Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10 Dairy Free Calcium Sources

Do you get enough Calcium?
Are you lactose in-tolerate?
Do you not have a good source for clean, raw milk?
Do you follow a strict Paleo diet?

A question I received the other day that I never really considered was:

On Paleo, where do you get your Calcium?

It is great question, but many of eating a Paleo Diet take it for granted.  It is really important to consider calcium intake, especially if you are feeding young children, nursing, or are a pregnant mother.
The recommended daily calcium, by age:

On the Paleo Diet, it is not recommended that you consume dairy products of any kind.  On a Primal Diet, they incorporate grass fed gutter/ghee, and raw milk/cheese.  The reasoning behind this thought is that most of us cannot tolerate modern day dairy products.  With homogenization and pasteurization, we have eliminated the natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria that help us digest these foods.   If you have a good source of grass fed, raw dairy products, and are not in the midst of an allergic flare up, I feel raw dairy products are amazing (especially homemade Kefir).
However, based on my experience, most families do not have this available to them and need to avoid dairy.  

So what do you do if you cannot have dairy products? Where do you get your calcium?

10 Dairy Free Calcium Sources:

1. Collard Greens -  357mg/1 cup boiled, this is more calcium than a glass of milk!

photo courtesy of Food Network

2. Spinach, 1 cup cooked 

image via simply recipes

3. Black Strap Mollases 172mg/ Tbsp

Photo via Vegetarian Times

4. Dried Figs 107 mg/ 8 whole dried figs

photo via driedfruits.com

5. Herbs - 1 Tbsp of Thyme, Oregano, or Basil all carry around 80 mg

6. Kale - 94 mg/ 1 cup cooked

7. Bok Choy aka Chinese Cabbage74 mg / 1 cup cooked or raw

8. Oranges 72 mg/ 1 cup

image via Wikimedia Commons

9. Almonds 70 mg/1 oz

10. Broccoli 62 mg/1 cup

image via addapinch.com

Next time you are thinking about taking a calcium supplement (that is really hard for your body to digest), consider getting your source directly from your real food!
We enjoy many of these items on a regular basis, which one is your favorite?

This post has been shared on:
Thank Goodness It's Monday
Party Wave Wednesday
Thank Your Body Thursday


Sweet Potato Disks - my go-to side dish

When I am looking to throw together a meal in under 30 minutes, with a hungry husband and 11 month old under foot, I need something easy, tasty, and great for baby food later. 

We have this at least 1x per week.

My go-to side dish is Sweet Potato Disks.  I have made these for our little family of three and I have made these for when we have a big group of company coming over.  They are always a hit and everyone asks for the recipe. 

It is so simple it hardly needs a recipe.

Are you ready?

Sweet Potato Disks


2-3 sweet potatoes - yellow, ruby, or white - any kind, or mix and match
garlic powder
coconut or olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel the sweet potatoes with a potato peeler, slice the potatoes into disks.
Place the disks onto a cookie sheet lined with foil, or my favorite (use it EVERY DAY) a stoneware bar ban ---> http://amzn.to/18nwc31

Drizzle the disks with coconut or olive oil, toss to coat - a light coating is good, you just want to make it so your seasoning will stick.

Sprinkle the disks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Must cumin "shakers" do not let out much, you want to give them a good sprinkle of cumin.

When deciding if you have enough seasoning - think season fries - you want to see the good stuff!

Bake the disks for 25-30 mins or until they are tender and starting to brown. Flipping half way through.

These make a GREAT easy side dish for pork chops, steak, baked chicken, or really any other savory protein.

My 11 month old LOVES to have these as a snack, I cut them into bite sized pieces for him, perfect finger food. 

What is your go- to side dish?

This post has been shared on:
Fat Tuesday 
Party Wave Wednesday

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Mash-up - My Favorite "pins" of the week

Monday Mash-up - My favorite "pins" of the week

Click the name/link below the photo to repin the recipe:

Spicy Tuna Rolls

I hope you enjoy the pins of the week

I would love to hear from you on what you made this past week.


Yuppie Farm Girl

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paleo Stuffed Mushrooms

4 Large or 7 mini Portobello mushrooms (you could also make appetizers with 20-25 regular mushrooms)

1 lb Italian pork sausage – casing removed if purchased in links

½ green bell pepper diced

½ red or yellow bell pepper diced
1 shallot minced
Diced mushroom stems (from the mushrooms you are filling)

1 large handful of organic spinach
a few shakes to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves minced
1 egg
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon coconut flour 
Preheat oven to 400.

