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New Gadgets

We love gadgets of that there is no doubt. TheHDD has been up and running now for a few months and over the course of this time we’ve come to realize that what we used individually wasn’t really working out now that we’re cooking for two. The magic bullet is great for protein shakes, smoothies and the occasional rare often consumed frozen banana goodness but it has it’s limits. Same went with the knives that were in our drawer and the itty bitty slow cooker that took up space more often on the counter in use than in the cupboard collecting dust.

So we’ve been doing a little shopping…

(oh and borrowing the big slow cooker from Meegan’s mom)

We picked up this colorfulknife set over at Costco. We saw them a while back and Tara has been day dreaming about them ever since. We have a saying around the kitchen: “Color is Everything” and apparently that now includes the utensils in which we chop, dice, and slice. It’s a fun set and man do they cut nicely. The fact that they come with a sheath for each knife is an added bonus since we don’t have a knife block and store them in a drawer…

This pretty little Black and Decker food processor was also purchased from Costco at a “Holy crap we can’t pass this up” price. Tara has already nicknamed her (and apparently given her a specific gender) “BabyDoll”. It was love at first sight and if you happen to be in our kitchen you might catch her staring longingly at the new piece of machinery and thinking up an excuse to whip up a new batch of (insert food here)…

Paleo Update

We are now officially in our second week of eating full Paleo and while the first week was difficult to get through (sugar withdrawals and headaches mostly) the second week is much easier and we are noticing some changes in our bodies. We don’t have a scale at home (and if you do may we suggest getting rid of it) so we can’t tell you if there is a number loss but there is some definite changes in how our clothes feel. Being committed to eating full Paleo at least 30 days (and really trying to make this a long-term habit) forced us to put on our thinking caps for a few things that we both had a hard time giving up. For Meegan it was peanut butter. For me it was sugar in my coffee. Peanuts are a legume (damn them) and of course sugar is not part of the paleo foundation…

(and this is where the new gadgets come into play!)

Below are some of the things we’ve made over the last couple of days to give our new gadgets a test run. The first thing was making homemade almond butter to replace the peanut butter (original recipe found at Heather Eats Almond Butter). The second was making thick slices of sweet potato (original recipe found at Edible Perspective) and then venturing further by making a batch of sweet potato chips (original recipe found at PaleOMG) and finally trying out a roasted summer squash side dish that looked delicious and perfect for the nicer weather we’ve been having (original recipe found at Every Day Paleo).

As for the sugar in the coffee dilemma? Coconut milk has been a lovely alternative…

Enjoy!

Thick Sweet Potato Slices / Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning of choice

Thick slices – Preheat oven to 400F

Cut potatoes into thick slices (about 1/2″ thick”) lightly coat with olive oil and seasoning of your choice (we used a little pepper). Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread them out evenly.

  

Bake for 20 minutes then turn once and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.

If you’re not sure if your sweet potatoes are done just check the thickest slice by poking it with a fork. When it goes all the way through like buttah then you know it’s time to eat!

– Side note: We made 4 large potatoes because this is a great way to have extra made for fast breakfast idea (throw an egg over two of these) and for easy carbohydrate intake after running.

Sweet potato chips preheat oven to 400F

If you don’t have a food processor / mandolin you can slice the potatoes by hand (about as thick as a silver dollar). We used our olive oil misto (another cool gadget to have) and lightly sprayed a cookie sheet lined with foil and then lightly sprayed the tops of the slices.

We lightly sprinkled salt on half and pepper on the other half and then baked in the oven. The original recipe said to bake at 8 minutes, turn and then bake again for 5 minutes until edges become crispy. The first batch seemed to not have been cooked enough so when we did the second batch we baked them for a full 10 minutes on one side, turned and then baked again for another 10 minutes. Both batches were good but the second batch came out more crispy, therefore satisfying that “crunch” need a bit more.

 Homemade Almond Butter

Ingredients

  • Almonds

This one is a no brainer as it just requires some almonds and a food processor. You can really get creative with what you add to the almonds as it turns into a creamy consistency.

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Nutella
  • (insert goodness here)

For us we just toasted the almonds for 5 minutes in the oven and then let the magic happen in Baby Doll…

   

                    

– Side Note: Start to finish it took about 13 minutes. The more almonds you use, the longer it will take. You will need to stop the processor and scrap the sides quite a few times to keep the almonds mixing. Otherwise it will just stick to the side.

Roasted Summer Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of Summer Squash cut into bite size pieces
  • Lots of Garlic sliced thin
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450F

 In large mixing bowl combine bite size pieces of summer squash, garlic (we used 10 large cloves), Italian seasoning, and olive oil. Toss until squash is well coated, spread evenly on baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes (stirring half way through) or until squash is tender. 

As you can see we’ve been real busy in the kitchen trying out our new gadgets. We think the food processor is going to give us a lot more freedom to create delicious Paleo foods. If you want us to try out a Paleo recipe of your own send it on over and we’ll get to cookin!

~Now that’s good eatin’ folks!

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