Category Archives: Food

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

Per the request of a cousin of mine (actually my mom’s cousin’s wife but really a cousin is a cousin) I’m sharing a scrumptious recipe I made for supper tonight. It’s not my recipe so I’ll just post the link but I have to say he gives the best instructions on making a proper cauliflower crust. I’ve made them before and they turn out kind of soggy and not especially appetizing. This crust was crispy and held up well even with a lot of filling stuffed in it.

Here’s the recipe.

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Into our calzones I put:
Mozzarella cheese
Spaghetti sauce with ground beef (leftover from spaghetti the night before)
Sauteed mushrooms
Sauteed kale

And as you can tell I stuffed ours so full I couldn’t close them but it didn’t really matter…they were delicious!

On the menu for tomorrow…Thai Coconut Soup.


Honey Apple Syrup

Our apple tree was loaded down this year! I peeled and froze a whole bunch of them but didn’t know what to do with the peels and cores. Until I came across a recipe to make honey apple syrup. Super easy and yummy! We use it to sweeten yogurt and top pancakes. I’m sure you could find all sorts of uses for it.

Honey Apple Syrup
-4 cups apple peels
-4 cups honey
-4 cups water

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and let cook for about 5 minutes. Let cool for about an hour then strain the peels out with a mesh wire strainer. I canned the syrup so that’s why the quantities are so large but you can do this with any amount. Just make sure everything is a 1:1:1 ratio.

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Banana Almond Pancakes

Short post this time but there isn’t much to say about this recipe.  It’s a delicious pancake recipe even if you aren’t gluten-free and it only has three ingredients!  I got it from a great website that has really good info on living a primal lifestyle.  He even has a lot of good tips if you aren’t 100% paleo.

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Banana-Almond Pancakes
Adapted from here

4 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
3 tbsp. almond butter

Mix this all together and cook in a skillet or electric griddle in a bit of melted coconut oil. You’ll want to cook it at a low heat (I did between 250-300 degrees on the electric griddle) so that they cook all the way through. If it’s too hot the outside will burn and the inside will be runny. These take a little more time than regular pancakes so have some patience and your tastebuds will thank you!

I served ours with warmed berries. The bananas make these pancakes really sweet so you don’t need syrup but I’m sure they’d taste good with a little drizzled on them. I’m saving our maple syrup for some lemon cookies I’m going to make as soon as I get the chance!

 


Easy Trail Mix and my new favorite appliance

I feel like in some ways I am getting dangerously close to being a full-out hippy. The only thing keeping us on the grid is our minivan and the fact that we vaccinate our child (alternative schedule, in case you were wondering).

But all joking aside I really love making things myself instead of buying them. Sometimes it saves money or time and sometimes it’s just plain fun. Always, it’s a healthy option. To fulfill all of my reasonings behind homemade, from-scratch cuisine I decided to buy a food dehydrator. I think it will be especially useful with preserving herbs from the garden.

Since getting the dehydrator (for $25 on Craigslist I might add) I’ve used it several times and I love it! I’ve dried apples, bananas, pineapple and even made beef jerky. The dried fruit had gone into a yummy trail mix most recently. We’ll be taking it on an upcoming road trip. It includes walnuts, almonds, raisins, chocolate chips, bananas, apples and pineapple. So yummy! The dried pineapple is especially good, tastes like candy.

Really, you can put any combination of fruit and nuts together and you’ll have a tasty trail mix.

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And here is a link to an amazing jerky recipe. Can’t go wrong when You’re following Alton Brown’s instructions!


What We’re Snacking On

Grr…I’m feeling a little grumpy because this is the second version of this post since the first was somehow deleted 😦 

I did a similar post awhile back but of course it’s great to have a variety of snacks you can cycle through. That way no one gets bored and we always have healthy options to snack on between meals.  Our diet has changed quite a bit recently too so I’ve had to search and search for new snacking options. Here are some delicious snacks that have come out of our kitchen recently.

