Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recipes for Paleo Week 2

So, here are the recipes I am suggesting with their serving size. I suggest you mix some of them up to make some breakfast meals too.   I really love green smoothies, but even I need to switch up my breakfast sometimes.  The Spicy Pork and the Stuffed Pepper would both be awesome with a poached or over easy egg for breakfast. If you like scrambled eggs, they'd work too--but I've made it pretty clear I do not like scrambled eggs and do not support their existence in anyway.  Optional recipes like Bab Ghanoush and Paleo Nachos will be posted Saturday.

Spicy Shredded Pork and Sweet Potato Fries
Servings: 4
Serving Size: About a cup or a little more

3lb Pork Shoulder or Boneless Pork
One Can Chicken Broth
3 tbsp Franks Red Hot Sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil 
1 tbsp olive oil for french fries
2 large Sweet Potato

Ingredients for the Pork Rub
2 tbsp Paprika
3 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground pepper

1. Over medium high heat melt your fat of choice.
2.  Mix together spice rub in a small bowl.
3. Firmly press the spice rub into the raw pork on all sides. Be very generous with the rub.
4.  Place the pork FAT SIDE DOWN until the hot pan.  
5. Allow the pork to sear 3-4 minutes on each side so it gets a nice crust.
6. While the pork is searing pour chicken stock and hot sauce into a crock pot.  
7. Place the pork into the crock pot, FAT SIDE DOWN, into the liquid which should come just to the bottom middle section of the pork.
8. Place the lid securly on and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
9. Remove meat to a separate plate or cutting board and shred with 2 forks.
10. Place back in crock pot for 30 minutes if you like a lot of juice on your pork. If not, it's ready to serve.

An hour before the pork is ready make your french fries by..

1. Clean Sweet Potatoes by scrubbing off dirt.
2.Cut the sweet potatoes into thin french fries, about an inch thick.
3.  Place all of the fries in cold water with 2 tbsp salt.  Allow to soak for 25 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
5. Remove fries from water and pat dry.
6. Oil a baking sheet.
7. In a large bowl mix french fries with oil, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp of black pepper.
8. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Make sure they are evenly spread out or you will end up with soggy fries.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash
Servings: 3
Serving Size--about a cup
1 lb Ground Sausage
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Small White Onion, diced
2 Bags Spinach
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

1. Place sausage into a sauce pan without oil over medium high heat to begin to brown. 
2. Once the sausage is browned remove from the pan and set aside.(do not remove the fat from the pan).
3. Add 1 tbsp fat of choice and add diced sweet potatoes and diced onion. The key is not to move them around too much because you want them to get crispy. Cook over medium high heat, flipping only once (twice max) for 5-7 minutes. 
4. In a separate saute pan add spinach, one bag at a time, with 1/3 cup water to reduce. It sounds like a lot of spinach, but it will saute down to virtually nothing.
5. Once spinach is sauteed down add that and the sausage back to the pan with the sweet potatoes.
6. While continuing to cook on low add the cinnamon, and salt and pepper.  Stir into the entire dish.
7. Allow to cook so the flavors can all mix together for approximately 5 more minutes.
Serve :)
This would be great with breakfast. The cinnamon makes it a very fall like dish that reminds me of pumpkins and the changing seasons :)  My sister just made us this and I am now in love with it!!

Stuffed Sloppy Joe Peppers with Butternut Squash Cakes
Servings: 4
Serving Size: One Pepper and 2 Squash Cakes
1 lb Ground Meat
4 Green Peppers, tops cut off and seeded
1 Small Onion, diced
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chile Powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Can Organic Green Chilies, drained
1 Small Can Tomato Paste
2 tbsp Hot Sauce (Franks is my recommendation) 
2 tbsp fat of choice,  divided

Ingredients For Butter Nut Squash Cakes (Should make 8 or more cakes)
2 Butter Nut Squash, peeled and diced
1/2 red onion
1 egg
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
3 Chives, dices

Directions for Peppers:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a saute pan add fat of choice over medium to low heat.
3. Add ground meat and onions to the pan and brown through, about 6-8 minutes.
4. While the meat and onions are browning mix in spices and allow to continue to cook.
5. When meat is brown and cooked through mix in green chilies and tomato paste
6.  Allow to sautee for 6-7 minutes so all of the flavors meld.
7.   Rub each pepper with the fat of your choice, whether it is melted coconut oil or just plain olive oil.
8. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet that is greased.
9. Stuff each pepper to the top with the meat mixture.
10.  Place either standing up or on their side and place in oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the skins of the peppers begin to blister.

Directions for Butternut Squash Cakes (you should make this before the pork)
1.  Roast (1 tbsp olive oil over squash roasted in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes) or steam the butter nut squash.
2. Once cooked through and soft place into a large bowl.
3. Mash together with the back of a large spoon to create the consistency of mashed potatoes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge (this will make it easier to form into cakes).
4. Add in  one egg, all spices, red onion, and chives--mix well.
5.  Form the mixture into patties about the size of your palm and place on a baking sheet.
6.  Place baking sheet in fridge so the cakes can firm for about a half hour.
7.  Once firmed heat 1 tbsp fat of choice over medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot drop in 1-2 cakes at a time.  Do not crowd the pan.
8. Cook cakes 3-5 minutes on each side so they brown.  
9.  Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel so the oil can soak out.  

