Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sugar Free Breakfasts

If you are doing a sugar detox or just looking for sugar free breakfast options you may be one of the many wondering what you will eat for breakfast. 

I’m generally not a sweets person for breakfast, in fact I’ve been known to eat pretty much anything for breakfast. I have tried a lettuce salad for breakfast and that is one of the few things that does not work for me. However, any other leftovers are fair game. Below I’ve gathered below some egg options for you to make the transition to non-traditional breakfasts easier.

Eggs & Coleslaw

Coleslaw Recipe:

  • shredded cabbage
  • home made mayo, varies on amount of cabbage you’ve shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste
Mix everything together together and eat

Taco Night + Eggs
The Taco Night recipe is from the Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook.
            Use this fresh or as leftovers with eggs. I like to add spicy mayo to mine.

Egg & Ham Biscuits using Paleo Biscuits
I make my biscuits in a muffin tin, greased with coconut oil, instead of on a cookie sheet as the recipe says. Either will work.

Scotch Eggs – no brainer here! It’s sausage and eggs to go!

Bacon & Eggs

Ham & Eggs

Fried egg (break the yolk while cooking) topped with Chicken Salad

My Chicken Salad Recipe:

1 pound chicken, bakied, shredded
½ cup green pepper , diced
½ cup scallions chopped fine
½ cup mayonnaise
pinch salt, to taste
pinch pepper, to taste
1. Bake chicken breasts until cooked, about 20-30 minutes
2. Finely chop cooked chicken
3. Add onions, green peppers, mayo and salt / pepper to taste then mix and chill

Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes (on a sugar note the boys love raisins added to these – yummy)

Sausage Egg Sandwich  *family favorite

Southwestern Frittata *family favorite

Tuna Cakes / Salmon Cakes / Crab Cakes + Coleslaw – We like hot mayo on ours! We make hot mayo this mayo and simply add Louisiana Hot Sauce to it. This is a great veggie dip among other things. This also works with an egg on top!

Tuna Stuffed Eggsthese are a new favorite of Dawson’s and mine. This is a quick and easy take along!

I hope these few ideas give you some help. Keep in mind that ANYTHING is breakfast. American’s tend to be very traditional with breakfast being cereal, eggs, bagels or pastries and anything outside of that is just weird. I’m here to tell you to embrace weird and eat what you want for breakfast. It may take some getting use to so get started now!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Sweet Sweets

[Feb 2013]

We’ve never been a family that over indulged in sweets. They are a treat we have now and then. Over the months we’ve made several paleo treats like chocolate chip cookies, apple fritters, apple muffins, banana bread, and cinnamon muffins. My favorite sweet that I’vd made, that has fooled many, was Chocolate Avocado Pudding. Trust me you do not want to turn your nose up at this tasty treat. I took a tub of this to work, the gym as well as to neighbors. I had about 15 people try it and didn’t tell anyone the ingredients until after they tasted it AND liked it. My husband doesn’t like it but he doesn’t care for dark chocolate / cocoa powder that is used in it. He’s the exception. The avocado gives the pudding it’s thick texture but you don’t taste avocado! It’s awesome!

I created a few different dishes with the pudding. I did this the end of the summer when strawberries were in season and oh so fresh!

Dish 1 = pudding + sun butter + coconut whipped topping + sliced almonds (this one tastes like a candy bar!)

Dish 2 = fresh strawberries + pudding + coconut whipped topping + sliced almonds

Dish 3 = fresh strawberries + pudding + coconut whipped topping

Dish 4 = (not shown) freeze the pudding for some thick yummy pudding ice cream

In addition to the pudding we also made, as mentioned above, some Banana Cinnamon Bun Muffins. These are great for the kids to take as snacks for school or have for breakfast with some fruit and protein (Yes I know the yolks are missing from the eggs as C doesn’t eat that part).

So why have I pointed out these two sweets specifically? After having made both of these it dawned on me that the pudding was thick enough to be used as frosting. 

