Stocking Your Paleo Pantry

If you’re looking to stock your pantry with healthy, clean ingredients, look no further! I’ve partnered today with Pacific Foods to bring you my handy guide to Stocking Your Paleo Pantry! This will help you build that perfect pantry filled with nourishing ingredients and get your clean cooking on it’s way!

 

This guide outlines my favorite items for baking, the condiments, oils/fats, and sauces I use, and even fresh ingredients that I always have on hand! 

 

Stocking Your Paleo Pantry

 

You may find that you have many of the spices or ingredients in your pantry already, and are already off to a fabulous start!

My two biggest tips when you are kicking off your new year, new lifestyle, or wherever you are at on your clean eating journey:

 

1. GET RID of the items in your pantry that you constantly snack on (and don’t want to be), and ones that are filled with preservatives or added sugars. If you’re always reaching for the bag of chips out of habit, take the plunge and toss them. It might be painful at the moment, but you’ll thank yourself later on when you’ve lost the habit! 

2. READ LABELS! When you are shopping, reading labels is so important. Especially with items such as ketchup, marinara sauce, mayonnaise, nut butters, and so on. Often you’ll find they have added sugars, junky oils, and preservatives that you can avoid very simply by picking up a different jar in the store! Once you become a label reader you’ll never look back!

 


Have fun stocking your pantry with my staples! I use all of these ingredients on a regular basis and each one serves a purpose when cooking in my kitchen! You can save this image to your phone, or download a printable PDF to  take with you to the grocery store.

 

This post is sponsored by Pacific Foods. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, and I only work with brands that I 100% stand behind! 

How To Build The Perfect Salad Dressing

I hope your holiday weekend is wonderful, and filled with tons of love, laughter, and delicious food! Now, you may want to whip this up for your weekend festivities, or keep this in your pocket for next week, and moving forward into January.

We are going to clean up our diets this January (yes, you are joining me!), and that includes looking into the store-bought ingredients we are buying. Store-bought dressings often contain WAY too many ingredients and sugars. Seriously, check out some of those labels next time you’re in the store!  Since every good salad needs a good salad dressing, we need to make a little guide to save for future reference! 

Making your own dressing is easy breezy. It takes under 10 minutes and the options are endless. Today with American Express, let’s build some dressing together!

How To Build The Perfect Salad Dressing

BASE: 

4 Tablespoons Oil:

Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, etc.

 

2-3 Tablespoons Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc.

 

FLAVOR OPTIONS: 

1 Teaspoon Sweetener (more as desired):

Raw Honey, Pure Maple Syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar, Maple Sugar.

 

1 Teaspoon Mustard:

Dijon, Grainy, Honey, etc.

 

1/4 Teaspoon (a pinch or two) Dry Herbs of Choice:

Basil, Dill, Rosemary, Cilantro, Parsley, Italian Seasoning, etc.

 

1/3 Teaspoon (a pinch or two/three) Seasoning of Choice:

Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Paprika, poppy seeds, etc.

 

OTHER: 

Lemon juice, lime juice, lemon zest, lime zest, fresh fruit, fruit juice, cinnamon, cocoa powder, fresh garlic cloves, homemade mayonnaise, toasted nuts, shallots, truffle oil, ginger, coconut amino, fresh herbs.


 

Salad dressings are totally customizable based on taste! Maybe you’ll add additional sweetener or vinegar. Maybe you’ll add fresh garlic and mayonnaise and make it creamy. Play around for your perfect dressing.

Try these dressings below! Click the images to see the recipe.

antipastosalad7

HarvestSalad

Lemonvinaigrette2

 leftoverburgersalad3

Watermelonsalad5

StrawberryAsparagusSalad8

GreenGoddessDressing4

Warm Harvest Salad with Walnut Honey Vinaigrette

grilledveggiesalads2

 

 What is your favorite salad dressing?

How To Build The Ultimate Salad | Lexi's Clean Kitchen


 Use Membership Rewards® points for some of my favorite salad items!

