Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meat Marinara

Growing up I refused to eat homemade marinara sauce. We had spaghetti fairly frequently and I always used to complain to my mother when she would make real, from scratch, marinara with home-canned tomatoes. I really didn't even eat tomatoes until I was probably 18. I used to beg my mom to buy the spaghetti sauce in the jar. It's so funny how times change and now I would never even think of buying pre-made marinara. Talk about added sugar and salt and probably red #40.

Here's my recent experience of making marinara using up some great things in my fridge. Starting out with ground venison. Throwing in some chopped onion, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Might as well add as many veggies as possible. You can't go wrong.

I would have used more home-canned tomatoes, however, I'm still crying from the disaster of a growing season last summer. This is so sad that I actually have to buy canned tomatoes. Just pathetic. Praying for next year to be a bounty!

I did find one jar of homemade marinara that I added as well. Into the pot it all went along with a generous amount of italian herb seasoning and some salt & pepper.

I was pretty excited to cook my spaghetti squash. I simply cut it in half and face down on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes. Spaghetti squash is so fun because it looks exactly like spaghetti noodles, except it's squash!

Wouldn't you know I forgot to photograph my plate. I was dining with friends and had to take this after shot. The marinara was super chunky and tasty. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Field Trip

I went on a FABULOUS field trip recently. It was a gorgeous day to get in my car and take a two hour trip to soak in the sun along the way and experience a whole new category of destination getaway. For some time now I have been wanting to visit a farm that I found online that specializes in what I would call real food. There were beef cattle grazing the pasture right beside the sheep. Additionally, there were chickens in the same pasture that are allowed to range near their chicken tractor that is moved daily. In a more distant pasture there were the dairy cattle, though not being milked at this time of year. This farm was a beautiful system of healthy animals working together with the land to produce clean, healthy, real food. You see what makes this real food in my mind is the fact that these animals are never fed what they weren't created to eat. They were created to eat grasses and their bodies remain healthy when they consume this natural diet.

I came home with several products from my field trip to JaKo, Inc. Some of the most exciting products included yogurt and kefir. While I was in the farm store selecting my products another customer asked me what kefir was. Although I've had it before it's a little difficult to explain, but I told him it was like a more liquid yogurt. Tangy like yogurt but not quite the same consistency. When I got home I decided to do my own official taste test to see what the differences really are. I assumed they tasted the same, and boy are they different! It's still quite difficult to explain but I would almost say that yogurt is sweeter than kefir. Kefir has a definite sourlike tang. They are made with similar cultures but definitely different. I will just have to recommend that you try them both to determine the difference. However, they were both outstanding. I love to have smoothies as meals made with these products.

I was also equally excited for these eggs that I truly knew to be free range eggs. I saw the chickens in the field ranging like they should be. Chickens also were created to forage eating grass, bugs, and whatever else they find. I eat eggs almost everyday in some way, shape, or form. Today it was on top of spaghetti squash sauteed with onion, garlic, venison, carrot mixture. Pretty great with a bit of pesto on top.

If you're ever near Hutchinson, Kansas you must stop and visit JaKo,Inc. This farm family is doing it right and taking an active part in creating quality real food for you and me to eat!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kansas Day Celebration

Happy 151st Birthday Kansas! Today is the day we celebrate Kansas Day. Growing up I thought that every state celebrated a state day on the birthday of the state. However, it wasn't until I moved out of the state of Kansas did I realize that this is not the case, Kansas seems to be pretty unique in this celebration. I actually feel like I've done the most Kansas Day celebrating this weekend than I have ever done.

Last night I was able to celebrate the grand opening of a new locally owned Kansas store in Salina called, Ad Astra Books & Coffee. They had a grand good time with a special Kansas poet and song writer for entertainment along with Kansas longhorn beef burgers. Pretty fabulous.

Today I had the honor of celebrating Kansas Day with some lovely friends in Manhattan. This dear friend of mine has the best Kansas decorations ever and this was the second time I was able to join this special group, a majority of retired KSU professors, for a Kansas celebration. We had amazing soup and pie! No Kansas Day celebration would be complete without the singing of Home on the Range and that we did!

