Homemade Cajun Spice Mix

grilled cajun shrimp

Cajun Spice Mix

  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ground White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. I always make spice mixes in large quantities, because I cook more than the average¬†bear. Feel free to halve or quarter this recipe if you aren’t a slave to your kitchen like I am ūüėČ

This is good on a whole lot of foods, but will blow your mind on seafood. Grilled Cajun Shrimp anyone? Why not try it with Homemade Cocktail Sauce?

shrimp

Related Posts:

Worlds Best BBQ Sauce (sugar free)

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Tender Grilled Brisket

Homemade Probiotic Teriyaki Sauce

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops (Robs Favorite!)

Recipe Index

Sweet and Smokey Spice Rub

garlic

Sweet & Smokey Spice Rub

  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil- softened
  • 1 tsp Garlic- minced
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients. It makes an ugly, brown, mushy paste. Rub all over meat. Cook meat.

Sounds too simple right? Not enough ingredients, way too fast. No way this is going to taste good…..Oh but you’re wrong!

We have tried this on wings, steak, ribs, a pork roast and several cuts of venison. It is delicious! It has a deep smokey flavor with just the slightest hint of sweetness. Very delicious!

garlic2Related Posts:

Coffee Spice Rub

Perfect Barbeque Dipping Sauce

The Worlds Best BBQ Sauce (sugar free)

Homemade Seasoning Salt

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in 10 seconds

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Mix

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix

Recipe Index

Perfect Barbecue Dipping Sauce (sugar free)

Perhaps you have figured this out by now, but we love a big hunk of roasted meat around here. So we get pretty excited when barbeques¬†season finally arrives. Here in Michigan, it lasts for about 5 minutes, so we take full advantage. I came up with this dipping sauce a few years ago and we fell madly in love. The charred vegetables give it a smoky flavor that is so addictive! This sauce is great on any kind of meat or fish. I particularly love it on kabobs. Mmmmm kabobs….

kabob

Sugar Free Roasted Dipping Sauce

3/4 lb cherry tomatoes

8 cloves garlic

6 chile peppers, stemmed ( we like Serrano or jalapeno)

2 shallots, halved

1/2 red pepper, seeded

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt

  • Place vegetables (tomato, garlic, chiles, shallots and peppers) on hot barbecue grill (or broiler) for 8¬†-10 minutes until blackened and charred.
  • Place garlic, chiles, shallots and peppers in food processor.
  • Pulse until chunky
  • Add tomatoes, pulse until incorporated, but not pureed
  • Stir in cilantro, fish sauce and salt.

Serve warm or cold alongside your favorite barbecued meat. This is a very versatile sauce. We have used it with grilled steak, pork loin, kabobs, shrimp, bass, trout, and chicken. It is also great served with any Mexican dish!

Let me know what you think!

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Related Posts:

Worlds Best barbeque Sauce (sugar free)

Tender Grilled Brisket

Coffee Spice Rub

Homemade Cocktail Sauce (and how to prepare horseradish)

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Homemade Probiotic Teriyaki Sauce

Lake Trout with Morels

homemade Seasoning Salt

Ginger Beer: A Probiotic Summer Drink

IHerb.com Coupon: Save $10

ALL Recipes

Sugar Free Breakfast Smoothie

green-smoothie

Breakfast is tricky for me. I am not hungry in the morning! I know it’s supposed to be this big healthy meal full of protein and fabulous vitamins to start the day off, but quite frankly at 7am I am too tired to chew. I also love to sleep! So I wake up at the last possible second. If I am to eat a ‘proper’ breakfast, I would have to wake up earlier in order to prepare it. Realistically, in the actual life of me…..not going to happen.

So I have resorted over the years to either a piece of fruit in the car while I’m driving to work, or a smoothie. Since I am erradicating all Candida from my life for this experiement, I can no long have fruit sugars. According to the experts I’m allowed to eat only the following fruits:

  • Berries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Green Apples
  • Avocado
  • Fresh Coconut

Part of me is tempted just to throw every one of those fruits into a blender and call that a smoothie, but that would be WAY too much fruit sugar all at once. So I add as much protein as I can. I have noticed that this keeps me full for a very long time. I normally take a lunch hour around 1pm, and this satisfies until then for sure!

