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.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Primal / Paleo Plain and Simple

It has been a busy August here at our house.
Our gorgeous daughter started her senior year this month, and now we being the year of lasts...last first day of high school, last homecoming, last prom and so on.

Our son moved back up to OSU for his second year of college this month, we miss him terribly already.
It was my birthday this month and our 25th wedding Anniversary.
With all the packing and shopping for these big life events I have not had the time or inclination to work that hard at cooking something interesting most nights.
I have still tried to feed us Primal/ Paleo, but in it's purest of forms.
Here are a few pictures to show what we eat most days.

Roast chicken with spinach, carrots, blueberries, cherries, kalamata olives, roasted garlic, and a wedge of brie
Baked chicken breast, sweet potato baked fries, mixed fruit, and left over spaghetti squash casserole
Salami and cream cheese rolls, spinach, mac nuts, and mixed fruit salad

Salmon, strawberries, pineapple, fresh green beans, and avocado in a bit of ranch

Spinach, cherries, strawberries, pistachios, and avocado with ranch
Roast chicken with guacamole topping, blueberries, cherries, apple slices, cheese wedge, and mashed cauliflower
Some nights it is as simple as this!
When I stayed with my son at his college house for a day or two to help him move in we still ate Primal and healthy!

College Primal eating...chicken, blueberries, celery, apple, and a bit of Tuscan herb cheese
I hope you enjoyed looking into our simple meal styles and that they inspire you to make good choices today.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sunflower Days And Primal / Paleo Chicken Meatball Bites

Summer, oh gorgeous summer!
I guess that Ohio summers are not too bad...temperate days and cool enough nights lately to have a bonfire...still wish I lived in Hawaii though ;)
I have come out of my winter doldrums and started to live better.
Winter wore me down.
I sat on the couch wrapped in large fluffy blankets and read...or watched Netflix...or read some more...and ate.
I ate anything I wanted.
Cookies were my sin.
I gained weight, was rewarded with some pimples for good measure, and saw my forward progress with my weight disappear.
As spring came I got my crap back together and began eating clean and Primal again.
The one thing I can't do is make myself exercise.
I am hoping getting back to the blog world will help me achieve this, Lord knows I have pinned a thousand exercises. I own hundreds of workout DVDs, and have a treadmill, a Total Gym, and Kettle Bells.
What the heck is it going to take to make my large behind get up and do it?
Maybe this.
Other people who have the same struggle.
So if your out there...let me know what works for you.
What motivates you out of your the couch...or gets your nose out of that great book you just started.
I did take the dog for a walk the other day, but only to take these stunning pictures at the sunflower field that is not far from our home.

My sweet little dog Jack
He was such a good sport about the whole thing.
Sat like a champ, and the bacon I brought along really helped.

Just love this one of him

   Another photographer let me borrow the little stool he is sitting on, too darling for words.

Chicken Meatball Bites
Every week when I go to Costco we always end up getting a rotisserie chicken to pick over for a snack or quick meal.
This time we had a very busy few days and I forgot about the bird in the fridge.
I didn't want it to go to waste so I picked it clean and put the meat to good use.
I made Chicken Meatball Bites.

  • Roughly 2 cups of chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • at your pleasure; onion powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of flavored olive oil
I put the chicken by itself in the Cuisinart and pulsed a few times
Added the egg and coconut flour and pulsed a few more times
Let it sit for a minute for the coconut flour to get going and then add all the rest and pulse again
I rolled these into balls and placed on a cookie sheet
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 17-20 minutes until golden

I had these with my standard spinach leave salad, blueberries, avocado, and  macadamia nuts.
An awesome clean eating meal if I do say so myself.
My son enjoyed his with BBQ sauce for dipping and my husband used a buffalo sauce.
I hope you try this recipe and love it too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Primal Thanksgiving With The Help From A Friend

Since I began my new Primal life I have been one of it's biggest cheerleaders.
Obnoxiously so.
If you happened to ask about my weight loss or ask why I was not eating the bun...God help you.
I am more than happy to tell you about my journey, the reasons you should not be eating that processed goo, and the newest scientific facts I had just read about grains and fasting.
Just try and stop me!!
You have to know my friends were my first victims to attack with my new found knowledge...enthusiastically so.
To my great surprise most of our friends and family have come on board and given it a try.
All of them to great success.
Our good friends Matt and Sheila were some of the first people I told all my new found information to. I knew Sheila would be interested but never thought that Matt would listen or even give it a second look.
Matt did not like anything green, and was not interested in veggies at all.
What he did like was the fact that he could eat bacon, steak, sausage, and butter.
As he and his wife explored their eating possibilities within the Primal sphere they taught my husband and I a few things.
Matt and Sheila found Luigi's, which sells grassfed beef and free range Amish chicken, and they have the most amazing buffalo chicken flavored sausage that we all love.
The best thing that Matt has given to us is his recipe for Brussel Sprouts, which is a green veggie, if you remember!
I was shocked to come home from Hawaii to my husband raving about this fabulous dish that Matt had made for him while I was gone.
My mom is even a huge fan of this dish which is why it will be one of the sides we share at our Primal Thanksgiving this year.
I wanted to give the recipe to anyone who was looking for a flavorful and filling Primal side dish to serve at their holiday table.

I chop the brussel sprouts apart and any other veggies we like to throw in. Today it was carrot shreds, peppers, broccoli , snow peas, and as always some great sausage.

I add a flavored olive oil or coconut oil to the pan first and then add in the sprouts as they take the longest to cook.

After 5 minutes I add the all the veggies but the carrots and peppers. I then pour on the balsamic vinegar. We also add in the chopped garlic and a handful of spices at this time.

After 3 more minutes in goes the sausage. It is precooked and goes in to get heated through.

The carrots and peppers are added last as my husband likes a bit of a crisp to those two veggies when it's all done.

Primal Brussel Sprouts and Sausage

Here is the finished dish, plated and ready to enjoy!

Primal Meaty Brussel Sprouts:

1 cup of brussel sprouts cleaned and halved
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup of mixed veggies (broccoli, snow peas, and others)
1/4 cup of sliced peppers
1/4 cup of flavored olive oil or coconut oil (we used a basil olive oil)
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons of chopped garlic (ours came from a jar)
2 large precooked sausage links (your choice of flavor)
spices (choose your favorites, we added Italian types of spices)

  • Heat your pan over a medium high heat and add your flavored oil
  • Next add in the brussel sprouts and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously
  • Add in the mixed veggies, the balsamic, garlic, and spices and cook for 3 minutes
  • The sausage goes in next and gets stirred for 2 minutes
  • Now add in the veggies you like crisp and saute for a few minutes until they are done to your taste
That's it! Ten minutes on the stove and you have an amazingly flavorful main or side dish.

Thank you again Matt.
He has made us proud by meeting his goal weight and losing over 30 pounds!
At the last band concert Matt played the entire night without a shirt and looked smoking hot!!
Matt as Jimmy Page at our Halloween!
I hope you give the Primal life a try and enjoy looking and feeling better like we all do.
Have a wonderful holiday.