Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Menu

After a gloriously rejuvenating spring break, last week was a bit rough, parts were down right brutal.  Nothing catastrophic, just some stress, compounded by eating poorly/feeling sick, all due to my own bad choices.  It was just one of those nonstop weeks, and I let the busy-ness and responsibilities dictate unrelated decisions.  The memory of how these kind of weeks make me feel and act serve as a reminder to me to strive to constantly evaluate my choices, so that I don't live by impulse, just surviving.  Ugh.  Glad it is over, I want to start new this week.  I know I have some comments here on the blog that I want to reply to, and I hope to get to them soon.

I must have planned well last week.  We went 7 full days between trips to the store... that is odd!  Yesterday I hit up Aldi and Costco.  I spent $158 and I feel like I got a lot of food (especially protein), so that is good.

salmon, sweet potatoes
breakfast bread
banana blueberry egg muffins
eggs, turkey sausage
coffee w/ coconut milk

egg, tuna, avocado salad lettuce wraps
turkey roll-ups
mini chicken sausages (new at Costco)
dinner leftovers
carrots or sweet potato chips

Sunday - garlic pulled pork, vinagrette coleslaw
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - deconstructed gyro salad (beef seasoning)
Wednesday - zucchini noodles with meaty tomato sauce
Thursday - meatloaf, roasted brussels sprouts
Friday - chocolate chili, avocados
Saturday - kitchen sink salad aka leftovers aka clean out the fridge

fresh pineapple

Notice anything?  No chicken dinners this week!  I was feeling like eating red meat.
I have yet to make the carrot cake... I promise today or tomorrow, Michele and Tracy! :)
I really need to organize my pin boards a little better... then maybe I will share them...?

OK, that's it for now.  Happy Easter!

(sharing this week's recipes and menu at Musings of a Housewife)

4 Ingredient Coconut Chocolate Pie

This pie is rich.

I've had Martha Stewart's crisp chocolate and coconut pie recipe pinned for awhile.

Then, last week, Michelle's chocolate macaroon pie recipe popped up in my reader.

And then I remembered I had sweetened coconut hanging out in the fridge, compliments of my mother in law whose fridge is always full.  The coconut was just waiting for the appropriate recipe to come along.  Well, the waiting was over.

This recipe only takes 4 ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)

I didn't have any baking chocolate, but I did have cocoa, coconut oil, and honey.
I basically took bits and pieces from each recipe.  Martha's crust, Michelle's filling (using some substitutions.)

The ingredients actually morphed into a pie.  And it resembled the pictures! :)

Here's what I did-

I followed Martha's recipe for the coconut crust.
5-6 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup butter 
Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter.  Mix with coconut.  Press into pie plate.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cover edges for part of the time so they don't get overdone.  Remove when lightly brown and let cool.

I based the filling off of Michelle's recipe, but with alterations.
1 cup plus 1/8 cup cocoa powder (18 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup coconut oil (8 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup honey (or more)
1 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk) 
Melt and mix in a double boiler.  Pour it into the crust.  Chill it.  Eat it.

So, mine ended up being a 6 ingredient pie.
I took some quick photos while we ate it.  It was actually somewhat easy to use restraint and make it last a few days because it was so rich!

The filling is kind of like primal fudge, but stronger, even less sweet, and obviously without nut flavor.

If there was ever a primal or paleo chocolate coconut pie, I think this would be it.  Enjoy!

(sharing recipes and menus at Musings of a Housewife)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Menu

Thanks for putting up with my random posts on children's art.

I like a bit of winter when it provides an excuse to slow down.  This was my agenda as the fat snowflakes were falling yesterday.  A Saturday special: stovetop organic popcorn (popped in coconut oil of course) and my book that arrived in the mail... it didn't last long before the kids wanted to go outside.  Pulling a sled is a good workout!

Ironic that I was eating popcorn as I was reading this? :)

Here's the plan for this week-

eggs, sausage & sweet potato hash
coffee with creamer

grilled apple-chicken sausages for the adults
corn tortilla pizzadillas for the children
(Corn is not paleo, but we eat it once in awhile, just like dairy.)
sun dried tomato chicken slaw
trail mix
carrots & guac
apples & sun butter

School snacks:
pirate's booty, raisins

Sunday - chocolate chili, avocados
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - warm broccoli, bacon, & cashews salad, add grilled chicken
Wednesday - burgers (bunless of course), sweet potato fries
Thursday - champion chicken, roasted green beans
Friday - out to eat
weekend - TBD, but I will be making a grain free, or at least gluten free, carrot cake.  I'm going to attempt a GF variation of this wicked easy carrot cake recipe.  I will share the results - hopefully it is a success!

some form of chunky monkey ice cream (frozen bananas, nut butter, coconut milk)
berry banana smoothies (with yogurt from the farm)

In an effort to stretch the avocados this week I made a zippy salad dressing that I loved (not sure about the rest of the fam).  Avocado, lemon juice, garlic, plain yogurt, salt and pepper, and some olive oil in the blender.  Yum!

