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Broomfield, CO
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Blog detailing how the use of food and lifestyle changes can help bring you health. Our family follows a Paleo style diet and recently Michele, a mom of 2 young boys, has been on an autoimmune paleo diet to help heal from Hashimoto's, Celiac disease, and adrenal fatigue.  Join her as she describes methods for change and recipes to help you in your own journey for health.  

 

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Pork Chops with Bacon Fig Sauce

Nourished App

I am working hard on the October update for the app and will be adding some new features this month too like the ability to filter recipes by whether they are sweetener-free. I have had quite a few requests for this so will be adding that in as well as allowing you to figure out what the newly added recipes are after you've already gone through the initial "New This Month" screen.

As for this new recipe (which will be added to the app in October), I have been obsessed with figs this year for some reason.  Not really sure why I have never really cooked with them prior to this year, but I've sure made up for lost time. Every time I walk into the grocery store they beckon to me and I have made jams, the Apple Peach Fig Bars, and sauces.  My favorite though is this sauce below.  Sweet (just from the figs themselves, no added sweeteners) and savory, it is the perfect accompaniment to a nicely browned pork chop. This can easily be made for a weeknight supper but yet elevates it to a wonderful meal to enjoy during the colder days of autumn.  


Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 min   Total time:  40 min

 

Pork Chops with Bacon Fig Sauce by Nourished App

1 tbs (15 mL) Lard or Coconut Oil

1 Shallot or Small Red Onion, diced*

2 slices Bacon

1.25 lbs (600 g) fresh Figs, quartered, with stems removed

1 Orange, zested

1 Lemon, juiced

2 tbs (30 mL) Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) fresh Rosemary, chopped finely

1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) Salt

4 Pork Chops

To Taste Salt and Pepper

 

1.  In a large cast iron pan, cook the bacon slices. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.  Keep the bacon fat in the pan. 

2. In a separate large saucepan, melt the lard or coconut oil.  (Skip this step if following FODMAP-free diet) .

3. Add the diced shallots or onions to the saucepan and cook until translucent. (Skip this step if following FODMAP-free diet). 

4. Cut the bacon into small pieces. 

5. Add the figs, orange zest, lemon juice, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and bacon pieces into the saucepan with the onions.  Also pour off approximately half of the bacon grease from the cast iron pan into the saucepan as well.

6. Simmer the fig mixture, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes, until the figs have softened and broken down a bit.

7. Meanwhile, heat the cast iron pan back up again over medium-high heat.   If there isn't much bacon fat left in the pan (you need just enough to cover), add some lard or coconut oil as well.

8. Generously season the pork chops with the salt and pepper and add to the preheated cast iron pan. 

9. Cook the pork chops 5-7 minutes each side, depending on the thickness. 

10. Serve the pork chops with a generous serving each of the fig sauce.

 

 *If you are on a low or no-FODMAP diet, just remove the shallots/onions. 

Announcing Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut as our October featured Blogger!

Nourished App

Kelly is one of the only Paleo bloggers I have had a chance to meet in real life and I am so glad I did meet her since she is just such a sweet, down-to-earth prson and I can tell she is one kick-ass mom too.  All of this just makes it all the more special that she has agreed to be our October featured blogger.  Kelly has years of experience in the gluten-free, casein-free, and sugar-free area due to health issues within her own family.  She has blogged about her life and recipes she has come up with for quite some time and also (as of October 1st) will have FOUR amazing cookbooks published.  Her blog, The Spunky Coconut, is a wealth of great recipes for the gluten-free, with a good 80% being Paleo (she indicates whether they are Paleo and most of her recent ones are).  And most of the non-Paleo ones can be made Paleo with just a few simple substitutions.

Look for five of Kelly's recipes to appear in the app in October, but until then you can follow Kelly via these methods below: 

Her blog:  The Spunky Coconut


And look for her new book, The Paleo Chocolate Lovers' Cookbook out October 1st!

 

Make Ahead Paleo Review and Giveaway!

