Sunday, December 28, 2014

A guest post :)

I did part of a guest blog post over on Down Syndrome: A Day to Day Guide. The first half of the article is regarding seizures, our part is about half way thru! This is the reason we journeyed into paleo. :)Seizures in the Down Syndrome Population: Information and Natural Treatment

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In the news again! :)

Here is the news interview update on our fundraiser for Kaiden's speech device!
KAAL TV 6 ABC News Interview

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Paleo Crab Bisque

I went to the grocery store today just to get chicken, honest!  Among many other foodstuffs, I came home with a pound of on-holiday-sale Alaskan King Crab legs.  I usually just steam them and either eat the meat plain, or dunk in melted coconut oil with a little salt and garlic.  Tonight, though, trying out bisque sounded like a good idea.  I've never made bisque, let alone eaten it, at least not that I can remember.  But I understand the basis of it - making a white sauce, then adding the veg/meat/herbs.

Now, you can't very well make a white sauce out of almond flour - it won't thicken up like a wheat-flour-based sauce does, so this is where arrowroot comes in handy.  In this recipe, the amounts used, like most of my cooking, are largely up to you.  The amount of chicken stock, coconut milk, and crab is what I had on hand. If you have runnier coconut milk, you can adjust the coconut milk/water ratio.

The "butter" I used was simply a little bit of red palm oil mixed with unrefined coconut oil and a bit of sea salt.  Gives it a nice yellow color and slightly buttery flavor.

Paleo Crab Bisque
3 Tbsp paleo "butter"
5 - 6 Tbsp almond flour
3 c water
3/4 c chicken stock
1/2 c really thick coconut milk
1 tsp lemon juice
3 oz French-type goat cheese
1lb crab legs: remove meat and mince or at least chop fairly small
1 small onion, chopped fairly small
Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp arrowroot
2 tsp cold water
Sea Salt

Melt the "butter" in a saucepan over low heat.  When melted, add the almond flour and stir until completely absorbed.  Add the water and stir until smooth.  Add the rest except the arrowroot and cold water.  When the goat cheese is fully dispersed, put the arrowroot in a little jar and add the cold water.  Close the jar lid tightly and shake to incorporate.  When thoroughly mixed, slowly add the arrowroot/water mix to the bisque while constantly stirring to get the desired thickness.  Top with a bit of freshly ground pepper.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crispy Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

This one's taken me a few years to get right.  And it's part of the reason I put 20lbs back on - sugar and nut flours will definitely do that! I mean, c'mon, I have to taste test all those batches of cookies for flavor, texture, crispiness, chip-to-batter ratio (okay, I know that last one's stretching it!) and I can't let them go to waste, right?? Haha, go to waste . . . more like go to WAIST! :)

This recipe finally nailed it.  I've learned a few things along the way: the oil portion needs to be a good, hard saturated fat with good flavor.  Unrefined coconut oil and red palm oil have too low of a melting point, and too strong of flavor, so you end up with soft cookies that don't quite taste like cookies. (Red palm oil made the cookies and the napkin they sat on such a bright yellow, my husband nicknamed them "jaundice cookies"!)  Once you find the right fat to use, the cookies must be rolled/pressed thin, to the thickness of the chips or less.  I rendered suet into tallow for this recipe, but I think really good butter would work, too, if you use dairy. 

Crispy Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c tallow (NOT melted)
1/2 c washed raw sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
5 oz chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life's Mega Chunks)
Combine the tallow and sugar using a pastry blender or food processor until the tallow is down to little pea-sized pieces.  Add in the egg and vanilla, stir until thoroughly mixed.  In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add to the wet mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  The batter should be fairly thick.  Using a small amount, form a ball then flatten to the thickness the chips or less.  Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes, then let cool for at least 15 minutes.  Makes approximately 18 smaller cookies.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Zoatmeal: Perfect Paleo Oatmeal

Chilly mornings are upon us again and I find myself wishing for a warm, sticky bowl of oatmeal.  A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for paleo oatmeal that involved cauliflower and eggs.  It was good, but to me, it just didn't have the same qualities as traditional oatmeal.  I could still faintly taste the cauliflower, and the eggs made it creamy, but it was custard-like creamy - not the smooth sticky quality traditional oatmeal has.

