Clean Eating, Dessert

Cassava Flour Mug Cakes

I am a sucker for a great mug cake. Usually I make them with almond flour and/or coconut flour, but I wanted to try something different. My oldest child’s birthday is coming up in October so wanted to try a new version of a mug cake.

I have an awful sweet tooth so when it comes to making desserts in the house I try not to make a lot as I would go to town on it! So mug cakes are amazing for portion control. I spit them in half or even into thirds. Now I don’t have to worry about extra cake/dessert laying around the house.

This mug cake is a definite winner in my household. Plus I can make it nut-free by substituting in sunflower seed butter. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Whisk egg, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup together in mug.img_0751
  2. Whisk in chocolate coconut peanut butter img_0755
  3. Add in baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in Cassava Flour. Mixed until combined IMG_0310
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.img_0748
  6. Microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds (depending on your microwave)img_0753

Eat it plain…Top it with fruit…Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream!

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Clean Eating, Menu Planning, snacks

Weekly Menu for May 21-27

It is that time again to plan for weekly meals and grocery shop. Right now my meal plans are running Saturday thru Friday with the following Saturday being my grocery shopping day and meal prep. It worked out perfect for me this week!

I have been dedicating myself to a new goal of waking up early (5am) and getting my workout in and daily prayer. So far it has been a great goal for me. I am enjoying my workouts with the hubby as well as some time to spend in prayer before the day gets busy. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the ability to dive into my day. It has helped with my sleep quality too. The weekends are no different. I was up and ready to go. I did my menu planning the day before so I just had to plug in my groceries into my Wunderlist App and away I went. If you haven’t check out this app yet you really should!

I took one of my older daughters with me this morning. She was a great helper. I really enjoy getting my kiddos involved in planning, shopping, preparing of our food. We rocked it; 3 stores in 2 1/2 hours! Really shorter than that since Trader Joes is at about 30 minutes in just driving one way. Van full of great clean, wholesome food! Oh and plus couldn’t forget the Traeger pellets so we can smoke the brisket we picked up.  IMG_0456

We unloaded the van when we got home, grabbed a quick snack and got to work. Here is our menu for the week.Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 11.17.31 PM

My older girls were in charge of preparing and making all snacks. This menu that included Mini Banana Muffins, Jello (Against All Grain), Sunbutter Balls, and Chocolate Avocado Pudding (Delighted Momma). I included the links for the recipes I use.

There you have it, happy menu planning or feel free to use mine! I am ready to get this week start. Remember keep it simple…Keep it clean.

Product Reviews

Review of Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour

One of Rob’s favorite filipino dishes is Sio Pao. We have not enjoyed these in over 4 years. Sio Pao is a filipino dish which means steamed buns. The fillings for Sio Pao can be endless. We like them usually with Pork Adobo, hard boiled egg and onions. I have also made them as a breakfast option with bacon and eggs. One things I learned about myself as I have been testing this recipe round and round is I don’t have the patience of a baker. I love to cook, but baking is a different story! I honestly thought it can’t be that hard. Then again I haven’t baked much since going gluten-free/paleo.

When I was given the opportunity to try out Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour, I knew just what I wanted to bake/steam. You guessed it, Sio Pao! Cassava, or Yuca, is a root vegetable. According to Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour differs from others on the market because

“Otto’s Cassava Flour is thoroughly peeled, dried, and ground into wonderfully consistent, delicious flour that you can count on cup after cup. “

Otto’s Cassava Flour is said to be equivalent to using wheat flour 1:1 in most cases. It is also gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, and paleo certified. Finally a win for me when baking/cooking kiddos lunches that need to be nut-free. We are a peanut free household since my daughter is allergic to peanuts. Baking with this has brought back many memories of cooking with traditional flours. Even the smell and texture reminds me of traditional baking flours.

When working with this flour, for me, I noticed I needed a little more liquid. That is honestly the only problem I ran into. Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour is seriously a game changer. You will not be disappointed. Sticker price may be a shocker to some. When I  really when I look at it, I spend more money per pound on almond flour then I would on this flour. So if I had to choose, this would be my first pick. I feel I can get more use out of this flour then out of the almond flour.

That being said, I tried some amazing recipes. First one was tortilla wraps from Fork & Beans. You can find the recipe here.IMG_0161

Also Otto’s NY Style Pizza crust by Alana on her website Planks, Love & Guacamole. You can find the recipe here. Paleo, gluten-free pizza never tasted so good! We made ours on the Traeger and it turned out AMAZING.

 

I then made my own Paleo Banana Pancakes using Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. You can find the recipe on this blog here.IMG_0320

Used the Cassava Flour also in my Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry. You can find the recipe on my blog here.

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Finally our favorite dish Sio Pao was born. This really brought back memories and was delicious as ever. Tasted just like the original Sio Pao I remember! You can find the recipe on my blog here.IMG_0435

I am hooked! So much so that I purchased the 5lb bag they just came out with.IMG_0310

I was also truly impressed with their outstanding customer service and quick deliveries. They also offer free shipping on all domestic orders on there website currently (no code needed). So what are you waiting for? Go grab a bag and get to cooking!

