Food Friday – Week 3 Paleo Update & Dehydrated Spinach

The Paleo Diet is still pretty east to stick to.  I weighed myself at the Y and I am down to 201lbs.  This is exciting for me because when I started my weight loss journey I was 221lbs on October 23, 2013.   So, in 7 months I have lost a total of 20lbs.  Most of which has fluctuated over the last few months as I was trying to get into a routine that works for us.  With the slow weight loss that means I have a better chance at keeping the weight off.  The new diet is working well, increasing my energy and I have slept better at night.  Well, on the nights my 2 year old doesn’t wake with bad dreams.

On our menu this week was Dehydrated Spinach.  It is one of the very few solids he would eat.  It doesn’t dehydrate nearly as good as Kale but tastes very yummy.


Food Friday – Paleo Diet week 2

I have been on the paleo diet for 2 weeks and have so much natural energy it still amazes me.  I feel like dinner planning is so much easier having a basic plan.  It is also easier to keep sweets and bad carbs out of our diet when there are so many delicious substitutes.  Last weekend a group of friends got together and we celebrated our children’s 2nd birthdays with a pot luck picnic.  Quite a few of us are now doing the paleo diet so it was interesting to see the things everyone brought.  My favorite were the mock chocolate chip cookies.  they melted in my mouth having the texture of a soft peanut butter cookie.  DELICIOUS!!  I found a similar recipe to try.

My attempt is well, very good for a first try. I added my own twist to it.  I used the recipe from Fast Paleo as my base.



  • 3 1/4 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).  Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat, parchment paper or aluminum foil.  In a large bowl combine 3  1/4 cups of almond flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda.  In a medium bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract, 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup of honey.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients then add 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.  Spoon them onto the lined pan and put them in the oven.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes (the tops will start to get golden brown). If they go longer than that the bottoms burn because of the sugar in the honey.
Should make between 18-24 cookies depending on size.

Food Friday – Paleo check in week 1 complete

We are officially one week into our Paleo Venture and it has been an exciting week.  Carb cravings weren’t too bad but the sugar cravings were a little more noticeable.  I have cut my caffeine as well.  I learned some interesting things…

I thought with a reduced amount of caffeine  intake I would be tired and sluggish…  NOPE, full of energy. WIN

I didn’t know the difference between grass-fed Angus Beef or grass-fed “regular” Beef.. Main difference to me was Angus ground beef only had 1 Tbsp of fat when I made meatloaf and it didn’t shrink in the pan.  I hate the grease from meat, I never know what to do with it.  The Angus Beef was moist and had a smooth texture.  WIN and WIN

Shopping the first couple times has been a long process because I have to read everything.  I also notice just because a package meat says “organic” doesn’t mean it is grass-fed.  Is there really a difference?  Yes, after only 1 week of meal prep and cooking with grass-fed meats I have noticed they are all less fatty.  The chicken breast was a bit on the dry side but that can be fixed next time by changing the preparation technique.

Over all I am happy to report that I feel better over all and have more energy than I did before the diet adjustments.  My 2 year old will eat all the Kale Chips if I don’t give him his own bowl.  We are off to a good start and it wasn’t that hard to do.

Food Friday – Paleo Diet – Day 1

Today we started our new diet plan.  Thanks to a couple of friends who have started it and have had great success even in as little as 3 days.  They are my inspiration!!  And thanks to the NOM NOM PALEO iPad app for the iPad for the mouth-watering recipes, best $5.99 I have spent on a cooking app yet.  The Nom Nom Paleo website is a wonderful resource tool as well.

Breakfast was a scrambled egg with bacon, garlic, and herb seasoning.

Lunch we had diced chicken and kale

Dinner was a delicious Salad with various greens, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, bacon and kale.  YUM YUM YUM…

It was a pretty easy day but I have been warned the carb cravings will kick in soon and to ignore them the best that I can.  Good thing is I keep thinking of the health benefits of having a low GI diet.  I have hopes that this diet will help my body not need the thyroid medication anymore.  I know it won’t happen over night but I sure am looking forward to a few weeks from now when I go back to the Dr for a check up.  In addition to the new diet we (my 2yr old & I) are working out at the YMCA 5 days a week.

Food Friday – Veggie Packed Meatloaf

With a picky toddler who will voluntarily eat only certain veggies I have started to get creative with how to mix them into meals I am making so they are nicely masked.  With the help of the moms in the mother’s group I am part of I have learned to be sneaky getting some veggies into my little fruititarian.

