Monday, October 19, 2015

Grain-Free “Corn” Dog Bites

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I am on a never ending mission to make new and fun snacks and lunches for my kiddos.  It makes me happy to fill their lunch bags every morning with nutritious whole food that I feel good about.  My kids LOVE corn dogs, as do I.  I recently saw a new product pop up in the frozen food isle.  They are these little mini corn dogs – they are round and gluten free (the coating is mostly corn).  I bought some to try.  They were good, but the coating was really hard, but I loved how they were bite size!  And do you know what else is bite size?….MINI MUFFINS.  So I created a very basic almond flour batter as the “corn” and used our favorite grass fed beef dogs to make a fun little snack that isn’t deep fried, isn’t on a sick, but mimics the flavor and essence of a corn dog.  My kids gave them a rousing thumbs up, so yay!  Another fun idea for their lunch boxes.  

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Labels: grain free, kids, Paleo, snacks.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Healthy Halloween Treats the Whole Family Can Enjoy

alternative treats cover

Yay!  It’s almost Halloween!  My favorite holiday.  There is something about Halloween I’ve always loved.  And it’s not all about the candy and treats (as you might know, I’m not a huge sweet tooth). Truth be told… I’m a big ole’ scaredy cat and don’t even believe in ghosts, but man I love the spirit of Halloween.  It’s so fun to dress up and I remember how exciting it was as a kid walking around in the dark gathering candy with the anticipation of being scared out of my Princess Leia buns any minute.  My kiddos participate in Halloween, but they agree to eat mommy’s healthy treats and they turn in their trick-or-treating candy for a gift from the “Great Pumpkin” (who comes the morning of November 1st).  I’ve done this for years now (since my daughter was 2) and my kids love it.  We usually come in early from trick-or-treating and I make some popcorn and other favorites like caramel apples and ginger cookies (via Ricki Heller) and we snuggle up on the couch and watch a low-key Halloween cartoon.  And I’m the nerdy neighbor who does NOT give out candy (I know…booo to me) please don’t egg my house.  I hit up the dollar store for festive stickers, pencils, erasers, and other little trinkets and that’s my “treat.”  It’s nice to have some variety, right.  

Below are my family’s favorite treats for Halloween. Continue reading

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Labels: candy alternatives, carob, chocolate, dessert, Halloween, holidays.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Grain-Free Apple Cinnamon Mini Muffins

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I wanted to make a fall-inspired snack for my kiddos this week…and they LOVE apple cinnamon anything, so some yummy apple cinnamon mini muffins fit the bill. I find that mini muffins are perfect for snack time – they are easy to pack and easy to eat.  I prefer to make muffins with almond flour, as one cup of almond flour has 20 grams of protein! I love that my kiddos are getting a good protein surge for their morning snack (not to mention all those good fats) to hold them over until lunch. I’m excited about more apple recipes in the coming weeks, especially this one from Ricki Heller. I hope everyone is having a great fall so far.  I’ve got my Halloween costume all set and ready to party.  Woot-woot.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall treats, grain free, holidays, muffins, Paleo, snacks, thanksgiving desserts.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Perfectly Whipped Sweet Potatoes


Fall where are you!  It’s hitting the mid 90’s again this coming week (insert big eye roll here).  I am yearning to wear my sweaters and boots!  Soon…soon.  Around these parts it starts to really feel like fall at end of October, early November, so we have a few weeks yet.  But this hot weather is not stopping me from making some yummy fall inspired food. I made some absolutely out-of-this-world delicious whipped sweet potatoes on Saturday night for dinner. Seriously tasted like dessert. SO GOOD.  My kids loved it!  My daughter said, “Mommy, what’s in here…it tastes like pie.”  I made the sweet potatoes with this pork dish (sans the applesauce) that is so easy and always a hit and the two went together like gangbustas.  Anyway, if you are looking for a new way to eat sweet potatoes, try whipping them up.  I am totally going to make these whipped sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited about it!  They are seriously delicious.  Look out fall…I’m coming for ya.  Continue reading

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Labels: ACD, AIP, GAPS, holidays, Paleo, sides, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving side dishes, vegan, vegetarian, winter cuisine.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Perfect Coconut Rice

