Monthly Archives: January 2015

Paleo Crockpot Venison Stew

A lot of people have a “love it” or “won’t touch it” attitude when it comes to venison. However I don’t really have a choice due to the fact it comprises about 50% of what I have in my freezer right now!

I definitely don’t mind! Venison isn’t my favorite meat, but it was more or less free and that’s what makes it so good! My husband got a deer in the fall and we processed it here and saved it all with our vacuum saver. Voila- non-supermarket unadulterated

meat in the freezer and I basically didn’t have to do a thing!

Venison is also higher in protein, lower in calories and higher in some vitamins than beef! I prefer the taste of beef, when I cook venison with a variety of different flavors that compliment it, I can hardly tell the difference!

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The main benefit for me is obtaining meat that hasn’t been raised by our industrial meat system. Sometimes I don’t get why people don’t want to eat venison because they think of a “cute deer” or something. I mean that deer probably had a better life and death than the cow from the burger you ate from your supermarket meat so there’s little to that argument. And if you’ve been reading my blog for a bit you know I have experience with eating animals that I’ve raised!

Anyway, I bet you were hoping for the recipe sometime soon. This venison stew is super fast to prepare and easy! I made it in about 10 minutes on Sunday before I went to the gym in the morning and it was done by dinner time. Feel free to add potatoes or other root vegetables of your liking. We ate the stew with side salads and still had enough leftovers for the next night! Enjoy!

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Paleo Crockpot Venison Stew
Serves 5
A hearty, warm dish perfect for a cold night!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 lbs venison stew meat (cubed chunks)
  2. 9-10 carrots, peeled and diced
  3. 2 white onions, sliced
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 4 cups beef or chicken broth
  6. 3/4 can of tomato paste
  7. 1/2 cup red wine
  8. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp pepper
  11. 2 tsp dried oregano
  12. 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  13. 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Place everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the meat is tender.
  2. Salt, pepper and season to taste.
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/

 This is a great recipe for a weeknight- virtually no dishes and leftovers for the second night (depending on how big your family is). If venison isn’t your thing you can easily sub beef!

Are you a fan of venison?

What are your favorite easy weeknight meals?

 

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What I’ve been eating lately Wednesday + Thoughts on Whole 30

I really haven’t been putting much time into the blog lately, and I definitely have not done a WIAW in a bit, but I had the urge to share what I’ve been eating lately in relation to doing the Whole 30. I decided that with the blog, I am not going to force myself to blog. When I feel like it, I’ll do it! That’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t know why but the past year it’s been up and down with feeling the urge to blog and honestly I don’t want to force out stupid blog posts just to get something up. I hope you’ll stick with me! Here’s some tidbits about what I ate and my thoughts about the Whole 30 I’m participating in this month:

What I Ate Wednesday Button

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{typical breakfast: kale, tomato and bacon quiche with parsnip fries and sauerkraut on the side}

Sooo…Whole 30…it’s not going as great as it was last year. I am hungry ALL THE TIME. This is normally not me. Over the past year I really have settled into routine and developed really NORMAl eating patterns as opposed to how I used to be in restricting food and calories and obsessively worrying about it. So yes, the Whole 30 last year was like a jump start for me and over the year of 2014 I really did develop much more natural, healthy eating patterns. Like, I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. Very novel idea.

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{Lunch- tuna sushi rolls and salad}

However the Whole 30 (although it is very very similar to how I regularly eat) has extra rules I don’t normally follow- like not being able to eat dessert or paleo baked goods. To tell you the truth, these rules are stressing me out. Like normally I would just eat dinner to when I’m full knowing that I am going to have a little snack later. Now during the Whole 30 I’ve been like “better eat as much as possible for dinner because there’s no snack” mentality, which isn’t really healthy. I thought I had abandoned this mentality.

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{Excellent Dinner- Venison steak taco salad with jalepenos, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, onions and plantains}

So to tell you the truth, I really wanted one of my husbands gluten free granola bars this weekend, so I ate one. Oh well. I am still following Whole 30 for the remainder of the month, but I’m not going to let these rules stress me out, especially when I’ve worked so hard to not have them. So if I want to eat something of plan, I am consciously making that a decision and not punishing myself for it. I highly suggest everyone do the Whole 30 strictly at least once in their lives. However, this just isn’t where I am on my journey of eating, so I’m not that strict about it. Mostly the lesson learned is- do what works for you!

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{Another yummy lunch- Liver/Pork Meatballs and Sage noodles from The Paleo Kitchen<<Sooooooo Good! + a salad}

 Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I’m really going to eat enough at each meal to not snack in the afternoon, I have to eat a LOT. It’s possible but I really don’t have a ton of time to eat in the morning and shoving down that huge breakfast you saw above is difficult! Oh well, there’s no laws against snacks in my world!

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{typical snack- figs with coconut butter YUM!}

 That will be it for what I’ve been eating. Kind of random, but many delicious things. Hope your Whole 30 is going well!

How do you feel about breaking the Whole 3o rules??

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Whole 30 Week 2 Meal Plan

Like many other whole food and Paleo bloggers I decided to do the Whole 30 in January. I got a late start because I was too >ahem< sick to start on New Years Day. Then I wasn’t prepared to start on the Friday after New Years because I didn’t have the right food in the house. SO I started last Saturday.

Today is Day 8! Here’s what I have planned for week 2 of my Whole 30. 

Breakfasts-

Pork Soup
*I made soup with butternut squash, Swiss chard, pork stock and bits of leftover pork. I usually make soup for lunch but it’s been annoying carrying it into school so I decided to just eat it here for breakfast.

