the sprouted life » a gluten free blog inspired by real food & balanced living

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  • welcome to the sprouted life!

    We are a gluten free family trying to balance real food eating & traditional food practices while still eating on a budget and living socially in an over-processed food society. This blog is intended to share: our favorite recipes, our gardening & canning experiences, our food flops (ask me about my egg-free, paleo, almond flour pancake mess) & life with two little dirt covered boys.

    all of our recipes are gluten free, many are egg-free or offer egg-free options (even though our family is no longer egg free, I still try to include egg-free options) and many are dairy free, paleo & GAPS friendly. we don't "follow one specific diet" but our cooking style is best described as "gluten free but inspired by wapf + paleo + raw + realistic."

    Welcome to the adventure we call life!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (Our First Attempt)

I picked my boys up from preschool yesterday and decided we needed a fun project for our afternoon, so we swung into EarthFare to grab some eggs, cabbage & onions.  (Really the trip was more pre-meditated than that because I had one of their $14 of $70 coupons and had no eggs, no orange juice, one apple, no bananas and I really wanted a flank steak for dinner).  Though to my little boys, the trip was all about getting supplies to color Easter eggs.  I have seen Pinterest posts and Facebook posts all over the place about naturally dying eggs, so I thought we would give it a try.  I bought, both brown and white eggs to experiment with, but by far the white turned out the best.

It was a super easy process.

First, I hardboiled all my eggs.  My favorite method for hard-boiling is to start with the eggs in cold water, bring to a rolling boil for one minute and then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then I cool them off quickly in cold water.

EasterEggs1

 

I decided to try three different dye colors.  Honestly, it was a pretty cheap dye mixture, becuase you only use the onion skins and can keep the onion for cooking, I used half a head of cabbage and my turmeric was an old stale bottle jar that really needed replaced anyway. To prep I filled 3 pots with water and added my dye items. My ratio I worked with, was one cup of chopped onion skin/cabbage to one cup of water.  For the turmeric, I used 1 Tbps of spice to 1 cup of water.

EasterEggs2

 

I then brought each pot of water/dye substance to a boil and then covered and reduced the heat and let it simmer for about a half hour.  After it cooled down a bit,  I strained the liquid into mason jars and added 1 Tbsp of white vinegar per cup of dye.

EasterEggs3

 

At this point my boys were so impatient for their eggs to turn colors.  This is definitely the step that was the hardest for them because it required waiting and the eggs aren’t just instantly colored.  We tried a mixture of both white and brown eggs in each jar.  After we filled the jars with eggs we put them in the fridge to sit.  We actually were so busy that night, that we didn’t check them until morning.  In the morning, we pulled them out and lightly dried them off with paper towels.

EasterEggs5

 

The front ones are the turmeric dyed eggs, then the red cabbage and finally the onion skins.  I think the onion was by far the strongest most concentrated dye and it turned both the white eggs and brown eggs very similar in color.  Though, I do think the blue ones turned out to be a really pretty color also.

I also had one batch that flopped.  I had read somewhere that you definitely wanted to add brown eggs to the red cabbage dye and you will get green.  Now, I am a graphic designer, have taken color theory and that idea didn’t seem like it was going to work, so I tried it anyway because I was curious…Not only are they not green, but they are splotchy messes.  Next year, I will experiment with some green veggies and see what I can come up with.
EasterEggs4

Look’s like we are going to be eating a bunch of cobb salads or egg salad this week, since I have a bunch of colorful hard boiled eggs in my fridge now! Happy Easter Weekend!

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Zucchini Salmon Patties (gluten-free & paleo)

With three little boys in our family, fish is not always a dinner favorite.  So I am always looking for other ways to get fish into our weekly food rotation.  I remember my mom making traditional salmon patties when I was little and with a little modification we came up with a gluten-free (and paleo version) that my whole family loves.

