Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

So, we're getting settled in Seattle.  Things are starting to slow down.  And so instead of just throwing plain bland ingredients together and having a boring paleo meal, I'm starting to think about new recipes again.

And this giant ten pound bag of carrots I saw at the grocery store was just begging me to take it home.

And turn it into soup.

Tasty, tasty soup.  (My 2 year old even liked this and ate it!  Sure, she made a huge mess... but she still ate it...)

So here you go!  The first of the (hopefully!) many more fall and winter dishes for this year.  A hearty soup, full of flavor and perfect to sip in a mug or serve in a bowl at the table.  If you want to get really creative, serve it with some bacon crumbles.

The Tools:

-4 qt. crockpot

- 5-6 large carrots, chopped
- 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2-3 medium sized apples (I used golden delicious)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 large hunk ginger, about 1 inch thick, peeled and diced
- 1 T curry powder
- 1/2 t cumin
- dash salt
- dash black pepper
- 1 14.5 oz can coconut milk (or coconut cream for a thicker soup with more fat - that's what I used!)

The Process:

This is a pretty simple one.  Combine all ingredients in the crockpot except the coconut milk.

Cook it on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 4-ish hours.  Using your stick blender, puree the soup directly in the crockpot.  (What, you don't have a stick blender yet?!?  Have you learned NOTHING from this blog?!?!  First, go order a stick blender from Amazon.  Done?  Good.  Now CAREFULLY blend this soup in batches with your blender.)

Add the coconut milk (or cream) and blend it in the soup. 

Enjoy!  (And think about what to do with seven more pounds of carrots...)

Weekly Menu

10/$1, bpa free... from Dollar Tree.  Lunch dips?

Well, I wish I had more to share than just a menu plan, but last week kicked my butt.  And a new week has rolled around again already.  I am thankful for a few nights of restorative sleep!  I love sleep, it is amazing.

Here we go-

eggs, avocado, salsa
coffee, real milk

paleo banana bread & cottage cheese
turkey & mozzarella roll ups
sweet caramelized onion chicken burgers
carrots or celery
veggie chips

School snacks:
fruit leather, chex cereal

Other snacks:
pistachios, frozen grapes

beef stew, side salad
turkey "stuffing"
balsamic glazed drumsticks, peas
chicken taco salad
philly cheesesteak skillet, side salad

Cheese, glorious cheese.  Yes, we (especially the kiddies on school days) have cheese with lunch.  Their lunches have to be nut free, and on certain days, egg free.  Whole milk cheese is a quick way for me to give them some fat, even if it is the easy way out.

I am saying (again) that I want to get my junk together and participate in this "What the Paleo World Eats" project this time around.  Especially since I sometimes do that anyways at times (take photos of my shopping, share the total, etc.)  I was going to submit my info this week, but my shopping was bit crazy, and I bought a bunch of things for other special occasions such as a bonfire/camping party, a birthday party, a bunch of household/toiletry items, and it would have been kinda a huge pain to make separate transactions or to separate everything out and figure the correct totals by the penny.  So maybe next week??

Happy Sunday!

Linking up to more GF ideas!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekly Menu

Some of the meals from last week didn't last 2 nights as planned.  So, we had to come up with some other things for the weekend.
  • paleo waffles (from Eat Like a Dinosaur) and smoothies for breakfast
  • grilled chicken w/ sauteed mushrooms and swiss cheese, salad w/ dressing
  • seasoned chicken corn tortilla taquitos, salad
Friday evening I caught up with a friend while our kids played and we all ate together.

Saturday was beautiful for the first day of autumn.  The kids and I took a leisurely walk to the playground (I didn't take my phone or a watch!!) and collected hedge apples on the way back.

I also read quite a bit (which I LOVE to do,  and don't do enough of out of pressure to get other things done)... no wonder I am fascinated by the book I am reading.

Sunday is church and family day, with a quick trip in for grass fed beef pick-up.  Going to do some baking for my work friends.

Weekends like these are gems!

farm eggs w/ salsa
paleo banana bread
coffee, real milk

salami & cheese apple-sandwiches
chicken waldorf salad
chicken no-tortilla soup
cashew cookie bites (food processor: 1 c. cashews, 1 c. dates)

korean beef & broccoli (sub 2 T. maple syrup)
sausage & sweet potatoes x2
asian-style turkey meatballs, roasted green beans, crab rangoon dip w/ nut thins (made up this meal in my head... we'll see how it works)
sticky chicken in the crock pot, peas
meatloaf (didn't have last week), peas x2

School Snacks:
homemade popcorn
raisins or fruit leather

Have a good week!

I'm sharing this GF meal plan with others here!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly Menu

my daily reminder

The school year is in full swing for 3 of 4 of us.  Can you tell?  It is quieter around here on the blog.  Sometimes I miss by old blog that was about more than just food... I will have ideas running around in my head and no place to put them, and then they flit away before I can log them.  And then I realize I have no time to keep up something like that.  Perhaps someday I might add that element here, but not right now, I guess.

eggs & bananas
paleo breakfast bread
coconut milk smoothies
coffee, real milk

cubed chicken & homemade sour cream ranch
cottage cheese
grain-free pumpkin muffins (made w/ sun butter for school)
celery or apples & sun butter
tuna salad
balsamic avocados
veggie chips

greek salad x2
balsamic-glazed chicken, green beans, roasted sweet potatoes x2
meatloaf, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli x2
against the grain gourmet pizza - add meat (w/ friends)

frozen grapes
some kind of flourless chocolate dessert (maybe Trader Joe's flourless chocolate cake if I am lazy... or these crazy things?)

Some notes:
  • I am one of those people.  I like my coffee with cream, a little sweetener (maple syrup), and sometimes flavor (pumpkin pie spice).  I have never drank it black.  Been drinking it every morning for a while.  Perhaps if I were unhappy with excess fat around my mid-section (which could be the result of excess cortisol production, stimulated by caffeine) I would be motivated to give it up.  But I am not, and I am enjoying my coffee as a simple pleasure each crazy morning.  Just wanted to be honest on where I currently am on this controversial paleo issue.
  • I am in love with goat cheese from Costco.  I think I will make the greek salad with seasoned beef, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, goat cheese, avocado, and dressing.  Not sure that this salad is really greek, but that's what I'm naming it.
  • The pizza is not dairy free, but is grain free and the closest thing to store-bought paleo pizza I have found.  Not that there is such a thing as paleo pizza, but if there were, this might be it.  My daughter is having a friend over and has requested pizza.  And we will have a fun dessert with our company, too (hence the chocolate cake mentioned above).
I'm not sure if I have fully recovered from last week yet, so trying to be lazy today... Hope you are having a good weekend!

Linking up this post to the gluten free roundup!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekend Update

Here's a grocery shopping update.

At the end of the work week, I had spent $35 at Trader Joe's, $45 at Aldi, $8 on farm eggs, and $7 at the milk farm.  $95 to prepare for the coming week is not bad at all.  Though I will need to get some more produce midweek next week, and am running low on grassfed ground beef.  I will need to get some one way or another next weekend - from the local ranch, Trader Joe's frozen imported, or Costco's organic (not 100% grassed but still good). I put off a trip to Costco until next weekend, too.

Here's what we've been eating this weekend (since I didn't put it on the plan last week).

tuna salad (Trader Joe's canned tuna + real sour cream + seasonings)
veggie chips
bananas & almond butter

bean-less chili w/ cheddar, sour cream, & guacamole
meaty tomato sauce, zucchini, & mozzarella bake (my version of primal lasagna) x2

flour-less zucchini brownies


We ate these sweet carmelized onion chicken burgers in our lunches this past week.  I would grill them at home, then cool them and chop them up for the lunch containers.  Finally, a "lunchmeat" everyone in the family likes that isn't crazy expensive (only $3 something per pound)!  Yes, they contain a small amount of sugar, but at 1g per serving, I am not worried.  And there might be msg lurking in there somewhere in the "spices" or "natural flavor", but I haven't gotten any headaches, so I feel pretty OK about these so far.  While they look kind of gross, and my husband jokes "Yum, pressed chicken parts," even he admits to liking them.  I will be buying them again!  If you don't go to Costco, check out the chile lime chicken burgers in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe's. We like those, too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekly Menu

