Sunday, March 23, 2014

Giveaway: Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook

I stumbled upon Joshua Weissman's blog, Slim Palate, over a year ago.  I was new to paleo and on a mission to find new recipes.  Josh had everything I needed.  Brilliant pictures, a way with words, and best of all fantastic recipes.  His new book The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook is an exact replica of his blog.  It's well organized, full of breathtaking food photographs, and loaded with useful recipes.

Most of the recipes in the book are simple yet flavorful.

Tonight for dinner I made his caramelized butternut squash with thyme.  All four of us inhaled it.

I also made his brownie recipe.

It is hard to believe how easy these are to mix up.

In the past few months Squirrel has developed a pretty strange nut allergy.  These brownies are nut and grain free.

We may have eaten the whole pan after dinner one night.

I haven't done a contest in quite some time so I was thrilled when Josh said I could give a copy of his book away.

So here's the deal:

Hey guys make sure you entering through rafflecopter!
• All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me what you look for in a cookbook.
(pictures, desserts, simple meals, slow cooker meals, easy to read)
• The contest ends March 31st.
• Giveaway is limited to US residents.
• If you don't win you can always order his book here on Amazon.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

RECIPE: Gluten Free Oatmeal Granola Bars

Y'all I was so excited that these turned out the way they did! I've been trying to nail this recipe down for quite some time.

My kids love granola bars and I just hate buying them. They usually have questionable ingredients and are kinda pricey.  These are similar to those quaker oats chewy granola bars but have ingredients you are familiar with.

Plus it's so simple to just mix them up.

They are perfectly sweet and hold together beautifully.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Granola Bars

1 1/2c gluten free rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1c gluten free brown rice cereal
1T chia seeds
1/3c no sugar added sunflower seed butter
1/3c honey
1T coconut oil
1t vanilla
1/2c chopped dried dates
pinch of salt

Mix together your dry ingredients- oats, cereal, chia seeds, and salt in a large bowl.  In a microwave safe bowl combine sunbutter, honey, and coconut oil.  Microwave for about 10-15 seconds.  This will just make it easier to mix into the dry ingredients.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the wet into the dry and mix well.  Add the dates.  Press firmly into an 8x8 glass dish and refrigerate for a few hours or until set.  Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

You could also add chocolate chips... or dried cranberries... or raisins... or a chocolate drizzle (1T chocolate chips and 1/2t coconut oil melted).

What is your favorite granola bar?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Munchkin Meals: Letting Go

Last week at the grocery store I bought a loaf of bread and a pack of tortillas.  A million pounds was lifted from my shoulders during that shopping trip.

If you've been following my blog for a bit you know I've been trying to switch my kids over to a paleo diet.  I tried it for about three weeks and I'll admit it... I gave up.  I was so stressed out about what went into my kid's mouths that it was really getting to me.  I finally let it go.

My kids aren't going to eat a 100% paleo diet right now.  It's just going to have to wait.  I'm still going to refuse to feed them junk and chemicals.  They are just going to eat real food.

So here are some of their clean eats from this past week:


Steel cut oatmeal with grade B maple syrup and grass fed butter.  Plus pastured bacon and organic berries.  They had a cup of raw whole milk with this as well.  They eat this several times a week.


Organic Sunbutter and raw honey sandwich, local organic fuji apple, and a special treat of Trader Joes olive oil potato chips (just potato, olive oil, and salt).  They had water with their lunch.


Friday night pizza night!  A Rudi's spelt tortilla topped with Raos marinara, Kerrygold grass fed cheese, and Applegate pepperoni.  This was served with broccoli and water.

Have you ever just let something go nutrition wise?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Amazon Prime and More Randomness

I know I've been slacking on blog posts. It's so much easier to instagram... Seriously. Do any of you feel that way?  I get so caught up in posting on there that I forget about this little thing I have going... called MY BLOG.  I've been eating a lot of good stuff lately and I've found some really cool things!  If you follow me on instagram some of these pictures might be a repeat.

First of all... Honeyville almond flour.

I've heard so many bloggers recommend it but I never thought it would be worth spending $40 for.  I mean come on... Almond flour is almond flour.  Bob's Red Mill is JUST fine... right?  Not so much.

It's $40 for pretty much a lifetime supply in my house.  5lbs is a lot!  Plus it really does make all the difference in the world.

Texture.  It's not grainy.  It's not coarse.  It's so close to real flour.  It took my paleo pancakes to an all new level.

Let me put it this way.  I made a batch of the almond flour pancakes just for myself for dinner the other night because the rest of my family usually doesn't like them.  My husband and kids were begging for them.  They were that good... and it's all because of that flour!

