How NOT to Use Olive Oil

How NOT to Use Olive Oil | @VeggieConverter

Olive oil is delicious and healthy when used in many ways—from flavoring your salad greens to preventing wrinkles on your face. It’s full of natural antioxidants, vitamins A, D and E, flaconoids and polyphenols.

But, unfortunately olive oil has a bad side, too. Lately it’s gotten a bad reputation as being scam-worthy, meaning you need to know whether your olive oil is fake. It’s also been made clear to me in recent years that you just shouldn’t cook with olive oil at high temperatures.

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Why You Should Use Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer BallsWool dryer balls; you’ve probably heard of them. But if you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out. Cleaning products really are the last bastion of unhealthy chemicals in the average green home. Dryer sheets are chock full of toxins.

I absolutely love my wool dryer balls. They work amazingly well and actually speed up drying time on my clothes! Plus, I always had to buy the more expensive unscented “free” dryer sheets, so these wool dryer balls are really a much better choice. [Read more...]

Copycat Julius Paleo Kid-Friendly Orange Smoothies!

Copycat Orange Julius Smoothie | @VeggieConverter allergyfree paleo

We’re falling in love with smoothies and both of my girls have long been addicted to all things orange. So these orange smoothies—an allergy-free kid-friendly Copycat Orange Julius recipe—were a massive hit at our house. It’s an amazing treat for breakfast or after-school snack.

We used to make all of our smoothies with homemade yogurt. But since Goose’s milk allergy developed, we make them with coconut milk. We make this version allergy-free with coconut milk and we make it in our high-powered blender, but it can easily be made in a standard blender if you don’t have one of these lovely ladies. If you don’t have allergies, feel free to make this with whole milk.

It tastes so much like the original (not that the girls have every had one) and we absolutely loved it, as did a few guests we had over. Try this delicious, creamy, fresh smoothie with your littles today. [Read more...]

Dairy-Free Snow Ice Cream!

Snow Ice Cream | @VeggieConverter

I LOVE snow ice cream. I lived in Denver when I was a kid and we had it many, many times a year. We absolutely LOVED it. And it was so simple. I think we used evaporated milk in our recipe. But, since Goose is dairy allergic and I’m off dairy due to health concerns (I’m trying a Paleo diet for my autoimmune condition), I need to make ours dairy free for this amazing 3-inch snowfall in ATLANTA!

I still can’t believe we could scoop 8 CUPS of snow off just the corner of our patio table. Awesome!

So, here it goes. It. Is. Delicious! If you’re a snow ice cream virgin living in the South, you must try it. The kids will think you’re so cool!

Snow Ice Cream

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 cups snow
1 cup coconut milk, chilled (I buy it here)
1/2 cup sucanat (or your preferred sweetener)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Method

Mix it all up and serve. Make sure whatever milk you use is cold! And if you use honey or any other liquid sweetener, you may want to increase your snow or reduce your milk to get the consistency right.

It turns out a bit like a shaved ice snow cone. The kids went absolutely insane for it. And the great news is, since it hasn’t heated up as much as they suspected today, we may be able to have a couple more batches of deliciousness!

YUM! I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does. If you do, pin it, please!

Snow Ice Cream | @VeggieConverter

Paleo Pumpkin Custard Recipe: Pumpkin Season Never Has to End…Right?

Paleo Pumpkin Custard | @VeggieConverter

Maybe you don’t know this, but I LOVE pumpkin. My husband’s not a huge fan. But when he tasted this, he went in for seconds! Of pumpkin! WHAT? So, I knew it was a hit. And, in spite of pumpkin season being long over, we’ve made it twice since. Love, love, love it. And all the kids love it, too (ours and a friend’s boys). It’s so simple you won’t believe it and it is incredibly delicious. Plus, since it’s pretty much pumpkin pie without the crust and processed sugar, it’s pretty healthy, too!

Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Custard

Serves 12

Ingredients
30 ounces pumpkin puree
4 eggs
15 ounces full-fat coconut milk (or evaporated milk)
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup crushed pecans or walnuts (optional)


Method

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Put everything up to sea salt in your stand mixer and mix away!

Pour into ramekins (about 12, 6 ounce). Top with remaining ingredients.  Bake at 350 F about 30-40 minutes or until set and bruleed a bit on the top.

You can check with a knife, if it comes out clean your custard is set.

This was a absolutely HUGE hit with guests, adults and kids. I’ve made it twice more (once messing it up because I tried to thicken thin milk…sigh) and we just love it. What’s your favorite dessert? Now that I can’t have gluten and Goose can’t have dairy, this fantastic pumpkin custard might just be mine!

If you love the recipe, Pin it please!

Pumpkin Custard | @VeggieConverter

 

Game Day: 27 Healthy Game Day Snacks!

Game Day Snacks

So, we know who is slated to play. But do you know what you’re going to serve at your Big Game Party?? Well, you’re in luck because I have a lot of awesome blogging friends with amazing snack recipes that are perfect for the Seahawks vs. Broncos Superbowl matchup February 2!

Fill your party (or your family watch party) with healthy vegetarian or paleo/primal snacks this year to stay healthy and feeling great on the big game day! What are your favorite game day snacks? Here are 26 of my favorites. The most important part is to have fun and enjoy the game (or the commercials) so take it easy and make what you love!

