Saturday, December 1, 2012

Apple and Raisin Oven Pancake

My apologies for the low quality picture in this post, unfortunately our computer has been broken for a while now (another reason my Kombucha post isn't up yet). So I have to do everything on my phone, which if you can imagine is a bit cumbersome, since I can only type letter by letter on a tiny screen. And I don't have access to all my photos either so I had to copy and paste this one from my Facebook page. All that to say we have really been enjoying this and just wanted to share it with you all. I've Been extremely busy with life and moving so i just took a few moments to put this post together. Like my Quick and Easy Oven Pancake this is still quick and easy! And because my children love to douse everything in pure maple syrup I don't add any to the batter, however you could try that if you're not going to be topping it with syrup. Maybe 1-2 TBSP, but honestly I haven't tried that yet, we love it just the way it is. Hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas to everyone!


Delicious Apple and Raisin Oven Pancake

2 very large apples thinly sliced (or 3 med/large apples)
1/2 cup organic raisins
2 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk ( full fat milk)
1 tsp cinnamon ( I use Saigon cinnamon)
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of nutmeg

FOR THE BATTER:
12 eggs
1 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk ( or one can Thai kitchen 13.66 ounce)
2 cup almond flour
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Sauté apples in coconut oil for a few minutes over med- med high heat, until they start to soften. Add remaining ingredients and sauté until slightly thickened and reduced ( a couple of minutes). Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pour apples and raisin mixture into greased glass pan and combine the ingredients for the batter in the following manner:
Combine the batter ingredients in a medium bowl, (not the butter) and beat for 1-2 minutes. Then pour into pan over the apples and raisins and top by drizzling the melted butter over it. Place in the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and done in the middle ( watch it near the end in my experience oven temps can vary greatly). Top with some maple syrup and some whipped coconut milk and you are in for a treat!



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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chunky Paleo Cranberry Sauce

My 15 year old daughter loves pretty much anything that's sour or tart.  So when it comes to tart cranberry sauce she is in love, and the more there is of it the better.  She will sit down with a bowl of cranberry sauce and a spoon and just eat it plain by the spoonful, she loves her cranberry sauce.  Funny thing is she never really liked it back when we used the stuff out of a can and honestly I can understand why, homemade is so much better!  This one is a collaboration of what we both enjoy in a Cranberry sauce and we hope you'll enjoy it for your holiday meals to, or actually any time of the year like we do!  When fresh cranberries are in season I buy them up and freeze them for later so we can enjoy our cranberry sauce.  I find that each recipe cooks down to about 1/2 the amount you started with, and I'm including two versions or portion sizes.  Obviously we love our cranberry sauce so we make a lot but I realize not everyone loves it like we do and not everyone has a large family like we do.  

Happy Thanksgiving!


Chunky Paleo Cranberry Sauce
(makes approximately 4 cups)

8 cups of fresh Cranberries
1 TBSP fresh grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP thawed, frozen apples juice concentrate (no water added, just the concentrate) more if you like it sweeter
1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

Combine everything in a large saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat high heat and then reduce to simmer.  Stir occasionally, until desired texture and consistency.  I just let mine simmer while I'm doing other things in the kitchen so I do mine real low and slow and let it go 45 minutes to 1 hour. But if you were in a hurry I'm sure you could speed that process up.  I just like not really having to think about it, and letting it do it's thing and only stirring on occasion. That's it, remove from the heat, let it cool, store in a glass airtight container for later in the refrigerator and then serve when you're ready to eat it (although my daughter likes it hot, or warm too).


For Smaller Servings:
(about 2 cups )

4 cups fresh Cranberries
1/2 TBSP orange zest
3/4-1 cup Orange juice
1/4 cup Frozen Apple juice concentrate (no water added and for a sweeter sauce just add more)
1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon (or more to taste)

Follow the above directions.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paleo Pesto Chicken on Spaghetti Squash

