Cherry Jalapeno Simple Syrup

It was cherry season and I was trying to come up with some new way to highlight them.  I have made a cherry simple syrup before (and it’s also great with bourbon) but I wanted to put a little twist on that.  I decided to add in some jalapeño for a little earthiness and heat.  I wasn’t sure if the combo would work but I was hopeful.

Thankfully the combo turned out great! You can use this for margaritas or just to kick up some seltzer water.  It provides an amazing color to drinks and adds some uniqueness to your cocktail menu.

cherry jalapeno simple syrup3

Andrea’s Cherry Jalapeño Simple Syrup

  • 1C Water
  • 1C Sugar (Cane or Coconut works)
  • 15-20 Cherries, pitted
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced in half

In a medium sized sauce pan, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off heat.  Allow the syrup to cool and the ingredients to steep for about 1/2 an hour.

Pour all ingredients in a blender (See note at bottom) and blend until everything is smooth.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar.  Will keep for two weeks in the fridge.

NOTE: You can control the level of heat of this syrup by removing the seeds before simmering.  I wasn’t sure how spicy this would turn out so I only blended in half of the jalapeño.  It was a mild spicy, for more heat blend both halves.  Even more heat, keep the seeds in and blend those as well.

Perfect to bring along to cookouts and gatherings because people can use it to mix their own drinks and it can be at room temperature for a few hours.

You can also try using some frozen cherries to make this syrup in case you can’t find any fresh at the markets.

Enjoy guys, and remember, always play with your food!


Cherry Simple Syrup

Cherry Simple Syrup

My friend, Lori, over at Fake Food Free posted a picture on her instagram recently of bourbon and cherries.  I loved the idea so much that I started playing around with bourbon and cherries myself.

I had some cherries that were a little bruised and a little soft that needed used up.  I decided to try and make a simple syrup with them that can be used to flavor drinks.

The result is a glorious red colored simple syrup that can be used in everything from mixed drinks to flavoring seltzer water.

Andrea’s Cherry Simple Syrup

  • 1/2C Water
  • 1/2C Natural Cane Sugar (Can use palm sugar or honey here)
  • 1/2 pound Cherries, pits and stems removed

In a medium sized sauce pot add the sugar and water.  Over medium heat bring up to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved into the water.  Then add the cherries, simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat but leave pot on the burner.

Allow the mixture to cool for about 5-7 minutes.  Pour entire mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.

Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the syrup into a glass jar or bottle.

Shake before using.  Will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Makes 1 Cup of syrup.

I love the color of this syrup!  Feel free to switch up the fruits, you can do this with blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries as well!

We’ve been using this in mixed drinks with bourbon and also making some cherry lime margaritas.  It’s really easy to make and will be a hit in your household!

You can also keep it kid friendly by adding it to plain or lime seltzer for a little fun treat.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!


Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

Salads.  It’s one of those dishes that when I hear it, a few things come to mind.  I automatically assume it’s either lettuce or grain based.  Unless it’s at a summer gathering, then I think it’s either going to be potato or macaroni salad.  I’m trying to change my perception of what makes a salad so that I can experiement a little more.  Salads don’t have to be lettuce or grain based!  This might not be some amazing revelation to you but for me it opened up a lot more possibilities.

I was looking for something that I could create that would yield leftovers.  I wanted something to have at lunch that was veggie packed but not your standard boring mixed greens salad.

Since it was fall, I decided to incorporate a bunch of traditional fall ingredients like sweet potatoes and cranberries to create a salad that is great for lunch or as a side dish.  It’s also perfect for traveling so it can be taken to work (mason jar salad!) or to a party or picnic.  It’s grain free, it’s vegan, it’s Paleo.  It’s all the buzz words.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad


Andrea’s Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

For the salad:

  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1C Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tsp of Olive Oil for cooking

For The Dressing:

  • 2TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 2TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1/4C Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4C Light Olive Oil
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper


In a small glass bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the cubed sweet potatoes.  Boil until the sweet potato is just fully cooked through so that a knife pierces it easily but the sweet potato isn’t mushy.  About five – 10 minutes.  Drain the sweet potatoes making sure to remove as much water as possible.  Add to a large mixing bowl.