Muffin (a.k.a. cupcake) + pudding (a.k.a. frosting) = CUPCAKE

To make the cupcakes you’ll want to bake your muffins and make your frosting then put the two together to get beautifully yummy cupcakes. These were served at a dinner party and eaten by all who attended.

I stored this one in the freezer for a friend, as he was out of the country when I made them. It received a thumbs up when he returned. So it’s a bonus that you can freeze them and pull one out later on!

We even headed to my sister Andrea’s house and tried the cupcakes there as well. It was extra special because we used eggs straight from the chickens in their back yard. Everyone, especially my niece Charolette, liked them.

Banana Cinnamon Bun Muffins by Multiply Delicious is here

Chocolate Avocado Pudding (That Tastes Nothing Like Avocado) by
The Primalist is here

Coconut Whipped Cream by Nutty Kitchen is here


Sunday, July 21, 2013


The title is short and sweet. This post is all about cauliflower. In my past life we might have had it occasionally steamed with butter, but not a standard vegetable for us. However now it's a must have every week. There is always something to do with it (chicken fried rice, lasagna, taco shells, bacon patties, etc). It's right up there with cabbage, a staple. 

I shared a few posts ago our mini pizzas that we make from Cavegirl. We still enjoy those little yummies, as do the neighborhood kids. However we've gone BIG on our pizza crusts. We modified another that we found for lasagna. A few months ago I tried this recipe for Cauliflower Lasagna from Popular Paleo for the first time. Be sure to save time to make the cauliflower sheets, which is about an hour to prep and bake. It was most certainly worth it as the whole family enjoyed this meal. It's been made a few times since then. 

However, the first time I made the sheets of cauliflower I baked an extra sheet. Since it wasn't needed I cut the extra sheet up into 6 equal chunks then stacked and wrapped them in tinfoil to store in the fridge. My parents had stopped over on their way to Alaska for the summer so I ended up passing it on to them. They later used the sheets and made some pizza's with it in their toaster oven and raved about it. As a result of mom and dads test I now make the sheets on prep day, cut to size for the 9x13 and store in the fridge until we are ready to use. 

The next time we made pizza's I used the recipe for the cauliflower lasagna sheets but I added 4 eggs instead of 2 and and extra tablespoon of italian seasoning. We followed the remainder of the recipe seasonings and baked on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. After the sheet was baked we placed our pizza sauce (organic tomato sauce with italian seasoning in it) and toppings on and baked at 350 for another 15 minutes. This is a standing favorite now in our house. Everyone gets their 1/4 of the sheet, even the little guy. I claim my corner with more veggies and olives on top so no one will touch it. 

In our house pizza is a close second to tacos. Pre paleo we enjoyed these goodies in flour shells and corn shells at least every other week. They were a standby quick meal. There was usually some taco meat prepped each week to use here and there. With going paleo we had the rug pulled out from under us with regards to tacos and taco salad for that matter (no chips). This was one of the first items I was challenged with finding a good solution for. As Mark's Daily Apple was one of my first paleo resources I began my search there with this recipe. You can't pick these up and eat them but you can stack all your taco goodies on top of them. They have great flavor and the family liked. The downside is you can't pick them up. (oh and they aren't made of cauliflower, which is the requirement for this post)

 I came across this next great Cauliflower Tortillas recipe by Slim Palate. The photos looked pretty. It look as if you would be able to pick the tortilla up filled with all it's yummy taco toppings. The boys were in charge of the menu the other day and found these on my Pinterest board so I was forced into trying them. They are very similar to how you make the lasagne cauliflower sheets but the prep is different. The only thing I changed was I didn't cook my riced cauliflower in the microwave. I have issues with cooking anything in the microwave. Occasionally we use it for reheating, but we strive to do that all on the stove. So instead of the microwave I cooked it for about 4-5 minutes in a skillet on the stove. I feel I got the same texture that was required, it looked like mash.

The recipe is right on with how many tortillas you can make. I love that it gives you a number so you can estimate the size better. I will be playing with the size and thickness in the future as everyone wanted them a little bit bigger. They came out a little smaller than a traditional corn tortilla.  

 They came out of the oven looking beautiful. At this stage I split the triple batch in half and saved some for Kevin and I for after our WOD and moved the other half to the skilled for browning for the boys so they could eat.

