Friday, August 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Custard

My kids like to eat this with some apple slices for breakfast!  It would also be good for a simple, not-super-sweet dessert, maybe topped with a scoop of berry or apple pie filling.

Peanut Butter Custard
We made this dairy-free by using coconut milk.
  • 1/4 c. smooth peanut (or favorite nut) butter
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350°.  Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed.  Pour custard into 4 - 6 greased custard ramekins or a greased pie plate.  Place the dish(es) into a bigger pan and fill with water until 1/2 way up the sides of the dish.
Bake for 40 minutes or until custard is set and a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.  Remove the dish(es) and chill before serving.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grain-Free Butter Biscuits

Mmmm, we've enjoyed these several times!  They're not the same texture as biscuits made with all-purpose flour, but they are tasty and they meet our dietary needs. 

Grain-Free Butter Biscuits
  • 2 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature (can put them in warm water to warm up if you don't want to leave them out on the counter to warm up)
Combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  In another bowl, mix together butter and eggs.  Add to dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon.  Divide dough among 8 well-greased muffin cups in a muffin pan.  Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grain-free/dairy-free waffles

These are so good!  Iif you didn't need to be dairy-free you could use evaporated milk or whipping cream for the coconut milk.

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free waffles (Paleo approved)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 2/3 c. applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • couple of dashes of nutmeg
Beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Set aside.  Whisk eggs until frothy and add eggs, coconut milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
Sift dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Fold in egg whites.
Bake in a lightly greased waffle iron.  These do brown quickly!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Roasted veggies!

This is an easy and delicious way to get a variety of veggies in your diet!

Roasted Vegetables
  • your choice of veggies, cut into bite sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
Place veggies in a resealable plastic bag or in a bowl with a tight-sealing lid.  Drizzle with 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil, seal bag or bowl, and gently shake until veggies are coated with olive oil.  Pour onto an oiled cookie sheet in a single layer, sprinkle with desired seasonings, and bake at 375° - 400° until veggies are fork-tender.  The time will vary with the kind of veggie and the size of the pieces, but generally this takes 25 to 40 minutes.

We love to roast beets, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, brussel sprouts, zucchini, peppers, and winter squash this way!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grain-free Pumpkin Pancakes

I made a huge batch of these (7x recipe) this morning.  Mmmmm!

Note:  I make my own mix of pumpkin pie spice:  1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. each ginger and nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. cloves.  Use measure for measure for pumpkin pie spice.

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

* 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. baking soda
* pinch of salt
* 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 cup almond flour
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 tbsp honey
* 2 eggs
Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl, then in another bowl combine the wet ingredients. Then toss the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Let mixture sit for 2 or 3 minutes.
Cook in a well-greased (butter works better than coconut oil) pan on medium heat like a normal pancake, making sure bottom is set before flipping.
Makes 6 medium sized pancakes. The pancakes will look a lot darker (and more orange) than normal, but are still delicious!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekly meal plan August 26 - September 1, 2012 - less than $5 for groceries!

This week's meal plan involved using as much of my pantry/freezer stock possible along with cucumbers from the garden.  I had to buy less than $5 worth of groceries!

August 26 – September 1, 2012

breakfast – omelets, hash browns, veggie juice
dinner – sloppy joes, roasted potatoes, roasted beets & carrots

breakfast – grain-free pumpkin pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers or egg salad stuffed in cucumber boats or on grain-free bread
dinner - tacos with fixings

breakfast – peanut butter custard, apple slices, veggie juice
lunch – creamed tuna and peas over grain-free biscuits
dinner - rosemary chicken and potatoes, green beans, salad

breakfast – grain-free waffles, veggie juice
lunch - ham and eggs chef salad
dinner - crockpot Swiss steak, baked potatoes, salad

breakfast – fried eggs, grain-free toast, veggie juice
lunch - egg salad stuffed in cucumber boats or on grain-free bread
dinner - grilled steak, feta/apple/pecan salad, deviled eggs

breakfast - almond flour apple spice pancakes, veggie juice
lunch - tuna or salmon patties with dill sauce, steamed peas and carrots
dinner - Greek-style chicken cutlets on salad greens

breakfast – omelets and hash browns, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - grilled bratwurst, beet pickles, potato salad

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cheesy hash browns

This is not a regular dish for us, but it IS very good and we enjoy it on special occasions!

Cheesy hash browns
  • 2 lb. frozen diced hash browns (let thaw)
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheeese
  • crushed potato chips (BBQ are GREAT on this)
Combine all ingredients but chips.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Sprinkle with crushed chips and bake at 350° for one hour.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Crockpot Pepper Steak

Here's another crockpot dinner that we enjoy!  You'll have to prepare rice (or whatever you'll serve this over...I've used salad greens for low-carb/more nutrition), but it's pretty easy to do and takes no time at all!

