I Love My Crock-Pot! Stew and a Whole Chicken

Saturday I made stew and yesterday I made a whole chicken in the crock-pot. It’s so easy cooking with a slow-cooker!

I made a different slightly different version of the stew I have posted before. Stew is so versatile, I think sometimes it would be hard to mess up!

Easy Saturday stew:

  • 2 packs stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup baby or diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups diced or small potatoes
  • 1 bottle of beer or 2 cups broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Italian seasonings
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Season meat with salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – sear meat before throwing in the slow-cooker
  • Mix beer or broth, tomato paste, and a generous shake of Italian seasonings in the slow-cooker.
  • Add diced vegetables and meat (if you don’t like you vegetables too soft, throw them in half-way through the cooking process)
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours
  • You can also assemble the meal all together and freeze in large zip-lock baggies

Yesterday I also made a slow-cooker whole chicken like THIS ONE. I didn’t have any lemon, so I seasoned it heavily with garlic and paprika and tossed it in with a little bit of butter.

After I pulled the chicken out of the slow-cooker, I added about 5 cups of water to juices left in the crock-pot, 1/2 onion, carrots, and celery and a bay leaf and let cook on low overnight. I then strained the mixture and put it in the fridge to use today in a chicken chili recipe I’m going to try!

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Whole30 – Week 2 of Paleo Eating

Seasoned hamburger without the bun

Saturday
Breakfast: Another smoothie
Lunch: sauteed sirloin with raw spinach with oil and vinegar
Dinner: Dinner at in-laws: Osso bucco with sweet potatoes, carrots, and mashed golden cauliflower.

Sunday:
Breakfast: Banana Nut muffins
Lunch: Leftover steak and spinach from yesterday’s lunch
Dinner: Dinner at parents: BBQ Lemon Chicken, mixed green salad, and grilled peppers and squash

Monday:
Breakfast: Smoothie
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Hamburger patty with guacamole, bacon, sweet potato chips, and salad

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Veggie Omelet
Lunch: Tuna, peppers, and spinach salad
Dinner: Halibut with garlic green beans

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Bacon and eggs over-easy
Lunch: Leftover fish and salad / tropical smoothie
Dinner: Tomato-beef soup and raw spinach with oil and vinegar

Thursday:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with kale and tomatoes
Lunch: dinner leftovers
Dinner: Beef Stew and green salad

Friday:
Breakfast: Bacon and fried eggs
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Out – Chipotle Restaurant

Snacks: Nuts, fruit, snap-peas, hard-boiled eggs, banana-nut muffins

Notes:

This week has been harder than last week. I am a little tired of cooking at home and I am really craving pizza or lasagna!

My husband is losing weight fast, though. He has lost about 10 pounds in 12 days. Yes, some of that is water weight and bloat, but he is looking and feeling better.

 

 

Find other whole food recipe and healthy alternatives at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday and Food Renegade Fight Back Friday!

 

Whole Foods, Primal, Paleo, WAPF – which lifestyle?

Around January or February I was told by someone specializing in fertility that I should cut out all processed grains since they are processed by high heat and are toxic to the body and to avoid white flour and sugar because there is no health benefit to consume them. On top of eliminating white flour, sugar, and processed grains, I was encouraged to add more eggs and cod liver oil in my diet, consume only whole dairy products and eat whole foods.

For several months now, we have been on a whole foods diet and I feel a lot better. Currently my ideal diet is free of processed grains, processed dairy, and processed food in general. I also prefer to cook with almond flour over any other grain flour. However, there have been plenty of cheat days and some weeks are better than others. My husband is slowly losing weight, but it seems like he is having quite a bit of stomach pains and various ailments.

We are becoming more and more interested in the Primal diet and lifestyle and we are considering taking the jump by starting off with The Whole30. The Whole30 is a strict, no cheating, dairy-free, grain-free, legume-free diet designed to allow the body to heal from inflammatory foods. Once you are done cleaning out your body from inflammatory foods, you can gradually add in some dairy. I don’t think I am anti-dairy, but it would be good to know if either my husband or I might be intolerant or sensitive to it; if not, we can gradually add in butter and raw milk and yogurt and see how it goes.

I’ve been following more of the Weston A Price diet – Sprouted grains and soaked legumes, animals and animal fats, vegetables and fruits, with an encouraged emphasis on fermented foods (which I’ve only been consuming kombucha…), but I am starting to cut all grains out of my diet. I feel better without grains – lighter, less bloated, happier.

