Meal Monday: Porketta Roast

Apr 22, 2013 by

porketta roast raw

Uncooked porketta roast

One of our favorite meals is centered around a delicious porketta roast from Prairie Pride Farms. A porketta roast is a traditional seasoned Italian pork roast. The pigs from Prairie Pride, while not officially organic, are fed a non-GMO feed. Their pork is delicious and they sell from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.

Anyway, their porketta roast is made with Italian spices and garlic rubbed on a boneless pork butt/shoulder roast. It is so easy to cook in a crock pot. I add a touch of organic apple juice for moistness and cook all day on low. The house smells amazing and the meat is tender and delightful in flavor.

I did find an interesting article about making a porketta roast if you are interested, The Quest for Porketta.



Our delicious porketta meal


Our meal was accompanied by steamed organic broccoli, a jumbo baked sweet potato and some of my favorite arborio rice. Typically, I make enough rice for us to enjoy another meal with the leftover pork and we do homemade “Chipotle” night. Yum!

I think one of the best ways to know if my family loves a meal is to have my husband say, “you should make this for my parents.” Sounds good!


read more

Related Posts

Share This

Dinner Menu: Pork Tenderloin

Jan 9, 2013 by

Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorite, quick dinners. I love the taste of the pork products from Prairie Pride Farms, and I am a frequent purchaser of the “biggest tenderloins they have.” Cooking is simple…coat with olive oil, salt & pepper (sometimes I used Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning.) Heat an oven-safe skillet, get it hot and sear all sides of the tenderloin. Finish cooking in a preheated 400 degree oven until meat thermometer reaches 145 degrees. Let pork set for 5-10 minutes and enjoy. To round out this meal, we enjoyed Arborio rice (our favorite) and steamed broccoli. See, it isn’t that hard to eat naturally gluten free!

read more

Related Posts

Share This

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Nov 18, 2012 by

I have had a fair amount of anxiety thinking about eating Thanksgiving dinner at two different family member’s homes this year. It was actually a year ago that we started on this food and natural living journey. Last Thanksgiving, my son didn’t eat any gluten, but was still able to consume many of the items at our gatherings. I was still eating a traditional diet. So, in anticipation of the upcoming day, and to make sure we had our own turkey and a few sides to eat with everyone else, we had an early Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. It was very yummy and I found a couple new recipes in the process.


I ordered my farm-fresh turkey from Farm on Wheels about a month ago. I knew it was going to be expensive, when I gave them my $10 deposit, but WOW! a $59, almost 16# turkey is not something to take lightly. I was so nervous that it wasn’t going to taste as expected or be “gamey” and dry as I had heard is often the case.

If you haven’t ordered a turkey yet and wish to get a farm-fresh turkey, it may not be too late. Most farmer’s markets can accommodate and the St. Paul Farmer’s Market is open Wednesday, November 21st from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM for last minute meat, veggies and bakery goods. On their home page, they list the three turkey farmer’s and their phone numbers…good luck!

Anyway, I chose to purchase my turkey from Farm on Wheels because they are a certified organic grower. They grow their own non-GMO soy and corn free feed. My son is very sensitive to these products, so he prefers their meat. I went to Saturday’s market to pick up my sister’s and my birds. We ordered 12-15# birds and both got 15# (one was nearly 16#). While at the market, I picked up 4 dozen eggs and another porketta roast from Prairie Pride Farms (and amazing new favorite I will share in the future) and some rutabaga from a friend that has a local farm. My bags were overflowing and VERY HEAVY.

Unfortunately, even though the turkeys were wrapped and bagged, they still leaked all over my beautiful hand-woven bag and car seats…I was not happy. Poultry juice is gross and the turkeys kind of smelled. Honestly, I was a little freaked out by the smell…I was thinking they were going to taste terrible.