smoothie 1

Green Apple Smoothie

1 Large  Green Apple- seeded & cored (if your blender is a little on the wimpy side you may want to peel it as well)

5 medium carrots

1 cup homemade yogurt

2 raw eggs*

1 cup greens (not Kale, not making that mistake again)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  • Put it all in the blender, duh
  • Pour it in a glass and get in the car and go to work! Hurry up you have 1 minute and 8 seconds to be out the door!
  • * I wouldn’t consume the average commerically farmed egg raw. That shit will kill you. I am lucky to be madly in love with a chicken farmer, who grows me organic, completely free-range and soy-free eggs (why soy free you ask? READ THIS). They are bright orange-yolked bundles of goodness, full of Omega 3’s and all 23 essential amino acids. Really, the perfect food. You should find yourself such a source and eat raw eggs until the cows come home. Or the chickens in this case.

green smoothieWhat does it taste like you ask? It tastes mildly sweet and very creamy with a bit of tartness from the yogurt and the apple. You could probably sweeten it with Stevia or something, but I like it just fine as is. But I’m weird so…

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Real Food Recipes

Tender Grilled Brisket

I love recipes that can be placed on the grill and left alone for hours. This recipe is one of my favorites. Resulting in a sweet and spicey, very tender and juicy brisket. Sliced thin, it is barbeque at it’s finest! If you have a freezer full of venison or other wild game, this works great with a big thick backstrap or steak as well.

Tender Grilled Brisket

6 cups mesquite wood chips

1 4-5 lb beef brisket

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Paprika

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper

Red pepper flakes

Thyme

  • Before grilling, soak wood chips in a bucket of water.
  • Brush brisket with oil and sprinkle with all spices. I never measure. Rub spices into meat.
  • Drain wood chips and light charcoal in grill. Place 1 large handful of wood chips over charcoal.
  • Place brisket on grill. Cook 3 to 4 hours, adding another handful of wood chips every 30 minutes or so.
  • Remember for extra¬†tender meat, never pierce the meat with a fork. Use tongs!
  • After meat is cooked, brush with homemade barbeque sauce and serve hot.

Mesquite Wood Chips

For a spicy Barbeque Sauce you can try my usual or this new one I’ve been playing with:

Hot and Sweet BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup onion, chopped

6 fresh jalepeno chile peppers, seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (make your own here)

1 tsp dry mustard

In saucepan heat oil and saute onion, pepper and garlic. Stir in all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

This is great with a basket of grilled fresh veggies, corn on the cob or green salad. The leftovers are excellent as a sandwhich, and I also love it served hot over cornbread.

Related posts:

The Worlds Best BBQ Sauce

Baked Beans

Perfect Cornbread

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Tuna Steaks

Spiced Ribs

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops

Venison Backstrap with Coffee Spice Rub

Pacific Lime Chicken

How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce (sugar free)

It is grilling season, so it’s time to whip up my secret weapon. I have been adapting and changing this recipe for so many years that I don’t remember what I originally started with. All I remember is that I had a half¬†used can of tomato paste in the fridge I was trying to get rid of, and this recipe was somehow born. I love that it has no sugar, but still tastes sweet and¬†has this great spicy kick that goes well with just about any meat. I also really love the base of nourishing bone broth, which you can never have too much of.¬†¬†Tonight we’re grilling bone-in pork ribs from our local farmer with some cornbread. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce

makes 2 cups

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil

1 cup sweet onion, diced small

1 Tbsp soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or beef or vegetable)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2-1 tsp stevia powder (or sweetener of choice)

Heat butter/oil in sauce pan and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. You can serve it just like this, but I like to boil it down to thicken it a while. I turn down the heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I also find the longer cooking time melds the flavors, and it turns out even more delicious.

I have used this sauce on every cut of pork, beef and chicken that I can think of. It is a great marinade, basting sauce, oven baking¬†glaze and¬†dipping sauce.¬†If you are feeding young kids or someone who doesn’t like spicy food you may want to add the chili powder a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

If you want to make this even healthier, you could let it cool and add 2 tbsp of whey and leave it on the counter over night. Then you would have a sugar-free probiotic condiment.

This keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, and also freezes very well. If you eat as much meat as we do, it won’t last you that long ūüôā

Related Posts:
Coffee Spice Rub

Tender Grilled Brisket

Real Food Taco Soup (in the crockpot)

Real Food Chili (in the crockpot)

Real Food Lasagna (SO Simple)

Stuffed Green Peppers in the Crockpot

Country Fried Steak

Real Food Meatloaf

The Worlds Best Chimichangas!!