Crockpot Pepper Steak
  • 3 lb. beef steak (sirloin or round) cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 large or 3 medium bell peppers (mix of green and red or just green), cut into strips
  • 1/4 c. cold water 
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 
  • hot cooked rice
Place steak, garlic, onion, soy sauce, sugar, salt, ginger and black pepper in crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
Add pepper strips during the last hour of cooking.  Blend water and cornstarch until smooth, stir into crockpot.  Cook on high until thickened.  Serve over rice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crockpot Pork Chops and Rice

I love using my crockpot!  It saves time, energy, and with I can truly fix it and forget it until dinner!   Add veggies and/or a salad to round out this tried and true recipe.

Crockpot Pork Chops & Rice
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 c. uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 envelopes onion soup mix
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 c. water
Pour rice into crockpot.  Sprinkle with 1/3 onion soup mix. Place pork chops over rice.  Pour mushroom soup over all.  Sprinkle remaining onion soup mix over soup.  Add water.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Serves 4

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo
  • 6 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. fully cooked smoked sausage, sliced
  • 14 oz. can or 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 8 oz. or 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
Shake chicken in a container or plastic bag with the salt and peppers.   Brown in a large pan with melted butter.  Add sausage, chicken broth, water and rice.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.  Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes.  Serve.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Provolone Stuffed Meatloaf

From the first time we had this, it is the family's favorite meatloaf!

Provolone Stuffed Meatloaf
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. diced onion
  • 1/4 c. diced red bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. provolone cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
Mix all ingredients but provolone cheese together in a large bowl.  Spread meat mixture into a thin rectangle on a piece of waxed paper.  Layer or sprinkle provolone cheese on meat to within 1 inch of sides.  Roll meat up like a jelly roll, using the waxed paper to help lift the meat off the work surface and peeling the paper back as you roll the meat..  Seal the ends and place in baking dish, keeping all cheese inside the meat roll.  Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. (The cheese may melt a little and ooze out of the meatloaf.)  Let set for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grain-free Morning Glory Muffins

These are always a hit!

Grain-Free Morning Glory Muffins
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
    1 large apple, cored and grated
    1 cup shredded coconut
    1 cup raisins
    3 large eggs
    2 tablespoons honey (optional)
    1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a standard-sized muffin pan.
2. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Add carrot, apple, coconut and raisins and combine well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil or butter, and vanilla extract together.
4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix very well. The batter will be very thick.
5. Spoon the batter out into muffin pan and place on middle rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes.
6. When a toothpick inserted into the top of a muffin comes out clean, the muffins are done.
7. Cool muffins in the pan for 8-10 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

**If you are looking for variety, you can add a little orange zest to give them a bit more citrus flavor.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My meal plan for August 19 - 25, 2012

August 19 – 25, 2012

breakfast - scrambled eggs & sausage with grain-free biscuits with gravy, tomato juice
lunch – grain-free “corn”dog muffins, carrot salad
dinner - crockpot spicy roast chicken, oven fried potatoes, steamed Monte Carlo veggie mix

breakfast - grain-free carrot cake pancakes, tomato juice
lunch - turkey, veggie, cheese lettuce wraps
dinner - stuffed meatloaf, roasted beets & carrots, salad

breakfast - eggs in ham cups, tomato juice
lunch - creamed tuna & peas over biscuits or toasted homemade grain-free bread
dinner - chicken gumbo, cucumber & tomato salad

breakfast - breakfast burritos on grain-free tortillas, veggie juice
lunch - egg salad on homemade grain-free bread or cucumber slices
dinner - beef stroganoff over zucchini noodles, steamed peas & carrots

breakfast - veggie omelet, veggie juice
lunch – roast beef, veggie, cheese wraps
dinner - crockpot cheesy chicken &ham, steamed broccoli

breakfast - almond flour blueberry pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – salmon chef salad
dinner - sausage/peppers/potatoes skillet, tossed salad

breakfast - eggs & hashbrowns, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers/clean out the fridge/chef salad
dinner - almond flour crust pizza, salad

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Make Your Own Breakfast Sausage!

Most sausage has ingredients that we don't want in our bodies, and one of the worst is MSG -- monosodium glutamate.  My family likes sausage though, so I searched and found and tweaked this recipe for pork breakfast sausage.  I often get ground pork in 5 or 10 pound packages from the slaughterhouse and we'll mass produce the sausage and freeze it in 1 pound portions for later use.  It tastes just as good as what we can find in the store, too!

Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. rubbed dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. ground marjoram

Combine all the ingredients in a medium size bowl.  Form the sausage into patties and cook in a skillet over medium heat until browned or brown and use in a recipe calling for bulk pork sausage.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

This makes for a tasty cake, with or without frosting!  We tried it last year for my mom's birthday, and no one guessed that it was grain-free.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

3 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 eggs
½ cup honey
¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil
3 cups carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, honey and butter or oil.  Stir carrots, raisins and walnuts into wet ingredients.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.
Spread batter into a well greased 9 x 13 or two 8-inch round pans.  Bake at 325° for 35 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and spread with frosting if desired.  Serve.

NOTE:  This was good with a sprinkling of powdered sugar instead of frosting.  When I made cream cheese frosting for it, I used 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 c. soft butter, and just enough maple syrup to add a hint of sweet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Firehouse Chili

I will attest to the fact that this one is spicy HOT, at least in my opinion.  The name definitely fits!  It's a thick, hearty chili.

Firehouse Chili
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1/2 tsp. minced garlic)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with chilies, undrained
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato or vegetable juice
  • 2 cans kidney beans, undrained (optional)
Brown meat in large pot with onion.  Add rest of ingredients and stir well; bring to a boil.  Simmer 1/2 hr uncovered then 1 1/2 hrs. covered.  Serve.
Note:  if it's too thick for your tastes, add more tomato or vegetable juice.

Yield:  4 to 6 servings


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but it's a favorite!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 3 c. almond flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil or butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease very well.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla and add to dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the melted coconut oil and continue to blend until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoon size balls of cookie dough onto baking sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cookies do not spread very much and come out more like puffy cookies unless you choose to flatten them slightly.
Yield: 24 to 36 cookies

NOTE:  I used a Pampered Chef small scoop (approx. 1 Tbsp.) and got 48 cookies.  The first batch I baked for 8 minutes and they LOOKED done but were still a bit gooey in the middle.  DS declared them nummy anyway.  The 2nd batch we baked for 9 minutes and they were still a bit gooey in the middle....but the kids didn't care.  LOL

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Almond Flour Blueberry Pancakes

Almond Flour Pancakes
  • 1 c. almond flour (almond meal)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. water in which 1/4 tsp. baking soda is dissolved
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 - 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed & drained) blueberries
  • pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  The batter will appear a little thicker than normal mix.  Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly oiled non-stick griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Use the scoop to shape the pancakes.  Flip like a normal pancake when bottoms are a nice golden brown.  Let the second side brown, also, before removing from griddle.

 I get 8 pancakes out of one batch.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ham, Spinach & Mushroom Frittata

I LOVE breakfast!  I tried a new recipe last week, tweaked it to fit our diet, and it went over VERY well with everyone.

Ham, Spinach & Mushroom Frittata
  • 10 eggs (yes, ten)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 clove) minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. coconut milk (you could substitue evaporated milk or whipping cream for this)
  • 1 c. fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 c. diced ham
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained very well
  • 1/2 c. chopped tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle or two of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 cup cheese (cheddar, Swiss, other) -- optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs snd coconut milk. Stir in salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and parsley.
Saute onions and mushrooms in the olive oil and butter over medium heat in an oven proof skillet (I used cast iron) for 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes; continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes until onions are translucent. Add spinach and ham to the mix and lightly salt & pepper the mixture.
Spread mixture even into bottom of skillet. Pour egg mixture over vegetable/ham mixture. Use spatula to lift up vegetable/ham mixture along sides of pan to let the egg mixture flow underneath.
Cook on stove top on medium heat until about half set, then put the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes or until puffy and golden.  Top with cheese and return to oven for just a few minutes more until cheese is melted.
Finish by placing frittata under the broiler for up to a minute to get a deeper brown color & a bit of crispiness if you like. Be very careful handling the skillet! It’s extremely hot once placed in the oven. Allow to cool before slicing. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekly menu August 12 - 18, 2012

We harvested 78 chickens in the past two days and my husband refuses to even look at chicken for a week, so no chicken meals for a while.  I'm utilizing a lot of what I have on hand in the refrigerator and freezers and cucumbers and salad greens from the garden.  I ended up paying under $10 for groceries for the week!

