Not Every Recipe is A Winner – Common Sense Philosophies

Grilled Shrimp on a Baby Spinach Salad

Not every recipe is a winner. If you’re new to cooking, I think it’s important for you to know this. Now, I admit I do have an uncanny luck with liking most things that I make. My husband was shocked one day when they liked a dish and I refused to eat it because I didn’t like the flavor. It’s rare, but I promise I don’t always like everything I come up with…but my biggest message is…That’s okay!!!

One reason I like doing review blogs on recipes by other bloggers is because I want you guys to know these recipes are accomplish-able. I like to show you guys which recipes I’ve tried. Now…I think my first review was my only negative one and I immediately decided that I did not want to do another negative review. We all have different opinions…We all have our own food issues. For instance…Since going paleo for well over a year now I am not fond of most gluten free bread like products. I have given up on finding a pancake that I like. It’s just a texture issue for me. However, there are several good recipes out there that many people like. My goal is never to discourage anyone from at least trying a recipe.

When you’re cooking you have to be reasonable with your expectations. Not every recipe is going to be right for you. There may even be ingredients that you are just not ready to try. I, frankly, love to try anything and everything. I learned the hard way that I’m not a fan of short ribs. The flavor is just not something I care for. I’ve tried making up my own recipe. I’ve tried other recipes. I’m just not a fan…Again…That’s okay!

The picture above is actually shrimp sauteed in butter, lemon, and pepper. The shrimp turned out really soft and the butter flavor over powered the shrimp. It just didn’t taste good. I was not a fan of the texture either. Grilled shrimp would be a much choice for this salad in hind sight.

Things I’ve learned when choosing and trying recipes:

  • Go for it! Don’t be afraid to try it.
  • Modify when you know what you like. If you know you prefer basil over thyme…Do it! Try it!
  • Recipes are not written in stone. Experiment. Use the recipe as a guideline when you’re comfortable enough to experiment.
  • Keep time in mind. Do you really want to try to master bouef bourguignon on a Wednesday night?
  • Don’t be afraid to make your own recipe! (Have you seen the tab that says “Stuff I Make Up”?)
  • Shop local and in season as much as you can for inspiration.
  • Stay inspired and watch others cook, such as cooking shows, or on YouTube.

To end this Common Sense Philosophies post, I want to remind you my dear friends, just because the recipe isn’t a winner, doesn’t mean you’re a loser. You are still winning with experience points. Every meal is a lesson and you get a chance three times a day to try again, and learn more. I told my husband the other day, there’s nothing in this world that I wouldn’t want to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I’m ready to move on to the next life to learn something new there.

Keep on cooking friends and come back next time. I have several recipes and a review coming up that I am so very excited to share with you. I’ll be reviewing He Won’t Know It’s Paleo’s Red Wine Pasta Sauce…and I have figured out my AIP Bouef Bourguignon. Thank you guys for your continued support. It is so greatly appreciated.

-Ami M. Lee, Experimenter, Mad Hatter Chef, The Common Sense Cook

Manic Monday – Paleo Chicken Salad

Paleo Chicken Salad

Lunch has to be my least favorite meal. I just don’t know what to make half the time. I don’t want to cook a full meal, but I need to feed four people. These little kiddo of mine are getting more of the big kid appetites. Day after day…What in the world am I going to feed you little people, rolls across my mind. I was looking through “the pinterest” and happened across a club chicken salad. Lost that recipe and had to do what I do best… Making things up as I go.

On a funny side note…As I sit here blogging and realizing how many times I say that, I can see a whole line of cookbooks… “Paleo Stuff that I make Up.” “Still Making Stuff Up.” or “Making Stuff Up, Too Paleo, Too Fast.” Okay maybe that last one is a little silly… But I do dare to dream.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Package of Chicken Tenderloins (The strips…Or go ahead and cut up the breasts yourself.)
  • 1 Package of Bacon (I do Simple Truth or Oscar Mayer Selects without nitrates and such.)
  • Green Onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Homemade Mayo (Check out my previous blog: https://acommonsensecook.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/paleo-mayonaise/)
  • Lettuce Wraps (Or bread if you do bread. The kiddos enjoyed it as a sandwich.)