COMPLETE LIST OF REAL FOOD RECIPES

Our Favorite Blue Cheese Dressing

We’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with salads and dressings lately. I have noticed an amazing change in my tastes since I bought a juicer last month. I start the day off with a 12-16 ounces of fresh vegetable juice. Now I am actually craving vegetables. Crazy huh? So we have been really enjoying all of the fresh salad greens that are in season right now.

Blue Cheese Dressing

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Red Win Vinegar (or lemon juice)

4 Tbsp Blue Cheese (or Roquefort if you can find it)

1 tsp raw honey

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup thick yogurt (or mayo or sour cream)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and funnel into an old salad dressing bottle. We like ours chunky, so I just mix it up with a fork. If you like it creamy, you can purée until smooth. Delicious!

 

Decaf Kombucha

Rob and I quit caffeine about 3 months ago (for these 50 reasons). So I put my Kombucha Scoby to sleep until I could figure out a way to make decaffeinated Kombucha. There is much controversy about how much caffeine is left in the finished batch of tea, and I wasn’t about to take a chance on getting hooked on the stuff again. Some people say that all of the caffeine is consumed by the bacteria in the Kombucha. Some people say 50%…I have even heard that none of the caffeine is consumed by the bacteria, and that Kombucha is full of caffeine. According to¬†Energy Fiend an 8 oz glass of Kombucha contains approximately 24 mg of caffeine. What¬†to believe? Honestly, I couldn’t find any hard research that convinced me either way, so I decided to make my own decaf tea and test it out myself.

First of all, I use regular old Lipton black tea bags and plain white table sugar to make Kombucha. Doesn’t sound like a very healthy beverage right? I have called the Lipton company twice, and the assured me that they have never sprayed their fields, or used any preservatives in their tea. Tea is naturally very resistant to pests and disease so there is no need. ¬†You can use organic tea if you like, or green tea. According to the experts you cannot use herbal or flavored teas. Herbal tea contains no caffeine, which the Scoby needs. Flavored teas contain oils and additives that harm the Scoby.

As far as the sugar is concerned, the bacteria DO eat that. There is very little sugar left in the finished batch of Kombucha, and this I have tested out plenty of times. If you don’t have white sugar around (I buy it specifically for making Kombucha) you can use sucanat, rapadura, or¬†evaporated cane juice. Do not use honey, as it contains its own colony of bacteria and¬† yeasts that compete with the Kombucha.

To remove caffeine from a regular black tea bag:

  • Place 5-6 tea bags in an empty bowl or coffee mug
  • Boil 1 gallon of water for Kombucha
  • Ladle out 1 cup of water and pour it over the tea bags
  • Steep for 30-45 seconds
  • Remove the tea bags, and place them in the large 1 gallon pot of hot water
  • Steep until dark. Adding 1 cup sugar
  • Make Kombucha as you normally would.

Up to 80 percent of the caffeine is released in the first infusion of water so only minimal amounts will remain when you add water the second time. This method eliminates very little of the tea’s flavor and aroma. I decided to go with this method, because I believe that the Kombucha Scoby needs a small amount of caffeine to grow and thrive properly. I am hoping that it eats up the remaining 20% of caffeine!

I have been making it this way for 3 weeks now. When the first batch was done, I waited until 30 minutes before bedtime and drank 16 ounces of Kombucha. I am normally very sensitive to caffeine, even when I was drinking large amounts of coffee, I always had to cut myself off by 3pm or I’d be awake all night. I noticed no sleep disturbances after drinking the Kombucha. I know that is not very scientific, but at this point anecdotal evidence is all I’ve got ūüôā

So if the 24 mg in an 8 oz glass statistic from above is correct than an 8 oz glass of naturally decaffeinated Kombucha should contain around 4.8 milligrams of caffeine.

Has anyone else made it this way? Have you been able to find any solid research on the caffeine needs of a Kombucha Scoby? Why isn’t anyone studying this stuff?

Cherry Kombucha Soda

P.S Sometimes we like flavored Kombucha Soda in the summer. I wait until the Kombucha is all done fermenting for 7 days. I line up several glass bottles (I had people from work save me their old glass, juice bottles) and I add 2 ounces of juice to each bottle. Fill each bottle with Kombucha and screw the lids on tight. Wait 24 hours and then put them all in the fridge. Very bubbly and delicious! Try grape, pomegranate, cherry or pineapple juice. This would be an excellent way to shake a soda pop addiction!

