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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash with Kielbasa and Salad {In the Kitchen with Kayla}



Yesterday's nights dinner was a flop. I intended to make baked chicken legs with roasted carrots and capers. It was roughly based on a recipe called Lemon Artichoke Chicken. My family thought it was over powering sour flavors with the lemon and capers. So if you want the original recipe its in the book Practical Paleo. So that's why I didn't post dinner last night. Here's the pic... looked good just didn't taste good enough for us to want to eat it again.


Okay so on to tonight's dinner. 


We've been trying to cut out a lot of foods in hopes of determining what it is that's causing us problems. Nightshades are one of those things. [Nightshades are any of various solanaceous plants, such as deadly nightshade, woody nightshade, and black nightshade. Any of various plants of the genus Solanum. Courtesy: Dictionary.com] These include food such as Tomatoes, Potatoes (Not Sweet Potatoes), Eggplant, Peppers (Sweet & Hot), Gogi Berries, Tomatillos, Cape Gooseberries (but not regular), Garden Huckleberries, Ground Cherries (Not bing or rainier), Ashwaganda and Tobacco. These food can cause inflammation in certain people and can cause joint pain (Practical Paleo, 29 & 116). 

Anyway, originally I was going to add a can of diced tomatoes to make this more like spaghetti but we decided that we wouldn't do that (because of the inflammation causing properties). So I roasted the Spaghetti Squash in the oven at 375°F. for 30 minutes. Browned the Kielbasa and mixed it all together in the skillet and added a salad, as I always do. I was planning on making steamed carrots also, but we were playing games as a family and I got distracted. It wasn't the best dinner ever. But it was good enough to eat. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying anything. Rather the opposite. It may take a long time to find a months worth of meals your family actually enjoys but it will be worth it. 

This post gave me an idea for Kielbasa Kabobs. Going to have to try that! Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Swirly Crustless Quiche {In the Kitchen with Kayla}


The recipe is modified slightly from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. I really like this book so far!

I made this yesterday morning for Breakfast but it makes enough for two mornings so its also today's breakfast.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large Zucchini, shredded and strained
  • 2 large Carrots, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary-Sage Salt (recipe also in the book) I used Basil and Salt 
  • 12 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, Bacon Grease, or Coconut Oil
  • Ham, pork sausage, ground beef, or bacon, cooked (optional) (I used Italian Turkey Sausage)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Squeeze out the excess water from the zucchini using cheese cloth, a strainer bag or a flour sack towel. (This step isn't absolutely necessary, but will help to yield a better consistency to your quiche). Mix together the zucchini, carrots, rosemary-sage salt, eggs and meat (if using) in a large bowl, and then set aside. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour the egg mixture into the pan. For a swirled effect, use a fork to create a circular pattern before baking. (Doesn't work very well with meat added). Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the edges are brown. The quiche will puff up while baking and then deflate when removed from the oven.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ground Beef & Bacon Over Spaghetti Squash, Roasted Root Veggies, & Salad {In the Kitchen with Kayla}


Tonight I forgot to take pictures of dinner so I thought I'd make this cute series banner for you instead. Its a peek into my kitchen. I hope you like it!

In my food prep hour that I talked about in yesterday's tips, I ground 3 pounds of bacon ends & pieces. I put 1 pound in my skillet to brown and saved the rest for burgers. 

Then I peeled and chopped 2 Rutabagas, 1 Turnip and 1 Yam for my Roasted Root Veggies. I greased a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer. When enough bacon grease had rendered in the skillet, I spooned some onto the veggies and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I then prepared my spaghetti squash by cutting off the stem end and cutting it in half lengthwise. I put a sheet of parchment paper on another baking sheet, sprinkled both halves with salt and pepper and placed them cut sides down on the baking sheet. I placed both in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. I should have turned/stirred the root veggies half way through but I didn't so one side was a little charred. 

While the squash & root veggies were baking I browned a pound of ground beef in the skillet with the bacon and seasoned it with coriander, parsley, basil and salt. When the spaghetti squash had cooled a little I scraped the "noodles" out with a fork and mixed them into the beef/bacon mixture. 

You can see how I make salad here. Since I'd done prep work for salads the last two nights the only thing I chopped tonight was cucumber, the rest I just threw in the bowl. Tonight's dinner made enough food for us to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I love it when this happens and I try to make it happen as often as I can.

