Recipe Mexican Tuna Salad Paleo Gluten Free


Mexican Tuna Salad Paleo Gluten Free

Mexican Tuna Salad Paleo Gluten Free

Are you looking for a quick salad that is high in protein and nourishing fat but low in carbs? Want something that is also gluten free, paleo, and good for you? Look no more and try my Mexican Tuna Salad. This salad will keep you satisfied all afternoon and energized to boot.

We’re just coming off a trip to Mexico and I am still desiring those wonderful flavors. Here I have a low mercury tuna, by Wild Planet, along with fresh cilantro which is good for combating mercury anyway, plus crunchy fresh red bell pepper, savory green onion, and delicious creamy avocado. It’s like mashed up guacamole, salsa, and tuna basically.

Serves 2

  • 2 cans of low mercury tuna
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • juice of a lime (more to taste)
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Drizzle raw olive oil
  • Few dashes of powdered cumin
  • Sea Salt / Pepper, to taste

Smash it all up and serve. (I love this smasher for guacamole and potatoes. It has a great handle and is easy to clean and use.)

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Recipe Orange Chicken & Yams Slow Cooker Gluten Free Paleo


Orange Chicken  Yams Slow Cooker Gluten Free

Orange Chicken Yams Slow Cooker Gluten Free

The easier and simpler a recipe is, the more attracted I am to it these days. Being a mom to a 3.5 year old is busy, but with easy recipes like this, then it’s a breeze.

Enter Orange Chicken Yams. And, of course… ENTER: SLOW COOKER. I think my slow cooker will go from being my best friend to my bestest best friend. With a recipe as easy, delicious, and nutritious as this, I have so much time on my hands that I can read a book. 😉 Speaking of books, I just finished Chris Kressers’ The Paleo Code, which is a good book detailing a Paleo diet with a Real Food spin which I like.  I’m about to dive into Eat the Yolks (by funny gal Liz Wolfe) between chapters of one of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon. I’m on her 5th book in The Outlander Series, The Fiery Cross. The Outlander Series is soooooo fantastic and very popular (so popular that I believe a TV series is being made of it). I love to read. It’s one of my favorite things.

On to the recipe:

Orange Chicken Yams (Slow Cooker. Gluten Free. Paleo.)

Yield 4 servings

  • 2 cups homemade broth (or water, if you must)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 small-medium yams, peeled and chopped
  •  1 whole pasture raised organic chicken (3 to 4 pounds), pieced
  • salt
  • 1 organic orange, sliced

Orange Chicken and Yams ready to cook.

Orange Chicken and Yams ready to cook.

  1. Set your slow cooker (my Frigidaire slow cooker is 7 quarts, shown above) to LOW and add the broth, bay leaf, onion, and yams.
  2. Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and place on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  3. Top the chicken with the sliced oranges.
  4. Cover and let cook 6 to 8 hours, or until meat is done as indicated by a thermometer and proper chicken cooking temperatures.

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6 Things I Love About Guadalajara, Mexico

We recently went on a two week trip to Guadalajara, Mexico where Kamea received her first stamp for her passport. 🙂

One of the reasons we are excited to homeschool Kamea is that we love to travel, and this offers both flexibility in our schedule as well as a rich education for her. As part of Kamea’s homeschooling (she’s 3.75 as of this writing) we have a native Spanish-speaking woman come over weekly to play with Kamea, while speaking primarily Spanish. It’s a way for Kamea to get exposed to another language but not in a typical classroom setting. We started this before she was two and she learned to say “rojo” before “red” (except she pronounced it “hoho”). So, going to Guadalajara was a great way to build upon those lessons.

Guadalajara, Mexico and six things I love about it.

