cucumber wrapped veggies

Much like our zucchini wrapped veggies, these cucumber wrapped veggies are fantastic for parties, barbecues, or just having at home for the family and kids.

The zucchini wrapped veggies aren’t all that fantastic when it comes to kids. The zucchini flavor just isn’t really what they’re into. These cucumber wraps are great with homemade ranch dressing!

food-prepThe prep work for cucumber wrapped veggies

The cucumber is a bit different than the zucchini when it comes to peeling. The center of a cucumber doesn’t hold together well when thinly peeled. What I do is peel one side of the cucumber almost to the center, then flip the cucumber and peel the other side, followed by the two remaining untouched sides. When I peel cucumbers this way, I end up with a rectangle of the inside leftover. I keep these to chop up and add to salads the next few days. No waste!

The prep work for this appetizer is not super clean. While I absolutely love all my pictures (and those I see on other cooking blogs), I also like to show some real prep pictures, with a little mess and the true looks of a used cutting board 🙂

cucumber wrapped veggies
A simple, yet beautiful appetizer for any occasion.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium sized zucchini
  2. 2 medium sized carrots
  3. 2 medium sized celery stalks
  4. 2 medium sized radishes
Instructions
  1. Peel the cucumber into thin strips (using a Y-peeler makes this easy).
  2. Peel and cut (or just chop) carrots, celery stalks, and radishes into matchstick sized pieces.
  3. Lay out cucumber strips, add vegetables (usually 3 sticks of each veggie is good), roll the cucumber and pop a toothpick through the zucchini to hold it all together.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite vegetable dipping sauce!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/
This recipe is Whole30, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free.

 

zucchini wrapped veggies

zucchini-wrapped-veggies-ranchZucchini wrapped veggies are a great finger food for any party or barbecue! They go great with our homemade ranch dressing or any other type of vegetable dip! And given the fact these are bite sized with a toothpick already in them, there’s no chance for double dipping! Super bonus! Of course, since these are made only from fresh veggies, they are Whole30 compliant, Paleo, and vegan!

These zucchini wrapped veggies look like they take forever!

They don’t, I promise! Simply peeling the vegetables and then chopping them into the right sizes makes the process go fairly quickly. I generally peel my zucchinis first to determine just how many I need to feed the amount of people I’m aiming for. Since the zucchini is the wrapper for all of these, it’s best to get all those done first. I then peel and chop as many veggies as I think I need to fill all my zucchini wrappers, knowing I have more of all of them in the fridge and can prep more later if I need to. I try not waste anything, but if I end up with leftover veggies for the inside (which I often do), I simply throw them in a stir fry within a day or two.

carrot-wrapped-radishes-celeryOh no! I ran out of zucchini!

NO PROBLEM! Though they will be smaller, thinly peeled carrots can replace the zucchini at the drop of a hat! Simply do the exact same thing but use carrots as the wrapper instead of zucchini.

When I run out of zucchini part way through, or just want to add more color to the overall veggie display, I use carrots as the wrapper. I generally only fill the carrots with one other vegetable. Maybe a few slices of radish or celery. I don’t usually fill the carrots with more carrots… as that seems a little redundant!

Lets go through all the steps!

zucchini-peeledFirst, peel your zucchini. I use a Y-peeler for mine. I go from one end to the other, and the Y-peeler slices my zucchini in perfectly thin strips, exactly what I need for these zucchini wrapped veggies.

zucchini-and-veggies-preppedSecond, chop your veggies. Sometimes I peel them and then cut them down to size, sometimes I simply chop them into match-sized pieces. Either way works, I usually tell people to do it whichever way they can do faster.

zucchini-with-veggies-before-rollingThird, lay out your zucchini strips and put some veggies on them. For these particular rolls, I did 3 pieces of carrot, 3 pieces of celery, and 3 pieces of radish. You can leave any of those vegetables out, add in different ones, it’s entirely up to you. Just remember that you need to watch how much you put o your zucchini strip. It still needs to be able to roll up and take a toothpick.

zucchini-wrapped-veggies-finishedFourth, roll your zucchini, add a toothpick, and enjoy! My family likes these veggie wraps dipped in ranch, but they are fantastic dipped in just about any type of dressing or sauce. I like them in cucumber sauce, and they’re even good in some sweeter sauces! Have fun with the dipping sauce and enjoy this awesome little dish!