{Tips}:
~Make meals that feed you twice! It saves time and a lot of energy (yours and the kind you pay for).
This is the two morning breakfast I made this morning and then tonight's dinner is also tomorrow's lunch so the work I did today basically allows me to heat 2 of tomorrow's meals. Sweet!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kielbasa, Mixed Squash, Salad - {In the Kitchen with Kayla}


Tonight's dinner was sort of thrown together. I was originally planning on making something else, but my daughter asked if we could have the kielbasa that we has recently bought. Our local Natural Grocers had it on sale last time we were there and so we bought a couple without specific plans for them. Anyway, I like to accommodate the food desires of my family when I can so I said sure, why not?! But as our food budget grows increasingly tighter as we try to eat better quality foods, I couldn't just steal side dishes from another nights dinner. So here's what I did. I had purchased 2 Mexican Squash for yesterday's dinner and only ended up using one. So I cut that up and went rummaging for anything else I might throw in. I found half a bag of frozen broccoli in the freezer and some leftover acorn squash and leftover squash from last nights dinner. I threw in the broccoli and cooked the two. When it was almost time for dinner I tossed in the leftover squashes to warm them up but not make them mushy. I made another salad just like last night. And there you go. Dinner is done!

{Tips}:
~Instead of produce wash I spray my produce with peroxide. It kills any molds on the surface and helps to remove pesticides (so I've read, but have no idea where). And because its not a foreign chemical to me I feel much safer using it. Plus, its budget friendly, I can get a bottle for 88¢. I put a dollar store spray bottle sprayer in it and it allows me to spray right on veggies or counters to disinfect after meat prep.
~When I can I like to wash and cut if necessary any fruits or veggies that will stay fresh after doing so. Tonight I washed all the blueberries, picked out the spoiling ones and any stems and put them in a container in the fridge. I also washed and sliced all the strawberries. This makes the rest of the weeks salad prep a lot easier. Tomorrow all I will have to cut is the cucumber and celery. Hope you like the lovely food prep photos. Enjoy!

~My last tip for tonight is on food prep. I try to always schedule 1 hour of food prep every evening before my 1 hour to make dinner. This allows me to do things like, shred carrots, wash & cut berries, make a dessert, prep tomorrows breakfast, or dinner veggies, cut carrot sticks for lunches. It allows me to make head way in feeding my family well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rosemary Basil Burgers, Sautéed Squashes and Salad {In the Kitchen with Kayla} ~ New Series


So tonight I felt inspired to photograph and blog what we had for dinner. I know there are likely millions of other bloggers out there doing this very same thing. I also know when I'm stumped about what to make, I appreciate the help. I also believe in "the more the merrier" so here we go with a new series called {In the Kitchen with Kayla} where I will attempt to blog every new dinner idea we try. Hoping you'll be able to find something new to add to your recipe stash!

So tonight for dinner we had: Rosemary Basil Burgers, Sautéed Squashes and a Salad.

The Rosemary Basil Burgers recipe comes from a book called The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers, M.D. I highly recommend every one read this book, but that's another post. I made these ahead and froze them. So I let them thaw a little while I did the other prep work.


For the squash I used one small zucchini and one Mexican squash. (I had never seen or heard of them before, but when I went to buy yellow crookneck squash they we're terrible looking, so I opted for the Mexican squash). They have a green and white "speckled" skin (that is if the sign was right at the store). I thought they would help to add some interest to the dish. Anyway, I sliced the zucchini, and quartered and sliced the Mexican squash. I added some coconut oil and bacon grease (for flavor) into my cast iron skillet and let it melt. Then I added the squash, sprinkled it with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and kelp powder (see tip below on why I used kelp powder). Then I let them sit there til I was ready to start the burgers. We like to have dinner at 6 pm so I usually wait til about 5:30 pm to start the actual cooking.