Cut up your bacon into small pieces and add them into a pan. Let them get into the cooking about 5 minutes before adding the pieces of chicken. Spread them out into one layer letting the bacon be in between the pieces. Let cook until a little brown on each side…This shouldn’t take much longer than 15 minutes. If you want to make sure it’s cooked through, go ahead and cut one open.

To make the cutting into bite size pieces easier, use a pair of kitchen scissors. Cut them into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Now…This is super simple. You can add many more things that you like into this. You could even add the salad part. ^__^

For the kiddos, I added some plantain chips with some golden raisins. They enjoyed their sandwich and all of them finished. I would feel good sending this in their school lunches and would be confident that they would eat it without Mommy supervision.

I hope you’ll try this out. Feel free to share any other great ingredients we could include in this in the comments below. Don’t forget you can come chat with me on Instagram (thecommonsensecook), Twitter (@AmiLeePhotos), and Facebook (a link is on the side bar >>>). You can also see that I like a lot of things other than cooking! LOL Make sure you come back next time to see what I can figure out for lunch next.

-Ami M. Lee, Lunch Packer, Bacon Lover, Common Sense Cook

A Very Veggie Hash

very veggie hash

I have shared and raved about ‘The Paleo Parents’ Sweet Potato Apple Hash. It was one of my first recipe reviews and I’ve since gone back and updated some notes on the bottom of my experiments with that recipe. Today I broke away and adapted this already amazing recipe into something even more amazing. I didn’t even know that was possible!

Here’s what you’ll need for this very veggie hash:

  • 1 Large White Sweet Potato, Diced (Or any extra large potato of choice. Mix and matching is yummy too.)
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Small Apples, Peeled and Diced (Green apples work best, but various red apples are just fine.)
  • 1 Crown of Broccoli, Diced
  • 1 Package of Bacon (I get the uncured, without nitrates.)
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Optional…My new favorite aip friendly sauce!)

The hardest part of this hash is prep. You need a good sharp knife and plenty of plates or bowls to put the veggies on. A platter would work great too. Peel and Dice your vegetables. Go ahead and do this first. It helps the actual cooking go a little smoother. If you’re good at multi-tasking you may go ahead and cut your bacon into pieces and spread it out in a large pan.

Once the bacon has been cooking about 5-7 minutes on medium to medium high heat, add the potatoes, onions, and broccoli first. These vegetables take the longest to cook. This cooking time can depend on the type of potato you use. Sweet potatoes, the regular ole orange ones, cook a bit faster than the dryer white sweet potatoes. About 10 minutes later you can add the apples. About another 10 minutes and you will have your amazing, extra veggie hash.

What can you put on this? Well…I can’t do ketchup, but my kiddos did enjoy it. I have become obsessed with “25 Star Balsamic Vinegar” that I picked up on vacation in Hot Springs, AR at evilO. The flavor is so amazing. I really wish I would have bought one of the huge bottles, instead of a tiny one. I even told my husband we need to start a balsamic vinegar part of our food budget. ^__^ This also went really well with some eggs with green onions, a little bit of minced broccoli, powdered garlic, ginger, with salt and pepper topped with some local raw colby cheese.

I hope you enjoy this delicious and nutritious recipe. This got a 3/3 paleo kiddo approval rating! So I’m sending you guys a plate full of veggie deliciousness from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. Come back next time to see if I can keep up with the paleo hashtag #MoreVegetablesThanAVegetarian.

-Ami M. Lee, Veggie Lover, Balsamic Vinegar Obsessed, Common Sense Cook

Common Sense Philosophies – School Lunches

Kiddo Lunches

Today was a wonderful learning day. I have two kiddos going to kindergarten this year. My oldest fell under birthday rule, while my middle kiddo did not. I am all about being prepared way in advance. So here we are, getting prepared for school lunches!