We love Pesto!  I don't know what it is about it but we really love our Pesto sauce around here, and this has quickly become one of our favorite go to meals.  It's perfect for leftover chicken or turkey, or just keep the sauce in the fridge to use as desired on eggs, or other dishes.  Our family is so large and we are such big eaters that we polish this off in nothing flat.  So what I've started doing is doubling it or making the two different Pesto sauces so we will have some leftovers.  My oldest daughter and I love the Basil and Sun dried Tomato Pesto sauce, but those who don't particularly care for tomatoes prefer the Basil Pesto ( quite a few in family don't like tomatoes including my husband).  
I've also started baking my spaghetti squash earlier in the day or even the day before, cooking up a bunch and then refrigerating it for later.  When it's time to eat I just pull it out and reheat it by frying it up in a little bacon grease or coconut oil in a frying pan.  Makes dinner prep a lot quicker and provides quick lunches too.    Yesterday I baked up 4 large spaghetti squash (3-4 pounds each), served 2 of them with the pesto sauce, chicken, tomatoes and bacon.  And tonight we will have the rest of the spaghetti squash  with Mom's Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce, mmmmm...yum!  
A few weeks ago we cooked up a huge free range turkey that we had purchased from a local friend who raises them.  We had tons of turkey leftovers, so this was one of the re-created turkey meals we had, and boy was it good!  My husband says you know it's good when everyone cleans their plates, all the way down to the little ones.  So with Thanksgiving coming I thought I would share this with all of you, in case some of you may be looking for new ways to use up your leftover turkey after the holiday.
Though traditionally made with Pine Nuts, I make mine with either pecans or walnuts, for two reasons, one, it's two nuts I always have around and two, I find they are cheaper than using pine nuts, and taste great.  
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have and do!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH:
In advance bake your spaghetti squash ( I usually do 2 large squash to feed our family of 9), see directions here: HOW TO BAKE SPAGHETTI SQUASH.  And don't forget to save your seeds and ROAST THEM just like pumpkin seeds.

BACON:
Next Fry up some bacon or BAKE IT IN THE OVEN, reserving the fat (it's like gold around here, I use it for everything!).  Crumble the bacon and use it as a garnish.

MEAT:
Then either grill some chicken breast or thighs or slice and pan fry your chicken in some bacon grease with salt and pepper (unless you are using leftover meat or seafood).  If you are pan frying your chicken, after slicing it please be sure to dab dry (I use paper towels for this) before placing it in the pan of hot bacon grease.   Oh, and I typically figure on one piece of chicken per person.

TOMATOES: 
Chop up some fresh ripe tomatoes to garnish your Pesto Chicken with if desired.


 PESTO SAUCE: 

3 cups fresh basil leaves, (you'll kind of have to shove them in there a bit)
1 1/4 cups whole walnuts or pecans (toasted*)
4-5 cloves of fresh garlic (depending on your taste)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil ( a good olive oil can make all the difference in taste!)
salt to taste (I use approximately 1/2 tsp)
pepper to taste

Combine basil, nuts, and lemon juice in food processor, then adding the olive oil very slowly turn the mixture on.  My food processor has a little reservoir I fill and it allows a trickle to go in, which makes it much easier.  Mid way through add some salt and pepper and mix and then taste.  Mix until combined and the desired texture, it's that simple and sooooo yummy!  

* To toast your nuts preheat oven to 375 and bake for 8-10 minutes on a baking tray, mixing 1/2 way through.  Allow to cool before using.
Pesto Spaghetti squash with leftover turkey mixed in and bacon to garnish.


SUN DRIED TOMATO BASIL PESTO SAUCE:
 I WILL PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT I USE MY OWN HOME DEHYDRATED TOMATOES FOR THIS.  I TAKE MY FRESH HOMEGROWN TOMATOES, SLICE AND SPRINKLE WITH DRIED BASIL AND THEN PLACE IN MY DEHYDRATOR UNTIL DRY.

2 cups fresh basil leaves
heaping 1/2 cup dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1 cup of toasted pecans * see note above*
1 TBSP lemon juice
pepper to taste
1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (good quality makes all the difference regarding taste!)

Place everything except the oil in your food processor bowl, while processing very slowly add the oil to the mixture.  Process until desired texture and taste.  

My apologies for the lack of photos, but I hope you'll try it anyway. Enjoy!

  
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Important News, Please take time to read this...

Things have been a little quiet around here lately and I thought some of you might be wondering why.    I initially started blogging about Paleo after reading Robb Wolf's book and my husband and I deciding to give Paleo a try.  Resources at the time were limited and a google search would yield a handful of blogs and not so tasty recipes.  Today that same google search yields hundreds if not thousands of Paleo blogs and it seems there are new ones popping up daily with an abundance of excellent recipes.  It has been 2 years now since I first started the blog, and it's been through a lot of changes in that time!   Originally it was called Budget Paleo, and I started it because I figured my closest family and friends would tire of hearing about Paleo on our family blog and I wanted to share some great tasting Paleo recipes.  I was so excited about what we were learning and experiencing.   A few months into blogging I became a business partner in a CrossFit Box (my husband had already been a partner for a few months prior), and at that time we decided shift gears a little and make the blog part of our nutritional information for the gym so it was linked it to our website.   December 2010-December 2011 the blog was primarily used as a part of our CrossFit business, and it took on the name Paleo Made Easy and then later on it had our business name before the Paleo Made Easy.  Most of the posts where done by myself, but one of our other business partners did some great guest posts relating to working out and nutrition, sleep etc (if you search the blog all those old posts are still there hiding).  It was very focused on Crossfit and workout nutrition during that time.

