How to Make Kombucha

I’m a newbie to the fermenting world, and I’ve always wanted to try making kombucha, but I admit I was definitely intimidated by the whole process. Which is really silly considering how much canning and preserving I do, which is way more labor intense than home brewing. I love fruit-flavored tea, so I decided to make the plunge and brew my own kombucha. Kombucha has a world of health benefits, as the fermentation process develops good bacteria that your digestive system loves. As I’ve given up soda and am weary of drinking plain water, kombucha seemed to be the way to go for me.

I originally ordered 2 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from Amazon. This is what turns sweet tea into fermented kombucha and adds all the wonderful health benefits. When my family first saw a SCOBY , they weren’t too thrilled about the idea of something that looked like a blob of gelatin floating in their tea, but they’ve come around and really do like kombucha now.

There are literally hundreds of places to buy a SCOBY  (if you don’t have a brewing friend who can give you one to start). If you buy one, make sure the SCOBY  comes with enough starter kombucha fluid (about 1-1/2 cups). On my first purchase of 2 SCOBY , there wasn’t enough starter, so that batch didn’t ferment like it should. I found a different vendor on Amazon, however, and they sent me one huge SCOBY  and more than enough starter tea. The first batch turned out great, and it made a new baby SCOBY  (it grows on top of the original SCOBY ), just like it was supposed to.

You can do an Internet search and find multiple different recipes on how to make kombucha, and everyone has their own tricks of the trade. I read a lot before I decided to make my own. What I did may be different from someone else who brews, but here’s what I did, and it turned out very tasty.



You can see the SCOBY to the right side – the dark shadow is a new baby SCOBY that has yeast tendrils hanging from the bottom side. This is normal.



Floating SCOBY.


The first picture was taken right after I added the fruit.


This picture is after the kombucha sat for a day. The colors really deepened.


How to Make Kombucha

5 to 6 tea bags (I used black tea)

1 cup sugar

1 gallon water less 1 cup

SCOBY  and 1-1/2 to 2 cups starter tea

Gallon jar

Cover for jar (I used a coffee filter and a rubber band)


Boil 2 quarts of water in a stockpot. Turn the heat off and add 5-6 teabags. Let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the tea bags, and add the sugar. Stir to completely resolve. Let tea cool to room temperature.

When the sweet tea is at room temperature, pour the tea into a clean gallon jar. Add the additional 2 quarts of water (room temperature), making sure you leave room in the jar for the SCOBY and starter tea. With clean hands, add the SCOBY and starter tea to the gallon jar. Cover the top of the jar with something that is breathable (kombucha needs oxygen to ferment), and let sit out of the sun for 7 to 10 days.

Fermentation time will depend how warm your room is. I brewed mine in mid-March with an average room temperature of 72 degrees, and my batch took 10 days. Obviously, cooler rooms will take longer, and it won’t take as long when it’s hot outside. You should smell a sweet, vinegar-like smell.

You have to taste your brew to see when it’s ready. Some people like it sweeter, and some don’t. After about a week, remove the lid. Carefully slide a straw underneath the SCOBY, and taste. When it tastes good to you, carefully remove the SCOBY and place it in a small dish. Remove about 1-1/2 cups of your fermented tea, and place it in the same dish as the SCOBY – this will be your starter tea for your next batch.

Now it’s time for the fun part – flavoring your kombucha 🙂

The flavor possibilities are endless. If you do an Internet search (and Pinterest is a great starting place), you’ll find both sweet and savory ways to flavor your “booch.” I’m more of a fruit tea person, so I experimented with peaches, red raspberries, and blueberries on my first brew. Now, you don’t need special equipment to do the second fermentation where you’re flavoring your kombucha. You can use Mason jars or whatever you have on hand – just make sure if you want it to be fizzy that you can cap the container to let the carbonation build up. I purchased Grolsch bottles on Amazon, which are pretty inexpensive and work perfectly for this.

