Larabar Cherry 6

October 1, 2012
by Jen
19 Comments

Homemade Cherry Pie “Larabars”

Like many other families, we love the flavors of Larabars but find the price tag of $1.50 per 1.8oz bar to be too high, so I decided to try making homemade Cherry Pie Larabars.  There are lots of recipes out there on the internet for homemade versions of these popular snacks and they are all super simple.  I studied a handful of recipes and decided to wing it with the ingredients available in my pantry.  I happened to have dried cherries, dates and walnuts so my flavor choice was clear – Cherry Pie!  I buy dates, nuts and dried fruits at Costco so my cost per bar is dramatically lower than the store bought bars and my children LOVED my homemade version.  This recipe is amazingly simple and infinitely variable according to what dried fruits and nuts you have on hand.  I read the ingredient lists for all of the Larabar flavors on their website and I feel confident that I can re-create just about any of their flavors now that I have seen for myself how easy the process is. Continue Reading →

Carrot Slaw

September 24, 2012
by Jen
18 Comments

Paleo Carrot Slaw

This is a quick Paleo carrot slaw that is a refreshing, crunchy accompaniment to your dinner plate.  Like any slaw or salad, the ingredients can vary according to what you have on hand in the refrigerator.  If the rest of the meal is heavily spiced or strongly flavored, then I usually just season the slaw with lemon juice, salt and walnut oil.  If the rest of the meal is a simple flavor, I like to add some contrast by spicing the slaw with something stronger like curry powder or ras el hanout.  You can alter it to whatever suits your needs at the moment.  Like most slaws, this one keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days so make a big batch and enjoy it for dinner and a couple of random lunches too! Continue Reading →

Cioppino.v2

September 13, 2012
by Jen
16 Comments

Paleo Italian Seafood Stew (Cioppino)

My family is crazy for seafood of all sorts, so this Paleo Italian seafood stew always makes everyone happy.  After the first serving I let my kids search through the pot for their favorite pieces of seafood.  That is the beauty of this type of recipe, you can use whatever your family likes best.  For us it means a firm fish like cod, shrimp, squid, and mussels but you could easily use clams, langostinos, mahi and scallops instead of, or in addition to, any of the ingredients listed. Continue Reading →

slider patties, olives, cheese cubes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, ketchup bottle

September 10, 2012
by Jen
0 comments

Lunchbots Product Review

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win three Lunchbots stainless steel lunch containers through a giveaway sponsored by Whole9 and Lunchbots.  The timing couldn’t have been better for me as my kids had just started the new school year and I really wanted to try out some of the amazing looking stainless steel lunch containers that I saw online. I am a firm believer that a good lunch can make the difference between doing great at school or just getting by, so I always pack a nutritious meal for my children to take to school (I have written about Healthy School Lunches here before.)

Previously I was using a plastic container with a locking lid which worked great, but I am trying to transition away from plastic for all of our food applications. I have concerns about food safe plastics degrading over time and by repeated washings and then leaching chemicals onto any foods that might touch it.  Since I had used the same plastic containers for two years, I was beginning to worry that they may have become compromised by heavy usage and washing.

Stainless steel is an eco friendly alternative to plastics for many reasons; stainless steel has a virtually infinite useful lifespan as it does not wear out, it is widely considered one of the safest materials for food storage and it is BPA free.  The startup cost for stainless steel lunch containers is considerably higher than plastic, but when you factor in the long estimated length of service, the price does even out in the long run.

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Paleo - Yonanas 5

September 4, 2012
by Jen
24 Comments

Paleo Ice Cream

Lately I have been hearing a lot about Yonanas and 1 ingredient ice cream.  For those of you who haven’t heard of it yet, Yonanas is a kitchen appliance that turns frozen bananas into a “soft serve ice cream”.  It isn’t real ice cream in that there is no cream, no milk, no sugar.  In fact there is nothing but frozen banana.  Despite the lack of traditional ice cream ingredients, frozen bananas can be turned into a smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious frozen dessert.  Even better, you do not need to buy the specialty machine if you already have a good food processor.

I decided to put my trusty Hamilton Beach Big Mouth food processor to the test to see if it could make this delicious dessert.  It was spectacular!  I have used frozen bananas in my blender for smoothies a million times, but I never dreamed that by simply tossing them in the food processor I could make them into this.  I’m happy, my kids are happy, my husband is happy! All that is left is to start experimenting with flavor add ins.

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Paleo - Salmon Cakes

August 28, 2012
by Jen
12 Comments

Paleo Salmon Cakes

I love salmon cakes; they are delicious, nutritious and because you can make them from canned salmon and refrigerator staples they are a quick and easy meal.  Ever since I started eating Paleo, I had to change my regular recipe which used bread crumbs as a binder to mashed potato as the binder.  This change works very well for binding and has the added bonus of giving you an extra veggie!  If you are super strict Paleo and don’t eat white potatoes, then use a sweet potato.

Salmon cakes can be the protein portion of a dinner or you can use cold, leftover salmon cakes in lunchboxes or on top of a salad.  I have even used cold salmon cakes as the “bun” for open faced avocado and cucumber sandwiches!  If you don’t like salmon, albacore tuna is also delicious in this recipe. Continue Reading →

school lunch aug 20

August 20, 2012
by Jen
29 Comments

How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch

As we start another school year I am once again ready to start packing healthy and waste free school lunches for my children.   Like many parents across the country, I am unhappy with not only the poor nutrition of the food that is offered in my kid’s cafeteria but I am also disappointed in the way the food is presented.   There are far too many processed food items that are served in individual wrappers.  The food is highly processed, full of chemicals and preservatives and the packaging contributes to the continuing landfill and ecological problems faced by our communities. Continue Reading →

Stuffed Mushrooms

August 10, 2012
by Jen
16 Comments

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I found some beautiful mushrooms at Costco recently that were the perfect size for stuffing, so I made them with a delicious sweet Italian sausage and veggie stuffing.  My family indicated their approval by gobbling down the whole platter, so I thought it would be a good recipe to share.  This recipe is gluten free as it skips the usual breadcrumb binder, but is not strictly Paleo as it does use cheese to hold it together. Continue Reading →

Paleo Waffles with Strawberry Jam and Vanilla Balsamic Glaze

August 7, 2012
by Jen
60 Comments

Paleo Waffles (My Kids Are Happy)

Thanks to my new internet food crush, Eat the Cookie, my children are happy with breakfast again!  I have been eating Paleo style for the past 6 weeks which means no grains of any sort so traditionally prepared breakfast staples like toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc are out.  Personally, I am just fine with eating dinner leftovers for breakfast or some sort of egg based breakfast, but my kids quickly tired of these alternatives and began asking for their old favorites.  Fortunately, recipes for Paleo versions of many foods are widely available online.

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I enjoyed half of the bottles before I remembered to take pictures!

July 30, 2012
by Jen
20 Comments

Homemade Kombucha (Yes, you can!)

I like everything about Kombucha except the price, so fortunately for me homemade Kombucha is cheap and easy to make!  If you are not familiar with this drink, Kombucha is a fermented and slightly fizzy tea drink.  It has a sweet/tart taste that seems to be a love it or hate it experience, in my house we are split 50/50 on whether it is wonderful or “blah”.  Besides the refreshing sweet/tart/fizzy flavor, it is also full of those tummy enhancing probiotics that we are all hearing about lately.

The problem with Kombucha is that is very expensive when you buy it at the health food store, a 16oz bottle usually costs close to $4!  That is simply too much of an extravagance to make Kombucha a daily drink in my house but there is a great, low cost way to enjoy this yummy and healthy drink – make it yourself!

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