Monday: Moroccan “Meatballs”– This is a vegan recipe, but you can easily use lean ground beef or lamb instead of chickpeas.

Tuesday: Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil– You can lighten this up by reducing the amount of butter used….1/4 cup is a bit much for this recipe (in my opinion). Remember, the sausage will release some fat when it cooks. I suggest spraying lightly with olive oil, and then tasting after everything is cooked. Each person you serve can add some butter/ghee to their own dish if they’d like.

Wednesday: Paleo Butternut Apple Chicken Salad w/ Creamy Maple Dressing– Very straightforward. If you have a favorite dressing/dressing recipe- use that. ***You can make extra chicken today, and use for tomorrow (if you want tomorrow’s recipe to be carnivorous).***

Thursday: Jackfruit Chickpea Coconut Stir Fry–  This recipe has a few spices that you can substitute. For the initial spice mix, I plan to skip the peppercorns (and simply use ground pepper). This way, I don’t have to dirty something else by grinding one spice. No mustard seeds? Replace with ground mustard. No cumin seeds? Replace with ground cumin. No asafetida? Add more garlic. No jackfruit? Use shredded chicken or tofu.

Friday: Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos-Easy recipe, that can be multiplied and frozen for the future. Be sure to check your can of chipotles if you’re gluten free…some brands contain wheat to thicken the sauce.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon– Don’t like salmon? Try this glaze recipe on chicken or pork loin.

Sunday: Super Vegan Bowls– You can use this recipe as a base to clean out your fridge for the week. Use whatever vegetables/protein you have leftover from the week.

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Happy Halloween! I like Halloween. Probably because candy is delicious. I was always the kid who would come home and dive right in, running out of candy approximately 3 days later. My brother would organize his, have a piece, forget about it, and still have some up until Easter. I can not condone behavior like that. Anyway, instead of dressing up and partying this year, I’m going to the dentist. I’m actually really excited; I love the dentist. And I made sure to buy candy to hand out that while name brand, does nothing for me, as to not be tempted by it.

Monday: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese– This meal will come together quickly, so you can get homework done, costumes on, and get out of the door by twilight. To save even more time, use a can of butternut squash puree instead of making your own. For gluten free, be sure to use gluten free pasta, and replace the flour with cornstarch. I skip the breadcrumb topping all together, because I don’t like the crunch on mac n cheese.

Tuesday: Chopped Enchilada Skillet– Gluten free, can easily be made vegetarian by doubling the beans, can be dairy free if you use dairy free cheese (Trader Joe’s Almond Milk shredded cheese is really good…and my husband thought he was eating cow mucus- I mean ‘milk’ cheese). Now, I’m actually a grandma, so I make my own enchilada sauce, because store bought tends to have some ingredients that I stay away from. Here’s the recipe I use…it makes a LOT, so I freeze what I don’t use.

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups broth (any will do….use bone broth for added protein)
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried chives (or leave this out…you’ll more than likely have onions in whatever meal you’ll be using this for)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • No need to cook this…just stir/blend it and think, “Does Martha effing Stewart even make her own enchilada sauce?!”

Wednesday: Kale Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes- I could eat this every day. This is complete to me, but serve with roasted chicken (I’ve been buying a rotisserie chicken every week for my husband) or white fish for added protein. You can easily double this recipe, and have a quick lunch all ready. Here’s the link to the sauce this is served with: Out of This World Tahini Herb Sauce.

Thursday: Autumn Cobb Salad with Smoky Pumpkin Dressing: How can you not want to eat this? So, I am lazy, and I buy raw, pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery. This saves time and so many fingers. Obviously no seeds come with this, so I just use pre-roasted pumpkin seeds. But, walnuts or pecans would go really well with this, too. This is another instance where that rotisserie chicken is a perfect time saver.

Friday: Roasted Smoked Eggplant Curry–  Vegan and gluten free. I plan to serve with cauliflower rice, so I can also have naan. I try to keep my carbs to one option at each meal. Pre-riced cauliflower rice is your best friend. Trader Joe’s sells is in the refrigerated section, and I toss it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.

Saturday: Apricot Dijon Roast Chicken– I mean, look at that picture. This meal is beautiful. Although….I think I’m going to use a salmon fillet instead of a whole chicken. Also, I don’t know if I can find fresh apricots at this time of year, so, I think you could chop some dried ones instead. Or (and I promise I don’t get paid by Trader Joe’s), but they sell frozen apricots that are delicious and make me happy as all hell. Serve with a rice or quinoa dish to round this out.

Sunday: Crispy Carnitas– A favorite recipe of ours. It’s foolproof. Don’t skip the last step where you fry the cooked meat to crisp it up. It’s worth cleaning another dish. Aaaaand, save your leftovers, because we’re going to use them next week. It’s Sunday: Treat Yourself. Bust out the tortillas.

Heal your gut. Make it a better place.

***I apologize in advance for the usage of the words: raw, bones, leach, fat plug, and gelatinous.***

When you purchase most broths from the grocery, you are buying salt water with flavoring. There is really no nutritional value. You can purchase pre-made bone broths now, but making it yourself is a more inexpensive option. If you feel like it, you can Google the health benefits of drinking/eating bone broth. Personally, I can not sit down for a warm mug of broth. *Insert heaving noise.* But, I do like to have this on hand to cook with. ****Vegetarian/vegan option below!****

Here’s a recipe for homemade bone broth (aka chicken stock) from Against All Grain. I make mine (almost) the same way. I typically save my chicken bones in a bag (from about 3 chickens) in the freezer, so I can make one big batch of broth. I have done this using a raw chicken, and it works out just as well (I don’t know how the chicken doesn’t dry out…but it doesn’t and it’s actually quite good). I don’t measure the water…just pour (filtered) water to cover the bones. I leave out the salt, because I don’t drink this on it’s own, and I figure I’ll just add salt to the recipe I’m using with the broth. Most of the time, I don’t even add vegetables. Lastly, I start making this around 8pm, and let it go (on low) overnight. Why apple cider vinegar? Well, the vinegar helps to leach the calcium and minerals out of the bones. By the time your broth is finished, the bones will literally crumble.

I let this cool a little before straining. Then pour into glass containers, let cool completely and refrigerate. If you’ve used quality chicken/bones, you will notice a fat plug on top when your broth is cold. This protects the broth, “sealing” and preserving it. You’ll also notice, that your broth is very gelatinous when it’s cold. Again, that’s not a problem. That’s the healthy fat and nutrients that help heal your body. You can drink this daily if you’d like, use in recipes, and give it to your baby dog like I used to…she couldn’t get enough of it.

The quality to chicken you use is important! For one, you can not use boneless skinless breasts for this….you need the bones and fat. Though not inexpensive, you need to look for non caged, organic, raised without antibiotics…I could go on, chicken. If you see, “chicken with rib meat,” or, ” XYZ% water, ” walk away.

For VEGETARIANS/VEGANS, you can make broth too. The same general rules apply. Save your vegetable peelings, and use any vegetables you have on hand. Load up the crock pot, add whatever herbs and spices you like (adding organic miso &/or Nutritional Yeast will add depth of flavor and some nutrients), and let it cook on low overnight. If you’re into Superfoods, add some Reishi, coconut oil, ginger, &/or umami.

 

Easy re-set

There are times in life when you eat too much tan food. You don’t eat enough green food. You drink too much alcohol. You don’t drink enough water. Many of these times in life occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s okay. It’s natural to crave more carbs and sugar in the winter…that’s just how our brains were created.

Well, what should you do when you’ve eaten the final cookie and washed it down with the last few drops of egg nog? You re-set. What you do NOT do, is “detox.” Detoxes are harsh, restrictive, and unrealistic. They are begun with the purest of intentions…and typically end in frustration and overeating. I have done many stupid detoxes in my day…maybe I just don’t have the mental capacity for it, but they have never ended with me turning over a new leaf…”Now I hate sugar!!! Get that f*&#ing Prosecco out of my face! Bring on the cabbage!!!!” No, ma’am. When you put extreme limits and boundaries on yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. Then when you slip, you get pissed. “Well, I already ate one. Might as well keep going.” You don’t need to eat boiled spinach water for 2 weeks to get back on track. Your body knows how to detoxify itself. It’s like, why we have organs and stuff.

