Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner is a big deal in our family. 
We go to church at 10 and we don't get home until after one. 
Dinner has been slow cooking since that morning and we come home to all sorts of delicious smells coming from the kitchen. 
We grab a quick snack like fruit, a hard boiled egg or some cut up veggies after we change out of our Sunday best and into our comfy sweats. It's tradition.
We spend the next hour or two letting the kids play or color while we adults relax and chat about our plans for the week and just enjoying having absolutely nothing pressing to do.
Around four we gather in the dining room for a feast that rivals that of Thanksgiving. 
Today it is pot roast, our family favorite, it has been slowly roasting in the dutch oven with carrots and sweet potatoes until it is all juicy and tender and just falls apart with a stab of the fork.
Plenty to share with a couple of friends who stopped by. 
A big green salad topped with plenty of veggies and a bowl of blueberries from the farmers market this week  make the meal complete.
Tall glasses of ice water all around, and I don't know why, but water tastes better with Sunday dinner than with any other meal. Just one of those things.

Eating a paleo diet has not changed our Sunday dinner all that much. 
The only thing missing is the bowl of homemade dinner rolls and the occasional pot of rice. 
We always drank water with Sunday dinner, we always had lots of veggies and fruit and we always ate well and enjoyed this meal more than any other during the week. 
We still do. 

What meal traditions do you have? Have they changed since you started eating Paleo? In what way?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Paleo Kid Lunches

The questions I get a the most when people find out we are eating this way are; "What do you feed the kids?" and "Are your kids okay with this diet?" Saying that last word like it's something dirty. 
My kids are fine with it!
My kids eat yummy food and help me make it. 
That's not to say they still don't want ice cream and bread and candy bars at the store, but it's not like I gave into them all that often before anyway. 
I try to make food fun, and anything that they can eat with their fingers they love.
Here are four lunches that we had this last week that they absolutely loved.

Clockwise left to right;
  1. Finger foods: Hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and mini hot dogs from Trader Joes.
  2. Rotisserie Chicken from Costco (my kids LOVE this, you would think they were actual cavemen the way they rip that bird apart, licking their fingers the whole way), broccoli and a strawberry smoothie made with frozen strawberries and some vanilla almond milk.
  3. Turkey Roll Ups-I bought some Applegate Farms turkey, peeled some cucumbers and carrots into thin strips, and sliced some apples really thin. The kids loved putting them together and rolling them up. Served with some grapes and some paleo fudge. For the fudge; I just melt a little coconut oil, add some cocoa, sweetener (in this case honey...but I've tried all sorts) and sometimes some almond butter or shredded coconut. Mix well and put in the fridge or freezer to harden. I will post a more in depth recipe at some point, but it's really easy to just make your own up, just adding stuff until it tastes good. :)
  4. This last one is a no brainer. Tiny little hamburger patties and some sweet potato fries served with homemade fry sauce. I just use homemade mayo and ketchup and mix a little together. The kids love this lunch, especially since it has stuff to dip!
Lunches a lot of the time consist of leftovers, or just a bunch of finger foods that I dig out of the fridge, so I don't do a lot of planning for lunches.

Hopefully you can see that it doesn't have to be hard to find things that kids like that fit into the paleo mold though. Kids are easy to's your husband with a major sweet tooth and love of all carbs, that can be difficult!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Kid's Favorite Paleo Egg Dishes

Sometimes eating Paleo can make you awfully sick of certain foods. 
Eggs come to mind, no?
Luckily not for my kids. 
They can eat eggs for every meal and never tire of them. They are picky about how they eat them for that particular meal though. 
It's funny, BP (before paleo) I was one of those moms who had boxes of cereal where the kids could reach them and bought smaller cartons of milk so that the older kids could easily pour it for themselves and the younger kids. 
Yup, totally couldn't be bothered with breakfast. Of course BP, I was depressed, exhausted and sometimes literally incapable of getting out of bed within an acceptable time frame for my kids to have me make breakfast. 
Now I'm an egg flippin' short order cook every morning. 
I'm making eggs anyway, might as well make them the way each kid likes them!
I get requests for just about every way to make eggs you can imagine, but these are the three that get asked for the most. 

Clockwise, left to right;
  1. Egg pizza. This is what the kids call it. It's basically an omelette that doesn't get folded. I have the perfect little egg frying pan that I cook all my eggs in, and it makes a personal pan pizza sized omelette for the kids. I get a mixing bowl add two eggs and then whatever veggie and/or meat that is in the fridge. Whip it with a fork, pour it in the pan and then when it starts to look done around the edges I flip it. I then put it on the plate and cut it with a pizza cutter. I cut everything for my kids with a pizza cutter-best device ever! Serve with a side of salsa or homemade ketchup for dipping.
  2. Scrambled. By far the most requested kind of eggs by all four of my munchkins. They like them with ketchup, I like them with hot sauce. Serve with a side of bacon and fruit and I don't know if you could make my kids happier for breakfast, (unless their naughty daddy brings home donuts!).
  3. Fried with Hollandaise. The hollandaise is a recipe from Everyday Paleo that's delicious. Served with asparagus and you have yourself a fancy little breakfast. This one is requested by my daughter a lot and I love making it for her because then I can make some for myself too!
What's your kid's favorite way to eat eggs?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Flavored Almond Milk Recipes

I am really excited about flavored almond milk as a special treat some nights when I just want something sweet and delicious.
I soaked 5 cups of almonds overnight. I buy a bag at Costco-3 pounds for about $10. Great price and I have used them for this, almond butter and snacking and still have about half a bag left!

Almond Milk Recipe

  • 1 cup pre-soaked almonds
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in food processor or blender, blend for about 3 minutes. Pulse a few times for good measure.
Strain milk into container with fine mesh strainer, or even better through cheesecloth.
Save the pulp for any number of delicious recipes you can find by searching almond pulp recipes, or dry it out in the oven or dehydrator then pulse in food processor to make fantastic almond flour.

Note: This recipe makes a skim milk like consistency. I don't mind that, but my husband prefers a creamier milk. You may want to adjust the water amount to your preferences.

Flavored Almond Milk Recipes

Vanilla Almond Milk Recipe

Use base recipe above and add the following ingredients at the beginning.
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 TB Raw Honey

Maple Cinnamon Almond Milk Recipe

Tastes like fall, and I love it warmed up!
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 TB Real Maple Syrup
  • About a 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Chocolate Almond Milk Recipe

  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 TB Raw Honey
  • 1-2 tsp Cocoa Powder depending on taste
Shake well before enjoying.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Easy Paleo Pancakes

There is not an easier pancake recipe out there I can almost guarantee it!
And taste?
My pancake loving kids ate these up and begged for more.
My non Paleo husband was thrilled that these actually taste like pancakes and could please even me.

Easy Paleo Pancakes

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Optional 1/4 tsp pure vanilla
Mix all ingredients in food processor or blender.
I poured a 1/4 cup for each pancake, I had it at 350 on my electric griddle. 
I flipped them after about 45 seconds and they were perfect.
I ate mine all on their own, and my kids had them drizzled with a little honey.
Perfect. Easy. Delicious.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Easy Ceviche | Recipe from The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

So I haven't always loved shrimp...or marinara sauce as a matter of fact, but as I get older my tastes seem to change a lot.
If you would have asked my 10 year old self if I would ever enjoy this dish I probably would have responded with some form of...
"Gag me with a spoon!"
But my 31 year old self enjoyed this. A lot. A whole lot.
It couldn't be easier to make either. I had frozen shrimp (I buy a big bag at Costco) and cold marinara because I had used it for another recipe so I changed it up from how he prepared it but I will give you the recipe from Robb Wolf's book The Paleo Solution and then tell you how I prepared it.

Easy Ceviche

  • 10 oz tail off, pre-cooked shrimp
  • 2 cups low sugar marinara sauce
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp basil
Rinse the shrimp, divide between two bowls. Pour half the marinara sauce over each bowl of shrimp, then drizzle each with a 1 TB of both olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the basil. Enjoy!

So that is his recipe, I modified it a bit, because I really don't think I could do it cold...and because my shrimp were frozen, and I KNOW I couldn't do it frozen!

I put the shrimp in a skillet with the olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and cooked shrimp until done. Then I added the marinara sauce and basil, heated over low heat until warm. Then instead of pouring into two bowls I poured half into one bowl, ate it and then poured the rest into the same bowl and ate the rest. 
My husband turned up his nose at this and opted for a bowl of Corn Pops. 
After the end of this month he won't have those options anymore so I think he is taking every opportunity to eat junk until then.
His loss. This was mmmm tasty.

Protein: Shrimp
Fruits/Veggies: Marinara Sauce, Lemon Juice
Fat: Olive Oil

Friday, August 17, 2012

Paleo Lemonade

It's hot today. 
Like 98 degrees hot.
We are going to a friends house for dinner, and I'm hoping there is something there that I can eat. They don't know how I eat yet, so hopefully they aren't offended if they order pizza and I can't eat any of it! My kids and husband are excited to go and eat whatever they offer.
I told my family that when we went to other people's homes they could make their own decisions on what they want to eat. They have all been dreaming of breads, pastas and cheeses all day.
I am really hoping they get over these cravings soon. I find it hard to bite my tongue when I see my husband eating junk that he has brought home from work.
I know this can be hard, but for me eating this way means I don't feel yucky. It's easy for me to say, I don't want to feel sick or sad, so no cookie. For them, not so much.
The hardest thing for me has been no real beverages besides water when it is so hot out!
Why didn't they have a Coca Cola tree or something back then? :)
For those hot days when you are craving something a little more flavor than water...
This is an extremely easy recipe that I came up with today when my 4 year old saw my bowl of lemons and demanded I make lemonade.
I made him say please and then I figured it out.

Paleo Lemonade

  • 2 qts cold water 
  • 2 lemons 
  • Agave Syrup to taste (you could also use a little raw honey or pure maple syrup)
  1. Fill your pitcher with cold water-preferably filtered.
  2. Roll your lemons on the counter with mild pressure to release juices.
  3. Cut Lemons in half and remove any visible seeds
  4. Using a fork or a juicer squeeze lemons into the water.
  5. Drizzle agave to taste. I only used a small amount as I like a tart lemonade with just a hint of sweetness.
  6. Optional lemon wedges.
The kids really loved this little treat. I loved watching my four year old drink it with the lemon wedge on the cup-looks like he has a bird beak! Ha ha!