Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lunchbox #124

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Scrambled eggs
  • A Bubbies dill pickle
  • Slices of Kerrygold cheese
  • Two Clementines
  • A single square of 90% Lindt dark chocolate

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link - shopping Amazon through it supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you - thanks very much!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lunchbox #123

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):
  • A pepper and cheese omelet
  • A green tomato
  • Two Clementines
  • Baked cubed potato, tossed in mustard and sour cream
  • A single square of 90% Lindt dark chocolate

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link - shopping Amazon through it supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you - thanks very much!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hanging On - First Week of Crossfit

Hanging in there.
I've started Crossfit!! At last. I'm approaching the hump of the first week after Sunday's rampup. I have never in my life - even in competitive high school and college sports - been as sore as I am this week. My glutes and hamstrings are on FIRE. My husband makes fun of how long it takes me to get up and down the stairs (and in all fairness, he's been making it up to me by taking on a lot of housework this week due to my semi-incapacitation). Have I mentioned how challenging it is to keep track of a boisterous still-nursing toddler while aching from head to toe?

Also? The actual workout of the day starts at 6 a.m., which means that I must arrive at 5:45 for warmups, else I face the penalty of 25 burpees. This means that I wake at 5:15 now to make that happen, and thus I'm trying to get myself to bed much earlier - around 9 p.m. So my evening free time has suddenly been shifted to the morning for the WOD, and I'm waiting hopefully for the day that I can climb the stairs normally again.

This week's lunchboxes and other thoughts will be posted this weekend. In the meantime you might catch nuggets from me about how things are going on Twitter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lunchbox #122

Today, my husband's lunch featured (left to right):


Lunchbox #121

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):


Friday, September 23, 2011

This Weekend, Throw Yourself a Primal / Paleo Gluten Free Grain Free Oktoberfest aka "Mocktoberfest"

Now that Oktoberfest has officially kicked off in Munich (as of last weekend, through October 3), might I suggest checking out my "Mocktoberfest" recipes for German potato salad and gluten free grain free Schnitzel? Cuddle those bad boys up next to some gluten free beer and you'll be in the mood for festivities in no time. :)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lunchbox #120

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Sliced liverwurst
  • Sliced cheese
  • A local pear (teeny, cute! hee hee)
  • Fresh sliced green pepper


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Update on the Paleo / Primal Christmas Gift Baskets

I am getting irrationally excited. Slowly things are starting to come together for my paleo and primal gifts - and having my gift ideas - for stuff to make and stuff to buy - in the back of my head on Pinterest has definitely helped to organize me.

My inlaws and parents are two classic examples of gift recipients who already "have everything". That means I have fun dreaming up some paleo / primal and natural consumables for them.

Remember me saying that having ideas for what you want early on can help you to be aware of discounts that happen between now and Christmas? The half-price voucher for Abe's Market (still available in limited quantities as of today) caught my eye. Abe's sells 2-packs of PaleoKrunch and 2-packs of my all-time favorite lip balm - a ginger lemongrass lip balm made by Great Marsh Skincare. I was able to bundle some PaleoKrunch and some lip balms to get free shipping, and order them all at a deep discount.

I've also had some time to collect what I need - this week I went on a booze run and bought the potato vodka and bourbon - as well as the glass corked bottles at Michaels - so I could tackle the homemade vanilla. (A dear friend of mine had - thank you!! - sent a large pack of vanilla beans to me as a gift earlier this year...ahhh she knows me so well.)

So, this is what I've started to collect/make so far:

These are so pretty and simple to make!
  • Homemade vanilla extract. AndreAnna has the tutorial - if you make it in the next couple of weeks or so, it will have enough time (8 weeks) to steep and be ready to use by Christmas! Don't worry yet about fancy labeling or ribbons - just get those vanilla beans and booze a'brewin' and you can worry about decorating later.

  • PaleoKrunch, ordered on Abe's. A nice real food gift that anyone can appreciate.