Sunrise and Venus in Guadalajara, Mexico

Sunrise (and Venus) in Guadalajara, Mexico

  1. Weather: The weather in Guadalajara is beautiful, warm, and pretty consistent year round from what I understand. When we traveled there during the winter, we experienced days of 80 degrees and sunshine with nights cooler in the low 50s. It makes for a great place if you’re traveling from a cold climate.
  2. Not getting La Cuenta until you ask for it: I’ve never been to Europe but I expect it’s the same there as it is in Guadalajara. You don’t get the check after dining in a restaurant until you ask for it. Gosh this makes an unbelievable difference in the relaxation of the dining experience. Even if you tend to ask for your check right after eating, it’s nice to know they’re not rushing you out the door in order to turn the table. In fact, they expect you to stay and enjoy yourself with no pressure to keep buying food. We experienced many meals where we hung around and chatted for an hour before asking La Cuenta Por Favor.
  3. Hospitality and Friendliness: Guadalajara, Mexico is home to some of the most hospitable and friendly people I’ve met (Bora Bora is too!). Even if you are just passing strangers on the street, there’s a warm air surrounding everyone that makes you feel connected in the most subtle way. Whether you find yourself amidst the morning walkers to work or you pass an elderly who pats your toddler on the head in passing, it’s such a difference from anything(!) I’ve experienced in the United States.
  4. Long Hair, High Heels and Makeup: I couldn’t help but notice the fashion part of the culture in Guadalajara. I would estimate that 90% of the women wear high high high high high heels. Yes, very high. Most of them have very very long beautiful hair. And, most women are gussied up in makeup. Fun.
  5. Restaurants (La Docena, La Ideal, and NH Hotel): There’s no shortage of delicious restaurants in Guadalajara. I will focus another blog post on a few in particular that we frequented during our trip: La Docena, La Ideal, and NH Hotel. But a couple of points: the food is rich in flavor, and it’s not very expensive either. Plus, although I can’t confirm this based on my personal experience, it appears that much of mexico might have grass fed beef and products simply because that’s how they raise their animals. My stating this is based on this blog post, and the fact that it turns out the native spanish speaking gal who tutors Kamea… well her family owns a grass fed cattle ranch outside of Guadalajara! The odds! Oh, and another tip as to this based on my experience is that the eggs I ate at the NH Hotel every morning were very orange. That’s a testament to them being pasture raised without my needing to even ask them (which would’ve been a bit difficult with the language barrier).
  6. NH Hotel: We stayed at the NH Hotel which was very nice and filled with friendly patient staff. They welcomed my attempts to speak Spanish which was comical at times. I would definitely recommend staying at this hotel for anyone visiting Guadalajara Mexico. Beautiful clean rooms, good food, and great location.

I would undoubtedly add more to the list, like Lake Chapala (which boasts a large expat community) or this amazing market, but we stayed most of our trip in the financial district for this trip. Next time!

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A relaxing meal at La Ideal. We were the only patrons due to the time we ate our dinner (much earlier than most people there).

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Walking back to the hotel

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Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Gluten Free (Pizzookie)

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Pizooki) Gluten Free

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Pizzooki) Gluten Free

Wow. I’m truly in heaven. My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (gluten free) recipe is, officially, my favorite gluten free homemade dessert recipe. My second would be my Pumpkin Pie, but that’s a recipe I’ll share later. I can’t take all the credit for coming up with this masterpiece though. I was inspired by two things.

  1. Over a decade ago I ate a dessert at a local Italian restaurant where they had a “Pizzookie” which was a giant chocolate chip cookie served in a small cast iron pan with ice cream on top. I have longed for that for years, but I wouldn’t get it because it’s so unhealthy, obviously. Instead, I dreamt about it. For over a decade.
  2. Then, a few months ago, I was reading a fun blog, Cave Girl Eats. I saw that she made a giant paleo chocolate chip cookie in a pie dish. I thought to myself… THAT’S IT! I can recreate the Pizzookie! Now, mine isn’t strictly paleo like hers because grass fed butter belongs in this bad boy. Be sure to check out Cave Girl Eats’ blog. I call her “funny girl” because I’m frequently giggling when I read her work.

Interestingly… In writing this post, I decided to google “Pizzookie” to see if the Italian restaurant came up, and what do you know? Quite a few entries showed from various sources including Urban Dictionary. It appears that BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse might have made the original, and get this… they offer one that’s gluten free. However, no need to run out to BJs when you can make your own right at home and I guarantee that even though theirs is gluten free, it’s still not nearly as healthy as mine.

