Tropical Beef

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My dear friend has made me love a company called Wildtree. Many of the spices and marinades are completely paleo, but none of them have additives or preservatives. We have been using a lot of the seasonings but mostly the Grapeseed Oil! I am in love with the Garlic one in particular. This meal uses that and the Rancher’s Steak Rub. It’s a fabulous blend of spices with just a hint of bite from the pepper. The only ingredients are organic spices. No crap.

This is not only a really good and easy meal, it is also a good freezer meal. With a baby on the way in just a couple of months, we have begun thinking of what we can do to make those first couple of weeks a little easier. My mom is coming out and since we are doing this whole birthing thing at home, I don’t have to leave anyone behind. I want to make sure it’s easier for the rest of the family too though, so I am planning to have a freezer full of grab and go meals. In order to do that with this meal, just throw all of the prepared ingredients into a gallon bag and write what it is on the outside. Then put that bag in another gallon bag to prevent freezer burn.

Here it is! Our new favorite meal.

tropical beef

Tropical Beef

  • 1.5 lb stew meat
  • 1 pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • Garlic Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 TBSP rancher’s steak rub

 

Saute onions in oil, on medium high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Saute a few minutes, stirring, then turn down to medium low. Cover and cook another 10-15 minutes until meat is done.

Serve with salad. ENJOY!!!

 

Meal Plan Monday

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here with an extra kidlin and getting into “OMG the baby will actually BE HERE in a few months” mode. So with that, here is our menu plan. The plan was to make it still paleo friendly for me, but food that our extra (the Diva’s best friend) would recognize since she will be here all week. So when it says things like cereal, that’s for them. I will eat an egg or something else instead. ;)

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

  • Tropical Beef
  • Chili
  • Pork Chili Verde
  • Rosemary Garlic Pork Chops
  • Mojito Chicken
  • Chicken Mediterranean Salad

Paleo Apple Butter Muffins

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Yesterday was my beautiful youngest daughter’s birthday. She is growing into her own person so quickly, and we are very proud of her. She is the Diva of the family. She’s the only extrovert and has been a bubbly ball of glitter and sparkles since the day she entered this world. She is our amusing contradiction that is going to be trouble as she ages. Her favorite colors are hot pink, glittery, lime green and zebra print. She loves make up, nails, purses and shoes. She also loves to skateboard, play in the mud, work on cars, and tell fart jokes. MOST of all she loves to eat.

From birth, food was a very serious business for this child. On the kids’ birthdays they get to choose what they want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s their day, their food. The Spirited Dancer likes to create these elaborate menus. Her back up career plan, after choreographer, is chef. This Diva one, though, has particular tastes. For breakfast, her choice is Paleo Apple Butter Muffins and bacon. An odd combo but it IS quite yummy. We find nitrite, sugar, crap free bacon at a not so local grocery store. I would imagine that they have it at places like Whole Foods, but if you live near a Lucky’s or Sprouts location, that’s where we typically go.

I will soon be making more apple butter (this was my last jar) so I will post that recipe then, and link back to it, I promise.

apple butter muffins

 

Paleo Apple Butter Muffins

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup homemade apple butter
  • 3 apples (we used Fuji) peeled and chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined and smooth. Scoop into cups in a muffin tin (we use silicone cups in the tin, everything just slides right out). Bake @ 350 for about 20 minutes. Makes 10. Every oven is different, keep an eye on them.

Let them cool a little, then ENJOY!!

 

Monday Meal Plan

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Friday is the 4th of July, a day that is supposed to celebrate a break from tyrannical government (a bit hilarious these days) and just happens to fall in the middle of summer. Good food and explosives have become synonymous with the day so we always attend a BBQ at a friends house, after our girls are in the parade with their dance team and before we light our own fireworks and head to watch the big ones (or as big as they get in a small town on the Plains).

The friends in question don’t have food allergies or any special eating habits but they are good friends who DO accommodate us. While I don’t usually assign days to meals, Friday does get it’s own menu this week. It’s not 100% Paleo because I have REALLY been craving potato salad, but it IS completely gluten, sugar and dairy free. That being said, here it is! I hope you can get some ideas!

BREAKFAST

  • Egg Scramble
  • Fried Eggs and fruit
  • Paleo Banana Almond Cake
  • Smoothies
  • Apples with Almond Butter
  • Paleo Apple Butter Muffins with Bacon (the Diva’s request for her birthday)

LUNCH

DINNER

4th of July

  • Bacon Ranch Burgers
  • Hot Dogs (nitrite free, sugar free, crap free)
  • Potato Salad
  • Fruit Salad
  • Veggies
  • Mediterranean Salad

 

All about Sugar Cravings….. and a Paleo fix.

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Well that was a longer than intended hiatus. It’s been a crazy month or so. One thing that has really spiraled out of control is my sugar cravings. Between hypoglycemia and a cane allergy, sugar has always been a trigger. I’ve never been a cakes and cookies kind of girl and I actually dislike chocolate for the most part, but in every pregnancy I start craving gummy candies, like Mike and Ike’s or Sour Patch Kids.

I hate to say it, but I gave in. Giving in creates a very slippery slope of “well, I already had some so a few more won’t hurt” or “I’ll be better tomorrow, I already gave in today”.