Why not begin 2016 in a kinder, more gentle way? Why not begin 2016 in a way that won’t annoy everyone around you? Don’t worry! This is easy peasy lemon squeezey. I got you. Here’s the solution…clean eating! Whaaaaaaaa?!?!?!?! Crazy, right? I’m sorry it’s not more exciting. But, that’s all you’re going to do. You’re going to plan ahead. You’re going to make grocery lists and stick to them. You’re going to eat food, not products…if it wasn’t in your great grandma’s kitchen, it shouldn’t be in yours ( I do believe in moderation, but we’ve got a little cleaning up to do). You’re going to limit your alcohol and sugar intake. If you really feel like kicking ass, you’re going to get some fresh air and get enough sleep.

Take into consideration the recipes that I post…they are all still available. Start your day with a glass of water before you have your coffee. If it pleases you, add fresh lemon juice or a couple drops of lemon essential oil to your water. The lemon is very cleansing to your body. Consider taking Milk Thistle twice a day for a couple of weeks. Milk thistle helps your liver, and your liver processes every single thing you put into your body. She’s a hard workin’ lady. Try making batches of breakfast food, so you’re set up for the week, and not scrambling in the morning. Overnight oats, oatmeal “bakes”, and baked eggs can be made in large batches and will last all week. Plus, you can change up the ingredients so you don’t get bored. Let yourself have treats…but make them at home. This way you control what’s in them. And maybe don’t eat 12 cookies a day anymore, k?

This doesn’t have to be stressful. You know the answers. You know what feels right. Think of yourself as a detective, deciphering the clues to figure out what makes your body happy and healthy.

I’m here for additional information and support, so contact me! Who hasn’t done this? ↓ Freeze it, or donate it…out of sight, out of mind- better yet: stop buying it. Remember, you’re not giving anything up. You’re being smarter about it.

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I truly hope you have a peaceful, enjoyable end of 2015. See you soon!!!

Because I love you…& cookies

Now is the time of year when it’s acceptable to have cookies in the oven, like whoa. Here is a FREE 50 page e-book filled with Paleo (gluten free, grain free, and dairy free) treats and drinks, just in time for the holidays. Enjoy in moderation! I say that because I have to, when in reality, I would eat this entire plate of cookies in 3-5 minutes.

holiday-cookies

http://grassfedsalsa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Paleo-Cookie-Exchange.pdf

***Don’t forget to visit my Amazon store! You can find all of the ingredients you’ll need there! ***

Oooooooooooooooh, you’re half way there!

If the thought of two more work/school filled days has you a little stressed, let’s practice breathing. Practice breathing? You mean, “the thing my body has done for me since I was born?” Yes. Because you’re doing it wrong. In times of stress, anger, and exhaustion- are you taking deep, full, belly expanding breaths? I’m going to assume you’re not. In my own experiences, when I’m stressed, angry, exhausted…I’m taking small, shallow breaths. Sometimes I find that I’m actually holding my breath. Not optimal for your body or your stress level. Practicing breathing techniques can instantly relax you. They can be done anywhere too, and at any time when you feel like you may need a minute. I *try* to do this particular technique twice a day (if not more). It’s the 4-7-8 technique from Dr. Andrew Weil. If you don’t feel like watching the video…here’s the gist:

Breath in (through your nose) to the count of 4.

Hold that breath to the count of 7.

Blow air out (through your mouth) to the count of 8.

Repeat cycle 4 times.

This is so easy…men, women, children of all ages can do it! It’s quick, free, and really works. Did you know that it is physically impossible to feel stressed and relaxed at the same time? So, escape for a few minutes…oxygenate your brain, clear you mind, and breathe.