I bought these great little containers last year for a picnic. I thought they’d be great to hang on to for when they kids go to school. They’re silicone with a plastic lid. They can fold up, or expand when food is in it. They are dishwasher safe. I’m still trying to figure out how to get them in a cooled lunch box because of the shape…But we’ll get there eventually.

So what did I put in my kids’ lunch box? Well…It started off like this.

Kiddos Grocery Shopping

I let these three cutie patooties push their own mini-cart around the store and pick out what they wanted to eat for lunch. We picked up things like almond butter, dried fruit, and more. It was a little crazy because I had to constantly remind them to watch where they were going, but they had a blast and most people just smiled from ear to ear.

So….back to what I put in it. As a paleo (AIP) mom, I know that in the media there have been many parents come under heavy fire for what they send in their kids’ lunch boxes. I am not half as strict on my kiddos as I am on myself, for one. I leave occasional wheat based products (usually of higher quality) in their diet so that if they do slip up, they are not as gravely affected as I am. I did have a time where I was very strict, and my kiddos ended up getting very sick if they were anywhere but eating at home. In some paleo circles, this is just unacceptable, but for me…80/20 paleo is important to us for our kids and leaving in a little gluten allows them to have those occasional conventional treats with other family members.

For these lunch boxes I packed a pretty well rounded meal (in my opinion only). There are some carrots with ranch (not shown) because my kiddos can devour some carrots. We have some amazing dried strawberries with some walnuts. Finally, we have two sandwich halves that are oatnut bread and almond butter.

I look for a few things when compiling this lunch box. I’m looking for protein, vegetables, a healthy source of fruit or sugar, and healthy fats. Almond butter (as many nut butters do) have a good amount of protein. My kiddos love carrots and they keep well, so that is a great veggie to be able to send. The fruit is small, dried, and stable to be refrigerated or not. Then, the healthy fats are in the extra walnuts with the dried strawberries. I don’t look (or care) about the “whole grains” part because it is not a staple of our diet (another philosophy for another time).

You may be asking…Where is the dairy at? My youngest kiddo is severely lactose/casein intolerant. We do coconut and almond milk from time to time. I occasionally do high quality, raw, local cheese for the family. However, I am just not comfortable with having it under light refrigeration (via a cooling pack) over the course of many hours. I am wanting to look at the ability of a thermos that could help keep liquids cold for an extended period of time…But that’s still in the works.

This was an amazingly fun project to do with the kids. I think they really enjoyed picking out their lunch foods, and they’ll be really surprised this afternoon when they get to have all of the amazing things that they picked. Here’s the jist of what I learned from this experience:

  • Get your kiddos involved. Make sure to ask them what they would like, and if it’s available to you, let the kids do the shopping.
  • Pick your containers in advanced so that your kids can practice how to use it, and the general “rules” of eating at school. Such as, eat your sandwich and carrots before you eat your fruit treat.
  • Know what is most important to you on their plate while considering what the conventional guidelines are.
  • Look for the basics such as protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. (If you’re family does dairy and/or whole grains, know what the good/healthy ways to send these are.)
  • Keep experimenting.

I hope you enjoy this post. I had so much fun doing it and can’t wait till I can figure out some more lunch combos as we get closer to the big day. If you have kiddos, what are their favorite things to take to school for lunch? I’ll be sure to share more as we experiment.

-Ami M. Lee, Lunchtime Experimenter, Whole Food Lunch Giver, Common Sense Cook

Mashed Potatoes – Two Ways

I know that potatoes do not have the best reputation with most paleos. In fact, potatoes may not be tolerated by everyone because it is a member of the nightshade families. (Look at this easy to read, informative post from The Paleo Mom: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/08/what-are-nightshades.html)

But, for those of you with me on the potato bandwagon, I wanted to tell you how I like to paleofy my potatoes to be dairy and gluten free. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete here, without a big pile of potatoes and gravy. In case you missed it or are a new subscriber (thank you!<3), then check out the Giblet Gravy post so you can use all those yummy bits they send in the turkey. Don’t throw them out and don’t be afraid.