Then the blog once again took another direction when I left the business and the blog went back to being my own last December.  I redesigned it, and took a more personal direction with it, which is also when I combined the two names and made it Budget Paleo...Made Easy.   However this past year I had been struggling with my health so much that I haven't been very consistent with my posts.  Funny thing is I have written dozens of posts that never got published and have stacks of recipes that never made it to the blog.  It started to feel like Paleo was consuming me, it was becoming my life and pushing out other more important things.  It almost seemed that the sicker I got, the more I studied, read  and thought about Paleo.  I would read article after article, blog post after blog post, book after book constantly trying to stay "up" on the latest Paleo news.  I would even lay in bed and write posts in my head, dreaming of recipes and things I wanted to blog about.  I also realized that the blog was in desperate need of more technical upgrades and I was feeling the underlying pressure from myself that I needed to get something up on the blog more regularly.  At the same time my life has was going through a lot of changes.  Most of you know I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in June, low thyroid, Adrenal fatigue, Celiac and now most recently a co-infection called Bartonella.  The disease and it's treatment have taken away much of my energy and health.  I take lot's of naps, some days are better than others, some days I'm barely functioning, other days no one would be able to tell I was sick.  My cognitive abilities have been greatly affected and some days I feel like my brain just won't do what I want it to, and thinking straight is just not going to happen.   In addition to all that, I recently took over our family finances (trying to create a workable budget, we all know what a challenge that can be) and the finances of my husbands construction business.  Plus our kids started school, so most afternoons are spent doing hours of homework with the 4 girls who are in school and Fridays are a homeschool day.  Life is very hectic and busy (in fact this post is going to be a day late do to a day busier than expected), so we were faced with a decision and after much prayer and consideration we have decided it's time for me to take a sabbatical from the blog.  Right now we are thinking I will stop blogging and then we will reevaluate in 6 months to a year.  The blog may need to take yet another direction at that time, it may become less focused on recipes and more on just blogging, or I may be done blogging, we aren't sure yet. I would however like to keep the Facebook page going, there will just be a lot less activity on there, I may post some new recipes or thoughts on Facebook, I haven't really decided yet, we'll kind of see where things go.  The way Facebook is set up these days if I don't keep it active no one will really be seeing the posts, but for now it'll continue.

 I'm thankful there are so many blogs and great cookbooks available now days, which can offer lots of great help and wonderful recipes, it seems as though the original intent of the blog really no longer exists which makes me more comfortable giving it up.  While it is something I've really enjoyed and something I'll probably miss,( I love Paleo and I love cooking and get so excited about sharing it!).  I'm also looking forward to what's ahead, I trust that in being obedient to the what I feel the Lord is leading me to do it will be a blessing.  I want to thank you all so much for following my blog, it's been an honor and a privilege, I've really enjoyed sharing the gift it is to us with you all.  But I know I really need to focus my energy else where and not have the distraction of the blog.  Honestly I think it will be more profitable for for me to put the same time and energy into studying the word and encouraging my husband, children and friends in the word, that I've been putting into studying Paleo.  Children grow so quickly and I want mine to know my focus is on the word and them, not on Paleo.  Yes, Paleo is a way we eat to be healthy but...it is not our life.  Best wishes to you all in your Paleo journey,  I will leave you with a list of blogs you may be interested in following if you're not already.  There is no shortage of great blogs or great recipes out there, I do however, want to preface my list by saying that not all of them share my beliefs or standards, some have inappropriate language but wonderful recipes and I enjoy them for just that (skipping the reading and just using the recipes).  Again thank you all for your support, I really appreciate it.  God Bless.

Sincerely,
Sheilla Salinger

http://robbwolf.com

http://everydaypaleo.com

http://whole9life.com

http://beta.primal-palate.com

http://www.growinguppaleo.com

http://balancedbites.com

http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com

http://paleoslowcooking.com

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz28IehMrq7

http://paleoparents.com

http://www.thepaleomom.com

http://www.thefoodieandthefamily.com

http://paleocomfortfoods.com

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com

http://nomnompaleo.com

http://jensgonepaleo.blogspot.com

http://www.paleomagonline.com

http://fastpaleo.com

http://www.paleodigest.com

http://paleomg.com

http://cavegirleats.com/?ref=akagunduz.com

http://www.cleaneatsinthezoo.com/

http://www.chowstalker.com

http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-diet-recipes/




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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate Pecan/Almond Nut Butter

I posted some pictures of this the other day on Facebook, and promised to get a recipe posted.  So... here it is!  I will preface this post by saying this, please do not expect this to taste like Nutella, funny thing is I really don't even know what Nutella tastes like!  I know funny, huh?  I've just never really eaten it, but this stuff is addicting and we LOVE it, I hope you will too!  And it's very simple to make and I have to confess, we have been eating it by the spoonful mostly (it's that good).


