Archive | September 2013

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pumpkin Streusel

Pumpkin season is upon us and if you are anything like me, you LOVE anything pumpkin!  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pancakes, iced pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cider, pumpkin pop tarts… you catch my drift.  However, if you are also anything like me, you can’t have the above mentioned pumpkin goodies because either by choice or by need you can no longer consume gluten or dairy.  Major bummer!

Enter my Pumpkin Streusel.  This recipe is super easy and super basic.  Sometimes the best recipes are the easiest ones.  You can easily adapt this recipe to be not only gluten and dairy free but to also accommodate a paleo diet or make it Whole30 approved.  If you are paleo, simply substitute the sugar for 1/4 cup of honey.  If you are on the Whole30 plan, just omit the sugar all together.  Simple as that!  If you enjoy pumpkin as much as I do, this is recipe is definitely a keeper!

Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/4 cup honey or no sugar at all)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 can (15 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (1st pressing)

Streusel Topping
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix sugar (if using), cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mix.  If using honey, beat the honey with the eggs.  Gradually stir in the coconut milk.
  2. Pour into a un-greased glass pie plate.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the nuts, almond meal, cinnamon, and sugar.  Make sure all of the nuts are evenly coated with the almond meal.  Sprinkle on top your pie filling so it is evenly covered.
  4. Bake in a preheated 425 degrees F oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for until 40-50 minutes or until a nice comes out clean.  Serve warm or cold.  Makes a great breakfast treat the next morning!
This "crustless" pie is made with all nuts for a topping. It still gives you that pumpkin pie taste without the added grains in the crust or topping!

This “crustless” pie is made with all nuts for a topping. It still gives you that pumpkin pie taste without the added grains in the crust or topping!

 

Enjoy Life Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies Review

My husband and I have been house hunting for what seems like forever. It hasn’t been the most enjoyable experience… In fact it has been down right dreadful. Who knew buying a house could invoke so much stress, especially when your house sold in 3 days and you have a month to find a house and get out of yours?!

After looking at countless houses (I’m sure our realtor is sick of us by now), we have lost out on 3 houses all for stupid reasons. The first house decided to take it off the market after they realized their house looked like crap on the inside and they would probably make more money if they fixed it up. The second house actually accepted our offer, we went into the inspection process, and the couple decided they did not want to replace the rotting roof, install a radon mitigation system, or adjust the price accordingly. They basically said take it or leave it. So we left it. This set us back terribly because we obviously weren’t looking for another house. Since we didn’t have a back up, this fallen sale forced us to get a storage unit and a month-to-month apartment rental (which is not cheap if you we’re curious). Then this past weekend we found “The One.” It had everything we were looking for in terms of foundation. It needed a lot of work in terms of cosmetics but everything else was perfect. We sat with our realtor and wrote up the offer immediately after leaving the house. We were anxious. We were excited. This had to work out. After two disappointments, surely this would be the one. At 5:00 PM today, our realtor called. It was the moment of truth. “They were given a full-price offer at 4:00 PM and they’ve accepted.”

Imagine my heartbreak and disappointment. I am a Christian and I fully believe that God is in charge and that he has a plan. I also know that he knows my heart and he can see all the reasons to why I want to move and where I’m looking to move. So to have these 3 houses slip through my fingers is a bit disheartening. My logical side tells me to trust in The Lord for he has a plan for me. That it wasn’t meant to be and that means the right one is out there. (Kind of like what your girlfriends would tell you when the love of your life dumped you for whatever reason.)

Enter in my emotional side and these Enjoy Life Soft-Baked chocolate chip cookies. I am not a perfect eater and to be honest, I’m an emotional eater. Since my baking sheets are packed up in boxes, I drove myself to the closest grocery store and bought myself a box of cookies. Gluten free and dairy free cookies are not cheap but luckily these were on sale for $3.79. I got home and tore open the box. Holy crap these cookies are small! I could probably fit four of them in the palm of my hand. I took a bite and they are pretty good. I ate it in two bites. Then came the next cookie…and before I knew it 2/3 of the box was gone. Good thing 2 cookies is only 120 calories…

Long story short – you only get 12 cookies and for $3.79 (on sale), that’s pretty expensive. But if you’re in a bind and you need gluten free, dairy free cookies and you need them NOW, these are a pretty good option.

