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I love the Paleo diet (I hate the word “diet”) because it takes out the top allergen/inflammatory foods and it also promotes foods that are low glycemic (so you don’t raise insulin levels which in turn keeps inflammation at bay), allows your body to burn fat, and it also gives you a more steady stream of energy. I also think it is a great starting “diet” template for those wanting to reduce inflammation and improve their health.  When people ask me about legumes, gluten free grains, corn and some other things that aren’t “Paleo”, I will always say it depends on you and your body. No one can say that one diet, food, or supplement is great for them so therefore it is great for everyone.  Our bodies are all so unique, each responding differently (at different times in our lives) to what we put in them. So it’s up to us as individuals, if we want to feel our best, to figure out what makes our bodies happiest by REALLY listening and paying attention to symptoms (and not just gastrointestinal symptoms) that certain foods may cause. Those symptoms are the ways our bodies tell us what it likes and doesn’t like.

So while the paleo diet is a great, after eating this way for some time our bodies have time to heal and inflammation subsides, it can be good to retest (by eating certain foods, one at a time, and looking for symptoms head-to-toe) to see how you react. But because I’m a rule follower, I sometimes forget to test and try new things by going outside of the “Paleo realm”.  So after 8 years of eating very little dairy (which has some great health benefits only when there is not any kind of intolerance) and healing my gut, I felt it was time to test it out and see. And I just so happened to be craving lasagna so all the more reason to test it out now. 

I wanted a traditional lasagna recipe but also wanted it to still be grain-free, but more importantly, for me, I wanted it lower glycemic (to still keep inflammation down), Anyway, after some playing around I came up with this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna recipe and it was AMAZING. I thought maybe it was just me since I hadn’t had dairy in so long but honestly, everyone in my family loved it! I was so excited I made it twice in two weeks…you know because I REALLY had to test this dairy!! It was just so good!!!

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So what were my results of my dairy challenge? It wasn’t the typical stomach symptoms that most of us think about when we think about food intolerances. For me, my nose became stuffy and I also had some post nasal drip or something like that where I couldn’t clear my throat. The good news is my symptoms weren’t huge but the bad news is I don’t want to go back to taking allergy/sinus medicine like I did from college until about 8 year ago before I changed my diet. Also, even though they are minor symptoms, I still have to remember there is a reason my body is creating this response so rather than ignore it (which will create inflammation over time), I choose to still limit my dairy, but I just won’t be quite as stingent as I was in the past which I feel like is a nice compromise so I can enjoy this delicous meal once in awhile.
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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. 1 spaghetti squash
  2. 1 jar (25 oz) spaghetti sauce (preferably a low sugar one like Muir Glen)
  3. 1 pound Italian sausage (or 3-4 good sized links taken out of casing)
  4. 3/4 pound ground beef
  5. 4 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried parsley
  6. 16 oz. organic ricotta cheese
  7. 1 organic egg
  8. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional...I did skip this part)
  10. 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
  3. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it.
  4. In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, over medium heat until well browned.
  5. Stir in spaghetti sauce to pot with sauage and beef and the grease, too.
  6. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, only if time permits.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Scrap the spaghetti squash and place in big pot of meat sauce. Still until combined throughly.
  10. In your 9x13 baking dish, spread half of the meat sauce/spaghetti squash combo on the bottom.
  11. Then spread all of the ricotta mixture on top of that.
  12. Next,add a layer of mozzerala chese.
  13. Add the meat sauce back for the final layer and top with parmesan cheese.
  14. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until the cheese starts to brown).
  15. Enjoy!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

Hi This is Alice, Landria’s daughter. Since I made these cookies and my mom just got needles put into her elbow yesterday (gross, I hate needles) and typing is a pain right now for her, my mom thought I should write this post, so here it goes.
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This is my mom’s blog and she cooks a lot of great food, but I do most of the baking, and I love it! Sugar cookies are one of my favorite things to bake and I wanted to share this recipe. While I love the Paleo treats my mom makes, when it comes to flours, I really prefer the Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. My mom gets it from vitacost.com or Target usually. It tastes exactly like normal flours. In my math class if we have a test then we are allowed to bake something and bring it in and no one notices that my treats are  gluten free!  So if you are new to gluten free baking this is a good way to start. 

Hope you enjoy them! Happy Valentines Day!_DSC8543_DSC8548v_DSC8603

 

Happy 9th birthday to my dorky brother Tate! I love you!