 

Clean Eating, Product Reviews

When life throws you a curve ball…

This was not my day today. I have been up since 3:30 this morning because the twins didn’t sleep well. They both climbed into bed with Rob and I and it was a toss and turning match. Usually Charlotte will head back to her bed, but not last night and that is ok. I love the snuggle times and sometimes giving up sleep is what I have to do. So I rubbed some backs tried to comfort them and find another spot on the bed to sleep. It was not happening, restless/sleepless night.

So I got out of bed and chatted with my best friend this morning for a little bit, thanks to daylight savings time and she being 3 hours ahead of me. Then it was off to Yoga at 5am. It was a leave it all on the mat kind of day, tears and all. Afterwards I felt refreshed and ready to conquer the morning. It was constantly on the go today. Making breakfast, snacks, and lunches. Getting the kiddos off to school and then heading out the door for me. I had church group with the younger 2 and then off to school. Been dealing with some developmental issues with Q so today was his more in depth screening, and trying to get the assistance he needs to keep progressing forward. I have been so thankful for the group of ladies I was working with before I moved, so I’m hoping we will have the same thing going forward!

After running around all day it was arriving home just in time for lunch. Throw a quick lunch together and tried picking up the house. The twins are at that stage where it is hit and miss with afternoon naps. If they take a nap they don’t fall asleep at night until 10pm, if they stay up they are bears by about 6pm. So it is a take a nap every couple of days. Today was not one of those. We laid down for some quite time, but no falling asleep today. So after about an hour it was letting them play while I tried again to get stuff done around the house.

Before I knew it, it was 3pm and the older kiddos would be arriving home soon. So it was getting snacks ready to go. They walked through the door, unpacked, and started snacking away. I called out to start homework and tried to get as much done before our music concert tonight. Then out the door again for the concert. By now I am exhausted. We still had homework to finish up and dinner to make. Oy, I don’t know how much I have left in me. Plus Rob still has some work to be done tonight. So I threw in the towel! Hit the store and grabbed some pizza. I had some chicken left but wasn’t in the mood to do anything more. Kiddos still needing my attention and homework needing to get done, I sacrificed and did what I needed.

So this isn’t something we do often, but it is nice to know that there are options available if needed. If I get pizza, Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza is the brand I prefer.IMG_0265

According to Against the Grain:

It is a made with uncured pepperoni and made in a dedicated gluten free facility. There products contain no gluten, wheat, corn, soy, rice, peanuts, or tree nuts! There is no preservatives, dough conditioners, gums, or flavor enhancers ever used in any of there products. Made with real food and real ingredients. The milk comes from a local family farm that bottles the milk shortly before they receive it. The eggs are delivered directly to them from a local family farm as well. The cheese they use has no anti-caking agents and is natamyci-free. 

Really this beats any fast food joint people will run to when they are in a bind. So know there are things you can make when you are in a bind. There are companies that are really looking out for the good of the people. There are farmers that still care how there farms are ran.

So when life throws you a curve ball, know there are options available.

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Clean Eating, snacks

Kid Friendly Snacks 1…2…3

I don’t know about you, but my kiddos seem to be snacking all day long. I keep fruits and veggies around so they can snack on those as they feel the need. I also schedule snacks during the day. Once in the morning and then again after school.

Yesterday’s menu called for my version of ants on a log and mixed nuts. Celery was already pre-cut. I like to wash and pre-cut my celery once I get home from the store. Doing that makes it easier to snack on during the day, or I can grab some and chop them up for a dish I am making. I snagged some out of the fridge and added some sunbutter. You can use an

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Ants on log-coconut style. Paleo friendly

y kind of nut butter if you prefer. Then I topped them with raisins and shredded coconut. Served them up on a plate and let them have at it. They were gobbling them up before I even got a picture of them!  Just another way to change things up. I also like adding these to their snack buckets at school. Easy peasy.

 

Onto the mixed nuts. We haven’t made candied walnuts in awhile so we decided to make those instead. These are also a great alternative on top of salads. I love my cast irons and do a lot of my cooking in them currently. I have some ceramic cookware on my wish list that I want to replace all my other cookware with except my cast irons which I will always hold on to.

Warm up your cast iron to med-high heat. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. I really stink at measuring, but add about a cup or more of walnuts or other nut of your choosing. Basically line the bottom of th

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Caramelized in cast iron pan. Paleo friendly

e pan in a single layer with walnuts. Pour in approximately 1/4 cup of grade B pure maple syrup, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon (or more to your taste) of cinnamon. Keep stirring until it’s caramelized.

 

Once it has caramelized dish onto the parchment paper and let cool. Eat some up and store the rest in an airtight container.

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Line on parchment paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third snack I am sharing today is from Against All Grain. When I first started changing up our diets I turned to her website and books to help me along. She helped making the transition for me easier. She is very knowledgeable and you can read more about her story here. I enjoy making her Jello for the kiddos using Great Lakes Gelatin. It is a grass-fed unflavored gelatin which can help support joints as well as healthy skin, hair, and nails. You can find her 2 ingredient recipe here. Quick and easy to make, and a family favorite. You won’t be disappointed! As you can tell by my son’s face he can’t wait to dive in. You can even throw in some fruit into it to if you like. Personally I don’t like fruit in my jello, just a texture thing so I don’t add it to ours.  I served the jello along with crunchy rice rollers topped with sunbutter. These both are great to send for school snack.

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Against All Grain Jello-paleo friendly. Crunchy Rice Rolls and sunbutter

I hope you enjoy these snacks as much as my family does. Keep it simple and clean. Now I am going to go and enjoy the chaos of some hide-and-seek with my family, and listen to the beautiful noise of the rain outside.

 

Clean Eating, Menu Planning

Oh the Menu Planning

So I have been attempting to menu plan for the last 2 days now. It is 9:30pm on a Friday night and I finally got it done. Planning out a menu for the week is vital to my sanity. With 7 mouths to feed, and crazy schedules I could’t imagine trying to figure out meals on top of it each day. I think I would lose my mind. So in comes my handy-dandy IMG_0092white board. I was hoping today at nap time I would get this board filled in and grocery list made on Wunderlist. One child napped and one didn’t so my board was still empty when the rest of the kiddos came home from school today. If you have kiddos you know how the routine goes. Walk through the door and they have the stories from the day to tell! Plus can’t forget to have the snack ready because by golly they are “starving” and can’t function until they have something to snack on. So it is snack and stories at the table. Believe me there are times when I just want to finish what I am doing, but I try my best to let that go and give them my full attention when they walk through the door. I do miss them and want to hear all about the exciting or not so exciting day they had.

So after dinner it was back to the drawing board. I love getting my kiddos input of what they want for the week so I take suggestions, and a lot of them usually make it somewhere in the week. I have recently started keeping my menus in a spreadsheet. This way it gives me ideas to fall back on when I can’t think what I want to make, or if I want to have something (such as the eggplant dip) that I haven’t had in a long time. I do my best to keep my menu simple. There are times where we will have the same thing for breakfast all week long, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Most days what we have fIMG_0093or dinner is for lunch the following day. Therefore, we eliminate food waste and leftovers get eaten up; plus it makes putting lunches together a breeze. My board then hangs up inside my pantry door. This way every one knows what is on the menu that day. Furthermore, the older girls like to help throw lunches together once they are ready for the morning. Having the menu visible makes it easy for them to gather the food for their lunchbots. So this is our menu for the first 5 days. At the bottom of the board I added food I know I am getting that is on sale, and food that I need to prep for snacks during the week.

When we first made diet changes 4 years ago some of the food on here my kiddos would not have touched. But 4 years of steady clean eating meals, it is normal every day food for them. So if you are making diet changes, especially with your kiddos be patient and stay consistent. You will also eventually get in a grove and figure what works best for you and your family. Keep it simple, and don’t over do it. Maybe only try 1 new recipe a week or every 2 weeks. Take some of your family favorites and tweak them with healthier alternatives. Keep your proteins simple. Try to use similar proteins during the week so you are not buying multiple  cuts of meat.  This is one key point I have to remember because buying 5 different types of key proteins a week can make it harder to prep or even more expensive.  Keep coming back this week to my blog, as I will be sharing some of these recipes! If you would like a copy of this menu comment below and I will send it to you.  Happy Menu Planning!IMG_0095

Clean Eating, School Lunches

School Lunch

Happy Tuesday!  Lunches are packed and ready to go. My 3 elementary kiddos enjoy helping pack their lunch every morning. Today they will have celery, blueberries, hotdogs, and a sunbutter ball.  Recipe for the sunbutter balls I will be sharing soon.  They are one of my favorites to make.IMG_0002

When packing hotdogs in their lunches, I send a toothpick for them to use instead of sending utensils.  Easier and one less thing I have to wash in the evening. We enjoy using Lunchbots for their lunch tins and silicone muffin tin liners to separate their food in the tins.  I have linked to the items we use.

A healthy lunch, clean eating lunch is important to keep them fueled throughout the day. When looking at hotdogs, I typically go with Applegate Farms turkey or beef hotdogs.  Every once in awhile I will get Trader Joes all beef uncured beef hotdogs as another option. Find hotdogs that are uncured and without fillers in them. Applegate hotdogs you can get organic, and are made from quality meats with no added nitrates or chemical preservatives.  They are also casein free, dairy free, gluten free, and sugar free. These are reason why I will spend the extra dollars to buy Applegate hotdogs. What we put into our bodies is important to our over well-being.