Nourished App

Update 9/23/13 - The giveaway is now closed and the winner of the book has been chosen - it is Jessica Friedowitz ! 

have finally found a good chunk of time to sit down and write the review that this book deserves. Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott of The Healthy GF Life could quite possibly be my favorite book that has come out in this amazing summer of Paleo cookbooks.  And I mean, every book that has come out has been exceptional. However, for ME and my busy lifestyle, this book could not have come at a better time.    

Let me back up a bit and give you some background.  For those of you that follow me, you can skip ahead a bit, but for those of you that don't, my husband and I work full time jobs.  We have two young boys (almost 4 and 14 months) and like to spend time with them.  I do this blog and code the app updates in my "free" time.  We also have been on a grain-free diet (first GAPS for a year and then Paleo) for over 2 years.  Prior to that we ate a WAPF diet for over a year. So I am no stranger to making food from scratch and trying to figure out how to do it while being busy.  

Somewhere around the birth of my younger son and creating the app itself I lost track of how to really prepare ahead and have meals ready to go when I was ready.  Things took on more of a "make to order" rather than a "make ahead" stance, and while it still worked, it sure made life more stressful and caused us more than once to abandon ship to the closest fast food burger joint.  Not ideal for sure.   

Enter this book by Tammy Credicott and my life suddenly feels a lot less like a mouse running on an endless wheel and a little more normal.  This book not only has recipes for meals to make and freeze ahead of time (or a lot in my case, make on Sunday and eat on Wednesday), but also a bunch of slow cooker recipes, one pot meals, and on-the-go meals, snacks, and treats.  Along with the recipes is a section with tips and tricks on things you can do to help store, freeze, cook, and travel with things.

I made the following recipes over the last few weeks and have to apologize that I do not have photos for most of them as I did a lot of the "Make on Sunday, eat on Wednesday" thing and on eating day we were too tired and hurried to even think about taking photos.  But that is the essence of why this book is so great - if I was too hurried to think about photos I was also too hurried to cook, but yet I still had a home cooked, completely nutritious Paleo meal on the table for my family. 

  • Apple Ring Pancakes
  • Mango Cilantro Chicken
  • Apricot Orange Pork Chops
  • Fajita Burgers
  • Jerk Chicken Legs
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine
  • Thai Coconut Meatballs
  • Bacon & Onion Roast
  • Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup (made this two times, one time making a HUGE batch and freezing two bags for 2 meals later this fall) 
  • Nut-free Granola Bars
  • Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad
  • Best Ever Chicken Strips
  • Cashew Lime Chicken
  • Salted Chocolate Cherry Jumbles

Every single thing we made was delicious, easy to make, assemble, and cook and I would make it all again for sure. 

A pic of the Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup:  

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The Apple Ring Pancakes:

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One of my favorite things about this book too is that Tammy gives all kinds of instructions on how to prepare something for now or later - so for many of these meals I just made double and triple batches and kept one out for us now and then froze one or two so I have meals ready for later.  No more work to do that than to make one batch and it's so much less I have to worry about when time gets away from me again.  No excuse now to resort to fast food! 

And to help you guys share in my joy over this book, I am giving away one copy to readers!  To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.   

Fine Print: Contest only open to US Residents and will end at 12 am EST on September 23rd. Winners will be notified via email within 48 hours of contest ending and if the winner does not respond within one week I have the right to pick another winner.  

 

(if for some reason this rafflecopter widget doesn't work, go to 

http://nourishedapp.com/giveaway/ ) 

 

Review: Chomps Snack Sticks

Nourished App

I think a lot of you know my story - that I'm a full-time working mom of 2 young kiddos (almost 4 yrs and 13 months) and that I do this blog/app coding on the side.  I often get the "how do you do it?" question, especially the "how do you COOK everything along with everything else you do?"  Well, I'm here to tell you it isn't always easy.  And especially this last week or so we've really been feeling it since our kids started twice a week swim lessons after work on top of everything else.  Planning meals ahead has become the necessity, and I've been almost exclusively cooking meals from Tammy Credicott's upcoming book, Make Ahead Paleo.  I will be writing an entire blog post to that later, hopefully early next week, but it has been a complete lifesaver for us at just the right time.  

