Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This isn't going to be a pretty post...I just wanted to get this recipe down before it escaped my brain. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I have.

Paleo Chicken Bacon Pesto

  • 2 chicken breasts (I used leftover grilled chicken)
  • 1/2 lb bacon (I used Applegate's Turkey bacon)
  • 1 C. tomatoes, chopped (I used canned organic, drained)
  • Zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, cooked to preference
  • Pesto (see below for recipe)
  1. In a large saute pan, sweat bacon then allow to crisp slightly. If using pork bacon, drain and remove all but 1 Tbsp of the grease from the pan. 
  2. Add tomatoes and deglaze pan. 
  3. Add pesto, mix thoroughly with tomatoes and meat mixture. Allow to heat through and loosen up a little.
  4. Mix pesto/meat mixture with hot zoodles allowing the moisture from the zoodles to loosen the pesto a little further.
  5. ENJOY!!
Paleo Pesto
  • 2 C. fresh spinach leaves, well washed and dried
  • 1/2 C. raw pecans
  • 1/2 C. roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic (approx. 3 cloves)
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese (optional, I can't do dairy but my boyfriend can and he liked it)
  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


It is that time of year...a million pumpkin recipes emerge onto the interwebs and we all start drinking and eating pumpkin like it may never ever grow again. So...in light of the season...here is my contribution to the pumpkin season.

Maple Pumpkin Granola

  • 1 C. Almonds, sliced
  • 1 C. Almonds, chopped (I just use whole almonds and throw them in the food processor and pulse a few times)
  • 1 C. Pecans, chopped (again, pulse whole pecans in food processor)
  • 3/4 C. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 C. Coconut Flakes/Slivers (not the powdery stuff...the bigger flakes)
  • 1/4 C. Coconut flour
  • 1/2 C. Pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 C. Maple Syrup (the real stuff, not pancake syrup)
  • 3 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 C. Dried Cranberries, optional
  • 1/2 C. Chopped Dates, optional 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the first 11 ingredients together until well mixed and all nuts are coated.
  3. Spread mixture evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring about half way through, or until golden brown.
  4. After removing from oven, mix in cranberries and/or dates, if using. Allow to cool for an hour or longer before putting into a air tight container. Granola will harden as it cools.
Note: My son is allergic to cinnamon, so we leave out the pumpkin pie spice. Feel free to modify as needed for your own health concerns. You can also use any nuts of your preference, as long as they equal 4 cups of nuts.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Red all over....

So a while back I started making my own ketchup. I had had enough of searching tirelessly for ketchup that didn't contain ridiculous amounts of sodium, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), red dye (WTH? it is made from tomatoes...is this REALLY necessary), insane amount of sugar and various other "natural" and unnatural ingredients.  Even Heinz's "Simply Ketchup" contains the ingredient "natural flavoring". What is that? What other flavor do you need besides tomato, onion, garlic and a little salt and sugar!? What the hell is "natural flavoring"...in KETCHUP!?

Anyway...I digress....I discovered, in my search for the perfect recipe (specifically one that I could make on the sly that the kids would never know it wasn't Heinz) that many of the homemade recipes value the "homemade" taste. Well...in my house...homemade taste means it won't be eaten. I needed to come up with something that tasted like the real thing...but made with real ingredients.  I finally took to the kitchen with a "Top Secret Heinz" recipe and modified it...cuz that's what I do...I modify other people's perfectly good recipes into something I feel good about giving my family. So here it is...the super secret (not really) Faux Heinz Ketchup recipe. Super easy...super yummy...and is as close to the real deal flavor as I have been able to get it.

"Heinz" Ketchup

  • (4) 6 oz cans of organic tomato paste
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 2 C distilled vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 2-4 Tbsp sugar (I use 4, but start with 2 and modify to your tastes. I also use an organic cane sugar)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium/large sauce pan. Make sure to whisk all ingredients until smooth. At this point, it will seem thick enough and like you are done. EXCEPT...at this point...the seasonings will still be grainy and the texture will be all wrong.
  2. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a "boil".  Because of the thickness...it will merely splatter (make sure you have a splatter guard or a lid that you can set mostly over (do not cover completely) so your kitchen isn't covered in ketchup - learned the hard way). Reduce the heat to a simmer (low) and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes...stirring frequently so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Pour into a clean Heinz bottle so your kids have no idea they are eating a healthier version.
  4. Enjoy life...smile frequently...giggle quietly to yourself as you watch your kids enjoy burgers and sandwiches and fries...with homemade ketchup. :)
This makes about 2 quarts. It is easily halved or quartered. Unless you are a HARD CORE ketchup eater you will not want to attempt doubling as it generally doesn't last long enough. That being said, if you need to make more, or you would like to make a bunch and then jar it and process it properly to keep longer...make batches at the amount listed above OR double the recipe except for the honey...you will want to only increase the honey by half each time you double. IF it is not sweet enough, add 1/4 C of honey at a time to increase the sweetness to your desired flavor.

