Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

crockpot spaghetti sauce

crockpot spaghetti sauceThere is nothing like homemade spaghetti sauce. This year, I planted 16 tomato plants in my garden in hopes of getting an abundance of tomatoes. They’re producing well, but not necessarily prolific. However, I had enough to make this awesome crockpot spaghetti sauce!

Why the crockpot, you might ask? Well, I’ve had a huge bucket of tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be made into sauce for a few days. This morning, we were rushing around trying to get ready to head out to our church’s kids’ camp, and I was thinking, “I wish I could just come home to spaghetti sauce!” Normally, I would blanch the tomatoes and peel off the skins before I make sauce. But I was pressed for time, so I thought, “I’m just going to throw these tomatoes in to the crockpot whole, add in some spices, and hopefully it turns out!” And you know what? It toooooootallly did. It was so good, my 5-year-old daughter said, “Are you putting this on your blog? You have to put this on your blog!” 

So, friends, I won’t make you wait any longer! Here is my crockpot spaghetti sauce!

 

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This amazing spaghetti sauce is incredibly simple. It made enough sauce for our family of 7 and plenty for another set of leftovers the next day!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 20-ish tomatoes
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
Instructions
  1. Add everything except the tomato paste to a crockpot.
  2. Stir together, then cook on low for at least 4 hours (mine cooked for 8).
  3. When ready to eat, add in tomato paste and using an immersion blender, blend until desired consistency is achieved (my kids all like it smooth).
  4. Serve!

crockpot spaghetti sauce

 

 

 

Fast Food: Appearance vs. Reality

jack in the box hellapeno burger.jpg

fast food appearance vs reality.jpg

Fast food menus. They sure can make food look enticing. You’ve probably seen something like this:

fast food menu

Looking at those burgers, anyone would want to scarf down some of that fast food. We all know that when you order something at a fast food restaurant, it never looks like the picture. So I thought I’d do a little experiment and see just how much of a difference “reality” makes. 

We recently watched a YouTube video about Fast Foods ads vs reality, and it reminded me of something. Awhile back, I did a post called “Appearance vs. Reality” about a picture of our family. You see, the photo was taken in my friend’s amazing kitchen. I got numerous comments from people about how if they had kitchens like mine, they would be cooking all the time, too. I just had to set the record straight and show what my real kitchen looks like. You can check out that post HERE.

But, back to today. Today, I want to share with you the reality of fast food. I’m not talking about the preservatives, toxicity or all the other junk that’s in it. That’s for another post. I’m just talking about the “appearance” vs. the “reality” of foods that  you can order from your car window. 

Below, you’ll see examples of “staged” photos from different popular fast food companies side-by-side with photos I took of the actual food I ordered.

First up, we headed to McDonald’s. I ordered the classic, a Big Mac. As you can see, the reality wasn’t as beautiful as the appearance: 

mcdonalds big mac.jpg

 I also ordered a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Hmmmm…where’s all that sauce and veggies??

mcdonalds double quarter pounder with cheese.jpg

Jack in the Box, oh Jack in the Box. These tacos were 2 for $0.99. I think I know why:

jack in the box tacos.jpg

I had high hopes for the Hella-Peno Burger. I think this one takes the prize for “least like the original photograph.” 

jack in the box hellapeno burger.jpg

Burger King was probably my favorite fast food restaurant growing up. We didn’t get it often, but when we did, I loved the charbroiled taste of the patties. I gotta say, the Honey BBQ Chicken Strips didn’t actually look all that far off from the original: 

burger king honey bbq chicken strips.jpg

The Whopper, on the other hand, failed to impress: 

burger king whopper.jpg

 You’ve probably seen commercials for the Carl’s Jr Six-Dollar Burger. Well, what do you think? Worth 6 bucks? 

carls jr six dollar burger.jpg

 And lastly, the Ranch Bacon Fries. The picture makes the fries look golden brown and fresh. Mine, on the other hand looked like a soggy, undercooked mess:

carls jr ranch bacon fries.jpgI tried my best to take good photographs of the food I bought. I used good lighting and even used my good camera. What you see, friends, is what you get. 

Next time you’re ordering off the fast food menu (which I hope doesn’t happen too often!), remember this post. =)

 

Grain Free Peach Cobbler (Egg-Free/Starch-Free)

grain free peach cobbler

 

grain free peach cobbler

 Ah, summer peaches. There’s nothing like them. Whether you like to pull a fresh peach off the tree or cook them into a cobbler or pie, a ripe peach is sweet, heavenly goodness. 

Superman was craving peach cobbler yesterday. Of course, it being Father’s Day today, I needed to help him out with that. This grain free peach cobbler is so quick to throw together and Superman says, “It’s moist and succulent!”

Grain Free Peach Cobbler
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
"Tastes like cobbler out of Heaven's oven"
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peaches, coconut sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Pour into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. While that's cooking, make the topping:
  5. Stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Using a fork, cut in the softened butter or coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly.
  7. Remove peaches from oven, and top with topping.
  8. Place back in oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  9. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

What Clean Eating Looks Like

what clean eating looks like

what clean eating looks like

There’s a stigma attached to clean eating. If you’re a “true” healthy eater, you should be slim and fit, correct? If you’re eating clean foods, wouldn’t the pounds just melt away and leave you with a svelte figure? 

