Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fresh Plum Jam

Tis the season for fresh plums!  We have a neighbor with an abundance of fruits and veggies we love to buy from!  Today was their first harvest of the plum trees.  YAY!!

With starting the Sane Challenge in a day, what a better prep item to have on hand then Plum Jam!! Delicious on a slice of sprouted grain toast for breakfast or top some cottage cheese with it for a easy sweet snack.

Ingredients?  Plums and Chia Seeds

It's as easy as cutting up the plums, (about 3 cups diced) and adding them to the sauce pan with about 1/4 Cup of water. Bring to boil, cover and lower heat. Let simmer about 15 minutes.  Stirring frequently. 

After 15 minutes, turn the heat off, take lid off and let cool a bit.   Then add 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds. Mix it up really good and let it sit until almost cool.  

Throw the mixture in the food processor for a few turns to make a chunky jam or really let it spin for a smoother jam. 

You could add a little honey for a sweeter jam, but these plums were perfect and we didn't need to add anything!!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions

Day two of Crock pot freezer meal!  Another success!

The next time I will add some yellow and red peppers along with the green.  Just for flavor. I may omit the onion and garlic powder.  I'm still deciding.  I make this on the stove top with a simple can of tomato sauce, not tomatoes and no seasonings.  I think I like that better.  But this was still delish!   So much I'll probably double the recipe!!

I just bought what ever Italian sausage they had at the store.  I will search out a cleaner, fresh, homemade sausage for the next time.

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions

1 lb of italian sausage links
1 large green pepper
1 medium onion
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 teas onion powder
2 teas garlic powder

Mix together in ziplock, label to cook 6 hrs on low or 4 hrs on high.

Serve it however you like.  I just put it in a bowl and ate it!!

Nom Nom Nom Nom.....

Monday, June 29, 2015

Crock Pot Freezer Meal "Southwest Chicken"

The first day of crock pot freezer meals was successful!

Southwest Chicken

1 can corn, drained  ( I think its about 14oz)
1 can black beans, drained
1 16 oz can of salsa   ( remember to use clean salsa.  If you like it spicy use a hot salsa)
3-4 chicken breasts ( 2lbs)
1 8 oz cream cheese

Put all the ingredients in a zip-lock except the cream cheese.  Mix well and freeze.

On the label put the instructions to add the cream cheese, cut up in cubes the last 30 min of cooking. Also remove the chicken and shred, then return to pot when cheese it melted.  Mix all together and salt & pepper to taste. 

Cook on low 7-8 hrs. 

This reminded us of chicken paprikosh ( I have no clue how to spell that and neither does spell check)

 I added more salsa to the top and salt and pepper.  I thought it needed more flavor.  My husband just added salt and pepper and said it was fine.  So I guess it depends on you.  The consistency of the chicken was a little mushy, but you're going to have that with chicken cooked in a crock pot. 

I ate mine over spinach like a salad which was very tasty.  My husband ate his with nacho chips.  

Over all....this was really good and it fed three of us plus a couple bowls of leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!

Winner Winner Chicken Southwest Dinner!! 

12 Paleo "ish" Crock Pot Freezer Meals

Making clean meals everyday is by far the greatest challenge in eating right.  The busy lifestyles we live makes it hard to have time to "make" food on a daily basis. At least for me it is.  When I make the time to prep and plan meals I am pretty good at eating clean.  The moment I run out food, fail to plan what I'm eating the next day, or not have anything ready to make quickly is the moment I fall back into old bad habits.   It's a terrible cycle I will continue to battle  until I stop the roller coaster. 

This project is something I've not tried before but have heard many people say its  great. 
Make ahead meals for the crock pot
Here's the experiment.  I spent the whole day Sunday making food.  I ended up with 12 freezer meals to make in the crock pot.  Each day I'll make one and post a blog on that meal.  Letting you know the good or bad and any adjustments that need to be made.
This is just half the food....filled up every counter top and most of the fridge!

All I did was dice up the food and put it into freezer bags labeled.  Everything was raw for the most part and easy to prep and put together. 

 The menu
1. Taco Chili
2. Thai Chicken Wings w/ Peanut Sauce
3. Italian Sausage w/ peppers and onions
4. White Chicken Chili
5. Honey Sesame Chicken
6. Teriyaki Chicken
7. Beef Stew
8. Southwest Chicken
9. Cheeseburger soup
10. Mexican Fiesta Chicken
11. Spinach and Salsa Chicken
12. South West Flank Steak

The meals in the list were paleo "ish".  
Many of them have beans or corn and maybe an add in like cheese.  The canned items I made sure to pick whole ingredients.  For example the salsa was all fresh with no added sugars.  So be sure to READ LABELS to insure you keep the contents clean.

I'll vary how it's served for myself and my husband since he's not paleo by any degree.  So I'll eat mine over a bed of spinach, he'll eat his with tortilla chips or rice. So it's great if you have diversity in the home and need to have variables.  Make both parties happy :-)

Here's the website I followed.....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas

Everyone Loves Sriracha!!!

I was a little disappointed in these because I thought they'd be crunchy.  I guess I needed to cook them longer so next time we'll turn the heat down and leave in the oven until they are good and crunchy.

 Working with chick peas are a pain because of this coating they have on them.  

I used canned chick peas so I rinsed them off good and then patted them dry.  I rolled them around in the paper towel which helped loosen up the coating.  I still had to peel them off one by one.  But worth it.

2 cups cickpeas  (1 15oz can)
3-4 Tbls Sriracha sauce
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Drain and pat dry chickpeas.
In a bowl mix all ingredient well. 
Spread out onto lined baking sheet.

Bake 35-45 min, shaking them around every 10 minutes or so.

Keep in airtight containers.  I kept mine in the fridge.

Lemon Coconut Balls - Sweet Tooth Fix

 Simple ingredients needed for this delicious refreshing treat.

2 cups shredded coconut or coconut flakes
1/ cup almonds
2-3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Extra shredded coconut for coating

I bought a zester from Pampered chef a long time ago and wasn't really sure if I'd ever use it.  Let me tell you.  This little tool has been used so many times and I couldn't imagine a kitchen with out one.

If you don't have a zester tool...get one. Today

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend for one minute.

Roll into small balls about 1/2" or what ever size you'd like. Remember smaller balls, make more to enjoy!

Roll in shredded coconut and place on lined plate or tray. Chill until firm.

Store in airtight container in fridge.

Enjoy!  But not all at once.  Savior them a little at a time.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I've been on a cauliflower spree lately.  It's one of those strange veggies that I find impossible to eat raw.  Yuck.  And not very favorable steamed.  Even baked is meh.

So I've been ricing it!!   Amazing

Over the weekend I prepped everything I need to throw this dish together in the wok with no prep time.  Getting home from working out or coaching at 7pm leaves little time for prep work in the kitchen. 

I had everything pretty much measured out and ready so all I had to do was follow the steps to cook it up!

I steamed the cauliflower first.  Cut the little flower pieces off and put in glass dish cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 4 minutes.  Don't over cook.  You want it still firm.  This allows you to skip the step where you have to cook the cauliflower.

I cut up the chicken and mixed with ginger, garlic and white parts of the green onion.

I shredded the carrots and chopped cilantro and measured out what was needed.  I measured out the soy sauce also.( I used coconut aminos)

Everything was in little prep bowls and ready to rock when I got home.  It took about 20 minutes to make including the bacon cooking time.

Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon, chopped (Uncured Organic Bacon for Strict Paleo)
  • 1 lb. organic chicken breast, sliced into thin pieces
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tb. freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, greens and whites separated
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup chopped thai basil or cilantro
  • 1-3 Tb. soy sauce (Substitute Coconut Aminos for Strict Paleo)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha or chile paste   
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Coconut oil for frying


  1. Chop the bacon, chicken and veggies so you can work quickly once you start cooking. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in the food processor. Pulse until it roughly resembles rice.
  2. Heat a large wok (or skillet) over medium heat. Place a rimmed dish to the side of the wok as a holding dish. Add the bacon to the skillet and fry until brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the dish.
  3. Add the eggs to the skillet and quickly scramble. Use your spoon to break into small pieces, then move to the holding dish. If needed add a small amount of oil to the wok. Turn the heat to high and add the chicken, white onion pieces, ginger and garlic. Stir fry until the chicken is just barely cooked through, then add the carrots and cook another minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the holding dish.
  4. Now add the cauliflower "rice" to the wok. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes until soft, but still firm. Add all the cooked ingredients back to the wok, along with the frozen peas, soy sauce to taste, and chile paste. Toss and cook until the peas are warmed through, then toss in the green onion tops and basil. Serve warm with lime wedges.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cauliflower & Spicy Italian Sausage

Today it was well below zero.  I've been burning a fire all day to keep up with keeping the place warm. And drinking Baileys and coffee to keep me warm. 