Sugar wreaks havoc on everyone’s body honestly, but with the allergy, it not only causes the energy drain and the spike in glucose but it causes shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness and, my least favorite, a very fuzzy brain. Pregnancy alone causes some degree of a lot of these, which may be why I wasn’t noticing the symptoms as much, but not as severe. I began noticing the other day how bad it was becoming. Then the glucose showed up in my urine at the midwife appointment. State regulations mandate that if it happens again, I need to see a high risk OB and home birth is out of the question. Horror stories abound about babies being taken from mama’s who didn’t know about, or follow, state regulations. I am determined to have a HEALTHY pregnancy and the last month, I’ve slipped.

I do still have STRONG cravings, however, for things like Iced foofy Coffees, Sprite, etc. How do I fix those, and keep to a Paleo style of eating throughout this pregnancy and well beyond?

I make it at home. OR I buy Izze drinks. I was thrilled when I read the ingredients. Fruit juice and sparkling water. I have made similar things at home but I haven’t gotten the ratio correct. I’ll let you know when I do. In the meantime, I am trying to fight the craving, but if I just can’t fight the soda craving I have a couple of those bottles on hand. As for Iced Coffees…. yes I still drink an average of up to a cup of coffee a day. I figured out how to make a beautifully Paleo version. My favorite one has always been an Irish Cream Mocha. At the local coffee shop, it’s called a Top O’ the Morning, or TOM. I stumbled across it shortly after moving here and fell in love with it. I have noticed, however that since going to our favorite coffee place in our home away from home town, the TOM seems MUCH too sweet. La Vita Bella makes their own chocolate ganache and they ask you how sweet you want things. You can taste the COFFEE there and what we get typically has no artificial flavorings. It’s a beautiful thing. I combined the two to make a Paleo Iced Vanilla Mocha.

Here’s the recipe:

Jen’s Iced Vanilla Mocha

To start, you need to make the creamer.

  • 3 cups UNSWEETENED Almond Milk
  • 1 cup organic Coconut Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Pure Vanilla Extract (preferably homemade)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder

Combine the ingredients in a small pot over med high heat and whisk until all of the sugar and cocoa powder are incorporated and smooth.

It can be stored for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator though it’s never lasted that long at our house. ;)

To make the Iced Mocha I combine coffee and creamer in a 1-1 ratio with frozen coffee cubes instead of ice cubes. This way, the melting ‘ice’ doesn’t water down the drink.

I have found that when I make this in the morning, it typically cures the sugar cravings for the rest of the day without wreaking havoc on my system. In the winter I will probably make it with peppermint extract, and I know some people who would love to use fruit with the chocolate. I may just make some vanilla ones as well, after all I’m really not much of a chocolate girl. The combinations are endless!

Iced Mocha

 

Paleo Breakfast (Mini Fritatta recipe!)

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Breakfast is a hard meal for a lot of people when they first go gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, or Paleo. When I tell people my allergies, adding “we eat a mostly, though not completely, Paleo diet”, their faces typically go blank and they say something on the order of “what do you EAT?!” I’ll tell you. Currently, in this ‘eating for two’ state, I eat a lot actually. I have a list of our family favorite breakfasts though. Like I said, we don’t eat strictly Paleo so we do throw in some things like Strawberry or Apple GF Oatmeal but this list is strictly Paleo.

Breakfast Ideas

  • Berries in Almond Milk
  • Mini Fritattas (recipe below)
  • Fried eggs with Fruit
  • Veggie Scramble
  • Banana Pancakes
  • Paleo Apple Muffins
  • Apples with Almond butter

Here’s the deal, breakfast doesn’t have to be the type of socially constructed breakfast food we are used to. If you can eat it at any given point, you could eat it at breakfast too. We’ve been known to have leftovers from dinner the night before, or just get a craving for brussel sprouts and bacon. But the fritattas are really good….even though I MAY have forgotten a picture. I will try to update with a photo at another time.

Mini Fritattas

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • add ins of choice (some of our favorites include mushrooms, spinach, green peppers, kale, cabbage, onions, leftover beef, bacon, etc)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In each of 24 mini muffin tin openings, place your add ins. Don’t put too many add ins together, you won’t have room for eggs! We like two at a time, but you can change them up in the same batch, making whichever ones each person likes. Whip together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over add ins. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!

 

Paleo Meatloaf

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I think I may have mentioned that I’ve been on a comfort food kick this pregnancy.

As a kid, meatloaf was a ‘go to’ meal, and it was probably the first thing I learned to cook as an adult. The original recipe isn’t something I would ever use these days. Mixed into the beef was eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, saltine crackers and cream of crap soup.

Over the years I have completely revamped it into a Paleo version that we go to any time we are in a comfort food mood. This is much better than the original recipe and obviously SO much better for you! This is a DOUBLE recipe so one can be frozen for future use. We do use disposable ‘eco foil’ loaf pans to freeze, but I am looking at other options.

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Paleo Meatloaf

  • 4 lbs ground beef (or what ever ground meat you choose)
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp onion flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, separate into two loaf pans. Bake one at 350 for about an hour. Cover the other one with foil, label and put in freezer. You can remove it from the freezer later and bake at 350 for 1.5-2 hours.

Serve with roasted vegetables. Delicious, filling, and YES, comforting!