Back to my Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (aka Kristen Suzanne’s Pizzookie). Why do I love this gluten free recipe so much? It’s moist, chocolate-y, not horrible for your health, delicious, fun, and very easy to make. It was love at first bite, and second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and so on. And, to make it even better, which isn’t really possible, but yeah… serve it with ice cream for an over the top experience (though totally not necessary).

Update: I just made one of these today and my husband exclaimed, “Holy ____! I hope you made one for yourself. Can I have this for dinner?” (By the way, his expletive was not the word “shit.”)

Let’s not waste any more time. We have an important Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie recipe to share.

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease your pie baking dish (I used grass fed butter to grease mine). I love that Emile Henry pie baking dish shown in the picture. It’s simply gorgeous with its decorative fluted edge, high quality, and durable.
  3. Put the almond flour, collagen, vanilla powder, baking soda and sea salt into your food processor, fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse it a few times.
  4. Add the eggs, syrup, and grass fed butter chunks to the food processor and pulse a few times. Then, turn the food processor on and let it run for a bit until the ingredients mix together well and start to form a doughy glob.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the greased pie baking dish. Spread it out evenly. Top with a pie baking crust shield (this could be optional although I always use one).
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean, save for the melting chocolate that gets on it. It also freezes well.

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Recipe: How to Pressure Cooker Grass Fed Beef Chuck Roast

 

All Clad awesome pressure cooker

All Clad – awesome pressure cooker

I originally found myself in the market for a pressure years ago when I was eating a plant based vegan diet (here’s why we stopped our vegan ways). We consumed a lot of beans in those days and I wanted a faster way to prepare them instead of watching them cook in a big pot on my stove all the time.

Fast forward to today… my pressure cooker was sitting on my counter not being used because we don’t fancy beans much these days. I was eager to make a meal quickly with a cut of meat that would usually take all day in the slow cooker. Hello, Pressure Cooker. This thing rocks for its speed and simplicity.

That’s my pressure cooker pictured above: All Clad (I bought it at Sur la Table). This gem was worth every penny because of its high quality. It’s stainless steel and I wanted something that wasn’t non-stick crap or aluminum. I also like this one because I don’t have to stand around the stove watching it (it plugs into the wall), so I feel safe using it. It’s basically a “set it and forget it” piece of kitchen equipment.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chuck Roast

You can get very creative here and add other flavors like a halved onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, etc, especially if you’re using water as the liquid. I usually keep it extra simple though with just flavorful homemade broth and generously salted grass fed meat.

Put all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Cook at HIGH pressure for about 45 minutes. Voila! You’re done.

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How to Sous Vide Grass Fed Ribeye Steak

 

Alderspring Ranch organic grass fed ribeye steak cooked perfectly medium raw sous vide

Alderspring Ranch organic grass fed ribeye steak cooked sous vide – perfectly medium rare.

Dear Sous Vide Supreme,

I love you dearly. Thank you for coming into my life and making it so much easier. I call you my BFF in the kitchen because cooking steaks (and much more, like bone broth) is a piece of cake with you. I love my sous vide supreme so much that I even took it on our road trip from Arizona to Michigan.

Your raving fan,

Kristen

If it isn’t obvious, I love my sous vide supreme kitchen appliance. Thank you to my husband, Greg, for showing me it was an option after I turned too many expensive grass fed steaks into chewing-gum-shoe-leather. Not anymore now that I effortlessly prepare steaks with my sous vide, yielding beautiful steaks with even color and temperature throughout – every time. The best part is that it’s so easy. I don’t need any skills to cook the meat.

The sous vide is also called a water oven, which is similar to a slow cooker but the temperature is tightly controlled and the food is cooked in a vacuum sealed bag. It basically means that you can cook a steak (or any cut of meat, including beef tongue, chicken, turkey, fish and more), perfectly, every time. The meat is cooked through to the exact temperature you want and it will never overcook. I know, magic, right?

