Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

This is my favorite soup of all time and it couldn't be easier!

  • 1 Steamed or Baked Butternut Squash (scrape out seeds and put the meat of the squash in blender)
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Dried Parsley
Place in blender to a smooth consistency and warm to desired temperature.  This is so comforting and I even had a bowl for breakfast one morning.  Tonight I am making cream of broccoli in the exact same way, just substituting the broccoli for the butternut.  Any vegetable/squash would make a lovely soup.

(this was garnished with some dehydrated kale that I made in my dehydrator)

This post brings me to my latest obsession, the Vitamix blender:

I have my wish list in with the family as we speak for Mom's birthday present (that's me!).  I use my regular blender every single day whether for smoothies or soups, and even my homemade dressings.  The price is a little steep but this machine is probably worth every penny.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paleo Honey Crepes

I am scrambling to think up new "desserts" since I am on strict paleo right now.  This means I can't work with any other gluten free flours that are made with rice, potato, etc.  So that is limiting to the goodies I can bake.  Enter coconut flour!  And almond flour!  There is hope, but it all still needs to be in moderation.  I also realize that making baked goods at all right now is going to stall my weight loss further, so I need to be realistic.

Yesterday I came up with this and I was amazed at how great it was (or maybe I was just starving!)

3 Tablespoons coconut flour/4 Tablespoons for taller crepes
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons sliced raw almonds
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Teaspoon light olive oil
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons almond milk (or other non dairy alternative, water could work)

Whisk until a batter like consistency.  Add more liquid or flour little bits at a time to achieve correct consistency. *Please note coconut flour is not anything like regular flour or other gluten free flours.  A little goes a long way and it involves a lot more liquid than flour to get it right.  The coconut flour drinks up moisture almost double it's own ratio of any other flour, so use it carefully to get your recipes right when working with it.

Heat a skillet to medium hot and put 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (this gives the best flavor)  Pour out silver dollar size portions so it will be easier to flip.  Cook like pancakes and put on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Serve with honey.  Yields about 4 small crepes.  You can double the recipe also.


These were so delicious.  Light and fluffy :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Paleo Sorbet

Well I had to think fast today to come up with a dessert that was naturally sweet (although I am not hesitating to use organic honey when I need to).

I just grabbed my frozen bag of berries and added a small amount of orange juice.  You have to get that soft consistency but not make it a smoothie!

This was so good and refreshing and totally satisfied my cravings for something sweet.  Ahhhhhh!

My 30 Day Challenge is underway!

Well folks the time has come to put my fitness and eating program into high gear.  I am not at the target size I want to maintain, so I got inspired this weekend to go completely paleo and when I say that I mean the strict version.

No sugar, dairy, alcohol, and not even certain fruit!...just nature based loveliness of meat, seafood, salads, vegetables, good fats, small amount of nuts, and maybe berries for the sweet tooth that resides inside of me.  I have noticed that I have been craving sugar and wine for the last day or so.  I did have a cheat on Saturday but only a couple glasses of wine and a handful of tortilla chips.  This eating plan does not allow for rice, corn, or any other gluten free flour that I've been eating since going gluten free about 4 years now.  That is going to be a little tough because when I look at my tiramisu recipe on here I realize that is a thing of the past now.  I know why I am not losing weight....gluten free foods are actually more caloric and loaded with carbs, so it really is not a weight loss diet.  I know by the way my clothes fit me that I've actually gained more weight being gluten free but I feel in optimal health despite the extra weight.  It's not a lot of extra weight but you know your body and you can tell when you feel trim and you can tell when you feel puffy, bloated, and not realizing your true potential.

I'm going to take a picture of myself behind the scenes with tight fitting exercise gear to show a before and after.  I am bound and determined to making this a starting point to lose a minimum of 10 pounds, and I plan to use this lifestyle for the rest of my life, but adding in more fruit when my goal is reached, and maybe a celebratory glass of vino :).

If you are interested in checking out some free material to help in your own weight loss goals I recommend this site:

Robb Wolf tools

If you register for his newsletter he will send you all the fundamentals of what a paleo diet is and help you with shopping for your food, etc.

Of course, fitness plays a role in achieving your goals further.  So take the stairs, park as far away as possible from the shopping center, walk instead of ride.  Those decisions will just come naturally as you progress into the lifestyle.

Wishing us all health in this journey of life!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

...Special Sentiments...

I haven't shared much in the way of "Positive Spirituality" as one of the topics I would like to cover more.

My mother sent this saying to me in a card and I adored it.  The reason she sent this was that I have a lot of hummingbirds visiting my feeder (as does she at her home), so hummingbirds are always close to our hearts.

"Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration.  The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation."

Here is a stock photo of a lovely bird as my birds were being camera shy!  I was stalking them all day to catch that magic shot but they eluded my camera lens.  I feel being close to nature is one of life's greatest gifts.  When I see one of these birds close by my window it makes me feel alive and connected to something greater; the greater good of the universe.


I am so excited that I finally captured a couple images of our hummingbirds.  They are so tiny but I think you can see her/him in there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fun with Fermentation

I have found some superfoods that I make myself in my kitchen, making them with ingredients that are wholesome, natural, and let me tell you the taste is like nothing you have ever experienced with store-bought items.

I have some sauerkraut brewing as well as some salsa (my favorite!).

My inspiration for trying out fermented foods are these two books:

Sandor Ellix Katz Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions
You can get the recipes from their books and Sandor has a You Tube tutorial which is terrific.

The priobiotic benefit you get from fermented foods is so good for your digestive tract.  It is much more available than store bought yogurts which are pretty much sugar laden, and the live cultures are speculative since who knows how long since it was manufactured until it reaches your shopping cart.

For the sauerkraut I just use cabbage, onion, and carrots.  You can adapt it to however you like it.  The most important aspect is to add either salt to make your brine (or water and whey from your own plain yogurt), and I usually use both actually.  To make your whey, simply put plain yogurt in a coffee filter inside of a strainer.  Put a bowl underneath and collect the whey overnight in the refrigerator.  Keep that in a mason jar to use when making fermented items.

For the sauerkraut you can use all kinds of other goodies like fresh garlic and any other veggies that appeal to you.  Sandor uses red cabbage and I plan to try that in the future.

You cut up everything and place in a bowl to give it all a great big squeeze to release the juices.  You can add salt over the veggies and squeeze some more.  Taste to make sure it is not too salty but it will be going under water that you will need to add so it will be diluted some with this process.

Place contents in a glass jar with tight fitting lid.  You will need to add more water in the coming days and open top to burp pressure.  The mixture needs to be covered with brine or whey water to keep stabilized and not taint the process with mold or out of control organisms.  Don't let that scare you though!  The benefits outweigh anything going wrong...this is really the easiest thing to do:).

For the salsa, you can use anything of your choice here.  Of course, tomatoes would be a first choice.  I usually add red onion, cilantro, sometimes fresh garlic.  And if you like it hot, you can always use peppers too.  The way the fermented salsa tastes is incredible.  The probiotics that break down the food for you make it taste so very good.  I love to use it on eggs or with some tortilla chips.

This is a very fast post because I'm not sure how much attention the blog will get for awhile.  This is our first week back to homeschool and it has been a grueling schedule going from carefree summer mode to synchronized time slots for every move we make.  We are learning so much but our brains are on overdrive right now.  It will be nice to have that first weekend in a few days! :o)


***You will need about 1-3 tablespoons of salt per jar and spring water covering contents completely.  For whey use 2 tablespoons of it and cover entirely with spring water and 1 tablespoon of salt.***

Leave jars on the counter at room temperature.  For salsa I usually leave it out for 3 days and the sauerkraut can ferment for 14-30 days depending on your own tastes.  I would taste it every 5 days to see if is is soft enough or meets your tastebuds with delight at which time you can refrigerate it.

In a day or so you will see the life in there of bubbles and activity.  It really is miraculous to see your food dancing and what it will help you do in your insides :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Green Goddess Homemade Dressing #2

Well this is our all time favorite dressing and in addition to the honey mustard I have one more to share at a later date.

This dressing is super easy and only requires 4 ingredients! 

  • 1 Cup Mayo
  • 1 Cup Cilantro
  • 2 green onions ( I only needed one because this one from my garden was supersized, look at how long that baby is!!!)
  • 1/4 Cup pickle juice (no pickles!)
Blend all together and it is creamy, spicy and just has the best flavor.  My husband says this is his favorite dressing ever and I'm never allowed to purchase any in a bottle.  Try not to add all the juice at first because you want it to be a thicker consistency.  Slowly add in the pickle juice until the greens break down in the blender.  And make sure to cut up the onions and chop the cilantro if you have a standard blender (like me).  You don't want to stress it too much.  If you have something like a Vita-Mix it will be a breeze.