Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paleo Beef Stew

So the potatoes don't exactly make this a purest's recipe, but it is close enough.  Feel free to leave them out.  I am interested in anyone comes up with anything to substitute them with.

Paleo Beef Stew
1 lb. beef stew meat (browned)
1 (16 oz) can of tomato sauce
6 carrots, sliced
1 onion, cut into big-ish slices
2 potatoes, cubed
a splash of worchestershire sauce
a splash of hot sauce
1 garlic clove
1-3 c. of water (more if going in crockpot)
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 bay leaves

Cook one of two ways:
1)  Put in a shallow pan (9x 13") and bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours.  Cover with tin foil while baking.

2)  Put in a crockpot and cook either on low for 8 hours OR high for 4 hours.

Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup!

This is a tomato-based soup that we made last week.  Sorry I don't have a picture of it.  It was pretty awesome, though!

Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup
3.5 c. V8 Hot & Spicy (or Tomato sauce)
2 c. sliced mushrooms
2 bags of frozen soup veggies (mine was carrots, onion, cauliflower & brocolli)
1 lb. beef stew meat, browned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 zucchini, sliced
1 c. water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 basil leaf torn up
hot sauce (optional)

This is so easy to make!  We cut up everything and threw it all in a stockpot together.  Let simmer for around an hour.  Delicious!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caveman Flour: Is that high-altitude?

I was reading NPR this morning and stumbled across this interesting article about discovering caveman  flour.  They claim that our paleolithic ancestors did eat starches such as ground up cattail roots that were most likely cooked.  The article is based off of archeological evidence found in three different sites across the globe. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Holy Canola!

A couple of month's ago I had a blog post about cooking oils.  By far, one of the most popular comments I get for my blog is over my choice to use Canola oil in my recipes.  I did this because of after reading The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss by Loren Cordain, he advocates for Canola oil consumption.  This morning, I was reading an interview with Dr. Cordain about his upcoming Paleo Diet cookbook.  He has now changed his stance on Canola and no longer advocates for the use of it.  He now recommends using coconut and coconut oils based off of the most recent scientific evidence. 

So all of this has got me thinking yet again, how do you know what is the best oil to use in your kitchen?  Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the menu for this evening...

Chicken Curry:  It's what's for dinner.  :)  I am going to make this recipe again tonight for dinner.  This time I am going to follow Sara's suggestions at the bottom of the page for making the califlower rice turn out better. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Paleo Pregnancy

Something I've long wondered about is if paleo dieting is possible for pregnant & nursing women; as well as, for small children.  Not being a physician (or a mother) (or a small child for that matter), I was uncertain of this.  I stumbled across this blog post by Dr. Cordain about protein consumption while pregnant. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leggo My Eggoplant!

Here's a new recipe I created tonight for dinner.  My mom had told me that she tried this a while ago with regular flour and it got me thinking:  can it be done with almond flour?  Yes, yes it can.

"Nut" Fried Eggplant
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch discs
2 omega-3 enriched eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. Chef's Shake (Italian seasoning)
2 c. almond flour
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl (large enough to dredge the eggplant in), add eggs and beat.  In another small bowl, add almond flour, and Chef's Shake; mix.

On an edged cookie sheet, spread out olive oil with a brush.  Dredge the eggplant in the egg then in the almond flour mixture.  Place on oiled cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce and artichokes to start.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I CAN do it!

I turned into an 80 year old woman today, folks.  Okay, well maybe not literally.  I learned how to can today and I might have a slight obsession with Ball jars now.  There is something about all the gadgets and the rewarding "pop" of the can sealing for the first time.  There is also something to hanging out in my parents non-air conditioned house while it is 90 degrees outside and running the stove for the past 10 hours.  I'm a little warm right now and I may be suffering from heat exhaustion.

My school had a fundraiser this year where they sold peaches and other produce.  I decided to buy some (anything for the kids, right?) and try canning.  My Mom is a master food preserver through the county extension office.  Somehow this knowledge never quite landed in my lap.  I grew up amidst all the rings, lids, lifters, stockpots, and pressure cookers, but my sentiment towards it all always fell towards apathy.  I decided my brave thing for the week would be to can the hell out of some fresh, locally grown produce.  That's right, I kicked canning ass.  Hearing this story on NPR this week sealed the deal for me (pun intended).

Now, I know that in order to preserve something, you need to use either sugar or vinegar.  Neither of which is exactly paleo, so I guess just look the other way on this.  :)  The Victoria Sauce that I made is definitely bad for you, but the Chili Sauce is decent.

It is super important when canning to use a recipe that has been tested and published.  Because canning is more or less a science experiment, you want to make sure that the acidity levels are not one that would grow something terrible like botulism.  For this reason, don't make up your own recipe and try to can it.




Victoria Sauce
My parents have rhubarb that grows in their backyard.  I found this recipe in the Ball Blue Canning Book and decided to try it out.  Most years it seems like their rhubarb goes to waste except for a few stalks that always find their way into a pie.  This sauce is extremely sweet.  I tried it today with my porkchops and it was pretty good.  I think it would be really good on top of a pancake or maybe stirred into some applesauce.

2 quarts chopped rhubarb (about 12 stalks)
1 1/2 c. chopped raisins
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt

Combine rhubarb, raisins, onion, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepot.  Cook until thick, about 25 minutes.  As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Add spices; cook 5 minutes longer.  Ladle hot sauce into sterilized, hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust with sterilized two piece caps.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Since I'm canning at altitude in Colorado, I did a 25 minute hot water bath.

Chili Sauce
This recipe is something my grandmother used to always make.  In my family, we pronounce this chill-a sauce.  Why?  I don't know, but we do, so you better too.  This is a spice-rich salsa that ends up tasting sweet.  I always grew up eating this on top of porkchops (and so did my mother).  I bet it would be a great accompaniment to any meat really though.

4 qts. peeled, cored, chopped red-ripe tomatoes (about 24 large)
2 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 to 2 c. chopped sweet green peppers
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 to 1 1/2 c. vinegar

Combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil; simmer until thick as desired (about 1 to 2 hours).  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Pour hot sauce into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe jar rims.  Adjust lids and process.  Process in a hot water bath.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dusting off the Archives

Here are some links to my favorite recipes.  I am so in love with this quiche recipe.  I've tried it using different meats and veggies and it is still delicious as ever. 