We also have to keep our wildlife fed during the cold part of the winter.  The treat is they usually will come out during the day to feed.  Today we had over 20 deer wondering the woods waiting to feed.  It  was awesome to watch them.

It was also a great day to prep and make food for the week.  

With a roast in the crock pot, and taco soup on the stove, I whipped up a new dish that is OUTSTANDING.  

It's sure to be a repeat meal.

Ingredients are pretty simple

1 lbs Hot Sausage, taken out of casings 
1 head of Cauliflower (recipe calls for Broccoflower but I wasn't about to run around to find one)
1 C Diced Red Bell Pepper
1/2 C Chopped Fresh Parsley

  1. Begin heating a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Remove the casing from the spicy Italian sausage.
  3. Brown the sausage in the pan, using a fork or spatula to break up into pieces.
  4. While the sausage is cooking, cut up the Cauliflower into smaller florets, place in a 8×8 glass dish, cover with plastic wrap and heat for 4 minutes on high in the microwave. 
  5. Place the Cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until approximately the size of rice. (in multiple batches if necessary.)
  6. Once the sausage is completely browned, add the “riced” Cauliflower to the pan and stir while cooking for about 5-10 minutes.
  7.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the red bell pepper and parsley.

My Poor Parsley Plant had to give up all it's fruit for this dish.  I hope it grows back fast.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baked Green Beans (and another round of Mushrooms & Pork Chops)

Happy Valentines Day

Today started off great.  Had an early morning ultra sound (darn middle age) and at 10am Girl Power at the gym.  Now let me remind you, my gym is awesome.  The owners do all the programming and are amazing to say the least.
EMOM (forgot, maybe 8 min)
pull to snatch position 2
pull to snatch position 2
hang snatch
hang snatch

Then we worked up to a heavy 3 rep snatch.  My back was bothering me so I just went for ME (1rep)
I've been at 95lb for over a year.  I hit 105 lbs one time back in June.  Today......
110 lbs
It felt good and probably could have gotten more, but what I learned over the last 6 months or so is patience.  Slow and steady wins the race.  
This is me^^^^ during the EMOM

I repeated the pork chops and mushrooms because it was so yummy last time.  Today I served with baked green beans.  Simple easy and yummy.
How to make crispy roasted Green Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place a jellyroll pan in oven for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, place green beans and all the ingredients.
  4. Mix well everything together.
  5. Arrange green bean mixture in a single layer on preheated baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Here are some shots of the Pork Chops and Mushrooms. The recipe is a few blogs back.  But here's the link again.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Caramel Apple Bites.......OMG. Kids will dig these.

Little balls of natural sugar.  Who can resist.  Got a sweet tooth? Having trouble getting over it?  These will help.

I was looking for a protein ball recipe, you know the kind you don't bake?  During my search I came across these and thought.....hhmmmm I have all those ingredients (4 of them)

Fifteen minutes later I had these.  Which was good because I needed to do a WOD today and had plenty of time to get to the box.

It can't get any easier, unless of course you don't have a food processor.  If you don't have one, go invest in one.  A good one. You'll use it a lot once you have it.  Of course if you have one of those super mighty Vitamix blenders or Nijas' they'll work but don't ask me what setting to use.  Those things are too pricey for me.

1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup oats ( I used steel cut this time, it's all I had on hand)
1 cup dried apples - not the crispy kind, the chewy soft kind
1 tsp cinnamon  ( next time I thought to use pumpkin pie spice)

Throw it all in the processor and mix until pasty.  I added a few drops of water towards the end to bring it together like a dough.

Then I rolled them up in tiny little balls of wonderfulness. 

I would not suggest eating them all in one sitting. It will be hard not to. Just pop one in your mouth every so often to curve that sweet tooth.

Got kids?  Oh yeah these will be a hit.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chai-Spiced Granola with Almond Milk, Roasted Veggies, Spicy Baked Cauliflower & Sweet Potatoes, and Clean Popcorn

2nd meeting of the group Eat Clean, Train Mean in 2015!

Great time this afternoon with this bunch!!  The group was developed by Cindy Giacobbe with the intent to bring support to those of us who want and need to eat a healthier cleaner lifestyle.   What a fabulous idea and it's taken off to be something pretty cool. If you are interested in our group message me or Cindy on Facebook and we'll let you in our cool club.  

After each meeting I agreed to post what we learned, shared and ate at our meetings so others who can not make them or live out of state can participate and take advantage of the great ideas and recipes we share.

Today we had breakfast, lunch/dinner, dessert and snack.  

We all started with this treat. And let me tell you, with almond milk as a cereal this is crack.  You can't eat just one bowl.




  • 1/2 cup honey or agave, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • 2 cups nuts (I used half almonds, half pecans)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • chai spice mix (see below)


  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  (Or if your baking sheet isn't very large, I would recommend lining two smaller sheets.)
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the warmed honey, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extracts until combined.  Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together oats, nuts, coconut and chai spice mix until evenly combined. Add in the honey mixture, and toss until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. 
  • Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, removing the sheet from the oven at the halfway point to give the granola a good stir for even cooking. Remove sheet once more and sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the granola and gently stir them into the mix. Return sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the coconut and nuts are toasted.
  • Remove sheet from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Store in a sealed container and keep for up to 3 weeks.

Next we had veggies, veggies and more veggies.

End of the week, clean out the fridge roasted veggies

What ever veggies you have left over in the fridge.  Julieann used the following:
  • onion
  • broccoli
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini 
Cut up veggies into bite size pieces, sprinkle with seasonings of  your liking. Julieann used the following:
Spread them out on a cookie sheet at roast in the oven until crisp.  350 for maybe 20-25 min. Julieann suggests finishing a glass of wine before checking to see if they are done.  The time also depends on your veggies.  Once done, take about 1 Tbls of melted coconut oil and mix together.  This will soften the veggies. If you like them crispy omit the coconut oil.

Then we had more veggies
Spicy baked cauliflower and sweet potatoes, you can find this on an earlier blog of mine.

Then we had soup.....
I'm posting the recipe I followed. However, I did not follow the recipe exactly.  I had several variables that I've listed within the recipe below.  So what we ate will never be duplicated.  But I'm sure you can come close.  Soups are kind of like that.  Mix it up a little and if your close it's still going to be delicious. 

What You Will Need:
2 strips raw bacon - diced  Yep did this
1 small onion - yep
2 stalks celery - yep
1 lb ground uncased bratwurst sausage - yep
1/2 cup red wine - yep
1 lb lean ground beef - yep
2 cloves garlic - yep
2 tbsp oregano - yep, I used fresh chopped up
1 tbsp creole seasoning -  you can use any spice here that you will give your soup some kick - I didn't have this so I looked up whats in it and just sprinkled each seasoning in the soup.  I didn't measure just guessed.
1 tsp thyme - yep, i used dried fresh
1 small red pepper - diced - yep
1 small yellow pepper - diced -  yep
1 small zucchini - diced - yep
1 cup green beans - diced -  yep
1 28oz can tomatoes - diced - nope, didn't have.  So I added a cup of chicken broth I had in fridge and small can of tomato sauce and a small can of tomato paste.
2 cups beef broth - yep maybe a little more.

How To: 
in a medium size stock pot, cook bacon on medium heat until it starts to brown, but not crisp!
add the onion and celery and cook until onion becomes translucent.
add the ground sausage and cook until meat is brown
if the pot starts to dry out, add a bit of olive oil or coconut oil
remove meat mixture from pot and set aside
pour wine into pot and deglaze (I drank a glass also....ha)
pour that yummy goodness into the sausage meat mixture
if pot is dry add a tbsp of oil or some of the deglaze and add beef
start to brown then add garlic, oregano, creole seasoning and thyme (I added lots of cayenne pepper)
cook until spices are well incorporated and remove from pot and set aside
put the peppers, zucchini and beans in the pot and cook for a few minutes to release the sweetness of the peppers
add the meat mixture, broth and tomatoes
stir to incorporate, set heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes stirring occasionally

Last but not least we enjoyed fresh clean popcorn.  Made on the stove top with olive oil and sea salt.  The olive oil gives it a buttery taste without the bad of butter.

Use a large tall sauce pan, cover the bottom of the pan with kernels.  Pack them in there so you don't see the bottom of the pan, but only in a single layer.  Next drizzle them with olive oil.  How much is up to  you.  The more olive oil, the more flavor you'll have.  Cover the pan and set heat to medium high.  Shake the pan back and forth to mix up the kernels and oil.   Let cook.  Go relax and have a glass of wine....but listen....when you hear it start to crackle and pop, shake it again to keep it mixed up.  Let it go until you don't hear popping anymore.  Careful.....don't burn it.  Keep shaking it back and forth every so often.

Then we had....
Homemade granola bars....posted earlier on my blog.

Thanks to everyone who participated!!!

NEXT MEETING JANUARY 18th at Susie's House again.  2pm.....BE THERE