For a fun alternative:  Heinz has recently come out with a balsamic version of their ketchup...YUM! Sounds awesome! I can honestly say I have no idea what it tastes like but I have heard it is delicious AND I have been dying to try it...sooooo...yes, I made my own. Simply make the above recipe but add 1/4 C of your favorite balsamic vinegar to the mi before the cooking process. IF it is not vinegary enough, add another 1/4 C and allow it to simmer another 5 minutes before cooling.


Thursday, September 26, 2013


Last night I decided we would have sweet and sour chicken for dinner. It is easy enough to make and relatively safe for Paleo eaters and non-Paleo eaters alike. That is...except the rice. I LOVE rice. Jasmine and Saffron rices are my favorite. I could eat both on their own as a complete meal if it didn't destroy my stomach.  Anyway, so I had bought some jasmine rice for the non-Paleo in my house so they would be more likely to sit and have dinner and not complain and then I began to worry that I would not have enough self-control to not eat the rice.  Did I mention...I LOVE jasmine rice. As I stood in the grocery store pining for jasmine rice, it occurred to me that, maybe I could make cauliflower rice instead. Sadly, I don't have any jasmine handy so that was out of the question....but I DO have turmeric....suddenly...I had the perfect solution....Saffron rice!!! Oh the beautiful yellow hue...the delicate smokiness...the almost buttery flavor across the tongue....oh saffron rice...you devil you...how could I resist attempting to make it in a Paleo safe environment...it had to be done...it just HAD TO BE!  The nice thing...now that I have this new found weapon under my belt...my mexican dinner nights will be better for it as well! ;-)  I digress...here is what you came for.....

Paleo Saffron Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 C. yellow onion, small dice/minced
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crushed between your fingers (approx. 1/16 tsp)
  • Salt, to taste

  1. Rinse cauliflower head and rough chop into florets.  Place florets in food processor and process on low or pulse until the consistency of rice kernels.
  2. Heat butter and oil together in a large skillet.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower rice and stir to coat the “rice” with the butter/oil.
  4. Add turmeric and saffron, and salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until “rice” is tender.
  6. ENJOY!

Oh how I wish I were a better photographer or had a better camera. Whatever though...you get the point...it is yellow rice...and it is DELICIOUS!!! :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The hidden truth...

I have a confession. My family hates vegetables. No, seriously...hates. Of the 5 people who live in my household, 1 (me) will happily and willingly eat vegetables on a regular basis. So much so that I was vegan at one point. Sadly, except for the youngest who will dabble in veggies and the man who will eat the occasional salad, I am left to eat the veggies alone. Or so they think. ;)

The truth...I have been hiding vegetables in their food since before they knew they were eating food....and tonight was no different. Tonight...we had sloppy joes! Mmmm...sloppy, meaty goodness (shhh, and veggies). So here is how this works...I make something like sloppy joes or spaghetti or chili and I mince the veggies up so fine that even if they can see them or find them, they can't pick them out and they can't really taste them. Tonight's sloppy joes are a perfect example. The spinach and carrots are visible, there is no getting around it - they are bright colors. BUT, you can't taste them. You can't feel their texture. It is the perfect indulgence. In order for this to work though, you need a food processor, blender, or hand blender (or be super amazing at mincing veggies).  Remember to always hide the evidence as soon as possible! ;)

Made Right Sloppy Joe
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, minced
  • 2 C spinach, minced (should equal about 1 cup when it is all chopped up)
  • 1-1.5 C. Homemade ketchup (or your favorite organic ketchup. I use this recipe but sub honey in for the corn syrup and omit the sugar, tastes awesome)
  • 1-2 Tbps Yellow mustard
  • 1/4 C. Mayo (or egg-free it with Veganaise like we do)
  • 1 Tbsp "Leah's" seasoning salt (see below for recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil, coconut oil, talo, lard, bacon grease (whatever you prefer to saute in)
  1. Heat oil in large saute pan, cook the onions until translucent. 
  2. Add ground beef and brown, seasoning with seasoning salt.
  3. Add minced carrot and spinach and allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add ketchup and mustard and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and add the mayo.  At this point it should be pretty close to the consistency that you would expect of sloppy joes. If not, taste and decide if it needs more "tangy-ness" (add mustard), more tomato (add ketchup), or more creamy/sweetness (add mayo). You can also adjust seasonings here, although I have never needed additional seasoning.
We like to eat it on a bed of lettuce but for those who eat bread or have some of their favorite gluten free or paleo bread...yummo...have at it! :)  Also, I tend to double this recipe in my house to feed everyone and still have leftovers for lunch. It is really pretty good reheated or even cold.  It is hard to get a good picture of it because I don't have a great camera...plus...it isn't they prettiest stuff. But trust me...it tastes awesome!