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My Whole30

I’ve always been one to start challenges and NEVER finish them… ViSalus 90 Day Challenge (stopped that because it gave me elevated liver enzymes, made me depressed and moody, and I was going through an extreme bout of fatigue), Insanity 60 Day Challenge (made it through the first 30 days, but at the start of month 2 I went on vacation, then I had a week left before school started back up, and I just don’t have room in my own house to jump around like a crazy fool), silly squat and abs challenges you find on Pinterest… need I go on?

However, after being diagnosed by my doctor as having a gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerant, I decided to change my eating ways for good.  This was simple because I knew the consequences of cheating.  But I was still eating soy, sugar, legumes (I LOVE peanut butter & jelly on caramel rice cakes!), corn, and candy.  I was feeling better than before, but I knew I could feel even better.  After my friend, Zanab, completed her first Whole30 program (not only did she lose 22.5 pounds in 30 days she looks and feels amazing!), I talked to her about it.  I went out and purchased my own copy of It Starts With Food and decided to read up on it before I made any decisions.  I have to say it was the best decision I had ever made.

While I had been eating relatively clean since July 1, I still had sugar-free vanilla soy lattes with 3 Splendas from Starbucks 3-4 times a week in the morning.  I was still eating potato chips, Swedish fish, popcorn, gluten-free cookies, almond, soy, and coconut ice cream (all separately), and all sorts of non-healthy items.  At this point in the summer (and even though I was exercising 5-6 days a week EVERY week), I was at my heaviest weight I’d ever been.  Now, I have just turned 30 and I hear things tend to slow down when you hit 30, but I refused to believe that was the cause.  My friends told me it was just muscle since I had been doing Crossfit (but that was back in January…) and lifting more so I was just more muscular.  However, pictures told me otherwise.  My friends didn’t think I looked any different, but I could feel it.  My clothes were just a little more snug than last summer, some dresses that I purchased in December I couldn’t even zip up by June (and I don’t think it was because my lats all of a sudden became huge).  Something had to give.

Enter Whole30

Week 1
Week 1 was surprisingly simple.  The key to week 1’s success was planning, planning, planning.  First, I purged everything that didn’t need to be in my pantry.  I didn’t have the heart to throw it all away, so I found a friend who was willing to take them in.  Goodbye: 2 bags of egg noodles, 2 boxes of lasagna noodles, a box of whole wheat penne, a bottle of vegetable oil, and I’m not exactly sure what else went into the bag.  In order to properly prep my pantry, I had to stop at 3 different grocery stores to find everything (Earth Fare, Walmart, Kroger) and even then I had some help from my friends who had already started their own Whole30 program.  But I prepped my pantry with the following: Arrowroot Powder (for a thickening agent), Coconut Aminos (a soy sauce replacement), Red Boat Fish Sauce (to replace my current fish sauce that has sugar in it), Lawhorne’s All-Purpose Seasoning, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sea Salt.  After I stocked my pantry with the necessary items, I headed out to get some food: 1 head of red cabbage, 1 cauliflower, green onions, 1 spaghetti squash, 1 cucumber, 3 zucchini, 1 bag of yellow onions, 3 sweet potatoes, parsley, cilantro,  2 quarts strawberries, 2 lbs grapes, 1 6-pack unsweetened applesauce, 2 lbs ground sirloin, 2 lbs ground pork, dozen eggs, 1 container egg beaters, 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, 2 lbs chicken breast, and coconut milk.

With this bounty of goodies, I headed straight to my kitchen and began prepping veggies for the week.  This meant steam-sauteeing the head of chopped cabbage for future use, chopping up the cauliflower in the food processor, roasting spaghetti squash, and browning 2 lbs of ground sirloin.  This was all on Saturday.  Sunday, I hard boiled the dozen eggs and peeled them for snacks throughout the week.  That was it.  I sat down Sunday afternoon and planned dinners for the week and decided lunch would simply be leftovers from the previous night’s dinner (this is strictly for simplicity and to keep food costs down).  Breakfast consisted of eggs with veggies tossed in and some fruit on the side.

