Maximize Fresh Produce | How to Store Leafy Greens

Here at Flawed yet Functional, I believe in eating real, whole foods. In order to eat real, whole foods, proper storage is key. There’s nothing more frustrating for me than to carefully plan a meal, shop for the ingredients, then go to make it a few days later and the key ingredient has spoiled. Enough of that crazy cycle! Today, we’ll focus on the proper storage of leafy greens. This method of storing fresh greens applies to all those rich green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, collard greens, leaf lettuce, Swiss Chard, herbs, etc.

My latest shopping trip brought home 2 bunches of spinach, 1 bunch of kale, and 1 bunch of cilantro. Before learning and taking the time to properly store these leafy greens, the cilantro would be yellow or brown in a day or two. The spinach might get half eaten then the other bunch and a half meet the trash can once they started to stink. The only real contender to make it one week was the kale, as it is the most hardy. None of these greens stood a change of making it to the two week mark.

I used to get discouraged because I could never plan my meals just right to get the fresh, leafy greens all consumed in 2-3 days. Here’s some truth for you: when properly stored, greens can last two weeks or more in the refrigerator. What? Are you mind-blown? I was!

I grocery shop, with a plan, every other week. Fresh, leafy greens are purchased every time, and they stay fresh until the next shopping trip. Well, what’s left of them, I usually have everything used up. On the rare occasion I have some left, it is still edible two weeks after leaving the store. Want to know how? I’m so glad you asked! Read on!

Fresh Green Info Graphic

5 Simple Steps to Save the Leafy Greens

Items needed:

  • Bunches of fresh greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, leaf lettuce, herbs, etc.)
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag (I usually just use the produce bag I brought home from the store, but a shopping bag or zip top bag works great too.)

Remove the ties or wrapping around the greens

The key to keeping lettuce or any leafy green fresh long is letting them breathe. The first step to doing this is to remove the metal or plastic tie that is holding them together from the store. When you loosen this tie, you may find wilting or mushy stems or leaves hiding in the middle of the bunch. Go ahead and throw those way now. No sense in letting a little rot spoil the whole bunch!

Fresh Greens from Store

Rinse with cold water and shake out excess water

Run the bunch of greens under cold water to get out any dirt or bugs that might be hiding in there. I know that sounds gross, but you never know! Produce spray is also very helpful for removing dirt, especially if you are storing greens from your own garden which will be much more dirty than greens from the store.

Cleaning the greens now before storing them not only allows them to last longer, but it makes it quicker to use them when you are cooking. Just pull from the fridge, chop, and toss in your recipe!

Cleaned Fresh Spinach

Wrap in paper towel

Not too tight! Wrap the towel tight enough to keep the bunch together as the paper towel gets wet from the freshly washed greens but not so tight as to not let air in. Remember, the greens need to breathe!

Some methods will say to dampen the paper towel at this point. I have found that if my greens are still damp from the wash, there is no need to wet the paper towel. In fact, wet greens + damp paper towel = too much wetness. Rot is quickly to follow. Only dampen the paper towel if you’ve allowed your greens to dry after washing.

Store Green Wrapped

Slide into Plastic Bag

Slide your little leafy green burrito into a very loose fitting plastic bag, leaving the end open. Again, the greens need to breathe! I usually use the produce bag I brought the greens home in from the grocery store to hold my leafy green burritos. I’ve also used the plastic shopping bag or even an unzipped, zip-top bag. Really any plastic bag will do. It just needs to form a little bit of protection from the cold air of the refrigerator while allowing, wait for it, the greens to breathe!

Fresh Spinach Stored

Store in the Fridge for Two Weeks (or more!)

Be careful putting the packages in the refrigerator. Make sure they aren’t smashed by other food or each other. These do best in my fridge alone on a shelf or resting on top of some leftover containers on the deeper shelves. I don’t put these in the produce drawer. There’s not enough air flow in mine (could be because mine are stuffed to the gills though!). Remember, keep the bag loose so the greens have room to breathe, so place them wherever that is optimal in your fridge.

Greens Wrapped Bagged

That’s it! Super simple 5 steps: untie, rinse, wrap, bag, store! It does take a little bit of time when you arrive home from the grocery store. However, a few minutes of work for 2 weeks worth of fresh greens? I’ll take it!

Another perk, beyond frustration when cooking is proper storage will save you money! The best way to save money on your grocery bill and maximize your health is to not throw food away. Don’t let it rot in your fridge! Want to read more? Check out this post for other tips to maximize your grocery budget.

How do you store your fresh lettuce, herbs, and leafy greens? Any other tips to keep them fresh for a long time?

How to Store Fresh Greens


Make a Paleo Diet Work | Practical Solutions to Diet Change

Welcome new readers! A little background: I am an adult-onset, type 1 diabetic, who has found healing through a Paleo diet. I began my diet change journey by reading about the link of gluten to autoimmune diseases, further refined my diet to include more vegetables, then found dairy was irritating my gut too, so I went full-blown Paleo. 

I’m starting to get the question from my in-person friends who read my blog…How do you eat like that everyday? How do you keep up? How do you have time to cook? I could never spend that much time in the kitchen, how do you do it?

I’ve been pondering how I actually do make this happen day in and day out. First of all, it is a lifestyle change. This is not something I intend to drop in a month or two. I’m in this for the long haul, so I am constantly working and refining my daily routine, shopping, and kitchen skills so I continue to get better and eating Paleo becomes easier.

Below are 10 Practical Solutions to Diet Change that I’ve learned over the last year to make my Paleo meal preparation easier and less time-consuming. I’ve learned (not necessarily mastered, mind you!) these over a year or more. If you can’t begin to imagine yourself doing this, take your time. One step at a time, and you will get there!

Prep Breakfast the Night Before

Chop the veggies, take the meat out of the freezer (Cook it too if you have time!), shred/grind/mince, whatever you need to do in the morning that would be time consuming, do it the night before. I chop each item, then put in individual containers in the fridge. In the morning, mise en place is done, just turn on your stove/oven and cook!

I’ve created some really yummy hashes for my Autoimmune Protocol. Hashes reheat so well. You can even cook them completely the night before, and simply reheat in the microwave or stovetop in the morning. Breakfast will be ready in less than 5 minutes!