However, my kids, my husband and I get hungry in between meals too and want snacks.  I know this whole Paleo diet is supposed to get you to the point where you don't want snacks, and while I don't snack nearly as much as I used to, I still have times when I get hungry between meals.  But instead of reaching for junk like I used to pre-grain-free diet, I like to find a quality source of nutrition.  I also want it to be easy to eat(not messy), preferably not easily perishable (aka, the the opposite of "if it's there and about to spoil I'll eat it even if I'm not hungry" syndrome I often get), not sugary, and portable so I can keep it in my purse, car, diaper bag, or desk.  I also don't want to have to make snacks on top of everything else I have to make since my time is really limited right now.

Recently I had the opportunity to try these amazing snack sticks that fit ALL of the above criteria and even more importantly were delicious to boot!  They are called Chomps Snack Sticks and they come in two flavors: Original and Hoppin' Jalapeno. They kind of look like Slim Jim bars, but that's where the resemblance ends. They are made from 100% Grass-fed beef, are free of any synthetic nitrates, nitrites, or MSG, are gluten-free, Whole30 approved, and are shelf stable for an entire year!  The ingredients are: (Grass-Fed) Beef, Water, Salt, Citric Acid, Celery Juice, Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Garlic Powder, Coriander, Stuffed in a Collagen Casing (Jalapeno version also includes Jalapeno Peppers).  Translation:  I feel totally good about buying these, eating them, and feeding them to my family.  

Let's move onto taste.  I am a semi-fan of jerky, like I will eat it and sometimes it really hits the spot but it's not usually my first choice in flavors I like in a snack.  These sticks don't taste very jerky-like, they are a more benign meaty flavor which is more pleasing to me for regular consumption.  What stood out to me though were the spices.  Not overpowering, just enough to awaken your taste buds and senses and make you really appreciate and enjoy eating them.  The Original flavor was a hit with both my older son and I for sure and would work for pretty much anyone. The Jalapeno flavor was a bit too intense for my son and I suspect anyone who doesn't like spicy hot things would find these to be a bit too much.   I personally LOVED the jalapeno flavor, but I love spicy foods and it really was a treat for me.  It gave a really nice tingle but not so much that I was searching for a glass of water or anything.

Bottom line, I really liked these and will be buying more for my family to eat.  If you would like to try them as well, they are offering a 5% discount for my readers - enter code "NOURISHED5" at checkout.  You can find the sticks at http://www.gochomps.com/ 

Disclosure: I was given several Chomps Snack Sticks to try for free.  I was not paid to review these and these words are my own.  When I like something I like to shout it from the rooftops.  However, my neighbors are sick of me shouting (and I'm afraid of heights) so instead I use this blog :-)

App Update with Tammy Credicott of The Healthy GF Life now available!

Nourished App

Apple has just approved our app update which adds Tammy Credicott of The Healthy GF Life as our new featured blogger along with 5 of her delicious recipes.  Her recipes include: 

  • Prosciutto Olive & Sundried Tomato Turkey Burgers
  • Sweet-N-Sour Meatballs
  • Mini Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline 
  • Chili Dusted Cauliflower
  • Mexican Hummus (app exclusive!)
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Tammy is an inspiring blogger, cookbook author, mom, and wife and has had a rather winding road to Paleo, but it has led to the best health her family has experienced yet.  Her recipes are delicious and her books are wonderful references that all grain-free cooks should own.  I will write more about her upcoming book, Make Ahead Paleo, soon in a separate blog post, but I will tell you now that it is an AMAZING book that has saved me several times this past week alone.  Our kids started swim lessons and soccer on top of us working full-time and oh, sleeping and stuff, so food has kind of been pushed to the back burner.  But thanks to Tammy's book I was actually able to get a lot meals prepared last weekend and easily onto the table during the week.  Look for my blog post when I speak specifically about the book, but in the meantime, just take my word for it that it is awesome. A few of Tammy's recipes that were added to the app also are able to be made ahead of time, frozen, and eaten when convenient for you.

 

OUR RECIPES ALSO ADDED TO THE APP :

  • Tomato Jam
  • Apple Peach Fig Bars
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As always, this update is free to anyone who already has the app.  Buy it for iPhone and get it for iPad free (or vice versa).  And get all the great features like multiple serving sizes, shopping lists, cooking history, etc.