer to use cast iron because it heats evenly and it is what my Dad always uses in his kitchen. I always listen to my parents. (Hi Mom and Dad)
  • Rinse the salt off of your steak
  • Get your pan HOT!!!
  • Hold your steak with tongs and find the fatty side of the steak. Push the fatty side of the steak down on the pan until some of the fat melts and greases the pan. Then put your steak in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and let it cook. Once it browns, flip it. Cook and season the other side. Remember not to over-cook your steak. The meat will continue to cook even when you remove it from the heat source. Use the finger test to check if it’s done to your liking. You can also use your meat thermometer.
  • I like to melt a little bit of butter on the top of my steak after its cooked. Let it melt and dig in.

Coconut butter, how do I love thee

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I am IN LOVE with coconut butter. It was my crutch when I was dying for sweets during the “21 Day Sugar Detox” (see sidebar for more information). Well, recently I stumbled upon a new product and I think I am in LOVE! Nikki’s Coconut Butter comes in a variety of flavors and I don’t even know where to begin. Just read the labels and you will see that this company has created something amazing! Vanilla.Cake.Batter….’nuff said!

Reuben cabbage rolls

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We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today and in the spirit of corned beef and cabbage I made up some Reuben cabbage rolls. We love Reuben’s, but we don’t eat bread. So the cabbage is holding together all the kraut, corned beef, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. Yum! We referenced this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • 1 large cooked corned beef roast, sliced (about 3-4 cups). I ordered mine from US Wellness Meats….amazing!
  • 3 cups sauerkraut (preferably homemade so all the probiotics are intact)
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese, cut into thirds

Thousand Island Dressing:

  • ½ cup homemade mayonnaise (follow this recipe, substituting olive oil for bacon grease)
  • 2 T organic ketchup (the kind without high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T onion, finely chopped
  • ½ dill pickle, chopped (3 T)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400*

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You want to fill the pot with enough water so that at least half of the cabbage is submerged. Place the whole cabbage head in the water. After about a minute, the outer leaf will begin to peel back from the cabbage head. Using tongs, peel that layer away from the head and keep it in the boiling water for 3 minutes. After the leaf has boiled for 3 minutes, take it out of the pot and place it in a colander to dry. The outer leaves on the cabbage will continue peeling away from the cabbage. Keep using your tongs to peel the outer leaves off the head and leave them submerged in the boiling water for 3 minutes. The goal is to boil each leaf for 3 minutes.

Once your leaves are all boiled, soft, and pliable, cut each tough stem about 2 inches from the bottom in a V shape (cutting out the rib)

You may either chop up the remaining cabbage to put in the bottom of your 13×9 pan or put it away for another day. If you chop it up and use it for this dish, add some salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to it.

Make the thousand island dressing by combining all the ingredients into a small bowl.

Now we’ll stuff our rolls. Put about 1/4 cup of the corned beef at the top of the roll (the opposite side of the V-shape). Add about 1 T of dressing. Next top with about 3 T of sauerkraut. Then add the cheese slice if you are using cheese. Starting at the top, roll up the leave once. Fold the edges in and continue rolling. Place the stuffed roll into the 13×9 pan (on top of the sliced cabbage if you put the leftover cabbage in the pan). Stuff and roll the remaining leaves.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Use the leftover dressing as a dipping sauce for the cabbage rolls and/or place a dollop on top of each roll and the leftover cabbage in the bottom of the pan.

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Healthy GREEN waffles for St. Patrick’s Day!

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It’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow and while the corned beef is cooking today we are whipping up a huge batch of green waffles! Paleo Parents came up with an amazing recipe and we tripled it and changed it up a bit. These waffles are green inside, due to a chemical reaction between the sun-butter and the baking soda….very cool! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium banana
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 (16oz) container of sun-butter (or you can use smooth almond butter)
  • 6 medium pastured eggs
  • 3 TBSP arrowroot powder
  • 3 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • coconut oil for greasing waffle iron

Directions:

  • Puree apple and banana in a food processor.
  • Use the whisk attachment on your electric mixer and whip sun-butter on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffed.
  • Add puree and remaining ingredients to whipped sun-butter and continue to whip until combined.
  • Grease your hot waffle maker with coconut oil (for each waffle you make).
  • Use about 1 ladle of batter per 8-by-4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron for 3-5 minutes until browned. Do not fill up entire waffle maker, leave about 40% unfilled so that the batter can spread. If your waffle is soft or floppy, it’s not ready yet – keep cooking for another minute or two!
  • Eat immediately or store flat in freezer and make your own breakfast by reheating in toaster – the waffles will be firm enough
  • Makes about 2.5 dozen!

