Roasted Nuts (Whole 30)

Lately , I find myself obsessed with Culver’s Cranberry Bacon Bleu salad.  I want it for every meal.  It’s just iceberg lettuce, bacon, chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, cranberries and ranch dressing. I am embarrassed to say I pay someone 7 dollars a salad to make it for me.   I know I could make this cheaper, better and Whole 30 compliant by making it myself.   Of course, I could change it up any way I want to.

The first thing I want to add to the salad with a textural element so I decided I wanted to add some nuts.  Being fall, I decided to try my hand at pumpkin spice roasted nuts.   Whenever, I decided to adapt a recipe, I google it and look at a bunch of similar recipes for ideas on how to proceed with mine.   I have had a major problem doing this since doing my first Whole 30.  When I google sugar-free or no sugar added, I get recipes with no cane or beet sugar but added sugars like honey, maple syrup, stevia, Splenda or other natural or artificial sugars.  It is so frustrating!!!  It’s a problem with canned goods, as well as recipes.

I guess I have to do what I have always done and find away to make it myself .  Well, actually,  Mark Bittman found a way to make sugar-free, roasted nuts.  You can use any blend of spices you like.  I used my pumpkin spice blend found here.

Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman

Note:  I make these in 1 cup batches because they could be a food with no breaks for me.

1 cup (about 8 ounces,)  raw, unsalted, shelled nuts of your choice

1 TBS melted Ghee

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine ghee, salt and pepper.  Add the nuts and toss to coat. . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the nuts in a single layer.  Roast the nuts, shaking occasionally, until they are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Let the nuts cool before serving.  The nuts will crisp up as they cool.

Roasted Spiced Nuts:  Add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of any spice mixture, like chili or curry powder, to the mix.  Toss the  nuts with the spice at the beginning.



Spice Blend Round Up


Yesterday, a lady who was in  my line started telling me  “hey, look at the bird.  Look at the bird.”  I thought she was a customer who had heard me tell others I had parrots and was kidding around with me.  I looked where she was pointing and sure enough, there was a little sparrow sitting underneath the cart.    It flew off so I yelled at one of my coworkers to watch were it went and make sure no one stepped on it or bothered it till I could get there.   For some reason the first instinct is to run and get a broom and try to sweep it out.  Then after that doesn’t work, there next step is to come and get me because I have parrots I must know how to deal with wild birds too.

In this case, I do but it’s mostly just common sense.  A bird who feels threatened is going to fly up and stay high to get away.  A bird who isn’t feeling threatened is going to stay as still as possible so as not to attracted a predators attention. When the bird goes still is when you can find  a way to gently pick the bird up and take him outside.   That’s what I did.  I took off my vest and gently approached the bird, telling him I just wanted to help.  As soon as I got close enough I gently dropped my vest over him and scooped him up and headed for the door.  I am sure people thought I was nuts walking around talking to my cupped hands but I just wanted to reassure the little guy I meant him no harm and was taking him somewhere he would be safe.  I put him down in the bushes.  He looked at me then flew away.  I felt like I had done a good thing.

I have been making a lot of spice blends to give as gifts lately.  It’s a pain looking through about 350 recipes to find the recipes I need ( I found some of my recipes are not indexed.  I am working on that.) so I thought I would gather them all in one place.






Greek Seasoning Blend (Whole 30)


In case you were wondering, I got the package from my mom yesterday.  When the mailman knocked at my door I may have squealed, I was so excited.  I may have a 47 year old body but I have a 5 year old brain.  That 5 year old brain is excited by unexpected presents from my mom.

For Christmas last year, my mom gave me the gift of making me a pot holder for every month of 2017.  My September pot holder was in the box, as well two pillow cases she made to match the quilt she made for my new bed earlier this summer.

There was also a Prefered Savings coupon book.  The book features buy one / get one coupons to restraunts throughout Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead.  I’ll get to try a lot of places I wouldn’t otherwise get to because of the expense.  My inner foodie is looking forward to that.

Thank you for the presents, Mom.  They brightened up a rather dreary Monday.

Greek Seasoning Blend

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp Basil

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp onion flakes

1/2 tsp dill weed

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp rosemary

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, mix well.  Store in an air tight container.



Dry Ranch Dressing Mix (Whole 30)

I fully intended to cook a meal when I got home from work tonight. I had all my spices lined up on the counter, my adaption and the cookbook it was adapted from were right next to the spices, ready for reference.

What I didn’t expect when I got home is being so tired  all I wanted to do is go to bed. Instead of making Rogan Josh like I planned, I made a big bowl of buttered popcorn sprinkled with the dry ranch seasoning  I made earlier in the week.

When mixed with mayonnaise the seasoning blend makes an awesome ranch dressing.   Without the mayonnaise the ranch seasoning blend doesn’t taste much like ranch dressing but still makes an awesome seasoing blend for other things, like popcorn.  I will be experimenting with ranch seasoing blend in some of my other recipes that call for it see how they turn out.  I will post them here if they do.

Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

adapted from Perrys Plates Whole 30 Recipes Instagram takeover

2 TBS dried parsley

1 1/2 TBS  dried chives

1 TBS  dried dillweed

1 1/2 TBS dry mustard

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried minced onion

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container in a cool place.   To make ranch dressing: combine 1 cup mayo and 1 to 2 TBS ranch dressing mix.  Thin with milk untill desired consistency is reached.  

Everything Bagel Spice (Whole 30)


I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my flock, his name is Jonas. He is a little blueish grey parakeet. He came to live with me last Monday.  It is always fun to get to know a new animal but it has been a long time since I got a new bird and an even longer time since I got such a young bird.  I had forgotten how much work the little ones are.

Slowly, Jonas is revealing his personality to me.  I have already learned Jonas is pretty fearless.  When I took him out of the box he came home in, he immediately jumped on the big cage and introduced himself to everyone.  Instead of needing a few days in a separate cage to get used to eveyone else, Jonas just climbed inside the big cage and took over a perch. Jonas  is  starting to let me pick him up and hold him without having to chase him around the cage.  I should be able to start finger training him and training him to stay where I put him soon.


Everything Bagel Spice

1 TBS dried onion flakes

1 TBS sesame seeds

2 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

pinch black pepper

pinch red pepper

Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, gently grind the spice mixture.  You just want to break up the onion flakes a bit not grind it into powder.  Use it  anywhere you need a bit of spice.