We have quite the different body types in our house: skinny, hefty and average. 

Not long ago, I took our 2nd oldest, Josh to the doctor. While we were there, the doctor told Josh he needed to watch his weight, eat less junk food, and that he was bordering on the “unhealthy” level. Now, he did it in the kindest way possible, but I looked at Josh and then said to the doc: “You don’t understand. We eat clean! Josh eats the same foods as his brother right next to him, but he weighs FORTY pounds more! Yes, he eats 2nds and sometimes 3rds, but he’s just built differently than Caleb.” The doctor said that may be the case, but that Josh needed to make sure he was careful because he is setting himself up for a future of overeating. 

Ok, let me interject here to say this: A couple years ago, our whole family had DNA testing done through 23andme.com (which is awesome, by the way!) and the results tell you your top health risks. According to his DNA test, Josh has a 57% chance of heart disease. Because of this, I take his diet very seriously. That being said, I do believe there is a huge genetic component to our body type. 

I think no matter how hard Josh were to try, he would never be as skinny as Caleb. Even Naomi, who is almost 4 years younger than Caleb, weighs about the same amount as him. Now, am I concerned that Caleb is underweight? Not really. Sometimes I wish he would gain weight at a higher rate just because he’s so small for his age. However, his dad, Superman was only about 5′ tall and 80 pounds going into high school. And I’m definitely not built big, so I think Caleb just has skinnier genes, and is going to be a late bloomer. 

Does that mean our kids who are heavier need to eat less? I don’t believe so. 

do believe that they need to know what they’re putting into their bodies and to think before they eat. I think everyone should do that. Josh has a propensity to eat junk food, and if I had it in the house, he would be all over it. Wouldn’t we all, though? We’ve gone over his test results with him, so he knows his health risks. It’s up to him to take care of his body as he gets older. 

I want to show you what clean eating looks like in our house. It’s not the same for everyone:

Caleb: 11 years old 68 lbs, 4’6″ tall

clean eating 1

 

Josh: 10 years old, 102 lbs, 4’7″ tall

clean eating 2

 

Michael: 9 years old, 57 lbs, 4’4″ tall

clean eating 3

 

Naomi: 7 years old, 63 lbs, 4’3″ tall

clean eating 4

 

Grace: 5 years old, 39 lbs, 3’7″ tall

clean eating 5

 

Chris: 35 years old, 155 lbs, 6′ tall

clean eating 6

Note: Superman gained 25 pounds as a result of eating clean. Just a few years ago, he was emaciated at 130 pounds. Cutting out grains for him was key to his health improvement. You can read his story HERE 

Shanti: 35 years old, 105 lbs, 5’2″ tall

clean eating 7

Ultimately, I want our kids to be comfortable in their own skin. I want them to be confident in their food choices, eat junk food sparingly, and have a healthy, balanced diet. I don’t want them looking in the mirror thinking they’re fat or ugly or out of shape because that’s what the world is telling them. Again, most importantly, I want them to be comfortable in their own skin. 

There is no “perfect weight.” Each of us is built differently and has different caloric needs. I want my kids to know they are great just the way they are. 

I often tell them the cliché “We only get one body, so we better take care of it!” My hope is that my words sink in and as they grow up and have more freedom in food choices, they’ll remember that and be motivated to take the best care of their body possible. 

10 Whole30 Meals Prepped in 10 Minutes or Less!

10 whole30 meals prepped in 10 minutes.jpg

10 whole30 meals prepped in 10 minutes.jpg

Doing a Whole30 can seem overwhelming. Food prep can feel like you’re living in a nightmare. Don’t let your fear of meal prep keep you from doing a Whole30!  Here are 10 delicious Whole30 meals prepped in 10 minutes or less to help launch you into a successful Whole30! Please note that some of these may have some added ingredients like beans or some types of dairy. You can eliminate these as needed to make them Whole30 compliant!

Paleo Asian Cod from Life Made Full

Sweet Potato and Greens Breakfast Saute from Raising Generation Nourished

Herbed Skillet Chicken from Life Made Full

Crockpot or Oven Roaster Chicken from Raising Generation Nourished

Bell Pepper Chicken Burgers from Life Made Full

Totally Easy Slow Cooker Kalua Pork from So, Let’s Hang Out

Crock Pot Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps from So, Let’s Hang Out

Creamy Crockpot Chicken with Kale from Just Enjoy Food

No Marinade Carne Asada from Life Made Full

Salsa Chicken from Just Enjoy Food

Picadillo from Just Enjoy Food

2-Minute Tuna Salad from Life Made Full

Easy Balsamic-Infused Pot Roast from Just Enjoy Food

Greek Chicken from Just Enjoy Food

40 Paleo Summer Desserts!

40 paleo summer desserts

40 paleo summer desserts

 

It’s Summer! Summer means pool parties, BBQ’s and warm evenings. Here are 40 Paleo summer desserts to cool you off, or bring to a potluck to share with friends! You’ll find a great assortment of treats here, from some of my favorite bloggers! 