Meanwhile, I started my salad. Now I've never seen anyone do it this way so hopefully, you'll learn something new. For health reasons we don't really buy bottled salad dressing, and though I can make some pretty good homemade ones and store them in the fridge, there are preference issues in our family. So to make it easy, I've really simplified the dressing. {1} Its Olive Oil (Organic), salt, pepper, and any other spices we like. Could be granulated garlic (as was the case tonight and most nights), or cumin, or coriander, what ever you like. {2} Then I chop or shred my veggies. Tonight we had cucumber, carrots, and celery (see tip below). {3} I add them to the bowl right on top of the dressing. {4} Next, I wash and cut any fruit we are having in our salad. We had raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Use whatever's in season and affordable. (This is a huge way to make "non-salad eaters" eat salad). {5} Add your greens. Tonight we had spring greens, but other times we'll have spinach or a mix of leftover lettuces from wraps. Tear the pieces that are too big for anyone's mouth. I leave my salad just like this until the rest of dinner is ready and I'm just about to dish up plates. This allows me to do my salad prep at my convenience while not having it get soggy sitting there. I don't like cold salad so I let it sit on the counter while everything finishes cooking. If you think this is unsafe or you like your salad cold simply stick it in the fridge when your done. Just remember that the olive oil will harden and need a few minutes to come to room temperature. I start making dinner at 5 pm so usually the salad isn't out for very long with everything that's going on.{6} I toss to distribute the oil and all the fun toppings and serve.

{Tips}:
~Some of you may think "that's way too much fat for the squash" but in reality our bodies can only absorb/process certain vitamins if we've eaten them with adequate fat.
~I use the kelp powder because it tastes salty and lets me use less salt (only concerned with saving money here, good quality salt is good for you!), plus it adds minerals that can be hard to get elsewhere and because its powdered and added in such small amounts you can't even taste it.
~I shred enough carrots for a weeks worth of salads at once. That way I don't have to get out my food processor over and over or shred them by hand every night (plus less clean up). I have bad teeth so I can't eat hard chunks of carrots, so this makes them an easy addition to our week night salads {2}.
~If you have family members who really don't like something you can always leave it out of the major salad and add it as a topping for those who like it. You can see the celery on my cutting board in image {4}. My husband can't stand celery so I put it as a topping on mine and my daughters salads.
~Lastly, others out there have talked about this but I think its so important I will likely share it on everyone of these posts in this series. When you trim your veggies, make a pile. Save things like skin you peeled off carrots that wasn't disgusting, or the ends you trim from you squash, cut off any bad parts and throw away. The rest of it should go into a gallon size freezer bag. Put the bag in the freezer. This saves time and food (= money) when you make homemade chicken stock. And if your not you so need to start!


Rosemary and Basil Grass-fed Burgers

This recipe is modified from a book called The Autoimmune Solution by: Dr. Amy Myers, M.D.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Organic Grass-fed Beef
  • 1 pound Ground Bacon (pastured if possible), Pork or Sausage
  • 2 t Dried Granulated Garlic (about the size of salt granules)
  • 2 t Dried Minced Onion
  • 3 t Dried Rosemary
  • 3 t Dried Basil
  • 1/2 t Real Salt
  • 1/2 t Black Pepper

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the meat and all the spices. Turn on a couple clicks and let mix until spices are well incorporated. (I use my stand mixer because sometimes I'm not strong enough to get meat mixed well, but it works fine to use a regular ole bowl and your hands). Form into 8 patties. These freeze well, just make sure to put butcher paper in between the patties. Cook to your preference. (The images above are being cooked from frozen, I love to make all my burgers ahead of time, especially in big batches).

{Tip}: You have to try the make ahead and freeze in big batches concept. I'd heard it a couple times before I tried it and I seriously thought how much time can it really save you? I was amazed! It really saves a lot of time and clean up energy. But likely you'll have to try it yourself to believe me, so try it!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Great Things I learned from my Mom! (RIP)

April 26th, 2012
I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but just don't feel like I have enough memories to make it long enough. My mom passed away 11 years and 1 month ago. I never fully grieved my losing her and today like any day I could probably list all the things I've needed her to teach me rather that remember what she has. But I'm going to start this post just like I did the one for Dad and hope to be able to add to it often.

~She taught me to speak to children like they were adults. They understand and they learn to speak properly, earlier and more accurately.~

~She taught me how to make the most amazing macaroni salad, although the recipe has since been lost.~

~She taught me how to hang clothes on a clothes line and how to do laundry.~

~She taught me how to bake.~

November 19th, 2012
~She taught me how to crochet.~

~She taught me how to do embroidery.~

~She inspired me to learn to sew.~

~She taught me how to iron, which is vital to sewing.~

March 9th, 2015

~She taught me to never do less than a full load of laundry. Although, doing a smaller load allows you to save water, it still uses the same amount of electricity. Always wash full loads whenever possible.~