Roasted Veggie Soup

Plan for Leftovers

This is a huge time and energy saver no matter your diet. I recommend it heartily no matter how you are menu planning. You need a break when you are cooking from scratch. Leftovers are the easiest way to get a break, stay on track with your diet, put a quick meal on the table, and save money by not eating out. Win, win, win, and win!

Embrace leftovers! Plan on having extra when you cook! It will relieve you of the stress of cooking a new meal every day!

Get the Family on Board

If mommy/daddy’s on a special diet, then we’re all on a special diet.

That’s a saying, right? The Paleo diet is an optimal diet for anyone: kids or adults, infant or elderly, pregnant or beer belly. 🙂 If one needs the diet (or just wants the health benefits!) then the whole family should adopt the diet.

This will ease temptations to cheat if there are no processed foods or wheat products in the house.

Solidarity – we can use all the support we can get, right?

kids in the kitchen

Ask for Help from Your Family

If one adult in the family is slaving away in the kitchen day in and day out with no help, bitterness is not far away (and neither is quitting!). It’s a large task that needs hands-on support from the whole family. So beyond just “we all eat the same food” from above, we all need to help prepare the food. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Ask your spouse to make one recipe while you make another. Dinner will be ready twice as fast (a good solution if you both work outside the home!).
  • Have your child to stir the pot while you add ingredients.
  • Ask your child to throw away the scraps from chopping vegetables.
  • Ask your spouse to grill the main meat course while you prepare the sides inside.
  • Ask your child/spouse to chop the vegetables while you start cooking.

Beet soup

Try New Foods

Nightshades are out during the Autoimmune Protocol. Nightshades are tomatoes and peppers. This restriction can feel very limiting and daunting at the beginning. Opening your mind to trying new foods, will greatly expand the palate of your meals and your enjoyment of them.

For example, take the soup pictured above. It is not tomato-based. Want to know where that red color comes from? Beets! Beets have been on my “Do Not Like” list since I was 6. After trying this recipe, I’ve decided I need to give beets another chance. This soup was flat out delicious!

A Paleo diet is heavy on the vegetables so to deepen your satisfaction with your meals and snacks, try a new vegetable each week! I bet you will be surprised how much you like vegetables!

Vegetable Variety

Eat a Variety

You need variety in your diet (Paleo or otherwise) for both nutrition and palate. I heard a tidbit on the Broken Brain documentary that said,

You eat 21 meals in a week. Aim for 21 different vegetables.

I thought this was an interesting idea, so I counted up the vegetables I ate during Week 1 of the Autoimmune Protocol. I ate 14 different vegetables, listed below. Not bad! I think I could get more variety in my diet in the coming weeks.

  1. Sweet Potato
  2. Zucchinni
  3. Carrots
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Avocado
  6. Kale
  7. Spinach
  8. Butternut Squash
  9. Broccoli
  10. Mushroom
  11. cabbage
  12. acorn squash
  13. celery
  14. cucumber

Ready for the shocker: The delicious beet soup above that all of my family went back for seconds of, had 12 different vegetables in it! 12! That’s almost the same variety in my entire Autoimmune Protocol Week 1 menu plan! Think of all the nutrients in those vegetables too! So much better than eating a slice of bread or mac and cheese!

Learn Basic Knife Skills

Fact: You will have to chop a lot of vegetables for a Paleo diet.

You might as well learn how to do it right. Properly chopping a vegetable is not only quicker, but it uses less energy. Get on YouTube and search for how to cut a particular vegetable. There IS a proper way to chop an onion, to julienne carrots, to mince garlic (How to peel garlic! America’s Test Kitchen is a wealth of information. Trust them for all things kitchen! I’m getting sidetracked…), etc.

There is a best way to cut everything. Learn it and it will make your cooking easier and faster!

Calphalon Santoku Knife

Invest in a Good Knife

Once you learn to chop/mince/dice properly, you’ll need a good knife that keeps its edge. There are lots of good ones out there, but you really don’t need to spend a fortune, especially for a home cook. This one is my favorite. It’s not very expensive, $24 right now, and it can be resharpened, which is key.

So while we’re on a roll in the knife category…


Learn How to Sharpen Your Knife(ves)

You can learn this by watching YouTube videos and purchasing a couple of whetstones. We have a course and a fine grit (for both smooth blades and serrated), and they have paid for themselves many times over. You can find someone local to you to sharpen your knives, but learning the skill will be so much cheaper and you’ll be able to sharpen them on your schedule. You won’t have to be without your favorite knife for a week!

Another perk? You’ve learned a useful skill! You know how to sharpen a knife!

And now for the last solution, but certainly not the least…

Try Again, Don’t Give Up

I’m reminded of a line from a poem my dad used to quote over and over to me growing up:

If at first you don’t succeed, try , try again.

Changing what you eat is hard. Learning how to prepare new vegetables and meat is difficult. Cooking from scratch is time-consuming. I want to tell you it is worth it. Your health is worth it. Your family’s health is worth it. Keep at it. Try again tomorrow.

The more vegetables you chop, the faster you will be.

The more vegetables you roast, the better you will become at identifying when it’s done.

The more recipes you cook, the better you will be at “throwing” something together at the last minute.

You will get better. You will get more efficient. Paleo will get easier. Keep trying!

What aspect of a Paleo diet change (or any diet change!) is the most daunting for you? Does spending time in the kitchen freak you out? Does eating food you suspect might not be yummy (or worse yet slimy/mushy!) give you the shivers? What is your sticking point for you? Share in the comments below!

Paleo strategies





Almond Date Bars | AKA Homemade Larabars

Hello and welcome to Flawed yet Functional!

I am a Type 1 Diabetic who has found healing of my gut and thereby insulin-free management of my diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes (The pancreas is dead or dying.) but not for me! How have I managed to not be on insulin? I follow a gluten-free, high vegetable, dairy-free diet, a.k.a. Paleo! You will find inspiration to be your healthiest self here at Flawed yet Functional, diabetic or not. So glad you stopped by!

