I was born and raised on a dairy farm outside Canon City, Colorado. Because of my upbringing and knowledge of diet, farming and business, I advocate knowing, buying and consuming as close to the source as possible. I fell in love with Crossfit as one of the few environments, particularly in athletics and competition, in which women are either just as strong as men or are at least on an even playing field.

I take pride in being a part of a community that reinforces "strong" and "fit" as the compliments. As an independent and fitness minded consumer, I tend to shy away from restrictive diets. Paleo allows me the freedom to eat the foods I enjoy while remaining nutritionally superior to their processed equivalents. I love the way I feel when I fuel my body with whole Paleo meals and after a WOD. Euphoric is not an exaggeration. My goal is to bring others to understand what Paleo is, why it works and why they should try it. The false stigmas about Paleo are rampant and various, but my knowledge is based entirely on what I've learned through personal experience and research.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Paleo Butternut Squash Lasagna

After having one incredibly productive day I decided to follow it up with a surprisingly savory butternut squash lasagna.  I got this recipe from Health-Bent.com.   I kept it mostly the same but changed a few of the methods. 




This dish is a great pasta substitute, relatively cheap and easy to make! Definitely recommend trying this out!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large jar of your favorite sauce
  • 1 can of roasted red peppers--chopped
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • couples leaves of fresh basil (leave it out if you don’t have it, just freshens up the sauce a bit)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Parmesan (optional)
Turn oven on to 400ºF. 

 Saute and crumble sausage and onion till brown.  Add garlic and chopped roasted red pepper towards the end of cooking so that it doesn't burn.  I skinned the squash and cut off the bowl part so I was left with the length side of the squash. I placed the squash in the microwave for a couple minutes so that it is easier to cut. Then I cut it "hot dog" style into thin long slices.


Using a safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up.  



Lucini is my FAVORITE store bought pasta sauce. I especially love the spicy version!



Bake for 45 minutes. Let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

http://www.health-bent.com/beef/paleo-butternut-squash-lasagna

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Turkey, Turnip Greens and Cauliflower Soup


 

 


This recipe was inspired by Giadas Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup. I decided to take this recipe and make it Paleolithic!  I used rice size pieces of cauliflower to act as the brown rice.  Also, while shopping for groceries I surprisingly couldn't find any kale.  Instead of kale I used turnip greens which turned out to be incredibly delicious.


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 6 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground white turkey meat, broken into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice ( this case Cauliflower)
  • 1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups) or 1 bunch of Turnip Greens
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Stir in the greens and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.




The standard mixture typically contains savory fennel, basil, thyme and lavender. 
Lavender has also been used as a remedy for insomnia, anxiety and fatigue. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, and soothing effects when its scent is inhaled. This soup is a perfect dish for a late night dinner.



http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/turkey-kale-and-brown-rice-soup-recipe/index.html

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Matcha-A cancer fighter

New To Matcha?
One cup of matcha is equivalent to ten cups of brewed green tea in terms of nutritional value.




What is Matcha Powdered Green Tea?

Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. While other green teas are grown throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years.

What does matcha taste like?
Complex. Alluring. Bitter. Misunderstood. Addicting. That’s how Sophia F., a matcha enthusiast from Florida, describes the taste of matcha. Chlorophyll and amino acids give matcha its unique rich taste, an initial vegetal, astringent taste, followed by a lingering sweetness. 



What are the health benefits of matcha?
Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. It is sugar-free, an ideal drink for diabetics and others wishing to reduce their sugar intake. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.

Amino Acids in Matcha
Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. For this reason, matcha is also known as a mood enhancer. Buddhist monks drank matcha to assist in meditation, as matcha’s amino acids, combined with caffeine, offer a sustained calm alertness over time. Amino acids are also what gives matcha is distinctive taste. They contribute to what is known as the fifth taste, or umami, characterized by a rich creamy mouth feel.



One of the most unexpected benefits matcha drinkers experience is a boost of energy through the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matchas natural properties. Another recent study in particular found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%. Even if you arent facing a grueling workout, matcha can help you through the everyday marathon, whether its that project due the next day or getting the kids from school to soccer practice.


Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesnt raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.


Green is truly the color of health. Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature verdant color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas, making it a superior daily detox.
http://www.matchasource.com





Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kale Chips

Crispy Kale Chips - A healthy, oh-so-easy, and quite addictive snack! 




Kale is one of my recent discoveries that I cannot get enough of.   Kale chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips.  Kale chips are crunchy, salty and super easy to make!


Just a few fun facts
  • Kale actually tastes sweeter when frozen or exposed to a frost
  • Kale eases lung congestion, benefits the stomach, and is specific healer for the liver and the immune system.
  • Kale also protects the eyes from macular degeneration. It is an exceptional source of chlorophyll, calcium, vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, etc. Furthermore, kale is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol
  • Unlike some vegetables, kale's nutrition seems to increase in value when cooked


Ingredients


Bundle of Kale
Chile Powder
Garlic Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Method


Preheat oven to 400 F. Line rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper Tear the leaves off the thick stems into chip-sized pieces. An easy way to do this is to fold the leaf in half and just rip toward the stem. Spread pieces out on cookie sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a GENEROUS serving of chile powder. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are brown and kale is crispy! When done sprinkle salt on top and serve when warm. 






I recommend not saving left overs--- they will loose the crunch effect.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta- A Family Tradition

 

If you dont like brussel sprouts this recipe will convert you. I promise. 

 What I love most about this recipe is using pancetta instead of bacon. Pancetta is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in salt and spices such as nutmeg, pepper and fennel.  I love pancetta because it is super salty---but it is pricey an it usually doesn't go on sale. 

That being said this recipe has become a family tradition for ALL of our holidays---

 

Ingredients


3-4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
1 cup of Pecans roughly chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved--- I bought mine for $1.84lb
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 granny smith apple skinned and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the pancetta and 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the Brussel sprouts and oil.  Season with salt and pepper and saute on the stove until the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown.  Add another 2 cloves of garlic towards the end of the cooking so the garlic does not burn.

  Take brussel sprouts out- and quickly warm the pecans.  Transfer brussel sprouts, pecans, pancetta and apples to a platter mix and serve!!

When trimming the brussel sprouts A LOT of leaves are left behind.  I baggied the left overs and added them to omelettes in the AM. A good alternative to spinach--

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mediterranean Salmon



Ingredients

6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
parchment paper
1 small can of artichokes
1 leek
handful of capers
1 tablespoon of Dill
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, thinly sliced

 

Method

Place a large baking sheet on bottom rack of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.


Season salmon with salt and pepper. Cut two half inch slices into flesh of each piece of salmon


Place a salmon fillet in the center of each piece of parchment paper. Drizzle each fillet with the oil. Add chopped artichokes and leeks on top.  Sprinkle dill (fresh or dried on top) then squeeze lemon juice over salmon and place lemon slices on top. Add capers.  Gather sides of parchment up over salmon to form a pouch, leaving no openings. This does not need to be perfect! Cook for 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and carefully open packages to release steam before serving.

 

Read up on Marksdailyapple about farm vs wild salmon---

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/salmon-factory-farm-vs-wild/#axzz1jmRR07H9

About Me

My photo

I was born and raised on a dairy farm outside Canon  City, Colorado. Because of my upbringing and knowledge of diet, farming and  business, I advocate knowing, buying and consuming as close to the source as  possible. I fell in love with Crossfit as one of the few environments, particularly in athletics and competition, in which women are either just as strong as men or are at least on an even playing field.
I take pride in being a part of a community that reinforces "strong" and "fit" as the compliments. As an  independent and fitness minded consumer, I tend to shy away from restrictive diets. Paleo allows me the freedom to eat the foods I enjoy while remaining nutritionally superior to their processed equivalents. I love the way I feel when I fuel my body with whole Paleo meals and after a WOD. Euphoric is not an exaggeration. My goal is to bring others to understand what Paleo is, why it works and why they should try it. The false stigmas about Paleo are rampant and various, but my knowledge is based entirely on what I've learned through personal experience and research.