More freezer meals!

I added two more meals to my freezer arsenal. I didn’t come up with either of these recipes but they are both worth checking out and making! I, for one, will be making both of these again.

No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili from Skinny Taste

20 ounce 93% lean ground turkey
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10 ounce can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
8 ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

  1. In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and cumin.
  2. When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf.
  3. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve.

See the original recipe here at Skinny Taste!


Crockpot Jambalaya by Food Renegade

5 c. chicken broth- make sure it is compliant
4 peppers – any color you want- I used one of each green, red, yellow and orange- seeded and chopped into chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 large can of organic diced tomatoes with the juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leafs
1 pound large shrimp, raw and de-veined
4 oz. chicken, diced into bite sized chunks
1 package spicy Andouille sausage, cut into rings- make sure it is compliant! I used Wellshire Farm’s
1/2-1 head of cauliflower
1 full bag frozen okra- I made this change from the original recipe
3 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning*see below
1/4 c. Frank’s Red Hot or compliant hot sauce of your choice

Kitchen equipment
6 quart oval crockpot- or at least this is what I have

  1. Put the chopped peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chicken, cajun seasoning, Red Hot, and bay leafs in the crockpot with the chicken stock. Set on low for 6 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes before it’s finished, toss in the cut up sausages and bag of frozen okra.
  3. While this is cooking quickly make cauliflower rice by pulsing raw cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice.
  4. For the last 20 minutes, add in the cauliflower rice and the raw shrimp.


*How to Make Your Own Cajun Seasoning (from Emeril!):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

See the original recipe here at Food Renegade!

Questions about my methods for freezer storage or want to check out some other freezer meals I’ve stored? Check my previous post Five Whole 30 Approved Freezer Meals.


more freezer meals

Making Homemade Mayo and Ghee

When I am on Whole 30 preparing just a couple of homemade items goes a long way. There are plenty of great homemade sauces out there and I have made quite a few but mayonnaise and ghee are the two most important for me. Both are simple to make. Plus, making your own helps to ensure that you know it is 100% Whole 30 compliant. There are plenty of resources out there to tell you how to make them and you can find several other recipes by doing a Google search.

It’s very easy to make your own mayonnaise- especially if you have a stick blender like I do. Seriously, it only takes a couple of minutes. It is a great base for dressings, sauces, and salads (egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad).

I use my stick blender to make sauces, soups, gravy and mashed side dishes like cauliflower or sweet potatoes. I highly suggest getting one. It’s smaller and more versatile than using my blender to do these whipping tasks. There are tons stick blenders available on Amazon. When we got married we got a great set that included the stick blender, 4 different blades, an immersion cup, a whisk, and chopper with a lid. It’s this Miallegro. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be for sale on Amazon right now. To be honest you could go slightly less expensive by forgoing the extra attachments. I rarely use the whisk and chopper attachments.  I do use the actual stick blender and immersion cup quite often though.



Easy Stick Blender Mayonnaise

Ingredient list:
1 egg yolk from large egg
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard- make sure it is compliant!
1 cup extra light olive oil
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

Kitchen supplies needed:
Stick blender with immersion blender cup
Measuring spoons
1 cup, spouted measuring cup- I like Pyrex

  1. Place egg yolk, water, lemon juice, mustard, and salt at the bottom of the cup.
  2. Pour the oil on top of other ingredients in the cup.
  3. Let all the ingredients settle for 45 seconds.
  4. Place head of the stick blender all the way at the bottom of the cup. Switch the blender on and slowly lift the head of blender and tilt as necessary until all the oil has been emulsified.
  5. Store finished mayonnaise in a jar in the refrigerator for about a week.


There are a lot of recipes that call for a room temperature egg. I’ve honestly never done this. I have found that the most important step to getting good mayo using this recipe is to let the ingredients settle before blending them. If you don’t have a stick blender there are recipes online that give you instructions how to whisk by hand. Of course there are many different ways of making mayo- some use the egg white too, some use different oil. I suggest experimenting a little to find one you like most. If you haven’t done so, check the Whole 30 website for mayo and dressing recipes.


