Now that it is cooler, comfort food is on my mind! This weekend, we realized that forgetting to get furnace filters this summer, when we changed them, was a bad mistake. It got down to 51 degrees in our house yesterday morning! Yikes!
We finally turned on the heat yesterday afternoon/evening since my parents were going to Jamestown and got us some filters! Thank goodness for mom and dad! I haven’t been in the office lately or in Jamestown for awhile now since I have been out in the field on paving and patching jobs.
Being outside all day, most days, especially this week with the rain, cold, and wind, I want something warm when I get home. Something comforting. Faux ‘tatoes are the perfect thing, plus they are paleo (great for my aching joints from long, cold days).
What You’ll Need:
1 large head of Cauliflower
1 clove Garlic
1/2 cup full fat Coconut Milk
1/3 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Bacon Bits (optional)
Cut and divide washed cauliflower head into medium sized chunks. Place in medium kettle over medium-high heat and bring to a full boil until cauliflower is soft.
Drain cauliflower and place in blender with garlic, milk, broth, salt and pepper. Blend well or for a few minutes until very smooth. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if need or the milk or broth.
Place in serving bowl and top with bacon crumbles or bits!
One of my favorite things about cooler weather is enjoying a hot cup of hot cocoa! I love my hot chocolate! Now that I have made the change to go paleo and part-time vegan (with the right meats and proteins), I chose not to have the not healthy, SwissMiss Cocoa Mix.
Last year, I shared my Grandma Hess’s dry hot cocoa mix recipe, which is amazing and I still have some in my cabinet! It is a staple here in our home! This week, it was a mission on mine to figure out the perfect recipes for hot cocoa! I have tried other healthy recipes, and they just don’t taste creamy or as sweet. I know, I know, I am asking for a lot, but I am very picky about my hot cocoa! Without further or due, here is my Paleo Hot Cocoa Recipe!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
Makes 1 serving!
1 Cup of Unsweetened Cashew Milk
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Truvia, or add in by teaspoon by teaspoon and taste
Mini Marshmallows, optional or you can make your own!
In a small saucepan over high heat, mix the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and truvia and whisk continually until no lumps. Bring to a full boil, stirring continually. Add in marshmallows, if desired. You can also top with full-fat coconut milk for a substitute! Pour into a mug and enjoy with a good book!
Right now, I am writing to you with a clingy bunny on lap, lick my hands and fingers as I type. (:
This week was a long one. I was out in the field, working on a local road project literally 10 minutes from my house. It’s so great not to have to get up at 5 AM, but the days are long nonetheless. I have so much laundry to do this weekend, it’s pretty insane.
I made this recipe last weekend, when we had a house full of company, including Taylor’s family and my family, and a few extras! I made a variety of soups in the crockpot with BBQ-ed chicken sandwiches, dip, and pumpkin bars. I knew I can’t and my mom can’t eat the regular, amazing pumpkin bars that I normally made with the cream cheese frosting. So I wanted to try something new that we both could enjoy!
I came up with this recipe using coconut flour as the base flour and it is sweetened by raw, pure maple syrup. They were delicious!
What You’ll Need:
Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bars
makes one 9″x9″ pan
15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking so
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9″x9″ baking dish well with butter or coconut oil. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well until no clumps remain. Transfer the batter to the greased baking dish, and use a spatula to smooth the top.
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is firm.
Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. Store in in the fridge for up to a week. (They’re delicious straight out of the fridge, too!)
For the Topping:
I didn’t make a big batch, just for individual pieces, makes for two servings or two bars.
1 Tablespoon Natural Jiff Peanut Butter
2 Teaspoons Raw, Pure Maple Syrup
Put in a small bowl, and microwave until melted. Stir and drizzle on pumpkin bar!
It’s always nice to have a long, four day weekend to fully relax and get stuff done! I was in the kitchen a lot this weekend! We had company over on Saturday, I made BBQ Chicken sandwiches, a couple of different soups, Ranch dip, and Pumpkin Bars! It was great to spend time visiting with family!
It’s getting cooler here on the prairie, which gets me all excited to break out my boots, boot socks, cozy sweaters, flannels, and of course, pumpkin everything! Fall is just such a cozy season, and I couldn’t wait to decorate my house! I think I had my fall stuff out since Mid-August!
