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Living Happy, Healthy and Paleo... / blog

Cheat Meal! Cheese Alert! Swiss Chard, Zucchini, Eggplant Lasagna

image Once a week we have a cheat meal and here it is! I prepare for this meal a few weeks in in advance. I go to my local Farmers Market and buy about ten pounds of not so attractive tomatoes. I cook them on the stove top via my dutch oven. I add garlic, salt, pepper and basil. photo 2 A few hours of slow cooking. Remove from heat and ladle into freshly washed quart mason jars. These will keep in a cool place for up too three months. photo 1 "Saucy Cheesy Chard Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna" 4 to 5 cups Tomato Sauce 4 Large Zucchini 2 Large Eggplants 1 Large bunch of Swiss Chard 3 Cups of Cheese Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. I thin slice my eggplant and zucchini. Do not slice too thin, they will not hold up to the cooking and will fall apart when you serve your lasagna, yucky! photophoto I wash and tear my swiss chard. Discard the stems. Be sure to rinse well, chard can be sandy! Leaving the leave in whole pieces. photo Here comes the CHEAT part! The cheese! I love this cheese so much but if you have no clue what it is or have your own favorite, no problems. My friends in WA got me hooked on this! image In a rectangle glass baking dish start layering the ingredients. Sauce, eggplant, chard, zucchini then cheese. Repeat. Top with remaining sauce. Cover top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes. It will be bubbly hot and the cheese on top will be golden when done. Here is a huge tip! Let your lasagna "rest" for 15 to 20 minutes so it can "set".  Serving right from the oven will result in a mess!    
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Garlic Roasted Artichokes

photo 1 In my area, we are getting some lovely artichokes at the markets. The weather hear is still  hot during the day but cool in the late afternoon. Just in time to turn the oven on and roast some artichokes. photo 3 Put a large stock pot half way filled with water on to boil. I start with one whole artichoke per person. In my house there is no sharing! I wash my artichokes and trim the stem. I trim the end of the leaves next. Some have thorns on them like roses. I have always trimmed them so my kids never have to bite into one. Ouch! photo 4 Trimmed, now cut in half. When water is boiling place your artichokes in to cook. I  cook mine until fork tender. photo 2 Remove from water, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. image With a heavy hand, drizzle the artichokes with extra virgin olive oil. image Chop 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle evenly over artichokes. image Sprinkle with Himalayan Pink Salt or the salt of your choice. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown and glorious! image
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Caution Work in Progress

images Making beet chips is new for me. I am learning as I go. Slicing the beets as thin as possible results in a crisper chip. Thicker is chewier.  All about your preference. I love to use red beets and golden. This is the link to the recipe I am currently using.  Civilized Caveman is the bomb! I will post more of my own pictures once I make more than a few batches. photo http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/sidessoupsdrinks/oven-roasted-beet-chips/ Fresh Red Beets  
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Let's Taco About It

image My Husband and three daughters made dinner tonight. We had lettuce wrap tacos with fresh homemade guacamole. I was just the photographer tonight. Please let me know if you would like the recipes! I will put them right up. image image image image image image image      
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Eggtastic!

photo 1 I am so happy eggs are not getting a bad rap anymore! We need some fat in our diet! Eggs are so nutritious and easy to make for any meal!  Making some this morning was a big smile maker in my house!  Ways we enjoy are; guacamole and salsa, bacon and brussels sprouts, ham and scallions to name a few. photo 3 I always use a spoonful of unrefined cold pressed organic coconut oil. It helps us get our coconut fat in for the day. The flavor is delicious. photo 2 I always buy Organic Brown Eggs that come from chickens on a non corn or soy diet. Check your area for local Farmers Markets they are a great source for these!
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More Info on Whole 30

photo August 1st our family started our second round of Whole 30.  For more information please go to whole30.com.  This website helped me and I know it will help you too. Whole 30 is like hitting the reset button on your body. You will eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, good fats, nuts and seeds. no dairy, grain, sugar (honey, agave maple and anything synthetic), corn or legumes. Ta Da you're Paleo!  There are so many ways to do this the ways are endless!
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Mini Shrimp Cocktail with My Mini Me!

photo 1 Me and My Mini were at Whole Foods getting our Coho Salmon. The little wild caught bay shrimp looked good!   So a pound later, mini shrimp cocktail.. I make my cocktail sauce from no added sugar tomato puree, horseradish and garlic. If you want the recipe let me know! Divided the wild caught bay shrimp into five small ramekins. Spooned on cocktail sauce and added a lemon wedge. Appetizers done! photo 2
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PaleAvocado (pu LAH vO Ca doe) Dressing

image Giving up the processed salad dressing was hard, Hidden Valley Ranch users, big time. When our family did The Whole 30, I learned and loved making my own. This recipe is our favorite. "PaleAvocado Dressing" 1 Ripe Avocado 4 Tablespoons Water 2 Tablespoons Olive Oli 1/2 Lemon 1 Teaspoon All Purpose Seasoning Salt I use my Bullet Blender for this. You can use a hand blender, food processor or bowl and a fork. I have done them all. Add all ingredients. Squeeze lemon and blend until whipped, 1 to 2 minutes. photo One Minute............ image Two Minutes.............. image Done! Thick and creamy ready to use! image  
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One brick at a time and pretty soon you will have your path...

Everyone is on their own journey. It is the small choices you make everyday that create bigger differences. Every time you make a conscious effort to better yourself or your loved ones it creates a sense of joy! That joy will keep you on the path! image    
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Farmers Markets

image I look forward to the weekends.  My family and I wander around our local Farmers Markets.  I found these lovely bags of greens with edible flowers and squash blossoms. The baby spinach was the darkest most beautiful green! image Before I decided to rid our lives from processed foods, I never utilized the fresh organic goods at Farmers Markets, but today I do!  They are easy to find and offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and goods like soaps or fun spices. Farmers Markets keep the local growers and entrepreneurs in business and I love that! Things are less expensive than at commercial markets plus fresher. The social interaction of meeting these people and hearing their stories are amazing.  I see smiling faces happy to sell you good wholesome food. Go out and explore your local Farmers Market and make some changes to your lifestyle today! I bet once you go, you can't stop. The picture below is what my fridge now looks like every Sunday afternoon. image
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