Fed and Fit Book Review

I discovered Cassy Joy Garcia while listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast  and was instantly inspired by her bubbly attitude and her realistic approach to the paleo diet.  I couldn’t wait for her book to come out.

I purchased Cassy Joy Garcia’s book Fed & Fit when it was published in August and I have been making at least one recipe a week from this book ever since.  The book centered around recipes that she created with her husband in mind and that is why they are so wonderful.  My husband doesn’t not follow a paleo diet, but he will eat almost anything that I prepare from Cassy’s book.

She also provides a clear framework for developing a personalized plan which she calls “The Perfect You Plan”.  She suggests incorporating certain food types with each meal (protein, fat, and different types of carbs), and provides

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Kid Approved Simple Guacamole 

This is one that I hesitated to post because it is so simple. But, if you have a spice hater like me, it could be pretty useful.

My daughter refuses to eat anything spicy. Don’t even ask. It will not happen. She even complains about spice that I can’t even taste. I once convinced her not to eat a chocolate peanut butter cup by telling her it was spicy. (What can I say… I am a terrible mother!)

Guacamole is hit or miss. Sometimes a restaurant will have a B Approved guacamole, and sometimes not. We struggle to get consistent guacamole even at the same restaurant. And if a restaurant EVER had spicy guacamole, she will always label it as such.

This simple guacamole can be made at home, but most Mexican restaurants also have the ingredients so you can make your own at the table in tiny amounts.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Instructions 

  1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scrape out the interior of the avocado with a fork and put it in a small bowl.
  2. Add the juice from 1/2 a lime, cilantro and salt to taste. Mash with a fork and stir until it is easily combined.
  3. Serve on the side of any meal because kids love dip.

Bacon and Sausage Breakfast Casserole 

Mornings have the potential to be very rough in our household. This school year, our schedule requires that we leave the house by 7 am every morning. There’s breakfasts, lunches, backpacks and all of the other things that must be taken care of when we leave the house. Also,B still has accidents at night on occasion, so we need to build in time for a shower every morning.

Things run best when breakfast is already prepared in the morning.  I like to make sure I start eating veggies right away, but they just don’t sound very appealing. Spaghetti squash is sweet and easy to eat, even early in the morning.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tsp fat of choice (bacon grease, butter or coconut oil recommended)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 4 slices of bacon 
  • 1/2 pound of breakfast sausage 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions 

  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash by poking it 10-20 times with a knife and then putting it in the microwave. OR if you have and Instant Pot check out this post from Nom Nom Paleo on how to prep a spaghetti squash. When it is done, use a spoon to remove the seeds and discard them. Remove the threads by scraping the inside of a squash with a fork.
  2. Grease the inside of a 9 x 9 baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove over medium heat until it is just starting to crisp. Remove and set aside. Add your sausage to the same pan and brown it breaking it apart as you stir.
  4. While the sausage is browning, crack eggs into the baking dish and whisk. Add the spaghetti squash, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and stir the mixture until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. One the sausage has browned, sprinkle it evenly over the top of the egg mixture. Dice the bacon and sprinkle it and the green onions over the tops as well.
  6. Put it in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, or cut into 4 pieces and place it into a storage container.

Paleo Banana Pumpkin Muffins

I make a dozen paleo Muffins every Sunday. They are still convenient. I put one in B’s school lunch almost everyday and the rest are eaten as after school or pre-workout snacks and can be added to any breakfast in a pinch. If it doesn’t look like we will eat them all within the week, I toss a few into the freezer to be used in case of a meal emergency, hectic work week or when I am feeling a little lazy.

This was my first attempt at making my own muffin recipe. Most of the paleo muffin recipes I have found are dense, eggy or too sweet.  I was pretty impressed with how these turned out. They are light, fluffy and not too sweet. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Ingredients 

  • 1 over ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin purée (I used a boxed organic version)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 arrowroot flour (you can sub in tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions 

  1. If you remember, take your eggs out of the fridge about an hour before you make your muffins. This will prevent you coconut oil from solidifying when you mix it in to your batter. (I usually forget and It isn’t a big deal.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mash banana. Mix in pumpkin, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla, spices and syrup.
  4. Add dry ingredients (baking soda and flours) and stir. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes because the coconut flour will soak up the liquid.
  5. Put muffin liners in a muffin pan. I use these silicone liners and they are fantastic.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop into each liner. You should have just enough for 12 muffins.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Instant Pot Pork Chops

Pork Chops are a staple in my house for a few reasons:

  • They are cheap (ish).
  • They are quick and easy to prepare.
  • B will eat them even if they are simply prepared.

The only problem is that they are easy to over cook. The instant pot helps keep them tender. This recipe isn’t fancy, but it is easy and kid approved. B and I split one for dinner last night.

Ingredients

  • 2 thick bone-in pork Chops (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup bone broth (any type will be fine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  1. Push the sauté button on the instant pot and heat up your coconut oil.
  2. While the coconut oil is heating, mix salt, pepper, garlic, sage and rosemary. Spring the mixture on top of your pork Chops.
  3. Brown your pork Chops in the instant pot for about 4 minutes per side. I was able to brown both at once, but if your Chops are too large, brown them separately.
  4. Pour broth over the top and place the lid on the instant pot. Cancel the sauté mode and then press the meat button. This will cook your Chops for 20 minutes.
  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally, then open the lid. Serve the Chops with freshly chopped parsley.

Purple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

My favorite grocery store posts their weekly ad at 6 am every Wednesday morning.  I check it every Wednesday morning… pretty compulsively.  I start planning my mid-week grocery run on Wednesday morning when this ad comes out.

Please, don’t be fooled. I am disorganized it almost every aspect of my life. However, I am almost always planning my next meal while consuming the last.

I get an odd little thrill when something extraordinary comes up on that weekly ad. I love the extra inspiration that an unusual item brings.

Yesterday it was purple sweet potatoes. How fun are they?

 The color is absolutely amazing. My daughter was in total awe when I chopped these up and she couldn’t wait to eat them.

Don’t have purple sweet potatoes?  No worries.  Just use orange sweet potatoes (yams).  The flavor is a little different, but every bit as good.  Also, like many of my recipes, this couldn’t be easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add your diced potatoes to the pot.  Bring the water back up to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Boil the potatoes for about 2o minutes, or until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan.  Add in coconut milk and spices.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  4. Serve hot!

 

Ginger Berry Smoothie

I am a little under the weather this morning. Food doesn’t sound great, but I did want something cold for my throat. Also, B isn’t sick so I am trying to give her immune system a boost.

So, smoothies it is….

I make hers with a little less spinach and ginger and a little more coconut milk to make it more palatable.

For hers:

  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup spinach

For mine

  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup spinach

Chicken, Bacon and Potato Bake

After cooking on Saturday for B’s birthday party, spending Sunday meal prepping sounded pretty awful. We had enough leftovers to get us through a couple days, but not much more. By Tuesday we had almost no food and no plan. I had chicken and potatoes, but when I proposed that for dinner B acted like I stabbed her favorite stuffy.

This recipe was created in an attempt to rebrand chicken and potatoes so that B would eat it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, cubes
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 pound potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Ranch dressing (also available on Thrive Market and Amazon)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix potatoes, bacon, garlic  and onion powder, paprika and salt in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after about 20 minutes.
  3. Combine chicken and ranch dressing and then stir into the potatoe mixture. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Add green onions and parsley and serve.