I added a little bit of bacon grease to the cast iron skilled and crisped up each side for about 1-2 minutes. This made a difference in the outside as the recipe said. I wouldn't skip this step. When Kevin and I arrived home later I reheated our tortillas by browning them and it worked great. So for prep weeks I'll be making these babies in advance and just hold on the skillet step until we are ready to eat. How great is that! I love things that can prep!

The boys inhaled their dinner before I got a chance to ask how they liked them. It was unanimous that these will be our 'taco shells' going forward. 

If you aren't a cauliflower fan I'd urge you to rethink this awesome veggie! It has so much potential that I'm quite sure it can do way more than whats above. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The adjustment into Rural living….

I’ve lived in the country for most of my life. As a child I grew up on the edge of smallest of small towns where my closest neighbors were about 5000 dead people. Needless to say things were quiet and they were great neighbors. Before I was married I lived in Jackson, Michigan and took advantage of all the city had to offer. Things were convenient and at hand. When I married I moved in rural Indiana and had to adjust to the country life. It was not a hard adjustment for me as I’m a country girl at heart. I love to live in the woods, build campfires, go backpacking, and sit quietly and observe nature. Things that I was used to in the city were not here. Internet is not available to me at our location unless we would like to build an 80 foot tower in our backyard to get reception. Yikes. No thanks. Stores that I was used to were now 30 miles from my home. There is a small town about 10 miles away that carries everything I truly need and a trip to the big city is far and few between. So the big question is how does one do paleo when things are not available to purchase that one would fine in bigger urban areas?

First let me say that I’m married to a man who is a generational farmer. His great, great, great-grandfather, and probably further down the line, has been a farmer. It’s in his blood. He finds farming as relaxing as most people do sitting on the beach. He loves it all the way down to the smell of money (cow feces). That’s what farmers call it. Haha. So when I married my husband nearly 8 years ago I got an education that not all tractors were made by John Deere and not all cows are the same.

The first addition to our farm was a flock of chickens, (This was before I knew what Paleo was).  We raised about 50 hens and loved it. We still have around 40. We purchase new hens each year and do the rotation of two years laying and then do a culling each summer or fall. We have only had a couple of meat birds and I’m not a fan of the genetically focused Tyson meat birds. If you have ever seen them, they can’t really walk because their meat grows so fast the skeletal frame can’t hold the weight. It’s really sad to see an animal lay, eat, drink, and poo in the same area day after day.

We then ventured into ducks. These are more of a pet. I used to sell the eggs we found to people who had egg allergies. But now I don’t find eggs any longer so they are merely to look at. They are funny creatures.

I grow my own garden, though it’s not as big as one might think living in the country. I grow beans, sweetcorn (not Paleo), cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bell peppers, radishes, carrots, and broccoli. It’s rather small. Four small garden boxes and one large one garden box holds all of that. Most of the time I visit our local farmers market to get fall veggies to store through the winter.

Our next venture is to raise our own cows, sheep, and goats. My husband grows hay and sells it through the winter to farmers and horse owners alike. When we have our own livestock we will be able to use it for our own feed.

Living in the country is work to it but it is rewarding also. Raising free range chickens can be a hassle. We find one dead in the road every now and then until they learn what cars are. But over all we are able to raise extremely healthy eggs and veggies. We have mulberry trees, grape vines, apple trees, and pear trees. We try to use what we can and take advantage of the summer bounty. We know where our food comes from and that is what makes living in the country worth the hard work.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Coffee, Dessert and the Garden

As a wonderful long weekend comes to an end I wrapped it up with picking the first things from the garden and watering both flowers and vegetables. It was a weekend of time with family and friends, cooking, cleaning, hiking, swimming, reading and we even threw in a WOD at CrossFit Amplify followed by a box cookout.