August 12 – 18, 2012

breakfast – grain-free carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – broccoli & ham soup
dinner - primal pizza casserole, salad

breakfast – eggs with toast (grain-free bread)/veggie juice
lunch - tuna salad with cucumber slices on grain-free bread
dinner - crockpot beef roast, potatoes, carrots

breakfast - apple pumpkin bake, veggie juice
dinner - low carb haluski, steamed carrots, beet pickles

breakfast – hard boiled eggs/paleo cinnamon muffins/veggie juice
lunch – firehouse chili (beanless)
dinner – bratwurst/potato salad/carrot salad

breakfast - almond blueberry pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers from Wednesday night or chili
dinner - leftover roast turned into stew, paleo cinnamon muffins

breakfast – eggs in ham cups, veggie juice
lunch – salmon cucumber salad

breakfast – eggs and hash browns/ veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge/salad
dinner - grilled steak, grilled potato & veggie packets

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grain-Free Bread

Yes, it IS possible to make bread without using grain flour or a gluten-free mix.  I tried a simple recipe yesterday and tweaked it a bit to suit our tastes, using unblanched almond meal instead of blanched almond meal that the original recipe used.  The verdict:  it resembled whole wheat bread in looks, taste and texture.  (My daughter said it actually tastes better than wheat bread.)

Grain-Free Bread - makes one loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/4 c. golden flax seed meal (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Add rest of ingredients and mix until well combined.  Pour into a greased 7.5" x 3.5" loaf pan (and grease that pan VERY well!!!)
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes until loaf tests done with a pick.  (I had to bake mine for 45 minutes.)
Use knife and serving spatula around the edges to loosen the loaf if needed.  Remove from pan.  Cool and serve.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grain-free Carrot Cake Pancakes

These are a tasty favorite!  If you don't need 16 pancakes, the listed amount of ingredients is easily halved.

Grain-free Carrot Cake Pancakes
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 3/4 c. to 1 c. raisins
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil or butter
  • additional coconut oil or butter to grease the griddle
Mix first 6 ingredients together.  Mix rest of ingredients in another bowl and add to dry ingredients.  Mix well with a spoon.  Spoon 1/4 c. of batter onto griddle for each pancake.  Fry until browned on one side, then flip and brown the other side. 

Makes about 16 pancakes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zucchini Lasagna

Now is the time of year when we have an (over)abundance of zucchini.  I have been trying to make more low-carb meals that my family will like, and this is one of them!

Zucchini Lasagna


    • 2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick ( about 2 medium)
    • 1 lb. ground beef 
    • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
    • 29 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
    • 1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    • 1 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese ( or low fat or fat free ricotta)
    • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded ( I use 8 oz. divided)


  1. Cook zucchini in boiling water until fork tender, drain and set aside. 
  2. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.
  3. In small bowl slightly beat egg.  Add cottage cheese and half of shredded cheese.
  4. In (1 1/2-qt.) baking-roasting pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini.
  5. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer.
  6. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

We had a birthday party last night and, since some of the kids had to eat gluten-free, I made this cake as one of the choices.  They RAVED over it!  I will say, it's a bit rich but very good.  Perfection.

This is not my recipe.  I got it from and give her all the credit.  I tried to link the site, but it's not working.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
Flourless Peanut Butter Cake:
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together peanut butter, sugar, milk, oil, egg yolks, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  3. Thoroughly clean and dry mixing beaters.  In a small separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold egg whites into rest of ingredients until well-incorporated.
  5. Divide batter evenly between cake pans.  Bake for about 24 minutes.  Remove cake from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  6. To prepare buttercream frosting, beat butter until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and beat until creamy.  Add chocolate and vanilla.
  7. Gently flip one cake over onto serving plate.  Frost top of bottom layer.  Gently flip out second layer over the first.  Frost entire cake and decorate as desired

Apple-Walnut Skillet Cake

Apple - Walnut Skillet Cake

Apple Topping
3 1/2 Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup organic sugar or other sweetener of choice, I used 1/4 c. honey
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Cake Batter
1/2 Golden Delicious apple
1 1/2 c. almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup organic sugar or sweetener of choice, I used 1/4 c. honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (I forgot to add it and the cake was fine)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt (I also forgot this and it really needs it to give the baking powder something to work with)

1. Core the apples and cut them in quarters.
2. In a 10 1/4-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add sweetener and stir well to combine. Arrange apples decoratively, cut sides up, in the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle walnuts evenly between the apple quarters. Cook over low heat without stirring for 30 minutes, until apples are tender and the sugar has caramelized.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Chop the apple half finely. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Beat butter and sweetener with an electric mixer or hand-held whisk until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and ginger and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream or yogurt, with mixer on low speed, and gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Add chopped apple to batter, folding in gently.
5. With skillet off the heat, spoon batter over the caramelized apple topping. Spread evenly with a spatula, being careful not to disturb the apples, and leaving a 1/4-inch border of cooked apples uncovered. Bake cake in center of preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Remove skillet from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes on a rack. Slide a thin knife around the edge, place a serving plate on top of the skillet, and invert it so the cake ends up on the plate (carefully, so that it doesn’t end up on the floor!). Serve warm or room temperature with whatever topping you like (whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are naturals).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekly meal plan for August 5 - 11, 2012

