Goat Shenanigans

I’ve already admitted that I’m a crazy goat lady in a previous post. But with spring in the air and baby goats coming to our house throughout spring and summer its going to get crazier. I am assuming that most of you reading this are not super interested in receiving every single goat update so I am going to spare you the melodramatics.

However, for those of you who ARE interested about the goings on of my micro farm, I’ve created a separate website where I’ll be sharing plenty of information about my goats, goat milk, goat kidding, goat tips, etc.. The Four Leaves Farm website can be found here.

I’ll be listing information about my current herd and the goats I have for sale as they become available on that website. In ADDITION, thanks to a new bill that was recently passed by my awesome local legislator Mark Roberts, I am legally able to sell my raw goat milk to informed customers in my local area! I am creating a “Milk List” you can get on to try or regularly receive fresh, raw, delicious goat milk from yours truly! (look for the “contact” section on my website) Even if you’ve never tried goat milk before come try it so you can see how yummy it is! My husband doesn’t like any milk but of course I forced him to try mine and he said it is good…despite the fact that its milk. 😉 If you are in Utah County and are interested in tasting or purchasing milk regularly please let me know!

That’s all for now! Even if you don’t want to follow all my goat shenanigans I hope you can still appreciate pictures of adorable baby goats! They are pretty irresistible once you hold them and watch them do parkour all over your yard.

Love, Katie

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Spaghetti Squash & Quinoa Meatballs

When Gary and I first got together I was on a pretty strict no flour/sugar diet. I almost never ate sweets and I NEVER ate pasta. Come to find out Italian food is one of Gary’s favorites. Lucky for me I am married to the best man ever and he has met me in the “middle” (the term middle being questionable, I think I got the better end of the deal). I decided I wanted to be able to make spaghetti and meatballs that we both liked, that our kids would be willing to eat, and that allowed me to steer clear of flour and sugar (they are my “trigger” foods). Thus was born spaghetti Squash and Quinoa meatballs. It has been a hit at our house and is one of my favorites…(ok, so I have a lot of favorites…I just love food).

Some people really love noodles but for me they just taste empty. I over eat them and then feel yucky afterward. I really appreciate the flavor that noodle substitutes add to meals and prefer them over traditional pasta. If you are trying to make healthier choices in your food but come from a pasta loving family, spaghetti squash may help make the transition a bit easier.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a simple food to prepare and is such a tasty substitute to regular noodles. We also use zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles as other pasta substitutes. Try them all and let me know which one you like best!

Directions: 

Cut a spaghetti squash in half and remove the guts. The “meat” of spaghetti squash is stringy and will separate easily after cooking. I like to cover both faces of my squash with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil and sprinkle them with seasoned salt. Place the squash face up on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. I bake the squash at 400 degrees until I can easily stick a fork in. While the squash is cooking I prepare my meatballs.

spaghetti noodles

~

Quinoa Meatballls

Most meatball recipes have a lot of flour in them to help the meat stick together. Although it is convenient to use it isn’t necessary. I mean, lets be honest. We just need them to look round and stay put until we’re ready to cut them up anyway…its not like we are going to be playing catch with them.

My meatballs can hold together without flour or you can use a bit of flour substitute or corn starch if you are having a hard time getting the mixture to stick together. The quinoa is like a “filler” that helps the meatballs to stay light and adds a healthy form of complete protein.

  • 1/2 lb ground beef/turkey
  • 1/2 lb sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1 can Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup for meatballs, 1/4 cup for topping)
  • (optional) 1/8-1/4 c of flour substitute, corn starch, or flour if you aren’t GF.
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/4 t everything seasoning

1. Mix everything except the diced tomatoes in a bowl. You can mix it with a fork or just use your hands until everything is combined well.
2. Roll into 25-30 meatballs and place in a 9 x13 baking dish
3. Cover meatballs with the diced tomatoes. I don’t like a lot of sauce on my meatballs so one can is  enough for me. If you like a lot of sauce, go ahead and double the sauce.

meatballs2
4. Bake @ 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes until the inside of the meatballs are no longer pink.
~OR~
You can cook the meatballs on the stove in a large saucepan. They taste great either way. If you don’t have a double oven or oven large enough to cook the spaghetti squash + meatballs at the same time then cooking on the stove is a great option.
5. Remove from oven/stove and sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top
6. Serve your meatballs on top of your spaghetti squash and enjoy!