Place the ground sausage into a large skillet over medium heat and start to brown. While the meat is starting to cook, brush the mushrooms with a paper towel to remove any remnant soil, rinsing mushrooms makes them soggy (big no-no, no one wants soggy shrooms). 

Remove the stems and set them aside, carefully scoop out the feathery insides of the mushrooms with a spoon. Now you have created the perfect vessel for your yummy stuffing.

Dice the bell peppers, shallots, spinach and mushroom stems.

Add the chopped veggies, garlic, red pepper flakes to the meat.

 Cook until the veggies are tender.  

Move the meat/veggie mixture to a food processor and the egg, olive oil and the coconut flour.  Process until the mixture is finely chopped but NOT mushy, it should be chopped fine but still chunky.  

Scoop mixture into the mushroom caps – make them really full. 

 Place the stuffed mushrooms in a large glass baking dish. Spoon any remaining mixture around the mushrooms and cook your stuffed mushrooms in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

These are a great snack that can easily be reheated, or serve it with sauteed kale, swish chard, or other yummy veggie. 

When my husband tried them he said
 "wow this is the closest thing to pizza I have had in a long time".

This post was shared on:
Thank Goodness it's Monday from Nourishingjoy.com
Fat Tuesday from Realfoodforager.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rice Free Spicy Tuna Rolls - #lowcarb #paleo #gluten free

Sushi, that, glamorous, yuppie and not so "farm girl" type of food.  I remember many years ago when my sister took my mom and I for our first sushi lunch date.  We loved it immediately, however when we tried to take my dad The Farmer..well let's just say it ended with "I thought that was avocado!" while gulping wasabi. 

After a few more attempts he started to love it and when a farmer can love sushi, anyone can!  My family loves to eat at this "all you can eat" local sushi place that is delicious, but once my husband and I started eating paleo/grain free, we started avoiding rice.  When you are avoiding rice...all you can eat sushi places are not very friendly.  They want you to fill up on the rice, not the pricey fish!  

Did you know that sushi rolls traditionally have about 1 to 2 cups of rice!

How many rolls do you normally eat at a night out for sushi?  I would have to guess the average is 2, maybe even 3.  Would you ever consider eating 3-6 cups of rice?!  That is a LOT of rice, even when you are not avoiding it. 

I decided to try my hand at making a Rice Free Spicy Tuna Roll at home. Umm hello - it is GREAT!  

Rice Free Spicy Tuna Roll:


Bell Peppers

Tuna Filling:
2 cans pole caught, dolphin safe,wild tuna, when using this brand there is no need to drain the tuna
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or more depending on your likeness) make it like you would normally make a tuna sandwich.
1-2 Tbsp Garlic Chili Sauce 

Start out with some avocado, scoop them out with a spoon and slice onto a plate

Slice fresh veggies like bell pepper and cucumber.  
Carrots, radish, and other crispy veggies are great too.

Mix your spicy tuna filling: tuna, mayo, and garlic chili sauce

Place a "log" of the spicy tuna filling onto a sheet of seaweed paper

place the avocado and veggies on top of the tuna

Roll the seaweed paper tightly around the filling,
 tucking in the contents ends they try to escape. Have a small bowl or cup of water handy.  
Touch your finger tips into the water and run them along the edge of the seaweed to help make it sticky so you can seal the roll upon itself. Think of an envelope.  You don't want to saturate it... otherwise you have a mess... just dab it on and press.  You will get the feel for it. 

Set your rolls aside, until you are done making all of them.

Now get a sharp (non serrated) knife, dip it in water and slice the rolls into 1- 1 1/2 inch thick pieces. 

That's it!  Home made, yummy, rice free, gluten free, low carb, Spicy Tuna Rolls.  

Serve them with Tamari (that is wheat free soy sauce) - yes soy sauce has wheat in it!

I think these are the cutest little sushi plates --> http://amzn.to/1cHdA4t- cheap and free shipping too! These ones are a little more traditional ---> http://amzn.to/1cHdJF5  

I LOVE serving these rolls on special sushi plates, I feel like I am eating out! The set I have was hand made by a women who sold pottery next to my parents at the farmers markets in Napa Valley, she gave me this set for Christmas one year.  She diet not long ago and I think of her every time I pull them out.  