Zucchini Wrapped Veggies
Simple side dish that looks awesome and is super healthy!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium sized zucchini
  2. 2 medium sized carrots
  3. 2 medium sized celery stalks
  4. 2 medium sized radishes
Instructions
  1. Peel the zucchini into thin strips (using a Y-peeler makes this easy).
  2. Peel and cut (or just chop) carrots, celery stalks, and radishes into matchstick sized pieces.
  3. Lay out zucchini strips, add vegetables (usually 3 stick of each veggie is good), roll the zucchini and pop a toothpick through the zucchini to hold it all together.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite vegetable dipping sauce!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

nicely spicy salsa

spicy-salsaA very nicely spicy salsa that adds a fantastic kick to any Taco Tuesday!

We don’t always do Taco Tuesdays at our house, but when we do, we have nicely spicy salsa!

This salsa is the perfect blend of spicy hot and awesome flavor.The flavors truly do mix well, and the kick they provide is like fireworks for you taste buds! When making this salsa for our youngest child, I generally leave out the chipotle chili and cut the jalapeño in half. This is simply because our youngest son isn’t a fan of spicy, though I’m hoping he will be one day!

This recipe takes minimal prep time, as everything is put into a food processor, meaning fine chopping or dicing is completely eliminated from the process. I’ve said it before and I will say it again… minimizing prep time is a huge bonus! It allows us all to spend more time doing what we love and less time chopping things!

This recipe is absolutely Whole30 and Paleo compliant. We use all fresh ingredients and we love eating as healthy as possible!

Nicely Spicy Salsa
A fantastically spicy blend of flavors to give a kick to your cuisine!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  2. 1/4 medium red onion
  3. 1 jalepeno
  4. 1/2 bell pepper
  5. 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
  6. 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use 1/4 teaspoon or do not add to make less spicy)
Instructions
  1. Drain diced tomatoes.
  2. Add all ingredients to food processor and process. NOTE: ingredients do not need to be diced or chopped up small because they are all going into the food processor!
  3. Pour into a bowl and ENJOY!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

cantaloupe fruit medley for breakfast!

cantaloupe-fruit-medleyBreakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and starting it off with a nice cantaloupe fruit medley makes for a great start to the morning!

This morning, I kicked my day off with a nice hot cup of coffee and the cantaloupe fruit medley I made last night. I usually make two fruit medleys at the same time when I cut my cantaloupe in half. I store them in the fridge in bowls with plastic wrap covering them up. I’m not entirely sure how long they would last if left alone, as ours usually make it 24 hours at best before someone gobbles them up.

What do I do with the leftover cantaloupe from my cantaloupe fruit medley?

Honestly, I often just eat it after I cut it out. Once the seeds are gone, cutting a little strip around the cantaloupe to make more room for the other fruits doesn’t really leave much leftover cantaloupe. If I’m making two full cantaloupes at a time (four fruit medleys), I put the extra cantaloupe in a container and serve it with lunch or dinner.

Cantaloupe Fruit Medley
Serves 2
Awesome fruit medley stuffed into a cantaloupe!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cantaloupe
  2. 6 to 8 strawberries
  3. 2 kiwis
  4. ~16 to 18 grapes
Instructions
  1. Cut the cantaloupe in half and scrape out the seeds in the middle of each half.
  2. Cut or scrape out more of the actual cantaloupe around the already hollow center. This is done to be able to fit more fruit into the cantaloupe. (OPTIONAL: eat the cantaloupe you've cut out, or save it for later.)
  3. Cut the strawberries into thin slices and lay around the edges of the hole in the center of the cantaloupes.
  4. Peel the kiwis and cut into thin slices. Lay them around in a circle, inside the strawberries.
  5. Top it off by filling whatever is left of the center with the grapes.
  6. ENJOY!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

Make it even more of a meal!

To make this more of a meal, and not just fruit, have a small fruit medley with some eggs and bacon, or other protein. Two eggs and a small fruit medley is a fantastic Whole30 and Paleo compliant meal! I love fruit with my eggs in the morning, and having a nice looking cantaloupe fruit medley just adds an extra smile to the morning!

homemade ranch dressing is incredible

ranch dressing

This is a simple homemade ranch dressing that was modified from the Whole30 version a little bit to make it a little thinner and add a bit more of a kick (that’s the extra chili powder!). Though the recipe was modified, it is still Whole30 compliant and Paleo… delicious!

homemade ranch dressingHomemade ranch dressing is awesome!

