Popular Paleo http://popularpaleo.com Making every bite count Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:38:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Celebrate The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: It’s Giveaway Time! http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/24/celebrate-frugal-paleo/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/24/celebrate-frugal-paleo/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:00:14 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4231 It’s almost time for The Frugal Paleo Cookbook to hit shelves everywhere! Naturally I’m stoked to have my first full-print cookbook launch, but more so I can’t wait to show everyone how to do this Paleo thing without spending more than they’re comfortable with on groceries. It’s entirely possible to manage a Paleo lifestyle on any budget! Pre-order […]

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Celebrate The Frugal Paleo Cookbook with this huge giveaway on www.PopularPaleo.com

It’s almost time for The Frugal Paleo Cookbook to hit shelves everywhere! Naturally I’m stoked to have my first full-print cookbook launch, but more so I can’t wait to show everyone how to do this Paleo thing without spending more than they’re comfortable with on groceries.

It’s entirely possible to manage a Paleo lifestyle on any budget!

Pre-order your copy here while it’s still discounted (it’s about $13.49 on Amazon right now) The price jumps to $19.99 on December 2nd! So reserve your book on sale and get it delivered to your doorstep first! Also, be sure to hang on to that confirmation number… I just may have a super duper amazing bonus package in the works for all of my early birds! Stay tuned for more info!

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook from the creator of www.PopularPaleo.com

buy now button

To celebrate the launch of my first book, I’m offering you guys a chance to win three prizes in my biggest giveaway yet! Three lucky winners will receive incredible prizes to my absolute favorite Paleo lifestyle vendors. (enter drumroll…)


FIRST PRIZE

Celebration Giveaway on www.PopularPaleo.com

Huge basket of goodies worth over $200!

  • *JUST RELEASED!* Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer: Healthy eating was never easier with these delicious 3, 4, and 5 ingredient recipes! by Cindy Sexton
  • Coffee Blocks‘ 6-pack sampler of this delicious instant butter coffee! (No really, it exists! Click here)
  • $15 gift card to shop at WholeMe.com (Their Eat Me Almond Clusters are sooooooo good!)
  • 12-pack sampler of the awesome Exo Protein Bars! Yep, those cricket flour bars. They’re nutty and delicious and not at all creepy. I’ll get you hooked on them yet!
  • Cleansing Oil & Myrrhaculous Face Cream from Fat Face Skincare (my new product crush… you’ll fall in love too!).
  • 1 jar of grass-fed ghee, 1 jar of Coffee++ (a blend of cultured ghee and MCT oil formulated for butter coffee), 2.5 oz jar of turmeric and the Assorted Spiced Ghee Sampler from Pure Indian Foods!

SECOND PRIZE

Celebration Giveaway on www.PopularPaleo.com from TX Organics & FatWorks

TX Bar Organics is offering one lucky winner 10 pounds of their incredible grass-fed ground beef! This is the good stuff guys — the ranch is 100% organic, the beef is grass-fed and finished and the farm itself is family-owned and operated. They’re also throwing in a pair of their NO BULL knee socks! Woot!

And to cook up that awesome ground beef, you’ll need the best fat on the market: FatWorks. Quality matters and FatWorks is rendering out premium pure lard, leaf lard, tallow, and duck fat for your frying and roasting pleasure. You get to choose TWO of their amazing products!


THIRD PRIZE

Celebration Giveaway on www.PopularPaleo.com thanks to Barefoot Provisions!

Last but certainly not least, is a $100 SHOPPING SPREE to my favorite online Paleo goods store: Barefoot Provisions! So many of my favorite products from Pure Indian Foods ghee, Jackson’s Honest Chips, Nick’s Sticks, SeaSnax, Coco-Roons and the most addicting cinnamon red maca almond butter you’ll ever (like, ever, ever) taste are all available under one .com roof. Seriously, check them out (click here). Wouldn’t you go nuts with $100 there???


Here’s how to enter:

1) Make sure you’re receiving my emails, especially now on the cusp of releasing The Frugal Paleo Cookbook. Book signings, special offers and exclusive recipe previews are all on the horizon. Now’s the time to stay in touch!



2) Complete the official raffle entry form (via Rafflecopter) in the widget below. Want to boost your chances of winning? I’ve added some bonus features for you to earn extra points.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) Sharing is caring! Pin this awesome giveaway to your Pinterest board or share this post on your Facebook page. I firmly believe that Paleo is 100% possible to manage without spending more on groceries than you’re comfortable with and The Frugal Paleo Cookbook showcases how to do exactly that. Spread the word!

PS: Don’t forget! I’ve got a super amazing bonus package announcement coming soon! Pre-ordering The Frugal Paleo Cookbook gets you instant access to exclusive bonus budgeting content from me, plus special offers from SEVEN fantastic Paleo companies! The bonus package is completely separate from this giveaway, so stay tuned!


Pin it here:

Celebrate The Frugal Paleo Cookbook with this huge giveaway on www.PopularPaleo.com

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Chile Relleno Breakfast Casserole http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/22/chile-relleno-breakfast-casserole/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/22/chile-relleno-breakfast-casserole/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:30:30 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4225 Breakfast casseroles save the day! They’re budget friendly, filling and for the most part, easy to prepare. Exactly the kind of food I write about in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook. This particular recipe spins off of the traditional chile relleno — a mild green poblano pepper, roasted, stuffed with cheese, battered and then deep fried. […]

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Breakfast casseroles save the day! They’re budget friendly, filling and for the most part, easy to prepare. Exactly the kind of food I write about in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook. This particular recipe spins off of the traditional chile relleno — a mild green poblano pepper, roasted, stuffed with cheese, battered and then deep fried. Um. Yum.

But we’re gonna skip on all the stuff that would tear up our guts and ramp up inflammation. Instead let’s whittle this down to whole ingredients that fill us up without the bloat. By the way, bearing in mind that Paleo is a practiced differently from person to person, if you can tolerate dairy (unlike me), sprinkle some cheese on top before it goes into the oven.

Chile Relleno Breakfast Casserole
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 12 oz ground pork (pasture-raised is best)
  • 10-12 button mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups worth)
  • ½ large white onion, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 10 eggs (free-range organic)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper
  • 3 - 4oz cans of whole green chiles (9 to 10 total)
  • about a tbsp of fat (lard, ghee, or avocado oil work well)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Preheat a skillet to medium-high and melt in the fat of choice.
  3. Combine the ground pork and dry spices together, then brown in the preheated pan for about 5 minutes.
  4. While the ground pork is cooking, slice the mushrooms and dice the onions. Add them to the par-cooked ground pork.
  5. Allow those items to cook together for an additional five minutes, while 10 eggs are cracked and whisked.
  6. Remove the pork mixture from the heat and open the cans of whole green chilies.
  7. Slice the whole chile down one side so it is able to lay flat.
  8. Layer 4 or 5 whole, flat chiles in the bottom of a baking dish (this 2.5 qt baking dish is what I used).
  9. Then layer half of the pork mixture. Place the remaining chilies next, and then finally cover with the last of the pork, mushrooms and onions.
  10. Now slowly pour the whisked eggs over the entire casserole, ensuring it's even distributed -- but do not mix or disturb the layers.
  11. Cover the dish and bake for about 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
  12. Serve warm with some fresh cilantro, guacamole and/or hot sauce!


A couple things make this dish come together with ease: a good skillet, quality fat and a non-stick casserole dish. Here are some examples of what I use every day.


Pin this!

Chile Relleno Breakfast Casserole on www.PopularPaleo.com | Roll those relleno flavors into a layered breakfast casserole with sausage, onion and mushrooms. Primal option included for cheese lovers!

 

 

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Bacon-Arugula Burgers http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/19/bacon-arugula-burgers/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/19/bacon-arugula-burgers/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:55:10 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4194 The other night I thought I’d just make some burgers for dinner cause nothing else really sounded good. As I stared into my fridge I realized that I had bacon open that needed eating… and I had some arugula… and I just happened to have portobello caps — score! So what started out as meh […]

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Bacon-Arugula Burgers on www.PopularPaleo.com

The other night I thought I’d just make some burgers for dinner cause nothing else really sounded good. As I stared into my fridge I realized that I had bacon open that needed eating… and I had some arugula… and I just happened to have portobello caps — score! So what started out as meh turned into wow!  Learning how to build something fantastic out of whatever’s lingering in your fridge is the first step to living a frugal Paleo life; a key value in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook.

Bacon-Arugula Burgers
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground meat (I love this farm!)
  • 1 pound pastured, sliced bacon
  • couple handfuls of organic arugula
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • fat for searing (I recommend this tallow or this lard)
  • optional: good balsamic vinegar for drizzling
    For the portobellos:
  • 6 portobello caps
  • ½ cup quality extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Clean the portobello caps and remove the gills and stem.
  3. Place the caps in a non-stick roasted (like this one), drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Roast for 25 min in a preheated oven.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the ground beef with the seasonings and form into 6 equal patties. Grilling the burgers works great, or you can prepare them the way I did.
  6. After forming the burgers, I heated my cast-iron skillets (used both a 10-inch and an 8-inch skillet to speed up cooking time) and melted in a couple tablespoons of lard (though tallow would be equally delicious).
  7. Sear both sides of the seasoned burgers in the hot cast-iron skillets--about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  8. Then place the burgers in the oven along with the roasting portobello caps to finish. Because searing the burgers only takes a couple minutes, there will be plenty of time to finish alongside the portobellos.
  9. Once the burgers have been moved to the oven, slice the bacon into 1-inch strips.
  10. Fry the bacon squares in the 10-inch cast iron skillet until just crispy. Then remove from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel while assembling the burgers.
  11. To assemble, place a portobello cap on a plate, then place a seasoned burger on top. Pile on a handful of arugula, crack some black pepper and drizzle with that balsamic vinegar. Finish by topping with those crispy-fried bacon squares.
  12. Enjoy with a knife and fork!


A few items help prepare this recipe with ease (and with added nutrients and flavor!)

1. Cast-iron skillets: They’re non-stick without the chemicals, impact added iron into your food and retain consistent temperature whether stove top or in the oven.

2. Stainless roasting pan: Getting a good one of these saves time with clean up. It’s perfect for roasting big hunks of meat or portobello caps alike!

3. Grass-fed beef vs. industrialized beef: When raised organically, the beef is free of any toxins (which means you will be too). Grass-fed and finished beef means that even the most sensitive tummies are in the clear. And lastly, cows that eat grass have more nutritive qualities to their meat, fatty acids in particular. If you have a tough time getting your kids to eat avocados and oily fish for Omega-3’s, consider serving grass-fed beef instead. It has a full essential fatty acid profile!

4. Lard and/or tallow from pasture raised animals: these fats are stable at high temps and won’t oxidize or become rancid like cheap, refined seed oils (think vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.). Did you know that pasture-raised lard was high in Vitamin D as well?

tx bar organics

 

Shop TX Organics for healthier beef! Click HERE to learn more about their ranch, the beef and their standards.

 

 


Pin this recipe!

Bacon-Arugula Burgers on www.PopularPaleo.com

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Herb-Buttered Whole Chicken Stuffed With Sauerkraut http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/17/herb-buttered-whole-chicken-stuffed-sauerkraut/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/17/herb-buttered-whole-chicken-stuffed-sauerkraut/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:20:31 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4196 Have you ever thumbed or clicked through Paleo recipes wishing someone would just simplify it all? I know I’ve come across non-Paleo cookbooks that feature 3, 4 or 5 ingredient recipes and secretly wished someone would do that for Paleo. After all, I’ve been saying for years now that Paleo food is simple food. Enter: […]

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Paleo Takes 5 Roasted Chicken | Header 725x425

Have you ever thumbed or clicked through Paleo recipes wishing someone would just simplify it all? I know I’ve come across non-Paleo cookbooks that feature 3, 4 or 5 ingredient recipes and secretly wished someone would do that for Paleo. After all, I’ve been saying for years now that Paleo food is simple food.

Enter: Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer by Cindy Sexton of PALEOdISH

She has created a Paleo cookbook that uses five or less primary ingredients to showcase the simplicity of Paleo cooking. FINALLY! I’ve had a chance to flip through a portion of the book and am wowed by what she has put together! It’s great food without the laundry list of wacky ingredients. Annnnnd this is exactly the kind of food that I prioritize making in my home to keep my family fed well without spending more on groceries than I’m comfortable with.

Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer

Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer is currently available in bookstores everywhere as well as online (order it now –> CLICK HERE) In the meantime, check out this perfect roasted chicken smothered in smooth herb butter, courtesy of Cindy herself!

 

Herb-Buttered Whole Chicken Stuffed With Sauerkraut
 
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This recipe plus nearly 100 more 3-, 4-, and 5-ingredient Paleo recipes can be found in Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer by Cindy Sexton! Keep Paleo simple with these delicious recipes that use minimal ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 (4 lb [1.8 kg]) whole chicken
  • 1⁄4 cup (57 g) cooking fat (we used butter)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (142 g) raw sauerkraut
  • lots of sea salt and ground pepper
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Take chicken out of fridge and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Let it sit and come to room temperature.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. In the meantime, prepare your chopped herbs. Once butter is melted, pour it into a small bowl and add in your herbs and garlic. Whisk together.
  4. Place chicken on wire rack in a roasting pan. Stuff the inside cavity of the chicken with raw sauerkraut.
  5. Using a silicone brush, coat the outside of the chicken skin thoroughly with herbed butter. Make sure to get all the little crevices and add the salt and pepper. You can also brush some butter underneath the layer of skin as well if you wish.
  6. Place in oven and roast at 400°F (204°C) for first 20 minutes. Then turn down the temperature to 350°F (176°C) and continue to cook for an additional 60 minutes. The total cooking time is 20 minutes per pound. For accuracy, check internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Once 165°F (73°C) is reached, remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with freshly squeezed lemon. Carve chicken and plate!


Want a good deal on a roaster?
Here are some fantastic roasters for any budget–all on sale!


Pin this recipe to your Paleo, home-cooking, or Paleo holidays Pinterest boards here!

Herb-Buttered Whole Chicken from Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer! Get the recipe early form www.PopularPaleo.com

 photo courtesy of Page Street Publishing

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Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/14/chinese-chicken-lettuce-cups/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/14/chinese-chicken-lettuce-cups/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:30:59 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4178 One of my favorite strategies I discuss in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook is how I like to maximize my time in the kitchen. This saves me time, effort and money by working ahead. This recipe is a great example of how that plan comes together. This weekend I roasted an extra chicken in the oven while I was hanging out doing […]

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Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups on www.PopularPaleo.com | Fast chicken recipe that is great for using up leftovers!

One of my favorite strategies I discuss in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook is how I like to maximize my time in the kitchen. This saves me time, effort and money by working ahead. This recipe is a great example of how that plan comes together. This weekend I roasted an extra chicken in the oven while I was hanging out doing dishes… and laundry… and crafts with the kids… and — you get the idea. I set the chicken aside for a quick weeknight meal, which we took advantage of tonight (psssst! You can easily roast a whole chicken in your slow cooker too!)

I cleaned the meat from the breast, leg and thighs for this dinner and saved the carcass for making another batch of bone broth (I’ve got an easy method for doing that in your slow cooker in The Frugal Paleo Cookbook as well!). I chopped up the chicken, along with the last of the veggies in my fridge from my last trip to the grocery store and voila! Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups was on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Special ingredients you may need to plan in advance for are:

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups
 
Prep time
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Great recipe for leftover roasted chicken!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced red bell peppers
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1" ginger root, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews
  • ½ cup coconut aminos
  • ½ cup chicken stock (homemade bone broth)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 - 3 tbsp preferred fat (I recommend lard from pastured pigs or avocado oil for this recipe)
  • lettuce leaves for serving
Instructions
  1. Chop, slice and mince all of the ingredients in advance.
  2. Heat a large, flat-bottomed pan (something like this one, not a wok-style) to medium-high.
  3. Add the lard or avocado oil and bring it to temp.
  4. Add all of the chicken, carrots, peppers, celery, ginger, and garlic.
  5. Cook and stir for about 12 minutes; the chicken should break down a little bit into smaller pieces while it reheats in the pan.
  6. Mix together the aminos, chicken stock and honey with a whisk until the honey has dissolved.
  7. Deglaze the pan with the aminos mixture and allow to simmer at the same temperature until the majority of the liquid cooks about--usually another 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the sliced scallions and chopped cashews
  9. Serve hot with fresh lettuce leaves for making personal lettuce cups! I also like to serve this with a spicy pepper sauce like sriracha.

Need to make a modification?

For Autoimmune Protocol, omit the bell peppers and cashews.

For low-carb/low-sugar, omit the raw honey and either the carrots or the bell pepper. Replace with chopped mushrooms and/or bean sprouts.

For Whole30, skip the honey.


 Click here to pin this to your Paleo, healthy and/or gluten-free recipe Pinterest boards!

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups on www.PopularPaleo.com | Fast chicken recipe that is great for using up leftovers!

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Butter Coffee 3 Ways http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/12/butter-coffee-3-ways/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/12/butter-coffee-3-ways/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 23:42:12 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4172 Coffee is a big deal for a lot of us. I live in the Pacific Northwest where coffee is pretty much a way of life, so I definitely understand the issue of nixing the sugary creamers or creamy lattes as a part of your goals to stick to Paleo principles, improve digestive health and/or control […]

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Coffee is a big deal for a lot of us. I live in the Pacific Northwest where coffee is pretty much a way of life, so I definitely understand the issue of nixing the sugary creamers or creamy lattes as a part of your goals to stick to Paleo principles, improve digestive health and/or control inflammation. Can I confess something that will hopefully make you feel better? It was the very last thing I let go when I was transitioning a couple years ago. I was that addicted. I mean, my first job was as a barista at 15 (when they still kept their clothes on), so this is a big deal for me.

Here are three things that changed my world when it comes to coffee:

1) The taste can be easily “mellowed” with grass-fed butter or ghee
2) Fat + coffee = brain fuel
3) Fat + coffee + turmeric = anti-inflammatory brain fuel

You may have heard the brand Bulletproof Coffee® or “butter coffee” floating around. From me to you, it’s legit. I was fairly skeptical about the whole thing initially, but now I get it. It’s weird, but it really works for me.

Here’s what I like to do:

  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract (like this one)
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed ghee (LOVE this brand!)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (like this one)
  • 1/2 tsp organic turmeric (I buy this one)
  • **or I use 2 tbsp of Coffee++ from Pure Indian Foods in place of the ghee and coconut oil

You can use a frother to emulsify the fat with the coffee, however I find that a single serve blender works much better (annnd they cost about the same).

Now, all of that said, there is finally an option for really friggin great pre-made butter coffees called Coffee Blocks. They’re incredible. Drop them into a blender, pour in warm/hot but not boiling water and blend. It’s as close to healthy instant coffee as you can get.

If you find you still need sweetener, add a touch of coconut palm sugar or organic maple syrup to the mix. But honestly, I don’t even miss it anymore. And that’s coming from a born and raised, Washington state, white chocolate mocha slash pumpkin spice latte lover from way back. There is hope for us yet!

Instant Butter Coffee --> Coffee Blocks


 

Want to learn more about the health benefits of turmeric? This post from Authority Nutrition breaks it down!

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Paleo Taco Boats in Avocado http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/07/paleo-taco-boats-avocado/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/07/paleo-taco-boats-avocado/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:32:44 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4146 Ever have those nights where you think you don’t have it in you to make dinner? I had one of those last week. Thankfully there was a pound of ground beef thawed in my refrigerator and some leftover pice de gallo that needed eating. Like nearly every recipe on this website, this meal was born […]

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Ever have those nights where you think you don’t have it in you to make dinner? I had one of those last week. Thankfully there was a pound of ground beef thawed in my refrigerator and some leftover pice de gallo that needed eating. Like nearly every recipe on this website, this meal was born out of 1) our need to eat dinner quickly and 2) what was lingering in my fridge after a week’s worth of cooking.

Paleo Taco Boats on www.PopularPaleo.com | A healthy 20 minute meal!

Paleo Taco Boats in Avocado
 
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We all need a quick dinner recipe to fall back on for those nights when we don't feel like cooking. This one is a winner!
Author:
Serves: serves 4
Ingredients
  • one pound grass-fed ground beef
  • one cup of pre-made pice de gallo
  • 2 avocados, halved
  • 1 tbsp Paleo-fat of choice
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning, if desired
  • Optional garnishes: diced red onion, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, squeeze of fresh lime
Instructions
  1. Melt fat of choice (lard, bacon grease, tallow, grass fed ghee, or avocado oil all work great) in a large skillet at medium temperature.
  2. When the pan is hot, brown the ground beef with the taco seasoning for about 8 minutes.
  3. When the ground beef is nearly complete, pour in the premade pico de gallo and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the ground beef is completely cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, halve two avocados and remove the pit (discard the pit).
  5. Once the ground beef is done, spoon heaping portions into the avocado halves and garnish as desired.


PIN THIS RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE EASY, AFFORDABLE AND HEALTHY MEALS BOARD!

Paleo Taco Boats on www.PopularPaleo.com | Healthy, easy and fast ground beef recipe!

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Hashimoto’s & Your Child: How to Respond http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/01/child-diagnosed-hashimotos/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/10/01/child-diagnosed-hashimotos/#respond Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:05:55 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4061 This is a post no mother-slash-blogger ever wants to sit down to write. My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with a hypothyroid last year and we’ve been watching it closely since. With having managed her diet and lifestyle factors the best we could given that we don’t have 100% oversight of these things, we were […]

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This is a post no mother-slash-blogger ever wants to sit down to write.