A new season makes me want to branch out with some new (or old but forgotten) recipes!
Do you have any fresh spring recipes we should try?  Anyone making a paleo Easter dinner?

Have a great week~
(more ideas and recipe resources here)
(thanks for hosting each week, Jo-Lynne!)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Art: Oil Pastel Eggs & Bunny Tails

This week, we once again practiced our handicraft together.

I dug out my student-version oil pastels from college (or was it high school?)  I can't believe they have been in the closet this long, I forgot what I was missing.  My daughter loves them, too!  They sure are a step up from crayons and markers :)

She gets upset when she "makes a mistake"... and I am trying to teach her the theraputic value of creating, to just enjoy it, go with the flow, and the result will become beautiful.

I was inspired by this bunny canvas I found on Pinterest, then I simplified it to create our masterpieces :)  Regular old craft paint was used for the background.  We were limited on color selection so they ended up all looking similar.  My 3 year old took part, as well.  I drew and cut the silhouettes, and then we stuck on cotton balls.

In our kitchen, the Valentines are now down and the Easter art is up!

Lot o' crafty spring inspiration here.  Happy weekend!!!
(This post contains affiliate links.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Skillet Supper

Some cleaning, some crafting, some working, some cooking... not a bad spring break day...

Cabbage and carrots were on sale around here last week so I purchased 3 heads of cabbage and 4 bags of baby carrots.  I like to freeze shredded cabbage for use later.  I've decided that although there is a 50% mark up on baby carrots compared to regular, the $1 difference per lb. is often worth it to me... but last week the baby carrots were on sale anyways!

My husband's mother gave this recipe to me.  Omit the potatoes from the original recipe and sub some aminos or wheat-free tamari for the soy sauce (although I use traditional soy sauce and it doesn't seem to bother us) and it is positively paleo!

2 strips of bacon
2 large onions, diced
1 lb. ground beef (I used turkey this time.)
1/4 cup soy sauce or paleo alternative
1/2 cup water
1 green pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups shredded cabbage
3 carrots, diced

Cut bacon into pieces; cook until crisp.
Add onions and ground beef; cook until brown.
Stir in soy sauce and water.
Add layers of veggies, peeled and diced.
A little soy sauce on top is good.
Cover and cook over high heat for 1 minute.
Reduce heat and cook until veggies are done, tender.  About 30-40 minutes.
Total cooking time is about 1 hour.

Notes: I didn't have bacon, but I did have some (fresh) frozen lard, so I used that to brown the beef and onions and give it the bacon flavor.  I also didn't have green pepper, but that was OK, the final product just wasn't as deeply colorful :)  Also, I ended up doubling all the ingredients except for the onions - which is why I had to use my giant stockpot.

All in all it was a pretty basic but tasty supper, quickly gobbled up by the family!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekly Menu

Spring break is here, woohoo!

I have some goals, some ambitious, some not.  My house has been seriously neglected over the past month and half and is dire need of some spring cleaning to freshen it up.  But, I also want to regroup and recover... as in SLEEP.  I am running a deficit and this is the time to catch up.  That would also help with getting back on the workout routine (which I am looking forward to).  So, I guess you could call it a win-win, right?  I can be productive or unproductive and still be accomplishing one of my goals, huh? :)  (... as long as I don’t piddle around doing nothing worthwhile and staying up late... which I have been known to do.)

waffles (from Eat Like a Dinosaur), berries, whipped coconut cream - spring break special :)
eggs, avocados, salsa
happy coffee drink

Lunches: some random stuff, no packing this week for the kids or me.
Monday - salami, cheese, carrots
Tuesdsay - asian chicken soup, paleo pretzels
Wednesday - skillet scramble
Thursday - chinese chicken salad
Friday - sticky chicken in the crock pot (didn’t get to it last week), roasted broccoli
Saturday - leftovers

Monday - sundried tomato meatballs (didn't get to it last week) with roasted carrots
Tuesday - balsamic mustard chicken, roasted green beans
Wednesday - ground turkey skillet supper (recipe coming soon...)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - beef taco salad
Saturday - leftovers

frozen grapes
frozen banana slices dipped in primal fudge

Hopefully I will pop back in again here some more this week!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! :)
(sharing here and here)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly Menu

One of my favorite paleo snacks: avocado with balsamic vinegar, salt, & pepper.  This avocado goodness inspired me to try it one time, and my kids even love it, too.

