Paleo Goulash (fridge dump opportunity!!!)

GOULASH

Goulash is typically a soup or stew of meat, noodles & vegetables. In this case, meat, yes, veggies, yes, noodles, NO! So here is a variation of this popular dish. The fun thing about it is that I make it different every time!! This gives me an opportunity to use up those extra things in the fridge!! I am going to give you this last recipe that I made, with some other variations of course! This recipe makes a lot, perfect for dinner, then lunch…maybe breakfast?! WHATEVER! Yum! I love it!

Paleo Goulash:

1lb pork sausage (I crumbled up a pack of Longhini Sweet Sausage Patties)

1lb ground beef (or you can use turkey or bison, super yummy!!)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large head green cabbage, chopped or shredded

(**Sometimes I also add some chopped carrots, celery or mushrooms! Play around!)

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like mine extra saucy, you can omit this can if you choose!)

(**Make sure your cans of tomato products are salt free with no other junk added!)

4 TBSP apple cider vinegar ( I like extra!)

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

S&P

In a large pot, cook the sausage, beef or turkey & onion in some EVOO over med heat until no longer pink. If you have a lot of extra grease, drain it, if not, leave it in there! Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer, covered (stirring occassionally) for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll want your cabbage (and other veggies if you added them) to be tender! *I typically serve mine over the Cauli-Rice with some Flax Bread! DELISH!!! ❤

Roasted Beets & Brussel Sprouts…

BEETS

To be honest….. I do not LOVEEEEE beets….. I am trying, I am. I make them & eat them a lot actually, trying to just acquire the taste. (Beet chips tho?!? Those are whats up!) I’m getting there! Beets are a great source of vitamins & minerals. They actually have cleansing properties for the liver & your blood! Super great source of energy & great for your mental health! (I swear….look it up!)  I had some beets & brussel sprouts in the fridge…had to cook them so they didn’t go bad. So here is what I came up with! & mighty tasty for that matter! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Roasted Beets & Brussel Sprouts:

2 cups Brussel sprouts (destemmed, halved or quartered)
3 medium sized beets (peeled, chopped into small Cubes
About 4 minced garlic cloves
Salt & pepper
Rosemary or Italian seasoning (or both)

Preheat oven to 400. Place beets & sprouts in a mixing bowl. Add enough olive oil just to lightly coat the veggies. Add in your seasoning & toss!! Put on a foiled or greased baking sheet & bake for about 35-40 minutes until tender. These are also super tasty as leftovers on top of a salad! YUM! Enjoy ❤

Naturally Clean!!

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Americans use 35 million pounds of toxic household cleaning products per year! Is that insane or what?! I know for me, it used to be nothing to just grab the cheapest bottle of all-purpose cleaner or anything of that sort…not paying attention to what I am actually spraying all over EVERYTHING.. Not to mention breathing in & probably ingesting! It’s been shown that traces of cleaning chemicals can be found throughout the body almost immodestly after exposure! Asthma, hormone disorders, death, cancer, allergies & more are among the risks! Ohhhhh myyyyyy gawdddddd! I know I don’t want Paige or my little freshy boo (Niko) to be around this stuff! (Or Doug & myself!) The best way to ensure you know exactly what is in your cleaning products, is to make them yourself! I know what you’re thinking.. “This girl is nuts….” Well you may be right, BUT making your own cleaning products is super simple & super CHEAP! Hellllooooo did u hear meeeee?!? All natural, simple, CHEAP! You have no excuse. I’ve already posted my All Natural Laundry Soap (that’s my fav!) Here are some other simple things I use commonly as cleaning agents, alone or mixed with other ingredients. (We’ll get to that…)

White Vinegar: cuts grease, deodorizes, cleans, disinfects against bacteria, viruses & mold. And I believe you can get a huge container for like $1!

Baking Soda: whitens, cleans, neutralizes odors. Awesome for bathroom and kitchen (refrigerator) cleaning! Oh & teeth whitening!!!!! 🙂

Baking Soda Super Washing Soda: in the regular baking soda family. This cousin helps removed stains and can be a very heave duty cleaner. You’ll find this in my laundry soap recipe! Yes sir!