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Bacon, onion & brussel slaw

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During the week I love to make quick meals that require minimal clean up, preferably only one pan. This week I was scrounging through the fridge and found a few leftover items that I decided to throw into my one pan and see what happens. Voila! Bacon and onion brussel slaw was born. This recipe takes about 10 minutes, so it has quickly become a favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages shredded brussel sprouts (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 package apple smoked bacon (also from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  • Slice bacon and onion and add to pan
  • Cook over medium heat until bacon is starting to get crispy and onions are brown
  • Add balsamic to deglaze the pan, and scrape the bacon bits off the bottom using a wooden spoon
  • Dump in the shredded brussel sprouts and mix everything together, adding more balsamic to the taste you desire. Salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pan and let it steam over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. It’s just that easy!

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21 Day Sugar Detox Complete…now for dessert!

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Well, I completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox (see sidebar for more information) and I feel great!!! But, I still have a hankering for sweets and throughout the detox had been thinking (often) about what my first sweet treat would be once I was finished. Well, Nomnompaleo answered that question with their most recent recipe for Paleo Mexican Chocolate Pots De Creme. Wow! You have to try this recipe….of course I changed it just a bit (my tweaks are in italics below)

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped. I used 85%.
  • 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk (I used 365 Everyday Value Coconut Milk from Whole Foods). I used coconut cream.
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder (depending on how much heat you prefer)
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (because I used 85% chocolate)

Directions:

Chop up and place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan add coconut milk, eggs, chili powder, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined, and then drop in the cinnamon stick. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and forms a smooth custard that coats the back of a spoon (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Watch the custard like a hawk — you don’t want to overcook it. Remember: Steaming is good, but simmering and boiling are bad. And when in doubt, use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the final temperature is about 175°F (80°C).When the custard is ready, take the pot off the heat, and fish out the cinnamon stick. Position a fine mesh sieve over the bowl of chocolate, and pour the custard through to catch any lumpy bits. Let the chocolate and custard mixture sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Seriously: set a timer and walk away. Staring at the chocolatey goodness is just going to drive you bonkers. When your timer goes off, grab a spatula and stir ever so gently to mix the melted chocolate into the custard base. If you stir like crazy, the temperature will drop too quickly, and you’ll end up with grainy chocolate. (Mexican chocolate is traditionally coarse-ground and can be crumbly in texture, but I prefer my pots de crème to be sinfully smooth.) Steady, slow stirring is essential for ensuring a stable emulsion. Once you’ve achieved a smooth mixture, stir in the vanilla extract. Divide the mixture evenly into eight 2-ounce espresso cups or ramekins……and cool to room temperature. I used my Grandma’s fancy tea cups which ended up being four 4-ounce servings. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and let ‘em chill and firm up in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I did not top with the coconut whipped cream because I did not feel like making it….just wanted the chocolate!

Kombucha fruit gummies = gut healing nirvana!

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I have been getting a lot of recipes for homemade gummies through the blogs that I follow and I have made a fair amount of gummies in the past for the kiddos. This week, I received a recipe for kombucha gummies. Brilliant! The gut healing gelatin combined with the probiotics in the kombucha make for one healthy snack! These would be especially helpful for someone who is suffering from a gastrointestinal illness. I am never one to follow recipes exactly though, so I made up my own version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kombucha divided
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 5 Tbsp gelatin powder

Directions:

Blend 1 cup kombucha, the mango, and the banana until smooth. In a sauce pan heat 1 cup kombucha over low heat (too much heat will destroy the probiotic content). When the kombucha is warm to touch, whisk in the gelatin 1 Tbsp at a time whisking constantly. Slowly adding the gelatin is important to avoid clumps. When all the gelatin is incorporated, add to the fruit puree. Mix everything together and pour into fun shaped ice-cube molds. If you don’t have molds just pour into a shallow pan and when it’s set you can cut into squares.