Sunday – Grilled chicken breast & Cucumber salad
Monday – Grilled chicken thighs with Fried Cauliflower “Rice”
Tuesday – Girls Night pitch-in! Paleo Meatballs with Spice Market Kale and Cumin Roasted Carrots
Wednesday – Hot Plate: Spaghetti squash, red cabbage, onion, zucchini, and ground beef and mixed together
Thursday – Left over Grilled chicken thighs, Sauteed Zucchini, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Friday – Meatza Pie
Saturday – Grilled Chicken legs & Fruit Salad

How to Deal with Family Functions/Going to Cook Outs on Whole30
Simple: Bring your own food that you know you can eat.  Don’t assume there will be anything you can eat there.  Plan ahead and bring what you want to eat.  During my first week, we had a mini family reunion on my husband’s side of the family.  Corn bread casserole, chili, pre-mixed salad with dressing and cheese all tossed together, chick pea salad, macaroni and cheese, chips & salsa… you get the point.  I couldn’t eat anything.  Solution?  I came prepared armed with chicken legs and fruit salad.  Was this the ideal meal for Whole30?  No.  But sometimes you just got to do what you got to do.  I also brought freeze-dried fruit and a Larabar for snack.  Snacking is frowned upon during your Whole30, but when you eat breakfast at 9:00 AM and dinner isn’t served until 6:30 PM and you get there at 1 PM?  You make do.  The key to sticking to the program without cheating is always being prepared!

Week 2
I found Week 2 to be a bit more challenging than Week 1.  For the first time I was experiencing some cravings.  I don’t think it was because I was actually craving sugar, I think it was because it was 95 degrees outside and I just wanted some ice cream.  But I held strong to the program and the cravings subsided.  I branched out this week in recipes and tried making my own mayonnaise, salad dressing, and zucchini noodles all with success.  Mayo is surprisingly easy to make and I’m not sure why I never made it before.  I have found that even though I’m not eating sandwiches for the mayo, the mayo makes a great base for sauces and dressings to add some flare to my weeknight meals.  I highly suggest you try it out yourself!  I also discovered that Classico makes 2 types of spaghetti sauce: Roasted Garlic and Traditional Basil (not spicy or sweet) which are Whole 30 compliant.  This was awesome as I ate “spaghetti” and meat sauce twice for lunch and once for dinner this week.  I love meals that last a couple of days throughout the week.  It saves me time in the kitchen!

Sunday – Paleo taco salad
Monday – Grilled chicken salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Tuesday – Grilled chicken thighs with roasted sweet potatoes, sauteed zucchini, raw yellow squash with cream balsamic dressing drizzle
Wednesday – Roasted chicken tenders, roasted acorn squash, and fresh berries
Thursday – Spaghetti squash and meat sauce
Friday – Sashimi with coconut aminos
Saturday – Pan seared scallops and shrimp with zucchini and squash noodles

Week 3
Week 3 posed my first major challenge: Dining out.  Yes, up until this point I had eaten all of my meals at home (except for the sashimi).  I was venturing out into new territory and I was a bit nervous.  My mother-in-law wanted to spend the evening with us catching up and getting a bite to eat.  Being the good daughter-in-law that I am, I let her choose the restaurant, so I had to go with whatever what was picked.  Italian… awesome.  What in the world can I find at an Italian restaurant?!  I knew my safest bet at Bravo was the chicken salad.  I left off the cheese and croutons, but then I also left off the red onions and tomatoes (mainly because I strongly dislike both of those) and added some fresh avocado.  Before I had left for dinner I had whipped up a small batch of my creamy balsamic dressing and brought it with me to the restaurant.  This way I knew that as long as my salad was compliant, I could put my own compliant dressing on top.  It actually worked out pretty well.  If that wasn’t a stressful event in itself, we had to meet our realtor out the next day at Chili’s. I came geared with my dressing just in case, but to my surprise Chili’s has a lighter fare menu.  I was able to get a 5 oz. sirloin and steamed broccoli.  I made sure that they left everything plain, no parmesan cheese, no butter, no anything.  I dipped my broccoli in my dressing and I was a happy camper.  Dining out experience = success!

