Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crockpot Spicy Chicken with Avocado Coleslaw

Here's a quick, easy recipe that we tried out a few weeks back.  We had some chicken in the freezer that had already been prepped for tacos/fajitas/what-have-you.  Basically, it was cut up chicken, seasoned with some taco seasoning (uncooked) that I had just stuck in the freezer for a rainy day.  When we buy chicken in bulk, I like to take a little time to do some prep work before sticking it in the freezer to make life a little easier.

So we tossed the pre-seasoned chicken in the crockpot with a can of jalapeno salsa and let it cook on low for 6-8 hours (I can't remember exactly how long it actually was...).

One it was done, we shredded it up and served it with some avocado coleslaw and chowed!  Super good, super quick, and super easy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quick Dinner and a New Bacon Lover

Quick dinners have become the norm lately.  We always have some protein and veggies in the fridge. Sometimes I have a game plan for the week, sometimes I just throw stuff in a pan, add some seasonings and call it good.  It really doesn't have to be complicated.  Honestly, it feels easier than life before Paleo.  I usually spend an hour or two one night a week working on a few things to make life easier.  This week, it meant that I made some paleo granola, taco salad stuff (pico de gallo, sliced onions, sliced olives, cut up cabbage, cooking and seasoning ground beef), slicing strawberries, starting some Cheap & Cheerful Chicken, and making mayo and tzatziki.  It really took very little time and I felt like I was one step ahead of the game for the week.

One day, I hadn't planned lunch (our big meal) ahead of time.  Usually, I have some idea of what I'm going to do.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  I had planned on making Green Chile Chicken Soup, but realized that we didn't have any carrots.  None of the veggies we had on hand sounded like they would be good in the soup, so I made a super quick stirfry instead.

I threw in the chicken I had cooked earlier in the week, asparagus, red peppers and mushrooms.  Then I added in some coconut aminos, garlic, and a little salt.  Fifteen minutes from start to finish!

And something exciting happened in house -- Sam discovered bacon!  I know that sounds a bit silly, but he's not a huge meat lover, so we're jazzed to have another protein source to throw in the mix with him.  And really, who doesn't love bacon?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Things Paleo Helped Us Ditch: Asthma

I thought that it might be helpful/interesting/intriguing to start writing regularly about some of the things that are no longer part of our life (in a good way!) since going Paleo.  There are so many things that I could write about, but I'll tackle it one at a time.

First up: Asthma

I have had allergy and exercise induced asthma for most of my adult life.  I wasn't one of those lucky people who grew out of their asthma - I grew into mine.  Now, I will say that my asthma has never been severe enough to require a breathing machine or a hospital visit, but I did use and albuterol inhaler.  My asthma seemed to bother me most in the spring and early summer (when my seasonal allergies were at their worst) and when I would do a lot of cardio like running.  Also, it acted up when it was really cold out or if I got some kind of respiratory illness.

And now, I can't remember that last time I used my inhaler.  I take that back.  I used it during a particularly grueling CrossFit workout last summer that required a ridiculous amount of running.  So, I used my inhaler and I almost vomited.  Lovely.  Anyway, I couldn't even tell you where my inhaler is currently.  I don't need it on a regular basis.  And honestly, I have had a few times where my asthma has shown itself in small doses here and there, but never enough to require an inhaler.  If you've ever had asthma, you know what I'm talking about.  There are times that breathing is a little hard and there are times that it is downright difficult to get a deep breath.  And again, I'm definitely not in the extreme asthma camp.  Interestingly, I can usually trace any issues I have lately to hitting the Dr. Pepper a little too hard.  If you do a little research, you'll find that soda and asthma have quite the connection.

The reason that I bring this all up now is because we have a bad case of the sickies in our house and we've had one little dude even come down with a mild case of pneumonia.  A couple of days ago, I noticed that I was having some slight asthma issues and wouldn't you know it - I came down with a fun little cold/cough.  The past few days have been a good reminder of how much Paleo has made so many things better.  Things that I never thought could actually get better.  There are so many things that we are told we'll just have to "manage" with medication, but I'm starting to think that a lot of those things can be taken care of by eating well.  Okay, I'm not starting to think that, I actually do think that.  I have read stories recently of people "curing" otherwise incurable things like PCOS and auto immune diseases.  Those are pretty major things!