If you get a chance to try this yummy dinner I hope you’ll give me your feedback! If you like it, please share the recipe with others! I’m all about spreading the goodness.

Love,

Katie

 

 

Nana’s Hamburger Bean Soup

Where the heck is spring at, eh? Here I was all excited for warm Utah weather and then it goes and turns back into the windy icy tundra again. Ok, that’s an exaggeration but I still want 70 degree weather back.

Instead of posting some cute springy recipe idea I’ll go ahead and share my go-to rainy/snowy day soup recipe. This recipe is the EASIEST and it tastes delicious as though you spent hours making it. If I’m ever taking food to a new mom or sick friend in the fall/winter time chances are this is the meal I’ll bring.

I have to give full credit for this recipe to my Nana who  made it first. I’ve altered my soup to my liking a bit but its essentially the same as hers. You can add/take away any ingredients you like to make sure this soup fits your fancy.

*I’m serious when I say this recipe is ridiculously easy…

Hamburger Bean Soup

  • 1 lb hamburger browned (sub turkey burger or even leave out the meat for veggie soup!) We love using the organic, home grown, grass fed beef we get from my uncle who lives nearby. It is SO tasty and we know exactly where it came from. I really do think it tastes better than store bought.
  • 32 oz chicken broth (or more depending on how “soupy” you like your soup)
  • 2- 16 oz cans Italian diced stewed tomatoes* (this is the secret ingredient that makes it taste awesome without elaborate seasoning)
  • 1 can cut green beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, white beans, or any other bean you like!

Toppings

  • low fat sour cream
  • your favorite cheese
  • avocado slices

Directions

  1. Brown your hamburger or turkey. Season to taste with salt/pepper
  2. Combine all canned ingredients into a big pot and bring to a boil
  3. Add your cooked meat and let simmer
  4. Add salt/pepper/garlic/everything seasoning to taste
  5. Add toppings and you’re done!

See, I told you this recipe was easy.

Now if you have moral issues with canned food then by all means be the ultimate homemaker and soak the beans the night before and cook them the next day; it will taste delicious. You can soak/cook beans in a crock pot on low overnight without adding much work at all!

I feel like this meal is complete in itself. But if you just have to have bread with your soup, my favorite bread is Pamela’s Gluten Free Bread Mix.I like it much better than regular bread and it’s easy to make.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Its hearty, it keeps well, tastes awesome reheated, and is also great to make as a freezer meal!

Enjoy!

 

Baby Got Back

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Some of the highlights of my mommyhood so far have been the chances I’ve had to take my girls into nature with me. From the beginning I was determined to be the mamma who didn’t let my babies stop me from getting out and doing the things I love. I made a commitment to exercise throughout my pregnancies and was blessed with low risk pregnancies that allowed me to do just that. I know not all mammas have that chance. Once my babies were out I wanted to hit the ground running and pack them everywhere; and I did.

I always like to think of the book “Holes” when Elya was instructed by a fortune teller to carry his piglet up the hill to drink every day. At first it was no big deal to carry a small piglet up the hill but as the pig grew the boy grew stronger as well. By the time the pig was fully grown the boy was strong enough to carry the large pig up the hill to drink. So it has been with my babies, I carried the extra weight for 9 months and made sure to carry them once they came out and as they grew. This made it so easy to take them on my back wherever I go now.

