Category Archives: GAPS intro

Cheater Dill Pickles- Fermented

Cheater Dill Pickles- Fermented

cheater dill pickles




The popularity of fermented/cultured foods have made their way back to the spotlight for many modern families eating real-food nutrient dense diets.  The health benefits of fermented foods are well documented, and many modern people are missing out greatly from their vast benefits.  Fermented foods are teeming with probiotics (healthy bacteria), contain detoxifing agents, aid in digestion, and multiply the amount of nutrients in various foods. (Here is an article on probiotics and how lots of details on how to make a variety of kinds!)


You can take a oral probiotic to receive some of these benefits, but food sources of probiotics far surpass the amounts found in supplements and the freshness only available through food.


Fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and fermented veggies (such as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi) should ideally be eaten on a daily basis.


Now when life is going *as planned* this is not a difficult thing to accomplish, but as we ALL know life gets crazy sometimes and the demands of a real-food kitchen can catch up to you quickly!  Here is a way I have found to continue getting cultured veggies into our diet, while cutting a few steps. What you are doing here is simply buying a jar of REAL cultured pickles (this will NOT work for plain store-bought pickles) from a local health food store or online…. eating the pickles and when you are done using the jar and liquid left in it to RE-DO another batch of cultured pickles. Hows that great bang-for-your-buck!?  They are tasty and a quick thing you can do to provide your family’s bodies with a really vital health food.





5 baby cucumbers- sliced into rounds
1 T. liquid whey (optional, if you don’t use add 1 more tsp of salt)
1 t. real salt
dill- dried or fresh
Finished bottle of store-bought cultured pickles (like these ones)



After you finish your jar of store-bought cultured pickles, DON’T EMPTY the juices!

1. Slice your cucumbers and put them in the jar/juices.

2. Add liquid whey and salt and a little extra dill to top it off.

3. Leave on counter for 2-3 days until it tastes like a dill pickle. Don’t wait too long because they will get too soft.



Overwhelmed by your kitchen duties?  Read here for some helpful tips!



Anti-Flu Yogurt Poppers

Anti-Flu Yogurt Poppers

Flu season is almost here, and like always, there is urgency to PREVENT oneself from getting the flu.

Well a lot of people have ideas of the best way to do that…and I’m all for the ones that are natural, safe and have a history of working!

I got the great idea to make these from Sarah at The Winthrop Chronicles. Here is the original recipe. I wanted to try them for my kids, but I wanted to use homemade yogurt for all its benefits and elderberry for flu prevention…..There couldn’t be a more TASTY or EASY way to help prevent the flu this season!

 antiflu yogurt poppers

ELDERBERRY for Flu Prevention

A versatile herb, black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been known throughout the ages as a potent immune booster — tackling colds and influenza, heart disease and even cancer. Used for centuries as a folk remedy in North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa, modern science has begun to take notice of the exceptional healing properties of this berry. Jammed packed with organic pigments, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals, elderberry is an excellent addition to any herbal medicine chest.
Natural News

YOGURT for Immune System Strengthening

 Homemade yogurt is CHOCK full of beneficial bacteria that fortify the intestinal track from pathogens (viruses: flu) and toxins (among dozens of other benefits!). It offers nutrients in an easily usable form and is high in calcium, iodine, B-vitamins along with other trace minerals and vitamins. It is a great source of protein and fat, and if it’s from grass-fed cows it also offers high levels of beneficial omega-3 and CLA (anti-cancer). The fats and proteins present in yogurt are essential in building and maintaining a strong immune system, and the fat-soluble vitamins play an intricate role in immune function.


1 C. of homemade yogurt

2 T. elderberry syrup

Sweetener to taste (with honey, maple syrup or liquid stevia)


  1. Stir ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Pour into a small zip-lock bag, cutting off the tinniest snip of the corner of the bag.
  3. Squirt out small drops of yogurt onto parchment paper until yogurt is gone.
  4. Freeze until solid.
  5. Flip off parchment paper and store in container in freezer.
  6. Eat quickly once out of freezer! These Anti-flu Poppers will melt if they are in warm little hands for too long!



Grain-Free Fall Soup Round-Up

Grain-Free Fall Soup Round-Up


Soup….nourishing, warming, filling and oh so satisfying.  Made for ages and ages in all kinds of flavors and varieties, soup is truly a timeless nutrient-dense staple in kitchens around the world.  As the weather gets chilly and the family stays inside the warmth of your home,nourish and fill them up with these 14 grain-free nutrient-dense fall soups.



1. Beef and Mushroom Soup from Meatified


2. Bubis Beet Borscht from Homemade Mommy

beet borscht


3. Low-Carb Chicken Dijon Noodle Soup from Living Low Carb



4. Hearty Ham and Navy Bean Soup from Natural Family Today

hearty ham and navy bean


5. Italian Sausage, Clam and Veggie Soup from Mindful Mama

italian sausage and clam soup


6. Creamy Lobster Bisque from Mindful Mama

lobster bisque


7. Oyster Stew from They Call Me Oyster Girl



8. Faux Pho from Fearless Eating



8. Mexican Avocado Soup from Mindful Mama

mexican avocado soup


9. Potato Cheddar Broccoli Soup from Cheeseslave

potato cheddar broccoli soup


10. Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup from Mary Makes Dinner

red curry sweet potato soup


11. Roasted Carrot and Mushroom Soup from Homemade Mommy



12. Spicy Chorizo Soup from Attainable Sustainable

spicy chorizo soup


13. Tomato Basil Soup with fried cheese from Nourishing Herbalist

tomato basil soup


14. Tuscan Chicken Soup from Living Low Carb



Featured on Simple Lives Thursday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Homestead Barn Hope, Natural Family Friday, Foodie Friday

