Simple Tuna Salad

Simple Tuna Salad

One of my favorite go-to lunches is Tuna Salad.

It’s quick and easy to make, full of good protein and good fat. And best when paired with a plateful of veggies!

My secret ingredient to Tuna Salad is raisins. For some reason I really love raisins in my tuna. It adds a bit of sweet to balance out the savory flavor.

I also make sure to use my homemade mayo. This adds incredible flavor and good fats to your diet!

Simple Tuna Salad

Simple Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans wild-caught tuna
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • Small handful of raisins
  • ¼ cup (or less) of homemade mayo

Instructions

  1. Drain the tuna and put in a small bowl. Add in onion, celery, raisins, and mayo. Stir until well combined.
  2. Serve with your choice of veggies! I like sliced cucumber and bell peppers, carrot sticks, and green onions.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/06/11/simple-tuna-salad/

Super simple! Yet super delicious. This size batch will feed me for a couple days, plus a sandwich or two for the hubby.

Do you have a secret ingredient for your Tuna Salad?


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Butternut Beef Wraps

 

butternut beef wraps

Do you ever just throw something together in the kitchen and it turns out amazing?

Like knock your socks off amazing?

Yeah, that happened. I was struggling with what to have for lunch. I often just grab some leftovers or graze on random things throughout the day. But there were no leftovers and I didn’t have any grazing foods around. Everything in the fridge and cabinet needed actual cooking. Ugh. Sometimes real food takes some work.

I sat the baby in his chair and started whipping something up. I had some butternut squash and some kale that needed eating. So I started chopping tossed those two items in some olive oil and stuck them in the oven.

My mother says I’m “protein sensitive”. Meaning I need to eat some protein at every meal or I just don’t feel well. Thankfully I had some ground beef in the fridge. I cooked it up on the stove.

What to do with roasted veggies, ground beef, and a need to make it interesting? I threw it all together and added some Sunrise Spice. Only one of THE BEST spice mixes by Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed and Well Fed 2, my favorite cook books (affiliate links). It still seemed incomplete.

Looking around my fridge, I pulled out some romaine lettuce. Perfect for wraps. Meal created.

If you are looking for a savory, filling, and scrumptious meal, this is the way to go. It works great as a lunch if you have some time to prepare it, or it would be an excellent dinner. I would even eat it for breakfast! I’m sure my husband would love it. He’s easy to feed!

It’s also free of anything that might be an allergen or cause sensitivity. Paleo all the way! Below is the complete recipe for your cooking pleasure. I changed up a couple of things from what I did initially to make it flow smoother and to give you the best flavor. Enjoy!

Butternut Beef Wraps

Butternut Beef Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Sunrise Spice
  • several leaves of romaine lettuce

Instructions

  1. *Prep Sunrise Spice ahead of time
  2. Turn oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  4. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion in a skillet. Once the meat is no longer pink, add kale and cook until slightly wilted. Add Sunrise Spice.
  5. Once the butternut squash is finished roasting, add to the ground beef mixture.
  6. Serve in lettuce wraps.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2014/10/16/butternut-beef-wraps/

This post is shared on the Homestead Barn Hop, Weekend Potluck,  Wellness Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Mealplan Mondays.


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How to Make Ghee

This post contains affiliate links.

How to Make Ghee from Butter

 

Any butter lovers out there??

Butter is AMAZING.

But you’re on an elimination diet? I have good news for you! Even if you are removing dairy from your diet, you can still get the delicious buttery taste!

When I was doing a Whole30 to find out which foods were causing me issues, I discovered ghee. Ghee is clarified butter. Basically it is butter that is cooked down until the milk proteins separate from the fat. The proteins are usually what cause people to have an intolerance. The fat is the part that tastes delicious and is good for you. (We need good fats in our diets!)

I also learned that ghee is really easy to make. You can buy it at some grocery stores, but it can cost a bit more than plain ole butter. The best butter to use is made with milk from grass-fed cows. This will have the best fat in it for you to consume and the best flavor. You can use generic brand butter from your grocery store, but it won’t have all the benefits.

 How to make Ghee

Supplies:

Directions:

First, Heat your clean stainless-steel pan on medium-low. Add your butter once the pan is hot.

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You can stir the butter to help it melt quicker if necessary.