How We Afford to Eat High Quality Food

When I first started¬†eating a healthier diet I whined¬†and complained about how expensive it was. In fact, my main excuse for not buying organic grass-fed beef was the cost. I knew that it was so much healthier that it was practically a different food altogether, but the fact that I would be paying $4.25¬† a lb for ground beef was a major sticking point for me. Here’s how we did it (and something I didn’t even consider at the time). By eliminating a TON of other things that we used to purchase!

Things that we no longer buy:

  1. Boxed dinners, helpers, roni’s etc
  2. Pasta (make it myself)
  3. Pasta Sauce (make it myself)
  4. Pizza Sauce (so simple to make)
  5. Tortillas (make them myself corn and flour)
  6. Bread (bake it myself)
  7. Muffins (make them myself)
  8. Crackers (make them myself)
  9. Breakfast cereal (make it myself, recipe coming)
  10. Coffee (We quit caffeine and we feel great!)
  11. Purified water (bought a Berkey and love it!)
  12. Paper towels or napkins (we use cloth napkins)
  13. Pre-made frozen food (pot pies, pizza, burritos etc)
  14. Ice cream (make it myself, recipe coming)
  15. Potato chips (stopped eating them, but I have made them myself once)
  16. Lunches out (we pack our lunches every day)
  17. Trail mix (I soak and dry the nuts first, then make the mix)
  18. Nut butters (very easy to make at home, tutorial coming)
  19. Jams or chutney (make and can)
  20. Yogurt (make it myself from raw milk)
  21. Sour cream, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk (make them from raw milk)
  22. Dry mixes like pancake, brownie, cake etc (make it from scratch)
  23. Cigarettes (yay!)
  24. Condiments (make most from scratch)
  25. Salad dressing (very easy to make)
  26. Soda pop (we drink homemade Kombucha or Ginger Beer)
  27. Canned spaghetti or pizza sauce (make and can)
  28. Salsa (make and can)
  29. Seasoning Salt and other blends (easy to make)
  30. Worcestershire Sauce (yes you can do this yourself)
  31. Cocktail Sauce (very good homemade)
  32. Canned vegetables or fruit (make and can)
  33. Vanilla Extract (very easy to make)
  34. Shaving cream (coconut oil is an excellent shaving cream!)
  35. Shampoo (I use soap nuts liquid)
  36. Conditioner (don’t need it since I started using soap nuts liquid)
  37. Bodywash (make it myself)
  38. Perfume (either don’t use it, or use essential oils)
  39. Windex (so easy to make)
  40. All-purpose cleaners (make it yourself)
  41. Dishwasher Detergent (easy to make)
  42. Scouring Powder (very simple to make)
  43. Orange Cleaner (make it myself)
  44. Facewash (make it myself)
  45. Hand & body lotion (make it myself)
  46. Wrinkle cream (make it myself)
  47. Manicures or pedicures (I keep my nails short and plain)
  48. Pro hair cuts/color/style (I have very long hair and cut it myself)
  49. Toothpaste (make it myself)
  50. Mouthwash (make it myself)
  51. Hairspray (make my own for a penny)
  52. New clothing (we buy 95% used from a few different thrift stores)
  53. Food at restaurants (we eat out maybe once a month)
  54. Movies at the theater (we watch Netflix movies on the computer or read)
  55. Cable TV (we actually don’t own a television)

Things that we buy in bulk

  1. Herbs & spices (once a year from Mt. Rose Herbs, see link in blogroll)
  2. Makeup $35-40 a year (once a year from Everyday Minerals)
  3. Plain un-scented soap (once a year from a local soap/candle store)
  4. Organic vinegar (Sam’s Club¬†1-2 times a year)
  5. Rice (once a year)
  6. Baking soda (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  7. Washing soda (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  8. Borax (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  9. Toilet paper (2-3 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  10. Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut cream and dry coconut (once a year from Mt. Rose Herbs see blogroll)
  11. Beans (once a year)
  12. Organic, sprouted flour (often from a local health food store)
  13. Nuts & dry fruit
  14. Raw honey (twice a year from a local beekeeper)
  15. Maple Syrup (once a year from a farm in Northern MI)
  16. Half of a cow. 100% grass-fed and finished. 320 lbs of meat (from a farmer that we know and trust)
  17. Rob is raising heritage breed hogs for us this year and he is growing 30 chickens and 5 turkeys for the freezer. He also has a laying flock of 25¬†hens that keep us well stocked in fresh eggs. In the future we plan to raise our own beef cow and I would love to have a dairy cow! Mmmmm cheese…..We would also love to buy bulk wheat and oats and grind them ourselves. Someday soon we will have a large vegetable garden. Always more projects on the way!

My point here is not to sound like I am perfect (because I am SO not), but to let everyone know that for me the cost of properly grown, properly prepared, nutrient-dense, real, whole food is worth it! We have sacrificed a lot of convenience and time and effort to make this happen and guess what? We saved $6,000 in insurance premiums last year because we are never sick. I had 2 teeth cavities remineralize¬†themselves. No more expensive dental visits for me! We don’t spend any money on prescription drugs, over the counter drugs or co-pays for doctor visits. By starting with just one thing at a time we have saved ourselves thousands of dollars. We are now spending that money on the highest quality meat, cheese, milk and vegetables that we can find, from local farmers that we know and trust. By really making our health a priority we have been able to slowly make these changes, and have a lot of fun along the way. (It also helps that we both hate to shop! It takes an act of God to get us into the store ūüôā

P.S If you’re wondering how we have time for all of this, see #55

Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

I was in the produce aisle searching everywhere for a piece of ginger and I happened upon an amazing sale on organic tomatoes. Normally I don’t can tomato sauce until the fall when tomatoes are super cheap. I usually buy¬†200 lbs¬†at¬†a time and can for a few weekends in a row until I have them all done. I don’t know why these were on sale, or where they came from, but I ended up talking to the manager and got a 25 lb box of organic tomatoes for $9.00. That is pretty awesome for Michigan in¬†May right? So anyway, now I’m home and the tomato sauce is boiling away in the canning pot, so I thought I would post about how to do this. Most of you will have to bookmark this recipe until the fall, because tomatoes are definitely not cheap in the spring ūüôā

If you don’t have a crock pot, any very large stock pot will do. If you don’t want to can it, it freezes very well. In fact, I have frozen several batches of this on purpose previously because you can add the meat! That makes dinner ready in 5 minutes. This recipe makes one batch, in case you just want to throw this in for dinner or something. I am crazy and make every thing in army size portions.

Crock Pot Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 cups finely chopped onions

2 large, green bell peppers, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

8-10 tomatoes scalded & peeled

2 cans tomato paste

6 ounces fresh mushrooms

Pinch of each: Italian seasoning, garlic salt, parsley, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper.

You can also add 1 lb ground beef, venison, pork etc. But only if you plan to eat it right away, or freeze it. You can also add meat if you have a pressure canner (which I do not)

To prepare tomatoes: dunk tomato in boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately immerse in ice water. The skin will slide right off. Cut tomato in 1/2 and squeeze out the seeds (don’t worry about getting every last seed). No need to chop, they will break down as they cook.

Cook onion & celery in a pan 4-5 minutes (with meat if you are  using meat). Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and simmer on low for 8-10 hours. Taste and season as needed. Eat dinner now, freeze now, or continue with the canning steps below.

Meanwhile gather all of your canning materials, and sterilize your jars and lids. Get your large pot of water boiling. Fill hot jars with hot tomato sauce leaving 1 inch of head space. Place lids and rings on jars. Do not over tighten. Place jars in boiled water (using tongs) and process at a full boil for 35-40 minutes. There should be at least 2 inches of water covering the jars. Remove from water (with tongs) and place on a folded towel. As the jars cool, they will seal and you will hear a POP.

My 25 lb box of tomatoes made 7 pints of pasta sauce at 1.28 per jar. Not too shabby considering I don’t have a vegetable garden this year. If you never have to buy produce, you don’t know how lucky you are!

P.S I will post a complete canning tutorial in the fall, and also recipes for tomato paste, so you don’t have to buy that ever again.

I also wanted to remind everyone that if you ever see a great deal on tomatoes, you can freeze them! You just wash and place in a freezer back and freeze them flat, so you can stack the bags. Then the next time you need whole tomatoes in a recipe voila!

tomatoes ready to freeze

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