  • Ginger Lemongrass Lipbalms, ordered on Abe's. The half price voucher makes 2-packs of these $6. $3 for an all natural lip balm is a steal - and a would be a great Christmas gift alone, or combined with a bottle of homemade vanilla, for teachers, hairdressers, and others who support you and your family throughout the year. It would also make an inexpensive stocking stuffer!

What Christmas gifts have you started to make or collect for your loved ones?


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Lunchbox #119

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Leftover strips of steak with mustard for dipping
  • Salad with fresh local tomato, organic green peppers, mozzarella, dressed with olive oil and kosher salt
  • Bubbies pickle (no sugar or corn syrups in these pickles! wahoo)
  • Chocolate yoghurt = whole milk organic yoghurt, cocoa powder, and a touch of maple syrup


Lunchbox #118

Today, my husband's lunch featured (left to right):

  • A huge amount of leftover steak
  • A banana
  • A salad of fresh local tomatoes, organic green peppers, and mozzarella, dressed with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today, Half Price on Paleo Krunch at Abe's Market via Eversave Voucher

Eversave has a good deal today for Abe's Market, which is a natural goods online store. $25 buys you $50 worth of credit at Abe'sMarket. That makes a lot of natural and organic products half price if you keep your total close to $50!

You can get a good deal on PaleoKrunch this way - because Abe's sells PaleoKrunch in cereal (2 tubs/pack) and granola bar format. PaleoKrunch is a granola-type cereal, but without grains, refined sugar, or any industrial oils. In fact, the ingredients are as follows:

Almond meal, shredded coconut, raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, almond slivers, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract

Yum!! This looks like the perfect item to have on hand for when nostalgia for a bowl of cereal strikes, or for going camping/hiking, or pretty much anywhere you need a fast and grain-free sugar-free natural foods fix. Even better with the significant half-price discount!

Have you tried PaleoKrunch? What other products on Abe's Market caught your eye?

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you!

Lunchbox #117

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Leftover stir fry beef and squash (yellow and zucchini)
  • Half an apple, carved with a little funny face (If you cut across the mouth until it's barely hanging on the bottom, you can flap his lip open and closed to make him talk!)
  • Cheese cut in flower shapes (see more on the inexpensive cutters that made these here)
  • Cubed cantaloupe


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lunchbox #116 - How Does Your Garden Grow?

With liverwurst, and Kerrygold, and cucumbers all in a row!

A while back, in my DIY bento cheese moon and stars tutorial, reader Arual asked in a comment if cookie cutters might also work for the same idea. Reader Courtney in Oki also alluded to this.

I answered that yes, they definitely could, though I didn't have any of my own small enough to make stars for the boxes in my daughter's lunchbox.

But there was something else; I was laboring under the misconception that buying specialized bento art tools was an expensive proposition. Arual and Courtney had gotten my gears turning, and suddenly after a little browsing, I found some cute stainless steel bento mini cutters - 4 for around five bucks. Wow!

So here, you see the results of my first go with them:

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Some liverwurst (~ 2 slices' worth), Kerrygold cheese, and cucumber slices, all prettied up with the aid of some inexpensive stainless steel bento shape cutters (seen at right).
  • Organic whole milk yogurt with frozen red raspberries and a few drops of whole leaf stevia concentrate
  • A banana

This post contains an Amazon affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lunchbox #115

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):
  • Leftover chicken breast with a maple-mustard sauce
  • A banana
  • A mini-trail mix: few chunks of dark chocolate, tiny pieces of cinnamon maple flax cracker, and some pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Baby carrots with a homemade dip (= sour cream + balsamic vinegar)


This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for supporting Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lunchbox #115 - Questions About Kotobushi Bento Egg Molds

So, a once upon a time (some time last year), I got some rabbit and bear bento egg molds from Amazon. These egg shapers allow a hard boiled egg to be pressed into ultra kawaii (= cutesy) shapes. I finally got around to trying them out last week, and they produced some super adorable boiled eggs (above).

But then, something started to nag at me. I don't usually combine plastics with warm or hot food because of leaching and bisphenol-A (BPA) concerns. Yet, the packaging for the egg molds was entirely in Japanese, so there was no way of knowing precisely what type of material was used to make the molds. I started Googling. I even tweeted to see if folks out there knew anything about the content of these molds. My bento geekery was in conflict with my crunchy tendencies.