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I hope he likes the cake I made him (using Cup4Cup GF flour of course) 

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Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cane or coconut palm sugar
  2. 10 tbsp soft grass fed butter
  3. 1 cup and 6 tbsp gluten free flour (Alice loves Cup4Cup)
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat soften butter and sugar together.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the mix.
  4. Add egg and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth.
  5. Place 1 tbsp cookie mix onto grease baking sheet and cook for approximately 12 minutes.
  6. Emjoy!
Notes
  1. Do NOT try to use a cookie cutter on these. In full disclosure, the ones in the picture weren't as good as the ones I typically make (that won't work on the cookie cutter). I want you to have the best tasting sugar cookies rather than the ones easiest to use with a cookie cutter.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

  • Michelle - Great post, Alice! Can’t wait to try these!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Great post, Alice! Can’t wait to make these tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry about those needles, Landria!ReplyCancel

At times, I have a sweet tooth and just want a little something, and now that I am laying off of the chocolate (see my oxylate post) I wasn’t sure what to have. I’ve also been fighting tennis elbow for a little over 4 months, and with tennis season coming up, I feel desperate to do whatever it takes to get this thing healed. Anyway, I use to make collagen-filled gummies to have around in the summer, and I thought maybe they would both satisfy my sweet tooth and help with my elbow. 

So in the past week and a half, and I’ve already made them three times! I love going to the fridge and having one every now and then. Because we used berries, they are low sugar but still nice and sweet. Tate and I are addicted. And Alice, who claims she doesn’t like cooked fruit has been picking away at them. It’s only a matter of time before she loves them. They’re in my book, Super Paleo Snacks, but we did tweak them a little and love the change. We were out of honey so instead we used maple syrup (and added an extra tbsp of maple). The collagen, which you can get on Amazon, along with my book :), has so many benefits (see my old post about collagen and gummies). Oh, and I really wanted to say, if you are one of the ones who has written a review for me on my book, I really want to thank you for the bottom of my heart. It’s funny, I see reviews come in on Amazon and each time, I just wish so badly I could personally thank the person for taking the time to write it. And then today I realized I can, well kind of, if they read this! So, truly, thank you!!! 

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Look at how cool these things are…._DSC8518

Okay, so of course the day before the Super Bowl I had to do a football food post, right? While this Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe does have dairy, it also isn’t from a packaged soup mix full of MSG, gluten and other nasties. My family and friends love this recipe!

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Okay, maybe George isn’t as innocent as I originally thought…._DSC8536

And for those of us that don’t tolerate dairy well, here are some of our other favorite super bowl recipes:

Pigs in a Blanket 

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Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Wings 

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Grilled WingsDSC6023-c-1024x1024(pp_w672_h672)

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato

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Cookie Cake!!

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I hope everyone has fun watching the Super Bowl tomorrow!! Go Falcons!!! 

Primal Spinach Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  2. 1 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  3. 6 oz cream cheese
  4. 1/4 cup sour cream
  5. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  6. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  8. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Thaw spinach (can put in a pot with hot water) put in a pot and artichokes and drain any extra liquid.
  2. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft.
  3. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.
  4. Enjoy!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

Awhile ago I was trying to figure out my breakfast meals. My main requirements were that they needed to have lots of good fat and protein, taste delicious, feel hearty and ideally, fill me for about 5-7 hours (I eat a big breakfast). Oh, and of course this meal needed to be easy to make and be even easier to just heat up come breakfast time. Who has time to cook in the mornings? Anyway, I had a tough time at first because I have an intolerance to eggs, and I didn’t really want – nor think it was good to have lots of – bacon/sausage every single day, but what else is there really when it comes to protein and good fat with “breakfast” foods. So, I was forced to think outside of the box. 

Finally, I came up with this Ground Veggie Mash. It’s been about a year (or two) that I’ve been making it and being the creature of habit that I am, I still make this once or twice a week and eat it almost daily. I love and crave it!! It is so hearty and filling. It has plenty of good fats as well as great flavor. And, the good news about this meal is that it’s easy to get some decent variety with it, too, even if you eat it year after year. 

And if you don’t love the idea of nontraditional breakfast food for breakfast, this recipe can also be a great lunch, afternoon snack or dinner.

I use to use one bag of veggies and then add sausage or leftover fajita meat, steak or hamburger. But then I got tired of trying to think about what protein I could add to the veggie mash. So now when I make it, I add ground meat to the dish to make it a complete meal.  I love it with ground chicken thigh (dark meat) or grass fed ground beef. I am on a dark meat chicken kick lately (even though the grass fed beef is better for us than any kind of chicken…yes even lean breast). I know, but eww, dark meat ground chicken is kind of gross to some people. It use to be kinda ick to me too. But guys, I am telling you, trust me, use the dark meat, if you’re using chicken. It is 100% better in this dish!