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Lunches-
Venison Stew (Mon-Wed)
Tuna Sushi (Thu-Fri)

I got these awesome Nori rolls at a natural food co-op I was at Saturday. Can’t wait to put them to the test!

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Dinners-
Monday- Leftover Spaghetti Bolognese (over zucchini noodles)
A recipe from Practical Paleo

Tuesday- White pork chili from Meals Made Simple (Against All Grain)
Got this book for Christmas and haven’t made much from it, I was really looking forward to trying this recipe.

Wednesday- Leftovers!

Thursday- Country ribs with mashed parnsips/potatoes and green beans

Fri- Wing it?

Saturday- Pork Arrabiata over zucchini noodles (Also from Meals Made Simple).

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A week into Whole 30 and I am feeling better, trying to get in some grass fed beef liver. It tastes gross but I am really trying to force myself to like it. I hide it in some meatballs and it’s pretty good. I picked up a large haul from my farmer the other day. #nutrientseeker

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I’ve been feeling very blah and just unmotivated and I’m pretty sure the winter is getting to me. At the natural grocery store I visited this weekend I picked up some Whole 30 compliant vitamins to help with this at the advice of my naturopath. I never even thought of the vitamin D issue. I’m probably getting next to zero vitamin D right now…. Ugh, winter.

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Have a great week!
Are you doing Whole 30? How are you feeling?

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Getting Started with Real Food

Yep, it’s the start of the new year and everyone is going to get HEALTHY! Right? I know, it’s so cliché but I know I definitely need a detox after the holidays and I have had several people asking me where to start when it comes to getting healthier or getting started with Paleo or whole foods. I’ve found some amazing resources people have been putting out there this week because of new years and I decided to compile them all here in case you’re brand new to Paleo and looking to get started. First, some tips from me!

get started

Tips

1. Plan out your meals! I make a detailed food and meal list every week and go shopping for the foods I need. Not only does this save me money but you’ll never be wondering “what do I  make for dinner” on a random weekday and succumb to ordering out.

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2. Food prep. I also take 2-4 hours every Sunday to make the lunches, breakfasts and some snacks for the week. I make the same thing for breakfast (like a casserole or quiche) and eat it for the five days. I usually make soup for lunch. I know it seems like a lot but there’s really no other way in my opinion. This is the ONLY way I am able to eat real food all week. It’s hard when you have kids or other obligations on Sundays but think it about it: it’s your health! It’s worth it! (Pick another day if Sunday doesn’t work for you.)

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3. Use the crock pot/leftovers during the week for dinner. The Crockpot is a magical tool. I put things into it at 6 am and it comes out delicious at 6 pm. This way I don’t have to spend too much time prepping dinner. I actually do enjoy cooking but it does become stressful sometimes during the week. Another trick I’ve used is to make extra of a meal then eat leftovers the next night. So that way if I’m using the crock pot for two nights then making another meal that has leftovers I’m really cutting down my hardcore “weeknight cooking time” to 1-2 nights.

yankee pot roast from Nom Nom Paleo

4. Don’t be hard on yourself if you “slip up”. The biggest problem I think with New Years resolutions is that people act like it’s an “all or nothing” deal. Like once you have one cookie you might as well give up and eat whatever (I used to be like this!!). Health is about what you do 80-90% of the time. One cookie is not going to ruin your life more than one salad is going to make you have perfect health. Just move on and make a better decision next time, no big deal!

5. Get ready to deal with naysayers. Don’t let people give you crap or make you feel like what you are doing is weird. Just be proud and always think of the reason you’re doing this to begin with. Your health. Your life and your family. People around you may make fun of what you’re doing or think it’s weird because they don’t understand it or for some reason are jealous of it. Where I live virtually no one is familiar with the type of diet I eat. I’m teased for bringing in things like sardines and chicken liver to lunch. But in my opinion it’s nobody’s business what I eat just like it’s not my business what they eat.

Books

My favorite Paleo books help me learn about real food, get out of a food rut when I’m bored, and inspire my own recipes!

It Starts with Food: The first book I read before I even knew what Paleo was.  I am doing a Whole 30 in January and I highly recommend you get the book before you decide to do it!

Practical Paleo: Duh. You can’t do Paleo without this book. I recommend it to everyone that asks me about Paleo.

Eat the Yolks: This is more informational but if you’re really interested in the WHY of real food, it’s a must read.

Resources

My all time favorite Paleo blog is PaleOMG. Her latest post is also how to start with Paleo- go figure!

The Lil Honey Bee has a lot of great tips for prepping food on the weekends and keeping it super- simple. If you’re not a fancy recipes, tons of ingredients kind of person I highly recommend following Amy’s blog.

Mark’s Daily Apple will give you information about fitness and health, with a more scientific feel.

NomNom Paleo is another great recipe blog!

There’s also been some great slow cooker recipe round-ups floating around out there to help with your food prep!

Primal Palate just published a blog post about how to go Paleo for a month.

I listen to the Balanced Bites Podcast on ITunes. I am absolutely hooked on podcasts now. It’s like we’re going back to the radio. Anyways, this is with the same author’s of Practical Paleo and Eat the Yolks. I love those ladies!

I also listen to Jason Sieb and Sarah Fragoso’s pod cast Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness. They are gym owners and trainers that talk about not only food and fitness but more the lifestyle factors of Paleo.

 (Some of these links were affiliate links- which means I earn a small amount if you click and buy. I only recommend products I myself use and love!)

Well I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list of resources right there! It’s pretty much everything I’ve read/seen/listened to on my journey. I wish you luck if you’re just starting and remember just stick to it and don’t worry if you don’t get it right at first. You’re doing this for the right reasons!

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