Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Grain-free Granola

  • 3 cups assorted nuts roughly chopped
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 6 pitted dates soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
  • 1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
In a large bowl mix nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, and salt.
Melt butter, add soaked dates and extract. Blend well with an immersion blender.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together and spread out on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.
*You can add a splash of grade B maple syrup or honey if you want it a bit sweeter.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turkey Tacos

  • 1 rounded tbsp lard
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 rounded tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup bone broth
  • 2 tbsp capers
De-stem the chard and set aside the leafs. Chop up the stems and sauté them with the onion and bell pepper in lard over medium-high heat until they begin to soften. Add turkey and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up large pieces. Mix in oregano, cumin, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and stir 1 minute. Add tomato paste, broth and capers mixing well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until liquid reduces, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

While that simmers, cut up the chard length wise and then across into small strips. When meat is done add in the chard and mix well for a few minutes to wilt the chard. Scoop the taco meat into lettuce leafs and enjoy, or top with any additional toppings you like. We top with avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Moroccan Lamb Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 4 Large Bell Peppers - Keep tops after they have been cut off.  We usually dice the tops up and put them in with the saute before stuffing the peppers.
  • 4 Moroccan Lamb Sausage link (Prather Ranch) - Remove casein
  • 2-3 Carrots -  Diced - Courtesy of our garden.
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion - Chopped
  • 5 Green Onion - Diced (optional)
  • 1/2c Cherry or Grape Tomatoes - Cut in half'
  • 1/2c Rainbow Swiss chard - Diced -  Courtesy of our garden.
  • 1/2 of a Head Cauliflower - grated into rice size

  • 1/2c Homemade Chicken Broth
  • 2T Cilantro - Diced
  • 1/2t Italian spices
  • 1/2t Paprika
  • 1/2t Creole seasoning (optional)
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • 1T Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/4c Chopped Brazil nuts (or nuts of choice)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - for drizzling
*All ingredients used are organic, pastured raised and local.

  • Heat oven at 400f
  • Melt coconut oil in pan over medium heat.
  • Add lamb and break apart into mall pieces - brown for 3-4 min over medium heat
  • Add onion, green onion, carrots, peppers(tops diced), Italian spices, paprika, creole seasoning, 1/2 of the Brazil nuts - saute for 3-5 min

  • Add tomatoes, cilantro, Swiss chard, cauliflower "rice" and 1/2c Homemade chicken broth

  • Cook down broth for 5-7 min
  • Stuff mixture into peppers 

  • Cook in oven for 25 min
  • Add remaining chopped nuts onto the top - drizzle w/ olive oil
  • Put back into the oven and cook for 10-15 min
  • Check to see if the peppers are done.  If they need additional time cook as needed.  Sometimes depending on the size of the peppers they take a little longer to cook.  
  • Enjoy!

This was the first time I cooked purple bell peppers.  I was shocked to see that the color completely disappeared and it turned into a light green bell pepper.

Weekly Grocery Budget for 2: $75 - What does that get us?

Most of my friend's that live near us in the east bay know that my husband and I love fresh organic & local ingredients and in the summer we enjoy our organic garden out back too.  I think living in the bay area we are spoiled and pretty much have any type of food/cuisine at our fingertips/disposal.   There are so many speciality stores and in most cases the products are so over priced but we as a consumer still buy it.  I used to shop at Whole Foods & Trader Joes for years every week sometimes multiple times a week and every time we would leave there never spending under $100.  We would end up spending around $500-600 a month.  We were getting out of control and it was time to tighten the reigns and see what we could do with a strict budget & plan.  We cut our grocery budget in half this past May and started moving away from going to the grocery store regularly and started our weekly trip to the farmer's market.  The only time we hit up Whole Foods is to pick up my sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture or supplement meat that we might be getting low on from our CSA - Tara Firma Farms if we didn't pick up something at the farmer's market that week.   I look forward to the trip every week and can't wait to go tomorrow morning with my husband.  It's such an enjoyable experience planning our meals together as we walk looking over all of the fresh ingredients and talking to the farmers.  It's such a rewarding feeling knowing where your food comes from and how much the person that grew it really cares about it.  Honestly, it warms my heart when I think about it.  As Americans I think we have become so disconnected from our food supply.  My heart breaks when I think about all of the Americans that live off of horrible food choices, and wonder why their family members are always sick.  When your body is starving for nutrients - sickness almost always takes over in one way or form.  We truly need to try and get back to the basics and think about where our food comes from before we start putting it into our bodies.  The health of our future is at stake and eating whole REAL foods is essential for longevity and health in life.  Ok...Okay I will step down from my soapbox and get to the exciting part - my finds & plan for the week from the farmer's market.

