About JTFRecipes

Years ago, when I first realized that the SAD diet had made my spouse and I fat, I created a keto blog when keto was fairly unheard of called Kickin’ Into Keto. Some of you from /r/keto may remember it, as I was fairly active at the time. I blogged all my recipes and posted them to Twitter and Reddit. I discussed things like electrolytes, keto rash, and LDL cholesterol. I pointed out food items that were surprisingly high in carbs and had lists of substitutions. There were monthly pictures of my husband and I as we lost weight. Keto worked for us!

However, the daily write up of each recipe and formatting it along with journal-style entries quickly burned me out on sharing our success. The whole project became a second job instead of fun. As time went on, I also realized that frankly, I never read all that extra info on other people’s blogs. I always found myself scrolling to the bottom of the page because all I really was looking for was the recipe.

After I moved on from keto to paleo (with keto macros, because I was still over-weight), I started to put all my recipes into Plan-to-Eat.  I’ve collected close to 2000 recipes from the web in PTE over the years. As I made them myself, I updated them to include tweaks, nutritional information, tags, my own photo, plus a link to the original recipe and author’s blog.

I decided to go back to sharing some of these on my own blog. My hope is it will be enjoyable again if I simply cut out all the crap and post the recipe without a bunch of blog spam, advertisements, videos, 12 steps of photos, or a two page intro describing the trip to Spain which prompted me to look for this paleo version of paella. Some people really like reading that stuff, which is great! However, this blog is for those of us who want Just the Fucking Recipes.  

Other Notes on JTFRecipes
  • Recipe Sections
    • Origin: All my recipes are adaptations, in some cases almost exactly like the original, others with significant changes. The top line of each recipe has the original link where I found the recipe. I've been adding these to my PTE database since 2011, so some sites may be offline or moved.
    • Photos: The recipe photos are terrible. This is a casual site for fun, so I'm okay with that. The pictures are typically taken at night, in a dark kitchen, about one minute before I serve it, with hungry people waiting. I am going try out a dinner plate sized light-box soon to see if that will give me a slight improvement, but I'm not holding my breath.
    • Nutritional Info: I do my best to calculate the nutritional info for my recipes. However, my spouse and I have reached our goal weights, so we don't count anything closely anymore.  Anyone who is on a strict diet of some sort should not rely on these numbers!
  • Substitutions: I have been eating some version of paleo, primal and/or keto for almost a decade. I don't generally list all the things it would take to make a recipe compliant to those diets. As an example, sometimes I use dairy cream or sometimes use coconut cream depending on my mood or what else I'm cooking that day or that week. Sometimes I will leave out the cheese to keep it paleo, sometimes not if we haven't had much dairy that week. I put together the JTFRecipes for folks who are not beginners and already know and understand how to do those types of substitutions as needed depending on their own dietary goals.
  • Special descriptors: While I personally use certain types of foods in all my recipes, I do not include descriptors like grass-fed, organic, or homemade. If those words are important to you, you're going to be using those types of foods anyway. If you are too busy to make broth at home and you grabbed a box at the store, my adding the adjective 'homemade' is not going to change that. Just like the substitutions, I'm assuming someone who only wants the recipe is capable of figuring out what best fits their own dietary choices. You do you.
  • Plan-to-Eat: This is my recipe book, meal-planner, grocery list of choice. If you are interested in trying it out, here is my affiliate link. I'd love to be able to have some of you on my friend list in the app to trade more recipes! I'd also like to promote the platform as it has been an integral part of my planning for almost seven years now.
  • Breakfasts: I generally do not post breakfast recipes on JTFRecipes. This is because weekdays we don't eat it and every weekend, I use frittatas to clean out the fridge. Pretty much any left-over I've ever had from Chinese stir-fry to zoodles with meatballs has wound up baked in a cast iron skillet with eggs. Cooking frittatas is just a genius method for preventing food waste!
  • Meats: 99% of the time, I substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts. If you don't like dark meat, adjust chicken and cooking times accordingly. Sometimes though, the fat is necessary for the dish to work especially in the IP! When recipes call for ground meats, I switch between beef, turkey, chicken, pork and lamb in any given dish depending on what types of meats we've eaten that week (I try to keep it varied, with a higher focus on poultry). Same is true with fish. I switch out all white fish based on what is wild-caught and from sustainable sources that week at the fish counter.  I try to avoid highly processed meats for the most part, but sometimes a grilled sausage with mustard just sounds good, and I go with it.
  • Veggies: Veggies in my recipes are fresh and the amount is the raw weight unless otherwise indicated, as I am fortunate to have access to multiple nearby farmers' markets. Feel free to substitute frozen or pre-cooked, just look-up the adjustments necessary. There is a lot of spinach and kale in JTFRecipies. While I try to make sure we are getting mainly dark leafy greens, we also have veggies from all the families regularly. Sometimes this is just not reflected in the dinner recipes.
  • Spices: JTFRecipes lists things like 'spice blend, cajun'.  Those can usually be found in the grocery store, but we actually use homemade versions of these.  These will be added over time to the condiment & spice section. Our family also loves spicy food, so be prepared to adjust your spices as necessary. I try to put 'to taste' next to spices that I tend to eyeball.

Food Philosophy

The recipes I select mainly consist of whole, unprocessed real foods. I’m lucky enough to live in a town with fabulous farm-to-table restaurants, so I really do not cook much at home that is outside of a low-carb version of Primal. I save my ‘cheats’ for professionals and make a conscious, advance decision to have them. My diet is fairly clean, but if once or twice a month I want a taco—I go out to dinner and eat some fried corn shell tacos with a couple margaritas, enjoy it and move on!

My husband has lost over 150 pounds since we changed our diet from SAD to whole foods, and I have lost around 60. While we generally follow Paleo/Primal, it is not to ‘eat like cavemen’, it is a focus on whole foods and avoiding things that trigger allergic responses for us. My husband has gone from being unable to step outside during spring and fall due to pollen and ragweed allergies, to being able to lie down in fresh cut grass in the middle of a fully blooming park. We enjoy eating out and drinking alcohol (we did give up beer unfortunately). When we travel, we sample all sorts of foods while still maintaining our health and weight.

In general, we do our best (progress, not perfection) to follow Michael Pollan’s 7 words and 7 rules:

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
  1. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?” Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients; or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. “Twinkies aren’t food.” Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad are not food,” Pollan says.
  5. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture, they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. “Eat meals together, at regular meal times.” Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

The recipes I list for JTFRecipes are almost exclusively things I make for our main meal (usually after work). For our other week-day meals we focus on simple foods like salads, raw veggies, plain grilled meats and hard-boiled eggs. On weekends we eat out and finish off leftovers.

I generally avoid making ‘faux’ foods like Paleo breads, cauliflower crusts, chia seed oatmeal or items that are coated with coconut or almond flour. While I may occasionally add honey for a dish or two where I really, really felt the flavor lacked without it, I also avoid sweeteners for the most part. Trying to make coconut flour banana pancakes with stevia syrup just isn’t my version of trying to stick with whole foods. That being said, I make kick-ass enchiladas in endive shells instead of tortillas and phenomenal cajun shrimp zoodles. That line may seem arbitrary to others, but after experimenting with different foods and recipes, I just made some choices that fit what we like and what felt right for us.

 I hope you enjoy JTFRecipes!