I’ve looked into Paleo vs Primal and Primal seems the way to go. Paleo suggests lean meats and limiting egg consumptions – which doesn’t make sense to me since you are already limiting so many foods and cavemen definitely ate dark meat! There are different leaders of the Paleo movement that aren’t as strict, but from what I have read, Primal is a bit more gentle; allowing any meat, and some sweet potatoes and tubers. Primal also allows more non-processed dairy and includes more advice on exercise and lifestyle. Mark Sisson, one of the leaders of the Primal Movement has an interesting blog post on Paleo vs Primal. And if you are a WAPF fan, they gave Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint, a thumbs up and many of the Paleo books thumbs down.

Saturday we are throwing a big party and my husband is a big fan of good beer, and we are all fan of cupcakes, so that will be our last hurrah as we start the Whole30 challenge come Monday. Hopefully I will be able to kick my sugar-cravings without hurting anyone! In order to not cheat AT ALL, we will definitely need to keep our kitchen stocked and snacks prepared. I will keep you updated on my progress!

What is your opinion on these lifestyles/diets?

 

 

 

 

Dinner Menu for a Week

What's for dinner?

This Post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

While I don’t always enjoy grocery shopping, I do enjoy meal planning. I meal plan for two weeks at a time (hello paycheck). I love Excel, I love making lists, and I enjoy being organized so before I do my grocery shopping, meal plans are a must for me. Having a plan and a stocked house makes it easier for us to eat at home and to eat healthier as well.

Most of our produce comes from our CSA box. For the season, we can expect potatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, berries and pit fruit. We have also had beets, radishes, melon, and chard. Having a CSA box supports the local organic farming community and helps us eat seasonally.

Most of the food we buy at the grocery store is animal products and other proteins. We buy grass fed beef and chicken, wild caught fish, organic nuts and nut butters, organic eggs from chickens that are free range and grass fed, and whole milk dairy products that are local and organic (and although not raw, they are not ultra-pasteurized or homogenized). We always try and buy seasonal, local, and organic whenever possible, even if that means we drive a little farther to do so or grocery shop at more than one location.

Usually the only produce I buy that isn’t from California is bananas (because we don’t have them here!). And I love bananas. I eat them in smoothies quite often. Otherwise we buy produce from the farmers market or organic produce from CA at the grocery store, if we need more than what came in our CSA box.

Breakfast and Snacks:
I don’t plan out breakfast or lunch. My husband usually takes leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day, so we don’t usually have to worry about buying additional lunch foods, maybe just snacks. For breakfast we usually some sort of egg (omelet, eggs with tortillas and salsa, etc), with bacon or sprouted grain toast, steel cut oatmeal, yogurt with fruit and granola, peanut butter and banana smoothies, fruit smoothies, or nuts and fruit. Click HERE for other ideas. Snacks include nuts, cucumber slices, vegetables and hummus, and fruit.

Dinner Plan:
Friday: Sirloin steak with peppers, onions, and potatoes
Saturday: BBQ with the in-laws (Chicken-legs, tri-tip, fruit salad, vegetable skewers, tomato salad)
Sunday: Grilled lemon-pepper white fish with corn, peppers, squash, and onions
Monday: Vegetable Pizza with salad
Tuesday: Roasted Chicken with root vegetables
Wednesday: Leftover chicken tacos with sprouted corn tortillas, cabbage, salsa, sour cream, avocado and black bean salad
Thursday: Garlic-pepper pork tenderloin with garlic squash and green salad

Ingredient List:
Sirloin steak
Chicken Legs
Fish (you pick! We usually get some sort of white fish)
Whole chicken
Pork tenderloin
Pizza crust
Corn tortillas
salsa
sour cream
black beans
kidney beans
Oil and vinegar for salad dressing
Salad fixings – cooked beets, nuts, cheese
lemon
garlic
Cheese for pizza (we use raw cheddar and Parmesan)
Seasonings – pepper, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, chili powder, paprika, etc.
Olive, palm, or coconut oil to cook with
CSA veggies:
Corn on the cob (enough for one meal + 2 cobs for black bean salad)
squash
mild peppers
lettuce or other salad greens
onions
potatoes
tomatoes
eggplant
avocado
carrots
cabbage

Stay tuned this week for more recipes!

What are you cooking for dinner?