Speaking of Honeyville almond flour... Amazon prime!

The only place I can find sugar free sunflower seed butter here in Monterey is Whole Foods... and it's $8.99 a jar.  I got a 6 pack on Amazon for $39!  I'll do the math for you.  That's $6.50 a jar.  Needless to say I'm an Amazon prime addict these days.

And let me talk a little bit about this guy.

I'm not usually a fan of larabars.  I like to make my own.  I'm so in love with this bar.

Of course it's seasonal and my Whole Foods is out of them.

Maybe that's a good thing...?

Have you tried anything new lately?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Seasonal Eating

I think all of this sunshine has the chemicals in my body all confused.  I'm originally from Ohio and I moved to North Carolina when I was 16. Although NC is warmer than Ohio it does have seasons… to some extent. It at least it has gloomy days. I need a gloomy day. I'm just not used to all of these perfect, warm, sunny days… think 70 and bright sun every single day.  What a terrible thing to complain about.  Seriously.

You can definitely tell I feeling the need for a season change by my food.  I'm feeling like some fall foods.  I have turkey and mashed sweet potatoes on the menu this week… and this is just a sample of what I've been eating the past few days.

Eggs and greens of course for breakfast.  Alongside some bacon or fruit.

Brussels, pork, and kale leftovers for lunch.

Thanksgiving meatballs and butternut squash soup for dinner.

See I told ya I'm wanting it to be fall.

and I've been LOVING this little snack.  Dried dates stuff with pistachios.

Does the weather affect your moods?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Munchkin Meals: Gluten Free Pancakes

I'm on a gluten free pancake hunt. I really like the idea of oat flour instead of all the other random flours (rice, tapioca, potato). Squirrel doesn't eat eggs so I'm having a really hard time figuring out what to give her for breakfast! Any ideas? She isn't into my paleo pancakes either… Too eggy.

My kids have been eating oat flour pancakes from Food Prepper for breakfast lately.  This recipe was good… but a little dry.  I'm still searching for the one.

I made sun butter sandwiches out of them and served them with pear and Applegate sausage.

I've noticed that people here in Monterey like to eat outside.  So we've been doing a lot of picnics!

This lunch included:  A treat of olive oil potato chips (just potatoes, olive oil, and salt), a homemade gluten free granola bar, strawberries, Applegate pepperoni, Kerrygold cheese, and cheesy kale chips.

We tried something new this week for dinner.

Ground pastured pork, kale chips (we can't get enough of them!), and mashed sweet potatoes made with maple syrup and grass fed butter.  The mashed sweet potatoes were the new thing and neither liked them.  If I were eating them it would taste like dessert!

We are working on them… we are slowly taking tiny steps in the paleo direction.

Let me know if you have any good egg free/paleo breakfast ideas!  Paleo muffins?  Gluten free banana bread?  Anything!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pizza, Popcorn, and Movie Night

The one thing I've missed while doing a Whole30 is having pizza and popcorn on Friday night with my kids.

Well last night I figured out how to do it.


and popcorn!

Juli from paleOMG's pizza pie is going crazy on instagram.  I just had to try it.

Instead of using pizza sauce I used Raos marinara.  I just added some extra italian seasoning to it.

I also added green peppers...

and a whole pack of pepperoni.

This is as amazing as everyone says it is!  We made real pizza for the kids last night and LB actually pushed his plate away and took mine.

As for the popcorn… I actually made this recipe for cheesy kale chips the other night for dinner and my family couldn't get enough of them.

I might need to alter my kale chip recipe because baking them at 200 degrees was the way to go!

What special treats do you let yourself have?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No Whining

I am cranky today. I can think of several reasons why.

I was woken up at 4:30 this morning by a text message.  I forgot to put my phone on silent.  It was a  good one but it made me lose an hour of sleep. I've got a nagging pain in my left shoulder. Every single time I do push press… and I don't even lift that heavy. I've been mentally terrorized by a three year old all day. As much as I love my kids I can only take so much whining/neediness in a day. I'm maxed out.  

I am happy that I get to share with you my meals from yesterday.  I've been eating some good stuff lately!  Do you follow me on instagram?  You should because I've been posting a lot of what I eat daily on there.

So here goes.


Y'all I really eat the same thing for breakfast every morning.  Sometimes I might eat what the hubs is making but I just like my eggs, greens, and ghee.  This time it was kale.


Now that I've figured out how to wrap my burgers I want burgers all the time!  This was just grass fed beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onion wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf.  Plus sweet potatoes on the side.