Still warm and fresh from the food processor.

Chocolate Pecan/Almond Butter


1 cup raw almonds
1 cup unroasted pecans
2 TBSP cocoa powder
1 TBSP honey (this can be adjusted up or down to your liking)
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Coconut oil (use a good one so you get that nice coconut flavor coming through)
2 tsp. real vanilla extract
Splash of almond extract (if desired, we really like it this way)
small pinch of sea salt if desired
pinch of ground cayenne pepper

Turn your oven on to 375 and allow to preheat.  Place almonds in a jelly roll pan and roast in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until nicely roasted.  You could roast your pecans also, but I didn't.  Remove the almonds from the oven and let cool just a few minutes, then add them to a food processor along with the other ingredients.  Let it run, stirring if necessary (a couple of times), until it is your desired consistency, it should look and sound runny, it'll thicken up a bit in the fridge.  That's it, really simple and easy.

This is the food processor I'm using if you're interested (Costco also sells it I believe):
Cuisinart 11-cup Food Processor
For the Roasted Almond Butter, here is the link to an earlier post on how to make your own nut butters, it's really fun to experiment with all the different nuts and seeds.http://budgetpaleo.blogspot.com/2012/06/how-to-make-your-own-almond-meal-and.html


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Friday, August 17, 2012

New and Improved Fluffy and Tasty GF and Paleo Pancakes!

So this morning is the morning of my grocery shopping day, I only shop once a week and sometimes by the end of that time we are running low on nearly everything.  This is one of those weeks, yesterday was my actual grocery day, but I was feeling worn out and decided to postpone it until today.  When we got up this morning the kids (4 younger ones) all wanted pancakes.  No problem I thought, I'll just whip up a batch of my Tasty Grain Free Pancakes, only problem was I didn't have any sparking water left.  What to do, so I subbed in some canned full fat coconut milk and the results were even better than the original!  Maybe some of you have already tried this but if you haven't I really suggest trying it.  They are extra thick and fluffy, and mmmm, so good!  The other thing I like about these is that this addition will make them "stick with" my kids longer giving them more energy for their day.  Here is the revised recipe I hope you enjoy it:



Tasty Grain Free Pancakes
Serves 4-6

2 cups almond meal
4 eggs
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk from a can (I use Organic Native Forests)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1-2 TBSP maple syrup (optional, but it will affect the taste greatly if you don't) 
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon (optional, I like to use Saigon Cinnamon)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda (measure scant, closer to 3/4)

In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.  Then add the all the remaining wet ingredients and mix to combine, then using a hand mixer beat the batter ingredients for 1 minute, this will help make a fluffier batter and better pancakes.  Set aside and preheat your griddle to about 325 degrees (depending on your griddle).  Grease your griddle well with coconut oil and pour the batter making small-medium size pancakes, turning when they start to bubble.  I like to top them with some applesauce and berries, but you may top them with whatever you like.  


* You may halve this recipe for 2-3 people if you would like.  But if I were you I would make them all and then you can just pull them out of the fridge as needed.* 

Yum!






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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Asian Pork

Slow Cooker Asian Pork   
  I tried a new recipe last night that I found on chowstalkers, it's from the blog, http://hollywouldifshecould.net/2011/04/easy-weeknight-paleo-crockpot-recipe/
It's really quite good, there are just a few changes I made to make it more to our liking.  
And I might add, that last night it was nice and juicy, but today it seems to need a sauce.  I think that my Faux Thai "Peanut" Sauce, makes it even better!  With those few changes it's a winner.  I used Pork Sirloin Roast and cooked it for 5-6 hours on low, shredded it,  put it back in the crock pot and cooked for about another 30 minutes on high.  Then served it, we liked it with grated cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced almonds and chopped cilantro.  Oh and a dash more of the hot chili sauce, yummy!

Here is the modified version of her recipe:






For the meat:
2-3 lbs of pork shoulder or any type of pork roast 
Liberally salt and pepper
 3 smashed whole garlic cloves.

For the sauce:
Mix all of the following:
4 TBS Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup Almond Butter 
1 TBS Honey 
2 TBS Vinegar (I used the Bragg's apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 TBS A Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper sauce 
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1 TBS minced ginger 

Recipe 
 Put prepared meat in crockpot, with the salt, pepper and garlic.  Combine ingredients for the sauce and pour over the meat. Then set it on low and forget it.  She suggests 4-6 hours, I found mine took about 6-7 hours.   I cook mine, shred it and put it back in for another 1/2 hour.   That's it, you can prepare all of your toppings or garnishes before hand to save time to, and the leftovers make great leftovers for lunch.  I even like it cold the next day!

