Applesauce happens.

What happens when you buy a bag of apples and don’t get around to eating them because you’ve behaved naughtily and eaten snacks that you shouldn’t instead of the bag of apples? Applesauce happens. Easy, quick, warm, yummy applesauce.



  • 6 apples (these were Jonamacs but I’ve used all kinds)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 tsp agave


  1. Peel and cut apples into chunks.
  2. Boil apples until you can pierce through with a knife.
  3. Drain apples and leave in pan.
  4. Mash apples until desired chunkiness (I like em big, I like em chunky – if you get that quote you win!).
  5. Mix in agave and cinnamon. Serve warm! Or cold. Enjoy!



Balsamic Sage-Glazed Pork Chops

I remember the marvelous Sundays of my childhood when we got home after church and could smell amazingness (spellcheck isn’t arguing that word hmm) in the oven. That smell promised a day of sweatpants and football and naps. Ahhhh. I’m sure everyone has their own idea of that smell. For me it was these five, scrumptious letters: G-R-A-V-Y. Yesss anything with thick, home-cooked, flavorful, gravy. In search for that same level of goodness and comfort, I came across this sweet and savory, Fall-ish creation.


3 Bone-on pork chops

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp Sage, dried

4 T Balsamic vinegar

2 T dijon mustard

4 tsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

2 T olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375, grease a pan with 2 T olive oil and place pork chops in pan.
  2. Whisk together garlic, sage, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt.
  3. Spoon or brush mixture over pork chops. Pour the rest into the pan.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked.


My desire for comfort food was on 10 so I paired my chops with mashed butternut squash (cooking directions similar to spaghetti squash here) and corn. No butter needed! It is a yummy alternative to gravy-soaked mashed potatoes!


Eggs Benedict over Portabello (with bacon & hollandaise)

This recipe was fast (30 min tops) and tasted incredible! I grilled some portabellos over the weekend and had one left. The only other things in the fridge were some lemons, bacon, and eggs. Boom, protein-filled dinner! I doubled the recipe for you below:

For the poached egg
4 fresh eggs, large
1 T vinegar (rice or white)

For the Hollandaise
Pinch of salt
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp vinegar
1.5 tsp hot water*
2 egg yolks
5 T butter

To serve
2 large portabello mushrooms
4 long slices bacon


  1. Prepare your mushrooms by removing the stem and scraping out the black gill thingys (don’t know the real name). Spray the mushrooms with oil (or wipe oil on with a paper towel) & sprinkle with salt. Broil bacon & mushrooms, skin side down for 5 min, flip everything, broil for another 4-5 min.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 T vinegar to the water & reduce heat. (The vinegar stops the water from boiling a little.)
  3. Crack eggs into a small bowl, then slip the eggs into the water, one at a time. Turn off the heat, cover the pot & let them cook for about 3-5 min. (I did 5 min and the yolks were soft, not runny.) Once they’re cooked, remove them from the water.Picture1
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave until frothy.
  5. In the blender: the 2 egg yolks, 1.5 tsp hot water (*from the saucepan is faster), pinch of salt, & 1.5 tsp vinegar. Put the blender on the lowest setting & let it blend for about 30 seconds until the mixture gets light in color.
  6. Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the blender as it blends, then let it blend for a few seconds longer. Add the lemon juice & let it blend for a few seconds. Shut off the blender.
  7. On your plate, top the mushrooms with bacon, then layer the poached eggs, and drizzle with the hollandaise. Eat!Picture1.png


Are you busy? Like, bizzay??? Here are 4 Tips.

Black hair dye dripping down my forehead, sipping on a smoothie for a hands-free breakfast while designing a flyer for my church ministry with an audio book for my graduate class plays in the background and notifications popping off on my phone. Sometimes life is crazy like this, a compilation of responsibilities and unexpected, critical situations. We all have seasons of busy, so how do we sustain healthy lifestyles and find balance despite non-stop, 20-hour days? Here are 4 tips:


  1. Sleep. Back in November my doctor asked me “are you getting enough sleep?” I laughed a nervous laugh as my mind was flooded with images of  20-hour days and the ridiculous list of reminders in my phone. Blah blah blah you do all that you can to make provision for a good amount of sleep. I can’t make hours magically appear, but I can make it restful. No counting and obsessing about how many hours I’m not getting. No to-do lists for tomorrow. Phone off. Mind off. Sleep.
  2. Meal Prep. This keeps me focused throughout the week. Best tip: cut up all veggies at the same time & divide them out. If I don’t prep my meals then subway salads turn into “Yes, cheese. Just today.” That turns into “meh, I’ll grab a schwarma. Just today.” The lack of planning is no good.V
  3. Stretching & Exercise. I’ve moved from comparing my exercise schedule with other people or what I’ve done in the past. I know for certain that I have more energy when I move and stretch. So I fit it in as often as I can. This consists of 15 minutes on my exercise bike while I catch up on emails or sneaking off to do squats and stretches in the kitchen at work. The bottom line is that I know that I need it and that the regimented morning workout schedule will return in a few weeks. For now, I keep doing what I can. The key is to keep doing.
  4. Mindset. This is the most important so of course I left it for last. What kills energy? Comparisons, complaining, and hopelessness. I have important things to do (and so do you)! Many versions of this arrogant [prideful] meme have been floating around:


I’d like to quote this frequent phrase of my sister (shoutout Nay-Nay) “how is that helpful?” Comparing my life to someone else zaps energy. I’m more busy because of ____. No. Just stop (very counselor of me, I know). And complaining. Yes, I definitely need to talk to others when life gets unbearable but lamenting on social media or whining to every ear that passes my way is not helpful. Also, our hearts and minds scream for hope! “One day it won’t be this busy…My busy season has a purpose…I’m serving others with my busy life.” Whatever the hope, we can remind ourselves of why we are busy.

So, despite this season of loco, I’m working to sustain a healthy lifestyle and find balance. What is working for you? Let us know in the comments!


Honey Sriracha Chicken & Spinach Sweet Potato Salad

Let me preface this meal by saying that I am not the pairing queen when it comes to meals! I’m learning, but usually, I just put together things that I like (peas & spinach, corn & scrambled eggs, etc.). Pairing colors and flavors is an art; someday I’ll get there! This meal was one where the pair actually turned out well! (FYI, the chicken recipe is usually for wings but it worked well here.)

Honey Sriracha Chicken Ingredients (heads up – need to marinate):

  • 8 chicken legs (skin on)
  • 1/2 cup Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 tsp ginger root
  • one pinch of salt
  • 4 T melted butter


  1. Poke holes in the chicken with a fork & place into a plastic bag (or container) to marinate. If you’re nervous about the spicy factor, don’t poke holes!
  2. Mix up the ingredients (except the butter) and add to the bag of chicken for 8+ hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Preheat oven to 375. Bake chicken for about 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Turn the oven up to broil. Melt the butter & drizzle over chicken.
  6. Let each side of the chicken broil for about 5-7 minutes, until it has a nice crisp skin.Picture1.png

Spinach Sweet Potato Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • Olive or coconut oil
  • 1 lemon (or lime)
  • 1 – 6 oz. bag of spinach



  1. Preheat oven to 400-425.
  2. Peel & cut sweet potatoes into cubes. Chunk onions. Place into a dish to roast. Toss with oil.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. While roasting, place spinach into a casserole dish with a lid. Cut lemon in half & set aside.
  5. As soon as the veggies are done roasting, toss them over the spinach. Squeeze your lemon halves over the veggies & spinach & toss quickly. Place the lid on the dish & let sit for 5 minutes so that the spinach softens somewhat.10551989_10153901664610792_1812090317_n

Put these two recipes together or mix and match with your favorites! I will definitely be making these a lot more in the future! Sweet & spicy, just like Midwest Chicks!


Way-Too-Easy Garlic Hummus

Believe me, hummus is easy to make! I’m not kidding. I always assumed people were lying when they said that. For example, my amazing coworker who makes the rest of the office drool with her homemade, completely amazing Iraqi hummus. I didn’t believe her (sorry Heba). But, after paying $5 for organic hummus, I decided it was time to try.


  • 1 large head of garlic (I used one huge elephant clove. I really love garlic)
  • 2 1/2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained (I used Meijer brand organics bc it didn’t have preservatives)
  • 3T lemon juice (or 1 squeezed lemon)
  • 3T tahini
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp water


Ok, set the oven to 400 and cut off the top of the garlic so that the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with 1.5 tsp olive oil, or whatever amount you need to roast it. Wrap up in foil & roast for around 30 minutes or until the garlic is golden.


While the garlic is roasting, grab your food processor and throw in the drained chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and cumin. Grind it up until it is kinda creamy.


Then add in the remaining 2T olive oil, roasted garlic, and water. Pulse until the mixture is good and creamy. Toss in some pepper until it tastes how you like it and BOOM! Homemade garlic hummus! I served it with fresh peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and celery.



Disclaimer: chick peas are not considered Paleo.

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 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.