The first two came out of a cookbook called Special Diets for Special Kids. It has grain-free, casein free recipes that are geared towards kids. I’m trying to slowly move towards a grain-free diet for Dieter (we’ve already made the switch for the most part) but it’s hard when your child loves tortilla chips and crackers.

Coconut Date Balls

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  • 11⁄2 cups pitted dates
  • 3⁄4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1⁄4 cups finely shredded, dried coconut
  • Put the dates in a blender or food processor and process them until they form a paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients and form into balls.  Roll in additional coconut and store, covered in the refrigerator.

Cowboy Dip

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 cup salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Combine all ingredients.  For a smooth dip put them in a blender or food processor.  For a chunky dip leave as is!  Use as a dip for tortilla chips and fresh veggies.

Granola Bars…delicious!
Dried bananas and apples…I just bought a food dehydrator for $25 on Craigslist and I love it! I’ve been drying fruit to add to nuts for a simple trail mix. Next I’m going to try homemade beef jerky, yummy!
Paleo Granola…I still have not gotten tired of this recipe and I make it a lot.

 

And  a delicious “cheesecake” for a special occasion…
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Three more posts and I’ll be writing my 100th blog post…wow, it only took me 2 and a half years!

 


Getting the Garden Ready


Woo-hoo! It’s March! Looking outside it doesn’t look much different than February but I just feel like Spring is right around the corner. And when it comes my veggies will be ready to go into the ground. Last year proved to be a successful first-time gardening experience for me so I decided to expand the size of the garden and the number of things I’ll plant. I found a great website called seedsnow.com that sells non-GMO seeds. They sell seed “banks” which are packages of different veggies and herbs. I decided to buy the Homestead Seed Bank and that means I will be planting:

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Basil
Pole Beans
Bush Beans
Beets
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cilantro
Cucumber
Kale
Lettuce
Onion
Peas
Sweet Peppers
Spinach
Squash
Swiss Chard
Tomatoes

And then I also ordered lemon mint, thyme, and chamomile.

We will be set this year!

My cousin Michelle helped me start some seeds this past weekend.

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This has been my lunch a lot of days this past week.  So delicious!

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Paleo Granola


I was having a hard time letting go of my granola when we decided to transition to a paleo diet. I did soaked granola for quite awhile and really liked it but knew that it wasn’t going to be a forever thing if I could find a suitable substitute. My mom turned me on to this recipe and Jere, Dieter and I gobbled up the (doubled) batch in a matter of three days. I was so happy to find something we all liked that didn’t have any grains in it but there was no way I could afford to continue making it the way it was written if it was going to be a regular breakfast food. So after tweaking it a little a think I came up with the perfect granola recipe for our family (that won’t cost a fortune to make).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 30 dried dates, chopped (I have no idea what measurement that would be, sorry you’re going to have to count!)
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I buy mine on Vitacost but does anyone know where I can get it cheaper??)
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 3 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • salt, a few pinches? I dunno, I left it out.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Mix your wet ingredients and spices in a bowl and then add the remaining ingredients. Mix.
  • Pour onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone liners (these are amazing, such money savers because parchment paper is pricey)
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until granola begins to darken and dry out. Make sure to mix it up a little halfway through so that it bakes evenly.
  • Eat it!

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My obligatory photo. I was too hungry to actually put thought into it so there you have it…I’m eating granola out of my lap, all manners are out the window when the kid is sleeping.

 


A Visit to Blue Gentian Farms

Living in the “city” we rarely get the opportunity to expose Dieter to the places where his food comes from. In an attempt to teach him the value of food and where it comes from I planted a garden last summer and loved it so much we’ll be planting a bigger one this year. I want him to help out this year and I know that he’ll really enjoy it. Dirt, worms, plants…what’s not to love?

Obviously when it comes to locally-sourced meats it’s not quite as easy as looking to the backyard. Until now I really haven’t pursued buying good-quality meat. I guess I just hadn’t reached that point in my food journey even though I knew there were better options than what I was buying. After hearing about some friends successes in buying direct from the farmer I decided we needed to make that commitment. If I was going to feed my family meat I wanted to know that it was from animals that had been treated humanely and weren’t pumped full of steroids, growth hormones, and antibiotics. That’s when I heard about Blue Gentian Farms in New Richmond, WI. I corresponded via e-mail with Darryl, the owner, and ended up buying a whole cow from him (which we split up between several families). He encouraged me to come visit the farm whenever I got the chance. So we took him up on the offer! It was a chilly but beautiful, sunny morning. We learned so much about the farm, cattle and other animals he raises. Darryl loves showing people around his farm and sharing his passion.  That’s definitely something I want to support!

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If you have ever considered buying from the source check out Blue Gentian Farms.


French Press Cozy

Because even a french press should have a hand-knit sweater.

This pattern is ridiculously easy but still took me a few tries to get just right. It fits on our Ikea french press that has a 12″ circumference, I think it’s a pretty standard size but I wrote a few tips on how to make it fit your own french press. First you have to take a look at where my yarn came from.

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Pretty cool, huh? This sweater was given to me by my aunt because she figured I could use the yarn for something. I’m going to have a ton of it once I take the entire sweater apart so I’m sure it will show up in several projects. I love free yarn! This is another sweater that I made using another sweater (from the thrift store). Can you believe I knit an entire sweater for under $5? The buttons actually cost more than the yarn.

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Alright, so here’s a pattern for that cozy…

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French Press Cozy
Supplies:

  • yarn–I’m a somewhat unsure as to what weight the yarn I used would be so checking your gauge is important. I think it was pretty close to a worsted weight. Use wool for best results.
  • size 8 needles (circular or straight, doesn’t matter!), or whatever size needed to obtain gauge.
  • 3 buttons

Gauge: 15 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches

Pattern:
Cast on 72 stitches. VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to make the buttonholes as you knit. Instructions for them are at the bottom of the pattern.
Work a k2 p2 rib for 2 inches ending with WS
Row 1: Decrease 14 stitches evenly over a knit row.
Row 2: knit
Row 3: p to last 4 stitches, knit those last 4 stitches
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the piece measures 6″ ending with a WS. Work in a 1×1 rib for 1.25″ and then bind off.  Sew on buttons and you’re done! Make yourself some coffee to celebrate!

Buttonholes: make a buttonhole on RS at 1″, 3.5″ and 5.5.” To make the buttonhole: k2, yo, k2tog, continue in pattern to end of row. As you can see from the picture I placed a button at the bottom of the cozy and two inside the handle. If these measurements won’t work with the handles of your french press it’s easy to measure and adjust.
You can either fold the ribbed edge over or pull it up when you’re not pouring…keeps everything cozy and warm.
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Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (sorry)

I know I just posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies but I have another one! Well it’s chocolate chip cookie bars, so similar. I have a sweet tooth and although I’ve cut down A LOT on my sugar intake I like to have a little something sweet sitting in the kitchen every once in awhile or I’ll go find something if a craving hits me. Usually that would be a Dairy Queen Blizzard, any flavor will
do!An

So here’s another gluten-free sweet treat for you (and me) to enjoy.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except for chocolate chips.  Once you’ve thoroughly mixd everything add the chocolate. Divide the batter between two greased pie plates.  Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown and set in the middle.  Let cool before cutting.

IMG_0646Enjoy with some organic yogurt sweetened with a touch of honey (and a cup of coffee).  Yum!

Funny side story:

I have an impact on my child in more ways than I thought.  Tonight I was taking a picture of my supper, which has become a really annoying habit, because I never know if something will become a blog post or I might want to put it on Facebook.  Dumb, I know.  But you should look at my parents Facebook pages before you wonder where I got this from.  As I’m putting my phone down I hear D say, “take picture DT’s supper”.  I chuckled because obviously he feels that taking pictures of your food is important…and normal (gasp!).  And then he wanted me to take a picture of him, he was moving so it was a blurry.  What a cutie :).

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