Sunday – Bravo Grilled Chicken Salad with sliced olives, cucumbers, avocado and my homemade Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Monday – Grilled Ribeye, roasted Asparagus, and creamy kale
Tuesday – Grilled chicken thighs, zucchini and squash noodles, and roasted sweet potatoes
Wednesday – Meatloaf with homemade au jus, roasted sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Thursday – Leftover meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini and squash noodles, and green beans
Friday – Grilled chicken salad with homemade Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Saturday – Grilled sirloin, grilled shrimp skewers, green beans, and steamed broccoli and carrots

Week 4
The biggest challenges I faced this week was work lunches.  I eat with some pretty amazing ladies (and a couple awesome guys as well).  They are my team, my rock, and my sounding board at school.  I LOVE eating with them every day.  But here’s the hard part.   When it is someone’s birthday, we order out for lunch and a teammate brings in a birthday treat.  Well this week we had a birthday and I did the ordering for everyone.  We ordered from Jimmy Johns.  And while I love an unwich from Jimmy Johns, I didn’t know what kind of preservatives were in the lunch meat or if it had sodium nitrates, sugar, or carageenan in it.  So I opted to bring my lunch from home.  Then came the birthday treat.  Rich chocolate brownies topped with a gooey peanut butter layer, and finished with a chocolate ganache.  It looked amazing and from the comments from my teammates who were eating it, I’m pretty sure it tasted incredible.  Fast forward to lunch on Thursday.  I also eat lunch with a woman who is the most talented baker I’ve ever met (who is not a professional baker). She brought in apple crisp, one of my all-time favorite desserts.  Plus there were leftover peanut butter brownies as well.  But I stuck to my guns, ate my packed lunch, and ended it with some unsweetened applesauce and grapes.  It definitely wasn’t easy, but I know how I would feel afterwards had I ate something.  In the end, throwing 25 days down the drain for a piece of apple crisp or a brownie just wasn’t worth it.

Sunday – Paleo Pot Roast
Monday – Grass-Fed Strip Steak, carmelized onions, sauteed zucchini, and a side salad with lettuce, baby spinach, 1/2 avocado, hard boiled egg, and homemade dressing
Tuesday – Leftover pot roast & Strawberry & Almond Butter in a Coconut Wrap
Wednesday – Grilled Chicken salad
Thursday – Roasted Chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and zucchini
Friday – Whole Roasted Chicken, zucchini, roasted sweet potatoes
Saturday – Grilled Ribeye, baked sweet potato, green beans

Last 3 days
The last 3 days of the Whole30 program were like habit.  I didn’t really have to think about anything because I had gotten used to packing my lunch the night before (prepping the lunch tupperware while prepping the dinner dishes), getting up earlier to make breakfast (for me and the hubby), and making sure I had the weekly meals planned out ahead of time.  I can honestly say for the first time in my life, I can actually enjoy drinking black coffee.  I don’t miss sugar, although with pumpkin season in full swing, I do miss all the pumpkin goodies that go along with it.  Being permanently gluten free has taken all those away from me (pumpkin scones, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pop-tarts…) not Whole30.  But I’m sure it’s for the best, at 480 calories per scone I’m sure my body and waistline won’t miss that.

Sunday – Roasted pork chops, baked sweet potato, yellow squash
Monday – Grilled chicken salad
Tuesday – Roasted chicken thighs, sauteed kale, fresh baby carrots with guacamole

What I’ve Learned
What I’ve learned from this is that eating healthy is not overly expensive. Sure, we ate out here and there but for the most part, my husband and I ate at home 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.  I tallied up my grocery bills for the week (yes, I shop at more than 2 places) and averaged out the meals.  For 2 people, 21 meals per person, and some snacks thrown in, I averaged about $3.80 a person per meal.  You can’t eat a grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and roasted sweet potatoes at a restaurant for $3.80!  Seriously, dining-in SAVES you money and it is good for you.  Now I’m not saying you should never eat out, but my husband and I were eating out 3-4 times a week and that was money just going down the drain.

What has Changed
ALL of my GI issues are gone (I’ll spare you the disgusting details). I am sleeping through the night.  My night sweats are virtually gone.  I am not bloated.  My skin has cleared up.  My mood is more calm and even.  I am more patient with my students at school.  I’m not getting as stressed as easily as before.  And I’m just more pleasant to be around overall.

My Stats
While I was not trying to do anything dramatic to my body, just treat it better.  I had some added bonuses to my Whole30 experience.  I lost 9 lbs, 1.5 inches of my waist, and 1 inch off of my thighs.  The crazy part is that I had actually DECREASED my workouts because I was so busy with the new school year (Back-To-School Social, Meet the Teacher Night) and I’m in the process of moving (4 hour weeknight house showing anyone??).  The saying, ABS are made in the kitchen is so true!  (Of course I don’t have serious abs but I’m starting to see something rather than a pooch).

