Jul 122014
 

green beansThis is a hearty and satisfying way to enjoy fresh green beans.  It’s especially helpful for tenderizing broader, tougher heirloom variety green beans that show up at the farmer’s markets and in CSA farm boxes.  This recipe was inspired by a recipe in the Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Ethan Becker- a fabulous cookbook I would recommend to anyone, of any dietary preference.

Paleo Green Beans with Dill

What You Need:

  • 2 tbsp tallow
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt

What To Do:

  1. Heat tallow in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until it’s softened.
  2. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, until aromatic but not browned.
  3. Add the green beans, tomatoes, dill, parsley and salt. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, 10-20 minutes.
Green Beans with Dill
Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings
Green Beans with Dill
Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp tallow or fat of choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat tallow in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until it's softened.
  2. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, until aromatic but not browned.
  3. Add the green beans, tomatoes, dill, parsley and salt. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, 10-20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

You can use a can of chopped tomatoes, with juice, in place of the fresh tomatoes.

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Jul 112014
 

Ice Cream Cake from Paleo Parents and So Let’s Hang Out. Check out the post- it is laugh-out-loud funny.

Kiplinger (a personal finance magazine) recently posted 5 ways to save on gas money- one of them was a surprise to me: that there are certain times of day when gas is cheaper.

Speaking of saving money, if you’re having a hard time talking to your spouse about money issues, check out The Simple Dollar’s Twenty Powerful Tips for Discussing Money Topics with Your Partner.  My husband and I already use quite a few of the tips and it’s definitely made us a stronger couple as a result.  Reading the article reminded me that there are ways we could improve in that area, too.  Recently we’ve been talking a lot lately about our financial goals and which purchases would make us truly happy versus just being impulse buys that don’t mean much in the long term.  Becoming Minamalist has an inspirational post on how people can get caught in a cycle of purchasing items in order to bring satisfaction to their lives, only to find that an excess of material goods doesn’t bring them the happiness that they were looking for.  We can relate to that, and have been doing a lot of talking about whether our financial goals are aligned with our heart’s desires.

If you looking for a way to clear out some of your excess stuff, Be More with Less has put together a list of 10 Tiny Tasks to Declutter Your Home.  I love the idea of going through my bookcase and finding at least five books that I would like to send to five people.  I have some “old favorites” that are just gathering dust, but it’s hard for me to donate them because I love them so much.  But giving them to people I care about would feel really great.

If you need a healthy treat after all that decluttering, try the scrumptious looking Banana Lemon Cheesecake Carrotcake (Paleo of course).  But even if you never make the cake, the post itself is laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Food bloggers aren’t all that funny, but she is clearly an exception.

Jul 102014
 

Here’s a great way to reuse jello molds- upcycle them into planters for your garden.  SecondChanceToDream gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it.  I like this idea, although I probably wouldn’t paint them- the original metallic color of the molds was beautiful, in a vintage-with-industrial-flair way (before and after photos are in the post).

Crafty Thursdays are an ongoing feature of The Daily Citron.  I picked Thursday because it leaves just enough time for busy people to collect their supplies for doing the craft over the weekend.

Jul 092014
 

pantry

Today I’m eyeballing my cluttered pantry and thinking that it’s about time to apply my purging prowess.  My pantry probably feels dismayed by my interest, because it knows as well as anyone that I do not, in fact, have any significant prowess in purging items out of our house, and the whole affair could get chaotic.  But, nonetheless, I’m feeling the urge to give it a shot today.

This is not a random idea of mine- one of my goals for this year is to purge items out of our house so that we’re a less cluttered and more streamlined.  To make the goal more manageable, I’ve broken it down into sub-goals, such as “Purge the Office,” “Purge the Kitchen,” and “Purge the Bathrooms.”  Because I’m completely overwhelmed with the idea of achieving each of these sub-goals, I’ve broken them down even further- under “Purge the Kitchen” I have “Purge Drawers,” “Purge Cabinets,” “Purge Refrigerators/Freezers,” and finally, “Purge the Pantry.” Those sub-sub-goals feel a little more do-able.

The motivating force behind purging the clutter out of the pantry isn’t that I can’t find the things I want.  Like most people, we have our pantry items already loosely grouped together- spices in one area, oils and vinegars in another- and a little bit of digging usually turns up the sought after item.  The problem I have with a cluttered pantry is that it is too easy to ignore the things we don’t want.  You know, the stuff that hangs out for years, unused.  Usually the product of impulse buys, those items lurk at the back of the pantry shelves, apparently reproducing of their own accord, clandestinely creeping forward and systematically pushing in front of items that we actually do want to use. We end up ignoring the unused items for years at a time.  Don’t deny the same thing hasn’t happened to you- what parent hasn’t picked up that jar of pickled peppers and discovered with alarm that it is older than one of their children?

