Author Archives: Tiffany

Strawberry-Basil Mojito

Somehow, summer always knows it is supposed to arrive after Memorial Weekend.  Here we are, the weekend after Memorial and the once the cool, rainy days have turned to steamy and dry! Oh ya baby, bring on the summer!

This years kick-off to summer started with a 4-wheeling trip to Hurley, Wisconsin with two of the Goldies and their counterparts.  We had a great time filled with laughter, cocktails, 4-wheeling, and of course lots of iron ore!  While the days leading up to our trip were cool and rainy, in true Goldie fashion the weather cleared just long enough for us to enjoy our outdoor adventure.  If you like 4-wheeling Wisconsin is super 4-wheeler friendly;  they have miles of trails set up and welcome the vehicles in most any small town.

The gang! This was our “before” picture, we had so much fun that we forgot to take the “after” one!

To make a long story short, we had a FANTASTIC time and hope to do the same thing again next year.

Of course there was some mud and Shane had to get involved!

The weekend following our kick-off was a laid-back one.  I spent the weekend doing chores around the house and just plain enjoying the hot, hot, hot days!  The weather inspired evening outdoor cocktails.  I REALLY wanted a Mojito but I didn’t have any mint; so what did I do? I got creative of course!  I remembered that I had some frozen organic strawberries from my local food co-op and some potted fresh basil.  The two quickly came together in harmony in my new summer favorite: Strawberry and Basil Mojito!

The Drink:

2 oz White Rum

3-4 Basil Leaves

2-3 frozen Strawberries (they wouldn’t need to be frozen)

Lime LaCroix Water

Stevia or other sweetener of choice (optional)

Method:

In a short glass muddle the basil.  Add the ice, strawberries and Rum and then fill the remainder with LaCroix.  I like a bit of sweetness so I add stevia.  Some people don’t like stevia so feel free to add whatever sweetener your heart desires.

It was a glorious summer evening in Harris, MN!

The hot weather lead to lazy dogs!

Shane didn’t want to come inside:)

Smoked Fish and Cheese

Today I can’t help it, I am dreaming about camping with the Goldies.  I am dreaming about laughter, “tropical” sunshine, clean northern waters, and of course food!  Summer is coming and I don’t want to rush it but I am really looking forward to our annual trip!

That being said, I want to share a simple camping lunch idea that you may not have thought of.  Smoked fish, hard cheese and wine! I can’t find a picture of it so you’ll just have to imagine it.

The Golides have pretty much made it a tradition to pack smoked fish and cheese for a simple, elegant and protein rich lunch.  I know, I know. There is no way to keep this meal cold but it is fine if you keep it in the shade and devour it within the first day or two.  You’ll want to make sure you purchase some hard cheese such as Manchego (it’s our favorite).  You’ll find this cheese in the special cheese section of your local grocer.  A necessary component of this meal is wine!  We always pack a Bota Box of red wine.

Seriously, sitting in the BWCA wilderness, listening to loons, smelling the warm northern forest floor and tasting this delicious meal with your best friends- it is a sensory experience!

Tip: tie your dogs up!  I am sure the Godlies would attest to this. We have had our fish and cheese plate fly all over several times due to Rocco running though it on a squirrel chase! Sorry ladies:)

In lieu of a food picture I’ll share some great Goldie camping moments!!

We used to catch our own fish, our priorities have changed over the years:)

We don’t let any of our wine go to waste!

Exactly the scene that I am dreaming of today!

Cherry-Bai Martini

Somehow I became known as the drink “mix-master” among my Goldies. It’s probably because I love, love, love dreaming up new concoctions to share with my soul-mates!  As soon as we plan a get together I start plotting my next drink.

Last winter the Goldies spent ski weekend at Wind Golides in Jordan, MN.  This was quite the departure from our normal trip to Earth Goldies cabin in the north-land.  You see, we usually “bust-ass” cross-country skiing at Sugar Hills.  I’m serious, we ski for at least three hours without hardly having the breath to talk to one-another.  This year we skied side-by-side and chatted the entire time! What a welcome, relaxing and invigorating change.  When the Godlies are all together you can just feel the energy-I love you women!

OK, so we didn’t just ski. We also devoured some great food, some not-so-great food (head-cheese), and sipped on the cocktails I’m sharing here.

These drinks are best shared with your closes friends.

Ingredients (per serving)

2 oz R.W. Knudsen Just Tart Cheery juice (usually found in the natural foods section)

2 oz Coconut Bai Juice

1 oz Dragon Berry Bacardi

1 oz Bacardi

1/4 lime-squeezed

Method

Pour all ingredients into a martini shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Drink in your favorite martini glass.  When the Goldies get together we all bring our own personalized metal martini glasses- just so you know, they can be taken apart so they can be transported easily into the Boundary Waters for camping!