So I will typically pick 2 bags of veggies to cook (see veggie samples below) to start. For example, I’ll use a bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Brussel Sprouts and a bag of Cauliflower Rice, or a bag of Cruciferous mix and Organic Cabbage (probably my most common combo) or Trader Joe’s Organic Broccoli Slaw and Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale mixture. Many times I like to use pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. 

A friend recently asked about some of my staples from Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s for their convenient pre-cut veggies more than anything. Are the foods ALWAYS organic? No. But we doing the best we can and what works for our family and eating more veggies because of it. You have to do what works for you!

In addition to the veggies in the picture below, I also love and use often Trader Joe’s:

  • Organic pre-cut Tuscan kale
  • Frozen organic cauliflower rice
  • Organic broccoli slaw

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I also love the pre-cut cabbage from Whole Foods. If I am in a pinch and don’t have time to either cut up veggies (which is almost always; I’ve become spoiled and lazy, whatever you want to call it when it comes to cutting up veggies for this particular weekly recipe) or run to Trader Joe’s down the streeet, I’ll get the Kale Salad Mixture. We do throw away the salad dressing but keep the sunflower seeds and cranberries for a different recipe. Oh, and Whole Foods also now has frozen organic cauliflower rice!
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So here is my large 6 quart pot of veggies and ghee for step 1. I use to use a pan and only 1 bag of veggies and a little meat and then realized, why not make more? There is no extra work involved. ALWAYS MAKE MORE FOOD WHEN YOU CAN.  99% of the foods you make can freeze really well!

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Now, I do LOVE to add this Quinoa & Kale mixture (big bag pack of 5 from Costco or individual bags from Publix and some Sprouts) most of the time but it is definitely not mandatory. Sometimes, I’ll use the Kelp Noodles (see below) instead. I like the added carb-y feel from both but also love the extra protein from the Quinoa & Kale mixture. By the way, if you try the kelp noodles, they will seem super odd and feel like plastic when you open the bag, but they will soften completely when cooked. Just be sure to cook them early on with the veggies and add enough oils, or Tamari or Coconut Aminos (great with ground beef and stir fry) so the noodles will soften. Liquids are key to well prepared kelp noodles. My whole family loves them. They soak up flavor so well!

Thanks girls for holding these up. I couldn’t prop them well so the girls were happy to help out…

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Here is the kale quinoa mixture once the veggies are cooked… 

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Mix together with your ground meat, spices and of course good oils…

While this goes into my recipe, I always like to add some extra Tessemae’s (online, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix) Lemon Garlic or good ol’ olive oil. Adding the extra Tessemae’s can make a world of difference!!! Don’t skip on this flavorful fat! Sometimes I’ll use some of the other oils but most of the time, I’m going with my Lemon Garlic and/or more Kasadrinos (from their site). 

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And wahlah! I promise it probably takes less time to make than it took to read read this long post!! 

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Oh, and last but definitely not least… I LOVE to add these seeds to my mash. The crunch is so satisfying. Plus, they are nutrient dense and filling. I get both of these on vitacost.com. If you shop of Vitacost, wait on the coupons and then stock up. 

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So my dog is actually really good when it comes to setting food on the ground and having self restraint. He will lay beside the food while I photograph it. This time he was left alone for a few minutes, and my big bowl of mash (pic above) was on my desk with a chair beside it pulled out, which I guess he thought was an invitation to hop up and help himself. But for a dog that is not really into people food (and especially vegetables), he sure scarfed this bowl down. And it was a big new fresh bowl. Grr!! I guess at least even he liked it….