When I was ready to flavor my kombucha, I chopped up peaches, blueberries, and red raspberries and added about 2 tablespoons of fruit into each bottle. Pour the kombucha into the bottles, and cap the lids. Let the bottles sit on the counter for a day or two (out of the sun), but keep an eye on the fermentation. The tea will interact with the sugars in the fruit, and it won’t take long for carbonation to take place. You may need to “burp the lids” to release some of the pressure – you don’t want your bottles or containers exploding (it can happen).

After a day, taste your brew. If the taste is pleasing, place the bottles in the refrigerator. Fermentation will still keep occurring, but it does slow down once in the cool.

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Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles

I’ve made a lot of pickles over the past 25 years: garlic dills, sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, mustard pickles, and even dilly green beans. I’ve made tons of cucumber relish and salsa too, but everything I’ve done in the past has been vinegar based. That’s great if you have a huge garden and want to preserve your veggies for winter storage. However, after working for a Paleo diet expert, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not getting much nutrient value from these types of pickles.

The best way to preserve your veggies and get the most nutrition from them is to ferment them. It’s so simple to do, and fermenting has been around forever. And the best part is when you eat fermented foods, you’re adding good bacteria into your digestive system.

It doesn’t take much for special equipment to ferment your veggies. I already had a ton of canning jars (although other jars will work fine). All I needed to do was purchase some air locks (can find a variety of styles on Amazon), and I was all set.

I wanted to experiment with some cucumbers before gardening season arrived so I could decide 1) if I liked fermented pickles and 2) how much garden to plant. Wal-Mart actually had a small bag of pickling-sized cucumbers, so I snagged those and proceeded to start my experiment.

I had enough cucumbers to do 2 quart jars of fermented pickles. One I decided to do as close to my usual garlic dill pickles as possible, and the other quart jar I experimented with some pickling spice. The recipe that was closest to my usual dill pickles turned out terrific, and my youngest son told me I had to make crocks of them this summer when we’re overloaded with cucumbers. These pickles did not last long. The second jar – not so much a success. It fermented as it was supposed to. I just didn’t like the taste of the pickling spice, so the chickens got a fermented treat.

For my experiment, since it was March and fresh dill just isn’t available in Iowa, I used a combination of both dill seed and dill weed in my quart jar, but come summer, I’ll be using fresh, probably a big head of dill per jar. I like lots of dill and garlic in my pickles, but if you prefer less, feel free to adjust the amounts. The red pepper flakes are also optional. Sometimes I would make my usual garlic dills with a small piece of pepper to kick up the flavor, but the pickles will taste just fine if you don’t want the extra heat. I also didn’t have any grape leaves or horseradish leaves ready in the garden yet since it’s March, but I do add them when available. However, these pickles were perfectly crisp without them, so if you don’t have access to the leaves, don’t worry about it. Just be sure to keep the salt-to-water ratio the same so that you have enough salty brine for the fermentation to take place.

The spices and brine recipe are for 1 quart jar. Double as needed depending how many jars of pickles you want to make.


Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles

6 to 8 pickling size cucumbers (whole or slice into chunks as you prefer)

1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled

1-1/2 tablespoon dill seed

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Grape leaf or horseradish leaf (optional – this provides tannin to help keep pickles crisp)

For the Brine (per quart):

3 cups water (room temperature)

3 tablespoons fine sea salt (can use canning/pickling salt too)


To each quart jar, add the grape or horseradish leaf if using, the garlic, and the spices. Pack your cucumbers in tightly. Combine brine ingredients until the salt is dissolved, and pour the brine over the cucumbers.

Add a glass weight to the jar to keep the cucumbers submerged in the brine, and place an air lock to the top of the jar. Let the jar sit on the counter for 2 to 3 days out of the sun. How fast fermentation takes place will depend on how warm the room is. Ideal temperature would be around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so if it’s wintertime, it will take longer, and fermentation will definitely speed up when it’s hot.

You’ll see the brine turn cloudy after a day or two. Don’t panic – that’s what you want to happen. It means things are fermenting as planned. After a couple of days, remove the air lock and the glass weight, and taste a pickle. It should be crunchy and full of dill and garlic flavor. If it isn’t, replace the glass weight and air lock, and let the jar sit for another day before re-tasting. When you’re happy with the pickles, remove the air lock and glass weight, place a different lid on the jar (I use a new canning lid and ring), and put the jar in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Note: If you slice your cucumbers, the slices will ferment a bit quicker than if you leave the cucumbers whole in the jar. My whole cucumbers took about 4 days in mid-March before they were fermented all the way through, but my slices were ready in 2-1/2 days.


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Baked Coconut Shrimp

I absolutely love shrimp however it’s prepared, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try making coconut shrimp at home. I’ve had it when eating out, and you get these huge shrimp that have been butterflied and have this nice crispy coating—delicious stuff. Living in Iowa, however, I don’t always have access to those huge shrimp, or if they are available, they are outside my food budget, so I just drool and dream. That said, Hy-Vee will have occasional sales on seafood, especially around the holidays, so I usually stock up. While my go-to recipe for shrimp is shrimp scampi, I decided to try my hand at coconut shrimp, and my family thought the results were great. I used roughly 2 pounds of shrimp in my recipe (we’re big eaters and absolutely love shrimp), but you can definitely pare this back and use only 1 pound.

Some coconut shrimp is fried, but I wanted to keep my recipe as healthy as possible, so I baked mine. I also made this recipe gluten-free, so here is one more recipe for those of you who have celiac disease or wheat sensitivities. Of course, if you don’t have these medical problems, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the coconut flour.

A lot of recipes I looked at for coconut shrimp had a fruity and/or spicy dipping sauce that accompanies the shrimp. I saw one that had pineapple marmalade and one that used apricot preserves. I had neither of these items in my pantry, but I did have a bunch of homemade peach jam sitting on the shelves, so that was the inspiration for my dipping sauce. Feel free to experiment with whatever jams and preserves you may have. We each tried the shrimp first by itself and then with the dipping sauce, and we all agreed that the dipping sauce made the dish perfect.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined


1/2 cup coconut flour

1 can coconut milk (or enough to make a thick batter)

1 egg, beaten


1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1-1/2 cups coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Peachy Dipping Sauce

8 ounces peach jam

2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl, combining thoroughly. Refrigerate to let flavors marry together until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside (for my 2 pounds of shrimp, I needed 2 baking sheets).

In one bowl, combine all the batter ingredients, whisking them together to thoroughly combine. You’re looking for a pancake batter consistency, so keep adding the coconut milk until you reach a thick batter. You may or may not need a full can of coconut milk.

In a separate bowl, combine all the coating ingredients, and thoroughly mix.

Dip the prepared shrimp in the batter and then into the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess coating, and place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheets. Bake shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib Roast

Do you love prime rib? Does the thought of cooking prime rib yourself make you go all primal and start beating your chest like a caveman? That’s pretty much what happens when my husband decides he’s going to make prime rib for the family during the holidays.

Over the years, we’ve tried several different recipes in search of making the perfect prime rib. One recipe that my folks raved about was from a now-closed small restaurant in northern Missouri. We waited with anticipation when we tried that one because it had such good reviews, but alas, it just didn’t do it for us, and we felt like we had wasted a good piece of meat.

We eaten prime rib in restaurants lots of times, and there you can find it prepared in any number of ways—garlic crusted, rosemary crusted, so on and so forth. But to cook a rib roast at home, we wanted to get back to basics and do a simple yet tasty recipe. Once you know that we don’t even like to use steak sauce with a sirloin (we think it covers up the taste of perfectly delicious beef), you’ll understand why we think this recipe is the best we’ve come across. It’s super simple, and there were no complaints at the dinner table when this was on the menu.

I found all kinds of tips and tricks on how to fix a rib roast on the What’s Cooking America website, including cooking time instructions based on the weight of your roast, and I’ve provided a link to it here. Be forewarned: if you go to print out the recipe, you may end up with pages and pages of instructions.

I admit that the picture of the sliced prime rib is not mine. While I remembered to take a picture of the rib roast when we took it out of the oven, I got busy getting everything else ready for the meal, and then we dove in—with no picture of how delicious it looked when sliced. I used one from the Internet, but you get the idea of what it looked like. We did have garlic mashed potatoes with our prime rib, though, which were also delicious.

We’ve used this recipe to roast a huge 14-pound rib roast, and we’ve used it for a smaller 7-pound prime rib. Just adjust your roasting time based on the size of your roast, and you’ll do just fine. Enjoy going primal!



Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib roast


Several hours before you plan to cook your beef roast, take it out of the refrigerator, and let the roast come to room temperature, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. This is necessary so that the roast cooks evenly.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pat the room temperature roast dry, and liberally smear softened butter on the ends of the roast. Do NOT salt your rib roast (this will dry it out).

Place the rib roast in a large roasting pan fat side up, on a rack if you have one is preferable. If you’re using a bone-in rib roast, you can omit the cooking rack.

Sear the rib roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for the remainder of the cooking time. Do NOT cover the roast. Every half-hour or so, baste the roast from the juices that accumulate in the pan.

Cook roast until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit (for rare) or your desired level of doneness. Remove roast from the oven, and lightly cover it with aluminum foil. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember that the internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests, so take that into consideration before you remove the roast from the oven. After roughly 20 minutes, the internal temperature will be around 125 degrees Fahrenheit if you removed it from the oven at 120 degrees. For us, this is perfectly done (rare), but you may wish to cook your roast longer. You can find cooking times for level of doneness and sizes of prime rib roasts on the What’s Cooking America link I posted above. Enjoy!

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Baked Scallops

I love scallops, but here in Iowa, we just don’t have access to fresh seafood, so we have to make do with the frozen section and hope we come across some good stuff. I’d stopped in our local locker the other day looking for soup bones to make bone broth, and I noticed they’ve started to carry some seafood. So, of course, I started browsing and found they had some really nice-looking scallops. Nice big ones that were actually more than an appetizer bite size. Of course, I came home with a couple of packages lol.

I wanted to make those scallops tonight, but I wanted to try something different. I usually make scallops in a large skillet, browning them and then using my shrimp scampi sauce. They are really good that way, but these were really nice scallops, so I wanted to do something that would “wow” my family. The fact that even my husband said I had to blog about this recipe “right now” must mean I accomplished my mission lol.

That said, this is one of those off-the-top-of-my-head recipes. I didn’t measure anything. I knew what ingredients I wanted to use, and I went strictly by taste. I’ve tried to approximate the ingredients below, but do yourself a favor and just taste the sauce as you make it. My family likes garlic, so I probably use more garlic than most families would like, so feel free to experiment to find the level of garlic you like. The wine is optional, but it really adds a nice layer of flavor to the sauce.

I topped the scallops and the sauce with a simple bread crumb mixture. Since I’m trying to go Paleo, I used gluten-free Panko, but you could easily substitute regular bread crumbs, regular Panko, or even seasoned varieties of the two to add another layer of flavor. This really is a simple recipe, but the end result was absolutely delicious.



Baked Scallops

2 pounds large scallops (I worked with 22 – 5 each plus 2 for the boys to fight over)

1/2 stick butter, melted

About 1/3 cup dry white wine

Garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper (or use a coarser/restaurant-style black pepper)

Gluten-free Panko (or your favorite bread crumbs)


Extra-virgin olive oil


Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the melted butter, white wine, about 2 to 3 teaspoons of garlic salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Dip each scallop in the melted butter mixture to completely coat. Place the scallops in a medium-sized casserole dish or on a large rimmed baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan). Once all the scallops have been dipped in the butter mixture and are on the baking dish, pour the remaining butter sauce over the scallops.

In another small bowl, combine about 3/4 cup to 1 cup bread crumbs, about 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic salt, more freshly ground black pepper, and about 2 to 3 tablespoons parsley. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread crumb mixture, and combine until the mixture starts to clump together. Once everything is mixed, sprinkle the bread crumb/Panko mixture on top of the scallops. (The bread crumbs will soak up any extra butter sauce as it bakes.)

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 15 to 20 minutes, depending how big your scallops are, until the fish is nice and flaky. Serve with veggies or a green salad and homemade bread, and you’ve good a great meal that will impress your family and friends.

