My Summertime Go To Products

This is a mash up of my go to summertime clean products. During quarantine I really honed in on how to optimize my beauty routine to be clean and easy. The products here can be used year round and the titles are links to where they can be found. Everyone of these products are cleaner alternatives to the mainstream products. I have been personally using all of them for months and some for years. I am always interested in learning about the products you are loving right now, so pop them into the comments.

Beautycounter Resurfacing Peel

Ok, so this stuff is a game changer for me. It helps keep my skin from breaking out badly and if I start to have white head build up on my fore head it gets rid of them. It has botanically derived lactic acid in it which makes your skin tingle at first. It helps brighten your skin and make it look smoother. This has been a game changer for lots of my girlfriends and my family.

Beautycounter Charcoal Mask

I have never really been a mask person because I honestly felt like they did nothing for me. To be fair I was buying them from target and the drug store…so there is that too. I have tried a few of the Cocokind ones, though they moisturized my skin I didn’t see much difference. What I like about this charcoal mask is that you can literally see it pulling the toxins out of your pores. As it dries you will see little black dots (little for me I have tiny ass pores) on your face, which is the oils and toxins coming out. This lightly exfoliates and purifies your complexion. I try and use it on a weekly basis in the summer and fall when I am a little more oily. I am actually going to go put it on as I finish this post.

Herbivore Gua Sha Stone

I bought this Herbivore Gua Sha stone at Sephora because they did not have this shape on the herbivore website. I just bought into the Gua Sha stone during my quarantine times. I have these annoying little clear bumps on my forehead. The only thing that has every really gotten rid of them is a facial…that is until I used this Gua Sha stone. So apparently I really needed to get the lymphatic fluid in my face moving to get rid of them. Gua Sha stones are a facial message tool that help reduce puffiness and relieve facial tension. It is super soothing and I love to use it when I feel a tension headache coming on. All in all recommend getting one of these suckers if you want to give yourself in home facials.

Beautycounter Citrus Rosemary Body Oil

I have ridiculously dry skin and this has been a god send. I had been staring at this product for months on Beautycounters page but felt like it was too expensive. When my legs started looking like crocodile skin in July because all the swimming, hiking, and outdoor time, I decided to splurge. Honestly its going to last me forever. You honestly don’t need much and it goes along way. I have been using it every day for 3 weeks and it hardly has a dent in it. So worth the money because its going to last really long, and now my tan looks nice and not all scaly.

Countersun Daily Sheer

All around great face sunscreen. It is sheer, goes on smooth, isn’t greasy, and you can layer it with makeup. All around this gets a solid rating from me. I am really picky about what sunscreen I use….

Dazzle Dry Nail Polish

Well since my nail salon wasn’t open for months I decided to switch to clean nail polish. I love this stuff. It goes on easy and dries super quick. It lasts about a week-10 days on me (but I am super hard on my nails). I have a friend that uses it and it lasts 2-3 weeks on her, she also washes her dishes and cleans with gloves on. You need to buy the whole system for it to go on well, which is a little pricey up front but it lasts a long time. I have never been into painting my own nails and now I love it.

Primally Pure Dry Shampoo

Hands down best dry shampoo. Smells good. Makes my hair last for days without washing. Clean ingredients. Just go order it already.

Beautycounter Vitamin C Serum

I could write a ballad about my obsession with this Vitamin C serum. Its honestly my favorite skincare product. It brightens my skin every morning, it has reduced sun spots and eczema scarring on my face, and all around makes the skin on my face look so good. Since using this my eczema flare ups on my face have diminished immensely. Its worth it, trust me.

Primally Pure Blue Tansy Deoderant

This is my favorite natural deodorant that I have tried so far. But to be honest Beautycounter is about to launch a new one and it smells way better. I am not the biggest fan of the blue tansy smell-Primally Pure really loves to use it. I will be doing a deodorant round up post here soon.

Thanks for reading my summer round up! All these products can be used year round and in the fall. I plan on doing quarterly roundups on the clean products I am loving to share with you guys. If you are interested in trying any of the Beautycounter ones you can always email me for samples.


BBQ Roasted Turnips

I am all about roasting all the root vegetables. I am also all about using all the seasonings in my kitchen. Want to make eating healthy taste yummy? Add spices! I grew up eating so many different spices because my mom was an experimental cook. Fun fact, I used to love smelling spices. Once at an Indian restaurant I thought it would be a good idea to smell/snort cayenne pepper….it did not go well. Another fun fact, if you snort cayenne you can squeeze lemon wedges into your nose to stop the burning.

