One GRITS Journey To Convert Beloved Southern Recipes to Paleo Approved, and Darn GOOD too!

This is my story of how I am striving to change my family's life, nutritionally, for the better. Here in the deep South Paleo is a foreign word. No one has heard of it, and gluten free is really almost as unheard of...
After reading Gary Taubes enlightning GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES I was determine to change! Armed with my own two hands, the internet (thank God for, and all those wonderful blogs and podcasts available now, I am beginning my journey.
Please feel free to join me as I try to adapt all of our Southern Favorites into Paleo Appropriate Scrumptiousness!!! (and all Gluten Free) I will try to post all of the good ones, and may even blog about some failures along the way.

13 August 2013

Pancake Pizzas- A mistake turned AWESOME.

So today I started out to try something new that I saw on Pintrest- Crock Pot Pizza-
 ( In case you wanna know-you make pizza dough, cover bottom of crock pot with some sauce, put in the pizza dough, top with sauce and toppings including cheese-2hrs on high) I am always looking for fast, or crockpot meals with soccer being so early and taking up all evenings...
BUT...I mixed up my dough recipe with a pancake recipe..basically I started out with a pizza recipe on the side of the box and midway through started reading from the pancake recipe....AAAAAHHHH, my brain these days.
GLUTEN FREE FLOUR is precious and pricey--so I had to save this right?
 So there was already garlic seasoning and oregano in it, and it was had milk instead of water, and too much of it...wrong amount of eggs... UGGGHHH. 
So I said to myself, SELF-what could I do with this mess????
 Pancake PIZZAS???- I started to get excited!!!!!!
But who knew if the MESS in my mixer would do anything. So I heated up the griddle to sizzling hot, liberally spread olive oil, and poured some of my mess , I mean dough right on it. AND GUESS WHAT???? drumbroll please........
IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have invented Pancake PIZZAS!! (I think? has anyone seen it before?)
So here is the recipe if anyone is intrigued- super easy and fast dinner!:
Jack shoving it down happily!

28 February 2013

What our troops do when they have time to kill....a nod to my friend Ryan!!! SO FUNNY_ MUST WATCH

My friend Ryan is in the army....I saw this on his is too funny not to post- even though it has NOTHING to do with food!!! Ryan says- here is what we do when they don't let us fight.....Ryan and all you army guys- thanks for fighting for our freedom, and thanks for keeping us laughing too!!!!!! Post more of these boys!!!!!-- this was a parady of the song and of the Dolphin cheerleader version too.

27 February 2013

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR this ROCKS--Cheesy Cauliflower Garlic "Bread"

Good Gravy---SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!
We experienced a first tonight. Tonight I made spaghetti with meat sauce, a fav around here- but guess what? Something miraculous happened.
 My children, yes every one of them, ate more cauliflower than they did pasta tonight. I mean an ENTIRE head of cauliflower downed- I mean they were asking for seconds and thirds before they even ate 2 bites of spaghetti. I have leftover pasta and ZERO leftover cauliflower.
On cheesy bread number 3- look how much pasta he still has!!!!!

20 February 2013

Pancetta Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast with Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Tonight I was sooo not feeling it. I did not want to cook. I am so sore and achy. So I said to the hubby- here is chicken breast- grill it and I am gonna rest.
10 minutes later.....ugh, we are out of gas for the grill hon.... I get up, head to the kitchen, and 
Can I get a WOOT! WOOT!
So I had chicken, some red and yellow bell peppers that needed to be used, some pancetta to use up, some cream cheese..... and what it yielded is actually worth writing down- a two thumbs up from the kiddos! I love when I can get them to LIKE veggies they say they don't!!!!
I wish I had a good camera, it is so much prettier than this gives it justice....

Pancetta Wrapped, Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with a Red Pepper Cream Sauce

15 January 2013

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

 SO I am really focusing on lowering my carb intake, and upping my veggie intake.....