When it is done cooking serve a top your favorite garnish.  You can use whatever toppings you would like these are just some suggestions-- jicama, cilantro, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, green onions, sliced almonds,Kelp noodles, etc.. 

 Toppings

 Ingredients I used
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

My journey with Lyme Disease...

I posted this over on my Facebook page a few days ago, and thought I would share it over here too.


It's been a rough week for me with the Lyme's, okay, more like a rough month. I have lot's of ideas, thoughts, even recipes etc. I would love to write in a post(s). However, I am having to adjust my priorities right now, the blog is way down on the list behind, my husband, children, friends etc., as I have such limited energy right now. My other little hurdle is the arm pain I've been suffering
 makes typing and writing for any amount of time painful, so for now I am focusing on my primary vocations (that of serving and caring for my family), and on resting and getting healthy. I am so thankful for all the prayers and support I have. Without the Lord, my husband and faithful friends, I don't know what I would do. I was reminded of the hymn, Count Your Many Blessings, this week and I have to say, it's so true, what we focus on can make or break us. Even in the midst of struggle most of us can find something to be grateful for. May you be blessed with a restful weekend enjoying your many blessings. 


When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your Lord on high.

So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Divine Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Cake (Grain Free and Paleo Friendly)


My youngest had his 3rd birthday last weekend and to celebrate I made him this beautiful and tasty Paleo/ Grain Free cake!  The actually dark chocolate cake recipe is not mine so I will include a link to it along with the changes I made, we really enjoyed it and hope you do to!

DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE:  I used this recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen, the only modifications that I made where the following;  I reduced the honey to 3/4 cup (we have a wonderful mild local honey) and added in 1/4 cup of coffee liquor (which is a simple sugar syrup with coffee and vodka essentially).

 Strawberry Syrup Filling: I made a "syrup" of 4 cups chopped strawberries and 1/2 cup raw honey.  I pureed them in the blender and then poured it into a saucepan.  Brought it to a boil, reduced the heat and simmered until it was my desired consistency. You will have extra you can use on pancakes or ice cream if you like.  I then set it aside and let it cool a bit while I made the Ganache.

Ganache: 12 ounces dark chocolate broken into pieces 
( I used 85% dark Lindt Chocolate)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP coffee liquor (optional)
splash of vanilla (optional)

Break chocolate into a medium glass bowl.  Pour the whipping cream and coffee liquor into a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate pieces stirring until melted and glossy.  Cool for a glaze or if you would like to use it more like a frosting or for piping, chill it in the fridge until desired consistency.  Pour over the cake or spread to frost and you are ready to go!

Whipped Cream Filling: You may use whipped coconut milk cream for the filling or real dairy whipped cream ( I used dairy whipped cream).  Here are a few resources for Whipped coconut milk/cream recipes if you don't have one of your own.  You may choose to sweeten it slightly with honey or maple syrup or leave it plain, it's entirely up to you and what you prefer.

Additional Thinly Sliced Strawberries:  I sliced up some strawberries to use in the filling, the amount will vary depending on your preference.

ASSEMBLY: First bake your cake and let it cool completely.  Then make the Strawberry Syrup and set it aside to let it cool. Make the Ganache and set it aside to cool also.  While they are both cooling make some stiff whipped cream and slice up some fresh organic strawberries.  Then using a cake leveler divide each cake round into two cakes, you will go from 2 to 4 cake layers. 
Small Wilton Cake Leveler I used.

Place your first cake layer on the plate and top with some whipped cream, then top with some fresh strawberries and finish that off with some strawberry syrup.  Then place another cake layer on and repeated the steps until you get to the 4th cake layer.  Pour the ganache over the cake or spread to frost and finish it off by decorating it with some fresh  strawberries (if desired).

We enjoyed this with homemade Non-dairy Strawberry Ice Cream topped with some leftover strawberry syrup.  It taste amazing, it looks rich but it's not it's nice and light and not to sweet.  The guys in my family enjoyed more than one piece because it wasn't super sweet, and they also gave it a hearty thumbs up.  Hope you enjoy it too!