Veggie dicer

Salad Bowl and Servers

Salad Spinner

How To Build The Perfect Soup

Happy Friday, all! We are changing gears this week for Healthy Food Friday with American Express. Pumpkin recipes out, hearty cold-weather holiday food in! All Fall and Winter long, my Dutch ovens stay out and a soup is constantly cooking. This infographic will help you build the perfect soup!

How To Build The Perfect Soup | Infographic

How To:

1. Choose a fat: Grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil.

2. Choose a base (1 or 2): chicken stock, beef stock, vegetable stock, tomato puree, pureed veggies, cream, dairy-free milk.

3. Choose your meat: chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, steak, fish.

4. Choose your veggies: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spinach, kale, green beans, zucchini, etc.

5. Choose your spices: start with salt and pepper, then go with a flavor combination that works for your soup!

Example: for chili use cumin, chili powder, celery seed, granulated garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.

 

Steps:

Heat your fat with your aromatic veggies (like garlic and onion).

Sauté for 3-5 minutes then add in your meat and cook until brown (remove any meat bones if you have)

Add in additional veggies and let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Add softer veggies towards the end, like spinach.

Add in your base(s) and then in your spices and mix well to combine.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer.

Add cream if you want a cream soup. Transfer to a high-speed blender if you want a fully pureed soup.

Garnish and enjoy!

*Certain aspects will vary based on the soup you decide to create.

 

Tips:

Choose a meat that complements your base (E.G. chicken with chicken stock).

Consider adding two bases: chicken stock and diced tomatoes, pureed tomatoes and cream, etc.

Use whatever veggies you have on hand, but go in with an end game for the type of soup you want to create!

To avoid over spicing, taste and adjust spices as you go!

 

Try These:

 

Easy Pumpkin Soup

pumpkinsoup4

 

Meatball Stew

MeatballVeggieSoup3

30-Minute Taco Soup

deconstructedtacosoup7

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American Express are my own.

What is your favorite type of soup?

Hosting The Perfect Brunch

Mother’s Day is a few short weeks away. What better way to celebrate those special ladies in your life then by hosting a brunch in their honor! This week for Healthy Food Friday with American Express, let’s go through the brunch basics, my favorites, and my tips! 

Time to start planning!

Hosting The Perfect Brunch

Hosting the Perfect Brunch:

(Quantities and variations of food will depend on the size of your brunch, of course!)

Drinks

Mimosa Bar:

2 bottles prosecco/champagne

1 bottle orange juice

2 cans peach nector

Fresh Fruit

 

Other Beverages:

-Coffee/Tea/Milk/Dairy-Free Milk/Sugar

-Fresh Juice

-Pitcher of Water

-Pitcher of Lemonade or Iced Tea

 

Food

-Breakfast Fritatta or Scrambled Eggs

-Side of Bacon and Sausage

Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

-Lemon Blueberry Muffins or Scones

-Bagels (cream cheese/butter/lox/onions/tomato) or go simple with Biscuits or English Muffins

-Home Fries (Sweet Potato or regular) 

Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast Sticks (Fresh Fruit/Syrup/Butter)

 

Assorted Sweets

Carrot Cake Loaf or Lemon Blueberry Loaf

-Assorted Cookies or Fruit Tarts/Fruit Galette

-Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

 

Decor

Essentials: 

-Dishes

-Silverware

-Napkins

-Glasses

-Champagne Flutes

-Serving Dishes & Utensils

-Pitchers for water & Juices

-Straws 

-Table Cloth

 

Extras: 

-Flowers

-Labels for food

 

Tips

1. Check out your local market’s deals ahead of time 

2. Have a plan: make your shopping lists and shop for as much as you can in advance, to make the days leading up to your brunch easier

3. Cook the few days leading up to your party, and the night before: Don’t wait until the morning of! Cut up your fruit and make your baked goods ahead of time. The night before, set the tables!

4. When someone offers to help… say YES! You don’t have to do

5. No brunch party is successful if you can’t enjoy it yourself! Once the eggs are out and the bacon is done, sit down and enjoy all of your hard work!

I was selected by American Express to contribue to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What is your favorite dish to serve at a brunch? What do you bring as a guest?

 

How to Build The Ultimate Salad

Spring is HERE, and whether it’s warming up or still cold in your neck of the woods, it gives us hope of warmer days, sun shining, sunglasses, and short sleeves; does it not? Ah man, that sounds good!

What better way to kick of the first days of Spring than with the ultimate salad guide from American Express and me? I’ve been all about my chopped salads lately and now have a method to the madness.

Choose a base: Leafy Greens

Add your favorite Veggies & Fruits

Don’t forget some Healthy Fats

Add your source of Protein

Top it off with some Crunch and Flavorful Additions

Dress the salad and enjoy!

See, you simply need all of these things: A leafy green of course, your protein, veggies, fruit, something crunchy, flavor additions, and of course, a delicious dressing!

How To Build The Ultimate Salad | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

How To Build The Ultimate Salad
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Ingredients
  1. Leafy Greens: 1-2 cups
  2. Kale
  3. Spinach
  4. Mixed Greens
  5. Lettuce
  6. Romaine
  7. Arugula
Fruits and Veggies
  1. Avocado (healthy fats)
  2. Tomato
  3. Red Onion
  4. Caramelized onion
  5. Cucumber
  6. Carrots
  7. Green Onion
  8. Grilled Eggplant
  9. Peppers
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Broccoli
  12. Beets
  13. Roasted Red Peppers
  14. Artichokes
  15. Sweet Potatoes
  16. Butternut Squash
  17. Apples
  18. Pear
  19. Strawberries
  20. Blueberries
  21. Oranges
  22. Pineapple
  23. Grapes
Flavor Add-Ons & Crunchy Additions
  1. Raisins
  2. Dried Cranberries
  3. Bacon
  4. Raw Nuts (healthy fats)
  5. Candied Nuts (healthy fats)
  6. Seeds (healthy fats)
  7. Tortilla Chips
  8. Cheese
  9. Beans: chickpeas, black beans, edemame
Proteins
  1. Steak
  2. Shrimp
  3. Wild Salmon
  4. Organic Chicken
  5. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Dressing
  1. Oil (olive, avocado, walnut) & Vinegar (Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar)
  2. Salsa
  3. Ginger Dressing
  4. Lemon Vinaigrette
  5. Strawberry Dressing
Instructions
  1. Choose a base
  2. Add your favorite veggies & fruits
  3. Don't forget some healthy fats
  4. Add your source of protein
  5. Top it off with some crunch and flavorful additions
  6. Dress the salad and enjoy!
Lexi's Clean Kitchen http://lexiscleankitchen.com/

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What are your favorite salad ingredients? 

 

The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

For the longest time hard-boiled eggs were one of those, “well, they’re never going to be beautiful” situations for me. I tried every which way- vinegar, baking soda, putting them into hot water, starting them in cold. You name it, I tried it! I was always left peeling an egg and having half of the white come off with it. Not fun, and not conducive to deviled eggs or any situation where you need them looking pretty!

You can find a million different ways to make the “perfect” hard/soft-boiled egg on the internet. Take it from me, I’ve tried them all! Finally I stumbled across the trick. The only way I will make hard or soft boiled eggs again! This week for Foodie Friday with American Express I wanted to share it with you in an easy handy infographic that you can pin or save to have on hand. 

The trick? STEAM THOSE EGGS!

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg: The Trick? STEAM them! | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Place 1 inch of water into your pot

2. Place steamer insert into pot

3. Cover pot and bring to a boil

4. Add eggs into the steamer basket, cover, and cook for 6-11 minutes (soft-boiled —> hard-boiled)

5. Remove and place eggs directly into a bowl of ice cold water

6. Peel and enjoy!

I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American express are my own.

What are your favorite ways to use hard-boiled eggs? Have you ever tried to steam them?