Serve 1 stuffed pepper with 2 Butternut Squash Cakes and Enjoy :)

My mind is thinking making extra of these cakes and toasting them in a pan for breakfast sounds amazing!

Fish Cakes with "Popcorn" Cauliflower
Servings: 3
Serving Size: 1 fish cake and 1 cup popcorn cauliflower 
3 filets of your favorite flaky fish or 1lb total (I am using Salmon because I have it)
2 eggs
2 tbsp parley, fresh
1 tbsp oregano
4 Chives, diced
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper
1 head Cauliflower
2 tbsp fat of choice, divided

1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.  On a greased baking sheet place your fish, sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Bake fish for 15-25 minutes (according to what kind of fish it is).  After the time period and your fish is cooked allow it to cool for up to 20 minutes.
2. While you are waiting for the fish to cool change the oven temperature to 400 degrees,
3. Clean and break the cauliflower into florets.  Salt, pepper, and oil the florets. 
4.  Place the head of cauliflower onto a greased baking sheet spaced far apart from each piece (otherwise it will steam).
5. Cook the cauliflower for 40-45 minutes on 400, flipping once.  
6. While the popcorn cauliflower is cooking place fish into a large bowl and flake with a fork (watch out for bones in fishes like cods that have tiny almost see through bones0.  
7. With the flakes fish add remaining ingredients listed to the bowl (eggs, spices, chives).
8.  Heat 1 tbsp fat of choice over medium high heat.
9. Make palm sized patties and place into hot oil.  Saute on each side for 4-7 minutes, or until crispy.

Serve with Popcorn Cauliflower :) 



3lb Pork Shoulder, or 3 lbs of Boneless Pork (cheap at shoprite)
1 lb Beef
1 lb Ground Sausage
1 lb or 3 filets of your favorite flaky fish (Salmon, Tilapia, Cod)
4 large eggs


1 small (8oz) can organic chicken stock (or homemade)
1 small can organic green chilies
1  6 oz can tomato paste
4 tbsp Franks Red Hot

4 Green Peppers
2 White Onion
3 Large Butternut Squash 
2 Bags Spinach
2 Large Sweet Potatoes  
1 Package of Fresh Chives
1 Head Cauliflower

Spices (a lot of these you would have from last week):
Salt  and Pepper
Parsley, fresh
Garlic Powder
Chile Powder
Ground Red Pepper

Olive Oil or Coconut Oil 

Optional for Snacks:
Paleo Nachos (need a sweet potato and mandolin, paleo guacmole, tomato, onions, or your favorite nacho toppings)
1 Egg Plants for Baba Ghanoush  
Mixed Berries

Next weeks recipes will be:
Spicy Shredded Pork with Sweet Potato Fries
Stuffed Sloppy Joe Peppers with Butternut Squash Cakes
Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash 
Fish Cakes with "Popcorn" Cauliflower

Paleo Nachos
Baba Ghanoush

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My "Paleo Lifestyle" Tips

So, it's day two.  How are some of you feeling?  Let's talk about some of the illness like qualities you might experience and some very important tips I have for you. 

         There is something called "Paleo Sickness",  and we just need to fight through it.  What that means is---your body is essentially detoxing from fake sugars, a lot of the ingredients used in processed foods to preserve it,  and heavy carbohydrates.  On days 4-5 you may begin to feel nausea, tiredness, and lack of energy.  This is due to your body adapting to your new lifestyle choice.  It will pass, I PROMISE.  If it doesn't, maybe Paleo isn't for you (it isn't for everyone).  What I have heard from other is the first week to week and a half is tough, but after that you will most likely feel the best you have ever felt in your life. I've heard complaints of fatigue and upset tummy from people who quit after week one. For people who continued past week one they felt amazing and had tons of energy.  Just wait for it.

        So, I am Italian--all of the above fit my previous diet.  If you've ever eaten dinner at an Italians house, preferably on Sunday, you would have noticed an large  variety/amount of bread served with every meal.  In my house growing up,  we ate pasta of some sort with almost every meal.  Sunday was Spaghetti and Meatballs with bread,  and throughout the week it was various meals served with some sort of noodle (I grew fond of buttered noodles as a child) and likely some kind of bread.  My dad also used to make "breakfast for dinner", which I to this day despise the idea of.  It was sauteed potatoes, spam, and scrambled eggs served with toast.   I used to have to pile it on white buttered toast to get through it.  I think this is when I began to hate eggs in almost all of their forms.  If you know me, then you know to this day I DO NOT EAT SCRAMBLED EGGS.  They could have flecks of staying young potion in it and I'd turn my nose up at them.   I will give some tips on that readdd!!!

