Friday, August 31, 2012

Take Out Inspiration

My goal for this labor day weekend is:
Here is to trying new recipes and finding quick and easy meals that are better than takeout! Happy Friday- Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Movie Time! King Corn

A few weeks back I watched this documentary with my husband and brother-in-law. If you know either one of them, you are probably thinking, "how did you get them to watch a documentary with you?" Well it may have taken a little finagling on my part.

Me: Hey do you guys want to do something TOTALLY different tonight than we have every done before? Them: What is it? Me: A surprise, you just have to say yes or no. Them: Um not really. . . Me: Come on it is fun to try new things! (Insert begging here) Them: OK fine. 

They may have been less than thrilled when I pulled out the documentary, "King Corn" I had checked out from the library. BUT they were into the movie within 30 min, and we all learned a lot about food that night.  My brother-in-law has been talking about King Corn with his co-workers, neighborhood friends, and he is more conscious of his food choices. If you haven't watched this movie- go get it! If it has been awhile, watch it again! It will help you on your Paleo journey, wherever that may be, and you will be making better food choices in the future. Enjoy!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

I had some organic locally grown blueberries from my parents yard in my fridge the other day and found this delicious recipe for blueberry muffins. They were so good. Moist and filling. Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE the word moist, and I just used it so they must have been that amazing, and moist! Ugh I said it again! Let's just get to the recipe shall we? ;)

Blueberry Muffins
1 cup almond butter
1 cup almond meal/flour
3 eggs, wisked
1/2 cup raw honey
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pinch of Cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl first and stir, then add wet ingredients. Place into cupcake pan. (Either grease your pan first, use cupcake paper liners or silicone muffin cups) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are browned. Remove from oven. Let cool for a few minutes before eating. Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

BBQ Cleaning Tips

We used to have a favorite restaurant around the corner from our house. We would go there often and get a "Paleo" version of their speciality. Pretty soon they started to know us by name and remember our order- pretty awesome. Until one day I was sitting in the restaurant, waiting to pick up my food and the door to the kitchen was open. What I saw just about made me run out screaming. It was the dirtiest, grossest thing I have seen in a long time. We haven't been back since. There are somethings you just can't unsee.
The question for you this Friday is: How does your BBQ check out? You may be used to the dirt and grime that has slowly grown over the summer months, but if you were seeing it for the first time, would you run for the hills? Our BBQ's often become buckets of bacteria if they are not properly cleaned with each use, and deep cleaned often. In addition to the "gross" factor, dirty grills don't work properly. Keeping the gas lines clear of build up makes it possible for you to enjoy grilling for years to come.
 Here is a clear and simple list of instructions on how to clean your BBQ. The site doesn't mention it, but every time we are done cooking we leave the lid of the grill closed with the heat on. After about 5-10 min, the extra food bits are cooked off the grill and they are easy to scrape with our wire brush. Below I have added some of our favorite tools we use to clean the BBQ. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Choosing the Real Olive Oil

I was so surprised when I heard that most Olive Oils at the grocery store are not 100% Olive Oil. Often they are mixed with a variety of other "filler" oil making it a less than healthy choice. Check out Mark's post explaining the truth about EVOO and giving you tips on how to choose the best option possible. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Knife Sharpening Success!!

I just got back my knives from the Seattle Knife Sharpening Service. They have been beautifully sharpened and have made my cooking even more enjoyable! I sent out my knives on a Thursday and they were on my doorstep Tuesday morning- SO AWESOME! If you are looking to have your knives professionally sharpened, check out this site and follow the simple directions. It was such a worthwhile investment! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Butter Queen

There was an SNL skit a while back where the beloved Paula Dean was impersonated. She was of course cooking with LOADS of butter, and was selling 8 ply paper towel to soak up all the butter from the food she was dishing up. Pretty funny stuff. The truth is Paula Dean now has type 2 diabetes and many are attributing it to her overuse of butter. It may be easy to point our cumulative finger at fats, claiming fat makes you fat, but this is just not true. Check out this post by Health-Bent providing some clarity to this line of thinking. May you be freed from the misguided information of the past, and find a healthier tomorrow! Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

A few of us from the gym recently went in on a pig together and now my freezer has lots of delicious organic bacon in it. I made this salad dressing that I found from Health-Bent. I changed up my ingredients because of what was in my fridge (story of my cooking life - ha), and I wanted more protein. Basically, I just used the dressing recipe, but the full thing looks delicious. This dressing is ah-ma-zing. Because it is mainly bacon fat, you will want to eat it warm. Once it cools down the liquid will solidify a bit, making it a little less appealing. I cooked the bacon in my skillet first, drained the majority of the fat for the dressing, and cooked my ground beef in the same pan. It gave my beef a more "bacony" taste which was perfect in this salad. 