My family can seriously eat some ranch dressing! My family says homemade ranch is better than Hidden Valley, which I think is fantastic, and here’s why… Hidden Valley bottled ranch dressing contains MSG, added sugar, added salt, artificial flavoring and other ingredients that simply aren’t necessary. Here’s a great post I found explaining all the ingredients in Hidden Valley ranch and any issues with them: Inside the Label: Ranch Dressing.

We use this ranch for dipping, and as a dressing on salads and other foods. When I use it as a salad dressing, I either add a little extra coconut milk or water to get the consistency I need. It’s a great dressing and I love it that our kids think it’s better than the store bought stuff!

This recipe calls for a cup of mayonnaise… I use our homemade mayo for that, recipe here.

Homemade Ranch Dressing
A deliciously creamy ranch dressing that is Whole30 and Paleo compliant, no added junk!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk with some cream (I put a can of coconut milk in the fridge for an hour and use 1/3 cup of the soupy mixture it ends up becoming)
  3. 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  4. 1 clove garlic (pressed or finely minced)
  5. 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  6. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 1/8 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until fully mixed.
  2. Eat and love it!
Adapted from The Whole30
Adapted from The Whole30
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

perfect hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a fantastic and extremely versatile food, but it can be difficult to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. No worries though we’ll show you how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs in about 20 minutes!

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Perfect hard-boiled eggs, great for eating plain or making deviled eggs!
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Eggs
Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a pot, not stacked on top of one another, cover with water to about an inch over top of eggs.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once boiling, cover, remove from heat.
  4. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
  5. Peel and eat!
Notes
  1. I peel my hard-boiled eggs under a very small stream of cold running water. This helps loosen the shell from the egg.
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

eggs-in-potWhat all can hard-boiled eggs be used for?

The first, and most obvious answer is just plain eating them! A hard-boiled egg with a little salt or pepper, or maybe some tabasco sauce, is awesome!

Hard-boiled eggs are also used to make deviled eggs (or our Spicy Deviled Eggs), which are extremely delicious. Deviled eggs make a great snack or a side dish to barbecue. We love a good deviled egg, as do our kids.

Hard-boiled eggs also go really well in salads. We sometimes add egg to our chicken salads or just a plain salad to get a little extra protein in. They’re great in a tossed green salad with tomatoes, red onions, and shaved carrots!

pork and veggie skillet

This pork and veggie skillet is wonderful! This recipe serves 2, as I usually make it for me and my husband for lunch. We double it when serving 4 people.

Pork & Veggie Skillet
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 ounces pork (or other meat you'd like to use)
  2. 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  3. 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  4. 1/4 red onion, sliced
  5. 1 small carrot, large grate
  6. 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dry rub
  7. 1/2 tablespoon clarified butter (or ghee, or butter, or olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into cubes (if using ground meat, it doesn't need to be cut).
  2. Brown the meat in a small skillet.
  3. While the meat is cooking, chop up all vegetables and toss them in the dry rub.
  4. Heat clarified butter in skillet over medium heat.
  5. Once hot, add all vegetables. Cook approximately 5 minutes. Add meat, cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

Pork and veggie skillet? Do you ever use different meats?

Absolutely! This skillet is great with chicken, or any ground meat, especially deer! We change it up all the time, adding different veggies and different meats. This one just happens to be our favorite and we always have the ingredients on hand.

Where’s the recipe for the dry rub used to add flavor?

That recipe can be found right here. When I make the dry rub, I usually double or triple the recipe and set it aside in a little jar. This enables me to use it whenever I want without having to make more very often. It goes great in so many different dishes, that having it on hand just makes sense!

Prep extra veggies ahead of time!

veggies-skillet
We often have these skillets two days in a row with the veggies I’ve prepared ahead of time. I simply change up the meat and the flavors. Adding fresh ginger to a meat and vegetable skillet is also a fantastic idea! It completely changes the flavor of the dish!

Quick and Easy Mayo

quick and easy mayo

This recipe is awesome! It’s super quick and easy to make, and I know my family LOVES mayo, so this is total perfection!