My 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with a hypothyroid last year and we’ve been watching it closely since. With having managed her diet and lifestyle factors the best we could given that we don’t have 100% oversight of these things, we were sad to learn that she just received a diagnosis for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. While this was difficult to hear, I found it interesting to learn that the majority of autoimmune hypothyroid cases develop in early to mid-puberty (source). So here we go into this new world of both mother and daughter navigating an autoimmune condition together.

Sitting here now, contemplating how the heck I’m going to integrate an anti-inflammatory lifestyle for my 5th grader, I’ve decided to create a five-part series on the matter. Of course, I’m no Ph.D… I’m not a certified medical expert in any of this stuff. But I read a lot. A. LOT. And I’ve been managing my own hypothyroid for 18 years and Hashimoto’s (plus yet another autoimmune condition) for two years. It was one of the leading reasons I turned to Paleo…

So as a sufferer, as a mother, and as someone who has the opportunity to maybe make this a little easier for someone else out there, here’s my take on how to respond to a Hashimoto’s diagnosis with your child.

What to do when your child is diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis on www.PopularPaleo.com

How does Hashimoto’s thyroiditis develop?

First thing to cover is understanding the difference between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. Everyone has a thyroid. It’s a gland located front and center of your throat and it regulates the most basic of your body’s functions, primarily metabolism. Most of the time we associate weight management with the word metabolism, but its scope is actually quite broad. Metabolism is a chemical process that regulates breathing, the circulatory system, body temperature, contracting muscles, digesting food (nutrients), waste elimination, and brain and nerve function… no big deal ;-) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is also called autoimmune hypothyroid/thyroiditis and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT)).

When a thyroid starts to poop out, it becomes hypothyroid (as opposed to one that is overactive, hyperthyroid). A basic blood test can assess the rate at which your child’s thyroid is performing and indicate if he or she is within a healthy range. Since most of our thyroids function just fine through childhood and early adulthood, this isn’t something that will be on your pediatrician’s radar during well child check-ups and routine sports physicals. Your child will need to present symptoms that perk your doc’s curiosity. It’s worth addressing too that hypothyroidism is often misdiagnosed in children. Symptoms like tiredness, emotional instability/mood swings or weight gain are often passed off as normal or the cause of something environmental. It is also frequently mistaken for ADHD (source).

Let’s say you’ve crossed that line and like us last year found that the explanation for your child’s lethargy, school struggles, emotional instability, and digestive issues are due to a poorly functioning thyroid gland. Let’s say that you’ve found the right dose of thyroid hormone replacement medication and they are taking their meds consistently. Now what?

As Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., explained in her presentation at Ancestral Health Symposium this summer, genetic disposition, a trigger and a leaky gut are the trifecta for developing autoimmune thyroiditis.  If your child has already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, be on your guard mom and dad! Now’s the time to take some steps in the direction of prevention.

The Leap from Hypothyroid to Hashimoto’s

Fatigue, brain-fog, weight gain are just a few symptoms that come with a hypothyroid. While these are typically mitigated with thyroid replacement hormones, for some the symptoms persist. That was my first indication that there might be something more going on than just incorrect dosing. My daughter had stable labs for over a year and yet after experiencing classic autoimmune triggers such as gluten, lack of sleep, and situations that caused her emotional stress, she would respond with behaviors and digestive issues that were exactly what we dealt with prior to getting her on thyroid replacement hormones.

If you find that your hypothyroid kiddo goes through something similar, you might want to do a quick survey to see if there may be more going on. Thyroid expert and patient advocate, Mary Shomon has a checklist of symptoms related to autoimmune disease. Remember, after completing this bring it to your doctor. It’s NOT intended for self-interpretation.

Symptoms

Unfortunately Hashimoto’s can look almost identical to hypothyroidism, which makes it extra fun to diagnose. It’s essential that thyroid replacement hormone be taken properly (on an empty stomach, not within 4 hours of a multi-vitamin containing iron and at the same time each day), so that improper dosing/absorption can be easily ruled out. If symptoms persist, it may be time to request additional testing.

Since Hashimoto’s typically develops once hypothyroidism has been established, you’ve likely observed common symptoms in your child. Hypothyroidism affects kids differently depending on where they are at in development… or, basically, how old they are. In infants symptoms of hypothyroidism looks like prolonged jaundice, hoarse sounding cry, poor appetite and feeding, constipation, bulging navel, sleepiness, not kicking vigorously and an unusually large tongue (source). Unfortunately in order to diagnose the condition a prick to the heel is in order. Blood work will diagnose if your infant has an underperforming thyroid gland.

For kids and adolescents the symptoms of hypothyroidism matures right along with them and begins to mimic the symptoms of an adult. Children who complain of being cold frequently (this was a big one for my daughter!), who have delayed tooth development or who seem to be growing slowly, or even not at all, may have an underactive thyroid. If your child is hitting that tween age, keep this (long) list of symptoms on your radar:

  • growth delays
  • cold intolerance
  • fatigue or excessive sleepiness
  • poor appetite
  • slow speech
  • slow pulse
  • slow reaction times (sports, a new driver, etc)
  • depression
  • dull facial expression
  • droopy eyelids
  • puffy face
  • hoarse voice
  • a swollen thyroid gland
  • constipation
  • muscle cramps, weakness
  • heavy, painful menstrual cycles
  • dry skin
  • dry hair and/or hair loss
  • generally an increase in body and facial hair (a real irony… we lose it on our heads and grow more on our bodies… it’s a tough one ladies, hang in there)
  • delayed puberty
  • moderate weight gain
  • struggles with school work

I know for me personally, I was diagnosed at 15 years old and fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and a complete collapse at school were my primary symptoms. I went from a 4.0 student my sophomore year to failing my first class by junior year. Chemistry was my favorite subject and suddenly I forgot the periodic table of elements. It was devastating for me at the time. Be sensitive if suddenly symptoms like this become a part of your child’s life; often it is out of the blue for them and hard to cope with.

This post on autoimmune diseases in children may also be a helpful resource for you. Also, keep in the back of your mind that autoimmune conditions are the kind of misery that love company, so it is all too common for multiple conditions to develop over a person’s life. Endometriosis, diabetes, lupus, vitiligo, celiac disease, pernicius anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Addison disease are all common autoimmune diseases that can develop during your child’s lifetime.

Testing

What you’re looking for is the presence of thyroid antibodies. Since I’m a patient, a mom, an advocate not a doc, I’ll explain this concept like a non-technical person. Antibodies are protein cells that your immune system makes when it’s fighting off germs and stuff that make you sick. Because autoimmune diseases happen when the immune system can’t figure out the good guys from the bad guys, it starts attacking your body by mistake. Yep, that’s right. Your own personal mutiny happening right there at your thyroid gland.  Good times.

Thyroid antibodies are the specific “fighters” that show up when the body decides to wage war against this particular gland. (For some reason I always picture a bunch of confused Minions running around in circles when I think about antibodies). So if you’re immune system isn’t attacking your thyroid, it won’t create thyroid-specific antibodies. Easy enough!

The tests you’ll hear your doc order are for anti-TPO (Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody) and TgAb (Antithyroglobulin antibody). Those are the culprits that are causing the Hashimoto’s ruckus. (source)

The first thing you can do right now: Find a doctor who gets it.

Sounds like a straight forward proposition: get sick, go to the doc.  Problem is, not all physicians are created equal these days. For example, when I was investigating my own hypothyroid condition, I asked my primary care provider to run several tests to check for the levels of various forms of thyroid hormone in my body and also to rule out autoimmunity.  She responded with a there, there, wee patient tone and informed me that the tests I was requesting were reserved for those undergoing radiation for their thyroid (e.g. a cancerous gland) and all I really needed was some anti-depressants (never mind that depression wasn’t even a principle symptom I was complaining about, but whatever… she’s a doctor, right?).

With your child, it is even more imperative that your practitioner have a solid and current grasp on the disease. Your kids can’t advocate for themselves and the wrong doc will likely misinterpret your concern. Find a partner, find a subject-matter expert, find someone who is able to take a minute to talk, listen and think. And for the love, find a doc who understands the role of gluten in the digestive system and its implication with autoimmunity!

TIP: Paleo Physicians Network and Primal Docs are two awesome places that you can locate a practitioner in your area (or who offers consultations remotely) to help answer your questions and possibly treat your child’s Hashimoto’s!

This post is the beginning of the 5 part series I’ve written on how to adjust to your child’s Hashimoto’s diagnosis. Though this information is absolutely applicable to anyone with an autoimmune thyroid, adults included!

What I’ll be covering next:

  • The One Thing: this one thing holds the key to managing your autoimmune condition. And it’s so basic!
  • Soup’s On: the key to nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods
  • Sleep Tight: essential lifestyle factors that help or hinder managing autoimmune triggers
  • Moving Forward: equip yourself with easy swap outs for inflammation causing foods, my top 5 favorite books on thyroid health and nutrition, plus a wrap up of the top 10 things to remember as you move forward managing your own or your child’s autoimmune thyroiditis

Because this is a lot of focused information, I’m offering it via email as opposed to blog posts. Each week, I will send you the next segment, which you can read at your convenience.

Sign up here to start receiving this information series. *Your email address is absolutely kept private, is never shared and is never abused.




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My 5th Grader’s Gluten-Free Lunch http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/24/5th-graders-gluten-free-lunch/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/24/5th-graders-gluten-free-lunch/#respond Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:38:25 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4095 Since learning that my daughter’s hypothyroid went autoimmune (Hashimoto’s), we are having to make some more strategic adjustments to her diet. I’m half way through a project which will help guide families through responding to an autoimmune diagnosis in your kiddo (or even yourself!), since Hashimoto’s or Grave’s is a different animal from just having […]

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My 5th Grader's Lunch | www.PopularPaleo.com

Since learning that my daughter’s hypothyroid went autoimmune (Hashimoto’s), we are having to make some more strategic adjustments to her diet. I’m half way through a project which will help guide families through responding to an autoimmune diagnosis in your kiddo (or even yourself!), since Hashimoto’s or Grave’s is a different animal from just having a lazy or over-active thyroid. If you’d be interested to learn more about that, be on the lookout for my announcement that the series has launched. In fact, you can sign up to receive my update emails right now here on the margin. I’ll be announcing the release via my newsletter shortly.

But back to food and how you can send your kids to school with healthy (and frankly, fairly easy) lunches…

While my kiddos are generally gluten-free and eat only quality, full-fat organic dairy, we are always fine-tuning our dietary needs and preferences. Psssst… you should be too! Our bodies require different things at different times in our life, so it’s good to be flexible and regularly assess how you feel and if your meals and snacks need tweaking.

For my daughter, we are working to fully remove grains, dairy and up the nutrient-density in her meals. Paleo To Go! has helped me simplify this process, and I’m really grateful for the timing of that eBook coming out. It was just what we needed. The easy strategies and helpful worksheets have streamlined this for me.

Today I’m gonna do a quick post which highlights one of the meals I send along with my 5th grader now that we’re refocusing our efforts toward gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free nutrient-dense foods.

My daughter loves bell peppers, and while they are a nightshade and not ideal for autoimmune conditions, we’re using them as her veggie for this meal. Making the transition to an anti-inflammatory diet in stages with her is the best approach for us. Peppers are her favorite veggie, roast beef is her favorite cold-cut. I’ve rolled them together as her main protein in lieu of the sandwiches her classmates are likely eating. It helps her adapt to a grain-free meal (which is ideal for autoimmune conditions) without staring down an unappetizing meal mid-day.

Other favorites that we’ve thrown in are:

TIP: sectional lunch containers like this one and this one help to organize fresh foods and keep them from touching each other or getting smushed.

While this may look like a lot of food for a 10 year old, I think it’s about right. Here’s why:

  • Paleo To Go! advises packing more food than you think your kiddo may need ensuring they won’t be hungry and tempted to snack on a neighbor’s lunch
  • Insufficient calorie intake can be detrimental to thyroid function
  • She’s growing like a weed and it takes a lot of nutrients — both macro and micro — to give her body what it needs
  • If she happens to need a snack as a result of a particularly active or exciting day, she’s got it ready and waiting

I find that the best strategy for building fast lunches is to do a combination of fresh foods and pre-packaged/purchased foods. It’s a little easier to manage this approach 5 days a week than attempting to prepare everything from scratch. Also, my daughter doesn’t have the ability to warm her meal so we have to think in those terms. Whereas my pre-kindergartener can have his lunch warmed up, so his lunch is super easy. Leftovers, for the win!

  • leftover protein, purchased quality deli meat (like Applegate brand) or pasture-raised jerky (I get mine here)
  • healthy fats like olives, nuts and avocado (guacamole is great for dipping!)
  • fresh fruit and berries
  • snack bars
  • dried fruit/nut mixes like PrimalPacs
  • gluten-free chips or crackers
  • a treat using natural/unrefined sweeteners (click here for great options)
  • soups, stews and slow cooker meals reheated stove-top in the morning, then sent to school in a warmed thermos container

Here’s another example: Applegate Farms salami (gluten, casein free) wrapped around carrot sticks, black olives, extra orange bell peppers and carrots to dip in guacamole, a Larabar, some apple juice, an organic sweet potato baby food packet, a few white rice crackers, mandarins and some crap-free fruit snacks — PHEW! That’s quite a meal! She should probably have had a little more protein in this one, but I’m short on food and need to go to the grocery store today. Still managed to pull off something yummy and healthy though!

Healthy, gluten-free school lunch for kids on www.PopularPaleo.com

Want more inspiration? Visit my friend over at Paleo Cupboard for her list of Paleo Kids Ideas!

*note: if a product doesn’t meet your standard, please don’t use it. This post is meant to showcase of an example of what I do for my daughter, which will hopefully inspire and help you to create healthy meals that meet your family’s needs. Also, I’m not a doctor and none of this is intended as medical advice.


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Get Paleo To Go for Free! http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/20/get-paleo-go-free/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/20/get-paleo-go-free/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 12:05:55 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4063 Paleo To Go is helping people stay healthy while away from their home kitchens. From recipes that hold and travel well to Paleo Parents Approved pre-made snacks and treats, this eBook is a hit! Want to win a copy for FREE!? I’m giving one away to someone this week! Enter today and the winner will be […]

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Paleo To Go is helping people stay healthy while away from their home kitchens. From recipes that hold and travel well to Paleo Parents Approved pre-made snacks and treats, this eBook is a hit!

Want to win a copy for FREE!? I’m giving one away to someone this week! Enter today and the winner will be announced next Saturday, September 27th!