Borax: a natural mineral. Bumps up laundry soap as well (including mine) Borax is non carcinogenic, but should still be kept away from kiddies & animals!

Lemon juice: cuts through grease & grime, gets rid of mold & bacteria. Leaves a fresh scent!

Essential oils: can tend to be a little pricey, but a few drops can add fragrance to laundry soap and cleaners. Tea tree, eucalyptus & lavender oils all have antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal properties! Sign me up!

Castille soap: my new fav! Can come in a liquid or bar form. It’s an all natural, vegetable based product made primarily of coconut and olive oils. This soap can come in a variety of yummy all natural scents! This product is VERY concentrated so it will last a long time. It can be used for almost EVERYTHING, face wash, veggie wash, counter cleaner, shampoo, soap, floor cleaner…it’s incredible! One thing about this product tho is that is doesn’t mix very well with vinegar, so when making concoctions in your kitchen I would avoid these two together!

Here are a few of my favorite staple household products!

Furniture Polish:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil

*Mix together & shake before each use! Use a microfiber cloth to dust & shine!

All Purpose Cleaner:

  • 1 1/2 cups distilled water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops lemon oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil

**Mix together, should be stored in glass, oils can breakdown plastic over time.

All Purpose Cleaner or Bathroom Cleaner:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 liters distilled water
  • 20 drops lemon oil

*Mix together, good for soapy scum in the shower among other all-purpose uses!

Fruit & Veggie Cleaner:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup filtered or distilled water

Mix together is a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray onto produce & let sit for 10 minutes. Then rinse. ** Don’t forget that fruits with skin (cantaloupe, orange, etc) should be washed as well =) I

Glass Cleaner:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (some people have issues with this, you can use unflavored high-proof vodka also)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (weird i know!!)
  • 2 cups distilled water

**Mix together, use black & white newspaper or a coffee filter & clean on a cloudy day!!!! ❤

I can go on & on about different recipes I have found or tried! These are some of the basics. I am dying to make a good hand and dish soap!!!!! I’m not there yet =( ….. I didn’t even touch on my new fav Castille Liquid Soap which has tons of uses on its own! (Pretty much just mixing castille soap with water, 1/2 tsp of soap to 2 cups water, can do anything!!! I will touch on that another time =) I would love to hear some concoctions you guys come up with! Happy Cleaning! ❤

& just for fun…

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**borrowed the image =)

Paleo Plantain Pancakes

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What’s better for breakfast than pancakes?!?! Hmm…nothing! Well, if you are a paleo enthusiast, this may not be on your menu… fortunately for all of the creative minds out there (i suppose i can be in that category ;-)), we have all of these fabulous substitutes! Since the second I started living the Paleo dream, I’ve tried to create & recreate some of my favorite foods! I have tried & made so many pancake recipes along the way. This one…. THIS ONE IS AWESOME! They are easy to make, easy to store, golden brown, fluffy, deliciousness. Mmm Mmm Mmmmmmmm!!! I mostly like to make these for Paige. She is a pancakeaholic… & these do the trick! I love when I score like this! After checking out a bunch of other recipes & ideas, here is what we have! Enjoy!

Paleo Plantain Pancakes

Makes about 26 med size pancakes. I like to freeze extras for backup! Feel free to 1/2 recipe for less!

4 plantains (carefully peeled & chopped,I used green & mine were starting to get SLIGHTLY soft/ripe)

8 eggs

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

6 TBSP coconut oil, melted

a couple shakes of cinnamon

*Feel free to add any mix-ins of your choice! Coconut, walnuts, raisins, apples, bananas, chocolate chips….you get the idea?!?! =)

Preheat your pan or griddle to med/high heat. (I like to cook in bulk.. quickly!) In a food processor, add all of the ingredients & puree until smooth. Drop batter onto greased griddle or pan, let cook for a few minutes until you see the bubbles & starts to get dry around the edges. Flip & cook for another minute or so. Enjoy these beauties with some grass-fed or coconut butter. Maybe a little honey?? Go to town my darlings! These freeze well too for easy breakfasts! ❤

 

Super Loaded Paleo Power/Breakfast Bar!!!