 

 

 

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Vegetarian

Avocado & Fig Salsa
White Pizza Dip
Babaganoush
Marinated Olives
Pesto Artichoke Dip
Zesty Marinated Olives
Loaded Guacamole
Easy Homemade Hummus
Garlic Cheesesticks
Vegan CrockPot Chili
Chickpea Nuggets
Texas Caviar

Primal/Paleo

Popcorn Chicken Nuggets
Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Peppers
Grain Free Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pie
Chicken Dippers
Orange Ginger Chicken Wings
Pineapple Bacon Poppers
Loaded Sweet Potato Bites
Kebabs & Cucumber Yogurt Dip
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs
Boneless Buffalo Wings
Asian Meatballs
Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans
Atomic Buffalo Turds
Smoked Salmon Frittata
Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Dip
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I hope these recipes are a hit for your family or your big party! Have fun and enjoy your treats (oh, and the game, too)!

Want more super bowl snack ideas? Check out my Game Day Pinterest Board!

Cumin Paleo Cauliflower Rice

Paleo Cauliflower Rice | VeggieConverter

While white rice is sometimes acceptable for Paleo(ish) diets, cauliflower rice  is really a go-to for those who want to stay totally grain free. I adapted this recipe a bit to suit our tastes. We <3 cumin. But you can really season it however you like! That’s the beauty of this recipe.

Cauliflower is so good for you. And, for me, as long as it’s cooked it’s great in spite of my thyroid issues. If you hate cauliflower, try it roasted. Just like brussels sprouts, roasting brings out the cauliflower’s sugars and makes it extra delicious!

Paleo Cumin Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Ingredients

1 1/2 pound head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup vegetable or bone broth

Method

Shred florets in a food processor to turn them into a rice-like consistency.

Melt the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in cauliflower and broth. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.

Serve.

This recipe is adapted from an eMeals.com recipe.

We had ours with our Paleo Coconut Orange Chicken and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Mr. Meaty and I loved the cauliflower rice but the kids poo-pooed it. They prefer their cauliflower raw or, if it’s cooked, they like it roasted instead. Next time I might try roasting the cauliflower before making it into rice. I bet that would be fantastic!

 

Do you love this recipe? Pin it, please!

Paleo Cauliflower Rice | VeggieConverter

Coconut Orange Paleo Chicken

Coconut-Chicken

The girls and I made dinner for my parents and this chicken was a huge hit. The girls loved the chicken, but not the sauce. Mr. Meaty felt the same. (He’s not a coconut fan.) Everyone else liked it all together. It went deliciously with our Candy Cabbages (caramelized brussels sprouts).

If you like chicken (especially paleo chicken), try this recipe.

If not, try a vegetarian version with chickpea cutlets.

Paleo Coconut Orange Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
6 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 cups coconut cream
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon deli mustard

Method

Toast almonds in a pan and set aside.
Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and beat with a meat mallet to flatten to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with garlic, salt and cumin.

Melt half of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken (or as much will fit in your pan) and cook two minutes per side, until golden. Repeat with remaining chicken and oil.

Reduce heat to medium, add remaining ingredients and stir well. Add chicken, sprinkle with almonds and cook for about 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. (We left several of the chicken breasts plain for the kids.)

This was great! It’s a definite repeat and it fits our new diet really well. Goose doesn’t get any dairy or nightshades and I don’t get anything that messes with my autoimmune disorder. :) Love it.

DO you love it, too? Then Pin it please.

Paleo Coconut Orange Chicken | VeggieConverter

Recipe adapted from eMeals, get 15% Off Use code Dinner15

January Giveaway: Camera Giveaway—$400 Value!!

Canon

It’s another month, so it’s time for another giveaway, this time it’s a $400 Canon Rebel Giveaway! If you’re in need of a great little SLR camera, this one’s for you!

I have a similar, though much older camera (a Canon 10D) and it is amazing and has lasted me over 10 years. Yes, since back in my “real world” work days as a photojournalist. So you will LOVE this camera. Good luck to all of you!

How to Enter for Your Chance to Win: 

1. Check out your prize Click Here. (Then come back and finish steps 2 and 3!)

2. Subscribe to VeggieConverter’s newsletter highlighting the latest posts and health tips from me! You’ll find the sign-up in the right sidebar!

(If you’re already a subscriber just continue to step 3…)

3. Leave a comment letting us know what you would purchase with your prize!

4. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to confirm these entries and unlock more!

***For more ways to win, be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway!***

Kim Finnigan, Nearly Natural Mama

Tracey Black, Don’t Mess with Mama

Katja Heino, Savory Lotus

Kelly Baker, The Darling Bakers 

Julia DeLagarde, Real Fit Mama

Craig Fear, Fearless Eating

Kirsten McCormick, Cheerfully Imperfect

Gabe Wright, Life From the Ground Up

Randi Elston, Elston Backyard Farms

Tiffany Murphy, The Healthy Honeys  

Victoria Virissimo Moore, Yogi Mami

April Anderton, Healing for Real

Giveaway will run until January 31 12 a.m. PST
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Friday, January 31, 2014. The winner will have 48 hours to contact host by email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone!