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Who says veggies have to be boring?

I got this new toy, a spiral vegetable slicer, for Christmas (yes I’m finally just now using it)  and I absolutely LOVE it, as do my kids.

This is the one I got from Amazon (sorry for the tiny picture)…Product Details

It’s fun and super easy to use. And, it’s a great way to let the kids get involved in helping with dinner. For tonight, we used it to make noodles out of zucchini and curly-q sweet potatoes fries.

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These noodles are great sautéed in some ghee with just salt and pepper but I know the possibilities with this are endless. _DSC8872c

And, the sweet potatoes are great either roasted in the oven or fried in the skillet. Regardless of which way you want to cook them, all you need is 1 large sweet potato, some arrowroot powder (you can get this for about $7 at Whole Foods and some Publix also carry it) and some coconut oil. _DSC8861c

Roasting your sweet potato fries…

Preheat your oven to 400F. In a freezer bag, place your spiral-cut sweet potatoes (1 large) and 1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder. Close bag and shake until well coated. Then add 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil to the potatoes and shake again to coat well. Next place the potatoes flat and evenly on baking pan and cook for about 15 minutes or until crispy. Be sure to spread them out well and also don’t cook too much at once or it will be harder to get crispy. If you use more than 1 potato, use an extra baking pan.

Fying your sweet potato fries…

They are also really great pan fried. Follow the same directions as above but don’t pour the oil in the bag. Instead, pour about 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large hot pan. add the sweet potatoes and cook until brown and crispy, flipping them once or twice with prongs. Be aware though that they can get a bit messy if you don’t have a screen or cover for your pan.  But man are they sooo good this way it’s worth the mess!!_DSC8879c_DSC8887c_DSC8898c_DSC8929c

Do you have one of these? What do you like to use it for? I would love some other ideas!

landriav - Hey Melisa! Honestly I thought the sweet potatoes were easier since they are firmer. I did use some force but not that much. The kids could even do it once I got it started. You just kind of have to push and turn at the same time. Hope that helps?? Oh and if it doesn’t stay stuck on the counter, try to put just a little water (or saliva) on the bottom. Maybe that will help. Good luck!

Melisa - I do have this same one but haven’t been able to cut sweet potatoes with it. They are so hard and I have to use so much force that I’m afraid it will break the thing, since it is plastic. Plus, it will not stay stuck to the counter when I push that hard. What’s your secret?

landriav - Nice, thanks Ann!

Ann - I do have one and need to break it out as well! I do find a lot of recipes on the inspiralized website if you’d like to check it out.

A New Staple for Us Thanks to Powerful Paleo Superfoods (by Heather Connell)

My sweet, beautiful, strong and talented friend Heather Connell, author of MultiplyDelicious.com has come out with a new amazing book, Powerful Paleo Superfoods. This book is so great because it’s educational yet everything is explained in such a way that it is easy to understand. It also provides so many practical recipes that are simple to make from Avocado Tomato Tarts to Caribbean Citrus Roasted Sweet Potatoes. See what I mean? These are great creative twists on our familiar weekly staples.

Stiritup.me brussels sprout slaw

In our household, we eat sauteed shredded brussels sprouts (in lots of ghee with onion powder, salt and pepper) literally 2-3 times a week. Yes, partly because you can get brussels sprouts pre-shredded from Trader Joe’s and they’re so easy to make, but also because they are delicious, and honestly, it’s my son’s favorite veggie. I will typically make them for lunch (add some protein) and save the leftovers for him for when he gets home from school. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t always want or eat veggies after lunch, but this just happens to be one of those random things that he loves so you better believe I’m going with it.

Anyway, Heather has a fabulous new spin on cooking brussels sprouts that—as of tonight— has become a new regular for us. It’s so simple yet packed with so much flavor!!! And not only am I excited to have a new staple, but now I also know, thanks to Heather and Powerful Paleo Superfoods, that brussels sprouts have 50% more vitamin C than an orange, more antioxidants than any other cruciferous vegetable, and contains lots of sulfur that can help the liver to detox and reduce inflammation. Now I feel even better about eating so many brussels sprouts! Anyway, here is her fabulous recipe for Apple Brussels Sprouts Slaw. I know you will love it as much as we do!

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Apple Brussels Sprout Slaw

  • 1 tbsp bacon grease (from the bacon from this recipe)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shredded (we used Trader Joe’s 10 oz. pack)
  • 1 apple, finely sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 slices (of course we used 4) nitrate-free pastured bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

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In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until brown. Add the shredded brussels sprouts, apple, salt and pepper and stir to continue. Continue to stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are wilted down and start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir immediately.
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Add the shredded brussels sprouts, apple, salt and pepper and stir to continue. Continue to stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are wilted down and start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir immediately.  I hope you’ll love this recipe, and book, as much as I do! I know you will. You can get her book directly from Amazon here. It’s the perfect book to kick off the Summer!_DSC1973 2

To get more great recipes from her, be sure to check out her other book, Paleo Sweets & Treats, “like” her Facebook page, or visit her blog.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Apple Brussels Sprout Slaw
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease (from the bacon from this recipe)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shredded (we used Trader Joe’s 10 oz. pack)
  • 1 apple, finely sliced into matchsticks
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 slices (of course we used 4) nitrate-free pastured bacon, cooked and broken into pieces
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until brown. Add the shredded brussels sprouts, apple, salt and pepper and stir to continue. Continue to stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are wilted down and start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir immediately. Add the shredded brussels sprouts, apple, salt and pepper and stir to continue. Continue to stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are wilted down and start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir immediately.

 

landriav - Ha, so glad Harriette!! I might try more apple next time too. Good thought and thanks for posting!!

Harriette Knight - This was delicious! My boyfriend is a slaw connoisseur and he loved it!! Easy to make. I actually had all the ingredients here, though I chopped up the bag of brussel sprouts. Next time I will add more apple, but it was a total hit!

landriav - Love that Marie!!! Thanks so much for sharing. Goes to show, it’s always good to try and try again (and not just with our kids!). Thanks for the reminder for myself as well, and for the great suggestion. I will definitely try it that way next time. I m so glad you both liked it! :)

Marie Smith - Three days ago I was on your website to refresh my memory on the chocolate chip recipe (we love it!), and I saw your blog on Heather’s brussels sprout recipe. My first thought, “Yuck! I ate brussels sprouts!”. . . but then I remembered how I *thought* that I hated asparagus, avocados and kiwi. . . hmmm, maybe brussels sprouts deserved my attention? The bacon convinced me. When I told hubby what I was making, he wrinkled his nose. I followed the recipe exactly! Gave him a small bowl, made a bigger one for myself (this was our breakfast) . . . and we both liked it! Much to our surprise. I even kept some as leftover and ate it cold the next day, and was really good. My tummy felt satisfied for hours! I love that it’s super food, so I figured I should make it again! The second time, I added some finely chopped onions in while browning the bacon. It made a huge difference! It really packed in the flavor and was so yummy! There was nothing left, and hubby gobbled it down with me!

landriav - It’s so good. Yall will love this Whitney!!

landriav - Of course! Thanks for your comment Ann!

landriav - Hey Coleen, thanks! I typically use Trader Joe’s 40% leaner (only because I like the red meat on the bacon!)!

Whitney - YUM! Can’t wait to try these, we love brussels. I may also need this book….

Coleen - Landria, this looks delish! What brand of bacon do you use?

Ann - Thank you for the great recipe and the heads up on a great book and paleo blog!

Protein powders and Tate makes a smoothie

I’m frequently asked about protein powders. I have never been able to recommend one because, honestly, I eat enough protein without the needing a supplement. But my son Tate could probably use a little more protein in his diet in the mornings. And since he likes smoothies, I figured that might be an easy way to add some.

The other reason I am now addressing protein powders is because they are an excellent glutathione precursor. “What is glutathione?” you may ask. It is the “master antioxidant”meaning it’s the most powerful antioxidant in your body.  The main function of glutathione is to protect your cells from oxidative damage, and as we get older, our body’s ability to produce glutathione decreases.

Lack of glutathione has been associated with:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Arthritis, asthma and other inflammatory conditions
  • Cancers
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

The tricky thing about glutathione is you can’t just take a supplement because your body can’t absorb it that way; even though they make and sell “glutathione” supplements. High quality whey protein is the top food for maximizing your glutathione levels according to at least two studies here and here as well as many other reports.  So, if you are going to use a whey protein, be sure to look for one that is:

  • Cold-pressed
  • Free of hormones like rBGH, chemicals, casein (hard to digest milk protein), and added sugar
  • Fed by grass-fed cows (this one is debatable whether it matters or not for WHEY (not meat of course) but that’s for another post, another day)

Here are four protein powders, in no particular order, that supposedly cover all of the above recommendations and taste fairly good, according to the reviews I’ve read. I haven’t tried any of them, so I can’t give my two cents on taste but would love to hear from you (in the comments section please) if you have tried any of these or found one you like and would be willing to recommend.

1. BlueBonnett

2. Swanson Whey Protein

3. Primal Protein

4. PaleoMeal (not for children)

I don’t know which are best for kids but just be sure if it is for your kids, it is mainly just whey protein and it doesn’t contain any extra amino acids. And, if you are look for a guideline for how much to give your kids, check out this link from the Mayo Clinic.

On to Tate’s Smoothie/Popsicle…

I have come around to the fact that I need to let my kids cook, even though I know it’s going to be a huge mess…period. But the good news is not only are they learning and taking pride in what they make, but also they are building confidence in preparing food completely by themselves.

Anyway, while Alice has been cooking for a bit on her own (well, with a little help from me), today Tate made his own smoothie completely by himself. He actually guessed on most of the ingredients, and with only a little guidance from me on the quantities, it actually turned out great.

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This is all you need for Tate’s smoothie:

  • 1 cup spinach, fresh (we didn’t use this because it was Tate’s concoction but I would have. The blueberries hide the spinach well.)
  • 1/2 canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cups blueberries
  • 1 bananas
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • small handful ice cubes
  • add protein powder, if desired

By the way, Costco not only had frozen organic blueberries but they have fresh ones as well right now, too.

