Monday, February 24, 2014

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Celeric Root Frosting


This is a fun recipe to turn every-day meatloaf into something that makes everyone feel like they're having treats.

What makes this recipe especially neat is the "icing".  If you're able to eat potatoes, you can blend some for the icing.  If you're like me though with a nightshades allergy (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes), you've probably also been on a quest for a potato substitute for years.

Ever hear of celeric root before?  I hadn't either until I read about using them as a potato substitute.  I'd tried the mashed cauliflower substitute, and didn't like it very much (I'm not a cauliflower fan).  However, the celeric was a winner for myself and Karl both.  He kept exclaiming the whole dinner about how good it was.

Here's what celeric root looks like:


Knarly, right?  However, underneath all that dirty, root filled skin is a white potato-like veggie.  Here's a video to demonstrate how to "peel" the skin off of celeric:


Giving credit where credit is due, I read about the celeric root substitute, as well as the idea for the meatloaf cupcakes from a paleo cookbook I was recently given called Against All Grain.  The cook/writer, Danielle, has a blog that gives many of her recipes for free here.  Check it out, as she has lots of great recipes!

Recipe:

Meatloaf:

You can get my brown sugar meatloaf recipe here.  The only difference you'll have is that since we're using a cupcake pan versus loaf, it takes approx 30 mins to bake, or until the juices run clear.

Mashed Celeric Root:

  • If you're doing 2 lbs of ground beef, then I'd recommend 3-4 celeric roots.  
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • 12 oz water
  • 3 tbsp buttery extra-virgin olive oil (or butter if you're able to)
  • cheese (optional)

- Cut the celeric roots down to their whites, then slice them into wedges and cook them in boiling water for approx 12 minutes, or until they soften.

- Drain the pot and put the roots into a food mixer or use a bowl and blender/beater.  Add salt, pepper, garlic, water, olive oil, and if you'd like/are able to, cheese. (basically treat it like mashed potatoes).

- Blend until you get a smooth consistency akin to a thick yogurt.  (if necessary, add more water as you blend to achieve this)

- Dollop the creamy mash onto each 'meat cupcake' while still hot.  Top with chopped chives for "sprinkes".

- Enjoy!




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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Getting on my Soapbox: Non-toxic Soap

Following up to this entry from the other day, here's the start to a mini-series of non-toxic alternatives to things you use everyday.

I've been on a long road to get here, and I'm still learning and experimenting. It's gotten easier to find good-for-you products in the last few years with awareness growing about the chemicals we unquestioningly expose ourselves to everyday, so all of the items I'll be listing in the days to come I've found at your usual grocery stores.

However, before I launch into these products, I do want to make you aware of something when you are shopping for safer products: Companies know that more consumers are looking for and choosing healthier foods and products. To meet this growing demand and also not lose out on the organic bandwagon revenue, companies such as Coca Cola, Kelloggs, Kraft, Heinz, etc. have developed their own offerings and standard of "organic"; even creating new sub-companies with healthy sounding names and packaging to seem as "small company" as possible. Ever heard of Kashi? Owned by Kelloggs. Naked Juice? Owned by Pepsi. For a good run-down of others you may or may not know of, see this fun list from buzzfeed  (don't blame me if you get stuck on buzzfeed, hehe).

The same has happened with many "green" and "organic" shampoo, soaps, and lotions that look like they are produced by small hippy companies but are actually owned by large companies such as Johnson & Johnson, or as in the case of Burt's Bees, Clorox. Don't take a product's packaging as the tell-all sign that the product is "healthy" or "natural".


Companies such as Burt's Bees did not start out owned by Clorox; they definitely had their customers health in mind when they were still a small company. But once sold to Clorox, their ingredients have been compromised. This is something to just be aware of when looking into products.

There's a ton of info out there about the harmful toxins found in everyday soaps. Here's a few links to get you started in finding out more:

- Toxins found in Dove soap: scroll down a bit to see a list of the ingredients and what they are, as well as the health concerns they pose. Keep in mind how absorbent our skin is.
- Antibacterial Soap: I am guilty of still using these liquid soaps for hand-washing.  >.<  But, I am working to phase them out because of the unnecessary hazards they pose. If we stopped using this kind of soap, our immune systems wouldn't be so bogged-down trying to get rid of the chemicals we put in it, and could instead do what it's meant to do: ward off germs. Trust you body.
- Overall list of ingredients in soaps to avoid and why

Ok, I'm done with that side of things. Now let's get onto the soap!

Dr. Bronner's Body Soap in Lavender



I love this soap! I recognize all of the ingredients, it lathers really well, and smells really good.  It is paraben, sulfate, gluten, and overall toxin free (and organic to-boot). Furthermore, it doesn't leave my skin feeling like there's a film on it, or dry it out. There are additional scents to choose from such as almond, rose, peppermint, and citrus. (click here to see a full list). I find this at my local grocery store for $3.50, and it lasts me several months.

Ingredients: Organic coconut, organic palm and olive oils, water, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, lavender extract, organic lavender oil, salt, citric acid, vitamin E.

I'll be covering more items such as shampoos, lotions (body and facial), deodorant, shaving gel, hair dye, laundry detergent, and makeup in upcoming posts!  

Keep thinking this to yourself: small changes add up.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ice Storm, Subway, & a Challenge

Well, last week was an interesting one.

We had a snow storm with approx 8-10 inches, followed 36 hours later with a huge ice storm that knocked out our power for over 60+ hours.

Borrowing from my hubby's joke, this is basically what we got told every time we called our power company for an estimate of when we'd have power back:


We had a generator going for much of it so that we didn't lose any food in our fridge and we have gas heat and stove/oven, so all of the basics were thankfully covered.

There was a ton of damage done to the area - our backyard is still littered with fallen branches.


Also, I'm guessing most of you have heard by now about the plastic ingredient in the bread of Subway sandwiches?  This article explains it a bit more.  I'm glad that things like this are finally getting exposed and understood by "the masses".  There's so many toxic chemicals in any processed foods, even our produce, that it's no wonder we have the health problems we do as a nation.  It makes me more and more thankful that I have Celiacs.  Having it has made me more conscious of what I'm eating, and what I once thought was a disaster when it came to being able to eat out, it's articles like this that make me shut up that desire.   My Celiacs has prevented me from eating out in the last 7+ years except at places that use grass-fed beef and GMO-free, straight-from-local-farmers in-season produce (which are growing more prevalent in the last 3 years).  I haven't bought any pre-made GF foods such as breads in the past 2 years either because I noticed it was having effects on me.  I guess when you start purging, truly purging and going to pure scratch for all of your food, your body rejects anything with unnatural ingredients.  Kind of makes you realize how much you were making your body put up with crap all these years.

Here's a challenge: look-up all the ingredients and what they come from in all of the products you eat, lotions and makeup, shampoo, etc. you use in just one normal day.  I guarantee you it will drastically change the way you view your health and that of your family.  It will seem overwhelming at first about where to start.  But the first step is to take a step, however small it is.  Chisel things away, bit by bit.  It will take time (I've been at it for years and I'm still learning and chiseling).  But it is rewarding and so worth it.

Hit me up if you have questions.  I hadn't planned this, but I may just do some posts about some makeup and soaps, what's in them, and give some I've found that are good for you.  Alright, y'all convinced me.  Let's do that.  I'll do an entry by mid-week to follow up on this!

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