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This little square of pure deliciousness happened because of someone at the gym had given me a YES Bar…never heard of them..they say “Paleo Friendly” so that’s exciting!!!! He gave it to me (so nice!!!) & told me that I could probably make it! (But could I?!?!) I thought it was delicious, but I wanted to change a few things! (Of course right?! Can’t just leave well enough alone!) So, this inspired me to create my own! (& it’s cheaper :-)) So here is my version of a loaded delicious paleo power bar… & what’s even more exciting… NO BAKING NECCESSARY! 🙂

Super Loaded Paleo Power/Breakfast Bar:

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 cup raw unsalted almond
1 cup raw, shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup raw, shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cups dried cranberries (unsweetened or fruit juice sweetened!)
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup coconut butter
alittle over 1/4 cup coconut oil
One generous TBSP raw honey
2 tsp cinnamon

Okkkkkk for the directions…. First ill have you know I actually paid attention to how much I was using of each ingredient so I could give actual measurements instead of… A handful of this or dashhhh of that! Hah! Well here we go! In your food processor, add the nuts, sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds, pulse until you have a chunky consistency, (not a fine flour consistency). Dump that into a large bowl, add flax seeds, chia seeds cranberries & cinnamon. Stir to combine. Then in a microwave safe bowl (I used a large Pyrex measuring cup), add the tahini, coconut oil, coconut butter & raw honey. Microwave or heat on stovetop In a small pot, until everything is liquified & combined! Add liquid to dry mix and mix REALLY well!!! You may need to use your hands for this! (If still seems alittle dry, add another tbsp or 2 of melted coconut oil, alttle at a time… u might NOT need this) After thoroughly combined, line a 9×13 glass Pyrex dish with wax or parchment paper, spread out mixture from edge to edge & pack down firmly! Put in freezer for an hour + until firm & cold. Take out, lift out parchment & cut to size! Store in refrigerator! 🙂 Makes about 20 good size bars! Enjoy!

Spice it up!

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When it comes to choosing spices to add to your meals or recipes, we have a lot to choose from! Even while in the grocery store, it can tend to be overwhelming! What some people don’t realize is that while spices make your dishes far more delicious, some spices are incredibly good for your body! Here are some yummy spices that I use almost every day!!

  • Tumeric: this spice contains antioxidants & anti-inflammatorys that can reduce depression. It also helps reduce the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels that form fat which helps lower body fat. This comes in a fresh root or powder form.
  • Ginger: Ginger contains a natural anti-inflammatory that helps muscle recovery time! This spice helps soothe & relax cranky tummies & our intestinal tract! Has also shown to suppress appetite & kick start metabolism! Also has shown to ease those “monthly cramps” (ladieeess??????) Stir into your shakes, or add in with some all natural apricot preserves with your pork chops! You can find it in a fresh root or powder form. YUM!
  • Cumin: Can reduce blood pressure, simply because this spice adds so much flavor that less or no salt is needed, so less bloat! =) Also, it has a good amount of iron & helps kill bacteria found in meat! Super yummy on chicken, pork, steak, sweet potato fries, really anything! This is my FAVORITE SPICE!
  • Cayenne: Helps in weight loss as it decreases calorie intake, shrinks fat tissue & lowers blood fat levels! The main ingredient for the hotness factor in this spice is Capsaicin. This substance has been studied for its pain relieving effects, cardiovascular benefits & even ulcer prevention! One more obvious bonus…thouroughloy cleared nasal passages after a good dose of cayenne! (c’mon we’ve all been there….)
  • Cinnamon: I do not even know where to begin with this magical ingredient. It can help regulate blood sugar along with helping to maintain bone density because it provides manganese. Has shown to aid in metabolism boosting as well! Has also been proven to help yeast infections, help with the stomach bug, IBS, even arthritis & depression!!!!! I buy this baby in bulk & I take it in EVERY DAY!