One creamy dressing I enjoy making from this mayo which is a zesty ranch. Again, there are tons of ways to make ranch dressing and you can find several other recipes by searching online. I started by getting inspiration for ranch dressing on the Whole 30 website. But I experimented a bit by adding a few other things and put my own flair on it. There is no wrong way to make ranch dressing. Here is how I make mine.

ranch dressing

Zesty Ranch Dressing

Ingredient list:
½ cup mayonnaise- recipe above
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of each fresh dill, fresh chives, fresh parsley and minced shallot – all finely minced

Mix all ingredients together. I use a few pulses with my stick blender to combine. Store in a clean, dry container and store in the refrigerator.




Ghee adds flavor and fat to foods and is a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).  Clarifying butter removes the lactose and casein from the butter. It also a great, high temperature cooking oil. You can buy already prepared ghee, but I like making my own.

Ingredient list:
1 pound unsalted, grass-fed butter (I like Kerrygold)
Kitchen supplies needed:
Medium sauce pan
Fine mesh strainer
Paper towel or cheese cloth

  1. Cut up butter into smaller pieces and place in a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Bring butter to a boil and the reduce heat to medium- the butter will foam and bubble.
  3. Simmer for approximately 8 minutes. The butter will look golden and there won’t be much more foaming and bubbling. Also, there will be browned milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the butter through a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel or cheese cloth and into a heatproof container.
  5. Store the ghee in a clean, airtight container. It does not need to be refrigerated. The ghee will keep in the airtight container for up to a month.

Here are a few pictures of the process:



Try to control yourself and not turn the heat up higher than medium-high. Making ghee doesn’t take that long and burned ghee sucks. Also, I have accidentally put my jar of ghee in the refrigerator after I’ve made it. This is fine, but I suggest that once you’ve put in in there continue to store in in the fridge.


Whole 30/Paleo Moussaka

Paleo/ Whole 30 Moussaka

Moussaka is quite a dish! It’s a delicious layered casserole that contains layers of eggplant, a hearty meat sauce, and a cheesy white sauce topping the whole thing off. I’ve made a vegan recipe in the past from the Veganomicon cookbook. Unfortunately, there were plenty of non-compliant ingredients including tofu and bread crumbs. Of course I had to adjust the recipe to fit Whole 30 guidelines. So, I took parts of the beloved Veganomicon recipe and combined it with this traditional Moussaka recipe I found at This recipe is definitely a labor of love but in my opinion it’s worth the effort. I wanted to start Whole 30 with a hearty dish made with love so this was the first recipe I made for day 1 of my Whole 100.

Whole 30 Moussaka

2-3 pounds of eggplant (two large or 3 medium eggplants)
Kosher salt
Olive oil for drizzling

Meat sauce:
1.5 pounds of ground meat- I used lamb but any combination of ground beef, ground pork or ground turkey will work
1- 28ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 shallots peeled and sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Whole 30 Béchamel:
1 package of frozen cauliflower
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup pine nuts plus a few more for sprinkling.
1 clove garlic
Pinch of nutmeg
6 Tablespoon coconut milk
1 large egg

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large colander
Paper towels
9″ x 13″ Glass casserole dish- I have this Pyrex
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
1 large skillet
1 medium saucepan
Cheese cloth
Food processor or blender- I have this Kitchen Aid food processor and love it.
Rubber spatula

