Category Archives: Holiday Recipes
When I was 3 years old my parents got divorced and it was really sad, but the best thing that happened was that I ended up with two mothers! I am lucky that I have two great women to lead me through life and offer amazing support.
Having two mom’s meant that I had to find two gifts to give each of them on this special day, which was no big deal. Even though I live 3000 miles away from them I still send gifts every Mother’s day. They listen to me too and I have had some nutritional influence over each of them. They both have real food/gluten free success stories that you can read about here and here.
These are some gifts I am considering for my MOM’s (or myself ) this year. May 12, 2013 is Mother’s day so mark your calendar and do something nice this year for your hard working Mom.
DIY Organic Beauty Recipes
This book by fellow Nashvillian, Mommypotamus is what I am getting for my Mom. My biological mom loves skin products and I have slowly been able to convince her to switch over to natural ones. She is very crafty so I know she will love all the beauty recipes inside of this book which use common ingredients like coconut oil and sea salt to make excellent moisturizers and exfoliants.
Click here to view more details
Silicone Baking Sheet
I just got one of these non-stick mats and it is fast becoming my favorite kitchen gadget. Silicone is a natural earth element that is safe for cooking. Experts like Dr. Andrew Wiel and Alton brown seem to think Silicone is A-ok for the kitchen These mats are made in France and can be used many times. They take the place of unhealthy cooking sprays that are oxidized as well as expensive parchment paper. I have this one which is 14 1/2-Inch by10-Inch . Find the size you like here.
I have this pressure cooker on my wish list. It is one of the best ones on the market! It is from Germany and supposed to last forever. I have heard from friends that this pressure cooker dramatically reduces cooking time for the nights you have no grass fed beef cooked or thawed. I have also read this pressure cooker preserves nutrients because the food cooks faster.
Stick/ Hand Blender
This hand blender is absolutely my favorite kitchen tool. I am a connisuer of soup and this one whips up a creamy bisque in no time. I have tried others but this one packs the power your are looking for. This one also comes with a mini chopper attachment, a whisk for easy mayo and a smoothie cup.
Programmable Slow Cooker
If you do not have a slow cooker yet I do not know how you survive. Even a person like me, who works from home and not in an office, has a constant pot of broth simmering at all times. I love waking up to warm stew or roast when I don’t feel like cooking or washing dishes.
This one from Hamilton Beach is reported to be lead free from several reliable foodie/blogger friends. I don’t have this one yet but I covet it and would be so happy to get it on mother’s day! It has a meat thermometer and set it and forget it timer that stays on warm once your food is cooked. This is a must for a busy Paleo Mom!
Gather: the Art of Paleo Entertaining
The new bookGather is by my long time Paleo buddies, Bill and Hayley Mason. They are known for their amazing website called the Food Lovers’, with easy to follow recipes and beautiful photography. Gather comes out April 30, 2013 so it is perfect timing for Mother’s Day. Pre-order it here.
Leave a comment and let me know what are you going to get your Mom for mother’s day?
Sometime cooking for Easter can be daunting on a new grain free, real food diet, but with these favorites no one at your holiday table will skip a beat!
They will be begging you for your recipes!
Try my chopped chicken livers as a great appetizer to get your party started. It goes great with fresh chopped veggies. Pastured Liver is a great source of Vitamin A and D for a healthy immune system!
Simone from Zenbelly give us her Paleo biscuits that I made for my husband and they are great!
You can also make my easy Rosemary Lamb chops
Be sure to make your own mayo here from the Food Lover’s
Check out my Nashville friend Mommypotamus natural Easter egg dyeing post with easy to find everyday ingredients.
Check out my intern Coco’s post with avocado deviled eggs which eliminates rancid soybean oil!
Check out my buddy Vanessa’s Grain and Dairy free Blueberry tart. These colors just scream Easter fun!
For more great gluten and grain free recipes that are perfect for your Easter table, check out this book with over 200 Paleo Recipes!
Linked to Party Wave Wednesday
As many of you know I can’t handle sugar, cake or even Paleo treats, but when I was at home over Christmas my Stepmom adapted her Eleison cake to be gluten and grain free. She has made a version of this cake for years and it is a favorite for everyone in our family. I was proud of her for adapting the recipe to her gluten free lifestyle. Everyone at the dinner was thrilled with the cake and no one missed a beat. I don’t think they even knew the difference.
I didn’t try since it I knew I would probably run to a closet hide and alone licking the pan. I mainlined decaf coffee with coconut cream to get through the awkwardness. It worked quite well I might add and then in a few minutes the horror of not eating cake was over. All was right in the world when I covered this cake up with foil and put it out of sight. My dad said this was the best Paleo cake he ever had (and he is definitely a cake expert).