I started adding zucchini, first to stretch the salmon further for our budget, but also discovered that it adds nice texture, depth of flavor and helps bind them. During the month of March, our local Earth Fare has been having fish Fridays, where they offer a different fish deal at the end of each week.  I couldn’t wait for the salmon week to come up because we were craving these!

SalmonZuchinnimy beautiful fresh salmon & zucchini from Earth Fare (yay! for Fish Fridays)

I prefer to use fresh salmon when I can get it on sale, but these also work well with canned or frozen salmon.  I bake my salmon for about 7 minutes, so that it is partially cooked and easier to shred and mash up.

These salmon patties are a quick and easy to make and I served them with cumin coleslaw, baked sweet potato rounds and a lemon-mustard-mayo-dill sauce.

SalmonPatties

zucchini salmon patties (gluten-free & paleo)
author: 
recipe type: main course
prep time: 
cook time: 
total time: 
serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. of fresh salmon
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 small (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 Tbps. grated onion
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil for pan browning
  • optional: 2-3 Tbsp. tapioca starch
Instructions
  1. place fresh salmon on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes at 375 degrees until, partially cooked through.
  2. using a fork, shred the salmon and place in a large bowl.
  3. finely grate your zucchini and place in a colander and press out some of the water.
  4. add grated zucchini, grated onion, egg and almond flour and a pinch of salt & pepper into the bowl with the salmon and mix together.
  5. heat up a skillet with coconut oil on medium-high (oil should coat the bottom of the skillet)
  6. form patties with the mixture and place in the skillet to brown (approx. 10 mins)
  7. optional: If you feel like your batter is too wet (depends on how well you squeezed out the zucchini). adding a few Tbps. of tapioca starch will help in the binding and also give you a little extra crisp on the outside of the patties. *(tapioca starch is a commonly debated paleo ingredient)

 

The lemon-mayo-mustard-dill sauce on top of the salmon patties is a quick concoction.  It contains a spoonful of mayo & dijon mustard, juice of half a lemon, ½ tsp. of dried dill and a pinch of sea salt (a tsp. of honey is optional if you want to have a sweeter sauce).

 

Disclaimer: I received a small gift card to blog about a recipe using ingredients that I bought from Earth Fare. 

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It’s Been a Long Winter: Marinated Veggies

The other day I asked my husband if he wanted spaghetti squash, butternut squash or cabbage as a side dish.  He looked at me with the look of “If I eat another winter squash…”  Yeah, it has been a long brutal winter here in Indiana (and yes, I am aware that Indiana’s winters don’t even compare to many places…I have visited Alaska), but that being said, we are all more than ready for spring.  I am so ready for sun on my face as I plant my little garden and my kids are so ready to just play outside and dig in the dirt. I am also ready for the food variety that increases in the spring and summer months.  So in celebration of a warm up that appears to be on the way…I set aside my “in season, on sale” winter squashes and decided to do a quick marinade on some yummy veggies to toss on the grill.  Unfortunately that “warm up” did not happen last night and I was grilling outside in 20 degrees and a brisk wind…but oh, well…dinner was yummy.  I served the grilled vegetables with grilled chicken and some fresh strawberries.

This is my go to, when I want a quick grilled vegetable medley. This combination is sliced zucchini, peppers and onions (I usually add in portabella mushrooms, but I didn’t have any on hand)…tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce and some spices.

today’s dish used:

We love Penzey’s spices and the Chicago Steak Seasoning is mainly used on meats…but I have found that just a little bit of it, is a perfect compliment to grilled vegetables.  Also, a note on Balsamic Vinegar…we keep two types at all times in our pantry.  We use the EarthFare Organic or Bionaturae Organic for most of our marinades but then we also keep a bottle of 18 year aged balsamic from Artisano’s (a cute little oil & vinegar place here in Indy).  We use the Artisano’s mainly for salad dressing and fresh applications. Our “marinade” balsamic…is still really really good…and would be great on salads also, it’s just not as thick or sweet as the oil we buy specifically for salads.

