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Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Have Good News and I Have Bad News.....

Bad news:  Last week I was home alone so I was pretty lazy about cooking and eating.
Good news:  I ate up a lot of the leftovers that were in the fridge so we can start fresh this week!
Bad news:  I have to create a plan for the whole week!
Good news:  We will likely try out some new recipes!

Yes, we will definitely try out some new recipes.  I am especially interested in the Chicken Stir Fry recipe below from PaleoGrubs.com because I love love love garam masala!  But we have a freezer full of grass fed beef (how lucky are we?!) so I am going to sub in beef for the chicken.  In the winter I make a microwave meatloaf that uses garam masala so I know the flavors will work together.

So let's see what else is on the menu this week:

Chewy dark chocolate chunk cookies  - I actually made these this morning.  I was a little nervous about using all that almond butter in a recipe I hadn't tested so I halved the recipe.  They turned out good, so next time I will make the full recipe.

Grilled Chicken with sauteed shallots and rosemary - Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper (or whatever you want.... maybe a little lemon pepper?) grill as usual.  While that's going on, thickly slick 4 medium shallots, saute in 4 tablespoons coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary.    When you take the chicken off the grill, give it a quick turn in the pan with the shallots and rosemary to sear in the flavors.  Serve with a green salad.

Chicken salad - We are all about the leftovers at this house.  Use some leftover chicken, and make chicken salad your way!  The basic recipe is cooked chicken and Duke's mayo (our favorite).  Last week I mixed in fresh blueberries and it was amazing.  You can add pine nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, raisins, dried cranberries (remember to use the no sugar added kind)... whatever you want!  Because my leftover chicken will have shallots and rosemary, I am thinking some pine nuts will add crunch without detracting from all that flavor.

Black beans and rice - We eat this a lot in the winter but we love it all year round too.  Because 1) it's tasty and 2) it's easy! Or may because 1) it's easy and 2) it's tasty!  Cook brown rice according to the package.  (We usually use one cup dry rice.)  Put a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a big skillet.  Add a rough cut onion and saute until tender.  Add a couple cloves of chopped garlic and saute another minute.  Pour in two cans of drained and rinsed black beans and one can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes.  If you can't find those kind of stewed tomatoes, use one can of regular stewed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis.  Stir and heat through.  Serve over rice.

Grilled steak and onions -  We will throw a couple of those grass fed steaks on the grill and while they're doing their thing, we will cook very rough cut onions on the cool grill pan my SIL turned me onto.  You really need to get one of these things!!  We will serve those with green beans.

Hot dogs and slaw -  Hot dogs probably are never going to be totally clean, but the Hebrew National ones come close enough for an occasional indulgence.  We prefer Trader Joe's whole wheat hot dog buns, or you can eat it with no bread!  Cook your dogs however you prefer.  The secret is the slaw.  MR came up with this recipe and it's my new go-to!   MR's Sure-to-be-Famous Coleslaw

Chicken (or beef) Stir Fry - As I said above, I am going to sub beef in this recipe.  I feel quite sure it's going to become a favorite!!!  If you haven't used garam masala yet, you are missing out!  It adds amazing flavor!!

As always, lunches are usually leftovers and breakfasts are plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of homemade granola.  Eating clean doesn't have to be complicated, you just have to plan a little!

What are you eating this week?  Remember to Keep it Clean!!




Time to Make the Donuts... Paleo Donuts!

It's been a while since I wrote and published a post.  I write lots of them... they just don't all get published.  Sometimes I just use it as a way to keep track of recipes.  But it's about time I got back to sharing some of those recipes, don't you think?!

It's been crazy hot here on the eastern seaboard, as I guess it has just about everywhere, in the US at least.  It was even plenty warm the one day I was in Canada this summer.  And not "warm for Canada" kind of warm.  It was pretty hot, actually!  But I enjoyed it.  We went to Buffalo and then of course had to see the infamous Niagara Falls.  MR had never been to the Falls or Canada, so we checked both those of his list that day!  Our G-Bird lives in Buffalo now so we will likely get there again.  Soon, I hope!

