Scrambled

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Since we have started receiving our weekly delivery from Johnson’s Backyard Organic, our vegetable consumption has increased dramatically. I’ve heard it can be stressful to figure out how to prepare them all or having them piled up in your fridge. For me, knowing what has gone into providing this box makes me value it more and want to eat those foods rather than reaching for something less than ideal. ! Some of the veggies can be intimidating, some I’ve never seen or heard of. Then there’s fennel, whose taste to me makes me so angry I can’t stand the sight of it. Thanks, Whitney, for taking it off my hands!

I digress…most odd veggies can be utilized in a shake (that’s you, daikon radish) or completely transformed by roasting (cheers…rutabaga, kohlrabi, cabbage and turnips). Then there is just the plethora of the goodies that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for. Who comes to the rescue, but a scramble. They are delicious, easy and get everyone to try a wide variety of new veggies and flavors! And, these are budget friendly!

Basic formula…pick the 3-4 veggies you need to get rid of and dice them up. Add an onion and chopped garlic and some sort of ground meat. Sauté until thoroughly cooked. Toss on some cracked eggs and voila!

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Tuesday’s scramble involved bulk chorizo from Whole Foods (1 pound), onion, rutabaga, yellow bell pepper and red potatoes. Sauté, add salt, pepper and turmeric. Then crack 4-5 eggs in a bowl to beat, or have your hubby ready to stir and crack them directly into pan with meat. Delish!

Tonight was egg Scramble…9 eggs cracked and beaten in a dish, throw in half of a diced red onion, a chopped sweet potato, garlic, salt, pepper and sage. Mix and toss in a 350 degree oven for 30 mins. I then topped with grass-fed buffalo mozzarella, grated parm from my new Magic Bullet, an avocado and salsa. Wow!

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I also served this with a side of bacon, because what goes better with anything, but bacon! To top it off, we each had mugs of mushroom sherry beef broth to keep our immune systems up during flu season. What a perfect comforting and nourishing meal!

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Welcome to the world of Paleo

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Dear Sis-

Congratulations, you just made the big decision to give Paleo a go. I’m so proud that you are taking control of your health. It can take several months to think, hear, learn about and consider. You have conquered a huge step. Of course step two can easily be a daunting task, as first thoughts immediately go to all of the items you can no longer eat. Then you wonder what’s left!? Are you stuck with turkey legs and celery? Of course not! Once you peek into the recipes on this blog, on Pinterest or from any of the many cookbooks out there, you will see a whole new world opening up.

You don’t have to spend a ton or go to far extremes of investing in alternative flours in the first several months. Dip your toe into the Paleo pool and see what happens. Start with bacon, because you can. It is the most delicious way to take any dish up a notch. The next secret key is avocados. Use them liberally in tuna, egg or chicken salad. Then sprinkle bacon on top. You won’t miss the bread or crackers you used to serve tuna salad on.

Seriously.

You will get lots of questions, weird looks and curious amazement. Don’t look at this lifestyle change as restrictive, but actually liberating to your body. Hold on to the hope and promise of positive changes, more energy and being an encouraging influence to those around you.

Embrace fat. Growing up in the 90’s meant subsisting on pretzels and other low-fat fare. That also meant we were always hungry. Eating paleo means you’ll be satisfied for the bulk of your day, also so liberating! Going to an all day soccer tournament? Pack easy snacks such as nuts, raisins, Tanka bars and other things you like.

That’s right, you can eat food you actually like! Don’t force yourself to eat things you hate, there are so many choices! The road to failure starts with eating terrible tasting food. Make it fun, experiment, ask questions and seek out support.

Sugar is your enemy, I know this because it is mine to. The only way to keep a leg up on sugar is to not let it win. Don’t let it pass your lips until you are stronger. There is a reason your brain reacts to it like heroin, it is so highly addictive. Give yourself a fighting chance and steer clear.

I know you can do this!!

Meatless Monday!

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I want to keep things fresh around here, and expand my kiddos palates. Not all of my dishes are successful, but we explore flavors as a family which leads to some great conversations and lots of new describing words. There may not be a more base way of connecting with your family as through food. It connects us to the past, to other cultures and to each other.

Tonight we inadvertently participated in Meatless Monday. This is a rarity as we almost always incorporate meat or seafood. We attempted a dish called Shakshuka! It sounded interesting…eggs, tomatoes, feta. I doubled the recipe as we are a 7-9 egg family and the recipe called for four. Here is the link:

http://dine-dash.com/food/shakshuka

I cooked my eggs a little longer, but it was still great! Also used fire roasted tomatoes when choosing canned tomatoes. Organic Valley block feta was our cheese of choice. Block over shredded cheese omits the anti-clumping fillers and you can crumble or shred yourself! This cheese had great flavor!!

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End result was a host of clean plates!

Quick and easy fridge raid (under $15!)

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It’s the night before we embark on the trip of a lifetime. With triple checking lists, ensuring tracking on our Amazon snack box and charging cameras/phones/Leapsters, the last thing we wanted was to make an elaborate meal. We also didn’t want to eat out as we’ll have plenty of those opportunities in the next 8 days. So…we had a good old fashioned fridge raid!