Here are my beautiful veggies marinating before being tossed on the grill!  Here’s to hoping that spring is coming soon.

marinatedveggies

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Spotlight on Bulk Buying: Coconut Oil

I get a lot of questions about our food budget (how we balance 3 growing boys? do we eat only organic?  how do we afford clean meat?  how much does an entirely gluten free house food budget cost?) etc.  One of our best changes is in the quantity of food that be buy in bulk.  Each month we set aside a budget for bulk buying and we then use these funds throughout the year to purchase meat from a farmer, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, pinto beans and for canning fresh fruit, applesauce etc.  I will continue to share some of these other sources too.

Our coconut products are one of the big items we buy in bulk.  Our house uses coconut oil for most of our cooking, baking and skin care and if you just run into a store and buy jar, it gets really pricey. So this past weekend we spent our friday night breaking down 15 gallons of coconut oil (I know, I know, an exciting Friday night..but lets be honest, we have 3 little boys).  We have been ordering 5 gallon buckets and breaking them down into mason jars for the last 2 years and love the convenience of having a 6 month to year supply on hand at all times.  This time around we had a few neighbors and friends join in and we broke down 15 gallons for a few families (the mess is the exact same, whether you break down 1 bucket or 3).  A 5-gallon bucket has lasted us on average for 8 months.

We purchase all our coconut oil, our coconut flakes & chips and coconut flour from Tropical Traditions.  We love their expeller-pressed coconut oil for our general day to day use, love their coconut flour and also like their lotions and lip moisturizers. (And a side-note, we also love Tropical Traditions for their ethical trade practices and their commitment to Non-GMO products)  To further save money, I always wait to place an order until I can get a free shipping code, which comes up about once a month or so.

If you have ever wondered…this is what 15 gallons of coconut oil, broken down into mason jars, looks like.

CoconutOil_TropicalTraditions

 

 

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I’m back! and our quick weekly go-to meal

I have taken a huge blogging hiatus, but even if I haven’t been sharing recipes, it doesn’t mean I have stopped creating them and now I have a bunch of items to share!

Here is the main reason I have taken such a long break…meet Callen. Our 3rd boy was born in the middle of the summer.  Because I suffered post-partum anxiety after the birth of our first two sons, I decided this time around to clear extra stuff off my plate so that I could spend some extra time, just bonding and enjoying life with three little boys. Here is Callen a few weeks ago on his 6 month birthday.

Callen2_2014

One thing that has definitely changed with the addition of another child and schedules that are becoming more full, is that I am trying to find ways to simplify dinner, but still keep them packed full of nutrients.  A while back, we had dinner with our old neighbors and they introduced us to one of their quick go-to meals.  At first they almost apologized for the simpleness, but we absolutely loved it.  It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it’s quick, it’s full of good fat and is another way to get my kids to eat cabbage.

Basically, we lightly cook shredded cabbage (with 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, salt & pepper) on medium heat for about 10 minutes (we like ours to still be a little crunchy). And then we top it with a grilled grass-fed burger and 2 eggs.  half of us eat the eggs over easy and the others prefer eggs over hard.  Since we were introduced to this, we have literally had it at least once a week.  For me it’s a no-brainer when I am in a hurry because we have a stock of frozen grass-fed burgers in the freezer, always have eggs on hand and almost always have cabbage in our fridge.  For people that don’t love red meat, I bet a sausage patty or salmon patty would be an awesome substitute.  Bonus, is that it is a relatively cheap meal that we can feed and fill up growing boys on for less than $10.

 

cabbageburgeregg

 

February 23, 2014 - 2:29 am

Midge Wagner - I have a granddaughter who has food allergys. Needs gluten free and dairy free. Really like to cook for the whole family that way. Would love some new things to make for them.
Callen is beautiful, just like his Mom.
Midge Wagner

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