August 5 – 11, 2012

breakfast – sausage/spinach/cheddar frittata, veggie juice
lunch – taco soup
dinner - beef roast with potatoes & carrots, tomato & cucumber salad

breakfast – grain free carrot cake pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – egg salad on cucumber slices, paleo blueberry lemon bars
dinner - rosemary chicken & potatoes, coleslaw with low-carb dressing

breakfast – ham & egg cups, veggie juice
lunch – tuna patties, leftover coleslaw
dinner - birthday dinner for 35 people: bratwurst, buns, chips, veggie tray, 3 cakes, ice cream

breakfast – omelets, veggie juice
lunch – birthday dinner leftovers
dinner - taco salad

breakfast – grain free apple bumpkin bake, veggie juice
lunch – tuna salad on cucumber slices
dinner - Greek style chicken cutlets, tossed salad

breakfast – spinach & mushroom frittata, veggie juice
lunch – turkey, cheese, lettuce on paleo bread, zucchini chips with marinara dip
dinner - garden burgers, peas & carrots, beet pickles

breakfast – omelets & hashbrowns, veggie juice
lunch – clean out the fridge/leftovers
dinner - zucchini lasagna

Crockpot Hungarian Beef

I don't know if I'm lazy or I just don't want to add to the heat of the house during summer months, but I've been using my crockpot a LOT lately.  Here's another delicious recipe that we've enjoyed!

Hungarian Beef
  • 2 - 3 lb. beef roast
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. flour
Place meat in crock pot; cover with sliced onion.  Combine rest of ingredients but water and flour; stir in water.  Pour over meat.  Cover and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.  If you would like to thicken the tasty sauce, then turn to high about 30 minutes before serving.  Dissolve flour in a small amount of cold water; stir into sauce mixture in crock pot.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Serve over noodles, potatoes, or rice.
Note:  You can also add potatoes about 4 - 5 hours before cooking time is done.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Ham

This is one of our favorite crockpot meals.  My kids actually cheer when they see this one!


Crockpot Cheesy Chicken & Ham


    • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    •  1/2 cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 8 oz. cream cheese
    • 1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
    • 8 ounces fully cooked diced ham ( approx. 1 cup)
    • cooked rice or pasta


Cube chicken, and place in crock pot.  Cut butter into pieces, and distribute evenly over chicken.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning and white pepper over top, and place lid on crock pot.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

At end of cooking time, cut up the cream cheese, and drop into crock pot, together with the diced ham and chicken soup.  Stir, then replace lid.  Cook on high until cheese is melted.

Serve hot over rice or pasta (we find it to be especially good over steamed broccoli!)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Twice baked non-potato casserole

In an effort to cut the overload of carbs from our diet, I'm on the lookout for new ideas for low-carb dishes.  Mmmm, this one is so good, and it's a great way to get more veggies in your meal plan!  My family always finishes this one off.

Twice-baked Non-potato casserole
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerets and steamed until very tender and then mashed with butter, salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c. full fat sour cream
  • 1 to 2 green onions, sliced
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 oz. bacon, cooked & crumbled
Mix cauliflower, sour cream, green onions, 1 c. cheddar cheese, and bacon.  Pour into baking dish.  Top with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, this isn't on my diet plan, but they ARE good and this is a recipe we'll be using for some of our bakery goods this fall/winter.  This recipe comes from my best friend's mom.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 c. margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 c. old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
Cream together margarine or butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Sift together flour and baking powder and add to mixture.  Stir in oatmeal, cranberries, and chips until well mixed.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 10 - 12 minutes.

Gluten-free Chunky Monkey Muffins

My kids LOVE these!

GF Chunky Monkey Muffins
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. nut butter (peanut, almond, even sunflower butter)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chunks or chips or mini chips
Preheat oven to 325°.  Combine 1st 5 ingredients in a large bowl and blend until smooth.  Add coconut flour, cinnamon and salt and mix until everything is well incorporated.  Stir in nuts and chocolate with a spoon (batter will be thick.)  Spoon batter into 12 paper lined muffin cups.  You can fill them pretty full since they won't rise much.  Bake for 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.