Butternut Squash Chili

butternut squash chili

butternut squash chili

I love fall and I love chili and the two go hand in hand! A dear friend of mine recently gave me an abundance of butternut squash so with squash as my inspiration, this afternoon I threw together some scrumptious chili using the butternut squash and ground bison that I happened to have on hand. Of course you can use whatever ground meat you want, or cubed steak, or even chicken. This recipe is similar to the Everyday Paleo Chili recipe in my first book, Everyday Paleo with just a few minor tweaks.

Here’s the recipe – super easy and delicious!!

Butternut Squash Chili

2 lbs ground bison (or other ground meat of your choice)

2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil, lard, or ghee (I used butter)

1 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes (about 6 cups of cubed squash – use more or less if you like)

4 celery stalks, diced

2 tablespoons cumin

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

2-3 tablespoons Italian seasoning

2-3 teaspoons dried red chili flakes

1 bay leaf

2 cups chicken broth

18 ounces of diced or crushed tomatoes (about 2 cups) – (I purchase my diced and crushed tomatoes from Tropical Traditions)

Sea salt to taste

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter or other fat of your choice over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and saute until translucent.

3. Add your ground meat and cook just until browned.

4. Add the minced garlic, cubed butternut squash, and celery and mix well.

5. Add all the spices except for the bay  leaf and mix well.

6. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and stir, bring to a simmer and add the bay leaf.

7. Turn down to low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

8. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

REM Rehab

rem-rehab

Our friend, Evan Brand, along with Kevin Geary, have written a fantastic new ebook on sleep that we think you need to know about.  It’s called REM Rehab and it has all the bases covered regarding sleep. They managed to include all the pertinent science, but without ever overwhelming the reader. I considered myself well-versed on the subject of sleep prior to reading this book, but I learned a lot.

In my experience, poor sleep patterns are the norm among those who come to people like Sarah and me for help with their health and fitness. It’s a rare client indeed who doesn’t need some tweaking to their sleep patterns if they want to achieve their goals. It’s also a rare client who starts out with enough emphasis on sleep when they prioritize the things they believe will help them realize those goals. Diet and exercise are usually an easy sell (but not always easy to change), while sleep, like stress management, is often pushed to the back burner. We have seen sleep alone dismantle many a goal. We implore you to save yourself the hassle wondering why you aren’t making progress by getting your sleep dialed sooner than later.

So, where do you start? You get informed. That’s where REM Rehab comes in. The book opens with a crash course on the mechanics of sleep, followed by the problems that come with not doing it right. This is where we learn about how poor sleep patterns affect our metabolic function, satiety signals, mental processing, and an increase risk of depression and preventable diseases like heart and type 2 diabetes. All serious business and all deserve consideration when we decide whether or not we should stay up late for frivolous reasons.

The comes a really smart little section that asks us to take an inventory of our lives and goals before we begin making changes. I think this section is brilliant. In my experience, most people don’t spend enough time preparing to make change.  Getting your reasons for change out on the playing field before the game can do dramatic things for focus and perseverance. I encourage you take this section seriously.

In the Slumber Slip Ups section we learn all about the things we do that can rob us of sleep. This section leaves no stone unturned in examining a holistic lifestyle approach to the problem at hand. It would have been easy to one or two things, diet and stress for example, and move on to their recommendations, but everything is here. Again, they are responsible with their prescription for change by concluding the section with advice to not bite off more than you can chew.  “Progress, Not Perfection.”

Eating for Sleeping covers everything you will ever need to know about food and sleep. Their 7 Guidelines for Eating for Sleeping are impeccable.

Calibrate Your Cave is pure awesome.  After reading this section, I just wanted to go crawl in bed. After all this time working in paleo lifestyle world, I still learned a couple of changes that I will be making to my room.  For example, I think I need a new pillow. My loyalty to one pillow has been a bit excessive, me thinks.

In Revamp Your Routine and Hack Your Hibernation we find out how we can do things during the day to make for better sleep at night. Supplements, adrenal fatigue, light therapy, how to clear your head, and even good sleeping positions are discussed. These two sections alone are worth the entire coast of the book.

So, I love this book, but if you didn’t get that already you probably need some sleep. Evan and Kevin (I just realized their names rhyme!) have done a fantastic job with this thing and I really believe it will help you get more out of the third of your life you spend sleeping. Buy it, read it, and let me know what you think.

Go forth and be awesome.

*affiliate links are used in this post

Jaden’s Flan

jadensflan

*Note from Sarah (the mom): I’ve been homeschooling my two youngest sons, Jaden and Rowan, going on our second year now. This is not a post about homeschooling but I mention it because it’s pretty cool what types of projects are considered “lessons” when you DO homeschool, and for Jaden one of his projects has been making dinner for the family. It doesn’t sound like something school related; however it’s a full on production for Jaden and offers amazing life experience with a lot of learning involved. He first will research and plan what he wants to make, creates a shopping list, helps to do the shopping as I just push the cart, and then he does pretty much all the prep work and cooking himself. The only help we offer is when he asks us for specific help and it’s usually related to cutting something up but last time he made dinner, I didn’t even need to do that! At 10 years old this kid is kicking some serious culinary butt and has made amazing dinners for us ranging from carne asada to steak with creamy mushroom sauce and most recently, an asian stir fry that started with a cucumber salad with his own asian inspired vinaigrette. I can see handing the Everyday Paleo reins over to Jaden someday, I really can….

