Saturday, March 8, 2014

Queen Of Left Overs Goes Lenticular Lovin'

Our beautiful daughter graduates from high school this spring, and we couldn't be happier!
This coming fall we will be empty nesters, scary but quite exciting.
So when a child graduates in our house we take them on a family vacation of their choice, we took our son to Hawaii for his senior trip. 
Our daughter wasn't sure where she wanted to go, I quickly suggested Bermuda, get the drift. In the end she chose Washington State.
At first I wasn't impressed. It's still chilly up there even in the summer...right?
I started a Pinterest board and began pinning everything that looked exciting to do in the state.
I am now an official Lenticular Cloud junkie.
It is my greatest wish to see a UFO looking cloud parked right over Mt.Rainier.
Everyone else has an equally interesting thing they want to see or do out of the trip, my daughter wants to go to a huge music festival called The Sasquatch Festival, my husband wants to whale watch, and our son is hoping to be back from his internship in Brussels in time to make the trip.
I have really kicked up my walking and treadmill time so that I can haul my booty around Washington's mountains and forests without puking and slowing everyone down.
We are now on super budget crunch down trying to save for this trip.
No more eating out and I am making sure that we eat everything in our fridge, with next to no waste at all. No one is happy about this arrangement, none of us are fans of leftovers, but with some creativity I have been making it work.
One of our staples every week is pureed cauliflower. We eat it as a side dish, like mashed potatoes.
When it is the next day I like to bake it on parchment paper by spoonful's, it reminds me of tater tots. When my cauliflower is thin I reminds me more of little potato pancakes, a perfect side dish for any meat. This night I wanted to use it completely different. I scraped the container of leftover cauliflower into a sauce pan, put about a cup and a half of water in the container and shook it around to loosen the puree and poured that in the pan too. I added a 1/4 cup of heavy cream, salted and peppered it. Once it was warm I poured it in our bowls and generously doused it with bacon and a bit of cheese.
Best thing I have had in a while.
This lunch is all left overs. If you take a closer peek at my blueberries, they are a tad sketchy. But if there isn't mold on something I'm going to eat it. No waste!
My hard cooked eggs were a day away from being trash so I mixed them with carrot shreds (which we add to everything) celery, a small amount of Caesar dressing, pistachios, a little cheddar, and lots of spices.
My cookies are made from a boat load of leftovers and are perfectly Paleo/Primal.
I had made some medjool date paste (soak the dates in water, remove seed, and whiz in the food processor-it is almost like carmel and is a natural sugar source) that I needed to use so I decided on these cookies.
After I blended the almonds down to flour, I threw everything else in the food processor and whizzed it together.
Ready in two seconds!
Dropped by spoonful onto parchment paper.
Baked for twelve minutes and they were ready to enjoy with breakfast lunch or dinner.
Gluten Free Paleo / Primal Anytime Cookies:
1/4 cup mejoohl date paste
2 tbsp. of honey
1-2 ripe bananas (depends if yours are small or big)
1/2 cup almond flour (grind my own)
1/2 almond butter (grind my own)
1 egg
1 tsp. of vanilla
1tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
dash of salt
I mixed everything together in the food processor till blended and creamy.
Dropped by spoonful onto parchment paper (I did like them better smoothed out into cookie shape)
Baked in a 350 degree oven for 10/12 minutes.
Enjoy anytime of the day!

In the mean time I am going to keep planning our trip and hoping to see a sight like this!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thoughts Of Spring and Peanut Butter Puffs