So all that just to say, it's really been too hot to cook!  Meals at home have been a lot of salads or something we can put on the grill.  Dear SIL turned us onto a tool for our grill so we can grill veggies easy-peasy!  Grilled zucchini, onions, and mushrooms (not necessarily together, but not necessarily not either) were pretty much a staple this summer.  So easy!  So tasty!

Anyway, I've been home alone this week.  Often a recipe for trouble but I have actually behaved myself!  Last night Baby Girl and I went out to dinner.  We sat by the water and enjoyed a nice meal.  I love spending time with my kiddos!

But as I said, home alone often leads to boredom, which instead of trouble this time led to perusing recipes online, which led to the one that is in the oven right now!  Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts!



You can go straight to the original recipe at the link but I've also copied it here.  It's not mine, it is from Paleo Grubs, but sometimes when I link to stuff and then the links get broken or pages get taken down I can't find the recipe, so I have started to post the recipe as well as link to it.  But all credit, as far as I know, goes to http://paleogrubs.com/.   I just love to have something like this in the house when I'm feeling snack-y!

What are you eating this week?!  Remember to keep it clean!

Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup coconut flour
  2. 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. 1 tsp lemon zest
  7. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
  10. 2 tbsp honey
  11. ½ cup almond milk
  12. coconut oil for greasing a pan
For glaze
  1. 2 tbsp warm honey
  2. ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  3. 1 tsp poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a standard donut pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda and pinch of salt.
  3. Add in the milk, eggs, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, poppy seeds and mix to combine.
  4. Allow the batter to rest for about 5 minutes to ensure the moisture is absorbed by the coconut flour.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 6 donut molds. Bake for 17- 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and donuts are set.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Gently remove the donuts from the pan. Brush the donuts with warm honey and sprinkle with desiccated coconut and poppy seeds.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Clean Eating Pecan Lace Cookies

A friend of mine made pecan lace cookies recently.  I can't say I had ever had them before.  Even though I knew they weren't clean, I just had to try a bite.  They looked so good ... and they were!  After that taste, I knew I had to find a way to clean them up.  The good news, it was super easy to do!  The better news, my official in-house dessert expert has deemed them better than the originals... and he was eating up the originals!!!  If you want to try the originals, I found that recipe here.

This makes a big batch of cookie dough.  Supposed to be enough to make 55 cookies!  I have only baked about a dozen at this point, and will continue to bake 6 or 12 at a time until the batter is gone.  It keeps for two weeks in the fridge, so it's okay to do that.



Clean Eating Pecan Lace Cookies

2/3 cup coconut sugar (I went a little light on the coconut sugar, so 1/2 cup to 2/3, depending on your sweet tooth)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (you can use salted butter but if you do, omit the dash of salt)
1/2 cup honey
dash of salt
1 tsp grated orange zest (can omit)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup ground oats (I just ground up old fashioned oats in a clean coffee grinder)

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, stir together coconut sugar, butter, honey, and salt if using, until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.

Remove pan from heat and mix in remaining ingredients.  Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drop dough by 1/2 teaspoon, placing 2 inches apart.  Roll into balls.  (If you use anything bigger than a 1/2 tsp the cookies may bake together.  Be sure to place them 2" apart.)

Bake about 5 or 6 minutes, or until edges get golden brown.  When cooking with honey, they can burn quickly so watch the first batch or two to see how long yours take.  Transfer cookies on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely.  They will crisp as they cool.

Store in an airtight container with parchment squares between cookies to prevent them from touching.

These are very delicate and fragile so store them in a way they won't get crushed.

 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Clean Eating for the Newbie!

It's been a while since I wrote a post.  Lots of reasons, tons of excuses!  But I met someone new this week who is very interested in eating clean.  She was a vegetarian and is recently a vegan.  Now, a lot of my recipes are for neither of those categories....  but some are.   And some can be adapted.

Since this is just the way I eat now, going on four years, I don't really think about it as much.  But I get pretty excited about clean eating again when someone has questions and wants to share.  So this is for you!  The one who is curious and has lots of questions.  As an added bonus, I am including the Cheez It recipe and a great recipe for Chia Berry Jam... two recipes that anyone can enjoy.