Quick and Easy Mayo
Super simple mayo recipe, tastes awesome!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups extra light olive oil
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 lemon, just the juice
Instructions
  1. Place egg, 1/2 cup extra light olive oil, mustard powder and salt in blender or bowl to hand blend in. Blend well.
  2. **You should already see your mayo start to thicken at this point**
  3. Once fully blended, add a little more olive oil and continue blending.
  4. Continue to slowly add the olive oil and blend until you have used up all the olive oil.
  5. Fold in lemon juice, this step will turn your mayo the normal white color.
  6. Put in fridge.
Notes
  1. The key here is to add the extra light olive oil SLOWLY, while continuing to mix.
  2. The ingredients do not have to all be room temperature (something you may have heard before) if you mix it all properly.
  3. Mayo will keep in the fridge for about a week after the "use by" date on the eggs, so keep this in mind when making a large batch.
Adapted from My Mother-in-Law
Adapted from My Mother-in-Law
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

Quick and easy mayo? But don’t all the ingredients have to be room temperature?

Great question! The answer here is NO. I have read over and over again that it’s not possible to get your mayo to properly emulsify unless all ingredients are room temperature. Well, I make mayo at least once a week (I make large batches), and I can honestly tell you, my ingredients are almost always straight out of the fridge. The trick is really to make sure you’re mixing in the extra light olive oil SLOWLY… it is a step you absolutely cannot rush! Aside from that, it’s never mattered what temperature my ingredients are, if they’re all the same temperature, if one is super cold… it just doesn’t matter.

simple spaghetti sauce

Simple Spaghetti Sauce
Super simple homemade spaghetti sauce, easy for anyone to make!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. crushed or diced tomatoes, 1 can, 14.5oz
  2. tomato paste, 1 can, 12oz
  3. 2 tablespoons oregano
  4. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 cups water (depending on how thin you want your sauce)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix it all up.
  2. Heat on stove when ready to eat, adding water to thin it out.
Notes
  1. Ground meat makes an excellent addition to this recipe!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

This super simple spaghetti sauce is awesome!

zoodles-with-homemade-meat-sauceWe absolutely love this spaghetti sauce. Our kids love it, our friends and family love it, and best of all… it’s super easy to make! I love easy recipes that take a minimal amount of time. Wonderful. Making this spaghetti sauce only takes about 10 minutes. And the best part is that you don’t have to heat it up until you actually need to use it. So there’s no initial cooking involved!

Have it over zoodles or noodles, or add it to some alfredo sauce for a different flavor. I personally prefer to have it over zoodles because I absolutely love them. I sautee our zoodles in a little olive oil with fresh garlic to add some extra flavor to the zoodles themselves.

homemade-meat-sauceLove meat in your spaghetti sauce?

Add meat to your simple spaghetti sauce to make it even more delicious! Ground turkey or deer are fantastic additions. Simply brown the meat and add it in to the amount of sauce you need for the meal  you’re making. I like to make two batches of sauce and freeze half so I don’t have to make it later. It freezes really well and tastes just as good when it’s reheated.

This sauce can also be used for sloppy Joe’s, just add more meat than you would for regular spaghetti sauce and BAM! Awesome sandwiches for the win!

 

tomato bell pepper sauce

tomato pepper sauce
Tomato bell pepper sauce
A wonderful mixture of flavors, add meat for something similar to spaghetti sauce, or eat it without meat as more of a salsa.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  2. 3 bell peppers, any color
  3. 1/4 large onion
  4. 1 cup tomato or carrot paste
  5. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop up peppers and onion, put them in food processor until chopped very finely.
  2. Put diced tomatoes (including juice), peppers, onion, tomato or carrot paste and garlic powder in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Add browned meat for a spaghetti-like sauce, or eat it cold as more of a salsa.
  2. Want a little spice? Add jalapeño!
Homemade Health Food http://homemadehealthfood.com/

This tomato bell pepper sauce is easy to make and tastes great!

I have made this recipe using both my carrot paste and using tomato paste. Either one will work and the recipe tastes fantastic either way. For me, I use whichever one I have on hand. I’m not making a separate trip to the store for a can of tomato paste… I’d rather just spend an extra few minutes making carrot paste, being around my family.

meal-tomato-pepper-sauce-cauliflower-riceThis recipe allows for a lot of variations, and can be made spicy with some jalapeño, more like spaghetti sauce with some oregano, or eaten just the way it is. I usually add browned ground turkey to this sauce and have it over either cauliflower rice or zoodles.

This sauce also makes a great salsa when chilled, which is just another bonus if you have any leftovers!