We enjoyed these drinks along with some head-cheese. While it was fun to try, I’m not sure I would recommend it!

 

 

 

Get Creative!

In the lunch room people often say: “what are you eating???” I might respond with: “an egg on top of oatmeal OR roasted buttercup squash with peanut butter and jelly OR a grass-fed hamburger with roasted butternut squash skins in a cabbage leaf and it tastes AMAZING!” Their response: “OK, I wouldn’t have thought of that.”

That’s my point- get creative folks! If you have leftovers and need to use them up combine them ,you might be surprised. Heck, you might even find your new favorite snack!

Pictured: last time I made butternut squash soup I had squash skins left over.  I HATE wasting food so I drizzled some olive oil on them and roasted them at 450 degrees until they were crispy delights.  That very same day I was making some hamburgers.  That’s when the idea came to me: OMG these would probably taste great with the burger.  Then I had another great idea: OHHH, I have some cabbage, I could use that as a bun! YA baby! As I swaddled the burger in the bun I decided that I would put the squash in with the hamburger to keep it company and WALA!  The delicious combo was born.  I might never make this combo again because it would be a hassle to roast the skins just to put in the burger- BUT, it was a creative way to use what I had and tasted dang delicious!

So, next time you have leftovers think outside the box. You might be surprised!

Mint Chocolate-Chip Protein Boost

Dessert for breakfast? WHY NOT????!!!

I have been on a protein shake breakfast kick for quite some time.  I like this option because it’s quick to make and I can enjoy it on my drive to work.  When I am sipping this out of my straw I often find myself saying out loud: “YUM” or “O my gosh this is good!”

This shake is a GREAT way to sneak veggie’s into your husbands or kids breakfast:)

For the protein component I really do like whey the most, I think it adds a creaminess that vegetarian protein powders don’t.  Whey also seems to “puff up” the shake which adds some bulk to it.  I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I love bulky food because it makes me feel full!  I do not enjoy feeling deprived!

It is important to be careful about what brand of whey protein you buy because many of them contain a crap load of sugar, artificial colors, growth hormones and other ingredients that I certainly wouldn’t consider “clean”.  The brand that I have found to be the best is available at Walgreen’s for a decent price; it’s sourced from grass fed cows that are free of growth hormones and it’s sweetened with stevia.  It’s called: Natural Whey by Bodylogix- Vanilla Bean.

Did I mention that this recipe taste’s like mint chocolate chip ice cream?

Ingredients:

1 Scoop Whey Protien

1 cup non-dairy milk (I like unsweetened cashew milk)

1/2 frozen banana

additional ice-cubes (add as many as you like to make the thickness you desire)

1 cup spinach or other green

1 drop peppermint extract (start with one drop and add more if you need)

additional stevia or other sweetener of choice (if you want it sweeter-try it without this first because the bananas and protein powder already have stevia)

1-2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips

Method:

Toss all ingredients except the chocolate chips  in a blender (I use the Ninja) and blend until smooth.  Add the chocolate chips and blend briefly so the chips get chopped up but not emulsified.  I like to use a wide straw to drink, the chips should be small enough to fit through the straw.

You might be able to get away without adding the banana but I have found that it adds to the creamy texture.

 

“Guna” Salad

guna-in-bowl

Besides the chopping, this is a super easy recipe!

This is one of my favorite lunch salads! I typically munch this during the summer but it’s also great in the fall, winter and spring!  Like most of my week-day lunches I make a large batch of this on Sunday and then eat it all week long.  My husband can’t stand to eat the same lunch all week; me on the other hand- I certainly don’t mind!guna-ing

This recipe has been served and devoured during several Goldie outings.  I recently made this for a snack when Uncle Steve and my Momma stayed over at my new house (thanks guys, it was so much fun to have you here!).  We ate it several ways: wrapped in cabbage leaves, on top of cucumbers and zucchini, and on crackers.  It was great and raved about every which way. My mom asked me to post this recipe. Mom this one is for you! XOXO

Makes 4-5 3/4 cup serving

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Garbonzo Beans (I cook my own in a crock-pot because they get nice and creamy but you can  use canned too).

2 medium Organic Carrots-shredded or chopped fine (I like to go heavy on the veggies, you may want to start with one)

2 stalks Organic Celery-chopped fine

1/2 medium Onion-you guessed it-chopped fine

3 Tbsp whole grain mustard

2 Tbsp Veganise (found in the natural foods section) mayonnaise would probably be fine too

2-3 Tbsp Bragg’s Aminos (a must! Found in the natural foods section and is similar to soy sauce)

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Cabbage or lettuce leaves (for wraps) or zucchini and cucumber slices for crackers.

Method:

Mash Garbanzos with a fork, add all of the ingredients and mix. DONE! Fell free to add more or less of all of the veggies and condiments.  I make this different every time- in addition to the basics you can put any veggie that would go good in a tuna salad.  FYI- I tend to go heavy on the veggies because it bulks it up and helps my tummy feel full. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE to feel full?guna-wrap

 

Cucumber and Melon Summer Salad

It’s summer, it’s hot, I’m busy and I don’t have time to spend a lot of time on meal preparation! However, I still want (need) to eat in a way that makes me feel healthy and strong.

A few weeks ago I concocted this refreshingly simple salad.  I made a large batch and ate it as a light lunch or a side to a larger meal for several days in a row.  Actually, the salad is better the second day since the flavors begin to meld (if making a large batch wait to add dressing until just before eating). It’s light, has minimal ingredients, it’s quick to prepare, tastes great and most importantly makes me feel super human!

If you are going to eat it as a meal, add some type of nuts.  I roasted some sunflower seeds with thyme and added them just before eating.

Simple and refreshing!

Simple and refreshing!

Ingredients

1 Cantaloupe

6-10 Green Onions (depending on how much you like onions)

4 organic cucumbers (conventional have wax on the skin. if you are using them make sure to peel them first)

1 lime- juiced

1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower oil but EVOO would work too)

salt to taste

Roasted chopped nuts (optional. 1/4 cup per serving)

Method:

Dice cantaloupe and cucumbers into bite size pieces.  Chop onions (including the green parts). Toss all ingredients into a bowl and add oil, lime and salt to taste.  That’s it kids, your done and ready to munch!

This is best enjoyed outdoors. I like to eat most of my meals on the deck during the summer- Hey you have to take advantage of every glorious minute of a Minnesota summer!!

 

Almond Salad

Looking for a easy to make low-carb, high protein, healthy, satisfying and  high fiber lunch or appetizer recipe? This is it!

I made this recipe for lunch during Goldies ski weekend last January AND as an appetizer for two Christmas parties last year:  It was a hit at both!

(feeds 4 Goldies for lunch or 10+ as appetizer)

Ingredients:

Salad:

1/2 cup chopped raw almonds (either buy them slivered or pulse in a food processor, i think it would be fine with roasted almonds too)

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup grated carrots (use the food processor!)

5 green onions- chopped

1 Tbsp Vegan Mayonnaise (in the natural foods section)

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

Sea salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients- the salad is done!  If you aren’t going to eat this right away I would hold off on adding the almonds until just before serving, otherwise they might loose some of their crunch.

How to eat it:

Lunch: wrap in an organic romaine lettuce leaf (pictured) or any other green leafy thing.

Appetizer: Slice cucumbers approximately 1 1/2 inches thick -scoop out some of the seeds in the middle to make a little bowl for the salad.  Fill with salad and place them on a plate.  Obviously you can eat it for lunch this way too, it just takes a bit more work:)

I want to share some pictures from the Goldies 2016 Ski weekend with you! As usual, the temperatures were BRUTAL!!! When we woke up in the morning to go skiing the thermometer read -15.  The wind-chill was -29!!! What did we do? We went skiing to Sugar Hills of course!!! I love my hard-core goldies!!!! Thanks for being my friend and an inspiration ladies!

-30 degrees? That doesn't stop us from getting out into the north woods!

-30 degrees? That doesn’t stop us from getting out into the north woods!

The gang <3

The gang <3

Paleo Angel Mini Cakes

Happy Birthday to me! For as long as I can remember my favorite birthday cake has been angel food with whipped cream and strawberries.  I have long dreamed of the day that I would find a healthier version of this old favorite.  After some research and a bit of trial and error I found it!

The recipe I am sharing with you today has been tested by myself (self-proclaimed angel food critic), my husband (doesn’t care if it’s healthy or not) and the Goldies (hard core healthy foodies).  The results have been unanimous: THESE ROCK!

The recipe was modified from Our Four Forks classic vanilla coconut flour paleo cake.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 cakes):

For the cakes:

3 whole farm fresh chicken eggs

1 cup non-dairy milk (I love unsweetened cashew milk)

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cups coconut flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

coconut oil (for greasing the cupcake pan)

For the topping:

2-4 cups Fresh or frozen organic strawberries (they are on the dirty dozen) Have as many as you like, I load these baby cakes up with berries!!