Using the fine grate or thin slice blade for your food processor, shred or shave (either works here) the Brussels Sprouts.  In a large skillet add in 1 tsp of light olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add in the sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove and add to the sweet potatoes.

Add in the cranberries and the red onion, toss to combine.  Pour the dressing over top of the salad and gently mix until everything has been coated in dressing.

Serve immediately or cover and place in fridge until ready to serve.  Serves 4 meal size portions or 8 as a side dish.

A couple of notes:

I slightly cooked the sprouts to help bring out more flavor and reduce their bitterness a bit.  This is a taste preference.  If you like raw sprouts then it’s OK to skip this step.  If you allow the salad to sit for several hours before serving, that will help breakdown the sprouts a bit.

This dish gets better the longer it has time to marinade in the dressing.

It does make for a big salad and this served two people as a meal for two lunches.

Leftovers are great but make sure to eat this in at least three days, otherwise the sprouts start getting a little funky.

Adding in some nuts, seeds, or even a little feta or goat cheese on top would make great additions to this salad!  A little twist on the traditional veggie side makes it perfect for holiday gatherings.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!


Spicy Cranberry Chutney from The Spicy Paleo Cookbook by Emily Dionne

I was contacted to review the The Spicy Paleo Cookbook by Emily Dionne and since our eats tend to lean towards more of a primal nature I was happy to take a look at the book.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the book is on the smaller side for a cookbook and that there are no pictures that accompany the recipes.  If this is important to you, you’ll need to keep that in mind.  Personally, I like the size of this book and that it is a paperback.  Sometimes cookbooks become such large tomes that they are a little unwieldy when you’re in the kitchen.

The cookbook is broken down into 6 chapters that features everything from appetizers to desserts.  Yes spicy desserts!  It’s packed full of recipes that you will no doubt start to incorporate in your meal planning and that will spark some inspiration in the kitchen.

While the cookbook does have Paleo in the title, you don’t have to eat primally to enjoy this book!  It’s full of recipes using real whole foods and that’s something we can all benefit from.

Spicy Cranberry Chutney from The Spicy Paleo CookbookWhat do you mean this picture is ironic?

I decided to go with the Cranberry Chutney from this book because I love the use of cranberries in nontraditional ways.  This was super easy to put together and full of flavor.  It would be a great addition to your upcoming Thanksgiving menu!

Spicy Cranberry Chutney
© Emily Dionne, reprinted with permission from Adams Media

Serves 6-8

  • 4 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 jalapeños, chopped
  • 1/3 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2C Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2C Fresh Orange Juice
  • 3TBSP Raw Organic Honey
  • 1tsp Sea Salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until combined but not completely smooth.  Create a consistency that is slightly chunky.  Chill overnight and serve.

Sweet and spicy, this was very well balanced!  I did process it so that it was a little smoother just because that’s the consistency that I enjoy.  It was great on crackers and as a spread on some turkey and ham.  It would also be perfect as a chicken or turkey burger topper as well!

If you enjoy recipes that pack some heat, definitely check out The Spicy Paleo cookbook!


Disclaimer: I was asked to review this cookbook.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.


Monday Meals: Utilizing What’s On Hand

It’s a fresh start to a new week!  Last week was much better than the previous one, the only time we dined out was on Sunday while we were in Boulder.

I don’t have pictures of that food because it was nothing special.  Next time I’m in Boulder, I’m hitting up the fancier farm to table joints! Lesson learned, don’t waste time at brew pubs because they don’t have any good food to offer.

There was a lot of leftovers this past week and utilizing what I had in the fridge and pantry.

This week I’m planning on spending more time in the kitchen.  I have a checklist of items that I want to get made (like stock) and I really need a kitchen day.  I haven’t had a chance to spend any significant time in the kitchen lately and it’s stressing me out.

We were busy all weekend so I also didn’t get a chance to prep for this week.  I feel a little bit behind but I think that I can catch up easily!

Let’s look as last week’s good eats!


scrambed eggs and ham

Scrambled eggs and two slices of ham.  The ham is applegate farms and I heated it up in a skillet first then made the scrambled eggs.

sweet potato hash and fried eggs

Sweet potato hash with fried eggs.  One large sweet potato, shredded, with chopped peppers and onion.  Cooked in a skillet in a little lard until everything was cooked through.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

grain free granola and blueberries

Fresh grain free granola with fresh blueberries.  I splashed on a little vanilla almond milk after the photo was taken.  I’m playing around with the recipe for the granola and using eggs in the mix as a binder so that the granola clumps up a little more.  So far it’s working but I’m still tweaking with the recipe.

baby kale and sausage

Sauteed baby kale with andouille sausage.  I used a whole package of andouille (4 links), sliced and cooked in a skillet in a little lard.  Then added in a whole 1/2 pound container of baby kale, and let that wilt and cook down.

I seasoned it with new Flavor God seasonings.  These season blends are legit!  They are handmade fresh when ordered and taste fantastic.  They are 5oz containers and for freshly made seasonings the price is spot on.  (not affiliate links).  For this dish I used the Spicy Everything Seasoning.

fried green tomatoes and fried egg

I spotted some green tomatoes at the farmer’s market this past week and immediately knew what I would be having for breakfast.  Fried green tomatoes along with a fried egg.

The tomatoes were fried in lard and I used a blend of tapioca starch and coconut flour for the coating.  Also seasoned with Flavor God’s Spicy Everything blend.

Eggs, kale, sausage

Fried eggs with leftover kale and sausage.  This breakfast was perfect fuel to deal with the crowds in Boulder!


veggie soup

Leftover soup that I added some diced tomatoes to for a little flavor boost.  We also had the last remaining portions for lunch one day as well.  I didn’t want to toss the last little bit and it was past the time of being able to freeze it for later.  It definitely was on it’s last leg but made for a nice quick lunch.

Salad with pulled chicken

Mixed greens salad topped with leftover chicken.  This salad was huge and so filling!  I love having gigantic salads for meals.

hot dogs and kraut

Grass fed hotdogs (Applegate Farms) topped with kraut, a side of green beans, and some onion rings.  The onion rings were premade and about as clean as you’re going to get for packaged food.  The hotdogs were amazing!  Not normally much of a hot dog fan but these really hit the spot.

hot dog salad

The next day I had the leftovers on a salad!  A little kraut, tomatoes, and I made a spicy brown mustard dressing to go on top.  It was perfect and now I think this should be on a menu somewhere.  Seriously, people would buy the hell out of a hot dog salad to go with their beer!

pork chop and corn

Looks boring but tasted delicious!  A pork chop seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers (look I just got the seasonings last week but expect to see more of it because they are delicious) and cooked in a little lard in a cast iron skillet.  Along with fresh corn on the cob with a little grass-fed butter.

bacon corn slaw

We were out of salad stuff and I had no desire to run to the grocery store close to the weekend.  So I looked in the fridge and saw there was some cabbage that needed used up.  I made a quick slaw with purple cabbage, shredded carrot, corn cut off the cob, and some bacon.  A dijon dressing on top and I added some avocado as well.

So good that I’m definitely making the slaw again this week!

slaw and snack plate

Leftover slaw with some Applegate Farm’s pepperoni and prosciutto on the side along with a little sharp cheddar cheese.

I totally inhaled that slaw too!

Since we have been eating better for several weeks now my body has caught up with the new routine.  I’ve been hungry in the afternoons for a little lunch so I’ll be adding in lunch to the Monday Meals post.


All pork, chicken, and eggs from Jodar Farms.

Some veggies from the farmer’s market.

Applegate products from Whole Foods.

Flavor God seasonings

Upcoming Week:

The goal is to not eat out at all this week and looking at our schedule for the upcoming week this should be an achievable goal.

I feel like the Monday Meals posts are getting a tad long so I might break it up into smaller posts through out the week.  I’m still toying around with that idea.  Also please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover!  Pantry staples or grocery shopping tips for example.  I’ll be sure to make a post on it and let you know when it’s up!

Have a great week everyone and get those meal plans together!


Monday Meals: Seafood Season

This week I felt like I was running a little behind since I didn’t have even the slightest outline for a meal plan.  We still ate really well (whew!) but I definitely felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.

Because I do better with calendars and lists that are actual pieces of paper (I like to make notes and I’m still old school about some things), I have decided to print off a meal plan for each week.  I got the template from Real Food Liz, and you can get one too.  Click HERE.

Just a side note, tangent, I bought a huge Paleo bundle of ebooks a little while back and it included a lifetime membership to Good Food For Bad Cooks.  It has recipes, you can make shopping lists, there are food guides.  It’s a pretty neat little site with lots of info so if you are looking for something to help you meal plan and for more recipes, definitely check it out. (That is not an affiliate link and it’s not a plug. I just like the site.)

Ok on to meals!


Chicken and spinach

Chicken with spinach that I added a little homemade tomato sauce too and sprinkled with parm.  It was delicious!  I always forget how much I like chicken for breakfast.

Fruit, coconut cream, almonds

Blueberries and nectarines with coconut cream, crushed almonds, and coconut flakes.

Scrambled eggs with blackbean sauce

Scrambled eggs with a black bean sauce.  The sauce was really simple.  In a blender, I added:

  • Black Beans (about 1.5 cups)
  • Salsa
  • Chicken Stock
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder

Blended till it was smooth, and heated it in a medium sized pot over medium heat.  Brought it to a simmer and let it reduce just a bit so the sauce thickened up.

Easy and quick sauce.  I froze the rest to save for enchiladas at some point.

Blueberries, coconut cream

Blueberries, grain-free scone, and drizzled with coconut cream.  Please note that if you refer to blueberries as “bluebs”, we can no longer be friends.  Sorry, but that’s life sometimes.

Veggie fritatta

Veggie fritatta!  I sauteed up some baby kale, red pepper, and half an onion in some ghee and let that mixture cool.  In a bowl I whisked 5 eggs, a splash of whole milk, and some dijon mustard.  Added in the veggies and then added that mixture to a greased skillet (I used ghee) that was heating up on the stove.  Heated it for about two minutes then put the pan in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Topped with diced tomato and a sprinkle of parm.

fritatta, ham, potatoes

We had that with some ham slices and some roasted sweet potatoes.

Eggs, potatoes, sausage

Another big breakfast of scrambled eggs (look how yellow they are! The yolks in these farm fresh eggs were gorgeous.), roasted potatoes, and sausage.

smoothie, apple, almond butter

Random picture of a smoothie, sliced apple with almond butter.  Sometimes if  I have a large breakfast then I have smallish snack as lunch.  I don’t normally show these pictures because they aren’t exciting and I’m not sure if you are interested in seeing them.  If you are, just let me know and I’ll share what goes in the smoothies.  Spoiler alert, it’s usually always the same.


Sausage and kraut

Leftovers, sausage, kraut, and coleslaw.  I had spinach and feta sausage from Whole Foods and Scott finished the other sausages.  I have to say that I’m not super impressed with our local Whole Foods sausages.  I probably won’t get them again unless something really catches my eye.

Copper River Salmon

Glorious salmon!  Copper River salmon was in season so I stocked up and purchased a couple of sides.  Please note that if you are local, our Whole Foods does not remove the bones from the fish so either you have to do it or you can ask for it to be done.  If you ask, the workers tend to get really pissed off, at least they did for me.  And they still didn’t remove many bones, Scott and I were picking them out as we were eating.  Good times.

I brushed the salmon with some coconut oil and sprinkled with:

  • Lemon Pepper Mix (by Simply Organic)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dill

I also laid it on some lemon slice while it roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Salmon, asparagus, rice

We had the salmon with roasted asparagus and rice.  Fish + rice is one of my favorite combinations.  We used to eat this all the time on “Fish Tuesdays” and I think I need to bring that back.

This provided us with leftovers and I was so hungry and excited when we had leftovers that I forgot to take a picture!  It was salmon with a side salad.  Nothing fancy but delicious!

Crispy shrimp and eggplant


And lastly, crispy shrimp with roasted eggplant.  I whisked together 2 eggs, a splash of milk, and some hot sauce.  The coating was a mix of coconut flour and tapioca starch seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.  The shrimp went in the egg bath first then to the coating. I cooked the shrimp in a cast iron skillet in some lard.

This was the first time I used coconut flour and tapioca as a coating and I really liked the way it turned out.  The tapioca provides a nice thin coating on the shrimp that really crisped up and turned a lovely golden brown color.

The eggplant was sliced, seasoned with soy sauce, salt, garlic powder and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

For The Locals:

All chicken and eggs from Jodar Farms.

Sausage, ham, and seafood from Whole Foods.

Milk from Morning Fresh Dairy.

This Week:

I have  my meal plan all printed out and I’m ready to get started on this week!  I already have some chicken and pork chops thawing in the fridge so we will be having that this week.  The chicken will last at least two days, so that is three days covered already.  Now to figure out the rest of the week.

How did you do last week and what are your plans this week?

Review: Coconut Organics CocoBacon

Coconut Organics Coconut BaconI was contacted by Coconut Organics asking if I would be interested in reviewing their newest product being marketed as coconut bacon.

Seriously, I could not pass up coconut bacon so I accepted.  This sounded so interesting and unique that I was curious what the product would be like.

Here is a little bit from their website describing the coconut bacon:

CocoBacon ® is made in our organically certified kitchen. First we start with thick, sweet organic coconut chips from mature coconuts and lightly toast them. These crunchy decadent coconut chips get a generous dose of raw, organic coconut oil to achieve the fatty satisfaction of bacon. Then, we apply a little bit of low-glycemic, high-vitamin organic coconut sugar for the slight sweetness of bacon. Next, we add some high-mineral Celtic Sea Salt ® for the salty side of bacon. The final savory and smoky flavors come from organic mesquite smoke flavor and our special organic spice blend. The result is a perfectly balanced salty, savory, smoky and sweet flavor combination on a crunchy coconut chip.


The coconut bacon is in a 2.2 oz bag and the bag is completely resealable.  It is labeled as vegan and gluten free.  The ingredients are also very clean (to my standards) so I felt good about reviewing this product.  Going by the ingredients, the product is also technically Paleo.

I’m not really quite sure what I was expecting when thinking coconut bacon but this definitely surprised me!  I was assuming this was going to be big pieces of coconut product put together to form a “slice”.  Because when I think about bacon, I think about a slice of something.

That isn’t what this product looks like at all.

Coconut Organics Coconut Bacon

It’s big pieces of flaked coconut that have been toasted and then a savory smokey seasoning is added.

I had the coconut bacon straight up to see what it was like right out of the bag.  There is a big crunch factor to the pieces of coconut.  The taste is definitely interesting and unique.  It’s very sweet because it is a large piece of actual coconut but then the savory smokey part comes in at the end.  The two flavors are separate and distinct.  First it’s sweet, then it’s savory.

It’s a little weird but strangely addicting and kind of fun.

Coconut Bacon on a salad

I then had it on a salad to see what mixing it with something else would be like.  The coconut bacon’s sweetness went way down and it added a savory little crunch and texture to the salad.  As a salad topping or a topping to say a baked potato would be the way I would eat this product. Straight up is fine but I prefer it mixed with something.

Because of it’s convenient packaging, I can see how this would be great for traveling since the packaging makes it very portable.  Perfect for keeping some at the office, in your purse/laptop bag for when you need a little something during the day.  Since it does have that sweet/savory mix going on combined with all the healthy fat from the coconut meat, it is very satisfying as a snack.

Currently this product is available online in two packs or six packs.  And the company has free shipping going on right now!

Coconut Bacon is unique, interesting and definitely worth checking out.  Try a little snack and see what you think!


Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

Monday Meals: A Little Off Plan

So my attempts to follow a meal plan last week didn’t happen.  We did have all the things that I mentioned previously, just not really in the order that was stated.  I tried!  And failed.  However we still ate at home and I’m feeling pretty good about last week’s eats.




Sweet potato and chard

I have been off sweet potatoes lately.  I just don’t like them much anymore but I’m trying to change that and add them back into my diet for variety.  This breakfast bowl is getting me there!

Sauteed chopped sweet potato with swiss chard and onions. Topped with crispy prosciutto. First I crisped up the prosciutto in a skillet with a little olive olive.  Once crisp, I chopped it up and set it aside.  Sweet potatoes and onions got cooked in the same skillet in some ghee.  Once the potatoes softened, I added in the chopped chard.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Once it all was cooked, I added in the crisp prosciutto and served it up.  The ratio was:

  • Half a medium onion
  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 large sweet potato

This made enough for two big bowls.

Cauliflower fried rice with scrambled eggs

There was cauliflower fried rice.  It had onion and shredded carrot, all sauteed up with ghee and seasoned with:

  • Soy Sauce
  • Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

Cooked it until all the veggies were soft and the moisture from the cauliflower was cooked out.  Then I added scrambled eggs on top which was cooked in a separate skillet.

If you have never had cauliflower rice before, keep in mind,  it does not taste like rice.  It tastes like cauliflower with a rice texture and consistency.  So you have to like cauliflower to like this.  I used one head of cauliflower to make the rice and it was too much.  We had leftovers the next day but there was more left over from that.  Next time I’ll use half a head of cauliflower.

Pork fried cauliflower rice

Leftovers and this time I added in some chopped fried pork side.  Basically sliced pork belly that has not been cured or smoked.  I cooked the full strips first, chopped them up and re-fried them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.


Scrambled eggs, sausage patties, tots

Don’t judge the tots!  Sometimes really crispy potato puffs are what life demands.  I cook the tots in a 400 degree oven, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Along with some scrambled eggs and sausage, this was a filling breakfast!

The tots were 365 brand and had simple ingredients.  365 also makes sweet potato tots as well.

Grain free scone with blueberries

Still working to perfect my grain free scones.  This go around was much better!  These were topped with blueberries, coconut cream, and there was bacon on the side.


Pork chop and roasted veggies

Bone-in pork chops with roasted carrots and zucchini.  The pork chops and the veggies were seasoned the same way:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • All Purpose Seasoning (Can use Poultry Seasoning)
  • Tarragon

The chops were cooked in a cast iron skillet in some lard and the finished in the oven with some stock added to the pan.  Pretty simple dinner that was satisfiying.

Burgers and tots

Burgers and tots!  Salt, pepper, and worcestershire seasoned the burgers and they were also cooked in a cast iron skillet in some lard.  I also topped mine with ketchup and mustard.

Avocado and carrot salad

We had burgers again the next day and I made a quick simple salad for the side.

Shredded Carrot, Chopped Avocado, and Chopped Cucumber.  It was dressed with:

  • Juice of one lime
  • A little olive oil
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Cilantro

Very quick to put together and very refreshing on a hot day!

Chicken leg and veggies

This dinner could not have been any easier.  A roasted chicken leg with some fresh carrots and cucumbers.  The legs were roasted at 400 for about 30-40 minutes.  Rubbed down with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

The chicken is fresh from the farm so it doesn’t need much done to it in order to be flavorful.

Brats, kraut, coleslaw

Sunday dinner, again super easy to make!  Since I’ve been making homemade mayo, we’ve been eating more of it.  Which means we have been back to eating mayo based coleslaws again.  So yummy!

Coleslaw on the side with a very basic mayo/vinegar dressing and lots of dill.  Along with some very spicy chili brats that were cooked in kraut, onions, and peppers.  Beer was added to that mixture and the brats simmered in all of that in the oven at 325 for about an hour.  I removed the brats and crisped up the skins in a skillet with a little olive oil.

We didn’t do too shabby this week!

I admit that I’m struggling with breakfast a little bit.  Not only deciding what to eat/make for the day but also with portion sizes.  Since protein fills me up so much, I don’t want to have a huge breakfast and miss lunch during the week (I don’t mind that on weekends).  I enjoy salads and smoothies mid-day and miss that experience if breakfast is really hefty.

So breakfast will be a work in progress for a while!

Because I didn’t plan ahead, I don’t even remotely have a meal plan in place for this week. I told you that this was a brand new thing for me to work on! I’m going to have to try and come up with something today.

What did you have yummy last week?

For The Locals:

Chicken, eggs, and pork all are from Jodar Farms

Brats and beef from Whole Foods

Breakfast sausage is by Boulder Sausage Company


Sweet Tater Smoothie from Paleo Smoothies

Paleo Smoothies by Mariel Lewis We are in love with smoothies here at the HQ. We try to have a smoothie everyday with our lunch or if we’re not too hungry, it will be lunch.

Having a smoothie jam packed with fruits and veggies makes me feel amazing.  It also helps us to get in more portions of fruits and veggies throughout the day.

We have our favorites though and are guilty of falling into a rut.  Having the same smoothie over and over again, it happens.  Some days I am not feeling inspired to experiment.

This is why I was thrilled to be able to review the new Paleo Smoothies recipe book by Mariel Lewis.  It’s packed full of recipes that are unique and utilizing ingredients that I never thought of adding to a smoothie (hard boiled egg anyone?).

The book is broken down into 10 categories, such as Cleansing Smoothies and Recovery Smoothies.  Mariel gives a brief run down of the Paleo Diet and goes over what foods are included in the diet.  She also discusses how smoothies are beneficial to over all health and even gives you a guide to kitchen tools that you should have on hand.

I couldn’t wait to start making smoothies!  Since I have never had a sweet potato in a smoothie before, I made the Sweet Tater Smoothie.

Sweet Tater Smoothie from Paleo Smoothies

Sweet Tater Smoothie from Paleo Smoothies by Mariel Lewis

Republished with permission from Adams Media, © 2014 Mariel Lewis

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 Baked Medium Sweet Potato, skin removed
  • 1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves (to garnish)

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, except for the ground cloves, and blend on high until smooth.

2. Pour smoothie in a glass and garnish with half of the ground cloves.  Enjoy!

This smoothie was rich and delicious!  It tasted like a pumpkin pie.  The sweet potato produced that gorgeous orange color and made the smoothie extra thick, like a well made milkshake.

I might start keeping sweet potatoes on hand just for smoothies!  Each recipe in the book also has nutritional information so that you know exactly how many calories, carbs, and so on you are consuming.

Whether you are on a Paleo Diet or not, this recipe book has some amazing smoothies that will please all tastes!

Disclaimer: I was sent this cookbook for review.  All opinions are my own. I was not required to write about it and was not compensated for this review.

Spring Clean Eats: Day 30, We Made It

Hooray!  We made it to the last day!  Yesterday was a pretty awesome day.  I started the morning off with a great run which always sets my day up for success.  I need to remember that more.

Paleo scone, banana, coconut cream

Breakfast was the same as yesterday, a crumbled up paleo scone with sliced banana and some coconut cream.

Mixed green salad

Lunch was a gigantic salad with:

  • Mixed greens
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Cheddar
  • Bacon

I was really craving that bacon so I made sure to sneak some on the salad.

Dinner was something that Scott and I haven’t had in a while, tacos!


And just tacos.  When we were discussing what to have as a side neither of us really wanted one.  We wanted to focus on tacos! I have no problem with this at all.  Ground pork tacos with guacamole, lettuce, and pepper jack cheese.

Scott and I also have not eliminated corn from our diet.  Both of us tolerate it just fine and both of us like it.  The corn tortillas were 365 Brand and the only ingredients are corn and oil.  Since this isn’t something we eat everyday, I’m ok with this.

We are not paleo perfectionists nor will we ever be.  We are ok with that and you should be too.

I will fully admit that I’m so glad to not have to photograph all of my eats any more!

I will be writing up a full recap post (it will be long, brace yourselves) and that will be posted on Friday morning.