Turnips are a super versatile vegetable and take on the flavor of the spices you douse them in. This barbecue seasoning is from my BBQ chicken sandwich recipe and adds so much flavor.

BBQ Roasted Turnips

  • Servings: 4 servings
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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time:  20 minutes

 Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients:

3-4 large turnips

2-3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP BBQ seasoning

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the turnips in olive oil and seasoning and spread on the pan.
  3. Roast turnips for 20 minutes until tender. There are many different types and sizes of turnips. If you have small turnips you will want to cut up more then 3-4. If your turnips are huge you may have to add more seasoning or oil so that they are thoroughly coated.


Instant Pot Garlic Turmeric Rice

This recipe is a staple in my house and has become a favorite with my extended family. My husband requests it at least once a week. I know rice is not a paleo food and many people react negatively to it. Organic rice is something that doesn’t impact my digestive system so I eat it. There are lots of things that negatively impact my digestive system (dairy, gluten, sugar, MSG, etc….) so when I find something that works well with me and nourishes me, I try not to restrict it to much. I have received messages on Instagram from people telling me that not all my recipes are paleo….well duh I take the predominantly paleo path. I know that for me its not healthy to be super restrictive because when I restrict I am more likely to binge later on.

Any wayyyy long story short, I love rice. Make this Instant Pot Garlic Turmeric Rice because its delicious.

Instant Pot Garlic Turmeric Rice

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time:  22 minutes total

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup of organic basmati rice

1 cup of bone broth

2 TBSP ghee/coconut oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garlic powder

A dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to the instant pot.
  2.  Set the manual timer for 7 minutes.
  3. Natural release for 10 minutes.


Southwest Chicken Cakes

This is one of my go to recipes to meal prep when I know I am going to need on the go meals. They are easy to throw together and quite yummy. The nice thing about these cakes is that they are super versatile. You can make them with canned chicken or canned salmon (obviously I won’t be doing this as I would die…). They are also good with lots of different toppings, try them with pesto, avocado aioli, burger sauce, or Siracha Mayo.

A couple notes about this recipe, they cook up pretty nice but seem really sloppy when you put them on the pan. Just make sure that they are in a round shape when on the parchment paper and that they are relatively uniform in their thickness.

Southwest Chicken Cakes

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time:  25 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Chicken Cake Ingredients:

4 Cans of Chicken (6 oz cans)

½ Red onion diced fine

1/8 Cup chopped Parsley

1 TBSP coconut aminos

1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 eggs

1/3 Cup Almond Flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp paprika

1 TBSP Ghee/Olive oil/or oil of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the cake ingredients until they are combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop mixture out of the bowl and place on the parchment paper.
  5. Pat down the cakes so that they are ½ inch thick. You should be able to fit 10-12 on the pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the cakes and bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then enjoy!


Ginger Beef Marinade

We bought our first grill this spring and have been having so much fun experimenting with it this summer. My husband is the best grill master, he claims he can’t cook but he can perfectly cook meat without a thermometer. I don’t know how he does it, he can just look at the meat and know its done. Don’t get me started on his steaks…they are always perfectly cooked. We got really into kabobs this spring and originally made this recipe for mothers day. It was such a big hit at mothers day that we have now made it for several family “socially distanced” events.

The key to this recipe is letting the beef marinate for a long time. It is best when the beef marinates overnight, it makes the meat so tender. Its also important to use fresh ginger in this recipe as it provides a more bold flavor then frozen ginger or dried ginger. Honestly, until quarantine I never kept fresh ginger around but now I use it all the time due to its health benefits (making your own ginger shots is way more cost effective). I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Ginger Beef Marinade

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 20 minutes then 3-12 hours to marinate

Cook Time:  10-15 minutes dependent on grill

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients:

¾ cup Coconut Aminos

¼ cup Soy Sauce

2 Limes juiced

¼ cup Sesame Oil

¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar

3 garlic Cloves minced

2 inches of Ginger minced

2 pounds of Chuck Roast chopped or Steak Tips

Kabob sticks

Directions:

  1. Chop your chuck roast into cubes or use steak tips.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, add the steak, marinate for 3 hours to overnight. The longer you leave the steak in the marinade the more flavorful and tender it will be.
  3. When you are ready to cook, preheat your grill for ten minutes until it is about 400 degrees.
  4. Cook the kabobs on the grill for 10 minutes, 5 minutes per side. Every grill is different so check the steaks with a meat thermometer (it should be between 150-160 degrees). You can also always check the meat by cutting open one piece.
  5. You can cook these by themselves or add veggies.

Note: To make this recipe paleo replace the soy sauce with 1/4 cup more coconut aminos and replace the rice wine vinegar with coconut vinegar


Instant Pot Coconut Rice

This recipe really needs no introduction or preamble because its bomb. I had one of those moments where I was craving coconut rice and I thought I would experiment. It turned out amazing after the first try! That never happens…… So here you are, Instant Pot Coconut Rice.

Instant Pot Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 6
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Cook Time: about 25 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

2 cups of Sushi Rice or White Jasmine Rice

1 can of Coconut Milk (full fat)

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

1 cup of Water

Directions:

  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve to rinse off some of the extra starch.
  2. In the Instant Pot pour in the coconut oil, then the rice, then the coconut milk, then the water. Do not stir.
  3. Set the Instant Pot for 10 minutes and let it run its course (it can take up to 15 minutes to pressurize).
  4. When the timer beeps unplug the Instant Pot and let it natural release for 10 minutes.
  5. Open the Instant Pot and enjoy!

Notes: It’s important to pour the oil in first so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Don’t stir the rice as you want to keep the oil on the bottom. This recipe is best made with sushi rice but will work with Jasmine Rice as well.


Roasted Pumpkin Seed Gremolata with Green Beans

Gremolata is essentially an Italian chimichuri. It is used for a topping on meat, vegetables, and pastas. I personally love this recipe on top of veggies and sprinkled on top of pastas. It is super fresh and herb heavy. I currently have an abundance of parsley in my yard so I am using it in as many recipes as possibles. I may have to make some green chicken later this week to use some up. I really love Italian cooking, I briefly lived there for a summer in 2010 and gorged myself on pastas, pizzas, and pastries the whole time I was there. Now that I am gluten and dairy free I am always trying to recreate the recipes I love with healthier ingredients. This recipe is one I totally forgot about until my mom made a hazelnut version for my cousin and aunt who are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This super simple recipe is delicious and easy to make.

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Gremolata with Green Beans

  • Servings: 4
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 bag of Green Beans

1 cup washed Parsley

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

Zest of 2 Lemons

1 clove of Garlic

1 TBSP Olive oil plus 1 TSP Olive oil for beans

Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. Spread ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds onto the pan in a thin layer.
  3. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes and let cool.
  4. Prep Green Beans my removing top and steaming for 8-10 minutes until desired softness.
  5. With a Chef’s knife or other sharp knife, mince the parsley until super fine.
  6. Place the super finely minced parsley in a bowl and zest both lemons into parsley.
  7. Mince garlic or use a garlic press, add garlic to bowl with parsley and mix.
  8. In a food processor or blender, pulse the roasted pumpkin seeds so that they are ground into small chunks. You want some texture so don’t grind them too fine.
  9. Pour Roasted Pumpkin seed crumbs into the parsley mixture.
  10. Next add 1 TBSP of olive oil and stir to combine.
  11. In a large bowl add the cooked green beans, 1 TSP olive oil and salt to taste (I use ½ tsp), spoon ½ to ¾ of the Roasted Pumpkin Seed Gremolata onto the beans and mix to combine.
  12. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days


Granola

This is one of those recipes that uses oats. I am working on making a paleo version of this that does not include oats. This recipe came originally from my mom. She truly is the most amazing on the fly cook. She makes things up in her head and they taste delicious the first time. She gave me permission to post this recipe to my Instagram with credit to her, so here is your credit mom! Be careful of burning this recipe. My last batch didn’t “seem done” so I left it in the stove a little longer then it should have been in there.

For this recipe you want to combine the ingredients separately. First combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl together and mix it all up.

Mix up all the wet ingredients in a glass measuring cup or a bowl. You will pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir until it is thoroughly combined. Another pro tip….use a big ass baking sheet. Like the biggest one you own. It is really crucial to have this spread out so that it is not super thick on the pan. The thicker it is the harder it is to cook properly. Part of my problem with the last time I cooked it was the bottom got kind of burnt and the top was perfect. If you don’t have a massive pan then just half the recipe or put it on two pans. Sometimes I do it on two pans just so that I can have a thinner layer. This also needs to cool for an extended period of time, it hardens up when it cools so don’t despair if it seems soft.

Granola

  • Servings: 6-8 cups
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By Heidi Engle (My Mama)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

 Servings: Makes 6-8 cups

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of GF oats

3-4 cups raw chopped nuts

1 cup raw coconut flakes

¼ cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup coconut oil or melted ghee

1/3 cup avocado oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom

Optional: 2 tbsp nut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a large pan with parchment paper. You may have to cook this in two batches.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix the oils, maple syrup, vanilla, and nut butter.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until coated.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes stirring every 15. You know it’s done when everything is browned and the coconut flakes are brown.