Before we head out the door we look in our fridge & freezer to see what we still have on hand for this coming week and we're off to the market!!  We plan our meals while perusing through the market and seeing what the farmer's and season has to offer.

Our Farmers Market Finds from 7/21/12:

All this for $50 at the farmer's market!
  • 4 - Organic lemon cucumbers
  • 2 - Avocados
  • 1lb Organic Green & yellow beans
  • 1/4lb Organic Okra
  • Organic Heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Artichokes
  • 1 Organic Butter lettuce
  • 6 Organic Purple bell peppers
  • 1 Bunch organic cilantro
  • 2 Organic Cauliflower
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 1 Large Red Onion
  • 1 Bunch radishes
  • 1 Large bag mixed greens w/ nasturtiums
  • 1 medium bag - arugula & baby gem 
  • 4-pack Prather Ranch Moroccan Style Lamb Sausage
  • 1 Quart - Organic Pastures - Grade A - Whole Milk
  • 1 Rotisserie Free Range Chicken - Galvin's Market (not shown in photo)

We also have a meat share that we are part of with Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma.  Our drop happens every other Wednesday.  Typically our shipment includes one or more of the following cuts of meat/poultry that we split over the two week period.  It ends up being around $25 a week for the meat share bringing our budget around $75 a week for food.

2 Dozen Pastured Eggs
1 - 4lb Pastured Chicken
Various cuts of Grass fed Beef
Various cuts of Pastured Pork

If you would like to learn more about the type of shares Tara Firma Farm provides - please inquire within at this website - http://www.tarafirmafarms.com/ - please let them know I sent you.  They are very accommodating with the selection of meats/poultry.  For instance if you don't eat beef they will note this on your file and make sure that your selection only includes pork & chicken.  They also offer a veggie & fruit share for those looking to avoid shopping at the market each week but instead doing one stop shopping and picking up meats & veggies at the same place.  

Meal Plan for the Week:

We had some left over chicken tikka masala from a delicious tripled recipe that I made the week prior from http://www.againstallgrain.com/.  This is a great site to follow for amazing delicious grain free recipes.  So this was definitely taken into consideration before we went to the market.  

  • Salad for Saturday night dinner party for 12 at a friend's house - Large bag of mixed greens, 1 cucumber lemon, red onion, avocado, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes & radishes w/ homemade dressing.
  • Sunday Dinner: Lamb Sausage Stuffed Peppers -  Tomatoes, Onion, Cauliflower Rice & Moroccan Lamb Sausages 
  • Monday Dinner: Steamed Artichoke w/ Homemade Spicy Aioli w/ Roasted Chicken w/ Homemade Cilantro Chimichurri
  • Tuesday Dinner: Left over Chicken Tikka Masala w/ Cauliflower Rice
  • Wednesday Dinner: Dined out w/ family.
  • Thursday Dinner: Quick & Easy Salmon Tacos (used 3 3.75% oz cans of boneless salmon from Vital Choice that we had in the cupboard) w/ butter lettuce wraps, cilantro,  avocado, cherry tomatoes topped with cilantro chimichurri or spicy aioli
  • Friday Dinner: Homemade Burgers w/ Steamed Artichoke & Mixed Green Salad w/ Homemade Dressing derived from the left over Cilantro Chimichurri.
Throughout the week we eat the leftovers from dinner for our lunches at work. Or I make quick and easy salads for us to enjoy on the days we both work from home.  Every day for breakfast we have sauteed veggies, eggs, meat, or something left over in the fridge.  We don't really plan breakfasts out knowing we have stuff on hand that we can throw together before heading out the door that is quick easy & delicious.

As you can see from my list above we didn't end up using all of the produce we bought from the farmer's market.  We still have the following in our fridge after we make dinner tonight that will roll over into next week and cut down on our budget at the farmer's market this week.  Instead of spending $55, we will likely spend around $35-40.