1.  Be Prepared for the necessity of having "more meals"
     Your meals at first might not seem filling, so you should pair them with a large salad.  I like my salads to have a lot of veggies (minus carrots, I hate when people serve that bagged lettuce junk that has shredded carrots in it--if that's your thing, go you).  I also like a hardboiled egg in my salad.  That is my exception to hating eggs.  So, let's say you make the cabbage rolls and have them for lunch, try pairing it with this salad--

2 cups of preferred lettuce (I'm on a baby spinach kick right now)
1 hard boiled egg, diced or sliced
1/2 cup cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup assorted vegetables
Serve with: 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, add in a dash of oregano and salt and pepper (greek dressing).

     If you are really feeling hungry this lunch option plus a recipe I posted last week will really help.  If you need, add another protein to your salad. I really like adding whole albacore tuna fish to my salad (without mayonnaise!).  The vinegar and oil moisten up the tuna nicely, so there is no need for mayonnaise (I also dislike mayonnaise, can't you tell?)

     Salads will also aide in digestion.  I know NO ONE wants to talk about it--but if your constipated salads can help that (not salads with cheese--cheese is a "binder" to the belly).   Salads will keep you regular--whereas all those silly yogurts with "Pro-biotics" in it likely will not.  

2. Eat BIG During the Day
       Typically, lunch is suggested to be bigger than dinner.  For my profession I travel A LOT.  Basically all day I am driving to and fro (I am an itinerant vision specialist).   This really makes snacking (especially refrigerated snacks) hard for me.  For this reason, I like to eat a bigger lunch when I can.  This is when I would probably have a selected meal plus a large salad.   At dinner time, I probably won't eat the salad.

     When I do eat lunch, if I don't eat while in the car because of my job,  I sit in my office and usually work through lunch.  This is when I keep saying that dumb ass vending machine full of goodies.  Twice this morning I heard the crispty crunch of cheeze-itz in my head. No one was eating them, I am just crazy over cheeze-itz.   If I eat a pretty big lunch,  that vending machine doesn't bother me.   Although I purposely don't look at it, because I love cheeze-itz so much.

3. Be prepared with Snacks
      I am terrible with packing snacks.  Ask anyone,  in my office I was known to buy cheeze-itz in a fit of hunger.  Now, I know I need snacks.  Google some good paleo snacks you'd be interested in trying.  I really love ethnic food, so tonight I am making Baba Ghanoush (roasted eggplant dip, similar to hummus).    Here are some of my snack tips:

1. Fruit of any kind (I love snacking on a cup of grapes)
2.  Carrot sticks and dip (carrot sticks dipped in Baba Ghanoush or homemade salsa) 
3.  Celery sticks lined with almond butter (cup of celery sticks, 2 tbsp almond butter divided onto all of them)
4. Prosciutto Chips (preheat oven to 400 degrees, cut prosciutto into big chunks,  spread on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not season with salt because prosciutto is bacon, and it's salty enough).
5. Kale Chips--same as prosciutto chips 

4. Why does breakfast gotta be all eggs and nonsense?
        So I read a blog the other day why we as Americans specify breakfast into a classification of foods.  It literally BLEW MY MIND.  We are one of the few countries in the world  that does this.  In Italy (I've been) they serve the American breakfast along side what a typical Italian person would eat for breakfast--fruit, bread, meats, and cheeses. I loved the breakfasts in Italy because I thought--"These people are really onto something, I hate eggs too".

        Try serving something for breakfast you would not typically eat.  For instance, try a piece of grilled salmon with a Over Medium Egg or Poached Egg served on top with a dollop of Paleo Guacamole.    Or, try a piece of leftover steak sliced and served with sweet potato fries (homemade).  The protein aspect of these alone will keep you fuller longer, in turn making you less fatigued.

     What I am suggesting is you break the mold of the "typical breakfast".  You can eat whatever you want for breakfast.  And the more protein the fuller you will be (don't go all crazy, you know how much protein is too much).  

 5. Don't get caught in the Recipe Hype

         I hate the idea of any kind of paleo "pancake" made of yams. GROSS. If I want a pancake, I will damn sure eat a regular diner pancake. I am not making no pancakes out of yams.   If you like them, more power to you. 

       Paleo means no processed foods AND real whole foods without added preservatives and by-products.  It does not mean that every single recipe you find on the internet which has the word Paleo before it is gospel.  You don't like the idea of it, don't make it.  I don't like the idea of Yam Pancakes, so it's unlikely I will EVER make them.

      Don't get caught in the hype that everything you eat has to have the word "Paleo" in front of it.  Use this checkist:
1. Does what I am about to make have real, whole foods, without any processed ingredients?
2. Does it appear to be something I could have hunted and gathered for myself if I were a caveman?(ie--salmon with avocado and a poached or over medium egg or sauteed garlic chicken breast with roasted butternut squash).
3.  And check Mark's Daily Apple.  This guy knows his shit.