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Flourless Chocolate Torte for Special Occasions Grain Free and Paleo friendly

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is only for special occasions and is most certainly a real treat.   One I think you will find those who are not Paleo enjoy too.  I made this for a very special dinner we had last night with dinner guests who are not Paleo, and they LOVED it, even called it restaurant quality, so I think it must be pretty good!  I know it's been a favorite of mine for about a year, especially when I have an event or gathering of people with varied diets.  It is a remake of a recipe from here:
http://masteringtheartofpaleocooking.com/2011/01/25/flourless-chocolate-cake/, please follow the link if you are interested in the original recipe.  I have reduced the maple syrup, changed the coconut oil to butter (better texture and I'm allergic to coconut), added some vanilla and dash of cayenne and the end product is crazy good and super quick and easy to make!


Grain Free/Paleo Flourless Chocolate Torte

18 ounces of bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (I used 1-10 ounce bag of Ghirardelli bitterest chocolate chips and 1 full cup of Guitards dark chocolate chips each contain just 6 grams of sugar per serving)

1 cup of butter (or 2 sticks)

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 TBSP water

6 eggs

1/2-3/4 tsp real vanilla extract 

large pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.  In a double boiler melt the chocolate and butter.  Remove from heat and beat into the chocolate mixture the water and maple syrup.  Then adding the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and cayenne pepper and mix well.   Grease a 9" spring form pan, wrap the bottom of the pan with a sheet of foil and place the springform pan in a larger pan (square or rectangle, I use my roasting pan).  Pour the cake batter into the springform pan and then pour water into just the roasting pan, being sure not to spill into the cake.  You are going to cook the cake in a water bath so you want the water to go about 1/2 way up the side of the cake pan.  Put in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until done in the middle (my oven usually takes a bit longer than that suggested time), cool to room temperature or about 1 hour and then chill for a minimum of about 5 hours.  Serve with whipped cream, whipped coconut cream or some homemade vanilla ice cream and raspberries for a real treat!
Plated and ready to enjoy!


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick and Easy Homemade Non-Dairy Strawberry Ice Cream

We were at our friends cabin recently, it was very, very, hot and ice cream was sounding really good.  I came up with this quick and easy version of non-dairy strawberry ice cream for my kids.  Since we were on vacation it was one of those times I didn't want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can have delicious ice cream bursting with Strawberry flavor with out requiring much time or work and only takes a few ingredients.




QUICK AND EASY NON-DAIRY STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM


1 1/2- 2 cups roughly chopped ripe organic strawberries
1 can full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest because they have no BPA in their cans)
1/2 cup raw local honey (mine has a very mild flavor, so adjust accordingly)
1 tsp vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend briefly.  Pour into a glass bowl and chill in the refrigerator a minimum of 6 hours.  After your mixture has chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and chill for the amount of time your manufacturer suggests.  I have a Cuisinart (the kind where you just freeze the bowl and don't use ice), it only takes about 15- 20 minutes to churn a batch of delicious ice cream.  It's that simple and very refreshing!


Ingredients for Non-dairy Strawberry Ice Cream



My favorite Ice Cream maker, love this thing!

*Note* My apologies for the poor quality photos, I left my good camera at the cabin unfortunatly.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Journey to Health Continues...I have what???

I'm going to preface this by making a disclaimer that I am not a Doctor, nor do I have any medical training, this is not intended to be taken as medical advice.  Please seek the counsel and treatment of a certified medical Doctor for that.  That said here is what's been happening in my life.



I haven't been writing much lately about CrossFit, our my health, because, well...I have really been struggling with my health to the point where I couldn't work out anymore.  It all started last June,  I went from being in the best shape of my life, feeling strong, healthy, etc., working out consistently, hitting Personal Records for my lifts, running 5-6 miles two to three times a week, being a CrossFit Coach/trainer and part owner of a CrossFit box and then "it" hit.  


Before my decline.
At first it was body aches, fatigue,brain fog, insomnia, and I just thought I had overtrained and was suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, as the summer went on it would only get worse.   I finally sought out medical help in August because I was starting to have muscle weakness, headaches and the joint pain was getting worse.  At that point in my life a CrossFit workout would totally wipe me out, and a 3 mile run felt like running with lead in my legs.  My conventional Dr. ran a few blood test (mainly looking at autoimmune and thyroid), when those came back acceptable, she just said well you either have Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia and prescribed anti-depressants.  I wasn't satisfied with that and felt like she really didn't care about getting to the bottom of what was really going on, so I said no thank you on the antidepressants and moved on. 

Beginning of the decline.
Shortly after that I had an opportunity to do something many of you have probably never heard of, I know I hadn't, it's called, Biosignature Modulation.  Which by the way, is not something I necessarily  recommend but at the time it seemed like a good idea and it certainly didn't hurt.   In fact all the supplements and protocols probably helped some.  I started that program in September and ended in late November, while I made some improvement, it wasn't much and really probably only because I was forced to back off on my workouts.  Because during that same 3 months I was also battling a back injury that just wouldn't heal.  During that time I was also under a tremendous amount of stress relating to our business partnership, so we kept chalking a lot of it up to stress and the assumed Adrenal Fatigue.  


