Whole30 / Paleo Dump Ranch Dressing

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to Ranch Dressing … this IS IT!

Dairy Free.

Grain Free.

Sugar Free.

Gluten Free.

AND EASY

Whole30/Paleo Dump Ranch Dressing

It’s also Whole30 approved, just in case you were wondering!

Continue reading “Whole30 / Paleo Dump Ranch Dressing”

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General Tso Crockpot Style – Whole30/Paleo

When you got a long day in the office, it’s nice to come home to a home that smells like dinner is ready to be served …

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*It’s January and I know a lot of folks will be doing a Whole30 and this is perfect!*

Doing the Whole30 will sometimes make you feel like an outcast … it will be a little difficult to go out for dinner and drinks with friends, and forget the fast food or take out joints!

BUT … this might, just maybe, fill that void! Grab yourself a bag of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s (or any store now!) and you can almost call it a take out meal!

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Here’s what you need to make this yummy Whole30/Paleo dish that the whole family will be eating!

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces *I strongly recommend using thighs so you won’t have dried out chicken!

4 cups of stir fry veggies (frozen is fine, just check the ingredients to make sure no funky stuff added to “preserve”)

1.5 tsp of ginger

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1/4 c coconut aminos (most grocery stores are carrying this now!)

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

1/4 cup of green onions, sliced thin

salt and pepper to taste

GARLIC SAUCE by Coconut Secret

*If you see this in the store, grab it! It is SO good! Otherwise, grab the plain coconut aminos …

Add everything to the crockpot EXCEPT the frozen veggies and green onions and set on low for 5 to 6 hours. Don’t worry if it’s 8 hours, everything will be fine! *IF you are using chicken breast, I strongly recommend 6 hours TOPS as it will dry out and make you very sad when you go to eat.

About an hour before you are ready to serve, toss in your frozen veggies and put the lid back on. Walk away. Don’t do anything. Just. Leave. It. Be.

 

When you are ready to eat, heat up your riced cauliflower and dish the chicken and veggies over the top of the rice, garnish with the sliced green onions.

Pssst … might as well make yourself a batch of Unrolled Egg Rolls as well!

Easy Peasy, huh?

#Whole30  #Paleo  #Crockpot  #GeneralTso  #SlowCooker

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out! 

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

Here’s a much healthier version than Wendy’s Mandarin Chicken Salad!

*Who’s ready for a new year to start? I am … 2018 has just been way too much fun on so many levels, NOT!*

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Now that we are officially moved in to the #smallcondo it’s time to get back on a routine, don’t you think? All that eating out and food waste have really taken a toll on us and we need to get back on track … so here we go, ONE of my favorite salads!

I used to love to get the Mandarin Chicken Salad from Wendy’s back in the day … I thought I was being super healthy, you know?

Of course, that was before I learned about reading labels and such … amazing how something so “healthy” could be so very bad for you. Not to mention, they also discontinued this particular salad a while ago … so sad!

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When I came across this recipe back in 2015 I was so excited to give it a try … I was so glad I did! Talk about an awesome, flavorful salad … and even better, when I opted to make it at the last minute, I had EVERYTHING on hand so it fit the bill!

Here’s what you need:

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

head of lettuce (romaine) chopped in bite size pieces

1 red pepper, sliced and chopped in bite size pieces

1 large carrot, coarsely shredded

1/4 of a small red cabbage head, sliced thin

15 oz can of mandarin oranges, drained

4 green onions, sliced thin

1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

and then … the dressing:

1/3 c honey

3 tbs vinegar

2 tbs  mayo (bonus points if you make your own! Go ahead and try, it’s easy!)

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

Ready? Season your chicken with salt and pepper (and oh, what the heck, garlic POWDER if you have). Bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes or so, til cooked through. Remove and allow to cool. Once cool, go ahead and cut into bite size pieces. Alternatively, if you want to be “pretty” you can slice thinly but then you will still need to cut when you are eating, so I say, just cut into bite size pieces 😉

Add all the veggies, oranges and almonds to a large bowl. Top with the chicken.

