Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER GRANOLA

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER Granola. YES!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip SLOW COOKER Granola. YES!

Remember that EASY slow cooker recipe I shared for making granola? It was good, wasn’t it? Easy, too, right?

Well, I decided to make another batch with a bit of a twist.

Chocolate Chips.

I’m not going to bore you with anything else… here’s the recipe.

Wait, you know what? I will mention one thing. This stuff makes a great gift. Make a batch and divide it into pint-sized glass mason jars. Maybe put a cute label on it or a ribbon if you’re that kind of person. Give these away to family, friends, teachers, etc. It’s so good – you really should share it.

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Friday, February 6th, 2015

My Big-Ass Brisket Makes Two(!) 4-Person Meals – Go Big or Go Home

by Kristen Suzanne in grass fed beef, omnivore, recipe
My Big-Ass Brisket - go big or go home.

My Big-Ass Brisket with Mashed Potatoes – go big or go home.

My Big-Ass Brisket recipe serves four people. Twice. That’s like eight servings I’m talking about. So, for my family of 2.5, I’m getting around three dinners from this meal (you gotta make the vegetable side dish though).

It’s seriously delicious and mega healthy comfort food. You just want to put your head in the bowl (provided you serve it with seriously buttered and fluffy mashed potatoes, as seen above), and take a nap in it.

I like naps.

That’s the kind of meal I like to make in 2015 since I’m taking it easy this year. It was easy to put together and it fed my family for three nights. Wow. Imagine everything you can do with the free time because your dinner is basically already made for three dinners! I’m thinking reading a book, taking a nap (did I mention I like naps? When will Kamea like naps?), watching an episode of Suits. Oh the options are endless.

Brisket and purple cabbage - mmmmmm is all I can say.

Brisket and purple cabbage (from day 2) – mmmmmm is all I can say.

You need to make this.

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Here’s What I Order to Get What I Want at True Food Kitchen

True Food - a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood

True Food Kitchen – a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood

Going to restaurants requires some creativity and planning on my part if I’m to be satisfied.

Obviously, for starters, I pick restaurants with (at least) mostly quality food, when possible. One of the places we visit in Scottsdale, AZ is True Food Kitchen because they offer grass fed beef options as well as organic vegetables and dairy (I think the dairy is all organic there – not sure if it’s grass-fed).

The next challenge is making sure I pack necessary items to complete my meal or to make it healthier than it would otherwise be. For example, I’ve been known to bring my own grass-fed butter and MCT oil to restaurants along with the usual things I already carry in my purse like sea salt and organic turmeric powder. I’ve written about how I mod my Chipotle bowl here with a variety of ingredients – check it out.

Still, just going somewhere that has some good ingredients doesn’t mean I’ll want anything on the menu. Luckily, True Food Kitchen likes to satisfy their picky customers, like me, when I take various components from the menu and make my own meal. (They even have a coffee drink called Paleo Coffee which is similar to Bulletproof Coffee in that it’s organic coffee blended with coconut oil and butter.)

Here’s what I do when I eat at True Food Kitchen.

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

A Simple Chicken Soup “Dinner” Made Before I Finish My 1st Cup of Morning Coffee

Dinner is done before my morning coffee is finished.

Dinner is done before my morning coffee is finished.

I really love “all” of my slow cookers because they make healthy living much easier. Throw a bunch of healthy stuff in a pot and cook. See? Healthy and easy.

Here I am showing you that I had the day’s dinner essentially “done” (and cooking) before I even finished my morning cup of coffee. It’s that easy. (Ok, so I had drank about 1/3 of the mug and then refilled it for the picture, not realizing it would look like I hadn’t had any. Um that’s crazy, of course I had a few sips as I prepared the food for the slow cooker.)

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Friday, December 19th, 2014

Recipe: Souped Up Soup (Taking Boxed Soup To New Levels)

by Kristen Suzanne in carrots, ghee, gluten free, herbs, omnivore, recipe, soup
Souped Up Soup

Souped Up Soup

In my effort to spend a little less time in the kitchen some days, I’ve come up with a nice, easy, nourishing meal that I’m calling Souped Up Soup. I take a really decent organic boxed soup and I add a bunch of stuff to it to amp up the nutrition. It’s really easy and makes a fast dinner (or lunch) when I just need to get something on the table.

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Friday, November 28th, 2014

Recipe: Mama Mia Braised Meatballs

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, grass fed beef, omnivore, recipe, tomato
Mama Mia Braised Meatballs

Mama Mia Braised Meatballs

One of my favorite recipes to make is meatballs. Simply, it connects me to my Italian heritage and gives me a warm feeling in the kitchen. As I drop each meatball into the tomato sauce, I think of past generations… wondering what they were thinking about as they made meatballs.

This is an easy recipe that can be thrown together quickly with a few ingredients and some grass-fed ground beef. I intentionally created the recipe with only a smattering of ingredients to inspire myself to make it time and again.

Mama Mia Braised Meatballs is one of my family’s favorite dinners, too. Kamea has fun eating the meatballs because, well, they’re balls. And, Greg? He just chows down without saying much between bites, and then proceeds to lick everyone’s bowl of leftover sauce. Read More »

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Monday, October 20th, 2014

Recipe: Wild-Caught Sweet-n-Sassy Sockeye Salmon on Salad w Honey Avocado Mustard Dressing

Wild-Caught Rosemary Lime Spicy-n-Sweet Sockeye Salmon

Wild-Caught Sweet-n-Sassy Sockeye Salmon on Salad w Honey Avocado Mustard Dressing

I admit, 6 months ago I wouldn’t have had the courage to cook wild-caught salmon whole, but, today, I do. And, guess what? It’s wonderfully easy. Easy. Easy. Easy.

