Hello, portobello.

We all have that one recipe. The one that looks like we’ve put a lot of work in but really it was very easy. The impress-the-guests recipe. Here is another to add to your list. Say “hello” to portobello.

Step #1 Put on some Adele. It tastes better if you sing. Hello from the fungal siiiiiide, at least you can say that you triiiiiied, to pre pare this din ner, it’s really not hard, you didn’t know you, could make food so good. But you caaan.


Step #2 Gather your ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1-2 T)
  • 32oz can of diced tomatoes (or 6-ish fresh diced romas)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2T Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (for the non-paleo guests)

Step #3 Cook

  • Set the oven to 400 degrees
  • Mushrooms: cut the stems out and remove as much of the black, gunky, gills as you want by scraping your knife along them. Spray both sides of the mushrooms caps with olive oil. Place into a foil-lined pan, cap side up. Bake for 10 min. Flip and bake for another 10 min. (mushrooms will shrink a little) Remove from oven & set aside.
  • Filling: toss the onion and garlic into a pan with some olive oil and saute until the garlic is lightly golden. Add the meat and brown. Drain the meat and return to the pan, adding the Italian seasoning. Mix well. Add in the tomatoes and simmer until hot. Add salt & pepper to taste. * * Tip * * Double the filling recipe to prepare extra for freezing. Thaw and use to top a sweet potato for a quick meal or layer over cooked & shredded spaghetti squash for a healthy pasta alternative.


  • Assemble: top the mushrooms with filling (it’s ok if it falls a bit out). Add basil chiffonade (fancy French term for stack the leaves, roll the leaves, slice the leaves, fluff the leaves) to the tops of the filling (about two leaves per mushroom). Sprinkle cheese over or under the basil for cheese-eating guests. Return to the oven and bake for about 10-15 min.


Step #4 Enjoy!

  • Serve with any side of your choice. I added sauteed zucchini and roasted butternut squash for a Fall flare! I’m going to try asparagus and summer squash next time. Ahhh the possibilities!




Homemade Larabar

Quick. Simple. Yummy. Healthy.

Those are the words that most often describe my food, in that order.

That’s why I loooooove this homemade Larabar recipe. It’s quick and simple, super yummy, healthy…oh and versatile. I keep a batch of these in a Tupperware in the fridge for quick grabbing so I make wise choices when I’m hungry and have little time. Enjoy!

Homemade Larabar

2 cups deglet noor dates
1 cup toasted nuts (slivered almonds,  pecans or walnuts)
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cherries, or mamgos, or dried apples, or apricots…you get the point

Add it all to the food processor and pulse until it’s ground up into equal size pieces. Empty it onto a parchment lined tray and spread it out in a wide circle about 1/3 inch thick. I fold up the edges to make it a perfect square. Cut into bar shape of your choice. Wrap individually in wax paper and store in a cool, dry container.


Eating Paleo is Too Hard…Expensive…Time Consuming…


I’m really going to let the cat out of the bag on my point of view in this post. Here’s the skinny: I’m a full-time employee inside and out of the home. I’m a mama to four kids – two in school, two at home. I’m married to a wonderful man, who also works full-time. And as you can imagine, our life (and schedule) is as crazy at it gets. Time? What’s that? I am the most qualified candidate – the person with the greatest number of excuses NOT to eat this way. Before I started this journey, I, too, believed feeding my family a whole foods diet would be “too hard, too expensive, too time consuming.” I’m here to tell you – it can be done. And I won’t just tell you, I’ll show you. Here’s how my family eats (mostly) paleo/whole foods on a budget through planning and preparation.

#1 Budgeting is Helpful

We’re Dave Ramsey followers. We’ve done the baby steps and still use the cash envelope system. Our weekly grocery budget for a family of 6 is $150. Not outrageous. Oh and we buy most, if not all, of our food from Aldi. Occasionally, I run to Meijer to purchase “specialty” items for recipes, but that is very minimal. If your family is on a tight budget, don’t be discouraged. This can be done. You may have to plan more inexpensive meals in your week – meatless meals are a great way to accomplish that.

#2 Meal Planning is a Must

The absolute fastest way to fail at this is to NOT plan. What’s that saying? The failure to plan is a plan to fail. Or something like that. You get my drift. If you wait to plan dinner until you’re on your way home from work, when your stomach is growling and your kids are crabby, trust me, you’re going to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and shove chips in your face. BUT, if you spend just 30 minutes on the weekend, mapping out your dinners for the week, you’ll shop smarter and have a plan for eating better after a long day of work. A tool that has helped me immensely is http://www.emeals.com. For just $5 a month, I get a complete weekly meal plan sent to my email with a shopping list. The best part is, you can choose your eating style. So, obviously, I’ve chosen to receive their paleo plan. Beef & Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Basil Salad…Baked Thai Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Asparagus and Mushrooms. Is your mouth watering yet? Seriously, eMeals is the easiest way for you to plan ahead and therefore plan to succeed!

#3 Buy Your Meat in Bulk

The most expensive aspect of this lifestyle for us is the meat. Its the part that scared me off for several months, if not years. And I’m not gonna lie, buying the right protein can be pricey. But, there’s two ways around this. 1) Save up and buy your meat in bulk. We used our tax return last year to purchase beef and pork from a local butcher. It was more affordable that way and we had a nice stock pile to last us a few months. Find out when your local grocery store has meat on sale – look for the organic, junk-free stuff. Believe it or not, you can even find organic, grass-fed beef at Aldi. When you find a sale, load up and freeze it. 2) Eat less meat. You can accomplish this by preparing hearty, meatless meals or by reducing the portion size of your meat. Just because you’re eating a “caveman” diet, doesn’t mean you have to consume large quantities of expensive protein. In fact, you’ll probably find out very quickly that a little goes a long ways. You don’t need a 12 ounce steak. Many times, my husband and I will split a 10 ounce steak, because we just can’t eat the whole thing. Especially if you add in some mashed cauliflower or a baked sweet potato. Trust me, you’re going to be full.

#4 Plan to Go Without to Build Your Stockpile 

“What? How do we do that?” Well, here’s how we do it. Occasionally, we have weeks that we don’t eat at home as much as we expect. Maybe we’ve had a few outings for work or church where dinner was provided. Or maybe we’ve been on vacation for a long weekend or had dinner at a friend’s house and the pantry and fridge are still fairly stocked. Those are the weeks that I go on a “grocery shopping fast.” I tell the family we’re eating what we have – which usually requires a bit of meal planning creativity and a lot of groans – and we save our grocery money for the week. I then make a plan for that extra cash to build our whole eating stockpile. It might go toward a bulk meat purchase. Or I may use it to buy supplies for a freezer meal cooking day (more on that in an upcoming post). Bottom line: I love to find ways for us to go without. Why? Because I think it reminds us that we can’t have whatever we want, whenever we want it. I think it forces us to think creatively and to be grateful for what we do have. And, at the end of the week, the added benefit of having some extra cash for special purchases is nice too. Especially when it doesn’t break the bank.

I promise I’m not pulling your chain. Feeding your family whole, nourishing foods is not too hard, expensive or time consuming. It does take resolve, discipline and planning. But it can be done.

Stay tuned for my next post highlighting our favorite (budget friendly) meals!

Peace out paleo pals.