Veggie Packed Meatloaf


2.5 lbs of your choice of ground meat (I use the meatloaf mix/blend)
1 small can of spinach
1 small can of corn
1 large can of tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic (I used 2 Tbsp dehydrated minced garlic)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp chopped/minced dehydrated onion
A dash of cayenne pepper
2 large Eggs
1 cup Bread crumbs
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 jar/can of pasta sauce


1.  Pre-heat the oven to 325° F
2.  In a large bowl put in the meat and combine all the veggies and tomato paste.  Make sure to mix this well.
3.  in a smaller bowl combine the 2 eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, dehydrated onion, cayenne pepper, and the Worcestershire sauce.  Beat this mixture until it is well mixed.
4.  Add the egg mixture to the meat and knead together when it looks like it is mixed well add the breadcrumbs and knead until it is mixed well but don’t over mix.
5.  Lightly grease the pan you choose to use.  (I used a 9×13 cake pan)
6.  Add the meatloaf mixture and press down to make as flat of a surface as you can
7.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Then remove from the oven and and drain the grease as carefully as possible
8.  Pour pasta sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
9.  Put meatloaf back into the oven and bake for an additional 35 – 45 minutes.
10.  Check to make sure the internal temp is at least 155° F if it is then remove from oven and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to cool down a little.  Cut, serve and enjoy.

Food Friday – Easy Beans and Rice

Delicious Beans and Rice

1 can black beans
1 pouch of 10 minute boil in the bag rice
1 slice american cheese
powdered garlic
powdered onion
italian seasoning
chili powder
ground red pepper
black pepper
1/2 tsp cheddar cheese powder

In the water for the rice put a dash of each of the seasonings. (powdered garlic, powdered onion, italian seasoning, chili powder, ground red pepper, black pepper) and a pat of butter.

pour black beans into a strainer and heat them with the water used to boil the rice in.  and set a side for a moment.

open the pack of rice and dump it into the pan.  Add a pat of butter and a dash of each of the seasonings and about 1/2 teaspoon of the cheddar powder. mix together.  Add the black beans and a slice of american cheese and mix well.

it is ready to serve…  YUMM

Food Friday – Easy and Fast Chili

This is a quick and simple way to make chili in a hurry.
1 packet of chili mix
1 jar of salsa(what ever type/style you like, I use a large jar)
1 can beans(I use black beans)
1 small can tomato paste (Depending on how large a jar of salsa you use and how thick you like your chili)
1/2 lb cooked ground beef optional(I generally skip the ground beef)

Mix it in a pot simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve with cornbread, rice and/tortillas.

Food Friday – Veggie Brownies

Veggie Brownies – A healthy and delicious way to get veggies into those who don’t like them, wont eat them or into a stubborn toddler who refuses all green or orange food.

I used Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious Brownies recipe as a base for my brownies.  I made a few adjustments based on what I had in the house.  The recipe I am listing is my interpretation of Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe.  Because this recipe was so delicious I am going to buy her cookbook.  Next time I make these I am going to substitute Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for the margarine.

Yield: 16 small brownies

Non-stick cooking spray
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (you can use bittersweet chocolate)
1 Jar(4 oz) Baby food carrot purée
1 Jar(4 oz) Sweet Potatoes
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (you can use light brown sugar)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg white
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the chocolate. – I did it in the microwave in a glass bowl.  30 seconds on high take out and stir for 30 seconds put back in microwave for 30 seconds on high and stir for about 1 minute repeat process until all the chocolate is melted.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in egg white. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 16 pieces.

These brownies are only 100 calories per brownie.

Food Friday – Homemade Spicy Mustard

Cross-posted on MoMWoW.
I was out of mustard and I decided to experiment with the ground mustard seed I had sitting in my spice rack. I remembered when I was in college my mom telling me that I could make my own mustard out of mustard seed and vinegar. It was so easy to make and delicious. It tastes like a horseradish mustard. The key is to let it sit in the fridge for 24 – 48 hours before using it.

Dawn’s Spicy Mustard

4 Tbsp – Powdered Mustard Seed
4 Tbsp – White Vinegar
1/4 tsp – Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp – Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp – Onion Powder
1/4 tsp – Paprika Powder

blend everything together and place in a sealed jar. Put the jar in the fridge and it is ready to use in 24-48 hours. I add a little water to get the consistency I want.