Plus, bonus, buying a whole wild-caught sockeye (or king) salmon is cheaper than buying it in pieces. I buy my wild-caught sockeye (and king) salmons from Vital Choice. I opt for the boneless with skin-on. They have an amazing product and fabulous customer service. I called them recently to ask them what to do with the prawns I bought from them. The gal on the phone told me step by step. Awesomeness.

Whole Wild-Caught Rosemary Lime Spicy n Sweet Sockeye Salmon

Whole Wild-Caught Sweet-n-Sassy Sockeye Salmon

This recipe doesn’t require much work at all. The hearty crisp romaine lettuce is tossed in a delectable creamy avocado dressing that is both sweet and savory, which pairs well with the salmon, having it’s own sweet and spicy elements. My 4-year old loved it. My husband loved it. I loved it. Say no more.

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Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Recipe: Gussied-Up (low mercury) Tuna Salad Gluten-Free

by Kristen Suzanne in apricot, fish, gluten free, MAC knife, omnivore, salad, travel, tuna
Gussied (low-mercury) Tuna Salad. Perfect for any party, lunch, breakfast, or whenever

Gussied-Up (low-mercury) Tuna Salad. Perfect for any party, lunch, breakfast, or whenever.

Tuna fish in a can makes a quick lunch, but I’ll only buy one brand of tuna. Wild Planet is a tuna fish I can trust to have low mercury and high omega fatty acids.

When we travel on the road, we eat it right out of the can for a satisfying protein and nutrient boost (we take these to Disney Land, too).

But, today, I’m sharing a recipe where it’s all gussied up with delicious textures and flavors. My whole family loves this, especially the bites with hidden gems in them like diced dried apricot.

Gussied-Up (low-mercury) Tuna Salad

Yield 2 to 4

  • 2 cans low-mercury tuna
  • Juice 1 organic lemon or lime
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed organic (full-fat) Greek yogurt
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped <— get a good knife
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kelp granules
  • 1/2 to 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Drizzle quality raw organic olive oil (or brain boosting MCT oil)
  • 1/2 cup raw sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon organic mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced dried apricots (or currants)
  • Handful each cilantro, parsley chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix everything together with a large spoon in a large bowl. Enjoy.

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Restaurant Review: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe New Mexico

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, grass fed beef, omnivore, review
Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe Santa Fe NM

Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe

We recently enjoyed a summer road trip all the way to Michigan from Arizona. Yes, that’s a looooong trip which is why many people ask why we don’t fly. Well, to be honest, apart from kind of enjoying time in the car (I get a lot of reading done: here’s a great book), there’s an important factor with which I am obsessed: Food. By traveling in the car (our mini van, specifically), I can pack things from my kitchen so that I can cook on the road for my family (induction hot plate, anyone?). As I like to say, “have induction hot plate, will travel.” Eating healthy and delicious food is my main passion so I do whatever it takes to make that happen.

We ventured to Michigan because that is where I grew up, and my brother, his wife, and their kids are there, plus my dad, step-dad, and dear sister-in-law-ish. At the time of our journey, our daughter had just turned four years old, and that meant shorter stretches of driving. Therefore, our days in the car maxed out at around 7 hours, if we could help it. That means lots of nights in hotels. How did I make high-quality, Real Food on the trip in hotels? It was fairly simple… with smart planning. I’ll detail it all in a blog post soon because I have a lot to share on the topic. I’ve made the trip twice now, a bit different each trip, and I like to think I have it figured out.

We didn’t eat every single meal as homemade though. Some of our meals, although just a couple, were enjoyed in restaurants. Enter: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM.

On the trip back from Michigan we decided to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe as a little break from the non-stop driving and to enjoy the local atmosphere of Santa Fe. So lovely.

Coyote Cafe 

One of the best meals of my life. And to think I almost opted for a different restaurant because of the Yelp Review stars I saw. Glad my husband urged us to go to Coyote Cafe. Greg had been there about 20 years ago (the place has been around about 27 years), and was itching to try it again.

The presentation of the meals was gorgeous and thoughtful. The decor of the restaurant was open and pleasing, artful, and chic although a bit dated. It is showing the years of wear and is overdue for a refresh.

The service was top of the line. Our server was Lynsey and she catered to our every need. I’d also like to mention that the support staff were equally great. So much of a restaurant experience goes beyond the food.

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Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Modding My Chipotle Bowl With 5 Ingredients For Higher Performance

by Kristen Suzanne in energy, Kristen Suzanne, omnivore, sauerkraut, travel
Modding my Chipotle Bowl with ingredients for higher performance.

Modding my Chipotle Bowl with 5 ingredients for higher performance.

As you all know by now, I’m a wee bit picky when it comes to my food. I want the highest quality and most nutritious goodness for my body and for my family. I want high performance, longevity, and energy. So, to ensure I get all of those things I prepare all of our high quality foods from scratch. That’s no small task as you might imagine, but it matters to me.

Sometimes, I need a break, or sometimes we’re traveling and food choices are limited.

Chipotle Bowl with white rice, steak, and guacamole.

Chipotle Bowl with white rice, steak, and guacamole. It needs to be enhanced.

One of the places on our list of “OK to eat” is Chipotle. It’s by no means perfect; but, on the spectrum of fast casual restaurants, they get my vote. They try to source quality ingredients and they listen to their customers. For example, they changed their oil by switching from crap gmo soy oil and now use less-crappy-but-still-crappy rice bran oil due to customer complaints.

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