Need a good paleo dessert?  I don't have the pictures up yet, but the raspberry bars are to die for. 

Here is a GREAT quick and easy tomato cucumber salad.  It packs well for lunches, works as a great summer side dish, and is maybe the easiest thing you'll ever make.  :)

Happy Hump Day Bloggers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Flashbacks

Let's take a trip back in time folks.  To a simpler time, when I wasn't living in my parents' basement awaiting to sell one house and buy another.  To a time when I had my own kitchen.  To a time where I actually posted on this blog.  :) 

I thought I'd do a little rehatch post today with a few of my favorite things.  Who wants a dusty blog archive anyways? 

Frozen grapes are still my favorite snack/dessert.  Especially with the hot summer we've been having, there are few things more refreshing than nature's popsicle. 

Tonight for dinner, I am making my parents and my hubby spaghetti squash (which I am making in the microwave so my house doesn't heat up) and homemade meatballs.  This is so good, it almost feels like you're cheating. 

Disgusting...

I stumbled across this while checking my email today.  I can't get over it.  It's amazing how many items on this list are not actually food and don't have any nutritional value to speak of. 


I swear I will start posting again soon! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All Apologies

I really have to apologize for not posting more in the past recent weeks, blogosphere.  I recently moved across the state (more specifically into my parents' basement until our house sells).  To say it's been a bit of a challenge moving, starting a new job, living with my parents, buying and selling a home, and beginning my final semester of graduate school is quite an understatement.  So please, bear with me, as I figure out my life (and sanity).  I will continue to post sporadically for the next few weeks (or possibly months).  I need to find a house, move in, and get a little more situated at work before I can go back to daily posting.  :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

30 second salad dressing

Seriously. 

In the mornings before work, I am constantly in a scramble.  I try to make my lunch and breakfast at the same time (and sometimes dinner).  My kitchen is a zoo.  After feeding the elephants and penguins (sorry lame joke), I make a quick salad.  My dilemna with paleo eating has always been salad dressing.  What are you to do when you are trying to cut back on sugars and sodium, along with carbs and dairy?  The solution:  a simple lemon. 

On top of your salad, grind a bunch (and I mean more than you think you will like) freshly ground pepper.  Then, drizzle on some olive oil (I probably add 1/4-1/2 Tbsp.).  Then I cut a lemon wedge and throw it in my tupperware with the salad.  Come lunch time, I squeeze the lemon on the salad, stir it on up, and eat!  The same method also works great with lime, orange, and if you are brave, grapefruit. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cookie Monster

COoooOOOOkkkkkiEeeeeeessssSSSS!!

I need cookies! I found these here. I did not have Yacon Syrup (sounds like you tap a pig for syrup), so I substituted for Molasses.

Molasses Cookies
1 1/2 c. almond flour
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. canola (or preferred oil)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry. Roll into balls and place on a lined (either baking paper or foil) cookie sheet. Makes 12 cookies. Cook for 8 minutes.

As we all know, not every recipe turns out the way we wanted it to. Sadly, this is an example of such a sad fate. My inner cookie monster is not satisfied. These turned out not sweet, and if anything, (strangely) salty. I would definitely add somewhere around 1/4 c. of agave to these to sweeten them up. I wonder if the mysterious Yacon Syrup made Elana's recipe sweeter...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Radical Raspberry Bars!

So this recipe has exchanged hands quite a bit.  Let's track it thus far.  You-->Me -->My Mom-->Elana's Pantry Cook Book -->Joy of Cooking -->Probably an old dead woman who had a knack for making delicious desserts.

Raspberry Bars


Crust
3 c. almond flour
1/4 c. canola or coconut oil
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
a pinch of salt

Topping
1-2 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. canola or coconut oil
2 Tbsp. agve
1 egg, whisked
1 c. sliced almonds
a pinch of salt

Filling
1 c. (or small jar) raspberry fruit spread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch pan with oil and sprinkle almond flour into it.  In a food processor, blend all ingredients to make the crust.  Place dough in baking dish, press down and shape to form the bottom of the pan.  Bake until lightly golden, around 12 to 15 minutes.

Topping:  in a bowl, combine all ingredients except sliced almonds and mix.  Fold in the sliced almonds last.  When the crust is done baking, spread the raspberry spread across it, and top evenly with topping mixture.  Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Serve as bars.  This makes a great dessert or breakfast!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zucchini Cravings...


Finally:  a fried food for cavemen!  Last summer, we grew two zucchini plants in our garden.  After realizing that was about 1 ½ too many zucchini plants, we decided to go without basketfuls of bicep-sized zucchini. 

Hands down, zucchini is my favorite vegetable.  My husband Marcus, on the other hand, is not such a fan.  Last summer, one of the only ways we could eat all of the unending amounts of zucchini was to fry it.  Obviously, the bread crumb method is unhealthy and not in our diet.  So what is?  Here was my paleo challenge for the week.

Healthy Fried Zucchini

1 zucchini, sliced into coins
½ c. sliced almonds
½-1 c. almond flour
1 egg, whisked
freshly ground pepper to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil.  While oil is heating, in a small bowl, crack the egg and whisk.  In food processor, add almonds, flour, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Chop.  Add contents to a separate bowl.  With a fork, stab a zucchini coin, dip in the egg and dredge in the almond flour mixture.  Add to frying pan.  Repeat until all zucchini are “breaded” and in the pan.  Flip the zucchini coins after a few minutes (once they turn golden brown).  Once both sides are cooked, eat.  Preferably eat a lot of them.  Preferably buy multiple zucchinis and inhale these. 



We ate our delicious zucchini with some broiled Lemon Herb Halibut.  To get our kickin’ (or perhaps floppin’ or swimmin’) Halibut, try the following:

Lemon Herb Halibut

Ingredients:
1-2 Halibut fillets or steak
2 Tbsp.  olive oil
¼ tsp. of thyme, basil, parsley
lemon wedges

In a shallow baking dish with sides, lightly brush with olive oil.  Brush on 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Place in a broiler in high, 3-4 inches from the heating element for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Rebrush with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, thyme, basil, and parsley.  Return to broiler.  Rebaste as needed so it does not try.  Check periodically for a fish to be done (should be a firm texture and flake with a fork).  Serve with fresh parsley minced on top and a slice of lemon.  The crispy texture of this was INCREDIBLE.  This is by far the best meal we make with fish.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is it cold out? Because it sure is Chili here!