As I thought about how to re-create oatmeal, my zucchini pile in the kitchen was steadily growing.   I'm always up for new ways to use zucchini, since it's so plentiful at this time of year! I thought, why not using the same recipe except use zucchini instead of cauliflower?  Then of course, while making it, decided to do things a bit differently and Zoatmeal was born.

This recipe is incredibly simple, and involves 3 main ingredients:  zucchini, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt.  It involves more utensils than dumping oatmeal and water into a pan, but it takes about the same amount of time to cook. Extra items: a food processer and a fork. 

Zoatmeal topped with honey, coconut milk, blueberries, and a crabapple sauce.


  • 1 very small zucchini, or half a medium zucchini, peeled
  • full fat coconut milk, about half the amount of the zucchini
  • pinch of salt
  • arrowroot for thickening

  • cinnamon
  • honey
  • additional coconut milk

Peel the zucchini and chop into small pieces.  If it's a larger zucchini, remove any large seeds.  Process the chopped zucchini in a food processor until very finely minced.  Add that to a pan with the coconut milk.  Ideally you want the ratio to be 2 parts zucchini to 1 part coconut milk, but I don't measure, I just eyeball it.  Add a pinch of salt, then cover and simmer.  The cover is there for 2 reasons: this will bubble and splatter - and it helps the zucchini cook faster.  I like to add about a teaspoon of cinnamon in there, not only because I love cinnamon, but it gives the Zoatmeal the traditional light brown color.

When the zucchini is tender, begin to sprinkle arrowroot into the Zoatmeal and quickly stir it in with a fork.  Just do a little bit of arrowroot at a time - it doesn't take a whole lot and you can easily over-thicken it.  The arrowroot gives the Zoatmeal the smooth stickiness that oatmeal has.

Pour into a serving bowl and top with whatever you like to top oatmeal with!  I like additional coconut milk, honey, and some fruit.  In the photo above, I made a crabapple sauce from crabapples off my tree.  Same recipe as my Spiced Cranberry Sauce in Cavemom's Cooking, except I used crabapples in place of the cranberries.

Delicious!  Now if your neighbors try to pawn off their excess zucchini on you, take it and make yourself a wonderfully warm, creamy, satisfying breakfast! :)
Editing to add, this recipe re-heats wonderfully!  Don't be afraid to make a large amount and have leftovers! :)

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pork Rinds: an alternative to breading

I first tried pork rinds when I was pregnant with Kaiden, looking for additional protein sources/snacks.  I wasn't paleo back then, but I did avoid HFCS and white bread.  Or at least I tried to!  After his pregnancy, I forgot about them.  Completely.  Until a couple weeks ago - that's 5 1/2 years with no pork rinds!

I've come to the realization that I need to do low-carb paleo.  Medium/high carb was working when Kaiden was less mobile, meaning I either carried him everywhere or pushed a heavy stroller.  With lots and lots of kid gear.  It was a workout!  Then when he started walking (finally, really walking, not just a few steps here and there), it meant less exercise for me, as we walked a lot slower, and couldn't go very far before he'd want to stop.  And slowly, my weight's been creeping back up - so now I'm not a happy camper!  I've been looking for a low-carb snack, since now nuts, dried fruit, and dried veggie chips are out.  (And I've got to stop the late-night snacking!!)  I was wandering the snack aisles in the grocery store to see if they had anything that wasn't either vegetable or wheat based . . . and there they were: pork rinds.  And pork cracklings! 

Pork rinds are sort of like Funyuns: light, crispy, crunchy, and salty but with less bold flavor.  Pork cracklings are pork rinds with some (dried) skin and fat attached.  No carbs, just protein and fat (and salt!).  It says on the package they are good for snacking and cooking.  I know they're good for snacking, but was wondering about the cooking part - how on earth someone would use them for cooking . . . until tonight, I made oven-baked chicken drumsticks.  The nut-based flours mixed with milk & egg always came out a little soggy, no matter how I did it.  Then the thought occurred to me . . . why not crush up some pork rinds and dust the drumsticks with it?  I didn't use any egg or additional oil - I just added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sesame seeds (because my husband likes sesame seeds on roasted chicken) to the crushed pork rinds and rolled/dipped/dusted the drumsticks in the mixture.  Baked at 350F for 1 hour - and they were perfect!

