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Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

Simple And Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky {Allergen Free!}

When you’re working around allergies it can be hard to find easy and nutritious snacks. This ground beef jerky is easy to make and safe for the whole family.

Never be without an easy grab and go snack with this simple, allergen free ground beef jerky.

One of my biggest struggles having children with allergies is finding easy sources of protein. Our allergies include nuts, dairy, beans and eggs. So basically it’s meat or nothing. And I just don’t feel like cooking meat for every meal of the day!

Limited options.

I do let my kids have sunbutter (we LOVE this brand that is made in a peanut and tree nut free facility!). But it really doesn’t have that much protein. And I only give it every four days to stick with our rotation diet. I also do sardines and anchovies about once a week. Although they are super nutritious that gets expensive!

When it comes to lunches and snacks I stick to easy. And the usual easy protein sources aren’t options. Most days there is enough leftover from the previous night’s dinner that it’s not a problem.

But sometimes there’s not. My solution? Beef jerky!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

No soy, please.

I did some research to find a recipe…and couldn’t find one. Most of them use either soy sauce or coconut aminos. When you can’t use soy or coconut that just doesn’t work. Plus I really had no desire to go to the store or buy specialty items.

So I came up with my own recipe using just a few simple and nourishing ingredients. To my great delight this ground beef jerky turned out great!

A snack for the entire family.

My biggest surprise…my one year old was the child that liked it the best! She ate almost the whole batch (don’t worry, not in one day). My husband and I love it too!

It is so easy to stick in the diaper bag when running errands. No mess. No refrigeration. Just a simple, healthy snack that is free of allergens and easy enough for a one year old to eat. Perfect!

Make it your own.

You can adjust the salt and sugar to your liking. I like a lot of salt. You can also add liquid smoke for a smokey flavor. If you really want to bump up the nutrition you can even add desiccated liver!

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

The other thing I love is how affordable this beef jerky is. I use grassfed ground beef. No fancy steaks. So a whole batch only costs about $6.00 (including the other ingredients)…and makes at least 30 good size pieces of jerky! The ground beef actually makes it a bit softer and easier to chew (trust me, I tried other meat first…and I can barely chew that batch).

Not a fan of beef? Swap it for ground pork, chicken or turkey!

This ground beef jerky is perfect for school lunches or summer picnics. Make a big batch and store it in the freezer. Grab as much as you need any time. It thaws in about sixty seconds.

If you’re like me and always trying to figure out an easy snack that is healthy, satisfying and free of allergens you’ve found it. Ground beef jerky is perfect for the whole family.

What are your go-to allergen friendly snacks?

Put ground beef jerky at the top of your list! Homemade lunch meat is a great option too.

This simple and nourishing ground beef jerky makes a great snack that is free of allergens.

Simple and Nourishing Ground Beef Jerky
Yields 30
A simple beef jerky made with ground beef, broth and seasoning.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  2. 1/2 cup gelled beef broth (or pork, chicken or turkey)
  3. 1/3 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, molasses, brown cane sugar)
  4. 4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. optional: 2 tsp. desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 8 hours.
  2. Spread strips of marinated meat onto dehydrator trays using 1-2 Tbsp. of meat each (thinner is better when spreading. I just use my hands to spread it).
  3. Dry at 155*F for about 12 hours.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
  1. Add liquid smoke to the meat mixture for a smokey flavor.
  2. Jerky can be eaten straight from the freezer.
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I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Homemade lunch meat makes packing healthy lunch a breeze. Plus it's great for little ones too!

Homemade Lunch Meat

Lunch time just got easier and healthier with homemade lunch meat! It is perfect for school lunches or even for babies. Add it to your to-do list!!

Homemade lunch meat makes packing healthy lunch a breeze. Plus it's great for little ones too!

Warning.

You may want to cover your ears.

I’m going to use the dreaded L word – LUNCHES.

There. I said it.

As much as I don’t like to think about it, before we know it we’ll be packing school lunches again.

Homemade lunch meat makes packing healthy lunch a breeze. Plus it's great for little ones too!

You want to send your kids to school with nutritious food. But you also don’t want to make their lunches too different or “weird” (liver pate or sardines anyone?). Not to mention you don’t want to spend an hour making lunch.

Just the other day my seven year old asked why I never put “normal” sandwiches in her lunch like her friends have. She mentioned peanut butter and jelly and ham and cheese.


Need more ideas? Check out Katie’s healthy lunch box e-book!


I don’t send peanut products often because I don’t want to make the school an unsafe place for those with allergies.

The ham and cheese? Well, we just don’t have any lunch meat.

Until now.

Homemade lunch meat makes packing healthy lunch a breeze. Plus it's great for little ones too!

Did you know you can make your own lunch meat?