**I make a smoothie almost every day for breakfast. In every single smoothie, I put cinnamon, ginger, & tumeric!! Makes it taste delish & I love the benefits! Also, these added spices make your food taste more delicious & satisfying, also reduces the need to salt for flavor!! =) Start spicing it up! ❤

Paleo is Gluten Free, Gluten Free is NOT Paleo…

Hey all,

Just wanted to do a little informational piece on this common misconception. I know it’s tempting to grab a box of those delicious chewy looking GLUTEN FREE chocolate chip cookies when you go into the grocery store, but think again! There is a common error in our thoughts about gluten. Obviously we want to avoid & eliminate gluten from our diets, that’s a big part of the Paleo Lifestyle, but going “gluten-free” is definitely not going to help us lose weight, stay lean or stay healthy! Eliminating this nemesis has to be in conjunction with a diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, some fruits..you get it?! (i.e. PALEO). Simply grabbing a gluten-free treat from the store is not going to cut it, nor does it have any nutritional value or any place in your body. Plus, in some (or most) cases, when they eliminate gluten from a product, they add all sorts of extra additives to make it tasty (sugar, artificial sweeteners & some other things I can’t pronounce). I just wanted to touch upon that quickly before getting into some yucky gluten info (EEK!)

Check out some of these labels to give you an idea:

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They are kind of hard to see, but among the cane juice, confectionary sugar, cornstarch, you’ll find a plethora of ingredients I bet you have NEVER heard of. Check out the one on the bottom right…. CHEMICAL SHITSTORM!

Gluten  is a protein found in foods processed from wheat and other grains, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Gluten can be found in many products, from the obvious, bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, to beauty & health products, beverages (beer), ice creams, salad dressings & much more! It’s a sneaky little guy. With all these fabulous little treats comes a darling little problem… Celiacs & Non Celiacs Gluten Sensitivity. (very similar, except non celiac sensitivity doesn’t have such a horrible effect on intestines like someone with Celiacs) Loooooord help us! These both include similar symptoms from, cramping & bloating, to rashes & diarrhea. It doesn’t end there unfortunately. Gluten has shown to be responsible for a number of other issues, such as migraines, fatigue, obesity,  gastrointestinal problems, cancer (AHH) &  infertility (oh em gee). So typically “gluten-free” items are geared towards those with a particular sensitivity, not the people who are really focusing on eating clean. Paleo on the other hand, is a wholesome & nutritious way of eating. It is awesome for our body & brain & can help to reduce your risk for chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer & even Alzheimers. (CRAZY!!)

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**Moral of the story, other than Gluten being bad, just because something says “gluten-free” does NOT mean it’s the answer to all of your health & dietary problems. It will NOT be beneficial in ANY way. Gluten free snacks, cookies, cakes, pasta, brownies, flours, etc, are typically loaded up with extra garbage & can sabotage our healthy lifestyles. Once in a while is not going to kill you, but just BE AWARE!!!!! YOU CAN NOT EAT LIKE CRAP & EXPECT TO FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD OR PERFORM BETTER. This goes for normal foods full of gluten & our sneaky little “gluten-free” friends. Now I know you must be thinking….”Well, uhh, don’t you bake Paleo Treats ALL OF THE GD TIME?! Yes I do, & yes there are “gluten-free” & “paleo”, but they are also: refined sugar-free, dairy free, iodized salt free, & HARMFUL CHEMICAL FREE. Even with all of those delicious bonuses, my PALEO TREATS ARE ALSO MEANT TO BE EATEN IN MODERATION PEOPLE!!!!!=) Focus on REAL FOOD…meats, fish, veggies, seeds, nuts, fruits…. the gooooooood stuff….& of course my Paleo Baked Goods every so often =)

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If you want to research further into the topic & find out some other crazy info,  check out these books! They are awesome!

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**Anything important info I may have missed let me know!! =)