One of my fondest memories is hiking with Tilly when she was tiny and singing the abc’s with her and teaching her the sign language for each letter as we walked. We stopped to listen to the birds, look at the dew on leaves, see the bugs, look for squirrels and deer, jump in the waterfall at our destination, and talk about how God had given us THE MOST beautiful world to enjoy. We did this as we hiked, snow shoed, cross country skied, and went on walks around town.

So the trend continued as Tilly got older and as we welcomed a second baby into our home. Once again I was determined to not let two babies stop me from being in nature and getting exercise when dad was out of town travelling. And just like Elya I began carrying both of them, one on my back and one inside for 9 months and then after she was born, on my front. Could my kids walk? Yeah probably but not for as far as I’d like to go and quite frankly I’m too impatient for wait for them when I’m trying to get a good workout in;) There are plenty of other times when they are free to walk and roam as they like at a leisurely pace.

So now whenever we are out exercising in nature there’s always a baby or toddler on my back. Baby got my back all the time and I love it. I love being blessed with a body to carry my children into this world and through this world. It has created a bond that I cherish and want to soak in and hold on to.

Tilly is starting to outgrow the pack and it is opening a new realm of opportunities for us to explore. Our most recent adventure was skiing together while dad was out of town. Cecily has been begging to go skiing and keeps insisting that she is big enough. So we took a leap of faith and packed her on my back and Tilly and I skied with my brother one night this week. It was amazing! The slopes weren’t packed so we were able to safely navigate the mountain with a baby on my back without worrying about other skiers colliding with us. It was another step into nature that I was able to take with both my girls and my heart sang.

I cant wait to see what the future will bring and what beautiful babes I’ll be blessed to pack around on my back next. Whoever made the stigma that women aren’t strong was clearly blind and I’ll happily prove them wrong with so many examples of women who went before me who taught me that I can do whatever the heck I put my mind to. Being a mother takes a level of strength that so many underestimate and misunderstand. I think motherhood is the most strengthening, challenging, trying experience that produces women full of battle wounds, wisdom, and deep, deep hearts of love.

Packing my babies around is something that makes me feel empowered and I hope you feel confident in doing whatever it is that makes you feel like a strong woman too; physically or otherwise. There is no denying that God put in you capabilities that no man can ever attain and you should be proud of that.

Thank you for letting me share my joys with you! It is probably far more beneficial for me to put my thoughts down than it is for you to read them. But if you are still reading, I want express my gratitude for you! I hope someone finds some sort of strength from hearing how I, and many other women, choose to live our lives.

Love, Katie

 

Cheesy Keto Cauliflower

This is soon becoming one of the favorite dishes at our house! Gary has been kicking diets in the butt lately and after doing 3 months of no sugar, no flour, decided to do a 6 day water fast that he really enjoyed. After completing his water fast he wanted to keep his body in a ketogenic state and has been eating a keto style diet for a few weeks now. He is loving it and he has maintained his weight since his water fast.

Since keto is low carb he searched for veggies that were on the OK list. Cauliflower is one of them and we decided to experiment with cheesy cauliflower for dinner one night. We have never eaten a lot of cauliflower before and when we have it hasn’t been a raving success but this recipe redeemed them all! I give Gary all the credit for making this cauliflower recipe that I love so much!

This dinner fills me up but doesn’t weigh me down. I feel good eating a veggie based meal and my girls love it too! It tastes great re-heated and you can cook it in the oven or on the stove. Make it your own with your favorite flavors of cheese and toppings. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 package) softened (I always get low fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (I prefer low fat as well)
  • 4 oz of your favorite cheese or a combination of cheeses
  • bacon bits/crumbles
  • 1-12.5 oz can of canned chicken (I added this part for some extra protein, Gary leaves this out of his.)
  • salt/pepper/favorite seasonings

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium size bowl combine softened cream cheese + sour cream+ most of the grated cheese + bacon bits. Save some for the topping) Mix until smooth
  2. Remove the base of the cauliflower and separate into bite size pieces. Add the cauliflower and canned chicken to the  mixture, add seasoning to taste and stir until cauliflower is evenly coated. (I usually let people season their own food because my house has very different preferences in that department)
  3. Put mixture into a 9×13 baking pan or casserole dish and cook in oven for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower begins to get soft.
  4. Remove cauliflower from the oven and mix up the cauliflower to makes sure the meted cheese evenly coats everything. After, top your dish off with the remaining cheese and bacon bits to make a yummy crust on top! Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and cauliflower is soft.
  5. Enjoy!