Whisk the honey, vinegar, mayo, oil and salt in small bowl and drizzle over the salad.

Better yet, toss all in a canning jar, cap it tightly, and shake it like you mean it. THEN drizzle over the salad, toss to coat and serve up.

Enjoy!

#MandarinOrangeChickenSalad   #Paleo   #EatDinnerAtHome  #EatAtHome  #Salads

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Winter Blend Veggies

Looking for a quick, healthy side? This is it!

I try to eat veggies at all three meals. Generally, breakfast would consist of green beans, eggs and bacon or chicken apple sausage. That started back when I did my first Whole30 eons ago … and it was a habit that just stayed with me.

breakfast boxes meal prep eggs bacon green beans

Now that it’s winter time though, green beans are not really in season and quite honestly, frozen green beans cook up too mushy for my taste. I prefer they have some crunch still.

So lately, I’ve been grabbing frozen veggies from Aldi and Walmart …

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$1.09 at Aldi

$5.88 each Walmart

Walmart also carries a mix of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for $5.88 … and these are large bags. Hubby is not a fan of the carrots and I never was either until recently …

Anyways. Some people think I’m weird because I eat these veggies at breakfast. But I know that is my BEST time to get veggies into my day! And I have a super easy way for you to make these in the morning without a whole lot of fuss, promise!

Grab yourself a skillet.

Trader Joe’s Ghee $3.99 and Kelapo is around $8.99 (look in the oil and vinegar section)

Turn that heat to medium and add some ghee, avocado oil or what not. Not a lot, just a little bit to coat the bottom of pan. Personally, I use ghee as I think ghee is made for sauteing veggies!

Add the veggies, season with a little salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder mixture.

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Add a touch of water and put a lid on it. Keep the veggies over medium heat and check on them in about 5 minutes or so, giving a quick stir.

Once they are heated through and softened to your liking, go ahead and dish them up! I like mine firm but hubby likes his mushy so we have to split them up a little!

*If you’d like a little char to them, take the lid off and crank the heat to HIGH and let them cook for a minute or so, tossing them after the first minute. Keep an eye on them as they will overcook if you aren’t careful!

Enjoy!

#Whole30  #Paleo  #Vegetables

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Let’s Party #46

Hey! Are you all ready for the last party of 2018??

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

burgers beans broccoli cauliflower rice
A sign of things to come in 2019

I can’t believe the year is almost over. I’m glad … only because SO many things have happened: Marks diagnosis, we sold the house, we bought the condo, we moved not once but TWO times, we got rid of SO many personal belongings (of which I’m still struggling with some) and so on … thankfully Nolan showed up late 2017!

Mark has his 3rd dose of Taxol on Wednesday and then we host Nolan’s first birthday on Saturday … here’s hoping the stuff doesn’t kick his butt again by day 3 (which is SATURDAY) … this stuff is definitely making it’s side effects known.

Thank you to everyone who came by last week and this week to share your awesome project and great ideas! I still feel the need to pick up some needles and yarn and get crafty! 😉

What do you say? LET’S PARTY!

Cinnamon Rolls – a Christmas Tradition

The recipe originally comes from The Pioneer Woman … I was making them every year for about 5 years … of course, I had to count on my fingers and remember key events to get to that number of years … really, FOUR YEARS??  It’s been about another FOUR years since I’ve last made them and well, time to bring out the old recipe AND old pictures! Here you go with an old post from the other blog with a little update at the very end …

cinnamon roll iced

They aren’t hard to make either … I mean heck, if the Pioneer Woman is making them … you know that they are GOOD and EASIER than most recipes … gotta love that about anything!

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I started making these on Christmas Eve one year, and it just became something that everyone expected … and since I love that people LOVE when I make something for them, I’m always happy to bring out the flour and hop to the baking …

cinnamon dough on counter

I still have a HECK of a time getting rolled tight, but probably because I really really load them up with the filling. Which is what makes them so good, I think.

cinnamon roll filling.jpg

I also use brown sugar instead of white … so there’s my one noticeable difference in the recipe…give yourself 2 days to make these as you can toss the dough in the fridge overnight and roll and bake the morning of.