Creamy option toppings:

Greek yogurt (mix plain with vanilla and honey)

Coconut Cream Whipped Cream

Organic Vanilla Ice Cream

Method:

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, (I’m not going to lie this is what I do) throw all cake ingredients into a bowl and mix with a hand whisk until all of the lumps are gone. Grease the cupcake pan and fill each hole with 1/4 cup of mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean when done. Let these cool 15 to 20 minutes before taking out of the pan, they will be delicate as be kind.

Top with berries and cream and enjoy with your favorite people!

These can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days (they usually don’t last that long in my house).

I made these to share for Gina’s birthday trip to New Prague;  it was a great day filled with laughter, learning and food. The day started with a stop at the Farm House Market to shop and meet the dedicated owner Kendra.  This is a great little market that sells local and organic foods. Next, we headed over to the Cedar Brook Garden Center for a Shiitake mushroom growing class.  We learned about growing Shiitakes while making our own mushroom growing logs to take home!  The afternoon ended with a great lunch at Jamie’s  (thanks to Jean) and a dessert of these little delights.

Farmhouse Market Tour

Farmhouse Market Tour

Shiitake mushroom log "building"

Shiitake mushroom log “building”

Happy Birthday Gina!!

Happy Birthday Gina!!

Single Serving Protein Packed Pancake

As a women in the natural resources field I have always felt very passionate about being strong, both mentally and physically. In 2011 I took my passion to another level; I competed in a figure competition (and took first place in my class)!  Truth be told, this had been a bucket list item of mine since I was a child when my mom brought me to my first bodybuilding competition in Colorado Springs. In the year preceding the competition I declared myself as my own personal trainer and nutritionist.  I trained hard, held myself accountable and spent a lot of time behind the computer researching various lifting and meal plans.  About those meal plans:much of what the popular trainers recommend for muscle building wasn’t what I considered healthy, it just didn’t fit with what I wanted to be putting in my body.  I saw lots of artificial sweeteners, refined protein bars,  protein powders with extensive ingredient lists and conventional meats (and lots of them).  I ended up making my own versions of many of the foods I was “supposed” to be eating.  While I was happy to go back to my regular eating regime when the competition was over (so was my husband) the recipe I am sharing here is one that has stuck around.

Check!

Check!

I love this recipe because I love pancakes (I don’t think many people know this) but I don’t love the way the white refined flour and sugary syrup makes me feel.  This recipe, is packed with healthy protein (coconut flour and peanut butter), fiber (coconut flour and psyllium husk), antioxidants (berries) and nutrients like potassium (banana).  I will let you in on another secret: I love eating, I love eating a lot of food!  Just wait until you see the plate size pancake that this recipe makes, it’s sure to satisfy you!  FYI- I eat on small plates, it tricks my mind into thinking I’m eating more!

If I have time during the week I will make this, but mostly this is a good weekend breakfast.

Powerful ingredients!

Powerful ingredients!

Ingredients (serves one):

Pancake:

1 tbsp organic coconut flour

1 tbsp ground psyllium seed husk (you can find in the natural foods section)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (any milk will do-I’ve used them all!)

1 organic free range egg + 1 egg white (the extra yolk goes to the pups)

1/2 tsp coconut oil

Topping (play with this, top these with whatever you want, just make sure it is healthy!)

1/4 cup blueberries (optional)

1/2 banana (optional)

1 tbsp organic peanut butter (optional)

a drizzle of real maple syrup (optional)

Method:

Whisk with fork until all lumps are gone.

Whisk with fork until all lumps are gone.

Pancake:  Toss all pancake ingredients into a small bowl and whisk (excluding coconut oil).  Drop oil in non-stick pan and heat.  Once the oil is melted spread it around to cover the surface.  Drop the pancake mixture in and spread it out to form a large round cake.  Cook on medium until the sides start to firm up (much like a regular pancake).  Flip- carefully, if it looks too wet let it cook on the first side awhile longer.  Let it cook approximately five more minutes, it should feel slightly firm to the touch).

Make sure you have a dog or two to share the second yolk with!

Make sure you have a dog or two to share the second yolk with!

Topping:  Mash banana and peanut butter together and spread on pancake.  Just to let you in on a secret- this is extra good if your banana is frozen: just let is thaw enough to mash with a fork.  Top with blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Power on!

Optional toppings

Optional toppings

Coconut flour is a grain free flour made from the meat of the coconut.  You can find it at your local food coop, in the natural foods section of the grocery store or online.  If you are interested in learning more about cooking with coconut flour and the benefits check out this blog: The Nourished Kitchen.