Here’s how to enter:

1) Ensure you’ve signed up to receive email notifications from me. (Emails are strictly confidential and never shared)



2) Head over to Paleo Parents.com to read through what you will get when you win Paleo To Go, then come back to me here. (*hangs out while you open a new tab…) See! There’s a LOT of good material in there, right? I’m already putting their strategies to use in my house and finding it super helpful.

Pssst… Paleo Parents are producing awesome resources right now, including their third book Real Life Paleo, which is currently available for pre-order. It’s their best yet!

3) Complete the steps below to enter you into the Rafflecopter random drawing! Also, I’ve added some extra goodies to help you boost your chances of winning. Share the pin to Pinterest and gain 10 extra points! Like my Facebook page and earn 5 more points! Spreading the word helps me be able to give away fun stuff like this for free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4) Got any to-go tips and strategies of your own to share? Please do! Comment below with a winning idea for keepin’ it Paleo while you’re away from home.

**UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.**

THE WINNER IS…

LISA W.V.

Lisa, keep an eye on your email. Paleo Parents will be sending you your FREE copy of the awesome Paleo To Go! shortly.
THANK YOU, ALL WHO ENTERED! 

* * * * *

Remember, you can still pick up Paleo To Go for their introductory price. Snag the bundle sale they have going on for both Paleo To Go and 3 Phase Paleo at 25% off ($29.93 for both books — it’s a screamin’ deal!).

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Win Paleo To Go from www.PopularPaleo.com!

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Paleo To Go is Legit! http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/10/paleo-to-go/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/10/paleo-to-go/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:01:19 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=3999 I’ve just wrapped up reading the latest eBook by Paleo Parents and I cannot rave about this one enough! Paleo To Go is legit! This eBook addresses one of the major issues we have to tackle when transitioning to Paleo: how the heck to do we eat when we’re on the go? It’s a big […]

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I’ve just wrapped up reading the latest eBook by Paleo Parents and I cannot rave about this one enough! Paleo To Go is legit!

This eBook addresses one of the major issues we have to tackle when transitioning to Paleo: how the heck to do we eat when we’re on the go? It’s a big deal for a lot of us. And Paleo To Go has the answer.

The team at Paleo Parents have created a fantastic roster of homemade recipes for everyone in the family.  Awesome recipes like Creamy Ranch Coleslaw, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Blueberry Breakfast Cookie, Ants on a Log with Homemade Sunbutter–the list goes on.

But not everything can be made from scratch. You know it and they know it.  Thankfully there are many companies out there lead by hardworking people creating products using whole, sustainable and healthy ingredients. Supporting them is always a good idea. Stacy & Matt highlight the snacks and treats their family frequently tucks in their lunch boxes and to-go bags for you to consider as well.

Paleo To Go on www.PopularPaleo.com

Their team has also highlighted a couple products they use for their to-go needs for work, school and travel. Stacy packs her own food daily for work and their kiddos are sent to school with homemade lunches as well.  As a blogger, I totally appreciate this candid window into their family’s life. They show how this task is approachable and manageable for any family.

So, if you:

  • bring your own meals to work or school
  • pack home lunches for your kids
  • travel and require your own meals while en route
  • spend a lot of time in your car or away from home

this eBook is for you.

No detail is spared in this eBook; it’s written with your health at the forefront.

  • All recipes are flagged according to 8 of the most common allergies, so you know which ones are right for you.
  • Recipes span categories from protein-focused to protein-veggie recipes, plus snacks and treats.
  • They teach how to build a healthy meal in terms of protein, vegetables, fats and treats and also provide several sample meals for various scenarios, like lunches for an adult or kid and several snack combinations.

Paleo To Go on www.PopularPaleo.com

 

Creamy Ranch Coleslaw from Paleo To GoAlso, each purchase comes with 6 really great coupons to companies like EPIC bar, Caveman Cookies and Misson Heirloom’s yuca crackers (which I can personally vouch for — they’re delicious!). This way you can save a few bucks if you decide to test out any of the products and snacks they recommend.

Paleo To Go on www.PopularPaleo.com

Not to sound like a total nerd-slash-fan of Paleo Parents’ work, but there’s a great package deal going on right now with 3 Phase Paleo too. You can buy both Paleo To Go AND 3 Phase Paleo together and get them both for 25% off, paying only $29.93 for both (really awesome) eBooks. I recently discovered 3 Phase Paleo and absolutely loved their strategy which focuses on making the leap to Paleo in three manageable steps. It’s excellent.

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Paleo To Go on www.PopularPaleo.com

Psssst… this is an eBook. This means you won’t receive an actual, hard-copy, paper print of the book, but rather a PDF file which you download instantly onto your device of choice. If you are not familiar with eBooks, it’s a good idea to skim an article or two, so you know what you’re buying.  The PDF is yours to keep forever after you’ve saved the file to your device. Easy peasy!

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10 Ways to Top Your Sweet Potato http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/08/ways-top-sweet-potato/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/08/ways-top-sweet-potato/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 01:56:50 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=4010 With summer coming to an end, the pace around the house has changed. Tis the season for make ahead meals that are affordable, easy to prepare and frankly, taste really great at the end of a long day. And I know us moms out there are scouring Pinterest during our sporadic 90-second windows of solitude throughout the day, searching […]

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With summer coming to an end, the pace around the house has changed. Tis the season for make ahead meals that are affordable, easy to prepare and frankly, taste really great at the end of a long day. And I know us moms out there are scouring Pinterest during our sporadic 90-second windows of solitude throughout the day, searching for some healthy inspiration to call dinner in just a few short hours.

Let me share with you one of the best recipe methods you can keep in your gluten-free arsenals: the loaded sweet potato…

10 ways to top your sweet potato! Gluten-free, dairy-free ideas for fast and healthy meals.

This concept rocks for a handful of reasons.

  • Top with just about any leftover protein from your bulk batch cooking day
  • Pre-bake and store in the fridge, saving you precious day-of cooking time
  • Excellent source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene (particularly the deep orange colored ones), potassium, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, magnesium and are widely approved for the various diet protocols within the Paleo umbrella
  • Affordable and can be purchased in bulk for even more savings

It can be a challenge to keep refreshing that meal rotation each week with recipes that aren’t a pain in the butt to make or cost a fortune to try out.  This method will allow you to change up every time, ensuring it’s always the perfect meal for you and the ones you’re feeding!

There are hundreds of ways you can spin this recipe…

However, here is the general plan of attack you’ll want to do in order to have this simple and tasty meal ready to go.

1. On your bulk meal prep day (or when you’ll be spending about an hour at home and can babysit the oven), pre-bake two sweet potatoes for the number of people that sit at your dinner table. {One for loading, one for another recipe} So for my family of four, I pre-bake about six to eight sweet potatoes for the week.

2. Make pulled pork, crock pot chicken, basic taco meat (or even taco soup!)… You get the idea, bulk meat prep of some kind that is prepared ahead of time and can hold in the refrigerator for a couple days.

3. Pick your busiest day of the week and combine warmed pre-baked sweet potatoes with reheated bulk protein prep and finish it off with yummy things like a bold sauce, slathered in ghee, sprinkled with fresh herbs and garnishes like sliced jalapeño, finely diced red onion, a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of raw honey, a sprinkle of sesame seeds or chopped nuts… Whatever sounds good to you.

Time to talk recipes! Let me walk you through some excellent examples of how to load that sweet potato right.

