Savory Stuffed Butternut Squash – GF, DF, EF, LF (AKA – PALEO)

The Good Half

So I found this AMAZING recipe for Sausage Stuffed B-Squash last week and I couldn’t wait to try it.  I loved the inspiration this recipe gave me.  It looked like something this crisp autumn weather wanted me to eat and I couldn’t wait to make it my own!

I gathered my Ingredients:

Fresh Veggies!

Fresh Veggies!

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, minced
  • yellow pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lbs pork sausage
  • 1t rosemary
  • 1t thyme
  • 1t sage
  • 2T bacon fat, or other fat

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

    Lovey Loves to help!

    Lovey Loves to help!

  2. Half and deseed the squash. Place meat down (flat edge) into a shallow pan that has about 1/2″ of water in it.  Cook squash for 40-55 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking (I called it the f@$@%&$ gourd most of the evening), saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms and pepper.  Add in the sausage when the liquid is almost gone.
  4. When sausage is cooked, remove from heat and cover to keep warm until gourd is done.
  5. When gourd is done, it should scoop easily from itself, scoop innards out and put into the sausage/
    The Good Half

    The Good Half

    veggie mix. Mix well.  Take strong care not to mutilate the gourd (this is about the time I really started calling it names).

  6. If you didn’t mutilate the gourd, like I may have, you can spoon the stuffing back into the gourd.  If you did mess up the gourd, that is OKAY!! Just spoon the stuffing into any casserole pan that will hold it.  I happened to have one half of a gourd and I also had to use a small Pyrex dish.

Turd Nuggets You Can Eat? DIY Lara Bars If It Suits You Better….

Since I am now Paleo for health concerns and Lovey Levin is done his Gluten Challenge, I wanted to find a snack everyone could eat and enjoy…. Boy did I find it and modified it, of course!!

Lovey has named them Turd Nuggets, but they are essentially DIY Lara Bars.

13671_10153170280780505_6702064033195447429_nIngredients – ONLY 4!!!

  • 1/3 C of dates (that’s a chopped measurement, so I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 C of craisins (raisins would work too!)
  • 1/4 C of cashews (I usually use raw organic but I just ran out)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 C of Enjoy Life chocolate (whatever you have on hand)

To make these is incredibly easy!! 10647066_10153170280550505_4335395912822907967_n

  1. Toss the measured amount of Dates and Craisins into your food processor. I use my nutribullet with the regular shake blade (not the milling blade).  Scoop into a bowl after everything is fully processed.
  2. Now toss in your chips and nuts! Do the same thing!
  3. Knead the two items together until it looks like a gigantic TURD (true story)!!17199_10153170277840505_7703813302729237871_n
  4. Pinch off a small bit and now roll into balls.

11066616_10153170277740505_9155661714084730362_nI store mine in a lidded bowl, in the fridge.  You think they would stick together but they don’t too much.  Just give them a strong shake and they will all separate.  We go through these so quickly in my house that they usually don’t make it to the fridge.

Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Thai Chicken Curry! Paleo TOO!

We’ve recently started making some Paleo meals, for my health. We had to find a curry that my kids would eat (Indian is a bit too spicy for them).  My Guy Bri found a Thai Chicken Curry recipe that we love and we modified it!! 18293_10153170281800505_5617269271548967396_n

Here are the ingredients –

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts cut in thin strips
  • 1 teaspoons of Fish Sauce
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1-8oz package sliced mushrooms
  • 1-13.5 oz can of Coconut Milk (we use full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

To make this please follow these directions —

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add Curry Paste and saute until dissolved.
  3. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onion is translucent.
  4. Add chicken and Fish Sauce. Stir-fry until opaque. DO NOT PUKE OR GAG BECAUSE OF THE SMELL! I will not lie, IT IS HORRIBLE!!!10989019_10153170280935505_1374465034291455810_n
  5. Add red bell pepper, mushrooms, Coconut Milk and lime juice.
  6. Stir well. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped basil and serve.