Homemade lunch meat is so easy to make. It literally takes five minutes of hands on time.

Want to learn how?

Head on over to Kitchen Stewardship where I share my simple homemade lunch meat recipe.

And don’t forget to check out the Healthy Lunch Box ebook!

Homemade lunch meat makes packing healthy lunch a breeze. Plus it's great for little ones too!

In need of a few more ideas for the lunch box?  Try some of these:

Sweet potato salmon burgers

Teff and sorghum cherry bars

Gluten free pizza crackers

Strawberry apple salad

Fruit on the bottom  yogurt

Soaked gluten free bread (great for sandwiches with lunch meat!!)

Gluten free crackers

Quinoa bars

Salmon salad

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I don’t usually cook breakfast in the morning (except warming my daily mug of soup).  That may seem surprising for someone that gets up early and loves to be in the kitchen.

But here mornings are for easy, get it on the table quickly meals.  That means things like yogurt, homemade granola, fruit, baked goods, nuts, cheese, smoothies, gummies, hard boiled eggs and dried fruit.

Morning is my time to get work done before the kids get up.  Not to mention I have one child that often wakes up early and is ready for breakfast the moment his feet hit the floor.  So breakfast is usually something prepared the night before.

But we do LOVE all breakfast foods – pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, bacon and of course sausage!  Breakfast foods are some of our favorites.  So we have breakfast for dinner once a week.

My daughter has a very sensitive palate…i.e. won’t eat anything “spicy.”  That includes just about any seasoning.  It’s rare that she can eat anything in a restaurant without it burning her tongue.  If your little one is the same way check out this post on “picky eating.”  And read on to find out how we make sausage that is not spicy but has lots of flavor. 

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie We often buy our sausage from a local farm.  It tastes very good and is high quality meat.  My daughter will eat a little bit of it.  But not much.

So recently we got a half pig.  Part of that included sausage.  I opted to just get plain ground pork instead of the butcher adding seasoning.  I didn’t want ten pounds of sausage that my daughter wouldn’t touch.

That meant I had to come up with my own sausage spice blend so we could still enjoy sausage on our breakfast for dinner nights or in our squash soup.

This seasoning uses common herbs and spices and is easy on the palate.  There is a bit of coconut sugar added to make sure it is well tolerated in a sensitive mouth.

You can mix it up fresh for one batch of sausage or make a large batch and have a jar of it on hand whenever you need it.  This sausage seasoning also works well for burgers and chicken.

You can even mix the seasoning into the meat, shape the sausage patties and freeze them on a tray for easy sausage any time.

There is no need to take sausage off the menu if you have a sensitive palate to cook for.  Simply make your own spice blend so everyone can enjoy delicious sausage with their favorite breakfast foods. 

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Sausage Seasoning For Sensitive Palates
A very mild, yet flavorful seasoning for homemade sausage.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  2. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. basil
  4. 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  5. 1 tsp. dill weed
  6. 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  7. 3 tsp. coconut sugar
  8. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Add to one pound of ground meat (pork, turkey or chicken).
  3. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Form patties and cook in coconut oil, lard or tallow in a skillet.
Notes
  1. The seasoning mix can be prepared in advance. It can also be made in large batches and used as needed.
  2. You can add an egg to the meat and seasoning mixture as a binder.
  3. One batch totals about 7 tsp. So if you make a larger batch you can use 7 tsp. of it per pound of meat.
  4. You can mix the meat and seasoning and form patties in advance. Simply place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, freeze them and then store them in a sealed container. Thaw as many patties as you need at a time.
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Easy Beef and Bean Enchilada Bake (gluten, egg, dairy, nut, rice free)

beef and bean enchilada bakeSometimes it is very tough to cook for my family.  I have to work around food allergies and intolerances.  Of course they are different for everyone in the family. So normally I end up cooking a lot of separate items so everyone can feel good and eat well.  But it is a lot of work!

It’s pretty rare that I make casseroles.  It’s hard to make one that we can all eat.  But last week I came up with a super easy casserole that we all enjoyed! I actually did make it three different ways to meet our needs.  The big difference was that making different versions didn’t require any extra work.

The main recipe uses tortilla chips, ground beef, tomato sauce, beans and cheese.  I left the cheese out for my son’s dairy free version.  My version was simply ground beef, cheese and beans so that it was corn and tomato free.

This casserole is naturally gluten, egg, rice and nut free.  You can make it dairy free by leaving out the cheese.  There is still plenty of flavor. If you don’t tolerate corn you can substitute another starch like cooked rice or quinoa.

I loved that I found a way to use up the bits of tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag instead of throwing them away. If you’re looking for a super easy, allergen-friendly dinner this is it.

