All Posts Tagged ‘protein

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Paleo Granola

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I’ve been randomly craving granola and yogurt lately. A couple of weeks ago I splurged (nutritionally) on the Love Crunch brand of granola…what a treat! For my taste buds, not my body. Ever since then I’ve been wanting to create my own version, minus the sweeteners and oatmeal and plus some more nuts and seeds.

I’m not usually one for trying to get protein out of nuts and seeds, as I find my body absorbs and uses animal protein much better. But I figured it can’t hurt, right? And, it’s quick and tastes great.

Here’s what I came up with for my first try. Of course you could easily swap out all different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, this is just what I happened to have. I think cashews would be great in this, but Charley ate the whole container we got from Costco so I didn’t have any left! Notice that there are chia seeds in this mix. They will gel when mixed with liquid (like almond milk or coconut yogurt) so leave them out if that freaks you out. Also, I really wanted to make this with NO sweeteners of any kind, so you’ll notice it doesn’t clump together like regular granola would, because of the absence of maple syrup or honey. Just deal with it, friends.

Ingredients:

-1 cup almonds, chopped

-1 cup pecans, chopped

-1 cup walnuts, chopped

-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

-1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

-3/4 cup dried cranberries

-1/2 cup mixed chia/hemp/buckwheat (I used this brand)

-2-3 tsp orange zest (about one small orange)

-2 tsp cinnamon

-1 tsp nutmeg

-1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix evenly.
  3. Spread on lined baking sheets and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn!
  4. When it’s toasty and browning and smelling amazing, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once it’s cooled down, store in an air tight container in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy by the handful (my style) or with berries and homemade almond milk. I attempted some coconut milk chia pudding to go with it (as seen in photo below) but I used a new brand of coconut milk and it was kinda gross. There’s always next time!image1

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Whole30 Week 1 – Favourites

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Hey there! So it looks like January Whole30 is going to be an annual thing. I got off to a late start because I’m the type who likes to start things on a Monday, rather than the 1st of the month. This round of Whole30 has given me the quickest turn around I’ve ever experienced. On Monday I was feeling exhausted, lethargic, and slow from the holidays, but by Wednesday I felt energized and free. Each round becomes easier and easier as you get familiar with recipes and meal planning, and this round I’ve recently discovered something that is changing my life! ONLINE grocery shopping with DELIVERY to my doorstep!

During the spring and summer we have all our produce delivered by our CSA program, we have all our animal protein in our freezer already, and we just pick up local eggs from a farm a couple of blocks away, so there’s barely any shopping needing to be done. But during the winter the chore creeps back into my life – and to me, it really is a chore. So, I’ve recently started doing online grocery shopping once a week or once every two weeks at Save On Foods online, and for $4.95 it is delivered to my door step the next day. Every week they have coupon codes that are making the delivery price totally worth it. I find myself spending less, because I’m not wandering the aisles. I’m sticking to my meal plans better and not buying anything extra that I don’t need. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about that, and if you’re like me and despise grocery shopping then I highly recommend it.

Back to Whole30. Here are my favourite meals from this week.

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Top left: Pretty self explanatory breakfast. I’m currently obsessed with soft boiled eggs. My method: Bring small pot of water to a boil. Gently lower 2 or 3 eggs into the boiling water, being careful not to bump and crack the shells. Set timer for 6 minutes, or 7 minutes for 3 eggs. When the timer goes, immediately remove the eggs from the water and rinse them under cold tap water for 30 seconds. Then peel and enjoy. I love them with the yolks running over avocado.

Top middle: An old favourite of mine – Chorizo and Yam Stew. This is so hearty and delicious with the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I love it with avocado on top to balance the heat.

Top right: My new favourite roast recipe – Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef by Stupid Easy Paleo. This was absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making it again very soon. We had it with salad and butternut squash one night, and with salad and roasted cauliflower the next night.

Bottom left: My usual – soft boiled eggs on sweet potatoes and kale. I fried the sweet potatoes in coconut oil, salt, pepper, and about 2 tsp regular paprika and 1 tsp smoked paprika. I tear the kale and add it for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.

Bottom middle: This is what my lunch looked like all week with slight deviations. Roasted chicken breast (rubbed in Epicure’s Turkey rub and baked), pear, butternut squash, sweet potato, and pumpkin seeds on mixed greens. I don’t like raw veggies, so as I mentioned on Instagram, my salads are really just #hotfoodpiledonlettuce.

Bottom right: I don’t really know what to call this – some sort of Mediterranean Skillet dish, I guess. I chopped up red cabbage, carrots, spinach and peppers and fried them in coconut oil and garlic. Then I dumped in artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and Kalamata olives and fried it for a few more minutes. Then I mixed in some leftover chicken breast. It was delicious and very filling.

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Meatloaf with Whipped Yams

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I made this last night and my husband ate more than half of the loaf in one sitting because he enjoyed it so much! As always, there’s as many vegetables as I can fit in a meal without it falling apart and without my kids noticing too much.

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This recipe is large and yields three meatloaves. One for you, one for a friend who needs a pick-me-up, and one for your freezer. It does take some time (about 1 hour and 40 minutes cooking time) so be aware of that before you start.

Ingredients:

-3 lbs grass fed ground beef

-2 eggs

-1 large sweet onion, diced small

-6 cloves of garlic, divided, diced small (4 for meatloaves, 2 for yam topping)

-4 strips of pastured, sugar free bacon, diced

-2 large bell peppers, any colour, diced small

-6 large crimini mushrooms, diced small

-3/4 cup of kale, diced small

-4 large yams, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

-2 tbsp sugar free dijon mustard (I really like the Organic Simply Natural brand)

-1 tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (omit for Whole30 unless you can find a brand without any sweeteners)

-2 tbsp tomato paste

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2) Fry your diced bacon in a pan over medium heat. Once it’s cooked through, remove the bacon and set it aside.

