Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hot Dog!

Is it a secret that sometimes you need to be creative when you are cooking?  Going paleo I find I need to be creative to come up with ingredient substitutions and new ideas.  When I started avoiding FODMAPs I really needed to kick up the creative juices.

Thanks to the many bloggers, I can pretty easily find new, easy, yummy recipes.  My dear friend, Kindra at Bon Appetit Paleo, is brilliantly creative.  Hence, a hot dog!

OK, we're no strangers to organic, grass-fed, beef hot dogs.  We've been buying the Applegate hot dogs for a couple of years and eating them bunless.  We love them!  But when Kindra told me her idea for a bun, I HAD to make it.

It was perfect!  PERFECT!  I barely had to convince myself I was not eating a hot dog bun.

  • organic, grass-fed, beef hot dogs
  • small organic sweet potato or yam (about the size of your hot dog)
  • condiments
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Scrub potatoes and slather with ghee or bacon fat.
  3. Bake sweet potatoes for about 20 - 30 minutes, until soft and skins are starting to crisp.
  4. Grill hot dogs.
  5. Remove potatoes and allow to cool, to handle.
  6. Scoop out flesh.  This is your side dish.
  7. Add hot dog to potato skin and top with condiments.
Love, love, love this dish!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Pie

Photo: Paleo Magazine
Paleo Magazine's, Oct/Nov 2013 issue gives us this amazing chocolate pie with a raw graham cracker-like crust.  It is so easy to make and so delicious you'll be proud to serve it to guests.  It offers a perfect ending to any meal.

Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup walnut halves and pieces
  • 1/4 cup soft, pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coconut cream*
  • 1/2 cup soft, pitted Medjool dates
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
* use the cream at the top of a can of separated full-fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated over night or "Let's Do...Organic" brand organic coconut cream.

  1. To make the crust, in a food processor with an "S" blade purée all crust ingredients for about 20 seconds or until very fine.
  2. Transfer the crust mixture to a glass pie dish and press it across the bottom and halfway up the sides.
  3. Rinse the food processor.
  4. In a small saucepan heat the coconut cream just slightly.
  5. In the food processor add the heated coconut cream to the remaining filling ingredients and purée for 1 minute or until the filling is dark and completely smooth.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust and chill to set.
  7. Store the pie at room temperature.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Flourless Mocha-Bacon Brownies

Nineteen years ago today my husband did the greatest thing - he proposed to me!  Thankfully, I was smart enough to say, "YES"!

In honor of our good choices, 19 years ago, I made my husband a batch of these to-die-for-brownies from Diane Sanfilippo's book Practical Paleo.  Now don't just copy the recipes from my blog.  Go out and buy the book yourself.  It is chock full of information along with great recipes like this one.
Photo: Practical Paleo
  • 4oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons very strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons fine coffee grounds
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine chocolate, butter, maple syrup, and eggs.
  3. Slowly sift in the cocoa and mix to combine.
  4. Add coffee and coffee grounds and mix to combine.
  5. Spread into a parchment lined brownie pan.
  6. Top with chopped bacon.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Dust with cocoa powder.
Did you notice this recipe is grain free? It is also FODMAPs free!

Enjoy, we did!

Butternut Squash Soup

Here we go!  I'm taking you with me on my 30-day fodmap free journey.  I've made a few new things and tweaks some old things.

Here I revisited my fall soup and made it fodmaps free.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4-6 carrots, cut into chunks
  • bone broth made without foods from fodmap list
  • bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida,* optional
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Place all the vegetables in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add bone broth to cover vegetables.
  3. Add bayleaf and asafoetida.
  4. Cook until boiling then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are soft.
  5. Discard bayleaf.
  6. Pour ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste.
*Asafoetida is an excellent substitute for garlic and onion.  You can find it at specialty spice shops.  We bought ours at Savory Spice Shop.

Bone Broth

Photo: NomNomPaleo
One crucial super-food I'm trying to get more of is bone broth.  Homemade, gelatin, collagen, mineral rich yummy goodness!  Learn more about why bone broth is a super food at one of our favorite sites, Balanced Bites.

My main reason for having bone broth everyday is the gelatin helps your system digest more effectively which evidently I need help with.  Bone broth is a gut healing super food!
Aids Digestion
Yet another benefit of gelatin, bone broth helps your system digest more efficiently, especially milk, meat, beans, and grains. That’s likely why it’s used in GAPS and other gut healing diets. Who doesn’t need a little help digesting everything in our day and age?


10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth

February 21st, 2013 · 56 Comments · Food for Thought, Frugality, Natural Health

Welcome! If you wish you could eat more whole foods without breaking your budget, you're in the right place. Start here for my top 10 baby steps to better Kitchen Stewardship.