I am leaving tomorrow evening for an epic road trip of sorts.  We are going to California to backpack through several National Parks and spend some time on the beach.  In preparation for the trip (and also our newly found budget) I decided to try to make primal chili (aka beanless chili) for the trip.  My plan is to freeze the Chili tonight, stick it in the cooler, and eat it Saturday night around a beautiful campfire.

I'm told that traditional chili did not include beans.  I've got to be honest on this one, I don't miss them or the corn at all (I prefer traditional chili with corn).  As my husband said "I'm sort of obsessed with this chili!"  I hope you will be too.



Paleo Chili
2 lbs. ground meat (I used 1 lb. ground turkey and 1 lb. ground turkey italian sausage), browned and drained
2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (no good stuff; no salt added)
1 (30 oz.) can tomato puree
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 portabello mushroom cap, cut into bite-sized pieces (you want them moderately chunky still)
1 c. water (optional)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 heaping Tbsp. almond butter (optional, but so delicious)
1 Tbsp. molasses (optional, but again, delicious)
1 tsp. black pepper
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook on a low temperature on your stove top until you are satisfied with the flavor combination.  OR, if you are like me and cooking your Chili in July (because that makes so much sense) cook in your crock pot.  High for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive!

Wouldn't you know it?  A financial website that emails me their newsletters emailed today about a grocery planning website designed to do comparison shopping!  Amazing.  It's amazing how in tune the universe can be with you sometimes...

Anyways, here the link to the cool website.  It comparison shops for only the items you like to eat between your favorite grocery stores, allows you to plan your meals, browse their meals, edit the recipes (to turn paleo), and print off your grocery list (or email to your phone).

Could this be any more user friendly?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grocery Woes

My husband was accepted into graduate school for the fall. I am currently in graduate school and teaching full time. We recently sat down and tried to create a budget for next year. To say we will be broke would the understatement of the century. With two graduate schools worth of student fees, books, tuition, and a single teacher's salary, things will be tight. We averaged several months of grocery bills. It is shocking how much more we spent on groceries once we started eating healthy.

Changing my eating habits is a non-negotiable for me. I'd rather work at a coffee shop on the weekends than jeopardize my health by eating ramen 3 days a week.


Pre-paleo eating, we would spend about $400 a month on groceries.  Our household consists of just my husband and myself.  Now, eating a healthy diet, our bill is somewhere around $600/month.  What are we supposed to do?  We are trying to cut corners, get rid of the frivolous, not the broccoli.  The first month that I switched to paleo, we spent a shocking $880 on groceries for two people!

A couple solutions for those of you out there trying to make eating healthy on a budget work:

Ebates-  I love this website.  Virtually all online shopping I do, I check on ebates for the company first and compare prices.  I just got $2 back on a sleeping bag I ordered.  I got $.75 on a bag of almond flour.  It's not much, but it adds up.  To date, I've gotten almost $30 back from this website.  

Grocery Saving Tips-  I just discovered this website.  The link I posted here takes you specifically to the produce section (I didn't think anyone reading this cared about how to save money when buying loaves of bread).

23 Ways to Save on Groceries- I think a little preparation and planning goes far when it comes to grocery shopping.  Go with a list.  Go with a menu.  Stick to it.  Discipline.  Wax on Wax off Danielson.  

I would LOVE suggestions for how you make healthy eating affordable, because I desperately need them.  I know how messed up our society is that it is actually cheaper to eat processed food.  I live in Colorado and starting a garden or building a greenhouse is out of the question come September where I live.  Next summer.  :)  I need a solution for now.

Sweet Honey Lemon Dressing

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this bomb salad dressing (that's right, I said bomb). I think I am having withdrawals from teenagers because I am starting to speak like them to fill the void in my heart. :) I don't miss them enough to give up my summer.

We ate this dressing on a salad with some grilled salmon and it was absolutely delicious!

Sweet Honey Lemon Dressing
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 tsp. dill weed
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil
1-2 Tbsp. honey

Shake it like a polaroid picture. Shake it like a salt shaker. You get the idea: shake the ingredients together. Pour on top of salad. Lick your salad bowl clean. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cucumber Thai Salad


Note:  While this is referred to as a salad, it is not lettuce based and makes a great main course!

My brother and sister-in-law are great cooks.  They lived abroad in Australia for a few years and while they were there, they discovered some amazing recipes.  This recipe is one that my brother makes that I turned paleo.  It is traditionally served over rice noodles and with bean sprouts, so it has been adapted.  It is important to note the high sodium content in the meal.  I have severely cut back on soy sauce and fish sauce, but still, the salt is there for sure.  I would love and greatly welcome comments to make this dish with less sodium.  This is great for summer.  We sat on the porch and inhaled this.  Delightful!

Cucumber Thai Salad
2 lbs. sirloin, strip-loin, or tenderloin steak
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (1 T. for marinade, 1 T. for dressing)
5 Tbsp. lime juice (2 T. for marinade, 3 T. for dressing)
3 Lebanese cucumbers (I used English b/c I couldn't find Lebanese), sliced
6 green onions
5 oz. water chestnuts, sliced
1 c. loosely packed mint, finely chopped
9 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. loosely packed coriander leaves (I had difficulty finding this, so I used 1 tsp. dried spice in the dressing. Turns out I am just a moron. See comments.)
1/4 c. sweet chili sauce (for dressing)
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (for dressing)
3 large garlic cloves, minced (for dressing)
1 finely chopped chili or jalapeno (for dressing)

1.  Combine beef with 1 T. fish sauce and 2 T. lime juice in tupperware container.  Marinate in the fridge.  If you need more liquid to cover the meat, add a 1/4 c. water to the mixture.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2.  Drain beef; discard liquid.  Cook beef until browned on each side (we grilled ours).  Slice thinly.
3.  Make dressing.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, including sauce and meat.  Toss and serve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paleo Challenge #2: Grandma's Peach Cobbler

After reading Elana's post about peach crisp this week, I was inspired to make my maternal grandmother's peach cobbler.  I don't know if I do the original recipe justice in my description, but there are few things more beautiful on this earth than a scoop of her peach cobbler and a big scoop of ice cream.  I was incredibly nervous about this recipe.  What if my mother disowns me because I ruined Grandma's peach cobbler?  Well good news, Mom, I didn't.  :)  I wouldn't say it's the same, but I would say it's damn good.  So here's my second paleo challenge:

Grandma's Peach Cobbler
3 c. fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp agave
3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make all ingredients together in a casserole dish.  Top with shortcake:

Shortcake:
1 c. almond flour
a pinch of salt
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. agave

Mix together the shortcake ingredients in a small bowl using a pastry blender.  Mix until the entire mixture is moist.  Plop on top of the fruit in the bowl and press the dough flat across the top of the fruit mixture.  Dough should make a crust across the top of the cobbler.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it turns golden brown.  Serve with coconut ice cream.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ahhhh! Mazing Salad

Seen here with chicken and raspberry vinaigrette dressing

With the heat of summer, it is so nice to have a lovely little salad.  There is nothing cooler and more refreshing (well maybe a margarita).  This was so simple to make and absolutely delectable.

Granny's Apple Grape Salad
1/4 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 c. red grapes, sliced
1 Tbsp. walnuts, ground up
2 tsp. diced green onion
salad greens

Place all ingredients in with greens.  We served ours with grilled chicken as well.  The chicken was simply spiced with freshly ground pepper.

Radical Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1/4 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend away!   Serve on top of salad.  Recipes yield 2 large salads.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tree Hugger

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

-John Muir-


I have recently been working my way through Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea. After watching the first two episodes I have an almost schoolgirl crush on John Muir.  
John Muir- I'm sure you can see why I'm smitten.  :)

Jesting aside.  I'm in awe of his philosophies on nature, spirituality, and preservation.  If you are like I was three years ago, you may have never heard of Muir.  John Muir is largely responsible for preserving many of America's National Parks.  In particular, he was extremely fond of the Yosemite Valley in California, where he lived and worked for many years.  He believed that he could find spirituality within the nature surrounding him.  I think no matter what your creed, there is great wisdom in this.  I grew up not far from Rocky Mountain National Park and being a Colorado native, I've spent countless hours of my life in the woods.  This isn't a blog about my religious beliefs, but rather getting out into the woods, or the desert, or the lakes, rivers, streams- anything.  Go out to your sidewalk and stare at the tree.  Or, be like Muir and go out and have a conversation with the tree.     

Since adopting a more primal diet, I can't help but apply some of his natural philosophies to all parts of life.  “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools”.  

Similarly, hasn't God cared for man through drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods?  Can he save man from fools?  Man in fools.  Fools who use chemicals rather than spices.  Fools who put in unnecessary sweeteners and salts.  Fools who play video games till their death.  Fools that remain stagnant.  Fools that only eat "food".  

Why not go natural?  Be like the trees.  Live.  Be content.  Be strong.  Like John Muir, find your Yosemite.  

"There must be a place for human beings to rest their souls.  Food and drink is not enough." -John Muir

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Did you say awesome fajita salad?

Yes.  Yes, I did.  Here's a pretty amazing meal.

For starters:

Paleo Homemade Chips
The inspiration for this recipe came from here.  Here's our spin on it:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixer, combine:
2 c. almond flour
2 egg whites
1 tsp: onion powder, garlic powder
1/2 tsp:  sea salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika

Next, get out two sheets of parchment paper (we used tin foil sprayed with cooking oil because we don't have parchment paper).  Place the dough between the two sheets.  Roll the dough with a rolling pin into an extremely thin consistency (remember, you are making tortilla chips).  Cut into chip-size pieces using a pizza cutter.  Place in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.


Barb's Ribbon-Winning Salsa Fresca
That's right folks.  My mom won a ribbon at our county fair several years ago for her salsa.  Who knew that in the 21st century you could still win a ribbon at the fair?  Sorry, Mom, but I'm posting your recipe to the world wide web.

4-5 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of salt
a splash (roughly 1-2 Tbsp. lime juice)
a handful (roughly 3 Tbsp.) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  This tastes the best the longer the ingredients have to marinate together.  I suggest preparing about 20 minutes minimum before you wish to serve.

Steak Fajita Salad
Make paleo guacamole
3 ribeye steaks, marinated (see recipe below)
Leftover Salsa Fresca (recipe above)
4 bell peppers, sliced & pan fried in oil (see instructions below)
1 red onion, sliced & pan fried in oil (see instructions below)
1 green onion, chopped
1 fresh tomato, diced
1 head lettuce, chopped

Add all ingredients to lettuce.  Wonderful!  I served mine as a salad bar.  This EASILY fed 4, and I have plenty of leftovers!  We also crumbled up some of the chips and placed in the salad.

Lovely Fajita Marinade (for steak or chicken) (recipe title sung to the tune of The Beatles "Lovely Rita Meter Maid")
Place meat in tupperware or ziploc bag.  Place ingredients in bag/tupperware.

1 Tbsp. agave
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. water
2-3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
a pinch of salt

Allow to marinate around 4 hours if possible.  Grill or broil meat and slice into bite-sized pieces.

Fajita Veggies
Heat roughly 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat.  Flick water onto the oil.  Once the oil simmers from the water, it is ready.  Add veggies (bell peppers and onion).  Generously coat in freshly ground pepper, a pinch of salt, and any additional spices you may want.  Cook until vegetables are cooked to the consistency you prefer.  Add to salad.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Awkward Moments

I have to post about a recent situation with my good friend Megan.  We were recently in Vail, Colorado for a mountain bike race.  Upon checking into the hotel, Meg had one of the most awkward exchanges with a stranger I've ever seen.  Both of their responses (in my opinion) are hilarious.

Meg:  Do you have any place you recommend for lunch?
Concierge:  It depends.  What do you like to eat?
Meg:  Meat.  Fruit.  Vegetables.  Nuts.
Concierge:  There's a really good Italian place down the road...

I don't know what's funnier- the fact that when asked what she liked to eat, Meg gave an (honest, but weird) paleo answer OR the fact that the concierge thought Italian food was in anyway similar to what Megan gave him.  I will say that the Italian place down the road, did not exactly fit this description.  lol

Maybe next time, Meg, you should just say 'healthy stuff' or 'salads'.  :)  Although, I am a fan of meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts.  It may be tricky to find a paleo Italian restaurant anywhere, especially Vail.