Paleo mexican meatballs.  If try any of my recipes try this one.  It's simple and SO good in guacamole.  We had them over cauliflower rice.

Have you eaten anything exciting lately?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Munchkin Meals: Paleo Lunchbox

Today I followed this little munchkin's meals.

Whenever people ask me for help regarding picky eaters the first thing that comes out of their mouth is "they WILL NOT eat ___".  Well let me tell you a little bit about my daughter.  She doesn't like eggs (never has and probably never will).  She doesn't like ground meat (burger, pork, turkey, chicken).  She won't eat mushrooms, onions, sweet potato, or anything that looks yucky.

Here's the thing… She loves kale, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, green peppers, oatmeal, steak, pork chops, fish, chicken, any fruit, and the list goes on.  I accept that she doesn't like things and I think people need to do more of that.  Especially when you realize what they already eat!  I'm not going to push eggs because I know she eats a pretty good variety of meat.  I'm not going to push spinach because she eats a pretty good amount of other vegetables.  "Pretty good" is perfectly fine with me.  Is she still offered the things she doesn't like.  Absolutely… and we always follow the one bite rule (take one bite of everything on your plate).

So here's what she ate for the day.  Starting with breakfast.

Rolled oats made with water topped with grass fed butter and pure maple syrup.  Plus a banana and a cup of organic whole milk.  Remember she won't eat eggs so we are struggling with a paleo breakfast for her.  I'm sticking with gluten free until I find a solution!

I packed her a mid morning snack for school.

A gluten free fig bar and a little bit of homemade trail mix (almonds, pecans, cashews, and raisins).  She has water with her snack.

For lunch she got her first paleo-ish lunchbox!

A paleo chocolate chip cookie, unsweetened banana chips, leftover chicken, leftover white potatoes cooked in grass fed butter, and clementines.

Plus a juice box on the side.  If someone could recommend a water bottle that doesn't leak when it's laid down on it's side and is easy to open that would be GREAT!  I haven't found one yet and am tired of spending the money for them.

This is what she brought home:


Tomorrow is grocery shopping day so dinner for everybody was rough.  My "had a bad day" or "need to buy groceries" meal is always this for the kids.

Organic chicken, jasmine rice, broccoli, and carrots.  Everything was cooked in either grass fed butter or coconut oil.

What did your munchkin eat today?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

RECIPE: Paleo Hot Chocolate

Why didn't I think of this sooner? I've been looking for something to sip of an evening while I'm winding down. Maybe the sugar isn't that great before bed… I don't really care. I'm not in to tea and coffee is pretty much out of the question.  This fills the void of needing "something" after dinner and it's kind of like dessert.

Paleo Hot Chocolate

1.5 cups hot unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2-4 large pitted dates (depending on how sweet you want it)*

Put everything in a blender and blend on high for a minute or two.  Serve immediately.

*I find dates in the produce section of the grocery store.  The best kinds are not pitted.  Don't buy the ones that are already pitted.  Trust me.  There's a difference!

Do you feel like you need "something" after dinner?  If so, what do you have?  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Munchkin Meals: 1st Day of School

Today was my kid's first day of school here in California.

If you have kids you know how I was feeling this morning.  I hate leaving them in a strange place alone.  I walked out of each school sobbing.  We all survived the day...  They both said they loved school.

Speaking of the first day of school...

This guy had this first day of grad school yesterday!  Ha!

Alright, let's talk munchkin meals.

Since we've moved to California and since Christmas is over (FINALLY!) we've cracked down on the kids diet.  They get what we get and we eat paleo... to some extent.  I'm definitely planning some actual days in the lives of my kids posts because I LOVE reading about munchkin meals over at Brittany's blog.


I wanted to show you how we decided to switch our kids over to a paleo diet.  We started cold turkey with all gluten free meals and a paleo dinner including safe starches.

Our paleo meals always include meat, fat, and veggies.  For instance, last night I made zucchini noodles with asian meatballs.

My bowl

Kid bowl

The kids got everything we had plus some steamed white rice.

The other night we made pork chops and brussels.

My plate

Kid plate

Pork chops, brussels, and organic white potatoes cooked in grassfed butter.

Why the safe starch?  Because this is all relatively new food.  I do feel like I'm asking a lot.  I don't think it's fair to do everything cold turkey.  They do have to try everything on their plate (even if they've tried it before).  If they don't like anything on their plate at least they'll like the rice or potatoes and be able to fill their bellies.

What kind of diet do your kids eat?
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician nor do I have any type of medical training. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience.