Strawberry Lemonade

I help a lot of people clean up their diets and one thing that I know for certain is that each person is on their own stage and does things in their own time. Some people must do the all or nothing approach, but most people have to do the teeny tiny baby step approach. While the all in approach certainly gets you from A to B faster, some people will be too overwhelmed and instead of just falling off the wagon, they will blow the entire wagon up! So really I do not think there is any one “right” way to clean up your diet, both methods get you to the same place eventually.

If you are one of the baby step people, then this recipe will be useful for you. Especially if you drink any sweetened beverages like soda pop, juice, gatorade, etc… Like making your own tea, this recipe is great, because you add the sugar (in this case raw honey) yourself; therefore, it is gives you the control to cut it back slowly, so that you can allow your taste buds to adjust to less sweetness without such a “shock”.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 lb.) Organic Strawberries and 6 Ice Cubes or Frozen Organic Strawberries
  • 2 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1/4 Cup of Raw Honey
  • Freshly Squeezed Juice from 2-3 Lemons

Directions

  1. DSCN0393

    If using fresh strawberries, wash, cut/remove ends and cut strawberries in half and place in blender. (If using frozen, you can simply put into the blender.)       

  2. DSCN0398

    Using a juice press or your hands, squeeze the juice from 2 medium lemons into the blender.

  3. Add 1/4 cup of raw honey. (Locally sourced is best.)

    Add 1/4 cup of raw honey. (Locally sourced is best.)

  4. If using fresh strawberries, add the ice cubes to the blender.

    If using fresh strawberries, add the ice cubes to the blender.

  5. Add the water and place the lid on the blender.

    Add the water and place the lid on the blender.

  6. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to hold your hand on top of blender while blending, so you don't end up with a mess!

    Blend for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to hold your hand on top of blender while blending, so you don’t end up with a mess!

  7. Try not to drink it all at once!

    Try not to drink it all at once! (If you prefer it more tart, squeeze the third lemon in and if you prefer it sweeter, add more honey.)

Make Ahead Sausage & Veggies Breakfast

I am not a morning person. My toddler on the other hand loves to wake up at 5 or 6 am! He is ready to go as soon as his eyes pop open and he is ready to eat. He does not care that I am not ready to get up and he does not care that I do not feel like making breakfast. Since we are grain (and dairy) free, it obviously limits our breakfast options. On top of that, my son refuses to eat eggs unless they are mixed into something, so there really are no quick options.

This is one of my favorite egg free breakfast recipes, but I usually brown the meat and veggies in a skillet and then place that with seasoning and the apple into the oven. This time though, I said “Hey self. Why not just trying throwing this into the crockpot before you go to sleep and see what happens.” Not only did the house smelling absolutely amazing when we woke up, but the recipe was even better than when I used a skillet and the oven….

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage-shredded
  • 1 medium yellow onion-diced
  • 1 medium honeycrisp apple-diced (you can substitute for other sweet apple types)
  • 2 carrots peeled-sliced or shredded
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Crumble the ground sausage at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Add the vegetables and seasonings.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Please note, if you prefer your apples to be crispier, do not add until the last 1-2 hours of cooking. And remember locally sourced meat is always the best option! If you are in or around Columbia, Missouri like I am then be sure to check out the Columbia Farmer’s Market, where you can find locally raised Sullivan Farms (pastured, non-gmo) and Crocker Farms pork products!

The recipe will half, double or triple great! So try any of those combinations if feeding more or less people. You can add baked sweet potatoes as an excellent side dish to make this meal go farther (which also cook excellent in a crockpot).

Check out the Back 2 Basics Cooking resources page for tons more whole food resources!

What is your favorite go to breakfast choice?

Grain Free Sweet Potato Pie Goodness

I have been grain free since April 2014. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I suddenly realized that I must find pie. So I set out to create a grain free pie that was worth sharing on Thanksgiving. I know there are tons of awesome recipes on the internet already; however, sometimes I enjoy creating my own recipe. Here is what I came up with:

Grain Free Sweet Potato Pie

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup Almond Meal or Flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp lard*
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup grade B
  • 4 tbsp ice cold water
  • large pinch of sea salt

Pie Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 2 1/4 cups) baked and peeled
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • large pinch of salt

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Instructions 

  1. First make the crust. In a large mixing bowl mix together the almond meal or flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch and salt, then add the egg, lard, ice water and maple syrup. You can roll with a rolling pin, but this has never worked out for me with grain free crust, so I just scooped it into my glass pie pan and use a spoon to smooth it as evenly as possible. Make sure you put it up the sides also, and use your fingers to pinch the top. Let it sit in the refrigerator for one hour.  If the sides keep falling, add a little more coconut flour.10711019_10154885667615089_367251562230110373_n
  2. Next, mix together all of the pie ingredients in a food processor. (Yes I tasted it! lol)1505288_10204840432627248_723312374104629049_n  10407245_10204840436387342_6517968877076640411_n
  3. Add the filling to the crust and smooth the filling, after the crust had chilled. before pie
  4. Bake for 30-40 mins or until the crust is brown & a toothpick comes out clean. 10353047_10204840437907380_6960240185752649987_n
  5. Enjoy!                                                                        10406650_10204840444987557_3996751603230733503_n

 

*Please Note: The lard should come from a high quality source. If you are in or around the Columbia, MO area then I recommend either Sullivan Farms out of Fayette or Crocker Farms out of Centralia. Both can be found at the farmers market on most Saturdays. They are hit and miss this time of year though.

 

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

I thought a video would help some people who are visual learners better than a recipe, so I put together this video to demonstrate how to prepare Chicken Fried Rice-Paleo Style (meaning without actually containing any rice). You will also see how to make cauliflower rice. Feel free to substitute the meat or omit it altogether.

My apologizes for the poor video quality, but I believe can still help guide others in making this yummy dish! This is my first video, so hopefully the next one will be better. This has definitely been a learning experience (as are most things in life it seems).

I hope you enjoy! Check out my website for the full written recipe.

Please feel free to leave me feedback on this post or the video itself. I appreciate feedback and use it to serve you better.

Sweet & Salty Tuna Salad

As some of my readers already know, I have been hosting a Whole30 challenge this month through my business Back 2 Basics Cooking . Many of the participants have stated how much the support has helped them to change their eating habits, but it has also taught me a lot in return! As I said in another post, I have learned tons of awesome whole food recipes. This recipe was inspired by something one of the participants posted. (I am not sure if she wants me to give her name, so if now I am going to leave it out.)

I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand for her recipe, so I had to improvise. As is almost always, my improvising was a success!  I discovered another cheap meal that requires no heat for cooking, so it is super quick to throw together. It is also great to take for a lunch since it doesn’t need to be warmed up. I thought I would share my new go to meal with all of my awesome readers.

It is the perfect balance of sweet and salty that has the crunch that you crave, while leaving you satisfied for several hours!

Make sure your tuna doesn't have soy listed as an ingredient.

Make sure your tuna doesn’t have soy listed as an ingredient.

Sweet and Salty Tuna Salad

Serves 1

1 Can of Wild-Caught Tuna in Olive Oil or Water (Check Label for Soy!)

1 Sweet Apple Cut into Chunks, Fuji or Honeycrisp Work Great

1 Cucumber, Cut into Chunks

1 Ripe Avocado, Mashed

1/4 Yellow Onion Diced Small

A Large Pinch of Sea Salt

Mix together and enjoy!

Yum Yum Yum!

Yum Yum Yum!

A Typical Menu On the Whole30 Program

I have had several people ask me what a typical day on the Whole30 program looks like. I don’t actually think there is such a thing as a “typical” day. When I first started eating paleo it seemed like I was so limited in what I could eat. This was only because I was focusing on what I could not have instead of what I could have. Once you move past this mindset, you will see all of the amazing choices that you didn’t even know existed or if you did, you did not dare try them.

Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp, Peppers, Onions, and Spinach with Seasoning-Sauteed in Coconut Oil or Grass-Fed Butter

Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp, Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions, and Spinach with Seasoning-Sauteed in Coconut Oil or Ghee

You most likely will not like everything you try, and some new flavors and textures may take a few times before you really enjoy them. However, the flavors you will experience after you cut out processed foods, sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils will be like nothing you have ever tasted- I PROMISE! I love food now more than everrr.

Tuna Boats, Kale Chips & Fresh Strawberries

Tuna Boats, Kale Chips & Fresh Strawberries

For those of you who crave simplicity and routine there is an easy answer, find 4-14 typical days and eat those in rotation.

For people like me, who get bored easily, you can have 7-14 go to meals; but, then experiment as you like.

There is no “right” way. Whatever works best for you is the best choice.

A New Favorite of Mine-Brussel Sprout "Chips"

A New Favorite of Mine-Brussel Sprout “Chips”

So, while I do not believe that it is possible to give you a typical day in the Whole30 Program, I believe it is possible for you to create your own typical day based on your palate and personal preferences. You can keep it as simple or as complicated as you prefer.

Paleo Stuffed Peppers

Paleo Stuffed Peppers

Here are a few examples of what your typical day could look like:

Meal One

2 or 3 Hard Boiled Eggs and Sliced Avocado

Meal Two

Baked Wild-Caught Salmon, Sauteed Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, Zucchini & Peas, Fresh Blueberries

apple sunbutter snackMeal Three*

Sunbutter & Apples

Meal Four

Pork Chops, Baked Sweet Potato with Ghee & Cinnamon, & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

*Many people are not hungry for a snack. If you are hungry eat, if not then don’t.

 

Or it could be full of mouth watering recipes like this:

Meal One

http://whole9life.com/2011/03/stmegg-and-kale-quiche/

Meal Two

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/beef-broccoli-cauli-rice-aka-chinese-fried-rice/

Meal Three*

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/1670459416/roasted-brussels-sprouts-and-bacon

Meal Four

http://www.thefoodee.com/recipe/7576/

*Many people are not hungry for a snack. If you are hungry eat, if not then don’t.

Yum Yum Yum! Now I am hungry from looking at all of these recipes, so I am going to go cook. The point of this post is that you can make your menu as simple or as complicated as you want during the Whole30. Just be sure you stick to the rules. If you don’t know what they are read them here: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

Plantain Chips and Dip

Plantain Chips and Dip

Oh, and if you noticed that I didn’t use labels like “breakfast, lunch and dinner” it is because you should lose these labels. Feel free to have scrambled eggs and bacon (sugar free of-course) for dinner or shrimp fried “rice” for breakfast. It really doesn’t matter! Yay! Brinner it is!

What are some of your Whole30 go to recipes? What are some Whole30 recipes you are wanting to try out?