For those new to clean eating the big question seems to be, but what can I eat?  I started out pretty easy, just reading labels.  If it has less than five ingredients and you can pronounce them all, you are probably okay.  Even better is one ingredient.... apples, avocados, chicken, Romaine lettuce... you get the picture.

We also avoid sugar (white, brown, pure cane, etc.) and white flour.  We do sometimes use whole wheat flour.   I do buy boxes of whole wheat pasta.  I know some clean eaters don't eat any wheat products, but that's their choice.  They also eat only organic. Again, not a bad choice, but not my choice.  We try to buy local produce and we get our grass fed beef from a local farmer.  We buy the beef once a year so it averages out a to a pretty good cost.

The easiest way to be sure you are eating clean, of course, is to cook from scratch.  I love a lot of the recipes at www.thenakedkitchen.com.  They have a great marinara recipe and the Kid Approved Tortilla Soup couldn't be easier... or tastier!  Another great resource is www.thegraciouspantry.com.  She's on this journey too and offers lots of great insights and advice.

This is not a long post, but just a starting point.  If you have a specific question, go ahead and post and I will answer the best I can!






Sunday, August 16, 2015

Swedish Pancakes... harder than it needed to be!

I am a binge TV watcher. I don't watch TV every day or even every week but when I do, I tend to watch entire seasons of old series.  Currently I am watching That 70s Show.  Not really sure why, because it's really just another crappy sitcom, but anyway, that's what I'm watching now that I have run out of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Sherlock.  So, the other day Kitty made Swedish pancakes for breakfast and that seemed to make Red really happy.  I'd never heard of them so I Googled a recipe and thought, well, gosh, that looks easy!  So I made them for breakfast and served them with homemade applesauce.

Except.... it really wasn't that easy.  Oh, the recipe is easy enough, but you see, we just moved into a new house and the appliance delivery was delayed by two weeks.  So I have no major appliances in my kitchen. None!  Fortunately, for me, my first world problem is not so bad because in the basement of the house we bought is a kitchenette with a refrigerator and a stove.  Not a big fridge, so I do have to be careful about my grocery shopping, but a fridge nonetheless.  And the stove is great.  Kind of old but clean and it works well!  (Once I remembered to plug the electric burners back in after cleaning it.)

So, you're probably thinking, what is her problem?  She has a refrigerator and a stove.  No dishwasher but so what?  Suck it up, buttercup!  Right?  Okay, you're right.  Really no problem, except that I'm used to doing all my work in one kitchen.  So I always seemed to be in the wrong kitchen at the wrong time.  Therefore, the recipe for these Swedish pancakes went something like this:

Look in upstairs kitchen pantry for flour.
Remember that flour is whole wheat so it's in downstairs kitchen refrigerator.
Run downstairs for flour.
Run upstairs with flour.
Read the recipe instructions and realize you start out by mixing together milk and eggs.
Run downstairs for eggs and milk.  
Run back upstairs and realize you forgot the milk.
Run back downstairs for milk.
Upstairs and start mixing milk and eggs together in Kitchen-Aid.  Look at next step and realize the butter needs to be melted.
Run downstairs to get butter and melt on stove.
No pan downstairs.
Run back upstairs for pan.
Run downstairs and melt butter.
Run back upstairs and pour melted butter into Kitchen-Aid.
Realize I was supposed to add the flour first.
Measure flour into Kitchen-Aid.
Add rest of milk.
Run back downstairs to make pancakes.
Forgot plate to put them on.
Back upstairs for plate.
Downstairs, pour first pancake in pan.
No flipper.
Back upstairs for flipper.
Downstairs to finish making pancakes.
Upstairs to eat pancakes.
I'm not sure if they tasted so good because they were or because of the amount of calories I burned off running up and down those stairs!  And I'm not sure who is taking the applesauce down to put in the fridge....

So I am better at planning now.  If I am going downstairs, I look around and see if there is naything I can take with me.  Same for going up.  I'm going to need to recarpet the stairs soon if the appliance don't come!

And if you've taken the time to read all that, I thank you!  And to reward you, I give you the actual recipe.