Loaded Sweet Potato| Popular Paleo

The first is my Loaded Sweet Potato with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I made this zesty sauce to enhance the pulled pork I made a day or so prior and threw all of it over a potato… such a good idea.  Head’s up if you make the sauce: it’s really really good on eggs. And avocados. And sautéed shrimp. And… ok, I’ll stop there.

I shared this recipe on my Facebook page a while back. Paleo Foodie Kitchen’s Hasselback Sweet Potato is exactly the kind of thing I want for dinner. I love the faux-cheese sauce she makes to go with this dish. I’m a big fan of nutritional yeast and enjoy recipes that include it.

Civilized Caveman’s Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are filled with bacon, apples, spinach and other goodies, this creative idea is perfect for fall! It’s nutrient-dense and full of contrasting textures… The answer is YES!

Loaded Turkey-Stuffed Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes from PaleOMG comes highly rated! It’s a meal-in-one kind of recipe that packs some heat… the Red Hot hot sauce kind, that is.  So if you like a little spice with your potato, you’ll want to try this one out sometime.

Such a beautiful dish by the Domestic Man! His version of a loaded sweet potato involves runny fried eggs, fresh kale and silky sautéed mushrooms. I’ll admit that after I saw this recipe I put it straight on my week’s meal plan… I must haz.

Primally Inspired has a homemade BBQ sauce that she showcases on her loaded sweet potatoes. Though there are store-bought options available, a whole lot of folks really do prefer to keep sauces scratch-made. If you’re looking for some good BBQ, check out what Kelly cooked up.

After doing an AIP trial last month and now eating a modified version of the anti-inflammatory diet, AIP recipes have become a priority to me. Here’s a loaded sweet potato recipe that takes care of all you nightshade-free, nut-free, dairy-free, fun-free eaters out there. #thestruggleisreal  The Curious Coconut is showcasing Grok Grub’s impressive Bacon Garlic Short-Rib Loaded Sweet Potatoes…and you don’t want to miss it.

For a creative spin, consider smashing that sweet potato! Stupid Easy Paleo peels, mashes and fries her sweet potato before loading it. You can bet that crunchy outside and creamy smooth inside tastes friggin awesome with some pulled pork, avocado slices and a couple runny fried eggs!

Here’s another way to work it: load the skins! Fed & Fit shows us a Paleo take on loaded potato skins with her recipe. You really can’t go wrong with roasted sweet potatoes, bacon, and some sliced scallions. It’s easy. It’s delicious. It’s perfect for lunch, snacks, apps, and dinner.

And while we’ve moved to sweet potato skins, BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Skins just makes sense. I love the versatility you can get with a potato skin. Making double the batch for dinner gives you leftovers for lunch the next day. How perfect would these be with some avocado, sliced bell peppers, a handful of olives and maybe some fresh pineapple? I’d call that lunch any day.


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10 ways to top your sweet potato! Gluten-free, dairy-free ideas for fast and healthy meals.

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Lime Chimichurri Grilled Drumsticks http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/03/limechimichurridrumsticks/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/09/03/limechimichurridrumsticks/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:00:53 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=3892 Apparently once a year I get a wild hair to cater a wedding. Last year was for some friends of mine, where guests ate awesome Mediterranean Meatballs, Shrimp Scampi, Primavera Quinoa Salad, and fruit kabobs (you can get those recipes on this post). This time around the guest list doubled and the location got more […]

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Lime Chimichurri Grilled Drumsticks on www.PopularPaleo.com

Apparently once a year I get a wild hair to cater a wedding. Last year was for some friends of mine, where guests ate awesome Mediterranean Meatballs, Shrimp Scampi, Primavera Quinoa Salad, and fruit kabobs (you can get those recipes on this post). This time around the guest list doubled and the location got more interesting… it was small town Montana or bust for this girl! Yep, I had the privilege of feeding about 175 people at a rural county fairground pavilion. And by fairground I mean about a city block’s worth of dirt and gravel with a few shabby metal structures to shelter the areas where animals get to show their stuff after receiving a surprising amount of primping–not a ferris wheel in sight.

And I loved it.

I’ll write about the experience later, but for now I want to share with you one of the recipes served: Lime Chimichurri Grilled Drumsticks. These were perfect alongside pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, broccoli salad, macaroni salad and fresh fruit. Note that this was not a Paleo wedding… I’ll cook for anyone ;-) The groom is a firefighter for the town, so hearty pulled pork sandwiches was a natural choice for the main protein. To partner with it, I wanted a bright and tangy protein to highlight the savory pork and these drumsticks did not disappoint!

Traditional chimichurri uses red wine or even white wine vinegar as the acid, but I thought limes would be a fun play on the sauce. I thought it tasted pretty good when I did my test batch at home, so why not put it in front of a million strangers and see if they agree? Thankfully, they did.

Ingredients:
2 pounds drumsticks
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp lime zest (from one lime)
pinch of red chili flakes
1 large clove of garlic, well minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
about 5 grinds of fresh black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
Optional: extra chopped cilantro and fresh limes to garnish

Prep:
Prepare the marinade by combining the parsley, cilantro, lime zest and juice, red chili flakes, garlic, salt, and chosen oil in a food processor.

Add the marinade and drumsticks to a large, sealable plastic bag or a dish with a secure lid. Marinade overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Transfer the drumsticks to an oven-proof baking dish without any of the excess marinade. So just lift it out and allow the marinade to drip away a bit before putting the chicken in the baking dish. Discard the marinade.

Cover with foil or a secure glass lid and bake at 350°F for about 35 to 40 minutes. This should par cook the chicken.

If you were meal prepping for the week and didn’t want to fully cook this recipe, you could refrigerate the chicken again at this point, then pick it back up another day and finish on the grill.

To finish the dish, grill the chicken at a medium-low heat (between 250°F to 300°F is about right) to allow the skin to crisp. It’s usually about 5 to 7 minutes per side at that temperature. Grilling to hot and fast will likely set your chicken on fire as that fat renders out from the skin, so try to avoid rushing it.

Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, if desired.

If you’d prefer to just grill the marinaded chicken, which is totally fine, it will take about 30 minutes total. Get the grill up to about 400°F so the grill is preheated.  Then place the chicken down, close the lid and reduce the temperature to low, around 250°F to 300°F. (Again, keeping that temp to high will ignite the fat.) Turn the chicken about 5 to 7 minutes in, once the chicken can be lifted without any skin sticking to the grates. Meat will naturally release from the grill when it is ready to be turned, which gives you a nice safety net if grilling is a newer thing for you. Finish with fresh lime and cilantro before digging in!


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Lime Chimichurri Grilled Drumsticks on www.PopularPaleo.com

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Your Paleo Slow Cooker Guide for Fall! http://popularpaleo.com/2014/08/29/paleo-slow-cooker-guide-fall/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/08/29/paleo-slow-cooker-guide-fall/#respond Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:15:32 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=3897 Fall is here and in my home it means the kids are going back to school — can I get a hallelujah!?  So while my days free up just a bit, my afternoons and evenings get fairly busy. This kind of schedule is ideal for slow cookers!  After dropping the kids off, I head back home and get […]

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Your Paleo Slow Cooker Guide for Fall on www.PopularPaleo.com

Fall is here and in my home it means the kids are going back to school — can I get a hallelujah!?  So while my days free up just a bit, my afternoons and evenings get fairly busy. This kind of schedule is ideal for slow cookers!  After dropping the kids off, I head back home and get dinner loaded up in the Crock Pot. The peace of mind that comes with knowing a hearty meal will be waiting for us at the end of yet another busy day is surprisingly gratifying. I mean, am I really this happy that dinner is already knocked out by 11am? Embarrassingly yes, yes I am. {I feel like I need a pair of mom jeans and a fanny pack right now…}

But back to food. Some of my favorite recipes on this site fall under the slow cooker category–I hope you’ve had a chance to make one or two.  Be sure to skim those after you’ve read through this post–the super easy taco soup is a great go-to recipe that’s very affordable.