This dish is very yummy without the chicken and is a great vegetarian dish. We also love adding mushrooms and it would be delicious with bits of smoked tri-tip on top for those carnivores our there! If you find that your dish is just too cheesy for your liking, cut back on the cream cheese and grated cheese, the cauliflower by no means needs to be “swimming” in cheese to taste good. Just having a bit of sauce on top makes them delicious and keeps you from feeling weighed down. I hope you love this as much as we do!

Love, Katie

 

Gym Babies

I’m so full of gratitude today that I thought I’d share what was on my mind. As spring approaches Gary’s work schedule changes and he starts travelling a lot. We’re used to this schedule and it works out just fine for the most part. However, when he is gone I’m not able to go to the gym in the mornings. The girls aren’t quite big enough to watch themselves yet. Luckily I have some dumbbells & kettle bells I can use for home workouts when he is gone but lets be honest, its just not the same.

In the past my workout routine has dwindled in the spring and summer months and I just try to hit it hard when Gary is back in town. But this year my fantastic gym has changed locations and is under new ownership and the trainers are willing to let me bring my kids with me when I workout! The kids can play in the large turf field area while I do my workout or sit close by me.

Today began the first work trip of the season but instead of giving up hope of getting to the gym I was able to drop my 4 year old off at preschool and take my 2 year old to the gym with me…she is such a gem. She just follows me around like a little ducky and runs laps around the field with me too. I simply cant express the gratitude I have for the trainers at my gym who empathize with moms who need to get their workout in but just cant or aren’t interested in paying for daycare or hiring someone to watch their kids. Not having to stress about all that takes such a huge weight off my shoulders! Gloria Mayfield Banks always says to “Work with people who work with you.” My gym has definitely earned my dedication because of their willingness to work with me!

I notice a difference in my girls when they’ve been to the gym with me. They feel lucky to come with me and they definitely watch what I do and try to do it with me. Its so cute to see them try and lug the kettle bells around or do push ups and lunges around the house later on. I love that they are learning the importance of exercise at a young age and view it as something fun!

So today I am grateful to know that I have options this summer season! I am always happier when I get a good workout in and I’m so pleased to be able to stick with that routine. I hope you have people in your life who are willing to work with you to help you reach your goals and stick with your non-negotiables. If you don’t, start searching for those people because they are out there! Maybe its a mom who will workout on an alternating schedule with you while you watch each others kids, or maybe its someone who is willing to do a group workout at a nearby church or rec center while your kids play together, or maybe its just someone who will hold you accountable for getting on a walk or bike ride or a hike so you can get some movement in for the day. Whatever it is, you deserve to have a support system for the things that will make you the best you you can be and the best mom you can be.

Love, Katie

 

 

Grain Lovers Breakfast Ideas

Some breakfast foods that can really be hard for people to avoid are cereal, pancakes, french toast, etc. When you cut out gluten and sugar from your diet these things become a big no-no and they are often times difficult to replace. Some of these breakfast ideas help my family to get some good grains in our diet that are more filling, tasty, and nutritious.

Katie’s Protein Pancakes/Waffles

This pancake recipe is my go-to for pancakes or waffles in the morning. They are more dense than regular pancakes and far more tasty. Don’t be surprised that they don’t taste like regular pancakes, they are definitely different, but I personally enjoy them much more.

Ingredients: Serves about 3 people

  • 1/2 cup whole steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (whichever protein is your favorite)
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions: 

  • Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until the consistency is smooth
  • Cook on low-medium heat until pancakes are firm.