Have you ever made sushi at home?  What is your favorite roll?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Meat Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

One of the hardest things to give up when eating a clean diet is pasta.  Those hot carbs get ya every time.  However, nature made many yummy healthy carbs that substitute well.  We love to make spaghetti using spaghetti squash.  

This home made meat sauce is one that tastes best if you can let is simmer on low for most of the day, it is also my way of feeling Italian.  When people call you can say "ohh just cooking some homemade sauce for dinner" it will sound like you are slaving away... but really it is just slowly bubbling into goodness while you browse pinterest.

Ok so first step to make this Meat Sauce with Spaghetti Squash is the sauce.

Yuppie Farm Girl's Home Made Meat Sauce:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion (baseball size) - chopped
3 celery stalks - chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 lb ground pork
2 lbs ground beef
2 15oz. cans tomato sauce
1 15oz can whole or crushed tomatoes (with juice)
1 bay leaf (if you have it)


Add olive oil to LARGE stock pot over medium heat (one like this would work--->http://amzn.to/1bpd9dA)
Add chopped onion and chopped celery
Saute until starting to soften
Add salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, red pepper flakes, and garlic
Stir until fragrant and all veggies are translucent and soft.

Add ground pork and ground beef to veggies, cook until browned
Spoon off some of the fat (you can also leave it for more flavor)

Pour in tomato sauce, and whole or crushed tomatoes

Stir and bring to low boil, stir and "mash" the tomatoes with your spoon or potato masher.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer covered (or slightly uncovered) for 2+ hours, longer cook time = more flavor.

Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Enjoy over fresh roasted spaghetti squash.

 Do you make spaghetti or other pasta using spaghetti squash?  What is your favorite "faux recipe"

Chai Spiced Pear Sauce (new take on apple sauce)

I love when the weather starts to cool off and you can fill your home with yummy treats in the crock pot. I love making apple sauce, but my husband is allergic to apples!!  I know right... shoot me now!  So I recently came up with a great alternative - pear sauce!  It is delicious.  Combining that with his favorite seasoning - Chai spice!  It is a winner.

10 ripe pears  - pears are the one fruit you want to pick or buy green and hard, then let soften at home, otherwise they can have a grainy texture  (you can also split this into 1/2 pears and 1/2 apples)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tea bag of Organic Chai Tea (I used this brand--->http://amzn.to/17GUSEv ), open the tea bag and use the contents or "spices" inside
1 tsp cinnamon

**of course you can adjust this to how many pears/apples you have on hand.  The amount listed above should make one quart sized mason jar full of Chai Spiced Apple Pear Sauce.

Peel and core the pears (and apples if using them), I used a pairing knife, it is quite simple to peel and core ripe pears because they are so soft. Cut the fruit into large chunks or big bite sized pieces, this does not have to be perfect, they will break down as the cook.

Add the fruit along with the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and stir to coat well.

The pears will break down much faster than a traditional apples sauce (see my crock pot apple sauce recipe). Cook it on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.  Cooking time depends on your crock pot, the ripeness of your pears, and how "saucy" you want it.   ha... saucy, yup I just said it and we are not at the club!

Do you make fruit "sauces" other than apple?  I love trying new things, I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Guest Blog Post from my BFF- Easy Yoga You Can Do At Home

Today I am sooo exited to announce my very first guest blog on Yuppie Farm Girl! The guest post is written by my oldest friend Lauren (no she is not old, look at this hot mama!).  Lauren and I have been friends for almost 15 years.  We have led parallel lives, seriously, in almost everything, we have taken similar paths. We met in high school showing animals together at our county fairs, she showed sheep, I showed pigs.  If you know anything about fairs... pig people and sheep people do.not.get.along.  We broke the rules and have been close ever since. She is passionate about health and wellness and can teach all of us a thing or two about Yoga!   I asked Lauren to do this post because I wanted to start doing more yoga, but was having trouble finding the time to go to a studio, I needed to learn how to do a simple flow at home! Lauren and I have been by each others sides through many life changing events and I cannot imaging a better person to have on my blog as the first guest blogger. 

Meet Lauren, beautiful wife, mother, and yoga instructor.  She pretty much rocks!  
Go to her blog right now and follower her, you can thank me later!

This blog post is part B of her Yoga Is Just A Study Hall (Plus, Stay Tuned for Building Strength and Flexibility at Home) post that she did early this week, check it out, it is a great post about why EVERYONE can do yoga and to not compare your self to anyone. 

OK, let's get onto the good stuff here!


