Baked Maple Mustard Squash

I feel it’s time for a little update.  Life is crazy with summer approaching…warm weather is here with longer days!  It’s hard to believe I have been 80/20 Paleo for more than three years and Paleo Gone Sassy blog is coming up on her 2nd birthday!  I’m not sure if I should say WOW or DANG!!  Where to start…

First, I love social media because it helps me connect with other people whom are interested in a healthy lifestyle.  You can find Paleo Gone Sassy on Facebook, Instagram and now Periscope.  I use facebook to share recipes, articles and pictures.  Instagram is my favorite out of all the social media outlets because I truly believe a picture says a thousand words.  Periscope and I are just becoming friends…like we are on day three of our relationship.  Periscope allows you to video stream live and then saves it for others to view past the recording.  I did enjoy whipping up some Honey Mustard Squash on Periscope and showing how to do it and proving how simple the recipe is.

Next, I feel accomplished.  Losing weight was never my goal when starting Paleo, rather feeling better was.  On this journey I have lost close to 70lbs and now pretty much maintain my weight for the last year…a pound up or down.  With losing 70lbs, I had fat to lose but in my mind it was the energy I was craving…and yes…I found LOTS of it now!  However, it’s been a journey feeling comfortable because with time I see myself as the ‘old me’ and have a hard time processing why people will walk past and not recognize me.  Again, pictures say a million words and they help me realize the accomplishments I have made.

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Top picture was taken in April 2015. Bottom picture was taken in November 2011.

If I had to wrap up my life now I’d use a few words: dedication, motivation and determination.  Dedication is a word I feel resembles me well.  I’m very dedicated when it comes to creating success both in my personal life and professionally.  Paleo keeps me motivated to see what my body can do both physical and mentally. I also find I have motivation and others around me keep me motivated to do the best…yes I might be a little competitive!  Oh determination…I would not be where I am today without determination.  I was determined to become healthy and now I’m determined to stay healthy and spread the word eating healthy is not about counting or calculating.  I challenge you to think what words best describe you…and how do those words make you feel?  My hope is you are proud of the words you created for yourself!!

Life is crazy and sometimes I forget to stop and smell the flowers.  I’m fortunate to surround myself with people who remind me to breathe, life will be ok if I stop for a minute!  Some people dread the kitchen for cooking, instead I have found it grounds me and is my stress reliever!  There is just something about putting on an apron which energizes me and creates an inner peace after a busy day.

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All Natural Chai Recipe

Cold weather is here in Michigan.  School districts have been off the last 3 consecutive days.  Needless to say, I’m looking for anything to keep me warm.  Our wind chills have been in the -20…YIKES!  I’m the girl who is cold when the heat goes below 68 in the house.  It’s all about the layers for me these past two days!

This recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing!  It is also compliant with Whole30 and the 21 day sugar detox.  Not to mention all the benefits you are getting from the spices.  I’m not a big fan of sweet drinks.  I’m fine omitting the honey; however, I know some people like sweet drinks.  Adjust the honey for your taste buds.

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Paleo Tomato Soup

Yep, it’s that time of year….SOUP SEASON!  I find once summer disappears all I want is soup.  Soup warms me up from the inside out.  I grew up loving tomato soup from a can.  Yes, a can.  I would get very excited when I saw the can with the red label come out of the cupboard.  Needless to say, this recipe is all natural and I know all the ingredients I’m putting into my mouth.  I now can not say the same about my childhood favorite.

Tomato Soup

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Paleo Cantaloupe Cream Sauce

The blog has been quiet this week.  On Monday, my grandfather passed away and it pulled our family together, but me out of my kitchen.  My grandfather was a great man who appreciated all the small stuff.  He taught all his grandchildren to always smile, no matter when the tough gets tough because someone always has it tougher!

This is the time of year, when my grandparents would visit and bring cantaloupe from a local farm near them.  My grandpa always said you need to smell the melon to see if it is ripe.  So, I spent 5 minutes smelling cantaloupes at a farm near his house.  Not sure if it’s the farm he would visit, as my grandma had a hard time recalling the name and location of the farm.  Bless my husband for putting up with me when our hotel room started smelling like cantaloupe for two days!  He just rolled his eyes and I would tell him, ” I picked the best ones, you can smell it!”.  The key to this recipe is to have ripe cantaloupes.

