How to: Roast Tomatoes

I love tomatoes. I have always loved tomatoes. I like them sliced, diced, broiled, or baked. Sauced, blended, and marinated. I do not, however, like tomatoes in January. They are typically bland, pale, and blah. In my Bountiful Basket the other week there were some tomatoes in there and instead of throwing them out I remembering seeing a recipe for marinara sauce using roasted tomatoes. Now to figure out how to roast them. It was easy to research tons of ways ut I wanted a very simple way with simple ingredients and here it is.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cut the tomatoes in half and take the core out of them. Lay them out on an foil-lined pan.

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Drizzle some olive oil over tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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You want them to be nice and roasted. Sometimes mine get a little brown on top. That equals yumminess. Take the tomatoes out of the oven and you’re done.

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Now you can use these any way you want or you can freeze them until you need them.

Now you can enjoy the goodness of using your bland tomatoes but I can’t wait until summer and I can try it out on ripe ones.

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I love soup: Beanless Chili

beanless chili

I am not a huge fan of Winter. It’s ok but I would be fine if it last 2 weeks and then went back to a perfect spring, even a fall day but winter is here and has been for awhile. Instead of get annoyed (well more annoyed) I turn to one of my favorite things… soup!

Seriously it’s amazing how many things you can fit in one bowl or how many veggies you can add or different flavor combinations, It’s quite impressive. This beanless chili is one of my favorite recipes because it makes a lot that I get left overs for days. (Another one of my favorite things.) I’ve had this for breakfast this morning with some avocado and fried egg. So good! The kids like it with sour cream, cheese, and Juanita’s tortilla chips.

It’s one of the meals that we all get really excited for.

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Beanless Chili

everyday paleo

2 lbs ground beef

1 lb  spicy italian pork sausage

7-10 celery stalks diced

6 carrots diced (optional)

1 white onion diced

6 cloves of crushed garlic

4 Tbs olive oil

1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes

16 ounces of chicken broth

2 big pinches of sea salt

2 Tbs. dried oregano

2 Tbs. dried basil

1 Tbs.cumin

3-4 Tbs. chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

Saute veggies in olive oil for about a minute and add meat and brown.  Season the meat mixture with all the spices.  Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer for 35 minutes.  Taste and add more seasoning if desired.  If you are feeling a little frisky, eat this awesome chili with a dollop of sour cream and some crushed corn chips.  If you are keeping it 100% paleo for the big day, it’s good just like it is!!

 

 

 

My Whole30 Challenge

I started my Whole30 challenge at the same time I started this blog. I figured it would be a great way to hold me accountable. Even though I have dropped the ball on the blog a bit I did not drop the ball on my Whole30 challenge.

Before the Whole30 I ate fairly paleo. I had more treats than probably necessary especially since I started in January. My eating was 50/50 for the month of November and December which is a huge improvement from previous years. There may have been a few weeks that I made almond roca (6 batches) and had a significant amount from each batch. It was delicious though but I noticed my energy sagging, my moods changing, and the slight bloated feeling come back. I had attempted a Whole30 before but left the dairy in knowing that I need it to help with my digestion but this time I wanted to go all in. What I learned from my Whole30 challenge is invaluable to me.

I learned about my relationship with food. I knew I enjoyed making treats for my family and to share with others but I didn’t find them necessary this month. I did make my jerky which felt like a treat and I dried some apples and bananas. It was nice to spend some time in the kitchen (my favorite room in my house) but it was exciting to spend more time with the kids or reading.

I learned I eat when I’m bored, happy, sad, annoyed, and hungry. Cutting down to three meals and some times an afternoon snack really helped me realize how often I was eating. I wasn’t hungry and the only thing I was missing were some of the extra calories I would get from snacking.

I learned how to listen to my body. This was huge! There were some days I would eat more because I was hungry. Sometimes I would eat less. Sometimes I need more carbs (sweet potatoes are my best friend). Sometimes I needed more protein and sometimes I just needed some water.

I was lucky because for me it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting and the benefits were great. I was hoping for more physical changes but I am learning that there are some things that can’t be undone (having kids) and that some times we just have to learn to love how we are.

I’m excited for the next step. People have been asking me what I’m going to have for my first meal after the Whole30. Honestly my cravings are gone. A couple of weeks ago it would have been frozen yogurt with candy toppings but I’m not wanting it right now so I’m not going to eat it. I finally decided to make some Pumpkin Paleo Granola as my first off meal and I am excited but I am also aware that it’s a treat and not a normal thing.

My goal is to eat pretty much how I have been on the Whole3o with the occasional fun.

If you are considering doing the Whole30 I highly recommend it. I feel great. I feel happy. I feel educated.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork… Yummy!

When we were first married we lived in West Jordan, Utah. My husband was a football coach and teacher at a local high school. I loved living in West Jordan because it is heavily populated with Polynesians and that means two things: Family and Great Food!

Before every home game the parents would make this huge ridiculous meal for the boys and coaches and I was luckily enough to eat some of the food. Delicious. One of my favorite things was the kalua pork. Simple but so flavorful. I had all but forgotten about it until I came a crossed it on NomNom Paleo’s website and now it is a staple. I like to make a 5-7# because we can have it so easily for leftovers. It is good on it’s own. I’ve had it with scrambled eggs. Nachos (for the kids). In soup. Breakfast burritos. It’s very versatile. Very delicious. Very easy.