Cold Treats

Grain Free Ice Cream Sandwiches from Life Made Full

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote from Nom Nom Paleo

Watermelon Granita from Recipes to Nourish

Creamy Watermelon Ice Cream from Recipes to Nourish

Homemade Fudgesicles from Recipes to Nourish

Chocolate Ice Cream from Civilized Caveman Cooking

Perfect Chocolate Almond Butter Bites from Life Made Full

Salted Chocolate Caramelized Bananas from Life Made Full 

Double Dark Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake from So, Let’s Hang Out

One-Ingredient Fruit Sorbet from My Heart Beets

Honeyed Peach Lemon Balm Sorbet from Mama Rosemary

Chocolate Peppermint “Frosty” from Raia’s Recipes

Frozen Orange Hot Chocolate from Raia’s Recipes

Monkey Poop (a.k.a. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites) from Life Made Full

Frozen Orange Hot Chocolate from Raia’s Recipes

Lemon Pudding Parfait from Elana’s Pantry

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Just Enjoy Food

Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate from Raia’s Recipes

Coconut & Avocado Grasshopper Bars from Raia’s Recipes

Paleo Pudding Pops from Life Made Full

Coconut Milk Ice Cream (with Caramel Sauce) from Just Enjoy Food

Dark Chocolate Chip & Walnut No Bake Cookies from Raia’s Recipes

No Bake Key Lime Pie Shooters from Just Enjoy Food

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie with Bacon from Civilized Caveman Cooking 

No Bake Superfood Almond Butter Balls from Just Enjoy Food

Chocolate Custard from Everyday Paleo

Grain Free Thin Mint Copycats (a.k.a. Grasshopper Cookies) from Life Made Full

Baked Goods

Simple Skillet Brownies from Life Made Full

Grain Free Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones from Nom Nom Paleo

Grain Free Bourbon Peach Banana Bread from So, Let’s Hang Out

Cast Iron Mixed Berry Cobbler from Just Enjoy Food

German Chocolate Cake from Elana’s Pantry

Upside-Down Nectarine Berry Cobbler from Life Made Full

4th of July Berry Cobbler from Life Made Full

Green Apple Bundt Cake with Caramel Frosting from Just Enjoy Food

Miscellaneous Goodies

1-Minute Cookie Dough from Life Made Full

Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes from Civilized Caveman Cooking

Homemade Peppermint Magic Shell from Life Made Full

Strawberry Soda from Life Made Full

Decadent Fruit Dip from Everyday Paleo

Copycat Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine from Life Made Full

 

Grain Free Fig Tart

grain free fig tart

grain free fig tart

 

Ah, figs. We have a fig tree that despite being chewed on by our llama, climbed on by our kids, and looking very spindly and sad, has produced quite a  nice batch of figs! So I created this grain free fig tart, and it was a big hit! The crust is just delightful. =)

Grain Free Fig Tart
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Fig Topping:
  • 3 cups fresh figs, chopped
  • ½ cup peeled apple, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
Instructions
  1. For the crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla and melted coconut oil.
  4. Pour into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Press into a 10″ tart pan with removable bottom and bake for about 15 minutes, until turning light golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove tart from pan.
  7. Let cool completely on a large serving plate.
  8. While that's cooking/cooling, make the fig topping:
  9. For the topping:
  10. Add all the topping ingredients to a saucepan.
  11. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring a couple times.
  12. Remove from heat and pour into a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
  13. Spread on top of crust and place in refrigerator to chill.
  14. For best results, serve chilled.

figs

Chicken Slaughter **Graphic**

chicken slaughter

chicken slaughter

Please Note: This is a graphic post. If you are squeamish or emotional about a chicken slaughter, please do not continue reading.

We had a psycho chicken. Actually, I think she was just sick, and may have been missing a part of her tiny little chicken brain that should have told her to eat. The poor thing would stand in the same spot all day, while all the other chickens were out gallivanting around the property digging up worms and bugs and laying eggs. Even Captain Underpants (the rooster) didn’t want to mate with her. And that means something. He is a male, after all. 
 
The last time we slaughtered a chicken we chopped the head off since we had no idea what we were doing, and it seemed the easiest, swiftest way to accomplish the task (Side note–I have a post documenting when we slaughtered a chicken to eat–would you like to see that? Or no?). 
 
I’ve done lots of research since then, read a number of books and watched instructional videos online, and it seems that although there are differing opinions, hanging the chicken upside-down in a killing cone and slicing the throat (I know it sounds horrible) is actually just as humane and supposedly makes for less-tough meat. 
 
So, I finally ordered my killing cone, and it came in the mail yesterday. It was time to put psycho-chicken out of her misery. We didn’t really want to eat her since we didn’t know if she had a disease, so we decided to use her as an anatomy lesson for the kids. Homeschooling at its best! 
 
 



Here is the slaughtering area. It actually worked out great. I don’t know that the previous owner of this property intended for it to be used for this, but it was as if it was made just for me! 

Before we slaughtered her, we gathered all the kids around and talked to them about why we were doing what we were doing. We explained that this chicken was one of God’s loved creation, and that she was suffering and most likely in pain. We shared that it is our responsibility as her caregivers to ensure that she is not suffering if she doesn’t need to be. They had all seen the miserable life she’d been living, and agreed that she was not a happy chicken. We made sure they understood that we respected her, and thanked the Lord for creating such a wonderful creature. I told them we were going to dissect her to see if we could see what was going on in her little body, and to see what the organs of a chicken look like. So, with that, I went ahead and put her in the killing cone. 
 
Unfortunately, she was a small chicken, and so she kept sliding around in the cone. Her feet stuck out of the bottom instead of her head. Hmmm…don’t think that’s how it was supposed to be. Superman helped re-position her, and then he took over the video responsibilities so we could have the kids’ first chicken slaughtering experience on video. I slit her throat (with my brand new pinning knife–incredibly sharp!), and it only took a swipe or two, and she was bleeding out. I thought she was gone, so I let go, but that was probably a mistake. She started flopping around, and flopped right out of the cone, all the way across the slaughtering area, and right into the trash can! I guess she knew where she was headed in the end. 
 
After a few minutes, I took her out, cut her head off, and dropped her into a pot of scalding water for about 30 seconds. Her feathers came right off, and all the kids helped pluck her. 
 
 


In the end, the kids all seemed intrigued and honestly interested in learning about the different parts of her body. They weren’t scared or crying or scarred. It was a great learning experience for all of us, and a really good reminder of just what goes into preparing the meat we just pick up from the store, nicely packaged and covered in plastic. Maybe not the way everyone wants to spend their Saturday morning, though. If there was any doubt in my mind whether I have fully converted to being a Country Girl, that is now vanished. I felt completely in my element and although I didn’t enjoy the actual killing of the chicken, I believe it was necessary and justified. 

 

How to Make Your Strawberries Last Longer

keep strawberries fresh

 

keep strawberries fresh

No one likes moldy strawberries. And it seems whenever I buy strawberries, by the 2nd day, they are starting to mold or get mushy. 

Want to know how to make your strawberries last longer? Try this simple method!

 

How to Have Fun with your Kids

have fun with your kids.jpg

have fun with your kids.jpg

I recently spent time with a mom who said the one thing she wished she had done with her kids is spent more time with them.

I have to say, homeschooling means I spend a lot of time with my kids, but it’s not always fun, and it can get very tiring. That can make for a crabby mom. Sometimes you just need to let go and have a little fun. 

If you make your house a fun place to be for your kids, they’re naturally going to gravitate toward being there!

Here’s a little video of a skit we did at our homeschooling group’s open house. Enjoy!

 

how to have fun with your kids

June Giveaway: $300 Amazon Gift Card!

amazon gift card giveaway.jpg.jpg

amazon gift card giveaway.jpg.jpg

This month I’m partnering with some blogger friends to offer a fantastic giveaway! The prize is a $300 Amazon gift card. If you’re looking for some things to buy with your winnings, here are some of my favorite summer things on Amazon right now: 

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer (perfect for making “noodles” out of lots of different veggies!)

Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker 

Hydroplane Double Slip n’ Slide

How to enter for your chance to win the June giveaway:

1. Subscribe to Life Made Full by clicking HERE. You’ll get my all my latest posts AND a copy of my Top 10 Recipes ebook! (If you are already a subscriber, continue to the next step.)

2. Like Life Made Full on Facebook, and if you have already liked my page continue to the next step.

3. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to confirm these entries and unlock more!

— For more chances to win, be sure to visit all the blogs participating in this giveaway —

Wellness and Workouts

Grok Grub

A Girl Worth Saving

 Predominantly Paleo

 Canada Girl Eats Paleo

Mind Body Oasis

Nummy For My Tummy

South Beach Primal

The Urban Ecolife

The Curious Coconut

A winner will be chosen via random.org, and I will contact the lucky winner on July 1st via Facebook or email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, there is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to the United States and Canada. Good luck. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spoiled Kids Syndrome

spoiled kids syndrome.jpg

spoiled kids syndrome.jpg

Spoiled kids have been around since the dawn of time. 

Back in ancient times, I dunno, maybe parents spoiled their kids by letting them take the ox and cart out for joy rides after dark. Maybe they went into debt to buy their daughter robes of scarlet when they really couldn’t afford them. But I’m sure there were the “spoiled rich kids” even way back when.

Nowadays, spoiled children seem to be the “norm.” 

Our society has embraced entitling our children, giving them what we didn’t have when we were children, because “everyone else has {fill in the blank}”.

Don’t believe me? 

Take a look at prom. When I was in high school, maybe a couple hundred dollars was spent on the dance. Maybe. Now? Did you know the average spent on prom in the western states is over $1,000? The east coast is even worse, coming in at more than $1,500. That’s ridiculous! One other very interesting thing: “One troubling statistic is that parents surveyed who fell in the lower income brackets (less than $50,000 a year) plan to spend more than the national average, $1,245, while parents who make over $50,000 will spend an average of $1,129.  Additionally, single parents plan to spend $1,563, almost double the amount that married parents plan to spend at $770.” (source)

What about cars? When I turned 16, I didn’t get a car. I had to borrow my mom’s car if I wanted to drive. A lot of my friends drove cars, though, and the cars they drove were mostly just the average used Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. And the key thing: kids were expected to pay for their own gas & insurance. Now? It seems that many kids I meet were given cars and don’t have anything personally invested into them–meaning their parents cover the costs. 

How about cell phones? Don’t even get me started. Ok, so I’m old enough that we didn’t even have cell phones when I was in high school, but why is it that MOST teens have smart phones now? Do they really need 24/7 access to the Internet, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.? Why can’t they just have a phone for emergencies? Because it’s the norm. Kids who don’t have smart phones are left out. They’re the oddballs now. Spending $30-$40 a month for my kid’s cell phone bill does NOT sound at all appealing to me. I have no desire to pay for them to surf the ‘net whenever they want. 

American kids are being raised as entitled, spoiled children. The difference nowadays is that the spoiled kids used to be in the minority. Now the spoiled kids are the majority, and they probably don’t even realize they’re spoiled. 

Now, hold up. I’m not calling you a bad parent. I’m not even saying you’re one of the people who spoils their children. It just bothers me that as a culture, we are giving our children so much, they are growing up expecting to be constantly taken care of. Many kids aren’t even working to maintain all the privileges they have. 

I want my kids to work for what they have, appreciate when they reach their goals, and most importantly, be thankful when they receive an unexpected gift. I want them to suffer a little bit. I want them to go on a mission trip to some foreign country and be deprived of everything except their basic needs. I want them to see what poverty truly is. If you are constantly receiving as a child, you grow up to expect to constantly receive as an adult. I want my kids to give more than they receive.

Maybe I’m a mean mom. Maybe I’m expecting too much, and am fighting a losing battle. But I hope and pray that we are not so far gone that we can’t teach our kids a little bit of work ethic. 

Let your kids get dirty doing hard labor. Tell them no sometimes. Just because “everyone else” gets to do something doesn’t mean your child has to. Let them fail so they can learn. Do they want an expensive item? Have them work for it. The pay off will be that much more sweet in the end. 

Our kids need to work more, work harder, and get some dirt under their fingernails. If they don’t, we’ll have a country run by adults who don’t know what to do when a challenge comes their way.

So, what do you think? Am I way off base? Are kids more spoiled nowadays? Or am I just being overly sensitive? 

 

Life Made Full’s Top 10 Gluten Free Blogs for 2014!

2014 favorite gluten free blogs

 

2014 favorite gluten free blogs

There are so many great gluten free blogs out there. How to know which ones are the best? I’m picking my Top 10 favorite gluten free blogs and sharing them with you! Not only are these gluten free, they’re Paleo as well! 


 

Nom Nom Paleo

Why oh why do I love Nom Nom Paleo? Let me count the reasons…first, Michelle’s style. She’s cute, witty, and her recipes are mostly made simple. And I’m all about simple. Plus, her kids are freakin’ adorable. And, she has a cookbook. It’s rated 5 stars by almost 1,000 people! That’s gotta tell you something. Wanna check it out? Click on the pic below:

nom nom paleo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipe: Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

You can also follow Nom Nom Paleo on Facebook and Pinterest


Against All Grain

If you are a regular Paleo eater, you’ve probably heard of Against All Grain. Danielle is beautiful, authentic and her food is delightful. Seriously–delightful! Her personal story hits me to the core, as it reminds me so much of Superman’s story. After years of struggling with her health, Danielle found healing through food. She’s appeared on The Doctors as well as numerous other media outlets, sharing her incredible recipes and inspiring others to make the change to healthier eating. Of course, she has a cookbook as well, and you can check it out here:

against all grain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Danielle showing how to make gluten free cereal bars:

 

Favorite Recipe: Seven Layer Bars

You can also follow Against All Grain on Facebook and Pinterest!


My Heart Beets

I seem to fall more and more in love with Ashley from My Heart Beets  every day. Her creations of delicious, unique recipes bring me back to my childhood filled with Indian food. She doesn’t have a cookbook yet, but she does offer a free ebook called “Paleo Your Life“! I’m just waiting on pins and needles until I see a cookbook from her. 

 my heart beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipe: Paleo Naan (Indian Bread)

You can also follow My Heart Beets on Facebook and Pinterest


Primal Palate

Primal Palate has a special place in my heart, as Bill & Hayley’s blog is one of the first I went to when we went gluten free. It’s been really fun to watch their site grow from a small blog to a huge, resource-filled website with tons of help and recipes for anyone just starting out on a gluten-free or Paleo diet to experts in eating grain-free. They even have meal planning tools! Bill & Hayley are down-to-earth, real, talented individuals that make an incredible team! Their cookbook, Make it Paleo, was one of the first ones I bought when we changed our diet! You can see it here: 

make it paleo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not too long ago, Bill & Hayley came out with another amazing cookbook called “Gather.” The photos are gorgeous, people. It’s almost worth buying just so you can drool over the pics. Not kidding. 

father

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a YouTube video of the “Best of” Primal Palate:

 

Favorite Recipe: Dairy Free Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

You can also follow Primal Palate on Facebook and Pinterest


Predominantly Paleo

Predominantly Paleo is a newer site, but she has grown exponentially in a short amount of time because of her talent. Jen has quickly become an expert on Yuca, and her recipes for grain-free empanadas, egg rolls, and hot dog buns blow my mind. If you have questioned whether eating grain-free can be as good as eating the real thing, wonder no more. Jen’s recipes will amaze you! I’m not sure how one person can be so talented and beautiful at the same time. Not fair, not fair! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know how to work with Yuca? Check out Predominantly Paleo’s “how to” video!