So let’s talk slow cookers.

In general they seem to range between $20 and $200, depending on how many bells and whistles you’d prefer to have.  While the Cadillac of slow cookers would be a nice addition to any kitchen arsenal, you only need to keep a few basics in mind to get the job done.

  • make sure it is a size that will yield enough for your family
  • make sure it is large enough to accommodate most recipes (usually between 4.5 to 6.5 quarts)
  • a programmable option is excellent if you will be away from the kitchen longer than typical cook times call for
  • latches to secure the lid and basin are nice if you think traveling with your slow cooker may be in your future

Here are a handful of examples ranging from most expensive to most affordable:

Cuisinart Steam Saute        touch screen programmable   Hamilton Beach programmable        Programmable with travel latch

I just have to show you this one too. This triple slow cooker allows you to prepare THREE dishes at once! Between an average weekly meal of a main, side and dessert or hosting a buffet for holidays and parties, this thing is cool!

triple slow cooker

If you are reluctant to use a microwave to reheat your lunch at the office, remember that Crock Pot makes a portable lunch warmer for just $20. Load it up in the morning (or night before and keep the basin in the fridge), plug it in when you get to work, and by lunch your food will be ready to go. Note that this one doesn’t heat to a temperature which will cook food, it only warms.

One last word on products: plastic liners. They offer a tempting solution to tough clean up, but are they safe or dangerous? I mean, cooking plastic, often with highly acidic and fatty ingredients, doesn’t inherently feel like the healthiest decision at face value, but there may be more to the story. Here’s a review of the most popular product on the market to help you make the decision if they are right for you. Apparently they are BPA-free and approved by the FDA, but it still weirds me out.

Troubleshooting

While slow cookers may seem like a fool-proof cooking method, it is possible to have trouble from time to time. My friend Stephanie over at Stupid Easy Paleo wrote a post about 6 common slow cooker problems and how you can fix them. If you’re having issues, check her post to see if it’s something she can help with.

She covers:

  • meat turning out tough or dry
  • food that’s too liquidy
  • no automatic shut off/timer
  • too much food is made
  • food cooked unevenly
  • unsure which setting to use

Tip!    Did you know that you can hack your slow cooker and convert it into a programmable crock pot or even a sous vide machine? Jason from PaleoPot shows you how to knock out the ultimate slow cooker DIY project HERE.

Cookbooks

Hands down, The Paleo Slow Cooker is THE book you need to buy. Myself and others have been cooking from it for a little over a year now and it always gets rave reviews. The Ropa Vieja recipe is my personal favorite. There’s also a stuffing recipe that is excellent for the holidays!

If you prefer to keep your recipes on digital format, there’s an affordable eBook with original recipes for just $2.99 on Amazon.


Recipes!

Time to highlight the BEST part about slow cookers: the food! I’m showcasing 15 recipes for beef, chicken and pork that are great for fall. You’ll find these dishes are full of flavor, make great leftovers and are affordable, generally speaking. What I love is that each recipe highlights quality meat, vegetables, bone broth and smart spices. This is Paleo food at its best!

Beef:

1. Crock Pot Mocha Rubbed Roast  *my fave!

2. Slow Cooker Beef Roast

3. Crock Pot Chili

4. Garlic Short-Rib Loaded Sweet Potatoes *AIP friendly

5. Ancho Chili Short Ribs

Sweet&Spicy IN Post 800x361

Chicken:

1. Curried Chicken Stew

2. Rotisserie Crock Pot Chicken

3. Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole *my fave!

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Breast with Figs

5. Cilantro Lime Chicken

 

Bals Ckn & Saus In Post 670x303

Pork:

1. Slow Cooker Kalua Pig *my fave!

2. Chipotle Pork with Pineapple Slaw

3. Slow Cooker Pork Shanks

4. Slow Cooker Chili Verde

5. Slow Cooker Italian Pork Roast

Crock Pot Carnitas | Popular Paleo


Find all of these recipes on my Pinterest board dedicated to Paleo slow cooker ideas! Follow it here:

Follow Ciarra | Popular Paleo’s board Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes on Pinterest.


Pin this post!

Your Paleo Slow Cooker Guide for Fall on www.PopularPaleo.com

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Forget Cold Turkey… Go Paleo in Phases! http://popularpaleo.com/2014/08/22/3phasepaleo/ http://popularpaleo.com/2014/08/22/3phasepaleo/#respond Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:15:10 +0000 http://popularpaleo.com/?p=3894 Welcome to your ticket to Paleo… one step at a time. I know how intimidating Paleo can be to adopt. Going “cold turkey” works for some, but many, particularly those with a reluctant spouse or older children accustomed to processed foods and drinks, are often met with resistance. Let’s face it, it’s quite a leap […]

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3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents

Welcome to your ticket to Paleo… one step at a time.

I know how intimidating Paleo can be to adopt. Going “cold turkey” works for some, but many, particularly those with a reluctant spouse or older children accustomed to processed foods and drinks, are often met with resistance. Let’s face it, it’s quite a leap to go from microwaved oatmeal packets and cereals for breakfast to leftover salmon, bone broth soups and veggie-loaded egg scrambles.

So don’t force it.

The Paleo Parents have designed 3 Phase Paleo to ease you through the process.  Here’s how their plan works:

3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents

I believe in this model 110%

Breaking this transition into manageable phases that allows everyone in your home to adjust is key to making lasting changes away from unwanted and unhealthy habits.

3 Phase Paleo comes in electronic form — meaning you download the files immediately and can begin putting the first phase into practice right away (or maybe in a day or two… after you take a few deep breaths and assure yourself that you CAN do this).

3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents

Buy it! 3 Phase Paleo

This program is loaded with the delicious comfort food recipes the Paleo Parents are known for.

 On a personal note, their book Beyond Bacon still remains to be one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks. I learned how to render lard from them and was completely won over by their Salted Mocha Biscotti. I really really love their food — and I’m sure you will too!

Since I’m sure you’re wondering what you’ll be eating during your step-by-step transition, here is a sneak peek at some of the recipes included in this package.

3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents

3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents

3 Phase Paleo

OK. It’s decision time.

With 3 Phase Paleo you get expert advice, a detailed guide to follow for overhauling your pantry and 75 fantastic recipes from Paleo veterans who have lost a combined 200 pounds — all while raising a young family. Their inspiring story can be yours as well.

Their inherent compassion is felt throughout 3 Phase Paleo. I especially love their foundational principles that reminds us all that this lifestyle is not about perfection, it’s not all or nothing. It is, however, about making the best choices you can and remembering that a bad choice doesn’t make you a bad person.

This is empowering stuff.

You know what to do…

Buy it! 3 Phase Paleo.

 

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