1 Purple Bell Pepper
Okra (Planning to make dehydrated chips w/ this tonight)
2 Lemon cucumbers
1 Avocado
1/2 White Onion
3/4 Quart of Whole Milk (My husband uses this in his espressos)
Green Beans
1 Lamb sausage 

Tomorrow morning I will be making an egg scramble - it will encompass the bell pepper, onion & avocado and lamb sausage.  Everything else that is left over will be incorporated into the early part of our meals this coming week.  Any left overs in the fridge that we didn't end up eating will get put into meal portions and frozen for future meals when we are in a pinch on time.

What are your favorite ways to shop for groceries?  Do you adhere to a budget? How have you made this is a success with your family?  Do you find posts of this nature interesting?  Would you like to see more of these included with the recipes Tracy & I provide each week?  I would love to hear feedback from our readers.  

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying healthy fresh food!

Live, Love, Laugh & BEE Healthy Doing It!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Indian Inspired - Vegetable Biryani "Rice"

My husband and I absolutely love Indian food.  He actually jokes that maybe in his past life he was Indian because he loves it that much.  We haven't had the chance yet to make it to India, but someday we are hoping to make the trek to enjoy some traditional Indian dishes.  One of our favorite Indian places is Khana Peena located in Rockridge area of Oakland.  They offer great quality local ingredients on their menu (including pastured & organic meats/poultry).  If you live in the East Bay and love Indian food I highly recommend this restaurant.  

Anyway, I stumbled across a chicken tikka masala & saffron "rice" recipe over at Against All Grain.  I made a huge batch of the chicken tikka masala & saffron "rice" last week and it turned out pretty good.  We had some left over masala for this week, and I decided to make my own spin on biryani this time around.  It turned out so delicious!! 

It also inspired me to try and come up with a "risotto" type recipe soon with some of the summer veggies at the farmers market next week.  Be on the lookout for this one in the next week if it turns out good too.

Ingredients for Veggie Biryani:
1 Head organic cauliflower - Finely grated to the size of rice
2t Curry Powder
1t Cumin
1t Coriander
1/2t Turmeric
1/2t Organic orange peel
3T Grassfed butter or coconut oil
1/4t Cracked red pepper (optional - kicks the spiciness up a notch!)
1c Homemade chicken broth
1 White onion - diced
1 1/2c Organic peas - fresh or frozen
1/4c Diced raw almonds (I used my soaked/dried almonds that I had made late last week.  If you would like to learn more about why it's important to soak nuts & seeds please check out this post from 6/14.)  
Sea salt & black pepper - to taste

  • Melt 2T grassfed butter or coconut oil over medium heat - saute onion & cauliflower for 3-5 min

  • Add diced almonds and spices - saute for additional 3 min
  • Add peas and 1/2c Homemade chicken broth - simmer
  • Stir occasionally/lightly until broth is absorbed

  • Taste test - add sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • Add 1/2c homemade broth & 1T grassfed butter or coocnut oil - simmer for additional 5-7 min, stirring occasionally
  • Taste & Enjoy!
Vegetable Biryani

Chicken Tikka Masala w/ Vegetable Biryani

Monday, July 23, 2012

Banana Bread Bites

  • 1 egg
  • 1 really ripe banana
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a mixer or food processor combine egg, banana, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil. In a bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, raisins and/or walnuts if using. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix until a thick batter forms. Scoop 1" balls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Caper and Onion Meatballs

Meatballs are great because you can use just about anything you want to make them. I use what I have on hand and don't really follow a recipe. However, the last batch that I made turned out great so I wanted to share...

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 lb pastured ground pork
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp capers, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • a pinch of cumin
In a large mixing bowl mix egg, onion, capers and spices together. Add meat and mix well without squeezing. Form into golf ball size meatballs, it should make about 30. In small batches (you don't want to crowd them) brown all sides in a medium-hot skillet with a light coating of lard. Once meatballs are brown, transfer to a large pot or skillet with desired sauce or warmed bone broth. Cover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Candy Bar

  • 2-1/2 cup assorted nuts
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Roughly chop half of the nuts. Pour the rest of the nuts in a blender or food processor and pulse to make small pieces. You could also do this by hand, the goal is to have different size pieces. If you are using large pieces of dried fruit like apricots or dates, chop them into small pieces.
In a small sauce pan heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, nut butter and salt over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and mix in the extract. Pour liquid into a bowl with the nuts/fruits and mix well. Pour mixture onto a parchment lined 8×8 container. Using another piece of parchment paper press down on the mixture to spread to the edges and make even. Leave the parchment paper on top and put them in the freezer for an hour or two to set. When they are solid, pull the parchment paper out and cut into desired bar or bite sized pieces. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sweet Uncle Pete's Famous Buffalo Chicken Wings

The days of missing deep fried chicken wings will be LONG gone after you try out this recipe!  This is a super easy and a very healthy way to make those delicious chicken wings.  Thanks for sharing your recipe PT!


Serving Size:
Entree: 1lb wings per person
Appetizer: .25-.50lbs wings per person

For the sake of this recipe it will serve 2.

2lbs Pastured Chicken Wings
Frank's RedHot Original (If you want spicy buffalo style wings) or Organic Harvest Jalapeno Pepper Sauce or Organic Harvest Chipotle Habanero Sauce
Grassfed Butter or Virgin Coconut Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper


  • Preheat Oven to 400F - If you have a charcoal grill I would also get this started so once the chicken comes out of the oven it can go onto the grill for the last 10-20 min. 
  • Rinse wings w/ water and clip with kitchen sheers as shown in the photo below.

  • Once everything has been chopped as shown above, set out on your baking dish

  • Sprinkle w/ a little sea salt & black pepper and bake for 20 min at 400F

  • On stove - Add 1/4-1/2c Hot Sauce of Choice & Melt w/ 2T Grassfed Butter or Virgin Coconut Oil - Mix until melted over low-medium heat and turn off until ready to toss w/ wings after grilling (This step is optional).
  • After 20 min are up in oven, place wings onto your grill and cook for an additional 10-20 min.  Be careful not to burn the skin, you just want it to get nice & crunchy but not overcooked.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss prepared hot sauce & wings together 
  • EAT! We like to serve ours w/ rosemary baked sweet potato fries(BELOW) & Edo's spicy aioli (BELOW) and a side salad.  DELICIOUS!

Recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries:

1 Organic Sweet Potato - Sliced as shown in photo below
1/4t Fresh Ground Black Pepper (optional)
1/2t Celtic Sea Salt
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
1/4t Ground Chipotle Pepper (optional)
1/2t Cracked Red Pepper (optional)
1/2t Onion Powder
1/2t Garlic Powder
1T Melted Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Toss all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl - ensure all ingredients are coated as photo shows below.

  • Place on baking dish and cook for 30-40 min.  
  • Check on Fries 15 min into cooking and flip to other side
  • Remove from oven and Serve once both sides of the sweet potato fries have some crunch to them as shown in photo below.

Directions for Preparing Spicy Aioli:

  • Add egg, 1T mustard, pinch of Italian spices, sea salt & black pepper, juice of 1 medium lemon, 3 cloves garlic, 1T sriracha (gluten free), 3 diced green onions (white & green) into your blender - We use our Vitamix that has multiple speed levels.
  • Blend on medium (level 5 of 10 on Vitamix) for 5 seconds
  • Slowly add EVOO into blender on medium/high speed (level 7/8 of 10 on Vitamix) - Continue to add until you get a creamy consistency.  Be careful not to add to much olive oil or it will turn into a thick mayo.
  • Taste & re-add ingredients until your desired taste has been achieved.
  • Set aside for later use or store in the fridge for use up to 5-7 days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

BBQ Sauce

Hi all! I am so excited to be contributing to this wonderful blog! Chrissy has been such an inspiration to me through her healthy living. She has encouraged and supported me through a very transitional time in my life, and for that I am very grateful! I live with Celiac Disease now, so all of my recipes will be gluten-free. I hope you enjoy what I have to share.

This BBQ sauce is slightly tangy and full of goodness! I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is super simple.

  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grade B maple syrup
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder or 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • a dash of clove
Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until sauce thickens, 30-45 minutes. 

I like to use this sauce in my crock pot over pork ribs. In this case, just bring all the ingredients to a boil and then transfer to your crock pot.

Here is a picture of one of our favorite uses for the sauce...meatballs.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies - BEST EVER!

Thank you to Elana's pantry for another delicious dessert!! Today I changed up the recipe a bit and used maple syrup in place of honey.  I didn't have any on hand and it still turned out delicious!!  If you don't have any palm vegetable shortening - coconut oil works as well in place of it.  I always melt which ever I use when doing this recipe to help with mixing the dough together prior to use.