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Pressure Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken

My family loves Chinese food, and my youngest son is always asking me to make Orange Chicken, probably his most favorite Chinese dish. While it’s one of my favorites too, I wanted to change things up a bit, as I hate always making the same thing for dinner. Variety is the spice of life, right? While looking through some pressure cooker recipes on Pinterest (that site is way to addictive!), I found a recipe for Sesame Honey Chicken on the Key Ingredient website that sounded quick and delicious. It really takes very little time to do in a pressure cooker, and I think it’s going to be a new family favorite.

While I usually brown chicken and beef in a cast iron skillet before I add it to a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, I cooked everything in the Instant Pot for this recipe. Talk about a time saver—saving time doing dishes, that is. I only had one dish to clean, instead of my huge cast iron skillet, which is a big plus in my book.

The recipe calls for soy sauce, but since I’m trying to follow a Paleo-style diet, I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. You could also substitute tamarind sauce. Both of these are gluten-free, and you can’t tell the difference taste-wise when you are adding them to a sauce.

Sesame Honey Chicken

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup soy sauce (I used coconut aminos)

1/4 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

Toasted sesame seeds

Chopped green onions, for garnishing (optional)


Salt and pepper the chicken pieces to taste.

Preheat the pressure cooker pot by selecting the sauté function. When the cooking pot is hot, add the olive oil, the chicken pieces, the onion, and the garlic to the pot, and sauté until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes or so. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pot, and stir to combine the ingredients.

Lock on the lid, and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When the cooker beeps, do a quick pressure release.

Add the honey to the pot, and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the water. Add this to the pressure cooker pot.

Select the sauté function, and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over cooked rice, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if using.

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Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins

I’m always looking to modify favorite recipes to a more Paleo-friendly or at least gluten-free version. My kids love it when I bake, but I admit I haven’t baked as much since switching to a Paleo-type diet. I will still occasionally bake, as I did for Thanksgiving, but I either can’t partake in what I’ve made, or if I do I pay for it later with horrid GI symptoms.

I’ve save a ton of recipes on my Pinterest site, so if you’re looking for a starting place with gluten-free and/or Paleo recipes, be sure to check out the link at the end of this post. Let’s be honest. I collect recipes, and I’ve done so my entire life. Pinterest is a huge enabler for this hobby, and I love the fact that I can find gluten-free and Paleo recipes for just about anything on Pinterest. There are some talented cooks and bakers out there who have graciously shared their creations with the world, and I for one am extremely grateful for it. I found this delicious and easy recipe on the Bakerita blog, and it has tons of terrific Paleo and gluten-free recipes. Whenever I make a Paleo or gluten-free recipe, I usually don’t tell my sons that I’ve made a modified recipe until after they’ve eaten it, so when they kept going back for more of these muffins, I knew I’d found a keeper 🙂

You could make these into mini muffins, and the recipe says it will make 36, but I made regular-sized muffins and ended up with 15 yummy treats.




Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins


4 ripe bananas, mashed

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups blueberries


Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and nut butter until thoroughly combined.

Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, and fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes (11 to 13 minutes if making mini muffins), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, and allow muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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Paleo Meatloaf

I love meatloaf, and so does my family, so this is one of the first recipes I tweaked when I decided to follow a Paleo diet. Before I would use bread crumbs, which now, of course, is off limits. I also used brown sugar in the topping, which is another no-no. Other than that, I really didn’t have to make a lot of changes to my normal meatloaf recipe, and when the family tried it, they said they actually liked this recipe better. I paired the meatloaf with some grilled onions and a nice tossed salad – quick and easy dinner menu.