Here’s what you’ll need for potatoes two ways:

  • 2 – 3 Pounds, potatoes of your choice (I like yukon golds and plain ole sweet potatoes.)
  • Stock of your choice (I use mushroom or gluten free beef broth is pretty great too.)
  • Salt and Pepper to your choice
  • Butter (If you tolerate it. Grass fed butter is much better tolerated in our family than conventional.)

Peel your potatoes and rinse the dirt away. I’ve never really seen the point of washing them before hand because I always end up washing them again. It’s Thanksgiving. Save yourself the trouble. Peel and then rinse them off. Chop them up. If you’re doing a large amount at one time, I like to chop them then put them in a very large bowl.

Salt your water and bring it to a boil. You can add the potatoes before it starts to boil, just make sure the potatoes come up to a boil then turn them down to about medium heat. If it starts to bubble over, turn it down. I’ve mentioned a few times, my glass top seems to retain heat for a long time, which keeps me continually turning things down. I’ve even fried things on a two a few batches in! Set your timer for about 30 minutes. Check them frequently. If you can slide a knife through and it slips right back off (careful don’t splash yourself, I usually hold the cooking spoon under the piece I’m trying.) then it is ready.

Drain the water with a colander and return the potatoes to the pot. Take a whisk and start mashing the potatoes into little pieces. If they’re still hard and difficult to mash, you didn’t cook it long enough. It’s okay…I just did that the other night. Just make a smash potato instead of whipped, mashed.

Add the broth to your liking. I probably on average use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Remember, as Emeril Lagasse says, you can always add more, but you can never take more out. Whip it around, add salt and pepper. Do this when it’s hot and it should look like mashed potatoes. I used to use an electric cake mixer to do whipped potatoes that are pretty great, but this gives a good chunky, country style, mashed potato.

You can do the same thing with white or orange sweet potatoes. If you really want to spice up some orange potatoes you can add red bell peppers, crushed bay leaf, and use beef stock. Throw them in a lovely serving bowl and you are good to go. I did see Jacque on Jacque & Julia put his in what looked like deep ceramic, maybe souffle cookware in a deep, wide pan of hot water to keep them warm.

I hope you enjoy this hearty side dish made paleo. Giving up dairy and gluten can seem hard on the holidays, but that shouldn’t keep you for enjoying your old favorites, with new ingredient comrades. I’m sending you paleo alternatives from my kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for two recipes! I’ll be doing a Manic Monday combined with a recipe review for Pumpkin Pie Smoothie…You won’t want to miss this! Of course, I’ll also be bringing you the star of Thanksgiving! My paleofied Julia Turkey.