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and trim off the stem end of the eggplants. Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch round slices. Rub the slices in some salt and place in the colander in the sink or on top of large bowl to drain. Allow the eggplant to drain for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes rinse the eggplant with cold water and pat the slices dry with a paper towel or two.
  1. While the eggplants are draining, make the meat sauce. Heat the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Start by sautéing the shallots for 1-2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional. Add the ground meat and cook until browned until the center is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Add in the crushed tomatoes. Cinnamon, oregano, allspice, bay leaf, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the eggplant rounds on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the olive oil into each slice to make sure they are coated evenly. It’s okay if the slices overlap a bit. You may have to roast the eggplant in 2-3 batches. Place sheet into the preheated oven and roast the eggplant for 15 minutes.
  1. While the eggplants are roasting prepare the Béchamel. Start by boiling some salted water on the stove over high heat. Once boiling add in the frozen cauliflower and simmer 5-7 minutes. Drain the cauliflower well and cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze as much access water out of the cauliflower as you are able to. In the meantime, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice in the food processor scraping down the sides every minute or so until a creamy paste forms. Add in the cauliflower, garlic clove, salt, nutmeg, and coconut milk to the food processor until sauce is smooth and even. Add in the egg and blend quickly until the sauce comes together.
  1. Brush the 9” x 13” baking dish with a little olive oil. Layer the eggplant on the bottom of the dish, trying to get a nice flat, even base layer. Top the eggplant with the meat sauce then top the meat sauce layer with the Béchamel sauce. Spread the Béchamel evenly over the top while trying not to disturb the meat sauce. Sprinkle the top of the Moussaka with a few pine nuts.
  1. Place the casserole in the 400 degree F oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until the top is slightly browned. Let the Moussaka cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing it.

 Paleo /Whole 30 Moussaka

I know that pine nuts are one of the “limit” types of nuts/seeds according to Whole 30, but since they aren’t forbidden I used them in the Béchamel sauce. I love the taste of the pine nuts. There might be another type of nut which you can substitute- maybe macadamia nuts- but you will have to experiment with that on your own. If you have any other suggestions for other nuts to substitute comment below. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

* Make it vegetarian: Omit the step where you add the meat from the red sauce but add all other ingredients as listed. If you want the Moussaka to be a bit more hearty you can additionally roast some thinly sliced russet potatoes like in the Veganomicon recipe.

Slice the potato, lengthwise, into approximately 1/4 inch thick slices. Toss to coat the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, making sure each piece is completely coated with oil. Spread vegetables out with minimal overlapping. Roast the potatoes for about 22 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Then layer them on the bottom of the casserole dish and layer the eggplant and sauces as listed in the directions above in step 5.

A few quick and easy side dishes

I’ve outlined just a few of my favorite side dishes that I use often. Some, but not all of them, follow a general trend- cut veggies up, toss with oil and seasonings then roast them in the oven. I usually make my sides in large batches and have them in the fridge ready to reheat and eat next to my protein.


oven roasted broccoli

Oven roasted broccoli

1 pound broccoli florets
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Kitchen supplies needed:
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and chop broccoli into desired sized florets.
  3. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl then spread evenly over baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The florets will be tender and will be slightly browned.



Oven Roasted Brussels sprouts

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 Tablespoon melted ghee
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and trim hard end of each sprout and remove tough outer leaves then slice each sprout in half.
  3. Toss sprouts with ghee and season with salt and pepper then spread evenly over the baking sheet.
  4. Roast in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until tender.



Roasted carrots

Roasted carrots

2 pounds carrots
1 Tablespoon melted ghee
Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash carrots, cut off ends and slice them into approximately 1 inch lengths. If the carrots are very large you can cut each length in half.
  3. Toss carrots with ghee, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roast in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.



Cauliflower Rice

2 Tablespoons ghee
1 head of cauliflower
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion cut into a small dice (optional)

Kitchen equipment needed:
Food processor or box grater
Large skillet with lid

  1. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower then rinse and cut into florets.
  2. Use a food processor or box grater to process florets into “rice sized” pieces.
  3. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. If using onion, sauté onion for approximately 3 minutes, if not using onion go directly to step 4.
  5. Add cauliflower and mix well with ghee.
  6. Turn heat down to medium heat, cover with lid and sauté for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

Tom Kai Gai- Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

Tom Kai Gai- Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

For me, giving up soy has been the most difficult food to give up during Whole 30. I am half Vietnamese, so I am used to eating foods with a fair amount of soy. I was surprised that rice was not more difficult to give up, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I enjoy all types of Asian food but it is difficult to find Whole 30 compliant dishes that aren’t full of soy and sugar. I’m on a mission to make some delicious, compliant Asian dishes. I started with Tom Kha Gai- a delicious sour, spicy, coconut-filled soup with chicken and veggies. It is delicious and I think you are really going to love this recipe.