       What I don't want you to do is run out and buy a "Paleo Cook Book" and believe the ONLY things you can create are from that book, aka the Bible.  Just use your head when making meal decisions.  If you decide, HEY IT'S TUESDAY AND I WANT A PIECE OF PIZZA.  Okay, do it.  I do want you to analyze after though:  How long did the euphoria last?  Was it ultimately worth it?  How can I aide in not craving pizza tomorrow? ( I give the euphoria of hot pizza 30 minutes before you feel tired, was that worth it? probably not, and I can aide in not craving pizza tomorrow by keeping myself full on whole foods like nuts and protein).   One slice of pizza, go for it--one whole pizza and repeat questions from earlier---How long did the euphoria last?  Was it ultimately worth it?

6. Don't listen to other people
         Paleo get's a bad rap. People hear things like Paleo Yam Pancake and it makes sane people cringe.  Who would eat that? Why? Isn't that terrible, why punish yourself?  So, maybe some people like the yam pancake and I am giving it a terrible rap--but if you don't, don't eat it. 

        My two cousins are also doing Paleo this week, Shout out to Lisa and Melissa!,  and my aunt keeps making fun of us and ultimately suggesting what I am recommending is gross.    I suggested Baba Ghanoush as a snack and my aunt suggested Deep Fried Eggplant slices topped in Sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese. 

    Make dinner for someone, and don't tell them it's paleo.  I bet you they won't believe you. Try something like Filet Migon with Roasted Asparagus and Garlic served over sweet potato mashed potatoes.  Is this paleo?  YESSSS.  Will people tell you you are a liar?  Yes.

7.  Your body tells you that it's time to eat, not the clock
         Cavemen did not have access to food everyday, so they learned to adapt to eating when they could.  They survived,  I guarantee it (otherwise your very existence would not have happened).  They did not look at the sun and say "Oh,  it's two hours since the last time I ate, I need a snack".  Nope, didn't happen.  Cavemen sometimes went days without meals.  Am I suggesting you do the same? No.  I am suggesting you do not fall victim to the I must eat every 2 hours scheme.

         Ever get that rumble feeling in your tummy?   Sometimes it's so intense it could drive you insane--and embarrass you because your in a business meeting and your stomach sounds like a gargoyle. If you have, good.  Then we now know your stomach is capable of telling you when it needs nutrients.   I am glad we both know that now.
         My friend insisted one time I pay this woman 60 bucks to tell me what to eat and when to eat it.

1. Her recipes sucked and they were bland as all hell. 
2.  I was supposed to eat every two hours--who has time for that?
3.  I only ate every two hours. So, I'd finish a very bland meal and feel hungry an hour later and be screwed.  I'd have to say "Shut your mouth Elyse, you have a whole hour before you can even think about eating again".
4. The lack of food when I needed it made me bitchy, cranky, and a terrible person to be around (kind of like if you wake me up in the middle of the night and I don't get my 10 hours beauty sleep).

       Why do we have to eat every 2 hours?  Just eat when your hungry.  Cavemen didn't have the luxury of eating because the sun dial said so--nor should you.  I watch a lot of shows about Obesity, generally with catchy titles like "Half Ton Mom", "Super Size Dad", "Worlds Largest Man".  I really have no reason to do this, I just enjoy it because it's interesting to me.  What I've learned is the 1. America is the heaviest society on the planet and 2.  We have food available EVERYWHERE.   My point is, don't just go to the vending machine because two hours have passed and it's there.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

5 Recipes for 2 weeks of Paleo---WEEK ONE

Okay okay here are my 5 recipes, one of them being optional (Gucamole).  Please know you can sub or change any of these if you don't like a particular ingredient. For instance my cousin Lisa does not like Salmon, and my friend Joe said Salmon is too expensive. So, go with a white fish like cod--just make sure you adjust your cooking temperature.  If you cook a white fish for as long I am recommending you cook the salmon you will be sorely disappointed by how overcooked your white fish will be.  I am a big fan of cod.

Each recipes will yield 2-3 servings to keep that in mind.  I try not to eat the same thing twice so here are some of my recommendations----

The salmon will make 3 filets of fish,  eat one with a roasted vegetable for dinner, another over baby spinach for lunch with a Greek homemade vinaigrette *recipe to follow* and the last one with an egg and guacamole for breakfast.


Paleo Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Greek Dressing
 Servings: 2
Ingredients for Salad:

1 Whole Butternut Squash, chopped
1 bag of baby spinache
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/4 red onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Dressing (for one serving):
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vinegar of choice (red wine or balsamic)
1/2 tbsp Oregano
Pinch Salt, Pinch Pepper

 1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Mix butternut squash (diced) with olive oil of choice, salt, and pepper.
3. Lay on backing sheet evenly and cook for about 30 minutes.
4. Allow to cool completly.
5. Separate baby spinach into 2  bowls or Tupperware containers and distribute the toppings (butternut squash, raisins, dried cranberries, and red onion) evenly amongst the two.

Dressing Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker.  Pour over each serving of salad ONLY BEFORE YOU PLAN TO EAT IT.