This is delicious on it’s own, or if you like, you can serve it over rice.  Lovey Levin and Rose LOVE this meal!! We really had to tweak the Curry vs Fish Sauce amounts to get it to our liking but once we did, this became a weekly meal!!

Lovey Levin’s Gluten Challenge….

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Howdy out there! Lovey Levin has had appointments with a pediatric gastroenterologist and a pediatric allergist in the last few months. My husband and I have decided to start the process to a proper diagnosis of Celiac so there will be no issues when he starts school.  We thought it would take much longer than what it has to start this process, we were thinking months rather than days and weeks. It is the beginning of March and we should know by the end of March if he truly has Celiac or not.

It started with an appointment with the Pediatric Gastroenterologist, he took our history and food logs over the years and reactions to gluten (it’s been almost a year since his last one).  He referred us to a an allergist to have him skin tested also, for gluten sensitivity. Lovey passed the skin prick tests for all common allergens, including topical gluten. Then he had a blood test, testing antibodies for gluten and those also came back below 4. We knew they would as he has been gluten free for nearly two years. So on February 6 we started his gluten challenge with many bated breaths.

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Much to our surprise there was no rash, no diarrhea, no refusals of food. In fact, this kid was in gluten heaven.  We allowed goldfish crackers to begin with then he had an English Muffin, then a bagel daily.  He had pizza one night, and he even identified it as “gluten pizza”.  We don’t tell him he is eating gluten because there is still a chance that DOES have Celiac and we would have to go back to a gluten free lifestyle.  His only symptoms so far, if they are related, are multiple #2 a day – soft but not runny, he developed a rash across his abdomen, and he has been complaining of his legs hurting.  I’ve made note of all of these things.  He will go in next week for his next blood test. If his numbers are high, they will do the endoscopy.

Going gluten free should not be a problem for our household as I am now doing Auto Immune Protocol Paleo (AIP), for my own health, which is completely gluten free.  We are curious to know what is going on with our little man and why he was unable to tolerate gluten.

Gluten Free DIY Ornaments!

I remember making Salt Dough Ornaments with Lovey Levin on his second Christmas. I didn’t know at the time that I was poisoning him with Gluten.

I recently found a new recipe that I can’t wait to try!!! Just in time to make party favors for his birthday party coming up! I found the recipe here!

Here’s what you’ll need…

• 1 box baking soda (about 2 cups)
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 11/2 cups water
• Sauce pan
• Bowl
• Spoon
• Plastic wrap

Here’s how you make it…

1. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until it is too thick to stir with a spoon.

2. Cool for 15 minutes, or until the dough is cool enough to touch. Knead it for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. Keep dough wrapped in plastic.

Once you have molded it, it will take 1-2 days for the clay to dry. The length of time depends on how thick your craft is: If it is a flat ornament, it may only take 1 day, if it is thick it will take much longer. This clay can be painted with either Tempera or acrylic craft paints.

Do put the hole in for the string or hook, we use a straw. It’s small enough for string but not TOO big to be mistaken for part of the design!!

After you paint it, give it a coat of clear acrylic to seal it. I hate chipped paint! I think I’ll try some cool nail polishes this year – My daughter has a few doubles sitting in her drawer… 😉

Beef Stroganoff a la Lovey Levin

We needed a change up in the kitchen… too much chicken, to date. We needed to use up the ground beef sitting in my freezer.  The mushrooms needed to be used up too! So I decided to make some Beef Stroganoff. I only had to make ONE modification to make this recipe Gluten Free, so it was a pretty easy one to do.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of ground beef
  • 3T of GF all purpose flour
  • 2t salt
  • 3T butter
  • 1lb sliced mushrooms (white or baby bellas)
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 10 oz beef broth
  • 1 c sour cream
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef (strain if necessary, I didn’t as there wasn’t much fat). Put aside
  2. Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic until nearly done. 6-7 minutes. Put aside (same bowl as meat)
  3. Add butter to pan, blend in GF flour to make your roux. Add in tomato paste and blend well.
  4. Stir in broth, continue to stir over medium heat until bubbling and thick.
  5. Return meat, onions, mushrooms and garlic to pan and mix well then stir in Sour Cream. Allow to reheat stroganoffto low simmer.