After rinsing out my bird and getting rid of the neck, etc the smell went away (maybe that stuff is stinky??). A smart friend of mine told me I had to brine my fresh bird, so I checked in with the University of Google and found a very highly rated and reviewed (over 4000 reviews) recipe for Alton Brown’s brined turkey. I figured 4000+ people couldn’t be wrong. But, that meant running out to the store to get another $20 in supplies to make the brine. This bird was becoming very expensive…it better be good!

Got the brine made, and dropped (literally) the bird into a big kettle to soak overnight. The next afternoon, I rinsed the turkey and popped it in the oven. It cooked very fast. I expected 2-2 1/2 hours following the recipe, but it was well cooked at 2 hours. Later, I learned that because it was farm-fresh, brined, not stuffed and not trussed, it would cook fast. Doing it again, I would start checking at 1 1/2 hours. I would definitely use the recipe again and the turkey was very good. The dark meat seemed a little chewy, but otherwise, we were happy with our farm turkey and my son was thrilled with the meat. My carcass is ready in a big pot with veggies to slowly simmer tomorrow for a great soup. I can’t waste a single bit of my high-buck turkey!

Here is a link to the five star recipe for Alton Brown’s Good Eats Roast Turkey.

For a side, I opted for this delicious Cornbread Stuffing in Acorn Squash from Gluten-Free Goddess. I had 3 acorn squash…after overfilling all 6 halves, I had a bit extra stuffing that I cooked in a small dish.

For the cornbread, I used a recipe from my family’s restaurant, Cafe Cravings, that I can’t share. I just followed our regular recipe using the Namaste gluten-free perfect flour blend. It tasted quite good and I had to stop my son from eating the cubes ahead of time. I cooked the squash before stuffing for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees…make sure it is soft. Then, I stuffed and popped back in for 25-30 minutes. It was delicious and I will definitely make this recipe again. An added bonus is that they are cute, individual servings! You can use any cornbread recipe you have and you can certainly make the recipe any variation with no or additional allergies in mind. I did not use curry (I don’t care for it) so use it if you prefer.

My boys love having gravy and I rarely make it. Today, I figured you have to enjoy gravy with turkey dinner!

Here is my recipe for gluten-free gravy.

Melt 1/4 cup organic butter over low heat.

Turn off heat and whisk in 1/4 cup sweet rice flour.

Over low heat, add 2 cups organic chicken broth slowly, whisking to make sure of no lumps.

Season with salt & pepper. I did add a little turkey drippings today, but usually I make this gravy without any drippings.

 Happy Thanksgiving! For those with allergies and dietary restrictions, be safe and cautious.

read more

Related Posts

Share This

What Should We Have For Dinner?

Nov 15, 2012 by

When people hear about our dietary changes, typically, one of the first things they say is, “What do you eat?” Then, they say, “Poor Kevin, what does he eat?” Everyone seems so concerned what my “poor husband” is doing for his meals. He has always been easy going about meals and he eats what he chooses at work, but at home the only gluten items he enjoys are Trader Joe’s Vanilla Jo Jo’s.  Regularly, I will be posting our dinners, to help you plan your own meals. I hope if you are looking to make changes of your own, the menus will be helpful!

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken I typically make a roasted chicken once a week. I rinse/dry the chicken, stuff a yellow onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic inside, along with liberal salt & pepper. Then I rub the skin with butter and a liberal use of salt & pepper. I secure the legs/wings. I usually surround the chicken with root veggies that I have on hand. The night the photo was taken I had onion, carrots and butternut squash. I toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and surround the chicken in a large roasting pan and cook for 1 1/2 hours in a 400 degree oven. I also recommend adding some organic chicken broth. Grass-fed meats cook up faster and are dryer, as they don’t have injected solutions, so the broth helps keep the chicken moist.

I served the meal with a fresh, organic green salad and a Namaste gluten free blueberry muffin.

Chicken/Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

I didn’t have the ground turkey that is called for in the original recipe, so I used ground chicken from Bar Five Meat & Poultry. This meal is delicious; my husband said he preferred it over regular meatloaf. Next time, I might add some spinach to the mixture. . I served with roasted butternut squash (toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and cook in 400 degree oven for 45 min-1 hr) and steamed organic green beans (frozen from Costco.) The recipe came from All Recipes and here is a direct link; you can adjust your serving sizes easily at their site


1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon water

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.