Toppings: 

  • Peanut Butter (this is my favorite)
  • Sugar Free Jam/Syrup*
  • Nothing- they taste great plain too

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam Recipe (from my sweet friend Lacey):

Sweet Lacey in my neighborhood knew that Gary wasn’t eating sugar or flour so she sent her boys over with a jar of the most delicious home made strawberry jam one day. It was the perfect amount of sweet and I loved the texture that the Chia seeds added. It is my girls new favorite jam for their protein pancakes and waffles and the best part is there are only 3 ingredients! I plan to test this recipe with raspberries and other fruits too!

Ingredients/Directions:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries washed and stemmed
    • put into a blender with
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
    • blend until it is as chunky/smooth as you want
    • put into a pan and bring to a light boil + stir for 5 minutes
    • pour into mason jars suitable for fridge or freezer

    • let cool in the jar and either freeze or refrigerate

Home Made Granola Cereal

If you simply cant live your life without some sort of cereal then I suggest you make your own granola that you can eat to satisfy your cravings while actually giving you some sort of nutrition instead of eating empty calories. Even though I do substitute oats for flour in some of my recipes these should still be eaten sparingly and should not dominate your diet in any way. Check your allotted macro levels (go to bodybuilding.com for an easy macro calculator) and makes sure any grains/complex carbs you do eat stay within the healthy limits you have.

Granola is great because you can definitely make it your own and add the things you love to help you truly enjoy your food. To make your own granola you’ll need a few components:

  • Raw Whole Oats- the backbone of your granola
  • Honey/Agave/Maple Syrup – to make it “stick”
  • Flax Seed Meal, Protein Powder or another gluten free “powder” that will act as the “mortar” to bond the honey/agave to the oats/other ingredients and make yummy clumps
  • Yummy add-ins – we like dried blueberries, cranberries, almond slivers, & raw coconut flakes
  • Other flavors- Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, & salt to bring our flavors
  • Oil/fat- helps make the granola a bit crispy.. if you’re into that

Ingredients/amounts

  • 4 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup honey/agave
  • 2 cups nuts, seeds, dried berries,
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and/or 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of any other flavors you like

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet/cake pan with parchment paper. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl, stir.
  2. Add honey, vanilla, oil and stir until the “glue” is evenly coating the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet/pan and cook until the oats turn golden. about 20-25 minutes. Stir the ingredients after about 10 minutes to make sure all sides cook evenly and get crispy. Press the mixture  back into the pan to get it to stick together as it cooks the rest of the way.
  4. Let cool before breaking into pieces & enjoy!

 

Protein Oatmeal

In college, my friend Zach introduced me to quinoa, pre-workout, and protein oatmeal. I loved this simple way protein oatmeal turned a carb loaded breakfast into a power breakfast that incorporates healthy grains, proteins & fats..and its so quick! The protein powder you use will make a big difference in the taste so give a few tries before you make up your mind about it:)

PB Chocolate Protein Oatmeal:

Directions: Prepare oatmeal as usual with oats and water. When oats are cooked (either on the stove or microwave) add the protein powder + peanut butter and possibly a bit more water or milk depending on how thick you like your oatmeal.

Vanilla/Fruity Protein Oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup Whole Oats
  • 1 cup water/milk
  • 1/2-1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • dried berries, nuts, fruit, cinnamon, or any other add ins you might like

Other Ideas:

  1. Peaches + Cream: Vanilla protein, milk, peaches
  2. Berries + Cream: Vanilla protein, milk, berries
  3. Mexican Hot Chocolate: Chocolate protein, milk, cinnamon
  4. Fruit + Nut: Vanilla protein, fruits, nuts
  5. Try something different and send me your idea!

 

I have so many more ideas to share and they are coming soon! Hopefully these can give you a starting point in your search for breakfast alternatives! Enjoy!