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Benefits of Drinking Bone Broth
Would you drink a mug of chicken bone broth? I never drank it before last week.
In that week, my toddler got pneumonia, my second grader threw up, my preschooler coughed for days on end, my husband coughed…and I would get a tickle of a sore throat now and then. It always went away.
Let me also explain that I do not have the perfect diet – I eat too much late at night while blogging and get into the Halloween candy and random Costco chocolates far too often.
I do not get enough sleep. Some nights I only get three hours of sleep, and even that is interrupted at least once by my nursling. The day before Thanksgiving I was up until 3:30 a.m. baking pies and writing a post for Attune, and then I saw my little guy once or twice (maybe three times), my daughter had a nightmare and cuddled in my bed for a few minutes, and by 6 or 6:30, my oldest son was throwing up.
My husband, who slept through me getting out of bed at least six times plus Leah getting into our bed, received the “state of the family’ address at 7:30 a.m., otherwise known as, “Honey, let me catch you up on what has happened while you were sleeping.”
That part has nothing to do with my story except that it’s amazing the man slept through all that, and woefully ironic that he pops out of bed the second his alarm goes off while I have no idea anything happened. He’ll wake me up for a third time and I think it’s only the first.
I digress.
I never promised to be right in mind, just able to fend off illness with a mighty hand…I mean, cup of bone broth.
I wrote the intro to this post in December, hence the Thanksgiving reference, but ironically, in the last two weeks we’ve had two kids with ear infections, three kids with fever, one toddler with pneumonia (again!), lots of coughing, (all of which we fended off without antibiotics) and no bone broth in the house for the last month. Coincidence? Maybe. But I bought a chicken not-on-sale yesterday and have been drinking mugs of it this morning. It’s broth week at Kitchen Stewardship, after all!
Benefits of Drinking Bone Broth daily

10 Reasons to Drink Bone Broth

1. Immunity Boosting Fat
The yellow fat from pastured chickens holds immune boosting powers that are only the tip of the iceberg in the power of a properly prepared chicken stock to keep you from getting the next cold or other bug that flies through your house.
2. Warm Liquid is Soothing
It’s okay to mention the obvious. There are plenty of other immune-boosting strategies, like apple cider vinegar water, using lots of raw garlic, and taking fermented cod liver oil, but the soothing feel of a warm liquid on a cold day can’t be beat. (You’ll still want FCLO from Green Pasture for the Vitamins A and D and omega 3s, but you might not want to sip it as you sit at the computer!)
3. Super Mineral Boost
Bone broth contains minerals from the bones that are not only abundant but easy to assimilate into our bodies (unlike the whole mess with whole grains and phytic acid and such – see the soaking grains series for more info on that). Minerals that will help you stay in optimal health include:
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • other trace minerals
  • (source)
4. Better Carrier for Garlic and Cayenne than Tea
Fresh garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper are great immunity boosting foods to eat as well, and while ginger makes a decent tea, it’s just weird to sip tea with garlic and cayenne. They taste awesome in broth though…
Chicken Bone Broth
5. Gelatin for Joint Health
One of the incredible benefits of real bone broth made with the vinegar soak, all the cartilage from the animal and the actual bones is that your finished stock should have a good amount of gelatin. Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen, which makes up about half the protein in our bodies, so you’re truly “body building” when you consume it.
Gelatin provide glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and ultimately aids in avoiding joint pain. Could a cup a day keep the acetaminophen away?
6. Improves Bone Density
The calcium that leaches out of the bones into the stock is ready to be absorbed into your body, the perfect weapon against osteoporosis or weak bones in any way. (source)
7. Aids Digestion
Yet another benefit of gelatin, bone broth helps your system digest more efficiently, especially milk, meat, beans, and grains. That’s likely why it’s used in GAPS and other gut healing diets. Who doesn’t need a little help digesting everything in our day and age?


Here's my husband Brad's recipe:
Note: There are many recipes and a lot of them add in veggies.  We've kept it simple here to keep in line with the low-fodmap diet.

  • bag of bones from grass-fed beef, lamb or organic pastured poultry
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar to help leach minerals from the bones
  • filtered water to cover
  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 12-24 hours.
  3. Skim the fat off the top before drinking.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Remaining broth can be poured off and refrigerated. Lift off hardened fat before heating and drinking.
  6. If freezing, cool to room temperature in a glass, bpa-free container.  Put in freezer and leave top off until frozen to avoid cracking jar.  Replace lid.

You can drink the stock any time and you can use it as a base for soups and add it to recipes calling for water or broth.