3) Scoop out the leftover bacon fat from the pan and toss it with the chopped yams and 2 of the diced garlic cloves in a large bowl.

4) Spread your yams out onto a lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until yams are soft when pierced with a fork. Once they are soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave your oven on at 400 degrees.

5) While the yams are roasting, mix your ground beef, bacon pieces, eggs, onion, garlic, mushrooms, kale, and peppers in a large bowl. It is best to do this with your hands to get everything fully combined and mixed well.

6) Add the tomato paste, dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and mix again with your hands.

7) When everything is mixed well, divide the meatloaf mixture evenly into 3 loaf pans.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

One for you, one for a friend, and one for your freezer.

8) Once the yams have cooled, take them from the pan and blend them in a blender, NutriBullet, Vitamix, or whatever machine you have. You may need to do this in two batches to make sure everything gets whipped smoothly enough.

9) Evenly spread the whipped yams over top of your meatloaves. (In my photo, I only put the yams on two of the meatloaves and left the freezer loaf bare. I haven’t tried freezing whipped yams yet so wasn’t sure how well it would work, plus I was short on yams anyway.)

10) Place two of your meatloaves into the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. Wrap the remaining loaf in tinfoil or saran wrap and place in the freezer.

11) When meatloaves are cooked through, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

meatloaffinished


I’m big on community and loving each other. You’ll probably hear (or read) me talk about my “village” a lot. When my children were born early and in the NICU for weeks, our community showered us with love by regularly bringing us meals to help get us through the rough time. I can still remember how incredibly loved and taken care of we felt, and I strive to pass that on now. If you know someone who could use a hand, drop this meal off for them. They will never forget it.

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Whole 30 – Week 4 – Meal Plan

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Breakfast:

Zucchini Fritters

Potatoes O’Brien

Sweet Potato Quiche

Dinner:

Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup (Add more veggies!)

Paleo Butter Chicken (Skip the Naan…sorry guys. Use cauliflower rice instead.)

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffed Peppers  

Spicy Pineapple Chili (This is one of my favourite recipes to double or triple and freeze.)

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti Squash with Scallops and Kale

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

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Whole30 – Week 1 – Meal Plan

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I’m doing the official Whole30 challenge again! The first time around, I was just focused on SURVIVAL. It gets easier every time, and so this round I’m adding a new challenge. This will be my first time completely cutting out caffeine. I only drink 1 cup of plain black coffee in the mornings and the occasional coffee in the afternoon or evening if I’m at a special occasion or family event, but I’ve recently had some adrenal issues and so I’m interested to see if cutting it out completely will make a noticeable difference. Right now I really treasure my steaming cup of coffee every morning so this is definitely going to be difficult for me. Wish me luck!

One of my most important tips for completing a successful Whole30 is meal planning. I really enjoy meal planning and so I’ll be posting my weekly plans here for any of you who don’t enjoy it or need inspiration or ideas for recipe resources.

Each week I will post 7 dinners and 3-4 breakfasts. I will double my breakfast recipes for leftovers, and I will eat dinner leftovers for lunch each day. (Another tip for Whole30: cook once, eat two or three times.) Remember to make sure any sauces and meats are sugar free. These are the base recipes for each meal, but I will add steamed veggies, roasted veggies or huge salads to all of these meals.

Hope this helps!

Breakfast

Eggs in Purgatory by Nom Nom Paleo

Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast Hash 

Apple Pork Breakfast Sausage by SEP, sautéed swiss chard, and fried yams.

Dinner 

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Wings by SEP

Garlic Pork and Cauliflower Rice (Crockpot) by Paleomg

Lemon Roast Chicken by Jamie Oliver

Thai Pork and Veggie Meatballs by Paleomg (skip the honey)

Lemon Rosemary Salmon by Diane Sanfilippo

Mango and Avocado Salsa on Salmon by Nom Nom Paleo

Balsamic Beef Roast by Civilized Caveman (skip the white wine)

Never heard of Whole30? Check out the official website, and read about how it completely changed my life.

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End of the Week Breakfast Skillet

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breakfastskillet

 

Every Tuesday we get a big box of produce delivered through our CSA program. It’s enough to completely fill our fridge and then some, so every Monday I clear out whatever is left from the previous week and fry it up for breakfast. This is a quick and simple meal that is ever changing, and really doesn’t require a recipe. Here are a few steps for any newbies in the kitchen, but those of you who already have been cooking for awhile, just go for it and see what delicious combinations you come up with!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 sweet onion, peeled and diced

1 apple, washed and diced

Any vegetables you have left in your fridge, washed and chopped to uniform size

Some form of protein (a meal is not a meal without protein the size of your palm!). For example: two fried eggs, nitrate free/sugar free farmer’s sausage, chorizo sausage, etc. Experiment with whatever you have in your fridge.

Directions

1) Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and melt coconut oil in it.

2) Fry your onion and whatever meat you have chosen until cooked through.

3) Add in your vegetables, starting with the hardest vegetables (yam or potato), and then adding the softer ones a few minutes later so they don’t get soggy. 

4) Combine and fry until cooked through. Simple and delicious!

Some of my favourite combinations are: 

Chorizo, yam, leek, apple, bell peppers, and kale.

Farmer’s sausage, potato, apple, bell peppers, swiss chard, and sauerkraut.

Ground pork, zucchini, peppers, fennel, and apple.

Pictured: Farmer’s sausage, red potato, swiss chard and apple.

I would love to hear what delicious comments you come up with or suggest! Leave a comment and share your insight.