This recipe does call for organic sugar which is better than regular sugar in that it is not genetically modified from corn or beets. In my view all sugar is really the same as far as it’s effects on the body so whether it is white, brown, honey or maple it seems to have a similar impact. My vote is to keep sweet treats to special occasions if you can handle that and just refrain if you can’t stop with one reasonable piece. If you do eat sweets always pair them with lots of fat or protein to blunt the blood sugar spike.
But over the holiday season something has to be said for updating and improving old habits especially when is comes to how much emotion is tied up in keeping traditions alive. My Stepmom loves to make recipes from both of her grandmothers and I was so proud of her when she was able to recalibrate this year. By adjusting this cake recipe she can stay gluten and mostly grain free to keep her arthritis symptoms away. You can read more of her story here.
This cake may not be perfectly Paleo but it is a heck of a lot better than what you find in the stores so if you are going to eat cake try a healthier version like the one below. This cake used to have several cups of white all purpose flour so it has been upgraded and now includes a lot of dense real food with healing benefits.
3 1/2 cups Blanched Almond Meal Flour
1/2 cup Organic Tapioca Starch
1.5 cups of softened ghee or butter
2 heaping tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups of organic coconut sugar
1 cup finely chopped almonds (not almond flour)
2 tsp of Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
Melted Stone Ground Organic Chocolate 80% Dark(optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Beat the ghee/butter and sugar until it is fluffy in a large mixing bowl.
Add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 6 whole eggs, then beat it all together.
Mix the the dry ingredients into another bowl.
Then slowly add it into the wet ingredients.
Grease 9×12 oblong baking dish with coconut oil.
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for an hour and half.
Stick a fork in the middle and see if it comes out clean.
Cut it into squares once cooled then serve with whipped cream
For a Dairy Free version: whip coconut cream like they did here.
You can top it with some melted chocolate if desired. Just use a double boiler and melt some Stone Ground Organic Chocolate 80% Dark over medium heat then drizzel it on top with a spoon.
Are you looking for more grain free indulgences?
My Paleo friend Carol at Ditch the Wheat has been has been working on an e-book with over 70 grain free desserts. The photography is amazing and all the ingredients are made with whole foods.
Use the code HOLIDAYDTW for a special introductory 20% off price.
My little sister follows the paleo lifestyle the way I do, maybe not quite as strictly because she is pretty healthy and feels great. She loves traditional foods so I wanted to incorporate that into her bridal shower that I threw for her on Dec 27, 2012 in our hometown of Nashville, TN. She is getting married June , 2013 in the mountains of NC to her Paleo groom you can read more about them here.
My sister requested a French theme becasue she loves France and speaks as well as teaches French. My mind went immediately to Pate and Macaroons! I knew this was a theme I could build a fun (and nutritious) party around. I enlisted my childhood friend Megan to help with the decorations and games because that is her strong suit. My little sister was thrilled with how it all turned out and some of the guests told me it was the best shower that they had ever attended!
Megan made these party favors that had a dual purpose. People got to have a french style napkin at the party and a souvenir to take home. What brilliant idea! Megan made trays with chalkboard paint so she could label the food in French.
We had a grilled veggie platter, an exotic cheese (including raw Gruyère and a Spanish goat milk) cheese tray with honey, gluten free Mary’s Gone Crackers, crudites, organic meatballs and pastured chicken liver pate.We also had a pumpkin Thyme soup, nuts and olives. I don’t eat the crackers but it was nice to have something for the non-paleo (most of the guests were not) people to eat that wouldn’t gluten contaminate everything. Notice my new pate terrine from Le Creuset that I got for Christmas!
We had spiced apple cider and San Pellegrino to drink.
Here is a shot of my plate with lots of veggies, grilled and raw with pate, meatballs and fruit salad. My chef husband helped me with the food which took a lot of the pressure off. He is a lifesaver!
This is my sister and me enjoying the party. Megan made this great sign of the names of the Subway stops in Paris. It was a great touch that added to the ambiance.
This is a shot of my creamy pumpkin thyme soup that we also served at the shower. It is made with coconut milk so it is dairy free! It was a big hit with the ladies and my stepmom was so surprised that she could not taste the coconut flavor at all. It was low carb and very warming on this chilly December night.
I made this winter fruit salad with pomegranates, coconut flakes, persimmons and mandarin oranges. It is important to eat with the seasons for more nutrient density and a lower carbon footprint. This salad reminded me of the ambrosia salad my grandma used to make without the marshmallows and sweet dairy dressing of course.
The grain free macaroons that my husband (and chef) made were the pièce de résistance! Everyone went crazy over them. The guests were fighting over the last ones.
Here is one more pic of my adorable little sister opening her gifts which she requested to all be non-plastic and no toxic Teflon! Go little sis! Congratulations! I gave her my favorite set of CorningWare FrenchBake and Serve Set so she can bake lots of Paleo treats! We thought it would be fun if she wore a beret if you are wondering why she is wearing that cute hat.