Over the weekend I received a few questions about desserts and coffee so I thought I'd address those in tonights post. Let's start with Coffee. I've FB'd several times about my search to find a good coffee to drink black, but I also wanted a good paleo solution to cream / sugar. My search has ended with the following:

Peaberry is a limited edition that Trader Joe's is carrying. The pink can on the left was a medium dark roast that was nice and I finished the whole thing! However today I picked up the blue medium roast on the right today and like it much better. I'm more a light roast kinda gal. I can drink either one of these black and I really like them. I'm hoping TJ keeps them around!!! Otherwise I'll be on the search again.

Prior to finding a good black to drink alone I found the above treats. Clover Honey (I'm looking for local honey to get in place of this) from TJ which I use with the THAI Coconut Milk. THAI is the cleanest one I've found. However the TJ Coconut Cream I can use in coffee all by itself, no honey needed. Of either the coconut milk or cream I use about 2 heaping tablespoons, which is probably excessive but it's my treat now that I'm black during the week! Honey I use about a teaspoon of. You'll have to play with the measurements to find what suits you best.

I will warn you that your coffee will look like an oil slick but it's OHHHH so yummy!

Next up are the desserts. As I mentioned we had a BBQ at the gym so I wanted to make something sweet that said summer. I looked at a few recipes on Pinterest but there was too much nut flour or other ingredients, OR too many steps. So I married some recipes I've already tried and came up with my own version that worked wonderfully and without that nut flour dryness you can get sometimes.

I started with a double batch of Perfect Paleo Biscuits from Simply Living Healthy. I've used it it for breakfast sandwiches and it's wonderful. The only alteration I made to her recipe was adding about 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten the batter, but you don't have to.

I used some awesome farm fresh egg whites from Annie's little farm (insert cry because that was the last of them until August). Once the batter was ready I used coconut oil to grease Wilton's Mini Whoopie pie pans and filled each cavity with batter. I baked it them for 6-7 minutes at 350 degrees. When they were done I dumped them out onto a cooling grid. These were the perfect size!

Next I prepared the Chocolate Avocado Pudding from The Primalist. I first made this last summer and everyone fell in love with it. I've used it as icing on paleo cupcakes, just as straight up pudding with strawberries and coconut whip cream, as well as frozen so you can eat with a spoon! The stuff is awesome! I followed the recipe exactly with the first 5 ingredients and that's where I stop. I tried using some pre-smashed frozen avocado that I had and that had a weird flavor to it so I remade the day of the BBQ with fresh avocado - weird taste gone. I won't be freezing avocado again. 

After the pudding was made I used a bag and tip to pipe it onto the top of each cooled muffin. You can also just use a knife and spread it on the top. After the icing was on I added fresh organic slices of strawberries. They were soooo yummy! I took them to the party in a 9x13 pyrex with a carry case and ice under it to keep them cool. They stayed nice and chilled while we did our WOD!

Last but not least the gardens. We keep checking the garden daily to see what's sprouting. The beans have been growing but not ready for picking until tonight. I took my new garden scissors (thanks Kevin!) and harvested our first batch. 

I was a little anxious and also chopped off our first green pepper. He's a little on the small side but I couldn't resist. He's SOOOOO becoming breakfast tomorrow morning!

Lastly I enjoyed a few minutes sitting in the front flower garden. It was the perfect end to a perfect holiday weekend. The sun was setting as we wrapped up the last bit of work.

Have a great week! 

- Yvonne

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Farmer's Market Co-op

Ok, June 2012 Yvonne began to talk to me about her going Paleo.  Honestly, I rolled my eyes.  You're not getting me to do your latest craze.  I'm not giving up my ice cream and pizza and I'm a family of 6 -- now 7 -- and I have enough people to worry about just "getting fed."  That isn't going to work.  But with open ears and eyes, I took it all in whenever she talked about it.

By October, to make a long story short, Julio and I had a couple weeks' vacation and we thought w/ all the learning we had to do, that this was a great time to give it a whirl.  We had a fantastic the kitchen, learning Paleo :)  And followed it for two months religiously. 

What you ask?  Yes, we are NORMAL.  And we fell off the wagon when the Holidays rolled around. But the cool thing is that the hardest thing about going paleo the first time was our creamer in our coffee.  Julio has maintained drinking black coffee since last Oct.  Never went back go putting as he calls it "the chemical shit storm" back into his coffee.  And me, I loved the coconut milk and honey in my coffee so much, that I never went back to the "chemical storm" either in my morning drink.