We served this over Gluten Free Fusilli and used baby peas as a side. It was delicious!!

Chicken Korma, Aloo Gobi and Pilau Rice – The Lovey Levin Way

keep-korma-and-curry-on-150My Guy Bri took me out for Indian earlier this week and it left me for a taste in my mouth… I wanted MORE!! Bri suggested I try Korma again. It’s naturally Gluten Free. He also asked for Pilau rice and Aloo Gobi. Pilau rice is just fragrant rice and it’s really really delicious. Aloo Gobi is spicy cauliflower and potatoes (I think the potatoes are optional but I put them in there).

I wanted to do my Korma in the slow cooker so I wasn’t attached to the stove for hours. It was our last beautiful day of the season (supposedly) and the last thing I wanted was to be glued to the stove when it was sunny and 75 outside! So Lovey Levin helped me prep dinner at 9AM!

Chicken Korma – Easy Peasy Lovey Levin Crock Pot Style! (Moderately Spicy)

I modified a recipe from AllRecipes.com – found here!

What I did will be in RED, the first items listed are in the original recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion – skinned and quartered

  • 3 garlic cloves OR 1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 4cm (1 1/2inch) fresh root ginger, peeled OR 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large chilli, seeds discarded OR 1.5 dried chili, seeds discarded
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR 4 breasts
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil OR sesame seed oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed or 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed OR Anise seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed or 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I omitted)
  • 10oz chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 c double cream OR coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon ground almonds or cashews (I omitted)
  • pinch salt

DirectionsIMG_1953

  1. Blend the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli in a blender or chop very finely. I tossed mine in my Nutribullet. I also put a bit of Sesame Seed Oil in there to keep things moving!
  2. Cut each thigh or breast into 4 – 6 pieces, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken. Cook over a high heat until evenly browned. Remove from pan and place in slow cooker. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
  3. Add the butter to the pan and when melted add the onion mixture. Cook over moderate heat for 3 IMG_1954minutes. Add all the spices and cook for a further minute. I browned this a bit too. We like a bit of a smoky flavor, or so My Guy Bri tells me.IMG_1955
  4. Mix in chicken stock, sugar and salt into the Crock Pot along with the onion mixture. Give it a stir.
  5. Cover and cook for 5 – 7 hours on Low (or 3 hours on high).
  6. Add the cream or coconut milk (and ground up nuts). Serve with rice.

ALOO GOBI –

Aloo means potato and Gobi means cauliflower

IMG_1984So yeah, we cheated. We had a premix seasoning packet. It’s not our usual route, but it WAS labelled Gluten Free and Organic!!! And I had to add plenty of ingredients. This packet is made from Arora Creations, and you can purchase it here!

Ingredients

In addition to this lovely packet you will need

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh sliced ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped green chili (I omitted)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 boiled and diced potatoes

directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add ginger, tomatoes and stir evenly for 1 minute.
  3. Add Seasoning Packet and stir for an additional 2 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add cauliflower and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stir occasionally. For the last 5 minutes, stir in the potatoes.
  5. *Add 1/2 cup of water to mixture for extra sauce if you would like. We did not.

Pilau Rice

This is such a great versatile rice. It’s so fragrant and tasty! And SIMPLE to make! I tossed everything in my steamer!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Basmati or Jasmine rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
  • a few dashes of fennel seeds.
  • a few strings of saffron (if you have it)
  • enough chicken stock in lieu of water.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine.

Directions

  1. Rinse rise, if you need to
  2. Put rice, along with appropriate amount of chicken stock into rice steamer (you can also toss all of this into a large pot with a tight fitting lid and follow regular rice cooking directions).
  3. quickly fry up onions with a little oil of your choosing, I used peanut oil, until translucent.
  4. Add rest of ingredients to steamer pot. Cook until done! VOILA!

IMG_2001