Let’s talk about snacks today. Snacks are so important when you have kids. All you parents out there can attest to this, I’m sure. I don’t leave the house without a snack packed, if we are going to be gone more than an hour. Grocery shopping, hardware store, or even just a long drive to a friend’s house, snacks are always on hand.

One of our favorite is Almond Date Bars or more commonly, homemade Larabars (or “laraballs” according to an ever-so-precise 2 or 4 year old). These tasty treats are full of raw nuts and dates. In fact, if you disregard the pinch of salt and splash of vanilla, they are only raw nuts and dates! A snack with a very short list of easily known ingredients? This is a snack I can get behind!

Other perks???

  • Quick to make
  • Kids can help make it
  • No hidden ingredients
  • Raw/whole ingredients
  • Hand held
  • Just sticky enough to hold together while little ones eat it
  • Perfect.

When I make Almond Date Bars, I blend them up in my Vitamix. Be careful if you are using a blender! These ingredients put a lot of stress on the motor. I start on low, letting the dates and almonds bounce around and get roughly chopped. When it all looks uniform but still large pieces, I turn up the power 1 or 2 notches until pieces are smaller but still bouncing. Lastly, I turn the power up 1 or 2 more notches and use the damper to push the mixture down to the blade. When a paste starts to form, I quickly stop. It should look blended, sticky, and with chunks the size of the almond pieces in the pictures above.

If you smell the motor start to smoke, STOP. You can, in fact, burn out a motor on a Vitamix. Ask me how I know…not with this recipe in particular, but we’ve put our Vitamix through the ringer these last 8 or 9 years. We love it, but we are on our 3rd motor…good thing the warranty is for 10 years!

If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can also pulse these in a food processor. I haven’t made them using this appliance, so I can’t explain how it works, but follow the same guidelines, pulse carefully until mixture turns sticky and almonds are chopped small. Be careful not to overwork the motor.

There may be some or quite a bit of loose almond bits. Don’t worry about those! Pour the mixture, loose nuts and all onto a clean surface. Kneed the “dough” to incorporate all the loose nuts and make a uniform, sticky ball.

Roll out and cut into bars or grab a small piece and roll into a ball. This step is perfect for little helpers. My kids love rolling these into balls (and snacking on one or two while they are at it!).

There are recipes a plenty for Date Bars, aka mock Larabars, but this almond combination is our favorite. Check out this post for more flavor combinations!


Almond Date Bars

Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, kid-friendly homemade Larabars. Simple to blend up. No cooking involved!

Course Snack
Cuisine Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Kid-friendly, Paleo
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 160 kcal
Author Emily Stauch


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup whole, pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 pinches sea salt


  1. Put all ingredients into a blender. Turn on low until almonds are roughly chopped. Turn up blender slowly, damping the dates and almonds down. Work quickly, this will be heavy on the motor. Turn off as soon as almonds are chopped small and forms sticky lumps.

  2. **Can be made in a food processor too. Pulse to chop and combine ingredients until it forms sticky lumps.**

  3. Pour out onto a mat and kneed together, incorporating any loose almonds.

  4. Roll into individual balls or roll out in rectangle and cut into bars. 

homemade almond larabar


Almond Butter & Jelly Roll-ups

Welcome to Flawed yet Function! I am a Type 1, insulin-free, Diabetic managing my blood sugar through a Paleo diet and a healthy lifestyle. I love to cook, which is a good since Paleo requires a lot of cooking! I share my own Paleo and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) recipes on the blog, but you can find so many more ideas on my Pinterest boards. Follow me there to see what I might be cooking next! 

As a kid, I hated peanut butter. Absolutely hated it. So much so, my mom actually allowed me to forgo it whenever we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This is saying something, my mom was an eat-what’s-put-in-front-of-you kind of mom (as I am…weird…). I did not like the texture:  so sticky! The feeling of my tongue getting stuck to the roof of my mouth, not being able to get it off my teeth. Ugh! I did not like the flavor either: nuts were not my thing.

And then, I grew up. Ha. I learned to love peanut butter after I graduated from college. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch was like dessert for the main course. Yum!

Funny story: my husband lived on PB&J while he saved for my engagement ring, so needless to say he wasn’t fond of this sandwich when we got married. I fell in love with this kid-friendly favorite right when he couldn’t stand it. I learned quickly as a new wife to not send PB&J in his lunch. Ha!

Pre-diabetes diagnosis, my kids and I would eat peanut butter and jelly on the regular for lunch. I thought I was giving my kids a healthy meal of whole grains from our homemade bread and protein from the peanut butter. I knew the jelly wasn’t healthy, but I figured that it was a small enough amount to not be TOO harmful. Right?

Fast-forward through the type 1 diabetes diagnosis, elimination of gluten, introduction of many veggies, and our lunches turn out to be primarily leftovers from dinner. Really, this isn’t a problem. My kids eat leftovers just fine. But every now and then, I want to give them a treat. I want them to know the sticky, sweet goodness of peanut butter and jelly.

In order to indulge in this treat, I had to make several adjustments:

  1. Almond butter instead of peanut butter (peanuts are inflammatory)
  2. Homemade jelly instead of store bought (cut down on unknown ingredients)
  3. A Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free wrap to hold the goodness together.

Almond butter is now a staple in our home. I buy ours from Costco. I make strawberry freezer jam every June from strawberries we pick down the road. The wraps were the only tricky part. I found this recipe for soft tortilla shells, and after we ate them with chicken tacos, I thought they could be so much more versatile than just a tortilla. The flavor is mostly egg and quite mild egg flavor at that. I adjusted the ratios to make the wrap a little thicker to hold up to the almond butter and jelly, see my version below.

With a few leftover wraps from chicken tacos the night before, I decided to give them a whirl as a holder for almond butter and jelly. It looked like it might be a sticky mess so I rolled it up.

kid-friendly lunch paleo pb&j

As with all new foods, presentation is everything. I enthusiastically presented them to my kids as Almond Butter & Jelly Roll-ups, and they were a hit! They loved picking up the roll and taking bits from the end or cutting it up into bite-size rolls.

paleo kid lunch

I serve our lunches with fresh fruit and veggies to add nutrition to an otherwise fairly nutrition-less main course. Again, this is not a staple in our house anymore, just a treat which the kids and I love (Hubby is still on the fence!).