A friend hooked me up with some farm fresh eggs from pastured hens!  Happiness.  It has been awhile since we have had a steady source for these.  I am going to try to get these weekly while they are available.

eggs & fruit
paleo waffles
leftover sausage & sweet potato hash
coffee w/ real milk

chicken burgers (from Costco, I sampled these and they are good!)
nitrate-free cheddar hot dogs
steak jerky
celery w/ sunbutter
black olives

School snacks:
pirate's booty
fruit leather or raisins

sausage & sweet potato hash
dinner with Bible study (crockpot BBQ chicken for the rest of the fam)
cold pre-cooked shrimp & sweet-spicy chile sauce, organic corn chips & guacamole (need a no-cook night!)
korean beef (sub 2 T. maple syrup) with broccoli x2
weekend TBD

frozen grapes
primal cookie dough bites  (I tried these on a whim last week and we liked them... I am going to try to make them again and sub some dried coconut for some of the almond meal - which I used instead of almond flour, since it was what I had.)

Have a good week!!

Linking up to more recipes here!

P.S.  The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Health Challenge begins tomorrow.  Who's in?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Re-useable Partitioned Lunch Containers

When I am packing a bunch of food (lunches for multiple family members), I like to use partitioned containers.  It is easier, not to mention more environmentally friendly, and probably cheaper, too, than a bunch of plastic zip top bags.  Right now I use one of these ziploc containers for each lunch.

I think ziploc has discontinued these, so I might have to look for something else when they wear out.  I'm seeking lightweight, easy to wash (not a lot of parts), bpa-free containers that fit in my kids' lunch bags.  Bonus if they are leak-proof because I do need that option available for certain days (which also could be provided by using a separate container).

These look like a good replacement:

If money were no object, I'd buy us each one of these-

Fyi, I decided that while nom nom, where I found these recommended,  is the cool, elite paleo family food blog, mine is its WT cousin :)  And P.S. that means "white trash" in the pre-texting era lingo of my high school friends.  Hey, I found a new name for this place!  WT Paleo!  Kidding...

Anyways, these look cute, too-

For supper leftovers, we always use glass Pyrex.  But that would obviously not be suitable for kids' lunch bags.

What do you think?  Any recommendations?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekly Menu

my little boy's lunch a day last week. of course he had seconds on the cashews.  and would eat them all day if I let him!

What do you think of my new blog header?  A little girly?  But, I am a girl, and I did make it myself :)

Here's the menu plan-

eggs & bananas
coconut milk smoothies
coffee with real cream

turkey & cheese roll-ups
balsamic glazed drumsticks (my kids loved this recipe last week, so I might make it again)
black olives
celery & carrots with homemade ranch

Snacks to pack for preschool:
pirate booty
raisins or fruit leather

zucchini & meaty tomato sauce (with ground turkey) x2
shepherd's pie (with mashed sweet potatoes) x2
baked asian-style salmon, salad w/ dressing
key west grilled chicken skewers, salad x2

frozen banana & almond butter bites (inspired by these)
frozen grapes

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Fall Treat: Gluten Free Cake Mix Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Lots of ideas swirling around in my head... hope you are having a good holiday weekend.  I've been trying to get caught up on some projects that were kind of on my summer list but never did... organizing photos and kids' artwork.  I'm halfway there.

We made gluten free pumpkin spice donettes (mini-donuts) yesterday.  I know this is like treason or something for paleo purists.  And I would never recommend doing this if you are on your first 30 days.  But, seriously, donuts are one of my favorite non-paleo foods.  And if I know I can have these once in awhile, it helps keep me from making myself sick on the office donuts.  I'm pulling the "It's my blog and I'll post what I want to" card.

I followed this gluten free pumpkin bread recipe and baked them for 10 minutes in my new silicone pan (yeah, I wanted a donut pan for my birthday).  After baking, we brushed them with melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar :)  A good rainy day treat that didn't make my stomach hurt even though I ate way too many... not sure if that is a good or bad thing... probably both!  I think I will have to limit myself to only making these just a few times a year.  But you can bet I will be making them again sometime this fall! :)