With some Applegate little smokies, Pederson’s bacon, and leftover bits of fresh bell pepper and carrots, we made a one pan meal! Add in the last of our Pure Indian Foods ghee with a little Kalona butter for added flavor, we were on our way to dinner in 15 minutes while simultaneously cleaning out the perishables in the fridge. We have Applegate hot dogs awaiting us the night we return home ;-).

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Note: when sitting bacon into thirds, I find it easier to use kitchen shears rather than a knife!

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I placed the ghee, butter and bacon in the pan. What an enticing smell that combo creates! Let that get cooking so your bacon can brown.

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After several minutes, add your veggies!

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After another 5 minutes, add in the pork links and cook until all looks sufficiently cooked through and the bacon is to your liking.

We scooped onto plates, added pickled carrots and sauerkraut for some good gut bacteria and finished off our jalapeño cheese on the side. Wowza and under $15!!

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Eating ‘Real Food’ at WDW

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We are about to embark on a trip to the happiest place on earth. As a meal planner of primal foods, I read several posts of other attempts to eat healthy while traveling through the parks. Many had great points, namely where we can find gluten-free items and that Disney resorts will accept packages up to 10 days in advance.

As such, I took to Amazon to find many of our favorite snacks, from Nick’s Sticks (grass-fed jerky), Artisana coconut butter, Pacific Rim organic Riesling, Tanka snacks, Go Raw carrot cake cookies and more. Imagine carrying all of these great items in your luggage versus the relief of ordering online and having them all delivered conveniently to your Disney resort. I even called ahead and spoke with the packing/receiving department at our resort to ensure they would sign as being over 21 for our wine package. As they always please, they said of course!

We are spending 4 days at the parks and then 4 days at sea. That is a lot of meals to cover, but we are allowing for some enjoyable Disney meals, of course. But managing lunches through our backpacks will not only save money and our tummies, but also time of not getting out of lines.

From home we have stocked up on macadamia nuts, sprouted raw pecans, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots (cereal), dried coconut and packs of Artisana almond butter. That along with collapsible water bottles and we’re good to go! We really looked at 6 pack bags to use as a backpack with individual containers, but the model we were hoping for just isn’t ready yet.

Can’t wait to report back as to how it went!

Fermentation!

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I’m sure you were hoping for a beer topic, but that is for another day. I keep grabbing the Omission IPA gluten-free beer packs instead of their other offerings. I can’t stand IPAs, so I will keep my review of this beer option until I can give them a fair shake.

Foods can also be fermented! There is the obvious sauerkraut and pickles, but here in Texas, pickled okra is a delicacy (even if I can’t get over their furriness). Pickles are fermented, but any other veggie can be as well. Fermented foods have more vitamins and the nutrients are more bioavailable.

As such, we try to incorporate them wherever we can. Take our super simple meal we made around our friend’s latest creation…a line of fermented veggies.

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Go Drew! So, while we have a few crazy weeks left of dual sports, we made a meal of Applegate The Great Organic hot dogs and Drew’s assortment of Texas hot sauerkraut, pickled okra and pickled carrots. Even better that all are made from Johnson’s Backyard Garden organic veggies. The kids ate them all gone and couldn’t believe how the flavor of a carrot could change. It was almost like pulling over for a hot dog with kraut in Yonkers, NY! Mmmmm…

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Meal planning 4/27/14

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My meal planning skills are being put to the test these days, but they are certainly keeping our budget in check! It is amazing how quickly meals at restaurants add up when you grab a quick bite here and there. With 2 softball games this week, we are keeping meals simple and low-key, but still uber-healthy.

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Tonight my hubby is coming home after 4 days away, so I’m making his favorite dish, Parmigiano Chicken. As a side dish, we’ll sauté carrots sliced on a mandolin in ghee.
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2010/09/22/chicken-legs-baked-with-white-wine-olive-oil-making-the-most-of-a-whole-chicken-part-two/

Monday will bunless bison burgers with oven roasted onions, heirloom tomato slices and raw milk Colby slices. I’m going to add an egg to the meat before making patties as the lean nature of bison makes it dry without the added fat. Throw in some healthy turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper and the side of garlic roasted broccoli and I’m excited for that meal!

Tuesday is a game night, so we’ll be enjoying a simple tuna salad copied off of my previous salads. Drain and mix with guacamole and voila! Place on a bed of spinach and dinner is done in 5 minutes.

Wednesday is a normal night, so I’ll be making skirt steak on the grill with ghee sautéed green beans.
http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/213832558/michael-symons-grilled-skirt-steak/

Thursday is another game night, so a made ahead kale quiche will heat up nicely. Picked up some great kale at the farmer’s market yesterday and we have some great cream in the house to make Creme fraiche out of. That meal is always a hit, warm or cold.

http://www.alexandracooks.com/2012/03/02/crustless-quiche-loaded-with-kale/

I also picked up 2 pounds of bison London broil marinating in the fridge, waiting to be made into jerky today for the kids lunches! Boom! Look at me rock it while the hubs is gone. Perhaps I can whip up some coconut bark for his return home…