First Pics for blog

I love rice!  For a while I stopped eating it when I was exploring different diets, such as the SCD and Paleo.  Luckily, rice (white rice in particular) agrees with me so I eat it often.  My friend Eileen from Phoenix Helix has a great post all about white rice.  It’s worth the read to gain more information about how rice interacts with the body.  Something important I always do when preparing rice is soak and rinse.  This is especially important when preparing brown rice because it helps leach out the arsenic that occurs naturally in all rice, but in higher amounts in brown. Continue reading

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Labels: sides, vegan, vegetarian.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Ingredient Homemade Facial Scrub

facial scrub

Ever have one of those weekend (or week) days where you feel sort of blaaah and have a ton of stuff to do (in my case work) and stay in bed all day working and sleeping on and off and then at around 9:00 pm you start to feel really crusty and oily and want to just scrub your skin off?  I had one of those days over the weekend.  It was so hot here last week friends (108 degrees if you can believe it), and fires everywhere!  Poor drought ridden California.  It can get pretty nasty here in the summer with bad air quality…and the fires!  Gasp.  It’s really sad.  I think all that gets to my immune system and just zaps me.  So I got a lot accomplished on my crusty lazy day, and then wanted to do something to enhance my mood, you know, get out of the funk.  I like to pamper myself and do some self-care when I’m not feeling well.  A good face and body scrub was in order.  I’ve been using a simple two ingredient facial scrub that works like magic at sloughing off dead skin and creates a lovely glow.  It closes my pores, tightens my skin, and evens out my skin tone.  I have experimented with different ingredients such as lemon, oatmeal, salt, and oils. I just go with what yields the best results, and the sugar scrub is the best I’ve used so far.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think.  And friends, take a little you time for self-care.  A fresh coat of nail polish, a relaxing shower, a face and body scrub down, a massage…whatever, it really does wonders for the mind and body.   Continue reading

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Labels: beauty, homemade beauty products, homemade remedies, how to.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade Non-Dairy Milks: 101

Non Dairy Milks

If you’re a vegan, or allergic to dairy, or just downright dislike cow milk…this post is for you.  It’s all about homemade nondairy milks.  I’ve been making homemade nut milks for close to 10 years! I started making them in my Magic Bullet and then graduated to a high speed blender.  I’ve tried many different nut and seed milks.  My ALL TIME favorite is walnut milk and I have created a video (end of post) sharing how I make walnut milk and also demonstrate the use of both and high speed blender and standard blender in the quality of the walnut milk.  In this post I share with you some of the basics to making your own non dairy milk, with several recipes to get you started.  And I hope you find it inspiring…as well as delicious.  

Okay, let’s get started… Continue reading

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Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, seed milk.

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Conquer the Pesky White Fly!

Front picture

Over these last two gardening seasons, white flies have annihilated my pumpkin and squash plants! At first I figured it was just me, as I’m not that experienced at growing pumpkins or squash…but no. Oh no, it’s the work of these little annoying and destructive flies: White Flies.  This year I am determined to conquer them and save my pumpkin plants.  This post shares some interventions I have used and what I’ve learned about about the pesky white fly.  Continue reading

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Labels: gardening.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Create a Waste-Free Lunch


There are two approaches to creating a waste free lunch.  First, you have the actual lunch itself and the amount of waste produced at the location in which you eat that lunch.  If you don’t produce any waste, I would consider this waste free, so hooray for you! And two (and here’s the tricky part), there is the process of making the lunch and the waste produced from this process. It’s really difficult to go waste free when making the lunch (think about all the packaging that comes from the basics, such as lunch meat, bread, cheese, chips, etc).  My goal in the lunch making process has always been “low-waste” as I feel it’s too much pressure to be 100% waste free in this area (see end of post for tips and suggestions on this topic). That being said, and moving froward, here’s what’s important to remember: START SOMEWHERE.  So let’s start with the lunch itself and ways to eliminate the need for a garbage can. Continue reading

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Labels: green living, kitchen tips, lunch.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Road Trips with Kids…Accessories, Entertainment, & Snacks!

vactions pics 2I grew up traveling and taking road trips up and down California and longer ventures to Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. Because of these experiences, I am old-school when it comes to traveling with my kids.  As a child, I didn’t have the luxury of a portable DVD player or an ipad or handheld video game… and yes there was a lot of car squabbles and frustrations, but there was also a lot of imagination, games, laughter, singing, stories, and memories.  Don’t get me wrong though, we live in a digital world, of course we have a tablet for the last stretch of the trip…or when traffic becomes horrendous.  Continue reading

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Labels: kids, Travel.