Reflection
Completing the Whole30 program has been eye-opening to say the least.  I used to justify drinking lattes almost every day every morning because I was going to work out later.  I ate/baked gluten free cookies, pancakes, and all sorts of other baked goods and it was okay because I ran earlier that day.  I ate popcorn, drank diet coke, and had candy at the movie theater but I wasn’t “overweight” so it was okay to splurge.  And yes, while it is okay to splurge now and then, I was splurging EVERY DAY. These little splurges ended up with a 9 pound weight gain over the course of a school year/summer and me not fitting into my anniversary dress that was purchased months earlier (tears were shed), and just feeling like a stuffed sausage in my clothes once summer started (enter in loose fitting tanks to mask the muffin top).

I had never realized how addicted to sugar I actually was.  I put Splenda in everything: coffee, lattes, and ice teas.  I drank diet coke every day sometimes even more than once a day.  When I wasn’t drinking sugar, I was eating it in forms of baked goods, gummy candies, and fruit snacks (but it was okay because it was gluten and dairy free).  Word of wisdom: just because it is gluten free doesn’t make it healthy.  Gluten free Bisquick, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free pancake mix or baking flour, Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix etc. are not healthy!  These foods normal are not healthy and sometimes the gluten free option are less healthy and chock-full of more empty calories.  Just stay away from it in general.  Do you really need that pancake?  Probably not.  And trust me, the gluten free version (and I’ve tried many) tastes like crap.  It’s not worth it.  I also didn’t realize how many foods I was buying that had sugar already in it: rotisserie chicken, bacon, precooked frozen chicken, fish sauce, and some lunch meats!  You think you are doing well by purchasing protein but if it is convenient chances are they’ve added a bunch of stuff to it.  My advice: take the time to buy the raw stuff and cook it ahead of time and freeze it yourself if you have to.

Whole30 isn’t a 365 days a year program, in fact it says right in the book that this isn’t meant to be a complete overhaul for life.  But it has taught me a lot about my own body and how I process/handle food.  While I probably won’t be as strict as I was during the Whole30, I’ll probably adopt a lot of the eating habits I’ve gained during this time.  Knowing what I know now, it doesn’t seem worth it to me to go back to eating the way I was.  However – if I happen to fall off the wagon (which it can happen to all of us quite easily), I have the necessary tools to get myself back on track.   If you haven’t read the book It Starts With Food, I suggest you at least get the to the library, buy your own copy, or borrow one from a friend and read it.  Then form your own opinion, you won’t regret it!

Sometimes You Need a Motivational Talk

Today was just one of those days.  I was sleeping so well and I didn’t want to get out of bed so I snoozed… now I’m running 10 minutes behind schedule.  I opt for my morning coffee with coconut milk and rush out the door with the plan of eating breakfast at my desk.  One thing leads to another and I’ve forgotten to eat and the kids are coming in for the day.  I’m hungry, I’m irritable… I’m HANGRY and the kids notice.  I quick eat a Lara Bar that I have stashed in my desk drawer to hold me over until lunch.  But the tone has been set for the day….  It’s an especially long day just because right after school I rush to tutor for an hour and I don’t typically get home until around 5:15 (I know that doesn’t sound like, but I leave the house at 6:25 AM).

The heat index is reading 102 degrees outside.  YUCK!  Thank goodness I’m not scheduled to run today but I’m in desperate need of lifting.  I haven’t lifted in who knows when.  But all I want to do is sit on the couch and turn on the TV.  So what do I do?  I call my trusted best friend to give me a little motivational pep talk.  She told me about her supersets, how I can get it done in 30 minutes, and be on my merry way.  That was all it took.  As soon as I got home, I put on my workout clothes so I had no excuse.  I was out the door and off the to the gym.  And you know what?  She was right.  With the use of supersets, I was in and out (warmup and stretch included) in exactly 30 minutes.

I’m so thankful for friends who not only promote healthy habits but live them as well instead of justify sitting around and being lazy.  Thanks Kimberly!