Fall weather also means SOUPS!! I am so excited to bring back soups in our home. I love my crockpot and having it filled with soup, is even better!
This weekend I made a Smokey Buttercup Soup! It wasn’t with my crockpot, but you could easily do it with!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
1 medium Buttercup Squash
5 Strips of Smokey Tempeh
1 Red Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
3 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
Red Pepper Flakes, Turmeric, Coriander Spices
First, preheat oven to 350 degrees, put whole squash in glass baking dish and put in oven for about 2 hours, or until soft and easy to cut. In a medium skillet combine extra virgin olive oil, onion, red pepper, smokey tempeh, garlic and spices and saute until soft. Set aside. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend well. Can do in portions, if blender is not big enough. Puree, so soup is smooth and bisque like. In a crockpot or large soup kettle, place the pureed soup and heat thoroughly, until hot. Serve and enjoy!
Well, I DID it! I finished the Ultimate Reset! It wasn’t always easy, but I made it! It seemed that after the first week, it really went fast! I got used to all the meal prep and spending time in my kitchen, totally not complaining! 🙂
Week Two consisted of adding a gritty, detox drink 30 minutes before my meals, as well as my regular supplements. It kept me fuller longer, as if the portions weren’t big enough to start! That is the one thing that I was amazed by! The portions! They were huge! Most times, I couldn’t finish them all, so I would cut them in half and typically that was my lunch the next day!
Week two, I could notice a change in my focus and energy. I felt good, and at work, my focus was like a laser. I could get tasks done quickly and without taking breaks, like I usually do. I was less distracted and I felt good. I made the mistake of weighing myself about half way in, and I freaked. I had only lost .4 pounds, after that, I figured it wasn’t working. It made me push harder.
When week three came around, I found out I had to go out to the field for a road construction job that is only 10 minutes from my house! No more getting up at 5 AM!!, for awhile! But… My Ultimate Reset took a hit. I was working, and still am, 13 hour days and no access to a kitchen or microwave. Which makes meal prep and taking things with a nightmare. So, the last few days were hard and I was worried that my results would be compromised, which they probably were, but I was still impressed with my results.
On my last day of the Reset, I had made massage and facial appointments! My hubby got my a gift certificate for my birthday a few months ago, and I thought, now was the perfect time! I took Friday off, and it was complete relaxation! The facial was absolutely amazing! The massage was also great! I totally recommend, doing this to treat yourself! It is wonderful and much needed! My face looks amazing after my facial!
Saturday morning, it was time for results. I lost 4.5 pounds and 3.5 inches! It’s not a lot, but I was still impressed and I look good! I plan to stay on the Pegan Diet! It is a combination of vegan and paleo. It goes off of the 80-20 plan, where you can have meat for 20% of your day, while being vegan 80% of the day. I still have cravings, but they are less powerful. This weekend, my hubby had Tastee Freeze, and was eating onion rings, burgers, and of course ice cream sitting right across from me, and it didn’t even really bother me. I would have been drooling all over that before the reset!
My RA also is good! I tried to re-introduce wheat this week, I ate just a few Triscut crackers, and a few hours later, my joints really started aching. So, I plan to keep wheat out of my diet as much as possible, and stick with good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans, millet, and quinoa.
Overall, I am glad I did it. I was a whole new experience to clean, whole foods. It opened my eyes to a bunch of new, yummy foods to incorporate into my new diet. It also made me better in the kitchen, as far as making homemade dressings, and well, basically everything that I ate, was homemade. It was a lot of work, but worth it. Going on, I am now working out again (after 3 weeks on not, it was hard jumping back on), but I am doing PiYo and Brazil Butt Lift. While I am focusing more on my diet right now than working out.
Yesterday was Sunday, which means a big Sunday dinner meal for my husband. I don’t usually cook a lot during the week nights due to lack of time, energy, and scheduling. Most of the year, my hubby is out harvesting, planting, making hay, stacking bales, or working cows so he usually packs a cooler for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the winter months however, I try to cook larger meals on the weekends, so Taylor has plenty of left overs during the week. It works really well for us, and myself. Once in awhile I’ll come home mid-week, to Taylor cooking a meal for us, I know, I have the best husband ever! And sometimes, I will cook a mid-week meal.