Here are a few of our other favorite smoothies/popsciles:

Summer green smoothie

Chocolate Banana 

A few others from our “Smoothie-Off”

What we had leftover smoothie we turned into popsicles. These BPA-free popsicle holders are awesome. They actually even work for school if you wrap it up in a paper towel and put it in a small lunch cooler, assuming they eat by 11:30.

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So proud, and oh so messy…

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Summer is here!

Another simple recipe (and is the microwave killing our food?)

Okay so here is the other ultra easy meal we are having this week. I tend to do many variations of this recipe so it might seem similar to some of my others, but this one is even simpler to make, and that is the goal for this week, right?

What makes this recipe especially good is not only the delicious Tessemae’s dressing, but also the mushrooms. I love those things! When I was little, and we would go out for Chinese food, mushrooms (and of course the baby corn), were my favorites to eat. For this recipe, any type of mushroom will do.

All you need for this Broccoli Bison Bowl recipe is:

  • 1.5 lb grass fed bison or beef
  • 1 bag or head of broccoli
  • 1 can of straw mushrooms (any other kind will do)
  • 1 bottle Tessemae’s Ginger Soy (or some Tamari or coconut aminos and fresh ginger)
  • fresh ginger and arrowroot powder, optional
  • you could also add chopped onions, spinach, or whatever you have around…

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Start by browning your meat on high, then turn the stove down, and add your mushroom and Tessemae’s (about 1/2 the bottle or more) and keep stirring. I did mix about 2 tsp arrowroot with 2 tsp with water in a small bowl and then added that to the mix so it would thicken the sauce a little, but that is optional.

I also used some fresh ginger. You can never have too much ginger, in my opinion. By the way, do y’all know the easiest way to use ginger? I grew up on it so not sure if it’s common knowledge or not but you can store it in the freezer. Then when you are ready to use it just take it out and with a sharp knife scrape off what you want and then throw it back in the freezer for the next time.

By the way, doesn’t this recipe below look good? Those were pork egg roll-less. I’ll share that soon, too.

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Then for the broccoli, if you use one in a bag and want it to steam quickly, just throw it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then, put it in the pan and carefully chop it (or place in colander/cutting board to chop) with a ulu knife or any other knife to make the heads into smaller bite sized pieces. Mix everything together and enjoy!

Anyway, what is so great about this simple recipes is it is very versatile. You could squeeze an orange for some extra sweetness, or add onions, scallions, cilantro, baby corn, water chestnuts, spinach, squash, zucchini…really anything you guys like, or have on hand. I hope you enjoy it!

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Quick side note: For those of you kind of freaking out about the microwave thing…I know, I get it and I too have heard for years not to use it. But, my most trusted source, Chris Kresser, who always has the latest, most up-to-date information says “the balance of studies seem to suggest that microwaving is safe, doesn’t reduce nutrient levels, and may even reduce nutrient levels less than some other forms of cooking, although the studies did seem to suggest that using lower settings on the microwave is probably better for preserving nutrients.” The Ancestral Chef even goes so far to say it may even “increase nutrients” according to her post here. I’m not sure I’m ready to go that far on the microwave debate just yet, but I’m glad to know I can use it every once in awhile without the guilt.

I love these things! When I was little, I use to think they were like little Smurf houses…Mmmmm Smurf Houses._DSC9419cr

 

Landria - Hey Ann! I just cut or scrape off the outer part and then keep scraping until I get the part/amount I need. Hope this helps!

Ann - I had never heard the freezer tip for ginger. Do you shave back the outer part and then shave or just shave it all? Thanks so much…love this tip!

It’s May…who has time to cook??

May has to be busiest month of the year! Between trying to juggle sports, end of the year activities, and swim team practice every day, seriously, who has time to cook? We get home by 7:00 most nights, just in time to prep dinner, eat, shower, do homework, read and get to bed…all by 7:30 (my kids typical bed time). Yeah, right…

So for all of your crazy-busy hard working people out there, I’m going to share two ridiculously easy recipes to help get you though this final week of school.  Both include using Tessemae’s so if you’re making a trip to Whole Foods tomorrow, get a bottle of their Southwest Ranch and a bottle of their Ginger Soy. They’re good to have on hand anyway!

Here is one meal that has become a weekly occurrence because it is so easy and tasty. All you have to do is marinate some chicken with some Tessemae’s salad dressing for at least 1 hour or overnight)—we love Southwest Ranch—and either grill (I can’t give you cooking times since my husband is the one who grills, and I just asked him and he said “cook it until it’s done”. So helpful, right??) or you can bake it at 350F for 35 or so minutes if whole/half pieces or 25-30 minutes if you cut it into bite sized pieces. Done and done. Add some roasted broccoli, sauté some asparagus in some ghee, or whatever and you’re good to go. One meal down.

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Happy last week of school…and carpool!!

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Check back for meal number two later this week!

landriav - Thanks Kay! Looking forward to seeing y’all too!!

kay conboy - i am always looking for fast and tasty recipes. Thanks Landria. We are looking forward to seeing you in June. Aunt Kay