Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summer (Mostly) Paleo and (Mostly) GF Eating

We have been going non-stop since our kids got out of school three weeks ago. We’ve been camping, had family in town for a week and then went on vacation. There has been a lot of GF/Paleo eating going on in that time. There has also been a lot of non-GF/Paleo eating going on as well. Here’s some of the things we’ve been eating at home and on the road that will help you if you are trying to eat GF/Paleo. These are also all great options even if you’re not trying to eat GF/Paleo.

Salad for Dinner: lettuce, red peppers, avocado, tomatoes, canned salmon, cucumbers and the juice of half a lemon and half a lime per salad (we did not add any additional salad dressing)

Mexican: This is great for company because everyone can create what they want. We had CrockPot refried beans, ground taco meat, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, flour tortillas, corn tortillas, cheese, corn taco shells, salsa, guacamole and sour cream

Polenta with Italian Sausage and Marinara (if you are trying to stay away from gluten, make sure you know what’s in your sausage. Sausages can have a lot of fillers, some of which may contain gluten.) This dish is a good fit for our house because our kids like pasta…so they eat this dish with pasta and hubby and I substitute the polenta for the pasta.

Garlic Chicken with Tarragon We had this with roasted cauliflower and some berries on the side.

Grilled Sausages (we had cheddar bacon sausages), Cole Slaw, Chips and Fruit

Salad with a hefty scoop of albacore tuna salad in the middle with avocados and a little lemon juice

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Update: Going (mostly) Paleo and (mostly) Gluten-Free

We are about three weeks into our new way of eating and it’s really been remarkably easy. We have hit a few bumps, but changing the way you’ve been eating isn’t going to come without a few hiccups. My husband has lost thirteen pounds in three weeks, so I think that says something. My husband also really wanted to try eating this way because of the prevalence of diabetes in his family…hoping that this would help stop the onset of diabetes in his own body by not eating things that could lead in that direction.

In my last post I listed some things we’d been eating, here are some additions if you would like to try them out as well. The one thing I have noticed is that we are eating a lot more veggies since we are trying to work them into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Gluten-free cereal by KIND and Udi’s
Frittas and omelets with onion, spinach, ricotta and mushrooms
Vanilla or plain yogurt with blueberries and sausage on the side
Orange juice with a splash or two of carrot juice in it

Cucumber slices topped with salmon salad (like tuna salad, just with salmon)

Baked salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasted parmesan broccoli and fruit
Chicken Curry with Cauliflower rice
Roasted Crockpot Chicken with salad and fruit
Cheeseburgers (with no bun) salad and fruit
Buttermilk Roasted Chicken (haven’t tried it yet, it’s on the menu for this week)
Chili Cilantro CrockPot Lime Chicken (haven’t tried it yet, it’s on the menu for this week)

Dang! (roasted coconut with salt and sugar…it’s really filling and SO good)


Filed under Uncategorized

Going Gluten Free

Don’t freak out…let me explain. My husband is going gluten-free for health reasons and I am going along for the ride. I don’t expect to be exclusively gluten-free because I don’t have to be and because there’s a lot of things out there that I like to eat that require gluten, especially if they are going to be tasty. Let’s me honest. I love pie…real pie. I also love baguettes with butter that are dripping with honey. BUT I must also tell you that going gluten-free hasn’t really been as difficult as I thought it would be. We are about halfway through our first week, so I thought I would share what we’ve been eating so far and you can judge for yourself.

-Hardboiled eggs, breakfast sausage, banana, juice
-Gluten-free “granola” from Kind
-Breakfast Tacos-scrambled eggs, guacamole, cheese, salsa in a corn taco shell
-Breakfast Bowl-Scrambled eggs, guacamole, cheese, salsa

-Canned salmon mixed in with lettuce and tomatoes with a GF an olive oil and balsamic dressing
-Meatball lettuce wrap with GF terriyaki sauce
-Quinoa topped with an avocado, two over easy eggs with Paremesan sprinkled on top

-Cheeseburger Soup with a salad and some fruit
-Salmon and Baked Cinnamon/Cumin Carrots with a salad and some fruit
-Slow Cooker Coq au Vin with a salad and some fruit
The recipes for dinner came from two cookbooks that I would recommend even if we weren’t going gluten free: Wheat Belly Cookbook and Well Fed.