3 eggs
2-1/2 cups milk (I use almond milk)
1-1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter, melted

In a large bowl, beat eggs with half the milk.  Beat in flour and salt until smooth.  Stir in melted butter and remaining milk. Batter will be thin.  Heat small non-stick saute or crepe pan on high heat.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan and rock it slightly to coat bottom of pan.  Cook until edges start to dry, just a couple minutes.  Flip and cook the other side about 30 seconds.  Keep warm while making remaining pancakes.

(If you don't use a non-stick pan, you will probably have to use oil in the pan.)

Serve with homemade applesauce, jam, or maple syrup.






Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Morning Breakfast Break

I am one of those people who can pretty much eat the same thing all the time.  MR likes to change it up a bit more frequently.  He doesn't mind leftovers, but after about the third time, he is done.  I attribute my willingness to eat the same thing all the time to being basically lazy on my part.  If I have the same thing all the time, I don't have to think of something new to make.  Plus, I hate to make a recipe and have it not turn out well.  Such a waste.  So if I have a tried and true recipe....  well, I tend to stick with it.

The same is true regardless of the meal.  You already know I eat supper leftovers for lunch.  That's not just being lazy, although that's part of it, but it's also being practical and economical.  For breakfast I often eat the same thing.  It has eggs, it has cream cheese, it has... oh wait, that's it!  Two ingredients.  It takes about three minutes to make and it's really delicious.  You can add a little sweetener if you like, and even pour on a little real maple syrup.  That makes it taste more like French toast.  Sort of.  But I just like the eggs and cream cheese version.  I can whip it together in a soup mug at work and have a hot and healthy breakfast.  But even I like something different now and then, so today is devoted to some wonderful breakfast ideas!

EGG PUFF
Egg Puff - sweet version with syrup
2 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. of sweetener of choice
Real maple syrup

Heat cream cheese on high in a microwaveable dish for 20 seconds. (a soup mug works well).  Remove from microwave and stir it up a bit.  Add two eggs  (and sweetener if using) and whisk with a fork until they are somewhat blended.  There will be lumps, but that's okay.  Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Remove and whisk again, getting the egg mixture as smooth as you can.  Again, it doesn't have to be perfect  Heat for two more minutes.

And that's breakfast!  If you eat English muffins, I could totally see putting this on one and adding a little cheese and a piece of bacon to make a breakfast sandwich.  I just eat it by itself, or sometimes with bacon.

Minute French Toast - This is another good one.  I know we've all had some kind of muffin-in-a-minute or cake-in-a-minute.  That's basically all this is, but then you slice it and grill it in a pan!  If you've ever had a grilled muffin at Perkins you know what that does to it!  Epic!
I use real maple syrup, as opposed to sugar free called for in the recipe.  But that just depends on your eating plan.

Yogurt - Did you know I actually make my own yogurt?  That doesn't fall under the lazy category,
Yogurt with berries and honey
that falls under the... um... frugal category.  I used to pay over $7 for Fage 2% yogurt.  Yikes stripes!  And that only lasted MR about a week.  He is totally worth it, but I just knew there had to be a better way. And there is.  Now we buy a gallon of milk (the recipe calls for half a gallon but it is easily doubled and works out just fine) for half the price of the Fage and make about twice as much yogurt.  And it really is good.  And it really is easy.  It's very important to use a candy thermometer and make sure you get the milk to about 180 - 190 F and then cool back to about 110 - 112.  The only time consuming part is heating the milk.  The rest is just letting it sit and do its thing!

Breakfast Crepes with Chia Berry Jam - These are a good make ahead kind of breakfast.  I like to take them to a potluck brunch.  They aren't hard to make at all.  (You may sense a theme.....)

Blueberry Lemon Puffed Omelette - When I have a little more time I like to make this omelette.  It is baked in the oven and so light and fluffy!  Plus, you know... easy!

I realize there are a lot of eggs in these recipes.  But I eat a lot of eggs!  What do you like to eat?  Do you have a recipe that needs cleaned up?  Let me know in the comments and we'll see what we can do!  Until then, Keep it Clean!!



