My car is now a cafe

So busy. So so so busy. That is life nowadays. We rush from place to place and grab food wherever we can. I know now that nursing school for me, is in full swing, I spend so much time on campus and then rushing around trying to get errands done. This has lead to a resurgence in fast food in my world. I can tell you, that does not feel good. While I am on fire in my workouts, I can’t out excersize bad nutrition. Not to mention I can’t afford the hit to my wallet haha. So I came up with a solution. My car is now a cafe. Before you as no, I am not open to the public, and no, I have not lost my mind
I have designed an on the go healthy eating resivour that will travel with me. I gathered snacks, utensils, hand wipes, condiment packets, and even a mini cooler that keeps things cold for 24hrs. All of this in my car will ensure that when I am out and about I have no shortage of healthy options. I have heard of others keeping food with them on the go but until now, I didn’t have a clue what to put in it. I felt blocked. Thankfully I found some inspiration and now I will share a few ideas with you. I gathered up a fun mix of carbs, protein, and fat, to make my box a well rounded source of nutrition. Some of these items are not perfectly paleo but, I still feel they count as whole food.


Indivudually wrapped dill pickles (these take care of my potato chip cravings)

Single serve hummus packs

Single serving guacamole packs 

Mama chia squeeze packs

Grass fed jerky

Single servings of nuts 

Healthy kettle corn 

Individual nut butter packs

Single serving carrot packs

Salad mix in serving sized containers

Grapes

Oranges

Apples 

Grass fed/ raw cheese

Lunch meat 

Cooked bacon slices 

Paleo wraps

doTERRA slim and sassy gum/ capsules (crush cravings and boost metabolism

Condiment packages of mustard and mayo, hot sauce, and barbeque sauce

Apple slicer, mini cutting board, Knives, forks, hand wipes and a cooler that lasts 24hrs.


These are just some ideas and inspiration for you all to use. It us born out of my personal struggle to fuel my body and leave fast food out of everyday life. When I have this in my car now, I have my own personal cafe. I can grab a snack for class, take a moment to make a crazy good salad or wrap, or refuel after a hard workout. With a cooler on hand, the possibilities are endless I can pack a soup, steak bites or other leftovers from dinner for a completely prepped lunch with no hassle. All of this in my car, on the go. 
I hope you find this helpful! If you do something similar I would love to hear what you keep on hand. I also want to see pictures of your on the go car systems. Head over to instagram and post them, just make sure to tag me in them so I can see or use the hashtag #mycarisacafe 

-Ladybug 

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

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MMMmmm bacon. Few foods inspire as much love or as much hate as bacon. I personally feel like, bacon that has been sourced from a local farmer or other trusted source, is an ok option. Let my bacon lovers rejoice! One of my other flavor loves, is ranch. If you need a dairy free option, you can check out my recipe here. So lets get down to the goods. Chicken bacon ranch salad. This salad is a full meal, with the addition of potatoes ensuring even the heartiest eaters will be contented. I have written this recipe in a one person serving. If you plan to prepare this for a family, remember to multiply the ingredients.

Serves 1

Cook time: 40 minย 

What you will need:

1/3 pound of ย chicken

1 large red potato

2 cups of mixed lettuce

1/4 cup mixed chopped veggies of choice

2 slices of bacon

1/4 cup of dressing (see here)

1 Tsp garlic powder

1/2 Tsp chives

 

Directions:

Cut the potato into 6 chunks. Season with garlic powder and chives. Steam until tender. (If you want an extra health punch, steam in bone broth instead of water.)

While the potato bites are steaming, fry the slices of bacon until crispy.

Add your chicken to a pot of boiling water and allow to boil until the chicken is done. (Usually it will be white all the way through.) Remove from water, pat dry and slice into bite sized chunks. Sprinkle with a little salt and garlic powder to taste.