-Ami M. Lee, The Potato Mashing, Common Sense Cook

Paleofied Chicken Strips

As my family, friends, and kiddos suspect…I am a little crazy! I could possibly even say that at times I feel like a mad scientist when I’m in my kitchen. I am always cooking up some evil plot to help my family eat healthier without them knowing…Or at least until they’ve finished plenty of their food. I am a big proponent of letting my kiddos know that what they are eating is good for them and try to get down on their level to tell them why. For instance, Madison knows that her almond milk is good for her bones and carrots are good for her eyes.
So how does this mom go about getting my kiddos to eat these healthy paleo meals? I make many things that look like old favorites. I call them “classics.” Many people worry when you don’t feed your kids conventionally that you’re stealing their favorites away from them. But, I believe it’s not only good for your kids to enjoy those favorites, but sometimes it helps us parents feel like we’re young at heart again.
For today’s recipe (and my go to kid pleaser) I am going to share the easiest meal that is cost effective, yummy, and good for you! Today is chicken strip and french fry night here! Wait…I know what you’re thinking…that is a kid favorite but how are you going to keep out grains, dairy…and are you using white potatoes! (Gasp!)
Here’s what you will need:
⦁ Raw Unsalted Almonds (Slivered, Blanched, or Sliced Almonds work fine.)
⦁ Pepitas aka Unshelled Pumpkin Seeds (I usually find mine at Wal-Mart.)
⦁ Shelled Sunflower Seeds
⦁ Chicken Breast Tenderloin Strips (This just makes it easier…But if you want to cut up some full size chicken breasts…Go for it!)
⦁ A healthy oil such as olive or coconut oil. (Not necessary if you bake.)
⦁ Sweet Potatoes (I usually do 2 to 3 for my two adults and three itty bitty kids.)
⦁ Seasoning Salt
That is an awful short list don’t you think? I take my favorite Ninja blender and put 1 cup of Almonds, and 1/2 a cup of each sunflower seeds and pepitas. If you have a nut allergy in the family you could simply use a mix of these seeds. Make sure to make this into a fine ground mix and not a paste. Over blending will give you a strange type of almond/seed butter.
Fill a large soup size pot with your oil (or if you have a deep fryer get it prepared and heated). Now you may be wondering about deep frying being healthy!? In paleo we believe that there is a healthy amount of fat that your body needs. I’m not saying make this dish every other night! It’s okay! Don’t fret. This really is the best method of cooking these. Baking them on 350 for 25 to 30 minutes works, and works well…it just isn’t “the best.”
The sweet potatoes are the toughest part of this recipe. Peel your sweet potatoes and slice them into french fry shapes. This takes some time and a very sharp knife, but take your time. The only thing to do at this point is throw them in the pot and deep fry them. Do these first because they leave very little residue in the oil. When you pull them out you can lay them on a paper towel on top of a cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle with seasoning salt or whatever seasonings you like. Salt and pepper tastes just as good.
Dip the chicken into the almond/seed coating. This makes a beautiful crust. The crust gets very crispy and almost sounds like rocks when they’re close to done! Just cook them till they are a light golden brown. Don’t be afraid to open one up if you’re worried about them being done.
Voila! Now you have a fast yummy meal that looks like a “classic” meal your family is accustomed to without the gut irritants of dairy or gluten. Feel free to play around with this classic and find other sides or veggies you would like. When my budget is feeling generous I may even throw in some Amy’s gluten and dairy free Macoroni & Cheese (found in the freezer section at Kroger).
I hope you enjoy this recipe and am sending you warm meals and big kiddo smiles from my common sense kitchen to yours! Tune in next week…You never know what this mad scientist/common sense cook will think up next!
-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Common Sense Philosophies – Getting your Paleo Kids Involved

Kiddos making Paleo Granola

It is commonly advised that if you have trouble getting your kiddos to eat, especially transitioning to Paleo, to get them involved with the cooking. I am, on most night, blessed with some great kids who eat just about anything. That’s no reason we can’t have fun right? We decided to make a double batch of Paleo Granola. I have a recipe already blogged, but we did things just a little different this time. Keep in mind, this is for a huge batch and did two cookie sheets full of granola.

Here’s what you’ll need for this kid involved, granola, extravaganza:

  • 4 Cups of Hazlenuts
  • 4 Cups of Sliced Almonds
  • 2 Cups of Organic Coconut Flakes
  • 2 Cups of Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Cups Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Local, Raw Honey
  • 2/3 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cloves

I had the kids take turns. I moved the huge bowl from place to place at the table. I let each kiddo dump in a cup or spoon that I measured out. However. Momma got to handle the oil and honey. Sorry…this OCD mom cannot handle stickiness. I seriously would like to know if there is a word for a phobia of stickiness!

Add all of the nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. I found a really great deal on organic coconut flake at Wal-Mart:

coconut flake

It is great to know that Wal-Mart is getting an affordable organic line.

After all of them are in the bowl, feel free to allow the kiddos to put an impeccably clean hand or two in the mix to stir it around. If a piece or two falls out on the table, let them eat it!

Add the spices to the mix. There was enough that each kiddo got to do two spoons. If your kiddos are older and a little more coordinated, you might teach them how to use the measuring spoons and cups. I am a firm believer that boys and girls need to learn how to cook. As they get older, you can teach them more and more. Plus, it’s never too early to teach them about kitchen safety such as not touching knives, the oven is hot, and dishes need to be put up and cleaned. These are important life lessons that are crucial to me, as a parent, so that when my children jump into their life journey on their own, they can take care of themselves well.

Add it onto a baking sheet. Don’t over flow it but slightly pack it so that it’s level with the sides. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. If you like to have it in smaller pieces, go ahead and add it in to a container. If you like chunks, let it cool completely then break it up into a container.

This was a great time with my kids and I hope this will encourage you to get your kids involved in the kitchen. It’s never too late to teach your kids healthy eating and healthy cooking. It’ll be a lesson that they will take with them the rest of their lives.

In some future posts I hope to introduce y’all to my kiddos one by one and discuss our paleo journey with our kids along with their individual needs, likes, wants. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want, send me some pictures of getting your kids involved in the kitchen on the Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/commonsensecook

-Happy cooking!

Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Asian Inspired Meatballs

Asian Inspired Meatballs 2

I don’t think that you will just like these meatballs. I think you will LOVE them! Why? My husband, the pickiest person I know, really, really likes them! Liked them so much he asked me to make them again tonight! For some reason, one night on the edge of the budget, I was trying to figure out what to make that was cheap, yummy, and easy. My broiler has recently become my bff in the kitchen, so away I went. I took the sauce recipe from ‘A Korean Supper’ that I had paleofied from Maangchi on YouTube (link in other blog post).

Here’s what you’ll need for these ultimate Asian Meatballs:

  • 5 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Onion (Separate the white part from the green part.)
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce GF Alternative (Such as Tamari or Coconut Aminos)
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine (miram) -or- Just use water.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Use local if you can!)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Ground Pork (I used ground turkey but it turned out very dry! If you can’t find ground pork, buy some cutlets that are similar to cubed steak ((only it’s pork)) and throw it in a high power Ninja Blender until it’s more squishy and mold-able.)

Add all of the sauce ingredients (everything but the pork) into a small food processor and send it for a whirl! When it is well combined, it’s ready. Roll your ground meat into a 1 1/2 to 2 inch ball and put in a glass baking dish. Drizzle the sauce over the meatballs but make sure to save some for when it needs flipped. I did try this on a baking cookie sheet, but the sauce burnt and did not work as well. The glass pan held the juices from the meatballs.

Set your broiler to high. Depending on how hot and fast you like to cook, you might turn it on low and keep an eye on it. I set my first batch for 10 minutes and then turned them. Sometimes, depending on the quality of the meat, it ended up just a bit dry, so I say drop it down to 7 minutes to be safe. Then turn them over, pour some more sauce over the meatballs to baste them then stick them back in for 7 more minutes. Make sure they’re cooked through. If not, turn the oven off. It should be hot enough to keep cooking, but set a timer. I can’t stress this enough…Set a timer! Let it just set in there for a few more minutes and it should be fine.

If you’re not paleo, throw this on some rice like my husband likes! If you are paleo and are better at cauliflower rice than I am, go for it! On the previous blog post ‘A Korean Supper’ there is a lovely recipe, paleofied Cold Cucumber Soup that is very delicious and goes well with this meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I think it’d be a great arsenal to have for guests, and they don’t even have to know it’s paleo! I’m sending you easy, paleo Asian Inspirations from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time and see what this Common Sense Cook and her bff the broiler come up with next.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Throw Together Stir-Fry