I'll take both the pecan and banana caramel pie.

Check out the meadowlark, hatchet, and bison in the background.

Some very special friends!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Holistic Health Studies Update

I can now say that I am one quarter of the way through my year adventure as a holistic health coach student. I just completed my first online exam and passed! It really wasn't too difficult and it's been such a blessing that the material I am learning is not crazy rocket science that I have to memorize. Instead the information I have been learning is very eye-opening yet simple concepts that include not only food, but activity, business concepts, lifestyle suggestions and self care. It really is great stuff.

In case you've missed the background of what I'm studying check out this post: Greetings!

With that being said, I am looking for willing volunteers that would be interested in completing a Health History Consultation with me. This will take no longer than 45 minutes and can be done via telephone, skype, or in person if you happen to be near Abilene, KS! This is simply a conversation that allows me to get to know more about you and your overall health. The more I am able to practice these the better equipped I will be for future health coaching. So please consider taking me up on this invitation.

Please contact me at aslindahl@gmail.com if you are interested. Many thanks!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Curry Creation

I had a  rather interesting one-pot curry creation this past week while foraging the Lindahl freezer and pantry. I really wanted to make a curry and had a number of rather interesting ingredients on hand. This is how the curry went down.....

Always start with the onion.
Added some venison steak chunks.

This is one of the rare occasions where I kept track of the spices I added.   

 Just a little ridiculous.

Sweet potato

Frozen turnip went in along with frozen turnip greens.

The medley long grain rice that I soaked overnight and cooked up.

My final creation made complete with half & half, tons of spices, and venison bacon on top. It was a little crazy and I definitely learned that I should keep the spice combos to a relative minimum if possible.

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's in reading articles like this that a big giant contradiction in my mind occurs. There is a contradiction between what I've been taught my whole life regarding healthy foods and what I am learning are actually healthy foods. Read this article and you will soon realize why I have a war going on in my mind as I teach these guidelines.


I would like to add that for the past four years I have been following these USDA guidelines in attempt to make myself a healthier person. The years of leading a college lifestyle left a few new habits to be adopted.  I've been following the low-fat recommended diet based on many fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free dairy products, and minimal meat for some time now in conjunction with physical activity. While I do feel healthier over-all, the need to lose weight has not really happened. I think maybe I've lost 10 pounds in the past three years. Not enough!

Enter new strategy: I've decided to eat real food. This includes more meat, more vegetables, less grains, and full-fat dairy products! I decided to try to cut out gluten all together and have managed to do so fairly well while also drastically reducing my overall grain consumption. Honestly, I eat eggs, avocadoes, some form of potatoes, and greens nearly everyday. I've also been enjoying amazing green smoothies. In addition to this eating I've made exercise a mandatory part of every day and have incorporated a variety of activities including yoga.

I've never been one to like using a scale to determine health and I don't even own one myself. But I will say that my clothes are feeling much looser, I feel more toned, and this past week I lost three pounds.  This story has just begun...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

I found this great recipe that I wanted to try: Paleo Pumpkin Bread. I was a little apprehensive because I haven't had good luck with creating bread like substances using almond flour and no flour involving gluten. But this was amazing. I used the great Vita-Mix to create a blend of almond and hazelnut flour, but I'm sure it would work just fine in any food processor. Then I blended up the eggs with honey and pumpkin. Combine the two with spices and voila! into the mini loaf pan and bake. I used a loaf pan a little bit bigger than she suggests so my loaf was not nearly as tall as the picture on her site, but it still was a great success for me!

Yummy! I haven't actually put butter on a slice of bread in ages!
This recipe is so good and healthy and life giving. Seriously, there is no gluten involved, lots of good protein from the almond flour and three eggs involved. It also has virtually no added sugar except for the small amount of honey and the natural sugars found in pumpkin. It involves all things natural and real which is definitely difficult to find in gluten free baked products. So good!

