Sunday dinner 8.24.14


Who doesn’t love a good burger? While it may be difficult to imagine one without a bun, I’ve found that I’m way more creative with toppings when I can’t just ‘put a lid on it (aka bun).’ My burgers have no room for a bad hair day, but I love the challenge!

My latest accessory attempt was a mushroom sauce. Why, because the hubs found a recipe that sounded delicious from and I wanted to test my abilities. Another beautiful side effect of eating real food was the need and love of developing some serious cooking skills. But alas, back to me slicing mushrooms and being thankful that we had a wee bit of beef bone broth from our mugful the night before (get that collagen in the tasty way, ladies)!

So, the burger twist tonight was that we used bison from the farmer’s market. Bison is super lean and dried out quickly, so I’ve found that adding an egg for additional fat really keeps it moist. But in this day, woot woot, I cracked open my first double yolk!IMG_2634.JPG
I then added in the meat, 1/4 c brown rice flour, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp onion powder and 1/2 tbsp turmeric. I’m not a fan of using my hands, so made my silicone spatula do the heavy lifting.




I sear each side on the grill pan and then throw in a 350 degree oven for about 10 mins.

In the meantime, I have peeled and sliced a butternut squash and red onion.



I place each on a separate foil-lined baking sheet. I drizzle the squash with coconut oil and the onion with olive oil. Salt and pepper are sprinkled on each. They all go in the hot box as well.

Then, I turned my attention to the shrooms! A simple slice and thrown in a pan with 2 tbsp of grass-fed Kalona butter and we were in business! I let it sauté for several minutes before adding 1/4 c beef broth and 1/4 c heavy cream. I let it reduce (this was quick!) until syrupy. Then made my burgers by layering on the onion and then the mushroom sauce and adding the squash chips on the side. Heavenly!





Back to School Lunches


Today is the first day back in school. Many moms I chat with all dread the making of school lunches. I think we can all agree that what you pack is often (not always) more nutritious than what is offered in the cafeteria.

I am here to help! We have created a simple framework from which we make our lunches. Not to take away from variety, but it helps in deciding, planning and knowing how much food your kid needs. This framework has been liberating since it gives you a base to build upon. Even better, I have created a menu in this framework for my kids to have power over their meals…

We put in one protein. Our favorites are hard boiled eggs, Applegate organic salami or Applegate pepperoni . There’s always the possibility of leftovers too. Sometimes we’ll throw in homemade beef jerky or a Tanka bar. We then put in two sides (made easier by this handy lunch kit).


I wrote on the menu what items were available in the kitchen this week to include. It is a desire for our family to eat locally, which also means seasonally. Therefore fruit these days means nectarines, plums, etc. in the fall, you’ll find lots of apples and applesauce.

Each kid picked out their items, placed how much they needed (this has taken lots of practice and still requires supervision) and voila! The true test will be seeing if it is empty when they get home. My 2nd grader will have done her older sibling duty if she informs my Kindergartner the penalties of not finishing…he’s a work in progress.

I should also mention how much easier it is if your fruits and veggies are prepped. As a meal planner, I make the most of my Sundays. Plucking grapes (my kids do this for me!) and cutting up carrots when you have time makes it easier to eat healthy when you do not. Good luck!

Sunday dinner 8.17.14


Sunday dinners traditionally revolve around a roast. While I don’t always follow tradition, I love the opportunity to embrace a braised dish that you get to smell all day long and enjoy the fruits of your labors at the end of a fun filled weekend. While perusing Pinterest for a change from what I already have pinned, I discovered a blog called Primal Palate that even has a free app of recipes and grocery list planning.

There I saw the name Caramelized Beef Brisket. I love brisket and caramelization, but wasn’t sure that they could be successfully combined. Challenge on! The best part was that it had 3 ingredients!!

I picked up a beautiful grass-fed brisket from Whole Foods and seasoned both sides with salt and pepper.



I then rough chopped a yellow onion for the bottom of my roasting dish (with oven set at 350) and set the meat on top.

IMG_2598.JPG place fat side up in the pan so as the fat melts, it settled into the meat keeping it moist and flavorful. After roasting, lid off for 90 minutes, it already looked and smelled delectable.

I then ladled in 2 cups of beef broth that we had ordered from uswell and covered the roaster and lowered the oven temp to 325. Over the next 4 hours, I basted the meat with the jus and saw the caramelization happening before my eyes.

Realizing I needed some sides, I looked to the beets from my new CSA basket and an heirloom tomato. I peeled and chopped the beets, placed them on a foil lined baking sheet and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. They went in the oven with the brisket for last last hour or so.


We love a good caprese salad, but lacked mozz, so substituted some local cow’s milk feta and drizzled olive oil, balsamic and basil on top. Voila!!



4th of July real food style


The 4th of July comes with a pretty straightforward menu…grilled items, mayo-laden salads and chips. In an effort to show a small bit of appreciation for my in-laws taking the kids for the weekend, I invited them to come eat lunch!

I fretted that morning as to what to prepare as I’m such a planner. Hence I took to Pinterest to peruse my Real Food board for inspiration. I found the best salad dressing and a pretty avocado, tomato and mozzarella salad. This would serve my salad staple without mayo to keep things light and not require a nap after. For our grill items, we included our fave Applegate hotdogs and Pederson’s kielbasa20140707-214352-78232578.jpg

Placing on our grill pan (it was too hot to actually grill), it was super easy. We did the sausage 30 mins in advance and placed on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 300 degree oven to keep warm while we grilled the hot dogs.

For our salad, we threw together some spinach, cucumber, cabbage (all prepped courtesy of the Whole Foods salad bar) and added golden beets and green pepper from our fridge. But you have to try this dressing. We don’t bother with sesame or poppy seeds, but the flavor cannot be beat!

Then we cut and prepped our other salad



20140707-214753-78473238.jpgfull of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, avocados, red onion and basil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper! We served with some chips we found cooked in olive and avocado oils. Yum! Great as a dip or side, compliments from all!!!


Eating for a cookout doesn’t have to derail your healthy eating plan. We rounded out our meal with Hat Creek sauerkraut and Bubbie’s pickles! All walked away pleasantly full, but with energy to play with kids for the rest of the day! Happy Fourth!


Quick and easy fridge raid (under $15!)


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 ;-).


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


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.


After several minutes, add your veggies!



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!!


Eating ‘Real Food’ at WDW


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!

Best Chicken Ever!


I had to look back through previous posts because I couldn’t believe I hadn’t written about what we’ve dubbed as Best. Chicken. Ever! It’s real name is parmesean chicken, but that just doesn’t do it justice. It’s tangy, moist with a crunchy crust and just, yum. If the hubs has been out of town, this is my go-to welcome home meal for him (with coconut bark as dessert, of course). Forgot to take after photos. The smell of it being done is so intoxicating, they don’t last long! Read on!

5 chicken legs, split into thighs and drumsticks. Skin on!
2/3 c. White wine (have also used lemon juice in a pinch!)
2/3 c. Olive oil
2/3c freshly grated parm
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 pie plates with foil (my latest discovery to help keep the pans clean). Lay out chicken pieces and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

In the pie plates, divide the olive oil, white wine and garlic evenly. Add 1 Tbsp of parmesean to each plate. Take each piece of chicken and toss to coat, ending skin side up. Once all pieces of chicken are in the pans, generously sprinkle the remaining parm on top.

Place in oven for 30 minutes. Turn temp down to 425 degrees for 20 more minutes. Take out and enjoy!

Now my mouth is watering…