I wish I had a picture for you . . .  but we ate most of them. :)  Maybe next time!

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Zucchini anyone?

I don't know if it's the lack of bees or what, but the only thing really producing in my garden this year is the zucchini.  The rest of the squash, cukes, and miscellaneous plants just aren't doing too much.  Some of the plants are huge, with tons of flowers but little to no fruit, and some of the plants are still really small with little to no fruit.  I didn't plant by moon phases this year, seeing as the last couple years I didn't see much of any difference.

So, what to do with all that zucchini?

One of my favorite ways to cook zucchini is grilling them!  Oh YUM!! Super easy - slice them length-wise so they are about 1/4" thick. Coat them in oil and your favorite seasonings (Italian dressing works too!) and grill until there's grill marks, then flip 'em and keep grilling until there's grill marks on that side too.  They should be limp when done, and oh-so-tasty! Great with grilled meats, or by themselves for a light lunch.

Some news!  I just got in the 2nd edition print run of Cavemom's Cooking!!  I changed it up just a little - instead of a 5x7 print with a covered binding, I went with 5.5" x 8.5", spiral bound.  Loving the new look!!  There's just a couple left of the originals - once those are gone, I'll post the 2nd edition for sale.  I'm about 1/2 way thru creating recipes for Cavemom's Cooking Volume 2 (still need a good title instead of just "Volume 2") - I have a great idea for the cover photo for that one!

Last for tonight: an idea's been brewing in my  head:  I don't feel the urge to eat bread anymore, but someone close was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, and is having a hard time giving up bread.  I have no idea if this will work; I have yet to see a recipe for such, but pre-paleo I used to make a tasty beer bread recipe from scratch (using something other than beer, of course!).  Hoping to be able to successfully modify that one.  I've seen lots of recipes using baking soda and vinegar, so that's always an option . . . I have all the ingredients necessary, I just need to be brave enough to give it a go, and be willing to toss if it's terrible!! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Annual July Sale!

For the entire month of July, get 10% off anything at Greenchild Creations, including Cavemom's Cooking!  Please use Etsy Coupon Code 10OFF at checkout.  :)

Cavemom's Cooking, E-book (PDF) $9.99
Cavemom's Cooking, print copies $22.95

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring bounty

Spring - finally!!  Our cherry & apple trees are just beginning to bloom, the rhubarb is doing fantastic (ate some of that with breakfast this morning!), and the new asparagus bed is on its second year.  Strawberry plants are doing well, chives and wild onions are thriving.  Volunteer radishes are coming up too.  I can't wait to get in and plant the garden, but it will likely be next week, or the week after.  We are fencing in the yard this summer for the munchkin; we took out the existing hedge which gives us additional room for garden space.

Wednesday I tried Morel hunting in one of my favorite places.  Morels are up in various places here in Minnesota, but it was just too early in my spot, I think.  The only fungus I saw was one tiny little inky cap, about 2" tall.  We'll go back a few times over the next couple weeks; hopefully we'll have a bounty like last year! 

I may not have found any Morels, but I did score some early asparagus!  I'd guess about 90% of what we found was too little to be picked, but it's a great spot and we try to go at least once every spring.

Which brings me to this: 
Roasted Asparagus with Goat Feta Cheese & Pecans

olive oil
lemon juice
garlic granules
sea salt
goat feta cheese
pecans, roughly chopped

Layer the asparagus on a baking sheet.  Drizzle on a little olive oil & lemon juice.  Season lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Toss on some goat feta cheese and top with pecans.  Roast for 10 minutes at 415F (set the oven somewhere between 400 and 425F).  Remove from oven, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil & lemon juice and serve warm.

It's very easy to eat a lot of this!! :)

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fundraising time!

Kaiden's been using a Vantage Lite (LAMP system) loaner unit in speech therapy and is doing fantastic!  He picked it up quicker than anyone thought he would (except me, LOL!!  I KNOW he's a smart little stinker!!).  But, since it's a loaner unit, it's time for it to be used with another child.  These speech devices, while fantastic . . . are not cheap.  We're talking a range of $6000 and up, up, up.  So . . . here we are . . . fundraising time!