All too often I find myself standing in the fridge wondering what in the world I’ll make for myself for lunch. It’s easy to give the kiddos a piece of gluten free bread, jam, and almond butter and their fruit of choice. However…I need a little more than that. Not that I don’t mind making a full meal for all of us sometimes…just other days it’s what we have.
So before me sits a lidded casserole dish full of a pre-cooked chicken I had cooked and pulled apart. It’s occasions such as this that I keep some cooked chicken laying around in the fridge. Originally, I was just going to cook some onions (that I have been craving like madness lately), and some of the chicken. But…being paleo… We’re looking for nutrient density too. Yes…that means some veggies. I had some frozen veggies in the freezer perfect for a stir-fry.
So here’s what you’ll need to throw together:
⦁ Cut up Chicken (If you make from fresh some chicken breast would work fine.)
⦁ Green Giant Antioxidant Blend Frozen Veggies (In your favorite grocer’s freezer section.)
⦁ Half of an Onion (Cut it however you want. I had pre-minced an onion earlier this morning and threw it in.)
⦁ Olive Oil
⦁ Sesame Oil
⦁ Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos, or Tamari (If you aren’t GF, then plain ole soy sauce would work.)
If you have all of these things on hand…this is a piece of cake. Cooking with all fresh ingredients, of course, will be even more delicious. If you have everything fresh just make sure all of your veggies are cut up and well cooked, your meat is cooked, and then follow the directions to follow.
If you used the frozen veggies, cook according to the instructions on the package before you start so that they can be ready when you need them. If they’re done early, simply set them in a bowl on the side.
Add a good swirl of olive oil to a deep pan. Let it heat up on medium high. The onions should sizzle as soon as they hit the oil. Cook them until they are soft. Add the cooked veggies in. (You could do this all at the same time if cooking from fresh.) Add the meat of your choice. (You could use any meat you have.) After it is hot and well blended add a light swirl of sesame oil and a few dashes of liquid aminos. Stir well, then put on a plate. Enjoy! This can be made for as many or as few people as you need.
I hope you enjoy this really fast recipe that would be great for a quick lunch or supper. Rice is a paleo gray area because it’s nutritionally pointless and isn’t necessarily bad or good for the body. If you’re not paleo and want rice? Go on with your bad self my friend! I’m sending you yumminess in a jiffy from my (Paleo Parenthese Filled) Common Sense Kitchen, to yours. We’ll see you back, same paleo time, same paleo blog. You never know what this busy mom and Common Sense cook will throw together next!
Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Jazz Up Some Gluten Free Bisquick

Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes

A family member was so kind to send the kids a bunch of treats! Included in one of the boxes was some gluten free bisquick. GF Bisquick is not paleo because it uses Rice and Soy, but I follow the 80/20 rule for my children, and occasionally go ahead and eat it myself. As Julia Child says, “Everything is fine in moderation, including moderation.”

I have mentioned in past posts that I have never been a fan of breakfast foods. So I was thinking on this plain GF Bisquick thinking…What am I going to do to jazz this up. I am out of almond butter and jam… Pumpkin spice! I have been using it a lot lately whether I put pumpkin in a recipe or not (like the Paleo Granola recipe). Hip trends aside, it’s just a great spice combination.

Here’s what you’ll need for these Spiced Pancakes:

  • 1 Cup of Gluten Free Bisquick
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Giner
  • 1/8 Teaspoon All Spice
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cloves

Measure out all of the ingredients and add to a good sized mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated. The batter turned out very thick. I took a spoonula and took about a palm sized amount in my hand. The pancakes turned out much better if you roll it in a ball, then slightly flatten it.

Add a smidgen of coconut oil to a small pan.

I did one pancake at a time. This allows you to flip the pancakes instead of having to use a spatula. I’m working on a short YouTube video to show you what I did. The smaller, palm sized cakes did the best flipping. Too big and it flips about like an omelet. Too big and it’s like dough in the middle. Keep it small, do one at a time, and you’ll be successful.

If you enjoy syrup, or let your kids have some, make sure to buy the good stuff and avoid high fructose corn syrup. It’s expensive, but well worth it.

I hope you enjoy this modified recipe. I invite you to feel free to take any recipe and modify it for your own needs. Don’t settle for plain and bland. Be bold and kick it up a notch! Come back next time and see what recipe I’ll try to fiddle with next.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Julia Child quote