*Remember any toxin an animal eats is cleaned out of their bodies and stored in their fat. So if you are eating a non-organic, non-grassfed animal you want to limit the amount fat you eat. Because bacon has so much fat, I would recommend you find the best quality meat you can before making this recipe.  

Check out the recipe here, and enjoy!
Ground beef, bacon, avocado, walnuts and blueberries.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cooking Tips Motherload

Wow- there were so many excellent tips I recently found on the Food Network's Website. So I decided to share them all! I know, I am such a giver. You are welcome. ;) 
Check out this motherload of cooking tips. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Movie Time! Fat Head

I recently watched this documentary, "Fat Head". It was a funny, informative, and made my wheels turn. (Always a good thing) If you are new to Paleo or well into your Paleo journey, you can always change the way you think about food. The creator of this documentary is not, by any means, an advocate of the Paleo Diet. He doesn't even get into the quality of the food he is eating, but he does make you think about the mass marketing of the "American Diet". Tom Naughton has many great points in response to the previous documentary - "Super-Size Me", and outlines the path the government has taken on the idea of promoting a healthy western diet. I checked out my copy from my local library, but here is the site if you would like more information. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chipotle and Lime Sweet Potatoes

This is a perfect summer recipe, the heat from the chipolte peppers and the zip of the lime and cilantro blend together for a mouth full of flavor. I couldn't find a gluten free adobe sauce, but I have heard they are out there. If you find one, add a comment and share! 

Chipolte and Lime Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of sweet potatoes
1 T and 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 chipolte pepper from a can of chipolte peppers in adobe sauce
2 tsp adobe sauce
1 garlic clove
1 T lime zest
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T fresh chopped cilantro

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Chop into slices or bits about 1-2 inches in size. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30-35 min, or until fork goes into the potatoes easily. Stir potatoes once during baking. 

Meanwhile, remove one chipolte pepper from the can and chop into tiny bits. Place in a large bowl. Using the sauce the chipolte pepper are in, add 2 tsp adobe sauce to the bowl. Mince garlic clove and add to the bowl. Finally, add lime zest, juice and 2 tsp olive oil. Mix all ingredients. 

Once potatoes are done baking, add them to the bowl and toss with the sauce until every potato is covered. Add in cilantro and toss gently. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Does Your Kitchen Inspire You?

Does your kitchen inspire you? Do you walk into your kitchen and feel like being creative? My kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in my house. Not only because I love to cook, but because I have some of my favorite decorations and accessories in there. First of all it is painted butter cream yellow, does it get any better? I have a little arm chair with this cool pillow my sister made out of a coffee bean bag. 

I have special pictures of those I love and one of my favorite wall hangings displayed. 

I also have this little dish I use for my scrub brush next to my sink. It is special because I found in an ally store with my husband in Italy.

 They aren't much, and probably don't do anything for most people, but the point is- they inspire ME! I have lots of good memories in there. When I see that little armchair I remember all the friends and family members that sat there and the funny, deep, or random conversations we had. When I look at my kitchen, I smile. I want to be in there, and I feel inspired and welcomed to do so. 

Your kitchen should do the same for you. Don't let it feel like a sterile workhouse. Add what is important to you. Go splurge on a cute apron that makes you feel like a sassy kitchen beast:  

Or buy a cute dish towel that makes you smile, even if you did just burn your dinner. (I know you or I never do this, but I'm just talking to the other people who may ;) ) 

Maybe a new set of measuring spoons will brighten your cooking experience:

Whatever is your cup of tea- get it into your kitchen. Be inspired by your workspace, and have fun with the creation of your food! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vacation Tips

When I think of summer, I think "vacation!". As I am planning to leave for my trip, I think of all the things I need to do before I head out of town: go shopping, get my toes painted, and pull out the bikini that lives in the back of the drawer. Soon my mind goes to the notorious, "What will I eat?" question. *Insert anxiety here.*

Well, the truth is, vacationing doesn't have to be that stressful. You can stick to your Paleo lifestyle and have a fantastic time away. Check out this post by Whole9. Melissa gives some excellent advice on how to travel and feel great, both physically and emotionally. 

So the next time you are planning on traveling you will not have to feel anxious about your food choice, or your bikini. Enjoy!