So, today will be a pantry-purging day, and even though I may be an amateur at purging and organizing, I do have the ability to follow a game plan.  I’ve used this game plan before and achieved pretty darn good results from it.  So join me, if you’d like, and tackle the clutter in your pantry.  The plan is pretty straightforward:

Purge the Pantry Game Plan

  1.  Pick one shelf in the pantry and take everything off of it; place items on the kitchen counter.
  2. Clean off the shelf’s surface with an all-purpose cleaner.
  3. Visually where groups of items will go (e.g., spices in one area, oils and vinegars in another, baking supplies in another)

Now it’s time to reintroduce items.  Looking at the items on the counter, ask the following questions:

  1. Is it expired? Throw out all of the expired products.
  2. Do I use this item at least once a month? Put it back on the shelf.
  3. Is the item being kept for a special occasion (e.g., baking supplies, cheese cloth…)? Put it back on the shelf, but then resolve to actually use it when the special occasion rolls around.
  4. Are there any items that everyone in the family refuses to eat? Donate them to a food bank.  If they’re not expired, someone will enjoy them.
  5. Rinse and repeat all of the above for each shelf of the pantry.

Now there’s a group of items left on the counter that aren’t being used, but would be eaten if served.  These all get grouped together, at the front of one of the shelves.  When it’s time for meal planning, look first at that group of items, and resolve to use at least three per week.  There are two benefits to this: 1) each item used =  that much less clutter, and 2) instead of spending money at the grocery store for additional food, we’re using up food that’s already paid for.

Do you have any good techniques for purging your pantry?

 

Jul 082014
 


Green Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss and Detox by Jenny Allan is free right now on Amazon.  This is definitely one that I’m going to try, because we’ve been getting more into smoothies lately. It’s an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the “Buy Now With 1 Click” button.

PLEASE BE AWARE that the price could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Hurry, these promotions don’t last long.  Let me know what you thought of this book!

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Jul 062014
 

Apricot treeI hope I’m not freaking out those of you who aren’t on a Paleo-style eating plan- I’m not trying to convert anyone to eating like us, I’m just sharing what we do in the event that there are good tips you can take away from it, regardless of diet.  The mechanics of meal planning are the same across all diets anyway.

Ever since transitioning our family to a Paleo diet, cooking for my family has been more difficult for me, mainly because I don’t get to rely on my tried-and-true “regular food” recipes- I’ve had to learn new ones that fit within the Paleo framework (that framework being an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, meats and seafood, and avoidance of grains, legumes, dairy, and food additives).  Even harder for me, I no longer get to rely on processed, pre-made components of meals, such as fish sticks, bread, oven fries, and other items that are at least partially prepared when purchased.

Cooking three meals from scratch for our family of four is a daunting task for me, but sticking with my habit of meal planning has kept me at least partially sane.  My weekly meal plan allows me to look ahead to see what ingredients need to be purchased on my next grocery run, reminds me which meats need to be defrosted ahead of time, and honestly, it helps to quell the underlying sense of anxiety I have that I’ll be faced with three hungry people and no food to offer.  With a weekly meal plan, I feel prepared for the week ahead, and that’s a good feeling.

Paleo Weekly Meal Plan- July, Week 2

Dinners

Dinner sides are kind of mix-and-match this week, and include sautéed spinach, oven-roasted cauliflower rice  by Melissa Joulwan, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted winter squash, Michelle Tam’s braised red cabbage, sauerkraut, and fresh salads.

Lunches

Lunches this week will be the leftovers from the dinners, plus fresh fruit like melons, peaches, strawberries and blueberries from the farmer’s market.

Breakfasts

Paleo Chunky Monkey MuffinBreakfasts will include Berry Smoothies, Banana Walnut Smoothies, PaleoParents’ Chunky Monkey Muffins, Banana Faux-tmeal, and sweet potatoes sautéed with apples.  Plus protein on the side- usually sausage, bacon, sardines, or kipper snacks, and usually extra fresh fruit, too.

Have you tried weekly meal planning yet?

If you are looking for real food recipes that aren’t necessarily Paleo, check out Musings of a Housewife and Sassy Moms In the City. This post contains affiliate links from which I might receive a commission.