Enjoy! Reap the benefits of your family FINALLY eating their vegetables...even if they have NO idea!

**Leah's Seasoning Salt

  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  1. Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container until use. (PS: I usually make HUGE batches of this...it doubles, triples, etc. very well.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The egg-free breakfast...

Okay, this is an issue I run into alllllll the time. What the heck do you feed someone at breakfast who can't eat eggs!? I mean, com'on...it is the quintessential breakfast food! It is the breakfast food to end all breakfast foods (unless we are talking about bacon and then, well, there just is no comparison...but besides bacon). So what do you feed a child who can't eat grains, eggs, soy, milk, yogurt, or any known "normal" breakfast food? Well, the lovely lady over at The Girl Who Went Paleo has come up with the PERFECT solution. It is grain free, it is egg free, it is dairy free, it is A COOKIE!!! What kid wouldn't give his right eye to be able to eat cookies for breakfast!!??  This is a MUST try recipe, for any who care about my opinion on the matter. I did modify this slightly to accommodate our needs, as usual, but the modifications were super minor so take them or leave them.

  1. I used about half the amount of honey.   I made them to the recipe the first go around and felt the honey overpowered things and made them too sweet. About half was perfect for me.
  2. I removed the pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon).  My son is highly intolerant to cinnamon so it was a bad call for me to put it in the first batch...needless to say I was forced to eat those all by myself. (It was torture but I took one for the team because my mom always taught me never to waste food.)
I have to admit, even with the modifications, the cookies are damn good...like super uber good...as in, you should probably plan to double and triple the batch because they are so frickin good you will have a hard time not eating them all in one sitting. And they TOTALLY kick ass with a cold glass of coconut or almond milk.

Oh, and if you happen to be allergic to almonds - no fear. Someone, in the comments of that recipe page has kindly given you the formula for making it with coconut flour instead of almond flour (spoiler alert - use half the amount of flour). 

So there you have it, a super simple cookie recipe that can be used as a breakfast treat or an anytime treat!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

End of Month...

So I work as an accounts receivable rep. It is SUPER exciting work. (*drip drip dripping with sarcasm*)  Especially right now. This is end of month, so we are processing every last invoice humanly possible before we close the month books. I spend HOURS upon HOURS crunching numbers, typing invoices, calling field techs to get their paperwork in so I can repeat the process. This goes on for about 2 weeks before the month finally closes out. Tomorrow is when it closes so today and tomorrow morning are the big pushes. It is tiring. It isn't manual labor exhausting...it is mentally exhausting. I think the repetitiveness and the numbers and the fact that you don't move from your desk for days on end...well...it is just exhausting.

Needless to say, some nights I don't want to work very hard on dinner and other nights, I don't mind putting in a little bit of effort if it means I can have some serious comfort food. Tonight....I just wanted comfort food. Being Paleo, comfort food takes on a new shape, taste, smell, whatever. All I could think of on my way home was beef stroganoff. In my mind I am imagining thick beefy sauce laced with sour cream and mushrooms and onions all poured over a big bed of egg noodles and sprinkled with fresh parsley and a little parmesan cheese. My mouth is now watering just thinking about it...again. Growing up...this was a staple in my house...and I could never get enough of it. I would eat so many helpings you would have to roll me to the couch to let me digest before I could function again. Between this and spaghetti...it is a wonder how I managed to stay a normal sized child.

Obviously, I can't eat beefy deliciousness laced with sour cream (since I can't have dairy) and poured over a bed of egg noodles (because I don't eat grains). So what is a girl to do!? How do I go about having my comfort food...the very thing I need to get me through this difficult dreary end of month evening? Why by golly...I find someone who, in their infinite wisdom has come up with the very answers!!

Here's the thing, I love to cook and I will very often come up with something on my own or modify to make something work...but then there are times when you find a recipe and it is perfection just as it is. So here you go...here is the super awesome comfort dinner from tonight and the links to where you can find the super awesome chefs who created the recipes. Enjoy!

Mad props from one mama to another...mad props! The boy ate 2 helpings and asked for a third and then requested this for tomorrow night's dinner as well!

Since I can't have egg noodles I poured this over top of smashed cauliflower. I have tried many recipes of mashed cauliflower in search of something that came close enough to mashed potatoes that my non-paleo eaters in the house might consider trying them. I have only ever found one recipe that could get the job done. No offense to any others out there but here is my favorite, hands down....and from what I can tell from the empty bowl, the family would agree.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!! School starts next week for the kiddos...let's see what we can come up with! :)