It has been a while since I have been on the blog. I have been doing so many different things and have not had a chance to get on here. I have also been keeping up with other blogs as well. In a way, if we are honest, I feel like I have purposefully neglected this one. I have not been following the Paleo lifestyle closely… okay, hardly. Things happened, I went away, I got out of habit, and it just occurred over time. I have since, as you can imagine, gained weight. That is disappointing. I will say this, I am going to have weight loss surgery in January of 2017. I was hoping to lose the weight between July of last year (when I was told it was 2017), and now, but it is just not happening. I know me. With my family history, and just my personal history, I know I would not be able to take it off and keep it off. I want to have it be restricting to where I am only able to eat a certain amount of food. I plan on using Paleo once I do the surgery, however, to lose as much as possible over time and keep the weight off. This may not be ideal for everyone. You may not agree with my decision, but I have wanted to do this for a long time now, and am just now able to qualify to do so. I am not sure which procedure I will have done yet. I will keep you posted as the process happens. For now, I know I will be going to a support group meeting, getting my files sent over to the doctor, and right before the surgery having labs and speak with a nutritionist. It seems like I am leaving something out, but I cannot remember what all. I know I have talked with a professional, and she has said that being thin will not make all my problems go away, and not necessarily make me happy. I know that. I also know that while working out and eating right after the surgery will not make all the skin go away either, so I will not be happy with that. I do, though, feel this is the best thing for me. In the meantime, I will try and make some more yummy Paleo treats and post them!
Can you read that title of today’s blog post without hearing Journey in your head? What feeling am I trying to hold onto? Winter. Cool air. A little nip at my nose. Sadly here in the South, the winters are short. The summers are long, fall is pretty short, winter is pretty short, spring is pretty short. Summer is looong. I cannot stand the heat. And boy does it get hot here. What upsets me are all the people who complain when it is 100 degrees outside with 90% humidity, and then get upset when it is cool in the winter or fall and “cannot wait for summer.” You cannot complain about it being hot! You asked for it! I never ask for it. Trying to keep that cool weather in mind, I made a Winter Beef Stew for supper this week. There is a Paleo version and a Weight Watchers version. For the Paleo version, you simply make the stew and eat. For the WW version, you serve it over egg noodles. I will give the pictures and recipe for both. This was simple to make, the hardest part was waiting the hour and a half for it to cook before you could eat it. Most of the ingredients will be in any well stocked pantry. Things that you will not have on hand will be the beef, maybe carrots, and mushrooms if you choose to add them (which I did). This turned out super yummy and tasted even better the next day!
Winter Beef Stew
Serving Size: 4
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 pound(s) uncooked lean trimmed sirloin beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp coconut oil
1 large uncooked red onion(s), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 clove(s) garlic clove(s), peeled, smashed
5 tsp red wine vinegar
1 leaf/leaves bay leaf
3 sprig(s) fresh thyme
1⁄2 tsp table salt
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
1 cup(s) apple juice
1 cup(s) beef broth
2 medium uncooked carrot(s), thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- Coat a large nonstick heavy-bottom pot 1/2 tsp coconut oil; heat over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add beef; brown beef about 2 minutes per side. Remove beef from pot; set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp coconut oil in same pot. Add onion and garlic; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in apple juice, and stir up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Add carrots and beef, cover pot and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
- To serve, sprinkle with parsley. Serving size: 1 cup stew.
If making the WW version use:
2 cup(s) cooked egg noodles, kept hot
To serve, spoon noodles onto individual serving plates and top with stew; sprinkle with parsley. Serving size: 1 cup stew and 1/2 cup noodles.
This is 8 WW points with the new system.
I will have to add the pictures later since I cannot log into my account right now, but I will post them later tonight. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
**NOTE** I tried posting this a couple of weeks ago, and it did not go through. I am hoping that it will post today! Sorry for the delay!
I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! I know I did! My mom came to Auburn and we got to have a girl’s weekend. We did nothing but shop, eat, watch movies, shop some more, watch a few more movies… needless to say, it was a lazy, fun weekend! We had a blast! I took her to a local spot to eat named Niffer’s Place where they have awesome burgers, Cajun tots, and corn nuggets! It was delicious. She had never been there before, so she was in for a real treat. Everyone we knew was so jealous! We also went to Hobby Lobby and got new coloring books and colored pencils, so that was a lot of fun! We watched several movies, War Room, which I HIGHLY recommend. It was amazing. If you have not seen it, go and rent it tonight! It will change your life. I want my own war room now. We also watched Ted 2, which I was disappointed in. There was so much language that was just not needed, there was no nudity until the end and it was uncalled for, and there was just not a good storyline. Disappointed is an understatement. My mom had not seen Trainwrecked, so we watched that, and then Saturday night we watched The Martian. It was excellent! It was nowhere as good as the book, but are they ever? The book is hilarious. I laughed and laughed at the book. The movie was just okay as far as humor went. But overall the movie was terrific. I thought they did a good job of portraying the novel. We both loved it. I cannot wait to watch it with my dad.