OK, so what can I eat on a 30-day FODMAP free journey?  Easier to say what I can't eat.  Depending on whose list you are looking at some things may vary.  I've decided to go with Chris Kresser's list:

FODMAP rich foods to avoid:


·      Artichokes

·      Asparagus

·      Beets

·      Broccoli

·      Brussels Sprouts

·      Cabbage

·      Cauliflower

·      Dandelion Greens

·      Fennel

·      Garlic

·      Green Bell Peppers

·      Green Onions

·      Leeks

·      Mushrooms

·      Okra

·      Onions

·      Shallots


·      Apples

·      Apricots

·      Avocados

·      Blackberries

·      Cherries

·      Lychees

·      Mangoes

·      Nectarines

·      Peaches

·      Pears

·      Persimmons

·      Plums

·      Prune

·      Watermelon

Herbs & Spices

·      Chicory

·      Fennel

·      Horseradish

·      Wasabi

Nuts & Seeds

·      Pistachios

Why am I doing this?  My stomach has been hurting with almost everything I eat.  Even a strict Paleo diet wasn't helping.  So, I'm trying to cut out more foods that may be exacerbating my problems.  I just need to clean out a little and see what happens.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I Started A FODMAP Free Diet

WARNING! This is my biggest ever TMI post.

Where have I been?  My last post was January 18th, almost a month ago!  Well, I've had some issues - gut issues.  I've known for a long time (most of my life whether I chose to pay attention or not) I have digestive issues.  Going gluten free 3 years ago didn't change anything.  Going paleo almost two years ago made a HUGE difference.  But now I've plateaued, gotten lazy, and added some inflammation weight.  As I started getting serious again about what I allowed into my mouth, trouble began to surface.  Let me add here that eleven years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  The fibro pain had only gotten worse over the years.  It was not until the last couple of years that I started to believe my pain was caused more from poor nutrition than anything.  Then ten months ago I got this horrible pain in my arms, different than the "fibro" pain.  It's like a burning in my bones from my shoulder to my elbow.  I can't lift my arms, put on/take off my bra or shirts, sleep, reach out or up without excruciating pain.  I've been seeing my fabulous chiropractor for 8 months and the pain is only getting worse.  Until two weeks ago.

So, I've been dealing with stomach pains, doubled over stomach pains with almost everything I was eating, and diarrhea.  Even a strict paleo diet wasn't helping.  It got to the point where I was afraid to eat anything. As I began to research I discovered fodmaps and started trying to eat a fodmap-free diet.  Then something very strange happened to me.  I got up around 2:30 in the morning with diarrhea.  After a few minutes I felt like I was going to faint and called for my husband to help me.  I didn't faint and I was aware of what was happening but I was unable to respond.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't move.  My hands were curled up into my chest.  My husband (poor thing) had to clean me up and carry me to bed.  I could see he had the phone to his ear pacing and trying to decide if he should call 911.  I'm thinking (but can't respond) it's the morning of my son's birthday party and my daughter's big MUN conference I can't go to the emergency room.  I finally came around and could respond to my husband and then I realized the pain in my arms I've been dealing with for 10 months was gone.  Gone!  What's up with that?  What just happened to me?  Did I have a mini stroke?

Don't know.  I feel like all the toxic junk I've had in my body was coming out and my body didn't know how to respond.  The fact that the pain in my arms was gone after this made me think it was nutritional.  Especially since I didn't keep eating fodmap-free and the pain has returned.

Today I'm in the process of a 30-day low fodmap diet to see if this is my issue.  I haven't had any stomach pains but still have the pain in my arms.  We'll see...

So, what are fodmaps?  Fodmap is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.  I don't know very much right now except what I can't eat (which varies depending on your source).  I'm following Chris Kresser's list and you can read more about fodmaps on his site here.

For a while I'll be posting recipes that are paleo and low-fodmap.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Paleo Valentine

My friend, Kindra, is a paleoista and an amazing blogger.  With Valentine's Day around the corner, this is perfect timing.  I'm super grateful.  Thanks, friend!

My Paleo Valentine! 12 Chocolate Recipes to Melt Your Lover’s Heart!

Let’s talk Valentine’s Day, shall we? It’s about a week away, and since my hubby will be gone the 13th and 14th, we’ll be celebrating even earlier. Never too soon to be thinking of your one true love on a completely manufactured, made-up, marketing scheme of a holiday. All skepticism aside, I will be making him some fun goodies to take to the fire station to share. Here’s a few ideas I gathered that could all be thought of as Valentine treats, which dials down to “chocolate covered.”

Chocolate Covered Strawberries!

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Paleo Chocolate Magic Shell

Dark Chocolate Covered Hasselbacks!

Gingerbread Cake Pops with Dark Cacao Frosting

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Paleo Mug Cake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

Best Ever Paleo Lava Mug Cake

Dark Cacao and Bulletproof Coffee Nutella

Almond Flour Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Croissants