It is that crazy time of year when even though the days are longer with daylight savings, they actually seem shorter with sports, after school clubs, and, well, the kids just wanting to play outside all day. Dinner time creeps up way too quickly!!
One of my easy go-to dinners usually consist of some chicken breast (hopefully, I’ve cut it up ahead of time, so I’m not overwhelmed by the thought of cutting up chicken at 6:00 at night) and some type of veggie. I love whole foods pre-cut cabbage because it’s so filling and it soaks up flavor quickly.
Anyway, here is a picture of what was my favorite pre-cut cabbage. Sorry, clearly the picture was an afterthought, but thought it was better than nothing (now I’m not so sure…)
Updated 3/27: quick iPhone picture from today of the cabbage…
One of my favorite quick and easy meals is warm buffalo chicken slaw. If the chicken is cut ahead of time, I can have that meal made in less than 10 minutes. Tonight, I was craving a Thai flavor. It’s so rare that I make a total random guess on a meal and it turns out well, but I think this is one of them! I will be adding this one to my new rotation for sure. Oh and 4 out of 4 in our family loved it! YES, a win!!
I tried to limit the ingredients to keep it as simple as possible. You could easily add cilantro, ginger, coconut milk etc. but again for simplicity sake, this is what I came up with:
And as much as I lovemy cauliflower crust pizza, this was a fun change for me because for the first time in years, I had a paleo pizza that most closely resembled the pizza I use to eat, pre-paleo days. The crust was actually chewy!! If you’ve ever made a paleo pizza before, you would know that it’s near impossible to get a chewy crust from most paleo recipes that use almond flour, cashew flour, etc. The taste and texture really made this pizza fabulous!!! But, I will say that it wasn’t crunchy (just trying to set expectations here) but we still loved it! Oh and it’s nut free!
By the way, this recipe is from my book (p. 165), so for more great snack recipes like this, be sure to check out Super Paleo Snacks.
It is so easy to make the dough!
Here are the ingredients needed:
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup water (hot)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 mild Italian sausages (cooked without casings)
your toppings including cheese (or not), pepperoni, olives, peppers, etc.
To start all you need is some Italian spices (or basil and oregano), salt coconut flour and psyllium husk powder. I recommend using NOW brand or else your crust might end up a more purplish grey color.
Mix these dry things together….
Next, put your butter (or ghee) in the bowl of mixed dry ingredients, pour super hot water (that has been boiled via microwave or stove top) directly over the butter so it starts to melt and stir the ingredients together with a fork. Then,with your hands, form the ingredients into a ball of dough. If it gets a little dry, you can always add more hot water. I added about 2 more tablespoons after and it was easier to form.
These are the ingredients we used for our toppings. I don’t eat dairy very often but when I do, I try to get some made from raw cow’s milk, like the one below since it’s a bit easier to digest. We also used Whole Foods amazing mild Italian sausage (a must have!) and some Wellshire pepperonis. I would have loved to add some black olives and fresh basil but I just couldn’t bring myself to make another trip to the grocery store.
Then transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and squish it flat with your hands or roll it out with a rolling pin or round glass. If using a glass, you might need some oil or water on it so it won’t stick. Add your sauce and ingredients and cook on 350 for 20 or so minutes and enjoy!
A good sausage can really make the pizza! If the kids hadn’t eaten most of it before we made the pizza, there would have been a lot more on there…
I hope everyone had a great Spring Break week whether you stayed at home or traveled. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with the family in Palm Springs and Santa Monica, and what a great trip it was!
I actually surfed too but will save you from the pics of me in a wet suit (and busting it too many times to count)..
The Santa Monica pier and our amazing cousins…
I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on the blog lately, but I’m pretty excited to share our new favorite drink, kombucha. As Robb Wolf describes it, “Kombucha is a fermented tea that is a recognized probiotic. In simple terms, the production involves making sweet tea, adding a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), and letting the SCOBY consume the sugar to produce a drink full of B vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics.”