When the potato is done you are ready to assemble your salad. Toss potatoes, chicken, salad and chopped veggies all together. Crumble the bacon on top, drizzle with ranch dressing and serve!
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This recipe blew my family away. The hearty flavors mixed with the light crunch of lettuce, combine to create a full course meal in just one plate. I hope you and your family find room for this meal in your upcoming cooking explorations.ย 

 

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing

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When I go without dairy I find eating salad much more daunting. I love ranch so much. I put it on everything. Popcorn, pizza, veggies, crackers, chips, need I go on? Ranch without dairy however…let’s just say it lacks pizzazz aaaaand pretty much any sort of goodness. Dairy free ranch = evil. So after trying bottle after bottle of nasty dairy free ranch, I started making my own. After tweaking the recipe and trying out different versions, I finally have one I think you will all love. This recipe also has a secret. Probiotics. Yes you read that right this recipe is made using kombucha, a probiotic rich fermented beverage that has a tangy kick.ย 

Ranch Dressing

1 cup sunflower oil based mayo

1 squeeze of lemon juice

1/4 cup plain kombucha (enough to give the dressing your desired consistency)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp sage

2 tsp dill

1/4 tsp chives

1/4 tsp parsley

 

Add the mayo, lemon and kombucha all together and taste. You should get a slight mayo taste with a bit of a tang from the lemon and kombucha. Check to make sure the consistency is right for you. If you need to add more kombucha do it a splash at a time.

Mix in all the spices and herbs. If you desire a bit more flavor feel free to add more of each spice until you get a dressing that matches your level of flavoring.

That is it! Super simple. No more tasteless bottles of store bought dairy free ranch for you! This dressing should be stored in the fridge and will keep for up to a week. I usually find it is gone loooong before that though ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mm mm Bone Broth

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Bone broth is magical. Remember when you were sick and Grandma would always give you chicken soup? That is because “back in the day” chicken soup was made with bone broth as its base. Who knew?!
Bone broth is derived from you guessed it, bones. Specifically bones simmered low and slow for a many hours. This allows the bones to semi break down and release all that stored up collagen, gelatin, amino acid and vitamins/ minerals into a broth for our consumption.

Some of the reported health benefits are
-younger looking skin
-repair of leaky gut
-quicker recovery from ingesting gluten  -stronger bones
-better joint health and a whole lot more.
I am a huge believer in bone broth for digestive health. Collagen is vital in healing inflammation and repairing leaky gut.

Are you ready to cook your own yet? Overall this dish is incredibly simple. All you need is veggies, water, bones seasoning and a little time. 

Here is my base recipe
*1.5 lbs of beef marrow bone
*1.5 lbs of oxtail (ask the person at the butcher counter)
4 carrots
1/2 an onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (important to facilitate the breakdown of the bones)

*I use beef most often but you can also swap in bones from 1-2 whole chickens or a few turkey necks, lamb bones or pork. It all depends on what kind of broth you want.
I always recommend using bones from grass fed animals but, some broth is better than no broth so go with what you can afford.

Method #1- The pressure cooker.

I use the Instant pot to make mine. Precious bone broth in a little over 2 hours? Yes please!

Place all ingredients in the instant pot and pour water until it reaches the max fill line.

Select manual time of 120min at high pressure.

When the instant pot has finished and decompressed, strain out the solids and. Let cool.

Once cooled scrap off the top layer of hard white fat. Store the rest in the fridge.

Method #2 – Slow cooker

Add the bones and cover with water until the pot is about 3/4 full.

Add the apple cider vinegar.

Simmer on low/medium for 46 hours

After 46 hours add the veggies and let it go for another 2-3 hours. (Until the veggies are completely soft.)

Strain and store.

Method #3- Stove top

Get a big stockpot and place the bones and apple cider vinegar in it.

Add enough water to fill the pot and cover with a lid.

Simmer on low for 46 hours

After 46 hours add the veggies in and simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Make sure you keep it on low and that your broth doesn’t evaporate off. If your water level goes down more than 1inch, cover your pot again.

After 3 hours strain the solids and let cool.

Scrape the fat off and store.

Bone broth can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

So, there you have it. Three ways to cook up liquid gold. You can now use it with almost anything. You can use it as a bases for soups.
Swap it out for water when your cooking rice, pasta, veggies etc.
Of course you could always drink it straight. What are some ways you use bone broth? Share some ideas in the comments below!