I love to make coleslaw mixes, often with added protein such as shredded chicken....
Often my coleslaw mixes are mayo free, more focused on the vinegar...often asian...

This week I felt like making one with blue cheese...It turned out so well. My husband says it is the best yet.
It got eaten so fast there is no pics...but I am posting anyways so I will remember my recipe.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw
1 bag per-shredded coleslaw mix ( or shred your own- I do both, depends on week)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (home made is best,no harmful oils)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
2 T buttermilk ranch spices (I use Penzey's)
3 T sweet pickle relish
1T splenda (or more to taste)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Mix all together well. Let sit up in fridge for atleast a couple hours, overnight is even better!

29 October 2012

Lip Smakin Good Asian Chicken Wings

This is one my family could not stop raving about. They ate them all up,  lip smakin the whole time!!!- wish I had a video of the kiddos!
So I thought I should get it written down before I forget what I did, and what I used so that I can duplicate these babies!!
These got a full thumbs up from ALL THREE KIDDOS and the HUBBIE! 
 Asian Chicken Wings
3-4 lbs chicken wings
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce, or coconut aminos for those that don't do soy...
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1tsp ginger, ground
2 tsp 5 spice
 Mix marinade/sauce up and toss wings. Leave to sit in marinade at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees .
Line Baking sheets with aluminum foil and spread wings out, coating each with the sauce before you lay them out.
Toss in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Open oven and turn wings over so other side can brown, turn oven up to 425 degrees. Coat wings again with marinade and let them go for 10 minutes.
At this point turn them over again and begin basting with sauce every 5 min or so for 20 minutes or so... if they are getting too brown to fast you can turn down to 400... They are done when wings are all sticky and coated and browned to glorious perfection... 
  • TOTAL TIME- 1hour to 11/2 hours depending on how big your wings are, if you have really large wings I suggest making this initial time longer rather than the basting time!!
  • these do best in middle oven rack, if you have to do top and bottom rackes make sure you rotate the wings... I did in two ovens as I have a double oven...
And then they were gone....
Next time I may put some sesame seeds on them at the end....that would be pretty and yummy!

25 September 2012

Puppies and Apples

Well I took a little trip to Kentucky this weekend to pick up the sweetest little doggie with my friend.  

Meet Harrison

Of course on the way home I just HAD TO stop at a roadside Apple Stand for fresh apples.!!!!
and since it was me, this meant bushels and bushels, and of course some fresh Cider as well!

Hamilton and Izzy playing- aren't they the cutest

So this week will not only be training two puppies but canning apple sauce, apple butter, and why not throw in some pumpkin butter as well????

So this will be a three stepper folks. 
1. How to make the bestest ever applesauce.
2. How to make apple butter.
3. How to make pumpkin/apple butter.
(by the way, did you know that its not safe to can pumpkin butter??? I did not and I am bummed, guess I will give it away now as little impromptu gifts so it can be used up in the next few weeks out of the fridg... Bummer. but it sure does taste and look awesome!)

(and of course how to can and or freeze each of the above)

Are you ready? This is another of my Easy Peasy Recipes. I PROMISE. I have found that the easy route the correct route actually produces the best flavor AND the best color!!!!!
Lets make applesauce first.
    •  Roughly chop up your apples. Yes you heard right, seeds, cores, peels and all!!!--just use how ever many you need to fill up your crock pot to the top, or your dutch oven if going stove top route)
    • Throw those apples in the crockpot/dutch oven.
    • Add enough apple cider to cover bottom of crock pot. ( for my large crockpot I used like 1 cup cider)- 
    • Add 1 Tbsp Cinnamon (more to taste), I also added 2 cinnamon sticks (omit this step if you just want plain applesauce) BUT WHY WOULD U????
    • Turn crockpot on low and let that baby go all day (can do 4-6 hours, but if you leave it longer its just fine). 
      • if using dutch oven put it in the oven at 200 degrees, stir when you think about it or even let it go overnight in there.
    • Now get out your handy dandy Food Mill and use the largest size filter, add all that apple goodness, working in batches and process through the Food Mill. When you are finished processing all of your apples you will have your finished product- 
CONGRATS, you just made HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE!!!! for the adventurous you can now proceed to turning some or all of this goodness into APPLE BUTTER, or stop here and go straight to canning instructions.
Apple Butter-

