Arrowroot Powder Pizza Crust Recipe

image

Most people who are paleo will tell you that at some point or another, they just really miss pizza. We’re no exception to this rule. Finding a good paleo pizza recipe, however, can be tough. It’s a lot of trial and error, and sadly, some not so good dinners along the way. Well, I happened upon this recipe from Paleo Spirit. I don’t have, and have never actually used Tapioca Starch, so I substitited arrowroot powder, since I’ve heard that they can be substituted for one another. I also always add some italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, and a little rosemary) to my pizza crusts. I add the dried herbs on top of whatever liquid the recipe calls for. This refreshes the herbs so to speak and makes them a bit more flavorful. Here is a picture  of the cooked crust.

image

I then topped it with some home made pizza sauce, cheese (we eat dairy) and some pepperoni. It turned out to be really tasty.

image

Butternut Squash Soup

image

I have a confession to make. Prior to making this soup, I have never eaten butternut squash soup before. I had certainly never cooked with it before. While I have to admit that I found peeling it to be a gigantic pain, this soup was so good. I used the recipe from Primal Palate’s book, the Food Lover’s Kitchen. What I didn’t realize when I started the recipe, however, was that I didn’t have any nutmeg, which the recipe calls for. So, instead of using cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger seperately, I swapped in an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice. This substitution worked out really well.

The toddler eating trials

Anyone who has ever been near a toddler at feeding time knows that getting them to eat what is put in from them is not an easy task. It’s no exception in our house. We have always had luck getting her to eat fruits and vegetables (although the ones she loved yesterday might be highly offensive today), and since I couldn’t cook when we lived with the in laws, we did a lot of snacking. I’d keep the mini fridge full of fruit and veggie trays (not the most cost effective, by any means, but easy), so that when she was hungry, she had food options. I’d also usually keep some full fat cheese and some Applegate lunch meats. Clearly, not as awesome as sitting down to eat actual meals, (and we did always have something more substantial for dinner), but under the circumstances, it was the best I could do.

Sliced Cucumber

Goose with Raspberries and Banana

When we moved into our own place, I knew that getting her to eat meals (and the meals that I prepared) was going to be an adjustment. I didn’t, however, get the memo that it was going to be such an issue. In the beginning, we tried to force her to eat at least one bite of whatever I made. You would think that just one bite would be do-able, but I have never in my entire life met anyone as stubborn as this child. After a few days of this, we realized that that was not the approach that was going to get us results. If we continued down that patch, meal time was going to turn into a battle every single time, and meal time wasn’t going to be the pleasant family time that I was hoping for.

Goose with Pear

So, we changed our approach. She does need to sit at the table until everyone is done eating. That’s not negotiable, but we stopped pressuring her to eat. My husband and I do make a big deal about how good the food is while we are eating, and usually this will encourage her to eat it. If it doesn’t though, we just let it go. Maybe she’s not hungry, maybe she is just being picky, I don’t know. However, I won’t make her something different. Dinner is what I make, and that is that. We have had way more success with this method.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting toddlers to eat? I’d love to hear what works for your family in the comments below!

Carne Asada Burrito Bowls

IMG_20141201_200906064_HDR(1)

Fact: I used to HATE mexican food. With a passion. I’m not just talking about taco bell either. Then, we moved to Southern California, where I continued to hate Mexican food. Then we found Chipotle, which was like a gateway drug for me. My husband and I liked Chipotle so much that we would go every Sunday night. Now, as far as fast food type chain restaurants go, Chipotle is probably the best option. They use local, organic, and naturally raised ingredients as much as possibleI respect that, and as someone who has become very aware of what I am putting into my body, I appreciate that. However, our wallets dictate more eating in and less eating out. Luckily, there are ways to make similar food at home.

For this, I used the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice from Popular Paleo. It’s easy to make and tastes good! Then I added the carne asada from Against All Grain. I added some peppers and onions to the meat as I cooked it, and I topped the bowls with guacamole and pico de gallo (I’d like to taell you that I made these myself, but I bought them pre-made from the store to save some time)., and some sour cream. Yum!