Last week I made a wonderful recipe. It was for Salisbury Steak. Now, the Salisbury Steak that I usually make or have eaten in the past has been slathered in a nice yummy gravy. This recipe was more like a tomato pasta sauce. But, it was just as yummy, maybe even more so! I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I did not follow the recipe exactly as it called for, and I will let you know what I did differently, but it turned out so terrific, that I will probably do it the same next time as well. I got the recipe from Laughing Spatula and their Salisbury Steak Whole30 compliant section. So, here we go!
1 pound ground beef – I used 85/15
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 thinly sliced yellow onion
1½ cups sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper
- Add beef, egg, garlic, salt and pepper together in bowl and combine well.
- Shape into 4 patties.
- I had patties that I had already made beforehand. I simply cooked them without the egg in the garlic with salt and pepper. That was one change I made.
- Heat non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add beef patties to skillet.
- Cook 3-4 minutes per side until a nice crust forms.
- Remove patties from pan and set aside. (they will not be fully cooked but will continue to cook in sauce)
- Add onions and mushrooms to skillet – sauté for about 5 minutes.
- I used diced onions, not sliced. I actually liked them a lot better.
- Add tomato paste and beef broth to onion mushroom mixture.
- Stir until nice thick sauce forms.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add patties back to pan, cover and cook in sauce until cooked through. About 10 minutes.
- If sauce is to thin – you may uncover skillet until reduced to desired consistency.
Sadly, I do not have a picture because my photos got deleted off of my phone, but trust me… it was wonderful! This is a keeper! Have a wonderful day everyone!
I hope you are all having a beautiful Friday! Mine is going wonderfully so far. I have had a good morning, I am getting a lot done, and I have a wonderful new recipe to share with y’all! I have actually got two recipes, but I will post the other one this weekend or Monday. I do not want to do it all at one time! How is everyone’s 2016 gone so far? Mine has been great, and I look forward to all the possibilities that are coming. I have wonderful news about my new year up to now! I weighed myself on Wednesday to see where I was starting out in the new year. I am getting back on Paleo, and wanted to see my starting weight. I was really nervous. “I am probably back up around my original weight,” I thought. With the beach, and Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, it just seemed inevitable that I was going to be back up to my highest weight or more. I anxiously stepped on the scales, and imagine my surprise when I weighed 23 lbs. less! I could not believe it! I had actually lost weight since my last weigh-in! Joy of all joys! I was so shocked that I weighed myself three times to make sure it was accurate, and then weighed myself again when I got home from work! But, it was right! I cannot tell you how happy I was. This makes me feel like I can lose the weight and keep it off. It makes me feel like I am a step closer towards my goal.
My sister would like to lose 30 lbs. by June. I think that is possible. That is just a little over 6 lbs. a month. If I add exercise, I feel that I can reach that goal. That would put me not too far from my first main goal. One thing that I think will help, is that I am going to do The Whole30 for the first time this month. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this idea, it is described as “Paleo on crack.” It is very similar to Paleo, but much stricter. There is no baking or making treats out of coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup to exchange for the treats you might normally eat. No, this is whole food eating. Eating clean. Eating without any kind of sugar at all. I am a little nervous because I am so limited on what I will actually eat. But, I think it can be done. The recipe I am sharing today is Paleo friendly, but not Whole30. It has maple syrup in it, so that is a no go. But, I am excited. I have a friend who has already said that she will do this with me, and that makes me feel better. I made a recipe last night that was Whole30 compliant, so I know one yummy thing that I can eat. I plan on making it again next week, so that makes me feel better. I will share that recipe tomorrow or Monday. We will just see when I am able to get back on here.
Today’s recipe is called “The World’s Best Chicken.” I will give in and say it is maybe Top 5 material. It tastes a little like Chick-Fil-A nuggets without the breading for those of you in the South. It is slightly sweet, but not totally sweet. It also required very little cleanup, prep time, and ingredients. I was able to mix everything in a small measuring cup, use a spoon to mix it, and pour it over in my baking dish. There is no marinating, so you do not have to do this hours in advance. I literally came home, whipped up the ingredients, poured it over my chicken, and put it right in the oven. So quick and easy.
