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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

thanksgiving blog post 2013-page0001 Thanksgiving, the food day of all days. We’re less than a week out which means prep time is here. Whether or not you get to be the lucky one preparing and serving the feast,  it is important to prepare ahead of time. That is what we hope you get out of this week’s recipe post, a little help with your holiday preparation.

First, let’s start with talking about the big guy, you know who I mean. If you are preparing a turkey this year and want to keep this Thanksgiving gluten free or Paleo, it’s important to know your turkey. We all know turkey is naturally gluten free. It isn’t made of or wheat, or barley, or any other grains that contain gluten; but some turkeys are injected with a solution intended to make them tastier and juicier.

This is where our naturally delicious gluten free bird can become contaminated. Read the label on the turkey, if it says it was injected with Modified Food Starch, put it down and walk away. Here is why, the most common types of modified food starch are made from corn, wheat, potato and tapioca. Most modified starches are gluten free, except for those that use wheat starch as a base. So if it doesn’t define where the modified food starch came from, such as Modified Corn Starch, don’t risk it.

If you are planning on attending someone else’s feast, and know they will not be making gluten free, or paleo dishes, bring your own! Figure out one or two of your favorite dishes that are typically not gluten free or paleo; think stuffing, rolls, pies, even gravy. If you want to make your own turkey gravy without having the turkey drippings, simply visit your local butcher and ask if they have any turkey necks and giblets to make a turkey stock with.

If cooking isn’t your thing, there are PLENTY of gluten free bakeries here in Portland. New Cascadia, Tula, Sweet Pea, Gluten Free Gem,  and Craven Raven are all gluten bakeries in the Portland area just to name a few. Just be aware if you have a special order, don’t wait too long to place it. Most bakeries deadlines will probably be this weekend.

Finally, what would a recipe post be, without recipes? We’re turning to Natalie of Honey, Ghee, & Me. Natalie is a a counselor at a middle school who grew up “in a house that oozed food”. She believes that “food should be real”, “eating should be fun”, you should “know your body”, “avoid diets and gimmicks”, and “be open to learning more”. Honey, Ghee, & Me is FULL of so many delicious looking recipes, it’s definitely worth checking out.

The specific post we’re looking at today is “Thanksgiving Roundup… 40 Healthy Recipes For Your Feast!”. Natalie has compiled 40 recipes perfect for Thanksgiving. Everything from drinks, soups, sides, desserts and more. Some stand outs for us are:

Autumn Salad w/Apples, Pomegranates, & Persimmons w/Orange Vinaigrette & Candied Hazelnuts by Savory Lotus

Butternut Squash Gratin by Oh Lardy!

Chef James‘ Breadless Stuffing on Eat Naked Now

Fermented Cranberry Sauce by Oh Lardy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Gingerbread Tarts {Paleo} by Beauty and the Foodie

To check out Natalie’s full list of 40 Thanksgiving day recipes, click HERE!

Remember that while this holiday can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. If you need help, ask for it, and focus on the good. Hopefully you will have family/friends to spend the day with, delicious food to enjoy, and many many things to be thankful for. We are certainly thankful for all of you. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving.

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The celebration of our country’s independence is like the unofficial start of summer here in the northwest. What’s a better way to start out summer than with a holiday good for getting together both friends and family to barbecue,  picnic, go swimming, play outside, and party on into the night?  Whether you are planning your own party for the 4th, or if are planning on attending someone else’s, you can be ready with the fabulous recipes we found, perfect for this Independence Day.

On the menu we have burgers from Mamma Eats Clean, grilled chicken found on Whole 9 (contributed by the fantastic Michelle Tam, bloggess at Nom Nom Paleo), faux “potato” salad from Elena’s Pantry, cucumber watermelon salad also from Whole 9 (Contributed by Julie and Charles Mayfield, authors of and bloggers at Paleo Comfort Foods), and from Juli Bauer of PaleOMG a classic summer dessert, FUDGESICLES! If you are looking for a WOW dessert to bring to a party, check out our last recipe for Watermelon Cake from Paleo Cupboard, it’s pretty simple, delicious, refreshing, and looks AMAZING!

Alright, enough talk, let’s get cooking!

Beef and Pork Grilled Paleo Burgers – The Perfect Patty

by MamaChanty, of Mama Eats Clean

Ingredients

– 1 lb lean ground beef
– 1 lb lean ground pork
– 1 lb lean ground pork
– 2 small cloves garlic, minced
– 1/3 cup onion, finely minced
– 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
– A few dashes of black pepper
– 1 egg
– 1/4 cup ground golden flax

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill – medium/high heat.
2. Throw all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and gently combine all the ingredients until JUST combined.
3. Form into about 10 to 11 patties.
4. About 1/3 cup of mixture for each patty. Press a couple thumbprints into each patty.
5. With grill at about 375 degrees cook them for about 10 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve with toppings of your choice.
 

*DO NOT OVERMIX. Just mix the ingredients together as gently as you can until just combined and then stop. 

*Make a couple of finger imprints in the middle of the burger once you form them into patties. When the burger inevitably shrinks this keeps it from turning into a ball.

*Look for meat as lean as you can find for a good price.

*Only turn the patties once on the bbq. 

Fiona’s Phenomenal Grilled Green Chicken

by Michelle Tam of Nom nom Paleo

Ingredients:

– 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
– 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
– 1 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
– 1/4 cup packed mint leaves
– 4 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
– 3 peeled garlic cloves
– Zest from 1 medium lime
– Ground black pepper
– 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
– 2 tablespoons apple juice
– Kosher salt
– 3 pounds chicken drumsticks or thighs
– 2 medium limes, cut into 8 wedges
 

Directions:

1. Combine the first 10 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Sample the marinade for seasoning and add salt to taste.
3. Place the chicken in a gallon-size plastic bag and pour the marinade on top. Make sure the air is squeezed out before sealing the bag. Place the bag of chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour and up to a day.
4. Take the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before you roast it off so it can come to room temperature.
5. Throw the marinated chicken on a medium-hot grill for about 25 minutes, turning every 5 to 7 minutes. The chicken is finished cooking when the internal temperature is 170 F or when the juices run clear.
6. Serve the roasted chicken thighs/drumsticks with lime wedges.
 

No Potato Salad

by Elana, of Elana’s Pantry

Ingredients:

– 1 head cauliflower
– 2 stalks celery, diced
– 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3-4 tablespoons)
– 1 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
– 2 eggs, hard boiled and diced
– 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil vegenaise
– 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
– ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

Directions:

1. Chop cauliflower into small florets (½ inch)
2. Steam cauliflower on the stove until fork-tender, not more or a stronger “cauliflower” smell develops
3. Allow cauliflower to cool then place in a large bowl
4. Add celery, onion, parsley and egg
5. Stir in Vegenaise, mustard and salt
6. Serve
 

Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

by  Julie and Charles Mayfield, of Paleo Comfort Foods

Ingredients:

– 4 cups watermelon, deseeded and either cubed or shaped into balls using a melon baller
– 2 cups English cucumber, sliced
– 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
– ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
– 1–2 teaspoons balsamic or red wine vinegar (optional)

 

Directions: 

1. Take watermelon, cucumber, mint, and lime juice, and mix in a bowl.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 
*Do Ahead—You can prep the watermelon, cucumber and mint ahead of time, but don’t add the lime juice or any salt until it is close to time to serve.
 