Easy Beef and Bean Enchilada Bake
A quick prep casserole that is allergen-friendly and has big enchilada flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
  2. 15 oz. tomato sauce
  3. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour, arrowroot or cornstarch
  4. 2 cups pinto beans (cooked)
  5. 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  6. 2 cups shredded cheese (optional)
  7. salt and garlic powder to taste
Instructions
  1. Brown the meat. Season with salt and garlic powder.
  2. With the heat still on, sprinkle the flour over the meat and mix.
  3. Add the tomato sauce.
  4. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from heat.
  5. Heat the oven to 350*F.
  6. In a 2 qt. casserole layer 1/3 of the crushed chips, 1/3 of the meat mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layering two times.
  7. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes.
  8. Remove cover and bake another 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. The tortilla chips can be replaced with another starch like cooked rice or quinoa.
  2. This can be turned into a skillet meal by sprinkling the cheese and chips into the pan of meat after simmering the sauce.
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I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

One Handed Honey Herb Chicken

My son and I stayed home from church on Sunday because he was sick.  I still wanted to make a decent “Sunday dinner.”  But he wanted to be held constantly.

I knew I was going to bake some chicken, but had no idea what kind.  I knew it had to be simple…so simple that you can prepare it with one hand.

This is what I came up with.  And it’s delicious!!

Put the chicken in the pan.  Sprinkle a few things on top.  And put it in the oven.  In an hour you have moist, flavorful chicken.  Perfect.

It’s a little sweet and a little savory.  Just what I like.

One Handed Honey Herb Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 – 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs of choice (can be gluten free or substitute with seasoned almond or coconut flour for grain free)

Heat oven to 350.  Butter/grease a small baking dish.

Place chicken in baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.  Drizzle eat breast with honey.  Rub slightly to cover.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Cover dish and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove cover and turn heat up to 400.  Bake another 20 minutes, until topping is crisp and chicken is cooked through.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese

On Sunday nights we eat fun, simple foods.  We’ve got some ham lunch meat (locally made) that needs to be used up.  So last night I figured we’d do grilled ham and cheese.  Always delicious.

Then I remembered that recently Justin asked me to make chicken cordon bleu (I haven’t made it yet by the way).  And we had roasted chicken for lunch…with leftovers.  So I combined the two and made a chicken cordon bleu grilled cheese.

I didn’t taste it myself, but Justin said it was good 🙂  It sure looked good to me!  Plus it’s always fun to have another variation of grilled cheese.

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese
serves one

2 slices bread of choice
2 slices ham lunch meat (nitrite/nitrate/HFCS/MSG free)
3 slices swiss cheese
1/4 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 – 2 Tbsp. homemade mayo (ours is sweeter like miracle whip)

Spread mayo on both slices of bread.  On one slice layer cheese, ham, chicken, cheese, ham, cheese.  Top with the other slice of bread.

Butter the bread and cook on a buttered griddle until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Simple Chicken Nuggets

I’ve made chicken nuggets countless times.  I’ve made them in a variety of ways.  But I have always used chicken breast or roasted chicken.

Last week I put chicken nuggets on my menu…then went to the freezer to get chicken…and found I had no chicken breast.  Hmmm.

I did have some ground chicken, so I figured I’d go with that.  I had no recipe and not a lot of time to prepare dinner.  And I had my usual little “helper” in the kitchen (Abram thinks he must be held whenever I’m cooking so he can watch and try to get his hands on whatever I’ll let him).

I came up with an easy, delicious chicken nugget recipe that we all loved.

This is a great recipe if you’re trying to get your kids to eat homemade chicken nuggets instead of a fast food version.  By using ground chicken you can make them round…or whatever shape you want really 🙂  They look like the typical nugget, but they only have good stuff in them.

I used a combination of bread crumbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese for the breading.  You can skip the cheese if you want.  And you can sub wheat flour, coconut flour or almond flour for the bread crumbs.

I also used egg yolks for a binder.  If you can’t eat eggs you can leave them out.  They will still hold together.

One other bonus about this recipe – they are baked.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to fry things in healthy fat like coconut oil, butter and lard.  But it can be messy and you have to monitor the stove.  I like it when I can prepare dinner, stick it in the oven and forget about it until it’s time to eat.

You can prepare a large batch and freeze them for quick lunches any time.  They didn’t last long enough here to freeze any 🙂  Serve them with homemade ketchup, honey mustard or barbecue sauce.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday and Fat Tuesday.

Simple Chicken Nuggets
dairy free, nut free, grain free, gluten free, egg free options

1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey or pork)
2 egg yolks (optional)
seasoning (I used sea salt, garlic powder and seasoning salt)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

3/4 cup bread crumbs, wheat flour, coconut flour or almond flour
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a large baking sheet.

Mix the chicken, eggs, seasoning and cheese.  In a separate bowl mix the breadcrumbs or flour and cheese.