Lemon Dill Salmon
Servings: 3
3 Salmon Filets, not frozen
1 Shallot, finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp dill
2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, devided

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil and all spices and diced shallots in a  small bowl.  Mix gently together forming almost like a paste.
3. Dry fish completely so it bakes evenly (I use paper towels to make sure it's dry).
4.  Place salmon evenly distanced apart skin side down on a baking sheet.
5. Rub a small handful of the paste you created on each salmon filet.
6. Squeeze half of the lemon  juice evenly over top of the salmon before it cooks.
7. Cook for 20-25 minutes and squeeze remaining lemon on each filet. 

Optional Serving Ideas---mix your favorite vegetable (I love this with Brussel sprouts or broccoli)  with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast on a baking sheet evenly spaced apart at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Or, serve it over baby spinach with the Greek salad dressing.

Paleo Sweet and Spicy Chicken wrapped in Bacon
Servings: 3
3 Chicken breast, washed and dried
1 Package of Bacon (or as many as you need for the chicken pieces)---you will need some for another recipe
2 tbsp chili powder
1 cup maple syrup
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil for greasing the pan
Tooth Picks

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Dice the chicken into medium size pieces.
3. Season all of the chicken with salt and pepper.
4.  In a small bowl combine the chili powder and maple syrup. Stirring well into a slight paste consistency.
5.  Wrap each piece of chicken in bacon and secure with a small tooth pick.
6. Roll each piece of chicken in the maple syrup and chili powder mixture.
7. Place chicken pieces evenly apart on a rimmed and greased baking sheet.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.

Serving Ideas-- remove tooth picks and serve over a salad with ingredients of your choice or serve with a roasted veegtable of your choice--this would pair well with roasted sweet potato chunks (Dice sweet potato, cover in olive oil and mix well, add salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes)

Paleo Cabbage Rolls
Serving :4 meals--2 rolls each

8 blanched and plyable pieces of green cabbage (save the rest of the head of cabbage for another recipe this week)
1/2 lb grass fed beef (reserve other half for another recipe this week)
2 eggs
3 diced garlic cloves
1 white onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Oregano
1 22-30 (or largest) ounce can of Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes

1.  Remove 8 leaves of cabbage from the head and place in boiling water until they become plyable, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove fro mwater, drain, and allow to cool.
2. While the cabbage leaves are cooling mix together beef, eggs, diced garlic cloves, dice onion, and all seasonings.
3.  Pour half of the can of diced tomatoes on the bottom of a slow cooker set to LOW.
4.   Make medium size balls of meat in your hand.  Flatten each one so it almost looks like a slightly puffy disc.
5. Roll each ball into a cabbage leaf and place SEAM SIDE DOWN in the slow cooker.
5. Pour remaining can of tomaotes on top of the cabbage rolls.
6. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Serves really well all on it's on or with a side salad.  This will make you 4 total meals or two rolls each.

Paleo Mexican Chop Salad
Servings: 2

1/2 pound ground beef
Remaining BACON from previous recipe
1/2 red onion
1 bag baby spinach
Remaining Cabbage from Cabbage Rolls
1/2 small can of Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes, DRAINED
Paleo Guacamole (Option, recipe to follow) 
Salt, Pepper

1. Cook and drain beef of access fat, set aside.
2. Cook bacon very crisp and set aside.  
3. Separate bag of spinach into two bowls or containers equally.
4. Dice red onion and divide evenly amongst your containers.
5. Cut cabbage (this should not have been cooked!) into strips and mix into your containers (the crunch it will give you in your salad will be awesome!)
6. Top salads with cooked ground beef and diced tomatoes.
7. Crumble bacon and place on top when you are ready to eat! Season with salt and pepper
8. Add Paleo Guacamole if you would like :)

Optional Recipe
Paleo Guacamole 
2 Ripe Haas Avocado  
1/2 can drained diced tomatoes
1/4 diced red onion
2 garlic cloves diced
Salt and Pepper

1. Pit and remove avocado from it's shell---discard shell.
2. Place avocado in a large bowl and MASH WELL. I use the back of a spoon.
3. Mix in diced red onion, diced garlic clove, drained remaining diced tomatoes,  and salt and pepper.
4. Place one PIT in the container to keep the guacamole from browning quickly.

I KNOW I TOLD YOU TO BUY CARROTS, CELERY, AND ORAGANIC CHICKEN BROTH--WE DON'T NEED THAT UNTIL NEXT WEEK!  If you already bought it, save it, it will still be good next week. 
 Eat the meals when you like, I am not making you  a schedule  Enjoy!




Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shopping List for 2 Weeks of Paleo

I am giving you your shopping list now for next week.  I will write you the recipes on Saturday or Sunday.

Now, when reading this you may think---That's Paleo?  I have read so many articles and what I've concluded is: NO ONE can agree one what is and what isn't paleo.  Sure things like pizza and ice cream are definitely not paleo.  However, some websites suggests things like vinegar are not paleo, while others maintain that they are.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  I really like the blog  by Mark's Daily Apple. I suggest you google it.