Whole 30 Compliant Tom Kha Gai
2 stalks of lemongrass outer leaves removed, smashed, and cut into ¼ inch pieces
10 kaffir lime leaves
1” piece of ginger peeled and cut into 4 chunks
2 Thai chilies- each cut in half
6 cups compliant chicken broth
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
1 pound of shiitake mushrooms stemmed and caps cut into bite sized pieces
1-13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk
2-3 Tablespoons of compliant fish sauce – Red Boat is a great brand

2-3 cups bean sprouts
A handful of Thai Basil Leaves cut into smaller pieces
2-3 Thai chilies cut into slices- optional if you like it spicy
2 scallions cut into small pieces
1 large tomato cut into bite sized chunks
1 lime cut into wedges

Kitchen equipment needed:
4 quart sauce pot or soup pot
Fine mesh strainer
Large bowl

  1. Start by preparing the lemongrass and ginger as described above in ingredients list.
  2. Place chicken broth, lemongrass, ginger, the two sliced Thai chilies, and the Kaffir lime leaves in sauce pot and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once simmering, let the flavors combine for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. While the broth is simmering, cut the mushrooms and chicken into pieces. Also, wash the bean sprouts, chilies, scallions and prepare the garnishes as listed above.
  4. After the simmering period of 20 minutes strain the contents of the pot into a large bowl with the use of the fine mesh strainer to catch the lemongrass, chilies, and lime leaves. Discard the contents of the strainer and return the broth to the pot. Once again bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat.
  5. Add in the chicken and mushrooms and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (meat thermometer should read 165 degrees F) and the mushrooms are tender.
  6. Add in the can of coconut milk and stir well.
  7. Mix in 2 Tablespoons fish sauce and taste the broth. I added an additional Tablespoon of fish sauce because I felt it needed more. I like a good amount of fish sauce.
  8. Dish the soup into bowls and garnish with a handful of bean sprouts, Thai basil, scallions, a few pieces of Thai chili, lime wedges and a few chunks of tomato.

I absolutely loved this soup and I hope you enjoy it as well. I’ve eaten Tom Kha Gai at Thai restaurants and I felt that this recipe comes very close to what I have had there. I hope to have more compliant Asian recipes coming soon. Have any suggestions of what I should try next? Comment below with your ideas.

Five Whole 30 Approved Freezer Meals

freezer meals                              soup

When we decided to do Whole 100 this year, we knew that being prepared before the start date was going to be important to our success. Being prepared is everything when completing Whole 30. Getting rid of forbidden items and stocking your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets with approved items is key.

Two weeks before we began I made a few large batches of food that could be stored in the freezer. I wanted these meals to be quick to make, would freeze well, and would be delicious too. Of course you don’t need to store these in the freezer to enjoy them. Tons of foods freeze very well. Soups, stews and sauces do very well. Precooked meat and casseroles do well too. Some foods to avoid putting into your freezer are items like lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, eggs and potatoes. Freezing them will make them weird, rubbery and watery. I’ve not heard of anyone trying to freeze these items but if you’ve ever accidently pushed them into the back of your refrigerator and they have gotten frosted, you know exactly what I mean. I made all these meals during one long cooking meal preparing session. Of course you could make one or two of them per week, or make double of any of these to eat during the current week while still having enough for storing some in the freezer too.


vacuum sealer

We already had a vacuum sealer which worked well to store recipes that don’t have a lot of liquid in them. We purchased ours at a garage sale for $10 last year. We have two kinds of vacuum sealing bags; these FoodSaver bags and these VacMaster VacStrip Bags. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both bags say that they are safe to use in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and can be put in boiling water. This is nice because it gives a lot of options for reheating these frozen foods. I’ve used the “boil in the bag” method a few times so far and thought it worked well. If microwaving just make sure you vent the bag in some way to avoid an explosion.

The Food Saver bags say that they “Work with FoodSaver Heat-Seal vaccum sealing systems”. This leads me to believe that they would not work well with other vacuum sealing machines. They allow you to make any length bag you desire as they come on one large roll. They also come in a few different widths. We used the 8” bags. The VacMaster bags come in pre-measured sizes of various widths and dimensions.  They claim to work on “all vacuum packaging machines”.  So, apparently any vacuum sealing device, no matter the brand would work. Here are some pictures of each bag. The FoodSaver bags are on the left and the VacMaster is on the right.

foodsaverbag                           foodbag

I’m not sure if it is because our vacuum sealer is an older model but I thought the VacMaster bags sealed much better and removed more air than the FoodSaver bags. The extra strip down the middle is supposed to increase the suction, so I suppose that could be the reason. Perhaps a newer model vacuum sealer would work better than ours. It’s hard to say.

We also purchased some freezer friendly plastic containers from Target to store soups and stews. There are a slew of cheap plastic containers out there. I liked these ones because they are PBA-Free and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. But honestly the price is very good as well. $3.99 for a 12-pack is very reasonable. Even though they are microwave safe, I try not to microwave in them. I find that even if a plastic container is listed as “microwave safe”, continuous microwave heating does damage the integrity of the plastic.

You don’t need to use my methods of storage either. I have heard of many people using Ziplock freezer bags, aluminum foil pans, or glass storage containers. It all depends on what kind of space or methods you think are best for you and your family.

So, here are five recipes that I made and stored using either the vacuum sealing bags or the plastic containers as I explained above.


Butternut squash soup 1

Roasted Butternut Squash soup
2 medium butternut squashes
1 medium apple of choice- I used a gala
2 Tablespoons ghee
4 cups of compliant chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Large sauce pan
Blender or stick blender
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Split the squashes in half and removed the seeds using a spoon. Place squashes cut side up on the baking sheet.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon ghee and brush tops and insides of the squash with it. Season with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
  5. While the squash is baking, peel and dice the apples and onion.
  6. Heat the remaining ghee in the large sauce pan and cook the onions and apples in the sauce pan for 7-8 minutes. Remove pan from the heat until the squash is finished cooking.
  7. Once squash has finished baking cool until you are able to handle it. Scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and add it to the sauce pan with the apples and onions.
  8. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from heat and add in the coconut milk. Puree the soup with a stick blender or transfer to a blender (do it in small batches to ensure that you won’t get scalded or make a mess) to make a smooth soup.
  10. If storing in the freezer separate the soup into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


sausage and peppers

Italian Sausage and peppers
1 package of Whole 30 compliant Italian Sausages
1 of each green pepper, red pepper & yellow pepper
1 large yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 jar of Whole 30 compliant marinara or sauce of choice
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large skillet
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Wash and dry the peppers. Remove seeds and slice the peppers into strips.
  2. Remove the skin of the onion and slice into strips.
  3. Mince the clove of garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add in the onions and peppers and sauté, turning often until vegetables are tender.
  5. Slice the sausages into rings and add to the pan with the peppers and onions.
  6. Once the vegetables and sausages are cooked well add in the jar of sauce and warm everything together.
  7. If storing in the freezer separate the sausage and peppers into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


Crockpot pork loin with sauerkraut, apples and onions
2 pound Pork tenderloin
1 medium granny smith apple
1 package of sauerkraut (32 oz.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

Kitchen equipment needed:
6 quart oval crockpot- or at least this is what I have
Meat thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1.  Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. Mix the caraway seeds into the sauerkraut and put it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Slice the onion into strips and place on top of the sauerkraut.
  3. Slice the apple into thin wedges and place on top of the onions.
  4. Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Place it on top of the other items in the slow cooker and season the meat with the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender and a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
  6. Once cooled, cut tenderloin into equal servings and separate the sauerkraut, apples and onions into equal portions and scoop into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


chicken leggs

Chicken legs in mushroom sauce
10 chicken legs
3 pounds mixed mushrooms of choice- portabellas, white mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, oysters, etc. cut into slices.
2 cups compliant chicken broth
2 Tablespoons ghee
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large, deep skillet with lid
Kitchen thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Rinse and pat the chicken legs dry then sprinkle the legs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the ghee in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add 5 chicken legs to skillet and cook until browned on each side- about 3-5 minutes. Remove the first 5 legs then do the same to the remainder of the chicken. Set chicken legs aside for now.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms in the skillet and mix them into the ghee. Cook the mushrooms until tender- about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet and add in the chicken broth. Cover the skillet reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and internal temperature reads 165 degrees F and the broth is reduced. Check the skillet about halfway through the cooking time- if it looks like the broth has reduced too much add a little more. At the end of the cooking time if there seems to be too much liquid, remove the chicken from the pan and continue to simmer the liquid until it is reduced to a gravy like consistency.
  5. Sprinkle the dish with parsley and mix it into the sauce.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.



Whole 30 meat balls
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
½ medium onion diced
2 carrots finely chopped
3 cloves finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 leaves fresh basil chopped finely
½ cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 eggs

Kitchen equipment needed:
1 large mixing bowl
Small bowl for whisking eggs
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the large mixing bowl mix the beef, veggies and seasonings well.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add it to the meat mixture. Mix all the ingredients well.
  4. Roll the meat into 1” meatballs and place on the foil lined baking sheet leaving a little space between each. You may have to bake in batches if you have a lot.
  5. Place baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.


I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. The meatballs are pretty versatile. I’ve reheated and had them just like they are. I’ve also added them to sauce and had them with “zoodles” and I have wrapped them in lettuce and eaten them as a “sandwich”.

One more thing, it’s questionable how long things last in the freezer. Before this, I have only done a few frozen meals.I’m sure that how long food lasts in the freezer is dependent on the method of storage used.  I thought this guide from Real Simple to be helpful. Dating and rotating meals in the freezer is probably going to be important in order to avoid freezer burned food in the future. I’ll try to update this as I gain more experience with freezer food storage.

If you have any questions about my methods or have any great tips to share please comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Apple Butter

Fall is probably my favorite season. The clothes get cozier, the colors become more vibrant and the food flavors get more exciting. Apple butter is just one of the many things that I look forward to once fall starts, but finding a sugarless version of apple butter is basically impossible. So, if I wanted to enjoy apple butter I had to make my own.  Before I made it, I also wanted to make sure I had some uses for it as well. I’ve pretty much have only eaten apple butter on toast, biscuits or off a spoon.  Once I decided I had enough recipes around to justify making a large pot of the delicious stuff, I set off into coming up with the following recipe.


Sugarless Apple butter

Ingredient list:
7-8 large sweet apples
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
Dash of ground nutmeg

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large pot
Slow cooker
8” chef’s knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Ladles and spoons to stir and transfer sauce
Stick bender, blender or food processor
If canning:  Ball jars with lids and rings and other canning supplies (jar lifter, lid lifter, canning jar funnel)

Start by making an apple sauce.

  1. Select 7-8 large, sweet apples. Any variety of sweet apples will do- Fiji, Gala, McIntosh, Winesap. I personally used a mixture of Fiji and gala apples. Really any type of apples will do as long as you use sweet apples and avoid tart varieties like Granny Smiths or Pink ladies. Remember that since no sugar is added you have to rely on the sugars in the fruit to supply all the sweetness.
  1. Wash and peel the apples. Remove the cores and chop the apples into a medium dice. If you have one of those apple slicers you can use that to remove the core and then chop the individual segments into smaller pieces.  I don’t have one so I just chopped them up the old fashioned way.