It’s time to make the donuts…

wpid-IMG_20131123_190954335.jpgWe were lucky enough to move home in time to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. The family was throwing her a surprise brunch, and people were bringing food to share. I figured that there would be some eggs there and probably some bacon, but I wanted to bring along a paleo friendly treat. I had found a grain free donut recipe from Primal Palate on pinterest awhile ago, but never had a good reason to try it, so I figured that this would be a great excuse.

I don’t own a donut pan though, and to be completely honest with you, I am worried that if I actually own one, it will be much too easy for me to justify making donuts more often. I like donuts, but lets be honest here, paleo or not, a donut is a donut is a donut. It’s not a healthy choice. So, I needed to come up with a way to make a donut shape without a donut pan. I found a tip on pinterest where you make the donuts in a muffin tin. You make little balls of aluminum foil and place one ball in the center of each open spot. The batter then goes around the aluminum foil and you simply pop it out once the donuts have finished cooking. I decided to give it a shot.

wpid-IMG_20131123_161943320.jpgIt didn’t work well, at all. So I needed to figure out another plan. The muffin tin made the right shape and size that I was going for, it was just the donut hole that wasn’t right. So I ended up using an apple corer to punch a hole through the middle. This method worked really well. Then I simply made the chocolate ganache to top the donuts with. The next morning, we brought them to the party. I was, of course, not sure how my extended family would react, but they devoured them. I’m still getting requests to make more months later. wpid-IMG_20131123_191541007.jpg

Spreading the word….

My husband is an wonderful advocate for Paleo. He loves telling people about how we eat, how it’s affected us, and how delicious it is. A lot of times, though, when he gets to the part about what we don’t eat, people’s eyes start to gloss over. Other times, people immediate start to question the entire thing. “If you don’t eat all of those things, what exactly do you eat??? Do you just eat twigs and berries and branches all the time??” I, on the other hand, am not so vocal in my approach. Maybe it’s a bit sneaky on my part, but I let the food speak for itself.

The other day, for example, my husband offered for us to cook dinner for his family. He wanted me to make buffalo chicken nuggets, (I’ll post a recipe for these bad boys as soon as I get around to measuring the ingredients) with dill dip. Now, in my husband’s family, cooking is not a task to be taken lightly. These people CAN COOK. I have never, never eaten something at any of their gatherings that wasn’t amazing. I, on the other hand, could burn water when we first got married. So, this task was a bit intimidating, to say the least. Not to mention, I was making something Paleo (although very much a cheat food in my book) for people who seem to be completely uninterested in Paleo.

Challenge Accepted.

When I was finished cooking, I could sense some reluctance from everyone to try the chicken. I think that when you tell people what paleo is, they expect the food to be gross. My husband, however, got everyone to try some, and they all liked it. Most of them came back for more. (WIN!!) What is an even bigger victory to me, however, was the conversation that I had with his sister when she tried some later that evening. She asked if the chicken was breaded, and I explained what I had used to make it. She then asked if we were gluten free, so I started to explain Paleo to her. She was genuinely interested, so I pulled out my Paleo cookbooks for her to take a peek at.  She found a lot of recipes that she wanted to try, and was asking me questions about where to buy certain ingredients, and whatnot. I’m not sure if she will actually give it a shot or not, but the fact that we were able to have a discussion about it, is a win for me.

I certainly don’t expect everyone to convert to Paleo, but it works for us, and any time that people are open and receptive to that  is pretty awesome.

Confessions

While we are back in New England, we are still very much in a transitional state. We are living with family at the moment, which means that we don’t have our own kitchen.  With that said, comes my confession….we have been eating like garbage. There has been more coffee than water. More fast food than real food, and far more processed junk. If I wasn’t committed to Paleo before this lapse, I would be now. I feel terrible. I am in pain from my bladder condition every single day. I am not sleeping well, but I am exhausted all of the time. This is clearly my body telling me that something needs to change. Before we went Paleo, I didn’t know that I could feel better. I didn’t know that I could ease my symptoms and enjoy life more, but now I do. The proof is there, right in front of me, and it’s time to get back on track…

Food