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

5-7# boneless pork butt (I get mine at Costco)

Himalayan Pink Salt (NomNom uses Red Salt but I haven’t ordered it yet so… pink it is)

3-5 strips of bacon

3-5 cloves garlic (optional)

Lay the bacon on the bottom of your slow cooker. For every 1# use 3/4 tsp of salt.Sprinkle and rub salt all over your pork butt. Place cloves of garlic in the butt too. I took my knife and made holes and shoved some in. Place it your pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Take it out of the liquid. Shred it. Drain most of the liquid it’s very salty so you don’t need a ton. Then I throw my pork back in the crock pot and serve it out of there.

 

Sides: I love this with cauliflower faux-tatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. Yum!!

Day 15-17

doing-the-whole30

Day 15

Workout: Cleans, Hand Release Push Ups, MB Sit Ups

Breakfast: Banana Nut Porridge and eggs

Lunch: Roast beef and veggies

Dinner: Chicken and green salad

Day 16

Workout: Kettlebell Swings, Double Unders, Burpees

Breakfast: Banana Nut Porridge

Lunch: Chicken and green salad, cauliflower rice

Dinner: Kalua Pork, applesauce, and roasted vegetables

Workout: Cleans, Thruster, Push Press, Back Squats,  Pull Ups, Ball Slams, Push Ups, Air Squats, Sit Ups= Death!

Snack: Beef Jerky, 1/2 banana with almond butter, a little sweet potato

I’ve decided that I am only going to have nuts once a day. I think I’ve been eating them a lot and they are starting to replace mindless snacking (which is a no-no).

Day 17

Rest Day

Breakfast: Banana Nut Porridge (My only nuts for the day)

Lunch: Kalua Pork, Roasted Veggies

Snack: Beef Jerky, Dried apples and bananas

Dinner: Bean-Less Chili (Everyday Paleo)

Oh man was I excited this was a rest day. After my surprise two a day workout yesterday (Thanks to my coach) I was exhausted and so sore. All I wanted to do today was lay on my couch. I did get some cleaning done but it was definitely a lower energy day.

Homemade Jerky

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Jerky can be expensive and full of not great things. Because of that I have been wanting to make my own for about a year but I was crazy intimidated. That was until I got the book Eat Like a Dinosaur for Christmas (Thanks to my amazing hubby)  Guess what!! It had a jerky recipe in there. I read through it and it sounded pretty basic but I was still skeptical. Probably the whole dehydrating meat thing freaks me out a bit but I persevered. I am so glad I did. It was good. My kids loved it. I loved it. My hubby loved it but I like mine a little smokier so I set out to create a recipe all on my own.

I started with the basics and picked what spices I knew would go together. This was the best part and also kind of spendy. I did really small batches but it still adds up. Finally my daughter said that it tasted like the jerky I bought last year for our trip to my parents and I knew I had got it right.

Now I have read about doing flank steak but it scares me. I have only used a london broil. I went to my butchers and found the leanest cut there and then bought another because we stinkin’ love jerky at this house.

 

Smokey Homemade Jerky

This recipe makes a decent amount of jerky. You can half or even quarter it to suit your needs. Also you can dehydrate in an oven but I haven’t tried it.

4# london broil

1 c coconut aminos

1 T. liquid smoke

1 T. chili powder

2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

dash of cayenne

Take your meat and cut it in to 2″x3″ chunks and stick in the freezer for a couple hours. When ready slice with the grain 1/4″ thick. I used my meat slicer and it was super easy.

Take a big bowl that has a lid or a ziploc bag or a tupperware container. What ever you have on hand that also seals well and mix the rest of the ingredients in it. Toss in the meat and then I get my hands in there and make sure it is well coated and combined. Stick it in the fridge to marinate for 8-24 hrs flipping the container every few hours.  Then take it out and you can either pat it down a little with a paper towel or stick it right on the dehydrator trays. Run your dehydrator overnight and check them. I pull them when there is not moistness on the outside. Let cool and then throw them in a ziploc bag and store in the fridge or in the pantry but there are no preservatives so they will spoil if left too long in the pantry. Enjoy and tell me how you  like it or give me ideas to change it a bit.

Smokey Jerky

Day 14

doing-the-whole30

Day 14

Workout: “Fight Gone Bad”

Breakfast: Banana Nut Porridge (Against All Grain) Delicious!

Lunch: Eggs, sausage, and cauliflower rice pilaf (Well-Fed), berries with coconut cream, nuts, and coconut chips.

Dinner: Roast beef with roasted brussel sprouts and carrots.

I was talking to a friend today about how I felt my Whole30 was going and it was a great talk because I had a chance to reflect on changes at the half way mark so I figured I would share them with you too.

I am overall a fairly happy person. I don’t stress very much. Just kind of go with the flow. It’s nice.

In talking with my friend I realized that I am even more happy… maybe not that. More… patient which in turns makes me happier. As my Dad would say I have changed my tone of voice with my family. There is less yelling and fighting between us which is very nice. There is more together time because they help me out in the kitchen sometimes and also since I’m not snacking as much I try to stay out of the kitchen which leaves more time for them.

I have more energy. This is huge.I never really felt like I lacked energy. I am still tired by the end of the day which is ending a bit earlier than it used to but I get a lot more accomplished  in the awake hours. Mondays used to just be laundry day but I got most of the house cleaned plus I organized my spices.

I enjoy my food more and appreciate it which sounds really weird but I was habitually on the internet or on the phone or watching tv while eating. Since ending that I feel like I take more time to savor and enjoy my food. Even if it is just ham and a banana with almond butter.

All of these things led to a happier Me which is great and an added benefit that I didn’t know would happen. Another added bonus was my “mean” time I was so nice that even my hubby noticed which is awesome!!

 

I highly suggest you try the Whole30. It’s benefits are limitless and honestly… it’s only 30 days. 🙂