This past week, I remembered to wash my car and managed to get it squeaky clean (at least for a day, and at least on the outside) for $4 and a little elbow grease.  I think I know which self serve car wash has the best soap around, thanks to my husband.  Kinda good to know.

3 words that you need to tell yourself daily.  Probably not what you think.  I just had to share this in case someone out there like me can use the reminder.

No extra posts lately because it is crunch time for me, but the end is in sight! :)

I spent about $123 on the following from Hy-Vee, Costco, and Aldi.  Might make a quick stop at Price Chopper, too.

I usually like the organic greens from Costco, but I couldn't not buy the salad on sale for 68¢ a bag.
Now, the menu.

scrambled eggs & roasted sweet potatoes
parfaits (yogurt from the farm, blueberries, and nut crumble, layered)
breakfast bread
coffee w/ paleo creamer

chicken salad in butter lettuce wraps x2
salami, olive, & mozzarella cheese skewers x3
homemade paleo pizza experiment :)
**** carrots & homemade ranch or celery & almond butter
and fruit

School snacks:
pirate's booty, cheddar cheese, raisins

steak (try this method?), roasted green beans
crispy carnitas w/ lettuce, avocado, salsa x2
meaty sauce over zucchini spaghetti, salad w/ dressing
sun-dried tomato meatballs, green beans
garlic butter shrimp, spaghetti squash in the crockpot, broccoli
slow cooker roasted chicken, peas

Have a good week!  Spring is almost here!

(sharing finding inspiration here)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekly Menu

A quick note from yesterday: the hubs thought the cranberry scones were pretty amazing.  "Coffee shop worthy -  you could sell these" were his words, I believe.  I added a lemon glaze which added just the right touch of sweetness, in my opinion.  I think we've eaten our nut consumption max for the week now!  These are definitely a rare treat.  Like I've said before, it is a good thing paleo baking isn't very affordable.

I shopped at Costco and Aldi this week.  Oh, and a trip to Trader Joe's since I never made it there last week.

eggs, kale, avocado, & salsa
banana blueberry egg muffins (These are a little strange, but my kids seem to love them and they are soooooo easy.  I use a regular sized silicone pan and bake for 15 minutes.)
coffee, raw milk

turkey, cheese, carrots & guacamole, apples
grilled chicken w/ fresh peppers & tomatoes in sauce, veggie straws, apples
tuna salad & bell pepper scoops, veggie straws, apples & almond butter
primal chicken tortilla soup (freezer leftovers) w/ avocado

School snacks:
pirate's booty, raisins, fruit leather

Sunday - paleo chili
Tuesday - leftovers
Thursday - leftovers
Saturday - korean beef (paleofied) & broccoli

pineapple whips (experiment with frozen pineapple & coconut milk)

I've been listening to more podcasts lately.  When I read and listen to other people who are also excited about paleo/primal living, I find myself more motivated to make better decisions regarding food and lifestyle.  It is not always easy, but I do enjoy the process.

I've got lots of homework and tests to complete before Spring Break.  Ugh.  I'm getting spring fever and a little apathetic.  Gotta remind myself the semester isn't even quite half over yet!

Have a good start to your week!

(sharing my menu here!)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Daily Diary

Pieces of my week...
only because I am procrastinating on more important things... :)

Roasted sweet potatoes with breakfast (a family favorite food at our house).

I reserved this book that is on order at the library.  It comes highly recommended.

I can't wait to buy this book.  I seriously love everything this dude writes; he's very insightful.

High pockets chicken looks ordinary, but I think it is amazing.  I like to roast the veggies, too.  Plus I added mushrooms.  The marinade/sauce is so fresh tasting; it'll wake your taste buds up!

The sunny snowy days were truly beautiful.  Unfortunately one of my favorite trees that I look at from our breakfast area lost a few branches :(

I am a little lost without my routine sometimes.

I got to wear scrubs - yay! :)

This song was in my head.  Thanks Pitch Perfect.

My husband had the privilege experiencing Costco tire center on a Saturday.  Because he took care of my flat tire situation for me... aw... (unfortunately, my tire is completely busted and they have to order a new one... so my car is gimp until at least Thursday, I get to drive with the classy donut).

This was the best thing I saw via Pinterest.

Happy weekend!

(This post contains affiliate links.)