New Adventures

Yesterday I ventured to Manhattan for the annual meeting of People's Grocery. I am an owner of this small cooperative and although I don't get to shop there very often I always spend my moneys worth when I do. The meeting was interesting as it was my first time at such a thing. I even got to bust out some parliamentary procedure skills so we could unanimously elect a board member. We were about to pass out 50 ballots and write the one person that volunteered to serve on it. Thank you FFA/4-H for those basic meeting efficiency skills. I was very excited to meet some new people and share a little bit about myself. I've been listening to lecture after lecture about how to start random conversations with people about my health coaching training. I was able to have a great conversation with a lovely lady that was super interested and also works at the store so I'm hoping to have opened a door there. It's all about networking and marketing!

I ventured to the store after the meeting with a list of random things that I have been meaning to purchase and try. I've been reading a lot of different blogs about the paleolithic lifestyle recently and wanted to try some different recipes that involve coconut flour and/or oil. So I managed to find both of those along with some ingredients to make homemade toothpaste! 

One of my new foods that I picked up in Manhattan includes: Kefir! It's almost like a liquid yogurt packed full of probiotics and healthy gut bacteria. I thought I could drink it straight but realized that may take some getting used to. My breakfast smoothie was fabulous made with: Kefir, pears, cranberries, hemp protein powder, and flax seed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Epic Brunch!

I really love working out in the morning for a number of reasons:

  • It wakes me up.
  • It gets my body and all its necessary functions going in the morning.
  • It jump-starts my metabolism.
  • It makes me extra hungry.
  • It makes my breakfast sooooo much tastier.
Although my breakfast/brunch today didn't need any help making it tasty, the Billy Blank Tae-Bo workout I did before it made it taste even that much better. I love having a beautiful giant breakfast to start my day. This one is going to keep me satisfied for so long as well because it has plenty of protein with the carbohydrates and even some really great healthy fat! 

I dined on the most amazing sweet potato hash with fresh poached eggs and avocado! This was the first time I've ever made real poached eggs and they were so great! My favorite breakfast food growing up was definitely poached eggs on toast but we used one of those handy microwave poached egg contraptions that really just produces a  microwaved egg. Definitely not poached and ooey gooey runny yolk of a poached egg. We also used to make Velveeta cheese sauce to put on top. Gasp!

This right here is 10 billion times tastier and better for you. Yum Yum Yum.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stockpile Soup

I often tell my mother that she really should stop buying groceries and eat some of the stockpile of food that exists in this house. There is so much food in this house, I will always come here if there is a natural disaster, because this house will be thriving. Last night I made a lovely soup using many of the stockpiled essentials.

Here it is:
  • Every great soup starts out with sauteed onion. 
  • Added some frozen green bell peppers and two pieces of sausage link. 
  • Then into the pot went two quarts of homemade stock. One of them being a turkey stock and one veggie.
  • Next added two small sweet potatoes.
  • Added about 1.5 cups of regular brown lentils.
  • Let that simmer for a bit and added cauliflower and red cabbage as well as several garlic cloves.
  • It needed some more liquid so I added a pint of homemade tomato sauce + small can of tomato paste 
  • Added about a pint more of water.
  • Some spices are necessary: plenty of paprika, chili powder, cumin, ground red pepper, salt & pepper

Pretty delicious! You can do it too! What's in your kitchen that needs to be used? Throw it together for a soup masterpiece. What has been your favorite soup creation?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Funday

Today was a fabulous day! 

I spent the morning soaking up some relaxing time with Jesus while sitting in the the sun-room aka living room at the farm. This week I'm house-sitting for my parents so I'm out here enjoying the wood burning stove heat and great south sun exposure. It was a great morning. I ventured outside around 2 p.m. to notice that it was AMAZING outside. It had definitely warmed up since my chore time outside earlier in the morning. This winter in Kansas has been absolutely crazy. We're talking 50 degree weather when it should be much colder and snowy?! I decided to take advantage of the weather and proceeded to.......roto-till my garden! I had applied some great goat manure to the garden at Thanksgiving but didn't get a chance to till it in. Today was perfect!


Yep. Wearing a t-shirt outside in January.
After tilling I finally pulled up the onions that I forgot about last year. They had definitely sprouted several times and were even a bit frosty, but I plan to chop them all up and freeze them. Waste nothing people!

After feeling pretty accomplished on this Sunday Funday I decided to go for a walk and have a nice farm photo shoot. 