Today’s Workout: 4 sets of 8 reps per exercise

  • Stretch
  • Superset 1 – Weighted barbell squat, Dead lift
  • Superset 2 – Dumbbell step up (8 per side), 1-legged Dead lift (8 per side)
  • Superset 3 – Dumbbell Walking lunges (8 per side), Dumbbell Sumo Squats
  • 25 pushups
  • 50 abs exercises
  • 25 pushups
  • 50 abs exercises
  • Stretch

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Paleo Pot Roast (Whole30 approved)

I love pot roasts, stews, and any other kind of one-pot-shot that I can get all of my protein and veggies in one dish.  It saves me cooking time and washing dishes time… a win-win in my book.  Not your traditional pot roast, I substituted peeled turnips in place of white potatoes.  I also threw in some sweet potatoes as well for some nice color.  I kept the recipe relatively simple in terms of seasonings, but feel free to switch out the water for beef stock for added flavor and some of your favorite seasonings if you want.  This recipe made about 6 servings.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2.5 lbs chuck roast
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium/small turnips, peeled and cubed
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 celery stalk (the entire bag), trimmed and cut into large chunks
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder
2  Tbsp Dried Parsley
2 bay leaves
2  cups water

Directions

  1. In a large pan, melt the coconut oil.  Add the chuck roast to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Get a nice brown coloring on all sides of the meat before transferring it into a crock pot.
  2. Layer the veggies: sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, celery, and onion.  Add garlic, parsley, salt and bay leaves.  Pour water over the pot roast, cover, and cook on High for 4-6 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
Sear the meat to keep in all the yummy flavor. I seasoned the meat before I put it into the crockpot.

Sear the meat to keep in all the yummy flavor. I seasoned the meat before I put it into the crockpot.

I layered the veggies on top of the meat before adding the water and spices.

I layered the veggies on top of the meat before adding the water and spices.

Voila!  A perfect portion of protein and veggies right in your bowl.

Voila! A perfect portion of protein and veggies right in your bowl.

 

 

 

My New Find

I headed into Target on a mission to find a Julienne peeler to make zucchini and squash noodles.  Who knew it would be so difficult to find a Julienne peeler?! It’s one of those things that you see all the time until you are actually looking for one and then you can’t seem to find it.  I made the mistake of meandering around the kitchen section of Target instead of heading straight for the back wall.  What did I come across?  The clearance section.  What did I find?  This super cute garlic holder.

I simply had to have it!

I simply had to have it!

It is white.  It looks rustic.  And it totally fits in with my cottage-y looking home.  I love it!  And the best part?  It was on sale for less than $5.00.  Target really didn’t give me a choice.  So I walked out without my Julienne peeler but with this super cute deal instead.

My friend, Z, had bought a Julienne peeler from Sur La Table so I knew they carried them there.  Looking back on it, I should have just gone there to start with but I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to drive that far.  Well, I ended up driving that far anyway so I could have saved myself the trip to Target, Kroger, and then Sur La Table just to find this peeler.  Not only did Sur La Table have my Julienne peeler, they literally had 5 or 6 different types/brands to choose from.  So of course I went with what I thought was cute.  Plus it had 3 different peelers in one with a super fun cartridge holder.  I was sold.  I’m looking forward to making many zucchini and squash noodles in my future.

My super fun 3-in-1 peeler!

My super fun 3-in-1 peeler!

 

Easy Paleo Meatballs

This is a super simple meatball recipe that literally makes 50 meatballs.  They are great for spaghetti squash and meatballs or just by themselves.  Because the recipe makes so many meatballs (6 meatballs = 1 serving), it’s a great leftover take to lunch kind of meal.  Enjoy!

Served with kale and cumin roasted carrots in this picture.

Served with kale and cumin roasted carrots in this picture.

Ingredients
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 TBSP salt
1 TSBP fennel seeds
1 TBSP ground black pepper
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
1 TBSP yellow mustard
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup after it’s been chopped)
1 large egg
1 pound ground pork
1 pound lean ground beef (bison, lamb, venison work well here too)

Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a large baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bow, mix the garlic, salt, fennel seeds, paprika, pepper, parsley, mustard, and egg with a fork until well combined.  With your hands, crumble the ground pork and ground beef into the bowl.  Knead until all of the ingredients are mixed together.
  3. Moisten your hands with water.  Measure a level tablespoon of meat and roll into a ball between your palms.  Line up the meatballs on your prepared baking sheet, roughly 1/2 inch apart.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through.

This recipe was adapted from the Well Fed cookbook, but changed to meet my personal tastes and it is Whole30 compliant.  Enjoy!