Equally important is that using a sous vide allows me to cook much less expensive cuts of grass fed meat to “tenderloin tender” which saves a lot of money. Check out my post on cooking grass fed organic Eye of the Round in my sous vide supreme. See? Save money on the cuts of grass fed meat you buy, and use the money for the sous vide.

The sous vide makes life easy because it means I can put the steak in my sous vide to cook, early in the morning, and not worry about taking it out until I’m ready at lunch or dinner, or heck the next day. This means I don’t have to “time” my steaks to be done by the time my salad or side dishes are prepped either. Timing in the kitchen was never my strong suit. Perfectly cooked meat that can be made ahead of time? Yes!

*Note: You need a food saver or some vacuum seal machine to use with a sous vide.

Steak isn’t the only thing to cook in a sous vide supreme though. I cook the most perfect eggs (omg, this is worth the price of admission alone), organic vegetables, wild caught fish, grass fed organ meats, and any cut of meat really. It bears repeating that a beautiful thing about the sous vide supreme is that I can cook an inexpensive (i.e., usually tough) piece of meat and have it come out mega tender and delicious every time. Oh, I’ve heard burgers can be made in the sous vide as well, but I haven’t experimented with that yet. I will though.

The thing I didn’t realize is that many restaurants are now cooking sous vide because … well … because it’s so useful and awesome.

Alderspring Ranch Grass Fed Organic Ribeye cooked Sous Vide

Another Grass Fed Organic Ribeye cooked Sous Vide – perfectly.

Next on my wish list is getting the bad-ass chamber sealer to use instead of my Food Saver, but a Food Saver will work for now.  The chamber sealer can seal bags of food with liquids, which is not possible with the Food Saver.

A few tips for using a sous vide supreme:

  • I fill it with warm water to get it heated to the temperature I want faster.
  • Sear the meat after you take it out of the vacuum sealed pouch for a prettier presentation (about 45 to 60 seconds per side in a cast iron skillet on high). Some people pre-sear the meat before putting it in the sous vide, but I haven’t gone that route yet. That being said, searing is optional.
  • You can put fresh organic herbs in with your meat, along with a pat of grass fed butter to enhance the flavor. But, keep in mind that sous vide can intensify flavors so go easy on them and experiment.
  • Check out ChefSteps for an awesome tutorial.

Here’s how I make the greatest grass fed steaks (ribeyes,  filet, and pretty much every cut)

Ingredients:

  • Quality grass fed steak(s), one steak per bag
  • Salt Pepper
  • Grass fed butter for searing post sous vide, optional

Fill the sous vide supreme with warm tap water.

Turn it on to the desired cooking temp. For my steaks I usually set it at 134 or 135 degrees F.

Get the meat from your refrigerator.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.

Get FoodSaver bags, and fold the top of each bag over a bit to keep food from touching the part of the bag that needs to be sealed (see pic below). Unfold the bags back to original position after the food is in the bags before sealing.

FoodSaver bag folded over on top prior to putting grass fed organic heart into it.

FoodSaver bag folded over on top prior to putting grass fed organic heart into it. I’m showing the helpful “fold-over-top-of-bag” technique, but I didn’t sous vide the heart. I froze it for later, but I could’ve sous vide it. 🙂 I think I’ll try that one of these days.

Use a vacuum seal machine to suck out the air and seal the bags.

Put the sealed steaks into the Sous Vide Supreme and cook for desired time. I usually let my ribeye or new york strip steaks cook 4 to 8 hours.

Take the vacuum sealed bags out of the sous vide after cooking. Cut open and take the meat out (it’ll look kind of grayish and not totally appetizing as we’re used to seeing meat cooked with a “browned” exterior).

Dry the meat with a paper towel.

Get a skillet nice and hot. Toss some grass fed butter in it (or ghee or nothing, if desired… it’s up to you, but I am really enjoying them seared with grass fed butter). Sear both sides of the steak(s), while basting with the butter if you’re getting fancy, for about 45 to 60 seconds per side.