Friday, February 20, 2015

Recipes for a Wintry Season

I was going to tattle on someone.  I was going to tell you what I saw in her fridge today.  But then I realized that I would be breaking my own rule.  This blog and my Facebook page are about how I eat, not how I think anyone else should eat.  It's just my way of sharing what has worked for me.  My friend apparently eats a way that is different than mine.  I am not going to tell her she's wrong.  Because, frankly, maybe she isn't!  I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or any other professional that might have any clue about nutrition.  I just know that clean eating has helped me to lose weight and feel better.

So instead, I will tell you what we are eating this week.  As always, leftovers from supper go into lunches, so I don't have anything different to share for lunch.  But I will share some favorite breakfast ideas!  You might notice that there is a fair amount of fat in my daily eating plan.  I am not really tracking fat or calories or anything but I have found that more fat does help me feel fuller and it doesn't seem to impact my ability to keep the weight off.

The weather here, as in many parts of the US, has been so cold.  So very very cold!  Because of that I am throwing in a couple of slow cooker recipes.  Nothing better than coming home to the smell of home cooking!

Cream Cheese Chicken and Black Beans - The important thing to remember with this one is to be sure to use a salsa that doesn't have added sugars or any preservatives or other junk.  It's best if you have made your own, but if you didn't.... well, it's kind of the wrong time of year to worry about that!!!  I will probably serve this over brown rice.

Slow Cooker Stir Fry - This is a very adaptable recipe.  Pretty much you can use any leftover bits of vegetables you might have.  Or you can get some just for this.  Whatever works!  Be sure to omit the sugar and, if you like, you can sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce.

Chili -   You can make this to suit your family.  We just used a 26 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, a drained and rinsed can of black beans, a drained can of pinto beans.  Add that to 1# ground beef which has been browned with a small chopped onion.  Season to taste.  Voila!!!  Supper!

Chicken Caesar Salad - The other day I cooked a couple pounds of chicken tenders.  I used some to make chicken salad but still have some left.  So I will chop that up and throw it in with some Romaine, clean Caesar dressing (Trader Joe's makes a Romano dressing that's clean-ish and tastes wonderful or you can make your own), a little crumbled bacon, and some freshly grated Parmesan.  Another quick and easy meal.  Okay, not a Winter meal... but I have to use up all that chicken I cooked!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad - I already made the quinoa for this.  It's just sitting in the fridge waiting for me to get back to it.  Remember to rinse your quinoa before you cook it.  Otherwise, your refrigerator will stink stink stink!!!  This probably isn't exactly a Winter time meal, either but I haven't made it in a long time and I really like it.  Plus it's super easy to take in lunches because it doesn't require heating up!

Yogurt - Okay, this isn't for supper, but I do make my own yogurt now (can you imagine?!).  It's easy and tastes so good.  I can't believe how much I have probably spent on buying yogurt over the years when I could just do this.  MR takes this most days for a snack with some frozen fruit or granola.  By the time he has a chance to eat it, the fruit is thawed and mixes right in!  (He takes it in a separate container though and mixes it when he's ready to eat.)   I also make my own granola.  Just throw a batch in on Sunday afternoon, and we are set for the week.



Fluffy eggs - This is a microwave recipe so that might not work for some of you, but I don't mind using the microwave.  This is so easy and my new favorite way to eat eggs.  I can even do this at work because we have a microwave in the break room.  In the microwave, heat 2 ounces of cream cheese for 20 seconds in a large ramekin (or even a big coffee mug if that's what you have).   Take it out and beat in two eggs (I usually pre-beat these a little just to help them mix in a little better).  Then microwave the eggs and cream cheese together in the dish for 45 seconds.  Remove from microwave and beat it all again making it as creamy as you can. It doesn't have to be perfect.  Then microwave for two minutes.  It will puff way up, but I have never had it overflow... don't worry!  Then when it's ready, you can eat it right out of the dish.  You can make this super savory by adding bacon bits or some spices.  Or you can sweeten it up by adding a little sweetener substitute of choice when you add the eggs and then pour a little real maple syrup over it.  I eat them plain but occasionally do the sweet version.

So that's pretty much what we're eating at my house this week.  What about you?  What's for supper?  Whatever it is, Keep it Clean!!