Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Cookies- dairy and egg free

On my drive around Virginia this week I noticed the leaves have begun to change colors. Fall is my favorite season and I am excited that it is just around the corner. I love to use pumpkin and apple in baking because it makes my house smell so delicious and it gets me in the Fall season spirit. Today I worked on a new cookie recipe to kick off the season. I wanted to make something egg and dairy free to accommodate some of my friends allergy needs.  My husband says it is his all time favorite. I baked some of the cookies and put the rest of the cookie dough in the freezer for a later sweet tooth date. Enjoy these cookies as you kick off your own fall season.

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Cookies Continue reading

Quick and Easy Snack Ideas

It is that time of year again. Parents are packing their kids lunches, People are stressing out about when we can eat, when we can eat and how can we stay strict to our meal plans and food choices when we sometimes only have 5 min to scarf down food!!!!          C- A- L- M Down! Breathe and relax.

                       Relax and chill

It is all about being prepared. I have you covered. I wrote an article for Paleo Lifestyle Magazine for back to school lunches that should be in one of the upcoming issues but until then… Check out these easy, quick snack ideas:

First some tips:

  1. Make in advance
  2. Freeze or refigerate snacks ahead of time.
  3. Bag, tupperwaror pre-package ahead of time.
  4. Be prepared!

Classics:

  • Almonds, nuts, dried fruits (in moderation), Make your own Paleo approved trail mix
  • Veggies and fruits
  • Hard boiled eggs (make a dozen on Sunday, peel them and refrigerate for a quick grab snack)

Some of my favorite recipes, new ideas  and pinterest ideas:

What can you add to my list? What do you do for snacks? Share so that we can all breathe easier during the stressful back to school days!

Gourment Eggplant Venison Burgers

I went to Giant today and saw some locally grown eggplant from the farm down the road. I haven’t eaten Eggplant since I was younger. I remember my mom made us try it and of course as a little kid we thought it was gross!! The only thing I liked about it was that we boiled it down to make purple dye for our easter eggs- pretty cool.

After reading about the benefits of eggplant, I decided to give it another try.

Gourmet Eggplant Venison Burgers

Ingredients:

  • Ground Venison
  • salt, pepper, your favorite burger seasonings
  • Coconut aminos (if non- paleo, Worcestershire sauce)
  • Onion
  • Balsamic Viniagrette
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Dijon mustard

Process:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground venison and your optional spices, coconut aminos. Combine and make into burger patties.
  2. Place burgers in a pan and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until slightly pink in the center. *You do not want to over cook venison*
  3. Lightly oil a second pan with coconut or olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle and brush each side of the eggplant with balsamic vinaigrette.
  5. Place thin slices of eggplant (enough for each burger you made) and onions to the pan.
  6. Sprinkle a little balsamic and Sea Salt on the onions and eggplant.
  7. Cover Vegetables and allow them to cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip them and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Slice tomato and prepare lettuce wrap.
  9. When everything is cooked and ready, you can plate it.
  10. First place lettuce on a plate, next the burger, top it with 1 eggplant slice, 1 tomato, sautéed onions and a dollop of Dijon Mustard.

 

                                      Serve with Asparagus and Enjoy!

 

 

Eat slow, Eat Peacefully

Today I gave myself a challenge: Eat Slow, Eat Peacefully!

I am reading The Whole 9′s book It Starts With Food and I really enjoyed Chapter 16: Meal Planning made easy. It discusses not only how to make your plate using the knowledge from the book but it also shares the importance of taking your time with your meals. It says that we need to build a healthy relationship with our food so we should remember that “Meal time is about building new traditions within our own kitchens, with our families- and a good example for our future generations.” This hits home with me big time because I grew up in a family where we cooked every meal and generally together. We ate dinner at a big dining room table. We worked as a family to make the meal and we enjoyed eating it as a family over great conversation. It would have been easy for my mom to make us some microwave crap dinner and watch TV. With 5 girls, I am sure she wished she could but she didn’t. She set the tradition and the expectation that this is what families do. “A family that eats together, stays together.”

My husband and I enjoy dinner together every night and for the most part we eat at a table without TV or computers and phones. Over the summer we have had the occasional breakfast together too but we definitely don’t take time for lunch. I have been grazing a lot throughout the day rather than making a lunch and sitting to eat it. With summers off, I don’t have a schedule. I know that Brandon eats his lunch at his desk browsing facebook or the internet. We don’t put as much value on lunch as we do at dinner because we aren’t together so we didn’t think it really mattered. After reading this book I realized that it matters to my body and that taking time for all 3 meals is more important than we think.

Here is my challenge today:

  • Eat a meal within 1 hour of waking up (hardest for me so far!)
  • Eat 3 meals in a relaxed fashion, unplugged and no distractions.
  • Chew slowly and enjoy every bite.
  • Drink a big glass of water if you aren’t full
  • Plan your plate around your protein and fill your plate with veggies.
  • Eat only 3 meals and no snacking if you can help it.  (Notice I didn’t focus on whole 30 approved foods, only on the steps! Take it slow!)

Here is what I ate today: 

6:30am

Meal 1- 1 hot smoke, 1 hard boiled egg, Kraut

2:00pm

Meal 2- A big Salad with Romaine, Tomato, Carrots, Peppers, Some left over hot smokes, left over chicken and a hard boiled egg. This was too big and I couldn’t finish it! *Very filling*

6:00pm

Meal 3- Grilled Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, Sweet Potato with butter and Cinnamon

How do I feel you ask?

I see how important it is to chew and enjoy. I notice that I didn’t clear all my plates because I felt full. I notice that I drank more water during my meals and I felt very happy at each meal. I did get hungry and was able to satisfy my hunger with each meal. Delicious! This was a great challenge- you should try it!

 

Sometimes you gotta yell WHOA!

This is a quick little post about the fun of gardening.

Today I went out to collect my usual Tomatoes, Peppers, herbs and a Cantaloupe. I was weeding and planting a sweet potato too. All of a sudden I went to pull a giant weed and came across this:

I literally yelled “WHOA, how did you get here!”. Continue reading

Easy Crock Pot Pork Roast

I don’t have kids but now I know why moms love crock- pot meals.

Yea- he likes to play, A LOT!

I had my 6 year old nephew for about 5 days last week and he kept me busy the entire time. I decided it was time to pull out the crock-pot and let it do the cooking for me. We were too busy to stand in the kitchen and cook. Here is my easy crock- pot recipe for a pork roast

Crock- Pot Pork Roast Continue reading

Can’t Fail with Kale

I have been reading about the benefits of Kale lately and have been looking for new ways to add it into my diet. After reading this article I decided to share how I get Kale into my diet at least 3 times a week. I generally make this smoothie for breakfast or for Pre or post intense workout. Caution- it is surprisingly filling!

Kale Smoothie Continue reading