Serve and watch your family go crazy.

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Recipe Cinnamon Apple Chicken n Buttered Purple Cabbage Gluten Free

 

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

My Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage is soooo good. It’s comfort, health, ease, and deliciousness all wrapped up in one meal and tied with a bow. Cabbage and apples are a great combo that everyone will love.

Most of my chicken dishes are made in a slow cooker, but once in a while, I want some golden (pasture raised organic) chicken skin to sink my teeth into, such as the gluten free recipe below (and also this staple in our house: Garam Masala Orange Chicken). I buy my pasture raised organic chickens here (also available soy-free, meaning they didn’t feed the chickens any soy). Good Earth Farms is also where we bought our pasture raised turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A testament to the quality and deliciousness of their poultry was when my mom, who is always extremely(!) honest, exclaimed three times how much she enjoyed the turkey and she’s never been a “turkey” person.

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 whole pastured organic chicken, pieced (usually 3 to 5 pounds)
  • sea salt to season pastured organic chicken
  • 1/4 cup grass fed organic ghee (or coconut oil if strict paleo)
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 organic apples, cored and quartered
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped (for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken pieces generously with sea salt and set them in a large glass baking dish or a must-buy-very-useful roasting pan. I want to emphasize the need to properly season your poultry… don’t be shy with the salt.
  3. Place the apples around the chicken.
  4. Stir together the ghee, vinegar, orange juice, and cinnamon until combined as much as can be. Brush/Pour/Rub the sauce all over the chicken.
  5. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  6. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces, baste the chicken and apples, and cook another 15 minutes. Flip the chicken back over and cook until done… about 15 to 45 minutes, or until done as indicated by a thermometer for proper poultry cooking temperature. My favorite thermometer is the Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer). Be sure to quickly baste the pastured chicken and apples a couple times throughout the cooking process (I use a glass Norpro baster.
  7. If desired, crank up the heat to 400 to 425 degrees F for the last minutes to crisp the skin more (Kamea’s favorite part is the chicken skin).
  8. Allow the chicken to rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Season with additional sea salt, if needed, at the table.

Buttered Purple Cabbage

Buttered Purple Cabbage

Buttered Purple Cabbage

This recipe is fabulous. Clearly it isn’t for strict paleo (or vegan) peeps with the grass fed butter in it, but you could always drizzle coconut oil on it to satisfy people in those crowds. That’s soooo not the same as grass fed butter though.

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 head purple cabbage, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup grass fed butter, melted (or more)
  • sea salt, to season
  1. Cook the cabbage (seasoned with a bit of salt) and water, over medium heat, covered, until tender.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, pour grass fed butter on top, season with more sea salt, and toss to mix.

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Recipe Carrot Cauliflower Puree Gluten Free

 

Carrot Cauliflower Puree

Carrot Cauliflower Puree

I love using fresh organic produce which shows off vibrant colors. This recipe of Carrot Cauliflower Puree does just that. It’s the color of a sunset, so pretty. Delicious, too. I can serve this as a side dish to any meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Carrot Cauliflower Puree (Gluten Free Recipe)

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup homemade broth (learn how to make here)
  • 1/4 cup grass fed butter
  • fresh organic thyme, for garnish
  1. Put the cauliflower and carrots in a large, deep saute pan with about a few tablespoons of filtered water. Cook over medium heat, covered, until tender. Alternatively, you can steam them with a steamer insert like this. (I love that steamer insert because it has handles that don’t get too hot to touch, so I can simply dump the veggies into a bowl waiting with butter in it, in one quick dump.)
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and add the remaining ingredients. Process to a chunky or smooth consistency, as desired.

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Recipe: Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

 

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

This is YUM.

Here’s a quick, light, and easy snack (or breakfast or dessert) recipe with pears and apples. The colors are quite pretty when using a green pear and red apple (or vice versa).

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Gluten Free Paleo)

Yield 1 serving

Put the milk, pear, apple, sweetener, and allspice in a blender and briefly puree. Serve immediately.

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