Off the Wagon

Well this weekend, my husband and I decided that we would throw paleo out the door and eat whatever was provided for us.  So our weekend in the mountains looked a bit like this:

ate, ate, ate, drank, ate, ate, ate, played with nephews, ate, ate, ran, ate, drank, drank, ate, and so on

Needless to say, we both feel like crap and I have a sneaky suspicion that I gained several pounds over the 4th of July weekend.  No matter how tempting the homemade cookies, delicious beer, caramel corn, or the strawberry shortcake was; I am not sure if it was worth it.  I feel like I am starting over back at square one again.  I guess, in a way, I am.  Who knew that just five days of falling off the wagon would make trying to get back on so difficult?

So, here's our plan:  One week.  Strict, pure paleo.  No cheats.  No "these are sorta allowed" foods.  No artificial sweeteners.  No caffeine.  Nothing.  Lean meat.  Fruit.  Vegetables.  Nuts.  Berries.  I suggest, others do the same.  Still haven't recovered from the corn on the cob or the bratwurst?  How about the potato salad?  Even if you were "good" on the 4th of July, I find myself slowly falling away sometimes.  I need a kick in the pants.  I need a reminder of how good it feels to eat right and WHY I like to eat right.


We had dinner with our friends last week.  The topic of cheating (on the diet, not on spouses) came up.  All four of us found ourselves cheating more and more.  Hardly a day has gone by last week where I didn't sneak in SOMETHING that lacked nutritional value.  It could be a cracker at the grocery store, or a slice of pizza when out with friends.  But the crap stops here.  Today.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Breast Milk; Best Milk

This past week I've had two good friends give birth.  My brother and sister-in-law also announced they were pregnant with their second baby.  Not being a parent myself, my husband and I often discuss if paleo/primal eating is healthy for a nursing mother or for children.  Check out this link to Mark's Daily Apple about breast feeding and the primal diet.  Very interesting!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gone on Vacation

Hey all!  I'm going away for the long weekend to celebrate the Holiday with family.  Be back sometime Wednesday...  Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Paleovangelist


Sometimes I really embarass myself.

Okay, maybe more than sometimes.  I wish I had a rewind button in which I could go back to a conversation and omit everything I said.  I have a difficult time not saying what's on my mind.  I have an even harder time not thinking that I do everything exactly the way it should be done (thanks a lot for that genetic trait Dad). 

It is hard for me to not preach healthy eating to my friends and family.  If I could say and do whatever I wanted I would be a fire and brimstone paleovangelist.  "Eat that donut and you will die!"  "Your pancreas is receiving irreversible damage from that candy bar!"

I go back and forth on whether or not I think I should hold my tongue.  On one hand, I am helping my family and friends and their health; on the other hand, I am annoying them by telling them something they don't want to hear yet.  Then, I end up embarassing myself, thinking later on that I shouldn't have pushed the issue so much or I should live and let live.  I know I should wait until they are ready and they come to me asking for help, but the interim is difficult. 

This is a moral issue of the utmost importance:  do we allow our loved ones to continue in their "heathen" ways or do we go out as warriors of grok and paleovangelize them and let them see the light?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Five Hundo!

I just wanted to give a quick thanks for everyone that visits my blog regularly.  I know that I haven't been the best blogger lately (give me a break, I'm on summer vacation), but I really appreciate it.  I just looked at my tracker and I've now had over 500 visitors and almost 1200 visits.  That's so awesome!  I still remember when I would regularly on get 2-3 visitors a day and they were likely my Mom and my sister.  That was only 3 short months ago, and I really feel like my blog is taking off.  Thank you for being a part of it.

I initially started this blog as a way to document my thoughts on healthy eating and my journey of losing weight (which I've currently lost 30 lbs.).  While I do get paid whenever you click on the ads on my blog (even if you don't purchase anything), that isn't my motive for keeping it going.  I've found great comfort in the health community online.  I feel, rather strangely, like some of you are becoming friends of mine.  I feel energized getting ideas for new recipes or workouts.

Basically, thank you.  Having this blog has really helped to change me.  It holds me accountable because I know many of you check it.  It gives me inspiration and keeps me going.  Thanks.

To Each His Own

I was recently talking with some friends about my paleo diet.  I guess I was paleovangelizing a bit; I tend to do a lot of that these days.  One of my friends said, "Well I think diet is personal.  To each his own you, know?  Do what works for you."

This got me thinking.  Is the paleo diet for everyone?  I think of my close friends who have taken on paleo eating along with us.  We all have very different activity levels and body compositions and yet we all find things we love about this lifestyle.

How do you find out the right diet for you?  There are so many diets out there and miracle drugs.  My parents are dealing with this right now.  My Dad was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  So my Mom has begun reading a lot about nutrition to try to get him on the right track.  She was telling me one book will claim low-carb high-fat diet, another a high-carb low-fat diet, etc.  They are all seemingly contradictory.

I have to believe, truly, that primal eating works for EVERYone.  I really believe that.  I think there are some things that may not work for you specifically- for example my husband is allergic to walnuts so, naturally, he doesn't eat them.  That type of personal diet choice seems different to me than the South Beach Diet works for me or Weight Watchers doesn't work for me.

I have to believe none of those will work for you in the long run- YOU aren't designed for them to.  Eating the way your ancestors have for 2 million years, how could you possibly think it wouldn't work?  It definitely won't harm you.

What are your thoughts- is the paleo diet for everyone?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Okie Dokie Artichokie

Artichoke hearts marinated in oil and spices are my favorite pizza topping.  While I'm hardly eating pizza these days, I've been thinking about artichokes.  The other day my husband I started talking about artichokes.  I've never had one, a fresh one that is.  :)  I recently had a similar situation with peaches and pears; shockingly, I'd never eaten one that didn't come from a can.  


But I digress.  We decided we'd try to make artichokes as a healthy appetizer for our meal last night.  Since I'm a newbie to this very brave vegetable (one you see the artichoke heart, you'll realize why I think I was brave), I made idiot-proof instructions.  