Shopping List


1- 1 1/2 of Chicken Breast or 3 chicken breasts (organic, humanely raised)
3 Salmon Filets (NOT FARM RAISED...why not? "FARM" could be a small tank they all live in.  If they all live in this small tank then guess what they are eating--each other's poop.  That means, the fish you are eating probably ate 500 other fishes waste)
1lb Bacon
1lb Grass fed Ground Meat

1-2 bag of baby spinach (I recommend 2 because the one recipe I am posting will go great with some spinach under it as a salad)

1 head of Savoy Cabbage
1 bag baby carrots
1 Package Celery
2 White Onions 
1 Red Onion
1 Whole Butternut Squash (Wegmans sells it precut, a little more expensive but a huge time saver)
1 Sleeve of Garlic (will take you through both weeks)

3 Shallots
2 Lemons

2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp raisins 


1 bunch Fresh Dill
Parsley (can be dried)
Basil (can be dried)
Garlic Powder
Oregano (can be dried)
Sea Salt (for both weeks)
Chile Powder (you will need this spice for both weeks)

Maple Syrup
Vinegar (either balsamic or red wine)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil


1 16 oz Can Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes 
1 28 ox- 32 oz Can 

Okay okay, so this seems like a lot right? It's really not because I am going to guarantee you have more than half of it in your house. For instance, you probably have more than half of the spices, the garlic, and vinegar of choice.  I think, right?


2 Hass Avacado
1 8 ounce can of Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomato
1 Small White Onion
1 Lemon

The above that I am saying is optional is for a Paleo Guacamole I will be posting.  Since you will be repeating some of the recipes, it will be necessary to switch up something slight about them.  For instance, the guacamole will go great on top of the butternut squash salad.  You can also add one of the pieces of salmon to this recipe to make a more complete dinner.

OK OKAY A LOT OF INFORMATION RIGHT?  Don't fret. I am just as worried as you.  The recipes will be great and delicious...AND EASY.  The one meal is a crockpot meal that you can prepare the night before and plug in in the morning.  If you are cooking for a family I suggest you look at the recipes Saturday and double the ones you want.  All of the recipes I am cooking will actually become 3 meals, but I am going to show you how to eat them in different ways.  

This is enough food to get you 13 meals, which is enough for lunch and dinner Monday-Sunday, with the exception of a meal you should prepare yourself  or have out (14 would be all of the meals).  Breakfast you are on your own...try a green smoothie-- I will post the details of what I put in that. I drink one every morning.  Or eat an egg with franks red hot sauce, some bacon and an egg, etc. etc. etc. Just don't eat anything prepared or with sugar.

Green Smoothie
1 cup baby spinage
1 cup fruit of choice (peach, pear, frozen tropical fruit)
1/4 cup  COLD water
1 tbsp chia seeds

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or NutraBullet.  Blend well until smooth. Enjoy :)

Don't be overwhelmed, you have until Monday to get your ingredients. Do what I do, call your mom and ask her if she has a spice you need...moms always have everything, right?





Monday, October 14, 2013

2 Weeks of Paleo

Hello ALL!  I've decided to embark on two weeks of Paleo.  I tried this once before for a bet--but I was so ill prepared. I literally said I can do that chump! But had absolutely no food in the house to eat on Day 1. I think, a lot of you might want to try like me but are so under prepared. solution is to let me do the planning, you do the eating--and do your own shopping, I'm not rich!

The 2 Weeks of Paleo will begin Monday October 21st

I will post 4 recipes the Saturday before, as well as a shopping list.  All you will need to do is go food shopping on Saturday or Sunday with the list I am making for you.  Then plan when you will eat what meals, and cook them the days you want.  Side note which I will discuss later--- each recipe will yield 2-3 servings so keep that in mind you because you probably won't need to cook every single day.  Another plus!

  I will also post tips and some informative information for you to read from some Paleo Experts. 

I will not tell you when or how to eat the meals, that's up to you.  I also will post some things you could eat as a snack, but snacks will be up to you.  There will also be no eating schedule.  You should eat when your hungry, not when the clock says to.  I encourage snacks when your hungry, but don't eat them for just the sake of eating.

My day might look like:

Breakfast--Green Smoothie with Pear
Snack--almonds (if I need a snack)
Lunch-- 6 ounces of white meat tuna over baby spinach with red wine vinegar
Snack---Apple or Grapes
Dinner--- 6 ounces of grilled chicken with spinach pesto

Green Smoothie with Peach
Snack--carrots with Paleo Gucamole
Lunch  grilled chicken with spinach pesto
Dinner  Broiled Cod with Roasted Broccoli

So on and so forth.  I just have a green smoothie there because I generally drink one lately every morning. I don't know why, I just like them.  It's a good way to get fiber without a ton of calories.

Maybe you are thinking, wait she is only posting 4 recipes that won't get me through the week.  Untrue. The recipes I will post for you will each yield 2-3 meals.  So for instance, this little gem for week 1 is Paleo Chicken and Box Choy....