Cinnamon Buns … my version:

2 cups of milk (I use 2%)

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup of white sugar

1 pkg yeast

4 cups plus 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder (make this heaping)

1/2 tsp baking soda (make this ‘scant’)

1/2 tbs salt (heaping)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

cinnamon

Ready? Get yourself a big pot and add the milk, oil, sugar. Give it a quick whisk and scald the milk … this is just BEFORE it starts boiling. Make sure the pot is big because it will bubble like mad AND you are going to mix the flour in too.

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Once it is scalding go ahead and remove from the heat and let it sit for an hour or so til it cools down some (lukewarm to warm but NOT hot).

Sprinkle the yeast over top of and let that sit for a minute while it does it’s foamy action.

Add in your 4 cups of flour. It’s going to be a wet soggy mess, but that’s ok. Put a lid on it and let it rest for an hour on your countertop.

Add the 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and baking soda AND the salt. Stir together. At this time, I would recommend you put in the fridge. It may grow overnight, just punch it down and tell it who’s the boss. Personally, I would highly recommend you do the overnight thing. The dough will become much more manageable once it’s cool like that. OR you can proceed to finishing them NOW.

::next morning::

Hello and good morning my baby

(ummm, surely you talk to your food when excited?).

Sprinkle your countertop surface with some flour. Dump the dough out in the middle of all the flour and roll out into a rectangle (now, mind you, it does not need to be perfect).

cinnamon roll rollout.jpg

Take your soft butter and rub it over the surface of the dough. Um, yes, I do use my hands because it’s quicker and easier… then sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then the cinnamon. I don’t measure the cinnamon, I just eyeball it, but I’m pretty generous with it.

Roll the rectangle up. I have no easy recommendations on this, except if you have a bench scraper, use that to assist you where the dough might stick a little. I still struggle with a TIGHT roll, but it’s sufficient.

Once rolled, pinch the seam as much as you can. Cut into 1 inch sections (using the bench scraper, knife, non-waxed floss, etc.).

Place these is a dish that you’ve sprayed with non stick spray. *For gift giving, I highly recommend picking up those little disposable pie tins!

Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees til light brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

Pull out, and top with glaze. I’ve made it with powdered sugar and milk with a pinch of vanilla. But I prefer to use canned cream cheese frosting that I’ve diluted (to make pourable) with milk. I just dump the frosting in a bowl, add a little milk, whisk, add more milk (a little), whisk until it’s runny enough.

Enjoy!

*This makes a TON of cinnamon rolls and you can easily cut the recipe in half! If you don’t want a bunch of sweets taunting you this year, by all means, halve the recipe!

cinnamon roll eat

*The last time I made these, I was an emotional, hot mess as my neighbor had requested them after she had gone through some chemotherapy … it took her all day to eat one but she ate it and called me to bring another for the following day. I’m hoping these put Mark and the kids all in a happy place. I’m also sharing with my NEW neighbors to open the door for friendship!

#FoodGifts  #ChristmasTraditions  #CinnamonRolls

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Creamy Potato Soup – Crockpot Style!

Comfort food straight from the crockpot!

Soups on! It’s getting chilly and well, I just love comfort food!

Even though it’s the weekend before Christmas and we should all be rushing around to finish all that shopping/decorating/stressing, I’m opting to make soup! Is it Christmas-y? No, not really … but it does make me happy so it is what it is!

Now, THIS soup is yummy and I get really excited when I’m making it … its just a little bowl of pure comfort food to me … yummmy ….

The last time I made this, about a YEAR ago (!), I switched it up a little and used the refrigerated steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes …. and I highly recommend you do it this way as it’s really the BEST!

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Another thing I have to point out: toppings. I love toppings, but then again, I love a loaded baked potato … so that’s how you need to look at it. Do you like bacon, cheese, green onions on your baked potato? Then, by all means, add those to your cup of soup. Otherwise, eat it naked and make feel a little healthier for doing so 😉

Simply Potatoes Steakhouse Cut.jpg

So…enough with the ramble … lets get cooking!!