Hi there Yuppie Farm Girl fans, my name is Lauren and I would love to teach you more about how to build strength and flexibility with a simple yoga sequence (pictures included!!) you can do at home...

 So many people say, "I would do yoga, but I am not flexible!" Well, you are in luck because being flexible is not a prerequisite to do yoga. However, being WILLING is.

But, if you want to try a simple flow at home that you will often find in a vinyasa flow class, start out with this sequence. The Sanskrit name for this sequence is Surya Namaskar A
Surya means sun and Namaskar means salulation. Hence, Sun Saluation A, or shorter, Sun A. See, already easy! When you put these poses together, moving into each pose with the inhale or exhale of your breath, and repeat the sequence over and over, it creates a circle, or in Sanskrit, a mandala. 


(Nod your head, yes...)

Ok, here we go!

Don't mind me. I was just laughing at something my lovely photographer said to me. Thanks, Ang!! :)

1. Start out in Tadasana/Mountain Pose. Bring your ankles together and feel the four corners of your feet root down into your mat. Lift your knee caps up to engages your quadriceps and thighs, bring your palms by your side facing forward, roll your shoulders down your back, and reach the crown of your head up towards the sky. As you stand here, breath deeply in and out through your nose, long inhales and long exhales (Ujjayi Pranyama if you have this in your practice). Feel the muscles in your body start to activate.

2. As you INHALE, circle your arms up toward the sky and get long through your whole body, soften your shoulders down your back and root your feet down into your mat. Urdva Hastasana/Upward Hand Pose.

3.  EXHALE out all of your breath as your fold in half. Wrap your hands behind your calves or place them on the earth to encourage your nose closer to your knees. Uttanasana/Standing Forward Fold).  Suggestions: It is OK if your nose does not touch your knees, as long as this is an active pose. Try to resist the urge to simply fold in half and hang your arms down. That is bending over at your waist. That is passive, not active. If you want to try to work deeper into Uttanasana, imagine that you are ringing out a sponge, so every time you INHALE, you create a little bit of space between your chest and your thighs and length through your spine, then as you EXHALE, gently hug your nose to your knees as you empty out your breath. As your belly empties with air, you are able to go a little deeper into this pose. This is where increased FLEXIBILITY comes in. :)

4. INHALE, bend your knees slightly, bring your hands to your shins or tent your fingertips on your mat, and come to a flat back by squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you. Actively draw your shoulders away from your ears to take any roundness out of your back. Bring your gaze about 6-8 inches in front of your big toes and reach the crown of your head forward. Pull your low belly up and in. Feel the muscles in your body activate. Ardha Uttanasana/Half Way Lift.

Suggestions: Notice the difference between the above picture and the one before. If you feel like your shoulders are sliding closer to your ears than they are sliding down your back, you may actually have a round back. This will feel much more passive than the correct pose. Try creating more length through your spine by imagining that the crown of your head is an extension of your spine. 

5. EXHALE, place your hands down on your mat slightly in front of your feet, then step one leg back, then the other to come into High Plank Pose (high push up position). Bring your hands about shoulder width apart directly under your shoulders, and your feet about hip distance apart. Reach the crown of your head forward as if your spine was one long line from the crown of your head to the heels of your feet. Broaden your shoulders across your back, pull your navel up and in, and press your heels back as if you were pressing a wall away with your heels. Your entire body is active. Nothing about this pose is passive. Suggestions: Plank is a great place to build strength! If this pose feels relatively comfortable to you, stay here and breathe in and out through your nose. If you need a little less and are working on building strength, place your knees down to give yourself some support. 

6. EXHALE, rock forward on your tip tip tippy toes so that your shoulders move past your wrists, lower half way down (That's right! HALF WAY!). Squeeze your elbows into your rib cage. You can even look back at your shoulders to see that they are in line with your elbows. If this pose feels OK to you, move onto picture B below. Suggestions: If you are kissing your mat, you are more than half way down. :) Notice that I said ROCK FORWARD THEN LOWER DOWN. I feel that this is SUPER IMPORTANT because this will help save your wrists, especially after lots of Chaturangas! You will know that you rocked forward far enough if your wrists are directly under your elbows when you lower half way down. IF you don't feel that you can hold this pose, either place your knees down on the mat, OR lower your entire body to your mat, so your chest, belly, hips, thighs, and shins touch the floor at the same time. If you do this, move onto picture A below.