Stir the turkey, cooked quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very moist. Shape into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet. Combine the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Rub the paste over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.













read more

Related Posts

Share This

Life Moves Forward

Oct 11, 2012 by

Wow, time has flown by since my last post. I have thought of lots of stuff to say, but got out of the habit of writing them down. This blogging thing just doesn’t come naturally to me.

We are still moving forward on our quest to change eating habits. My intentions have gained ground after seeing this video. I informed my family last night that we would slowly add an additional cup of vegetables to our daily diets each week. I know you can’t make changes like that overnight, so hopefully, a slow and purposeful change will make it easier. I recommend watching the video and considering a change. It is amazing what this woman with MS did to take control of her life. I imagine this is possible with most any chronic illness.

In the last week or so, Austin and I came to the realization that we aren’t tolerating potatoes well. It appeared that anytime we ate potatoes, we would not feel great and have some asthmatic symptoms. Austin noticed that he had an increase in inflammation whenever he ate food that contains potato flour or potato starch. After doing some research, I found that there is a link to night shade vegetables and many medical ailments. If you are interested in more information about this intolerance here are two articles I found interesting Nightshade Foods and Eliminating Nightshade Vegetables May Improve Your Health. I do miss potatoes, but I like that I feel better. Another night shade veggie is tomatoes. I don’t eat many tomatoes (other than what is in ketchup or BBQ sauce) but I was in a mood for tomato soup the other day and enjoyed a wonderful bowl of Trader Joe’s organic tomato and roasted red pepper soup. The soup was delicious and fresh tasting. In fact, Austin commented that it tasted like real tomato soup (not like Campbells at all.) I recommend it! BUT, I had terrible breathing trouble and extreme pain in my chest area for almost 24 hours after eating it. I am going to be more careful about my food choices. Although, sometimes it might be worth a little discomfort. I just think it is so interesting how you can really identify what foods are causing trouble when you simplify your diet.

I typically eat oatmeal every morning. I mash a banana in the bowl for sweetness, add some yummy dried cherries and fresh berries along with a full teaspoon of Penzey’s China Tung Hing Cinnamon. The cinnamon has an incredible taste. A friend told me to add cinnamon to the diet for the wonderful health benefits, plus it tastes good.

Anyway, for variety, I wanted to enjoy some yogurt and granola with fruit on occasional mornings. I purchased some Bliss Gourmet Foods granola, made in small batches in St. Paul, MN and it was incredible. But, also quite expensive. So, I made my own using similar ingredients. I LOVE IT! I want to have yogurt and granola more than ever now (I enjoy Trader Joe’s organic french vanilla yogurt.) Here is my recipe if you want to try it. I took the main recipe from Stephanie Hansen’s Food blog and made it my own. Let me know if you give it a try and how you like it.



Granola Ingredients:

6 cups rolled oats (I used Trader Joe’s gluten free oats)

1 bag of Trader Joe’s raw pecan pieces (8 oz bag)…I might add more next time, you can never have enough pecans!

1/4 + cup Trader Joe’s organic brown sugar (the original recipe calls for double this amount, but I thought it was too sweet…decide for yourself)

1/4 + cup plus tablespoons real maple syrup (again, the recipe called for double this amount, so use your best judgement)…I get my Three Rivers Farm syrup from the farmer’s market and it is awesome

1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon Penzey’s sea salt

1 -2 teaspoon cinnamon (based on preference, I use 2 tsp)

1 cup dried cherries (or your favorite dried fruit)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine real maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 3 parchment lined sheet pans.

Cook low and slow for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried fruit and mix until evenly distributed.

Feel free to add coconut, almonds, walnuts, other dried fruit as desired. Yum!

Store in a tightly sealed glass jar or package as gifts for those you like 🙂

read more

Related Posts

Share This