-almond and salted cashew nut mix
-Hummus with crackers
-Hummus with cucumbers
-Tortilla chips and salsa
-Tortilla chips and guacamole
-Fruit…mostly bananas and grapefruit

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lunch Box Supplies

I do dread packing lunches. It’s always fun the first few weeks and then the fun, well, let’s just say it tapers off a bit. We still have to take lunches though and we are committed to creating as little waste as possible and to make our lunch boxes fun. How do we do that?

Let’s start with our lunch sacks. I let the kids pick their own lunch box. My only requirement is that it be big enough to hold a decent-sized lunch. These kids aren’t getting any smaller which means their lunches aren’t getting any smaller either.

Next, sandwich bags…out with the plastic bags and in with the cloth ones. We have Keeper Sacks and ReUsies. We use these to take snacks to school sometimes too. What do I love about them the most? I don’t have to buy tons of plastic sandwich bags. Why do the kids love them? They come in all kinds of fun colors and patterns.

My ABSOLUTE favorite lunch accessory is our Foogoo thermoses. Why do I love them so very, very, very much? They are dishwasher safe!!! Also, my kids don’t eat a lot of cold sack lunches, so we use these a LOT.

Drinks? We really try to limit sugar intake around here, so my kids get water. I don’t send milk because my children have been known to leave lunch sacks at school over Thanksgiving Break. No one wants to clean out milk that’s been sitting there for five days. So, they get water and they drink it from Kleen Kanteens. We like the hook loop lids…they don’t leak. Also, these come in lots of different colors which may seem like a good idea, but we have found that the steel colored ones are best because there is no paint to chip off. When the paint starts to chip off they just aren’t quite as much fun.

The other super important component of our lunch packing are these containers from IKEA. They are BPA free and come in lots of shapes and sizes. They are great for crackers, fruit, hummus, salsa, veggie sticks and the list goes on and on.

We also use cloth napkins and real silverware. I don’t think my kids actually use the napkins for wiping their mouths or hands, but they are there just in case they are inspired to use their manners at the lunch table. If nothing else, I put their napkins at the bottom of their lunchboxes and if anything spills (which it does) those cloth napkins are great at soaking up the mess. Do I ever lose silverware in the lunchroom trashcan? Probably, but not much.

What are some of your lunchbox must haves? Please share your ideas.:)


Filed under Uncategorized

The Weekly Meal Plan: How I Grocery Shop

I have had several people ask me recently how I plan for grocery shopping or if I plan at all. I do have a plan, I wouldn’t call it a budget so much, but definitely a list and a plan. Here’s how it works…

Usually on Saturdays I scour the internet and my cookbooks looking for recipes that sound like something we might like to eat. These might include dinner ideas, snack ideas, breakfast, side dish or dessert ideas. Then I take a piece of paper and I start making a list of all the things I know we need just off the top of my head. The list usually starts with milk, soy milk, bananas and Kashi. I then begin to add the items I need based on the recipes I’ve decided to try for the week.

On the other side of the piece of paper I write down the menu for each dinner meal we are going to have that week. I don’t assign a day to each meal, but I generally plan for four meals (Sunday-Wednesday) with the main dish and a side or two. Then on Sunday we head to our favorite local grocery store and pick up everything on the list.

Why do I only plan through Wednesday? Well, I used to buy the entire week’s worth of groceries on Sunday, but I usually ended up having to go back sometime during the week to pick up something. There was also the problem of meat and some fruits and veggies not being very fresh by the end of the week.

I solved that problem by only buying things for Sunday through Wednesday, then on Thursday I go to our grocery store that’s just down the street (not my favorite place to shop, but it’s close and convenient) with a new (and much shorter) list and pick up things that we’ve run out of (usually milk, soy milk and bananas) as well as things we need for dinner on Thursday and Friday, lunch stuff for the weekend and anything else we need. We usually go out to dinner on Saturdays.

photo from Family Shopping Bag

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sausage Vesuvio

I rarely get pasta dishes at Italian restaurants because they usually seem like something I could probably make at home. When I go out to eat I like to order something I probably wouldn’t make myself. I saw this dish on the menu at The Macaroni Grill…the ingredients seemed to be all there, so I made it myself. Note: I have never actually eaten this dish at The Macaroni Grill, so I could be WAY off.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T olive oil
2-3 Italian sausage links
15 oz. can roasted tomatoes
15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh spinach
3/4 lb. penne
Parmesan (garnish)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Fill a medium pot with water and wait for it to come to a boil. Add sausage links and let them cook for about five minutes. Take them out of water and slice into coin-sized pieces.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Add garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add sausage pieces and saute until cooked through.