As many of you know, we don’t go to great lengths around here to make dessert and if we want a treat, we usually leave the house to get it or if we do end up making something at home it’s super simple, easy, and affordable like frozen blueberries and almond milk or now and then the occasional treat that you’ll find in my books like my Pumpkin Muffins from the Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook or on the weekend, the pancakes from Paleo Pals. My favorite types of treats to eat when we do indulge are the creamy, fatty, not too sweet kind and Jaden hit it out of the ball park with his Flan. He made it the night that he made us carne asada and fresh salsa and it was the perfect way to end the meal. (By the way, that evening it was not just for us that Jaden prepared the meal for, but for our friends as well who also have a family of 5 and this Flan makes enough to feed a small army so be aware!) Jaden looked at several flan recipes on the internet and came up with his own version after realizing that everything he found used sweetened condensed milk or tons of sugar.

This is his own recipe and it’s mind blowing good, easy, and as far as dessert goes, pretty darn nutritious!

Thank you Jaden for sharing your recipe with our readers and to all of you, I hope you enjoy!

Jaden Flan

(Jaden contemplating his next creation.)

*Note from Jaden: While making this flan, I thought “Oh boy, I sure hope this turns out as good as I intended!”. My mind never came close to thinking that this would be on my mom’s blog. I’ve got to admit, this is pretty cool. Like my mom said, I found a recipe online, and it was basically canned sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and eggs. It’s been pretty fun making dinner and setting the table all fancy, and making sure everybody wears pretty dresses and drinks with their pinky out!(Please note that I was joking about dresses and pinkies!) I do love to cook, so it’s cool to be able to share my “creations” with other people. It was pretty hard to make this flan, yet really quite fun. No matter what my mom says, her, my uncle Mark, and my dad always help me in the kitchen. So put on your dress, stretch out your pinky, and enjoy!!

Jaden’s Flan

Serving size for this particular recipe is 12, feel free to cut ingredients in half as needed. Warning – you might have to blend half of the ingredients at a time if you do not have a GIANT blender!!! 

3 cups full fat coconut milk

2 cups heavy cream (or use 5 cups total coconut milk if you do not eat any dairy)

8 eggs

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup honey for flan

1/4 cup honey to caramelize

Squeeze of lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

  1. Combine coconut milk, heavy cream, eggs, honey and vanilla into a blender and blend until all ingredients are mixed.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a small saucepan put in 1 tbsp of water, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of honey over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is golden brown, remove from heat immediately (note: don’t stir too much because honey will crystallize).
  4. Then take a glass baking dish (we used a 3 quart glass baking dish) and another glass baking dish that is slightly bigger. Pour the caramelized honey into the smaller baking dish and spread out with a spatula, be sure to cover the entire dish, and then place the honey basted baking dish into the larger baking dish.
  5. Pour into the larger baking dish about an inch high of hot water.
  6. Pour the blended flan mixture into the smaller baking dish over the caramelized honey and bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the middle has set into a custard like texture. Let the flan cool for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

As always, enjoy!

 

Zuppa di finocchi e crema di carote (Creamy Carrot Fennel Soup from Everyday Paleo Around the World Italian Cuisine)

creamy carrot fennel soup

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m making this recipe tonight from my Italian Cuisine book. The Creamy Carrot Fennel Soup is, well, it’s awesome. I happen to have a lot of carrots thanks to my CSA so BAM. Done. Decision made. If you don’t have my latest book, I’m going to be super nice and give you this recipe because it would be mean and nasty of me to eat this delicious soup without you, so I invite you to join me in the goodness that is Zuppa di finocchi e crema di carote!!!! [Read more…]

Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods

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QEPCF-final-cover-242x300Julie and Charles Mayfield, authors of Paleo Comfort Foods have knocked another one out of the park with their latest contribution to our wonderful community; Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods.  Why do you need another paleo cookbook?  Because this one was designed with the busy person in mind and the huge majority of recipes require 30 minutes or less total prep time.  If saving time is not a regular consideration for you, you are a rare individual, but I can promise you that you will still thoroughly enjoy this book.

After an excellent forward by Robb Wolf, the book opens with a brief introduction followed by a solid definition of paleo, some resources for learning the ropes, and helpful tips in the kitchen.  It’s all business from there.

[Read more…]

Busy Family Life, Summer Days, and Packing Paleo for Sports Tournaments!

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*Note from Sarah: This latest post comes from Dana; our Director of Operations who is also a Baseball Mom Extraordinaire!  Dana has food prep for her family down to a science and this summer she’s been traveling on the weekends to  baseball tournaments for her two boys; which means preparing and planning ahead! In this post Dana explains how her quick and easy food prep is not only setting her family up for healthy meals while away on the weekends, but also saves big money while they travel.  May this post help and inspire your family!

Busy Family Life, Summer Days, and Packing Paleo for Sports Tournaments!

Here I am, sipping coffee while grilling burgers and flank steak at 9am on a Saturday morning, as well as packing the cooler as we head out to yet another baseball tournament! While it’s possible to eat out successfully as a Paleo family, it’s certainly not something we want to do 2-3 times a day while traveling. Why? Not only is restaurant food inundated with unhealthy oils and hidden, unwanted ingredients; it’s just plain expensive.  So here are some ways we feed our busy family daily and also how we pack our cooler for baseball tournaments.   [Read more…]

Homemade Lotion Bar Recipe: All Natural and Easy to Make

Homemade Lotion Bar Recipes- all natural and made with simple ingredients

Note from Sarah: Wellness Mama is back with another wonderful post!  Be sure to visit Katie over at her wonderful blog as well!

Lotion bars are one of my favorite natural recipes to make for my own family and for gifts. They are extremely moisturizing and last longer than traditional lotion. They don’t contain any liquid so there is no tricky emulsifying and they are much more nourishing to the skin than traditional lotions.

Lotion bars are also very easy to customize to your own preference and can be used on babies and children. They have a natural SPF of about 5 which makes them ideal for outdoor workouts, hiking, or other activities where you want mild sun protection without the chemicals.

[Read more…]