Here is our GoFundMe page:  Please go check it out - donations of any size are immensely appreciated, as well as sharing his page via social media.  We're off to a great start, and are so blessed to have so many wonderfully caring people in our lives!

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

NRHEG Star Eagle: A Christmas Story of Love and Hope

We've been featured again!  I graduated from NRHEG, so this is the "hometown" paper, the NRHEG Star Eagle. :)  They did a fantastic job with this article - while I was immensely pleased to be featured in our local town paper & magazine, they did get a lot of the details incorrect so this has been a chance to get it out there, with the "right" story!

Please click to read:
Featured in the 2013 Christmas Edition of the 
NRHEG Star Eagle:
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nightshade free pepperoni!

Yes, that's right.  I searched online for a nightshade free pepperoni recipe and came up with nothing truly nightshade free.  I did, however, find several recipes for vegan "pepperoni" made with beets (and nightshades).  So today's experiment:  Nightshade FREE pepperoni!!

I modified the existing recipes to not only be nightshade free, but to my own taste:

1/2 a large beet, quartered and sliced thin

1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

grind together, either in a coffee grinder, or a mortar & pestle:
1/2 tsp dehydrated onion flakes
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp sage leaves (dried)

Layer beets in a baking dish.  Stir sauce ingredients together, and pour over beets, stir to coat.  Spread the beet slices out, but no need to be single layer.  Bake at 325F for 20  min, and flip the beets.  Bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes, then stir, and repeat until beet slices are soft and edges begin to curl, with most of the liquid absorbed.

I had my doubts that this would taste like pepperoni, but I was wrong!  Okay, it's not exactly like pepperoni, but it is pretty close! And delicious!!

1/23/14 Editing to add: I tried them on a nightshade free paleo pizza.  They were very tasty on pizza,but the pepperoni flavor wasn't strong enough; it was more like eating a veggie pizza.  Next up I tried marinating hamburger in the recipe above  - but while that amount of fennel is perfect for beets, it overpowers the meat.  Good thing I like fennel!  3rd attempt was the same recipe, only doubling all the spices/herbs except the fennel, which was cut to about 1/8 tsp, and using venison burger.  THAT was excellent!! Not perfectly pepperoni-like, but close!

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Covered Cherries

With the holidays just past, paleo desserts have been on my mind.  I miss chocolate covered cherries, but don't dare eat the commercial ones. Processed sugars make my joints hurt something awful!  I modified a traditional recipe but have not really figured out precise measurements yet for the paleo version - just did my typical "throw stuff together". 

Original version: 60 maraschino cherries, 3 Tbsp of butter, 3 Tbsp of light corn syrup, 2c of powdered sugar, and 1 lb dipping chocolate.

My version: a package of frozen dark sweet cherries (approx. 30 cherries), and what I'm guessing amounted to 1/4 c (unrefined) coconut oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 c arrowroot powder, 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, and a 10 oz package of Enjoy Life Chocolate Mega Chunks.  I'm pretty good at eyeballing measurements. :)

I melted the coconut oil with the maple syrup and vanilla extract, then added a little arrowroot powder not only to thicken, but to give that slightly powdery texture that powdered sugar would give.  It blended up nicely and I thought about putting it in the fridge to cool so it would be easier to apply to the cherries . . . but I am impatient.  So I added xanthan gum.  Now, I did not mean to use that much xanthan gum - the bag spilled.  It gelled the mixture a little more (okay, a lot more) than I wanted!  I will note that some of the coconut oil, I estimate about 1 Tbsp, refused to mix in no matter how much I stirred.  Actually it wasn't a bad thing that the mixture gelled that much - it was fairly easy to apply it to the cherries, which were still frozen. With the coldness of the cherries, the coconut oil hardened back up quickly and the mixture stayed on the cherries nicely.  Then I melted the chocolate and dipped the coated cherries, and placed them in mini-muffin paper cups.  The chocolate began to cool and the frozen cherries began to melt, so while the first half of the finished batch looked great, the second half was not particularly appetizing-looking!

If I had been thinking, I would have used either a double boiler or a heating pad to keep the chocolate all melty, and kept the coated cherries in the freezer or at least on cold packs to keep them frozen for easy dipping. But at least they tasted great!  They were even better the second day.

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