(yes, there is no butter in apple butter, but it gets thick and spreads like butter....hence the name)
- just a quick note, you CAN make applebutter stove top, but WHY??? way to much time stirring and checking temp and tending..... please go the easy route and use a crockpot!!!!!!----
  • Place your applesauce into your crockpot filling almost to top. Add 1 TBSP cinnamon, 1 tsp clove, 1 tsp allspice (these amounts are all to taste).
  • if you must, add sugar or splenda to taste- I think with fresh mountain apples there is NO NEED for this, but if you must.... people say like 2 cups....
  • Set crockpot on low and let it go for atleast 8 hours, I usually prefer like 16. Stir when you think about it.... 
  • NOw you will have reduced the amount by about half and its getting thicker. Add more applesauce to almost fill pot again. Leave lid ajar and continue cooking until you get APPLE BUTTER....

- You know you have reached apple butter stage when it is completly thick and when you put a spoonful on a plate there it sits, like butter, no runnyness..... again hence the name APPLE BUTTER!-

Step One- 
Gather ingredientsjonagolds for canning applesauce
-of course sterilize your jars ( i just run mine through a sterilize cycle in the dishwasher)-
place your lids  in a pan of water that iis just under a boil for 5 min, then just let them sit and rest at a simmer till ready-
-just simply wash rings with hot soapy water and set to side on clean towl
-Basically just get all of your tools ready and make sure all are very clean -
this is the kit i use

Step Two- 
Fill water canner with enough water that it will cover your jars by an inch or so.

Make sure applesauce is at a boil (15 min in crockpot with lid on should get you there)Ladle sauce into your jars via funnel leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Wipe each jar clean with a damp CLEAN washcloth.
Place lid on each with lid wand thingie.
Place screw top on each and turn till secure, but not too tight.
Step Three-
Put them all in the water bath, making sure none are touching and follow directions on canning for where you live.
 See below chart:
Recommended process time for Applesauce or Apple Butter in a boiling-water canner.
Jar Size  Process Time at Altitudes of
0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Half-pints or Pints 5 min 10 15
Quarts 10 15 20
 Step Four
- Take each jar out using your jar grabber thingie that comes with the canner kit. Place them gently on the towel you have laid out and make sure they are not touching. Leave them alone for atleast 12 hours, I tend to do 24.

NOW YOU ARE DONE!!!!So......
Feel so proud- you just made applebutter from scratch, it looks so pretty, tastes so good, and everyone will be so impressed when you give it as gifts!!!! 
(it will be our little secret that this took almost zero actual hands on work time!!!!!)

-or put them up, or perhaps use some tonight over some pork chops??????

additional thoughts:
-You can skip canning and just put in fridge and eat within 2 weeks.
-You can freeze in freezer bags and if you use Food sealer they will last years.
-You don't have to have a canner- you just need a big enough pot to hold all and something to set in the bottom so jars are not touching the bottom of the pan ( so water can circulate).
- I tend to just use my pressure canner as a water bath canner  by just not closing the lid tight
-also, just food for thought--if you go this route and use every part of the apple and then food mill it into a puree you get to keep all those vitamens and minerals that you would loose if you peeled and cored it before cooking- See sometimes the easy way IS the PERFECT way!-

do exactly the same thing as Apple Butter but when you add the apple sauce to the crockpot also add one can of organic pumpkin puree... WALAA!!!!!
 -----just freeze this for later or put it in the fridge and use it in the next two weeks------

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