So, when June rolled around, we were knowing we wanted to give this a more successful run than the last time.  And ya know, it was easier this time because some of our favorite paleo recipes never left our house, and we already drank our coffee paleo.... So here goes another start.  Hopefully this one more successful.  We both want this to be our way of life. And for our kids to see how we're eating is a plus too.  (I'll come back to that in a moment.)  And Julio and my's goal in life is to be here on this beautiful earth as long as God allows us to.  So being healthy is doing OUR part on keeping us here for the longest time possible.  I want to grow old and be able to retire w/ my best friend/husband of 19 years.......and being healthy enough to ENJOY it. 

Yes, I have four kids that know daddy and I eat paleo. Sometimes it's a pain in the ass cuz they ask, "Is that Paleo?" all the time, but whatever.  They see the healthy stuff we're eating and some of it they like too.  I chose not to feed them all paleo, but however, the meals I make at night, ARE paleo and they do have to eat them.  But they enjoy their cereals and waffles in the mornings and sandwiches for lunchtime.  And they do LOVE some of the things I make paleo and the majority of the kids will try anything and give me their opinions.  I will be happy enough if at one point in their life when they're making decisions on their own, look back at the recipes and meals we have eaten and go, that was one of my favorites, and then ask how to make it.  I will show them through example how to eat healthy and they can chose that when it's fitting for them.  But for now, they're being kids and eating all that good junk that you KNOW we all loved as kids!!!  With the caveat that I don't keep too much really bad stuff for them in the house kids favorite snacks are icecream, apples, carrots and icey-pops!  I think they could be eating worse, right???  I've always said, I wish icecream was a vegetable - cuz I'd be the most healthy person in the world!!!

I have a couple personal goals w/ the paleo that over time I'll be able to share w/ you. 
Charolette's goal - lose some weight :)  #every girl's dream.  But No. 2, I have high triglycerides I'm trying to fix. And Julio's goal...lose weight and get off his CPAP machine....

After doing paleo for just a short while, you realize how much produce you eat.  So when a friend told me about this farmer's market co-op thing where you pay during the winter and starting June 1st, you receive a bushel every week till Sept/Oct, I was all over it!!!  So here's my second bushel I received.  And I was quite proud of myself because after Week 1, I let nothing go to waste.  I threw what was left on the last day into a delicious egg scramble!!
 I froze strawberries.  I cut up the mint and froze in ice cubes.  I learned to eat greens off of stuff that I normally wouldn't eat.  And Julio and I invented a couple recipes w/ colroby!!
 After trying to wash everything off in the kitchen on Week 1, my mother-in-law Miriam (who we are blessed enough to have living with us) thought it would be a better idea to wash it all off outside this time!  Much smarter idea!!  We used an old screen door as a giant colander!!
 There were a few items on week 1 that I didn't know what it was, so I had to put them up on FB to try to find out if anyone could help me out!  FB to the rescue!  It was Rainbow Chard I didn't know, and some type of Kale I wasn't used to seeing.  And the other was a fresh spice, parsley!  Duh, I know.  Who doesn't know what it looks like fresh - I buy it in the store, but for some reason I wasn't sure what it was.  Oh, I guess I have another excuse...I have no sense of smell, so it's not like I could take a whiff and see what it was.....
And my husband realized he loves the long green onions.  It was a new twists to his salads I make him for his lunch....

- Char

Monday, July 1, 2013

3 sisters!

I'm thrilled to now be sharing this blog with 2 of my sisters, Char and Annie. Or more formally Charolette and Andrea. We all have made lifestyle changes and gone paleo for our own reasons. In their bio's you can read that they both admittedly rolled their eyes at me when I made the choice to go Paleo over a year ago. Now a year later look whose blogging with me!

Our goal is to share our versions of life, love and Paleo from three different views and experiences. We all live in the midwest, we are married, work and have kids. For the most part that's where our similarities end.