Okay, I know I may lose some of you on this post, and I get that. The process of making kombucha, can be a bit…gross, and so it took me years to finally take the plunge. Getting to the point of making something as peculiar as kombucha was an evolution for me. It started with cooking whole healthy foods, then moved to up to making my own bone broth, and well, I’ve since graduated to making kombucha. As some of you may know, I won’t make something unless it’s pretty simple, and well, this is really simple to make!!
For my son, who was born via C-section, I am always trying to increase any good bacteria (article on c-section/bacteria) he can get into his body. I am fortunate that he can swallow a pill so he will take a probiotic on a pretty regular basis. And even though it’s a strong one (20-112 billion cfu), it still can’t compare to things like kombucha, kefir, fermented vegetables, etc. I want Tate to have the benefit of eating fermented foods (since they contain trillions of healthy live bacteria) and well, he doesn’t love sauerkraut, pickles, or my coconut kefir so this kombucha was really my last hope. Why kombucha you may ask? Some of the benefits by adding the good bacteria includes:
Reduces Joint Pain
Cleansing and Detoxification
Here and here are some more detailed benefits of kombucha.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic when he said he “LOOOOOVED” his new drink. He actually said, “it tastes better than Sprite, mom!”.
In order to make kombucha, you need is SCOBY. You can either get one online from Cultures for Life, you can make one, or you can come get one of mine if you’re in Atlanta (I have about 10 so I’m happy to share)!! First come first serve!
In addition to your scoby, the only other things you need are:
some glass jars (1/2 gallon jar, 1 gallon jar, and 1 or 2 glass jars to store the kombucha once it’s made-see pics below)
8 tea bags (green and/or black), I typically use 4 bags of each
1 cup organic cane sugar (you cannot substitute for coconut palm sugar)
1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or some store bought unflavored unpasteurized kombucha
10 cups of water
2 coffee filters and 2 rubber bands
1 cup of fresh OJ, pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice, etc. or a handful of fresh berries of choice (we love to use strawberries, raspberries and blueberries- about 5 of each)
I like the tall bottles (far right) best for storage since they help save space in my already overstuffed refrigerator.
Start by bringing 6 cups of distilled water to a boil. Once it boils, turn the stove off and add 1 cup of sugar. Stir well until dissolved.
Then add 8 tea bags and let it seep for 12 minutes.
Here is a list of teas and a post from FoodBabe if you need some guidance on which tea to use for your kombucha.
Then add the additional 6 cups of cold water and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator or 25 or so on the counter top.
Pour your tea into the gallon jar. Then, add 1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar or store-bought unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha or if you have some, use starter kombucha (from the half gallon jar with your scoby from your “scoby hotel”). Next, with your freshly washed hands, add your scoby to the tea. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band and allow to sit for approximately 2 weeks in the winter (somewhere it can get some sunlight inside the house) or about 7 days in the summer.
During the week or two of fermentation, a new scoby with evolve on the top of your tea (see below). Once it’s at least 1/4 inch thick, it’s ready to add the finishing touches. Take the scoby out and move it to the half gallon jar and pour about half a cup of the tea from the gallon jar. Cover with coffee filter and rubber band and store it on your counter. I know, it’s not the prettiest counter-top decoration but it certainly is a conversation starter.
Now, with the rest of your tea (from gallon jar), pour it into smaller bottles or glass containers (see above) and add your juice. We like the taste of pomegranate juice or the anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry juice. Everyone’s taste buds are different but we usually use about 1 cup of juice or enough to let the kombucha equal to approximately 10% juice and 90% tea. You could also add a handful of fresh berries if you’d like. My next batch I am going to try using a handful of strawberries and a few slices of lemon. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Anyway, allow it to sit and brew with the lid on for another 1-3 weeks (the longer it sits, the more fizzy it will be) and then you are good to go!
Now…you’re done. I promise, it gets easier and easier each time you make it and honestly, besides the boiling, seeping and cooling, and fermenting time, it’s only about 5 minutes of actual work. See, I told you it was easy!!
Look at that thing. It makes me so happy!!
I also have used the larger wide mouth jars (see far right) for storing my kombucha. I got my glass jars from Target since they have so many different options.