My little dog's face says it all.
We are sick of winter here in the Midwest, it truly seems like there is no end in sight, and it's March already!!
I look at our pictures of the trip to Hawaii everyday, and then grumble as I watch Hawaii Life on HGTV. My poor husband who can not move his job (ever) has to listen to this almost daily...
"What if we sold everything!? What if I said I could live in a tent on the beach?! Can we go then?"
He just shakes his head and sighs.
With one kid in college and the other going in the fall, it seems like the perfect time to escape Ohio.
If I never saw another snow flake again, I am pretty sure I would be perfectly content.
But as he reminds me, those kids still need us. It would be impossible to hop a thousand dollar, six hour flight several times a year, just so I could be happy.
Oh well...I will try and suck it up and not whine as much at being stuck in the snowy tundra.
For that I will need chocolate...several times a day.
I usually don't mind our primal breakfasts of eggs, bacon, and spinach. It's my favorite meal.
My eighteen year old daughter on the other hand is sick of it. She wants me to buy her gluten free cereals instead. If you look on the box of that cereal the truth is there, carbs, sugars, and all manner of chemicals and crap.
So I decided to search Pinterest for Primal/Paleo cereal recipes. Most of them appealed to me, but I would love soaked nuts ground into a porridge with fruit and almond milk!
The kid, not so much.
I did find a recipe for Primal Reece's Peanut Butter Puffs, halleluiah, it sounded awesome!
This is a simple and primal recipe, it turned out perfectly...on my second batch.
The trick to these little buggers is the cooking time, the recipe I tried said to cook them on 375 for 10 minutes. That resulted in black little balls of nasty ash. Completely inedible. 
The second batch I cooked at 350 for 3 minutes, perfection!
These are tasty, not too sweet, and do not fall apart in the almond milk.
I love them!
There is a problem.
Rolling out the dough into blueberry size balls was awful. I think next time I make these I will roll the dough between wax paper until it is thin and then cut into square shapes, making flakes of cereal.
It has to take less time!

The puff balls nicely rolled into blueberry size.

Primal Peanut Butter Puffs:

1/2 cup almond flour (I grind my almonds myself)
1/2 cup of nut butter (I used chunky kind, that is why you see the nut chunks)
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee (melted)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt


Preheat oven to 350
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together
make into balls or roll flat and cut into flake shapes
Bake for three minutes (your oven might take longer)
Let cool completely before serving

These are a great treat to have when you just can not face another morning of eggs (and snow!).
I hope you try this primal cereal and enjoy it too!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Snow Snow Go Away Don't Come Again Another Day

It's been snowing in Ohio...since November.
The year I started my blog it was the mildest winter we had had in decades, this year has been the coldest and most snow filled we have had in years. Ugh!
That my friends makes me a tiny bit crazier than I am during the spring, summer, and fall. It also makes me want to curl up in a ball under mounds of blankets and hibernate.
I have not gotten off my rather big butt in almost a month.
Every day I say to myself that I will hop on the treadmill or pop in a DVD. Does it happen? 
I find another excuse to sit in my chair or snuggle with my little dog Jackie in my bed.  I still eat very well, but my weight never budges. I might have even gained a few pounds.
Sigh...I must make myself move more!


My breakfasts are always Primal and include spinach.

My lunch / dinner always includes protein, spinach, and fruit.


I'm lazy right now so there is not much cooking going on, but when I do it is usually already something that I am good at making.

Spaghetti squash along with cauliflower are my go to side dishes. 

This week it was squashes turn, and I made a chicken, artichoke, and spaghetti squash casserole along with a pesto parmesan side dish. These are perfect to make and freeze ahead of time.
I do need a treat, almost everyday.
I have been trying to make something that uses whole ingredients, and not just pure sugar.

I went back to an old favorite, Primal Protein Bars.
I have blogged about them before, and these are a favorite of even my picky daughter.
They are quick and easy to whip up with a heavy duty food processor (since they are super sticky) and curb even the worst sweet cravings.

1 pound of whole pitted prunes
1 cup of raw almond meal (I pulse the almonds down until I have a cup of meal, not flour)
1/2 cup of flax seed meal (I buy mine at Costco)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (I use dark)
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp of chunky almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used mini since they disperse nicely through each bar)

I pulse everything together in the food processor, press into a wax paper covered brownie pan (with a piece of wax paper under my hand-these are sticky!) and set in the fridge (covered with wax paper) for one to two hours until chilled throughout. I use a very long serrated knife to cut into bar shapes, wrap in smaller pieces of wax paper, and keep in a Tupperware container in the fridge. 
They really help when your mind says cookies, brownies, and ice cream!! You can grab one of these and stay healthier.

Jack and I are going to stay warm for now and maybe exercise (crossing my fingers).
Next time, I have a recipe for blueberry maple breakfast sausage. They are super tasty and perfect with any meal.