Add tomatoes, cannellini beans and spinach to skillet and cook until heated through and spinach is wilted.

Serve bean mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan.

What did the family think? Everyone liked it…the only thing that drew some complaints were the beans. So maybe next time I will make it without the beans?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Uncategorized

Shepherd’s Pie

There are a jillion recipes out there for shepherd’s pie, so I thought I would give this one a try. It doesn’t have any peas in it, so there is hope that the youngest member of our family will like it. 🙂

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash with the backside of a wooden spoon and set aside.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Did I change anything? I used chicken broth instead of beef broth.

What did the family think? I am making it this afternoon so it is ready to go in the oven when we get home from baseball practice tonight at 7:15. Here’s what I think will happen…Hubby and I will love it. Our oldest will eat everything but the potatoes (unless he deems then cheesy enough, then he will eat them) and our youngest will pitch a fit and then slowly realize that it’s actually pretty good. He will avoid the potatoes at all costs though. ****Update: Yep, I pretty much hit it on the nose.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Spaghetti Frittata

My kids like spaghetti and they like eggs, so I thought I would give this a try.

1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (optional)
1 14-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes, lightly drained
Smidge of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)
6 eggs, beaten
Leftover pasta–about 6 ounces worth (I didn’t have any leftover so I just made some.)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if you have it

Preheat broiler and make sure you are using an oven-proof skillet.

Heat butter or oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds (never brown garlic). Add the Italian sausage and cook until done.

Add tomatoes with about half their juice, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down some and juice is reduced.

Add pasta and stir to coat. Give it a minute or two to heat through, then reduce heat to low and pour beaten eggs over. Quickly stir things around so you have a somewhat even distribution of egg and pasta.

Sprinkle with parmesan and chopped basil, then just let it heat slowly so the eggs can cook without scorching.

When the eggs have mostly set, stick the whole thing under the broiler to finish cooking.

Cut into wedges and serve!

We had this with a salad.

Did I change anything? The recipe called for just regular diced tomatoes, but I used the Italian-style ones for more zip. I also added the Italian sausage.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone! I love it when that happens. 🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Lent, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Creamy Cole Slaw from Bobby Flay

I made this tonight to go with the chicken we had (that recipe to come later). Hubby ate one bite, looked up and asked me if made this. I was a little hesitant to answer because I didn’t know if that meant this is really bad and I don’t want to offend you by saying I hate or this is so awesomely good I didn’t even know you knew how to make cole slaw like this. Luckily, it was the latter.

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Spanish onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

Did I change anything? I left out the onion. I also used a bag of broccoli slaw instead of shredding the carrots and the cabbage. Since the pre-made slaws come in different size packages, I would make the dressing and then add the cabbage mixture to the dressing slowly, stirring it, to make sure you get the cabbage to dressing ratio that you like. Also, I made this a few hours ahead of time so that all of the flavors had time to mix together. I think coleslaw always tastes better when it’s had time to sit for awhile.

What did the family think? Hubby and I thought is was super yummy. The kids ate it, but cole slaw isn’t their favorite.


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Salad, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

African Peanut Stew

This recipe was requested by my hubby and I figured the kids would like it because it has peanut butter in it.

2-3 pounds chicken legs, thighs and/or wings
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
A 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Salt and black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don’t crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.

Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.

Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.

Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it and put it back into the pot. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot.

Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve by itself, or with simple steamed rice.

Did I change anything? I used chicken thighs, but I didn’t use ones with bones. Mine were already deboned, so my cooking time wasn’t quite as long. We had this served over couscous. Also, this makes A LOT of food. We had it for dinner and I have had leftovers for lunch for the past two days and there is still probably three more days of lunches left.

What did the family think? After I put it in the bowls, I seriously thought my kids were going to run screaming from the table. I think the only thing that saved me was that our youngest helped me cook this, so he saw what went into it and it’s hard to run screaming from the table when you helped cook something. 🙂 I wouldn’t say this was their favorite dish ever, but they did eat it without any complaining. Hubby and I liked it. You have to put the fresh cilantro in it…it makes a world of difference.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized