Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekly Menu

You know you are tired when lying on a concrete driveway feels awesome. Soooo ready for a day off on Easter Monday.

I've made a partial menu plan, through Wednesday at least.

Breakfasts:
eggs, avocado, sweet potatoes, salsa
coffee and heavy cream

Lunches:
chicken salad (mayo)
celery or carrots for scooping
deviled eggs
apples with pumpkin and almond butter dip/spread (lessen sugar)

School snacks:
boxes of raisins

After school snacks:
full fat yogurt and coconut milk smoothies

Dinners:
Sunday - 2 ingredient meatloaf (wt version), roasted carrots, spinach salad and dressing
Monday - burgers and homemade sweet potato fries
Tuesday -  paleo burrito bowls or taco salad
Wednesday - pizzadillas (w/ organic corn tortillas)

Dessert: primal fudge

Feeling pasty. Come on sunshine and swimming weather, I'm ready for you!


I visited Steve's Meat Market last week. I can't believe it took me this long to ever get there. I bought some freshly ground grass fed beef (they usually have it in the freezer, but were out, so ground some more for me), some fresh chicken breasts, and 2 flats of free-range eggs (1 flat = 30 eggs). The grass fed beef is the leanest ground beef I have ever had; if you could say raw meat was a pretty color, I would say this was - it was ruby red. And it came out to just under $5/lb which is a good price if you ask me. I'll be going back.

Have a good week!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting


I'm not labeling this cake paleo or primal, because well, it is not. But it is gluten-free, grain-free, and hopefully it is less inflammation-inducing than your typical carrot cake. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup raisins
1 15-ounce can crushed pineapple (the whole can, juice included)
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
(add nuts if desired)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together well.
Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan or two 8x8 pans.
Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Cool completely, and then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks), softened
4 oz. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Directions:
With a stand mixer, beat ingredients together until fluffy.
Spread over cake.
Eat and enjoy! :)



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekly Menu

Wut up.
I made carrot cake last week. I would describe it as a grain-free, way reduced sugar version of this. It still turned out super moist (too much to remove and stack in a square layer cake like I really wanted to) but still an improvement from last year. I gotta write up the recipe. (Update: here it is!)


My thoughts on baked goods and desserts: I usually plan to make one special breakfast item and one special dessert each week. That doesn't mean we eat them all week long. They are usually gone in a day around here. Lately, I've been leaning towards tapioca and coconut flour recipes rather than almond flour or nut butter recipes because of price. Gluten-free flours that contain grains make me feel like crap, so at least there's not that temptation. I don't make my kids be 100% hardcore paleo-ists (although they are pretty good at it)… but I also don't keep dessert-type foods around constantly. I can usually tell by how I feel if things are getting off balance. Bottom line: we enjoy our food, and know that we are best off spending our time and money on good fat, meat, and vegetables. And maybe some dark chocolate. What about you?

Here's our plan for this week.

Breakfasts:
eggs, berries, avocado, primal gingerbread muffins (from here - affiliate link)
coffee & cream*

Lunches:
deli roll-ups (inspired by these and these): black forest ham, salami, organic greens, mustard, sun dried tomatoes
root veggie chips
pears

Kids' school snacks: gogurts**, squeezable applesauce (both on sale at Costco)

After school snack: sliced banana with coconut and cashews

Dinners:
sweet potato shepherd's pie
balsamic-glazed chicken thighs, broccoli
sloppy joes, roasted carrots
korean beef (paleofied), broccoli
hamburgers, tater tots :)
leftovers

Dessert:
brownies (also from here - affiliate link)

*I have found some heavy whipping cream (ultra-pasterized, unfortunately) with zero additives at my local grocery store. No carrageenan; nothing. And it is only $4-something for a quart. It's not organic, but seems like a pretty good compromise to me. We've been adding it to our coffee the last few weeks. I tolerate it fine. I'm trying to determine if it contributes to my husband's allergies, though.

**These are a rarity for my kids that I only buy when they are on special. They are the ones without artificial coloring, but are still practically candy! And I can tell by how my kids want to eat like 5 of them a day :)

That's all for now. Have a great Sunday!!

(sharing here)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Thoughts

I wish all coffee shops had heavy whipping cream. Sadly, many do not. They only have half & half, 2%, and skim. Because who in their right mind would want real cream, right? Wouldn't you rather have carbs instead of fat? I mean really, it has the word heavy in it, so it must make you heavy, right? I don't go out for coffee much, but thankfully my favorite stop keeps a supply of heavy whipping cream… one of the perks of knowing the person who calls the shots :)

Brunch at my desk during the week. Avocado, red pear, and some chicken sausages from Trader Joe's that I picked up between the gym and my office. Sidenote: I did not like avocado until I was 23 years old and had amazing guacamole in Mexico and have loved them ever since. P.S. This is a simply amazing tasting snack. P.S. again - does it bug you when people overuse "amazing"?


On my nightstand. There is only a small handful of people I take book recommendations from, but I generally take them to heart. These days, it is mostly nonfiction.


I love my new shoes a lot. I got these  for the gym (my second pair of this style) and these (also a repeat) for everything else. I also really like my old lady shoes that I wear every few days. I've had them for 7 months and they've really helped stretch and strengthen my feet without aggravating them. Might have to invest in another pair in a few months. If I rotate shoes and don't wear heels :( my pinched nerve foot issues stay away. (affiliate links included)

Today, I really wanted to go try a new-to-me place for local beef and eggs, but after soccer games and Costco, I just couldn't take one more errand with the kids at lunchtime on a Saturday. So we headed home; they needed to play. Another time. I will plan to go on my own.


Hope you are having a good weekend!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekly Menu

Hey there. It's that time again. Here is our plan for this week.

Breakfasts:
eggs, turkey sausage, avocado, bananas, salsa or hot sauce
coffee & cream

Lunches:
chicken salad (chicken, raisins, almonds, mayo)
w/ celery scoops
roasted chicken thighs
strawberries, pineapple, pears

School and after-school snacks:
yogurt with blueberries or string cheese

Dinners:
Monday - bratwurst, vinagrette coleslaw, pickles
Tuesday - paleo chicken parmesan over zucchini noodles
Wednesday - chocolate chili, avocados
Thursday - broiled salmon with mango salsa, roasted carrots
Friday - hawaiian bbq primal pizza (crust from one of my favorite sources)

cilantro not required, just a bonus ;)

I might do some grain-free, nut-free baking this week. Maybe I'll reinvent some paleo carrot cake (what?) I never loved last year's recipe. Or whatever. Just an idea.

Sharing the menu here:
Real Food Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife and Sassy Moms in the City

Time to sleep :) Goodnight!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Photo Journal: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & some Saturday

Long title :) Time to play catch up on my food log!

I ate breakfast late on Wednesday at work - leftovers from the dinner I made for the family the night before: beef stew made simple with ground beef. Not so appetizing to look at, but pretty tasty and a good amount of protein.


Plus coffee and cream during the morning, as usual.

I was pretty full until I got home from work in the afternoon and ate some leftover sausage & sweet potato hash from the fridge. Perhaps we should just call this "brown and orange food day"?


Some homemade popcorn with the kids at at after-school time.


Then I tried a new recipe for dinner (this, minus the cheese, sugar, and flour). I liked it a lot, and thought it had really good flavor, but the rest of the family wasn't crazy about it (they just aren't used to artichokes). But hey, they ate it because they were hungry :) We had roasted asparagus, too.


P.S. I ate twice that.

Um, then after the kids were in bed and we were watching a movie I had a little Breyer's chocolate ice cream and a mini 3 Musketeer's square someone gave me.

Thursday's breakfast: delish.


Thursday's lunch: I had a meeting where Chik Fil A was served and I did not plan ahead. There were only breaded chicken sandwiches left when it was my turn to get food. I ate a chicken patty (sans bun) with mustard, ketchup, pickles, BBQ potato chips, then skipped the gourmet cookies and had a peppermint.

After I picked up the kids from school I ate a banana and some very good strawberries.

Quick dinner of ground beef and green beans before work:

blurry, sorry!
The next 24 hours were not smart, food-wise. I don't recommend following my example from Thursday night-Friday. Birthday(s), a party with a bonfire… etc. The only pictures I have are of breakfast:

I used my daughter's plate :)
OK.

And this was Friday night.


Nice.

While a mini-vaca from normal life was nice, I was ready to get back to better choices.

Today started with a workout, some coaching, some soccer game cheering, some coffee and cream (as usual) and then I just recently ate at 12:30. I honestly wasn't hungry until then. I made chicken taco salad for the family (dressing is just salsa and sour cream mixed together), but then I put two eggs fried in Kerrygold butter on top of mine. Breakfast + Lunch in one :)


Yum.

A pork loin is in the crock pot for dinner.

Lesson? 

The week wasn't awful without my menu plan… until we ran out of food! Ha! Because then I eat whatever is in front of me (i.e. Thursday-Friday this week…)

Here's what I know: Every week, Thursday and Friday are my most challenging days for making good choices. The pantry/fridge starts to run low, and I'm often tired.

So. I need to get back to menu planning, and make sure that I plan well through the end of the work week. That way there will be plenty of good food around. That's my job around here, so I have no one to blame but myself!

Alright, I'm up to date for now, so see ya later… have a good Saturday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Photo Journal: Tuesday

Better late than never. Sorry for all the bad indoor lighting.

This was breakfast today: 3 eggs, potatoes, salsa.


I bought some frozen potatoes at Price Chopper the other day that surprisingly don't have any extra ingredients. Not pictured: coffee with cream that I nursed until afternoon.

Lunch: leftover chicken, ranch, etc. I packed it early in the day. I should have packed way more.



Late afternoon… not the best, but there wasn't much to choose from.



Dinner: I made beef stew for the fam. I had dinner at a friend's house. This is what I ate.



Also, she is a professional baker. I ate the innards out of this banana cream pie. My choice, no excuses.


Then, when I got home and was making turkey sausage for tomorrow, I decided I was still hungry. It will be a long time before I eat again and so I took some and added an egg and some hot sauce to it. Appetizing, huh? But it hit the spot.


That is all for now!
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