Our meal yesterday, was one of our favorites and oh so easy to make for a Sunday dinner or during the week as a mid-week meal. Here is my own recipe for Ranch Bacon Chicken:
1 package of Tyson raw Chicken Breasts
1 small dressing bottle of Ranch Dressing
12 strips of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon (or any type of bacon, we love the lean and low calories of turkey bacon, and it goes with everything!)
With my meal, I served garden potatoes, fresh from my garden this summer! If you don’t have fresh garden potatoes, grocery store ones work the same! And garlic toast (I needed to use up some bread). I usually make my garlic toast with French loaf or the thick Texas Toast bread, but this time I had regular on hand, which works the same. Just remember to generously butter each side and use garlic powder to avoid extra salt.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees for the chicken. (You can also put in your garlic toast at this temp on the top rack, it will take longer, but be even and nicely toasted on both sides).
While your oven is preheating, it is time to prepare and assemble your chicken. First, dump the small bottle of Ranch Dressing into a gallon bag. If you are using a large bottle, squeeze in a generous amount or it, or enough to coat 3 large chicken breasts. Then, insert your chicken into the bag, one at a time.
After, layout four pieces of bacon flat and horizontally on a flat surface. Lay your chicken on top of the bacon, then wrap the bacon around the chicken so it closes in the back. Flip and place on to the baking dish. (I love my baking dishes by Rachel Ray! My uncle and aunt gave them to us for our wedding gift, and I use them just about every weekend! If your don’t have a set, get them! They work wonders and food never sticks!)
Repeat this process until all chicken is covered. Place in the oven and tend to your potatoes.
Boil the potatoes until soft, then turn on low and simmer until chicken is done. I usually turn my chicken up to 500 degrees at this point, if waiting on the chicken only. It adds a little crispy-ness to the bacon. When the chicken looks cooked and bacon is slightly browned and crispy, take out and assemble your plate! For my garden potatoes, I usually butter them with salt, pepper, and parsley flakes. They are very yummy!
This recipe can also be a great paleo option as well. If you are paleo, do not dip your chicken in the Ranch and just wrap bacon around and cook, serving with lots of fresh veggies, instead of the garden potatoes and garlic toast! This recipe is not only easy, it’s great for left overs, if you have any! Enjoy!
I have been off and on paleo for the past month or so, since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has been a struggle because when I get home, I am exhausted, and my RA doesn’t make it any easier to have extra energy floating around. Needless to say, some nights meal prep is non-existent. On the weekends however, I try and do better and make somewhat paleo meals for Taylor and I. I recently made this recipe, and it turns out hubby gave his full stamp of approval and thought it was amazing! I was happy that I made a healthy meal and it was husband approved! While my hubby is out feeding cows and doing chores this freezing cold morning on the North Dakota prairie, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee, I thought I’d share a recipe!
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 Green Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine
1 Jalapeno Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine
1 head of Lettuce,
1/2 cup of onion (I always use frozen, else buy a bag and chop til you drop and freeze them, always, always, have onions on hand)
And these spices:
Garlic Powder, Watkins Chili Powder, Watkins Red Pepper Flakes, Watkins Cayenne Pepper.
First, chop up the pepper together. Remove seeds from jalapeno, unless you like it spicier. In a large skillet, combine ground turkey, chopped peppers, and onion. Brown on high heat. Don’t be alarmed, turkey has a lot of fat, which will be drained later. Add in a few shakes of all the spices. I have a bad habit of never measuring. Be careful with the cayenne pepper, a little is enough, you can always add more if you like it hotter.
Then after, the turkey is nicely browned, turn on simmer and cover for another 3 minutes or so. While doing this, wash your lettuce and peel it off the head. It is important that you buy a head of lettuce and not the bagged kind. Make it like little cups, like this…
Take off the turkey from the stove and then scoop in a few spoon-fulls into the lettuce cups. Top off with taco sauce, avocado, cheese, more peppers, etc.
You can add as many toppings as you like. Remember paleo is no dairy, so you can always add some vegan cheese to make it completely paleo. This recipes is also 21 Day Fix approved too! I recommend doubling the recipe to have extra for left overs, if there is any! Enjoy! Have a happy Sunday!