 

And FINALLY dessert:

4th of July Fudgesicles

by Juli of PaleOMG

Ingredients:

– 2 bananas, peeled
– ½ cup canned coconut milk
– 2 dates, pitted
– 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 tablespoons raw honey
– 1 heaping tablespoon Sunbutter (or nut butter of choice)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– pinch of salt
– ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
 

Directions:

1. Use food processor to puree banana and dates together
2. Add coconut milk, cocoa powder, honey, sunbutter, vanilla extract, salt and puree.
3. Pour ⅛ cup of dark chocolate chips into 2 paper cups (⅛ cup between the two paper cups).
4. Pour fudgesicle liquid into the two paper cups on top of the chocolate chips.
5. Place a craft stick (popsicle stick) in the middle.
6. Place cups in freezer and let freeze overnight.
7. Use scissors to cut the cup and ENJOY!
 

And that’s it! We hope you have a SAFE and AMAZING holiday. Eat well, eat clean, and be HAPPY!

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One of the VERY best things about summer, all the delicious fresh fruit! Rainier cherries, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and of course, quite possibly the king of all summer fruit, the mighty watermelon. Today’s Recipe focuses primarily on watermelon, it’s really the star of the show, with your favorite summer seasonal buddies lending a hand. If you were debating on something special to make this weekend for Father’s day, this would be a great recipe to try!

Curious what the recipe is? Okay, I’ll tell you, Paleo Watermelon Cake! This no bake recipe is perfect to whip up in warm weather, without heating up the house, and will cool you down while you eat it! We found this recipe on Amy‘s recipe blog: Paleo Cupboard.  Amy is a wife,  mother of two, and a full time business woman. Where she finds the time to come up with and share her tasty recipes, I have no clue, but we couldn’t help sharing her Grandmother’s perfect summer recipe when we saw just how good and refreshing it looked.

 

YUM! Right?! I don’t know about you, but I can’t WAIT to try this recipe, so let’s get to it:

Paleo Watermelon Cake

Ingredients: 

– 1 large seedless watermelon
– 2 cans full fat coconut milk (left in fridge for 6 hours or more)
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 Tbsp. raw honey
– 1 cup sliced raw almonds
– Seasonal fresh fruit (for topping)

Directions

TO MAKE THE COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM:

1. Make sure to place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or overnight). This will cause the cream to separate from the milk. The cream will be at the top of the can.

2. Open the can of coconut milk and scrape out the cream into a medium sized bowl. Hint: I always open the can from the bottom and pour the milk out into a separate container before scraping out the cream. You can use the saved milk for smoothies and other recipes.

3. Add the vanilla and raw honey to the mixture. Whip the cream with a hand mixer on medium speed and work your way up to high speed until the cream is fluffy. Place the bowl of whipped cream in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE TOASTED ALMONDS:

1. Place a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat and allow the pan to get hot. 

2. Add the sliced almonds and toss in the pan until they are toasted and turn a light brown color. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. 

TO ASSEMBLE:

1. Remove the top and bottom from the watermelon and remove the rind from the middle section. You should be left with a cake-shaped piece of watermelon. Cut the watermelon “cake” into the number of wedges/slices you want. I recommend 6-8 slices depending on the size of the watermelon. 

2. Pat the outside of the watermelon dry with paper towels (this is important because it will help the coconut whipped cream adhere better).

3. Dip the outside edge of each slice into the coconut whipped cream and then into the toasted almonds, and reassemble the wedges into the cake shape on a serving platter. Top with more whipped coconut cream and your favorite fresh fruit (I used blackberries, strawberries and kiwi). Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

 

*This is best when served within a few hours of assembly, but I have left this in the fridge overnight and nothing budged, so you can prepare it ahead of time if you need to. The watermelon I used had just turned ripe, but an overly ripe watermelon will probably release more liquid and will not last as long. Don’t forget to pat the watermelon dry with the paper towels before adding the coconut whipped cream to help it adhere. Enjoy!

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Healthy gifts for Mother’s Day

3 01 Mother s Day health gift ideas

When it comes to Mother’s Day, flowers and brunch are lovely, but what most women need is some time off and help around the house. Catching a break in these areas can go a long way to supporting their health.

Most mothers seem to get the lion’s share of stress these days, and about 70 percent say they find mothering “incredibly stressful.” In addition to shouldering the bulk of the parenting and household duties, the majority of today’s moms work outside of the home, and more women than ever are single mothers.

It’s no wonder women suffer more stress-related diseases than men. More women than men die of heart disease, succumb to Alzheimer’s, and suffer from autoimmune disease. The burdens of being a modern women coupled with a woman’s complex hormonal system increase the risk of breakdowns in health.

Mother’s Day gift ideas to improve Mom’s health

With that in mind, here are some Mother’s Day gift ideas, requested by real-live moms, that can increase well being and help lower her risk of disease. As anyone who has ever lived with a mom can tell you, a happier mom makes for a happier household.

A housecleaner: The top requested Mother’s Day gift

When you have kids, keeping the house clean and tidy is a never-ending chore, yet an uncluttered house helps reduce stress by uncluttering the mind. Just as good as having the house thoroughly cleaned is knowing it’s going to be cleaned, a powerful stress-buster in itself. One cleaning is great, a regular service is heavenly. Cleaning the car, the garage, and outside areas are also great gifts.

Time alone

Another common request from moms is a break from the ones they love the most. It’s not personal, but running a family requires non-stop physical, emotional, and strategic skills. Some mothers would love the house to themselves for a day or even a weekend. Others prefer you send them away to spend a few days alone on the coast or somewhere nice. Time alone on a regular basis, free from daily duties, will help keep the mom batteries charged.

Bodywork

Whether it’s a massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, or some other form of bodywork, moms want the healing touch. Many studies demonstrate the health benefits of various forms of bodywork. A one-time session is great, but a package of regular visits will give mom a regular break from stress and some genuine wellness support.

Help with cooking

Another never-ending chore for moms is cooking. Growing children are always hungry and eating at a fast-food restaurant is a time-saving temptation that does no one good in the end. Progressive personal chefs today can deliver more economical services, such as crockpot ingredients ready to cook. You can also prepare and freeze ingredients for easy meals, or cook a few meals in large batches and stock the freezer for those hectic evenings.

The gift of appreciation

Mothers like to be acknowledged for all they do. If housecleaning, vacations, and bodywork are not in the cards, smaller gestures are still adored. A gift card for some free movies can buy her some time alone here and there. Homemade presents from the children will be treasured, and flowers enjoyed. As any good business leader knows, appreciating people boosts morale and energizes people, something every mom could use in the important and exhausting business of running a family.

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ImageThe holidays are here. That means family gatherings instead of going for convenience when you’re cooking for a crowd. And who doesn’t feel nostalgic about certain convenience foods? Cooking real foods also takes time and effort, but it can be done. It’s worth the effort.  And it doesn’t have to mean that you have to be in the kitchen all day instead of enjoying the party. Make a delicious feast that can be prepared in advance. Then enjoy time with loved ones and eating good food and not compromising your health.

Create your meal plan at least one week ahead, and purchase all the ingredients.  A larger turkey might need up to four days to completely defrost!! Three days before the party prepare a honey sweetened cranberry sauce (minus the agave) and a meat/nut/fruit stuffing (served the side). Two days before your feast prepare any desserts you have planned (consider a nut flour crust for your pumpkin/apple pie, or a no crust dessert). The day before the party brine and prepare the turkey for roasting the next day.  In the morning of Thanksgiving (or any holiday) be sure you know how long to cook your turkey and time your meal accordingly. Instead of mashed potatoes consider mashed cauliflower (for lower glycemic content), and prepare these before your guest arrive. You will need less than an hour before dinner to prepare gravy, green beans (or any steamed veggie) and salad and reheat the mashed cauliflower. And even better yet, delegate!!! At least delegate the appetizers (keep them light, such as olives, nuts, grapes) and any specialty drinks.

Wishing you a happy start to the Holidays,

From Anja and the rest of the team at Healing Path

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