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  1. Place chopped apple into a large pot and add in about ¾ cup of water. You want about a ½ inch of water in the bottom of the pot. The apples will produce more liquid once they start to break down. Put the pot on medium-high heat. Once the water starts boiling reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the apples are soft and start to fall apart or in about 10-15 minutes.
  1. Using a slotted spoon, remove apples from the pot and transfer into a large bowl. You don’t want a lot of extra liquid in the apples when you blend them. Next blend the apples into a thick apple sauce that is free of chunks. I used my handy stick blender but if you don’t have one a blender or food processor will work fine. Just make sure to blend the apples in batches if you need to in order to avoid a mess. Once the mixture is smooth add in the spices and stir to mix the spices into the sauce. So now you have apple sauce. You could just set a small amount of the sauce aside to eat as is or use in another recipe.
  1. Place apple sauce into a slow cooker and set on to low heat and cover. Leave to cook for 6-10 hours checking and stirring the sauce halfway through the cooking time. As the sauce cooks down the fragrance will become stronger and the color of the sauce will change from a light brown to a rich, darker brown. The sauce will cook down to ¾ of the original volume. Blend the cooked apple butter again with one of the methods mentioned above. You want a smooth, thick texture. Taste the apple butter and make sure it is to your liking. If you think it is too thin, cook it a while longer. If you think it is too thick then try adding a little apple juice to thin it out. It is all about personal preference here.


At this point you can do a few things with the finished product. You may put the apple butter into a container with an air tight and store it in the refrigerator. Or you may can the apple butter.  Never canned before? Learn how!

Now you have a delicious apple butter. But what do you do with it? Basically anything you want. I’ve found that this apple butter goes well with pork and hearty root vegetables. Try my pork loin recipe or the waffled sweet potatoes.



Apple butter pork loin

Ingredient list:
2 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 cup apple butter
½  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large, nonstick skillet
Kitchen Tongs
Meat thermometer
8’x11” Pyrex Baking Dish
Cutting board
8” Chef’s knife

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the roast with kosher salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over heat, then brown the pork for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place pork into the roasting dish and place into the heated oven uncovered.
  5. Mix the apple butter and cayenne pepper together and set aside.
  6. Roast the pork for 25 minutes then remove from the oven and slather it with the apple butter mixture.
  7. Return the roast to the oven and roast for approximately 20 more minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees.
  8. Rest the pork on a cutting board for 5 minutes then slice.

What to serve it with:
This pork roast goes really well with root vegetables as a side. I’ve done a mixture of roasted parsnips, carrots and beets. I also really like roasted Brussels sprouts. Other good options include mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or mashed parsnips. I have also used the meat between sweet potato “buns” and serve it as sliders with caramelized onions and sautéed kale.  The possibilities are endless.



Waffled sweet potatoes

1-2 sweet potatoes
Coconut oil
Kitchen equipment:
Box grater
Paper towels
Waffle iron
Silicone basting brush

  1. Begin by heating the waffle iron to medium.
  2. Wash, peel and grate the sweet potatoes using the large holes of a box grater.
  3. Squeeze the grated potatoes in between sheets of paper towel by the handful to get rid of any extra moisture.
  4. Brush the tops and bottom of the hot waffle iron with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  5. Place about ¾ cup of shredded, dry potato in the iron, spread it out, and close it.
  6. Cook until the hash browns are golden brown and crisp, about eight to ten minutes.
  7. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Serving suggestions: Try it with the apple butter spread over the top. Make it more savory by topping with spicy pork, salsa and eggs. Top with various vegetables like sauteed Kale, mushrooms and onions.


I’m sure that I will come up with a few more recipes to make with my apple butter. Comment if you have any other good ideas. Until then I’ll be eating it these ways or straight off a spoon.