For my Paleo followers, this sauce is great on spaghetti squash, zoodles, Cappellos gnocchi or fettuccine.

Some food is great for the freezer, this recipe is not one for freezing.  It can be stored in the fridge up to 3 days (if it makes it that long).

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Paleo Cantaloupe Cream Sauce

Ingredients
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups cantaloupe cubed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tsp lemon
salt and pepper to taste
 

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Sweet Potato and Cilantro Dip

Sweet potato and cilantro dip is an easy recipe to make for a side dish or as a healthy appetizer.  I know many people LOVE dips!  I have used left over cilantro dip as a salad dressing too.  This is a universal recipe and you can do a lot with these two items.  This is my quick and easy ‘go-to’ recipe when I’m in a time crunch because the sweet potato can be baked before making this dish.

sweetpotato

Sweet Potato and Cilantro Dip

Sweet Potato Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
 
Cilantro Dip
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs fresh lemon juice 
 
Sweet Potato Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch square pieces.
3.  Coat the squares with olive oil and salt
4.  Bake sweet potatoes for 24 minutes, turning every 8 minutes.
5.  Sweet potato squares should be soft, but not mushy.
6.  Allow sweet potato squares to cool before eating this dish.
7.  You may place toothpicks inside the sweet potato to allow for easy dipping.
 
Cilantro Dip Directions
1.  Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high.
2.  Pour dip into a small bowl to serve with sweet potato squares.
3.  Dip can served warm or cold.  If you choose warm, microwave for 1 minute.

Farmers Market Produce Recipes

I love Saturdays because I can go to our local farmers market.  I love how the food is laying on tables displaying all of earths natural colors.  At our farmers market the vendors have signs stating: grower, commercial seller or artisan.

Want to learn a little more about the farmer’s market? Mindful Meals has created a list of “5 Reasons Why I Shop at the Farmer’s Market“.  Or check out Happy Healthy nut post on “How to Make the Most of your Farmers Market.  Last but not least, check out Don’t Waste the Crumbs post “8 Strategies for Saving Money at the Farmers Market.” Her and I think alike!  I love asking questions to the vendors. Often, they inspire me to think outside the box with my recipe creations.  I love how they take pride in their farming and often teach me new information.  Food from a farmers market or CSA tastes different from the grocery store.  It tastes fresh, without a waxy taste.  I also love giving back to my community.  Going to the farmers market or belonging to a CSA helps local businesses succeed!

If you can not attend a farmers market, try finding a CSA near your house.  My husband and I belong to an amazing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and this will help save money too!  We get a ton of fruits and vegetables and pay $25 for a weekly basket.  Conveying Awareness has written a great blog entry about her CSA box.

During the summer, we rarely venture to the grocery store, perhaps once a month because we get all our food needs through the farmers market or CSA.  Don’t forget, we buy our meat in bulk from a local farmer.

Farmers Market Produce Recipes

Fruit

Strawberry Salsa
Watermelon Jello
Watermelon Appetizer
Chilled Strawberry Watermelon Soup
Cherry Mint Lemonade
Lemon Blossom Spring Smoothie
Microgreens Fruit Salad
Pan Fried Apples with Dates
Cranberry Salad

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Leeks
Tomato Candy
Purple Potatoes
Fava Beans
Garlic Brocolinni 
Spring In A Bowl
Radish and Leek Soup
Garlic Scapes
Grilled Garlic Scapes
Beet Greens
Chili-Lime Roasted Asparagus
Grilled Asparagus
Spring Asparagus and Fennel Saute
Chilled Gold Beet Soup
Salsa with Cucumbers
Curried Cream of Kale and Coconut Soup
Roasted Sugar Snap Peas with Mint & Sea Salt
Kale Citrus Kale-salad
Lacto-Fermented Carrot Sticks
Baby Kale Salad with Nectarine Balsamic Dressing
Carrots with Rosemary and Thyme
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Beet Salad
Delicata Squash
Side Salad
Ratatouille 
Zoodles
 

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