Anybody else notice anything "missing" from their Paleo lifestyle?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Paleo Valentine's Day

I know that I'm almost a month late in posting this, but better late than never, right?  So, Valentine's Day.  A holiday built around treats.  Not quite like Halloween, but treats are still a big part of the picture.  We knew that Jack would get all kind of junk at his class party, which turned out to be an understatement.  If memory serves me correctly (I helped at the party), each kid got a cupcake, two different kinds of cookies, four pieces of licorice, a handful of goldfish, fruit snacks, a fun size candy bar and a fruit rollup.  This is in addition to the candy that their classmates gave them as part of their valentines.  Yikes!  Lucky for us, Jack forgets about candy the minute it's out of sight (in fact, he probably ate about 3 or 4 pieces of Halloween candy total), so we just dumped it in the trash the night and I never heard another word about it!

Since we did not want to contribute to the rise in childhood diabetes in America, I gave Jack the option of a couple of different none food valentines to give to his classmates.  And here is what he chose:

I found the free printable online and we grabbed some bugs (which were actually plastic cockroaches.  Nothing says "love" like a cockroach!) and bags at the dollar store.  The girls in the class weren't super jazzed about them, but they were a big hit with the boys.

For my loves, I made some homemade treats.  For B, I made these AMAZING chocolate covered caramel dates.  Seriously, so good.  And no sugar.  Well, there are natural sugars in the dates and honey technically.  We even had enough caramel left over to make a caramel apple.  Delicious!

For my little loves, I made our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and filled up some little mailboxes that I snagged for a buck each at Target.  (Sorry for the dark pictures of the treats.  I had to take them under the cover of darkness the night before...)  Now, this might not be a popular choice among parents, but I let our boys eat their cookies for breakfast that day.  When you think about what some kids are eating for breakfast though - donuts, pop tarts, Lucky Charms - a few paleo chocolate chip cookies are definitely a better choice.  The best choice out there? No.  But I'm perfectly fine with having a little fun once in a while.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Italian Salad

Lately, I've been trying to increase the amount of veggies we eat.  It would seem that when you eat paleo, you would eat a lot of veggies.  However, it's pretty easy to eat just protein for breakfast and just one vegetable with lunch and dinner.  Our little dudes aren't usually begging for more veggies and they usually snack on fruit and maybe some nuts.

So, in an effort to get more veggies into our bodies, I've started eating salads again.  This may sound like a funny statement, but I think it's pretty easy to get burned out on salads.  I have a love/hate relationship with them.  We had so much lettuce in our CSA last summer that it's been a while since I actually made salad at home.

But, the drought is over.  I have been eating a big salad most nights after the kids go to bed -- and I've actually been enjoying them!  This particular salad is inspired by a salad that my friend Michelle would make that was based on the Italian B.M.T. sub at Subway.  Not that salad has a gender, but this one seems a little more manly than some.

Ingredients: Lettuce, olives, italian sausage, peppers, onions and italian dressing*.  I usually add some sunflower seeds for a little crunch.  And if I could find some decent pepperoni, I would add that too.  And maybe some bacon.

*I use this recipe for italian dressing.  It tastes just like Good Seasons (in fact, I mix it up in Good Seasons carafe).  I always have some made up and it works great as a marinade or dressing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Paleo Birthday Party

Last week, we had three different get togethers with none paleo eaters to which I brought paleo snacks -- all of which seemed to be fairly well received.  I neglected to take pictures of it all, but I'll give you the gist before finishing off with the big get together.  For the Super Bowl party that we attended, I made some deviled eggs (kind of my go-to appetizer) and bacon wrapped dates.  The next day, it was our turn to bring snack to our weekly church small group.  I baked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies (by the way, this recipe makes a lot of cookies!) and we sliced up some apples as well.

This past week was also our little Sam's birthday.  We had some friends over for some food and fun (really, more like choas - our house is small!).  Since the party was in the morning, we did some brunch foods and kept it all Paleo (minus the Capri Suns, of course, which we had leftover from a party this summer).  I don't think any of our guests felt like the food was too weird for a birthday party.  Although, they probably wouldn't have said anything to my face, anyway, would they?

We made Pumpkin Muffins (from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook), had cups of fruit salad (bananas, kiwi, oranges, pineapple) and deviled eggs with bacon (get it? Bacon and eggs? :))

Obviously, the party was Toy Story themed.  I made some little cupcake toppers to make the muffins seem a little more exciting.  If I'd had more time, I would have made some frosting (from this post) to make them a little more cupcake like.  As it was, I ran short on time and since it was a brunch party, I thought it would be fine to just skip it.  Not worth stressing over!