2 bags (20 oz each) of steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes (or you can use frozen potatoes)
2 cartons (32 oz) of chicken stock
1 can cream o’ chicken soup
1/2 onion, chopped fine OR a real generous shake of the dehydrated onions
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese … do not use fat free as it will not melt down

As with ALL crockpot meals, just dump everything in the crockpot except the cream cheese. Give a little stir, put the lid on and set it to high for 6 hours or 8 hours on low (your choice).

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After the time has gone by … take the lid off, cut up the cream cheese into cubes and toss those in the crock pot. Add the lid back on and walk away for an hour or so, til the cheese has melted.

Because I like my soup creamy, I grab the immersion blender and go to town making the soup nice and smooth. If you prefer, leave it chunky. It’s up to you and I won’t judge! 🙂

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IF the soup is too thick, you can add a little water, chicken broth or milk to thin out a little.

Dish up, add your toppings if using, and dig in to this little bowl of comfort … enjoy!

#Soup  #EatDinnerAtHome  #ComfortFood  #Crockpot  #PotatoSoup

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

 Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

New England Clam Chowder

It has been a while since we’ve made soup … especially this yummy, super easy New England Clam Chowder … 

New England Clam Chowder.JPG

As you know, New England style is creamy … Manhattan is red and chunky. And if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you probably picked up that Mark HATES chunky tomatoes in cooked dishes. For someone who is a big fan of food, he certainly can be picky at times 😉

Just for the record, I was set NOT to like this … I mean, all the ingredients were pretty much processed and well, I generally try to avoid that stuff … but, hell, it was  a Saturday night, smelled good, he made some lovely ciabatta bread and it was to die for …

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Yes, it is a little indulgent and I would suggest you not make it every day. But please, whatever you do, give it at least ONE shot … I think you’ll be glad you did!

Here’s what you need:

7 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled (save the bacon grease in skillet)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cans of baby clams

5 to 7 potatoes, cubed *see note below*

1 1/2 cans of cream of celery soup

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 tsp dry dill

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Make life a little easier and give it a whirl in the food processor

Cook onion in the bacon grease until translucent and soft.  Add the juice from the clams (set clams aside) and the potatoes to the pan and cook til the taters are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

clams.JPG

Add the balance of the ingredients, stir and let simmer 45 minutes or so until thick. Add the clams towards the end.

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Dish up into some pretty bowls, top with a little more bacon bits if you have … ENJOY!

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*We made a double batch as we had some friends coming over, so used a WHOLE pound of bacon and double the balance of the ingredients. I’m sure Mark did some other things to it to season it up as he does NOT follow recipes super well :-). We also used CANNED POTATOES that were in the pantry as I didn’t have any in the pantry or fridge. Mark said he’d do it that way again as it was a heck of a lot better than peeling and dicing!

#Soup   #NewEnglandClamChowder  #EatDinnerAtHome

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!

 Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Let’s Party #45

Hey hey, who is ready to Party!!??

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Oh my gosh … Christmas is in ONE week! Are you ready?? I’ll be honest, we are keeping it VERY low profile … between the move and clearing out the old house, the condo project, the delay in furniture delivery and of course, the chemo treatments … we are just not going to add any more stress to the day …

Randi, Matt and Baby Nolan will be coming over on Friday and I believe head back on Monday (not 100% sure on the departure date) so we will have a mini Christmas get together over the weekend … I don’t have a whole lot of gifts to give but do have a gigantic deer from Cracker Barrel for Nolan … and the kids will just get cash to splurge on something for themselves …

Update on Mark and Taxol treatments … they suck. They make him nauseated, to the point where he is taking his pukey pills consistently … they also cause gastronal issues (ahem) and he feels like he is constantly fighting the flu … feels like he “fell down a flight of stairs” …

With that … we really should get on to the Party! Thank you to all who stopped in last week and shared!

Let’s Party!