Fresh Artichokes for Dummies
2 artichokes
1 egg (enriched with omega-3)
1/4 canola oil
freshly ground pepper
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 garlic cloves, sliced


With a large, sharp knife, cut the stem off the artichokes.  Then, cut the top 1/4 off each artie.  Next, take kitchen shears, and clip the top off of each leaf going around the artichoke.  Now, it turns out there are several schools of thought on how to cook the artie.  Here they are:


Option #1:  In a large saucepan, boil 2-3 cups of water.  Add vegetable steamer.  Place garlic slices in between the leaves of the artichokes.  Grind ample amounts of pepper in the water and on top of the artichokes.  Place artichokes "point down" so the stem is looking at you from the bowl.  Steam for roughly 45 minutes.


Option #2:  In a large microwave-safe caserole dish add 2-3 inches of water.  Place garlic slices in between the leaves of the artichokes.  Grind ample amounts of pepper into the water and on top of the artichokes.  Microwave 5 minutes per artichoke (I microwaved mine for 10 mins, hence yields 2).



While artichokes cook, make the dipping sauce.  Traditionally, these are dipped in either butter or mayonnaise.  I made my paleo mayo and added Balsamic Vinegar to the recipe.  

Dippin' Sauce


1 whole egg (omega-3)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 c. flaxseed (I didn't have flaxseed so I used canola)
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients for several minutes.  Pour into a small dipping bowl, serve cold.  



Here's the fun part:  Remove the artichoke leaves one at a time.  Dip the "meat" of the leaf into the sauce.  Scrape the leaf against your teeth to remove the flesh from the artie.  Repeat until you are no longer able to find leaves with any flesh on them.  Remove the useless leaves.  You will be left with a creepy hair mess.  This is the artichoke heart.  Scrape out the hairs.  Cut into halves or quarters and dip.  Enjoy!  It feels great to be brave.

BATT

In case you couldn't quite figure out my acronym, it is the Bacon, Avocado, Tomato, and Turkey "sandwich".  I just so happened to be out of lettuce (this blows my mind how a paleo eater could run out of lettuce, but I guess I've been eating it), or I would have used it.

Best Lunch Ever:
2 strips of bacon, fried
2-3 slices of turkey lunch meat
1 roma tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced


Cook bacon, cut up ingredients.  On a plate, spread out turkey and pile on remaining ingredients into the slices.  Then, you could: roll up the lunch meat to make a meat wrap, put the whole thing in a lettuce leaf, or hold together with toothpicks (I chose this option because I put too much in to roll).
Before rolling


Final product!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Add Boiling Water

Well, I made it back alive- barely.  After our three day backpacking trip through Teton National Park and meal after meal of dehydrated 'just add boiling water' food, I'm ready for some veggies.  :)  We had the most amazing time on our trip.  We hiked through Death Canyon (a charming little canyon named for an 1899 surveying party that lost a member that was never seen again).  I had a bit of a problem with the connotations of hiking through a place called Death Canyon, so we called it Happy Canyon, Safety
Canyon, or (my personal favorite) Bird-Free Canyon.

Once got back from the rugged life on the trail (of which we saw black bears, elk, moose, deer, and marmots), we spent our last night "car camping" in Teton.  Car camping is the lazy man's campsite, and after three days of packing it in and packing it out, a real luxury.  It's amazing how luxurious a vault toilet, pillow, chairs, or fresh fruit and vegetables can feel.

I was determined to make an entirely paleo camping meal.  Now before I give out my recipes, they should begin a couple of disclaimers.  First:  It's camping and measuring cups/spoons are generally frowned upon so don't go judgin' my estimations.  Second:  I know bratwurst isn't pure paleo, but it was the healthiest I could get my husband to go while camping.  Just be glad I talked him out of smores (those are paleo, right?).  Third:  I just spent three days in the woods.  With wildlife.  Don't judge the beer consumption, it was necessary.  :)

'Wurst Peppers
Since this was a fairly simple meal, I'll try to give the instructions in step-by-step form (let's make things interesting, eh?).
Step 1:  Start a fire.  Easier said than done it turns out.  My husband officially had to give me his Man Card after this campout.  It turns out I am the twisted fire starter of our household.  At one point, he was trying to help me start the fire by trying to blow on the kindling (I prefer the log cabin method over the teepee in case you were wondering, which I'm sure you were), and he actually blew the entire fire out.  SO, this step was more difficult when you are camping with a pyro-challenged person like I was.

Step 2:  Make things hot.  No, that's not dirty (well, I guess camping is dirty, but not sexual).  What I mean is, get some good flames going and get the coals hot (only one t- not hott, you'll attract bears).

Step 3:  Cut up 1 red and 1 green bell pepper.  Place them in a firesafe pan.  Add a splash (that is an exact measurement) of water (approximately a 1/4 cup) and half of lemon (juice only, squeezed).  Place on grate over fire.  The ash adds flavor (or so I told myself).

Step 4:  Put the meat on the grate (the bratwurst).

Step 5:  Open your beer.  Find your headlamp.  Wait for the sun to set over the beautiful mountain lake.  Leave your camping buddies to tend the fire, and go sit in your camping hammock (you've got time).

Step 6:  Flip the brats, stir the peppers, drink another beer.

Step 7:  Cut an avocado in half (carefully, you've had 2 drinks).

Step 8:  When all is done cooking over the fire, serve the brats on a bed of peppers.  Eat avocado as a side.  Serve with more beer and depending upon the temperature, mittens.





Paleo 'Smores (which are not really smores at all)
2 fresh peaches, cubed or sliced
raisins to taste
cinnamon to taste
half a lemon
water, again a splash
random pecans you pick out of a trailmix, ground up

Add all the ingredients to a camping, firesafe pot.  Cook until peaches are tender.  Eat.  Salivate.  Make the wildlife jealous.

It goes without saying that all of these recipes could be made at home and sober, but where's the fun in that?  jk

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Off we go!

Well folks we have our frame backpacks packed and our bear tub rented.  We are ready to spend the next two nights in the backcountry of Teton National Park.  The food:  dehydrated backpacking crap that most definitely is not paleo.  The company:  just my husband and me and the thousands of wild animals that Teton has to offer.  The gear:  1 tent, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, various clothes, a camera, a water purifier, a deck of cards, and, of course, our new hammock.   So long civilization!  We'll see you in two days...  :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Armenian Ground Beef Kabobs

My husband's family is Armenian.  It is important to us to keep our cultures alive (although my Irish potato-eating relatives may be more challenging to make paleo).  Anyways, I decided to try to surprise him tonight and make some awesome Armenian Ground Beef Kabobs, also called Kofta.  We had these at a local Armenian restaurant and they were great!  These are traditionally served with rice, but we had a salad with them instead.

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (ground chicken or lamb could also be used)
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. tumeric
freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together with hands.  Shape meat into small meatball sized balls.  Place three to four meatballs on a kabob skewer.  Form the meat on the skewer into a cigar shape.  Be sure to press the top and bottom of meat firmly onto the kabob.  Grill on your BBQ for about 20 minutes (flipping about halfway through).

Pictures coming shortly!  Also, we are leaving to go backpacking through Grand Teton National Park for the next 5 days or so, I probably won't be posting much.  Let's see if we can guilt trip Meg into posting a little bit more while I'm gone...  :)

Placing "meatballs" on skewer


Mash meat together into a cigar shape

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a little link love (and fajitas!)...

So I'm sorry in advance that this will be a bleak no pics post, but just wanted to share a few tasty recipes.

Last night I made this dry rub and used it on some chicken breasts on the grill, it was really good and even better today as leftovers on my salad!
I also cheated a bit and made the sweet potatoes, they were delish! My one piece of advice is to follow her oven directions; I tried to put them on the grill and had some major sticking issues because of the eggs. I just hate turning on the oven in the summer; if I make them again I think I will try oil instead of the egg whites.

I also tried out this yummy treat when I was craving something sweet earlier this week. I followed the recipe pretty closely (you should know I'm not really into measuring) and I thought it came out really well. My coconut hating husband even liked it. I used my electric ice cream maker and then stuck it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before serving which was about perfect... if you leave in the freezer much longer than that you will end up with more of an italian ice than ice cream consistency (still good, but not what I was going for).

I promised that I would post my fajita recipe so here it is:

2 lbs meat of your choice cut into thin strips (we used equal parts chicken and steak)
1 large onion cut in rings or thin strips
3 bell peppers cut in strips(I like to use red and green, but whatever floats your boat)
1 jalapeno de-seeded and diced
2-3 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
3 roma tomatoes chopped
1 medium zucchini cut in spears about the same size as your peppers

2 ripe avocados
2 heads of Bib lettuce

In a large pan saute the veggies in oil (I used olive) adding the tomatoes and zucchini after the peppers and onions have been in for a few minutes.

Add some:
chili powder,
cumin,
paprika,
cayenne pepper
and crushed red pepper flakes.
Remember I don't measure... just start with a little of everything and add to taste.

When the veggies are about done (onion starts to look clear) set them aside in a bowl.
Toss your meat in the pan and cook it up (feel free to add more spices!)... add the veggies back in when the meat is done to heat them back up. It might seem weird to cook the veggies first so here's my reasoning: don't want the meat to be overcooked and don't want to cook the veggies with raw meat, call me crazy, but not my thing. If you have two pans and don't mind lots of dishes or are short on time feel free to cook both at the same time.

Serve with some sliced avocados and paleo-ritas and use the bib lettuce as a wrap (or any other lettuce you like, I prefer bib or butter because they tend to be a little thicker and wrap well without breaking).

Enjoy! This was one of my favorite paleo meals yet.





Caveman Campout

Howdy blogosphere!  I know it's been a while since I've posted.  Being a teacher (and being on summer break) and being in the process of moving is consuming much of my time lately.

My second wedding anniversary was on Monday.  Since my husband and I are beyond broke with our move and trying to buy a house, we decided to take advantage of our wonderful scenery here in Colorado. We drove up the Poudre Canyon outside Fort Collins,  Colorado and camped on a lake with lilly pads all over it.  It was beautiful.  Just because we were 'romanping' as we called it (romantic camping, if such a thing is possible), didn't mean that we weren't going to stop being primal.  We decided to build our own snare trap out of twigs and waited anxiously for a rabbit to hop through.  Okay, or maybe not quite...


We brought steaks with us (caught wildly at the grocery store on the way) and asparagus.  We cooked the steaks on the fire and the asparagus on the stove with oil, sliced almonds, and black pepper.  It truly was gourmet camp food.  We were way too full for dessert, but we were planning on grilling pears and nectarines on the fire grate as well.

Breakfast?  Eggs and bacon of course!  Is there a better tasting meal than eggs cooked in the same pan as the bacon?  I think not.  Besides, we were celebrating, right?

Lunch?  An avocado, leftover steak served cold (I was skeptical of this but it was delicious!) and green grapes.

We went on a long hike yesterday afternoon and snacked on some delicious trailmix as well.  Forget the smores- paleo campout is where it's at!  Here are some pictures of the beautiful lillypads on the lake.



Hammock on the lake with our dog

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Inner Fat Girl Speaks Out

So I received many comments about my post last week about my self-declared inner fat girl.  One that I absolutely loved was from a good friend of mine that lives out of state.  Here is her message to me.  It helped me and I think my blog readers may also be able to relate to her thoughts:

This is totally in response to your "inner fat girl" blog post, but I wasn't sure I should post it on the comment board. It really helped me, and if you can be open minded about it, I think it actually helps in general.

It's not about reminding yourself that you've lost weight, because that's obvious to you. It's about being comfortable with how you look now, how you'll look when you lose more (if that's your goal) and how you'll look if you gain a few back (if that happens.) I know this sounds weird (and will make you question my home life probably) but walk around your house naked any chance you get. Do the normal things you do at home but naked, sleep naked, get your coffee in the morning naked, eat breakfast naked (if you are not spill prone, otherwise, maybe not the best idea) walk by your mirrors and linger focusing on the things you like, not the things you want to change (we focus on those enough.) I lost like 80lbs in college (most of which I've gained back now over the years and with the baby) but I still insisted on calling myself fat and being uncomfortable in swimsuits and tank tops. Forcing myself to be comfortable completely in my own skin in my own space made it easier to be comfortable not completely exposed (but more than I was used to) in less familiar places. I've found that this has also helped me a lot with this pregnancy thing, because my body is definitely changing in ways I had no idea it would, and for someone who used to be really heavy, I can say it is REALLY hard to deal with sometimes.