If you’re like me, once you decide to go Paleo, you have to change several ingredients that have been staples in your pantry. Flour is an obvious one, but you also have to look at things such as soy sauce, salad dressings, mayo, and other ingredients that contain hidden gluten. My small town of just over 3,000 people has a small, family-owned grocery store. To their credit, when they recently expanded, they did start stocking some gluten-free products – just the basics, however. I have to go to Iowa City (thank you Lucky’s Market and Hy-Vee) to find a lot of the ingredients that Paleo and gluten-free recipes call for. And they’re not cheap. Luckily, I’ve found a few places online where you can find affordable Paleo and gluten-free products. Each has it’s pros and cons. Some have fast shipping (Amazon). Some have a yearly fee but cheap prices compared to my local stores (Thrive Market), and some drop the price tag in your cart depending on how much you purchase ( I really like Thrive. You get 30 days of free membership to see if you like the products, and I tried a bunch in those 30 days! If you’re interested, there are ways you can save even more by referring a friend to join with you. If they join, you receive$25 in Thrive cash to spend on the website however you wish: win-win!

Now for the recipe. Keep in mind that I’ve made this recipe for years, and I really don’t have exact measurements for the spices. I just go by dashes and shakes, so feel free to adjust seasonings to your family’s tastes.



Paleo Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup gluten-free Panko bread crumbs (I used Ian’s gluten-free Panko)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Couple dashes of gluten-free soy sauce (I used San-J Organic Tamari)

Organic gluten-free ketchup (I used Cucina Antica – this is good and tastes better than Heinz!)

Prepared mustard

Real maple syrup


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, eggs, Panko, and seasonings. Add a couple dashes of soy sauce and a couple of squirts of the ketchup. You want enough ketchup just to make the ground beef really stick together. Combine everything until thoroughly mixed.

Place meatloaf in a medium-sized baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking oil (use something Paleo friendly like olive oil or coconut oil). In the same bowl, add a couple squirts of ketchup, some mustard, and about a tablespoon of the maple syrup, and stir to combine. Taste to see if you need more of one or more ingredients. When you’re happy with the flavor, pour the sauce over the top of the meatloaf, evenly coating it.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 50 minutes, or until the meatloaf tests done.


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Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna

My son and I went to Lucky’s Market in Iowa City and found some beautiful Ahi tuna steaks. Since seafood is on the Paleo diet, I decided to try my hand at cooking these, something I’ve never done but always wanted to try.

I surfed the Internet looking at a variety of different Paleo blogs and recipes, and there’s even one that Chris Kresser included in his Paleo literature, which called for Chinese 5-spice, which sounded good, but I wanted to try something simple for my first time cooking an actual tuna steak.

I found this recipe at Paleo Hacks, and it sounded perfect for what I wanted to do. Her recipe called for poppy seeds, which I’m sure would be a tasty addition, but I decided to omit those this time. I paired our tuna steaks with roasted baby carrots and some organic greens topped with a delicious balsamic lemon vinaigrette, and we finished off the meal with fresh berries and whipped coconut cream for dessert. Not a bad way to start out our new Paleo lifestyle 🙂


Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna

1 Ahi tuna steak

Generous dab of grass-fed ghee

Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Poppy seeds (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Take your tuna steak out of the refrigerator 30 minutes or so prior to cooking. Rub it with salt and pepper.

Melt the ghee in a cast iron skillet on fairly high heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil if using.

Sear the tuna steak for about 1 to 3 minutes on each side, depending how rare you want the steak to be. Remove steak from the pan, and let it sit for a minute or two before serving.

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Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower

I love cauliflower, but usually when I buy a head, the guys get into it and eat it raw before I can do anything with it. This time, however, I wised up and bought 2 heads – one for them and one for this recipe.

I’d seen lots of roasted cauliflower recipes on Pinterest, and I modified one to our family’s tastes. I turned out pretty good, and there weren’t any leftovers, so I’d say it was a hit! I paired this with Lemon, Garlic, and Herb Salmon, and they really worked well together. I paired the two with a nice green salad – perfect Paleo meal 🙂






Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower

6 cups of cauliflower florets (1 large head)

2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric (to your family’s taste)

Sea salt (to taste)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick olive oil spray.

Place the cauliflower florets and the smashed garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, and stir to completely coat the veggies.

In a small bowl, combine the turmeric, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the mixture over the cauliflower, turning to evenly coat.

Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet, spreading them out evenly. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are nicely browned, and the cauliflower is tender. Serve warm.

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