A funny little leftover turnip. Still going.
Snyder loves this weather! 

I caught Lucky scratching his back. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quality Breakfast

I've been trying to be intentional lately about eating an adequate amount of protein daily and staying away from gluten and excess grains in my diet. Most of this has stemmed from my reading a lot about the Paleo lifestyle. I've been reading a ton from this site, Wellness Mama. The more I read and the success stories that are told are simply blowing my mind. Although I feel like a giant Grain Science traitor contemplating giving up most grains, I've already found that decreasing my consumption of them has already contributed to my overall health. More of this discussion in the future.

Here's a beautiful picture of what I have been dining on for breakfast this week. It contains a great amount of protein and good fats to fuel my day!

Local, natural eggs with bright colored yolks
Homemade salsa 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just Go

Tonight I want to tell you about a little adventure I am super pumped to take part in. Just a little less than two weeks ago I was presented with the opportunity to take part in this project: Go Walk America. While spending the weekend with my dear sister, she mentioned the need of a good friend for support partners in his walk across the country. My friend, Mr. Barrett Keene, is walking across the U.S. to raise funds for an amazing project called The Global Orphan Project. This project raises funds for uniforms for orphans in parts of the world where without a uniform, children cannot go to school. Additionally, they set up sewing centers in the countries to provide jobs for locals while clothing orphan children. It really is a beautiful picture of Jesus caring for the least of these.

If you read a little more of Barrett's story on the website he addresses the need for support people in his trip and the unfortunate circumstances that left him walking solo for the first several months of the trip. This is where I fit in, driving a support vehicle while Barrett walks. Barrett has worked so hard to get the word out about the project and literally relying on the Lord to provide all the necessary details.

After learning a bit more about the project I really was thinking why not? I love adventures. I love being a part of actively living as Christ's hands and feet. I love a really great road trip. I love hanging out with new friends. I don't have any family or major commitments that would inhibit me from taking off for a month at a time. Why not?

After some much necessary time in prayer and reflection, I decided that I had to act. I really believe that the Lord provided this opportunity in order for me to trust in His provision and just go. Long story short, I asked off from work for a month and just found out today that it is definitely going to work out. I'm going! I'm going on an adventure of a lifetime and will be traveling the state of Georgia for the month of March. I'm positive the Lord is going to do incredible things during this trip! Please check out the websites and see how you can get involved as well!

Go Walk America

The Global Orphan Project

Monday, January 9, 2012


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:4-7

Wow. So much has been going on in my tiny little mind and soul over the past several weeks. I have felt many different emotions including joy and thankfulness yet also feeling anxiousness and even confusion. I obviously haven't put much effort into the blog world in quite awhile because I haven't really felt like I knew where my thoughts were going. More to come soon on some really exciting life adventures that have been unfolding for me.

For now I want to tell you this story:
Just yesterday I decided that I needed to quit complaining about my lack of x,y, and z in Abilene, Kansas. I often tell people that I enjoy the activities I'm pursuing here, yet feel like a few key things in life are missing. So enough of just talking about it, I decided that I need to start being proactive and lay all my wants and desires at the feet of Jesus. I decided to go for a prayer walk. I walk often and yesterday I decided to actually pray out loud to Jesus as I walked around town. I was actually inspired to take this action after spending time with a dear friend in Philadelphia who walks weekly in prayer for her neighborhood. I walked past our community garden and prayed that the space would come together and we would fill all our garden spots with excited neighborhood people wanting to garden. I then walked around town and simply prayed that God would provide other like-minded people right here to invest in this town. I know that I'm here right now for a specific reason and it would be really great if I had a few other people as excited about the things that I am excited about. I also prayed for a great number of others things and people but I want to tell you about how God has already provided.

Today, I met an amazing like-minded lady. One of my co-workers introduced us as we apparently share many things in common. In the short 10 minutes of a conversation I learned that she is writing a grant with hopes of starting another community garden at a local church. She mentioned she tries to eat as much organic food as possible and has her entire yard in edible landscape. She also is involved in natural healing and acupuncture as her career. Wow!

I am simply amazed at how quickly God speaks when we ask. Rejoice. I say it again, Rejoice!