The above recipes makes two meals--so a dinner and a lunch or two dinners or two lunches--you get the idea.  4 recipes should take you well through an entire week.  It also has enough variety where you won't get bored. If you make Paleo Chicken and Bok Choy on Tuesday you could eat it for dinner on Tuesday then not eat it again until lunch on Thursday. 

The recipes will also be short, sweet, simple, and delicious.  There will be no crazy ingredients you cannot find or much searching in the grocery store period.  A lot of it I guarantee (if you know how to cook) you will already have in your home.   The recipes will call for things like---ground ginger (easy to buy in the spice aisle), sesame oil (not cheap but goes a long way), apple cider vinegar,  garlic, onions, chicken, fish, etc.  If your thinking---wait lady you just posted Bok Choy!! You should know Bok Choy is making it's world wide debut lately.  It's an awesome vegetable and can be found in almost any grocery store--as a matter of fact it's with the asparagus in your local  Shop Rite.

You have one week from today to plan snacks, read up about paleo, and decide if you are interested!  I assure you, you really have nothing to lose.  You can comment on here if you plan to join in, or you can email me at 

Here is really a great resource for the Matrix of Paleo Foods--this one is limited, but it gives you an idea.

This beginners guide is funny and helpful--

Really, I am asking you to join me.  I am doing all of the work, so really, ask yourself---WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

MYTH: Cheat Meals are Healthy for you.

      I can't even count the number of times I've heard "I have two cheat meals a week" or "You're never going to believe what I ate last night". Usually the person saying it is right, I can't guess what they ate last night and generally I don't care.  When did we start referring to "meals" as "cheat meals"?  Did you do something wrong that you need to feel guilty about?  That's like being at the scene of a murder and the police office  asking you "Did you commit this murder?" and your response being "Yes sir I did, but it's cool I only commit two murders a week so I still got one left in me this week."  That is something to feel guilty about, not food.

      In searching the web I found over 130,000,000 MILLION websites dedicated to the science of cheat meals.  CHEAT MEALS?  Science?  No sorry science to me is finding a cure for cancer, finding renewable energy sources, finding a cure for physical and cognitive issues before babies are born, etc.  It is not deciding that "If I eat this, I'll feel like shit about myself so I never do it again--until my next cheat meal."

     Now try searching "Mass Genocide" and see how many websites come up.  Ridiculous people.  Several websites even implied cheat meals needs to be PLANNED in your schedule of eating.  Wait, I am supposed to know when I am desperately going to need the comfort of a couple beers and a slice of pizza because my work day was so bad?  Let me tell you, I never have planned bad work days--generally they just become bad when I am tired, cranky, over worked, over whelmed, and under paid.  I don't plan for my day to be bad.  If I did, I'd generally only experience life from the comfort of my bed because I'd avoid bad days.

     One website suggests: "The gist of these cheats is to eat clean for the better part of your week, stay active and reward yourself by taking the shackles off your menu every once in a while (livestrong)."  My menu has shackles now? No people prisoners have shackles, the poor people who are experiencing mass genocide are probably shackled--YOUR MEAL PLAN DOESN'T HAVE SHACKLES. 

     The whole theory behind cheat meals is that is something we are supposed to feel guilty about. We are now associating our food with guilt.  That's insane. If you truly want to feel guilty about something here are some suggestions I have for you:  
don't hold the door for a nun,  huff and puff behind an elderly person taking to long at the check out line in Shop Rite, steal a kids Halloween candy,  beep at the teenager in front of you who is in the through lane while driving but decides this is the lane they plan to make a left turn from,  and/or say a curse word.  After doing one or all of those things go to your closest place of worship and go in that little wood box with that other dude who you can't see and repent.

     Before I made my confirmation when I was a wee little one we had to go in that little box and tell all of our sins.  The people running CCD even gave us suggestions of sins.  So, I just used their suggestions.  The whole idea behind telling someone the things I did wrong gave me anxiety.  I went in and said "I say bad words to my brother and sister".  The kind gentlemen behind the screen gave me some suggestions to repent for my sins and to go outside in the pew and say a slew of different prayers.  By the time I got back to the pew I forgot how many of what prayer to say so I just closed my eyes and moved my lips as if talking to myself. I then looked up at wooden Jesus and said a silent "I'm sorry I couldn't remember all of the Hail Mary's wooden Jesus."

    Now same situation in same wooden box with man behind screen, because I am being told by society that I should feel guilty about eating a slice of pizza on a Thursday in 2009.  Go into that little box again and tell the little man behind the screen all of the things you ate this week that you deem as not healthy.  You most likely will get a long stretch of silence from the man behind the screen because..and this revelation of mine is really going to knock your socks off....EATING A SLICE OF PIZZA IN 2009 IS NOT A SIN.   I can't 100% verify that because me and the big man don't talk that often (not because I don't want to talk to him, but because I'd like to believe my issues pale in comparison to others facing more serious situations in their lives"), but I can guess if Jesus/Allah/yada yada were here he'd say... "Wait, I'm sorry, are you serious with this confession?  You feel guilty about eating?"

    A recent study suggests that: "In general, women tend to report more feelings of guilt towards
food than men do (Steenhuis)".  Now please tell me this isn't because we use the words "cheat meal" like we're saying "Happy Birthday" to someone.   I think we all need to step back and say "Why am I guilty?   "Is feeling like I did something wrong by eating that in anyway going to help my self esteem?"  If your a sane rationale person you will realize 1.  I haven't done anything wrong to feel guilty about and 2. When I feel like eating should make me feel guilty I then in turn feel less good about myself as a person.

    What I am suggesting is we stop saying "cheat meals" and just refer to all of our food as exactly what it is: FOOD.   So hey, on your journey to healthy and clean living you eat a pizza and drank a beer.  After eating, acknowledge that yes that wasn't the healthiest choice so tomorrow I just won't eat pizza.  But don't limit yourself to two "cheat meals" a week, unless you want to feel like a guilty, self hating, failure.  Or do count every single cheat meal and see how you feel---it would be comparable to eating something then banging your head against a brick wall for 10 minutes because what you ate deserves "punishment".

Like I said before...


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chicken and Mini Meatball Soup with dumplings

This soup is one of my favorites because it's similar to escarole (italian wedding soup). My dad made escarole soup a lot when I was a kid, mostly for holidays. One time my cousin Amber told me it was grasshopper soup because it looks like grasshoppers it's so green.  I thought about it, and quickly began eating again. Why? Because I've loved soup my whole life and no one can stop me!

This soup may look like it has lots of ingredients, but everything is pretty quick, easy, and painless. A lot of the ingredients are also staples you may already have in the house. It takes time, and I usually put everything for the chicken part of the soup in the crock pot the night before--because I am a planner.

  It would be served great at a dinner party or on a cold winter night.  Or in my case, everyday this week for lunch.  I am beginning to write this blog on Tuesday, as I eat my soup.  I'm telling you this because I want you to take in the fact that I've eaten soup 5 times since Sunday.  FIVE TIMES.  Lunch Sunday, dinner Sunday, lunch Monday, dinner Monday...and now.  And probably tomorrow and Thursday because I have leftovers.  I'm dedicated to my soup addiction.  If Intervention was still on the air, someone could submit my story.  I loved Intervention--mostly the parts when the people were crazy and the end when you saw if they made it or not.  Oh man, I am digressing...

Chicken and Mini Meatball Soup with dumplings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients for Soup: 
1. One large container low sodium or organic chicken broth--or homemade (we all know my freezer is a power house so I used homemade)
2.  2 chicken bouillon cubes
3. 1 4-6 pound whole chicken, defrosted
4. 4 cups diced carrots
5. 6-7 cleaned celery stalks, diced
6. One medium size white onion, diced
7. 1 whole bag leaf spinach 
8. 1 tbsp salt
9. 1 tbsp pepper
10. 1/2 cup romano cheese
11. More cheese for garnish

Ingredients for Meatballs:
1. 1 lb meat---veal, pork, and ground meat mix (it says meatloaf mix on it usually, but all Italians know it's used for making meat balls)
2. 1/2 cup Italian Seasons Bread Crumbs
3. 2 tbsp parsley
4. 2 tbsp romano cheese
5. 1 tsp garlic salt
6. 1 tbsp garlic powder
7. 1 tbsp onion powder
8. 2 eggs
9. 1 tsp pepper
10. 1/3 cup warm water

Ingredients for Dumplings:
1. Bisquick
2. Water

1. Line the bottom of a large crock pot with the entire bag of spinach.
2. On top of the spinach place 2 bouillon cubes, chopped celery, chopping onions, and chopped carrots.
3. Season with 1/2 tbsp of salt and pepper
4. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Season with remaining salt and pepper.
5. Fill crock pot about 3-4 inches from the top of the chicken with chicken broth.
6. Cook on low for 7 1/2 hours with the lid on.

7.  While the soup cooks make the meatballs.  Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix gently with hands.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet (or 2!!).  Mine made about 35 meatballs--but me and Kendrick both ate 2 after they cooled! That's him--little stinker
9. Make small meatballs, smaller than a golf ball. Line them up on a backing sheet about 1-2 inches apart so they don't steam.

10. Place in the oven. (I made my meatballs the night before and refrigerated them so they kept their shape when placed in the soup)
11.  Cook the meatballs for 25-30 minutes until brown and firm.  Allow to cool.
12. Remove chicken from soup and pull meat, placing the meat back into the crock pot. Discard fat and bones.
13.  Once the meatballs have cooled place into the soup and stir GENTLY!! If you jostle them too much you'll be making chili with ground meat.
14. Stir 1/2 cup romano cheese into the soup..GENTLY!
14.  Prepare the dumplings according to the package directions.
15. Place in soup.
16. Garnish with cheese and serve!