It was a lot of work and I could feel my adrenals kicking into overdrive but it was nice to have a party with healthy nourishing food that I could feel good about serving and eating. No one asked “where is the bread” or “can I have cake”? Even the pickiest of eaters found something they enjoyed. I made sure I slept in the next day to recover from all the cooking and standing. We had lots of yummy leftovers so we didn’t have to cook the next day, yeah!
I hope you stick to your healthy grain free real food diet next time you plan a party. Your guest will not even notice what is “missing” they will only be full from the traditional foods the way they are meant to be eaten.
I am not that big into material possessions for the most part. A lot of my clothes are from Goodwill or Target. I live in a tiny apartment (in an awesome city! ) with very few “things”. I spend most of my money on things like alternative healthcare, massages and supplements. Of course I would die without my freezer full of grass fed beef and lamb.
I just wanted to share some of my favorite must have items that are perfect for that special someone on your list.
Let the Holiday Gifting Begin!
This book: The Paleo Miracle: 50 Real Stories of Health Transformation was written by my Norcal Primal buddy Joe Salama who turned his health around (and lost a lot of weight) with the Paleo diet. He even helped his parents ditch their need for high blood pressure and diabetes meds . It’s only $20 and most of the proceeds go to charity! See more details at Paleomiracle.com.The kindle version is only $9.99! Get it now!
The next must have book of the season is Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Diane Sanfilippo which is full of advice on how to get started on an anti-inflammatory diet. It has special advice for people who have (or want to avoid) thyroid problems, diabetes, dementia and autoimmune diseases. It also has 120 mouthwatering and beautifully photographed recipes. I have made a bunch of them so I know they are great. The kindle version of Practical Paleo is only $9.99!
The next book I recommend is: Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen which is perfect for anyone who wants to get started with fermentation. When certain foods are fermented they can create beneficial bacteria that help strengthen our immune systems and digestion. Alex teaches us about kombucha, homemade yogurts, creme fresh, fruit salsas, corned beef and even wine! This book is very well laid out and full of great teaching photos. I met Alex at the Weston A Price Convention and he is very passionate about healing traditional foods. Btw…..You can see my recipe for sauerkraut here:
One of my favorite strength training books is The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week. Fred was on the Low Carb cruise in May 2012 and I enjoyed his presentation. I used this method for about 8 weeks and I saw major advances in my strength. The great thing about this technique is that it is safe for all ages and even people with osteoporosis. It is a way to increase strength train for a lifetime without injuries that can plague participants of other types of exercise.
This Spiral Vegetable Slicer is amazing at making Paleo noodles out of veggies. It is high quality and lasts a long time.
If you read my blog you know that I advise against using traditional shampoos, lotions, deodorants and perfumes because of fat increasing toxins and cancer causing chemicals. I used to love fancy expensive perfumes but now I have switched to essential oils. This is a great set Pure Therapeutic Grade Basic Sampler Essential Oil Gift Set including (Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Tea Tree). Lavender is one of my favorite scents for perfume and Eucalyptus can help us calm our stress.
I actually wish I had two Crock-Pot 5-Quart Round Smart-Pot Slow Cookers because I like to have one going with broth all the time. Then I find I need another one to make ghee. The one with the timer is integral because it will turn itself to warm when the food is done so it does not dry out before you get home from work. I put a lot of meat in there frozen with some onions, garlic, and herbs and it makes it’s own rich sauce. Don’t forget to use meat with bones to get more minerals and vitamins and eat all the juice/broth.
I love tea, especially in the winter. I love sipping it on a foggy San Francisco Day in my SmartWool Socks. The best tea is loose leaf because it has no additives like gluten/MSG or chlorine bleached tea bags. A great way to make tea is with this Bodum YoYo Personal Tea Set with Infuser. The infuser is made from stainless steel not BPA filled plastic so that is a win in my book!
This is actually my #1 kitchen tool. I do not have a dishwasher so I hate washing appliances with lots of parts. This one you can just rinse the bottom off and you are done. I use it to make amazing soups in minutes that are awesome! I have this Smart Stick Immersion Hand Blender and it is amazing!
If you want to make everyone on your list happy, buy them meat! U.S. Wellness has the amazing grass fed beef at reasonable prices. I love the jerky, pemmican and liverwurst. They are having a big sale on cyber Monday so you can fill your stocking: click here to shop
Did you know a lot of the olive oil in the grocery stores is already rotten when you open it? Also there has been a big problem with big companies stretching olive oil with toxic canola or soybean to stretch their profits. It is important to know where your food is coming from so I trust this brand. I love Kasindrinos Olive Oil made by my buddy Tony who’s family has olive farms in Greece. He is having a huge sale with lots of free gifts! Click here to shop!
Happy Healthy Holidays from Grass Fed Girl!
I hope you stay on track this holiday and keep off the sugar, gluten and vegetable oils this year! If you need a good guide to get started: Click Here!
Are you looking for more help?
Get this great e-book for getting started on a grain free lifestyle!