Note: When starting from a fresh batch of wraps, I let them sit on a plate or cutting board to cool a bit until just warm before topping with almond butter and jelly. If the wrap is too warm, the almond butter and jelly melts. The wrap is still pliable when cold, but a touch warm is much easier to roll.

Any one else used to hate peanut butter (or any nut butter!) as a kid? Am I alone in this aversion? So funny that now I can’t get enough of it. I love any type of nut butter. Yum!

Paleo Wrap

Grain-free, dairy-free, and kid-friendly wrap good for many uses: tortilla shell, wrap for sandwiches, or low-carb pancakes!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 104 kcal
Author Emily Stauch


  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Whisk eggs in large mixing bowl.

  2. Add coconut flour, almond milk, and salt. Whisk to completely mix. Batter will be thin.

  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. 

  4. When pan is hot, pour ~1/4 cup amounts of batter to middle of the skillet. Use the back of the measuring cup to spread batter out into thin circle.

  5. Cook until light brown on one side, flip and cook on other side. Total cook time is short, less than 1 minute.

Recipe Notes

*Cook one at a time to avoid wraps running into each other.

*Store in airtight container in fridge.

kid friendly pb&j


Daily Paleo Menu #3

For more Paleo meal ideas, follow me on Pinterest! Check out my Paleo | XXXX boards for the inspiration I’ve gathered. My Tried & True | Paleo | XXXX boards are the recipes I’ve made and loved. Happy hunting!

Example: Paleo | Meal Ideas are all the main course recipes I’d like to try, and Tried & True | Paleo | Entrees are main courses I’ve made and loved.

Breakfast – Mexican Breakfast Casserole

I’m becoming a fan of breakfast casseroles. They allow me to make a hearty breakfast with lots of veggies and enough to serve my family two meals! This breakfast is inspired by Paleo Running Momma’s Mexican Breakfast Casserole, but I really changed things up.

I miscounted how many pounds of breakfast sausage I would need this week, so I didn’t have any left to make this dish, so I used ground beef. I made the ground beef as if I were making tacos: brown the beef then add seasoning and tomato sauce.

I layered my dish with sweet potato rounds, sliced onions, and bell peppers and roasted all of those together in the bottom of the dish before adding the beef, tomatoes, and eggs.

In my egg mixture, I added salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. I did this because I was in too much of a hurry to look up the actual recipe! This method turned out delicious (my boys each had 3 helpings!), but I do plan to make it again closer to the original recipe and see how it turns out!

Beef Sweet Potato Egg Casserole

Lunch – Cauliflower Pizza and Broccoli

Pizza was one of our specialties pre-Paleo diet. We had a killer deep dish pizza down-pat, and we were perfecting our thin crust when the diabetes hit.

I have tried a couple Paleo pizza crusts, but most of them use arrowroot powder which is really high in carbs. In the effort to not overload my pancreas (and thereby over-taxing and possibly killing it more) and yet still have pizza, I decided to give a cauliflower crust a try.

I followed this recipe by

Overall, it was good. The crust is loaded with seasoning and does not taste like cauliflower at all. The texture was a bit soft and spongy. I might not have squeezed enough of the water out of the cauliflower. We’ll have it again, and I’ll try to get the crust more crusty.

I made my own pizza sauce from a recipe from my mom then topped the pizza with crumbled bacon, sliced pepperoni, and chopped onions. I try to have 2 vegetables with every meal so I added steamed broccoli on the side. My other veggie was the cauliflower. Does that count?

Easy Pizza Sauce

Quick and easy, homemade pizza sauce. Just a few ingredients and you'll have a tasty sauce with no unknown ingredients or additives!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Author Emily Stauch


  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano


  1. Combine tomato sauce and spices in small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until sauce reaches desired consistency. The cook time will be depend on how runny the tomato sauce is and how thick you want the sauce to be. I typically cook it for 30-60 minutes.

  2. When sauce reaches desired thickness, remove from heat and spread on prepared pizza dough.

  3. Store in refrigerator for a week or freeze for up to 1 year.

Recipe Notes

Makes enough for 3 medium sized pizzas, about 8" in diameter.

Dinner – Paleo Mexican Picadillo

My all-time favorite cookbook is The Best Mexican Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen. Much to my heart’s sadness, most of the recipes are not Paleo-friendly. One of the dishes I’ve been able to adapt most easily is the Mexican Picadillo. My version of the recipe, complete with cauliflower rice is below.

This dish is hearty yet won’t leave you with a rock in your stomach! It’s chock full of good vegetables so while tasting like a comfort food, it’s good for you!

Paleo Mexican Picadillo

Ground beef and chopped vegetables in a hearty Mexican-flavored sauce served over cauliflower rice. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Paleo
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Emily Stauch



  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 bell pepper stemmed, seeded, quartered
  • 6 oz white sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 carrots washed thoroughly, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 24 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapano stemmed, seeded, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 heads cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup water


Make the Picadillo.

  1. Chop onion and bell pepper in a blender at low speed until roughly chopped. Put in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Chop potatoes and carrots in blender at low speed until roughly chopped. Put in a bowl and set aside.

  3. Blend tomatoes and jalapeno in blender until smooth. Pour into bowl and set aside.

  4. Heat olive oil in large skillet until hot. Add the onion/bell pepper mixture and cook until soft, stirring frequently. Stir in chili powder and garlic until fragrant then add ground beef. Cook ground beef until all brown and cooked through.

  5. Add potato/carrot mixture and tomato/jalapano mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, on low but simmering until potatoes and carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.

  6. Stir in cilantro. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over cauliflower rice with sliced avocado.

Make Cauliflower Rice

  1. Clean the blender pitcher. Chop the cauliflower florets on low speed in small batches until chopped into rice-sized pieces. Put in bowl. Repeat until all cauliflower is riced.

  2. Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven until shimmering. Add onion and cook until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

  3. Add cauliflower to skillet along with salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed. Add water then cover and cook for 8-12 minutes, Stir every 2-3 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

  4. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately topped with picadillo. 