The BEST Steak You Will Ever Eat

The BEST Steak You Will Ever Eat

The BEST Steak You Will Ever Eat

The BEST Steak You Will Ever Eat


  • 2 cuts of steaks
  • 2 T bacon grease
  • 2 t. dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • S&P
  • Sauce
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 C. blue cheese crumbles
  • generous fresh black pepper


  1. Salt, pepper and sprinkle with thyme both sides of steaks.
  2. Chop or mince garlic and rub into steaks.
  3. Pour melted bacon grease over steaks, making small slits with a parring knife into steaks to help it sink deeper.
  4. Grill (searing first) to liking (we love medium rare!).
  5. Sauce
  6. Melt on low on stove top sauce ingredients for about 5 minutes until melted and thick.
  7. Pour this luscious and creamy blue cheese sauce over your juicy steak to create the BEST steak you will ever have.

Don’t be Afraid to Make Your Own Red Sauce

Don’t be Afraid to Make Your Own Red Sauce

dont be afraid to make your own red sauce

Making homemade sauce can be intimidating, even to the more experienced real foodie cook….but be afraid no longer….here is our family’s classic homemade marinara recipe from a long line of Italian cooks.  It is quicker than our traditional red sauce with meatballs and sausage, but you will find the flavor is truly wonderful. We use this often to whip up a quick red sauce when we aren’t making planning on making a batch of red sauce with meat anytime soon.  You would be amazed how many meals sauce can enhance flavor in even when you are grain-free.  We serve it with these zucchini boats,  cauliflower pizza, chicken and peppers italiano, chicken and zucchini lasagna, pasta or rice (if not grain-free) and many other instances when we want an Italian meal.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade Marinara Sauce


  • 5-8 T. minced garlic
  • 3 T.olive oil
  • 5-6 C crushes tomatoes (good brand matters!)
  • 1/4 C fresh basil
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley
  • 1-2 T. dried oregano
  • ground pepper
  • shake of crushed red pepper


  1. Sauté garlic in oil on low until fragrant but not brown.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes. (peeled romas can be crushed in blender)
  3. Add herbs and peppers.Simmer on low for 10 to 15 minutes.

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats


  • 3 very large zucchini (cut in half, then long ways, scooping out center to make a shell)
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground hot Italian sausage
  • 1 c. colored peppers- diced
  • 2 c. cooked white rice (or GF variation: 4 eggs)
  • 1-1/2 c. marinara sauce (plus more for topping)
  • 1/3 c. grated romano or parmesan
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese


  1. Saute peppers in a little bacon fat, adding a dash of salt.
  2. Saute sausage and ground beef together with 2 t. salt. (Strain fat for later use)
  3. For the grain-free version, while meat is still moist, add 4 beaten eggs.
  4. Add peppers, rice, romano and marinara to meat, mixing well.
  5. Grease glass baking dishes and place prepared zucchini boats inside.
  6. Scoop filling into boats, add a little water to the bottom of the dish and cover with foil.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and spoon some extra marinara on top of each boat along with 1/2 or so of shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese.
  9. Return to oven without cover and continue to cook 15 or more minutes until zucchini is tender and cheese is golden.


Shared with Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, Trim Healthy Tuesdays on Stacy Makes Cents, Wellness Wednesdays on Richly Rooted, Natural Family Friday on Natural Family Today, Foodie Friday on Growing up Triplets


Pear, Plum, Apple Sauté

Pear, Plum, Apple Sauté


RECIPE: (any quantity or combination of these fruits)

5 pears (ripe, ripe, ripe!)

5 apples

3 plums

¼ C butter/ghee

1-2 t cinnamon, to taste

½ t cardamom

Pinch of real salt

Water as needed for cooking


  1. Peel and slice thinly all the fruit.
  2. In large stainless steel pan melt butter and add fruit.
  3. Let fruit simmer and cook down, adding spices. Top on or off.
  4. Cook for approx 20 minutes or until fruit is soft.


Here you have a delicious blend of sweet and creamy fruit that can be eaten fresh from the stove, enjoyed with a yogurt parfait, on top of homemade ice cream or served as a side with a pork dish. Store any leftovers in the fridge; it will stay good for at least a week. Eat it cold from the fridge, or warm it up for even more flavor!

Cajun Beef and Cabbage Casserole

Cajun Beef and Cabbage Casserole



1 lb ground beef/pork + 1 t real salt & pepper

½ head of shredded cabbage

1 C chopped colored bell peppers

1 C chopped onion

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (optional: with chilies)

½ C+ chicken/beef stock (I keep small amounts in my freezer for meals like this)

1 C shredded cheese (cheddar, or colby)

3 garlic cloves

1 t basil

1 t oregano

Generous amount of white/black pepper

¼ t cayenne pepper



  1. Brown meat with peppers and onions until cooked through.
  2. Add tomatoes, spices and garlic to meat and let them get happy together (2-3 minutes).
  3. Put cabbage in glass 9×13, cover with meat mixture.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes on 350 degrees, stirring half way through and adding ½ C chicken stock as needed for moisture.
  5. When cabbage is soft (45 min -1 hour), add cheese to top of dish and cook until melted.
  6. Sprinkle with additional basil.


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