 

Favorite Recipe: Paleo Egg Rolls

You can also follow Predominantly Paleo on Facebook and Pinterest


So, Let’s Hang Out

Oh, Gina. Her humor makes me happy. She’s quick, sarcastic and funny. That pretty much means we’d be friends in real life if she lived closer. For now, I’ll settle for just being able to connect with her via our blogs. She recently posted a Double Dark Chocolate Chocolate & Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake. How the heck could I not want to stalk her when she posts something like this?! Gina has an adorable dog who I kind of want to adopt. Hey, Gina–let me know if you ever want to drive a couple hours so I can babysit your furry friend. In all seriousness, though, go check out So, Let’s Hang Out for some recipes that will blow. your. mind.

so lets hang out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipe: Grain Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

You can also follow So, Let’s Hang Out on Facebook and Pinterest


A Girl Worth Saving

Kelly Bejelly. Yup, that’s really her name! How can you NOT love someone with that name?! Kelly is a grain-free cook and photographer. You can tell just by looking at a few of her recipe photos that she knows what she’s doing. Her journey to health is so inspiring, it would make anyone want to up the ante on their diet. A Girl Worth Saving has delicious recipes, and I love that Kelly includes a “kid friendly” category  as well as a “30 minutes or less” category for all of us crazy busy moms who are trying to keep our heads above water. To top it all off, she just finished her first cookbook, and it’s available for pre-order! Click on the pic below to see what you can get! 

paleo eats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know why Paleo may not be working for you? Check out A Girl Worth Saving’s video below:

 

Favorite Recipe: Pumpkin Ice Cream

You can also follow A Girl Worth Saving on Facebook and Pinterest


Delicious Obsessions

Jessica from Delicious Obsessions has another great story of her journey to health. Her site includes regular contributors that really help add great perspective and flavor to her blog. With incredible recipes, how-tos, health and wellness posts and natural beauty care, her site is unique and well-rounded. You won’t be disappointed with what you find there! Jessica has a fabulous book available (see below) and also has the “Paleo Your Life” ebook available for free on her site! Go check her out and see all she has to offer!

keeping it real

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

paleo your life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipe: Homemade Orange Chicken

 

You can also follow Delicious Obsessions on Facebook and Pinterest


Paleo Parents

Another well-known name in the Paleo world, Paleo Parents Stacy and Matt share their hearts and souls with their readers. They provide family-friendly meals & desserts on their site as well as tips and real-life advice for people who may not necessarily fit the stereotypical “mold” of what eating Paleo looks like. I love that Stacy is so authentic and completely honest about her journey. It’s refreshing and motivating for everyone! Read their story and prepare to be touched! Stacy & Matt have 2 great cookbooks: Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon, both of which are amazing. Beyond Bacon is an ode to using the whole pig and you’ll be surprised how yummy they can make even the most untraditional parts of a pig look! 

eat like a dinosaur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

beyond bacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see Stacy’s first CrossFit Strongman competition? Check it out! 

 

Favorite Recipe: N’Oatmeal Cookies

You can also follow Paleo Parents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest


Gourmande in the Kitchen

Sylvie from Gourmande in the Kitchen is another talented photographer. Her recipes are fast and fresh with a focus on real food ingredients. She could probably make even the nastiest foods look delicious just because her photos are that good. Seriously, her photos should be in magazines. They should grace the walls of the White House. They should be plastered on sides of buses. They’re beautiful! Don’t believe me? Go check them out for yourself! Sylvie, when will we see a cookbook from you??

 

sylivie shirazi 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipe: Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale Pesto

 

Sweet-Potato-Noodles-with-Pesto-Recipe-on-gourmandeinthekitchen.com_ You can also follow Gourmande in the Kitchen on Facebook and Pinterest!

So, there you have it! Life Made Full’s Top 10 Gluten Free Blogs for 2014. Do you have any you’d like to add? 

Salty Zucchini Chips

salty zucchini chips

salty zucchini chips

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini. It’s coming out my ears! But, I won’t complain, as I love having this problem! It forces me to get creative with how to use it up, and I get to give away free food to my friends!

I recently put together a round up of more than 30 zucchini recipes , and then I thought, “what about zucchini chips?” 

I use a Nesco dehydrator that I love. It has six trays, and fits lots of fruits or veggies on it!

Making these salty zucchini chips is simple and a perfectly healthy snack!

Salty Zucchini Chips
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchinis
  • salt/pepper
  • any other desired spices (I didn't use anything but salt this time, and they were delicious!)
Instructions
  1. Cut the ends off and slice the zucchini thin. I repeat, slice thin!
  2. Place in single layers on dehydrator sheets, sprinkle LIGHTLY with salt, and dry at 135 degrees F for about 6-8 hours, until completely crunchy.
  3. Note: You don't need much salt at all, as these will shrink down, and the salt will seem extra salty!

 

Lamb Birth Video

baby lamb

baby lamb

Just a note of caution: This is a graphic video showing our newest lamb birth. If you’re squeamish with these sorts of things, you may not want to watch it. =)

You’ll notice in the video that her tongue was sticking way out during the birth. She has problems with her sucking reflex, and has not been able to nurse off her mama yet. We’re bottle feeding her for now.

 

lamb birth video

The Ultimate Paleo Zucchini Recipe Roundup!

zucchini round up

 

zucchini round up

‘Tis the season to be jolly…jolly full of zucchini, that is! If you’re anything like me, you have zucchini coming out your ears, or you soon will. I planted 6 zucchini plants, and boy oh boy, are they fruitful! 

Even if you don’t have a garden, you may notice a variety of zucchini and summer squash at your local market because it is officially, undeniably in season!

I am always looking for more ways to use up my zucchini, so I decided to put together the ultimate Paleo zucchini recipe roundup! 

Some of these recipes are for zucchini noodles or “zoodles” as some like to call them. If you’re looking for a great spiral vegetable slicer to make these, THIS is the one I have, and I love it! 

loaf cake

Breakfast

Bacon and Green Onion Zucchini Pancakes from Canada Girl Eats Paleo

Zucchini Crust Quiche from Primal Palate

Savory Vegetable Loaf Cake from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Paleo Bacon Zucchini & Red Pepper Frittata from Paleo Newbie

 

zucchini nest lasagna 

Lunch/Dinner

Zucchini Lasagna from Life Made Full

Stuffed Zucchini from Life Made Full

Zucchini Nest Lasagna from Jaro Honey

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Just Enjoy Food

Tuna Zoodles Casserole from Just Enjoy Food

Zoodles with Peas and Pesto from Zen Belly

 

chocolate zucchini muffins 

Dessert

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Life Made Full

Summer Squash Gummy Candy from Common Sense Home

Flourless Zucchini Brownies from Primal Palate

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins from Elana’s Pantry

Grandma’s Zucchini Bread Dippers from Jaro Honey

 

zucchini pasta salad 

Sides/Appetizers

Marinated Garlic Zucchini from Life Made Full

Garlicky Zoodles with Slivered Almonds from Life Made Full

Asian Fried Zucchini Noodles from Oh, the Things We’ll Make

Grainless Spaghettie & Meatballs from It Takes Time

Zucchini Pasta Salad from Canada Girl Eats Paleo

Mediterranean “Pasta” from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Zoodles & Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo

Zucchini Garlic Sticks from Primal Palate

Italian Meatball Zoodle Soup from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Lactofermented Curried Squash & Zucchini from Delicious Obsessions

Zucchini Ribbon Salad from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Zucchini Avocado Lemon Soup from A Harmony Healing

Baked Zucchini from Real Food and Real Fitness

Marinated Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini & Tomatoes with Garlic & Thyme from Gourmande in the Kitchen 

Cream of Asparagus, Celery & Zucchini Soup from Delicious Obsessions

Zucchini Fries from Delicious Obsessions

Stuffed Peppers with Capers & Olives from Just Enjoy Food

Paleo Fried Zucchini with Cool Dill Dip from Paleo Newbie

Breads

Almond Flour Zucchini Bread from Against All Grain

 

balsamic hummus 

Miscellaneous

Salty Zucchini Chips from Life Made Full

Raw Zucchini Hummus from Oh, the Things We’ll Make

Balsamic Hummus from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Carob Zucchini Milkshake from Raia’s Recipes

Pisto from Edible Harmony

Again, if you’re looking for a great spiral vegetable slicer to make these, THIS is the one I have!

Roast Beef Mushroom Caps

roast beef mushroom caps

roast beef mushroom caps

Please welcome Joyce from The Skinny Pear to the blog again today! 

When I was young one of my mom’s favorite things to do with leftover beef roast was to grind it up and use it for sandwiches.  Honestly, I hated it, I never liked, I always thought it was uhm..yucky.  

As I grew up, into the wise woman that I am, I realized that this ground beef mixture is actually pretty delicious.  Growing up we always used it in sandwiches, but as I focus more and more on Paleo and working towards getting my family closer to the Autoimmune Paleo protocol, sandwich bread isn’t on the menu.

So how can I enjoy this tasty delicacy?  Well, I figured I’d give it a go with mushrooms.  

Roast Beef Mushroom Caps
 
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a meat grinder, I use a Kitchen aid Mixer with a meat grinder
  2. attachment, and grind your meat together with the pickles.
  3. I usually alternate between beef and pickles when I am grinding, that way the pickle gets incorporated better.
  4. Next wash your mushrooms and pop the stems out.
  5. Finely chop the stems and place in a bowl.
  6. Add ½ cup beef mixture. Stir in 1 tbsp. mayo.
  7. Stuff mixture into mushroom caps and sprinkle with Sea salt and pepper.
  8. Pop mushroom caps in oven at 350F for about 5 minutes or until warm.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

roast beef mushroom caps

joyce bio pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Joyce is a mother to two beautiful children, wife to an amazing husband.  She spends her day’s blogging at The Skinny Pear, studying to become a registered holistic nutritionist and runs a photography business.  When she’s not busy doing all of that, she’s skiing down mountains in the winter and fishing in the summer.  Oh and she’s running her first half marathon this year!  For more of her recipes, head over to her blog.

Why I’m a Hypocrite (My Girls Don’t Wear Bikinis But I Will)

bikini post

bikini post

After some great interaction on my recent Facebook post about a bikini I saw in the children’s department at Target, I thought I would write up a blog post about the subject. 

You see, I don’t let my daughters, who are 7 and 5, wear bikinis. 

But…are you ready for it? do wear them.