7A. Lying on your belly, flip the tops of your feet over and press the toe-nail side of your feet down into your mat. Walk your fingertips towards your hips so that your hands are underneath your elbows. As you INHALE, squeeze your shoulder blades and elbows together behind you. Tent your fingertips on your mat and draw your heart through. Reach the crown of your head forward, gaze down and slightly forward. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and lift your knees and shins off the mat. Bhujangasana/Cobra (or Low Cobra). Every muscle is active. (move onto number 8 below) Suggestions: Work on building strength in your upper back, imagine holding a pencil with your shoulder blades. That is how much you are squeezing them together. Instead of pressing your hands DOWN into the mat to lift your chest up, press your fingertips slightly down but then back, so if your belly and feet were not on the mat, you would shoot forward, like you were belly down on a skateboard using your hands to propel you forward (yep, that is the best I could come up with on that one). Press your pubic bone down into the mat to find a little more height. If you want a little extra for your upper back, try lifting your hands up off the mat about an inch. 

7B. INHALE, flip the tops of your feet over and straighten your arms to pull your heart through and up. Draw your shoulders down your back away from your ears. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. The only points of contact with the earth are the tops of your feet and the palms of your hands. Knees and thighs are lifted. Everything is active and engaged. Urdva Mukha Svanasana/Upward Facing Dog. Suggestions: Instead of locking your arms, ever so slightly bend your elbows, with the point of your elbows pointed back behind you. This will draw your heart forward and through your arms.

8. EXHALE, lift your hips up from your navel (imagine a string attached to your navel lifting your hips up), roll over your toes or simply turn your feet back over, push up and back, Adho Mukha Svanasana/Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers out really wide to create a firm hand lock with the earth. Lift your sit bones up towards the sky, then encourage your chest towards the tops of your thighs. Let your heels soften towards the earth. Suggestions: To find where a comfortable Downward Facing Dog is for you, simply come to a High Plank, then lift your hips up and press your chest towards your thighs. You really shouldn't have to adjust your feet or hands too much. Some adjusting is OK, but try not to walk your feet up too close to your chest just to get your heels to touch the ground, or walk your feet back so that you have something in between High Plank and Downward Facing Dog.

9. Next step is not pictured. INHALE, look forward at your hands, slightly bend your knees, then EXHALE. HOLD OUT ALL OF YOUR AIR, then step one foot forward to meet your hands at the top of your mat, then the other foot. By emptying out the air from your lungs and belly and holding it out, you now have room to be able to step forward. If you try to step forward with a ton of air inside of you, you will not have room to bring your knees forward to step up. It may sound awkward, but try it both ways. You will notice a difference. 

10. INHALE, to a flat back. Create length through your spine. Ardha Uttanasana/Half Way Lift. (Guess what! You already did this one!)

11. EXHALE, forward fold. Hug your nose to your knees. (You did this one, too!)

NOW, repeat from the beginning, and keep repeating as many times as you want! Each time you will start to notice that you will be able to go a little deeper into your Forward Fold, or that you might be able to lower half way down in Chaturanga without setting your knees down. And see what I mean!? The sequence is just a circle! And that is how you build strength and flexibility at home with this simple sequence.

Wait! What?! That didn't seem very simple to you?! Well, I get that. There was a lot of cues and do this and do that, yadda yadda. Yeah, it would have been a lot easier for me to just write, ENGAGE EVERYTHING, ACTIVATE ALL OF YOUR MUSCLES, THIS IS AN ACTIVE POSE, and so on and so forth. But, what does that really mean? If I simply just said that, you wouldn't know what muscles to even start with! I know that for a fact because I have been there and had that blank look on my face! Maybe all of those cues seem like too much right now, but if you focus on one different cue each time you repeat the sequence, eventually you will have activated your entire body and you can put it all together!! WOOHOO! Pretty cool, right!

Sure, you could move through this entire sequence without much muscular engagement going on, but you wouldn't be working on building strength or flexibility. This sequence really is the foundation for all the other stuff, even handstand! 

Oh, and let's not forget some of the other important physical health benefits of SUN A's! It helps all of the body systems such as circulation and heart, lungs, nervous system, digestive system, and endocrine organs. It can't get much better than that, right!

Ok, now, off you go! Maybe set a goal to do a few Sun A's per day, and increase a few each time. Let me know how many Sun Salutation A's you did!

Thank you Lauren - we love you and now our bodies love you too!!

Go to her blog right now and follower her, seriously I told you once, ok ok I will tell you again!
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: 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.