So now I'm kind of in a holding pattern with these; I love the concept, I love the way the eggs look in terms of cute-factor. I'd just like to know more about the material used to make these molds. In the meantime, I guess I'll be casually on the lookout for some non-plastic egg molds. Has anybody ever heard of stainless steel egg molds?

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Some Bare Fruit 100% Organic Bake-Dried Fuji Apple Chips
  • The aforementioned kawaii shaped boiled eggs
  • Sliced yellow and orange peppers
  • Organic whole milk yoghurt with frozen blueberries stirred in
  • Some sliced tomatoes tossed with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of kosher salt

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for supporting Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you!

Tuna Stuffed Mini Peppers

I found a paleo-friendly alternative to the American lunchbox staple that is the tuna salad sandwich: Tuna salad stuffed peppers! Having located a canned tuna that has only olive oil (no soybean or canola oil), I made a batch of tuna salad last week and stuffed it into the mini peppers that we had picked up at Sam's Club. The peppers worked very well as a tidy vehicle for transporting tasty tuna salad into one's mouth.

To make your own tuna salad, try making your own paleo mayonnaise - there's a nice tutorial over at The Clothes Make the Girl. Or, you could do the quick'n'dirty shortcut that I did last week - full fat sour cream (ingredient: cultured cream) mixed with a paleo-friendly salsa verde and some Bubbies relish (which has no sweeteners like sugar or corn syrups added) - all mixed with the tuna. Given the right occasion I would definitely serve these up as an appetizer!

Hot Deal, TODAY, $10 Buys You $20 Credit at Whole Foods

Today's LivingSocial deal lets you snag a $20 voucher spendable at Whole Foods for only $10. This is a great deal!

I pick up specialty items at Whole Foods that I haven't found elsewhere, like giant jars of Bubbies lacto-fermented pickles, or Traderspoint Creamery organic grassfed creamline whole milk yoghurt.

This voucher essentially makes a shopping trip for $20 of your favorites half price - since you only pay $10 for the $20 credit - so jump on it while it's still hot!

This post contains an affiliate link, which supports Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you. Thank you!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Words fail me when I think back and try to take in all that happened on September 11, 2001, and all that has happened as a result since. Sometimes the simplest melodies can help where words alone fail. My thoughts are with all who lost dear ones that awful day. That we would make them proud with the lives we lead in the present!

Primal Challenge Begins TOMORROW, September 12 - Are You In?!

Tomorrow's the beginning of the September Primal Challenge! I loooooove when Mark's Daily Apple hosts the annual Primal Challenge - because it's fun having the community of other folks challenging themselves to cleaner eating, and because it's FULL OF PRIZES - all month long! I will definitely be doing the September Primal Challenge as a way to keep myself accountable - it looks like my local Crossfit may do another intro session in a couple of weeks, and I want to be on top of it nutritionally when I get started because I know that it will count for something!

I urge you to go check out Mark's Daily Apple if you haven't already - this resource was my #1 source of information on metabolism, exercise, and a more naturally-oriented lifestyle in general when I got started early last summer. I pored over Mark Sisson's site for hours upon hours, which is what drove me to take the plunge in avoiding grains, refined sugars, and vegetable oils. So many accessible, informative articles. Check out this one as a starting point: Welcome to Mark's Daily Apple.