Go for it! Continue that food evolution and enjoy a fabulous tasting and super healthy drink!
1 1/2 cup starter tea (from scoby "hotel") or distilled white vinegar or some store bought kombucha that is unflavored and unpasteurized.
approximately 1 cup juice (or to taste) of orange juice, pomegranate juice or a handful berries
Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.
Place the tea bags in the sugar water to steep for 12 or so minutes.
Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF.
Remove the tea bags from the liquid.
Pour into your gallon glass jar.
Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar OR some kombucha from the store that is unflavored and unpasteurized may be substituted.
Add an active kombucha scoby.
Cover the jar with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
Allow the mixture to sit somewhere in the house where it can get some sunlight for 7-14 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
Take the scoby and put it in the half gallon jar and add some tea to it (about 1/2 cup) to use as starter tea for the next batch.
Pour the rest of the tea into your glass jar or bottle and add juice (to taste), if desired. Allow to sit or brew for another week or so (the longer it ferments the more fizzy it will get) and then enjoy!
For trouble shooting, check here for a great resource: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-troubleshooting-frequently-asked-questions-faq
It’s nice having a good soup around, especially for when the kids come in from playing in the….rain. I’m still so bummed that we actually didn’t get any snow in Atlanta!! Our kids have had how many “snow days” now without any snow? Pitiful. Anyway, here is a great, simple soup. Tate said it was (with some Pete’s hot sauce) his very favorite!
And yes, there are some white beans in this soup which I know are not Paleo. Free free to omit them from this recipe if you’re avoiding legumes right now. So I’ve been following Paleo for over 6 years now and while I think eating the Paleo way is a great way to reduce inflammation, I also think it’s a good template or good starting point. I think once the gut has healed, it is good to experiment with your diet by add in things like beans (especially ones with resistant starch – my latest fascination) and some gluten free grains once in awhile to see how your body tolerates them. This was my first experiment and so far so good!
If you cook your chicken in the slow cooker and you cook it on “high”, it will be more like shredded chicken (we clearly cooked this on high). But if you cook it on low, it will be more like a rotisserie chicken which I actually tend to prefer.
Oh and have you tried these dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia? You can get them at Whole Foods or vitacost.com. I promise, even with zero grams of sugar, there isn’t any weird aftertaste. They have the perfect amount of sweetness! You’re welcome…and I’m sorry!
Easy on those Tate…At $7 a bag, I’ll be hiding those in my stash!
Hi all, sorry I’ve been MIA in announcing the winner for the cookbook. It’s been a crazy week. Anyway, I am excited to say that I was able to choose two winners for Super Paleo Snacks. They are:
Michelle Schiess and Liza Gressle!!
Michelle and Liza, please email me your mailing address and I’ll get you a copy ASAP!
On to the food…
After going to True Foods, I realized that I had to have their Shrimp Panang, well, all of the time. I have been craving it ever since and knew my husband wouldn’t be too cool with me eating there 3 times a week. So, I realized I had to figure out how to make a panang sauce. After looking up many recipes to get an idea of what I would need to make this sauce, I realized I would have to get some Kaffir Lime Leaves and Panang Curry Paste. I couldn’t find these ingredients at our Publix and apparently only some Whole Foods carries them so I went to ole reliable Amazon to place my order.
I was going to use some frozen wild shrimp and broccoli I got from Trader Joe’s to make the dish, but, then I was at Costco and they had small lobster tails and I just couldn’t resist. So tonight, after 5 minutes of prep, one of my favorites dinners was reincarnated. Really, 5 minutes. I opened a bag of lobster tails (you could also use wild frozen shrimp, chicken -but then you’d have to cook it and I was feeling extra lazy tonight) and added some frozen broccoli crowns and the ingredients below. It might have been the easiest meal I’ve made in awhile, and I usually always make pretty simple meals, but it was also really good. It was actually pretty spicy (years ago I would never have guessed I could eat a meal like this with my an autoimmune in my gut) but I was able to eat it. The only side effect was it made my face sweat! I should be embarrassed, but honestly, I was more excited that I could actually eat something spicy! Who says you can’t heal your gut!?