January came and I started trying to work out again, but every time I did it just seemed to be to much for me, and I would feel ill for a few days or maybe a week.  Still we chalked it up to Adrenal Fatigue and marched on, we backed of the intensity of my workouts, putting rest periods in frequently and shortened the length.  


Run/walking a 2 mile fun run with my kids, March 12, 2012
Then February 9, I was involved in an auto accident, which really set me back physically.  Once again I was unable to workout while I went through chiropractic, and massage therapy to recover from the accident.  I think I was doing some light running by late February maybe, and no lifting or Crossfit.   But by April I was the worst I'd been and we just couldn't figure out why I couldn't get better, still we thought it was stress as things with the business partnership were coming to a head (and as a result ending).  
My husband had been encouraging me for 3 months to go see a Naturopath, and by April I was ready!!   I had finally had enough of being sick and told my husband, I am tired of trying to figure this out on my own and tired of trying every herbal treatment known to man for Adrenal Fatigue!  So I called a local Naturopaths office and scheduled an appointment. I had found out about her through an old friend and Facebook acquaintance when we thought we were dealing with Adrenal Fatigue.  This person had great success with treatment for Adrenal Fatigue from their own local Naturopath and suggested that a Naturopath might be able to help me recover.  


I had my first appointment with my new Naturopathic Dr. in late May and after sitting with me and listening for about 1 1/2 hours, she looked at me and said "Do you want to know what I think it is?", and I said "well, yes!! "   She said "I  think you have Lyme Disease", I was shocked, and in disbelief.  Sure I had been bitten by a tick but it had been nearly 8 years since then.  Turns out that 50% of people don't even know they were bit, and that it's also possible ticks are not the only way Lyme disease is transported.  I still didn't really think that was what I had, and postponed getting the blood test she had ordered.   That was until I read a chapter on Lyme Disease in the book If Naturopaths Are Quacks Then I Must Be a Duck (written by PhD, CTN, Shauna K Young) .  It was then that I thought, wow, maybe this is what I have and immediately went the next day to have the blood test done.   


Backpacking in the Trinity Alps
with my husband Aug. 2012
something I hope to do again
when my health improves.
It turns out I tested positive for both antibodies, confirming her suspicion and giving us some answers to the mystery of why I just could not seem to get better, I have Lyme Disease.  The good news is, that thanks to my Paleo diet (which helps reduce inflamation), all the herbs and supplements I had been taking to support my adrenals, and my previous physical fitness, I am not as bad off as I could be.  It makes me so grateful when I start reading how bad my symptoms could have been, grateful for a diagnosis and treatment (which I am just now starting) but most of all I am so thankful and grateful for the Lords mercy on me!  And for his infinite wisdom, to have given me the Paleo diet and CrossFit to make me strong and healthy coming into all this.  And that he gave me a supportive family to bear this with.

My family December 2012
 I trust that my heavenly Father has me, my health and my family in his hands.  The ways he has provided for us continues to astound me, for example the Dr. I am seeing does not take insurance, we can  submit to our insurance directly, but we also have a very high deductible, so right now all the tests, visits, medications, etc. are out of pocket.   All this could be a huge drain on our finances,"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:19. And guess what, he has provided a wonderful opportunity for my husband to have lot's of extra work doing construction this summer, a way to pay for all these medical bills!  Thank you Lord!  So while we were hoping to put that money towards buying a house, it will go towards helping me regain my health, we are so grateful for the way he provides for us.  


During one of my "come backs" this winter.
As far as working out, right now I get to walk, and maybe do some heavy weight lifting (nothing that gets my heart rate up), because along with the Lyme disease, I am also dealing with low Cortisol levels, low thyroid levels, and low iron stores, all of which she thinks we will see remedy itself by treating the Lyme Disease (except for the Iron).  And as for my future in CrossFit?  I don't know, but  I do hope that in sharing my experience and process of healing that it may be able to help someone else. I believe everything happens for a purpose,  maybe it will increase awareness of Lyme Disease and someone will go, that's me, I think I have Lyme's, I'm going to push for a diagnosis or maybe I will be used to encourage someone, I really don't know how Lyme in my life will be used!  I can say that it has increased my faith and made me cry out to the Lord more than ever!  I hope that by getting more information out about Lyme it will benefit someone.  It often takes people years to be accurately diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and with Lyme the sooner it's treated the better so while I know this has been a long read, please take the time to read through the following symptoms of Lyme Disease for the sake of yourself and/or someone you may know.   I would also love to hear from any of you who may be battling Lyme Disease or whom have battled and won over Lyme disease, if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment.   Thank you!