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in the fridge in airtight container.
  • Reheat in the microwave for a quick lunch.
  • Recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen Mexican-Style Picadillo. Adjustments were made to make this recipe Paleo-friendly.

Although these are not typical Mexican and pizza dishes, they are truly delicious! You and your family will enjoy them even if they are not like the real thing. I find myself being more easily satisfied with my food knowing that I am nourishing my body, not just satisfying a craving.

What have you tried that is atypical to the American diet?? Any great recipe hacks to share?

Paleo Pizza


Paleo Hot Chocolate

Here’s a Paleo and kid-friendly treat for you and your family! My kids love to play out in the snow in the wintertime, and they equally love to get a cup of hot cocoa when they come back in! Dairy-free hot chocolate is hard to find in a pre-made mix, but it is super easy to whip up on the stove.

For more Paleo recipe ideas, follow me on Pinterest!

This is one area I have a little bit of guilt over in regards to this Paleo lifestyle: my kids missing out.

I know the health facts. I know I am setting them up for the healthiest, longest, disease-free life with this diet and lifestyle. And yet, it is still hard to tell them no.

No, you can’t have animal crackers at Bible study.

No, you can’t have half of your Halloween candy.

No, you can’t have those florescent cupcakes and pizza at the birthday party.


It is just hard to say no even when I know it’s the right thing to do. I KNOW those things aren’t good for them (even the gluten, grain, and dairy-free Halloween candy isn’t good for them!), but it tastes good. I know it does. They know it does.

They are really so good and understanding of why we eat the way we eat, but it is still hard for this momma at times.

So…today…I want to share with you my version of hot chocolate. I make this Paleo-friendly version so my kids can experience that sweet chocolate-y warm goodness when they come in from playing in the snow.

Almond Milk Hot Chocolate

It’s still has sugar in it, so this isn’t a healthy recipe by any means, but it’s a treat that I like to indulge my kids with so they have part of a normal childhood.

It is still rich and chocolate-y, just like regular hot chocolate.

easy paleo hot chocolate

Depending on your choice of sugar and milk, the flavor will be slightly different, but this recipe is very flexible. Use the milk and sugar of your choice, just keep the ratios the same. I use almond milk which give a nice nutty depth of flavor. I haven’t tried with coconut milk, but I’m sure that would be great too!

Stove top hot chocolate

Paleo Hot Chocolate

Kid-friendly, dairy-free hot chocolate for the whole family to enjoy!

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 1
Author Emily Stauch


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of almond milk and whisk until mostly smooth and dissolved.

  2. Turn heat on medium-low and whisk continuously until sugar is completely dissolved, about 30 seconds.

  3. Pour in the remaining almond milk and whisk until combined. Heat until desired temperature.

  4. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Use any milk or milk-alternative
  • Use any sugar

Paleo mommas, what do think your kids “need” to indulge in? Where do you make allowances in their diet? Sugar? Dairy? How often do you allow treats? For reference, I think I make this once a week in the winter.

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate


Autoimmune Protocol to Manage Type 1 Diabetes

The autoimmune protocol is a specialized diet that eliminates inflammatory foods to stop the body’s immune system from over-reacting (an autoimmune response). The purpose of the autoimmune protocol is not only to stop the autoimmune response, but to allow the body to heal from the autoimmune attack.  The diet nourishes the body with its focus on nutrient dense meats, vegetables, and fruits giving the body exactly what it needs to thrive. For some autoimmune diseases, it is possible to cure the autoimmune disease through this diet and environmental/lifestyle changes. For more information, read this post.

I am an adult-onset, insulin-free, type 1 diabetic. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The trigger is not known definitively, but I strongly suspect gluten is the culprit. However, autoimmune diseases are not triggered by just one thing. There are three things that could trigger an autoimmune disease: genes, environment, and diet. The best news is genetic predisposition to a disease is not a guarantee that you will develop the disease. Changing your diet and lifestyle choices, meaning what you eat and your daily habits like sleep and exercise, can very possibly cause those genes to not fire. This means if you eat the right food and take care of your body, it is unlikely you will develop an autoimmune disease, even one that runs in your family.

I hate to say it, but I need to go on another elimination diet (aka autoimmune protocol). My morning and sometimes evening blood sugars are just not what they should be. I think they can be better. I know they can be better. They have in the past.

My Past Experience with AIP

Back in October 2017 when I did my first elimination diet, I followed the meal plan and methods in The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Meyers. I saw immediate blood glucose improvement the first day I was on the diet. The results were truly amazing and so encouraging!

However, the food was simply not tasty. I love to cook. I’m pretty good at it (at least I think so!), and I just couldn’t handle spending hours in the kitchen to only have a bland, unimpressive meal. My taste buds demand more.

For that reason alone, I only stayed on the strict diet for 2 weeks before I started adding back in some of the restricted food. I thought I had narrowed down my blood sugar level issues to dairy and non-gluten grains, as those were the two biggest categories of food that I eliminated on the diet. So I slowly added back in the restricted, but possibly ok, items one at a time: eggs, nuts, coffee, nightshades, and alcohol.

My morning and evening blood sugar readings stayed great until November 23, Thanksgiving. I had bought chocolate covered blueberries and acai berries to have as a snack while family was in town over the holidays. I neglected to check the ingredients thoroughly, and they had dairy. My morning readings jumped in one night from 110-145 to 160+.

Wow, I wish I had walked through my past readings and diet changes like I just did to write this post! The change is obvious! I didn’t find the solution to my higher readings (candy with dairy) until well in January.

Why I Need AIP Again

I’ve been very strict about my dairy exposure for the last three weeks, but my morning blood glucose levels are not lowering. I cut out alcohol on January 27 and coffee on February 2. My morning blood glucose still remains the same.

I think I need to heal my gut again. I’m going back on the Autoimmune Protocol starting on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Steps to Success with AIP

This time, I’m doing it my way. I finally discovered what the “AIP” tag on various Paleo recipes means. Autoimmune Protocol! It’s the same elimination diet I had tried in October 2017! I’ve found more blogs and books to read, and the world has opened a little more to me. There are even more people out there healing themselves through food! It’s not just me!

Some of them are food bloggers who share AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) friendly recipes. Yay! Good food!! However, I am careful to watch my carbohydrate intake, even while on the AIP diet. I am still a type 1 diabetic  without a fully functioning pancreas. Some AIP recipes rely on cassava/tapioca/arrowroot flour, and I must limit my intake of those because they increase my blood sugar dramatically. I will be eating fresh food: meat, vegetables, and fruit.

The menu is planned, groceries are budgeted and purchased, and I’ve formulated a plan for accountability. I am ready to rock this round of the Autoimmune Protocol!

Menu Plan

Autoimmune Protocol Menu Plan

Notice all the “leftovers” in the menu above? I intentionally tried to make most meals stretch for two. Diets like these are no joke. They require effort in the kitchen, so I want to maximize my effort by cooking double when I do cook so that I can have at least one easy meal the next day (maybe two!).

Also notice on Thursday, I have two “leftover” meals planned. After a few days of making new recipes, I find I have many odds and ends of leftovers: one serving of soup here, another serving of hash there. I pull all of those out and try to clean out the fridge. Everyone eats something different, and no food gets wasted! (And it gives me another meal or two off cooking! Score!)

Groceries & Budget

I was over budget for this shopping trip. My budget for one week is $130, and I spent $155 for this week’s worth of meals. I use YNAB faithfully to make sure overspending on groceries doesn’t eat away at the rest of the budget. This is the beauty of a budget: I just borrowed some money from our miscellaneous category to cover the budget over flow. The budget is still on track! I am guessing I’ll be a little over most weeks I do the AIP. It’s even more expensive than just a Paleo diet.

My fridge is filled to the brim. It’s so full, I’m afraid some of my produce will freeze due to lack of air flow! I need the weather to cool down again so I can use my second fridge, aka the garage!


My main source of accountability is my husband. He is always with me and rooting for me in all these health adventures. Even though he doesn’t have a pressing health problem, he willingly takes my diet restrictions on himself. He is supportive every time I want to quit, and he helps me problem-solve, troubleshoot when things go awry.

My second source will be you. I plan to share quick updates on Instagram, and a weekly, more detailed, recap on this ole blog. Facebook will also have these same updates. Follow me to see how things are going day by day!


As I mentioned above, figuring out what the “AIP” abbreviation meant on recipes posted on Pinterest was eye-opening. All the sudden, I could find so many recipes to help me through the elimination phase of the AIP diet. This discovery is what gave me the courage to try it again. I can do anything as long as my food tastes good. Ha!

I also checked out some very interesting books from the library, and wouldn’t you know, they all say the same thing! There are more published authors out there proclaiming the healing value of food.

Here are some good books and blogs to look into if you are looking to heal you gut, cure an autoimmune disease, or just looking for a healthier lifestyle than you will find from your doctor’s office.

Autoimmune/AIP Education

The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Meyers

The Autoimmune Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne

The Paleo Mom blog

A Squirrel in the Kitchen blog

Unbound Wellness blog

Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more inspiration and see what I’m learning!

General Gut/Body Education

The Broken Brain

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter

Wheat Belly by William Davis

Gut by Guilia Enders

Autoimmune Protocol for Diabetics



Making a Paleo Diet Affordable

It’s not a secret that fresh, healthy food costs more than processed, packaged food. So how do I afford it?

I’m always curious how people live the life they live, so I’m here to share mine. My purpose is not for you to compare and feel better or worse about yourself, but just to give a point of reference. I know we all have limited funds to feed, clothe, and house ourselves, and we all put different emphasis on those aspects. In our house, we put a big emphasis on food, healthy food. The natural outcome of that is we spend good chunk of our monthly budget on food.

To level set, I shop for two weeks at a time, and I am buying food for 4 people: 2 adults and 2 kids (2 and 4). Truth be told, my kids eat as much as adults so I buy/make a lot of food! My grocery budget is for food only. Toiletries, dog food, paper products, eating out, etc. come out of other parts of the budget. The grocery budget is for groceries only.

We budget $260 for food for two weeks. I plan out my trips before I go so I know if I’m going to hit my budget or not. If I need a little extra money, I will likely borrow for our “Parties” or “Miscellaneous” category. I can usually do it for $260 though, give or take $10.

I have no idea if this is high or low, and I don’t actually care to know. This is the amount that fits into our budget and puts fresh, healthy, life-giving food on the table.

I’ve been brainstorming how to make a Paleo diet affordable, because it is, quite frankly, expensive. Here is what I came up with, but I’m sure there are more ways to stretch your dollar! If you have other ideas, please share in the comments below!

How to Afford Paleo

Menu Plan

You need a plan. You will overspend and impulse buy if you don’t have a list already made out before you go into the store. I just read in The Power of Habit that people tend to buy the same things when they grocery shop whether or not they need it and whether or not it is on their list. What? That’s crazy-town people! Make your list, and buy what is on your list! Be stronger than the urge to add to your cart “just in case.” You will have plenty to eat by only buying the things on your list.

Use the Food in the Freezer/Pantry

Let’s be real with each other: we all have food sitting in our pantry or frozen in the freezer that’s been there for a very long time. I menu plan precisely, and I have it too! To save money next time you shop, look at what you already have on hand. Make a plan to use it in a meal, or just get rid of it. Why let it keep cluttering up your precious space in your pantry or freezer?

Embracing the Garden/Hunting or Other’s Garden/Hunting

If you have a garden, learn how to eat all that your garden produces and preserve the overflow of what you can’t eat. Don’t let it rot! Search for recipes on Pinterest that use whatever your garden is producing currently or seek out good cookbooks for seasonal vegetables and fruits.

The hunting item has been huge for us this year. Dan got a deer this fall, and I’ve always been a little leery of hunted meat. I don’t know why. I’m just used to my meat coming neatly packaged from the grocery store. If you have access to wild game, it can save you so much money! We replaced our beef with venison for almost 2 months this winter. Two months of not buying red meat! Huge savings! We ate it all ways: hamburgers, meatloaf, steaks, roast, casseroles, tacos, etc. If a recipe called for beef, I substituted venison, and we rarely noticed a flavor difference.

One more tidbit, take advantage of other people’s gardens or hunting. If your neighbor has an abundance of zucchini, take it! You can do so much more than bake a quick bread with it. If your friend offers you wild game, accept it readily! Plop it into any well-seasoned soup, and I doubt you’ll notice a difference. Don’t feel like a mooch. You are preventing good food from going to waste. Take advantage of it!

Have a Budget

I’m not just talking about the grocery budget. If you want $260 free to spend on groceries without the electricity getting turned off, you need to budget all of your money. I highly recommend You Need a Budget. It’s a easy and relatively in-expensive tool to get all of your money in line. Learning discipline in all spending is a worthwhile endeavor, but if you focus on your food budget first, the rest will fall in line much easier. There’s something about budgeting for groceries that teaches important habits and discipline that will leak into your other areas of spending.

Dining Out

Budget for it so you can enjoy it and not break the bank when you do. While this won’t actually save you money, you need a break from the kitchen. Make it a priority by setting aside a little money from each paycheck to make this possible. Research a restaurant before you go that will accommodate your dietary needs then sit back and enjoy not cooking!

Plan, Plan, Plan, then Plan Some More

Even after you’ve made your menu plan, keep checking ahead a few days as you go through your week to make sure the meals will work with the scheduled activities for each day. For example, we decided to make a last minute trip up north to go skiing as a family. I needed a meal that could sit warming in the crock pot for hours in the lodge while we ski. I looked ahead, swapped a couple meals, and we were good to go on a day ski trip without spending money eating out and without sacrificing our dietary needs.


Every so often, about once every couple months, I challenge myself to go an extra week before grocery shopping. You don’t have to go that long, but pick a certain amount of time and challenge yourself to clean out of the pantry, eat all the leftovers, and use things that have been sitting in the freezer for a long time. It will seem hard the first day or two, but you will quickly get into creating meals from odds and ends. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easily you make it to your goal day.

Cook at Home from Scratch

By now, you know I’m an advocate for eating at home. It’s healthier and cheaper than eating out. It’s also much easier to manage dietary restrictions in your own kitchen! What I want to touch on is “healthy”  convenience packaging. I’ve talked about packaged salad mixes before, but my latest discovery is frozen cauliflower “rice.” Yes, you can buy it already chopped small, ready to be cooked.

If you have to buy it for convenience sake, then do so, by all means. It’s better to eat it from frozen then not at all. Just know you are paying WAY more.

My last cauliflower purchase from Aldi was $5.20 for 2 heads of cauliflower. I weighed my bowl after I chopped it in my blender: 4 pounds. This week, Meijer has frozen riced cauliflower on sale for $2.29 for 12 ounces. That would cost over $12 to get 4 pounds of cauliflower rice. I just have to mention that cauliflower was on sale my most recent shopping trip at Horrocks. I paid $.79 per head of cauliflower: $1.58 for roughly 4 pounds of cauliflower rice! If you can spare the time, cook from scratch. It’s vastly cheaper. Don’t get me started on salad dressing, cake mixes, and really any convenience food….

Build up a Supply of Spices (Slowly)

Spices can be expensive, especially less common ones (I finally found annatto seed! It took me about a month!). When planning your menu for the week, keep new spices to one dish or maybe two. If you are buying more than that each time you grocery shop, you are likely forking over more than $10 just on spices. I’m not saying it’s not worth it. It totally is! Just spread out buying them so they don’t break the budget.

Another tip is buying seasonal spices at the end of the season. My last shopping trip, I was able to get nutmeg, cream of tartar, sage, and rosemary for $.79 each because they had Christmas labels on them. If you have wiggle room in your budget, pick up a couple when you see deals like this.

My last tip on spices is organize them. You’ve got to know what you have so you don’t waste money buying a spice you already have one or two jars of. I did this early on in my marriage with cinnamon. I kept thinking I didn’t have any, so I’d pick up another as I walked down they aisle (the habit mentioned above!). At one point, I had four jars of cinnamon. Four! I like cinnamon, but that was a lot. It took us a while to consume that much!

Organized Spice Rack

Don’t let the Fresh Produce Rot

Like this post on green onions, learn how to properly store your more fragile produce so it will last your entire menu planning period. Do a quick Google search for whatever you bought. You will find several ideas for any type of produce.

When in doubt, take the original wrapping off, rinse it, wrap in paper towel, then loosely set in plastic bag in the fridge. This works with everything from kale to lettuce to parsnips to cilantro.

That’s my top 10! How do you maximize your grocery dollars? Shop less often? Shop at more stores? Shop at fewer stores?


Daily Paleo Menu #2

For more Paleo meal ideas, follow me on Pinterest! Check out my Paleo | XXXX boards for the inspiration I’ve gathered. My Tried & True | Paleo | XXXX boards are the recipes I’ve made and loved. Happy hunting!

Example: Paleo | Meal Ideas are all the recipes I’d like to try, and Tried & True | Paleo | Entrees are main courses I’ve made and loved.

Today’s Paleo menu theme is comfort food. I know I had reservations with all of my diet changes because my first thought is “I will have nothing to eat!” Cooking and eating is a huge part of my life, so I couldn’t accept diet changes without tasty food.

The first new recipe I look for when working with diet changes is pancakes. It might seem funny to you, but I love traditions and pancakes are an ingrained part of my family’s week.

Dan started the tradition of pancakes on Saturdays during our days of making fresh sourdough bread. He would save the leftover starter all week and make sourdough pancakes on Saturday morning. He would make a HUGE stack of tangy, springy pancakes each and every Saturday. There would be enough for several more breakfasts for the boys and I to enjoy throughout the next week. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

I am always so sad to lose recipes I (we) love. Pancakes in particular because of this Saturday morning tradition. We can’t be without pancakes on Saturday morning! When dairy and oats were still a part of our diet, we would make these Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes. Our most recent favorite that are Paleo-friendly are the Fluffy Pancakes in Against All Grain Meals Made Simple cookbook.

So without further ado, let me show you some delicious comfort foods that are Paleo-friendly!

Breakfast – pancakes (similar) and sausage links

Almond Coconut PancakesI make our pancakes plain or mix in blueberries or chocolate chips. We top ours with any combination of sliced bananas, almond butter, strawberry freezer jam, maple syrup, and nuts.