Over the past few years, with videos like this one, and an ever-increasing stream of anti-bikini posts in my newsfeed, I have become more and more self-conscious about the fact that I wear a two-piece swimsuit. Not because I feel it’s wrong, but because I feel there are some harsh judgments from my fellow sisters-in-Christ about my choice of swim wear. 

I am sure the first thing going through your head right now is “What a hypocrite! She won’t let her daughters wear a bikini, but she wears one?? What kind of example is that??”

Let me explain. 

Young girls wearing this type of a top really bothers me: 

girl bikini

I know to many it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I see the top as trying to accentuate something that’s not there. I don’t have a problem with the bottom half of this suit–just the top. Actually, I think the bottoms are cute. I have no problem with a 2-piece suit like this for a young girl: 

girl tankini

It just seems more appropriate to me. I completely understand the reasoning for wanting a 2-piece. When my girls were a bit younger and I had to help them go to the bathroom, I hated it if they had a wet one-piece swimsuit on. This is much, much easier. 

But why do girls 2-pieces have to be so revealing??

If a girl doesn’t even have boobies yet, why should she wear something that looks as though she is pretending to??

My issue doesn’t lie with the fact that all bikinis are from Satan. It just lies with the fact that I think revealing clothing at a young age is inappropriate. 

Now, on to me. 

So, am I a hypocrite? Possibly. Here I am wearing a bikini when I’m telling my daughters they can’t wear one. First of all, they’ve never asked for one yet. 

This is basically what the top of my bikini looks like:

woman bikini

I don’t wear this swimsuit to show off my body. I don’t wear it to try to tempt other men. I wear it because honestly, I’m comfortable in it. Superman has requested I avoid a one-piece swimsuit as long as possible, because he’s not married to an old lady yet (sorry for those of you that wear one-pieces–it’s no judgment on you!). He loves the way I look in a top like this and some board shorts. He does not like tankinis. We’ve been married for 16 years, and I love that he finds me attractive. When I’m wearing a swimsuit, I’m not trying to make other men stumble, I’m just wearing what I’m comfortable in and thankfully that lines up with what Superman prefers. 

When my daughters are older, I have no problem with them wearing a tasteful bikini. I want them to wear what they’re comfortable in, preferably not something that’s basically like wearing pasties on their nipples and a triangle on their rears. But at some point, they are going to grow up and make their own decisions. I want them to see that I can wear a tasteful 2-piece, honor my husband, feel comfortable in my own skin, and still love God with all my heart. 

What makes me sad is that there is so much judgment and so many hateful words thrown around toward Christian women who wear bikinis. I know I’m going to really rub some people the wrong way here. But please don’t think that because I’m comfortable in a 2-piece that I love God any less. What I’d love to see is more love for others, and less judgment.

So, there you have it. Maybe you see my choice as hypocritical. I see it as my choice in parenting. There are things that I get to do as an adult that my children do not get to do. I get to drive a car, drink (if I wanted to, but I really don’t want to), stay up late, eat chocolate whenever I want (I wish it was whenever I want), wear makeup, and a host of other things. That doesn’t mean I’m being hypocritical since my girls don’t get to do those things. I’m just acting age-appropriate. And one day, my girls will be able to do all the things I’m doing. 

So, what do you think? Am I way off base? Think I’m going to hell? Let me know in the comments! 

 

 

Sweet Paprika Chicken

sweet paprika chicken.jpg

sweet paprika chicken.jpg

Sweet Paprika Chicken. 

It’s one of my new favorite recipes. Slightly sweet from honey, with a smoky, delightful undertone from the paprika. 

Another great weeknight dinner that’s easy to throw together to wow your family!

Sweet Paprika Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • ~1/4 cup paprika
  • ~1/4 cup honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup avocado or coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron).
  2. Lay chicken out in a single layer on a cutting board.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with paprika, salt & pepper.
  4. Drizzle with honey.
  5. Place into heated oil (spice-side down) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle/Drizzle onto top side, then flip over and cook for another few minutes, until juices run clear.
  7. Enjoy!

sweet paprika chicken 

Asparagus-Stuffed Beef Kabobs

asparagus stuffed beef kabobs.jpg

asparagus stuffed beef kabobs.jpg

Who doesn’t love a good kabob? These Asparagus-Stuffed Beef Kabobs are a great summer meal–either out on the grill or in the oven. Whichever way is easier for you! The crunch of asparagus in the center makes these kabobs unique and extra yummy! 

Asparagus-Stuffed Beef Kabobs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1.5 TBSP cumin
  • 2 tsp salt + about 3 TBSP (separated)
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 TBSP chopped cilantro
  • 1 small Jalapeño pepper (optional–use only if you like spice)
  • 8-10 asparagus spears, rough ends cut off
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • wooden or metal skewers 16-20
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a broiler pan with foil.
  2. Cut the asparagus spears in half and put each half on a skewer.
  3. Add 3 TBSP (or so) of salt to a very large bowl and add hot water.
  4. Set the skewered asparagus into the hot salted water to soak while you prep the rest of the meal.
  5. In another large bowl, combine the meat, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, cilantro and Jalapeño, if desired.
  6. Remove asparagus from water and set onto paper towels to drain. Take a handful of meat and roll it into a “kabob” form:
  7. Press the asparagus into the meat and form the meat around the asparagus.
  8. Lay on the broiler pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way through, and let cool for about 5 minutes before eating.