Here is the recipe and the instructions. I found this on Rachel Schultz’s website for the recipe The World’s Best Chicken. The Recipe is as follows:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Mix the mustard, syrup, and vinegar together. Pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Salt and pepper the chicken. She states to generously pepper the chicken, so I did exactly that. I baked this at 425 degrees for 40 minutes. You can add the rosemary to the chicken before you eat.
Note: I forgot all about the rosemary and it was delicious. Also, I could not find the Dijon mustard no matter how hard I tried, so I substituted whole grain mustard. It was just as yummy!
Here are some pictures that show just how yummy it was. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
It has been a while since my last post. I have been using my work computer to update my blog since I have not had a laptop in over 4 or 5 months, and lately the site has said that my software was not current and could not post effectively. Such a bummer. So… here we are. At least a month later. I have so much to catch up on!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season. It was a mild winter here in Alabama to say the least. It was in the 70’s leading up to Christmas. I literally ate my lunch outside on our patio set at work. The week of Christmas it was yucky and stormy and rainy. If you look online there are pictures of Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, AL after all the rain we had, and that is where I am from! Many a romantic high school date were spent at those falls. I loved going and feeding the ducks.
We had a very merry Christmas and a happy new year so far! My sweet parents got my sister and I Cuisinart Food Processors. I needed one desperately to do all these amazing Paleo recipes, and so it was a welcomed addition into my kitchen appliance family. I was also lucky enough to get a new medium sized crockpot. I am ready to get to cookin! I also have to give a shout out to my mom and diddy for giving me one of the coolest presents… I finally got an American Girl Doll! She looks just like me, and comes with these little bangs that clip on. Adorable!
While I was away I was able to try out a new recipe. Who does not love a good chocolate chip cookie? They are one of many comfort foods. You might think that when you signed up for the Paleo diet you would have to give up on some of your favorite treats. That is not so! There are many alternatives out there that are just as yummy, and dare I say, this chocolate chip cookie recipe I am about to share may even be yummier than regular chocolate chip cookies? They were soft, chewy, sweet, and full of chocolaty goodness. The recipe could be a tad time consuming, and I did not follow it exactly to specifications (Do I ever?), and they turned out wonderful. I cannot wait to share this special recipe any longer.
Cookies, a friend once told me, was something difficult to find yummy recipes for with Paleo. She had tried many and only a few turned out worth the effort. I have been very fortunate to have found the Snickerdoodle recipe and now a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that will be a go-to snack in the future. And now you have it, the moment you have been waiting for… Chocolate Chip Cookie Heaven.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add the almond flour, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in the chopped chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (can prepare up to 48 hours ahead of time).
- After refrigerating, use a cookie scoop to form cookies and press down slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges.
To be honest, I was in a rush. I melted the coconut oil in the microwave to make it blend easier. I also used a cold egg instead of room temperature, and I did not refrigerate the dough before baking. These still turned out absolutely delicious. I did not have Soy-Free, Dairy-Free chocolate chips, and honestly I cannot afford them on my budget. I simply used the chocolate chips I had in the freezer on hand. Of course, they tasted fabulous, but it may not follow the Paleo diet as strictly as some would have it. I figured if I was just eating one or two, it would not be the most terrible thing in the world.
So there you have it. One of the best cookie recipes I have had in the Paleo world, and one of the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Thank you so much to Rachel Conners for posting this recipe and letting it be pinned to Pinterest.
Here is the dough and final result! See how gooey that dough looks! See how soft, chewy, and chocolaty the cookies are! Just imagine out good they taste. Want to find out for yourself? Make them. Make them ASAP.
I am so sorry that it took me so long to get back on the blog. I had in mind to “Blog Like Crazy,” but so many things happened lately. First was the beach, and that was a fun filled time with us being pretty much on the go the entire time. We went for almost a week and went to a car show. We are car show people. We go for weekend events, just the day, or a week. It is fun for our entire family. We were also able to do lots of shopping while we were gone. One thing that I got while we were gone was an adult coloring book. No, not That kind of adult, get your mind out of the gutter! The adult coloring books where the designs are intricate and detailed. They are beautiful pictures and are made to relax you when you are stressed. I stay stressed and anxious quite a bit, so I am hoping this will help. I have OCD, so I do worry a little with them. When I was a kid I would buy lots of coloring books and never color in them. I was too worried that I was going to make a mistake, so I would never color in them at all. I have already started one picture, so it has gone well so far. I still worry over the colors and combinations, but I am trying to let that go.