For my plate, I limit my pancakes to 3, and I do not use maple syrup. As a Type 1 diabetic, I do need to watch my carbohydrate intake, and this meal pushes the limits of my carb load for one meal. I try to be active on Saturday mornings to help my body burn off this meal. By active, I mean I do some laundry and light cleaning, not cross-fit or anything. 🙂

Lunch – Taco Bowls

Pan fry cubed sweet potatoes in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cook until soft. Brown ground beef in a pan, sprinkle with taco seasoning (This is a good one, omit cornstarch to be Paleo compliant.). Assemble bowls: sweet potatoes, taco meat, salsa, avocado, diced tomatoes, and Chipotle Ranch Dip.

The Chipotle Ranch Dip is killer. You need to try it. We’ve been putting it on everything, including my latest carb-free snack: chicharrones!

Dinner – Meatloaf over Cauliflower-Parsnip Mash with Roasted Garlic and Green Beans

Confession: I love meatloaf. I’m sure I complained about it as a kid, but I L-O-V-E it now!

This is my favorite meal to put together quickly (if the meat is thawed, of course!). Quickly mix the meat and seasoning together, and while that bakes, I cook and mash the root veggies. About 5 minutes before mealtime, I put some frozen green beans from Costco in a saucepan with a splash of water. I cook on medium until warmed through. Drain the beans then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I serve the meatloaf on top of the mashed root vegetables. I find the peppery tang of parsnips to be a great pairing with meatloaf. I’d even venture to say I prefer this combo to regular mashed potatoes. Gasp! It has so much more flavor and character than regular white mashed potatoes!

This menu is a testament that you can enjoy your old favorites even when your diet changes. A little creative thinking and planning and you will find yourself continuing to enjoy the same foods you always have!

Comfort Paleo Meals

Have you tried any crazy remakes that you ended up liking more than the real thing? (Cauliflower rice? Cashew cream? Nutritional yeast? Flax seed eggs? etc.)



Daily Paleo Menu

Awhile back, I tried posting menu ideas for a days worth of meals. I’m going to resurrect these every now and then. Just so you know, these are slightly more difficult for me to do because I am not a food blogger. I am not cooking a meal in the morning with ideal lighting and creating the most perfect picture. These are meals we actually eat. In fact, the plate I photograph is usually my own, and I snap the picture before I take it to the table to eat it.

Just like everything on this blog, this is real life, pretty pictures and perfectly cooked eggs are not always a part of real life. Let’s jump in!

For more Paleo meal ideas, follow me on Pinterest! Check out my Paleo | XXXX boards for the inspiration I’ve gathered. My Tried & True | Paleo | XXXX boards are the recipes I’ve made and loved. Happy hunting!

Example: Paleo | Meal Ideas are all the recipes I’d like to try, and Tried & True | Paleo | Entrees are main courses I’ve made and loved.

I titled this post differently than the Gluten Free Menus I’ve posted in the past (1, 2, 3, 4). My diet has changed since I last posted those menus in Summer 2017. I am now eating a Paleo diet, not just gluten free. I do not eat any grains (wheat, corn, oats, barley, millet, etc.), diary, legumes, or white potatoes. These Daily Paleo Menus will reflect all of these restrictions, and yet, you will see varied, delicious food! There is so much awesome food out there! Restrictions do not need to steal your flavors or variety!

Another good note, is that my whole family is eating the same meal, kids included. I do not make them anything special. Yes, sometimes they say they don’t like something (kale most recently) but actually they do! I usually tell them something like, “We don’t always like the food placed in front of us, but God has provided it for us. It is nutritious. We will eat it, even if we don’t like it.” My kids are used to this explanation, and that is usually the end of the discussion.

I don’t expect your kids to accept an odd food right off the bat, but keep at it! They will get used to it, and they will learn that all food is delicious when prepared properly. In our house, Dan and I like to say there is no food we don’t like, only food we haven’t had prepared properly. 🙂

On to today’s menu!

Breakfast – Butternut Squash & Sausage Hash with Eggs

This is one of my favorite Paleo breakfasts. I plan on it every time I menu plan. It is a butternut squash and sausage hash topped with over medium eggs. I got the recipe from Danielle Walker’s cookbook Meals Made Simple. She does not have it on her website, and since I alter it, I will share it here.

  • 1 pound of breakfast sausage
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of kale, chopped small
  • 2 eggs per person

Brown sausage in large skillet then remove from pan and set aside. Add olive oil to pan and saute onions until beginning to brown. Add butternut squash, salt, pepper, and sage. Cover and cook, stirring every couple minutes. Cook until squash is soft. Stir in apple. Cook un-covered a couple minute until apples just start to soften. Stir in sausage and kale. Cook until all is hot and kale is to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as necessary. Remove from heat.

Cook eggs as you like. We prefer this dish with “dippy eggs,” AKA eggs over medium.

Serve in bowls topped with eggs.

Breakfast Hash Sausage EggLunch – Hodge-Podge Leftovers

This meal is a testament that you are likely never truly out of food. You can put a whole, nutritious meal together on very little!

I made a hash with 1 pound of chorizo I had in the freezer and whatever veggies I had in the fridge: zucchini and sweet potato. We wrapped that in Romaine lettuce and had carrot fries on the side.

These carrot fries are my kid’s favorite, by the way. My youngest can eat his body weight in them! I skip the bacon when I make these, and if I have bacon fat on hand, I will use that in place of the oil.

chorizo hash romaine lettuce carrot friesDinner – Chicken Curry over Cauliflower Rice

This is another favorite of ours. Both recipes, the curry and the cauliflower rice, come from Danielle Walker’s Meals Made Simple cookbook. This is a crock-pot recipe, so I schedule this meal on day I will be busy during the afternoon with no time to prepare dinner.

This cookbook is fantastic. I highly recommend you get a copy if you are trying to eat Paleo. This is a similar recipe on her website for the chicken curry. This is a similar recipe for the cauliflower rice, just leave out the cherries and herbs for a more “plain” rice.

chicken curry

A whole day of nutritious, whole food, Paleo meals…it can be done! What are your tips for quick or easy lunches, particularly when the regulars are gone? What is your go-to when it’s almost grocery shopping day?