So are you in? Are you ready to give one month of primal living a try? Post a comment if so!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lunchbox #114

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Mini peppers stuffed with tuna salad (tutorial and close-ups here)
  • Strawberries
  • Coconut macaroons, similar to these
  • Sliced cucumber


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lunchbox #113

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Leftover asparagus and slow-cooked pork, tossed with a little mustard
  • A Wholly Guacamole single-serve pack of guacamole. My 4-year old loves slurping this straight from the package! I love that her guacamole isn't browned by the time she eats lunch.
  • Moon and stars cheese - see the bento art tutorial here
  • Honeydew melon with pieces of fresh peach diced in

Lunchbox #112


Today, my husband's lunch featured (clockwise):

  • Two (very minimally sweetened) coconut macaroons, similar to these
  • A few quartered grapes with some honeydew melon
  • Kerrygold cheese (like I said, those scraps would come to good use :-p)
  • Two fresh mini peppers
  • Leftover slow cooked pork and asparagus


Bento Art: The Moon is Made of Cheese

If you have a hunk of hard cheese in your fridge, you are only a couple of minutes away from a bit of lunchbox whimsy - get our your paring knife and let's get to work! Don't stress about perfection - just try several stars (large and small) and throw in a moon if you feel like it! What a fun surprise for the lunch eater. :)

Cheese Stars

Hard cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)

Sharp paring knife
Cutting board

Cut off a sturdy slice of hard cheese - 1/4 inch or so. Out of the slice, cut a pentagon as shown above. Then focus on each side of the pentagon, cutting a wide wide triangle out of each side.

Note: Save cheese scraps for a less artistic dish, like melting into an omelette or soup.

Cheese Moon

Hard Cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)

Sharp paring knife
Cutting board

Cut a thick (1/4") slice of cheese, and make a diagonal cut across the slice to create a right triangle. (See above.) At the right angle, cut a curve. At each of the smaller angles, slice off the tip of the slice, creating a half circle. Cut a curve inside the half-circle to create the inside crescent.

Note: Save cheese scraps for a less artistic dish, like melting into an omelette or soup.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Pastromelette

Yes, I had grand menu plans for a quiche today, but they didn't quite get off the ground. I still involved eggs, fresh peppers, and meat in an egg dish though! It has a little bit of a cordon-bleu vibe. I split mine with my girls.

I hereby dub this The Pastromelette.

The Pastromelette
Serves one hungry adult or one adult and two small children.

1 tablespoon Kerrygold salted butter
2 mini peppers, or 1/2 one regular pepper, sliced thinly
4 eggs, thoroughly beaten
2 slices pastrami (or more, as desired - you can usually get decent quality lunch meats at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's)
1/2 oz. cheese of choice, grated finely (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)

In a large pan on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Tilt the pan so that the butter coats the entire bottom of the pan, and add peppers. Saute the peppers at least 2 minutes, then pour on the beaten eggs. Spread the two slices of pastrami over all of the egg, then add grated cheese on top. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes; make sure that the pastrami has adhered to the eggs and that the cheese has melted a bit. Use a spatula to fold the omelette in half - and cook 2 more minutes so that the omelette is sealed with the pastrami and cheese folded together inside. Serve warm.

This post is a part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan

I hope that you had a wonderful, relaxing Labor Day! I spent a chunk of the day getting ready for the return to preschool later this week - and discovered to my amusement that I - not much of a skirt or dress wearer myself - have somehow given birth to and raised a 4.5 year old who intends each and every day to don a dress or a skirt. Thus, I've ended up supplementing her existing wardrobe with a lot of leggings, footless tights, and regular tights - of a decidedly sparkly, girly variety. Hopefully this way, she'll get her skirt and dress time, and with the help of all those leggings and tights, I'll have her ready to tackle the preschool playground, somersaults, and other antics.

And of course, since later this week preschool is kicking off, the preschool lunchboxes will return from their summer break, so stay tuned for new and fun tastes. :)

Breakfast - Quiche with pork sausage and fresh peppers, bananas
Lunch - Fresh fruit, Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, leftover quiche
Dinner - Bunless burgers, salads, asparagus

Breakfast - Flourless banana pancakes
Lunch - Leftover burgers, fresh fruit and veggies
Dinner - Pastrami salads, kind of like the one here

Breakfast - Boiled eggs, apple slices with some kind of nut butter
Lunch - Chicken soup with kale and cabbage
Dinner - Brats on the grill, salads

Breakfast - Yoghurt with fresh fruit
Lunch - Leftover chicken kale cabbage soup and brats
Dinner - Steak, salad, baked potatoes with toppings

What are you cooking up this first full week of September?
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