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Then, as the butter melts and heats up you will notice the bubbles to start forming. The milk proteins will start to separate and form foam on the top. You can skim some of the foam off it heats.

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Next, let the butter simmer on medium-low for about 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and you will see the bubbles get smaller and the butter start to get clear.

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Once the butter is clear, the milk proteins will drop to the bottom and start to brown. Don’t let them burn! After you see a bit of brown on the bottom of your pan, turn off the heat. You can let it cool slightly before straining, or strain right away. Strain the ghee through the cheese cloth and strainer into your bowl. You may have to repeat if too much foam or any brown particles get through.

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Finally, pour your ghee into your jar and smell that beautiful buttery scent. (Your kitchen will smell amazing.) Seal with an air tight lid. It can be stored on the counter or pantry since the milk has been removed. If you won’t be using it quickly go ahead and store it in the fridge.

Finished Ghee

 

Enjoy! You can use the ghee as you would any cooking oil. I like it for sautéing vegetables for breakfast.

Making ghee is really very simple. It is easy to do even if you have other kitchen projects going on. (Like dishes. I always have dishes.) It is also very cost effective. Butter is inexpensive compared to other cooking fats like coconut oil and is much better for you than refined vegetable oils. Win-win!

If you like butter, share this with your friends!

 

This post was shared on these blogs.


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Best Roast Ever

Making a roast can be a hit or miss as far as tenderness and flavor go. I finally found the most amazing combination of flavors to make the best roast ever!! It literally melted it was so good. I do apologize for the lack of photo. That’s like a recipe blogging crime, but I didn’t get a photo and it’s all gone now. So just imagine a delicious hunk of meat smothered in tasty spices and melting in your mouth. Yum!

Best Roast Ever

adapted from Melissa Joulwan’s BBQ Beef “Waffle” Sandwich recipe found in Well Fed 2

1 TBSP paprika

1/2 TBSP garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard powder

dash of cayenne pepper

2 lb beef roast (doesn’t matter what kind)

3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

2 TBSP soy sauce or coconut aminos

In a small bowel mix up the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, dry mustard and cayenne. Place your roast in a crock pot and rub the spices on all sides. Drizzle the ACV and soy sauce on the meat. Turn the crock pot on high for 4-5 hours. When the meat is falling apart and meltingly delicious it’s all done!

We paired ours with some steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes. It was delicious! I will be making this again soon. And it was incredibly easy. As long as I can remember to thaw the meat and get it in the crock pot early enough, dinner is ready to go! Enjoy!

Thursday’s Thoughts – Dinner Fail

Last night’s dinner was a huge failure.  I didn’t burn anything, or forget any major ingredients. But it was inedible.

Hubby and I will eat anything. There isn’t anything he doesn’t like, except for cottage cheese and cilantro. I don’t have any issues with any foods any more. I used to not like mushrooms or olives. But it’s strange how being a real foodie will change things.

The presentation of our meal was delicious. We had our roasted chicken fresh off the farm, a purple cabbage dish, and yellow summer squash. A typical paleo-esque meal for the Robertsons. There was plenty of color and it looked beautiful. The chicken tasted great. I was surprised how tender it was. I wasn’t surprise how little meat was on it. Since it wasn’t a meat chicken and it was a rooster I didn’t expect to get much from it. We ate almost all of it and Bella finished it off. (Sans bones so she wouldn’t choke. Plus the bones went to the stock pot.)

Purple cabbage. A lovely color to a lovely food. There are a few different things to do with purple cabbage. I utilized the search function on Pinterest and found some tasty ideas. The recipe I chose sounded really good. Onions, apples, purple cabbage and some spices. The issue was in the spices. The main one was caraway. It’s something I’ve used maybe once and didn’t really remember. There isn’t much smell to it in the jar and it looks like little seeds. Well, once it braised in the dish, it turned against us. The smell was odd, and I attributed it to the cabbage, since I know it can smell strong when cooked. I served it up on our plates and one bite later, I knew it was no good. And it was definitely the caraway.

I never rarely throw food away. A good thing I learned back in the day from my mother. Save food = save money. Unfortunately neither of us could handle the caraway infested cabbage dish. It had onions in it so I couldn’t try to pawn it off to the dog. We ate as much as we could and away it went.