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Ground Veggie Mash
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bags of pre-cut veggies (or about a pound or so of veggies)
  2. 2 lbs of ground dark meat chicken thigh or ground beef
  3. 3 tbsp of ghee
  4. 2 tsp onion powder
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 2-3 tsp of salt (or to taste)
  7. 1.5-2lbs ground meat
  8. 1/3 cup Tessemae's Lemon Garlic (or whatever you prefer)
  9. 1/4 cup good olive or avocado oil
  10. Bag of Kale Quinoa mixture OR Kelp noodles (not necessary)
Instructions
  1. In a large 6 quart stock pot, melt 3 tbsp of ghee and then add 2 bags of veggies (and kelp noodles if you decide to try them).
  2. Cook until the veggies start to brown and soften. Add Tamari or coconut aminos if using the kelp noodles so they soften.
  3. Then add the kale quinoa mixture (if you have it), onion powder, garlic powder and salt and stir well.
  4. Cook until kale quinoa mixture is no longer frozen so for about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Set aside in a large bowl.
  6. Then wipe down your pan and cook your ground meat until it is no longer pink in the middle.
  7. Pour your cooked veggie mixture back in your pot with the ground meat.
  8. Stir it all together
  9. Then add Tessemae's dressing, the Lemon Garlic is my favorite, and some good quality olive oil.
  10. Top with some pumpkin or watermellon seeds and guacamole if you'd like, and enjoy.
Notes
  1. You can easily start with 1 bag of veggies (or about 10 oz of any veggies you cut) and 1lb (or less) of ground beef or chicken and then of course half all of the other ingredients. I just like to make things in bulk so I either have enough for the week or I can freeze some for later on.
  2. If you use the kelp noodles you'll want to add lots of oils/liquids so they become soft. I typically use the kelp noodes when I am making a stir fry type dish with ground beef, Tamari and or coconut aminos.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

  • Leah - I love this recipe! I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks so much for posting.ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Thanks Leah! I hope you like it!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Yum! Going to make this week. I have a question on olive oil. Have been looking for a good quality oil so definitely going to try this one. How long would the 3L can be good for? I have been researching and did not realize olive oil went bad/lost nutritional quality over time and with exposure to heat and light. Argh!ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Hey Whitney! I think a good one, that is not exposed to artificial light or heat, can last a few years. But I am sure it also depends on which kind, how it was processed, etc. The Kasandrios is a great quality oil!ReplyCancel

  • Erica - This looked delish, so I just made it for my lunches this week. It’s amazing! I used Cruciferous mix and Organic Cabbage, but can see how any other blend would also be great. I just made quinoa and added it since I didn’t have the frozen bag. I used chicken thighs and shredded them (since I don’t eat beef). I couldn’t find kelp noodles, but would like to add those next time. Tessamae’s lemon garlic is the perfect finishing touch. My husband also declared it to be delious! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

    • landriav - SO great to hear Erica!!! Thanks so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Thank you thank you! I am gluten, dairy and egg sensitive. I struggle with a breakfast but I struggle no more. This is DELISH! I may live on this for the rest of my life.ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Kelly, I am so happy to hear it!! Thank you for taking the time and I’m so glad you love it as much as I do!!!ReplyCancel

Hi all!

So I had some questions from the last post regarding the serving amounts for each of the smoothie ingredients. Below are just suggestions so feel free to do your own research.

1. Thorne drops Vitamin D – 2 drops = 1,000 IU. 5,000 IU is a good dose if you’re low in D (from lab results) or if you’re starting to get sick. 1-2k is a good maintenance dose. It never hurts to go get periodic blood test to check your levels. 
2. Banana flour (you could also use potato starch) – use 1/2 tsp kids 1 tsp adults. Go slow and watch for any bowel symptoms since you are changing the gut flora (in a good way). You may need to start even slower if so. 
3. Coconut Kefir – use about 1 tbsp.
4. Avocado Oil – use about 1 tbsp (or as much as you can add without them knowing).
 
Okay, on to the soup. I got this great recipe from paleomg.com (love her recipes) and it was delicious! My husband and I loved it.  I will say, while the kids ate theirs, they did say they “liked it” but they also said they “wouldn’t use the word love.” I get it; curry is a strong flavor.  But I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and added some extra honey to make it more kid friendly. We all ate it up!
 

The recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken breasts, but instead I just used a rotisserie chicken. Thanks to Whole Foods for saving me time and from having to cut up raw chicken. Raw chicken is the worst.

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Next week I’m going to post one of our favorite meals. I would love to hear about your favorite staple(s). Please share! I need new ideas!!

Coconut Curry Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons ghee
  2. 1 yellow onion, minced
  3. 1 medium carrot, minced
  4. 1 tsp salt 1/2 pepper
  5. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (or 1 lb rotissiere chicken)
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon curry powder
  8. 2 cups chicken broth
  9. 1 can full fat coconut milk
  10. 2 tablespoon honey
  11. dash cayenne pepper
  12. chopped cilantro and scallions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add ghee and then put the onion and carrot in the pot and saute until onion becomes translucent, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Then add in chicken and garlic and cook chicken until it's no longer visibly pink (or just add your shredded rotissiere chicken in and cook for just a few minutes), about 7-8 minutes, then add curry powder and mix to cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add broth, coconut milk, honey, salt and pepper, and mix to combine, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by a third.
  5. Garnish with some fresh cilantro and scallions and enjoy!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/