We also had my birthday in November and Thanksgiving. I am a girl who has her birthday on Thanksgiving every so many years and that is a lot of fun. We were super busy with the Thanksgiving holidays. I did plenty of shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Did you? I have all my Christmas shopping done, so it was mostly for movies, TV series, and a few extra surprises for my sister. Just fun goodies that I wait to buy every year until this time. Some of my favorites were Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Pretty Little Liars, Homeland, and True Blood. I cannot wait to find a free moment to watch some of these. Modern Family, Criminal Minds, Big Bang, and Pretty Little Liars I have already watched, I was just getting them to complete my series at home. I have not seen the last season of True Blood, any of Homeland, and some of the Mad Men episodes. Did y’all get any goodies on sale? Do you prefer Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday?
I am sorry to ramble on. I am sure you do not want to hear all about my shopping! I just love looking at you as my friends and updating on what is going on in my life. Oh! And how can I forget, one of the most wonderful days of the year happened the Saturday after Thanksgiving! The Iron Bowl! This is an annual event that sets the year for an entire fan base. It can make the next year happy or terrible. This is the game where Auburn plays their biggest rival and it means everything to the people in this state (and literally in many cases around the globe). The good guys, Auburn, have not had a great season this year. It made me sad as a fan, but I will stand by my team and coach no matter what. Our guys had nothing to lose, so I just wanted them to go out and play with all they had. I lucked up and on Friday night while I was in the theater watching Mockingjay Part 2 (great movie), I got a text saying my friend had an extra free ticket and asked if I wanted to go to the game! Of course I did! I was so excited to see an Iron Bowl from inside Auburn’s stadium, not matter what the outcome. I had a blast and yelled and screamed, and at times, booed. It would have only been better had we won. I am so thankful for friends who thought of me and offered me that ticket.
But on to why you probably got to this blog. I have a confession to make. Since I have been at the beach and having Thanksgiving, and now leading up to Christmas I have not been following a strict Paleo diet. I have gained a few pounds, but I have been maintaining the past month. I need to get back on it ASAP, but I think I am going to try and follow it semi closely, and hit it hard again after Christmas. In the meantime, I am trying out new recipes. This one is a favorite with Julia Child and from the movie Julie and Julia. I made a crockpot version of Beef Bourguignon. It was amazing and delicious, and so very simple. I know in the instructions it tells you to sear the meat, and sauté the onions, etc., but to me that defeats the purpose of the crockpot. I simply put everything in the pot and let it cook for 8 hours on low while I was at work. Easy peasy. I found the recipe on my favorite standard, Pinterest, but I am sure you can find similar recipes all over the internet. This particular recipe came from Buzzfeed. You can find the article here along with 32 other delicious Paleo crockpot recipes. I plan on using this list quite a bit! Here is what I did:
I placed in the crockpot
2 lbs. cut up beef stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrots, sliced
1 bag of little baby onions (or pearl onions if you can find them), I cut them in half
Rosemary (it called for 2-3 sprigs, but I used dried)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cups bone broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lb. (I went ahead and used an 8 oz. package) sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
2 Tbsp. water
There are a lot of instructions on the website for how to carefully prepare all the ingredients. I was not that patient and did not have that much time, so here is what I did, and it turned out wonderful!
I added all the ingredients into the crockpot, with the exception of the tapioca starch and water. I then let the entire crockpot sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning I put the crock in the heating mechanism and let it cook on low for 8 hours. When I got home, I took out the bay leaves, you can take out the rosemary sprigs if you used them. I took the tapioca starch and water and mixed it together until blended and added it to the stew so it thickened. I then served it to my guests. Everyone really enjoyed it. Here are the humble beginnings and the finished result:
The result was wonderful, tender, juicy, and delicious. It was even better the next day! I cannot wait to try this one again.
Happy eating everyone!
I almost missed today’s daily blog. For this topic, I will discuss how I blog. For me, the writing process is simple. I feel like I am talking with an old friend. I like to start out with a little about my day or weekend. A story that I find funny perhaps, and then get into the meat of my discussion. For this blog, that is usually recipes, ideas for new recipes, books that I have found that are helpful, etc. I like to include pictures of the things I am making and of the final result.
I am a natural talker. It comes with my genes. My whole family are talkers, so for me discussing things here is not difficult to do. Sometimes I may ramble, other times I may have a moment of wisdom. But, it is all fun and exciting.
So there it is, short and sweet. Not rocket science. I just think that I am talking with friends, and I try and discuss things that we could talk about every day.