The second dish that joined the purple cabbage in the trash was yellow summer squash. Now, you must know that I generally eat summer squash. I don’t have an issue with it when it is sautéed with a little onion and olive oil with salt and pepper. Well I tried to be fancy and added a few spices to mix it up. Chili powder and paprika. I know the chili powder wasn’t the issue. I’ve used it before on yellow squash and it has been fine. The problem was the paprika. This last time around when purchasing the paprika, I found out when I got home that I got smoked paprika. It actually smells really good and was tasty when I’ve used it in other dishes. Unfortunately it did not mesh well with yellow squash and chili powder. It was barely palatable as well. Sadness.

I’ve recently been saying that “it’s all about the spices” and I found that to be true even in the negative. The spices you put in a dish can make or break it. Fortunately so far, I’ve only had one evening of “broken” dishes. I honestly didn’t feel too terrible about the situation. In the four years we’ve  been married, this was the first meal that I’ve had to throw out. I’d call that a fairly high rate of success. Hopefully I’ll keep the good meals cooking for a while yet.

Spring Challenge

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Greetings! As I was perusing my favorite food and nutrition blogs I found this little gem: 7 Day Real Food Challenge. What is it you ask? It’s a perfectly timed challenge to introduce you to Real Food eating. If you’ve heard of Real Food or the Whole 30 and have been wary at attempting the change or a month’s commitment, this is your answer. Click on the link above to check out the details of how this work. There is a free eBook that goes with the challenge if you sign up. And a bunch of prizes in a giveaway.

I’m joining the challenge! As I said on my post the other day, I have been indulging here and there. It’s time to tighten up the belts and stick to it. I’m actually really looking forward to it. I’ve been wanting to get back on some challenge for a while now. I seem to make better choices when I have a short time-frame goal to go after rather than a forever lifetime goal. I feel that I’ve completely transitioned to real food cooking, but there are the occasional conveniences that I need to shake. This sounds like it will be a good refresher to my Whole 30 ways.

I’ll share some meal ideas during that week and some tips that I’ve found helpful in real food preparation. There are so many creative things you can do with food! And the key is in the spices. You can make anything taste amazing with the right flavorings. Sauces are important too. The homemade mayo that I’ve shared is a staple to a real food kitchen.

I hope you will consider joining! If not for life at least for a week. You may be amazed at the results.

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the bloggers or sponsors involved in this challenge and giveaway. I just love to read about their awesomeness and to share the good food word with everyone I know.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

On this adventure of real food eating, I have learned that I do not handle wheat (gluten) or dairy very well. I can have it on occasion and it won’t ruin my day, but I may be a little uncomfortable for bit afterwards. (I won’t go into the sketchy details!) I have found that my tastes have changed greatly, as well. Sweet things that I used to like, such as brownies and ice cream, almost instantly give me a headache and stomach ache. The sugary deliciousness is just too much for me. There are sometimes that I do still want a sweet treat, but I don’t want the uncomfortable feelings or a headache. I try random “paleo” desserts and have had a few successes. But never so delicious as this:photo(1)

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies. I found the recipe on Delighted Momma. She has a bunch of grain-free, dairy-free recipes that I would like to try. And really delicious looking photos.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp of raw honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chips (these are dairy, nut, and soy free and taste delicious!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.
  2. Melt coconut oil and honey together in microwave until soft but not too runny.
  3. In a large bowl mix coconut oil and honey mixture with eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir until well mixed
  4. Next, add coconut flour, coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Mix until dough is formed. It should look like traditional cookie dough.
  5. Roll tablespoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Press down with your fingers or a fork to flatten them slightly so the cook evenly.
  6. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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These cookies are delicious! They even got my husbands approval and he was a bit skeptical when he first saw me pull out the ingredients. If you don’t like coconut as much as I do, you can leave the flakes out and still get an amazing cookie. The other coconut ingredients don’t give it a coconut flavor.

I must give a slight disclaimer to this recipe. Although all the ingredients are Paleo approved they are not Whole30 approved. Replicating common junk food items with “paleo” ingredients can still be as damaging to you as the actual junk. It’s psychological more than anything. And that’s another story all in itself. Setting those thoughts aside for the moment, enjoy your cookies! I did and I feel good.