Courtesy of: http://www.canlyme.com/tickslg.jpg
What is Lyme Disease? 
 This is taken directly from American Lyme Disease Association: http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml#symptoms


The early symptoms of LD can be mild and easily overlooked. People who are aware of the risk of LD in their communities and who do not ignore the sometimes subtle early symptoms are most likely to seek medical attention and treatment early enough to be assured of a full recovery.

The first symptom is usually an expanding rash(called erythema migrans, or EM, in medical terms) which is thought to occur in 80% to 90% of all LD cases. An EM rash generally has the following characteristics:

  • Usually (but not always) radiates from the site of the tickbite
  • Appears either as a solid red expanding rash or blotch, OR a central spot surrounded by clear skin that is in turn ringed by an expanding red rash (looks like a bull's-eye)
  • Appears an average of 1 to 2 weeks (range = 3 to 30 days) after disease transmission
  • Has an average diameter of 5 to 6 inches
    (range = 2 inches to 2 feet)
  • Persists for about 3 to 5 weeks
  • May or may not be warm to the touch
  • Is usually not painful or itchy
EM rashes appearing on brown-skinned or sun-tanned patients may be more difficult to identify because of decreased contrast between light-skinned tones and the red rash. A dark, bruise-like appearance is more common on dark-skinned patients.

Ticks will attach anywhere on the body, but prefer body creases such as the armpit, groin, back of the knee, and nape of the neck; rashes will therefore often appear in (but are not restricted to) these areas. Please note that multiple rashes may, in some cases, appear elsewhere on the body some time after the initial rash, or, in a few cases, in the absence of an initial rash.

Around the time the rash appears, other symptoms such as joint pains, chills, fever, and fatigue are common, but they may not seem serious enough to require medical attention. These symptoms may be brief, only to recur as a broader spectrum of symptoms as the disease progresses.

As the LD spirochete continues spreading through the body, a number of other symptoms including severe fatigue, a stiff, aching neck, and peripheral nervous system (PNS) involvement such as tingling or numbness in the extremities or facial palsy (paralysis) can occur.

The more severe, potentially debilitating symptoms of later-stage LD may occur weeks, months, or, in a few cases, years after a tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis and swelling of joints, cardiac abnormalities, and central nervous system (CNS) involvement leading to cognitive (mental) disorders.

The following is a checklist of common symptoms seen in various stages of LD:

Localized Early (Acute) Stage:
  • Solid red or bull's-eye rash, usually at site of bite
  • Swelling of lymph glands near tick bite
  • Generalized achiness
  • Headache
Early Disseminated Stage:
  • Two or more rashes not at site of bite
  • Migrating pains in joints/tendons
  • Headache
  • Stiff, aching neck
  • Facial palsy (facial paralysis similar to Bell's palsy)
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Multiple enlarged lymph glands
  • Abnormal pulse
  • Sore throat
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever of 100 to 102 F
  • Severe fatigue
Late Stage:
  • Arthritis (pain/swelling) of one or two large joints
  • Disabling neurological disorders (disorientation; confusion; dizziness; short-term memory loss; inability to concentrate, finish sentences or follow conversations; mental "fog") 
  • Numbness in arms/hands or legs/feet
Here is another great resource for information on Lyme 
Disease, on the CDC website.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Grain Free/Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I actually made this recipe about 4-6 weeks ago now but just kept forgetting to get it posted, hopefully strawberries are still in season in your area (they are in ours) and you are still able to enjoy some of this goodness.  My grown up sons really liked this one a lot, which means it gets a high rating (they are harder to please).  Please feel free to adjust he ratios of rhubarb and strawberries to what you like.   I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!







Grain Free/ "Paleo" Rhubarb Crisp

4-5 cups (or about 5 stalks) rhubarb
5-6 cups organic strawberries (halved or quartered, depending on size)
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

For the Crumble Top:
4 cups almond meal
1 1/2  cups finely chopped pecans
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup butter or coconut oil ( I prefer butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large town and mix well.  Grease a 9x13 inch pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.   Pour fruit mixture into prepared pan.  Combine dry ingredients for crumble topping, mixing well, then add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Using your hands crumble the topping over the fruit and place in the oven.  I bake mine one rack lower than the middle of the oven so that the fruit get's done and the top doesn't over brown.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the top is nicely browned and crisp.   
Serve warm with whipping cream or some homemade coconut milk ice cream.

Berries and rhubarb ready to get mixed up and go in the pan.

Rhubarb Crisp baked and ready to enjoy.
Plated and ready to enjoy!


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