Take a small scoop of the chicken mixture.  Drop it into the breadcrumb mixture.  Roll it around until it is coated.  Place it on the baking sheet and press down until desired thickness.  Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used.

Bake the chicken nuggets for 30-35 minutes, flipping them over after 20 minutes.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Crockpot Peppercorn Steak

We still have quite a bit of beef in our freezer from last year.  I’m always looking for new ways to cook it.  After searching for a steak recipe I found a simple one on A Year of Slow cooking.  I modified it a little, using what I had on hand.

It turned out great!  I used rib steak…which I don’t generally care about much.  But it was very tender and flavorful this way.  I would definitely make this again.  I served it over rice.  It would also work well over mashed potatoes or polenta.  You could also add potatoes right in the crockpot and make it a one pot meal.  I’ll post the recipe the way I made it.

Crockpot Peppercorn Steak

Steak (any kind you like.  I used one large rib steak.  There was plenty of sauce.  I could have cooked two steaks in it)
1 pint tomato soup (preferably homemade, else plain tomato sauce)
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
(any vegetables you like will work here)
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1//2 tsp. pepper

Place meat in crockpot.  Add vegetables.  Pour in tomato soup, water and seasoning.  Cook on low 7 or more hours (the longer it cooks the more tender it will be) or on high 5 or more hours.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

RR – Cheese Chicken Nuggets

I’m starting a new recipe category – RR.  It does not stand for Rachael Ray (especially since I rarely make her recipes).  It stand for Rebecca’s Recipes!  As Rebecca and I create and make her recipes I’ll share them…if they are worth sharing 🙂

This week we made “cheese chicken nuggets.”  It’s a chicken nugget (her favorite) filled with cheese.  I made them using two methods.  They both worked fine.  I cut up some chicken chunks.  Then I pounded some of them thin and rolled them up with cheese inside.  Some I just cut a slit in the side and stuffed with a chunk of cheese.  Then I breaded them all and baked them.  They tasted great!  I was pretty rushed when making dinner, so I didn’t do them as neatly as I would have liked and didn’t get in as much cheese as I would have liked.  But they were still great.  I’ll make them again for sure!  I served them with homemade honey mustard.

Cheese Chicken Nuggets

2 large chicken breasts
cheese, cut into strips or chinks or shredded (I used parmesan in some and white cheddar in others)

organic AP flour
panko
egg
seasoning of choice

Cut chicken into large chunks.

Method 1:

Pound chicken pieces very thin.  Place small amount of cheese at one end and roll.

Method 2:

Cut large slit into chicken chunks.  Stuff cheese inside.

Bread:

Coat in flour, then beaten egg, then seasoned panko or homemade bread crumbs.

Cook:

Place on coconut oil greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with coconut oil.  Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

OR

Fry in a cast iron skillet in coconut oil/palm shortening/lard until crispy on all sides.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Ham and Peas Casserole

I subscribed to Every Day with Rachael Ray a while back…like years ago.  I would often rip out recipes that looked good.  I had a big pile of things I was going to try making…at some point.  Well, last week I found that pile of recipes.  I went through it and got rid of all but two of them 😛  I saved the two that I thought I would actually make and put them on the menu this week.  I tried the first one last night.  It’s a simple casserole.  And it’s delicious!!  Ham and peas casserole is like cornbread mixed into quiche.  It almost reminds me of the flavor of creamed corn with the subtle sweetness from the cornbread.  We all really enjoyed this casserole.  It’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  And the leftovers are great too (I had a delicious breakfast today :).  Plus it’s very easy to make (as long as you have ham and cornbread on hand…which we actually did this week!).

I didn’t actually measure anything.  I just used 2 leftover corn muffins and about a half cup of ham we had left from Sunday’s dinner.  I also used more eggs than the recipe called for.  And in typical RR recipe fashion I had to modify the cooking time/temp.  If I had cooked it at 350 for 40 minutes we would have been eating ham and pea soup for dinner 😛  I baked mine at 400 for about an hour.  I’ll post the original recipe with a few of my mods.  Overall this was a great recipe.  I plan to make it again.

Ham and Peas Casserole

1 1/2 cups ham, cut into small pieces
7 oz. cornbread, cut into small cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (I used more than this)
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
2 cups whole milk
3 eggs plus one yolk, lightly beaten (I used 3 whole eggs and 3 yolks)
salt

Heat oven to 350 (I baked mine at 400).

Butter a 9″ casserole dish.  In a bowl toss the ham, cornbread, peas and thyme.  Transfer to the baking dish.

In the same bowl combine the milk, eggs and salt.  Pour into baking dish.  Let stand 15 minutes.

Bake until the custard is just set in the center, 40-45 minutes (I baked mine for 1 hour).

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.