Also -- Don't beat up the girl you see in the college pictures and videos too badly. She's still the same person you're looking at now, but now she's just shinier, polished, and figuring out what she wants and what's important. You need the old her so you don't lose the new her if this is the "her" you want to keep for a while. (sorry if that sounded preachy, but I found beating myself up for how I used to look was equally as harmful as ripping down the improved version.)

Sorry if this makes you think I'm crazy. I am crazy, but that's beside the point. If you give it a shot, I hope it helps. If not, no harm :)

PS I just wanted to say, I'm really proud of you and what you're doing and how you're accomplishing milestones and goals. It's really very awesome, Beth, and I know you know that, but I wanted to tell you anyway.



Thanks J!  You are a great friend!  I love your thoughts and good luck with the baby in a couple of weeks!

Oh! Too Spicy!

I was marveling at my spice cabinet today.  It's rare that I take the time to do this (as you may expect).  Since I've been eating paleo, a whole new spice world has opened up for me (and I'm not talking about a crappy British pop band that came out when I was in 7th grade).


But for real.  I'm amazed at all the new spices I try out every week.  Before turning paleo, my staples were oregano, garlic salt, and celtic sea salt.  I've recently tried out garam masala, curry powder, allspice, tumeric, taragon, and cloves (not all in the same recipe).  I am quickly running out of room for my spices, but I am addicted.  I can't stop flavoring!  I use freshly ground pepper like its my job now.  I'm curious; what other spices should I open my eyes (or tastebuds) to?   I need suggestions!  Like a crack addict, I need my fix...  I think I might snort paprika.  Just kidding.  But, maybe...  :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Running away to Paleo-ritaville








Greetings my fellow cavemen and women,
(this is meg... beth's best friend who she has roped into her new found paleolithic life).

Our husbands have a standing mountain bike date every week and we have a standing running date that is usually followed by dinner.
Tonight we met at my house and planned a mexi-paleo feast so we started with drinks and you can thank us now for this kick ass Margarita recipe:

1 cup lime juice (we cheated and used a bottled juice, with just one fresh lime squeezed)
4 shots Tequila
4 Tbl spoons of Agave sweetener
3 cups ice (we like ours blended)
6 oz Pineapple juice (1small can)
dash of cinnamon and all-spice (trust me)
zest of one lemon and one lime
blend it all up or pour over ice and enjoy
*for anyone who is local I would venture to boast that this recipe puts the Blue Bonnet to shame

We're following our drinks with lettuce wrapped fajitas and I'll post the recipe for that later...

Sorry the pics are a little shaky and crappy, but we took them with our cellphone.  Here are some updated photos:






Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summa Time, the Livin's Easy...

Friday night my husband and I had a paleolicious tailgate before the John Butler Trio concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater.  What was on the menu?  Steaks grilled on the campstove, a growler of fresh brewed beer from the local brewery, and a homemade "caprese" salad.  

I know that traditionally, caprese salad contains mozzarella cheese.  Since we don't do dairy, we tried a new spin on an old classic.  This was really my inspiration for the salad.  Looking at the ingredients, it will sound strange, but the ingredients couple together in a wonderful way.  Your welcome in advance for this.  

Grilling steaks!





Cucumber Tomato Salad
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced into quarters
4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together for an amazing salad.

Mango Pear Talapia

Spicy.  Sweet.  Light.  Doesn't require heating up the house with the oven.  What more do you want out of a summer meal?



Mango Pear Talapia
4 Talapia fillets (or any white fish)
1 bartlett pear
1 mango, peeled
1/4 white onion
1/2 tomato
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika

In a large frying pan, heat up oil.  Add fish fillets.  Sprinkle fillets with 1 tsp. of black pepper and cumin.  While cooking, in a food processor, chop up pear, mango, onion, and tomato.  Add remaining spices to salsa mixture.  Place in fridge until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with salsa on top of fish.  You could also grill the fish if you like.

I've Got a Hankerin'

for some fruits and veggies!  It's amazing to me how after a few days of eating crap for 3 days on vacation and at our field trip how terrible I feel.  It's beyond guilt for not eating right; its disgust after every meal because I feel physically ill. 

Yesterday at the amusement park I ate part of a funnel cake (which I shared with several people).  I spent the rest of the day feel torn between thinking I would get explosive diarrhea and uncontrollable vomiting.  So not worth it. 

Last night, even though our field trip was not over till close 7 pm, my husband and I were making faces at the thought of grabbing something "quick to eat".  We knew the fast food would make us feel worse.  We were both craving fruits and vegetables in a major kind of way.  If I had to eat another piece of dough, I was gonna go crazy. 

We stopped at the grocery store and got our new version of fast food:  prewashed and cut salad, presliced chicken breast, and an avocado.  We grilled the chicken, dumped it on the salad, cut up the avo, and ate a bomb salad.  It probably didn't really take much more time than going through a drive thru, but man, did it hit the spot...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ranch Dressing

Sorry I haven't posted all weekend.  My husband and I were in Vail, Colorado this weekend for his bike race at the Teva Mountain Games. 

I do have a quick (and in my opinion hilarious) story about today.  I am a teacher (as mentioned before) and today we took our students to an amusement park for a field trip for the last day of school.  I tried to get a healthy meal for lunch (which turns out is extremely challenging at an amusement park).  I went to the Subway at the concession stand booth.  I asked if I could get a salad in lieu of a sandwich.  The lady responded with "A salad?  You sure?  We don't got no Ranch dressing!"  To which her fellow coworker gave me instructions on how somewhere a quarter mile away there was another concession stand with Ranch dressing.  I said, "Do you have oil and vinegar?"  yes.  "Then I'm fine."

Who would have thought- a salad without Ranch dressing?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tangy Shrimp Kabobs!

What a quick and easy meal!

Tangy Shrimp Kabobs
1 lb. cooked, peeled shrimp
1 onion, cut into large pieces
2 bell peppers, any color
1 zucchini, sliced
1 pineapple, cut into large chunks
1 c. water
1 lemon
1 lime
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. honey

In a small bowl, add shrimp and last 8 ingredients.  Marinate for about 20 minutes in the fridge (the longer the better).  While marinating, cut up the veggies.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Soak kabob sticks in water so they don't burn on the grill.  Once marinating is complete, assemble kabobs getting shrimp and veggies on each skewer.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until veggies are cooked.  Happy Summer!