Miso Chicken Kabobs

You guys! Miso slightly terrifies me. I love it and love that its a fermented food but I never know how to use it. When my sister and her boyfriend were visiting in July, we made up a good Miso marinade on the fly because we didn’t have a ton in the fridge. I had bought a container of Miso and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. There are so many good salmon Miso recipes but since I am severely allergic to fish that wasn’t an option for me.

With this recipe I highly recommend making this in the morning or the night before. The first time we made these we marinated them for only 2 hours and they were good. The second time I made this I marinated the chicken for 6 hours and the chicken was perfection. The chicken really soaks up the marinade and is very tender when cooked.

When it comes to grilling the cooking time on this depends on what type of grill you have. We have an electric grill and it takes about 10-12 minutes to cook. Its important to preheat your grill so that it is warmed up. I like to cook for 6 minutes on one side, flip and then cook for another 5 minutes. Some times I need to leave the bigger pieces on the grill for 1-2 minutes more.

Miso Chicken Kabobs

  • Servings: 7-10 kabobs
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Miso Chicken Kabob Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Marinate: 4+ hours

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Servings: 7-10 kabobs

Ingredients:

2 Chicken breasts

2 TBSP Red Miso

2 TBSP Coconut Aminos

2 TBSP Water

2 TBSP Sesame oil

1 inch of Ginger minced

2 cloves of Garlic minced

2 TBSP Avocado oil (or light flavored EVO)

2 TBSP Lime juice

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Cube the chicken into bite sized chunks and place in the marinade.
  3. Make sure the chicken is fully covered by the marinade, cover and put in the fridge for 4 plus hours.
  4. When ready to cook preheat grill to high heat.
  5. Skewer the chicken on kabob sticks. I love cooking these by themselves but they are also good combined with veggies.
  6. If cooking with veggies chop veggies into bite size pieces and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of dried ginger.
  7. Cook kabobs in the grill for 5-6 minutes per side.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes: Cook time depends on your grill. On my electric grill these cook in about 10-12 minutes.


Berry Jam

This recipe is not paleo because I use organic cane sugar in my jam. I have not successfully made jam that is sugar free. I have tried several times with honey, and though delicious the consistency is not right. If you have other jam recipes that are sugar free leave me a comment below or send me a message!

In general I am very obsessed with all things berry especially jam. I really only bake so that I can put jam on things. Last year I made this recipe with blackberries and ended up with over 35 jars of blackberry jam. As you can imagine we are very sick of blackberry so this year we did Strawberry! Strawberry jam is my husbands favorite and I can’t handle blackberries this year so it was a win-win for us.

Berry Jam

  • Servings: 11 half pint mason jars
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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

 Servings: 11  ½ pint mason jars

This recipe would also work with raspberries, tayberries, or blackberries.

Ingredients:

6 2/3 cups of berries mashed

5 cups of sugar

7 ½ tablespoons of pectin (I use Ball brand)

11 glass ½ pint mason jars

11 new lids and rings 

Canning funnel

It is important to have your pectin and sugar pre- measured and in bowls before you start.

It is also important to wash your jars in hot water to sterilize before starting to cook, while you are cooking jam place the lids in a small pot of hot water on the stove, keep this at a simmer making sure it doesn’t boil.

Directions:

  1. Wash, cut, and place berries in a large bowl.
  2. Mash the berries so that there are no whole berries left (the more mashed the berries the less chunky the jam).
  3. Pour the berries into a large stockpot on the stove at medium heat.
  4. Mix 1 TBSP of pectin and 1TBSP of sugar to the berry mixture.
  5. After 3 minutes of constant stirring add the rest of the pectin.
  6. While constantly stirring bring the mixture to a rolling boil (this means that it boils even while you are stirring it).
  7. Add the rest of the sugar to the mixture and while constantly stirring bring back to a rolling boil.
  8. Once it reaches a rolling boil, boil for one minute and then take it off the heat.
  9. Using a canning funnel ladle the hot jam mixture into warm sanitized jars, wipe rim of jar with a towel, then using tongs remove a warm lid and ring from the water bath and screw on tight.
  10. Here is my Grandmas trick for sealing jars, just flip the jar upside down for 10 minutes. The boiling hot jam in the jar should seal the lid. Then flip it right side up and let it sit for 20 minutes. If any of the jars don’t seal eat those first.
  11.  Or you can use a standard canner.